Coming Home to Mustang Ridge by Jesse Hayworth – Review, Interview & Giveaway

Coming Home to Mustang Ridge by Jesse Hayworth – Review, Interview & Giveaway

 

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Coming Home to Mustang Ridge
Mustang Ridge series – Book #5
by Jesse HayworthRelease Date: August 4, 2015

Coming Home to Mustang RidgeAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM / The Book Depository

Description:
After putting all her savings—and then some—into purchasing a vintage clothing shop in downtown Three Ridges, Wyoming, Ashley Webb is determined to succeed come hell or high water. Problem is, she’s never been good at long-term commitments.  And when Ashley crosses paths again with the incredibly sexy cowboy she got cozy with at her brother’s wedding, she can’t help being distracted.

Tyler Reed isn’t looking to settle down—he tried that before and got burned. Not to mention that the new head wrangler at Mustang Ridge Dude Ranch has other things on his mind. Things that are far more important than helping out his boss’s pretty—but flaky—sister…even though there’s some serious chemistry between them. When Ashley turns out to be very different than he expected, he’s tempted to go against his better judgment. What’s a cowboy to do when the wrong woman lassoes his heart?

 

 

Review:

Coming Home to Mustang Ridge by Jesse Hayworth is the 5th book in her wonderful Mustang Ridge series. I enjoy anything written by Jesse Hayworth/Jessica Andersen, as I have loved her two series (Mustang Ridge & The Nightkeepers). Mustang Ridge is such a fun and delightful series about the Skye family and their ranch.

In Coming Home to Mustang Ridge, Ashley is our heroine and is Wyatt’s sister. Right from the start I loved Ashley, and it was so great to see the friendship between her and the heroines of the previous books….Krista, Jenny, Shelby, Danny. Of course, I also adored our hero, Tyler Reed, who has come back to Mustang Ridge to work for Krista. Tyler is also a musician, and when he was last at Mustang Ridge, attending the wedding of Krista and Wyatt, he had a one night stand with one of the bridesmaids, whom he has not forgotten.

When Tyler sees Ashley with her friends at the bar, where he is singing, he recognized her as the girl he has not forgotten. When he meets up with Ashley outside, he is shocked to learn she is Wyatt’s sister, and he backs away, as Wyatt is his friend and technically his boss. Ashley agrees, and tells him to keep that one night a secret.

Easier said than done, as Ashley has just bought the store she has worked in, and was determined to make it a success. There are financial aspects which must be met, and Ashley gets the help of her friends to have events to bring in people. Tyler is forced to help with supplies, equipment that the Skye family offers to Ashley, and they both find themselves becoming closer and closer, as they learn more about each other. The chemistry between them both was hot, and I totally rooted for them to be able to overcome some obstacles that threatened to keep them as friends with benefits.

I love the family background of this series, the Skye family members, the wonderful friendships, and all the regulars we have come to love continue to play big parts in the stories. I will say that in this book, I was not a fan of Wyatt, as I thought he was too unbending towards Ashley, and even Tyler, though I knew it was because he loved and worried about her. Still, I did not like him as much as I did in the previous book.   Kudos to Jesse Hayworth for continually giving us wonderful, fun and sexy romances in Mustang Ridge, and forcing us to always go back home to this fabulous family and ranch. If you have not started this series, I suggest you do so, and start with Summer at Mustang Ridge.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

Interview

 

Hi Jesse. Thank you for taking the time to revisit us at The Reading Cafe, to discuss your new release “Coming Home to Mustang Ridge”, as well as to give us an update as to what you have in store for us next.

Jesse: Thank you so much for having me back! I always love hanging out at the café with a cup of tea (maybe a glass of wine, depending) and something sweet to nibble on while we chat about hunky cowboys, sassy cowgirls and sweet Wyoming sunsets!

TRC: For those who are new to your series, can you please tell us the premise of the Mustang Ridge series?

Jesse:  Mustang Ridge is a long-time cattle ranch that spitfire cowgirl Krista Skye convinced her parents and grandparents to help her convert into a high-end guest ranch, complete with a chuck wagon, overnight trail rides, and theme weeks—everything from Singles Week to Reunion Week. Take the men and women who live and work on the ranch, add in a new crop of guests each week, and top it all with the residents of nearby Three Ridges, Wyoming, with its spunky mayor and Wild West persona, and you’ve got a whole lot of lives and loves to read about!

Coming Home to Mustang RidgeTRC:  Would you please give us a brief description of Coming Home to Mustang Ridge?

Jesse: Have you ever had a wedding hookup that was super fun at the time, but got complicated after the fact? That’s what happens to Ashley when she gets friendly with the super-sexy country guitarist at her brother’s wedding at posh Mustang Ridge Dude Ranch, only to have him turn up more than a year later as the ranch’s new head wrangler. She’s determined to make her new business venture a success, and he’s got a quest he’s put off far too long, but when they’re thrown back together, sparks fly!

 

Starting over at Mustang ridgeTRC:  Last month you released a novella, Starting Over at Mustang Ridge. I always enjoy spending time with the Skye family in each of your books. Krista, Jenny and Shelby are so much fun with your newest heroines. How many more books do you anticipate for the Mustang Ridge series?

Jesse:  Thank you so much for loving them! That means a ton to me, especially on the hard days when the words just won’t get out of my head and onto the page exactly right … As for future books, I definitely plan on returning to Mustang Ridge! I would love to do a holiday novella and go from there. Stay tuned (and sign up for my newsletter) for what’s next.

TRC:  Have you any thoughts of returning to the Paranormal genre or another genre, and writing again as Jessica Andersen?

Jesse:  Most definitely! I think my first stop as Jessica Andersen will be a new medical romantic suspense series. It’s in the works, release dates TBD. At some point, I will also return to paranormal romance. I’d love to do another Nightkeeper book, and I have a new series nudging at the back of my brain.

TRC: This is awesome news. 

TRC:  Would you like to share with us what you are currently working on, and what you have in store for us in 2015/2016?

Jesse:  See the next question, please. LOL!

TRC:  How has the birth of your son, Wallaby (online name) changed your writing habits? Do you have specific times and places to write? I love your stories on your blog about Wallaby and Arizona.

Jesse:  Awww, thanks. Becoming a mom after all this time (and through lots of heartache as we fought the issues that come with deciding to start a family after forty …) has definitely changed things for me in a whole lot of ways. It’s all for the better, but I sure don’t have the luxury of locking myself in my writing cave for hours on end anymore! Arizona—who is a rockstar as a daddy—gets up with the little one in the morning, giving me a couple of hours of uninterrupted writing time.

We’ve been doing that about a month now, and I’m starting to find my writing groove again. But I’ll confess that I haven’t had the most productive 2014/15, as far as writing goes, which means I don’t have any firm release dates I can share with you right now … but stay tuned. I’m writing and loving it!

TRC:  Would you like to add anything else?

Jesse: I’d like to give a shout out to my pet nonprofit, Beech Brook Farm Equine Rescue. (beechbrookfarm.homestead.com) I started volunteering at BBFER so I would have something to do other than fret about getting (and staying) pregnant, and while it may not have saved my life, it definitely saved my sanity and made me much easier for Arizona to live with.

Being hands-on with formerly abused and neglected horses, miniature horses, donkeys and mini-donks as they’re being rehabilitated and adopted into new homes … it’s a really special thing, as are the outreach programs targeting at-risk youth and differently abled adults. I’ve learned far more than I expected to through volunteering, and these days, little Wallaby does chores right along with me!

TRC:  That’s one picture you will need to share on your blog….Wallaby doing the chores with you.  :)

TRC: Thank you, Jesse for visiting us again to talk about your new release. We wish you good luck with Coming Home to Mustang Ridge.

 Jesse:  Thank you so much for having me! It’s always a pleasure to kick back in the café and talk about the books we love :)

 

 

 

Giveaway

Jesse and her publisher are offering a paper copy of Coming Home to Mustang Ridge  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 and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

4. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. Like Jessica Andersen/Jesse Hayworth on Facebook for an additional entry.

6. Giveaway is open to USA only.

7. Giveaway runs from August 3 – August 6, 2015

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Primal Heat (The Shadow Shifters 6) by A.C. Arthur-Review and Interview with the Author

PRIMAL HEAT (The Shadow Shifters #6) by A.C. Arthur-Review and Interview with the Author

Primal Heat

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / The Book Depository / BAM

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date August 4, 2015

In the savage world of the Shadow Shifters, desire can be as dangerous as nature itself…

As guard to the most powerful shifter in the human world, Eli Preston is sworn to protect his leader, defend their alliance, and keep his darker instincts in check. But when a beautiful female trainee arouses his jaguar senses, there is no stopping the beast within. He must have her. Even if it jeopardizes the deadliest mission of his life…

When the heat is on—and the claws come out—the heart is the fiercest hunter…

For six years, Nivea has been waiting for Eli to take her in his arms, unleash his animal urges, and claim her as his mate. But once their passion is unleashed—in a reckless moment of pure unbridled lust—nothing can ever be the same. The battle lines are drawn: man versus animal, shifter versus shifter. And Eli must be prepared to fight for his life—and his love—or he will lose Nivea forever…

••••••••••••

REVIEW: PRIMAL HEAT is the sixth full length installment in A.C. Arthur’s adult, contemporary SHADOW SHIFTERS paranormal romance series focusing on a breed of feline shifters known as The Shadow Shifters. This is Guardians Eli Preston and Nivea Cannon’s storyline. Because of the developing storyline throughout the series I would suggest new readers to the series start at the beginning for cohesion, history and back story.

Told from several third person perspectives PRIMAL HEAT continues to focus on hunt for the person(s) responsible for threatening to ‘out’ the shifters to the human race. The Shadow Shifters have long hid their supernatural existence; blending into the communities and societies of man but a new species of hybrid is threatening to destroy the peaceful co-existence between man and beast. What ensues is an act of retaliation and revenge against the Shifters by several of their own kind.

Meanwhile, Nivea has known that Eli Preston is her mate but Eli’s history in the jungles of Sierra Leone have left Eli distant, cold and withdrawn. He is a Shadow Shifter Guardian who has come into a secondary power but with it comes memories and the guilt of a time not so long ago. Taking a mate is the last thing Eli wants or needs but it is the touch of a mate that will calm the beast within.

Nivea is a strong, alpha female who isn’t afraid to let Eli know what it is she wants from her mate but Eli continues to refuse to claim the woman that calms his soul. When Nivea’s life is threatened time and again, Eli can’t stop the need to protect and claim the woman with whom he is falling in love. The $ex scenes are intimate, sometimes aggressive, and provocative.

PRIMAL HEAT and thusly the SHADOW SHIFTERS series is an ensemble story with all of the previous storyline couples and characters in secondary and supporting roles. In fact, PRIMAL HEAL follows several developing and existing premises that intersect throughout the story and series.

The world building continues to focus on the Shadow Shifters: their history; their mating; and their struggles to survive. Now that their existence has been revealed their future battles will find them facing off against a different enemy-one that has already started to pass judgment in the face of the unknown.

PRIMAL HEAT is an engaging and character driven storyline with action, suspense, and some disturbing scenarios. The Shadow Shifters face an uncertain future-one filled with the potential for specieism, discrimination, prejudice and the possibility of a disaster on par with ethnic cleansing. Shifters are no longer safe in the world of man; everyone has been targeted now that their secret has been revealed. A.C. Arthur has written a passionate storyline with an all-too familiar historical formula.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Interview yellow:black

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

Follow AC: Goodreads /Website/ Facebook /Twitter /

AC ArthurAC: I am a full-time paralegal working for a federal judge, a mother of three, and a wife.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

AC: I’ve been reading since the early days of Sweet Valley High and Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. I graduated into adult books with Danielle Steele’s Star. During my sophomore year of high school I won a writing contest and from that moment I figured why not write stories and see if others enjoy them.

TRC: PRIMAL HEAT is your August 2015 release in The Shadow Shifters paranormal, romance series. Would you please tell us something about the premise?

AC: Primal Heat is book #6 in the Shadow Shifters series. It brings to a culmination a war that has been brewing between the Shadow Shifters (a group of feline shapeshifters that originated in the Amazon rainforest) and the Rogues (a renegade group of Shadow Shifters). This is also the story of Eli and Nivea, two guards in the shifter world who are sworn to protect their secret. They’re also falling in love, despite Eli’s resistance. It’s a passionate and action-packed love story.

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

AC: Not really so much as challenging, but I did take a trip to the Gaylord Hotel in National Harbor since the big fight scene takes place there. I also continued with the research I’d done for the previous books into the various big cats of the world—jaguars, cheetahs, white lions, white tigers, cougars—as they all play a part in this last story.

Primal HeatTRC: How many books do you have planned for the series? Have you considered writing any novellas to ‘catch up’ with some of the previous storyline couple?

AC: There are currently 6 full length books in this series and three novellas (which give a look into the new adults of the shifter world). I would love to continue writing books in this series, but I’m not sure if that will happen just yet.

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

AC: I think that depends on the characters. When I begin writing I have an idea of where the plot is going and how it will all pan out, but the characters’ actions throughout the story sometimes changes things up a bit. For me, that makes the writing itself unpredictable and hopefully does the same for the readers.

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?

AC: Yes, absolutely. I believe this because as a reader myself, I’m always drawn to the covers first. They’re like a commercial on the shelf for me. I see something pretty or alluring and I immediately want to know what that book is about.

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

AC: I outline each book before I begin writing so that I can clearly see my characters’ conflicts, sexual tension and resolution as it will roll out over the course of the book. But again, once I start writing the characters’ personalities really take the lead and while I have a basic road map for them, I tend to let them drive for the most part.

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?

AC: I think as a writer you have to know these characters as well as you know yourself. If you know them, you will feel what they feel. If you feel what they feel, you’ll be able to convey that on paper and when the reader reads the story they’ll feel it too. It’s very easy to write words, but if you’re not feeling them, they’re just words.

Writing an emotionally charged book can be difficult if the writer isn’t open to these same emotions themselves. We have to believe and feel everything we’ve written if we expect the reader to.

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

AC: Yes! I love listening to music while I write. For the fight scenes in this series I listened to lots of Imagine Dragons and Maroon 5. For the love scenes it was Trey Songz and Justin Timberlake. If you listen to Spotify I have playlists titled ‘Shadow Inspirations’ and ‘Shadow Shifter: Damaged Hearts’.

I like watching movie trailers, so when I listen to music while I write it really helps me to see the scene in my mind and sometimes the song lyrics influence the character’s feelings and actions.

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

AC: I don’t even have three things. I just try to take one day at a time. That goes for each book I write, just one at a time and whatever happens does. I believe that whatever accomplishments are meant for me, I will have without focusing too much attention on reaching them.

TRC: Have you collaborated with any other authors/writers? If not, have you considered such an enterprise?

AC: No, I have not. I’ve been asked this question a lot and to be truthful that’s the only time that I actually think about it. LOL

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

AC: My family. I have a twenty-three year old son, a twenty-one year old daughter, a fifteen year old daughter and my husband. So I feel like I have a good range of opinions for whatever type of story I’m writing. They’re usually pretty good at telling me what’s ridiculous and what has potential.

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

AC: That we’re rich! LOL I was just talking about that at my reader appreciation event. There’s a big misconception about how much money authors really make from their books.

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

AC: That I would much rather watch old movies than anything current.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

AC: I’m working on a new series titled Wolf Tales and yes, you guessed it, they’re wolf shifters! This will be an even sexier series than the Shadow Shifters, focusing on the psyche of the shifters and what it takes for each of them to really give in to love.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

AC: Thank you so much for this opportunity!

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food
Cheese

Favorite Dessert
Carrot Cake

Favorite TV Show
I Love Lucy

Last Movie You Saw
Jurassic World

Dark or Milk Chocolate
Dark

Secret Celebrity Crush
Morris Chestnut

Last Vacation Destination
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Do you have any pets?
5 angelfish – one that looks just like Gil from Finding Nemo

Last book you read
I re-read books all the time, so the book I just finished for the billionth time was Carolina Moon by Nora Roberts.

Pet Peeve
Pointing.I hate when people point at me, for any reason. I just don’t like it at all!

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

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The Duke’s Disaster / Tremaine’s True Love (True Gentlemen .5 & 1) by Grace Burrowes-Review, Interview and Book Tour

The Duke’s Disaster / Tremaine’s True Love (True Gentlemen .5 & 1) by Grace Burrowes-Reviews, Interview and Book Tour

Tremaine's True Love

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / The Book Depository / BAM / indiebound / ibooks

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date August 4, 2015

Tremaine St. Michael is firmly in trade and seeks only to negotiate the sale of some fancy sheep with the Earl of Haddonfield. The earl’s sister, Lady Nita, is pragmatic, hard-working, and selfless, though Tremaine senses she’s also tired of her charitable obligations and envious of her siblings’ marital bliss. Tremaine, having been raised among shepherds, can spot another lonely soul, no matter how easily she fools her own family. Neither Tremaine nor Nita is looking for love, but love comes looking for them.

••••••••••••

5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Two more outstanding novels by one of my fave historical romance authors Grace Burrowes. This review is on her first two books of her True Gentlemen series. If you remember (and fell in love with as I did) Nicholas and Ethan (with mentions of other yummy characters) from the Lonely Lords series then you will appreciate this spin off series as it revolves around their sisters finding their true loves.

REVIEW:

We have met Tremaine before in the Lonely Lord series and I loved meeting him once again. Tremaine is a trader by occupation and he is quite successful at it. Coming to see Nicholas to discover if a herd of sheep is a lucrative trade, he also meets Nicholas’s serious sister Nita. Nita is not a lady of her time. She has already classified herself as a spinster and routinely serves the common people (and those cast away by society’s standards) by providing comfort, aide and medical assistance. Tremaine happens to see this quality as a positive attribute seeing as his own life started out not so fortunate. Soon these two find common ground and bluntly allow excess relations to ensure that they “fit” when marriage is discussed. Tremaine believes that Nita will make a fine Duchess, and once her hands are full of Duchess responsibilities, she will be too busy to expose herself to all the dangerous elements that place her life in peril. However, Nita would not be Nita if she gave up what she believes in and what she is good at.

Another well matched couple. Both are very realistic people despite the advantages they both share in life. They deal with common people daily, share a love for what is right and have no time for anything fake. It was heart breaking when they realized that the other refused to give up their lifestyles to marry the other. I also loved that we got more of Nicholas and Leah who just so happened to be one of my fave couples.

Both books were a wonderful start to what I know will be a great spin off series. Grace always writes with a maturity that you do not find in many historical romances novels and this happens to be something I love to expect when I sit down with one her her stories. Her characters always have great depth, and she is wonderful at setting up and making us look forward to her next one.

HAPPY READING!

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Rachel T.

____________________

The Duke's DisasterThe Duke’s Disaster
True Gentlemen .5
by Grace Burrowes
Genre: historical, romance
Release Date: April 7, 2015

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

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Noah Winters, Earl of Anselm, spent months sorting and courting the year’s crop of debutantes in search of an ideal bride. When the sweet, biddable young thing he selected accepts another’s proposal, Noah decides to court her companion instead.

Thea Collins, though, is anything but biddable. She has learned the hard way that men are not to be trusted, especially the handsome ones. When she reluctantly accepts, Noah rushes Thea to the altar before she can reveal her deepest secret. Can she finally move on from her past, or will it come back to haunt her?

••••••••••••

Oh Thea .. my kind of heroine. Mature, set in her beliefs without being insanely stubborn, fair, kind, realistic and protective. She has been working beneath her status of birth due to circumstance and her idiot of a brother’s lifestyle. When she is approached by Noah and agrees to be his Duchess (reluctantly and as a means to an end of certain aspects of her life), she doesn’t realize her heart is about to be pried open and laid out. Noah rushes the nuptials and soon a massive secret is revealed which places mistrust in their path. Both agree to carry on and soon develop a friendship and love of sorts. Trust however goes both ways, and when more secrets surface, these two need to dig deep to discover if their marriage will be one in name only.

I absolutely loved this couple. They bantered back and forth and were truthfully so amazingly playful with the other. For their time, their secrets are rather large, so I found I was rooting for them to find their way through the mess they had made together. They were perfectly matched and it was the little gestures they shared that really endeared this relationship.

Reviewed by Rachel T

 

Interview

TRC: Hi Grace and welcome to The Reading Café.

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

Grace BurrowesFollow Grace: Goodreads/Website/Facebook/Twitter

Grace: I am the sixth out of seven children, which means I was born into a household full of chatter, with words all around me, used at many levels. Excellent luck for a writer! I didn’t t start writing until my Beloved Offspring left for college about ten years ago, and I haven’t stopped yet.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

Grace: I am in debt to so many keeper authors. I’ve been reading romance for more than forty years, sometimes at the rate of a book a day. Judith Ivory, historical Judith McNaught, Mary Balogh, Loretta Chase, Julie Anne Long, Madeline Hunter, Eloisa James… We have an embarrassment of talent in the historical romance genre, and those books got me through many tough years.

TRC: Your bio states you have a law degree and a Masters in ‘Conflict Transformation.’ What is Conflict Transformation and have you ever had the opportunity to apply your knowledge to any of your storylines?

Grace: Conflict transformation is a way to talk about turning swords into plowshares, and using differences to build stronger relationships. This is an element of every romance novel, because much of what propels a character along his or her arc is resolving conflicts-between the present and the past, between conflicting demands of honor, between love and fear-and healing the wounds conflict can leave in its wake.

Tremaine's True LoveTRC: Would you please tell us something about your August 2015 release Tremaine’s True Love and your new True Gentlemen Series?

Grace: I met Tremaine St. Michael in an earlier book (Gabriel: Lord of Regrets), and he caught my eye. He’s not long on charm, he’s all business all the time, and he was blathering about marriage being a pragmatic merger of self-interest and expedience… and while he was spouting that tripe, he was searching high and low, tirelessly, for his deceased brother’s child. He had no other family, save an aging Scottish grandfather… Tremaine was a fellow in need of a happily ever after, though he’d be the last to admit it. He’s met his match in Lady Nita Haddonfield, who brings a LOT of family into the equation, no self-interest or expedience, and rather more charm than Tremaine can withstand. The bigger they talk…

The next two stories, Daniel’s True Desire, and Will’s True Wish, are also about gentlemen who think that romance is not for them, and love is for the naïve or the foolishly brave. Nita’s sisters, Lady Kirsten and Lady Susannah, get Daniel and Will, respectively, sorted out.

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

Grace: Tremaine’s mercantile success is based on raising sheep. How complicated can that be? Well… which breeds were grown in what regions of the United Kingdom 200 years ago? Were they comparable to their modern counterparts? How were they raised? When was lambing season? When were they shorn? I had some experience with sheep, and that helped, but I went down a long and wooly research trail learning more.

Lady Nita, by contrast, is medical practitioner educated at her mother’s knee, and through extensive reading and observation. The Regency period is when men began to push women out of the medical field entirely (except for the exhausting and dangerous business of nursing), even with regard to childbirth. We can see now, though, that the women of the day (in England) were often offering the more helpful and sanitary interventions.

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

The Duke's DisasterGrace: Every author’s approach is different, but for me, the story is driven by the characters. Their defining traumas, their aspirations, their personalities are the fuel for the actions taken.

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

Grace: What a writer must do to pull the reader in… the list is ENDLESS, from word choices that are precise without being obscure, to descriptions that are accurate but not boring, to symbols both unobtrusive and compelling… It comes down to, the writer must make the reader care about the characters. In real life, we care when we see that somebody we have something in common with is suffering undeservedly. If that person is bearing up nobly, or with good humor, or as best they can, we care even more. The character’s wound is the sharp end of his or her hook into the reader’s heart.

In unpublished manuscripts and contest entries, I often see two characters whose gazes meet across a crowded room/deserted street/candlelit ballroom and boom, they must HAVE each other. Hormones perfume the air, and without even googling each other, the mating dance begins. Fail, fail, fail. A romantic attraction will at some point develop a physical aspect, but it starts with the sure conviction that these two people can see each other’s woundedness, and each other’s highest potential, no matter how diligently each character might be hiding or ignoring their own wounds.

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

MatthewsGrace:
I’d like to earn an MFA in creative writing from a Scottish university,
I’d like to publish a writing craft book, I’d like to publish a whole
bunch more lovely romances.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Grace: I’m finishing up Matthew-The Jaded Gentlemen Book 2 (September 2015), and trying to wrestle into submission a quartet of reluctant earls who each has fallen in love with a cousin of the Windham family… and I do mean wrestle.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food: Cheese!

Favorite Dessert: Fresh berries

Favorite TV Show: I don’t own a TV.

Last Movie You Saw: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Dark or Milk Chocolate: DARK

Secret Celebrity Crush: Huh?

Last Vacation Destination: A holiday cottage five miles from Aberfeldy,
Perthshire, Scotland

Do you have any pets? Cats, dogs, horses.

Last book you read: Sir Walter Scott, His Life and Works

Pet Peeve: Cyber-meanness

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

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The Sincerest Form of Flattery by John L. DeBoer-Review and Guest Post

THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY by John L. Deboer-Review and Guest Post

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 15, 2015

Jack Lansing, M.D. has become a bestselling mystery writer. At a book-signing event he meets a foemer colleague who, unbeknownst to Jack, has carried a grudge against him for thirty years. Soon after, murders start popping up in and around Jack’s peaceful North Carolina beach town. The murders mimic plots in his books, making him a suspect. Jack must convince the police and the FBI of his innocence while trying to solve the mystery himself. Because, he realizes, he and his wife could be the killer’s final victims. It’s a chilling tale of twists and turns. But this time, Jack doesn’t know how it will end.

•••••••••••••

REVIEW: THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY is the third installment in John L. DeBoer’s adult, contemporary, suspense series focusing on Jack Lansing M.D. THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from previous storylines is imparted where necessary.

Told from first person point of view (Jack Lansing) and several third person perspectives THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY focuses on a serial killer or killers whose victims and murders are copycat killings from Jack Lansing’s best selling mystery novels. As the murders take on a familiar tone, Jack begins an investigation of his own suspecting the killer is someone looking for revenge from the past. Not one but two series of killings sparks the interest of investigators when all of the clues point to the premise of Jack Lansing’s books.

The secondary and supporting cast consists of many of the previous storyline characters including Jack’s new wife Erica; Erica’s ex Steve and his new wife Ann; as well as several members of various law enforcement from local police to the FBI. The requisite evil holds a long-standing personal grudge against Dr. Jack Lansing. The killer(s) is known to the reader; there is no mystery to the identity of the people involved but the suspense comes in the form of the expectancy for what is going to happen next.

John L. DeBoer weaves a fantastic tale of anticipation and suspense wherein our leading hero is, once again, both suspect and potential victim of a serial killer looking to even the score for a perceived wrong from the past. The premise is energetic and intriguing yet uncomplicated with exciting twists and turns merging several intersecting paths of murder and revenge; the characters are well rounded, charismatic and engaging. John’s style of writing is sophisticated, meticulous, and realistic.

Copy supplied by the author.

Reviewed by Sandy

Guest Post

First Person vs Third Person (Or Both?)

The Sincerest Form of Flattery is written in first person for the protagonist, Jack Lansing, but in third person for the antagonist and the other characters. I have, though, written other novels that use only third-person narratives. So what determines what I use for a particular novel? Bottom line is, I don’t really know.

Interestingly, I realized as I wrote this post that my three novels using the first person all involved a main character I could identify with. An alter ego, as it were. So putting parts of myself into the protagonist perhaps unconsciously drew me to write him in the first person.

But getting back to the point-of-view options, I think that the first person brings a sense of immediacy to the story. The protagonist describes in real time his reactions to situations. This brings the reader into his space, his mind, rather than keeping the reader at a distance as an observer. This, in effect, coerces the reader to be the main character’s ally, or at least to give him the benefit of the doubt. (Other than that all my protagonists to date have been male, I use the male pronoun for convenience here.) This, though, necessitates that the protagonist be a character who, at a minimum, does not turn off the reader that will be stuck with the narrator for the entire book and will be tasked to root for him. And then there’s the disadvantage of knowing the story-teller has to survive whatever ordeal will face him, the opening narration by the dead William Holden in Sunset Boulevard notwithstanding.

Although we know who we’re supposed to root for usually in a third-person story, it lacks this more intense personal involvement with the protagonist in my view. Now, as I stated above, my first-person novels have also included third-person points of view for the other characters, and I write them in subjective third. This lets me have my cake and eat it too, because it opens up possibilities only available otherwise in exclusively third-person books. All-first-person works well for mystery novels, and my stories do have some mystery in them, but I write in the thriller genre. For me, being able to show the reader what is happening outside of the protagonist’s awareness is important. Nelson DeMille, Harlan Coben, and Scott Turow, among others who write in my genre, have used this POV combination. As has Stephen King.

Having actions and emotions of the antagonist and other characters come as surprises to the protagonist when realized can be exciting at the reveals, and it does create suspense as we, along with our hero, wonder what’s going on. But I think even more suspense can be generated by showing the other sides of the conflict. The “Don’t go down into that cellar!” tension has more impact, in my opinion, if the reader knows what lies in wait there, rather than guessing.

Aside from the alter ego thing I mentioned, I have no preference for writing either in all-third person or a combination of first and third. I’ve read good thriller novels written in first person exclusively (Harlan Coben comes to mind again), but it’s not a style I like for my stories.

~~John L. DeBoer~~

About the Author

John L DeboerFollow John: Goodreads / Website/ Facebook / Twitter/ RAP

After graduating from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, John L. DeBoer, M.D., F.A.C.S. completed his surgical training in the U.S. Army and then spent three years in the Medical Corps as a general surgeon. Thirty years of private practice later, he retired to begin a new career as a writer.

When not creating new plot lines for his novels, Dr. DeBoer pursues his interests in cooking, the cinema, and the amazing cosmos. He’s an avid tennis player, and his yet-to-be-fulfilled goal is to achieve a level of mediocrity in the frustrating game of golf.

The father of two grown sons, he lives with his wife in North Carolina.

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Interview with Fitness and Cover Model-Dusty James

Interview with Fitness and Cover Model-Dusty James

TRC: Hi Dusty and welcome to The Reading Café.

Dusty James 2Follow Dusty : Facebook /Twitter /Instagram/

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

Dusty: My name is Dusty Daniels, model page can be found under Dusty James . I graduated from Missouri State University with an education degree. I just
accepted my first teaching job in mid Missouri and am currently working on finishing up my Master’s degree in education administration.

TRC: What were your dreams and aspirations growing up?

Dusty: Growing up I always dreamed I would be playing sports on TV. I loved being around or just being a part of any and every sport. Being competitive in sports and even life is what drove me growing up.

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

Dusty: When I’m not behind the camera I worked at a local bank and also serve/bar tend at a Brew Haus on the Lake of the Ozarks. I always like staying busy in the summer time until I start teaching in this coming August. Other hobbies include sports, hunting, traveling and being out on the lake with friends and family.

TRC: How much time do you spend working out? And does the type of work out change depending on your next photo shoot or job?

Dusty James Cover 4Dusty: Working out is a huge part of my life. I work out 6 days a week for about 2 hours a day (in the weight room). I’m currently training people on the side and eventually want to be a certified personal trainer. My workouts now are centered around staying lean and keeping a healthy diet. Authors sometimes want a bigger build or a lean “shredded” look. It’s always fun pushing myself to these different body types in between shoots.

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

Dusty: I never thought I’d be modeling for magazines and book covers. I was working out one day and a photographer approached me and asked if I’d be interested. At first, I thought it was a joke but got together with a couple photographers and started taking photos. Soon authors and other photographers started contacting me after seeing my photos. The first author that contacted me said, “I want that gave and jaw line on my cover!” Haha it just took off from there.

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

Dusty: I really haven’t had a shoot go completely wrong. I’ve done an outside shoot when the weather didn’t cooperate but we went with it and for some really good shots!

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

Dusty: I haven’t really been anywhere too exotic to shoot yet. With my schedule it’s hard to go all the places that are needed to shoot. I’ve been to various outdoor parks with waterfalls and beautiful scenery and those are my favorite types of shoots. I feel it’s easier for me to get in my comfort zone when shooting outside opposed to a studio.

Dusty James imageTRC: 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?

Dusty: Full nude modeling I haven’t done. Some shoots do include very minimal clothing for both models. Professionalism is a big part of modeling. I’ve never felt uncomfortable shooting a very sensual shoot just because my photographer and other models act so professional. If their is a shot that makes you uncomfortable, voice your opinion. You are always in control of what you do or don’t do. Nobody can tell you otherwise. I’m very comfortable with my body and as long as everything stays professional with everybody involved in the shoot nothing should be a concern.

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?

Dusty: The only time I see it becoming stressful is when so many people are trying to get ahold of you to ask you questions about a book or a shoot and you don’t have time to give your full attention to that person. Authors, fans and even photographers have different opinions and questions for you every day and you as a model have to be ready to answer these questions and giving your own opinion. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and friends. Those are the people you always keep closest to you.

TRC: At times, there has been a ‘stigma’ surrounding the male model and the romance-cover industry but the popularity of the romance storyline 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’?

Dusty: Everybody likes the feel and look of “romance”. Everybody wants it in their life. When a person can connect with a story or image of the term romance, they are drawn to that. It’s a comfort zone that people grab onto. When they grab onto that romance story line and have a face or image to go with it, it almost becomes real life to them. That’s what makes a great novel and cover image.

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

Dusty James Cover 2Dusty: Alluring Temptation by Skye Turner was my first romance novel.

TRC: Do you have a favorite cover-romance image or otherwise? (e.g. magazines, ads etc)

Dusty: It’s hard to pick a favorite because they are all fun to do. One of my favorite shots was probably Ready or Not by author J.L. Berg.

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

Dusty: To relax I listen to music or just hang out with friends and do simple things like fish or ride four wheelers. Anything outdoors help me take my mind away and relax.

TRC: Do you listen to music when you work out? If so, what songs are currently on your playlist?

Dusty James CoverDusty: I listen to EVERYTHING while I’m working out. It all depends on what mood I’m in that day. Rap, country or rock it all depends if I’m pissed off working out or pumped up working out.

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

Dusty: Picking three things I want to accomplish is so hard because you never know where life will take you. I would like to be successful in my career, backpack in Europe for a summer since I have those months off, and focus on making life a full time adventure, you only get one of those to live so live it to the fullest and be happy.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food: Chicken!

Favorite Dessert: I don’t eat desserts

Favorite Movie: Anything action

Favorite TV Show: SOA (right now)

Last Movie that you Saw: Training Day

Secret Celebrity Crush: Brittany Snow but their are many :)

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Dark

Last book that you read: The Testing Series

Pet Peeve: People who chew with their mouth open! It kills me!

TRC: Thank you Dusty for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success and the amazing cover images. We wish you all the best and many more covers !!

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Shades of Treason by Sandy Williams – Review, Interview & Giveaway

Shades of Treason by Sandy Williams – Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Shades of Treason
Anomaly #1
by Sandy Williams
Release Date: July 1, 2015
Genre: adult, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

 

Shades of TreasonAmazon / Kobo

Description:
Lieutenant Ramie Ashdyn is an anomaly, a person whose genetic makeup makes her stronger and smarter than the average human. She’s pledged her life to protect the Coalition, an alliance of thirteen planetary systems, but when a top secret operation turns bloody, she’s charged with treason and the brutal executions of her teammates.

The Coalition needs the information Ash’s team stole on their last mission, so they send in Commander Rhys “Rest in Peace” Rykus to get it. He’s the man who’s responsible for turning Ash into an elite soldier… and he’s a man who isn’t, never was, and never will be in love with the woman he trained. Or so he tells himself.

Ash wants nothing more than to clear her name and be the woman her former instructor wants her to be, but the enemy who killed her teammates did more than frame her for treason and murder: they telepathically silenced her mind, preventing her from saying anything that might point to the truth about what happened.

Now Ash is trapped and set to be executed, the truth dying with her. Unless she can prove her innocence. But taking that path could destroy the Coalition she’s sworn to preserve and protect…

 

Review:

Shades of Treason by Sandy Williams is the 1st book in her new Anomaly series.  Our heroine is Ramie Ashdyn (Ash), and she is an anomaly, who is much smarter and stronger than the normal person. Anomaly’s are usually trained soldiers who will do every to protect the Coalition, which is an alliance of 13 planetary systems.

In her last mission, which ended badly, Ash’s team was all murdered. She is charged with treason, suspected of executing her team. This mission involved stealing some top secret information, and Ash has coded the information, which no one can decipher. Ash remembers what truly happened that day, but she is unable to tell anyone. Because of a revolution in the making, her supervisor, who was also killed, told her to code the information and not tell anyone in order to save the Coalition.

Commander Rhys Rykus, our hero, has been called in to break Ash into telling them the code that she hides. No matter what he does, he cannot get her to reveal the code. Those determined to get the information any way they can, will think nothing of killing her. But Rykus knows Ash, as he trained her and feels something isn’t right. She was too loyal to do what they suspected.

What follows is an exciting adventure that will find Ash escaping, with Rykus in charge of finding her, and discovering the truth behind why Ash cannot explain what happened that day. The truth will reveal powerful enemies bent on destroying the Coalition, with the betrayers controlling many of the political members. Rykus does not know who to trust, but he learns that Ash is a victim and together they will work to find the leader and try to stop the revolution.

Rykus also discovers his hidden feelings for his former student, and in difficult and trying times, those feelings come forth. I really liked Ash and Rykus together, though it seemed that this relationship was impossible, since Rykus was too centered on his job, not allowing himself to show those feelings to Ash.

The last third of the book was very exciting, as it seemed their chances to prove Ash’s innocence, as well as save the Coalition was slim. The forces against them were too strong; especially with the powers they had that allowed them to control certain people and situations.

Shades of Treason is a very good start to the Anomaly series. Sandy Williams has given us another wonderful heroine in Ash, and a romance that we hope will continue to grow. Though this is not a cliffhanger, it is left open ended for us to wait impatiently for the next book. I fully recommend you to start this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Author

 

Interview-Gold

Hi, Sandy. Thank you for taking the time to visit us again at The Reading Cafe, to discuss your upcoming new release “Shades of Treason”, as well as to give an update as to what you have upcoming in 2015/2016.

Sandy:  Thank you for having me! I love my visits to The Reading Café.

TRC:  You have just released your first book in your new Anomaly series, Shades of Treason. Can you please give us a brief description of your new series?

Sandy:  Sure! Shades of Treason is about Ramie Ashdyn, an elite soldier who’s been charged with treason and the brutal murder of her teammates. The only way she can clear her name is to destroy the Coalition she’s sworn to preserve and protect. Ash also happens to be an anomaly, a human whose mental and physical scans come back a hundred points higher than a normal person’s. She’s a bit faster, quicker, and smarter than most people, which is how I justify her having the strength and endurance to be an elite soldier. :)  I’m a fan of Star Wars and Firefly, and this series will fit into that genre, and it comes with a good shot of romance.

TRC:  How did you come up with the idea of the Anomaly series? Also, how many books do you anticipate for this series?

Sandy:  I’ve been a fan of science fiction for years, and the majority of my previous, unpublished manuscripts had spaceships in them. In fact, the idea for The Shadow Reader was originally set in space. I can’t remember why I decided to turn it into an urban fantasy, but it worked for that series. All the time I was writing it, though, I was missing writing sci-fi, and the idea for Shades of Treason crept into my mind during a really long, boring meeting at work. I’m planning on at least three books starring Ash and Rykus, her former instructor and love interest. But I also intend to write standalones in this universe. They’ll lean more toward romance than the main storyline, and either the hero or the heroine (maybe both!) will be an anomaly. I love the anomaly concept, and coming up with their quirks and abilities, and finding the perfect man or woman to make them better people, is so much fun. 

TRC:  What was your biggest challenge in starting this new series?

Sandy:  Prepare for the understatement of the century: the situation I created for Ash was challenging to write.  Extremely challenging. Early in the book, Ash is telepathically straightjacketed. She can’t say or do anything that gives any indication of her innocence. She’s not able to tell the Coalition the truth about what happened on her last mission, and why her teammates are now all dead. The Coalition believes she’s a traitor, and the only way she can prove her innocence is to escape, which means she has to get rid of Rykus, her former instructor who is the biggest obstacle preventing her from escaping and clearing her name. Trying to summarize the situation in a way that makes sense is hard, too! I had to be really aware of writing inconsistencies, but I think the struggles and the end product were totally worth it. I love how this story turned out! And the tension between Ash and Rykus was my favorite part to write.

TRC:  In your last book, The Sharpest Blade, which was the final book in your Shadow Reader series, what was the overall reaction to the one McKenzie chose at the end. Of course, I was very happy. :)

Sandy:  Nearly everyone was happy with how it ended. Hurray! It really couldn’t have ended any other way, but like me, there were a good number of people who wished things had ended a little differently. I’ve mentioned it before elsewhere, but if I was McKenzie, I would have made a different choice. I guess it’s a good thing I’m not her! :)

TRC:  Would you like to share with us what you are currently working on, and what you have in store for us in 2015/16?

Sandy:  I’m working on more books set in the Shades of Treason universe. I’m hoping to have two more books out by the end of 2016, a continuation of Ash and Rykus’s story, and a standalone that deals with another anomaly and a very disciplined warship captain. I’d also like to find time to sneak in a few short stories and novellas set in the Shadow Reader worlds, including more Aren POVs. I already have a few on my website (link: http://bit.ly/1DjCvFi), and more will be sent directly to readers as I write them (to receive these and more behind-the-scenes info, just sign up here http://bit.ly/1e8EYUa). And if I learn the art of writing fast, there’s a new urban fantasy series I’m dying to write. I have lots of plans! It’s just finding time to get to them. :)

TRC:  Would you like to add anything else?

Sandy:  If you don’t usually read science fiction, I hope you’ll give Shades of Treason a try. I’ve written it as an urban fantasy set in space (space-UF). It’s character and plot driven, with “science” that works like magic because I’m so not a science person. I’m intrigued by science, but can’t wrap my mind around it, so I promise not to bog readers down with details of how the universe works. :) I slip in the worldbuilding, much as I slipped it in during the Shadow Reader books. If you end up enjoying Shades, please ask me for more space-UF recommendations. I love to rec books!

TRC:   Thank you, Sandy for giving us an update on Shades of Treason, as well as what we can look forward to in the future. It was a pleasure talking with you again. We wish you good luck with the Shades of Treason, and hope to catch up with you again in 2016.

Sandy:  Thanks for inviting me back! And happy reading!

 

About the author

SandyWilliams
Sandy graduated from Texas A&M University with a double major in political science and history. She thought about attending law school. Fortunately, before handing over her life’s savings, she realized case studies weren’t nearly as interesting as novels and decided to get an MA in Library Science instead. She worked as a librarian until her husband whisked her off to London on an extended business trip. She’s now back home in Texas, writing full-time, raising twin boys, and squeezing in time to play geeky board and card games like Settlers of Catan, Dominion, and Runebound.

She loves hanging out with other readers and talking about books. For recommendations, check out her Goodreads account. And if you have a favorite book or author, she’d love to hear from you on   Facebook Twitter or via email.

 

giveaway

Sandy is offering a paper copy (USA only) or an e-copy (internationally) of SHADES OF TREASON to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

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

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

3. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

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

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

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

7. Follow Sandy Williams  on Facebook.

8. Giveaway is open to USA and Canada only

9. Giveaway runs from July 3 to 7, 2015

 

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This is another chance for you to win a copy of Shades of Treason.

NOTE: The Reading Cafe is NOT responsible for the rafflecopter giveaway. If you have any questions, please contact the tour provider.

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LINK: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b4c0001d163/?

 

 

Enchantress

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Possessed by the Fallen by Sharon Ashwood – Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Possessed by the Fallen by Sharon Ashwood – Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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Possessed by the Fallen
Horsemen #4
by Sharon Ashwood
Release Date:July 1, 2015

 

Possessed by the FallenAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / The Book DepositoryHarlequin

Description:
When his lover learned his darkest secret, she betrayed the elite vampire agent… 

Now the beautiful fey Jessica Lark is back in Jack Anderson’s life. With the fate of a royal wedding and a high-stakes mission depending on his complete attention, Jack has no room for distraction. Especially the sort this temptress poses. A fey spy who also seems to be guarding dangerous secrets that aren’t her own. 

The two agents don’t know if they can trust one another. But if they hope to unravel a dark plot and fight an evil queen, they’ll have to try. Their undeniable attraction might just save them…but first they’ll have to travel through a portal to a hidden, treacherous fairy-tale kingdom.

 

Review:

Possessed by the Fallen is the conclusion of the terrific Four Horsemen series by Sharon Ashwood. Can you hear me weeping? It’s been a wonderful ride; each installment delving deeper into the massive rift between the Marcari and Vidon kingdoms. But more importantly, each Horseman lovingly featured. We met, and lost, vampire Jack Anderson, aka Death, the lynchpin of Les Compagnie des Morts in the introductory novel (all previous reviews available here). Jessica Lark, the brilliant dress designer, suffered the same fate, but like Jack – “The agents of the Company seem to have a phoenix-like talent for resurrection” – they painstakingly went underground. Separately. Ready to love Jack and Lark? You most certainly will!

So…hugs all around at the reunion? Not.even.close. Going undercover does wonders for the mind…it hones your memories…keeps revenge alive and hot if you were stabbed…by your lover! How does one even get over that?! Betrayal is unforgivable, and Jack’s got an infinite amount of time to seethe, but his heart is ever traitorous where Lark is concerned; she was, after all, the one who made his “still heart” beat again.

His entire being was flooded with desire and rage, and she was at the core of it all.

With the upcoming royal nuptials two weeks away, there’s little time to focus on love affairs gone horribly wrong. “Bridal apocalypse” is to be prevented by all means necessary and “this marriage had the power to seal the gates to the Dark Queen’s prison forever.”

In spite of Lark’s offense, she stole Jack’s dark secret to dissect and exploit for her own Light fey kind, Jack needs all the allies he can muster against Selena, the evil Dark Fey Queen.In my previous review (Faran’s book), I alluded to discoveries and nefarious action. The deadline is fast approaching and Jack must resurface, more powerful than ever, to gather up his troops and ensure the portal is sealed permanently. Uncertainty with Lark aside (reduced to spy vs. spy for the time being), will those closest to Jack welcome him back without pause? I would, he’s a hot ass vampire, but those trust issues Jack is holding against Lark could be the same accusations being flung at him by his own Horsemen.

Jessica Lark. I shouldn’t like her, but Ms. Ashwood makes her forgivably flawed and vulnerable. Yes, she did the unthinkable against the man she loved, but it wasn’t without personal cost. The aftermath of suffering, physically and emotionally, led Lark to visit the dark side, and sadly, this is no Star Wars reference.

Ms. Ashwood is tying loose ends, coming full circle, but she does it intriguingly, writes it decadently, every bump of the way. The subplots held their own glamour; inching their way toward final connections that achieve vision/purpose. But instead of being formulaic, Ms. Ashwood introduces new magical elements for good and complicates Jack’s already shaky comeback a la Me, Myself and Irene, only this time deadly. You’ll understand my meaning when you read the book.  

Forgiveness isn’t shameful and we witness its healing effects on those who need it the most. Ms. Ashwood described spectacular action, you’ll practically lift up your own hand to guard against the flames of battle, but she’s created, more significantly, memorable characters with stunning counterparts who envelope you in swoon-worthy romance. Possessed by the Fallen is a perfect finale for an incredible series. Sharon Ashwood deserves high praise for maintaining such exuberance throughout four books.

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy provided by Author

 

Guest Post-White and Purple

Who Doesn’t Love a Wicked Fairy Queen?

Well, my characters don’t, but I hope readers find her entertaining! In Possessed by the Fallen, the conclusion of my paranormal romance series, the action moves into the realm of the exiled Queen of the Dark Fey. Our hero, Jack, was one of those responsible for putting her there and, needless to say, the queen wants revenge almost as much as she wants to escape. Fortunately, Jack is accompanied by the heroine, Lark, who is one of the Light Fey and who knows how to navigate the twisting snares of the Fey Court.

Cultures across the world have legends of fairies, and I had opportunity to use a few of the common ideas about these hidden creatures. One is that the fairy realms are divided into Dark and Light. That doesn’t quite equate with “good” and “evil” but more like “will agree to a conversation” and “run the other way immediately.” At best, the fairies have their own concerns and see no reason to deal with humans unless there is a benefit to themselves. At worst, they’re the monster under the bed.

Fairies are also very literal. This means you have to be extremely careful when making a bargain with them, because they will take advantage of the smallest loophole. This is where Jack is very lucky to have Lark on board—she’s better than a team of lawyers when it comes to deciphering fey trickery. Also, don’t try the local cuisine. Fairy tales are filled with the adventures of unwary travellers who sample fairy food and fall under their power. The unwary might be trapped, driven mad, or waste away. In other words, fairies represent the ultimate “stranger danger.”

The peril represented by the fey says a lot about the cultures that created them. Scholars of the Victorian era spend a great deal of time exploring fairy tales as expressions of sexual desire—that gives a whole new meaning to goblin fruit—where others interpret the fairy world as a representation of raw nature. Fairies are wild, capricious, and indifferent to human suffering. They are tricksters who, like Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, love to cause chaos for its own sake.

In my story the fey are certainly dangerous (and lusty) but more easily understood. They have their own agenda, but they feel as we do—especially Lark of the Light Fey, who yearns desperately for a reunion with her lost love, Jack.

As for that wicked queen, she is well and truly a stinker. But what is a good fairytale without a villain—one with consummate style and all the best lines? No self-respecting fairy would be disappointed with a role like that. I invite you to come visit her realm in company with my hero and heroine. The queen has granted safe passage to readers, but don’t strike any bargains with the locals!

 

about the author

Sharon AshwoodSharon Ashwood is a novelist, desk jockey and enthusiast for the weird and spooky. She has an English literature degree but works as a finance geek. Interests include growing her to-be-read pile and playing with the toy graveyard on her desk. As a vegetarian, she freely admits the whole vampire/werewolf lifestyle would never work out, so she writes her adventures instead.

Sharon is the winner of the RITA® Award for Paranormal Romance. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and is owned by the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness.

To learn more about Sharon Ashwood, you can find her at the following links:

Website /   FacebookTwitter  / Pinterest / Goodreads

 

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Sharon is graciously offering a signed paperback of Possessed by the Fallen to one (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. Please register using the log-in at the top of the page.

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Witchlock by Dianna Love -Review, Interview & Giveaway

Witchlock by Dianna Love -Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Witchlock
Belador #6
by Dianna Love
Release Date:July 7, 2015
Genre: adult, paranormal, fantasy

 

WitchlockAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

Description:
The Beladors are back in WITCHLOCK, Book 6 of the bestselling urban fantasy series by New York Times bestseller Dianna Love.

Witchlock vanished in the 13th century… or did it?
Some win. Some lose. And some will never be the same again.

After finally earning her place among the Beladors, Evalle is navigating the ups and downs of her new life with Storm when she’s sucked into a power play between her Belador tribe and the Medb coven. Both groups claim possession of the Alterants-turned-gryphons, especially Evalle, the gryphon leader. But an influx of demons and dark witches into Atlanta threatens to unleash war between covens, pitting allies against each other as a legendary majik known as Witchlock invades the city and attacks powerful beings. Evalle has one hope for stopping the invasion, but the cost may be her sanity and having to choose which friend to save.



Review:
Witchlock by Dianna Love is the 6th book in her wonderful urban fantasy Beladors series. Those of you who have read my reviews know that I am a big fan of this series, and it’s heroine Evalle. Dianna Love, who is a master at writing romance suspense thrillers, once again gives us another sensational new story, with most of our favorites, Evalle, Storm, Tzader, Quinn and my wonderful Feenix. Thank you, Dianna for giving me more of Feenix. :)

In Witchlock, one of our regulars, Adrianna, steps up to the plate playing a major part of this story, and escalates herself to be one of Evalle’s group, and an ultra powerful ally. I really loved Adrianna in this book. Make no mistake though, as much as we love the secondary characters, the Beladors series belongs to one of the best kick-ass heroines, Evalle. I have always loved Evalle from the start of this series, and she just continues to get better, especially now that she has the love of her life, Storm.

Evalle is tough, powerful, loyal and totally independent, not to mention always having to prove herself to the gods.  Because she will never cease to fight for her friends, and responsibilities,her relationship with Storm becomes strained at times, due to his wanting to always protect her and keep her from harm, which does not sit well with Evalle. It was fun to watch them try to solve this issue, while all hell was breaking loose around them.

Witchlock continues with both the Beladors (Macha is their goddess), and the Medb coven (lead by the recently revived goddess, Maeve) fighting for control of the Alterants, who are lead by Evalle. The Alterants currently are part of Belador, but Medb wants them, as well as Evalle. While this fight goes on, with Evalle in the middle, the crux of this story belongs to a powerful witch, who has been secretly absorbing powers from other powerful witches. Many many years ago, Witchlock, the ultimate power, disappeared, as the witch who had that power died. That witches coven has been grooming a young witch, Veronika since she was a child, to be able to take on this power and become the most powerful of them all.

Since I do not want to give any spoilers, what follows is an exciting pulse pounding thriller that has Evalle working with Adrianna and others to stop this witch or everyone will die. At every turn, it begins to look hopeless, as Veronika is already an unstoppable force. The last half of the book was a nail biter, which had me unable to put this book down until I reached the end.  

If you have not started this series, and enjoy urban fantasy, a fantastic heroine, fun exciting stories, a beautiful romance that keeps building, great secondary characters….then I ask you, why have you not started the Beladors series? I love Dianna Love’s writing, her wonderful imagination, and her ability to grab us from the start of each book she writes, and keeps us there until the end… Everytime. Witchlock was a wonderful exciting and fun read, and Dianna once again justifies why her last name ends with Love :) .   Please give yourself the enjoyment of reading this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Author

 

Interview-RED

Hi Dianna. Thank you for taking the time to visit us again at The Reading Cafe, and to give us an update on your new release, Witchlock as well as what else you may have upcoming in 2015 or early 2016.

Dianna:  I’m thrilled to be back at The Reading Café. I love this site and all the great books and interviews you share with readers!   

TRC: On July 7th, you will be releasing Witchlock, which is the 6th book of your wonderful Belador series. Can you please tell us the premise of this series, for those who may not have read it?

Dianna:  Beladors are descendants of an ancient race of Celtic warriors, and are governed by the goddess Macha. Beladors look human, so present-day Beladors live among humans all over the world. Many of them are part of VIPER, a coalition of powerful beings who protect the world from supernatural predators. The series is primarily set in Atlanta, Georgia.    

TRC:  Witchlock is your next book in the Belador series, which is expected to be released on July 7th. Can you give us a brief description of this book?

Dianna: 
Witchlock vanished in the 13th century… or did it?

Some win. Some lose. And some will never be the same again.

After finally earning her place among the Beladors, Evalle is navigating the ups and downs of her new life with Storm when she’s sucked into a power play between her Belador tribe and the Medb coven. Both groups claim possession of the Alterants-turned-gryphons, especially Evalle, the gryphon leader. But an influx of demons and dark witches into Atlanta threatens to unleash war between covens, pitting allies against each other as a legendary majik known as Witchlock invades the city and attacks powerful beings. Evalle has one hope for stopping the invasion, but the cost may be her sanity and having to choose which friend to save.

TRC:  How many books are you planning for your Beladors series? Hopefully many many more.

Dianna:  LOL, yes, I do plan many more and thank you for reading them. :) I can’t give you an exact number, but we’re in the early stages of the series arcs. We had one major arc complete at the end of RISE OF THE GRYPHON and the next one has already begun, with big things in store for the main characters. I don’t believe in continuing to put books out when it’s clear the series should have wrapped up so I’ll just say that when it’s time, I’ll let everyone know. :) 

TRC:  What is it like to have created, and continue to write such a fantastic heroine in Evalle? How hard is it to keep Evalle being as great as she is? 

Dianna:  I just love Evalle. She has come from the most horrific background and was treated as an outcast among her own people for so long that it’s such a joy to watch how she evolves, which is one of the things that makes me want to write these stories. I’m flattered at the response to this character. As for continuing to develop her – she’s got a lot of things yet to learn about herself and the world, so it’s like opening up a new petal on a flower every time I work on her. Writing is hard, but not nearly as difficult when it’s a character who constantly tugs on my heartstrings. Plus, she’s with Storm, so I also get plenty of Storm time. ;0)  

TRC:  What’s coming next for your Slye Temp series? 

Dianna:  Speaking of ending a series – the last official Slye Temp novel, FATAL PROMISE, will be released summer 2016. That one is Sabrina and Gage’s story. It will conclude the major Czarion arc that has connected the entire series. But … the HAMR Brotherhood romantic suspense series will launch and include characters from Slye Temp. Those who read KISS THE ENEMY met Marguax, Logan and Logan’s HAMR Brotherhood team.

Logan and Margaux were on stage again, helping Tanner during DECEPTIVE TREASURES, and they’ll be around during the last Slye Temp book, too, then you’ll see more of them and the other Slye Temp characters as the HAMR Brotherhood books take off..    

                    TRC:  I cannot wait for Sabrina’s story. I so look forward to this.  I am also thrilled about your new series featuring Logan’s team. I loved their story.

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

Dianna:  I am so excited to share that Tristan (character in the Belador series) will have a novella this winter (his story is just starting to unfold so we’ll see more of him in the upcoming stories, too), because I couldn’t fit him into WITCHLOCK without distracting from the main story that had to be told. The next full-length Belador novel, ROGUE BELADOR, will be out April 2016, and I’ve got other books brewing, but I want to be sure of the schedule before I share all that.  

TRC:  Would you like to add anything else?

Dianna:  I have so many surprises in WITCHLOCK. I’m as anxious to get that book to readers as–they keep telling me–they are to receive it. I really appreciate the huge support readers have given this series, which keeps me excited to spend more time in the cave on new novels.  

             TRC:  I absolutely loved Adrianna in this book. 

TRC:  Thank you, Dianna for giving us an update on what we can look forward to in 2015/2016, and we wish you the best with Witchlock

Dianna:  Thank YOU, Barb for sharing so much with readers and supporting authors every day.



About The Author

Dianna Love

New York Times bestseller Dianna Love once dangled over a hundred feet in the air to create unusual marketing projects for Fortune 500 companies. Now she focuses her energetic muse on storytelling. The first book she wrote won a RITA® Award and sold out in six weeks. She writes high-octane romantic thrillers and urban fantasy. STOLEN VENGEANCE, book 6 in the sexy, fast-paced Slye Temp romantic suspense series released March 2015, and WITCHLOCK, book 6 in the bestselling Belador urban fantasy series will be out July 7th.
When not in the writing cave, Dianna loves touring the country on her BMW motorcycle. She lives in the Atlanta, GA area with her motorcycle-instructor husband and a tank full of unruly saltwater critters.

Connect with Dianna on facebook at Dianna Love Fan Page or sign up for the crazy fun on her Dianna Love Street Team

Excerpts of all her books are at AuthorDiannaLove.com.

You can learn more about Dianna at the following links:
Facebook (Fan page)  / Dianna’s Street Team / Website / Twitter

 

 

giveaway

Dianna Love is graciously offering an ebook of WITCHLOCK and a set of signed Belador Keeper Kase Cards to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

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

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

3. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

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

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

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

7. Follow Dianna Love  on Facebook.

8. Giveaway is open Internationally.

9. Giveaway runs from June 29 to July 3 , 2015

 
 

 

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