Monday, September 29, 2014

Light My Fire by Kristina Knight {Book Tour}

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Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police--no, she wasn't a troublemaker, she was a journalist. Her career took her all over the United States, writing about everything from a serial killer's capture to the National Finals Rodeo. Along the way she found her very own Knight in Shining Cowboy Boots and an abiding love for romance novels. Kristina writes contemporary romance with a smattering of sass, sex and (of course) drama, and she loves hearing from readers. And just like the characters from her favorite books, she's living her own happily ever after.

Find Kristina online at http://www.kristinaknightauthor.com or on her blog http://www.kristiknight.blogspot.com.

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Lily MacIntyre needs to shed her sitcom teen-queen image if she's going to carve out a real career in Hollywood. A tabloid-worthy fling with rocker Nate Lansford--her childhood friend and new cohost of a reality talent show--should do it. As long as she can accept that the notorious player will be moving on to the next eager conquest when the season wraps.

Long before Nate's hard-hearted image took hold, he and Lily were each other's protectors and allies. No one knows him the way she does--and he doesn't want his messed-up past to muddy up her potential. For once, the bad boy is trying to be good. Not easy when the good girl is getting wicked with him in the back of his limo and every white-hot kiss proves they can never be "just friends" again…

 

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Excerpt:

Prologue

Nate Lansford watched the red carpet closely from the shadowed corner while he waited for his turn before the paparazzi and entertainment journalists. He hated this part of his job. Writing songs, entertaining arenas filled with people? That was the fun part. Standing on a red carpet while someone asked about his latest breakup or when he planned to settle down? Too invasive for his taste.

Especially when he had no plans to settle. There was only one woman who might make him consider it and she was fifty feet down the red carpet. His best friend’s little sister. His friend. Two Grand Canyon–sized reasons to keep up the playboy, bad-boy rocker image he’d perfected over the past ten years.

Lily MacIntyre posed, tilting her head down and smiling that crooked smile she’d never grown out of. He’d lost count of how many etiquette and poise instructors had tried to unhinge that smile from her, but Lily never changed. Tonight, her dirty-blonde hair was pulled up in a neat French twist, and while he knew the four-inch stiletto sandals had to be killing her pretty pink-painted toes, she didn’t show it. Her navy dress plunged just a little too low in the back, giving the photographers too much access to the cute dimple just above her curvy ass.

Nate crossed his arms over his chest, watching as she answered another question. She turned, giving him and the rest of North America a glimpse of one firm, tanned breast before sashaying down the carpet, completely at ease despite the fact that one slip would give the photogs a whole other image of her.

Damn, but he needed to get over this newfound infatuation with Lily. Marriage and kids destroyed relationships. He had to only look to his parents for confirmation of that. He wouldn’t risk the friendship he had with Lily—or her brother—for a few fun nights in the sack. Because felonious dress or not, Lily was a forever kind of girl.

It was so much simpler when she was still playing the part of Rayna, so much easier to pretend Lily was still seventeen. That she was only his best friend's younger sister. Nate couldn't put his finger on it, but somewhere between her show being cancelled and tonight everything changed. She wasn't just his best friend's baby sister. She had become the woman he couldn't stop thinking about. Lily meant more to him than she should.

So damned much more.

Glancing over at Lily now, he caught the hesitation as one more question was tossed across the velvet rope barrier between the paps and the stars. She looked back, her complexion turning pale. Another question was heaved across and the slight pallor grew. Nate clenched his fists.

He knew what they were asking, and Lily didn’t deserve it. They’d been looking for a reason to tear her down for months. Since the cancellation of The Rayna Show. The press liked nothing better than to build up a celebrity and then bring them back to mere human level.

The event manager motioned toward him, letting him know he had a few more minutes to wait.

Two more questions were peppered across the barrier. They had her rattled and knew it.

Before he could talk himself out of it, Nate pushed past the manager and started down the carpet.

“Come on, Lily, one more smile, show Trey how little you miss him,” one of the photographers coaxed.

So he was right. Trey Williams, Lily’s former costar, had been hinting that she broke his heart and that was why he wouldn’t re-sign for another year on the show. Teenage girls across the country were up in arms that their favorite show was cancelled, and instead of putting the blame on the person who thought he could do better than a weekly sitcom, they preferred to heap their anger on Lily. The victim of Hollywood lies.

Nate put his arm around her shoulders and whispered, “Keep smiling, you’re almost through.”

The photographers turned their attention to Nate. “What gives, Nate? Are you the reason Lily dropped Trey?”

He grinned and dropped his arm from Lily’s shoulders to her waist, squeezing gently. “From what I heard, there was nothing to drop. Trey wanted off the show, so he didn’t sign the contract. You can’t fault Lily for his actions.”

“So you’re playing publicist now?” The photographer, a balding man who had reported for a number of Hollywood magazines over the years, wouldn’t give up.

“Nah, I saw a pretty lady on the red carpet and couldn’t stay away.” He turned his attention to Lily and shot her a come-hither look. “How you doin’, Lil?”

Light My Fire: Copyright © 2014 by Kristina Knight used with permission of author/publisher

Giveaway:

Runs from 1 AM (est) on 29 Sept through 11.59 PM (est) on October 3rd, 2014
Reader giveaway is for a $5 Amazon or Barnes gift card and 1 eBook title from Kristina’s backlist (does NOT include Light My Fire)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mistress of Lies by Holly West {Book Tour – Dream Cast}

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Holly West is a crime fiction writer based in Los Angeles. She’s the author of the Mistress of Fortune series, set in late 17th London and featuring amateur sleuth Isabel Wilde, a mistress to King Charles II who secretly makes her living as a fortuneteller.

The first in the series, Mistress of Fortune, was published by Harlequin’s Carina Press in February 2014 and its sequel, Mistress of Lies, is forthcoming in Fall 2014.

Find her online at hollywest.com.

London, 1679

Isabel, Lady Wilde, mistress of King Charles II, has made a good living disguised as fortune teller Mistress Ruby, counseling London's elite. But after the murder of one of her customers, business has taken a downturn, and Isabel is on the verge of accepting the king's offer to move into the palace.

Isabel's plans are interrupted when a beggar girl named Susanna shows up at her home, claiming to be her niece. Isabel always believed that her older brother, Adam, died alone during the plague. When Susanna reveals that Adam was actually murdered, Isabel is compelled to take up an impossible task: discover the truth about her brother's death, twelve years after it happened.

Isabel's investigation leads her through the gamut of London society, from bear-baiting matches and brothels to the realm of wealthy bankers. But as she uncovers her brother's dark secrets, Isabel begins to wonder whether the past is better left buried, especially when uncovering the truth could lead to her own funeral.

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Casting Mistress of Lies

By Holly West

I don’t know any author who doesn’t give some thought to who would play their lead characters in a movie. I know I do. I even have a Pinterest board devoted to the subject.

When I write my heroine, Isabel Wilde, I don’t have a firm picture of her in my mind, but I’ve always thought that she might look a lot like Kate Winslet. It’s the red hair she sometimes sports and her distinctive beauty. Isabel attracted the attention of a king and whoever plays her needs to be unique. I think Kate Winslet fits that bill.

Kate Winslet as Isabel Wilde

Many actors have portrayed King Charles II on film. From George Sanders in Forever Amber to Rupert Everett in Stage Beauty, I’ve never seen a performance that has truly captured him. Even Rufus Sewell in The Last King didn’t do it for me, and I find him fetching indeed. But there’s one actor who I think is perfect for the role: Federico Castelluccio. You might remember Federico from his role as Furio Giunta on The Sopranos, but to me, he makes the ideal Charles II.

Federico Castelluccio as King Charles II

For Charlotte, Isabel’s waiting woman, I was looking for someone fresh-faced and pretty and came up with Anna Kendrick. I’m not 100% impressed with her acting ability, but I can visualize her in the part, nonetheless.

Anna Kendrick as Charlotte

You probably know him as Jon Snow on The Game of Thrones, but to me, Kit Harrington personifies Isabel’s faithful friend and protector, Sam Turner. He brings the right blend of good looks, athleticism and seriousness to bring Sam to life.

Kit Harrington as Sam Turner

Susanna Barber is a key character in Mistress of Lies. She’s young—just 12—but she’s precocious, smart, and adventurous. After all, she braved the arduous ship journey from America to London, which in the 17th century was no pleasure cruise, even for the wealthy. I’ve chosen Elle Fanning to play her because I think she has the depth to make Susanna come alive on screen.

Elle Fanning as Susanna Barber

Have you read the Mistress of Fortune series? Did I get the casting right? Who would you choose to play these parts?

Giveaway

Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships in US ONLY

1 Winner will get a  Kindle Fire HD 7 (8GB) Tablet in their choice of color.

HWest Giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Night Visitor by Dianne Emley {Book Tour}

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Dianne Emley is a Los Angeles Times bestselling author and has received critical acclaim for her Detective Nan Vining Novels, Iris Thorne Mysteries, and The Night Visitor, a stand-alone paranormal mystery. She’s also published short fiction for anthologies including Literary Pasadena. Her books have been translated into six languages.

A Los Angeles native, she grew up in a modest, hilly neighborhood in Northeast Los Angeles called El Sereno. She went to public schools, read a lot, and nurtured a dream of one day being a writer, tapping out short stories on a Smith Corona portable typewriter. She went to college across town at UCLA where she majored in philosophy and French, spent her junior year abroad at the Université de Bordeaux, and filled dozens of spiral-bound notebooks with her scribblings.

She had no burning career ambitions other than to pay her bills, have a little cash left over at the end of the week, and to write, which she never dreamed she could do for a living. So she worked for bi-weekly paychecks and also brown-bagged her lunch to save money to chase around L.A. with her friends on the weekends. Along the way, she went back to UCLA at night and earned her MBA. She then got better jobs and chased around with her friends at better places. Her jobs included: polling place recruiter for the Registrar of Voters, complaint handler for the California Department of Consumer Affairs, egg and poultry industry marketer, clothing boutique buyer, software company sales manager, and technical writer. She held onto her dream of being a published author, writing stories in her spare time and collecting rejection letters.

When her crazy friends started settling down, Dianne did too—to seriously writing. She took a creative writing course at UCLA at night and started her first novel, Cold Call,rising at 4:30 am to write before going to work. Three years later, the book was finished.  It was sold at auction to Pocket Books/Simon and Schuster and published in 1993. She kept her day job while juggling her writing career, writing in the early morning before heading to her day job and devoting chunks of every weekend. After publishing eight more novels, she finally quit her day job and became a full-time writer. Best job ever. She lives in California with her husband and a few cats. When she’s not writing, she’s a pretty good cook and a terrible golfer.

Connect with Dianne

Gorgeous and successful, Rory Langtry seemed to have it all. Daughter of a movie star and sister of a supermodel, Rory was engaged to sexy artist, Junior Lara. But her bright future went dark one terrible, bloody night that left her sister dead and the accused murderer, Junior, in an extended coma.

Now, five years later, Rory appears to have put the past behind her. She has a wonderful new fianc√© and heads a successful cosmetics company… yet dark secrets threaten.  Across town, Junior lies close to death but before he departs he seeks to clear his name.

It starts with a feeling. It turns into a vision. Soon Rory has sensations that only Junior could experience—from the horrifying to the erotic. Then she learns details about the awful night that only Junior could know, newfound knowledge with potentially fatal consequences. When another act of violence rocks her family, Rory plunges deeper into the unsolved mystery, led by an inexplicable visitor to a dangerous time and place where all will be revealed at last. But until then, Junior will not let her go…

You Can Purchase This Book At

Check out an excerpt here.

Giveaway:

$25 gift card to the eBook Retailer of your choice and a copy of THE NIGHT VISITOR by Dianne Emley.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Game Changer by Collette West {Virtual Book Tour}

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Collette West

Collette West grew up as somewhat of a jock-nerd hybrid. Entering the world three weeks premature, her dad nearly missed her birth because he had seats behind the dugout for a sold-out, highly-anticipated match-up between two of baseball's biggest rivals. Not to be outdone, her book-loving mom taught her how to read by the time she was three. A love of the game coupled with an appreciation for the written word were instilled in Collette's impressionable brain from a young age. No wonder her characters believe in the philosophy: sports + romance = a little slice of heaven.

Splitting her time between the Pocono Mountains and Manhattan, Collette indulges her inner fangirl by going to as many games as she can from hockey to baseball and downloading every sports romance novel in existence onto her iPad. When she's not clicking away on her laptop, she enjoys walking her dog in Central Park, satisfying her caffeine craving at the Starbucks on Broadway and keeping an eye out for Mr. Right. But above all, she loves dishing with her readers. Email her at collette_west@yahoo.com

She is the author of NIGHT GAMES and GAME CHANGER.

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Young, rich, and unaware of how seriously hot he is, Brooks Davison is tearing it up as the latest shortstop for the New York Kings, despite his tendency to blush whenever girls scream his name.

When a health scare forces his best friend, Kyle Roberts, off the team, no one can stomach the thought of replacing him, especially so close to the playoffs.

Until Kyle's sister, Sasha, steps in, convincing management to let her take his place. The idea of signing the first female player in Major League history proves too tempting for the Kings to resist.

Nevertheless, Brooks doesn't want any part of it. Sasha is Kyle's little sister, not some sideshow.

Yet when Kyle takes a turn for the worse, Brooks promises to do everything in his power to help Sasha win a championship for him. Because there's no way he's letting either of them down. Not now, not ever.

Amazon ~ B&N ~ Kobo ~ iTunes ~ Smashwords

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Giveaway:

Tour Wide Giveaway for a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card and a Signed Paperback of GAME CHANGER

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Day in the Life of… Lynne Hugo

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Welcome to Stitch Read Cook's weekly feature!!


A Day in the Life of.....

This is where us bloggers & fans get a glimpse inside the days of our favorite authors!

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Lynne Hugo is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship recipient who has also received grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women.  She has published five previous novels, one of which became a Lifetime Original Movie of the Month, two books of poetry, and a children’s book.  Her memoir, Where The Trail Grows Faint, won the Riverteeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize. Born and educated in New England, she and her husband currently live in Ohio with a yellow Lab feared by squirrels in a three state area.

Ms. Hugo has taught creative writing to hundreds of schoolchildren through the Ohio Arts Council’s renowned Arts in Education program. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College, and a Master’s from Miami University.

A Day In The Life Of Author Lynne Hugo…

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…begins with an exuberant yellow Lab leaping onto the bed between my husband and me to encourage whichever one of us appears least comatose. Most days, after I stagger to the kitchen and revive myself with coffee, Scout gets his first romp of the day before I head to the writing room. My computer desk is in front of a large window. I can see the four raised beds of our vegetable garden out in the sunny part of the yard near the roses. To my right through a door onto the deck are pots filled with shade-loving red and pink impatiens and yellow begonias, even some blue flowers I planted but can’t identify. Hummingbird feeders hang in the lowest branches of the Chinese elm that towers over the house; we brought that tree home, bare root, in the trunk of our car, close to thirty years ago. Now, like the children we raised here, it’s fully grown.

So I spend the day writing. I try not to be distracted by phone or email—or Scout, especially when I’m working on something new. When a book is coming out there’s a lot of work expected on publicity and marketing and sometimes it’s difficult to balance that with focus on the new project—what I most love to do—and often the new work ends up on the back burner for a while.

There are tasks that only an author can do that are important to give a book its best chance to find its readership. Today I went through pictures to send to the publisher because they are making a video trailer for A MATTER OF MERCY, which has just been released. The novel is set in a place I love, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in a town named Wellfleet out near the tip. Shellfishing (oysters and clams) has flourished there for generations and is hugely important to the local economy. In 1996, the owner of one of the large, expensive vacation homes on the bluffs above the harbor filed a lawsuit to shut down the aquaculturists (oyster and clam farmers) because he objected to how their apparatus affected his view, although the cages are only visible for an hour before and after dead low tide. The basis for the lawsuit—and how it was finally resolved—were so bizarre, so fascinating, so unbelievable, yet so true, that when I heard about it by simply walking on the beach and by happenstance making friends with one of the women aquaculturists, I knew I wanted to use it as the basis for a novel. I needed to invent the characters, a gripping story for their lives, and extract a meaning for the characters that fit with the unfolding story of the lawsuit. The lawsuit was real even though my characters weren’t, and I wanted the novel to be authentic. I’d fallen in love, and I wanted to take readers so into that world that they would, too.

When you have such a beautiful setting, and have pictures of the real thing—a trailer is a natural. So I’ve spent one day winnowing down the text, and now, today, sorting out the best pictures from the last time I visited my oyster farming friend on the shining shallows of Cape Cod Bay, in July. Here are a few:

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What I didn’t do today—again--was work on my next novel. But I think that’s the life of the writer now, back and forth between working on something new and what we do to help bring our books into the world and find their readership.

At about 3:30, Scout starts to get impatient. I can hold him off until 4:00; if I’m being productive. By then he’ll be impatiently nosing my left arm, making it impossible to type. If I put him off much longer, he puts his front paw into my lap and jams his head between me and the keyboard. I’ll give up and load him into the back seat of the car, drive the two minutes it takes me to get to the nature preserve near my house where off-leash dogs are allowed to run if they’re under voice command. I’ll have arranged to meet my friend Barb and her chocolate Lab Maggie, and we’ll hike along the little singing river and then through the fragrant high pine forest we call The Cathedral, where our ritual is to name a gratitude for the day. Sometime during the hour I’ll doubtless shout, “Scout, leave it! Don’t eat it, and no! Don’t roll in it!” (He particularly loves anything that will make him stink enough that I have to hose him down immediately upon returning home.) clip_image013

Afterward, a glass of wine, talk, and some music out on the deck with my husband when he gets home from work; then one of us makes dinner while we catch the evening news. The other cleans up. Ideally, I mean, on that “clean up” part. My standards might be somewhat higher than his. Then sometimes it’s back to the computer if there’s a deadline to meet, or an episode of a something we’ve taped on TV: The Good Wife is a favorite, and so is Parenthood. Always, always, then an hour or more of reading—almost always a literary novel.

I count it an excellent day when it includes contact with one of the kids. And I’m glad to say that’s more days than not. The day circles its tails and settles to sleep for the night with Scout having done exactly that, first up on the bed with us for some final treats, and then down on his own, everything—at least for a few hours—in place.

Thanks so much, Aislynn, for having me on your blog—and thank you to all of Aislynn’s readers! I hope you love A MATTER OF MERCY. I’d love to hear from you.

Lynne

Caroline Marcum thought she’d escaped the great mistake of her life by leaving Wellfleet harbor, but is forced to face it when she returns, reluctantly, to care for her dying mother. Ridley Neal put his past-and his prison term-behind him to return home to take over his father’s oyster and clam beds. Casual acquaintances long ago, when a nor’easter hits the coast, Rid and Caroline’s lives intersect once again. When Rid and two other sea farmers are sued by the wealthy owners of vacation homes who want to shut them down, and Caroline accidentally meets the person she most wronged, they each must learn to trust-and love. Inspired by a 1996 lawsuit, A Matter of Mercy is a riveting novel about treasuring the traditional way of life in the shallows of beautiful Cape Cod bay by discovering where forgiveness ends. And where it begins.

“A richly detailed, intimate look at the struggles of love and hard work and hard choices. With wisdom and compassion, Lynne Hugo explores how we sometimes find our homes in the places and people we’ve left behind. This book draws you in and won’t let you go. A Matter of Mercy is the kind of novel one longs to read – beautifully written, full of crooked fates, terrible loss and hard-won second chances.” ~ Laura Harrington, author of Alice Bliss, winner of Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction

“Lynne Hugo’s novel A MATTER OF MERCY is full of intrigue and heart, as gritty as the inside of a clamshell and tender as a beach sunset. You won’t soon forget this story of two Cape Cod residents struggling against the tides for mercy and reaching out for each other despite the dark currents of their own pasts.” ~ Jenna Blum, New York Times and internationally bestselling author of THOSE WHO SAVE US, THE STORMCHASERS, and “The Lucky One” in GRAND CENTRAL.

“Through her exquisite use of language and deft storytelling, Lynne Hugo has rendered a universe so precise it sings of truth and so human it plucks at all the right strings.  She is that rare fiction writer who truly understands the music of good writing, conflating the worlds of prose and poetry into something exalted, a symphony for both the heart and the ear.”    — Kim Triedman, author of The Other Room