Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A visit with Jennifer Bernard, author of All of Me

It is my extreme pleasure to welcome the lovely Jennifer Bernard today. Jennifer's new book, All of Me, is out today!! Pick it up and get to know the characters from her brand new series - Love Between the Bases.

Take it away, Jennifer!

Let’s talk names!

Maybe it’s because I was given the most common name of my generation – Jennifer – but I’m obsessed with names. In my 3rd grade science unit, I named my mealworms Genevieve, Colette and Marie-Claire, as if they’d just stepped off the plane from Paris. Now that I’m an author, I spend a ridiculous amount of time figuring out my characters’ names. Since people don’t name themselves, I actually spend time thinking about my heroes’ parents, and why they would choose one name over another. Is it a family name? Something more fanciful? What’s its meaning? What does it represent to the proud new parents?

So … Caleb and Sadie from ALL OF ME. Why? Caleb was easy, and for once I didn’t overthink it. A friend’s daughter sent us a “save the date” magnet for her wedding to a man named Caleb. Every time I opened the fridge, I’d see “Caleb,” and I didn’t get sick of it. I figured that was a good sign for writing a book in which I’d have to see the name hundreds of times.

Sadie was tougher. Her original name was “Rowena” because I had conceived her mother as overly romantic. But her family backstory changed completely, her mother became more of an abandoned depressive, and Rowena no longer made sense. I searched hard for a name that would appeal to a woman who’d had an affair with a salesman, who was about to become a single parent, who worked at Kroger and loved reading about celebrity culture. Sadie popped into my mind from the Beatles song (Sexy Sadie), and right away it felt right.

When I looked it up and discovered it meant “Princess,” I knew it was perfect. Of course Brenda Merritt would look at her daughter as a princess, hoping her cheating out-of-town salesman would feel the same way and be drawn back to Kilby. Before I completely committed to the name Caleb, I looked it up too. My favorite meaning is “whole-hearted.” Could anything be more perfect for the hero of a book titled ALL OF ME?

Caleb and Sadie – it’s destiny!

Are characters’ names important to you when you’re reading a book? Is there a name you’ve always wanted to see but haven’t yet?


Excerpt from ALL OF ME

Caleb made her lose her head, plain and simple.

Sadie rested her forehead against his chest, amazed all over again by the firmness of his toughened muscles. The heat of his body contrasted with the cool water in the most heavenly way. “Maybe I didn’t think this all the way through.”

“Are you telling me a dumb baseball player got the better of a brilliant future law student? Nah.” He bent his head so he could nuzzle her hair. “You smell nice. Like water lilies.” 

She smelled hot man, mixed with lake water and sun-baked mesquite. Somehow they’d drifted away from the gravelly edge, so the stench of mud wasn’t as prominent. She felt so dreamy and secure, held tight in Caleb’s arms as they floated aimlessly in the lake. He grinned down at her, the light reflected off the lake water turning his eyes a soft, clear blue. Sun glinted in his hair, spangled with crystal drops of water. He really was a remarkably beautiful man. Everything seemed to still while she soaked in the details of his powerful physique, his rawboned handsomeness, the flash of vulnerability in his eyes. 

She could really lose herself in him. Completely and utterly. Never before had she felt anything close to that. 

“Dream on,” she told him, and flipped out of his arms. She dove under the surface, letting the slide of water through her hair and across her body wash away the effects of that alarming moment. 

She’d always loved to swim, and it took only a few moments to put distance between herself and Caleb. But he wasn’t a professional athlete for nothing, and within moments he was splashing in her wake. 

Shrieking with breathless laughter, she flung herself backward, as if onto a watery couch. He grabbed an ankle, and she flipped to her stomach, kicking hard. But it was no use; she felt herself being inexorably pulled toward him, his wonderfully big hands reeling her in. 

And then there she was, snuggled against his chest again. It rose and fell with his rapid breaths. 

“There, that’s better,” he said with satisfaction, the words rumbling against her ear. “I kinda like this whole fishing thing.” 

“No fair, I got distracted,” she protested, turning her body in the circle of his arms so she could see his face. Water streamed from his hair, down his neck to his wide shoulders. His eyelashes clung together, so his eyes looked bluer than ever. “I’d forgotten how much I love swimming in this lake.”

“It’s starting to grow on me too. Or at least something is.” 

She giggled, and then, as a grin split his face, started laughing. As he watched her something shifted in his expression. His goofy smile vanished, replaced by an intent, hungry look. His head lowered, eyes glittering. The rest of the world receded, so only his face remained, coming closer and closer to hers, his mouth reaching for her …   

Oh wow. He was going to kiss her. 

And then he was kissing her. His lips burned against hers, sending pure shock throughout her body. Kisses didn’t feel like that. They didn’t turn your lips to fire, they didn’t liquefy your lungs so you could barely breathe. They didn’t make you dizzy. 

She pulled away with a gasp, still in his embrace, their faces close enough so she felt his quickened breathing. Caleb looked just as stunned as she felt, his eyes gone dark and gray as a hurricane. For a long moment the two of them just stared at each other, poised on the edge of the unknown. Water lapped against her hips, and a breath of air kissed her shoulder. Everywhere her body touched Caleb’s, heat seared. 

And then they were on each other again. He seemed to consume her, exploring her mouth with long sweeps of his tongue that left sparkling trails of heat in their wake. He tasted so wonderful, like summer days, like fireflies and bicycling down dusty back roads, like every time she’d laid on her back in a meadow and dreamed about the future. 

Little whimpers rose from her throat. She pulled her mouth from his, her cheek brushing across his stubbly chin, its roughness sending more shocks through her. His grip loosened and she slid down his body until she stood on the lake bottom, pressed against him from head to toe. The huge bulge in his briefs made her feel a little faint. 

“Sweet Jesus,” he whispered as she nibbled on his jaw. She couldn’t help it; she wanted to eat him up. “You’re making me crazy. We can’t do this here.”

“Shh.” She didn’t want to talk. She wanted this all-consuming, crazy conflagration that she’d never even imagined before. Tugging at his shoulders, she rose on tiptoe, brushing her lips against his again. With a heartfelt groan, he gave in.



All of Me
Love Between the Bases # 1
Jennifer Bernard
May 26th, 2015
Avon

Buy Links: Amazon - B&N - BAM - iBooks - Kobo
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Jennifer Bernard, the USA Today bestselling author of the Bachelor Firemen series, scores another homerun with a brand-new series about sexy, single baseball players.

Playing for the Kilby Catfish is hotshot pitcher Caleb Hart’s last chance to salvage his career after a major league meltdown. But the day of his opener with the minor league team, Caleb strikes out with the gorgeous woman who is delivering a petition to run the unruly Catfish out of town. Now to stay in the lineup, Caleb will need to score big with the feisty brunette he can’t keep out of his thoughts.

After the nasty lies Sadie Merritt’s rich ex-boyfriend spread about her all over town, she’s lucky to have a job at all. She can’t afford to screw it up by falling for the player who is supposed to be helping her change the image of the fun-loving Catfish. But that’s easier said than done when Caleb’s voice alone is enough to make her pulse race. And when he surprises her with a mind-blowing kiss, she knows there’s no turning back.



Jennifer Bernard is the USA Today bestselling author of the Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriels series. She is a graduate of Harvard and a former news promo producer. The child of academics, she confounded her family by preferring romance novels to … well, any other books. She left big city life for true love in Alaska, where she now lives with her husband and stepdaughters. She’s no stranger to book success, as she also writes erotic novellas under a naughty secret name not to be mentioned at family gatherings.

Jennifer's Links




Saturday, May 23, 2015

Spotlight & Excerpt from Smother by Lindy Zart

Smother
Lindy Zart
May 12, 2015
Romantic Suspense

Buy Links: Amazon US - Amazon UK - Amazon CA
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You won't like me.
I am not the nice girl.
I am not your friend.
I don't care about you, but most of all, I don't care about me.
Go ahead, hate me.
We all have secrets.
I have them as well—dark, terrible secrets.
The only time I can breathe is when I forget.
I need to be numb. You don't want to know how.
But as long as I can breathe, the past cannot smother me.






Smother
© 2015 Lindy Zart

When she reached the door at the back of the shop, Reese tried the doorknob, not really sure if she would find it locked or unlocked because she'd never tried it before. It wasn't locked. She blinked, surprised that her confrontation wouldn’t be delayed. Then she pounded up the steep carpet of stairs and stared at the white door at the top of them.

Out of breath and heart pounding so hard she felt it through her chest, she raised a fist to the door and went to town, banging all of her frustration into the woodwork. It flew open and the air was knocked from her lungs for another reason entirely. Her mouth went dry and she swayed backward, Leo's quick grab saving her from a fall down the stairs.

He yanked her into the apartment by the front of her shirt and kicked the door shut behind her. Then he crossed his arms and stared. She was staring as well. Reese had never seen him without his shirt on. She couldn’t pretend it wasn’t a notable sight, or that her body didn’t respond to it. His shoulder muscles alone were impressive, but then there were the cuts to his biceps, the chiseled pecs and abs, all covered in black ink.

Reese tried to swallow and couldn't. She stared intently at the artwork, wanting to decipher it. She decided she'd need her brain functioning better than it presently was to attempt such a thing. Big muscles were not her thing—she was prone to go for lanky, lean frames. That tidbit was forgotten as her eyes went up and down the tattooed body before her. It was impossible not to appreciate the beauty of it.

Leo was the equivalent of a dark warrior on an unending, unknown quest, regardless that other than the ink that stained his upper body, there was nothing dark about his looks. From his light brown hair to his gray eyes to his pale skin, he should be forgettable, but there was more to him, something that made him stand out. It was an inconsistency, like all of him, and all of her. And the two of them.

“Better be good,” he growled. “Not even eight in the morning.”

“Funny, I pictured you as a person who got up at the first sign of dawn to not be wasteful of any second of daylight.”

“Thought wrong.”

She forced her eyes from his body and up to his light gray eyes instead—the eyes that judged her from the recesses of her mind when she least wanted. She went on the defensive as she remembered why she was here. “I don't appreciate you having people check up on me. It's none of your business what I do or don’t do.”

One pale brown eyebrow lifted. “No smoking in the building.”

She sputtered for a bit before she could get words out. “I wasn't smoking in the stupid building! And if that isn't the most lame ass answer I've ever heard of for trying to justify having me hauled from a party! I was drinking. I'm twenty-four. I can drink. Unless there's a rule against that too?”

Reese poked a finger against his hard chest and tried not to get distracted by the smoothness of it. “You may own the apartment building I live in, but you don't own me. Don't do that again.”

She spun away from him and reached for the doorknob when he said quietly, “If you can't be responsible for yourself, then you have no right to be upset when others are.”

Stiffening, Reese digested the fact that he'd spoken a full sentence to her for maybe the first time, and then she mulled his words over. It was on the tip of her tongue to tell him he could shove his apartment and this job right up his ass, but then what? Then she would be jobless and homeless once more. Whether she liked it or not, he did have power over her.

Reese’s lips were trembling, but she somehow managed to keep her voice steady as she said, “I'm not your responsibility.”

“Sure about that? Seems like you are.”

In this moment, Reese hated Leo Chavez.



Check out the awesome trailer for Smother!



Lindy Zart is the USA Today bestselling author of Roomies. She has been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two sons, and one cat. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work. She also has a completely healthy obsession with the following: coffee, wine, Bloody Marys, and pizza.

Lindy's Links

Friday, May 22, 2015

Reckless by Kimberly Kincaid - Cover Reveal!

Tasty Book Tours is THRILLED to Reveal the cover for Book One in the upcoming Rescue Squad Series by Kimberly Kincaid.....RECKLESS


RECKLESS
Rescue Squad #1
Kimberly Kincaid
Releasing Jan 26th, 2016
Zebra, Kensington Books


SOMEONE’S BOUND TO GET BURNED…

Zoe Westin may be a fire captain’s daughter, but feeding the people in her hometown of Fairview is her number one priority. Running a soup kitchen is also the perfect way to prove to her dad that helping people doesn’t always mean risking life and limb. But when she's saddled with a gorgeous firefighter doing community service after yet another daredevil stunt, the kitchen has never been so hot.

Alex Donovan thrives on adrenaline, and stirring a pot of soup doesn’t exactly qualify. He’s not an expert at following the rules either, not even when they come from the stubborn, sexy daughter of the man who's not only his boss, but his mentor. Determined to show Zoe that not every risk ends in catastrophe, Alex challenges her both in the kitchen and out. One reckless step leads to another, but will falling for each other be a risk worth taking, or will it just get them burned?

Pre-Order Now
Amazon | B&N | iBooks


A Special Note from Publisher

Kimberly is releasing JUST ONE TASTE, A Pine Mountain Novella on May 26th, 2015. Kensington Books is offering a fun exclusive deleted scene to anyone who pre-orders the novella!  Just sign up here, http://sites.kensingtonbooks.com/justonetaste/, and you will be emailed the deleted scene from JUST ONE TASTE!


A little home improvement can go a long way…

Jesse Oliver was a medic in Afghanistan, but back home in Pine Mountain he’s happy to switch gears as the Double Shot bar’s new sous chef. When his apartment floods and his old Army buddy offers the family’s dilapidated lake house as temporary quarters, Jesse thinks a little remodeling on the creaky duplex sounds like a fair return favor. That’s before he sets eyes on the gorgeous woman moving into the other side of the cabin—and discovers she’s his buddy’s kid sister, a.k.a totally off limits.

Kat McMarrin has fought hard for her space, and she’s not too interested in sharing it. Of course, her job as a physical therapist means she won’t see much of Jesse, even if he’s a few thin floorboards away—unless she seeks him out. And with his sculpted body and slow-burn gaze, she might be tempted. Maybe the fixer-upper projects she has planned for the cabin will keep her mind off him. Or maybe her instincts to strip the place down will get out of hand…

Pre-Order Now



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she's not sitting crosslegged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber,” she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to √©clairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a 2011 RWA Golden Heart® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. She resides in northern Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.



Thursday, May 21, 2015

Review of The Wedding Gift (Save the Date #3.5) by Cara Connelly

"Keep running away from me and I'm gonna think you don't like me." - Mick McKenna

The Wedding Gift
Series: Save The Date #3.5
Author: Cara Connelly
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Release Date: May 5, 2015

Buy Links: Amazon - B&N - iBooks - Kobo
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What's the New-Jan-Plan? Discover the answer in Cara Connelly's newest Save The Date Novella, and see how mousey Jan Marone gives herself the gift of living, laughing, and finally loving … all under the hot Key West sun.

She'd come to Key West for a wedding, only to discover the hotel had messed up her reservation. So although Jan Marone has to share a tiny room with sexy Mick McKenna, it shouldn't really be a problem. Mick's her best friend, and he doesn't think of her "that way" … or does he?

Mick McKenna loves hard and plays hard. His thick black hair, chiseled jaw, and hard, muscled body make him irresistible. But when once-innocent Jan walks into his hotel room, Mick can't believe his eyes. Now she's wearing a sexy bikini and telling him it's time for her to "get lucky," making him protective and tantalized at the same time.

Worried she might be in over her head, he decides never to leave her side … and suddenly their hotel room seems smaller—and hotter—than ever. Mick's always been hands-off with Jan—but has the right woman been under his nose the whole time?


Have you ever wanted to kick yourself  for not continuing with a series? That's how I felt after finishing The Wedding Gift. I read the first novella in Cara Connelly's Save the Date series, The Wedding Date, in 2013. Loved it. I even have a pretty paperback copy of The Wedding Vow sitting on my bookcase. After finishing The Wedding Gift last week, I'm officially kicking myself for not keeping up with this little gem of a series. From the moment I started The Wedding Gift, I was immediately reminded how much I love Cara's writing. It was the perfect combination of sweet, sassy, and sexy. I loved Jan and Mick. As friends, they were the best. As friends-to-lovers, they were sheer perfection. Watching them dance around each other was hysterical. The hopeful glances when the other isn't looking... Swoon! Falling in love... Sigh... I loved this little novella. It packed quite the punch with both sweet and sexy moments. I will definitely be finishing this series in the near future. I may even re-read The Wedding Date so I can say I started from the beginning. Happy reading to me!!



CARA CONNELLY is an award-winning author of contemporary romances. Her smart and sexy stories have won high praise, earning Cara several awards including the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart, the Valley Forge Romance Writers’ Sheila, and the Music City Romance Writers’ Melody of Love. Cara, who lives in rural upstate New York, works as appellate court attorney when she’s not crafting steamy novels of love and romance.

Cara's Links




Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review of Then He Kissed Me (Whispering Bay #2) by Maria Geraci


"Sometimes I do exactly what's on my mind." - Nate


Then He Kissed Me
Series: Whispering Bay # 2
Author: Maria Geraci
Publisher: TKA Distribution
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Source: publisher for review

Buy Links: Amazon - B&N - iTunes - Kobo
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Lauren Donalan was once Whispering Bay’s golden girl—the rich, bubbly blonde cheerleader who married the high school football star. When her mediocre marriage falls apart, she returns home and starts a vintage clothing business, determined to prove she’s more than just a pretty face with a trust fund.

Nate Miller may have been a nerd in high school, but now he has a beautiful girlfriend and is set to take over Doc Morrison’s medical practice. Still, the good folks of Whispering Bay find his no-nonsense approach more than a little unsettling, leaving his future in town a great big question mark. And things go even further downhill when his well-intentioned marriage proposal goes awry.

Lauren doesn’t need a man to complete her, yet when she finds herself set up on a date with Nate, she can’t help but notice how sexy and confident he is. In fact, every time the former introvert kisses her, she sees fireworks. But, only a big love will make Lauren change her mind about commitment. As Nate attempts to win Lauren over, a real estate co-op threatens Lauren’s business—and Nate’s ex still has a thing or two to say about their previous relationship. Now Lauren has to decide to go big or go home, in business, as well as in love.


Maria... I have a bone to pick with you. Just when I finally got That Thing You Do out of my head, I get Then He Kissed Me stuck. That's okay. Keep giving me these adorable books and it's all good...

Good golly, I flipping loved Then He Kissed Me. It left me in a giggling mess. I adore Lauren and Nate. They were kind enough to keep me company as I stayed awake thanks to a lousy cold. They made me swoon. I laughed with them. I teared up with them (especially in scenes with Lauren's dad). Lauren Donalan is an amazing character. She's a great friend to everyone and she's on a mission to put everyone's needs above her own. Of course, she started by getting Tom and Allie back together. Now, as she faces a potential heartbreak, she finds herself falling in love again. Nate Miller is an adorably awkward hero. I wanted to hug him for most of the book. Watching him slowly come out of his shell was so sweet. Slowly opening himself to Lauren after what Jessica did... So very sweet.

I loved everything about Then He Kissed Me, from the characters to the sweet and sometimes sexy romance. Of course, we see a lot more of the citizens of Whispering Bay as the series continues. To say they are a kooky bunch would be putting it lightly. I could picture the line of cars driving to the hospital. The character that, I think, stood out the most of Then He Kissed Me was Nate's sister. That girl was freaking hysterical! She was not shy when letting her brother know how big of a fool he was with Jessica. I was cheering her on, not that she needed the help. As for the romance, it was just as sweet as the first book with a touch more sexiness. Sexy time in Then He Kissed Me had a bit more oomph to it. Then He Kissed Me sucked me from the first page and refused to let me go until the very end. Heck, who am I kidding? I'll be under Maria Geraci's spell until I finish the next book in the Whispering Bay series.


Excerpt from THEN HE KISSED ME

When Lauren glanced back at the screen, the ending credits were rolling.

Nate sat up and stretched his arms over his head.

“What did you think of it?” she asked. Please tell me you like it. It sounded dumb, but she just didn’t think she could be friends with anyone who didn’t get It’s a Wonderful Life.

“It was…good,” he said, and she instantly felt herself relax. If Nate Miller didn’t like the movie, he would tell her so. It was just the way he was wired. “Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you hadn’t been born?” he asked.

She stared at him. “Are you kidding? That’s my favorite game. Okay, here goes: If I hadn’t been born then my mother wouldn’t have anyone to boss around. But more importantly, then Henry wouldn’t have been born, and that would be the world’s greatest tragedy.”

“Agreed.” 

She giggled.

“What’s so funny?”

“It’s…just the way you do these one word sentences.” She imitated his deep voice. “Agreed. And then there’s my personal favorite. Absolutely.”

He raised a brow. “Why waste words when one will do perfectly fine?”

“Agreed.”

“Smart ass,” he said.

They both reached for the last slice of pizza and laughed. She nudged it his way. “Go for it.” 

“Okay, I think I will this time.” This time? It occurred to her that he was referring to their dinner at The Harbor House, when he’d given up the last scallop to her. She didn’t know why, but she was ridiculously pleased that he’d remembered.

“Do you want any more kids?” he asked casually, but she got the feeling he was deeply interested in her response.

“I would love to have more, but with the right person this time.”

“The right person?”

 Lauren sighed. “Tom wasn’t in love with me when we got married.” Nate looked incredulous. So she went on to explain. “Most people in town know we got married because I was pregnant. I mean, you can’t really hide something like that in Whispering Bay. But the story’s a little more complicated than that.”

She went on to tell him how she had unprotected sex with Tom on the night of the senior awards banquet and how she broke up with him the next day, only to discover a couple of months later that she was pregnant. Tom had already moved on to another relationship with his current fianc√©, Allie. But he broke up with Allie to “do the right thing” and marry Lauren.

“When I found out I was pregnant I was so scared. I hid it from Momma for as long as I could, but then I had to eventually tell my parents. It was awful. I’ll never forget the look of disappointment on my father’s face.”

“I’m sure he was just worried about you.”

She nodded. “I know, but I’m an only child and it’s hard, having all this pressure to be perfect all the time. I guess the hardest thing was knowing that I would never live up to my potential.”

He looked at her. “Is that what you think?”

“I don’t know. I love Henry and I wouldn’t change anything that happened for the world, but having him so young did limit my choices.” She shrugged, embarrassed that she’d told him so much. She’d never admitted that to anyone. Not even to Tom. “So, yeah, I’d like to have more kids, but if I ever get married again, it will be because I’m crazy in love with someone who’s crazy in love with me. 
And only me.” She cleared her throat. “What about you? Do you want kids?”

“Definitely. At least a couple.”

She tried to think of how to broach the subject of Jessica, but there was really no delicate way, so she forged ahead. “Did you and Jessica talk about it?”

“She wasn’t sure if she wanted any. I thought it was because she was still young and had just finished law school. But maybe that had been delusional thinking on my part.”

“Have you…been in touch with her since Valentine’s Day?”

“No, and I don’t intend to.”

“No regrets or second thoughts?”

“Absolutely none.”

She wished she could believe him. Could he really turn his feelings off so easily? Lauren didn’t know if that was a good thing, or a potentially bad thing (for her).

“Okay, your turn,” she said. “What would the world be like if you’d never been born?”

“Let’s see. My mom would still have Lanie, and Doc would have someone else working with him. But other than that…” He shrugged, like he couldn’t think of anything else.

“But what about this precious baby here?” Lauren held a sleepy Hector up in her arms. “Who would have taken him in?”

“I’m sure some other chump would have come up to the plate.”

She smiled, then her smile faded. Just two months ago he’d admitted that in her eyes, he was a bad risk. And he was right. He could hurt her. She could totally fall for Nate Miller and he could turn around and break her heart. But she couldn’t seem to help herself. Ask him, Lauren, I’ll bet he says yes. 

“But if you hadn’t been born, who would be my partner for couples Bunco?” 

He stilled. “Couples Bunco?”

“Two weeks from tonight. The first Friday in May. Dress is cocktail casual, or so I’ve been told. It’ll be my first time going and I find myself in need of a date, although, we wouldn’t have to consider it a date.” She paused long enough to catch her breath. “So, what do you say? Are you game?”

“Absolutely.”

She fought back her grin. “That’s exactly what I hoped you’d say.”



Maria Geraci writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction with a happy ending. The Portland Book Review called her novel, The Boyfriend of the Month Club, “immensely sexy, immensely satisfying and humorous.” Her fourth novel, A Girl Like You, was nominated for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA ® award. She lives in north Florida with her family, which includes a very needy chihuahua, an extremely needy dachshund and a not-so-needy cat (guess which one she likes best?). You can reach at her www.mariageraci.com

Maria's Links




Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review of Sin (Devil's Den #3) by Violetta Rand

"You're mine, baby." - Joshua Camden

Sin
Series: Devil’s Den # 3
Author: Violetta Rand
Publisher: Loveswept
Release Day: May 12, 2015
Source: Netgalley

Buy Links: Amazon - B&N - iTunes - Kobo - Publisher
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Sin proves that passion goes beyond smoldering desire when hearts dance to their own special beat.

Every woman at the Devil’s Den strip club has a story to tell, and Macey Taylor is no exception. Smart and self-reliant, she’s got a chip on her shoulder, a broken heart, and no patience for a sexy new manager with an Ivy League pedigree and a strict set of rules. Macey prefers to break rules, something she lets Joshua Camden know from the start—even as he ignites a fire in her that goes beyond the hottest club in town.

Joshua is working the Devil’s Den for all it’s worth, learning everything he can about the adult-entertainment game before investing in a place of his own. Macey is a surprise: a woman as strong-willed as she is gorgeous. Joshua wants to get inside her world, to see through her eyes. But he soon discovers that seduction is a two-way street—and expecting redemption without risking his heart may be the greatest sin of all.


Oh, how I have been waiting for Macey's story and here it is! I've been intrigued with her character from the moment she was introduced in the first book. Along the way, there were snippets of her personality, but for the most part, her history was a bit of a mystery. So, I was super excited to start Sin and then devoured it in one afternoon. The book itself started rather abruptly with a short "getting to know you" phase between Macey and Joshua Camden (or just Camden as I like to call him). Macey had just came home from an extended vacation when she finds out that the Devil's Den has a new manager, Camden. The sexual chemistry between Macey and Camden ignites from the moment they lock eyes on each other. With both of their hearts recently broken, they are reluctant at first, but quickly give into their desires and begin a very sexual relationship. I loved Macey and Camden, both as individuals and as a couple. Both Macey and Camden are emotionally guarded thanks, in large part, to their parents. Macey lost her mother at an early age and was left with a father that wanted nothing to do with her. Camden, on the other hand, has both parents, but they are the type to put money ahead of love. Together, they brought out the best in each other. They were able to lean on the other for support and were finally able to open their hearts fully, although that took them by surprise. Both have hearts of gold buried beneath their tough exteriors.

I don't know if Sin is the last book in Violetta's Devil's Den series (I kind of hope it isn't because I think Desire and Dave would make for an interesting story), but I loved it and felt that it was a perfect addition to the series. I loved the raw sexual chemistry between Macey and Camden. Oh my goodness, the man and his possessiveness towards Macey was hot. Although his actions after the big "monkey wrench" was thrown into their relationship made me want to slap him a couple times, his groveling was perfect. I still loved him, though. And Macey, of course. I was hooked from the first page and, even with the abrupt beginning, which was my one point of concern, nothing dimmed how much I loved Sin



Raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, Violetta Rand spent her childhood reading, writing, and playing soccer. After meeting her husband in New England, they moved to Alaska where she studied environmental science and policy as an undergraduate before attending graduate school. Violetta then spent nearly a decade working as an environmental scientist, specializing in soil and water contamination and environmental assessments.

Violetta still lives in Anchorage, Alaska and spends her days writing evocative New Adult romance and historical romance. When she’s not reading, writing, or editing, she enjoys time with her husband, pets, and friends. In her free time, she loves to hike, fish, and ride motorcycles and 4-wheelers.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Spotlight & Excerpt from For Your Love (Blessings #6) by Beverly Jenkins

For Your Love 
Blessings # 6
Beverly Jenkins
April 28th, 2015
William Morrow

Buy Links: Amazon - B&N - iTunes - Kobo - Publisher
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NAACP nominee and bestselling author Beverly Jenkins returns to Henry Adams, Kansas-an unforgettable place that anyone would want to call home-with a story of family, friends, and the powerful forces from our past that can irrevocably shape our future.

Mayor Trent July and his wife Lily are enjoying life as newlyweds and embracing the challenges and joys that come with being adoptive parents to two wonderful boys. But being a father has inevitably forced him to think about his own birth mother. Raised by his grandmother Tamar—and in many ways the good people of Henry Adams—Trent was blessed with a childhood full of love.

But now he can’t help wondering what happened to the scared teenage girl who gave birth to him. And questions that he’s never voiced are now begging to be answered: Who was she? Is she still alive? Why didn’t she want him?

Trent has always believed no good comes from dwelling on the past, especially when you have a loving family, a strong community, and folks who depend on him. But when the past comes to Henry Adams, Trent has no choice but to face it—and the woman who left him behind. The truth will shake his very being and everything he thought he knew about life, love, and the bonds that hold families together…yet can also tear them apart.


Prologue

Rita Lynn Babcock had a good life. At the age of sixty two she had no health issues, her husband Paul, a cardiac surgeon, still loved her madly, and their daughter, Val was founding partner of an eponymous law firm. Rita was thankful for her blessings but at the moment, her heart was heavy. Two days ago, she’d buried her mother, Ida Merchant.  Except for an indiscretion Rita committed at the age of seventeen, they’d never shared a cross word. Now, Rita Lynn and Paul were meeting with their lawyer in his office to discuss Ida’s will.

“Please, have a seat."

The lawyer, Dexter West was an old college friend of Paul’s and he took a moment to look through the stack of papers before him as if to make sure all was in order. The estate wasn’t large. Ida hadn’t been wealthy by any means but she’d been well loved and until her stroke eighteen months ago, maintained her own home and finances.

With Dexter’s guidance, Rita and Paul made the final arrangements for Ida’s earthly possessions, from her house to the ten year old, sky blue Toyota she’d lovingly called Gladys. Her extensive cache of African American history books was donated to the local library, and all the money left in her bank account after her bills were paid would be going to True Saints AME, the church she’d worshipped in and loved for over a half –century. As executrix, Rita affixed her signature to each document Dexter slid her way, and when they were all done, she put her finger tips to the corners of her teary eyes to staunch the flow.

Paul gave her shoulder a tender squeeze and said softly, “It’s okay, babe.” Five years ago, they’d buried his beloved mom, so he understood her grief.

“There’s one more thing,” Dexter said gently. He handed her a sealed envelope. “Your mother gave this to me a few years back.  She asked me to hold onto it until her passing.”

Rita paused. “What is it?”

“You should read it.”

His face told her nothing but she had a strong sense of foreboding. She looked to Paul and received a reassuring nod. The letter was one page and penned in her mother’s strong handwriting.  She read the beginning silently but by the mid –point her eyes widened and she whispered in a shocked and broken voice, “No!” The further she read the louder her, “No!” echoed until she was screaming the denial again and again from the depths of her broken heart.



Ms. Jenkins is the nation's premier writer of African American historical romance fiction and specializes in 19th century African American life. She has over thirty published novels to date.

She has received numerous awards, including: five Waldenbooks/Borders Group Best Sellers Awards; two Career Achievement Awards and a Pioneer Award from Romantic Times Magazine; a Golden Pen Award from the Black Writer's Guild, and in 1999 was named one of the Top Fifty Favorite African-American writers of the 20th Century by AABLC, the nation's largest on-line African-American book club.

She has also been featured in many national publications, including the Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, Dallas Morning News and Vibe Magazine. She has lectured and given talks at such prestigious universities as Oberlin University, the University of Illinois, and Princeton. She speaks widely on both romance and 19th century African-American history and was the 2014 featured speaker for the W.W. Law Lecture Series sponsored by the Savannah Black Heritage Festival.

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