Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Shot At Love by Peggy Jaeger (VBT, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

Once again, I have the pleasure of hosting a guest post from prolific author, Peggy Jaeger, who answers my question...

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


PJ: From the time I first picked up Pride and Prejudice at 11 years old I have been hooked on romance books. I’m not even sure I knew P&P was classified as romance when I read it. I simply knew it was considered a classic that had stood the ravages of time and was one of the most popular books in the literature world.

            After reading it I could see why, even at that tender age. The characters were complex, the conflict of class distinction, personal misrepresentation, jealousy, and miscommunication was high, and the end was happy with the promise of forevermore being so as well for our hero and heroine.

            And for me, that’s what the strongest attraction to the romance genre is.

            I’ve heard it said from literary pundits who abhor romance books that all the endings are the same and that’s the main reason they won’t give the genre any credence. There’s nothing unexpected about a romance book; nothing new; nothing fresh. It’s all about love and nothing else.

            I, respectfully, object to that erroneous characterization. To be more blunt about it, it’s a load of crap.

            While yes, the end result of a true romance book is a happily ever after, it’s the journey to that ending that makes romance readers come back again and again even though they know the hero and heroine will end up together.

            Boy meets girl-boy loses girl- boy gets girl back is romance in its simplest and most simplistic form. I can understand why some readers would be put off by that…simple (!) assessment.

            But when you break the story down, when you get to the guts of the plot and the conflict and the passions involved in finding that happy resolution, well, that’s where no one tells a better tale than a romance writer.

            I’ve always said to new writers who want to “make it” in the romance writing world that if you make me cry on one page, then have me laughing until I need to find a bathroom for fear of wetting my pants on the next, you’ve done a good job as a writer. If you take those two elements and then get me invested in a conflict that seems to have no happy resolution for anyone involved, you’ve done a better job. And then, if you take all those facets and give me a hero worth swooning over and falling in love with, a heroine I’d like to have as a BFF and who I know will have my back and every one else’s in a crisis, and an ending that has me hopeful for the future of love and mankind, well, then I’ll not only read your book, I’ll promote it, become a member of your street team, and have you featured on my blog! You will have done a great job!

            So, while some still think the romance genre and subgenres are archaic, boringly predictable, and all the same, I know the truth. Romance is filled with uncertainty, longing, high stakes and great rewards.  Every day fresh, new voices, emerge on the scene to take us places we’ve never been to before, and make us experience emotions we didn’t know we possessed.

            And although each ending may –yes – be predictable, the voyage to that ending is anything but.


by Peggy Jaeger


GENRE:   Contemporary Romance



Nothing’s impossible when love is on the menu. In Peggy Jaeger’s luscious series, the only thing more tempting than a delicious meal is a truly delectable romance . . .
Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

Photographer Gemma Laine is looking for arresting faces on the streets of Manhattan when her camera captures something shocking—a triple murder. In that moment, she becomes a target for the mob—and a top priority for a very determined, breathtakingly handsome, FBI special agent. With deadlines to meet and photo shoots on her calendar, Gemma chafes at the idea of protection, but every moment she spends under his watchful eye is a temptation to lose herself in his muscular arms . . .

With two of his men and one crucial witness dead, Special Agent Kyros Pappandreos can’t afford to be distracted. But Gemma is dazzling—and her connection to Kandy Laine’s high-profile cooking empire makes her an especially easy mark for some very bad people. Keeping her safe is much more pleasure than business, but as the heat between them starts to sizzle, Ky is set to investigate whether they have a shot at love . . .



Dressed in similar sweats to what he’d worn the morning before, his body bathed in gleaming sweat, Ky pummeled one of the suspended bags. His hands were wrapped with white gauze, his arms toned and taunt as he executed each strike with perfect precision and technique.

Gemma stopped on the final riser and watched him batter the bag, fists moving with swift, defined actions, the jabs fast and hard, the recoils even faster.

Shoulders raised, elbows tight, hands balled and up blocking his cheeks and jaw line, he threw a right jab, left, then two rights, all aimed high, and a final forward thrust left, lower on the bag, his knees bending to give him balance.

Gemma wanted to race back to her room, grab her camera and capture the scene before her.

Kyros Pappandreos was the epitome, the very definition of a natural born fighter. Distinctly male, uniquely the warrior, his body moved with the grace of a panther, the stealth of a tiger stalking its prey, and the accuracy of a cobra striking. There was something so sensual, so primal, so animalistic about him, she knew she had to photograph him just this way.

She’d capture him in slow motion first, his tight fist connecting with his target, the sweat of exertion flying from his forehead. Then, she’d move to rapid fire, the image blurring with the speed of his hits. A pugilist, enigmatic, tough, and hard bodied, the bulging muscles and corded sinew in his arms distended with his action, outlined and bathed in the shiny moisture pouring from him.

Ky repeated the moves in the same series of strikes three more times before dropping his hands to his thighs.

He swiped at his forehead with the back of his hand, his breathing hard, but not labored, and turned.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

Tying into her love of families, her children's book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master's degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer's Disease during her time running an Alzheimer's in-patient care unit during the 1990s.
In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.

In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader's Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and is a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Last Gambit by Om Swami (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by Om Swami


GENRE:   General Fiction-> Coming of Age



Success by design is infinitely better than a win by chance. Vasu Bhatt is fourteen years old when a mysterious old man spots him at a chess tournament and offers to coach him, on two simple but strange conditions: he would not accompany his student to tournaments, and there was to be no digging into his past. Initially resentful, Vasu begins to gradually understand his master’s mettle.

Over eight years, master and student come to love and respect each other, but the two conditions remain unbroken – until Vasu confronts and provokes the old man. Meanwhile, their hard work and strategy pay off: Vasu qualifies for the world chess championship. But can he make it all the way without his master by his side?

Inspiring, moving and mercurial, The Last Gambit is a beautiful coming of age tale in a uniquely Indian context.



‘Do you know who the finest teacher is?’ he asked. ‘You!’

Ignoring my answer, he continued, ‘Experience is the greatest teacher, Vasu. Always replay your own games to see where you went wrong and what made you play the way you did. People don’t lose because they make mistakes, they do so because they repeat their mistakes. The first time, it’s not a loss but a learning.’

‘So, how do I avoid making mistakes?’

 ‘Just don’t repeat them,’ he said after coughing and clearing his throat. ‘Be it life or chess, that’s the only difference between a grandmaster and an amateur. An amateur expects to reach a different destination by walking the same path. He hopes for miracles or serendipities. A grandmaster, on the other hand, relies on his own effort and intelligence. He does not commit the same error twice.’

 ‘But Master,’ I said, curious, ‘I do try my best to not repeat my mistakes. Why do I still lose?’ ‘Because you nourish the body and starve the soul.’ I gave him a blank look because I didn’t have a clue about what he just said. ‘Do you know the soul of chess, Vasu?’

Buy links:


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Om Swami is a monk who lives in a remote place in the Himalayan foothills. He has a bachelor degree in business and an MBA from Sydney, Australia. Swami served in executive roles in large corporations around the world. He founded and led a profitable software company with offices in San Francisco, New York, Toronto, London, Sydney and India. 
Om Swami completely renounced his business interests to pursue a more spiritual life. He is the bestselling author of Kundalini: An Untold Story, A Fistful of Love and If Truth Be Told: A Monk’s Memoir.

His blog is read by millions all over the world.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here


My review:

4.25 out of 5 stars

The Last Gambit by Om Swami is, on the surface, the story of a young boy learning how to excel at chess. There are so many other levels that can be appreciated and the author’s voice effortlessly captures that of a youngster as he grows, so it is impossible to be bored even though the game of chess has never held a particular allure for me. I was fascinated to get a glimpse of Indian culture and mores even as I enjoyed the pearls of wisdom imparted to a young child who must learn to convert his passion into a work ethic that will stand him in good stead as he enters adulthood. The dynamics of family and mentorship are fascinating to learn about, even as one discovers how different life is in this country.

Watching Vasu blossom from a self-centered and indulged younger son to a disciplined and respectful adult who learns adages such as “Learn to move at the pace you are comfortable with, learn to alter it effortlessly when necessary.” and “Success by design is infinitely better than a win by chance.” makes me happy I read this story and appreciative of the philosophy that permeates it. There are many great lessons to absorb as one follows the sacrifices that are required to achieve mastery and I think this is a great read for those of all ages.

A copy of this title was provided to me for review

Alphas and Aggression by A. Star (cover reveal) RBC


Alphas And Aggression   
 Wesley Werewolves Series Book #1  
By A. Star

BLURB: A millennium ago, an Igbo god fathered three sons–a jackal, a coyote…and a wolf.


As the new alpha of his wolf pack, Xavier Wesley wants nothing more than to follow in his uncle’s footsteps and make his elders, and the great guardian, proud. But his family and a rival alpha seem to have other plans for him, as does the werewolf king who informs Xavier that their kingdom is under attack by the Lion Head–a sinister, ethereal creature controlled by the one who summoned it. And he has put Xavier in charge of saving their kind.  

But the Lion Head is just the agent of a darker evil, one that will do anything to escape the Lightless Realm and reclaim the lycan throne. Knowing he stands no chance of defeating them alone, Xavier seeks help from the wolves he trusts the most and Karis Mickelson, a beautiful human who has no business existing in his world. 

After a visit with the pack dibia points them toward the only Igbo treasure that can bind the sinister entity to Earth, they set out to claim it before it is discovered by the dangerous ancestor who desires to claim it first. But Xavier’s growing connection to Karis not only threatens to derail their mission, but upend his entire life. If he can’t manage to take control of his feelings and honor his true purpose, then the darkness just might win. And everyone will die.

 Cover Models: Zusi AirhiavbereSesoo, IgbazuaKofi, HandonMarcus Johns  

Photographer:Doug Bolst of Libertine Photography:


About the Author:  Diantha Jones loves writing fantasy  books filled with adventure, romance, and magic. She's the author of the Oracle of Delphi series, the Mythos series, and the Djinn Order series (as A. Star). When she isn’t writing or working, she is reading or being hypnotized by Netflix. She is a serious night-owl and while everyone else is grinning in the warmth and sunlight, she’s hoping for gloominess and rain. Yeah, she’s weird like that.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Goodreads (A. Star)  |  Amazon  |  Pinterest  |  DJ's Book Corner

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Accidental Wedding by Debra Elizabeth (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by Debra Elizabeth


GENRE:   Contemporary Romance



Unemployed Keira Callahan decides to try her luck at the casino before delving back into job hunting. As she walks through the casino, she bumps into the most handsome man she’s ever seen. When he asks her to dinner, she doesn’t hesitate. As she learns Cade Tyndale’s story—he needs to wed or lose his British estate, her impulsive nature rears up and she agrees to marry him and move to England for one year. What does she have to lose except her heart to the impossibly handsome Earl of Barrett?



Kerry looked around for the nearest cashier window, spotted one past the roulette and craps tables, and hurried toward it. As she passed the craps table, she looked at her ticket again, with its final payout of one thousand and seventy-five dollars. It was the most money she’d ever won at the casino. Tonight was indeed her lucky night. This money would certainly give her some added time while she made up her mind about what she wanted to do next about finding a job. Still looking down at her ticket, she nearly fell to the floor when she ran into something rock hard. Or make that someone. As she began to fall backward, her arms doing wild cartwheels to try to regain her balance, her eyes found the most gorgeous man she’d ever seen standing in front of her.

He was tall and lean, with striking blue eyes and light-brown hair that fell in waves to his shirt collar. Women would kill for hair like that, it was so perfect. He looked like he’d stepped out of a GQ magazine cover; or better still, put him in a suit of armor and give him a sword, and he would become the legendary knight Tristan come to life. A hero destined to make the ladies swoon, and Keira was ready to swoon. He was impossibly handsome.

All these crazy thoughts swirled through her mind as she fell backwards. This tumble was going to be so embarrassing, never mind the bruising her bottom would endure. Much to her surprise, none of that happened. A strong arm wrapped around her waist at the last minute and prevented her from falling. Instead of sitting on the floor embarrassed, she found herself pressed against a hard and very toned chest.

“Oh, my God! I’m so sorry,” she blurted out. “I wasn’t looking where I was going.”

Blue eyes twinkled at her. “The fault is mine. I stepped back from the table without looking. Please accept my sincere apology,” the handsome stranger said in a charming English accent before releasing his grip on her waist.

Could he be any more perfect? Not only was he Adonis, the god of beauty and desire, in the flesh, but an Adonis with an English accent. Her mouth hung open as she stared at him.

Buy links: On sale for $.99 (please check price before ordering)


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Debra Elizabeth is the romance pen name for fantasy author Debra L. Martin. She has been writing all kinds of stories since her teens and decided to finally publish her romance stories under a pen name so as not to confuse her fantasy fans. She publishes epic and urban fantasy with her co-author and brother, David W. Small and blogs regularly at Two Ends of the Pen.

Debra lives in New England with her husband and two kitties.

Contact links:



a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here


My review:

4 out of 5 stars

Dale Chihuly's Fiori di Como, composed of over 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers on Bellagio lobby ceiling

The Accidental Wedding by Debra Elizabeth is the first book in the ‘Loving a Billionaire’ series and features marketing specialist Keira Callahan, who is at a low point and trying to cheer herself up on the Las Vegas Strip when she has a fortuitous encounter with Cade Tyndale who is facing his own life-changing challenge. They take a chance on each other, which results in Keira travelling to England and experiencing a life far different from the one she’s used to. Dealing with hostile relatives, coping with the responsibilities of being an earl’s wife, and discovering whether her relationship with her husband can be more than an arrangement on paper will definitely take all of Keira’s determination and require that she and Cade learn how to trust one another.

Dining area of one of the Bellagio penthouse suites

This contemporary romance has fairy-tale elements and is a great way to armchair travel. It was particularly intriguing for me to read as I had just experienced the wonders the Bellagio has to offer and enjoyed the spot-on descriptions! I was a little skeptical of the trust that is automatically conferred…her to travel to another country with a virtual stranger and him to believe that she was not a gold digger…but the author did a great job of penning personable characters and making me root for their success. I thought the dynamics with Cade’s brother were a little odd, particularly his semi-conversion which seemed out of character with his previous behavior and it seemed to me that money is thrown around an awful lot by Cade which conflicts with the constant search to make more. Despite all this, I enjoyed the vivid imagery and the intensifying relationship between the main characters and the over-the-top lifestyle described. This was one of those lighthearted uplifting sigh-worthy stories that put a smile on my face and reminded me why I enjoy romances so much and I look forward to reading more delightful stories by this author.

A copy of this title was provided to me for review

Friday, September 22, 2017

Dirty Boxing by Harper St. George and Tara Wyatt (spotlight, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) ADULT title

The Blood and Glory series
Volume 1
Harper St. George and Tara Wyatt
ADULT title

Pocket Star EBook
September 18, 2017
ISBN 9781501170195
St. George (A Marriage Deal with the Outlaw) and Wyatt (Necessary Work) have written a fast-paced romance filled with sizzling chemistry, which will have readers rooting for Jules and Nick to find their way back to each other. Verdict: This novel will have broad appeal for readers of sexy contemporary romance, not just those who have an interest in MMA.”
—Library Journal

“A heartfelt story of second chances set in the high stakes world of MMA fighting…a satisfying blend of emotional drama and sizzling love scenes…Dirty Boxing embraces the swirl of confusing emotions that inundate its leads, using the turmoil to deepen their characters and complicate their relationship…Wyatt and St. George also devote considerable space to Nick's close-knit family and Jules' strained relationship with her father, ensuring that the leads' families are complex figures with their own biases and flaws. The result is a romance with a happy ending that, in allowing for the work still to be done, feels all the more rewarding.”

After an unstable childhood, Jules Darcy is very familiar with the risks of falling in love. And as an adult, she’s never let herself forget just how high those stakes can be. That’s why she ran away a year ago after her fling with MMA fighter Nick Giannakis quickly got serious. But when she jumps at the opportunity to reconnect with her dad by accepting a job with his growing fight league, she’s stunned to learn the abs, the chiseled arms, and the rock-solid punches she has to market belong to none other than her former fling. Unable to run away from the sexy middleweight this time, Jules vows to keep things strictly professional. But one look at Nick, and her resolve starts to crumble….

The last thing Nick expects when he signs with the prestigious World Fighting Championship is that he’ll have to work with the only woman who ever broke his heart. Desperate to hide the pain she caused him, Nick vows to keep his distance from his gorgeous ex. But when he realizes their intense chemistry hasn’t faded after a year apart, he wonders if they could have a future together, even if dating the boss’s daughter could complicate his bid for the championship belt.

Under the bright lights of Las Vegas, in the world of high-stakes prize fighting, they’ll have to take a risk and decide if their love is worth fighting for.


Jules tugged Nick into a dark, semisecluded corner, as far away from Mia and Lana as possible. A large palm mostly sheltered them from view, but they were far from alone. “You’re already on thin ice here, Giannakis. My father has it out for you. He signed you because of your fan base and your marketability, but he doesn’t like you. You need to behave.” She leaned toward him, practically hissing out the last few words. Damn, that closeness felt good.

He crossed his arms, snorting out a chuckle. “You dragged me away from those women because you’re worried about what your father thinks?” Before she could respond, he backed her up against the wall, caging her body with his. “I think you didn’t like watching me flirt.”
Her jaw clenched and her eyes flashed—lust and anger and need all shining out at him. “I went over there to save you from yourself, but it’s clear you don’t want my help.”

“You’re right. Help isn’t even close to what I want from you.”

Her body flared—her eyes, her nostrils, her chest—and her lips parted. “I refuse to do this with you right now, Nick. I’m working.”

“That’s pretty goddamn ridiculous, seeing as you’re the one who hauled me into this corner because you couldn’t stand watching me have a good time with someone else.”

“You have an ego the size of Texas,” she ground out, and he inched closer.

His eyes closed for a second as he inhaled. Lavender. “But I’m right. Go ahead. Tell me I’m wrong.”

She planted her hands on his chest, and he could tell she’d meant to push him away, but at the contact she’d stilled, leaving her palms flat against his pecs. His skin warmed at her touch. “Move.”


“You’re a man-child.”

He dipped his head and nipped at her earlobe. She let out a surprised gasp and shuddered. “And you’re the most frustrating, infuriating, gorgeously sexy woman I’ve ever laid eyes on.”

Someone stumbled into Nick as they passed, and he pressed into Jules, taking the impact and sheltering her, but erasing all distance between them. Their eyes locked, and he knew she could feel how hard he was, his cock straining against his zipper as it pressed against her hip.

He eased back just a little, and her brow furrowed, as though she didn’t want him to move away. Electricity charged through him, and before he could talk himself out of it, he covered her hand with his, slowly dragging it down his chest. Her breath caught, the black of her pupils almost completely eclipsing the blue of her eyes. His heart galloped in his chest as he waited for her to tug her hand away, but she didn’t. He slid her hand over his stomach, lower, lower, and stopped when it rested over the bulge in his pants.

“I may have been talking to other women, but none of them do this to me.” He moved her hand over him, a tiny stroke. “That’s all because of you.”

He braced his hands on the wall on either side of her, not to cage her in, but to keep himself upright. She didn’t take her hand away, and he smiled, a victorious thrill rushing through him. Dropping his head, he kissed her neck. For a year he’d thought he’d never feel her skin under his mouth again, and he closed his eyes against the sudden onslaught of emotion churning through him. She moved her hand over him in another little stroke, and he flexed his hips into her touch.

He managed to pull his head up, away from her. “Admit it, Jules. You want this.”

She rubbed her palm over him. “I think you’re the one who wants this.”

Their gazes locked again and the party swirled around them, music throbbing, voices shouting. Her fingers went to his zipper, and as she pulled it down with agonizing slowness, his balls tightened in anticipation.



About the authors:

Harper St. George was raised in rural Alabama and along the tranquil coast of northwest Florida. It was a setting filled with stories of the old days and it instilled in her a love of history, romance, and adventure. By high school, she had discovered the romance novel, which combined all of those elements into one perfect package. She has been hooked ever since. She currently lives on Florida’s Emerald Coast with her family and loves to connect with readers. She would love to hear from you. Please visit her website at or connect with her on Facebook at

 Tara Wyatt is a contemporary romance and romantic suspense author who has won several awards, including the Unpublished Winter Rose, the Linda Howard Award of Excellence, and the Heart of the West. A librarian by day and romance writer by night, Tara lives in Hamilton, Ontario with the world’s cutest dog and a husband who makes all of her heroes look like chumps. Find her at


Blog Tour Schedule:

September 15
September 17
September 18
The Reading FrenzyINTERVIEW
September 19
September 20
September 21
September 22
September 25
September 27
September 29
Reading Diaries



To celebrate the first in the Blood and Glory Series, we’re giving away one promo code for a download of DIRTY BOXING!

To enter, please leave a valid e-mail address and a comment about either your favorite sport (and why it's your favorite) or what your favorite elements of MMA or boxing are. Using Randomizer, a winner will be chosen from eligible entries after September 30, 2017