Saving Mercy (Fatal Truth #1) by Abbie Roads-Review,Guest Post & Giveaway

SAVING MERCY (Fatal Truth #1) by Abbie Roads-Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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SAVING MERCY
Fatal Truth #1
by Abbie Roads
Genre: adult, contemporary, psychological, thriller, romantic suspense
Release Date: April 4, 2017

Saving Mercy

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 4, 2017

First in a chilling new paranormal romantic suspense series from award-winning author Abbie Roads

He’s found her at last
Cain Killion knows himself to be a damaged man, his only saving grace the extrasensory connection to blood that he uses to catch murderers. His latest case takes a macabre turn when he discovers a familiar and haunting symbol linking the crime to his own horrific past-and only one woman could know what it means.

Only to lose her to a nightmare
Mercy Ledger is brave, resilient, beautiful-and in terrible danger. The moment he sees Mercy, Cain knows he’s the one who can save her. He also knows he’s beyond redemption. But the lines between good and evil blur and the only thing clear to Cain and Mercy is that they belong together. Love is the antidote for blood-but is their bond strong enough to overcome the evil that stalks them?

•••••••••

REVIEW: SAVING MERCY is the first instalment in Abbie Roads’s contemporary, adult FATAL TRUTH paranormal, romantic suspense series. This is FBI profiler Cain Killion, and Mercy Ledger’s story line.

NOTE: SAVING MERCY contains scenes of graphic violence, blood shed and murder, and may not be appropriate for all readers.

Told from several third person points of view including Cain and Mercy SAVING MERCY focuses on Cain Killion, the son of a serial killer, and Mercy Ledger-one of Cain’s father’s victims -a woman who survived but finds herself victimized over and over again. Twenty years earlier Mercy’s entire family was brutally slaughtered by Adam Killion and in the ensuing years, Mercy has struggled to find her place in society until the day she found herself locked in a mental institution against her will. Enter Cain Killion, Adam Killion’s son, and the man who will fall in love with one of his father’s victims. What ensues are Cain’s attempts to save Mercy from a potential copy –cat killer; a stalker who uses Mercy for his own perverted pleasure; and the fall out from a killer’s need for power and control.

Cain Killion has the ability to ‘read’ blood-a killer’s thought and ideas whenever he touches the blood of one of the victims. His psychic abilities leave our hero in a world of hurt and pain, and not without some difficult side effects he’d rather not endure but as an FBI profiler Cain’s ‘powers’ can be used as a positive when on the hunt for the criminally responsible, making amends for his father’s past. His connection to Mercy Ledger comes on the twentieth anniversary of her family’s murders, and a string of killings linking directly back to Mercy and Cain find our couple on the run, not knowing whom to trust or where next to turn. The overwhelming darkness and demons continue to ride Cain Killion-a man whose own father destroyed everything he touched. Mercy is not without some psychic abilities of her own, and together they will form a powerful team but not before Mercy is targeted by someone from her past.

SAVING MERCY is an intense, tragic and alarming look at one man’s ability to destroy everything in his path. There are moments of passion and romance, atrocious violence and abhorrent acts, betrayal, redemption and vindication. The premise is suspenseful and disturbing; the characters are broken, destructive and tormented; the romance is fated, profound and heartbreaking. SAVING MERCY is a dark, deadly, fiery and tense story; a well written psychological thriller about a tortured hero, and the woman with whom he will fall in love.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Guest Post=Black and Red

Developing the hero/heroine with Abbie Roads

I’m a write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants author. That means I don’t plot out my books and I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen from one scene to the next. I’ve tried plotting and planning and the thing I’ve discovered… If I know what’s going to happen, then I don’t want to write it. I get a weird writer’s high from all the unexpected things that happen on the page.

And I’m the same way with developing my heroes and heroines. I’ve sat down and filled out complicated character development forms. I’ve spent weeks exploring every single facet of a character and you know what happened when I tried to write that character? I couldn’t write him. I couldn’t force that character to be the things I said he was going to be.

I wish I could plot a story. I wish I could plan out my characters. But it’s just not how my process works.

Here’s how I develop my characters:

I write. And write. And write. I keep writing until I feel that spark that interests me. Then I delete all the crap I wrote before. I follow that spark and let it guide me. It doesn’t always lead me in a good direction, so I delete a lot.

The first one hundred pages of my books are always the hardest for me. It takes me a long time to find my characters in writing and re-writing—usually six to eight months to get those pages right. The rest of the book comes easier after that. Thank God.

A weird thing I’ve noticed about my heroes and heroines is that they all tend to be introverted and crave to live isolated lives. Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but those are purely Abbie Roads traits. I’m a super-deep introvert, but I can become extroverted sounding when I’m excited about something—it just exhausts me. I yearn to live in isolation from other people. I want my home to be in a place where I can walk outside naked and there’s no one around for miles to see. Not that I’m a nudist or anything. It’s just the idea of being able to do that that appeals to me! Lol.

QUESTION

I have a question for the readers: What kinds of heroes/heroines do you like best? Are they a reflection of your own personality?

Giveaway-redandblack_zps8ff4dc4b

Fatal Dreams giveaway

Abbie’s publisher is graciously offering a two-book bundle of Race the Darkness and Hunt the Dawn (Fatal Dreams 1 & 2) 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).

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3. Please follow Abbie Roads on Facebook.

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8. Giveaway is open to USA only

9. Giveaway runs from April 10-14, 2017

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Sabotage (Under Covers #2) by Jessica Linden-Review, Interview & Giveaway

Sabotage (Under Covers #2) James Patterson’s Bookshots Flames by Jessica Linden-Review, Interview & Giveaway

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SABOTAGE
Under Covers #2
by Jessica Linden / James Patterson
Release Date: April 20 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, romantic, suspense

Sabotage

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 20, 2017

The Most Dangerous Kind of Love

Secret Agent Abbie Whitmore is used to putting her life on the line, but she’s never endangered someone she loves. And now, Congressman Jonathan Lassiter is embroiled in a political scandal–and it could be all her fault.

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

•••••••••••••

REVIEW:  If I have to describe this book in one word it would be the word: Like. There was just a lot to like about the book, the big things and little things about the book. I mean where do I begin on what I liked about this book?

One thing I really appreciated about Sabotage was how both Abbie and Jonathan are able to keep their professional identities but still maintain their relationship. Being a secret agent and congressman can no doubt be time consuming careers but it endears me to the couple that they can make time for each other. Let’s just be honest here but in this time and age often times it feels we are unable to have both a romantic relationship along with the winning career. Often times we feel we can have one but not both. So in all honesty I feel when couples split due to one or both are concentrating on their careers is utter BS. Their downtime together whether they are having lunch at a restaurant or lounging around watching a Star Wars marathon at home was all the more endearing.

Another element I really enjoyed about the book was how the story just kept you on your toes about who the bad guy or girl is and why they are bent on revenge on Abbie. You also get glimpses of what’s going on in the head of the villain as they are implementing their actions in their ultimate plan. Sometimes it’s interesting to get in the minds on the villain to see them mentally justify the evil actions they are doing. It really was a fun journey following the mind of the villain but also Abbie following close on the villains heels to put a stop to the evil plan to screw over her love, Jonathan.

The thing is considering that the book was not very long, the character development and growth was satisfactory as well. Abbie is able to hand over the reins and control to others trusting them. While I can understand Jonathan’s feelings about being the man wanting to protect his woman even though she is very capable, he respects her fighting abilities.

A story that keeps you engaged and on your toes, positive career and relationship aspects, great character development, soft romantic scenes and the very best good triumphing over evil; for such a shorter book this book packs an awesome punch. Highly recommend and highly enjoyed.

Copy supplied by the publisher for review

Reviewed by Xtina

Interview-Black and Deep Rose

TRC: Hi Jessica and welcome to The Reading Café.

Congratulations on the release of SABOTAGE

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

Follow: Website / Facebook Twitter / Goodreads

JESSICA LINDENJESSICA: I live in Virginia with my husband, two sons, two rescue dogs, and various other pets. I was a high school and college English teacher for thirteen years, but I gave that up nearly two years ago to focus on my writing. I don’t necessarily miss the teaching, but I definitely miss the students. Spending my days with teenagers was a lot of fun.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

JESSICA: I’ve had a lifelong love of books, so I can’t point to one specific influence. Mostly, I think it’s the pure joy I feel when I’m lost in a great book. I want to create that joy for my readers.

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

JESSICA: The publishing business is full of rejection, which sometimes makes it difficult to keep a positive outlook. Also, it’s tough when a reader leaves a negative review. Sometimes the bad stuff is easier to believe, you know?

SabotageTRC: Would you please tell us something about the premise of SABOTAGE and the UNDER COVERS series?

JESSICA: I got the idea for Abbie’s character when I was driving to pick up my sons from TaeKwonDo. I thought it would be cool to have an agency similar to Angelina Jolie’s character’s agency in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Women tend to be underrepresented in law enforcement type jobs, but sometimes you need a woman to get the job done. Thus, the Cartwright Agency was born.

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

JESSICA: This is a tough one and something that all authors face. I play the “what if” game when I’m writing to try to put my characters in unusual situations. Often I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen until the words land on the page.

TRC: There is a fine line between romance, erotic, and erotica in many of today’s popular contemporary fiction. What do you believe accounts for the differences between the sub-genres in today’s romantic stories?

JESSICA: I don’t write erotic romance or erotica, but this is how I understand it. The focus of romance is the developing romantic relationship between a couple. Sex may or may not be part of that. In erotic romance, sex is an integral part of the relationship development and if it were taken out, there would be a huge hole in the story. However, there is still a developing romantic relationship. Erotica is more about the sex than the relationship.

TRC: Where should authors draw the line when writing romance vs erotic vs erotica story lines?

JESSICA: I don’t think there necessarily needs to be any line drawn, as long as it is communicated to the readers what they’re getting with a particular book.

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?

JESSICA: Yes. The adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” is totally bogus. No matter how excellent a book is, readers won’t pick it up if it has a horrible cover.

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

JESSICA: The characters direct the writing for me. I usually have a general idea where I want the story to go, but I don’t always know exactly how the story is going to get there until I get to know the characters in the first few chapters.

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?

JESSICA: I think this comes from making the characters relatable. Often in fiction, things happen that 99% of us will never experience in real life, but emotions are universal. So if the character is relatable and believable, then his/her emotions should translate. I think writers sometimes fail in this endeavor by not fully developing characters.

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

JESSICA: I actually don’t listen to music while writing because I find myself singing along instead of writing. It’s quite the show. LOL.

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

JESSICA: It depends on the situation. My husband is helpful, especially when it comes to technical or “manly” things, like the different kinds of guns and ammo. My author friend Marnee Blake is usually my go to for overarching plot and character issues. I’ll also turn to my agent and editor. I’m lucky to have a plethora of people I can call on.

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

JESSICA: Most authors can’t support themselves on their writing alone. I think a lot of people assume that if someone has a book published, they are rolling in money. That’s simply not the case.

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

JESSICA: I actually have a section like this on my website, so it’s hard to come up with another random obscure fact. I’ve recently become obsessed with my Happy Planner, and I even make my own stickers for it.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

JESSICA: I’m currently in the final stretch of writing the third book in my Fight for Me series.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

JESSICA: Nope! This interview was pretty thorough.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food
Calzones

Favorite Dessert
Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate

Favorite TV Show
I don’t watch TV. I seriously can’t remember the last time I turned it on.

Last Movie You Saw
The Lego Batman Movie

Dark or Milk Chocolate
Milk

Secret Celebrity Crush
Theo James

Last Vacation Destination
Bahamas

Do you have any pets?
Two dogs. My sons have guppies and a hamster.

Last book you read
It’s top secret—it was a book I judged for the RWA RITA contest.

TRC: Thank You Jessica for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulation on the release of Sabotage. We wish you all the best

giveaway

Jessica’s publisher is graciously offering an ebook copy of
SABOTAGE 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).

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3. Please like and follow Jessica Ruddick/Jessica Linden on Facebook.

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

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8. Giveaway is open internationally

9. Giveaway runs from April 8-12, 2017

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Code of Honor (Knights of Honor #3) by Alexa Aston-Review & Guest Post

Code of Honor (Knights of Honor #3) by Alexa Aston-Review & Guest Post

Code of Honor

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 27,2 017

365 A.D. – After the Earl of Sandbourne banishes his supposedly unfaithful wife to a convent, his young son Michael swears never to set foot on the family’s estate until after his father’s death. Michael will then claim his title as the new earl and restore his beloved mother to a place of honor.

Fifteen years pass, and the now-knighted Sir Michael Devereux serves Lord Geoffrey de Montfort at Kinwick Castle. He accompanies the nobleman and his family to a wedding, where Michael unknowingly falls in love with the bride before he even knows her identity.

Lady Elysande Le Cler is angry that her usually indulgent father went against her wishes and betrothed her to a stranger prior to his death. Now as her wedding day approaches, dread fills her—until she meets a dashing stranger who helps her deliver a foal. Elysande loses her heart to this knight, frustrated that they can never be together.

Join Michael and Elysande as they find fate has other plans in store for them.

••••••••••

REVIEW: Code of Honor is book three in the fabulous Knights of Honor series. This romantic highland story is the tale of Michael Devereux and Lady Elysande. There are appearances of familiar characters of the de Montforts (Geoffrey and Merryn) from previous books.

This is a very well written story about highland knights and the time period is 1365 A.D. Many issues are brought to the surface that women had at that time (being property with no rights…). Marriage was mostly arranged and not a matter of love or choice for the female and sometimes not for the male either.

This wonderfully romantic story is, however, a tale of true love winning over all odds. Sir Michael meets and falls in love with Elysande (name unknown to him at the time) as he helps her birth a foal in the stable at his liege lord’s sister’s estate. Complications arise when he finds she’s the bride-to-be that they’ve come to see married. And there the story begins and takes off with many twists and turns. Just when you think love wins…it turns again. I spent several hair pulling moments thinking…”what now!”

Alexa Aston is the pen name of one of my favorite authors, whose stories are well and truly woven with adventure, history and romance. She has never written one that has disappointed me and this story is no exception to that. If you have followed this marvelous series, you’ll enjoy this romantic adventure as it winds its way into your imagination and heart.
Grab a copy and sit back for a wonderful time!

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Georgianna

guest post

I wake up some days and have to think who I am. Most people don’t have that problem. They are who they are.

But I’m three people . . .

This all began when I started my writing journey. I sold Music For My Soul, a medieval romance, to Soul Mate Publishing October 2012. Immediately, my publisher told me I needed to create an author website, Facebook page, and begin tweeting. My last name is difficult to pronounce. I already had a FB page–and didn’t want to confuse my family and friends. So I decided I would go with a pen name. I could keep the Real Me and the Writer Me somewhat separated. Different emails would keep the personal and business sides organized. I was ready to select a new name!

I chose Lauren Linwood. I liked how it looked on the page. I love alliteration. And when I Googled the name, the only thing coming up was Linwood, NJ. This was opposed to the first name I came up with—already a NY jazz singer—and the second name I tried out—a porn star! After several attempts at selecting a pen name, I because Lauren—Identity #1.

Fast forward a few years. I recently signed on with Dragonblade Publishing, founded by the Queen of Medieval Romance, Kathryn Le Veque. Kathryn loved my writing but said I was all over the map, having writing four western historicals, three medieval romances, and two romantic suspense novels as Lauren. Kathryn emphasized branding and sticking with a single sub-genre of romance for at least ten novels in order to gain a reader base before I branched out. She also felt since Lauren had written in three different types of romance that I needed a new pen name for my Dragonblade books and a fresh start.

Thus, I became Alexa Aston—who will stick with writing historicals—while Lauren will keep with contemporary romance. I began again, creating for Alexa her own author website, personal and business FB pages, and opened a new Twitter account and email address. As Alexa, I’m the author of the Knights of Honor series. The series will run ten books long, but each one can be read as a standalone.

I’m ecstatic to be with a quality press such as Dragonblade Publishing, and I am having the time of my life writing my first romance series. I hope you will give the Knights of Honor a whirl. You can start Book 1, Word of Honor, for only 99 cents. It’s an Amazon exclusive, so if you’re in KU, you can begin reading the series for free! Word of Honor introduces Geoffrey and Merryn de Montfort, my anchor couple. They will appear in the remaining nine books, sometimes in a small role and at other times a larger one.

In the meantime, read Georgie’s review of Code of Honor—Book 3. Michael Devereux and Elysande Le Cler meet under unusual circumstances. Happy reading!

 

About the Author Black and Orange

Alexa Aston’s is the author of The Knights of Honor, a medieval romance series that takes place in 14th century England and centers on the de Montfort family. Each romance focuses on the code of chivalry that bound knights of this era.

A native Texan, Alexa lives with her husband in a Dallas suburb, where she eats her fair share of dark chocolate and plots out stories while she walks every morning. She enjoys reading, watching movies, and can’t get enough of Fixer Upper or Game of Thrones. Alexa also writes romantic suspense novels as Lauren Linwood.

Contact Info:

Website: https://alexaaston.wordpress.com/

Newsletter Sign-Up: http://madmimi.com/signups/422152/join

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoralexaaston/

http://madmimi.com/signups/421128/join

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlexaAston

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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

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

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):

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

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

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Smashwords / Signed Paper Back with Swag 

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

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

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

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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.

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8. Giveaway is open internationally

9. Giveaway runs from March 17-21, 2017

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