Category Archives: What to Read Wednesday

What to Read Wednesday with Erin Lindsey Maurer and giveaway

Happy Wednesday! Please join me in welcoming author Erin Lindsey Maurer to What to Read Wednesday. She’s sharing an interesting post about writing, baseball and her latest release LINE DRIVE…find out how they all tie in together. Afterward, don’t forget to enter her wonderful giveaway!



“Why Baseball?”


I have always known I wanted to write. I remember being a second grader, making up stories to read to my brother as I forced him to play “school.” The funny thing is, for the longest time, I convinced myself that I could not write a book. I have written countless treatments and opening paragraphs, never to get much further than a few pages.

When I thought up the Philadelphia Liberty series, somehow the floodgates opened up and it became so much easier. But there have been a lot of changes along the way. In my original draft, it was barely long enough to be a novella, and the Liberty was a hockey team. Once, I realized I wanted to write about baseball, well Line Drive was born.

            Creating a baseball team just felt natural. I’ve been a long-time fan of sports romances. I gobble up anything Nikki Worrell, Jami Davenport and Toni Aleo write. There’s something about unlocking the jock stereotype, to reveal the sensitive, passionate man underneath. Believe me, to devote your life to a sport and make room in your heart for love, requires a ton of passion. I knew I wanted to be a sports romance writer.

            Writing about hockey just felt a little off, but making the jump to baseball was simple. I grew up on the sport, cut my teeth watching the boys of summer take the field. I spent weekends at Little League games, watching my brother play or my dad behind the plate. Baseball has always felt like home to me.

            Deciding to write about the minor leagues was a little bit more of a stretch. For me, its what made sense. From the moment I put pen to paper, I knew that Mattie was going to be a complicated hero. I knew his sense of duty was going to pull him in multiple directions. His love of baseball was a driving force in his life, but its not the only force in his life.

            His complicated character was what made me realize that he needed to play for the minors. Those guys don’t make the millions we see in the majors. Many of them have second jobs, careers, and obligations. But, that’s not the only reason the Liberty had to be a minor league team.

            Just as long as I’ve been cheering on my beloved Philadelphia Phillies, I have loved visiting the minor league teams. For me, the feeling at the minors is just a little bit different. The stadiums are definitely always filled with families. I’ve always noticed more interaction with fans in the minor league parks. Though many of them have their sights set on the big time, in the minors you are sure to find guys who play just for the love of the game.

For me, that’s worth writing about.



Mattie Duvall is just starting to rediscover his dreams. Signing with the minor league Philadelphia Liberty gives him a second shot at playing professional baseball. What he didn’t expect was to fall for the cider-haired pixie haunting his dreams. Ashlynn Davis isn’t looking for love. She’s busy chasing down her own big dream: finding a way to use her cooking skills to give back to Philadelphia’s less fortunate. The two cannot deny their mutual attraction, or that they’re heading rapidly towards that four letter word they thought they’d never say: LOVE. When secrets from Mattie’s past bubble to the surface, Ashlynn begins to question her position in his life. Can the two put the past behind them in time to race toward a future together? Or is love destined to play second fiddle to big dreams and even bigger secrets?


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Erin Lindsey Maurer

Author Info

Erin Lindsey Maurer grew up surrounded by stories. She made up stories about well everything and often got caught reading under her covers with a flashlight. Today, she is still cooking up tales, with a spicier spin. Line Drive is the first title in her Philadelphia Liberty series, celebrating the boys of baseball and the women they love.

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*Erin is hosting a TOUR WIDE Rafflecopter Commenter Giveaway for FIVE Digital Copies of LINE DRIVE*



Posted by on April 16, 2014 in What to Read Wednesday


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What to Read Wedesday with Cynthia Sax and giveaway

Thank you for coming back for another round of What to Read Wednesday! Today we have Avon author Cynthia Sax in the hot seat. She’s written an intriguing guest post that will leave you in the hot seat when you answer her question.

I, for one, can’t wait to read your answers.

Cynthia is also sharing teasing us with a blurb from her latest release Breaking All The Rules…an erotic novella that sounds like a fun read. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post. Details listed below!

Take it away Cynthia…

Will The Real You Please Stand Up?

Cynthia Sax

When I was in university, I was infamous for my mad party crashing skills (before Wedding Crashers made it cool). I’d drag a group of buddies out and we’d crash random parties, doing our best to blend in. If we attended an engineering party, we’d all be engineers. If we attended a chess club party, we’d all be chess players.

We mastered the art of making conversation without saying anything. We asked questions and listened. I knew nothing about chess or quantum physics before I attended the parties. After the parties, I knew a little bit about both topics (this splattering of knowledge is now invaluable for my writing).

I’m certain we weren’t fooling anyone but we were all female (in a very male-dominated school) and we were having a blast so no one said anything.

Sometimes I still pretend to have knowledge I don’t or to be someone I’m not. I’ll nod when a friend tells me about an insurance rating system (I don’t even know what that is). When I win the airline lottery and get bumped to first class, I act as though I belong there. Book bloggers (grins) interview me and I pretend I know what I’m talking about.

Camille, the rebel heroine of Breaking All The Rules, finds herself in a similar situation. She wants Nate. She’s a bit obsessed with the uptight CFO. The problem is… Nate only has sexual relations with high class escorts. No problem, Camille thinks, I’ll pretend to be an escort.

She has NO idea how to be an escort. She doesn’t know how escorts act, what they charge for their services, or what the true relationship is between an escort and her client. Camille makes things up as she goes along, giving Nate what she thinks he needs, covering her errors with fast talking.

She severely undercharges for their first encounter (she sets an hourly rate and Nate, having been teased and tormented for months, doesn’t last long). When Nate calls her on this, she claims the fee was a deposit.

Here’s a snippet…


I cover his grim lips with my right index finger. “I don’t want to hear another word about the other women and what they charge or what they do.” His eyes flash, bolts of lightning surging through his darkened irises. “They run their businesses their way. I run my business my way.” I sweep my fingertip over his lips back and forth, back and forth. His breath blows tantalizingly hot against my skin. “This is a deposit. I’ll collect the remaining balance after the transaction is completed.”

I drift my hands over his suit-clad chest, relishing his firm muscle and solid form. “There will be none of that pay-in-sixty-days nonsense either.” I swirl my fingers over his slim sleek belt buckle. “I expect immediate cash.” I release his belt and he inhales sharply, his body shaking.


Yeah, Nate is a goner. Camille is a sexual force to be reckoned with.

Have you ever pretended to have knowledge you didn’t or acted like someone else?



Nathan Lawford, Blaine Technologies’ chief financial officer, is known as the Iceman. He conducts his personal and business affairs without emotion, never allowing himself to become involved with anyone. When Nate sees something or someone he wants, he negotiates, paying a simple, set monetary price.

Now he wants Camille, the company’s green-haired intern.

Camille Joplin Trent never expected to be paid to pleasure the man of her dreams. She can’t quite figure out why this is a bad thing. Nate is intelligent, handsome, sophisticated—everything she’s ever wanted in a lover and never thought she could have. Their contract is for a month, thirty lust-filled days of making every sexual fantasy they’ve ever had come true. At the end of this month, the rules state that their relationship will end.

Of course, Camille has never been good at following rules.

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Author Info

Cynthia Sax lives in a world filled with magic and romance. Although her heroes may not always say, “I love you”, they will do anything for the women they adore. They live passionately. They play hard. They love the same women forever.

Cynthia has loved the same wonderful man forever. Her supportive hubby offers himself up to the joys and pains of research, while they travel the world together, meeting fascinating people and finding inspiration in exotic places such as Istanbul, Bali, and Chicago.Please visit her on the web at


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Twitter: @CynthiaSax


*Avon is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a Digital Set of THE SEEN TRILOGY by Cynthia Sax*



Posted by on April 9, 2014 in What to Read Wednesday


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What to Read Wednesday with USA Today best selling author Julie Anne Long with giveaway

HI! Thank you for joining me for What to Read Wednesday :) Today we have Avon author Julie Anne Long visiting. She’s sharing a secret, but you’ll have to check out her guest post to discover what it’s all about. Afterward please check out her release BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND IAN EVERSEA and don’t forget to enter her giveaway!!!


I’ll tell you a secret: The cover of BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND IAN EVERSEA provides an important clue to our hero’s destiny. It’s not the minxy blond wearing the supremely confident smile (though she’s clearly pretty important, too).
It’s the window itself. Because for better or worse, windows have always changed Ian’s life.
Beginning with WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE (where readers first spent quality time with our inveterate rogues): one he scaled a tree to the window of the bedroom occupied the Duke of Falconbridge’s erstwhile fiancee, and was ignominiously ushered out again a mere few minutes later at gunpoint, naked, by said duke.
And in BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND IAN EVERSEA, Tansy Danforth gets her first accidental glimpse of our hero when she peers out her window early in the morning, and notices a BARE MAN on the balcony adjoining hers:

He was standing on the little balcony next to hers, just feet away.
She ducked back into her room and dragged the curtain over her face, leaving just her eyes exposed, like a harem girl, and leaned forward for a better look. She could only see his back: A glorious burnished expanse of shoulders, a lovely trench of sorts along his spine, dividing two ridges of hard muscle, all of that narrowing into a taut waist.
Suddenly he thrust his arms up into the air, arched backward as though he’d been struck my lightning, and made a sort of roaring sound, like a pagan god calling down the morning. Though she doubted whether a god would sport fluffy black hair in his armpits.
He promptly disappeared back into his room, just as though he’d been a cuckoo popping out of a clock to announce the time.

And Ian, who has met Tansy and summarily summed up and dismissed Tansy as young, feckless, shallow, innocent and (to him) uninteresting, even as she goes about captivating every other man in town, gets his first clue that there may be more to Tansy than he realized when he peers out his own window:

Her chin was propped on her fists, and she was gazing out over the Eversea grounds, which from her vantage point rolled almost as far as the eye could see. She looked smaller than usual, rather slumped in a manner that was almost defeated. For the first time it occurred to him that the sparkle she seemed to bring everywhere with her resulted from some effort, rather than some supernatural source of charm allotted to her in exchange for selling her soul to the devil.

The fascination, along with the mystification, increases each time he catches a glimpse of her:

Miss Danforth was out on the balcony, and her blonde hair down about her shoulders—good Lord, she had miles of it— almost created its own light, so brilliant was it beneath the half moon. Soothing stuff. His hands flexed absently as he imagined drawing his fingers through it.
He watched, mystified, as she leaned slowly forward and assumed something like an awkward arabesque. Her nightrail filled like a sail in a passing breeze, and he was treated to a glimpse of very fine white calf before it deflated. She tilted her head at an impossible angle, and her hair fell in a great sheet down her back. Soothing as watching a river move.
But what the devil was she doing? Perhaps it was some sort of interpretive dance? Was she bowing toward America the way Muslims bowed in the direction of Mecca?
He winced as she gracelessly righted herself again, her arms see-sawing. He could rule out dancer.

In fact, these stealthy, stolen glimpses from their adjacent windows parallel the developing relationship between Ian and Tansy—each incident offers increasingly tantalizing clues about each other, which appall and fascinate them, and which they at first misinterpret. But little by little, it’s the mystery and intrigue of these window glimpses that pull them inexorably together.
And when Tansy finally learns the real reason Ian stretches and roars out on his balcony every morning, her heart is lost. And when Ian learns why Tansy is leaning awkwardly over the edge of her balcony, craning her head, searching the sky for something, it’s the beginning of the end for our inveterate rogue: she’s the first woman to manage to kick open the locked gates of his heart.
And maybe that’s why Tansy looks so satisfied on the cover of the book. She knows windows are going to seal Ian’s fate, and that fate is a happily ever after with her.



She might look like an angel…

The moment orphaned American heiress Titania “Tansy” Danforth arrives on English shores she cuts a swath through Sussex, enslaving hearts and stealing beaux. She knows she’s destined for a spectacular titled marriage—but the only man who fascinates her couldn’t be more infamous…or less interested.

…but it takes a devil to know one…

A hardened veteran of war, inveterate rogue Ian Eversea keeps women enthralled, his heart guarded and his options open: why should he succumb to the shackles of marriage when devastating good looks and Eversea charm make seduction so easy?

…and Heaven has never been hotter.

When Ian is forced to call her on her game, he never dreams the unmasked Tansy—vulnerable, brave, achingly sensual—will tempt him beyond endurance. And fight as he will, this notorious bachelor who stood down enemies on a battlefield might finally surrender his heart…and be brought to his knees by love.

Link to Pennyroyal Green Series at Goodreads,

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Author Info
The author of five popular novels from Warner and eight from Avon, Julie Anne Long lives in California with a fat orange cat (little known fact: they issue you a cat the moment you become a romance novelist).

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**Avon is hosting a TOUR WIDE Rafflecopter Commenter Giveaway for A Print Copy of IT HAPPENED ONE MIDNIGHT, Book Eight in the Pennyroyal Green Series**

###Click HERE to enter###


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What to Read Wednesday with Emma Cane and giveaway

Welcome to What to Read Wednesday! Please help me welcome author Emma Cane. She’s written a wonderful guest post and afterward is sharing a little bit about her 2 books The Cowboy Valentine and A Promise At Bluebell Hill.

She’s also offering up a fantastic giveaway that you can enter at the end of the post!

Take it away Emma…



“The Trouble with the Widows of Valentine Valley”

Now, before you get any ideas that the widows are the heroines of my new books—they’re not. They’re three elderly ladies, grandmothers to several of my heroes/heroine. They live in the Widows’ Boardinghouse, a restored Victorian home complete with wraparound porches and gingerbread trim, and work part-time at the bakery Sugar and Spice, wearing aprons that say, “We Put the Heat in Sweet.” They’ve perfected the art of cheating at cards, they sing a mean three-apart a capella, and one of them is famous for her tarot-card reading. They’re the main members of the Valentine Valley Preservation Fund, offering grants to keep their town picturesque and to help new shops flourish.

But…they just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Once, they chained themselves to a broken down old house that had been a mining town brothel. The mayor wanted to tear it down, but they claimed it stood for women’s history, since Chinese immigrant women had been the original prostitutes. At the grand opening of a toy story they’d help fund, they gave away free cap guns for kids and set off the too-sensitive smoke detectors. They stole an abused horse and backed up traffic for miles, just to stop the governor’s car and plead for more awareness of animal cruelty. They tried to lure investors to a boarded up old silver mine, hoping to turn it into a museum, by having a picnic the first warm day of spring. Then the snakes slithered out, sending guests shrieking away.

The widows get in even  more trouble in my two newest books. When they aren’t innocently “helping” a grandson get famous (THE COWBOY OF VALENTINE VALLEY), they’re secretly planning a protest just when the President’s son is getting married in town (A PROMISE AT BLUEBELL HILL). I promise, things are never dull when they’re around.

So, what kind of characters do you like in series books?


Valentine Valley Cover


Welcome to Valentine Valley, where the cowboys have many talents and love is waiting around every corner . . .

Ever since a heated late-night kiss—that absolutely should not have happened—cowboy Josh Thalberg makes former Hollywood bad girl Whitney Winslow’s pulse beat faster. But when she decides to use his gorgeous leatherwork in her new upscale lingerie shop, Leather & Lace, she’s determined to keep their relationship strictly professional . . . even if she wants so much more.

Josh has never met a challenge he isn’t up for. Which is probably why he allowed Whitney to persuade him to take the sexy publicity photo that went viral—and now has every woman in America knocking down his door . . . every woman except the one he can’t get out of his head.

But how to convince a reformed bad girl that some rules are worth breaking?


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Bluebell Cover


Welcome to Valentine Valley, where romance blooms and love captivates even the most guarded of hearts . . .

From the moment Secret Service agent Travis Beaumont strides into the town and through the door of Monica Shaw’s flower shop, she feels a sizzle of attraction. After years of putting everyone else’s needs first, Monica is ready to grab hold of life. If she can just persuade the ultimate protector to let his own walls down for once . . .

The President’s son is getting married in Valentine Valley, and Travis should be avoiding all distractions . . . not fantasizing about a forthright, sexy-as-hell florist. Especially when she’s keeping secrets that could jeopardize his assignment. But just this once, Travis is tempted to put down the rulebook and follow his heart—right to Monica’s door.

Roses are red, violets are blue, and in Valentine Valley, love will always find you.

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 Emma Cane

Author Info

EMMA CANE grew up reading and soon discovered that she liked to write passionate stories of teenagers in space. Her love of “passionate stories” has never gone away, although today she concentrates on the heartwarming characters of Valentine, her fictional small town in the Colorado Rockies. Now that her three children are grown, Emma loves spending time crocheting and singing (although not necessarily at the same time), and hiking and snowshoeing alongside her husband Jim and two rambunctious dogs Apollo and Uma





Posted by on March 12, 2014 in What to Read Wednesday


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What to Read Wednesday with Allison Merritt


Welcome to What to Read Wednesday! Please help me welcome Allison Merritt to the blog today! She’s sharing her latest release WILDWOOD SPRING. Don’t you love the cover? Gorgeous :)

Allison is also telling us 5 of her favorite lines from Wildwood Spring. Enjoy…

My Top 5 Favorite Lines from Wildwood Spring

An author can’t help picking some of her favorite parts of a book. Here a couple of mine. It sure wasn’t easy to decide!

1. A problem with squirrels: The last time the blasted bell had started ringing with so much force a pair of squirrels had been courting in the tower. Turner Wildwood didn’t think rodents were to blame this time.

2. A hopeful wish: Celia paused for a moment, watching the small ripples glide across the water’s surface. If this didn’t work, she knew she’d tried everything in her power to help her mother. She had braved her worst fears and come out the other side.

3. A snarky employee: “Benson, you’re not dim by any means. You remember which horse won the Belmont Stakes in 1867. Why are you worried about titles?”

“Ruthless,” Benson announced. “A filly sired by Eclipse out of Barbarity.”

4. A first kiss: He liked the sound of his name on her lips. Under the layers he wore against the cold, he felt overly warm. Bathed in moonlight, Celia’s features were darker than usual, as though someone had drawn her in ink. He saw the curve of her lips with perfect clarity.

Kiss her.

5. A nighttime raid: Light bloomed over them, revealing the rough burlap masks or bandanas they wore to conceal their features. He kicked the horse’s sides and set off at a gallop with the others on his heels. They screamed like banshees, ripping through the night with fire streaming beside them.


When they face their fears, they’ll find the path to love.

No one goes to Wildwood Manor—a hulking stone house on a hill outside town. Legend has it crazy old man Wildwood owes his life to the magical water of the spring at the back of the property. Celia Landry needs that water to save her mother, and she’ll brave anything to get it.

Turner Wildwood, the son of the house’s eccentric builder, is growing as reclusive as his father. When Celia turns up at his door, he’s drawn by her beauty and bravery. Wary of strangers, he doesn’t reveal his identity, but agrees to her request. When she returns to Wildwood in wake of personal tragedy, he’s waiting there with a stunning change in his heart. He knows he should tell her the truth, but he doesn’t want to ruin their budding friendship.

Celia’s curiosity leads her to part of the frightening answers hidden behind Wildwood’s doors, but her own troubled past may lead Turner into danger neither of them suspected.


“Would you like to dance?” Mischief sparkled in his blue eyes. “This is one of my favorite songs. Despite my almost solitary upbringing, dance was part of my education.”

She felt heat scorch her cheeks. “Not part of mine, I’m afraid.”

“I’ll teach you.” He faced her, putting one hand on her waist and taking her hand in his. “Do the opposite of what I do. I’ll count.”

He counted in fours, moving in time with the music. Celia stumbled, but after a few moments, she caught on. Turner led her around the room as they spun in circles. She laughed, forgetting her worries. It wasn’t a ball and they were both in their nightclothes, but it was as elegant a dance as she could hope for.

Turner grinned as he pulled her a little closer. Their bodies came together, fitting perfectly. He dropped her hand, wrapping both arms around her waist. They stopped moving, standing in the shadow of the mastodon. Dark blond hair fell over his forehead, but it didn’t hide the desire on his face.


“Yes, Celia.”

Her name was a delicate breath of air, and he clung to her as though afraid she was a dream. She was too wide awake to believe that. Her senses seemed sharper than ever. He smelled of the lemony soap Mrs. Southard used for washing the sheets and the coffee he’d had at supper. Even in the muted firelight, she saw him clearly, his golden hair bright as sunbeams, his blue eyes the color of the sky after a storm.

She’d never been a romantic, knowing all too well she’d either be a spinster or a housewife too busy with chores and children to consider stolen kisses. She’d never imagined a man would want to show her stars, or dance with her around the skeleton of an ancient beast. These were moments she could cherish forever, think of when her world came back into focus.

It all had to end.

He lifted his hand to her face, pushing a strand of hair over her ear. “You look upset.”

“I’m grateful.” She forced the words out. “It’s not every day I get escorted around a ballroom.”

“You mean it might never happen again.” He looked somber. “You’ll return to the kind of life you led before we met. One where you’re often hungry, alone, and overworked.”

She glanced away, hating the truth of his words. “It isn’t that bad.”

“Somehow I don’t believe you.”

He wouldn’t, not after the way she’d reacted to everything he’d shown her in his life. They were from different places and he could never understand how she’d lived before. She couldn’t explain it without risking his pity.

“You could always stay. I’ll find something for you to do in the manor. Official book reader. In the evenings you could recount all my favorites and the new ones I don’t have time for.”

His breath stirred the hair near her ear, tickling her skin.

“I think I prefer the title of cookie sampler. Who wouldn’t want to sit in Finny’s kitchen all day tasting the items he draws out of the oven.” She pressed her cheek against his velvet lapel and closed her eyes. “You should have taken me back to town when you found me at the spring.”

“I couldn’t do that.” There was the slightest hitch in his voice, as though the idea caused him pain.

“I’ll be ruined for life outside of Wildwood.”

“Good. Then you’ll have to come back.”


Author bio:

 A love of reading turned Allison Merritt into an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She graduated college with a B.A. in mass communications that’s gathering dust after it was determined that she’s better at writing fluff than hard news.

She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she’s not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.

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