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Heroes & Heroines Special Feature: Character Lily Bastien from LILY’S MIRAGE, a HELL YEAH! book by Sable Hunter

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Recently, I asked authors to come to the blog with a little background into their characters. Exactly what is it about them that keeps a writer up at night, composing those romance novels we love? I wanted to dig deep into each of these characters. Today is the next post in this series.

So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Sable Hunter, who has some things to say about her character.

Hi, Sable! Describe one of your main characters and why he or she impacts the story.

 

Meet Lily

Writers are totally at the mercy of inspiration. Without it, there would be no stories, or if there were, they’d be flat and formulistic, cookie-cutter pieces of cardboard, empty of soul and life. My hope is to never be guilty of such a tragedy.

As a writer, I’m prone to flights of fancy. I fantasize. I dream. My greatest joy is taking a single image from a movie or ten words from a song and transforming that small whisper into an eighty-thousand word confession of the soul. Sometimes that whisper of an idea will haunt me, coloring my dreams and fueling my thoughts.

As a chronic insomniac, I have many hours of solitude. The time between dusk and dawn can seem like an eternity. When I’m lucky, I can use that endless night to give birth to a character, a conflict, a climax – a seed, that if I’m lucky, will grow and bloom into a portrait of love.

This is what happened with Lily. The idea of her story glimmered to life on one of my dark nights. I could see her face. I could hear her voice. At the time we were first introduced, in LOVE FOUND A WAY – another of my vision children – I didn’t know much about her. All I did know was that she fascinated me. In the scene where she was introduced, as Glory Bee Hudson’s childhood friend, we find out that Lily is dying.

Okay, maybe I’m more than a little preoccupied with death. Even though I write romance novels, ALL with an HEA (happily-ever-after), I still manage to work in my own phobias and concerns in a somewhat cathartic fashion. I’ve often congratulated myself that I have the privilege of making a living with the same tool that I use to battle my demons. For example, in HEAD OVER SPURS, I addressed the problem that has reoccurred in my life now, an inability to shut my eyes and surrender to sleep.

I digress.

We learn that Lily is dying, she has a glioblastoma, a malignant brain tumor. She’s already endured treatment and been granted the godly version of three wishes in the form of three remissions. Lily has been told there will be no more.

I complicated the situation by making Lily the owner of Charlotte’s Art Gallery in New Orleans. Charlotte was a beloved character in one of my historical novels and it excited me for her story to continue into the present day. This plot twist presented a wealth of opportunity, for Charlotte was a marvel, a woman ahead of her time, a brave soul who stood up for what was right and risked her life to protect a talented artist, a freed slave, during a time when doing so broke laws and infuriated those who did not believe in the equality of the races. Even though Lily possesses Charlotte’s diary and many of the paintings that made up her original collection, there is so much about her that Lily doesn’t know. To spice things up even further, the gallery is located next to a mysterious shop, owned by a hoodoo practicing descendant of Charlotte’s, by the name of Bliss. As Lily lives and works where Charlotte once lived, she begins to feel a kinship with the long-dead woman, even seeing her ghost at times.

At least Lily thinks she’s seeing Charlotte’s ghost. Flora, Lily’s sister, is convinced Lily is having hallucinations as a result of her brain tumor.

Lily is extremely frustrated because her sister doesn’t believe her.

At the time I created the character of Lily, I had no plans to save her. Hell, it would take a miracle. I can write miracles, but I insist a grain of truth be present to substantiate the surprising occurrence. Yes, I see you out there – those of you who have read HER MAGIC TOUCH, but I will defend that work by saying that I have met a traiteur (Cajun faith healer) and that my Mama and two decades of attending a Southern Baptist church assures me that I have a guardian angel. I’m sure my personal GA is beyond frustrated, but I hope he keeps up the good work.

ANYWAY, Lily’s predicament, who she was and what would happen to her began to gnaw at me. The pivotal scene was born: a woman, about to undergo risky surgery for a brain tumor, is convinced by her family that the man she’s been telling them about, the man she’s in love with, is a mirage. There’s no use waiting for him to come as he promised to be by her bedside, because he isn’t real. He’s just a product of the cancer destroying her brain cells. Wow.

I tried to imagine her heartbreak when he doesn’t show, although she can remember every kiss – every touch – every word of love.

Now, as an author, this was my dilemma. Here, I have this super interesting character that I’ve created with an obvious expiration date.

I didn’t like it, but who could I blame? I did it to myself.

Still, I couldn’t let Lily’s story go.

In the midnight hours, when I rocked on my porch and watched the stars twinkle in the sky, unable to shut my eyes for fear I’d get sucked down into a well of forgetfulness, I dwelt on Lily. I began to see a story, a glimpse at a possibility, a mirage of what if’s.

What if Lily decided she needed to get away, to come to terms with her dwindling days?

What if she escaped to a remote barrier island, haunted by lost love?

What if she met someone? What if she fell in love?

What if she hid her fate from him, because there was no future for her – only the here and now?

Whoa! I would throw up my hands – because I refused to write a book where the main character dies. I hate those books! And I would not contribute to a trope that celebrates a nasty reality – no one gets out of this effing life alive, dammit. When I read, I want to be entertained, not reminded of my mortality – – that’s what keeps me awake nights anyway!

So…Lily languished in my TBW (to be written) notes…until I saw a 60 Minute episode on television that seemed to be the answer to my problem. To my amazement, a miracle was occurring; Duke University was conducting clinical tests to cure people with incurable glioblastomas by injecting their cancers with polio virus. Can you imagine? Well, it’s true. And it’s working in some cases – – and if I had my way, it would work in Lily’s.

Of all my books, this one is a bit unusual because the dominant role is the woman. Usually, I’m more focused on the male character. I’ve used the heroines more as mirrors to reflect the reader, so they can more easily fantasize themselves into the role as the story unfolds. But not this time. Lily is a force to be reckoned with.

Her strength does not discount the hero of the book, however. Blade Jensen is every woman’s dream – a handsome actor who grew up on a ranch in Texas, named Sexiest Man Alive, a man with the ability to love completely and forever. A true hero. He also has his own cross to bear, having lost a child to an obsessed fan. When he learns of Lily’s fate, he is determined to be there for her – no matter what.

Hey, for a romance writer, I’m ambitious. I tackle the meaning of life, the hope of an afterlife – exploring everything from spirits to reincarnations. Most importantly, I work hard to construct stories that will make people believe in the power of love. I want you to know that I stayed up nights – ha! – working this out.

Created by Jcomp – Freepik.com

So…there I was with all these pieces, these problems, two strong three-dimensional characters who deserved a lifetime of happiness. Throw in a hint of the supernatural, a mysterious painting that seems to link the past with the present. Pepper the pages with secondary characters and settings plucked straight from unique New Orleans and a romantic remote island – and there you have it. A story I wanted to tell. A story that has stuck with me and hopefully one my readers will enjoy.

So far, so good.

 

Wow! Fascinating, Sable! Isn’t great how the muse works?
This sounds like quite a read!
Let’s learn more about the novel, shall we? 😉
Here is the blurb for Lily’s Mirage.

Lily Bastien comes to mysterious St. Phillips Island for a last fling with life. She knows her future is uncertain and love is not in her stars. Here, in a cottage haunted by lost love, she will discover a secret that will rock her world. A ghost from the past is not the only unexpected visitor to her private sanctuary. Imagine her surprise when she finds Sexiest Man Alive, Blade Jensen, naked in her bedroom. They clash, at first, but soon they can’t fight the attraction they feel for one another. Sparks begin to fly and the passion they share changes everything. Lily can only dream of forever, but Blade is determined to make her dreams come true. To protect the man she loves, she tries to hide the painful truth from him. But fate finds a way and Blade and Lily learn that sometimes a love is so great, one lifetime together could never be enough.

And Sable is giving us a peek at her novel!

“You’ll love it here. The island is self-sufficient with its own water and power supply. There’s a natural maritime forest and a long white sandy beach. All in all, St. Philip’s has about 5000 acres, including the marshland and the creeks.”

“Sounds great.” Lily was excited. “Is there a downside?”

“It’s haunted,” the boy said flatly, looking off into the distance.

“Oh, really?” She wanted to ask more questions, but the dock loomed ahead and her eyes widened at the natural beauty. “Oh, wow,” was her awed exclamation as they tied off and began unloading her things from the boat to the bed of the four-wheeler. “This place looks amazing.”

“If you go swimming, stay on the beach side, there’s alligators in the marsh to the north.”

“Thanks for the information and the help.” Lily tipped Seba and he continued on his way. She hadn’t driven a four-wheeler before, but she figured it couldn’t be much different than a golf cart.

The trail from the dock to the house was bordered by mammoth oaks with branches that spread wide, some hanging low enough to the ground to sit on. Spanish moss hung liberally from the trees, giving the whole place an eerie, Southern Gothic feel. As she topped the slight incline, Lily could see a beautiful two-story house nestled among a grove of large magnolias. A wide verandah wrapped around the house, deep enough to provide cool shade in the summer heat. A portion of the porch was screened and Lily hoped a bed awaited her there. Painted white with blue shutters, the house looked like a jewel, nestled on a bed of velvet jade. While the back faced the narrow bay and marshes, the front boasted a fabulous view of the Atlantic Ocean. Once she parked, Lily couldn’t resist running the last few feet of the way, more than excited to see what else the magnificent home had to offer.

The staircase leading up to the porch was wide and she was surprised to find the door and ceiling painted a light, smoky blue with large mirrors flanking either side of the entrance. There was even a bottle tree in the front yard, each limb decorated with a cobalt blue or sea green glass bottle. Remembering what Seba had told her, she shivered at what she’d discovered. “Oh, someone is superstitious as heck around here.”

Taking the key from her pocket, she let herself in and set out to explore the interior of the beautiful home before unloading her supplies. The layout and décor were straight out of Costal Living and the kitchen was a cook’s dream, with white cabinets, hardwood floors, and stainless-steel appliances. There were three bedrooms and three baths, one of the bedrooms was an impressive master with an en suite bath boasting a huge marble shower and all the amenities one would expect in a luxurious spa. As she continued to explore, Lily located the bedroom she wanted to use. At first, she thought it was just a sunroom, but after she entered, she saw it opened to the screened porch she’d seen from outside, featuring a breathtaking view and a magical canopy bed wrapped in filmy swaths of sheer material. The closest bath was a couple doors away, but Lily didn’t mind; a few extra steps wouldn’t matter to her.

Making herself at home, she unpacked her clothing, then adjourned to the kitchen. As soon as the groceries were put away, Lily prepared a quick salad for supper, choosing to eat on the verandah. Through the trees, she could see the waves pounding the white sand. Unable to resist, she placed her empty plate on a small wrought iron table and went for a stroll on the beach. The sun was just beginning to sink into the ocean, painting the sky with a blaze of red and orange.

With a contented sigh, she held her hands above her head, relishing the feel of the wind in her hair. She felt as if she could capture the breeze in the fingertips, claim glimpses of the faraway places the zephyr had traveled, places she’d never see.

Wanting the full experience, Lily removed her shoes and waded in the surf. Yet try as she might, she found it difficult to rid her mind of problems. She didn’t have to wonder where the future would take her; she knew. The doctor had been straightforward, telling Lily how it would end for her. The deterioration, the loss of faculties, and finally a coma. This revelation was nothing new. She’d lived with the knowledge of the unwelcome invader in her body for most of her life.

Oh, she’d long since gone through the seven stages of grief. Lily had lived far longer than most with a glioblastoma, she’d even gone through remission a couple of times. There would be no third time, however. No charm. Her Wish Book would never come true. She was nearing the end of a hard-fought battle.

What really angered Lily was that she didn’t look sick, she didn’t feel sick. To look at her, one wouldn’t think she had so little time left on this earth. Yet, she had a ticking time bomb in her head.

But she wasn’t planning to go peacefully into that good night. No, she wanted to fight this whole ugly thing tooth and nail.

She just didn’t know how…

What she needed was a distraction, a sexy distraction.

Her mind went to the handsome hunk she’d seen at the gas station. He’d said he was someone famous and Lily couldn’t argue; she didn’t keep up with such things. Yet even if he weren’t, she understood that women like her didn’t attract men who looked like him. Oh, she wasn’t ugly, she just wasn’t anything special.

No, she took that back.

She was special in her own way and if things were different, she’d have plenty to offer the right guy. Their encounter wasn’t a total loss, she could use her memory of him the next time she played with her toys.

After she’d strolled on the beach for a half hour, Lily turned around and began to make her way back to the house. The rhythm of the waves and the beauty of her surroundings went a long way to giving her a sense of peace. Hopefully, she’d be able to sleep.

As Lily prepared for bed, she wondered what the next day held in store. Before lying down, she cracked a window open. Sure enough, she could hear the ocean. With a contented sigh, she crawled beneath the covers and pulled them up under her chin.

Sleep wasn’t long in coming.

Bang! Crash!

Lily sprung straight up in the bed. She froze, scared to breathe. Was someone in the house with her? Did she have an intruder? After hearing more muffled noises, she grabbed her phone, only to find there was no cell service. Dammit! She hadn’t noticed where the landlines were. Rising, she glanced around. What she needed was a weapon. By the light of the moon, she could see the two-foot statue of the sandpiper sitting on the bedside table. Very carefully, Lily picked up the piece, weighing it her hands. Yes, she could wield it like a baseball bat, if the need arose.

Moving slowly, she tiptoed from the sunroom. Noises were still emanating from deeper in the house. After turning a corner, Lily could see that there was a light on in the master suite. There was an intruder in the house! She assumed there was plenty in the home to steal, everything from artwork to electronics. Dang it; she just hated a thief.

Rounding a corner, Lily almost dropped her makeshift club. Her eyes bugged wide and her jaw dropped. Standing in front of the open French doors was a naked man. His back was to her, but she could see wide-wide shoulders, a wedge-shaped torso, and wait…she recognized that curly hair. “You?” she growled her under her breath. Taking the few last steps, Lily used the bill of the bird to poke in his ribs, doing her best to ignore his delectable ass. “Put your hands up. You’re trespassing, cowboy.”

The man did as she asked, but in the next second, he stepped smoothly back, took the weapon from her with one hand and scooped her up with the other, tossing Lily gently to the mattress. After taking a good look at the pretty brunette sprawled on his bed, he grinned. “Well, if it isn’t Miss Pink Panties. This is my lucky day!”

Fighting to catch her breath, she huffed, “When did you see my panties?”

“When you kicked the football to that kid. For my benefit, right?” Blade tried to keep his focus, tried to ignore the way she chewed on her lower lip as she processed the most recent development, tried to ignore the two mounds of sweet tits quivering beneath the thinnest of sleep shirts, and two sweet thighs open just enough…but it was impossible. A fog of arousal enveloped his brain.

It had been way too long since he’d gotten laid.

Lily rolled off the bed on the far side. “No! There’s that monstrous size ego again! For your information, I would never do such a thing for your benefit! What are you doing in my house? And why are you grinning at me?” She pulled on the hem of her too short sleep shirt. Noticing the phone on the bedside table, she made a grab for it. “You need to leave! I’m calling 9-1-1!” As she pressed the numbers, she glanced at him; it was hard not to notice that his front was even nicer than his back. Washboard abs, full pecs, and…God, the man was hung!

“Good, tell them I have a sexy stalker.” Blade was enjoying their banter. Usually by this time, most women would be plastered all over him, not standing up to him like a spitting kitten.

“I’m not a stalker, I was here first!” she yelled, unable to ignore that he’d called her sexy.

“I figured you for an overzealous fan when you ran up to me in the parking lot.”

Lily tossed a pillow at him. “I was returning your phone, you big…dickhead. Hold that pillow over yourself.”

Cowboy snorted, catching the pillow, and holding it waist high. He was still trying to ignore her jiggling breasts. “Nice of you to notice. Why are you frowning?”

“There’s no dang dial tone,” she muttered, throwing down the cordless phone. “Don’t come any closer!” Lily held up her hand when she noticed the big man moving nearer.

“Settle down, kitten. I’m reaching for my jeans.”

He turned his back on Lily to slip on his pants and she hid her eyes, peeking through her fingers. “Look, whoever you are, if you’ll leave quietly, I won’t press charges for breaking and entering.”

“I didn’t have to break in.” He reached in his pocket and pulled out a fob to dangle in front of her, wincing as his cock chafed inside the denim of his jeans. He should’ve brought underwear. “I have a key.”

“Well, so do I!” She pointed toward the sunroom. “In my purse, in my room. I am a guest! Bliss Renaud is my friend. She invited me to stay here.”

“So, you’re not the caretaker? I was about to ask you to sign a non-disclosure agreement.” He paused to think. “Perhaps I should get you to sign one anyway. I don’t want anyone to know I’m here.”

“So, don’t be here! Leave! Who invited you anyway?” Lily was trying not to notice his abs…or the happy trail of fur leading from his abdomen all the way to what she’d had her eyes glued on earlier. The man was a sheer wonderland of tactile, erotic delights.

“My agent arranged this whole thing. The owner used to be my stunt double, I’m not going anywhere,” Cowboy said slowly, as if speaking to someone with a learning disability. “Look, if I give you an autographed picture, would you settle down?”

Lily stomped from his room, taking her crane with her. “For the last time, I don’t know who you are! Why would I want an autographed picture?”

Cowboy followed her. “Don’t give me that, everybody knows who I am. Women throw themselves at me all the time.”

“Yea, I’m sure the bodies just pile up around you.” Lily stopped and faced him with one hand on her hip, looking him up and down. “You could be a vacuum cleaner salesman for all I know.”

“Are you serious?” he said, staring at her as if she’d grown two heads. “Where do you live, under a rock?”

“Are you a singer? A football player? A serial killer?” she said, then backtracked. “Oh, don’t be a serial killer, forget I said that.”

God, she was cute. “I’m an actor. I played Jake Dominic in the Draco series.”

“Sorry, I don’t own a television.”

When he saw the blank expression on her face, he began to believe she didn’t know who he was…or she deserved an Oscar for her performance. “Who doesn’t own a television?” He stalked through the house, flipping on lights. “I came here for some privacy and a long overdue rest. I don’t intend to share my space with a desperate fan.”

Lily was fast losing her patience. “For the last time, I’m not a fan! I don’t know you and I don’t want to know you. And for your information, I’m not desperate!” She followed him through the house, ending up in the kitchen. “If I were desperate, you’d be the last man on earth I’d want, you’re too full of yourself!”

He opened the refrigerator and pulled out a bottled water. “There’s plenty of resorts up and down the Carolina coast. You can find somewhere else to stay.”

“Why don’t you? If you’re a famous actor like you say you are, you’ll be welcome anywhere.” She leaned on the counter, hiding most of her body from his eyes, suddenly conscious of her state of undress.

Cowboy chugged the water, walked to the bar, and took a satchel from a chair. Slamming it on top of the counter, he took something out and pitched it on the granite surface in front of her.

Lily didn’t have to look too closely. His handsome face covered the front of the magazine. “Blade Jensen, Sexiest Man Alive,” she mumbled. “Seems like I might’ve heard that name before.” Lily exhaled a long breath, tired of their argument. “Fine.” She threw up her hands. “You’re famous. I’ll go pack and you can take me back to the island. I’ll find someplace else to stay. My life’s too short to spend time arguing with you and I’ll sign whatever document you want me to, although I certainly won’t be doing any bragging about our time together.” With that dry observation, she gathered up the sand piper and headed back to her bedroom.

Blade watched her go, entranced as much by the length of her long, shapely legs as he was by the fact that she didn’t know who he was – and didn’t seem to care. Her long dark hair hung down to a delectable ass and if she swayed a certain way, he could see a little sliver of black satin peeping out from beneath the T-shirt she wore. “Hey, what’s your name, kitten?”

Lily stopped, but she didn’t turn around. She was tired and frustrated. Finding a place to stay at this time of night was going to be a pain. Maybe she’d just sleep in her rental car. “Lily Bastien from New Orleans.”

“All right, Lily Bastien from New Orleans, why don’t we just make the best of a bad situation…for now?” He took a few steps toward her.

Slowly turning to face him, she hated that he made her heart skip a beat. She wasn’t afraid of him, not really. Where Blade Jensen was concerned, she was more afraid of herself. “What do you mean?”

The big man shrugged and his muscles rippled. “Stay the night. Leaving at this hour could be dangerous.”

Lily felt her nipples bead; she couldn’t remember ever reacting this way to a man before. His fame was not a factor, she was just drawn to him. “I don’t know, staying might be even more dangerous.”

“A little danger makes everything more exciting.” Giving her a wicked grin, Blade saluted her with the bottle. “Besides, I don’t have a boat. Looks like we’re marooned. Together.”

“Great.” With a huff, Lily started for her room. “You just make sure you stay on your side of the house.”

Blade chuckled. “In case you get any ideas, kitten, my bedroom door will be locked.”

She never looked back, the only reaction his announcement got from her was a hand in the air with a raised middle finger.

Blade’s chuckle rose into a full laugh. The first good one he’d had in years. This woman wasn’t impressed with his fame. She had no idea how attractive that made her to him. Couple her spunky attitude with her drop-dead gorgeous body and his heart was stuttering in his chest.

Well, he guessed he wasn’t dead inside after all.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B074L4YG4F

Nice! I love the tension between them! ♥♥♥

How exciting to learn about your sexy, contemporary romance with a touch of the paranormal, Sable! I know I can’t wait to read it! 🙂

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Lily’s Mirage!

Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Sable! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Guest Bio
Sable Hunter is a New York Times, USA Today bestselling author of nearly 60 books in 9 series. She writes sexy contemporary stories full of emotion and suspense. Her focus is mainly cowboy and novels set in Louisiana with a hint of the supernatural. Her aim is to write a story that will make you laugh, cry and swoon. If she can wring those emotions from a reader, she has done her job. Welcome to her world of magic, alpha heroes, sexy cowboys and hot, steamy to-die-for sex. Step into the shoes of her heroines and escape to places where right prevails, love conquers all and holding out for a hero is not an impossible dream.

Author Links

Website:  http://sablehunter.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/huntersable

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2wVn9N

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4419823.Sable_Hunter

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/qRvyn

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

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

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sable-hunter

 

Thanks again, Sable, for giving us a peek into the world of your character. Awesome! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Lynn Stevens visits us on October 11th! Yay! 🙂

We’ll definitely have other posts before then, though.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Vivienne Vincent

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Recently, I asked both authors and romance readers to come to me with their responses to this big question: “What Does Romance Mean to Me?” I was genuinely interested in what made us all tick, what continued to draw us to the genre. Why do we love “love” so much? I wanted to dig deep into the heart of each person. And I’ve gotten some incredible feedback. Today is the next post in this series.

So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Vivienne Vincent, who has some things to say about the question at hand.

I’ve never been a very romantic person, and romance to me means something different from a rich brat who acts like a bad boy but retains a basic goodness of the heart, eventually, falling for an ordinary woman.

I grew up reading Harlequin and I still read those books because they provide a great escape from reality. I don’t have the patience to sit through a 600-page romance so I prefer fast-paced fiction.

But life isn’t fiction and love doesn’t happen the way it happens in books. We suffer heartbreaks and if we’re fortunate we heal, otherwise we live with the scars. Love doesn’t essentially define the art of living.

To me, the most important thing isn’t getting to know the right man or the perfect woman, but getting to know yourself and staring at your own imperfections. That’s a very difficult process and most of us go through life getting over those who broke our hearts, instead of getting over our super inflated egos.

I was very surprised when people took my first publication, Dandelions, so literally. A man breaks a woman’s heart and then forgets her. Meets her again and falls in love with her. I understand that since the story was told from the woman’s perspective, the evolution of his character isn’t obvious. There’s a sequel where he tells the story. But the bottom line is that it was only symbolic of the horrible things we do and then completely forget how much damage we caused, until one day our actions come back to bite us.  We can justify just about anything to ourselves.

If human nature is so pathetic and inherently selfish, what redeems us? The ability to love someone other than ourselves.

Created by Freepik

I like to read literature from different parts of the world and there’s a beautiful concept in Persian mysticism about experiencing worldly love, which serves as a stairway to experiencing true love. You find a somewhat similar idea looking at the relationship between Socrates and Diotima.

Love only lasts if it’s more than momentary infatuation and lust. It requires you to give and surrender. There’s a wonderful novella Venus im Pelz by Sacher-Masoch (which is where the word masochism comes from, by the way). Another book that captures the essence of surrender is the French novel Histoire d’O. These books symbolize how much love can torture and in the end, break you. There’s no such thing as a happily ever after. There’s no element of winning or being rewarded.

To be honest, Dandelions was always the guy’s story and in the actual story, the girl killed herself in the end. But writing takes a toll on the author’s mind as well, so I decided not to take things that far. The first part of Dandelions that’s been released could be considered a very long prologue to the sequel or the actual story.

In the sequel, I want to highlight a few aspects of how men act toward women and how women respond to those things; not in an imaginary or ideal world, but in real life. I want to have a realistic approach which takes away the element of escapist fiction from my work. It will take at least two years or more to finish the sequel, because I’ve involved men in my process of research and I want some honest answers from them.

There’s a line in the book that “People love God and fancy the devil, but no one likes ordinary, flawed humans, which was what she revealed about me to everyone, myself included.” So I’ll be taking a flawed human and dealing with his flaws. He’s not going to achieve nirvana, but it’s going to be a struggle to improve and become a better person.

That’s what love, or romance if you want to call it, means to me.

Created by Teksomolika – Freepik.com

If we have the ability to love another, then we certainly have the ability to be a better human. Because life isn’t about being famous or being the best; it’s about quietly struggling to rise above our animal instincts and maintaining a balance between light and darkness.

 Nice! And how very true… 😉

Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Vivienne! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Guest Bio

VivVinc-png

Vivienne Vincent grew up in a fairly conservative environment which ironically sparked her interest in unconventional subjects and romance novels. As a young girl she became interested in novels from the Victorian era as well as modern day romance. She is pretty much obsessed with British and American sitcoms and crime series. Look her up on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with her. She loves to hear from readers.

lavender parfumerie

Author Links

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Vivienne-Vincent-850442295083956/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VivienneVincen8

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2abR73V

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/57734728-vivienne-vincent

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15486427.Vivienne_Vincent

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/vivienne-vincent/

Wait, we’re not quite finished!

So, I put the question to you as a reader today as well. What does the word ‘romance’ really mean for you? Is ‘romance’ a driving force in your life? How have your beliefs about romantic relationships informed your own relationships? Perhaps seeing other couples (parents or friends) were some kind of influence. By reading romance novels, does that help to reaffirm things for you?

If you’d like to participate in this special feature, please contact me at marieannlavender@gmail.com and I’ll schedule a spot for you. As you can tell from the schedule on the right hand side of the page, we’re getting booked fast, but don’t hesitate to join in! You do not need to be a writer or author. We want to hear from anyone. We’d love to get your take on how you feel about romance, and why you keep reading our books! ♥♥♥ 

Thanks again, Vivienne, for giving us your take on what romance has come to mean to you. Awesome! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Rachael Tamayo visits us on June 29th! Yay! 🙂

We’ll have other posts before then, though.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Guest Writer, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writers, Writing

New Release Feature: I Wanna Get Laid by Kade by author duo Nikki Ashton & Victoria Johns, plus giveaway!

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Nikki Ashton and Victoria Johns, both authors I met during my journey! Their contemporary new adult romance, I Wanna Get Laid by Kade, officially released today! Yay! That’s awesome, ladies! :) Congrats on your new release!:)

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

Nikki and Victoria are giving us a look at their sexy modern romance, I Wanna Get Laid by Kade, today.

Wow! Great cover!

This is the blurb for I Wanna Get Laid by Kade:

If you lived on the streets and someone offered to change your life, would you? Of course you would, who wouldn’t? But, what if changing your life ruined that of the one person who cared about you? The one person who you cared about in return.

That’s what happened to me, Kade Sutton.

I became the star of a reality TV show, a show that was a catalogue of lies and duplicity. The show meant I got to spend time with Daisy Ingles, a girl whose beautiful smile brightened up my day, every day. This show also meant that I betrayed her. This show gave me many things, but I lost an awful lot too.

Set within the world of reality TV, ‘I Wanna Get Laid by Kade’ will have you hissing and booing at the bad guys, and cheering on the good ones. Kade will make you fall in love with him and Daisy will make you want to fight her corner.

With love, sex and betrayal this is a book you just can’t miss – it’s the path you’re meant to take.

And here is a teaser to entice you with.

 

What people are saying about this book:

“Seriously, there were so many great things about this book…Without a doubt, the authors have done a wonderful job with this one.”

“Such a strong story line with lots of believable twists and turns. I ended up staying up way too late finishing it.”

“The story is so much more than a simple tale of reality television.”

Goodreads Reviews

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B01NAVGP0K

Mybook.to/NAVJKade

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-wanna-get-laid-by-kade-nikki-ashton/1125960625

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Wanna-Get-Laid-Kade/Nikki-Ashton/9780995667884?id=6842447479054

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/i-wanna-get-laid-by-kade

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6877452

Nice! Who doesn’t love a gentleman? ♥♥♥ It looks like quite a ride!😉

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

 

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

Oh, it almost skipped my mind. Drum roll please…*** This dynamic author team has a great deal for you today. Just head on over to their Facebook page to enter their release day giveaway! Who doesn’t love free? ***

So, check out this great romance novel! ♥

Author Bio – Nikki Ashton

Nikki lives in Cheshire with her husband, two dogs and lovely mother-in-law who supplies her with endless cups of tea. She writes romance with a touch of humor and lots of love, and hopes that she puts a smile on her reader’s faces.

Her ambitions of becoming a writer started at the age of 10 when she started writing poetry at school, and was given the honor of reading one of her poems to the rest of her year group (a truly embarrassing experience that she will never forget).

Nikki is grateful for the wide variety of strange and wonderful people in her life, otherwise she’d never know what to write about! She is currently talking to family and friends, finding out their innermost secrets in readiness for her next book.

Although all Nikki’s books are standalone stories, characters do make ‘guest appearances’. So, the best order to read them is:

Guess Who I Pulled Last Night

No Bra Required

Get Your Kit Off

Rock Stars Don’t Like Big Knickers

Rock Stars Don’t Like Ugly Bras

Rock Stars Do Like Christmas

Cheese Tarts & Fluffy Socks

Author Links

Website:  https://www.nikkiashtonbooks.co.uk/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/NikkerAsh

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Nikki-Ashton/e/B00C7QKDE8/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7085471.Nikki_Ashton

Pinterest:  https://uk.pinterest.com/davnikash/

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

 

Author Bio – Victoria Johns

Victoria Johns is a Cheshire based writer with a wild imagination for steamy stories; she believes it’s every girl’s dream to experience a happily ever after.

Realizing it was time to live her own dream, she now enjoys daydreaming and creating fiery romance novels. When she’s not doing that, she can be found spending time with her family, cycling the countryside or enjoying pink fizz with her crazy friends.

Author Links

Website:  https://www.victoriajohnsbooks.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/victoriajohns75

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Johns/e/B00O24HYL8/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5072971.Victoria_Johns

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, New Adult, new release, Readers, Romance, Writing

Blog Tour Feature: Hell Yeah! Kindle World Tour presented by Sable Hunter

I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Sable Hunter, an author I met during my journey! She is well known for her ‘Hell Yeah!’ sexy book series, and this time she’s invited a bunch of authors in her circle to participate as part of Hell Yeah! That’s awesome, Sable! :)

Kindle World Tour

All of the books in this Hell Yeah! Kindle World tour came out on February 13th. When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for an author!

About the Hell Yeah Kindle World:

Connected by blood ties and bonds of friendship, the Hell Yeah! world chronicles the lives and loves of a family of Texas men and women, the McCoys, who live by the code of the cowboy. Adventure, unabashed sexual tension and tender intimacy plays out in a saga of stories that offer action and humor, all set in scenic locales from the Hill Country of Texas to the mysterious bayous of Louisiana. The plots of the tales are as varied as our own lives can be, but the world is one where right prevails, love conquers all, and holding out for a hero is not an impossible dream.

Sable is presenting us with all six books in the Kindle World tour as well as a bit about each author. But first, let’s hear a little about awesome author Sable Hunter…

sable

Sable Hunter is a New York Times, USA Today bestselling author of over 50 books in 9 series. She writes sexy contemporary stories full of emotion and suspense. Her focus is mainly cowboy and novels set in Louisiana with a hint of the supernatural. Sable writes what she likes to read and enjoys putting her fantasies on paper. Her books are emotional tales where the heroine is faced with challenges. Her aim is to write a story that will make you laugh, cry and swoon. If she can wring those emotions from a reader, she has done her job. Sable resides in Austin, Texas with her two dogs. Passionate about all animals, she has been known to charm creatures from a one ton bull to a family of raccoons. For fun, Sable haunts cemeteries and battlefields armed with night-vision cameras and digital recorders hunting proof that love survives beyond the grave. Welcome to her world of magic, alpha heroes, sexy cowboys and hot, steamy to-die-for sex. Step into the shoes of her heroines and escape to places where right prevails, love conquers all and holding out for a hero is not an impossible dream.

Website:  http://www.sablehunter.com

So prolific! I’m impressed. 🙂

Now let’s learn more about the Hell Yeah! Kindle World.

Check out the RAFFLECOPTER at the end for a chance to win all kinds of prizes!

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Black’s Fall by Kirsten Lynn

He’s a spirit looking for redemption…she’s a heart looking for a soul…Separated by time… bound together by a love they can’t ignore… They will fight for his freedom, her heart, and a lifetime together.

blacksfall

Here is the blurb.

After attending four weddings in one year, Faith Bannon isn’t looking forward to wedding number five. Unlucky number five brings with it more than the attempts to set her up with everyone from best man to caterer. This time Faith is headed back to Texas and a past that haunts her. When she witnesses a ghostly reenactment of man gunned down by a phantom posse, Faith questions her sanity and the intense pain she feels at the loss of a man she’s never met and who’s been dead for over a hundred years.
Johnny Black lived up to his last name right up until the night a bullet found the heart he’d offered to a treacherous woman. He expected damnation. He didn’t expect the hell of reliving his death every year on the anniversary he was shot down by a posse. Having a woman cry over him wasn’t ever a part of the recreation until Faith Bannon did just that. Now he has one chance to avoid eternal damnation and that’s to help Faith find her heart.
Despite the obstacles, Faith and Johnny are willing to take a chance with their hearts trusting only Skye and Noah McCoy with the truth about the tall, dark, and handsome Texan escorting Faith. But there are forces unwilling to see Johnny outside of purgatory and they’re willing to kill Faith in order to keep him.

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://tiny.cc/p1a6iy

Author Bio

klynn2

Kirsten Lynn is a Western and Military Historian. She worked six years with a Navy non-profit and continues to contract with the Marine Corps History Division for certain projects. Making her home where her roots were sewn in Wyoming, Kirsten also works as a local historian. She loves to use the history she has learned and add it to a great love story. She writes stories about men of uncommon valor…women with undaunted courage…love of unwavering devotion …and romance with unending sizzle. When she’s not writing, she finds inspiration in day trips through the Bighorn Mountains, binge reading and watching sappy old movies, or sappy new movies. Housework can always wait.

Website:  www.kirstenlynnwildwest.com  

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Hollywood Lights, Austin Nights by Michel Prince

The electricity on set between two of Hollywood’s rising stars could light the city for weeks. But can there be a happily ever after when the camera turns off?

hollywoodlights

Here is the blurb.

Soren Birch wrote a movie deserving of the best Hollywood has to offer, but as a first time screenwriter, he’s stuck on a shoestring budget. Vision Star has offered him a deal and set him up in Austin, Texas. Now the actor turned writer will be donning a few hats, including director, as his passion piece comes to life.
In Hollywood, Alicia Winters’ star is rising, but she is slowly learning quantity over quality after being kicked off her latest set. She then finds her way to her sister’s bakery in Braden, Iowa. A few days of rest and little tough love has her ready to take a chance on a small budget film in Austin.
A dream actress and a company willing to take a chance on him, Soren is beginning to think he might actually make a name for himself beyond being a sex symbol. Can his luck finally be changing or will his attraction to Alicia derail his dream before it even starts?

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://tiny.cc/q9a6iy

Author Bio

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Michel Prince is an author who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science.  Michel writes new adult and adult paranormal romance as well as contemporary romance.

With characters yelling “It’s my turn damn it!!!” She tries to explain to them that alas, she can only type a hundred and twenty words a minute and they will have wait their turn.  She knows eventually they find their way out of her head and to her fingertips and she looks forward to sharing them with you.

When Michel can suppress the voices in her head she can be found cheering for her son in a variety of sports.  She would like to thank her family for always being in her corner and especially her husband for supporting her every dream and never letting her give up.

Michel has been awarded Elite Status with Rebel Ink Press in 2013, the service award for her local RWA chapter Midwest Fiction Writers in 2013 and 2014, won Sweetest Romance at IREA 2015 and is a PAN member of RWA.  She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband, son, and dog, Bolt.

Website:  http://www.michelprincebooks.com/

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Off the Grid by Kelly Collins

A pampered princess risks everything for love.

offthegrid

Here is the blurb.

Twenty-five-year-old Nikola Stone has three months to convince her famous parents not to disinherit her. Scrambling to prove she’s more than a pampered princess, Nikola finds herself living on a wind and solar farm in Texas, owned by super hot environmentalist, Colton Becket.
Without the safety net of her silver spoon life, Nikola discovers living off the grid may in fact hold the key to her inner happiness, and bring her the surprise she never would have expected—true love.
But when Colton’s dream is threatened, she does the unimaginable to try to save his farm. Her desperate actions mean losing her inheritance for good—and possibly losing the only person who has ever truly cared for her.
Will her plan backfire, or will Nikola find out that giving up everything means she can actually have it all?
Find out in Off the Grid.

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://tiny.cc/KWkcotg3

Author Bio

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Kelly Collins writes with the intention of keeping the love alive. Always a romantic, she is inspired by real-time events mixed with a dose of fiction. She encourages her readers to reach the happily ever after but bask in the afterglow of the perfectly imperfect love.

Kelly lives in Colorado at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her husband of twenty-five years, their two dogs, and a bird that hates her. 

In her spare time, she enjoys walking the trails and visiting the mining towns like Cripple Creek. Could be there is gambling there, but she likes to think it’s the ambience that brings her there and not the amazing slot machine in the back of the casino. 

In the winter, you’ll find her tucked into her seat at The World Arena cheering her beloved Colorado College Tigers Hockey Team.  After several losing seasons she knows there’s a win coming soon.  Kelly is no fair weather fan. Tigers to the death. 

She has three amazing children, and she wonders how they all turned out to be engineers when only the creative side of her brain seems to work. She just chalks it up to the engineering genes her husband contributed to the mix. 

Creative minds need an outlet and writing books is where she focuses her excess energy.

Website:  http://www.authorkellycollins.com/

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All the King’s Horses by Katherine Rhodes

When the girl on the high horse belongs there, it’s a hell of a job to tame her…

allthekings

Here is the blurb.

One million-dollar horse.
One family farm.
One Jersey Girl with an attitude.
One recipe for complete disaster.

Well, if anyone had asked RJ Miller, anyway. To make matters worse, he started the whole deal firmly planted on the wrong foot–and Lucy da Silva made sure he knew it.
Visiting the Double Down Ranch outside Austin, Lucy is there with her sister Fatima to purchase a stock of breeding horses for her family back in New Jersey. She knows her horses. She knows her farms. She knows her mind–and she knows she doesn’t like RJ Miller.
Despite the rocky start, RJ finds himself falling for the high-spirited woman. It seems like there’s nothing she can’t do: ride, rope, clean, cook, and dance. Lucy can’t seem to stay away from RJ either, and they find themselves riding more than horses.
If only life were simple: find the girl, fall in love, happily ever after. But with people plotting to get their hands on Double Down’s beautiful thoroughbred, King’s Dominion, Lucy has to admit a truth she hid years ago to save RJ’s sister and her own life…

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://tiny.cc/KWkrkh3

Author Bio

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Author of erotica, light BDSM erotica and paranormal erotica. Expert in the profundities of bad movies and awful literature. Armed with her Bachelors of English Literature, she has set her mind to writing erotic romances which are kinky, dirty, and fun. A lackadaisical laundry goddess, Katherine resides in Philadelphia with her husband, three cats and a betta named Fishtian Grey.

Website:  https://katherinerhodes.com/

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Race to Tebow by V.A. Dold

Hell Yeah! The New Orleans Mob doesn’t stand a chance against A man in love and the Hell Yeah crew.

racetotebow

Here is the blurb.

Bullets are flying, and Sheena Savoy is running out of places to hide.
In the wrong place at the wrong time, her boss wants her silenced-permanently.
The only upside is the sexy protection she’s been assigned.
Bastien Benoit, a no-nonsense, by the rules WITSEC Marshal, has never wavered. That is until Sheena Savoy. The sexy, courageous woman who makes him feel things he has no business feeling for a witness under his protection.
There’s a mole at WITSEC, and the only person standing between Sheena and a bullet is Marshal Benoit. Forced on the run, Marshal Benoit knows of one place to hide where the Syndicate won’t find them.

Can they make it to Tebow Ranch in Time?

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://tiny.cc/KSvadrt3

Author Bio

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Vickie (V.A.) Dold is an Amazon best selling author of the Award-winning Le Beau Series.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, she was a  publicist for authors, owning ARC Author & Reader Conventions.

Her idea of absolute heaven is a day in the French Quarter with her computer, her coffee mug, and the Brothers, of course. Or a night with a sexy cowboy in the hayloft.

A Midwest native, with her heart lost to Louisiana & Texas. She has a penchant for titillating tales featuring sexy men and strong women. When she’s not writing, she’s probably taking in a movie, reading, or traveling. Oh, and there is the distinct possibility she is out cowboy hunting.

Website:  http://www.vadold.com/

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Her Hell No Cowboy by Donna Michaels

Keeping it light has never involved more heart.

hellnocowboy

Here is the blurb.

Ever since his first deployment, Lincoln McCall came home a changed man, swapping life philosophies with his twin brother. No more playing it safe, or by the rules, or looking for “Miss Right”. Hell no. But holding onto that concept is hard when Linc falls into a pool with his arms full of the one that got away.
Coming out of the fog from her husband’s death, Ashley Patterson wants to live a little, have fun…feel alive. So when the sexy cowboy she crushed on in her youth hires her to work on his house, she gives herself permission to enjoy the attraction sizzling between them…after all, she’s only there temporarily, and he doesn’t do relationships.
But when their feelings turn serious, she’s in a heap of trouble. Linc is in the military. So was her husband and that got him killed. She can’t risk her heart to another man who could deploy and never return. Hell no. It was better to leave and take her heart with her.
Now, if only she could figure out how to get the cowboy to give it back.

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://tiny.cc/KSdmHNc3

Author Bio

about-me-picture1-194x300

It’s all my mother’s fault.

She read to me before I could read and opened up that magical world where I still reside today. Then came television and movies. Now I had three avenues to feed my imagination…and boy could I eat! As you no doubt figured out, this led to my writing career. After several starts in between having a son, twin sons, then a daughter, I didn’t get serious until my youngest child entered 1st grade. Now, I’m multi-published with several publishers and self-published in e-Book and print with a ton of voices in my head. I love those voices! They helped me win awards and become a New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author. Hope they never stop!

Website:  http://donnamichaelsauthor.com/

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Enter the Kindle World tour Rafflecopter for a chance to win all kinds of prizes!

Oh, wow! These books looks great! Cowboys have a certain magic touch, don’t they?

Thank you for telling us about your awesome Hell Yeah! Kindle World book tour, Sable! I know readers can’t wait to get ahold of these! 😀 Visit Sable’s Hell Yeah! Kindle World page on her website for more info on this tour.

Kindle World Tour

Thanks again to Sable and all the talented authors who participated in this project! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Giveaways, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Love, new release, participants, Readers, Romance, western, Writing

New Release Feature: Too Sexy for Love by author Sable Hunter

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Sable Hunter, an author I met during my journey! Her contemporary romance, Too Sexy for Love, officially released this month! Yay! That’s awesome, Sable! :) Congrats on your new release!:)

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

Sable is giving us a look at her hot modern romance, Too Sexy for Love, today.

too-sexy-for-love

 

Wow! Great cover!

This is the blurb for Too Sexy for Love:

Connor McGregor is one helluva sexy man. He is handsome, smart, and richer than God. Everything he touches turns to gold. Best of all, he’s even a nice guy. The man really has no idea how perfect he is. The only flaw in this Prince Charming’s character is that he can’t see himself with just one woman; he has no intention of settling down. Why should he? His goal is to make as many women happy as possible. And so far, he’s succeeding.
Until one day…he accidentally kisses his partner.
His adorable, feisty, snarky little partner.
A kiss that changes everything.
Rey Cassidy is his right hand. The woman behind the man. Whatever he can envision, she can make happen. After the kiss, his focus begins to change. Business is not so important, playing the field is getting old. How did he overlook the amazing woman who was right under his nose?
But identifying her as his soulmate is just half the battle.
Rey knows him better than anyone.
Convincing her to trust him, to give him a chance, just might be impossible.

And here is an excerpt from Too Sexy for Love to tease you with.

“Tell Seymour to send up some champagne and caviar. We’ll be celebrating tonight.”

His rapid topic change didn’t surprise her; she was used to his ADD. Not that he’d admit to having the problem, but she thought that diagnosis might explain his inability to remain interested in any one woman for more than a couple of days. “No ‘we’ about it, unless you have a mouse in your pocket, I’m not working late.” Rey took a deep breath, then lied through her teeth. “I have a date.”

He stopped in his tracks. “A date? You?”

Connor’s surprise irritated Rey. So, what if her date was with a hot water bottle and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Her fierce leader didn’t need to know those details. “Yes, is that so hard to believe?”

She left him standing there with mouth agape, while she informed the concierge what to send up to the penthouse suite. Her presence wasn’t required for the celebration. To find companionship, all Connor would have to do was go through his Little Black Book app and select from a smorgasbord of willing women, or by the look of the crowd outside, he could just stand at the entrance of the Waterloo like Elvis at the gates of Graceland. She was sure any one of his admirers would be willing to spend a few hours with him – – celebrating.

After passing along Connor’s wishes, she made her way to the elevator, taking the first ten seconds of alone time she’d had all day to check her messages. With a few quick clicks, she solved several problems, made three appointments, and confirmed a half dozen meetings. Life in the fast lane made Rey’s blood fizz through her veins, as if it was carbonated. She loved it! The only fly in the ointment was the necessary inclusion of Connor himself. Again, Rey became amused at her own thought. She was being mean. There would be no McGregor Developments without McGregor. A real estate mogul who made money hand over fist, Connor was truly brilliant, he just wasn’t detail-oriented.

Like the latest edition of Austin Monthly proclaimed, Connor was considered to be the city’s most eligible bachelor. Everything the man touched turned to gold. He’d turned a few waterfront acres near downtown Austin into the premier properties in the state. He had the vision and his team made it happen…and by ‘his team’ she meant her, Rey Cassidy.

She was the woman behind the man.

The very capable woman.

“Come on, slowpoke, my finger’s getting tired of holding this button.”

“What?” Rey jerked her head up, surprised he’d waited on her. “Sorry, I thought you’d already gone up.”

“Why would I do that?” He put a big hand over the opening where the doors emerged to insure they didn’t jump out and bump Rey while she boarded. “I need you.”

“Yes, you do,” she agreed with him. Her calm demeanor didn’t reveal the landslide of emotions Connor’s words released within her. She knew what he meant; he needed her business acumen.

His admission had nothing to do with her identity as a woman.

She fought back the irritation her summation called forth. This was a sore spot for her. Rey had fallen head over heels for her brilliant friend the day she met him.

Thank God, she’d come to her senses.

While she was absolutely loyal and completely committed to their interests – Rey Cassidy had no illusions about Connor McGregor’s suitability as a romantic interest. While he possessed many good qualities: a concern for the environment, a philanthropic heart, and a fondness for animals – his downfall was women, he couldn’t resist them. Connor loved women.

All women.

Except Rey.

In all their time together, he’d never once made a pass at her, never made a risqué suggestion, or a lewd comment. Oh, he teased her. He was nice to her. He respected her highly. To Connor, she was a valuable asset, his path to success, his secret weapon, and yes, his friend.

But that was all.

And Rey was fine with it.

There was no way she would ever put up with Connor McGregor and his antics until the water got hot. If they were to ever attempt to be a couple, she’d kill the man dead in the first twenty-four hours.

But that wasn’t going to happen. He wasn’t attracted to her. Rey didn’t have what it took to please Connor McGregor.

If one were to ask him, and people had, what type of woman he preferred, his answer was always the same.

Female.

Connor liked to think he was an equal opportunity philanderer, but that wasn’t true. He definitely had a type – centerfolds – statuesque beauties with lush, long hair and surgically enhanced bust lines. Rey was none of those things.

She was…adequate.

As one member of the paparazzi phrased it in an article/expose of Connor a few years back, she didn’t seem to fit the picture. ‘By all accounts, Miss Rey Cassidy appears to be an integral part of Connor McGregor’s success, but one can’t help but notice she looks out of place in his world. While Mr. McGregor’s masculine perfection is unquestioned, he certainly can’t be categorized as a swan, more a golden eagle perhaps. But Miss Cassidy plays the role of the Ugly Duckling quite well. We can’t claim to understand their dynamics, but we do applaud the results. McGregor Developments is changing the face of Central Texas for the better.’

Rey remembered well how she’d tried to hide the periodical containing the humiliating article from Connor, but he’d eventually seen it. And when he did, she remembered how he demanded a retraction and threatened to have the magazine shut down. Rey had tried to explain to him that the retraction would be as embarrassing as the original piece, but he hadn’t listened.

Rey knew she wasn’t beautiful, her own mother and sister had pointed that fact out many times. But seeing it in print and knowing Connor saw it too…well, it had taken a long time for her to get over the humiliation. One good thing did come from the fiasco, however. Rey endeavored to improve herself, dressing more fashionably and getting a makeover. She might be a country girl, but if she was going to rub elbows with the rich and famous, it was time to start acting the part.

Once she was in the elevator with him and the doors closed, Rey adjusted her mask of indifference. “I think all we need to do tonight is prepare your comments for tomorrow’s televised announcement. Our partnership with the Earle brothers will be a landmark deal in this city. Luxury apartments, five-star restaurants, world class boutiques – the sky’s the limit.” Her tone was appropriately enthusiastic, yet professionally curtailed.

“Ah, not tonight. Tonight, I have a proposition for you.”

Rey’s heart skipped a beat. “What kind of a proposition?”

“Patience. Patience.” Connor wiggled a finger at her. “I need to ply you with champagne and get you in the mood first.”

In the mood? A surprised bark of laughter escaped Rey’s lips. “Champagne isn’t going to help.”

“We’ll see.” He looked entirely confident and too handsome for his own good – or Rey’s.

Trying not to look agitated, she leaned against the elevator wall and folded her arms over her nearly non-existent bosom. “What do you need for me to do, take a drug test for you? Provide a urine sample?”

Her sassy comment just made him smile. “Not hardly. I don’t do drugs, you know that.” He made a sweeping gesture down his body. “This is a temple.”

As the elevator dinged its arrival, she pushed off the wall toward the door. “I’d bow and scrape, but I think your temple gets a little too much worshipful attention as it is.”

Connor stuffed his hands in his front pocket, his stance wide, letting her precede him. “Negatory, my little Rey of sunshine. I give women what they want. I’m just spreading joy.”

Rey laughed, stepping out into the lavish suite. “Joy is not what you’re spreading. You’re a virus, McGregor.”

“Yet, you’re unaffected,” he stated, but with a questioning lilt to his voice.

“I’m immune.” Heading into the comfortable sitting room, Rey took her normal seat on the oversized leather couch, immediately pulling her tablet from her purse to check their schedules. “Now, what’s on your mind? What do you need from me? I’m way ahead of you on the contracts.” When he took a chair across from her, she met his eyes and immediately got snared in his compelling gaze.

“Rey, we need to talk. We’ve been friends since college.” He began, then hesitated, a decidedly guilty look coming over his face.

Uh-oh. What was this? She was not only his assistant, they also had a semi-partnership agreement where she earned stock options in his company when a deal performed above expectations. Rey intended to fight him for her fair share if she had to. “Connor, are you trying to break up with me, professionally speaking?”

Connor’s eyes widened. “Oh, hell no.” He barked out a laugh. “I do have my faults, but stupidity is not one of them.”

She gave him a pointed look. “Well, that’s debatable at times.” When he glared at her, she amended her statement. “Yes, we’ve been friends awhile. What’s on your mind?”

“Well…” Connor hesitated. “I need you to run interference for me with a woman.”

Rey didn’t know what she’d been expecting him to say, but this wasn’t it. She saw red. “What do you mean?”

He held up a hand defensively. “It’s no big deal, I just…uh…seem to have overbooked again.”

“Overbooked? If you wouldn’t juggle women like bean bags, you wouldn’t get yourself in a bind.” Yes, she’d done this before and she didn’t like it.

“I’m not that bad.” When she narrowed her eyes at him, he gave her a sheepish smile. “Well, maybe I am. But I don’t mean to be. I just want each one of my ladies to feel special, and sometimes I can’t be in two places at one time.”

“I don’t know how anyone can feel special when they’re just part of a herd,” Rey grumbled.

“Not a herd, I choose to think of them as a select group of lucky women,” he gave her a disarming grin.

Rey bristled, but she resigned herself to her boss’s predilection for the fairer sex. Some people had a weakness for chocolate, others for alcohol or gambling – Connor’s vice was women. At least he was honest, for the most part. He made no promises of a future or even exclusivity, all he tried to do was keep them separate.

For their own safety. And his.

And to avoid misunderstandings and the occasional cat fight.

“All right, all right. What do you need me to do and what do I get out of it?”

Connor snorted. “Bless your little mercenary heart.” When she rolled her eyes, he stood and strode to his desk near the window. “I need you to pick up Veronica at the airport tomorrow and in return, I’ll sponsor that 5K run for your favorite charity. The whole thing – advertising, T-shirts, food, water, permits – the whole ball of wax. What is it called? Remind me.”

“Helping Hands, raising money to build housing for the homeless.” She narrowed her gaze at him. “I can’t believe you’re asking me to babysit one of your women in order to get your support for a worthy cause.”

“Why not? I scratch your back, you scratch mine.” Connor hid a grin. He wouldn’t tell Rey he’d already sent a check to cover the sponsorship.

“Couldn’t you have arranged for a taxi to meet Veronica?”

Connor frowned, which only served to emphasize the sexy cleft in his chin. “I’d rather you handle this. She knows you and I are close.”

“She does?” Rey knew this information was meant to make her feel better, but it didn’t. She felt…vulnerable. Connor’s romantic liaisons were usually something she tried to ignore. She knew they were happening, she just didn’t want to get involved.

“Sure.” He stood up and came to sit on the arm of the couch next to her. Much to her dismay, Connor ruffled her hair. “You’re my buddy.”

Rey growled softly, her lip lifting in a tiny snarl. “Don’t call me that.” Growing up, her neighbor’s dog had been named Buddy. She didn’t enjoy the connotation. Moving away from him, Rey rose and stalked to the wet bar. The doorbell rang as she was about to take a bottle of water out of the small fridge. Instead, she went to the door and opened it, allowing the waiter to push a cart into the room laden with a silver domed platter and a bottle of Dom Perignon chilling in a bucket of ice.

Connor jumped up to greet his employee. “Jerry, how’s your little girl? Did she enjoy the dance recital?”

“She did, sir, and thank you for sending the roses. She’ll never forget it and neither will we.”

“Not a problem.” Connor fished out a twenty. “You tell Stacy that I plan to watch her dance in the Nutcracker next year.”

“I’ll do it, Mr. McGregor.” Jerry nodded at Rey before leaving. “Just ring if you need anything else.”

Once the waiter was gone, Rey tried to hold onto her annoyance but it was impossible. When she saw the sweet side of Connor McGregor, the considerate way he treated people, she just couldn’t stay angry at him. “When is Veronica’s flight and what do you want me to do with her after I pick her up?” Her tone was one of pained resignation.

“Bring Veronica back here and see her to her room, spend a little time with her, maybe share a cup of coffee.”

“Why not bring her here to the penthouse?”

“Oh, no. I use other rooms in the hotel for my assignations. I don’t bring women to my private suite.”

What was she? Chopped liver? “I see.” She picked up the dome and checked out the food, finding an appetizing array of hors d’oeuvres. “So, what will you be doing while I’m entertaining Veronica?”

Taking the champagne bottle, he deftly uncorked it, pouring each of them some in a fluted glass. “Veronica is coming in a day earlier than we originally planned. I had a previous engagement with Serena that I just couldn’t cancel. She’s counting on me to be her date at her mother’s birthday party.”

“You’re just too kind, aren’t you?” Rey accepted the glass and took an overly large sip, then sputtered and coughed when the bubbles went straight up her nose.

“Hey, are you all right?” Connor came to Rey and handed her a napkin. “Take it slow, you don’t drink much alcohol.”

Rey felt completely gauche. Each time she heard about plans Connor made with one of his many women, she never failed to compare herself with his conquests. She always came up short.

“I’m fine.” She set the glass down. “I need to drive home anyway. Text me Veronica’s flight and room info and I’ll take care of her. I should be paid extra for dealing with your harem, you know.”

“You probably should. Thanks, Rey.”

Rey was looking down and when he moved close, she jerked her head up. “No problem…” What would’ve been a thank-you kiss to her cheek, turned into a helluva lot more when her mouth accidentally collided with his.

Sizzle! Spark!

Whoops.

His mouth caressed hers and Rey’s heart stopped. Step back. Step back, she told herself. But her muscles refused to obey. Damnation! Why did this have to feel so good?

One second. Two seconds. Three. Caressing lips. The tease of a tongue.

Fuck.

Connor jerked back and Rey whirled around, making a grab for her purse, and heading out like a gazelle trying to outrun a hungry lion. Hmmm, maybe she did watch too much Animal Planet. “Getting late, I gotta go. Have a good night.”

“Yea, I forgot about your…date. You have a good time too.”

Rey just nodded, poking the elevator button thirty-odd times in just a few seconds. “Come on, come on,” she whispered.

“Rey…wait. I think we need to…” Connor called out, his voice getting closer with every word.

Whoosh!

The doors opened and Rey rushed in, punching the down button just as Connor reached the door. “Rey!” Connor slammed his hand against the elevator door. “What the hell just happened?” He’d been minding his own business, working out a plan to make everybody happy – and Boom! His assistant’s soft, plump lips had just gotten in his way. And when he’d felt them, tasted them, Connor had momentarily lost focus. “Fuck,” he swore again, realizing she was already gone. And knowing Rey, she was already halfway to the parking garage by now. He could have Security stop her, but something told him that wouldn’t be a wise thing to do.

Reviewing the events of the last few minutes, he tried to ascertain if he’d done something wrong. If not…why did he feel like he’d made a big mistake?

too-sexy-for-love-teaser-3

 

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B01MQWS1T2

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/too-sexy-for-love-sable-hunter/1125681012

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/2livjJs

iTunes:  http://apple.co/2lrEfYZ

Lots of sexy tension here! ♥♥♥ It looks like a wild ride!😉

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

 

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

too-sexy-for-love

Author Bio

sable

Sable Hunter is a New York Times, USA Today bestselling author of over 50 books in 9 series. She writes sexy contemporary stories full of emotion and suspense. Her focus is mainly cowboy and novels set in Louisiana with a hint of the supernatural. Sable writes what she likes to read and enjoys putting her fantasies on paper. Her books are emotional tales where the heroine is faced with challenges. Her aim is to write a story that will make you laugh, cry and swoon. If she can wring those emotions from a reader, she has done her job. Sable resides in Austin, Texas with her two dogs. Passionate about all animals, she has been known to charm creatures from a one ton bull to a family of raccoons. For fun, Sable haunts cemeteries and battlefields armed with night-vision cameras and digital recorders hunting proof that love survives beyond the grave. Welcome to her world of magic, alpha heroes, sexy cowboys and hot, steamy to-die-for sex. Step into the shoes of her heroines and escape to places where right prevails, love conquers all and holding out for a hero is not an impossible dream.

Author Links

Website:  http://sablehunter.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/huntersable

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/author/sablehunter

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4419823.Sable_Hunter

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/qRvyn

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

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

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sable-hunter

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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

New Release Feature: Desert Deception by author Susanne Matthews

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Susanne Matthews, an author I met during my journey! Her western romantic suspense, Desert Deception, officially released this month! Yay! That’s awesome, Susanne! :) Congrats on your new release!:)

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

Susanne is giving us a look at her new, suspenseful romance with a Western angle, Desert Deception, today.

desertdeception-900x1440

Great cover!

This is the blurb for Desert Deception:

Seeing is believing, or is it?

When high-powered Santa Fe attorney Casey Stevens reluctantly returns to Fortune for Gold Rush Days, she is drawn to Cole Walker Junior, but he is no longer the shy, quiet boy she recalls. Then again, Cole isn’t the only one who has changed. The town may be celebrating its past, but someone is trying to destroy its future. A hit and run accident leaves Fortune’s only lawyer in a coma, forcing Casey to choose between helping innocent people and running away once more. Can she face the demons of her past or will they destroy her this time?

Cole Warner has a secret identity, one he’s determined to protect at all costs. The police officer, volunteer firefighter, and part-time store owner, is also popular western novelist, CJ Coleson, who uses Fortune and its people as the inspiration for his books. Having Casey walk into his life turns it upside down. When someone starts using the murders in Cole’s books to stage a killing spree of their own, keeping his secret may be too costly, but admitting the truth could ruin any chance they have for a happily ever after.

As the bodies pile up and the buildings burn down, Casey and Cole have to work together to stop a madman with gold fever before more people die. The answer lies on Superstition Mountain or is it all a desert deception?

And here is an excerpt from Desert Deception to tease you with.

Casey stood on the sidewalk admiring her old hangout, letting the past claim her before pushing the brass handle to open the door. The antique bell tinkled, announcing her arrival just as it had years ago. Memories of the time spent in this place washed over her. The familiar aroma of coffee beans, exotic spices, candle wax, and old books surrounded her. Ceiling fans spun lazily—more for show than for cooling since the store was air conditioned. Eagerly, she stepped forward, anxious to see Mr. Walker again. They’d spent hours together going over maps and encyclopedias, examining the latest edition of National Geographic, discussing the wonderful places they would visit if they could.

While the front of the store looked just as it had with its mixture of real and reproduction Indian artifacts, crystals, polished petrified wood, and other memorabilia from the area, sadness filled her. No matter what he’d been doing, Mr. Walker had always come at the sound of the bell. Perhaps he didn’t own the store anymore. It was common practice for new owners to keep a business’s original name. Goodwill was a marketable commodity these days, and nowhere more so than in Fortune.

“Hello, is anyone here?” Her voice echoed in the emptiness of the shop.

A touch nervous—the insecurity of the past catching up with her—she moved through the archway into the addition that housed the bulk of the store’s retail items, passing by computer terminals and shelves heaped with books, candles, pottery, glassware, and native jewelry along with bags of fake gold dust and gold-plated nuggets. The walls boasted several decorative mirrors and watercolors of the mountains and the desert, as well as other wall hangings made of iron, wood, or some combination. She started when a man cleared his throat.

Looking in the direction of the sound, she was pleasantly surprised when a stranger stepped out from between two rows of shelves. The man was most definitely not the one she’d expected.

Tall, well over six feet, with broad shoulders and a narrow waist, he wore jeans that hugged him in all the right places and a tight-fitting green T-shirt with Walker’s Emporium emblazoned in bright, yellow letters on his chest under the outline of Superstition Mountain. Clean shaven, with warm brown eyes peering at her from behind large black framed glasses, the arms of which disappeared into hair the color of rich, dark chocolate, a touch too long and yet, just right on him, he was quite possibly one of the most attractive men she’d seen in a long time. His bronzed complexion testified to his Spanish ancestry and time outdoors, and from the biceps revealed by his shirt sleeves, he was no ordinary shopkeeper. Her mouth watered.

This man, familiar and yet not, drew her as none had ever done. He could have been a conquistador, one who’d been left behind when Coronado had abandoned his search for Cibola, the fabled seven cities of gold, the blood of his ancestors thick in his veins. As he approached, the scent of his sandalwood cologne tantalized her.

“Can I help you?” he asked, stopping next to the cash register a few feet away from her, his whiskey-smooth voice caressing her as did his bold gaze.

She cleared her throat, her tongue darting out to lick her dry lips. Calling on the persona she used in court, she smiled. “I was looking for Mr. Walker. Is he around?” Her heart pounded loudly in her ears. Could he hear it?

“I’m Cole Walker, but you must mean my dad, Senior. I’m sorry, but he isn’t here right now. Is there something I can do for you?”

This god is Cole Walker Junior? her brain screamed, as raging hormones threatened to take over and destroy what little common sense she’d managed to find.

“I … I didn’t recognize you,” she said haltingly, wondering whose husky voice that was.

She’d always liked Cole, the quiet, smart guy who’d smiled at her once in a while—the boy who’d kept to himself, carried books around, and wanted to learn things the way she had. At one time, she’d fantasized an entire relationship with him, one that had ended with a “happily ever after.” Mesmerized, her gaze searched his puzzled face, eventually finding the teenager she remembered in the chiseled features of the man before her. Like her, Cole had undergone massive physical changes. Even taller than he’d been, gone was his acne and hundred-pound weakling scrawny frame. Instead, she stared at perfection.

“I’m sorry I missed him. Where is he?” Not that it was any of her business.

“My parents are visiting my sister in Florida,” he answered easily, that downhome country friendliness in his voice, but his eyes betrayed his curiosity. “They travel a lot these days.”

“That’s great.” Her brain functioned again, albeit slowly. “I’ll bet he’s having a wonderful time. He always wanted to travel. We used to talk about all the places in the world we would visit—”

“You know my father?” The confusion in his voice matched his furrowed brow.

“I do.” Casey smiled. “When I was growing up in Fortune, this place was like my second home.”

He stared at her, making her feel a trifle uncomfortable. When she removed her sunglasses, the shock of recognition was enough to make her laugh.

“I don’t believe it. Cassandra Stevens? That can’t be you.”

The look on his face was one of stunned approval. Surprised he remembered her name, even if it was the one she despised, associating it with the bullied girl she’d been, she nodded. “In the flesh, but people call me Casey now.”

“I heard you were coming home for Gold Rush Days. Your mother talks about you all the time. So, you’re a big-city attorney. I’m impressed.” He looked her up and down again, the appreciative gleam in his eye hard to miss. “You’re a hell of an improvement over Mr. Stone.”

Horace Stone had been practicing law in Fortune for as long as she could remember. In fact, he’d been the one to trigger her interest in the career she’d chosen.

“Thanks. I guess Mom still feels the need to feed the gossip mill.” Her voice was laced with sarcasm. Some things hadn’t changed.

“Did you want something? Or did you stop by just to see my father?”

“Actually, I did, but since I’m here, I might as well pick up a new novel to read while I’m home.”

His gaze raked her once more, and Casey fought to maintain her casual stance. She wasn’t the fat girl with thick glasses, who’d walked through her teen years with her nose in a book, praying no one would notice her and would leave her alone. The carrot hair she’d hated had darkened to copper, and while it was still unmanageable at times, she’d learned to tame it when she had to. Her leather outfit hugged her curves, and although she was beginning to feel uncomfortably warm, she wasn’t sure if the cause was her clothing or the man standing in front of her.

Needing to cool off, she slowly unzipped her jacket the rest of the way, revealing the skin-tight, low cut tank top beneath. His eyes followed the gaping zipper teeth as they opened, the gesture making her feel even warmer.

“I can help you with that.” His voice was husky, his eyes fixed on her cleavage.

“Help me with what?” Her voice was breathy and so unlike hers she barely recognized it.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01MTP5V85

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6741113

Wow! This is getting sexy! ♥♥♥ It looks like a wild ride!😉

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

 

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

desertdeception-900x1440

Author Bio

susanne-matthews

Amazon bestselling author Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She is of French-Canadian descent. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but with a penchant for happily ever after romances. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Not content with one subgenre, Susanne writes romance that ranges from contemporary to sci-fi and everything in between. She is a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, or traveling to interesting places she can use as settings in her future books. In summer she enjoys camping with her grandchildren and attending various outdoor concerts and fairs. In winter, she likes to cuddle by the fire and watch television.

Author Links

Website:  http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/

Blog:  https://mhsusannematthews.wordpress.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jandsmatt

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Susanne-Matthews/e/B00DJCKRP4/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7009276.Susanne_Matthews

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/mhslm65/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SusanneMatthews

https://plus.google.com/u/0/105287857840974937988

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, new release, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Thriller/Suspense, western, Writing

New Release Feature: New Year, Baby! – Philadelphia Love Series – by author Lilly Christine

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Lilly Christine, an author I met during my journey! Her romantic comedy, New Year, Baby!, officially released at the end of October! Yay! That’s awesome, Lilly! :) Congrats on your new release!:)

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

Lilly is giving us a look at her new, funny contemporary romance, New Year, Baby!, which is part of the Philadelphia Love Series, a great set of holiday novellas, today.

new-year-baby-cover-web

Great cover!

This is the blurb for New Year, Baby!, the first book in the Philadelphia Love Series:

There were magical, moonlit kisses on the Schuylkill, when she was a freshman and he was a junior. . .

After years of friction, hipster filmmaker Jerk Derek and uptight divorce lawyer Pit Bull Mollie face off on a holiday commuter flight. Mollie can’t forgive him, so why is Derek still trying? It’s some weird kink! Sparks from the past turn explosive, and then combust, leading to the New Year’s Eve fireworks of a lifetime!

A little more about the rom-com series and Lilly’s take on it…

nyb-graphic-teaser

I first fell in love with Philadephia as a child. Born there, I remember learning to read via Sesame Street, playing in Fairmount Park and our cozy city-block stone house with the deep front porch. We moved to the country before I was five, but I could explore all the city had to offer on visits  to grandparents and aunts. Wanamakers, City Hall, Independence Hall, Betsey Ross House, Ben Franklin Press, the Zoo and the Thanksgiving Parade were childhood delights.  It’s been great fun to set my Philadelphia love series in that city. I hope you are transported.

And here is an excerpt from New Year, Baby! to tease you with.

Mollie couldn’t help it. Her laughter turned to giggles, then snorts, so she had to pinch her nose to contain herself. Derek just smiled, lowering his lips to suck foam from his draft IPA. Mollie’s eyes followed the tousled hair to his neck, his sexy, man smelling, broad muscular neck. The buzzy glow that warmed her stomach burned a little hotter, and she couldn’t help glancing at his wrists, those perfect man-wrists, clad in the grey lambswool sweater he’d pulled over his t-shirt, thick beneath the cuffs of his thick, worn leather jacket.

Mollie felt her knees clench.

What am I doing getting blitzed with Jerk Derek?

10:17 pm

“Boy’s Club?”  Derek was enjoying the pleasant buzz Mollie Ireland gave him, especially after a few beers.They were on the street now, waiting for a cab. “You pinned me as a Boy’s Club guy?”

“Undoubtedly,” Mollie said primly, busily tucking her scarf snugly into the collar of her double breasted sky blue merino wool coat.

“That’s right, you’re a lawyer,” he said, realizing the problem. “The practice where you work is inundated with Boy’s Club types, eh?”

“It is,” she admitted ruefully. “And I was married to one.”

“Who did you marry?” he asked.

“Win Calloway.”

“Oh, God…Win Calloway? How long did that last?”

“Two years. It was my starter marriage. I got a lot of really nice china and serving pieces out of it, which, of course, I never use.”

Looking disarmed and defenseless, her breath encapsulated in white puffs against stark night air, Mollie shivered, so Derek took his black wool watch cap from his jacket pocket and pulled it over her copper curls, down past her ears. Corkscrew tendrils streamed from it at odd angles as Mollie’s curious, pensive hazel eyes gazed at him from her heart-shaped face. Nervous now, she licked her lips, then caught the upper one in her teeth.

Something stabbed at his chest.

Mollie was no pit bull. Mollie looked a lot like the girl he’d kissed on the dock. Prettier, if that was possible.

Steering her towards the cab, Derek felt his smile broaden. After three old fashioneds and two draft IPA’s, he was feeling pretty good. “I’m sorry that things went south with Win Calloway, but after him, you should recognize me as Most Definitely Not Boy’s Club,” he told her.

“You are so Boy’s Club, Derek,” she asserted. He held her elbow as he grabbed the cab door. “You just don’t see it. Boy’s Club boys never do.”

They were in the cab now; space was tight. Mollie was lush and warm next to him, her hair coiling against his chin. He couldn’t understand how five feet five inches of non stop curves could be so sober after five drinks. The cabbie loaded her bag in the trunk, and when he got behind the driver’s seat, Derek gave the cabbie his address.

Mollie was not just sober. She was lucid, and if he wasn’t mistaken, she was warming up for a fight. Recognizing the gleam in her eye, he braced himself. Mollie raised a hand. Sticking one expensively gloved finger up at a time, her words came in condemning rapid-fire. “White-Educated-Good Looking-Way Too Confident-Oozing with Charm. That’s not Boy’s Club?”

All five of her fingers were in the air, but her voice sounded amused. “Admit it,” she charged, giving him a little grin, rolling her hazel eyes. “You’ve gone through life absolutely fawned over by mothers and teachers and nurses and secretaries.”

That was true. But, still. “It doesn’t make me Boy’s Club.”

They were at his corner now. He grabbed Mollie’s attache and his camera from the cab, and after the cabbie got her bag, they headed towards his place. Pulling her own suitcase, Mollie walked a straight line, her red bow- festooned pumps click-clicking on the sidewalk. “The females you come in contact with never say no. Guys like you always get your own way, Derek.”

He laughed, slipping the key in his lock. “If you say so.”

Mollie’s brow furrowed. “Wait. What are we doing here?”

Derek sidestepped the real question. “This is my place. I’m opening the door.”

“No, wait.” She waved a gloved hand in front of her face, foggy. “What time is it?”

“Just nine-thirty,” he lied, switching the light on. It was quarter to eleven. “I thought I’d feed you.”

“Oh, you thought?” she said, the ‘aw’ of the word thought too soft, almost slurred. “Like you thought you’d feed me three drinks on the plane and two more in a dive bar near Thirtieth Street Station?”

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01MG69KQX

Print Version:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/1519035926

Wow! The sparks are really flying here! What an interesting story! ♥♥♥ This looks like a fun ride!😉

Thank you for telling us about your book, Lilly! I know I can’t wait to read this romantic comedy series! And I look forward to seeing the sequels to New Year, Baby! 🙂

philadelphia-love-series

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

new-year-baby-cover-web

Author Bio

lilly-headshot

Lilly Christine’s debut novel, Crashing Into Tess, won TRW’s 2013 “Catherine Award”,  was a 2014 finalist in DRW’s “Best First Book”, and “Best Contemporary” categories, and is the first in the popular McGreers Series. Lilly returns to her birthplace for the setting of “Philadelphia Love!” an exciting new urban rom-com Holiday Novella Series! In 2017, look for Valentine, Baby!, Sing It, Baby! and Independence, Baby?

Lilly currently resides in Reno, Nevada. When not writing, she can be found walking her Daschahuahua rescue puppy on the Truckee River.

Sign up for Lilly News

I’m always available for book-signings, readings and appearances, especially to benefit my reader’s favorite animal shelters and rescues. Contact me at LillyChristine13@gmail.com, or find me on Facebook!

Reader Reviews are Important! If you enjoyed “New Year, Baby!” please post a reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBook and Goodreads. “Like” the Philadelphia Love FaceBook Page and find me on Twitter @LillyChristine1.

Author Links

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/3sg8X

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lilly.christine.71

https://www.facebook.com/PhiladelphiaLove1/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/lillychristine1

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Lilly-Christine/e/B00GLY93A2/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7276542.Lilly_Christine

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/lilly-christine-a4839bbb

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lillychristine1/

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

 

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Holiday, new release, Readers, Romance, romantic comedy, Writing

FREE Book Feature: A Cowboy’s True Colors by author Lana K. Dempsey

I am pleased to announce a cool book offer by author Lana K. Dempsey! The first book in The Mystical Traditions of Buckshaw Ranch Series, A Cowboy’s True Colors, is FREE on Amazon Kindle this weekend! Yay! Good for you, Lana! 🙂

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These free offers are very exciting for both authors and readers because we get to meet lots of new people! Lana’s free promo is scheduled to last for three days, from September 23rd to the 25th. So, swing by and check it out if you can!

Lana is giving us a look at this sexy, new adult Western paranormal romance today…

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Great cover!

This is the blurb for A Cowboy’s True Colors:

Everyone’s last year in high school is always chaotic. This is especially true for Astrid at White Wood School. As if having a bully, an absentee father, and a best friend with a big problem weren’t enough – she also has to deal with having a secret power. Anytime she sees someone, Astrid also sees a kaleidoscope of colors surrounding them. Each individual’s emotions swirl in a changing pattern, allowing her to know what they’re feeling. This sixth sense complicates her life further, especially when she meets the one person who’s colors she can’t read – Victor Berenger, a tall, handsome cowboy with smoldering eyes. Every time Astrid is around him, she thinks her heart will beat out of her chest. When she finds out he is equally drawn to her, she’s thrilled. The man certainly knows his way around the bedroom. Life seems just about perfect…until the day Astrid’s vision takes a new twist. A set of colors appear on the school grounds–only this time they aren’t attached to a human! A mystery unfolds that threatens Astrid and her friends. To her surprise, Victor holds a piece of the puzzle. Join these two as they learn one another’s secrets, as well as the hidden, magical history of White Wood School.

*Content Warning: Contains explicit scenes and language. Intended for 18+ Audience

And here is a nice excerpt and promo to tease you with.

For the briefest moment he stopped his scan of the room and studied her. Or was she remembering that wrong? She was never sure. Either way, his expression didn’t change and he continued his inventory of his fellow classmates. After that, he hadn’t spoken to her until the last couple of days.

“Ah, yes. I’m sorry about that, I was a bit distracted. It wasn’t for lack of interest, I assure you.” Victor pressed himself a little closer to her under the blanket.

“You don’t seem very distracted now.”

This made him laugh. “Honestly, I’ve been worried about my brother. Right now he seems a bit taken with your friend, so I feel a little less guilty about indulging in my own interests.”

“Is Reggie okay?” she asked.

When Victor didn’t answer right away, her mind raced through various possibilities. Maybe Reggie was sick. He hadn’t been to school; they’d only just met him tonight.

“I’m sorry, I really can’t share that with you right now.”

Astrid instantly regretted having asked. The lighthearted mood was gone. Dang it! She chided herself for having brought it up. Then she had an idea. Before she could talk herself out of it she leaned into him and with her open palm drew a long caress down the length of his thigh. She felt him freeze up. Afraid she might have offended him with her forwardness, she paused and tilted her head up a little bit in an attempt to read his face in the dim light.

How wrong she had been.

Victor met her upturned face with the full force of his lips on hers. His leather jacket whispered as he reached around and grabbed her by the back of the neck to pull her closer to him. Despite her heart beating so hard it seemed about to jump out of her chest, she turned into him draping her knee over his leg. She brushed against the bulge between his legs with her thigh. The warmth there and the image of what lay beneath those Levi’s made her melt entirely.

“I’ve wanted to kiss you for so long.” Victor practically growled the words when he finally pulled away from her long enough to speak.

“I want to do more than kiss you.”

The feel of her voice, hot and sultry against his neck, was enough to drive him wild. How had he held this in for so long?

“That can be arranged,” he told her, thinking ahead of places he could get them some privacy. Maybe next time at her house, before her mom comes home, he plotted.

“Where can we go? I’m not kidding, I want you now.” The urgency inside her would not be ignored. This new, demanding part of herself seemed to be taking over.

“Now?” His heart stuttered a beat as he realized she was completely serious. Again he grabbed her by the neck and kissed her long and hard, this time pushing his warm tongue past those sweet lips. Eagerly she responded, pressing her chest up against him and letting out a tiny moan.

That was it, he was completely undone. I will have her now, he said to himself. “This way.” His voice was thick with the ache of desire. Gathering up the blanket he draped it over his shoulder and grabbed her by the hand.

She followed silently, her body alive, vibrating to an age old rhythm. Watching him walk ahead of her, she suddenly felt a proprietary right to watch the roundness of his behind without restraint. It was beautiful and she couldn’t wait to see it in the flesh.

Lana teaser

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  myBook.to/ACowboysTrueColors

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-cowboys-true-colors-lana-k-dempsey/1123825650

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6238772

Ooh! ♥♥♥ This looks like a hot Western paranormal romance! 😉

Thank you for telling us about your book, Lana! I know I can’t wait to read it! 😀

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a FREE copy of this awesome book on Amazon today, tomorrow and Sunday!

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Author Bio

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I’m Lana, a lifelong Texan, dog lover, and writer of sensual romance. When I say ‘sensual romance’ I mean I include real life in my stories, and real life includes sex.

I divide my time between Austin Texas and a small family ranch not far from Shiner. Shiner is the home of Shiner beer, I’ve been known to stop off at their tasting room before rolling up my sleeves to get to work on the ranch. Like many Texans I’ve got a bit of everything in me, German, Native American, and some Creole influence. Nothing like a little spice to liven things up.

Writing is much like reading; I need to feel the story in the same way a reader would. I adore leading men who are strong, but aren’t afraid to love. My goal is to fall in love as I write, it’s the only way my reader will as well.

Come with me and get to know a hot cowboy or two. It’ll be fun!

Author Links

Website:  http://www.lanadempsey.com

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/lanadempsey1

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Lana-K.-Dempsey/e/B01DWSO7LO/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15166226.Lana_K_Dempsey

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

Books:

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

Happy reading, everyone!   😉

 

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Book Giveaways, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, western

Blog Tour Feature: Hell Yeah! Kindle World Tour

I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Sable Hunter, an author I met during my journey! She is well know for her ‘Hell Yeah!’ sexy book series, and this time she’s invited a bunch of authors in her circle to participate as part of Hell Yeah! That’s awesome, Sable! :)

Kindle World Tour

All of the books in the Hell Yeah! Kindle World tour came out on August 9th. When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for an author!

About the Hell Yeah Kindle World:

Connected by blood ties and bonds of friendship, the Hell Yeah! world chronicles the lives and loves of a family of Texas men and women, the McCoys, who live by the code of the cowboy. Adventure, unabashed sexual tension and tender intimacy plays out in a saga of stories that offer action and humor, all set in scenic locales from the Hill Country of Texas to the mysterious bayous of Louisiana. The plots of the tales are as varied as our own lives can be, but the world is one where right prevails, love conquers all, and holding out for a hero is not an impossible dream.

Sable is presenting us with all ten books in the Kindle World tour as well as a bit about each author. But first, let’s hear a little about awesome author Sable Hunter…

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Sable Hunter is a New York Times, USA Today bestselling author of nearly 50 books in 7 series. She writes sexy contemporary stories full of emotion and suspense. Her focus is mainly cowboy and novels set in Louisiana with a hint of the supernatural. Sable writes what she likes to read and enjoys putting her fantasies on paper. Her books are emotional tales where the heroine is faced with challenges. Her aim is to write a story that will make you laugh, cry and swoon. If she can wring those emotions from a reader, she has done her job. Sable resides in Austin, Texas with her two dogs. Passionate about all animals, she has been known to charm creatures from a one ton bull to a family of raccoons. For fun, Sable haunts cemeteries and battlefields armed with night-vision cameras and digital recorders hunting proof that love survives beyond the grave. Welcome to her world of magic, alpha heroes, sexy cowboys and hot, steamy to-die-for sex. Step into the shoes of her heroines and escape to places where right prevails, love conquers all and holding out for a hero is not an impossible dream.

Website:  http://www.sablehunter.com

So prolific! I’m impressed. 🙂

Now let’s learn more about the Hell Yeah! Kindle World.

The Song of Her Sighs by Lana K. Dempsey

Sex, secrets and second chances

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Here is the blurb.

Rodney Regent works hard running the family ranch, and it shows in every rock-hard muscle on his body. Known for his jaw-dropping smile, he has captured the hearts of women, young and old, all over the small Texas town he calls home. Rodney is single and loving it, until he sees a photograph that grabs his heart and won’t let go. As his luck would have it, the one woman he has always wanted is engaged to someone else. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t forget her.
Then the news comes that Joseph and Cady McCoy will visit Regent Ranch. The change they bring with them includes more than just Cady’s magic touch, it brings the woman of Rodney’s dreams to his doorstep.

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/2sYMkFt

Author Bio

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I’m Lana, a life long Texan, dog lover, and writer of sensual romance. When I say ‘sensual romance’ I mean I include real life in my stories, and real life includes sex.

I divide my time between Austin, Texas and a small family ranch not far from Shiner. Shiner is the home of Shiner beer, I’ve been known to stop off at their tasting room before rolling up my sleeves to get to work on the ranch. Like many Texans I’ve got a bit of everything in me, German, Native American, and some Creole influence. Nothing like a little spice to liven things up.

Writing is much like reading, I need to feel the story in the same way a reader would. I adore leading men who are strong, but aren’t afraid to love. My goal is to fall in love as I write, it’s the only way my reader will as well.

Come with me and get to know a hot cowboy or two. It’ll be fun!

Grab The Song of Her Sighs now!

Website:  http://www.lanadempsey.com/

Man of My Heart by Desiree Holt

An up and coming music star, a bitter security agent, and a man bent on revenge. Can real love emerge from all of this?

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Here is the blurb.

Jasmine Grey is an up and coming country rock star, just completing a successful tour opening for a top country rock group. If only her bass player, Cobra, would leave her alone. When he attacks her the last night of the tour she is so shaken she retreats from everything and buys a home in the Texas Hill Country. She is still spooked, however, by memories of Cobra and his vows of vengeance. Her cousin, Libby McCoy, Aron’s wife, insists she needs protection. Enter Caleb Branam, former Delta Force, now an agent for The Omega Team.

Caleb took himself off the active roster after a hostage rescue went wrong and members of his team were killed, but Aron manages to persuade him to take on the job of Jasmine’s bodyguard. As the days go by and she is writing music for her new album, the attraction between them grows more and more intense. When she returns to the road and Cobra begins his campaign of harassment, it will be up to Caleb to stop it for good and for both of them to realize what they feel for each other is the real deal. But will they be able to?

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/gjHwf2I

Author Bio

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Known the world over as the oldest living author of erotic romance, and referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, Desiree Holt is three times a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award (and a winner in 2014), a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award winner for best BDSM book of the year, and winner of the Holt Medallion for Excellence in Romance Literature. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times and numerous other national and international publications.

“Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.” (Romance Junkies)

Grab Man of My Heart now!

Website:  http://www.desireeholt.com/

Cowboy’s Break by Lexi Post

Vance Gallagher never had an investigation so close to home. What if breaking the case means losing the woman he loves…again?

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Here is the blurb.

Cowboy and former detective Vance Gallagher never thought he’d have a second chance to convince Rachel Henderson they were meant to be together, nor did he think he’d want to. Now, after seven years, thanks to his old police academy friend, Vance is knee deep in numbers and computers, determined to save Rachel’s ranch and his own heart.

Rachel hadn’t expected to see Vance again…ever. In fact, she planned on it. Saying goodbye to him had been the hardest thing she’d ever done, but she couldn’t handle her sister, the ranch, and his job as an undercover detective all at the same time. Now she’s with him every day and buried feelings just won’t go away.

The closer Vance gets to solving the mystery of the missing money, the more convinced he becomes that Rachel is the one for him. But when prize animals start disappearing, he has to choose between revealing the culprit and keeping the woman he’s always loved from harm. He just can’t catch a break.

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/gwUHvHe

Author Bio

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Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of sensuous romance inspired by the classics. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the literature she loved while reading her favorite romance authors. It wasn’t long before she decided to marry her two first loves. From hot paranormals to sizzling cowboys to hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides a steamy read with a “whole lotta story.”

Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.

Grab Cowboy Break now!

Website:  http://www.lexipostbooks.com/

Seducing Sarah by Maddie James

Can a love-at-first-sight weekend turn into the happily-ever-after neither of them are sure they even want?

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Here is the blurb.

When Cole Stevens travels from Montana to Texas to close a business deal with his old friend, Heath McCoy, he never expects to close in on a relationship, too. But with one brief moment of contact in the airport with a pretty young woman carrying a guitar, his heart starts to unravel.

Sarah McClendon, fresh out of the gate after landing the runner-up spot on American Star, is touted as the up-and-coming country music star of the year. When she tangles with her manager at the Highlands Ranch annual barbecue, Cole steps up to the plate to protect her from the smarmy, poor excuse of a human being.

But it’s just a weekend, right? Cole will be back home on the ranch in Montana come Monday, and Sarah has a career to get off the ground. Can a love-at-first-sight weekend turn into the happily-ever-after neither of them are sure they even want?

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/eGo14mv

Author Bio

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Maddie James writes romance – but don’t try to pin her down to one genre! From edgy suspense to flirty contemporary romance to darker erotic titles, she just wants to silence the people in her head.

She is the bestselling author of forty-two romance titles published worldwide in at least seven languages. Available in ebook, trade paperback and audio, her titles span the romance genre from contemporary to paranormal romance. Winner of the Calico Trails Cameo Award, and the Romance Book Scene’s Best Novella of the Year award, Maddie has enjoyed numerous Top Pick and 5-star reviews, and has been listed as a Top 100 Contemporary Romance author at Amazon. Affaire de Coeur says, “James shows a special talent for traditional romance,” and RT Book Reviews claims, “James deftly combines romance and suspense, so hop on for an exhilarating ride.”

Grab Seducing Sarah now!

Website:  http://www.maddiejames.net/ 

Cadillac Cowboy by Cynthia D’Alba

Hold on for the ride of a lifetime.

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Here is the blurb.

A Texas lawman finds more than fall foliage during a drive in an antique convertible Cadillac to his new home.

Newly-hired Texas cop Shade Gruber agrees to drive his grandmother’s prize car from Chicago to his new home in Big Branch. He expects some car issues. He doesn’t expect to pick up a runaway bride.

On the run from her mobster fiancé, Victoria Vaught dashes from the church thirty minutes before the I Do’s. Stranded in her bridal attire by an unreliable car, she starts walking, needing as far from Chicago as possible.

Their road to love is filled with twists, turns and bumps. Hanging on to the one you love can be roller coaster ride with surprising results.

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/4spm8q3

Author Bio

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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Cynthia D’Alba started writing on a challenge from her husband in 2006 and discovered having imaginary sex with lots of hunky men was fun.

She was born and raised in a small Arkansas town. After being gone for a number of years, she’s thrilled to be making her home back in Arkansas living in a vine-covered cottage on the banks of an eight-thousand acre lake.

When she’s not reading or writing or plotting, she’s doorman for her two dogs, cook, housekeeper and chief bottle washer for her husband and slave to a noisy, messy parrot. She loves to chat online with friends and fans.

Grab Cadillac Cowboy now!

Website:  http://cynthiadalba.com/

Boardroom Cowboy by Kandi Silvers

A Texas Cowboy and a Vegas businesswoman merge for a venture too hot for the boardroom.

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Here is the blurb.

CEO Vanessa Lockhart has had her fill of controlling men. So when she decides to take a few days off in the Lone Star State to kick up her booted heels with a little shopping and a night on the town, she doesn’t count on meeting Carson, getting ruthlessly kissed, or ending up in bed with the cute cowboy. A two-day Texas fling? Why not? A girl only lives once. After all, she’ll have something for her memoirs—until she goes back to work in Nevada to meet her new CFO…and in walks her Texas cowboy. Vanessa’s divorcing one man and doesn’t need another—too bad Carson has other ideas.

Carson Cutes didn’t plan to pick up Vanessa at the bar or spend two fun days and two hotter nights with the beauty. But it isn’t an issue since she blows out of town without a goodbye. When his godfather asks for help with his new hotel venture—he never expected to end up in Las Vegas or for the CEO to be the one woman he can’t get out of his mind. What’s a cowboy to do? He doesn’t believe in love at first sight—but now has doubts. How can he convince a girl under neon lights that she holds his Texan heart?

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/58YbJgr

Author Bio

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Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, I still call Sin City home. I’ve always been a sucker for romance novels and movies, especially romantic comedies. Writing is more than just words to me; it’s capturing slices of characters’ lives and sharing them with the reader. I’m a firm believer that heroes and heroines had a life before page one of any story and their past as well as life experiences, made them who they are.

Coming from the southwest I have a major soft spot for cowboys, but also love suspense, a bit of intrigue and kick-ass heroines. Of course, there is always the time to slip in a good paranormal. I try to keep my writing diverse and always on the naughty side.

Happy reading!

Grab Boardroom Cowboy now!

Website:  http://www.kandisilvers.com/

Until There Was You by Ciana Stone

His fate is in her hands … her heart is in his.

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Here is the blurb.

Lola’s life is filled with mysteries. Why did her parents abandon her as a baby? What’s behind the baffling blackouts she suffers and the frightening images she creates while she’s out? Who is the strange woman claiming to hold the answers – and why does she say Lola has a life or death mission to perform?

Morgan has a few mysteries of his own. What was his father going to give him on the day he died, the gift he said would change Morgan’s life? Who is this bewitching woman who passes out upon meeting him and creates pictures of his past and future?

And was she really sent to save his life or is she in need of psychiatric help?

All they both know is that from the moment they meet a bond is formed and it is stronger and more passionate than anything either has ever known. And that fate has brought them together for a very important reason.

If only they knew what it was…

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/4H4TApM

Author Bio

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Happily-ever-after is something Ciana believes in with her whole heart. Love may be a bumpy road and there’s bound to be some perils along the way but in the end love should win. She tries to take that attitude into her writing and thinks that love, hope and laughter are some of the best medicine there is.

Along with books.

She loves to hear from readers and the most important thing she thinks she can ever say is – “thank you. To every reader who has spent his or her hard-earned reading dollars on a Ciana Stone book, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Grab Until There Was You now!

Website:  http://www.cianastone.com/

Gun Shy by Sabrina York

The last thing he expected when he blew into town was a reason to stay.

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Here is the blurb.

Returning to his hometown to sell his hated father’s ranch, the last thing Andrew Grant expects to find on his first day in town is a reason to stay. But there she is, Melissa Divine. The girl he loved all those years ago.

But Melissa has changed since those innocent days. She’s just escaped from a hellish marriage and wants nothing to do with any man. Especially not this big, burly alpha biker who reminds her of her ex.

Can this former SEAL change her mind before his time runs out?

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/dHCoj0G

Author Bio

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Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & steamy to scorching romance.

Grab Gun Shy now!

Website:  http://sabrinayork.com/

Her Hell Yeah Cowboy by Donna Michaels

Years ago, he unknowingly rescued his soulmate; now she’s back in Texas and about to save his guarded heart.

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Here is the blurb.

Unlike his twin, Texas National Guardsman Sgt. Logan McCall would rather march barefoot and blindfolded through a cow pasture than date the same woman twice. After an active duty injury during a flood washed away his promising sports career and engagement years ago, Logan guards his heart more than his life until, fresh from deployment, he runs into a friend of the McCoys…literally. Hill Country’s newest resident is hotter than the wing sauce soaking into his shirt.

Mission on.

Graphic designer and carrier of misfortune, Chloe Davis is a danger to herself and those around her, so entertaining thoughts for the sexy cowboy wearing her hot sauce should be a no-no…not a hell yeah—especially considering he’s the guardsman linked to a horrible instance in her past. But when he turns out to be one of her clients, she can no more avoid him than the attraction sizzling between them. Chloe’s back in Texas determined to make a fresh start, and she succeeds in business but fails to resist the handsome soldier’s relentless pursuit.

But when he discovers her past, will he trust his heart or lose her forever?

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/9Q8pFrH

Author Bio

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It’s all my mother’s fault.

She read to me before I could read and opened up that magical world where I still reside today. Then came television and movies. Now I had three avenues to feed my imagination…and boy could I eat!

As you no doubt figured out, this led to my writing career. After several starts in between having a son, twin sons then a daughter, I didn’t get serious until my youngest child entered 1st grade. Now, I’m multi-published with several publisher and self-published in e-Book and print with a ton of voices in my head. I love those voices! They helped me achieve award-winning status, and become a New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author. Hope they never stop!

Grab Her Hell Yeah Cowboy now!

Website:  http://donnamichaelsauthor.com/

Saddle and a Siren by Randi Alexander

He can’t help falling for her, but will she break her hero’s heart?

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Here is the blurb.

Responding to a late night 911 call, Paramedic Clint Black finds a T-boned pickup truck and livestock trailer tipping precariously at the edge of the highway. The injured driver is more concerned with her cattle than with her own welfare. She surprises Clint with her desperate need of his help for more than just her medical problems.

Kally Zappa hasn’t exactly been telling her family the truth. By taking on complete responsibility for her Chiangus breeding stock, she has left herself in a risky position. When her paramedic hero Clint turns out to be the answer to all her problems, and her heart races at his every touch, she can’t help wonder whether fate has tossed them together.

Finding in each other the missing part of their existence, Kally and Clint explore the captivating physical connection that keeps them running for the privacy of his bedroom. But when Clint believes she has ulterior motives for being with him, can Kally find the right words to convince Clint he is her forever hero?

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/1I9SOFi

Author Bio

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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Randi Alexander knows a modern woman dreams of an alpha cowboy who takes the reins, and guarantees they’re rode hard and put up satisfied.

Published with Cleis Press, Wild Rose Press, and self-published, Randi writes smokin’ hot romance with heroes who’ll have you begging to ride off into the sunset with them. When she’s not dreaming of, or writing about, rugged cowboys, Randi is biking trails along remote rivers, snorkeling the Gulf of Mexico, or practicing her drumming in hopes of someday forming a tropical rock band.

Forever an adventurous spirit with a naughty imagination, Randi is also family oriented and married to the best guy in the world, her own cowboy, Kick. Give in to the allure of erotic passion, strong but vulnerable heroines, and irresistibly seductive cowboys, as Randi’s emotional love stories sweep you off your feet and leave you breathless with passion.

Saddle up! And prepare yourself for the sexier side of happily ever after.

Grab Saddle and a Siren now!

Website:  http://randialexander.com/

 

Oh, yum! These books looks great! Cowboys have a certain magic touch, don’t they?

Thank you for telling us about your awesome Hell Yeah! Kindle World book tour, Sable! I know readers can’t wait to get ahold of these! 😀 Visit Sable’s Hell Yeah! Kindle World page on her website for more info on this tour.

Kindle World Tour

Thanks again to Sable and all the talented authors who participated in this project! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, new release, participants, Readers, Romance, western

A Character Interview with Izzy from DANDELIONS plus a conversation with author Vivienne Vincent!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Lana K. Dempsey’s character on July 28th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Vivienne Vincent, the debut author of Dandelions, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Elizabeth Goodenough (Izzy for short) from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Vivienne in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Izzy!

Izzy

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

Character Izzy: Thank you for having me, Marie.

Marie:  Of course! It’s my pleasure!

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

Izzy:  Sure.

Marie:  So, what is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Izzy: When I was younger, I wanted to be an Ivy League student. But my family did not have enough money and I failed to get a scholarship. Which is sad because I was a really good student until Saber came along and broke my heart. The worst part is, I was in the final year of high school.

Later I took a few courses that qualified me to work as a typist. I was able to get a menial secretarial job at a newspaper office.

I was not in love with my job because I was overworked and underpaid. Also, my boss was always trying to flirt with me. He would keep staring at me which made me uncomfortable. But life does not always offer enough options to walk away.

Marie:  Oh… 😦 Sorry to hear that. I think we’ve all had those jobs that we’d rather not have…

And you’re right. It’s not always easy to get out. Let’s try another question.

Tell us…what is your family like?

Izzy: My parents died in a car crash soon after I was born. I was raised by my Grandma who was a fabulous woman. She used to work for Saber’s family. She bought me a puppy when I was eight. Saber named my puppy Dandelion.

Dandelion died when I was eighteen. And soon after I finished high school, Grandma also left me. It was just an awful year for me.

So I moved to New York to live with my uncle whose wife was a real shrew. Once I found a job, I left their place and moved into a studio apartment.

There was no real family after Grandma until Saber came back into my life.

Marie:  Really so sorry to hear you’ve had such misfortune…

Let’s try something else, okay?

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

Izzy:  Oh, it was a very small house. Grandma and I did not share a room but it was quite cramped. I loved flowers so much but there was no garden. Although, later I learned that as long as you have a roof over your head, you should not be complaining.

Marie:  Very true…

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

Izzy:  I enjoy reading books. I love Emily Dickinson. When I was little I used to read a lot of fairy tales. When I grew up I fell in love with stories about vampires. I love watching cartoons and dunking muffins in a warm cup of tea. Muffins taste so much better that way.

Oh, and I read the tabloids regularly.

Marie:  Hmm…I’ll have to try that muffin thing. And I can’t blame you about the vampires! 😉

So, what is your greatest dream?

Izzy: As a little girl, the dream was to marry Prince Charming and live happily ever after. After the evil wizard broke my heart, I pretty much lost track of everything.

I spent a lot of time daydreaming, though. I kept telling myself that Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs made it so there was no reason that I couldn’t. Of course they were only pipe dreams.

But now that Saber and I are back together and he’s promised to become a better person, I want to see him live up to his promise. I am sure he will not let me down.

Marie: All right.

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

Izzy:  Well, if you look at my life, it’s pretty clear what went wrong. But life does not always work the way we think it should. All we can do is choose the best possible option.

Marie: That’s true.

I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Izzy: Saber, and he is the love of my life. I know he has his flaws and perhaps I forgave him too easily. But I don’t like to be a drama queen. Also, when you are in love, you can either play tough and be egotistical, or understand and accept the other person.

Marie: That’s right. And it’s better to realize someone has flaws, loving them for every facet of their character than to love an idealized version of that person.

So…let’s try another question.

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

Izzy: Life is a series of events. It’s difficult to pinpoint a single moment. I don’t think that one tragic event alters a person altogether. For me, it started when my dog died. Saber picked the worst moment to do what he did. He broke me so bad that I was no longer able to focus on my studies.

Then Grandma passed away and putting up with my aunt was nothing short of torture.

And, of course, the mistake that I made at the newspaper office, which brought me face to face with Saber, was a nightmare.

It’s been a tough journey but I am glad that things worked out.

Marie:  Me too! I’m still sorry about your hardships…

[Briefly touches her guest’s hand.]

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

[Izzy 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?

Izzy:  Well, in one sense I did not achieve my dream but in another way I did. I did not get to be an Ivy League graduate. I was not able to have the kind of financial security and independence a stable job would have provided. But I am glad that Saber and I ended up together.

Marie:  Indeed! (Sighs.) I love romance…♥

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So, who is your role model, Izzy?

Izzy:  I admired my Grandma a great deal. She was honest, hard-working, and very wise. After Saber broke my heart, she told me that “There are no Rhett Butlers and Darcys in real life. Only Heathcliffs.”

Grandma was tough but she was also incredibly kind and gentle. Sometimes I wonder if Saber had had her for a mother figure instead of his Grundy grandmother, he would have been very different.

Marie: That’s possible, but we also can’t change the past, no matter how much we wish. All we can do is make the best of what happened, try to better ourselves for the future.

It sounds like your grandmother was a very special person.

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Izzy: Not really. I am not much of a diplomat.

Marie:  Okay.

Can you tell us something else? What is your deepest desire?

Izzy:  At this point in my life, I just want to see Saber live up to his full potential. I think that he has a good heart. But peer pressure combined with other factors can make people do things that are contrary to their nature.

Marie:  That’s true.

How about one last question?

What is your greatest fear?

Izzy:  I don’t have any fears. Not anymore. I feel safe with Saber. He has given me a great deal of confidence.

Marie: That’s great!

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

(Waves goodbye to her guest.)

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

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Author Vivienne Vincent: Hi, Marie, thank you so much for having me.

Marie: Really, the honor is mine. 😀

So, we just got to talk to a female character from your story, Elizabeth Goodenough, or rather, Izzy. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Vivienne: Izzy is an ordinary girl. I think she is pretty easy to relate to. Over the course of the book, we can see her evolve. She is very dreamy and naïve. She has a good heart, which makes her vulnerable. She is not a strong, feminist role model. But the way the book ends, I think that she has the potential to become one.

Marie:  All right.

What are your character’s greatest strengths?

Vivienne:  She is a good girl. She’s very kind. Because she has such a good heart, she thinks that the world works the same way. Being too naïve is certainly a flaw but she learns. She is very smart and intelligent. She is witty. She has the ability to become a strong woman who can bring out the very best in others as well.

Marie:  Great!

And what are your character’s greatest weaknesses?

Vivienne: I think her love for Saber could be considered a weakness. She is too dreamy and gullible. She lives in a world of her own where she forgets that fairy tales might have a Prince Charming but there’s often an evil wizard involved. When reality slaps her in the face, she is unable to deal with it. Our perception of the world depends on how we treat others. So her attitude toward Saber might be a weakness, but I cannot call it a flaw.

Marie:  I think we all have certain people we can’t resist, for one reason or another.

So, what are some of Izzy’s favorite foods?

Vivienne: She is a simple girl. She does not have expensive taste. You might remember how much she hated caviar? She likes pizza, tea, and muffins. She also likes to munch on junk food late at night.

Marie:  (Laughs.) Well, who doesn’t?

How about another question?

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

Vivienne: One important thing to remember about Izzy is that we do not see the complete evolution of her character in the book. The book ends with the possibility of what is going to happen next. The way I see it, refusing to sign the prenup and taking a stand so that Saber will apologize means she is ready to become a more resilient woman. She starts becoming aware of what she is capable of.

Marie:  Nice!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Vivienne: That is something only the readers can tell. I have received some really, really hateful comments about Saber but the good thing is that most of the people admitted that they were eventually able to forgive him.

Izzy, on the other hand, is a likable character. There might be times when the reader wonders who is that dumb? But if we remember being young and vulnerable, all of us have been there. We learn with experience.

I never meant to create characters that my readers will fall in love with. No one is perfect or absolutely adorable. But I think that Izzy is likable and Saber is memorable.

Marie: Thank you for your honesty.

And you’re right. No one can be perfect. I think that most readers like to see ‘human’ characters who have strengths and flaws just like anyone else.

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

What first gave you the idea for Dandelions?

Vivienne: Four years of unemployment. I had so much free time on my hands and I thought why not write a book? The kind of book you read for fun when life starts to get on your nerves. Saber’s character had been there inside my head for quite some time along with a few other male protagonists. Actually, this was Saber’s story, not Izzy’s.

Marie:  Interesting how the muse works, huh? :)

Let’s try something else.

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

Vivienne: With Dandelions, I was a total pantser. When I started writing, all I had was Saber’s character in my head. Details of his interaction with Izzy were vague. But I have definitely learned my lesson. I want to be a plotter in the future.

Marie:  Can’t blame you there…I am a little of both. I let the ideas flow as much as I can, and then I start plotting around what I already have.

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

Vivienne: I think that writing is very difficult. It requires focus and women have to juggle so much at the same time. As a writer you don’t get to take a break. Ideas are always there; they pop up at random moments, and if you don’t jot them down right away, they vanish into thin air.

Like any other writer, I had my fair share of writer’s block. But there was something worse. When changes were suggested during edits, first of all, I could not figure out what and how to change. I would make one little change and that would change the entire chapter. Sometimes the whole book was affected.

During the course of edits, I had to do a lot of research which should have been done when the book was written. But I did not always plan to publish it.

I have been a Harlequin reader for a very long time, so I sent it to one of their imprints. I was rejected. I sent it to a lot of other publishers and agents. All of them turned me down. I think I must have sent it to more than a hundred publishers, I cannot even recall how many. Maybe fifty agents. Those who were nice enough, politely turned me down. Most of them didn’t even reply.

But I was determined so I thought about self-publishing. And then out of the blue, one publisher told me that it’s an interesting story but there are certain flaws; rapid shift of POV, head-hopping, and telling the story instead of showing etc. I had no idea what those terms meant but I was glad to receive constructive criticism and I started working on the book again so that I could resubmit the manuscript.

But then, I received an e-mail from Solstice. They accepted the manuscript and assigned an editor, Debbie Rowe, who helped me overcome a lot of problems. Dandelions was written in third person and Debbie told me to rewrite the book in first person so that I could avoid certain issues.

And it has been an amazing experience.

For my next book, I want to have a better outline and work at a consistent pace instead of sleep deprivation and starvation.

Marie:  (Laughs.) If you’re anything like me, sleep deprivation and starvation are pretty much a part of the job description.

It’s fascinating to hear about your journey, and what you learned from it. 😉

So much goes into the process, and we need all the help we can get.

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 Dandelions appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this sexy, contemporary romance by Vivienne Vincent, a very talented author! :)

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Here is the blurb for Dandelions:

“There are no Rhett Butlers and Darcys in real life. Only Heathcliffs.”

An avant-garde romance that goes beyond sexual chemistry and digs deep into human nature and relationships.

Elizabeth Goodenough met Saber Fergus for the first time when she was eight and he was twelve. He broke her heart when she was eighteen. Ten years later, an unwitting mistake on Izzy’s part once again brings her face to face with the same one-night stand that once brutally crushed her.

But something seems different this time. Has her dark knight really transformed into a knight in shining armor, or is he playing her all over again?

Vivienne is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

At this point, Saber cracked a crooked grin and asked, “What’s his name?”

His flat voice became ebullient. His mischievous smile created subtle wrinkles around his deep-set, ebony eyes. They were shining far more brightly than the stars I spent hours staring at trying to figure out which ones were my parents.

“I haven’t named him yet. I got him only about a week ago. I am still thinking of a name.”

“Got him or stole him? Just like you were trying to steal our flowers.”

He was teasing me and it was working.

“You cannot steal flowers. Flowers belong to Mother Earth and Mother Earth belongs to all of us.”

“This part of Mother Earth belongs to me, so I own everything in here including wicked little girls with their hideous looking sons of bitches.”

The way that stiff-necked boy retaliated right away, it became clear that he was not someone easy to take down.

He continued. “So since both of you belong to me, why don’t I name him for you? Dandelion. How is it?”

“Dandelion?” The name made me smile. “I like it. I will call him Dandelion. Now he has an actual name. Grandma says once you have a name, you become a real person. Dandelion too is a real person now.”

“No, he is still an ugly son of a bitch. Do you like the dandelion collection over there?”

“It’s beautiful. I wish I had some in my house, but our house is too small and we don’t have a garden.”

“You can take one from here. Come with me.”

Saber moved toward the garden and I followed him. He plucked a dandelion and handed it to me. It was my first time holding one. I was staring at the delicate dandelion when Saber came close and blew right into it making it vanish into thin air. I was still trying to figure out what had happened when I heard a giggle.

“You are a meanie,” I told him.

“Am I?”

His eyes shone like a polished apple. He snatched the stem out of my hand and flicked it. It fell on the ground.

“Dandelions are far too delicate. They are just an illusion. They look real but they never last. Here.” He plucked a red rose and gave it to me. “Take this instead. Red roses are far more resilient.”

Ooh! Interesting! 🙂

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01IG97RCU

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dandelions-vivienne-vincent/1124112948

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6423501

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/dandelions/

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

About Vivienne Vincent

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Vivienne Vincent grew up in a fairly conservative environment which ironically sparked her interest in unconventional subjects and romance novels. As a young girl she became interested in novels from the Victorian era as well as modern day romance. She is pretty much obsessed with British and American sitcoms and crime series. Look her up on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with her. She loves to hear from readers.

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Book:

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

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Vivienne-Vincent-850442295083956/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VivienneVincen8

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2abR73V

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/57734728-vivienne-vincent

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15486427.Vivienne_Vincent

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/vivienne-vincent/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Izzy, a female character from Dandelions, and Vivienne Vincent, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! :)

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