Friday, February 28, 2014

Grasping For Freedom - Guest Review & Giveaway

Review by (Guest Reviewer) Kimberly Field

If I could give this book 6 stars, I totally would. I have been in love with Debra Kayn's Biker books since I stumbled on to Breathing His Air (my favorite book of 2013.) Grasping For Freedom, well left me grasping for more! I just can't get enough of these badass bikers and the woman who love them. I only wish I could climb inside the book and become part of the story. With every book, I get a little bit of crush, But with Torque.....it is love I tell you! Love! I even found myself doodling his name, really!

Torque has been in the other books and I was happy to see him get his story, and what a story it is. I knew there had to be layers to him that we just didn't know about. Brandy was the perfect girl to help us find those layers. Both are running from demons and past actions, and we get see them learn to trust each other as they face their past and their future.

Kayn is excellent at keeping things real and not in a in your face kind of way! One of the reasons and there are many why I love these books, is that Kayn lets us revisit past characters without making them seem forced into the story and they don't over power the new characters or rehash what has already been done to death! Kayn is also great at giving us insight into possible new books and makes us crave more of these very Alpha males!

I am already anxious for the next book and I will still be dreaming about Torque for some time. 

Blurb

In Debra Kayn's newest biker romance novel, Torque Kendler, Sergeant at Arms of Bantorus MC fights to keep his past hidden, while protecting the one woman who's capable of bringing chaos down on Pitnam out of desperation and love.

Torque Kendler, Sergeant at Arms of the Bantorus Motorcycle club, tenaciously safeguards his marked past. Shot twice by Los Li and nearly killed last year, he wants to hold on to the familiar and retain his freedom. However, there are too many changes happening in Pitnam for him to trust anyone…especially the new chick managing the bar that's giving him attitude and consuming his thoughts.

Sent by Los Li to work at a biker bar called Cactus Cove, Brandy Haas expects to get the information she came for and save her dad from the Mexican mafia. Worried about her dad, struggling at her job, and scared of failing again, she adds to her problems by lusting after the most dangerous biker in the MC. One biker, one hothead, one wonderful gift Torque unknowingly gives her could destroy everything she's trying to protect.

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Can't get enough of Bantorus MC? Each book in the series features a new couple with their own happily ever after.

#1 – Breathing His Air
#2 – Aching To Exhale
#3 – Soothing His Madness
#4 – Grasping For Freedom

Bonus: Laying Down His Colors in the the Anthology titled, Melt My Heart

About the Author:
Top Selling Romance Author, Debra Kayn, lives with her family at the foot of the Bitterroot Mountains in beautiful Idaho. She enjoys riding motorcycles, playing tennis, fishing, and creating chaos for the men in the garage.

Her love of family ties and laughter makes her a natural to write heartwarming contemporary stories to the delight of her readers. Oh, let's cut to the chase. She loves to write about REAL MEN and the WOMEN who love them.

When Debra was nineteen years old, a man kissed her without introducing himself. When they finally came up for air, the first words out of his mouth were…will you have my babies? Considering Debra's weakness for a sexy, badass man, who is strong enough to survive her attitude, she said yes. A quick wedding at the House of Amour and four babies later, she's living her own unbelievable romance book.

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About the guest reviewer:
Kimberly Field is a Midwest girl transplanted to the Golden State. She is an avid reader with a great respect for authors and loves to share her favorites with others. She believes books are a vital part of life and should be treasured and loved. She often wants to climb inside the book and join the story. She crushes on Alpha Heroes and would swoon if they came to life!

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wedding Cake and Big Mistakes - Review

Review by Darcey Pickett

The town of Adams Grove is rocked by a murder and the prime suspect will put a strain on Connor and Carolanne.  The element of suspense is quite refreshing.  With that said I won’t spoil the story, you will have to read it to find out “who done it.”

Carolanne Baxter is a tough cookie.  She is a skeptic when it comes to love.  She watched her father be destroyed by grief.  As a partner in a law firm she is very busy and her life is about to take a turn.

Connor Buckham is a typical southern gentleman, he is sweet and kind.  He has a special place in his heart for Ben, Carolanne’s father.

Connor and Carolanne share a law practice, an apartment building and if Connor has his way, they will share a life together too.  Can Connor help Carolanne see past the hurt in her life and learn to love him?

This was a cute story that had me smiling.  I was comfortable reading this story as a stand-alone even though it is part of a series.  The style in which Ms. Naigle writes has given me a sweet taste and drive to explore the other books in the series.  I enjoyed that the characters seemed real and were relatable.  They make mistakes and love in such a way that you want to be part of this town.  I recommend you travel to this lovely town and all those that live there.

About the Author:
Nancy Naigle writes love stories from the crossroad of small town and suspense. After spending most of her life on the Virginia coast, seven years ago Nancy and her husband left Tidewater for greener pastures a little further inland in Southampton County. They now live on a 76 acre goat farm where Nancy juggles a career as an SVP with a major financial institution with her love for writing. She spends every spare moment working on her next book in hope that her readers will find a little life balance in the pages of her stories, and fall in love with the characters and towns as much as she has.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Not Quite Mine - Review

Review by Darcey Pickett

The secrets we keep…

This is a story of love, devotion, hope and a happily ever after.

Katelyn has been the party girl, the daughter of a hotel mogul and lived her life on the covers of all the tabloid magazines.  But as with many women there comes a time when a life altering event changes the course of her life.  Katelyn’s life comes to a crossroads after her brother’s wedding and the chosen path was a pleasant and what seemed to be welcome change for her.

Dean is Jack’s (Katelyn’s brother) best friend and one of Katelyn’s many secrets.  He is a man of integrity and has a sweet side to him.  His love for Katelyn is so deep that it threatens every relationship he has.

Not Quite Mine is such a smooth read that you can’t tell that it is part of a series.  Ms. Bybee has a way of taking the reader on an adventure of love, secrets and sweet “little” surprises.

This book grabbed me from the start.  I was excited to see the transformation in Katelyn and was cheering Dean on throughout the story.  Yes, this is the second book in the series, but I felt engaged and didn’t feel like I had to have read the first book.  However Ms. Bybee has sucked me in and now I need to read the first and third books!!!

About the Author:
Just a little blurb about me. First and always, I'm a wife and a mother. Second, I'm a writer... anything and everything romance. If it doesn't have a happily ever after, I'm not interested. Let's face it. Life is full of... well... life. Having spent over a decade of my life working as a RN in urban Emergency Rooms, I want to escape when I pick up a book. And I now create those worlds for you to escape into.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Chocolate For Two - Review

Review by Darcey Pickett

It takes some level of compromise to reach your stars.
Finally Waverly is going to marry the man of her dreams, Jake, but not without some bumps in the road.

Waverly is newly engaged and busy planning the happiest day of her life.  Jake’s parents seem to be throwing road blocks her way.  Jake’s mother doesn’t approve and swipes the wedding plans right out of Waverly’s grasp.

With a little conversation and a lot of compromise, Waverly is able to have the day of her dreams without sacrificing who she is and what she wants.

Chocolate for Two is a fun journey with well-rounded characters.  Ms. Murnane’s style of writing is engaging and her likeable characters make you want to keep turning the pages.  I know this is one book in the series, but I was able to follow the story line without issue.  This book would be a sweet treat for anyone looking for a stand-alone or even a new series.

About the Author:
Maria Murnane abandoned a successful career in public relations to pursue a more fulfilling life as a novelist and speaker. Since then she has written four best-selling Waverly Bryson novels: Perfect on Paper (2010), It's a Waverly Life (2011), Honey on Your Mind (2012), and Chocolate for Two (2013). Cassidy Lane, her first non-Waverly Bryson book, will be released in March 2014.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Storm in a B Cup - Excerpt & Giveaway

 “It’s my funeral. If I want you to play Bon Jovi as they wheel my body away to be cremated you’ll do it.”

The horrified look on Brendan's face says he'll do anything but. “People will laugh.”

“I want them to. I want a funeral where everyone stands around and remembers the funny things I did, and then they get really pissed."

Sophie Molloy has Breast Cancer. She didn’t think it was cancer to begin with, she thought it was another cyst. She also didn’t think it would be the catalyst for a series of life changing events, none of which involved chemotherapy. Within months of her diagnosis, Sophie loses not only her right breast but her boyfriend of three years, her house and her best friend. Her life spirals from great to bad, then ugly. Nothing can make it better, not even the crazy care packages her mother keeps sending from Melbourne.

To make matters worse, Sophie fears she’s developing a crush on the plastic surgeon that will be reconstructing her breast. Dr. Hanson has the bedside manner of an angel and the looks to match. He’s so caring and compassionate, Sophie begins to believe he cares about her in a most non-doctor-patient kind of way. But he doesn’t, of course. He’s merely her doctor. Or does he?

A fictional tale, based on the author's medical journey with the disease, Storm in a B Cup is a warm-hearted glimpse into the world of a Breast Cancer sufferer that will have you laughing out loud. 

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Storm in a B Cup - EXCERPT
 About an hour later, Brendan arrives home late from squash to find me surfing the net on the new TV. Having located the last stash of chocolates — which I’d hidden so well even I couldn’t find them in the first search — I’ve demolished the lot, washing them down with a bottle of red. I’m feeling a little bit tipsy. Or it could be a sugar rush.
Raising his eyebrows at the coffee table, which is littered with wrappers and bearing a couple of wine rings, Brendan screws the papers into a tight ball and takes them and the empty bottle to the kitchen. He returns with a sponge, which he uses to wipe the table before returning it to its plastic bowl under the kitchen sink.
“Are you drunk?” he asks, returning to the room.
“Possibly.”
“Is that wise?”
“Probably not. I’ll have a massive hangover in the morning.”
“That’s not what I meant.”
“I realise that.”
I glare at him. Since the first traumatic days of my diagnosis, Brendan appears to have returned to his old self. Yes, he’s sporting a lot of new ties and at odd moments, I catch him studying me with a sad look on his face, but I think he’s trying to support me as best he can by acting as normally as he can. Which would of course, include chastising me for drinking too much and making a mess on his coffee table.
He walks around the sofa and flops down beside me. His body is clammy from his game of squash and his hair is standing in jagged spikes on top of his head. Somehow, he still manages to look devastatingly handsome.
“What’s this?” Brendan picks up my To Do list.
“A few things I need to sort out.” I try to snatch the list away but he holds it at arm’s length and begins to read.
“You’re planning your funeral? Jesus, Sophie!”
“You don’t think I’d let you be in charge do you?”
With the piece of paper in his hand, Brendan gets up and heads for the fridge. He pulls out a bottle of water and drinks half before wiping his mouth on the back of his hand. He slings an arm over the open door. “Why are you planning your funeral?”
“In case I die on the operating table.”
“You’re not going to die on the operating table.” Shaking his head, he finishes his water and takes a three point shot at the recycling bin.
“I know, but in case I do, I’ve left you a list of requests.”
Brendan comes back to the sofa and picks up a second piece of paper from beside me. It has a heading entitled ‘Sophie’s Funeral’ and a page-long dot-pointed set of ideas. His eyes scan the page and he shakes his head again.
“I’m not playing Bon Jovi at your funeral, Soph.”
“It’s my funeral. If I want you to play Have A Nice Day as they wheel my body away to be cremated, you’ll do it.”
“But it’s a rock song.”
“I know. I want people to be happy. That song makes me happy. Speaking of which, I want U2 as well. Walk On.  And P!nk, Bad Influence while you do the photo montage.”
“People will laugh.”
“I want them to. People shouldn’t cry because I’m gone. They should have a wake where everyone stands around and remembers the funny things I did and then they get really pissed. I do not want crying and I definitely don’t want you to sprinkle my remains in some tacky rose garden somewhere.”
“Where will I put you then?”
“In an urn on the mantel. Then I can heckle you when you put the moves on a new woman.”
He looks horrified.
“Joke.”
He takes another look at the list. “They can’t sew your boob back on after you die.”
“Why? It's no good to anybody but me. The surgeon’s going to sew me up anyway, so I don’t see the difference.  It doesn’t have to be neat sewing. It just needs to be there so I’m complete and look nice in my death outfit.”
“Maybe you should discuss that with the doctor next Thursday.”
I snatch the pieces of paper from him. “All right. I will. I might get a sensible answer from her.”
“Hmm.”
I put the list aside and glancing at my watch, I pick up the phone. I scrawl another item while I wait.
Eyebrows.
“Hello? Anna? This is Sophie Molloy. I was wondering if you could fit me in for a full body wax, mani-pedi and an eyebrow wax and tint before next Thursday?”
Brendan’s mouth has hit the carpet. “You’re going to hospital, not the Oscars,” he hisses.
“Shhh!" I hold my hand up and turn away so I can't see him making faces at me. "One o’clock will be great. Thanks Anna. Yeah, see you then.” I hang up the phone and calmly scratch an item off the list.
“Sophie.”
The only thing I need now is luggage. I really need luggage.
“Sophie!” Brendan snatches the remote from me and turns the TV off. I can see he’s getting annoyed, so I try to give him my attention.
“Yes?”
“How much have you spent? So far?”
I do a quick tally. “Roughly eight hundred.”
“You do understand that’s two plane tickets to Melbourne?”
“Says the man who spent a small fortune on technology the other day.”
He gives me the look.
“I’m going to hospital. I need to look my best. People are going to see me naked.”
“I’m pretty sure they’ve seen naked people before. They won’t care if your toes aren’t buffed."
"I know, but I will. If I’m going to be unconscious in an operating theatre with a bunch of people I don’t know, I won’t be giving them any excuse to talk about me, except to say how pretty my hair is.”
My lip starts to wobble when I hear how incredibly shallow I sound and I collapse into Brendan’s arms. Sobbing.
“It’s okay. I understand. You can’t control the cancer, so you’re trying to control everything else in your life. You don’t like not being in control.”
“Are you saying I’m a control freak?”
He pauses for a minute, knowing that his sex life hangs in the balance here. If he says the wrong thing, I could cut him off. For a very long time.
“I’m saying you like to be organised and this has thrown you for a loop. You can’t orchestrate this part of your life. You have to let the professionals do their job.”
I understand what he’s saying and he’s perfectly right. I am an organiser. But I like things to be a certain way. That’s me. I reach up and peck his cheek. I feel so much better now I know I’m not having some sort of pre-op breakdown.
“Brendan?”
“Yeah?”
“If you don’t play Bon Jovi at my funeral, I’ll come back and haunt you while you’re having sex.”
“That sounds kinky.”
“Don’t bet on it.”
  
About the Author:
Lindy lives on acreage in country Western Australia where she spends her days teaching, writing, walking and looking after orphan lambs. (See Daisy Darling)
She’s a hopeless U2 and Bon Jovi fan - as judged by her collection of tour t-shirts. She’s also rugby union fanatic, coffee and champagne lover, chocoholic, over-exaggerator, trashy TV, music and iPhone addict.
Lindy has been writing in the genre of Chick Lit & Women's Fiction for the past ten years but has also tried her hand at a paranormal romance in the book, Angel’s Bend. Chick Lit remains her main love.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Down and Out in Bugtussle - Review

Review by K.T Sullivan

Ace Jones has returned to her hometown to move into her late grandmother’s house. The only job available is to be a substitute teacher at the local high school. She was the art teacher, but was fired. She meets up with her old friends and joins the drama of their lives. One is pregnant and hasn't told her police officer boyfriend yet. The other’s boyfriend is headed back overseas for another tour of duty. They decide Ace needs a guy of her own. She’s already picked one out, but can’t seem to catch his eye. Ace makes friends with her fellow substitute, Stacey, and both make the best of their situations. Ace decides to refurbish her grandmother’s lovely garden. She seeks out some of her garden club friends and finds an old journal. Grandma kept meticulous notes about her plantings and her secret boyfriend. Now, Ace is on a mission to find the mystery man and bag one of her own. Will she be able to squeeze into a dress and survive a friend’s makeover in time?

This book travels behind the scenes to the teachers’ lounge. The infighting and bad blood between some, the flirting and hook ups between others. They drink, party, and hope they don’t get caught, just like their students. They are all very human. Ace is a delightful character: loves her dog, content with her body shape, and offering a helping hand to all in need. And grandma’s beau is adorable.  

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About the Author:
Stephanie McAfee is a former high school Spanish teacher from Mississippi who now lives in Colorado with her husband, son, and chiweenie.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Queen's Dwarf - Review & Giveaway

Review by K.T Sullivan
     
Jeffrey Hudson’s father has decided to sell him to a duke for desperately needed money. Born a dwarf, Jeffrey will make a welcome addition to Queen Henrietta Maria’s "Royal Menagerie of Freaks and Curiosities of Nature." She collects people deemed too odd to fit into society. His owner, Buckingham, will present him as a gift to the Queen, but he will also be a spy in the royal court. Buckingham is a trusted advisor to King Charles I. The French Catholic Queen is despised by the English Anglican Duke. He makes her life miserable by having her husband banish those loyal to her and replaces them with his people. She turns to Jeffrey as a confidant. He does betray some of her secrets to Buckingham. Others he holds safe in his heart as he begins to fall in love with her. Palace intrigue and double crosses claim innocent lives and change all. Will Jeffrey sacrifice one he holds dear for another love?

This work of historical fiction is based on fact and reminds me of an old Errol Flynn movie. The opulence of the court and the indifference to the masses force the hand of the villain. He settles close to the powers that be and tells them what they want to hear, instead of the truth. Spreading rumors and gossip is how the court operates. Henrietta confides in and relies on Jeffrey because he does care about her. No one views him as a threat or expects him to thwart a plot against her. He is an imperfect hero.

Both Jeffrey and Henrietta are sympathetic characters, forced into a situation they did not choose. Both find joy and happiness in each other’s company. Not a conventional love story, but one of devotion to duty and service. Highly recommended.

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About the Author:
When Ella March Chase was in third grade, she informed her teacher she didn't need to learn multiplication tables because she was going to be a famous writer when she grew up.  At twenty-five, she combined her passion for researching  history and spinning stories.  Her daughter Kate claims that when she was growing up even the family dogs were discovered while researching King Charles II--  Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Though Ella now shares her home with a rescue Shetland Sheepdog named Oliver Twist, she never lost her fascination the intrigue of royal court-- be it during the reign of the Tudors or, most recently, the Stuarts.

She travelled to England where she fell under the spell of the Tower of London—the infamous Traitor’s Gate, the chapel where beheaded queens lay buried, the story of the two princes allegedly murdered by Richard III.  Ella began unearthing the obscure historical details that make larger than life figures painfully human.  From that fascination, the concepts for The Queen's Dwarf, The Virgin Queen's Daughter and Three Maids for a Crown emerged.

When Ella is not writing books, haunting the local libraries or burying herself in stacks of research books, she spends her time making up stories about pirates and dragons to delight her grandsons, growing fresh herbs to use in her legendary 'magic' soup, knitting all the bright colored yarn she can lay her hands on, having tea with her family and friends and playing folk ballads on her guitar because people who love her are too polite to beg her to stop.


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Monday, February 17, 2014

Hearts at Play - Review

Hearts at Play 
The Bradens, Book Six

Brianna Heart has a six-year old daughter and a twelve-year plan to keep her life as simple as possible until Layla turns eighteen. That means swearing off relationships and the drama that goes along with them, working two jobs, and being the best damn mother she can be. 

The last thing Capital Series Gran Prix racer Hugh Braden wants after dating media-hungry leggy models and money-hungry fan girls is a blind date. But how could he turn down a favor to one of his best friends? Hugh expected the date to go poorly, but he didn’t expect to be intensely attracted to the beautiful brown-eyed bartender who completely blows him off—and steals his every thought thereafter. 

When Brianna’s perfectly orchestrated life turns upside down, Hugh is there to help, softening the turmoil, and maybe even rescuing her heart from the lonely place where it has been hiding. Can a man who doesn’t believe in fate and a woman who doesn’t believe in true love find happiness in each other’s arms forever? 

Hearts at Play is the ninth book in the Love in Bloom series.  Click on the links below to check out the first book in the series, Sisters in Love:
Amazon * B&N * Kobo

Review by Marlene Engel
Hugh Braden is used to living life in the fast lane.  A handsome, well-known grand prix driver, Hugh’s used to having gorgeous women chase after him.  What he doesn’t expect is for the tables to turn and for him to do the chasing.  While out on a blind date, a date that he didn’t want to go on in the first place, a beautiful bartender catches his eye.  However, she seems to be going out of her way to avoid him. 

Brianna Heart is a single mom to six year old, Layla.  Determined to be the best mom she can be, Brianna vows not to get involved with anyone until Layla turns eighteen.  With the memories of her father leaving when she was a little girl, Brianna is steadfast on making Layla’s childhood a happy one … even if that means sacrificing her happiness to achieve it.  But when Hugh continues showing up at Old Town Tavern, he makes it hard for her to avoid him and keep to her original plan.  Will Brianna realize that she can find love with another without sacrificing her daughter’s happiness?  And will Hugh slow down long enough to see if Brianna is the one worth racing to the finish line for?

Hearts at Play is the ninth book in the Love in Bloom series.  What makes this book stand out from the others in the series is that the heroine is a single mother.  I like how the author portrayed her as a caring, strong, hard-working woman, but at the same time showing that she’s human and has her insecurities too.  I also loved Hugh’s character.  Who wouldn’t love a hot racecar driver who is just as compassionate as he is sexy?  Another amazing, must read book by Melissa Foster!  

About the Author:
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women's fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary CafĂ©. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. 
Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on The Women's NestFostering Success, or World Lit Cafe. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

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