Monthly Archives: September 2015

Rockin’ Reads #Giveaway Blog Hop!

Everyone needs a Rockin’ Read! Stop by Sept 23rd to 30th and find out which reads have rocked 2015 for us! There will be a giveaway on each blog so don’t forget to visit them all!

rockin reads

Hey, everyone! Today marks the beginning of the Rockin’ Reads Hop, and I’m stoked to be a participant. Whoop!

This is the part of my post where I should gush over a romance that completely rocked my world in 2015. The catch is, I’ve been reading a lot of history lately (yes, non-fiction, but often that shit is stranger than fiction). I’ve been doing a bunch of beta reading for writerly pals, and reading gardening journals (cough, cough–nerd). I’m re-reading some early Patricia Cornwell because those were the days…

So, basically, I’m not going to gush over a romance, although I’ve read a number this year, just nothing that’s sticking out like a knife handle from my back.

Anyway, I have a few books in my queue I’m looking forward to–a couple of KJ Charles’ I need to catch up on, some old school het bodice rippers (I think I’m having a midlife crisis–this is a scream for help), some YA stuff (including The Outsiders because I’ve not read it, my oldest is going to be hitting that for English class, and I thought, hey, buddy read).

So, there you have it. Don’t hate me because I’m in a romance funk. I’ll find my way out eventually, I promise.

For my giveaway, I’ll send one lucky winner an e-copy of either Forever is Now or Double Takes, both rockstar reads that fit nicely with this hop theme, I think. To be eligible, just leave a book recommendation for me in the comments. I want my socks fucking knocked off. Ladies and gentlemen, start my engines. 😉

Oh, and don’t forget to visit all the stops in the below link! Freebies and recommendations out the wazoo! Think I’ll go check those out right now…

http://theherdhops.blogspot.com/2015/09/rockin-reads-giveaway-hop.html


Scream! For the Cure Coming Soon! #auction #books @FxCKCANCER

 

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Scream! For the Cure is an annual online auction to benefit cancer research. Every October, extremely talented and generous authors donate their time and books to raise money and awareness. This year’s auction proceeds are going to Dyin’ 2 Live, a non-profit wish granting program committed to helping those who are currently in the fight against cancer by giving them a one-of-a-kind experience that may be a source of hope, joy, and inspiration while they continue in their fight against these terrible diseases. Read more about Dyin’ 2 Live at their website: http://www.makingdreamshappen.org/

Scream! For the Cure was started in 2014 and raised nearly $400 for Stand Up 2 Cancer. Let’s make this year even better!

For a complete list of participating authors and to follow along with the auction and read guest posts from some of the participating authors, visit http://screamforthecure.wordpress.com.

About the founder:

Catherine Peace has been telling stories for as long as she could remember. Maybe even from the womb; no one knows for sure. Now, she writes delightful romances with enough spice to make Emeril happy when not masquerading as a normal person at the day job.

Website | Facebook | Twitter |Pinterest |Goodreads

 

Ready to bid on some fantastic books?

I’m so excited to be a part of this event! Dyin’ 2 Live has got to be the coolest wish-granting program ever–seriously, check their site out. They’ve sent cancer fighters to see and meet some of their favorite bands (including Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, and Five Finger Death Punch–so fucking cool!). What an amazing and totally worthwhile fundraiser! I hope you’ll consider checking it out and getting involved. 🙂

Kimber


New Release Spotlight: If I Were Fire by Heloise West

IfIWereFire_headerbanner

In 18th century Siena, Count Salvesto Masello has returned home to find the family villa and his father’s estate steeped deeply in debt. In order to save it, he has been selling off valuable family heirlooms, but he is running out of silverware. Somewhere in the villa his deceased father had hidden the art treasures that will pay the debt, but Salvesto can’t find them anywhere.

Amadeo Neruccio has been on the run from the vicious pimp, thief, and pawnbroker Guelfetto, but his toughs finally catch him and bring him to the cellar where Count Masello is selling off his silver. When the count learns what fate Guelfetto has in store for Amadeo, he intervenes and trades the last of his mother’s dowry for the young man’s freedom.

Salvesto had left home over ten years ago to live the life of adventure he craved. He had also hoped to leave his broken heart behind. When he rescues young Amadeo, he does not expect to find love again, or that his adventures had yet to end.

IfIWereFireFS

Excerpt:

Seated in the shade of the loggia attached to the surgeon’s house, Amadeo waited for the conte, barely able to think for the pain in his body. Bone-deep pain, like a bad tooth. He sighed, but his breath hitched like an uneven stitch.

“Nerrucio.”

He jumped at the sound of his former lover’s voice. Glancing around, he espied Barone Malavolti standing in the narrow street beneath a chestnut tree a few arm lengths away; his expression was a mask of boredom, though he stood there without his hat, a little breathless and pink-cheeked. Leaning on a silver-tipped cane he did not need, he had dressed today in a beautiful dark gray velvet jacket and the long pale blue waistcoat beneath it embroidered with bright flowers, all held together with small ebony buttons. His creamy white linen shirt and cravat were spotless. All that fine cloth hid a mercurial character and a whippet-lean body that contained a fierce strength. Glossy black hair, brown eyes, and a slightly round, handsome face, the dark circles under his tired eyes spoke of a long night of debauchery. Amadeo turned quickly away, angry and embarrassed all at once.

“Don’t ignore me.”

“No, Barone.” Amadeo stood.

“I wanted to make sure you were—not dead, as someone said, murdered in Guelfetto’s cellar or sent off to Florence to pay your debt.” His clipped tone made Amadeo wince.

“It was never my debt!” He lowered his voice. “I came to you for help, but you did not believe me. He told everyone that I agreed to lose the race for payment. You believed that bandit over me.” Amadeo swallowed back his disappointment. “Me. Your bad habit.” It was terribly rude, but he had to sit in the shade and close his eyes, as the hot, bright sun pierced his skull and made his head pound even harder. To his surprise, Malavolti followed to stand beneath the loggia with him. Encouraged by that, Amadeo whispered, “You said you loved me, but you lied. How is what you think I have done worse than that?”

Malavolti said, “I am not a liar. And only a poet would see that as a crime.”

Amadeo truly wanted to shake the barone until his teeth rattled, but restrained himself. “Guelfetto had sold me to a bathhouse in Florence to whore for those stinking pig-dogs until I die. Conte Masello has rescued me. I do not need you anymore.”

Malavolti flinched. “What has Conte Masello to do with all this, Neruccio?”

“He was there….” Amadeo stopped and considered his words. Malavolti need not know the conte was there selling his mother’s silver plates. “He took pity on me when I said I would give myself to the Arno and paid my debt to Guelfetto.”

“Paid your price, you mean.”

Stubborn, prideful man! To think he wept at the lines I wrote for him and him alone. He believed me then, at least. Perhaps the new one in his bed has left him, and left him bitter.

“We have a bond agreement,” Amadeo said wearily. “I’m to be the new groom for the stables. At least I’ll be with the horses.”

“Ah, my poor poet,” Malavolti mocked. “Poor Cecco. ‘But to show wisdom’s what I never could. So where I itch, I scratch now.’”

A pet name for the famed Sienese poet of a long dead age, Cecco Angiolieri, and the old lines fell upon Amadeo’s ears like a slap. Malavolti had encouraged and supported his own poetic lines at one time, but no more. “If you do not believe me still, be gone, Gianni. No one torments me as much as I do myself, so you waste your time.” His grieving heart forced him to continue the lines: “‘I’m down, and cannot rise in any way; For not a creature of my nearest kin/Would hold out a hand that I could reach….’”

Except for one man.

The door to the house creaked open, and Malavolti turned away, continuing on his path up the street as if they had never spoken.

About the author:

Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mahem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of 10 years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.

Social Media:

Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/heloise-west

Blog: https://velvetpanic2.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heloise.west.1

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/heloisewest/

Email: heloisewest@hotmail.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/velvetpanic

Tumblr: http://heloisewest.tumblr.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8188216.Heloise_West

Order If I were Fire:

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon US

Kobo

Barnes and Noble

Google Play

All Romance


#Interview with #Author Olivia Night

Today I have Olivia Night visiting for a quick interview. Her new book, Seduction in Sierra Leone, just released in August, and Olivia was good enough to share a bit about her writing process and to catch a couple of left-fielders as well. 🙂

I love romantic suspense. Did you have a hard time balancing the two? 

I have been an avid reader of romantic suspense so I went into writing Seduction in Sierra Leone with an idea of how much suspense should be intertwined with the romance. I have read books where there is more suspense than romance and I found I didn’t grow attached to the characters. Conversely, I’ve read books that had more romance than suspense and in those cases I was never really “hooked” to the book.  I hope I did a good job at balancing the two. I love my characters and it was exciting for me to discover the story as I wrote it.

Sierra Leone is such an interesting and unusual setting. Do you have firsthand knowledge of Africa? How did you decide to place your characters there?

Africa is at the very top of my bucket list. I travel, each year, with a close friend to a different place. We have plans to visit Africa in 2018 (it seems far off but I am a HUGE planner). When I was younger I wanted to join the Peace Corps and go to Africa in that capacity. I went as far as completing the application. But I never hit submit. I have a really hard time taking risks and that was a huge one.  So it’s no surrpise to me that when Aislinn popped into my head she was a relief worker in Africa. (She also loves Coke’s and Dean Winchester, so she’s pretty awesome in my opinion)

I didn’t really “place” my characters there. Brandt and Aislinn came into my head pretty much fully formed people. I just had to write down their story and fill in the blanks.

Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

I don’t know if it qualifies as a “quirk” but my writing process is more writing down what already exists in my head. In all three (and more recently four) books that I am currently writing the characters just kind of show up and say “Here I am! Write my story!” So I don’t have these thought out and planned ideas, my characters and their stories just kind of show up and I write them. I also listen to music for inspiration. Each character has a different “sound” and when I need a push I will sit for a while and just listen to the music, and the music only, for a while.

Twinkies by Hostess Brand (Photo: Creative Commons)

Twinkies or Devil Dogs?

Neither – something with dark chocolate.

Mayonnaise or Ketchup?

No competition- ketchup all the way.

Coffee or Tea?

If I only was allowed to drink water and one other beverage for the rest of my life I would forsake wine and embrace my beloved coffee. I’m a coffee-aholic.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a few things. I am finishing up Book 2- Seduction in Seville and am halfway through Book 3- Seduction in Scotland. I also am working on a second series (currently untitled which will be a four book series. I have written about thirty pages of book one in that and have jumped forward to book four and have that one pretty much outlined (partly in my head, partly on paper and partly on my iPhone notes app). I can’t wait to get all of these stories out on paper. I have this fear I will lose them somewhere in the recesses of my mind if I don’t. . The second book series will take place in Asheville, N.C. and starts with a tale of love and loss that makes even me feel sad for what the characters have gone through.

What is your favorite quote or catchphrase (can be from your writing or someone else’s)?

“You’re only given a spark of madness, you musn’t lose it.” Robin Williams

I have had this as part of my email signature for almost ten years and I’d like to think that when people see it they either smile or wonder what madness I am hiding….

 

Blurb

 

In the mangroves of Sierra Leone, two strangers raised a world apart find themselves inextricably connected. Seduction in Sierra Leone, the first in a series of three novels, is a fast-paced tale of murder, lust, and love that transports the reader to a foreign and mysterious world of danger.

Aislinn Salameh, an American relief worker, is searching for purpose in her self- imposed lonely world. The stranger who enters her village on a blistering hot day looks more animal than man. She knows she should stay far away but can’t stop herself from being drawn to the mysterious man.

Brandt Fairlane is a man haunted by the sins of his past. Detached from others, Brandt has spent his life alone. His line of work is too dangerous for the luxuries of love and family.

When Brandt sees Aislinn and her haunting eyes, he knows he must possess her. But when Brandt’s past comes back from the dead and Aislinn is caught in the crossfire, it is up to him to keep her safe. In order to survive, they must learn to rely on one another. As they run for their lives, the heat between them becomes undeniable. Now, Brandt must not only protect Aislinn from a madman committed to stealing her away but he also must protect her from himself. Because if Brandt steals her body and her heart, he’ll never let her go.

 

Excerpt

 

Together, they watched the truck, a far better model than either had seen in their time here, tip and tilt as four men emerged. Aislinn couldn’t see any of them very well, though she could tell they were all very large, muscular men, all in different ways. One was short and squat, and one was short and lean and looked as though he really needed to eat. The other two were tall. Those two were muscular and looked more dangerous than the others. Perhaps it was the serious look on their faces, as if they had never smiled. But one was more muscular than the others. He was the tallest in the group. And he was really, really easy on the eyes. And as if he sensed her watching him—okay, staring—he turned his head and looked directly over at her.

His face was blank, his eyes unblinking. He looked across the short distance at Aislinn, apparently not even noticing that Geoff was standing in front of her. From the distance between them, his eyes seemed to be charcoal gray, a color she had never seen on a person. Animals yes, people no. His skin was tanned, and there was a slight sheen of sweat, giving him a sort of healthy glow. His dark black hair was cut short, but not in a military fashion that had that silly flat surface at the top. No, there was just enough to run her fingers through. His legs were huge, like tree trunks that made their way up to a tapered and slim waist. His chest flared back out to meet his thick neck. Veins stood out on his arms as he picked a bag up from inside the car, all the while staring at her. She fixed her eyes shamelessly at his full lips that were a dark pink, a color you normally didn’t see on a man. His nose had been broken before, judging by the uneven placement on his face. The rest of his face was perfect. Perfect angles, perfect mouth, perfect eyes.

She came back to his eyes and realized she had just, very slowly, given this stranger a full-body perusal. He didn’t offer a nod, or any other type of greeting; he just kept looking at her. She felt herself blush. And then, suddenly, he turned. Brima, the town elder, was approaching the men—quickly for an old man—with a broad smile on his face. Brima rubbed the man’s chin, a traditional Mende greeting, and, as was customary, the man did not return the gesture as a symbol of acquiescence to the elder. Then they both smiled and shook hands. The muted tones of their conversation drifted over to her as they walked to the elder’s home farther up the path, leading away from the road.

 

Author Bio

 

Olivia Night, a fictional character herself, has always been an avid read and writer. She found the romance genre in college and has never been able to get enough. One sleepless night, the main characters of Book One in her Seduction series sprang from her head fully formed. They demanded she tell their story; so she did. As they revealed themselves, so did two other intriguing characters. Those characters convinced her to give them their own books because their stories were worth telling too. And so Olivia suddenly became a romance author. When Olivia is not writing, she has the best job in the world, which, too, will remain a secret. In her free time, she reads, write, runs, or is, most likely, out emulating Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Olivia lives in one of the most diverse and vibrant cities in the U.S.—Baltimore. She lives with her cat, which she is convinced was a gladiator in his past life. Olivia plans to continue being awesome at this thing called life. Really, that’s her only goal.

Website: www.Olivianight.weebly.com

Twitter: @olivianightread

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/olivianightauthor

Buy Seduction in Sierra Leone:

Kobo:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/seduction-in-sierra-leone

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seduction-in-sierra-leone-olivia-night/1122341426?ean=9781622102426

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Seduction-Sierra-Leone-Men-Book-ebook/dp/B011J74H74/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1439751209&sr=8-14&keywords=Olivia+Night

Liquid Silver Books:

http://www.lsbooks.com/seduction-in-sierra-leone-p1043.php

ibooks:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/seduction-in-sierra-leone/id1020494392?mt=11


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