A Conversation with Wendy Sparrow, Author of the TAMING THE PACK Box Set (with a giveaway!)

Don’t miss my review of Wendy’s boxed set here!

TtP Banner

Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, Wendy! What 5 things should readers know about you?

  1. I’m a hopeless romantic. I don’t read sad books because reality has too much reality to it, and I believe that everyone deserves to be loved for who they are.
  2. I’m more flawed than most of my characters. I have severe clinical obsessive-compulsive disorder (Pure-O to be exact,) PTSD, agoraphobia, and a degenerative form of hypermobility. I know what it’s like to feel unlovable, desperate, and to experience pain so deep you’re numb.
  3. I believe every living creature deserves to be respected and acknowledged as powerful, and I have a soft spot for the vulnerable, marginalized, and misunderstood…and puppies. *looks at puppy beside me* *sighs*
  4. I love a stormy day with a good book, a snuggly blanket, and a cozy window seat.
  5. I’m a minor geek in a family of major geeks.

I’m with you on #s 1 and 5…reality needs to stay out of my leisure time, absolutely! Oh, plus puppies… 🙂

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

The first book, Past My Defenses, came from a Twitter chat with fellow writers where we were one-upping each other in ridiculous premises for paranormal stories. I suggested a wolf shifter allergic to other animals…and “the allergic shifter romance” was born. I wrote it and the second book during November of 2012…which, prior to this last February, was the worst month of my life. I tend to write humorous stuff when I’m in total crisis. These two books were NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) books.

I LOVE the “allergic shifter romance” premise—too funny, and it works so well in the book! I love that books 1 and 2 were NaNo books too—that’s great! I’m sorry to hear that Jordan’s book was written during such a stressful time, though…you can’t tell at all from the story.

 

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

I’ve been writing since I was young, but my brother said in 2009, “I bet you could write a novel.” I’ve never been able to resist a challenge from my brother. Two weeks later, I’d written a book. I haven’t stopped writing for any significant amount of time since then.

Hmmm…maybe I should try that—a challenge from my brother. I like it!

 

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

I’m finishing up everything on a young adult book due out in June from Entangled Teen under my pseudonym, Wendy Laine, called Secrets of Skin and Stone. It’s a paranormal romance set in a small town with an OCD cutter and a gargoyle shifter, both with many secrets.

A gargoyle shifter? I’m going to have to check that one out, for sure!

 

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

I’m reading a romance anthology, and I’m enjoying short and sweet novellas. I love anthologies when I’m in the middle of projects because I can set them down between novellas. I have a real problem doing that with novels.

I hear you, I do too! Great idea 🙂

 

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

Characters with depth flirt with danger (and turning furry) as alphas meet their matches. A ranger, a sheriff, and a big bad wolf—oh my.

Perfect!

 

Thank you for having me and I hope you spend some time with the Glacier Peak wolves.

Some of my favorite wolves? You bet I will! Thanks, Wendy!

 

About Wendy Sparrow:

After a childhood spent wandering as a military brat, Wendy Sparrow finally found her home in Washington State. She spends her days trying to convince her two kids she actually knows how to properly parent and her nights showing her husband all the cool things romance authors know. She’s active in the OCD and autism communities and writes on her blog to support awareness in both. With her whole heart, Wendy believes in happily-ever-afters and that everyone deserves one. If she’s not writing or wrangling kids, she’s on Twitter, @WendySparrow, where she’ll chat with anyone about anything.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Newsletter

perf5.000x8.000.indd

About the Taming the Pack Boxed Set:

Sometimes a wolf is all you need.

What do you get when you mix Alphas and sheriffs and park rangers? Three sexy tales of wolf shifter romance from the talented Wendy Sparrow sure to keep you up past your bedtime! With one click, immerse yourself in a rich world of danger, intrigue, a little humor, and more than a little heat.

Past My Defenses

After a feline danderbomb takes Vanessa down, she wakes up naked in a cage staring at a hot park ranger who has no idea what he’d trapped. Dane Hansen had hoped to tame the silver wolf in his kennel, but all bets are off with the deliciously sweet Vanessa on two legs. They’re hot as a forest fire even before they scent-match. Meanwhile, Lycans are being poached, and Vanessa has been targeted. Dane will have to keep her close to protect her, but with Vanessa in heat and mad to mate, who will protect him?

This Weakness for You

Jordan Hill is his pack’s Alpha wolf, and after his last breakup, he’s opting to be the lone wolf, too. But when his rival’s little sister—a human—comes to his door, what should be a tasty snack turns out to be something more than Jordan could ever imagine. Christa Hansen is simply looking for a place to stay. Yet the dark shifter smells irresistibly like forever. But getting involved with the wolf who tried to kill her brother—twice—is lunacy. Falling for her family’s enemy won’t just be her downfall…it will be his, too.

Crazy Over You

Waking up with a naked woman holding a knife at his throat is just about the last thing Sheriff Travis Flynn expected. And the brother she’s looking for? A murderer. And dead. Probably. But the real shock comes when she insists she’s not a Lycan. Once LeAnn Wilcox finds her brother, she’ll get out of the pack’s territory and go back to her regular, nonfurry life. But LeAnn’s life is at stake if she won’t claim her place in the pack, especially once Travis’s control over the pack is challenged and her brother’s fate is questioned.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled | Goodreads

TtP 1

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

New Box Set Review! TAMING THE PACK (Books 1-3) by Wendy Sparrow

Don’t miss my conversation with author Wendy Sparrow (and a tour giveaway!) here!


Taming the Pack Boxed Set

by Wendy Sparrow

About the box set:

Sometimes a wolf is all you need.

What do you get when you mix Alphas and sheriffs and park rangers? Three sexy tales of wolf shifter romance from the talented Wendy Sparrow sure to keep you up past your bedtime! With one click, immerse yourself in a rich world of danger, intrigue, a little humor, and more than a little heat.

Past My Defenses

After a feline danderbomb takes Vanessa down, she wakes up naked in a cage staring at a hot park ranger who has no idea what he’d trapped. Dane Hansen had hoped to tame the silver wolf in his kennel, but all bets are off with the deliciously sweet Vanessa on two legs. They’re hot as a forest fire even before they scent-match. Meanwhile, Lycans are being poached, and Vanessa has been targeted. Dane will have to keep her close to protect her, but with Vanessa in heat and mad to mate, who will protect him?

This Weakness for You

Jordan Hill is his pack’s Alpha wolf, and after his last breakup, he’s opting to be the lone wolf, too. But when his rival’s little sister—a human—comes to his door, what should be a tasty snack turns out to be something more than Jordan could ever imagine. Christa Hansen is simply looking for a place to stay. Yet the dark shifter smells irresistibly like forever. But getting involved with the wolf who tried to kill her brother—twice—is lunacy. Falling for her family’s enemy won’t just be her downfall…it will be his, too.

Crazy Over You

Waking up with a naked woman holding a knife at his throat is just about the last thing Sheriff Travis Flynn expected. And the brother she’s looking for? A murderer. And dead. Probably. But the real shock comes when she insists she’s not a Lycan. Once LeAnn Wilcox finds her brother, she’ll get out of the pack’s territory and go back to her regular, nonfurry life. But LeAnn’s life is at stake if she won’t claim her place in the pack, especially once Travis’s control over the pack is challenged and her brother’s fate is questioned.

Review:

Past My Defenses

Wendy Sparrow has definitely written a werewolf (they go by lycan in this universe) story with a twist here. Our heroine does have super speed and fantastic hearing, but she also suffers from near-dibilitating alergies and has a relationship with her four(!) air purifiers that borders on unnatural.

Seriously. She’s taken down by a housecat in the first scene. (I was going to say “common housecat”, but I’m not entirely convinced he is.) She’s allergic to marshmallows. (According to the author’s note, so is Ms. Sparrow. My condolences…) Though I do love the fact that Dane puts her list of allergens on the fridge. And memorizes it. And they put the list to good use…more than once.

“What are you doing?” he asked, smiling against her skin.

“Listing out my allergies so I can keep my hormones from taking over.”

He shouldn’t keep going. They were meant to be paying attention to their environment. Plus, now “ragweed” had joined the list of words that couldn’t be said in mixed company. They should stop. He pulled back enough to drag his shirt off.

“You stopped on sesame seeds,” he said.

“Carrots, celery, cumin.” Cumin was said on a long moan. She made spices she couldn’t have sound even more forbidden.

“You forgot coriander.” He groaned as she bit his collarbone.

“I didn’t forget coriander. I just hadn’t gotten there yet.” It earned him another bite.

Oh, hell, they should really stop. “You were listing the Cs in alphabetical order.”

“I was just listing them.” She pressed herself closer to him. “Fennel, kiwi.” She tipped her head back and those nails scraped down his back again. “Coriander.”

Coriander was on the list of inappropriate words now.

Ms. Sparrow’s sense of humor really shines in this novel. Even though I will readily admit that a simple conversation or two could have resolved most if not all of Vanessa and Dane’s relationship woes in–oh, the second chapter maybe–I so thoroughly enjoyed reading the rest of the novel I didn’t even care. Plus, the “whodunnit” at the end isn’t completely obvious, which made it fun (though that individual was on my short list of suspects, I wasn’t at all sure until the big reveal).

Rating: 4 ½ stars / A-


This Weakness for You

Jordan’s story! I loved him in Vanessa and Dane’s book (Past My Defenses), and the nonstop sparring (mixed with a healthy dose of mutual respect) between Jordan and Dane continues here, since Jordan scent matches with Dane’s younger sister Christa. Absolutely perfect! 😉

Ms. Sparrow’s writing made me laugh out loud over and over again. Her sense of humor is fantastic, and really shines through both her writing and characters. Poor Christa–it took her most of the book to get used to the fact that she was surrounded by Lycans with amazing hearing, and her lapses made for some really funny scenes. (Awkward for her, but super funny for the rest of us)

Lucifer the cat is back too, and seeing him instantly obey Jordan even over the phone is hysterical. (Clearly, I need to get involved with an alpha Lycan–can I connect with one on eHarmony, do you think? My cats have a little too much power here.)

I was already half in love with Jordan’s big bad alpha wolf self after book one, so it was pretty much a given I was going to enjoy his book. Christa ends up being his perfect counterpart–she sees herself as weak for much of the book, in part because she has MS (yay to Ms. Sparrow for writing a heroine with MS!), but in reality she’s so much stronger than her condition. She’s a kickbutt marksman (markswoman?)–the scene where Jordan decides to teach her some basic gun safety is hilarious–and she has zero filter as far as her brain-to-mouth connection goes. (Remember the Lycan sense of hearing? So. Many. Laughs.)

Even her dad is awesome. If ever a family were created that should be involved with supernaturals, the Hansens are it. His retelling of his phone conversation with his daughter re: their new in-laws? I think I snorted some Pepsi Max out of my nose at that part.

Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about this book. If you like paranormals, appreciate humor in your reading, and enjoy sweet sexiness (there’s not really much actual steaminess, though, but I for one didn’t miss it at all), then do yourself a favor and give this series a try.

Quite a bit in this book hinges on what was going on in book one, but much of it is explained along the way (some of it for Christa’s benefit, since she was new to the situation), so it’s not necessary to have read the first book to “get” this one–but this series and these characters are so much fun you’re going to want to read them both—and since they’re now in a box set together, it’s easier than ever!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A


Crazy Over You

It’s a good thing that digital highlighters don’t ever dry up, because I gave my Kindle’s highlighter function a real workout with this one. There are so many laugh-out-loud moments, and so many truly clever lines. I enjoyed the heck out of reading this one.

Right from the very first page, Travis and LeAnn are on opposite sides–he’s a small-town sheriff, she’s a (rather successful) petty criminal; she’s looking for her brother, he might just have had a hand in the man’s very recent death; he wakes from a dead sleep to find her naked on top of him, with one of his own knives to his throat–and just in case that’s not enough, Travis realizes almost immediately that they’ve scent matched, which means they’re destined to be mates.

Oh, the conflict! The pages are oozing with it, in the best possible way.

“If you let me up, we can keep talking about this.” And by “talking” he meant he’d have her on her back, moaning out his name rather rapidly. His very long stretch of abstinence was about to end.

She licked her lips and wrinkled up her nose. “First, tell me where my brother is.”

Well, that would ruin any “talking”.

Even though at first they seem like oil and water, the reader can clearly see that fate got it right this time–LeAnn and Travis are each exactly what the other needs. Travis, the organizing, control-freak alpha, definitely needed a less-than-gentle shove out of the rut his life had gotten into. LeAnn had spent a lifetime looking for a place to belong and a family that wouldn’t leave or make her want to leave, and she finds it with Jordan and the pack. Plus, she gets to use her “special skills” for the greater good for a change.

She could hot-wire cars. That was good to know. Also very sexy. In a non-law-abiding way that he couldn’t ever outwardly support.

The suspense was nicely done–though I was pretty sure I knew some of what was going on, I didn’t have it all figured out until the characters did, which was excellent. Book three continues the series’ overarching plot where the packs are concerned, finally resolving their main problem–which is good, because resolution! but sad, because the series comes to an end… 🙁

The romance, of course, is fantastic–Travis and LeAnn have great chemistry and even better banter. Even in the middle of a shootout, they were making me laugh.

Both he and LeAnn bounced up at the same time, firing. More swearing from Troy.

“Yes!” LeAnn said as they dropped back down to the floor.

“I got him,” they said at the same time before scowling at each other.

“Oh, that was me,” LeAnn said.

“No, I’m sorry, but that was me.” He wasn’t going to give up his hits because she was a woman he wanted in a filthy way–one he wanted even more now that he’d seen her fire a gun. “Troy, was that last hit from a rifle or handgun?” he yelled.

His answer was more swearing.

“It was from a rifle,” he translated for her.

“Oh, sweetie, if you really need this to boost your self-confidence, I’ll give you this one,” she said, giving him a long look.

“Honey, that wasn’t a gun in my pocket a few minutes back. Trust me, I have a lot to be confident about.” He gestured toward the other side of the table with his head. “Including that last shot.”

She pulled her shirt off. “And they’re real, babydoll.”

He stared.

“And that last shot was all me too.”

See what I mean? There’s a lot more where that comes from, believe me. 😉

This book was a thank-goodness-I-don’t-have-to-work-today-because-I’m-not-sure-I-could-stop-reading-it kind of story. Make sure you’ve cleared out a few hours before you sit down to start it; you’ll be glad you did.

I have loved this series from start to finish, and can’t wait to see what Ms. Sparrow has in store for us next. In the meantime, at least we have her backlist… 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

Tour Grand Finale and Giveaway! THE WEDDING MARCH by Tara Randel (The Business of Weddings #4)


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
The Wedding March
By Tara Randel

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out…

Launch – Note from the Author

I hope you enjoy Cassie and Luke’s journey in The Wedding March. And if you’ve read my previous books set in Cypress Pointe, you’ll catch up with familiar characters who pop up in this book. Thanks for stopping by!

— Tara

Falling Leaves – Excerpt

“I’d love to talk to you about your song-writing days. You’ve been—”

He held his hand up “Let me stop you right here.”

She blinked. His sudden displeasure indicated she’d gone too far.

“I’m not going to talk about music careers, song writing or whatever you have your mind set on.”

“I didn’t mean to upset you.”

“You didn’t. I just need you to know I’m not available for whatever it is you want.”

Reading Is My SuperPower – Review

“The Wedding March needs to be on your TBR list. Clean romance, fun characters, and a sweet story. It’s a look at how to deal with the tough-to-love people in our lives, as well as encouragement to hold out hope to the people struggling to find their place. This book will put a smile on your face and in your heart!”

Book Lover in Florida – Excerpt

What had she been thinking? How had she expected to pull off a full-blown concert in two weeks’ time? Therein lies the problem. She hadn’t been. Her only thoughts were to impress Luke.

How’s that going?

Cassie paced the stage, clasping her sweaty palms together as the tech team buzzed with activity around her. A late afternoon coastal breeze picked up, swirling the ankle-length sheer skirt around her high-heeled boots, carrying with it the scent of salt water sweetened by the newly blooming orange blossoms. Her entire outfit, a black mesh with gold embellishments around the waist and hem, fit over a black tank minidress. She’d even dyed the pink streak in her hair black to match.

Hearts & Scribbles – Excerpt

“Are you always so antsy before a performance?”

She shyly glanced at him. “It’s not every day I play with Luke Hastings.”

“It’s no big deal.”

“To me it is.”

He didn’t want to be flattered, but he couldn’t deny the pleasure her words brought. After his ex had pretty much flattened his ego, Cassie was a breath of fresh air. She didn’t try to railroad him. Didn’t go on and on about her place in the music business. She liked his friends. Had come up with this idea to raise money for the Klub using her own resources.

Christy’s Cozy Corners – Review

“I really loved the fact that there is a kids at risk program in this book. There need to be more “real world” centers like this. I really loved the teens in this book. They make great secondary characters and their stories are so real. Cassie and Luke are great too, and I love how they get together through songwriting.

Clean romance lovers will really enjoy The Wedding March.”

The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Excerpt

Luke grinned as he viewed the scene before him. Denny and Kyle high-fived, laughing, while a group of kids clapped over their success. Erin stood on the periphery, biting a fingernail. Cassie stood beside him, dripping wet, but smiling. Despite the fact that Luke had just learned someone had stolen money from the Klub, his heart expanded. He’d figure out what was going on and fix this mess, just as Cassie suggested. Maybe even with her at his side.

Bookworm Lisa – Review

“This is a cute and sweet story. The characters have both had a lot of heartache and suffer trust issues. The story is one of forgiveness and learning get to love again.”

Rainy Day Reviews – Review

“I loved the sweetness of the story and even though I am not a fan of mushy lovey stuff, it wasn’t heavy in this story. I really appreciated that this romance was clean as well as sweet and fun. All in all, this was a great read and I look forward to not only reading the first three in this series but the rest that will follow. This was definitely a fell good story with all the feels.”

Heidi Reads… – Excerpt

“We aren’t talking about me.”

“Maybe we should.”

Her steady gaze held his. His heart pounded. This close, he could see the distinctive shade of green mocking his words. She knew, maybe even better than he did.

“Talent like yours doesn’t go away,” she echoed.

“Maybe it should.”

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Review

“I love a romance with some meat to it and this isn’t a fluffy insta-love story. The struggles are real and the love is gradual. I love how the romance is mixed with music and the relationships with this group of troubled teens, which combined, puts some cracks in the emotional walls. There is a minuscule thread of mystery, which adds to the tension and makes for an overall well-balanced diet of words.”

Mel’s Shelves – Review

“I loved this story from the beginning and had a hard time putting it down! Cassie and Luke were both easy characters to like and the romance was natural. There were other great characters and side stories to keep things interesting. It’s a fantastic, clean contemporary romance!”

Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review

“This is a wonderful tale presented by two different people’s concepts. It is a story of a few individuals raised in a dysfunctional and/or abusive life style. It offers a great concept for “at risk” children. Adventure, mystery and romance atre also a part of this book, written for Adults, but YA will love it, too!” – Lu Ann

“This a fun story. I like the theme of the story. It was quick to capture my attention and then interesting enough to hold it throughout the story. . . . I would highly recommend this book to other readers. It was a great read.” – Vickie

Wishful Endings – Review

“THE WEDDING MARCH is a steady-paced story that involves family drama, a teen outreach program, musical fame, and sweet romance. It embodied this Harlequin line of books with a story that is sure to touch readers’ hearts. If you enjoy sweet romance with plenty of depth from complex relationships and situations, then definitely give this one a try!”

Getting Your Read On – Review

“I enjoyed the natural progression of Cassie and Luke’s relationship. They were both so wary in the beginning but slowly became friends and confidants. It didn’t feel rushed or over the top. It was just a gentle and sweet story. I really enjoyed it!'”

underneath the covers – Excerpt

“Maybe it’s time.”

“To start again?”

He nodded.

“How about with me?” she asked, her voice small.

He froze. He’d thought about working with her. But the memory of their kisses stopped him. He’d been romantically involved with his last partner. He wasn’t sure he wanted to travel that same path with Cassie. He wanted something different with her.

Hardcover Feedback – Review

“Seeing the story progress, watching Cassie and Luke interact with one another as well Cassie’s involvement with the kids, was very enjoyable.

I feel this story can easily be read as a stand-alone, but I do want to read the first story now because of the scenes with Nealy and Dane. I think anyone who enjoys Harlequin’s Heartwarming line will have a good time reading The Wedding March. I definitely recommend it.”

Harlie’s Books – Review

“By the end of the book, I was sad. I didn’t want it to end but alas, it had too. I will miss the colored streak in Cassie’s hair, Luke’s kisses (Oh my), Denny and Erin and the goings on in Cypress Pointe. Great character growth and depth from Cassie and Luke. And yes, Ms. Randal gets it too. She writes a beautiful love story that everyone can read and have a happy heart in the end.”

Becky on Books – Review

“A gentle and sweet romance–like book 3 ( The Bridal Bouquet) there’s a bit of a mystery involved, and a whole lot of (mostly family and ex-related) drama. This time, though, throw in the complications that the music industry and fame bring with them, plus a healthy dose of writer’s block and…yikes. Yeah, Cassie and Luke have obstacles galore on their way to an HEA.”

Don’t forget to enter the awesome giveaway below, if you haven’t already…

The Wedding March
(The Business of Weddings #4)
Tara Randel
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
March 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The help only he can offer…

Cypress Pointe, Florida, is a long way from LA, where pop singer Cassie Branford needs a hit to prove she’s not a twoalbum wonder. But her case of writer’s block could be over when the struggling songwriter meets Luke Hastings at a family wedding.

The legendary musician walked away from success at the height of his career. Yet Luke is already inspiring Cassie with his dedication to building a permanent community outreach center for troubled teens. Volunteering to help bring music into these kids’ lives is also bringing her and Luke closer. Maybe they’re not as different as he thinks…

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

Other Books in the Series

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn’t come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. Family values, mystery and, of course, love and romance are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Tara lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitter

Tour Giveaway!

– US PRIZE PACK: Signed copies of the first three books in The Business of Weddings series by Tara Randel, a $25 gift card for Dunkin’ Donuts, a coffee mug with an inspirational message: “Something beautiful is on the horizon,” and a Harlequin Heartwarming tote bag. (US only)
– $25 Amazon eCard (open internationally)
Ends March 28th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:
March 13th: Falling Leaves
March 14th: Reading Is My SuperPower & Book Lover in Florida
March 15th: Hearts & Scribbles
March 16th: Christy’s Cozy Corners & Rainy Day Reviews
March 17th: The Silver Dagger Scriptorium & Bookworm Lisa
March 19th: Heidi Reads…
March 20th: Katie’s Clean Book Collection, Mel’s Shelves & Rockin’ Book Reviews
March 21st: Wishful Endings & Getting Your Read On
March 22nd: underneath the covers & Hardcover Feedback
March 23rd: Harlie’s Books & Becky on Books
March 24th: Grand Finale

Grab Our Button!

A Conversation with A.L. Davroe, Author of REDUX (Tricksters #2)

 

Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, A.L.! What 5 things should readers know about you?

Geez, this is a hard question…Um…

  1. I can pick my nose with my tongue. That’s always fun at parties…
  2. I have anxiety and I’m not afraid to talk about it.
  3. I make cheese, write novels, and pet sit for a living.
  4. I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up and that’s ok.
  5. I drink nothing but tea and seltzer.

Okay, now I really want to go to a party you’re at! And kinda don’t, both at the same time… 😉

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

The first inspiration came from two of the women from my previous agency talking about wanting a Steampunk Cinderella concept. I got this idea for a Cinderella that loses her leg instead of her shoe. Of course, I was sick of writing Steampunk at the time and I was curious about writing futuristic pieces, so I chose to go with that instead. NEXIS, the resulting novel, went a completely different direction than the actual Cinderella story, but you can see some of the threads there. The follow up novel, REDUX, had a number of versions, but the current one came about through a sort of learning experience that the main character, Ella, and I had together as creator and project. I talk about that journey in the acknowledgements.

Cool! I’ll have to check that out.

 

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

I started writing for fun my freshman year of high school. My mother had always said to me that I was a good writer, but I never really listened to her. Parents are supposed to tell you stuff like that, right? It took a friend asking me to write a fan fiction with her that really got me into writing for enjoyment. She’d always enjoy the sections I wrote and I enjoyed writing them. I started to miss working on the fan fiction when it was in her possession. One day, I was waiting after school for my mother to pick me up after drama club. I finished reading this one novel that I had been really into and I was so bored. I wanted the book to continue. I wanted to be writing. Mostly, I just wanted something to pass the time. I thought to myself, “Why don’t I just write my own story? Something like this, but different.” That was my first novel. I went on to continue writing just for fun throughout high school and college. I finished this one novel about a year out of college and thought to myself, “This story needs to be shared with the world.” And that started my path to publication.

That’s awesome! I love that you started with fan fiction…

 

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

I always have a bunch of projects that I’m working on. I can’t really say which one will be finished first or what’s next. Rest assured that I have more YA novels coming – both Sci-Fi and fantasy. I also have some adult pieces that I’m excited to bring you in the future. However, I plan to take a nice long vacation after REDUX comes out.  😀

LOL—sounds like a plan!

 

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

Would you believe that I’ve been on a non-fiction stint? I started taking classes, so I’ve been reading lots of books for my classes. The current book I’m reading is on graphoanalysis. It’s pretty interesting and I find it hard not to start analyzing everyone’s handwriting, LOL!

That does sound interesting—and I can see how that would be very tempting… 🙂

 

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

I’m a firm believer that readers should read NEXIS before REDUX, so the pitch for NEXIS would be: A female version of Matrix meets Tron and Ender’s Game.

Excellent point—works for me! Thanks, A.L.!

 

About the author:

I write both YA and adult speculative fiction. I’m represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency. I’ve written FOR YOUR HEART; CITY STEAM; NEXIS; and M.I.A.. My latest novel, REDUX (YA science-fiction) is coming out with Entangled Teen in March 2017.

By day, I live in Connecticut with my feline hench-creatures and I make cheese. I’m a terrible blusher, have a weak spot for cuddly animals, love Laffy Taffy and Cadbury MiniEggs, and I’m a huge advocate of alternative healing methods. I wear purple shoes and corsets…Though not always in the same ensemble. I’m a Capricorn, a Hufflepuff, and a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal. I also suffer from Resting Bitchface Syndrome (RBS), so even though I might look like I’ll tie you in a knot if you come near me, I’m more afraid of you than you are of me (see blushing problem above).

About the book:

The domed city of Evanescence is in ruins. With nowhere to go, prodigy hacker Ellani “Ella” Drexel and a small band of survivors flee to the Undertunnel below their city.

To escape the wasteland she unknowingly created.

But sanctuary is hard to find. With malfunctioning androids and angry rebels at their backs, the group hopes to press on for the neighboring city of Cadence. But Ella’s chosen path is challenging…life-threatening, even. Worse, the boy she loves is acting distant, and not at all like the person she first met in Nexis.

But then Ella learns a secret…and it changes everything.

Ella knows she needs to turn back and make a stand to reclaim her home. She’s determined to bring a new—and better—life to all who’ve suffered.

Or die trying.

New Release and Giveaway! SEDUCED BY SIN by Kris Rafferty (An Unlikely Hero #3)


Seduced by Sin
by Kris Rafferty
An Unlikely Hero #3
Publication Date: March 20, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense

SYNOPSIS:

When Caleb Smith saved Francesca Hamilton from a nasty situation with her father, she was beyond grateful. Sure, it landed her in Caleb’s bed wearing his engagement ring, but neither of them took that seriously. It was a means to an end, and he was so sexy and exciting, she was enjoying the ride. It wasn’t Caleb’s fault her feelings were changing, leaving her wishing things between them were real rather than pretend.

Caleb took the FBI’s assignment because he wanted to end the tyranny of a man who’d hurt the people he loved. Odds of success were slim and the danger high, but he knew the risks. Francesca didn’t and was completely in the dark about her family’s “business.” And the more time he spends with her, the harder he falls for the gorgeous blonde. But to finally get retribution, he’ll have to destroy her world…

Excerpt:

The party was a loud, glittery event that had to have cost the annual income of, at least, a highly paid lawyer.  It was stunning, exciting, and if someone lit fireworks in the huge ballroom, Caleb Smith wouldn’t have been surprised, but it wouldn’t have impress him either.

She did, though.  Across the crowded room of milling guests, he couldn’t keep his eyes off her…the hostess, Francesca Hamilton.  That she’d noticed and liked it tapped into a thrilling, primal possessiveness he couldn’t remember ever having felt before. She shook her head, cascading long curls over bare shoulders, and then licked her lips.  Her strapless, black dress revealed lots of leg, a tiny waist, and seemed to cover her breasts by dint of will.  She looked comfortable in her skin…and dress. Whereas, Caleb hated his tuxedo and patent leather shoes that pinched.  His collar and bowtie strangled, and he couldn’t wait to exchange it for his black jeans, T-shirt and roomy biker boots.  Francesca liked it, though, if her lingering gaze over his chest, and abs was any indication.  When her hot perusal settled somewhere in the vicinity of his cummerbund, her gaze had the effect of a caress, stabbing his gut with a jolt of desire.

Her gaze lifted, and locked with his.  The crowd faded away and it felt as if Francesca and he were alone in her father’s ballroom, the distance between them a temporary challenge, soon to be overcome.  Tonight was the culmination of a week of wooing, and his patience was thin, his mark squarely at bull’s eye.

Francesca was the full package, and Caleb had spent more than one night this week thinking about her when he should have been sleeping.  He’d instead lay awake, unsettled, imagining her wrapped around him, naked, and sweet-smelling…it made his mouth go dry just thinking about it.

Holding her gaze, Caleb sipped bourbon from the thin, cut glass, purposefully telegraphing his sensual thoughts, ready to rein in his intensity at the first sign of hesitancy.  He was thrilled when her eyes instead widened with excitement, her lush lips parted, and when the man at her side touched her arm to gain her attention, she startled.  And her breasts, barely restrained by satin, jiggled.  Yes—he took a deep, calming breath—they jiggled.

The urge to cross the ballroom to force her companion to back off was overwhelmingInsane, in fact.  Caleb had begun to think of Francesca as his.  It wasn’t true.   And this lack of mental discipline didn’t bode well; wanting Francesca Hamilton to the point of pain, wanting to make love to her, longing to witness her succumbing to ecstasy in his arms, to taste her as she fell.  That was not cool and indicted he was losing perspective. Seducing Francesca into desiring him, and desiring her in turn, were two very distinct things, and he needed to make sure one didn’t get in the way of the other.

From the moment he arrived at this party, Caleb was on target, wasting no time as he zeroed in on Francesca, calculating when best to approach.  His focus had been absolute—seek her gaze, send his signal, and hope she’d be brave enough to bite the lure he dangled.

BUY:


ABOUT KRIS RAFFERTY:

Kris Rafferty was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the youngest of four in a rambunctious Irish-American family. She became obsessed with books early on, and remembers her first library adventure. She wrote her first story when she was six and never stopped. She received her BA at U/Mass Boston, married the love of her life, has three perfect children, and earned her third degree black belt in Parker American Kenpo Karate. She plays classical piano, loves road trips, and is a fanatic for warm water ocean. If she’s not writing, she’s reading all sorts of romance. Ms. Rafferty lives happily ever after in North Carolina, writing.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon Author Profile
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release Review and Giveaway! THE WEDDING MARCH by Tara Randel (The Business of Weddings #4)

The Wedding March
(The Business of Weddings #4)
Tara Randel
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
March 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The help only he can offer…

Cypress Pointe, Florida, is a long way from LA, where pop singer Cassie Branford needs a hit to prove she’s not a twoalbum wonder. But her case of writer’s block could be over when the struggling songwriter meets Luke Hastings at a family wedding.

The legendary musician walked away from success at the height of his career. Yet Luke is already inspiring Cassie with his dedication to building a permanent community outreach center for troubled teens. Volunteering to help bring music into these kids’ lives is also bringing her and Luke closer. Maybe they’re not as different as he thinks…

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

Review:

A gentle and sweet romance–like book 3 ( The Bridal Bouquet) there’s a bit of a mystery involved, and a whole lot of (mostly family and ex-related) drama. This time, though, throw in the complications that the music industry and fame bring with them, plus a healthy dose of writer’s block and…yikes. Yeah, Cassie and Luke have obstacles galore on their way to an HEA.

Spoiler alert: they’ll get there. Eventually 🙂

Couples from other series books make appearances (the main couple do not get to their own “wedding march” during the course of the book, but both of them are present at plenty of weddings throughout the story), and though you’ll probably be curious about their stories, if you haven’t read them you should do just fine here.

My only real complaint? What English teacher doesn’t ever have to spend time grading, planning, or reading over student work…? 😉

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Other Books in the Series:

  

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn’t come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. Family values, mystery and, of course, love and romance are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Tara lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitter

Tour Giveaway!

– US PRIZE PACK: Signed copies of the first three books in The Business of Weddings series by Tara Randel, a $25 gift card for Dunkin’ Donuts, a coffee mug with an inspirational message: “Something beautiful is on the horizon,” and a Harlequin Heartwarming tote bag. (US only)
– $25 Amazon eCard (open internationally)
 Ends March 28th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

March 12th: Launch
March 13th: Falling Leaves
March 14th: Reading Is My SuperPower & Book Lover in Florida
March 15th: Hearts & Scribbles
March 16th: Christy’s Cozy Corners & Rainy Day Reviews
March 17th: The Silver Dagger Scriptorium & Bookworm Lisa
March 19th: Heidi Reads…
March 20th: Katie’s Clean Book CollectionMel’s Shelves & Rockin’ Book Reviews
March 21st: Wishful Endings & Getting Your Read On
March 22nd: underneath the covers & Hardcover Feedback
March 23rd: Harlie’s Books & Becky on Books
March 24th: Grand Finale

Grab Our Button!

Excerpt Reveal and Giveaway! WALK OF SHAME by Lauren Layne (A Love Unexpectedly novel)

The City’s HOTTEST Cold War!

WALK OF SHAME
a Love Unexpectedly novel
Lauren Layne
Releasing April 18th, 2017
Loveswept

Sparks fly between a misunderstood New York socialite and a cynical divorce lawyer in this lively standalone rom-com from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Love Story.
 
Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office.
Teasing him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest daydreams.
Celebrity divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney doesn’t have much time for women, especially spoiled tabloid princesses who spend more time on Page Six than at an actual job. Although Georgie’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also everything Andrew resents: the type of girl who inherited her penthouse instead of earning it.
But after Andrew caps one of their predawn sparring sessions with a surprise kiss—a kiss that’s caught on camera—all of Manhattan is gossiping about whether they’re a real couple. And nobody’s more surprised than Andrew to find that the answer just might be yes.

 

 

Georgie

Tuesday morning

Let’s talk about five a.m. for a second.

Also known as the worst hour of the day, am I right?

Here’s why:

If you’re awake to see five in the freaking morning, it means one of a few things, all of them heinous.

Scenario one: You’re on your way to the airport for an early morning flight. Heinous.

Scenario two: You’ve been out all night, and now your vodka buzz is fading, and you’re just sober enough to realize that the rest of your day will likely involve Excedrin, carbs, and indoor voices. Heinous.

Scenario three: You’ve got a crap-ton on your mind, and you’re lying awake in bed, staring at the ceiling, hating your life. Maybe hating yourself a little bit, I dunno, who am I to judge? Heinous.

Now brace yourself, because scenario four is the most heinous of them all: You’re awake at five a.m. because you’re an uptight prick whose schedule is even more rigid than your posture, and your life is an endless string of working out, the corner office, repeat. You’re also likely the type of person who subsists on protein shakes and kale smoothies, and you have been known to utter the phrase the body is a temple, thus solidifying what we already knew about you.

You have no friends.

But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

See, it’s five a.m., and I, Georgie Watkins, am . . . kind of excited about it.

I know. I know. Four months ago I’d have bet my favorite vintage Chanel bag that there was exactly zero chance I’d actually look forward to the ghoulish hour of five in the morning.

And yet here we are.

I guess you could say there’s a scenario five on reasons to be up this early.

“Good morning, Ramon,” I sing, pushing through the revolving doors of the luxury high-rise on 56th and Park, the place I call home.

The concierge/security guard/all-around good guy glances up and gives me a friendly smile. “Ms. Watkins. Good morning.”

Usually the massive front desk is a bustling, busy affair. Starting at around seven, an army of well-dressed concierges will be smoothly facilitating the needs of impatient residents, as tiny dogs let out sharp, high-pitched barks of greeting from their Louis Vuitton carriers.

But that’s later.

Right now, the luxurious lobby is mostly silent, with just the lone overnight guy working the front desk, holding down the fort until the day guys arrive to handle the morning crush.

My new Tory Burch clutch tucked into my armpit, I hold up the box in my hands and waggle my eyebrows. “Brought you something.”

Ramon’s smile grows wider, brown eyes lighting. “My wife says you’re going to make me fat.”

“Tell Marta that the dad bod is totally in style right now,” I say, setting the box of donuts on the counter and lifting the lid. “Unless, of course, you don’t want a maple bacon donut?”

Ramon is already reaching inside the box, shaking his head in reverence as he lifts the sugary treat. “Still warm.”

“Well, technically the shop doesn’t open until five, but I’m such a loyal customer, they let me in a bit early,” I say, surveying the array of donuts and trying to decide if I’m in a chocolate kind of mood or if I want to risk the powdered sugar one.

Since my Alexander McQueen minidress is black (the archnemesis of powdered sugar), I reach for the chocolate as I set my clutch on the counter and fish out my phone: 4:58 a.m.

Two more minutes.

“How’s Marta dealing with the pregnancy of baby number three?” I ask, taking a bite of the donut and shifting attention back to Ramon, who’s already polished off his donut and is contemplating a second. I nudge the box toward him.

“She’s good,” he says. “Excited that we’re finally having a girl.”

“A girl!” I say, reaching across the counter and squeezing his massive forearm. “Congratulations, I hadn’t heard!”

“Just found out yesterday,” he says with a happy smile, apparently deciding that the occasion calls for another donut.

“Oh my gosh, I have the perfect baby gift,” I say, nibbling at a piece of my donut. “I saw this adorable Burberry onesie in Bergdorf’s the other day, with this precious little red bow—”

“Yes, because that’s what every infant needs,” a low voice interrupts. “A four-hundred-dollar piece of fabric that needs to be dry-cleaned. Don’t be ridiculous, Georgiana.”

I don’t have to look at my clock to know what time it is.

Five o’clock.

On the dot.

Not even bothering to turn around, I roll my eyes as my red nails tear off another piece of donut and pop it into my mouth. “Ramon, do you think you could talk to maintenance about adjusting the temp? It just got a little cold in here.”

Ramon’s been working here long enough to know my request isn’t for real. He’s not even paying attention to me. He’s already set his donut aside and has straightened up, practically saluting the newcomer.

“Mr. Mulroney. Good morning, sir.”

“Mr. Ramirez.” The voice is low and serious, a touch impatient, although not quite rude.

You know that adage that you catch more flies with honey? I’m not so sure it’s true. I bring donuts to the front desk guys just about every morning, and they adore me. I know they do.

But they respect him.

Giving in to the inevitable, I finally let my eyes flick to the side, my gaze colliding with a stern brown scowl.

I put on my widest, sparkliest smile, only because I know it drives him crazy.

As always, I see a muscle in his jaw twitch as I flutter my eyelashes.

“Good morning, Andrew,” I say sweetly.

“Georgiana.”

I resist the urge to roll my eyes. Only my late grandmother has ever called me that, and I’m pretty sure that’s because I was her namesake. Everyone else calls me Georgie. Well, okay, not everyone. Ramon and the other guys still insist on calling me Ms. Watkins, but I’m working on it. See: daily donuts.

I smile wider and push the box in Andrew’s direction. “Donut?”

His lip curls. In case you haven’t already gotten a read on this guy, he’s the type that sneers at donuts.

He lifts a boring black travel mug. “Already have my breakfast.”

“Blended-up quinoa sprinkled with a few bits of spinach and pretension?” I ask.

“Whey powder protein shake.”

“Sounds immensely satisfying.”

He takes a sip of the nastiness and watches me with cold brown eyes. “The body is a temple, Georgiana.”

There it is.

Full circle to my above commentary about what sort of people are up and about at five a.m.


Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York
City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.
 
She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In
LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 
 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Conversation with Sheila Roberts, Author of STARTING OVER ON BLACKBERRY LANE (Life in Icicle Falls)

Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, Sheila!

Thank you so much for hosting me!

 

What 5 things should readers know about you?

I’m a chocoholic, I love to play games, I’m a Christian and my faith has gotten me through money struggles, health struggles and the loss of a child, I’m a cancer survivor (yes, you can beat this horrible disease!), and I would love to go on DANCING WITH THE STARS. (Don’t you think writers can be stars? I do!) Of course, I’ve reached the point where if I went on that show and went down for the splits I’d probably never get back up again, so maybe it’s a good thing they haven’t called. 🙂

Writers TOTALLY count as stars! I can’t believe the producers haven’t called on any yet…an oversight, surely.

 

Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly, what one thing would they need to have with them if stranded on a desert isle? 😉

One of my main characters, Cass Wilkes, has made an appearance in almost every book in my LIFE IN ICICLE FALLS series. This time, she gets a starring role. What would she take with her to that desert island? A man! The poor woman’s been divorced for years. As for Stefanie Stahl, food photographer extraordinaire, she’d take her camera. Hopefully, she’d be able to concoct some exotic dishes to photograph. As for their friend Stefanie Stahl, maybe she should take her husband. With the stress of remodeling, living in a grass hut on a desert island might be just what they need.

I’m with Cass—especially if my “man” came with a permanently charged Kindle. He would, right?

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

I wish I could tell you something I read or saw or heard inspired it. But I can’t. It seems that for this book the ideas simply dropped into my head. It happens that way sometimes.

That’s awesome—I’m jealous 🙂

 

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

I’ve been writing since I was a little kid. The desire was always there in me. As for writing professionally? Well, I needed money and there wasn’t much of anything else I was qualified to do.

That works out well for you, then 🙂

 

What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?

I love being in charge of my day, love my commute (under a minute from my espresso machine in the kitchen to my home office!), I love the fact that I get to earn a living making stuff up, love seeing a book come together; helping with the back cover copy, seeing the cover art for the new book, getting to host book signing parties and talk about the book. And I really enjoy meeting readers. I have the perfect job. Oh, except for deadlines. That’s the challenging part. If allowed, I think most of us writers would forever fool with a book. There’s always more you can do to make it better. But at some point, we have to turn it in and let it be what it will be. It seems like I’m always in a deadline crunch and I hate that.

Perfect answers! I have to admit, your commute beats mine—my walk is a full 4 minutes…

 

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

I’ve just turned in a Christmas book that will come out this coming November and I’m very excited about it. So, keep your eyes peeled for the last book in this series, CHRISTMAS IN ICICLE FALLS.

Great! Can’t wait!

 

What authors and/or books have inspired you?

I love reading books about writers and writing. Stephen King’s ON WRITING really resonated with me. I read a lot of biographies, and one about Erle Stanley Gardner, who wrote the Perry Mason novels, really impressed me. He started as a lawyer, writing in his spare time. This was back in the days of the manual typewriter (and those keyboards required strong fingers!). He would type until his fingers bled, bandage them, and go back to work. Not that I intend to type until my fingers bleed, but his story did drive home the importance of hard work and dedication. Most dreams remain just that unless you put in the work to make them come true.

I’ve read ON WRITING at least a half dozen times…and once I found out that he narrates the audiobook version, I listened to it two more!

 

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

I recently finished GIRL ON THE TRAIN and was mesmerized by the writing. It was a depressing tale but I couldn’t stop reading. When you can’t step away from a book – now, that’s good writing.

I agree—I listened to it on audio, and for once wanted my walk to work to be longer so I had more time to “read” en route to work!

 

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

Maybe I would simply tweet my motto: Read Sheila for a Good Time. I hope that’s what readers have when they read me.

LOL, works for me, Sheila! Thanks again for stopping by!

 

About the Author:

Bestselling author Sheila Roberts has seen her books translated into over a dozen languages. Her novels ON STRIKE FOR CHRISTMAS and THE NINE LIVES OF CHRISTMAS were made into movies for the Lifetime and Hallmark channels. When she’s not hanging out with her girlfriends or dancing with her husband she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

Title: STARTING OVER ON BLACKBERRY LANE
Author: Sheila Roberts
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Pages: 384
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance

Stefanie Stahl has a husband with renovation ADD. He can’t seem to finish anything he starts and her house is littered with his “projects.” If he doesn’t smarten up, she swears she’s going to murder him and bury him under the pile of scrounged lumber in the backyard.

Her friend Griffin James is suddenly single and thinking maybe she needs to sell her fixer-upper and follow her career bliss up the ladder of success, even if that scary ladder is clear across the country. Getting her place ready to sell proves harder than she originally thought. She needs help.

She’s not the only one. Cass Wilkes, their neighbor, has an empty nest—with a leaking roof. When her ceiling crashes in, she knows it’s time to do something. When Grant Masters offers his handyman services at a fund-raiser auction, the three women go in together to outbid the competition and win their man. (Cass’s friends think she should win Grant in a different way, too!) Now it’s time to make some improvements…in their houses and their lives.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amazon

New Release! THANK YOU FOR HOLDING by Julia Kent and Elisa Reed

About THANK YOU FOR HOLDING

Having it all is a fantasy, right?

Carrie Shelton thought her boyfriend was too good to be true. Her best friend’s brother? A guy who loved antiquing? Who cuddled on the couch while watching foodie YouTube clips and talking about artisanal spices? Who helped her accessorize her outfits?

Right.

Fantasy.

So when he ran off with Kevin, the owner of an antique shop, right before his sister’s wedding, Carrie’s life went from fantasy to nightmare.

As maid of honor, she can’t back out of the wedding. And her ex is the best man – but now he has his own best man.

She needs a date. Stat.

Enter Ryan. Sure, he’s a hot male stripper at the O Spa where she works as junior designer, but he’s a few years younger and just, you know — a friend.

Perfect. She needs a friend more than she needs a boyfriend.

A weekend of playing her boyfriend so she can save face is a lot to ask, but for some reason Carrie doesn’t understand, Ryan’s all in. Enthusiastic, even.

Especially when it comes to physical displays of affection.

Public kisses turn to private confessions, and pretty soon, Carrie can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality.

Because if Ryan’s just pretending he’s in love with her, then why does the chemistry between them — and between the sheets — feel so real?

Carrie can’t settle for almost, though. She’s already done that. She’s not putting her life on hold anymore.

Turns out Ryan won’t, either.

He’s holding out for more.

Thank You For Holding is a STANDALONE in the On Hold series. You do not need to have read book 1 in the series, Our Options Have Changed, but after reading about Carrie and Ryan’s friends-to-lovers adventure, you’ll want to. 😉

Excerpt:

Diane is unwrapping candles. “So, Carrie,” she asks curiously, “I didn’t know you were dating Ryan. Is that new?”

Could there actually be someone at O who hasn’t heard the whole gruesome story? Must be because Diane’s in accounting; they’re on a different floor of the building, separated from daily spa operations.

“Pretty new,” I answer cautiously. I have to make this story believable. “You know, when Jamey broke up with me, I was a wreck. Ryan was totally there for me. He held my hand, and he listened no matter how long I went on, and he let me cry on his shoulder. He did all these really nice things to try to cheer me up.” 

So far, all true. 

I look at Diane’s face. This woman, a strong and successful executive, is listening with rapt attention, like a little girl hearing a fairy tale.

Because it is a fairy tale. 

“We were already friends, but then one day I just looked at him and realized that he’s the perfect guy for me.” Zeke’s script flashes in my brain. “I mean, I used to wonder sometimes what it would be like to, you know, be with him. But we were just good friends. I was dating Jamey. But then I wasn’t. Dating Jamey. Obviously.” 

“Ryan is so handsome,” she sighs. 

“He is,” I nod. “And he’s really smart, and funny. He makes me laugh, even when I’m in a bad mood.” This is also true. “He even braids my hair.”

“Wow,” Diane whispers. “It’s like it was meant to be. I wish something like this would happen to me.”

Ha. I wish something like this would happen to me, too.

“I always thought it would be incredible to date one of the O guys,” Angela comments. “You’d get professional massages for free, anytime! They know everything about a woman’s body. And just watching them dance, you can tell by the way they move that they’d be amazing in bed.” 

She looks at me for confirmation.

“Right!” I agree, not quite meeting her eye. “Ryan is amazing… in bed… he, um, does this thing with his tongue…” Here I stop short. I’m on shaky ground. I have no idea what he might do with his tongue, besides talk, eat ice cream, and slurp Tom Yum soup. 

Jamey didn’t even like to French kiss, never mind French-kissing anything below my waist.

Angela and Diane both sigh. So do I, but for a different reason.

And as if on cue for an O dance routine, Ryan appears in the door, with two bottles of wine tucked under one arm, a bottle of sparkling lemon water under the other, and four glasses in his hands. He’s wearing a navy jacket over a pale blue dress shirt, no tie. His light brown hair is brushed straight back and curls a little over his collar. Seeing him dressed like this, he looks different. He looks… manly is the only word for it.

What would he be like in bed? What lovely things might he do with his tongue?

We are all staring at him. He heads straight for me. “There’s my girl,” he says, setting the glasses down. I take the bottles from under his arm. “Working hard. Carrie makes every room more beautiful. Decorations not needed.” 

His hands now free, he takes my face and gently, lingeringly, kisses my lips. His breath is warm and delicious. I wobble a little bit on my heels. Who needs wine with kisses like that? Diane and Angela watch intently.

Don’t overplay it! I think, opening my mouth to say precisely that, but then I just moan. Even syllables won’t form.

He grins.

“I don’t want to distract you ladies from your work,” he says, pulling a corkscrew from his pocket. He twists it into the cork, which slides out with a little pop, and he pours the wine. As he hands me my glass, he runs his other hand slowly down my back. “I just wanted to be sure you have everything you need.” His voice drops low on the word ‘everything.’

“Thanks,” I answer faintly. “We’re good. I’m good.” 

“You sure are. ” He kisses me again, this time on my temple, his hand migrating down my waist, very publicly squeezing my ass. His palm is so warm. So big. Kinda rough. 

Funny. I never knew how good a little rough could be.

And with that, smiling, he takes his glass and leaves. 

Angela and Diane watch him go. Their mouths are open just a tiny bit. 

So is mine.

Thank You for Holding Ebook Cover

Add THANK YOU FOR HOLDING to Goodreads here!

Get your hands on THANK YOU FOR HOLDING

Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About Julia Kent:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Facebook Reader Group | Instagram

About Elisa Reed

Elisa Reed is a journalist-turned-fiction-writer whose snappy, irreverent prose combines with an irrepressible zest for the simpler, and often intimate, pleasures of life to produce fun(ny) contemporary romance with a focus on second chances. New England born and bred, Elisa Reed now lives, writes, and plays in New Orleans and along the sugar sands of the Gulf Coast.

Facebook

New Release! A STAR TO STEER HER BY by Beth Anne Miller

A STAR TO STEER HER BY
by Beth Anne Miller
release date: March 20, 2017
Entangled Publishing, Embrace

 

About the book:

I’m scarred. Broken. I’ll never be the same.

But I will take this journey.

Ever since my last dive ended in bloodshed, I’ve been terrified to go back into the water. But the opportunity to spend a semester at sea is too good to pass up. I need to get my life back.

I never expected to love it this much. And I never expected Tristan MacDougall.

Rugged, strong, and with demons of his own, Tristan helps me find the courage I thought I had lost and heals me with every stolen moment we share. But the rules of the ship mean we can’t be together.

When a dive excursion goes terribly wrong, our only hope for survival is each other.

 

bamstartosteerherbybookcover500x750

ad-togoodreads

Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Entangled Publishing

 

Excerpt:

He held my hand as we glided slowly around the reef. The euphoria I felt at actually getting under the water faded as I squinted into the distant blue haze, on constant lookout for…anything that might be lurking out there. It was utterly silent, except for the Darth Vader-like sound of our breathing. That was one of the things I’d always loved best about scuba diving, the silence of it. For a short time, I could leave behind the noise of the world above and get lost in the alien world beneath the sea. I’d missed it so much.

My fear began to slip away. The reef was a huge mass of life and motion. Tiny yellow fish nibbled on purple sponges, vividly colored parrotfish pecked at coral with their sharp beaks, blue-and-yellow angelfish swam lazily between sea fans. None of them seemed disturbed by our presence. They just went about their business.

I’d almost forgotten Tristan was there until he tapped my arm and pointed to a big hole in the coral, where a slimy green head emerged on a sinuous neck. It was a moray eel. It stared at us, its mouth opening and closing to reveal glimpses of curved, needle-thin teeth. Novice divers tended to be afraid of them because their teeth looked wicked sharp. But I’d been around them enough to know that they opened and closed their mouths to breathe, not to be aggressive (usually), and I watched it for a moment, unafraid.

We continued exploring, my eyes remembering how to see beyond the camouflage to find the animal. A crusty “rock” sitting on the bottom was a scorpionfish. A mound of sand turned out to be a flounder. I still searched the blue waters around us, but less frequently than before. I even let go of Tristan’s hand.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of silver. My heart started to pound. Take it easy, it’s probably a barracuda.

No, it wasn’t. Barracuda usually just hovered motionless in the water, seemingly menacing with their protruding teeth, but generally harmless to humans. This was moving quickly. And it was big. Where’d it go? I spun around.

There it was again, lurking just at the edge of my vision. Oh God, not again! Hiss-whoosh, hiss-whoosh. My breath came faster and faster.

I needed to get out of there.

 

About the author:

Beth Anne Miller’s first book, written in elementary school, was bound in pink fabric and was about—what else?—a girl and her horse. She soon began cheating on horses with the sea, becoming an open water scuba diver at age 14. That love of the sea led her to a college semester aboard a schooner. She returned with fond memories of the exhilaration of being on a ship under full sail, less fond memories of hurling over the leeward rail on a daily basis, and a sailing bug she couldn’t quite shake.

In addition to horses and the sea, she has a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts), which she explored with her first novel, INTO THE SCOTTISH MIST (The Wild Rose Press, 2011), and carried into her new novel, A STAR TO STEER HER BY (Entangled Embrace, March 2017). A native New Yorker, Beth Anne works in the publishing industry and is always looking ahead to her next voyage, whether a short one on a dive boat or whale watch, or, with luck, a longer one on a tall ship.

Connect with Beth Anne Miller:

Website | Newsletter| Facebook| Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads