Thursday, June 27, 2013

Guest post with Dawn Marie Hamilton (+Giveaway)

I'm happy to have Dawn Marie Hamilton here today, sharing a bit about her new release, Just Beyond the Garden Gate. Take it away, Dawn! :)

Dawn: The Scottish Highlands—An Enchanting Setting to Fall in Love

The Scottish Highlands—a place where faeries and brownies and other fae creatures dance through time.

Can you imagine a more enchanted setting in which to fall in love? Perhaps. But the heroines of Scottish historical time travel romances can’t. The heroines have the luck to travel back to a heroic time, to a pristine world of mountains and glens and lochs. Perhaps the castles are a wee cold. What better reason to snuggle with a Highlander, an honorable man, a man who must use both brain and brawn to protect his family and clan.

Why are many of us fascinated by the Scottish Highlands? Perhaps some of the allure comes from movies like ‘Brave Heart’ and ‘Rob Roy’. Or from reading Scottish historical romances. Whatever the inspiration, I imagine the Scottish Highlands to be a mystical place to fall in love.

I’m sure you’ve heard the Scottish Highlands are rife with magic. That fae creatures still inhabit the wild places. Perhaps if you visit, a wee bit of faerie dust will fly your way and you will fall in love. If not with a Highlander, with the land itself. Dare to dream!

I met my hero in a setting reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands. I literally tripped over him while hiking in the beautiful mountains of New York State—love at first sight.

Thank you, Melissa, for having me on your blog today.

***QUESTION FOR READERS: In what setting did you fall in love? What do you imagine would be the most romantic place to fall in love? I will give a gift PDF copy of Just Beyond the Garden Gate, the first book in the Highland Gardens series, to one commenter.***



Blurb: Determined to regain her royal status, a banished faerie princess accepts a challenge from the High-Queen of the Fae to unite an unlikely couple while the clan brownie attempts to thwart her.

Passion ignites when a faerie-shove propels burned-out business consultant Laurie Bernard through the garden gate, back through time, and into the embrace of Patrick MacLachlan. The arrogant clan chief doesn’t know what to make of the lass in his arms, especially when he recognizes the brooch she wears as the one his stepmother wore when she and his father disappeared.

With the fae interfering at every opportunity, the couple must learn to trust one another while they battle an enemy clan, expose a traitor within their midst and discover the true fate of the missing parents. Can they learn the most important truth—love transcends time?

Excerpt: "Laurie opened her eyes a crack. Her head pounded, her pulse raced. This wasn’t good. Those couldn’t be two, huge, leather-clad feet inches from her face.

She opened her eyes wider. Raised her gaze higher.

Those feet—the ones that couldn’t be there—was it possible they were attached to two muscular calves wrapped in soft napped animal skins?

Higher still. Bare knees. Plaid wool and saffron linen.

Farther up, she took in all of the man who towered over her. Piercing blue eyes blinked. Crinkles appeared in the corners. He was grinning. Not outwardly. The perfectly shaped lips remained tight and straight, but something within this gorgeous man was pleased.

She gasped with recognition. This was her man, the one from her heated dreams and visions. The man she didn’t believe existed. The man who made her insides flip-flop.

Unsure what had just happened, she gave her head a firm shake. Mistake. Dizziness hit in waves. She swallowed hard. When the nausea passed, she pushed her palms against the ground and rose to her feet. Unsteady, she swayed. The stranger’s image blurred.

Large calloused hands gripped her arms. A strange though familiar jolt of energy coursed through her, causing her heart to beat too fast.

He quickly released her. He must have felt it too.

Again, she swayed. She reached for his support at the same time he took hold of her upper arms.

She blinked to clear her vision and moistened dry lips. The flash of desire in his eyes made her shiver. He smiled for real this time, leaned forward, placed a hand behind her head, and brushed her lips with his. Gentle at first, then with vigor, his tongue delved into her mouth.

Instinct insisted she struggle. Holding her body rigid, she fisted her hands, which he’d trapped within his embrace. She forced her fingers open and pressed her palms against his hard chest—a vain attempt to push him away.

The current flowing between them became overpoweringly seductive. No man had made her feel this way before. For several moments, she wavered between fighting him—a familiar stranger—and succumbing to the delicious sensations swamping her. He deepened the kiss, and the internal battle ended. Desire won. She clasped hold of the front of his shirt with shaky hands and kissed him back with pent-up passion.

Satiny lips anchored her in a storm of unfamiliar sensation. Pleasure vibrated along her body. She opened her eyes a slit. The intensity of the man’s shocking kiss matched the masculine power burning in his startling blue eyes.

His grip tightened. His fingers burned through her clothing, searing her skin. She closed misty eyes and sank into the reality of her dream lover’s embrace."

Available for purchase at: Amazon

Author Bio: Dawn Marie Hamilton dares you to dream. She is a 2013 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist who pens Scottish-inspired fantasy and paranormal romance. Some of her tales are rife with mischief-making faeries, brownies, and other fae creatures. More tormented souls—shape shifters, vampires, and maybe a zombie or two—stalk across the pages of other stories. She is a member of The Golden Network, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal, Celtic Hearts, and From the Heart chapters of RWA. When not writing, she’s cooking, gardening, or paddling the local creeks with her husband.

Be sure to visit Dawn at: Blog

***Don't forget to tell Dawn your ideal setting to fall in love in order to enter to win a digital copy of Just Beyond the Garden Gate.***

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Review of Under His Command by Kristine Cayne


Blurb: A firefighter desperate to save his failing marriage earns the trust—and the sexual submission—of his controlling wife in the most pleasurable of ways.

After an explosive one-night stand results in pregnancy, Jamie Caldwell is thrilled to marry the perfect foil to his Dom side. But when his submissive wife starts cringing every time he gives a command, Jamie shackles his dark desires. A bout of rough, frenzied reunion sex makes him wonder if now he should free the Dom he’s kept in chains and teach Erica the joys of submission and sexual surrender.

Erica Caldwell secretly loved every sinful thing Jamie did to her on their first night together. However, terrified she’ll become a codependent doormat like her mother, she repeatedly rejects Jamie’s dominance, despite craving the kind of release only he can give her—the release that comes from yielding to Jamie’s every demand.

Hoping that the trust required by BDSM will help them rebuild their faith in each other, Jamie and Erica embark on a journey of sexual exploration. But is it too late to repair their crumbling marriage?


Review: So, I have to start by saying a couple things about this particular book. Number one - the cover is pretty rocking. And number two - I'm not a lover of BDSM. Keep that in mind, folks. (I'll make a confession. For the longest time, I thought BDSM stood for something like Bound and Determined Sex Masters. Granted, I was in my twenties before I figured out it was chest OF drawers versus chester drawers. Now, that's a whole different ballpark.) Right.. moving on to the actual review. 

I've read a short story by this author and enjoyed it. It packed just the right amount of punch for a short. So Under His Command came highly recommended from other reviewers. Despite that, I put off reading it because of the BDSM element in the story. Yes, I'm horrible, I know. At any rate, I finally broke down and read it. 

And it got me. I have to admit it. I thought it was a well written story with great characters. The story worked as a whole for me because the author presented a struggling relationship between a husband and wife, who both lacked trust for different reasons. But, it drove the novel and really opened the door to the BDSM, which I normally shy away from. It became such a crucial element that it didn't hinder my reading the novel in the slightest. It actually became a saving grace between this couple because it allowed both of them to open up to each other and learn to trust. When they both let their guards down and gained trust, their relationship moved forward and flourished. The intimate scenes were scorching. Literally, one was. (However, I'm just saying now, there will be no fire-vajayjay play in this house.)

All in all, I have to give the author kudos in making a touchy subject for me really work in Under His Command. I thought it had a great flow and I even found myself emotionally invested with the characters. I really enjoyed the author's voice and look forward to reading more from Kristine Cayne. If you like a hero and heroine determined to make their relationship work, a super sweet fireman with a dominant streak, and a bit of kink, give Under His Command a try. 

Available for purchase atAmazon
Kobo 

Be sure to visit Kristine atWebsite 
Blog 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Interview with Katherine Grey (+Review/Giveaway)

Today I’m happy to welcome back one of my author buddies, Katherine Grey. She’s a sweetheart and a great writer, in my opinion.

***Katherine is kind enough to offer a digital copy of An Unexpected Gift to one lucky commenter. Be sure to comment with your email address to be entered to win.***

Melissa: Glad to have you back, Katherine. :)  Can you tell us what’s been going on for you since you’ve last visited?

Katherine: I’ve been working on writing a contemporary novel that will be the first in a series.

Melissa: Now, I anticipated An Unexpected Gift after reading about Lazarus in The Muse. Have you always known you would write a story for him? Or did that come after The Muse?

Katherine: It definitely came after writing The Muse. Lazarus was originally only intended to ever be a secondary character in the novella, but he became a powerful one so much so that I had a hard time keeping him from taking over the story. After I completed The Muse, he would still pop into my head at unexpected times. It was then that I knew I had to tell his story as well.

Melissa: Well, I'm glad that you did. So what types of research did you look into when you were writing An Unexpected Gift?

Katherine: I did a lot of research on PTSD although it wasn’t called that until the ‘80’s. I also had the opportunity to pick the brain of one of the foremost authorities on Craps, a gambling dice game that’s very popular in the US. The game of Hazard played by Olivia and Finch in An Unexpected Gift is the forerunner of Craps so this person was very helpful in teaching me the origins of the game, how it’s played, and such.

Melissa: Ha, that's pretty neat. Now your hero is a commoner who’s moves in the London Underworld versus a hero who is a member of the landed gentry. Can you tell us a bit about that? What made you decide to deviate from the standard upper class hero?

Katherine: I’m not certain that it was so much a conscious decision as it was a need to tell Lazarus’ story, to give him his own happy ending. At the same time, many of the novels that take place in the Regency period revolve around heroes and heroines who are members of the aristocracy. I wanted to tell a story about people who weren’t necessarily accepted members of the upper classes.

Melissa: I liked that about An Unexpected Gift. I think it was interesting it’s your heroine who suffers from a PTSD as opposed to the hero. Can you tell us more about Olivia?

Katherine: Olivia lost her parents at an age when girls were concerned with their debuts and making a mark on society. Her older brother had no idea what to do with her so he brought with him as he moved from one battlefield to another. At first she did whatever her brother asked of her so as not to be sent away from him. She both idolized and clung to him because he was the only family she had left. But soon she was doing all she could not so much to prove her usefulness to stay by her brother’s side, but to ease the pain and suffering of the wounded. Unfortunately her caring nature made her so empathic to their suffering. She experiences flashbacks and nightmares from her time spent on the battlefield.

Melissa:Olivia is definitely an out of the ordinary heroine, but I loved that about her. Can you share one of your favorite excerpts from An Unexpected Gift? And why is it one of your favorites?

Katherine: Below is one of my favorite excerpts. It says so much about Olivia and the type of person she is. That she will always put the well-being of someone above all else no matter the cost to herself.

Olivia asked the one question she wasn’t certain she wanted an answer to. “Is he dangerous?”

“There’s a number of rumours about him. Hard to know which ones to believe. None of them are fitting for a lady’s ears.”

“For example?”

Durant hesitated.

“Please do not worry about my delicate sensibilities,” she said in a dry tone. Heaven knew anything delicate about her sensibilities had long ago disappeared.

“It’s said he once took a man’s eyes just for looking at a woman under his protection.”

She stared at the Runner in a mixture of horror and disbelief. “Is it true?”

He took a deep breath. “Can’t say for certain.”

“But?”

“But it wouldn’t knock me off my feet if it were true. I’ve heard and seen the results of Lazarus’ work whether we can prove he did it or not.”

Olivia glanced at the window. Given her own recent experiences with the man, she was inclined to believe the rumours as well. But even now, after learning the type of man he was, she still felt compelled to find him. To ensure he had at least sought medical care after reopening his wounds. She needed to know she’d cared for them properly, that she’d done everything possible.

She took a deep breath. “If you know of a way to contact him, I’d be grateful to learn of it.”

Durant stared at her as if she belonged in Bedlam. “I can’t be giving a fine lady like yourself such information.”

“Please.” One more death that she could have prevented would be one more than she could bear.

Melissa: That was a great excerpt! Will we be seeing anymore characters from An Unexpected Gift soon?

Katherine: Finch has begun whispering in my ear. I’ve been jotting down notes and bits of dialogue so I don’t think it will be too long before I’ll be writing his story.

Melissa: Excellent! I was a bit curious about him. :) Thank you so much for stopping by today, Katherine. It's always a pleasure to have stop in for a visit.


Blurb: Known only as Lazarus to the band of cutthroats and thieves he leads, William Prescott will do anything to find his missing sister, even blackmail a fragile young woman into helping him. But he never plans to fall in love with this mysterious woman with a troubled past.

Haunted by the memories of war, Olivia St. Germaine wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But when her brother, a doctor, suddenly leaves town without a word, she is forced to use her medical knowledge to help an injured man who puts her life in danger. Can she keep herself safe as she tends Lazarus, or is her heart more vulnerable than she realizes?


Review: I actually waited for this book’s release after reading The Muse when we are first introduced to Lazarus. I always knew there was something more to the man, and I really wanted to learn just what it was.

As usual with Ms. Grey’s writing, I fell into reading the book easily from the start. And I particularly loved all the interactions between Olivia and Lazarus. Instead of our hero and heroine being members of Ton as we see in a lot of Regencies, they are both commoners living in different circumstances. While Lazarus is moving throughout London's Underworld, Olivia is trying to blend into polite society despite her unconventional upbringing. 

Olivia was a different heroine than I was used to in Regencies. She has suffered PSTD when she aided her surgeon brother during wartime. Quite uncustomary for a young woman, but the experience seemed to give her such a deeper understanding of human beings and their suffering. And she was quick to aid everyone she potentially could. She's a take charge heroine with the best intentions, and a large heart to boot. 

Lazarus was written well in my opinion. He seemed to maintain his elusive air throughout the book, until the ending when he came for Olivia.

All in all, I enjoyed An Unexpected Gift. It was a sweet romance with an out of the ordinary Regency hero and heroine. I'm looking forward to reading more from Ms. Grey in the future. 

Available for purchase at: Amazon
Kobo 

Author Bio: When Katherine started talking to her friends about the characters in her head as though they were real people, she decided it was time to start putting all those people populating her mind along with their exploits down on paper.   Friends have gotten used to Katherine’s imaginary friends but still often ask, “Wait, is this a real person?” whenever she mentions someone they don’t know.
Katherine lives in upstate NY with her family, but threatens to move South at the beginning of every winter season.

Be sure to visit Katherine atWebsite 

***Be sure to comment with your email address to be entered to win a digital copy of An Unexpected Gift. Good luck!***

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Review of Officer Off Limits by Tessa Bailey


Blurb: His need to possess her is non-negotiable.
 
Story Brooks’ fiancé just called off their wedding two weeks before the happy day. As if that isn't bad enough, her semi-estranged father, an infamous NYPD hostage negotiator, has suffered a heart attack. Not wanting to examine her lack of emotion over the broken engagement, she hops on a plane to reconnect with her father before it’s too late.

Playboy hostage negotiator Daniel Chase has never, not once, been refused by a woman, so when a debate over hospital snack foods with a delectable kindergarten teacher ends in flat-out rejection, he makes it his mission to seduce her. His only obstacle? She’s the daughter of his mentor who implicitly forbade Daniel from pursuing her.

Despite her father’s warnings and Daniel’s troubled past, Daniel and Story can’t resist their intense attraction to one another. But when the reason for her fiancé’s abrupt wedding cancellation comes to light, can Story and Daniel's already forbidden relationship survive?

Review: I am so digging the Line of Duty series right now. And well, dirty-talking, sexually bold heroes just will never get old for me.

If Entangled Publishing wanted to release this series in paperback, I would not shed a tear at all. In fact, I'd probably jump and click my heals together. Difficult task since I prefer terra firma, but whatever.

So, you can take that to mean, I loved Officer Off Limits. Daniel, Daniel, Daniel. Ms. Bailey has delivered another swoony alpha male for my literary consumption. The chemistry between Daniel and Story is off the charts. And I loved that this ladies' man had finally met his match with Story.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Tessa Bailey definitely knows how to write a strong, sexually-charged alpha male who knows what he wants. Just keep writing them, Ms. Bailey, and I think we'll both be happy! Now, I can't wait to get my hands on the next alpha in line.

If you're looking for quick, enjoyable reads with lots of steamy encounters and potential fictional boyfriends, give the Line of Duty series a try. 

Available for purchase at: Amazon
Kobo 

Review of Playing the Part by Robin Covington


Blurb:The harder they play . . . the harder they fall.

After publicly self-destructing over a heartbreak a year ago, bestselling romance writer Piper James is now making nice with her publisher by agreeing to teach Hollywood's favorite action star how to act like he's in love. Only playboy Mick Blackwell has no clue what love looks like.
 
When a seductive heat ignites between Piper and Mick, she jumps at the chance for a bit of fun between the sheets, but with two stipulations: she's kept out of the public eye and things end when she returns to New York. Only Mick keeps changing the rules on her. Tempted by America's favorite bad boy, Piper is wondering how far she's willing to bend...


Review: Now, I'll be completely honest, when I received this one as an ARC from the publisher, I was a bit apprehensive. I'm not really into books about actors in the limelight and the flashing lights of the paparazzi. But, yes, there is a but.. I can admit when I'm wrong. 

This was the first book I've read by this author, and I can assure you it won't be the last. The premise might not have been my most favorite, but the execution and delivery of the story was awesome. The writing was extremely smooth and the characters were likeable. 

Actually, I sort of really dug Mick. I had him pegged to be nothing more than a playboy, but he truly was a leading man with a heart of gold. He had the best intentions and he was entirely up front with Piper from the beginning. Plus, the man doesn't play around in the bedroom. Just saying. 

The attraction and tension was instantaneous between him and Piper from the start, and it was quite enjoyable to read their relationship progress into something so much more than either of them could imagine. 

All in all, I thought it was a well written, fun read with sexy characters who took a gamble on each other, let down their guards a bit, and happened to find love along the way. I loved the author's voice and can't wait to read more from her. 

Available for purchase atAmazon
Kobo 

*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.* 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Bachelor's Special Book Tour Blitz


Blurb: aute, simmer, and flambé…

Jill Adgate wants three things from life: a successful catering business, the devoted love of an exceptional man, and a family. What she has is no job, a mounting pile of bills, and her outspoken best friend—who sets her up on a blind date with the man who inadvertently ruined Jill’s life.

Chet Castle is a prosperous businessman who has everything, except the ability to trust. Burned by a money-hungry fiancée, he refuses to get involved with any relationship that has a shelf life longer than a head of lettuce.

Intrigued by her ambition—and determined to get her in bed—Chet offers Jill the chance of a lifetime: Work for him for the next eight weeks as his live-in chef and he’ll help her get her catering business off the ground. When sparks fly in the kitchen, Jill realizes what’s cooking with her commitment-phobic employer is a recipe for disaster…but it’s just too tasty to not take a bite.


Excerpt: "Her body hummed as his smile wavered. Although he wore sunglasses, she’d bet her last dollar his gaze swept across her chest, lingering on the betrayal of her pert nipples pushing against the fabric of her suit. 

Until this moment, shyness had never been a trait she possessed. Air stalled in her lungs, her palms grew sweaty, and she itched to cover herself with a towel. Even though her replica vintage swimsuit hid more than most sets of women’s underwear, she felt too exposed. She turned to the side slightly and folded her legs up. Not that it helped, but it made her feel a bit less exposed. Chet slid his feet from his sandals, brushing a hand through his hair. The heat from the sun wasn’t the only thing scorching her skin. She trickled several droplets of water over her arms, but she couldn’t drag her focus from his toned flesh. 

Jill soaked in his ripped abs and the obvious package of goodies covered by his brown swimsuit—the same sexy brown as his hair. Damn, did a man have a right to fill out a pair of swimming trunks like that? Flecks of hair, just enough to give him a manly appeal, covered the etched muscles of his long, tan legs. She licked her lips, hoping she could still speak. 

“Do you want some privacy?” Yes, say yes. She needed an excuse to make an escape without coming off like someone desperate to be making an exit.
 
* * * * *
Hell no, he didn’t want privacy. Through the shield of his sunglasses, he inspected her body from the tips of her pink-painted toenails to the top of her brightly flowered swimming cap. Did people still actually wear those things? 

“No, you look comfortable. Stay and enjoy the day.” 

“Oh…are you sure?” 

“Sure.” 

Amazed at his own ability to talk without his tongue hitting the cement, Chet turned to throw his towel and sunglasses on a nearby lounge chair. Damn. 

The red and white polka-dot halter-style suit featured a tight bodice, but her slender hips and shapely thighs hiding beneath a matching skirt grabbed his attention until all oxygen left his blood. Even showing less skin than the average girl on the beach, she far exceeded sexy and alluring. 

Get a grip, Castle. She’s off limits, no matter how delectable. He turned and stepped onto the diving board. He bounced along the surface as he made his way over the water. When he looked at Jill’s bathing cap covering her head, he held back his grin. The neon rubber flowers reminded him of something his grandmother would’ve worn, but there the similarity ended. Everything beneath that cap was far from making him think of Grandma."


Available for purchase atAmazon 

Author Bio: Christine Warner is living her dream in Michigan along with her husband, three children, one laptop and a much loved assortment of furry friends. Besides laughing and a good round of humor, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, writing but no arithmetic. A confessed people watcher, she finds inspiration for her stories in everyday activities. She loves to read and write about strong heroes and determined, sometimes sassy, heroines. A girl gone wild, at least where social media is concerned, she enjoys meeting other avid readers and writers on Facebook, Twitter and her Website. 

 Be sure to visit Christine atWebsite

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Interview with Tessa Bailey (+Giveaway)

***If you are here for the Bad Boys of Romance Blog Hop, Click HERE!***


Well would you just look at that! Officer Off Limits is coming out Monday! Why, yes, I do have it pre-ordered, and yes, I will be reading it as soon as I get in from work.

With all that said, it should come as no shock that I'm pretty tickled to have Tessa here today. And she's kind enough to offer a digital copy of Protecting What's His, the first book in the Line of Duty series, for Kindle or Nook to one lucky commenter.

Melissa: So I'll start off by asking if you can tell the readers a little about yourself, Tessa?

Tessa Sure! I’m a 29-year-old mother of one. I live in Brooklyn, working for my family’s construction company. I drove to New York from my hometown in California the day after I graduated high school because I wanted adventure. What better place for adventure than New York? I love going to concerts, spending time with my friends and of course, writing about people falling flat-on-their-face in love.

Melissa: Well, I like you writing about people falling flat-on-their-face in love, too! Now how ever did you come up with the Line of Duty Series? Did you wake up one morning after a lively dream and the thought was there?

Tessa: I came up with Protecting What’s His first. I never dreamed it would get published. So when that craziness happened, I began to plot the rest of the series. Derek from PWH was the inspiration that started it all – I saw a gorgeous cop in Queens while crossing the street, looking like he was having a bad day. That’s where it started.

Melissa: Hmm maybe I should move to Queens. So, I loved the covers of Protecting What’s His and His Risk to Take. Did you have some say in your book covers?

Tessa: I have some input, but Heather Howland, my editor and Brazen cover designer, is so amazingly talented, I usually just point and drool when she sends me the mock-up. The cover is so important – it can really make or break you!

Melissa: So I can’t help but ask about your dirty-talking heroes. They wouldn’t happen to be fashioned after a real life person, would they? What’s the story behind these assertive, dirty-talking heroes? Inquiring minds want to know, because I’m in fictional love. :)

Tessa: Hahaha :) No, the dirty-talk comes from the fantasy men in my head. But their banter with each other, such as when they’re out having a beer in Quincy’s, that comes from real life men I’ve encountered. I worked in a lot of bars in Manhattan and Brooklyn during college and I listened to a lot of men banter. Men, especially New York men, communicate through insults. They goad one another. They’ve got colorful vocabularies. And I think I’ve found a way to translate that to the bedroom. :)

Melissa: Ha! Well, you just keep on translating, and I think I really should go to Queens now. Can you share one of your favorite excerpts with us from His Risk to Take? And why is this one a favorite?

Tessa: I like this passage, because Ruby is testing Troy. Prior to this, she’s finally come clean with him about her past. Troy, being the alpha male that he is, feels the need to claim her, to calm his anger/fear over what she’s just revealed. I love that reaction from Troy. Yes, because it’s sexy, but also because their baser nature is on display.

"“Did you tell me that little story just to piss me the hell off?”

Ruby straightened her spine, resenting the excitement that flowed through her over what his intentions were. What he would do when he reached her. “Yeah. Maybe I did.”

He pulled her body against his. “Well, it fucking worked.” His mouth stamped over hers, cutting off her surprised gasp. Ruby couldn’t resist moaning when his hands sunk into her hair, tugging her head to the side so he could slant his mouth over and over across hers. When he pulled a little harder than necessary on the long strands, she bit his bottom lip in reproof, but it only made him deepen the kiss, his tongue licking into her mouth with a possessive growl.

“Do you know why you wanted to make me angry?” He spoke directly against her parted, panting lips. “Because you know it makes me hard. You know it makes me hot to fuck.” He tilted his hips and pushed against her, demonstrating the effect of her words. “That means you’re hot to get fucked. Good. Too bad you’re about to get much more than you bargained for, hustler. Turn around.”"

Melissa: Good Gracious (Or insert a colorful curse here if you prefer)! Yep, I distinctly remember that scene well. Now, what does the future hold for the Line of Duty series? What are you currently working on?

Tessa: I just finished Brent’s book (Line of Duty #4) and I believe I’m about to embark on my first NA novel featuring Willa from Protecting What’s His. I have at least two more Line of Duty books plotted, then we’ll see what happens!

Melissa: I can't wait! :) Out of curiosity, can we expect the Line of Duty Series to release in paperback? Ha, I had to ask since I’m still a devout paperback buyer as well. :)

Tessa: I don’t know! I believe once you start consistently selling a certain amount digitally, they consider you for print. Hopefully someday. :)

Melissa: Right. Well, Entangled, I'm just saying, I would totally buy this series in paperback. Just putting that out there. Alright, Tessa, since this is fiction after all… When approached by an assertive alpha male whispering naughties in your ear, what do you do? 

Tessa: Take notes!

Melissa: LOL I can't argue with that answer. Well it's been a pleasure to have you here today, Tessa. Wishing you tons of luck with your upcoming releases. Looking forward to reading more of your naughty treasures. :)

Blurb: She’s running from the law, and the law wants her bad.

The opportunity was just too damn delicious for Ginger Peet to pass up. The purse full of money she finds—$50,000 to be exact—could give her and her teen sister the new start they need. So she grabs the cash, her gothy sibling, and their life-sized statue of Dolly Parton, and blows outta Nashville in a cloud of dust. Chicago, here we come...

Turns out, Chicago has some pretty hot cops. Hot, intense, naughty-lookin’ cops like Derek Tyler, who looks like he could eat a girl up and leave her begging for more. And more. Tempting as he is, getting involved with the sexy homicide lieutenant next door poses a teensy problem for a gal who’s on the lam. But one thing is certain—Derek’s onto her, and he wants more than just a taste.

And as far as he’s concerned, possession is nine-tenths of the law.

Blurb: The greater the risk, the hotter the reward…

Homicide cop Troy Bennett had a reputation with the Chicago PD for being fearless and in control—until the night his daredevil partner is killed during a raid. From that moment on, he swears he’ll never again be responsible for the loss of a loved one. To escape his demons, Troy transfers to the NYPD, bringing him up close and personal with Ruby Elliott, a beautiful, street-savvy pool hustler.

Reckless and stubbornly independent, Ruby embodies everything Troy’s avoiding, but when she walks into the pub he’s at with his new coworkers and blows his carefully laid plans to hell, Troy knows he has to have her—risks be damned. But there’s a connection between Ruby’s shadowed past and a case Troy’s working involving a notorious Brooklyn felon, throwing her safety into jeopardy. Confronted with his biggest fear, will Troy push Ruby away to keep her safe or fight to keep her in his arms where she belongs?

Blurb: His need to possess her is non-negotiable.
Story Brooks’ fiancé just called off their wedding two weeks before the happy day. As if that isn't bad enough, her semi-estranged father, an infamous NYPD hostage negotiator, has suffered a heart attack. Not wanting to examine her lack of emotion over the broken engagement, she hops on a plane to reconnect with her father before it’s too late.

Playboy hostage negotiator Daniel Chase has never, not once, been refused by a woman, so when a debate over hospital snack foods with a delectable kindergarten teacher ends in flat-out rejection, he makes it his mission to seduce her. His only obstacle? She’s the daughter of his mentor who implicitly forbade Daniel from pursuing her.

Despite her father’s warnings and Daniel’s troubled past, Daniel and Story can’t resist their intense attraction to one another. But when the reason for her fiancé’s abrupt wedding cancellation comes to light, can Story and Daniel's already forbidden relationship survive?
The Line of Duty series can be found at: Amazon
Kobo 

 Author Bio: Tessa lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and young daughter. When she isn't writing or reading romances, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipe.

Join Bailey's Babes, Tessa's street team, to receive ARC's and sneak peeks of upcoming releases!


Be sure to visit Tessa at: Website
Blog 

***Don't forget to leave a comment with your email address to enter to win a copy of Protecting What's His! Good luck!***

Friday, June 7, 2013

Bad Boys of Romance Hop (Jun 7th - 17th)

herding cats & burning soup

Now who doesn't love a naughty "bad boy"? As romance readers, I'm sure there are very few of us who don't have at least one "bad boy" book boyfriend. From now until June 17th, we want to know who your "bad boys" of romance are.

***For my giveaway, I'm offering a $10 Amazon Gift Card for you to purchase your own "bad boy" romance. Be sure to enter the first rafflecopter below to be eligible.***

Here are a few of my favorites. Mmmm, I'm feeling like I need to reread some of these books very soon. *Le sigh*


a Rafflecopter giveaway ***Don't forget to enter the second rafflecopter for the grand prizes!***
a Rafflecopter giveaway ***Be sure to keep hopping along for more chances to win some great prizes! Good luck to all! Have fun! :)***

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Interview with Sheri Fredricks (+Review & Giveaway)

Today I'm happy to have one of my author buddies, Sheri Fredricks, on my blog. She's celebrating the new release of her second book in her Centaurs series, Troll-y Yours. (I couldn't help adding a photo of a California beach since she lives on the West Coast. Sorry, dudes. It had to be done.)  
*Also, be sure to enter the rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a digital copy of Remedy Maker and a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card. :)*

Melissa: Welcome back, Sheri. So can you tell us what's been up in the land of Sheri Fredricks lately?

Sheri: If you’d asked me this two weeks ago, I’d have said not a whole hell of a lot. But that was then and this now. With the help of my awesome crit partners — Oh wait! That’d be YOU! — I completed Troll-y Yours, the second novel in The Centaurs series. It’s available in all the usual places. I finished a novella and, once again, my crit partner —Oh wait! That’d be YOU again! — will be going over the manuscript before it’s sent on to my editor. Such fun to be had in my mythic world.

Melissa: Ha, I sort of feel like I get around a lot now. And I am liking what I've read of your novella so far, too! :) Now how did you come up with the concept for the Centaurs series? Can you give the readers a bit of insight into the world of the Boronda Forest?

Sheri: The world of the Boronda Forest started with a single character: Rhycious. From this one male centaur, a supernatural species evolved until soon it encompassed wood nymphs, trolls, satyrs, and minotaurs. To make my characters special and unlike any seen before, I thought long and hard about what could make them different. Enter the sexy shape-shifting centaurs, exotic wood nymphs that shimmer into trees, and indestructible trolls who’re able to dive underground with merely a thought. Add a few hostile villains and undeniable love, and you’ve got yourself a modern mythic romance!

Melissa: Well, heck, count me on board! Though, you can keep the minotaurs. I think I'm a bit put off by them. So I was pretty happy to see you’d written Alek’s story. You know he’s one of my book boyfriends, right? So how did you decide on a suitable heroine for him?

Sheri: When we were introduced to Kempor Aleksander in Remedy Maker, we saw his patent charm and ability to turn female hearts and heads his way. It didn’t take much. Between his position of Head Centaur Guard at the Royal Centaur Palace and unstoppable good looks, he always had a date for Saturday night. So, I wondered what would happen to Alek if he met someone who knocked him down a few pegs. Someone he couldn’t coerce with his perfect smile and sweet words. Someone who was focused on a goal, and not him. Enter Ella — the perfect opposite to his charmed lifestyle.

Melissa: Ah, Ella. I loved her character. She's definitely a match for him. Can you share one of your favorite excerpts from Troll-y Yours? And why is it one of your favorite?

Sheri: I love this scene I’m about to share. It shows how confused Aleksander is when his handsome face gets him nowhere, and the dogged intent of Ella the Troll.

"“Look, unless you’re here on Her Majesty’s business, I’m busy.” She tilted her head and her little foot tapped the floor.

“You could say I am. What time—?”

“What are you, the Head Palace Guard or something?” Ella rolled her eyes and huffed out a laugh.

“Well, actually—”

“I’m booked for tonight’s sessions. I’ll have another in a few weeks. Do you want to be on the waiting list for that?” Tiny red-gold tendrils escaped the silken mass pulled back from her oval face. Her pen clicked and she poised her hand over a sheet of lined paper. “Name?”

He shrugged to hide his confusion. Why weren’t his charms working? Didn’t his battery recharge this afternoon? “Kempor Aleksander. Head Cen—”

“Aleksander Hedson. Got it. Payment will be due prior to your session. And, Al…?” Her smile lacked warmth. “Please don’t be late.”

Ella’s bluntness and the slaying of his name dropped his jaw.

She turned on her practical, low-heeled shoe and walked briskly to speak with Sasha, who waited in the rear of the café.

No woman in memory had ever tossed him aside like an unwanted toy. Why, he’d been dismissed quicker than a new recruit."

Melissa: Great scene! Now are you planning novels for some of the characters we already know from the Centaurs series? Such as Nubbs and Eli? *hint hint, nudge nudge* 

Sheri: Absolutely! Nubbs and a few other Centaurs will need their HEA, after all. I’m letting my characters battle it out over who will get their story next. Other series are in the planning stage, such as The Trolls and The Wood Nymphs. 

Melissa: Ohhh well that's news to me! I'll quiz ya' later! ;) So if you were an inhabitant in the Boronda Forest, what sort of creature would you be? Personally, I’m not opposed to being a Troll and hanging out under rocks. Not really a drastic difference from my normal life. LOL. 

Sheri: That’s a good question. With each mythic creature, there’s a positive and negative side to each. I think I’d want to be a centaur, but they’re helpless during transitions from horse body to human (or vice-versa). A troll diving underground is cool, unless you’re unable to form a disintegration back to the earth’s surface. Because then you’re stuck where you are. Shimmering into a tree as a wood nymph might come in handy, but not if the tree you’re bonded with somehow becomes sick. If the tree dies, so would you.

Melissa: Well dang, I sort of feel like you took a little of the fun out of that! :) But I suppose you made a good point. They may be mythics, but that doesn't make them immortal. Here's a question for you. So if a Centaur and a Troll were to have a baby Cen-troll, what would it look like?

Sheri: Buahaha! Only YOU would think to ask this question. Since trolls look humanish, then I’d say the offspring wouldn’t look much different. BUT what mythic powers would they hold??

Melissa: Well that has to be more attractive than a minotaur crossbreed. *shudders* Alright so what does the future hold for you? What are you currently working on? Can you share a teaser with us? You know I love teasers.

Sheri: Lemme grab my crystal ball and take a gander…I hope to have at least two more novels in The Centaurs series finished before I start on The Wood Nymph books. I’d like to complete a couple other unfinished projects (like that time-travel western!), and maybe fit a vacation in there somewhere!

Currently, I’m working on a quickie Wood Nymph novella. Here’s an excerpt:

""Jack. We need to talk."

Some sixth sense brought his scrambled brain back into the moment, though his thrumming body suggested other ideas. Her eyes held a guarded look, and she worried her bottom lip. A lip that was full and red from his kiss. He didn't want to let her go; she fit so perfect against him. But whatever Abelia needed to say, it appeared important.

Jack forced himself to widen the space between them. Heat from her body disappeared the moment he took a step back.

The last bloody thing he wanted to do was fucking talk. And fucking was all he wanted to do.

With her. Right here.

Right now.

Frustration edged around his arousal, his words came rougher than intended. "I'm all ears." Making each movement controlled and casual, Jack picked up his beer and stood next to the bonsai on the counter. "Lay it on me."

"You want to know how I got here?" At his nod, Abelia pointed at the little tree on the tray. "I was inside of that.""

Melissa: Ha, I can just imagine his reaction to that! I suppose that's all my questions for today! So glad to have you back on the blog, Sheri. You're a super awesome lady and author. 

   
Blurb: SHE TAKES A CHANCE.

Determined to forge a better life, Ella launches her new business with high hopes—until a sexy Centaur bumps into her and throws her life off course forever. Voted “Most Eligible Bachelor in Boronda”, Aleksander shakes up her world and tilts her in more ways than one.

HE’S IN DANGEROUS TERRITORY.

Years of warfare and countless bedroom encounters have stolen Kempor Aleksander’s luster for life. He never expects to rediscover his zeal in the small, redheaded form of Ella the Troll, who fires his blood hotter than the deepest caverns in the forest.

A PASSION SO HOT.

But as trouble lingers in their midst—and edges ever closer—Alek and Ella spiral into troubled terrain. Turning to each other, the pair face down dangers that run impenetrably deep in their mythological world. But will the two lovers discover a passion that runs even deeper?

Review: I've never been a heavy fantasy or mythic reader, but I'm really digging this series. I was especially anxious to read this book because I had to know more about Alek after reading Remedy Maker. And I wasn't disappointed with his character in Troll-y Yours. 

I absolutely enjoyed Alek and Ella together. He was just the sort of hero she needed in her life, and he definitely needed her prickly, sharp tongue in his. Their differences are what make them a perfect couple in my opinion. Plus, I just loved how sweet Alek was to Ella. He really pulled her out of her depressed shell of self-loathing her family caused her to develop over time.

This author is great with detailed descriptions which really puts you in the middle of the Boronda Forest with the characters in the story. It's quite easy to visualize the world these mythics live in.

All in all, I thought this was a great read with a sweet hero, devoted heroine, and beautiful scenery. If you're looking to escape for a while in a fantasy world full of mythics, shape-shifting beings, a bit of humor, and some sexy bedroom encounters, look no further. 

Available for purchase at: Amazon

There's that coast again!
Author Bio: Always on the hunt for the uncommon things in life, award-winning author Sheri Fredricks thrives on creating adventures in her mythological kingdom for her readers. 

A former engineering secretary, Sheri lives on the beautiful central coast of California. "I wanted to move away from inflexible right angles and create an unboxed world with no boundaries." A voracious reader since her early years, Sheri found her brain crowded with stories and characters of her own. "Ultimately," she says, "my husband encouraged me to write them all down."

Sheri loves to spend time at home. A computer hutch keeps her focused on creating stories, but the panoramic view of life on a ranch will call her outside to play in the sun.

Be sure to visit Sheri at: Website
Blog 
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