Friday, 28 August 2015

Spotlight: SUMMER OF THE EAGLE by Susan Edwards



Susan will award a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter.

BLURB:

The most powerful woman in her tribe, Blaze can heal with a touch, control the elements, merge her mind with any living creature and more. Yet, she is an outcast. Her people fear her and she herself is afraid of the things she can do. There is darkness in her visions, along with a tall, buckskin-clad stranger with golden-brown hair and eyes as green as the leaves on trees. Somehow, he is her destiny.

Luc Cordell is done with trapping.  He yearns for civilization and a normal life.  His only regret is leaving behind his family. But his father’s second wife is a SpiritWalker, and now, so is his father.  How can Luc live with people who run with the wolves or soar across the heavens with the owls? Yet when a haunted healer with stars in her colorful eyes enters his life, he is drawn into the mystical world whether he likes it or not.

The winds of change are sweeping across the land, taking Luc and Blaze into a world of lies, deceit, and murder. Together, they search for truth and must turn to the eagles for answers.



Excerpt:

Follow your heart. She put a hand to her chest and felt the small leather bag given to her by Wise Owl. She pulled the clear stone from the pouch and held it up to the sunlight. She studied the patterns in the smoky-white center. Last night, it had been completely clear. In the sunlight, she spotted four tiny golden flecks that hung like stars trapped in the crystal.

“You are a special stone,” she murmured as light fell on one flat surface and radiated through the crystal, bringing it to life. She felt something in the crystal, some greatness, a power that seeped into her and sang in her veins.

Ancient life.

“What is your purpose?” she asked as she watched the center come alive. She focused. Visions often came to her on shiny surfaces, things she could see and others could not. Many times a vision was her first warning that she was needed in the village.

She focused on her questions. The clouds inside the crystal seemed to move and change color until, finally, there in the center of the stone, there sprang the image of a broad-shouldered, narrow-hipped buckskin-clad trapper with golden-brown hair. One of the stars pulsed over his heart.

Holding her breath, Blaze brought the crystal closer to her face. She couldn’t see his features clearly, just the shape of a face, but as though he sensed her gaze upon him, he turned his head toward her and Blaze couldn’t help her gasp of amazement. His face became clearer until that was all she could see. It was like looking into a mirror and seeing the face of another.

His eyes were a rich, warm green like the thick carpet of ferns growing in the deepest shade of the forest. His face was covered with hair, as most trappers seemed want to wear it, but his mouth was firm and his nose long and straight. But his eyes drew her again, mesmerized her. They were deep pools of soothing green.

“Who are you?” Her voice was a soft whisper.

The stranger stared into her eyes, then his image grew smaller. He held out one arm. Long fringe swung back and forth, and his fingers curled out and toward her.

“Help me.”



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Susan resides in California with her husband of thirty + years. She love animals. Cats currently number six as she just rescued a kitten named Luna last fall. She now considers herself to be a crazy cat lady! She also has three dogs. Two adorable Chiweenies named JJ and Abbey and  temporary (ha!) custody of Shasta, her daughter’s six year old, Great Pyrenees mix.
Susan also enjoys crafts of all sorts including quilting, sewing, cross-stitch and knitting. Knitting and crochet are her current passions although with the arrival of her first granddaughter, her sewing machine as seen the light of day. She is also an avid gardener. Through her love of all things Native American, she designed a 26-foot Medicine Wheel Garden. It’s a big project but one that she loves, except when the weeds threaten. Right now, with her crazy, busy schedule, the weeds are winning the war!

Camping, fishing, biking and hiking (when not hot) are other outdoor pursuits she and her husband enjoy. She is of course, an avid reader and hates cooking and housework. While writing, she listens to a wide variety of music, including Neil Diamond, Celtic, Native American, New Age, Classical, and mood music (bagpipes and howling wolves drive my family nuts). Her current favorites are Blackmore’s Night and David Lanz.

Native American/Western romance writer Susan Edwards is the author of the popular “White” Series. She was nominated for the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Western Historical and Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award. She is very pleased to be able to offer to her readers her White series in Digital Format, along with her SpiritWalker series.
           
Email:              Susan@susanedwards.com
Website:          http://susanedwards.com
Twitter:            https://twitter.com/susan_edwards
Blog:                http://susanedwards.wordpress.com
Pinterest:         https://www.pinterest.com/susanedwards2u/
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Review: Do You Want Me by Nancy Fraser #FairyTaleRomance #Giveaway








BLURB:

Decorated war hero Reece Michaels agrees to go undercover in order to bring down the Irish Mob. In return, the civilian life he’s coveted for the past six years will be returned to him.

Hired by mob boss Sean O’Malley to protect his youngest son, Reece soon discovers the young man needs more protection from his own family than its enemies.

What Reece doesn’t count on is his instant attraction to the police chief’s beautiful and willing daughter. Abby Mackenzie is the younger sister of a woman with whom Reece once had a torrid affair. He’s determined to not give in to Abby’s come-hither ways. After all, one Mackenzie woman was more than enough.

My Review
Romance novels based on a fairy tale is not a new concept. What’s interesting is that the fairy tale this story is based on is not romantic. I’d never heard of The Devil’s Sooty Brother and when I read it I witnessed some components of it in Do You Want Me in very unique ways.

An interesting story with steamy scenes and a bit of intrigue kept me turning the pages. But I’ll warn you (without giving any spoilers) that there is one aspect of the story that doesn’t conform to a “traditional” romance but fits in the story nicely.

I was given a copy of this book for an honest review.

I give this book four out of five chocolate bars.


Excerpt:

Reece and Billy arrived at the posh east-side O’Malley mansion in record time. Eager for a free weekend, Reece had skirted the conservative speed limit all the way. Sean O’Malley was more than happy to have his son visit for the weekend. And, thankfully, with enough of his own men around to watch over everyone, equally happy to give Reece the weekend off.

“I’ll pick Billy back up Monday morning and get him to Fairweather, if the timing works for everyone.”

Sean O’Malley gave him a job-well-done slap on the back as they walked toward the door of his huge home. “Sounds good, Michaels. If the plans change, either Billy or I will give you a call.”

Reece slid behind the wheel of the black sedan and turned toward his east-side apartment, remembering he’d left his duffle and a book he’d started reading at Billy’s. He turned right at the next light, intent on retrieving his things and then heading home.

The phone was ringing in Billy’s apartment as he unlocked the door. The answering machine picked up as soon as he reached the table.

“Hey, Billy, it’s me…Adam. About last week…uh…call me, okay?” The caller’s voice trembled softly, and the call disconnected.

Reece let the message and its tone sink in. Damn! He turned full circle in the apartment, taking in the elegant decorations, the expensive stereo, the CD rack filled with Billy’s favored glam rock.

The framed Broadway posters mixed in with abstract art taunted him. How blind are you, Reece? Isn’t it obvious?

Double damn! Billy O’Malley was gay.

Which meant...Abby was a friend, not a lover. What in heaven’s name would possess a young woman as well educated and obviously beautiful as Abby Mackenzie to act as a beard to a mobster’s son?

“I work at the Herald, in Features.”

A knot formed in Reece’s gut, an instinct similar to his ability to root out insurgents in the Gulf. Was Abby after an exposé on Sean O’Malley? Was she out of her freakin’ mind?

His conscience prodded him. How is it different than the game you’re playing? You’re no more a mobster’s goon than she’s a beard.

He shook off the inner taunt. His intentions were good, honorable, if not a bit self-serving. He wanted his family home back and was willing to do whatever was necessary to accomplish his goal.

What could Abby hope to accomplish? Other than put her life, and possibly his, in jeopardy? He didn’t need the added complication of her snooping around for a story. The last thing he wanted was for her plans to screw up his mission.

At least in the Gulf he could identify the good guys, and the bad ones, by sight. Right now, his
biggest problem might be a diminutive redhead with soulful amber eyes.

He grabbed his duffle and jogged back to the car. He needed to get away from Billy’s apartment, think things through, and decide how much of this newfound information was shareable, if any.

And, Tina willing, he needed another dose of her excellent brand of stress relief.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for four publishers. She has published twenty-two books in both full-length and novella format. Nancy is currently working on a Valentine’s story for 2016, her next Rock and Roll novella, the 3rd McCade Legacy book and a second fairy tale for Decadent Publishing.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five beautiful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.


Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nfraserauthor  @nfraserauthor


GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

Nancy Fraser will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Review: The Cowboy’s Email Order Bride by Cora Seton


The Blurb

Ethan Cruz should be mending fences on his Montana ranch, but instead he’s driving to the Chance Creek, Montana, airport – to pick up the bride he didn’t know he had. This latest salvo in his ongoing practical joke battle with his best friend, Rob Matheson, has gone too far, and Ethan plans to send his “bride” right back home, then get busy plotting his revenge. One look at Autumn Leeds changes his mind, however. Perhaps he needs a bride, after all. A breathtakingly beautiful city bride.

Autumn Leeds needs a story – fast – or she’s going to lose her lucrative contract with CityPretty Magazine, so when she sees the crazy video plea for a modern mail-order bride for a cowboy, it sounds like the story of the century. Making a video of her own, she casts herself as the perfect mail-order bride for a rancher, but when she finally reaches Montana, she’s surprised to find Ethan’s the perfect cowboy husband-to-be. Against her better judgment, her plan to keep her handsome groom at arm’s length disintegrates into a night of passion spent in his arms.

Ethan knows he can’t keep playing this game – he has to come clean with Autumn and tell her the truth; about the practical joke and about the state of his ranch. He’s about to lose it all because of the debts his mother racked up before his parents’ deaths. Now his sister, Claire, wants to sell the ranch and collect what little money they can. He’ll be out of a home and a job, and in no shape to support the bride he desperately wants to marry, after all.

Autumn’s in bigger trouble than ever. Not only has she fallen in love with the subject of her expose – she might be carrying his child. If she doesn’t write this article and secure her contract for another year, she’ll lose everything – her career, her apartment, and more importantly, her family’s approval. The only alternative is to stay and marry Ethan. But how can she trust a man she’s just met when she knows too well that men always let you down?

Can a love based on lies last?

My Review
Ethan’s friends go to a lot of trouble to play a practical joke on him. I didn’t care for the part of them involving a stranger who had no idea about it.

But then again, Autumn had her own agenda when it came to agreeing to being an e-mail order bride. A strong motivation which would ensure her independence as had been drilled into her throughout her life. Autumn’s back story compelled me to have compassion for her. Her lovely personality helped me keep it.

What the heck is sexier than a working cowboy? Two strangers whose attraction sparked immediately made me happy. A joke and job survival brought this couple together. Now that’s destiny.

I got this book from Amazon. The last I checked it was free.


I give this novel four out of five cowboy hat shaped chocolate bars.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Finding the balance when it comes to name calling


I'm not talking about calling people names in this post because that's not a nice thing to do. Sometimes it's fun, but never nice.

I have two friends, both males, who like to add my name to every other sentence they speak. It’s annoying, but I have yet to find a way to tell them to cut it out without hurting their feelings.
With my first book, Love Through Time, my editor told me I mentioned the characters names way too much. With another book my beta reader told me I didn’t mention the characters names enough.

Oh my goodness. Writing is a huge juggling act. It’s all about getting the balance where EVERYTHING is concerned, including mentioning the characters names. Too many and it’s uncomfortable. 

When I read a book where the character’s names are hardly mentioned, and 'he or she' gets repeated for a whole page or two, I tend to forget the characters names. Especially if I’m not vested in the book yet.

How do you strike the balance?


Review: A tale of Two Dragons by G.A. Aiken



The Blurb
Braith of the Darkness likes going through life unnoticed. Not an easy task for a She-dragon of royal descent. But the evil plots of her father are turning her quiet, boring life upside down, and she has now become the enemy of the most vicious queen her kind has ever known. But for once, Braith won't have to fight alone. Not when the warrior dragon of her dreams is willing to risk everything to save her neck.

Addolgar the Cheerful wishes he could say he’s helping the pretty royal strictly for honorable reasons - but he'd be lying. It’s not his fault, though! He didn't tell Braith of the Darkness to have the most delicious tail he’s ever seen! Yet before Addolgar can get his very strong claws on that tail, heads are going to roll. Just hopefully not theirs... 


My Review

Once again I’ve fallen in love with the dragons of this series while taking a trip back in time to when Braith and Addolgar first got together. A wonderful bite sized way to feed my Dragon Kin Series addiction.

I purchased my copy from Amazon.

I give this story four out of five chocolate bars.


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Bringing original back


I’ve been around, but my personal voice has been quiet for a while. I’ve written no original posts over the past few months. I have been reading and reviewing like crazy, though and that’s always a good thing.

Where have I been? Nowhere, really. I let laziness get the better of me when it came to blogging. I kind of feel like I took a commercial break, but I didn’t acknowledge it or let you guys know. Instead I put up some really cool adverts.

I’m back. One original post per week. What will they be about? Who knows, but I’m hoping you’ll get a little chuckle out of them.

Happy reading everyone!

By the way the girl in the picture is my niece. A plane was passing by. If we lived in the UK it would seem like she was flipping the people in the plane off.  She was just saying hi.



Thursday, 13 August 2015

Arranged Marriage...What?! By Valerie Mann



Who agrees to an arranged marriage in the 21st century? Beth Malone can’t believe a date request with the 1Night Stand service morphed into an arranged marriage offer. But after a heartbreaking divorce and no knight in shining armor coming to sweep her off her feet, her desire to find that knight and have a family is looking more like a dream than a reality.
After filling out a 1Night Stand questionnaire worthy of the CIA, Christian Ramos is stunned when Madame Eve offers to arrange more than a date for one night: she suggests a wife! What the hell? And after his best friend Jackson Castillo stops laughing, he advises him to consider the offer. Between the fortieth birthday looming on the horizon and his Latino upbringing, Chris is forced to take a hard look at his life. Reality check—time is running out for what he wants—a family and a woman to share his life.
First comes love, then comes marriage isn’t part of their matrimonial situation, but neither Beth nor Christian anticipated the immediate attraction and contentment that comes with saying, “I do.”

I hope you love Chris and Beth as much as I do! Madame Eve definitely knew what she was doing bringing these two lovebirds together!

You could win $25 USD in Amazon funny money to spend on anything you want (heaven knows they get lots of MY money pretty regularly), plus I’m giving away a 3-book e-book bundle—you choose the great reads!—from Decadent Publishing, and a Decadent audiobook of your choice from Audible.com!

Only one thing is mandatory: You MUST purchase First Comes Marriage (http://goo.gl/kjTk6h) from Amazon before midnight tonight. It’s only 99 cents, but for the chance to win awesome prezzies...so worth it!  Email me the receipt—a screenshot of the Amazon receipt or confirmation email is fine—BAM! You’re in the running for the big win!

If you read First Comes Marriage and leave a review, please let me know! I plan to give away ANOTHER bag of prizes to one reviewer at the end of August.

Valerie is the co-owner of a Decadent Publishing, as well as Wizards in Publishing, a company that provides editing and formatting services for authors and publishers. 

Where to find her: