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What to Read Wednesday with Claire McEwen author of Home Free ~ #giveaway

I’m so glad you could stop by for What To Read Wednesday! Please help me welcome Claire McEwen to the blog. She’s talking about baking (always a good subject) and how it ties in with her latest book HOME FREE. 

Afterward, please enter her giveaway!

Take it away Claire …

 

Bake Your Blues Away

 

In my new book, Home Free, the heroine, Mandy Allen, loves to bake.  She’s turned it into a business, baking all kinds of delicious cakes and cookies for local events.

 

Her blueberry muffins are so delicious that after the hero, Arch Hoffman, takes a bite, he feels “transported to another planet. A happy place where nothing mattered but sugary, fluffy bread.”  He’s just spent a decade in prison, so he doesn’t have much good food to compare it to, but still, they’re really good muffins!

 

But there’s more to Mandy’s baking than meets the eye. She’s a very anxious person, and I learned, when researching this book, that baking is known to help people who are struggling with mental health issues, or who are just feeling low.

 

Why is baking so therapeutic?  For a lot of reasons, apparently.  It eases stress because mixing the ingredients can be very meditative.  It is somewhat physical, so all that stirring, rolling and cutting out cookies is good for our bodies and brains. Bread baking is said to be especially beneficial because of all the kneading.  So keep that bread machine in the cupboard and make bread the old-fashioned way!

 

Baking is also a creative outlet, which makes it naturally relaxing.  Plus, baking is a nurturing, comforting activity and you get something delicious to eat at the end.

 

And many people who bake give some of the end product away. This helps their mental health because they don’t eat too many sweets, which can increase anxiety and depression, and it is well known that giving to others can feel very uplifting.

 

So the next time you have the blues, try baking.  And for a great blueberry muffin recipe, try this one!  http://www.nytimes.com/1987/06/13/style/de-gustibus-the-battle-over-blueberry-muffins.html  According to the article, many people consider it the best recipe out there.

 

I tried it and the muffins were delicious.  But are they better than Mandy’s?  Arch Hoffman would tell you no, there could be nothing better. But he’s falling in love with her, so he’s a little biased!

 

I hope you’ll give Home Free a chance.  It truly is a sweet love story with a hopeful, Fall holiday feeling.  And the next time you have the blues… try a little baking!

 

 

His first taste of freedom was only the beginning…

 

HOME FREE
Sierra Legacy #3
Claire McEwen
Released Nov 1st, 2016
Harlequin Superromance

His
first taste of freedom was only the beginning… 

Arch Hoffman has paid for
his crimes. All he wants is to come home to rural California and start over.
He’s not looking to be a hero when he rescues a wedding cake from hitting the
dirt at the ranch next door. But culinary artist Mandy Allen’s irresistible
smile makes him glad to save the day–and thankful that they’re neighbors.

Mandy’s just the distraction Arch needs. Her sweet voice quiets the memories
that threaten his chance to be a better man, and he’s determined to help her
confront her fears. But the past is its own prison, and even love might not be
enough to set them free.


EXCERPT

A flicker of motion across the black backs of the cattle caught Mandy’s eye. Dark hair under a brown cowboy hat. Long legs in faded jeans. Shoulders wide under his padded canvas jacket. Arch Hoffman.

He was standing on the rail of the fence, waving with both arms to get her attention. She rolled down the window. “Hey,” she called, knowing that it didn’t matter what she said. There was no way she was getting out of this situation without looking like an idiot.

“What’s going on?” He shouted the words, but it was still hard to hear him over the indignant mooing. The steers wanted breakfast, and they were confused and frustrated. Well, boys, welcome to the club. She’d been confused and frustrated for years now.

“Not much,” she called back in a lame attempt at nonchalance. “What’s up with you?”

She could see the confusion on Arch’s face even from this distance. He probably hadn’t been expecting small talk. “Um, not much. You need a little help there?”

She forced a breezy voice. “I’m okay…just need to get out of this truck and get feeding.”

“Oh.” He paused for a moment, as if trying to come up with the right words. “It’s just that…you fell into the cab.”

How long had he been there, watching her make a fool of herself? “Oh, ya know, just lost my balance for a minute.” It was almost impossible to sound casual while yelling over the ruckus of forty upset steers.

Arch jumped off the fence and Mandy lost sight of him. She had a tiny moment to hope that he’d decided she was fine and was gone on his way. Then she saw him swing up on the back of a big black gelding and guide it along the fence to the gate. Leaning gracefully from the saddle, he let himself into the pasture, closing the gate behind him.

Mandy reached for the door handle, but her hand was shaking so hard she couldn’t grasp it. She wanted to get out and face Arch while tossing hay out of the truck like a pro. But fear had its cold claws sunk in deep.

With a wave of his rope, Arch cleared the steers easily from his path. He took their place at her truck window, looking down at her from his relaxed perch in the saddle. “Do you want me to feed them?”

His voice was a balm of gentle concern that almost brought out the tears fizzing hot beneath her eyes. She felt her cheeks heat, too, and knew her usually pale skin had gone scarlet. She couldn’t answer. But she nodded.

“Okay,” he said. “Just sit tight.”

She watched him in the side mirror as he guided his horse alongside the vehicle and leaned over, grabbing a few flakes of the hay she’d stacked there. He threw them to his right and several of the steers trotted toward the pile. Quickly he grabbed more hay and tossed it out behind the truck, creating another feeding area. Soon the pasture was littered with piles of hay surrounded by happy cattle. Mandy buried her face in her hands. He made it look so simple.

 

Claire
McEwen
lives
by the ocean in Northern California with her husband, son and a scruffy,
mischievous terrier.  When not dreaming up new stories, she can be found
digging in her garden with a lot of enthusiasm but, unfortunately, no green
thumb.  She loves discovering flea-market treasures, walking on the beach,
dancing, traveling and reading, of course!
 

 

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Posted by on November 9, 2016 in What to Read Wednesday

 

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What to Read Wednesday with Jessica Lemmon author of The Billionaire Next Door ~ #giveaway

I’m so glad you could visit for What to Read Wednesday🙂 Please help me welcome Jessica Lemmon to the blog. She’s talking about 5 ways to frustrate a billionaire bad boy and also sharing her latest release The Billionaire Next Door. I think you’ll enjoy the excerpt and blurb and if you’re anything like me you’ll LOVE the cover!

Afterward, please enter Jessica’s giveaway and don’t forget to click a buy link and grab your copy🙂

Take it away Jessica!

Top 5 Ways To Frustrate An Alpha Billionaire Bad Boy

 

In my new release The Billionaire Bachelor, our hero Tag Crane is having one heck of a time getting heroine Rachel Foster to comply. His tried-and-true tricks simply don’t *quite* break down this particular woman’s defenses. Which means Tag shrugs and wanders off to find a new woman to tempt, right…?

 

WRONG!

 

You know when an alpha guy finds The One, even if he doesn’t know she’s it for him yet, he digs in and tries, tries, and tries again. Which brings me to the Top 5 ways to frustrate an alpha!

 

Many of these Rachel does without even trying…

 

 

.5. Don’t let him pay your way. Alphas, especially rich ones, love to lavish gifts upon the object of their affection. If you want to frustrate him right down to his expensive shoes, insist on buying your own dinner. In Tag’s case, he won this battle, but it didn’t stop Rachel from arguing. Points: 1

 

.4. Insist on working. Tag invites Rachel to Hawaii under the guise of consulting on his latest bar upgrade for a Crane hotel on Oahu. But when he gets her there he decides he’d rather play than work… Rachel makes sure she puts in her hours whether he likes it or not. Points: 2… but -1 because she definitely makes time for play!

 

.3. Resist his advances. Playboy Tag Crane knows his way around a woman—and how to woo one. But whenever his cocky charm makes itself known, Rachel is sure to laugh it off. At one point, she lies and blurts, “I’m not the least bit attracted to… what you have going on.” Points: 3. Well played!

 

.2. Don’t react the way he expects. When Rachel opens her front door one evening to find Tag standing outside of it, he lays a long, delicious kiss on her lips. When she doesn’t respond by climbing him like a cat on a curtain, Tag is completely confused. He even thinks to himself “SURELY, she liked it?” Throwing him off-kilter comes naturally to our wily heroine. Points: 5

 

.1. Don’t spell things out for him. Alphas think simply. In The Billionaire Next Door, Rachel uses the phrase “Me-Tarzan, You-Jane” to describe his techniques. The best way to frustrate an alpha? Keep him guessing… You won’t only frustrate him, you’ll fascinate him. And once he’s fallen head over money clip, he’ll come running and fight to win you. Points: 10.

Only a fool would give her heart to a billionaire player like Tag-
until suddenly the one man who can’t be caught is the one flirting with forever . . .

 

THE BILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR
Billionaire Bad Boys #2
Jessica Lemmon
Releasing Oct 25th, 2016
Forever
Can’t
Buy Me Love
 
It’s Tag Crane’s job to be the life
of the party. Traveling from one exotic locale to another is just part of
running the luxurious Crane Hotel empire. But even paradise isn’t perfect.
Devising a new business strategy is keeping Tag up at night-and so is the Great
Dane barking at all hours in the apartment below his. To muzzle the problem,
Tag charges downstairs . . . right into the most beautiful, blond distraction
he’s ever seen.
Dog-sitting by day, bartending by
night. It’s not exactly the life Rachel Foster dreamed of. But when Tag Crane
rushes in, all mountain-man shoulders and obscenely sexy smile, needing her
help for the Crane Hotels, it’s a fantasy come true. What’s the harm in a fun
no-strings fling? Only a fool would give her heart to a billionaire player like
Tag-until suddenly the one man who can’t be caught is the one flirting with
forever . . 

EXCERPT

“This is so much colder than a cab,” Rachel said through chattering teeth. The bar was probably fifteen blocks from the apartment. What was she thinking agreeing to walk? She couldn’t feel her nose.

“But cleaner,” Tag said. She was currently taking two steps for every one of his, given his gait was longer than hers, even at a leisurely pace.

“I do better when it’s a nice, even seventy degrees.” She buried her chin in her scarf as she watched her boots cut through the gathering snow. “I guess it’ll be a few more months until we see milder temps.”

God. She was hopeless. Walking down the sidewalk next to a gorgeous guy and talking about the weather. But Tag didn’t balk.

“I like extremes,” he said, as if this was perfectly acceptable conversation. “If it’s hot, I like it really hot. If it’s cold, there’d better be snow or it’s a waste. I like the ocean because you can’t see the end of it. If I’m in a forest, I prefer one filled with massive sequoias.”

“Because you can relate to them,” she teased. “Giant.”

He turned his head and smiled and she admired straight, white teeth surrounded by a golden brown beard. He’d pulled his hair down and the light brown waves fell haphazardly over his black coat. Which was so sexy she couldn’t think. Especially since there were snowflakes in the strands. Not that she could blame them. Nestled warmly in those locks wasn’t a bad place to imagine being.

Again, she wondered at her attraction to him. Though he did kind of look like Thor, and while she wasn’t a die-hard comic book fan, she could appreciate the actor in the movie.

“How tall are you?” she asked, mostly to stop her inane train of thought. The more she was around him, the less she understood her basal reaction to him.

“Just under six-six. You’re what? Five-five?”

“Yeah. How’d you do that?”

He shrugged and looked ahead, but she didn’t doubt how he’d done it. He’d likely honed his carnival skills and was stellar at guessing weight and height. It wasn’t hard to imagine him using his intuition to figure out a woman’s weak points so he could attack where she was most sensitive. He’d probably had a ton of practice.

Was that where her concern was coming from? That he’d find her weak spots and use them against her? That’s what Shaun had done, she thought with a token amount of bitterness.

“How’d I do what?” A puff of air came from his lips, buried in his beard. She’d never liked facial hair. Until now, apparently.

“How’d you guess my height?” she shot back, feeling peeved more with herself than him. Lack of sleep, or maybe too much, she wasn’t really sure what to blame her reaction on now. “How’d you know I was a businesswoman before? I’m a great bartender, by the way. I was a bartender for longer than I worked in marketing.” She pushed her hands deeper into her pockets, lamenting not bringing her gloves with her. Her hands were freezing.

“Just observant. I’m good with people,” he said.

She absorbed that for a few seconds.

“What exactly do you do in Guest and Restaurant Services?” She air-quoted those words, which brought her bare hands from her pockets. He noticed.

“Where are your gloves? Do you realize it’s February in Chicago?”

“I forgot them.”

Tag stopped walking, a deep sigh working its way from his wide chest as he tugged off his gloves.

“I’m fine.” But he wasn’t listening. Once he’d had his baseball-mitt sized gloves off, he lifted her smaller, freezing hands to his mouth, cupping them in his palms, and blew on them to warm her fingers. He did this the way he did everything else.

Slowly.

Intentionally.

And looking right at her.

He brushed his lips over her knuckles as a drove of chills shot down her spine and legs. She became fascinated by how soft his beard felt against her freezing skin, and then those chills were replaced with heat. Pooling in her belly, between her thighs, and infusing her face with color.

“Thanks,” she muttered when he let her go. She stuffed her hands into his gloves—they were warm, and after his personal attention, so was she. They finished their walk to Crane Tower, and once they were in the lobby, she put that together with Crane Hotels. “You’re pretty brand loyal aren’t you?”

“Honey, you have no idea.”

 
BUY NOW
Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo

 

A
former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her
husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently
gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy
heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and
eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a
purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

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Posted by on October 26, 2016 in What to Read Wednesday

 

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What to Read Wednesday Interview with Megan Ryder author of Love From the Left Field ~ #giveaway

I’m so glad you could make it to What to Read Wednesday! I’m excited to introduce Megan Ryder, who has graciously agreed to an interview before sharing the awesome details and gorgeous cover of her release Love From The Left Field.

Afterward, please follow the link to enter Megan’s giveaway!

Let’s gets started …

 

Q: What do you love most about sports romance?

A: I love the heroes and the possibilities behind the sports books. The heroes all come from different walks of life but are so driven and competitive. That competitive fire is so sexy. Love From Left Field is not quite a true sports romance because neither character actually plays the sport but they both have the competitive fire even working in the front office, making deals, playing God so to speak from on high.

 

Q: Why do I write about baseball?

A: I love baseball. It might be a slow game on the surface but I love the subtleties of the game – the strategy and the finesse involved. And the tight pants help. It’s one of the few sports that you can see the whole athlete, not covered in pads and gear.

 

Q: Why did you decide to write about a baseball team?

A: I’ve always loved sports, especially baseball, and I love the camaraderie of the guys on the team – the brotherhood. The close bond that the players share is something special and I’ve always wanted to explore that.

 

Q: Love From Left Field is not about a player. How does this fit into the series?

A: Unlike the first book, where Jason was an outside being introduced, Love from Left Field is about the front office and the people who structure the team, bring the players together. They’re going to be the jumping off point for the players in subsequent books. For example, we hear a bit about Dylan Prosser, a new catcher, and he’ll launch us back into the players. But I’ve always wanted to go behind the curtain and see what happens to put the team on the field. Love From Left Field came from that desire.

 

Q: What is your favorite scene from the book?

A: Lucas was a little too uptight for me and he was being a bit too standoffish so I had to do something about that, get him involved. So on Opening Day, the mascot, a Knight in shining armor, didn’t show up for work so they put Lucas in the costume. He was so indignant about the whole set-up but for Miranda, he would do it. I loved that whole scene and laughed out loud writing it.

 

Q: What’s next for the Knights?

A: Next up is Dylan Prosser, another uptight, too-focused individual who needs some loosening up. Stay tuned for his book early next year!

 

Q: Who are some other favorite Sports romance authors you love?

A: Jaci Burton, Jennifer Bernard, Tracy Solheim, Deirdre Martin, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Carly Phillips, to name a few.

Can Miranda and Lucas let go of old grudges and hold on to their new love?

 

LOVE FROM LEFT FIELD
Knights of Passion #2
Megan Ryder
Released Sept 13th, 2016
Tule Publishing
 
She wants to save the
Knights…
When
Miranda Callahan’s father, principle owner and hands-on dictator of the Georgia
Knights, has a heart attack, the responsibility to make the team an independent
success becomes solely hers. Though everyone expects her to fail in her new
role, Miranda is determined to take her team to the top and earn her father’s
love and respect on the way. The only other obstacle is the League’s consultant
– a secret crush from her past – the man trying to take over the team, and the
one person who can save them all.
He wants
revenge…
Lucas
Wainright is a turnaround consultant, hired by the League to save the Knights
and so many other teams – only this time it’s personal; before being ousted by
Seamus Callahan, Lucas’ family had been the owners of the team. Now, he has the
perfect opportunity to regain his rightful position with the Knights, if he’s
willing to suppress his scruples and his attraction to Miranda Callahan.
Can
Miranda and Lucas let go of old grudges and hold on to their new love?

EXCERPT

“Really? So you think that I’ll be here, ready to kiss you whenever you want?”

The smile that crossed his face was one of pure male arrogance, confident in his own sex appeal. “Oh yeah. No obligation here.”

He stood and stalked around the desk. Too late she realized that she’d poked the tiger and he was deadly serious about his intentions. He swiveled her chair so she faced him, her chair bracketed between his knees. He braced his hands on the arms, trapping her neatly so she couldn’t escape. Only she had no intention of trying to get away. That kiss had replayed in her mind several times in the few days since the event and she wanted to see if it was exhaustion that had made it so great, or something else.

She tilted her head to the side and relaxed her body, allowing a small smile to spread across her lips. “So now you’re going to prove it was a good kiss? Give it your best shot, lover boy. Let’s see what you got.”

He leaned forward and gently brushed his lips across her, lightly, as if drawing a feather across her skin. She shivered and he chuckled, a low male sound deep in his throat. His lips skimmed her jaw line, brief, barely whispers of a touch, designed to tease, to taunt, to increase her desire. She moaned and went to reach for him.

“Oh no. Stay still for this.” He grabbed her hands with his, and placed them on the arms of the chair, imprisoning them with his own.

He nudged her face up with his nose then rewarded her with a deep kiss, soul stirring yet innocent. After a moment, his tongue slid along the crease of her lips and she opened them, welcoming him in. The kiss quickly turned deeper, hotter, their tongues entwining and exploring. His mouth tasted of coffee and sweetness, like the butter-cream frosting of cake, and she couldn’t get enough of it.

Slowly, chest heaving with exertion, he pulled back, resting his forehead on hers while they both caught their breath.

“Still think it was obligation?”

BUY NOW

 

Don’t miss book one in the Knights of Passion Series
Ever since Megan Ryder discovered Jude Deveraux and
Judith McNaught while sneaking around the “forbidden” romance section of the
library one day after school, she has been voraciously devouring romance novels
of all types. Now a romance author in her own right, Megan pens sexy
contemporary novels all about family and hot lovin’ with the boy next door. She
lives in Connecticut, spending her days as a technical writer and her spare
time divided between her addiction to knitting and reading.
 

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Posted by on September 21, 2016 in What to Read Wednesday

 

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What to Read Wednesday with Chrys Fey author of Seismic Crimes

Thank you so much for taking the time to join me on another round of What to Read Wednesday! I’m excited to have Chrys Fey visiting today🙂 Chrys is sharing her latest book SEISMIC CRIMES with us and I know that I definitely want to read this. Not only do I love the cover, but I love the premise of this romance. After you read the blurb and excerpt I think you will run on over to your favorite book buying site and grab a copy too!

So, let’s get started …

Intense Situations Create Love – SEISMIC CRIMES by Chrys Fey

 

Beth and Donovan’s love story is not typical. In Hurricane Crimes, they meet after Donovan crashes his car into a tree…in hurricane-force winds. Beth ventures out into the storm to rescue him from the totaled car. When she sees him for the first time, it’s through a rainy car window.

After she brings him into her house, she catches a news bulletin about a man suspected of murder. The face of the man staring back at her from the TV belongs to Donovan. During the course of the story, Donovan teeters back and forth between guilty and innocent. Beth throws a flashlight at him, tries to back his head in with a candlestick holder, and crush his manly area with her knee.

But being trapped with a stranger during a category 5 hurricane, and relying on that person to stay alive, builds a connection. This connection starts when they both show compassion toward each other, share their stories, laugh, and bond over a game of poker. Then they face many dangers together, including the prospect of death. Those intense moments create love. Maybe not the sort of love some have if they’ve known someone for years and know all about them, but a strong chemical reaction, which is what love boils down to. That chemical reaction cannot be controlled or stopped or manipulated. When it happens, it happens. As it did with Beth and Donovan.

SeismicCrimes_w10160_750

EXCERPT:

He told me first, and people fall in love at first sight all the time, so what’s the big deal?

 

The big deal is you don’t even know him.

 

I knew him well enough to have sex with him.

 

Ha!

 

Beth’s mind was in a war with itself.

She thought about Donovan and his gentle touch when he cleaned her wounds. His sexy smile, the way he made love to her as if he had known her for years, and his violet eyes. Donovan was an amazing man; there was no doubt about that. And she couldn’t ignore her feelings either. When she realized she would do anything for him, even kill to protect him, she knew she was in love. Yes, in love with a man she barely knew, but in love nonetheless.

 

The clock hanging on the wall was wrong but the minute hand continued to move. Each tick frayed Beth’s nerves. Donovan had been in the interrogation room for thirty minutes. What is happening? What are they putting him through?

 

Her hair hung in damp ropes to her shoulders and her clothes were wet, offering a bit of coolness to her heated skin. She stretched out on the chairs, letting exhaustion take over her body, and drifted off to sleep.

 

 

BLURB:

 

An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.

 

Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.

 

When a tip reveals the killer’s location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?

 

Digital:

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B01CRJSPIU

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seismic-crimes-chrys-fey/1123508790?ean=2940158028380

KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/seismic-crimes

The Wild Rose Press:

http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/3804-seismic-crimes.html

 

Print:

Amazon: http://amzn.com/1509207252

The Wild Rose Press:

http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/paperback-books/3838-seismic-crimes-paperback.html

 

BIO:

Chrys Fey

Chrys Fey is the author of Hurricane Crimes, Book One in the Disaster Crimes series, as well as these releases from The Wild Rose Press: 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. She is an administrator for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and creates their monthly newsletter.

Fey lives in Florida and is always on the lookout for hurricanes. She has four adopted cats who keep her entertained with their antics, and three nephews who keep her entertained with their antics. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and through her blog, Write with Fey. She loves to get to know her readers!

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website www.ChrysFey.com

Blog www.writewithfey.blogspot.com

Facebook www.facebook.com/chrysfey

Twitter https://twitter.com/ChrysFey

 

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2016 in What to Read Wednesday

 

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What to Read Wednesday with Kristen McLean author of To Win A Scoundrel’s Heart ~ #giveaway

Welcome to What to Read Wednesday🙂 Please help me welcome Kristen McLean to the blog. Kristen is here to share a little tidbit about how she came up with the setting for her release To Win A Scoundrel’s Heart. I think you’ll enjoy the behind the scenes information as much as i did.

Afterward, don’t forget to drool over her awesome cover, check out her blurb and excerpt, and definitely enter her giveaway!

Take it away, Kristen …

How I came up with the setting for To Win a Scoundrel’s Heart was quite simple. It all started in Paris. Paris is such a lovely city. Enchanting, really. What it isn’t, is a place one skips when touring Europe. Thankfully I was successful in convincing my husband of this fact before we made all the travel arrangements for our humble version of a Grand Tour.

Two or three days after arriving, my husband and I made our way up the Eiffel Tower along with every other couple in Paris. It was crowded and cold. And it was raining. Of course, it was raining. A giant rain cloud had rolled in sometime between us shuffling into the elevator and arriving at the top. It was just our luck. Thankfully it wasn’t nearly as cold as London had been, but by the time the rain had passed we were icicles. Still, the view of the city was marvelous after a good rain. While I stood there looking out over a city that has been here for nearly 2000 years, I was overcome with the history, beauty, and energy of the city. I knew then and there Nick’s story had to take place in Paris. He’s romantic, debonair, slightly wicked, and he belonged here. He was also going to be drenched with rain.

I might have come up with the entire story on the spot, but my own scoundrel was pulling me into his arms and kissing me senseless. The book would just have to wait until after we left Paris. You understand.

Enter to Win a $25.00 Amazon eGift Card

 

TO WIN A SCOUNDREL’S HEART
The Lords of Whitehall #2
Kristen McLean
Releasing July 19th, 2016
Young Ink Press

 

When her
husband’s death is ruled a suicide, Lady Dumonte suspects foul play. However,
finding the truth seems impossible after every investigator in Paris turns up
empty-handed. Now she is forced to seek help from Lord Pembridge, a feckless
libertine.
 
Although the pain of loss is a
constant reminder of why she must hide her heart, this carefree scoundrel
threatens to break past her defenses. He could uncover the truth regarding her
husband’s death, but is learning the truth worth risking her heart?
Lord Pembridge has wealth, angelic
good looks, and a sunny disposition. None would guess the dark secret
blackening his past or the grudge controlling his future. It was the reason he
could never have a family of his own, a fate he had accepted until he was
forced to play detective for the one woman who could tempt him.

EXCERPT

“You, m’dear girl,” he murmured, “are old enough to know better than to tempt a scoundrel.”

“I know what I am doing,” she spouted back indignantly. “I am not a child.”

“No,” he agreed easily. “You are certainly not a child.”

“Then I would expect you not to treat me like one.” Her eyes flashed, giving him a teasing glimpse of passion.

Lady Dumonte possessed passion?

Another surprise.

“Of course not.” He frowned in mock seriousness. “How should I treat you? As a lady or a mistress?”

“As a woman,” she ground out. “I am a woman!” Her lips pursed together as she glared up at him.

He smiled broadly; he couldn’t help himself.

“Ah, yes,” he agreed, looking her over as though he had only just noticed. “I believe you are.”

She took in a deep breath, pushing her breasts against the tight fabric of her bodice.

His cock jumped to attention.

“I was wrong about not liking you. I hate you!”

“And yet,” he mused with a knit brow, “you throw yourself at me like all the others. You are either in denial of your overwhelming attraction to me or a glutton for punishment. For my own complacency, I choose the former.”

Céleste shook her head slowly, her eyes narrowed and seething with anger.

“Regardless,” he continued frankly at his own peril, “you had better run along, or you may find your offer accepted, and we both know you never expected that. Your bluff has been called, Lady Dumonte. Go on home like a good girl.”

“I never bluff.”

“Never say never, m’dear,” he murmured with a purposefully wicked smile.

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Kristen has always had a love of novels, with a special place in
her heart for historical romance. After reading enough of them to fill a rather
impressive library, she decided to write her own. Now she has the pleasure of
writing at home, tucked away in a forest with her husband, two children and her
cat. Her husband is loving, and impressively patient, her two beautiful
children strive to embarrass and exhaust her, and her cat hates everyone, but
tolerates—well, she tolerates whoever will feed her.

 

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Posted by on July 27, 2016 in What to Read Wednesday

 

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What to Read Wednesday with Madelyn Hill author of Highland Hope ~ #giveaway

I’m so excited you can join me and author Madelyn Hill for What to Read Wednesday! Madelyn is talking about learning the craft of writing and has some useful information to share. She’s also talking about her book Highland Hope which will release on August 31st with Soulmate Publishing. But don’t worry, after you read the excerpt and blurb you’ll want to pre-order your copy today … so go for it!

Afterward, don’t forget to enter her fabulous giveaway. The link is at the end of the post🙂

Take it away Madelyn …

Constantly Learning the Craft

 

As a writer, I feel you need to constantly work on your craft. There are numerous ways to do this and each author works differently, however here are a few of my methods for being a life-long learner.

 

Listen to your editor: For my first novel Wolf’s Castle, I accepted ALL of the comments, grammar, and structure recommendations. With Heather In The Mist, there were more plot points and character adjustments. For Highland Hope, there weren’t as many line edits, however more of plot questions from the editor in order to make my plot stronger and characters engaging. In my opinion, the comments from the editor helped me re-evaluate what I had written and with a cold eye I cut those darlings.

 

Read, read, and read some more: A writer has to be a reader. I know some authors who do not read any books in the genre they write. I can see the logic behind this. I, however, read everything and anything. This includes books, magazines, and newspaper (online and the old fashion paper ones) articles. You never know where inspiration will strike. Although I am a historical writer, a contemporary situation may influence my story, something I can tweak to make it historically relevant.

 

Craft Articles: As a tech geek, I decided there has to be a better way to search out craft articles, so now I use the RSS feed to have articles funnel to my Twitter feed. Now I can look at articles from several writing blogs. Here are some of the articles I recently read:

 

There are so many intelligent voices out there in blog land and I like the various topics that range from conflict to characterization to social networking for authors. All tools to add to my writer toolbox!

 

What do you do to keep perfecting your craft?

 

 

Enter to Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card

 

HIGHLAND HOPE
The Wild Thistle Trilogy #1
Madelyn Hill
Releasing August 31st, 2016
Soul Mate Publishing
Remember, lasses. Through Hope,
Faith and Honor, ye can rule
,” were the last words Lady Laird Hope
MacAlister’s father spoke before dying. Those very words direct her every
action and thought. Sword fighting and leading the men of her clan is second
nature to Hope and she has little time for herself or any thoughts of love.
Until Aidan MacKerry is captured spying on the clan.
She is beautiful, strong, and quick
to pull a sword. But when he kisses her, all thoughts of the Lairdship flee his
mind. When the enemy continues to undermine Laird MacAlister, Aidan is
determined to aid her—only he didn’t think he’d lose his heart to the Laird of
Wild Thistle Keep. When the enemy reveals Aidan’s secret, he must fight for his
right as laird and prove despite their differences, he loves Hope.
The enemy refuses to back down and
continues to threaten not only Hope, but the security of the entire clan. Only
together will they be able to save the clan and save their love.

EXCERPT

She sighed and set her free hand at her waist. “We need to find my sister, not stand her havering.”

Sadness and worry flitted in her gaze. Heartache over her mother he assumed and mayhap a wayward sister. The grief seemed to consume her as they walked and Aidan loathed to see a sad woman—even if it was Laird Hope MacAlister. If she started crying he’d certain flee, for nothing was worse than consoling a woman in tears. But he doubted she’d show such vulnerability to him.

She glanced toward the other caves and then back toward the keep. She gave a frustrated sigh.  Her face soft with desperation to find her sister. She was worried and inside she was fretting and he knew only one way to take a woman’s mind off her troubles.

He stepped toward her and swept her in his arms. Her eyes widened as he descended, slowly so not to make her skittish, but with enough purpose she knew his desire. Her lips parted and her tongue darted out quickly to wet the plump surface. His lips brushed against hers with a soft caress. She gripped his arms and pushed. He kissed her again, slanting his mouth over hers. She stiffened, then her fingers dug into his biceps as her lips relented, accepted his kiss. As a moan escaped her lips, masculine triumph flared and he delved deeper. A sizzling leap of lust cursed through him. God, she felt good in his arms. Aidan ripped his mouth from hers and narrowed his gaze. His chest heaved. His blood sang. Through hooded eyes, he watched her and inhaled the womanly scent about her. Hope’s face was flushed, her eyes glazed. Aidan reached for her again.

 

 

PRE-ORDER NOW

 

 

Madelyn Hill has always loved the written word. From the time she
could read and all through her school years, she’d sneak books into her
textbooks during school. And she devoured books daily. At the age of 10 she
proclaimed she wanted to be a writer. After being a “closet” writer
for several years, she sent her manuscripts out there and is now published with
Soul Mate Publishing. And she couldn’t be happier!
 
A resident of Western New York, she moved from one Rochester to
another Rochester to be with the love of her life. They have 3 children and
keep busy cooking, avid movie goers, and of course reading!

 

 
 

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Posted by on July 13, 2016 in What to Read Wednesday

 

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What to Read Wednesday with Jessica Lemmon author of The Billionaire Bachelor ~ #giveaway

I’m so glad you decided to drop in on this week’s What to Read Wednesday! Please help me welcome author Jessica Lemmon to the hot seat today🙂 Jessica is talking about her hero Reese Crane from her newest release The Billionaire Bachelor. After you read what she has to say, I know you’ll be jumping right over to the BUY link to grab your copy of this book.

Also, don’t forget to enter her fabulous giveaway! The link to enter is at the end of the post🙂

Take it away Jessica …

TOP 5 THINGS THAT MAKE THE MAN: REESE CRANE

 

 

Curious about what makes Reese Crane, billionaire bachelor, the man? Lucky for us, I was able to get my latest (stubborn) hero to open up about 5 things that make him, well, him.

 

#5 ~ Beard trimmer. Reese is never without a sexy amount of stubble on his jaw and chin (see book cover) and this bit of dishevelment throws our heroine, Merina right off course. Reese maintains his look, never clean-faced, and never too beardy. Can you say control?

#4 ~ Scotch. Reese prefers it on the rocks, and as he tells Merina on their date one evening, “It’s always what I expect.”

#3 ~ Yacht. In case of temporary nuptials, climb aboard and hide out! But not for long. Sunrise on the deck isn’t optional for Reese—he and Merina need reporters to see them together after the wedding.

#2 ~ Sharp wit. I’m not sure whose banter is more infectious, Merina’s or Reese’s. But I promise you this: when they’re together, they are on fire!

#1 ~ The tie. Merina becomes obsessed with loosening Reese’s ever-present tie, much to the reader’s delight. As she puts it, she likes to see him come undone.

 

As do I, Mer. As do I.😉

 

 

 

 

Indecent Proposal…

 

 

Indecent
Proposal
 
Manwhore. That’s what the board of
directors-and the tabloids-thinks of billionaire bachelor Reese Crane.
Ordinarily he couldn’t care less, but his playboy past is preventing the board
from naming him CEO of Crane Hotels. Nothing-and no one-will keep him from his
life’s legacy. They want a settled man to lead the company? Then that’s exactly
what he’ll give them.
Merina Van Heusen will do anything
to get her parents’ funky boutique hotel back-even marry
cold-as-ice-but-sexy-as-hell Reese Crane. It’s a simple business contract-six
months of marriage, absolute secrecy, and the Van Heusen is all hers again. But
when sparks fly between them, their passion quickly moves from the boardroom to
the bedroom. And soon Merina is living her worst nightmare: falling in love
with her husband . . .

EXCERPT

Even with her nostrils flared, Merina forced a smile. There was only one way past this gatekeeper. She called up an ounce of poise—an ounce being the most she could access at the moment. “Merina Van Heusen to see Reese Crane.”

“Ms. Van Heusen,” the woman said, her tone flat, her eyes going to the doorknob in Merina’s hand. “You’re here regarding the changes to the hotel, I presume.”

“You got it,” Merina said, barely harnessing her anger. How come everyone was so damn calm about dismantling a town landmark?

“Have a seat.” Crane’s bulldog gestured one manicured hand at a group of cushy white chairs, her mouth frowning in disgust as she took in Merina’s dishevelment. “Perhaps I could fetch you a towel first.”

“I won’t be sitting.” She wasn’t about to be put in her place by Reese’s underling. Then her prayers were answered as the set of gleaming wooden doors behind the secretary’s desk parted like the Red Sea.

Jackpot.

Merina barreled forward as the woman at the desk barked, “Excuse me!”

Merina ignored her. She wouldn’t be delayed another second…or so she thought. She stopped short when a woman in a very tight red dress, the neckline plunging into plentiful cleavage, her heels even higher and potentially more expensive than Merina’s Louboutins, swept out of the office and gave her a slow, mascaraed blink back. Then she sashayed around Merina, past the bulldog, and left behind a plume of perfume.

Interesting.

Reese’s latest date? An escort? If Merina believed the local tabloids, one and the same. Paying for dates certainly wasn’t above his pay grade.

Before the doors closed, she slipped into Reese’s office.

“Ms. Van Heusen!” came a bark behind her, but Reese, who stood facing the windows and looking out upon downtown, said three words that instantly shut his secretary up.

“She’s fine, Bobbie.”

Merina smirked back at the sour-faced, coal-eyed secretary as Reese’s office doors whooshed shut.

“Merina, I presume.” Reese still hadn’t turned. His posture was straight, jacket and slacks impeccably tailored to his muscular, perfectly proportioned body. Shark or not, the man could wear a suit. She’d seen the photos of him in the Trib as well as Luxury Stays, the hotel industry’s leading trade magazine, and like every other woman in Chicago, she hadn’t missed the gossip about him online. Like his more professional photos, his hands were sunk into his pant pockets, and his wavy, dark hair was styled and perfect.

Clearly the woman who had just left was here on other business…or past business. If something more clandestine was going on, Reese would appear more mussed. Then again, he probably didn’t muss his hair during sex. From what she gleaned about him via the media, Reese probably didn’t allow his hair to muss.

The snarky thought paired with a vision of him out of that suit, stalking naked and primed, golden muscles shifting with each long-legged step. Sharp, navy eyes focused only on her…

He turned to face her and she snapped out of her imaginings and blinked at the stubble covering a perfectly angled jaw. What was it about that hint of dishevelment on his otherwise perfect visage that made her breath catch?

Thick dark brows jumped slightly as his eyes zoomed in on her chest.

She sneered before venturing a glance down at her sodden silk shirt. Where she saw the perfect outline of both nipples. A tinge of heat lit her cheeks, and she crossed her arms haughtily, glaring at him as best she could while battling embarrassment.

“Seems this April morning is colder than you anticipated,” he drawled.

 
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Pre-Order the other very sexy Crane Brothers…

 

A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio
with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently
gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy
heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and
eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a
purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

 

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Posted by on July 6, 2016 in What to Read Wednesday

 

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