Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sea Glass Sunrise by Donna Kauffman (review) ADULT title

5 out of 5 stars!

ADULT romance

Sea Glass Sunrise by Donna Kauffman is the first book in ‘The Brides of Blueberry Cove’ series, and centers on Hannah McCrae, who has returned to her hometown of Blueberry Cove in Maine for her brother Logan’s wedding. Determined to hide her own heartbreak and rejoice in her homecoming and renewed sense of family, Hannah is unprepared for the alluring effects of multiple encounters with Cade Blue, a scion of a long-estranged former Blueberry Cove inhabitant. Contrasting with the flurry of preparations and excitement over the upcoming nuptials, an unsettling undercurrent of change threatens to disrupt the comfortable sense of community that is part of Blueberry Cove, and unfortunately, Cade seems to be at the heart of the disturbance. Hannah will have to decide where her loyalties lie and what her heart really wants, but others will definitely have influence on her decision—whether she wants to admit it or not.

This delightful contemporary romance is set in a small town in Maine and evokes the beauty and camaraderie that is so attractive about a community where generations of families have grown up together. This author has a wonderful talent for painting word portraits and creating an endearing story that makes one wish to be part of Blueberry Cove. The sniffle-inducing warmth and kinship that is immediately apparent when the siblings get together is heartwarming, and the comfort with which they shift from unconditional support to razzing to sibling solidarity makes one wish for a family exactly like theirs.  

The challenges that each of the main characters is facing gives depth to the story and an opportunity to understand their underlying strength and vulnerabilities while their repartee and interactions demonstrate how suitable it is for a relationship between them to flower. This passage aptly demonstrates the wry self-deprecating humor of the heroine, who is contemplating the disconcerting aftereffects of an accident—“It was now Friday morning, and the color under her eyes was turning a lovely shade of seaweed green with a soupcon of eggplant purple. It gave her a certain Zombies of the Apocalypse je ne sais quoi.” And this gives an inkling of her impact on the hero—“Something about a woman dressed like a bad Vivien Leigh stunt double, but still looking as cool as Grace Kelly on her best day, driving a hot rod—and a stick shift, no less—turned him right around. And on.” Sigh.

I love that there are so many vivid and quirky characters who will undoubtedly get their time in the spotlight and I definitely want to read the stories that lead up to this point, as I suspect is implied in ‘The Bachelors of Blueberry Cove’ series. There are many great scenes in this story (and a delicious recipe at the end) which reminds me why small town romances are so much fun to read and makes me anxious to visit Blueberry Cove again and again through other stories by this wonderfully talented author.  

© Night Owl Reviews 

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


Friday, October 30, 2015

Accused by Wendy Byrne (VNBtM, guest post, excerpt and GIVEAWAY)

It is my pleasure to have a guest post from author Wendy Byrne!


What is my writing process?
by Wendy Byrne

I like to write in the morning. I’m an early riser and find that my creative energies are best in the morning. First I have to do my morning ritual and check emails, Facebook, and get my morning dose of chai tea going. After that—on a good day—I start writing. Yes, I’m human, so some days I’m more disciplined than others.

In my earlier writing endeavors, I would concentrate on one book at a time and wrote as a pantser (by the seat of my pants). This means I wrote whatever came to mind—sometimes those thoughts came chronically—most times they were random ideas for scenes or conversations. As I tried to be more productive, I had to develop a better plan for getting books written. Some writers do elaborate outlines, color-code scenes and conversations to make sure there’s a balance, but that wouldn’t work for me. Which is an important point—never let someone else tell you how or what your process should be. It’s important to do what works for you. Sometimes that changes as you grow as a writer.

I write for two different publishers and also self-publish, so that means I typically am working at multiple projects at a time. That took some getting used to, but I’ve managed to develop some ideas that work for me. I compartmentalize my time and work on one project for a period of time before moving on to another. I usually do something non-writing related in-between like take a walk or run to the store to clear my mind. I also have a much more structured approach to the process. I might not have everything set in stone when I begin to write a new story, but I have an idea of the high points of my story. I find there are some tools that help me along this journey—Scrivener helps me find things easier if I need to switch scenes around in terms of chronological order, and Jamie Gould’s collection of story beat sheets also keep me aware of where I should be at certain parts of the story. I also find it invaluable to have other writers to keep me on track and give support in those times when I’m pulling my hair out. I’m also a big fan of NANO  It’s a commitment I make in November to get 50,000 words on paper of a new work of fiction. It might not be pretty, but it’s something I can work with. In order to accomplish such a feat, it’s important that you don’t revise and just write, even when you have nothing to write. And I get it done because…well…I’m stubborn that way.

You have to find out what works for you as a writer, as we are each individuals and what works for some doesn’t work for others. Happy writing!


by Wendy Byrne


GENRE: Romantic Suspense



Spawned from the depths of every parent’s worst nightmare, Jillian Beckett’s 16 year old troubled son is charged with murder. He’s unable to remember what happened and swears he’s off drugs, but should she believe him? Her ex-husband doesn’t. The high-priced lawyer she hired doesn’t. Where does motherly instinct intersect with reality?

Afraid and alone, she reluctantly enlists the help of her son’s football coach to find the truth of what happened. As they battle to uncover the guilty party, confidences are shattered, lives are on the line, while her son is one step closer to spending his life behind bars.




Sam spotted Travis sitting with his mother. In a sea of average, Jillian Beckett stood out. With a model’s face and body, she drew attention even when dressed in a pair of old jeans and a pink oxford shirt. There was a part of him that found her attractive—okay, a huge part of him—even though it made him feel like shit thinking of her like that. His first priority should be Travis, and it was. It wasn’t the kid’s fault he had a babe for a mom.

 He watched her get up and start to pace while Travis sat at the table looking nervous. Neither one seemed to be talking and Sam could sense tension between them even from across the room. It didn’t feel right to interrupt, but he didn’t have a choice once Travis spotted him and waved him over.

Jillian turned and stopped her frantic pacing. Hesitation played out on her face once she saw him. Something was going on between her and Travis and she didn’t want Sam’s interference. Before he could reconsider, Travis walked across the room and ushered him back to their table. “We could use some help, Coach.”

Her face was pale as she shook his hand and they both sat down. At least she’d stopped pacing. Still, he fought the urge to touch her as she clasped and unclasped her hands.

“What’s going on?” Sam didn’t want to linger on thoughts of his past.

Travis looked at his mother, then at Sam, then hung his head. “I am so screwed. The blood on my shirt matches Max Gill’s and the gun I had in my room was used in a killing a while back. I swear I didn’t do either, but the evidence says otherwise.”



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Wendy lives in the Chicago area. She has a Masters in Social Work and worked in the child welfare field for twelve years before she decided to pursue her dream of writing. 

Between teaching college classes, trying to get her morbidly obese cat to slim down and tempering the will of her five-year-old granddaughter, who's determined to become a witch when she turns six so she can fly on her broom to see the Eiffel Tower and put hexes on people--not necessarily in that order--somehow Wendy still manages to fit in writing. She spends the remainder of her days inflicting mayhem on her hero and heroine until they beg for mercy.

She has written three books in the Hard Targets Trilogy, Hard to Kill, Hard to Trust, and Hard to Stop. In addition, she has a contemporary romance through Entangled Publishing called The Millionaire's Deception , a self-pubbed Christmas short story called The Christmas Curse and two interracial romances, Fractured and Mama Said.



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The tour dates can be found here

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Lady Overton's Perilous Journey by Vikki Vaught (Excerpt and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by Vikki Vaught


GENRE:  Historical Romantic Suspense



When her son’s life is threatened, Anissa, Marchioness of Overton, seeks refuge by sailing to America. Before the ship reaches the high seas, sparks fly between her and Captain Alex Hawks. Although the young widow may be lonely, and afraid, she cannot risk the diversion a romantic entanglement could bring, no matter how much she wants to lose herself in the captain’s embrace.

The Captain vows to protect the young Lord Overton, but can offer no assurance that the marchioness will leave his ship with her virtue intact. Alex is drawn to Anissa’s beauty and courage, as a hummingbird is to the nectar of a flower. How long can he fight a losing battle before he surrenders and makes her his own?

Will Alex be able to keep this remarkable woman and her child safe? Will his passion for Anissa be enough or will their differences keep them apart?



Exclusive Excerpt:

Anissa clasped her trembling hands together as she stammered, “I w-wanted to watch as we l-left the pier, since it will be my last sight of England for a very long time.”

Captain Hawks stared at her, black eyes gleaming. “Who’s that man? I thought you told me you weren’t running away. What are you running away from? Tell me, damn it!”

Anissa turned back to the railing to give herself time to collect her thoughts. She came up with a believable story, she hoped. Even though she hated lying, now was not the time for scruples. To save her son, she would lie, cheat, or even kill, if need be. She did not owe this arrogant captain anything. He was only a means to an end for her.

Pulling on her confidence as a marchioness, she turned to face him with an expression of disdain on her face. “Not that it is any of your concern, I’m not running away from anything. As I already explained, my uncle is ill. I desperately need to get away for a while. I lost my husband seven months ago. I’m hoping a visit with my uncle and seeing my cousins will help to distract me from my grief. And I can help my family care for him in his time of need.”

“If you’re not running away, then why did that man look disgusted when he saw my ship leaving?” he sneered.

Her mind went blank. She needed to come up with something he might believe. “Oh, you mean the man on the pier?”

The captain interrupted. “Of course I mean that man. It’s obvious someone told him you left with me. He followed you to Plymouth, didn’t he?”

Anissa looked at him, her knees shaking to such a degree that he would have surely seen them, had her breeches not been covered by her long cloak. She prayed he would not decide to turn the ship around.

“He is an unwanted suitor and has been hounding me ever since my husband died. He is one of the reasons I decided to go to America.” Then taking the offensive, she stated, “Besides, it is none of your business why I want to leave, now, is it?”

“It is my damned business if you’re running from something. I don’t need anything turning up later. You know he’ll find out where you’re going, don’t you? My ship is well known, and someone will tell him you’re bound for Baltimore. You don’t have any family in America, do you? You don’t know anyone in my country. How in hell will you take care of yourself, and your son, for God’s sake?”

Amazon link
NOTE: The book will be on sale for $0.99 during the tour

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Vikki Vaught started her writing career when a story invaded her mind and would not leave.

Over the last few years, she has written more than a half dozen historical romances and is presently working on her next. Her new release, Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey, is the first book in her Honorable Rogue series.

Vikki loves a "Happily Ever After", and she writes them in her stories. While romance is the central theme of all her books, she includes some significant historical event or place in all her novels.

While all her books are love stories, she has also written short contemporary sweet romances as Vikki McCombie and erotic romances using the pen name of V.L. Edwards.

For the last decade, Vikki has lived in the beautiful foothills of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with her beloved husband, Jim, who is the most tolerant man in the world to put up with her when she is in a writing frenzy. When she is not writing or working her day job, you’ll find her curled up in a comfortable chair reading her Kindle, lost in a good book with a cup of tea at her side.


Amazon Author Page



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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Christmas Cradle by Charlotte Hubbard (Excerpt and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by Charlotte Hubbard


GENRE: Amish/Inspirational Romance



For the peaceful town of Willow Ridge, November presents an early holiday surprise. Stranded in the snow, 18-year-old Lena Esh and her boyfriend Josiah Witmer need more than a place to stay for the night. Lena defied her strict family and their judgmental beliefs to run away with Josiah and have his baby. But she’s starting to wonder if he can prove as responsible as he is passionate. And she isn’t sure how—or if—they can ever find a place to truly call home.

Expecting their own miracle baby, Miriam and Ben Hooley rally the town to help the young couple, and Lena draws strength from their unexpected support. Though trouble may come calling, in this season of joyous rebirth, a little child will lead them. And two couples will see their dreams of forever family come true…



Exclusive Excerpt

Josiah stepped outside with Naomi and then stood in the crisp winter air, inhaling the savory aroma of the meats he’d put into the grills and barrel cookers early this morning. He opened the two grills nearest the back wall of the café, where he’d been cooking large foil-wrapped beef briskets.

He scowled. When he’d checked them a few hours ago, the coals and wood were at the perfect temperature—and now they were out. And the wood’s not just cold, it’s wet, he realized as he poked beneath the grill rack with his tongs.

Josiah quickly went down the row of cookers, opening them in a panic. He was greatly relieved that the smoke was still coming out of the barrel cooker where his whole hog was roasting—and glad, as well, that the ribs in the gas grills appeared done to perfection. The foil around the briskets hadn’t been disturbed, and as he calculated the time they’d been cooking, he was confident that spoilage wouldn’t be an issue.

But how had this happened? The top vents were open, as they should be—

He spotted a big dent in the snow that had drifted along the windbreak wall. Somebody scooped up snow and dumped it on these coals. But who would tamper with his equipment? No one in Willow Ridge would intentionally ruin the main course of the first meal he and Savilla were serving.

Josiah’s heart thudded. Hiram’s been here.

He removed the briskets and ribs from the cookers. Knepp would not spoil their first evening shift! Josiah had no time to hunt down the renegade bishop who’d sabotaged his grills, but he could salvage these meats by finishing them in the oven. He’d take his roasted hog inside right away, too, because for all he knew Knepp was hiding nearby, watching him sweat—or ready to strike again.

“Get the ovens going for me, will you?” he asked Savilla as he began carrying the meat into the kitchen. “We’ve got a problem—but thank the Lord the pig’s done and it’s not been messed with.”

Savilla frowned as she set down her knife to turn on the ovens. “What on earth are you talking about? Last time you checked—”

“Seems Knepp thought he could rain on our parade by dousing two of my fires,” Josiah replied. “We should tell Ben and the other men to keep an eye out—but don’t breathe a word of this while we’re serving dinner. The meat will be fine. No need to get Lena and Miriam and everybody else stirred up.”

Savilla’s face had gone as pale as her pie crusts. “Are—are you sure he didn’t mess with the hog or your other cookers?” she rasped. “If people get sick—”

Buy Links:


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Drawing upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community in Missouri, longtime Missourian Charlotte Hubbard writes of simpler times and a faith-based lifestyle in her Seasons of the Heart series. Like her heroine, Miriam Lantz Hooley, Charlotte considers it her personal mission to feed people. Faith and family, farming and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle. She’s a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and when she’s not writing, she loves to try new recipes, crochet, and sew. Charlotte now lives in Minnesota with her husband and their border collie.




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The tour dates can be found here 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Fabergé Entanglement by Lesley Meryn & Elle Brookes (Review, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by Lesley Meryn & Elle Brookes


GENRE:  Romantic Suspense



Sabinne ‘Saber’ Darrieux’s father, the billionaire CEO of Frontenac Global Security has been kidnapped. His ransom is not cash in a numbered offshore account, or a briefcase of Bearer Bonds but something utterly unique, incredibly valuable, and until recently, hidden away from the world.

The kidnapper seems to know Saber very well, and knows that the next day, through her work as an elite translator she will be in the same location as the Object. She must steal the Object and deliver it to the kidnapper to ransom her father.

Adrian Steele, a British Intelligence agent has just come off of two harrowing missions. Upon returning to London for a well-earned rest, he learns that his friend and fellow agent, has been murdered in Moscow, but not before he made use of a unique Object as a mobile ‘drop site’ for the valuable intelligence he was carrying.

The drop site is traveling from Moscow to England. Steele insists on completing the mission to honor the death of his friend, Gerry Cornell.

At an ultra-chic quasi-diplomatic gathering in a mansion in Windsor, England, Saber and Steele meet and find themselves faced with a powerful, undeniable attraction.  But at the moment, this compelling attraction is very inconvenient.

In reality they are at the mansion to check out the security arrangements -- for their own reasons -- to steal the Object, a Fabergé egg worth thirty million dollars. But who will get to the egg first?

Fabergé eggs are very famous for their unique surprises. Saber and Steele are about to be very surprised, indeed.

And when Saber clashes with Steele; more than sparks will explode!



 He was more striking close up. The wire-framed glasses that had given him that bookish look were gone. As a matter of fact, at that precise moment there was nothing about him that was the least bit bookish. Now he looked more like a feral choirboy.


Saber lowered her eyes taken in by the seductive curve of his jaw, and his lips parted in an expression of amazement that drew her closer, hypnotically, begging to be covered with her own. She pulled herself back, reminding herself why she was there, what she must do. Leaving him to be found by the Sheikh's security men would be a pity, but she had a job to finish.                  


She knew her job, too, she was slick, professional. Her contribution to the family business was to test the security systems that were installed by Frontenac et Cie. She was always on-call to the "Uncles" between her translation assignments to do this testing. And she was very good at it. When caught in a tight spot, she was focused on the job at hand, holding back emotion, the fear of "capture" pushed away. Her focus was laser-like in intensity. She infiltrated the secured areas of high-security targets, grabbed the "package" then ex-filtrated as invisibly as a wisp of smoke. Reflection and reactions came after, as she wrote up her reports and advised the designers on flaws and vulnerabilities in their systems.


But all this slipped away as she felt the light touch of his hands, feeling their heat through thin black leather gloves. They slid very slowly up her thighs, coming to rest lightly and seductively around her waist. She stifled a gasp as she felt his hot fingers press into her, very much a lover's caress.        


In scant seconds Saber's focus for the job at hand, the reason that she was there to begin with, melted away as she felt his hands tighten around her waist. Her grip on the gun weakened as a wave of heat suffused through her.


With a swiftness that took her breath away he closed the narrow gap between them. A hot flash of desire surged through her as his lips took possession of hers. Taking advantage of her surprise, he dashed the gun from her hand, sending it spinning away out of her reach. He flipped her over so she was now under him. Saber stared up at him wide-eyed, his lean, hard body on hers evoking a reaction from deep within her that was as intense as it was unexpected. Shocked, confused, she twisted her head away from his, but her eyes still kept a sidewise watch on him.


He bent in closer. Dark eyes flashed dangerously through the long shag of hair that fell over his face. Then, very, very slowly as though savoring every moment, he slid his gloved hand along her arm, around her shoulder, then up her pale exposed throat.  


Steele's hand paused, feeling her pulse flutter wildly under his fingertips, before moving up to thread through her silky raven hair. His grip tightened and he turned her head to face him.


"Mmmm... I can do it, too," he breathed softly into her ear.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Twitter:   @tymslyder



Enjoyed an exotic, adventure-filled childhood, following her anthropologist father and travel writer mother to the farthest corners of the world. She later took inspiration from her Aunt Sophia Francesca and became the author of romantic adventure novels. She alternates her time between Los Angeles, and a family property located in Yorkshire England.


She is the author of the first two books of the Time Frame Series. Loves travel, discovering new foods to try, reading and writing. She currently lives in the central highlands of Costa Rica with her dog Pixie and her hedgehog Quiller.



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The tour dates can be found here

My review

4.25 out of 5 stars

The Fabergé Entanglement by Lesley Meryn and Elle Brookes is a romantic suspense story that centers around Saber Darrieux, a woman of many talents, who crosses paths with Adrian Steele and attracts his attention on several levels, especially when she prevents him from achieving his goal of retrieving a sensitive piece of information.  The cat-and-mouse game that ensues spans countries and requires that layers of deception be uncovered and dealt with as each of them races against the clock, but with diametrically opposite goals.  Demons from the past threaten to derail any progress they make and a successful outcome for at least one of them is far from assured, no matter what allies they find.

This is a wonderfully exciting tale that pits two resourceful and charismatic people against each other in a story that continues to escalate in intensity.  Exotic settings, hair-raising adventures, and a shift between cosmopolitan situations and tacky run-down environs pepper the narrative which has plenty of unexpected twists.  There are some areas which are a little awkward to me, particularly toward the end when one of the villains is revealed and certain horrific elements of the heroine’s past are detailed.  I was irked by the extremely short chapters and the sections with shifting points of views, and I felt that there were a few too many foreign phrases (and their translations) peppered throughout the story but I still was enthralled by the story and enjoyed the sharp witty exchanges and delicious espionage elements that were showcased.  I think that this is a fun and thrilling story and hope that there are more adventures starring this intrepid and very capable pair.

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