Monday, 23 December 2013

THREE 5* reviews for AFTER WHORL: BRAN REBORN

AFTER WHORL: BRAN REBORN now has 3 x 5* reviews. 2 are on Amazon UK and 1 on Amazon.com.

Amazon.com 
 
5.0 out of 5 stars Celts vs. Romans December 23, 2013
 
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
Nancy Jardine's Celtic series has me in its thrall! "After Whorl: Bran Reborn" is the second in this series, which depicts the little reported efforts of the Celts to rid the country of the Roman invaders. Since they face a very organized and well-equipped foe, they rely on their considerable Celtic wits to undermine the subjugation of the hated invaders. The characters are so well formed, I find myself worrying about their welfare, worrying about their romantic lives, and so on.

I admire the descriptions of battle scenes - male authors tend to be a bit too technical with battle scenes for me. Nancy Jardine describes battles clearly, but also with a look at the emotions of the warrior.

I cannot wait for the third novel of the series, due to launch in March, 2014. Hope the author considers expanding the series even further. A wonderful read, I highly recommend "After Whorl: Bran Reborn!" 
 
 
Amazon UK

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
After Whorl - Bran reborn is a sequel to Nancy Jardine's earlier novel, The Beltane Choice. It follows Brennus, a minor character in the first book, maimed and almost killed in battle with the Romans, as he is first nursed back to health by aged healer Meaghan, then struggles to adapt to his disabilities and find a new role for himself. His warrior past behind him, he becomes Bran, a trader, a messenger ... and a spy. Bran's travails, and the tensions in his relationship with his young adoptive sister Ineda are sensitively and intelligently handled, as are the ambiguities, compromises and uncertainties of a land neither wholly conquered nor wholly free. As in The Beltane Choice, the author brings the culture and society of celtic Britain vividly to life - and in this book there is also an intriguing contrast with the ordered, militaristic lifestyle of the occupying Romans. An engaging tale, with fascinating insights into Celtic and Roman Britain. 
 
 
Format:Kindle Edition
The second part of a trilogy is perhaps the most difficult to write. The author has already introduced some of the key themes in the first part (prominent among the themes of The Beltane Choice was the conflict between the Brigantes tribe of northern England and the advancing legions of Rome in 71 AD), and almost certainly has in mind a final resolution in the third part, but does not want to give the game away in the second.

In After Whorl, Bran Reborn, we are still in 71 AD, and conflict between Romans and Britons remains at the heart of the story, but Nancy Jardine meets the challenge of the second volume by flipping viewpoints. Nara and Lorcan, the lovers at the centre of The Beltane Choice, appear only as minor characters in the current volume. Instead the focus is on Lorcan's brother, Brennus. His story, here, is very much a meditation on the theme of defeat, and on the possibility of resilience in the face of it. The "Whorl" of the title is a battle (a fictional one, since the military campaigns of the Roman Governor Cerialis against the Brigantes are documented only in the vaguest sense), a battle which the Britons have lost, and in which Brennus has been badly maimed. His people's freedom is forfeit, and his own world falls apart when a stranger arrives with unwelcome news. Potentially the star attraction as a captive in a Roman Triumph, he adopts a new and humbler identity, Bran. His whole life has been lived as a warrior, but now he is totally dependent on the elderly healer, Meaghan, who tends his wounds. She, in turn, becomes dependent on him, but he is ill prepared for this role. The book charts his struggle to reassert his identity, and to find a new role in life, assisted by Meaghan's teenage daughter, Ineda.

Nancy Jardine has done a superb job in creating such a vivid and believable story against a background in which neither history nor archaeology provides much solid material to work with. As in The Beltane Choice, historical figures such as Governor Cerialis and the Brigantian king, Venutius, remain in the shadows, the light shining instead on the hopes and fears of ordinary people; the work itself, a triumph of narrative clarity over historical obscurity.

My thanks to the above reviewers. 

Slainthe!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Playing On Cotton Clouds by Michela O'Brien


I'm featuring another of my Crooked Cat fellow authors today- Michela O'Brien. Welcome, Michela! She's brought along some information about her novel Playing On Cotton Clouds. I've read this excellent story and highly recommend it.


When arty Livy falls for her sister’s boyfriend, she knows her dreams are unlikely to come true… Sensitive Seth thinks he has hit the jackpot when the girl of his dreams finally looks his way… While laidback Aidan is every girl’s hero.
Fast forward twenty-five years as carefree youth turns into adulthood responsibilities, relationships begin and end, music and fashion change, and life moves on with its successes, failures and heartaches. As the friends grow up, they discover life rarely turns out the way you imagined it at fifteen.
The rites of passage through years are eerily familiar to every 1980s teenager in this moving, heartfelt novel.



Michela O’Brien was born in Milan, Italy, in… well, let’s say some time in the last third of the 20th century. In Milan she grew up, studied, worked as a teacher, made friends and wrote, commending thoughts to page, imagining plots and characters, recording events in her life, noting observations about the world: stories, diaries, letters… In an era before personal computers, internet, blogs and social networks, it was pen and paper and she still carries a notebook and a pencil with her to sketch ideas on the spot.
She moved to England in 1994 and for a while she focused her attention on her new family. Writing was sidelined, until, about ten years ago, she went back to her love for words and wrote a novel, published in Italy, and a series of short stories, all in her native language. She then started writing in English and worked on short stories and two novels, Playing on Cotton Clouds and A Summer of Love, both published by Crooked Cat Publishing. She has just completed her third novel.
 Michela’s Website  Facebook Twitter | Goodreads | Crooked Cat Publishing

 Michela's sharing a little with us today, so settle in and enjoy! 
“How’s your sister?”
Livy’s words died on her lips, as she repressed the urge of commenting she had been asking herself how long it would be before[Seth] enquired about Tara. She studied his expression closely, looking for clues on his feelings, but he remained impassable.
“She’s very well, thank you.” She hesitated before casually dropping the grenade. “Perhaps I shouldn’t say it, as official invitations have not been sent out yet, but she’s finally getting married next spring, after all the delays due to James’s mum’s bad health.”
“Is she?” Seth removed the cigarette from his mouth and Livy wondered if the news had detonated at all. He seemed unaffected by any explosion. “Nightmare for you.” He joked. “You’ll have James Douglas-Smith for brother-in-law.”
“Don’t remind me.” Livy rolled her eyes. “And a Tory as well.”
“Is he a minister yet?”
“Assistant to our local MP, for the time being, but I’d give him a couple of years to replace him.”
“That’s a scary thought. I definitely need a smoke now.”
Seth let his gaze wander around the room, as if absorbing the last few details before walking out of the exhibition for good, and Livy couldn’t help noticing a familiar shadow in his eyes. She had seen it before. It was there the day they had met again at the bridge, four years before, after she had heard about his illness. She had found him pale and thin, but in better spirit that she had imagined, as he did his best to rebuild his life. It was there the day they had travelled to London together, sharing a train journey as she returned to Goldsmiths for her final year and he moved on to his new job. And it was there at Tara’s twenty-first birthday party, when Livy had dried his tears and they had ended up spending the night together.
As she took in the sight of him absentmindedly fiddling with the cigarette, the memory of that night played vivid and present in front of her and a sudden rush of nostalgia engulfed her, filling her mind with what ifs.

Thank you for visiting today, Michela. Best wishes for great sales of all of your work! 

Slainthe! 



Sunday, 8 December 2013

Exclusive PREQUEL SCENE from A Kiss of Revenge by Natalie Damschroder


Monday Moments has something really special today! Instead of an excerpt to keep you going during your coffee break, Natalie Damschroder has got something very interesting indeed for us. You still need to get settled in, though, so that you're ready for a very enticing read!  

And after that, read on for details of how to enter the draw for Natalie's ***Giveaway***   Here's a sneak peek of it...




When Griff First Met Reese

Thank you so much to Nancy for having me today! Below is an EXCLUSIVE prequel scene for the hero and heroine of A Kiss of Revenge. I hope you like it!

About a Year Ago

“She’s the one with the ponytail, right over there.” The assistant pointed across the large room crowded with rehabilitation equipment and dotted with therapists guiding people through their exercises.

Griff zeroed in on Reese Templeton, the woman he was here to see. She was alone on a stationary bike. He could tell the tension on the bike wasn’t very high, but her movements were jerky, her expression tight with concentration. Even from this far away, he could see beads of sweat on her forehead. Red splotched her neck and chest above the scoop of her T-shirt.

Still, something struck him low in the gut, a pull he’d only felt a couple of times in his life. She was too skinny, obviously due to her recovery from the plane crash, but her smooth skin and gentle curves complemented a strength Griff sensed even at a distance.

He was about to go over to her when a therapist approached Reese, tapping her watch. Reese climbed off the bike, not looking any happier, and they began discussing another exercise. Griff decided to sit on the sidelines and watch for a little while.

He sank into one of the waiting area chairs at the side of the room. An elderly woman looked up from her knitting and winked at him.

“Girlfriend?”

“What? No.” He put on the mask he’d perfected as a private investigator, a little shocked that he’d allowed his feelings to show, superficial as they were. “I’m a…friend. Of sorts.” Crap. That sounded like confirmation of her guess. But he couldn’t tell the woman that Reese had hired him to track down someone she thought was a killer. “My name’s Griff.”

“Helen.” She smiled and knitted one or perled two or whatever before setting her project in her lap and studying Reese over the tops of her glasses. “That poor girl needs a friend.”

“Oh?” Griff slid down a little in his seat to put himself more even with Helen. The single word was enough to launch her into a story.

“Oh, my, yes. The poor thing was in a plane crash, if you can believe it. Struck by lightning, barely survived. She’s all alone, far as I can tell. No one ever comes to see her. My daughter works the reception desk. That’s why my husband is here.” She nodded at a stately gentleman lying on a table, a therapist raising his leg and bending his knee. “Knee replacement,” Helen told Griff before returning to her original topic. “She’s been here for a few months. So weak to start with, but fiercely determined. She’s driven by something.” She eyed him sagely. “I have a feeling you know what it is.”

“We’re all driven by something,” was all he said.

He watched Reese get put through her paces for half an hour. Helen was right. She pushed hard, no matter how challenging the simplest task, her determination growing in direct proportion to her fatigue and failure.

The room was nearly empty when everything came to a head.

“I can’t! Do you think I’m not trying?” Reese’s voice shook, and an odd sizzling sound followed it.

Griff frowned. That was weird. The therapist didn’t seem to notice it, but noticing things was Griff’s job. He stood when he spotted a wisp of smoke rising from a monitor near Reese. She watched it, too, a look of horror taking over her expression.

“I’m done. I need to go back to my room.”

“Reese—”

“Now.” She struggled to rise from the balance ball she sat on, but her exhausted limbs looked noodly to Griff. He got there just in time to catch her when they buckled.

“Chair,” he barked at the therapist, who pressed her lips together and slid a wheelchair under Reese.

“Thank you,” Reese murmured, her face averted. “I can take it from here.”

“I’ll wheel you to your room.” Griff nodded to the therapist and headed for the main door. “We have an appointment.”

“Oh. OH!” She straightened, then slumped. “You saw what happened.”

“I did.” He wheeled her into the hall and paused. “Which way?”

She pointed left and sighed. “So you might be reluctant to take my case. It’s a little on the crazy side.”

“I’m definitely taking your case,” Griff said.

He found himself very interested in Reese’s kind of crazy.


 Wow! That really is a curious and frazzling excerpt, Natalie!


Marriage is completely over-rated, especially after Reese Templeton’s quadratic failure. She’d rather settle down to a solitary life of owning a bakery—after she tracks down the man responsible for her husband’s death and making her a human Taser full of enough electricity to short out a city block or send a man into cardiac arrest with just one kiss.
But alluring P.I. Griffin Chase is stirring up those feelings of need again. Only this time, her desire to be in his arms has nothing to do with her fear of loneliness and everything to do with the current charging through her body every time he looks at her…touches her.
Griffin hasn’t remained at Reese’s side just because of the spark that has nothing to do with her super-human talents. He’s willing to compromise his rock-solid principles so she can find closure. But before they can move on, he must help her catch her late husband’s killer, staying on track before she has a chance to exact her revenge. Because leading Reese to jail in handcuffs may just break his heart for the final time.

Natalie J. Damschroder is an award-winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance—Love with a Shot of Adrenaline. She sold her first book in 1999, and 2014 will see the publication of her 15th novel. She grew up in Massachusetts and loves the New England Patriots more than anything. (Except her family. And writing and reading. And popcorn.) When she’s not writing, revising, proofreading, or promoting her work, she does freelance editing and works part time as a chiropractic assistant. She and her husband have two daughters she’s dubbed “the anti-teenagers,” one of whom is also a novelist. (The other one prefers math. Smart kid. Practical.) You can learn more about her and her books at www.nataliedamschroder.com.

Natalie’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Google+ | Everybody Needs a Little Romance


To ENTER Natalie's draw click this link HERE to access the Rafflecopter for the chance to win this portable battery and flashlight to charge up anywhere you happen to be!


Best wishes with the tour, Natalie, and thank you for visiting my Monday Moments feature. 

Slainthe!

Saturday, 7 December 2013

What a bargain! Only 77p/ 99c for a whole week in the Crooked Cat ebooks SALE across Amazon.


 What a brilliant time for the Crooked Cat Christmas ebook Sale! 

There are loads of fantastic Crooked Cat books at 77p available from across the Amazon network!

You'll be able to get THE BELTANE CHOICE for 77p /99c if you've not read it yet...

 

and that's fantastic because Book 2 of the series, AFTER WHORL: BRAN REBORN, launches in only 9 days....
Still time to read Book 1 before you carry on with the stories of my Celtic Garrigill warriors. 


Here's a little bit from THE BELTANE CHOICE:

(At this point in the story Nara of the Selgovae has been a prisoner at the Brigante hillfort of Garrigill for a short time. She has felt safe enough when Lorcan has been there to protect her, but if he leaves...) 



Tully’s words faded at the end, his vigour gone. Nara felt him all but collapse against her as she bore the brunt of his weight, although it may have seemed to the crowd Tully forced her in place beside him for his grip was tight, his bony arm cradling her shoulder blades. Her eyes glanced to Lorcan, to impart to him how weakened Tully was. Lorcan looked ready to jump to her assistance, and that was all she needed. Stiffening her stance, she continued to bear Tully’s load.
The old chief turned to Lorcan, looking at him across her body, his eyes rheumy with pain and with something she discerned was akin to regret. His clutch at her shoulders crunched her very bones. Something was amiss. A dread coursed through her. She did not know why, but it seemed as though Tully sent that same regret to her through his gnarled old fingers. His weary voice was as loud as he could muster, but it mattered little for the whole room listened intently for his countenance was so solemn.
“At dawn, word will go to all eligible Brigante princes of the North about this marriage bargain. I will bid as many interested as possible to be with us by Beltane–by proxy, if not the princes themselves.”
The blood drained from Nara’s head at Tully’s words, her body trembling as much as his feeble one. She could not be sure but she thought Lorcan had stiffened at her other side. Tully’s fingers dug tight into her as he sidled even closer to her body, yet she sensed the old chief was not attempting to control her, or harm her: rather the opposite. Knowing how much his words had caused her tremor of fear, his bony fingers appeared to be pouring the last dregs of his physical and emotional strength into her, aware of the implications to her future. The gesture strangely appealed, for Tully’s touch gave her succour her own father had never, ever given her.
From that point on, Nara could not be certain if she gave the weakened Tully support, or if he supported her. What was clear to the assembled company was their chief publicly acknowledging his agreement to the marriage bargain as his arm encircled her.
“The elders of Garrigill will congregate on the morrow to consider the wider scheme for alliances.” His voice was faint, exhausted to the point of collapse.
A nod from Tully indicated she should sit. She slipped her trembling body down to the stool as ordered but maintained the arm she had curved behind Tully’s painfully thin waist. She should hate Tully. She should let him fall to the ground, or allow him to waver there on his own spindly legs till he stumbled.
Nara found she could do neither of those things. Hate his suggestions? She certainly did that, but she could not bring herself to hate the short-tempered old man next to her who had just declared yet a different fate for her. Slumping against him, her shoulder supported him even more than before to enable him to complete his speech as, yet again, she contemplated the floor rushes.
“If we ally first with the Selgovae, then I see the Parisi, Novante and even the Votadini joining, too. It takes only one stone to start a cairn. Think on it well, people of Garrigill.”
As well as her own tremors, and Tully’s shaking, Nara could feel the tension, even rage, emanating from Lorcan sitting alongside her. His fists clenched tight at his knees, his neck muscles straining as he stared into the blazing fire, his eyes agog with fury. Already attuned in some way to him, she sensed he repressed the urge to punch someone–almost certainly his own father, for wily old Tully had just widened the marriage alliance to include many other contenders.
Nara was appalled. Marriage with a Brigante was going to be forced on her, but not necessarily with Lorcan. Escape seemed even more necessary than before, but it was even more impossible. She, too, stared into the flames. The merest hint of protest in this company and she would be dead.
A shout rose from a young warrior at the back of the second row, his angry finger pointing to her.
“Will retribution from her tribe befall us before we can discuss this again? Will we of the outposts of Garrigill be attacked in our very beds this night, because she has been brought into our midst?”
Alarm swelled around the company at his dire words, increasingly volatile and hostile.
Tully looked to Lorcan to respond. Nara bent her head and studied the fire again, unwilling to meet the antagonistic eyes of those around. They hated her. She had been correct, but had Lorcan heeded her? Her position was even more perilous now.
 

Happy reading, 
Slainthe!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

King of Hearts



Today, I welcome Kay David who has brought along her King of Hearts to be featured. Kay's also agreed to be interviewed so that we can all get to know her better. After enjoying that, learn more details of her novel and the fabulous 'GIVEAWAY' that she's offering today. 
photo supplied by Kay David

Here's a sneaky peek of what's on offer.


Welcome to my features blog, Kay. Take yourself back 20 years and tell us if you had any aspirations to become an author at that time. I’ve always been a writer, even when I was a little kid.  After I made my initial sale, my father gave me something he’d been saving.  It was a tiny book I’d made and written in.  The title was My First Book.  It was about a pony, believe it or not.

What were you mainly doing as a daily occupation at that time? Just to name a few, I’ve worked as a home builder, a computer programmer at NASA, and owned my own jewellery firm.  Oh, and I have a degree in behavioural science. I’m not lying. Really.  I’ve done it all.


And today? How do you mainly spend an average day? I try to write 10-20 pages a day, usually fail, then go out and get coffee.  About 5 minutes before my husband comes home and wants to eat, I get going.


Now jump forward 20 years from today. What do you think you’d like to be doing then? Probably the same thing.  (Hey!  These are hard questions.  You’re making me think!)


What’s your preferred genre for reading material? Well, romance, of course.  But I also have a thing for apocalyptic fiction.  And right now I’m reading Game of Thorns.  I’m in awe.


What genre/ sub-genre do you feel comfortable writing in? I love romantic suspense, but I’m doing a short contemporary next.  Something a lot lighter, funnier, sexier.


What do you think will be the main reading materials within the next decade? Books, some form of portable tablets? I can’t begin to imagine.  If my husband is any example, I’d say our electronics will be part of our bodies from which we are never parted.

In recent years there’s been a movement towards popular cult-type stories- sometimes driven by what’s been popular on TV and the cinema, like Vampire, shifter, time-shift sub-genres. What do you see as being the ideal focus to capture the imagination in 5 years time? I would LOVE to know the answer to this because I would start writing it right now and make a fortune.  Unfortunately, I’m not very good at that sort of thing. That said, I am seeing more and more zombies, though.  (In literature, not literally) I love zombies.

Can you give us an idea of what your writing schedules might be like during the remainder of 2013 and on to 2014? Flexible.  Always flexible.  I would like to see my short contemporary hit the e-shelves shortly but time will tell.

Fast and furious:
Ice cream or chocolate cake? cake

Home made lemonade or rum cocktails? Sorry…beer


Cycling tour of France or a beach holiday in the Caribbean? The beach, for sure

A date with a politician, or a date with Gerard Butler? Is this a trick question?  Gerard Butler, of course!

Children or pets? Pets, Cats especially.  My Bengal kitty for sure!

Fantastic answers, Kay!  Thank you.
 

She loved him so much, she was willing to kill. He loved her so much, he was willing to die.
One night with bad-girl biker Jessie Delacort should have been enough for straight-laced cop Kingson Landry. But she got under his skin and hasn’t let go. Discovering she’s an undercover Texas ACES agent makes it even harder to resist her. But he must, because his past could kill Jessie just as easily as it has the other people he loves.
When Jessie Delacort rides into town on her Harley, the last thing she wants is to fall in love with another man who is hiding secrets too dark to reveal.?But when they’re forced to work together to bring down a powerful drug cartel, Jessie knows she’s got it bad for the quiet cop with the haunted eyes.
When the cartel’s vengeance-driven leader sets his sights on the two of them, King knows he’ll do whatever it takes to keep Jessie safe. Even if that means giving up their chance of turning the white-hot attraction between them into love.


Kay invites you ...
            If you follow my entire blog schedule you’ll be the first to know what happens between Jessie Delacourt and Kingson Landry from King of Hearts, my latest Entangled Ignite, before the book even opens! This is the sixth installment.  Don’t miss any of them and be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a great pair of earrings! The tour schedule can be found at kaydavid.com or buythebooktours.com.
Before Jessie Delacourt stopped behind King Landry at the bar where he sat, she had acknowledged to herself, once again, that she was tired of playing by the rules, no matter how important they were.  As long as she didn’t put the ACES or their undercover mission in danger, didn’t she have the right to blow off some steam?  If she didn’t, she erupt and that would be more dangerous than having sex with a stranger.

            At least that’s what she’d thought at the time.

            Tall enough to look over everyone else in the bar, King caught her gaze and held it it. She soaked him up. Blue eyes. Wide shoulders.  A very kissable mouth. She felt her heart lurch and she wasn’t a woman whose heart did funny things when she saw a good-looking man.

            In the second before she spoke, she thought about all the gambits her friends back home had used on men.

            1.) “Can I have my girlfriend take a picture of us?  I want to make my ex-boyfriend jealous.”

            She’d heard a woman use this once.  Jessie had choked on her beer.  Maybe it’d been the truth, she thought later, when she saw the couple dancing.  Who knew?

            2.) “You look like a man who knows what he wants.”

            The line would have been the truth with King, even though she didn’t know it at the time. In fact, it applied to him in too many ways to count.

            3.) “Do you live around here?”

            An old standard for sure. She knew the answer already so it’d be dumb, too.  But what would she say when he asked her the same thing? Something like ‘that’s on a need to know basis?’ She couldn’t be able to tell him anything but lies if he turned the tables on her.

            4.) “Do you want to dance?”

            Afterward he told her he’d considered this one, too, but discarded it for the very same reason.  Both thought if they made it to the dance floor, clothes might start fall to the floor right then and there.  Neither could afford that possibility.

            5.) “Let’s get outta her.  Right now.”

            It came out before she could stop herself.

Kay asks:

            Tell me a line that you’ve successfully used.  And keep reading my blog tour.  Don’t you want to know what King says after Jessie delivers her line?

 Kay David is the author of over thirty-five romantic suspense novels. After enjoying a variety of careers including computer programming at NASA, custom home building and working in the oil and gas industry, Kay admits that writing has always her been her first love.

Living in such diverse countries as the United Arab Emirates, Argentina and Bolivia has made Kay appreciate her own great home in Texas while allowing her to add intimate details to her books of the exotic settings she knows firsthand.
Kay’s latest romantic suspense trilogy features Smokin’ ACES, an undercover Texas Rangers team fighting crime along the Texas/Mexico border. Hot Texas nights full of dark secrets and dangerous men.
Kay’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Kay's GIVEAWAY
To enter the draw for these gorgeous earrings click HERE.
(Link takes you to the rafflecopter entry page)

Thank you for visiting and sharing everything with us today, Kay. My very best wishes for a successful launch tour! 

Slainthe!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Born to Love by Caridad Pineiro


I'm welcoming back Caridad Pineiro to Monday Moments. Today she's sharing another of her Paranormal Romantic Suspense novels - Born to Love.

If you missed reading about Caridad in earlier blogs here's a little about her: 
 New York Times and USA Today bestselling paranormal and romantic suspense author Caridad Pineiro wrote her first novel in the fifth grade when her teacher assigned a project – to write a book for a class lending library. Bitten by the writing bug, Caridad continued with her passion for the written word through high school, college and law school. In 1999, Caridad’s first novel was released and over a decade later, Caridad is the author of almost forty published novels and novellas. When not writing, Caridad is an attorney, wife and mother to an aspiring writer and fashionista.
Caridad’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Caridad's agreed to be interviewed today, so let's read on and learn some more about her before she shares her blurb, GIVEAWAY details and an enticing little excerpt. 


Take yourself back 20 years, Caridad, and tell us if you had any aspirations to become an author at that time. I actually did have aspirations at that time!  I wrote my first book in the fifth grade for a class project and ever since then, I knew I wanted to be a writer.

What were you mainly doing as a daily occupation at that time?  My main job, which I still have, was being an Intellectual Property attorney.  I help people  and companies protect their inventions, brands and artistic works.  It’s a lot of fun, but I’d love to have more time for my writing.

And today? How do you mainly spend an average day? I usually am on the train at 6 in the morning.  I pull out my laptop and start writing.  I’m at my desk at about 7 and am usually back at home at 6.  Then it’s time for a quick workout, dinner with the family and rest.  Sometimes I do website work or other writing stuff at night, but not usually.  If I’m on a tight deadline, I will work at night.
  
Now jump forward 20 years from today. What do you think you’d like to be doing then? I hope to be writing full time by then!

What’s your preferred genre for reading material?  I love romantic suspense and contemporary romances.

What genre/ sub-genre do you feel comfortable writing in?
I’m pretty comfortable in all genres, but prefer stories with a little bit of suspense in them.

What do you think will be the main reading materials within the next decade? Books, some form of portable tablets? I think it’ll be  a mix of tablets and printed copies.  I think a lot of people still like to have hard copies for reading.

In recent years there’s been a movement towards popular cult-type stories- sometimes driven by what’s been popular on TV and the cinema, like Vampire, shifter, time-shift sub-genres. What do you see as being the ideal focus to capture the imagination in 5 years time? Actually, I think it’s books that drive these popular genres on TV.  If you think about it, books like Twilight, Vampire Diaries, Hunger Games and others are what have driven trends in the movies and on television.  As for what will be popular in the future, I think that all genres seem to have ups and downs.  For me, I want to write the story of my heart and not try to guess or follow what will be popular.

Can you give us an idea of what your writing schedules might be like during the remainder of 2013 and on to 2014?  I plan on re-releasing a number of my contemporary romances in 2014, plus have new books in THE CALLING/REBORN series as well as a follow-up story to the TO CATCH A PRINCESS release in August.

Great plans and great answers, too! Now for some....
Fast and furious:

Ice cream or chocolate cake?  Ice Cream on Chocolate cake.  LOL! (HA! That might be cheating but sounds perfect!)

Home made lemonade or rum cocktails? Lemonade

Cycling tour of France or a beach holiday in the Caribbean?  Beach holiday
 
A date with a politician, or a date with Gerard Butler?  Gerard Butler hands down.

Children or pets? Children

 Thank you so much for those fun answers, Caridad! Now for your story details....


Fated to survive…
FBI agent David Harris’s life nearly came to an end during a botched raid. Though he survived, his body and spirit were broken by the perilous underworld he believes his estranged partner, Diana Reyes, has embraced with her Vampire husband. Now, left to a life in a wheelchair, David is angry, distrustful, and withdrawn…
Meant to love…
Seeing her former lover, David, again rekindles feelings long forgotten for Maggie Gonzalez. But she’s been thrown into a terrifying future as a werewolf, threatening to destroy what they might have again.
Destined to die…
Diana Reyes has lived on the edge since her blood contamination by Vampire Ryder Latimer. Her unexpected pregnancy is putting a huge strain on her body, but she’ll do anything to help right the wrongs of the past and help her former partner find happiness…even if it’s in the arms of a werewolf.
Buy from:
   ***GIVEAWAY****


You can enter Caridad's Giveaway for the chance to win a Vampire Reborn T-shirt and a $25 Gift Card from either Amazon or B&N. Click HERE to enter.


Settle down for an excellent little read:

Diana woke to a chill in her body and the bite of the early winter air along the parts of her skin not covered by the comforter. She actually welcomed the cold against the heat of her flesh. In the last month, the pregnancy had turned her into a blast furnace, bringing waves of warmth through her body. She had even stripped off the rest of her clothes during the middle of the night in an effort to cool off.
Ryder wrapped his arms around her and spooned against her back, the hard ridge of his morning erection nestled along her bottom.
She smiled and wiggled her hips, inviting him to play and fulfill the promise he had made last night.
He nuzzled the side of her face, dropping a kiss there. “Good morning, darlin’. Are you feeling up to a little morning lovin’?”
She slipped her hand between their bodies and stroked the length of him. “Doesn’t feel little to me.”
He chuckled and drifted his hand down to her center. With sure movements, he slipped it between her thighs to caress her there, rubbing and pressing until she parted her legs to give him greater access.
“Mmm. That feels good,” she said, eyes still closed as she lingered in that dream-like zone between sleep and wakefulness. But it was impossible to stay there when he eased his fingers into her and brought his other hand around to caress her breasts.
A rough cry of need ripped from her. He kissed the sensitive spot behind her ear and whispered, “Easy, darlin’. I won’t leave you wanting.”
No, he wouldn’t. He never left her wanting, physically or emotionally. Sometimes it was hard to handle…when she wasn’t as accommodating of his wishes.
But those thoughts flew out of her mind as he slid into her from behind. The friction and pressure of his cock filling her dragged a moan of pleasure from her. As he moved within her, played with her nipples, each little touch stoking the heat inside her, she allowed herself just to feel and enjoy all that he was to her.
All that they shared together.
The pleasure built between them. Stronger. More demanding. Until the first spark of their release flamed bright and the fire grew ever higher and rougher. They moved together, seeking the peak. Then the conflagration swept over them, its heat searing through them.
Ryder’s harsh breath bathed the side of her face as with one final push he came, and wrapped his arms tight around her. He said her name with such need, it melted the edges of her heart.
“I’m here, Ryder. I’ll always be here for you,” she returned, stroking her hands across the quivering muscles of his arms as they held her. She shifted her hips one last time then surrendered to her release and his embrace.

Best wishes for a successful tour, Caridad. Thanks for visiting today.
Slainthe! 

Friday, 29 November 2013

It's ...Falling For Mr. Wrong




I'm welcoming, Inara Scott today who has brought along her contemporay romance- Falling For Mr. Wrong. 

She's given me some fantastic answers to questions I posed to get to know her so... grab your favourite drink and settle down. 

After her lovely interview you can enjoy the blurb and an excerpt from the novel and you can ENTER her **GIVEAWAY** for two of her other e-books! (Rules of Negotiation and The Boss's Fake Fiancee)

 Hi, Inara. Let's get to know you...



Take yourself back 20 years and tell us if you had any aspirations to become an author at that time. Absolutely! I’m pretty old, so 20 years ago puts me in college, when I was writing terrible poetry and weird bits of stories with characters named things like Hava (“wind” in Hindi) and Jamien (“earth” in Hindi). But honestly, I was too practical then to really contemplate trying to make a living as an author. I always knew I wanted to write, it just took me a while to figure out how to make that a reality.

You're not so old, believe me! What were you mainly doing as a daily occupation at that time?
Well, being in college, I was studying. A lot. I’m kind of a geek. Okay, total geek. I really loved school.

Sometimes students have to work as well as study nowadays, so just being able to attend school was what I consider a luxury. I only worked during vacations which I now realise was very fortunate! And today? How do you mainly spend an average day? I actually teach college now as well as write fiction, so my days really vary. Some days I’m in the classroom, some I’m writing, and I’m also a mom, so I spend a lot of time driving to and from basketball practice and harassing my son to do his homework.

Variation is good! Now jump forward 20 years from today. What do you think you’d like to be doing then? I have no doubt I’ll still be spending a large percentage of my time writing. But it’s impossible to say what. By then I might be writing non-fiction essays on the socio-economic status of women in nineteenth century Oregon. But chances are there will be romance in my writing.

What’s your preferred genre for reading material? Right now, I’m reading a lot of novellas and contemporary romances. The one thing in my life that has been very consistent is my love of romance. I’ve been reading it since I was in middle school and I suspect I always will.

I still read romance and never thought to change that focus very much, but I've also read widely in other areas and I'm pleased that I read across many genres and enjoy them very much. What genre/ sub-genre do you feel comfortable writing in? I’ve written historical romance, young adult paranormal, young adult suspense/horror, contemporary romance, and fantasy. I love to explore new things. The only thing I will probably never write is straight up literary fiction. I don’t like to read it, and I know I wouldn’t be very good at writing it.

I'm with you on some literary fiction. If I don't enjoy what I'm reading it isn't for me. What do you think will be the main reading materials within the next decade? Books, some form of portable tablets? I think printed books will always be with us, but I think it won’t be long before we are all reading on some kind of e-reader, whether tablet or computer. I think we will come to save printed books for photography, or coffee table books—something where the printed medium really matters.

In recent years there’s been a movement towards popular cult-type stories- sometimes driven by what’s been popular on TV and the cinema, like Vampire, shifter, time-shift sub-genres. What do you see as being the ideal focus to capture the imagination in 5 years time? Wow, I have no idea! J

Can you give us an idea of what your writing schedules might be like during the remainder of 2013 and on to 2014? I have a new adult romance series that I’ll be writing in 2014, and then I’m not sure what I’ll do next. I really want to write a Secret Garden retelling, and I’ve plotted out a series that could be YA or NA. Oh, and I’ll be finishing the last book in my Delcroix Academy series. I guess it’s safe to say I’ll be busy!

Fast and furious:

Ice cream or chocolate cake?
Ice cream, no doubt. Cake is never worth the calories.
Home made lemonade or rum cocktails?
Neither, unfortunately! Either would give me a migraine.
Cycling tour of France or a beach holiday in the Caribbean?
BEACH HOLIDAY. Save me from biking when I’m on vacation!
A date with a politician, or a date with Gerard Butler?
I’d like to go out with Michelle Obama. Is that an option? ;-) (Of course!)
Children or pets?
Both! 

Thanks for a fabulous interview, Inara. Let's find out now what your latest novel is about. 





Looking for Mrs. Right…
Single father of three, Ross Bencher, knows the kind of woman he wants: someone predictable, reliable, and safe, who can give his kids the security they deserve. Someone entirely different from high-altitude mountaineer Kelsey. Kelsey bewitches him with her long legs and wild passion and is about as far from his ideal as a woman can get, but try telling that to his body. Or his heart…
Falling for Mr. Wrong…
When Kelsey agreed to fill in as a temporary nanny for her best friend’s agency before a big climbing expedition, she had no idea she’d be working for drop-dead sexy Ross Bencher, a man she can’t seem to keep her hands off. She knows if she wants to bring herself—and her father—back alive from the Himalayan Mountains, she can’t afford second-guessing, attachments, or distractions. But Ross’s blue eyes and strong hands leave her gasping…and questioning everything she’s ever known about love…


Bestselling author Inara Scott grew up on a steady diet of true love, heaving bosoms, and happily ever after. Romance inspired her first novel, penned at the age of 14, titled A Wild and Stormy Passion. Today, Inara writes anything and everything, including young adult fiction and adult romance. Inara loves to hear from readers, and can often be found avoiding actual work by playing on Twitter (@inarascott) and Facebook.

 Inara’s Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Now for the **GIVEAWAY**

Enter HERE to win the copies of: 
 
He let her make the rules…
NYC’s most eligible bachelor, Brit Bencher, is also known as The Slayer for his reputation in the boardroom…and the bedroom. And he’ll do anything to take care of his family, even seduce high-powered corporate attorney Tori Anderson in the hopes of getting her to reveal confidential information about one of her clients. But for the first time in his life, he finds he’s falling for a woman.
…and then he started to break them.
After juggling the demands of her career and the stress of caring for her ailing mother, Tori Anderson doesn’t have time for relationships—but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to feel like a woman. When Brit offers a no-strings attached fling, it sounds like exactly what she needs. But what will she do when Brit decides he won’t take “one night stand” for an answer? When Tori uncovers his lies, will he lose his chance with her forever?
 
Is she his worst nightmare…
No relationships, that’s billionaire Garth Solen’s rule–especially not with a woman like his new employee
Melissa Bencher, who thinks with her heart and not her head. But all bets are off when Melissa’s attempt to make her jerk ex-boyfriend jealous by suggesting that she’s dating Garth. To protect his ailing grandmother, he is forced to play the part of Melissa’s adoring fiancĂ©.
…or a dream come true?
Melissa couldn’t begin to imagine all the trouble one impulsive act could cause. Now she’s trying on rings and posing for the paparazzi with her gorgeous boss. The game is clear: for one month, they play the part of an engaged couple, and then they part ways. No emotions. No entanglements. But when it comes to matters of the heart, Melissa’s never been good at following the rules…
 
 
 And now for a little excerpt from Falling For Mr. Wrong:  “So you’re telling me after your divorce you made some kind of inner pledge to only date Donna Reed?”
“Basically, yes.”
“And then you slept with me.”
He grinned, and the mood unexpectedly lightened. “Those were my requirements for dating. Lucky for me, we never went on a date.”
Unwittingly, Kelsey felt some of the tension ease from her body. It was really unfair that Ross’s smile was so warm it acted on her nerves like a damn tranquilizer. “I think I understand. You think if you sleep with me again, we’re dating. And that would mess up the whole personal vow thing.”
He paused for a moment, and then shrugged, somewhat sheepishly. “Something like that.”
“But wait,” she said, holding up one palm. “You’re jumping to a lot of conclusions, aren’t you?”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re assuming that I want to date you.” She tapped one finger in the middle of his chest. “Look at this from my perspective. You’ve got three kids and you live out here in the land of suburbia, with three-car garages and trips to the grocery store every other day to buy more juice boxes. Do you really think this is what I want?”
He had the humility to look slightly ashamed. “I hadn’t really thought about it that way.”
Throwing aside all caution and reason, Kelsey wrapped her arms around his neck. She could hardly believe she was touching him, but the simmering attraction between them had taken over, and she could no longer fight it. “Listen, tough guy. I don’t want to date you any more than you want to date me. And I’d appreciate it very much if you’d keep your judgment about my life and my choices to yourself.”
“But?” He lowered his face an inch, bringing their lips just heartbeats apart.
“But I would like to sleep with you again.”


Thank you for visiting me today, Inara. My very best wishes for a great launch tour.
Slainthe! 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Forewarning - a Horses and Healing Mystery by Kate Wyland



I thoroughly enjoyed this well written mystery by Kate Wyland. There’s a great pace throughout the novel and enough plot twists to keep up the interest. 

The characterisation is strong, good motivations given for some of the ‘baddies’ in the story making them seem slightly less horrible. 

The paranormal aspects are just enough to be believable -‘hands-on’ healing not new knowledge to us, but I enjoyed the universal healing that Kasey is able to do for both horses and people in the novel. The way Ms Wyland manages to weave those less traditional healing practises within the traditional doctor/ hospital situation is very interesting and makes me wonder how common that would be in reality. 

There’s enough sexual tension to make the reader wonder just how Kasey will eventually resolve her attraction to two different men – the reason given by Ms Wyland at the end a very satisfying one.

A mystery to be recommended, and worth my 5* rating.
 
Slainthe!