Monday, December 26, 2011

ARC Review: A Town Called Valentine by Emma Cane

"Welcome to Valentine Valley--

where broken hearts come home to mend,
and true love may lie just across the range...

Emily Murphy never thought she'd return to her mom's rustic hometown in the Colorado Mountains. But after her marriage in San Francisco falls apart, leaving her penniless and heartsick, she returns to her old family home to find a new direction for her life. On her first night back, though, a steamy encounter with handsome rancher Nate Thalberg is not the fresh start she had in mind...

Nate has good reason not to trust the determined beauty who just waltzed into town--he's no stranger to betrayal. Besides, she's only there to sell her family's old property and move back out. But as Nate and Emily begin working side-by-side to restore her time-worn building and old family secrets change Emily's perception of herself, both are about to learn how difficult it is to hide from love in a place known far and wide for romance, family ties, and happily-ever-afters: a town called Valentine."

 Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: February 2nd 2012 by Avon (first published January 24th 2012)
ISBN 0062102273 (ISBN13: 9780062102270)
 Emily Murphy decides to escape to Valentine, Colorado to move on from her old life and start a whole new one. Since Emily is just recently divorced she is hoping to sell the building her mother had left her so she is able to go to college, but that doesn’t even almost cover it. She is just about broke. Who said this was going to be as easy as she planned.

Nate Thalberg, has always lived in Valentine and is the local cowboy who all the woman would love to get a hold of. Unfortunately for them he doesn’t like form meaningful relationships with the women he decides to date. This is a rule for him, but when he meets Emily for the first time at a bar he can’t help but be drawn to her.

Sparks start to fly while they are in the bar and one things leads to a hot kiss. Although they are intrigued by the sparks they are both throwing off she is more than embarrassed and gets out of dodge. Well at least she tries until she finds out that her car won’t start and she must depend on this cowboy to take her to the building.

When they arrive at the building they both realize that it is unsafe for her to be staying there and so good old Nate suggests a room for a night but not at his house but his Aunts. Seeing her in distress brings out the protective side of him and he feels the need to take care of her. Spending time with Emily isn’t as easy as Nate thought it would be and keeping the distance tends to get harder and harder. Developing feelings for each other was never part of the plan.

I loved the attraction and tension between the two main characters. I felt like I was actually on the outside looking in. The way they can’t stay away from each other was just darling. It was as if they were pulled towards each other by an invisible string.

I couldn’t help but love Emily’s character. The way that her confusion took over with Nate was sweet. She wanted to be involved but she was very scared of falling for this sinfully looking cowboy. Nate never wanted to be attached to a woman because the fear of hurting her. Even the side characters will get you more interested and invested for what is to come in this town.

This ended up being a super sweet story that I didn’t want to end. It was emotional, but had it enjoyable parts where you couldn’t help but smile. I am looking forward to seeing if this will be a series and who will be up next to fall in love in Valentine, Colorado. This is a town I can’t wait to return to.

ARC REVIEW: Lover's Leap by Emily March

"Twenty years ago the town bad boy, Cam Murphy, left Eternity Springs in handcuffs, riding in the back of a sheriff’s van . . . and breaking young Sarah Reese’s heart. The defiant teenager vowed never to return.

In Australia, Cam makes a new beginning. He builds a successful business and suffers few regrets until Sarah—and their daughter—walk into his life, and then immediately run away. Realizing it’s time to right yesterday’s wrongs, he follows Sarah home to Colorado—and turns her world upside down.

Cam wants to know his daughter. He needs to prove to Sarah, the town, and himself that he’s changed. Will the residents of Eternity Springs offer forgiveness—and will Sarah have the courage to trust this man who is asking for a second chance?"

Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: December 27th 2011 by Random House Publishing Group
ISBN 0345528778 (ISBN13: 9780345528773)


When Sarah Reece’s boyfriend was escorted out of town in handcuffs twenty years before her heart broke into pieces. That wasn’t even the icing on the cake. Nope. The icing was when she told him that she was pregnant with his baby. The worst blow hit her when he said that her and the baby were a mistake. Although the strong Sarah never got over her love, she always did her best to raise Lori. 

Winning a trip of a lifetime to the lush Australia is what the Mother and daughter team needed. This was to be the best vacation they had ever had, well that was until they received the surprise of both their lives and ended up on a boat with Cameron Murphy. And to make matters worse he was with his son. It ended up being way too much for Lori and Sarah, so much that they retreat back to Eternity Springs where it is safe and Cameron isn’t. 

One major regret Cameron has in his life was leaving behind the woman he loved and their unborn child. Seeing them standing on his boat was very real. It was also very real when he sees them both running from him. He has never been so hurt or confused. Now that his past has come back to confront him, he won’t give them the chance to run away. It’s about time he gets to know his beautiful daughter and see the one woman who he has loved forever. 

Returning to the place he left so long ago wasn’t in the cards, but now it is time to face the past and try to make a mends with not only the woman he has never forgotten but to try to reach out to the daughter he never got the chance to know. It’s time to make his family whole and he is pulling out all the stops to do just that.
I loved this book. The emotions that were brought out in the read were truly overwhelming. I couldn’t help by tear up the moment Lori sees her father for the first time and decides she isn’t ready for this at all. You can’t help but not to feel for these characters and what they are going through in the story. 

I not only found Lover’s Leap to be an emotional ride, but to insightful. Sometimes you must overcome past mistakes and take control of the future. Getting over the past is what Cam and Sarah must do to help Lori heal. I felt for Cam and the way he had to prove that he isn’t the same person he was when he left town.
This story is filled with love, emotions and heartache that will have you reaching for the tissues.

I loved every moment of this story and can’t wait to read what Emily March has next in store for us. This story will give you more than a hope but a second chance of a happily ever after.

ARC Review: Sweet Reward by Christy Reece


Adrenaline junkie Jared Livingston has found the perfect blend of exhilaration and danger in his new job at Last Chance Rescue. Raised to depend only on himself, Jared tried marriage, but the end of the relationship renewed his belief that he was meant to be a loner. Now a desperate plea from his ex-wife puts Jared in the unique position of using the skills she despised to rescue her missing daughter. The case brings Jared face-to-face with Mia Ryker, the only agent ever fired from LCR—for playing too far outside the box. Now Mia’s back, and as a team, they’re as compatible as fuel and fire—blowing off tension in each other’s arms, blowing open the secret life of a wealthy philanthropist and his shameful dealings. Their search for the innocent child takes them to places neither have been before—to the edge of danger and to the edge of their hearts."

Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: December 27th 2011 by Random House Publishing Group
ISBN 0345524098 (ISBN13: 9780345524096)

Jared Livingston not only likes living life on the edge, but his job as an operative for Last Chance Rescue gives him all the rush he needs.  His new case happens to hit close to home when his ex wife calls with her baby has been kidnapped. Although they don’t get along he feels like he needs to help out no matter what it may cost in the end.

Mia Ryker is an ex-Last Chance Rescue operative who now runs her own rescue business in Chicago. When the case starts not to make compete sense she is brought in to help Jared put all the pieces together to get the baby back safe. This includes working with the sexiest man she has ever encountered. 

Sparks start to fly as Jared and Mia start to work very closely together. Mia takes a chance and decides she wants to go undercover, but Jared isn’t sold on the idea. She is bringing out feelings in him that are more than confusing so he tends to try to ignore them as the case starts to progress. In the battle with himself he finds it more difficult than he has expected. 

Reece brings you on ride that is emotional and action packed from the beginning to the very end. I wouldn’t say I fell in love with this book but it was a book that kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what in the world is going to happen. Jared is a hero that you easily like or instantly don’t. I found myself on the fence about his character throughout reading. In the beginning he is so cold and hard, I got the feeling he would never soften, but as the story did progress it became clear on why he was the way he was. So when he does a 180 i have to admit I was more than pleased.

I loved the fact that Mia brought in her emotions in everything she did. They were both just so different that they ended balancing each other out very well. Mia didn’t end up being so kick ass as I first thought of her to be, but none the less she was the perfect heroine for Jared. The way she doesn’t back down to him or anyone else makes him want her even more than he would have ever expected. The way she ends up gets to him is really is a classic.

No relationship is ever easy especially not there’s. They will have to work at their relationship to keep it in balance. Although the case takes you on turn after turn, you can’t help but feel the tension between these two which to me was the best part of the story. Sweet Reward will leave you with just that… a reward that will leave you with an ending that you will never forget.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Guest Post with Author KT Grant : Find out who she wants under her tree..

Today I want to welcome one of my favorite people. She is not only an awesome blogger but a terrific author who has opened my eyes to a new genre ..... Please welcome KT Grant :)  

Danielle my favorite blogging lush *raises a glass of some fruity concoction in her honor* invited me here to talk about my top 5 literary heroes I’d love to find under my Christmas tree on Christmas morning.

If I found Roarke from J.D. Robb’s In Death series, I would pounce on him in a hot minute. Roarke is one sexy Irish stallion who appreciates the best things in life like a nice bottle of wine, coffee and a waterbed to rest his weary body on after working long hours running his multibillionaire company and giving his detective wife, Eve some aid when she’s up against the wall working a tough case. I can just imagine Roarke lying there with only a big red bow wrapped around him and nothing else while he drinks from a snifter of brandy.

Bones from Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series would had a big black leather bow around his neck and hidden among a few branches, keeping watch to make sure no bad guys like crazed vampires or nasty ghosts come along to ruin my Christmas. His sexy British voice would be the best gift I could receive and he has a thing for redheads (like me). Maybe Cat would let me borrow him for a few hours on Christmas morning as I undress him…I mean unwrap my gifts!

Derek Craven from Lisa Kleypas’s Dreaming of You knows how to have a fun time. He’s a smooth lover with a cockney attitude who respects the lady and likes to gamble. He’s humble, yet wants to best of everything because he grew up in the worst situation possible. I can see him spending his Christmas at a hospital reading to sick children or chatting up the sick patients.

Since I can’t decide, I want every vampire hero from JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series under my Christmas tree. It will be a very tight squeeze with all these big, hulking men who are always on call to protect the innocent people in their community. All these guys have so much stress to deal with that I would cook them a big dinner where they could eat until their content and just sit back and have a good old time. 

Allow me to introduce you to a new favorite hero of mine. He’s Xavier Marks, the hero from my book, Xavier’s Loving Arms, releasing on 12/30 from Decadent Publishing. Xavier is my favorite hero I’ve written so far. He comes from a loving family, is addicted to coffee (like me!) and loves to show a woman a good time. His heart was broken by his fiancĂ©e who cheated on him with a friend. He has returned home to take over the family run business from his father who’s retiring and he ends up meeting a woman who gives him a run for his money because she doesn’t fall at his feet. His goal is to break down her defensives and show her that she’s no longer alone in the world because she now has him for support.

Plus Xavier looks much like this guy: (picture of Blair Underwood)
Can we say swoon?

This is only a short list (well I guess if you count all the BDB vampire men, it really isn’t) of hot heroes I would love to find under my Christmas tree. If you woke up on Christmas morning, what literary hero would you love to find under your Christmas tree? How would you spend the day with him?

I would love to find  Ford from Lucky Harbor under my tree and we totally would be spending the day out on his boat... and in his bed. I need to thank Jill Shalvis for writing a man i just can't get enough of. 

I want to thank KT for taking the time to join me today. *kisses and hugs* hope to see you soon for a glass of wine or 5 LOL. *winks*

Visit Her here 

Babbling About Books, and More!

KT Grant (Author of "out of the box" reads)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Guest Post with Author Faith Bicknell

Worth Every Penny

There’s a huge misconception about what it means to be an author.

Why do people believe writing is merely a hobby? Worse, why is it so many think authors have money falling out of their butts?

I wish it was that easy.

I’ve been writing professionally for twenty-five years. During all this time I still hear the same questions and get the same reactions. What I don’t understand is why there’s this misconception that authors don’t really work and once they’re published they supposedly make money hand over fist.

The other dilemma that irks me to no end—as it does many other authors, too, I’m sure!—is the fact that the surge in digital reading material and e-devices has created a huge glut of fiction. However, this does not mean all the books out there are readable or entertaining. The steady shift from print to e-books has made it incredibly easy for an aspiring writer to get h/her manuscripts published. The downside is that dedicated authors struggle a thousand times harder to gain attention from reputable publishers and agents.

I struggle just like any other author. The only difference is that I’m no longer a newb. Regardless, even well-known authors still battle the market. They deal with writer’s block, bad reviews, the fact the next movie to their book series bombed in the box office, and sometimes even crazy fans. The rest of us who are no longer novices strive to get our material out there amongst the masses. We’re slammed with bad reviews and float heavenward when we get a glowing one. We have books that sell well and books that barely make pennies. And if we write freelance material for magazines (something else I do) then we also battle to get our short stories and articles noticed. Once a piece catches an editor’s eye, we then hope and pray our submission beats out the others under consideration. Then if you add that fewer and fewer magazines pay decent rates because they’ve gone digital, the competition to make the sale increases ten fold.

So, why do authors put themselves through this?

Two reasons: love of writing and to pay the bills.

Yes, I know I said authors don’t typically have money falling out their back doors. Most authors don’t. Many of us earn a supplement income to help out the main breadwinner; whereas, others make a decent living. Sadly, more often than not authors fall in the starving-artist category. The other scenario is feast or famine. We’re much like struggling actors. We all pray for that big break. Even scarier is the worry the hot genre you’re writing in will fizzle and go cold. Writing is often like navigating a field full of land mines. Still, that sweet feeling of success is something indescribable. It’s that sensation of achievement and our desire to please the reader as well as our muse that keeps us marching onward in this business.

For me, writing is like breathing. I’m an artist, too, and although I love painting and drawing, the written word is essential to my wellbeing. I can’t imagine my life without my stories and novels—not to mention it keeps me sane. Writing is how I leave this world of problems and turmoil. Also, eighty percent of everything I write is speculative. The paranormal, lore, and history are three elements I love to thread through my books.

Ruby, the White King and Marilyn Monroe is such a novel. It takes off at break-neck speed and weaves a love story with a tale of friendship and a mystery of why my heroine is being pursued to Key West.

If you’re not a writer, stop and consider how much work truly goes into a book. From putting the idea and characters into a sound plot to revisions to correcting grammar and punctuation, more revisions with an editor, and then finally the horrors of promotion, a good book is worth every penny you pay for it. Hours upon hours of work and dedication goes into the worlds that sweep you away.

Each of the following links has an excerpt to my novel, but if you go to Amazon and click on the book cover, you’ll get to read up to chapter three. Here’s a bit of information about Ruby, the White King and Marilyn Monroe.

Paranormal romance that takes off full throttle as demonic motorcycles and their beautiful riders chase Ruby to the rocky shores of Key West for a battle of epic proportions.

Are they angels, demons, or something else entirely? Ruby must send them back to a hell unlike anything the world has ever imagined. But will she allow herself to love the White King who has found her again over one thousand years later?

Reincarnated over the centuries. Stuck with a ditzy Marilyn Monroe lookalike. Falling for a rich albino guy. It’s just Ruby’s luck for Hell’s “real” angels to ride into this life and screw it all up.

Kindle: (also in paperback)

I write under three main pen names, so I invite you to stop by my websites and check out the plethora of material available for the avid reader. and if you enjoy zany rants and hilarity join me at my shared blog Four Strong Women

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Interview with Author Nadia Lee

Hi Nadia ...Thanks for stopping by 
Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

I'm a bilingual American ex-pat living in Japan.  I love food and traveling
around the world.  Once my baby boy is old enough to travel, I want to go to
Europe. :-)

Though I'm a terrible athlete, I enjoy watching figure skating.  When I have
the time and don't feel like reading, I watch Korean dramas (especially
historical dramas with complex court intrigues that run for over 50
episodes), Japanese variety shows and American TV shows like Dexter, The
Closer, Game of Thrones, etc.

 What inspired you to become a writer?

I'm not one of those people who was born with a pen in their fist. (I
actually wanted to be a lawyer or plastic surgeon.) I always just enjoyed
reading and storytelling in various formats, and eventually I felt like
trying my hand at writing.  And the rest is history. :-)

Do you get the chance to actually read or is your to-be-read pile just
stacking up?

I get a chance to read, sort of, but I definitely have to make an effort to
carve out some time, especially right now because I have a 6-month-old baby
to take care of.

According to my Kindle, I have more than 500 unread books. That's not
counting all the print books I have.  And I keep adding more and more to the
pile.  (Shh... don't tell Hero Material!)

What is your favorite book of 2011?

Ohh...this is very tough.  I'm going to cheat and list three, in
alphabetical order by author:

* Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews
* Cat's Tale by Bettie Sharpe
* Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas

Your next upcoming release is The Last Slayer, can you tell us about this
new world you created?

There are multiple dimensions, one being the mortal realm (or our world).
And the other dimensions are occupied by various supernatural beings,
including incubi, dragons, demigods, etc.  The heroine from The Last Slayer,
Ashera del Cid, is a hunter who is supposed to take care of bad demons who
cross over to the mortal realm and cause trouble.  In this world, demigods
aren't half-god/half-mortal like in Greek mythology, but rather supernatural
beings with enormous power and eternal life, and that's what Ashera's love
interest Ramiel is.

Was it hard creating this world with demons and demigods?

No, but I was just totally short-sighted about the entire process because I
didn't think I'd write a sequel or anything.  So I didn't create any notes
or world bible, and it was tough to go back to revise and so on because I
couldn't remember exact details.  Furthermore, I changed the hierarchy of
demons and so on in the middle of writing the story, so that posed a problem
as well because I got confused. (By the time I got my revision notes, etc.
it'd been over a year since I'd last tinkered with the manuscript.)

Thankfully, the first thing my editor asked me to create was a world bible.
So now I have one. :-)

Is there anything special you are working on now that we can look forward to
in the near future?

I'm working on the sequel to The Last Slayer.  The working title is Thrones
of Thorns, and it has some shocking revelations about Ashera and her family
and friends (and Ramiel too!).  :-)

Thank you so much for having me, Danielle! :-)

Thanks so much for joining me Nadia I cant wait for the next book in the series :)

"Ashera del Cid is a talented demon hunter, but when she kills a demigod's pet dragon, the hunter becomes the hunted. Her only potential ally is Ramiel, a sexy-as-hell demon. Now the two must work together to battle dragons and demigods...and the chemistry crackling between them.
Ramiel has his own reasons for offering Ashera his protection. He knows her true identity and the real reason the demigods want her dead. What he can't predict is how she'll react when she discovers he knew who she was all along...

Ashera is shocked to discover that she is the only daughter of the last slayer. To claim her destiny, she and Ramiel must join forces to face down danger and outwit their enemies. Only then will she be able to truly accept her legacy..."

The Heartstone Trilogy: Book 1
Carina Press
December 26, 2011
ISBN-13: 9781426892929
ISBN-10: 1426892926

Monday, December 12, 2011

Loveswept - Holiday Hop Giveaway

Rules to post for the contest:

Happy Holidays to everyone - Romance At Random is celebrating their Loveswept line with a random e-book Giveaway to 25 winners plus an opportunity to win one Grand Prize from Enter here to be included in the FREE random e-book drawing (25 winners will pick up their FREE book from Net Galley) and then stop on by and comment to enter the drawing to be the ''ONE” Grand Prize winner, to win a selection of great books! Good Luck & Happy Holidays to all!

INCREASE your chances to win by visiting all of the participating 'Loveswept - Holiday Hop' sites! Winners will be contacted after 1/10/12.

Linky Link Code:

You can use our site link for readers to see the participating sites and also enter for the Grand Prize -

Good Luck!!!!