Evernight by Kristen Callihan – Guest Blog

9_2 Evernight-Blog-Tour

 

Welcome to Kristen Callihan, author of EVERNIGHT, as part of her virtual book tour organized by the publisher.

 

5 things on your bucket list

Right now, my bucket list revolves around travel. I’m desperate for it.

1.         Go back to Italy, maybe visit the lake region and Tuscany

2.         Go back to London (for research, Mr. Taxman, I swears!)

3.         Finally go to Hawaii –why this hasn’t happened yet, I don’t know! *grumbles*

4.         Visit Japan. My daughter is BUGGING about this. She has a mad love for Pokemon and all things anime

5.         Visit Australia and New Zealand. I have friends in Australia that I’d love to finally meet. After watching LOTR, I NEED to see NZ!

 

8_26 image001Once the night comes . . .

Will Thorne is living a nightmare, his sanity slowly being drained away by a force he can’t control. His talents have made him the perfect assassin for hire. But as he loses his grip on reality, there is no calming him-until he finds his next target: the mysterious Holly Evernight.

Love must cast aside the shadows

Holly cannot fathom who would put a contract on her life, yet the moment she touches Will, the connection between them is elemental, undeniable-and she’s the only one who can tame his bouts of madness. But other assassins are coming for Holly. Will must transform from killer to protector and find the man who wants Holly dead . . . or his only chance for redemption will be lost.

 

 

Enjoy an excerpt:

Cool, hard, smooth, hot. The texture of his skin was unlike anything she’d ever felt. The metal made it smooth and cool and hard. Where not altered by metal, his skin was like hot satin, only silkier and tight with strength.

His flesh twitched beneath her palms as she mapped his chest. Every breath he took sounded loud and clear in her ears. And all the while, he watched her.

A quiver rippled along the backs of her thighs, up over her bottom, and crawled along her spine. Damn it, she was better than this. She was not a creature of base desires, but of logic and restraint. Her breath moved in and out, a slow, steady rhythm as she stroked him.

Neither of them spoke. The crackle of the fire in the grate, along with the occasional creak of the house settling, surrounded them. Beneath heavy lids, Thorne tracked her every move. And her touch grew unsteady. A momentary weakness he jumped upon.

“Does it feel good to you?” he drawled, low and easy. “Touching me?”

Instantly, the space between her legs clenched tight. Holly kept her touch impersonal. She could not live with the ignominy of revealing her wants to Thorne, who would treat her weakness as a bloody good joke. “It is a task. Just like any other.” A bald-faced lie if ever she told one.

His nostrils flared, the platinum in his eyes shining bright. “Then why do I smell your cunny growing wet with need?”

Holly stopped, her palm flat against his pectoral muscle, as more slick heat flooded her sex. Oh, this was beyond the pale. What on earth had gotten into the blasted demon? “Being crude is not going to get a rise out of me, Mr. Thorne.”

A small, cruel smile curled his lips. “Not going to deny it, are you, Miss Evernight?”

“Blather.” She took up stroking an area tangled with platinum webbing with more force than necessary. “That is all you’re about. Ridiculous blather. And I will not engage in such nonsense.”
Holly concentrated on pulling the metal from him. Not on his scent, clean and pleasing in the space between them. Or the way his skin grew increasingly warmer.

When he spoke again, it was soft, teasing. “Do you know that when I said “cunny” your sweet scent grew stronger?”

Again she stopped. His dense muscles tightened beneath her nails. “Mr. Thorne—”

“Do you wonder,” he whispered, holding her gaze with his, “if my cock is affected?” A dark brow lifted, his fangs glinting. “If it is more metal than flesh? Hard for you?”

She would not look down at the appendage in question. It was difficult enough to pretend each time that she wasn’t aware of that part of him, or that she hadn’t seen it grow and lengthen beneath the covers. Oh, she knew precisely how long and thick he was, and precisely how aroused. Each and every time.

His gaze upon her burned. “Do you want to see my cock, Miss Evernight? Feel it move inside of you?”

Gods, he made her feel empty, made her want to be filled up. Her hands turned to fists. “Stop it. Now, Mr. Thorne.”

He rose up on his elbows, his white hair sliding over his broad and dusky shoulders, his defined abdomen tightening. “Or. What?”

Holly sat back on the stool by the table, placing her hands upon her lap so that he wouldn’t see them trembling. “Why are you doing this?”

“Why not?”

She could not look away from the black and platinum starburst of his gaze, so very brilliant. So very angry and taunting. Her nails dug into her palms. “Find your amusement elsewhere.”

His lean hips canted just a bit, an utterly crude gesture that held her in thrall. “I’d rather find it with you.”

“I’m helping you, aren’t I?” She hated how the words came out in a near-desperate pitch. But he had to stop. Agitation had her breath coming on hard and fast, pressing her now-heavy breasts against her too-tight bodice.

“Helping me,” he scoffed. “Do not skew this into some act of kindness. You do so that I won’t kill you.”

“Is it kindness that you want?” She laughed without humor. “A funny way you go about getting it.” She leaned forward in her anger. “Why are you saying these things? Truly? Why are you acting like such a… disgusting arse?”

He shot upright, his chest bumping into hers before she backed away a pace as if seared. “Because you never react during these torture sessions,” he ground out. “Because I want that rise out of you. I want you to…” He bared his teeth, those evil-looking fangs growing longer. “I want to know if you feel—”

His teeth ground together, his eyes wild and silver-black.

“Feel?” she prompted as if her heart wasn’t beating madly.

“Anything!” he roared. “Jesus.” He ran a hand through his hair. “You touch me every day. You rub your hands all over me. And nothing! Not a flicker of emotion. As if I didn’t exist.” The expanse of his chest heaved with exertion, the sinewy muscles along his abdomen clenching. “And all the while I’m lying here aching, fucking dying to… You’re driving me to insanity,” he finished with a wild shout. “And it means exactly nothing to you—”

She grabbed hold of the back of his neck and kissed him. Just as she’d wanted to, her lips claiming his parted ones, shutting off the stream of words that flowed from him. His lips were soft and warm, and touching them set off a rush of lust that coursed along her limbs. He froze, going so tense that his neck felt like ice. For all of one second. And then he attacked. His hands plunged into her hair and gripped the sides of her head as he fell back, hauling her with him, devouring her with quick, biting kisses, punctuated by helpless groans.

Breathless and dizzy, she answered every kiss, opening her mouth when his mouth demanded it. They both shivered when their tongues slid together.

“Hell,” he moaned, licking along her bottom lip. “Hell, I knew you’d taste so bloody good.” He angled his head, plunging his tongue in deep as his hands held her captive. The gesture wicked and decadent. Grunting, he spun them, pressing her into the table with the strength of his body. His thigh nudged between hers, and her skirts slid up. Instantly, his hand was there, long fingers trailing along her skin. “I’m not stopping,” he growled into her mouth. “So don’t ask me to.”

Holly tore her lips from his and grabbed a handful of silken hair. She held him fast and hard. “You’ll stop if I say so.”

Thorne paused, his lips brushing hers as he breathed heavily through his mouth. Hot, black eyes bore into her. “Are you asking me to stop?” He was so still and careful that she knew he would, despite his claim.

A fire raged through her veins. And the need to suckle his curved lower lip had her voice turning rough. “No.”

About the Author: 8_26 Kristen Callihan Kristen Callihan is a child of the eighties, which means she’s worn neon skirts, black lace gloves, and combat boots (although never all at once) and can quote John Hughes movies with the best of them. A lifelong daydreamer, she finally realized that the characters in her head needed a proper home and thus hit the keyboard. She believes that falling in love is one of the headiest experiences a person can have, so naturally she writes romance. Her love of superheroes, action movies, and history led her to write historical paranormals. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area and, when not writing, looks after two children, one husband, and a dog-the fish can fend for themselves.

Website ~ Facebook ~ @Kris10Callihan

Southern Sweethearts with Laura Drake, Sandra Hill, Marilyn Pappano – Guest Blogs and Giveaway

9_1 sweetheart Southern-Sweethearts-Blog-Tour

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher. Enter to win copies of several books.

Top 5 Things We’d Be Surprised to Learn About You
Sandra Hill:
1. I dislike reading ebooks. I’d much rather have a print copy in hand.
2. I have never been on the Louisiana bayou. I have traveled to New Orleans several times, and I have researched heavily, but no actual swamp experience. A trip I look forward to.
3. Some people know this, but not everyone. I actually have Viking blood in my veins, stemming all the way back to Rolf the Gangr, first duke of Norsemandy.
4. My grandmother claimed she was related to Rhett Butler. (I know, I know.)
5. I have a son with the good ol’ southern name of Beau.

Marilyn Pappano:
1. I discovered an appreciation for rap once I turned fifty
2. I love medical parody videos on YouTube.
3. Spaghetti-Os are a staple in my pantry.
4. I like fire. It’s gorgeous and powerful and primal.
5. I talk and walk in my sleep. At a writers’ retreat before I sold the first Tallgrass books, I pitched it to my two cabin-mates while sound asleep. The first I knew of it was the next morning when they told me how much they liked the idea!

Laura Drake:
1. I skydived four times, until I had a ‘streamer’ – the chute didn’t open properly, and I had to throw the reserve. That was my last jump!
2. My sister and I, tired of the downfall of Detroit (not to mention the snowfall), in 1980, packed everything we owned in our two Pintos, and moved to California, sight unseen.
3. I’m a jock – competitive swimming and Synchronized swimming through high school. Now I ride a road bicycle for exercise, and my husband and I have been on several across-state trips.
4. I took a motorcycle trip by myself – a storm knocked out electrical by the freeway – no gas. I ran out. Luckily a Harley rider saw me pull over, put me on the back of his, and ran me to get gas. He didn’t leave me until my bike started. When I thanked him profusely, he said, “Hey, this is what bikers do.”
5. In spite of hating math in school, and flunking algebra in high school, I had a twenty-five year career as a CFO. Go figure.


SWEET ON YOU by Laura Drake (August 26, 2014; Forever Mass Market; $8.00)
A Love as Bold as a Texas Sunset . . .
Ex-army medic Katya Smith has always healed other people’s pain. Now she has to deal with her own. Taking a job as an athletic trainer on the Pro Bull Riding circuit seems like the perfect escape from her grief-except Katya doesn’t know anything about bulls, and even less about the tough men who ride them. She doesn’t expect to fall for the sport, or for one tantalizing cowboy who tumbles her defenses.

For rodeo champion Cam Cahill, fifteen years of bucking bulls have taken their toll on his body. Before he retires, he wants a final chance at the world title-and he doesn’t need some New Age gypsy telling him how to do his job. But when the stunning trainer with the magical hands repairs more than his worn muscles, everything changes. Soon Cam finds himself trying to persuade Katya to forgive her past so she can build a future . . . with him.

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About the author:
9_1 sweetheart Laura DrakeLaura Drake grew up in the suburbs outside Detroit, though her stories are set in the west.  A tomboy, she’s always loved the outdoors and adventure. In 1980 she and her sister packed everything they owned into Pintos and moved to California. There she met and married a motorcycling, bleed-maroon Texas Aggie and her love affair with the West was born. Laura rides motorcycles: Elvis, a 1985 BMW Mystic, and Sting, a 1999 BMW R1100.

In Texas, Laura was introduced to her first rodeo, and fell in love. She’s an avid fan of Pro Bull Riding (PBR,) attending any event within driving distance, including two PBR National finals. She is hard at work at her next novel.

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SNOW ON THE BAYOU by Sandra Hill (August 26, 2014; Forever Mass Market; $8.00)
THE BAYOU’S BADDEST BAD BOY IS BACK!
Joining the Navy was the second best thing that ever happened to Justin “Cage” LeBlanc, the rebel son of a no-account convict. The first was Emelie Gaudet, the love of his life . . . until he was forced to leave town and swore there would be snow on the bayou before he ever returned. Now, only his mortally ill grandma can bring the injured Navy SEAL back to Terrebone Parrish, where he must face his past-and Emelie, who’s even more beautiful than she was all those years ago.

Bourbon Street blues singer Emelie is once bitten, twice shy. When she learns that Justin is back in town, she wants nothing to do with the once wild Cajun teenager who fled with the law on his tail-and broke her heart. But she can’t deny the red-hot attraction between them . . . or his efforts to prove he’s finally changed his hell-raising ways. Can she trust that this time the bad boy of the bayou will be the best man for her?

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About the author:
9_1 sweetheart SandraHillSandra Hill is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than 10 years as a features writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Writing about serious issues taught her the merits of seeking the lighter side of even the darkest stories. She is the wife of a stockbroker and the mother of four sons.
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A LOVE TO CALL HER OWN by Marilyn Pappano (August 26, 2014; Forever Mass Market; $ )
It’s been two years since Jessy Lawrence lost her husband in Afghanistan, and she’s never fully recovered. Drowning her sorrows didn’t help, and neither did the job she’d hoped would give her a sense of purpose. Now trying to rebuild her life, she finds solace in her best friends, fellow military wives who understand what it’s like to love-and lose-a man in uniform . . . and the memory of one stolen night that makes her dream of a second chance at love.

Dalton Smith has known more than his fair share of grief. Since his wife’s death, he revels in the solitude of his cattle ranch. But try as he might, he can’t stop thinking about the stunning redhead and the reckless, passionate night they shared. He wasn’t ready before, but Dalton sees now that Jessy is the only woman who can mend his broken heart. So how will he convince her to take a chance on him?


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9_1 sweetheart Pappano, MarilynAbout the author:
Known for her intensely emotional stories, Marilyn Pappano is the USA Today bestselling author of nearly eighty books. She has made regular appearances on bestseller lists and has received recognition for her work in the form of numerous awards. Though her husband’s Navy career took them across the United States, he and Ms. Pappano now live in Oklahoma high on a hill that overlooks her hometown. They have one son and daughter-in-law, an adorable grandson, and a pack of mischievous dogs.
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LASR Anniversary: Maggie Toussaint – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Leave a comment on THIS POST for a chance to win an additional prize – a digital or print version of Muddy Waters, book one of this series. Winner must reside in the US or Canada.

Summer’s a time for growth and relaxation
By Maggie Toussaint

Spring rolls easily into summer, especially in coastal Georgia where I live. During spring there’s that greening up and sparkle of new life everywhere, and during summer, nature gets busy. Summer is growing season.

All year long, I look forward to summer-fresh veggies and fruit from local orchards. I’m hard-pressed to say whether a tomato sandwich or a BLT is my favorite summer meal. But then there’s watermelon, blueberries, and peaches. Yum!

And fresh corn. Omigosh. Is there anything more satisfying than corn that slept in the garden last night? My mouth’s watering thinking about it.

Show of hands. How many folks remember sitting on the porch as a kid and snapping beans (or shelling peas)? That’s how many of my summer afternoons were spent. Well, that and swimming. Nothing better than a dip in the local swimming hole on a hot summer day.

Another favorite summer activity, especially in the heat of August was and still is reading. If you like romance blended with mystery and suspense, my books are just the thing for sultry heat and southern adventure.

My Mossy Bog series of romantic suspense/romantic mystery novels started with my interest in old historical homes. Muddy Waters, a story about a realtor and a security expert searching for a lost inheritance, was meant to be a standalone novel, but fans clamored for more from the town of Mossy Bog.

I went back to the drawing board and created my award-winning novel, i>Hot Water, book 2 in the Mossy Bog series. In Hot Water, a cop and an arson investigator are closing in on a serial arsonist.

By this time, I was hooked on the idea of returning to Mossy Bog again, and three’s a good number, right? Book 3 of this series releases Aug. 29, 2014. Rough Waters is about a florist and a former SEAL hunting for stolen treasure, and it’s peopled with the characters and setting you’ve come to love.

Thank you for sharing my love of summer and reading. I hope we meet again soon!

I have a giveaway! Share your favorite summer activity in a comment and be entered in a drawing for a copy of Muddy Waters, the book that launched the series. Be sure to leave your address if you want to be considered in the drawing.

maggie RoughWaters_w8335_750 (2)“Former Navy SEAL Rock Mackenzie wants his stolen gold sovereigns back. Time is running out on the loan repayment for his treasure hunt and unless he finds the coins, he will have to forfeit a family heirloom and all hope of finding the sunken ship carrying the gold.

Pink-haired florist Jeanie Munro learned responsibility the hard way after her ex-husband abandoned her and their two children. Once a wild child with a heart full of adventure, Jeanie finds herself falling for yet another bad boy dreamer—until thieves ransack her shop and home and Rock reveals her ex is to blame for their troubles.

Is he? Or did Rock bring danger to her doorstep? In return for his protection, Jeanie agrees to help find the missing coins. Will their thirst for adventure get them killed, or will they discover the true meaning of treasure before it’s too late?

About the Author: MaggieToussaint_Large (2)Southern author Maggie Toussaint loves to blend murder and romance in her fiction. With twelve published books to her credit, her latest release is Rough Waters, a romantic mystery about stolen treasure. Earlier this year, she released Gone and Done It, a paranormal mystery. Maggie lives in coastal Georgia, where secrets, heritage, and ancient oaks cast long shadows.

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

Buy the book at the author’s website.

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LASR Anniversary: Jana Richards – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Leave a comment on THIS POST for a chance to win an additional prize – One digital copy of FLAWLESS

Happy 7th Anniversary Long and Short Reviews! You don’t look a day over 6 1/2! I hope you have many, many more years of reviewing romance novels in your future. Cheers!

Since summer is the theme of this party, I thought I’d share with you the wonderful summer holiday I was lucky enough to take in June of this year. My husband and I travelled to Europe and took a river cruise on the Rhone River in France. We extended the seven day cruise by adding three days in Barcelona, Spain to the beginning of the trip, and three days in Paris at the end of the trip. We had a fabulous time!

We started our vacation in the beautiful, vibrant city of Barcelona. Barcelona has wonderful architecture, some of it quirky and unusual, like the Sagrada Familia Church which doesn’t appear to have a straight line within its massive structure. I loved the friendly people and the exciting rhythm of the city.

After leaving Barcelona, we travelled to the mouth of the Rhone River at Arles, France where we boarded our ship for the river cruise. This area of France had been occupied by the Romans some two thousand years ago and they left behind evidence of their time here, with structures such as an arena in Arles which still hosts bull fights (and looks just like the Roman Coliseum), and an amphitheater in Vienne, France which holds eleven thousand people and was being readied to host a jazz festival when we visited. It’s amazing to me that these structures are so ancient, but are still being used today.

We sailed up the Rhone River through Provence, past terraced vineyards carved into nearby hills, and fields of ripening grain and blooming lavender in the countryside. So beautiful! We had a chance to visit an olive grove and a truffle farm in Provence. Serge, the owner of the truffle farm, uses his dog Emme to hunt for truffles, a fungus/mushroom much prized in French cooking, though from the examples Serge passed around, I couldn’t get excited about them. Serge and Emme demonstrated how they hunt for them. Since the truffles grow underground at a depth of about four inches, Emme must use her sensitive sense of smell to locate them. Serge buried a few truffles and Emme found them and dug them up without any trouble. She was adorable!

EiffelTowerAfter our wonderful, pampering cruise was over, we took a high-speed train from Lyon to Paris. Paris is almost overwhelming in its beauty. Everywhere you look you find another piece of impressive architecture. No visit to Paris is complete without a trip to the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, or the Arc du Triomphe, and we were lucky enough to see them all.

Our summer vacation went by very quickly, and now the summer of 2014 is nearly at an end. What did you do this summer? Whether you went on a vacation like I did, or stayed home and relaxed in your backyard, I’d love to hear about it. Comment on this blog and leave your email address for a chance to win a digital copy of FLAWLESS, my WW2 romantic suspense set in France. And if you’d like to see some pictures from my vacation, please check out my blog. Thanks for stopping by!

perf5.000x8.000.indd“France, 1942. The world is at war. The Nazis have stolen the infamous blue diamond, Le Coeur Bleu, intending to barter it for weapons that will destroy the Allies. Jewel thief Hunter Smith is given a choice; help the French Resistance steal back the diamond and avenge the death of his best friend, or stay locked up in an English prison. He chooses revenge.

Resistance fighter Madeleine Bertrand’s husband died when he was betrayed by Hunter Smith. How can she now pretend to be married to the arrogant American? How can she betray Jean Philippe’s memory by her passionate response to Hunter’s kisses? Neither is prepared for the maelstrom of attraction that erupts between them. To survive they must uncover the mysteries of the past and conquer the dangers of the present. But first Madeleine must decide if her loyalties lie with her dead husband and the Resistance or with the greatest love of her life.

About the Author: When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou and several unnamed goldfish. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.JanaRichards.com.

Website ~ Blogspot ~ Facebook/JanaRichardsAuthor”>Facebook ~ Twitter

Buy the book at The Wild Rose Press

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LASR Anniversary: Brenda Whiteside

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Summertime Livin’ by Brenda Whiteside

BrendaWhiteside_picSummertime and the livin’ is…hectic! When you live on a family farm, there’s no time for easy livin’ in the summer. We grow a variety of crops to feed ourselves, and we grow cucumbers to make awesome pickles and relish which are popular at the farmers’ markets.

I’m the jack-of-all-trades and the main killer of weeds on Tortuga Flats Farm. I really hate weeds. Harvesting sometimes falls on my list of chores, especially certain crops no one else cares that much about such as green beans and peas. But once in a while, I’m requested in the cucumber rows. It’s a little disconcerting with all the buzzing, but my son told me if I just ignore the bees, they’ll ignore me. Still…I do my best not to disturb too many of them. Imagine a steady buzzing drone and you’ll have some idea of how many bees there are to ignore. The cucumbers came slowly at the beginning of summer and now they’re manic. Thank you, bees.

The monsoons are lasting longer than normal this year, which means the weeds are thriving. For a weed-hater it’s pure torture to walk around the fields and crops and see so many. But at some point – like now – I have to put my blinders on. There are too many other chores and I could never keep up with them anyway. I only weed around the vegetables that are particularly bothered by weeds (onions, potatoes and a couple of ground vine plants).

One morning this summer, I was treated to a rare weather phenomenon for here – fog. I think we’ve only had a foggy farm one other time in the three years we’ve been here. Fog fascinates me for some unknown reason. The urge to walk into the cloud to see if there’s something waiting pulls at me. A romantic notion because I know the only thing waiting is mud. We’ve had so much rain. Sorry, I took the romance right out of that. And romance is what I’m all about!

perf5.000x8.000.indd Lacy Dahl never questioned her past until the deaths of her adoptive parents and her husband. A husband who wasn’t what he seemed. Her research uncovers secrets about the mother she never knew; secrets that dispute the identity of her father and threaten her life.
Sheriff Chance Meadowlark is still haunted by the murder of his wife and the revenge he unleashed in the name of justice. When he meets Lacy he is determined not to become involved, but their pasts may make that impossible. As they move closer to the truth, saving Lacy may be his only salvation.

Lacy begins to think the present is more important than her past…until Chance’s connection to her mother and a murder spin her deeper into danger and further from love. Will the truth destroy Lacy and Chance or will it be the answer that frees them?

Buy this book:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brenda spends most of her time writing stories of discovery and love. The rest of her time is spent tending vegetables on the small family farm she shares with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Together, they’ve embraced an age-old lifestyle that has been mostly lost in the United States – multiple generations living under one roof, who share the workload, follow their individual dreams and reap the benefits of combined talents.

After trying her hand at a couple of genres, she’s settled on romantic suspense. She’s found all good stories involve complicated human relationships. And if you add murder to the mix, the novel makes for good entertainment. She’s also found no matter a person’s age, a new discovery is right around every corner. Whether humorous or serious, straight contemporary or suspense, all her books revolve around those two facts.

Website URL www.brendawhiteside.com

Blog URL http://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/

Facebook page www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor

Twitter account URL https://twitter.com/brendawhitesid2

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LASR Anniversary: Alanna Lucas – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Christmas in July

Christmas in July sounds like a marketers gimmick, but over the years, it has encompassed many different meanings.

The first mention of Christmas in July dates back to the 1892 opera, Werther, which featured a group of young children singing a Christmas song in July.

However, the earliest known observance occurred in July 1933 at North Carolina’s Camp Keystone. Those attending the girl’s summer camp celebrated a traditional style Christmas with a decorated tree, gifts and a visit from Santa.

The 1940 comedy, Christmas in July, centers on Jimmy MacDonald, who after winning first prize in a slogan contest, spends his newfound wealth on family and friends. The underlining message of the movie was to give year round regardless of the season.

In 1944 and 1945 the U.S. Post office, U.S. Army and Navy along with the greeting card industries threw a Christmas-in-July luncheon to encourage an early start on mailing Christmas presents to service men and women overseas during WWII.

By the next decade, retailers jumped in on the promotional bandwagon using the Christmas in July theme to promote summer sales.

My favorite Christmas in July tale comes courtesy of a dear friend who lives in Southern California, but whose family lives in Canada. During the month of December weather in her Canadian hometown is usually under a couple of feet of snow, making travel precarious. One year, her sister decided to host a Christmas-in-July celebration.

The front yard was festively decorated with a giant snow globe, Christmas lights, and yes, even Santa and his reindeer made an appearance. The families travelled from near and far to share favorite childhood traditions, exchange gifts, and eat to their heart’s content.

So this July, remember those important in your life. Celebrate and rejoice with family and friends and share in the joy of the season. Merry Christmas in July!

Beautiful womanHOLIDAY SURPRISES

Miss Eva Kenward does not want to spend another Christmas alone. Leaving Queen Victoria’s England, she journeys to America in search of an uncle but finds herself on the rugged frontier of Montana. And with no money and no acquaintances, the rudest man she has ever met is the one she must engage. Especially considering the precious bundle in her arms.

“Hunt” Strauss has been fooled before by beauty. So when the ravishing young woman arrives on his doorstep, he suspects her of ulterior motives. But perhaps the baby she holds truly is his kin…and when Miss Kenward finds herself stranded after a hotel fire, he reluctantly agrees to help. Bringing her to his sprawling ranch, Hunt tries to keep his distance. But the enticing woman and her enthusiasm for the season soon prove that fairy tale love stories—and holiday wishes—really can come true.

About the Author: Alanna Lucas grew up in Southern California. From an early age, she took an interest in travel, incorporating those experiences into her writing. When she is not daydreaming of her next travel destination, Alanna can be found researching, spending time with family, or going for long walks. Alanna Lucas is a member of the Romance Writers of America, East Valley Authors, The Beau Monde, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.

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LASR Anniversary: Donna Cummings Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Summer is my favorite season. I love seeing the trees with leaves again (even if it kills my allergies). I love having the windows wide open (even if bugs think I’m inviting them in). I love wearing my flip flops every day (heck, I’ll wear them until my toes start to get frostbite).

But one of my favoritest things about this time of year is the food. Strawberries are in stores year-round, but the local ones available only in the summer months are a special kind of heavenly. There’s also corn on the cob, and potato salad, and ice-cold watermelon.

And let’s not forget the Official Sandwich of Summer: the BLT.

I love pretty much anything with bacon on it, but when you add lush juicy RED tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes, together with heaping amounts of mayo — (Did I just swoon? I did, didn’t I? Please tell me I didn’t drop my sandwich.)

Everything tastes better when you eat it outdoors (except Brussels sprouts — they never taste good). There’s something about fresh air and food cooked over an open flame that awakens the taste buds, and they can’t seem to get enough of grilled steak. Burgers. S’mores, and more s’mores. I can even forget what goes into a hot dog when it’s sizzling to charred perfection on the grill.

Ahh, summer food. What could possibly be better?

Well, how about a summer fling with a hunky chef next door to the place where you’re dogsitting? Yeah, that hellhound puppy is chewing up your favorite pair of shoes, but thanks to him, the next two weeks of your summer is going to be filled with lots of great food and fun. And maybe summer is just the first of many seasons the three of you will spend together. . .  Summer Lovin’ is available as a FREE download at your favorite bookselling site. I’ve talked about food, but what about summer beverages? Tell me what your fave summer drink is, and one lucky commenter will win a $5 gift card (choice of Amazon or BN).

 

summer_lovin_lg_600x900Everyone should have at least one wild fling on their resumé.

Mia volunteers to dogsit for two weeks, giving her a chance to figure out the next step in her life, and career. She discovers it’s not easy chasing after a puppy with a shoe fetish, but there’s a reward for all her troubles: the hunky guy next door.

Luke is a workaholic forced to take two weeks’ vacation, and at first he’s sure the downtime might kill him. But then he gets to know his temporary neighbor. She’s sexy and fun, and all of a sudden, two weeks isn’t nearly enough time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I have worked as an attorney, winery tasting room manager, and retail business owner, but nothing beats the thrill of writing humorously-ever-after romances.

I reside in New England, although I fantasize about spending the rest of my days in a tropical locale, wearing flip flops year-round, or in Regency London, scandalizing the ton.

I can usually be found on Twitter talking about writing and coffee, and on Facebook, talking about coffee and writing.

Website URL www.AllAboutTheWriting.com

Facebook page www.facebook.com/Donna.Cummings.Author

Twitter account URL https://twitter.com/BookEmDonna

Buy links for ONE book http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006CRUDI4

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LASR Anniversary: Lynda Cox Guest Blog

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Hi, all! Ummm…my name is Vander and I’m filling in for mom for this blog post. She was supposed to write about how she spent her summer vacation but she’s busy with promotion for her latest release from The Wild Rose Press and trying to get my two daughters trained to walk on a lead. Good luck with those two, Mom. They’re way too much like their mother. Never met a more a hard-headed bitch than Dixie. (And, I’m not calling her a bad name. In my world, dogs are male and bitches aren’t.)

Anyway…how did Mom spend her summer vacation? Let’s see, we played dog show until the first weekend of June. I went to those shows but didn’t get to play because I thought it would be a wise move to shed all my coat the weekend before. Mom was so not impressed with my idea to shed. But, I got to cheer for my buddies Driver and Dealie while we were in Biloxi. And on the way home from that trip, we stopped and spent a couple of days at Aunt Jacque’s house in Tennessee.

I LOVE staying with Aunt Jacque. All of us get to get out of the van and run for hours. We like it there so much sometimes Mom stays an extra day just because she can. Aunt Jacque’s got the coolest place in the woods there—lots to see and bark at. There’s a couple of deer who wander through every morning about 4 AM. I’ve seen turkeys, hundreds of squirrels (I hate squirrels because they don’t play fair), birds, and even a pot-bellied pig. And one of my girlfriends lives there. Plus, I get to tease my big brother, Arizona, and my nephew, Wyatt. Wyatt is a jerk, BTW.

Apparently Mom and Aunt Tenna (one of our traveling to dog show buddies) like it so much at Aunt Jacque’s that when some property right next to Aunt Jacque came up for sale, Mom and Aunt Tenna bought it. I wouldn’t mind living in Tennessee. The winters aren’t as cold and snowy there as they are here in Indiana.

Mom spent most of the summer making dog show leads, watching movies (and let me tell you, I AM SICK of Man of Steel and if she names a dog around here “Clark” I’m gonna puke!), and writing her third book. She told me that she’s dedicating it to me—because I make her smile. I don’t know what it is that I do to make her smile, but she does smile a lot when she looks at me. She makes me happy, too. I love to play dog show and get all the cookies she feeds me while we’re playing but we don’t play dog show in the summer because it’s too hot for us (the collies) to have to run around a ring and Mom says she hates really hot, humid weather. (Me, too!)

So, that’s been our summer. I’ve been told that my vacation is almost over and we’ll be back to playing dog show. If you’ll excuse me, I need to go practice my show pose. I’m a bit rusty.

Later…Vander

SmolderonaSlowBurnAllison Webster dreams of having an adventure like the characters in the books she loves. But there is no romance in being pursued by a man who wants her dead for educating the children of former slaves. Unlike the heroines she reads about she doesn’t have a trusty companion to rescue her…until she literally runs into A.J. Adams, a former Confederate cavalry officer. Now, she just has to convince A.J. he really is the honorable man and hero depicted in the dime novel she is reading.

Branded a “traitor” for more than ten years, scarred by harsh treatment in an inhumane prisoner of war camp, A.J. Adams wants revenge. Allison Webster’s arrival into his life provides the bait to destroy the men who murdered his wife and daughters and kidnapped his little brother. The men pursuing Allison are the very same men he has sworn to kill. Falling in love and admitting he might actually be a hero means surrendering his need for vengeance. Surrender is not part of A.J.’s battle strategy.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lynda J. Cox will tell anyone who will listen that she was born at least one hundred and fifty years too late, and most definitely in the wrong part of the country. She holds a master’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from Indiana State University after earning her BA from the same university as a non-traditional student. (Think being old enough to be mom to 90% of the students in her freshman cadre.) She’s kept busy with two spoiled rotten house cats, a 30 plus year old Arabian gelding who has been nicknamed “Lazarus” for his ability in the later years of his life to escape death, and quite a few champion collies. When she isn’t writing, she can be found on the road, travelling to the next dog show. She loves to chat about books, the writing life, and the insanity which is called a “dog show”.

Website URL www.lyndajcox.com

Blog URL http://lyndajcox.blogspot.com/

Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/lyndajcox

Twitter account URL http::///www.twitter.com/lyndacox

Buy the book here: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=5764

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LASR Anniversary: Stacy Gail Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Leave a comment on THIS POST for a chance to win an additional prize – a $10 Amazon gift certificate from Stacy Gail — see the end of the post for details

SummerTimeHeatSummertime Heat in ONE HOT SECOND!

There’s nothing like the hot, steamy summers in South Texas, where no relief from the blistering heat can be found. As the scorching sun beats down from a cloudless blue sky, winter seems eons away. It’s powerful enough to make anyone dream of flying away to the Antarctic just to remember what it is to feel cool.

Unless something—or someone—comes along to offer much-needed relief. Like:

A slow hand trailing an ice cube along the hot, sweaty hollow of a bared chest.

Or…

Being freed from layers of oppressive clothing in a dark, air-conditioned bedroom and letting the sweet coolness slip like silk over naked skin.

Or…

Skinny-dipping in the moonlight with the only one who has the right to see all of you.

Or…

Saving precious water by sharing a cool shower that’s far from cold.

Suddenly summer’s crushing heat doesn’t seem that awful, now does it? The small Texas town of Bitterthorn, Texas is gripped in a terrible heat wave, but my characters in ONE HOT SECOND, Parker and Chandler, have imaginative ways of dealing with it. From ice cubes to shedding clothes, the term “summer fun” gains a new definition when these two cross paths, and suddenly keeping things cool is the last thing on their minds. They both agree that a summer fling that’ as hot as a leather car seat left in the sun is a great idea, but what happens when it all comes to an end? It’s up to them to make sure the heat of passion and the warmth of love doesn’t fade away.

Leave a comment on how you beat the summer heat, and you could win a $10 Amazon GC! Winner will be notified via email address and posted on my blog, so don’t forget to include it in the comments. :)

 

OneHotSecondParker Radclyffe is up against a wall. Thorne Mansion, the mysterious Italianate castle she’s come to Texas to restore, isn’t the problem. No matter how intriguing the relic is, it’s merely an ember compared to the blazing magnetism of its owner, Chandler Thorne.
When his family mansion burned down, Chandler had to watch over a hundred years of proud history go up in smoke. After more than a year, he finally has everything in place to rebuild, including a renowned conservation architect to oversee the restoration. But when he lays eyes on Parker he realizes he’s gotten more than he paid for. Maybe more than he can handle.

Parker is a military brat who never sits still long enough to get burned. Chandler is her opposite, a man with deep roots and deeper family secrets. It won’t be easy to find the common ground it takes to build a home together, but Chandler is a Thorne in every sense. He plans to stick with Parker until she sees that love is more than worth the risk.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A competitive figure skater from the age of eight, Stacy Gail began writing stories in between events to pass the time. By the age of fourteen, she told her parents she was either going to be a figure skating coach who was also a published romance writer, or a romance writer who was also a skating pro. Now with a day job of playing on the ice with her students, and writing everything from steampunk to cyberpunk, contemporary to paranormal at night, both dreams have come true.

Sign up for Stacy’s NEWSLETTER for the latest on new releases: http://eepurl.com/RmNxH

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/stacygailsworld

Blog URL www.stacygail.blogspot.com/

Facebook page www.facebook.com/stacy.gailauthor

Twitter account URL www.twitter.com/Stacy_Gail_

Buy the book:   http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KPJNL70?ie=UTF8&camp=213733&creative=393177&creativeASIN=B00KPJNL70&linkCode=shr&tag=stagaificfri-20&linkId=O3RPQ6FWCEMDI4J4&=books&qid=1407626839&sr=1-8

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LASR Anniversary: Misty Simon – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Leave a comment on THIS POST for a chance to win an additional prize – one digital copy of both Poison Ivy and the follow up book The Wrong Drawers

Funnily Sunny
By Misty Simon
I’m never without a book. I love to snuggle up under the covers on the couch and read in the winter, sit on the patio in the fall and under an awning during the precarious weather of spring. But my favorite time of year to read, hands down, is summer. The days are longer, the balcony or the beach or a bench in the park, can have a breeze and the perfect light to read for hours. To get lost in another world where things that surprise you happen, or things that make you sigh and laugh.

Characters draw you in as the sun lowers and you have to grab your flashlight to read that last chapter, sentence, word. Lightning bugs cast their yellow glow over the page, or the ebook reader screen before you shut down and go inside.

Beach reading is awesome, too, and so much more than just being solitary if you check out what others are reading (Just watch out for the sand in places it shouldn’t be…). It can be incredibly educational and maybe even invite conversation while the kids are playing in the water. Perhaps you’ll pick up a new favorite author, an appreciation for a genre you’d never thought to read. The possibilities are endless when you have a book in your hand and an open mind.

Most of all, though, I love the way sunlight hits the page, brings out the smell of a new book, or glints off the screen of the reader. Sure, you might have to jostle around a little to get that glare to go away, but sunlight boosts your mood and always makes me feel like the days are endless as long as it’s shining.

Warm nights, warmer days, a book in my hand and a pair of flip flops. It doesn’t get much better than that. But I’d be willing to be convinced otherwise. Give me your best season and why. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

misty simon(2)Ivy Morris is back again, and this time she’s determined to stay out of trouble. She’s comfortably ensconced in her very own costume shop and happy as a clam. Happy as a clam can be, anyway, when her father has essentially moved in with her for an indefinite amount of time, and her love life is frustratingly on hold. She’s sure she is quickly going insane.

So when her best friend, Bella, asks for help with an in-home demonstration party, Ivy jumps at the chance to get out of the house and away from her dad. She has no real idea what they’ll be demonstrating until she gets a load of the cookies she has to decorate. But that becomes the least of her troubles when she walks straight into another murder scene. One where she’s the prime suspect.

What else could go wrong? When you’re Ivy Morris, the only right answer is everything. With the help of hunky Ben Fallon, this girl will try to figure out why she’s being framed and what it has to do with her getting THE WRONG DRAWERS.

About the Author: Misty Simon loves a good story and decided one day that she would try her hand at it. Eventually she got it right. There’s nothing better in the world than making someone laugh, and she hopes everyone at least snickers in the right places when reading her books. She lives with her husband, daughter and two insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel or three. She loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at misty@mistysimon.com

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