The Beautiful Thief (Stolen Hearts #2) by Mallory Crowe-Review & Guest Post

THE BEAUTIFUL THIEF (Stolen Hearts #2) by Mallory Crowe-Review and Guest Post

The Beautiful Thief

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 14, 2017

She was the one that got away. The one time Adam couldn’t finish the job. The one time his conscious got the better of him.

Now she’s back and Adam has two options: Kill her or help her get the revenge she deserves.

No matter how convincing her arguments may be or how distracting he finds her, he was raised on one staunch principle that has kept him alive so far. Never trust a pretty face.

••••••

REVIEW: THE BEAUTIFUL THIEF is the second installment in Mallory Crowe’s contemporary adult STOLEN HEARTS series. This is Melody Murray, and mercenary Adam Smith’s story line. THE BEAUTIFUL THIEF can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty although I recommend reading the series in order for backstory and cohesion.

SOME BACKGROUND: Following a theft that went horribly wrong, Melody, along with her sisters Jennifer and Toni vow revenge against the men who stole from the sisters something that can never be returned.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Melody and Adam) THE BEAUTIFUL THIEF follows Melody Murray on the hunt for the men responsible for destroying the Murray sisters’s lives. Adam Smith aka Blondie is one of the men present the day that Mallory witnessed the murder of someone close to her heart but a murder for which Adam was not directly responsible. What ensues is the building relationship between Melody and Adam, and the cross country journey of Melody and Adam as Melody seeks revenge for a murder and betrayal.

Adam Smith is a mercenary; a gun for hire whose first encounter with Melody ended with chaos and death. Melody Murray is a reluctant thief; a cautious thief who wants nothing to do with her family business but a thief seeking retribution for the murder of her mother; our heroine is determined to use Adam Smith to get what she wants. The relationship between Melody and Adam is quick to develop as our couple must work together toward a common goal. The $ex scenes are limited, seductive and intimate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

There are a number of secondary and supporting characters including Melody’s sister Toni, and her partner in crime, former Chicago police officer Scott Hart; hired killer James Weston; the daughter of one of the men Melody is hoping to destroy –Willa Belli, and Jadon Belli, COO of Cordon Enterprises.

The world building focuses on revenge, retribution, family and love. Melody Murray is determined to avenge her mother’s death but too many distractions including a threat against Willa Belli; the interference of Melody’s ex-husband; a police warrant out for Melody’s arrest find our couple seeking refuge in out of the way places. There is a limited amount of trust between our leading couple including the fact that Melody was willing to kill the man with whom she is falling in love.

THE BEAUTIFUL THIEF is a story about revenge; about one woman’s determination for retribution for the murder of her mother; about one man’s penance to help the woman he could never forget. The premise is fast paced, entertaining and captivating; the characters are passionate and determined; the romance is sensual. THE BEAUTIFUL THIEF is an animated look at love on the run.

Reading Order and previous reviews
The Cocky Thief
The Beautiful Thief

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

The Cocky Thief promo

Book 1 THE COCKY THIEF is ONLY 99¢ for a limited time (ebook only):

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Guest Post

Hello! I’m really happy to be writing this guest post for The Reading Cafe! Sandy has always been so great to me and I only hope I can be a little entertaining to give back to all of her readers 🙂

Because blogging isn’t my specialty, I asked Sandy to give me a few recommendations for topics to discuss. And she gave me a great list of options and my answer to each of the craft related topics were “I don’t know”.

Now as a full time writer with over twenty books out, I should know how I do this for a living. I’m not naive enough to think I just walked up to a keyboard and thanks to my overwhelming talent, coherent stories just started to flow.

But when I write, I’m not thinking of craft. I’m not thinking of the nuts and bolts. I’m very driven by characters and where my intuition leads me when I write. But after countless discussions with other writers and private talks with friends it, finally hit me.

There’s a reason I don’t have to plot out each individual character arc. There’s a reason I don’t have to write a super detailed outline with action points carefully planned. It’s because of my childhood. When I grew up, I didn’t just casually read. I DEVOURED books. When I was in elementary school, I was reading my mother’s full length mystery novels. In middle school, I was well into romance books. Because I wasn’t super popular (that’s a post for another day…), I’d have some days where I wouldn’t even leave the house in the summer. I’d just shut myself in my bedroom and see how many books I could get through. It was a competition with myself. (I cannot stress how strange I was as a teen.)

Looking back, I think my obsessive nature when it came to those books gave me more knowledge on craft than a thousand writing workshops I could attend. So am I talented? I like to think so, but I think one of my biggest advantages in the competitive publishing world is the early foundations set up from reading book after book after book after (okay, this could go on for a while…)

So the best advice I can ever give any advanced, amateur, or up and coming writer is to keep on reading and never stop.
Happy Reading!

~~Mallory Crowe

About The author

Mallory CroweABOUT THE AUTHOR — Mallory Crowe is the award winning author of the Fractured Farrells series, the Bad Boys of the Underworld series and many other novels. She grew up surrounded by rescue dogs and escaping into romance books whenever possible. After trying to do the “adult” thing by getting an accounting degree and CPA license, she decided to try her hand at writing and never looked back.
An avid traveler, reader, and Netflix addict, Mallory currently lives in Michigan, with her husband and three laid-back dogs.

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/croweink
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2iiy4cF
Website: http://mallorycrowe.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mallorymcrowe/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMalloryCrowe
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13623321.Mallory_Crowe

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Bedchamber Games by Tracy Anne Warren – Review & Interview

Bedchamber Games by Tracy Anne Warren – Review & Interview

 

Bedchamber GamesAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
In this irresistible romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Happily Bedded Bliss, appearances can deceive, but the heart is not so easy to fool…
 
Rosamund Carrow has spent years learning the law by assisting her barrister father, despite the frustrating truth that the profession is closed to women. When he dies unexpectedly, necessity compels her to disguise herself as a man so she can step into the courtroom to finish his cases. She’s willing to put her reputation at risk, but she never expects that the greatest peril will be to her heart…
 
Lord Lawrence Byron is a rising star in London’s legal circles, despite his reputation as an unrepentant rakehell. When an upstart young barrister defeats him in court, he’s determined to discover everything he can about his rival. He’s stunned when he uncovers the shocking secret that his new opponent is actually a beguiling, brilliant woman…one he can’t help but want in his bed. Passion draws them together as they break all the rules, but it may lead to something more lasting—like love…

 

 

 

Review:

Diving back into The Rakes of Cavendish series by Tracy Anne Warren is a decadent delight! Bedchamber Games is the 3rd book and lamentable final installment. Never fear, there is much to love, and vicariously derive, from the exciting lives of Lawrence and Rosamund. This is a re-imagined Mulan. An intelligent woman with an affinity for law, but disallowed to practice as a barrister (thanks, 19th century England), disguises herself as a man to bring her late father’s cases to conclusion. When opposing counsel, the very handsome Lawrence, discovers Rosamund’s deceit, does he oust her or does he collude, allowing alternate forms of compensation for his silence?

“For now that he knew Ross Carrow was a woman, he had to decide how to proceed.  After all, there was a fraud at large, one who was most definitely in need of unmasking.”

The facade is going well, Rosamund adheres to the style and demeanor of men, but at some point I was starting to wonder if Lawrence wasn’t harboring some latent homosexual tendencies; so entranced was he by the developing friendship, his desire to engage with this intriguing fellow so frequently. Please take no umbrage to my suspicions because Lawrence’s reaction to Rosamund’s reveal was all male (if not a bit of relief, lol!)

Was it “misguided hubris” that was Rosamund’s ultimate demise? Or was it Lawrence’s keen eye, and heart, that forced an end to the charade. Whatever the case may be, Ms. Warren detailed a swoon-worthy, albeit clandestine, courting. Rosamund continued to fool the public and to remain aloof in Lawrence’s company, but it only served to heighten the anticipation; allowing them luxurious passion in the time they secured away from prying eyes. But it’s not without some much needed agony to earn its HEA. It’ll stop your heart, bring forth tears, and make you appreciate it all the more. Great writing runs the gamut of emotions.

As a highly satisfied reader, games in all sorts of chambers are welcomed when Ms. Warren is at the helm. I am concerned, however, that at 100% completion of my ARC, my screen read “Teaser TK 8 pages”. I’m desperate to find out if this was reference to an epilogue? Ms. Warren, if you would be so kind as to illuminate this fan? 😉

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

Interview-Gold

TRC: Hi Tracy.  Welcome back to The Reading Café.  

Tracy:  Thanks! It’s great being back at The Reading Café. I always enjoy having the chance to talk to readers and I’m excited to discuss my newest book, Bedchamber Games.

TRC: Bedchamber Games was recently released, which is the 3rd book in your The Rakes of Cavendish Square series. For those of who have not read this series, can you please tell us the premise of Rakes of Cavendish Square?

Tracy:  The books in the series are linked by way of the heroes – each with a well-earned reputation as a rake – who happen to live on the same street, Cavendish Square. In the three novels, readers get to enjoy seeing how each of these unrepentant rakes meets his match – and the love of his life. The stories also tell how the last three Byron siblings – Leo, Lawrence and Esme – from the Byrons of Braebourne series find their happily-ever-afters.

Bedchamber GamesTRC: Can you please give us a brief description of Bedchamber Games?

Tracy:  Rosamund Carrow knows the law as well as any man, but she can’t use her knowledge or skills in the courtroom due to her gender – until her brother convinces her to disguise herself as a man in order to save their family’s reputation and livelihood. Lord Lawrence Byron enjoys a brilliant career as a barrister. He never loses in court – until he argues a case against a new barrister, Ross Carrow. Determined to learn all he can about the man who bested him, he never imagines that this talented and intriguing legal mind actually belongs to a woman, who is as captivating as she is clever. Soon the professional respect Rosamund and Lawrence feel for each other turns to something far more intimate and personal.

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

Tracy:  The three books now in print – The Bedding Proposal, Happily Bedded Bliss and Bedchamber Games – complete The Rakes of Cavendish Squares series. They also complete the Byrons of Braebourne arc, which includes eight novels and one short story.

TRC: What challenges do you face with switching between Contemporary and Regency romances?

Tracy:  When I first wrote my Graysons series contemporaries – The Last Man on Earth, The Man Plan and Mad About the Man – I didn’t think I would have to do as much research as I usually do for a successful historical. I was mistaken. Careful research is just as necessary for contemporary novels as it is for historical. One of the challenges of writing historical romance is that no one living today can really know what life was truly like during the period being depicted – in my case the English Regency. So, as an author, I research the life and times of the period in order to create, what I hope is, a believable Regency world. The challenge of a contemporary romance is that everyone living today knows what modern life is like. Yet everyone’s life is not the same; so, as an author, I have to research the nuances of current times in order to develop unique – and believable – contemporary characters.

Another challenge is the language used in each subgenre. I have to watch to make sure my historical lexicon and Regency era voice don’t creep into my contemporaries and vice versa. American set contemporaries need to sound modern and American with modern slang and dialects, not British and turn-of-the-nineteenth-century. Both subgenres have their own challenges; there’s ‘no free lunch’ when writing either.

TRC: Can you please tell us what you working on now, and what you have upcoming in 2017?

Tracy:  Currently, I’m between contracts, so Bedchamber Games will be my only published novel for 2017. I’ll let my readers know what’s next as soon as I know.

TRC: How long does it usually take you to write a book from start to finish?  Are there different types of stories that take you longer to write?

Tracy:  My goal is to write a full-length Regency novel in six months with additional time for any rewrites requested by my editor, copy edits and reading the final proof. My novels never seem to take less time; however, a story may take longer, if there’s an unusual amount of research necessary. This was the case with Bedchamber Games. I spent many more hours than usual learning about the English legal system in the Regency period in preparation for writing Lawrence and Rosamund’s story.

TRC: What is your favorite place and time to write?

Tracy:  I have an office, which is where I do my writing. I prefer writing later in the day and generally work until 10 o’clock in the evening and sometimes later.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Tracy:  It’s been lots of fun having the chance to chat with you and all the book lovers at The Reading Café. I hope your readers enjoy Bedchamber Games, the last of the Byrons of Braebourne and Rakes of Cavendish Square novels. I’ve loved writing about the Byron family; they are very near and dear to my heart. As for the future, I’m looking forward to starting a new series soon, one I hope my readers will also enjoy!

TRC: Thank you Tracy for giving us an update on the Rakes of Cavendish Square. It was a pleasure having you visit us again. We wish you the best of luck with Bedchamber Games.

Tracy:  It’s been my pleasure, too. Thank you for inviting me to join you. I look forward to chatting with you again sometime soon!

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Interview with model Richeli Murari

Interview with model Richeli Murari

Richeli Murari 1TRC:  Hi Richeli and welcome to The Reading Cafe. We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Follow Richeli: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter /

Richeli:  I’m very spiritual. I am Italian and Brazilian, I was born in Brazil. I’m very persistent and I don’t take no for an answer.

When I set a goal, I do what it takes to accomplish it. I do live the life to the fullest. I am a traveler and dreamer. I’ve Always been drawn to hard things in life because I believe that hardship and ground us and makes us grow

I’m very open to meet people all over the world. I am not prejudice at all. I like all kinds of people from every race. I stand up for the animals of the world, the poorest and injustice.

Mister Moneybags

TRC: What were your dreams and aspirations growing up?

Richeli: My dream was being a Hollywood star and a pro fighter since I have always been into mixed martial arts. After being in this industry for a while, I gave up even being persistent because my personality was not made for this.

TRC: When not modeling, what are your other interests? Do you have a ‘day job’?

Richeli:  I don’t have a day job. I do a lot of sports connected with mixed martial arts such as Jiu jistu, kick boxing and wrestling. I love languages and I speak 4 languages and I’m going to my fifth now.

Richeli Murari 4TRC: What first sparked your interest in modeling? Is there a defining moment where you knew that modeling was something you were interested in pursuing?

Richeli:  It never sparked my interest nor was something I was interested in pursuing. I was interested in making money and the traveling it would provide, plus learning new languages and seeing the world with my own my eyes.

TRC: Have you ever had a photo shoot that went completely wrong?

Richeli:  Yes, actually my first run way show. I was the first one opening up the show and I mistake going to the wrong side and I have to come back when everyone was going against me. Complete mess. I have shot with some very inappropriate photographers that kept asking me about my intimate life and sex and making crazy comments.

TRC: Many photo shoots take the model to exotic locations. What has been your favorite location to shoot? Least favorite location (and why)?

Richeli Murari 3Richeli:  Yes, I’ve been to some but I could never enjoy since I have to work all day and catch the flight at night. Not much time for enjoyment! I travel a lot out off duty though and I don’t have any favorite location because I think each country has its particular beauty.

TRC: Nudity in modeling or acting can be controversial. Some pictures can cross the line between sexuality to pornography. What would you tell young models/actors /body builders just entering the business about nude modeling and photography?

Richeli:  I would tell them to not sell their soul thinking they will conquer the world doing this stuff. Some people like to promise that to get young models naked. They need to believe in their own talent without being vulgar or totally naked. Wisdom is worth more than gold and silver.

TRC: The modeling industry exposes you to many people and sometimes it can be very stressful. At times do you feel alone, surrounded by so many people. What do you do when the stress becomes overwhelming?

Richeli:  I don’t feel alone because I have my wife and family supporting me. We live at the beach and it’s a very relaxing lifestyle here.

TRC:  At times, there has been a ‘stigma’ surrounding the male model and the romance-cover industry but the popularity of the romance story line has skyrocketed in the last few years especially with the erotic and sensual cover images. What is your opinion about the recent popularity and the very busy industry of the ‘romance cover model?

Richeli:  People love all types of romance novels. My wife reads all different types of romance and said she can’t remember a time when they weren’t erotic. Maybe a little more so now, but she told me Johanna Lindsey had some scandalous covers many years ago when she was reading them in high school.

TRC: Do you know the number of novel covers that your image has appeared?

Richeli:  3

TRC: Do you remember the first ‘romance cover’ on which you appeared?

Behind the LiesRicheli:  Robin Perini-Behind the Lies

TRC: Would you please tell us what you do to relax?

Richeli:  Yoga, kickboxing, Jiu jistu, sex, meditate

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

Richeli:  Get a black belt in two different martial arts, a boat, and a house for my son.

TRC: What is something that few, if anybody, knows about you?

Richeli:  I like coconut oil. I rub it head to toe.

TRC: What do you believe is the biggest misconception about modeling ?

Richeli:  Most people thinking you’re stupid and only know how to pose. We have a lot of different background as life takes us around the world.

Richeli Murari 2I speak four languages fluently and have a very interesting history. Ive also met some models that speak 6 languages. To remember all these words, you have to have some brain. We are very strong in a sense of living anywhere and learning what it takes to get by and survive.

TRC: On what on your currently working?

Richeli:  Nothing! I work random jobs every month.

TRC:  Would you like to add anything else?

Richeli:  Yes I have a lot but I will be brief. It’s never too late to start but the younger, the better. Let’s stand up for global warming and extinction of animals. We are destroying the planet – We are selling technology and money for nature. We are not disposable but people have misconception of it.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food
Seafood/fish

Favorite Dessert
Açaí bowl

Favorite Movie
No favorite

Favorite TV Show
No favorite

Last Movie that you Saw
Don’t remember has been a while

Secret Celebrity Crush
My wife

Dark or Milk Chocolate
White

Last Book that you Read
Medicine of Immortality

Pet Peeve
Snoring

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

Richeli Murary 5

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Axel: Rescue One (Six Saviors 13) by Carly Fall-Review & Guest Post

AXEL: Rescue One (Six Saviors 13 ): Rescue One by Carly Fall-Review and Guest Post

Axel

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About the book: Release Date March 19, 2017

With his tattoos, dark, dead eyes and sketchy past, almost everyone in the silo keeps their distance.

However, people aren’t always what they seem.

Is there more to Axel than meets the eye?

••••••••••

REVIEW: AXEL is the thirteenth installment in Carly Fall’s contemporary, adult SIX SAVIORS paranormal/sci-fi romance series focusing on a species from the planet SR44. This is SR44ian Axel a member of the Rescue One team from planet SR44, and half human/half SR44ian Eden’s story line. Eden is the daughter of one of the original Six Saviors Hudson. AXEL can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty but I recommend reading the series in order for background and cohesion.

BACKGROUND: There were 6 original Savior warriors from planet SR44. The warriors were sent to earth over 220 years ago to stop and eradicate the 12 murderers who escaped from one of the moon colonies of planet SR44. The Colonists, as they were soon called, made their way to Earth, took the human body form, mated with the females and populated the earth with Colonist DNA. The earthly descendants will either manifest good or bad qualities; the savior warriors are part of the elite military from planet SR44, commissioned to remove the Colonists from Earth including the descendants with bad DNA. The beings on planet SR44 are incorporeal bodies of mist and smoke, each bearing a different color, but in their corporeal bodies on Earth, their eyes will glow their familiar- planet SR44 color each evening. Their mission has yet to be completed; their planet has been destroyed; and a new group of SR44 men and women have arrived in search of the original six saviors.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Axel and Eden) AXEL focuses on the forbidden relationship between Axel and Eden-a relationship forbidden by the man Eden recently learned was her father. Hudson and the rest of the SR44 males don’t trust Axel-he is dark, brooding, and silent, and not without some demons that are slowly destroying what’s left of his mind. With the recent discovery of Eden and her twin brother Benedict as direct descendants of SR44ian Hudson, the Saviors and their mates have taken extra precautions to protect our story line heroine believing she is too naïve and young to understand the world around her. What ensues are Eden’s attempts to bring Axel into her life, and the ongoing battle with a new enemy determined to destroy the SR44ians.

The relationship between Axel and Eden is one of immediate attraction although Axel has been warned not to go near or interact with Hudson’s daughter. Eden is a strong willed female determined to exert her independence and in doing so places herself in a dangerous situation. The $ex scenes are intimate and compelling without the use of over the top sexually graphic language and text.

Most of the previous story line couples play secondary and supporting characters. We are introduced to Axel’s friend and tattoo artist Foster whose story will be continued in Carly’s new spin off series-OPERATION UNDERWORLD- a series about a clandestine organization whose members have special abilities to hunt those paranormal entities determined to cause harm to humans. The first book in the series comes out in April 2017.

AXEL is a story about one man whose dark past controls his present, and one woman whose looking for love from a man who is afraid to let go. The premise is heartbreaking, encouraging and sensitive; the characters are colorful and energetic; the romance is provocative and passionate. Carly Fall ‘s SIX SAVIORS series is an impassioned look at otherworldly beings trying to do the best in an impossible situation.

Previous Reviews

The Light Within Me
Finding My Faith
Reborn
Beverly’s Rebirth
Destiny’s Shift
Tangled Fates
Dreamwalker
Atonement
Justice
Titus
Roman
Six Saviors Christmas Novella
Axel

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

 

The Light Within MeNOTE: Book 1 in Carly Fall’s Six Saviors series THE LIGHT WITHIN ME (ebook format only) is currently FREE at most ebook retailers:
Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO /

When Abby and Noah meet, there is an explosive attraction between them that neither can deny…

As a shy, awkward, social misfit, Abby has gone her whole life feeling as though she’s different from everyone else and she simply doesn’t fit in well with society as a whole. She longs to feel a real connection with someone, and she finally does when she meets Noah.

Unbeknownst to Abby, Noah is from another world and his sole purpose is to hunt down the evil of his people that was unleashed on Earth hundreds of years ago. He’s certain he isn’t going to be able to return to his home, and anger and the need for revenge are his constant companions. His focus has been eradicating the evil and making them pay for taking his life on his world away from him.

Noah tries desperately to fight his attraction to Abby so he can keep his focus on his mission. But when Abby gets dragged into the evil and mayhem from Noah’s world, he realizes that maybe with Abby he can find a home here on Earth…if he can save her in time.

Guest Post

Imagine waking up in a hospital and noticing a red glow around some of the staff. Perhaps you would think that you’d hurt your head in the accident that put you there, but when you see these people flashing their fangs and drinking off of the patients and other members of the staff, maybe you’d think you’d completely lost your mind!
But, have you?

For Connor Dickson, the answer is a resounding no as he comes to terms with the fact he can see vampires, and they live and work among the human population.

Welcome to Operation Underworld!

Operation Underworld

When my fellow author Elise Marion approached me with the idea of us collaborating on this project, I was on board within seconds. I loved the idea of writing books about a clandestine organization that polices the paranormal entities secretly living among us!

I will be releasing the first three books in the series: A Touch of Blood, A Touch of Love, and A Touch of Death.

All three of these will be releasing in April / May so that readers don’t have to wait. Elise will be tackling demons in her first three books, releasing May / June.

Here’s the blurb to my first book, A Touch of Blood:

He cheated death once. Can he do it again?

After surviving an explosion deep in the heart of the Guatemalan jungle, Marine Connor Dickson has been left with a supernatural ability—he can detect vampires living among the human population.

With this knowledge comes the realization that there are good and evil among the vampire nation. After witnessing a horrific death at the hands of a vampire, it becomes his own personal mission to police the rogue entities and stop them from harming humans.

He is recruited into Operation Underworld, an organization where their sole purpose is to hunt the criminal entities of paranormal species. His first assignment is to find out why humans are going missing from nightclubs in Los Angeles.

When he meets the beautiful Sami Karim, he discovers they are working on the same missing persons case. As his attraction to her grows, he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding many secrets, as well as lying to him.

A shocking twist of events reveals Sami’s true agenda, leaving Connor devastated, fearing for his own safety, and ultimately, forced to face his enemy on his own.

I hope you’ll join us for Operation Underworld, and if you’d like to receive notification on when the books release, you can sign up here

Click HERE to sign up for notification releases

When paranormal creatures step out of line, Operation Underworld must step in to intervene … because sometimes, regular law enforcement just won’t do.

about the author

Follow: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Carly Fall 2I am a wife, a mother and a slave to Nicky the dog.

I think chocolate and wine should be considered their own food group, and I wish Christmas happened twice a year.

I love the hot summer nights here in Arizona when my family and I play in our pool until late at night, and I hate 99.8% of politicians.

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Bedding the Highlander by Sabrina York-Review, Interview & Giveaway

Bedding the Highlander by Sabrina York (presented by James Patterson)-Review, Interview, and Giveaway

Bedding the Highlander Banner

BEDDING THE HIGHLANDER
by Sabrina York
BookShots Flames presented by James Patterson
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Genre: adult, historical, Highlander, romance

Bedding the Highlander

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 7, 2017

Only a Scot can steal her heart.
There’s nothing ladylike about Katherine Killin. She’s a spitfire who cannot be tamed. To rid himself of her, and to honor a truce set by the Duke of Glencoe, her father agrees to wed her to his clan’s mortal enemy, Ben Rannoch. But when Katherine meets the enticingly masculine Kirk Rannoch, brother of her betrothed, she suddenly craves domination.
BookShots Flames

Original romances presented by JAMES PATTERSON
Novels you can devour in a few hours
Impossible to stop reading

•••••••••••

REVIEW: Bedding the Highlander is a Book Shots Flames brand. This is a selection of stories that are well written with a sizzling romantic theme to their genre; today’s review is BEDDING THE HIGHLANDER by Sabrina York, presented by James Patterson. The books are priced at under $5.00 US and have approximately only 150 pages. Designed to be read in an evening or at work on lunch hours, etc. Interesting idea, but I, personally, love a good long well written story. But then, I’m retired and have lots of time to read.

Now to this captivating story.

The story is about rival clans in Glencoe, Scotland in 1603. The Duke of Glencoe, in order to try to make an alliance for peace, has ordered the marriage of Katherine Killin to the rival clan laird Ben Rannoch.

Kirk Rannoch, brother of Ben, and his friend Brodie have been assigned to bring Katherine from the Killin stronghold to the Rannoch keep to be wed to Ben. They are, understandably, reluctant to enter the Killin keep, as many don’t return. Unfortunately, when they do, they find the wrong Catherine…no misspelling, it seems many of the Killian Laird’s daughters, mostly illegitimate, are named a form of Catherine. However, they notice the one presented does not have the signature red hair of the real Katherine Killin. They are told the real Katherine has run off rather than be wed to their enemy and they don’t know where she is. Reluctantly, they leave.
During the trip back, while camping at night, two thieves try to take the men’s horses. They capture them only to find that they are females and both have a form of red hair. A romance between “Ann” (aka Katherine) and Kirk is immediate and sizzling.

Okay, that’s the set up and the rest must be read to be enjoyed. It’s only 150 pages and doesn’t take long. I found it to be incredibly entertaining and very well written. I loved her solution for not having to marry the laird…possibly brave, possibly foolish but very interesting! Sabrina York is a fine author and writes a very inventive period novel.

Give it a shot!

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Georgianna

Interview

TRC: Hi Sabrina. Welcome to The Reading Cafe.

Sabrina YorkSabrina: Thank you so much for having me! I am excited to be here!

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

Sabrina: Absolutely! My name is Sabrina York and I LOVE writing steamy, snarky romances…but I have ADD and enjoy writing in all sub genres (historical, contemporary, SEALs, Dukes, Highlanders and so on!).

Though I am predominantly published in romance, I also love writing in other genres like women’s fiction, fantasy, sci fi and more.

I think trying new things is important for working the writing muscles and keeps my writing fresh and fun.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

Sabrina: My greatest influence was my mother, who refused to let me use my dyslexia as an excuse for not being an overachiever. She convinced me at an early age that this difficulty was actually a gift, because it allowed me to see things in ways other people might miss.

Indeed, it has been a gift, and so was having a mother so determined to help me succeed.

Although, I must say, I am also thankful for spellcheck and editors!

TRC: What challenges or difficulties have you encountered writing and publishing your stories?

Sabrina: Dyslexia aside, I worked for years writing and polishing my work. I submitted to hundreds of editors and agents and received an encyclopedia full of rejections. Though my work won many awards, I just couldn’t seem to sell.

And then, just when I was about to give up (for a career of sitting on the sofa, eating bon bons and watching Toddlers in Tiaras) I miraculously sold my first book.

My advice to writers who are struggling is: Don’t give up. Keep trying.

Now that I am published (in traditional and indie worlds) my challenges are balancing projects with the business side of things. There are so many things I have to do that I never imagined.

It would be wonderful if being an author meant sitting back and writing books, but there is so much more to it, including accounting (ick), marketing, social media, events, conferences and more (especially for Indie writers!)

Bedding the HighlanderTRC: Would you please tell us something about BEDDING THE HIGHLANDER?

Sabrina: I am so excited about this story! It has been a glorious experience working with James Patterson, Laura Fazio and the team at Hachette!

The core story is that with the death of the queen and the ascension of James VI—and the union of the crowns between Scotland and England—the world has turned on its ear. The new king is determined to make the transition a peaceful one. He is adamant that Scotland not be seen as a land of savages, but loyal, peaceful subjects of the crown. He has commanded his dukes to maintain peace and squash unrest at all costs.

In light of the rising turmoil and increased hostilities amongst his highland clans, Nicholas Lennox, the Duke of Glencoe—acting on explicit orders from the newly ascended King James VI—has issued an ultimatum to his unmarried lairds, demanding they unite with their rival clans…through marriage.

As logical as this plan is, nothing seems to go right.

His first declaration is that Ben Rannoch, Laird of Rannoch should marry Katherine Killin, daughter of Cuithbeart Killin (The Rannoch’s mortal enemy).

In Bedding the Highlander, Kirk Rannoch is sent to collect his brother’s intended. He has no idea that Katherine is far from a biddable wench. The plucky redhead has decided to seduce Kirk in hopes of scuttling a wedding to his brother, the Beast of Rannoch.

Imagine Kirk’s chagrin when he realizes the woman he had bedded is not the maid he thought her to be, but his brother’s bride!

I came up with this idea when my husband and I were visiting Scotland last September. I’d never been there before and it was a wonderful time. One of the villages we visited was Kinloch Rannoch, the town my mother’s people came from. I decided that my next Highland romp had to take place there!

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

Sabrina: I live by a maxim that an author can do whatever she wants, as long as she does it well. So no matter the twists and turns I fold into the plot, they have to be masterfully executed.

You get a feeling in your gut, a little niggle, when things aren’t right. I’ve learned you cannot ignore that, no matter how much work it is to rewrite. I’ve also learned I am always so much happier when I get it right!

One of my favorite things to do is lead the reader down the garden path, make her expect that something typical will happen, and then flip the script! The secret here is having fully-formed characters who behave in genuine and authentic ways. Needless to say, I lean toward strong, determined and sometimes stubborn heroines.

TRC: Have you ever had the opportunity to visit the Highlands of Scotland, and if so, how much of an influence or impact did the visit have on your stories?

Sabrina: I most certainly did, but sadly, only one time. I would love to go back.

Laird of her HeartIt was fascinating visiting historical sites like Urquhart Castle (which featured in my Highland Time Travel, Laird of her Heart) and the battlefield at Culloden, thinking of all the lives that had been lived and lost in these places. We took a tour of the north coast where my Untamed Highlander Series took place.

Standing on the cliffs at Duncansby Head Lighthouse and staring out over the cold grey waters of the North Sea gave me a new appreciation for the strength and stamina of the Scottish people.

I took hundreds of pictures so I would remember the feelings, the sights and the faces. Some things change with the times, but others don’t. I often felt I had stepped back in time.

Mostly, I was suffused with this amazing feeling of coming home, which makes sense, because my mother’s people are Stewarts.

TRC: You write several different genres. Which do you prefer? Which do you find the most difficult?

Sabrina: I love writing them all, because when I switch, it’s almost like taking a break. It makes work feel less like work. J

The genre I find most difficult is the one I am working on at any given time.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. But it ain’t easy!

TRC: Do you believe the cover image plays a deciding factor for many readers in the process of selecting a book or new series to read?

Sabrina: I believe the cover is the most important element these days because a good 90% of readers are buying books online. The cover is the first thing they notice, there in a sea of covers.

It has to be stellar, and it has to reflect the story accurately.

In polls I’ve done with my lovely street team, the cover is always the top ranking decision factor, with “An Author I Know and Love” as number two. That’s why it is also critical to write consistently excellent books and give the reader what they want.

From a personal perspective, I also believe that relationships are super important in this business, whether it is with publishers, other authors, industry professionals and, of course, readers. I offer lots of ways to connect with my readers from my VIP Facebook room, to my Street Team and a newsletter that offers exclusive contests and content.

Yes, it takes time away from writing to foster and maintain these relationships, but it think it is important to know for whom I am writing. Plus, they are damn wonderful people!

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

Sabrina: I have a trick. I start out with a fairly well developed outline, but then, when I get going, yes, the characters start talking to me. I have to listen. It is their story after all!

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?

Sabrina: Absolutely. My job is to let the reader FEEL the story. To evoke and exploit emotion. My tactic is to write in what is called deep POV (Point of View). I only write one character per scene and everything from the language to the tone to the simmering emotions MUST be genuine and true to that character.

Another trick I learned is to keep the story moving. Focusing on the action and evolution of the story, I fold tidbits of information into dialog, reactions and internalizations rather than providing it in huge choking chunks. This is essential to KEEP THE READER IN THE STORY. I do not want you to put the book down! Long dull chunks of exposition are the perfect excuse to close the book and go have a root canal or something.

No! This cannot be allowed!!!!

As for writers who fail in invoking emotion, I’d like to say (and to be honest) we all have failed at one point or another. If we are lucky and/or smart, we have learned from it.

In my opinion, this failure (for wont of a better word) occurs when writers try to rush through scenes and assume the words they are putting on paper are having the effect they desire. I call this lazy writing and I am an expert at it. But the trick is in the editing. It is in the second, third or fourth pass when we flesh out the scene, maximize opportunities to stir emotions and cut out anything that gums up the works.

This last bit is where many writers struggle, because they are not inclined to murder their darlings. You know, that perfectly wicked turn of phrase, or the description of the train station we are in love with but goes on waaaaay too long for the reader to tolerate… That stuff needs to go, but writers in love with their own words don’t want to cut it.

Ask yourself is the story truly better or worse with this and then become a slasher.

In my humble opinion, writers only truly fail when they let their ego get in the way.

TRC: Do you listen to music while writing? If so, does the style of music influence the storyline direction? Characters?

Sabrina: I love listening to music, but words distract me (muddles up the flow in my head) so the only music I listen to is classical. Fortunately, I love classical. It is supremely evocative.

Beethoven is a personal favorite (Appassionata and other such concertos), as well as Mozart and anything with the cello and oboe.

When I am in the “flow” the music does indeed influence me.

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

Sabrina: Believe it or not, no one in my family reads. Most of my friends are authors, but when we chat it is usually about other things (because we are all involved in our local chapter and conference). So no one, I suppose! Though I do occasionally talk to my agent about story ideas she would like to see.

TRC: What do you believe is the biggest misconception people have about authors?

Sabrina: I think they believe we live glamorous lives, which makes me giggle because I work from home, rarely leave the house and might have a conversation with one person other than my husband (or the dog). On a good day, I might actually get out of my PJs!

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

Sabrina: I’m an Army Brat, so I grew up traveling the world (though I don’t travel much anymore unless it is for work because I am so busy). Because we lived overseas when I was in college, I took a course in Ancient Egyptian History…in Egypt. I’ve actually been inside the Great Pyramid. Which was awesome…until I remembered I’m claustrophobic.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Sabrina: I am thrilled that St. Martin’s asked me to continue my Untamed Highlander Series. I am now plotting out Hamish’s story!

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Sabrina: I love to connect with readers. Here are my links! I also have a tiara fetish, so be sure to enter my giveaways!

Giveaways: http://sabrinayork.com/current-giveaways/

Get two free books when you sign up for my Newsletter: http://sabrinayork.com/gift/

Join my Street Team: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/12s46UGgNUze1c3o3L8jIlXiLuhR5cFZjR83SCMElfw8/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link

Facebook VIP chat room: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SabrinaYorkChatAndContests/

CONNECT

Follow my Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sabrinayork

Friend my Facebook Profile Page https://www.facebook.com/sabrina.york.14

Like my Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/SabrinaYorkBooks

Follow me on Twitter @sabrina_york https://twitter.com/sabrina_york

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5817917.Sabrina_York

Check out my Pinterest boards: http://www.pinterest.com/sabrinayork/boards/

Sign up for Amazon alerts: http://www.amazon.com/author/sabrinayork

Sign up for alerts on new releases with other vendors: https://books2read.com/author/sabrina-york/subscribe/1/28367/

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food: Bacon

Favorite Dessert: Cheesecake

Favorite TV Show: Below Deck

Last Movie You Saw: Shawshank Redemption

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Dark

Secret Celebrity Crush: George Clooney (and it’s not so secret)

Last Vacation Destination: Los Angeles

Do you have any pets? A rottie mix named Lola

Last book you read: Tina Fey’s Bossypants

TRC: Thank you Sabrina for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the release of Bedding the Highlander

Sabrina: Thanks for letting me play!

 

Giveaway

Sabrina’s publisher is graciously offering an ebook copy of
BEDDING THE HIGHLANDER 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.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging onto the site, please refresh the page (at the top of your computer).

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

3. Please like and follow Sabrina York’s Author Page on Facebook.

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

5. LIKE The Reading Cafe on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW the Reading Cafe on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Please follow The Reading Cafe on Tumblr

8. Giveaway is open internationally

9. Giveaway runs from March 17-21, 2017

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Fight For Her (MMA Fighter Romance #1) by Vanessa Vale-Review & Guest Post

FIGHT FOR HER (MMA Fighter Romance #1) by Vanessa Vale-Review and Guest Post

Fight For Her

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / ibooks /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Re-release March 7, 2017

A fighter ready to give up the gloves.

A woman ready to take on the world.

Grayson Green’s an MMA champion who’s spent years in the limelight where fast times and fast women were easy to come by. The appeal is gone and he steps out of the ring to make some changes and get control of his life. All the training in the world can’t save him from the one-two punch of meeting Emory. She’s different. She has no idea who he is…and she wants him anyway. When someone from his past is prepared to take him down… and Emory along with him, he’ll do anything to fight for her…

Warning! This book has a super protective, super hot alpha male who will stop at nothing to protect his girl.

NOTE: This book was previously published under the title Naked Choke. Besides a new cover and title, new scenes have been added.

••••••••••••••••

REVIEW:  FIGHT FOR HER is the first instalment in Vanessa Vale’s contemporary adult MMA FIGHTER ROMANCE series. This is former MMA fighter and gym owner Grayson Green, and practical nurse/single mom Emory.

NOTE: FIGHT FOR HER is a re-release and former titled 2016 novel Naked Choke.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Emory and Grayson) FIGHT FOR HER focuses on the building relationship between thirty eight year old practical nurse Emory, and former MMA fighter Grayson ‘The Green Machine’ Green. Having met at a mutual friend’s engagement party Emory and Grayson were immediately attracted to one another but Grayson didn’t want to push Emory too fast realizing that the woman with whom he would fall in love had no idea who he was, or what he did for a living. Emory was a single mother whose only child recently left for college but in the ensuing time our heroine struggled with her new independence. With little experience and even less knowledge about the who and what of Grayson Green, Emory and Grayson would take their time until a series of threats and a break in pushed Emory into Grayson’s arms. What ensues is the building relationship between Emory and Grayson, a threat focused on scaring our story line heroine, and the embittered battle with someone from Grayson’s past.

The attraction between Gray and Emory is immediate but our heroine is a divorced mother of one and wary about what it is Grayson has to offer. Grayson struggles with his attraction to Emory and the possibility of bringing her into his world-a world embattled with demons from the past. The $ex scenes are intimate without the use of over the top sexually graphic language or text.

We are introduced to fellow MMA fighters Reed and Rob (aka Thor) as well as Emory’s neighbour (and wingman) Simon, several friends including newly engaged Paul and Christy, and the owners of a local family run restaurant-the Casales.

I do have one issue and that is the fact that our heroine was never gifted a last name by the author. I struggle to accept in today’s society that story book characters, especially women in a leading role, are relegated to first name only as though they were second class citizens and never entirely recognized.

FIGHT FOR HER is a slow building story of romance and revenge. The premise is optimistic and intriguing ; the romance is tender, affectionate and spicy; the characters are colorful and dynamic. FIGHT FOR HER is an enjoyable read that will captivate your imagination.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

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French Fries — What’s your favorite?

There’s a debate in my house about the best ‘cut’ of a french fry. There’s waffle, steak fries, wedge, shoestring, curly… the list is long! I, personally, love the shoestring fry the best. They’re thin and crispy and there’s an equal balance of salt and potato. My husband likes the steak fry… boo. My kids like waffle fries and tater tots (that doesn’t really count as a fry, but they still like them). This makes dinner tough because no one is ever happy. We have to do a rotation of fry types so we each get what we want eventually. Do you have something like this in your house? Salad dressing, how well done a steak should be, how much mayo in tuna… I want to know!

About The Author

Vanessa ValeWho doesn’t love the romance of the old West? USA Today Bestselling author Vanessa Vale takes the sensual appeal of rugged cowboys a step further with her bestselling books set in the Montana Territory. They are much more than just sexy historical westerns. They’re deliciously naughty reads that sometimes push the boundaries of fantasy. It’s pure escapism with quite a few very hot, very alpha cowboys. When she’s not writing, Vanessa savors the insanity of raising two boys, is figuring out how many meals she can make with a pressure cooker, and teaches a pretty mean karate class. She considers herself to be remarkably normal, exceedingly introverted and fairly vanilla, which does not explain her steamy stories and her fascination with cowboys, preferably more than one at a time. She lives in the Wild Wild West where there’s an endless source of ‘research’ material.

Follow Vanessa: Website /Facebook / Twitter /Pinterest /Instagram /

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Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop – Review, Interview & Giveaway

Etched in Bone  by Anne Bishop – Review, Interview & Giveaway

 

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Etched in Bone
The Others series – Book #5
by Anne Bishop
Release Date: March 7, 2017

Etched in BoneAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave.

 

Review:

Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop is the 5th book in her wonderful The Others series.  Anne Bishop is one of the authors that are always on the top of my list.  She never ever fails in giving us another fantastic story in each of everyone of her series.   Etched in Bone ends the Meg/Simon story arc, and it was a fabulous and exciting ending.  I know Anne will continue The Others world in a different arc that will come next year, but I will miss the wonderful characters in Lakeside.

At the end of the last book (Marked in Flesh), the feared Elders (old time powerful  Others) and Elementals eliminated the humans who plotted and brutally killed many of the terra indigene (the Others) throughout the world.  A refresher:  The Others are non humans, such as wolves, crows, vampires, elementals, grizzlies, etc), who control most of the world. The series revolves around Meg Corbyn, a human, who is also a blood prophet. Since Meg has arrived in Lakeside Courtyard, the terra indigene have protected her and learned to change their ways to live with humans.

In Etched in Bone. Lakeside and other communities, who have survived the mass destruction work toward returning things to normal.  Bishop does a wonderful job allowing us to see how Meg has helped changed both human and others perspectives.  The police play a big part in this story, with Monty in the middle, since his brother has come to live in Lakeside.  Jimmy Montgomery is bad to the bone, and upon arrival has expected to live freely, taking whatever he wants; but soon, the Others begin to see that he is trouble.  When Simon and his group want to evict Jimmy immediately, they are stopped by two Elders, who want to learn more how humans and the others get along; they want to see how Jimmy is different than other humans.

Jimmy was one of those nasty people who will use his own family to benefit him.  A few of times during the story, he plots to take what doesn’t belong to him, and even with the dire result on the first attempt, he continues to plot again.  Monty and Twyla (their mother) have to separate themselves from him, so not to be in the middle of the eventual fallout; and throughout the story, we kept hoping for nasty Jimmy to be thrown out of Lakeside. 

The last third of the book was extremely exciting, with pulse pounding action that had us on the edge of our seat.  Meg’s life was in danger, and they all knew, if anything happens to our Meg, poor Simon would leave Lakeside heartbroken.  It will take the police, the Elders and the rest of the terra indigene to work together to try and save Meg. Will Meg survive? Will Simon and Meg finally find a way to be together?

What I loved the most about Etched in Bone was spending time, and probably our last with these wonderful fantastic characters Anne Bishop has given us….Meg, Simon, Vlad, Tess, Sam, Nathan, Henry, Merri Lee, Monty, Burke,Skippy, &  the Elementals, just to name a few. I for one will sorely miss them .  I also love that Anne has given us a satisfactory conclusion to Simon & Meg (and Sam).  Bravo Anne Bishop for another fantastic book, and series that no one should miss.  I wholly recommend you read The Others series by starting with the first book, Written in Red. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

Interview

Anne Bishop photo

 

Hi, Anne.  We are excited to have you back with us again at The Reading Cafe, to discuss your new release “Etched in Bone”, as well as to give us an update as to what else you may be working on. 

 

 

TRC:  For those of our members who have not read this series, can you please give us a description of the premise of The Others

Anne: The Others novels take place on an alternate Earth where the earth natives, the supernatural beings known as the Others, have always been the dominant predators, evolving with the world. Humans, while inventive and clever, are nowhere near the top of the food chain and have to deal with the Others for all the natural resources they need. The appearance of Meg Corbyn, a blood prophet who has run away from her controller, adds to the ever-present tension between species in the city of Lakeside. Meg’s presence is the pebble that starts the avalanche of changes in Lakeside, and the question, more and more, becomes who is going to survive those changes.

TRC:  Etched in Bone is being released tomorrow.  Can you please give us a brief description of the book?

Anne:  It’s the post-war story. Communication between regions is broken, so no one really knows how many human cities and towns in Thaisia still exist. Thanks to Simon, Meg, and Monty, Lakeside is in pretty good shape, but there is a sense of isolation and uncertainty. And the thinning of the human herd isn’t done. Two Elders return to Lakeside to observe the humans and Others interacting. When Monty’s brother, Jimmy, arrives in Lakeside, the Elders have a chance to observe something else—how one human’s actions can break the trust and balance in a pack made of humans and Others.   

TRC: How did you come up with the idea of The Others?

Anne:  It wasn’t one idea but a lot of little ideas that clicked together in the right way. The “ah-ha” moment was when I wondered what the world would be like if the Others weren’t humans that became something else but were a different species altogether, supreme predators that had the ability to take another shape in order to mimic and study other predators. That meant that even when they took the shape of a human, they wouldn’t think like a human. That collision of world views intrigued me. Once I added the idea of the blood prophets, and Meg, who becomes the catalyst for those world views colliding, the story began to tell itself.  

TRC:  Etched in Bone is the final book in The Others series.  How hard was it writing the finale of Meg, Simon, Sam and the others in Lakeside?  I know I will miss them. 

Anne:  I don’t feel like I left them behind. They just stepped off the stage to let other characters have a chance to stand in the spotlight. They told the story of world-shattering changes, and their work is done. I picture them all heading to a beach on the shores of Lake Etu. Meg and the female pack will build sand castles. Simon and Sam will dig the moats and chase the seagulls. Everybody will have a good time.  

TRC:  We know you are continuing with a new series, Lake Silence, in the same world as The Others.  What can you tell us about the new series coming in 2018? 

Anne:  I don’t know yet if it’s a new series or a standalone book in the Others’ world.  I started the story as a “Crowgard cozy”—a kind of story that would be sold in Howling Good Reads. When I started it, I wasn’t sure if it would be a short story or a novella or a novel. I just wrote to see what would happen with these characters. Then, because my stories always change from simple to layered, “cozy” turned into “suspense” and grew into a novel.  

TRC: How many books are you planning for your new series?   

Anne: That will depend on whether or not Vicki and Aggie find more bodies.  

TRC:  When you are not writing, what other interests or hobbies do you have?

Anne: That depends on the season. In the winter, I read, watch movies, and spend time with friends. From spring through fall, I putter in the garden instead of watching movies.

TRC:  What is your writing process?  Do you like to outline your story before you start? Do you have a specific place you like to write?  Is there a special time of day that works best for you?

Anne:  I don’t outline. I think a lot—sometimes for years—before I begin writing the story. I make notes as characters begin to take shape and the place comes into sharper and sharper focus. I have a general idea of the storyline but the fun is discovering how the characters get from that first meeting and problem to be solved to the end of the story. I have a little space in my house that is the writing corner. That’s where I go to meet the Muse. I start after breakfast and work until I reach my word quota for the day. Then I take care of email and paperwork for a couple of hours. I do that five days a week. The other two days I spend on the mundane things that keep the household running.

TRC:   Would you like to add anything else? 

Anne: Etched in Bone is my twentieth novel. In 2018, I’ll celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the publication of my first novel, Daughter of the Blood. Some of you have been sharing these worlds and stories with me from the beginning. Some of you are just discovering the Others and the Blood and the other worlds I’ve created. Thank you. It’s a joy to share the people and their stories with you. 

TRC:  Thank you, Anne for giving us an update on Etched in Bone, as well as what we can look forward to with your new series.    It was a pleasure having you visit us again. 

To learn more about Anne, you can find her at the following links
          Website / Facebook /  Courtyard / Goodreads

 

Giveaway

Anne is graciously offering TWO (2) giveaways.
           – A Hardcover copy of ETCHED IN BONE to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe
         –   Paper copy of the first Four book in The Others series 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.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging in, please refresh the page at the top of your computer

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 The Reading Cafe on Tumblr

7. Follow ANNE BISHOP  on Facebook.

8. Giveaway is open to USA only.

9. Giveaway runs from March 6 -10, 2017

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Going for the Goal (The Perfect Play #3) by Sara Rider-Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

GOING FOR THE GOAL (The Perfect Play #3) by Sara Rider-Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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GOING FOR THE GOAL
Perfect Play #3
by Sara Rider
Release Date: February 13, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, romance, hockey

going for the Goal

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / BAM /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 13, 2017

Sara Rider returns with the third book in the Perfect Play series—a fast-paced, icy hot romance featuring a sports agent fighting an attraction to the NHL’s bad boy…and his ability to melt her heart.

In this perfect book for romance and sports fans, professional sports agent Jillian Nichols knows how to play the game to get what she wants. But admitting to what she needs has always been a challenge. Will she ever let her guard down long enough to let someone in? Or will the bad boy hockey player Nick “the Punisher” Salinger have to fight harder than ever for a chance to win her heart?

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REVIEW: GOING FOR THE GOAL is the third installment in Sara Rider’s adult, contemporary THE PERFECT PLAY erotic, romance series. This is professional hockey play/enforcer Nick ‘The Punisher’ Salinger, and sports agent Jillian Nichols’s story line. GOING FOR THE GOAL can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from previous story line is revealed where necessary. The reader was first introduced to our heroine in book two-Keeping Score.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Jillian and Nick) GOING FOR THE GOAL follows the personal and professional relationship between NHL enforcer Nick Salinger, and sports agent Jillian Nichols. Eight year earlier both Nick and Jillian were newbies in the world of sports: she an intern with an agent whose reputation as a misogynistic pig pushed Jillian to hand in her resignation; and he a rookie hockey player who spoke more with his fists than anything else. Fast forward to present day wherein Nick Salinger needs a new agent but Jillian Nichols refuses to accept any clients whose attitudes match the infamous Nick Salinger. When a disastrous fight with a teammate almost destroys Nick’s career, Jillian remains steadfast in her refusal to accept Nick as a client until the truth about what happened is finally revealed. What ensues is a campaign to rival all others as Jillian struggles to clean up Nick’s reputation while her own slowly begins to unravel and fall apart.

The relationship between our couple begins acrimoniously. Nick’s reputation as a fighter pushes all of Jillian’s buttons but neither Jillian or Nick has ever forgotten about their first meeting and the possibility of what never was. Jillian struggles to be accepted into a career dominated by the male of the species and with it comes the sexist attitudes of those who think themselves better than everyone else. The sex scenes are seductive, intimate and intense.

We are introduced to several members of the NHL’s New York Vipers including rookie Sebastian Liakos and his fiancée Alexa Whittaker , captain and goalie Mike Lambert, left wing Luke Anderson, and an assortment of coaches, trainers and team owner John Whittaker ; Nick’s younger brother Ben-a high school teacher and struggling actor; as well as Jillian’s former mentor Lou Parsons who sets out to destroy Jillian’s career. Soccer player Jaime Chen (Keeping Score) has a couple of cameo appearances throughout the story.

GOING FOR THE GOAL is a story of betrayal and revenge; romance and love; second chances and happily ever afters. The premise is lively and inspiring; the characters are dynamic and heartwarming; the romance is captivating and passionate. GOING FOR THE GOAL is a fascinating story line with a few twists and turns to the conflict resolution.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Guest Post-Black and Blue

Researching and developing the story line content —Sara Rider

When I first started writing the Perfect Play series, I didn’t intend to write about Jillian Nichols, the heroine of Going for the Goal. But after she made her appearance in Keeping Score as the agent fighting tirelessly for her underdog client Jaime Chen, it became clear to me that she had her own story to tell. I just wasn’t entirely sure what that story was.

To date, Going for the Goal is the book that required by far the most research. For the other novels in the series, I was able to draw on a lot of different real-life inspirations for storylines and character development. Writing about a female sports agent, however, didn’t come with a clear set of instructions. With the exception of Amelia Slater on the TV show Pitch, which didn’t air until after I’d written the book, there hasn’t been a lot of female sports agents featured in the media. For most people, Jerry Maguire remains the quintessential, and likely only, touchstone of sports agents. But Jerry Maguire’s brash personality and riches-to-rags story didn’t resonate with Jillian’s ambitious but earnest character.

Instead of starting with a plot idea like I usually do, I started with a fundamental piece of characterization. When Jillian first popped into my head, she came with a very clear and strict set of rules for herself, much like many other women who’ve had to work twice as hard to prove themselves in male-dominated industries:
1. Never work with arrogant jerks; 2. Never work with people you don’t trust; and, 3. Never, ever work with someone you’ve pictured naked. So naturally, when I was coming up with a love interest, it had to be someone who broke every single one of these rules. That’s where Nick Salinger comes in. The bad boy enforcer of the New York Vipers walks into her office on the heels of a scandal and demands she take him on as a client. The big question, of course, was why. Any agent could negotiate a trade deal or a salary increase, so why did this big, troublesome star want an agent with an unconventional practice to represent him?

The answer is that he wanted someone who could pull off the impossible: negotiate a deal to stay with a team who desperately wants him gone. Unfortunately, this meant I needed a crash course in NHL trade regulations and negotiation tactics. I’ve always been a casual hockey fan, but this required a heck of a lot more effort than putting on my Jets jersey and cheering on my team from my living room couch. I ended up spending endless hours talking to family and friends who self-identify as hockey fanatics, and scouring the Internet for resources. Anonymous agent blogs detailing the dark underside of the profession, profiles of the difficulties faced by female agents, and course listings for sports management programs were invaluable in developing the story and the various sub-plots in the book.

Ultimately, it was the forceful personalities of Jillian and Nick that helped me piece together the plot. Both are intensely stubborn people who are so used to taking care of others that they struggle with the idea of falling in love with someone equally bull-headed and devoted. In the end, flipping from a plot-first to a character-first approach to writing was a fun challenge that still allowed me explore a unique storyline. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

~~Sara~~

About The Author Black and Blue

Sara RiderYou can follow Sara at : Website / Goodreads/ Twitter/

Sara Rider writes contemporary romances full of heart and heat about strong heroines and the men who can’t resist them. Growing up, Sara dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player. When that dream was squashed by her extreme dislike of running, she decided to do the next best thing: write about professional soccer players. By day, Sara spends her time working in the field of research ethics and daydreams about plotlines and character arcs. She spends far too much time at public libraries and never leaves the house without a paperback or an e-reader stuffed into her purse.

Giveaway-Black and Deep Blue

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