Interview with Tamara Morgan, Author of Love is a Battlefield

Tamara Morgan kicks off her Games of Love series with Love is a Battlefield, a recent release from Samhain Publishing.  Tamara dropped by the virtual offices to chat about her new book.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Tamara Morgan] Contemporary romance author with a love of heroes who wear costumes. Video game geek. Wine lover. Zombie apocalypse prepared.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Love is a Battlefield?

[Tamara Morgan] Love is a Battlefield is a modern take on two of my favorite romance tropes: Regency England and Highlanders.

Kate Simmons is a Jane Austen re-enactor with a love of history and romance. Julian Wallace is a professional Highland Games athlete who adheres to the time-honored traditions of Scotland. Sparks between them fly until they realize they both want the same plot of land for their annual conventions.

Basically, it’s a land feud between re-enactment groups with a Renaissance fair, a wood-fired hot tub, and a rich Duke with his own agenda thrown into the mix.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Tamara Morgan] This book has been such a long process it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where everything came from. But I’m a total sucker for historical costumes, and my family goes every year to our city’s Highland Games event, Renaissance Fair, and Civil War re-enactment. I couldn’t think of anything better than to find a way to bring these types of characters to life, especially since it gave me an excuse to write modern-day men in kilts.

Since I decided to play with romance tropes and timelines, I needed characters who would be just at home in a historical novel as a contemporary one. Kate is your typical feisty bluestocking, and Julian is the fierce Highland warrior out to protect his clan.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?

[Tamara Morgan] Walking that fine line between comedy and farce is something I’m continually working on improving. Humor is such a subjective thing, and I know my approach to romantic comedy isn’t for everyone. I did my best to create a fun, entertaining story that gets a few laughs but also tugs a few heartstrings.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Kate?

[Tamara Morgan] Feminine, Romantic, Determined

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Julian would never hide under his kilt?

[Tamara Morgan] Defeat, Fear, Support Hose

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Tamara Morgan] My husband definitely gets kudos for his sense of humor. Whether I’m borrowing stealing his jokes for my characters or relying on him to pull me out of a writerly funk, he can always be counted on to make me laugh. That’s probably why my characters are always laughing with each other—I consider it the foundation of any good, long-term relationship.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Tamara Morgan] COFFEE, my little pink netbook, Twitter

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Tamara Morgan] Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. She’s got a good handle for humor, and I fell in love with her hero, Lincoln, almost immediately. It’s also a total geek book (Dungeons & Dragons! Information Technology!), which should never be underestimated.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Tamara Morgan] You’d have to ask my aunt. Every year for Christmas, she would give me books specially designed to cultivate my tastes and turn me into a romance reader. Every year, she nailed my interests and tastes. The first one I remember (but not the first one I got) was Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman.

Predictably, it features a thirteenth-century love story aimed at kids. I’ve always loved historicals!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Tamara Morgan] Read! People are always asking me what my hobbies are outside of reading and writing, but the truth is that I don’t have many. If I don’t have my computer in hand, I have my Kindle—and I rarely travel anywhere without them both.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Tamara Morgan] I’m most active on Twitter, so if you want to be sure and find me, follow me there at @Tamara_Morgan. I’m also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTamaraMorgan.

Every few years I try to blog, but I get very lazy at updating, so for now I have a plain old ordinary website at www.tamaramorgan.com. And if you want to spend more time with Julian, he’s in the (sort of) flesh and waiting for you to pick out his kilt.


Love is a Battlefield is available now! You can order a copy from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below:

 

About Love is a Battlefield

It takes a real man to wear a kilt. And a real woman to charm him out of it.

It might be modern times, but Kate Simmons isn’t willing to live a life without at least the illusion of the perfect English romance. A proud member of the Jane Austen Regency Re-Enactment Society, Kate fulfills her passion for courtliness and high-waisted gowns in the company of a few women who share her love of all things heaving.

Then she encounters Julian Wallace, a professional Highland Games athlete who could have stepped right off the covers of her favorite novels. He’s everything brooding, masculine, and, well, heaving. The perfect example of a man who knows just how to wear his high sense of honor—and his kilt.

Confronted with a beautiful woman with a tongue as sharp as his sgian dubh, Julian and his band of merry men aren’t about to simply step aside and let Kate and her gaggle of tea-sippers use his land for their annual convention. Never mind that “his land” is a state park—Julian was here first, and he never backs down from a challenge.

Unless that challenge is a woman unafraid to fight for what she wants…and whose wants are suddenly the only thing he can think about.

Warning: The historical re-enactments in this story contain very little actual history. Battle chess and ninja stars may apply.

About Tamara Morgan

Tamara Morgan is a romance writer and unabashed lover of historical reenactments—the more elaborate and geeky the costume requirements, the better. In her quest for modern-day history and intrigue, she has taken fencing classes, forced her child into Highland dancing, and, of course, journeyed annually to the local Renaissance Fair. These feats are matched by a universal love of men in tights, of both the superhero and codpiece variety.

Review: Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire by Nina Croft

 

Title: Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire

Author: Nina Croft

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

ASIN: B007KGQQCS

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Seduction by any means necessary…

Olivia Brent is happy with her quiet life in the country, until the imminent loss of her home forces her to embark on a search for her estranged father. Catapulted into a world of criminals and totally out of her depth, Olivia is rescued by the stunningly gorgeous and enigmatic billionaire Luc Severino.

Luc has never considered himself a knight in shining armor, and if he had been, then Jimmy Brent’s daughter was the last person he would choose to rescue. But Olivia is the key to finding her father, and Luc is willing to use any methods available, including blackmail, to persuade Olivia to help him find Jimmy and finally put the past behind him.

And if blackmail doesn’t gain her total cooperation, then perhaps a little seduction will…

Review:

Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire is yet another example of of why I don’t like to read the blurbs on the back of the book before picking up a new category romance to read.   I am not enamored by billionaires, Italian or otherwise.  I have a hard time relating to them, and, in all honesty, I don’t really like them.  The stress of having to juggle finances to get all of their bills paid gives the guy next door more character than that billionaire who jets off to seal a new lucrative business deal.  Luc, the wealthy hero of Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire wasn’t always a rich guy, and that made him more interesting for me.  He actually had to scrabble for his success, which he earned through sheer determination.  His sole goal in life, exacting revenge against Jimmy Brent, has given him the drive to make things happen.  Jimmy did him wrong, and Luc is going to make him pay – if he can ever track the weasel down, that is!

Olivia Brent is in dire straights herself.  She is also desperate to locate the whereabouts of Jimmy Brent, the father that abandoned her family years ago.  Jimmy was a louse, everyone knows that, but Olivia has been shielded from his most terrible indiscretions.  Her mother remained in love with her errant husband until the day she died, and she refused to speak ill of him.  Olivia needs to find her father, so she can persuade him to pay the bills she has looming over her head.  If she can’t find him, she’ll lose the family home, leaving her, her younger brother, and their housekeeper on the streets.

The plot is standard series romance fare, and while it didn’t bring anything new to the table, Nina Croft’s writing kept me turning the pages of this spicy romance.  Certain plot elements drove me bonkers, the main one being Olivia’s career.  She works for a horse trainer, teaching lessons and competing on the eventing circuit.  That just seemed far-fetched to me, considering her lack of discretionary funds.  It is a rare individual who makes it big in the pricey horse world.

A hot night of steamy, passionate sex in his office, which was recorded on closed circuit cameras, is all the ammunition that Luc needs to get Olivia to help him find her father.  With a sponsorship on the line, Olivia can’t afford to allow any scandal to taint her reputation.  Instead, she agrees to Luc’s plan to lure her father out into the open.  All of this was far-fetched and very silly, but the book was like crack and I couldn’t put it down.  Why did Luc need a bedroom with a king-sized bed attached to his office?  Does he often entertain clients in the intimate decadence of those finely woven linens? 

There are some stories that I enjoy for no other reason than they keep me distracted from reality, and this is one of those.  If I stop and over analyze the plot, Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire would probably fall flat on its face.  Seeing how Luc and Olivia overcome their distrust of each other, and how they reconcile their feelings of betrayal by her father, kept me engaged in the story.  Reading this book is like opening a bag of Jalapeño Kettle Chips.  I know I shouldn’t give in to the temptation in the first place, but once the bag is opened, I can’t stop myself from eating every last chip, one after another.  The book is fun, angsty, and zings with sexual tension, even if it contains the nutritional value of a bag of potato chips.  For escapist reading and a disconnect from reality, give this book a try.

Grade: B+

Review copy provided by publisher

 

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Interview with Nina Croft, Author of Blackmailed by The Italian Billionaire and Giveaway!

Nina Croft is the author of several romances, with latest, Blackmailed by The Italian Billionaire, just hitting store shelves.  Nina dropped by the virtual offices to discuss her book, and she brought along a digital copy for one of you to win!  Enter for your chance to win after the interview!

[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Nina Croft] I’m English, but live on an almond farm in Spain. I love animals, can be obsessive, and I’m a voracious reader and writer of romance.

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire?

[Nina Croft] Blackmailed is contemporary romance with believable characters and situations, but with that edge of fantasy that women dream about (well I dream about anyway!)

I think one of the reasons we read romance is to be transported to fabulous places and Blackmailed does just that, taking the reader from the English countryside, to sophisticated London, to a dreamy Italian island hideaway. Add to that a gorgeous hero, a strong heroine, and a pretty good reason why they can’t just fall in love and live happily ever after!

And here’s the blurb:

Blurb: Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire

Seduction by any means necessary…

Olivia Brent is happy with her quiet life in the country, until the imminent loss of her home forces her to embark on a search for her estranged father. Catapulted into a world of criminals and totally out of her depth, Olivia is rescued by the stunningly gorgeous and enigmatic billionaire Luc Severino.

Luc has never considered himself a knight in shining armor, and if he had been, then Jimmy Brent’s daughter was the last person he would choose to rescue. But Olivia is the key to finding her father, and Luc is willing to use any methods available, including blackmail, to persuade Olivia to help him find Jimmy and finally put the past behind him.

And if blackmail doesn’t gain her total cooperation, then perhaps a little seduction will…

[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Nina Croft] I’ve always had a love for all things Mediterranean. When I first started reading my mother’s romances, I was always drawn to the stories with tall dark, bad-boy heroes; Spanish, Italians, Greeks… Luc, the hero from Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire, was inspired by all these.

Luc is actually half-Italian and half-English. And that also gave the basis of the conflict in the story, as Luc is man with two distinct parts; he’s a billionaire, he lives in a gorgeous penthouse in the poshest part of London, but he also has a somewhat shady past…

[Manga Maniac Café] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the story?

[Nina Croft] I think probably not introducing a vampire into the story. This is my first pure contemporary romance. The last couple of years I’ve been writing a lot of paranormal and it just seems not right to not have a vampire. I had to keep reminding myself—contemporary!

[Manga Maniac Café] What three words best describe Olivia?

[Nina Croft] Impetuous, loyal, brave

[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things Luc would never have in his bedroom?

[Nina Croft] A woman other than Olivia (well, not from now on anyway).

A romance novel—he reads thrillers and science fiction

Pyjamas—he never ever wears pyjamas

[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Nina Croft] Books. I think it’s impossible to be a writer without having a deep love of books. They inspire me; make me want to write better, try new things, explore new worlds…

[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Nina Croft] Time, ideas and my laptop

[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Nina Croft] Lord of the Rings – it wasn’t the first but probably had the biggest impact.

[Manga Maniac Café] What’s the last book you read that knocked your socks off?

[Nina Croft] I reckon A Game of Thrones by G.R.R. Martin. It was a book that made me want to devote the next ten years of my life to writing a gigantic epic fantasy story (one day…) And the great thing is—there are loads more in the series.

[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Nina Croft] I live on an almond farm in the mountains of Southern Spain, so much of my spare time is spent pottering around the place. I have a small vineyard, and I make (and drink) a lot of wine. I read a lot. I have four dogs who love going for walks, and a horse called Gencianna, who I ride most days.

[Manga Maniac Café] How can readers connect with you?

[Nina Croft] Website

Twitter

Facebook

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!


GIVEAWAY TIME!

Want to win a digital copy of Nina Croft’s Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire? Thanks to Entangled Publishing and Nina, all you have to do is fill out the widget to enter for a chance to win.  Following will get you extra entries, too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blurb: Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire

Seduction by any means necessary…

Olivia Brent is happy with her quiet life in the country, until the imminent loss of her home forces her to embark on a search for her estranged father. Catapulted into a world of criminals and totally out of her depth, Olivia is rescued by the stunningly gorgeous and enigmatic billionaire Luc Severino.
Luc has never considered himself a knight in shining armor, and if he had been, then Jimmy Brent’s daughter was the last person he would choose to rescue. But Olivia is the key to finding her father, and Luc is willing to use any methods available, including blackmail, to persuade Olivia to help him find Jimmy and finally put the past behind him.
And if blackmail doesn’t gain her total cooperation, then perhaps a little seduction will…

Read an excerpt here.

Nina’s Bio:

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.

Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

Waiting on Wednesday–Body & Soul by Stacey Kade

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

I love Stacey Kade’s The Ghost and the Goth series.  The last book, Queen of the Dead, kind of left readers hanging, so I can hardly wait to get my hands on the next installment.  Body & Soul hits stores May 1st!

Alona Dare has been living as Lily “Ally” Turner for over a month…and it’s not been easy. Besides being trapped in a body so not as good as her original one, she’s failing miserably at playing the sister and daughter of people she barely knows. Plus, she can’t help but think that Will Killian – the boy she hates to care about – somehow wishes the real Lily were back.

She and Will have been trying to find a solution, looking for a two-for-one miracle that would free Alona and keep Lily alive. Visits to local psychics have proven useless, but then they stumble across Malachi the Magnificent, who seems to be different. His office is full of ghosts, for one thing. But Malachi doesn’t seem to hear or see them, which is odd. Plus, he bolts the moment he sees Will. To make things even weirder, Misty Evans, Alona’s former best friend, is waiting in Malachi’s lobby and claiming that she’s being haunted. By Alona.

Will’s convinced that Malachi has answers, while Alona is all kinds of pissed that someone’s impersonating her. But their efforts to uncover the truth will bring them much unwanted attention and put them directly in the path of a ghost who will stop at nothing for another stab at life. Even if it means destroying Alona.

 

In stores May 1, 2012

 

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Cover Shot! Ruined by Rumor by Alyssa Everett

Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café.  I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share.  More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents.  There is an allure to a beautiful cover.  Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?

I have been on a huge romance kick lately.  Ruined by Rumor by Alyssa Everett looks like my kind of book, and I love the pretty cover.  Ah, a secret rendezvous in a candle-lit library – what could be more romantic?

 

 

After waiting five years for her fiancé to return from the war and marry her, Roxana Langley has been jilted! She may have longed for excitement, but this was not what she had in mind…

Who could possibly throw over a woman as beautiful and vivacious as Roxana? Certainly not Alex Winslow, the Earl of Ayersley, who has spent years trying in vain to forget his unrequited love. When he learns she’s been abandoned by her cad of a fiancé, he finds himself offering a shoulder for her to cry on. Comfort soon turns into a passionate kiss—and scandal when they are caught in an embrace.

Only one thing will save Roxana from certain ruination: marriage to the earl. The match may save her reputation, but responsible, tongue-tied Ayersley is a far cry from her dashing former fiancé. She’s convinced Ayersley is merely doing his duty…while he’s sure Roxana is still in love with another man. Are they trading one disaster for another?

You can read an excerpt here

Available May 2012

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Review: Desert Blade by Elle Drake

 

 

Title: Desert Blade

Author: Elle Drake

Publisher: Carina Press

ASIN: B0070XZYXI

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

In the post-apocalyptic Midwest, now a ravaged dust bowl, former guardsman Derek Covington must find help for a sick boy. With nothing but memories of all he lost, Derek crosses the desert alone in search of the doctor who saved his own life ten years ago. Drifter gangs who loot and pillage don’t dare come near, for Derek has a formidable weapon: a prosthetic arm with a deadly blade.

For a decade, Dr. Lidia Sullivan has fantasized about the handsome guardsman who’d been in her care. And now she can’t deny his dangerous request. But as they make the treacherous journey back to Old St. Louis, they must contend with much more than fierce desert winds and their unthinkable attraction. A fearless gang has spotted Lidia—a rare woman—and will fight Derek to the death to get her. And though he risks his life to save her for the sake of the child who needs her, she fears there’s one thing Derek will never risk: his heart.

27,000 words

Review:

I love post-apocalyptic stories, so when I saw this novella on Netgalley, I immediately requested it.  The setting is a devastated Midwest, which has been turned into a lifeless desert.  Small settlements scrabble to make a living amidst the desolation, preyed upon by vicious drifters who kill anyone unlucky enough to wander across their path. 

The story starts with Lidia, a young doctor, helping to save the life of Derek, a Guardsman who has been wounded in the violent and fiery riots sweeping across Chicago.  In an effort to improve crop yields, scientists instead unleashed a virus that killed most of the plant life, setting off riots as desperate people, starving and panic-stricken, lashed out in bloody uprisings that left death and destruction in their wake.  When the staff from her hospital is evacuated, Lidia and Derek are separated during the ensuing chaos to stop the convoy and secure the valuable supplies being transported with the medical personnel.

Ten years later and now practicing her valuable medical skills in a small oasis amid the dust bowl that surrounds her small but thriving community, Lidia is shocked when Derek re-enters her life. Taking her from her safe haven and promising to protect her on a journey to his settlement, he needs her to help save the life of a friend’s young son. The resulting journey is both dangerous and exciting, as Lidia confronts the sizzling attraction that she still feels for the brooding, lethal man.

I love the premise for this story.  The Midwest has been turned into a desert, murderous bands of roving killers menace anyone stupid enough to travel beyond the guarded walls of the small communities that are slowly rising up out of the ruins of society.  Lidia actually lives a fairly comfortable life; she’s a doctor, and her life-saving skills are highly valued in her community.  She has enough to eat, she is safe within the walls of Leavenworth, and she is content with her life.  Right up until Derek re-enters her life, destroying her contentment and making her re-evaluate her present, and more importantly, her future.  He is like a raging inferno, and she is helpless against the force of her attraction for him.

While I found Derek to be a complete jackass at first, his stubbornness did grow on me.  He is aggressive, decisive, and once he sees Lidia again, he decides that he wants her.  All to himself, even if it means putting her in danger as he escorts her to his outpost near what is left of St Louis.  They have no doctors there, and they need one desperately.  Everyone in this ruined America needs a trained healer, so I was appalled that Derek would put Lidia’s life in danger and attempt to take her through the desert all by himself.  Ugh!  Derek!!  What were you thinking, other than that you wanted a chance to get into her pants?  I really wanted to hate this guy because that behavior was about as selfish as it got, but, gosh darn it, I couldn’t!  He’s so cocky and self-assured, and that held a certain amount of charm for me.  But still!  Dude! You almost got her KILLED!

Desert Blade is a fast paced romp through world on the brink of complete ruin.  It’s a fun popcorn adventure, with lots of action, fighting, and Derek and Lidia running for their lives. The world is interesting, the attraction between the protagonists is red hot, but there is a lack of depth due in part to the short length of this story. If you enjoy sci-fi romance or stories with post-apocalyptic settings, you will like this quick read.

Grade: B-

Review copy provided by publisher

 

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Interview with Elle Kennedy, Author of Midnight Rescue

Elle Kennedy is the author of many romance novels.  Her latest, Midnight Rescue, hits store shelves next week.  It kicks off her suspenseful Killer Instincts series, and the cover is stunning!  Elle stopped by the virtual offices to chat about her new book.

[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Elle Kennedy] I’m a fun-loving, incredibly sarcastic introvert. I’d rather stay in and play Scrabble, or lie on a beach and read a good book.

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about Midnight Rescue?

[Elle Kennedy] Midnight Rescue centers around Abby Sinclair, a ruthless assassin who’s currently on an undercover mission in Colombia. When she purposely blows her cover, mercenary Kane Woodland is sent in to get her out. And the last thing they expect is to fall for one another.

We also get to meet each of their teams—Abby and her all-female unit of assassins, and Kane and his guys. There’s a lot of action and a lot of sexiness in between!

[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Elle Kennedy] I thought it would be fun and interesting to write a strong, ruthless heroine who doesn’t need to be saved, and then pair her up with an alpha hero who’s determined to save her. From there, Abby and Kane came to life, along with the mercenary group Kane works with, and Abby’s commanding female assassin boss. I adore strong heroes and heroines, and this series has two groups of them.

[Manga Maniac Café] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the story?

[Elle Kennedy] I think writing the heroine, Abby, was the most challenging. It was difficult at times, balancing her role as a cold assassin with her softer, more emotional side. She’s complex and it took me a while to figure out who she was — and then it took me even longer to figure out how to write it!

Abby’s biggest problem is that she wants to prevent other women from going through the horrors she had to go through, and this leads her to risk her life time and again. This latest mission is particularly difficult for her because it hits waaaay too close to home. The challenge for me was showing that she’s a capable operative but at the same time a woman who was once victimized and wants to spare others that same fate.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three words best describe Abby?

[Elle Kennedy] Deadly, determined, detached

[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things Kane would never have in his pocket?

[Elle Kennedy] Band-Aids, personal photographs and matches.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Elle Kennedy] Probably books, movies and television. I’ll read anything in the romantic suspense genre, contemporary romances, thrillers, young adult, erotica, literary fiction—I’m a big reader and find inspiration from everything I read. I’m also a huge film and TV fanatic, and can spend hours marathoning movies or shows that I like.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Elle Kennedy] Peace and quiet, my computer, and motivation. The last one can be finicky—sometimes I’m not in the mood to write. At all. But I have no choice, especially if I’m on a tight deadline. That’s when I really need to dig deep for some motivation and pray that I meet my word count!

[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Elle Kennedy] “Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret” by Judy Blume.

[Manga Maniac Café] What’s the last book you read that knocked your socks off?

[Elle Kennedy] The Hunger Games.

[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Elle Kennedy] Read, watch movies or TV shows, play Scrabble or other dorky board games, spend time with family and friends. But my all-time favourite activity is lounging by the lake or lying on a beach, drinking an iced tea, and spending the whole day reading.

How can readers connect with you?

[Elle Kennedy] I love hearing from readers, so don’t be shy to stop by and say hello Smile

website: www.ellekennedy.com

facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorElleKennedy

twitter: @ellekennedy

[Manga Maniac Café]  Thank you!


You can pre-order a copy of Midnight Rescue in either print or digital format from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below.

Review: Holiday Affair by Annie Seaton

 

Title:  Holiday Affair

Author: Annie Seaton

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

ASIN: B007KTECCQ

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Staid professor Lissy McIntyre believes that choosing a mate should be based on common sense, not runaway passion. And she would certainly never pick a rolling stone like Nick Richards for long-term love. But a red-hot, tropical romance? Oh, yeah. He’s got a body just made for sinning and his sizzling kisses leave her senseless.

When Nick blows into town, he’s stunned to discover that his no-nonsense new neighbor and co-worker is the same sultry creature he seduced for one night of forbidden island pleasure. He’s unaccustomed to staying in one place for long, but he just can’t seem to keep his hands off the multi-faceted woman. Will Nick break loyal Lissy’s heart or will she be the one woman he simply can’t walk away from?

Review:

I just did not click with this book.  The conflict between the characters was grating, and I was never convinced that they were a good match for each other.  Instead of bringing out the best in each other, they only seemed to bring out the worst.  For two very intelligent protagonists, neither Lissy nor Nick had an ounce of common sense, and they didn’t learn from their mistakes, which were made often and were hurtful.  Nick came across as a selfish jerk for most of the book, and because the ending was so abrupt, I didn’t think he redeemed himself or that he had earned Lissy’s love. 

Lissy is on leave from her job, mourning her grandfather’s death and trying to kick back and enjoy a bit of time to herself.  She meets Nick, a roguish deck hand working on the ship she’s vacationing on.  Sparks fly, and at first, Lissy is attracted to him.  When she discovers that he has made a bet with the other deck hands that he will be able to woo her by the end of the trip, she is furious.  She gives him a piece of her mind, ruins his bet, and heads back to her hotel, thinking she’ll never see him again.

Back at the hotel, she discovers, to her dismay, that Nick is staying there, too.  She forgives him after he apologizes over dinner, and spends a hot, sweaty night with him, indulging in the best sex of her life.  When she wakes, he’s long gone, and she’s upset that he didn’t even stick around to say good-bye.  Thinking that she’ll never see him again, she flies home and gets ready to head back to work at the university, where she is a history professor.  Then her life falls apart when she discovers that Nick is her new boss, and he’s her boyfriend’s younger brother.  Uh-oh!!

I did not like Nick one bit, which made this reading experience less than pleasant.  He is selfish, immature, and tries, with great success, to ruin his brother’s relationship with Lissy.  It was thoughts like this:

I have to get this sorted out, he thought.  If we just go out for a while, have some great sex, and then move on, all this emotional crap will go away.

Ugh! Really, Nick? You are not endearing yourself to me. 

Both Lissy and Nick have commitment issues.  Nick has been in disastrous relationships, and Lissy has spent her entire life watching  her mother move from husband to husband.  Neither of them believes in love, and so neither knows how to give trust to a partner.  While I could sympathize with Lissy here, Nick comes from a large and loving family, so his emotional hang-ups did not resonate with me. 

Unfortunately, Holiday Affair is a story I failed to connect with.  I found that both protagonists lacked depth,  and I wasn’t convinced with their HEA. 

Grade: C-

Review copy provided by publisher

 

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