Posts Tagged Fiction

NEW Release: AN UNFORTUNATE VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCE by RJ Laws

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Published August 9, 2016

by: RJ Laws

 

Blurb:

Sheila can’t seem to catch a break in life, at least not a permanent one.  Just as soon as things seem to even out for her, the other shoe drops.  Sometimes, you have to make life bend to your will, before it crushes you.

 

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About This Literary Chef:

RJ Laws is a quiet person who recently decided to take the plunge into the literary world.  He resides in the Southeastern area of the US.

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Blog Tour Stop & GIVEAWAY! Obsession by Helen Hardt

 

Book: Obsession (Steel Brothers Saga #2) 

Author: Helen Hardt 

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Release Date: 19th July 

 

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Synopsis:

 

Jade Roberts is in love with Talon Steel but no longer welcome in his home. While she resolves to move on, she still longs for the passion she and Talon shared…and when her boss asks her to dig up information on the Steels, she’s only too happy to comply. Talon and his brothers are hiding something, and Jade is determined find out what it is. 

The moment Talon saw Jade he wanted her, ached for her, craved her…and now his desire has become his obsession. He knows she deserves better than his broken soul, but he can’t stay away from her, and he finally confesses his love. If he and Jade are to have a future, he knows he must make peace with the dark shadows and horrors of his past. 

But as Talon begins his journey of healing, Jade uncovers some startling secrets… 

 

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REVIEW

I thoroughly enjoyed this read!

When it comes to a hook, this author’s a genius!  The story line contains extremely deep content, which acted as an anchor, keeping me glued to the pages.  The characters are believable, the angst palpable, and the sensual scenes are erotic, but tasteful.  The hero is one I kind of hate to love, but it’s inevitable.  With alternating POVs, I found this an intriguing story that packs a dramatic punch!

**There are triggers, for those in need of caution.  

 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

ABOUT THIS LITERARY CHEF:

USA Today Bestselling author Helen Hardt’s passion for the written word began with the books her mother read to her at bedtime. She wrote her first story at age six and hasn’t stopped since. In addition to being an award winning author of contemporary and historical romance and erotica, she’s a mother, a black belt in Taekwondo, a grammar geek, an appreciator of fine red wine, and a lover of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. She writes from her home in Colorado, where she lives with her family. Helen loves to hear from readers.

 

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Blog Tour Stop! Bad For Me by Codi Gary

2


All she has to do is take a chance…


***Novel Contains Mature Content***

Publication Date: April 6, 2015

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

 

Blurb

Callie Jacobsen isn’t about to open her heart to just anyone. Not so very long ago, trusting someone changed her life forever—and not in a fun way. Now she’s better off focusing on her career, her friends, and her dog. So when former Marine Everett Silverton takes an interest in her, Callie’s more than a little wary. No matter how charming he is, men are a bad idea. In fact, she’s got the scars to prove it. But Everett isn’t convinced Callie should shut everyone out—especially not him. He may be a hero to the people of Rock Canyon, but he’s got his own demons, and he bets they’re not that different from Callie’s. Still, he knows it’s going to take more than chemistry to get her to let her guard down. Everett will do whatever it takes to show her she’s safe with him. All she has to do is take a chance, take a step … and take his hand.

 

Review

Catching the series a little late, I was surprised how well the author makes this novel stand on its own.

This is a lovely story involving two emotionally wounded characters, just trying to move forward. The quaint setting, and the author’s exceptional taste in music was a definite plus, but the main story line is quite a treat! Callie was a little hard on Everett at times, as one would expect considering her past, but Everett’s resolve proved him the quintessential hero. Their tale is touching, funny, heartbreaking, and sometimes frustrating, but I loved this couple!

Excellent read!

 

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An obsessive bookworm, Codi Gary likes to write sexy small-town contemporary romances with humor, grand gestures, and blush-worthy moments. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading her favorite authors, squealing over her must-watch shows, and playing with her children. She lives in Idaho with her family.

 

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Author Q&A: The Tempting of Thomas Carrick by Stephani Laurens

RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 24TH

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SYNOPSIS

Thomas Carrick is determined to make his own life in the bustling port city of Glasgow, far from the demands of the Carrick clan, eventually with an appropriate wife on his arm. But disturbing events on his family’s estate force Thomas to return to the Scottish countryside—where he is forced to ask for help from the last woman he wants to face. Thomas has never forgotten Lucilla Cynster and the connection that seethes between them, but to marry Lucilla would mean embracing a life he’s adamant is not for him.

Strong-willed and passionate, Lucilla knows Thomas is hers—her fated lover, husband, protector, mate. He is the only man for her, just as she is his one true love. How can he ignore a bond stronger than reason and choose a different path? She’s determined to fight for their future, and while she cannot command him, she has enticements of her own to wield when it comes to tempting Thomas Carrick.

 

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Q&A

Thomas and Lucilla are both especially strong and stubborn characters, as so many of your heroes and heroines are. Is there a particular reason for this a) in general, and b) in this particular case?

In the general sense, I’ve always used strong characters because the scale and intensity of emotional clashes between such characters is more powerful, has the potential to be more wide-ranging, and is also likely to strike brighter sparks. A strong character doesn’t give way when someone opposes them or gets in the way of their will and drive—they immediately push back, and that refusal to back away is one of the key elements that leads such a pair of characters deeper and deeper into Cupid’s snare as they are forced to adjust and adapt to each other–a critical element of establishing an emotional partnership.
There’s a general assumption that strong and confident characters will have an easier time dealing with love, however, in reality I think it’s the opposite, and such characters find the existence of an emotion strong enough to make them change difficult to accept.
Which brings me rather neatly to Thomas and Lucilla. He is the ultimate strong character with a very powerful, emotional, and deeply personal reason to shut himself off from love. Against that, Lucilla, an equally strong character, is unswervingly convinced that they are fated to love and marry—but she, too, has a few lessons to learn in what love—even a fated love—will demand.
In short, my motivation for using strong characters can be summed up as: the stronger they are, the more they resist and, ultimately, the harder they fall.

 

Is there a heroine you’ve ever written that is most like you?
Not really. I think it’s pretty easy to see the individual traits that are common to all my heroines, and I would never try to write a weak-willed milquetoast heroine, but that’s largely because I have no patience with reading about such women. So my heroines’ personalities are more a reflection of the sort of heroines I like to read about than a reflection of me personally.
Readers first met Thomas Carrick in the Cynster holiday special By Winter’s Light. Did his earlier meeting with Lucilla described in that book affect the pair’s actions in this book?
That earlier meeting in By Winter’s Light sets the stage for Thomas and Lucilla’s romance. Both of them leave that first encounter with the knowledge that the other could be their future spouse. Lucilla is ready to accept that Thomas is her fated future husband, lover, and consort, but Thomas, having experienced a complementary visceral connection to Lucilla, concludes that, as he wishes to avoid love, then she is someone he would be wise to avoid.
So from the instant they part after that first encounter, they are set on opposing tracks—Lucilla expecting and waiting for Thomas to return to her side and claim her hand, and Thomas doing his level best to stay far away.
It’s a standoff, until the actions at the start of The Tempting of Thomas Carrick force—literally force—them together again.

Deerhounds feature in By Winter’s Light and also in The Tempting of Thomas Carrick. Why deerhounds?

I needed a large dog to accompany Thomas through the snowstorm in By Winter’s Light, a dog big enough to physically assist, and also the sort of dog that might have been in such a community—a gentry family in the Scottish uplands of the period. So I went searching for breeds of dogs, and stumbled upon Scottish deerhounds. The more I read about them, the more perfect they seemed, and so Hesta padded onto my stage, and from there, the addition of Artemis and Apollo was an obvious extrapolation.
The dogs are fascinating—a shaggy, curly-coated, quite large breed built for speed and with superb eyesight. They are sight-hounds, and also track on the ground by scent, and as their name suggests, were specifically bred to hunt deer in the rugged terrain.
However, the real impact of the deerhounds, story-wise, doesn’t occur until the next book, A Match for Marcus Cynster, in which the packs we learn about through The Tempting of Thomas Carrick, come into their own and play an active role in Marcus and his lady’s adventures.

Both By Winter’s Light and The Tempting of Thomas Carrick are set in Scotland, in the south western uplands. Were there any particular challenges in using such a setting?

By Winter’s Light and The Tempting of Thomas Carrick are both centered on the Vale of Casphairn, which was a setting first introduced in Scandal’s Bride, the story of Richard and Catriona, Lucilla and Marcus’s parents (more on that below). Thus the settings for the recent books were not a matter of choice, but rather mandated, a necessary return to a previous place.
Such a wild country setting is very useful on the one hand, and a drawback on the other. The rugged beauty and landscape is a plus, while the isolation and the distance from any larger town or place of social congregation severely limits the opportunities for social events, even country house dinners. Consequently, the action in the story remains at all times strongly focused on the interaction between the two principal characters, with little to no distraction from external events. That puts a heavier burden on the romance plot than would be the case in a more urban setting, but that does mean the romance dominates and is always front and center. So there’s positives and negatives in using such a setting, but, overall, such settings definitely have their place when writing romances.

In this book, you also take readers to Glasgow—you paint quite a cosmopolitan picture of the town. How true to life is that depiction?

I admit that my first mental vision of Glasgow was as a heavily industrialized town, centered on shipping on the Clyde. While the importance of shipping on the Clyde was correct, in the mid-1800s, Glasgow was a thriving merchant center with distinct aspirations toward the sophistication, polish, and civilized amenity we might associate with a seaport like Boston. In this period, Glasgow was a major merchant hub, and it was therefore highly prosperous, and the resulting wealth found expression in the houses and squares, the well-appointed offices and genteel clubs and in the evolving social scene.

Readers are familiar with Casphairn Manor, and the Vale of Casphairn, but the nearby village is Carsphairn. Was there a reason for the difference?

This is one of those tales of things that “would not happen now.” I wrote the first novel featuring the Vale of Casphairn and Casphairn Manor back in the days before Google Maps. Or any sort of satellite imagery, or even ready access to detailed maps via the internet. At the time, I had several detailed maps of England, but as the village of Carsphairn is a very small settlement, it was shown in small—not to say tiny and non-expandable—font. So I read the name as Casphairn, not the correct Carsphairn.
Years later, when I was writing Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue, where the characters spend time in the Vale and at the manor, I was using Google Maps to study the areas to the east of where I had positioned the Vale, and when I zoomed in…I saw that the village name was really Carsphairn! Horrors! Luckily, I don’t think I’ve ever actually said the village itself was called Casphairn, only the Vale and the manor, but it was too late to change those—they’d already been written into history. So the Vale and the manor, both of which are fictitious, remain as Casphairn, while the village is correctly named Carsphairn.
Out of curiosity, I did go back to the original map. To the naked eye, it still looks like Casphairn—only with the help of a strong magnifying glass can you see that extra r.

Lucilla’s position as healer to the Vale community, and, indeed, all people under The Lady’s protection, features strongly in this book. How common were such healers?

Despite the rise of more formal medicine and the doctors who practiced it, traditional folk healers—those we might now term homeopathic healers or herbalists—were not uncommon into the late 1800s in England. In country areas, they would almost always be the first consulted, even by those living in the larger, wealthier houses. The history of herbal remedies is very deep and broad throughout the British Isles, and the more isolated the community, the greater the distance from a major town, the more likely that the people would turn first to the local “healer.” Midwifery and the treatment of common ailments remained largely the province of such healers even into the 1900s.
That said, as mentioned in this book and the next, in this period, when it came to interacting with the apparatus of law and order, for instance in formally reporting a death, the “doctor”—meaning a man formally trained in the western medical tradition—would be the one sent for.

This book is the first of the Cynster Next Generation Novels, and will be followed by Lucilla’s twin brother, Marcus’s story in June. Are there more Cynster Next Generation Novels to come?

Yes, indeed! As By Winter’s Light was in essence a pivotal volume, shifting focus from the original Bar Cynster generation to the lives of their near-adult children, and within the tale of By Winter’s Light were the seeds of Lucilla’s romance, then her book had to come first, in The Tempting of Thomas Carrick. And within Lucilla’s story lie the seeds of Marcus’s story, and as he is her twin, his book, A Match for Marcus Cynster, had to come next. It will be released on May 26, 2015.
But at the end of The Tempting of Thomas Carrick, and even more definitely at the end of A Match for Marcus Cynster, we catch up with the other Cynsters now facing up to the challenge of marriage and finding a suitable spouse. We see and appreciate that all is not going to be smooth sailing for such very robust individuals, neither the males nor the females. There are at least 6 more Cynster Next Generation novels to come—the romances of Devil’s three children, Sebastian, Michael, and Louisa, and those of the remaining “older group”—Prudence, Christopher, and Antonia Rawlings. After that…well, I’m sure that by the time I finish Louisa’s tale, we’ll know a lot more about Annabelle, Juliet, and Therese. And I already know what Calvin and Carter get up to, which should prove a lot of fun. Lots more to enjoy!

 

ABOUT THIS LITERARY CHEF

Stephanie Laurens

#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens began writing romances as an escape from the dry world of professional science. Her hobby quickly became a career when her first novel was accepted for publication, and with entirely becoming alacrity, she gave up writing about facts in favor of writing fiction.

Laurens’s novels are set in the time period of the British Regency, and her settings range from Scotland to India. Laurens has published fifty works of historical romance, including 29 New York Times bestsellers. All her works are continuously available in print and digital formats in English worldwide, and have been translated into many other languages. An international bestseller, among other Stephanie’s email contactsaccolades Laurens has received the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA Award for Best Romance Novella 2008, for The Fall of Rogue Gerrard.

Her continuing novels featuring the Cynster family are widely regarded as classics of the genre. Other series include the Bastion Club Novels and the Black Cobra Quartet. For information on upcoming releases and updates on novels yet to come, visit Stephanie’s website.

 

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ & GIVEAWAY! ELLA’S LOVE by Jasmine Lee

 

Title: Ella’s Love
Author: Jasmine Lee
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: February 4, 2015
Cover Design: Sheri McGathy
Models: TJ (Front) & Donna Jo Petty-Kitchens (Back)
Photographers: Amber & Tabitha Patterson

 

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SYNOPSIS:

A chance meeting years ago.

Another chance meeting one night followed by a passionate kiss.

A final chance meeting in an ER.
Followed by the most horrible first date ever.
That might just be the best first date ever.

Newly divorced Marcus, Lead singer of a Heavy Metal band.
Never dreamed he’d find love ever again.

Single mom Ella, knows she may never have her own HEA.
Not when she has more than the normal baggage.

What follows, neither expected.
How much is Marcus willing to sacrifice to be with Ella?
Can Ella open her heart, knowing she may never truly find her happy ending?

 

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Excerpt:

 

 

I put my phone in my pocket, standing up. I watch as Ella gets out, and she opens the back door. Her little boy gets out, holding a bag of food. He starts walking toward the house but stops when he sees me.
“Hey, little man. My name’s Marcus. What’s yours?” I kneel down to his level. He stands there and stares at me.
Ella comes up behind him. “It’s okay. You can talk to him. He’s mama’s friend.”
She raises her eyes up to me and grins.
I return my attention back to him, and he narrows his eyes.
“I’m Tyler. I’m four years old. Mama is twenty-four. How old are you?”
I smile as I answer, “I’m twenty-nine. Is it okay if I hang out with you and your mom?”
He shrugs, glancing up at Ella. “You have to ask Mama. She’s the Mama,” he says in all seriousness.
I nod, glancing to Ella. She’s smiling also.
“So what do you say, Ella? Can I hang out with you two tonight?”
“Sure,” she steps up to the porch to unlock the door.

 

 

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About The Author: 


Hey everyone! My name Jasmine and I live in East Texas in a small town. I would love to tell you this great adventure about myself but it wouldn’t be true so I’ll stick with the boring version.
Born and raised in a small town; growing up I was more of the loaner then anything. Never dated the guy of my dreams.

But I grew up & married the perfect guy for me!

I write mainly for the fun of it & it’s my stress reliever!


 



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COVER REVEAL! ELLA’S LOVE by JASMINE LEE

Title: Ella’s Love
Author: Jasmine Lee
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: February 4, 2015
Cover Design: Sheri McGathy
Models: TJ (Front) & Donna Jo Petty-Kitchens (Back)
Photographers: Amber & Tabitha Patterson
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Synopsis:
A chance meeting years ago.
Another chance meeting one night followed by a passionate kiss.
A final chance meeting in an ER.Followed by the most horrible first date ever.
That might just be the best first date ever.
Newly divorced Marcus, Lead singer of a Heavy Metal band.Never dreamed he’d find love ever again.
Single mom Ella, knows she may never have her own HEA.Not when she has more than the normal baggage.
What follows, neither expected.
How much is Marcus willing to sacrifice to be with Ella?
Can Ella open her heart, knowing she may never truly find her happy ending?
 

 

About This Literary Chef:
Hey everyone! My name Jasmine and I live in East Texas in a small town. I would love to tell you this great adventure about myself but it wouldn’t be true so I’ll stick with the boring version.

Born and raised in a small town; growing up I was more of the loaner then anything. Never dated the guy of my dreams.

But I grew up & married the perfect guy for me!

I write mainly for the fun of it & it’s my stress reliever!

 

 

 

 

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BLOG TOUR STOP! THE SYRIAN VIRGIN by ZACK LOVE

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Title: The Syrian Virgin
Author: Zack Love
Genre: Contemporary Fiction and Political/Interracial Romance
Cover Design: Pink Ink Designs by Cassy Roop

Synopsis

Anissa is traumatized by the most brutal conflict of the 21st Century: the Syrian Civil War. In 2012, Islamists in Homs terrorize a Syrian-Christian community and destroy everything that a young woman holds dear. Narrowly escaping death, Anissa restarts her devastated life as a college student in NY. She is bewildered and lost — a virgin in every sense.

But despite her inexperience with men and life in the United States, Anissa is quickly drawn to two powerful individuals: Michael Kassab, the Syrian-American leader working to found the first Mideast Christian state, and Julien Morales, her Columbia University professor who runs a $20 billion hedge fund.

Complicating matters, Michael is still attached to his ex-girlfriend and Julien is the most sought after bachelor in Manhattan (and has hidden demons even his therapist can’t extract). Anissa’s heart and her communal ties pull her in different directions, as she seeks hope and renewal in a dark world.

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WARNING: This book is about a young woman’s difficult journey: her escape from Syria’s Civil War, her transition to a new a country, and the relationships that she forms along the way, including her romantic interests in two very different men. The story is set against the backdrop of the Syrian Civil War and makes reference to violent acts, sometimes in detail. There is some occasional profanity and a few scenes that depict sexual intimacy. Accordingly, the recommended minimum age for readers is 16. The novel might be compared to books like “The Diary of Anne Frank” or “The Kite Runner.”

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Excerpt

We were peacefully rallying for our cause, when some strangers accosted me and started to debate us. But then it became clear that they didn’t really want to debate as much as harass . One of them then spat on me and tore up my sign, and then, as I was wiping off his spit from my face, I saw the placard in Michael’s left hand fall to the grass, as his right hand closed into an angry fist. Then I saw his clenched hand barrel thunderously from his side until it landed smack on the nose of the giant guy who had spat on me. I actually heard the thud of the impact, and the man just collapsed to the ground from the force of Michael’s blow. He was out cold.

“Come on, shitheads – who’s next?!” Michael shouted at the first two counter- protestors, gesturing them to step up for a fight. By then, their entire group had gathered around, so Michael was even more outnumbered. But his dangerous rage was palpable – as if he alone could destroy everyone there. More of our protesters also started showing up, after hearing or seeing the commotion. But they weren’t needed in the end. The counter-protestors there raised their hands in surrender and backed away in fear of this large man who just knocked out an even larger man with a single punch. “OK, OK, take it easy. We’re leaving,” they said.

“Apologize to her. Now!” he boomed, ready to rip them to shreds. The first two protesters looked at me meekly.

“We’re sorry… We’re sorry, ma’am, that our friend got out of hand.”

“Yeah, he shouldn’t have done that.”

“Now get the fuck out of here!” Michael commanded. “It’s cool, dude, we’re leaving,” one of them said, as the two of them picked up their dazed comrade with a bloody and probably broken nose, and left the area with him stumbling between them…

I went over to Michael and very conspicuously put my arm around his waist. I then pulled him in for a long and intense kiss, as if our future together depended on it. After a few minutes, we finally came up for air, and my face felt flush with impatient passion.

“Let’s go back,” I said.

Teasers

 

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About The Author

Zack Love graduated from Harvard College, where he studied mostly literature, psychology, philosophy, and film. After college, he moved to New York City and took a corporate consulting job that had absolutely nothing to do with his studies. The attacks of September 11, 2001 inspired him to write a novelette titled “The Doorman” and heightened his interest in the Middle East. A decade later, that interest extended to the Syrian Civil War, which provided the backdrop for his latest work. In late 2013, Zack began releasing his unpublished works of fiction and became a full-time author. He has published comedy, psychological and philosophical fiction, and romance. Zack enjoys confining himself to one genre about as much as he likes trying to sum up his existence in one paragraph.

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