Tag Archives: fantasy

Exclusive Interview with author Sierra N. Terry, plus a look at fantasy romance, BENEATH THE SURFACE!

Hi, readers! I am pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. We’re doing something a little different. This is our thirteenth official author interview on this romance blog! I know in the past, we did character interviews then switched over to the author’s take on it, but this approach is a bit unusual.

We have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak one-on-one with a talented author. Please join me in welcoming Sierra N. Terry to ILRB! 🙂

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Sierra. Please have a seat.

Author Sierra N. Terry:  Hi, Marie!

Marie:  Hey, such a pleasure to have you here!

I’m going to throw in some standard questions first.

Obviously, we know your occupation as an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do?

I know I’m overloading you with questions, but we’re really interested in finding out more about you…

Sierra:  I’m in the cleaning field, and yes, I’m good at it! And I definitely don’t like it! I’m hoping one day I will be able to focus on art and storytelling.

Marie: I know exactly what you mean! 🙂

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Sierra:  My family is great! My parents tolerate my weirdness and are supportive of all my ideas!

Marie:  That’s wonderful!

Let’s try something else, okay?

If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?

Sierra:  We moved around a good bit so there isn’t just one I can describe. I think if I had to describe them as a whole, they were all decent enough.

Marie:  Okay.

Do you have any hobbies, Sierra? What do you enjoy doing?

Sierra:  Drawing was always my first passion and still is to this day. I’ll get back to reading to at some point in my life! Ha ha!

Marie:  (Laughs.)

And what is your greatest dream?

Sierra:  To live off of my work, and NOT only get 4 to 5 hours of sleep a day and work two jobs anymore!

Marie:  Sounds like a plan! 😉

Let’s try another question.

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?

Sierra:  I’d like to be someone less anxious and more outgoing/fun to talk to. I guess what’s stopping me the most is my introvert personality!

Marie:  I can relate to that. Being an author has definitely gotten me out of my shell, but now and then I still have some challenging moments.

Not to pry too much, but who was your first love?

Sierra:  First? Probably someone from a cartoon like Ash from Pokémon or something!

Marie:  All right.

What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Sierra:  I would have to say it was when I had a weird cyst on my lower back that made it painful to sit or even lay down! My life has been fairly boring so a weird medical thing is the worst I got! Ha ha!

Marie:  Ouch… 😕

Let’s move on to another topic, shall we?

[Sierra nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Sierra:  I always had a dream to be a comic book writer and artist. I’ve pretty much wanted something in the creative field since forever! I definitely didn’t achieve that, and I guess it could be because I didn’t ever go to art school/get a degree in writing to even begin to qualify for a job like that. I did, however, start to put my art and stories out there more with my Sailorfrill Studio business, and going around to different conventions.

Marie:  Nice!

So, who is your role model, Sierra?

Sierra:  Definitely my mother! Nobody is so cool, understanding and open-minded as her.

Marie:  All right.

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Sierra:  Not really? At least I don’t think so.

Marie:  And what is your deepest desire?

Sierra:  Not to struggle financially anymore would be great.

Marie:  I know, right? 😛

Let’s try a different question.

What is your greatest fear?

Sierra:  I’m ~slightly~ concerned I’m going to be dying alone in my car.

Marie:  Oh, no! I really don’t think that will be the case. You sound too awesome to end up alone, hon. 😉

Let’s do something else.

If you were trapped on a deserted island, what five essentials would you need with you? They don’t have to be practical.

Sierra:

Water

Paper

Pencils

A lighter

And 50 years’ worth of tampons!

Marie:  (Laughs.) Okay.

Readers, let’s shift somewhat and get the author’s perspective on one of her characters.  🙂

We’ve heard rumors about the hero of your story, Jonas Aaronson. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about him?

Sierra:  Jonas is a simple guy with a strong sense of justice, which leads him to become a soldier and ultimately meet that mermaid who turned his life upside down!

Marie:  Intriguing…

And what are Jonas’s greatest strengths?

Sierra:  He’s loyal, kind and won’t let an injustice go ignored.

Marie:  Great! 😀

And his weaknesses?

Sierra:  Simpleminded, wears his heart on his sleeve and lost some self-confidence due to some romantic rejections in the past.

Marie:  I’m sure some of us can relate to that one…

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are his favorite foods?

Sierra:  Lemon flavored cake and steak with cheesy bacon potatoes!

Marie:  Nice!

How about another question?

What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Sierra:  Well, he has a special power that he ignored his whole life, but I don’t want to spoil the story!

Marie:  All right.

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Sierra:  I’m hoping people will like him since he’s good without being perfect. He does do at least one thing in the story that I think a lot of people might be uncomfortable with, but again, I don’t want to spoil it!

Marie:  Makes sense to me… 😉

Now that we have a real taste of Jonas, we have a few questions for you as well as the author, about the writing process of your book.

What first gave you the idea for Beneath the Surface?

Sierra:  I wasn’t trying! I had just finished writing my first novel, The Longest Knight, and I was lying there in my bed, being happy I’m finished when my mind started talking about a mermaid story. I think my next thought was something like, “Nooooo! I have to write that now.”

Ha ha!

Marie:  (Chuckles.) It’s fascinating how the muse works, huh? 😀

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like, Sierra? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Sierra:  I’m a plotter! I have (sometimes detailed) guidelines I use before all the longhand writing starts. These guidelines leave room for new ideas too, though, and I can make little things up as I go. It keeps things fresh and fun, I think!

Marie:  Awesome!

I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Beneath the Surface or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?

Sierra:  I didn’t really have any issues with writing Beneath the Surface, really. I had much more to say in this one and I’m proud that it’s 450 pages! There’s not too much I will do differently next time (I have three more books to go), since I learned a lot from book 1 (The Longest Knight) and worked out all the kinks back then!

Marie:  Happy to hear it! 😀

It was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Beneath the Surface appears to be… ♥

Here is the blurb:

On a seemingly normal night, Jonas, a kind-hearted knight, saves a beautiful young woman from a vicious attack. He quickly finds out the young woman is actually a mermaid and as she disappears into the water, Jonas vows to find her again, so taken by her mere presence. However, ever since they crossed paths Jonas began having strange, ominous dreams about her, making him want to see her again even more. What do these dreams mean and why is he having them all the time? These are just some of the questions Jonas seeks answers to, but all he really wants is a chance to make her his special lady.

The Four Kingdoms Series is a series of novels that are loosely based on one another. Most are romantic but not all, one is erotic but none of the others are quite as intense. Each story takes place in one of the four kingdoms but each individual novel can be read as a stand-alone story (it is highly recommended that you read the book one, The Longest Knight, first). Every story has its own strange uniqueness, and I hope you will stay with me until the very last one is released!

Here’s a peek at the story…

Jonas hears a scream ring out in the quiet night. First one he has heard of in a very long time. Every time he gets night patrol, like today, he always prays to the Four Gods that it’s a boring night. A lot never really happened in his ocean-side town and Jonas likes it that way.

Nonetheless, someone needs help and as a knight, he’s there to protect and serve so he must go investigate what the problem is.

He quietly jogs through the trees towards where the scream came from and as he drew closer to the spot, he can hear more people talking and grunting in agitation.

In a clearing in front of a large clear lake, Jonas spots the disturbance. Two men have gotten ahold of a young woman. One holds her on the ground and the other is trying to get a good grip on her legs to pry them apart. The man at her legs is largely unsuccessful since the woman is thrashing so hard under him, he can’t get a good grip.

“What are you doing?? Hurry up and get her legs open!!” the man holding her arms down yells at the other.

“Can’t you see I’m trying?! This bitch won’t quit!”

Suddenly one of the woman’s legs hits the man in the face and he topples backward, blood quickly staining his lips. Jonas is impressed, her legs are nice to look at and strong.

“Hey, you there!! Let her go!!” Jonas yells out as he reveals himself and rushes towards the scene.

The one man that was kicked is holding his nose in pain still, and the other isn’t doing a lot better. Jonas didn’t see how it happened, but suddenly, the woman’s thick hair is wrapped around the man’s head and now he’s screaming and trying desperately to get it off.

Instead of getting the hair off, Jonas knocks the man out with the hilt of his sword, so he will at least stop screaming and stop hurting everyone’s ears. The other man gets away in all the commotion, but Jonas is certain if he has that guy’s buddy in custody, then he can track the other one down later. Right now, he must tend to the woman and make sure she’s okay.

The woman’s hair untangles itself from the man’s head and returns to normal, but after watching it’s obvious it’s not normal hair.

He slowly kneels next to the woman, who is now panting softly on the ground.

“Hey, are you all right? Did they hurt you?” Jonas asks, placing a hand on her shoulder.

The woman lies there, not responding right away, but this gives Jonas a chance to look her over completely and realizes her beauty.

She’s slender with large hips and smooth, porcelain skin. Her hair is full of big, thick curls that would make any woman jealous. However, it appears to be multicolored, not something he has seen very often.

Jonas is amazed, he’d never seen such a color on a lady or anyone else. It’s mostly a bluish green then changes to a shade of purple at the tips. Even with this strange color, it’s still stunning. No, it’s because of its color that it’s stunning.

Her whole body looks like it’s glistening in the moonlight, even her clothes. She wears a short top that shows off her nicely toned stomach and her long skirt has just as long slits on both sides, leaving nothing to the imagination with her legs.

Jonas gulps.

Those legs are looking more and more tempting the longer he looks at them. He just wants to touch them, maybe rub them for a moment but after what he just saved her from, she probably wouldn’t appreciate that.

Suddenly, she appears to remember Jonas’s presence and the unconscious man, then bolts upright, shoving her body out of Jonas’s reach.

“It’s okay, miss! I won’t hurt you, I’m here to help!”

He tries to calm her, but she scrambles to her feet to run anyway. Her footing is off, her legs wobble and she begins to fall face first back to the ground.

Jonas rushes to her and catches the woman before she hits the ground. Her body is light and incredibly soft to touch. If she let him hold her longer, he’d gladly do it all night. With her so close to him, he can take in her amazing scent: honeydew mixed with the ocean breeze. She reminds him of the sea in the early morning and – good thing for him – he loves the sea.

“Please, don’t!” she finally says to him.

She stares up at him, terror in her soft eyes. Her pink colored soft eyes. There’s no doubt in his mind now, this woman can’t be human.

“I told you, I’m not going to hurt you! You’re safe. Are you feeling okay?”

Jonas feels he must ask that last question. She was doing just fine earlier, thrashing and kicking her legs at her attackers, but now she seems weak and tired like all her energy was drained at once. This beautiful woman is even shaking in his arms and Jonas has, at this moment, no other want but to calm her and make her feel safe again.

“No! Let me go! I need to be in the water!!” she yells at him, shaking her head.

Her hair brushes against his face and it feels like silk.

“The water? Okay, okay, I’ll put you in the lake.”

Jonas slips his other arm under her legs and thanks the Gods in his mind that he got a chance to touch them without appearing creepy.

Sounds intriguing! Can’t wait to find out what happens next. 😀

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/bOGBG0

Series Link:  https://amzn.to/2XVQt3e

Add it to Goodreads or BookBub:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45274725-beneath-the-surface

https://www.bookbub.com/books/beneath-the-surface-the-four-kingdoms-series-book-2-by-sierra-n-terry

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this fantasy romance! ♥♥♥

About Sierra N. Terry

Born and raised in Central Virginia, there was almost no chance Sierra could have grown up NOT being creative. Her mother was, and still is, highly creative with her drawings and poetry, and she always encouraged Sierra to pursue her work even if she didn’t always like the subject matter!

Sierra realized pretty young she loved to draw and read and despite all the encouragement she had, she somewhat put her creativity on the back-burner until a few years ago. No job ever interested her like art and storytelling did, so in her mid-20s she started her comic again and worked on it like a second job! Since then she has finished drawing the comic, wrote five fantasy novels, and more recently put all her works under the business name Sailorfrill Studio, as well as started selling at anime, book or comic conventions.

Books:

And, if you want to know how to connect with the fascinating Sierra N. Terry, here are some author links…

 

Once again, I want to thank Sierra N. Terry, the brilliant author of this fantasy romance, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! Readers, check out her work! ♥

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Exclusive Interview with author Isabelle Moss, plus a look at adult literary romance/fantasy, EROS AND THE MAGICIAN!

Hi, readers! I am pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. We’re doing something a little different. This is our twelfth official author interview on this romance blog! I know in the past, we did character interviews then switched over to the author’s take on it, but this approach is a bit unusual.

We have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak one-on-one with a talented author. Please join me in welcoming Isabelle Moss to ILRB! 🙂

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Isabelle. Please have a seat.

Author Isabelle Moss:  Hi, Marie!

Marie:  Hey, such a pleasure to have you here!

I’m going to throw in some standard questions first.

Obviously, we know your occupation as an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do?

I know I’m overloading you with questions, but we’re really interested in finding out more about you…

Isabelle:  I am a Tantric Transformation and Empowerment Coach for individuals and couples. I love my work. I am very happy doing what I do and helping people live richer and fuller lives. I am also a writer, and am creative all round. I make art in my spare time.

Marie: Nice!

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Isabelle:  I am part of a huge family of women – I am one of five daughters, I have four daughters, and I am an aunt to five nieces. My daughters are lively, confident companions and we have loads of fun together. The smell of cake welcomes guests as does the chat around the kitchen table.

Marie:  That’s wonderful!

Let’s try something else, okay?

If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?

Isabelle:  I moved and moved as a child. Every two years I had a new home, but finally we settled in an old stone walled cottage which is as romantic as any house could be. My stepfather was a fantastic gardener so the house greeted us with flowers and plants when we came and went.

Marie:  Lovely! 🙂

Do you have any hobbies, Isabelle? What do you enjoy doing?

Isabelle:  I walk in the woods every day. I love being outside whatever the weather. I do yoga and pilates, and I make art. Collages are my thing at the moment. I also cook and garden. I adore rituals and celebrate life whenever I can. I have just made Beltane wreaths.

Cool!

And what is your greatest dream?

Isabelle:  My dream is that my book goes out into the world as a vehicle of love. I have three or four others to publish in the series. I think that I am living the dream already. It hasn’t always been so, but I am very happy with where my life is right now.

Marie:  Good! 😀

Let’s try another question.

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?

Isabelle:  I don’t wish to be anybody than who I am right now, sitting here at my computer with the black bird in the garden and the sun coming in the window. Now is what I have.

Marie: Okay.

Not to pry too much, but who was your first love?

Isabelle:  My first love was gorgeous. I met him on a school trip to Russia and I remember walking in the Red Square in the snow, eating chocolate and my heart aching with the intensity of my feelings.

Marie:  (Sighs.) I love romance… ♥♥♥

Tell us something else. What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Isabelle:  I feel grateful that life always changes with this question. I had a long and protracted divorce which wasn’t pleasant in any way.

Marie: Oh, no, sorry to hear that! 😥

Let’s move on to another topic, shall we?

[Isabelle nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Isabelle:  I did want four children and am lucky to have them. I remember wanting to be independent, but I imagined that would come earlier. I also wanted to travel and before I married, I worked for an airline and traveled all over the world.

Marie:  All right.

So, who is your role model, Isabelle?

Isabelle:  Do I have to have only one? That seems brutal, but I love the heroines from further back. As a teen I gorged myself on old movies and fell in love with Katherine Hepburn.

Marie:  Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Isabelle:  No! I don’t know the people I dislike!

Marie:  And what is your deepest desire?

Isabelle:  To not be limited by fear.

Marie:  Sounds like a plan!

Let’s try a different question.

What is your greatest fear?

Isabelle:  That I will never truly fly like a bird.

Marie:  Okay…

Let’s do something else.

If you were trapped on a deserted island, what five essentials would you need with you? They don’t have to be practical.

Isabelle:

  • I’d need a stack of magazines with glue and a scalpel to make pictures, paint and pencils
  • Purple ink and unlined notebooks
  • A carrot cake that never went away and always had a slice left in it
  • A crown and a pair of wings
  • Music, so that I could dance on the beach

Marie:  Nice!

Readers, let’s shift somewhat and get the author’s perspective on one of her characters.  🙂

We’ve heard rumors about the heroine of your story, the girl. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?

Isabelle:  She is in the throes of first love and is overwhelmed. Sometimes she is yes, other times she is no. There is a dance between her and the Magician. She is tempestuous and he is steady.

Marie:  And what are her greatest strengths?

Isabelle:  Her greatest strength is her vulnerability. She allows herself to feel everything and is at one with nature.

Marie:  Great! 😀

And her weaknesses?

Isabelle:  She is full of fear and taboos. She is so terrified that she will be consumed by the intensity of the love that she constantly rejects it.

Marie:  I’m sure some readers would be able to relate to that. Sometimes as humans, we run from the things we don’t fully understand.

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are her favorite foods?

Isabelle:  Cake, I imagine, and fruit.

Marie:  How about another question?

What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Isabelle:  She is a child of nature with an imagination to go along with it.

Marie:  All right.

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Isabelle:  Some will like her, some won’t. It depends on what level the book speaks to them.

Marie:  Okay. Now that we have a real taste of the girl, we have a few questions for you as well as the author, about the writing process of your book.

 

What first gave you the idea for Eros and the Magician?

Isabelle:  It sprung from a deep longing inside me to be unconditionally loved in a romantic relationship.

Marie:  And there’s nothing wrong with wanting that! 😉

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like, Isabelle? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Isabelle:  I am not a plotter. Margaret Atwood said there were two types of writers – plotters and kittens batting a ball of wool across the floor. I am a kitten.

Marie:  (Laughs.) I know just what you mean! I often don’t know where my writing projects are headed at first.

I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Eros and the Magician or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?

Isabelle:  This book flowed out of me. I started with one story one day, and then wrote another the next until the days merged and stories were written. I decided to self-publish. I’m not sure why, but it might be because I wanted everything inside my control. Next time I will leave a longer lead in! I didn’t fully realize how much there would be to do around the marketing. Next time I’ll give myself time.

Marie:  Oh, yes. Spreading the world about a book is challenging.

It was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! Thank you for visiting!

And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Eros and the Magician appears to be… ♥

Here is the blurb:

Eros and the Magician is an erotic love story which unfolds in verse. It is set in lush and dreamy landscapes while the girl and the Magician lead us through the yes-no-yes at the heart of our most intimate love affairs. It is a story of vulnerability and the risk we all need to take to be truly loved. The girl and the Magician could be humans, immortals, Gods – we do not know. The story blends eroticism with complex and nuanced personal development.

Release Date: May 4, 2019

Genre: Erotic Romance, Adult Literary Romance, Poetry, Fantasy

Here’s a peek at the story…

Prophecy

 

I am wearing my purple dress,

long to the ground,

heavy rose quartz rests on my chest.

I am walking towards you,

limber, graceful, a Goddess –

a woman who belongs to herself.

I am wearing my purple dress,

long to the ground,

beribboned amethyst adorns my neck.

I am walking towards you,

ripped from the ground –

I am screaming and tearing my hair.

I am dressed in my skin,

bruised and battered,

but resplendent in glory.

I am walking towards you.

You gather me in,

home at last, you say.

 

I

 

The sun sends tendrils of light through

the canopy of leaves.

The song birds chatter,

the crows chase the hawk into the hedgerow.

The Magician sits on the ground,

his back against the trunk of the oak tree,

soaking up its wealth of knowing.

The air smells of resin and freshness.

The girl hums a tune,

starts to dance,

feet on the grass,

dappled with light;

removes her clothing

piece by piece,

as she does truths fall like fruit from her mouth.

When she is naked

she kneels in front of him,

slices the fruit, feeds it to him.

He tastes the sweetness of the fruit,

the saltiness of her fingers:

his c*** thrums,

he hears the pulse of his heart.

Sounds intriguing and sexy! Can’t wait to find out what happens. 😀

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/ba28Jx

Add it to Goodreads:   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45415613-eros-and-the-magician

What are people saying about Eros and the Magician?

“He’s the Magician, but she is holding the love for them in her heart.” – Emily

“Riveting to watch the dance between the girl and the Magician.” – Christina

“Isabelle Moss with her vivid, skillful, playful, whimsical, yet deep and heart and gut-wrenching writing creates a timeless piece of a magic puzzle. I absolutely adore it!

Every time I read a few pieces, I just melt into the story and feel like I am part of it. This rich piece is equally highly entertaining for your fairy loving inner child and for your dark shadow within.” – Inna August (Love, Sex and Relationship Transformation coach)

“These are like I have never read before. Sensual and full.

Your voice

Your vision

Your senses

So good.” – Gina

Luxurious and succulent – Isabelle Moss writes timeless poetry, you cannot help but feel the allure of her intimate heart that seems to link back to an era of time we remember on a soul level. She draws from the depths of life and portrays all the mysteries of love and longing in her work, and it’s provocative! She makes me question all the roles and empowers me to find my own voice in the dance of love. And this is just the beginning, her words seem to spill forth, I know there will be so much more poetry in the future! And I’m excited to read it!” – Lady D, Amazon

Unique, original, dazzling…This tells a story that is spell-binding, in that the reader is quickly bound up in a spell of enchanted words. There is a magic to this story of transformations told from a female point of view. The images are striking and vivid and sensual in this story that reminds me of “Psyche and Eros”. A good Jungian could explore these images and themes for quite a while, but it is a modern story about the need to surrender to the deepest desires of the heart.” – Jim Malloy, Amazon

Riveting, magical, accessible poetry full of feeling and mystery. Moss writes clearly and lyrically about the chemistry underlying the mutual seduction between the Magician and the girl, and captures the power dance between them beautifully. She creates a vivid natural world unto itself, a welcome, exotic and wild escape from our everyday environment. Highly recommend!” – Meg Escobosa, Amazon

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this adult literary romance with erotic poetry and fantasy! ♥♥♥

About Isabelle Moss

Isabelle Moss is a lover of fairytales and myths and lives in a land that is steeped in them. She writes poetry, short stories and novels. She is lucky enough to live beside ancient woodland, in Scotland, where she walks her dog, Oona. She reads and writes everywhere she goes and is a deep romantic never having lost her belief in the redemptive power of love. She has a weakness for afternoon tea and cake which she indulges in when her children come home.  She is a Tantra Coach and loves her work helping couples create more connected relationships. Eros and the Magician is the first in a series of three books and she is looking forward to narrating them as audio books in the near future.

Book:

 

 

 

And, if you want to know how to connect with the fascinating Isabelle Moss, here are some author links…

 

Once again, I want to thank Isabelle Moss, the brilliant author of this steamy literary fantasy romance, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! Readers, check out her work! ♥

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A Character Interview with Miranda from THE END OF HATRED plus a conversation with author Rebecca Hefner!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Amber Daulton’s character in March, and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Rebecca Hefner, the author of The End of Hatred, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Slayer Princess Miranda, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Rebecca in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Miranda!

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Miranda. Please have a seat.

Character Miranda:  Thank you for the invite, Marie.

Marie:  It’s my pleasure!

We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Miranda:  Sure.

Marie:  What is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?

Miranda:  Well, my current occupation is training to kill the Dark Lord Crimeous. He kidnapped my mother a thousand years ago, tortured and murdered her, and thrust the Slayers into an endless war with the Vampyres. So, yeah, I want him gone from Etherya’s Earth and I won’t stop until every memory of him is vanquished.

Marie:  All right.

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Miranda:  My mother, Rina, was a bright light in our world. She was taken when I was eight-years old and I remember how she would look at me with her olive-green eyes, filled with so much love. My father, King Marsias, was distraught at her abduction and never recovered.  I think he wants to love me, but it’s hard for him. Everyone says I’m the spitting image of Mother, so I think he sees her when he looks at me. Thankfully, my cousin Kenden is my rock and my confidante.  I love him more than anything in the world. He’s the commander of our army and has taught me to fight from a young age. He’s made me into the warrior I am today and has always loved me, even when I’m being a pain in the ass. Which he says is pretty much always.

Marie:  (Chuckles.)

If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?

Miranda:  I grew up in the Slayer castle, on the main Slayer compound of Uteria. It seems so magical and mystical, and I guess it is, but it’s also always seemed so cold to me. Perhaps because my father longs for Mother so much. His grief seems to permeate every room of the castle. But I do love Uteria and our satellite compound of Restia. I spend a lot of my time working on improving the parks and outdoor spaces. It’s important to me that my people have a beautiful world to live in and I also want to encourage the children of my kingdom to play outside. Human children stay indoors too much, with their video games and social media, and I want Slayer children to enjoy the sunny days we have on Etherya’s Earth. We’re safe in the sun since the Vampyres can only hunt us at night, thank God.

Marie:  Okay.

Do you have any hobbies, Miranda? What do you enjoy doing?

Miranda:  I’m a huge heavy metal fan. If you come between me and my iPod when I’m working out, you’re probably toast. I love jogging and sparring with Kenden. I have to keep my warrior skills sharp if I’m going to beat Crimeous!

Marie:  So, what is your greatest dream?

Miranda: (Sighs wistfully.) For my people to live in peace. We’ve been stuck in an endless war for a thousand years. The Vampyres raid us constantly and now Crimeous’ Deamons are growing stronger. All I want is to wake up one day and have a world where my people can thrive, without the threat of war and death. I’m determined to make it happen.

Marie:  I see…

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?

Miranda:  I’ve been groomed to be queen since I was born. I’ll take the throne one day, but for now I’m content to let my father rule. I’m the rightful heir, since I have my grandfather Valktor’s blood, but father does a great job.  Although, once I kill Crimeous, I intend to claim my crown. I’m sure my father will support me in that. Of course, he will…

Marie:  Okay, I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Miranda:  I haven’t actually been in love yet. I’ve had a few lovers. The Slayer traditions are extremely outdated. Young Slayer women are taught to save their virginity for marriage. I’ve always thought that incredibly sexist, as Slayer men are expected to sow their oats before getting married. I’ve never given a fig for any rule that some old curmudgeon decreed centuries before the Awakening, so I decided early on that if I felt comfortable with a man and cared for him, I would sleep with him. Sam was the sweet boy I dated in the first century. He was a bit timid and quite innocent in his avowals of love for me. Then there was Madu, and Ergon after him. They were both badasses who liked heavy metal too. I probably only dated them because it infuriated my father. After that, there was a long break with no dating and much training. Around the eighth century I dated  a soldier named Goran. Sadly, he was abducted in one of the Vampyre raids, never to be seen again.

There isn’t much time for love when you’re protecting your people. I wonder if I’ll ever experience it. I’m not sure I will…

Marie:  Well, I think it’s never too late.

(Sighs.) I love romance…

(Clears throat after a few moments). So, ah, not to be a downer, but I do have a pretty deep question next.

What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Miranda:  I would say my mother being kidnapped but, honestly, every time there’s a Vampyre raid and we lose more soldiers, I feel it down in my gut. I’m so tired of the constant fighting. We have to do better. Every soldier’s death is a weight on my soul and each one hurts so fiercely.

Marie:  😥 I can only imagine. That’s rough…

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?

[Miranda nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Miranda:  Mother was taken when I was still so young. I think I’ve always had the same dream; to help create a world where my people live in peace. If I can do that, I’ll be happy.

Marie:  How admirable! 😀

Who is your role model, Miranda?

Miranda:  Wow. That’s a tough one. Being a traditional society, women are taught to be reticent and silent. I’ve fought to break that and to level our society so that women are seen as equals. I don’t remember much about Mother, but I know that she challenged Father at every turn. So, I guess you could say that I aspire to live up to her and I definitely share her passion for helping our people.

Marie:  Cool!

Now, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Miranda:  My father is insistent on cementing a marriage between me and Kalil. He’s descended from a very old line of Slayer aristocrats and Father believes he’d make an excellent husband. I keep telling him that he should marry him, then.  (Shrugs.) Anyway, I guess I like Kalil, but he drives me a bit nuts. First of all, he’s boring as hell. Sorry, but I said it. Second, he’s a bit snobbish. There’s an inherent classism that runs through our people and, more often than not, aristocrats think they’re better than laborers and servants. That’s just not true. A person can’t control who their parents are or what bloodline they have. I believe that all people are equal and have tried hard to instill this in our society. I haven’t quite succeeded yet, but I’ll never give up the fight!

Marie:  Go, girl! 😉

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Miranda:  Again, not to be repetitive, but my people need to be free from war. It’s all I’m focused on right now. Once that happens, I can move on and focus on myself.

Marie:  What about your greatest fear?

Miranda:  That the Slayers will be eradicated, either by the Vampyres or the Deamons. It’s terrifying and I’m at the point where I realize we need to change tactics or that won’t happen. So, I’m leading the charge and if my father, or anyone else, doesn’t like it, I don’t give a damn.

Marie: Can’t blame you there…

I’m glad you were comfortable enough to tell me everything.

Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Miranda. It was so interesting getting to know you!  🙂

(Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective. We have author Rebecca Hefner on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, Rebecca!

Author Rebecca Hefner:  Hi, Marie! Thank you for taking the time to interview me.

Marie: Of course! I love to have authors on ILRB. 😀

So, we just got to talk to a female character from your story, Miranda. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us about her?

Rebecca:  Miranda is an absolute badass. She’s determined to right the wrongs committed by her grandfather centuries ago and won’t stop until she brings peace to her people. Her determination is amazing and I’d like to be her when I grow up!

Marie:  Awesome!

What are your character’s greatest strengths?

Rebecca:  Her love for her people. Her ability to see the bigger picture, even through the hatred. Her ability to love, even when others have a hard time loving her back. I see that with her father and it’s very heartbreaking.

Marie:  And your character’s greatest weakness?

Rebecca:  Miranda is stubborn, sometimes to her benefit and sometimes to her detriment. She’s also quite impulsive and is working on taking deep breaths so she doesn’t fly off the handle. I think it’s half-working.

Marie:  (Laughs.)

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of Miranda’s favorite foods?

Rebecca:  She loves seafood. The castle’s housekeeper, Jana, is a lovely woman who makes steamed halibut for Miranda at least once a week, knowing it’s her favorite!

Marie:  Yum!

How about another question?

What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Rebecca: Her fearlessness. I’ve never met anyone as strong and sure as Miranda. She was born with a sense of inner-belief and confidence, and I know it will aid her in saving her people.

Marie:  Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Rebecca:  I think readers will love her! She’s so strong and kick-ass, but down to earth as well. She loves heavy metal and has a great, snarky sense of humor. Her strength is admirable and we all can see a bit of ourselves in her faults.

Marie:  I’m sure they will adore her!

Now that we have a real taste of Miranda, here are a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for The End of Hatred?

Rebecca:  This is the first book in the series and it’s the story of two age-old enemies aligning to combat a common foe. So, ending the hatred seemed on point!

Marie:  Nice!

Isn’t it fascinating how the muse works? 😀

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Rebecca:  I sit down and write out a broad storyline, as well as any scenes that have appeared in my head. Then, I begin to write. The characters always take me to a much better place than I ever could’ve imagined. It’s as if they live in my imagination!

Marie:  (Nods.) I think sometimes our characters know best. 😉

How about one last question?

Now I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing The End of Hatred or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?

Rebecca:  I decided to self-publish because I felt that was the right path for me. I probably have a much different path than many others. I was a successful medical device sales rep in Corporate America for twelve years. I only left recently to pursue writing full-time. I’ve been writing these stories for decades so, once I decided to publish them, I didn’t want to wait another year or two to wade through submissions, et cetera. I also self-published because I wanted to retain creative control of my stories.

With that being said, I hired an amazing editor at NY Book Editors and, if any author is considering self-publishing, it is imperative they hire a professional editor. It’s respectful to your readers and they will appreciate your books even more.

There are many advantages to self-publishing and to traditional publishing, and every author has to figure out which one will work best for them.

Marie:  So true! 😉

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story The End of Hatred appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this paranormal romance by Rebecca Hefner, a very talented author! :)

Here is the blurb for The End of Hatred, book one of Etherya’s Earth Series:

These are dangerous times on Etherya’s Earth…

Slayer Princess Miranda, heir to the throne, has hated the Vampyres for a thousand years. Since the Awakening, she’s fought to protect her people, choosing to be a warrior more than a royal. When a female Vampyre washes up on the shore of her compound’s riverbank, she seizes the moment to take the offensive.

Sathan, King of the Vampyres, distraught at his sister’s disappearance and captivity, agrees to travel with Miranda to resurrect the Blade of Pestilence, also hoping to change his people’s state of endless war. Although the woman hates him due to the constant raids on her compound for the Slayers’ life-giving blood, he can’t help but admire the stubborn and strong princess.

As their journey progresses, both begin to understand that they are aligned in their hatred of Crimeous, leader of the Deamons, as well as their hope for peace between the Slayers and Vampyres. Determined to fight their growing attraction, they forge a tentative truce. But old wounds run deep and trust is scarce. Their faith in each other must remain strong or all will be lost…

Rebecca is also offering us a little excerpt from the book!

Latimus pulled up to the barrier that surrounded the compound. As the three brothers exited the black Hummer, he addressed Sathan. “Be careful. We’re here if you need us.”

Sathan nodded and walked to the wall. The stones were cool against his palm under the dark sky and silver moonlight. The force-field that Etherya had implemented around the wall vibrated against his hand. Pushing against the rocks, they swung open and he walked through.

About twenty feet away he saw a black SUV, the headlights bright. He walked slowly toward the car.

“That’s far enough,” a female voice said.

“Where’s my sister?”

“She’s being held in a safe place not far from here.”

The woman walked forward and he studied her in what little light he had. Silky, raven-black hair fell straight to her shoulders. Camouflage pants were tucked over black army boots and she wore a black tank top. Approaching him, he noticed how small she was. Probably about a foot shorter than his six-foot, eight-inch frame.

She stopped about two feet in front of him and lifted her chin, training her gaze on his. He felt a sharp clenching sensation in his solar plexus when he saw her irises. Like wet leaves that glistened on the tree after a rainy day, they were the deepest green he had ever seen.

“You have dragged me here,” he said, regaining his composure. “What do I have to do to get her back?”

“Do you know who I am?” she asked. Her voice was clear and firm without a trace of fear.

“The Slayer Princess Miranda,” he said.

She nodded and looked down at the grass for a moment. He wondered if she was more nervous than she appeared. Looking back up at him, she said, “I have no wish to hurt your sister. I wish to use her to ask you to help me.”

“Force me to help you,” he said, bitterness lacing his tone.

“If you like,” she said with a deferential shrug of her shoulders. “Our people have been at war for a thousand years. We are locked in a stalemate that neither side seems to be able to win. I have come to the conclusion that we need to change our tactics.”

“I’m listening.”

She inhaled a deep breath before continuing. “I’ve grown weary of fighting your people. I wish to form a temporary truce with you so that I can accomplish something of great importance.”

“Right,” he said, his tone suggesting that he trusted her about as far as he could throw her. “And what is it you need from me?”

“As the first-born descendants of Valktor and Markdor, our shared blood stream could release the Blade of Pestilence. Once I have it, I will use it to kill Crimeous and I will return your sister to you.”

Sathan blinked a few times, unsure he’d heard her correctly, and then he laughed incredulously. “Wait, are you serious?”

She stood still and mute, her chin thrust up in the air, waiting for his response.

“You want me to travel to the Cave of the Sacred Prophecy with you, release the Blade of Pestilence and then just let you go on your merry way after you’ve kidnapped my sister?”

“Yes,” she said, as if his statement hadn’t been dripping with sarcasm. “Except that I didn’t kidnap your sister. She washed up on the shore of our riverbank. I actually employed our doctor in nursing her back to health. You’re welcome, by the way.”

What a patronizing, cocky little bitch, Sathan thought. Although he had to admire how she stood her ground against him. His physical dominance over her alone should’ve had her cowering. He tested her will by taking a step forward, closing the distance between them. She stood firm, tilting her chin up even more to hold his gaze, and reluctant admiration for her courage coursed through him.

“You want me to thank you for keeping alive a hostage that you’re now using to negotiate with me?”

“It would be nice,” she said flippantly, “but I won’t hold my breath. So, what’s it going to be?

She stared up at him expectantly, as if she hadn’t just asked him to trek over four-hundred miles with her to rescue a weapon from an ancient prophecy.

“No. Now give me my sister. I don’t know what game you’re trying to play, but you’re obviously physically outmatched here. I’ll give you five seconds to hand her over or—”

A sharp pain stabbed in his chest and he gasped. Lowering his gaze to the left side of his chest, he realized that the woman had stabbed him with some sort of contraption.

“It’s a mini-blade-loaded-eight-shooter, you fucking bastard,” she said, spittle flying from between her clenched teeth as she pushed the contraption further into his chest. “The blade on the top of the barrel will only hurt, since you fuckers seem to heal like some goddamn miracle. But if I pull the trigger it will deploy eight tiny bullets right into your black fucking heart. Don’t make me do it.”

Pain coursed through him, as well as a healthy dose of anger. And yet, as he looked down on this tiny she-devil of a woman, he felt a jolt of respect. She had gotten the upper hand on him. Bracing himself, he pushed his chest further into the blade. An intense pleasure ran through him when her eyes widened in surprise.

“Go ahead,” he said, daring her. “Shoot me, princess. Let’s see if you have the courage.”

Tiny nostrils flared as she struggled to compose herself. Moments stretched by in silence as they stood locked in a dance of wills. “Well?” he jibed. “Haven’t you the bravery to kill me?”

Stepping back, she pulled the blade from his chest but kept the weapon aimed at his heart; her finger on the trigger. “Just like a stupid man,” she said, disgust lacing her voice. “Killing someone does not indicate courage or bravery. It’s the will to find a peaceful solution that shows one’s true strength.”

Huh. He didn’t expect that one. Not from the princess of the people who were his sworn enemy. He lifted his hand to put pressure on his bleeding wound. “Releasing the Blade of Pestilence will not find you peace. It will lead to more war if you wish to use it to kill Crimeous.”

“Perhaps,” she said. “But like I said, our tactics have to change. If you help me release the Blade, I promise I will return your sister to Astaria unharmed.”

He realized he believed her. Although she was a Slayer and had just stabbed him in the chest, she betrayed a firm genuineness. “And what about your father? The raids we hold against your people? Surely you cannot ask me to journey with you to the Cave, knowing my army will attack your people in another fortnight.”

Her face contorted into a withering scowl. “Yes, of course. How terrible of me to deny you the sport of hunting and killing my people.”

Remembering his earlier visit to the dungeon, he shook his head. “And now look who’s stupid.”

“What does that mean?” she asked.

Choosing not to answer her, he continued. “We’re almost out of rations from our last raid. If we don’t obtain more Slayer blood over the next fortnight, my people will begin to starve. Ruler to ruler, what would you have me do?”

“My cousin, our army commander, has agreed to supply your compound with blood from the injured soldiers we currently have in our infirmary. He will bank it for you daily and deliver it to this spot while we travel to the Cave.”

“Well, you’ve just got it all figured out, don’t you?” he asked sarcastically.

“It’s better than continuing this madness that’s been going on for centuries, isn’t it?” she asked, her tone just as biting. “Surely you can agree that it can’t hurt to employ new tactics in this age-old war. I mean, ruler to ruler, right?” She placed her free hand on her hip and her eyebrows jutted up as she waited for him to answer. Snarky little minx, this one was.

“Even if I agreed to your plan, how could I guarantee that my sister would be safe? For all I know, you could have your guards murder her as soon as we leave on our journey.”

“You’ll just have to trust me, I guess.”

“Says the woman holding the eight-shooter to my chest.”

Ever so slowly she lowered the weapon to her side. “I don’t want to hurt her. I’m sure you understand that if you hurt me, she will be immediately killed. I am trusting you not to harm me until I have the Blade in my possession. After that, once you return to your compound and I return to mine, we can assess how cooperative we’ve been toward each other and chart a course forward.”

And just like that, Sathan thought, the world had gone insane. The Slayer princess was standing in front of him, asking for a truce so that they could work together to rescue the centuries-old blade that her grandfather used to kill his parents. Fucking insane.

But what was even more insane was that he was considering it. After all, he had become frustrated with the current state of events as well. This cycle of endless war and destruction had them on a constant loop with no end in sight. What if he could actually work with the princess to change the course of history?

“Your father is on board with this plan?” he asked.

“Yes.”

Studying her, he narrowed his eyes. “I am intrigued by your proposal, but I need to discuss it with my brothers. If we are going to move forward with this, I would ask that you turn my sister over to me and trust that I will keep my word. How am I supposed to trust you if you do not trust me in return?”

“Good try, but no fucking way,” she said, shaking her head. “This trust thing is going to go one way and one way only. You’ll trust me to keep her alive and you’ll earn my trust by helping me.”

“She is an inexperienced female not used to the world outside our walls. I worry for her health—”

“She’s doing just fine. All you men think that we women just sit around waiting for you to let us live our lives. Your sister is strong and has already threatened to kill me about a hundred times. She’s got more spirit than I’ve seen in half our soldiers. I don’t wish to hurt her and I won’t as long as you help me.”

His heart warmed at the thought of Arderin putting up such a brave fight against her captor. “I need twenty-four hours to discuss with my brothers. I will meet you back here then.”

“I want an answer now—”

“No,” he said, lowering his hand from his now-mended chest. Self-healing abilities really were amazing. “The fact that I’m even considering your plan is making me doubt my sanity. I need to discuss with my brothers, who are my closest advisors. If you can’t grant me that, then we are at an impasse.”

“Fine. I’ll give you until sunset tomorrow. I’ll be here. Don’t be late.”

With one last look at the impertinent little princess, he turned and exited through the wall. His brothers were going to think he’d gone mad for even considering this. Of that, he was sure.

Ohh! ♥♥♥ Love the tension! Can’t wait to read this book and find out what happens next…🙂

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/ba2el2

Add it to your Goodreads or BookBub bookshelf:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42895210-the-end-of-hatred

https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-end-of-hatred-etherya-s-earth-book-1-by-rebecca-hefner

Link to the series on Amazon:  https://amzn.to/2XxJyN7

What are people saying about The End of Hatred?

Absolutely one of the most interesting, well written, intriguing romance books that i’ve read in a long time. I’ve already ordered book 2. Quirky twists. Unexpected developments with surprisingly believable characters. Can’t believe that this is Rebecca’s first book! I await many more!!!” – Judy H. Eubanks, Amazon

This book has everything you want in an epic novel. Great love stories, battles. The history of all three immortal races, especially between the Vampyres and Slayers is very unique. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series.” – Jolyane Justice, Amazon

New favorite series! I loved this book. The story had me on the edge of my seat the whole read. There was so much action as well as great lead characters. The romance and character development between Sathan and Miranda was fun too! I cannot wait to read the second book!” – Sonya Genesius, Amazon

 

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this paranormal/fantasy romance! ♥

About Rebecca Hefner

Rebecca Hefner grew up in Western NC and now calls the Hudson River of NYC home. From a very young age she used to sneak into her mother’s bedroom and raid the bookshelf, falling in love with the stories of Judith McNaught, Sandra Brown and Nora Roberts. Years later that love of a good romance, with lots of great characters and conflicts, has extended to her other favorite authors such as J.R. Ward and Lisa Kleypas. Also a huge Game of Thrones and Star Wars fan, she loves an epic fantasy and a surprise twist (Luke, he IS your father).

Rebecca published her first book in November of 2018. Before that, she had an extensive twelve-year medical device sales career, where she fought to shatter the glass ceiling in a Corporate America world dominated by men. After saving up for years, she left her established career to follow the long, winding and scary path of becoming a full-time author. Due to her experience, you’ll find her books filled with strong, smart heroines on a personal journey to better themselves and fight sexism and misogyny at every turn. She would be thrilled to hear from fans any time at rebecca@rebeccahefner.com.

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Rebecca Hefner, here are some author links:

Website:  https://www.rebeccahefner.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/rebeccahefnerauthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/RebHefnerAuthor

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/rebeccahefner/

Amazon Author Page:  http://author.to/RebeccaHefner

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18637390.Rebecca_Hefner

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rebecca-hefner

Newsletter Sign-Up:  https://www.rebeccahefner.com/#news

 

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Miranda, a female character from The End of Hatred, and Rebecca Hefner, the brilliant author of the book, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! 😀

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Filed under Authors, Book News, Books, Character Interview, characters, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Guest Writer, Interview, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Writers, Writing

Exclusive Interview with author Kathryn Troy, plus a look at time travel/fantasy romance, CURSE OF THE AMBER!

Hi, readers! I am pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. We’re doing something a little different. This is our eleventh official author interview on this romance blog! I know in the past, we did character interviews then switched over to the author’s take on it, but this approach is a bit unusual.

We have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak one-on-one with a talented multi-genre author. Please join me in welcoming Kathryn Troy to ILRB! 🙂

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Kathryn. Please have a seat.

Author Kathryn Troy:  Hi, Marie!

Marie:  Hey, such a pleasure to have you here!

I’m going to throw in some standard questions first.

Obviously, we know your occupation as an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do?

I know I’m overloading you with questions, but we’re really interested in finding out more about you…

Kathryn:  My day job is as a professional historian and adjunct professor. I’m also trained as a pastry chef. I love genre fiction, and I love writing genre fiction – I use up all my free time doing it.

Marie: Nice!

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Kathryn:  I have a loving husband and two cute kids – one boy and one girl.

Marie:  That’s wonderful!

Let’s try something else, okay?

If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?

Kathryn:  Like a full house – I lived with my parents, my grandparents, two siblings, and a rotation of cousins and aunts and uncles.

Marie:  Wow…I thought five people crammed under one roof was crowded! (Laughs.) But I’m sure you’re all still close-knit.

Do you have any hobbies, Kathryn? What do you enjoy doing?

Kathryn:  I think of writing as my hobby, since I find time to do it rather than clocking in for it, although I probably spend more hours writing each week than I do on anything else. Aside from that, I enjoy traveling as far and as often as possible. Favorites so far are France, Germany, and Hawaii. Next up: China.

Marie:  Cool!

And what is your greatest dream?

Kathryn:  To fill my passport up with stamps and need a second book.

Marie:  Sounds like a plan! 😉

Let’s try another question.

Not to pry too much, but who was your first love?

Kathryn:  My first love is my still love – my husband Andy. We met as college freshmen, have been together 17 years, and are about to celebrate 13 years of marriage.

Marie:  Yay! 😀 Congratulations!

(Sighs.) I love romance…

Let’s move on to another topic, shall we?

[Kathryn nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Kathryn:  I have no idea what my childhood dream was – I changed my mind too often. But I’m a fairly content person. My only aspirations at the moment are to see more of this planet.

Marie:  That I can understand! 😀 I’d like to do more traveling as well…

So, who is your role model, Kathryn?

Kathryn:  Xena Warrior Princess. I’m not joking.

Marie:  All right.

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Kathryn:  I can’t answer that. What if they read this?

Marie:  (Chuckles.)

And what is your deepest desire?

Kathryn:  Can I get a clone that does the dishes just the way I like them done? If it could fold laundry too, that’d be great. Really, I just need the maid from The Jetsons.

Marie:  (Covers her ears.) No…now I’ll have that theme playing in my head the rest of the day! (Laughs.)

Let’s try a different question.

What is your greatest fear?

Kathryn:  That my clone will be prettier than me. Just kidding! 😉

My biggest fear is probably that my kids will grow up in a post-Columbine, post-Newtown, post-Stoneman school system that did nothing to keep them safe.

Marie:  I agree. The situation is rather terrifying…

Let’s do something else.

If you were trapped on a deserted island, what five essentials would you need with you? They don’t have to be practical.

Kathryn:

A lifetime supply of bug-killer.

Toothpaste

Deodorant

2-ply toilet paper

The Infinity Gauntlet

Marie:  Okay.

Readers, let’s shift somewhat and get the author’s perspective on one of her characters.  🙂

We’ve heard rumors about the heroine of your story, Asenath Hayes. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?

Kathryn:  Asenath Hayes is a young archaeologist, orphaned at a young age and fairly independent, even if she’s a little dysfunctional.

Marie:  And what are Asenath’s greatest strengths?

Kathryn:  She’s intelligent and rational, but also very generous with others.

Marie:  Great! 😀

And her weaknesses?

Kathryn:  She’s a generally anxious person, grappling with some not-so-great life choices.

Marie:  I’m sure some of us can relate to that…

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are her favorite foods?

Kathryn:  Anything her roommate Ravi makes – including pork vindaloo and butter chicken.

Marie:  Nice!

How about another question?

What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Kathryn:  She doesn’t realize what a good friend she is to others, or how self-sacrificing she is for those she cares about.

Marie:  How admirable!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Kathryn:  She’s flawed, sure, but I don’t give people any real reason to dislike her.

Marie:  Great!

Now that we have a real taste of Asenath, we have a few questions for you as well as the author, about the writing process of your book.

What first gave you the idea for Curse of the Amber?

Kathryn:  I was reading Anne Rice’s The Mummy, and I felt that some of the storytelling elements were a bit flat. I love the concept of man-out-of-time stories, but I’m not always satisfied by them. I wanted to do something that would be satisfying, unique, and a bit on the darker side.

Marie:  Cool!

It’s fascinating how the muse works, huh? 😉

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like, Kathryn? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Kathryn:  I plot things out, even if it’s just mentally, getting all the major plot points in order and answering some questions of internal logic. I like to know the trajectory, and then go back for the details and polish later. I also did a lot of research for this book, but like I said, I’m a professional historian. I could’ve written a book about bog bodies and ancient Egypt with the amount of reading I did. I chose to write fiction instead.

Marie:  Awesome!

I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Curse of the Amber or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?

Kathryn:  It’s hard to find the right balance between something that is new, something fresh and original, and something that is clearly categorized and defined. If an agent or editor can’t easily peg the book as belonging to one genre or another, they can’t sell it, no matter how good your prose is. It can be hard to be mindful of the publishing market and marketing strategies while also creating a story. But it’s all about perspective. I’d rather write stories that I want to read, and worry about who else likes it later. It takes away some of the stress of writing to serve a particular audience or literary trend, and the end product tends to be better as a result.

Marie:  I agree!

It was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Curse of the Amber appears to be… ♥

Here is the blurb:

A curse, a resurrection, and a centuries old witch hell bent on revenge.

Quintus is a dutiful son and soldier, sent to Britannia to improve his marriage prospects and ensure the Druids never rise again. Roman soldiers destroyed the last Druid stronghold in a battle of blood and fire. So, he never expects to be sacrificed to their sacred bog, trapped forever by the gods below.

Two thousand years later, Asenath Hayes discovers the most well-preserved body in history. And the last thing she needs is for him to wake up.

As the young archaeologist delves into Druidic rituals to grasp why Quintus was offered to a Welsh bog and then resurrected, she is forced to complete her research with the “missing” body, dodge her ex-lover and mentor with his own agenda, and keep her gorgeous new houseguest under wraps.

But, smitten with her as he seems, Quintus says he wants to go home.

Asenath is drawn to Quintus by the secrets they share, even if it scares her. As Asenath is pulled deeper into the mysteries of the bog, she must risk everything to keep him from hell’s cold grasp as she uncovers forbidden rites, awakened deities, and an attraction that transcends the ages.

Here’s a peek at the story…

ASENATH

Chapter 1

 

The sun seems to have forgotten Wales. I didn’t think there was any place on Earth that could make me long to be in Egypt again, but I couldn’t escape the memories that flooded me. I shivered in the absence of the Valley’s merciless heat, where for summers on end its oppressive dryness sucked the life out of my lips and baked my skin into hardened, sand-beaten clay. That dryness had followed Ramesses, Amenhotep, Aken-aten, and his son beyond the world’s suffering down to their resting place, and kept the divine kings ready in the dark, empty stillness.

But the day’s oppression had always faded with the sun. The perfection of those nights on the Eastern Bank, at our host Hani’s home — that was what I missed. Invigorated by the fresh, life-giving breeze off the Nile’s surface and snuggled between my parents under thin woven blankets was a warmth I knew I would never feel again. The cold and damp of Britain, once the stronghold of the Druids, was relentless. The gnawing feeling at the pit of my stomach grew, and the thought I’d pushed away more than once made itself more insistent.

This was a mistake. I shouldn’t be here.

My fingertips numbed to the statuette in my hand, a solid representation of the wet chill in the air. Its faceless form was as alien to me as the bog in which I crouched. The shape of the stone fetish was at least interesting, a long, slender column with a severe “V” etched into it. It held more promise than the dozens of thin rings fashioned out of iron, bronze, and even gold, heaped together in a tangle, the clay pottery, now in shards, and scraps of linen that appeared to be tossed desperately into the bog as a last-ditch effort to avoid Roman destruction. But I couldn’t enjoy it for what it was. It was inscrutable, too disconnected from anything familiar. Its primitive, obscure expression reminded me of my own cold thoughts, and as I squeezed the chilled stone in my hand, I doubted if I would discover anything that had once been warm — made of flesh and blood. We were as deep down as the famous bog bodies had been, more so in certain places, and still we had nothing, or rather no one, to show for it.

I lifted my head, trying to shake off my melancholy and averting my eyes from the stone carving that would not reveal its secrets to me. I was too low down to inhale even a whiff of air that wasn’t saturated with the grassy pungency of the bog wall. From my vantage point, huddled low in a deep, man-hewn pit, the sodden depression of the bog appeared even more overgrown on all sides. Birch trees poked out of humble clusters of willows, red-speckled buckthorn, and mountain ash. Except for these trees skirting its outermost edges, the sunken area was wide and open. The cauldron bog retained its secluded atmosphere, despite being carved into a series of waterlogged cavities.

My somber mood deepened when I saw my advisor approach. Up until then I’d been successful at avoiding him. I deliberately didn’t linger, and always found a reason to visit another pit when the one we were in suddenly emptied of other researchers. I’d resisted the wrenching feeling in my gut too long, but as our excavation wound down, it was impossible to ignore, with nowhere for my thoughts to hide — there was nothing left of what used to be my life.

“How’s it going?” Alex asked, and knelt beside me.

“Fine,” I answered, not bothering to look up from the peat I was brushing off of a link of iron rings sunken into the over-saturated soil.

After a long, awkward silence, he said, “It’s okay, you know.”

“What is?”

“If you don’t…if we don’t find one.”

I swallowed hard. The only place for my rising fury to go was back down.

“I just don’t want you to think that this whole thing was a waste—”

“A waste?” I shot back. “I’ve got enough to keep me occupied for the next decade, thank you.” It was true, but that didn’t make the prospect of studying human sacrifice sans a human sound any better. Nothing would tell us as much about the Druids as human remains that had, willingly or otherwise, undergone their practices. It may have been more than anyone else expected, but the bar had been set impossibly high. A human discovery might have been the only way to exceed my father’s own discoveries in the Valley of the Kings and earn the same level of respect in my own right.

“All right, all right,” Alex said, contrite. “I didn’t come over here to upset you.”

“Then why are you here?” There was more bite in my voice than I meant, but he had that amused eyebrow raised again, the one that made my anger meaningless and painted me as a silly, wide-eyed novice with dreams of finding the next Tut.

“I thought you might need a refill.” He offered me a cup of coffee.

A gruff ‘thank you’ was all I could manage. My brain had reached maximum capacity for caffeine, but it went down easy. Milk and two sugars, just the way I liked it. Damn.

Sounds intriguing! Can’t wait to find out what happens. 😀

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/3LKz6w

Publisher link:  http://smarturl.it/CurseCO

Add it to Goodreads or BookBub:   http://smarturl.it/CurseGoodReads

https://www.bookbub.com/books/curse-of-the-amber-by-kathryn-troy

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this time travel/fantasy romance! ♥♥♥

About Kathryn Troy

I’m an historian by day, a novelist and baker by night. I like to write what I read – fantasy, romantic fantasy, gothic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, paranormal, horror, and weird fiction.

Books:

rav

And, if you want to know how to connect with the fascinating Kathryn Troy, here are some author links…

 

Once again, I want to thank Kathryn Troy, the brilliant author of this fantasy romance with a time travel angle, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! Readers, check out her work! ♥

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Book Review: Legends of Lust by Autumn Bardot

This week’s I Love Romance Blog review selection is Legends of Lust by Autumn Bardot. If you’re a fan of mythology, history, or ass-kicking women finding true lust (and sometimes love), this one is for you!

This book is a new release that, in fourteen short stories, tell the tales of remarkable women finding the men that match them in their infamy. From all realms of traditional historical fiction, Autumn kicks the heat up and had me clutching my pearls more than once. It is rare to find stories that are an equal mix of romance and erotica, but the author does a great job of blending the two.

As an added bonus, at the end of each story, the author has provided the original story’s information so we know how to find the foundation of each. I don’t think I’m going to be the only one wanting Odysseus’ story to be a full-length novel.

I’m a nitpicky kind of reader, but I’m hard pressed to find anything I didn’t like – definitely add this to your reading list! For shear awesomeness and entertainment – I give Legends of Lust by debut author Autumn Bardot 5 HEARTS!

Recommended Read

Book Info:

Who knew the ancient world could be so downright… arousing?

Like uncovering a sexy diamond in the rough, Legends of Lust reveals the fiery passions lying dormant behind your favorite mythological stories. This adults-only, debut collection of fourteen steamy, erotic short stories by Autumn Bardot is an explosion of sexy, nasty, and romantic retellings that will take your love of myths to a whole new level.

Odysseus, a mere man, becomes a god-like master of the tease in the eyes of the sex-starved and eternally lustful goddess, Calypso. The tale of Amazonian queen, Hippolyta, and Theseus gives “love-at-first-sight” a whole new meaning that will enthrall your senses. The encounter between Vishvamitra and Menaka takes them to explosive new levels of bodily nirvana. And Gilgamesh, the mighty god-king, sends temple prostitute Shamhat to tame a wild man, but instead he teaches her something about man’s most primal instincts… and is not left wanting.

Run wild in your personal Elysian Fields of pleasure with this spicy, irreverent peek into the sensual world of our most beloved gods, heroes, fairies, and shape shifters from every corner of the earth.

Universal Reader link: https://books2read.com/u/4EMMyA

Scorching, right? Let’s check out the book trailer!

AUTHOR: Autumn Bardot

TITLE: Legends of Lust: Erotic Myths from around the World

GENRE: erotica, some romance, mythology, fantasy, collection

RELEASE DATE: January 8, 2019

PUBLISHER: Cleis Press

ISBN/ASIN: B07H9HLFC1

OUR RATING: ♥♥♥♥♥

REVIEWED BY: Kevin Ethan

Up Next Week: Valentine in Venice by Kaya Quinsey

Thanks for reading our weekly book review on ILRB!

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Filed under Blogging, Book News, book reviews, Books, Erotica, Event, Fantasy, Historical, new release, Readers, Romance, steamy, Stories, Writing

Winter Love’s A Treat Mega Book Giveaway and 500th Anniversary Post

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Winter Love’s A Treat Mega Book Giveaway

Hi, readers! If you’re visiting the blog today, you are either a loyal follower, or you came across the site because you love “Romance” as much as I do. Both, perhaps? To mark our official 500th post, we’re having a rare, yet awesome event here on ILRB. And it’s just in time for Christmas…yay! 🙂

Created by Freepik

Often enough, romance readers want to know…well, which book spurred an author’s interest in the genre. We all have to start somewhere, and a good writer is first a reader. So, I thought it would be cool to get a unique take on the genre straight from the source. Plus, what is more suitable for the blog’s theme – combining tips on romantic relationships with our avid love of romance novels – than a massive giveaway comprised of romance books?

Forty-two authors have banded together this week to not only give a hint of their reading preferences, but also to offer a chance to win some great prizes! These aren’t just holiday romance tales, but rather books you can read year-round, covering various subgenres (for an overview on different romance categories, refer to this post I wrote for Writing in the Modern Age). So exciting, right?

 The Rules

With almost 200 opportunities to win, we have a lot going on here! If you’d like to enter the contest, please comment on the thread below. Be sure to include YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS, or we won’t be able to contact you. Though you can, of course, state the book titles or titles which interest you, to be fair to everyone please LIST YOUR PREFERRED ROMANCE SUBGENRES (for example: if erotica offends you, let us know, and also tell us if you already have one of the books in the list). All contest entries will be compiled, and then a randomizer will be used to select winners. The goal here is to make sure every participant wins at least once, if possible, so don’t be shy about telling us what you like or don’t like in your reading preferences; also if you’re open to trying something new. A lot of books are available in ebook format, but some are signed paperbacks. Leave us all your information in a comment below, or IF you prefer anonymity, you can email me at marieannlavender@gmail.com with the subject heading ‘WINTER LOVE GIVEAWAY ENTRY’.

I can’t emphasize enough how much I WILL NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO REACH YOU. I can’t traipse all over social media, trying to figure out how to contact you. Some people have similar names, and it’s like searching for an earring in a pile of thumbtacks. Painful, and just plain irritating. LOL. So, definitely tell us (or at least yours truly) how to reach your awesome self. 😉

Without further ado, let’s have a look at the prizes, and learn just what our favorite authors are reading these days…

Created by Freepik

The Prizes and Author Q&As

Prize #1

Author: K.C. Sprayberry

Title: At Home Christmas

Genre: Military Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 5

Blurb: Love found and lost in a day.

A heart shattered.

Christmas with the family. An ideal, sweet homecoming… Or the torturous reminder that family can be your worst enemy.

Cat Helmstead suffers a grievous loss while on temporary duty in Spain with the Air Force. Her heart shatters and she sinks into a grief so profound that she’s ready to join the man she loved so much. Until she’s sent home, to spend the holidays with her family and makes several important discoveries that will change her future forever.

Can Cat move on from losing the only guy she’s ever been attracted to?

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3L07d0

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books: Highland Velvet, The Velvet Promise, Sweet Liar, A Knight in Shining Armor, Velvet Angel – all by Jude Deveraux.

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: Sweet Liar by Jude Deveraux.

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: I’m rereading one of my own, Froliche Weihnachten/Merry Christmas. There may or may not be a sequel in progress…

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: Blackwater Burning, Where Have All the Cowboys Gone, Josey’s Mountain by Elle Marlow.

 

Prize #2

Author: Vina Arno

Title: Finder Keeper of My Heart

Genre: New Adult Romance

Format: Ebook (via Amazon or Barnes & Noble; provide the retailer you prefer and the appropriate email address for your device.)

# of copies: 2

Blurb: An aspiring Broadway actress believes her soul mate is named Avery, thanks to a message in a bottle. When she gets lost in a Hawaiian jungle, the mysterious Avery Bell saves her. Could he be The One? MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE meets SERENDIPITY.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/m2vw6r

Prize #3

Title: In His Corner

Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance

Format: Ebook (via Amazon or Barnes & Noble; provide the retailer you prefer and the appropriate email address for your device.)

# of copies: 5

Blurb: ER and romance—they don’t go together. That’s what Dr. Siena Carr thinks until an Olympic boxer walks into her ER with a cut that needs stitching and a passion that consumes her.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/38raYZ

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre AND Your Top 5 Romance Books:

For a long time, I didn’t realize I’m a romance genre lover at heart because the books I like are not categorized as romance novels but as classic literature. These are the classics that I cherish the most. I re-read these books time and again. They inspire me as a writer and reader both.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Emma by Jane Austen

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Prize #4

Author: Leslie Hachtel

Title: The Dream Dancer

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Signed Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Lady Bryce has a gift.
She can enter dreams and persuade her will onto others.
It has served her well, especially in eliminating unsatisfactory suitors of her father’s choosing.
But when she encounters Lord Rowland she wants him more than anything and decides to visit him in his sleep and make him desire her above all others.
But will their love be able to conquer all once Bryce’s secret is revealed? Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bppv6z

Prize #5

Title: Emma’s Dance

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Signed Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Headstrong Emma of Ashford is marrying Lord Alan, the man of her dreams, when her wedding is interrupted. A woman claims to be his long lost betrothed. But is she truly the woman thought dead since she was a child?
Emma is visited by a ghost. Is this spirit the long dead Carlyn who has come to help Emma declare the other woman an imposter? Or just another deception?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3G90or

Prize #6

Title: The Jester’s Dance

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Signed Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: The Lady Margaret, widowed and lonely, seeks adventure and goes to court disguised as a jester. She falls in love with a handsome Scotsman, Seth, who enlists her help to rescue his family. Together they must face danger, intrigue, and enemies determined to pull them apart. Can their love survive? Can they?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4XKpE6

Prize #7

Title: A Dance in Time

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Signed Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Lady Grace imagines escaping her cruel husband and miserable life. A portal into the past offers her so much more than she bargained for. Including meeting the man of her dreams whose life is at risk. Can she save him? Can he rescue her?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGz7o

Prize #8

Item: $20 Amazon Gift Card

Format: Swag

# of prizes: 1

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: The first romance I read was Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen Woodiwiss and I was hooked.

Prize #9

Author: Maggie Blackbird

Title: Blessed (Book 1 of the Matawapit Family Series)

Genre: Multicultural/Inspirational, MM Romance, Contemporary, Erotic Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: A mixed-blood Catholic seminarian struggles to discern his true calling:  the priesthood or his ex-lover, a proud but damaged Ojibway man.

It’s been ten years since Emery Matawapit sinned, having succumbed to temptation for the one thing in his life that felt right, another man.  In six months he’ll make a life-changing decision that will bar him from sexual relationships for the rest of his life.

Darryl Keejik has a decade-long chip on his shoulder, and he holds Emery’s father, the church deacon, responsible for what he’s suffered:  the loss of his family and a chance at true love with Emery. No longer a powerless kid, Darryl has influence within the community—maybe more than the deacon, and he intends on using his newfound power to destroy Deacon Matawapit and the church.

Hoping to save the church, Emery races home.  But stopping Darryl is harder than expected when their sizzling chemistry threatens to consume Emery. Now he is faced with the toughest decision of his life:  please his devout parents and fulfill his call to the priesthood, or remain true to his heart and marry the man created for him.

An erotic spiritual journey.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bOAgpA

Answered Question

Your Top 5 Romance Books

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: The Guarded Trilogy by Addison Carmichael

Prize #10

Author: Debbie De Louise

Title: Cloudy Rainbow

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: When you lose a loved one, whether it’s a relative, friend, or precious pet, you wonder where that special soul has gone and if you will ever see him or her again. For Dulcie Mills, Long Island computer programmer, the answer may lie between a virtual world and the real one, between the past and the present, between dreams and reality.

Unable to get over her fiancé’s death and facing the impending loss of her 15-year-old cat, Dulcie escapes to a virtual world. When Dulcie’s best friend accepts a job from a clairvoyant who offers predictions regarding Dulcie’s dead fiancé and Dulcie becomes attracted to an online stranger, history begins to repeat itself in ways that are both promising and terrifying. What Dulcie discovers through a virtual séance may mean the only chance she has left for love or death itself.

Addressing topics of reincarnation and soul transfer in similar ways as Greg Iles’ Sleep No More and Nora Roberts’ Midnight Bayou, Cloudy Rainbow features an interesting mix of technology and the paranormal and will also appeal to cat lovers.Universal Reader Link: mybook.to/CR2

 

Prize #11

Title: When Jack Trumps Ace

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Jackie Riordan’s in trouble . . .

When her jewel-thief father is caught in the middle of a heist, Jackie makes her getaway to his ex-jail pal’s apartment. a man called Ace, who lives in an upscale neighborhood of Chicago. What she doesn’t count on is falling in love with him and becoming his partner in crime. She also doesn’t expect to compete with Ace’s old flame or deal with his cat Roxie who causes her allergy attacks.

All bets are off . . .

After Jackie discovers clues left by her father which lead her to a treasure that Ace may have stolen, she contemplates her next move. Should she trust Ace and believe her father gave him the money, or head home to her mother, a religious hypocrite who would have no qualms about ratting out her own daughter to the cops?

Things that sparkle aren’t always Diamonds . . .

Before Jackie can decide who the good guys really are, she finds herself atop the Willis Tower carrying her father’s ashes in her pocket and aiding Ace in the largest jewelry heist of his life. Things go terribly wrong, and Jackie’s only choice seems to be to walk away from Ace or face imprisonment. Universal Reader Link: mybook.to/Jackebook

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

  1. Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes
  2. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audry Niffenegger
  3. Time and Again by Jack Finney
  4. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
  5. The Gift of a Charm by Melissa Hill

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreLove Story by Erich Segal

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: The Dinner List by Rebecca Searle

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

  1. As You Wish by Jude Deveraux
  2. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
  3. Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber

Prize #12

Author: David Russell

Title: Self’s Blossom

Genre: Literary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: A romantic, erotic tale of a vivid portrayal of the quest for the inner truth, empowerment and sexual liberation of Selene, a woman searching for primeval abandon and reckless adventure. Intelligent, a university graduate and a successful careerist, Selene became emotionally scarred by unhappy relationships. Riled and taunted through the years by her former college roommate Janice, Selene gave in to the long-term desire to ‘get one back’ at Janice by having a passionate holiday encounter. Immediately drawn to the sea and enthralled by its brutal yet sensual waves, Selene seduces a young boy on a deserted beach. Once she comes to meet the mature and powerful Hudson, Selene finally begins to claim her sensual destiny. Through a slow process, accentuated by Selene’s shyness, introspection and circumspection, she embarks on a long and elaborate interplay of leading on and rejection. The volcanic passion builds until there is a blazing row. A possible drowning, the final ritual undressing at long last, leads to the ultimate flowering of the woman Selene was meant to be.

Included in Self’s Blossom are: Blossom Reburgeoning Selene, a little older but still well-preserved, decides to retrace the steps of her holiday. Up-to-date in spirit, she procures a companion through the Internet, and in the key scenes, she opts for alternatives to the choices she made on her first expedition. She feels enriched by her experience, and her sense of satisfaction removed her inhibitions from expressing her bisexuality. Spatial Dimensions Selene becomes so fascinated by the Moon Goddess that bears her name, that she imagines and wills herself into becoming a goddess, to go on an ethereal quest, embracing space and time travel, with concomitant ecstatic fulfillment. Sci-fi embraces ancient mythology!

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3J8d5J

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe first romance book to grab me was The Girl Beneath the Lion by Andre Pieyre de Mandiargues. What really catalyzed me to write in this genre was The Lamorna Reach by Joy V. Sheridan, written in the 80s and recently published on Amazon.

Prize #13

Author: Bry Ann

Title: Enzio

Genre: Mafia Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: First things first, let me introduce myself.

My name is supervisory special agent Derek Enzio Johnson.

But many know me as Enzio, Underboss of the Italian-American Mafia.

Yeah.

To say my life is complicated would be the understatement of the century. I live two lives. Criminal by day, agent by night. My job you ask.

Simple.

Get enough intel to arrest three men: Adam Ruston, Frances Capello and Sven Xander. AKA, the mafia boss, Capo and what they believed to be the underboss.

I definitely didn’t plan on meeting such incredible people. One in particular.

Lacey Ruston, the boss’s wife.

As if this all wasn’t hard enough. By far, my hardest undercover job.

So, for the first time in my life, I’m torn between right and wrong. And to add to it, every day I have a role to play where my life hangs in a delicate balance.

I’m barely keeping it together.

And that’s before Iris Jane Shelby.

Trigger Warning: Sexual content. Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/boZRMv

Prize #14

Title: Saving Her

Genre: New Adult Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb:

SAM:

What is love?
Is it patient?
Is it kind?
Who the hell knows.
I don’t.
I just know I must save the one person I’ve ever opened my cold heart up to.
I don’t care what it takes to save her.
I sell drugs. I sell my soul. I don’t care. She just has to live.
Then enters Logan Prescott.
He makes sure to screw everything up. He makes me care.
He makes me feel…
And that is just not okay.

LOGAN:

Hollywood.
Lies. Sex. Fans. Attention.
Lonely.
I’ve been alone for far too long, caught up in a world I love but is slowly killing me.
The real me. The one behind the lights.
Then there’s her. The smart ass waitress who hates me with a fiery passion.

Trigger Warning: This is not a typical love story. Sam and Logan’s story contains disturbing scenes, drugs, sex and strong language.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3nY0M8

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe first book that made me love romance books was The Dark Light of Day by TM Frazier, and to this day it is still my all-time favorite book.

Prize #15

Authors: Lance and James Morcan

Title: Into the Americas

Genre: Historical Romantic Adventure

Format: Kindle ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story) is a gritty, real-life adventure based on one of history’s greatest survival stories. It was inspired by the diary entries of young English blacksmith John Jewitt during his time aboard the brigantine The Boston and also during his sojourn at Nootka Sound, on North America’s western seaboard, from 1802 to 1805.

Written by father-and-son writing team Lance & James Morcan (authors of The World Duology and The Orphan Trilogy), INTO THE AMERICAS is a tale of two vastly different cultures – Indigenous North American and European civilization – colliding head on. It is also a Romeo and Juliet story set in the wilderness.

Nineteen year-old blacksmith John Jewitt is one of only two survivors after his crewmates clash with the fierce Mowachaht tribe in the Pacific Northwest. A life of slavery awaits John and his fellow survivor, a belligerent American sailmaker, in a village ruled by the iron fist of Maquina, the all-powerful chief. Desperate to taste freedom again, they make several doomed escape attempts over mountains and sea. Only their value to the tribe and John’s relationship with Maquina prevents their captors from killing them.

As the seasons pass, John ‘goes Indian’ after falling in love with Eu-stochee, a beautiful maiden. This further alienates him from his fellow captive whose defiance leads to violent consequences. In the bloodshed that follows, John discovers another side to himself – a side he never knew existed and a side he detests. His desire to be reunited with the family and friends he left behind returns even stronger than before.

The stakes rise when John learns Eu-stochee is pregnant. When a final opportunity to escape arises, he must choose between returning to civilization or staying with Eu-stochee and their newborn son.

INTO THE AMERICAS has been adapted to a feature film screenplay and is in early development with Morcan Motion Pictures.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bzP5qZ

Answered Question

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: I’m currently reading OUTLANDER by Diane Gabaldon (Fantastic TV series, by the way).

Prize #16

Author: Devika Fernando

Title: Hidden Hopes

Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: A movie star hiding from the world – A teacher on vacation in the Rockies – Forbidden attraction that blooms into more

The last thing famous Hollywood actor Colby Williams needs is another personal tragedy splattered all over the media. To lie low and find himself again, the star stays incognito at a cozy bed & breakfast in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. But the solitude is broken by another guest: an intriguing woman who sees beyond his brooding surface and makes him feel alive again. Should he really open his heart and his life to her?

Hope Parker has come to Pleasant View to meet one of her best friends, not to fall in love with a mysterious stranger whose mood changes are infuriating. But something about this man on a quest for a second chance touches her. Can she handle the baggage he comes with?

* * *
This small town romance series features novels that each revolve around a bed & breakfast in a different country. The books are sweet romance, set in countries like England, Canada, and Italy. They can be read separately as stand-alones with a happy ending and are great for fans of Nora Roberts. No cliffhangers, no cheating, but some mild swearing.

Book 1: Tantalizing Temptations (Inn Love 1 – England)
Book 2: Hidden Hopes (Inn Love 2 – Canada)
Book 3: Sweet Surprises (Inn Love 3 – Italy) [releases in 2019]Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGzN8

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: The first book that made me fall in love with the romance genre was one by Nora Roberts, more than a decade ago. I can’t remember the exact title (and I read it in German those days, as opposed to her English books now). She’s still my favorite romance author.

 

Prize #17

Author: Remy Marie

Title: Jason’s Awakening

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Is true love fated or based on free will?

Before the attack, Jason Barton had a friends-don’t-date-friends philosophy when it came to being with the person he adored, Trini Davos. Trini, however, shared a different viewpoint and wanted nothing more than to be with the boy next door. For the last five years, the two shared a will-they-or-won’t-they relationship. Always friends, but nothing more.

However a brazen attack by a group of outlawed werewolves changed everything the long-time friends shared. They narrowly escaped death only to discover they became the wild beasts they feared. Transformed into something else, the two go on a journey not only to discover themselves, but to discover the true meaning of love.

Jason’s Awakening offers a fresh take on the paranormal romance genre. Filled with non-stop action, steamy romance, and twists no one will see coming, this book will keep the reader hooked from start to finish.

 “This book was not what I was expecting at all. First off, loved that it didn’t immediately go into the supernatural stuff; there was a lot of character building in the first few chapters and I loved Trini, Jason and Mohinder. (I have such a soft spot of Mo, he was my favorite) Each of the characters is very diverse and they really help to drive the plot. This book plays on the ‘soul mate’ trope in werewolf fiction, which is heavily used and turns this book right on its head. The mythology is brilliant, in-depth and well thought out. 5/5” – Amazon Reader

“I was very excited to read this book as I love all things related to werewolves. This book certainly did not disappoint and I was hooked from the beginning.” – Lost in a Book ReviewUniversal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mqZdO6

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance BooksI have so many, here are a few at the top of my mind. Heroes: Saving Charlie by Aury Willington, Breaking Dragon by Jordan Marie, At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey, Heartbreaker by Logan Chance, Breakaway by Heather Orgeron

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreHeroes: Saving Charlie by Aury Willington  (My first romance book!)

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Immersion by L.L Ash

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks, Stuck by Logan Chance, The Wedding Date by Jamsmine Guillory.

 

Prize #18

Author: Tanya W. Newman

Title: Winter Rain

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Gifted musician and singer Isabel Carson gets an unexpected phone call, asking her to come back for a reunion tour with a band she played for several years ago. Although she has serious reservations, Isabel reluctantly agrees…mainly because she can’t pass up the opportunity to see Spencer Logan, the man she loves, one last time. Six years ago, Isabel’s relationship with Spencer was sabotaged by Thomas, the jealous and possessive lead singer, and both men hurt her badly. However, once the band is reunited, it doesn’t take long for Isabel to realize she’s made a terrible mistake. Some things cannot be forgiven, and she would have been better off to have left the past in the past, where it belongs—especially since Isabel now hides a painful secret, one that, if exposed, could destroy what little peace and happiness she’s managed to achieve.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/m2vw07

Prize #19

Title: The Good Thief

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Two days before Christmas, shy bookstore owner Scotlyn Carter survived a traumatic bank robbery and subsequent kidnapping. Now, three months later, she still wakes up hearing the robber’s promise to find her—and kill her.

Then James McIntyre, the high school flame whose easy smile and mysterious eyes she could never forget, walks back into her life. As she falls for him once again, Scotlyn slowly begins to feel safe for the first time in a long time and thinks that maybe her nightmare will not come true, after all.

But James is not all that he seems. He is back in Scotlyn’s life for a reason and has been in contact with the very thieves who kidnapped her. And he’s harboring a dark secret that, if brought to light, could not only destroy their relationship—it could end their very lives.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4DlM0k

Prize #20

Author: Tina Donahue

Title: Adored

Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: A shameless fantasy come true…

When tall, dark, and delicious Adam Farrell crosses Danni’s radar at a Vegas trade show, it’s not lust at first sight. He’s starred in her wicked fantasies for a while, pleasuring her with domination and submission that leaves her breathless. Aching for his masterful touch, believing she’ll never have it, she indulges in an intimate public act Adam alone witnesses. What follows is a wild and impassioned night in his powerful arms. It’s only the beginning.

An undisclosed business deal has turned Adam from competitor to Danni’s new boss. His hunger for her is absolute and he’ll make her fantasies seem tame as he takes her in ways she never imagined – whenever he wants, wherever he desires.

Seduced by Adam’s plan to mix exquisite control with adoration, Danni’s swept into a sensual adventure she can’t resist. Until corporate politics intrude and she learns what he’s been hiding to protect her… a secret he’s long feared will tear them apart.

Publisher’s Note: This steamy romance contains elements of power exchange.Universal Reader Link:  https://books2read.com/u/bwYPXO

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

Top of Her Game – Emmy Holly

Seducing the Prince – Patricia Grasso

Wicked Loving Lies – Rosemary Rogers

Shanna – Kathleen Woodiwiss

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreRebecca (technically a gothic mystery, but I still consider it romance).

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: None. unfortunately – too busy writing my own and working a full-time job.

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

Gone with the Wind – never read it, but have wanted to

Fifty Shades of Grey – haven’t had time to read it either

McKettrick’s Choice by Linda Lael Miller

Prize #21

Author: Fiona Tarr

Title: The Jericho Prophecy

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: The battle for divine power rages within the Eternal Realm.

As the conflict escalates a prophecy is born that will set god against god amidst the mortal world below.
When the young priestess Rahab saves two foreigners from execution, she sets in motion a sequence of events that could see the death of everyone she knows and loves.

The future of humanity hangs in the balance as two bloodlines converge to battle over the city of Jericho. Now the Goddess Asherah must protect the prophecy and ensure both ancestral lines survive.

If either bloodline dies, the Host of Heaven will continue to battle for eternity…

-Finalist – 2018 – Author Academy and Readers’ Favorite Awards

“Fiona Tarr is a highly entertaining writer with exceptional storytelling skills.” – Eeva Lancaster for Readers’ Favorite

“A truly wonderful read with the plot very skillfully woven throughout the book.” – Claire Simpson

“Great book by a great author!! Definitely a Must Read!!!” – Ellen EngelbrechtUniversal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGz0J

Prize #22

Author: Palvi Sharma

Title: A Second Tomorrow

Genre: Young Adult Reincarnation Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: 1876 – Arianna is living a simple life. Devoted to her family, she is ready to sacrifice her dreams and marry the man her father has decided for her. Then she meets Renaud and she faces a difficult choice: should she choose love over family?

Present day
Mayara isn’t looking forward to graduation because that would mean she would never get to see Kanvar again, a guy she’s had a crush on for two years. She is about to reveal her feelings to him when her younger brother claims that Kanvar has been bullying him.

It is up to Mayara to figure out whether her instincts about Kanvar are true or not.

Two different eras, a love that challenges the beliefs of two young women. Can they balance both their family’s happiness and their own?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/49D10w

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

A Girl Named Rose by Betty Neels

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke

The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreIt would have to be A Girl Named Rose by Betty Neels. I must have read it fifty times!

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Unfortunately, I haven’t found the time to read because I’m currently working on my new novel. Just a few chapters left before I take a break and get some reading done.

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

Prize #23

Author: Viviana MacKade

Title: His Midnight Sun

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Tormented, fierce, and broken, sculptor Aidan Murphy has judged himself guilty. He yearns for love but pushes everyone away. He longs for acceptance but has lost the key to open his heart. Until he meets Summer Williams. Beautiful and smart, Dr. Williams promises haven for a man who believes he deserves none. All he has to do is let her in and risk his heart and soul.

Summer’s managed to keep her inner light alive, even through tragedy. She’s created a new life for herself and her daughter in Crescent Creek with loving, caring and fun friends–well, except brooding, breathtaking Aidan. She’s used to keeping away from his type, though. All she has to do is ignore the pull of a man who’s turning out to be much more than snarls and storms. Will her compassion and medical instincts let her?

Love can heal a broken soul and shake up a timid heart. Or it can unleash devastation and revenge.

Will Aidan and Summer survive the hurricane?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mYowkw

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

1. Edward Rutherfurd – London and Dublin

Both London and Dublin are cities I loved. I lived very close to London for five years, so I was able to visit and know her quite a bit. And I went to Dublin for the tenth anniversary with my husband, and I fell in love, totally and completely, with the city and Ireland. So those two books are a dream for me. I was able to witness how the cities changed and grew, and it was fantastic.

2. Nora Roberts – anything by her, really.

She’s the reason why I started writing, the one who got me hooked with the genre. Whatever she writes, I’ll read.

3. Marie Force – Fatal Series

The Hero and Heroine of this series are the only ones I love as much as I love Nora. Which is funny, because I’d read a book from Marie Force and hated it. Luckily for me, I have trouble remembering names so when I picked up the first book in the Fatal Series, I didn’t connect the author with the previous book and by the time I did, I was already gone for the series.

4. Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights

No need to explain this one.

5. Bernard Cornwell – anything and everything

Love the guy. In my mind, he and Nora are an item and reign together in Paradise Book.

Wouldn’t that be simply awesome?

Prize #24

Author: Diane Merrill Wigginton

Title: Angelina’s Secret

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Prize #25

Format: Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: If you were asked to keep a secret to save the life of someone you barely knew, would you?

Lady Angelina Stewart is a bold, beautiful, independent woman with a terrible secret to hide. After returning home from a sea voyage, she is touted as a hero for saving her family’s ship and crew from a band of ruthless pirates. But Angelina is a fraud. She allowed that dreadful pirate captain to touch a part of her that no other man has ever been able to touch before, until now; her heart.

Captain Jude Deveraux is leading a double life. He and his band of French privateers steal, rob and plunder unsuspecting ships that have the misfortune of wandering into their domain. Awarded a title by the King of France for bravery during battle, The Duke of Bayonne, A.K.A. Pirate Captain, takes what he wants from the world as he and best friend, Honore live each day as if it were their last. That is until the day Jude discovers that the only thing he truly wants is to capture the untamed heart of fiery tempered, Lady Stewart for his own.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/brGnEz

Prize #26

Title: Isabella’s Heart

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Prize #27

Format: Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: If you had a twin, how far would you go to save their life?

It is 1783 England and Isabella Deveraux is an independent, fearless young woman who has hardened her heart to everyone that mattered to her, until the night she experiences a disturbing dream about her twin brother, Charlie. It is the eve of their 19th birthday and Charlie and his two school mates have been abducted by the devil incarnate. Isabella resolves to do whatever it takes to save her beloved twin, even if that means reconciling with her estranged family and placing her life in the hands of an intimidating Irish mercenary Captain by the name of Townsend.

Captain Aiden Townsend is more than willing to save the lives of three privileged schoolboys, for the right price. Jaded by his own devastating loss years before, Aiden has worked hard to keep his distance from the female persuasion. That is until the day he is introduced to Lady Isabella Deveraux. He recognized her as a kindred spirit the moment he looked into her fiery eyes and as he sails his ship from England to Dublin, with the beautiful Lady Deveraux aboard, he formulates a plan to help her. But if his plan is to work, he must break through the walls that surround her heart while tearing down a few of his own.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bQ9Lk0

Prize #28

Title: Olivia’s Promise

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Prize #29

Format: Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: If you had a unique set of skills and could save your best friend from a fate worse than death, would you?

Lady Olivia Sophia Allen Townsend is not only young and beautiful but considered by most in her polite social circle to be far too eccentric for her own good. Olivia’s been able to see and speak to spirits since she was very young, but the years of shunning by her peers caused Olivia to turn her back on those who need her the most; the spirits caught between two worlds. That is until the night her best friend Lilly comes to her asking for help. You see, Lilly can’t remember what happened to her, and finds herself in need of Olivia’s unique gifts to help her figure it out.

Coco, Olivia’s younger sister, is also gifted. She can touch someone and know their deepest, darkest secrets, often the very secrets they would prefer to keep hidden.

Together, the sisters set off on a sea voyage, from Ireland to America, intent on solving the mystery of Lilly’s untimely death.

Brody and Quinton Beaumont are fine-looking, eligible southern gentlemen: heirs to a successful cotton empire. They are also twins hiding a terrible secret. Their mother, Annabelle Beaumont died on the same night as their annual winter ball, eight years earlier, yet she continues to rule over their plantation home with an iron fist.

When these two families come together, secrets will be revealed.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bWzDk7

Answered Questions

Books That I Have Loved Over the Years and the Books That Made Me Want to Write: anything by Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series – the first 4 books in the series, Katherine Woodiwiss – A Rose in Winter, Come Love a Stranger.

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Virgin to Victor by Trisha Hughes, a fascinating history of Royals from Mary of Scots and Bloody Mary, Elizabeth the Virgin Queen and on down. It is riveting the amount of research she has put into this book. Other than that, I am not doing much reading since I have just finished writing a novel, Lara’s Story, and I am working on a 5th novel, Compromising Position. I try not to read too much so that I am not influenced by someone else’s style while I am crafting my books.

The Latest 4 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: Forbidden Highlands – crafted by a group of writers, Highland Spy by Madeline Martin, Word of Honor by Alexa Aston, Everything Forbidden by Kess Michaels

Prize #30

Author: CJ Warrant

Title: Sweet Reunion

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: On the brink of losing her bakery, Beth Monroe must accept help from Bryce Landry, the college love who broke her heart, or watch her dream fail.

After a broken engagement, Bryce gave up on the idea of real love until he walks into Beth’s bake shop. He has no clue why she is curt with him. But to get into her good graces, Bryce gives her an offer she can’t refuse, which opens up both their hearts and exposes the love they had for each other.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bMQj8G

Prize #31

Title: Sweet Redemption

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Heading to Chicago for his mother’s funeral, Markus Landry is waylaid by a piece of metal piercing his gas tank. Stuck in the small town of Valentine, Oklahoma, he meets a vivacious spitfire librarian, Charlie White, who quickly gets under his skin. Markus wants more than a taste of her sweet lips and asks her to take a trip back to his hometown.

With just over a month left before Charlie has to close down her beloved Library, meeting Markus is a welcome distraction from her anguish about what she has to do. Even though she barely knows the man, Charlie takes a chance and lets her attraction for Markus take the lead and hope he doesn’t break her heart.

But seeing the brother he betrayed, Markus doubts he’s worth Charlie’s affection and pushes her away. Their chemistry is undeniable, but love may not be enough when you’re looking for redemption.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/m0gD8M

Answered Question

Your Top 5 Romance Books

  1. Lucy Lennox- any one of the Forever Wilde series
  2. Sarina Bowen –  Goodbye Paradise
  3. Tillie Cole – Hades Hangman Series
  4. Charlie Cochet – Love in Spades – Four Kings Security series
  5. Ella Frank – Temptation Series

Prize #32

Author: Amber Daulton

Title: Arresting Mason

Genre: Steamy Bad Boy Romantic Suspense

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Once you’re in a prison gang, you’re in it for life. That’s what Mason Harding thought until the boss accepted his resignation. After the State releases him on parole, a sexy divorcée behind the wheel of a car almost ends his life quicker than a shank. His chance encounter with Mia Eddison results in a night of passion, but her brother—his parole officer—catches them together and doesn’t approve.

Mia falls hard for the cocky ex-con, but not because of his chiseled body. She vows to break through his walls and discover his secrets, but never expects those secrets to threaten her life.

When members of an organized crime ring kidnap Mia to force Mason’s return to the gang, he goes up against an old friend to save the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be enough or will everything fall apart in a blaze of gunfire?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bxZLxe

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe first romance book I read was True Blue by Ingrid Weaver when I was twelve years old. After that, I started reading as many romance books as I could find, and I started writing my own books.

Prize #33

Author: Penny Estelle/P.A. Estelle

Title: The Forgotten Ornaments

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Twelve years ago Jim Rustle packed up and left his home in Idaho and hasn’t looked back. He gets quite an awakening when Lisa Parker, whom he hadn’t seen in all those years, breaks into a business meeting and uses some colorful adjectives to tell him just what she thinks of him.
Sparks fly between the two when he decides to follow Lisa home and sees what has happened in his absence. Is the anger stemming from the present or the past?
It’s the Christmas season. Anger, hurt, and misunderstandings have boiled inside Jim and Lisa for so long. Can homemade ornaments, from years past, help heal the betrayals that have festered for years?
The Forgotten Ornaments is a short story with a heat level of two. Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/47Z9yg

Prize #34

Title: The Unwanted Christmas Guest

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Elizabeth McMurphy is an up and coming, high powered attorney and is after vengeance, involving one of the richest and most powerful families in Colorado. Steve York is an obnoxious reporter that thinks the ice queen has gone too far and does all he can to get under her skin.

When one of the worst blizzards in history hits Colorado during the Christmas holidays and leaves a hurt Steve York, stranded with Elizabeth in a mountain cabin, her hatred for him starts to thaw. But this attorney has a secret that she will guard, even at the risk of losing her only chance at love.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bzP5xn

Prize #35

Title: The Christmas Outlaw

Genre: Historical Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Christmas Eve is five days away.  This is the day Sheriff Jim Hawkins will marry Charlene Lehman, the woman who will make his life complete and be the mother of his six year old daughter, Sally.

Adam Jacobson, a wanted murderer, is apprehended and it is up to Jim Hawkins to deliver him to Pueblo, Colorado. “I’ll only be gone for two days, Charlene. Nothing in this world will keep me from making you my wife.”

True to his word, Jim makes it home only to find both Charlene and his daughter missing. Heavy snow has covered any tracks to their whereabouts and nobody has seen a thing. All searches have come up empty.

Will the magic of the Christmas season come through or has Jim lost everything he has come to cherish?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mgLQxR

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe book that got me hooked was Rosemary Rogers’ Sweet Savage Love.

Prize #36

Author: Carol Ann Kauffman

Title: Madison’s Christmas

Genre: Holiday Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: “This is a sweet, short story about a woman who is emotionally fragile during the holiday season. She finds love in the most unexpected way with a man who isn’t afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. I smiled often as the story developed. It was adorable!”Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/b5ryGR

Prize #37

Title: Christmas at Star Lake

Genre: Holiday Romance/Mystery

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: This is the perfect time for a Christmas Murder Mystery! Somebody is killing off Madison’s employees, so she closed down shop, sends everyone home, and heads to a cabin at the lake to think. What could possibly go wrong?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/38raNL

Prize #38

Title: I Need Christmas

Genre: Holiday Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: The story of Betsy Curry, a woman returning home for the holidays with her big, happy family after a crushing divorce.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bppvxk

Prize #39

Title: Bentley Square

Genre: Romantic Adventure

Format: Signed Paperback

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Strangers see each other every day on the train, fantasize about each other, but never speak. Then one day they meet. International intrigue follows.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4XKp11

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreI first fell in love with romantic adventure stories after discovering Jude Deveraux’s wonderful tales of love and longing. Counterfeit Lady, Velvet Lady, The Montgomery Saga. A frontier one with Zeke and Abby…I can’t remember the name, but we all loved it! I was lucky enough to work with a bunch of avid readers. Usually non-fiction. Usually geared toward the education of primary children. But one evening after a teachers meeting, we discovered a little used paperback bookstore and bought everything they had by Jude, then passed them around among us at work. Discussions, late night phone calls, and tears in the teacher’s room ensued. Wonderful experience!

Prize #40

Author: Kenneth Sumerford

Title: Liberty: Romance Out of a Clear Blue Sky, Book 1

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 30

Blurb: Liberty Adair is recovering from her broken marriage and even has questions about God, science and her future. She is a Christian who unexpectedly meets a college professor who is good-looking, available but an atheist. Sometimes opposites attract. They are worlds apart but both need love and have disturbing questions about science, God and their future romantic relationships.

Dr. Ernest Siegfried is successful until he has a heart attack at age 39. Liberty was divorced from her preacher husband and now wonders if her life has meaning, or is her life without purpose and direction? Liberty has some past hurts from her failed marriage and longs for a good marriage and children. Ernest believes that modern science has replaced beliefs in God. Liberty is researching evolution, intelligent design and questions about the Creator to answer some burning doubts.

At age 28, can she be sure of what is real and what are outdated religious beliefs? How does God interface with humans? Does DNA prove intelligent design by the Creator? Did God create mankind in His image, or did humans create gods and goddesses in their image?

Additional option from Kenneth: I hope you review the book. I have a few paperbacks for free (10) and if you want one, then send me your physical address. Be sure to mention ‘Books Reviews Marie’ in your email. My Email address is bk@Sumerford.comUniversal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3yDAxp

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe Song of Solomon book in the Bible

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon

Prize #41

Author: McKenna Dean

Title: Ghost of a Chance

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: At sixteen, Sarah Atwell walked away from her love of horses and a promising career as a competitive rider after discovering she’d inherited the family curse. Years later, her grandmother stunned everyone by leaving Sarah her horse farm—worth millions—but with conditions Sarah might not be able to meet.

A former Redclaw agent, Casey Barnes retired when a security assignment went bad, killing his partner and leaving him as a partial amputee. His inner wolf is in hiding. He’s been living quietly as a horse trainer, but June Atwell’s death now pits him against her granddaughter for rights to the stable.

With both of them snowed in at the farm, a series of increasingly serious accidents draws Sarah and Casey closer together, but they each harbor secrets that might tear them apart.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGzEJ

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Duchess War by Courtney Milan

Pretty Face by Lucy Parker

To My Muse by Nicola Cameron

Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

Prize #42

Author: Seelie Kay

Title: Snatching Dianna

Genre: Romantic Suspense, some Erotic Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: The hours are counting down as investigators try to prove that Dianna Murphy has been snatched. Unfortunately, without witnesses and solid evidence, all the police really know is that she is missing.

When suburban Milwaukee law student Dianna Murphy fails to connect with her roommate, there is no real evidence that she has been snatched. Until Law Professor Janet MacLachlan, a former covert agent, discovers a single clue, one that points to a taking by a slave trafficking cartel. In a race against time, Janet recruits her husband, secret agent Cade Matthews, small-town Police Chief David Manders and his wife, criminal defense attorney Julianna Constant, and other law students to uncover the truth. Can they prove she has been taken, before Dianna disappears without a trace?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mvKgde

Answered Question

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Betting the Scot by Jennifer Tretheway

Prize #43

Author: Beverly Ovalle

Title: Dragons’ Mate

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Ménage

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: They had been searching for their mate, but when they find her she is traumatized and scared to be around strange men. They must get her to accept them before they reveal their true natures. Will their love be strong enough to break down her barriers? Could she truly be destined to love two dragons?

Today Annie’s dragons will shift and fulfill her every desire, which means a fiery threesome—and true love.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/38r1l7

Prize #44

Title: A Saint’s Salvation

Genre: Contemporary Military Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Corporal Nicholas ‘Saint’ Santiago needs to go home to reclaim the man he used to be. To be the man he was before Operation Enduring Freedom slowly hardened his heart. He needs to reconnect to the values and the reasons he is doing what he does. Saint also needs to try to forget the courageous woman he fell in love with.

Petty Officer Angelina Jones’ life changed the moment Saint saved her life. She survived the blast but now has to deal with the fact that she will never be whole. She can’t believe that anyone would want her the way she is now. Digging up her courage, Angelina moves forward hoping against hope that she can live a full life again.

Crossing paths again brings their emotions to a full boil. A coincidence that will have them both reaching for their dreams.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/A-Saints-Salvation

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

Dark Fire by Christine Feehan – My favorite out of all of the series.

Blackwing Defender (Kane’s Mountains Book 1) by T.S. Joyce – really ANY of her books. I’ve read this whole series and all the spinoffs starting with the bears on Damian’s Mountain!

Ice Planet Barbarians: A SciFi Alien Romance by Ruby Dixon. Again, I’ve read this whole series and the spin offs.

Ivan (Her Russian Protector #1) by Roxie Rivera – Loved this whole series.

King by T.M. Frazier – This series grabbed me by the gut. I couldn’t get enough.

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreI started reading gothic romances in 4th grade so I couldn’t tell you. But I remember the first romance I absolutely fell in love with, The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss.

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: I just finished Hacked by Love by Elisa Leigh and am waiting for the next one to come out.

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: I’m waiting on the next in the Daughters of Beasts series by T.S. Joyce, any of the Barbarians by Ruby Dixon, and the three books in Christine Feehan’s Dark Series I’m behind on. I like to save them up and stay immersed in a world.

Prize #45

Author: Skye McNeill

Title: Appointed by Fate

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Format: Kindle Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: Can second chances really exist for a bad boy mobster and the only woman to ever steal his heart?

One of Iowa’s most prominent criminal attorneys, Joci Dorous is ruthless and devoid of emotion in the courtroom. It’s what makes her the best. Her most recent client allegedly committed murder and, despite a rocky start, Joci is determined to win Cameron Shearer’s case.

Since this is her first homicide, she has the support of a second-chair attorney—her ex who wants her back. To make things more complicated, her hunky cop of a booty call, Cameron’s arresting officer, isn’t quite ready to let her go either. Who knew being surrounded by three hot guys could be so deliciously exhausting?

As the mystery of the case unravels, she soon discovers the true reason behind Cameron’s impromptu visit to Iowa. It’s this knowledge that endangers all those she holds dear. Caught up in confusion, chaos, and criminal law, how will her heart survive the final verdict? Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/47Z9oE

Prize #46

Title: Hearts Abroad

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Kindle Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Taking a break from screenwriting in New York City, Londyn Bellerose takes a nannying job in Colorado to get away from the hubbub. A summer to live without regrets is all she wants. While her boss is British, gorgeous, and a millionaire, he has no clue how to have fun. Determined to mend the relationship between father and daughters, Londyn doesn’t expect to fall for the museum curator.

Londyn is American and everything Callum Archer swore to never fall for again. With her carefree spirit and energetic smile, she’s perfect to nanny Callum’s two daughters. The problem is she’s also perfect for him. She’s sassy, musical, and tends to speak her mind more than she means to.

When old history and new dreams threaten her happily ever after, will Londyn and Callum’s love survive?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4jDkn2

Answered Question

Your Top 5 Romance BooksDeep Blue by Kat Martin, The Highlander Series by Maya Banks, Spirited Away by Cindy Miles, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and A Little of Chantelle Rose by Cristina Hodgson

Prize #47

Author: Raegyn Perry

Title: Lavender Fields

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Prize #48

Format: Paperback

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Torrential rain spikes. A scream pierces the dark night.

Greye Fields has immersed herself in her literary work, with no desire to chase the inevitable sting of rejection she knows too well. She won’t allow herself the time or the desire to pursue love.

Until she meets him.

Connor Donovan is perfectly content with his bachelor status. Life is good, teaching middle school English, and being the favorite uncle. He wants for nothing.

Until he meets her.

Shattered glass. A wash of blood.

Is it a nightmare or a memory?

Can Connor and Greye overcome the obstacles to the love of all time, or is tragedy doomed to be repeated?

What if love found the right people in the wrong time?

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bP5PEx

Prize #49

Title: Cypress Groves

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Prize #50

Format: Paperback

# of copies: 2

Blurb: The journey continues…

Darkness looms.

A horrific event shakes the small, idyllic town of Roy, WA.

Tre Michaels, the new sheriff, has a job to do. He has sworn to serve and protect, with his life if necessary. Though he has no time to pursue the hometown beauty, Angela Donovan, he finds himself gravitating to her.

A supernatural presence is lurking in the shadows of the quiet town.

The once peaceful community is changed forever.

Can Angela and Tre find love, and a happily ever after despite the danger? Or will their fairy tale turn deadly?

The Eternal Journey Series

A journey toward redemption, and truth

A journey toward love.

Be sure to look for the third and final story of the series, Rose Gardens.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3L07Aw

Prize #51

Item: Holiday Romance Gift Basket (Includes wine, so 21 and over only)

Format: Swag

# of packages: 1

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

  1. Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies-Michael Aiello
  2. Fault in our Stars – John Greene
  3. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  4. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas – James Patterson
  5. The Timepiece – Richard Paul Evans

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreCan’t recall the title now, but I know it was a Nora Roberts!

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Set in Stone by Aurrora St. James

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

  1. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon (love the TV series)
  2. Lucky Harbor Series by Jill Shalvis
  3. The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

Prize #52

Author: Alice J Miller

Title: The Price to Be Paid

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Kyle Lawson needs a wife, and he needs one now. With his ailing business on the line, the only woman who can rescue him is the stepdaughter of the man who put him in this precarious position in the first place. Can he trust her to come through for him, and save his business?

When given the chance to marry the man of her dreams, while atoning for the sins of her family, Molly Wilson doesn’t hesitate. Propelled into a bogus marriage, she vows to make up for the mistakes of the past, even if it means breaking her own heart.

Can Kyle and Molly put aside their differences and unite, fight for a better future? When their plan is threatened by a secret from Kyle’s past, will it ruin the deal and destroy any hope of a life together?

Amidst the searing heat of Florida, will Molly and Kyle resist their inner desires? Or, despite their troubled past, can love, forgiveness and redemption find a way to shape their future?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/b5ry1l

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books: Very hard, but I narrowed it down…

Liz Fielding – Anything but Vanilla

Newly Weds of Convenience – Jessica Hart

A Nanny for the New Year – Barbara McMahon

S E Gilchrist – Legend Beyond the Stars

Diane Burton – Switched

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreWild Justice – Liz Fielding

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: The Lost King – Michael Cuell

It’s set in the days of kings and sword fights, but has romance at the heart of it.

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

Kari Lemor – Fatal Evidence (Love on the Line Book 3)

Carrie Nichols – The Sheriff’s Little Matchmaker

Brynn Kelly – Edge of Truth

Prize #53

Author: Jenny Lynn

Title: Captive

Genre: New Adult Romantic Suspense, Dark Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 5

Blurb: In the city of sin, who will be saved?

Beckett Carter is the last of his family; the head of Carter Enterprises and a reclusive billionaire living in a luxurious Las Vegas penthouse. Since his parents’ murder, his obsession with justice has steadily grown stronger, leading him to become the masked vigilante known to criminals as the Phantom. When he’s not out playing the part of a filthy rich playboy he trains his body hard, and in his disguise, he brings the criminal underworld to its knees.

Crime reporter Ella James keeps everyone at arm’s length, throwing herself into her work and her quest to find out what happened to her missing sister. She doesn’t let anyone get close enough to her to see how damaged she really is and afraid to trust anyone fully; she has never let a man touch her. While going undercover she puts her life in danger and discovers the secret identity of the Phantom as he ruthlessly eliminates a room full of criminals. This one night sets off a chain of events neither of them expected.

Faced with the threat of being exposed, Beckett is left with only one choice. He takes Ella captive, keeping her in a secret room until he can complete his mission. In Ella, Beckett finds an opponent unlike any he’s met before – she’s smart, resourceful, and worst of all, innocent. The untouched woman locked away in his penthouse is the greatest temptation he has ever faced.

A tense rivalry between the two grows into something so much more than either could have imagined. When Beckett gives in and shows Ella how dark he can be, can she succeed and show him the light?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3nY0oB

Answered Question

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: I’m currently reading Sin with Me by J.A Huss. I enjoy her writing style; it’s deliciously dark and sensual with quite a few twists and turns. I like a bit of suspense in my romance as a reader and a writer.

Prize #54

Author: Sofie Darling

Title: Three Lessons in Seduction

Genre: Historical Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Paris, September 1824 – Lord Nicholas Asquith needs his wife. Too bad he broke her heart ten years ago.

Can he resist a second chance at the love he lost?

When Mariana catches the eye of the man at the center of an assassination plot, Nick puts aside their painful past and enlists her to obtain information by any means necessary, even if it means seducing the enemy agent.

Even if the thought makes his blood boil.

Only by keeping his distance from Mariana these last ten years was he able to pretend indifference to her. With every moment spent with her, he feels his tightly held control slipping…

Can she trust the spy who broke her heart?

Mariana spent the last decade forgetting Nick. Now she has the chance to best him at his own game, an opportunity she can’t resist, even as her view of him begins to shift. Increasingly, she wants nothing more than to seduce her own husband …

It’s only a matter of time before mad passion ignites, a passion never convincingly extinguished. A passion that insists on surrendering to the yearning of the flesh and, quite possibly, of the heart.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bzP5Xq

Prize #55

Title: Tempted by the Viscount

Genre: Historical Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: London, April 1825

Lord Jakob Radclyffe left his past behind in the Far East. Or so he thinks until a ruthless thief surfaces in London, threatening to ruin his daughter’s reputation. With the clock ticking, Jake needs the scandalous Lady Olivia Montfort’s connections in the art world to protect his daughter’s future.

Olivia, too, has a past she’d like to escape. By purchasing her very own Mayfair townhouse, she’ll be able to start a new life independent from all men. There’s one problem: she needs a powerful man’s name to do so. The Viscount St. Alban is the perfect name.

A bargain is struck.

What Olivia doesn’t anticipate is the temptation of the viscount. The undeniable spark of awareness that races between them undermines her vow to leave love behind. Soon, she has no choice but to rid her system of Jake by surrendering to her craving for a single scorching encounter.

But is once enough? Sometimes once only stokes the flame of desire higher and hotter. And sometimes once is all the heart needs to risk all and follow a mad passion wherever it may lead.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mgLQqD

Answered Question

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Too Wilde to Wed by Eloisa James

Prize #56

Author: Carole McKee

Title: Maddie’s Garden

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Growing up in an unstable home, and then being tossed into the home of her estranged father and his new family, Maddie knows how it feels to be unwanted. All she longs for is a normal family where there is love, peace, and harmony. When she finds the twins hiding in her yard, her heart opens up and love spills all over them. They are running away because their widowed father is going to marry a woman they hate, and they claim she hates them, too. Maddie is taken in by the twins, and soon becomes good friends with their father. She steps in and helps out when he asks her, and she is glad to do it. When Adam has set a date for his wedding, he backs away from Maddie, hoping to give his future wife a chance to bond with his children. It is then that Maddie realizes that she is in love with Adam, and her heart breaks. Maddie isn’t the only one who is sad. The twins are devastated and resort to drastic measures to get Maddie back. In spite of their sad little faces, the wedding day arrives, and it is up to Adam to make it right.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bazeQQ

Prize #57

Title: Testosterone Poisoning, Book 1

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: After breaking up with Derek, Kyla Stanford meets the man of her dreams. Storm Galloway is the most gorgeous man she has ever seen. They are so right for each other, and they could not be happier. When Derek sees them together he is enraged. Kyla must pay for her lies and infidelity — Derek will see to it. He hatches a plan. Will Storm find her and save her? Will he be on time? And finally, what does ‘testosterone poisoning’ mean? Who is poisoned by testosterone?

This is Book 1 of the series of three.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/meAYMY

Prize #58

Title: Missing Memories

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: A car accident in the middle of a snowstorm wipes out Miranda’s memory. While she is being treated at a clinic by a pair of doctors, father and son, she begins to fall for the son. The feelings are mutual. But it is soon discovered that she has a family and a fiancé desperately trying to find her. They are complete strangers to her, but it is odd that there is something about Rob, her fiancé, that she does not like. While she doesn’t recognize her family, she feels safe with them. The Christmas wedding had been postponed, but Rob encourages her to set another date. She allows him to talk her into setting a date, but these feelings she has toward Rob won’t go away. Why? If only she could get her memory back. That may be the answer.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mKKnLZ

Answered Question

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Right now I am reading Cinderella Moment by Lulu Jones, and so far, it’s delightful.

Prize #59

Author: Bonnie McCune

Title: Never Retreat

Genre: Clean Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: A feisty single mom clashes with an ex-military, macho corporate star at a business retreat in the wild Colorado mountains, where only one can win a huge prize. But when a massive flood imperils their love and survival, they learn the meaning of true partnership.

Years ago, Ramona (‘Raye”) Soto faced harsh reality when a roving con man knocked her up. Now at thirty-something, she’s concentrating on her career in a major telecommunications firm and funding college for her teenaged son. Enter Desmond Emmett—a fast talker and smooth operator. New to the office, the ex-serviceman possesses every negative quality for a guy Raye should avoid.

Thrown together at a corporate retreat in the wilderness, the reluctant duo struggles to complete management’s extreme mental and physical tests for a huge reward. But only one can win the prize, and Des needs the money to underwrite medical treatments for his adored younger sister.

Seesawing between attraction and antagonism, the mismatched couple, Raye and Des, face their biggest challenge: learning the meaning of true partnership. When a massive flash flood sweeps down the rocky canyon and threatens their love and survival, they must put aside their differences to rescue their colleagues — and their future as a couple.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bQ9L5Z

Prize #60

Title: Falling Like a Rock

Genre: Clean Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: Watch out for falling rock! A mountain town and its rugged mayor captivate a woman in search of a new life and love.

Unloved and unemployed. That’s Elaine Svoboda, after she’s sacked, then flees across country to her boyfriend who drops her flat. Teetering on the abyss of disaster, she calls an old friend who invites her to a tiny mountain town with fresh prospects. There she meets rugged, hunky Joe Richter-Leon, mayor of Falling Rock, Colorado.

Sparks fly immediately, but major obstacles make a new life on the ashes of the old appear impossible. She must overcome a few obstacles like a broken ankle, an eating disturbance, his stubbornness, and her own fears. She’s smothering her hopes when a battle with a forest inferno illuminates their true feelings and desire.

Funny and frank, poignant and perceptive, when two people are “Falling Like a Rock,” they learn surrender sometimes means victory.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3krMqG

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreRoberta Gellis, Bond of Blood. I discovered she excelled at historic romances which fully utilized her depth of academic expertise and made readers hungry for her accurate, enchanting stories.

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Just finished Kristin Higgins’ Good Luck with That. In-depth, multi-layered story of three friends, all with weight and psychological problems. But which caused which?

Prize #61

Author: Young (Bernard Foong)

Title: No Distance Between Us

Genre: LGBT Romance/Memoir

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: No Distance Between Us is a short, coming-of-age romantic story about a gay teenager in an exclusive English boarding school. Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mVBEpr

Prize #62

Title: The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up

Genre: LGBT Romance/Memoir

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up is a short yuletide story about a teenage prankster at a pantomime in an exclusive English boarding school.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mvKglq

Prize #63

Title: The Truth Will Set You Free

Genre: LGBT Romance/Memoir

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: The Truth Will Set You Free is a mistaken identity short story about a gay teenager at a Valentine’s Day party with a girl who had eyes for him.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bxZLlJ

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe trilogy that made me fall in love with the Romance/Erotica Genre was Anne Rice writing as A. N. ROQUELAURE, Classic Erotic Trilogy of Sleeping Beauty. These books were so beautifully written, I could identify one of the characters as that of myself. I read the entire series within a week in the early 1980s. I have yet to read another Romance/Erotica author’s work that can rival the Erotic Adventures of Sleeping Beauty trilogy. Although Ms. Rice penned a fourth book to the series three decades later, I was disappointed because her erotic romance mojo/emotions had dissipated. What was left was an empty repetitious shell of her glorious trilogy.

Prize #64

Author: Marie Lavender

Title: Blood at First Sight Series

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1 ebook set of 2 books

Blurb:

SECOND NATURE

She never expected it…

Desiree Edwards has a problem. She’s been attacked, kidnapped and forced to get along with a vampire of all things. It’s something right out of the story books she reads, or her worst nightmare. But, sometimes he’s not the monster he appears to be. He seems so humanlike that she can’t help it when her emotions betray her, when her body betrays her. To make matters worse, she finds out more about herself than she ever wanted to know.

She was unlike any other…

Alec has a problem. The animal in him wants Desiree. But, so does the man. The more he learns about her, the harder it is to deny what he wants. But, he’s a freak, and she’s just a human. The two species don’t mix that way. Then an old enemy surfaces and Alec is forced to make a choice. His life or hers.

Can Alec’s soul be saved by this unique human? Or will it be far too late?

BLOOD INSTINCTS

Enter the Other World at your own risk…
What if you found out that you weren’t exactly…human?
Myah Sullivan is suddenly living that nightmare. There are Others in the world, dangerous, supernatural creatures that make her mind spin and cause her to question the reality she’s always known.
Oliver King is her savior, a vampire who tries to show her the way. Through her journey she learns far more than she ever thought she would about herself, and about the past. Soon, she discovers that there is so much more to meeting Oliver than mere happenstance.
Can Myah accept her new reality, or will she retreat into that normal, safe world she once thought was her own?Universal Reader Link: http://Author.to/MarieLavender

Prize #65

Title: Blue Vision (book one of the Code of Endhivar Series)

Genre: Sci-fi Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Brooke Sanders just wants to get away from her life for a while. A remote cabin in Montana fits the bill. She doesn’t expect to encounter a mysterious stranger with unusual blue eyes, or events that cannot be explained…

Colin Fielding is on a mission – scout a planet and return home to Endhivar. Simple really. What he doesn’t anticipate is that fate has a pretty twisted sense of humor. Suddenly, this human calls to him, every part of him, like the call of a true mate, and he can’t deny the connection as he gets closer to her.

Little do they know, someone is out to do them harm, as well as the world Brooke holds so dear. Can they stop what’s coming before it’s too late? Or will the universe lose a perfect gem?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/md0BoX

Prize #66

Title: Heiresses in Love Trilogy

Genre: Historical Romance/Family Saga

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1 boxed set

Blurb: An unforgettable, sweeping saga of romance, passion and history rooted in tales of maritime suspense…

Three heiresses…three novels like no other.

UPON YOUR RETURN

Fara risks her heart every time she’s with him, but she cannot deny him.

UPON YOUR HONOR

Chloe never imagined that the man she deceived would be the one man she can’t stop loving.

UPON YOUR LOVE

Adrienne must decide whether to succumb to desire or fight for love.

…Will these remarkable women at last find what they’ve always wanted, or lose more than they can bear?Universal Reader Link: http://myBook.to/HeiressesTrilogy

Prize #67

Title: Second Chance Heart (book one of the Eternal Hearts Series)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: After a wild storm forces her to take shelter in a small town inn, Dana Nelson thinks that all she has to worry about is a brief stay before she heads back to the city. She gets far more than she bargained for…

The last thing she expects is to run into an old flame, and even worse, the man who broke her heart twelve years ago. She’s sure that the only thing remaining between them is a strong attraction for another.

She can’t be more wrong…

The more time she spends with Vince Reynolds, the more she begins to believe she can trust him again. But, can she put her faith in the one man who captivates her, body and soul, or are some wounds too deep to heal?

Universal Reader Link: http://books2read.com/u/brozre

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance BooksDark Lover by J.R. Ward, Under Her Skin by Susan Mallery, The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood, Emma’s Home by Maryann Jordan, Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreDevil’s Embrace by Catherine Coulter

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Wild Things by Chloe Neill

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor

The Ancient Blood Awakens box set by Angel Black

Prize #68

Author: Cleo Scornavacca

Title: Within Six Months

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook (and bookmark set in the mail)

# of copies: 5

Blurb: Time…escaping his past, struggling with the present, looking towards his future.

Time… a gift, precious, fleeting, ever-changing, moving quickly…too quickly, especially for a man searching for the woman of his dreams.

That’s exactly how photographer Tommy Conte decided he would begin his new life. He left everything he knew behind in search of something special…someone special. His plan was clear. He would move to the beach, renovate an old shore house and find the woman that he would ultimately marry…all within six months.

Was he delusional? Perhaps…yet after everything that had gone on in his life the last few years, he had to take that chance.

Then… as luck would have it, he met Jade Stanton, his new neighbor. Tommy was immediately drawn to her. He wanted and needed to know more.

Perfect right? Wrong…

There was one small problem. Jade wasn’t looking for a long-term relationship like Tommy was. She was done…over it. She swore off anything serious with any man that came her way…until she was backed into a corner and Tommy came to her rescue.

He pretended to be her boyfriend…for just one evening.

It was simple, no strings attached. It was only one night, or so she thought.

Due to circumstances beyond her control, Jade needed Tommy to play his part for a little while longer. She didn’t think it would be a problem. Tommy was fine with it and they both knew it was all just an act. Yet, Jade came to realize the more she pretended, the more she couldn’t deny that she was falling for him. Although she didn’t want Tommy to find out, Tommy knew better; he felt it too.

Tommy realized that the girl he had dreamed of was right there in front of him, and the life he wanted to share with her was finally within his grasp. He decided he couldn’t let her slip away. He wouldn’t leave it up to fate. He had to try, but Tommy also knew it wouldn’t be easy. Actually, it would be the hardest thing he ever had to do…prove to Jade that she could trust him enough to love him, as much as he loved her.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/38ra16

Prize #69

Title: Miss Taken Identity Series

Genre: Contemporary Romance, some Dark Romance

Format: Ebook Set (trilogy) with bookmark set in the mail

# of copies: 5

Blurb:

MISS TAKEN

Love… The Ultimate Loss of Control

Rain and Raven Medici are identical twins. Although they come from a loving close-knit family, their childhoods couldn’t have been more different. Raven went to school and was exposed freely to the outside world. Rain, on the other hand, was born with a blood disorder and denied many normal childhood experiences.

Once grown, Raven becomes a lawyer at their dad’s firm Kane & Medici in NYC. Rain along with her only childhood friend Tommy Conte, builds a very successful business as professional photographers. Traveling between Europe and Manhattan, and enjoying a world that was kept from her, Rain vows never to be controlled again.

Dominick Kane is a product of his upbringing. He’s powerful, self-assured and knows he can achieve anything he desires. Nothing gets in his way. There is only one thing he has ever failed at. A relationship with his father Vincent Kane. Upon his father’s death, Dominick vows revenge. The events he sets in motion put him on a collision course he himself will be unable to control.

In a bizarre twist of fate, Dominick kidnaps Raven as part of his plan for revenge. Only to discover afterward, he has taken Rain by mistake. Rain knows she can never survive being confined again. So she strikes a bargain with the devil and agrees to help Dominick get back what he feels rightly belongs to him. His father’s share of Kane & Medici.

Dominick decides to use the strong attraction growing between Rain and himself to control her in every way imaginable. Too bad no one ever taught Dominick you can’t control the heart. Nothing could have prepared him for the effect Rain would have on his.

Will this plan of revenge turn into unconditional love? Or will Dominick and Rain’s need for control ultimately destroy them and any possible chance for a real future together…

IDENTITY

…People aren’t always who you believe them to be.

Dominick Kane and Rain Medici started their relationship with one another in the most unconventional way.

He kidnapped her.

With the kidnapping now behind them, life returns to normal, right?

Not a chance.

The push, the pull and their fights for control that we’ve come to love about Dominick and Rain still exist. And so does their passion.

People aren’t who you think they are. Familiar faces are not so familiar. The past and the present collide, opening up all of those old wounds and struggles once again.

Now, everything you thought you knew, gets blown out of the water.

Can Dominick and Rain finally heal what’s broken? Or will new discoveries push them even further apart.

Will love win out and bring them back together? Or will ghosts of the past ultimately destroy their love once and for all…

THE TIES THAT BIND

When Rain Medici was taken, she never thought in a million years that her captor would be the man of her dreams, but he was.

Dominick Kane kidnapped his enemy’s daughter. He had no idea that his victim would be the one woman to capture his empty heart, but she did.

It’s been one full year since the kidnapping that brought Dominick and Rain together. In that time, they struggled with many emotions and fought constant obstacles. They discovered new identities, faced ghosts from their pasts and attacks against their family, that to this day remain unsolved.

Yet, regardless of the unexpected challenges, some self-inflicted, Dominick and Rain always knew that their undying love for each other had gotten them through everything.

But then… the unimaginable happened.

Dominick was arrested.

The charge?

The apparent kidnapping of his wife, Rain Medici.

Now, the couple faces a whole new set of challenges. Challenges that bring their pasts forward once again and others which force each of them to examine who they really are and what they have become.

Dominick and Rain’s future hangs in the balance. They are in the fight of their lives. Will it make them even stronger than before? Or will the delicate threads that held them together…in the end, ultimately pull them apart?Universal Reader Link: https://www.amazon.com/Cleo-Scornavacca/e/B00FW92ILS/

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe books that made me fall in love with romance…actually, I fell in love with it when I was younger; with books from Jackie Collins, VC Andrews, Debbie Macomber, but I had stopped reading for some time, as many readers do and one day I was at a Flea Market that had many books. I always look for old editions of Charlotte’s Web as it was the book that started my love of reading. Anyway, I found a book with a blue cover and just a flower on the center. It was called Night Gardening by EL Swann. It’s not printed anymore, but you can find it on Amazon in paperback. I loved the story of second chance love and the fact that the characters weren’t twentyish. I loved the caring and the heartache in this story. It was compelling and its one of my go-to re-reads of all time.

Prize #70

Author: Sable Hunter

Title: True Love’s Fire: Hell Yeah!

Genre: Steamy Romance/Women’s Fiction

Format: Ebook (MUST BE kindle copies or .mobi copies direct to kindle address)

# of copies: 2

Blurb: While vacationing at a cabin in the Ozarks, Scott Walker – Austin neurobiologist, gets snowed-in and has to be rescued by local, Lia Houston.
She brings him food, helps him fix his heat and tries to get his car on the road. A monster storm has paralyzed the mountain and as she’s trying to chain his car to her truck, a huge ice-covered limb falls, crushing the front of her pick-up and almost flattening Scott.
If she hadn’t moved fast, he’d be a memory – but the brave action on her part comes with a price, she’s injured and stuck with Mr. Know-It-All until the weather abates.
Scott doesn’t believe in love, much less love at First Sight. So when he meets Lia, he welcomes the attraction, but fights the tenderness with every breath in his body.
Join Sable Hunter as she chronicles their journey from lust to love with a lot of fireworks in between. They meet at the dawn of the New Year, and by Valentine’s Day the fires of True Love are burning bright.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bppvlg

Prize #71

Title: A Breath of Heaven: El Camino Real

Genre: Steamy Western Romance, Holiday Romance

Format: Ebook (MUST BE kindle copies or .mobi copies direct to kindle address)

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Cade and Abby have a history. Years ago they were in love. Undeclared and unrequited, Cade waited until Abby was old enough for him to declare his love. Abby wanted nothing more than she wanted Cade.

But something happened.

Abby pushed Cade away and he never knew why. Since then, sparks fly when they’re together. Antagonizing one another has become their favorite sport. The only problem is… it’s all a front. They bicker because they both want the same thing – each other. A wedding brings them together and Cade is determined to learn Abby’s secret. He’ll do whatever it takes to win her love.

Meet the King Family of El Camino Real – five brothers, one sister and a legacy as big as Texas.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4XKpGv

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre

Slow Hand by Leslie Kelly inspired me to write.

Jude Deveraux made me fall in love with the romance genre. This is one book that I fell in love with. – A Knight in Shining Armor

New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux will capture your heart with signature classic novel, a time-travel romance featuring a present-day heroine and a dashing hero from the sixteenth century! Abandoned by a cruel fate, lovely Dougless Montgomery lies weeping upon a cold tombstone in an English church. Suddenly, the most extraordinary man appears. It is Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck…and according to his tombstone he died in 1564. Drawn to his side by a bond so sudden and compelling it overshadows reason, Dougless knows that Nicholas is nothing less than a miracle: a man who does not seek to change her, who finds her perfect, fascinating, just as she is. What Dougless never imagined was how strong the chains are that tie them to the past…or the grand adventure that lay before them. Hailed worldwide as one of the most romantic novels of all time, A Knight in Shining Armor is “a glorious love story that spans centuries, worlds, and souls. It is the epitome of every woman’s fantasy” (Chicago Daily Herald).

Prize #72

Author: Virginia Babcock

Title: Hear Me

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Action-Adventure

Format: Paperback (U.S., Canada or U.K.)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Maddy has always been different, but lately she’s been lonely. Even those who love her avoid her because of her “gift” and the strange things it makes her do. Then one night, a ghostly visitor warns her to go with the handsome stranger who shows up at her door before dawn. Jacob needed a change in his life, so he quit his job. Before he could head out on his next adventure, his brother reached out to him for help. Will he ever know why a haunting dream told him to leave to help his brother now? On his way, he meets the beautiful Maddy. Together Maddy and Jacob help those they are called to help. Through triumph and tragedy, they find their own way and try to blend two varying paths into one.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGzP6

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreI’m a voracious reader. The books that got me started on romance were 1960-1970s Harlequin romances. There’s not a single one I can remember, but the summer I started reading them, I read stacks and piles from my grandmother’s basement and have read romance ever since. I went from The Chronicles of Narnia, A Wrinkle in Time, and the Little House books to Harlequin.

From Harlequin I found Julie Garwood and Nora Roberts. I have a wide swath of Christine Feehan to Lynn Viehl, Lisa Kleypas, and Kathleen Woodiwiss. Lately I’ve found Penny Reid and Irish Winters.

Prize #73

Author: Madison Michael

Title: Moonlight & Moet

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Can the Hottest Man Around Melt this Ice Queen’s Heart?

When her husband publicly cheats on her, Leigh Dobbs trades her humiliating reputation as an ice queen and a hometown that shuns her for the unknown of rural North Carolina. Taking over a small bed and breakfast, Leigh sets out to restore it, her dignity and her life. Excited at the prospect of adding more rooms and a full-service restaurant, Leigh’s big plans encounter the brick wall that is Caleb Rausch. Sparks fly even as Caleb votes no on the planning commission, crushing Leigh’s dreams.

Handsome powerhouse Caleb Rausch is a man on a mission, expanding his huge corporation without encroaching on the small town where it resides. His commitment to his products, employees and historic preservation are unwavering. What’s lacking is his commitment to one woman. Caleb is the most eligible bachelor in three states, dating celebrities and models, but never settling down. Until now.

Even as Caleb forces Leigh’s expansion plans on hold, the couple moves full-steam-ahead on their relationship, unable to resist the mutual attraction. So why, after a steamy night together, does Caleb disappear for weeks? Has Leigh put her heart out there again, just to be played?

Will the magic of a moonlit night be enough to kindle their love or will Caleb’s constant disappearing act prevent him from melting this ice queen’s heart?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bazeKQ

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

  • Kate Cantebary – Underneath it All – The first in the Walsh Series and the best of the bunch. I love the details, the humor and the chemistry.
  • Kathleen Woodiwiss – The Rose in Winter – A classic tale of true love that I can come back to again and again.
  • CD Reiss – Bombshell – Great writing, clever plots, great storytelling and scorching sex scenes.
  • Tessa Dare – Once Upon a Winter’s Eve – Ms. Dare writes fantastic historical romances that capture the era yet feel relevant, touching and are hard to put down.
  • Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice – It may be predictable that it is on my list, but I have a leather bound copy that has my mother’s maiden name in the front. That is how long my family has been reading and sharing this book. A classic romance with all the elements I require, a wonderful love story, wit and great writing, a handsome rich hero, and a protagonist I can relate to – not too perfect, not the prettiest, burdened with the family from hell. What more could you want?

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe Ring by Danielle Steele. I loved that story. Before that I read classic romance written by legendary writers or historical romance that felt repetitive. One made me think writing was out of reach and the other that it wasn’t worth the effort.

The Ring was different for me – approachable writing and a great story. Danielle Steele never let me down, then or now.

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Driven (series) by K. Bromberg. I think the author may have created the perfect hero in Colton Donovan.

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

The rest of the “Driven” series is on my list and already on my Kindle.

I just downloaded The Darcy Brothers by Alix Nichols and hope to read it over the holidays.

My Favorite Husband by Pam McCutcheon looks like a really fun read for a wintry Chicago weekend.

One guaranteed to be hot, one guaranteed to be funny and one full of aristocrats. They should make for great winter entertainment.

Prize #74

Author: Vicki-Ann Bush

Title: The Garden of Two

Genre: Historical Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Charlie Murphy and Lillie Whitman are surrounded by the innocence of young love, and the guileless early twentieth century. They fall deeper into each other, intertwining their very different worlds to create a bond that no one can break.

Or so they thought.

When the dawn of World War I comes to their Long Island town, and personal tragedies begin to spiral the lovers into an abyss of darkness, they must fight to hold on to their love. Knowing their bond will be the only ties that will get them through. From the horrors of Germany’s front lines to the emotional battle fields fought at home, Charlie and Lillie must find a way to stay strong, and navigate a path, back into each other’s arms. And how a garden, a very special garden, can withstand the coldest of winters and give the ultimate symbol of hope.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mKKnjZ

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe one I first read was Emma. A cliché, I know, but that’s it.

Prize #75

Author: Lisa Doughty

Title: First Two Books of the Ladies of Kent Series

Genre: Historical Romance/Mystery

Format: Paperback Set

# of copies: 1 set of 2 print books

Blurb:

ELLA AND THE EXPERIMENT

Lady Ella McHenry is a genius like her father. Following her father’s death, she steps into his role at the University as a problem solver and tutor. Now alone, she must contemplate marriage in order to keep the fortune her father left her as well as her independence. Her Aunt urges her to add physical attraction to her list of logical and intellectual attributes she wants in a husband. Not seeing the point, she decides to test her aunt’s theory by conducting an experiment on the subject. When the handsome rake Lord Dexter St Johns comes to her for help on his artillery project, she makes a bargain with him. She will help him with his project if he will conduct an experiment with her. Little did the analytical Lady Ella know how much of her heart would become entangled in her conclusion and how important attraction can be.

Lord St Johns was in a race to be the first to complete a smaller, more efficient weapon against his nemesis Lord Vanderguard. Desperate to keep such a weapon out of the warmonger hands, he is forced to enlist help from the most unlikely source, Lady Ella McHenry. At first glance he didn’t believe the petite and rather severe looking young woman could help his cause. Taking a leap of faith, he hands the top secret plans over for her analysis. To his surprise, she turns out to be the one person to solve his issues. When she asks for a favor in return, he could not refuse her and blindly agrees to whatever she needs. To his shock, she wants to conduct an experiment that is beyond scandalous and even more exciting than he could imagine. As Lady Ella knocks him off balance and steals his heart, his project and her involvement in it puts her in mortal danger. Now he must not only save her, but his heart as well.

LETITIA AND THE LETTERS

Lady Letitia Wentworth is no match for her older sister, Lady Deidra Wentworth, either in beauty or popularity. Refusing to be the companion of her self–absorbed and conceited sister during an event at the family estate in Canterbury, she planned to lock herself in the library the whole week. It’s there that she stumbles across her great aunt Gladys’ letters, which hint at the mystery surrounding her death and the disappearance of the Canterbury jewels fifty years earlier. Engrossed in the mystery, she is irritated when the bold, yet handsome, Lord Devin Armstrong interrupts her, determined to introduce himself. She puts him off, but when he happens upon some of her aunt’s letters, she finally has to meet him. She can’t resist the handsome Earl’s advances as he helps her unravel the mystery. She is also amazed that such a man was interested in her, not her sister. As she loses her heart, she discovers more about the mystery that is herself than she bargained for.

The handsome Lord Dexter Armstrong, Earl of Berkeley, was being relentlessly pursued by every husband-hunting lady in the ton. Irritated by the trappings of nobility, he was beyond angry when his parents forced him to escort his sister to Canterbury for the annual summer event. Dismayed to have to keep company with the vile Lady Deidra Wentworth, who was far and above the most despicable social climber of the ladies, he vowed to keep his distance. When he saw a fiery, bespectacled redheaded beauty stand up to Deidra, his interest is piqued. Determined to meet her, he is surprised to learn that she is Deidra’s sister. The more he finds out about her, the more intriguing she becomes. Offering his help to solve her mystery is just a ruse to get to know her at first, but he quickly discovers that the mystery they work on is dangerous. As the mystery unravels and Devin is losing his heart, he fights to keep Letitia safe and to keep the love they discover along the way.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mYowXP

https://books2read.com/u/brGnnZ

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre

I’m a cliché, probably the worst of the worst. I picked up my first romance novel because Fabio was on the cover. He was bare-chested and looking adoringly at the woman kneeling next to him grasping his thigh. I can remember how I felt at that moment. Oh, to be looked at in that way by such a man! I wanted to be her. What’s funny is that I cannot remember the name of that book, or the author, or even if I read it in its entirety. It wasn’t until I read A Rose in Winter by Kathleen Woodiwiess, that for the first time her words made me feel that undeniable feeling that only a romance novel can give you. Like the best bite of dessert ever feeling, one you wish you could chew forever and never swallow because you’re afraid it may never come again feeling.  From then on I was addicted. But, like any addiction, it wasn’t enough. I wished for more adventure or more sex, or the need to find a stronger female character, one not so resigned and whimpering.

That’s when I realized that romance is a state of mind. A feeling evoked by the imagination, one different for every reader. Prompted by the right setting, fed with just enough information, simulation if you will, that your brain filled in the details making the story yours as well. If done correctly, it’s the most potent drug ever invented. I could not get enough after that. Approaching my reading from this new perspective, I binged on Johanna Lindsey as well as countless others until I found Julie Garwood. She had the perfect blend of unexpected characters and unusual situations but still gave her readers enough room to fill in the gaps to make it their own that she became a favorite. So, if you ask which book made me fall in love with the genre, I could not say it was just one in particular. It was a feeling I chased, one I still pursue today, that made me fall in love with this genre. I realized that it was the journey that made this genre so addicting. After all, it’s what we can’t have or control, that intangible thing that you cannot describe that keeps us wanting more, is it not? As well as curiosity about the hunky men or beautiful women on the covers that may first draw you in.

Prize #76

Author: Theresa Sederholt

Title: The Unraveled Trilogy boxed set

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 5

Blurb: This set contains all three full-length books of The Unraveled Trilogy plus a bonus short story “Follow Your Dreams,” not available elsewhere!
At twenty-seven, Raven Anderson experienced more heartache than anyone would in their lifetime. Finally, her life seems on track when she starts doing what she loves the most: teaching second grade.

However, the best-laid plans are not always the right path as Raven learns when fate puts her in the direct path of mega-billionaire, Jaxson James Phillips, owner of Raiders, Inc., a corporate raiding company. With the spotlight now focused on Raven, her past is threatening her future. So, she does what she does best—run!

This beautiful girl, with the violet eyes, has left Jax, who never gets rattled, totally speechless. Used to getting what he wants, he can’t understand why she’s running from him. As time goes on, he slowly unravels the many layers of Raven. What he finds . . . puts everyone around them in danger.

Can anyone survive?

Tragedy has struck and now it’s a waiting game. New beginnings, so full of promise, are overshadowed by a past that is continuously haunting them. Secrets are uncovered. Lies are revealed.
Raven and Jax will fight for their lives and the ones they hold dear. Will a normal life ever be in their reach? Will anyone truly be safe, again? Too much has happened. How can anyone survive this?

Lies are shattered, leaving death and destruction in its path. To save a child, they must make a deal with the devil himself.

They had a plan: two days—get in, ask the questions, and get out. Seemed simple enough. But you know what they say about best-laid plans. Life always seems to get in the way of living.

This book contains strong language, violence, and sexual situations. Mature audiences only.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bWzDDz

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreChances by Jackie Collins

Prize #77

Author: Lilly Christine

Title: Candi for Christmas

Genre: New Adult Holiday Sports Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: Fresh-faced intern Candi Bamberger flies to Beaver Creek, Colorado for Snow Slammer Games action, but not the kind smokin’ hot snowboard star Shane McGreer has in mind! Shane shows her amazing moves, and not just in the half-pipe. Candi’s conflicted. Did she just throw away a career in sports management for a guy who scores new girls at every game?
He’s right up there with Shaun White, yet Shane McGreer knows his track record with women is the pits, but Candi’s different. She’s Olympic material, and a real girl, genuine in both curves and charm. . . He falls hard, so when a rival puts Candi’s in deep freeze, Shane’s stuck, too. He’s won the SnowSlammer X Games, but he’s lost Candi’s heart! Can he warm her up for a sweet McGreer Ranch Christmas Eve? Meanwhile, back at the Ranch, Tess has a Christmas surprise for Jake and Cassie. . .
The McGreers Series… Read ’em all!Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bMQjja

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Favorite Romance Books

  1. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  2. Any Man of Mine – Rachel Gibson
  3. The Cinderella Deal – Jennifer Crusie
  4. Casey, American Bullriding Tour – Kelly Hunter
  5. Indecent Proposal – Molly O’Keefe

Created by Freepik

Once again, if you’re entering the big giveaway, PLEASE give us your name, email address, and include your preferred romance subgenres. Leave a comment below, or for a private entry, you can email me at marieannlavender@gmail.com

This contest will run for a week, until December 20th at midnight EST. After that, winners will be selected and contacted. Given the upcoming holiday, some recipients may experience a slight delay with their prizes, but don’t worry. We’re on the case, and we want you to have your books! 😀

Good luck, everyone, and, as always, happy reading! ♥♥♥

Yuri Efremov, Unsplash

And Merry Christmas this year!

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Filed under Action & Adventure, Authors, Book Giveaways, Books, Contemporary, dark romance, Erotica, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, free books, Gifts, giveaway, Historical, Historical Romance, Holiday, inspirational romance, LGBT, Multicultural/Interracial, Mystery, New Adult, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, romantic comedy, romantic ideas, Romantic Suspense, Science Fiction, sports romance, steamy, sweet romance, western, Women's Fiction

63 FREE Romance Books!!

Hi, readers! I wanted to pop in here today to let you know about a very cool, mega giveaway going on over at the Writing in the Modern Age blog this week. Among other genres, 63 romance novels are available.All you have to do to enter the contest is comment on the thread with all your genre preferences as well as a contact email, and you’ll have 164 chances to win books! Awesome, right?

Here is a list of some of the books offered. They’re in no particular order, but I’ve included the subgenres so you know how varied the giveaway is.

Sports Romance

Paranormal Thriller with Romantic Elements

 

Mystery Romance with Horror

Multicultural Romance

Historical Romance

Paranormal Romance

Science Fiction Romance

Erotic Romance

Romantic Comedy

Holiday Romance

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Romantic Suspense

Contemporary Romance

Romantic Thriller

 

Western Romance

 

LGBT Romance

Time Travel Romance

YA Romance

Inspirational Romance

Fantasy Romance

This contest is exciting! There are swag prizes too! 🙂 If you’d like to participate, please jump on Writing in the Modern Age to put in your entry (you can also email me directly at marieannlavender@gmail.com with the subject heading ‘Early Autumn Giveaway entry’, in case you’re a little shy about including your personal info).

The giveaway will run until Friday at midnight EST, but winners won’t be chosen until the weekend.

http://marielavender.blogspot.com/2017/09/400th-anniversary-post-early-autumn-mega-book-giveaway.html

So, why not go for it? These are FREE books! You won’t be sorry! 😉

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😀

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Giveaways, Books, Contemporary, Erotica, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, inspirational romance, LGBT, Marie Lavender, Mystery, New Adult, Readers, Romance, romantic comedy, Romantic Suspense, sports romance, Thriller/Suspense, Time Travel, western, Writing, Young Adult

New Release Feature: Druid’s Portal: The First Journey by Cindy Tomamichel

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Cindy Tomamichel, an author I met during my journey! Her time travel romance, Druid’s Portal, officially released this week! Yay! That’s awesome! :)

Congrats on your new release! 😉

When a new book comes out, it’s always an exciting time for an author!

Cindy is giving us a look at her “timey wimey” (Yes, I’m a Doctor Who nerd) romance, Druid’s Portal: The First Journey, today.

Cool cover!

This is the blurb for Druid’s Portal:

A portal closed for 2,000 years.

An ancient religion twisted by modern greed.

A love that crosses the centuries.

An ancient druid pendant shows archaeologist Janet visions of Roman soldier Trajan. The visions are of danger, death, and love—but are they a promise or a curse?

Her fiancé Daman abandons her before the wedding, her beloved museum is ransacked, and a robed man vanishes before her eyes. Haunted by visions of a time she knows long gone, Janet teeters on the edge of a breakdown.

In the shadow of Hadrian’s Wall and 2,000 years back in time, Janet’s past and present collide. Daman has vowed to drive the invaders from the shores of Britain and march his barbarian hordes to Rome. Trajan swears vengeance against the man who threatens both his loves—Janet and the Empire.

Time is running out—for everyone.

And here is an excerpt from Druid’s Portal: The First Journey to tease you with.

“Sister, may I speak with you? I’ve been having dreams, visions of the past.”

“And these worry you, my dear?”

“Yes, I’m afraid . . .”

“That you’re losing your mind?” the gentle nun smiled. “Janet, my dear child, you’re perhaps too sane for your own good. What you have experienced has made you strong, but you ignore the truth of your heart. Perhaps these visions are your heart talking to you.”

“My heart?” stammered Janet, thinking of Trajan.

“There are many mysteries in these dark forests that science struggles to explain. People born here have the weight of history and the forest secrets in their bones. This is your heritage, too, to see things that may be hidden. But one mystery is hope. Your heart hopes and yearns for love, despite the pain inflicted by Daman. The human heart—your own heart—is a mystery.” She placed her hand gently on Janet’s shoulder. “Maybe it is time you listened to yours. Follow where it leads you.”

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B071LBLQ1G

Wow! Love the emotional struggle here. ♥♥♥

Thank you for telling us about your book, Cindy! I know I can’t wait to read this romance! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book!

Author Bio

Cindy Tomamichel is a writer of action adventure romance novels, spanning time travel, sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal genres. They all have something in common – sword fights! The heroines don’t wait to be rescued, and the heroes earn that title the hard way.

Cindy’s recent published work includes winning a fractured fairy tale competition with a twist on the Rapunzel story. The fundraising event Madwomen Monologues has presented two of her monologues on stage. She also has poetry and short stories in two anthologies by Rhetoric Askew.

Author Links

Website:  www.cindytomamichel.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CindyTomamichelAuthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CindyTomamichel

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Cindy-Tomamichel/e/B07148BH5Y/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16194822.Cindy_Tomamichel

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+CindyTomamichel

Thanks again, Cindy! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, new release, Readers, Romance, Time Travel, Writing

A to Z Challenge: Key Trilogy by Nora Roberts

As you know, I’m putting myself to the A to Z Challenge for blogging for the month of April.

A2Z-BADGE_[2016]

For these posts, I’ll be giving an I Love Romance Blog score, not an official review, for books currently on my shelf at home (I know readers must wonder what books inspires us as authors) or ones that are on my TBR list (what I want to read so bad I can’t stand it!). For each book, I will give the blurb, a few lines from the text, then why I liked the book or why I’d want to read it. And for fun, I’ll give a heart rating! ♥

This is my scoring system:

I hope these A to Z Challenge suggestions will help you find a new favorite author, or further cement your love for one, if that’s the case.

Let’s jump into our next book, shall we?

The Key Trilogy by Nora Roberts

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Genre: Paranormal Romance/Fantasy

Blurb for Key of Light:

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An invitation to unlock your dreams…Three women. Three keys. A unique series with a twist—Nora Roberts opens the door to one woman’s search for truth and passion in the first Key Trilogy novel.

A few choice lines from the book:

Key of Light -excerpt1

key of light-excerpt2

key of light -excerpt3

key of light-excerpt4

Blurb for Key of Knowledge:

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In the second installment of Nora Roberts’ thrilling Key series, Dana Steele is forced to face her past with the handsome Jordan Hawke when he writes a book that connects him to her quest for the Key of Knowledge. Now, Dana must seek out the truth from among deception and lies––or succumb to her worst nightmares.

A few choice lines from the book:

Oh, God, not him. Not now.
“What do you want?” she snapped. “Go away. I’m busy.”
Before she could slam the door, he slapped a hand on it.
“I want to talk to you about … What is it?”
She was white as a ghost, her dark eyes enormous, and glassy with shock.
“What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. I’m fine.”
The shakes started up again, harder this time. “I don’t want to … oh, the hell with it. You’re better than nothing.”
She simply fell against him. “I’m so cold. I’m so goddamn cold.”
He scooped her right off her feet, then booted the door shut behind him. “Couch or bed?”
“Couch. I’ve got the shakes. I can’t stop.”
“Okay. It’s okay.” He sat, kept her cradled in his lap as he tugged the throw off the back of the couch. “You’ll warm up in a minute,” he comforted, and tucked the
throw around her. “Just hold on to me.”
He rubbed her back, her arms, then just wrapped his own arms around her and banked on body heat to do the rest. “Why are you wet?”
“I was in the tub. Then I wasn’t. I don’t know how it works.” Her hand was fisted in his jacket, kneading there as she fought to steady herself. “The son of a bitch
got inside my head. You don’t even know it’s happening, it just does. I’m not going to make any sense for a couple more minutes.”
“It’s okay. I think I’m following you.”
His stroking hands bumped the band that tied her hair up. Without thinking, he slipped it off, combed his fingers through. “It was Kane? He was here?”
“I don’t know.”
Exhausted, she laid her head against his chest. She had her breath back at least. It no longer felt as if a hand was squeezing her racing heart. “Like I
said, I don’t know how it works. I wanted to take a bath, relax.”
To give her something else to think about, he deliberately sniffed her neck. “You smell terrific.Tasty. What is that?”
“Mango. Cut it out.” But she made no attempt to get off his lap.

Blurb for Key of Valor:

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A woman’s quest for courage opens her heart to love in the third Key Trilogy novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts.

Join Zoe in the ultimate quest for courage.

A few choice lines from the book:

excerpt - Key of Valor

My Score:

In this series, three women who’ve never met before receive a bizarre invitation to a fine mansion and an offer to participate in an unusual endeavor, locating rare, mystical keys for a large sum of money. Oh, and it’s all to free a trio of goddesses.

The first book is Malory’s story. She just got fired from her job and now feels obligated to play this game she’s not so sure is real. She meets Flynn in the process of attempting to locate the key, except she doesn’t realize he’s directly tied to one of the members of the group.

This series is really interesting! Lots of romance, sexy tension, intrigue and some mystical forces to complicate things further. Dana and Zoe have some pretty great tales as well. Check out these interesting books!

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I give the series four hearts!  🙂

four hearts

 

 

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A to Z Challenge: Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts

As you know, I’m putting myself to the A to Z Challenge for blogging for the month of April.

A2Z-BADGE_[2016]

For these posts, I’ll be giving an I Love Romance Blog score, not an official review, for books currently on my shelf at home (I know readers must wonder what books inspires us as authors) or ones that are on my TBR list (what I want to read so bad I can’t stand it!). For each book, I will give the blurb, a few lines from the text, then why I liked the book or why I’d want to read it. And for fun, I’ll give a heart rating! ♥

This is my scoring system:

I hope these A to Z Challenge suggestions will help you find a new favorite author, or further cement your love for one, if that’s the case.

Let’s jump into our next book, shall we?

Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Blurb:

Book One of the Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy

In Gallagher’s Pub, where the fire is burning low and the pints are waiting, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts has a story to tell…

Determined to reevaluate her life, Jude Murray flees America to take refuge in Faerie Hill Cottage, immersing herself in the study of Irish folklore and discovering hope for the future of the magical past.

Finally back home in Ireland after years of traveling, Aidan Gallagher possesses an uncommon understanding of his country’s haunting myths. Although he’s devoted to managing the family pub, a hint of wildness still glints in his eyes—and in Jude, he sees a woman who can both soothe his heart and stir his blood. And he begins to share the legends of the land with her—while they create a passionate history of their own.

Also in the Gallaghers of Ardmore trilogy:
Tears of the Moon
and
Heart of the Sea

 

A few choice lines from the book:

For himself, Aidan was content in where he was, and what he did. He’d learned a great deal of himself and of life during his rambles. The itchy feet were said to come from the Fitzgerald side, as his mother had, before she married, traveled a good bit of the world, with her voice paying the fare.

He’d strapped on a knapsack when he was barely eighteen and traveled throughout his country, then over into England and France and Italy and even Spain. he’d spent a year in America, being dazzled by the mountains and plains of the West, sweltering in the heat of the South, and freezing through a northern winter.

He and his siblings were as musical as their mother, so he’d sung for his supper or tended bar, whichever suited his purposes at the time. When he’d seen all he longed to see, he came home again, a well-traveled man of twenty-five.

For the last six years, he’d tended the pub and lived in the rooms above it.

But he was waiting. He didn’t know for what, only that he was.

Even now, as he built a pint of Guinness, drew a glass of Harp, and tuned in with one ear to the conversation in case he was obliged to comment, part of him sat back, patient and watchful.

Those who looked close enough might see that watchfulness in his eyes, eyes blue as a lightning bolt under brows with the same dark richness as the prize bar where he worked.

He had the rawboned face of the Celts, with the wild good looks that the fine genes of his parents had blended, with a long, straight nose, a mouth full and shamelessly sensual, a tough, take-a-punch chin with just a hint of a cleft.

He was built like a brawler – wide of shoulder, long of arm, and narrow of hip. And indeed, he had spent a good portion of his youth planting his fists in faces or taking them in his own. As much, he wasn’t shamed to admit, for the fun of it as for temper.

It was a matter of pride that unlike his brother, Shawn, Aidan had never had his nose broken in battle.

Still, he’d stopped looking for trouble as he’d grown from boy to man. He was just looking, and trusted that he’d know what it was when he found it.

When Jude walked in, he noticed – first as a publican, and second as a man. She looked so tidy, with her trim jacket and bound-back hair, so lost with her big eyes scanning the room as a doe might consider a new path in the forest.

A pretty thing, he thought, as most men do when they see an attractive female face and form. And being one who saw many faces in his career, he noted the nerves as well that kept her rooted to the spot just inside the door as if she might turn and flee at any moment.

The look of her, the manner of her, captured his interest and a low and pleasant hum warmed his blood.

She squared her shoulders, a deliberate move that amused him, and walked to the bar.

“Good evening to you,” he said as he slid his rag down the bar to wipe up spills. “What’s your pleasure?”

She started to speak, to ask politely for a glass of white wine. Then he smiled, a slow, lazy curving of lips that inexplicably set her insides a fluttering and turned her mind into a buzzing mess of static.

Yes, she thought dimly, everyone was gorgeous here.

He seemed in no particular hurry for her answer, only leaned comfortably on the bar, bringing that truly wonderful face closer to hers, cocking his head and his brow at the same time.

“Are you lost, then, darling?”

She imagined herself melting, just sliding onto the floor in a puddle of hormones and liquid lust. The sheer embarrassment of the image snapped her back to herself. “No, I’m not lost. Could I have a glass of white wine? Chardonnay if it’s available.”

“I can help you with that.” But he made no move to, just then. “You’re a Yank, then. Would you be Old Maude’s young American cousin come to stay in her cottage awhile?”

“Yes. I’m Jude, Jude Murray.” Automatically she offered her hand and a careful smile that allowed her dimples a brief appearance in her cheeks.

Aidan had always had a soft spot for dimples in a pretty face.

He took her hand, but didn’t shake it. He only held it as he continued to stare at her until – she swore she felt it – her bones began to sizzle. “Welcome to Ardmore, Miss Murray, and to Gallagher’s. I’m Aidan, and this is my place. Tim, give the lady your seat. Where are your manners?”

“Oh, no, that’s-”

But Tim, a burly man with a mass of hair the color and texture of steel wool, slid off his stool. “Beg your pardon.” He shifted his gaze from the sports event on the television over the end of the bar and gave her a quick, charming wink.

“Unless you’d rather a table,” Aidan added as she continued to stand and look mildly distressed.

“No, no, this is fine. Thank you.” She climbed onto the stool, trying not to tense up as she became the center of attention.

My Score:

I love Nora Roberts’ books, and to make things sweeter, this is part of an Irish trilogy. Ireland is a place that calls to me like no other. I guess it must be my Irish heritage.

This is such a great series! I fully recommend it!

Irish Series

Jude goes to Ireland to get in touch with her roots, and to satisfy her restlessness back at home. She doesn’t expect to find the handsome Aidan Gallagher or a mysterious ghost in her cottage.

This is a lovely romance, rich with Irish culture and a touch of the paranormal. A perfect five hearts, in my opinion!

five hearts

And I’d say the same for the sequels as well! 😀

Irish Series-1

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Reviews, Romance, Writing