Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Valentino in Vancouver by Gabbi Grey (Spotlight and excerpt)



Valentino in Vancouver 

Adult title
by
Gabbi Grey

 


Valentino in Vancouver Synopsis

 

Val

When I need to get away from the heat in Los Angeles, I head to a friend’s house in Vancouver, Canada.  I just need to hide out. Oh, and that cute redhead? A mighty fine way to pass the time. Will this fling become something more by the time things cool down?

Seamus

When I’m invited to my boss’s house for a party, I’m thrilled.  And nervous. Then I meet a guy who helps me relax. Even when I find out who he is, I keep coming back for more. Only it turns out I might be way over my head. Can I get out before I fall for him?

 

 

Tagline: 

Hiding out may be the hottest thing he’s ever done.

 


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Excerpt 5

Finally, I headed outside. Opening the screen door with both hands full proved interesting, but I managed. I was shutting it when someone appeared to help. A petite someone. The sun was bright off the water in the pool, but I quickly figured out who it was. “Thanks, Julie.”

She smiled. “Of course.”

The woman was so beautiful she sometimes took my breath away. Almost-white blonde hair, stunning green eyes, and a smile as wide as any ever offered to me. She took the bowl of mixed nuts. But as she gazed into my eyes, she faltered.

“Is something wrong?”

“You’re very flushed. Did you walk here? Have you been out in the sun too long?” She pressed a hand to my forehead.

“Uh, no. I’m fine. I’m totally fine.”

“Thomas.” Her voice held a note of concern.

“No, really, I’m fine. Just the sunshine is bright and—”

Before I could offer more, my boss appeared. He removed his sunglasses, and the concern in his brown eyes was obvious.

“Really, I’m fine.” My brain was fried, and I’d just had a hand job, but really, I was fine.

Julie grabbed the other bowl from my hands, and then Thomas grabbed both mine in his.

I winced. Yep, scrubbed a little bit too hard.

He glanced down at my hands, then back up at my face.

Was I beet red? Undoubtedly.

“What’s going on?”

No missing Thomas’s concern.

“I just washed my hands before I got the nuts and chips.”

“Thomas, what’s going on?”

Great, now Peter was involved. Could this get any worse? The gorgeous movie star stood in the shallow end of the pool with a toddler in his arms. He was all slicked-back wet hair, muscular chest, and nice biceps. Basically sex on a stick. I’d overheard Thomas using that description—I didn’t think I was supposed to overhear—and I’d never use it myself. That being said, it fit perfectly.

“Something’s wrong, Peter.”

No, Thomas, nothing is wrong. Please believe me.

Something told me protestations and denials would only make things worse.

“Val.” Thomas whispered the name under his breath. So low I wasn’t even sure Julie heard it.

“No—” Crap. Val…Valentino… Yeah, probably the same guy. And something told me he wasn’t just the caterer.

“Hey, I brought salsa.” Valentino, no, Val, stepped onto the patio.

Thomas lunged for him, but Julie was faster.

I managed to grab the salsa bowl as she hauled him up. I honestly believed she was going to hit him—a move she could perfectly execute—but she spun him around, kicked him in the ass, and he went flailing into the pool.

She dusted off her hands.

I stood stunned.

Skylar clapped.

Oh my God, I want to die.

 


Links:

Amazon link

Amazon CA

Universal Book Link

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks

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Bio

USA Today Bestselling author Gabbi Grey lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black and Gabbi Powell.

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Honey Mama's Cocoa Truffle Bar: Chocolate Cake (Spotlight and review)

 



3.75 out of 5 stars

 

Honey Mama’s Cocoa Truffle Bar: Chocolate cake

 

 

First issue, finding the bar itself. I am not a big fan of carrots, so I was reluctant to try that version, and it turned out this was the only flavor my local Target stocked. It was already a treasure hunt to find it, and I hadn’t paid attention to the fact this was a refrigerated item, so I wandered around several aisles looking for it, and had to ask two separate store associates before I found the carrot flavor. 





Back to the drawing board.

I looked online and discovered that Sprout’s stocked the Chocolate Cake flavor of the Honey Mama’s bar (try saying that in a hurry to the person you’re asking to find it, lol). I wandered around that store for a while before admitting defeat and asking someone where it would be shelved, and even with directions, had to ask again before discovering there was a separate refrigerator case with these bars.

 


The bar is tasty and filling (I actually ate 1/3 of the bar on three separate days). One can definitely enjoy the chocolate flavor, and there is plenty of coconut. The box is attractive and has nice sayings. 

One of the drawbacks is the difficulty finding the bars (hopefully that will change as this becomes more popular and better known). The biggest issue is the bar needs to be refrigerated. That would make it difficult to use as a grab-and-run snack/meal replacement.

I’d try the other flavors, especially the mint-flavored one, and I look forward to this being more readily available.

 
















A sample was provided for review


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Love, Untruths, and the Smuggler's Ruse by Anne Shaw (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT



Love, Untruths, and the Smuggler's Ruse

ADULT title

by 

Anne Shaw

 

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

 

GENRE:   regency romance

 

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

 

BLURB:

 

Follow the gentlemen of the Tenet Club— an elusive group of noblemen that investigates crimes committed by the nobility—on a rousing journey of romance, suspense, and a guaranteed happily-ever-after.

Viscount Langdon is torn between duty and desire. After his father’s death, he has every intention of resigning from the Tenet club when he meets Mrs. Adare. The lively widow with a knack for trouble piques more than his curiosity, and he agrees to one last assignment.

Mrs. Elizabeth Adare is on a mission to bring a smuggler to justice, and nobody is going to get in her way, not even Lord Langdon. With the aid of the maddening, yet intriguing lord, she follows the clues to a troubling discovery; one that could expose her own secrets.

After the investigation takes an unexpected turn, Elizabeth must choose between revealing the truth of her past and losing Langdon or allowing a murderer to go free.

 

 

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

 



EXCERPT

 

“Lord held me, you’re more foolish than I thought,” Langdon said under his breath, following her swaying hips as she moved to the table holding truffles. She was petite but curvaceous and his desire for her continued to grow to an uncomfortable state.

 

Light laughter floated on the air. “I may be foolish, but I am not deaf,” she said.

 

“No, I see you’re not.” Another couple got into line behind them, and he moved closer to Mrs. Adare. A stray lock of hair rested on her shoulder, and he curled his fingers to stop the need to push it aside. The skin of her neck was pale and tempting. Too tempting.

 

“I know if I could just see what accounts he has in town, I can piece where he is hiding the profits from the smuggling.”

 

Her adamant statement sent a grin to his lips. She was nothing if not persistent.

 

“You may not be deaf, but you don’t listen well, Mrs. Adare.” Nor did he listen well to his own common sense. She was supposed to be an assignment, but their dance had brought home an unexpected fact; he desired her more than he should. The lessen he’d thought he had learned with Maria had apparently not been harsh enough.

 

She lifted several truffles onto her plate, maneuvering the sweet to fit onto a crowded surface. Either she was hungry, or she had a weakness for chocolate. “I listen well enough. I wish you would give me the same courtesy.”

 

“That I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I am not listening,” he said.

 

 Amazon buy link

 

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

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 



Anne Shaw is the author of both contemporary and historical romances. She lives in western Washington with her four-legged friend Larry, a quirky cat who stares at her for hours on end while she loses herself in a world where a sexy hero, and bold heroine face unsurmountable odds to reach the ultimate goal, a happily-ever-after. If you like rom-dramedies, then visit www.Anne-Shaw.com.




Twitter: @author_shaw

Emal: Anne.Shaw.Author@gmail.com

 


 

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GIVEAWAY


a Rafflecopter giveaway


The tour dates can be found here



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My review:


3.5 out of 5 stars

 

“Love, Untruths, and the Smuggler’s Ruse” by Anne Shaw is part of the ‘Tenet Gentleman’s Club’ series and features intrepid widow Elizabeth Adare who is determined to unmask the villainous smugglers threatening those she cares for. Simon, Viscount Langdon, delays his withdrawal from the Tenet Club to pursue one final investigation, intrigued by the feisty widow but wary that she will be another who will betray his trust. Elizabeth’s secrets and tenacity may very well destroy not only the strong attraction between the two of them, but also cause them to lose their lives.

 

This adult regency romance features intrigue, romance, and sensuality. Elizabeth is an admirable character who has had to weather her share of tragedy and hardship, and Simon displays both a strong sense of responsibility and integrity that make him an excellent hero. Some aspects of the story are a bit nebulous to me, and I was a bit perplexed by the contrast between the fire that Elizabeth displayed toward everyone else other than her father and her meekness toward him and his abuse. I would have liked a bit more depth to several of the secondary characters, but the overall story is a fun and exciting light read.

 

A copy of this title was provided for review



Thursday, September 15, 2022

A Magical's Gift by Maya Tyler (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT




A Magical's Gift

ADULT title

by 

Maya Tyler

 

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

 

GENRE:   paranormal romance

 

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

 

BLURB:

 

The feud between fairies and wizards is an ancient threat in the magical world. Yet peace is possible. The child of a fairy and a wizard could reunite the factions of The Annunaki and end the unrest.

Niall Warde had been a carefree soul trapped in the rigid, ordered life of a wizard apprentice when he discovered the girl of his dreams was a fairy. He would never know if their forbidden love could survive because she disappeared without a trace. Unable to find her, Niall blamed his father for Amelie’s disappearance and left home without looking back.

Amelie Ricard knew she had to protect the baby she and Niall created. The fairies don't want peace and her mother, their leader, would stop at nothing to prevent armistice, including killing her own grandchild. So, she must leave her son Kurtis with his father to be raised as a wizard. She left the infant on the steps of his father’s cottage then disappeared, also leaving behind the only man she’s ever loved.

Thirty years later, Niall is called home for his father’s funeral where he reunites with Amelie. When Kurtis’ life is put into danger, Niall and Amelie must face the demons of the past to protect him.

Neither can bring back the past, but can they have a future together? Will their son unite their people in peace?

 

 

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

 

EXCERPT


Resting on his forearms, he focused his intense gaze on her. “Still with me?”

 

She flushed under his scrutiny. “Just thinking?”

 

He rolled onto his back and tucked her closer, so she reclined against his chest. “Are you asking or telling?”

 

“Telling.”

 

“Care to share with the class?” He ran his fingertips over her shoulders, leaving goosebumps in their wake. “You’re so tense, baby. What’s on your mind?” He pressed his fingers deeper into the muscles on the top of her shoulders.

 

She let out a low moan at the sensation. “Oh, that feels great. Whatever I was thinking… it’s gone now. I’m here with you. One hundred percent.”

 

He continued massaging her shoulders, putting pressure on the tight spot at the base of her neck. “Any plans for later?”

 

“Mmm. No… but I could stay here with you all day.”

 

“In bed? All day? Why, Miss Ricard, I do believe I’ve been a bad influence on you.”

 

She gave him a mock punch in the shoulder. “You know what I meant.”

 

“How about a film? I can check the paper to see what’s playing?”

 

“What sort of films do you like?” She moved slightly away so she could see his face. “I really don’t know much about you.” He raised an eyebrow, and her cheeks flushed. “Don’t you take anything seriously?”

 

“Life is serious enough.” He shrugged. “You know everything that’s important. Plus, I can’t help it. You are so easy to tease, baby.”

 

“Yeah, you’re a funny guy.”

 

“And you, Mia—” he dropped a gentle kiss on the tip of her nose, “—are a gift.”


Buy Links

A Vampire’s Tale

A Wizard’s Choice

A Fairy’s Quest

A Fairy Godmother’s Redemption

A Magical’s Gift

 

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

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:



 Maya Tyler is a multi-published author of paranormal romance novels and blogger at Maya’s Musings. An avid reader, Maya writes the books she loves to read—romances! Her paranormal romances come with complex plot twists and happily-ever-afters.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, listening to music (alternative rock, especially from the 1990s), practicing yoga, and watching movies and TV.



Contact

Maya loves to hear from fellow authors and readers! Please connect with her through social media (see links below).

Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest
Instagram


 

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GIVEAWAY

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The tour dates can be found here



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My review:


3.5 out of 5 stars

 

A Magical’s Gift by Maya Tyler is the final story in ‘The Magicals’ series that centers around the complicated relationship between humans and paranormal beings such as vampires, wizards, and fairies. Featuring Amelie Ricard, who has always considered her mother’s tales about fairies to be fiction and nothing to do with her, and Niall Warde, who is rebelling against the expectations of him by his fellow wizards, this story follows the couple who face insurmountable odds when they fall for each other. Unfortunately, their very lives may be in danger if they follow their hearts, so they must choose their paths forward wisely.

 

This adult paranormal/fantasy romance ties together the threads of a series, so it may be a little confusing to someone like me who hasn’t read the previous stories. I was a little puzzled because the book description didn’t seem to quite jibe with the story at first, but eventually things began to fall into place. The passages of time are a little erratic for me, especially the flashback, and I'm still a little puzzled about some of the conflicts, but this is creative and spicy story that explores the themes of loyalty, tradition, betrayal, and faithfulness with a fantasy twist. I recommend that the other books in the series are read first for better clarity.

 

A copy was provided for review


Monday, September 12, 2022

Off Broadway: A Marriage Drama by William A. Glass (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT




Off Broadway: A Marriage Drama

by 

William A. Glass

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

GENRE:   Family drama 

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

 

BLURB:

 

Cindy and Dave Knight got married too young. Several years later they are trying to make the best of it. He is a salesman on the fast track with a prestigious corporation. She is the indispensable assistant to a prominent Broadway producer. They own an apartment in Manhattan and enjoy knocking around the city together. However, Dave's erratic behavior and career obsession strain the relationship. Can it be saved?

 

 

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

 

EXCERPT


As Dave waits to be seated, Susan comes up behind him. “Hey, there,” she says. Dave turns to look directly into her hazel eyes. He’d forgotten how tall she is.

“Hi, Susan.”

“Sorry I’m late.”

“No worries, just got here myself.”

The hostess beckons, so Dave takes Susan’s hand and they follow. Once they’re seated and have each ordered a drink, Susan looks across the table. “You truly are a naughty boy now, aren’t you?”

“Guess so,” Dave admits.

“How did you get my number?”

“Out of Cindy’s address book.”

Susan shakes her head disapprovingly. “Do you have any morals at all?”

“Well, I try to be upfront about things. What you see is what you get.”

“What I see looking into your eyes right now isn’t good.” Susan peers intently. “It’s crazy in there!”

“We may have overdone it a bit during the Sixties,” Dave allows.

“Oh, really? I missed all that. Did you take LSD?”

“Sure.”

“What did you get out of it?”

“I learned what’s important in life.”

“And what’s that?”

“Sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll.”

Susan frowns. “I don’t see that first bit in our future.”

“Sorry to hear that.” Dave reaches for his beer.

 

 Amazon

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

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 


Bill is a retired business executive now living in South Carolina with his wife, Bettina.  She teaches high school German while Bill is the soccer coach at a small college.  Their three sons, Alex, Robert, and Gordon have all graduated from college and moved away to pursue careers. Now Bill and Bettina enjoy long walks with their dog, Scout. When the weather permits, Bill commutes on his motorcycle. “It’s like taking a roller coaster to work!” he enthuses.





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HASHTAGS

#family #drama #drugs #militaryfamily #familydrama #military #1970s #enjoyableread #adventuregram #southernfiction #drinkstagram #writingcommunity #author


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GIVEAWAY


a Rafflecopter giveaway


The tour dates can be found here



*********************


My review:


3.75 out of 5 stars

Off Broadway: A Marriage Drama by William A. Glass details a tumultuous episode in the life of Dave Knight, a man who is driven to succeed, but doesn’t always achieve the goals he thinks he wants. His various relationships have their challenges and their successes, but Dave refuses to be pigeonholed and is determined to remain true to himself.

 

This drama for adults provides an intriguing look at an era when the sales force was predominantly male, smoking prevailed, and the “good ole boy” network was very much present. It’s initially difficult to sympathize with Dave, given the outrageous stunts he pulls without repercussions. I admire his work ethic and his ability to facilitate bargain-making, but certain developments were distasteful to me and reflected poorly on his character, although learning about his dysfunctional family does explain some things. I was a little surprised that there isn’t much focus on the marriage or off-broadway, given the title, but those two items do surface in the course of the story.

The story meanders a bit and the pacing is uneven, but it gives intriguing glimpses of the machinations to put product in front of consumers. The twists and turns of Dave’s life include many disappointments and betrayals, but he finds a way to live with himself, and is constantly trying to improve, so I can’t help but cheer for him and sympathize when things don’t go so well. I suspect there are more adventures in store for this man, and those who are curious about life in the latter half of the twentieth century will enjoy following him on his journey.

 

 

A copy of this title was provided for review


Thursday, August 25, 2022

Sophie Washington: Treasure Beach by Tonya Duncan Ellis (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT




Sophie Washington: Treasure Beach

by 

Tonya Duncan Ellis

 

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

 

GENRE: Children's Middle Grade

 

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

 

BLURB:

 

A message in a bottle leads Sophie Washington and friends on a seaside treasure hunt in this exciting, illustrated chapter book adventure. It's summertime, and Sophie, her best friend, Chloe, and her younger brother, Cole are spending two fun-filled weeks in Corpus Christi, Texas with her young-at-heart grandmother. A surprise discovery on a day out at the beach takes them on a quest for riches. During their search, the kids snorkel, encounter endangered sea turtles, visit a World War II warship, and learn that honesty and true friendship are worth more than gold.

 

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

 

EXCERPT

 

Spooked, I backtrack on the slippery sand like I’m dancing the moonwalk.

 

Eek!

 

I almost step on a fish skeleton that includes a full set of teeth. Whatever ate the fish cleaned its bones. Creepy.

 

“Why’re you jumping around like that, Sophie?” asks Cole. “I thought you said we should be careful, so we don’t accidentally step on any baby turtles?”

 

 “Look!” I gesture toward the cove, and Granny, Cole, and Chloe gather around.

 

What I thought was a rock wiggles again. It seems too heavy to be a piece of paper. Is it an old trash bag? A dead animal?

 

“Is that rock shaking?” Chloe leans in.

 

“I think so,” I answer.

 

This is weird. I’d have goosebumps if the sun wasn’t burning my arms. I rub my forehead with the back of my hand to stop sweat from dripping into my eyes.

 

 Peering closer, I recognize what I see. “It’s a sea turtle!” I exclaim.

 

At first, the reptile’s head was inside its shell, so we didn’t recognize it. It’s nearly the size of a dinner plate. Somehow, Cole’s baseball cap is attached to one of its back flippers.

 

“Check that thing out!” His eyes widen.

 

This is my first time seeing a grown sea turtle up close.

 

“Good morning, Mr. Turtle!” I sing-song.

 

Its shell is dark, grayish-green, and its body is white. The reptile’s nose reminds me of a beak.

 

Spotting us, the turtle shuffles its legs to flee, but its shell sticks like glue to the rocks underneath.

 

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

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Tonya Duncan Ellis is author of the award winning, bestselling, Sophie Washington children's book series, geared toward readers ages 8 to 12, and is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her independently published books have been featured in the Houston Chronicle and the Baltimore Sun and have seen over 70,000 downloads and sales in the United States, India, Canada, and Great Britain. She has worked as a journalist and a freelance magazine writer, and is a graduate of Centre College of Kentucky and holds an M.B.A. degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

 

The twelve book Sophie Washington series stars a sweet and sassy African American preteen from Houston, TX and her diverse group of friends. Each funny and heartwarming story teaches lessons about friendship, responsibility, truthfulness, and perseverance.

 

Tonya loves to travel and has visited 49 American states, 20 countries, and three continents, but some of her best journeys have been between the pages of a novel. As a girl she could always be found with a book in her hand, and reading is still one of her favorite hobbies. When she's not reading or writing, the author likes to ride her bike, swim, and spend time with her husband and three children. She lives in Missouri City.

 

Website

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GIVEAWAY



a Rafflecopter giveaway



The tour dates can be found here


****************

My review:

4.25 stars

 

Sophie Washington: Treasure Beach by Tonya Duncan Ellis is part of the 'Sophie Washington' series that centers around a young girl’s adventures in life. Sophie, her best friend Chloe, and little brother Cole are visiting Corpus Christi and Granny Washington. Between adventures at the beach, learning about sea creatures, and a treasure hunt, the fun almost never ends, until a wrong choice threatens to destroy a valued relationship.

 

This fun children’s series features the everyday adventures of a personable young girl and her younger brother as they navigate through life. I adore these stories because the characters are realistic and vivid, and their experiences provide life lessons without being preachy. The interactions between Sophie and Cole seem so normal, with typical sibling squabbles but also heartwarming love, and I love their zest for life and enthusiasm. This story has great info about the hazards facing the animals who live in the sea, touches on jealousy and the importance of being able to understand another person’s perspective, and allows one to see how the differently abled can adapt their world to keep from being excluded from things they love. Another great addition to the series, and as usual, each story can be read as a stand-alone tale, although once you read one, you’ll want to read all of the others.

 

A copy was provided for review