Interview with Roby Grady, Author of The Goddess and Giveaway!

 

Please welcome Robyn Grady to the virtual offices this morning! Robyn is here to chat about The Goddess, and after, she has a digital copy of her new book up for grabs!

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

[Robyn Grady] A little obsessive. Lover of great stories that make me laugh or truly think or cry. Gerard Butler fan. Writer, wife, mother. Going to Greek Isles one day. Please God, soon!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Goddess?

[Robyn Grady] The Goddess is true fantasy mixed with “this could happen to you.” Helene is a woman who delayed getting her college degree and is now enjoying a few months free from family expectations to explore the world and find herself. The Aegean twin islands of Teirenias are Helen’s ultimate destination—so much history and incomparable beauty. She feels strangely at home there, perhaps because an ancestor came from around those parts.

When she meets the prince (she almost drops a bucket of paint on his head), tradition is set aside in favor of curiosity, sexual attraction and, ultimately, fate.

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

[Robyn Grady] I’m drawn to a touch of the magical—the unexplained. I also wanted to write a slightly bigger story than my Harlequin reads allow. So I worked on the idea to create a series that focused on couples who should never, ever fall in love, but who are drawn together and then won over by a wider web that incorporates another time and, sometimes, place.

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

[Robyn Grady] Adventurous! Every-day. Committed.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Darius had a theme song, what would it be?

[Robyn Grady] Private Emotion by Ricky Martin. If you haven’t heard it (or seen the clip), do yourself a favor ? http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xi6ax_ricky-martin-private-emotion_music#.UZP4JdB-9Ms

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Helene is never without.

[Robyn Grady] Curiosity. If she were an animal, she’d be a tabby cat.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Darius’ bedroom?

[Robyn Grady] A TV remote control.

Bubblegum.

An alarm clock that sounds like a gnarly rooster clearing its lungs.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Helene’s greatest regret?

[Robyn Grady] That her father passed away so early in her life. He was the person who inspired her adventurous spirit!

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

[Robyn Grady] Authors I love! They make it feel so easy to create vivid images and deep emotions and connections. I read a great book and feel jazzed about diving back into my own WIP.

I also get a heap out of workshops conducted by experts like Michael Hauge, Donald Maass and the Television Writer’s Studio. In February I attended a TWS three day workshop in Melbourne with a friend. Best part was working in a group to create an episode of a smash TV series. Later, some episodes were performed by a group of talented actors. Coming home, I was so charged to write!

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

[Robyn Grady] Well, my trusty laptop. To write lots and fast, I need quiet. (I know some writers need music, but then I just want to sing along.) Most importantly, to write I need characters who are coming to life as I tap away on the keyboard! It’s great when they begin to write their own story.

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

[Robyn Grady] The other night I downloaded a romance by Claire Baxter – More Than Just One Night. It’s a romance with a younger hero and I enjoyed every single word!

Here’s the link http://www.amazon.com/Night-Selwood-Sisters-Novellas-ebook/dp/B00BKQRDL2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1368521601&sr=1-1&keywords=claire+baxter

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

[Robyn Grady]Well, we’d have to go waaaaay back to when I was around eight years old. I can’t remember the story but I remember the title and how I was drawn in, perhaps because of my own position within the sibling dynamic. The Middle Moppet. It opened up a whole other world for me and I ran toward it, arms open wide! I had older sisters so I was reading books like The Exorcist and Carrie (Stephen King) when I was probably too young. But those kinds of books nurtured a fascination for the spooky that I still enjoy. Romance came later ?

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

[Robyn Grady] We live near the beach on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast (Australia) so I like to walk by the water, lunch at some fabulous cafes on the beach (here’s a great one if you’re ever down this way (http://www.saltwateratkings.com/Home.html), and I bob around in the surf when the water’s warm enough. We also have three daughters ranging from 23 to 11, so a lot of my spare time is taken up with fielding college assignment questions or sixth grade math (not that I can always answer them!) and enjoying family.

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

[Robyn Grady] I have a website www.robyngrady.com Twitter @robyngrady and Facebook @AuthorRobynGrady.

I also show up on the Entangled authors The Naked Hero blog around the 10th of every month. http://thenakedhero.com/

Thanks so much for the great questions, Julie!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

Ready for a chance to win a copy of The Goddess? Just fill out the widget below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

LINKS

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-goddess-robyn-grady/1115161570

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-goddess/id639380810?mt=11&uo=4

First Chapter Excerpt: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/the-goddess/

ABOUT THE GODDESS

After college graduation, Helene Masters is excited to land a job in a picturesque Aegean kingdom. Tasked with sprucing up the Prince’s villa, she inadvertently finds herself trapped on the island with the sexiest man alive. Of course she has to fall for a man who is destined to only marry royalty.

Darius Vasily, Prince of Teirenias, can’t figure out what pretty, but accident-prone, Helene is doing at his private estate. After dousing him in paint, she disappears inside the secret cave holding the royal family treasure–a fertility statue, but a cave-in traps them both. Now Darius has to figure out how to save them before he kills her for getting them into this mess in the first place–or gives into their amazing chemistry.

ABOUT ROBYN GRADY

Robyn Grady was first published with Harlequin (Silhouette, New York in 2007 and Mills and Boon, London in 2008). Her books feature regularly on bestsellers lists and at award ceremonies, including The National Readers Choice, The Booksellers Best, Cataromance Reviewers Choice and Australia’s prestigious Romantic Book of the Year.

Recently, she signed a three book deal with Entangled Publishing for her IDOL contemporary romance series.

Robyn lives on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast with her real life hero husband and three daughters. When she can be dragged away from tapping out her next story, Robyn visits the beach or the theatre. These days she’d rather keep fit reliving her youth and shaking it to Just Dance than pretending to jog

Robyn believes writing romance is the best job on the planet and she loves to hear from her readers.

Find her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/robyngrady), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRobynGrady), or on her website (http://robyngrady.com/).

Interview with Jeannie Moon, Author of The Temporary Wife

 

Welcome debut author Jeannie Moon to the virtual offices today!  She is celebrating the release of The Temporary Wife, an InterMix title that is in stores now.

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

[Jeannie Moon] Mom, wife, romance author and librarian. I married my high school sweetie and I love hockey, baseball and sappy movies.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Temporary Wife?

[Jeannie Moon] The Temporary Wife is a story about Meg, a kindergarten teacher who becomes guardian to her best friend’s child.  The child’s grandparents mount a custody battle and Meg’s former high school boyfriend, and the Campbell’s estranged son, offers her a temporary marriage to help keep the grandparents in check.  But you know, nothing in these things every goes as planned…

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

[Jeannie Moon] Funny story.  My agent was approached by an editor at NAL, who had read my work and asked if I wanted to take a crack at an idea they’d been bouncing around for InterMix (their digital first line) for a contemporary romance.  I wasn’t so sure about it, until I started playing with ideas.   Once the ideas started to hatch and I developed Jason and Meg, my hero and heroine, I couldn’t wait to get to their story.

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

[Jeannie Moon] Smart, passionate, fun.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Jason had a theme song, what would it be?

[Jeannie Moon] This was tough, but the song "Ever the Same," by Rob Thomas describes the journey he’s been on with Meg.  It’s on the playlist I put together for the book.  Love it.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Megan is never without.

[Jeannie Moon] A hair tie.  She has long, curly, sometimes unruly hair.  The hair tie is a necessity. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Jason’s bathroom?

[Jeannie Moon] Ha!!!  Love this! Any waxing products, any hair product other than shampoo and no special skin care products.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Megan’s greatest regret?

[Jeannie Moon] That she didn’t stand up for herself when she and Jason dated in high school.  He treated her like an afterthought and she allowed him to.

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

[Jeannie Moon] I love stories.  My love of stories is rooted so deep I don’t know a time when I didn’t want to write.  The other thing that influences me is my home.  My books are set on Long Island and in New York City because I love where I live, with beaches being at the top of the list.  And I’m not talking The Hamptons…I love the North Shore. 

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

[Jeannie Moon] Coffee, music of my choice and no interruptions. 

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

[Jeannie Moon] Kristan Higgins, THE BEST MAN.  It’s her best book; a deeply emotional story that will make you laugh, cry and root for the characters beginning to end. 

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

[Jeannie Moon] I had a beautifully illustrated copy of CINDERELLA when I was a child that I asked my parents to read to me all the time.  I carried it with me.  I would say that book made me love romance.  The first book I stayed up all night to finish was CHARLOTTE’S WEB, by E.B. White.  I was eight and I cried my eyes out.
I was hooked.

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

[Jeannie Moon] I love the beach and I love to read.  So for me, summer is the best because I can read at the beach!  My husband and I are both sports nuts so we do like to go to baseball or hockey games, depending on the season.  It’s always  good time.

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

[Jeannie Moon] If you head to my website www.jeanniemoon.com, there are links to all my social media connections.  I’d love to hear from people!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase The Temporary Wife from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below:

About the book

It was an offer she couldn’t refuse…from a man she couldn’t resist.

Kindergarten teacher Megan Rossi is devoted to being a mother to her best friend’s five-year-old daughter, Molly. When the child was orphaned, Meg became the little girl’s legally named guardian—over the objections of Molly’s wealthy grandparents, the Campbells. Now the Campbells are petitioning for custody, and Meg is faced with a long and expensive legal battle. The last thing she expects is for her former high school boyfriend—and the Campbells’ estranged son—to offer a solution: marriage.

Billionaire software developer Jason Campbell knows his parents don’t have Molly’s best interests at heart—it’s all about control for them. There is one way he can ensure that his sister’s last wishes are honored. He will offer Meg the protection of his name and lawyers until the custody arrangement has been finalized , then he’ll secure his niece’s future with a very generous divorce settlement. Jason’s considered all the scenarios, except one—that the sparks that once flew between he and Meg might reignite a burning passion. And that his confirmed bachelor heart might just melt away from the heat…

Spotlight: Heating Up Hawaii by Carmen Falcone

I have a special treat for you! Carmen Falcone has a smokin’ new romance hitting store shelves, and she wanted to share an excerpt with you!  If you enjoy this taste of Heating Up Hawaii, please use the purchase link below to grab a copy!

Heating Up Hawaii by Carmen Falcone

After a long separation, will Penny and Luc’s sizzling attraction be enough to surpass their startling secrets?

There is just one person standing between Penny Ashbrook’s dream of opening her own PR business or being stuck at her job: the formidable Luc Leoni – her first lover, and the man who lets nothing and no-one get in his way. Seeing him after so long brings all the hidden emotions after a life altering break-up to surface. Pain, denial…and lust.

Luc has made many sacrifices for his career, including Penny Ashbrook, the woman who set his aspirations back a year. But now she has returned and is more alluring than ever. After all these years, he thought a self-made billionaire like himself could master everything, but to resist the strong pull toward the one woman he can’t have is an impossible task.

When this unlikely pair is reunited they will have to face the many challenges set in their way, especially an attraction that has only heightened with time and a deadline quickly approaching. Can their new bond surpass old—and new—fears?

Publisher: Breathless Press

ISBN: 978-1-77101-962-0

By Carmen Falcone

Heat Rating: 3

Word Count: 38240

Release Date: May 3, 2013

Bio:

Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters and places beat doing Math homework any day. She traveled the world, achieved a B.A. in Tourism in her hometown in Brazil and was soon invited to work in the USA, where she met her Swiss husband. She’d always dreamed of becoming a published writer, and after her daughter was born, she revisited that dream of writing – this time, unwilling to give it up. She lives in Austin and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family and three high energy pugs.

Author Website ? Goodreads ? Twitter ? Facebook Blog

Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Only a few more months. Penny Ashbrook pressed her folded arms on the metal rail of the rooftop bar. She looked at the pallet of orange, yellow, and pink colors dipping into the background as the sun set behind the Dallas skyline. A few more months, and she’d be debt free–and not just monetarily.

Although each day would stretch into the length of a decade, she knew she could handle it. Hell, hadn’t she done just that for the past six months? She’d kept her head high and chin up even though her boss’s passive aggressiveness often drove her crazy. She’d pretended not to listen when small-minded coworkers whispered behind her back. At thirty, wasn’t she too old to be the talk of the office?

With a sigh, she stood straight and squared her shoulders. The much-awaited networking happy hour was not the place for a therapy session. She glanced around her. A sea of people occupied the large outdoor area. Elegantly attired men and women sought new contacts and hot leads while munching on caviar hors d’oeuvres and overpriced liquor.

She decided to stare at the blinding sun one more time, in hopes of extracting enough energy to walk around and get moving. After all, her client list wouldn’t just materialize in front of her, would it? She’d had to fight hard and strong to get where she wanted to be.

"Penny, I’ve just run into an old friend of yours," her boss, Charles Dawn, told her while his fingers lightly touched her elbow. He prompted her to turn toward him and the tall, broad-shouldered man standing next to him.

Penny flashed her signature smile and squinted to get a sharper view of the man in front of her. An oversized palm tree shadowed him.

She guessed he was at least six feet two, which put her at a disadvantage at only five feet six. His dark gray designer suit looked tailor-made to fit the planes of his large chest, and good God, legs that went on and on.

Old friend? She couldn’t remember having friends that looked this intimidating—old, or current. If she was honest with herself, the few friends she had, all vanished like dust after she’d called off her wedding.

But this man… He took a step in her direction, the setting sun illuminating his face as he moved out of the shade. She glanced at him like her eyes were old-fashioned camera lenses, capturing his features in slow motion and adjusting to his figure. His lips, sensual and rich like his clothes, twitched. As soon as her gaze collided with his, her heart skipped a beat for a few seconds only to resume and pound its way out of her beige linen dress.

Luc Leoni.

It couldn’t be, could it? To see him again after all these years.

Oh, but it was…

Penny stared into his two-colored eyes—one lighter than a clear blue sky, and the other reminiscent of murky seas. Yes, even they were ambiguous.

"Luc." She cleared her throat, and noticed a couple of fine lines around his mismatched pair.

"Penelope." Luc’s velvety voice was like a warm caress. His French accent alone lured women to drop their underwear by his bedside. His deep pronunciation of her name hadn’t changed… Pen-ay-looh-paay.

Penny stiffened her back, offered him a professional handshake under Charles Dawn’s ambitious grin. Although she wished she could kick Luc Leoni where he deserved, she had to swallow her resentment and go along with it.

Luc took her hand in his larger one, and heat coiled low in her stomach. But instead of a professional handshake, he pulled her closer with a swift movement and leaned down. He kissed her on one cheek, his warm lips brushing gently on her skin. The whisper of a touch between his stubbled chin and her other cheek belted a wire of electricity into her system.

Penny smelled his earthy masculine cologne, where rich woodsy notes blended with a light citrus. Luc Leoni was a fantastic gift wrapping for an unworthy product.

He stepped back.

This can’t be my imagination… The hot breeze ruffled a few lustrous black strands of his hair, warning her that it was all too real.

"What a small world," Charles said. "I did fail to ask where you two know each other from."

Purchase Links

Review: Femme Fatale by Cindy Dees

 

Title:  Femme Fatale

Author:  Cindy Dees

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Former teen star Olivia Harper has a problem. If she can’t shake her girl-next-door image and become the femme fatale her latest role requires, her career will flop. But with her squeaky-clean image, Liv’s hardly been kissed, let alone had her world rocked between the sheets. There’s no way she’ll ask her playboy co-star for pointers, so she turns to the sexy new military consultant for some discreet…guidance.

Major Blake Ramsey is stuck hiding out babysitting actors who can’t even lace their combat boots, until his boss can deal with the fallout from his last mission. When Liv propositions him, he can’t decide whether she’s the naïve girl she claims to be or a bombshell looking for another conquest.

But as the lessons heat up, Blake and Olivia catch the eye of the papparazzi and jeopardize both their lives..


Review:

Femme Fatale didn’t work for me, and it left me extremely disappointed and irritated.  When it started out , I thought it was going to be just my cup of tea.  Olivia is a former teen star, and she’s trying to make that difficult move from adolescent entertainer to a big box office draw.  She’s put her fate into the hands of a savvy agent and a hot director, so she’s confident that her star will rise yet again.  The only problem? She has to leave behind her clean girl next door image and become a femme fatale.  She needs to learn how to make men stop in their tracks and drool with desire, while convincingly blasting herself out of one death defying adventure after another.  When she sees Major Blake Ramsey, the demolitions expert for the movie, she makes up her mind; he’s going to teach her how to break free of her squeaky clean image.

The set up was fun, and I was enjoying the book until a few pet peeves raised their heads. The first, and I’m sure this will rock your reading world differently than mine, is the lack of condom usage.  Olivia has just met Blake.  She’s known him for all of a few days, and when they are about to fall into the sack together, she stops him for using a condom.  WHAT?  She is trying to break into the big time, here, not get pregnant or some STD.  I don’t care whether or not they both claim to be “clean;” a smart, intelligent woman like Olivia doesn’t take any chances with her health.  Period.  This is something that will, and did, ruin a read for me.  There is nothing wrong with taking control of your sexual health, and the fact that Olivia choose not to was an epic failure for me.

The story started rocking on again after a few chapters, when too many plot devices where tossed into the mix and left me shaking my head.  Spies?  Yes, Blake is hiding from Russian spies, and he’s supposed to be keeping a low profile after a sex scandal with a Russian spy got him into quite a bit of trouble.  So what’s his idea of keeping a low profile?  He starts dating a movie star.  His picture is every where.  On blogs, in the paper – everywhere!  Like the lack of condom use, Blake cavalierly disregarded his safety and showed a sad lack of spy skills by allowing himself to get caught up in Olivia’s off-screen drama.  Add in the fact that Olivia was running around the movie set trying to save him from Russian spies by letting everyone know that he was a spy and – it didn’t make much sense to me.  I won’t even start on about the attempted sexual assault by her co-star, while they were filming, because it just illustrated how clueless all of her co-workers were. Sigh. 

While Femme Fatale didn’t work for me, I did enjoy the book when it was just about Olivia and Blake, so I’m curious to give the next book in the series a try.

Grade:  C/C-

Review copy provided by publisher

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

Review: Desire by Design by Paula Altenburg

 

 

 

Title:  Desire by Design

Author: Paula Altenburg

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

He stole her job, and now she’s stealing his heart.

Eve Doucette finally almost has it all. She’s free from her mistake of an ex-husband and just landed her dream job: project manager for a new City Hall and drafter of the final design. That is, until a handsome architect sweeps into town to commandeer her blueprints.

Famous architect Matt Brison is unsatisfied with his mundane life in Toronto. So when the mayor of Halifax asks him to spearhead his City Hall project, Matt jumps at the opportunity. There’s just one problem: the feisty and beautiful project lead, Eve, who isn’t exactly thrilled about her new "coworker" hijacking her design.

But when the sparks begin to fly, they both find themselves falling for the colleague they shouldn’t want. And before they know it, their already shaky foundation might come crumbling down…


Review:

I enjoyed Desire by Design and thought that the story had a lot to offer.  Eve is an extremely likable character who is struggling to come into her own after a disastrous marriage.  Her large, loud family is overbearing, and she clashes with her mother at every gathering.  She feels that she’s been nothing but a disappointment to her family, and she now has the dubious honor of being the only member to have been divorced.  Worse, her ill-fated marriage lasted only two weeks before she realized that she married a jealous, controlling, abusive man.  Vowing to focus only on herself and her career so she would avoid making another mistake, Eve dives into her position as a project manager with a gusto.  Her latest job is to oversee the construction of the new city hall building, and right from the get go, she is confronted with strife and personality conflicts – mostly with Bob, the  self-serving mayor.

When Matt Brison enters her construction trailer, Eve is in for an even larger challenge; Matt is a well-renowned architect from Toronto, and he’s been put in charge of designing the new building.  For his uncle.  You know, that annoying, self-serving mayor guy.  I loved the built in conflict here; Eve is fantasizing about how to bump him off, and now she’s stuck working with his fancy, well-paid nephew.  Matt wants to do his uncle proud for all of the support he’s given to him over the years.  Matt’s mother was a flake, and Bob tried hard to provide some stability while Matt was growing up.  Eve feels no loyalty toward the mayor and is upset about the thought of him railroading an ever increasing budget through to get his dream offices constructed.  For Eve, it’s a no-win situation.  Matt is accustomed to building nothing but the best,   and she’s getting a migraine just contemplating the budget woes she’ll have to face.  To stir things up even more between Eve and Matt, the mayor warns Matt away from Eve.  She’s nothing but a bully, he tells his nephew, and she’ll do nothing but run roughshod over him in order to get her way.  I loved how both Eve and Matt had to weave through the misconceptions people tossed in front of them about each other and make up their minds about each other. 

Just to keep Eve from resting easy, her abusive ex ends up back in town.  When Matt suspects that Eve is being threatened, he quickly dons his shining armor and offers to help her out.  Because Eve has both forgotten how to trust in others or to trust her own judgment, this is the story of her learning to believe again.  She needs to believe that others are decent and caring, and that she has the capacity to make the right decisions for herself.  Instead of reacting to her mother and her family, she needs to stop worrying about disappointing anyone and start living again.  When she finally learns to ask for help, and when she finally allows herself a second chance, I was right there cheering her on.  To make the journey even more enjoyable, Matt keeps making the worst impression possible on her parents, with hilarious results.  I really started feeling bad for the guy, because I didn’t see how anyone could ever live some of that stuff down.  It kept the story from being too angsty, and added a nice touch of humor. It made both Eve and Matt more sympathetic and gave them an added depth of character.

I picked up Desire by Design  completely on the spur of the moment. The first paragraph had me hooked, and I remained engaged in the story for the entire length.  I’m looking forward to reading more from the author, because this hit all the right buttons for me.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher

Guest Post: Paula Altenburg’s Top Ten Favorite Travels and Giveaway!

Please welcome Paula Altenburg back to the virtual offices this morning! Paula is here to share her Top Ten Fave Travels!  She also has a copy of Desire by Design up for grabs!  Later today, please check back for my review of Desire by Design.

Top Ten List of Favourite Travels by Paula Altenburg

As an adult I’ve been incredibly lucky to be able to do some traveling. But likewise, as a child, I was fortunate to spend a lot of time traveling through books. Therefore, I’m dividing my list into two – places I’ve traveled in fact, and the places I’ve gone to in fiction.

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Narnia

Fiction. If you’ve been to Narnia for real, I want to meet you.

2. Greece

Fiction. I loved reading about the mythology and the ruins, and it’s on my bucket list.

3. Brussels

Fact. It’s full of history, and it’s the home of the European Parliament – the old city is gorgeous. I saw the best parade ever in this city, too. Gay Pride knows how to party.

4. Stonehenge

Fiction. I’d love to see it for real, but happy to see it through fiction.

5. Paris

Fact and fiction. Beautiful city, although its perspective of the French Revolution seemed a bit different than what I’d read about in A Tale of Two Cities and The Scarlet Pimpernel. I also don’t believe Jean Valjean really wandered those sewers. The smell would have killed him.

6. Amsterdam

Fact. My husband’s a local. The Red Light District is pretty dull during the day.

7. Providenciales

Fact. My sister lived there for seven years. It has the most beautiful beaches in the world.

8. Middle-earth

Fiction. Damn it.

9. The Swiss Alps

Fiction. I loved Heidi and Heidi Grows Up when I was 6.

10. Africa

Fiction. King Solomon’s Mines, to be specific. I really, really want to be able to say I’ve been chased by cannibals.

Thank you, Paula!!

Giveaway Time!!

Ready for your chance to win a copy of Desire by Design?  Just will out the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can purchase Desire by Design by clicking the links below:

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/desire-by-design-paula-altenburg/1115213925

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Desire-by-Design/book-7-GdWRrMZ02F9ccPKTjvgw/page1.html

About the book:

He stole her job, and now she’s stealing his heart.

Eve Doucette finally almost has it all. She’s free from her mistake of an ex-husband and just landed her dream job: project manager for a new City Hall and drafter of the final design. That is, until a handsome architect sweeps into town to commandeer her blueprints.

Famous architect Matt Brison is unsatisfied with his mundane life in Toronto. So when the mayor of Halifax asks him to spearhead his City Hall project, Matt jumps at the opportunity. There’s just one problem: the feisty and beautiful project lead, Eve, who isn’t exactly thrilled about her new "coworker" hijacking her design.

But when the sparks begin to fly, they both find themselves falling for the colleague they shouldn’t want. And before they know it, their already shaky foundation might come crumbling down…

Interview with Tracy March, Author of Girl Three and Giveaway!

 

Please give a warm welcome to Tracy March! She’s visiting the virtual offices today to chat about her new release, Girl Three.  This is  romantic suspense , and it’s published under Entangled’s Select line.  After the interview, Tracy has an awesome giveaway that you have have to check out!

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

[Tracy March] Smitten wife, travel and adventure lover, Washington Nationals baseball fan, The Bachelor watcher, Diet Coke addict, Cheez-It aficionado!

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about Girl Three?

[Tracy March] Dr. Jessica Croft finds out her sister’s suspicious death was classified as natural, but she suspects murder. Her sister was a beautiful lobbyist who worked in Washington, DC. Jessie heads to DC to pursue elite suspects who’d kill to keep their secrets buried. This leads her to irresistible security consultant Michael Gillette, who knows more about her sister than he’s willing to tell. Ultimately she reveals a controversial fertility scandal that involves the mysterious Girl Three, risking her career, her heart, and her life to expose the truth.

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

[Tracy March] I read a book called The Baby Business by Harvard professor Debora Spar that reveals how money, science, and politics are involved in the fertility industry. I was fascinated and disturbed when I learned about the controversies surrounding stem cell research, surrogacy, egg swapping, and designer babies. After reading the book, so many “what-if” questions flooded my mind and gelled into the story and characters that ultimately became Girl Three.

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

[Tracy March] Smart, cautious, and determined.

[Manga Maniac Café] If Michael had a theme song, what would it be?

[Tracy March] Skyfall by Adele

[Manga Maniac Café] Name one thing Jessie is never without.

[Tracy March] Suspicion. During the entire story of Girl Three, she never knows who to trust.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three things will you never find in Michael’s bathroom?

[Tracy March] Patterned towels, scented lotion, or a shower scrunchie.

[Manga Maniac Café] What is Jessie’s greatest regret?

[Tracy March] Jessie regrets that she allowed herself and her sister to grow apart for a couple of years before her sister was murdered. Her guilt over this is a large part of what drives her to solve the mystery of Girl Three despite the danger she faces.

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

[Tracy March] I’m influenced by the stories, talent and voices of other authors—especially those of Sandra Brown and Tana French. I’m also influenced by news and current events that spark ideas for stories, and I’m always fascinated by what drives people to do the things they do.

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

[Tracy March] Silence, Diet Coke, and duct tape for the mouth of my internal editor! ?

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

[Tracy March] I am still completely smitten with Alma Katsu’s book The Taker which is the first in a trilogy about love and betrayal that transcends time and mortality. It’s a gothic historical with a modern twist and characters that will fascinate and haunt you. As if that wasn’t enough to captivate me, Alma writes like a provocative angel. If you haven’t read this epic tale, I recommend that you grab a copy—now! ?

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

[Tracy March] The Scarlet Letter is my all-time favorite classic, featuring my all-time favorite heroine, Hester Prynne. I fell hard for the heady themes in the book, and that compelled me start reading more modern tales, looking for the same sort of feel.

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

[Tracy March] I enjoy travel and adventure—like ziplining in the Swiss Alps and snowmobiling on the Continental Divide. I also like being active, riding my bike, and getting in a good workout where I squeeze in some reading while I’m on my elliptical trainer. I love Saturday date nights with my superhero husband that usually include pizza and a Dairy Queen Blizzard. *yum* And I’m a true-blue Washington Nationals baseball fan. I try to catch as many games as possible, although I have to ration myself when I’m on a deadline!

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

[Tracy March] Readers can visit my website at www.TracyMarch.com where they can sign up for my newsletter and find my social media links. Here’s where I am on Twitter: @Tracy_March and Facebook: Tracy March. I look forward to connecting with everyone! ?

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Ready for a chance to enter for a chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite or one of the 5 rings that Tracy’s giving away? Just fill out the widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purchase links:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16100943-girl-three?ac=1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/girl-three-tracy-march/1108930785?ean=9781620612897

Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Girl-Three-Tracy-March/9781620612897

Link to trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3xFiy6Slfw

About the book:

Dr. Jessica Croft has avoided the players, the power, and the passions of Washington, DC. But when her estranged sister’s suspicious death is classified as natural, Jessie resolves to expose the murderer. As she pursues elite suspects who’d kill to keep their secrets buried, she encounters sexy security consultant Michael Gillette, who knows more about her sister than he’ll admit.

Michael has a vested interest in Jessie’s plight. Her sister died on his watch—while he wasn’t watching. His plan to find her murderer becomes complicated when Jessie’s father hires him to protect Jessie, and his interest turns from professional…to romantic.

Jessie and Michael must unravel a mystery rife with political agendas, deceit, and betrayal. When confidential papers reveal a fertility scandal surrounding the enigmatic Girl Three, the two realize the danger of exposing the truth. Who is Girl Three? And will the murderer kill again to keep a secret?

About the author:

Award-winning author Tracy March writes romantic thrillers influenced by her career in the pharmaceutical field, and her interest in science and politics. She also writes lighthearted romances inspired by her real-life happily ever after.

Always up for travel and adventure, Tracy has flown in a stunt plane, snowmobiled on the Continental Divide, ziplined in the Swiss Alps, and been chased by a bull in the mountains of St. Lucia. She loves Nationals baseball, Saturday date nights, and Dairy Queen Blizzards—and rarely goes a day without Diet Coke and Cheez-Its.

Find Tracy March at:

Website: http://www.tracymarch.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4575285.Tracy_March

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Tracy_March

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tracy-March/151834621538910