Tag Archives: romantic fiction

Teaser from CHASING GINGER, a work in progress…

Recently, I’ve been working on something that is a little different from what I usually write. Chasing Ginger is a BBW romantic comedy, as well as book one of The Misfits Series. I am eager to share this snippet with you. In the post, I’ve included some character pictures (Colin Egglesfield is the closest celebrity image I can compare Lance to, so just deal with his hotness…LOL).

Anyway, let’s bring on the romance, right? 😉

Here is the teaser:

A scream tore out of her as someone snagged at her hair, and she yanked away. The pull on her scalp was nothing compared to the panic she felt now. She doubled her efforts as she raced down the sidewalk, her feet pounding in her matching green heels.

Please, please, God. I’ll never use a dating site again if you just get me out of this right now.

A hand shot out, grabbing her arm, and she screamed again.

“Sweetheart, come on,” a male voice coaxed. “There’s no time.”

The voice was soothing. Ginger instantly calmed and found she was led up a set of brief stairs into a large building. Inside, she backed away from the glass a little, breathing a sigh of relief as she saw the group of men pass by.

By now, she could barely breathe and her forehead, upper chest and lower back were sweaty. Her feet and legs ached. She felt like she did at the gym, exhausted, practically passed out, draped over the handlebars of the treadmill. Her breaths hitched in her chest. And she really wasn’t kidding about the boob pain. She winced, passed a hand over her face, and then turned to confront the new threat.

He was a looker, for sure, with dark, spiky hair and really nice blue eyes. He had handsome features and somewhat full lips that were made to be kissed. Get ahold of yourself, Ginger. The man wore a gray business suit. He’d obviously just come from work. And Jesus, he was tall and muscled.

His eyes widened as he took in her appearance.

“Not you too,” she moaned. But hell, for all she knew, maybe he’d never seen a perspiring green marshmallow before.

“Are you all right? Why were those men chasing you?”

She nodded and managed, “I don’t know.”

Because she didn’t. They hadn’t warned that InstaSin would be like this. And it was only day one. Extreme sexiness? Check, if the response she’d received was any indication. Grounds for a restraining order? Nope. They certainly hadn’t covered that in the description of the drug.

“Well, you’re safe now. I think they’re gone.”

His eyes were kind, she decided. And he didn’t look like he was sizing her up for a kink room or a coffin at all. Maybe InstaSin wasn’t supposed to work on every male. Duh, Ginger. If that was the case, there would really be a problem. Thank God. She could breathe a little better now.

“Thank you for the rescue,” she offered.

He smiled. “Anytime. Are you sure you’re okay?”

She nodded. “I think so. I…I mean, yeah. I’m good.”

“Honey, I’d be surprised if you were okay after that.”

“A little shaken at first.”

“Understandable.”

She detected a slight twang in his speech, and realized he was the consummate Southern gentleman. As the image of her as a Southern belle, trussed up in one of those huge, ruffled gowns, came to mind, she burst out laughing. Then she sobered as she caught his frown. “Ah…uh, sorry. Private joke.”

“I wish I knew the punchline.”

She couldn’t contain a smile, and knew she was blushing. The redhead’s curse. God, he was just too damned cute. Like one of those hot movie stars she couldn’t help fanning herself over. Maybe Henry Cavill? There was one fine man. And Chris Pratt wasn’t too bad either, at least in a rugged space cowboy kind of way. She cleared her throat.

“Right. I should let you get on with the rest of your evening.”

Yeah. First stop? Visiting her doctor friend, Laura Preston, whom she knew would still be at work this late. She wanted her take on that red pill. “I really appreciate your help. And you’re right. I should go.” She began to push open the swinging door.

“Wait.”

She tensed, then slowly turned back, measuring his steady gaze. He certainly didn’t look crazed, like those other men had been. “Yes?”

“Will you let me drive you home?”

 

“Oh. I…I’m not going home.”

“Then to the destination where you’re heading. Look, after what happened, I’m really worried about you. It’s not safe to be alone. And even if you insist, I’d rather make sure you got there in one piece.”

“Well, I suppose that would be all right.”

He nodded. “We can go out the back exit.” He reached in his suit pocket and used his cell phone. “Yeah, Frank? Pull the car in the parking garage, will you? We have a guest.” He nodded. “Thank you. See you in a few.” Then he pressed a button and shoved the phone back in his pocket.

Her eyebrows rose. Car? Guest? The man was speaking a different language. Maybe he’d just been talking to security or his valet, for all she knew.

“Come.” He offered his hand once more, this time waiting on her.

She glanced at it, considering. Geez, she was about to accept an offer from a complete stranger. This was what people warned you against. What if he was secretly a serial killer, or was a closet Dom or something? She shuddered. No way would she ever let someone Fifty Shades her to death.

“You can call me Lance. I promise you can trust me…ah, I don’t know your name, Miss.”

She nodded. “Maybe it’s better that way.”

A look of disappointment crossed his face. At least, that’s what she thought it was. “Very well. I respect your wishes. I’d still like to see you safely to your destination.”

“Okay. Thank you.”

“Of course.”

She took his hand then, knowing full well she was putting her life in his hands. But, there was something about him that made her trust him completely. It was his eyes, she thought. Everything in that gaze was genuine, full of concern for her circumstances. His grasp was firm, yet not harmful as he tugged her down the corridor to an elevator, pressing the button.

She glanced at him warily and he offered a reassuring smile.

“It’s all right. We’re just going down to the garage, where my driver is.”

“Oh.” She glanced at the elevator. It was a shiny gold, maybe made of brass or gold-plated. It couldn’t be real gold, right? But, it was still fancy. And he had a driver. How odd. Maybe he was an important man? She glanced down at his reddish brown dress shoes. Damn, were they Italian leather? More to cover the silence than anything, she ventured, “A driver, hmm? You must be special.” When the elevator dinged, they climbed in separately and she waited while he pressed ‘B’. The doors closed and the car shifted.

The man named Lance shook his head. “No, not really. I have my own company, nothing more.”

“So humble,” she murmured. “You realize that’s no small thing.”

“Perhaps. I try not to flaunt it as some people do.”

“That’s admirable really. I work for the owner of a company.” When she realized how stupid that sounded, she laughed and found herself blushing once more. “So foolish. I meant that I’m his assistant.” Little more than a secretary really, she didn’t add.

“Oh, well, that is important. A CEO is nothing without his assistant.”

She glanced away, nodding.

“That’s not what you want to do, though, is it?”

Ginger looked back at him. “I’m not sure what you mean.”

“I can see it in your eyes. You respect your boss, but he probably doesn’t treat you well or you’d be more content.”

She frowned.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to press.”

“No, he’s, ah…a good man.”

“But, you want more than that position?”

She shrugged. “I always wanted to sing.”

“On stage?”

Ginger didn’t answer.

“Why didn’t you?”

She shook her head. It wasn’t like she was going to tell him her dark truths, even though her shortcomings were obvious.

“Well, maybe it’s possible now,” he commented as if she hadn’t ignored his question.

“I wish that it was more than anything,” she murmured.

“Do you really?”

She avoided his gaze, pinning her eyes to the floor. It was marked in a black and white Harlequin pattern. God, she thought. It was pure marble. This really was a ritzy building. She hadn’t even paid much attention to where she’d ended up. He really was lowering himself to help her out.

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Filed under Authors, BBW or Curvy, Contemporary, Fiction, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic comedy, Writing

A to Z Challenge: Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

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

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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?

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

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Genre: Romantic Comedy

Blurb:

Lizzie Nichols has a problem: she can’t keep anything to herself. And when she opens her big mouth on a trip to London, her good intentions get her long-distance beau, Andrew, in major hot water. Now she’s stuck in England with no boyfriend and no place to stay until the departure date on her nonrefundable airline ticket. Fortunately, Lizzie’s best friend and college roommate, Shari, is spending her summer catering weddings in a sixteenth-century château in southern France. Who cares if Lizzie’s never traveled alone in her life and only speaks rudimentary French? She’s off to Souillac to lend a helping hand!

One glimpse of gorgeous Château Mirac—and of gorgeous Luke, the son of the château’s owner—and Lizzie’s smitten. But thanks to her chronic inability to keep a secret, before the first cork has been popped Luke hates her, the bride is in tears, and Château Mirac is on the road to becoming a lipo-recovery spa. Add to that the arrival of ex-beau Andrew, who’s looking for “closure” (or at least a loan), and everything—including Lizzie’s shot at true love—is in la toilette . . . unless she can figure out some way to use her big mouth to save the day.

A few choice lines from the book:

He has to be here somewhere, he
swore he’d be here to pick me up–
Oh
my God, that can’t be him, can it? No, of course it’s not. Why
would he be wearing a jacket like that? Why would ANYONE be wearing
a jacket like that? Unless they’re being ironic. Or Michael
Jackson, of course. He is the only man I could think of who would
wear red leather with epaulets. Who isn’t a professional
breakdancer.
That
CAN’T be him. Oh, please God, don’t let that be him….
Oh,
no, he’s looking this way…he’s looking this way! Look down, look
down, don’t make eye contact with the guy in the red leather jacket
with the epaulets. I’m sure he’s a very nice man, it’s a shame
about his having to shop for coats from the 1980s at the Salvation
Army.
But
I don’t want him to know I was looking at him, he might think I
like him, or something.
And
it’s not that I’m prejudiced against homeless people, I’m not, I
know all about how many of us are really only a few paychecks away
from being homeless ourselves. Some of us, in fact, are less than a
paycheck away from being homeless. Some of us, in fact, are so
broke that we still live with our parents.
But
I’m not going to think about all that right now.
The
thing is, I just don’t want Andrew to get here and find me talking
to some homeless guy in a red leather breakdancing jacket. I mean,
that is so not the first impression I want to give. Not that, you
know, it will be his FIRST impression of me, since we’ve been
dating for three months, and all. But it will be the first
impression he’ll have of the New Me, the me he hasn’t met
yet….
Okay. Okay, it’s safe, he’s
not looking anymore.
Oh,
God, this is awful, I can’t believe this is how they welcome people
to their country. Herding us down this walkway with all these
people LOOKING at us….I feel like I’m personally disappointing
each and every one of them by not being the person they’re waiting
for. This is a very unkind thing to do to people who just sat on a
plane for six hours, eight in my case if you count the flight from
Ann Arbor to New York. Ten if you count the two-hour layover at
JFK–
Wait. Was Red Breakdancing
Jacket just checking me out?
Oh
my God, he WAS! Red leather jacket with the epaulets totally
checked me out!
Oh,
God, this is so embarrassing. It’s my underwear, I KNOW it. How
could he tell? That I’m not wearing any, I mean? It’s true I don’t
have any visible panty lines, but for all he knows, I could be
wearing a thong. I SHOULD have worn a thong. Shari was
right.
But
it’s so uncomfortable when they go up your–
I
KNEW I shouldn’t have picked a dress this tight to get off the
plane in — even if I did personally modify it by hemming the
skirt to above the knee, so I’m not hobbled by it.
But,
for one thing, I’m freezing — how can it be this cold in
AUGUST?
And
for another, this silk is particularly clingy, so there’s the whole
panty line thing.
Still, everyone back at the
shop said I look great in it…though I wouldn’t have thought a
Mandarin dress–even a vintage one–would actually work on me,
seeing as how I’m Caucasian, and all.
But
I want to look good, since he hasn’t seen me in so long, and
I did lose those thirty pounds, and you wouldn’t be able to tell
I’d lost all that weight if I got off the plane in sweats. Isn’t
that always what celebrities are wearing when they show up on Us
Weekly
‘s “What Were They Thinking?” page? You know, when they
get off a plane in sweats and last year’s Uggs, with their hair all
crazy? If you are going to be a celebrity, you need to LOOK like a
celebrity, even when you’re getting off a plane.
Not
that I’m a celebrity, but I still want to look good. I went to all
this trouble, I haven’t had so much as a crumb of bread for three
months, and —
Wait. What if he doesn’t
recognize me? Seriously. I mean, I did lose thirty pounds, and with
my new haircut, and all —
Oh,
God, could he be here and not recognize me? Did I already walk
right by him? Should I turn around and go back down that walkway
thingie and look for him? But I’ll seem like such an idiot. What do
I do? Oh, my God, this is so not fair, I just wanted to look good
for him, not be stranded in a foreign country because I look so
different my own boyfriend doesn’t recognize me! What if he thinks
I haven’t shown up and just goes home? I don’t have any money —
well, twelve hundred bucks, but that has to last me until my flight
home at the end of the month —
RED
LEATHER JACKET IS STILL LOOKING THIS WAY!!! Oh, God, what can he
want from me?
What
if he’s part of some kind of airport white slavery ring? What if he
hangs out here all the time looking for naïve young tourists
from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to kidnap and send to Saudi Arabia to be
some sheik’s seventeenth bride? I read a book where that happened
once…although I have to say the girl seemed to really enjoy it.
But only because at the end the sheik divorced all his other wives
and just kept her, because she was so pure, and yet so good in the
sack.
Or
what if he just holds girls for ransom, instead of selling them?
Except that I am so not rich! I know this dress looks expensive,
but I got it at Vintage to Vavoom for twelve dollars (with my
employee discount)!
And
my dad doesn’t have any money. He works at a cyclotron, for crying
out loud!
Wait,
what is this booth? Meet Your Party. Oh, great! Customer
service! That’s what I’ll do! I’ll have Andrew paged. And that way,
if he’s here, he can come find me. And I’ll be safe from the Red
Leather Breakdancing Jacket, he won’t dare kidnap me and send me to
Saudi Arabia in front of the pager guy —
“Hullo, love, you look
lost. What can I do for you, then?”
Oh,
the booth guy is so nice! And such a cute accent! Although that tie
was an unfortunate choice.
“Hi,
I’m Lizzie Nichols,” I say. “I’m supposed to be being picked up by
my boyfriend, Andrew Marshall. Only he doesn’t seem to be here,
and–“
“Want me to page him for
you, then?”
“Oh!
Yes, please, would you? Because there’s a guy following me, see him
over there? I think he might be homeless, or a kidnapper, or the
operator of a white slavery ring–“
“Which one?”I
don’t want to point, but I do feel I have a duty, you know, to
report Red Leather Breakdancing Jacket to the authorities, or at
least to the Meet Your Party booth attendant, because he DOES look
very odd in that jacket, and he IS still staring at me, really
rudely, or at least suggestively, like he still wants to kidnap
me.
“Over there,” I say,
nodding my head towards Red Leather Breakdancing Jacket. “That one
in the hideous jacket with the epaulets. See him? The one staring
at us.”
“Oh,
right.” The Meet Your Party booth attendant nods. “Right. Very
menacing. Hold on, then, I’ll have your boyfriend over here, giving
that git the thrashing he so richly deserves, in a second. ANDREW
MARSHALL. ANDREW MARSHALL, MISS NICHOLS IS WAITING FOR YOU AT THE
MEET YOUR PARTY BOOTH. ANDREW MARSHALL, PLEASE FIND MISS NICHOLS AT
THE MEET YOUR PARTY BOOTH. There? How was that?”
“Oh,
that was great,” I say, encouragingly, because I feel a little
sorry for him. I mean, it must be hard to sit in a booth all day,
yelling over a loudspeaker. “That was really–“
“Liz?”Andrew! At last!Only
when I turn around, it’s Red Leather Breakdancing
Jacket.
Except.Except that it WAS Andrew,
all along.
And
I just didn’t recognize him, because I was distracted by the
jacket–the most hideous jacket I’ve ever seen. Plus he seems to
have had his hair cut. Not very flatteringly.
Sort
of menacingly, in fact.
“Oh,” I say. It is
extremely difficult to hide my confusion. And dismay. “Andrew.
Hi.”
Behind the glass of the
Meet Your Party booth, the attendant bursts into very, very loud
laughter.
And
I realize, with a pang, that I’ve done it.

Again.

My Score:

OMG! How embarrassing. Still, you can’t help feeling sorry for the girl. And seriously, who can’t be attracted to this book? Not that you can physically be attracted to a book, though I’ve heard some people like the smell of new books. Oh, geez…I have to blame Lizzie’s character for making me babble. 😉

Well, anyway, this one sounds hilarious and irresistibly cute! I love when a good comedy is paired with a romantic tale! And, ooh…Lizzie gets to go to France? This girl is jealous.

Sign me up, though. I’ve always wanted to travel all over the place.

I just added this title to my Amazon Wishlist, and it looks like a real winner! 😀

I give it four hearts, for originality and I can’t say ‘no’ to a FMC (female main character) who sounds as clumsy and as weird as me! LOL.

four hearts

Oh, and it looks like there are two more books in the series! 😉

babble sequels

 

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Readers, Reviews, Romance, romantic comedy

Arrival of Second Chance Heart!

Check out my latest contemporary romance release!

Source: Arrival of Second Chance Heart!

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Hope, new release, Readers, Romance, short stories, Stories, Uncategorized, Writing

Fun news!

So, in keeping with the romance theme, I thought I’d give you a head’s up. I am gearing up to release a short story soon. It’s a contemporary romance. Haven’t focused on one of those for awhile. It’s good to have a break from history and magick sometimes. LOL.

Why am I telling you this? Well, I thought it would be cool and apropos for the blog to give you an exclusive cover reveal of my next book. It’s going through formatting now and should be released soon. Here is the cover and blurb for your reading pleasure!

Second Chance Heart - final cover

Initial Blurb for Second Chance Heart:

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?

I’ll let you know when I have a release date for this one. In the meantime, happy reading, as always, and have a lovely weekend! 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Love, new release, Readers, Romance, short stories, Writing

A Character Interview with Sepalika from SAVED IN SRI LANKA plus a conversation with author Devika Fernando!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed K.C. Sprayberry’s character on March 3rd and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it.  I had the pleasure of meeting Devika Fernando, the author of Saved in Sri Lanka, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Sepalika, from the book.  We’ll get a chance to talk to Devika in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Sepalika!

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

Character Sepalika:  Hello.  Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  We’re going to start out with some simple questions, okay?

Sepalika: Of course.

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

Sepalika:  (Smiles.) I work as a tour guide in Sri Lanka, and I absolutely love my job. I get to watch people while they catch a glimpse of my country. It’s fascinating witnessing all the different reactions and creating little stories about them. I do think I’m good at my job because I add some fun and spice to routine.

Marie:  That’s great!  So, what is your family like?

Sepalika: (Frowns and sighs.) I wish you hadn’t asked. My father is suffering from chronic kidney disease. The doctors have only given him a few more months to live. As for my mother, she’s devastated…and worried about me. I don’t have any siblings, and I don’t really bond with any of our relatives.

Marie:  Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Let’s try something else.

What did your childhood home look like?

Sepalika:  I grew up in my mother’s ancestral home in a small village off Kandy amidst paddy fields, but we moved to Colombo when I was small, so after that it was modern city life for me. It was a huge change from the old, big house open to wilderness surrounding it, to the small, neat apartment surrounded by traffic and noise.

Marie:  Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Sepalika:  I love history and reading. Actually… (blushes.) I love dancing and singing too, but I hardly ever let that side of me out.

Marie:  I love reading too!

So, what is your greatest dream, Sepalika?

Sepalika:  I’d love to visit Australia one day.

Marie:  Well, that’s certainly a worth goal! (Smiles.)

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

Sepalika: I hate being such a coward. I wish I had the courage to stand up for my own happiness and really live life the way I want it. But that’s not easy if you live in Sri Lanka…and if you have a family to take care of.

Marie:  I see.  Yeah, obligations can often tear you away from what you want.

Okay, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now.  Who was your first love?

Sepalika:  I’ve never really been in love. I did have a huge crush on an English student when I went to university in London, but our relationship was doomed to fail. Now though, I think I’ve found the one… (Stares dreamily into the distance.)

Marie:  Well, that’s great that you found someone new! I’m happy for you. I won’t beg you to tell me more, though I’m dying to know…(Laughs.)

Saved in Sri Lanka new

So, Sepalika, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Sepalika:  Finding out that my father has less than a year to live because of kidney failure. I’d give anything to save him.

Marie:  How terrible! I’m sorry. I wish I could do something…😦

Well, let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

[Sepalika 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?

Sepalika:  I always wanted to see more of the world, and I’ve achieved that partly because I spent years studying in England. But I’m not sure I’ll ever get another chance to travel…

Marie:  I see.

So, who is your role model?

Sepalika:  All those great women in history who took life into their own hands and proved that they’re worth just as much as men, if not more.

Marie:  I agree. How inspirational!

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Sepalika:  Erm, quite a lot of people, to tell you the truth. It’s the only way to stay sane in this society… There’s a certain Mrs. de Souza – no, I won’t say more, I’ll just get worked up.

Marie:  All right. I’ll let you get away with being vague. (Winks.)

So, what is your deepest desire?

Sepalika:  Finding someone who recognizes the real me and loves me for who I am.

Marie: Yes, I believe we all want that…

Let’s switch to another question.  What is your greatest fear?

Sepalika:  Living a loveless life full of pretense.

Marie:  All right.

Well, I hate to say it, but we’ve run out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Sepalika.  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have Devika Fernando on the stage today. Hi, Devika!

profile pic

Author Devika Fernando:  Hi. Thank you so much for having the two of us over, Marie! 🙂

Marie:  My pleasure! 

As you know, we just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Sepalika. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Devika:  Sepalika is pretty modern for a Sri Lankan, you could say, almost “Western”. She’s stuck in an awful situation that makes it difficult for her to live the way she wants and deserves, but I know she’ll find a way out because she’s stronger than she thinks.

Marie:  (Nods.) I gathered some of that from talking to her. 

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Devika:  Her kindness and her intelligence.

Marie:  Now let’s take the opposition on that. 

What, do you feel, is her greatest weakness?

Devika: Her self-doubt.

Marie:  So, what are some of her favorite foods?

Devika:  She loves traditional Sri Lankan food like spicy vegetable curries and fish. And she’s a big fan of all the exotic fruits growing in her family’s garden, like guavas, mangoes and papayas.

Marie:  Well, I can’t blame her. I love papayas!

Let’s try something else.

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

Devika:  She’s really good at explaining and teaching things.

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

Devika:  So far, readers really liked Sepalika because she is fighting for her own happiness but also always putting others first.

Marie:  Well, that is certainly honorable.  Now that we have a real taste of Sepalika, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Saved in Sri Lanka?

Devika:  I’ve had many people tell me they’d love to read a romance novel set in Sri Lanka because I live here and am half Sri Lankan. I immediately knew if I ever wrote a story like this, I’d want to include a hero from a European country. And I’d want to show off this island’s beauty. The story sort of wrote itself then, with Daniel as the hero from Ireland and Sepalika as the tour guide falling in love with him.

Marie:  That’s great!  It does sound lovely.

So, Devika, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Devika:  A mix of both, I guess. I do write a plot outline, plan the first few chapters and create character profiles, but I don’t go into too much detail and see where the story is taking me.

Marie:  (Nods.) I do both as well. I let the story come out naturally in scenes, then I start doing heavy plotting and character work-ups. I write more from there, but I will still let the characters interfere with my plans if they have more to say.

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

Devika:  I found myself including too many descriptions, country facts and backstory. It always happens with my stories, but I cut those scenes out during my four or more rounds of editing. I’m very thankful for my awesome beta readers, they’re a big help.

Marie:  I know exactly what you mean! I don’t know what I’d do without my beta readers, critique partners and my proofreader.  🙂

Well, it was such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog.  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Saved in Sri Lanka appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome new book by Devika Fernando, a very talented author!

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Here is the blurb for Saved in Sri Lanka.

Some people are destined to meet.

It sure feels that way when Sri Lankan tour guide Sepalika meets Daniel. The mysterious tourist from Ireland steals his way into her heart and makes her question everything her life is built upon. Instant attraction turns to love – but does he feel the same? And what about the secret she’s hiding from him?
Follow the two on their quest for a happy ending amid the beauty and wonders of the tropical island paradise of Sri Lanka.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00U5ZY8AI

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saved-in-sri-lanka-devika-fernando/1121331845

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/524106 

Kobo:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/saved-in-sri-lanka

Google Play:  https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Devika_Fernando_Saved_in_Sri_Lanka?id=QsreBgAAQBAJ

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/saved-in-sri-lanka/id973289991

About Devika Fernando

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Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Her trademark is writing sweet, yet deeply emotional romance stories where the characters actually fall in love instead of merely falling in lust. What she loves most about being an author is the chance to create new worlds and send her protagonists on a journey full of ups and downs that will leave them changed. She draws inspiration from everyone and everything in life. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a self-employed German web content writer, as a translator, and as a faithful servant to all the cats, dogs, fish and birds in her home. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing.

Having always loved to read and write, Devika made her dream come true in 2014 when she became a self-published novelist. The Amazon bestselling author has published several eBooks in the genres contemporary romance, paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Her German and Sri Lankan roots influence her writing.

Devika’s Books:

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Devika Fernando, here are some of her author links:

Website:  http://www.devikafernando.com

Blog:  http://www.devikafernando.com/blog

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Author_Devika

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/Devika-Fernando/e/B00ISH0RD2/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/devikafernando1/

Google+:   https://plus.google.com/+DevikaFernando/posts

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7980006.Devika_Fernando

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Sepalika, the female main character of Saved in Sri Lanka, and Devika Fernando, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so fun to have you here! Readers, don’t forget to check out this awesome new release!  🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, Multicultural/Interracial, Readers, Romance, Women's Fiction, Writing, Writing Tips

4th Anniversary Party at TRR!

The Romance Reviews is having their 4th Anniversary Party this month. All month long, you can stop by their site and win cool prizes!

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The event started on March 1st and will run ALL month long so hurry, get in there and compete for prizes! With more than 350 participating authors and publishers, and more than 350 prizes up for grabs during the whole month of March, plus a $100 Gift Certificate as a grand prize, you just can’t go wrong!

Here is the event page:  http://www.theromancereviews.com/event.php

To compete for prizes, you will need to register and be logged into the TRR site. Registering is painless, I swear, and this site gives you access to lots of great books!

Here is the prize list:  http://www.theromancereviews.com/event.php?prize=1 And this is not even the entire list! How great is that? Each book will have a simple Q&A with instructions to compete for the prize and you will be contacted if you win. Woo hoo!

And, on March 11th, you also get a chance to win my latest release, Second Nature, book one of the Blood at First Sight Series! Yay!  🙂

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So, stop by today, and every day whenever you have a moment. But, especially stop by on March 11th for a copy of Second Nature! I’m excited about this! Aren’t you?  🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Giveaways, Books, Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Historical Romance, Love, Mystery, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Thriller/Suspense, Time Travel, Women's Fiction, Writing

A Character Interview with Kathleen from KATHLEEN’S UNDRESSED plus a conversation with author Celia Kennedy!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Adrienne Davenport’s character on February 10th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it.  I had the pleasure of meeting Celia Kennedy, the author of Kathleen’s Undressed:  Book 2, The Accidental Enigma, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Kathleen Ehlers, from the book.  We’ll get a chance to talk to Celia in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Kathleen Ehlers!

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

Kathleen Ehlers:  Hello.  Thank you.  It’s a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  We’re going to start out with some simple questions, okay?

Character Kathleen:  Sure.

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

Kathleen:  I love my job! I am a Business Acquisition Lawyer for L’Oreal Paris, at the main headquarters, in Clichy, France. I live in Paris, can afford to wear incredible clothes, and it is the perfect balance between the detailed and creative.

Our rate at acquiring new businesses has increased over the last few years – everything from The Body Shop to designer perfumeries. I enjoy research and number crunching. I also enjoy knowing we are putting our quality control behind all these name brands.

Am I any good at it? My goal is to be the EVP for Administrative and Finances, and I believe that it is a very achievable goal.

[Currently there is only one person between Kathleen and that title.]

Marie:  That’s great! So, what is your family like?

Kathleen:  Growing up, it was just me and my mom; no siblings. I had a great childhood though. My mother and I were very close, we still are.

Marie:  What did your childhood home look like?

Kathleen:  Great question! I grew up in Seattle, Washington (the state, not Washington D.C.). I grew up in the Ravenna Neighborhood – small bungalows on small lots – there were buckets of kids living in my neighborhood. I always had someone to play with.

My mom still lives in the house.

As for the house itself… I think it might be around 900 square feet. Small – two bedrooms, one bathroom, a tiny living room, and an even smaller kitchen.

Now that I think about it, my mom was partial to white walls and cabinets. I never asked her why. I was always partial to a lot of color, so you’d think I would have wondered about this before now. Anyway, the white didn’t stop the house from being cozy and a place where I felt happy and safe.

Marie:  Well, that’s good!

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

Kathleen:  People think this is crazy, but I love remodeling apartments. It all started when I was in graduate school at Oxford – in England. The pokey little flat I rented had been painted green through-out. So, I bought some paint… and I got hooked on improving the places I lived in.

Since I’ve lived in Paris, ten years now, I have bought and remodeled a few apartments. I try to do most of the work myself; tiling, painting, woodwork – everything that doesn’t required an expert, like plumbing or electrical.

Given the hours I work, there isn’t a lot of time for hobbies beyond my on-going remodeling projects.

Marie:  So, what is your greatest dream, Kathleen?

Kathleen:  Another great question! My greatest dream… [Laughs.] After becoming EVP? I suppose my dream is to finish remodeling my current apartment. Gosh, that makes me sound dull! I suppose if I were being really honest, spending more time with friends would be fantastic.

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

Kathleen:  I think everyone wishes they could be a little more carefree, I know I do. I read, when I was quite young, that if you write down your goals, they are more likely to come true. In graduate school, I set a list of goals for myself and I’m making great progress towards them. Achieving my goals is very important to me, but they do require long hours at work.

Marie:  That’s the truth!  😉

Okay, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now.  Who was your first love?

Kathleen: [A wistful look quickly passes across her face, and I find her answer surprising.] Who’s to say I’ve had a first love?

Marie:  So secretive! But, I’ll let you get away with it.

Kathleen, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Kathleen:  [Stares down at her hands for quite some time, before answering.] Honestly, I cannot answer that. [The confidence and grace that Ms. Ehlers has exuded up to this point, deflates briefly.]

Marie:  All right. I won’t press.

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

[Kathleen 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?

Kathleen:  Gosh! I was such a pragmatic child. It probably came as no surprise to my mother when I announced I wanted to be a lawyer! [Here, she pauses briefly, before answering with a twinkle in her eye.] I loved to paint as a child – not walls – canvases. If there is a dreamer in me at all, I suppose I dreamt of being a painter. The pragmatist won out.

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Marie:  So, who is your role model?

Kathleen:  My mother, of course. She’s a wonderful woman, who taught me to reach for the stars. I never felt like I couldn’t do something, if I set my mind to it.

Marie:  That’s awesome!

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Kathleen: Des Bannerman!

[Readers might remember the scandal in the tabloids last year between The King of Romantic Comedies, with an unknown American woman. That woman, Charlotte Young-Molloy, is one of Ms. Ehlers’ closest friends.]

Marie:  So, what is your deepest desire?

Kathleen: To be fearless, to make my goals a reality – the goals I wrote down eleven years ago! To be a loving and supportive friend… maybe take up painting again someday.

Marie:  So…let’s switch to another question.  What is your greatest fear?

Kathleen:  Loneliness!

Marie:  Well, we’ve run out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Kathleen.  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have Celia Kennedy on the stage today. Hi, Celia!

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Author Celia Kennedy:  Hi.  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  My pleasure! 

We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Kathleen. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Celia:  Kathleen earns her enigmatic title because she is both confident but afraid – she’s reached the upper-echelons of her career ladder – but she’s unable to reveal her emotional scars. Kathleen is an independent woman, financially and emotionally, but perhaps to her detriment. She works long hours to get the career reward, but the price she pays is that she is quite lonely and unable to be vulnerable.

Marie:  So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Celia:  I think I am quite a bit like Kathleen. I have a lot of confidence in myself when it comes to trying new things; learning, making connections, being a responsible co-worker. I put a lot of work into being competent. When I am invested, I’m all in.

Marie:  Okay.  Now let’s take the opposition on that. 

What, do you feel, are her greatest weaknesses?

Celia:  Kathleen’s greatest weakness is that she fears being alone. The way that she handles it is by isolating herself, before she can be left.

Marie:  I see. 

What are some of her favorite foods?

Celia: Kathleen loves to eat! That is one of my favorite things about her – she is a foodie. Highly contrasting flavors and textures delight her; hot curries with pickled chutney’s or tart cherries in a sweet dough (this is a Clafouti and makes a guest appearance in Kathleen’s Undressed).

Marie:  So, what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Celia: She’s fiercely loyal – when everyone else is second guessing themselves, their friendships, she is the one in the group who reminds them of their history, of their commitment as friends.

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

Celia: I think they will love her. When you meet her she is a little reserved, aloof. But as you read her story, you begin to understand that it is a self-protection mechanism, and then you fall in love with her, because just below the surface, she is warm and committed to those in her life.

Marie:  Great!  Well, now that we have a real taste of Kathleen Ehlers, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Kathleen’s Undressed?

Celia:  When I read Book One of The Accidental Series, Charlotte’s Restrained, after it was finished, I realized that we learn very little about Kathleen. While she plays a pivotal role in that book, I didn’t explore her background, her story, as much as I did the other characters. In thinking about why I’d done this, I decided to take that lack of development and create a reason behind it.

Marie:  That’s great! I had something similar when I reread Upon Your Return. I knew there was a larger story at work, and now that I’m well into writing the third book, so much is happening.

So, Celia, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Celia: Every time I write a book, my style changes. My natural predisposition is to daydream about the characters and the plotline – mull over different options and opportunities. I have learned to write down, very vaguely, the purpose for each chapter and work from the outline. As I think of questions or try to weave the threads of all the characters’ storylines, I end up with a bunch of scribblings and loads of arrows!

While I write, it is literally as if I am watching the movie, the story unfolds in front of my eyes and I am lost in the experience.

Marie:  My notes are pretty messy too, and I hear you about being in the zone.

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

Celia:  I learned a great deal from writing Charlotte’s Restrained, my first book. I did it all backwards. I had a book, but no readers, no connections, no writing community. I didn’t have it edited or design a book cover. It’s scary how much I didn’t know. So, my advice to new writers is to develop your community while you write – don’t be afraid to ask for critiques, find beta-readers and have them give suggestions, make connections with book reviewers, bloggers and readers – but these need to be sincere relationships. You are making as big a commitment to them as you want them to make to you. Your work and your community will only benefit by it.

Marie:  What great advice! Thank you, Celia!  🙂

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 Kathleen’s Undressed appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome new book by Celia Kennedy, a very talented author!

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Here is the blurb for Kathleen’s Undressed:  Book 2, The Accidental Enigma.

The ladies from Charlotte’s Restrained are back together! Joining Kathleen in Paris, France, for Fall Fashion Week, the ladies and their men mingle with celebrities, royalty, and the fashion elite.

Kathleen’s thrilled to have her friends in town, but what should be a week of camaraderie and fun is about to take a darker turn. Because Kathleen has secrets. Dark secrets her friends would be devastated to learn.

A special someone enters Kathleen’s life who urges her to reveal what she’s kept hidden. It becomes clear she will have to make a choice when the group reunites for an unexpected wedding.

Will Kathleen continue deceiving her friends at the risk of their friendship — or reveal the truth at the risk of herself?

Purchase Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Kathleens-Undressed-Accidental-Enigma-Book-ebook/dp/B00SAP05QG/

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00SAP05QG

About Celia Kennedy

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Celia Kennedy was born in Wurzburg, Germany on a military base. Her parent’s penchant for traveling has stuck with her, she’s lived in and traveled through several countries.

The imagined world has always fascinated Celia. She has studied Art History, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, and Architecture. Her thirteen year career at UW in Seattle ended in 1996. Not wanting to be homeless, she left the academic world and worked as a Landscape Architect, married the love of her life, became a mom, has been PTA President, Girl Scout leader and Boy Scout leader.

The unimaginable wealth in her life is the most fascinating thing to her.

Her love of travel, the designed and natural world, friendship, self-discovery, wine, chocolate, AND love are the foundation of her books.

Celia published her first book, Charlotte’s Restrained, The Accidental Stalker in December 2012, Venus Rising in August of 2013, Sugar It’s Cold Outside, Cupid on the Loose Anthology, April’s Fool, Fool’s Rush In Anthology, 2015 AND Kathleen’s Undressed, The Accidental Enigma on February 23, 2015. Three other works are in progress.

Celia’s Books:

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Celia Kennedy, here are some of her author links:

Website:  www.celiakennedy.weebly.com

Blog:  www.womanreinventsself.blogspot.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KennedyCelia

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/Celia-Kennedy/e/B00AW5KEZO/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/celiakennedy/

Google+:   https://plus.google.com/u/0/106475224814075459757/posts

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Kathleen Ehlers, the female main character of Kathleen’s Undressed, and Celia Kennedy, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so fun to have you here!

Readers, don’t forget to check out this awesome new release! 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Fiction, Interview, Readers, Romance, Women's Fiction, Writing, Writing Tips

“Can you resist romance?” Dual Blog Multi-Author Book Giveaway

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 “Can You Resist Romance?” Dual Blog Giveaway

 

Most readers of this blog are probably like me. They love romance! And what better time to celebrate romance than around Valentine’s Day? With the flowers and chocolates, the jewelry and cards, and even the personal gifts from your honey make the day a little sweeter. As you already know about me, I found it somewhat natural to combine my love of “love” with my love of books and writing.

Well, it has happened again! This time, we’ve combined our efforts with the Writing in the Modern Age blog to give the best romance giveaway ever! Forty-one authors teamed up with our two blogs, and with an offering of over 150 donations, you can’t exactly go wrong with that. This also goes along with the I Love Romance Blog’s one year anniversary. So, it’s all very exciting!

In keeping with our romance theme, and just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’re hosting a dual blog book giveaway here and on Writing in the Modern Age. Readers can leave a comment at the end of the post about their preferred genres or romance subgenres, and the best contact email to reach them on. We promise not to spam, and will only contact you if you won a prize.

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“What’s the catch, Marie?”

No catch. We simply want to reach people in the best way we know how, and why not do it through a book giveaway? Also, who doesn’t like a little romance in their fiction? 😉

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As aforementioned, the rules are fairly simple. Just leave us a comment! Give us your preferred subgenres of romance (feel free to say if there’s one you don’t like), and we also need a way to reach you in order to send your prize along. Give us your best contact email. It is very hard for me to hunt people down via social networking to inform them that they won a prize so do give us a way to reach you. Also, please don’t list just one book title you want from the list. That’s not fair to other readers who might want to compete for a prize as well. You can, however, tell us if you already have one of the books in the list. Give us a good variety for your genres! You may discover a new favorite author!  🙂

The participating authors in the event are talented, lovely people whom I am lucky to have run into during my author journey. Thank you all for donating these wonderful prizes! I couldn’t have done this without you.

Readers, below I have included a list of the donations, as well as links to the authors’ Amazon pages so that you can learn a little more about them. We are so happy that you stopped by the I Love Romance Blog today to take a look at this special giveaway. The contest will run for a full week. After that, winners will be chosen. Enjoy!

 

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Here is our full list of donations:

Prize #1

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Title:  The Brede Chronicles, Book 1

Author:  P.I. Barrington

Format:  paperback

Number of copies:  3

Genre:  Sci-fi/romance

Blurb:  Half-human Alekzander Brede is a law unto himself…or so he thinks. Elektra Tate, the street orphan who loves him has other ideas. When she betrays him for no apparent reason, he vows to punish her one way or another. Taking the one thing she treasures most—their son—begins a cat and mouse relationship spanning two planets and costing possibly his life. Elektra will stop at nothing to save her son but can she overcome Brede’s twisted idea of vengeance?

Prize #2

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Title:  Destiny of Kings 

Author:  Fiona Tarr

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  5

Genre:  historical fantasy with some romance

Blurb:  The King is going slowly mad, bewitched by the dark magic and seductive powers of the Egyptian Princess Jezebel.
Martinez, the King’s general, must choose between the life of a young shepherd boy who is like the son he never had or the man who is his King and lifelong friend.
The One True God has shared a prophecy with the old seer Samuel, while the little Holy man Narayana claims the Universe has called him out of meditation to restore balance.
Francesca, the Priestess, carries the burden of responsibility until her faith is rocked, her heart opened and her resolve challenged.
Inspired by authors such as David Gemmell & Raymond E Feist; where each novel is a self contained story within an interconnecting series.

Prize #3

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Title: Confessions of a Red Hot Veggie Lover 2: Lacto Ovo Vegetarian Recipes

Author:  Belinda Y. Hughes

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  cookbook (for romantic dinner)

Blurb:  Kids eating veggies with enthusiasm? Husbands eating meatless and loving it? Menopausal women thinking clearly again? What’s going on here?
Discover healthy vegetarian recipes for biscuits, omelets, oatmeal, beans, pasta, potatoes, rice, sandwiches and desserts/snacks. Empower your kids to eat healthier and become more self sufficient in the kitchen. Fruity Patooty Burrito is a quick and easy after-school snack your kids can assemble themselves from pre-chopped ingredients and seasonings kept within easy reach. Ease the ups and downs of menopause with Kiss Your Brain Biscuits, featuring soy flour.
You’ll also get vegetarian nutrition tips from my team of international experts: Rebecca Subbiah, RDN (UK & USA), EmmaCarder, RD (UK), Lauren O’Connor, RD (USA), Cynthia Strawson, MSc, Nutrition & Metabolism (Canada), Dan Hanley of The Gay Vegans blog (USA) and Andrea Zeichner of Cook Easy Vegan blog (USA).
So dive in, the food is just right!

Prize #4

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Title:  I Love Your Cupcakes

Author:  Olga Núñez Miret

Format:  ebook (mobi or epub)

Number of copies: 

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  If you are nuts about TV cookery programs and think chocolate is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, keep reading…

I Love Your Cupcakes is a “sweet” romance, a virtual fantasy high in calories and a fun adventure. Dare to give it a bite!
Dulce, Adelfa and Storm, the protagonists of I Love Your Cupcakes are business partners, friends and share some “interesting” family connections. All the men Dulce meets only ever talk about her cakes and she’s tired of it. Her friend Adelfa, although she’s a Chemistry Professor, can’t manage to find the recipe for the perfect relationship. And Storm, the third of the partners of their bakery/coffee shop/bookshop/art gallery and ex-fire station, is an artist who is not a master in the art of love. How could they imagine that at the studio of the contest “Do You Have What it Takes to Be the Next Baking Star?” they’d find sexual harassment, cheats, fights and also love?
With dogs, fire trucks, London double-decker buses, school buses, artists, chemists, engineers, architects, intrigue, scandals, bigamy, and lots and lots of desserts… I Love Your Cupcakes is a romantic comedy with a sweet heart. You will find baddies, crooks, goodies, odd balls and flawed but endearing characters. More than anything I can promise you good humor, friendship, smiles, sense of community, heart and plenty of cakes. Try it! I’m sure you won’t be able to stop once you give it a bite!
I hope you come to love Dulce, Adelfa, Storm and their friends as much as I do. And if that is the case, please let me know. I wouldn’t mind writing some more adventures about them and baking more cakes!

Prize #5

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Title:  Click Me Happy!

Author:  Olga Núñez Miret

Format:  ebook (mobi or epub)

Number of copies: 

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  Do you believe in love at first sight or first click? Do you think your life should be a romantic novel? Would you like to be able to choose the ending? If you’ve answered YES to any of these questions or feel intrigued by them, this novel offers you a unique opportunity. You can choose what kind of ending you want: unhappy, happy or neutral.

Lilith, the protagonist, does not believe in all that ‘romantic nonsense’. When her boss and friend, Debbie, asks her to create a digital books section for the library where they both work she triggers a series of events that shake all of Lilith’s strongly held beliefs.
Her dislike for social networking is put to the test and despite her love for privacy and technological naïveté she manages to make a number of virtual connections. The most interesting one, without a question, is Zane, a talented and attractive author and painter. Their friendship quickly develops into something else. But, what exactly? Lilith doesn’t have a clue.
A bet with Rowena, her childhood best-friend, offers her an opportunity to test her feelings for Zane and their relationship and a meeting, ‘real’ this time, is organised in the gorgeous setting of Bermuda.

At that point, you, the reader, have the choice. Do you want the story to end up happy ever after? Do you think there’s no chance for them? Or maybe you believe that there has to be more to life than romantic stories and a neutral ending or new beginning is more true to life? You can pick and choose your ending, or you can read all of them and choose your favourite, or even create your own and let me know. I’d love to hear from you! (I leave you links to contact me at the end.) Don’t be strangers!

Prize #6

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Title:  No Distance Between Us

Author:  Young 

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  4

Genre:  memoir/gay historical romance (1960s)

Blurb:  This provocative story is about a young man who was initiated into a clandestine sexual society. He was spirited to the Middle East, from his UK boarding school. He attended the Bahriji School (Oasis,) in The United Arab Emirates in preparation for serving in Harems for the wealthy and elite.
It is also a love story between the young man and his ‘Valet’ who served as his chaperone and mentor during the boy’s Harem service.

Prize #7

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Title:  The Salty Dog

Author:  Debbie White 

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  Libby (a big-city girl) and Luke (the big dreamer) give up the city life to move to a small fishing village, where he buys and operates a commercial fishing boat and she runs a small diner that the locals love. The two of them are determined to live out his dream, when an event even Libby could not have prepared for leaves her running both businesses with the help of a friend. The Salty Dog is about a strong, independent woman who, when faced with hard times, never gives up – even when it comes to love.

Prize #8

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Title:  Passport to Happiness

Author:  Debbie White 

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  To escape the often lonely and boring reality of living in a small rural town, Jessica finds comfort in reading about the many places that exist beyond her small corner of the earth. When she joins the State Department and travels abroad looking for adventure, she gets more than she imagined was ever possible. Passport to Happiness is a story of strength and determination, while exploring new places, but it’s also about finding love and happiness – no matter where you hang your hat.

Prize #9

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Title:  Wicked Takeover

Author:  Tina Donahue 

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  erotic romance, contemporary

Blurb:  She’s just inherited a tattoo parlor, and the hunk who comes with it.

Lauren’s in a helluva mess. Not only has she lost her corporate job, her long-absent father just left her a struggling tattoo parlor along with the virile dude who runs it. Dante’s sinfully hot with a killer smile and inked biceps. Lauren’s full-figured, sorta pretty and wanting him badly. Dream on. She’s here to sell the place as quickly as possible for some much-needed cash.
Dante sees the heat in Lauren’s eyes despite her conservative appearance. He recognizes the dynamite woman she could be if she’d just loosen up and have some wicked fun. Dominance and submission. Making love in a public place. Having her lush body always accessible to and ready for his.

Prize #10

the-yearning 

Title:  The Yearning

Author:  Tina Donahue 

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  erotic romance, paranormal

Blurb:  To break this curse, they’ll have to turn the heat up. Way up.

Jasmine Dante prowls Key West’s nightlife, fighting a losing battle against a jealous rival’s curse that forces her to seek carnal pleasure, no matter the danger. Weakened from lack of sleep, driven by insatiable lust, she spots a man who stirs her desperate craving, and begins yet another dance of seduction.
Except the dark stranger who returns her direct stare is no ordinary lover. Inside his powerful body lies a raw sexuality that just might be enough to break her curse. There’s only one way to find out: imprison him in her bed and feed on his passion.
Former U.S. Marshal Mike Stearn is many things, but he’s no woman’s sex slave. The deadly telekinetic power he ruthlessly suppresses comes alive again at Jasmine’s touch. Beneath her bold, potent sensuality he senses vulnerability and desperation. He may be in handcuffs, but she’s the one who’s enslaved.
As Mike resurrects his power to free himself so he can find the curse’s source and defeat it, Jasmine revels in his masterful rule. Her ravenous yearning evolves into rapture as she surrenders to his hunger, her darkest needs—and the emotional connection that lies beyond. Unless the curse takes her life first…

 

Warning: Tons of steamy sex, smoldering passion and a to-die-for love story with a hot Alpha hero who finds himself imprisoned by one sultry and desperate babe.

Prize #11

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Title:  SiNN

Author:  Tina Donahue 

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  erotic romance, romantic suspense

Blurb:  She’s every man’s carnal fantasy…and the target of one’s revenge.At a gentleman’s club, Lea dances as SiNN, her body bared and vulnerable to her male partner, her features hidden behind a mask. To the men watching, she’s a sensual enigma, submissive and seductive with no face, name or history. Not even Lea knows her real origins. But a man from the past does, and he wants her dead.Not on the watch of U.S. Marshals Jake Gabriel and Toby Quinn. Commanding and decisive, Jake not only wants Lea’s safety, but to have her naked and yielding beneath him. To Toby, she’s all he should resist but cannot. Protected by them at a secluded estate, Lea’s drawn to their potent masculinity and raw lust. Inviting desire and an emotional connection, she submits to both, surrendering to their shameless hunger along with her own wanton needs.All while a killer edges closer…

Prize #12

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Title: Confounding Cupid

Author:  Susan Mac Nicol

Format:  ebook (mobi, PDF or epub)

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  Valentine’s romance

Blurb:  Coworkers Leigh and Ryan are perfect for each other, but why should that make things any easier for Gerald, a hapless Cupid-in-training eager to earn his wings?

Prize #13

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Title:  Cassandra by Starlight

Author:  Susan Mac Nicol

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  A London woman is swept off her feet into the glamorous yet surprisingly dangerous world of an up-and-coming star of stage and screen.
TO CATCH A RISING STAR
Unconventional though she may be, Cassandra Wallace leads the life of an average Londoner, from blind dates to rush hour traffic. Then, along comes Bennett Saville. Charming, erudite, the up-and-coming actor is like the hero of a romantic movie. He sets Cassie afire like he has the stage and screen, and defies the tragedy that brought them together. From the tips of his Armani loafers to their scorching hot first kiss, he’s perfect. Only, he’s ten years younger and from the upper class, and those emerald eyes invite dangerous secrets. The world is full of hungry leading ladies, and every show must have its villain. Yet a true romance will always find its happy ending.

Prize #14

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Title:  Together in Starlight

Author:  Susan Mac Nicol

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  CASSIE & BENNETT, ACT TWO
Bennett Saville is sexy. At the peak of his career, the English star of stage and screen is everything a woman might desire, as fiancée Cassandra Wallace well knows. Together they’ve seen the world, from L.A. to Shangri La, yet shadows persist even in the spotlight. At home they face lust, greed, and ghosts from their pasts—and that’s off stage. There is also “The Val”. The aged London theatre holds a mystery four centuries old, cast in starlight and waiting to be revealed. Intensely personal, impossibly passionate, the play must go on…and Cassie and Bennett must face it together.

Prize #15

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Title:  The Scale

Author:  Mika Jolie

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  Twenty-seven year old, African-American, Minka Greene has to endure watching her twin sister marry the man she loves. Her weight is up, and her confidence is down. Not exactly the ideal time to meet the real man of her dreams.
The Scale opens in Martha’s Vineyard with Minka attending Keely and Blake’s engagement party at Martha’s Way, the beautiful inn owned and operated by the tall, blond, tattooed man with the piercing blue eyes. It just so happens Jason Montgomery is also Blake’s childhood friend and the best man. Dealing with a whirl of emotions, Minka faints in Jason’s arms.
When she wakes up naked in Jason’s bed after a night of passion, the Vineyard confirmed bachelor struggling with his own demons and the woman filled with self-doubt and pining for another man are joined in an experience that will change their lives.

Prize #16

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Title:  Need You Now

Author:  Mika Jolie

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  Elementary school teacher Liliana Serrano has never been one to let others determine her future. Whether it’s her pack of three overly protective brothers or her Puerto-Rican, American heritage, she stands on her own. Which is exactly how she entered her arrangement with Adam Aquilani. The hot formula one driver is aloof, detached and not interested in relationship. After a cheating fiancé, no strings attached sex was just what she needed.
Except one year later, they’re still hooking up and things aren’t so clear cut anymore. Especially when a surprise pregnancy enters the picture.
Adam is determined to marry Lily and raise their child as a family. But Lily refuses to settle for anything less than love.
As the two go on a journey of discovering, secrets are revealed, testing the strength of their connection. Can they learn not to give the past the power to define their future?

Prize #17

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Title:  Snowburn

Author:  E.J. Frost

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  5

 

Format:  paperback

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  sci-fi romance

Blurb:  I’m the biggest monster on the planet.
Hale Hauser is a Company killer. Perfectly engineered, highly trained, superbly effective. But when ordered to assassinate his own kind, Hale rebels, and the Company buries him in a hole so deep that no one has ever escaped.
After escaping, Hale hides on Kuseros, a backwater Colony on the Deep Frontier. He begins a new life as Sandringham Snow, pilot and smuggler. Hired by Kez, a local runner, to retrieve a box of black-market glands, Hale follows her through the maze of strange loyalties and twisted customs of Kuseros’ underground gangs. In payment, he takes the one thing only a woman can give him, and discovers the one thing his new life is missing.
But Kez has a secret, which will threaten them both. To protect her, Hale must unleash the monster. Can he control the killer inside long enough to discover the truth before it destroys them? Or will he lose everything just as he’s found it?
WARNING: contains graphic violence and explicit sex, including bondage, spanking and paddling.

 

Prize #18

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Title:  Neon Blue

Author:  E.J. Frost

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  5

Genre:  paranormal romance

Blurb:  My name is Tsara Elizabeth Faa, and I have a demon problem. A very serious demon problem. My ex-best friend has summoned an incubus, and left me to deal with him. Now he’s after my soul.
Thing is, the more time I spend with him, the more I want to give it to him.

Prize #19

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Title:  Upon Your Return

Author:  Marie Lavender

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  historical romance, Victorian

Blurb:  Fara Bellamont has been back in society for a year after leaving Cluny Abbey, where her uncle sent her long ago. When he chooses a suitor for her for marriage, she fears that she will be forced to marry a stranger and live a miserable life.
But, Fara finds herself thrust into an adventure of a lifetime when unforeseen circumstances cause her to place her trust in a strange man for protection. His intervention not only saves her, but puts her in an even more compromising position.
Grant Hill, a trading captain, is enchanted by the young heiress not only because of her beauty, but because she is hardly conventional. Underneath her ladylike exterior lies a tigress. Grant cannot help but offer his protection as she is in need and he is far from immune from her charms.
Fara just never bargained on the passion that she feels for Grant Hill. As events unfold, she must decide whether her desires and the dictates of her heart should trump the rules of society

Prize #20

Upon Your Honor

Title:  Upon Your Honor

Author:  Marie Lavender

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  historical romance, suspense, Victorian

Blurb:  Deception is a dangerous path…
New York City, August, 1891 – Orphaned after the death of her father, Chloe Waverly stows away on La Voyageur to escape the clutches of her cruel fiancé, Lamonte Beckett. Gabriel Hill, a strange and compelling gentleman, comes upon Chloe and promises to protect her without knowing the true circumstances of why she is running away. During their journey, Gabriel doesn’t bargain on being distracted by her fair beauty or succumbing to her many charms. As their attraction to each other grows, so does the danger and Gabriel suspects things are not as they should be.
Both are determined to get to New Orleans, where she can start a new life. But, once they reach their destination, events spin out of their control and Chloe is captured by the fiancé she escaped. Gabriel is left wondering if he can overlook her betrayal. Soon he finds himself in a race against time, to reach her before Beckett can exact revenge.

Prize #21

Magick and Moonlight

Title:  Magick & Moonlight

Author:  Marie Lavender

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  romantic fantasy, contemporary

Blurb:  Messing with free will is always a bad idea…
Ethan Hamilton moves to a lazy little town in Oregon, hoping to escape his demons. But, instead he discovers a woman dancing nude in the moonlight. This woman who claims she is a witch dazzles him with her sensual presence. He thinks she’s crazy, but what if she’s not?
Jessie Anderson has been taught that her kind hides who they really are. And she has a problem on her hands. Someone knows her secret and she has to do all she can to protect herself. What other choice does she have? Jessie casts a love spell on a good man, a man with whom she can’t fight her attraction. The spell doesn’t work quite as planned – she ends up falling for Ethan.
To top it off, Ethan’s treatment of her, his “love”, is so addictive. Deep down, she knows the spell will wear off, and yet his feelings seem genuine. It’s just a spell…right?

Prize #22

SecondNature-final cover

Title:  Second Nature

Author:  Marie Lavender

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  paranormal romance, urban fantasy

Blurb:  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?

Prize #23

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Title:  Alien Manifesto

Author:  T.W. Embry

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  sci-fi with some romance

Blurb:  When orphaned ex-Navy S.E.A.L. Thomas Scott decides upon a life of crime, he does not expect to be recruited to join an elite Special Forces operation charged with stealing an alien artifact. Especially a mixed-species alien team headed by inter-galactic billionaire Snarth. The close-knit team soon becomes Tom’s family in more senses than one, which complicates matters when the mysterious artifact turns out to hold secrets that may plunge the whole of the known universe into a devastating war…

Prize #24

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Title:  Charlotte’s Restrained:  The Accidental Stalker

Author:  Celia Kennedy

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  romantic comedy

Blurb:  Charlotte’s Restrained, a comical fictional tale of what happens when the paths of a celebrity god and a mere mortal collide.
While vacationing, Charlotte has a chance encounter with a celebrity famous for his lead roles in romantic comedies. Unfortunately for Charlotte, lighthearted banter develops into tabloid fodder. With her career, friendships, and new found romance all impacted, Charlotte sets about dealing with the fallout of her fifteen minutes of fame.

Prize #25

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Title:  Venus Rising

Author:  Celia Kennedy

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  romantic comedy

Blurb:  Akshaya Bertrand is a Professor of Art History at an elite college in New England. The patina of the ivy league campus is the perfect canvas for the exotic beauty from India. It is also an environment that Akshaya can safely navigate. A small world that she has minimized and made manageable.
Dr. Jared Harrison, a journalist who has been based in the Middle East, has accepted a position as a guest lecturer at the college where Akshaya teaches. Arriving just in time to attend a faculty mixer, he catches a glimpse of Akshaya Bertrand. Immediately, he learns from those who have tried and failed, that the beautiful professor, compared to Lakshmi, Venus and Aphrodite, is an enigma, a seductive sculpture behind a wall of glass.
While searching for a way to slip past her armor and into her life, Jared confronts the images and tragedies imprinted on his psyche by those left behind in the war torn world of the Middle East. Akshaya and Jared find themselves drawn to each other, hoping to find compassion, someone they can expose their inner demons to.
Funding from the college provides an opportunity to combine Akshaya’s love of art with Jared’s resources as a war correspondent. Together, they travel to Afghanistan and India, where both finally face the past that has shaped them and the present that defines them.
Amongst beauty and poverty as well as war and friendship they find the answers to their individual truths.

Prize #26

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Title:  Shelton in Love

Author:  Dianne Hartsock

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  contemporary gay romance

Blurb:  Shelton’s falling quickly for his sexy roommate, but can he forget the pain of past rejections and give Nevil what they’re both aching for?
Shelton is falling hard for his best friend and roommate, finding Nevil’s dark good looks and moments of gentleness almost impossible to resist. But Nevil is more interested in affairs of the body than the heart. As Shelton’s desire for the man grows, he wonders if he can change Nevil’s mind. But does he even want to? Nevil might not stay, once he learns Shelton’s secret, and then his loneliness would be complete.

Prize #27

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Title:  Stuck on Rewind

Author:  Dianne Hartsock

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  contemporary gay romance

Blurb:  Can Ashton let go of his jealousy and be the friend and lover that Lance needs?
Ashton has been in love with his best friend for years, watching him grow from a pretty high school boy to the gorgeous erotic dancer at the club where they both work. The problem is that Lance enjoys the attention of a variety of men while Ashton wants him for his very own.
After a day spent denying his attraction for Lance, standing by while their friend Trey openly flirts with him, Ashton decides it’s time to make his move or risk losing his man forever. Once Lance knows how he feels, he’ll realize they should be together. Or is it already too late?

Prize #28

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Title:  When I See Your Face

Author:  Devika Fernando

Format:  ebook (PDF, mobi or epub)

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  Cathy has had enough. Having run away from her abusive husband, she tries to pick up the broken pieces of her life in a remote village, focusing on her dream to start her own cake business. Finding true love is the last thing on her mind. When she comes face to face with a man who looks exactly like the one she is struggling to forget, life throws the biggest challenge yet at her: Should she give in to his charm and care or is history going to repeat itself?

Prize #29

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Title:  Kaleidoscope of Hopes

Author:  Devika Fernando

Format:  ebook (PDF, mobi or epub)

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  High hopes mean big disappointments. Nadia has learned that lesson the hard way. Single, struggling to make ends meet, and hurt by the past, the last thing she needs is another complication. When her new boss – a handsome, secretive widower with a child – moves in next door, their worlds collide. Sweet hopes bloom again, but both of them are burdened by tragic secrets. Should she give love a second chance?

Prize #30

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Title:  Sikkiyn

Author:  Chris S. Hayes

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  sci-fi/romance

Blurb:  Captain Johan Larsen is in serious financial trouble. His ship, the Valkyrie, is decades old and falling apart. In a desperate ploy to get the funds he needs, he agrees to a risky but lucrative transport contract. His cargo: an accused assassin en route to trial, to be delivered to the other side of Confederate space, cash on delivery. His money problems will be over once he delivers her alive to her destination—provided that the killers pursuing them don’t succeed and that his passenger doesn’t murder him herself. And then there’s the fact that he’s stupid enough to be falling in love with her.
Okay, so maybe he’s in more than financial trouble.

Prize #31

20944127

Title:  Ascent of the Fallen

Author:  Rebecca L. Frencl

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  paranormal romance/urban fantasy

Blurb:  Free will is ever our blessing and our curse . . .

Rue has stood over human souls in judgment as a guard at Hell’s Gate for millennia. He has seen the worst humanity has to offer. In response to his harshness, Heaven’s Princes have sentenced him to life among humanity until he regains his compassion. He finds not only compassion, but love. Now he must choose: his new-found life with humans or return and share his compassion with his brother judges.
He has been dropped feet first into a game between the powers of hell and the might of heaven. He’s a pawn who must choose—temptation or righteousness, mortal love or immortal indulgence? A war is about to begin with earth as the battleground and the souls of humanity as the counters. Rue is the first of heaven’s chosen soldiers, if only he chooses the right path.

Prize #32

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Title:  Ribbons of Moonlight

Author:  Rebecca L. Frencl

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  time travel romance

Blurb:  

Emma Sanders:
She’s a damsel in distress—a 20th century miss dragged back to the 18th with no way home and no idea how she got there in the first place.
Connor MacAllister Kane:
He’s the reason she’s in distress–a British highwayman, and a minor noble with not much more to his name than a title and a Robin Hood-like charm who robs the wrong coach.
Now, Captain Nelson Rawlins of His Majesty’s Royal Dragoons, a former childhood friend of Connor’s who sacrificed friendship for duty is on the hunt for the Highwayman and traitors to the crown. The longer Emma stays in Connor’s time, the more she’s drawn to him and drawn into his troubles. She and Connor find themselves struggling to stay one step ahead of the Captain and his corrupt Commander and keep Connor and his roguish cousins from the hangman’s noose. As the Commander’s grip on the countryside tightens, the people need Connor even more, but Rawlins is hot on his trail and there’s a traitor in their midst. Can Emma use her twentieth century wits to keep both Connor and her heart safe?

Prize #33

9600867

Title:  Burning Spiral

Author:  Edita A. Petrick

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  3

Genre:  romantic suspense

Blurb:

Blush: This is a suggestive romance (love scenes are not graphic). A trip to the morgue in the middle of the night is routine work for Detective Sergeant Caroline Osych of the Chicago Police Department. The problem is that lately, every murder victim heading for the morgue is a young man named Michael who drives a Japanese import. The killer’s MO is troublesome too—five pounds of flesh vaporized from victims’ chests and a fluorescent map tattoo on their faces are not everyday occurrences. Caroline must deal not only with the string of bizarre murders but a vengeful ex-husband, his alcoholic heiress child bride, a manipulative and sleazy FBI inspector and an enigmatic soldier with sexy blue eyes. The stark realization that the killer is not her contemporary is not nearly as terrifying as the seeping suspicion that the final and ultimate target may be her children, living with their father and his new wife.

Prize #34

17714335

Title:  Cold Scheme

Author:  Edita A. Petrick

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  3

Genre:  romantic suspense

Blurb:  

Blush: This is a suggestive romance (love scenes are not graphic). When Meg Stanton walks out of a convenience store to find a dead man sprawled across the hood of her car, she thinks he’s been shot. It’s the worst assumption she’s ever made in her ten-year career as a cop. Forty-eight hours later, a hotel waiter drops dead while serving the CEO of the third largest national bank. Meg suspects the victims are links in some kind of scheme…but she has no idea she is its key element. And then her daughter’s father reappears in her life… Publisher Note: This book was previously published elsewhere.

Prize #35

17660502

Title:  Fire Angel

Author:  Susanne Matthews

Format:  ebook (mobi or epub)

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  romantic suspense

Blurb:  A malicious serial killer is out for revenge in Paradise. Using fire as his weapon, he strikes at random, and the bodies are piling up.

Criminal profiler Jake McKenzie has returned from Afghanistan minus a leg and afraid to trust his instincts. When the police ask for his expertise in identifying the killer, he agrees knowing this is his chance to prove he can still do the job.
Sixteen years ago, fiercely independent Alexis Michaels escaped an abusive uncle and a deadly fire to become one of the country’s top fire and arson investigators. Her uncanny ability to put herself in the arsonist’s place is the skill they need to find this maniac. She reluctantly accepts the assignment and returns home to lead the hunt for the killer, knowing she will have to confront the unpleasant memories.
When Jake discovers that his new partner is the girl who haunted his dreams all these years, he finds himself enthralled, but memories of his dead wife make him doubt his emotions. Alexis has few pleasant memories of Paradise, but Jake is one of them. Undeniably drawn to him, she longs for a deeper relationship but believes he isn’t ready to move on yet.

 

Until they catch the killer, they must set aside their conflicted emotions and work together. The clock is ticking, and the killer has made it clear: Alexis is next.
Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors

Prize #36

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Title:  Echoes of the Past

Author:  Susanne Matthews

Format:  ebook (mobi or epub)

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  romantic suspense

Blurb:  Born Mohawk, raised white, forensic pathologist Michelle Thomas is trapped between two worlds—this one and the spirit world where the ghosts of those who’ve drowned speak to her. Haunted by crippling nightmares of her own drowning death and erotic dreams of a phantom lover, she strives to make sense of her life. When two suspicious deaths occur at the Lake of the Mountain Resort, she’s sent to investigate. She’ll face the greatest challenge of her career when her past and her present collide. One of these men is her future, but which one—the rich and powerful Mayor Ron Davies, or Tony Steele, the hydrology professor who may be responsible for his students’ deaths? Charged by the spirits of her Mohawk ancestors to atone for her previous sins by protecting Lake of the Gods, can Michelle solve the murders, save the sacred waters, and fulfill her destiny?

Prize #37

20957892

Title:  Just for the Weekend

Author:  Susanne Matthews

Format:  ebook (mobi or epub)

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  It’s time to play with the grown-ups.

Kindergarten teacher Cleo James needs a change. Three years at her widowed dad’s beck and call are enough. A weekend in Vegas at a sci-fi convention with her best friend will do for now, and the hot guy who wants to spend time with her only adds to her excitement. After all – it’s just for the weekend. What can possibly go wrong?
Multimillionaire Sam Mason is sick of gold diggers. He’s looking for someone who’ll fall for him, not his wallet. When he meets a shy, green-skinned slave girl, she pushes all his buttons – the best part is she has no idea who he is and mistakenly believes he’s a Chippendale. Between the sexual attraction and too much alcohol, he wakes up married to his green-skinned beauty, but the bride has vanished. Finding her will be a lot harder than he thinks.
Sensuality Level: Sensual

Prize #38

18581170

Title:  The Temple of Indra’s Jewel

Author:  Rachael Stapleton

Format:  ebook (epub, mobi or PDF)

Number of copies:  3

Genre:  romantic fantasy/time travel

Blurb:  Sophia Marcil awakens from a snorkeling accident in the Lérins Islands to find herself in the chambers—and the body—of a nineteenth-century princess. In a confused state and with no idea of her whereabouts, Sophia embarks on a desperate quest for answers, hoping she can find her way back to her fiancé, Nick, and her true identity.
After she finds a diary in an antique desk, Sophia follows a clue that leads her to a questionable alchemist, who relays the history and magic of the mysterious amethyst she inherited from her great-grandmother—the only possession that made the leap through time with her and perhaps the only thing that can prevent her from becoming a pawn in a murderous plot for the throne.
Using her inheritance, Sophia races through time to the twenty-first century to solve the mystery of her family’s past. But once she is there, she unearths a dire warning about a curse that clings to her heirloom, leading her down a dangerous path involving two men from different times and ultimately puts her life at risk.
In this tale of obsession, greed and passion, a woman on a journey through time struggles to regain a family heirloom and control its magic, hoping to break the curse before it breaks her.

Prize #39

23340735

Title:  The Celtic Knot:  Suit of Cups

Author:  Shannon MacLeod

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  3

Genre:  paranormal romance

Blurb:  Sometimes, love lasts lifetimes.
Lily’s whole life is planned out. She’ll live, if not happily, at least ever after. Working as an insurance agent with her college sweetheart and longtime boyfriend, Lucas, she’ll eventually marry him and together they’ll take over the family agency. Then she and Lucas will start raising little insurance agents of their own. But something is missing…
At her best friend’s urging, she decides to do one last wild thing before committing her life to a future of policy endorsements–she takes a part time job reading tarot cards at a local Renaissance Faire theme park. Lucas is completely unimpressed and disdainful of her fascination with the mystical, but has no doubt she’ll settle down once they’re married. Enter Ian Kelly, mural painter, actor and…witch. He and Lily have a chance meeting at the park, and the attraction is immediate. They have a history…a lot of history. Several lifetimes of it, in fact, and their business together is unfinished.
All three have secrets, one of them deadly. Add in heaping helpings of magic, mayhem, Cuban sandwiches, one large Irish family and one very demanding feline for a story of love so strong, it’ll take more than one century to contain it.
CONTENT WARNING: Language, suggestive scenes.

Prize #40 

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Title:  The Gypsy Ribbon:  Suit of Wands

Author:  Shannon MacLeod

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  3

Genre:  paranormal romance

Blurb:  Rock hard, play hard, love harder.
Internationally known wild child James Kelly is a filthy rich rock star, devilishly handsome, with silicone beauties aplenty to grace both his arm and his bed. He has it all. Or does he? What he wants most is a real woman to tell him no once in a while…and thanks to his inherited precognition, he knows her when he meets her. But the vision of his future is shrouded in darkness and shadows.
Tarot reader Lisbeth Vargo works at the local renaissance faire. She’s still stinging from her last bad relationship when her best friend marries James Kelly’s brother. After being paired up in the wedding party, sparks fly between Lisbeth and James. Even her tarot cards tell her he’s the one, but is the interest of a “bad boy” something she can take seriously?
Sometimes falling in love takes a leap of faith. Occasionally it needs a push off the cliff. James is more than happy to give Lisbeth that needed shove, but will his love save her…or get her killed?
CONTENT WARNING: Irish mischief, smokin’ sex, creative uses for ice cream and bad gypsy accents.

Prize #41

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Title:  Rogue on the Rollaway

Author:  Shannon MacLeod

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  3

Genre:  paranormal romance/time travel

Blurb:  Hell hath no fury like a faery scorned.
A man out of time. Enchanted by a jealous faery, 13th century warrior and druid Faolan MacIntyre has his work cut out for him. In order to break his curse, he must entice a woman to fall in love with him. His love comes at the highest possible cost, however…for the woman.
A woman alone. Rebuilding her life after an ugly divorce, merchandising director Colleen O’Brien lives vicariously through movies and romance novels. When the sexy bespelled Scot crash lands in her living room unannounced, her resolve to never love again is sorely tested. After admitting her love, Colleen finds herself in 14th century Ireland. Now she’s scared and alone, until Faolan finds her and they are both pursued by their jealous enemy.
Thrown together by destiny but held together by love, Faolan and Colleen must work together if they are to survive. But for two headstrong people–a man accustomed to giving orders and a woman who refuses to take them–it’s much easier said than done.
CONTENT WARNING: Faery magic gone awry, a plucky Irish heroine and a hot Highlands badass clad in a very small towel.

Prize #42

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Title:  Jesse’s Find

Author:  Penny Estelle

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  historical romance,Western

Blurb:  Jesse Mason is bone tired and just miles from home when a strange sound drifting with a Kansas wind catches his ear.
He spies something hiding in the tall grass. His temper sizzles at the sight of a horse, dead from exertion, and is ready to string up the cowboy that has done this. What Jesse finds is no cowboy at all, but a woman who has been shot and an infant, both, he fears will not make it to his home alive.
Jesse didn’t ask for this, but he knew he couldn’t turn his back on them. What he didn’t know was somebody wanted that woman dead and didn’t care who else had to die to get that job done.

Prize #43

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Title:  Justice Comes to Salina

Author:  Penny Estelle

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  historical romance,Western

Blurb:  Black smoke billows and a whistle blares, as the steam engine pulls into Salina, Kansas, delivering the town’s new school teacher, Victoria Stone.
The people of Salina are caring and do all they can to make Victoria feel welcome and her students are finding their way into her heart. Then there’s the town’s sheriff, Jim Timmons, who is getting under her skin and turning every emotion she has inside out.
But the truth is, Salina didn’t pick Victoria – She picked the town of Salina. And in her bag, Victoria isn’t toting books and school supplies. There is a score to settle in Salina, Kansas, and nothing or nobody is going to deter her from putting things right.

Prize #44 

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Title:  A Float Down the Canal

Author:  Penny Estelle

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  middle-grade romance

Blurb:  Twelve-year old Pam Simpson gets dumped on when her mother is called into work. She must cancel her plans for the mall to babysit her younger brother and his friend and take them to the public pool. To make matters worse her cousin, Candy, is also coming over for the day. She doesn’t even like Candy!
Much to Candy’s dismay, transportation to the pool is on inner tubes, floating down the canal. One thing leads to another and it is Pam who, once again, must save the day.
When things couldn’t seem worse, the day takes a drastic turn for the better and it is Candy, and the float down the canal, that makes this the best day of Pam’s life!

Prize #45

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Title:  Unglorious War

Author:  Maxine Flam

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  unlimited

Format:  paperback (U.S. resident only)

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  historical romance

Blurb:  Unglorious War is a love story that takes place during the Vietnam War between a wounded ex-POW Special Forces Officer and the Navy Nurse who rehabilitates him. Share their passion, share their love, share their faith journey as they question their choice to be career military personnel during a difficult time in American history.

Prize #46

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Title:  Crewel Work

Author:  Natalie Alder

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  The key to a successful horse farm is the trainer. At Bridgeton Pass, J. P. Ryan is that key. William Becker is determined to protect his farm and keep Ryan on the job.

That goal is threatened by two things – a sinister act by another employee and the fact that his only daughter has fallen head-over-heels in love with J. P.
Becker can’t allow either of those things to threaten his legacy.
Audra grew up around the handsome trainer and fell in love with him at a distance, enchanted by his kindness and honesty. When they began stealing private but innocent moments, she found that she didn’t want to live without him. Audra is heartbroken when she has to choose between honoring her father and pursuing love.
J.P. wants Audra by his side, but he finds himself with a hard decision.
He is forced to choose between his career and the love of his life. Between the problem caused by the troublemaking barn hand and the frustration caused by his desire for Audra, J.P.’s job has become a ‘crewel’ work.
The story of the Becker family is woven as an intricate Tapestry. It is beautiful as a whole, but like any tapestry, you have to turn it over and look at the back side to see how the threads of love and family relationships are woven together into one intricate whole.
Welcome to the Tapestry series.

Prize #47

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Title:  J’s Closet

Author:  Ryan O’Leary

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  erotic romance

Blurb:  J’s Closet: Volume 1 includes 7 short stories about Travis and his wife J thus far.
No head games, just fun games. Come along with J and her swoon-worthy husband Travis, as this sexy married couple explores the contents of J’s extensive wardrobe. Whether they’re in Travis’ Charger, on a beach in Mexico or at a hot yoga class, J’s got the right outfit to make Travis sit up and beg.
*Content Warning: intended for mature audiences 18+

Prize #48

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Title:  Kiss a Frog

Author:  Scarlett Jade

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  romantic comedy, contemporary

Blurb:  Lily Halloway had been best friends with Abby Killian and Laura Monroe since before she could remember. Even though they had their differences, their love of romance novels brought them together monthly for their book club. They decided to read a popular erotic romance and see if their lives changed in the month before Lily’s thirtieth birthday. The quest was an easy one. Kiss all the frogs you can and try to find a prince.
Simple, right?
What Lily discovers is that finding an eligible bachelor under forty is nearly impossible, and after a couple laughable sexcapades, she’s ready to give up. She agrees to one more date with a co-worker’s brother, only to prove she can get a boyfriend before they can.
Meeting Luca De Soros, the sexy FBI agent for a blind date propels her on a crash course with danger. Lily can’t stay away from his heat, even though she knows she can be burned in the process. Luca is everything she ever wanted in a hero, but time might run out for her to be saved.
Will she be able to see if happily ever after can really happen, or will she miss out on her thirtieth birthday altogether?

Prize #49

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Title:  True Love’s Fire

Author:  Sable Hunter

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  erotic romance, Valentine’s themed

Blurb:  Continuing the Hell Yeah! Series with book 12
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.
**Content Warning: Contains explicit scenes, details and language. Intended for 18+ Audience

Prize #50

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Title:  Exposed:  The Education of Sarah Brown

Author:  Michele E. Gwynn

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  erotic romance, suspense

Blurb:  The Dangers of Sex
Sarah Brown sets out on a journey to sexual self-discovery and falls face first into danger. In Barcelona, Anthony de Luca, an author and photographer unleashes the full force of his charm that threatens to steal her heart, a prize he openly admits he doesn’t want. Still, she can’t resist him, and finds herself experiencing the heights of ecstasy and the lows of heartbreak as her lover leaves without a word. In Berlin, Paul Christiansen, a handsome Dutch lothario with a sordid past works his wiles to seduce her body; while in the shadows, a predator stalks a young boy close to Sarah determined to get what he wants or kill anyone who gets in his way. One of her two lovers has led a dangerous criminal straight to her door, but which one? And who can she trust? Will Sarah survive or will she lose both her heart and her life to desire?

Prize #51

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Title:  Hiding Out

Author:  Nicole Andrews Moore

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  romantic suspense

Blurb:  Samuel Davenport runs his family’s New York based advertising agency. His brother, Adam, runs from responsibility and anything remotely boring. And his temp, Haley, runs so she’ll never be caught and hurt again. She moved to the city New Year’s Day to hide and recover, to build a new life far from her past. In an effort to lie low, Haley never expects to be more than a temp. What begins for Sam as an excuse to get to know her better, ends up being an opportunity for advancement and excitement for Haley. When Sam tries to uncover all of Haley’s mysteries, he exposes her hiding place, endangers her life, and threatens to destroy any chance of them ever having a future together.

Prize #52

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Title:  Shadow in Glass

Author:  J. Rose Alexander

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  romantic sci-fi/fantasy

Blurb:  Every little girl dreams of waking up a Princess…

…the reality, Carrie finds out, isn’t exactly a fairy tale.
Carrie Whitmore, aspiring journalist, wakes up after a building collapse to find herself in a world where she is a spoiled, bratty princess engaged to a self-indulgent egomaniac. She has no college education and no friends at all. Carrie finds out that “she” wants nothing to do with the crown after the death of her brother and is happy being bitter, cruel and reclusive.
But that’s the old Princess Barbara, lost in the tragic accident that slipped Carrie into the Princess’s life. Carrie must change the way the people of the Nation perceive her. Her journey to learn who she is in this new world and to deal with the twists and turns of her unwillingly adopted life will change her perception of everything and everyone around her.
And maybe, just maybe, she’ll get the fairy tale princess ending every little girl dreams of.

Prize #53

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Item:  swag pack

Author:  Susan Stoker

Prize #54

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Title:  Eyubea Girls

Author:  Palessa

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  historical romance

Blurb:  Graham Tate-Fuller needs a wife. Not just any wife. One who is young enough to take on his education mission to the African continent and not ask too many questions about his past.
Lisbette Caldwell is just seventeen, a young woman who isn’t ready to give up her tomboy ways. She dreams of playing football and becoming a teacher just like her father. Through a series of circumstances beyond her control, Lisbette marries Graham and embarks on an adventure in Eyubea, a small independent township in southern Africa which managed to escape the colonial rule that overtook many other African nations.
There Lisbette settles into her new life as an assistant teacher to a small group of young girls who will have no choice but to become wives and mothers. It’s a simple enough task that will turn into a fight for their lives as Graham’s past catches up to them and Lisbette faces the dark side of marriage in a land not her own.
Set in the early 1900’s, Lisbette is forced to take a stand for herself and her Eyubea Girls against stacked odds, even if it means losing the life she’s come to love. With the help of new friends and a will to carve out her own place in the world, she searches for a way to live life on her own terms in a place she will come to call home.

Prize #55

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Title:  Becca’s Dance

Author:  Jordyn Meryl

Format:  choice of ebook or signed paperback

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  The journey of life is not about the path traveled, it’s about the dance.
Remember your first love? The itching in your palms to touch that person, the churning sensation of your stomach when you kiss, or the promise of forever love? A summer romance had all the possibilities for Becca and Clay. But a tragic accident killing two of their friends, sent Becca running away to build a sheltered life, protected from pain. Clay tried to drown his pain in booze and other women, but failed. Each picked mates for reasons other than love.
Twenty years later their paths cross as Becca tries to escape from the shame of a divorce, and Clay is living life as a single father to six grown boys.
In the small community of Lester Lake, love, fate and star-crossed lovers work towards rekindling a first and only true love.

Prize #56

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23299142

Item:  set of three books (When Dreams Change, When Dreams Collide & When Dreams Die)

Author:  Jordyn Meryl

Format:  choice of ebooks or signed paperbacks

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  


WHEN DREAMS CHANGE –

A small quaint Italian cafe on the shores of the Mediterranean was the dream for Jessica. Failing to realize her husband’s ambitions were another woman almost blew her plans apart. Stepping in as her bartender, Alejandro helps save her when he becomes not only her rescuer, but a man who brings out hidden feelings of desire. When her wayward husband returns, Jessica faces the decision of her future.
WHEN DREAMS COLLIDE –

Dreams Collide when two different visions are on a crash course to success.

Roberto and Emily are on a collision course from the moment they meet. Dumped at the altar, Emily is not looking for love in any way, shape or form. Escaping the gossip and pity looks, she searches out her cousin, Jessica in Italy. Happening upon the small, personal law office of Giordano, while a Harvard Law School graduate, she asks if she can clerk for him. The simple life appeals to her. In walks Roberto, hot, handsome and full of charisma Roberto. Emily feels there is no future for them as he is on the high road to international success and the life she chose to walk away from.
WHEN DREAMS DIE – Your heart never forgets when dreams die.

Some people fall in love at first sight, some fall in love only once. Sophia and Fernando fell in love as children and their love only grew. Sophia left motherless at a young age, always felt secrets were being kept from her. Her father is distant, her brother unreachable. Fernando is her one and only friend, family and love. When they can finally marry, Sophia wants to build a life of a home, children, full of laughter. The truth of why her mother left, threatens to destroy all her dreams. Can she stop the destruction rushing towards her? Or will her dreams die?

Prize #57

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Title:  Solitary Dreamer

Author:  Linda L. Picl

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  Everyone felt sorry for Carrie Lawson. She was a sweet woman who had nothing but a deadbeat husband and a dream of a writing career. Happiness was something she had to fight for but when she met Logan Franks, a local firefighter, her love life became a whole lot warmer until her very existence was almost snuffed out by a person she thought she’d never see again.

Logan Franks is hot, and not just in looks. Being a volunteer firefighter doesn’t just mean being on a calendar or turning girls on…it’s dangerous work. Sometimes you have to go in and save everyone, sometimes even your worst enemy. But Logan is above all that, he will save everyone he can.
He and Carrie will fight for a life together, no matter what, even if the chances are high it will all blow up in their faces.

Prize #58

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Title:  Old Town Nights

Author:  Linda Lee Williams

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  paranormal romance

Blurb:  When Abby Lawrence shows a house to Ambrose Slater, she’s unable to resist the handsome, sensitive hybrid-vampire, who is a powerful mortal. As she witnesses the deterioration of his brother’s marriage to a regular woman, Abby must decide if she can embrace the vampire lifestyle or give up the only man she’s ever loved. Ambrose must choose whether to risk losing Abby’s love or setting her free, even if it kills him…
Can a vampire baker and a spunky realtor make their relationship work? Or will their quirky families and the odds against them doom their love affair?

Prize #59

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Title:  New England Nights

Author:  Linda Lee Williams

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  paranormal romance

Blurb:  All is not what it seems to be on the eastern seaboard…
Abandoned late at night, Norah Sheridan shows up on Geoff Hammond’s doorstep, leaving him no choice but to take her in. Attracted to Norah, Geoff risks breaking every promise he’s made to his dying mother. Will Norah care that the handsome, renowned painter and his other artistic friends are vampire-human hybrids, pursuing their talents in Bridgeport, Connecticut? Or will she fall in love with him despite herself?

Prize #60

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Title:  Life Begins at Sunrise

Author:  William H. Joiner, Jr.

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  5

Format:  paperback

Number of copies:  5

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  Vane Carson was a good-looking young man with a hard edge and a soft heart. Follow his adventures as he leaves college for the chance to train bird dogs. From apprentice to partner, he masters the business and learns what it takes to be a man, all through the excitement of field trials.

Vane’s quest to overcome betrayals and anger is a mythic story of inspiration as he finds true love—and God’s forgiveness—through the touch of an honest young woman.
Can a white man find love with a black woman in a prejudiced society?
Can a black man find love with a white woman surrounded by bigotry?

Prize #61

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Title:  Till Heaven Then Forever

Author:  Linda Heavner Gerald

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  5

Genre:  inspirational romance, contemporary

Blurb:  Till Heaven Then Forever is a story about an older man and a younger woman. Deeply entrenched in the world, surrounded by wealth, they ‘had it all.’ Or did they? Their desire was to remain together until death, but that was becoming increasingly harder in their world. They found the way, the only way, for a couple to remain together here on earth and then forever. This is a compelling story that will draw the reader into island life in the Bahamas. Yet, even living in paradise cannot prevent the pain that every couple encounters—pain so strong that it often tears apart even the most loving. Lily and Brian find the key to Till Heaven Then Forever.

Prize #62

NEW-COVER

Title:  Conquering Your Goliaths:  A Parable of the Five Stones

Author:  Kathryn Elizabeth Jones

Format:  paperback

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  Christian fiction with romance

Blurb:  David gathered 5 smooth stones to meet and defeat Goliath. What did these stones represent and how can you use them to conquer Goliaths in your own personal quests? Ms. Virginia Bean will show you how.
Travel with her on her own personal journey. See what she does. Learn how she grows. Discover what she becomes.
“Conquering your Goliaths—A Parable of the Five Stones” is for anyone desiring to travel beyond mediocrity, pain and fear. Learn of the great power within you, a power given to you from God, a power that must ultimately be unleashed to conquer the Goliaths in your own life. Come to an even deeper understanding of God and what he wants for you. Come…

Prize #63

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Title:  The Feast:  A Parable of the Ring

Author:  Kathryn Elizabeth Jones

Format:  paperback

Number of copies:  1



Format:  audiobook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  Christian fiction with romance

Blurb:  Virginia had experienced the power and direction of the five stones; now, she would need to use them again.
For entirely different reasons.
Keeping her marriage together was not the only thing on her mind. Having a child wasn’t going to happen in the usual way, and Virginia was determined that adoption was the answer. If she did all of the right things, said all of the right words; if she remembered the five stones in her journey to get her child, God would surely have to answer her.
It wouldn’t be too difficult.

Prize #64

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Title:  Valerie’s Retreat

Author:  Joseph M. Rinaldo

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  4

Genre:  romantic suspense

Blurb:  Be the first to experience the new genre – Movie Novel!
More entertaining than an iPhone.
More captivating than an iPad.
More thrilling than…you get the idea.
You’ll see the movie playing in your mind as you read. Today’s fast-paced society demands this new entertaining genre.
Valerie’s Retreat is proud to be a pioneer in this new genre. Of course, the story is what matters…
Valerie, a middle-aged woman, leading an average life as a head teller at a bank finally finds her soul-mate, Franco. He’s sixteen years younger and studying for a Ph.D. in Archeology, but they click. Suddenly, the evil hand of fate causes their lives to fall into a downward spiral. They lean on each other. Trying to find happiness they happen to commit a little crime – make that a little felony, and dash out of the country. Now they’re happy – mostly.

Prize #65

21618643

Title:  Kisses from the Heart

Author:  Carole McKee

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  Mindi Adams is a feisty, fun-loving pretty young woman, who is quick witted and sharp tongued at times. After catching her boyfriend cheating, she packs his things and ousts him from her home. She is fine after he goes, realizing that although the relationship was comfortable, there were no fireworks. Her entire life changes the night of the storm, when a prison bus is forced into a swollen creek and overturns, releasing twelve prisoners. One of them is in Mindi’s house!

She is terrified at first, but soon realizes that he is not the monster she believed him to be. In fact, she believes he is innocent of the murder charge that convicted him, and she becomes determined to help him prove that innocence. She helps him devise a plan and in the process falls in love. Something goes wrong and he is captured and taken into custody. Now Dan has the proof he needs but it is ignored, until the entire city goes into an uproar. Eventually the real killer slips up because of the pressure and duress and Dan is freed. He does not go back for Mindi right away, because he wants to have something to offer her. She about gives up hope, but Dan arrives just in time, and they share kisses from the heart.

Prize #66

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Title:  Maddie’s Garden

Author:  Carole McKee

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  contemporary romance

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.

Prize #67

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Title:  Second Chances

Author:  Carole McKee

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  Melanie Thomas believes that sometimes people who are down on their luck just really need that little boost upward to improve their quality of life; and she can provide that. Since she started her tee-shirt embossing shop she has made a difference in her employees’ lives by giving them a new lease on life–hope–a second chance. Her employees are grateful and dedicated to her, but someone else wants her property for his own purpose. Things start happening after he approaches her with an offer to buy her building–an offer she immediately turns down. When inspectors start showing up, Melanie believes it’s a ploy to force her to sell and she silently laughs about it. But when the building burns, she knows exactly who to accuse. It hurts because she was falling in love with him. It seems everyone needs a second chance now and then. 

Prize #68

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Title:  Going Home

Author:  Carole McKee

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  2

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  Fifteen years ago Cassie fled her hometown, taking with her an undeserved bad reputation and a broken heart. She reluctantly returns for her father’s funeral and comes face to face with the one who broke her heart. This encounter sends her packing again, only this time it’s not so easy to just leave and forget. Her visit opens old wounds, stokes old flames, and uncovers lies and deceit. It’s showdown time!

Prize #69

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Title:  Consequences

Author:  Carole McKee

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  We all must take responsibility for our choices, and be prepared for the consequences. But what if the consequences affect someone else?
Trent is growing up and he desperately wants to know his father. His mother does not know what to tell him, since he was the product of a one night stand. When Trent starts acting out and getting into trouble, his mother makes a promise to try to find the man who fathered him. The search ends in a life changing event, and many people are affected, including Lindy and Ricky DeCelli. Lindy (Riley, then) suffered Nelson’s brutal attack as a teen (Choices); and then Lindy and Ricky both went through hell when Nelson kidnapped their daughter (The Bushes are Red). Nelson paid the consequences for the first crime and is now paying for the kidnapping. Unfortunately, Trent is, too.

First there were choices to be made, and then came the consequences that lead to the next generation.

Prize #70

8821650

Title:  Perfect

Author:  Carole McKee

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  

Katrina: Beautiful, bright and talented, she grew from a beautiful child into a beautiful woman. As the youngest in the family she grew up with two adoring, protective brothers. They, as well as everyone else recognized that she was special—perfect, actually.

Nathan: A handsome replica of his father, he grew up to be exactly what his father had hoped for—the perfect son. He was the source of his parents’ pride. His brother was the opposite end of the spectrum. Suffering from mental problems, Steven’s actions cast a shadow over the family for much of Nathan’s childhood and adolescent years.

Katrina and Nathan: A wicked twist of fate brought them together, and they are perfect for each other. Their life is beautiful—perfect. Another wicked twist of fate tears them apart. Or does it?

Prize #71

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Title:  Choices

Author:  Carole McKee

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  Lindy and Ricky are young and in love. Lindy is pretty, blond and petite, and is still grieving over the loss of her mother and sad because her father ignores her. Ricky, tall, dark, and extremely handsome, still misses his father who died suddenly from a heart attack when Ricky was thirteen. Since he just can’t get along with his nagging mother, she sends him away from Chicago to live with his uncle in Pittsburgh. On his second day in a new school, he meets Lindy, and from the moment they meet they are dazzled by the strong electricity between them. By the end of the day a strong bond has already begun to form between them. Their relationship is challenged by many adversities, but through it all, the bond only becomes stronger and makes them even more determined to be together. Ricky’s Uncle Nick loves both Lindy and Ricky, and recognizes that their love for each other is very real. He becomes a strong ally in their corner as they challenge the rest of the world defending their love and the right to be together forever. This is the first book of the trilogy, followed by The Bushes are Red and then The Full Nelson.

Prize #72

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Title:  The Bushes are Red

Author:  Carole McKee

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  fiction with some romance

Blurb:  Lindy and Ricky are all grown up and have children of their own. Through hard work, perseverence and determination they have made it! They are living the American dream, surrounding themselves and their two children, Samantha and Michael with love and comfort, and a safe environment. Still wildly in love with each other, Lindy and Ricky focus on their family and a lifestyle that provides their children with security and the knowledge that they are loved. Their house is full of love and happiness until….Samantha is gone!

Where? Who took her? Why?

Lindy and Ricky’s emotions go on a wild rollercoaster ride as they face every parent’s worst nightmare. They are grateful for the love and support of their family and friends who rally around doing whatever they can to help, because Lindy and Ricky can only focus on one thought: They have to get Samantha back! The only clue they have to go on is that Samantha is somewhere where the bushes are red.

Prize #73

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Title:  The Full Nelson

Author:  Carole McKee

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  contemporary romance

Blurb:  Nelson Sutter grew up hard. Although faced with a cruel and unloving mother, he did his best to make his father proud, promising to always do right and to stay out of trouble. He kept the promises he made to his father until he came across his one and only weakness—Lindy. Lindy—everybody’s sweetheart—an angel that everybody loves. Now as Nelson faces prison for the next twenty years of his life, he wants his turn. He wants to tell his story to the world.

Prize #74

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Title:  The Gangster’s Kiss

Author:  Ginger Ring

Format:  ebook

Number of copies:  1

Genre:  historical romance, suspense

Blurb:  John O’Malley’s sister is missing. All the clues of her disappearance lead to Hayward County, Wisconsin and the crooks and questionable sheriff that reside there. Pretending to be one of them, John takes a job as bodyguard for the sheriff’s beautiful sister, Grace. It seems like the perfect way to investigate their crimes and corruption, but when someone threatens to kill Grace, the job proves harder than he thought. Is she an innocent witness to a crime, or just as guilty as everyone else?

Grace Sullivan just wanted a normal life: find a good man, get married and have a family. She has had enough of looking the other way while her brother hides behind his sheriff’s badge to conduct shady dealings. Hiring a gangster named John to watch her is the final straw. When a face from the past threatens her life, she is forced to put her life in John’s hands, but as time goes on, all she really wants is to be in the gangster’s arms.

 

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We hope you found some fascinating titles and new favorite authors! I want to thank our generous authors once more for making this one unforgettable event!

Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment below with your reading preferences and a way to contact you. Thank you so much for stopping by the blog and participating in our unique Valentine’s Day giveaway! What a way to celebrate romance, huh? I wish you lots of success in the contest.

As always, happy reading! 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Giveaways, Books, Contemporary, Drama, Erotica, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Romance, Holiday, Love, Message, Mystery, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Science Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, Time Travel, Women's Fiction, Writing, Young Adult

A Character Interview with Candy Frost from MIRACLES IN THE MAKING plus a conversation with author Adrienne Davenport!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Rachael Stapleton’s character on January 29th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it.  I had the pleasure of meeting Adrienne Davenport, the author of Miracles in the Making, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Candy Frost, from the book.  We’ll get a chance to talk to Adrienne in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Candy Frost!

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

Candy Frost:  Hello.  Thank you.  It’s a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  We’re going to start out with some simple questions, okay?

Character Candy:  Sure.

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

Candy:  I own a candy store- in Chicago. Candy Cane Lane Sweets Shop. I decided to have some fun with the name, since I have the crazy name Candy, that is. It seems to go over pretty well. That is, all the customers I get seem to like it. Over time I’ve gained a knack for what I do. The better half of the products are homemade candies. I’m lucky enough to get to do something enjoyable. I can’t think of a time I didn’t like doing it.

Marie:  Great! So, what is your family like?

Candy:  It’s not all that big nowadays. I have two sisters, Marie and Lacy. We meet every year at our old family house a little ways out of town. Our parents died three years back in a car accident during the winter. I miss them a lot. It does help, however, getting to see my siblings. Of course, there are my two nephews to think of. Jason and Kalen are Lacy’s young boys. Other than that, I don’t see most of my relatives all too much throughout the year. It’s not so bad, what with the other four being easy to reach.

Marie:  What did your childhood home look like?

Candy:  Oh, well, my sister Lacy and her boys stay there now. It’s a little ways out of town. An old structure with faded paint, it’s pretty enough in it’s way. Centuries old though. Lacy is good at keeping the place up. That’s where our Christmas get-together will be.

Marie:  I see.

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

Candy:  Hobbies? Actually I like many different things. For example, often times at night when I get home from work, I will almost instantly pick up a book. I enjoy being sociable just as much though. I can’t wait for the Winter Wonderfest to pick up. I love the old-fashioned fun that the carnival has. And it’s so much more fun if you have a friend to go along with you. I’m sure you can see, I’m a flexible person.

Marie:  So, what is your greatest dream, Candy?

Candy:  You had to ask. It really is tempting just to make something up. My greatest dream is to find a prince charming a little taller than my cat. Yeah, I know it sounds silly, but as much as I like the sweet furball, the house does get a little quiet around the holidays anymore.

Marie:  Aww.

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

Candy:  I don’t think about it all too much, I wish my shop were a little better known. I really don’t have too much holding me back, overall it’s just taking time. Slowly the customer volume is growing in size, and variety. I’ve just had to keep patience with life, that isn’t always too easy in the long haul.

Marie:  Okay, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now.  Who was your first love?

Candy:  Surprise, surprise, a young boy in sixth grade. Blue eyes, brown hair, tall figure, he was everything a girl could ask for. That is, except for nice. I learned that the hard way.

Marie:  All right…this one is going to be a bit more serious.

Candy, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Candy:  Remember that car accident I mentioned a little while ago? The one that involved my parents around Christmas? That probably tops off the list. After all, I was far from the only one waiting for them. Not to mention, no one even began to expect what would happen. The holiday wasn’t quite as cheerful as it used to be after that, at least not for a good long while. This little ritual of getting together at the old house was far more refreshing then I had ever expected.

Marie:  Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. I lost both of my grandparents around the holidays so I know exactly what you mean.

Well, let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

(Candy 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?

Candy:  I wanted to be someone that other people wouldn’t have trouble looking up to. I consider myself lucky, I did achieve my dream. These days I have many young boys and girls scurry into my shop, looking up at me with bright eyes. Some of them are simply impressed that I own such a neat shop, others genuinely need a hand getting home and they know for a fact that they’re not supposed to speak to a stranger. I try my best to make sure they are safe. Never in my life would I have expected this is where I’d end up, owning my own store I mean, but now that I have I wouldn’t take it back for anything. I love the chance I have to help all these kids just to see them smile. That alone makes a day good.

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Marie:  Well, that’s great!

So, who is your role model?

Candy:  My dad. Yeah, don’t ask, he has been dead for some time. It is what it is. Not for the life of me can I recall a time when he ever raised his voice to his kids or one time he ever gave us bad advice. He’s the reason I have any sort of patience to work with today. He taught me so much, I’ll never forget it.

Marie:  (Nods.) Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Candy:  Not really, usually if I do not like someone I’d just as well tell them. I see no reason to go out of my way. If a person wants to make their life more miserable they can go ahead. I, for one, don’t need the extra headache.

Marie:  So, what is your deepest desire?

Candy:  To find the man of my dreams. Of course, I’d love to see my parents one more time. However, I try not to think about that all too much, I’m pretty sure it won’t happen for awhile. That is, far longer than the other, even if that does take quite a few years.

Marie:  So…let’s switch to another question.  What is your greatest fear?

Candy:  To lose the people closest to me. My sisters and nephews are more precious to me than anything else in my life. After all, we’ve gone through together, I don’t know what I would do without them.

Marie:  Well, we’ve run out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Candy.  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have Adrienne Davenport on the stage today. Hi, Adrienne!

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Author Adrienne Davenport:  Hi.  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  My pleasure!  We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Candy. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Adrienne:  Candy lives in Chicago with her cat whom she named Peter Pan. Owner to a growing candy store, she is witty and strong-hearted. She has a variety of tastes that make life very interesting for her.

Marie:  So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Adrienne:  Her greatest strength is her kindness. This makes it easy for people to like her, whether they are younger or older.

Marie:  Great!  Now let’s take the opposition on that. 

What, do you feel, are her greatest weaknesses?

Adrienne:  Her stubbornness is without a doubt. This can make it easy for her to struggle with some things in life. However, it also often makes it difficult for her to see both sides of an issue clearly. This is especially the case when she is too emotionally involved in the matter.

Marie:  I see.  What are some of her favorite foods?

Adrienne:  She loves anything sweet, especially homemade treats! Anything from homemade cookies to homemade candies, that made at home flavor is what makes it so good!

Marie:  (Laughs.) Well, I have to agree.

So, what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Adrienne:  Her soft heart, everyone around her notices the quality. However, she doesn’t really see what it is they like so much about her. She doesn’t really realize how much all these people genuinely enjoy her company.

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

Adrienne:  Readers will, without question, like Candy. Overall, she is kind, sociable, and understanding. This will make it easy for people to like her for who she is.

Marie:  Great!  Well, now that we have a real taste of Candy Frost, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Miracles in the Making?

Adrienne:  For years I have wanted to write a romance circulating around the Christmas holiday, it was just a matter of finding an idea I connect with well enough. As with most of my ideas, this idea just basically popped into my head while I was relaxing after dinner one night. After writing the minimal details down on paper, I really liked what was coming to life so after I finished the previous novel this is what I started working with.

Marie:  That’s great!

So, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Adrienne:  A pantster, no doubt. I get these astonishing ideas, late at night and I have to leap up and jot down the basics on paper. I keep a notebook near my laptop along with a pen so everything is on hand. Then when I need a new book, I flip through my idea list and snatch up the one that sounds good. After that, I just go with it from there.

Marie:  How exciting!

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

Adrienne:  The hardest part of writing this was coming up with a satisfying title. I started out with one and over the course of the story, I changed it a few different times. Next time, I would probably do a little more promotion before release date as opposed to after. This can make the entire process a little easier in the long run.

Marie:  That’s true. It always helps to move things along.

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 Miracles in the Making appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Adrienne Davenport, a very talented author!

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Here is the blurb for Miracles in the Making:

Sometimes the gifts we treasure most…are the ones we don’t see coming. Owner of a charming little candy shop, near the center of Chicago, Candy Frost has no children of her own to hold dear. Still, she is loved just as dearly by the ones who visit her shop on a regular basis. It isn’t much but it keeps her going, especially around the holidays. She hates the surname she inherited from her parents but the kids think it’s very hilarious. Busy with life in general, she doesn’t make much effort to find a relationship. Kept company by her old cat, she figures she could not ask for more, even if occasionally she is a bit lonely. Life in general keeps to a smooth pace, until one night just before Christmas Eve, while sitting at home, she absently admits to her cat that she occasionally longs for company.

This year Noel Street, a young male angel, has been watching her for a few years. He trips up, admitting he momentarily lapsed in his duty. To punish him the high angel sends him to Earth for three months. When Candy discovers him outside her shop, she falls head over heels. He is the handsomest man she has seen in years. He draws children to him as though he possesses a magical flair. She can’t help but be attracted. Noel has always found her beautiful, but she was off limits. Using his duty to her for an excuse, he invites her to visit the Winter Wonderfest on Navy with him. Neither knows what awaits them or the turns life is about to take. They have no idea what questions will arise or what answers are in store.\

Purchase Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Miracles-Making-Adrienne-Davenport-ebook/dp/B00QUASQ7I/

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-miraclesinthemaking-1697161-149.html

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00QUASQ7I

About Adrienne Davenport

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As a novelist, I enjoy my work immensely. My first book, A Fairytale; was written when I was eleven years old for an assignment I had in sixth grade. While the rest of the class was writing one or two pages, I created a book more than ten pages long. Since I’ve loved to write from that time that I was in first grade, it seemed the logical path to take. Miracles in the Making is my first novella. Up to this point however, I have published two other novels, Dishonorable Intentions and Stranger by Morning. Right now, I am working on a fresh new romance. Almost Wonderful is due to be released in the near future. I currently live in the beautiful town of Moab, Utah.

When I am not writing, I can usually be found spending time with my young son, Julian. As a single mom, it was a challenge at first to find a happy medium, but my son always comes first! I never stop loving what I do. I hope you enjoy my works. Thank you for your support. I welcome any feedback. My email is adrienne_davenport@hotmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Your friend,

Adrienne

Adrienne’s Books:

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Adrienne Davenport, here are some of her author links:

Website:  http://www.adriennedavenportbooks.com/

Blog:  https://vermillionquill.wordpress.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/A_Davenport77

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/Adrienne-Davenport/e/B004SYM1GA/

Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/ADavenporttrailers

Google+:    https://plus.google.com/101845334444685846415/posts

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Candy Frost, the female main character of Miracles in the Making, and Adrienne Davenport, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so fun to have you here! 🙂

 

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Fiction, Holiday, Hope, Interview, Love, Readers, Romance, Writing, Writing Tips

New 5 star review for Upon Your Honor!

New review!

Marie Lavender- Multigenre Author

I just found this 5 star review for Upon Your Honor on Goodreads! Yay!

http://smarturl.it/uponyourhonor
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Pattimari‘s review
Dec 02, 14


Upon Your Honor is a book I bought, read, and think is an outstanding story with a great author. I was impressed and happy to know that this author had more books to buy and read. Marie keeps her reader entertained and feeling all the characters actions. She has a way with allowing the reader to visualize exactly what the character looks like and feels.
Great job Marie.
-Pattimari Sheets Cacciolfi, Therapist, Author, and VP of PnPAuthors

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