Author Archives: ChristineWarner

#2 What to Read Wednesday with Lauren Layne ~ Giveaway

Thank you for joining me on What to Read Wednesday. Today I’m lucky enough to have 2 authors to share with you. So please don’t forget to check out the other author Lena Diaz whose guest post went up earlier this morning. BUT for now please help me welcome author Lauren Layne. She’s sharing her feelings about series romance and how opinions can easily change. Then keep reading to check out the blurb for her latest book BROKEN.

AND, don’t forget to check out Lauren’s giveaway at the end of the post :)

Take it away Lauren…


The Unintended Series

For a long time, I couldn’t stand reading romance series. Back when I first started reading romance, series were so not the thing. Sure, there might be overlapping characters here and there, but there was none of this “book 1, book 2 of ___ series” stuff that is so prevalent today.

I’m not sure what changed. Nora Roberts, maybe? Seems to me like she was writing trilogies in which the trilogy had an actual name before everyone else. And while I love Nora’s trilogies (I love anything that woman writes!), for a long time I tried to avoid books that were part of a series.

I wanted to pick up a book, be completely absorbed in that world, and then bid that world adieu and enter a new one.

When I wrote my first book, I very deliberately wrote it as a stand alone. My agent told me she loved it, right before she broke the news: we’ll have a better time selling this if it’s part of a series.

Series have taken over.

I thought about resisting, by this time, I’d started to come around on the good side of series. You got to revisit characters that felt like old friends. You got to revisit towns that felt like home. And sometimes, by the time you got to the last book in a series there’d been some pretty delicious build up.

Plus, my favorite authors were all writing series by this point. Contemporary authors (Julie James, Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis) write primarily in series. So do my favorite historical authors (Sarah Maclean, Tessa Dare).

And then I discovered something wonderful: not only are series easier to sell, they’re easier to write! Your research/notes for book 1 overlaps with later books, which means books 2 and 3 come together so much more quickly than if you were starting from scratch each time.

But despite my change of heart on series, I never gave up on the idea of a stand-alone. So I wrote one:

Isn’t She Lovely.

It came out in October 2013, with no cliffhanger, no hint at a follow-up story, no set-up for another romance.

It stood alone.


There was this girl named Olivia. She was my hero’s ex who totally ripped his heart out. I fully intended to write her as a villain, but she wouldn’t cooperate. At the end of the day, Olivia Middleton was a good person who made a bad choice.

And Olivia wanted her own story.

A series was born after all.

It should be noted that Isn’t She Lovely is a prequel to my Redemption series; it’s a bit different in tone and theme, but at the end of the day, this is a series about three former best friend’s whose lives implode in their last years of college and they have to learn to grow up without each other.

Because sometimes a series isn’t about what’s easy to write. It’s not about what sells.

It’s about telling the story that needs to be told.



Lauren Layne’s New Adult novel tells the story of a girl with secrets, a guy with scars, and a love that could save them both… or destroy them.

When Olivia Middleton abandons the glamour of Park Avenue for a remote, coastal town in Maine, everyone assumes she’s being the kind do-gooder she’s always been. But Olivia has a secret: helping an injured war veteran reenter society isn’t about charity—it’s about penance. Only, Olivia’s client isn’t the grateful elderly man she’s expecting. Instead, he’s a brooding twenty-four-year-old who has no intention of being Olivia’s path to redemption . . . and whose smoldering gaze and forbidden touch might be her undoing.

Paul Langdon doesn’t need a mirror to show him he’s no longer the hotshot quarterback he was before the war. He knows he’s ugly—inside and out. He’ll do anything to stay in self-imposed exile, even accept his father’s ultimatum that Paul tolerate the newest caretaker for three months or lose his inheritance. But Paul doesn’t count on the beautiful twenty-two-year-old who makes him long for things that he can never have. And the more she slips past his defenses, the more keeping his distance is impossible.

Now Paul and Olivia have to decide: Will they help each other heal? Or are they forever broken?

Link to Follow Tour:



Buy Links






Author Info

Lauren Layne graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in political science that she has yet to put to good use. After dabbling in an e-commerce career in Seattle and Southern California, Layne moved to New York City, where she now writes full-time. She lives with her husband and their plus-size pomeranian in a tiny Manhattan studio.

Connect with Lauren: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Lauren Layne

Author links






Posted by on August 27, 2014 in What to Read Wednesday


Tags: , , , , , ,

#1 What to Read Wednesday with Lena Diaz ~ Giveaway

Thank you for joining me on What to Read Wednesday. Today I’m lucky enough to have 2 authors to share with you. So please don’t forget to check out the other author Laura Layne whose guest post will go up later this morning. BUT for now please help me welcome author Lena Diaz. She’s telling us her call story about becoming published. No matter how many call stories I hear from various authors I always love them. I hope you enjoy her post and the blurb for her latest book TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP.

AND, don’t forget to check out Avon Romance and Lena’s wonderful giveaway at the end of the post :)

Take it away Lena…


A Call Story, or Two

Thank you for hosting me today. It gives me the opportunity to answer a frequent question that readers and aspiring writers often ask me–how did you get published?

I began writing with the goal of becoming published in mid-2005. I joined RWA–Romance Writers of America–and began a long journey of workshops, conferences, and networking to learn my craft and learn the business of how to become a romance novelist.

Five years later, in 2010, I was fortunate enough to become a Golden Heart Finalist®. In the world of romance novel writing, that’s like the Academy Awards for unpublished authors, an annual contest sponsored by RWA. It was like living a dream, and I hoped it would be the springboard that I needed to finally get the attention of that elusive key to getting published with most traditional New York publishing houses–a literary agent.

It was.

Putting Golden Heart Finalist on my query letters was magic. I signed with a literary agent and it wasn’t long after that when I was sitting with some writer friends and received, not a call, but an email, from my agent. So I guess this is an email story instead of a call story. :)

The email told me that an editor at Avon Impulse, a digital-first line within HarperCollins, was interested in my manuscript, He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not, but only if I agreed to make some revisions. My response? Even though the story was a contemporary romantic suspense I would put aliens from Mars in it if that’s what the editor wanted me to do. In other words, YES!

Not long after that, I really did get “the call”. My agent had a second manuscript of mine on submission for months to Harlequin for their Intrigue line of romantic suspense. I’d pretty much given up on it selling since we hadn’t heard anything. So when my agent called me to chat, as she often did to strategize about my career, I didn’t expect to hear any news. She started the call in a kind of snarky, irritated voice saying, “Let me tell you what I think about Allison Lyons at Harlequin.” My heart sank a little bit and I sighed. I knew this was going to be a rejection. I sat down and said, in a resigned voice, “Okay, what do you think about Allison Lyons?” My agent then practically screamed in my ear, “I think she’s going to be your next editor!!

SQUEE! Can I just say, getting that kind of news on the phone in a real call is so much more fun than an email? I was crying and running around the house and so happy. It’s just a wonderful feeling, like you’ve been working for something so hard and for so long and you’re certain it will never happen, and then it does. It’s just amazing.

I’m very blessed to be writing for two publishers now, although it’s definitely a challenge making deadlines for both of them. But no matter what happens in my career going forward, I’ll always have the memories of my “email” and my “call” when I sold to both of them. It’s something I’ll cherish forever.

So, now you know my call stories. Is there a special moment in your life that you’d like to share? A call story or something totally unrelated to writing? I’d love to hear it!



Lena Diaz returns with another sexy, thrilling Deadly Games novel and the darkest question of all: What do you do when your freedom could cost you your life?

Detective Emily O’Malley just stumbled upon a killer’s lair—and the remains of a woman he kept locked away for years. But this killer isn’t done yet. More women are missing, and all clues point to Devlin Buchanan—the man who seems to know just a little too much. Emily’s instincts are rarely wrong, and now they’re telling her this sexy, mysterious man is hiding something big …
As a trained assassin for EXIT Inc—a top-secret mercenary group posing as an international tour company—Devlin “Devil” Buchanan isn’t afraid to take justice into his own hands. But when the hot new detective on his trail gets too close to the organization and a contract is placed on her life, Devlin does the only thing he can: he turns rogue agent and kidnaps her to save her life.

With EXIT Inc closing in and passions running hot between them, Emily and Devlin must work together to find the missing women and clear both their names before time runs out … and the key to freedom is thrown away.

Link to Follow Tour:

Goodreads Link:


Buy Links





Author Info

Originally from Kentucky, romantic suspense author Lena Diaz also lived in California and Louisiana before settling in Northeast Florida with her husband, two children, and a Shetland Sheepdog named Sparky. A Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finalist, she’s won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense and has been a finalist for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. She loves to watch action movies, garden, and hike in the beautiful Tennessee Smoky Mountains.


Author Links


*Avon is hosting a Tour Giveaway for Two Digital Copies of TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP.*




Posted by on August 27, 2014 in What to Read Wednesday


Tags: , , , , , ,

BOOK BLAST ~ Longing by Jamie K Schmidt ~ Giveaway




Desire never goes out of style, as Jamie K. Schmidt proves in the sizzling continuation of her Club Inferno series—perfect for readers of Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You.

Reeling from a disastrous love affair, model and budding fashion designer Anya Litton needs a temporary refuge, a place to lick her wounds and plan her next career move. At Club Inferno, where seductively chic men and women indulge their most intimate fantasies, she can mix business with unimaginable pleasure. Anya quickly connects with club Dom Clint Reyes, who unleashes Anya’s deepest longings over nights of burning passion.

Clint is a master at taking submissives to the heights of pleasure in Club Inferno’s opulent private dungeons. But it’s Anya who has Clint begging for more when the woman of his dreams becomes his eager partner in exploring the limits of desire. As their relationship ignites into an erotic contest of wills—and a jealous rival plots against them both—Clint prepares to fight for a future with Anya. In this complicated dance, the wrong move could end it all . . . and taking control means total surrender.

Longing is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.



Link to Follow Tour:

Goodreads Link:


Buy Links





Author Info

Jamie K. Schmidt has published more than thirty short stories in small-press journals and e-zines. She’s an active member in the Romance Writers of America. When not writing, she relaxes with a mug of hot tea and knits or makes beaded jewelry. She sells her handcrafted items at Connecticut’s historic Dudley Farm during the summer.


Author Links





*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 August 26, 2014 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights


Tags: , , , , ,

Special Guest ~ Gwen Jones author of Kiss Me, Captain ~ Giveaway

Thank you for joining me on the blog today! We have Avon Impulse author Gwen Jones visiting with a deleted scene from her latest romance Kiss Me, Captain – Book 2 in the French Kiss series. Don’t you just love her cover? I admit it, I’m a cover junkie and this one ticks all the boxes :)

Don’t forget to click on the link at the end of the post to enter Gwen’s giveaway :)

Take it away Gwen…

Kiss-Me,-Captain-Gwen-Jones (1)

Deleted Scene from Kiss Me, Captain


Gwen Jones

“Marcel Makes His Move”

            As Marcel Mercier barreled though Philadelphia International Airport, he swore he would’ve sold his mother for a decent cup of coffee. Just his luck les Américains didn’t have a clue about making café, and that selling Viviane wouldn’t have been much of a sacrifice. But that was another issue for another time. Right now he had an obstinate redhead to make an example of, before chaining yourself to the mast became a new standard in Mercier labor relations. He pushed though the door to the street, hopping into the first taxi in a line of them idling in that quiet predawn hour.

“Where to?” the cabbie said over his shoulder.

Marcel checked the notepad on his phone. “Penn’s Landing, I believe it is. I’m looking for a ship there—the Esther Reed.”

“Ha!” The driver laughed, swinging the cab out into the lane. “You mean the ship that crazy chick chained herself to?” He shook his head, still laughing. “Protesters, TV cameras, all kinds of nuts been out there the last three days. I’ll take you to it, but I don’t know if you could get on it. Lots of police out there, and they ain’t happy.”

“I’ll get on it,” Marcel said, his anger reigniting. “And I’ll get her off it, too.”

The cabbie shook his head. “Now how you gonna…” His gaze shot to the rearview mirror. “Hey, you’re that French boss she’s been yammering about, ain’t you?”

C’est moi,” Marcel said, laughing softly. “But I’m not really the bastard she’s made me out to be. You’d think I’d be here if I were?”

The driver eyed him a moment before his wariness dissipated. “No, I guess not. I suppose you just could’ve fired her.”

“Exactly. But I believe in the power of negotiation.”

“And you’re gonna negotiate her right off that ship, right?”

“Something like that. But one thing’s for certain.” Because it still irritated him to think about it. “I’m going to prove her wrong. I don’t hate women. I love women. And she needs to know that.”

“And you’re gonna show her.” The cabbie choked back a laugh, eyebrow raised. “Uh-huh.”

They both had a good laugh over that one.

“Tell you what,” the cabbie said, exiting I-95. “I know a back way into Penn’s Landing that’ll sneak you past the cops. Just got to walk a bit. That okay?”

“That’s excellent, mon ami,” Marcel said.

After he tipped the cabbie a hundred dollars, he was soon trotting toward the Esther Reed, her two masts, their sails tightly furled, starkly naked against the moonlit sky. From what he could tell the ship looked in excellent shape for all her being hijacked, her lines taut and her gear stowed, though several people were sacked out in bedrolls at the bow of the ship. He crept up the gangplank and down to the deck, turning away from them and toward the stern.

That’s when he saw her. In the flesh this time. And he damn near lost his breath.

There in the moonlight, she was the most exquisite thing he’d ever seen. Her fair skin and red hair like porcelain and fire, her chin firmed with determination, even in sleep. But it was her taut body that held his attention at the moment, all plumpness and sensuous curves, her arms flung above her head, the lock joining the chains at her waist, securely in place.

His mouth crooked. That wasn’t the only thing he’d like to unlock. But for the moment, he settled for just looking a bit longer. At those long lashes, the curve of her cheek, those luscious lips, barely opened in slumber.

He wondered what her eyes looked like. He bent into her, bushing the back of his fingers across her hair. “Wake up, chère. C’mon.”

Dani flinched, waving her arm. “Stop…” She groaned, punching the blanket under her head. “Go away.”

  1. He liked that. He tapped her foot with his. “Non. You go away. Now get up.”

She blinked through the darkness, opening her eyes to him. Green, just as he suspected.

And they were gorgeous. As she was. A gorgeous, green-eyed, red-haired Jonah. “Ah, there she is. Sleeping Beauty.” He grasped her hands.

“Hey!” She yanked back. “Who are you?”

Oh, ma chère, won’t you soon find out. “Your mack daddy,” he said, pulling her to her feet. “Now get off my boat.”




French billionaire Marcel Mercier loves women. And there’s a string of broken hearts across two continents to prove it. But as CEO of Mercier Shipping, he’s got more important things to worry about . . . like why the charter company he just purchased in the United States is suddenly the center of an international media firestorm.

Now that big, bad Mercier Shipping owns Captain Dani Lloyd’s ship, she’s sure her job is at stake. But she won’t go down without a fight—even if it means chaining herself to the mast of the Esther Reed and refusing to set foot on shore.

The delectable captain and her newsworthy dramatics are a PR nightmare, but Marcel is happy to let Dani prove her skills on a weeklong sail to Boston. He knows no woman can resist him for that long . . . in fact, he’s counting on it.

But Marcel’s plan to seduce Dani backfires as sparks fly between the billionaire playboy and the passionate captain. Which leaves Marcel realizing that winning her heart is a challenge he can’t afford to lose.


Link to Follow Tour:

Goodreads Link:


Buy Links



iTunes :


Author Info

Gwen Jones has an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Connecticut State University and is an adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Mercer County Community College. Gwen is a fabulously talented and creative writer who mirrors the style of Nora Roberts with depth of character, intelligence and humor. She is currently working on another brilliant romance, with an expected completion in the Summer of 2013. She is a member of Liberty States Fiction Writers, The Romance Writers of America, and blogs at

Author Links






*Avon is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for Three Winners to receive a Digital Copy of KISS ME, CAPTAIN*





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


Tags: , , , , , , ,

So…I read this book

Happy Saturday!

Like so many others, I’m trying to balance many things in my life. I’ve found over the last few years, especially since I’ve started to write, that I’ve allowed certain indulgences of mine to fall to the side. My “me” time is even more limited :) I’m not complaining at all, but I’ve decided it’s time for me to at least enjoy my love of reading again. Even if it takes me a week to read a book instead of a day or a few hours like it used to, I’m going to go for it. lol

So, every once in awhile, if I read a book that I particularly enjoyed I’m going to post my review and the book information so if any of my blog readers are interested they can check it out too.

I’m not a professional reviewer or anything like that. I’m choosing to share some of the books I’ve enjoyed on my site. I enjoy just about every genre, so I’ll be all over the board :)

Today, I’d like to share Playing Doctor by Jan Meredith.


This little novella is a fun, hot read.

I liked the fact that the heroine Beth had an older son and that her and the hero were older as well….33 and 36. Beth also had an interesting background that lent a lot of reality to her reasoning in not thawing her heart in the interest of love…


Dr. Gabe North. I can sum him up in one word. YUM!

This guy is sex on legs. Smexy dialogue, smexy ponytail, smexy humor.



He has a few issues from his past as well that bar him from moving on with his future. But both of them work together to overcome their issues.

I enjoyed the dialogue and between Gabe and Beth. Sometimes fun and humorous, and sometimes reflective and serious. A nice range to get the feel for each of them and how their pasts have molded their present. I also liked their attraction…very natural and believable.

Even though this was a novella, it wasn’t lacking in character development or plot.

I enjoyed my little break from reality with this fast paced read, the delicious love scenes, and the book overall.


One night with a sexy stranger is just what the doctor ordered…

When a fellow RN predicts Beth Roberts will meet a tall, ripped, and totally lick-o-licious stranger who will fulfill her deepest desires, she laughs it off. Given her tragic love life, Beth has no desire to become involved again. But who could have predicted the doctor with the mischievous smile she meets at a wedding, or the chemistry sparking between them that threatens to break through her defenses?

Dr. Gabriel North spent two years blaming himself for his wife’s death. Having finally battled through the guilt and overcome his demons, he’s ready to move on. When he meets a sexy nurse at his friend’s wedding, the attraction is swift and strong, and he wastes no time in pressing his advantage. One night with the woman who makes him feel alive again isn’t enough, but gaining Beth’s trust is going to take more than seduction…


Title: Playing Doctor
Author: Jan Meredith
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 123 pages
Release Date: November 2013
ISBN: 978-1-62266-407-8
Imprint: Brazen

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 23, 2014 in So...I read this book


Tags: , , , ,

When “Mr. Perfect” becomes a perfect nightmare…


Check out this book…only .99…perfect read for the weekend!

Originally posted on :

Until Darkness Comes

On Sale .99

Autumn landscape

 A guardian angel… A forbidden love… Eternal consequences…

Olivia Norton was born with a gift—a gift heaven has sworn to protect, and hell is bound to destroy. Her perfect world is turned upside-down when two handsome strangers, Max and Liam, step into her life. Olivia soon discovers that her ‘Mr. Perfect’ is actually a perfect nightmare.


The rules of engagement have changed and Liam, Olivia’s guardian angel, is forced to cross dimensional borders or risk losing the woman he’s sworn to protect. Suddenly, thrust into a world unlike anything he’s ever known, Liam isn’t prepared to come face to face with the young woman whose life he holds in his hands.


But nothing is as it seems, and secrets abound that will ultimately force him to choose between two impossibilities. Max will stop at nothing to finish what he’s started, and Olivia…

View original 28 more words


Posted by on August 22, 2014 in Day to Day Life


RELEASE DAY BLITZ ~ Keeping Mr. Right Now by Robin Bielman ~ GIVEAWAY



A temporary agreement neither could keep…

Brainy, organized Sophie Birch is no beach bunny. In fact, she’s totally out of her element among the sun-bronzed crowd at a film festival in beautiful White Strand Cove. When a surf lesson introduces her to Zane Hollander, suddenly she’s up close and personal with the world’s sexiest surf star. But what can a great-looking, experienced athlete possibly see in a klutzy out-of-towner who’s never set foot in the ocean?

Zane Hollander’s playboy reputation has never been a problem…until recently. Now his management team wants him on his best behavior to entice a meaningful new sponsor. Sophie Birch is the perfect girl to help reform his image. She’s genuine and respected—and their relationship is purely fictional. But the more Sophie blooms under the beachy sun, the more Zane knows he’ll just break her heart. Because nothing’s more important to Zane than following the tide.





“Hey. Sorry about losing you.”

“You didn’t lose me. I left.”

That she did. “Can I come in?”

She hesitated a moment. “Uh, sure.” She stepped aside and he entered the large room with an ocean view. The sliding French door was open, and the gravitational pull of the beach led him to the patio.

“Nice view,” he said over his shoulder.

“It really is. This is the nicest place I’ve ever stayed at. Not that I’ve stayed in very many places.” She came up beside him, and her cinnamon sugar scent teased him.

He wanted to taste her. Eat her up.

“Is this your first time seeing the ocean, too?”

“Yes,” she whispered like she was embarrassed about it. “And I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that before our lesson the other day.”

“No apology necessary. I’m pretty impressed you did what you did.”

“Really?” Delight wiped out her shame, coaxing big-ass smiles out of them both.

“You’re a lot tougher than you look.” He turned his head toward the ocean, afraid that if he looked only at her, he’d do something stupid. Bikini-clad women dotted the beach, but not one sparked his interest like the woman next to him. Especially now that pink colored her cheeks. He wanted to take her full bottom lip between his teeth, kiss her, slip his tongue inside her mouth, and once he’d had his fill, lick his way down her body until—

“What about you?” She curled up on one of the cushioned patio chairs.

“What about me?” He took the other seat, stretching his legs out and situating himself for an easy view of the beach through the iron slats of the patio railing.

“How would people describe you?”

Her question drew his undivided attention. “Depends on who you ask.” He smirked. “Women and men have very different opinions of me.” The sun glittered off her auburn hair, casting a radiant halo. “All good, mind you.”

She rolled her eyes. “Do you ever get tired of it?”


“The fame. Being recognized everywhere you go. Having to always wear a certain image.”

His heart beat a little faster. The image he shared with the world was far from the guy his family and close friends knew. He got the feeling from Sophie’s warm, interested eyes that she really wanted to know what made him tick. In his world, women only wanted to know how to get in his board shorts, so it took him a minute to process her curiosity.

And damn if it didn’t bother him that she apparently didn’t want in his pants.

Link to Follow Tour:

Goodreads Link:


Buy Links






Author Info

USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Bielman lives in Southern California with her high school sweetheart husband, two sons, and one crazy-cute dog who loves to chew on everyone’s socks. When not attached to her laptop, she can almost always be found with her nose in a book. She also likes to run, hike, eat cupcakes, and dip her toes in the ocean. Writing is a dream come true, and she still pinches herself to be sure it’s real.

She loves to connect with readers. Learn more and sign up for her newsletter on her website at


Author Links






*Robin is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for $15.00 eGift Card Winner’s Choice Retailer*




Posted by on August 22, 2014 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights


Tags: , , , , , ,


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 483 other followers