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Friday, January 31, 2014

#Excerpt Tour: Ever Hopeful by Bestselling Author Lori Ryan #Giveaway #LNBookPromos

Happy Friday, friends! Today we feature an excerpt tour from bestselling author Lori Ryan and her new release, Ever Hopeful. She's offering an awesome giveaway, so make sure you check out the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the post. Enjoy!

Combining heart-soaring contemporary romance with heart-pounding suspense is a trademark of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lori Ryan—and in her novel Ever Hopeful she delivers spectacularly on both counts. 

Two-months pregnant and trapped in a violent marriage, Laura Kensington realizes that her ruthless and powerful in-laws will never let her go, even after the strange sudden death of her abusive husband. Fleeing far away to the Texas ranch of Cade Bishop, a strong yet tender man who believes in second chances, Laura finds herself irresistibly drawn to Cade’s gentle passion and giving heart. But there is no escaping the shadows of her past and soon danger re-enters her world, pulling Laura into a deadly web of lies, betrayals, and murder. And only Cade Bishop’s quiet strength and unwavering love can set her free.


    Laura smiled but Cade’s comment sent her thoughts in a completely different direction. She was suddenly painfully aware that she wanted him to see her as a woman. How totally inappropriate was that? She was pregnant with her dead husband’s child and running from his family. She might be a grown woman but the fact was, she’d never been independent. She’d always been tied to a man—first her father and then her husband. This was the time in her life when she needed to take charge, learn to support herself, and be independent. Yet, here she was thinking about how gorgeous the man sitting across from her was and wondering if he liked what he saw when he looked at her. 

    Cade frowned at her. “What are you thinking? You seem like you took a little trip in your head for a minute.” 
    If only you knew. 

    Laura shook her head. She needed to figure out how she was going to take care of her baby when it came, how she would support them both. How she was going to get away from the Kensingtons and their powerful, seemingly endless reach. How she’d fight them if they tracked her down and tried to take the baby from her. The last thing she should be thinking was what it would be like to be in Cade’s arms, to touch him and feel his mouth on her skin.... 

   “I was just thinking that I need to find a way to support myself and the baby. I can’t live off you guys forever.” 

  “Try telling that to Mama. I think she’s planning to adopt you,” said Cade. 

   Laura felt a sharp pain at his joke and had a feeling she probably grimaced. What would it have been like to be born to May Bishop? To have been raised in a place like this by someone who loved her? To receive the unconditional love that a parent is supposed to have for their child? 

   Fairy tales…. She’d given up on things like that a long time ago. It wasn’t useful to sit and pity herself and cry about her circumstances. But, being so close to a family like the Bishops...made her want to go back in time and rewrite her story. If not rewrite who she was born to, at least change her decision to marry Patrick. 

  “Well, I’ll have to come up with something,” Laura said, but in all honesty waiting tables was about the only thing she was qualified to do. 

   She forced a smile. She may not have ever had a mother like May Bishop, but she’d make damn sure her child did. Her baby would know she was loved no matter what. That nothing could ever take her mother’s love away. If Laura was sure of one thing in her life, she was sure of that. She would love this child with all her heart and all that she was.


Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romance with a twist of suspense. She lives with an extremely understanding husband, two wonderful children, two mostly-behaved dogs, and a lone little cat in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing. Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and has written three more books since then. Each of Lori’s books have made their way to the Amazon bestseller list and she quickly climbed the Amazon bestselling author list, as well. In November, 2013, Lori and a group of romantic suspense authors landed on the USA Today and NY Times bestseller lists with an anthology only eight months after the release of Lori’s first book. Lori loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog. Oh, and if you’ve read Lori’s books and loved them, please consider leaving a review on Amazon.com or with the retailer of your choice. Writers live and die by their reviews and Lori promises to do a happy dance around her office every time you write one!




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Friday, January 24, 2014

Where There is Will by @monica_epstein #romance #interview #review

Happy Friday, everyone! Today I'm so happy to welcome Monica Epstein, whose debut novel, Where There is Will was recently published by The Wild Rose Press. She's here today to share the news about her book and also kindly agreed let me ask her five nosy questions. I read her novel and really enjoyed it. (Check the review below.) First of all, though, please welcome Monica!

          1. Hi, Monica! Would you mind sharing a bit about your journey as a writer? (i.e., how long have you been writing, how long were you trying to be published before you got “the call”, etc.)

My writing journey began unexpectedly in midlife. I had enjoyed creative writing as a child, but once I hit high school, and all writing became based on facts, I lost my passion. I wrote well, but I never considered it as a career. Fast forward many years later, when my children no longer needed my full-time attention, I had to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I pursued a Certificate in Editing. Although my preference was to work in a more creative environment like publishing, living outside Washington, D.C. didn’t lend itself to finding such a job, so I took what I was offered—a job as a technical writer for a software company.
Writing a novel began on a whim. Friends I had made online liked to share stories they wrote. I decided to try my hand at it too. But after completing my first short story on a cruise, there was still plenty of time at sea. I turned the short story into Chapter One, and by the time my husband and I disembarked, I had Chapters Two and Three written, as well. My characters took control of all of my free time until they were satisfied I had told their entire story. That’s when I knew I had to pursue publishing. But it took me another three years to learn how to turn it into something others would want to read.

       2. The heroine in Where There Is Will is considerably older than the hero. Do you consider the book to be a “cougar romance”?

I never intended to write a cougar romance. I always hated the term cougar. My goal was to write a novel about second chances. I believe I was given a second chance in life career-wise, and I wanted to spread the message that it is never too late to recreate yourself.

The short story I wrote on the cruise was inspired by my son and I having similar taste in music. Once I decided to continue that story, I had the basic premise of older woman/younger man, so I kept going with it.

In one of my last rewrites of WHERE THERE IS WILL, I included some references to the heroine being a cougar, but I did it for comic effect.

3. In your bio at your website, you mention that you’re a technical writer at your day job. Is it difficult to change hats and write romance in your free time? Do you feel your technical writing helps you as a fiction author?

Good question. I haven’t thought much about this.

Being a technical writer means I know how to write. My sentence structure is good, grammar is correct, and so forth. Most of the time, anyway ;-) But writing creatively is very different and it presents a challenge. You see, software manuals are very exact. I don’t want the reader to have to guess. It’s my responsibility to tell them exactly what they need to do. Fiction writing should show rather than tell. This goes against what I do during the day.

One drawback to being a technical writer (maybe it would be a drawback of any full-time job, even one that doesn’t involve writing) is sometimes I lack the concentration I need to write in the evening. The upside to writing technical material during the day and fiction at night and on weekends is that they use different parts of my brain. My creative side gets exercise when I’m telling stories.

4. Your heroine Michelle moves across the pond to London after her divorce. That’s a big step for her. Have you ever done anything similarly adventurous in your life?

Not at all. I would be terrified. In fact, I’m the least courageous person I can think of. But I console myself by telling friends they can entrust me with their purses while they zipline, climb mountains, go on safari, or whatever else is on their bucket lists. Your purse isn’t safe in the car or the hotel, right? Someone has to keep an eye on it.

5. Can you share a bit about what you’re working on now? We’re all ears!

I’m grappling with several different ideas. The one that seems to be ahead is a story about a woman who keeps coming to the rescue of her former husband and his family. The only problem is his current wife doesn’t believe the former wife is really responsible because she’s dead. But when the current wife needs saving, she might have to reconsider her beliefs.

Where There is Will

When she moves to London following her divorce, Michelle Loeser has no interest in looking for love. She needs to focus on surviving without her ex’s six-figure income, coping with a severe fear of heights, and rebuilding her confidence. And if she keeps her promise to her best friend, she’ll pursue her passion for writing too.

Will Sheridan found his passion early in life. At age eleven, he was cast in the starring role in a film series. Now, at the age of 25, he’s a celebrity at a crossroads in his career. He has no time for women who don’t understand his priorities.

When Will offers to help Michelle acclimate to the unfamiliar city in exchange for cooking lessons, she figures what’s the harm? But jealous fans and coworkers, eager paparazzi, and a distrustful mother see it differently.


Because we had a product release to the American market fast approaching, I stayed late at the office, picked up a bite to eat before boarding the Tube, and headed straight to Caryn’s for mah jongg. I walked into her flat and knew something was wrong immediately by how quiet my friends were. “What’s happened? Or have you been talking about Will and me?”
Penny turned to Amanda, who looked at Caryn.
I settled my gaze on Caryn. “Well?”
“We have, but there’s more to it.” Caryn faced Amanda.
“Will you three stop looking at each other and tell me?”
“I’ll tell because I saw it,” Amanda volunteered. “I was watching an entertainment news program while eating dinner.”
Penny snorted. “A gossip show.”
“Call it what you like,” Amanda said, “but the point is you and Will were mentioned.”
I brushed my hair away from my face. “What did they say?”
“They showed a picture of you and Will entering your flat, and one of him leaving it the following morning.”
“How could you tell it was the following morning?”
“The one with both of you was definitely taken at night. It was dark and the street light was on. The one of Will alone looked like it was taken in daylight. And he was dressed the same, so I figured it was the next day.”
I shrugged. “So what? That’s no worse than the towel picture.”
“There’s more,” Penny said.
I dropped into a chair at the table.
Amanda continued. “They mentioned your name, what you do for a living, where you live and work, and that you’re a forty-five-year-old divorced American.”
“I won’t be forty-five until the end of next month,” I corrected, although it wasn’t important. “How do you think they found all this out about me?”
“I imagine it’s public record who rents flats where,” Caryn said. “I can call the management company to see if anyone has inquired about you.”
“Maybe they followed Will and me. We were together last night. They either saw us at the restaurant and followed us to my flat, or they had been following Will all evening—from the studio, to my place, to the restaurant, and back again. Seems like an awful waste of time.”
“Those pictures can be worth a lot of money to them,” Amanda pointed out.
“Do you think someone camped out in front of your flat all night?” Caryn asked.
“That’s a frightening thought,” Penny said. She gave my arm a comforting pat.
“I think you should tell Will,” Amanda suggested. “He should be on the lookout for someone following him.”
“But now someone could be following Michelle too,” Caryn added.
My stomach was as tight as an overstretched rubber band. “Will warned me there would be issues if our relationship was out. He’s always been so careful not to do anything in public that might be construed as personal.”
“Except for running around in a towel,” Amanda mumbled.
My glare caused her to smile. “I was trying to lighten things up a little. And for the record, I’m glad you gave in to your desires. How was it?”
“Amanda,” Penny said, “our friend’s private life was revealed on telly, and you want to know how the sex was?”
“What’s wrong with that?” She turned to me. “Well?”
“It was wonderful, fantastic, better than I dreamed of,” I said offhandedly. “But I’d still like to know how the reporter found out so much about me.”
Caryn put her arm around my shoulder. “It’s unnerving, but I’m sure you’re not in any danger. Isn’t that right, ladies?” She turned to the others for backup.
“That’s right. They’re not out to harm you,” Penny reassured.
Amanda remained quiet, and Caryn gave her the eye.
“I don’t think they intend any physical harm,” Amanda began, “but, undoubtedly, there have been instances where harm has been done by paparazzi.”
“We’re not talking about blood-thirsty paparazzi,” Caryn growled. “Let’s not scare Michelle. Can we play now?”
Penny and Amanda began shuffling the mah jongg tiles. I joined them, but my mind wasn’t on the game. Now I understood why Will liked to keep his girlfriends out of the public eye.
I took the Tube home from Caryn’s like I always did, but this time I was more aware of my surroundings: the Indian woman dressed in a sari, a cute little girl beside her; the man wearing the herringbone ivy cap, reading the newspaper; and the two teenage girls covered in tattoos and piercings, talking too fast for me to determine what language they were speaking.
As I walked the short distance to my building, I kept glancing over my shoulder, feeling like someone was there. By the time I engaged the deadbolt, it felt like someone was playing the bongos in my chest.
Despite sleeping alone in my apartment every night without any concerns, tonight I placed a chair against my front door and kept my phone within easy reach, just in case.

Where There Is Will is available at HTTP://AMZN.COM/B00HJE46UA.

***Nona’s review of Where There is Will***

Michelle Loeser meets handsome actor Will Sheridan on a flight to London, when he spills cola on her cashmere sweater. After he apologizes, they begin talking and hit it off. Though Michelle thinks they’ll never meet again, she’s proven wrong when she realizes she inadvertently took his cell phone.

When they reconnect, they discover they have more things in common and Will offers to help her make her way around the city in exchange for her giving him cooking lessons. Their friendship grows, as does Michelle’s attraction to Will. But can he return those feelings, considering she is twenty years his senior and he can’t go anywhere without paparazzi on his trail.

I very much enjoyed Where There is Will. The love affair between Michelle and Will unfolds gradually. They begin with friendship and help each other in a number of ways. Michelle helps Will become more self-sufficient around his home while he helps her overcome her fear of heights. He also boosts her self-confidence, which was shattered by a bitter divorce.  He encourages her desire to write.  In return, she helps reacquaint him with his Jewish heritage. As the story goes on, you can see that their relationship has a strong basis in friendship from which romance can blossom.

Of course, not everyone is in their corner. Some of Michelle’s friends warn her not to get her hopes up. Will’s mother is not exactly in their camp, either. And Will’s rabid fans definitely do not like the idea of him dating an “old lady.” Michelle also has some trouble with difficult co-workers. Worst of all is the crippling self-doubt that Michelle must overcome in order to make things work with Will.

I loved the way the author showed London as Michelle took it all in, as well as the inclusion of British slang. I learned a few new terms. I also really enjoyed the inclusion of Judaism and the religious holidays. There are a lot of interesting layers to the story and Michelle’s self-growth becomes as important as her romance with Will.

Though their relationship becomes intimate, the love scenes are all behind closed doors, so readers who prefer clean romance will not be offended. Where There is Will is a lovely story of a woman “of a certain age” who, in making a fresh start, finds a new life and new love. I highly recommend it.

Author Bio:
Monica Epstein writes about topics that appeal to women like herself—over 40 and nowhere near ready to throw in the towel and call it a life. Her first novel, Where There Is Will, is published by The Wild Rose Press.

Monica lives in a suburb of Washington, D.C. with her husband, their teenage daughter, and a small collection of hats and fascinators. She dreams of being the Queen of England in her next life.

Learn more about Monica at the following:

Monday, January 20, 2014

Character Interview: Wyck from SEAL OF AWAKENING by Traci Douglass

Welcome back readers to the Divas of Desire. As you know by now, this is your one-stop shop for all things sexy and behind the scenes (of the books, that is).

Today we have a super special guest, Wyck, the hero of Traci Doulass’s third book in the Seven Seals series, Seal of Awakening.

Welcome, Wyck. It’s soooo nice to meet you.
Thanks ladies. Great to be here.

What brings you by our little page today?
Well, when Quinn said that you called and invited me, I was a bit collywobbles about it.  You know, nervous. I mean I’m a bloke and you ladies are… well, the Divas of Desire. Then, of course, I checked out your website and saw all the steamy reads, and I knew this was definitely the place for me.

What’s it like to be immortal? I’ve always wondered what I would do with that kind of time… how many books I could write… ooh, how many could I read if I had eons of time???
Well, contrary to what some of my other stodgy Scion brethren might have you believe, it doesn’t blow.  Seriously. It’s rather brilliant most of the time. Especially now that I’ve got Quinn to share eternity with. It’s great to have someone to spend time with besides my adopted brothers. Quinn sure is prettier to look at and she smells better too, especially after a long night of surveillance work.

Could you tell us a little bit about what it’s like to go undercover for the Scion? Oops, was I not supposed to mention that? I wouldn’t have except, danger’s just so… sexy.
No worries, love. Just don’t tell Xan, my commander. He’s a bit… uptight about those sorts of things. Then again, he gets his knickers in a twist about virtually everything I do, so I guess it doesn’t matter much, eh?
Since you’ve mentioned it, having led my own covert op was fun, but a bit dodgy at times and yes, a few of my plans sadly went balls-up. Still, I’m glad for the opportunity to regain my title of King of the Mission again and I never would’ve found the love of my life otherwise, so it’s all good. Working behind the scenes suits me better though and has much better hours and benefits. You know, creating mass Internet mayhem, screwing with those Nephilim wankers, and all that. Always fun times.

And now for what everyone really wants to know… how’s your little friend, er I mean wife, Quinn (of whom none of us are jealous… promise…) :-p
My wife’s fine. Well, actually she’s better than fine. I mean she’s smokin’ hot and she’s got me, right? (Ducks to avoid flying debris from the sidelines). Oh sweetheart! I forgot you came with me today… What? Well, I’d try doing that to myself, but I don’t think it’s anatomically possible. (Laughs, crosses arms and leans back in his chair). See? She’s bursting with love for me. Things are great. Despite some doubts about us, we’re a perfect match. Quinn’s the ying to my yang, the peanut butter to my jelly, the tea to my scone… Well, you get the idea.

I just lurve your accent. Where’s home base for you these dreams, Mr. Dreamy? Um, I mean, Wyck?
Sorry, love. Can’t divulge that secret either. Top-secret headquarters under construction and all. If I told you, Xander really would have my todger in a sling.  But speaking of home base, I have been missing my English homeland more frequently these days. Maybe Quinn and I should take a trip to Cumbria. After all, we never took a proper holiday after the wedding. What do you think, sweetheart? (Looks at Quinn) Hmm… I‘ll give that some serious thought.

What is it about modern technology that attracts someone who’s seen so much history?
Interesting question. For me, it’s not so much about what’s evolving, it’s about what stays constant—the mathematics, the formulas and codes and binary languages. There’s a legacy in those that stretches back farther than I do. I find such consistency comforting. Plus, while I do love my gadgets, I’ve found I love a woman who can challenge me intellectually and shag my socks off even better. (Winks at Quinn)

If you could live in any time period in any country where and when would you go and why?
Oh, no question I’m happiest in the here and now. Bugger all, I mean look at how fantastic this time is? So much great invention and innovation and so much left to discover. Oh yeah, I’m a modern man through and through. Though I will say, you can take the man out of Britain, but you can’t take the Brit out of the man. Give me a nice stroll through Piccadilly Circus or a ride in the London Eye anytime.

Thanks so much Wyck for stopping by today and letting us chat it up. It was so nice to meet you.

And thanks so much for the ace interview! I can see why they call you ladies the Divas of Desire. (winks at Rachell) Cheerio.

Fallen in love with Wyck yet, ladies? 

Check this out for more of him: 

Socially awkward geneticist Quinn Strickland has willingly forgone the pleasures in life to reach her career objectives. Alone and approaching thirty, she uses her independence to mitigate any risk of a broken heart. Her strategy works until the day a handsome stranger bursts into her lab and her orderly plans shoot straight to Hades. He claims to be her personal divine protector, a powerful, ancient warrior sent to defend a prophetic time bomb existing within her own genetic code.

The Scion’s alpha-geek Wyck is offered the opportunity of his immortal lifetime as head of his own covert operation. He arrives at a Colorado lab expecting starched white coats and sterile surroundings—not a redheaded spitfire in charge of both his project and his libido. His skills have carried him from the battlefields of ancient England to the pits of Hell and he has no plans to be felled by one woman, regardless of her shag-worthy charms. Divine duty requires him to protect the apocalyptic Seal encrypted within Quinn’s DNA, but his heart has other ideas. When his personal feelings interfere with his age-old vendetta, he’s forced to decide between desire and retribution.

Amazon     Paperback

And if that wasn't enough to whet your appetite, here ya go... 

Short Excerpt:

For the band of adopted heavenly brothers known collectively as the Scion, covert ops generally fell into two categories, crashing bore or glorious adventure. And after more than nine hundred years of divine missions, Wyck could tell the difference before the first volley fired.
He double-checked to make sure his ID badge was prominently displayed.  Divinity had finally given him a second chance as mission leader and he intended to make sure this operation fell squarely into the epically awesome range despite his less than glamorous surroundings. This time, he vowed, there’d be no messy diversions to waylay his goals, no damsel in questionable distress to shred his heart to smithereens. Nope. This time he was fully prepared and would see his mission through to a successful end.
Wyck trudged up the sidewalk toward the imposing glass and steel Eugenicorp Labs building, craning his neck to see the top of the six-story structure. He was so engrossed in his perusal he nearly squashed a bedraggled squirrel limping across the pavement in front of him. Wyck glanced down and spotted a half-cracked acorn near the toe of his boot. Poor bugger must’ve dropped it in his hasty retreat.
His first inclination was to reach down and retrieve it, maybe place the nut near the roots of the giant tree where the squirrel now hid.  But now wasn’t the time to get sidetracked. As his commander, Xander, had already warned him, such kindness had only added to his past failures.
He kicked the nut, watching as it hurtled through the open grassy area surrounding the complex, then strode through the automatic doors and into the cavernous lobby. Empty. Sterile. Utilitarian, covered in gleaming metal and glass. The décor - neutral grays and bland beiges - screamed restraint. 
Okay, he amended. Maybe epic and awesome were pushing the envelope for this mission. Best to start with solidly successful. He blinked several times in the early morning sunshine and spotted the pinched, schoolmarm expression of a receptionist across the expanse.
In his experience, mulish females appeared to be the rule in academia. Just one more reason he steered clear of the smart ones and stuck to his technology. Emotional evisceration was another, but he refused to dwell on that now. Gadgets and science had always been his safe refuge. They trustworthy.
He proceeded across the pristine white-tile floor and when the receptionist steadfastly ignored him, Wyck coughed and summoned his most charming smile. “Hi, I’m Orson Parrot, the new bloke.”
The woman glanced up from her computer screen and ran a disdainful eye over him, her glare burning a hole through his extended hand.  Her scowl increased as she snatched a clipboard from the desk’s immaculate surface and skimmed a bony digit down the list.  She tapped her finger twice beside one line and stared back at him, her demeanor cold enough to freeze hydrogen, then pointed toward a pair of glass doors across the lobby. “Through there.”
He leaned forward to thank her only to be confronted by a strip of red fabric. Dangling from the receptionist’s hand, it swung in crazy, lopsided circles to tap him squarely on the chest. “You’ll need this,” she said, her tone a perfect match for the Queen’s after a distasteful tabloid scandal.
Wyck caught the twirling lanyard, with its attached security keycard, and placed it around his neck.  He couldn’t resist giving the woman a wink and a grin on his way out, and was delighted when she stiffened like rawhide. A fellow had to have some fun.
He headed toward the double doors across the atrium, his mind ticking with details. This rare shot at redemption, plus the added potential for delivering a digital smackdown to his longtime enemies, the Nephilim, had him jumping at the chance to infiltrate the Eugenicorp’s computer system. Getting back in the field again would prove more enjoyable than his usual long hours of tedious research for his brother’s quests. Not to mention turning down an assignment from Divinity wasn’t really an option. She’d given the Scion many blessings, but freewill over their assignments wasn’t one of them.
If his hunches were correct, his new logic bomb would blow the fucking cork right off the half-breeds’ schemes for a new world order. By utilizing their legitimate business arm in the human realm, Tolbert International, the Nephilim had been quietly amassing huge quantities of money for centuries, branching out into everything from pharmaceuticals to produce. The Internet had been buzzing for months with rumors of an eminent Tolbert takeover of a genetics research facility and Divinity had sent him to Eugenicorp to make sure those takeover plans didn’t include the Seal currently hosted by one head scientist or the top-secret project she commandeered.
He used his new keycard to enter a glass-lined walkway and caught sight of his reflection. Christ Almighty. He’d done a wicked job of turning his normal hipster persona into Orson Parrott—Super Brain Extraordinaire.
Attired in a scholarly turtleneck and khakis, he couldn’t have been further from his normal choice of t-shirt and jeans. Between his helmet hair and the tatty, empty briefcase he carried, there was little sign of the tousled charmer who’d enticed a cute barista to bed during his last reconnaissance mission here a few months earlier.
Goodbye quick tumbles. Hello brainy celibate.
Wyck passed from the atrium into another adjoining lobby and glanced at the office number scribbled across his palm in blue ballpoint ink. 5324. He pushed the button for the next arriving elevator, whistling while he waited.
Sure, he’d performed a teensy bit of cyber-fraud by uploading his own credentials and employee demographics into the Eugenicorp HR files and he’d picked out a nice cushy office with a window, close to his target and close to the vending machines. Perfect.
Speaking of his target, the buttoned-down woman wasn’t one he looked forward to meeting. From everything he’d read about the third Seal’s unwitting host, she was smarter than sin and as enticing as a good bout of bubonic plague. No thank you.
A determined clack of heels echoed against the tile behind him and he swiveled toward the noise, just in time to see a flash of bright red hair barge through the gathering crowd and into the elevator. People stepped back, some headed for the stairs, as if the woman now occupying the compartment might spontaneously combust at any moment.

And thanks so much to Traci who brought Wyck to life and to us for today! 

Traci is the author of paranormal romance/urban fantasy and contemporary romances featuring a sly, urban edge, including her current Seven Seals series. Her stories feature sizzling alpha-male heroes full of dark humor, quick wits and major attitudes; smart, independent heroines who always give as good as they get; and scrumptiously evil villains who are—more often than not—bent on world destruction. She enjoys weaving ancient curses and mythology, modern science and old religion, and great dialogue together to build red-hot, sizzling chemistry between her main characters.

She is an active member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Indiana Romance Writers of America (IRWA) and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Writers (FF&P) and is pursing a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction through Seton Hill University. Her stories have made the final rounds in several RWA chapter contests, including the 2012 Duel on the Delta, the 2012 Molly Awards, and the 2012 Catherine Awards. An earlier draft of the first book in the Seven Seals Series, Seal of Destiny, won the paranormal category of the 2012 Marlene Awards sponsored by the Washington Romance Writers.
Other current projects include upcoming books in the Seven Seals series, a new contemporary novella series due out in early 2014, and a new futuristic suspense series with hints of the paranormal and plenty of romance.

Website and blog: http://www.tracidouglass.net

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Traci_Douglass       

Saturday, January 18, 2014

#Win #Books and #Prizes Galore at Tall, Dark and Alpha #Giveaway!

Good morning, friends! I'm not usually here on Saturday, but I want to let you all know about an awesome giveaway event that's going on. Loads of books and prizes are being offered by the Give Me Books blog in their Tall, Dark and Alpha Giveaway. And guess what--I'm participating! Yep, a digital copy of erotic BDSM romance Uncollared is one of the many prizes. All you need do to take part is use the handy Rafflecopter I've posted.

Here's a bit of info on my prize:

Submissive Mia Manetti is devastated when her first Master uncollars her just as she was hoping for a permanent relationship with him. Trying to move on, she agrees to sub for a powerful and sexy new Dom.
Chess Ryan has wanted Mia from the first moment he saw her at Club Restraint, but it was always "hands off" because she belonged to his friend Philip. Now, thanks to that friend's maneuvers, Mia is finally his. But only for a little while.
Mia finds it increasingly difficult to keep her feelings in check as she experiences erotic delights with Master Chess, sensual and sexual fantasies that she's never known before. Is she setting herself up for another heart ache?

Guilt, secrets and misplaced pride all keep Chess and Mia from being completely honest with each other. As they connect sexually and emotionally, they realize their relationship has grown too serious to be called "play". How far are they willing to go as Master and slave?

Don't forget, plenty of prizes are available, so make sure you don't miss out! Check out the Rafflecopter below.

To find out more about the giveaway and the prizes offered, stop by the Give Me Books website!

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Have a wonderful weekend, all!

Nona Raines

Hot Contemporary Romance
Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic

Friday, January 17, 2014

#Review Tour: The Muse by Kenya Wright #LiteraryNook

Synopsis –

On the first day of her nude modeling job, Elle deals  with a corpse, an eccentric dark artist, his sexy brother, and a grandmother that can see someone's future by just touching their hands. Although these crazy distractions shove her on edge, it's just what she needs to mend her battered heart and forget about her ex-boyfriend. Besides, she does get to live in their castle for the whole three months. 

Everything seems magical and perfect. Until more dead bodies are discovered.

There's something going on at night, right in the artist's garden. Under the moonlight, young women are being cut and sliced, and no one has a clue to who's doing it. And the more she's around the weird family in the castle, the more she realizes that they all are hiding secrets.

Goodreads Link - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18626645-the-muse

“Can I take you upstairs to my room?” he whispered. As if to not give me too much time to think about it, he assaulted me with sweet and long sugary kisses all over the tops of my cleavage. My nipples pebbled at his attention. My breasts begged to be released right there on the dance floor in front of everyone.
“Come with me.” He clutched my behind some more. “God, I’ve got to have you tonight. Please.”
But before I could answer, someone screamed.
It wasn’t the type of shrill sound that one could hear at a party where someone let out a loud yell of enjoyment. It wasn’t a cry of excitement. It sounded like fear. The noise cut through the air and delivered cold shivers up my spine.
The person screamed again.

Buy Links –

***Nona’s review of The Muse by Kenya Wright***

When Elle arrives at the artists’ compound, the first thing she sees is a body bag being taken away. That would have been my cue to say “See ya” and tell the cabbie to drive me back to the airport. But Elle is braver than I am. She is also trapped. Thanks to her controlling, abusive ex she has only five hundred dollars to her name and posing for the artist Hex is the only way she can earn enough to remain independent.

If Hex were poor and untalented, he’d be called an oddball, but since he’s a rich and famous artist, he’s considered eccentric. Many of his creations are large interactive works. He seems obsessed with death and dying. Besides dealing with Hex, Elle also encounters his grandmother, another strange soul, who casts spells. But is she practicing magic or witchcraft?

Luckily, Elle also meets Alvarez, Hex’s handsome older brother. He takes care of the business side of Hex’s empire. Alvarez and Elle are powerfully attracted to each other but a series of macabre deaths interrupt their budding romance. Al also has a secret. He’s hiding the existence of a mysterious woman named Dayanara from Elle.

This is the first book in the Dark Art Mystery series, and there is a lot of darkness in the story. Hex and his grandmother share an obsession with death and decay. Themes include murder, child abuse, mutilation and crimes from the past. I found it pretty grim at times. The forces of good vs. evil really have a field day in this tale. Good ultimately triumphs, but at a very high price.

My favorite parts of the book were the romance between Elle and Alvarez and Elle’s personal growth. She is trying to break away from her ex, an artist for whom she served as muse. He refuses to let her go, but his love is selfish. She’s working on getting stronger and discovering she has other gifts besides physical beauty. Alvarez encourages this growth. He’s an awesome, protective, loving character—not just for Elle, but for the rest of his family. This is a huge burden for him, and Elle is only one who sees what it’s costing him. I loved the scene where he seduces her by quoting the lyrics of a Spanish song and the scene where they finally consummate their love.

Be warned, there are some intense themes in this book. But readers who enjoy a romance with an unusual setting and a strong suspense line will want to give The Muse a try.  

Author Bio -
Kenya Wright always knew she would be famous since the ripe old age of six when she sang the Michael Jackson thriller song in her bathroom mirror. She has tried her hand at many things from enlisting in the Navy for six years as a Persian-Farsi linguist to being a nude model at an art university.
However, writing has been the only constant love in her life. Will she succeed? Of course.
For she has been coined The Urban Fantasy Queen, the Super Iconic Writer of this Age, The Lyrical Genius of Our Generation. Granted, these are all terms coined by her, within the private walls of her bathroom as she still sings the Michael Jackson thriller song.
Kenya Wright currently resides in Miami with her three amazing, overactive children, a supportive, gorgeous husband, and three cool black cats that refuse to stop sleeping on Kenya’s head at night.

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#Review by Rach: ONCE UPON A TIGER by Kat Simons

Welcome back readers!

Today I have a special treat for you all - a review of Once Upon a Tiger by Kat Simons... and rawr, was it a steamy read! Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post for the chance to win a $30 gift card to Amazon or B&N

I knew I was going to like the book just by its description (and I was right!) 

She’ll never run.
Among the tiger shifters, Alexis Tarasova is regarded as fierce and dangerous, with a reputation that would make even the most daring tiger think twice about challenging her. Female tiger shifters may be rare and the mating run a critical part of their species’s survival, but Alexis is the only female Tracker and will not back down, even at the threat of tiger law. She will not be forced to mate. So when a handful of males band together to force her to participate in the run, Alexis chooses to stand her ground and fight instead.

He's forbidden to run.
Outcast from the tiger shifters after a vicious childhood attack left him mute, Victor Romanov has never taken part in the mate run. He’s never particularly cared, though, since the woman he loves refuses to take a mate. However, when he learns Alexis may be in danger, all bets are off. Nothing will keep him from her side.

Together, they're unmovable.
The chemistry between them burns wickedly hot and forges them into an unbeatable pair. Alexis knows that being with Victor means she will have to break another one of her people’s laws—a move that might push the tigers too far. But, for Victor, she will risk everything, including her life, and do what she thought she’d never do—run.

Rach's Review:

This was a novella, and a lot of times with fewer words, there just isn't enough in the novella length to really world build, give your characters a full history, and damage as well as goals, and to then add all of that to the idea that there's these two characters who fall in love in the space of a few thousand words. BUT - Simons really pulls that off here. 

I was intrigued by the premise. I was drawn in by page one when Alexis finds six males encroaching on her territory. I kept turning the pages to see what would happen next, and I was very pleased with the ending. Simons takes these two characters, both with icky pasts and damage, shows us the way they secretly feel about one another through their thoughts as well as their actions, and keeps the pace moving at a good clip through the chapters. Alexis and Victor are the perfect match, but they don't know it yet. 

When they're locked in the small space of Alexis's territory while she's in estrous (heat), sparks fly and they don't stop until the final page. Simons did a great job of showing how these characters loved one another, but also allowing them to break down their final barriers "on screen", letting us see the relationship unfold and the sweet vulnerabilities of Victor and Alexis. 

All in all, a great read. 

4.5 out of 5 Divas! 

If that wasn't enough incentive to pick up your own copy of Once Upon A Tiger, here's an excerpt: 

To Alexis’ surprise, Victor was standing at her door only a few minutes later. She swallowed and tried not to stare. He was magnificent, muscled and lean, with just the right amount of hair covering his human body. The hard cut angles of his face should have made him look harsh but somehow he just looked more compelling. Black eyes, closely cut dark hair, and a sexy half-smile that made her stomach muscles tighten, all combined to send her heartbeat pounding.
She’d never been around Victor when she was in estrous. In fact, since coming to terms with the knowledge that her obsession with him could never lead to a future, she’d made an effort to never spend time alone with him. He was the head security technician at the elders’ compound, so they crossed paths regularly. But she tried making sure there were others around to keep her from doing something stupid.
Unfortunately, she hadn’t always been successful.
She flashed on a recent memory of literally bumping into him in a corridor at the compound when she’d been too deep in thought to notice her surroundings. He’d held her arms while she caught her balance. The contact sent shivers of desire shooting through her body, forcing her to step back as soon as she could, then apologized.
He pulled a notebook from the back pocket of his dark jeans and wrote, You okay?
“Fine. The job I’m heading out on has me…” She shrugged. “It’s a tough one.”
A friend?
“No. Nothing like that.” She made the mistake of looking up to finish and got momentarily caught in the deep darkness of his steady gaze. Her stomach danced in giddy delight even as her heart tightened. Swallowing, she said, “The tiger I’m going after has something wrong with him. He’s started stalking children.”
Human or tiger?
“Exactly.” Dangerous to their people if he were discovered by the humans. Also dangerous for her as her target couldn’t possibly be sane if he was hunting kids.
Has he hurt any yet?
“No. Fortunately. He came close twice, though. I have to find him soon.”
Do you want help?
She straightened. No one offered to help her. Not since she’d taken the Tracker oath. But he looked serious. And beneath the façade he normally wore, she sensed a hard core of intensity only a stupid person would challenge. His silence was intimidating enough, but for the first time, she saw a dangerous edge to him.
And he was offering to help her. The gesture touched her in ways she wouldn’t have expected. Suddenly, she was aware of just how alone they were and just how desperately she wanted him.
“I’ll be fine.” Even as she said this, her heartbeat quickened and she had trouble speaking above a whisper.
I know. But if you need me, I’m here.
Her pulse pounded loud in her ears as she read. Could he hear it? Did he realize just how much she needed him—just not for the hunt? She found herself staring at his mouth. The urge to lean in and taste him overwhelmed her.
Alexis blinked back the memory and realized she was once again staring at Victor’s mouth. This time, there was no one around to interrupt them and keep her from giving in to the years of wanting. During that previous meeting, a member of his security tech team had required his attention and he’d hurried away, leaving her breathless. She’d brought in the rogue tiger with a little more aggression than she might have normally. And then she’d taken herself off to her retreat here in the mountains to wallow in the frustration of having to resist the only man she wanted.
Now Victor was here. No one between them. And her hormones were making things infinitely worse.
His being naked did not help her control either—which was hanging on by a very tiny, thin thread.

About the Author:

Kat Simons earned her Ph.D in animal behavior, working with animals as diverse as dolphins and deer. She brought her experience and knowledge of biology to her paranormal romance fiction, where she delights in taking nature and turning it on its ear. After traveling the world, she now lives in New York City with her family. Kat is a stay-at-home mom and a full time writer.

~ Rach

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