Storm’s Rage by J.L. Barnett-Interview with the Author

Storm’s Rage by J.L.Barnett-Interview with the Author

Storm's Rage

 

NOTE: At the time of this interview, STORM’S RAGE was still in edits and the release date has been pushed back.

Interview beige

TRC: Hi JL and welcome back to The Reading Café.

JLBarnett-1JL: Hello Sandy, and TRC fans. Thank you so much for having me back.

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

JL: Well, 2 years have passed since our initial interview. Besides writing, I have also had to focus on my other profession, Photography. Just after the first interview and release of Storm’s Wake, the publishing firm I was with went out of business 3 months later. Sadly, it happens. So, I spent 6 months pursuing other venues and decided after many rejected queries to postpone the release of my work until I was closer to having the series complete.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

JL: I would say the catalyst that started me writing this series was a combination of events. I began writing after lose my mother in 2008. I was in a really dark place in my life. I opened word, typed what I was feeling and a co-worker was walking by my desk and glanced over my shoulder at what I was writing. She said it sounded like a great opening to a book, had I ever considered writing. So, over the next few days, I started creating a story from the dark feelings I had. From there, I read my work to my family and they eagerly wanted to know what was happening next. So, I’d say my mother’s death was the start and my family’s interest became the influence that kept me going.

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

JL: I enjoy watching some of my favorite tv shows with my family. Also, I have a hobby/business in photography that I work at. I know, you asked about relaxing and fun. I love editing and graphic design. I don’t see post editing as a chore. For me, it’s like working in a Zen Garden. Making minor changes here and there, it’s peaceful for me. I also love riding my motorcycle. This is very relaxing.

Storm's Wake coverTRC: STORM’S WAKE is the first installment (released in January 2012) in your Chronicles of Jake series. For anyone who has not read the storyline, would you please tell us something about the premise of the series?

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/

JL: Storm’s Wake, was initially released in 2012 and has been re-released this year back to Amazon. As for the premise of the series. While I don’t have one, dedicated premise or theme technically, I’d have to say that following what you believe, having faith in yourself and perseverance can and will lead to success, even if you fail along the way.

TRC: STORM’S RAGE, book two in The Chronicles of Jake Trilogy is about to be released. Would you please tell us something about the premise?

Storm's RageJL: This is a continuation of the first book. The decisions and realizations become harder, testing his belief as more of who he is becomes evident.

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

JL: My biggest challenge is my ADD. I have a struggle focusing my attention while I’m writing. Yes, while on a creative role, especially the first book, just seemed to happen. Book 2 has been more of a struggle as I’ve had to learn and adhere to writer concepts while attempting to perfect my craft. For this series, I have always seen it like a movie in my mind. I want my reader to actively imagine the book, challenging their minds to open to what I see.

TRC: From where did your ideas originate?

JL: I initially created this book from my emotional state. My friends and family have always said I have a vivid imagination. For me, inspiration for books can come from anything.

TRC: If you could virtually cast the leading characters in this storyline, which models or actors best represents your ideal image?

JL: This has been a question I’ve asked myself before. If I had the chance to cast for the characters, who would I pick? For Jake – Ian Somerhalder.. For Tessa – Scarlett Johansson or Jessica Alba

TRC: How do you keep the plot unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability?

JL: As being my first works, while creating the story/plot, it evolves and becomes its own entity (somewhat). I do add real locations and events to keep things grounded.

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

JL: I’d say there is a mix of both at times. While this is written from Jake’s view, there is a realization that time and the world exist in parallel.

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 writer’s fail in this endeavor?

JL: I believe each writer has their own style and voice. For myself, sharing my thoughts and words with my family allows me to see how they respond. I also have a select circle of friends who have different likes and follow different genres of work. Hearing their input allows me to see how my work will impact a reader, in a general sense. Sort of like a comedian testing his material on a small select audience. I believe some writer’s fail in this because they take their reader’s aspect out of the equation. If you’re not writing to entertain your audience, why are you writing?

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

JL: A famous writer once said, to be successful at writing you have to write every day. I too have suffered with writer’s block and it is difficult to overcome sometimes. For me, going on a ride, taking a break and looking at something else, reviewing whatever muse inspired your work, helps me get back on track.

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

JL: This might sound a little cliché but I’d like to be a best seller. I hope to one day be invited to writer’s conventions, scifi con’s, etc. Last, I’d like to see my work in the movies.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

JL: Book 3 is in the works. I also have a few new book ideas waiting for me for some much needed attention.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

JL: I believe readers will enjoy where this series is going and I want to wish everyone happy reading.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Sport – Basketball

Secret Celebrity Crush – Scarlett Johansson

Last Vacation Destination – Panama City Beach, FL.

Do you have any pets? - Yes. Dog, cat and 2 birds.

Last book you read – A Star Trek Novel by William Shatner

Pet Peeve – Disrespectful children.

TRC: Thank you JL for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish you all the best in your writing career.

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The Chalet (The Submissive Series 3.5) by Tara Sue Me-Review and Interview

THE CHALET (The Submissive Trilogy 3.5) by Tara Sue Me-Review and Interview

The Chalet

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 21, 2014

New York Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me’s Submissive series is an international sensation. Now, Abby and Nathaniel’s story continues with their romantic wedding and a honeymoon too hot to believe…

Submitting her body was only the beginning.

Abby King didn’t know true passion until she gave herself to Nathaniel West, one of New York City’s most eligible bachelors and desired Dominants. Now, on the eve of her marriage, she realizes all her dreams are coming true. And with a romantic honeymoon getaway planned at a secluded Swiss chalet, she’s sure Nathaniel will find even more fantasies to fulfill…

Nathaniel never thought he’d settle down until Abby broke down his barriers and changed his plans. With their wedding only weeks away, he can barely wait to possess her completely—heart, body, and soul—and show her the true meaning of being both a wife and a submissive.

Only Abby has one more challenge in store before she becomes his: no sex and no collar for one month before the wedding. Nathaniel is willing to give it a shot but he has one scandalous stipulation—once that month is up, anything goes…

••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: THE CHALET is the latest installment in Tara Sue Me’s contemporary, adult The Submissive erotic romance series focusing on ‘Dom’ Nathaniel West and his submissive Abby King. Because THE CHALET is part of an ongoing series focusing on one couple, it should not be read as a stand alone because important background information about our couple is revealed in the previous storylines.

Told from alternating first person points of view (Abby and Nathaniel) THE CHALET is a novella that focuses on the weeks up to and after Abby and Nathaniel’s wedding wherein Abby has declared a no-sex policy during the 30 days prior to the ceremony. Nathaniel is a Dominant who fell in love with his sub, and because their Dom/sub relationship focuses more on the sexual aspect of their lives, the month of celibacy is something new. But it is during the honeymoon phase at a chalet in Zermatt, Switzerland where Abby will ask more of her Dominant than Nathaniel had expected to give. It is a time to explore her truly submissive side-not just on weekends-but throughout the week as well. When Abby accidentally calls Nathaniel ‘sir’ in a playful exchange, she begins to understand that perhaps she is a ‘true’ submissive –after all.

THE CHALET is a sexually graphic, erotic storyline that continues to explore the D/s sexual relationship of Abby and Nathaniel. While vacationing in the Swiss Alps, Abby will discover that she enjoys the submissive side of their relationship and is willing to accept everything Nathaniel has to offer.

The secondary characters include some of the previous storyline couples including Nathaniel’s cousin Jackson and his new wife (and Abby’s best friend) Felicia. Felicia is aware of Abby and Nathaniel’s relationship and is slowly learning to accept that her friend has a submissive side that needs to be addressed.

With THE CHALET, Tara Sue Me’s offers up another side of Abby and Nathaniel’s D/s relationship. Theirs is not a true, hardcore BDSM exchange but one built upon mutual understanding, marriage and love. I do foresee some difficulties in the relationship as Nathaniel will begin to demand more from Abby then she is willing to give.

Reading Order

1. The Submissive
2. The Dominant
3. The Training
3.5 The Chalet (October 2014)
4. The Enticement (April 2015)

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.

Reviewed by Sandy

Interview

TRC: Hi Tara and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the success of THE SUBMISSIVE series and the release of THE CHALET.

American Author Tara Sue Me We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Tara: Thank you for having me! Honestly, there’s not much to tell. I’m a forty-something mother of two who likes to write sexy love stories.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

Tara: I think as a writer, everything, everyone, and every experience influences me in some way. Some more than others, certainly.

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

Tara: When I’m not writing, I’m usually thinking about writing! It’s so hard to turn my mind off or make the characters give me a few minutes of silence. For those rare opportunities I can, I either swim or read.

The ChaletTRC: THE CHALET is your most recent release (and novella) in THE SUBMISSIVE series focusing on DOM Nathaniel West and submissive Abby King. Would you please tell us something about the premise?

Tara: So many readers wanted the details of Nathaniel and Abby’s wedding and to be honest, those details didn’t fit in with the plot of THE TRAINING. But as I thought about it, I decided it would be fun to see what happened at their wedding and where they went on their honeymoon. I couldn’t make an entire novel out of it, so I decided to write a novella.

TRC: SEDUCED BY FIRE is the first book in your new PARTNERS IN PLAY series. Would you please tell us something about the book?

Order: Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/ Barnes and Noble / The Book Depository

Seduced by FireTara: SEDUCED BY FIRE tells the story of a woman exploring her submission and what she does with that information when she is faced with the dangerous side of play.

TRC: Do you have any information regarding the next book in the series?

Tara: Funny you should ask that. I’m actually combining Partners in Play with The Submissive Series. When I sat down to plot out the next few books, it made sense. Everyone is in the same geographical area, they’re about the same age, have the same interest, and Daniel and Nathaniel work in the same field.

The EnticementSo, you’ll see Julie, Daniel, and Jeff (from SEDUCED BY FIRE) in THE ENTICEMENT (April 2015) and then Jeff and Dena’s story will be out in July 2015 (THE COLLAR).

Pre Order : Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/ Barnes and Noble / KOBO / The Book Depository

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

Tara: I know I don’t like it as a reader and for the most part, I won’t read a series until all the books are out if I think that’s going to happen.

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

Tara: I always like to think I’m directing the characters, but the truth is, nine times out of ten, they don’t listen to me and they do their own thing. I’ve learned, the hard way, they know what they’re talking about and that I need to listen to them.

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 writer’s fail in this endeavor?

Tara: A writer has to make the character act in character. This is actually one of my personal pet peeves when it comes to reading because if it’s not in character, the reader isn’t going to believe you no matter how well written the story is. I think as writers, we often feel the need to add drama or some issue to the plot and it doesn’t work because it doesn’t make sense.

The Submissive Trilogy

The Submissive (book 1):Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Barnes and Noble / KOBO/ The Book Depository

The Dominant (book 2): Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/ Barnes and Noble / KOBO / The Book Depository

The Training (book 3): Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/ Barnes and Noble / KOBO

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

Tara: Writer’s block for me occurs because I want the scene to be absolutely perfect and I know it won’t be with the first draft. I have to tell myself just to get words on the paper and fix it later. Butt in chair. Writing. Even when you don’t feel like it.

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

Tara: Mr. Sue Me is good to bounce ideas off and my crit partner, Elle, is awesome, too. The general premise for THE ENTICEMENT came about after a chat with another crit partner, Cyndy.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Tara: I’m currently working on THE COLLAR. This is Jeff and Dena’s story and it’s unlike anything I’ve written before. Jeff and Dena are an experienced BDSM couple with a common tragic history they think won’t allow for a future.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food Salmon

Favorite Dessert Anything chocolate

Favorite TV Show Property Brothers

Last Movie You Saw Maleficent

Favorite Musical Group The Police

Dark or Milk Chocolate Dark

Secret Celebrity Crush David Gandy

Last Vacation Destination Alaska

Pet Peeve Aggressive drivers

TRC: Thank you Tara for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the success of THE SUBMISSIVE series.

Tara: Thank you for having me!

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Seducing the Groom by Cheryl Holt-Review and Interview

Seducing the Groom by Cheryl Holt-Review and Interview

Seducing the Groom

ebook only .99¢ at time of posting: Amazon link not available until release date

Barnes and Noble / KOBO /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 30, 2014

Stephen St. John, Viscount Banbury, is in a bind. His father has cut off his allowance, so he’s had to rein in his decadent habits and split with his beautiful, spoiled mistress whom he can no longer afford. When an American heiress comes to London and dangles her fortune in Stephen’s direction, he sees it as the answer to his prayers. He’ll wed the pretty, delectable heiress, but he won’t let her interfere with his decadent lifestyle. He’s a confirmed bachelor and determined to have a marriage of convenience.

Ellen Foster has traveled to London for the express purpose of buying a titled husband. She’s been husband shopping for months and can’t make up her mind. All the available candidates seem tepid and boring. But when she lays eyes on handsome, dashing Stephen St. John, she knows he’s the one, and with her large fortune as bait, he’s easily snared in her web.

When he suggests a marriage of convenience, she pretends to agree. But she has no intention of living separate lives. She plans to enjoy every delightful, wicked minute that marriage to a rake can provide. With Stephen determined to avoid her, seduction seems the only choice.

Though Stephen doesn’t realize it, Ellen always gets her way, and as she turns their bedchamber into a den of erotic pleasure, poor Stephen doesn’t stand a chance…

•••••••••

 

4 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Well that was a sassy, naughty historical read. I enjoyed that!

Seducing the Groom by Cheryl Holt is a historical erotica novella about a bride taking care of her business on her wedding night. Ellen Foster, American heiress has just married notorious English rake Stephen St. Jean. Stephen has been cut off from his family and is in dire need of a prosperous union. When he agrees to marry Ellen, little does he know that this seemingly proper heiress has been spinning her web and will ensure that this so called “proper marriage” is more naughty than proper. On their wedding night, Ellen poses as the aloof bride while parading around tempting her groom. Stephen is taken back when his bride appears to be anything but interested, which funny enough, gets his clock ticking. Off we go on a naughty cat and mouse chase that stirs the blood, makes you smile and believe that a little deceit can go a long way.

A pretty quick read. I did find it a little flowery at times, but that is complimentary to the historical genre. I suppose that means I like my smut a little more modern even when it’s displayed in a different genre. That being said, I have discovered a new author in one of my fave genre’s and I look forward to reading more by her.

Like a quick yummy read with a splash of vixen and rake … check this one out!

HAPPY READING! :)

Copy supplied by the publisher

Reviewed by Rachel T.
Interview

TRC: Hi Cheryl. Welcome to The Reading Cafe. Congratulations on the upcoming release of SEDUCING THE GROOM.

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

Follow: Goodreads / Website/Twitter/Facebook

Cheryl: I have been writing for twenty years and published for 14 of them. I am a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon “Top 100” author. I’m considered one of the masters of the romance genre, and for years, I was hailed as the “Queen” of erotic romance. I don’t write erotics anymore. But I do write some of the most wicked, driven characters in the world, so I’m also known as the International Queen of Villains. I’m currently writing Novel #38.

TRC: With the numerous degrees to your name including a career as a lawyer, who or what was behind your decision to become an author?

Cheryl: I started writing novels because I had two babies back to back, and I was suddenly stuck at home, and trying to figure out how to earn an income at home to replace the one I’d lost by leaving the workforce. There aren’t many options for a woman who wants to work at home, and most of them involve selling cosmetics or something like that. I don’t have the skills to sell things, and I’d always thought I might write a book someday. I jumped into it—when I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I just forged ahead and figured it out in a big way.

TRC: Would you please tell us something about your latest release- SEDUCING THE GROOM?

Seducing the GroomCheryl: My new book, SEDUCING THE GROOM, is a sort of “lost” book for me. I originally wrote it in 2004, when I was just starting to be acclaimed as the Queen of erotics. It was published in an erotic anthology, but the price was $15.00 so very few people bought it or read it. The rights recently reverted to me, so I’m releasing the book myself, and I’m excited that everyone will finally have a chance to read it.

My books are set in Regency England, which is early 1800s London. The hero is a rake and confirmed bachelor who—due to his extravagant living—has had his allowance cut off by his aristocratic father. He’s desperate to refill his bank accounts, and he meets and weds an American heiress who’s in London and looking for a husband.

He hardly knows her, but weds her merely to spite his father. Before the wedding, he tells her that he’d like to have a marriage of convenience, and she pretends to agree. In reality, she has no intention of living through a chaste marriage, and she sets about to seduce him on their wedding night.

TRC: Is SEDUCING THE GROOM a stand alone storyline or part of a series?

Cheryl: The book is a stand-alone story.

TRC: What are your thoughts on historical accuracy when writing a fictional historical romance novel? Do you believe the readers want historical accuracy in the storyline?

Cheryl: I think readers want and like historical accuracy in a book, but in my case, my plots aren’t ever dependent on a historical event. They are simply set in a certain time period—the Regency Period in England, which is the favorite time period for romance readers—so I know all the fashions and carriages and that sort of thing. I don’t have to do research for each book, because I know the historical details to put into the story. My historicals have more to do with the historical setting (particularly the restrictions placed on women during that era) than actual historical events, and the plots never revolve around historical events. However, during this period, there were plenty of wars raging, so many times, my heroes are war veterans or have fought in famous battles.

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

Cheryl: I direct the characters; the characters never direct me. I always have several storylines in a book, and I have lots of plot twists and turns, so I can’t let the characters just go off on their own, or they’d never arrive at the places they’re supposed to be at the appropriate plot points.

I do an enormous amount of prep work before I ever start writing the rough draft. I write in-depth storylines, and I block out chapters and scenes before I ever type the first word. When I finally sit down at the computer to write, I know exactly what will happen in each chapter and each scene.

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 writer’s fail in this endeavor?

Cheryl: In my books, I always use larger than life characters, and the stakes are always very high for the characters—particularly the heroine. I like her to be in dire straits because it pushes her to make choices she wouldn’t usually make. I also always use very macho, very tough heroes. They’re the kind of men who bluster through life, taking what they want without regard to the consequences. And I use very wicked, very driven villains who will do whatever is necessary to achieve their goals.

These bigger choices mean that I can include much bigger “scenes”, with lots of emotion, heartbreak, and betrayal. Lots of “stuff” happens in my books. People get killed, people get betrayed, people have their dreams dashed. I use big issues and big characters and big events, so that when readers get to a certain plot point, they’re shocked or hurt or enraged or emotionally drained right along with the characters.

I think writers fail at raising the emotional temperature in their books because they don’t make big choices. They don’t raise the stakes for their characters, and if the stakes are low or non-existent, there’s very little “feeling” to the writing. I think this is a particular problem in the romance genre, where the books are more often simply a character study that examines how two people meet and fall in love. But if the characters are nice to each other in the beginning, nice in the middle, and nice at the end, there’s no character arc and nowhere for the story to go.

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

Cheryl: I don’t ever suffer writer’s block. I have been doing this for many years, and I’m very experienced as a writer. As I mentioned above, I block out my books before I ever start writing the first page. So when I sit down at my computer in the morning to get to work, I know precisely where I am in the story and what has to happen in the scene I’m writing.

I always tell new writers that the “cure” for writer’s block is to get more experienced as a writer. Finish the book you’re working on, then start the next one. Finish it, and move on to the next one. With each book a writer finishes, he or she becomes much more experienced and has a clearer of idea of how to get from the beginning to the end. Experience will insure that you don’t get lost in the middle.

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

Cheryl: I didn’t have any challenges or difficulties.

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

Cheryl: I don’t bounce ideas off anyone. I constantly have new ideas pop into my head, and I always jot them down. When I get ready to start a new book, I go to my list of ideas, pick one, and get started. I have a great “feel” for story and characters, and I know what works and what doesn’t in my stories. I don’t need to bounce ideas off anyone.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

wonderfulCheryl: Currently, I’m working on my next trilogy, which will be novels #37, #38, and #39 for me. I’m calling it the “Lost Lords of Radcliffe,” but I’m not ready to release much more info than that. I have a big book launch coming in January, and I’ll spread all the details then What I can tell you is that when I finished my last trilogy, my Reluctant Brides, the 3rd and final book was titled, WONDERFUL. I left a plot line dangling, so I could move one of the characters into my next series of books.

The three books of the Lost Lords trilogy tell the stories of the Blair siblings. When they were very young children, their mother was convicted of a crime and sent to the penal colonies in Australia. Her four children were left behind in England and cast to the winds of fate. In WONDERFUL, two of the siblings cross paths by accident. In the new Lost Lords trilogy, they begin the search for their other lost siblings, and they begin the fight to reclaim their stolen heritage.

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

Cheryl: I have a three-year goal right now—rather than a five-year one. My main goal over the next three years is to finish 11 more novels, so that in three years, I will have written 50 novels. I can write 3-4 books per year now, so I think I should be able to get there with no problem.

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

Cheryl: If I’d known how to make a different life happen for myself when I was younger, I would have been a singer and songwriter.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food—potatoes, cooked any style

Favorite Dessert—anything chocolate

Favorite TV Show—Chopped on HGTV

Last Movie You Saw—Guardians of the Galaxy

Dark or Milk Chocolate—Milk Chocolate

Secret Celebrity Crush—none

Last Vacation Destination—Oahu in Hawaii

Pet Peeve—people who read their emails, but don’t answer them! Or who read their text messages but don’t answer them! Or who never listen to their voicemail!

TRC: Thank you Cheryl for taking the time to answers our questions. We wish you all the best.

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One In A Million by Jill Shalvis -Review, Blog Tour and Q&A

One In A Million by Jill Shalvis -Review, Blog Tour and Q&A with the Author

One in a Million Blog Tour

One In A Million
Lucky Harbor #12
by Jill Shalvis
Genre: adult, contemporary, romance
Release Date: October 28, 2014

One In A Million

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

 

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 28, 2014

Add ONE IN A MILLION to your GOODREADS shelf.

As the brains behind wedding site TyingTheKnot.com, Callie sees it all: from the ring to the dress, the smiles . . . to the tears. It’s that last part that keeps her single and not looking. Getting left at the altar will do that to a girl. But when Callie returns to her old hometown, she finds that her sweet high school crush is sexier than ever. And he makes it hard to remember why she’s sworn off love . . .

Tanner is a deep-sea diver with a wild, adrenaline-junkie past—and now his teenage son is back in his life. How can Tanner be a role model when he’s still paying for his own mistakes? It’s hard enough that gorgeous Callie has appeared in town like a beautiful dream, challenging his best-laid plans to keep his heart on lockdown. Though there’s something about being around her again that makes him feel like he can be the man she—and his son—deserve. Little Lucky Harbor holds their past; can it hold a beautiful new future?

 

REVIEW:

One in a Million by Jill Shalvis is the 12th book in her wonderful Lucky Harbor series. It is the 3rd book in her trilogy arc, which will end the Lucky Harbor series. All three books in this arc had hot swoonworthy men, who happen to be best friends; with each finding their mate.

This is Tanner and Callie’s story. We met Callie in the last book, when she returned to Lucky Harbor to stay for awhile and keep an eye out for her grandmother, Lucille. She is the crazy funny lady, who is the matchmaker throughout Lucky Harbor series.

Tanner, is another one of the wonderfully hot best friends that run the charter boat in Lucky Harbor. Tanner has been the one who gave up on some of his dreams to take care of others, and isn’t interested in any permanent relationship.

Callie runs an online wedding service, which she helps most brides to be to get over their own issues, and this also makes Callie very squeamish about ever getting married. Especially since her ex fiancée left her at the altar and bruised her heart.

One morning, Tanner sees Callie in the bakery, since it’s the only seat, he sits at her table and he will later recognize her from his school days. For the next few week, Tanner and Callie find themselves looking forward to seeing each other. Those moments were classic fun, that Jill Shalvis does so well. Callie would either choke on her donut, meet her ex fiancée, and forget she was dressed embarrassingly like she just got out of bed. Pretty funny stuff.

We knew right away that Tanner and Callie were meant for each other, as we began to root for them. Of course both have their own issues that convinces them to have a relationship that is friends with benefits only. Into this mix, is Tanner’s teenage son, Troy, who grew up with his mom. Now, Tanner finally gets a chance to love the son he hardly knew. What I loved was how Callie and Troy became close, with her helping him get closer to his father. Very heartwarming.

What follows is a very sexy and sizzling romance between a wonderful fun couple, as well as having quite a few humorous moments.. Tanner is so swoonworthy, and loyal to his friends and family. Callie is a fun, heartwarming heroine, even if she needs some pushing to move past her fears of getting hurt. They made a great couple, and I loved spending time with Becca/Sam and Olivia/Cole. Jill Shalvis has another winner in One in a Million, which is a lighthearted, sexy and fun series, not to mention fabulous characters we have met throughout Lucky Harbor.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

Interview

Jill ShalvisA quick Q & A with the amazing Jill Shalvis

TRC:  Hi Jill and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the release of ONE IN A MILLION. We would like to start with some background information.

TRC: For anyone who doesn’t know Jill Shalvis, would you please tell us something about yourself?

Jill: I like cookies, animals, hot guys, and romance novels, not necessarily in that order. For more: www.jillshalvis.com/blog

TRC: ONE IN A MILLION is the twelfth and final installment in your New York Times best selling LUCKY HARBOR SERIES. Would you please tell us something about the premise?

Jill: I thought it would be fun to write a heroine who creates the ultimate romantic fantasy in that she’s a wedding planner, and yet she doesn’t believe in happily ever afters in real life. Add in one hot guy who knows love exists, stir don’t shake.

TRC: How does/did it feel saying goodbye to the people of Lucky Harbor? What plans do you have for a new series/storyline?

Jill: I’m still having trouble with that goodbye thing. I have a short Christmas Lucky Harbor story coming because I couldn’t say goodbye…

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

Jill: Thanks for having me!

FOLLOW Jill Shalvis: GOODREADS / Website / Facebook / Twitter
Excerpt

Click HERE to read  chapter 7  from ONE IN A MILLION by Jill Shalvis

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The Right Chord by Rose Ann DeFranco-Review, Interview & Giveaway

The Right Chord by Rose Ann DeFranco-Review, Interview & Giveaway

The Right Chord Banner

The Right Chord
Brothers of Audubon Spring #3
by Rose Ann DeFranco
Genre: adult, contemporary, romance
Release Date: August 6, 2014

 

The Right Chord

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date August 6, 2014

Years in the cutthroat L.A. music industry have Kit Maggio yearning for love and acceptance in her hometown, Audubon Springs. Her position as a Theater Arts professor doesn’t erase years of being shoved aside by her family. Her baby sister is getting married, and her high school sweetheart doesn’t recognize her. Will she ever find what she needs?

Vince Iuliano never imagined he’d be a single dad. Vowing no woman will ever again break his daughter’s heart, he focuses on providing a happy and stable home. But when the love of his life rents the house next door, can he take a chance on happiness?

Vince never forgot Kit. Setting out to earn her forgiveness, they fall back into the rhythm of love and heat, much like the songs they wrote as teens. When L.A. calls, will Kit go, or stay and write her greatest love song?

••••••••••••••

REVIEW:

The Right Chord is a wonderful love story and the third in this Brothers of Audubon Springs series. The story is set back in Audubon Springs and this heartwarming and sometimes heart wrenching tale is the story of Vince Iuliano.

Backstory or setup: Vince Iuliano and Kit Maggio were a hot item back in their high school days. They loved each other as much as any teenager can love. However, Vince was a home and family kind of guy, his family owned a construction business and he pretty much wanted the small town life. Kit was a musical talent on the rise and looking to go to LA. Through some teen angst and misunderstandings he thought it would be better if her didn’t follow her or try to stop her from going, she thought she just wasn’t worth the trouble to him… like I said, angst and stuff!

The really great thing is that Rose Ann DeFranco can use this wonderful angst and its aftermath to weave a heart pounding rebirth of love between the right people. She does so with humor, style and magnificent timing!

I’m not into doing spoilers and ruining this incredibly passionate story. Let me just say their road back to each other and forgetting bad pasts for each of them is what makes this author the one you don’t want to put down. It’s the perfect story for this brother, just like the other two. However, the right thing doesn’t always happen first, as it probably should…shit happens!

Get a really big glass (or in my case a bottle) of your favorite beverage, a large supply of tissues, a few soft pillows to throw or throttle and dig in. Enjoy everyone, I certainly did!

Copy supplied by author.

Reviewed by Georgianna S

Reading Order
Return to Audubon Springs
Secondhand Romance
The Right Chord
Interview beige

TRC: Hi RoseAnn and welcome to The ReadingCafe. Congratulations on the August 2014 release of THE RIGHT CHORD – book three in your Brothers of Audubon Springs series.

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

Connect: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

RoseAnn DeFranco picRose Ann: Thank you so much for having me here today! I am a wife and mother with a passion for the written word and super heroes. I work full time for a consulting firm. I’m a Dance Mom with a very active 11 year old, and I used to be a professional singer and actress.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

Rose Ann: I come from a musical theatre background so the pursuit of an artistic or creative life has always been a part of my makeup. When I left the theatre life behind, I found a new creative outlet in writing. My father was the first person to tell me I had a voice in writing. He passed away before my first book was published.

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

Rose Ann: I love listening to music, singing, reading, bike riding, going to the beach, and just in general being with my family.

The Right ChordTRC: THE RIGHT CHORD is the third instalment in your Brothers of Audubon Springs romance series. Would you please tell us something about the premise?

Rose Ann: The three stories take place in a fictional Jersey Shore town. The focus is on three brothers in a big loving Italian family. The family, especially their dishcloth toting mother, meddles, and the women who come into their lives drive them crazy until they can’t help but fall in love. What surprised me a bit in my own writing is the humor. I’m not sure I intended to write funny heartwarming stories. I thought I was writing dramas at the start. But it makes sense, I’ve always subscribed to that, laugh so you don’t cry mentality. Sometimes we laugh until we cry.

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

Rose Ann: I only intended to write one story in Audubon Springs, but I fell in love with the town. When I finished Return to Audubon Springs, I didn’t want to leave. The entire plot of Secondhand Romance came to me as soon as I wrote THE END of the first book. THE RIGHT CHORD is the final book in this series since I’m all out of brothers, but stay tuned. I’m not done with Audubon Springs just yet.

TRC: Can each book be read as a stand alone?

Absolutely! While you may see characters from the previous books, each book is its own story from start to finish. In fact Kit, the heroine in THE RIGHT CHORD, was not featured in the previous two books even though it is a reunion romance.

Brothers of Audubon Springs

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

Rose Ann: The recurring theme of this series is home and family. It is all driven by emotions and family circumstances. This was not a research heavy project. I researched the region a bit and added more characters of Irish decent to the town as a result, but this is an area I know and the stories are very much a part of my own background. The hero Vince is a single dad with a six year old daughter. My husband was a single dad with a six year old son when I met him. Kit pretty much works as a profession in the theatre arts program where I attended college. So you see where I’m going with this, THE RIGHT CHORD is in some ways very close to me.

TRC: Have you considered a novella or spin off for any of the secondary characters?

Rose Ann: Funny you should ask! Many readers haves asked me about Mia, the cousin to Rafe, Tony and Vince. Her role is prominent in all three books in the series. I’m working on a holiday novella for her. Beyond that, I can see a new Audubon Springs series forming as a result of some characters I introduced in THE RIGHT CHORD, but right now I’m working on projects in other towns so I’m not sure when I’ll get to those stories. Mia deserves her day in the sun and a happy ending. I feel I owe it to her.

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

Rose Ann: I am a very character driven writer. I spend a lot of time getting to know my characters before starting a story. I usually have a strong sense of where I’m going, meaning the big moments, or turning points in a story before I hit go. When a character starts to steer the ship in a direction I hadn’t intended, I let them go. Usually end up where I was headed in the first place, but they may have taken me down a different path.

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 writer’s fail in this endeavor?

Rose Ann: I think if a writer has a comfortable voice, it is easy to invite a reader into your world. I’m a writer, but I consider myself a reader as well. I don’t like to read a story in which I feel the author is condensing, talking down to, or preaching to their readers. Also, characterization is so important to me. If I find too much in the way of inconsistent characterization in a book, I have to set it aside. I think if you’re true to your characters, you will invite the reader into your story.

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

Rose Ann: I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced writers block while in the middle of a project. There are times when a scene isn’t working as well as I’d like. One of the best things I’ve found to do at that point is to write some notes for myself as to what should our could happen in that scene, and then move on to another scene that I want to write at the time. Any anxiety I’ve experienced is possibly when I’m in-between projects. There is that moment of concern that a new cast of characters won’t show up on my doorstep. Fortunately, they always do!

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

Rose Ann: I’m really lucky to have a great group of writing friends and one amazing beta reader. Something I’ve learned over the years is that I’m very much an auditory writer, meaning I need to talk it out. My writing friends, critique partners and my husband are great for this. My husband is the best because sometimes he’ll ask questions that aren’t from a writer’s perspective that really prompt thought. These conversations usually end with me running out of the room to jot something down.

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

Rose Ann: I currently am pursuing writing in multiple genres. In the next five years I would like to have a new humorous contemporary romance series published, a young adult contemporary series publish and a young adult fantasy series published.

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

Rose Ann: I am really sort of an open book. I kept my musical theatre background in the closet for a while until after a drink or two I hit the karaoke mic at a writing conference a few years back.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Rose Ann: Right now I’m working on Mia’s Audubon Springs Novella, a new humorous contemporary romance series, and a young adult contemporary. Lots of irons in the fire.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Rose Ann: Thank you for the opportunity to appear on your blog. I’m a fan of the site and just love what you do here.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food: Almonds

Favorite Dessert: My mother’s apple pie

Favorite TV Show: Once Upon a Time

Last Movie You Saw: The Proposal (on TV), If I Stay (in the movie theatres)

Favorite Musical Group: Train

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Milk

Secret Celebrity Crush: Robert Downey, Jr. So not a secret, though!

Last Vacation Destination: Jamaica

Pet Peeve: When a TV is on too loud and no one is even watching it.

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

 

Giveaway beige

RoseAnn is graciously offering winner’s choice (US/Canada-paper or ebook:
International-ebook only) of any ONE book in her BROTHERS OF AUDUBON
SPRINGS series to ONE 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. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and remember to click GET NOTIFICATIONS.

4. FOLLOW us on Twitter

5. LIKE us on GOODREADS 

6. LIKE Rose Ann on Facebook

7. Paper copy or ebook (US/Canada only): ebook (International)

8. Giveaway runs from October 13 – October 17, 2014

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The Hockey Saint by Howard Shapiro-Review, Interview and Giveaway

The Hockey Saint by Howard Shapiro-Review, Interview and Giveaway

The Hockey Saint Banner

The Hockey Saint
by Howard Shapiro
Release Date: September 10, 2014
Genre: Graphic novel, all ages, hockey, fiction

The Hockey Saintjpg

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca /

About the Book: Release Date September 10, 2014

Twenty-one year old Jeremiah Jacobson is the world’s best hockey player, but he wasn’t prepared for the frenzy and scrutiny that came with that title. Tom Leonard is an average college sophomore… just a guy trying to find his place in the world as he sorts through issues that are both very real and seemingly insurmountable.

Through a chance meeting, these two strike up an unlikely friendship. Their bond is tested when Tom discovers that his idol isn’t as perfect up close as he seems from afar. With Jeremiah living a little too much in the moment and with his past catching up to him, will Tom be able to help him before it’s too late?

•••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: THE HOCKEY SAINT is a graphic novel focusing on college sophomore and hockey player Tom Leonard and his friendship with professional hockey star Jeremiah Jacobson. Written by Howard Shapiro, and illustrated by Marica Inoue and color work by Andres Mossa, The Hockey Saint is a storyline for all ages with a message about the excesses that can come with fame and fortune. As Tom struggles with balancing his studies and playing hockey, he will get some unintentional life lessons from Jeremiah Jacobson.

I do not usually review graphic novels but I thought the premise involving the sport of hockey was interesting and something out of the usual. The story follows two young men caught up in the fame and notoriety of hockey stardom-one who has yet to see his star rise and the other who is heading for a downward spiral.

Each chapter is prefaced with a recommended song list as well as a chapter title. The graphic images are clear and colorful; the text is equally legible with no foul language, no sexual content, no violence or innuendo. The writing is simple and easy to understand. The storyline is a message about drinking and driving; smoking and drinking to excess. Even the image of the worshipped hero leaves little to the imagination about the long term affects of substance abuse on the body.

THE HOCKEY SAINT is great book for the young graphic novel reader. If you are looking for a storyline about hockey and sports heroes with a happily ever after, The Hockey Saint is the perfect gift for the holiday season or any time of year.

Copy supplied by the author.

Reviewed by Sandy

Interview

TRC: Hi Howard and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the release of your latest graphic novel THE HOCKEY SAINT.

howard shapiroHoward: Thank you for this opportunity!!

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

Follow: Website / Goodreads  /Twitter

Howard: I live in Pittsburgh, PA with my wife and our two, fifteen year old sons. I am an Accountant by day, the Controller for a Visual Effects Studio and I have done five previois books, “The Hockey Saint” will be my sixth book and second graphic novel.

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

Howard: Mostly hanging around with my kids either watching TV or playing video games with them. In the fall and winter I enjoy watching ANY hockey game that is on television and I participate in a fantasy hockey league and keeping up with that takes up a lot of time.

TRC: Will you please explain-what is a graphic novel?

Howard: The quick answer is that it is an expanded comic book or a novel with pictures. There are so many great stories that are done as GN’s these days but I still think GN’s aren’t a truly mainstream genre as of yet. Go to any Barnes and Noble or library and chances are they will have a GN section but it will be small and off the beaten path. That will hopefully change in the future!

TRC: Which comes first-the story or the graphics?

Howard: Excellent question! For me it’s the story but told through the prism of the graphics. I have the story in mind, but what I end up doing is writing it in a visual way. I write it in a quasi-script format and so that way I am visualizing how the scene will play out and then I add in the dialogue.

TRC: Do the illustrator and author collaborate throughout the writing process?

Howard: Absolutely and that is my favorite part of the process! If you have a great illustrator, then the process can be pretty seamless. I like to give as much direction as I can to the illustrator, even providing samples of what I’d like a certain object or scene to look like. That and the facial expressions and body language that the characters are displaying. I can bve a time consuming process but its an amazing feeling when it all comes together!

TRC: Have you ever encountered an illustration/illustrator that did not represent what you imagined for your story? If so, how do you rectify the discrepancy?

Howard: Sure, it happens on occasion. That is usually where I go to google and search for an image and then send that to the illustrator and ask them to fix whatever it is. I’ve been lucky in that the two illustrators I have worked with, once they have established a great rhythm and are used to drawing the characters they nailed most pages in one take. The one thing I’ve really stressed with both illustrators is consistency, each time a character is displayed they have to have the same basic look. I really try and hammer that home, consistency on each and every single page.

TRC: Are most of the images hand drawn using pen and paper, or do most graphic illustrators now use computer programs and a Wacom tablet?

Howard: I believe that computer programs are used. The way we saved a lot of time with “The Stereotypical Freaks” was that the illustrator sketched by hand three of four pages and that why I could get a sense of what the pages would look like and then we could make changes and tweaks at that point. Then he would do the final pages and most pages were done in the first take!

TRC: How and when did your interest in graphic novels begin? Have you always been a fan of the graphic novel or comic book?

Howard: I do a few school visits each year and in one I did back in 2010 at an elementary school here in Pittsburgh, the school’s librarian was telling me how he could not keep any of the graphic novels on the shelf. The kids would take them out regardless of the subject and he also said that the neat thing was that the boys really loved them and would read them cover to cover. He told me how it was like pulling teeth to get boys interested in reading but that they really took to the GN’s he had on the shelves. So, the little light bulb went off above my head and I went to a local library and borrowed two GN’s, “The Big Kahn” and “Garage Band.” And, like the kids, I was hooked! I absolutely loved comic books growing up, I was team Marvel all the way and used to buy as many as I could and read them cover to cover and I thought that here was a chance to maybe take the dive in and do a GN which I kind of looked at as an expanded comic book. I was looking to do something different as my previous books had been either kids’ books or a middle grade novel and so I decided to learn as much about the process of creating a GN. Almost three years later “The Stereotypical Freaks” came out and my hope is to do a few more GN’s before I move onto something else!

The Hockey SaintjpgTRC: THE HOCKEY SAINT is your October 2014 release. Would you please tell us something about the premise?

Howard: The story revolves around two characters, Jeremiah Jacobson whos is the world’s best hockey player and college sophmore Tom Leonard. They have a chance meeting and become very good friends and the story is really about their friendship, what it means to be a someone’s good friend, what we sacrifice for ambition and also the proliferation and over exposure of sports in the modern day.

TRC: Are any of the characters based in reality or a combination of reality and fiction?

Howard: Another good question! Tom Leonard has been a character in each of my six books. He started out as a young kid in my first three books which were picture books and in my middle grade novel he was a teen and that carried through to “The Stereotypical Freaks” where he was a senior in high school and now in “The Hockey Saint” he is a college student. He is me and I am him! I’ve always used him as my doppleganger, so he is based on me and my expereinces. Jeremiah is a combination of sports and entertainment figures which include Arthur Ashe, Sidney Crosby, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.

TRC: Do any of your storylines feature a strong, female heroine?

The stereotypical freaksHoward: One of the criticism’s that was valid, I thought, from “The Stereotypical Freaks” was that there wasn’t a strong female character. Looking back on it, I had to agree and so I set out in “The Hockey Saint” to rectify that mistake and I feel that the story has two very strong female characters in Felicity who is with Jake (I don’t want to give out a spoiler) and Tom’s Grandmother, Sophie. They each exhibit strength in their own ways and I couldn’t be happier with the way they each turned out!

TRC: Have you considered writing a graphic novel for adults? If not, why?

Howard: I like to think that both of my GN’s are and would be a very enjoyable read for adults as well as kids. I guess what I would like to establish is that the books can be enjoyed by anyone, no matter what age you are. Even when I did my kids illustrated books, I tried to mix in themes that made kids think and analyze the story. I did not want to dumb down or talk down to kids and I’ve tried to be very consistent throughout all six books and offer both kids and adults lots of things to think about in my books. The worst thing, I think, a writer can do is talk down or dumb down his or her stories to fit a certain demographic. Kids are usually a lot smarter then people in the entrtainment industry give them credit for, so my job as a writer has always been to challenge them and mostly make them think about the ideas and themes I am trying to put across in each of my books.

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

Howard: I had the great pleasure to work with my friend and editor Christina Ahn on “The Hockey Saint” and if she is willing, she will be my editor for everything else I do. She is an amazing author in her own right and the best editor and storyteller that I know. The book would not have been what it is without her and the direction and help she provided to me!

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Howard: I’m in the early stages of doing the final story in the trilogy that started with “The Stereotypical Freaks.” “The Hockey Saint” is book number two and things will wrap up with “Can You See The Light” which again is the final story in what I titled the Forever Friends trilogy. I’ve just started doing pre-production on that and I hope to have that out in early 2016.

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

Howard: Well, I have one more graphic novel in me and then I have an idea for a romance-like novel. I’m not sure what genre it would be classified under but it will be a modern love story which I want to get down on paper because it is stuck in my head right now!

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

Howard: That I only want to produce stories that you can read over and over again. Stories that have an impact and actually say something. That has been my credo for all six of my books.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Howard: My publisher, Animal Media Group, has been really great in promoting “The Hockey Saint” and giving us all of the tools to get the word about the book out. They had an online hockey video game produced by a firm in Columbis, Ohio and the game plays out really great! It’s very fun and incredibly addictive so if you have a few minutes, please check it out at www.thehockeysaintgame.com we are running a tournament on October 4th and the winners will recieve gift cards. More info will be available at the Animal Media Group Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/animalmediagroup

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food - Pizza

Favorite Dessert - Peanut Butter M&M’s

Favorite TV Show - (Present Day) – Hell’s Kitchen, (All Time Favorite) – Starsky & Hutch

Last Movie You Saw - Guardians of the Galaxy

Favorite Musical Group - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Dark or Milk Chocolate - Milk Chocolate

Secret Celebrity Crush - Molly Ringwald

Last Vacation Destination - Toronto

Pet Peeve - People who take sports too seriously

TRC: Thank you Howard for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the release of The Hockey Saint.

Howard: THANK YOU!!

giveaway

Howard is offering an amazing giveaway for FOUR (4) lucky commenters at The Reading Cafe. Prizes available to be won are:

-1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card

-1 winner will receive a signed paper copy of THE HOCKEY SAINT and a promo t-shirt

-2 winners will each receive a signed paper copy of THE HOCKEY SAINT

____________________________

1. If you have not previously registered, please register 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 such as Twitter or Facebook, please post your email address with your comment.

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

 4. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. FOLLOW Howard Shapiro on Facebook  and/or  Twitter

6. Giveaway open Internationally.

7. Giveaway runs from October 11 to October 15, 2014

••••••••••••••••

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY

For an extra chance to WIN a paper copy of THE HOCKEY SAINT or a $20 Amazon Gift Card click HERE and enter the GOODREADS giveaway

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Season for Desire by Theresa Romain – Review, Interview & Giveaway

Season for Desire by Theresa Romain – Review, Interview & Giveaway

Season For Desire Banner

 

Season for DesireAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / The Book Depository / BAM

Description:
Properly Wicked

Like her four sisters, Lady Audrina Bradleigh is expected to marry a duke, lead fashion, and behave with propriety. Consequently, Audrina pursues mischief with gusto, attending scandalous parties and indulging in illicit affairs. But when an erstwhile lover threatens to ruin her reputation, Audrina has no choice but to find a respectable husband at once.

Who would guess that her search would lead her to Giles Rutherford, a blunt-spoken American on a treasure hunt of his own? When a Christmas snowstorm strands the pair at a country inn, more secrets are traded than gifts—along with kisses that require no mistletoe—and Audrina discovers even proper gentlemen have their wicked side…

Review:

Season for Desire by Theresa Romain is a Regency romance story, written for the time of 1820. Background: in northern England. Richard Rutherford, apprentice jeweler, met and fell in love with a young noble woman. Lady Beatrix, daughter of a marquess, fell in love with him as well. The planned to elope, to keep this from happening she was stripped of her belongings. However, she did it anyway, but before leaving she had, unknown to anyone, hidden a fortune in jewels that belonged to her personally, leaving clues in three puzzle boxes left to her by her mother. On her deathbed she told Richard and Giles (their oldest living son) of the jewels and gave them clues, knowing her husband loved adventures and would seek them out, if for no other reason than for the adventure in a quest.

The story begins with Richard and Giles stopping in an inn in York, England. They had been searching the property of her relatives (with permission of a sort), but had found nothing so far. A servant of Lord Alleyneham came to them to request their aid. It seems the Lord’s youngest daughter was thought to be eloping and he wanted it stopped. They were to stop the coach when it came to this town and take the daughter and betrothed into custody until Lord Alleyneham and Lady Irving (an acquaintance) could arrive. Lord Alleyneham and Lady Irving arrived before the eloping couple; however it was not an elopement. Lady Audrina Bradleigh had been drugged and kidnapped for her dowry and the scoundrel David Llewelyn wanted her to marry him for the money, or he would blackmail her father for it.

What follows is a really interesting story, albeit regency morals and conversations, of wit, conversations, and situations leading to adventure for the group. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations and the emotions that came through. Even the sex scenes were warm and steamy as well as frustrating.

Ms. Romain has written a wonderful tale of old England and great adventure, while addressing the very human issues of aging noblemen, female rights, and social attitudes. It’s mixed with wonderful humor, mystery, interesting characters and much more.

If you like the regency style and love a good mystery and chase…this is a delightful read. She has written others and given time, I will read them.

Grab a glass of your favorite beverage and cuddle up and enjoy! I certainly did!

Reviewed by Georgianna

Copy provided by Author

 

Interview beige 2

TRC:  Hi Theresa and welcome to The Reading Café. We would like to start with some background information.  Please tell us something about yourself?

Theresa:  Thanks for inviting me to visit The Reading Café today! It’s great to be here. A little about me: I have a husband and a daughter (just one of each) and a houseful of books. I like reading even more than writing, which is saying a lot. I also like coffee very much, especially with a drizzle of eggnog in it. Fall and winter are my favorite time of year for beverages.

TRC:  Have you always been interested in writing?

Theresa: I’ve always loved stories, though I can’t say I saw myself as a writer until I had finished my first book! As a kid, I preferred drawing or creating imaginary worlds out of modeling clay. Once I learned to type as a teen, writing got much easier. Schoolwork led to nonfiction writing, which eventually led to me trying to write a story of my own.

TRC: Is there anything (in general) you find particularly challenging about writing?

Theresa: Getting started is always the hardest part, especially if I’m working on a new project and don’t have a very clear idea of it yet. Once a book is underway, the story moves faster and faster and I enjoy writing more and more.

TRC: Would you please give our members, who may not have read this series, a brief description of the premise of Holiday Pleasures? How many books are you anticipating for this series?

Theresa: Happy to! The Holiday Pleasures books are a quartet of historical romances, and each story takes place in part or mostly during the Christmas season. There are continuing characters, but each book can stand on its own and has a firm HEA.

Season for DesireTRC: Season for Desire was released yesterday, and is the 4th book in this series. Would you please give us a brief description of the book?

Theresa: There’s a grumpy American hero with a wicked sense of humor, a pretends-to-be-proper earl’s daughter with an aptitude for mischief, a treasure hunt for long-lost jewels, a secondary romance for an older couple, a bit of insight with a telescope, and sexy snowbound-over-Christmas scenes.

Here’s the back cover copy, which I think captures the story’s sense of fun:

PROPERLY WICKED

Like her four sisters, Lady Audrina Bradleigh is expected to marry a duke, lead fashion, and behave with propriety. Consequently, Audrina pursues mischief with gusto, attending scandalous parties and indulging in illicit affairs. But when an erstwhile lover threatens to ruin her reputation, Audrina has no choice but to find a respectable husband at once.

Who would guess that her search would lead her to Giles Rutherford, a blunt-spoken American on a treasure hunt of his own? When a Christmas snowstorm strands the pair at a country inn, more secrets are traded than gifts—along with kisses that require no mistletoe—and Audrina discovers even proper gentlemen have their wicked side…

TRC: You have another Historical Romance series, The Matchmaker. Can you please tell us the premise of this series?

Matchmaker Trilogy

Theresa: The heroes and heroines in the Matchmaker trilogy think they are helping one another find love or passion with someone else—but then they fall for each other. The Matchmaker, a happily-married countess, plays a role as confidante in each book and helps the hero and heroine get together. The first story in this trilogy (It Takes Two to Tangle) is a Cyrano story, and the second (To Charm a Naughty Countess) is a Pygmalion story rather like My Fair Lady. But the role of Cyrano and Henry Higgins might not be played by the characters you expect!

TRC: What drew you to write Historical Romance? Have you ever thought about writing another genre?

Theresa: I’ve always loved history, learning about how people did things differently—or the same—in the past. And I’ve always loved romance, too! As a kid, the flirt-squabbling between Han Solo and Princess Leia was my favorite part of the Star Wars movies. So historical romance was a natural fit for me as a reader, and eventually as a writer. I do write nonfiction too, but at this point I’m not writing in any other fiction genres. I’ll never say never, though.

TRC: What is your writing process? Do you have a favorite spot, or time you like to write?   Do you do an outline of your story or just go with the flow?

Theresa: The more I outline and plan, the easier the writing is. I like to write during the day, but with a young daughter, I have to be flexible. I pull a lot of late nights, random evening hours, and even some early morning shifts. I do have a small home office, so once I go in there, it’s clear to me—even if not to my daughter!—that it’s work time.

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

Theresa:  Read read read read read. Or do puzzles with my daughter. If I’m feeling caught up on work, I really like to cook and bake, but usually I’m too frazzled for those to feel like fun.

TRC: What are you working on now? 

Theresa: I’m working on a new historical romance series at the moment. I should be able to announce more details soon!

TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information between each other and their family and spouses. With whom do you bounce ideas?

Theresa: There are two people who always read my work before it goes to my editor. One is my husband, who doesn’t read much romance but who reads a lot of other genre fiction. He has a good eye for pacing and lets me know if my heroes aren’t acting manly enough. (Ha!) The other is a longtime friend of mine. She’s a talented writer with a great eye for character development, so she lets me know if the emotional heart of the story is ringing true.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Theresa :Thanks again for the chance to visit and chat about Season for Desire—and readers, thanks for stopping by today! If you’ve got any questions, please feel free to throw them at me in the comments. I love chatting with readers.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food Pretty much any kind of noodles, with pretty much anything on them.

Favorite Dessert I am a fan of all desserts. But if I had to pick a favorite, either Jelly Bellys or any lemon baked good. (I’m not picky. And I have multiple sweet teeth.)

Favorite TV show My favorite show EVER is Jeeves and Wooster, a BBC show from the early 90s based on P.G. Wodehouse’s hilarious books. But if we’re just talking about shows that are on now, I really like Chopped. My young daughter likes it too, so I’m hoping she’ll start cooking for us (once she’s allowed to use the stove, that is).

Favorite Movie Since I studied silent film for quite a while, I feel I ought to give you the name of a very old movie. But honestly? It’s The Mummy, starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. It’s fast-moving, fun, suspenseful, and it has a brilliant librarian heroine. What’s not to like?

Favorite Fictional Character (not your own) Either Elizabeth Bennet or Jane Eyre. They’re both such real-seeming characters. If they could hop off the pages, I’d love to befriend them.

 Dark or Milk Chocolate Milk chocolate, please, and lots of it.

Dog or Cat  I had cats growing up, and there are lots of dogs in Season for Desire! But my husband is allergic to furry pets, so we don’t have either a dog or a cat now.

TRC: Theresa,thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish you the best of luck with Season For Desire.

Theresa: Thanks so much for the chance to visit The Reading Café!

 

about the author

TheresaRomain
Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest, where she is working on her next book.

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads



Giveaway beige

Theresa is graciously offering a copy of SEASON FOR DESIRE (winner’s choice of paper, or e-copy (Kindle or Nook format) 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. LIKE us on FACEBOOK

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6. LIKE Theresa Romain  on FACEBOOK

7. Giveaway is International

8. Giveaway runs from October  October 8 – October 11,  2014

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No More Mr. Nice Guy by Amy Andrews – Review and Interview with the Author

No More Mr. Nice Guy by Amy Andrews – Review and Interview with the Author

 

No More Mr. Nice GuyAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM

Description: Release Date September 29, 2014
He’s done playing the nice guy…

Newly single school counselor Josie Butler just made herself a Sexy To-Do list (featuring Bad Boys only). To her mortification, her best friend’s gorgeous older brother Mack finds it…and laughs. But when Josie goes looking for some sexy fun, Mack’s nice guy side turns all hot bad-assery, and suddenly she’s pinned against an alley wall. Hottest. Sex. Ever.

Veterinarian Mack Kennedy can’t believe Josie wants to ditch her sweet, girl-next-door lifestyle. Even worse, that she’d consider doing it with anyone but him. When she leaves for London they’ll go back to being ‘just friends’ but until then, he’s going to show her just how bad nice guys can be.

And it’s the perfect plan, as long as no one finds out… and no one falls in love.

Review:

We might have read similar storylines as NO MORE MR. NICE GUY by Amy Andrews. It’s the boy who  is attracted to his little sister’s best friend. It’s a tried and true formula for a simple reason: the characters have a history and know each other very well. In this case, it was fun reading their bantering when they see each other again. They both quote lines from “Anne of Green Gables”!

Josie has just ended a 5 year relationship that consisted of “beige sex”. She is visiting her best friend and after a night of drinking she writes a Sex “To Do” list! It’s a list of some activities and positions that she wants to try, never expecting anyone else would read it. Mack is the best friend’s big brother and finds the list and teases Josie about it. She gets a little sensitive, goes to a seedy side of town and nearly gets herself raped! That’s when Mack decides that he can be her bad boy and pins her against an alley wall for her best sex ever! Yes, public fornication is on Josie’s list! In that instance, he says, no more Mr. Nice Guy!

This novel is basically Josie and Mack on the sly deciding they will be each other’s “rebound” partner and they work at checking off the “to do” acts on her list. Yes, this novel is mostly the couple connecting through sex and discovering that there is something more to their relationship. Josie must decide if a fling is all she wants or if she should take a chance on love.

If you enjoy a lot of steam in your novels, you will enjoy NO MORE MR. NICE GUY! I connected more to the characters as they fell in love, not just their checking off the list scenes. Yes, I prefer the relationship building, but she had some fun activities on her list! All in all, it was a fun read! I hope you enjoy the good guy being bad!

Reviewed by Jules

Copy provided by Publisher

Interview

TRC: Hi Amy and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the recent release of NO MORE MR. NICE GUY.

Amy AndrewsAmy: Thanks for having me – I’m very excited about my sexy new book!

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

Follow Amy: Goodreads / Website / Twitter / Facebook

Amy: I’m an Aussie author who’s written over 40 contemporary romances. I married the guy I met when I was 16 and we have two teenagers. I’m also a part-time PICU nurse. I love books that make me laugh, cry and sigh as well as great food, good wine, old friends and traveling to far flung places.
And HEA’s. And cowboys. In tool belts.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

Amy: I wouldn’t be published today without RWAustralia. The things I learned through them are invaluable. Also, Jennifer Crusie. Getting Rid Of Bradley was the first book of hers I ever read (through a recommendation) and it opened my eyes to a different type of romance and I knew that it was the kind of stuff that I wanted to write!

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

Amy: Read. Of course ☺ Although drinking wine is another favourite past time. When I get to do the two together – bliss!

TRC: As a writer, have any of your experiences as a PICU nurse found their way into your storylines?

Amy: Hell yes! I’ve written 30 medical romances so a lot of my experiences end up in my books. They’re not often directly word-for-word representations but the way I give my characters and the setting an authentic feel is definitely drawn from being a nurse for 27 years.

TRC: Most, if not all, of your storylines are contemporary, romance love stories. Have you considered writing another genre? If so, what genre interests you the most?

Amy: You know, I’m such a contemporary gal and have so many more contemporary stories in my head I have to say I’m never really tempted to write anything else. Having said that the contemp I’m working on at the moment does have a slight paranormal bent…. And I would love to have a go at writing a script.

No More Mr. Nice GuyTRC: NO MORE MR. NICE GUY is your September 2014 release from Entangled Brazen. Would you please tell us something about the premise?

Amy: NMMNG is a best-friends older brother story, a friends-to-lovers story. It revolves around Sal and Josie having a little too many fruity cocktails and Josie writing a sex list. But then Mack, Sal’s older brother finds it and starts to think he could help her out with that. And man – does he ever!

TRC: Is this a stand alone storyline or do you have plans for a series?

Amy: Sal, Mack’s sister, is getting her own story too!

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

Amy: Both Mack and Sal are vets so I had do some research on rabbits and talking Cockatoos and also on Hendra virus which is carried by bats and affects horses and can also be transmitted to humans. It has a very high mortality rate. See what I did there? Snuck in some of my research :- )

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

Amy: I’d say probably a little bit of both. I can write them in the direction I want them to go. Usually… but when they want to take off a good writer knows just to strap themselves in and let those characters fly!

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 writer’s fail in this endeavor?

Amy: I think writers have to bleed over the page too if they have any hope of getting their readers to feel that same emotional wrench. There’s a scene in NMMNG that I cried buckets writing and I cry every time I read it. Writers need to find that well of emotion and, more importantly, not be afraid to find it. Don’t shy away from it. I think that’s where writers fail – when they shy from it.

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

Amy: To be honest – I’ve never had writers block (yes, I have probably just cursed myself with the world’s most severe case!) Sure, there are days when the words are more difficult than others. There are times in your life when shit happens and the writing just goes on the backburner. My Mum died a few years ago and I didn’t write properly for a couple of months afterwards (and that’s perfectly okay too). But I’m a firm believer in putting my butt in the chair and just writing one word. Because I know if I can write just one word, another will follow. And that’s what I do on the days when the muse is being recalcitrant – I put my faith in one word.

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

Amy: It’s really important to have a tribe around you understand what it’s like to write. I would never, for example, chat with my husband about my WIP because it’s just not his thing. But my sister is a writer so I bounce ideas off her a lot. I also have a close bunch of writer friends who I can email and chat with about ideas or issues or just have a rant about something that is frustrating and it’s sooo very valuable.

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

Amy:

I’d like to get to 60 books.
I’d like to be able to truly support myself on my writing alone.
I’d freaking love to win a RITA :- )

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

Amy: My office chair is a fit ball. Sitting for hours can be hard on the back and I’ve found the cushiony support of a fit ball is just right.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Amy: Sal’s book of course :- )

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Amy: For gossip, giveaways and new releases, sign up for Amy’s Newsletter

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food - Mac and cheese.

Favorite Dessert – treacle steamed pudding/sticky date pudding (I am a pudding girl!)

Favorite TV Show - ack! Too many…. Favourite TV show ever – West Wing. Fav current TV show – The Good Wife

Last Movie You Saw – The 100 foot Journey – freaking awesome!

Favorite Musical Group – lordy! I can’t decide. At the moment I’m loving Play It Again by Luke Bryan

Dark or Milk Chocolate – milk. But I usually eat dark because it’s lower in carbs.

Secret Celebrity Crush – Mark Ruffalo

Last Vacation Destination – Paris :- )

Pet Peeve - never having enough time to read!

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

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