Friday, September 30, 2016

Blythe: Schemes Gone Amiss by Collette Cameron

Title:  Blythe:  Schemes Gone Amiss
Series:  Conundrums of the Misses Culpepper #2
Author:  Collette Cameron
Publication Date:  February 1/16 by Blue Rose Romance LLC.
Length:  179pgs
Genre:  regency romance
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★★
Book Links: Goodreads - Amazon.com - Amazon.ca - B&N - Kobo - Indigo - Google Play - Audible
Back Cover Blurb:

Is his honor more important than winning her heart?
Intrepid and outspoken, Blythe Culpepper is dragged against her will to London for a Season. To her dismay, her guardian enlists the devilishly attractive Lord Leventhorpe, the one man she detests, to assist with her Come Out. Since their first encounter, hostile looks and cutting retorts have abounded whenever they meet, yet she cannot deny the way her body reacts when he’s near. So perhaps it’s no surprise that upon overhearing another woman scheming to entrap Tristan into marriage, Blythe risks all to warn him.

Haunted by childhood trauma, Tristan, the austere and controlled Marquis of Leventhorpe, usually avoids social gatherings. So why, against his better judgement, does he agree to aid his closet friend in presenting the Culpeppers to the ton? Might it be because one Culpepper stirs more than his interest? Blythe taxes him to his limits with her sharp wit and even sharper tongue. Yet, he cannot deny the beauty fascinates him.

However, when an old enemy comes calling, using Blythe to settle old scores, Tristan must decide if protecting his honor is more important than winning the heart of the woman he has come to love.

My Review:

Flimflam and goose-butt feathers! What an absolutely unforgettable novel. This is regency romance at its finest. The setting comes to life under Cameron’s talented pen. She weaves a world steeped in the past, taking readers back in time to experience the lives of her characters for a short while. The plot was intriguing and realistic. The romance was very real, yet not very easy for the characters.

The Misses Culpepper are most definitely my favourite romance heroines of all times. Blythe is priceless from the get-go. I love her reactions to things. I enjoyed getting to know the many sides of Tristan’s character. There was just so much to love, without him being too perfect. Surrounded by their friends and family, this was the perfect cast to get lost with.

The narrator for the audio version of this tale brings every aspect to live in an explosive way!  The characters walk alongside you as their tale unfolds in a lively and captivating manner.  I loved the different idiosyncrasies that really pop through the narration.

Collette Cameron makes romance fun. I laughed from the beginning to the end of this novel, all the while falling in love with these remarkable characters. This is one of those novels that leaves you smiling and hugging your book when it’s over, not ready to admit you’ve reached the end yet completely satisfied.


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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Blame It On The Cowboy by Delores Fossen

Title:  Blame It On The Cowboy
Series:  The McCord Brothers #3
Author:  Delores Fossen
Publication Date:   October 1st 2016 by HQN Books (first published September 27th 2016)
Length:  416pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  Netgalley
My Rating: ★★★★★
Book Links: GoodreadsAmazon(US)Amazon(CA) - B&N - Kobo - Indigo - Google PlayAudible

Back Cover Blurb:

Every cowboy has a wild side—all it takes is the right woman to unleash it…
All of Logan McCord's carefully laid plans erupt the day he walks in on his would-be fiancĂ©e getting…well, not so carefully laid. Tonight, just once, Logan is acting on instinct. And that instinct is telling him to say "Happy to oblige" to the cute stranger looking for a no-strings fling with a Texas cowboy.

When chef Reese Stephens made her bucket list, she mistakenly thought she had weeks to live. Not that she regrets her one-night-stand with the gorgeous rancher. But she does regret leaving an heirloom watch as a parting gift. Tracking Logan down is easy. Walking away again is another matter. Because Reese's crazy past and Logan's battered heart are no match for the kind of chemistry that could turn one night into the start of a passionate lifetime.

My Review:

I love this author and how she makes me react, be it laughing, crying cursing the characters or swooning at the romantic gestures, she always pulls a strong reaction from me.  The plot of this novel was original, while still maintaining the essence of a small town romance.  I love how vivid everything was.  Fossen's beautiful descriptions combine with her intensely fulfilling storytelling for an unforgettable tale that you can't miss out on.

And the characters that step forward to take center stage here were unforgettable as well.  The inner turmoil and self doubt that they both feel is so hidden by their public persona that the mix was definitely intriguing.  And the chemistry between them?  It was off the charts and had me drooling.  These were fantastic characters that I didn't just enjoy reading about, but also loved getting to know.

I really enjoyed this entire series but this novel was above and beyond my favorite.  It can easily be read on its own or as part of this fantastic series. 

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Southern Whiskey by Morgan Shaw

Title:  Southern Whiskey
Author:  Morgan Shaw
Publication Date:  August 15th 2016
Length:  200pgs
Genre:  m/m romance
Shelf:  review
My Rating: ★★
Book Links: Goodreads – Amazon(US) – Amazon(CA)

Back Cover Blurb:

When two gay country stars tug on each others' heartstrings, it's time to face the music...

“I need to tell someone what happened.”

Shy musician Eli Clay's problems are piling up. He's part of a musical duo with his best friend Jessie - the only person who knows he's actually gay. He can't come out to his parents, and his manager is out of the question, too. He could lose his contract if he admitted he likes guys. But that's not the only problem... Eli slept with someone, and that someone might just be Jessie's ex-boyfriend. The regret is eating him alive, and he doesn't know who to confide in. That is, until he meets his musical idol, Austin Moon.

“I want to get over him...”


Sexy, talented and the perfect catch. Austin Moon has everything going for him... Except for his messed up love life. He keeps his love close to his heart - always wearing the dog tags of his once-lover, Miles, who died in combat. Austin's music career is going places, and he knows he can make it big, but his manager Ajax thinks he needs someone else on his team. Enter Eli Clay.

“I can make it all better.”

When the two young musicians are thrown together in a hot summer of love, they can't resist temptation and the strong pull they feel towards each other. They'll have to go up against a homophobic manager, an angry best friend, and a love that could break both of their hearts... But in the end, it will all be worth it.

Southern Whiskey is a steamy, standalone gay romance novel with a HEA and no cliffhanger.

My Review:

I wanted so badly to love this story.  The plot had a great deal of potential, unfortunately at times there was just way too much going on.  The setting was well developed, allowing me to picture it all.  I really enjoyed Shaw's descriptions. There were some inconsistencies in the editing and the plot line as a whole that definitely detracted from the story for me.

I love characters who get caught up in their circumstances and have to find a way out of the situation.  That was definitely the case here, even if the situations tended to be ones of the characters' own making.  At times I almost felt as if it was getting a little too convoluted however.

This was an intriguing first release by Shaw.  With a little fleshing out and some balancing of the plot and action it has a whole lot of potential to be an unforgettable read.  It already is a one of a kind story.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

In Safe Hands & Q&A with author Katie Ruggle

Q ~ Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Until last year, I lived in an off-grid house in the Colorado Rockies where I got snowed in a lot. I discovered that I’m fine for about ten days of seclusion, and then the cabin fever kicks in. One particularly bad winter, I was tempted to chase down the county plow when it finally (finally!) passed by, just so I could talk to a real, live person.

I loved it in the mountains, though, despite the snow and cold and isolation and the way my wind turbine and generator only failed when there was too much snow for a repair person to make it out. Last year, however, I moved to Minnesota in order to be closer to my elderly parents. I’ve found that here are many similarities between Minnesota and Colorado—one being that my Elmer Fudd hat still comes in very handy.

So, now I live in a 150-year-old farmhouse with my dogs, cats, and chickens. I plan on adding horses and possibly a cow to my menagerie, because I figure I’m not paying enough in vet bills as it is.

Q~ Who is your favorite literary hero(ine) and why?
Matilda from the Roald Dahl book. I love her because she’s feisty and creates her own happiness, rather than waiting to be rescued.

Q ~ Do you have a favourite author? Do they influence your writing?
I have so, so many favorites! Right now, I’m loving Karen Lynch, Donna Augustine and Helen Harper. My bookshelves are filled with my “comfort reads,” books that I’ve read and reread many times. It’s an odd assortment, ranging from Deerskin by Robin McKinley to The Road Home by Ellen Emerson White to On Killing by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman to Phase by E.C. Newman to Sheltered by Charlotte Stein to Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series to The Self-Sufficient Life by John Seymour. In very different ways, each one has earned its place among my favorites. I can’t see the direct influence of any one author, but all the books I’ve read over the years have molded me into the writer I am now.

Q ~ How did you begin writing? Was there a single catalyst or a series of events?
I’ve always thought, “I want to be a writer someday.” Several years ago, it occurred to me that, in order to fulfill that dream, I needed to actually write something (kind of a duh moment for me). So I started writing. I’m not sure why it took me so long to figure out that connection.

Q ~ You get a brilliant phrase/idea/thought at an inopportune time (while driving, drifting off to sleep/in the shower). What do you do?
Um…I’m not sure if I get many brilliant thoughts. Sometimes, when I’m falling asleep, I’ll have an idea that I think is inspired, but then I’ll remember it when I’m fully awake, and it’s just kind of dumb. My memory is horrible, and I’m a huge list maker and note taker. When I do get book ideas, brilliant or otherwise, I try to jot them down as soon as possible, or else I sit at my computer later and think, “Now what was that idea I had?”

Q ~ In your Search and Rescue series you develop a world that combines the intimacy of a small town with all the danger of romantic suspense, and it invites readers in. How did you come up with the idea that started this?
When I was brainstorming series ideas with my wonderful editor, who works in New York City, I’d share tidbits about living in my off-grid house in the Rocky Mountains. For example, I’d tell her about trekking to the far, snowy reaches of the property at four a.m. to untangle my Great Pyrenees mix dog from the wire fence before her mournful howls caught the coyotes’ attention. Or I’d tell my editor about the father (John) and son (John. Not John Junior. Just John) duo who lived in a pop-up camper a few miles from me. They stopped by my place one day so that they could share their conspiracy theories (“The government does what?”).

After I told her a few of these tales, my editor said that she’d love it if the setting for my books was based on my real-life location. I came up with the remote mountain town of Simpson, Colorado, where all my Search and Rescue books are based. The headless dead guy was purely from my imagination, though.

Q ~ Do you have a favorite novel in the series? Which one and why?
Although I love aspects of all my books, I’d have to say that my favorite of the series is Gone Too Deep, because, well…George. Also, in a place like Simpson, where the Search and Rescue series is based, the remote location and long winters make it easy to be a hermit. I love working with the idea of isolation in my books. Relationships, once they finally develop, are so much more critical and intense. We need others, need to be touched and listened to and loved, and I enjoy writing about people rediscovering this human connection.

Q ~ Can you tell us a bit about what happens in the rest of the series?
In Safe Hands is the thrilling finale of my Rocky Mountain Search and Rescue series, in which mysteries are solved and secrets are revealed. Daisy hasn’t left her house in years, and her only company besides her often-absent father is her friend (although she wishes he were more), Deputy Chris Jennings. One night, Daisy witnesses something from her bedroom window, something that puts her in terrible danger and turns her home into a deadly trap.

Q ~ Do you have any other works on the horizon at the moment? Care to give us a hint as to what they're about?
I’m currently (and frantically—it’s due by the end of September!!) working on the second book in my new Rocky Mountain K9 series. There are women on the run, hot cops, brave dogs, lots of explosions—what more could any reader want?

Q ~ If you were stranded on a desert island with one of your characters (from any novel you've written) who would you choose and why?
George from Gone Too Deep, because he knows how to survive off the land. Plus, he’s George. With him around, I doubt I’d be in any hurry to be rescued.

Q ~ If you could give aspiring authors one piece of advice, what would it be?
Finish the first draft of your book/short story/essay/poem. Get all the words down, even if you’re worried that they might be terrible. Once you have the raw material in front of you, then you can edit it. The hardest part, I think, is getting that first draft done. It’s scary, because it’s perfect in your head, and, if no one can see it, then no one can tell you it sucks. Be brave, and write your story.

About the author:
When she’s not writing, KATIE RUGGLE rides horses, shoots guns, and travels to warm places where she can SCUBA dive. Graduating from the Police Academy, Katie received her ice-rescue certification and can attest that the reservoirs in the Colorado Mountains really are that cold. While she still misses her off-the-grid, solar- and wind-powered house in the Rocky Mountains, she now lives in Rochester, Minnesota near her family.

Title:  
In Safe Hands
Series:   Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue #4
Author:  Katie Ruggle
Publication Date: October 4th 2016 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Length:  416pgs
Genre:  romantic suspense
Shelf:  review
My Rating: ★★★★★
Book Links: GoodreadsAmazon(US)Amazon(CA) - B&N - Indigo - Google Play

Back Cover Blurb:

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder...

It's all come down to this...

Daisy Little has lived in agoraphobic terror for over eight years. Trapped within a prison of her own making, she watches time pass through her bedroom window. Daisy knows she'll never be a part of the world...until the day she becomes the sole witness of a terrible crime that may finally tear the Search and Rescue brotherhood apart for good.

My Review:

This novel was fun & creepy, awe inspiring and hot as sin.  Ruggle wrapped it all up in one perfect package that was just as messy as life is.  I love how real this story was, and how it kept me glued to the pages throughout.  The plot was raw and in your face.  Ruggle had me thinking outside the box with every turn of the page, trying to unravel the mystery and to see how all the pieces fit.  She developed the scene in a manner that truly allowed me to picture everything, while also allowing my imagination to run wild.  

The characters that Ruggle develops to lead this novel forward are definitely one of a kind.  Daisy is such a unique heroine.  I love her strength, even when she can't convince herself to step completely out of her comfort zone.  Countered by the strong, compassionate and definitely drool worthy hero of this novel, this pair had me falling in love with them time and time again.

Ruggle's writing is the type that you can't put down, that you simply can't bear to be separated with.  It makes this novel a very bitter sweet read for me.  It means the series is over, but also that I can now start it all again and binge read to my heart's content.  This is a novel that I'd definitely encourage others to read.  


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Monday, September 26, 2016

Conard County Marine & Q&A with author Rachel Lee

1 ) Where did you gather inspiration for Conard City?
Conard County had been rolling around in the back of my mind for some time until it emerged as the setting for Exile’s End. Before I knew it, I was setting a second book there (Cherokee Thunder). Interestingly, my editor called as soon as she’d finished reading the first book and asked if there would be a second. I told her I was already working on it, and that I thought of these as my Conard County books. And there it was.

Nothing in particular inspired it. The town itself, Conard City, is based on a conglomeration of small towns where I’ve lived.

2) How do you think the setting affects the story?
The setting has a huge effect on the story. Given that it is limited to one county with a low population, I can’t do just any kind of story believably. It constrains me in some ways, but those constraints can be useful creatively. It also allows me to have continuing characters which both my readers and I enjoy.

3) Is anything in your new release based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
That’s a very hard question to answer. Some emotional realities are clearly part of my life experience. Actual events, such as amnesia, are not. It is part of my job as a writer to vividly imagine myself in someone else’s experience. I need to be there, to imagine it until I feel it... and I’m sometimes quite surprised by what I discover or learn. The thing is, no matter how vivid and true my imagination is (and many have written to tell me that they’re astonished that I understand so well) I never forget that however well-realized a character is, it will not be everyone’s experience. We are all very different but in many ways all the same. It’s an interesting conundrum that never fails to intrigue me.

4) How long on average does it take you to write a book?
That depends on the book and other demands on my time. Some books are more difficult. Sometimes life needs attending as it does for everyone. I write seven days a week when I can, but I can’t always. So I will not say how long it takes. It takes however long it needs.

5) What is the biggest misconception about your genre?
That it’s pure fluff. That it’s mind candy. Or that it’s just an excuse for titillation. Many of us romance authors deal with very real human problems and situations. In fact, as I’ve said before, I think of my books as a novel with a romance.

To those who scorn the genre, I suggest you look at music. How many songs are there about love?

6) Did you hide any secrets in your books?
Not that I’m aware of, unless my subconscious played a game on me.

7) Any tips to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Write. Just write anything. Two words often lead to ten, and ten into a paragraph. It doesn’t have to be work on your book or story. But write. Soon the words will find you again.

8) How do you relax?
I am a great Cricket fan. I especially love One Day Internationals and Twenty-20s. But one of the things I enjoy is the huge international participation. I have favorite teams all over the world, and favorite players, too. Cricket has also brought me friends from around the world. Merely mention a team or a player’s name and you can converse with people from almost anywhere.

9) What is your favorite book and why?
J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Tolkien had the greatest story-telling voice I’ve ever read. His words carry you along. Dive in anywhere to read a passage and you may emerge hours later. He’s hypnotic, his prose lyrical, and those books will simply sweep you away.

10) What is your current end-of-summer read?
A stack of books is waiting for me. I venture across many genres, and I read a lot of non-fiction for ideas and information. My favorite romance authors are there, of course (I won’t name them for fear of overlooking someone I adore) and I finished the most recent Jack Reacher novel a few weeks ago. At the moment I’m studying Practical Homicide Investigation.

Title:  Conard County Marine
Series:  Conard County:  The Next Generation
Author:  Rachel Lee
Publication Date:   September 6th 2016 by Harlequin Intrigue
Length:  288pgs
Genre:  romantic suspense
Shelf:  review
My Rating: ★★★★
Book Links: Goodreads – Amazon(US) – B&N - Kobo - Indigo - Google Play 

Back Cover Blurb:

From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Lee comes a story of one woman's survival and her protector's promise to find answers
The arrival of a single black rose signals danger to come for Kylie Brewer. Recovering from a brutal attack that claimed three years of her memory and her chance at a promising career, Kylie just wants to pick up the remaining fragments of her life. She returns to her hometown of Conard City to live with her sister but soon learns that putting the past in its place won't be easy.

Marine sergeant Evan Cooper—a trusted family friend who agrees to help Kylie—can't ignore his protective instincts. Or the steadily growing desire he feels for a woman who has overcome so much. He vows to help keep Kylie's demons at bay…but someone else has plans to finish what they started.

My Review:

I love the way that Lee simultaneously developed her mysterious, thought provoking plot and her intriguing characters.  The story kept me guessing, for the most part.  I'll admit that there were times where I found the tale a bit predictable, but that wasn't all too often.  And really, as romances go, most of them have a formula that they follow to end up at the HEA.  But this is definitely the type of story where you can sit back and relax as it unfolds before you, getting to know the characters along the way as they come into their own in the new `norm`that they've found for themselves.  

The characters themselves really make the story.  Their intricate pasts play directly into the present action.  And the budding chemistry between them?  It had me hooked.

All in all this was a great, quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed.  It's one that I'd definitely recommend to others.  


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Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Sheikh's Baby Scandal & Q&A with author Carol Marinelli

1) Where did you gather inspiration for Zazinia?
I could just see it in my mind’s eye. I like desert settings and have written a few of them but each desert and palace appears differently to me. I wanted Zazinia to have an ancient and traditional feel, in contrast to the modern and glittering Dubai, where the book is also set.

2) How do you think the setting affects the story? 
The setting is vital. The Sheikh’s Baby Scandal takes place in London, Dubai and Zazinia. The location changes reveal more facets of both characters personalities. Kedah is a very rich playboy but all that has to change when he returns to Zazinia and he reveals a more formal side. Felicia is a very independent heroine. Instead of being taken out of her comfort zone in Zazinia, she comes into her stride. I really liked that about her.

3) Is anything in your new release based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
My imagination is so vivid that I sometimes feel as if it’s real life but no, it’s all imagination. I am sadly lacking in royal sheikhs :)

4) How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It is very variable. I tend to work on two stories at the same time. Both are usually at different stages and I dip in and out of each. Near the end of writing a story though, I can only focus on one and so it gets my full attention then, until it’s complete. Generally, at that point, I get a new idea for a story and start to write it, while going back to the other story I left sitting. On average I think I work on a story for 3-4 months.

5) What is the biggest misconception about your genre?That they’re all the same. It would make my job a whole lot easier if they were J The wonderful thing about the romance genre is that there is something for everyone to enjoy—from sweeter romances to very sexy. Mine are the latter.

6) Did you hide any secrets in your books? 
No, I have heard some writers do but my muse is to disorganized for that.

7) Any tips to get through the dreaded writer’s block? Everyone handles it differently and what works through one rough patch might not work for the next. Going for a walk certainly helps me. I forget to, of course, or I tell myself I’m too busy and too behind to justify taking a couple of hours to walk. But I should remember, because it helps me a lot. I listen to a podcast or some music and then for the last half hour or so I take out my headphones and start to think about my plot.

8) How do you relax?By walking (as above), reading or writing. Sometimes writing can be stressful, but when the writing is flowing and I’m lost in the story it’s a very relaxing space to be in. I also love talking on the phone. I spend hours on it.

9) What is your favorite book and why?Bryce Courtenay’s, April Fool’s Day. It is a true story about the life of his deceased son. There are so many life-lessons within it and it is beautifully written. The book touches on many issues and Bryce did not paint himself with a perfect brush. It is honest and sad, wonderful and warm and it still makes me cry.

10) What is your current end-of-summer read? 
 I am extremely behind with my reading and am just about to dive into my TBR pile. At the top is Sarah Morgan’s Sunset in Central Park and I can’t wait to get started!

Title:  The Sheikh's Baby Scandal
Series:  One Night With Consequences
Author:  Carol Marinelli
Publication Date:  September 1st 2016 by Harlequin Presents
Length:  224pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  review
My Rating: ★★★
Book Links: GoodreadsAmazon(US)Amazon(CA) - B&N - Kobo - Indigo - Google Play 

Back Cover Blurb:

Pregnant…by the playboy sheikh!
Playboy sheikh Kedah of Zazinia has loved every minute he's spent earning his outrageous reputation! But about to claim the throne, and with a list of prospective brides being prepared, Kedah knows he must soon accept his royal duty…

A scorching night with his poised assistant, Felicia Hamilton, seems the perfect distraction—and her cool beauty masks a desire Kedah is hungering to ignite! But even Kedah isn't prepared for the biggest scandal of all, when their one night together leaves Felicia pregnant with his baby!

My Review:

Romance and scandal abounds as readers get up close and personal with the ruling family of Zazinia.  Marinelli's world development and descriptions allow readers to picture this land and travel there alongside the characters.  The  plot had an air of formulaic construction yet the romance that develops between the characters is so real that it is an easy focal point.

The characters that we meet here are somewhat atypical to what I'd expected.  I enjoyed how they were developed and the way in which we get to know them.  Their story was easy to see and to follow.  They were a little too perfect of a fit at times, but also enjoyable to get to know.

As a whole, this was a fun, light read that I think would be great for a crisp fall afternoon curled up on the couch.

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Dark Whispers & Q&A with author Debra Webb

1) Where did you gather inspiration for Birmingham?
My father’s family is from Birmingham so I grew up visiting the Magic City. Many of my fondest childhood memories took place in Birmingham. But the most important and inspiring part of Birmingham for me is the incredible medical services there. You see, my older daughter was born with extreme health issues. The amazing folks in Birmingham saved her life. So you see, for my family Birmingham truly is the Magic City.

2) How do you think the setting affects the story?
Birmingham is a southern town at its very roots, but it’s also very progressive city—almost like the Manhattan of the South. There’s the intensity of big city living, yet the heart and warmth of small town life. For Natalie, my heroine, it’s home, family and all that entails. On the other hand for Clint, Birmingham has been a bit of a bitter sweet experience—at least until he becomes part of Jess Harris Burnett’s team.

3) Is anything in your new release based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Natalie, in some ways, is me. I suffered a life altering injury and lost a great deal of the use of my right arm and hand. It has taken six years for me to learn to use my arm and hand again. It won’t ever be the same, but I’m learning to live with what I have. It’s amazing what the human mind and body are capable of.

4) How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Oh my, that’s a tough question. Before my injury I would fly through the pages. You see, the stories have always come to me in wonderful streams of scenes. Now with my hand injury, the stories still come but they don’t get on the page so fast.

5) What is the biggest misconception about your genre?
Oh my, I really believe any misconceptions about romantic suspense are in the past. Readers know what they want and have a much better understanding in today’s world filled with knowledge what they’re getting when they pick up a Harlequin Intrigue.

6) Did you hide any secrets in your books?
There are always delicious secrets in a mystery/suspense. Sometimes it’s about the killer, but often times it’s about the hero or heroine and who they really are deep down inside. Clint has some deep and delicious secrets!

7) Any tips to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Never stop writing. Your writing muscle is like any other it needs regular exercise. Even if you’re not sure where you’re going in a story just write something! I’m always amazed at what’s hidden in my head behind any uncertainty!

8) How do you relax?
I love junking! Looking for treasures in the cast off of others. Touring homes—old and new. Enjoying my family!

9) What is your favorite book and why?
Hmm. I don’t think I can pick a favorite book. There are simply too many wonderful ones I’ve read!

10) What is your current end-of-summer read?
I am waiting for the release of Karin Slaughter’s The Kept Woman!

Title:  Dark Whisper
Series:  Faces of Evil: Private Eyes #1
Author:  Debra Webb
Publication Date: September 1st 2016 by Harlequin Intrigue
Length:  256pgs
Genre:  romantic suspense
Shelf:  review
My Rating: ★★★★
Book Links: GoodreadsAmazon(US)Amazon(CA) - B&N - Kobo - Indigo - Google Play 

Back Cover Blurb:

A chilling new spin-off series from USA TODAY bestselling author Debra Webb sure to keep you up all night…

Former homicide detective Clint Hayes has his first client as a private investigator: a fragile beauty he isn't sure he can trust. An injury has left Natalie Drummond with gaps in her memory, and she sees and hears things that aren't there. But she's sure she shot an intruder in her Birmingham mansion. So where's the body, the gun, the evidence? When it's clear someone is trying to kill his vulnerable client, Clint appoints himself her protector, working overtime not to fall for her. But someone is dead set that Natalie never regains her memories—or makes new ones with Clint.

My Review:

The plot is captivating and the implications are chilling.  Those are my first thoughts when it comes to Webb's latest release.  Time and time again I found myself thinking 'could you  just imagine.'  The intimate manner in which this story was presented kept me coming back for more as I tried to unravel the unforgettable tale that Webb has woven.

The characters that she developed were interesting and approachable without being common.  I quite enjoyed the different ways in which they were developed, allowing me to get to know them through the story itself.

Once again Webb has created a fast paced, chilling read full of romance and suspense.  It is a fantastic weekend read!

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Snowfall on Haven Point and Q&A with author RaeAnne Thayne

Q: When Wyn asks Andrea to help keep an eye on Marshall after he’s injured in a hit-and-run accident, it’s not exactly love at first sight. Marshall is stubborn and a bit of a grouch, and Andrea is both intimidated and annoyed by him. Can you tease a little bit about what draws them to each other despite their initial prickliness?
A: Andie doesn’t want to like Marshall. She had been married to a man in law enforcement and had lost him too soon, then had been cruelly betrayed by another one. But even as she tells herself she wants someone who is the exact opposite of Marshall—someone predictable and nonthreatening—HE is the one who makes her feel safe and protected. As for Marshall, he never pictured himself with a family of his own. He is dedicated to his job protecting and serving the people of Lake Haven County and never imagines that he might thrive in the role of father-figure … until Andrea’s mix of strength and vulnerability steals his heart (and so do her two adorable children!).

Q: Andrea is a character who has suffered a great deal of loss and personal trauma, particularly since her police officer husband was killed in the line of duty. What are the challenges and rewards of incorporating heavier themes into a story about love and romance?
A: I tend to put my characters through some truly awful ordeals! I feel a bit guilty about that sometimes … but then I remind myself that strength of character doesn’t come to people who have never been tested by challenges. Life isn’t perfect, unfortunately, not for my characters and not for my readers. I try to show that even when people have suffered unimaginable heartache, the world doesn’t have to end. Life can still be filled with joy and beauty. When happiness is hard-earned, it tends to be more intense and more deeply appreciated, as my characters often discover.

Q: One of the subplots in this novel deals with Marshall and a surly teenage boy who lives next door with his grandparents. Can you tell us a little about that relationship and why you wanted to explore it in this book?A: I sometimes write myself into a corner with heroes or heroines who first appear as secondary characters in previous stories. When I decide to move them up to center stage, I can be faced with certain limitations I have to figure out how to write around. In RIVERBEND ROAD, I had set Marshall up as the sheriff of Lake Haven County and had him living in the nearby town of Shelter Spring. That became a bit of a problem when I decided he was the perfect hero for Andie. If I wanted to give them a chance to fall in love, I needed his orbit to collide with Andie’s on a regular basis. I had to give Marshall a strong reason to move back to Haven Point … and a possible connection to the troubled teenage boy next door definitely offered that! It also turned Marshall into something more than jus a sexy sheriff. He’s got troubles of his own, things he needs to work through in order to open his heart to Andie, and Christopher plays a big part in that.

Q: A major theme in this book is the idea of opening yourself up—for Andrea, this means opening herself up to the idea of falling in love again, and for the independent and solitary Marshall, it means learning to open himself up to the help and love of other people. What made you interested in writing about two people who are, in some ways, resistant to the idea of falling in love?
A: I absolutely adore stories when two characters fight against their feelings and go down kicking and screaming—and when both have logical, viable reasons not to want to take that risk. Andrea and Marshall definitely have strong self-protective instincts, which I think makes those moments when they finally yield and soften toward each other even more poignant.

Q: We have to ask, what’s next for you? Are you planning more Haven Point novels? If so, can you give us some hints about what’s coming up?
A: Right now I’m working on Katrina Bailey’s book, which will be out next summer. She’s quickly turning into one of my favorite heroines ever! I’ve given her a sexy geek of a hero with a mysterious past, in the midst of an extremely challenging situation. I can already tell the two of them are absolutely perfect for each other! I’m still working out what I’ll write after Kat’s book, whether I’ll stay in Haven Point, return to Hope’s Crossing, or start something new. Readers have been asking me for Aidan Caine’s book (he’s the only unmarried Caine sibling from my Hope’s Crossing series), so I’m still trying to find the perfect match for that sexy helicopter pilot.

About the author:
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words. Her love affair started as soon as she learned to read, when she used to devour anything she could get her hands on: cereal boxes, encyclopedias, the phone book, you name it! She loves the way words sound, the way they look on the page and the amazing way they can be jumbled together in so many combinations to tell a story. 

Her love of reading and writing those words led her to a fifteen-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor. 

Through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best. She sold her first book in 1995 and since then she’s published more than 40 titles. Her books have won many honors, including three RITA® Award nominations from the Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews. 

RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.

Title:  Showfall on Haven Point
Series:  Haven Point #5
Author:  RaeAnne Thayne
Publication Date:   September 27th 2016 by HQN Books
Length:  384pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  review
My Rating: ★★★★★
Book Links: GoodreadsAmazon(US)Amazon(CA) - B&N - Kobo - Indigo - Google Play

Back Cover Blurb:

There's no place like Haven Point for the holidays, where the snow conspires to bring two wary hearts together for a Christmas to remember
It's been two rough years since Andrea Montgomery lost her husband, and all she wants is for her children to enjoy their first Christmas in Haven Point. But then Andie's friend asks a favor—to keep an eye on her brother, Sheriff Marshall Bailey, who's recovering from a hit and run. Andie will do anything for Wyn, even park her own misgivings to check on her grouchy, wounded bear of a brother.

Marshall hates feeling defenseless and resents the protective impulses that Andie brings out in him. But when a blizzard forces them together for the holidays, something in Marshall begins to thaw. Andie's gentle nature is a salve, and her kids' excitement for the holidays makes him forget why he never wanted a family. If only he and Andie can admit what they really want—each other—their Christmas wishes might come true after all.

My Review:

Thayne brings this small town to life in a big way with her latest Haven Point novel. The novel is simultaneously emotional, comical, and romantic, leaving you with a feeling of redemption. My heart may have been on my sleeve throughout, but that didn’t stop me from laughing at the characters’ antics. The story itself is intricately and realistically crafted, providing an endlessly enjoyable tale for readers.

Thayne brings her characters’ pasts and present together in a way that creates an intimate yet shocking story for those who enjoy romance with a little bit more. Her seamless writing allows you to flow through this story and enjoy it. The main characters are such phenomenal individuals, so well developed and approachable, that you can’t help but love them. At the same time, it is their thoughts and decisions that propel this story into the realm of loveable.

Vividly picturesque descriptions bring this novel to life as Thayne's fantastic characters share their intimate tale with readers the world over. This is a fantastic tale that can be easily enjoyed by those who love the series and those who are looking to experience Thayne's work for the first time.

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