Tag Archives: romance

INTERVIEW with Shannyn Schroeder author of Hold Me Close ~ GIVEAWAY

Please help me welcome author Shannyn Schroeder to the blog today! She’s agreed to take the hot seat and answer a few questions so we can get to know her a little better. I’m excited to have her here and learn more about her and her latest release Hold Me Close.

After the interview check out her blurb and excerpt, and then enter her giveaway! The link is at the end of the post :)

Let’s get started…


Describe yourself using 5 words :)

Hardworking, stubborn, sarcastic, honest, loyal

What did you have for breakfast?

Egg whites (pretty boring, but at least a little healthy)

Maybe it’s boring, but sounds good to me. lol What’s your favorite holiday and why?

This one is tough – when I was younger, I loved Halloween. I dressed up all the way through college. But now, I’d say Christmas is my favorite because it’s such a special day with my kids.

Tell us your favorite part of the writing process.

Drafting. Sitting down and getting the words on the page the first time, without worrying about rules or plot or pacing is what I love. It’s the discovery of the characters that’s so much fun.

The first draft is always exciting! I love choosing my character names. How did you go about choosing your hero and heroine’s names?

My heroine is a secondary character that first appeared in More Than This (O’Learys #1). When I named all of the O’Leary siblings, I looked for nice Irish names that would sound good with O’Leary. I can’t really remember how I came up with Shane’s name.

I usually look at baby name web sites and I do have a character-naming book that I use. I often look at the meanings of names before choosing them. Then I make sure they sound good together.

Your process is similar to mine. Love it :) How come you write the genre you do?

After writing my first two manuscripts (which will probably remain on my hard drive forever), I discovered my writer’s voice. Those first two books were romantic suspense. I love to read romantic suspense, but even as I wrote them, I knew they weren’t suspense-y enough. Then I had the idea for More Than This (O’Learys #1), which was clearly contemporary romance. I started reading the genre and fell in love with romance all over again. I found that contemporary romance is where my writer’s voice lies. Plus, I’m a sucker for the happy ending for regular people.

If you could tweet us your favorite line in your book, what would it be? (Yep, you get 140 characters)

“It’s your charm that usually lands you in the most trouble.” – Shane Callahan

Describe your hero through your heroine’s eyes.

Strong, dependable, comfortable

What three words best describe your heroine?

Feisty, determined, lost

Do you have a writing ritual…do you wear a lucky pair of socks, drink a certain drink, light a candle…or do you just go with the flow?

I have my preferences – to be at my desk, with a Diet Coke, facing my collage inspiration board and listening to my soundtrack. However, because I have three kids, I’ve learned to write wherever, whenever I have time.

I’ve yet to try a collage board. I think that’s mainly because I don’t write in my office but on my couch in the living room. It’s all for the view. lol Why should we read your book?

My books about falling in love and dealing with family and figuring out who you are —very normal things for normal people. Hold Me Close is no exception.  It’s about two people figuring out how right they are for each other.

What’s your favorite part of any book to write…beginning, middle, or the end?

Although there’s not much sweeter than getting the last word typed (especially under deadline), I love the beginning of books because all the possibilities lie ahead.

Care to share with us what you have coming up?

Hold Me Close marks the end of the O’Leary series. Later this year, I have a trilogy of novellas releasing under my Hot & Nerdy new adult series. Then, next summer (yeah, you have to wait a whole year for a novel), a new series will start. The For Your Love series will be about the O’Malley family who were introduced in Catch Your Breath (O’Learys #4). Under Your Skin will be the first book, releasing next July in both print and mass market print.

Hold Me Close_Cover

Hold Me Close
The O’Leary’s #6

By: Shannyn Schroeder

Releasing July 21, 2015




Leave it to the O’Learys to make romance a family affair… 

Maggie O’Leary is finally coming home to Chicago. After more than a year in Ireland, she’s ready to make a plan for her future. But first, she’ll have to confront the tragedy that scarred her so deeply. Asking for a job in the family bar is the first step, and it’s one her family isn’t entirely happy about. At least Shane Callahan, her best friend in the world, is behind her a hundred percent. He’s also a hundred percent more lovable than she remembered…

Shane is determined to keep Maggie safe, even if it means working three jobs and giving up sleep to be around during her shifts at the bar. But when Maggie boldly tells him she needs more than a loyal friend now, Shane knows a single night together won’t be possible. The idea of spirited Maggie in his bed is electrifying, but will she believe he wants to give her his heart, too?


 Link to Follow Tour:

Goodreads Link:

Goodreads Series Link:


This was what life was supposed to be. Shane settled back into the couch with Maggie curled up next to him to watch TV like they had hundreds of times over the years. For the past few days, he’d been torn up knowing she was angry. Knowing they were in the same city without talking every day felt weird. They’d talked almost every day when she was halfway around the world.

He probably should’ve felt bad for throwing Ryan under the bus, but he didn’t. If Maggie knew this was all Shane’s idea, she might figure out how to stay mad. He needed to be in her corner, and she wouldn’t believe that if she knew the truth.

Maggie finished a second piece of pizza and stood. “You want something? Moira brought beer.”

He twitched. Although he drank, he never did with Maggie. He always figured that if she wasn’t drinking, it made her uncomfortable. “You sure?”

“Yeah, I’m sure she brought it. I put it in the fridge myself.” She looked at him like he was crazy.

“No. Are you sure it won’t bother you?”

“Why would it?”

He shifted forward and put the laptop back on the table. “Because you don’t drink.”

She continued to stare at him and her head tilted. “I choose not to drink because I don’t like to feel out of control.” She bit down on her bottom lip. “The last time I lost control like that, it didn’t end well. But it doesn’t bother me to be around people who drink. Shit. My whole family drinks. I work at a bar.”

Her eyes popped wide and she sank back to the couch. “You never drink around me. Why did I not realize that before?”

“Because it’s not important.”

“Yeah, it is.” She reached out and stroked his jaw. “You gave up drinking so I wouldn’t get upset. You’re the best kind of friend.”

With her hand on his face like that, he had a hard time keeping his thoughts friendly. “Don’t go overboard. I didn’t give up drinking altogether, just in front of you.”

“It’s still sweet.” She rose and went to the kitchen. When she came back, she held out a bottle of beer.

He accepted and said, “Thanks,” as he twisted the cap off.

Maggie sat and watched as he drank from the bottle.

“Ready for another show?”

She nodded and snuggled beside him again. If this was all he’d get out of life, he’d be happy. Maggie was safe and with him. At some point he might even be able to make a move to change their relationship. Every time he considered it, something stood in his way. At first, it was other guys. As a teen, she was rarely without a boyfriend. Then she’d been raped, and his greatest fear was that he would lose her, that she wouldn’t want to be near him because he hadn’t stopped it from happening. And then just as they seemed to be moving in that direction, she took off to Europe.

Part of him wanted to grab her and kiss her and tell her she’d always be safe with him.

But it would freak her out. She was still battling her demons. So he would wait until she was ready. He would have only one shot and he couldn’t afford to blow it.

Maggie was shoving at his shoulder, and he squinted at her. Damn. He’d fallen asleep.

“I would let you stay asleep, but this is my bed.”

He pushed forward. “What?” He rubbed his eyes.

“I don’t have a bed yet. I’m going shopping tomorrow. Until then, this is my bed.” She pointed at the couch.

“Why did you move if you don’t have furniture?”

She lifted a shoulder. “Anxious, I guess.”

He stood and stretched. “Sorry I fell asleep. Guess I was more tired than I thought.” He took his empty beer bottle to the kitchen. “Trash can?”

“On the shopping list for tomorrow.”

He shook his head. The girl hadn’t planned for anything. “I have a queen-sized bed. You’re welcome to share it with me.”

She chewed her lip again. “No, that’s okay. I’ll be fine here.”

He rolled his shoulders. They’d often crashed together, always fully clothed, a safe distance between them. The first time, they’d still been in high school, and he’d thought for sure the O’Learys were going to skin him. He and Maggie had studied late for finals and fell asleep. After that, it had been normal.

In fact, the one thing that told him they were okay after the rape was that she’d asked him to stay with her one night.

“You know where to find me if you change your mind.” He let himself out of her apartment and walked next door.

Buy Links:  Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo



Author Info/Links

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.


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


*Shannyn is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a $10.00 Amazon or B&N eGift Card, a Backlist O’Leary’s Romance and Three Keeper Kases (US Resident’s Only)*



Posted by on July 29, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights


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BOOK BLAST ~ Perfect Touch by Elizabeth Lowell ~ GIVEAWAY


Perfect Touch: A Novel

By: Elizabeth Lowell

Releasing July 28, 2015

William Morrow



Sara Medina is a designer and art dealer from San Francisco. She matches her clients desires with fine and folk art from the world over–living up to her thriving business named Perfect Touch. She still remembers her rural childhood of hard work and poverty on the family dairy farm, but she keeps it firmly in the past as she searches out new artwork and artists that are on the breaking edge of acclaim. After she experienced the cultural riches San Francisco had to offer, she decided her life would be that of an urban career woman rather than a working mom commuting from the suburbs. With the intensive hours and travel required to grow her business to the next level, she has no time or energy left for romantic or family entanglements.

Jay Vermillion recently inherited Vermillion Sky, a ranch that nestles up to Wyoming’s Grand Teton Mountains–and the estates of the rich and restless. As a returned veteran of numerous deployments over the course of two wars, he finds himself wrestling with the demands of a ranch that has been run down during his father’s long illness. Between the urgent need to modernize and revitalize the Vermillion Sky, as well as an unexpected and vicious fight with his former stepmother over the custody of now-valuable paintings that were part of his father’s estate, Jay has no time for finding a wife and creating a sixth generation of Vermillions to ensure the family legacy continues.

When Jay hires Sara to appraise and market his father’s cache of paintings by Harris “Custer” Armstrong, neither one expects the explosive results of their eventual meeting in Jackson, Wyoming. In addition to a mutually inconvenient attraction, they a discover double murder at the edge of the ranch lands and a potential betrayal even closer to home. All trails lead to Custer’s artworks as valuable enough to kill for, especially an unknown painted rumored to be called The Muse.

As Sara and Jay unravel the motive for the killings, they both discover that love, like murder, doesn’t wait for a convenient time. On the heels of that soul-shattering realization, Sara is targeted for murder. Suddenly, the war-weary soldier finds something he is once again willing to die for…



A glance at her watch told her she was out of time. Soon, a different stranger would be deciding the fate of her career in a Jackson courthouse. With a silent curse, she hurried to the front desk.

“I’m in room 101,” Sara told the woman who answered. “My room has been robbed. Computer and coat missing. Tell the sheriff or whoever cares that I’ll be at the courthouse.”

Leaving the woman stuttering questions behind her, Sara strode out the front entrance into the chill streets of Jackson in the spring. Within ten steps she was regretting the loss of her coat.

And she had forgotten her coffee.

Quickly she walked down what had to be the coldest sidewalk in town. The wind rolled straight off the snow of the Tetons through the streets. The chill was made worse by the fact that the sun was shining bright and hard enough to look like summer.

An archway leading into a small park caught her eye. At first she thought the arch was made of the bones of cattle that she’d seen as a child. But these were different. They were more elegant and pointed, tapering out. They didn’t feel like the finality of death, but more a symbol of life cycling through change.

Antlers, she realized. Grown and shed each year in a cycle that isn’t birth or death, but simply another way to be. Like Custer’s paintings, a beautiful and eerie reminder that wilderness—wildness—isn’t all that far away.

Shivering, she hurried on.

I should be back in San Francisco, holding hot coffee from Murray Cafe as I head up to the offices of Perfect Touch.

But then all I’d know about my mystery man is his voice.

So what? The practical part of her mind pointed out. The last thing I need is a man.

Sara liked living her life on her own terms, doing what she wanted whenever she wanted. As the only girl out of seven children, she’d had more than enough diapers, house work, and babysitting to last her a lifetime.

Wind with icy teeth bit at her black slacks and tugged at her red pullover sweater. The only thing that kept the wind from billowing up her sweater was the sleek black leather belt snugged at her waist. But it wasn’t enough to keep her warm.

Damn that thief.

Then she reminded herself that it could be worse in so many ways. She could be back home on the dairy farm—a plain, rebellious teen hauling a feed cart through damp, drafty barns, then making the return trip leading a stubborn Holstein.

At least there aren’t any holes in my boots forcing me to get up close and personal with fresh cow flops.

The phone in her pants pocket rang.

If it’s the sheriff, he can wait.

 Link to Follow Tour:

Goodreads Link:

Buy Links:  Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo  



Author Info

Elizabeth Lowell’s exciting novels of romantic suspense include New York Times Bestsellers: Dangerous Refuge, Beautiful Sacrifice, Death Echo, The Wrong Hostage, Amber Beach, Jade Island, Pearl Cove, and Midnight in Ruby Bayou. She has also written NYT best-selling historical series set in the American West and Medieval Britain. She has more than 80 titles published to date, with over 24 million copies of her books in print. She lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her husband, with whom she writes novels under a pseudonym. Her favorite activity is exploring the Western United States to find the landscapes that speak to her soul and inspire her writing.

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads


Publisher is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway of One Print Copy of NIGHT DIVER by Elizabeth Lowell 

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


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#GIVEAWAY ~ #Goodreads Giveaway of #AFriendlyEngagement ~ 3 signed copies

Happy Friday! I wanted to share my latest GIVEAWAY!

Follow the link below to enter for a chance to win one of 3 autographed copies of A Friendly Engagement by yours truly :) Please help me spread the word. The contest is running the entire month of July :)

Here’s a little taste of what the book is all about…

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What’s a little engagement between friends?

Omar Esterly is married to his job. But when Omar sets his sights on a potential, family-oriented client, his confirmed bachelorhood becomes a problem. Fortunately, his friend and employee, Devi Boss, has the perfect plan…

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly Devi’s plan to become her friend’s fake fiancée. Lies aren’t her style. However, Omar offers her a big, beautiful raise—enough to track down the missing father she’s never known—and Devi reluctantly agrees to the whole engagement hoax…

This was supposed to be a no-strings-attached win-win for both Devi and Omar, but when they cross the line between friendship and…well, something more, Devi realizes she’s made a huge mistake that just might cost her both job and friend—falling for her fiancé.


“You’re game for anything, right?”

Devi compressed her lips and studied Omar through a narrow gaze, taking in the way his overly bright eyes concentrated on her face as if memorizing every pore. Her gaze traveled south to the non-existent rise and fall of his chest and how he pushed his suit jacket aside as he placed his hands low on his hips. He’d stopped breathing while he waited for her reply. That made her more nervous than anything. “Normally I am game for anything, but considering the man asking the question, I’m a little nervous.” She licked her lips.

Omar shook his head, swallowing her hands in the warmth of his. “No. This is a great idea. I can’t believe I didn’t see it before.”

“I’ll hold back on saying I’m glad I could help until I know what you’ve got pinging around your brain.” She tried to pull free of his grip, but he only grasped her fingers tighter. Her inner voice told her whatever plan he’d cooked up included her and she wouldn’t be thrilled with the role.

“Bartow wants a family-first firm. He wants a planner who is married, blah, blah blah.” He dismissed his unfinished words with the thrust of his chin.

Devi nodded, her mouth going dry. Was he planning to hire a wife, or about to propose?

“I might not be married, but what if I were engaged?”

She didn’t want to jump to conclusions about the proposal so she pasted on a tight smile. “Do you have a serious girlfriend hidden away I don’t know about?” The thought unsettled her, but she pushed aside the heaviness in her gut. Omar and relationships mixed like fire and ice. Not that women didn’t find him attractive and vice versa, but his true love would always be work. Most sane women wanted something more than a workaholic commitment-phobe.

He shook his head a bit too vigorously. “No. No.” His grip tightened, and she flexed her fingers so he’d loosen his hold. “Hear me out before you shoot me down.”

“I’m more curious than ever.” Again, she threw sand over that niggling feeling in her belly. She never jumped to conclusions. Living by the seat of your pants didn’t allow it, but…

Why start now? She rolled her shoulders in an effort to relax. Omar pulled her off to the side and out of the crowd moving past them on the sidewalk. His hands shook with excitement, and he swallowed hard before clearing his throat. Always calm and collected, his buildup unsettled Devi, and she tugged one hand from his grip and pressed it against the gurgle growing in her stomach.

“How about we announce our engagement? I could pull in some favors and have it in the press Monday morning. That’d still give Bartow enough time to invite us to the meet and greet. And—”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” Devi’s stomach did a nosedive, and she yanked her other hand from his death grip and stepped back. She twisted one of the bangle bracelets on her wrist. “Our engagement? First off, I didn’t even know we were dating. And second, I am not going to help you get ahead by lying.”





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Christine Warner is living her dream in Michigan along with her family, three laptops (she might have a slight addiction, or maybe it’s a fear of one imploding from overuse) and a much loved assortment of furry friends.

Besides laughing and a good round of humor, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, writing but no arithmetic.  A confessed people watcher, she finds inspiration for her stories in everyday activities.  She loves to read and write about strong heroes and determined, sometimes sassy heroines.

A girl gone wild, at least where social media is concerned, she enjoys meeting other avid readers and writers on facebook, twitter, Instagram, goodreads, and her website at





STREET TEAM SIGN UP: If you love my books and want to help spread the word, want to be a part of the fun by getting excerpts and news first, enter contests with the chance to win prizes, then sign up here:








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Posted by on July 17, 2015 in Entangled Publishing


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What to Read Wednesday with Maggie McGinnis author of Once Upon a Cowboy ~ GIVEAWAY

It’s time for another What to Read Wednesday! Please help me welcome Maggie McGinnis to the blog. Maggie is talking about what she’d try on for size if she could freeze the world for two weeks. Afterward, check out her latest release Once Upon A Cowboy. Don’t you love the title? And don’t you love the cover? Then you’re going to definitely love the blurb and excerpt :)

Don’t forget to enter her giveaway, too. The link is at the end of the post.

Take it away Maggie…


I Wanna be a Cowgirl


You know that question you get sometimes—the one that goes something like “If you weren’t an XXX, what would you be?” I have a hard time answering, because let’s face it. I’m pretty happy with exactly the life I have.

However … maybe if I could just freeze the world for a couple of weeks while I went off and explored additional options, I could totally get behind the possibilities.

Was I meant to actually be challenging Danica Patrick in next season’s NASCAR circuit? I’d love to get behind the wheel and try it! Is there an Olympic downhill ski racer hidden somewhere deep down inside? Could be, right? How about a singer on a Nashville stage? I could totally see that … because the talent would be built into the fantasy, right?

In the end, though, I really think I’d find my place somewhere in Montana, under huge blue skies, on a beautiful horse. I’d have great boots, a fabulous hat, and a stable full of gorgeous horses. I’d pack fried chicken picnics in my saddlebags and ride to secret waterfalls.  I’d have lots of sunshine, a view of the mountains, and a posse of gal-pals to share margaritas with on Friday nights.

And of course, I’d totally meet the cowboy of my dreams. He’d be gorgeous and sweet and strong and amazing, and we’d live happily ever after in a log cabin on a mountainside because, well, that’s how fantasies work.

But when it was all over, I’d pack up my Stetson and my boots and head back to my sweet house, kiss my fabulous husband, and hug my little ones hard.

After all, any fantasy I could come up with doesn’t come close to matching the one I already have.

So tell me … if you could freeze reality for two weeks and go play at something else, what would YOU do?



Once Upon a Cowboy
Whisper Creek # 1

By: Maggie McGinnis

Releasing June 30, 2015



In this sexy Whisper Creek romance for readers of Kristan Higgins, Susan Mallery, and Molly O’Keefe, a red-hot cowboy uses some Montana magic to give a reclusive beauty her happily ever after. 

Yoga instructor Jessalyn Alcott radiates peace, calm, and serenity—on the outside. Inside, she still feels like the broken, desperate girl from the trailer park. She’s got dark secrets she can’t share, which is why she never lets her relationships go beyond the third date. But when she travels to the Whisper Creek dude ranch for a friend’s wedding, Jess is enchanted by a cowboy whose deep blue eyes, dimpled smile, and rock-hard body make it tough to remember why she keeps running scared.

Cole Driscoll has struggled to find his place on a family ranch where he’s always played second fiddle. His future might be uncertain, but he’s sure of one thing: He wants Jess by his side. Easier said than done. When it comes to getting close, she’s full of excuses, and he longs to fix the hurt he sees in her eyes. Now that she’s at Whisper Creek, there’s nothing he wants more than to break down the walls around her heart and heal her pain with the power of love.

 Link to Follow Tour:

Goodreads Link:

Goodreads Series Link:



She’d always imagined a gun would make a louder sound, especially on a sticky summer night with only the crickets as competition. But it was more of a pop—like a kids’ toy rather than a lethal weapon—as Billy aimed it at the cashier and pulled the trigger.

Wait in the car, he’d said. I’m gonna get Old Man Mack to sell me some beer.

So she’d sat in the passenger seat, eyes glued on the store’s plate glass front window, figuring the worst he was going to do was pull his charming I-forgot-my-ID act.

Her hand went to her mouth as Mack grabbed his own chest, spun, and then fell behind the counter. She felt blindly for the car door handle as she watched Billy scoop bills from the cash drawer, but she couldn’t get out fast enough. She heard a strangled sound that must have come from her as he came flying out of the store carrying a case of Bud and the money.

He wrenched open the driver’s door and tossed the case toward her, then gunned the engine before he had his door fully closed. Gravel spit out behind them as he swung onto the pavement and shot the car toward downtown, and she couldn’t seem to take a whole breath as she watched the rearview mirror.

“That was Mack.” Her voice came out in a whisper. “You just shot . . . Mack.”

“You know him?” Billy looked over at her, then grabbed her knee. Hard. “Mack shoulda let me have the beer, princess.”

He squeezed harder, making her wince. “You didn’t see nothing, you got that?”

“God, Billy. We need to call the police. He needs an ambulance.” She didn’t dare crane her neck to look out the back window, but couldn’t get the sight of Mack crumpling behind the counter out of her head.

Billy let out a short, maniacal laugh that made her cringe. “People need to learn who’s in charge around here, princess. Sometimes you gotta teach hard lessons, you know?”

Oh, she knew, all right. Mack wasn’t the only one Billy was trying to teach lately. She felt for the door handle again, but the speedometer was holding steady at forty. Leave it to Billy to shoot a guy cold, then obey the speed limit all the way back to his apartment. She dug her fingernails into her palm, desperate to be out of this car—desperate to be as far away from Billy as possible.

She’d had her breakup speech memorized for three weeks now, but still hadn’t had the courage to deliver it. And now? She shivered, scared to her very core. If Billy’d shoot Mack over a case of beer, what would he do to her if she tried to cut him loose?

“We can’t just leave him there, Billy. What if he—dies?” Her voice cracked as she pictured Mack handing her a piece of bubble gum every Saturday when Grampy used to bring her in for a root beer and a scratch ticket.

“Who we gonna call, princess? The po-lice?” He drew out the word like it amused him. Billy looked over at her again, and she shrank toward the door. “We need to have a little talk about this?”

“No.” Their last little talk had left her with a bag of frozen peas on her ribs and a headache that didn’t go away for a week. She took a catchy breath. “No little talk.”

“Good.” He nodded, pointing toward the case on her lap. “Crack me one of those brews, wouldja? I think I earned it.”


Buy Links:  Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Publisher


Author Info

Maggie McGinnis, USA Today Bestselling Author of Accidental Cowgirl and Driving Without a License, which was a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award is a former high school English teacher, an accomplished musician, and a certified black belt, who lives in New England with her family.


Author Links: Website Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


*Loveswept is hosting a Month Long Giveaway including Loveswept Mug, Flirt Mug and Select Ebook Bundle*



Posted by on July 15, 2015 in What to Read Wednesday


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SPECIAL GUEST ~ Julie Brannagh author of Chasing Jillian ~ GIVEAWAY

Today I’m excited to have author Julie Brannagh on the blog. She’s talking about writing one page at a time and sharing her book Chasing Jillian. I think you’ll enjoy getting to know her today, and I’m positive her beautiful book cover will have you anxious to check out her blurb and excerpt :)

And, please, don’t forget to enter her awesome giveaway. The link is at the end of the post :) GOOD LUCK!

Take it away Julie…


It’s one page at a time

People ask me what it’s like to write a book, and tell me they’d love to write one, too. They’ve had a novel (or memoir, or children’s book, or non-fiction book) burning a hole in their brain for several years now. They’re pretty sure it will change the world, or those who read it. It’ll be great. Here’s the problem: They don’t have even a page written. That’s okay with them. They all tell me they can write it when they get out of college/pay off the student loans/the kids are grown/they get some time off work/they’re old.

One of the sadder conversations I’ve had was with a Seahawks employee at the team’s training camp a few years ago. It went a little like this.

Me: I’m a writer. I write romance novels.

Guy: (barely restraining his distaste) I write, too. I write thoughtful, important things.

Me: That’s great. What are you working on right now?

Guy: Well, I don’t have time for it right now. I’ll write later when my life settles down a little.

Me: I told myself that, too. It took me thirty years to finally sit down and do it.

Guy: Well, what I’d like to work on is actually literary.

Aside from the veiled insults, I thought about what he had to say for a long time afterwards. I could throw out a bunch of cliches here that we all have heard a million times (“life is short,” “carpe diem”, bla bla bla) but mostly, what gets us out of bed each morning is another opportunity to live. Putting something you love so much on the back burner isn’t living. It’s existing.

Whether or not the guy in question approved of how I express myself and my art through writing, I don’t want to exist. I want to live. I want to express myself through sitting down at a computer desk each morning, and letting the distillation of my life’s experiences and my imagination flow through my fingertips.

Want to write a book? It’s easy. It’s one page a day. That page may take from twenty minutes to an hour and a half. Tell a story. Don’t worry about formatting, character arc, plot holes or anything else. Just tell your story. One page a day is all it takes. At the end of a year, you’ll have a 100,000 word novel, or you’ll be well on your way to finishing that book.

Don’t wait till your life is over. Tell your story. One page at a time.


Chasing Jillian
Love and Football # 5

By: Julie Brannagh

Releasing July 7, 2015

Avon Impulse


Jillian Miller likes her job working in the front office for the Seattle Sharks, but lately being surrounded by a constant parade of perfection only seems to make her own imperfections all the more obvious. She needs a change, which takes her into foreign territory: the Sharks’ workout facility after hours. The last thing she expects is a hot, grumbly god among men to be there as witness.

Star linebacker Seth Taylor had a bad day-well, a series of them recently. When he hits the Sharks’ gym to work out his frustration, he’s startled to find someone there-and even more surprised that it’s Jillian, the team owner’s administrative assistant. When he learns of Jillian’s mission to revamp her lifestyle, he finds himself volunteering to help. Something about Jillian’s beautiful smile and quick wit makes him want to stick around. She may not be like the swimsuit models he usually has on his arm, but the more time Seth spends with Jillian the harder he falls.

And as Jillian discovers that the new her is about so much more than she sees in the mirror, can she discover that happiness and love are oh-so-much better than perfect?


She hurried over to the laptop on the little desk in the kitchen, pulled up Google, and searched on Seth’s name. She sank into a chair while she read. He was six foot four, and she practically weighed as much as he did. Well, not quite, but still. She let out a long sigh. He was two years younger than she was. It also seemed Seth had been busy: He was single. “Very single,” according to one of the most recent fan websites she looked at. In Google Images, she found a series of photos of him with multiple tall, dark-haired women, each more gorgeous than the last.

Jillian shut the laptop lid with an irritated “click”, got up from her chair, and hurried into the bathroom. She’d stood in front of a full-length mirror so many times, but it always showed her the same thing. She wasn’t unattractive, but she could use a little more self-confidence and a lot more toning.  She wasn’t asking for physical perfection, but she’d like to make some changes. If she made a plan, started slowly and kept at it, she’d see a difference.  The biggest changes needed to start on the inside, though. Maybe if she got out a little more, she might meet a guy that was interested in her. Seth was gorgeous, but he wasn’t really in her universe. Jillian went into the kitchen, grabbed a frozen low-calorie dinner out of the freezer, ripped the cardboard lid off, and shoved it into the microwave. Dinner would taste a whole lot better if it was accompanied by half a bag of chips and some Ranch dip. But that wasn’t an option right now. She opened the refrigerator door to look for a fresh vegetable of some type.

She pushed the fridge door shut after a fruitless search and rummaged around in her apartment’s tiny pantry. She located a can of peas. Peas were good. Plus, there weren’t many calories in peas. Maybe she could fill up on them if the diet dinner didn’t cut it.

Jillian’s love-hate relationship with her body and food had started when she was little.  Most of the time, there wasn’t enough to eat. She ended up in a foster home at three years old after her mother died in a car wreck, and she was moved a few times before she entered elementary school. Things got a little better for Jillian when she was placed in a more permanent foster home, but she was still so hungry. No matter how much she ate, she wanted more.  When she was old enough to make her own money, she made sure there was more than enough, and that’s when the problems began. Even more than a diet or a new workout regime, she needed to focus on the great things in her life. She’d build a healthier lifestyle as a result. Even more than a diet or a new workout regime, change from the inside would last a lot longer. She wanted to build on the goals she’d already achieved and reach out for more of the things she wanted in life: A husband. A family. To belong. 


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Buy Links:  Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo  



Author Info

USA Today Bestselling Author, Julie Brannagh has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She lives in a small town near Seattle, where she once served as a city council member and owned a yarn shop. She shares her home with a wonderful husband, two uncivilized Maine Coons and a rambunctious chocolate Lab.

When she’s not writing, she’s reading, or armchair-quarterbacking her favorite NFL team from the comfort of the family room couch. Julie is a Golden Heart finalist and the author of contemporary sports romances.


Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Avon is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a Digital Download Bundle of Love and Football Series Bks 1-4 



Posted by on July 14, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights


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BOOK BLITZ ~ Summer at the Shore by V.K. Sykes ~ GIVEAWAY

Summer at the Shore by VK Sykes, a Seashell Bay novel #2 blog tour banner

Summer at the Shore by VK Sykes, a Seashell Bay novel #2 blog tour banner

Summer at the Shore
Seashell Bay # 2

By: V.K. Sykes

Releasing June 30, 2015

Grand Central: Forever



Morgan Merrifield sacrificed her teaching career to try to save her family’s bed-and-breakfast and care for her younger sister. She can’t let herself get distracted by Ryan Butler. After all, the rugged ex-Special Forces soldier is only in Seashell Bay for the summer. But her longtime crush soon flares into real desire-and with one irresistible kiss, she’s swept away.

Ryan values his freedom. As much as he wants Morgan, he’s not ready to settle down with anyone, much less in sleepy Seashell Bay. But his code of honor doesn’t allow him to leave a woman in distress-and she’s in desperate need of help to fix the inn. It only takes one day working under the same roof and Ryan is already hoping for a lifetime of hot summer nights . . .



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Good Lord, they were finally going to do it. And she was more than ready. She’d spent weeks resisting her endless, impossible desire for Ryan, and suddenly that seemed like it had been the dumbest thing in the world. If there were any lessons to be gleaned from that awful fire, it was that life was both precious and random all at once. That being cautious and careful couldn’t always protect you from the bad things, which she should have learned in the wake of her father’s death. That being too cautious and careful could cut you off from the things you wanted, the things you loved.

That she loved Ryan was beyond doubt. Morgan knew with absolute conviction that saying no to him now would be a missed opportunity she would regret forever, whether he stayed in her life or got on the ferry at the end of the summer and sailed away.

He took his time, gently resting his forehead against hers, inhaling deep breaths as if drawing in her scent. She thought he was giving her one final chance to say no.

“Yes,” she breathed. “Yes, Ryan.”

She wouldn’t have been able to say anything more, even if she’d had the words, because he dipped his head and claimed her mouth with a searing kiss that stole every ounce of strength from her body. His hand spread wide over her back and drifted down to settle at the base of her spine. He loomed over her—big, brawny, and muscular—his very presence making her feel protected and cherished.

And turning her on like crazy.

She reached up and sank her fingers into his hair as he deepened the kiss. Boldly, she pushed her tongue between his lips, sweeping inside and claiming him the way he’d claimed her only a few weeks ago. She let her hunger drive her, pulling back to trace the edges of his firm mouth with her tongue before stealing back inside for a deeper taste of him.

Finally, Ryan eased his grip and broke the kiss. She felt a slight tremor in the big hands that wrapped around her upper arms. “Jesus, Morgan, if you don’t want to go any further, say so right now. If you’re not ready . . .”

“Does it feel like I’m not ready?” she said in disbelief. “I’ve been ready since we were in high school. Probably since junior high, although it’s probably really tacky to admit that.”

“You’re sure? Because I don’t want this if it’s just a gratitude thing,” Ryan said, frowning. “That’s not why I’ve been trying to help you. You know that, don’t you?”

She let out an exaggerated sigh. “You are such a dope, although I guess I can’t totally blame you. I’ve been Mr. Dithers for weeks about this.”

A smile eased his lips up. “You’re way cuter than Mr. Dithers. But I get it, and I just want to make sure that you’re sure.”

She rested a hand on his chest, then slid it down to his waist, letting her fingers drift along the top of his cargo shorts. “Oh, I’m sure, big guy.”

Ryan’s dark eyes lit up. He dipped to nuzzle her neck, trailing soft, hot kisses as she arched into him. It felt like heaven to finally give in to what she’d been fighting for so long. Relief had her wanting to jump up and spin around in crazy circles, like a kid high on sugar.

Or rip his clothes off and do him right on the beach.

Classy, Morgan. Real classy.

Buy Links:  Amazon | B & N | iTunes | KoboPublisher



Author Info

V.K. Sykes is really two people – Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes, a husband and wife team who write USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance and also romantic suspense. Randy excels at plot and characterization, but tends to fall down on the job when it comes to that pesky old thing called emotion. That’s where Vanessa steps in. She usually writes the sex scenes too, since Randy is a bit uncomfortable when it comes to that sort of stuff. Vanessa also writes award-winning Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra under her own name. You can check out Vanessa’s bestselling historical romances at


VK Sykes
Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 


*V.K. is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a Grand Prize of a $25 Amazon eGift Card and Four Runners Up will receive a Print Set of Meet Me at the Beach and a copy of Wedding Bells in Christmas, by Debbie Mason*



Posted by on July 10, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights


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BOOK BLAST ~ Making a Comeback by Kristina Mathews ~ GIVEAWAY

Enter to Win a 
$15.00 Amazon or B&N eGift Card


More Than a Game #3
Kristina Mathews
Releasing July 7th, 2015
Lyrical Press: Shine


With a divorce in the works, Annabelle Jones heads out to Southern California, the land of sun and starting over. She wants to prove to herself and her young daughters that she still has what it takes to turn heads as a swimsuit model—that she doesn’t need a man to take care of her. Until an accident forces her to rely on the hunky, yet mysterious man next door…

Nathan Cooper is trying to revive his own career. Once a top left-handed relief pitcher, he tried to get over a hidden injury with the aid of banned substances. Not only was he caught and suspended, he was traded and missed out on winning the championship. Now he’s a free agent without a contract, and that means life is ready to play ball…

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Today was a good day. A glorious day. Sitting at the stoplight in the Southern California sunshine, Annabelle Jones did a drum solo on the steering wheel of her convertible Mercedes. She didn’t care if people stared at her singing along to “Don’t Stop Believing.” She hadn’t stopped believing, and look at her now, fresh off her first modeling job since filing for divorce. So it wasn’t the cover of Sports Illustrated, still, it was a job. Something she could be proud of. Her daughters could be proud of her.

It wasn’t about the money. The income she earned from this modeling job was more about pride. Having something to offer the world, even if it was just her face.

Annabelle wanted to show her daughters that a woman didn’t need a man to take care of her. She could stand on her own two feet, and return to the career she’d given up when she married Clayton Barry. She might not fly off to exotic locations or work with the world’s most famous photographers, but she was working.

She lifted her face to the sun, soaking in its warmth. It was as if the fog of the last few years had finally lifted. Nothing but blue skies ahead for her and her six-year-old twin daughters.

Today’s shoot was just the beginning. Her agent had two more jobs lined up for her before the end of the month. He’d also scheduled her to attend the televised celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. She hadn’t been able to make the photo shoot last fall in New York for the magazine, but he thought making an appearance on the live show would give her plenty of exposure.

Hopefully, she’d be able to juggle it all. Part of what appealed to her about today’s job was that it was close enough that she’d be able to shoot for a few hours and still get home in time to meet her daughters when they got off the school bus.

Annabelle glanced at the clock. If the light didn’t change soon, she wasn’t going to make it to the bus stop in time.

The song ended and Annabelle turned down the volume. She’d started listening to Journey during the Goliaths’ World Series run. So the song was five years older than she was, the message still rang true. It was about hope. Starting over. Believing.

The traffic light turned green, and she pulled into the intersection. A flash of yellow appeared out of the corner of her eye. She turned in time to see an SUV blow through the stoplight. Before she could react, the vehicle struck her Mercedes just behind the driver’s side door.

Her head slammed into the side window. Glass shattered and she looked down at the blood on her blouse. A thousand black pixels danced before her eyes.

And then nothing.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Kristina Mathews doesn’t remember a time when she
didn’t have a book in her hand. Or in her head. But it wasn’t until she turned
forty that she confessed the reason the laundry never made it out of the dryer
was because she was busy writing.
While she resigned
from teaching with the arrival of her second son, she’s remained an educator in
some form. As a volunteer, parent club member or para educator, she finds the
most satisfaction working with emergent and developing readers, helping foster
confidence and a lifelong love of books.
Kristina lives in
Northern California with her husband of more than twenty years, two sons and a
black lab. A veteran road tripper, amateur renovator and sports fanatic. She
hopes to one day travel all 3,073 miles of Highway 50 from Sacramento, CA to
Ocean City, MD, replace her carpet with hardwood floors and serve as a “Ball
Dudette” for the San Francisco Giants.
1 Comment

Posted by on July 7, 2015 in Blitz/Bonanza Spotlights


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