Archive | April 2014

2014 Golden Heart Update: The Historical Romance Finalists

Golden Hearts finalist Jillian Lark posts today a review of the eight Golden Hearts finalists in the Historical category. A great rundown. Check it out.

 

2014 Golden Heart Update: The Historical Romance Finalists.

via 2014 Golden Heart Update: The Historical Romance Finalists.

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A Cross-Genre Treat from Houston Havens

Top psychic spy Fay Avalon saw too much on her latest mind traveling mission and is now on the run from her post-catastrophic dystopian government, searching for the truth and proof. She escapes but is shot down, landing in the arms of the enemy.

In Drakker and Arlo’s world, women are so rare the men have accepted a polyandrous lifestyle. When the brothers stumble upon Fay unconscious in the wreckage of an aircraft, they are immediately attracted to her. Arlo wants to keep her, but Drakker knows they can’t. They must take her to their brother Logan Abán, leader of their people.

Logan struggles with trusting anyone, even himself. When a beautiful, intelligent, and intriguing woman falls into their laps, his denied desires for intimacy challenge his need to trust the spy. He’s frustrated by romantic Arlo’s claims of her innocence. Even when pragmatic and dominating Drakker defends her as well, Logan refuses to trust his gut.

Can one woman satisfy the diverse desires of three men? Will Logan’s fears be realized by betrayal? Is Fay to be sentenced to death as a spy, suffer a fate worse than death by being returned to her government as a traitor, or will she find a new life and love as the wife of three sexy brothers?

About the Author

Houston HavensHouston Havens retired from a successful modeling career and an adventurous jet-set lifestyle to set the world on fire with her erotic romance books. A tenacious Irish lass, she strives to entertain with seductive stories created from her decadent imagination and traces of a provocative lifestyle she may or may not admit to.

Her interest in the paranormal, fascination with quantum science, passion with myths, and the lure of her mysterious Celtic Irish-Druid bloodlines are combined with generally unknown truths, strange facts, and questionable fiction. Her novels reflect a mix of the past, present, and future, with sexy blends of futuristic science fiction, paranormal fantasy, western romance, and always love everlasting.An author of six romances, a seven book erotic romance series, and numerous articles in literary magazines, she has two award winning blogs. Stop by for a visit and leave a comment at http://houstonhavens.wordpress.com

 

Over nine thousand years after Nostradamus’ predictions in the sixteenth century, the twenty-second century’s Trasdamian prophecies of the world’s end from the devastating earth changes caused by the passing of the planet Nibiru came true. There were survivors, but not all of them were humans, and not all of them were happy.

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EXCERPT

He laughed at her expression. “You act like you’ve never seen a stream before.”

Ah, so this is a stream. Nope, she hadn’t seen one of these. Her throat tightened. “What is the liquid in it?”

“What do you mean?”

“Does it burn or melt the flesh?”

His raised brows were an obvious reaction of surprise. “Neither. It’s water…for you to bathe in.”

Water! Didn’t he know how precious it was? People didn’t bathe in water. That would be a waste of a scarce commodity. Water was for drinking only. In her world, each citizen had a monthly allotment of four hundred and eighty ounces of water. That equaled out to about two cups of water a day, no more. That was it. The rest of their fluid intake came from artificial means.

Why be tempted by one man's seduction when you can be loved by three?

Why be tempted by one man’s seduction when you can be loved by three?

If this was real water running past her, she now knew why the Underworld government was considering moving to the surface and why they were so willing to go to the extremes to get it. “You want me to bathe in the water? Fresh water you could be drinking?”

He laughed. “You’ve got something better to wash up in?”

“Not here.”

He cocked his head. “Then I guess you’ll have to make do with the water. You can strip here. I’ll keep watch while you bathe.”

“Keep watch for what?”

“Well, just to name a few, I’ll be watching for western diamondback rattlesnakes, giant poisonous toads, black bears, and mountain lions. Take your pick.”

The only words she understood out of all he said were giant, back, poisonous, black, and mountain. All the rest were gibberish to her. Guess she’d wait and find out what the other words meant as she went along. Until then, she would just point out anything that moved. “Are any of those things in the water?”

“Only the toads. The water is clear, so you can see them if they’re around. Just don’t step on them or touch one.”

“Oh dear God. What do they look like?” She cringed when he described the creature.

 Learn more about Houston Haven and Sinful Surrender:

In Praise of World Book Night

Each year on April 23, tens of thousands of people go out into their communities and give half a million free World Book Night paperbacks to light and non-readers. In 2012, World Book Night was celebrated in the U.S., the UK, Ireland, and Germany. In the United States, World Book Night, a nonprofit dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person, is again turning to over 25,000 passionate volunteers to give away copies of specially chosen and printed WBN editions in their community.

In addition, World Book Night will have 23 simultaneous WBN Kick-Off events TONIGHT, April 22, 2014 around the country, demonstrated on the map below (click the map to link to a larger version)–very exciting, fun events at select stores and libraries featuring some of this year’s authors.

Among the many fine books included this year is the historical romance in a series inspired by Jane Austin, Miss Darcy Falls in Love by Sharon Lathan.

“I am honored to have my novel Miss Darcy Falls in Love chosen as one of the 35 titles for 2014. To help kick-off this years extravaganza, I will be doing what most of the chosen authors are doing, and that is appearing at a local book store.”—Sharon Lathan

“One little guy held his book so tight and said, ‘this is the first new book I have ever had!’ He’s in fourth grade.” —Anonymous from Ohio

“I cannot express how amazing an idea this is…And my heartfelt thanks goes out to you, the authors, and the publishers of these books.” —Cheryl, recipient 2013

“In my experience, when people like what they are doing, they do more of it. This is the genius of World Book Night — it gets people reading by connecting them  with amazing, enjoyable books. I’m honored to be a part of it.”James Patterson

“All those people giving books out are proof that people DO care a whole awful lot, and we will always have books, stories, writers and – most importantly – READERS.”Markus Zusak

Participate, watch, praise, do what you can to encourage this wonderful effort. World Book Night can be followed on Twitter: @wbnamerica.

It’s website is: http://www.us.worldbooknight.org/ and it’s on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/worldbooknightusa

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Marigny Street by Annie Rose Welch

Marigny StreetWay down south on Marigny Street in the heart of New Orleans, the land of Catholic intercessions, purgatory, and supernatural superstitions, young Evangeline Chenier dreams of a radiant boy who saves her from a storm. She takes the dream seriously – in her family, dreams are sometimes more than dreams. Sometimes they foretell the future. Sometimes they create it.

Years later, Eva is no longer the same wistful girl but a hardened woman who no longer believes in dreams. Losing faith in her gift, she becomes lost in a nightmare of emotion, mourning her son, separating from her husband, and stewing in a dead-end job. And then fate brings her an unlikely surprise: one of the most famous movie stars in the world, Gabriel Roberts.

Caught by something in his eyes, Eva agrees to show him the real Big Easy on his last night in New Orleans—an evening that turns into four dreamy days spent recapturing lost faith and discovering a love neither expected. Realizing Gabriel is the boy from her childhood dream, Eva must leave everything behind—her husband, her family, her history, and the beautiful city she calls home—and gamble it all for the dream that has saved her on MARIGNY STREET.

Excerpt

I shook my head. “Tell me, Gabriel, what are your dreams about?”

“Nothing.  I never dream.”  He shrugged.

“Never?”

“I’ve never once in my life had a dream.  And I never look in a mirror – or I try my hardest not to anyway.”

“Why?”  How could you never dream?  Or look in a mirror?

He sighed.  “I believe the only things in this life that can truly show your reflection are the things you love the most in this world.  And I don’t love myself enough to want to look in the mirror.”  He laughed.  “But when I look at you I can see myself perfectly.  And even though I never dream, I do pray.  Do you want to know what I prayed for before I met you?”

I nodded.

“I prayed for an angel – to save me.  I asked for a little help from up above, and now you’re here.  You are cake and ice cream; sugar and spice, and everything nice.  And when you smile, you make me feel the way the world looks when the sun shines through a foggy day.”

All I could do was smile.

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Maigny Street can be Purchased at:

About Annie Rose Welch

Annie WelchBorn and raised in New Orleans, Annie has a habit of shortening her words and telling long stories. She speaks with a southern flair and cooks with it too. At the tender age of twenty- one, she hitched up her wagons (took her first plane ride) and moved out west to the big shake (California). Her writing career began one sleepless night when she imagined a gorgeous woman and a man with maniacal hair floating above her like lightening bugs falling from the sky. Curious about them, their story, and why they were floating around in her head, she sat down and penned (typed) her first novel, Marigny Street. A dream come true for her, she hasn’t stopped writing since. She loves a damn good love story, always has, no matter what the genre. She is particularly moved by imperfect love that in its own unique way is perfect, the notion of love at first sight, soul mates, and things that are generally out of the norm.

When she’s not writing she enjoys dabbling in photography and finding new, inspirational music to add to her collection. She currently (still) resides in the big shake (although her southern roots are calling her home) with her husband, daughter, and their two peculiar dogs, Boudreaux and Tabasco (who, call her crazy, bark with an accent).

For lagniappe (a little extra), a virtual cup of café au lait and beignets, please visit Annie’s website:  www.annierosewelch.com

She can also be found at:

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Rita Nominees for Romantic Suspense

Romantic Suspense novels are defined under the Rita Award rules as novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot. Under the judging guidelines, “the love story is the main focus of the novel, a suspense/mystery/thriller plot is blended with the love story, and the resolution of the romance is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.”

This year, only four entries hit or surpassed the 90% cutoff for finals, and two of them are self published. With such a short field, this is a great category to read them all and form an opinion before the National Conference in San Antonio this summer. So here is a run-down of the four finalists:

2014 RITA Award Nominees for Romantic Suspense

Justice for Sara
by Erica Spindler
St. Martin’s Press
Jennifer Weiss, editor

When seventeen-year-old Katherine McCall awakened one morning to find her beloved sister, Sara, brutally murdered, her whole life changed in the blink of an eye. Kat was named the prime suspect and, on a string of circumstantial evidence, charged and tried. While the jury found her innocent, not everyone else agreed, and her only choice was to go into hiding. But she carried a dark secret with her, one that made her worry she might actually have had something to do with Sara’s death . . .

Now, years later, Kat is still haunted by her sister’s unsolved murder and continues to receive chilling anonymous letters, but she has tried to move on with her life. Until, on the tenth anniversary of Sara’s death, she receives a letter that makes the past impossible to ignore: “What about justice for Sara?” What about justice for Sara? And for herself? Kat realizes that going back to Liberty, Louisiana, might be the only way to move forward and find some peace. And there’s a killer out there who was never caught.

But the town she’s come back to is hardly different from the one she left. The secrets and suspicions still run deep. Kat has an ally in Detective Luke Tanner, son of the former Liberty police chief, but he may be her only one. With plenty of enemies, no one to trust and a killer determined to keep a dark secret buried, Kat must decide if justice is worth fighting—and dying—for.

The Killing Game
by Toni Anderson
Self-published

Wildlife biologist Axelle Dehn isn’t about to let anyone harm her endangered snow leopards—not the poacher intent on killing them, nor the soldier who wants to use them as bait. But Axelle is unknowingly entangled in a conflict that stretches back three decades, a conflict that could spark a war between two of the world’s great nations. 

​British SAS soldier, Ty Dempsey, is on a mission to hunt down an infamous Russian terrorist in a remote region of Afghanistan. Dempsey hasn’t failed a mission yet, but when Axelle is kidnapped by the Russian, he is forced to choose between duty and his heart. He risks everything to save the determined, prickly woman he’s fallen for, but in doing so sparks a deadly series of events that threaten to expose the most successful spy in history. A spy who will destroy anyone who gets in his way.

Off the Edge 
by Carolyn Crane
Self-published

SHE MAY BE HIS WORST ENEMY…
For deadly secret agent Peter Macmillan, language is a weapon—one he uses to hunt criminals, destroy plots, and charm enemies. Seducing information out of a beautiful singer in Bangkok hotel should be easy…except this particular singer has the power to destroy his cool façade, and with it, his last defense against a dark past.

HE MAY BE HER ONLY HOPE…
He tricked her. He helped himself to her body and her secrets. He has enemies everywhere. Laney Lancaster should hate Peter, but when she discovers him shirtless, sweaty, and chained up in the hotel’s dungeon, all she can think about is freeing him. Because she knows what it’s like to be trapped and alone. And she could use a dangerous friend.

They may be wrong for each other, but the instant they join forces, Laney and Peter are plunged into an odyssey of hot sex and dark danger. To survive, they must trust each other with their lives—and their hearts.

Thrill Ride
by Julie Ann Walker
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Leah Hultenschmidt, editor

He’s Gone Rogue

Ex-Navy SEAL Rock Babineaux’s job is to get information, and he’s one of the best in the business. Until something goes horribly wrong and he’s being hunted by his own government. Even his best friends at the covert special-ops organization Black Knights Inc. aren’t sure they can trust him. He thinks he can outrun them all, but his former partner—a curvy bombshell who knows just how to drive him wild—refuses to cut him loose.

She Won’t Back Down

Vanessa Cordova hasn’t been the team’s communication specialist
very long, but she knows how to read people—no way is Rock guilty of murder. And she’ll go to hell and back to help him prove it. Sure, the sexy Cajun has his secrets, but there’s no one in the world she’d rather have by her side in a tight spot. Which is good, because they’re about to get very tight…

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The Subject of Rave Reviews–Diane Saxon’s Flynn’s Kiss

Flynn’s a hard-ass bad-boy, he’s lived a tough life starting as a wrangler, joining the special forces, and then working as a stuntman and co-ordinator in the movies. He’s lived life fast and furious and his language is pretty ripe – oh and have I mentioned…? He’s shit with women.

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Severely scarred during a disastrous mission, ex special forces Flynn Swann is home after three years of avoidance. By his own admission, he’s no good with women and the last thing he expects or wants is the attention of a curvy little brunette, who’s just passing through.

With apparently no fear or revulsion of his scarred face, the boisterous woman bounds into his life and destroys all hope of a quiet visit. It is obvious to literally everyone that she wants him—all of him.

Worse still, despite her atrocious taste in fashion and Stetsons, she appears to have won the hearts of the entire town.

Scientist Liberty Sophia Glennon is on a mission to find a man before she has to return to the loneliness of the New Zealand outback where she has already spent eighteen lonely months doing research.

A ticking hormone bomb, Liberty feels time is running away with her. Outwardly she is a bouncing ball of over-confidence, but inside she is still a frightened little girl with horrific memories of her childhood and a desperate need to be liked.

Completely unfazed by his external scars, her seduction of Flynn is not so difficult, but follow-through proves painful as Liberty realizes Flynn’s wounds run further than just skin deep.

With apparently nothing in common but their passionate attraction, how will these two damaged souls deal with each other’s fear of rejection?
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EXCERPT

From the darkened protection of the corner of the room, Flynn watched the curvy little brunette with the bubbly hair bounce around, microphone in hand, wailing her heart out with obvious enjoyment. The sight of her large rounded breasts as they jiggled merrily along with the tune heated his stomach and threatened to move lower. She’d flicked several glances in his direction, and each time she did, he sank farther into the protective shadows by the wall, conscious she couldn’t see the left side of his face too clearly in the blue-hued lighting. Cute and friendly she might seem, but he knew from experience she would change her tune once she got a load of his scars. Women always did.

At the age of eighteen he’d considered himself a lady-killer—as most guys did—but he had been full of himself, knowing he was a good-looking son of a bitch. Never had a single problem or gave a second thought. If he wanted, he took, with great enjoyment and relish. With his unusually pale blue, bold eyes, dark brown hair, and chiseled features, he’d caught the attention of women of all ages. The fact he’d been brought up riding rodeo and working a ranch since he was born just added into the long, lean tone of his body. What nature hadn’t given him naturally, hard work and a tough upbringing had molded to perfection. When he’d joined the Special Forces, he’d honed it beyond perfection. He wasn’t overly tall, just under six feet, but his entire physique gave him presence. As a young man, he’d known it and reveled in it. Ego had driven him hard.

A golden boy, given the gift of a beautiful face, a bright mind, and a naturally lean body. He’d been destined to marry the glamour girl, crowned king and queen of the prom…everyone in town believed he had a long and happy marriage ahead of him with Rachel. Personally, he’d had a few qualms about the woman’s intelligence, but at the time and with the shallowness of youth, he had wallowed in her perfect beauty and the envy of the other boys. Celebrations had been wild at their engagement party before he went off to training camp. Faithful, he had returned to her time and again after each assignment. He’d had ambition, and she’d had plans. The pair were well-suited.

It didn’t matter. It all changed with the slash of a knife. His looks were destroyed, his mind rebelled, and the glamour girl ran screaming for the hills. He’d had the same reaction from women ever since.

He tipped the bottle of beer up to his mouth and stared down the length of it at the pretty brunette. Her breasts were interesting—got a nice little heat going in the pit of his belly—but his preference was her pert little ass as she swayed in perfect rhythm to the song she was murdering. She caught his eye again, gave a broad smile and a twitch of her eyebrows. A definite invitation.

He drew farther into the shadows.

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About the Author

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Diane Saxon lives in the Shropshire countryside with her tall, dark, handsome husband, two gorgeous daughters, a Dalmatian, one-eyed kitten, ginger cat, and four chickens.

After working for years in a demanding job, on-call and travelling great distances, Diane gave it all up when her husband said “follow that dream.”

Having been hidden all too long, her characters have burst forth demanding plot lines of their own and she’s found the more she lets them, the more they’re inclined to run wild.

You can buy Flynn’s Kiss at these sites:

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