Wolver’s Rescue (The Wolvers #6) by Jacqueline Rhoades-Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Wolver’s Rescue (The Wolvers #5) by Jacqueline Rhoades-Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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Wolver’s Rescue
The Wolvers #6
by Jacqueline Rhoades
Genre: adult, contemporary, paranormal romance, wolf shifters
Release Date: February 26, 2015

Wolver's Rescue

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 26, 205

Sometimes it’s not the wolves who pose the danger…

There’s a downside to living in a secret society. Someone has to ensure it remains that way. ‘Bull’ Bulworth is that someone. His current assignment: track a young man who has an unrecognized wolf inside him and eliminate the problem before the truth about Wolvers is exposed to the human world. It’s a simple and straightforward assignment until he meets a woman who makes him think crazy might be contagious.

In her own words, Tommie Bane is nuttier than a pecan tree. There’s a voice in her head telling her she is something other than human, and a creature she swears is running around inside her body. Just when she’s at the lowest point in her weird and nutty life, she meets a man who tells her it’s all real. Should she listen to the voice of reason or to the voice in her head that keeps shouting “Mate”?

What do you have to lose when you’ve already lost your mind? For Tommie, it could be her life

••••••••••••••••••

Wolver’s Rescue is book sixth in this popular shifter series (Rabbit Creek Santa being a novella). The setting begins in the office of the mysterious Mr. Begley, as he assigns a job to one of his pack, a hunter/enforcer named William “Bull” Bulworth. Bull has a dark and lonely job of hunting and either eliminating (killing) rogue wolvers or changing them to permanently wolf form.

We find our heroine at an asylum for the criminally insane. We find that not all things in this hospital are what they seem.

I don’t do spoilers and this is a marvelous read you’ll want to experience for yourself. Ms. Rhoades has outdone her usual fine job of intricate plotting and marvelous characters. She delves into the dark world of the insane and those who try to make others believe they are. However, it’s not all dark and spooky. The wonderful cast of characters are well written, with humor, sincerity, and even a bit of teen angst. These are people you love to read about and hate to leave them when the story ends.

The plot is intriguing and twisty. You get to discover, along with the cast, the circles within circles of fated meetings and rescues in this marvelously well told story. You learn more about the Wolver community as a whole as the story progresses and the issues of keeping your species a secret from the human community and at the same time trying to find a place to live peacefully with your differences.

I’m sure if you love shifter books, or maybe even if you’ve never read one, this book will thrill you with adventure, danger, humor, and emotion. The love scenes are not gratuitous sex, but natural, loving and very emotional.

Grab your favorite beverage, a box of tissues and settle in for a wonderful ride of fun and emotion!

Enjoy everyone, I certainly did!

Copy supplied by author.

Reviewed by Georgianna

Guest Post beige

Write What You Know. Really?
by Jacqueline Rhoades

Let me begin by saying that I love teachers. I’ve worked with many over the years and the vast majority of them are dedicated to their profession. Why am I telling you this? Because I’m about to lodge a complaint against the dozen or more English teachers I’ve heard in my own career as a student, and through my work as an adult who have used the words, “Write what you know.”, without ever explaining what it means. I suspect it’s because many of them don’t know.

The average third grader will go cross-eyed at these words, instinctively knowing they don’t know much about anything and teenagers, of course, know everything. What about us as adults? I live a pretty boring life and frankly, I like it that way.

Are they saying I can’t write about a high fashion model because I’m short and rather round and spend most of my days in jeans and sweatshirts? How about a woman with expensive fashion taste? I wouldn’t know what to do with a pair of Jimmy Choos, first, because I don’t have the money to buy them and second, because I’d have absolutely nowhere to go in them. And let’s face it folks, what does anybody know about humans shifting into wolves? So, what is it I do know?

I know the peaceful quiet that descends on the woods after a snowfall. I know the eerie grey silence that comes with the eye of a hurricane. I know the embarrassment of giggling at a funeral. I know the profound and miraculous joy of holding a newborn in my arms and the heart stopping joy of having the guy I love look at me in the same way I look at him. I know about heartbreak and loss. The list goes on and on.

There are still things I don’t know. That’s where imagination comes in and a good book can make my imagination soar. What’s it like to not know who you are or where you come from? What’s it like to be drawn to another person without rhyme or reason? What’s it like to be responsible for another person’s death or to know that someone wants you dead? What’s it like to run with the wind? What’s it like to be a wolf?

You’ll notice that everything I’ve written here is not about acts, but about feelings. That’s where the very best fiction writers excel. Those books that remain with us long after the story is told are the ones that allow us to experience the emotions of the characters be it love, lust, anger, excitement, or fear. In the pages of a good book, we may be attracted to the way the characters look, but we become involved with them not because they’re cardboard cutouts of beautiful people, but because of what they carry inside. They touch the emotions we carry within ourselves.

So instead of telling those young, teenaged, or adult would-be writers out there to write what they know, I wish you’d start by saying “Write what you feel.”

About The Author beige

Follow: Goodreads/ Website/ Facebook/ Twitter

Jacqueline RhoadesA New Englander by birth and an Ohioan by choice, Jacqueline, known as Jackie by her friends, makes her home in a small, rural town with one lovable husband, one spoiled dog and one disinterested cat. (The adjectives are often interchangeable). An avid reader from a very early age, Jackie has an eclectic taste for books and therefore has trouble naming a favorite genre or author, though she does admit that for pure personal fantasy and ‘take-me-away’ books, you just can’t beat a good romance.
Jackie believes in the beauty of all women and thinks most women don’t see themselves as they should (herself included). She tries to make the women in her books reflect the best of ‘average’ in a variety of shapes, sizes, personalities and backgrounds, and each is beautiful in her own way. Some of her heroes are movie star handsome, while others are not. All her characters are beautiful in the eyes of their lovers and that, to Jackie, is the most beautiful of all.

Giveaway beige

Jacqueline is graciously offering an ecopy of WOLVER’S RESCUE to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

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8. Giveaway open INTERNATIONALLY

9. Giveaway runs from February 26-March 2, 2015

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Third Anniversary Celebration Giveaway with CJ Ellisson

Third Anniversary Celebration Giveaway with CJ Ellisson

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REMINDER: ALL anniversary celebration giveaways require a comment to enter.

ONE lucky commenter will WIN a SIGNED, first edition PAPER COPY of VAMPIRE VACATION by CJ Ellisson

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TRC: HI CJ and welcome back to The Reading Cafe.

Congratulations on the upcoming release of BLOOD LEGACY the fourth installment in the V.V. Inn series.

For those who do not know about Vivian (Dria) and the V.V. Inn series, would you please tell us something about the background of the series and your leading heroine?

CJ: Vivian is 580 year old vampire married to Rafe, her human husband. She’s had many lives in five centuries, and at the start of this series, she’s running a supernatural inn with Rafe. She uses her gifts to entertain and amuse the guests, often playing matchmaker, all without their knowledge, of course. Vivian is a rare breed of vampire who can mind-control other vampires, even to the point of projecting physical illusions.

The concept of a resort location for the undead was the original push behind creating the series. It made sense to plan the getaway in a seasonal location where darkness reigns supreme: The wilds of Alaska in the winter. Every entertainment imaginable, with plenty of willing blood donors on hand for the visiting vampires.

TRC: How has Vivian’s character changed over the series?

CJ: In the beginning she was very isolated, trusting only her husband and Jon, her vampire servant who’s also an alpha werewolf. As the series progresses, she gains new members to her vampire family and slowly begins to trust them. There are bumps along the way, a few deaths, and lots of intrigue.

Vivian may be a very powerful vampire, but over time she recognizes those relationships she’s avoided have become a source of strength and weakness at the same time. She longs to keep the people she cares about safe, and must confront the reality that she’s not as powerful, or as prepared, as she thinks.

Blood LegacyTRC: Would you please tell us something about the premise of BLOOD LEGACY?

Order Links: Amazon.com / Barnes and Noble / KOBO

CJ: We left off in BIG GAME with Vivian recovering from torture and her vampire family rallying around her for support. In this latest installment we have her re-grouping with the two most important people in her life, Rafe and Jon, to track down the vampire who escaped her husband’s wrath in the last book. Nothing is as it seems, and the three must hunt two supernatural killers in Buenos Aires while trying to uncover their prey’s location.

TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background, geography) did you encounter writing this particular story?

CJ: I’ve had this story and the concept brewing in my head for over two years, since BIG GAME was published. I knew what I wanted to convey in this installment, even if I didn’t have it all written down yet. The biggest challenge I encountered was starting the book before I’d fully fleshed out the outline. I was working with a group of students on their first novels for National Novel Writing Month in November 2014 while writing this book.

We spent all of October focused on planning their projects, so when I sat down to write with them on Nov 1st, I didn’t have my outline completed. Consequently, when December hit (and they all made their goal) I had to go back and re-work what I had written to make sure everything flowed well and wouldn’t require a ton of revisions later.

It turned out to be the best thing for the book. I was able to finish my outline and start sharing the book in January with my alpha readers. They read it while I finished the rest of the book. The process was exhilarating and reminded me so much why I love this series.

TRC: Your story lines, including BLOOD LEGACY, are often written from multiple points of view. How do you keep the premise flowing smoothly using many POV?

CJ: That’s where the outline comes in. I plot the entire book from alternating POVs. When I made alterations in December, I had to add chapters and change passages to fit with the timeline. The process was tedious and drove home the point to not start a book without a completed outline. Especially when you have three POVs!

The only way the tale is going to be smooth is if you have a timeline written out and now exactly where all the players are at any given time, and exactly what they are doing and does it add to the story. If it does, you either have to show it or weave the info in at an appropriate time. I didn’t set out to write a story with multiple POVs, as the first book is only from one, but when I attempted to write multiple POVs years ago, it felt right. And I’ve never regretted the decision to tell the stories this way.

TRC: How do you keep the plot unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability especially in a storyline where most of the characters are supernatural and the premise focuses on the paranormal?

CJ: I read a lot. That’s the best way to explain it. If the books are shorter, like 30-50k, I can read them in an evening or two. If they are longer, like most of my favorite urban fantasies are, they will take a few days. As an author, you will only know what’s been overdone if you read what’s popular in your genre.

That’s not to say you’ll never repeat something that’s already been done, more than likely you will, but if you read a lot, you’ll know how to put a spin or twist on your idea that may make it stand out or not feel like a carbon copy of everything else that’s out there already.

The HuntI try my best to craft a story that is unpredictable. I’ve plotted books where the ending appeared obvious while I’m writing it, meaning I led the reader there too easily, and I will re-write the ending on the fly. As an example, I plotted THE HUNT with the idea I’d add Emiko to the growing seethe, or vampire family. But as I got closer to the end, that seemed obvious. I grabbed my notes and quickly re-plotted the ending. The final result was better than the plotted original, I think.

I’d also plotted BIG GAME as Vivian escaping her tormentors, killing everyone she encountered, and rescuing everyone else. The ending with Rafe being the hero turned out much better.

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters? How much influence does Vivian have on the overall series direction?

CJ: I direct the writing. If I’ve plotted something that doesn’t match with the character, I either need to add a situation where they would act as I want, introduce an element that meets the end I want, or re-write the premise. In BLOOD LEGACY I’d plotted a difficult situation for Jon, but when I was writing the book I couldn’t write the deed as I wanted. Jon’s character was too honorable to go the route I’d directed. So I came up with a viable solution. And I’m glad I did. I like the result better this way.

The characters do not talk to me in my head. What I see as I write is more of a movie playing in my head. But occasionally the players stand around and do nothing. Or I sense that the action I want to happen won’t work with the character’s sense of self. Creating is an interesting beast. Different for every author, I’m sure.

Big GameTRC: What is something that few, if any people, know about you?

CJ: Hmm…. that’s a tough one. I’m pretty open about the real me online. Okay, here’s something that happened to me recently that I think very few people know: I had a run in with an angry reader last year that started me on a downward spiral of not creating for a very long time — eight months. The longest I’ve ever not written since I became a writer.

That incident was the tip of many bad things that followed — an event and several connected projects I’d worked long hours on fell apart, and a friendship I treasured dried up and disappeared without any concrete reason. Overall, it was a very hard time.

But the bright side of things was I spent more time on my health and finally focused on all the stuff I should have been doing to get better. That extra time helped heal me. I’m in a better place now and am more careful about how close I’ll let work-relationships get to me.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

CJ: I’m working on plotting the next V V Inn book (even a few novellas), three other separate series proposals for my agent, and then plotting the last book in the Walk on the Wild Side series, VANILLA SPICE.

Walk on the Wild Side Series

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

CJ: Nope, I’m good. Thanks for the great questions. Really made me think.

TRC: Thank you CJ for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the release of BLOOD LEGACY.

CJ: Thanks for having me here today, Sandy! I wish your blog a more prosperous year than ones before, and may every book you read bring you on a journey.

Giveaway

CJ Ellisson has graciously donated a signed, first edition paper copy of VAMPIRE VACATION for ONE lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

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3. Please tell us to enter you into the giveaway.

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10. Giveaway open to USA & Canada only

11. Giveaway runs until February 28, 2015

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Garrett (Cold Fury Hockey #2) by Sawyer Bennett-Review,Interview and Book Tour

Garrett (Cold Fury Hockey #2) by Sawyer Bennett-Review,Interview and Book Tour

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Garrett
Cold Fury Hockey #2
by Sawyer Bennett
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, romance, hockey
Release Date: February 17, 2015

Garrett

Amazon.com / Barnes and Noble / KOBO / iTunes

GARRETT (Cold Fury Hockey #2) by Sawyer Bennett

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 17, 2015

Carolina Cold Fury star Garrett Samuelson never wants to miss out on a single minute of fun. Whether he’s playing hockey, hanging out with friends, or walking the red carpet with a new date on his arm, he lives every day to the fullest. When he meets Olivia Case, he sees someone who’s exactly his type—confident, sexy, smart . . . his next fling. But the more he pursues her, the more Garrett shares a side of himself that other women don’t normally get to see.

Olivia has been keeping a secret. While Garrett lives for the next thrill, Olivia’s not sure she’ll live to see the next day. She’s undergoing treatment for some serious medical issues, and she doesn’t have time for a relationship with no guarantees—especially one with a hot-as-sin womanizer who won’t take no for an answer. But as she gets to know the real Garrett, Olivia can’t help falling for him . . . hard. To reveal the truth would mean risking everything—but you can’t score without taking the tough shots.

••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: GARRETT is the second installment in Sawyer Bennett’s contemporary, adult Cold Fury Hockey erotic, romance series focusing on the players for the Cold Fury Hockey Team. This is Garrett Samuelson and floral designer Olivia Case’s storyline. Although GARRETT is the second book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty although I recommend reading in order for the pure enjoyment of this amazing series. Any important background information is revealed where necessary.

Told from alternating first person points of view (Garrett and Olivia) the storyline follows the building relationship between Garrett and Olivia. Olivia and Garrett are first introduced at a summer barbeque for the Cold Fury Hockey Team. Olivia is Sutton Price’s cousin (Alex-book 1) and she is a woman reluctant to get involved with a man like Garrett—a man whose history of one night stands precedes his introduction. But Olivia hides a secret-one that is destroying her life-and in this, she knows that her immediate future is dark and unknown. Olivia refuses to reveal any information to Garrett but he is quick to discover the truth when Olivia’s illness begins to take over her life.

Garrett is a player- a man who likes to play around-both on and off the ice, but finding Olivia immediately puts a halt to Garrett’s sexual exploits- it is an instant change for a man who doesn’t do relationships and has never gone out with a woman more than once. He is drawn to Olivia’s beauty, her laugh and her personality but what Garrett does not know is that Olivia is ill and there is no guarantee of a future for the woman with whom he is falling in love.

The relationship between Garrett and Olivia is one of immediate attraction but soon escalates into something more. Olivia is reluctant to get involved with any man but a few encouraging words from her flamboyant boss and BFF Stevie, finds our heroine in bed with the sexiest man she will ever know. Fast forward and Olivia’s illness becomes front and center in their relationship but Garrett is determined to stay with Olivia until the end. There is some push and pull especially when Olivia is determined to push Garrett out of her life; her future is unknown; their time together undetermined.

The secondary and supporting characters include Alex and Sutton from book one; Zack Grantham (book 3) and many of the hockey players from Cold Fury. We are introduced Olivia’s colorful mother, and Alex’s supporting mom; and Stevie-Olivia’s boss and best friend who is a little more colorful than most. The premise of Zack’s storyline is outlined when a horrific accident sets into motion heartbreak and grief.

The world building continues to follow the Cold Fury Hockey team both on and off the ice. From family to friendships, practice to games, losses and wins, the reader is pulled into the arena, the locker room and the bedrooms of some of professional hockey’s sexiest players.

Sawyer Bennett writes books for adults; with adult situations; and adult problems. She isn’t afraid to tackle the heartbreaking issues including illness and death. GARRETT is a storyline that focuses on love, life and recovery, as well as loss and letting go. Sawyer Bennett invites the reader in and doesn’t let go. But don’t despair, there is a happily ever after and the epilogue reveals a future filled with family and love.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.

Reviewed by Sandy

Series Spotlight

Alex
Cold Fury Hockey #1
by Sawyer Bennett
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, romance, hockey
Release Date: October 14, 2014

ALEX by Sawyer Bennett

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/ Barnes and Noble / KOBO /

ABOUT THE BOOK: October 14, 2014

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of ALEX by Sawyer Bennett

Hockey star Alexander Crossman has a reputation as a cold-hearted player on and off the rink. Pushed into the sport by an alcoholic father, Alex isn’t afraid to give fans the proverbial middle finger, relishing his role as the MVP they love to hate. Management, however, isn’t so amused. Now Alex has a choice: fix his public image through community service or ride the bench. But Alex refuses to be molded into the Carolina Cold Fury poster boy . . . not even by a tempting redhead with killer curves.

As a social worker, Sutton Price is accustomed to difficult people—like Alex, who’s been assigned to help her create a drug-abuse awareness program for at-risk youth as part of the team’s effort to clean up his image. What she doesn’t expect is the arrogant smirk from his perfect lips to stir her most heated fantasies. But Sutton isn’t one to cross professional boundaries—and besides, Alex doesn’t do relationships . . . or does he? The more she sees behind Alex’s bad-boy façade, the more Sutton craves the man she uncovers.

Interview

TRC: Hi Sawyer and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the release of GARRETT (Cold Fury Hockey #2)

We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Sawyer BennettSawyer: Well, let’s see… I practiced law for 16 years before I decided to start writing, which was a major career change. I’m married and have a one year old daughter, plus three huge, furry dogs who I adore. We all live in one big hairy house in North Carolina.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

Sawyer: Oddly, I’m a big paranormal romance reader so I look to some of my favorites like Gena Showalter and Larissa Ione for inspiration, even though I write contemporary romance.

TRC: When not writing, what do you do to relax?

Sawyer: Reading!!!! Best way to relax.

TRC: What or who was the inspiration behind the COLD FURY Hockey Team?

Sawyer: Actually, I have to give some credit to Random House. They approached me and suggested a hockey themed romance series, which I loved the idea since I’m a big hockey fan. I decided to base it in my city of Raleigh, North Carolina, and yes, we do have a professional hockey team here but I’m actually a Pittsburgh Penguins fan!!!

GarrettTRC: Would you please tell us something about the premise of GARRETT?

Sawyer: GARRETT is the classic playboy falling in love type of trope but it’s different in that the woman he falls for is sick and her future is uncertain. While everyone wants the bad boy to fall, you do have to ask yourself is this the type of risk he should take?

TRC: How many books do you have planned for the series? Will of the team members have their story told?

Sawyer: Right now there are four books planned. Book three will be Zack and Book four will be Ryker (who is introduced in Zack).

TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background) did you encounter writing this particular story?

Sawyer: The research in this one was a little time consuming because I’m dealing with a medical illness and I wanted to be as accurate as possible. I interviewed a friend who had this same illness, as well as a doctor who treats this illness. I also did some nausea inducing researching on bone marrow biopsies. I now have so much compassion and respect for anyone that has to undergo that procedure.

TRC: What are your thoughts on writing a series and ending an instalment with a major cliff hanger?

Sawyer: I actually like series with cliffhangers, as long as I know it going into the book. I can’t stand buying a book where I think I’m getting a stand alone story and then get smacked with the cliffie. But as long as I know it’s coming, I very much enjoy series like that.

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?

Sawyer: Damn. That is a fantastic question and I think I direct the characters. I never outline or plot out a book, but tend to write organically, but the one thing I do before I start a manuscript is I do a lot of character building. I always have a good idea of the type of person my hero or heroine is and then I tend to direct them and build the story around that.

TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

Sawyer: I’d love to be a #1 New York Times bestselling author, I’d love to sell movie rights and I’d like to write in a new genre like dark thrillers.

TRC: What is something that few, if any people, know about you?

Sawyer: That’s a hard one because I am a complete open book (no pun intended). I guess I’ll share a phobia of mine. I am terrified of spiders. Like, I go into a panic mode when I see one. I’m ashamed of this, of course.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Sawyer: I’m actually working on a new Legal Affairs serial which will be released in three books, then I’m going to be working on Ryker.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food
Spaghetti

Favorite Dessert
Anything chocolate!

Favorite TV Show
Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The Walking Dead

Last Movie You Saw
Gone Girl

Favorite Musical Group
The Offspring

Dark or Milk Chocolate
Milk!!!

Secret Celebrity Crush
Chris Hemsworth but that’s not a secret. My husband knows I’d leave him in a heartbeat if Chris ever crooked his finger at me.

Last Vacation Destination
Kiawah Island, SC… that’s where I am right now!!!!

Pet Peeve
Not rinsing the sink out- glaring at my husband

TRC: Thank you Sawyer for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success.

About the author

USA Today Best-Selling Author, Sawyer Bennett is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Sawyer is the author of several contemporary romances including the popular Off Series, the Legal Affairs Series and the Last Call Series. She will be releasing her second book in the Cold Fury Hockey Series with Random House Loveswept, February 2015.

 

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

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The Highest Tide (Eden #4) by Marian Perera-Review, Interview and Giveaway

The Highest Tide (Eden #4) by Marian Perera-Review, Interview and Giveaway

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The Highest Tide
Eden #4
by Marian Perera
Genre: adult, sharkpunk, romance
Release Date: February 17, 2015

The Highest Tide

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THE HIGHEST TIDE (Eden #4) by Marian Perera

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 17, 2015

One touch, and the tide isn’t all that’s rising.

When brothel health inspector Jason Remerley finds a uniformed woman waiting impatiently in the Velvet Court parlor, wanting to hire a man’s services, he’s struck by lightning. His intense, immediate attraction compels him to pretend his way into her arms.

Enough silver, and most men forget about Captain Lera Vanze’s half-burned face. She senses something off about the handsome, ill-dressed prostitute who sells himself so cheaply. But with his first touch, goose bumps turn to shivers of desire—right before the truth drives them in opposite directions.

Her fury is still simmering when they face each other in a more “official” capacity. She’s joined a warship to stop a terrorist only Jason can identify. Though trust is scarce, they’re swept away in a tidal wave of murderous plots and an explosive attraction that could leave them marooned in an emotional—and very real—minefield.

Warning: She knows how to wield her sword, he knows just how, when, and where to apply his…mind. Contains deception in a brothel, sex in a cave, a shark with a bad habit, and one very large wave.

•••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: THE HIGHEST TIDE is the fourth installment in Marian Perera’s adult EDEN sharkpunk meets steampunk romance series. This is steamship Captain Lera Vanze and health inspector Jason Remerley’s storyline. Although this is the fourth in the series, THE HIGHEST TIDE can be read as a stand alone without too much difficulty. The exception could be the lack of familiarity with the fantasy world that the author has been building for several installments. Some of the previous storyline characters also make an appearance.

Told from several third person points of view the storyline follows Lera and Jason on a voyage across hazardous waters where not only are the pirates dangerous but the seas as well. Lera and Jason’s introduction to one another was built upon a lie. Working as a brothel inspector, Jason is approached by a young woman looking for an evening of sex, with no commitments, believing Jason to be one of the brothel workers. What ensues is Jason’s desire for the scarred and feisty woman whom he couldn’t get out of his mind.

The premise finds one of Lera’s crew mates ordered by the authorities to aid in locating a suspected terrorist. Kovir Stripe Caller, a seventeen year old Seawatch operative with a shark familiar is tasked with finding an underwater explosive device before it detonates. In order to protect her young charge, Lera volunteers to go with Kovir on the voyage and is surprised to discover that Jason is also along for the ride. What follows is a volatile and dangerous mission where violence, retribution and revenge trigger a madman’s warped sense of right and wrong.

The relationship between Lera and Jason begins as an accidental ‘workplace’ meeting building to friendship then love. Our couple will encounter pirates, kidnappers, storms and a war not of their making. Castaway on an island, the $ex scenes between Lera and Jason are intimate but not overly graphic. Lera is a woman who has been burned; the scars are a reminder of the past; a past about which very few know. Jason’s attraction and need to aid Lera find him on the run facing an unknown future upon his return.

The secondary and supporting characters are numerous; from shipmates and crews to government officials and pirating thieves. We will be introduced (or re-introduced) to steamship captains and powerful industry players. There are moments of violence and revenge; romance and love; intrigue, espionage and suspense.

The sharkpunk/steampunk formula builds upon the premise and genre of science fiction meets steam-powered machinery in an age where technology is new within an alternative history and world. Combine this with the paranormal world of psychic communication with  sharks, you have a classification for the genre of sharkpunk; a belief systems of gods and deities, historical lore, and romanticized mythology becomes a recipe for a fantasy of action and adventure on the high seas.

Marian Perera’s world of sharkpunk is new to this reader. With the combination of steampunk meets the supernatural meets one of the world’s most dangerous predators you have an amalgamation that is sure to rouse the curious and tweak the minds of fantasy lovers.

Reading Order
Before The Storm
The Deepest Ocean
The Farthest Shore
The Highest Tide

Copy supplied by the author.

Reviewed by Sandy

Interview-Gold

TRC: Hi Marian and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the release of THE HIGHEST TIDE.

MarianPereraMarian: Thanks for hosting me! I’m happy to be here, and new book day is always special.

TRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Follow Marian: Website / Twitter  /Goodreads/

Marian: I’ve lived in places as far apart as Sri Lanka, Texas and Nunavut. I love spicy food, once wrote Transformers fanfics, and have used my keyboard for so long the only letters that haven’t been worn off the keys at all are Q, Z and X. Maybe some day I’ll write about a heroine called Zyza Quinx and get rid of those too.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

Marian: On the fantasy side, Tolkien was a major influence—so much so it took me a while to break out of the traditional high fantasy mindset. I’m glad there’s so much variety in that genre now—other spec-fic authors who have influenced me worldbuilding-wise are George R. R. Martin, Jack Vance and Tanith Lee.

In romance, I love me some Pamela Morsi historicals, Mary Balogh’s prostitute-heroine stories, Lorraine Heath’s Texas novels and Courtney Milan’s historicals. The three most important things I learned from reading romances and women’s fiction are : evoke emotion, stoke the sexual tension high, and create a vivid, atmospheric setting. Anne Stuart, Joanne Harris and Philippa Gregory are excellent at the setting part (among their other strengths).

TRC: When not writing what do you do to relax?

Marian: Relax… relax… yes, I remember doing that once. Well, there are always books that need reading, and I enjoy calligraphy. Learning to make my own bookmarks now…And I collect keychains…

TRC: Your bio states your write fantasy with a scientific twist? Would you please explain?

Marian: A dash of science is a great way to shake up a fantasy world (look at what new discoveries or advances in technology have done to ours, over and over). For instance, what if the last free nation, in a final attempt to withstand a conquering empire, developed germ warfare?

I’ve written more or less traditional fantasies, with magic and dragons, where the main character is a photographer. Or a psychologist. The science grounds the fantasy and the fantasy allows the science to be taken in new and unexpected directions to influence the story.

The Highest TideTRC: THE HIGHEST TIDE is the fourth installment in your EDEN series. Would you please tell us something about the premise?

Marian: The continent of Eden is divided into five medieval lands which are more or less equal—one nation has magic, for instance, but another has the Tree of Life (that’s why it’s called Eden). But when steam engines and cannons are developed in one particular land, the balance shifts. Arms races begin. Governments plan how to seize their share, if not more, of this new power, and eventually there will be no neutral ground in Eden.

But that’s the fantasy part. The romance side of it is ordinary people competing in races with their newly built steamships, forging bonds with foreigners from other lands—and falling in love. The specter of impending war is still in the background. For now.

TRC: Do you believe that each of the instalments can be read as a stand alone or should the storylines be read in order?

Marian: Each romance features a different main couple, so they can be read alone, but it’s even more fun to read them in order. Fewer spoilers that way, too!

TRC: How many books do you have planned for the series?

Marian: I’m working on THE REDDEST WATER (the one with the rabid shark, Jaws meets Cujo) and I’d need maybe three more books to completely wrap it up.

TRC: You have labeled the genre SHARKPUNK romance. What is SHARKPUNK romance and what qualifies a storyline to be labeled as such?

Marian: Just as there’s steampunk and biopunk, there’s sharkpunk. Take the shark away and the story is dead in the water, pun intended.

Only THE COLDEST SEA, coming out in May, deviates from this. Certain species of shark would be fine in the freezing waters next to an iceberg, but their human operatives would die of hypothermia.

TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background) did you encounter writing this particular series?

Marian: Oh, where to start?

I researched sailing ships and steamships, how to cause a tidal wave with explosives, shark biology and behavior, how killer whale echolocation works. But writing this series was also a great reason to watch Master and Commander, Jaws, The Caine Mutiny and Das Boot.

The most interesting challenge for me, though, was to have romances between very different characters in each book. That meant, for each couple, the conflict would be original. A serious problem for Miri and Alyster in THE FARTHEST SHORE (she’s what his people consider a half-breed) isn’t an issue for Jason and Lera in THE HIGHEST TIDE, even though those two are from completely different lands.

eden series

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?

Marian: It’s both. I decide who the characters are—especially the traits that will bring them into conflict with each other, like Lera’s directness vs. Jason’s, um, creative interpretation of the truth—but after that, they’re on their own. The stories just wouldn’t work without those particular characters.

TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writers fail in this endeavor?

Marian: Give readers something they can identify with. I love romances where either the hero or heroine must carefully save their money, or where the heroine’s community disapproves of her independence. I understand both of those, and I sympathize muchly. But at the same time, some of the keepers on my romance shelves feature unusual professions or locales or characters. I find those just as intriguing, in a different way. What’s different is often fascinating.

Fails are when the characters do nothing interesting at the start; I once read a soulmate romance which began with the hero moping because he hadn’t met his True Love yet. I like characters with practical goals beyond “get married and live happily ever after”. Also, while flaws are fine, some of my pet peeves are misogynistic heroes and women so overwhelmed by a man’s hotness that they constantly blush, stammer and trip over their own feet.

TRC: Writer’s Block is a very real phenomenon. How do you handle the pressures and anxiety of writer’s block?

Marian: I always have other ideas in mind, so I could work on those projects instead. But nearly always, writers’ block means there’s some issue with the story that I haven’t consciously identified just yet.

With THE COLDEST SEA, I originally had the heroine leaving home because she didn’t want to marry a certain man. Then she met the hero and was attracted to him. After four chapters I knew this setup wasn’t working, because there was no conflict.

I wrote out ideas for such conflict in a dialogue-with-myself form, and then realized the answer: yes, she’s still leaving home. But it’s because her fiance didn’t want to marry her; he jilted her. She’s still in love with him, though, and she believes if she just waits long enough, he’ll realize he was wrong. Now, when she meets the hero, she’s torn between him and her ex-fiance. After that, the story wrote itself.

TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?

Marian: Just ideas? I don’t. To me, the idea is the starting point—I still need characters, plot and setting, at a minimum. I have dozens of ideas, and rarely need feedback on those because almost any idea could be made into a good story (unless the idea is something out of How Not To Write A Novel). It’s the execution that matters.

That said, I find the Absolute Write forums invaluable in terms of discussion with other writers, and especially for technical information. I’ve asked lots of questions there on topics as diverse as developing photographs from glass plates and the explosive potential of flour, and have received a lot of helpfuul information.

TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

Marian:
Write a fantasy novel and query that.
Visit either France or Japan.
Clean out the attic. If no one sees or hears of me after year five, you’ll know what happened.

TRC: What is something that few, if any people, know about you?

Marian: While Marian has always been my legal first name, no one ever used it until I turned 18.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Marian: The next Eden novel and a Christmas romance, one of a trilogy inspired by A Christmas Carol. Each features a ghost from the original story.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Marian: I blog about writing and publishing my favorite genres at Flights of Fantasy and have long juicy excerpts of my books at Marian Perera.com. I’m also trying to Tweet more, so look me up @MDPerera.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite TV Show

Ever Decreasing Circles, a Britcom from the ‘80s.

Last Movie You Saw

Othello, the version starring Lawrence Fishburne and Kenneth Branagh.

Favorite Musical Group

Either Roxette or Nightwish, depending on whether I’m in the mood for pop or metal.

Dark or Milk Chocolate

Dark, like my men.

Secret Celebrity Crush

Alexander Siddig, back in his Deep Space Nine days.

Last Vacation Destination

Nova Scotia. It was so much fun—I got to pick apples, picnic on the beach, and go through a corn maze. I pretended I was in Children of the Corn, and He Who Walks Behind The Rows was coming to get me.

Do you have any pets?

Not yet, but I always wanted a cat. Previously where I lived, a neighbor’s orange tabby used to wander around, so I’d coax him in with a laser pointer and play with him for an hour or so. Until one day he came in with a note around his neck saying “Please do not let me into your house.”

Pet Peeve

Homophobia.

TRC: Thank you Marian for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success. We wish you all the best.

Marian: Thanks again for hosting me. I enjoyed the interview!

 

giveaway

Marian is graciously offering an ecopy of THE HIGHEST TIDE to TWO (2) commenters (international) and a paper copy to ONE (1) commenter (US/Canada only).

Please note: The paper copy of THE HIGHEST TIDE will not be available until June 2015. The US/CANADA winner has the option of choosing an ecopy if you do not want to wait.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

4. Please FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

6. Please LIKE us on TSU for an additional entry.

7. Please follow Marian Perera on Twitter

8. ebook Giveaway is open INTERNATIONAL: paper book giveaway is open to USA / Canada only.

9. Giveaway runs from February 17-21, 2015

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Trail of Guilt (The Trail Series #2) by Rebecca Tust-Review and Giveaway

Trail of Guilt (The Trail Series #2) by Rebecca Tust-Review and Giveaway

Trail of Guilt

Trail of Guilt
The Trail Series #2
by Rebecca Tust
Genre: adult, contemporary, romantic suspense
Release Date: January 30, 2015

Trail of Guilt

Amazon.com / Barnes and Noble / The Book Depository

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 30, 2015

Chelsea Turner barely managed to survive at the hands of a psychotic stalker. She is still fighting inner demons when circumstances force her into hiding with the one man she’s desperately trying to avoid: sinfully handsome, confirmed bachelor, Blake Harrington.

As Blake Harrington’s boat explodes, killing two of his closest friends, he is certain it wasn’t an accident. Convinced he’s still in danger, Blake pulls Chelsea into hiding with him and turns to his old college friend, Special Agent Nicholas Braun, for help.
As Blake, Chelsea, and Nicholas search for answers, they find someone is ruthlessly determined to keep secrets buried. As they discover a trail of lies and deceit, will they be able to expose the truth before more lives are lost?

Trail of Guilt is a contemporary story with a tantalizing blend of romance, intrigue and suspense.

*******************

REVIEW: TRAIL OF GUILT is the second installment in Rebecca Tust’s contemporary, adult The Trail romantic, suspense series. This is radio personality Chelsea Turner and Blake Harrington’s storyline. We were first introduced to Chelsea and Blake in book one TRAIL OF OBSESSION-Megan Cartwright and Stephen Braun’s story. I strongly suggest reading the series in order as a number of characters, history and backstory overlap from book one to book two.

Told from several third person points of view, the storyline picks up after the events of book one. Chelsea had been savagely beaten by Raymond Overton-the psychotic killer who had originally targeted her best friend Megan in Trail of Obsession. While in recovery at home, Chelsea is quietly pursued by Blake Harrington-Stephen Braun’s best friend- in the hopes of a relationship. As Chelsea continues to pull away from friends and family, Blake finds himself struggling following an explosion and the death of his close friends Jen and Garrett. Believing he was the intended victim Blake pulls Chelsea into a cross-country run in the hopes of protecting the woman with whom he is falling in love. Blake is convinced that his connection to Chelsea places her life in danger.

Blake is a man who doesn’t do relationships. His reputation with the women precedes his attempts to seduce Chelsea and in this Chelsea is reluctant to have her heart broken. On the run, Chelsea and Blake will contact Stephen’s brother, ‘investigator’ Nicholas Braun, in the hopes of securing a place to stay. What ensues is the building relationship between Blake and Chelsea as they hide out waiting for Nicholas to uncover the truth behind the explosion and murders. The investigation will find Nicholas discovering a trail of missing money and the person responsible caught between two worlds and two lives.

The numerous secondary and supporting characters carry a good portion of the story. We get reacquainted with Megan and Stephen, and some of their extended family and friends; an assortment of law officials and FBI agents including Agent Lauren Leighton; Megan’s lawyer Sean Black (and Chelsea’s cousin); Raymond Overton; and Samantha-the woman responsible for Megan’s kidnapping in book one.

There are two side story developments that run parallel to Chelsea and Blake’s saga; both premises will intersect with the investigation resulting in the truth, more abductions and a missing FBI special agent.

TRAIL OF GUILT is a contemporary story of suspense, romance and loss but once again, like the first book, I found some questionable reality. The storyline is fast paced; the central characters likeable but fallible; their situations complicated and involved. There are moments of tension and guilt; romance and love; letting go and moving on. Rebecca Tust writes an intriguing storyline that ends on a bit of a cliffhanger that will introduce the potential players in the next installment.

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of TRAIL OF OBSESSION (Book 1) by Rebecca Tust

Copy supplied by the author.

Reviewed by Sandy

Guest Post-White and Aqua

Developing the Hero: Trail of Guilt

When you first meet Blake Harrington, he has a cocky and arrogant personality. He’s a successful financial analyst. He’s ruggedly handsome and athletic. He has money, great friends, and a lot of material things. He’s just celebrated his thirty-second birthday and life is going great.

Blake cares about Chelsea and has been pursuing her. They have great chemistry together and she has the potential to be something more, but Blake is still in the mode of playing games and avoiding commitment. I felt if they connected too soon, Blake would end up sabotaging the relationship.

I knew I needed to do something to shake Blake’s world up in order to make him change. I started with him witnessing his friends’ deaths. He’s burdened with grief and thinks it’s his fault his friends died. As his friends and family assume he’s been killed as well, he finds himself stripped of everything and re-evaluating his life. He realizes he doesn’t want to be remembered as a selfish, fun-loving SOB and starts to make a change.

As Blake and Chelsea continue to spend time together, you see a softer, more vulnerable side to Blake. He cares about his friends and his family. When he discovers his father has had a heart attack, he pushes his welfare aside. He knows coming out of hiding is a risk, but he’s willing to risk his life in order to see his father again.
As Blake and Chelsea work together to overcome various adversities, they realize what or who is important in life. Blake comes to appreciate his family and friends even more. He realizes the relationship he has with Chelsea is special and opens his heart for love instead of trying to push it away. I hope you enjoy Blake’s transformation from shallow and selfish to a caring man worthy of love.

Developing the Heroine:

Chelsea Turner is a radio announcer with a vibrant personality and infectious laugh. She has a heart full of love, but finds herself unlucky when it comes to love. It seems she’s always falling for the wrong man, and Blake Harrington is no exception.

Because of a recent attack, Chelsea finds herself less carefree and more guarded. Even though Blake is trying to help pull her out of her funk, she’s trying to resist being with Blake alone. She’s at the point in her life where she’s tired of being in dead-end relationships.

Even though Chelsea has flaws, hates camping, and can be a little dramatic, she has a great heart. Her greatest strengths are her loyalty and support. When Chelsea realizes Blake needs her help, she’s willing to jeopardize her career and her life to help him.

~~Rebecca~~

About The Author

Rebecca TustDuring the day, Rebecca Tust work in the medical field helping the elderly get back to a good quality of life following a surgery or illness. She is married with two children and lives in MIddletown, CT. Life keeps her busy shuttling kids to practice, attending soccer games, and watching gymnastic meets. Rebecca loves reading and have always entertained the notion of writing a romantic suspense story. Rebecca is glad she’s had a chance to work in a field she loves, as well as chase her dreams.

Website/ Facebook/ Twitter/ Goodreads

Giveaway

Rebecca is graciously offering a paper copy of TRAIL OF GUILT to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE and Follow Rebecca Tust on Facebook

4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

5. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Please FOLLOW us on TSU for an additional entry.

8. Giveaway open to USA/ CANADA only

9. Giveaway runs from February 14-18, 2015

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All For You by Christi Barth – Review, Interview and Giveaway

All For You by Christi Barth – Review, Interview and Giveaway

All For You Banner

 

All for YouAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM

Description:
Small-town park ranger Casey Hobbes has spent her life under the radar, carefully guarding a secret. “The forest flirt,” as her best friend calls her, keeps things casual with men. That way she’ll never care enough to be tempted to share the truth about her past. But when she spots a half-naked stranger on the lake’s edge, Casey can’t resist his muscles or his charm and she’s all-in for enjoying both, while keeping emotion out of it. What could be the danger of one summer fling?

Professor Zane Buchanan has built his entire career on exposing the dark realities of cults, but one—the Sunshine Seekers—remains infuriatingly impossible to crack. Zane’s shocked to discover its sole anonymous survivor is hiding in his new hometown. It’s nearly impossible to concentrate on work, however, when he’s derailed by his attraction to the beautiful blonde in khaki uniform shorts.

As things between Casey and Zane heat up, she struggles with keeping her past from him. And Zane’s on a quest to expose the truth, no matter the consequences. Will their growing emotions finally unseal Casey’s big secret? Or will she turn her back on love to keep the past safely buried?

 

Review:

All for You by Christi Barth is the 2nd book in her Shore Secrets series. In the first book of this series, we met Ella and Gray and their friends in this small town sweet romance. All for You begins with one Ella’s friends, Casey, who is a park ranger, as she notices a man come out of the freezing ocean after hours. Going to his rescue, she meets our hero, Zane, who has just arrived in town to start a class at the local college.

The attraction between Casey and Zane is immediate, but Barth does a wonderful job of taking this romance slow, with Zane determined to gradually win over Casey, without rushing the sex. Zane is not only a professor, he is also a successful author, who is obsessed with writing about cults. There is one cult, The Sunshine Seekers, who came to a dramatic end, that he has not been able to bring to a final conclusion. Zane feels he is close to finding the truth right here in this small town, and is determined to find the truth, so he can write the story he has dreamed of all these years. Who is the Lone Survivor of The Sunshine Seekers?

Casey’s friends, whom we met in the first book, play a big part in this story. Besides Ella, Gray, we get to spend more time with Dawn, Ward, Piper, Joel, in this wonderful lighthearted romance, that has a little mystery. Casey and Zane begin to realize that they are falling in love with one another, and they made such a hot and sweet couple. Will there be a future for them?

Without giving spoilers, we learn early on that Casey, Dawn and the town have their own hidden secrets that they will protect, which will put Zane fully in the middle. Secrets will be revealed, relationships put at risk, as we worry if love will prevail during this crisis.

As I have said before, Christi Barth always writes wonderful sweet lighthearted romances, with wonderful couples, and great fun friendships. All for You was an enjoyable, charming, and fast fun relaxing read. I recommend you to read this wonderful series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Author

 

Interview

Hi, Christi. Thank you for taking the time to revisit us at The Reading Cafe, to discuss your new release “All For You”, as well as to give us an update as to what you have in store for us in 2015.

Christi:  Oh, I’m always happy to stop by and chat! Talking about books is one of my favorite things to do.

TRC: It has been awhile when we last interviewed you, for anyone who does not know Christi Barth, would you please tell us something about yourself?

Christi: I write sassy, funny contemporary romances. You’d better appreciate some good banter and bromance if you read my books!

TRC: You have just released the 2nd book in your Shore Secrets trilogy. For those who may not have read this series, would you please give us a brief description of Shore Secrets?

Christi: I love the opportunity to share my series disclaimer: this whole series is based on real life. The premise is of a mailbox on a lakeshore where everyone in town anonymously writes their questions and problems – and people respond with their advice. As crazypants as it sounds, the idea came to me after hearing a radio story about a town in North Carolina that actually does this. Wild, huh? So yes, each book contains secrets the hero and heroine keep from each other…but the whole rest of the town finds out.

All for YouTRC: With the release today of All For You, can you please give us a brief description of this 2nd book in the series?

Christi: There’s a park ranger who has been hiding – in plain sight – from the nation for over a decade. Casey wants a summer fling with the hot new college professor. Except…he’s more than just a professor. Zane’s a world famous cult expert who has been searching for the last survivor of the Sunshine Seekers for his entire career. Can she risk revealing her secret for love? Would Zane choose another guaranteed book and film deal if he learns her true identity – or her heart?
TRC: The 3rd book in this series, Back to Us is anticipated to be June release. Can you please tell us briefly about the last book in the Shore Secrets Trilogy?
Christi: The fun part has been dropping hints about Ward and Piper throughout the first two books. They were best friends, then high school sweethearts until an ugly breakup. Still best friends, neither realizes they both still are madly in love with each other. And when Ward refuses to sell Piper his land unless she dates him for a month, an uncompromising winemaker learns that some bargains are worth making for a second chance at love.
TRC: If you could cast the leading characters, who would you envision to play the leading roles in your Shore Secrets series?
Christi: Ooh – an excuse to send you to my Pinterest page! I’ve got a board for every book, chock full of outfits and settings and yes, hot guys. So Up To Me stars Jessica Biel & Ian Somerholder; All For You is Amy Smart & Nathan Fillion, and I just finished writing Back To Us, which meant months of staring at the HOT Joe Mangianello & Amy Adams.

TRC: Wow I need to look at your Pinterest page….Ian, Nathan and Joe..those are some hot guys. :)

Never too Late
TRC:
You recently released a novella, Never Too Late. Can you please give us a brief description, and is this a standalone book or is it part of a new series?

Christi: This is part of Harlequin’s More Than Words philanthropy project. They highlight three charities, give them money, and publish a story loosely based on each one. Mine is a sweet love story about two career-focused architects who are forced to work on birthday parties for homeless children.

 

 

TRC: Will there be more books for your wonderful Aisle Bound series, or was A Matchless Romance the last book in this series?

Aisle Bound Box Set

Christi: Awww, I’m so glad you liked it! But I’m afraid I did marry off everyone possible in that series, so it did indeed conclude with the fourth book. But it is practically wedding season, so let’s remind everyone who hasn’t read it yet to go grab all the romance drenched books – it is even in a convenient box set!

 

 

TRC: Would you like to share with us what you are currently working on, and what you have in store for us in 2015?

Christi: So many exciting things! Book 3 of Shore Secrets, Back To Us, comes out in July. Then in the fall I’m releasing The Opposite of Right, the first novella in my Bad Decisions series about hot rockers. 2015 kicks off with the release of Book One in my just-sold Naked Men series (title still to be tweaked, but currently Risking It All). It centers around five men who survived a high school tragedy, how it made them into the men they are today, and of course, the women who complete them.

TRC: When not writing, what do you do to relax?

Christi: I’m a TVaholic, so I catch up on all the shows I missed while churning out the words. I adore cooking and throwing dinner parties (probably because my husband does all the clean up), and I read non-stop.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Christi: Don’t let the potentially serious topic of cults scare you away – All For You is chock full of laughs (it’s the only way I know how to write!), super sexy scenes, and romance that will make you sigh blissfully.

Thank you, Christi for giving us an update on All for You, as well as what we can look forward to in the future. It was a pleasure talking with you again. We wish you good luck with All For You.

To learn more about Christi Barth, you can find her at the following links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

 

giveaway

Christi is graciously offering an e-copy of ALL FOR YOU to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

4. Please LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. Please LIKE us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

6. Please LIKE us on TSU for an additional entry.

7. Follow Samantha Young on Facebook.

8. Giveaway is open Internationally

9. Giveaway runs from February 11-15, 2015

 

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First Contact by M.A. Abraham – Review, Interview and Giveaway

First Contact by M.A. Abraham – Review, Interview and Giveaway

First Contact Banner

 

First Contact

 Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Itunes / Smashwords

Description:
Twenty ships have left the gravitational field of the Earth with the intention of colonizing Mars. Each is independent of the other and set to become domed cities upon landing. The mission is simple: go forth to develop the new planet, make it an extension of our home. Well, it sounded simple.

No one expected life on Mars to be easy, they are pioneers and that is a type of life that comes with dangers. What they didn’t expect was for the settings of one of the ships to be off enough to miss their landing, to miss the very planet they were meant to settle.

Even more astounding was to find another planet within a three-week travel period that lies in the shadow of the red planet. It is where they will land, where their ship will unfold to become a domed city. Where life is dangerous in a hostile land and they find unexpected help. The indigenous winged people of the planet don’t live on the surface of the planet, they live in cities in the clouds, but they are willing to extend a welcoming hand to those who have come to their land, as well as teach them what they can to survive. Their relationship begins with three words.

“Welcome to Tantalus.”

 

Review:

First Contact by M.A. Abraham is the 1st book in her new Tantalus series. This is a Sci-Fi story that has space traveling, romance, mystery, new planet, new species, and interesting world-building. The premise of this story is to introduce us to the two species that will come together by the end, leading the way to a world that will co-exist between humans and Tantalarians, who look human, but they have wings.

But to get there is what First Contact is all about. We meet the humans on a huge space ship with 50,000 people traveling to Mars, where they will live. A few ships have already landed on Mars, working hard to make it livable for humans. Immediately, we learn that the ship has gone off course, with the Captain and his team unable to fix the issue, which means they will miss their landing to Mars. Surprisingly, they see an unknown planet only weeks away, where they will be able to land. The Captain also learns that one of his lieutenants has some physic ability, and was the one whom the planet contacted to let her know they will help them reach their planet. We learn early on that there are a few others, who are also physic. Cara, and her children have tried to hide their physic ability, because they fear for their lives. It seems there are a group of hostiles that have secretly killed those that are physic, as they feel they are witches. Yes, it does have the similarity to Salem. The captain becomes involved in the mystery to find out who is the leader of the group determined to stop the ship from reaching the new planet.

While this is going on with the humans on the ship, there is also another main storyline of the people of Tantalus. Our heroes here are Karia and Mitchel, who are destined to be mates, thereby changing the rules in Tantalus that was led astray many years ago by corrupt men, who wanted to rule the women. With the help of her mother, and the other Phoenix from the past, Karia will be the strongest women, who will bring back the old glory. It is Karia who was able to warn the ship and help guide them to Tantalus. The main story here is the revolution to stop the corrupt rulers, and the hot romance between Karia and Mitchel.

There is a lot of action, romance, and steamy sex going on in both stories. Telling too much more would be spoilers, but each storyline was very well done.

M.A. Abraham has given us another wonderful imaginative new series. First Contact gives us a new race, The Tantalarians and an exciting adventure that will keep us hooked until the very end. This is a different and exciting story, with some wonderful characters. Abraham has built this world that has us looking forward to see what happens next, as they begin to work together. I can’t wait for the next book, Integration.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Author

 

Interview beige 2

Welcome back, M.A. Thank you for taking the time to visit us again at The Reading Cafe, and to give us an update on your new releases, as well as what else you may have upcoming in 2015.

M. A.: Thank you for the invitation, it is always a pleasure to come here.

TRC: You have a new series that will debut tomorrow, Tantalus. This is a different genre than you have written before…..SciFi/Romance. What can you tell us about this new series, and how did you came up with the idea?

First ContactM. A.: The Tantalus Series is a look at mankind’s efforts to reach out into space, to find a new start. They are bringing the good traits, as well as the bad ones of our people along with them. As they travel they find there is life on other planets, although it isn’t expected. They are not as prepared to put their best foot forward as people on Earth think we would, but that is all right, because neither are the Aliens encountered. It shows that for all our faults, we are not alone with our actions; people the Universe over are much the same. The Tantalarians are not perfect either. ‘First Contact’ is only the beginning.

The idea for Tantalus was formed many years ago, when I had an Astronomy fetish. I have always been interested in the worlds beyond our own and the sciences that are connected with the study of them. I used to fantasize about life on other planets, and searched out all the information I could find to feed that curiosity. I believed, and still do, that we are not the only people in the Universe, life is too diverse for such small expectations. There was a time when my dream was to work in a planetarium, but life had other plans for me.

TRC:   Can you please give us a brief synopsis of Tantalus, and how many books are you planning for this series?

M. A.: Twenty ships have left the gravitational field of the Earth with the intention of colonizing Mars. Each is independent of the other and set to become domed cities upon landing. The mission is simple: go forth to develop the new planet, make it an extension of our home. Well, it sounded simple.

No one expected life on Mars to be easy, they are pioneers and that is a type of life that comes with dangers. What they didn’t expect was for the settings of one of the ships to be off enough to miss their landing, to miss the very planet they were meant to settle.

Even more astounding was to find another planet within a three-week travel period that lies in the shadow of the red planet. It is where they will land, where their ship will unfold to become a domed city. Where life is dangerous in a hostile land and they find unexpected help. The indigenous winged people of the planet don’t live on the surface of the planet, they live in cities in the clouds, but they are willing to extend a welcoming hand to those who have come to their land, as well as teach them what they can to survive. Their relationship begins with three words. “Welcome to Tantalus.”

At this point I am looking at 4 books, however, I never expected the Elven Chronicles to go on as long as it has, will. With that in mind, anything is possible.

TRC:   What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, etc) did you encounter writing this story and series?

M. A.: This world would have been a lot more difficult to write if I wouldn’t have had such a diverse education. I still read and watch anything I can about space, I find it fascinating, not only the concept, but also the mathematics that goes with it. (Yes, I can be a geek about the subject, when I get in the mood.)

TRC:   How many books do you still anticipate for The Elven Chronicles?

M. A.:  At this time I can say for sure that there are 7 or 8 titles left for me to publish in the Elven Chronicles, starting with ‘For The King and Elven Empire’ (Novel) in June. That will be followed by my Christmas release, “Surrounded by the Light’ (Novella) (which I haven’t written yet). ‘Tratchars’ (Novel) will follow, with ‘Eärwen’s Song’ (Novel), and 3 others after. They are all in my mind, just not the last 3 titles, or the length of the last 3. I believe by then everyone will be happy to see the end of that series. Some say they are not happy to see those words, but that is the way the cookie crumbles.

TRC:   What are you currently working on now? Also, would you like to share with us what you may have upcoming in 2015/2016.

M. A.:  I am currently working to finish off the manuscript for ‘Integration’, and by the time anyone reads this, I should be over 3/4 finished. I have already begun ‘Surrounded by the light’, ‘Tratchars’, and ‘Eärwen’s Song’.

In 2015 I am releasing ‘For the King and Elven Empire’, ‘Integration’ and ‘Surrounded by the Light’. In 2016 I will release ‘Tratchars’, ‘Hunter’s Challenge’, ‘Forbidden Contact’, and a couple EC Novellas still to be named. In 2017 I will release ‘Eärwen’s Song’, not sure about after yet.

TRC:   When not writing, what do you like to do to relax?

M. A.: I am an avid reader, when my mind isn’t so full of characters blurting out their stories that I can’t think about anything else. I like to visit the mountains and I work for a small company. There is always something to do to keep my mind occupied. I am not someone who can sit still for long, I need a project.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

M.A.: Nothing I should talk about, there are rumors of another series and some stand alones flying about. Shhh…

TRC: LOL   Such a tease 

TRC:   Thank you, M.A. for giving us an update on what we can look forward to in 2015, and beyond. We wish you the best with First Contact.

M. A.:  Congratulations on the anniversary of your site, you are all doing a wonderful job.

To learn more about M.A. Abraham, you can find her at the following links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / GoodreadsITunes

 

Giveaway beige

M.A. is offering an e-copy of FIRST CONTACT to TWO (2) lucky commenters at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

4. Please FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

6. Please LIKE us on TSU for an additional entry.

7. Follow M.A. Abraham on Facebook.

8. Giveaway is open Internationally

9. Giveaway runs from February 9-February 14, 2015

 

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Hot and Bothered (Hot in the Kitchen #3) by Kate Meader-Review, Promotion and Giveaway

Hot and Bothered (Hot in the Kitchen #3) by Kate Meader-Review, Promotion and Giveaway

Hot-and-Bothered-Launch-Day-Blitz
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Hot and Bothered
Hot in the Kitchen #3
by Kate Meader
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic romance

Paper copy Release Date: January 27, 2015
Hot and Bothered

Amazon.com / Barnes and Noble / KOBO / The Book Depository

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Although her baby boy keeps her plate full, Jules Kilroy is ready to take her love life off the back burner. Despite a bevy of eligible bachelors, it’s her best friend, Taddeo DeLuca, who’s fueling her hormones with generous servings of his mouth-watering Italian sexiness. But Jules learned her lesson once before when she went in for a kiss, only to have Tad reject her. She’s vowed never to blur the lines again . . .

After a lifetime of excuses and false starts, Tad has finally opened a wine bar, a deal made even sweeter when Jules joins his staff. Lovers come and go, and he’s had his share, but friendships like theirs last forever. Still, ever since he tasted her luscious lips, he can’t stop fantasizing about what could be. Then she signs up for an online dating site—and the thought of his Jules with another man makes Tad’s blood boil. Even if he gets burned, Tad can’t stop himself from turning up the heat this time.

••••••••••••••

REVIEW: HOT AND BOTHERED is the third installment in Kate Meader’s contemporary, adult Hot in the Kitchen erotic romance series focusing on the DeLuca/Kilroy family. This is Taddeo DeLuca and Jules Kilroy’s storyline –a friends to lovers scenario. HOT AND BOTHERED advances the series approximately eighteen months to two years. Although HOT AND BOTHERED is the third book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone without too much difficulty. Any important information from the previous storylines is added where necessary.

The premise follows single mother Jules Kilroy and her friendship with Taddeo DeLuca. It has been eighteen months since she gave birth to her son Evan and she has decided it is time to get back out into the world of dating-her only problem-she is in love with her best friend Tad DeLuca-a man with a reputation for the ladies. As Jules’s sisters in law help with her foray into the online dating websites, Tad finds himself becoming over protective and a little more than jealous when his best friend begins to see other men.

Tad is a man who wants to prove himself worthy of his family and friends but a heartbreaking loss ten years earlier finds Tad wallowing in guilt, self doubt and any excuse not to get close to the woman that he loves. Words will be said in anger and Tad’s relationship with Jules will die a slow death-one heartbeat at a time. Their pasts continue to haunt their present and in this the emotional pull of helplessness, guilt and moving on is always a reminder of what was and what could have been.

The secondary and supporting characters include all of the previous storyline couples as well as everyone at DeLuca’s restaurant, family and friends. Because the storyline advances the series eighteen to twenty four months, we are given another look at Jack and Lili’s relationship as well as Shane and Cara-their struggles and expanding families. Kate Meader’s world of Hot in the Kitchen takes the reader behind the scenes at a family run restaurant-the people, their lives and their loves.

HOT AND BOTHERED is an emotional read; a sexy storyline about two people who continue to ignore the elephant in the room-they are in love with one another but heartbreak and the fear of the unknown is holding them back.

Reading Order and Reviews
Feel The Heat
All Fired Up
Hot and Bothered

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.

Reviewed by Sandy

excerpt

 

 

“I’ll walk you up,” he said, slipping his jacket on so it was clear to both of them he would be on his way as soon as his chivalrous duty had been performed. Because people put on jackets to, you know, go outside.
“You don’t—”
“I do.” He tucked his hand under her elbow, the touch electrifying his every cell once more. He didn’t let go of her arm as he guided her up to the second flight.
He took the key and opened her door. No problems with the door knob.
“I’ve got it from here,” she said, still avoiding his eyes. Good girl, look away. If she had any sense of self-preservation, she would close the door and send him packing because he was this close to pushing her against the wall and banging her boneless.
“How did your date go tonight?”
Fuck. The self-preservation thing goes both ways, bischero.
There was that flare of anger again. He wished she’d come right out and say what she was mad about.
“I didn’t know Cara was going to bring Darian.”
“So, a pleasant surprise. A doctor.” Merda, that came out sarcastic, which, to be honest, he meant it to be. Judging by the freeze-his-nuts stare she aimed his way, she took it in that same spirit.
“Think I don’t have it in me to date someone smart like that?”
“Don’t use that card, Jules. You have it in you to get anyone you want. I just don’t think that guy’s right for you.”
“Why?”
Because he’s not me.
None of those idiots understood the first thing about her. Tad did, though. He knew that sometimes she felt dumb because the words on the page refused to cooperate for her. He knew that she had spent her childhood wishing that someone, anyone would see her. He knew she had fought like a tigress to get here so she could provide the best life possible for Evan.
Tad had been there from the beginning, shoulder at the ready for her tears, hand outstretched so she could crush it while delivering Evan. Fancy diplomas, fat bank balances, a McMansion in Schaumburg—none of these things qualified them for shit where this woman was concerned.
“He’s just looking for a housewife to support him and pump out his kids while he does his important job.”
“Wow, you got all this from watching me flirt with him?”
He could feel his teeth mashed together like a trash compactor and he spat out the next words with trouble. “Conor’s no good for you either, so you can forget about that.”
“What’s his problem, then? He owns his own bar, saves people from burning buildings… Oh, is that it?” She kicked off her shoes, an angry smirk crinkling the corner of her mouth as one of the heels hit the leg of her coffee table with a satisfying thud. “You don’t think guys who save lives are good enough for me. You’re not exactly saving any lives when you pair that silky Pinot with the aged manchego.”
As insults go, it was pretty tame, but the sharpness in his chest registered the unintended blow. Saving lives was the last thing he was qualified for.
“I’m just trying to look out for you, Jules.”
“That’s a neat trick. You move your lips and Jack’s words come out. I’ve already told you I don’t need another brother.”
She might not need a brother but she needed a protector. Someone who could be with her through the tough times, who understood the meaning of sacrifice and family. Someone not like him.
But he could be her friend. “What happened to get you so upset tonight?”
Her brows drew together over eyes sparking with determination. “I realized I have to take what I need and fight for what’s mine.”
Whoa, if he wasn’t turned on before, he sure as hell was now. Mine. He loved how that sounded on her lips, even though he had no idea what she was yammering on about. She was grabbing something by the balls—her destiny, perhaps, and he was man enough to say, she had him by the balls as well.
The smoky lines around eyes dark with emotion hit him like a shot of moonshine. Every hair, and more, stood to attention at the sight of her Cabernet-red lips in that beautiful bow shape that would look so perfect trailing scorching kisses across his chest and beyond. Warmth washed through his veins. The edge of desire rose up to meet him and he embraced it fully.
He was only human.
She padded toward him, showcasing the sultry sway of her hips even without the sparkly fuck-me heels. Her eyes turned to shadowy emeralds like the pupils had swallowed the usual sea-green brightness. He recognized that look. He had seen it the other night in the wake of his kiss. Except for one difference: Juliet Kilroy, his friend, hot MILF, was now seducing him.
She brushed by him and closed her fist over the doorknob. Looked like her difficulties with the open/close thing were a thing of the past. Drawing the door ajar a few inches, she speared him with a look that might have flattened a lesser man.
“I’m giving you a choice. You can walk out this door and pretend there isn’t something happening between us or you can stay and give me what I need.”
His cock thickened and grew achy. “What do you need, Jules?”
“You. Inside me. All night.”
Oh, sweet Jesus.
He held her green tilty gaze, aiming to infuse his next words with cut-the-bull clarity. “I’m not like the others, those men you’ve been dating, the ones who slobbered all over you tonight. I’m not boyfriend material.”
“That’s not what you offered, though, was it?”
Leaning past her shoulder, he pressed the door shut, the snick short and final.
Inevitable.
“That’s not what I offered.”


 

 

Interview-RED

TRC: Hi Kate and welcome to The Reading Café. We would like to start with some background information.

Kate MeaderWould you please tell us something about yourself?

Kate: Well, I’m originally from Ireland and I’ve lived in Chicago for over twenty years. I have degrees in law, history, and library science, and I write about hot alpha men and the women who can match them quip for quip.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

Kate: I’m huge fan of romance with humor, so when younger, I loved sexy, sprawling comedic romances and women’s fiction from Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper. These days, major influences are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jill Shalvis, Rachel Gibson, and Jenny Crusie.

Hot and BotheredTRC: HOT AND BOTHERED is the latest release in your Hot in the Kitchen contemporary, romance series. Would you please tell us something about the premise?

Kate: The series follows the lives and loves of the DeLucas, an Italian-American restaurant owning family and the sizzling chefs who love them. HOT AND BOTHERED is a friends to lovers story that gets its kick start when my heroine, Jules decides she’s ready to take her love life off the back burner and start dating. And that gets my hero, Tad, all riled up because he’s been crazy about her forever. So he embarks on a plan to keep her
close by having her use her culinary skills in his wine bar kitchen, by sabotaging any date she’s on, and by offering her an alternative—a sexy fling to scratch her itch.

TRC: How many books do you have planned for the series?

Kate: There are three books planned in the Hot in the Kitchen series—FEEL THE HEAT, ALL FIRED UP, and HOT AND BOTHERED. All are written and now available in both print and ebook.

Hot in the Kitchen series

TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background) did you encounter writing this particular series?

Kate: None, really! I mean, it’s food after all. I watched a lot of cooking shows and online videos to get the behind-the-scenes of working in a professional kitchen. I also cooked a lot of the recipes used in the books.

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?

Kate: Characters first, always.

TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writers fail in this endeavor?

Kate: It all comes down to writing characters that people can identify with, whether it’s a princess or a single mom down on her luck. As long as that character is acting in situations that make sense to that character—and us—the reader will want to get on board that train. Usually, I find writers fail if they establish a character and then have them make decisions that make no sense. Not necessarily a dumb decision, but one that’s not in keeping with the traits of that person.

TRC: What is something that few, if any people, know about you?

Kate: A lot of people don’t know I have a masters degree in medieval history. I studied medieval nuns and holy women who used their connection to God to find new paths to empowerment in their community. Medieval nuns were probably the first feminists!

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Flirting with FireKate: I’m working on a new series called Hot in Chicago about a family of firefighting foster siblings and their blazing hot love interests. The first full-length book, FLIRTING WITH FIRE, comes out in March 2015.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Kate: Just thanks for having me!

TRC: Thank you Kate for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success.Congratulations on all of your success.

About The Author

FOLLOW: Goodreads / Website / Twitter / Facebook

Kate MeaderKate writes contemporary romance that serves up delicious food, to-die-for heroes, and heroines with a dash of sass. FEEL THE HEAT, the first in her Hot in the Kitchen series from Forever/Grand Central is now available, with Book 2 in the series, ALL FIRED UP, following in November 2013.

Originally from Ireland, she cut her romance reader teeth on Catherine Cookson and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Mills and Boons thrown in for variety. Her stories are set in her adopted home town of Chicago, a city made for food, romance, and laughter – and where she met her own sexy hero.

 

giveaway

There are TWO (2) ways to WIN

Giveaway #1

The publisher is offering the complete set of Hot in the Kitchen books-Feel The Heat, All Fired Up and Hot and Bothered by Kate Meader.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #2

To celebrate the paper back release Kate’s publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of HOT AND BOTHERED to one (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

4. Please FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on TSU for an additional entry.

7. Follow Kate Meader on Facebook.

8. Giveaway is open to USA and Canada only

9. Giveaway runs from January 27-31, 2015

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