Posted in romance, teaser, Tuesday on September 18, 2012

I won Ocean Beach by author Wendy Wax from Book Hounds many month ago…I still haven’t read it yet but thought I would highlight the book because it does sound good!

 

Synopsis:

Madeline, Avery and Nicole, the unlikely friends from Ten Beach Road, have hit some speed bumps in their lives, but when they arrive in Miami’s South Beach neighborhood, they are all hoping for a do-over. Literally. They’ve been hired to bring a once-grand historic house back to its former glory on a new television show called Do-Over. A lot hinges on the success of the DIY program. For Nikki, it would mean getting back on her feet financially. For Avery, it’s a chance to restart her ruined career. And Maddie hopes it will give her a shot at keeping her family together.

At least, that’s the plan—until they realize that having their work broadcast is one thing, but having their personal lives play out on TV is another story entirely. Soon they’re struggling to hold themselves and the renovation together, even as a decades-old mystery—and the hurricane season—loom on the horizon, threatening not only the project but everything that’s brought them together.

 

Teaser:

This is from page 169

Next she unwrapped a sterling-silver dresser set.  “Oh my gosh,” Maddie said as she held up the hairbrush, comb, and mirror.  “These are beautiful.  I feel like I’ve been let loose in a treasure chest.”

 

 

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Posted in California, e-books, romance on September 17, 2012

Not too long ago I read and reviewed Not the Marrying Kind by Nicola Marsh.  She loved my 5 paw review and asked me to read and review Crazy Love as well.  This is her first Indie-published book and it should be released on September 18th on Amazon.

 

Synopsis:

All’s fair in love…and matchmaking!

Sierra Kent doesn’t do love.  While she embraces the quaintness of her home town Love and delights in matchmaking her clients through her Internet dating agency Love Byte, she doesn’t trust her intuition when it comes to the one emotion that has repeatedly let her down. 

City-slick Marc Fairley, CEO of LA’s premier acquisition company, doesn’t have time for Love.  From the minute he enters the kitschy town he can’t wait to hotfoot back to LA with his deranged mother in tow.  Instead, he gets roped into the town’s Love Fest hoopla, investigates the shady farmer his mom is engaged to, berates his butler for a mad crush on a brash Aussie waitress, and finds himself falling for the brazen red-head who continually baits him. His life couldn’t get any crazier. Until he discovers in exacting revenge on his father and achieving his lifelong goals, he may lose the one thing he values most…

Can Sierra and Marc create enough sparks to send Love up in flames?  And prove that winning isn’t everything in the love stakes, it’s how you play the game.

Review:

I think Nicola has another hit on her hand.  I love the interaction between Sierra and Marc, how they are both strong characters and butt heads quite a bit.  Flo (the brash Australian waitress) is a nice addition in the cast of characters and her insecurity that someone could love her despite her age and her quirks.  I will admit I am not quite done (can you say busy weekend) but am nearly there and can’t wait to see how it ends and if Sierra and Marc learn to give in a little bit.  I have my suspicions about a few things but don’t want to let out any spoilers!

This story also gets a 5 paw review from Gracie & April!

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Posted in Blog tour, Las Vegas, romance on August 9, 2012

If you are looking for a lighter quick read, then you might want to look into Not the Marrying Kind by Nicola Marsh!

Synopsis:

Diva Las Vegas!
When investors tarnish the King of Construction’s reputation he’s forced to prove his respectability… by finding a wife!

Beck Blackwood, desert bad-boy made good, will do whatever it takes to expand his construction company nationwide. Including blackmail a woman guaranteed to drive him crazy, into marriage.

LA party planner Poppy Collins is a woman on a mission: save her sister’s sanity. Determined to keep business afloat, Poppy pitches for the divorce party of the century to Vegas hotshot Beck Blackwood, not expecting a proposal of a different kind.

Beck leaves Poppy no option. Marry him or her Divorce Diva Daily secret is out and her sister’s business implodes. He holds a winning hand. However, Beck hasn’t played the game with a defiant woman who has a few tricks of her own!

In the city of high stakes and high flyers, can the Divorce Diva and the construction king take a gamble on love and beat the odds?

My thoughts:

Every now and then I want to read a book that is a quick but fun read….well Not the Marrying Kind DEFINITELY fit this bill!   The story line was fun, and even somewhat interesting.  I’m all for a party but had never thought about a divorce party…not that I plan to get divorced but is something to keep in the back of my mind for friends!  Anyway, I sent the PDF the publisher sent me for the blog tour to my work computer….and I will admit that I read it while at work..shhhh, don’t tell my boss!  I couldn’t help it though, the story hooked me from the beginning and I wanted to see what would happen next with Poppy and Beck.  Isn’t always the confirmed bachelor that has love sneak up and hit him square between the eyes?  And Poppy was willing to go along with Beck’s crazy scheme in the beginning to help her sister.  I think even that is more than what most family members will do for one another.  There is some witty dialogue between the two and some well meaning friends that throw some kinks into the scheme, but that just adds to the intrigue if everything is going to go as planned….but does it ever?!

All in all, Gracie & April give this 5 paws up and suggested that I look for other books by Nicola to read.  What can I say, they have great taste!

Coming tomorrow:  An interview with the author, Nicola Marsh…so stay tuned!

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Posted in Gemma Halliday, humor, romance, suspense on June 8, 2012

I was turned on to author Leslie Langtry by another author, Gemma Halliday.  Since I like Gemma’s books, I figured that if she was recommending this author maybe I should check her out.  It didn’t hurt that there were free copies of her books for my Kindle on Amazon!  I was able to get the first two books and I am hooked I tell you!  The first book is “Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy and book 2 is Guns Will Keep Us Together.  There are four books with a fifth on its ways.  The story line is about a family of assassins dating back 2000 years or more.  All members of the family have first names that are places – there is Ginny (Virginia), Dak (Dakota), Liv (Liverpool), Paris and many others.  I think these fit in the romantic suspense category but not 100% sure. I do know that they are FUNNY!  I could not stop laughing through these books.  There is a little bit of mystery suspense, but is it is very light.

I highly recommend these books…in fact, I need to find the third and fourth book so I can catch up and be ready for the fifth when it comes out.

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Posted in mystery, romance, women on April 27, 2012

 Synopsis:

All Angela wants is to understand why her father, security specialist Mac McKenzie, dropped dead on a sidewalk in Boston. Instead, she is thrust into the midst of an international conspiracy when she discovers that her father was working on a classified project at the time of his death. Now, the FBI, a terrorist and a killer have her in their sights.

Former Navy SEAL turned undercover operative, Chase Romero thinks his boss is overreacting when he orders Chase to small town America to protect Angela. But he changes his mind when her home is burglarized and “accidents” begin to happen. The real question becomes, how can he keep her safe if he keeps tripping over his own heart?

After shooting an intruder, Angela flees the scene, and the FBI issues a warrant for her arrest. On the run for her life and her freedom, she places her trust in Chase. As they travel from New England, to the nation’s capital, to the shores of Lake Michigan, the trail – and their attraction – grow hotter. Together, they team up to prevent a global financial market meltdown and face a killer who will stop at nothing to get his hands on the project Mac protected with his life.

Review:

This is the kind of book that I like to read….intrigue, mystery and a little romance all thrown together to create a storyline that traps the reader into a situation that could happen and left wondering what is going to happen next.  There were times that I wanted to smack Angela because she kept putting herself in harms way even when told not to do that…..but then if she didn’t put herself in harms way then Chase couldn’t rescue her.  I guess if there weren’t some annoying characteristics the book would be like any other and perhaps not as interesting.

I definitely recommend checking out this book for a little romance and a little suspense.

You can buy the book here or if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can read it for free (or could when I last checked).

Posted in mystery, romance, Texas, Tuesday on February 2, 2012

I had good intentions this year to post at least twice a week….well that worked for the first few weeks of the year and then I don’t know what happened.  Actually I can’t believe it is February already, where did January go? 

So my teaser that I should have posted on Tuesday made it to Thursday, but it is still a day that begins with the letter T! 

Today’s teaser is a new series by author Diane Kelly called Death, Taxes and a French Manicure.  The main character is Tara Holloway, an IRS special agent (in Dallas!) out taking down those tax evaders, like Capone.  She is in Texas and grew up in East Texas (Nacogdoches to be specific) and is a take charge woman that can shoot her way out of a situation if necessary.  But heaven forbid it should mess up her manicure!

This book is a romantic mystery with a LOT of witty dialogue.  Heck the first sentence of the book had me laughing and I knew I was in for a treat.  If you are looking for a new series, definitely check this one out.  The second book in the series Death, Taxes and a Skinny No-Whip Latte is due out March 1st and the 3rd book, Death, Taxes and Extra-Hold Hairspray will be out in July.  I cannot wait!  Oh and I just saw on her website that she will be signing copies of that second book on March 10th in Arlington, I’m planning to be there!

So I’m going to offer 2 teasers – the first is the first sentence in the book.  The other will chosen at random.

Chapter One – Some People Just need shooting

When I was nine, I formed a Silly Putty pecker for my Ken doll knowing he’d have no chance of fulfilling Barbie’s needs given the permanent state of erectile dysfunction with which the toy designers of Mattel had cursed him.

from page 61:

Her eyes moved from my face to the pink Cadillac visible through the glass front of the clinic.  “What is it this time?  Makeover gone horribly awry?”

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Posted in chick lit, romance, Tuesday, women on November 8, 2011

Wow, I cannot believe it has been 2 weeks since I posted anything.  Bad me!  I have been reading but just haven’t felt like writing.  Have you ever had those days weeks?

Today’s Teaser book is one that I am reading for my bookclub.  It is Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgens

 

From the back of the book: 

So when journalist Chastity O’Neill returns to her hometown, she decides it’s time to start working on some of those feminine wiles.  Two tiny problems: #1 – she’s five feet eleven inches of rock-solid girl power, and #2 – she’s cursed with four alpha male older brothers.

While doing a story on local heroes, she meets a hunky doctor and things start to look up.  Now there’s only one problem: Trevor Meade, her first love and the one man she’s never quite gotten over – although he seems to have gotten over her just fine.

Yet the more time she spends with Dr. Perfect, the better Trevor looks. But even with the in-your-face competition, the irresistible Trevor just can’t seem to see Chastity as anything more than just one of the guys….

Today’s teaser comes from page 282:

“Could you tell?  That he was, you know….gay?”

I haven’t gotten to this page yet but now I’m curious as to who they are referring to in the cast of characters.  I don’t think it is a major character though.

Happy Reading and I have a book review and interview with the author coming up very soon!

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Posted in romance, suspense on August 10, 2011

Gloria Schumann is originally from Detroit but attended college in TN where she met her husband, Paul.  They moved to Minnesota before ending up in Austin where they still reside.  I learned from her site that she was never much of a reader growing up (oh the horror!) but quickly delved into reading whenver she could once she found her passion, stories about relationships. 

Author Gloria Schumann was kind enough to send me a PDF copy of her book, Called Home Two Hearts Answer.

Synopsis:

Emma Benson’s view of life was crafted as a child by the death of her brother, the abandonment by her father and later, the man she trusted she would marry. A teacher by training, she forgoes her chosen path to save the Wisconsin farm she calls home from financial ruin.

A tornado threatens damage, but David Schlosser—back in town after years in New York writing best-selling novels—could ruin her neatly tended life. He’s looking for the charms of the small town he once rejected and finds more than he bargained for. He risks everything to get what he wants.

The storms of life throw Emma and David together and into the world of a criminal determined to ruin their plans by any means necessary. Robbery and near death connect Emma and David to their nemesis and during the throes of securing life and limb they make every effort to resist falling for one another.

My Review:

 I enjoyed this book because it combined two of my favorite genres – romance and mystery/suspense.  Ok so the mystery/suspense part was mild but it was still there and I found myself wondering who was doing everything.  Yes it was obvious who was harrassing Emma, but then there is a twist in the story and you have to start looking elsewhere for someone else.  That I was not expecting.  I did find the character of Emma very hard headed and wondered if she really wanted to be happy or if she was going to let the past control her future.  Emma did learn to move on with her life and realized that past experiences are not always repeated but it took her quite some time to come to that understanding!

All in all I would give this 3 1/2 stars.  Definitely worth a read.  So pick up a copy at your local library or nearest bookstore.

Posted in romance, Texas on September 20, 2010

Lori Wilde is the author of over forty-five books for three major New York publishers. Recently, she received a two-book contract from Warner Books based solely on a 25 word ‘high concept’ pitch. When the sale—along with the pitch—was announced on Publisher’s Marketplace, she was approached by eight film production companies interested in optioning her completed novel for a movie. She has been nominated for Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA award and is a four time nominee of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award.

Summary:

“On Christmas Eve, if you sleep with kismet cookies under your pillow and dream of your one true love, he will be your destiny.”

The towns folk of Twilight, Texas, believe the legend, but not Sarah Collier—not since she was a pudgy teenager, running down the church aisle on Christmas Day in a jingle bell sweater and reindeer antlers, trying to stop Travis Walker from marrying someone else. She may be grown up, slimmed down, bestselling children’s book author “Sadie Cool” now, but Sarah will never forget that day. And she’ll never fall foolishly in love again!

But when a letter from a sick fan brings Sarah back to Twilight, she’s shocked to discover that Travis is the little girl’s father—unattached and hotter than ever. His movie-star smile still makes her melt, but Sarah knows that ship has sailed. Travis, however, might have different ideas.

And just because you don’t believe in fairy tales doesn’t mean they won’t come true…

My Review:

This is the second book by Lori Wilde I have read.  The first was Addicted to Love which I also reviewed.  Since I live in Texas I always enjoy books that are set in this state since I tend to recognize characteristics of the towns or state as truly Texas.  Of course it doesn’t hurt that Lori lives here too.

Sarah was embarrassed as a child…but then who wasn’t when they were a teenager?  However she told Travis that she was his destiny…at his wedding…in front of the whole town.  I don’t think it can get any worse than that.

Fast forward about 10 years.  Sarah’s publicist sets her up on a goodwill tour with the clincher being a letter from a little girl in the town of Twilight who is deathly ill but Sarah’s biggest fan.  How can she disappoint this little girl? Of course the kicker is that she doesn’t know that the little girl is Travis’ daughter until it is too late and she is thrown directly into Travis’ path and the memory of what she did at his wedding.  Of course Travis hasn’t remained unscathed over the last 10 years and will his love for his daughter prevent him from finding his true love?

I really enjoyed this book.  It was very lighthearted with a few serious moments and it was nice to see where the male lead had issues he was dealing with in life that were of a serious nature.  Of course it doesn’t hurt that he is sexy and the descriptions Lori uses allow you to conjure him up in your mind.

Definitely check out this book if you like romance set in Texas…or just romance period!  It is a fairly quick read and I had a hard time putting the book down.

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Posted in contest, fiction, Giveaway, romance on September 3, 2010

Teryl Cartwright is a relatively new author having written one other romance novel and two plays along with news articles and childrens curriculum.  Teryl states on her website that it is important for her to write about what she knows—relationships, family and faith.  This way even though the story and characters were fictional, many of the emotions and thoughts were not.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book from the author and will be giving it away here on my blog.  I also asked Teryl if she would answer a few questions and she was glad to oblige.

SBR:  When and Why did you begin writing?

TC: I’ve been writing on and off since third grade, but only got serious about writing novels in 2002.  A friend had convinced me to try the online National Novel Writing in a Month Contest and that book was the first completed novel I had ever done.  (It also turned out to be my first published novel, A Sensible Match, after many, many edits!)

I had written short stories, articles, plays and such before that, but there is such a difference to hold a complete book, imperfect as it was.   Over the years I had so many half done books sitting around and I found out that I needed to actually finish a book in order to go to the next steps of editing and sending it out.

I began writing to have some control over my life.  I mean, I always think of the perfect thing to say or do in real life after the fact, so for me, it’s great that in a story, the characters can do and say what I want, when I want.  It is such a wonderful outlet for my imagination too.  I get paid for daydreaming or making movies in my head.  Ironically when I write, sometimes the words and story come out so differently than when I started that I am the one surprised as if I’m the reader.  So the reason I started to write, to have more control, is actually not the end result.

SBR:  If you had to choose, what writer would you consider a mentor?

TC: I haven’t met too many other writers yet, so my mentoring has come through the words in other authors’ books.  I should also explain that mentors to me are the cheerleaders of our lives.  They don’t criticize, coach or edit, they just get you excited to keep working on your stuff.  If I had to choose, my mentor then is a nonfiction writer named Roger Von Oech.  He writes about how to be creative.  If I need to get a different perspective on my writing, if I have writer’s block or if I have a sudden lack of confidence, I dive into his books, A Whack on the Side of the Head and A Kick in the Seat of the Pants.  The titles say more than I can!  Don’t get me wrong, I need critics, coaches and editors too, but I get inspired by those writers and their books after I have a first draft done, not before.

SBR: What book(s) are on your nightstand?

TC: M.C. Beaton’s Death of A Witch, Georgette Heyer’s Cotillion and Talisman Ring and Scottish Customs by Margaret Bennett are all currently stacked on the nightstand.

SBR: Do you have a favorite author?

TC: Georgette Heyer and Louis L’Amour are my favorite historical fiction writers.  They pay attention to the time period and make it a character of the story without overshadowing it.  I just can’t read authors that put every single research detail into their books because I want to get to the story. And these two also really know story and pacing–and have a sense of humor.

I’ll just share an inside joke in Courting Constance—two characters’ names are tributes to my favorite authors—Harriet Guyer (the quiet girl) is named after the more wordy Georgette Heyer while man hungry Marianne Beaton is a fun accolade to M.C. Beaton, who always has several of those desperate women chasing after her hero, Hamish MacBeth, in her books.

SBR:  If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in Courting Constance?

TC: I wish I could have also added another “flashback” to the beginning of the courtship and I might have added a scene with Edwin (Abby’s husband) and Geoffrey talking about the sisters they love, Abby and Constance respectively.  I also think it would have been fun to have Constance try one or two more things—but I felt it would be padding the story and bog it down.  I call Courting Constance my “kitchen sink” book because I threw in about everything but the kitchen sink.  You might not think that a writer can read a story she’s written and feel surprised, but I can still leaf through pages and have something jump out at me that I forgot I put in or find something new to laugh at.  Basically, I’m pretty happy with the book though and even the small changes the editor wanted are starting to grow on me.

SBR:  What are you working on for your next novel?

TC:  I would love to do a Scottish novel set in the same time frame (early 1800s) as Courting Constance and A Sensible Match.  There was so much happening in Scotland then in terms of advancements (culturally and technologically) and in light of events such as the Highland Clearances.  The problem is that research resources seem much more limited than those for Regency England.  I understand now why Highland romances are generally set in Medieval times, because it’s so much harder to find references for the time I want to research. Until I can find what I need, I am working on books in other genres such as western and sci-fi.  But I will write a Scottish romance soon–even if the first one can’t be the one I want to do right now.

Thank you so much for letting me share some thoughts and time together with you!  Teryl Cartwright

Book Synopsis & Review:

Courting Constance is a historical romance novel.  Constance was engaged to Geoffrey but he called off the engagement after seeing her flirt with another man just weeks before the wedding.  Constance decides that she wants him back and follows him to Bath in order to court him secretly.  She isn’t going to do it with flowers and candy as most men would do to court women, instead she decides to use music and food.  What follows can be described as a comedy of errors or as the author shared the tagline with me – If you had to win a guy in 10 days in Regency England, how would you do it?

I will admit that I’m not usually a huge historical romance fan but Courting Constance had me chuckling from the first chapter.  Between her antics in trying to court Geoffrey and Geoffrey trying to get revenge on Constance for the flirting had me in stitches.  Constance is definitely a “modern” woman for her time and isn’t afraid to go for what she wants in life.  And what makes the story more comical is when society thinks that she is courting Geoffrey’s best friend (and next door neighbor) Lord Robert Fenway…who wants to help Geoffrey but has also taken a liking to Harriet.

Oh what a tangled web Constance weaves in the name of love!   But along the way she realizes that sometimes you have to let love go so that others can be happy.  However, even this realization causes problems for headstrong Constance.  In the end she learns to open her ears and close her mouth and listen.

I definitely recommend this book and give it 4 stars.  Next time you are in the mood for a little historical romance, pick up this book, you won’t be disappointed.

Giveaway:

I am giving away the copy of this book that Teryl sent me.  The contest is open to all US and Canadian residents.  Just leave a comment and I will draw a name on September 11th.