After Party Affair by Isabel Raven – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Isabel will be awarding a free ebook copy of After Party Affair to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

4_14 after BookCover_AfterPartyAffairNineteen-year-old Becky Smithton never imagined she’d be invited to her friend, Lorna’s, birthday bash only to be humiliated. The party is over and Becky’s seething with fury, wandering outside and itching for revenge. But what can she do to get back at Lorna and her snobbish mother? A walk through the woods and a chance encounter with Lorna’s bodilicous father, Grant, presents the perfect opportunity. Seducing the dark, handsome—and forbidden—thirty-eight year old should be easy, right? But Grant is made of stronger stuff than other men and soon it’s Becky who’s struggling with frustrated desire. What’s more, her heart is doing funny things and so is her mind, filling her with sudden what-the-hell? pregnancy fantasies involving Grant. As for her body, well, it’s naked and wet, and all she wants is for Grant to dive into the swimming pool and give her what she craves—shallow and deep. After all, if her seduction succeeds then their tryst would only be a meaningless, after party affair… Right?

Enjoy an excerpt:

I was about to head back when the cottage’s front door opened behind me. “Becky?”

As ever, my skin tingled at the sound of Grant’s deep voice. At the sight of his tall, muscular frame, it heated into a blush I was glad he couldn’t see. He’d taken off his tuxedo jacket and cummerbund, and a few of his shirt buttons were undone. With his sleeves rolled up and his thick black hair dishevelled, he gave off an alluring after-party vibe.

“Sorry,” I said stupidly, realising he’d asked me a question. “I was out for a walk and didn’t know you were working.”

Grant perused my outfit before lifting his gaze to the sky. The stars that had illuminated my run to the swimming pool were nowhere to be seen. “It’s clouding over. I’ll find you something for the walk back.”

I frowned at his broad shoulders. No doubt Grant, too, thought I looked cheap, though he was too polite to say so. But he was right about one thing, if it rained more heavily I’d be soaked by the time I got to the house. The second I stepped into the low-ceilinged cottage my eyes widened. Polished oak floors strewn with colourful rugs and a terracotta colour scheme made the long structure seem like a cosy hideaway. A large desk and office paraphernalia occupied the space near the door, and the opposite end was dominated by a Victorian fireplace. The three-seater sofa in front of it looked like the perfect place to curl up with a good book.

“I love it,” I exclaimed.

“It used to be the gardener’s cottage.”

“It’s warm and bright and not at all like—” Oops.

“Like the main house,” Grant finished wryly. “Don’t worry, I’m not offended. Kate has full reign up there, but here I’m the boss.”

About the Author: 4_14 after AuthorPhoto_AfterPartyAffairFor Isabel there’s nothing better than writing about men and women who break boundaries to explore their desires. Sweet romance with chaste kisses and closed-door sex? You’re not going to find it in her books! She writes what she likes to read, graphic intimacy between protagonists with plenty of character. Her heroines and heroes are ordinary people with secret cravings. People who will disregard taboos and traditions to follow their hearts—with plenty of hot and sweaty sex along the way.

Pop in and say hello on FB: www.facebook.com/isabelrraven (there’s an extra ‘r’ between ‘isabel’ and ‘raven’

Buy After Party Affair at the publisher, Amazon, Amazon UK, or All Romance eBooks.

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Cover Reveal: Backstage Billionaires by Marie Carnay

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Backstage Billionaires
by Marie Carnay
Release Date: April 23

Two sexy billionaires, one curvy singer, and more sizzle than a California summer.

Alec and I run one of the hottest record labels in Los Angeles. I snap my fingers and throngs of singers throw themselves at my feet. But I want Rachel. Endless curves. Velvet voice. Her body pinned to my bed, her name signed on the dotted line. The catch? I’m not the only one calling the shots. And Alec never plays fair.

One night of reckless abandon—me, two delicious men, and the biggest bed I’ve ever seen. That’s all it should have been. But when they give me an offer I’ve been dreaming about my whole life…Can I take the chance? Or will I only end up disgraced and alone?

Part One of a three-part ménage serial full of steamy scenes featuring two sinful billionaires and one curvy woman.

About the Author: I might be from California, but I traded coasts after college. Swapping coastal breezes and year-round flip-flops for the summer rainstorms of the Southeast, I never looked back. When I’m not writing steamy erotic romances, I’m reading everything from true crime to historical fiction, with the occasional zombie thrown in.

Want to drop me a line? Use the contact form on my website or shoot me an email at marie@mariecarnay.com. I love hearing from readers! Thanks, and happy reading.

Forever Faithful by Isabella – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Isabella will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the otherh stops on the tour.

Random Thoughts from the Author
Background of the book

This is second in the Faithful series. This book was partially based on my experience as a military wife and some of the people I met along the way. I wanted to focus on the family side of things in this book. Nic Caldwell is a Marine who is being deployed again, but this time to Afghanistan. Her wife, Clare, is left behind to wonder if Nic will meet the same fate as her first spouse, who died in Iraq. Nic comes pretty close to fulfilling that concern. It a nutshell, it’s a book about surviving a deployment, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how love conquers all.

Balancing life and writing

I don’t just have to balance writing, but I also have to balance being the publisher too. Sometimes writing has to take a back seat to the responsibilities I have publishing other writers. It’s similar to being a parent. Once you decide to take on that job, of publisher, you must make sure all the pieces fit into place for your writers. They put their careers in your hand and pass on their babies, in this case their novels and your job is to get them clothed, feed and sent off in to the world.

Where do ideas come from?

I have a pretty healthy imagination, so coming up with ideas isn’t hard. It’s harder to turn them off and focus on one idea, all the while the other stories are fighting for space in my head. Once I’m finished with one project, it’s likely that I have already laid out the next novel in a spiral bound notebook I keep by my bed. I always travel with a notebook and am constantly jotting down snippets of scenes and ideas for later use.

Advice for writers

Write, write and write some more. Take a class on writing. It’s a craft and the only way you get better is to write. If you want to be a writer don’t talk about it, do it. I meet lots of people who tell me that they have a book rolling around in their head. It’s the difference between a talker and a doer. Once you’ve written the novel, let it rest and then go back and read it again.

Writing tips

Read. For me, reading helps me be a better writer. I love words. I always have, and I like to read well-written prose. I don’t often think that I’m a great writer, but I’m working on it every day. I have several books on writing and have realized that I’m a bone writer. I get the bones of the story down and then I have to go back and add some meat to the bones. Mary Carroll Moore has a great book called Your Book Starts Here. It covers the craft of writing, how to build your book, and more. I read it and I often go back to it to refresh.

Character creation

I keep a character worksheet for each character in my books. I created them so that I could keep track of characteristics – eye color, hair, names, height and weight, scars, speech and language usage, personality, and other things that can easily get mixed between characters. I watch the words I use for each character and make sure that I’m in their head when I’m writing them. I also try to make sure that I’m not writing a character type I’ve used before, so keeping detailed notes helps keep me on track.

5-10 musts every story in your genre should have

o It’s the rule of 6’s, Back blurb – 6”, first page – 6”, last page – 6”. If you haven’t hooked ’em by then forget about it.
o If you don’t start with a bang, ask yourself why?
o Character depth keeps the readers engaged and hating or loving your characters. (This is where flaws or chinks in the armor come in to play.)
o Give the character something to work for. Nothing comes easy in this world, and when they get close, throw another obstacle in the way.
o End on a beat.
o Do your research.

My take on critique groups

Hmm. Too many cooks spoil the soup. Critique groups can kill a novel. I know there are a lot of people who are going to disagree with me, but my experience has been that the members of a lot of critique groups are also writers. Writers can be competitive, and so that can be a tough environment to let your baby loose into the world. On the other hand, a constructive critique can help a writer look at things in a different way. Remember, readers can read only what you wrote, not what you meant.

What kind of writer am I?

I love dialogue that moves the plot along and then I’m putting meat on the bones of the story once it’s fleshed out. Looking for a hook that keeps the reader turning the pages is always a challenge. Then braiding the story with dialogue, description, and plot. Weaving them together and getting this great tapestry of story is really the ultimate feeling.

A day with (you) behind the scenes

I’m a night owl. I write at night when the house is quiet. I stay up till 2 or 3 in the morning working on writing. I work during the day on publishing stuff and my other job, teaching online. During the day, I answer emails, call authors, and do my social media. I try to stay off social media after 9 pm. It can suck you in and you get lost in the vortex of social media and before you know it you’ve burned through 2 or 3 hours.

How I handled the research for the book

For Forever Faithful, I interviewed a few women who were stationed in Afghanistan. They were honest about their experiences there. I detailed their living situations, both in garrison and on patrol. I modeled the job Nic Caldwell did after a friend who actually did a similar job on a tour in Afghanistan. She was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) and lost hearing in her right ear, took shrapnel to her face and body, and broke a few bones. I actually taught Tae Kwon Do at the college in the book and I had access to students and graduates from the college who were a big help.

If I’d never heard of me would I read my book?

I would. Of course I’m biased, but I think my Faithful series and my Yakuza series are well researched, fast paced, and have characters that readers can understand why they do what they do. I try to create characters that you either really hate or would want to be with.

How to handle negative criticism

They say you should have a thick skin if you’re going to get into writing, but that’s like saying if you’re going to have kids you should expect the world to thrash them. Some readers are great in giving detailed feedback on where the book failed them, and some make it personal. I realize that not every reader is going to like what I wrote, but I appreciate that they gave my book a chance when they decided to read it.

What would I tell a new author?

Treat it like a profession. Work at it, take classes, and grow your craft. Expect to work hard after the writing is done. Writing is the first half of the process, editing and promoting are the second and third components of the job. I’ve seen really hard working writers get their books finished, published, and then their book languishes. I think the hardest part of the process is promotion. Writing is a lonely journey and authors tend to be shy, reserved people who aren’t comfortable selling themselves.

4_6 WC BookCover_ForeverFaithfulForever Faithful is the sequel to the award winning book “Always Faithful.” “Always Faithful” is about a Marine officer, Nic Caldwell, who’s has the unenviable task of informing families that their loved one is either missing, or has been killed. She is assigned task of making a notification of death to the wife of a former college friend. During the process of bringing Mike Monroe home, a series of events unfold that bring Claire Monroe and Nic Caldwell closer and through those events they fall in love. Nic isn’t without her own demons, having survived a helicopter crash that killed her entire crew in Iraq and leaving her to fight for her own life. Survivor’s guilt has nothing on Nic.

“Forever Faithful” brings Nic and Claire back facing a deployment after Nic graduates from a military university in California. She finds herself in Afghanistan and the victim of another accident that leaves one of her peers dead and Nic fighting for her life. Nic is faced with injuries that leave her questioning whether she can be the woman she once was in Claire’s eyes. What unfolds is a story of survival, love and acceptance as both women face the journey a head.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Claire sat on the bed, cradling her daughter close. What would she do when she was chasing boys for all the wrong reasons? Trying to banish the thought from her mind, she clutched Grace closer, laying her head on her chest. She felt Grace relax against her, the fight gone.

“Mommy?”

“Hmm?”

“Why do I have two mommies and Tim only has one?”

Aw, the looming realization that her parents were different. She knew it was coming, but Claire didn’t expect it quite yet. “Cause you’re lucky.”

God, what a stupid answer, she thought, pulling Grace closer. Gently she laid Grace down on the bed and lay beside her, threading her fingers through sweaty hair, pushing the unruly mess out of Grace’s face.

“Can we find Tim another mom?”

“What?” She had to stop herself from giggling at the notion that Tim needed another mom. What would Tim’s dad say?

“Yeah, he needs another mom, too.”

“It’s not that easy honey.”

“But you have Nic and you love each other, so Tim’s mom needs another mommy to love her, too.”

Oh, the innocence of youth. If life were only that simple.

About the Author: 4_6 WC AuthorPhoto_ForeverFaithfulChristine Svendsen is the founder and chief executive of Sapphire Books Publishing, a leading United States publisher of LGBT books. Christine founded the company in the face of rejection from big-time publishers who either told her that they weren’t looking for books of her type or that they wanted her to rewrite her stories completely. She defied them all by establishing her own publishing company, which now features a long list of award-winning LGBT authors. Today, Christine publishes books through her company and writes under the pen names of Isabella and Jett Abbott.

Christine’s most recently published novel under the name of Isabella is “Forever Faithful,” the sequel to “Always Faithful,” a book based loosely on being a former military officer’s wife and the adventures of living on a military base.

Other novels by Isabella include:

● “Broken Shield,” which covers the topics of spousal abuse and how it can lay hidden in a relationship, even when the person being abused is a cop.
● “American Yakuza” I and II, tracing the adventures of a multicultural character who tackles the male dominated world of the Japanese mafia.
● “Executive Disclosure” and “Surviving Reagan,” a series about Chad Morgan, an executive protection specialist, and Reagan Reynolds, a daughter ready to take the reins of her father’s company until her plans get derailed by her own misguided determination.

Novels by Jett Abbott include two books: ”Scarlet Masquerade” and “Scarlet Assassin.”

Christine is currently working on a new novel called “Time Stamped.”

When she’s not writing, Christine teaches college part time, rides motorcycles, and spends time remodeling her cabin in the Sierra foothills. She lives on the central coast of California with her wife and has three wonderful sons.

Isabella@sapphirebooks.com

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About Sapphire Books Publishing: Founded by Christine Svendsen, Sapphire Books Publishing is “the gem of lesbian publishing.” Dedicated to quality fiction that reflects the lives of the lesbian community, the company publishes romance, erotica, paranormal, mystery and intrigue, fantasy, and other fiction where the main characters are lesbians. Since its inception, the company has grown to include a cadre of highly acclaimed LGBT authors, including Linda Kay Silva, Kim Pritekel, Beth Burnett, and Linda North. Sapphire Books are available in hardcover, softcover, and ebook formats throughout the world.

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Spring Blogfest: Lisa Beth Darling

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Win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card by commenting on this post. Also click on the banner to enter the rafflecopter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC, one of four book packs, or one of four swag packs (US only on book and swag packs).

This year I don’t think there’s anyone in the US that’s looking forward to Spring with a keener eye than New Englanders like me. This winter seems to have lasted forever with its blizzards and snowstorms, at one point we had over three feet of the ‘white stuff’ on the ground and on my deck. I told my husband that after all of that shoveling we’d put in our workout time for the whole of 2015. Truth be told, all of that snow made me wish it was 1978 again. The Blizzard of ’78 was one of the best weeks of my childhood; schools were closed for nearly the entire week, roads were closed for days and no one could get off our street. The whole neighborhood was just one big happy snowed-in family. My friends and I did more sledding and had more snowball fights than anyone has a right to and it was a blast.

As always, here in New England, these past few weeks we had some really nice days where the sun shone brightly, it melted the snow and flooded my basement. There was lovely brown soggy grass on the ground and people had their doors and windows tossed open wide as they walked around in 40 degree weather without a jacket. Tonight (March 20th) we’re expecting 2-6 inches of snow.

LISA BETH roseWith any luck at all, this will be Winter’s Last Hurrah and, by the end of the month to the beginning of April spring will actually be sticking around for more than a teaser. Spring is my second favorite season right behind fall. The days become longer, people venture out of their houses and groggily awake from hibernation as the soggy brown grass turns bright green, the sky will be blue, and there will be white, purple, and yellow crocus randomly popping up in my yard along with cherry, apple, and nectarine blossoms on my trees. Everything will be new again. Soon after that, I’ll be planting flowers and veggies, mowing the grass (provided I get a new mower at some point, mine’s shot!) and enjoying beautiful days on my deck either just relaxing or with my laptop tapping away on the keyboard as The Muse and I write. I really love the spring and writing on the deck, come mid-summer it’s far too hot outside for that but for a few blissful weeks between May and July it will be as transformative for my writing as it is for the world around me.

LISA BETH coldnovemberrainsmallRick felt his heart drop; she was here but she’d already picked out her prey for the night.

Feeling his jaw clench as he tried to decide if he should stay or go, Tony put a glass of scotch on the bar for him. There wasn’t any sense in letting good booze go to waste. Turning his back to his Mystery Woman, Rick retrieve the drink only to discover the large mirror behind the bar gave him a better angle on her companion for the evening; male, maybe thirty, good looking. Lucky guy didn’t know what he was in for tonight. The Mystery Woman raised her empty glass to catch Tony’s attention and, like a good bartender, Tony went right over to her with a fresh Martini. Downing the double-shot, Rick gazed in the mirror to stare at her reflection, she was staring at his back from the corner of her pale green eyes as she chatted with the man across from her.

Rick looked away wondering if it was just coincidence or if she’d noticed him sitting there so he gave it a few moments while he lingered over his drink before glancing into the mirror again. This time she wasn’t taking a sneak peek at him from the corner of her eye she was looking directly at him, past him, at his reflection. When she saw him staring back at her, she smiled for him. Shy. Precocious. Full of promise.

Was she wishing he’d come over there? Maybe. Only one way to find out.

Rick eased himself off the barstool and made his way over to where the couple was engaged in light conversation. “Excuse me,” he said to the man in the booth, “You’re in my seat.”

“Pardon?” The man asked as he looked from him to her. “Were you waiting for this guy?”

“Actually,” she said softly, “I was.” She was surprised and delighted by the Doc’s forthrightness. “Hi, Do-c.”

There it was, ‘Do-c’, just the way she said in it his dreams, with that extra little coy kick she gave the ‘c’. It made him want to melt. “Hi.” Rick said to her. “Three’s a crowd.” He said to the man. “Go on beat it.”

About the Author: Writing with a strong passionate flare that never flinches, Lisa defiantly ventures where other writers dare not tread. Daring the reader to delve deep into the dark she creates stories filled with heart stopping action, gripping drama, nail biting suspense, and hot steamy sex. This is dark romance at its gritty best. ALL FICTION works are intended for Members of A Mature Adult Audience who love to submerse themselves in the rich seduction of worlds full of love, lust, rage, redemption, obsession, betrayal and madness. They are not for those who are faint of heart or who typically enjoy a sweet read.

By opening one of her books, you will enter a myriad of worlds from the heights of Olympus to life in a small New England town. Enter and discover characters bold and brash as Ares God of War, Colonel Kevin Smith and Richard Mason along with villains so dark and ruthless you’ll love-to-hate them.

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Spring Blogfest: James Cox

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Win one of five sets of The Triple Towers (3 ebook series) by commenting on this post. Also click on the banner to enter the rafflecopter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC, one of four book packs, or one of four swag packs (US only on book and swag packs).

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This spring why don’t you take a trip to Mars…

Earth is considered a desolate planet and is used as a prison. Humanity lives on Mars in a single but always expanding city. Technology being what it is keeps us humans breathing. Our government is ruled by Max Wexmen. He’s a twisted man and he changed our entire structure. Now it is illegal to drink alcohol, do any drugs, have kinky sex, and, of course, smoke. Homosexuality is a death sentence. Women are to be kept for breeding. Dark-skinned men are used as slaves like back in the darkest days of history. The bad guys rule the world and the good guys are the outlaws. That’s why I created the motorcycle club. We take our hover bikes and fight the injustice on Mars. The battle is going to be bloody.

I’m Outlaw, president of this MC. I started it with my best friend, Liam. I’m trying to hold it all together while keeping us out of prison. We need a miracle to beat the government, but the MC isn’t used to help or backing down. We’ll fight tooth and nail, laser bullets and knives, to take the corrupt empire down. I just hope we don’t leave a trail of our loved ones behind us. Hold onto your nuts, things are about to get bumpy.

Welcome to Mars.

Join us as we fight for equality and justice. Tattoo’s, piercings, hover bikes and explosions. It’s going to be an epic battle for the surface of Mars.

uha1What if bad guys ruled the world and the good guys were the outlaws?

As President of the Outlaw MC of Mars, Knox needs to keep his head clear and always stay on alert. That’s easier said than done. In the middle of this war with the government, another MC wants to start making some big moves. Knox knows they need to watch the their back but he always wants to protect his club brothers. The laws are too chaotic not to bend and try to break. Women are for breeding. Dark skinned men are slaves. Homosexuals are executed. He had a problem with all of them. Especially the last part, because Knox was in love with his VP.

Knox and Liam grew up watching each other’s back. That didn’t change when they were both sent to prison or when they turned helplessness into a thriving motorcycle club. But Knox is determined to keep Liam at a distance to keep the MC objective safe. Then Liam is injured and Knox is faced with a terrible truth. What if Liam dies before Knox can say just how much he loves the sexy VP?

Explosions, hover bikes, corruption and hot sex. Mars is supposed to be humanities savoir but will it keep two men from finding happiness in each other arms?

About the Author: James is rather hard to define. He’s obviously into men, but also finds women alluring. To him reading gay fiction is so stimulating he’s taken up a pen (keyboard) and started writing. The stories in his head are edgy, hot enough to embarrass him at work and meant to entertain.

He has a crush on his boss who doesn’t know he’s bisexual and always staring at his ass. He loves writing, particularly when it takes place in other worlds or galaxies. He only has gay books out but one day he’ll venture into pussy territory. Want to know more? Just contact him at his website.

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Buy the book at the author’s website.

Spring Blogfest: Amanda Bretz

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Win one e-book of the historical (non-erotic) romance A River Between Them, a story of two star-crossed lovers from the 1920s told through a series of love letters and an old diary by commenting on this post. Also click on the banner to enter the rafflecopter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC, one of four book packs, or one of four swag packs (US only on book and swag packs).

Have a Spring Fling with a New Read!

spring treeI’m thinking spring and just as I love doing all 365 days a year, during the springtime I like cuddling up with a good read. I’ve put together a short list of some of the books that either reminds me of the spring weather, classics that are focused on nature and a couple of releases I plan to read soon!

Two new releases I’m looking forward to reading are the YA novel The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things, by Ann Aguirre and the next installment in the paranormal romance series The Black Dagger Brotherhood called The Shadows, by J.R. Ward.

One of my favorite “spring time” novels is the contemporary romance novella Her Best Laid Plans, by Cara McKenna. The story starts in an Irish country pub, I can’t help but think about spring when I picture the lush, green lands of Ireland. Although it’s not completely set in the spring, I also love the quintessential Southern Chick Lit novel The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells.

Spring often makes me think about love and romance novels, but it also calls to mind flowers blossoming and budding trees. In the spring I’m usually in the mood for nature-inspired reads, like the classic Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, in which the author shares experiences he had at his beloved “Walden,” a cabin he lived in alone for two years.

I’m a big poetry fan, and one of my favorite collections is Poetry from the Pastoral and Romantic Movements, featuring multiple poets. No, pastoral doesn’t mean a religious form of poetry and Romantic doesn’t mean love poems in this instance. Think the masters of the British pastoral mode and radicals of the Romantic period: Christopher Marlowe, John Milton, William Blake, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats and William Wordsworth.

Okay, my geek is showing. I am a Brit Lit nerd, and am most drawn to the writers of the Romantic period, as you can see, :-).

My list is by no means exhaustive; it’s just what I enjoy reading during the spring.

Speaking of springtime reading, as part of Long and Short Reviews Spring Fling Blogfest, I’m giving away one free e-copy of my historical romance novel A River Between Them.

A Bretz TKO Cover Frankie “The Machine” Mancini knows how to bob and weave and recover from a left hook in the boxing ring. What she doesn’t know how to do? Be a bridesmaid. When her best friend Rachel calls on her to take part in her special day, Frankie reluctantly agrees. It’s not until she travels to the destination wedding in Miami that the real problem starts. The best man is none other than Gabe Boyd, a cocky, obnoxious radio personality who she thinks is determined to ruin her time in South Beach, but when the two are thrown together to resolve a wedding snafu, her view of the self-proclaimed “rogue of the radio” changes. Gabe shows her he has another side to him, he can be warm, caring and romantic. She can’t tell if his cocky demeanor is part of his on air persona or if he’s truly changed for her. Maybe the rules of the ring can be applied to matters of the heart. Stay on your toes. Always keep an eye on your opponent. Protect yourself.

About the Author: In addition to being an author of contemporary, historical and erotic romance, Amanda Bretz holds a degree in communication from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida. She has worked as a print and online journalist, but her first love is creating romantic stories with a happy ending.

When not writing, Amanda can be found whipping up something delectable in her kitchen, spending time in nature or getting lost in a good book.

She resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband.

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Spring Blogfest: Karenna Colcroft

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Spring: A Time for Beginnings

Spring has always been my favorite season. All the dingy brown and gray snow melts, and the grass turns green again. Trees that have been bare for months bud and then sprout leaves. The weather warms up. People emerge from their winters of hiding from the cold. (At least here in New England. I know some places have warm winters. Lucky!)

I love new beginnings. One of the things I’ve learned in life is that you’re never too old or too far gone to start over. It isn’t easy sometimes, but there’s no such thing as no second chances, whether you’re talking about career, family, or love. That’s what I like best about spring. Every year, it reminds me of all the times I’ve changed my own life, and of all the possibilities for the future. The entire world starts over in spring. To me, that’s an amazing thing.

Starting over in love is sometimes the most difficult thing to do. It’s something I know a bit about; I was divorced in 2006 and met the man I refer to as my “real-life romance hero husband” in 2008. On April 17, we’ll celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. When I was in my first marriage, I didn’t believe I would be able to get out. And after I got out, I didn’t believe I would ever meet anyone who would make me want to be married again. But I did. I started over.

In my new novel With Every Touch, the hero, Erich Zahn, is trying to start his life over after a bitter divorce caused by his wife leaving him for another man. The heroine, Sheila Holloway, is debating beginning a relationship with Erich even though her last relationship, over a decade earlier, ended with abuse. And as their trust and love for each other grows, Sheila is also faced with the choice of keeping her current job as a reporter at a TV station in Portland, Maine, or beginning a new chapter of her career by accepting her dream job with a station in Boston.

New beginnings. Starting over. All of us have times in our lives when we’re faced with change. Let spring help you remember that if the world can begin anew every single year, you can handle whatever comes in your life.

KARENNA WithEveryTouch_coverlgTV reporter Sheila Holloway is jaded on love. Plumber Erich Zahn is still reeling from a nasty divorce. Neither is looking for a relationship, but when Erich is called to fix Sheila’s shower, sparks fly and they begin a friends-with-benefits arrangement.

Before long, both realize that being just friends isn’t enough. They’re falling for each other, and might have a future together, until Sheila receives her dream job offer from a TV station in Boston. If she chooses her job over the man she loves, will their relationship survive?

About the Author:As a child, beginning at age five, Karenna Colcroft used writing as an escape. As an adult, Karenna shares stories of strength, survival, and loving despite one’s past and fears. A trauma survivor, Karenna has spent years healing and growing. She considers herself a work in progress as she navigates the land mines her past has planted, but she lives a positive, happy life with her two children and the man she calls her “”real-life romance hero husband.””

Raised by parents who believe everyone should be equal, and having spent time as a teen with three “uncles” who lived as a committed triad, Karenna finds it difficult to compartmentalize and label love and relationships. Regardless of gender or number, Karenna sees love as love, and wishes the rest of the world saw it that way too. For this reason, she writes both heterosexual and male/male romance, as well as some polyamory.

Karenna began writing erotic romance in 2006 on a challenge from a friend, as part of her journey. In her books, Karenna shows that no matter what someone has been through, they can overcome and go on to find love and healthy relationships. Her characters may be afraid and may need to heal, but no matter what, they learn that they and their relationships are worth the effort. Love isn’t a magical cure for trauma or mental illness, but having that special person or people in one’s life can be motivation and support for healing. Even in the dark times, light and hope exist.

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Spring Blogfest: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

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Win one digital copy of Callahan’s Fate by commenting on this post. Also click on the banner to enter the rafflecopter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC, one of four book packs, or one of four swag packs (US only on book and swag packs).

When we emerge from the long, chill months when evening falls early and sleet tick-tacks against the windows all too often, we discover spring. As the world renews itself, there’s a promise in the warm sunlight and the emerging leaves. Those first flowers of spring are so precious, so beautiful. We crave the outdoors and seek it. Longer daylight hours energize us and it’s not just teenagers who fall in love all too easily in the spring.

Although we knew each other from high school, when my husband and I met again more than a decade later, our whirlwind courtship unfolded against a spring backdrop and we married in July. Our emotions were heightened and our passions increased just because it was spring or so I like to believe.

As a romance author, I have to keep some of those springtime passions and that wonderful joy of the season alive year round. It adds to the deliciousness of falling in love, even in fiction. Just as we experience that newness when we fall in love, spring offers a similar feeling so perhaps that’s why spring is considered a time for lovers.

lady libertyIn Callahan’s Fate, the season isn’t spring but the setting is one of my favorite places on earth – New York City. When this Missouri girl first hit the Big Apple, I fell in love with the energy, the history, and just the sheer beauty of the place. I’m a creature of the heartland, born and bred, but those urban canyons, the view of skyscrapers lit by night from a rooftop, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the view of Manhattan from the harbor riding the Staten Island Ferry captured my heart.

One thing I like most about writing romance is that I can fall in love over and over, with a variety of different men in various places and times. I can capture the sweetness, the angst, the tension, and the passion to share with readers.

Come meet Callahan. He’s a New York City cop with a little bit of an attitude and a lot of baggage. Get acquainted with Raine. She’s a Missouri girl too and she’s about to fall hard for Callahan but fate has some challenges before they can find a shot at a happy ever after. Fall in love through their emotions and take a little spring trip to New York City, whether it’s your first time or your fiftieth!

CALLAHANHe’s a cop, one of New York City’s finest. She’s a transplanted teacher, new to the Big Apple. Callahan is streetwise and world weary. Raine is lost in the urban setting. When they meet, the attraction and the emotional connection are powerful. When a former student stalks Raine, he’s also part of Callahan’s unfinished business. The closer they become, the more their lives intersect, the greater the danger. Callahan must put his past and burden of guilt aside. Raine needs to adapt to big city life. Both seek a happily ever after together but with old scores to settle, they have to survive first.

About the Author: Growing up in historic St. Joseph, Missouri, Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy scribbled her stories from an early age. Her first publication – a poem on the children’s page of the local newspaper – seems to have set her fate. As a full time author, she has more than two dozen full length novels published along with assorted novellas and short fiction. Her publishers include Astraea Press. A contributor to more than two dozen anthologies, her credits include Chicken Soup For The Soul among many collections of short fiction. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Missouri Writers Guild, and the Ozark Writers League. Lee Ann earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Missouri Southern State University as well as an Associate Degree from Crowder College. She has worked in broadcasting, retail, and other fields including education. As a wife and mother of three, she spends her days penning stories, cooking, reading, and other daily duties. She currently makes her home in the Missouri Ozarks, living in what passes for suburbs in a small town and works as a substitute teacher in the local school district.

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Spring Blogfest: Jocelyn Dex

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Win one ebook copy of A Demon’s Gift by commenting on this post. Also click on the banner to enter the rafflecopter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC, one of four book packs, or one of four swag packs (US only on book and swag packs).

Hi! Thanks for stopping by.

Spring is here and I’m thrilled about it!

The fruit trees are blooming, my vegetable garden is planted, the frogs have woken up and are jumping around the yard (which makes my dogs happy), it’s not too hot and not too cold, and there’s more daylight. Yay!

Spring is also a great time to create cool refreshing drinks with delicious fresh fruit. I love spring!

Here’s a recipe for you to try out if you’re feeling adventurous and don’t forget to enter my giveaway below.

Super Sangria

Ingredients
2 (750-milliliter) bottles Spanish red wine
12 ounces Cognac
12 ounces orange liqueur
12 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
8 ounces Simple Syrup
2 cinnamon sticks, broken
3 to 4 medium lemons, cut into thin wedges
3 to 4 small oranges, cut into thin wedges
12 strawberries, sliced
Ice
12 to 24 ounces lemon-lime soda (optional)

Instructions

1. Place the wine, Cognac, orange liqueur, orange juice, simple syrup, and cinnamon sticks in a 4-quart container and stir to combine. Add the fruit and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.
2. Fill a pitcher two-thirds full with ice. Pour the sangría into the pitcher (depending on the size of your pitcher, you may have some sangría left over) and top with the desired amount of soda, if using. Add some of the soaked fruit to garnish and stir to mix.
3. Serve over ice in an Old Fashioned glass or wineglass, and garnish with some of the fruit.
Note: If you’re not going to drink it all within a short time, you might want to leave the ice out of the container and just add it to the glasses. That way the drink won’t get watered down.

Giveaway

I’m giving away one ebook copy of A Demon’s Gift, an erotic paranormal romance. Let me know what you love about Spring!

ademonsgift_comp4Cordelia is a demon hunter in training. Passing her final test will allow her the freedom to celebrate her first Christmas, but one demon stands in her way. As much as she tries to fight it, to convince herself he repulses her, her body comes alive, betraying her, each time he’s near.

Argoth, a sex demon, is locked in a cell, used as a punching bag for the demon hunter trainees. The only thing he looks forward to is his training sessions with Cordelia. The first time her fist connects with his face, he knows she’s different and that he has to have her, to save her, to make her his.

When Argoth’s truth turns Cordelia’s world upside down, will she give in to her desires or run for her life?

About the Author: Jocelyn was born in Iowa and currently resides in hot-as-hell Texas. She shares her home with her very own 6’4″” alpha male and varying numbers of spoiled cats and dogs. Teaching one of her dogs to file his nails is one of her all-time favorite accomplishments.

She thinks dragonflies are awesome, spiders are creepy and it’s rumored that she sleeps with a machete by her bed in case zombies attack in the middle of the night.

Jocelyn writes paranormal and contemporary romances that include humor, lust, love, and four-letter words on the way to a Happily-Ever-After.

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Spring Blogfest: J.R. Gray

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Win one of the author’s released ebooks or one of her upcoming eBooks by commenting on this post. Also click on the banner to enter the rafflecopter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC, one of four book packs, or one of four swag packs (US only on book and swag packs).

GREY EasterSpecial & DI

One

“It was way too damn cold for it to be Easter,” Zac growled as he stuck an Easter egg on the steps leading up to Kennedy’s front door.

“It was your idea,” Chase, his assistant, said.

Zac glanced over at him and nearly lost himself to a giggling fit again. He’d made Chase dress up as a bunny to help him hide eggs at five in the morning.

“I know it was. One of the best ones I’ve ever had.” He climbed the stairs to put an egg in her gutter. He had to stretch on his tip toes but it was the perfect excuse to have to lift Kennedy to get the egg later. He’d mostly filled the eggs with condoms and candy but there were a few meaningful ones too.

“Remind me again why I needed to be dressed as a damn bunny in the freezing cold when she’s not even here to see me hiding the eggs.” Chase rolled his eyes.

“Other than because you’re my bitch and I said so?” Zac turned on him and flashed a grin. “Because what if tiny children look out their windows early in the morning?”

“Kids don’t get up this early do they?” Chase was setting eggs in the snow.

“Of course they do. It’s a holiday. Sometimes I wonder if you were ever a child, Chase.”

“My parents didn’t tell me about mythical creatures who brought us gifts. They claimed it was lying.” He shrugged.

“Damn. That explains so much about you.”

He nodded. “But why do you care if kids see me?”

“I’m guessing parents are less likely to call the cops if we look like we are being cute and also it’s good to get used to wearing shit you’re not comfortable in. Take it as a lesson for the job.” He leaned over and bopped Chase’s pink nose. He’d hand painted it and the whiskers him-self and he couldn’t help but admire his own work.

Chase held up his basket. “I’m all done. Can I go now?”

Zac looked at his watch. “No!” He was starting to get giddy. “She’s going to be home any minute and part of it is her seeing you in this.”

Chase groaned. “Come on man, she is hot and this shit is embarrassing.”

“Life lessons. There was a time where I had to dress up in full furry fetish wear to spy on someone.” He remembered it fondly.

“You enjoyed it. Don’t compare.” Chase rolled his eyes.

The kid had a point, but Zac would never admit it. “Go stand on her porch while I hide. She’ll be here any minute.”

“I hate you.” He mumbled obscenities as he walked over to do as he was told.

Zac was starting to understand the draw of slaves for George. He stepped behind a tree as he heard the distant rumble of Kennedy’s jeep approaching. She slammed the door and started laughing.

“Hey, Chase.” She came around her car and Zac peeked around her face. She wore a slight smile. “Your boss is a tyrant.”

“Tell me about it,” he muttered and then held out the basket. “He hid eggs for you.”

Kennedy accepted the basket from him then slowly turned around to see the splotches of bright colors hidden all over her snow covered yard. A grin spread over her face and she looked like a little kid again.

“I swear to God, Zac, if you’re hiding some place with only an egg covering your dick I’m going to kick your balls.” She took the steps two at a time coming into the yard.

Zac ducked back behind the tree. “I don’t believe you. I can hear the giddy school girl in your voice.” As soon as he spoke she jumped around the tree and tackled him into the snow. Girl was barely five four and didn’t weigh a whole lot compared to him but she took his ass down like the trained cop she was.

He wrapped his arms around her. “Hey there beautiful.”

She sat back on his knees allowing him to get up. “Why are you so adorable?” She pushed her hair out of her face and picked up one of the eggs in reach and shook it. Narrowing her eyes she opened it and burst out laughing. “Only you would fill Easter eggs with condoms.”

He shrugged and looked her right in the eyes. “Don’t go.”

“I have to, Zac.” She pushed to her feet and turned away.

“I know. I’m going…” Zac trailed off & wrapped his arms around her from behind. He wrapped his arms around her from behind.

Kennedy wriggled in his grip. “I have to go find the rest, I’m holding out for at least one piece of candy.” Before she pulled away from him she turned in his grasp and dug a bunny out of her bag. He was bight pink with a little purple star on his belly. He held an even tinier pink, purple and blue stripped flag. When Zac narrowed his eyes she laughed. “His name is Billie and he’s a pride bunny.”

Zac grabbed the bunny and laughed. “This is payback for what I got you isn’t it?”

She nodded.

“If this scares off chicks…” He trailed off when she glared. “Well good riddance!” He laughed.

GREY legallybound1sThe last thing Daniel, a hard-working public defender, expected to see the morning after a one night stand was his hook up staring back at him from the wrong side of the law. Assigned to work his case, Daniel vows to keep things professional with Rafael but has a hard time controlling his craving for dominance, the control and the connection they shared. Rafael, a paid dominant in the Chicago underworld, has been dealing with a cop problem for far too long. Used to sex with no emotion, he’s entranced with Daniel’s submission, his innocence, and…could there be something more? Can Daniel clear Rafael’s name, keeping him out of jail and in his life, with the odds, a cop, and the mounting evidence against them?

About the Author:When not staying up all night writing, J.R Gray can be found basking in the warm glow of the Miami sun, or at the gym where it’s half assumed Gray is a permanent resident. A dominant, pilot, and sword fighting enthusiast, Gray finds it hard to be in the passenger seat of any car. Gray frequently interrupts real life, including normal sleep patterns, to jot down nonsense. The bane of Gray’s existence are commas, and even though it’s been fully acknowledged they are necessary, they continue to baffle and bewilder.

If Gray wasn’t writing…well, that’s not possible. The buildup of untold stories would haunt Gray into an early grave or possibly a mental institution where the tales would end up on the walls in crayon and finger paint.

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