New Release Review and Giveaway! FINDING MOLLY: AN ADVENTURE IN CATSITTING by Justine Prado and Jenn St-Onge

Finding Molly: An Adventure in Catsitting
by Justine Prado
Illustrated by Jenn St-Onge
Genre: YA Graphic Novel
Release Date: January 2017
Emet Comics

Summary:

Finding Molly: An Adventure in Catsitting is a graphic novel about Molly Sanchez-Talebi, an unemployed art school grad who hesitantly starts catsitting to pay the bills. She dreams of breaking out of suburbia and her artistic rut, but she has a lot of self-discovery to do before that happens. The comic follows her funny misadventures as she learns that maybe these (sometimes) friendly felines are just what she needs to get her life on track.

Review:

Finding Molly, Volume 1: An Adventure in Catsitting was a fun read. The main character, Molly Sanchez-Talebi, has some growing up to do, which both adds to the humor at times and the reader’s frustration at others. I’ll admit I’m not the book’s #1 demographic, because I found myself agreeing with her parents almost as much as I agreed with Molly, but I still found a lot to like in this story. The author clearly has spent a lot of time around cats, because the many, many examples throughout the story were spot-on. Watching Molly grow up and figure out how to accomplish what she wants to while balancing her family and friends was very entertaining.

I’d definitely sign up to see what is next from the author/illustrator AND Molly!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon

Emet Comics

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Conversation with Catherine Lanigan, Author of PROTECTING THE SINGLE MOM (The Shores of Indian Lake #7–with a Giveaway!)


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Welcome, Catherine! What 5 things should readers know about you?

  1. I’m a voracious reader. I wish I had more hours in the day to read even more, but I DO have to write.
  2. I work full time and write full time if that’s possible—meaning 40 hours at each job give or take a few hours here and there to buy groceries.
  3. I iron my sheets and pillowcases. It’s mindless work and I get a ton of ideas. You think it’s the spray starch? I use lavender scented.
  4. I never, ever work anymore without my essential oils diffuser going right next to my computer.
  5. My son and his family and then friends come first in my life. I’ll drop everything to help. Though I may pack my laptop on any and all trips.

Hmmmm. Running out to grab some of that lavender spray starch before NaNoWriMo…

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

Most authors have “soapboxes” they haul out from time to time and weave them into our stories. Frankly, I can only go so long before I have to discuss the menace of domestic abuse and drug addiction. I touched on the drug addiction problem in Sophie’s Path last July.  That story was from the medical point of view.  Protecting the Single Mom is from the cop’s point of view and the dangers every police officer faces 24/7 on the job. And the danger can come out of the clear blue. With the rampant rise of drug usage in our country, it is more than common to see addicts in the shopping malls, churches, schools and workplace.  It’s a growing shadow across our land we seem helpless to stop it.  My story is that of a man and woman, fighting together for their town, their friends and their friends’ children.

That’s what it takes, unswerving courage to stand up, be counted and volunteer to make a difference. Throughout all history, heroes and heroines are the ones who risk their lives, livelihood, even the safety of their own children to speak up, do whatever it takes to stop evil in all it’s forms.

Inspiring! I can’t wait to read it 🙂

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

This is the beginning of my 38th year.  I knew I wanted to be a writer at a very young age,  (6) but I had a college professor who told me I had no talent whatsoever and that my best bet was to give up my dreams of writing and change my major. I believed him. I changed my major to Literature, History and Education. (I know….I was and am a book worm.) I didn’t write for 14 years.  Then I met a television journalist who “shamed” me into giving writing a real try. I wrote a romantic historical spy novel set against World War I.  He introduced me to his agent and within two months she had two publishers bidding on my book. That was in 1979.  I haven’t stopped writing. I will never stop.

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I just finished FAMILY OF HIS OWN, my July release for Heartwarming. In December, will be MICA’S BABY.   I’m working on synopses and ideas for more SHORES OF INDIAN LAKE BOOKS.

Awesome! Can’t wait!

What are you currently reading, and what are your thoughts about it so far?

I just finished another Beatriz Williams tome. Loved it and as far as I’m concerned she can’t write fast enough for me.  Last night I finished Karen Rock’s A COWBOY TO KEEP. Well, I lost several hours of sleep because I could NOT put it down. Whew. I’m glad to know Dani and Jack are safe now. I was so worried. LOL.

LOL! Such a relief!
If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

Cate Sullivan will risk everything, even her life and that of her son, for the man she loves.

Fantastic! Thanks so much, Catherine!

 

About the Author:

Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of forty published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream”, “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul”, and more. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into dozens of languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available in E-books on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com, Apple Store, Mobi and Kobo. Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her Vietnam war-based novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine and has also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader’s Preference.

Lanigan is the author of a trilogy of non- fiction books regarding angelic intervention in human life: Angel Watch, Divine Nudges and Angel Tales published by HCI and Cedar Fort. Skyhorse published Lanigan’s “how-to” book on writing: Writing the Great American Romance Novel. Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid Foundation to write a non-fiction book addressing teen addictions. Ms. Lanigan’s first Young Adult adventure novel, The Adventures of Lillie and Zane: The Golden Flute, was published by Cedar Fort.

Currently, she has published seven novels in the Shores of Indian Lake series for Harlequin Heartwarming: Love Shadows, Heart’s Desire, A Fine Year for Love, Katia’s Promise, Fear of Falling and Sophie’s Path. Protecting the Single Mom pubs April, 2016. She has recently contracted for two more in the series: Wedding for Isabelle and A Bride for Mica.

As a cancer survivor, Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. (THE EVOLVING WOMAN). She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest

Protecting the Single Mom
Shores of Indian Lake #7
Catherine Lanigan
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
April 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Getting involved shouldn’t be this dangerous…

Cate Sullivan is no damsel in distress. She’s kept herself and her son safe for six long years. Built a good life in Indian Lake. But now that her drug-dealing ex-husband is moving his operation here, that life is about to explode.

Her instincts tell her to trust Detective Trent Davis. That he’s more than just a handsome cop doing his duty. The former Green Beret has even formed a fast bond with her son. But there’s something he’s not telling her. Some darkness that keeps him from giving in to the feelings she knows are growing between them. Cate trusts Trent to keep her safe, but the real question is whether he’ll trust himself with her heart.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

Advanced Review for Protecting the Single Mom

This is an exceptional romantic fiction novel that inspires women to achieve their dreams and warms the hearts of the romantics. It is a beautifully well-written story with a clean context. It is suitable for anybody who loves a good romance and yearns to be inspired to make a change in their circumstances. – Susan Sewell for Readers’ Favorite

Other Books in the Series

  
  Sophie's Path

Tour Giveaway

 1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
 1 winner will receive a tote bag and three Shores of Indian Lake books: Katia’s Promise, Fear of Falling and Sophie’s Path (US only)
– Ends April 11th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

March 26th: Launch
March 27th: Thoughts of a BlondeKatie’s Clean Book Collection
March 28th: Rockin’ Book ReviewsBook Lover in Florida
March 29th: Rainy Day Reviews & Zerina Blossom’s Books
March 30th: Hearts & Scribbles & Harlie’s Books
April 2nd: Hardcover Feedback & Reading Is My SuperPower
April 3rd: Mel’s Shelves & Kati’s Bookaholic Rambling Reviews
April 4th: underneath the covers & Wishful Endings
April 5th: The Silver Dagger Scriptorium, Heidi Reads… & Singing Librarian Books
April 6th: Nicole’s Book Musings & Becky on Books
April 7th: Grand Finale

 

Grab Our Button!

New Release Review and Giveaway! THE ENGLISH DUKE by Karen Ranney (The Duke Trilogy #2)

A new series about dashing, charismatic dukes—and the women who tame them…

THE ENGLISH DUKE
The Duke Trilogy #2
Karen Ranney
Releasing March 28, 2016
Avon Books

 

In the second in New York Times Bestselling Author Karen Ranney’s scintillating series, society’s most coveted duke finds the one thing wealth and position cannot buy—the perfect partner…

For years, Martha York has been fascinated by a man she’s never met Jordan Hamilton, the new Duke of Roth and protégé to her inventor father. Could the elusive gentleman possibly live up to his brilliant letters? When Martha travels to his estate to carry out her father’s last bequest, she discovers that the answer is a resounding yes, for the duke’s scientific mind belies a deep sensuality…

Jordan was determined to complete his prototype alone, but it’s impossible to resist the alluring young woman who shows up at his door. Working together, they grow ever closer, until a case of mistaken identity leaves him bound to another. A woman’s heart may be more complex than the most intricate invention, but Jordan must find a way to win Martha’s, or lose the only woman who can truly satisfy him… 

CHAPTER 1

July, 1871 Griffin House, England

Martha York stared down at the letter her sister had just handed her.

For months she’d been trying to satisfy her father’s bequest. He’d asked her to see that his work was given to the Duke of Roth. That’s all. Except it hadn’t been easy, had it?

She’d been writing to the duke for nearly a year and never received an answer. Not a note. Nothing dictated to a secretary. Not one small sliver of information. She’d kept writing and he’d kept ignoring her.

“Aren’t you going to open it, Martha?” Josephine asked.

She nodded, staring at the distinctive emblem on the reverse before removing the seal.

Part of her never wanted him to write back. There, a bit of honesty. She hadn’t wanted to relinquish all her father’s precious diaries, all his prototypes, all his notes.

“What does he say, Martha?” Josephine asked. “Has he invited us to Sedgebrook? Has he?”

Martha frowned at her sister. “Of course he hasn’t.” “But what has he said? Are you going to read it to us?” Josephine asked, her glance encompassing their grandmother.

Gran didn’t say a word, but she was looking over at Martha. Normally, nothing could divert her attention from her crochet work.

“He says he doesn’t want Father’s bequest. He does send his condolences on Father’s death. A year late.”

“He has to take it,” Gran said calmly. “Shall we just send everything in a wagon? He’d have no choice but to accept everything.”

“I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if something happened to Bessie,” she said, referring to her father’s latest prototype. “Why he thought the duke would want it, I’ve no idea.”

“They were friends,” Gran said. “Matthew didn’t spare the time for many people.”

Martha only nodded. Gran’s son, their father, had been a hermit, but a happy one. He went to the cottage situated at the end of the lawn every day, content to tinker there surrounded by his inventions, and al- lowing his imagination to take him where it would.

The unlikely friendship between Jordan Hamilton and her father had begun before the man had become the Duke of Roth. He’d been a naval officer then, curious about her father’s work, and writing with his questions. That had sparked an intense correspondence, one that lasted until pneumonia had taken Matthew suddenly and unexpectedly.

“At least he finally deigned to answer my letter,” Martha said. “Which is the most he’s done all these months. He probably got tired of me writing.”

“What are you going to do?” Gran asked, her crochet work forgotten on her lap.

“I could simply keep writing him until he agrees to come here.”

“Or we could take Father’s bequest to him,” Josephine said.

She glanced up at her sister.

“That’s out of the question,” she said, staring down at the distinctive handwriting. She knew it well. She’d read every one of the duke’s letters to her father.

She hadn’t expected him to repudiate her father’s gift. Doing so was worse than a slap in the face. His ignoring her letters ridiculed the relationship that Matthew York had valued so much. She’d thought the Duke of Roth had felt the same, but evidently he didn’t.

“Why is it out of the question?” Josephine asked. “Josephine, please sit,” she said, looking up at her sister.

Each time Josephine passed in front of her, perfume wafted in her direction. Ever since her mother had departed Griffin House, Josephine had taken to wearing Marie’s favorite French perfume. It was, according to her sister, a sophisticated fragrance. Martha thought it was overbearing and too flowery.

Perhaps Josephine wore it to remind her of Marie. No doubt that was the same reason her sister gravitated to the Rose Parlor. Her mother often sat here, staring out at the lawn, her gaze impenetrable and almost troubling to witness.

The room was filled with all those things Marie loved, but evidently not enough to remain at Griffin House. Needlepoint sat in a frame, patiently waiting to be finished. Needlepoint pillows were arranged on the sofa. Footrests upholstered in needlepoint sat at their feet while needlepoint pictures of flowers framed in gold hung on one wall. Even the draperies had needlepoint tiebacks.

She couldn’t help but wonder if Marie truly had an affinity for needlepoint or if it was only an outlet for other feelings.

The Rose Parlor had been decorated by her step- mother. The sofa and love seat, as well as the curtains that framed the view of the back lawn and the lake were pink. The pillows that weren’t covered in needlepoint were pink as well. The round carpet beneath her feet consisted of overblown lush roses—in pink, of course—with a contrasting green border.

Josephine loved the room. Martha felt slightly bilious in it. Gran didn’t seem to mind, being as involved in her crocheting as Marie had been in her needlepoint.

As for herself, when she wasn’t in her own room, she was in her father’s cottage. Although not quite a laboratory, it truly wasn’t an office, either. Instead, it was a combination of the two with tall skinny windows looking out over the lake.

She was his assistant and one of her tasks was to record his thoughts and experiments for the ages as well as to serve as his sounding board.

He’d been a good man, a truly inventive one. If he was more involved in his pursuits and less his family, perhaps that was to be expected.

No one, least of all her, had been that surprised when Marie had hied off to France six months after his death. According to the letter she had written Josephine, she was madly in love with a French count.

Of course I will send for you, my love, she’d written.

As soon as Pierre and I are settled at his estate. You will love the château. It’s so much more to my taste than Griffin House ever was.

Marie was French, a fact that Josephine seemed to recite more and more often of late. As if being half- French was something preferable to being completely English.

“Well?” Josephine asked. “What are you going to do?”

Martha looked out at the lake, placid in the July morning, remembering her father’s words. “Wherever there’s a mystery, you can’t help but feel excitement. Always seek to find a mystery. The sheer act of solving it will keep you happy.”

The mystery that had occupied her mind ever since his death was finding how that final experiment had been successful. He’d been so happy when he’d come in from the storm. He’d been drenched but ecstatic, telling her that his vessel had leveled off, heading directly for the target.

But he hadn’t told her how.

In this instance there were no notes. No thoughts or idle speculation. Nothing to give her any clue.

She was determined that his life’s work would be finished, even if she had to turn over all his notes and work to the duke.

“We have to go,” Josephine said, interrupting her thoughts. “It’s what Father would have wanted. Besides, it’s the Duke of Roth! Can you imagine, Martha? We could see Sedgebrook!”

 

Oooh, this was such a good read. Martha and Jordan were absolutely wonderful together, their romance initiated through Jordan’s correspondence with her father though neither of them realized it at the time. In person, their relationship started a bit rockier, but it was soon clear to everyone around them that they were meant to be together. It took them a little longer to figure it out, but that made it even better once they did.

The secondary characters weren’t quite as likable on their own merits, though they definitely have their uses in terms of moving the plot along. Martha’s grandmother was a bit too manipulative for comfort, though of course her initial actions are the ones that caused Jordan and Martha to spend so much time together, and she really did have Martha’s happiness in mind for at least part of the book. Martha’s half-sister and Jordan’s so-called friend, though? Real pieces of work. They definitely amped up the drama and angst, serving their purpose, but ugh, other than that had very few if any positive qualities. At least Martha and Jordan will likely be so busy inventing and creating together that it probably won’t matter much to them that they don’t get many outside visitors.

The English Duke is the second book in Ranney’s Duke Trilogy and works perfectly well as a standalone. I’m really enjoying Ms. Ranney’s writing in this series, and am looking forward to book 3’s ( The American Duke ) release next fall!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Karen 
Ranney wanted to be a writer from the time she was five years old and filled her Big Chief tablet with stories. People in stories did amazing things and she was too shy to do anything amazing. Years spent in Japan, Paris, and Italy, however, not only fueled her imagination but proved she wasn’t that shy after all.

Now a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, she prefers to keep her adventures between the covers of her books. Karen lives in San Antonio, Texas.
 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release Review and Giveaway! THE ENEMIES OF VERSAILLES by Sally Christie (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy #3)

In the final installment of Sally Christie’s “tantalizing” (New York Daily News) Mistresses of Versailles trilogy, Jeanne Becu, a woman of astounding beauty but humble birth, works her way from the grimy back streets of Paris to the palace of Versailles, where the aging King Louis XV has become a jaded and bitter old philanderer. Jeanne bursts into his life and, as the Comtesse du Barry, quickly becomes his official mistress.

“That beastly bourgeois Pompadour was one thing; a common prostitute quite another kettle of fish.”

After decades suffering the King’s endless stream of Royal Favorites, the princesses of the Court have reached a breaking point. Horrified that he would bring the lowborn Comtesse du Barry into the hallowed halls of Versailles, Louis XV’s daughters, led by the indomitable Madame Adelaide, vow eternal enmity and enlist the young dauphiness Marie Antoinette in their fight against the new mistress. But as tensions rise and the French Revolution draws closer, a prostitute in the palace soon becomes the least of the nobility’s concerns.

Told in Christie’s witty and engaging style, the final book in The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy will delight and entrance fans as it once again brings to life the sumptuous and cruel world of eighteenth century Versailles, and France as it approaches inevitable revolution.

Review:

Every time I read a really good historical fiction book I come to the realization that I seriously need to read more historical fiction.

The events leading up to, during, and after the French Revolution have been of particular interest to me ever since my high school trip to France in 1989, the 200th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille (and if you don’t think that fact wasn’t marketed to its fullest extent while we were there, then you just don’t know marketing!) so when I had the chance to read this book, which deals with that time period from the POVs of two very different women, you’d better believe my response was, “Yes, PLEASE!”

It did not disappoint.

Oh, the two main characters–Louis XV’s oldest surviving daughter and his last mistress–are never going to make a list of my favorite characters ever, either in books or in history. (Actually, now I’m really tempted to read more about both of them, because I’m dying to know how much of what they said, did, and thought came from actual evidence and how much was the author’s imagination.) Jeanne “Comtesse du Barry” was easier to like overall, but pretty hard to have much respect for. She garnered as much sympathy from me as she did eye rolling. Madame Adelaide, though? She was a lot harder to feel much for beyond frustration. Yes, she was a product of her times and the attitudes of those around her, but…argh. She was such a prig for so much of the book, I kind of wanted to push her down the stairs she was too afraid to walk down without assistance.

Seriously. She wouldn’t walk down the stairs.

But anyway.

Even though I didn’t really love the characters in this book, the drama completely swept me away. I wasn’t able to put it down! Reading the first two in the series is definitely on my to do list once school gets out in May, and I’ll absolutely be keeping an eye out for whatever Ms. Christie decides to write next.

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About the author:

I’m a life-long history buff and I really wish time travel were a possibility—I’d be off to the eighteenth century in a flash!

Since I can’t travel back in time (yet), I have done plenty of global travel: as a child I lived in England, Canada, Argentina, and Lesotho, and attended eight schools in three languages. I continued my global wanderings with a career in international development, but now I’m settled in Toronto and loving it.

The Sisters of Versailles is my first novel, though I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil. When I’m not writing I’m reading, reading, reading; disappearing down various rabbit holes of historical research, and playing lots of tennis.

Connect with Sally:

Website | Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release and Giveaway! YOU MAY KISS THE BRIDE by Lisa Berne (Penhallow Dynasty #1)

 

In an unforgettable debut, Lisa Berne introduces you to the  Penhallow Dynasty—men destined to marry, but hesitant to love.

 

YOU MAY KISS THE BRIDE
The Penhallow Dynasty #1
Lisa Berne
Releasing March 28, 2017
Avon Books

In an unforgettable debut, Lisa Berne introduces you to the Penhallow Dynasty—men destined to marry, but hesitant to love.

Wealthy and arrogant, Gabriel Penhallow knows it’s time to fulfill his dynastic duty. All he must do is follow “The Penhallow way”—find a biddable bride, produce an heir and a spare, and then live separate lives. It’s worked so well for generations, certainly one kiss with the delectable Livia Stuart isn’t going to change things. Society dictates he marry her, and one chit is as good as another as long as she’s from a decent family.

But Livia’s transformation from an original to a mundane diamond of the first water makes Gabriel realize he desperately wants the woman who somehow provoked him into that kiss. And for all the ladies who’ve thrown themselves at him, it’s the one who wants to flee whom he now wants. But how will he keep this independent miss from flying away?

This was dangerous. If she bit her lip any harder, thought Livia Stuart, it would probably begin to bleed, sending a bright red rivulet dripping down her chin, and end up staining—in a spectacularly uncouth way—the bodice of her gown.

The bodice of the gown which, Cecily had casually mentioned, was hers from two years ago.

“And you’ve altered it so cleverly, I scarcely recognized it.” Cecily’s voice was soft and friendly, but in her pretty blue eyes there was, unmistakably, the gleam of cruel mischief. “I knew, of course, from the color, which is no longer quite in fashion.”

Short of telling Cecily to stuff it, there didn’t really seem anything Livia could say, but she was spared the necessity of trying to think up something polite when Lady Glanville, Cecily’s mother, turned her gaze to Livia and subjected her person to a comprehensive scrutiny.

“Indeed,” her ladyship finally said, with the gravity of one considering a matter of deep existential import. “That particular shade of rose was very popular. Princess Charlotte, I believe, favored it highly. I’m not at all certain, however, that it’s suitable for one of your coloring, Livia dear. It complements fair hair, such as Cecily’s, as well as a pale complexion, like hers. I’m sorry to say that you are rather brown.”

“She would be out of doors so much,” Aunt Bella interpolated in her vague, melancholy way. “I’ve told her repeatedly how injurious it is to both health and appearance, but I do not think Livia attends to me.” She sighed gustily, sending the faded ribbons of her cap a­fluttering. “I do not think anyone attends to me. I do not think I am listened to by—”

“Far be it from me to pontificate,” said Lady Glanville, “but one ought not to dwell on oneself, you know. We must always think of others. As Cecily does, for example. She could give her cast­off gowns to her maids, as most other young ladies do, but instead she insists that dear little Livia have them. It’s quite touching, really.”

“Your Uncle Charles doesn’t give you a dress allowance, does he, Livia?” Cecily’s tone was sympathetic. Too sympathetic. “But then, you don’t go anywhere, so perhaps it doesn’t matter a great deal.”

“No,” Livia answered flatly. “No, it doesn’t matter at all.”

Now it was Lady Glanville who audibly sighed as she glanced around the large drawing­room with its dated, shabby furniture, the wallpaper from a generation ago pockmarked with ghostly rectangles where valuable paintings had once hung but had since been sold. “It’s dreadfully lowering,” she said, “to see a gentleman’s family so reduced. Why, it was only ten years ago that we met nearly as equals.”

Livia felt her teeth grit. She’d been forced to participate in these occasional morning visits from Cecily— the Honorable Miss Orr—and her mother—the Right Honorable Viscountess Glanville—for years. Because they were wealthy and highborn, apparently their arrogance and rudeness were to be endured. Livia clenched her hands tightly in the folds of her gown.

Cecily’s gown.

“Well, there’s no use in dwelling on what can’t be changed,” went on Lady Glanville. “I am afraid that life simply isn’t fair. A disagreeable fact, but what can one do? Now, do stop frowning, Livia dear, for I’m delighted to tell you we’ve come for the express purpose of offering a little treat.”

“I’m all ears, ma’am,” replied Livia with what had to be obvious sarcasm, but Lady Glanville only said, with her arctic smile:

“We are hosting a ball next week. It shall be a kind of début for Cecily. In addition—”

“Mr. Gabriel Penhallow and his grandmother, Mrs. Penhallow, come to visit us!” Cecily said breathlessly. “The Penhallows! Of Surmont Hall! We met Mrs. Penhallow in Bath a few months ago. She wrote us a letter. He’s going to—”

“My dear Cecily, pray refrain from interrupting. It is most unbecoming,” said her ladyship. “As you know, Bella, earlier in the summer I insisted that Lord Glanville go to Bath in order to drink from the waters. His gout, unfortunately, had been paining him a great deal. The nobleman’s affliction! And I thought Cecily might benefit from mixing in a wider society, for it is sadly limited in this neighborhood. There are, alas, so few families of our caliber. As both the daughter of an earl and as a viscountess, I fear I cannot but be aware of how limited our acquaintance must necessarily be. Yet one must, in these rackety modern times, sometimes unbend, and here we are.”

“Too, too kind,” Aunt Bella murmured, evidently with real, if muzzy, gratitude. She took a sip from the delicate crystal glass on the little table at her elbow. In it was her cordial which, Livia knew, was heavily laced with laudanum.

Lady Glanville nodded serenely, and the peacock feathers in her elaborate silk turban waved gently, as if in agreement. “While in Bath, we had occasion to observe Mrs. Penhallow in the Pump Room. I distinctly noticed her looking at Cecily but, naturally, would not have dreamed of encroaching upon her. An earl’s daughter is as nothing compared to her. The Penhallows came to England with the Conqueror, you know, and it’s said that the Conqueror bowed to them. Thus, imagine our gratification when she sent the Master of Ceremonies to us, so that he could escort us to her and perform the introduction.”

“My knees were positively shaking!” Cecily put in. “But I curtsied quite well, didn’t I, Mama?”

“Creditably so. I had no occasion to blush. I must plume myself on my foresight in having you practice curtsying before we left for Bath. An hour a day works wonders. But I digress. Mrs. Penhallow and I spoke for some fifteen minutes, and at the risk of seeming boastful I must say that she was condescension itself! We dis­ cussed the weather and the dreadful state of the roads. I happened to mention Lord Glanville’s gout, and she recommended a treatment which—”

Her ladyship went on to recount further details of her conversation with the redoubtable Mrs. Penhallow, a personage of whom Livia knew nothing and cared less. Bored, she stopped listening and instead she looked at the rapt, lovely face of Cecily as she hung on her mother’s every word.

 

Lisa Berne read her first Georgette Heyer book at fourteen, and was instantly captivated. Later, she was a graduate student, a grantwriter, and an investment banker, but is thrilled to be returning to her roots and writing her own historical-romance novels! She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.
 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Day Review and Giveaway! THE MAGNATE’S MAIL-ORDER BRIDE by Joanne Rock (The McNeill Magnates #1)

A mix-and-match mock engagement? 
THE MAGNATE’S MAIL-ORDER BRIDE
The McNeill Magnates #1
Joanne Rock
Releasing April 4th, 2017
Harlequin Desire
mix-and-match mock engagement? 

Ballerina Sofia Koslov’s career is on the line when she’s accosted at the airport by a rich, reckless playboy who thinks she’s his mail-order bride! But the playboy’s levelheaded brother, Quinn McNeill, solves the media snafu with a switcheroo. He’ll pretend to be her legitimate fiancé to protect her reputation—and to protect his family’s business deals from her father’s wrath.

Sofia’s one condition: they’ll share the spotlight as a loving couple but won’t share a bed. But soon Quinn’s gentlemanly ways strike a chord, and Sofia’s dying to renege on that condition and have a real fling…


“I never would have guessed your brother would spend a small fortune on a ring for a woman he never met.” She edged out of his grip. “I thought he was a romantic, not completely certifiable.”

Quinn’s smile faded. “I assure you, Cameron is neither.” He set the ring on the steamer trunk beside her. “I’ll let you decide whether or not to wear it in the morning. And in the meantime, I’d better let you get some rest.”

He rose to his feet, leaving a priceless piece of jewelry balanced on last month’s Vogue.

“Quinn.” She stood to follow him to the door then reached back to grab the ring so she could return it. “Please. I don’t feel right keeping this here.”

He turned to face her as he reached the door, but made no move to take the glittering ring.

“If you were my bride-to-be, I would spare no expense to show the world you were mine.” His blue eyes glowed with a warmth that had her remembering his kiss. Her breath caught in her chest and she wondered what it might be like for him to call her that for real.

Mine.

“I’m—” At a total loss for words. “That is—” She folded the diamond into her hand, squeezing it tightly so the stones pressed into her soft skin, distracting her from her hypnotic awareness of this man. “If you insist.”

“It’s a matter of believability, Sofia.”

“It’s only for one month.” She wasn’t sure if she said it to remind him or herself.

“We’ll work out the details tomorrow.” He reached to smooth a strand of hair from her forehead, barely touching her and still sending shimmers of pleasure along her temple and all the way down the back of her neck. “Sleep well.”

She didn’t even manage to get her voice working before he was out the door again, leaving her alone in a suddenly too empty apartment.

Squeezing the ring tighter in her fist, she waited for the pinch of pain from the sharp edges of the stones. She needed to remember that this wasn’t real. Quinn McNeill had only agreed to this mad scheme to clean up his brother’s mess. Any hint of attraction she felt needed to be squashed immediately, especially since Quinn was cut from the same mold as her father—focused on business and the accumulation of wealth. Her world was about art, emotions and human connections.

Her mother had taught her that people did not fall into both camps. In Sofia’s experience it was true. And since she wanted her own relationships to be meaningful bonds rooted in shared creativity and ideals, she was willing to wait until she had more time in her life to find the right partner. Romance could not be rushed.

“It’s only for a month,” she said aloud again, forcing herself to set the engagement ring on the hallway table.

Surely she could keep up her end of a fake engagement for the sake of appearances? She’d made countless sacrifices for her career, from dancing on broken toes to living away from her family on the other side of the globe to train with Russian ballet masters.

Ignoring the sensual draw of Quinn McNeill couldn’t possibly be more difficult than those challenges.

Yet, even as she marched herself off to bed, she feared she was lying to herself that she could keep her hands off the man anywhere near as easily as she’d set down the ring.

The Magnate’s Mail-Order Bride is one of the more believable fake engagement stories I’ve read. There is more than a little insta-love, but it doesn’t seem totally outside the realm of believablity overall. Sofia and Quinn make a great couple, and watching them fall for each other while talking on the phone every night is very sweet.

Quinn has two more brothers (The McNeill Magnates) so we’ve got two more books to look forward to seeing Sofia and Quinn together, which is awesome because this book ended much too soon 🙂

Rating: 4 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 
Four-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn’t like. The author of over seventy books enjoys writing a wide range of stories, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly–love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann. When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.
 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release Excerpt! LEI’D WITH CUPCAKES by Bethany Lopez

LEI’D WITH CUPCAKES by Bethany Lopez is now LIVE!

Blurb:

Everybody dreams of a Hawaiian Vacation…

They sell you on the drinks with little umbrella’s, dolphin watching, and long walks on the beach. Which probably happens, if you’re that lucky schmuck living out your dream with your destination wedding, but if you’re a fish out of water PI like me, there’s no time for relaxing because trouble is never far behind.

Instead of cocktails, I ended up dealing with the seedy underbelly of The Big Island.
And, I didn’t see one damn dolphin while undercover on a boat which was spilling over with drug dealers, Kingpins, and Pedophiles.

Elin and Elena think Cade’s family are the coolest people outside of Snapchat, but it’s hard to meet the parents when your boyfriend is in his late thirties and has never had a serious relationship.

I’d never missed my girls so much in my life, but Amy May, Bea, and Carmen are all dealing with issues of their own, and can’t come to my rescue.

The only thing that may help me with this “vacation” is if I could get Lei’d with Cupcakes.

WARNING: THIS BOOK CONTAINS FOUL LANGUAGE, SEX, SOME VIOLENCE, AND SHENANIGANS. IF NONE OF THAT BOTHERS YOU, GRAB A CUPCAKE AND READ ON!

Excerpt:

“This is your room?” I asked, even though it was pretty obvious.

“Yeah.”

“I’m in here with you?” I asked, my eyes darting back out into the hall.

“Yeah.”

I dropped my bag by the bed and walked up to Cade, lowering my voice to say, “I can’t sleep with you in your parents’ house.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Cade asked as he took out his rubber band and pulled his hair back to secure it again.

“We can’t have sex in your parents’ house.”

Cade turned his face toward me, eyebrows raised.

“Lila, I’m thirty-eight years old, I’m pretty sure they know I fuck.”

My eyes widened and my face went red.

“Don’t talk like that, My God… Just because they assume, doesn’t mean it should happen in their house. It’s rude.”

Cade chuckled and replied, “All right, Darlin’, I’ll keep my hands to myself, in the house, and we’ll see if you can do the same.”

————-
Special Release Week Price – $2.99

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Sign up for my Newsletter for more information about my writing: http://eepurl.com/Rcmrn

Award-Winning Author Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. She’s a lover of all things romance: books, movies, music, and life, and she incorporates that into the books she writes. When she isn’t reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible. Some of her favorite things are: Kristen Ashley Books, coffee in the morning, and In N Out burgers.

———-

New Release! IF YOU FIGHT by K.M. Scott (Corrupted Love #2)


Blurb:

The second book in the unforgettable Corrupted Love series by K.M. Scott, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Heart of Stone and Club X Series!

If you fight, will we last?

Serena

All my life, everyone around me made sure I was weak. My father. My sister. And now the man my father forced me to marry. But Oliver doesn’t know what I know. Strength can come even in the hardest times, and if you‘re willing tofight for love, nothing can stand in your way.

For the first time in my life, I’m fighting back, and with Ryder by my side, I’m never letting myself be weak again.

Ryder

They want us to be their pawns, but I won’t let them use her like that. I promised I’d protect Serena, and if it costs me everything in this world, I will.

Even if it means returning to the one place I swore I’d never go back to again.

EXCERPT:

Trapped in that bed as a captive audience, I watched as my husband entered my hospital room and noted the look of surprise in his beady eyes. Thought you got rid of me, did you? Not so quickly, Oliver. I’m tougher than I look.

Behind him, my father followed, along with Ryder. Overjoyed to see him, I didn’t even attempt to hide how happy I was he’d come to be with me. I’d pretended long enough for a man who tried to kill me.

Oliver spun around to see who had made my eyes light up and brought a smile to my face. Pointing his finger at Ryder, he barked, “Get him out of here! He doesn’t belong here!”

Ryder leveled his gaze on him and didn’t waver, but my father spoke up to defend his presence there. “You should be thankful for him. He’s the reason your wife is still alive. If he hadn’t found Serena in time, we’d be meeting to discuss her funeral instead of seeing her lying there in that hospital bed.”

Rage simmered beneath Oliver’s façade of worry for me, but he said nothing in response to my father’s dictate, even though I knew how much he chafed under his orders. He turned back to look at me and as if on cue, he played the loving husband act like a pro.

Taking my hand in his own far-too-soft hand, he held it just tightly enough that I couldn’t pull away without causing a scene. “How do you feel, honey? Your father told me the horrible news, but don’t worry. We’ll have other children.”

So that’s how he planned to play it. Would he say it was an accident that caused me to fall down a flight of stairs in my own home while he was there? Or would he claim complete ignorance and continue with the desperately concerned husband act?

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ryder react to Oliver’s words, his eyes opening wide and filling with anger. My father watched Oliver carefully, hanging on every word he said like he wasn’t sure if his son-in-law had been involved in hurting me.

Purchase now:
Amazon:  http://kmscottbooks.com/fightaz
B&N:  http://kmscottbooks.com/fightbn
iBooks:  http://kmscottbooks.com/fightibooks
Kobo:  http://kmscottbooks.com/fightkobo

OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

IF I DREAM (Corrupted Love, #1)

Amazon:  http://kmscottbooks.com/dreamaz
Barnes and Noble:  http://kmscottbooks.com/dreambn
iBooks: http://kmscottbooks.com/dreamibooks
Kobo:  http://kmscottbooks.com/dreamkobo
Google Play:  http://kmscottbooks.com/dreamgp

IF WE FALL (Corrupted Love, #3 / Coming May 31st)
Amazon:  http://kmscottbooks.com/fallaz
B&N:  http://kmscottbooks.com/fallbn
iBooks:  http://kmscottbooks.com/fallib
Kobo:  http://kmscottbooks.com/fallko

————-

 

AUTHOR BIO:

K.M. Scott writes contemporary romance stories of sexy, intense, and unforgettable love. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, she’s been in love with romance since reading her first romance novel in junior high (she was a very curious girl!). Under her Gabrielle Bisset name, she writes erotic paranormal and historical romance. She lives in Pennsylvania with a herd of animals and when she’s not writing can be found reading or feeding her TV addiction.

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website: http://kmscottbooks.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kmscottauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KMScottromance

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kmscottauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7153724.K_M_Scott

Newsletter:  http://kmscottbooks.com/subscribe/

New Release! WRITE NAKED by Jennifer Probst

WRITE NAKED: A Bestseller’s Guide to Writing Romance and Navigating the Path To Success by Jennifer Probst is now LIVE!

BLURB:
Learn how to transform your passion for writing into a career. New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Probst reveals her pathway to success, from struggling as a new writer to signing a seven-figure deal. Write Naked intermingles personal essays on craft with down-to-earth advice on writing romance in the digital age. Probst will teach you how to:
  • Commit to your current work-in-progress, get focused, and complete it on schedule
  • Reveal raw emotions and thoughts on the page to hook your readers
  • Assemble a street team to promote and celebrate your books
  • Overcome writer’s block with ease
  • Develop themes that tie together your books and series
  • Write the most difficult elements of romance–including sex scenes–with skill and style
Regardless of the genre, every novelist faces a difficult task. Creating authentic characters and an engaging plot are challenging enough. But attempting to break into the hotter-than-ever romance genre, which is constantly flooded with new titles and fresh faces? It can feel impossible. This is where Probst’s Write Naked comes in. To survive–and thrive–you need the help and wisdom of an expert.

Written in Probst’s unmistakable and honest voice, Write Naked is filled with the lessons and craft advice every writer needs in order to carve out a rewarding career.

EXCERPT:

Success means different things to different people. It also changes like a moving target, depending on your current situation. For me, success once meant quitting my day job to write full-time. Then it became hitting a best-seller list. As time passed, success began to morph into a combination of stellar sales, name recognition, steady releases, and big money. It was exhausting. And I was the source of my own exhaustion. The funny thing about being successful is how the ground beneath you doesn’t feel as solid anymore. This makes absolutely no sense, since technically I achieved financial security and discoverability—two huge elements of every hardworking author’s dream. Yet, I still couldn’t control any of my books’ successes. I couldn’t make them hit a best-seller list and I couldn’t stop any of them from making the top of the chart one day and sliding into total obscurity the next. That’s just something you have to learn to be okay with. The good and bad, up and down, success and failures. If you want to be a career author, you will still feel vulnerable, afraid, and sick to your stomach even with success.

I learned one valuable lesson that helps me get through it all. I focus on the work. I focus on my writing, day in and day out, and when I struggle, I dig deep and write even more. That’s how I put the voices to rest. I know I’m not a one-hit wonder or a fraud. I know I’d still be writing if I hadn’t made money, because it’s a calling and a gift. I also learned to be professional. I changed from the kind person who said yes to everyone, signed contracts without fighting for better clauses, and agreed to write too many books in too short of a time into the type of person who thinks like a businesswoman and makes hard decisions.

This means saying no. This means hurting feelings. I always remain kind, but now I ask questions. I decline offers. I’m careful and much more protective of my time, because as many wonderful people as there are, there are still people out there who, like vampires, will drain your creative well dry.

Just know there are both positives and negatives that come with everything in this life. You will need to be willing to look at the world—and your career—in a different way. Think of the tortoise and the hare. Man, it’s fun to win the medal and have everyone celebrate you. But when the cheers disappear, and it’s you alone with your book, you need to have the foundation and stamina of the tortoise.

Then you’ll earn more than a million dollars.

You’ll earn some damn peace and happiness.

————-
AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean. She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

New Release Review and Giveaway! HOT ON ICE: A Hockey Anthology from 18 Authors!

Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology

18 brand new sexy stories from bestselling authors, each one too steamy for the penalty box . . .

20% of royalties from sales of Hot on Ice will go to Homes for our Troops, a charity that builds specially modified homes for injured veterans.

Get ready to fall in love with the smokin’ hot hockey players of the New Orleans Cajun Rage. After this season’s Cinderella run all the way to the Finals, these heroes have won the Cup–and now your heart is the goal.

FREE AGENT, USA Today Best Seller Robin Covington – Finally out, he thought he knew his next step . . . until the man he might not be able to resist puts a sexy offer on the table.

BODY CHECK, USA Today Bestseller Desiree Holt – The Cup, the girl, and the future-could he make them all come together?

DEEP CHECK, USA Today Bestseller Kimberly Kincaid – There’s no such thing as in too deep…

BLOCKED, USA Today Bestseller Heather Long – He needs to clean up his reputation . . . Can this bad boy keep the pop princess safe?

RANSOM, USA Today Bestseller Nana Malone – The last thing he wants is to be stranded in a cabin with the one girl he’s always wanted.

CAGED, USA Today Bestseller Virginia Nelson – She plans to melt the ice king’s heart and prove she’s just the girl to go skate to skate with him, whether he likes it or not.

BREAKAWAY BROOKE, Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller Angi Morgan – Can he convince this Amazon beauty to stop fighting her erotic powers long enough to play his game?

THE WARM UP, Xio Axelrod – Toss a stoic defenseman, a no-nonsense nurse, and a ward full of crafty children in a Cup and anything can happen.

CHECK MY HEART, Christi Barth – The only thing that will make him happy again is the one woman he can’t have . . .

FULL CONTACT, Andie J. Christopher – This player has a bounty on his virginity. She has him up against the boards.

BLADE, Avery Flynn – Sometimes the line between love and insanity is as thin as an ice skate’s blade.

UNDER THE MIDNIGHT SUN, Kim Golden – When it comes to the game of love, he’s playing to win.

COURAGE, Lena Hart – This hot-tempered coach is fully prepared to fight for his wife–but can he win back her heart?

PENALTY BOX BLUES, Robin Kaye – The only woman who knows his secret can slam his heart against the boards with a sideways glance. He is so pucked.

BEAR NAKED, Katie Kenyhercz – When he sets his sights on a goal, it’s only a matter of time.

IN SKATES TROUBLE, Kate Meader – Can a passion that started in the dark find a lifetime of love in the light?

MAKING HIS MOVE, Susan Scott Shelley – Making impossible saves is easy compared to falling in love.

CHECKING YES, Misty D. Waters – She’ll send him to the penalty box, and keep him there . . . for good this time.

Review:

18 romances with hockey-playing heroes? Heck yes, I am so there!

Sadly, I’m right in the middle of one of the busiest school weeks ever–and sick to boot–so I haven’t had a chance to read all 18…yet. Rest assured, this will be remedied. ASA-freaking-P!

What I’ve read so far:

In Skates Trouble by Kate Meader: A NEW KATE MEADER SERIES. Like I’m not going to get right on that? Riiiight. In Skates Trouble definitely did not disappoint. A full-figured model (squee!) and a younger-than-her, hockey-playing hero who’s willing to put everything on the line to be with her? What’s not to love? Plus, we get just enough of a glimpse of the h/H of the series’ first full-length book to make sure our one-click finger’s going to get a workout…

Free Agent by Robin Covington: The NHL’s first out-of-the-closet player has the best inspiration for getting himself out of said closet. (And no, it’s not for the other hero of the story–not that he’s not worthy, but it’s an even better reason. Woot!) This one was extra steamy, with one super-sexy accent straight from NOLA and two drool-worthy heroes.

Deep Check by Kimberly Kincaid: Ex-best friends-to-lovers/second chance (kinda) romance between a star center and his “calendar girl”? Yes, please! Bring. It. On!

I’m not stopping there–but I’ve got two major projects to finish before Sunday night, so I’ve gotta take a shortish break. But that’s the beauty of a novella anthology–it’s perfect to use as both incentive and reward for getting other work done between stories!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Buy Links:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2jFsJg8
iBooks: http://apple.co/2fOCS8g
B&N: http://bit.ly/2gC6ceJ
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ggBnyg

a Rafflecopter giveaway