Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Footsteps in the Sky by Greg Keyes

Happy Release Week


Footsteps in the Sky
by Greg Keyes

Published May 26, 2015

The pueblo people who landed on the Fifth World found it Earthlike, empty, and ready for colonization . . . but a century later, they are about to meet the planet’s owners

One hundred years ago, Sand’s ancestors made the long, one-way trip to the Fifth World, ready to work ceaselessly to terraform the planet. Descendants of native peoples like the Hopi and Zuni, they wanted to return to the way of life of their forebears, who honored the Kachina spirits.

Now, though, many of the planet’s inhabitants have begun to resent their grandparents’ decision to strand them in this harsh and forbidding place, and some have turned away from the customs of the Well-Behaved People. Sand has her doubts, but she longs to believe that the Kachina live on beyond the stars and have been readying a new domain for her people.

She may be right. Humans have discovered nine habitable worlds, all with life that shares a genetic code entirely alien to any on Earth. Someone has been seeding planets, bringing life to them. But no other sign of the ancient farmers has ever been discovered—until one day they return to the Fifth World. They do not like what they find.

Originally written in 1994, Footsteps in the Sky is finally being released in digital form by Open Road Media.

Kathie's Review:

I really wish I had liked this more. The blurb was interesting as I'm fond of that "first contact" trope. Unfortunately, this book could have been placed anywhere here on Earth where a down-trodden people are used by a large corporation after being offered pie in the sky promises. The writing was choppy and the editing was spotty. Change of POV was offered with no break in the formatting which made it hard to understand who was actually speaking. This cover was odd, too. The people are PEOPLE, not giant mouse people, which is what this cover conveys. AND the aliens don't look anything like this cover, either.

For those who appreciate trigger warnings, at one point there is a sex scene that, while both parties want it at the moment, they only want it because of the drugs they inhaled. Drugs that were forced on them. Some readers were offended by that. There is also a f/f love scenario. It wasn't graphic, but that might bug some people. Didn't bother me. 

I've read lots of reviews for this book (and the author's other books) and people love his writing. Apparently this book wasn't written for this reader. It was all I could do to make myself finish it. This one gets a 1.5 bookmark rating from me. Read some of the other five star reviews to balance it out, you might like this one.

*Thank you, Open Road Media and NetGalley, for the opportunity to read this book.



Greg Keyes was born in 1963 in Meridian, Mississippi. When his father took a job on the Navajo reservation in Arizona, Keyes was exposed at an early age to the cultures and stories of the Native Southwest, which would continue to influence him for years to come. He earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Mississippi State University and a master’s degree from the University of Georgia. While pursuing a PhD at UGA, he wrote several novels, including The Waterborn and its sequel, The Blackgod. He followed these with the Age of Unreason books, the epic fantasy series Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, and tie-in novels for numerous franchises, including Star Wars, Babylon 5, the Elder Scrolls, and Planet of the Apes. Keyes lives and works in Savannah, Georgia, with his wife, Nell; son, Archer; and daughter, Nellah.

Connect with Greg Keyes:



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt

Happy Release Day!!!



Dearest Rogue
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Forever (Grand Central Publishing)

HE CAN GUARD HER

Lady Phoebe Batten is pretty, vivacious, and yearning for a social life befitting the sister of a powerful duke. But because she is almost completely blind, her overprotective brother insists that she have an armed bodyguard by her side at all times-the very irritating Captain Trevillion.

FROM EVERY DANGER

Captain James Trevillion is proud, brooding, and cursed with a leg injury from his service in the King's dragoons. Yet he can still shoot and ride like the devil, so watching over the distracting Lady Phoebe should be no problem at all-until she's targeted by kidnappers.

BUT PASSION ITSELF

Caught in a deadly web of deceit, James must risk life and limb to save his charge from the lowest of cads-one who would force Lady Phoebe into a loveless marriage. But while they're confined to close quarters for her safekeeping, Phoebe begins to see the tender man beneath the soldier's hard exterior   . . . and the possibility of a life-and love-she never imagined possible.

Kathie's Review:

I enjoyed this immensely! While Dearest Rogue is part of a series, Maiden Lane Series, it can be read as a standalone. I did like seeing characters from past books make an appearance, though. 

When the book starts, Lady Phoebe is shopping with her bodyguard, James Trevillion. He's a former dragoon officer whose badly injured leg caused him to find another line of work and he's been her guard for about six months. Guarding the lady has been an easy job so far. That's when he notices four thugs coming at them, in broad daylight, no less! Keeping his cool, he tosses Phoebe on a horse and they gallop away. Instead of falling into a fit of vapors, Phoebe laughs at the speed of the ride. It's been so long since she was on a horse. That's because she's blind. She's been getting there since she was a young girl and the process is now complete.

Her brother, Maximus Batten, Duke of Wakefield (Duke of Midnight), has tried to keep her safe for years. He doesn't want anyone to tease her, or hurt her, or bump her, or harm her, or gossip about her, so he keeps her practically locked up. I would have screamed long before Phoebe came unglued! That was a lovely scene, by the way.

Now that a kidnapper is on the loose, Maximus wants her locked up tighter than ever. Other attempts are made, spies abound, and James decides he has to keep her safe himself. Of course, he also thinks he needs to keep her safe from him. He's quite attracted to her, no matter that he's more than a decade older, he's nearly lame, and he isn't even close to her in breeding. Ah, men...they really need to learn that women let their hearts rule! He doesn't stand a chance, does he? 

I liked how Phoebe, when she grows a backbone, does it with style. As she mentions a couple times, she's blind, not stupid! I totally loved how she didn't do things to get herself into predicaments. Everything that happened felt natural and not forced. That's a skill, and Ms. Hoyt excels at it.

There are twists and turns, secrets revealed, and their relationship flowed well. At one point, I thought I'd have to point out a minor plot point when Phoebe thinks about getting a rooster, so she would know when it was morning by its crowing. We've had a couple roosters who would crow morning, noon, evening...and midnight. That's when Ms. Hoyt had Phoebe mention that some roosters crow all the time, so a rooster wouldn't be that helpful! So glad she knew that, lol. 

While both of these characters are a bit disabled, it didn't keep them from being anything less than fabulous and at ease with themselves. They also didn't wear their impairments like a medal of honor. It was just a part of them. I liked that. When they finally get together, it's not because she's blind and he's lame...it's because they love each other. A totally swoony scene, by the way.

Yes, I enjoyed this very much! I highly recommend Dearest Rogue!
*Thank you, Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley, for the opportunity to read this book.




Elizabeth Hoyt, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical romance, including reader favorite, The Raven Prince. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Born in New Orleans, but raised in the frigid winters of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Elizabeth was fortunate to travel extensively when she was growing up and lived in St. Andrews, Scotland; Oxford England; and Kawasaki, Japan. She went to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she not only earned a degree in anthropology but also met Mr. Hoyt. Some years later, after a short pause to birth and raise two children, Elizabeth realized that she really wasn't qualified to do anything but Make up Stories and started writing.

Elizabeth now lives in central Illinois with a bevy of untrained canines, a garden in constant need of weeding, and, of course, Mr. Hoyt.

Connect with Elizabeth Hoyt:

Website * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter @ElizabethHoyt

Give Up the Ghost by Kelly Moran

Happy Release Day!!!



Give Up the Ghost
(Phantoms #2)

by Kelly Moran

Sometimes the only way to find love is to face death...

Paranormal investigator Kerry Baker has seen it all. But nothing in her work with the Phantoms team prepares her for the most terrifying ghost of all―seeing her doppelganger. Rumored to be a foreshadowing of one's death, the spectre shakes Kerry to the core...sending her into the arms of her best friend and fellow Phantom cast member, Paul Leake, for comfort.
Until a kiss changes everything.
Paul has been in love with Kerry for ages, unwilling to compromise their friendship. As their investigation in a ghost town grows more intense, however, so does the chemistry between Paul and Kerry. With her life in danger and their jobs on the line, giving into their attraction couldn't be a worse idea―and yet they can't bring themselves to stop it. Even if it kills her...

"A gem of a writer."
SHARON SALA, NY Times Bestselling Author


Kathie's Review:

As I said about book one in the series, Ghost of a Promise, I don't read stuff that is scary. This time, again, the hairs on my arms stood up a time or two! I loved that Ms. Moran said in her author's notes that her sisters don't read this kind of stuff either, but they do read HERS. I guess I can be an honorary sister, because I'm with them. The romance is foremost, with the scary bits riding alongside. That's doable, um, readable!

This book continues with the Phantoms TV Show team. Jackson left at the end of the first book, and they have a new person on the team, Cain. It was heavily foreshadowed that Cain and Sammy will be the MCs for the next book, and I'm looking forward to it.

We start with Kerry seeing her doppelganger staring creepily at her from outside her window. She freaks out and Paul (who has been in love with her for six years) comes to help calm her down. He's about at the end of his patience. She just doesn't SEE him. Yes, they are best friends, but he needs her to see him as more. 

The doppelganger opens her eyes. But when Cain, who's read about the phenomenon, tells the crew what the doppelganger foretells, well, they are all beyond worried. Like they need something else to focus on as they research a haunted deserted gold mining town. 

Once again, there are ghostly encounters that were a bit scary! There were also close calls with rattlesnakes and bats. The bat scene? I laughed so hard! So, there aren't just scary bits, whew!

I enjoyed Give Up the Ghost very much. I highly recommend this to lovers of romance...with paranormal fun.

Thank you, Netgalley and Entangled, for the opportunity to read this book.



Kelly Moran is a romance author of enchanting ever-afters. No one who knows her bats an eyelash when she talks to herself. Kelly is the winner of the 2013 Catherine Award, a RT Magazine Readers Choice Finalist, and a Finalist in RWA's 2014 Award of Excellence. She earned one of the 10 Best Reads of 2013 by USA TODAY's HEA. Kelly's interests include: sappy movies, MLB, NFL, driving others insane, and sleeping when she can. She is a closet caffeine junkie and chocoholic, but don't tell anyone. She resides in Wisconsin with her husband, three sons, and her black lab. Most of her family lives in the Carolinas, so she spends a lot of time there as well.

Visit her...

Website: http://www.authorkellymoran.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorkellymoran
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/authorkmoran
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/authorkmoran
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/889378.Kelly_Moran


Monday, May 25, 2015

Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt



Darling Beast 

Maiden Lane #7

by 

A MAN CONDEMNED . . .

Falsely accused of murder and mute from a near-fatal beating, Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne has escaped from Bedlam. With the Crown's soldiers at his heels, he finds refuge in the ruins of a pleasure garden, toiling as a simple gardener. But when a vivacious young woman moves in, he's quickly driven to distraction . . .

A DESPERATE WOMAN . . .

London's premier actress, Lily Stump, is down on her luck when she's forced to move into a scorched theatre with her maid and small son. But she and her tiny family aren't the only inhabitants—a silent, hulking beast of a man also calls the charred ruins home. Yet when she catches him reading her plays, Lily realizes there's more to this man than meets the eye.

OUT OF ASH, DESIRE FLARES

Though scorching passion draws them together, Apollo knows that Lily is keeping secrets. When his past catches up with him, he's forced to make a choice: his love for Lily . . . or the explosive truth that will set him free.

Kathie's Review:

I totally loved Ms. Hoyt's Prince's Series. While I haven't read the earlier books in the Maiden Lane Series, I will have to rectify that! This one was fabulous. I love that tortured hero trope and this one was worth every minute of reading. Apollo can't speak due to a horrible beating he endured when he was falsely imprisoned. He's escaped from Bedlam and is hiding out in a burned out theater and pleasure garden. He's bringing the garden back to it's former beauty, both because he loves seeing things grow, and because he's a part owner. 

Lily is also living in the remaining part of the theater with her son and maid. She's a wonderful actress, but is down on her luck right now. Her son meets Apollo, but because he can't speak, he calls him Caliban, from The Tempest. (Side note, my daughter was just in a rendition of that play, playing one of the five Ariels.) 

Lily and Apollo have a lot in common, but before they can find their HEA, he has to find his voice, discover who really killed his friends, and who framed him for their murders. 

I enjoyed this very much. Ms. Hoyt's characters aren't stupid. They talk about their issues, well, when they have a voice! She doesn't just throw plot devices out there to extend the manuscript. The supporting characters here, her son, the maid, Apollo's co-owners of the pleasure garden and his in-laws are all a joy to read.

Happily, book 8 in this series, Dearest Rogue, comes out tomorrow, 5/26/2015! I'll have my review up then.

I highly recommend this book to lovers of historical romance.






Elizabeth Hoyt, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical romance, including reader favorite, The Raven Prince. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Born in New Orleans, but raised in the frigid winters of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Elizabeth was fortunate to travel extensively when she was growing up and lived in St. Andrews, Scotland; Oxford England; and Kawasaki, Japan. She went to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she not only earned a degree in anthropology but also met Mr. Hoyt. Some years later, after a short pause to birth and raise two children, Elizabeth realized that she really wasn't qualified to do anything but Make up Stories and started writing.

Elizabeth now lives in central Illinois with a bevy of untrained canines, a garden in constant need of weeding, and, of course, Mr. Hoyt.

Connect with Elizabeth Hoyt:

Website * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter @ElizabethHoyt



Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Highlander's Choice by Callie Hutton Cover Reveal


Who doesn't love a Highlander? Check out the cover for Callie Hutton's upcoming release, The Highlander's Choice.


It releases on July 14, 2015


About the book:

The Scottish Highlands, 1815

Lady Sybil Lacey is every inch the proper English gentlewoman. She's horrified to attend her best friend's wedding in the Scottish Highlands—a wedding to a barbarian Scot, no less. For aren't Scots naught but brutish, whiskey-swilling lechers in rough kilts? So to find herself secretly attracted to the tall and devastatingly handsome Scottish laird of Bedlay Castle is quite disconcerting...

Liam MacBride is convinced that English ladies are silly sassenachs who think of nothing but social events and clothes. So why is he intensely drawn to Lady Sybil? All they do is quarrel...until loathing turns into inexplicable lust.

A tempestuous, fiery romance between an English lady and a Scottish laird is quite scandalous enough...but no one is more shocked than Sybil when she discovers her laird is betrothed to another.

Add it to Goodreads


About Callie Hutton:


The USA Today best selling author of The Elusive Wife writes both Western Historical and Regency romance, with historic elements and sensory details (The Romance Reviews). She also pens an occasional contemporary or two. Callie lives in Oklahoma with several rescue dogs, two adult children, and daughter-in-law (thankfully all not in the same house), and her top cheerleader husband of thirty-eight years. She also currently waits with bated breath for the birth of twin grandsons. Callie loves to hear from readers, and would welcome you as a friend on Facebook.

Find Callie Online:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

And don't miss the new covers for the previous books in the series!





Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Falling For his Best Friend by Katee Roberts

Happy Release Day!!!


Falling For his Best Friend
by Katee Roberts

A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...

He's going above and beyond the call of duty...

Avery Yeung's biological clock just went off early. Thanks to her family's medical history, she's running out of time to get knocked up. And the only guy within donating distance? Her overprotective-and irritatingly hot-best friend. So clearly she needs an anonymous donor...

Anonymous donor? Over Sheriff Drew Flannery's dead body. While daddyhood will never be in the cards for a man with his past, Drew won't let Avery shop for a "popsicle pop." He'll do what's right for his best friend by doing his best friend. But only if they do it properly.

But there's nothing "proper" about it. Between the bed, the kitchen counter, and against his squad car, Avery and Drew are having the hottest sex ever. They can't get enough of it-or each other. And without knowing it, they've crossed the one line that could ruin their friendship forever...


Kathie's Review:

I like the best friend to lovers trope, and Ms. Robert did an excellent job with it here. Drew and Avery have been close for years. There was that one moment where they almost took their relationship beyond friends, but they were both worried about losing their friendship if it didn't work out. So they let the moment pass. 

Now that Avery is taking steps to have a baby, without benefit of a relationship, Drew can't stand the idea. There is no way he's going to let her do this alone. He's also not on board with her finding some random guy to father the child she so desperately wants. He'll do the honors...and scratch that itch that always festered where she's concerned.

I do enjoy watching friends turn into lovers, and this one was lots of fun. I also found myself really MAD. Avery's very traditional Grandfather was horrible! Truly awful. I sincerely hope Drew was right and Grandma reads him the riot act. There will be another book in this series (Out of Uniform), I'm sure, and I hope we get to see him get his behind handed to him. 

If you've never read Ms. Robert before, you're in for a treat. I recommend this to those that enjoy contemporary romance.


Thank you, Entangled and Netgalley, for the opportunity to read this book.


Katee Robert learned to tell stories at her grandpa's knee. Her favorites then were the rather epic adventures of The Three Bears, but at age twelve she discovered romance novels and never looked back.

Though she dabbled in writing, life got in the way--as it often does--and she spent a few years traveling, living in both Philadelphia and Germany. In between traveling and raising her two wee ones, she had the crazy idea that she'd like to write a book and try to get published.

Her first novel was an epic fantasy that, God willing, will never see the light of day. From there, she dabbled in YA and horror, before finally finding speculative romance. Because, really, who wouldn't want to write entire books about the smoking-hot relationships between two people?

She now spends her time--when not lost in Far Reach worlds--playing imaginary games with her wee ones, writing, ogling men, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.





Thursday, May 14, 2015

Can't Resist a Cowboy by Elizabeth Otto


CRAC-1600px (2)
CAN’T RESIST A COWBOY
By Elizabeth Otto

 A Paint River Ranch Novel

  He’s always been her weakness…

 Injured and discharged, Marine Levi Haywood has returned to his family’s ranch to heal and start a new life. After all, once a cowboy, always a cowboy. The only problem? Life at the ranch has moved on since he joined the service, and suddenly his role in the family business is much less clear. And things get a lot more confusing when the woman he left behind returns home. Carrie Lynn Waite has never known a time when she didn’t love Levi. They were childhood sweethearts, but because of her health, she was forced to move to the city, away from the ranching life. Now Carrie’s come home only to learn her family’s ranch is in trouble and Levi is back, along with an undeniable attraction she can’t resist. But some things never change, forcing Carrie to choose the future laid out before her…or the cowboy she could never resist.

  Buy Links: Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iTunes * ARe * Kobo   

  About the Author: Elizabeth Otto grew up in a Wisconsin town the size of a postage stamp, where riding your horse to the grocery store, and skinny dipping after school were perfectly acceptable. No surprise that she writes about small communities and country boys. She’s the author of paranormal romance, and hot, emotional, contemporary romance, and has no guilt over frequently making her readers cry. When not writing, she works full-time as an Emergency Medical Technician for a rural ambulance service. Elizabeth lives with her very own country boy and their three children in, shockingly, a small Midwestern town.

FIND THE AUTHOR HERE: @EAOtto Facebook Website Good Reads

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Escape Through the Wilderness by Gary Rodriguez



Title: Escape Through the Wilderness 
Author: Gary Rodriguez
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Pages: 254
Genre: Teens/Children
Format: Paperback/Kindle


Sixteen-year-old Savannah Evans walks with a slight limp thanks to a gymnastics’ accident that dashed her Olympic dreams, but didn’t stop her from attending an adventure camp in Idaho. At Camp Arrowhead, she quickly befriends Jade Chang and Rico Cruz, but Conner Swift taunts Savi because of her injury.

When the four are teamed together for an overnight white-water river rafting adventure, Savi refuses to get in the same raft with Conner. Unfortunately, the director will not reassign her.

A fun expedition down the river turns into a nightmare when their raft slams into a huge rock and their adult guide disappears down the river.

Without their guide and desperately trying to steer an out-of-control raft, they pass the “last chance” marker and enter the larger rapids. With Jade pinned between the raft and a rock, and Rico clinging to a lifeline, Savi must cut the raft free.

When the four drag themselves out of the river, they’re bruised, beaten, lost, and twenty-five miles from camp. Because of late-night campfire tales of Vexel, a vicious animal that roams the nearby woods, Savi and the others are terrified.

Savi becomes the unlikely leader who tries to guide the group back to Camp Arrowhead. Limited supplies, injuries, and the constant threat of Vexel—who Savi fears is stalking them, complicate the harrowing return trip.

Readers will enjoy dramatic survival scenes and the group working together, solving problems, and learning to overcome adversity.


About the Author


My name is Gary Rodriguez, and I live in California. I'm the president of LeaderMetrix Inc., a consulting company that specializes in senior-level executive coaching, organizational development, and conflict resolution.
Previously, I worked for eighteen years in the radio business as an executive where I spent several years as one of the original managers of Infinity Broadcasting.

Following a successful radio career I became the president of a non-profit organization for a season. 

As a young man, I spent a tour of duty in the U.S. Army where I was recognized as the youngest Drill Instructor in the Army's history at age 18 years. I was also awarded the Silver Star (the nation's third highest award for valor) while serving in a combat zone.

Over the past few years, I've written three non-fiction books and then I decided to write a novel.

My first book, Purpose-Centered Public Speaking, was published in 2009 and was re-published this summer (2014). Then I wrote a companion workbook designed to help people implement the principles taught in my first book. Next, I wrote Overcoming The Fear Of Public Speaking. And this past year, I wrote my first novel, Escape Through The Wilderness

For More Information
About the Book:


For More Information

Book Excerpt:


Suddenly, they heard a loud rustling of bushes and branches snapping downriver not far from where they had set up their makeshift camp.

“What was that?” Savi whispered anxiously. “It couldn’t be Vexel, could it?”

“Quiet.” Rico rebuked her with a hush. He raised the tip of his nearly finished spear.

Again, they heard more noise in the woods. This time they knew it was getting closer.



Media Contact:

Dorothy Thompson
Pump Up Your Book
P.O. Box 643
Chincoteague Island, Virginia 23336

    





Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Millionaire Daddy Project by Roxanne Snopek

THE MILLIONAIRE DADDY PROJECT

TMDP-1600px 
 By Roxanne Snopek 
 A Men of the Zodiac Novel 

He takes control...and gives all kinds of pleasure

In the space of about a second, successful restaurateur Dane Bergman has gone from millionaire playboy to daddy. Now he's the sole guardian of a very adorable and willful four-year-old child, and he's counting on his executive assistant, Pamela Atwater, to save his ass. Even if it means bringing her along on a month-long ocean-side retreat...

Pamela Atwater prides herself on being the perfect assistant. Whatever Dane wants or needs, she's there—pretending to ignore Dane's golden charm and drop-dead gorgeousness. On vacation, however, Pamela sees a side of Dane she never imagined. And it's a side that tempts her to cross the line between professional and personal. But is one month enough time to prove to Dane that his perfect assistant might just be his perfect match?

  Buy Links: Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iTunes * ARe * Kobo * Goodreads   

Giveaway:


  About the Author: Stories by Roxanne Snopek are a bit like her life: dramatic, emotional and messy, with dogs, cats and other critters usually underfoot. She believes that the best heroes are cowboys under the surface, even if they deny it. She lives in beautiful British Columbia with her hero of 25 years and whatever kids and pets happen to be around.


TMDP - Banner   

  Excerpt   
“Hello?”
“Dani needs some, uh, personal help,” Dane said, without preamble. “How soon can you get here?”
Surprise left her momentarily speechless. Her boss rarely called her at home and never at such an hour. His voice was scratchy, gravelly, like he’d just gotten up. Or maybe hadn’t gone to bed at all. Like his hair might be mussed, and maybe he was shirtless, too. Definitely not The Great Dane Bergman.
She glanced down at her skimpy outfit and felt warmth flood her cheeks, as if somehow he could see her.
Which was crazy and inappropriate and just wrong.
“Is she okay?”
“Yes, yes,” he said. “She needs…a woman’s…help, that’s all.”
That initial stab of fear turned to irritation at his presumption. Whatever his crisis was, it was his. Not hers.
Pamela walked into her small kitchen and set the kettle on to boil. She wasn’t on the clock. He didn’t have the right to commandeer her personal time.
“Rough first night, I take it?”
“She’s alive.”
“And you?”
“Come on, Pam. I’m desperate here.” He tried for a laugh and that little pretense broke through her defenses. “I know I shouldn’t ask.”
 “Never mind.” She sighed and turned off the kettle. Who was she kidding? “I’m on my way.”
She dressed in record time. When she arrived at his penthouse, he answered the door with a haggard expression and tight lips, ushering her through the door without a greeting. Not that she’d have been able to answer if he had. The man before her was not the polished, in-control Dane Bergman she knew. This man’s hair was a messy, golden tangle that flopped over his eyebrow. His strong chin was shadowed with stubble and the intimate scent of a body still warm from bed surrounded him. He had a shirt on, thank goodness, but it was a thin, soft T-shirt that revealed tan skin and well-defined muscles beneath. Fleece track pants hung low on his hips and his feet were bare.
An intriguing change from the boss image.
Not intriguing. Disturbing. How was she supposed to work with him at the office once she’d seen him like this? And why was he so nonchalant about it? It was as if it didn’t even occur to him that she might be affected, like she was “just Pam” so it didn’t matter if he greeted her half-dressed.
Well, if it doesn’t matter to him, then it doesn’t matter to me, either.
She tore her gaze away. Tell that to the jumping beans cavorting in my stomach.
“What’s the big emergency?” she asked.
“She’s in the bathroom.”
The jumping beans turned to firecrackers. “You called me here because she’s in the bathroom? I can’t believe—”
She whirled around.
He put his hands up, catching her shoulders, holding her in place. “She’s been in there a long time. I don’t know what she’s doing, and I’d like to keep it that way.”
Pamela pulled out of his grip and shook her head, ignoring the way his shirt shifted, revealing the taut belly beneath. Instead of making him seem more human, his state of undress and the strength of his hands underscored his power, his maleness.
Right. A helpless, willfully ignorant male, she told herself. He was using her.
But no. That wasn’t it. She also heard concern in his voice. Dane didn’t do things he wasn’t good at and he hated asking for help.
 She sighed. “Not the way it works, Daddy. But I’ll help you out this time. Go make yourself some coffee. You look like you need it.”

Friday, May 8, 2015

Guardian of Paradise By W.E. Lawrence



Guardian of Paradise
By W.E. Lawrence

In 1888, beautiful but quite capable Kira Wall was living a challenging and enjoyable life in a relatively isolated culture. However, her world gets turned upside down with the arrival of an Australian merchant ship carrying the evil and deceiving Captain Darcy Coleman along with its handsome doctor, Trevor Marshall. Each man, in his own way, possesses the ability to charm and seduce. For the innocent souls of the remote island paradise, including Kira, they are both intoxicating and will, using different methods, test her will to the limit.

After she reluctantly agrees to be Trevor’s guide, things become unraveled when she suspects he is distracting her from the renegade captain who has his own ulterior, “get rich”, motives for being there. Her situation becomes desperate when no one will listen. The evil captain has a devilishly captivating manner, plenty of "modern" goods with which to woo the islanders, and a clever ability to lie his way out of suspicion. He has also brought a new invention, dynamite.





W. E. Lawrence graduated in 1978 from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with a BS in business administration. Despite wishing he had taken more courses in journalism and communications, he has run a successful home health care supplies distributorship for the past twenty-three years.

Passionate about God, writing, reading, family, sports, politics, and America, Lawrence currently lives in Davidson, North Carolina, with his lovely wife and their two wonderful children.

He says:

Hi, my name is W.E. (Bill) Lawrence. I'm a new author who just published a first book on October 3rd of last year. It may be unique in that it is a cross between historical fiction and romance. As a man, I've always enjoyed action adventure stories but wished the love scenes were a lot hotter. I'm curious to learn how many others out there, male and female, who might share my tastes.

Connect with W.E. Lawrence:

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Some Kind of Normal by Juliana Stone



Some Kind of Normal
by Juliana Stone

What is Normal?

For Trevor normal was fast guitar licks, catching game-winning passes and partying all night. Until a car accident leaves Trevor with no band, no teammates and no chance of graduating. It's kinda hard to ace your finals when you've been in a coma. The last thing he needs is stuck-up Everly Jenkins as his new tutor—those beautiful blue eyes catching every last flaw.

For Everly, normal was a perfect family around the dinner table, playing piano at Sunday service and sunning by the pool. Until she discovers her whole life is a lie. Now the perfect pastor's daughter is hiding a life-changing secret, one that is slowly tearing her family apart. And spending the summer with notorious flirt Trevor Lewis means her darkest secret could be exposed.


I wasn't able to read this one. But the marvelous LORI did...here's what she had to say about it and then check out her blog at ficwishes:


Fake Plastic Trees - Lori's Review of SOME KIND OF NORMAL by Juliana Stone

Title: Some Kind of Normal
Author: Juliana Stone
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: 5/5/2015
Source: ARC from Publisher Through Netgalley


Synopsis:
What is Normal?

For Trevor normal was fast guitar licks, catching game-winning passes and partying all night. Until a car accident leaves Trevor with no band, no teammates and no chance of graduating. It's kinda hard to ace your finals when you've been in a coma. The last thing he needs is stuck-up Everly Jenkins as his new tutor—those beautiful blue eyes catching every last flaw.

For Everly normal was a perfect family around the dinner table, playing piano at Sunday service and sunning by the pool. Until she discovers her whole life is a lie. Now the perfect pastor's daughter is hiding a life-changing secret, one that is slowly tearing her family apart. And spending the summer with notorious flirt Trevor Lewis means her darkest secret could be exposed.





Juliana Stone fell in love with her first book boyfriend when she was twelve. The boy was Ned, Nancy Drew’s boyfriend, and it began a lifelong obsession with books and romance.
A tomboy at heart, she split her time between baseball, books, and music-three things that carried over into adulthood. She’s thrilled to be writing young adult as well as adult contemporary romance, and does so from her home somewhere in Canada. 
  


This book was a gamble for me. I've been burned before (as I'm sure we all have) when trying an author for the first time. You never know if you should believe the hype you see online unless you have recommendations from some very specific people that you trust with your reading decisions. Unfortunately, I did not see any of my trusted sources recommending Juliana Stone (although I have seen them since reading this book). When I saw SOME KIND OF NORMAL up on Netgalley, I was immediately intrigued and decided to take a chance. I am absolutely thankful that I did.

Trevor Lewis is recovering from an awful accident that has forever changed his life. More immediately, it has set him behind in school and he is spending the summer with a new Government tutor, Everly.  He has to pass Government in order to graduate so he can move to NYC with his friends and hopefully resume their musical plans. That is if he can get his brain to work properly. Playing the guitar was always Trevor's future, but now it seems more confusing than the Government notes he's supposed to be studying.

Everly is a 'good girl'. Her father is a perfect pastor and her family is also perfect. Or at least that is what they try to present to the world. Everly knows that her father is keeping an enormous secret. She sees through the false cheer her mother wears around her like a cloak. Tutoring Trevor has become her escape from the perfection that is slowly choking her to death.

This was a quick read, but filled with quite a lot of depth. Trevor was a hugely likable character. He was flawed and grumpy. His brain was fighting against him and sometimes it seemed that is was going to win. Trevor was extremely sweet with Everly and I enjoyed their friendship very much.

Everly was overwhelmed by the secrets being hidden in her house. She comes to relish the 'normalness' that hanging with Trevor affords her. While in the beginning of the book she seemed ready to sweep the secrets under the rug and continue the facade that her family was hiding behind, I liked how strong she became and how proud of her family she was when the truth was finally revealed, no matter how much it had the potential to change her life.

I have to state here that I am a pastor's daughter. I have lived through the pressures of presenting a perfect family unit. Unfortunately, communities expect a pastor and his wife and children to be something almost inhuman in their actions and Ms. Stone captured that with amazing accuracy. I think that the expectations are even harder on the pastor's wife than the pastor. I could completely understand the way Everly's mother was attempting to smooth everything over, put I did not like the way she just avoided facing it altogether. And then she all but disappeared when it came time for everything to be revealed. I felt a little like she abandoned Everly when Everly could have really used a mother's presence. 

Overall, I was rather impressed with SOME KIND OF NORMAL and also with Juliana Stone. I know I will be reading her book, BOYS LIKE YOU, very soon.

4 out of 5 Stars


Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees

This song seems to have a lot of meanings according to the internet, but for me it'a about trying to be something you are not. The part that sticks out and relates to this story so well is the lyrics;
"It wears me out. It wears me out"
That is where Everly finds so obviously finds herself, but it is also there that she finds Trevor. 


Burning Desire by Ravyn Rayne



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burning desire by ravyn rayne

 Series: Federal Agent Chronicles #1
 Author: Ravyn Rayne
 Published: May 6, 2015 by Blushing Books
 Genre: Romantic Erotica  

 Saving people is FBI Agent Kaitlyn Rivers drug of choice. That’s not the only thing she loves about her job. The sexual tension is mounting between Kaitlyn and her alpha boss, Agent Joel Connor. Assigned into an undercover operation to stop a serial child abductor with the pathetic Cole Sommers, Kaitlyn is silently thrilled when Cole is forced off the case and Joel steps in. Intense romance, steamy sex scenes, and a nail-gripping case that will attract fans of crime dramas and thrillers. This action-packed erotica is sure to leave you pleased three times over!  

Excerpt

  I swallow anxiously, my heart racing at lightning speed in my chest. "I never do as I'm told. You should know that." We've had our own share of disagreements and butting heads in the past. This feels different, hotter, sexier. I feel my insides ache for release. Will he give it to me or tease me into submission? Joel's hand slides beneath my back. His warm touch startles and arouses me. I feel his leg move between mine and his knee climb closer to my groin, adding enough pressure to elicit a moan. I don't know what will happen tonight and for the moment I don't care. I want him, more than I've ever wanted anything in my life. "Bad girls get spanked," Joel whispers into my ear and flips me onto my stomach. Before I have time to respond or fight back, I feel his hands at my sides pulling down my pants and underwear, just enough to expose my bare flesh. Burning Desire Teaser

  Ravyn Rayne

About the Author Ravyn is a sassy, fun-loving, and adventure-seeking young woman. She loves to travel and can’t wait for her next vacation, wherever it might be. Ravyn writes romantic erotica. She began writing romance novels in college, spending her down time either reading a book or writing fiction. Please don’t make her choose between the two, she loves them equally. Although BURNING DESIRE is her debut romantic erotica novel, it is not her first published book. She has been published professionally since 2013. You can find her other books here. Follow Ravyn: Blog | Facebook | Twitter For less steamy reads, you can follow her here: Blog | Facebook | Twitter


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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Summer's Family Affair (Music City Hearts #3) by Cynthia Gail

SummersFamilyAffair_Banner


Genre: Contemporary

Heat Level: Probably a 3.5 on a scale of 1-5. Open door but tasteful language.


SummersFamilyAffair600
Jenny Cohen defines successful independence: she put herself through college, couldn’t ask for better friends, owns a consulting firm, wears designer clothes, and just moved into her dream home . . . But she’s alone, except for her ailing mother whom she supports in a nursing home. As the marketing consultant for Chester, Dorsey & Tanner, she’s surrounded by male attention. Too bad it’s the overly-protective big-brother type.

Architect, Craig Stone, hasn’t looked at another woman since his wife passed away four years ago. His time is taken—building a career while trying to be both mother and father to his eight-year-old son. But when his appointment with the largest development firm in Nashville is double-booked with a black-haired beauty, he finds himself reaching for new possibilities.

The attraction sets off more fireworks than the Fourth of July. Yet, their relationship is riddled with issues neither one of them expected. Somewhere in the middle they must find a way to compromise or let go of a chance for love they may never find again.

AUTHOR BIO

My husband and I live in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee with our three dogs. When I'm not working or writing, I can be found with family and friends. I love to bake in the winter, grill in the summer, and on occasion, I sneak away from everyone and curl up with a good book.

AUTHOR LINKS



EXCERPT

Craig waited at the bottom of the stairs. He’d escorted Carla from the house without another word and had quickly cleaned up. When Jenny appeared at the top of the steps, his heart began to pound. She wore a pair of formfitting, faded capris, a white cotton dress shirt, and multi-colored low-heeled sandals.

He met her at the bottom step. “I thought we might go by the Predator’s shop this afternoon and pick up new shirts. We need playoff gear.” Standing on that last step, even with her heels, she was barely eye-to-eye with him. He took her face in both hands and read her uncertainty.

“I’m sorry about Carla.” He kissed her forehead, then her nose, desperate to erase the tension. “I never dreamed she’d be so disrespectful. You were marvelous.”

Jenny smiled and eased her hands to his waist. “I’m glad our introduction is over. I hope we can meet on a more even field going forward.”

He wished it were true, but the look in Carla’s eyes when she’d left did little to convince him. “She really is a wonderful grandmother and she’s been so good to me. It’s going to take time for her to accept change.” He just hoped Jenny wouldn’t give up on him.

“I know. I can see that she’s a good person, who loves her family. She wants what’s best for you.”

He kissed her. Squarely on the mouth. Nose to nose. “I owe you another apology.”

“Oh?” She lifted an eyebrow.

“I hadn’t kissed you good morning yet.” His lips touched hers again, as she slid her arms around his waist and snuggled deeper into his hold.

“Well, it’s almost eleven, which means the morning is nearly over,” she whispered into his ear. “You, Mr. Stone, better get busy making it up to me.”

He inhaled her scent as she nipped his earlobe. He went hard instantly. She had no idea what her simple touch did to him. Wrapping his arms around her, he hauled her against his chest, lifted her off the step, and held her in the air. She giggled, her eyes full of amusement, as her feet dangled. She was so intoxicating.

He took her mouth again, with the desperation of a drowning man. Need pouring from his soul. If he could only wake up to this every morning for the rest of his life, he would die a happy man.

All too soon, he knew he had to stop. He hadn’t wanted to get carried away. Okay, honestly, he did want to get carried away, but he couldn’t do that right now. He’d simply wanted to sweep her off her feet.

He slowly lifted his head and whispered into her ear, “Am I forgiven?”

She shook her head and giggled. “I don’t know. When my head stops spinning, I’ll tell you.”

He laughed and set her on her feet. Mission accomplished.

GIVEAWAY

The author is offering $10 Amazon Gift Card to a winner of the Rafflecopter.