The Goddess by M.A. Abraham – Review & Anniversary Giveaway

The Goddess by M.A. Abraham – Review & Anniversary Giveaway


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M.A. Abraham is graciously offering a Kindle to one commenter, and an e-copy of The Goddess to two (2) lucky commenters

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Chania has lived most of her life in seclusion. She was placed amongst the humans that had once come to the aid of her ancestors, many millenniums before. She kept secreted by the head priestess, and revered as a Goddess by the people. She knows she is not what they think she is. She is an Elven Princess in hiding, and content to stay that way.

Daeron is an Elven/Dragon shapeshifter, who has served as second in command of the Guardians of the Elven Empire for a long time. He comes from a long line of Kings, and has proven himself worthy of his position of life. He is a proud, noble, Golden Dragon, when he is not an Elf. He is not so pleased with the sudden match making ambitions of his leader though, especially when he has been singled out to be mated with one of the leader’s daughters. He is not about to give in without a fight. He will not be used in this manner, not by anyone.

Captured by her father’s guardians and forced to his side, Chania, learns her fate. She is no happier about their upcoming nuptials than Daeron. They recognize the Life Bond they share, but under the circumstances, refuse to allow it to dictate their future. Can they fight an attraction that no Elf has ever been able to deny?



The Goddess by M.A. Abraham is the 1st book in her new Guardians of the Empire.  I have read every book by M.A. Abraham, and I continued to be amazed how her stories continue to get better and better, not to mention her wonderful imagination.  I am happy to say that The Goddess is the start of another great series that takes place in the same world, but of course a different time and characters .

The Goddess is set thousands years past the finale of the Elven Chronicles.  When that series ended, all surviving humans were granted a land called The Valley, where they were able to live prosperous and in peace.   Over the years, these humans did not remember the Elves, who were hidden and unseen in their portal.  

Chania, our heroine, is the goddess, but she is also an oracle and a white dragon.  Chania is still young, and learning; but she does have visions and sees a war on the horizon.  Chania lives in the Valley (human territory) that is led by Britallia (High Priestess), who also has visions.  She protects Chania, who loves to shift to her white dragon.  One day she goes too far, and is caught by Gold Dragons, who will bring her home to the land of her father, where she will see her mother and sister, Serena again.  Seems her mother took the girls years before, because her lifemate, King Gerolth was acting like a dictator.  Now all three have returned, and the King is happy to have them back.  But the Gold Dragons are determined to keep an eye on the wild escapades of the girls.

Chania knows that with the war coming soon, she needs to return to the human world to help them fight off the enemy.  She makes plans with Serena to be prepared to escape within the next month or so.  But Daeron,a leader of the Gold Dragons, and who is a loner and arrogant, knows she is his lifemate and is determined to take her at any cost.  Chania feels the attraction and bond to Daeron, but he has  been possessive and domineering,  not like a  lifemate should be treated as an equal.  Her father, and his brother try to reason with Daeron and his dragon, but he only gets angry at them all, until Chania and Serena finally escape, with Serena going to the Elves for help.

We meet the new General of the Elven Army, Gabriella, who is an Eagle Claw and a descendant of Gabriel. She is a powerful and fierce warrior, who will take charge of the mission to help the humans, working closely with Britallia, and her warrior brothers, as well as Chania.

What follows is an exciting and wonderful adventure, where we will follow three of the most powerful women, and their great warriors/dragons to fight an enemy that has thousands of warriors more than they do.  But it was wonderful to see all the weapons the Elves will bring in: dragons, birds, sword wielding warriors,  thatchers; all the things we remember so well from the Elven Chronicles.  

I do not want to say too much more, as you need to read this book, and meet all the fascinating characters Abraham has created for us to savior.  I loved Gabriella, Britallia and Chania.  For a bit, I was not a fan of Daeron, but closer to the end, changed for the better.  The Goddess was an entertaining, fun, exciting, suspenseful, lifemate romance, and a wonderfuj cast of characters.  I for one I cannot wait to see what comes next.  The Goddess by M.A. Abraham was a super start to this new series, which you should read.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy supplied for Review


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Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella – a Review

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella – a Review


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A witty and emotionally charged novel that delves into the heart of a marriage, and how those we love and think we know best can sometimes surprise us the most—from #1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella

After ten years together, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, and beautiful twin girls, and they communicate so seamlessly they finish each other’s sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it’s casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years . . . and panic sets in. 
They decide to bring surprises into their marriage to keep it fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me—from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to sexy photo shoots—mishaps arise, with disastrous and comical results. Gradually, surprises turn to shocking truths. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other at all.
With a colorful cast of eccentric characters, razor-sharp observations, and her signature wit and charm, Sophie Kinsella presents a humorous yet moving portrait of a marriage—its intricacies, comforts, and complications. Surprise Me reveals that hidden layers in a close relationship are often yet to be discovered.




Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella is a standalone novel.  I have read a number of novels by Kinsella, who does write stories with humor and craziness.  Early on though, I did have mixed feelings, as I thought some of the things were border line silly. Ok, now for my review.

Sylvie and Dan have been married for 10 years, and have twin girls.  They are very happy in their marriage and lives.  When they go to the doctor for their annual checkups, the doctor tells them they can both live to 100. Instead of being happy, they think about spending the next 68 years together, and doing the same things.  It freaks them both out (rolls eyes). They decide to come up with ways to keep things new and they call it Project Surprise.   One after another, they surprise each other with food, tickets, furniture, clothes; trying to outdo each other.  Frankly I did not really find this humorous, the craziness was more annoying.  But that is me. 

When the story centered on Sylvie’s job as a fundraiser, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and their two girls were adorable.  The story also focuses on Sylvie’s deceased dad, who was a powerful fundraiser and well respected, though for some reason, Dan and her father did not get along.   When Dan brings some old friends to visit, Sylvie meets Dan’s old girl friend, and becomes jealous. At this point, the story does change a lot, and I did enjoy the last half of the book.

What follows is Sylvie’s attempt to help fix her job’s fundraising money drive, which was well done and interesting.   Sylvie is also begins to think Dan is having an affair, and this part of the story was at times funny and life changing.  Sylvie will learn the truth about her father, and his disrespect for Dan; as well as the lies her family kept from her.

I really enjoyed the last half of the book, which became more about family, trust, perceptions, communications, and hidden truths.  Surprise Me had a bit of everything, including Kinsella’s trademark humor, emotional drama, some suspense, family and marriage issues. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher


By The Book by Julia Sonneborn – a Review

By The Book by Julia Sonneborn – a Review


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An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion.

Anne Corey is about to get schooled.

An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president.

Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love.

Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past…and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.




By the Book by Julia Sonneborn is a standalone novel that is a modern day retelling on Jane Austin’s ‘Persuasion’.  Anne Corey, our heroine, is a 32 year old English professor at Fairfax liberal arts college; who is also in the midst of writing a book.  During the storyline, we get to see many of the reject letters Anne receives from publishers, and it is important for her to sell her book to gain a permanent tenure with the school.    

Anne is shocked to learn that her ex-fiancé, Adam Martinez is now coming on board to the college as the new President.  She hasn’t seen Adam in 13 years, and it is at the reception for the new president that they come face to face.  Adam is very pleasant to Anne, but she does her best to welcome him to Fairfax, and keep her distance.  Anne meets Rick, a famous novelist, who has become a resident in the college in between his books.  Rick and Anne become friends, and eventually lovers.  Rick does not like Adam, having had a bad experience with him at another school.  He tells Anne all about the things Adam did, and Anne faithfully believes him.  But things are not as they seem.

When Anne’s father gets ill, it is Adam who will be around to help her, and a friendship resumes, though neither want anything more.  But when Rick is never around when she needs hi m, and Adam is, Anne will begin to open her eyes.  Rick turned out not to be what she thought, and his career takes a dive when truths are revealed about him.  

I thought all the characters in this book were all fun and relatable.  Anne was very well written by Sonneborn, and you couldn’t help but like her.  Her best friend at the college, Larry was a riot; and a good loyal friend to Anne.  Adam proved to be the right man for Anne, but it took almost to the end for both of them to reveal their true feelings. 

By the Book was a sweet story, based on similarities of Austen’s Persuasion.   I enjoyed the book, though it was a bit slow early on.   I would have liked to see more of Anne and Adam, as not much in the romantic sense was done.  Though I did love the ending, which  was very sweet. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher


That Killer Smile by Juliet Lyons – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

That Killer Smile by Juliet Lyons – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway



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Vampire Catherine Adair gave up trying to find her perfect match ages ago. But that didn’t stop her from founding London’s super successful vampire dating site. When a smoldering vampire overlord from her past launches an interspecies speed-dating service, Catherine vows to crush the competition….

Ronin’s new venture is purely about getting Catherine’s attention. He hasn’t stopped thinking about her ever since the night she gave him the cold shoulder. Nobody gets away from Ronin McDermott that easily…




That Killer Smile by Juliette Lyons is the 3rd book in her Bite Nights series.  With each book in this series, it keeps getting better and better. and I loved the couple in this book.  Unfortunately, this is supposed to be the final book in the series.   Refresher:   Bite Nights is a paranormal story line revolving around a dating service for vampires and humans.   

Catherine (Cat) Adair, our heroine, is the owner of V-Date online dating service.  Cat is a loner, being 185 years old, she is happy to stay home and watch TV with her cat, Wentworth.  Lol I have to say, I absolutely adored Wentworth.  Cat is also independent, smart, beautiful and self sufficient. When she gets word that people are leaving her dating service to another one, Cat decides to investigate.

Ronin McDermott , our hero, is ancient vampire demon, who runs his own nightclub for humans and vampires.  He is a womanizer, very macho, and is used to having things done his way.  He has never forgotten his one night stand years ago with the beautiful Cat Adair, who hates him. Ronin decides to start his own dating service, knowing it will force Cat to come to him.   Whoa…does she ever

Cat can’t stand the egotistical Ronin, but when she is billed for a date gone wrong, which actually happened in Ronin’s club, she pushes herself into his office unannounced, and by the time she leaves, Ronin knows he wants her again.  He will go see her to plead his case and offer to pay the bill. Cat is determined to chase him, but before he goes he kisses her, and the chemistry between them was hotter than hell.  Neither of them can resist each other, and a scorching steamy romance begins, that will eventually change into something more than sizzling sex; is it possible that these two could be in love??   Wow (fans self), they were totally awesome together. 

While their romance was heating up continuously, Ronin becomes involved in investigating some vampire deaths.  When one of his own men is murdered, Ronin and another ancient vampire will join hands to find the killer.  The last ¼ was very exciting and tense, as Cat’s life was now in danger to be the next victim.  Will Ronin be able to save her?

What I also loved about Ronin and Cat, was their own vulnerability, which they eventually shared about what they suffered through their own terrible dark past.  It was emotional to see, and uplifting to watch as they help each other to move on.   I also enjoyed the secondary characters, who were fun. but Wentworth was priceless; he even had a say about her boyfriends; of course, he purred with Ronin.

I really loved That Killer Smile, as Juliet Lyons adds a lot of delightful humor throughout this fun sexy story.  I absolutely adored the ending, which had a super epilogue.  If you enjoy a fun, steamy romance, hot sexy couple, with an element of danger and humor, I suggest you read this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher



For a few seconds, I’m lost for words. But as I stare between the bag on the floor and Ronin’s chiseled face, it all becomes clear.
“This is about you wanting me to owe you, isn’t it?” I hiss, fixing my gaze on his left ear. It’s a trick I learned from the last time we met. If I don’t look directly into his eyes, there’s less chance of being drawn into their swirling, blue depths.
He smiles, shaking his head. “You’re unbelievable, do you know that?”
“Pfffft,” I erupt. “I’m unbelievable? I’m not the one trying to tank my business by spreading rumors and launching a dating service. I’m not the one going out of his way to ensure our paths keep crossing in the worst possible ways.”
He frowns, displaying the first sign of irritation since I crashed into the room. “I’ve already told you, mo chridhe, it wasn’t me who started those rumors. And as for the speed dating, well, it was a free country last time I checked. I’m offering you the cash because the fella was injured in my club. Which means technically he’s my responsibility. If you don’t take the money now, I’ll have someone deliver it to his lawyer’s office later. I have their address now, after all.”
He waves the letter in the air like a victory flag.
“I’ll call them up,” I blurt out, voice quavering. “I’ll tell them you’re a madman and not to accept it. I’ll say it’s not your money at all, that you conned the life savings from some poor old man with dementia.”
Ronin arches a brow, tucking the letter into an inside pocket of his jacket. “That’s some novel you’re writing there, Catherine, but I doubt they would argue if I write them a Coutts check, do you?”
I’m all out of ammunition. “I loathe you.”
For a split second, his cocksureness wavers, the steely-blue eyes darkening. But only for a moment. “The problem isn’t me, Catherine,” he says, edging closer. “The problem is you.”
I straighten up. “That’s the most irritating thing about you, Ronin—you always think you know better than everybody else. I’m not sure whether it’s because you’ve been around longer than the rest of us or because you’re just a massive asshole. Either way, you don’t know the first thing about me.”
He flashes a cocky grin, raking his gaze over me as if he has X-ray vision. “You don’t loathe me, mo chridhe. You just can’t get over the fact you’re an uptight puritan who loved the kind of sex I gave you that night we spent together.”
I let out a high-pitched laugh. “That’s right, Ronin. Let’s not forget for one second that the world revolves around you and your penis. Actually, I’m surprised you’re even bothering to get dressed these days. I would have thought you’d have developed a penchant for silky, red pajamas and slippers by now.” I motion to the cigar on the carpet. “Looks like you’ve nailed the smoking part, and God knows the Playboy bunnies must be hiding around here somewhere.”
He scoffs. “Jealous?”
“Please, you’re not that good in bed.”
Except he is—or was. Better than good. But I can’t think about that right now. Or ever again, actually.
“Paulo was right about you,” he murmurs. “You are a mad bitch.”
I close the distance between us in a single stride and smack him across the cheek. It’s like hitting stone. He doesn’t so much as flinch. For some bizarre reason, this ignites a hot stab of lust in the pit of my stomach. His scent—a masculine blend of whiskey, leather, and woodsmoke—infiltrates my senses. I’m transported back to that night some years ago when we went at it like two wildcats in his bed.
I never wanted to come up for air.
I’m standing too close to use the ear trick. His eyes drag me in, two penetrating blue flames, dark with anger. I gulp, allowing my gaze to wander over his chiseled-from-rock cheekbones, rosy Celtic skin, copper hair slicked back from a noble forehead. He may be an asshole, but there is no denying his beauty.
For what feels like an eternity, neither of us move. We remain locked onto each other, energy—good and bad—swirling between us like thick fog.
Quite without thinking, I hiss, “Fucker.” After spending my human life afraid to speak, I never managed to rewire the connection between my brain and mouth.
His blue eyes flash. At once, his lips are on mine and his arms are around my waist. Instead of struggling, I mold myself into the hard contours of his body, my tongue sliding over his, my hands pulling him closer, and I hate myself—Lord, how I despise myself—for how good it feels. It’s as though he brings a magnifying glass up to all the base urges I long to forget, including this—an utterly ridiculous sexual attraction to a demon playboy who’s murdered God knows how many during his thousands of years on earth.
I don’t pull away. I can’t. He absorbs me like a drug. Before I can help myself, my fingers are tangled in his thick, red hair and I’m allowing his hands to cup my ass, grinding against the hard rope of an erection bulging beneath his trousers. We devour each other, eyes and mouths open, until I’m no longer sure where he begins and I end.
But then he takes his mouth from mine, trailing kisses from jawline to neck. Along with the rasp of stubble, I feel a scrape of fangs, sharp as knives, glide across my skin. I shove him away, panting slightly, averting my eyes to the lacquered walnut desk in the center of the room. If I don’t stop this now, I’ll end up sprawled across that table just like all the other women he’s had in here. The worst part is, I’d enjoy it.
“Consider the debt paid,” I say.



JULIET LYONS is a paranormal romance author from the UK. She holds a degree in Spanish and Latin American studies and works part-time in a local primary school where she spends far too much time discussing Harry Potter. Since joining global storytelling site Wattpad in 2014, her work has received millions of hits online and gained a legion of fans from all over the world. When she is not writing, Juliet enjoys reading and spending time with her family.


Find Juliet Online:
Website:  Facebook:  Twitter: Wattpad:  Goodreads:



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The Cowboy Who Came Calling by Linda Broday – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

The Cowboy Who Came Calling by Linda Broday – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


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He’ll do what it takes
To win
Her heart

Glory Day may be losing her vision, but that doesn’t mean she’ll ever stop fighting. Determined to provide for her struggling family, she confronts an outlaw with a price on his head. But when a mysterious cowboy gets between her and her target, Glory accidentally shoots him instead. Flustered, she has no option but to take the handsome stranger home to treat his wounds.

Former Texas Ranger Luke McClain didn’t plan to fall in love, but there’s no denying the strength of Glory’s will or the sweetness of her heart. But Glory’s been burned before, and Luke will have to reach into the depths of his own battered soul to convince her to take a chance…

And trust that love is worth fighting for.




The Cowboy Who Came Calling by Linda Broday is the 2nd book in her Texas Heroes series.  I loved the first book in this series, and I am happy to say this was as equally as good. I do not read much western romances, but I have come to love Linda Broday’s writing and I will continue to read her books. 

Glory Day is our heroine, and she was a wonderful one at that.  Glory is tough, not like the fancy woman living in her town.  Glory has to take care of her family, as they are in dire straits financially with her father in jail for something he did not commit.   Glory wears britches, and goes out hunting daily for food; one day she finds an outlaw, who has a big bounty on his head, and just when she plans to bring him in, another cowboy arrives almost at the same time and they argue who gets to take the man in.  When they are not looking the outlaw pulls the rifle away from Glory and it ricochets and shoots the cowboy in the leg, not to mention the outlaw gets away.

Luke McClain, our hero, whom we met in the first book, is the cowboy, who will come to stay with Glory and her family, while she helps to heal the wound.  Luke is a former Texas Ranger, who lost his job being framed by someone, who he is searching for to clear his name.

Glory’s family was amazing.  Her youngest sister, Patience was so sweet and cute, and a nonstop talker. Hope, was the middle sister, who was more helpful to Glory, and also the cook in the family.  Their mother, who misses her husband, is somewhat of an invalid, but later we learn she was addicted to some medicine.  Luke recuperates in this house, and in a short time he learns to care about them all.  He also finds himself falling hard for Glory, despite her tough cowgirl look. Glory herself is also finding herself attracted to the handsome Luke, but she is a bit stubborn, unable to accept that he really does care about her

Luke will overhear the problems they have financially and the threat of foreclosure on their house.  He wants to help them, but Glory is determined to find a way to fix things herself, not what she thinks is charity.  When he leaves to find the outlaw, Glory will catch up with him, as she needs the money.  The story also adds another element, with Glory slowly losing her eye sight. 

Luke will leave again, after paying off their foreclosure, and saying goodbye to Glory.  He is going on a mission undercover (he doesn’t tell her) and feels he could be killed.  Will Luke survive and come back to Glory? 

I really loved this heartwarming story, as Glory and Luke were such a great couple.  The family was also fun to be with, and it was great to see Duel and Jessie (previous book heroes) again closer to the end to help Luke. Linda Broday once again gives us another wonderful couple, sweet romance,  great secondary characters, action and so very well written.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher




A light touch on Glory’s shoulder gave her a start. The hand surely belonged to Luke, for only he could loosen this flurry inside. She blinked several times, cursing the inability to see what he held. At last the item came into view.

A toothbrush. A real one.

Glory whirled. Every well-planned, scathing remark vanished, not even the mere footprint of one remained in her head. She cradled the treasure with wonder.

“You hankered for one of these the first time I saw you in the emporium. I also recall how you had to bite your tongue to keep from giving those girls their comeuppance.” Quiet challenge lay beneath Luke’s words. He dared her to refuse something she so desired. If she could.

Moral indignation that had burned so hotly before deserted her. “I thought you didn’t notice me that day. You appeared quite taken with the…other patrons.”

“Oh, I noticed.”

In a Monday that held more twists and turns than a dog’s hind leg, his barely audible reply and intent stare added yet more bewilderment. Why did he have to go and make her forget her outrage? Awfully difficult to harbor a grudge when he seemed intent on filling her head with hope.

She stared at the object in her palm, afraid it would fade into thin air as the genie in the Arabian Nights had. Fairy tales were for children, not grown women who knew better. McClain couldn’t be Aladdin—unless he whipped out a magic carpet. This night she wouldn’t rule out anything.

“Say something, Glory.” Hope gave her a sharp poke.

Patience grinned. “If you wanna kiss him, we’ll hide our eyes.”

Hell’s bells! If she didn’t die of mortification, it would be a sheer miracle.

“I know you want to,” Patience crowed. “Leastways that’s what you wrote in your private book.”

“What kind of woman would pass up a kiss?” Luke raised her chin with the lightest of nudges.

Her legs threatened to buckle. Powerless in the spell of his gaze, she marveled at the rakish curve of his mouth. The essence of him wrapped around, over, and inside her as she gladly stepped onto his magic carpet.

One more kiss wouldn’t hurt anything.

A sudden scurry of feet seemed in the distance. Glory’s ears pounded. His frenzied heartbeat jumped through the fabric of his shirt. She sank into the curve of his arm because he stole her will to step back.

The kiss that began with tender softness deepened. She shuddered under his caress, a piece of clay in the hands of a master.

Her feverish skin throbbed with some strange need she didn’t comprehend. She only knew if she died in his arms this second, she would depart the world in a state of bliss.

When he lifted his head at last, she would have fallen without his steadying support. She rested her face on his broad chest for a moment to still the dizzying whirl.

“Thank you.” His murmur came faint as a breeze through willows. His ragged breath ruffled her hair.

A few seconds later, she remembered where they stood and the liberties she’d allowed. Never before had she been so carefree. Or so warm. “Good heavens!” She patted her hair, giving the room a sweeping glance, relieved to find it empty. “I don’t know what came over me.”

“Whatever it was, I hope it remembers the way back.”

She groaned inwardly and lowered her eyes before he saw the answer. For the cost of a handful of wind she would stand before the preacher with him.

Darn him and his magic carpet!

Fact remained, no amount of wishing could erase the truth. Her father left…and so had her mother, though each in a different way. At the end of the day, she could put faith only in herself.
What hand of fate had flung him into her life? The man seemed to take extraordinary liberty in assaulting her with his presence at every turn—with no intention of staying.

“I need to ask where you got the money to pay off our note—and buy all this.” The pain inside made her voice sound cold.

“Will it matter?”

Glory wished for things that could never be. To stifle yearnings that swept her along like a dandelion in a sudden gust would take more will than she possibly had. And even more impossible…blocking the knowledge that she could forgive all else as long as he promised to never leave. She gripped the toothbrush. “I must know.”

“In my own time.” He brushed her cheek lightly with a fingertip.

Only after she could do a sight more than melt did she dare raise her eyes. “You’ve involved us in whatever it is you do.”

“Fair enough. First tell me what you were doing with your esteemed Dr. Dalton.”

Anger put her on familiar ground. She rested her hands on her hips and jutted her chin defiantly. Magic carpet rides were for damsels without obligations and those who could afford to daydream. “He’s not my anything. And I don’t have to justify it. Don’t let us keep you from wherever it is you need to mosey on to.”

“Fire and damnation! I’m trying to help.”



At a young age, LINDA BRODAY discovered a love for storytelling, history, and anything pertaining to the Old West. After years of writing romance, it’s still tall rugged cowboys that spark her imagination. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Linda has won many awards, including the prestigious National Readers’ Choice Award and the Texas Gold. She resides in the Texas Panhandle where she’s inspired every day.


Find Linda Online:
Twitter: @LBroday


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Survive the Night by Katie Ruggle – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Survive the Night by Katie Ruggle – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway



Survive the Night
Rocky Mountain K-0 Unit series – Book #3
by Katie Ruggle
Release Date: February 6, 2018

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He’s always been a haven:
For the lost. The sick. The injured.
But when a hunted woman takes shelter in his arms, this gentle giant swears he’ll do more than heal her battered spirit―he’ll defend her with his life.

K9 Officer Otto Gunnersen always had a soft spot for anyone in need. As Monroe’s very own Dr. Doolittle, he dedicates himself to rehabilitating the injured souls that cross his path―but for all his big heart, he’s never been in love.

Until he meets Sarah Clifton’s haunted eyes. Until he realizes he’ll do anything to save her.

All Sarah wants is to escape a life caught between ambitious crime families, but there’s no outrunning her past. Her power-mad brother would hunt her to the ends of the earth…but he’d never expect Sarah to fight back. With Otto and the whole of Monroe, Colorado by her side, Sarah’s finally ready to face whatever comes her way.

It’s time to take a stand.



Survive the Night by Katie Ruggle is the 3rd book in her Rocky Mountain K-9 Unit series. I enjoyed the first two books in this series, and I thought this one was even more exciting.  The theme of this series is a woman is helped to escape her terrible life, and sent to a small town in the Colorado Mountains, to live in hiding.

Sarah Clifton, our heroine, is on the run after a mind-blowing escape from her bad brother, who wants her to marry an evil mobster leader.  She ends up living under a fake name, with the two previous heroines. The story was very suspenseful from the start to finish, with a lot of action all the way through.  The last ¼ of the book had me holding my breath, as Sarah’s life was on the line twice and no one knew where she was.  Sarah was a fantastic heroine, who managed to fight her way out of terrible conditions to help her new friends, and animals, as well as herself for survival.

K9 Officer Otto Gunnersen, is a sweet gentle giant, who also takes care of animals.  He works with Theo and Huge on the K-9 Unit, and envies that they have found their mates; something he does not see happening to him.  Otto meet Sarah.  The moment he sets eyes on her, at the house that the other girls and their family live in, he is hooked.  He is very shy, and in a short time Sarah takes a liking to him.  Since Otto lives in a bunker style house, with safe rooms, and tunnels, Sarah agrees to move in with him.  The romance doesn’t take long to heat up, as both have not had relationships previously.  They were really so good together, and I loved the addition of the two dogs, cat, horse and goat.  There romance was so sweet, you couldn’t help rooting for them; and Otto was wonderful and protective with her.

As usual, Theo and Huge know that Sarah is running away, like their girls, but to get information on the man who helped them run away was not forthcoming.  However, Sarah will tell them about Aaron (brother) and Logan ( her forced fiancée), and how dangerous they are. The previous books were exciting, but I thought Survive the Night was pulse pounding action right from the start.  In a short time after Sarah arrives, Aaron will find her to try to bring her back.  She manages to escape and the guys arrest him. 

What follows is an intense, wild adventure that will put all of them in danger, as the villains will bring all their resources to the small town to prevent them from getting help.  This was so exciting that held me on the edge of my seat with so much action.  Sarah turned out to be a big lifesaver, especially with the animals. 

Survive the Night is another suspenseful, action packed  story, and I can’t wait for the next book in this series.  Katie Ruggle has written a great story, wonderful couple, and exciting action packed throughout.  I suggest you read this series and start with the first book, Run to Ground.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher



A car turned onto the street, and her heart sank even further when she saw the light bar on top of the vehicle. Logan was a police officer. Had Aaron sent him after her? During that horrible dinner, Judd had mentioned that Logan had contacts. Did they include anyone at the Monroe Police Department?
As her brain raced, she’d frozen for a few seconds, long enough for the squad car to pull up to the curb in front of the carport. It was too late to run and pointless to hide. As close as the squad car was, the cop had to have seen her on the carport. A strong gust of wind pushed her off-balance, and Sarah sat abruptly. There might be no escaping him, but at least she wouldn’t be blown off the roof.
As the police officer swung open the driver’s door and got out, unfolding his large frame, Sarah felt her throat tightening. It was the tall, burly cop she’d met after she’d just arrived, the one who was so terrifyingly handsome that it was a struggle to look at him—like a cross between a Viking and a lumberjack. The one who’d watched her steadily and silently with light-blue eyes until he’d quietly left her room. The way he’d looked at her made her illogically worried that he could read all of her secrets and was just waiting for her to confess.
Once Grace had introduced him as a cop, Sarah had sealed her lips together, afraid that something incriminating would tumble out of her mouth. It didn’t matter that she’d done nothing wrong, that she was an adult and legally couldn’t be forced to stay with her brother—much less marry creepy Logan. There was something about him that still made her…not nervous, but jittery. No, she thought, jittery isn’t right, either. He made her feel too aware of him.
He immediately looked up at her, confirming her suspicion that he’d known she was on the roof even before he pulled up. As he walked closer, he held her gaze, silently as he had before. Rather than ordering her off the roof or yelling at her to get down, as she’d expected, he circled around to the side of the carport. Instead of climbing on the car, as she had, he reached up and grasped the edge of the roof and hauled himself up with an ease that Sarah envied. Once he was up, he sat a few feet away from her.
She eyed his profile as he looked out over the street. What was he doing? If he was going to arrest her, to take her into custody and hand her over to Logan, she wished he’d just get it over with. Sitting next to him, waiting for him to do something, was making her muscles painfully tight.
When he hadn’t said anything for several minutes, Sarah knew she had to break the silence. If one of them didn’t talk, her head was going to pop like an overinflated tire.
“Sorry.” The word came out too softly, and it squeaked in the middle. “There were elk.”
He turned his head to look at her.
“They were fighting?” Clearing her throat, she tried to make her words sound more definite. It was hard, though. His continued silence was freaking her out. “I was afraid of getting caught in the middle, so I climbed up here. Did someone call you?”
His chin dipped down in a nod. Even though he hadn’t actually said anything out loud, the gesture was a huge relief.
“I was going to get down, but I was worried they’d come back. Then I heard your car engine, and…well, you arrived.”
It was a weak finish, she knew, but there was no way to explain her terror at hearing a car, not without telling him too much about her former life. After all, she still didn’t know if he was one of Logan’s contacts. Even if he wasn’t, if a fellow cop arrived and said something awful—like that she wasn’t mentally sound or that she’d committed a crime—Otto would believe the police officer over some woman he’d just met. Sarah had been sheltered, but she’d read books and watched TV. She knew that cops were loyal to each other.
“Is it strange?” Now that she’d started talking, she didn’t want to return to that unnerving silence, the one that made her think he was reading her thoughts with some magical, gorgeous-cop superpower. He cocked his head slightly, as if in question. “Strange that the elk are in town, fighting in the middle of the street? I’m new to the mountains, but it seems weird to me. I mean, squirrels can hang out in town, or rabbits, but elk right here next to all these houses? That seems wrong.”
His lips twitched in something that might have been a start of a smile. There was another pause, long enough for Sarah to think he wasn’t going to answer. Was this some strange interrogation technique? He refused to talk until she spilled all of her secrets? If so, it was surprisingly effective. His silence made her want to open her mouth and let everything inside her head spill out. Quickly, she sealed her lips together. Sharing her thoughts with this cop would be dangerous—very, very dangerous.
He cleared his throat and she jumped. “It’s not strange. Not here, at least.” His voice was a bass rumble, not loud but big and full. It fit him.
“Oh.” Relief flowed through her when he finally spoke. For some reason, hearing his voice made her warm and brought that same not-quite-jittery feeling she’d experienced before. Not able to hold his gaze, she glanced down at his car. “I probably should’ve just stayed where I was, then. If it’s normal and all. Those antlers crashing together was just very…loud.”
There was another pause, although it wasn’t quite so long this time. “You were smart to move out of the way.”
“Good. I mean, thank you.” Silence settled over them again. “Why are you here, then?”
“We got a call that you were up here.” He met her gaze, and she couldn’t manage to look away. “I, ah, wanted to make sure you were okay.”
It wasn’t what she’d expected, and it wasn’t what she was used to. No one ever worried that she was okay. His concern sparked a warm glow in her belly. She smiled, and his gaze dropped to her mouth. “Thank you. I’m okay.”
His eyes snapped back to hers. “Good.” There was a short silence. “Do you need help down?”
“Yes, please.” She glanced at the ground below. Now that the scare was over, she wouldn’t feel right climbing onto the car, and it was a long drop for her five-foot-nothing self. “Just a hand down, though. Don’t call the fire department or anything. That could be embarrassing.”
His mouth quirked again. “I won’t.”
Moving over to the edge of the roof, he swung his legs off the side and lowered himself down. Once again, he made it look so effortless that Sarah felt a little silly for asking for help. She followed, turning onto her belly and letting her legs slide over the edge. His hands steadied her, sliding from her calves to her thighs and then gripping her waist. It was a strange sensation, his firm grip both comforting and slightly dizzying, and it made her pause.
“I’ve got you,” he said in his low, steady way, his fingers wrapped almost all the way around her middle.
It was crazy to trust this stranger—this cop—but Sarah couldn’t help herself. Just from their short conversation, her gut told her that he was nothing like Aaron or Logan or any of the petty, vicious people who had populated her previous life. Maybe he was conning her, but Sarah suspected he was honestly good.
Closing her eyes, she let go of the roof. Just as he’d promised, Otto carefully lowered her down. Even after her feet were securely on the ground and he’d released her, Sarah could still feel the warm impression of his hands pressing into her skin.
“Would you like a ride home?” he asked, and she realized that she’d been staring at him.
Ripping her gaze from his face, she glanced around. “I think I’ll finish my walk. It looks like the road is elk-free. They probably went to the diner for breakfast.”
That almost-smile came and went quickly, but it still gave Sarah a charge that she’d caused it. As she started to walk back toward Jules’s driveway, she expected to hear the squad car engine roar to life, but the morning stayed quiet. The wind had dropped to a gentle breeze, and the rising sun warmed her. When she reached the turnoff for her driveway, she couldn’t resist—she glanced behind her.
Otto was still parked by the carport. She wondered if he was watching to make sure that she made it home safely. The thought gave her a warm thrill, but she quickly quashed it. Monroe was just a temporary stop on her road to freedom. She needed to focus on building her new life, not on a Viking-lumberjack cop with steady blue eyes and huge, warm hands.
At the memory of his firm grip, another frisson of excitement whirled through her. This time, she let it stay. She’d enjoy it for a few moments, she promised herself, but then she would do her best to avoid Officer Otto Gunnersen. With a final glance at the surprisingly intriguing man behind her, she strode up the rutted dirt driveway, smiling.



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The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory – Review & Giveaway


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A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other…

They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…


The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory is a sweet standalone romance novel.  This is a new author for me, and I really did enjoy this story. Alexa Monroe, our heroine, is on her way to help her sister celebrate her promotion. She is delayed when the elevator she is in gets stuck, and to her surprise there is someone else stuck with her.   Drew Nichols, is a doctor, who is in town to attend a wedding for his ex- fiancée and his best friend.  While waiting in the elevator, both Alexa and Drew talk to pass the time, and end up enjoying their fun playful banter.  Soon Drew is asking Alexa if she would be willing to pretend to be his girlfriend at the wedding that weekend; she surprises herself and agrees to help him out. 

This was also an interracial romance, that Guillory wrote so well.  Alexa was a very sweet, charming and afun heroine, who found herself immediately attracted to the handsome, sexy and equally charming Drew.  We could not help but like both of them.  After the wedding, where both of them enjoyed each other’s company, the attraction and lust between them heats up.  Even with both not interested in anything long term, they can’t seem to get enough of each other, meeting every weekend to have fun and sex.  There were some very good secondary characters, especially Drew’s friend Carlos, who was awesome.

There is no question that this is a sexy steamy romance, with a couple that is terrific together.  Both are also very successful, with Alexis being the chief of staff for the mayor of Berkley, and Drew, working with children in a San Francisco hospital. Alexis begins to worry, as she finds herself falling hard for Drew, and knows from friends of his that she has met, that he never stays long with anyone.  Will Drew continue his single life, and let Alexis leave?

This was a sweet, charming, lighthearted pure romance that had us loving both Alexis and Drew and rooting for a happy ever after.  Jasmine Guillory has written this wonderful romance so very well. I enjoyed it very much, and I look forward to reading more from her. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher




Alexa danced with Lauren, letting the movement and the laughter shake away her annoying thoughts. When she felt a hand on her waist, she turned to see Drew behind her and laughed again, at how ridiculous the evening had been and how much fun she was suddenly having. He took ahold of one of her hands and swung her around to face him and laughed back down at her. Other members of the wedding party joined their group and danced with and around them, but song after song came on, and he never moved from her side.
“Water?” he said in her ear after they’d been on the dance floor for a long time.
“Yes, please.” She walked with him over to the bar.
She glanced up at the ornate clock over the bar, surprised at how late it had gotten. And how much she didn’t want this night to end. Damn it, it had been fun to be Drew’s fake girlfriend, but she knew that once the clock struck midnight, so to speak, the fairy tale would be all over.
He leaned against the bar, his jacket off, his bow tie untied, a little sweaty and disheveled from dancing. Good Lord, this guy was hot.
He rolled up his sleeves, exposing his tan forearms. She wanted to run her fingers up and down them and feel how warm and strong they were.
She needed to stop letting her imagination run away with her.
“Um,” she said. “It’s getting late, and if I want to make the last BART train back to the East Bay, I should probably leave pretty soon.”
Why had she said that? Why, when she was standing next to a hot guy, basically panting over him? If she was Maddie, hell, if she was Amy, she would have grabbed one of those hot forearms and wrapped it around her body, letting him know what she wanted without having to say anything. Sadly, she was Alexa, so she would flee instead.
He put his water bottle down and looked at her.
“Okay,” she said. Olivia and Maddie would get mad at her for not throwing herself at him, but they didn’t understand that she just didn’t know how. Plus, rejection from this guy was the last thing her self-esteem needed. Talk about the opposite of getting back on the horse; that would make her avoid horses, and stables, and all farm animals for another few years. So to speak.
He stepped closer to her and put his hand on her waist. Her hand landed on his arm, and, without even meaning to, she ran her fingers up and down. Oh God, touching him like this was as good as she’d thought it would be.
“Or”—he looked straight down into her eyes—“you could stay.”
A question was in his eyes, and a smile hovered over his lips. His thumb drew slow circles on her hip and then moved up her side to her ribs. His other hand moved up to her face and traced the outline of her lips with his fingers.
She shivered.
He waited.
“Or,” she said, “I could stay.”



Jasmine Guillory is a graduate of Wellesley College and Stanford Law School. She is a Bay Area native who has towering stacks of books in her living room, a cake recipe for every occasion, and upwards of 50 lipsticks.

As well as writing books, Jasmine sometimes writes about books, pop-culture, and food, some of her favorite things.


Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Instagram


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Edge of Darkness by Karen Rose – Review, Interview & Giveaway

Edge of Darkness by Karen Rose – Review, Interview & Giveaway


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Homicide detective Adam Kimble is no stranger to battling demons. But Meredith Fallon is a different kind of weakness: one that could actually be good for him, if only he would let himself depend on her. Meredith has loved Adam for a year, and seeing how hard he’s worked to deal with his PTSD makes her feelings only stronger, but she respects his needs. Her work keeps her busy anyway: she counsels sexually abused women like Mallory Martin to help them reintegrate into the world.

But someone doesn’t want Meredith helping women like Mallory, and Meredith finds herself in the crosshairs of a very determined killer. Adam would risk anything for her, but they’ll soon find out she isn’t the only target…



Edge of Darkness by Karen Rose is the 4th book in her Cincinnati series.  I have read a few books by Rose, but not in this series.  The last book I had read I noted that it was one of the best thrillers of the year, and now in 2018 I can say the same. Wow, what awesome thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.  Karen Rose has now become a must read for me.  I have not read the previous books in the Cincinnati series, but there were so many marvelous characters that make me want to find time to read the previous 3 books.

We meet our heroine, Meredith Fallon, in the beginning as she is a child psychologist, who helps out at a special home for abused children.  Meredith has many friends that  either work at the children’s home or her police that she is very close to; as they are very protective of her, especially since she is still emotionally upset over not seeing or hearing from her ex-boyfriend, Adam. 

Adam Kimble is a top notch detective, who loves Meredith, but has intentionally stayed away from her for almost a year.  Meredith’s friends are also Adam’s, but most of them have been unhappy that he has ignored Meredith, as well as avoiding some them…but no one knows why.  Adam suffers from PTSD from watching a horrible murder, where he could not save the young girl.  Having a verbally abusive father caused Adam to secretly drink early in his younger days, and after the murder, he got worse to help him get through each day.  Unbeknownst to his friends and coworkers, is that he has been sober for almost a year, and though still emotionally damaged, he plans to try to win her back once he meets his one year goal.

Before that happens, Meredith brings one of the sexually abused young girls to a restaurant to help her become more confident in releasing her fears.  They are accosted by a young man, who threatens them, and when they fall to the floor, the young man blows up. This is just the beginning of an intense & complex murder mystery that will result in more murders, pulling in all the detectives, including Adam to find out why someone is targeting Meredith. Adam forces himself to maintain control of his emotions, as he is assigned to be main detective to investigate this case, which also brings him back into Meredith’s life. 

What follows is an amazing story that held me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.  There were so many twists and turns throughout the book, almost to the very end.  As Adam, and his team try to protect Meredith, and others who are slowly getting killed off, the intensity of the story never lessens, especially when we get closer to discovering some secrets and surprises that will escalate the investigation that puts both Adam, Meredith, a couple of the abused girls, and their detective friends, in constant danger.  Rose has created an evil villain, who is as ruthless as they come, killing anyone who gets in the way, regardless of who they are.  This is a major twist that we never saw coming until we got closer to the end. 

In between the many tense moments, we got to see Adam and Meredith learn more about each other, their past lives; their situations; their dangerous jobs; and their love for each other. What I absolutely loved about this book, was the amazing group of friends, who are mostly cops or therapists that are closely bonded to each other, with some of them having been through tough and violent cases, similar to this one.  They are all strong and smart individuals and loyal friends, who are a close knit family.  Rose has done this so well, and when you like the characters that you become invested in, it makes the story that much better.    As I said before, I now have to go back into the three earlier books to learn about them all.   

I am in awe of Karen Rose, as her books are so well written with fantastic characters, evil villains, a great couple, and a totally intense mystery that keeps you in suspense to the very end.  If you love suspense, with a touch of romance and a thriller all the way, you should be reading anything by Karen Rose. I know I will.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher


Hi Karen. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions today.We are always looking forward to reading about the author behind the book.

TRC: Would you please tell us something about yourself? 

Karen:  I was born and raised in the Baltimore-Washington area.  I met my husband when we were seniors in high school, over 35 years ago.  We’ve been married more than 30 years and have two adult daughters.  I’m a chemical engineer by education.  I worked for 15 years for a large consumer products company in Cincinnati and I have two patents in bulk fiber laxatives.  (Don’t ask.  Okay, ask if you want to, but don’t be grossed out by what I answer.) I’m a knitter and a reader and a Buffy fan 🙂

TRC:  LOL   I love Buffy, too.

TRC:  When and how did you first become interested in writing? 

Karen:  I began writing when I was an engineer traveling internationally, unable to pack enough books to last the length of my trips.  There were no ebooks back in the day and I couldn’t understand anything on the TV, so I began writing my own stories to keep myself company in all those hotel rooms away from home.  It was a hobby for nearly ten years before I sold my first book, DON’T TELL.  That was in 2001.

TRC:  Within your Romantic Suspense series, you have the Cincinnati series.  Can you give us a brief description of this series? 

Karen:  The Cincinnati series is built around the FBI/Cincinnati PD joint task force, their friends, families, as well as the families they build.  First up is the sometimes bigger-than-life Special Agent Deacon Novak, who’s transferred from Baltimore at the beginning of book one, CLOSER THAN YOU THINK.  Deacon and his heroine, psychologist Faith Corcoran, are drawn into the deadly web of a killer who has been operating out of the house Faith has just inherited for many years. 

Books two and three deal with human trafficking, labor and sex trafficking.  ALONE IN THE DARK and EVERY DARK CORNER feature Deacon’s two task force partners, Detective Scarlett Bishop (book two) and Agent Kate Coppola (book three).

Introduced in book one, Deacon’s cousin Detective Adam Kimble is having a rough time, his personality changing drastically.  No one in his circle knows why, except psychologist Meredith Fallon, in whom Adam has confided—at least part of his story.

TRC:  With Edge of Darkness released yesterday, can you please give us a brief description of this book?

Karen:  EDGE OF DARKNESS is Adam Kimble’s return to his family and to Meredith.  In the months since their first interaction he’s pulled away, avoiding her.  He’s plagued by demons, but knows that he can’t solely rely on her for his sanity or his sobriety.  Adam is an alcoholic, trying to get his life together before he feels he is good enough to invite Meredith to be part of it.  Meredith has been confused and hurt by his avoidance, but he is the first person she calls when a young man is shot and killed right in front of her—after he’d held a gun on her.  The race to catch the killer leads Adam to the dark places he’d hoped he’d escaped forever.

TRC:  You write exciting Romance Suspense Thrillers, which can be intense.  Have you ever found yourself affected by a scene?

Karen:  Many times! Often I’ll put off writing a scene because I feel awful about a character being murdered.  Sometimes I’ll group all my “villain scenes” into one day so that I can get all the intensity out at once.  I can become edgy and irritable while writing the villain scenes, so I like to do these in ways that keep me from snapping at my family :).

TRC:  Can you please tell us what you are working on now, and what you have upcoming in 2018?

Karen:  I’ve just started a new series – set in Sacramento, California!  More on this later, but I will tease a little by revealing that readers will meet mostly new characters with a few very old favorites.  Later in 2018, we’ll release DEATH IS NOT ENOUGH, Baltimore #6.  This is Gwyn and Thorne’s story – they were introduced in YOU BELONG TO ME, Baltimore #1. 
TRC:  What is your writing process?  Do you like to outline your story before you start? Do you have a specific place you like to write?  Is there a special time of day that works best for you?

Karen:  I usually binge write.  Once I get into the groove, I’ll write 18 hours a day until it’s done.  I have a place on the beach where I go to write.  It’s quiet and gorgeous and I love it there.  I’m more productive between 11pm and 6am, which is difficult because I try to sleep during the day when nobody else is sleeping.  Phones ring, dogs bark, trash trucks rumble, waking me up every time.  I wish I were a 9-5 writer!  When you are not writing, what other interests or hobbies do you have?

I read a lot! Not usually suspense, though.  I read a lot of contemporary romance.  I also travel, knit for other people because we don’t get much call for woolens in Florida, and play with my dogs.  Would you like to add anything else? Just a huge thank you for inviting me!

Thank you, Karen for answering our questions. We wish you the best of luck with Edge of Darkness.




Karen Rose’s publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of EDGE OF DARKNESS to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

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