What to Read Wednesday with Rachael Johns and giveaway

I’m so excited for this installment of What to Read Wednesday! Please help me welcome author Rachael Johns. She’s visiting to share a wonderful guest post about why she writes what she writes. She’s also sharing her latest release JILTED. I just love the cover and the blurb…sounds like a winner. And, don’t forget to sign up for her wonderful giveaway at the end of the post.

Take it away Rachael…


Why I write rural romance!

By Rachael Johns


In Australia today one of the biggest selling fiction genres is RURAL ROMANCE. I suppose this genre is quite similar to the small town cowboy romances that people have been devouring for years, in that they are set in rural communities and populated by men and women who work the land.

But why did I set out to write rural romance?

Almost eight years ago my country boy hubby and I upped and moved from Perth to the sticks. We landed in the small country town of Kojonup in Western Australia (,_Western_Australia) and spent a fabulous six years there. Of course, you’re never a local in a country town until you’ve lived there about 37 years but that doesn’t mean we weren’t welcomed. Kojonup very much felt like home when we left six years later.

Although always a city girl, I’ve grown to love living in a country town, the community spirit, the fact everyone knows everything about everyone – not always a good thing – and the way people look out for each other.

We now live in Goomalling, Western Australia (,_Western_Australia), an even smaller rural community, but the characteristics of a rural community are strong in both towns. Let no one ever say rural Australia is DEAD! When I launched my first book, the Goomalling Community Resource Centre offered to help – they put on a fabulous spread of food and so many locals came to offer their support. That’s what living in a country town is about. Looking out for each other, encouraging and supporting through good times and bad and being proud of residents’ achievements.

I love that when I go to the local shop (which we happen to own), I pretty much knew everyone. I love the community events – the fundraisers, movie nights, agricultural shows and the revival of the local theatrical society, which was the actual event that inspired me to write JILTED (out now with HQN).

I could go on about my experiences living in rural communities all day – the time my hubby’s work place (the Kojonup Co-op) burnt to the ground in the middle of the night and the whole town was out in their pyjamas watching, the time a plane crashed in our friend’s paddock, the experiences my children get that they wouldn’t get in the city – but I won’t do that to you.

I just wanted to say that THIS is why I chose to write rural romance. Because I love living and reading country! I want to convey the wonderful experiences that I’ve had living in a country town to readers all across Australia, and hopefully now, the world!



She left him at the altar, but her heart was always his…

After more than ten years away, Australian soap star Ellie Hughes returns to the small country town of Hope Junction, determined to remain anonymous while caring for her injured godmother, Matilda.

But word spreads fast in the tight-knit community. It isn’t long before the people of Hope’s are gossiping about the real reason for Ellie’s visit and why she broke the heart of golden boy Flynn Quartermaine all those years ago.

Soon Ellie and Flynn are thrown back together again, forced to deal with the unresolved emotions between them. For Ellie is not the only one with secrets. Flynn has his own demons to battle, and Matilda is hiding something from her much-loved goddaughter.

When all is uncovered, can the ill-fated lovers overcome the wounds of their past? Or is Flynn destined to be jilted again?

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Author Info

Rachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a mum 24/7, a supermarket owner, a chronic arachnophobic, and a writer the rest of the time. She rarely sleeps and never irons. She writes contemporary romance for HQN and Carina Press and lives in rural Western Australia with her hyperactive husband and three mostly-gorgeous heroes-in-training. Rachael loves to hear from readers and can be contacted through her website at

Rachael Johns

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*Rachael is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for FIVE Print Copies of JILTED and $20.00 Amazon eGift Card*



Posted by on October 1, 2014 in What to Read Wednesday


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SPECIAL GUEST ~ Shannyn Schroeder author of Her Best Shot ~ Giveaway

Please help me welcome Shannyn Schroeder back to the blog today! She’s written a wonderful guest post about research for contemporary romance. I really enjoyed it, mainly because I write contemporary romance as well….she made some great points. Afterward, please check out her latest release HER BEST SHOT! The cover is awesome and the blurb will definitely leave you wanting to read more.

And, please, don’t forget to enter her wonderful giveaway at the end of the post :)

Take it away Shannyn…


A Peek Behind the Curtain…

Research for the contemporary romance

By: Shannyn Schroeder


I write contemporary romance and I’ve heard lots of people say that writing contemporary is easier than writing historical because you don’t have to do any research. Years ago, I might’ve agreed. It’s not that I never used to do any research—it’s just that I wrote about people and places that I was more familiar with. I still found myself detouring to look things up. However, with each new book I write, I find myself doing more and more research. My Hot & Nerdy series is a perfect example.

Her Best Shot is the first novella in the series. Layla makes plans to meet her friend for spring break. Research: Where would college students go on a last minute spring break trip (which means nothing that would require a passport and something close enough that she could drive)? South Padre Island, Texas. Since Layla was driving (from Baltimore, where the NSA is headquartered – more research) to Texas, I had to look at a map to decide where she would break down.

Parts of Layla’s character that I needed to research: her math background, her internship and job offer at the NSA, her education at MIT, funny math-themed T-shirts that she likes to wear. Okay, that last one was just fun research, but still needed for the story. I was an English major. I have no love for math, so trying to write a character who does love it was tough. I learned quite a bit about the NSA and the types of jobs they have, even though this is a relatively small portion of the story. I also needed to think about what kind of car Layla drives and what would cause it to break down that would be easy enough to fix (and worth fixing) but take at least a few days in order to keep her stranded—VW Bug and transmission trouble.

For Phin, I had to do just as much research. Believe it or not, I’m not a gypsy, nor do I know any, but I wanted to make him as authentic as I could, so I needed to research the gypsy culture. (It’s all so interesting that part of me wanted to make this a full-length novel just so I could write more about Phin). I also know very little about playing pool, especially pool tournaments. I spent quite a bit of time learning the rules. Unfortunately, I still can’t play.

The thing about research is that it’s interesting. It can easily draw me away from writing because I’m learning. I also have to be careful to not just dump all of that interesting information into the book. If I did no research, many parts of the story would fall flat and feel empty. I can’t say that I’m an expert on any of the things I researched, but hopefully I learned enough to sell the ideas to readers.



With college graduation looming, three childhood friends vow to make spring break their last blast of pure fun. But at least one of them didn’t count on such incredible heat…

Layla Sharpe is definitely more math ninja than bikini babe, and her future has been calculated with razor precision. Convinced to let loose over spring break, Layla is finally ready to party—until her car breaks down halfway to her destination, leaving her stranded in Georgia with a mouthwateringly hot pool shark. She knows more than enough about angles to learn the game, but this week she wants him to appreciate her curves…
Phin Marks has never met a girl like Layla. She’s more Star Wars geek than seductress, and when he offers her a place to stay while her car is in the shop, he’s counting on the attraction between them to set the nights ablaze, no strings attached. But every moment he spends with Layla makes it harder to let her go. Can he persuade her to gamble in the most dangerous way possible…on forever?



She held her cue in front of her chest, the line bisecting her, making it difficult to do anything other than focus on her breasts. He reread her shirt and began to think about pie. And Layla naked.

“So what’d I do wrong?”


She moved the stick in order to walk, breaking his concentration on her chest. She neared him and asked, “Why did I miss?”

“You got cocky and it cost your concentration. The first two worked, and, although the third shot should’ve been an easy one, you lost your stance and your bridge was sloppy. You didn’t have enough control. You can’t ever spend time thinking about the last shot. Worst case, you focus on the shot at hand. Best case, you think two or three shots ahead.”

She tilted her head and narrowed her eyes. “How am I supposed to plan ahead if I don’t know where the balls will land?”

“You predict. Look, if I try to hit the three into the corner, it’s going to push others out of the way. Where are they going to roll? That’s how I’ll set up my next shot. I can force those balls to land where I want based on how I hit them.” He took a swig of his beer. Layla didn’t respond, but she absorbed what he said. He saw the understanding in her eyes and didn’t need the verbal confirmation.

“I want the five to move to the left, so I’m going to hit it on the right side with a little spin. I don’t want it to shoot far, just enough.” He leaned down and took the shot. The three swooshed into the corner pocket, and the five lined up exactly where he wanted.

Layla’s face suddenly brightened. “I got it!” She walked to the opposite corner and rattled off possibilities.

He nodded and then cleared the solids without looking up. Layla didn’t crowd him and she’d stopped flirting. When the eight fell into the pocket, he straightened and laid his cue on the table. Layla didn’t acknowledge him. Her gaze stayed locked on the remaining balls. Maybe she was so competitive that she was a sore loser.

“Can I clear the table?”

Her question surprised him and his face must’ve reflected that.

“I know you won, big surprise, but I think I see the shots I’d take and want to try.”

“Knock yourself out. I’m going to get another beer. You want one?”

“Sure. Thanks.”

Phin went to the bar and grabbed the beers. When he returned, she was racking the balls.

“Another game?” Layla asked.

“Sure. What are we playing for?”

“I’m a poor college student. I’m still not going to pay you twenty dollars.”

“Not confident in your ability, huh?”

“I’m confident in my ability, but you’re a shark. My money’s staying in my pocket.”

Phin moved closer and handed her a beer. “So what do you have in mind?”

She tilted her head, as appeared to be habit, and said, “A kiss. I’ve never kissed a guy with hair longer than mine.”

He reached out and ran his hand over the back of her head, where there wasn’t enough hair to grab. “Not hard to do. Besides, if you want a kiss, all you have to do is ask.”


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Author Info

Shannyn Schroeder is a former high school and middle school English teacher. She holds a BA in English and MAs in Special Education and Gifted Education. She currently works as an editor for an education company and juggles writing around her kids’ schedules. In her spare time, Shannyn loves to bake and watches far too much TV, especially cop shows. She started her first book on a dare from her husband and has never looked back. She came to reading romance later than many, but lives for the happy ending, and writes contemporary romance because she enjoys the adventure of new love.


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*Kensington is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for FIVE iBook Copies of HER BEST SHOT*



Posted by on September 30, 2014 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights


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BOOK BLAST ~ Skating on Thin Ice : Game on in Seattle #1 by Jami Davenport ~ Giveaway



Jami Davenport presents Game on in Seattle, a new series featuring Seattle sports teams, hot men, and strong women.

He trusts his gut, she trusts her numbers, and neither trusts the other, as a billionaire’s mission to bring hockey to Seattle clashes with his passion for the woman who holds his heart.


Ethan Parker, a billionaire determined to bring a professional hockey to Seattle, will stop at nothing to realize his dream. After signing an agreement to purchase another city’s team, Ethan is anxious to make the move to Seattle, but a gag order by the League forces him to keep the sale a secret until the season ends, leaving him no choice but to go undercover as a consultant to study his team during the playoffs.
Lauren Schneider, Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the Giants hockey team, gets no respect from the team’s testosterone-loaded staff. When Ethan bursts onto the scene, full of charm and genuinely interested in her opinions, she shares the team’s weaknesses and discovers a weakness of her own–for Ethan. But when his true identity is revealed, and he starts cleaning house based on her unwitting input, his betrayal cuts deeply on both a professional and personal level. Bound by an employment contract, Lauren reluctantly moves to Seattle to work for the newly christened Seattle Sockeyes and her sexy, infuriating boss.
Lauren and Ethan must come to terms with their passions–for the team, for hockey, and for each other. Will their situation build a frozen wall between them, or will their love burn hot enough to melt the ice shielding their hearts?


Lauren had stepped over the line. She’d possibly insulted this man, and his blue eyes had blazed, not with anger as much as a challenge, one she didn’t wholly understand.

The next several weeks would be pure, absolute torture. Not only was Ethan an enigma, but he was attractive as hell. With that same sixth sense which made her a wizard at evaluating hockey talent, she sensed there was more to Ethan than he’d revealed. He was hiding something, and that unknown made her uncomfortable and intrigued at the same time, not to mention she was hot for him. She’d be a liar to deny it.

As she pondered this bewildering mess she’d found herself immersed in, Kaley, her friend and the coach’s administrative assistant, peeked around the door. “What did you say to him?”

“Probably too much. I don’t trust his motives.”

Kaley glanced over her shoulder and then back. “You don’t trust anyone’s motives.”

Lauren shrugged. Kaley spoke the truth.

“Did you see the hot guy with him?”

Lauren thought Ethan was pretty damn hot for a businessman, not her normal type. “Uh, I hadn’t noticed.”

Kaley narrowed her eyes and studied Lauren. “Don’t you dare go crushing on Ethan. He’s trouble; I have a sixth sense about guys like him.”

“Look at you. Warning me when you’re drooling over his partner in crime.”

“I am not, even if he is sexy as hell, and I get an orgasm looking at him. But orgasmically sexy doesn’t mean anything. It’s all look and no touch. I don’t date rich pricks with an ego bigger than Cedric’s.” Cedric was their charismatic forward, who played as hard off the ice as he did on it.

“So you just date poor pricks or what?”

“I do have soft spot for them.” Kaley shrugged one shoulder and studied her fingernails.

“You have a soft spot for good-looking men in general, forget about their personalities.” Kaley was a serial dater, and Lauren lived vicariously through her since dating didn’t seem to be her forte or even one of her sins. Her life revolved around hockey, and unless the man was on skates, had a wicked slapshot, or an even more wicked right hook, she wasn’t interested. Of course, she didn’t date hockey players, at least not anymore. She’d taken a few for a spin around the rink in her college days and decided they made better friends than lovers, except for the one she’d married. That biggest mistake of her life drove home the no dating of hockey players, which she’d amended to any man involved in hockey just to play it safe.

Kaley wagged a finger at her. “Just remember, play nice. The league has been trying to land a buyer forever that would keep the team in Florida. So let’s hope this guy gives a favorable report to his bosses, or we’ll be sold to that Seattle group who’s been circling like a shark. Next thing you know, we’ll be sipping lattes on the waterfront, watching ferry boats putter around.”

“In the pouring rain.”

“Well, there is that,” Kaley acknowledged with a toss of her black hair.

“How do we know this guy isn’t working for the Seattle group?” Lauren frowned as she put to words fears she’d been harboring since Sunday.

For a moment a cloud passed over Kaley’s face, then she smiled, slipping back into her create-my-own-reality mode. “Because Ike said he wasn’t.”

Just thinking of Seattle shot dread through Lauren. She didn’t have a thing against Seattle, but she was an East Coast girl through and through. Moss and mold made her sneeze. Huge trees and mountains gave her claustrophobia. And the geeks Seattle was famous for didn’t buy hockey tickets, did they?

A tall man with dark blond hair and dancing blue eyes poked his head in the doorway. “Hey, I’m looking for Ethan.” He turned his panty-dropping smile on Lauren but it lingered on Kaley. As usual, most men couldn’t get past her long black hair, curvy body, and dark, mysterious eyes. “Hey, hi, again.”

Kaley literally purred as she stopped next to the guy and wrapped her fingers around his arm. “Hi, yourself. Brad, you know Lauren Schneider, our assistant director of player personnel?”

Brad smiled at her, a player this one and obviously good natured and fun-loving. “So you’re the poor girl who gets to babysit the man. Good luck. He’s a handful.”

“I’m sure I can handle him just fine.”

Kaley, in full flirt mode, batted thick eyelashes at Brad. “Let’s see if we can find Ethan. Lauren has work to do.”

Brad laughed, a full-throated laugh. “As long as she’s the one doing the work, and it isn’t us.” He came across as the type of guy a girl couldn’t help but like—gregarious, fun, and not a mean bone in his body.

Together Brad and Kaley strolled down the hall in the opposite direction of where Ethan happened to be meeting with the coaches.

Lauren shook her head. Leave it to Kaley to hustle the hot guy. But anything that helped their cause was more than worth it, as long as it wasn’t Lauren doing the hustling.

With a sigh she went back to work on her statistics and spreadsheets, making notes here and there and jotting down items for Ethan’s attention, items which painted the current team and staff in a positive light.

Anything for the good of the team.


 Link to Follow Tour:

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Author Info

An advocate of happy endings, Jami Davenport writes sexy contemporary and sports romances, including her two new indie endeavors: the Game On in Seattle Series and the Madrona Island Series. Jami lives on a small farm near Puget Sound with her Green Beret-turned-plumber husband, a Newfoundland cross with a tennis ball fetish, a prince disguised as an orange tabby cat, and an opinionated Hanoverian mare. She works in computer support in her day job and juggles too many balls, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Jami Davenport

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*Jami is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for $20.00 Amazon Gift Card, a Swag Pack and Digital Winners Choice Backlist*




Posted by on September 30, 2014 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights


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BOOK BLAST ~ The Night Belongs to Fireman by Jennifer Bernard ~ Giveaway

The-Night-Belongs-to-Fireman-Jennifer-Bernard (1)


Daring . . . Sexy . . . Irresistible . . .
They’re the Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel

When fireman Fred Breen rescues a bachelorette party after a construction crane collapses onto their limo, the media labels him the “Bachelor Hero.” But all Fred can think about is the petite brunette with the sexy mane of dark curls who bolted away from him faster than a wildfire after he carried her to safety. And when he discovers she’s none other than Rachel Kessler, the daughter of a tech billionaire, the girl whose kidnapping riveted the nation, he intends to learn every intimate detail about this intriguing woman who sets his pulse on fire.

Rachel can’t deny the lean-muscled firefighter is smokin’ hot. But after having one too many drinks at the bar where she first meets him, Rachel knows she’s made a fool of herself. Yet when he rescues her from the limo, she feels safe for the first time since she was held for ransom as a child. Then her overprotective father insists Fred be her bodyguard—and his close presence kindles a burning desire that only he can extinguish.


Link to Follow Tour:

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Author Info

Jennifer Bernard is a graduate of Harvard and a former news promo producer. The child of academics, she confounded her family by preferring romance novels to … well, any other books. She left big city life for true love in Alaska, where she now lives with her husband and stepdaughters. She’s no stranger to book success, as she also writes erotic novellas under a naughty secret name not to be mentioned at family gatherings.


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*Avon is hosting a TOUR WIDE Rafflecopter Giveaway for Three Winners to receive Print Copies of The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel Series Books 1-3, THE FIREMAN WHO LOVED ME, HOT FOR FIREMAN and SEX AND THE SINGLE FIREMAN*




Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights


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SPECIAL GUEST ~ Mira Lynn Kelly author of Truth or Dare ~ Giveaway

Please help me welcome Mira Lynn Kelly to the blog today :) I love her guest post and think you will too! She’s also offering a fabulous giveaway to celebrate her release Truth or Dare…so don’t forget to enter at the end of the post :)

Take it away Mira…


THREE THINGS about TRUTH OR DARE (A Dare to Love Novel) by Mira Lyn Kelly

Hi everyone! Okay, so I was sitting at my computer, deep into the screen staring as I fretted over fresh and fun blog ideas for my September 16 release, TRUTH OR DARE, when my BWB (Best Writing Buddy), suggested a “Just the facts, ma’am” style post to introduce you to me, my new book, and my dishy, dishy characters.

Sweet!! She always has the best ideas. And I’m super excited about this release soOOOoooooo… Here it is.

Three things about the book…Cover1) TRUTH OR DARE (A Dare to Love novel) is the first in my sexy new Chicago-set series, and revolves around a group of tight knit friends—all romantically impaired with their own individual brands of relationship dysfunction.2) Genre: Contemporary Romance with a sizzly mix of sexy, fun, and heartachey goodness.

3) Key components: A year long dating pact, a grudge holding heroine with a weakness for well-defined abs, and a nerve grating hero with a sweet tooth for the cookie baking girl downstairs he knows better than to want.


Nook: iBooks: Kindle:

KindleUK: Google Play: Books-a-million: Kobo:


Three things about me…mira1) I’m a wife, homemaker-nonextraordinaire, and USA TODAY bestselling write-at-home mom of four—dishing up sexy love stories when I’m not picking up Legos.2) Believer in binge baking as stress management, and I’ve taught my heroine, Maggie, everything she knows.

3) Favorite things in romance: Shirtless sweaty heroes sporting low slung jeans, hot hallway hookups, and hard earned happily ever afters.


Three things about my heroine, Maggie Lawson…

1) Her thoughts on dating: Talk about a headache she didn’t need. Not when her life was pretty well perfect just the way it was. Stable. Secure. On track. Built on a rock-solid foundation of friendships that “completed” her in ways no romance could.

2) Background music: “STRONGER” by Kelly Clarkson.

3) Forecast for her future: Expect turbulent times ahead, beginning with the sour-patch stud moving in upstairs.

Three things about my hero, Tyler Wells…

1) Unavailable for romance due to prior commitments.

2) Enjoys: Running, trash talk, and rescuing his downstairs neighbor from dates gone awry.

3) Super power: Able to make bowling sexy in a single frame.

Okay, so how about an excerpt?

Crossing to the sideboard in front of the window, she set the tray down. Arranged the remaining cookies as a prickly awareness chased up her spine, alerting her to the close proximity of the unwelcome one. The infiltrator.

“Those cookies look pretty good, Apartment Two.”

Damn straight they do. “Mmph.”

She turned where she stood, using her body as a shield as she faced the antagonistic jerk who’d been her best bickermate since the day he moved in, in June. Hands stuffed in the front pockets of his faded blues, those broad shoulders hunched forward in a way that somehow made them look even bigger than when he stood straight, he ducked his head and shot her with a look from beneath some seriously thick lashes, flashing what she regretfully had to admit was a pretty spectacular smile at her. And sure enough, it even came with a dimple accompaniment.

She’d bet that smile had gotten Apartment Three a lot of things he shouldn’t have had.

Her cookies weren’t going to be one of them.

“Don’t even think about it.”

“Come on, Two. You’re not a grudge holder.” He stepped closer, dropping his voice to a midnight whisper. “Let me have one.”

Maggie studied the nails of her right hand. “As it happens, Three, I am a grudge holder. I’m also a scorekeeper. And a gloating, ungracious winner. Just so there’s no misunderstanding.”

He rubbed an open hand over his mouth and jaw, those calculating eyes shifting between her and the cookies.

“Sizing up my raisins? Trying to decide if they’re worth the work?”

“Hell, it was like the soundtrack to a porno in here the way all these guys were grunting and groaning over them. They’re worth it. Eye on the prize is all.”

He could bite her prize. “I wouldn’t get my hopes up.”

Another assessing look, this one holding long enough it caused a sort of nervous stir in her belly. Not helping his cookie plight at all.

“Don’t you think it’s time we called a truce, Maggie? We’re neighbors.” Another step, and he was working the bare edge of her personal space. Crowding her with his eyes and words and a body that really ought to have an additional eighteen inches of distance between it and hers. Only rather than stepping back, Tyler pushed the violation further. Bracing one hand on the table beside her, he leaned closer so there was no choice but to look up, up—oh God—into that waiting, I’ve-got-a-reason-to-be-cocky smile directed down at her. Their eyes met and her thoughts scattered, because this close . . . with that kind of spicy, masculine scent coming off him . . .

He drew a long breath and let it out in a slow stream of air that ruffled the loose curls around her ear and sent a wave of goose bumps rolling across the surface of her skin. Made her fingers tighten around the edge of the sideboard behind her.

“We should be more neighborly, Maggie.”

From somewhere deep in the recesses of her barely working mind, she recognized . . . this was a move. A contrived, deliberate play.

And Apartment Three was whipping it out for her.

“Come on, one cookie.”

Okay, for her cookie. Not a chance.

Maggie palmed the center of his chest, ready to give him a push, when she stopped. Blinked. Her eyes going to that point of contact between them where a low-level charge seemed to be humming beneath her fingertips, radiating up her arm.

What was this?

She looked at Tyler. Found his gray eyes staring back at her, his focus dropping to her mouth, drawing her awareness to her lips and the air moving between them.

Nook: iBooks: Kindle: KindleUK:

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Looking for more than just three things about any of the above?

Well you’re in luck…

For all my daily babblings, you can find me on Facebook at or follow me on Twitter at

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I’m also sporadically on Pinterest hot make-out pictures for my books and more often scoping out crazy good looking desserts to appease my sweet tooth :-)

Hope to hear from you!






In a deliciously sexy twist on the classic game, USA Today bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly proves that when playing truth or dare—always choose dare.

After her one attempt at commitment ends with the discovery that her fiancé already has a wife and kid, Maggie Lawson vows that the only people she’ll love ’til death do they part will be her friends. Unfortunately that means Maggie letting her bestie rope her into a year-long dating dare: score a new date each month or pay a penalty. Seems doable—until Maggie’s date stands her up, leaving only one option: the sexy stud who just moved in upstairs. The problem? He and Maggie can’t stop fighting—and that’s just the beginning.

His name is Tyler Daniels and the last thing he needs is his neighbor distracting him with her girl-next-door smile and sharp tongue. Tyler’s in Chicago for one reason: to woo back his selfish ex in order to reclaim the child he once thought was his—and that means keeping Maggie out of his bed. A tall order, since Maggie has become a bigger temptation than he ever expected to face. But before they can even consider leaving the past behind, Maggie and Tyler must accept a brand-new dare: real, forever love.


“He actually called you ‘Apartment Two’?” Ava Meyers, Maggie’s best friend and fellow abstainer in all things “relationship,” shook her head, her mahogany shag catching in the light breeze and blowing around her face. They were settled in on their favorite bench with the usual Sunday assortment of accumulated mail, magazines, electronic devices, and what remained of the cookies. “Like you didn’t merit an identity beyond the female occupying space beneath him.”

Maggie scrolled through the headlines, too deep into her snit to commit to any one bit of news. “Ford says he’s in marketing. Freelance. And he’s from New York I think, renting month to month, so maybe we’ll luck out and he’ll be gone by September.”

“Month to month? Weird. Why?”

“Your brother. You ask.”

Ava let out an indelicate snort. Ford was . . . distracted. That they’d even gotten this much information was a minor miracle.

Picking through the cookies, she added, “I love it that he thought you were putting a move on him, though.”

“I know. Because that’s so me,” Maggie snickered. “Scoping out the meat market twenty-four–seven.”

Talk about a headache she didn’t need. Not when at twenty-seven, her life was pretty well perfect just the way it was. Stable. Secure. On track. Built on a rock-solid foundation of priorities any guidance counselor would swoon over. Maggie had completed her education, had savings and a financial plan, a solid job managing The Shrone Gallery, and her boss’s cosmic blessing to buy into the business as a partner, hopefully within the next year, and eventually buy her out. Add to that, the friendships that “completed” her in ways no romance could . . . and she was good.

Better than.

The whole ever-after business? She didn’t have time for it.

Correction. She had plenty of time. It was the inclination that was lacking.

Maggie tipped her face to the sky, basking in the warmth of June’s sunshine and her contentment with the lot that life had given her. Sure, there’d been dues to pay. There always were. But it was because of those rough patches that she was able to fully appreciate this tranquil little corner of Platonia she’d carved out for herself. Where her circle of friends reigned supreme and the forecast always called for good times. Constancy, support, and reliability.

Chance of romantic strife or bitter betrayal raining on their parade? Zero.

Yeah, Maggie was satisfied with her life exactly the way it was. Period.

“So, hey,” Ava drawled from beside her. “Obviously, Apartment Three was a total weenis, and I’m not talking about him. But do you ever look around and . . . you know . . . wonder?”

“Hmm . . . About what?” How to reduce her carbon footprint? Whether the new Italian place was as good as everyone was saying? If her buyer for the Stovitz oil was serious about a second piece? If she’d be able to get Hedda to sit still—and not in a meditative state—long enough to discuss a timetable for their plans? If her parents would finally relax and believe she was capable of taking care of herself?

Ava squinted, her mouth turning down in distaste. “That.”

Maggie followed her friend’s gaze to the red-checked cliché-in-action nestled into a shady corner of Wicker Park. And blinked. Twice.

“The couple?” she wheezed. “You aren’t serious?”

Then after a thought, let out a laugh, because, no way.

Ava didn’t date any more than Maggie did—which meant only under the most dire of circumstances. And unless Maggie had missed significantly more than she’d realized this morning, these were not them.

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure I am. I think maybe it’s time I stopped shutting down every guy who asks me out and start, I don’t know, opening myself up to the possibilities.”

Eyes cranking around a beat before her head, Maggie gasped. “Wha—?”

This wasn’t happening. It couldn’t be. Except that sour look of disgusted resignation on Ava’s face as she frowned across at the picnic set for two told Maggie . . . it was happening.


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USA Today bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly grew up in the Chicago area and earned her degree in Fine Arts from Loyola University. She met the love of her life while studying abroad in Rome, Italy, only to discover he’d been living right around the corner from her back home. Having spent her twenties working and playing in the Windy City, she’s now settled with her husband in rural Minnesota, where their four beautiful children provide an excess of action and entertainment. When she isn’t reading, writing, or running to keep up with the kids, she loves watching movies, blabbing with the girls, and cooking with her husband and friends.


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*Loveswept is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a $25 eGift Card of Winner’s Choice Bookseller and Loveswept Tote and Mug*



Posted by on September 26, 2014 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights


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SPECIAL GUEST ~ Author Sara Jane Stone ~ Giveaway

Today we have author Sara Jane Stone visiting! She’s here to share a snippet of her latest release Caught In The Act. I love the title and the cover…as well as the blurb. I think you will too.

Sara is sharing what inspired her to write Caught in the Act.

And don’t forget to enter her giveaway at the end of the post :)

Take it away Sara…


What Inspired Caught in the Act By Sara Jane Stone

             With most books, I look forward to answering the question what inspired you to write? Why this story? These characters? For Full Exposure, the first book in the Independence Fall series, the answer was easy: a news article about veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. One young woman’s experience stuck in my head and slowly a character formed. But for Caught in the Act, I don’t have an easy answer.

Katie and Liam first appear in Full Exposure. Katie is Georgia’s friend and Liam is Georgia’s brother. About halfway through the first draft of Full Exposure, I realized Katie and Liam had a past. Scenes started forming in my mind, and somehow, I took the characters I’d met in Full Exposure, the goats on my mother-in-law’s Oregon farm, and wrote one of my favorite opening scenes. Here’s a snippet:

“My answer is still no. I can’t leave my goats.” She pointed to her backseat. “And they won’t fit on your bike.”

“Your what?” Hands dropped to his side as he peered into her wagon.

“What the hell are you doing dressed up and driving around with livestock in your car?”

“I was looking at potential spots for Georgia’s bachelorette.”

Liam looked at her, eyebrows raised. “You’re throwing my little sister a party that involves goats?”

“They were at one of the venues. The owner was planning to take them to the slaughterhouse. Even the baby. So I bought them. And we are not having Georgia’s party there.”

He looked at her as if she’d exchanged her common sense for the animals currently eating her car. And she suspected her brothers’ reaction would match Liam’s what-am-I-going- to-do-with-you expression.

“Guess I’m walking you home.”

“No. I’ll be fine on my own.”

“I’m not letting you go alone, Katie.”

He turned and headed for his motorcycle. Her eyes narrowed and she debated picking up the flat spare and tossing it at him. He didn’t have the right to make that call.

But I don’t think ‘goats’ is the answer readers anticipate when they ask what inspired a romance novel. Beyond that all I can say is that this story came from Katie and Liam. I merely followed their lead.

Both Full Exposure and Caught in the Act are sexy, red-hot reads.   I also like writing moving, heartfelt stories about people facing real challenges such as PTSD. But with Caught in the Act, I wanted readers to have fun. I wanted them to giggle, maybe even laugh out loud. I had a blast writing this story—and I really hope that translates to a fun, moving, and heartfelt read!



Falling for his rivals’ little sister could cost him everything …

For Liam Trulane, failure is not an option. He is determined to win a place in Katie Summers’ life before she leaves Independence Falls for good. But first, he needs to make amends for the last time they got down and dirty.

Only problem?

His professional success hinges on striking a deal to buy Katie’s family business. And after Liam’s relationship with their Katie went south years ago, the Summers brothers are more enemy than friend. If both parties agree to set the past aside, they can reach an understanding. But when Katie welcomes him back into her bed, Liam risks everything to make her his.

After Liam betrayed her trust, Katie Summers will do anything to keep him from walking away with the family business. She decides to seduce him, knowing that when her brothers find out, they will back off from the deal. And she’ll finally have her revenge. But when her plan spirals out of control, Katie learns that payback may come at too high a price …

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After several years on the other side of the publishing industry, Sara Jane Stone bid goodbye to her sales career to pursue her dream-writing romance novels. Sara Jane currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her very supportive real-life hero, two lively young children and a lazy Burmese cat. Join Sara Jane’s newsletter to receive new release information, news about contests, giveaways, and more! To subscribe, visit and look for her newsletter entry form.

Sara Jane Stone

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*Avon is hosting a TOUR WIDE Rafflecopter Giveaway for FIVE Signed Copies of FULL EXPOSURE Book One Independence Falls*




Posted by on September 25, 2014 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights


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What to Read Wednesday with Claudia Connor ~ Giveaway

Thank you for joining me on another round of What to Read Wednesday. Today we have author Claudia Connor in the hot seat. She’s hear sharing her release Worth the Fall. She’s also digging deep and sharing her journey to writing story. I really enjoyed it and think you will too :)

Afterward, please don’t forget to enter her fabulous giveaway!

Take it away Claudia…


Once upon a time…a friend told me that not everyone hears voices. Or makes up stories in their head.

But me? I constantly see things in a flash like I’m watching a full color movie and I’d always thought everyone did the same. But this friend gave me a really strange look, shook her head slowly and said, “No. That’s not normal. Maybe you should try writing it down.” So I did.

That was the summer of 2011. And so it began. I wrote and wrote and wrote, and visited every author site that offered advice on writing. I checked out books on characterization, plot, and story structure from the library and then wrote some more.

In 2012 I discovered RWA, Romance Writers of America, and in July I joined a group of like minded ladies in Anaheim, CA for a four day romance writers conference. I met with agents, editors, and hundreds of other writers, published and unpublished, and returned home to Tennessee full of fire.

Entering contests, namely RWA’s Golden Heart, gave me dates on my calendar. I paid close attention to my progress and found accountability, something a closet writer doesn’t really have. I developed a habit of writing everyday and I learned it’s not about mood or inspiration. It’s about work. No matter how may words you get down on paper, you have to work. Every. Single. Day.

In January, I completed my manuscript in time to enter the 2013 Golden Heart, relaxed for about twenty-four hours, and then much to my family’s shock and dismay, started my next book. In addition to writing, I submitted query letters to agents and editors. Some I’d met at the conference in California, others I’d only googled. And then I waited.

And I got rejected.

Some were generic, Sorry, but no. Others were politely detailed, No’s, same result, though maybe less sting. I took heart in knowing the average, for romance at least, is four to five completed manuscripts before getting published.

Several months later, I received an email from an agent requesting the entire manuscript beyond the first three chapters I’d submitted. I didn’t expect to hear anything for a while, but I did. The very next day! She’d read the entire book overnight and loved it. But…

There were a lot of buts and changes to be made. The excitement of someone in the industry being interested in my work overshadowed everything else. And I thought, hey, I’m a newbie, what do I know?

I signed with her and began a very long, very painful revision process. A lot of buts turned into even more buts, and everything changed. I went through a dark time, shut off from friends, mired in the muck of my writing cave. It wasn’t fun anymore. I questioned every decision, second guessed every word, and drove myself crazy. The dream of being published was suddenly real, maybe too real, and I nearly cracked under the pressure and the uncertainty.

But there was light at the end of the tunnel. In August 2013, I signed with a new agent and within days accepted a two book deal from Penguin Random House. From my lowest low to my highest high in less than a week.

I think that’s the way it goes in this business. Things can change so fast there’s no sense in getting buried in the inevitable disappointments. Your sales are great, then they’re terrible. You get heart warming reviews and then you get the one that makes you want to hide under the covers. All you can do to be a writer is write.



Prepare to be swept away by a talented debut author with a passionate, powerful story to tell.

They meet on a beach. . . . Abby Davis isn’t wearing a skimpy bikini or sipping umbrella drinks, not when she’s busy chasing around four little ones. And Matt McKinney isn’t looking for fun—he’s a Navy SEAL, a grown man with a long list of missions . . . and fallen brothers.

They only have a week. . . . Abby has brought her children to this beach to start over, to give them the enjoyable memories they deserve. Matt’s been sidelined by a combat injury, and haunted by the best friend he lost and the promise he made: to remain a SEAL—focused and dedicated. This leaves no time for what he’s always wanted: a family.

But a week is all it takes. . . . Matt opens her heart while Abby soothes his soul. And though they plan to say good-bye when the week is over, something magical happens on that beach, something neither can forget. Something utterly, completely worth falling for.


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Author Info

Claudia Connor attended Auburn University, where she received her undergraduate and masters degrees in early childhood education, and completed her studies in Sawbridgeworth, England. Always a lover of happy endings, she enjoys movies, reading, and spending her days putting on paper the stories in her head. She lives near Memphis, Tennessee, with her husband and three daughters.

Claudia Connor Author Photo
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*Loveswept is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a $25 eGift Card of Winner’s Choice Bookseller and Digital Copy of WORTH THE FALL*



Posted by on September 24, 2014 in What to Read Wednesday


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