Monday, July 28, 2014

Until We Touch by Susan Mallery {Blog Tour & Review}


UNTIL WE TOUCH
Fool’s Gold book 15
June 24, 2014

From New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery comes the story of secret desires finally fulfilled…

After a family tragedy, former football hero Jack McGarry keeps the world at arm's length—a challenge now that his PR firm has moved to neighbourly Fool's Gold, California.

Larissa Owens knows where she stands—Jack sees her as just another one of the guys. No matter what her heart wishes, Jack's her boss, not her boyfriend. But then Larissa's big secret is revealed…by her mother!

When Jack discovers the truth about Larissa's feelings, her touch suddenly becomes tantalizing, and he's not sure he wants to resist. But if he gives in to desire, heartache is sure to follow. Friendship or true love—will Jack go for the ultimate play?

Larissa has been with Jack and the guys for years.  She’s a friend, a co-worker and their massage therapist.  She’s always just been ‘one of the guys’ to them all, but now something has changed and Jack is starting to see Larissa in a totally different way.

One conversation changes everything for them – thanks to Larissa’s mother.  She thinks that Larissa is in love with Jack and has been for years but has been hiding it.  Now she’s followed Jack and the firm to Fool’s Gold far from home and her family, which her Mom isn’t a fan of. 

Jack isn’t sure what to think of the whole situation.  He doesn’t believe in love or relationships.. they bring nothing but pain and hurt.  He can’t keep Larissa out of his mind and is beginning to see her in a different light.  Which makes some aspects of their work relationship a bit hard (pun intended).

He’s trying to keep her at arms length, which ends up backfiring on him.  These two have amazing chemistry and can’t fight what they are feeling.  She is a lot more invested in the ‘relationship’ then he is, and that doesn’t bode well for them.  Can they find common ground?  Can he see that Larissa is right for him?  Can he get over his relationship/love issues?

I’ve always been a fan of Susan Mallery and I’ve picked up the Fool’s Gold series part way through.. Thankfully each book can easily be read as a standalone, but do follow a path through the different couples as they meet and fall in love. I definitely plan on going back and starting at the beginning and working my way back through the books, what I’ve read so far is amazing and addictive!

Would I recommend this book?  Most definitely.  It was great seeing Jack and Larissa find one another and overcome all the roadblocks Jack has thrown up in their path.  He is a tough character who wasn’t willing to give into love easily, he needed Larissa but didn’t realise it until it was almost too late.  Would I read more by this author?  No doubt about it!  Can’t wait to see what comes next.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Problems in Paradise by Kelsey Browning {Blog Tour}

Problems In Paradise Cover - FinalMod

Kelsey Browning - HeadshotKelsey Browning writes sass kickin’ love stories and cozy Southern mysteries. Originally from a Texas town smaller than the ones she writes about, Kelsey has also lived in the Middle East and Los Angeles, proving she’s either adventurous or downright nuts.

These days, she hangs out in northeast Georgia with Tech Guy, Smarty Boy, and Bad Dog. She’s currently at work on the next book in her Texas Nights series and The Granny Series.

Connect with Kelsey: Email / Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest

Eden Durant hasn't always been Eden Durant. She's made a fresh start in Shelbyville, Texas, far from her mother's notoriety. Running the Paradise Garden Café is as much excitement as Eden wants—or it was, until she meets Beck Childress. Although he's the one man who could expose her past, she's willing to open up enough to see if he might be her future.

Chief Deputy Childress is determined to get to know the real Eden, when he isn't busy cleaning up after the sheriff and running in the election to replace him. When several men fall sick after eating in Eden's café, he investigates even as her mysterious past raises both his suspicions and his protective instincts.

As their relationship heats up, so do the pressures of Beck's campaign. When Eden's secrets are revealed, jeopardizing his dream of becoming sheriff, he'll need to choose: serve and protect the town he loves or the woman who makes it home.

  Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Books-A-Million / Carina Press / Goodreads

Excerpt

He strode to the cooler, poured white wine into a cup and grabbed a beer for himself. When he turned to head for the porch, Eden was standing behind him, holding up a hooker-lipstick-red toilet seat and wearing a smile that was trying to advance into her eyes but not completely succeeding.

“Trade you,” she said. “Thought maybe you could use this.”

“Use it for what?” Still, he handed her the wine and took the seat, flipped it over a couple of times as if it might include instructions.

“Don’t you know what it is?” She sipped her wine, and that smile finally made it to her eyes.

“Pretty sure I have one on all the toilets in my house.”

“Not like this one.”

“True, mine are white.”

She shook her head in a slow and exaggerated movement. “I’m so disappointed in you.”

“I always appreciate a gift, especially one from a beautiful woman.” Granted, he’d rather she’d brought him French onion dip and a bag of chips.

She wandered toward the horseshoe pit and waved the guys back over from where they were crowded around the picnic table. “Guys, surely one of you can tell Beck what this is.”

“Looks like the top of a shit—” Cameron caught Allie’s glare, “—uh…commode.”

“Close, but no.”

“Hey, close counts in horseshoes,” he protested.

She turned to Mac who shrugged and said, “I pretty much use mine for what Cameron said.”

Jamie, however, loped over and wrapped an arm around Eden’s shoulders. “I told Roxanne you were a woman of untold depths and possibly a connoisseur of the ridiculous. Damn, I love being right.”

Beck had never met an attorney who didn’t. He glared at Jamie’s arm around Eden, but the dickhead just grinned until he looked like a high-priced jack-o-lantern. “Feel free to enlighten the rest of us, Your Legalness.”

Jamie grabbed the toilet seat and held it by the rounded end, thumb on top and four fingers below. Lightning struck Beck’s brain, and sure enough, Jamie tossed the damn thing like a metal horseshoe, aiming at the far end of the pit.

Everyone hooted and laughed, including Beck.

Eden turned to him, her cheeks full of color and her eyes sharp and sparkling. “The other three are still in my truck.”

“Well, then let’s go get them.” Damned if he couldn’t fall in love with a woman who gave him a set of redneck horseshoes.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Sea Garden by Deborah Lawrenson {Blog Tour & Review}

The Sea GardenMod

Deborah Lawrenson photo credit Rebecca Eifion-Jones

After a childhood of constant moves around the world - my family lived at various times in Kuwait, China, Belgium, Luxembourg and Singapore - I read English at Trinity College, Cambridge. I trained as a journalist on a weekly South London newspaper, then worked on several national newspapers and magazines.

My first novel, Hot Gossip (1994), was a satire based on my experiences working on Nigel Dempster's diary column, and was followed by a sequel, Idol Chatter (1995). The Moonbathers, a black comedy, followed in 1998.

The Art of Falling was a complete change of direction, which took five years to research and write. But trying to get it published was like starting from scratch again. In the end, after many false dawns and disappointments, I published it myself under the Stamp Publishing imprint in September 2003. Almost immediately it became clear that the novel had struck a chord with booksellers and reading groups around my home in Kent. Ottakar's liked it enough to recommend it to their stores nationwide, and the rights were sold to Random House. The Art of Falling was republished by Arrow in July 2005 and chosen as one of the books for the WHSmith Fresh Talent promotion that summer. It went on to sell more than all my previous books put together!

Songs of Blue and Gold (2008) was in a similar style: a story that grew out of a book trail that began with the writer Lawrence Durrell and Corfu, my insatiable curiosity about past events and a love for the warmer shores and colours of southern Europe.

Provence was the setting of The Lantern (2011). This was my first novel to appear in the USA, where it was published by HarperCollins to a fantastic critical reception; it was an Indie Next pick and a Costco Pennie's Pick. In the UK it was chosen for The TV Book Club Summer Reads on Channel4 and More4 and shortlisted for the RNA's 2012 Romantic Novel of the Year award in the Epic category.

Hot GossipIdol ChatterThe MoonbathersThe Art of FallingSongs of Blue and GoldThe Lantern

The Sea Garden (2014) opens in the South of France on the Mediterranean island of Porquerolles and revisits one of the settings of The Lantern, as well as one of its characters, Marthe Lincel the perfume maker.

I currently divide my time between rural Kent and a crumbling hamlet in Provence, which is the atmospheric setting for The Lantern.

Romance, suspense, and World War II mystery are woven together in three artfully linked novellas-rich in drama and steeped in atmosphere-from the critically acclaimed author of The Lantern

THE SEA GARDEN

On the lush Mediterranean island of Porquerolles off the French coast, Ellie Brooke, an award-winning British landscape designer, has been hired to restore a memorial garden. Unsettled by its haunted air and the bitterness of the garden's owner, an elderly woman who seems intent on undermining her, Ellie finds that her only ally on the island is an elusive war historian …

THE LAVENDER FIELD

Near the end of World War II, Marthe Lincel, a young blind woman newly apprenticed at a perfume factory in Nazi-occupied Provence, finds herself at the center of a Resistance cell. When tragedy strikes, she faces the most difficult choice of her life …

A SHADOW LIFE

Iris Nightingale, a junior British intelligence officer in wartime London, falls for a French agent. But after a secret landing in Provence goes wrong, he vanishes. When France is liberated, Iris is determined to uncover the truth. Was he the man he claimed to be?

Ingeniously interconnected, this spellbinding triptych weaves three parallel narratives into one unique tale of love, mystery, and murder. The Sea Garden is a vivid and absorbing chronicle of love and loss in the fog of war-and a penetrating and perceptive examination of the impulses and circumstances that shape our lives.

We begin the first of three interconnected novellas with Ellie – a talented landscape designer who has been hired to restore an estate garden on the beautiful island of Porquerolles.  She travels to meet her potential client and is torn between the owner and his elderly mother who tries her best to scare off Ellie.

The second tale is of perfume maker Marthe – who is blind and in the middle of a Nazi occupied Porquerolles during World War 2.  Life is far from easy, with people going missing, property being taken and tragedy constantly looming around the next bend.  With those around her fighting for the Resistance, she’s drawn into the fold and facing some choices that could threaten not only her life but those around her.

The final tale is of Iris.  A young woman working in London for the British Intelligence.  Part of a group who helps agents move from England to France and back with information to help in the fight against the Nazis.  Once agent in particular has her intrigued and changes her life.  When he disappears, she spends years trying to uncover what happened to him..

This was an interesting read, we start in the present and move back to the past and at the end all come together to finish a fantastic tale.  Filled with mystery, romance and intrigue this book had me hooked from the beginning right up until the end.  Of the three stories the last one with Iris was my favorite, followed by the tale of Marthe. 

Would I recommend this book?  Yes.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first got the book – to be honest I was so drawn to the cover that I could say no.  As I read, the more I loved Deborah’s writing style, she pulled me into the story keeping me intrigued and wanting to find out how these three came together.  Would I read more by this author?  Most definitely.  I’m going to pick up the Lantern sometime this summer!

Friday, July 11, 2014

In Your Corner by Sarah Castille {Blog Tour}

Sarah Castille - In your corner blog graphic

AuthorPhoto1_web-213x300

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Sarah Castille, worked and travelled abroad before trading her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home near the Canadian Rockies. She writes erotic contemporary romance and romantic suspense featuring blazingly hot alpha heroes and the women who tame them.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Sign up for Sarah's newsletter for info about new releases: http://bit.ly/SDdzWX
Website http://www.sarahcastille.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sarahcastilleauthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/sarah_castille
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6920675.Sarah_Castille
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/scastilleauthor/
Amazon Author:
http://www.amazon.com/author/sarahcastille

He rules in the ring

Two years ago, Jake and Amanda were going hot and heavy. But when Jake wanted more, Amanda walked away. Jake immersed himself in mixed martial arts, living life on the edge. But that didn't dull the pain of Amanda's rejection-until a chance encounter throws them together.

A high-powered lawyer, Amanda was a no-strings-attached kind of girl. But two years after her breakup with Jake, she still hasn't found anyone who gets her heart pumping the way he did. And then he shows up in her boardroom, hot as sin and needing help...

But can he rule her heart?

Jake is darker, sexier, and impossible to resist. As their chemistry builds, Amanda's not sure if she can stay in control, or if she's finally willing to let him claim her body and soul.

EXCERPT

A few minutes later, we’re pressed up against the bar, a temporary wooden structure that looks like it could collapse at any moment. If not for Jake’s strength and determination, we would never have made it through the crowd. Even now he has one hand braced against the counter and his back to the heaving mass of people to give us breathing room.

The bartender shoves two cups of beer—the only item on offer—in our direction and I wrinkle my nose.

Jake laughs. “Still not a fan?”

“Not really. Especially if it’s warm, which I’m guessing it is.” I dip my finger in the cup and pop it in my mouth. The beer is indeed warm and very bitter, but the heat in Jake’s eyes as I slide my lips over my finger makes it easy to swallow.

“Again,” Jake murmurs, his voice husky and filled with sensual promise.

“You like that?”

“Yeah, baby, I do.” His hand tangles in my hair and he yanks my head back so hard my eyes tear. With his other hand around my waist, he pulls me tight against his body. I sense a shift in the crowd around us, and then people surge toward the stage, leaving us alone at the bar.

“You drive me fucking crazy.” With a nip, he parts my lips, and his tongue sweeps inside, searching, possessing, teasing, until my knees tremble and my body turns liquid.

“Remember that night we met?” He whispers against my lips. “We watched ourselves in the mirror, and you told me it was exciting to imagine we were in a crowd?”

“That was a good night.”

“The night I met you was the best night of my life.”

Before I can respond, he deepens the kiss. Tongues tangle, teeth clash, lips bruise. Lust, raw and ragged, tears through me, and I can only cling to his shoulders and hold on for the ride.

“We’re gonna do it now.” His voice deepens to a growl. “We’re gonna make that fantasy come true.”

BUY LINKS:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1mkcsql
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1nS1iJn
ITunes: http://bit.ly/TguA90
Kobo: http://bit.ly/TsW4IM

AGAINST THE ROPES (REDEMPTION #1): A Publishers Weekly Top Ten Pick for Romance & Erotica and #1 Amazon Erotic Romance Bestseller:  Amazon http://amzn.to/1o0sXYe

GIVEAWAY:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Day in the Life of… Kathleen Bittner Roth

DayIntheLife3_thumb2

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!

--------------------

kbr full

Once Kathleen Bittner Roth realized making a living was not the same as making a life, she blazed her own trail by founding a successful well-being center, walking on fire, and marrying in a castle in Scotland. She has somehow managed to live in six U.S. states and several foreign countries.

Currently residing in Budapest, Hungary, she still keeps one foot planted in the U.S. Kathleen considers writing Victorian romance a wonderful venue for creating characters faced with difficult choices, and who are forced to draw on their strength of spirit in order to overcome adversity and find unending love. A member of Romance Writers of America®, Kathleen has been a regular guest on radio, television, and on various writing blogs.

You can find Kathleen on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or visit her website at:
www.kathleenbittnerroth.com.

Before I tell you about my day, perhaps I should share a little something about how I ended up living in not one, but two post-communist countries.

Hans, my late husband, was German. We met in Texas, married in a private castle in Scotland, and then moved to New York. Four years later, he wanted to return to Europe. Having vacationed as a child in Croatia when it was Yugoslavia, and under the dictatorship of Marsal Tito, he thought living along the Adriatic would be an ideal lifestyle for us. So off we went, settling in stunning Opatija, a spa town Emperor Franz Josef had built up in the 1800’s for his lovely wife, Empress Elizabeth.

castle park

We lived that idyllic life for four years, swimming in the crystal clear waters, climbing the Emerald green mountain that met the sea, dining on fresh-caught fish in outdoor restaurants. But then, my wonderful, athletic, too-young-to-die husband suddenly took ill. We rushed him to a specialized hospital in Budapest where he passed away five weeks later. Due to obligations in Croatia, I was not free to return to the U.S. I was devastated. Every morning, I would leave my apartment (during the coldest winter in recent history) and walk the streets alone. Soon, the beauty of Budapest took hold of me, and the fog in my head began to slowly lift. Three months later, as a way of working through my grief, I started writing a Victorian era romance. I dedicated it to Hans. Not only did writing A Duke’s Wicked Kiss help me heal, it became a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Contest®. It wasn’t long before I had a contract in my hands (the book is due for release August 26th). I now have a total of five books under contract, including The Seduction of Sarah Marks, all set to release one after the other.

 

I ended up falling in love with this incredible city, with the culture, and with the lovely Hungarians. I joined a women’s group of expats who all speak English. Not only did I survive, I thrived. Now, I find it hard to leave this enchanting city, so here, I remain. Most of my week goes something like this:

Because of the time difference between here and the U.S., immediately upon awakening, I check my email and social media to see what went on while I slept. Then, I take a walk. I live on the Pest side of Budapest (Buda is separated from Pest by the Danube). I live a block from City Park. What a magical place! There’s a fairy tale castle nestled amongst tall trees, a lovely little lake filled with ducks, restaurants, a zoo, the famous Szechenyi Baths, and in the winter, an ice palace with a huge skating rink. Heading home, I walk along streets lined with grand old villas built during the wealthy Austro-Hungarian Empire era. By now, my left brain is thoroughly disengaged, and whatever story I am working on flows through my mind like a movie.

Szechenyi Baths

Returning to my flat, I write until noon. I either eat lunch at home or meet up with a friend in one of the city’s wonderful restaurants. Budapest is loaded with outdoor restaurants, so that’s where you’ll find me in summer. Home by 2 p.m., I meditate—unless it’s Thursday when I meet up with friends in one of the awesome coffee houses for some lively conversation. I particularly like the New York Café. Its over-the-top baroque interior makes me feel like I’m in a palace. This café is where poets and artists gathered before the Nazis invaded. Michael Korda, who wrote the movie, Casablanca, was one of those creative patrons who escaped to America. The story of Casablanca is based on what went on at the New York Café!

New York Cafe

Four p.m. will find me back home and writing until 7 p.m. when I stop for dinner. If I’m at home, I’ll watch a movie or my favorite series (I’m currently hooked on Suits). I then check emails and often Skype a family member or friend, maybe write a little more, and then off to bed for my nightly reading. I live alone, but I am never lonely. The two words are so entirely different.

Losing my husband in a strange country where the language is considered the second most difficult in the world, put me through a rugged series of testing everything I stood for. But instead of feeling sorry for myself, I applied myself. I am content. In fact, life feels pretty darn good. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to write and live my life as I so choose.

As for The Seduction of Sarah Marks, I dreamed the entire story one night in its entirety. Little did I know that it would become my debut as an author. I hope you enjoy it.

The Seduction of Sarah Marks:

He may be her savior . . . or what she fears most

England 1857

After a blow to her head, Sarah Marks awakens in a strange bed with a strange man and no memory of how she got there. Her handsome bedmate, Lord Eastleigh, tells her she’s suffering from amnesia and the best course of action is to travel home with him until she recovers her memory.

Lord Eastleigh has his own reasons for helping Sarah and keeping her close. Reasons he cannot tell her. As they struggle to restore her memory, their undeniable, inadvisable attraction grows – until Sarah finally remembers the one thing that could keep them apart forever.

Seduction can take many forms. Here’s a little excerpt where a fun one takes place:

Sarah watched Eastleigh pick up a jar of cherries, and with the tip of the knife, remove the beeswax off the top. He set the blade down, his actions slow and deliberate.

Not bothering with a spoon or fork, he dipped his fingers straight into the jar, lifted out one of the dark cherries, and gave it a little shake. He was going to feed her, and she wouldn’t stop him. Didn’t think she could. She didn’t want to.

“You have the most beautiful, kissable mouth I have ever seen.” His eyes darkened, and he leaned closer. “Now open.”

Heart pounding, she complied. Her eyelids drifted nearly shut as he slid the syrupy morsel past her lips. A drop of liquid pooled at the corner of her mouth. Before she could do anything about it, he swept up the juice with his thumb, and then licked the tip. “That should have been my tongue taking care of removing such sweetness.”

A ribbon of heat unfurled in her belly. Oh, Lord! Her eyes shot wide, and she stood so fast the chair fell back with a clatter. She gulped, swallowing the cherry whole.

“What?” He examined his stained thumb and licked it again. He looked at her with a sultry grin. “Do you have any idea how long I have wanted to kiss you?”