Guest Post: Tessa Bailey’s Top Ten Cop Movies and Giveaway!

Please welcome Tessa Bailey to the virtual offices!  Tessa is here to share her Top Ten Cop Movies! After, enter to win a copy of her smokin’ hot His Risk to Take!  Please check back later this morning to read my review, too!

Top 10 Cop Movies by Tessa Bailey

Author of PROTECTING WHAT’S HIS and HIS RISK TO TAKE

Hi Julie, thanks for having me! So happy I could stop by to talk about my favorite cop movies in honor of my latest book, His Risk to Take, part of my Line of Duty series for Brazen.

1. The Other Guys – Any movie starring Will Ferrell is an automatic favorite. Throw in Mark Wahlberg and you’ve got yourself a winner.

2. The Inside Man – I actually watched this movie recently as research for my series. It involved a hostage negotiation and the NYPD Emergency Services Unit, which my heroes belong to in the Line of Duty series. There’s a great twist at the end – and you gotta love Denzel J

3. End of Watch – Saw this one recently. I was more a fan of the format and originality of the film. It takes place over the course of almost a decade, focusing on two partners in the LAPD. Sweet, sad, funny.

4. Turner and Hooch – A classic. I watched this movie a zillion times growing up. A big loveable dog and Tom Hanks. It’s like an instant pick-me-up.

5. Mystic River – So dark and twisty, but it’s an incredible story. My favorite thing about this movie is the ending. Nothing is actually resolved and the bad guy doesn’t learn his lesson or face consequences. It’s scary and refreshing at the same time.

6. The Usual Suspects – Hysterical and incredibly smart – plus I love Kevin Spacey.

7. The Departed – I LOVE this movie. Such incredible acting…and God, I love me some Matt Damon. There’s just something about that Boston accent.

8. Point Break – I have memories of watching this movie on Sunday mornings with my dad. It’s almost like the movie should be classified as terrible, but you have too much fun watching it to care. And come on, you have to love Swayze.

9. Training Day – Another Denzel movie. Rookie cop gets paired with veteran who isn’t what he seems. There’s a lot of twists and turns – such a great movie.

10. The Boondock Saints – I’m kind of a fan of stories about vigilante justice and this is one of the best. Two brothers take the law into their own hands. It’s totally a classic.

Thank you, Tessa, for sharing your Top 10 cop movies with us!

Ready for your chance to win His Risk to Take?  Just fill out the widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purchase links:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/his-risk-to-take-tessa-bailey/1115213930

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/His-Risk-to-Take/book-UZRWByhw4UKpdfJzwdtYBA/page1.html

Visit Tessa’s website – www.tessabailey.com

About the book:

The greater the risk, the hotter the reward…

Homicide cop Troy Bennett had a reputation on 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?

Guest Post: Bec McMaster, Author of Heart of Iron and Giveaway!

Please give Bec McMaster a warm welcome to the virtual offices! Bec has taken over the dashboard with a guest post and a giveaway! Check out what she has to say!!

Guest Post by Bec McMaster, Author of Heart of Iron

In the dark world of my steampunk London, the blue bloods of the Echelon rule the city with an iron grip, forcing their strict blood taxes on the nation and holding power with their army of metal automatons. Only a select group of humans – calling themselves Humanists – dare to defy them.

In Heart of Iron, the second book in my London Steampunk series, flirtatious debutante Lena Todd is just starting to realise that the glittering ballrooms she dreamed of as a youth are not as safe as the reality. Desperate to make some sort of difference in her world, she finds herself lured into the heart of a dangerous plot against the aristocracy.

Only one man can help her. Will Carver, the notorious Beast of Whitechapel, a verwulfen warrior who guards her brother-in-law, Blade, in the rookeries. He’s the only man she can’t twist around her little finger, and the one man she wants above all others.

One of my favourite scenes is the moment when Will realises that Lena is involved in the Humanist movement threatening London’s vicious blue blood elite. No matter how much he’s afraid to be near her, he can’t deny the protective instinct of a verwulfen male when something he cares for is threatened:

“You dropped somewhat.”

Lena froze in the doorway. Her hand went immediately to her sleeve and then she spun around, her eyes widening. “Give it to me!”

Will stood, breaking the seal and unrolling the small furl of paper. He caught just a glimpse of thick black letters before Lena tried to tug it out of his grip.

“A love letter, I’ll bet.” He turned around and pretended to read it.

A whoosh of scent enveloped him, her skirts swishing against his legs. She clutched at his shoulder, trying to drag his arm lower, her breasts crushed against the broad expanse of his back. Any attempt at reading went straight out of his head.

“What would you know of love letters?” She climbed on the stool and reached for the piece of paper. The step put her on eye level with him. Dangerously intimate. “The type of woman as would have you isn’t the type to be writing poems.”

“Don’t be so sure,” he shot back. “You’d be surprised at the type of poems they whisper in me ear.”

“Urgh. You’re despicable.”

The stool teetered and their gazes clashed. Lena shrieked and clutched at him as she fell. Will found himself with an armful of soft velvet and warm flesh, and the sound of two racing hearts.

The world slowed down. Became nothing more than the feel of her in his arms. Will stared into her eyes, then his gaze dropped, unbidden, to her lips.

Lena’s eyes widened and she made a choking noise. “Put me down.”

He could barely breathe. The hunger inside him was suddenly choking him, desperate to get out and rule his body. He knew the burning amber of his gaze was intensifying; he could almost feel the molten heat of it run through his irises as the colour changed.

Will,” she whispered. “Your eyes.”

Her breath was warm on his lips. She’d been chewing something with apple and cinnamon in it. He could scent it on her breath and suddenly he wanted to taste it.

Don’t.

Shoving her away, he turned, the paper crumpling in his fist. Had to get out of here. Away from the scent of her. Away from the temptation to do something she’d never forgive him for.

Maybe Blade and Honoria were right. Maybe he couldn’t be trusted?

“Will,” she whispered. “You’re shaking.”

He looked down at his hands. The tremble started there, swept all the way through him. “You were right,” he said hoarsely. “Maybe I did exert meself.”

“Perhaps I’d best go?”

It seemed some sense of self-preservation had come over her.

He nodded, struggling to hold onto himself. What the hell was wrong with him? What did it matter if she’d found… someone? Instantly the anger was back, thick and choking, a red haze threatening his vision.

You shouldn’t have come. This ain’t your world now.” The words were harsh and he’d meant them to be.

Silence. “I know. I thought you wouldn’t be here. You’re never here at midday.”

Which was why she only visited at those times.

Then why don’t you go?”

“My letter?”

Soft footsteps shuffled behind him. Her skirts brushed against his legs and then her hand slid down his arm, closing over the letter in his grip. A letter she was so desperate to regain.

There was only one reason she wouldn’t want him to see it.

Suddenly he couldn’t stop himself. He had to know, even if the answer was one he wouldn’t particularly like. Lena cried out, fighting him for it.

It tore in half and both of them staggered apart, left with a piece each. Will unrolled it, his gaze darting over the piece of paper. Not letters. Not writing. His gaze sharpened. He’d seen this before. The same bloody cipher he’d found on the men who’d fired the draining factories.

His stomach dropped. “What the hell are you doin’ with this?” he whispered, his voice filled with a cold, inexplicable dread.

Lena gave a strangled cry and darted for the door. Will grabbed her skirts almost as an aside, shock running its icy fingers down his spine. “Don’t think you’re goin’ anywhere. Not until you tell me where the bloody hell you found this!”

“I picked it up,” she lied, the bitter smell of it all over her.

Will grabbed her by the shoulder and spun her towards the stool she’d almost toppled. “Sit,” he growled, shoving her into the seat. “And explain. And if I were you, I wouldn’t dare tell me another lie.”

© Bec McMaster, 2013

For a sneak peek at the London Steampunk world, I’m offering an e-novella called Tarnished Knight (set after Kiss of Steel and before Heart of Iron) for free download for the month of May. See here for details.

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Ready for a chance to win the first book in Bec McMaster’s London Steampunk series? Just fill out the widget below for your chance to win Kiss of Steel! US addresses only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

HEART OF IRON BY BEC MCMASTER – IN STORES MAY 2013

In the mist-shrouded streets of London’s dreaded Whitechapel district, werewolves, vampires and a clockwork army are one step away from battle…

NO ONE TO TRUST…

Lena Todd is the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a rebel against London’s vicious elite—not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can’t twist around her little finger.

Will Carver, is more than man, he’s a verwulfen and he wants nothing to do with the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds Lena in possession of a coded letter, he realizes she’s in a world of trouble. To protect her, he’ll have to seduce the truth from her before it’s too late.

Deftly blends elements of steampunk and vampire romance with brilliantly successful results…darkly atmospheric and delectably sexy.”

Booklist, starred review for KISS OF STEEL

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author Bec McMaster lives in a small town in Australia and grew up with her nose in a book. A member of RWA, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and steampunk romance. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds. The third book in the London Steampunk series, My Lady Quicksilver will be in stores in October 2013. Read more about her at www.becmcmaster.com or follow her on Twitter @BecMcMaster.

To purchase Heart of Iron:

Barnes and Noble

Books-a-Million

IndieBound

Chapters/Indigo

Discover a New Love

Sourcebooks

Guest Post: My Top 10 Favorite Things by Terry Spear and Giveaway!

Please welcome Terry Spear, author of A Highland Werewolf Wedding, to the virtual offices today!  Terry is here to share her favorite things! Afterwards, you can win a copy her previous Highlander Wolf book, A Howl for a Highlander.

My Top 10 Favorite Things by Terry Spear

10. Purple flowers—In Dreaming of the Wolf, the hero, Jake, loves to take pictures of Colorado wildflowers, and one of them is purple Shasta daisies. The cover artist even kept that in mind by making a purple cover.

Lavender, lilacs, heather, and thistle filled clear glass vases in the wedding service the hero, Cearnach attends in A Highland Werewolf Wedding, and the heroine, Elaine is so impressed, she knows one day she’ll want purple flowers for her wedding, too.

9. Ancient castles—I loved the castle ruins especially. When I visited the one that is featured in A Highland Werewolf Wedding, I felt one with the ruins. It’s supposed to be one of the most haunted, and yet I felt as though I belonged there. Maybe in the way distance past, some of my Scottish ancestors had married into the family and lived there. Elaine also feels a connectedness to the castle ruins overlooking the Irish Sea. And that’s why I set the story in that forlorn, lovely place where spirits of men and women still roam.

8. Chocolate—dogs can’t eat chocolate. But since my werewolves are part human, they definitely like chocolate. But even better than straight chocolate? Haviland Thin Mints. Yum. They only come out during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season, so they’re a treat! And in A SEAL Wolf Christmas (October 2013), you’ll learn how they get the heroine in trouble.

7. Irish Cream—I’m part Irish, so I love my Irish Cream! When we were in Scotland, the ladies were trying to decide on something to drink. I said, “Irish Cream!” I know it was Scotland, but we are all part Scot and part Irish so it seemed the right thing to do.

6. Water—I love the water—lakes, ocean, the Gulf. If you’ve read Savage Hunger (the first book in my Heart of the Jaguar series), do waterfalls remind you of anything? Pools, ponds. Crystal clear aqua water is the best, but I’ll take all kinds of other types, just to be near it.

5. Forests—I live in a cornfield. When the stalks are high, it’s like a forest and as the wind rustles the cornstalks, it sounds like the pine forests I lived near in Oregon and California and Florida. I love planting trees where I am now and trying to create a forest to cool me in the hot sun. My wolves all love the forests too. They provide protection for them when they run as wolves. Cearnach and Elaine are forced to run as wolves in A Highland Werewolf Wedding, and woods help to protect them while they try to reach shelter. Taking hikes in the woods is something that I love doing.

4. Writing—of course! I LOVE creating new stories. I think about stories all the time. It’s fun bringing characters and their troubles to life, giving them a romantic to-die for interest, and a happily-ever-after.

3. Creating teddy bears—I started making them about 20 years ago and they were featured in magazines and won awards. Like characters in a book, the bears each have their own unique personality.

2. Photography—I love taking pictures of flora and fauna. I could never paint pictures as much as I’d love to, and so for me, photography is a way of capturing beautiful images in all their glory forever.

1. READING—I’m as addicted to writing as I am to reading!!! If I can’t write for a day, I’m in withdrawal. The same with reading!!! I now have a Nook, but the last plane trip I took where I didn’t bring enough books to read, I had to stop in an airport gift shop and stock up!

Thank you, Terry, for sharing your favorite things!!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Ready for a chance to win A Howl for a Highlander (Terry’s previous Highlander Wolf book). US and Canadian addresses only.  Just fill out the widget to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can purchase Terry’s book by clicking the links below

Barnes and Noble

Books-a-Million

IndieBound

Chapters/Indigo

Discover a New Love

Sourcebooks

 

About the book:

A HIGHLAND WERWOLF WEDDING – IN STORES MAY 2013

On The Run…

After werewolves Elaine Hawthorn and Cearnach MacNeill almost have a head-on collision on a foggy Highland road, they’re pretty well stuck with each other. It’ll be hours before anyone can get there to pull his car out of the ditch and they both have better places to be.

And Nowhere to Hide From Each Other…

The sexy little American brings out all of Cearnach’s big bag protective instincts. If she thought she was in trouble before, Elaine has no idea what kind of complications a hot Scot can cause…

Delightful, steamy, and devilishly funny, join the hundreds of thousands of readers who already discovered that USA Today bestseller Terry Spear delivers a sizzle worth howling about.

Praise for A Highland Werewolf Wedding:

“The two protagonists are well matched in intelligence, and their snappy dialogue will have readers chuckling from the first chapter on.” —Booklist

“The hills of Scotland make a dramatic backdrop for this novel, and the characters are pleasing and well written.” —RT Book Reviews

“A Highland Werewolf Wedding is another shining example of exactly why Terry Spear is the Queen of the shifter romance.”—Night Owl Reviews, 5 Stars, Reviewer Top Pick

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear has written over two dozen paranormal romance novels and medieval Highland historical romances. She has received incredible praise for her romances, including Heart of the Wolf named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning teddy bears that have found homes all over the world. She lives in Crawford, Texas, where she is working on her next paranormal romances! For more information, please visit www.TerrySpear.com.

Guest Post: Sara Humphreys, Author of Undone and Giveaway!

 

Please welcome Sara Humphreys, author of Undone, to the virtual offices today!  Sara has taken over the control panel to share a very special guest post with all of you.  Afterwards, she has a copy of Untamed up for grabs!

The Scene from UNDONE That Melts My Butter—By Sara Humphreys

Thanks so much to the Manga  Maniac Cafe gang for having me here today! When I was asked to blog about my favorite scene from UNDONE, I found myself in a pickle. I have a couple favorite moments and to be quite honest, it’s hard to pick one because Pete and Marianna were a fun couple to write about. Pete has that smart-ass edge to him that makes him irresistible and Marianna’s tough enough to give him a run for his money.

However, there is one scene in particular that stands out in my mind and so far, it seems to be rather memorable to the readers as well. It’s fondly being referred to as the “snowmobile scene” and some reviewers have said that they’ll never look at a snowmobile the same way again.

A little background before I post a snippet. Pete is human but unlike most humans, he knows about the existence of the Amoveo, the shapshifters who live secretly among society. He works for Marianna’s twin brother, Dante, and was hired to keep an eye on Marianna because the Purist Amoveo are causing all kinds of problems. You see, the Purists don’t want their race mixing with humans and as a result, a civil war has broken out among their race.

Marianna, a pureblood party girl from the Bear Clan, wants no part of politics and hasn’t publicly declared a side. However, since she’s an unmated pureblood female, the Purists are doing their best to persuade her to join their side. It soon becomes clear, that they want her to join them, even if it’s against her will. In an effort to protect her, Pete takes Marianna to his cabin in upstate New York. Needless to say, the sparks between them fly.

Now, I can’t share the whole scene because it’s a tad too saucy to post on the blog but here’s a little teaser to wet your appetite.

***

Pete hauled ass back to the cabin and Marianna thought at several points they were going to go careening into the trees but in true Pete fashion, they made it back safely. Driving like a man with a mission, he pulled the snowmobile up in front of the cabin and skidded to a halt, sending a wave of snow onto the already snow covered steps.

Marianna took off her helmet and hopped off the blasted contraption. Pete stared up at her through serious eyes as he removed his helmet and tossed it into the snow bank. He didn’t shut off the engine but slid back and patted the empty space in front of him.

“What?” Marianna shouted over the noise of the engine. “I’m not driving that thing.”

“No,” Pete agreed. “You’re definitely not driving tonight.”

***

Thanks again for hosting me and I hope you’ll check out Pete and Marianna’s story!

Dream on….
Sara

 

Thanks so much, Sara! 

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Ready for your chance to win a copy of Untamed, the third book in the Amoveo Legend Series?  Just fill out the widget below. Earn extra entries for following. US and Canadian addresses only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can purchase Undone and all of the books in the Amoveo Legend series from your favorite bookseller (links below) or by clicking the following link:

About the book:

UNDONE BY SARA HUMPHREYS – IN STORES MAY 2013

She’s Far From Human…

With her secret race of shapeshifteres embroiled in civil war, all Marianna Coltari wants is to stay far from controversy. Even so, when her overprotective brother insists on hiring his human friend Pete as her bodyguard, Marianna is furious.

Does She Dare to Love One?

Like most retired cops, Pete Castro resents his new job as a bodyguard. It’s even worse because he’ll be babysitting a party girl like Marianna. But that’s before he meets her for the first time and discovers his instincts on red alert. Would he kill to protect her?

Praise for Undone:

“Humphreys’ skillful storytelling is so intriguing, you’ll have a hard time putting this book down. 4 ½ Stars, Top Pick of the Month!” —RT Book Reviews

” Spellbinding… This fast-paced, jam-packed thrill ride will delight paranormal romance fans.” —Publishers Weekly

“Sara Humphreys has truly created her own world.” —Under the Covers

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara Humphreys has been attracted to the fantasies of science fiction, paranormal, and romance since her adolescence when she had a mad crush on Captain Kirk. An actress and public speaker, Sara lives in Bronxville, NY, with her husband, who is very considerate of her double life, and four amazing boys. Look for a brand new paranormal romance series, Dead in the City, starting with Tall, Dark and Vampire this August, and the next Amoveo Legend book, Unclaimed, in December 2013! For more information about her books and to join her street team, please visit www.sarahumphreys.com or follow her on Twitter, @AuthorSara.

To purchase Undone:

Barnes and Noble

Books-a-Million

IndieBound

Chapters/Indigo

Discover a New Love

Sourcebooks

Guest Post: Robin Covington, Author of His Southern Temptation

Please welcome Robin Covington to the virtual offices today!  Robin dropped by to fill us in on heroines who are nothing but trouble for the hero.  After reading her thoughts on the matter, be sure to hop to the bottom of the post and order her latest book, His Southern Temptation.

Nothing But Trouble: Heroines who kick A**

In my recent release, my heroine Taylor Elliott is strong, successful, stubborn, sexy, self-possessed —all the “s” words that spell nothing but trouble for her hero. Not only did she not follow directions but she decided to take initiative and ended up creating even more trouble for Lucky. In the end, he knew she was worth all the trouble but man, did she make him work for it.

I love a heroine who can take charge and control her own destiny. Now, some of the best heroines don’t start out that way but they grow, learn and gain the confidence to put on those Wonder Woman underoos and be awesome. And, of course, as they grow they become a case of serious heartburn for the men in their lives. Being a huge movie junkie, I thought I’d share with you some of faves:

Marge the Police Chief in Fargo: This woman was the epitome of womanly strength and you just know that her hubby was pulling his hair out knowing that she was giving it her all. I mean, how can you fail to love a woman who is 9 months pregnant who can catch a killer in between bouts of morning sickness?

Evelyn Salt in Salt: A U.S. Agent becomes a fugitive after being accused of being a Russian spy. If you doubt her kick-assery, just check out the scene of how she gets out of the CIA building with no shoes or weapons.

Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: What didn’t happen to this woman? Raped, minimized by society, virtually without any power, she comes back to exact justice on her abusers and to emerge as a ballsy equal with the male protagonist. She defies society with every move and a strong woman, takes on a man who is her equal and gives it as good as she gets.

Joan Wilder in Romancing the Stone: Sure, Joan doesn’t really know how to wield a weapon or hack into a computer but she steps out of her comfort zone to help her sister, takes on danger, uses her talents to make sure she is able to save her sister and seduces Michael Douglas (if you think for one minute that he’s seducing her, go watch it again)

Maggie Murdock in Love and Other Drugs: Afflicted with early onset Parkinson’s Maggie is bravery in action. She takes in her disease and also helps others with the same issues surrounding availability of affordable prescriptions and treatment. But, she does this all while being vulnerable and changing the life of her womanizing love interest until he becomes the man he’s supposed to be. Love her.

So, that’s my take on heroines who have cheering as they drive the menfolk crazy. Who would you add to the list?

Thank you, Robin!

You can order His Southern Temptation from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

About the book:

Some women are bad. Some women are a bad idea. The best ones are both…

A former Black Ops assassin, “Lucky” Landon has had more near-misses than a man should ever have. Now he’s out of that business and settling into the simple life in his small hometown. So the last thing he ever expected was to end up at gunpoint. Or that the woman holding the gun would be his best friend’s little sister and Lucky’s on-again/off-again lover.

Taylor Elliott is Trouble, and she likes it that way. And seeing Lucky again? Well, he’s been her dirty little secret for the past few years and everyone knows that secrets in a small town are almost impossible to keep. But Taylor has bigger problems on her plate. Like the local mob boss who wants her dead.

And right now the only thing standing between Trouble and disaster is a hottie named Lucky..

Here are more purchase links:

Barnes & Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/his-southern-temptation-robin-covington/1114954596?ean=9781622667048

Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17608393-his-southern-temptation

Tens List–Jennifer Shirk’s Top Ten Romantic Books!

Jennifer Shirk hijacked the virtual offices to share her favorite romantic books with you!  How does her list stack up against yours?

 

HI, all! Jennifer here.

Valentine’s Day is past, but if you’re a romance reader love is ALWAYS in the air. (Or at least we want it to be, which is why we read these books in the first place!)

I have a sweet romantic novella out now called A Little Bit Cupid, which I think is VERY romantic since it centers around the premise of love at first sight.

But everybody has different feelings on what is classified as "romantic", so I thought it would be fun to show you my Favorite Romantic Books–especially for those who haven’t read my books or don’t know me.

Maybe we even share some of the same personal favs! Check them out below!

Jennifer’s Top Ten Most Romantic Books

10) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (a classic and one of those romances that obviously goes way beyond just mere good-looks attraction)

9) Forgive my Fins by Tera Lynn Childs (a funny YA, but one where even though these two come from different worlds, they are meant to be together. Very sweet.)

8) Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins (the hero Malone was not your "all talk and no action" kind of guy. In fact, he was the opposite–but actions speak WAY louder than words)

7) Blue-eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas (boy, oh boy, this hero was HOT and noble and knew exactly how to romance the poor "broken" heroine)

6) Jewel of the Sun by Nora Roberts (love a big old Irish hero with heart of gold)

5) The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen (melancholy story but emotional and romantic YA)

4) Perfect by Judith McNaught (gorgeous hero kidnaps heroine to prove his innocence and they end up falling in love–perrrrrrrfect!)

3) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (do I really need an explanation on this one?)

2) Honey Moon by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (two tortured characters but together they’re able to heal one another. LOVE this book!)

1) Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas (Sam was so sure of himself and so sure he wouldn’t fall in love with the heroine. They even would make sure to tell each other daily "I don’t love you." Ha! Love it when the hero gets bamboozled. )

Well, that’s my list and I’m sticking to it. I hope you all get to check out these books as well as my book A Little Bit Cupid.

Thanks so much for having me today!

What’s your favorite romance book? Have you read any of the books on my list?


Thanks, Jennifer, for sharing your Top Ten Romantic Reads with us!

About Jennifer Shirk: Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy–which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.

She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Samhain Publishing, Avalon Books/Montlake Romance and now Entangled Publishing. She won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC’s Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her first book, The Role of a Lifetime.

Lately she’s been on a serious exercise kick. But don’t hold that against her.

Feel free to follow her on Twitter or become a friend on Facebook.

Connect with Jennifer here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenniferShirk
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorjennifershirk
Website: http://www.jennifershirk.com/
Blog: http://www.jennifershirk.blogspot.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3112488.Jennifer_Shirk


About A LITTLE BIT CUPID: Finding love should be easy, but wedding photographer Pheobe Ward knows better. When Cupid shows up on a crazy mission to help her —and save the world in the process—Phoebe realizes love might be even more complicated than she thought. Even with Cupid showing her Mr. Right , she can’t stop thinking about his best friend, Mr. Wrong.
Cal Crawford has never had time for love, but now he’s falling for Phoebe. Which means it’s got to be just plain wrong to set her up with his best friend, right? But even though seeing Phoebe with someone else will break his heart, he can’t walk away from her.

Phoebe can’t afford to choose the wrong guy with the fate of the world at stake. But maybe Cupid has it wrong. Maybe she has to rely just a little bit on Cupid, and a whole lot more on her heart.

Buy links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/A-Little-Bit-Cupid-ebook/dp/B00B1228ZQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359644248&sr=8-1&keywords=a+little+bit+cupid
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-little-bit-cupid-jennifer-shirk/1114144344?ean=2940015995244&itm=1&usri=a+little+bit+cupid
Books on Board: http://www.booksonboard.com/index.php?BODY=viewbook&BOOK=1455229&TITLE=A+Little+Bit+Cupid&AUTHOR=Jennifer+Shirk

iTunes Bookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-little-bit-cupid/id593745761?mt=11

A LITTLE BIT CUPID on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17244482-a-little-bit-cupid

Excerpt: The Four Realms by Adrian Faulkner and Giveaway!!

Adrian Faulkner and his publisher, Anarchy Books want to share an excerpt from The Four Realms with you.  After the excerpt, enter to win the entire Anarchy Books catalog – digital books and albums – on a CD!  What an awesome giveaway!  That will keep you busy for quite a while!

Excerpt: The Four Realms by Adrian Faulkner

It was snowing in New York. The thick storm clouds overhead had turned afternoon into evening and filled the streets and avenues with their cargo. On news of the storm’s approach, most of the city had emptied, workers leaving their offices before the journey home became impassable.

Broadway was practically empty. The clothing sellers who normally crowded the sidewalk were gone, having shut up and left hours ago, leaving a solitary figure making his way south through the shin deep snow. He seemed unprepared for the weather. His trousers were a size too big for him and his shirt was partly untucked.

Winds whipped around the city blocks like a serpent, striking from every direction with icy blasts, causing Mr West to draw his jacket ever tighter and vow to couple his plans with the weather forecast next time.

There were much easier ways to get from New Jersey to the meeting place in the heart of New York City. However, Mr West had ‘chosen’ to take the Transit in, and walk, rather than take a cab, down from Penn Station. It had seemed like a good idea at the time. "Know your enemy," the training programs had told him, and he felt that by experiencing choice, he better understood the inhabitants of this world.

Choice was abhorrent to him. Yes, he told himself, decisions often needed to be made, but that should only be done by those whose job function it was to make them for individuals, and then only after careful analysis and consultation. Otherwise, you had what you had here… a chaotic system.

Of course the humans and dwarves, and even the elves would argue that without choice there was no freedom, but what use was freedom when all that was stopping people killing you or stealing from you was a thinly guised code of moral conduct. With choice, it gave people the right to do bad things to others. Where was the freedom from crime, the freedom of job security, the freedom of not having to worry about the course of your life?

No, Mr West told himself, the amount of choice here was bad. Even worse it was so unproductive. It made their enemies unpredictable and irrational, something that the data models still needed to take into account.

He stepped off the sidewalk to cross 27th street and jarred himself as the drop, hidden in snow, was more than he expected. The snow soaked his trouser leg up to above the knee. He hated New York, even their sidewalks weren’t uniform. No wonder they needed so many lawyers.

He was surprised to see that the Pizza restaurant was still open, and despite feeling slightly uncomfortable about it, ‘chose’ to stop and buy a slice. If there was one redeeming feature of New York, and indeed, the whole of this realm, it was Pizza. Since the start of the operation here, he had tried just about every variety. He ignored his logic which told him he did not need to eat and ordered a slice of pepperoni. Pizza heated and bagged to go, Mr West left the relative warmth of the parlour and stepped out into the snow once again.

He didn’t have far to go. The awning of the next building marked his destination. The shivering doorman saw him, swung into action, opening the door, and upon noticing the pizza, asked Mr West: "You get that from next door?"

Mr West nodded.

"Best Pizza in the city," the doorman exclaimed as Mr West shook himself off and stamped the snow from his feet. He walked up the narrow passageway toward the lobby and elevator. A member of cleaning staff was busy fighting a losing battle trying to mop the floor of melted snow the guests had brought in.

Mr West took the elevator to the twelfth floor, and knocked on door 1203. He was expected and the door opened almost instantaneously. Three men dressed immaculately in black suits and white shirts stood on the other side; so alike in every such way that it would be easy to confuse them for identical triplets. They looked slightly nervous as Mr West entered. The one who had answered the door closed it quickly behind West, whilst the other two stood up from the twin beds they had been sitting on. Mr West grabbed the chair from the writing desk and sat down to face the huge window that looked out over the city. Standing in front of it was a fourth man, much older than the other three but similarly dressed. His cropped hair and beard were as white as the snow outside and his face was etched with a scowl as deep as his wrinkles.

"You’re late, Mr West," the older man growled.

"Sorry," West replied nonchalantly, beginning to eat his pizza slice. "Traffic was terrible."


If you enjoyed the excerpt, you can order The Four Realms by clicking the cover below:

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Guest Post: Creativity: It’s Everywhere, All Around by Elisabeth Barrett

Creativity: It’s Everywhere, All Around by Elisabeth Barrett

“Oh. My. God.”

These are not the words you want to hear in the delivery room when you’re giving birth. But they were indeed the words spoken by my ob/gyn as she helped to bring my little son into the world.

“What?” I gasped, still in the throes of agony. “What?!”

Alarmed, I looked over to my husband, who was staring, wide-eyed at the baby. It was several long minutes before our son was handed to me, and as soon as I got him, I was staring too. Like most babies, he had ten fingers, ten toes, and the cutest little mouth I’d ever seen. He was remarkably normal looking in every way but one—he had a huge swath of bright orange hair covering his head. I’m talking day-glo, like someone had taken an orange highlighter and colored in each strand. I’d never seen anything like it, and apparently, neither had the doctor. Here’s a picture of him a few days later (although this shot doesn’t do his hair justice):

Over time, it’s morphed into the deepest, most beautiful shade of orange/red you can imagine, and his long, lustrous eyelashes are a perfect match. Here’s what it looks like now:

One day as I was staring at the marvel that is my son’s hair, it hit me. It was the perfect color hair for a character I had percolating in my brain—Avery Newbridge, the gentle social worker who returns to town to help out her aunt at the Star Harbor Inn. Avery’s had a setback at work and is taking some time to figure out her career and her life. Unfortunately, she keeps getting distracted by sexy author Theo Grayson, who has taken a room at the inn. Avery spends most of the book trying to keep up her defenses, while Theo spends his time trying to tear them down. Of course, no one can resist intelligent, quiet, and rugged Theo…not even Avery.

Avery’s hair was also the inspiration for the title: Blaze of Winter. She’s a flash of passionate color in the otherwise-winter-white landscape. But there’s where my real-life inspiration ends. There is no facet of my toddler’s personality in that of my romance novel heroine (fortunately for Theo and Avery), but just using the hair color was a great way for me to get the ball rolling.

A few months ago, Manga Maniac Café’s Julie interviewed me as part of my blog tour for Deep Autumn Heat, the first book in my Star Harbor series. During that interview, she asked me one very interesting question: What are your greatest creative influences? I gave a long-winded answer that concluded with: “life observations.” I was telling the truth. My creative influences are all around me, and it’s just a matter of figuring out which ones I can use to tell a great story!

About Elisabeth:

Raised in a sleepy little Connecticut town, Elisabeth draws on her upbringing to write small-town romances. Her summers spent living and working on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard were the inspiration for the Star Harbor series, which kicked off with Deep Autumn Heat and continues with Blaze of Winter (coming September 10, 2012). Currently, Elisabeth lives in Northern California with her husband and three children. Find her online: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

About Blaze of Winter:

Winter heats up in this hot new Star Harbor romance, as another sexy Grayson brother, a wickedly handsome writer, plots his happily ever after with a sweet stranger.

Frustrated with her job in Boston, social worker Avery Newbridge welcomes the opportunity to reassess her life when family asks her to help manage the Star Harbor Inn. Trying to figure out her future is overwhelming enough, but she doesn’t count on distraction in the form of one Theo Grayson, the gorgeous, green-eyed author who she knows is trouble from the moment he saunters into the inn.

Not only does he have a talent for writing swashbuckling adventures, but Theo also has a soft spot for big-hearted damsels in distress, especially a woman who’s great at helping everyone—except herself. Avery’s demons challenge him, but for desire this hot, he isn’t backing down. With every kiss and heated whisper Theo promises her his heart . . . if only Avery is willing to open up and accept it.

View an excerpt of Blaze of Winter on Scribd: Click here.

Pre-order Blaze of Winter: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or the iBookstore (Apple)!

Giveaway:

One commenter will be randomly selected to win a NetGalley preview of BLAZE OF WINTER. Contest ends September 10th at midnight (EDT).You’ll need a NetGalley account, and to answer the question below: What are your creative inspirations?

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Didn’t win? You can order Blaze of Winter and Deep Autumn Heat from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below