Friday, August 28, 2015

A Perfect 10: PLAYING WITH TROUBLE by Chanel Cleeton!

PLAYING WITH TROUBLE – Chanel Cleeton 
A Perfect 10 
Capital Confessions, 
 Book 2 
Penguin/InterMix 
ISBN-13:  978-0-698-19364-2 
July 2015 
Contemporary Romance 

 





Washington, D.C. – Present Day 

The first day Blair Reynolds entered Graydon Canter's class in Hannover School of Law changed her life.  Hannover wasn't the most prestigious law school, but after finding her groom-to-be with another man the day of their wedding and stopping the wedding had her struggling to decide what to do.  Her father is prominent Senator Edward Reynolds and on the Senate Intelligence Committee.  Gossip about Blair leaving the wedding appeared on the  Capital Confessions Blog,  and while used to being in the political spotlight all her life, law school was just a last ditch effort to decide what to do with her life.  Although any gossip shouldn't be blamed on her; when her father revealed he had an illegitimate daughter, Jackie, the family has also had to deal with that scandal.  But, she soon realizes law school might not be for her, especially when she is being called on every week by Professor Canter to present briefs. 

Graydon Canter noticed Blair the first day of class and was immediately attracted to her.  Unfortunately, Gray isn't a regular professor, he's only there because the school had an emergency and needed a teacher.  Gray had a spectacular career in a medical malpractice law firm in Chicago with the fast track to the top.  Gray stated drinking, doing drugs, womanizing that caused a divorce, and was asked by his firm to go into rehab and then let go.  He knows he eggs Blair on, but he can't help himself.  As Blair and Gray start to get to know each other, Gray strives to keep it from getting too serious.  Dating one of his own students could cause trouble for both of them, trouble he doesn't need after what happened to him.  But  Capital Confessions  keeps writing about Blair and bringing him into it.  Neither one of them needs gossip about their relationship going public. 

Blair also has a younger sister, Kate, who is obsessed with her dead fiancé.  He died in some sort of secret mission in Afghanistan three years ago, and she's sure her father knows the details and it had something to do with the Senate Intelligence Committee.  Jackie, as the illegitimate sister, is not included in the family; Kate has separated herself from the family, and so it is Blair who is the good one who goes to political events and dinners and endures her mother's opinions of her clothes, refuses to marry her ex-fiancé, and generally doesn't help with the election.  Blair feels powerless under the control of her parents' opinions, law school that she cannot understand no matter how hard she studies, and Gray who goes hot and cold in their relationship. 

This is my first time reading Chanel Cleeton and I absolutely loved the story.  Written and divided into sections written by Blair and Gray, they are trying to hide their growing bond.  Her writing is fun and entertaining, but the deep down message will grab at your heart.  When Blair finally confronts her mother regarding the way she is living her life for everyone else, the emotions and passions she has kept tamped down will grab your heart and have you agreeing with everything she says. 

Secondary characters are perfect.  Jackie is the sister she is just getting to know, also engaged to a politician, who survived a scandal of their own.  Blair's sister Kate is dead inside and cannot give up her quest to find out what happened to Matt, her fiancé, and her quest for vengeance almost destroys Blair. 

PLAYING WITH TROUBLE is an outstanding example of a romance story with a deeper message that leaves you satisfied and content.  Capital Confessions started with FLIRTING WITH SCANDAL (May 2015) about Blair's sister Jackie.  FALLING FOR DANGER (September 2015) is Kate's story, and already looks to have constant surprises.  PLAYING WITH TROUBLE is certainly deserving of my seldom given Perfect 10.  Look for PLAYING WITH TROUBLE this month, a deeply satisfying and outstanding story! 

Carolyn Crisher

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Perfect 10:

NAKED – Eliza Redgold 
A Novel of Lady Godiva  A Perfect 10 
St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 978-1-25006-615-2
July 2015
Historical Romance

Coventry – 1023

Godiva, beloved daughter and only child of Saxon Lord Radulf and Lady Morwen, rulers of the Middle Lands, is left in Coventry when her parents attend the Witan, a council of lords. She has been raised to be not only a dutiful daughter, but her father has trained her as a warrior too. She is confident, independent, and thinks she's in love with her bodyguard, Edmund, with whom she's grown up since her parents took him in as a child. Godiva's world comes crashing down, however, when Edmund rides in with terrible news. The Danes, led by the vicious Thurkill the Tall, have ambushed Godiva's parents and their retinue, and only Edmund returns. Knowing that Thurkill is heading towards Coventry, it is up to Godiva to defend her lands.

Shortly after hearing the horrifying news about her parents, Godiva is surprised when the Saxon earl from Mercia rides into Coventry with his men. Despite her voicing her feelings that she and her people can defend against the Danes, Leofric remains and eventually when Thurkill's army arrives, the Saxons are able to deflect the invasion. But the danger is not over, and Godiva is well aware of that. Despite her independent talk, she knows that marrying Leofric and combining their two lands may be the only way to keep her people safe. It isn't until Thurkill threatens again, that Godiva is convinced that wedding the Mercian earl is the best decision. But she will only agree to marriage if Leofric guarantees that she, and she alone, will rule her own lands.

After the wedding, Godiva yearns to learn more about her enigmatic husband. He doesn't talk about his family, or his life in Mercia. In fact, he rarely shares anything with her about his past. Stubborn, Godiva also withholds her feelings for the man who shares her bed, despite how well they seem to be matched there. Godiva's loyalty to her people will eventually come between them.

The tale of Lady Godiva is well known in legend and poetry, but many questions remained about just how her husband could demand she ride naked through the streets of Coventry. NAKED makes a credible and realistic explanation through excellent research and brilliant writing. Godiva and Leofric lived in harsh times, and this story presents an interesting interpretation to a long ago time.

Jani Brooks

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Spotlight Review: A LAWMAN'S JUSTICE by Delores Fossen

A LAWMAN’S JUSTICE -- Delores Fossen
Sweetwater Ranch, Book 8
Harlequin Intrigue #1581
ISBN: 978-0-373-69848-6
August 2015
Romantic Suspense

Sweetwater Springs, Texas – Present Day

FBI special agent Seth Calder returned to Sweetwater Springs after his beloved stepmother, Jewell McKinnon, was arrested for the long ago murder of Whitt Braddock. Seth has already locked horns with Whitt’s daughter, Shelby Braddock, and one day they somehow end up at the same warehouse after they each got a mysterious call that there’s evidence in the building. Shelby has been writing articles for the local paper about Jewell being guilty, so it’s no surprise Seth gets into a heated argument with her. But their disagreement is pushed aside when they discover a body at the warehouse and then are knocked unconscious.

Waking up tied together in a barn neither recognizes, Seth and Shelby manage to work as one to escape. But their harrowing experience is only the start of many attempts on their lives. They are shot at, had fires set around them, and dead bodies are showing up everywhere. Shelby believes Jewell is behind her father’s death, but is someone trying to deflect the blame onto someone else? What is the motive otherwise, and why does everything point to it being connected to her father’s death? Whitt Braddock’s body was never found, but does someone know where it’s at? Meanwhile, Seth and Shelby become closer as they realize the only way to find out the answers is to work as a team. Will this closeness lead to hot sparks between them?

A LAWMAN’S JUSTICE is the final tale in the Sweetwater Ranch series, and readers are treated to the solving of a long ago murder…with a few surprises thrown in. What happened the night Whitt Braddock disappeared? Jewell isn’t saying much, but her family has rallied around her and are determined to defend her against what they believe are false accusations. Whitt wasn’t a nice man, because he tended to strong arm those who didn’t agree with him and was known to carry on extramarital affairs. Regardless of his reputation, Shelby loved her father and is determined to bring the killer to justice. Right now, all evidence points to Jewell being the culprit, and Shelby has used her journalistic privileges to write up articles detailing the evidence against Jewell. Shelby has also made an enemy—namely a man named Marvin Hance—and she wonders if he is behind the attempts on her life.

Seth plans to exonerate Jewell and then return to his job, but it’s taken longer than he’s expected, especially with the articles written by Shelby making his goal harder. When he and Shelby are tied up together after they’re kidnapped, he begins to take a whole different look at the woman. She’s beautiful and smart…and should be his enemy. But maybe working with her will get her out of his senses and help his case for Jewell. The sizzling chemistry between Shelby and Seth sometimes take a back seat to all the action in A LAWMAN’S JUSTICE. Will Seth prove that Jewell is innocent? Should he make plans to stick around Sweetwater so he can get to know Shelby better?

With several dead bodies mysteriously showing up and Seth and Shelby being shot at, there’s plenty of nonstop action in A LAWMAN’S JUSTICE. Along the way, not only will readers see some surprises, but enjoy the romance developing between Seth and Shelby. For a heart stopping tale, grab a copy of A LAWMAN’S JUSTICE and be prepared to be entertained.

Patti Fischer

To learn more about the author, be sure to visit her website: http://www.dfossen.net/

Purchase a copy of A LAWMAN'S JUSTICE

 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Promo Spotlight on Liv Rancourt!

1. Tell us about your release.
 
King Stud is a contemporary romance about the importance of family - biological or made - and how living your life for others is never a good idea.

2. What makes your story special to you?

 
King Stud works for me because the hero hits close to home, one of the main story arcs is a long-time dream, and the setting is very familiar. My husband's a carpenter, and so is my hero Ryan. I won't say I based Ryan on my husband, but there are some parallels. Ryan's a bigger flirt (lol!) but they're both loyal and caring and kind.

I've always wanted to restore an older house, and part of my motivation for writing King Stud was to vicariously live out my dream. Danielle inherits her grandmother's 1930s Craftsman, and while her initial goal is to spiff it up and sell it, the process of remodeling teaches her about the importance of family roots.

And finally, setting a story in my home town of Seattle makes it special to me. I know the details of the place, things like how to avoid the worst traffic and where to find the best Thai food and where to go for a romantic date in the middle of winter. I love it when other writers include little tidbits like those in their work, because I think they make the settings come alive.



3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?


I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was in grade school. Of course, it took me about forty years to actually do it. Seriously! When I got close to the age of 50, I realized if I was going to make the writer thing happen, I better get on it. A couple years (and many hours at the laptop and much angst) later I published my first novel.

4. What is a typical writing day like?


I'm usually on the laptop from around 6am till about 2pm, unless the day job interferes. I'm not terribly structured, and spend way too much time on Facebook, but that's the block I have set aside for writing, editing, blogging, and the like.

5. Do you have an interesting writing quirk or habit?


Have I mentioned Facebook? (lol!) No, seriously, I'm a plotter, so I like to have a fair amount of structure in place before I start writing. None of it's carved in stone, and I'll make changes up until the day the publisher tells me to stop, but I do a lot of thought-work before I open the doc.

6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned as a published author?


I'm still learning all the time, but one of my first, earliest lessons was how incredibly supportive other writers are. I've been doing this a little while now, and I've honestly never come across anyone who hasn't been friendly and fun. I know that there's bad behavior out there, but more often I'm left with the feeling that there's space for everyone's voice, which I think is totally cool.

7. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?


For author influences, I credit Charlaine Harris, because something about Dead Until Dark made me say "I wanna do THAT", Janet Evanovich because there's nothing funnier than monkeys in tin foil hats, and Alexis Hall because he routinely demonstrates the incredible power of gorgeous language in genre fiction.

I've made so many writer friends who regularly help, encourage, and inspire me that I'm afraid to list them because I don't want to forget anybody. I have an awesome group of beta readers who have no problem telling me when I suck in the nicest possible way. I love learning from them, and I love the way they push me to make my work better.

8. What does your family think about your career as a published author?


They're proud of the work I do. They don't read much of it - it's too naughty for my teenagers and my mother doesn't do F-bombs - but their patience and support makes it possible for me to sit at the laptop and get words on the page.

9. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?


My family is a priority. This summer both teenagers have taken drivers ed., so we're doing a lot of practice driving around the neighborhood. For my day job I work as a neonatal nurse practitioner in a large NICU. I'm also a life-long choir geek and have sung in cover bands for over twenty years. I like crochet and cross stitch and walking the dog and reading. Lots and lots of reading!

10. Can you tell us about what's coming up next for you writing wise?


I'm working on the sequel to King Stud, a book called Loose Cannon that'll tell the story of Ryan's younger brother Joey. I've also just started a co-writing project with my friend Irene. It's an m/m paranormal romance set in the Louisiana swamps and boy howdy am I having fun!

11. How can readers connect with you online?


I can be found on-line at all hours of the day and night at my website & blog (www.liv-rancourt.blogspot.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/liv.rancourt), or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LivRancourt). Come find me. We'll have fun!
a Rafflecopter giveaway




The hardest part of any remodel is avoiding the studs...


Blurb



Danielle’s got three months to make her Grandmother’s rundown Craftsman house livable. Her game plan is to get in, get grubby, and get back home to L.A. She needs a carpenter, and her best friend’s younger brother is a good one. It’s hard to ignore the buffed body under Ryan’s paint-splattered sweatshirts, but her friend declares he’s off-limits so Danielle reluctantly agrees.

Ryan doesn’t have the cleanest record, anyway. His recently ex-ed girlfriend wants him back, and he has a reputation for brawling. He’s also had a crush on Danielle since he was a kid. Despite their nine-year age difference, he knows she’s worth pursuing.

Soon the paint under Danielle’s fingernails starts feeling more natural than the L.A. sunshine. She’ll have to navigate plumbing disasters, money problems, and one seriously cranky best friend to find something she hasn’t had before: a real home, and a man who loves her.






Excerpt


“Right.” Ryan flipped the ice pack from one hand to the other. “Why’d your grandmother leave you the house?”

 “Because I’m cute.” She scraped back a stray hank of hair, her smile as blank as she could make it. Danielle suspected her grandmother had left her the house because it had always been her safe place, but Ryan didn’t need a rehash of her poor-little-rich-girl saga.

His eyes still held a question, but after a moment he nodded and stepped farther back. “Let’s get those boards.”

“Cool.”

They carried in the two-by-sixes, silence buffering their actions. Over the weekend, Ryan had widened the doorways on either end of the dining room, though the rough edges needed to be enclosed in trim. Once they carried in all the supplies, Ryan stroked the molding she’d sanded. “Nice work with these.” A half grin showed off his dimples. “This place is going to be sweet when we get it done.”

“I’ll take your word for it.” She went over to the kitchen sink, looking out over the old wooden porch to the Puget Sound. A single light moved across the blackness. “Was it hard to open up the doorways?”

“Just had to work around the king studs.”

I bet I could work around your king stud just fine. “The what?” Danielle broke out a super-plastic smile, hoping Ryan couldn’t guess what was on her mind. 

“The extra support beams framing the doors and windows.” He glanced at her, doing a quick double-take. “What?”

She dredged up willpower from some deep internal source, in need of every shred to keep pretending he was just a remodeling buddy. “Nothing.”

“The homeowner’s always right.” He chuckled and headed back into the living room. “If you’re happy with my work, next summer you can hire me to rebuild that nasty old porch out back.”

Danielle’s feet stuck as she got a sudden visual of Ryan, shirtless and sweaty, working in her backyard under the sun. By the time she could move again, he had his jacket on and was headed for the front door. 

“Well, thanks for dropping stuff off,” she said.

“Need more ice on my shoulder.” He paused with his hand on the doorframe, assessing her with that perfectly controlled heat, an expression way too grown up for only twenty-four. “I’ll swing by tomorrow and work on the trim.” 

Her fluttery response demonstrated all the maturity of a teenager.

“Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, Mom said to make sure you know you’re welcome to join us for Thanksgiving dinner,” he said.

Since she couldn’t hug Ryan, Danielle hugged herself. “Really? That’d be awesome.”

“Maeve didn’t mention it, did she?”

“No, but it’s not the night before.” She laughed, because Maeve had always sucked at planning things in advance. Her laugh made Ryan laugh, and then things were better.

Almost.




Buy Links




Bio






I write romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire…or sometimes demon...and I lean more towards funny than angst. When I’m not writing I take care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether I’m at home or at work. My husband is a soul of patience, my dog’s cuteness is legendary, and we share the homestead with three ferrets. Who steal things. Because they’re brats.

I can be found on-line at all hours of the day and night at my website & blog , on Facebook, or on Twitter. Come find me. We’ll have fun!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Prom Spotlight on Katrina Hart!



1.  Tell us about your newest release.

 My novel 'Finding Destiny' follows Alex after his little sister's pony goes missing and he goes off to find her. Little does he know that she would lead him to a strange gypsy camp in the middle of a forest. Where he later finds himself transported into 2038 into a world inhabited with humans and robots. He soon learns he has to protect his family from the half-breeds before it's too late and they are lost from him forever. 

2.  What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your story?

I found all the different characters who Alex meets on his Journey to save is family from the half-breeds really thrilling as they all came to life in my mind and on the page, because they are all so different, but really captivated me as I got to know them.   

3.  Do you have any interesting or quirks or rituals?

I like to light candles and meditate before starting a new novel so I can follow my characters before writing about them. I also have a growing magic shelf, where I've collected things that remind me of my characters or their worlds.

4.  What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?

Over my life lots of authors who's books I've read inspired me to want to write. I've also been very blessed with inspiring friends who are very supportive. One of the huge influences for me was my first online tutor. When I started really thinking of writing a novel, she really helped me believe in myself and my writing. all  her advice has always stayed with me.

5.  What does your family think about your career as a published author?

My family are proud I finished my first book and have published it. Although they don't really read often like I do. 

6.  Besides writing, what other interests do you have?

I read a awful lot, there is nothing like getting stuck into a good book and losing hours in many adventures. I also like to learn new things, at the moment I've been learning sign language.

7.  Can you tell us what is coming up next for you?

I'm polishing my second novel 'The Lost Town Of Man's Crossing'  

8.  How can readers connect with you online?

People can contact me through the following.
Twitter; @KatrinaHart2015

Thank-you for having me on your blog. 

 &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&


Author Bio..

My name is Katrina Hart but I was always called Katie. I live in the East of England with my family and Holly, Smokey my two cats as well as Jessie our dog, they are a nutty bunch but I love them all the same. I have always had a passion for reading. I could easily spend a whole lifetime engrossed in a good book. In my twenties I joined an online writing class, where I fell in love with writing my own stories. Since I started writing I have discovered a new love for quotes, a quote that really inspired was from Toni Morrison. Toni said  “If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” I came across this quote whilst I was studying, this is one of the many things that inspired me to begin my first novel. I always welcome anyone to visit my blog at http://katrinamarie25.wordpress.com.

Genre: Fantasy Fiction
Book only out in EBook..
Blurb
When eighteen year old Alex’s little sister’s pony goes missing, he sets out to look for her and finds himself in a strange gypsy camp in the middle of a forest. The pony is being cared for by a young girl called Faith. When Alex accepts a drink from Faith’s grandmother, he wakes up later to find himself transported into 2038 to a technologically-advanced, very colourful world inhabited by humans and robots. Alex soon discovers that he is now twenty, married and has a magical little baby girl. A magic he only seems to notice. He soon finds out that he will have to defend his little girl from the half-breeds with everything he has. He travels back through the magic pages of books to try and save her before it is too late and she is lost from him forever.


Sales links...
Finding Destiny is now available on ITunes Ibook  https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/finding-destiny/id975158084?mt=11

Blogs and Social media links.
Twitter; @KatrinaHart2015






Book Excerpts.. Chapter one..
1
Finding Destiny

"Destiny! Destiny!" I yelled, walking the dark forest alone.
Broken branches crunched beneath my feet. Black, shadowing trees loomed over me, following my every move. Owls hooted and flapped in every direction. I proceeded, calling the girlie-named pony.
I walked till my feet burned. It had been hours with no sign of Destiny, when the forest seemed to come alive before my eyes! Classical music hummed around a circle of purple gypsy tents, which surrounded a huge pink camp fire. I rubbed my tired eyes in disbelief. I opened them again and saw Destiny being cuddled lovingly by a pale girl with black hair flowing like a never-ending river. I walked over to the girl and Destiny.
"Hey miss, you found my sister’s pony." I looked down at them both.
"Mister, she is my pony!" She held Destiny closer in a protective grip.
I was about to argue my point, but a cold hand pushed on my shoulder, stopping me.
"Grandma! He wants my pony." The girl pointed in my direction.
"Faith, don’t point it’s rude!" The old woman scolded her like she was a child.
"Where the hell did you come from!" I shouted and jumped to look her in the face.
"My tent, just this way," the grandma said as she walked inside her purple tent.
I followed, outraged. I just wanted my sister’s pony back.
"Enter," the old woman croaked, coughing.
"Are you okay!" I whispered.
"Yes! Yes! Don’t worry yourself, now what can I do for you, sir?" She coughed again.
"I need my sister’s pony back. It’s her everything," I pleaded.
"My Faith loves her too," the old lady coughed again.
"I will do anything, I need that pony!" I tried again, staring into the old lady’s purple eyes.
Her wrinkled, transparent face and white long hair, tied in a bun tight above her head, made her look frail. She sat down behind a crystal ball. "Anything?"
I nodded.
"Let me see your future," she coughed, rubbing her crystal ball and looking inside its clear dome.
The silence dragged on like an unspoken question in a crowded room. Sadness crossed her face.
"It’s done!" she shouted; her eyes seemed to turn black.
"Thank you." I smiled, a little confused.
"My pleasure." She coughed, handing me a blue drink in a clear glass. "Please drink, it will bring you good luck on your way home. It’s a tradition, you know," she said.
I didn’t want to seem rude, so I drained the glass. My head spun and everything became unfocused.


I fought to see through the darkness. Crying, and the smell of hay surrounded me.
"Hello! Who’s there? Where am I?" I whispered, following the cries of what sounded like a girl being murdered.
"Hello!" I yelled over her cries. I feared for us both. A light danced on of its own accord. Straw was everywhere. Pink, blue and red horses wandered about, leaving their stalls empty. The barn looked steel, unlike anything I had seen before. A computer was flat-attached to the wall, but there was no keyboard to type on. Had I been drinking? Or dreaming? I wasn’t sure, but this barn looked far too advanced for my time.
The girl’s cries turned to screams. The sound was deafening; my heart thumped. I stood beside the screaming stable door, sliding it open with a loud squeak. Peering inside, her gaze met mine; her black flowing hair lay upon the straw, sticking to her sweat-covered forehead.
"Faith? Is that you? What are we doing here?" I rushed to her side.
"I’m screaming and you are late!" she said blowing out a breath.
"I don’t even know where we are, do you?" I retorted.
Faith screamed, grabbing my hand like a vice then relaxing once more. She placed an old folded piece of paper into my hand.
"Read it!" Her breath came out raggedly.
The note read …

Dear Alex, and Faith.
Destiny had many lovely years with your little sister, as promised Alex.
I saved your lives. You are in 2038 on the morning that bound your futures together. I saw it!
Don’t hate an old Gypsy for sending you on your way.
Good luck both of you!

The note fell from my hands, "We are in 2038, hell!"
"Isn’t it?" Faith screamed.
I tried to get Faith to let go of my hand. Then her body went stiff and I began to panic; she needed a doctor or midwife right now. But a cry split the air and a robot computer handed her a screaming baby.
On the computer screen, fireworks announced Faith had a baby girl
"We," she whispered, as the robot computer walked away. I kissed Faith softly on the lips, and a weird deja vu came over me. Love flooded my heart, sending warm shivers coursing through my body.
"Shall we call her Destiny?" Faith asked, gazing into my eyes.
"That’s perfect," I smiled.
This was the first moment of my new life.