Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013!


Name Before the Masses Tour & Giveaway - Healing Notes by Maggie Jaimeson


Welcome to my stop on Maggie Jaimeson's Name Before The Masses Tour for Healing Notes.  Please make sure to leave a comment or question below to let Maggie know you were here.  Maggie will award one autographed cover flat to a randomly drawn commenter at each blog stop. In addition, she will award a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) as a grand prize to one randomly selected commenter on this tour.  You can follow her tour stops here, the more often you enter the better your odds of winning.  

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The Secret to Finding Your Own Happy Ever After by Maggie Jaimeson 


The pursuit of happiness is enshrined in our constitution, but there is not a promise that we will actually find it. In a society where we thrive on instant gratification, is it any wonder that so many people are unhappy or constantly searching for one more thing to make them “truly” happy?

I believe that unhappiness begins with the mistaken belief that we can control the universe and bend it to our will. I’m not sure when that became the norm for me. Certainly as a child I didn’t have that belief. I can only assume that as I conquered one challenge after another, I began to believe if I simply worked hard enough, focused on the goal, and acted in good faith in everything I did, that I could actually control what happened to me. Of course, when I couldn’t, my reaction was to also to take the blame. I blamed myself for divorce (if only I had been more xxx). I blamed myself for getting cancer (if only I had done more of xxx). I blamed myself for a friend’s suicide (if I only I had been more attentive). As a child I blamed myself for a sibling’s death (if I only I had prayed harder) What I had to learn is that bad things happen to good people too. Not everything can be controlled.

Rule number one. Know what you can and can’t control. I had to accept that no matter how hard I work or how many good things I do, it doesn’t always work out the way I planned or hoped. But what I can control is how I react to what happens to me. Blaming didn’t work because it didn’t change anything. But learning about what happened, learning about myself, learning about how to move forward, that is what changes things. So I take control of what I can by learning from them.

Rule number two. When life throws you under the bus, take some time to wallow. Really, it’s okay. We all need to do it. But give yourself a check-in timeline. You, not your family or friends, get to choose what that grief timeline is. For the smaller stuff (a rejection from an agent or editor, a boss telling me I screwed up, a minor car accident, a layoff from a job) I give myself 24-48 hours to scream, cry, watch the most tear-jerking movie ever and not talk to anybody—even my husband—if I don’t want. I deserve a good wallow now and then. If it’s something bigger—death in the family, health problem, divorce—I get longer wallowing time. I can’t tell you how long because it’s different for each event. But I can tell you that if the timeline is more than a week, you have to surface once in a while and at least pretend for a few hours or even a whole day that things are normal. Yes, it will be fake at first, but forcing yourself out of the wallow for a bit keeps you moving forward. If you come to your self-assigned check-in time and still can’t face the world, get help. Whether it’s from a crisis line, a counselor, a pastor, a physician, a friend, just reach out and ask for Help. If you don’t, you’ll get sucked down forever and that’s a horrible place to spend every waking moment.

Rule number three. Choose to be happy. Yes, it is a choice. Just like wallowing is a choice. It’s a harder choice to make but, for me, it is what makes me able to get up every morning. It’s not that I’ve forgotten, or forgiven, every bad thing that’s happened to me. I haven’t. Believe me, I can bring them up at a moments notice. The choice when I wake up every morning is “Do I want to be happy?” or “Do I want to be sad?” That choice informs everything I do that day and how I engage with life. Most of the time, I choose to be happy. By choosing to be happy, my window to the world takes on a nicer glow and I’m able to see opportunities when they present themselves. If I choose to be sad, I see nothing but misery. It’s a choice. Make it.

Rule Number four. Don’t get caught up in the details. So, I didn’t get the forever-love in my first marriage, or my second. I didn’t get the 2.5 kids with my shared DNA. I never got the house with the white picket fence. I’m not wealthy. I will never make the amount of money I made in the 1980’s. I’m not slender. I’ve had several careers—some better than others. But those are details that, in the end, were not what was really important. You see, I live in a home that is more than sufficient for all of my needs. Between my husband and I, we make enough money that I don’t have to worry whether there will be food on the table or a roof over our head. Yes, I finally found my true love and married him (third time’s the charm). Because of him, I was gifted with two amazing step-sons who I love very much. The details I imagined are completely different, but the goal is the same. I’m in loving relationships with good people. But even with all the trappings of happiness I’ve mentioned here, it is not truly why I’m happy.

The Prime Rule, even before Rule Number One. Love Yourself. What I discovered in this long journey was my ultimate goal. My ultimate goal was to love myself for who I am. That is what I learned the hard way. Even with my wonderful, loving parents and the many friends and mentors I have been blessed with in my life, I let myself get lost for a time. I got lost in trying to change myself to make everyone else happy—parents, siblings, husbands, bosses, teachers, children. I call it “pleaser syndrome.” It never worked, because it is really true that happiness comes from within. I can’t control someone else’s happiness (back to rule 1). I had to find myself again and discover what was loveable about me, and believe it was enough. Once I did that, it was much easier to help others. Once I loved the real me, I’ve always been able to find my own happy ever after.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I HOPE YOU FIND HOW AMAZING YOU ARE AS YOUR TRUE SELF AND FIND YOUR OWN HAPPY EVER AFTER.


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Healing Notes 
Sweetwater Canyon, Book 2
by Maggie Jamieson

Publisher: Windtree Press
Release Date: July 26, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-983594-32-1
ASIN: B008PZ6X0I

Pages: 360

Buy Links

For ebooks



Blurb:

Forgiving yourself is the first step, but helping others forgive may be just too hard.

Rachel Cullen grew up in Scotland with a fiddle in her hand from the age of four. She couldn't imagine life as anything but a musician. When her husband brought her to America she was immediately embraced by the Celtic and Bluegrass communities. But after her divorce, Rachel's life is a mess.

A year of trying to prove to herself that she's woman enough for any man, and then a vicious rape while on tour with the band, leaves Rachel reeling. When she meets Noel Kershaw, an English teacher who is poetry in motion, she is definitely attracted. But he has a young child and he's suffering from his own divorce. The last thing Rachel needs in life is more baggage.

First, Rachel must reconcile who she is, what she wants, and how to get there. Maybe then she'll know how to be a part of the family she's always wanted.

Excerpt: 

After she hung up, Rachel stared out at the river behind the house. She had goose bumps along her arms. She could listen to his voice for a long, long time. Why did this man intrigue her so much? Was it just because he didn’t seem interested? Yes, that must be it. He was safe. He had a kid and he wasn’t interested. That meant they wouldn’t get involved.

All conversation stopped as she entered the room and the women looked at her in anticipation. She had the urge to say nothing just to be difficult.

“Soooooo, who’s Noel?” Kat took the receiver from her. “I liked his voice. Sounded real sexy.”

Rachel took a deep breath and pasted a nonchalant smile on her face. “Remember the little girl at the last concert who wanted my autograph? Noel is her father.”

“I see.” Theresa drew out the word as an invitation for more.

“It’s not what you think. It turns out the little girl wants fiddle lessons. Since she saw us play, she’s gotten it in her mind that she wants to learn. He had no idea who to call, so he thought he’d call the main number for the band to find me. He didn’t even think I gave lessons, just that I could make a recommendation.”

“Uh huh,” Michele said, a note of disbelief in her voice.

“But he is cute, right?” Kat insisted. “And you are interested, and something could be going on, right?”

“Wrong.”

“Ah, come on, Rachel. How can you not be interested in that voice?” 

“It’s just fiddle lessons for the little girl. The girl is sweet. I’m happy to work with her. As for the father, nothing is going to happen. Believe me.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Maggie Jaimeson writes romantic women’s fiction and romantic suspense with a near future twist. She describes herself as a wife, a step-mother, a sister, a daughter, a teacher and an IT administrator. By day she is “geek girl” – helping colleges to keep up with 21st century technology and provide distance learning options for students in rural areas. By night Maggie turns her thoughts to worlds she can control – worlds where bad guys get their comeuppance, women triumph over tragedy, and love can conquer all.

HEALING NOTES is the second book in the Sweetwater Canyon Series of four books. The final two books will be available in 2013.


Website: http://maggiejaimeson.com

Blog: http://maggiemeandering.blogspot.com

Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maggie-Jaimeson/118916694787820 

Twitter: @maggiejaimeson



Don't forget to leave a comment or question below to let Maggie know you were here.  Maggie will award one autographed cover flat to a randomly drawn commenter at each blog stop. In addition, she will award a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) as a grand prize to one randomly selected commenter on this tour.  You can follow her tour stops here, the more often you enter the better your odds of winning.  

Friday, December 28, 2012

Online Book Tour, Review & Giveaway - Finding Claire Fletcher by Lisa Regan


Welcome to my stop on Lisa Regan's Online Book Tour for Finding Claire Fletcher.  Please make sure to leave a comment or question below to let Lisa know you stopped by.  You can fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter her giveaway.


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Finding Claire Fletcher
by Lisa Regan

Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing

Release Date: December 2, 2012

Genre: Psychological Thriller/Romantic Suspense

ISBN: 978-1-938404-18-4
ASIN: B00AHJN7BS

Length: 430 Pages 

Purchase Links:

Amazon Paperback        Kindle 

Barnes and Noble           Nook  


Blurb:


Down on his luck, Detective Connor Parks takes solace in the arms of a woman he meets at a local bar, but in the morning, Claire Fletcher is gone, leaving behind clues to a decade-old mystery—her own abduction. Perplexed and driven by an unsettling need to see Claire again, Connor must solve the mystery of her disappearance and find her once and for all.


Excerpt: 


Chapter 1 


I still saw her sometimes-the girl I used to be. She lived behind a locked door in my mind. The door that protected the last secret part of me. The last bastion I had that no one else could infiltrate or overcome. It was locked so securely that no one but me could force or tease it open.

Behind the door, the girl stood on the street corner waiting to cross, shielding her eyes from the sun with one slender hand. She was in the tenth grade and she was on her way to school. She had a backpack slung over her left shoulder. She wore jeans and a yellow cotton shirt.

Behind the door in my mind, I liked leaving the girl suspended on the street corner for as long as I could. Sometimes I just watched her stand there, shielding her eyes, vaguely aware of the cars whizzing by in front of her. She had a slight smile on her face. I wanted her to stay right there on the street corner forever, frozen in her peaceful beauty and teenaged innocence.
But she couldn’t stay there forever, not even behind the secret, locked door in my mind. 

Eventually she crossed the street, walked the 30 feet or so . . . In my mind, however, she didn’t stop when she saw the man crouched next to his car, neck craning to peer beneath it, the backseat door hanging open next to him. In my mind she kept walking.

She never knelt down beside him to look beneath the car as he did, attempting to coax an imaginary but frightened kitten from beneath it. In my mind, the man didn’t smash her head off the door jamb and stuff her stunned, slack body unceremoniously into the backseat. These things never happened to the girl I used to be behind the locked, secret door in my mind.

I envisioned two alternatives for that girl. One was that she stood on the corner, shielding her eyes with one hand and when she stepped off the curb into the street, certain that the way was clear, she was crushed by an oncoming truck and killed instantly. There she lay in the street, limbs twisted and bent at odd angles, her thick red blood congealing on the pale asphalt. Her eyes were fixed upward, blank, unknowing. I liked this scenario because it did not involve the man who unmade her and took everything pure away from her.

The second alternative was that she did not cross the street. She decided to turn left instead of crossing and she avoided the man altogether. And so she went on with her life. She knew nothing of the abject horror she avoided. She was still innocent in that way.

This girl from scenario two lived a parallel life. I imagined that she was out there, still living my life. She went to her proms and high school graduation. She had a boyfriend and went off to college. The very second I thought about her, she was out there living the life I was supposed to live.

Maybe she was making plans to get married or have a child with someone. I liked to think of her that way, as if she still existed in some other dimension. I liked to think that
someday I’d run into her and see in her face that in spite of what I’ve been through the girl I used to be is all innocence and light.

That when she smiles it’s beautiful and not broken.

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BIO:

Lisa Regan is a suspense novelist. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.



ONLINE LINKS:

Website: www.lisaregan.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Regan/189735444395923
Twitter: www.twitter.com/lisalregan @lisalregan 





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My Review 

While a psychological thriller and fictional at heart, Finding Claire Fletcher by Lisa Regan, could easily be mistaken for front page news.  Told from the view point of the two main characters, this tale of a young kidnapped girl, tortured, beaten and repeatedly raped over a period of ten years, is not for the faint of heart.  Brutally frank and captivating in it's depiction of a young woman who refuses to remain a victim, this story grabbed my attention from the first page and never let go.

At the end of a day gone terribly wrong, Detective Connor Parks finds his attention captured by "Claire", an attractive young woman at a local bar.  Divorced and alone for two years, Connor thinks he might get lucky and not spend the night alone.  Realizing Claire is special, and nothing like he thought, Connor and Claire spend the night talking and while he's still attracted to her, he wants to become her friend.  Gone when he wakes up, Connor discovers that Claire is an adult who was a missing teen.  She's also a cold case in his department - finding Claire becomes the most important thing in Connor's life.

Kidnapped, beaten and raped since she was 15, Claire Fletcher refuses to surrender who she is to the monster who took her.  While she's allowed some physical freedom, the monster now shackles her by  psychological means.  Determined to let her family know she's still alive, Claire picks up Connor in a bar and leaves her address behind hoping he'll let them know she's alive.  She never thought he'd be instrumental in her salvation.

While Connor works on Claire's case and tries to locate where she's gone, Claire works at staying alive and keeping the monster away from both Connor and her family.  Ms. Regan lets us get to know both characters by giving us both their actions and their viewpoints.  We also get the brutal and occasionally difficult to read history of Claire's captivity.  I found it easy to connect with both Claire and Connor, they were both well developed and likable characters.  I rooted for Claire to survive and actively waited for her captor's capture or demise.  He was truly a disgusting and despicable monster.

Will Connor be able to locate Claire before it's too late?  And will the police catch up with the monster?  You'll have to read Finding Claire Fletcher to find out.  I loved this psychological thriller and I highly recommend it.

My Rating:  5 out of 5 Stars and a Recommended Read 
  




FTC Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Stops:

12/28  Queen of the Night Reviews   
12/31  Andi's Book Reviews     
1/2  Forget the Housework, I'm Reading..

Monday, December 24, 2012

Virtual Blog Tour & Giveaway - A Song for Julia by Charles Sheehan-Miles



Welcome to my stop on Charles Sheehan-Miles Virtual Blog Tour for A Song For Julia.  Please be sure to leave a comment or question below to let Charles know you stopped by and to enter to win a digital copy of Just Remember to Breathe.  You can also fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter his AWESOME tour wide giveaway. 

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Mini Interview with Charles Sheehan-Miles


Me: You personally served in the Army during a war and currently work in public relations and outreach with disabled veterans. How has your personal experience influenced your writing in regards to the anti-war movement?

Charles: A great deal of the work I’ve done for my entire adult life has been driven by some of the experiences I had in Iraq. The bottom line? War is incredibly destructive, on every level. Regardless of your politics around any particular war, the fact is that the people involved on the ground: soldiers, civilians, and innocent bystanders are always harmed in one way or another.

With regards to the anti-war movement, and specifically those who protested invading Iraq in 2002-2003: I chose that setting for my main characters to meet in A Song for Julia for a number of reasons. First, I’m intimately familiar with the subject, because I was heavily involved with it. So you could say I’m both sympathetic and somewhat cynical about it. I saw both good and bad around the anti-Iraq war movement.

However, while Julia and Crank do meet at a protest in the fall of 2002, the story itself doesn’t center around or focus on the antiwar movement. Rather, it is very much focused on them as individuals, their families, and the personal interactions which drive the story.



Me: What's the best piece of advice you can give to any new parent?


Charles: It’s an interesting question in the context of this book tour. As a parent, I’ve often struggled with fear of failure, with frustration, with not knowing what is the right thing to do. The things I fear, the things that dominate my inner thoughts: that is always what ends up on paper when I’m writing. One of the key themes I ended up writing about in A Song for Julia was the stress of parenting, the unintended consequences of the things we do and say as parents.

Julia and Crank are still very young, both of them 22 years old. She has a distant relationship with her father and a tortuous, hostile relationship with her mother. Crank’s family is split, and considerable focus centers on the difficulties of raising a child on the autistic spectrum.

I think my number one piece of advice: remember your children are themselves: they aren’t extensions of your ambitions and desires. Sometimes, in an effort to protect our kids from making our mistakes, we don’t allow them to make their own.




Me: What can we expect to see from you on the writing front in 2013?

Charles: I’ve got several books lined up, and I’m hoping to complete three in 2013. I’ll be writing at least one more about the same family of women as A Song for Julia and Just Remember to Breathe, followed by another book in my dystopian America’s Future series. After the release of A Song for Julia I’m on a writing break until after New Years, so I can get some reading in for a change! I’ll likely make a decision on exactly what is next on New Years day.


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A Song for Julia
Charles Sheehan-Miles


Publisher:  Cincinnatus Press 

Release Date: December 2, 2012

Pages: 376 

ASIN: B00AHK8MN0

Blurb: 

Everyone should have something to rebel against.

Crank Wilson left his South Boston home at sixteen to start a punk band and burn out his rage at the world. Six years later, he’s still at odds with his father, a Boston cop, and doesn’t ever speak to his mother. The only relationship that really matters is with his younger brother, but watching out for Sean can be a full-time job. The one thing Crank wants in life is to be left the hell alone to write his music and drive his band to success.

Julia Thompson left a secret behind in Beijing that exploded into scandal in Washington, DC, threatening her father's career and dominating her family's life. Now, in her senior year at Harvard, she's haunted by a voice from her past and refuses to ever lose control of her emotions again, especially when it comes to a guy.

When Julia and Crank meet at an anti-war protest in Washington in the fall of 2002, the connection between them is so powerful it threatens to tear everything apart.





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Buy Links: 



 

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Tour Schedule


December 15

Guilty Pleasures 

The Muse Unleashed


December 16 



December 22

I Love Indie Books
JM Harrison



December 23 

Melinda Dozier


December 24 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Virtual Book Tour & Review - One Plus One by Kay Dee Royal


Welcome to my stop on Kay Dee Royal's One Plus One Virtual Book Tour.  Please make sure to leave a comment or question below to let Kay Dee know you stopped by and to enter the giveaway for one digital copy of One Plus One to be awarded to a random commenter on this post.  You can follow Kay Dee's tour here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.


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One Plus One
Kay Dee Royal


Contemporary Erotic Romance


WARNING: Explicit sex scenes 18+

Muse Info/Buy Page

Amazon Buy Page


Tagline: Lacinda and Blade discover more than sexual ecstasy on a lust-filled singles cruise. Winners can’t be losers.





One Plus One Blurb:


Coerced by her friend, Lacinda, a woman crushed by love, winds up on a three-week singles cruise.

Blade, a man of means, discovers Miss Right under the guise of a singles cruise set up by his business partner.

Once Blade focuses his efforts he always gets what he’s after, until Lacinda throws his arrogant reputation back in his face.

Can Blade break through Lacinda’s angry barriers? Will she ever see him as anything more than a player?



One Plus One Excerpt ~



“Lacinda Gainesly,” a steward called her name. She saw the sign he held with her name printed in bright purple. She slipped on the first step leading down onto the ship and stumbled past the steward. The sign dropped from his fingers and his arms latched around her body from behind. His quick reflexes saved her face from biting the deck, but his hands cupped both of her breasts and squeezed. Lacinda threw her elbow back into his side.

“Hey, a little respect for the guy who saved your life.”

Lacinda shrugged out of his grasp. She met his gaze and realized this was the same man who picked her up from her hotel in a long black limo, only then he was dressed in black instead of the white uniform he now wore.

“You’re the driver.”

“I’m a lot of things, like possibly a hero.” His eyes looked as happy as his lips.

She noticed his smile, the same he shared earlier when he asked her questions about why she took the cruise quiz. Lacinda thought he was simply a driver for the cruise company so she shared some of her story. He knew about Alex dying in a car crash on the way to their wedding. She searched her memory for anything else she might have shared which could embarrass her later.

“Alas fair maiden, your chambers await your timely arrival,” he said, faking a British accent. He held his gloved hand out. Lacinda refused it.

“I’m ready for my quarters.” She needed relaxation, maybe take a nice hot scented bath and get prepared for the swing of things, anything to distract her from the past that never left her alone.

“As you wish, my lady,” he said, again with a British accent. The steward turned, led her across the deck, and down a stairway. She saw men and women following other stewards or each other. Once on board everyone began mingling, even flirting, judging by the tinkling female laughter and deep manly chuckles.

“There will be an announcement left under your door regarding tonight’s dinner seating arrangements. May you enjoy your day and make sure you take time for a relaxing massage. There’s always a masseuse available. Their extension is listed beside your phone. You’ll find your room key there as well.”

Lacinda followed him down a narrow hallway until he stopped in front of a door with an elegantly scrolled number 216.

“This is you. May I answer any questions before I go?”

Lacinda dug in her purse for a tip. Clueless on how much was appropriate and not wanting to give him anything. He got his gratuity when he copped a feel of her breasts. 



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About the Author:

Kay Dee Royal writes paranormal and fantasy romance—maybe because it's also her favorite genre to read! She pens tales with wild, rugged heroes and strong, intelligent heroines. She'll give them both a few shadowy secrets, making her stories intriguing and fun. She resides in Southern Michigan with her family (her dogs, her cats, her caged husband... you get the idea). You can reach her at her blog and find the latest on her titles from her publisher, MuseItHot.

http://www.kaydeeroyal.blogspot.com

http://ravencraftrealm.blogspot.com

FB: http://www.facebook.com/kaydee.royal

Twitter: http://twitter.com/KayDeeRoyal

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5227617-kay-dee-royal

Amazon Author Page 




________________________________

My Review 

Secret fantasies, released inhibitions and sex hot enough to melt the paint on your walls, are just part of Kay Dee Royal's erotic romance, One Plus One.  At heart the story of a lonely woman who needs love and fulfillment, it's also a story about letting go and knowing who you are and what you really want.  With likable characters, a lush cruise and island setting, and fantastic chemistry, this is a story to warm any cold winter's night!

Pushed into filling out a revealing questionnaire by her best friend, Lacinda soon discovers she's the winner of a 3 week singles cruise.  Not sure it's really her thing, she finds her family encouraging her to get on with life and live a little.  Thinking she might meet someone she likes, Lacinda agrees to go on the cruise never dreaming she'd meet a man like Blade.

Smart, rich and successful, businessman Blade finds himself agreeing to help his business partner plan a "inhibition free" cruise.  Not realizing it's a setup by his friends, Blake soon finds himself intrigued by Lacinda's answers to their application, Blade decides he wants to be "her plus one" on the cruise.  Already halfway in love with her, he's surprised and delighted when she's even more than he thought possible in person.

The scenes between Lacinda and Blake are smoking hot - their chemistry is truly off the charts.  While they are the main characters and focus of the book, two secondary characters, Maize and Travis play a pivotal part towards them realizing both of their fantasies.  While the character development isn't very deep, it's just enough to let you connect with the characters and the rapid pace of their story.  The scene by the pool is especially hot and one I can't recommend highly enough. 

Will Lacinda and Blake's experience on the cruise be all and more than they hoped for?  Will there be more to their story than meets the eye?  You'll have to read One Plus One to find out.  I really enjoyed this hot romance and hope we get to read more about Maize, Travis and Avery - I think they deserve to have their stories told too!

My Rating:  5 out of 5 Stars 




FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a blog tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.



Please make sure to leave a comment or question below to let Kay Dee know you stopped by and to enter the giveaway for one digital copy of One Plus One to be awarded to a random commenter on this post.  You can follow Kay Dee's tour here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Super Book Blast - The Christmas Dare by Joan Chandler



Welcome to my stop on Joan Chandler's Super Book Blast for The Christmas Dare.  Please make sure to leave a comment or question below for Joan to let her know you stopped by.  Joan will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card, winner's choice, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  You can follow her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.  


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The Christmas Dare
by Joan Chandler

Published by: BookStrand 
Release Date: December 19, 2012

Word Count: 43,627

Buy Links:


Amazon     B&N       Bookstrand


Blurb:

Self-professed Christmas addict Gia Dixon, and by-the-book Ethan Castle have been best friends all their lives. When tragedy strikes Ethan’s family, Gia’s the rock he depends on to pull him through the darkest days. Then, a shared, long-forgotten memory leads to an unexpected yet tender kiss. Can a simple Christmas dare help them find true love?



Excerpt:


She made a face at him as she prepared to get out of the car, and then flipped around to her knees to reach between the seats to gather up her packages. As she pulled everything forward through the gap, she leaned over to kiss his cheek.

He caught her by surprise when he turned to face her, causing their lips to meet. Her eyes widened, while his turned dark.

“Gia,” he said, the name coming out of his mouth in a low rasp.

She closed her eyes but didn’t move. She couldn’t speak. Then she sensed when he was about to kiss her again. She tilted her face up to receive it, her lips parting to let him know she wasn’t opposed.

Ethan put his hands on either side of her head, his long fingers wrapping around to bury themselves in her thick, blonde hair. “Gia,” he whispered again as he closed his mouth over hers and slipped his tongue inside. She twirled hers around it, gently sucking. They were lost in the moment, oblivious to whether anyone else was around or not. They forgot where they were. They even forgot who they were. And in their place, these two sensual, passionate creatures tangled their arms around each other and kissed as if their lives depended on it.

Finally, Ethan sighed and pulled back a little. “Tell me that this is okay with you. Please say that it is.”

Gia had trouble finding her voice, so instead she pulled his mouth to hers again and greedily kissed him. When it ended, she asked breathily, “Does that answer your question?”



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Joan Chandler is a Florida native who has lived in the Deep South all of her life. She is married with two children who are her pride and joy. She lives a double life of sorts, holding down a nine-to-five job during the day, and writing steamy romance at night—often with her black cat curled up in her arms as she types. 

When she’s not spending her spare time working on her next novel, she loves to go camping, sharing girls’ night out with her friends, walking her two dogs, and watching football.

BLOG: www.joanchandler.wordpress.com

Twitter account: @joanchandler1

Find me on facebook: Joan Chandler

Previously published works are Perfectly Imperfect, and No Regrets. Both are available at:

Bookstrand.com: http://www.bookstrand.com/joan-chandler

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=joan+chandler

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/joan-chandler?keyword=joan+chandler&store=allproducts

Please make sure to leave a comment or question below for Joan to let her know you stopped by.  Joan will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card, winner's choice, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  You can follow her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning. 

Winner - Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop




 And the Winner is...........


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Book Blast & Giveaway - Winter's Magic by Cynthia Gail



Welcome to my stop on Cynthia Gail's Book Blast for Winter's Magic. Please make sure to leave a comment or question below for Cynthia to let her know you stopped by. Your comment will also enter you into Cynthia's Tour Wide Giveaway where she'll be awarding three randomly drawn commenters one of three prizes: a $10 Starbucks GC, a $10 Amazon GC, and a $10 Soul Mate Publishing GC during the tour. You can follow her tour stops here, the more often you comment the better your odds of winning.


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Winter's Magic 
by Cynthia Gail

Series: Music City Hearts, Book 1 

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing

Release Date: October 24, 2012

Length:  174 Pages

ASIN: B009WEFVLI

Buy Links:

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Soul Mate Publishing



Blurb:
Beth Sergeant and Nick Chester come from opposite ends of the social food chain. While he sees a rare beautiful woman without an agenda, she sees a wealthy playboy. Can he convince her to let go of her insecurities and take a chance on love, when challenges from his past force her to reveal her most guarded secret?

Owner of La Bella Vita, a five-star day spa nestled in the affluent suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, Beth Sergeant knows her elite clientele first hand. She attended their private schools. She was even engaged, although briefly, to one of their most recognized bachelors. But she never fit in to their social-elite world.

After losing his parents to a car accident at a young age, Nick Chester was raised by his grandfather, the wealthiest man in Nashville. When he chooses to socialize, he has a never-ending list of exclusive events and beautiful women vying for his attention. Yet he never lets himself forget that everyone has an agenda.

Beth can’t resist Nick’s charm and accepts an invitation to dinner, despite her deep-seated insecurities. She proves she’s nothing like other women Nick's dated and learns to trust him in return. But just as the last of their resistance crumbles and true love is within reach, challenges from Nick's past threaten to destroy everything and force Beth to reveal her most guarded secret.



Excerpt:


Beth made her way over to the tree to get a closer view. Several handmade pieces intermingled with the sparkling crystal ornaments and gold strands of glass beads. She fingered the row of cotton balls that ran along the edge of a red felt Santa hat. On the top, in glitter writing, it said 1982. “Who made these?”

Nick laughed, but when she turned her head, she caught a hint of sadness in his eyes. “I made them with my mother when I was in grade school. Every year, on the first day of holiday break, we would go to the craft store and buy materials to make a dozen ornaments.”

“A dozen?” She wondered how a person ever got over losing a parent, much less losing both. Or if you even could. And his poor grandfather, losing a child ... Her chest tightened at the thought.

“One for our tree at home, one for Grandfather’s, several neighbors, and the mailman. And I’ll never forget Mrs. Sawyer at the bakery. She used to give me a free cinnamon roll when I came in with my grandfather.”

“We weren’t very crafty at my house. But Mom and I would bake like a storm. Candy, cookies, fudge. We always took packages to our neighbors on Christmas Eve, right before we went to church for Midnight Mass.”

“Do you still go?” The reflection of the tree lights sparkled in his eyes as he spoke. At this very moment, he didn’t look, or act, like the city’s most eligible bachelor. She could feel her resolve slipping. She needed Jenny.

“I haven’t been in years. In fact, I don’t think I’ve been since I graduated high school.”

“I haven’t, either. You can imagine my surprise when Grandfather asked me to take him this year.” He glanced back at the tree. “Would you like to come with us?”



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Home is where you hang your hat. A native Missourian, my family relocated twice during my teenage years, taking me from a high school freshman class of over 1,200 students to living in a small town in Kentucky with a total population of less than 1,000.

Home is where your heart is. Despite the culture shock and challenges of those shy, teenage years, I met my true love in that tiny town and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to experience a community where everyone waves, calls you by name, and treats you like family.

My husband and I live in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee with our eighteen-year-old son and 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.

I hope you enjoy my stories. Each one touches on modern day issues, fears, and challenges that women face every day. And each one illustrates that love is within reach if you let down those walls and allow your heart to open. Our lives and experiences are so much more meaningful when we have someone to share them with.


LINKS: 


Twitter http://bit.ly/VXuYZx

Facebook http://bit.ly/RnxlBC

Website http://cynthiagail.com




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Review 


If you're like me and like a little extra romance during the holidays, than look no further than Cynthia Gail's Winter's Magic.  With likable characters, a light touch of humor and good dialogue, this well paced story made for an entertaining afternoon.  The first book in the Music City Hearts series, I felt this was the perfect start.

Beautiful, smart and hard working, Beth Sargeant is the owner of a successful new spa.  While her career keeps her busy, Beth would love to have a man in her life that's more exciting than spending the night with a bag of Caramello bars.  Meeting the most eligible bachelor in town could be just what she needs, finding out he's been dating your high school nemesis is a classic example of her bad luck.  

Listening to his grandfather's advice, Nicholas Chester decides to check out a new spa.  When he meets the lovely owner she's much more than he expected.  Discovering she's the daughter of his deceased mother's best friend is a lovely surprise, falling in love with her was more than he expected.

The scenes between Beth and Nicholas are well written and entertaining.  Determined to take things slowly, Beth soon realizes Nick is the man of her dreams while Nick realizes Beth is the woman he's been waiting for all of his life.  While Ms. Gail did a good job developing both characters, I felt the romance was a little bit rushed.  

Will Beth trust Nicholas enough to trust him with her secret?  Will Nicholas past come back and ruin the chance he has at happiness?  You'll have to read Winter's Magic to find out.  

My Rating :  3 out of 5 Stars 

FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.




Please make sure to leave a comment or question below for Cynthia to let her know you stopped by. Your comment will also enter you into Cynthia's Tour Wide Giveaway where she'll be awarding three randomly drawn commenters one of three prizes: a $10 Starbucks GC, a $10 Amazon GC, and a $10 Soul Mate Publishing GC during the tour. You can follow her tour stops here, the more often you comment the better your odds of winning.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Name Before the Masses Tour & Giveaway - Negotiating Skills by Laurel Cremant


Welcome to my stop on Laurel Cremant's Negotiating Skills Name Before the Masses Tour.  Please make sure to leave a comment or question below to let Laurel know you stopped by.  Your comment will also enter you in Laurel's Tour Wide Giveaway where she'll be awarding either one $10 Amazon Gift Card, one 4GB USB drive or an "I Heart Dr. Who" mug to three randomly drawn commenters. (US ONLY)
You can follow all of her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning. 



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Guest Blog Post - Interracial Romance - "You've Come A Long Way Baby" by Laurel Cremant
When I was in high school and college I could barely find any interracial romance books. That didn’t keep me from reading any of the mainstream romance though. I love romance period, but have to admit that I wanted to read about characters more like myself. Thankfully, nowadays I know that no matter what bookseller I go to (whether online or brick and mortar) I will find my favorite interracial books and authors. I love that! And let me clarify, that by interracial romance I’m referring to all races. It’s no secret that the black/white interracial romances have received a huge boost in readership over the last few years, but I love seeing more and more books with main characters of all racial backgrounds.

However, one of my biggest pet peeves when interracial romances finally became more mainstream was the fact that many writers made race a third character in the romance. Unless it’s an historical romance that really tends to annoy me. There are so many other things that can be used as conflict and frankly using race (I think) is a cop out, especially during a time when interracial couples are no longer a rare thing. All of that being said yes, the genre has indeed come a long way :).

Not too long ago it was more than a little difficult for authors with interracial main characters to even get published, but through strong readership support the genre is finally being recognized. Readers want to be able to connect with the characters and stories in the books they read, so the age of monotone racial characters is slowly fading away. I myself am in an interracial marriage and it makes my heart happy to know that if I have children, they won’t have dig around and search for characters that look like them.

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Negotiating Skills
by Laurel Cremant

Published by Laurel Cremant
Release Date: August 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0985823-40-5
ASIN: B00905DHEC

Length: 78 Pages
Words : 23,437

Buy Links: 



Blurb: 

Witnessing a private act leads to some interesting negotiations. Software programmer Veronica James is struggling to make her new business a success. After finally landing a major account, she’s at risk of losing it all when she catches her new client Victor Rossi in a very compromising position. 

In an effort to regain the upper hand, Rossi insists on some sexy and compromising concessions from her that have Veronica reconsidering her hard fast rule of not mixing business with pleasure.

Excerpt: 


When they were all gone she counted to ten, glanced at Rossi’s smirking face, and counted to ten one more time before dropping her hand to her lap grasping his meandering hand in a tight grip.

“I’m not drunk,” she said, wincing only slightly when she heard the slight slurring of her words.

Victor raised a dark eyebrow at her slurred declaration and made no move towards removing his hand from beneath her skirt. 


“In the past few hours I’ve seen you put enough liquor away to put any frat boy to shame,” he said.

“Whether you believe it or not, you’re drunk,” he continued not bothering to hide his smirk.

“Well if that’s the case, wouldn’t you consider this taking advantage of me,” she said glaring at him and then glancing pointedly down at her lap. 

“Hmm, you have a point there,” he said. He leaned forward and placed a finger from his free hand, beneath her chin, drawing her head up to meet his gaze.

“I tell you what,” he said. “I’ll trade you for it.”

“Trade me? There’s no trade or negotiation here,” she said glaring at him.

“Come on Veronica, where’s the fun in that,” he said chuckling softly.

“How about a friendly drinking game at the very least or a game of Truth or Dare instead” he asked.

“Are you on drugs,” asked Veronica scathingly, “What part of your tiny little brain thinks I want to be here right now?”

“Okay Truth or Dare it is. I’ll go first. I choose dare,” he said ignoring Veronica’s cutting remark.

“How about you just move your hand and I decide not rip you a new ass hole,” she seethed.

“Okay,” said Ross, smiling softly at her.

Veronica felt Rossi’s hand flex underneath her skirt. She released her grip on him to allow his hand to withdraw.

“Dare accepted,” he said.

Veronica saw a gleam brighten his eyes and before she had a chance to voice a protest, she felt his unhindered hand plunge forward.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:



Laurel is a romance author, who like most writers loves to read. Her first love (pun intended) has always been romance. From the sappy YA romance novel to the more risqué erotica novels, Laurel is a sucker for a good love story.

Laurel writes paranormal and contemporary romance and is a self proclaimed, out of the closet nerd. She admits that she can't seem to avoid adding a bit of "nerdology" or "geek-dom" to all of her books. Living in Miami, she also admits that she can't seem to avoid giving her heroines gorgeous shoes, "In Miami, we worship everything strappy, open toed and just plain hot!"

AUTHOR WEBSITE & LINKS: 
www.LaurelCremant.com
https://twitter.com/LaurelCremant 

http://www.facebook.com/LaurelCremant


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 Review

With just the right amount of sexual and emotional heat, Laurel Cremant's Negotiating Skills makes for a hot and very satisfying afternoon delight.  A multicultural romance with well developed characters, Ms. Cremant's story is an interesting twist on the age old problem of what to do when you are both physically and emotionally attracted to the person who's the boss.  Snappy dialogue and just a touch of humor make this an enjoyable and page turning book. 

Smart, beautiful and a talented programmer, Veronica James has moved to Miami to begin her own business.  Determined to succeed, she's interested in snagging a large client to both stabilize her income and be a drawing card for other large businesses.  Finding out Victor Rossi's company needs the kind of help she's willing to offer is a dream come true......finding the man personally attractive and desirable is an unwanted distraction.  

Wealthy and extremely successful, Victor Rossi is used to getting things his way.  When an outside contractor leaves his company with a half done project, he's in need of outside assistance.  Being approached by a new and upcoming company is to be expected......falling in lust with it's owner....not so much....especially when she makes it clear she's not interested in mixing business and pleasure.

What begins as a simple business negotiation between Veronica and Victor soon becomes much more when their emotions and bodies want to get involved.  While this is a fairly short and rapidly paced story, I felt Ms. Cremant did an excellent job letting us get to know her characters and developing their emotions towards each other.  While neither character is looking for a relationship, it soon becomes clear they're the perfect match for each other - both in the boardroom and in the bedroom.

Will Veronica and Victor negotiate more than just business?  Will they get the HEA they both really need?  You'll have to read Negotiating Skills to find out.  I really enjoyed it and I think you will too.


My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Stars 




FTC Disclosure:  The review site purchased the copy of the book reviewed.  No financial remuneration was exchanged.



Please make sure to leave a comment or question below to let Laurel know you stopped by.  Your comment will also enter you in Laurel's Tour Wide Giveaway where she'll be awarding either one $10 Amazon Gift Card, one 4GB USB drive or an "I Heart Dr. Who" mug to three randomly drawn commenters. (US ONLY)
You can follow all of her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.