Tag Archives: new release

SPECIAL GUEST ~ Shannyn Schroeder author of Just A Taste ~ Giveaway

Please help me welcome our special guest Shannyn Schroeder to the blog today. She’s talking about the research she put into her latest release Just a Taste. Afterward, check out a blurb and excerpt.

And…don’t forget to enter her awesome giveaway!!!

Take it away Shannyn…


The Story Behind the Story – Just a Taste
By: Shannyn Schroeder

Although Liam O’Leary appears in other O’Leary books, readers don’t really get a sense of who he is until Catch Your Breath (O’Learys 4), which is Moira’s story. There they got to see a bit of his personality and his restlessness in relation to his job.

When I sat down to write Just a Taste, I knew I had to shake Liam up. He’s a steady, quiet guy who isn’t quick to make decisions. He’s a chef, working at a popular restaurant and he’s successful, but he wants more. In earlier books, he mentions possibly opening his own restaurant. Instead of giving him his obvious dream, I wanted to challenge him, so I decided he needed to work on a food truck—limited space, limited options, limited control. All of these would test a guy used to running a kitchen and telling everyone what to do.

I think this book probably took more research than others because there was so much I didn’t know. Although food trucks have been popular around the country and on TV, they’re relatively new to Chicago. I did a lot of reading about the history of trucks in the city and spent even more time learning about how hard Chicago is when it comes to the rules and regulations for food trucks (oh, the pages and pages of regulations). It’s kind of crazy, and I still don’t know how these guys can stay in business.

Beyond having to learn about food trucks, I also needed to learn some about food in general. What kind of food would Liam make for a special date with Carmen? (lamb and polenta – which I’ve never eaten) Liam has to relearn how to make Mexican food, and I wanted Carmen to be able to bring something to the table, even though she acts like she hates cooking. I wanted her to teach Liam to make her dad’s mole sauce. So of course, I had to look up a bunch of recipes. I didn’t actually make these recipes because I’m lazy and I live in a city with access to good Mexican food. I chose mole sauce because I like it, but I’m not brave enough to try to cook it. I did, however, experiment with cheesecake recipes for Liam. I love to bake, so developing my own recipe was fun.

Towards the end of the book, Carmen goes to Mexico, so I had more research to do. I’ve never been there, so I needed to figure out where her family might’ve come from and what she would want to see while there, as well as ideas for food for her to bring back.

While I’d never consider myself a “foodie,” this book has definitely given me an appreciation for those who spend their lives cooking for others. The real kick in the pants for me is that I’ve spent so many hours learning all of this and only a tiny portion shows up in the book. I begin to wonder if readers even notice.

When reading a book, do you assume the author did her research, or do you question things?


Just a Taste
The O’Learys # 5
By: Shannyn Schroeder
Releasing January 19th, 2015


Grief has brought them together again—will love open the door to their future? When it’s an O’Leary in the picture, finding out is just part of the adventure…

Carmen Delgado is left reeling when her father dies. Taking care of him has been her sole purpose for so long, she’s forgotten what it’s like to have dreams of her own. And with steady, sexy Liam O’Leary inheriting a share in her dad’s successful food truck, Carmen is suddenly free to explore her life’s possibilities. She never expected Liam to provide the kind of temptation she’s not sure she can resist…

A talented chef, Liam O’Leary has been itching to open his own restaurant for years—and the death of his mentor is a reminder that time passes too quickly. Gus’s Taco Taxi isn’t exactly what he dreamed of, but he can’t desert Gus’s daughter. Working side by side is an unexpected pleasure—and grownup Carmen is alluring in all new ways. Is love on the menu—or will old fears and insecurities drive them apart?


“Are you trying to get me drunk?”

“I’m not trying to, but if it happens, so be it. Everyone needs to cut loose on occasion.” His glass was still near full. “I’ll make sure you get home safely.”

She sighed. Safe had been her whole life. Maybe she was tired of being safe. The waitress brought her second drink and Carmen wondered what she and Liam would talk about. The alcohol was loosening her up, but she found that he was okay with sitting in silence.

Unfortunately, she wasn’t. “Are you naturally antisocial or what?”

Somewhere in her brain, she knew the question probably came out sounding rude, but she didn’t have the skills to fix it at this particular moment.

“No. At least I don’t think so. Why do you ask?”

“When you worked at the restaurant, it felt like you were always on your own. I’d talk with the other staff, both front of house and back, but you kept your distance.” She wanted to ask why he’d avoided her, never asked her out like the other guys had. She’d never taken any of them seriously, so she’d always turned them down, but she probably would’ve said yes to him.

He shrugged. “I didn’t feel welcome most of the time.”

Liam had felt like an outsider? The thought had never occurred to her. “That’s too bad. I would’ve welcomed you.”

He smiled again, the lines in his cheeks deepening. “You were usually looking for a way to escape. Why did you hate working there so much?”

Blowing out a breath, she raised her drink to her lips. How she could explain her need to avoid the temptation of food. By the age of seventeen, she’d already been teased so much about her weight, that all she wanted was to be thin. Being in the restaurant, around her favorite foods, made it near impossible.

She looked into Liam’s cool blue assessing eyes. And lied. “I didn’t hate the whole restaurant. Just the kitchen stuff. I don’t like to cook. It’s not my thing.”

“Maybe I should give you lessons.”

She thought of his strong, capable hands, the roped muscles in his forearms, and suppressed a shiver. What was wrong with her?

“What is your thing?”

Hmm…the question was innocent enough, but she’d spent so much time with Rosa and the alcohol filtering into her brain made her thoughts not so innocent. She was beginning to think he might be her thing. “Business. That’s what I majored in for college. I’ve been taking care of the office stuff for my dad since I’ve been home.”

He pressed his lips together like he had to consider her answer. She drank some more. The second margarita went down even smoother than the first and she was reminded why she’d gotten drunk so easily. Liam’s glass was empty.

“Do you want another, or do you have to go?” she asked.

“I’ll get you another. I’ll stick with water. I’m driving.”

See, she knew he was one of those super-responsible guys. That’s what her dad always said. Liam is a good boy. Find a man like him, Carmen, and you’ll be fine. “My dad really loved you.”

Liam froze, his arm in the air again to get the waitress’s attention. When the waitress came over he ordered for them. Then he turned in his seat to fully face her. “I loved Gus too. I’m sorry I wasn’t around more.”

“Shoot. I didn’t say that to make you feel bad. I was thinking about him and you and stuff he always said.”

“I know, but I do feel bad. We talked on the phone sometimes, but I should’ve made time to visit.”

She reached out and rubbed his forearm. Her dark skin contrasted sharply with his pale complexion. “He understood. He liked that you were going after your dreams and finding success. You were like a son to him.”

The alcohol had her babbling and she hadn’t even started on her third one yet. She didn’t want to stop, though. Allowing the alcohol to relax her was freeing. She didn’t have to put on a brave face for anyone. She didn’t have to pretend to know what she was doing or that she had her shit together.

Right here, in this moment, she could just be a halfway drunk girl hanging out with an old friend. A cute old friend, which made the evening better.


Link to Follow Tour:
Goodreads Link:
Buy Links : Amazon | Barnes | iTunes | Kobo

Author Info

Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the new Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends and their last spring break. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.

Shannyn Schroeder

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


*Shannyn is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a $10.00 Amazon or B&N eGift Card, DVD of the Movie CHEF and Three Keeper Kases with O’Leary’s Cards*



Posted by on January 23, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights


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What to Read Wednesday with Rhenna Morgan author of Unexpected Eden ~ Giveaway

I’m so glad you joined me for What to Read Wednesday. Today we have debut author Rhenna Morgan visiting. She’s talking about labeling her work and sharing her debut Unexpected Eden! Love the cover and I think you will too. 

Don’t forget to enter Rhenna’s giveaway as well…the link is at the end of the post!

Take it away Rhenna…


Categorizing a Melting Pot Romance

Hey, Christine! Thank you so much for hosting me today and sharing all the details on my debut release, Unexpected Eden.

Writing this book was definitely a challenge. Not so much from a story perspective, but from the learning side of things. I’ve had lots of people tell me, “I’ve thought of writing a book myself,” but few people really dive into the process and have the opportunity to learn just how much (and how many iterations) go into the final product.

Oddly, it wasn’t all the edit rounds that gave me the most struggles. Nor did the title or the blurbs (those handy summaries on the back of the books). Those were relatively easy—once I stopped procrastinating in the form of man-candy research on Facebook and Pinterest, of course. J

No, the hard part for me came when it was time to label my work. The first time someone asked me what the genre was, my mouth shot open to answer, and then promptly froze. There wasn’t one easy answer.

My first thought was paranormal. It seemed a catchall placeholder for all things not possible in today’s world. (Well, not so far as we’ve been able to prove anyway. J) But the more I thought about it, it seemed the paranormal genre targeted mostly vampires, shape shifters, angles, and demons. That seemed all wrong for Eden and the Myren race.

So, I hopped to Fantasy. The look and feel of Eden is very old world in much of its architecture—no power lines in site, pure, rainbow-laden skies, and vibrant colors that would make Avatar’s world of Pandora seem pale in comparison.

But there’s a modern edge to Eden too. A new-agey mysticism born from their deeply spiritual connection to The Great One. And they interact with the modern human realm whenever they need to—even though we humans aren’t aware of it. Hard to keep modern attitudes and slang out of a culture when you’re visiting a modern world for trade or vacations, right? I was afraid if I called the genre Fantasy Romance, I’d give people the impression it was more along the lines of Lord of the Rings, when in fact, everyone’s up to speed on Google and the almighty dollar.

Where I ended up – Contemporary Fantasy Romance. Kind of a Thor setting with a Black Dagger Brotherhood attitude.

Clarifying the heat level wasn’t any easier. To this day, I’m still not sure how I’d categorize where Unexpected Eden falls on the naughty scale. It’s certainly not all about sex, but I sure didn’t pull punches on the intimate parts. Suffice it to say, I panic every time someone from church says they wanted to read it…and my daughters aren’t allowed to touch it until they’re twenty-one. I think that gets you in the general ballpark.

My question to readers is this—how important is categorization to you when selecting a book? Are you a die-hard fan for only certain genres? Or do you flit between whatever suits your current mood? Do you like the books that blend many genres into one? Or are you more of a purest?

If you’re up for some blurred lines, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Unexpected Eden and join Eryx and Lexi in their adventures. I know they’d be happy to have you along for the ride…just don’t leave it laying around for the under eighteen crowd.

Thanks again for having me today! Hope to see you in paradise soon!




Unexpected Eden
The Eden Series # 1
By: Rhenna Morgan
Released December 29th, 2014
Lyrical / Kensington


Most people believe Eden no longer exists. Lexi Merrill’s about to learn they’re wrong. A hard-working bartender with a self-sufficient backbone and a wary nature, she knows pickup lines like a second language. So, when Eryx Shantos barges into her world with too-smooth words and a body to back it up, she locks up her libido and vows to keep her distance.

Eryx has other ideas. As king of the Myren race, Eryx is duty-bound to enforce the laws preventing exposure of their existence to humans. Yet The Fates have led him through his dreams to Lexi, a temptation he doesn’t want to resist. The question is, is she Myren, or human – which makes her forbidden fruit?

When Eryx’s nemesis tags Lexi as his next target, Eryx insists on taking her home where he can keep her safe. Lexi had no idea “home” would mean the one-and-only land of creation…or that she’d trigger a prophecy that could doom her newfound race.


Link to Follow Tour:
Goodreads Link:


Buy Links Amazon | Barnes | iBooks | Kobo | ARe
All Romance:


Author Info

Rhenna Morgan writes for the same reason she reads—to escape reality.
Yes, her life rocks—two beautiful little girls, a great husband, a steady job, and the kind of friends that would take you out back if you hurt her. But, like most women, she’s got obligations stacked tight from dusk to dawn. So, when the world gets her down, she slips into something…less realistic.
Romance is a must. So is a steamy romp (or four). Nothing thrills her more than the fantasy of new, exciting worlds, strong, intuitive men, and the sigh of, “Oh if only that could happen to me.”
So, if you’re picking up one of her books, expect portals into alternate realms and men who’ll fight to keep the women they want. Romantic escape for the women who need it.

Rhenna Morgan

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |Google+ (@RhennaMorgan)


*Rhenna is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for:*
Grand Prize: $25.00 Amazon Gift Card, Print or eBook copy of UNEXPECTED EDEN, Eden Series Tote Bag, Coffee Mug, Pen/Stylus and Post Its.

Runner Up: $25.00 Amazon Gift Card and eBook of UNEXPECTED EDEN


Posted by on January 21, 2015 in What to Read Wednesday


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Special Guest ~ Kristina Knight author of The Daughter He Wanted

Thank you for joining me and special guest Kristina Knight on the blog today. Kristi has become a great friend of mine over the years and I’m super excited to have her on the blog again, especially since she’s sharing her Harlequin Super Romance The Daughter He Wanted.

Kristi writes wonderful stories that will tug at your heartstrings and have you rooting for both the hero and heroine.

Today she is sharing her play list. So, please help me welcome her to the blog and drool along with me as I devour her cover. Love it!

Take it away Kristina…


Behind the Book: The Daughter He Wanted/Music Playlist
by Kristina Knight

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I can’t write without music. Seriously. My brain stops sending messages to my fingers and I freeze. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? A writer should be able to write from anywhere…and I can, as long as there is music, too.

I know several writers who listen to a specific playlist from the start of a project all the way through edits. I don’t do that. My writing process requires different types of music for different areas: when I’m drafting, it’s light classical or jazz. No Muzak and no instrumentals of popular songs because I’ll wind up singing and not writing. Once the draft is in the can and I’m on to edits, my playlist comes into play, and it will have a little bit of everything from pop and rock to country and even some oldies thrown in for good measure. While I’m editing, the songs on my playlist will help me remember the mood of a scene or the crux of my hero’s or heroine’s problem…or the song will remind me of the book in general.

Here’s a sampling of the playlist behind my new SuperRomance, The Daughter He Wanted:

(Kissed You) Goodnight by Gloriana
Love Somebody by Maroon 5
Sing Together by Train
A Life That’s Good by The Cast of Nashville
Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars
Friday Night by Lady Antebellum
I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes by Dierks Bentley

Book Details:
The Daughter He Wanted, Harlequin Superromance, January 2015
The Daddy Surprise
Since the loss of his wife, Alex Ryan has been living a half-life. But with one phone call, Alex discovers he’s the biological father of a four-year-old girl…and everything changes.
Single mom Paige Kenner preferred to have a family without the man. Now suddenly there’s Alex, who desperately wants to be a father to her little girl. A gorgeous, kind and committed father. Letting a stranger into their lives is far too dangerous—especially if his presence stirs a part of Paige that she longs to forget…
Buy Links:


“Would you like some iced tea?” Prim and proper and not at all what she wanted to ask. She wanted to be direct, tell him he had no business here. That he needed to leave. Something held her back.


Alex shook his head and Paige motioned him to sit at the island counter while she refreshed her glass. She wasn’t thirsty but it was something to do with her hands so she fussed with slices of lemon and added more ice before putting the pitcher back into the fridge.


Finally there was nothing left to do so she turned back to the man at the counter, trying to ignore the assessing way he watched her. Despite the casual clothes, Alex Ryan was the mirror image of everything she had left behind in her parents’ home, from the set of his shoulders to the judgment she saw in the thin line of his mouth. Rigid standards and rules she could never live up to. Expectations that had left her heartbroken and wounded. She didn’t need his approval, she reminded herself. It wasn’t like she’d asked him to come into her home and disrupt her life.


It wasn’t as if she’d had his permission to use his semen, either.


The clinic sent a file with his pertinent information, but Paige couldn’t force herself to read it. A small piece of her had hoped that if she ignored the report the man would ignore her. Now she wished she had read it cover to cover instead of putting it in her bottom desk drawer.


Her gaze caught on the picture of Kaylie at her fourth birthday party, cake frosting up to her eyebrows, princess crown askew, charging after the boys with her blue lightsaber.


Kaylie was the reason for all of this. Paige had wanted a family, so much so that on her twenty-fourth birthday she’d decided to take life by the horns and create the family she dreamed of. The sweet, smart, silly girl was everything Paige needed. No men needed to apply and since Kay-lie had been born, not even a handful had stuck around through dinner.


And here was one more. A man so afraid of commitment he hadn’t known whether to get out of his car or run screaming into the warm Missouri afternoon.


No, that was unfair. She didn’t know anything about Alex Ryan.


A man so gorgeous the rebellious part of Paige, the part of her she couldn’t get rid of no matter how much she tried to pretend it didn’t exist, was glad her daughter wasn’t here. Wanted to flirt. Wished they’d met at a bar or under any other circumstances so that she could flirt and touch and see if the attraction she felt for him, he felt for her, too.


She glanced at her watch. Just over an hour until her best friend, Alison, would bring Kaylie back from her swim lesson at the rec center. The principal at her school required impromptu meetings now and then; today Alison was able to step in and help Paige. She was grateful. Alison was her biggest supporter and cheerleader. Paige hated missing the lesson, but Alison liked playing auntie for Kaylie from time to time. This introduction needed to get moving and get over with because, until she knew exactly what Alex Ryan’s intentions were, he was not getting anywhere near her daughter.


“So, this is awkward.” She blurted the words out, not sure where else to start. “We have a child together but I don’t know anything about you.”


He offered her a half smile, making his eyes crinkle at the corners and accentuating a little scar at the corner of his full lips. The tension she’d felt when he’d brushed past her ratcheted up a notch and she admitted to herself it wasn’t fear at all. It was flat-out excitement. Want. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt such an instant attraction to a man. Attraction was bad. Very, very bad. Attraction meant throwing all her rules about relationships out the window. Attraction led to mistakes and mistakes could hurt Kaylie.


Hurt Paige.


She gulped some tea, hoping it would put out the sizzle of heat that seemed to grow with every second Alex was in her kitchen.



Author Bio:

Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police–no, she wasn’t a troublemaker, she was a journalist. Her career took her all over the United States, writing about everything from a serial killer’s capture to the National Finals Rodeo. Along the way she found her very own Knight in Shining Cowboy Boots and an abiding love for romance novels. And just like the characters from her favorite books, she’s living her own happily ever after.

Kristina writes sassy contemporary romance novels; her books have appeared on Kindle Best Seller Lists. She loves hearing from readers, so drop her a line!

Author Links:









Posted by on January 16, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights


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SPECIAL GUEST ~ M.J. Schiller author of Leap Into The Knight ~ GIVEAWAY~

Please help me welcome author M.J. Schiller to the blog! She’s sharing a wonderful about first love and how she met her husband. It reminded me so much of own personal story I smiled the entire time I read it. I think you’ll enjoy it. Afterward check out her latest release Leap Into The Knight.

Take it away M.J…



Do you believe in love at first sight? I have to admit to reading other authors’ reviews from time to time. I want to see what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong and perhaps learn something from that. I sometimes notice readers have a hard time swallowing the whole love at first sight premise. But I don’t. I don’t because it happened to me.
Let me take you back to 1986. My husband’s dorm was across the quad from my dorm which was across the quad from a bar that served underage drinkers. (If that’s not a recipe for love, I don’t know what is!) Now I’m going to tell you something, and you’re going to think I’m crazy, and you might not be too far from wrong, but the first time I met my husband was like the scene where Tony meets Maria in West Side Story. If you haven’t seen West Side Story, check it out on Netflix. It’s fun and it will rip your heart out at the same time. Good movie watching! When the two meet, all of the other characters at the dance fade away. It was like that when I met my man. For a few seconds it was just the two of us at that bar that served underage drinkers. All the others faded into the background. I was thinking, who is this incredibly good-looking guy? And why haven’t I seen him before? The next second I was thinking, he probably has a girl back home and leaves on the weekends to visit her and that’s why I’ve never seen him. That was like throwing a bucket of cold water on my happy little love scene! The reason my mind went there was because I had been seeing a guy first semester and he basically told me to make myself scarce one weekend because his girl from back home was coming up to visit. I was heartbroken.
Anyway, the night I met my husband I came home and told my roommate that I’d met the man I was going to marry. I believe she rolled her eyes. I can’t blame her because I had had a crush on half a dozen guys my first semester and she’d seen it before. But this was different. I bet her a steak dinner. Twenty nine years later, I am still head over heels in love with that man I met in February of 1986, and I still haven’t gotten my steak dinner.
You know that phrase, truth is stranger than fiction. Some time when you are reading and come across a scene you think is unbelievable, think about a time in your life that people wouldn’t believe what happened to you. Odd things happen all the time, especially people recognizing the one they love right when they meet them.
That being said, the author does have the responsibility of making that moment seem genuine to you. But at the same time I think that when readers are able to suspend their imagination for a while, they are in for some good reads. Go where the author takes you. Don’t question every detail. That’s for audit sheets, not fiction.
The first time Darius and Maggie meet in LEAP INTO THE KNIGHT he knows that something is different. Here’s the scene, from page one of the novella.



Darius Lee sat up in bed and listened to the darkness. What interrupted his sleep and caused him to become so fully awake? Several seconds elapsed while he held his breath and waited, but he heard no noise. Still, he was aware someone else was in the suite he shared with his young novice, Orion Quinn. He closed his eyes and tuned into his Spirit Within in order to get a feel for his current level of danger. He sensed at once the outside presence he felt in the room was not threatening. Despite that, he knew something must be amiss for a stranger to enter their rooms unannounced in the middle of the night.

He had been uneasy since he and Orion landed here on Faador on their latest mission. It all started when The Academy of The High Order, where Darius gained his knighthood, received a transmission from an older man dressed in uniform. The man stated Faador’s leader, Justin Filithy, held captive a woman, a princess, from another planet. Little was known about Filithy other than he had some questionable dealings with slave traders. Details of the princess’s abduction were sketchy too, as the communication was cut short. The Order sent Orion and him to quietly investigate any wrong doing under the guise of a routine security check. Yet, ever since they arrived, the leader was occupied elsewhere. In fact, the whole place was crawling with guards and he surmised they were under a high alert of some kind, but no one provided any information. A trio of soldiers stuck them in this suite and promised a meeting with Filithy the next day. He was annoyed by the delay, but since they arrived on the planet late in the afternoon it seemed reasonable to wait until morning.

He slid out from underneath his lightweight bedcover without making a sound and grabbed his clothes, which were lying on a chair beside the bed. He slipped his head through the opening in the loose-fitting shirt, but left it untied at the neck, glancing at his laser-sword leaning against the nightstand. He decided to leave it. No need to scare anyone off if they meant no harm. He would simply have to use caution.

Darius reached the door and thankfully it slid open across its tracks without the usual high-pitched hydraulic hiss. He made out a figure standing in the open doorway to the room where his novice slept. The interloper was dressed in the same slightly puffy white uniform of the guards who they’d seen in abundance ever since they arrived. He was amused at first by the fleeting thought that they resembled marshmallows. Now as he watched the shadowy form, he was curious. What reason would anyone have to steal into their rooms like this? The guard wore a white helmet as the others had, with a tinted visor which could conceal the entire face. This visor, however, was open. Darius could see it flipped on top of the helmet, no doubt so the guard could see in the dim lighting. He wondered why the sight of this stranger gazing at Orion, who was lying completely unaware and vulnerable, didn’t alarm him more. But again, something told him the intruder was frightened, even desperate, but not a threat.

His training taught him how to enter the room without a sound, but the stranger seemed to detect his presence, darting to the left toward the door leading to the outer hallway. Darius took several steps before launching his six-foot-four-inch frame, timing his tackle perfectly. He wrapped his arms around the fleeing legs, bringing both parties down heavily. On contact the stranger’s helmet flew off and skittered across the dura-tile by the entryway. The guard twisted around to try to fight him off, while Darius sought to pin his shoulders to the ground. To his immense surprise he found himself staring into the face of a beautiful, terrified young woman. Long, wavy blonde hair fanned out on the floor as she struggled to free herself from his grasp. Their gazes locked and he drew his breath in a rush. Hers were the eyes of the hunted, wide and intensely blue-green. The oddest sensation came over him, as if, in that one look, an invisible hand reached into him and somehow tied him to this unknown woman. At the same time it was like the connection had been there all his life, an answer to a question he never knew to ask.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” he whispered to calm her. Surprisingly she stilled, searching his face as if to determine something there about him. “If I let you up, do you promise to stay here and answer a few questions for me?”

She hesitated.

“I will not harm you.” He dipped his head to better catch those eyes. “Trust me.”

Something in the way he said it seemed to convince her, and she nodded slowly. He released her arms and moved to the side. He sensed she was still tensed to flee if necessary, but for the moment, she decided to place her trust in him.


Her heart was racing madly. What was she doing? She should run. She should run as fast as she could, or at least search about the room for a way out.

She sensed him there behind her, though she heard no sound. Her immediate instinct was to flee, as well it should be. After all, she was on the run from a half dozen guards. It was only by ducking into this room a few moments ago that she avoided capture. In spite of all that, she now sat on a couch with the man. It was totally incomprehensible to her, trusting him. She learned the costly lesson of trusting in the goodness of men long ago. But when she scrutinized his face as he peered at her on the floor, she had been filled with an unfathomable sense of calm. It was the most bizarre feeling. All logic, all of her past experiences said to get out as swiftly as possible. But here she was, sitting next to this man as if it was teatime and not the middle of the night in a room where he discovered her hiding. She guessed him to be five or six years older than she. His face was strong, but kind, almost noble, and his deep, dark eyes were compassionate, with a hint of wisdom. It was the kind of face one could trust.

“Now,” he began slowly, ”why don’t you tell me exactly what you’re doing here?”

She was saved from figuring out an answer for his question by a young man who came barreling out of the door behind him. He brandished a laser-sword, yelling as he entered, “Master! I’m here!” The suddenness of the action startled them both.

The man turned slightly to say, “Orion, deactivate your weapon,” and that was all she needed. Her fear returned and catapulted her off the couch and toward the door. She hit the keypad with a force that sent a shock wave rippling up her arm, and was on the other side as soon as it opened wide enough to allow her small frame through. Once on the opposite side, she started pounding on the keypad there, and was able to effectively disable the door for a moment, enough time to search the hallway for a path of escape.




Sir Darius Lee is a Knight of the High Order.

But when Darius discovers a stranger in his room in the middle of the night, and the intruder turns out to be a beautiful woman, he begins to question how he is meant to live his life.

Princess Megan of Bethyea is being held captive.

But when two knights help her to escape and bring her back to her home planet, she finds the home she knew no longer exists.

When The Council of Twelve questions Darius about his relationship with Maggie, she tries to flee from The Academy of the High Order to prevent him from losing his knighthood.

Will Darius and Orion find Maggie before she leaves Albion? And if they do, how can they face the decision of The Council? And what about the feelings Orion has developed for the princess?



I was born in Overland Park, KS, grew up in St. Louis, MO, went to school at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and moved to Bloomington, IL fresh out of college.  I worked as a high school/junior college teacher, personnel recruiter, office manager of a jewelry store, and, for the past ten years, as a lunch lady.  I  like to karaoke and attend rock concerts.  I’m also actively involved at church and spend too much time on Facebook.  I am  the mother of a seventeen-year-old, fifteen-year-old triplets, and have been married to my husband, Don, for over twenty-four years.

I have been a writer all my life.  My first book, which was co-written with Mary Ellen Murphey in second grade, was titled The Black Cat, and was written on blue hotel stationary, hole-punched, and bound by white yarn.  I believe it is currently  out of circulation.

When I turned forty, I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized those bigwig publishing houses in New York were now probably run by people younger than me, so I shouldn’t be intimidated by them.  At about the same time, I was watching one of those award shows, and Jaclyn Smith got up to give a posthumous award to Aaron Spelling.  She credited him for encouraging her to go into acting, saying something brilliant like, “Reach for your dreams.”  Nothing new.  Almost even seems a little Jiminy Cricketish.  But, for some reason, it struck me that night.  When Aaron Spelling was thirteen, he was probably just like any other acned thirteen-year-old.  But he worked to achieve his dreams, and became a household name.  So, I  began to write.  Once I finished my first book,I wasn’t able to stop.  I would rather write than do just about anything else.  After all, I get to make people (characters) do what I want, and design their happy endings. What power!  And what a  privilege.



What about you? Does it bother you when characters fall in love too quickly? Or does it depend on how the author handles it? What are your pet peeves when reading books?

Thanks for reading, and be sure to enter my giveaway! Happy holidays to you and yours!



M.J. is giving away 4 copies of An Uncommon Love. Here is the blurb…

An Uncommon Love (Romantic Realms Collection – Book 2)

Princess Adriana had her life all figured out…
Or, to be more precise, she had her life all figured out for her. Before she was even born she was betrothed to Garin, and that was perfectly acceptable as he became her childhood friend, and then, eventually, the person she would swap kisses with inside the palace gardens. She never questioned it, never had a reason to, until the day a commoner was brought before her father, the King, to be punished.…until the day her eyes conncected with blacksmith Seth Hobb’s across a stone courtyard.When he creeps into the castle at night to thank her for freeing him, they begin to build a relationship with one another that is often as explosive as it is endearing. But fate ends up separating the two and they must undertake a long and arduous journey to be reunited.But with everything against them, can an uncommon love like theirs survive?

Even then, can Adriana make Seth see her for herself and not as the princess he imagines? And if she does, will she ever be able to convince her father that, despite his objections over Seth being a commoner, there is nothing “common” about him at all?


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Posted by on December 19, 2014 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights


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What to Read Wednesday with David M Brown and Donna Brown

Thank you so much for joining me for What to Read Wednesday! Please help me welcome authors David M Brown and Donna Brown. I think you’ll enjoy learning about their interesting release and reading their guest post. If you’re a fan of the feline family then check out their book The Bleaklisted Books : A Feline Central Book…which is a book about books…read on to discover more.

Take it away David and Donna…


First of all, many thanks to Christine Warner for the opportunity to guest post on her blog today.


My Gift to the World

Mr B: Please note that the following guest post was riddled with spelling errors and strange references to a gentleman named Eugene. I’ve edited the post as best I can to make it both coherent and less insane. If any of Charlie’s thoughts offend in any way then I apologise profusely because I know this very strange cat will not.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your beers, for I bring great news.

Firstly, an introduction. My name is Charlie. I am the feline equivalent of Napoleon Bonaparte but the difference between myself and the Emperor of France is I’m good at what I do. From the moment I first whacked a ball of wool with my kitten paws I knew my destiny was to conquer the world. To me, that ball of wool was the Earth and I its master. I’m not sure how the thread hanging off it compares to our own world but I don’t want to get bogged down in such silly questions of accuracy. The analogy works…sort of.

Back in 2012 my owners – Beard Face and Frizzy Hair – released a book entitled Man vs Cat. It was a scandalous read, trying to depict myself and my five brothers as pathological felines with more issues than Darth Vader. Beard Face went so far as to claim that we were plotting to kill him. I took great offence at this. Yes, I have long been plotting to kill him but not as often as he made out in this book.

Two years on I have decided that the world needs something better than the drivel that my misguided owners came up with him. As Christmas is on the horizon I decided to offer a gift to you all better than any Playstation, chocolates or bottle of gin. My gift to the world is a book, a very special book. It is unique in the respect it is a book about books. Bet you’ve never heard of anything like that before, right?

I like reading, I really do, but I have a big problem with the books you humans write. My problem is that they’re generally a load of nonsense. The only book I have no aversion to is George Orwell’s Animal Farm. That one I find inspirational but everything else is just badly written. I couldn’t find any other books I liked. I tried everything – Fifty Shades of Grey, Anna Karenina, The Lord of the Rings, Pride and Prejudice, and for my sins Ulysses - but none of them did anything to stifle my anger and disillusionment with human books. Something had to be done.

I decided to start bleaklisting these awful books. Bleaklisting is a complex process but basically I read one of your terrible books, summarise it and then offer my alternative to how the story should have gone. This isn’t me being a mean and evil dictator, as Beard Face would have you believe, but a sort of spiritual leader like Gandhi, the Dalai Lama or Charlie Chaplin. I found 25 books in all and collected them together to form The Bleaklisted Books. This is my gift. 25 of your most beloved books are exposed for what they really are and in their place I have suggested better stories, superior stories, that I think you will embrace ahead of the originals.

I know what you’re thinking. This is one crazy kitty but hear me out, minions, I mean humans. This book will change your lives. It will make you think differently about books. It will be an epiphany for you all, like the first time you discovered soap, fast food or Meryl Streep. Take this chance to change your reading lives forever. What better gift could there be at Christmas.

Mr B: Alternatively, you could agree with me about what a lunatic Charlie is. Read his book for fun by all means but don’t take any of it seriously. If you do, then I fear for you.


The Bleaklisted Books (A Feline Central Book)
Genre: (Non Fiction) Humour/Pets & Animals
Release Date: November 28, 2014
Length: 92 Pages

My mini-irons,

I urge you to embrace the goose-spell of Animal Farm and you will find sanctuary when our difficult war is over. I will add, of course, that given that conquering the world means a long, long, long, long, long war, I will permit you to read another book every now and again.

Just remember which books are bleak-listed; e.g. Barry Potterer, 100 Years of Silly Tudor, Prude and Perjury, The Hungary Olympic Games, The Chronicles of Nerdia and Of Mike and Ben.

In the meantime, here is a list of books I have vetted and will reconsider for approval if the appro… apprap… proper changes are made. Read this manyule carefully mini-irons.

Your Cat-tain
Charlie Brown


What happens?

Some spy is told to carry out an assignment in East Germany to uncover a double agent but he falls for someone prior to this and love ultimately messes the operation up.

Reason for bleaklisting?

Proper spies don’t fall in love. Wimps they are!

What should have happened?

Eric is sent on an exclusive mission into East Germany to assassinate a double agent. Before setting off he is approached by an air stewardess named Fiz who fancies him but he turns her down. She does warn him that it’s cold in East Germany and gives him some cough syrup.

Suspicious of the bottle labelled poison with a skull on it, Eric tosses the syrup and completes his mission. When he returns home to England he has a runny nose and is coughing a lot. Fiz realises he has seen through the poison expertly disguised as cough syrup and she runs away. She is shot and killed by a traffic warden who believes her car is parked on double yellow lines. Eric ends the novel by nipping to the pharmacy for some genuine cough syrup.

Special instruction

Make available at MI5, MI6, CIA, B&Q and M&S and rename The Spy Who Came Home with a Cold.

* * *

Mr B compares the stories

Dear me, Charlie, I thought you’d like John le Carré’s 1963 Cold War Novel. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold does deal with Communist East Germany where Alec Leamas is sent, under the pretence that he is defecting, and with the intention of locating Mundt, suspected of being a double agent. Alec has a romance with Liz which ultimately throws a spanner in the works. There isn’t anything about cough syrup thankfully and as with Charlie’s other efforts, this one is likely to disappear into the ether. My apologies to Mr le Carré for this despicable alternative to his story.




Donna is a longtime book lover and sometime book reviewer and has devoured books from an early age. She writes short (or long) stories as and when inspiration hits and is married to fantasy author David M. Brown (Fezariu’s Epiphany, A World Apart). She was also co-contributor to David’s book, Man vs Cat, a humorous look at life with six rambunctious rescue cats.

Donna has lived in many different areas of the UK over the last 30-something years but has remained in Yorkshire for the past decade. She ardently disputes the misnomer that ‘It’s grim up north’. You can find Donna on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Goodreads, or visit her and her husband’s shared blog: B-Lines and Felines.


David Brown could be considered a fantasy fanatic, especially since he has spent the last 10 years developing a 47,000-year history for his fictional world of Elenchera. When converting his obsession into literary form, David commits himself to a rigorous writing and editing process before his work can meet his approval. Combined with the critical eye of his wife and a BA Hons in History and English, David’s dedication leads him to his goal of inspiring readers through heartfelt stories and characters.

Although David is inspired primarily by fantasy fiction, he also finds his muse in the form of anime, world cinema, history, and biographies. His own books, Fezariu’s Epiphany and A World Apart, combine aspects from worlds both old and new into compelling tales of a world not soon forgotten., David himself certainly does not lack a spirit of adventure; in fact, he left his job in 2007 in order to spend a month travelling. Second only to meeting and marrying his wife, David counts this as one of the most amazing experiences of his life.



Posted by on December 17, 2014 in What to Read Wednesday


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BOOK BLAST ~ The Winner Takes it All by Jennifer Dawson ~ GIVEAWAY


The Winner Takes It All
Something New # 2

By: Jennifer Dawson

Releasing December 2nd, 2014

Zebra / Kensington



For two stubborn people…

Corporate mogul Shane Donovan sees the ultra-cool, collected Cecilia Riley as an ice queen—even if he can’t deny that, on the surface, she’s a work of perfection his body can’t ignore. Forced to spend two weeks in the same house for his sister’s upcoming wedding, Shane senses that deep down Cecilia mirrors his need. And he’s determined to draw her into a sexy game that will melt away her reserve…

Losing is not an option…

Career-driven Cecilia Riley has just enough free time in her schedule to head out of town for her brother’s wedding. But her agenda is thrown for a loop by the presence of Shane. Though his over-confident attitude leaves a lot to be desired, his insanely hot body has kept Cecilia up nights. Unsure what game Shane is playing, Cecilia takes the bait, bent on resisting him at all costs.

 The Winner Takes It All


 Link to Follow Tour:

Goodreads Link:

Goodreads Series Link:


Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes | iBooks | Kobo





Books A Million:

Indie Bound:


Author Info

Jennifer Dawson grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from DePaul University with a degree in psychology. She met her husband at the public library while they were studying. To this day she still maintains she was NOT checking him out. Now, over twenty years later, they’re married and living in a suburb right outside of Chicago with two awesome kids and a crazy dog.

Despite going through a light FM, poem writing phase in high school, Jennifer never grew up wanting to be a writer (she had more practical aspirations of being an international super spy). Then one day, suffering from boredom and disgruntled with a book she’d been reading, she decided to put pen to paper. The rest, as they say, is history.

These days Jennifer can be found sitting behind her computer, writing her next novel, chasing after her kids, keeping an ever watchful eye on her ever growing to-do list, and NOT checking out her husband.

JenDawson_Author Photo

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



*Kensington is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway of Two Print Bundles Including: TAKE A CHANCE ON ME and THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL*



Posted by on December 16, 2014 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights


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BOOK BLAST ~ Christmas Bliss by A.S. Fenichel ~ Giveaway


Christmas Bliss

By: A.S. Fenichel

Releasing November 29, 2014

Ellora’s Cave



Emma is running from a tyrannous uncle bent on killing her young brother, just to gain his fortune. John, the Earl of Compton, is looking for something to change his unfulfilling life. When they meet on a dark street, nothing can change their fate.

John is so instantly smitten and socially inept, he proposes in less than twenty-four hours. Emma’s plight to save her brother has her so shaken, she agrees to the hasty Christmas wedding.
The threats to Emma’s life, and John’s fierce defense of her, demonstrate to both that the match might be more than just a convenient arrangement. If only they can thwart her uncle’s devious assault and live to enjoy each other.


Blush sensuality level: This is a sweet romance (kisses only, no sexual content).


A Blush® romance from Ellora’s Cave



Chapter One

John Scarborough was just beginning to feel as though he was himself again. The troubles of politics had left him in a bad temper, but the walk in the cold of December brought him back to civility. He could almost imagine his troubles falling away with each step that drew him closer to home. He no longer wished to wring the neck of a certain political opponent.

Yes, the man was an idiot, but he felt he could return to his seat without committing murder.

At least that was a relief. He laughed at his own sarcastic thought.

Most men of his wealth and position would have taken their carriage home, but a brisk walk always made John feel better after a long day of arguing in the House of Lords. His carriage was generally only a few minutes behind him, since the footman and driver refused to leave him completely alone at night on the streets of London.

A shadow could easily be seen crouching beneath the hedge that fronted his home in the West End of London. Pickpockets and thieves often skulked around in the finer residential areas, hoping to earn a nights work. Often these villains beat their prey and left them for dead.

John took a better hold of his walking stick, prepared to fend off the trespasser if necessary.

“You there, what is your business?”

He heard a woman gasp. When she stood up from her hiding place, the light of the full moon gave enough illumination for him to see she was well dressed in a fashionable walking costume.

His eyes narrowed. “Were you going to accost me as I entered my home, wench?”


“Certainly not.” Her tone was crisp, as if she was offended. It reminded him of when he was a boy and had insulted his nanny.

She turned back to the hedge, crouched down and lifted something out of the bushes.

John raised his staff. “I am not above striking a woman. Whatever nefarious plan you have, I advise you to desist.”

When she turned, the bundle she’d picked up and held to her shoulder turned out to be a small child of five or six.

John was rarely surprised by people. In fact, he found most people quite predictable.

Everything about this girl had caught him by surprise. Exhaustion must have gotten the better of his senses. He lowered his arm and weapon and gaped at the girl.

Her voice was educated and cultured. “I’m sorry we frightened you, Lord Compton. We shall be on our way now.”

“You know me?” He didn’t know why that should bother him. Quite a lot of people knew him on sight and he was standing in front of his own home.

“Of course.”

He could hear the smile in her voice, though the night did not permit him to see her face clearly enough to verify if the sound translated to her lips.

Embarrassment washed through him. His neck felt hot, reminding him of when he’d been at school, and was unsure of an answer demanded by the instructor. “Why are you hiding in my shrubbery?” he demanded.

She lifted the sleeping child higher. It was a boy from the look of his clothes. It was past nine and the child slung his arms about her neck and rested his head on her shoulder. He looked as if he was a very heavy sack of potatoes.

“That is a very long story, my lord. I apologize again for our intrusion. We shall move along.”

“Wait,” he commanded.


 Link to Follow Tour:

Goodreads Link:


Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes | Kobo | Ellora’s Cave




Ellora’s Cave:


Author Info

A.S. Fenichel gave up a successful career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back.

A.S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.

Multi-published in erotic paranormal, contemporary and historical romance, A.S. is the author of the Mayan Destiny series, Christmas Bliss and many more. With several books currently contracted to multiple publishers, A.S. will be bringing you her brand of romance for many years to come.

Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in the East Texas with her real life hero, her wonderful husband. When not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history, and puttering in her garden.

 A.S. Fenichel

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Google +:


*A.S. is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a $10.00 Amazon or B&N eGift Card*




Posted by on December 16, 2014 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights


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