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

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

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

going for the Goal

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 13, 2017

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

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

••••••••••••••••

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

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

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

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

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

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Guest Post-Black and Blue

Researching and developing the story line content —Sara Rider

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

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

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

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

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

~~Sara~~

About The Author Black and Blue

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

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

Giveaway-Black and Deep Blue

Sara’s publisher is graciously offering an ebook copy of GOING FOR THE GOAL 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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9. Giveaway runs from February 12-15, 2017

Simon and Schuster

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Highland Vixen (Highland Weddings #2) by Mary Wine-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Highland Vixen (Highland Weddings #2) by Mary Wine-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

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HIGHLAND VIXEN
Highland Weddings #2
by Mary Wine
Release Date:February 7, 2017
Genre: adult, historical, Highland, romance

Highland Vixen

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Books-A-Million / Barnes & Noble / Chapters /Indiebound

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 7 , 2017

Fierce Highland war chief seeks comely lass for fun, frolic, and marriage

Marcus MacPherson is every inch the fearsome Highlander. He’s used to men averting their eyes and women cowering before him. He thinks he’ll eventually settle down with a nice, obedient bride. Instead, he gets Helen Grant… Stubborn as the day is long, fearless and dedicated to raising as much hell as possible, Helen is definitely going to challenge Marcus. And challenge him some more. And then some.

It’s anyone’s guess who’ll win this battle of the heart..

••••••••••••

REVIEW: 5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Another fantastic Highland read by Mary Wine! LOVE LOVE LOVE! 🙂

Highland Vixen by Mary Wine is the second book in her “Highland Weddings” series and it sure lives up to its name. Vixen indeed! We met our leading characters in the previous book of this series called “Highland Spitfire” and while I suppose it is not necessary to read the first book you would miss out on so much back story, which in my opinion makes this book so good as the story continues on! Besides, there are returning characters in Highland Vixen, and I love reading how characters progress in a series after they get their HEA! 🙂

Marcus MacPherson is one studly, “don’t mess with me!”, fierce, scary , hot badass Highlander. He is the war chief of the MacPherson clan, second to his half brother (who happens to be the lead in the first book). He doesn’t mess around, and icky love stuff is the furthest from his mind .. despite the little vixen lass that resides as a “protected prisoner” of sorts in his castle.

Helen Grant is our vixen. She is fierce and bold, smart and very angry at her current living situation. While she has shared a steamy moment with Marcus, Marcus won’t claim her as his, but won’t allow another to step forward safely either. She is at her wits end and only wants to return to her home (which Marcus has threatened to burn if she leave MacPherson land).

Circumstance allows Helen to sneak away, but not without Marcus hot on her trail. When trouble comes about for Marcus, Helen agrees to marry Marcus, but NOT consummate the marriage so she can get an annulment once danger passes. Well Marcus is having none of that and despite the danger that comes knocking and threatens to take all he stands for, he has decided he is keeping Helen married to him at all costs! He is going to consummate this marriage one way or another and keep her forever.

YES, this is as steamy, perfectly angsty with a side of sass as it sounds! I love my Highland men all fierce and demanding, but deeply kind and protective, like Marcus … and my Highland woman full of attitude and courage, yet seriously lovely underneath like Helen. They are a perfect compliment to the other. Mary Wine really weaves some serious SOB villains as well! Ones that give you the creeps deep to your soul. You can almost smell their evil.

This is a perfect love story that carries an adventure that one would expect to find in a really fantastic Highlander story. If you love a good back and forth match between two well written characters then I highly recommend this book. The story line and side characters are a very decadent cherry on this perfect Highland sundae! LOL

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Reviewed by Rachel

Copy supplied by the publisher

 

excerpt

 

“I did nae have me hands on ye at all, lass,” he responded arrogantly. “And I owe me sire a wee bit of an apology for me thinking last evening because his advice is sound.”
She rolled over and over and right off the edge of the huge bed, but her knees were shaky, so she stumbled, grasping one of the posts that held the bed curtains. Marcus was watching her, his grin widening as he took in his effect on her. He was wearing nothing but his shirt, and his member was sticking out in the front of it.
He’d lulled her into a false sense of ease. She realized he was every bit as menacing as ever and had simply waited for his moment to pounce on her.
“Do nae look at me like that, Helen.” Marcus sat up on the side of the bed and watched her move away. “Ye told me yer maidenhead was the only thing ye have left that is yer own, so I pleasured ye without taking it. Is it so hard to think of me as a man who does nae want to act the brute to ye?” He patted the surface of the bed. “I want ye to choose me.”
Did she dare?
Dare was certainly the correct word. He was looking at her, every inch the hardened man she’d faced time and again, and yet there was much more to him now. He was attempting to push inside her, to that place where no one had ever been, to her deepest feelings. However, he was offering her a glimpse at his own in return.
Such a tangle of possibilities.
She looked at the pile of clothing that she’d left on the bench, caught between the need to maintain her pride and the desire to simply let it go in favor of… Well, she wasn’t sure what exactly she’d find in his bed. She ended up looking back toward him, seeking the answer in his eyes.
“Naught to say?” he asked. “There is a first.”
“Oh, for Christ’s sake,” she exclaimed with her hip roll half laced. “There was a time when I knew how to speak kindly. Why do ye needle me until I can nae hold me tongue?”
He flashed her an arrogant grin. “Because I like ye the way ye are, no’ disguising yer nature to appease everyone about ye. Do ye have any idea how long it has been since a lass was honest with me? Since one came to me seeking me, and no’ me position? Ye are not the only one who feels isolated. As War Chief, I must be hard on the young lads, lest they fail to build up enough strength to survive. Smiling at them would be a disservice.”
Sometime during the night, he’d taken the time to pleat his kilt on a table that ran along the side of the bedchamber. His wide belt was already under it. It took only a moment for him to lean back, grasp the sides of the belt, and pull it all around himself. Most men used the floor, but clearly Marcus wanted to be ready, should there be a need to dress in a hurry during the night.
“It fell to me to either take ye or know without a doubt that I’d be sending me own men up against yer brothers because they refused to admit the cattle were ours.” He was buckling a second belt in place to make sure his kilt was secure. “Ye think I enjoyed it?”
“Yes, ye did,” she answered him. “Somewhat, anyhow. Admit it. Yer nature is suited to yer position.”
He offered her a cocky grin. “If ye’ll match me by admitting ye did nae think to notice I do nae always care for what me duty demands of me. That’s the thing about duty. Ye do it because it needs doing and others depend on ye seeing things through.”
“Fairly spoken,” she said softly while pulling her skirts over her head. The waistband caught on her hip roll, and she began to lace the waistband closed. “Ye are no’ a brute.” His smile was widening with victory. “But swine fits well, for ye knew well ye were twisting words last evening to get me into yer bed.”
He chuckled and opened his arms wide. “Taming a vixen requires cunning.”
Helen felt her temper stir at the use of the word taming.


 

 

Guest Post=Black and Red

For me, research is a two part thing. First off is doing the ‘foot work’ so to speak. That’s the researching. You either know that Elizabeth the first was born in 1533 or you don’t. If you intend to set your story in that era, this is information you need to know. Her mother was beheaded and if you want to go deeper, you learn things such as she was given the mercy of a French swordsman for her execution because the ax was often clumsy. Deeper still and you discover that some of the dates she was accused of having adultery were during her lying in, so completely false as her ladies would have been with her.

That’s part one. The dates, the circumstances. I actually love this stuff because for me, after I absorb the dry facts, I start to think about things like…okay, if there was a young daughter attending court, and in service to queen Elizabeth, what would her duties have been? What exactly was a lady in waiting. I would then learn that Elizabeth had ladies of the Bed chamber, of the presence chamber, and one the list goes. The duchess of Norfolk slept on a trundle bed that came out from beneath Elizabeth’s because that’s how close together they lived.

I like to take it all in and craft a book set in the era. Yes, it’s a fantasy story but I want my characters to be people of the time.

A second part of this is something I have done my entire life and that is historical re-enactment. I make the clothing and wear it. I take sword class. Dances that would have been done in Elizabeth’s court? Yes, I know a few. It’s also the little things, like turning bread on a table and trying….grrr….to bake it in an oven that you have to heat up with coals and no yeast during Elizabeth’s era. You learn to hum a tune because there is no music or make sure you are by the fire at night when someone pulls out an instrument.

I love to find little ways to fold all these details into my stories while still letting my charaters fall in love. It’s a challenge and a fun one.

Cheers!
Mary Wine

About The Author Black and Red

Mary WineAcclaimed author Mary Wine has written over 30 works of Scottish Highland romance, romantic suspense and erotic romance. An avid history-buff and historical costumer, she and her family enjoy participating in historical reenactments. Mary lives in Yorba Linda, California with her husband and two sons. Website | Goodreads | Facebook

 

Giveaway-redandblack_zps8ff4dc4b

Mary’s publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of HIGHLAND VIXEN 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. LIKE Mary Wine on Facebook.

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

5. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

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7. Please follow The Reading Cafe on Tumblr

8. Giveaway is open to USA only.

9.. Giveaway runs from February 7-11, 2017

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The Girl at the Bar by Nicholas Nash-Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

THE GIRL AT THE BAR by Nicholas Nash-Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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THE GIRL AT THE BAR
by Nicholas Nash
Release Date: February 1, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, psychological, medical, thriller
The Girl at The Bar

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

RELEASE DATE: February 1, 2017

Rebecca, a brilliant cancer researcher, disappears after a one-night stand with a neurotic man with a questionable past.

Her sudden disappearance in the midst of a high-stakes quest to cure cancer between two rival billionaires sets into motion an inexplicable chain of events as the bodies start to pile up.

No one knows why she disappeared. The race to find answers ensnares everyone around her, one of whom is a deeply disturbed psychopath lurking in the shadows.

Is Rebecca still alive? What happened to her? Who did it? And why? Questions about her vex everyone looking for answers. No one can be trusted and no one is above suspicion

••••••••

REVIEW: THE GIRL AT THE BAR by first time author Nicholas Nash is a stand alone,contemporary, adult, psychological, medical thriller that follows several paths culminating in a decades long vendetta for sins of the past.

Told from several third person points of view using flashbacks, memories, present day and the meanderings of a psychotic mind THE GIRL AT THE BAR is a story of research, hope, devastation, betrayal, murder and revenge. Rebecca Chase is a cancer specialist on the cusp of discovering a possible cure for cancer but hours before her symposium presentation Rebecca goes missing, and the last person to see her, Ragnar Johnson, is a man with a questionable past and Rebecca’s one-night stand. What ensues is a multi-layered investigation looking at several potential suspects that is hindered when a number of Rebecca’s colleagues are murdered within days of her disappearance.

THE GIRL AT THE BAR is a psychological thriller ; a story of intrigue that looks at the competitive side of cancer research; the probabilities of finding a cure; and the potential to save thousands of lives if a cure is to be found. There is an enormous amount of medical detail and technical terminology all relating to finding a cure for the big C but as to its’ authenticity I am not able to confirm the validity of the information presented. The story line also has some questionable means of investigation when a person of interest (aka suspect) is able to uncover more information and clues than the law enforcement or the forensic investigators combined. Similar to many thrillers THE GIRL AT THE BAR contains scenes of graphic violence, blood shed and murder.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including the members of two competing research teams, the medical community, law enforcement and a host of witnesses, suspects, and a computer genius capable of breaking through any computer barrier.

THE GIRL AT THE BAR is an engaging and intriguing story line of suspense. The premise is thrilling; the characters are colorful and animated; the reveal is a surprise you will never see coming.

Copy supplied for review (Netgalley)

Reviewed by Sandy

Guest post-Black and White

Thank you Sandy for covering me on your blog and to all the readers who are taking the time to read this!

My upcoming book is called THE GIRL AT THE BAR. The official release date of the book is February 1, 2017. The book starts off with the disappearance of a top cancer researcher, Rebecca Chase, after she has a one-night stand with someone she meets in a bar. The book is a classic whodunit with a lot of twists and turns. I cover the topic of cancer as a disease and the latest developments in cancer research in the book in a manner that the reader can follow. That said, the book is about people, how they think and how they react in situations.

For the book, I drew inspiration from my own real life experiences in creating settings, characters or story lines. I have met some very interesting people in my life. The characters are composites of several people, borrowing interesting features and creating a character that is completely different from others but at the same time interesting and striking, someone you would like to read about and root for.

Writing a mystery book is a balancing act. I had to hide the facts and create the mystery just enough that the reader does not guess the climax. At the same time, I was leaving behind sufficient clues such that when the reader reaches the end, they feel like it was all there but did not guess it. The fun is to make the reader feel stumped, surprised and excited at the same time. Getting that right balance while writing the mystery is probably the most difficult part.

Overall, I wrote the book trying to keep the reader at the edge right up to the end. I hope readers feel the same way. I enjoyed all the research that went into the book. There are so many small facts and interesting tid bits that I found while doing my research and I strung them all together into the book, be it some obscure facts about cancer, the Chinese underworld in New York or some fancy computer programs that play a key role in the book.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading the book!

About The Author Black and White

Follow: Website / Facebook / Goodreads/ Instagram

From the website:

Hi! I am Nicholas Nash, the author of The Girl At The Bar, a psychological thriller about the mysterious disappearance of a brilliant cancer researcher, Rebecca Chase, and the quest to find what happened to her. The Girl At The Bar has been influenced by numerous events in my life, people I’ve met, interesting stories I’ve heard and places I have traveled to.

I am a simple person at heart who loves reading (“Who doesn’t?”), traveling (“Again, who doesn’t?”), and listening to music (“That’s it Nick! You better write something interesting to bring in the readers. Something unique, like you are a retired Formula One driver who was once a stand-in for Jimmy Page during Led Zeppelin’s last concert.”). I live with this semi-nagging voice inside my head that always wants to talk to me, telling me things I should be doing, thinking about or writing. I don’t always listen to this voice, but I finally decided to give it a chance and we wrote The Girl At The Bar. The book is as much my creation as it is my alter ego’s. If you enjoy the book, my alter ego will very much like to take the credit, thank you. If you don’t, it will be entirely my fault. At least that’s what the voice in my head is telling me right now…

I live in Manhattan in New York City with my wife and three children.

Giveaway -black and white

Nicholas Nash is graciously offering a paper copy to ONE (1) lucky commenter and an ebook copy  to another 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.

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8. ebook giveaway open internationally / paper copy open to USA/Canada only

9.. Giveaway runs from January 29-February 2, 2017

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Releasing the Demons / Black Bullet by L.D. Rose-Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Releasing The Demons / Black Bullet by L. D. Rose-Review, Guest Post and Giveaway

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Black BulletBlack Bullet
The Order of the Senary #2
by L.D. Rose
Release Date: November 9, 2016
Genre: adult, paranormal, romance

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date November 9, 2016

Fledgling vampire Jonathan Kerr has just met his match.

Not even his past life as a former Marine and FBI agent could prepare him for the battle against the monster inside him, struggling to take hold. After an old nemesis of the Senary surfaces in Brooklyn, unleashing chaos and terror in the battered borough, Jon sets out to take him down. Instead, he ends up with far more than he bargained for when he clashes with the beautiful half-vampire hybrid, Lawan Knight.

After escaping near death and suffering unspeakable horror at the hands of vampires, Lawan trusts no one, regardless of species. In between bouts of drunken stupor, her only goal is to exterminate all those who’ve wronged her, including every member of Jon’s vampire bloodline. But Jon’s soulful eyes and quick smile crawls under her skin, transforming her black and white world into a hazy shade of gray.

As the days rapidly grow darker, Jon and Lawan turn to one another, but their inner demons threaten to tear them apart. The only way either of them will survive is if they overcome their greatest fear–

••••••••••

REVIEW:

The second book to what’s turning out to be a really good series.

JJ was a marine, then FBI agent, now he’s a human turned vampire (against his will) and holds a lot of resentment still, but he puts his skills to good use.
He was saved by the Knights (his sister is marrying one) after saving one of the hybrids life.
(There aren’t many good vamps, and JJ finds it hard to come to terms with what he is)

Lawan is a knight, (the hybrids that all live in the same place, have the same father) a hybrid, but she works alone. Something really bad happened in the past, and it shaped her into the killing machine she is today.

Their first meeting is explosive, she literally kicks JJ’s butt, and after leaving him coughing up blood, their next meeting should be just as explosive.

One of the hybrids (Rome) explains that although females were once made into hybrids, they were quickly eradicated. But not all of them, how Lawna slipped through the net gets revealed in the book. But he knows Lawna, and she certainly knows Rome !

The story remains at a fast pace, and like the first book in the series, it’s a graphic but gripping read.
The characters slowly dance around their attraction for each other, JJ feels he doesn’t deserve anyone (who could love a vampire, right?) and Lawna can’t get close to anyone, and certainly not a leech. It would hurt too much to lose anyone else.

There is a sub-plot going on as well, and it’s interesting how the two move along together.

I’m totally hooked on this series, and can’t wait for more.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Julie B.

_____________

Releasing the DemonsReleasing The Demons
The Order of the Senary Series #1
by L.D. Rose
Release Date: August 19, 2015
Genre: adult, paranormal, romance

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

Back cover ……

Blaze Knight has been through hell and back, but the nightmares aren’t over yet.

Five years after Blaze was maimed by Cyrus Chimola, a powerful vampire with a penchant for torture, he’s still trying to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. As a genetically engineered mercenary with the ability to bend fire to his will and to see in infrared, Blaze’s mission is to protect what’s left of humanity. When Chimola and his crew return to the Bronx gunning for Blaze’s blood, Blaze is forced to face the demons of his past. Hell-bent on revenge, he seeks the help of Valerie Medeiros, an NYPD detective who manages to steal his heart and save his life in more ways than one.

Motivated by her sister’s gruesome death, Valerie has made it her life’s goal to bury every vampire in the ground where they belong. When she brings in Blaze Knight for suspected murder, she discovers he’s not only innocent, he isn’t a man at all–he’s a half-vampire hybrid working with a band of brothers for the U.S. military. Valerie has a hard time trusting anything with fangs, yet she quickly falls headlong into Blaze’s life, a life full of darkness and horror she can’t even begin to fathom. The bodies are stacking up, but Valerie can’t seem to let go of this hybrid, a beautiful monster filled with pain, rage, and passion unlike anything she’s ever known.

In a world where the line between good and evil is blurred, Blaze and Valerie will find danger at every turn, risking everything they’ve come to know and love, including one another.

••••••••••••

REVIEW:

G-Fusion project ……

Human embryos were fertilised with vampire DNA, then placed back in human women to gestate.

The experiments were deemed wrong, and the hybrids were eradicated. (Or so humanity thought) Blaze and his group of “brothers” (different mothers, same father) protect their world, the only only way they know how …..

The hybrids all have hidden talents, fire makers, healers, ice makers and telepathy, to name a few of their talents.

Blaze can generate his own heat internally and from his hands he can produce flames. A film of opal colours covers his eyes and he can only see in infrared, which is great for tracking the vampires, but otherwise useless in everyday life, so he has to wear sunglasses all the time. Tortured until he wished for death, he was rescued by one of his brothers. And now he seeks revenge on the master vampire who captured and tortured him.

Valerie is a cop with a grudge, after losing her little sister to vampires, she’s made it her duty to protect the people of her town against these things, but it’s a battle they aren’t winning.

The vampire came out to the world (years ago) and now they rule the night, the humans live in fear, populations of cities were wiped out, and vampires claimed the cities as their own. Even daylight isn’t safe, as they can use minions to do their bidding during the day.

Blaze and Valerie meet up after she arrests him for the murder of a girl he was sleeping with. But after meeting him, she knows he didn’t do it, but there is something about him that isn’t right. He smokes (but no visible lighter) and he won’t take off his sunglasses, and all those tats, it means he’s either a gang member or something else. And Valerie wants to find out more……

At first she is very wary and doesn’t trust Blaze, and once she meets his brothers, her fears aren’t laid to rest.

Blaze is intrigued with the female detective, and after he is released, he realises she maybe able to help him find his lovers killer, but he already has an idea who it might be.

And as the story goes along, we have a sub-plot (don’t want to give too much away) but it’s one of the reasons Blaze is targeted by his old adversary, and I have a feeling it could be in a few other stories that come along.

The story doesn’t stop, lots of action, and very well written, it flows smoothly from one scene to another.

Blaze is a hybrid trying to redeem his past, and Valerie wants justice. Will she run when she truly knows what a monster he is ? Or will she through him and see the hybrid that hides behind the scars and sunglasses ?

Hoping all the hybrids get a book and can’t wait to dive into the next one …..

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Julie B

excerpt

 

Jon only had time to take a single breath before a dark boot materialized in front of his face, the heel aiming straight for his throat. He snatched it before it made contact and twisted hard, thrusting it away from him. The limb yielded beneath his grip as his attacker collapsed beside him, metal clattering nearby. He levered to his feet, pulling a KA-BAR from his boot as pain lit up his nerves, setting his teeth on edge. His attacker was already standing, the blade of a gorgeous double-edged Kris sword pointed at his throat.
Holy shit.His opponent was female, wearing a slim-fitting black battle uniform and carrying enough artillery to outfit a small army. Her jet-black hair was tied in a long braid and a black mask covered the lower half of her face. Her dark, almond-shaped eyes revealed her Asian heritage, her skin the color of caramel. A scabbard stretched across her back, strapped to her chest, along with the M16 she’d used to tear up the warehouse.

Jon took a step back, but she didn’t hesitate, launching at him with the blade. Metal clashed and sparks flew as he parried the long sword’s quicksilver arcs with his dagger. Although she limped from her injured leg, her strikes were hard, fast, and precise, each blow intended to kill. He nearly tripped over the pirate’s body as she backed him against the wall of the refinery, and he ducked as the blade screeched along the brick.

Before Jon straightened, he jabbed the butt of his KA-BAR into her knee and she yelped, stumbling backward. He slashed at her and caught nothing but air as she lurched away from him. She swung the Kris at his head and he raised the KA-BAR to engage and bind the sword. Both of their weapons trembled as their eyes locked on one another across the tangle of deadly metal.

And as her smoldering gaze drilled into him, he smelled it.

Dama de Noche.

The Lady of the Night, a nocturnal blooming flower he’d first smelled years ago in Nepal, when he was a human soldier. The scent was unmistakable, underlying the incense of vampire. The stench of leech didn’t belong to her, but the floral aroma was all her own.

She’s not a vampire.

Stunned by the revelation, Jon wavered, and she quickly took advantage of him. She sidestepped and lunged at him, sinking the blade in his shoulder. He shouted, dropping his KA-BAR as pain erupted from his dominant limb. Moving lightning fast, she yanked the blade out and sliced an arc across his chest. Luckily, she only scored his Kevlar, and as the sword swooped around again, Jon caught it with his gloved hands, silver biting into leather.

“You’re a hybrid,” he ground out. “I’m on your side!”

She pushed hard against him, drawing blood. “Bullshit.” Her voice was a rich contralto, edged with a growl. “You reek of Temhota.”

The Dama drew back and chopped at his belly, but Jon blocked her with his forearms, metal jarring against his bones. Finally, he managed to kick the blade out of her grip and it spun away, clattering to the ground. She somersaulted backward to retrieve it, but Jon caught hold of her braid in mid-air and wrenched on it. She cried out and landed face-first on the pavement, her breath audibly whooshing from her throat.

Jon wound her braid around his hand like a rope and straddled her, pinning her down. He tore the M16 off and tossed it as she writhed beneath him, fighting hard. Yanking her head up, he leaned close to her ear. “I’m not your enemy,” he hissed.

Her already shallow breath quickened and her struggles intensified, her sweet scent pumping from her pores in cloying waves. Panic. Fear. Restraining her like this completely terrified her.

Jon let up, knowing it was a mistake, but the shred of humanity still left in him couldn’t resist. The Dama slammed the crown of her head into his face and his retinas exploded in a staggering palette of reds, whites, and grays. His nose caved in, but not so far as to bury the bony shards into his brain. Blood poured out of him like a leaky faucet as he fell back, propping himself up on the wall of the refinery.

She was on him in an instant, chopping the edge of a flat hand into his trachea before smashing a fist in his ear. She wobbled to her feet as he struggled desperately to breathe—remember Jon, you don’t have to—and she gave him a vicious kick to his solar plexus, doubling him over. The pain was terrific, a cacophony of agony echoing from every corner of his body.

Jesus Christ, she was beating the shit out of him.

The Dama stood there, shaking, the fabric of her fallen mask fluttering to the ground. Jon blinked, trying to clear his blurred vision as she picked up her sword. He stole a glimpse of her face as she flung the mask up with the blade and caught it. A tattoo marked her cheek, the black symbol unmistakable but jagged, as if she’d thrashed during the process.

The same mark he’d painted on his chest lay branded on her face—the emblem of the Temhota.

Jon yanked down the neckline of his shirt, much like he had with the pirate, but this time he wiped at the mark, smearing it. The Dama paused in front of him, eyes narrowed, a gash marring her forehead. Even with the mark of his enemy on her face, she was breathtaking, and he didn’t have much breath left to spare.

“Not real,” he said past swollen lips, lifting trembling fingers stained with both paint and blood. “No mark.”

“But you are a leech.” She pointed the serpentine blade at the hollow of his throat.

He nodded, swallowing iron. “I work with the Senary. I used to . . . I used to be human. I’m not what you think I am.”

“You stink of them.” Her lip curled in a snarl.

He nodded again, every muscle in his body screaming. “Because I’m one of them. Yet I’m not.”

Brilliant. Maybe a few of those bony shards made their way into his brain after all.

She flipped the sword deftly and held it in a two-handed grip, the sin qua non of impending decapitation. Her dark eyes didn’t have the cat-like gleam signature to vampires, but hate and anger bled through them anyway.

“Makes no difference to me.”


 

 

Guest Post black and purple

A Gritty Gotham by L.D. Rose

First, I’d like to say thank you for featuring me on your blog!

My name is Linda (writing as L.D. Rose) and I’m a doctor by day and author of dark PNR/UF by night. Today I’ll be talking about the world I created in The Order of The Senary series and my inspiration for the setting in the current books, RELEASING THE DEMONS and BLACK BULLET.

Although both novels are dark paranormal romances, they’re very heavy on urban fantasy, likely influenced for my love of all things gritty and metropolitan. This series takes place in the alternate present, in a dystopian New York City. I adore NYC and lived just north of the Big Apple during my medical school training. The sights and sounds of 469 square miles of concrete populated by 8.5 million people inspired me in so many ways, from the gothic architecture to the people watching to the visions of “what if?” What if vampires finally rose out of the darkness and attacked all of the major cities in the world? Where would humans run, hide, and would they fight back? How would they handle this evolutionary shift in power?

And hence, the premise for these crazy stories bloomed.

The Order of The Senary is one of a few groups of hybrid mercenaries genetically engineered by the U.S. government to exterminate vampires. Being half vampire themselves, they all undergo a constant battle between the monster and human inside them. Although they were socialized with humans as children, they grew up on military bases, trained to hone their powers (or the “side effects” of their hybridization, like pyrokinesis, telekinesis, and shapeshifting to name a few) and to become lethal killers. The psychological and physical trauma they endure is intense, but it’s all for the “greater good” of the human race. Taught to despise all things fanged (besides their own brothers), their love for their fellow man knows no bounds, but they’re banned from developing intimate relationships with others.

Until they each meet their own illicit partner, whether human, vampire, or something else entirely. 😉

Want to learn more? Check out the first novel, RELEASING THE DEMONS, available at all Amazon stores in both print and eBook. The second novel, BLACK BULLET, just released last month and I’m thrilled to share this vision of a dark world where love, brotherhood, and loyalty is the best means of survival.

Hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for stopping by!

Black Bullet teaser

About The Author

L.D. RoseL.D. Rose is a neurotic physician by day, crazed writer by night, and all around wannabe superhero. She writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but she’s been known to delve into horror, sci-fi, and medical suspense on occasion. L.D. Rose is a PAN member of the RWA, FF&P, NEC-RWA and CoLoNY. She currently lives in Rhode Island with her studly hubby, her hyperactive boxer, and her two devious cats.

Sign up for her newsletter for the latest on the Senary, sneak peeks, giveaways, and other fun stuff: http://eepurl.com/bKvuXD. You’ll receive a free horror short story with sign-up!

You can also join her street team on FB for more shenanigans. 😉 DEVOUR THE NIGHT: https://www.facebook.com/groups/15447…

Where else to find her:

Website: www.writerldrose.com
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/ldrose
Facebook: www.facebook.com/writerldrose
Author page: www.facebook.com/ldroseauthorpage
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ld_rose
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/ldrose
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/writerldrose
Tumblr: www.writerdoc.tumblr.com
Book Bub: www.bookbub.com/authors/l-d-rose

giveaway

L.D. Rose is offering an ecopy of book one RELEASING THE DEMONS in The Order of the Senary Series to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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

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3. LIKE L.D. Rose on Facebook

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8. Giveaway open Internationally

9.. Giveaway runs from December 27-31, 2016

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Break of Day by Mari Madison – Review & Giveaway

Break of Day by Mari Madison – Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

 

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Break of DayAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM / The Book Depository

Description:
There’s a chance of a heat wave for the crew at News 9 San Diego…
 
Asher Anderson is an amazing surfer—with a body to match—but he’s pretty much the world’s worst weatherman. He’d prefer to catch the perfect swells in the morning so he tapes his forecasts in advance—it never rains much in San Diego anyway. The suits at News 9, however, would love to fire him, but since he’s the son of the station owner, they’ll just have to get creative…
 
Piper Strong thinks she’s scored her dream job when she’s promoted to weather producer. Glorified babysitter is more like it—she’s now responsible for bringing Asher back to shore. The problem is she’s afraid of the water, and she wasn’t counting on her growing attraction to Asher. But if Piper can just weather this storm, she’ll be able to carve out a career to be proud of—and maybe even a place in her heart for love….

 

Review:

Break of Day by Mari Madison is the 2nd book in her Exclusive Romance series.  Having read the first book in this series, Just This Night, I wasn’t sure how this book would continue with the TV News background  theme.  Gladly, I loved Break of Day and the wonderful characters Mari Madison has created.

Piper Strong is our heroine, and a good friend of Beth (our previous heroine).  Piper is counting on a promotion at News 9 to give her career a boost, and is devastated when someone less deserving is given the promotion.  Piper also has a phobia of the ocean, and at Beth’s wedding on the beach with the ocean so close, it will be Asher Anderson, who will come to her rescue. Asher is our hero, and the News 9 weatherman.  Asher is also the playboy son of the TV station’s owner.  Asher finds himself attracted to Piper, not to mention curious as to why she has a fear of the ocean, since he is a surfer.  Piper tries to stay clear of Asher, as his reputation precedes itself.  Asher learns about Piper losing the job she counted on and the following day, she is called to the producer’s office with a promotion to be a producer for the weather, and writing scripts for Asher. 

What follows is a friendship that will turn into a sweet romance.  It was a slow build romance, since each of them had their own issues.  Asher’s mom is demanding and wants him to be with a high society girl, and will stop at nothing to ensure Asher does not become serious with Piper. Piper comes from a poor family, with a mother who is a drug addict, not to mention uses her daughter for money. Despite each of their issues and different backgrounds, both Asher and Piper find themselves falling in love, with each willing to do whatever is necessary to help the other, even if it means pulling away.

Besides this sweet fun romance, the story was very well written by Madison, with a number of different and interesting subjects.  Piper worked off hours helping homeless children, especially a young troubled boy.  Asher, having met the children, will train the boy how to surf, which leads to something that he enjoys as a possible change to the better for his future.  Piper’s phobia of the Ocean; Asher’s mother;   and Piper’s mother are also subjects that make this story fun to read.  Most of all, I loved Asher and Piper together, as they were a wonderful couple.   If you enjoy a sweet romance, great couple, TV News theme, and family turmoil, than I suggest you read Break of Day.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

guest post

Ever since I was a teen myself I’ve been a fan of John Hughes films. From Breakfast Club to Some Kind of Wonderful, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to Sixteen Candles.

But it’s Pretty in Pink that gets me every time. A simple story about a poor girl and a rich boy – and how their class differences make it almost impossible to get together, despite how much they like one another.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. She should have chosen Duckie. Jon Cryer really stole the show with his loveable dork character that’s stood the test of time. 

But let’s put Duckie on the back burner for a moment. Cool as he is, he’s also kind of a distraction to the real issue Hughes was trying to explore in the film. Namely whether two people can overcome class differences and have a chance at a real relationship.

It would have been easy to make Andie a bit of a loser. But she’s actually not if you watch the film closely. She’s poor. She has a lot of family issues. But she’s cool in her own way, even if she doesn’t quite realize it. She works in a record store. She goes clubbing with her friends. She’s just as cool in her circle as Blaine is in his.

And what I think Hughes does really well, though people miss it because they’re so focused on Duckie, is that Andie’s friends are just as mean to Blaine – if not more so – than Blaine’s friends are to Andie. The rich kids don’t want him to date a poor girl. But the poor kids really don’t like this rich dude encroaching on their territory either.

With Break of Day, I wanted to explore this trope – rich boy, poor girl – in much the same way. Piper has had all the disadvantages in life. Her mother is an addict, she’s grown up in foster care, she’s had to deal with the tragic death of her brother—which may or may not have been her fault. Any one of those things could destroy a person. But Piper refuses to let them crush her. If anything it only makes her more determined to break free of her past and become her own person. And Asher can’t help but admire this, even if he can’t personally relate to her problems, having grown up rich and privileged.

But Asher has issues of his own. Which he disparagingly dismisses as “First World Problems” even though they are anything but. Even though he’s suffered just as much as Piper in different ways, it’s hard for anyone to sympathize, due to his economic advantage. It takes someone like Piper to see the true pain in his heart. Pain that can’t be solved by writing a check.

We don’t know what happened to Blaine and Andie after the prom. Whether their class differences eventually became too much or if they stayed together for the long haul. But I like to think of them having a happy ending, just as Piper and Asher are able to do in Break of Day. Shutting out the noise and staying true to their feelings. Realizing love is far better than gold.  

 

 

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Mari’s publisher is offering a paper copy of BREAK OF DAY to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

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

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

3. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

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

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

6. Please LIKE Mari Madison on FACEBOOK.

7. Giveaway is open to USA only

8. Giveaway runs from August 26 to August 29, 2016

 

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For The Win ( Perfect Play #1) by Sara Rider-Review,Guest Post & Giveaway

For the Win (Perfect Play #1) by Sara Rider-Review,Guest Post & Giveaway

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FOR THE WIN
The Perfect Play #1
by Sara Rider
Genre: adult, contemporary, sports, romance
Release Date: June 6, 2016

For the Win

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

About the book: Release Date June 6, 2016

Lainey Lukas has sacrificed everything—sleep, family, carbs, a life—to earn her spot as the top player and captain of the Seattle Falcons women’s soccer team. She’s determined to lead her team to a national championship and finally earn the sport the respect it deserves—and nothing will throw her off her game. When Lainey’s hero Gabe Havelak, star of the Seattle Surge, crashes her team’s first press conference—making the Falcons look like a joke to the local media and humiliating Lainey in the process—she’s hell-bent on revenge.

Charming, confident Gabe is practically a god to Seattle soccer fans, but he doesn’t mind a little friendly competition from tough-as-nails Lainey, with her top-notch athletic skills, her mile-long legs, and her girl-next-door freckles. But when he learns the Falcons are booting the Surge from their coveted practice space to the notoriously cursed Cricket Field, those warm feelings give way to crippling superstition. With his contract up for renewal and his thirty-fourth birthday just weeks away, Gabe will risk anything to protect his position with the Surge.

The rivals agree to settle their differences in a Battle of the Sexes competition—a test of skills, fitness, and willpower. At first the situation seems win-win: Gabe gets the chance to earn back the Surge’s practice space, and Lainey’s team will finally get some much-deserved media attention. But as the friction between them becomes hot enough to spark and smolder, Lainey and Gabe are entering new territory—and with both of their careers on the line, love might just be the toughest opponent of all.

•••••••••

REVIEW: As the blurb states, Lainey has sacrificed a lot for her love of soccer. She was on the team that won the World Cup, but a devastating injury left her battling her way back and into top form. When she and her new team hold their first press conference, things don’t go quite as planned. She hates talking to the press and that is exacerbated when Gabe crashes the press conference. He’s a media darling and has the smooth charm that immediately wins anyone and everyone over, except for Lainey. Even though she’s a huge fan of his, she’s determined to bring him and his team down a notch…..or three.

When the owner of both teams (yes, the same man owns both teams) does not like what he saw on the news, he calls them both in. However, when Lainey arrives, she had no idea Gabe had been called in as well. Her heart sinks but she’s not going to take the tongue lashing lightly. As Gabe tries to soothe things over, she stands up for herself and her team, much to everyone’s surprise. The resulting plan that is a battle of the sexes, which both are determined to win. What follows is something neither ever expected. With careers on the line, will they be able fight their growing attraction to each other and do what’s best for their respective teams? Will their feelings for each other be enough for them to conquer old superstitions and forge a path that is beneficial for them all? Well, of course they will. This is a romance, after all. But, oh, what a read it is!

For the Win is a nicely written story by Sara Rider. Lainey is as strong and determined as she is stubborn. The way she leads her team and conducts herself makes her a worthy young woman. The way she guards her heart, or tries to, not only makes her believable, it makes her vulnerable. But, not in a bad way. Then, there’s Gabe. He has to work very hard to overcome his woman-chasing reputation in order to get Lainey to give him a chance. He’s very protective of everyone around him, but his interaction with his family, as well as Lainey, will make you swoon. When I first started this book, I was like….meh… But, a funny thing happened on my way to the end of the book. I absolutely fell in love with these characters. The way Rider lets you see their thoughts (told from dual POVs) was intriguing. I found myself not being able to turn the pages fast enough. No, it’s not a pulse pounding thriller, but it IS a wonderfully written romance about a boy and a girl who decide to throw caution to the wind, give in to their desires and see what can be. The secondary characters were well written as well. This book was funny, sexy and left you feeling like you actually knew the main characters. This was the first I’ve read by Sara Rider, but it will NOT be the last. If you’re looking for a fast, smart and sexy read, you cannot go wrong with this one! Well done, Sara Rider! Very well done!

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Vickie M

Guest Post beige

Developing the Heroine

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

Hello and thank you for having me on your blog today!

Soccer is one of the few sports in North America where the top female are arguably much more successful than their male counterparts – the US Women’s National Team have won the World Cup and Olympics multiple times – yet receive a fraction of the prestige, income and media attention. The financial rewards and glory are substantial for male soccer players, but some of the best female soccer players in the country can’t afford to play pro soccer without taking on second jobs or making huge financial sacrifices. This is a dynamic that has always captivated me and what inspired the character of Lainey Lukas in my novel For The Win.

Lainey is a character who pushes herself to the extreme in order to achieve her dreams simply because she loves the game more than anything else in the world. She is stubborn, fiercely independent and driven to a fault, to the point where even her own teammates sometimes find it difficult to relate to her. As a writer, her character fascinated me, but it also challenged me to find a way to make her sympathetic. The easy road would have been to soften her edges, but it was important to me to make her as honest and authentic as possible.

Rather than portray Lainey’s single-minded drive simply as a flaw, I wanted it to be the very thing that makes Gabe Havelak, the hero, fall in love with her. As a successful athlete himself, Gabe deeply respects her work ethic and determination but finds her curious at the same time. In many ways, they are opposite sides of the same coin – Lainey is adamant that hard work is the only variable she can control whereas Gabe believes that luck has played a huge role in his success. Matching Lainey with someone as laid-back and charming as Gabe was a way for me as writer to peel back her layers and find out what really makes her tick.

The fun part of writing a character like Lainey is that her journey isn’t just about falling love. Her struggle to connect with her new teammates on the Seattle Falcons is a huge part of the book, and allowed for the lighter moments in the story. Having to build a brand new team in a new league from the ground up means Lainey can’t just rely on herself anymore. She has to find a way to work with a group of women who have been her opponents and competitors in the past. Ultimately, developing a bond with her teammates is what gives Lainey the confidence to open herself up to love.

That’s the story of how Lainey Lukas came to be. I hope you enjoy reading about her as much as I enjoyed writing her!

~~Sara~~

 

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Sara’s publisher is offering an ecopy of FOR THE WIN to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

IMPORTANT: The  ebook download will NOT work with a Kindle e-reader

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 follow Sara Rider on Twitter.

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

5. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

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

7. Please follow The Reading Cafe on Tumblr

8. Giveaway is open to USA only. The download will NOT work with Kindle e-reader.

9. Giveaway runs from June 4 to June 8, 2016

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Deep Dark by Laura Griffin – Review & Giveaway

Deep Dark by Laura Griffin – Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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DEEP DARK
Tracers #10
by Laura Griffin
Release Date: May 24, 2016
Genre: mystery, suspense

 

Deep DarkAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM / The Book Depository

Description:
The moment detective Reed Novak steps onto the crime scene, he knows the case is going to rock his world. A beautiful young woman murdered at home. No sign of forced entry. No motive. She’s obviously not the killer’s first victim, and Reed’s instincts tell him she won’t be his last. Reed’s first clue comes via a mysterious text that links to a dating profile, but even more intriguing than the clue is the person who sent it.

As a white-hat hacker in the Delphi Center’s cyber investigation unit, Laney Knox sneaks into some of the deepest, darkest corners of the Internet looking for predators. Laney would prefer to stay away from Austin PD’s most recent murder case, but she can’t ignore the chilling similarities between that crime and her own brutal attack years ago. Laney offers to help the sexy lead detective, but he wants more from her than just a promising tip—Reed wants her trust. Laney resists, but as their relationship deepens she’s tempted to reveal the closely guarded secrets that could make her a key witness…or the killer’s next victim.

 

 

Review:

Deep Dark by Laura Griffin is the 10th book in her wonderful Tracers series.  This is a series that though they do have recurring characters that are part of the Tracers team, it does read very well as a standalone.  The Delphi Center, which is private, specializes in elite experts in all aspects of foresenics, which help the police or FBI to solve difficult crimes, such as serial killers.   Deep Dark revolves around Laney Knox, a member of the Delphi Center’s cyber investigative unit and detective Reed Novak. 

The story starts three years earlier, when Laney wakes up in the middle of the night hearing a possible burglar.  Someone with a ski mask jumps her, but Laney is able to escape from being raped or killed.  Jump to the present, where Laney now works for the Delphi Center as a computer expert who is able to hack into any system to help find clues. When a young woman is brutally murdered, Laney finds herself unable to not get involved.  She tries to help finding some clues for the police to use, and meets the lead detective, Reed.  Even though he isn’t too keen on her becoming involved in his case, he learns quickly that she is very good at what she does.  Reed also finds himself becoming attracted to her, but shies away, since he is 39 to her 24.  Reed also senses that Laney is hiding something, as she seems to be taking this case personally.

With help from Laney, and some other members of Delphi, Reed begins to suspect there is a serial murderer on the loose.  Clues from other murders of young women from recent and years past start showing up.  Together, Reed and Laney will work to try and find the culprit, but are stymied at every turn, even when they get close, they are too late.  In time, Reed who has become involved with Laney, despite his better judgment, finds out the truth of what happened to Laney years before and why she stubbornly insists to help.  The clues of the murderer have so many similarities to her attacker.  The romance between Laney and Reed was really nice, as I loved them together.   Griffin does a wonderful job of giving us a very nice romance, but not letting it overtake the story.

What follows is a very exciting tense emotional story, where finding one victim leads to the discovery of more of the same over the last few years.   Reed will push to find the killer before another murder takes place, but it will be Laney who will find the clues.  Laney will find herself in danger, forcing Reed to race to save her.  Griffin had us holding our breaths throughout the story, and managed to keep us in the dark as to who the killer was; there was a surprising twist I did not see. As always, I love the main characters of each story, and Deep Dark was no different. Besides Reed, Laney, the Delphi members we have met previously, I enjoyed Jay, Veronica and Jordan.  Laura Griffin has once again given us another thriller, which is so well written with allowing us to see what goes on behind the scenes to find a murderer.  If you enjoy suspense, mystery, fast paced, forensics, great romance and bad villains to catch, then the Tracers series is a must.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

Guest post-White and RedSummer Bucket List by Laura Griffin

 

Summer will fly by if you don’t get out there and seize the moment! Check out these 11 ideas to add to your summer bucket list:

  1. Get new flip-flops. A little gift for your feet will put you in the summer spirit.
  2. Take a road trip. This is one of those things people always talk about, but never do. This summer just pick a destination and hop in the car! If you’re short on time, go for the day and discover a new lunch place along the way.
  3. Visit a national park. Some of the most beautiful spots in the world are within America’s 59 national parks. To find one in your area visit https://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm
  4. Go skinny dipping. Not necessarily in the national park…
  5. Make s’mores. Marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate. It’s that simple! If you don’t have a campfire site handy, the grille works, too.
  6. Plan a girls’ (or guys’) night out. Round up your friends and try a new place together, such as a beer garden or a café with a patio.
  7. Taka a yoga class. Especially if you think you don’t have time. Your mind and body will thank you.
  8. Catch an action flick. This summer’s list includes X-Men Apocalypse, The Legend of Tarzan, Ghostbusters and (my personal favorite) Jason Bourne.
  9. Try star gazing. It’s free! Sites such as stardate.org can help you find a good time. This summer’s Perseid Meteor Shower will peak around August 11.
  10. Go on a picnic.
  11. Read a romance novel. Trust me on this one. You’ll be glad you did!

 

Giveaway

Laura’s publisher is offering a paper copy of DEEP DARK to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

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

NOTE: if you are having difficulty commenting after logging in, please refresh the page at the top of your computer. This should alleviate the difficulty.

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3. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

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

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6. Follow LAURA GRIFFIN on Facebook.

7. Giveaway is open to USA only

8. Giveaway runs from May 24 – 28, 2016

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Sour Grapes (Blue Plate #2) by Rachel Goodman- Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

SOUR GRAPES (Blue Plate #2) by Rachel Goodman-Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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SOUR GRAPES
Blue Plate #2
by Rachel Goodman
Release Date: May 23, 2016
Genre: adult, contemporary, romance

Sour Grapes

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

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 23, 2016

Margaret Stokes is bitter. And not in the robust fine wine or tangy dark chocolate kind of way. She just got dumped, is fed up with her job as a glorified party-planner for the rich, and can’t possibly listen to one more veiled insult from her impossible-to-please mother. So she retreats to the comfort of her grandmother’s ramshackle bed and breakfast, where the wide open vineyards are filled with surprises, from the shockingly delicious wine to the aggravating yet oh-so-tempting man who makes it.

Ryan Camden’s easy approach to life encourages Margaret to loosen up and have a little fun, despite her better judgment. She resists the urge to micromanage every detail, embracing the welcome distractions of her surroundings and letting their relationship unfold at a natural rhythm. But when a health scare forces Grammy J to give up the B&B, Margaret begins to wonder if Ryan really is the man he promises—and whether the problems she tried so hard to escape ever really went away.

•••••••••

REVIEW: SOUR GRAPES is the second installment in Rachel Goodman’s contemporary, adult SOUR GRAPES romance series. This is Texas winery owner/vintner Ryan Camden, and party planner Margaret Stokes’s story line. SOUR GRAPES can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Some of the characters from book one FROM SCRATCH cross over including Margaret’s ex-boyfriend Nick Preston whose actions, months earlier, set Margaret off on her adventure. SOUR GRAPES picks up following the events of book one.

Told from first person point of view (Margaret) SOUR GRAPES focuses on acerbic snob Margaret Stokes-a woman who finds herself on the run from family, so-called friends, and a thriving party planning business. Margaret is struggling with who she is, and what it is she wants from life. Months earlier Margaret was dumped by her boyfriend Nick for another woman-his ex Lillie-and things have gone down hill ever since. Without thinking, Margaret embarks on a journey where landing at her Grandmother’s struggling B&B finds our heroine battling with the local bad boy, and owner of the profitable local winery- Ryan Camden. What ensues is a building relationship between Margaret and Ryan, and the reevaluation of one woman’s life.

Wow, Margaret Stokes is a piece of work. I don’t know if I have ever met a heroine of whom I disliked to the extent that I considered DNFing. Not only is Margaret a snob, a condescending, caustic, judgmental b*tch but her so-called friends up the anti by ten fold. But I must say that Margaret comes by her attitude naturally once we meet her highbrow mother-a woman literally torn from Satan’s womb. In the early stages of the story line Margaret’s ability to put people down is nothing short of rude, destructive, patronizing and egotistic but her building relationship with Ryan, and the local townsfolk, find our heroine softening around the edges as love begins to enfold her heart. It is Ryan’s proclamation of love and plans for their future that sets Margaret off on another temperamental tirade of irrational accusations and name calling that finds our couple walking in opposite directions.

SOUR GRAPES is a well written, entertaining and engaging storyline once you ‘see’ beyond the heroine’s attitude and behavior. Ryan is a man who has fallen for the mercurial Margaret and finds himself falling in love when neither one expected anything beyond the present. The premise is passionate; the characters are animated and dynamic; the romance is intimate and seductive.

Click HERE for Sandy’s review of FROM SCRATCH book 1 by Rachel Goodman

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Guest Post

Researching the Premise of SOUR GRAPES

Thank you so much for having me back at The Reading Café!

Prior to and during the writing of SOUR GRAPES, I made several visits to Fredericksburg, a quaint town in the heart of Texas Hill Country that President Lyndon Johnson once referred to as “a special corner of God’s real estate.” In Fredericksburg, Main Street is lined with antique stores, art galleries, bed and breakfasts, and bakeries, and the surrounding area is filled with rolling hills, grassy pastures, and row after row of vineyards.

Fredericksburg was settled in the mid-1800’s by German immigrants whose culture can still be felt in and around town today, from the 19th-century vernacular buildings of stone and fachwerk—a traditional German building technique consisting of heavy timber framing and diagonal bracing, with an infill of limestone—to the German flags placed outside the Auslander Beirgarten and Der Lindenbaum restaurant.

And while Texas may not be the destination most people think of for spectacular wine, I’d say those people are missing out. Over the last decade, Texas Hill Country wineries have evolved significantly, relying on grape varietals that grow well in Spain and the Mediterranean and not trying to model their wines after those found in California or the Pacific Northwest. Wineries in and around Fredericksburg are proud of being big, bold, and hospitable like Texas itself.

Take Becker Vineyards for example, whose wines are award-winning and produced of only Texas-grown fruit. Established in 1992, it’s one of the oldest Hill Country wineries and the third largest in Texas. The property is filled with vineyards, lavender fields, a tasting room, and the winery. Becker Vineyards is the real-life embodiment of Camden Cellars, Ryan’s winery that plays a major role in SOUR GRAPES.

Perdernales Cellars—with wines that are robust, nuanced, and delicious—was the inspiration for nearly every wine mentioned in SOUR GRAPES—Reckless Love, Wild Abandon, and No Holds Barred. Set off the main drag of Wine Road 290, Perdernales Cellars is known for its Spanish and Rhone-style wines and its commitment to Texas fruit—about half their grapes are grown on the property while others are grown in different areas of the state. Just a taste of their Texas Tempranillo Reserve is worth the visit to Fredericksburg.

But it’s not just the Tempranillo that makes a trip to Fredericksburg well worth it. It’s the people, the relaxed vibe, and the hidden treasures that make it worth the trip south. But, if your summer travel plans are set and made, you can grab a little slice of Southern Texas charm in SOUR GRAPES to hold you over until next year.

~~Rachel~~

About the author

Follow: Goodreads / Website / Facebook / Twitter

Rachel GoodmanRachel is a mojito lover, cheese enthusiast, wanderluster, book junkie, romance writer, and an enginerd. She is a Colorado native displaced in Texas and an engineer and university professor. When she’s not creating optimization models or traveling the world, eating her way through city after city, she is usually tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up stories and typing away on the computer. She lives in suburbia Dallas with her husband and two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Oliver Pancake and Rigby Peanut. FROM SCRATCH is her first novel.

giveaway

Rachel and her publisher are offering an ebook copy of SOUR GRAPES to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

NOTE: The ebook copy will not work with Kindle ebook readers.

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

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

NOTE: If you are having difficultly commenting after logging into the site, please refresh the page at the top of the computer.

3. Please LIKE and Follow Rachel Goodman on Facebook

4. Please FOLLOW The Reading Cafe on TSU

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

6. FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

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

8. Giveaway open to international

9. Giveaway runs from May 22 to 26, 2016

 

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