I am pleased to announce that the following two are the winners:
Your copies will be sent out soon!
Thank you all for entering the giveaway!
Well THAT was a mad dash at the end as the numbers doubled in the last few hours, taking me from 360 entrants to 601 (alright, not quite doubled, close enough for jazz).
I am pleased to announce that the following two are the winners:
Your copies will be sent out soon!
Thank you all for entering the giveaway!
Yes, it's true. I'm hosting a Goodreads Giveaway for paper copies of my newly re-released (new cover, a few tweaks) romance novella The Coach House.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY to enter. Just have a Goodreads account. And share the news (or not, if you want to up your odds of winning.
About The Coach House: Carys Brenner was living a peaceful but unexciting existence with her fiancé Steve when she started to dream about a dark and mysterious stranger making love to her. The dreams were in fact more real than she could have imagined.
The vampire Daniil, assigned to guard the humans on Cary’s side of the time portal from cannibalistic Phages, had finally decided to see the woman who lived on the other side. He is overcome at first with lust, later with love, for Carys.
Daniil discovers one evening that Carys’s ex-fiancé was in fact one of the very creatures he was hunting. Daniil knew he would have to kill the Phage and seal the portal over to protect the humans from Carys’s time. He could never see Carys again.
But he would have to save her first.
Available in digital and print formats. Novella length (16K).
Excerpt Unless there was some Tall Dark and Handsome silently breaking into women’s homes, making thoughtful and passionate love to them then quickly disappearing, Carys had been having an erotic dream. And from a purely analytic perspective, Carys knew that some unidentified and sexually sophisticated man could not possibly have seduced her twice that night in her sleep as she lay next to her snoring but otherwise comatose fiancé. Nonetheless she rose from the bed to take a shower in the wee hours, scanning her nude body carefully in the full-length mirror behind the bathroom door but finding no love bites or any other incriminating evidence. Obviously she had been dreaming. She slipped carefully back into bed with heavily snoring Steve, whom she had not seen naked (not that either complained) in five years. It certainly hadn’t been Steve. No, this had been a very real and delicious dream.
Then yesterday it all changed. She had found a note placed on her laptop which read:
Tonight, after midnight. Same place. D
The script was neatly written in a cursive style she had never seen before. D. For demon? There was nothing demonic about the visit. D for desire. That was certainly true. D for delicious. Yes. D for decadent. Oh yes. She and the man hadn’t spoken much, and it certainly hadn’t occurred to Carys to ask his name. It had been only a dream, after all. In fact, it wasn’t until she climaxed that she questioned whether it had been a dream. The few times she ever had erotic dreams she always woke before orgasm. This time she hadn’t. And then after a few minutes rest they had started again, going for round two. That certainly had never happened to her in her life, awake or asleep.
Then the man disappeared or perhaps Carys simply had fallen asleep, exhausted but exhilarated. She hadn’t heard the door or window or however he entered and left the room. When she woke later in the night the beautiful stranger was definitely gone. No one but her cat Minion curled up and purring into the groove of her naked hip, a lumbering Steve snorting away like a sated boar. A dream, she decided, giving herself a bit of a shake. A dream of course. It would be nice, but doubtful. And yet, it all seemed too real, Carys thought, remembering that night so clearly.
All Romance Ebooks | For sale from my site directly | Amazon
Enter the Goodreads Giveaway to win a paperback copy of THE COACH HOUSE. No purchase necessary (but don't let that stop you from getting a digital copy).
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Portrait of a Dead Guy by Larissa Reinhart
Protector by Joanne Wadsworth
Destiny's Awakening by Lori Corsentino
Lowcountry Boil by Susan M. Boyer
Khantara by Michelle Franklin
Last Diner Standing by Terri L Austin
High Gravity by Maria Hammerblad
Front Page Fatality by LynDee Walker
The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club by Duncan Whitehead
Double Whammy by Gretchen Archer
Release Me by Julie Kenner
Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed
And yes, there are more. These are the ones sitting on my desk today. The rest are upstairs!
Yes sports fans, I'm offline. It happens. Can one really turn off social media for a fortnight?
Happy New Year.
For those of you anxious folks wondering if your reviews etc slated to be published between now and January 7, 2013... don't fret, there is a "system" in place and your podcasts, posts, reviews, excerpt, articles will be posted, blasted, sent, announced and otherwise shared.
For my fellow Canucks: Keep warm.
Blythe Townsend is a belle who is in desperate need of having her chimes rung. But the man she is dating would have to get his head out of his briefs - his legal briefs - long enough to notice. She is a frustrated romantic obsessed with Turner Classic Movies. She lives in the French Quarter with her dog, Lady Marmalade, and is determined not to go sour on love even though she has dated every nutcase along the Mississippi Delta. Now, she is trying her best to make it work with her deadly dull boyfriend. Blythe accepts him - boring business dinners and all. There's always steak, but never any sizzle. There's only so much a libido can take; and when she repeatedly spots a man around town she christens Tall, Dark and Eye Candy, she starts to feel what she's been missing. So, what's stopping her from tasting something a little... sweeter? She refuses to be hurt again, and this sexy New Orleans guy has all of the trappings to do just that. Blythe will have to find her inner big-shouldered broad to deal with the craziness in her life; and she has a group of hilarious, mouthy women helping her sort through the crazy. Their story is a sultry dance to Delta blues and soulful jazz that drifts the reader into the romance of New Orleans. So, sit down at the kitchen table and pour yourself a drink - we're gonna pass the hot stuff.
5 out of 5 Stars
Really, could I love this book more? Yes, I could. Only if it were non-fiction and the real Blake and Jonah were running around waiting to be found by yours truly. This novel appeals to all the senses. It's colourful, delicious, looks and smells great.
Ms Page has purposefully (and successfully) made a point of creating New Orleans as a character in this rich and delightful romance. If you do not want to visit after reading this book, I would be very surprised.
As an addition to that, it's nice to see the heroine enjoy a meal or two.
Blythe Townsend is a complex character, as multifaceted as New Orleans. But currently she's confused: nice (or so she thinks) and safe boyfriend or the dashing and delicious Blake whom she randomly encounters on planes, in restaurants, on sidewalks. Tall, Dark, and Eye Candy he is. But a successful lawyer too who adores our plucky heroine from the beginning. Theirs, thankfully, is not a relationship based on instant hate which grows to fiery lust. And how fun to have the woman initiate the first scorching kiss. Drat, did I spoil that? Don't worry, you'll be surprised.
Blythe's head-shaking relationship with Mr Cold Fish (my name, not his) Robert, well, what was she thinking? Who, reading this book, cannot wonder why Blythe doesn't dump Dull and Tedious Sexless Lawyer Guy for TD&EC? But somehow we have all been there: a bad relationship. Not terrible enough to leave, not wonderful enough to stay. What to do? What to do?
The secondary characters are a treat and I hope sincerely there is a book forthcoming about Tricia and Jonah (don't worry, you'll love them). Blythe's wonderful mother, her control-freak father who continually berates Blythe for being single and why doesn't she marry Robert? (Entre nous, if your insane control-freak father approves of your boyfriend, RUN). The story is simple enough. Girl meets Boy. Girl meets Boy again. Girl and Boy bump into each other at some office function (does this sound a bit like Four Weddings? Perhaps, but it's not a knock-off!). New Orleans seems a small town in this book, filled with fabulous restaurants and gorgeous men. I've booked my ticket.
Larger-than-life secondary characters. Delicious food. Desserts to die for. Music. There is music. Such a treat to receive a fantastic shuffle list in this novel. iTunes brace yourself. Colours. Guy: Evil and Good. Food. Impulsive kisses. Great shoes.
And dogs. Really cute dogs.
This novel leaves you feeling great. Makes you re-evaluate your relationship (is there a Blake ... or Jonah out there for ME?). Don't settle for Robert, ladies. Get out, buy this book. Spice up your life. Learn to say Yes. Sometimes when it seems too good to be true, it IS true.
She found her seat, naturally it was in the middle, and she stopped to try to put her carry-on bag in the overhead compartment. She stumbled back a little, hitting the man across the aisle in the head with her butt. “Oh, I’m so sorry.”
“No problem,” he said. “I can think of worse ways of getting knocked out.” Blythe looked startled, and he laughed. “Here, let me help you.”
“Thank you,” she said, and looked at him for the first time. He looked familiar. He was very good looking and had the darkest, bedroom eyes she had ever seen. She felt even more flustered now. “Sorry again…for hitting you.”
He smiled in response. “It was a pleasure,” he teased.
Blythe’s face turned red; she couldn’t remember the last time she had blushed. He started to say something else to her but had to get out of the way of the crowd rushing towards their seats like it was general admission.
Blythe buckled her seatbelt, closed her eyes and tried to go to sleep before takeoff. She was exhausted. Just as she was beginning to doze, the flight attendant, trying to
shove a ridiculously large bag into the overhead compartment, startled her awake from her half sleep. She looked over to see what the racket was and noticed the same guy looking at her again. She gave him a slight, little smile of acknowledgement and shut her
eyes once more. She wondered if he was staring with approval or disapproval. Was her mascara smeared? That would have been disapproval. Was her blouse unbuttoned? From a man, approval. He was probably just stunned from having been hit by her big butt, she thought.
When he wasn’t looking, she craned her head around the people separating them to get a better look at him. He had very dark hair, the darkest brown, almost black and an olive complexion with strong features. He opened his eyes and looked over at her. Oh, did he see me?
She tried to sleep again but couldn’t. How did she know him? She couldn’t place him, and that’s not a face she would easily forget. She glanced at him again.
He stood up and was trying to step into the aisle just in time to have the food cart come rattling through. He was going to say something to her, but it was either get back in his seat or end up road kill from a food cart.
At that point, he threw courtesy to the wind as he tried to lean around the people between them and strike up a conversation. But a flight attendant saw this opportunity to drape herself over the seat and introduce herself to him. Blythe laughed. She couldn’t hear his muffled responses, but she could hear the singsong, twittering cadence of the flight attendant. “What’s your name?” “What do you do?” “Why are you going to Memphis?” Tee hee, tee hee.
After the flight attendant left, he attempted one more time to stand and approach her, but the pilot asked them all to remain seated. Blythe smiled to herself. She had enjoyed this weird little flirtation. It gave her a rush through the middle of her stomach. She hadn’t felt particularly attractive lately. In fact, she couldn’t imagine a guy as attractive as that one even looking at her. It was times like this that made her realize just how insecure she had become
About Dana Page
Dana Page was raised in Memphis, Tennessee. Born just down the road from Memphis in Helena, Arkansas, she considers the Mississippi River Delta her own personal inspiration. Having earned a degree in journalism from Texas A&M University, she has utilized her writing skills in varied areas - small-town politics, human interest stories and writing an entertainment column, to name a few. To support her writing habit, she has worked an odd job or two. Don't ask her about delivering singing telegrams; some things are best forgotten. Pass the Hot Stuff is Dana’s debut novel.
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CreateSpace (paperback) / Amazon (Kindle and paperback)
Want to read more?
Interview with Dana Page
Dana Page's guest blog on Evolvedworld: Heart and Soul
About Under His Skin by Sidney Bristol
Available as ebook or paperback from Ellora's Cave as first in their new imprint "Pricked".
Toe-curling kisses and enough sex to fill a weekend were all Pandora wanted from a fling with her teenage crush. She’s never forgotten how he played the knight in shining armor to her damsel in distress. She’s ready to say thank you in several naughty ways, so long as she can walk away when it’s over with her heart intact.
Brian has no intention of allowing the feisty tattoo artist to leave after one taste. He hasn’t had enough of her inked curves. The packaging might have changed, but Pandy is the woman he hasn’t been able to excise from his memory. He’s ready to put together a new life, one that includes her.
But Brian isn’t the only one vying for Pandora’s attention. Someone else wants her, dead or alive.
(Read an Excerpt) (View the Book Trailer)
4 out of 5 stars
I loved this book. And sometimes for me, the hallmark of a good ending is when I read through it so quickly that I have to flip back a few pages once in a while to see what I missed. Not that I'm going to put a spoiler here, but the ending is very, very (and I rarely say "very very") exciting and is full of heroic goodness and tension. I found I whipped through just to find out how it was going to end, then had to reread to savour.
The beginning, on the other hand, is something I lingered over. Why? Because it's chock full of steamy goodness and frankly when it comes to romance, I am not a pleasure deferrer. I like steam right away. To be fair, the entire book is filled with steam. I mentioned the beginning and the end more for parallel structure, to appease my former English teacher, than anything.
Now here's the story What we have here are two members of the Walking Wounded. Both protagonists, tattoo artist Pandora and musician Brian, are wounded people. But they are not pathetic. They are simply wounded. And one cannot help but feel extreme sympathy for the catastrophes in their lives, but they are not shriveling the contemptible characters. Each struggles and each triumphs. They don't triumph in a perfect TV situation comedy triumph. They triumph insofar as they work through their troubles, physical and emotional, while we, the reader, cheer them on.
Pandora is a tattoo artist who has struggled with a terrible and cold family background to move into a physically and emotionally abusive relationship, who frees herself from this relationship to move forward and realize her dream to be a tattoo artist. Brian is a former musician who has survived a tragedy which killed his bandmates and left him physically and emotionally scarred on many levels. The two had met previously, some 10 years before the story begins, both leaving on each other an impression on each other for extremely different reasons.
Fast-forward 10 years and they reunite at a tattoo competition. Pandora is competing, Brian is the person on whom she freehands a commemorative tattoo in honour of his lost bandmates. Their subsequent meeting is passionate but is riddled with self-doubt. Mercifully, the self-doubt is pushed aside for Ms. Bristol's deft handling of some really delicious sex.
The story is supported by well-drawn and colourful secondary characters, and a particularly adorable dog. The secondary characters: Pandora's friends and coworkers in particular, make this read a rich and real experience. The entirely despicable antagonist Robert is--frankly--painfully and realistically depicted. A word of warning to those sensitive to violence: Robert is viciously psychotic.
Each chapter begins with a brief epigram explaining the various tools and procedures involved in tattooing. As a structural feature, this works admirably. My personal favorite is the epigram for Chapter 13: Tattoo Removal: Fucking painful.
This book is first in Ellora's Cave's new imprint, Pricked, for tattoo-themed romances. If this is representative of the line, then we are in for a treat.
I look for to Ms. Bristol's next book.
About Sidney Bristol
It can never be said that Sidney Bristol has had a “normal” life. She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor home on the U.S. highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas, where she divides her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.
4 out of 5 Stars
I enjoyed this sweet, even-paced medieval romance novella. As part of the Ellora’s Cave Blush imprint, there are some sexually charged scenes, but they are more sensual then sexual and are delicately expressed.
Within a very short space of time, this 60 page strong novella handily conveys a medieval romance. It does not overextend itself. Sir Robert, from the very beginning, is a complex and likable character, and his blond good looks don't hurt either. The beauteous Lady Emma, a bit of a mystery in the beginning, is gracious and generous to her people and to knights who, like Sir Robert, perhaps need a bit of tutoring in the knightly and chivalric arts.
Their romance is sweet, perhaps a bit coy at times, but is believable and charming. It is what I look for in a quick read when I have a hankering for a historical romance. Ms. Townsend clearly knows her medieval time well. In such a short piece this is a difficult thing to do. Many authors err on the side of too much detail, and Ms. Townsend avoids this pit.
Sir Robert, as a younger and despised son, and does his best to make his way in a world. Well he is clearly a successful warrior; he has deficient in the courtly arts. Lady Emma, a widow, acts as a medieval Svengali: she takes the coarse knights and improves their manners, their education, and in general, prepares them for more civilized society.
Sir Robet is sent to Lady Emma by way of a fellow knight, Sir Stephen, who feels his sending Sir Robert to meet Lady Emma would be more than adequate thanks for his aid during the battles. Lady Emma, aware of Sir Robert’s arrival, tests the knight's mettle by way of “chance” meetings with her peasants. Sir Robert proves himself admirably, despite his gruff, matter-of-fact manner which Lady Emma seeks to soften.
Lady Emma and Sir Robert experienced the usual clashes one expects in a romance and yet it is clear from the beginning that there physical attraction is strong. There are some sexual scenes in the book, but they are more sensuous and worshiping then graphic. Truly, courtly love making.
This novella is best for those who like a slow and sweet pace to their Knight Errant love stories.
About The Amorous Chatelaine by Lindsay Townsend
A medieval historical novella released August 30 at Ellora’s cave. This is a suggestive romance (love scenes are not graphic).
Emma de Barri is the generous chatelaine of a large estate, where she schools young, green knights in the matters of courtly dress and deportment. As a widow, she is often the object of desire but never has a knight tempted her away from the memory of her late husband.
Sir Robert is neither young nor green. He is hardened by battle and tempered by the vagaries of life. He is also rough and unrefined—completely lacking in manners, sophistication or any of the qualities Lady de Barri values. But his arms are strong, his face is handsome and his heart is as bright and gold as the sun at noon. A heart he gives unreservedly to Lady de Barri.
As Emma teaches Sir Robert how to read and dress, how to be gentle and composed, he teaches his sweet chatelaine how to live and love again.
About the Author
Lindsay Townsend is a multi-published historical romance and romantic suspense author living in England. She loves writing about the ancient and medieval worlds, and when not writing she enjoys reading, listening to music, walking in the countryside and spending time with her husband.
4.5 out of 5 stars
I shall start by saying I thoroughly enjoyed Perfect is Overrated by Karen Bergreen (“comedian, author, stressed-out mom”).
The writing was intelligent, laugh-out-loud funny, and tragic in parts, the murder mystery keeps you guessing. Perfect is Overrated offered something for everyone, which can be a very dangerous venture. Thankfully, with very few bumps in the road, lawyer-cum-comedian-cum-author Ms. Bergreen pulls this off handily. So rather than start this review with a synopsis of narrative, I would like to begin by saying that this book is artfully written and is a very satisfying read. Observations are biting, and other times poignant, always intelligent, and occasionally just downright delightful. Characters range from realistic to archetypical. And that's okay. This book is more than the sum of its parts. Anyone who was expecting a straightforward narrative should read another book.
Okay, now here's the story We have Kate, lawyer, mother, struggling alternatively with post-partum depression, divorce, and an insatiable curiosity as to who is murdering society mothers whose children attend the same privileged preschool as Kate's daughter Molly. Among the victims: the judgmental and overly solicitous Beverly Hastings whose four-year-old Bitsy “shows a zeal for gouache”, and the animal-hating Phillipa Von Eck (or "Von Ick" as she is often called) among her collection of authentic samurai swords.
As these mothers are being murdered, each in a different fashion, Kate regains interest in life outside her walls. She begins conducting a slow, sometimes paranoid (although one may also argue Kate is excellent at pattern recognition) investigation of her own, sometimes to disastrous and/or humorous effect. Through this investigation the genesis of her depression and subsequent divorce is woven.
We have a delicious distraction named Steve. If nothing else, this micro-fluid studying doctoral candidate currently teaching preschool science at the hallowed halls of the exclusive Hawthorne School is an exquisite diversion for Kate who hasn't had a romp in the hay in quite some time and finally indulges, much to the chagrin of Kate’s omnipresent ex-husband, and homicide detective Paul who is investigating aforementioned murders. Maybe Steve’s the killer, maybe he isn't.
We have wonderfully drawn secondary and tertiary characters ranging from snobbish, potentially homicidal society mothers, to former colleagues, to a best friend Miriam who lovingly donates her size 4 “fat clothes” to our poorly shod protagonist.
We have a discourse on infamous criminals, a bit of astronomy, and some trivia about locks, all of which is so believable that I found myself Googling "Hadley locks" the other day and finding everything from a series of locksmiths (both in the US and the UK), to waterways, to some strange website wherein a mother is, bizarrely, selling her daughter's tresses as restoratives. In other words, the many divergences the story takes are utterly credible and so capably written, that you want to believe. I mourn that I have not yet determined if Booker T Podge and his grisly ending is true.
These narratives are inextricably woven: Kate's deeply personal journey; the murders; and an occasional and delightful excursus on the Manhattan Über Mom scene. These weighty narratives slide in and out artfully with the comedy, although there are a few moments where they were more a bug than a feature. The humour, the intelligence, and polished prose more than compensate for these ruptures in narrative suture.
I read this book in the way one eats a delicious meal: on the one hand this meal is so good that you devour as quickly as you might, on the other, you wish to slow down and savour so that the meal does not end. I look forward to Ms. Bergreen’s next book.
Perfect is Overrated can be found as paperback or ebook.
Karen Bergreen’s site can be found here.