Can’t Get It Out of My Head

I read Dear Agony, by Georgia Cates a few months ago. I didn’t blog about when I finished…my own deadlines were approaching. However, even now, I still keep thinking about this book.

I’ve never read Georgia Cates. She popped up on an Amazon ad while I was browsing one day. This is part of the blurb:

I traded homelessness on the streets of New Orleans for a luxurious bed covered by the finest linens.
I traded dumpster diving for dinner in the finest restaurants.
I traded myself to a stranger—Bastien Pascal.

I have a good life within my platonic and mutually beneficial companionship with Bash.
He’s my friend. My mentor. My roommate.
Until everything changes.

I thought I’d probably read this story type before, but whispers of “this one’s different,” kept tickling my ears. A few days later, I went in and downloaded the book and it sat in the cue line for another couple weeks.

When I finally opened to the first page, I read and read and read, then I stopped. I slowed myself way down because I did not want this book to end.

On the streets of New Orleans, Rose is a survivor, but her life isn’t at all what she thought it would be. Then a strange woman hands her a card and tells her she’ll buy her dinner.

Rose learns this woman owns a companionship business and she offers to train her in how to be a client’s companion. She has the opportunity to get off the streets, go to college, and have a different life.

Rose becomes Vale’s best student, but also an invaluable asset in training others. She believes this will be her future until Vale’s best friend Bastien Pascal wants Rose.

He discloses his reasons to Vale and is adamant about the relationship remaining platonic. Well, like any good romance, things begin to change and Bastien is pulled into Rose’s charm. He can’t let this relationship be anything but what the contract says, but Rose is exactly what he needs.

What I really enjoyed about Rose and Bastien is that their conversations were real. They were simple, often about mundane things, but so much like the conversations, we have every day. I loved this about the book. You begin to know these people like they are your neighbors.

With the backdrop of New Orleans, Dear Agony drops you in the Big Easy to surround you with the charm of everything the city has to offer.

I enjoyed this book so much, I’ll likely read it again, and until then, Rose and Bastien will pop into my mind when I least expect them to stop by.

 

 

Steamy city. Steamy story

When thinking of Charleston, South Carolina, I think of hot, humid, historic, and hidden, as in secrets. Author Tara Thomas has taken advantage of everything Charleston has to offer in her romantic suspense series, The Sons of Broad.

The Sons of Broad is a three-book series with a running mystery throughout, but is also the platform to give the Benedict brothers their own love story.

Kipling, Knox, and Keaton Benedict are members of Charleston’s most prominent and powerful families. They have everything they want and need, or so they think. They have a family history to be proud of, or so they think.

Secrets come to light amidst a series of violent murders, and while the Benedicts are fighting to keep their good name, they are also finding love in the strangest of places with the mostly unlikely partners.

Are the secrets true? And who is The Gentleman?

The series is a fast-paced mystery and love story, keeping readers engaged throughout. The setting of Charleston is perfect for steamy exchanges between the characters fighting to find the truth while keeping all they hold dear safe.

Put this series on the list for summer reading.

 

Fun, Sexy Escape

I received an advance copy of Fake Wife by Stacey Lynn. From the title you know the gist of the story, but once you start flipping pages, this story has everything you want in a good read.

An unfortunate situation and very bad day literally has Teagan running into rich sexy bachelor Corbin Lane. At the time of the accident, Corbin learns that in order get his beloved grandmothers property, he must marry and remain married for at least two years.

Unemployed and now unattached, Teagan accepts Corbin’s contract of a fake marriage in order to advance her own dreams.

The problem begins when both try to fight the burgeoning attraction each has for the other because their contract states intimacy is not part of the deal.

This is a sweet story, but has hot sexy moments as the two try to remain platonic going into their business arrangement. Readers get to see into the reality of a man who seems to have everything and a woman who seems to have little.

Lynn makes it easy to fall in love with these two who have extraordinary chemistry and intuition for what the other needs. But the road to love is never easy and Corbin and Teagan have to maneuver their way over some major bumps.

Readers will enjoy this story that publishes January 9, and hopefully Lynn will grace readers with Corbin’s best friends stories.

New from Pepper Winters

I received an Advanced Reader Copy of Pepper Winter’s upcoming release, Crown of Lies, and I wasn’t disappointed.

American fans of Peppers Winters will be delighted with her new release. With a setting of New York City, the backdrop almost becomes a character with mood, flavors and nuances of the Big Apple. Noelle Charlston becomes enthralled with a mystery man who saved her life when she was just nineteen, but he vanished, and she devotes her life to running the family business, one of the biggest retail operations in the country. Three years later, another mystery man appears, one that her father is sure she will marry. Penn Everett inflames Elle’s temper, but sets her body on fire. As their story unfolds, flashbacks of her incident begin to connect the dots to Penn’s mysterious past, but do they? Or is Elle’s memory and imagination working overtime? She can’t deny her attraction to Penn, but will that attraction doom her? Crown of Lies ends in a breathtaking cliffhanger leaving the reader screaming in anticipation for the conclusion of Elle and Penn’s story.

 

An Opportunity to Meet Local Authors

I haven’t reviewed in awhile, I’ve been crazy busy with getting my debut novel ready for publication, and I’m not reviewing today, but rather I’m going to spotlight an event for those who live in Central Indiana.

Indiana Romance Writers of America is a local chapter of the national Romance Writers of America. While the organization is filled with New York Times best selling authors, many of the members are writers following a dream of publishing a novel that just might one day find its way onto one of those highly coveted best-selling lists.

Most of us won’t be on those lists, but still we aspire to create something of which we’re proud.

Rarely does great writing just happen. Writing is a skill that must be nurtured and learned. For those aspiring romance writers, RWA is a tool. National and local chapters work hard to provide support, but most importantly education for future and current writers.

In order to provide education, chapters must earn money. Think of it as a cookie dough sale for your future reading enjoyment.

Well, the Indiana RWA chapter is hosting a fundraiser/book fair Dec. 17 at Barnes and Noble at the Shops at River Crossing (Keystone) on the north side of Indianapolis.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For every purchase customers make, IRWA will receive ten percent if the customer presents a special code at checkout. This is also an online event that continues until Dec. 23.

In the store that day, Mr. and Mrs. Claus will host a story time for children and cookies with Santa. A gift wrap station for purchases is available and free, but donations are appreciated.

Throughout the day, several authors from the group will be signing select copies of their books. This is a great opportunity to not only support Hoosier authors, but to discover a whole new set of writers who are just as interesting as any of the famous-named authors we recognize.

I’m going to highlight those who will attend. Believe me, there is something for every type of romance you enjoy.

A.d Ellis–Contemporary romances in both traditional and male/male romance. The Tory Hope and Tory Hope: The Later Years series  is real-life romance for everyone..

Anya Breton–Writer of familiar stories with a quirky twist. Anya has something for  in her hot paranormal romances. Weretigers, shapeshifters, and sorceresses come to life in her pages.

Ava Cuvay–Tire of earth? Try an out of this world romance. The Star Nebula series is a hot ride in new worlds. Discover a new realm of love.

Aly Grady–What’s an Indiana story that doesn’t include auto racing. The Racer’s Widow Series features love and sport of IndyCar racing.

Cheryl Brooks–Who doesn’t love a cowboy? or an erotic romance with a touch of sci-fi? The Cat Star Chronicles and Cowboy Heaven series will get you through that cold winter.

Lisa Caviness— Her debut novel Order of Fear is the first in the Order series. Murder, passion and evil weave through this novel of suspense.

Jillian Jacobs–She takes you on romantic adventures with her Elemental series featuring love and the earth’s elements, fire, water, and air. Or, if you love football and suspense, then the O-line series will  keep you guessing.

Melanie Szereto— Foodies delight in the Love on the Menu series. Delicious food and delicious romance fill more than your appetite.

T.C. Winters–Sweet and Savage and Blue Falcon are suspense novels with elements we can’t get enough of–danger, mystery, and heroes and heroines to remember.

Anna Hague (Me)–Her debut novel Captured Hearts is s contemporary romance with dark elements, that brings to light impossible choices, redemption and forgiveness.

Someone on that has the book or books for you this holiday season. So come out and support local authors in their quest to live the dream.

 

 

Different Route to Romance

I haven’t read a historical romance in awhile. I didn’t stop reading them because I didn’t like them, but for one reason or another, I was reading other things. However, the premise of The Thief Steals her Earl by Christina McKnight intrigued me. I received an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of this story and immediately realized I miss reading historicals.

This story is set in London, and reading about London’s social upper crust is fascinating from my America perspective.

What I really enjoyed about this book was these characters were not typical. The Earl is a man who would rather have his nose stuck in a book about antiquities than be part of the social scene. In fact, socializing with women–he hasn’t quite grasped what to do, and his innocence of the matter is rather charming.

His family is in a financial quandary, and he is trying to keep them respectable.

On the flip side, our heroine Judith,  is not interested in what proper ladies should be. She is smart and loves knowledge. The problem is that her family is also in dire financial straits. The family runs Craven House, a place where abused women can receive help, but money to keep the place going is difficult. Her and her twin sister devise a plan to steal an antique vase and sell it for the money.

When she meets the Earl, she believes his knowledge of antiques is exactly what she needs to get the most money from the theft. Simon, however, has thoughts about Judith that have nothing to do with antiques.

Filled with secondary characters who create even more conflict for the couple, makes this story fun. I especially loved Theo and Payton.

This is a sweet romance, and the beginning of a series. I am anxious to continue the stories of Craven House.

Around the World in Mystery

I have a friend traveling with a group touring the UK which reminded me of series I read several years ago. Author Maddy Hunter created the Passport to Peril series partially as a result of what she describes as “disastrous vacations on five continents.

The mysteries fall under the cozies genre, and combine the mystery element with the hilarity of traveling with a group of senior citizens.

In the debut book, divorced and out of work Emily Andrew finds herself working as a tour guide for senior tourists from her Iowa hometown. “Alpine For You” begins with the hysterically funny antics of this diverse group of seniors, rolls into a mystery when their escort is murdered, and adds an element of romance when the sexy Swiss police detective shows up to investigate.

In all, Hunter has written nine books in the series visiting such settings as Italy, Australia, Holland, Norway, Scotland, Ireland, France, Switzerland and Hawaii.

While the focus is the mystery, Hunter has created a recurring cast of characters that keeps the reader not only snickering, but downright laughing out loud. One of those characters is Emily’s ex-husband, who is now a she and far more of a girl than Emily. Another is her grandmother, who is not the stereotypical grandmother. She is more like what you think Carol Burnett would be as a grandmother.

The series is a fun escape that will pique your interest in group travel. These people have way too much fun, and you will too.

The books were published from 2003 to 2014.

 

Of Piracy and Scuples

Here in the last few days, I have watched some ugly stuff coming from the publishing world or a better phrase should be the unscrupulous publishing world.

One writing duo upon almost immediate release of their new book, found their book was uploaded on a pirated book site. This means, others are downloading their book, and the authors receive  nothing for their work. This happens on a daily basis, and while many believe they are bargain hunting for books, in reality they are stealing from the people who spent hours upon hours working a regular job and hours upon hours writing, editing and rewriting. Hours taken away from their families and any other normal activity most people do.

It is just about impossible to stop completely; the best way is not to do it. Many e-books sell for a fraction of print books. Authors of these books are not making the salary of a Janet Evanovich or other New York Times best selling authors. They write because there is a need to write. There is a love every bit as strong and compelling as any other love.

Writing is like an addiction. Writing, getting those stories out of your brain and into a form, cannot be cured. Can you walk by a plate of chocolate and just walk on by? Not usually. Writers can sit on a story for a while, but eventually that need to come out cannot be ignored. That is why these pirate site are so deplorable. When someone puts their time, energy and soul into something, then it is stolen, the theft is heartbreaking and infuriating. So I ask you please don’t do. Spend the $1.99 or a little more. You won’t die from it.

Even worse than the pirating I believe happened this week as well. Two authors found their work being sold by another author (and I use that term loosely) on Amazon. While ideas and even scenarios may have similarities, (after all, boy meets girl can only happen in so many ways), these books were found to be almost word for word of another author.

Matter of fact, this so-called author had only changed one word in the title. This person was called out on it by another rather creative author in some very creative ways. Since then, most of her books have been taken off Amazon and her Facebook page deleted.

By looking at her publish list, she was remarkable. Her books were being published one after the other in record time. She must be a genius. No, she is a thief and should be prosecuted.

This is just one instance where someone was caught. Happens all of the time. People have lost their scruples. The anonymity of the internet has created a whole new generation of thieves.

There was a saying that those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach. Now it is those who can’t, steal from those who can.

I just say, if two books you read are pretty much identical, it might be helpful to contact someone, so the real writer is rewarded and the imposter punished.

 

New Release From Pepper Winters

UNSEEN MESSAGES COVER

From New York Times Bestseller Pepper Winters comes a timeless love story answering the question of what happens when everything is stripped away.

“There is a message for everything. From handwritten to verbal, seen and unseen. Messages exist all around us.”

But what if you don’t see? What if you don’t understand? What if, by ignoring the message, your life is never the same again?

Estelle Evermore morphed from nobody to somebody overnight.

Galloway Oak put his past behind him and endeavored to make his fortune using his trade.

Two strangers. One plane. Multiple unseen messages.

From sky to island, they find neither fame nor skills can save them. Stripped from society and left alone to survive the elements, the very task of staying alive outweighs all other needs.

Until survival turns to desire. And desire turns to danger.

AMAZON

iBooks

Nook

Kobo

Google Play

 

Come Into the Dark

I can’t say that I’m always on top of things, especially when it comes to books. It is rare that books hot off the press are in my hands that instant. My normal route to great reads is often like my life; I tend to stumble into some really great things and opportunities.

One of my recent stumbles brought my life to a grinding halt and made me question some reasons about why I read.

Thanks to Amazon (we are pretty much on a first-name basis and exchange Christmas cards) I found Pepper Winters. Every time you purchase books, Amazon will say “Hey, how about this one?” I usually click on it to see what it’s about or just want to admire the hot guy or parts of a hot guy on the cover.

Most of the time, I put the book on my wish list to check out later. The odds of me remembering a particular book that I might want to read at this point in my life are pretty slim.

However, one of Amazon’s recommendations was just tantalizing enough for me to click the “Read More” tab about the “Indebted” series by Pepper Winters. The original book Debt Inheritance was published in 2014 and in all seven books make up the series.

This series falls in the genre New Adult or Dark Romance. I was initially intrigued by the idea of the plot; a centuries-old debt between families is still being collected by the Hawk family from the Weaver family. The debt is not monetary, but rather extremely personal and deadly.

The more I read into this book/series, the more I kept thinking “I shouldn’t be reading this,” because it dark, twisted and disturbing, but as addicting as Game of Thrones. Deeper and deeper into it, I changed to “I can’t believe I am loving this.”

What I realized was that the plot had taken quite the back seat to the characters. You become so involved in these characters you want smack them and scream at them, but realistically you love them and want to be part of their inner circle minus some of the more painful aspects of it.

Jethro and Nila are two for the ages.

The best thing about their story is that it is seven-books long. The worst thing is that it is only seven books long. However Winters has another series “Pure Corruption” that involves a minor character from Indebted. I have yet to begin that, but I am quite positive I will be hooked again.

One note for those in the United States, she is not from the U.S. so some of the spellings of words are different. After wondering at first why there were so many spelling errors, I figured it out.

Winters is not for everyone. Her heroes are troubled, but what I believe I loved so much about this series was the theme of forgiveness. Can we forgive the unforgiveable?

Check it out and see if you can.