Review: What a Texas Girl Dreams by Kristina Knight

 

Title: What a Texas Girl Dreams

Author: Kristina Knight

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Monica Witte has life the way she likes it. She comes home to be babied every few months and the rest of the time she has no strings holding her back. But after her horse is injured in a rodeo performance, Monica knows it’s time to come home and face her family – warts and all.

Trickett Samuels works best on his own. The large-animal vet likes his quiet life in the Texas countryside. When Monica Witte blows into town, demanding a quick fix to her horse’s big issues, his life is turned upside down. Trickett doesn’t understand Monica’s need to perform before perfect strangers or why she wants to keep the truth of their relationship from her family. And the more he gets to know her, the more he wonders if he can convince this Texas girl that having roots will only help her soar higher.


Review:

When I was approached by the author to review What a Texas Girl Dreams, I hesitated for about a millisecond.  How could I turn down a book about a vet and a rodeo star with an injured horse?  I couldn’t!  I can’t resist books with horses, even though they are becoming the bane of my existence (yes, Elle, I am referring to you). 

Monica Witte competes on the rodeo circuit, and she likes her life just the way it is.  Living out of a suitcase, racing barrels with her trusted horse Jinx, hooking up with no commitments when the mood moves her.  After she meets Trick, a large animal vet practicing in her small hometown in Texas, her mind is more on the man than on the barrels.  After Jinx is injured at a rodeo, she sets aside her pride and heads back home, hoping the rehab her horse and then hit the road again.  But when Trick examines Jinx, the prognosis isn’t good.  He suggests that Jinx’s career might be over, but Monica won’t accept that.  She thinks that Trick is trying to keep her in Lockhardt, close at hand.  When therapy sessions don’t seem to be helping, Monica starts to worry that he might be right.  Then she starts itching to be home in Austin, training her other horse, despite her feelings for Trick.  She just wants to be on the road again, safe from her confusing feelings for him.  She’s not cut out for a long term relationship, and being in Lockhardt has her so confused she doesn’t know what to do.

At first, I did not like Monica.  She seemed so selfish to me.  It’s obvious that her horse has a catastrophic injury, but she doesn’t want to accept it.  Instead, she thinks that Trick is just trying to make her stick around so they can continue the affair that she started with him a few weeks ago.  She thinks that if she just increases the rehab time, Jinx’s leg will get better and she will be able to compete with him again.  Then I started see that most of Monica’s behavior is based on fear.  Fear that Jinx won’t get better.  Fear that she’ll fall in love with Trick and then make him hate her because the rodeo is in her blood.  Fear of what she’ll do and who she’ll be if she can’t race barrels again.  Once I understood that she’s just afraid of being hurt or of hurting Trick, I started to like her.  A lot.  It just took a few chapters to see where she was coming from.

Monica hasn’t had a happy childhood.  Her father couldn’t commit to one woman, and he fathered three children with three different women.  Then he remained a distant figure in her life.  She barely knows her siblings, and she has allowed all of these factors to convince her that a committed relationship is impossible for her.  She’s too much like her father and has too much drifter in her to settle down with one man and raise a family.  From the moment she meets Trick, though, she is obsessed with him.  He’s on her mind day and night, and she just can’t get him out of her head.  What she thinks she wants with him is a no commitment fling;  she makes him promise to keep their relationship a secret and to not let her family know anything about it.

What I liked about Trick is that he realized that Monica was skittish as newborn filly, and he gave her the space she asked for – at first.  When he decides that things need to be a little more agreeable for him, he starts courting her.  I thought he was sweet and thoughtful, and that he weighed his need to have Monica by his side with her fear of committing.  He never pushed too hard, and he let her think she was calling the shots.   He was willing to compromise to keep her, even if she wasn’t as willing to do the same.

What a Texas Girl Dreams is a fast, passionate beach read, perfect for an afternoon by the pool.  I’m curious to read more by Kristina Knight, because this book pushed all the right buttons for me.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by author

Interview with Ellie Heller, Author of A Matter of Fate

Ellie Heller is visiting the virtual offices to chat about her latest release, A Matter of Fate. Please give her a warm welcome.

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

[Ellie Heller] Writer and mother, not-so-tall, not-so-young woman with happy, helpful outlook & unruly hair. Oh and dogs, and kids (teens!) and a cat and….

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about A Matter of Fate?

[Ellie Heller] Elves! Magic! Shifters! Marshmallows! Evildoer intent on killing the hero and heroine so they won’t stop his meglomaniac bid for power! Oh, and there’s a love story too. (note: one of these things isn’t in the story)

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

[Ellie Heller] This is a long, roundabout story but basically I wrote A Matter of Fate from an entirely different prospective and then rewrote it with Mona as the main character. The crux of the entire story came to me when I drove east along the Lake Erie shoreline and saw the wind turbines rising ever closer. When the highway swung by I wondered what would happen if one of the sets of blades came loose? In the story the turbines are much closer than they are in reality, close enough to hit the highway. Of course then I started wondering why and how and who would do that and whom they’d be aiming for. After that a large chunk of the opening action of the story was set along with many of the characters and their motivations.

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

[Ellie Heller] Determined, practical, learning.

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

[Ellie Heller] I had a very hard time with this one! I think maybe Krytonite by Three Doors Down, however it’s not quite right.

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

[Ellie Heller] Questions.

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

[Ellie Heller]  A dog/pet, animal print anything, a skylight.

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

[Ellie Heller] That she didn’t pick up on the fact people were asking about her Folk heritage in college so she could have reconnected earlier.

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

[Ellie Heller] Reading fantasy and sci-fi from an early age. Authors like Anne McCaffery, Patricia Wrede and Robin McKinley.

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

[Ellie Heller] A chair with good back support, uninterrupted time (hard to come by!) and a beverage, usually iced tea.

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

[Ellie Heller]  I haven’t been reading a lot of new stuff, but I recently re-read Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh, one of my favorite books.

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

[Ellie Heller]  Encylopedia Brown, which is I think why I like a little bit of a puzzle in my stories.

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

[Ellie Heller] I volunteer, I hang out with my dogs, and/or play board games with my kids.

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

[Ellie Heller] Blog  http://www.elliewrites2.com/#!/elliewrites2

Website http://www.elliewrites2.com

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ellie-Heller-Author/279665692092672

Goodreads author page http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5762572.Ellie_Heller

Twitter @elliewrites2

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ellieheller/a-matter-of-fate/

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank  you!

Purchase links:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-matter-of-fate-ellie-heller/1115218123?ean=9781440566790

About the book:

Someone is setting death-spells targeting mortals and elf blood alike. With her mentor out of commission, it’s up to half-trained Warder Mona Lisa Kubrek to stop the magic. Despite being told repeatedly her job is to nullify spells and not go after the source, too many people are at risk for her to not track the spell-caster down. Even meeting a sexy half-elf shifter won’t distract her from her goal.

Except Cart Dupree is fully trained and has the team to search for the evildoer, so she’d be stupid to not use his expertise. Stupid is something she can’t afford to be, not with her enemy’s henchmen after her. Later she’ll deal with Cart and his questions about her special abilities and the non-standard training her mentor has given her. Right now, they need to unravel where the magician is, and who he is, before he builds enough power to decimate them all.

First, though, they need to stay alive.

Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors

You can also check out A Matter of Fate on Crimson Romance’s website here: http://www.crimsonromance.com/new-release-romance-ebook/a-matter-of-fate/

Interview with Olivia Logan, Author of Urgent: One Nanny Required

Olivia Logan dropped by the virtual offices to discuss her recent release, Urgent: One Nanny Required. Please give her a warm welcome.

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

[Olivia Logan] I am strong willed and impulsive. To me ‘No’ means try harder. Life is an adventure and no opportunity should be turned down without a second look. I hate when it is too hot or too cold so Spring and Autumn are my favourite seasons. Whilst I love high heels (what woman doesn’t!) I am more a bookaholic/ foodie then a clothes horse and can trawl for hours around a book shop or a deli than a clothes store. The two things that scare me the most are sharks and heights, so despite my impulsive nature the idea of sky diving/ parachuting/ bungee jumping/ swimming with sharks is a no-no!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Urgent: One Nanny Required?

[Olivia Logan] ‘Urgent: One Nanny Required’ is the story of Rania George who owns a sweetshop who one dark night spots a little boy outside alone. Not having had the best childhood growing up she empathises with him and lets him in prepared to call his parents and give them a piece of her mind only to find his single dad on the doorstep annoyed at her!

Nicholas Trenton knows what is son is like with nannies however he seems to be different with this woman. He has a shoot coming up in LA for 3 weeks and yes she seems angry at him but from the looks of her shop she could use all the financial help she can get. Why not ask her to come along and be his nanny since she clearly doesn’t think the other nannies he hired in the past up to scratch.

Question is what has Rania got to lose by saying yes?

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

[Olivia Logan] I am very curious by nature and love to people watch and got the idea for my story just by passing an old fashioned sweet shop in London and found myself wondering about the lives of the people who worked there. That kind of started my idea for my heroine in ‘Urgent:One Nanny Required’.

The idea of a single dad was actually inspired by one of my favourite story books written by Roald Dahl ‘Danny, The Champion Of The World’. In this book Danny, our young hero lives with his dad who is loving and kind and dotes on him completely. Not exactly the same as the father in ‘Urgent’. But before I digress onto telling you the plot of that story which ends happily, as a romantic I was always left wondering about the father. Did he ever remarry? Would he ever be persuaded to remarry? Hence the idea of our hero being a single parent.

The Hollywood idea actually came from a friend of mine who works in film who always complained that none of the heroes in romances ever have ‘real’ jobs! Like a Hollywood director is a real job! But after much ear bending I decided to listen to their views and make my hero have a ‘real’ job in Hollywood and by that I mean a ‘behind the scenes’ guy as opposed to a film star.

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

[Olivia Logan] Resourceful, Determined, Survivor

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

[Olivia Logan] Mmmm that’s tricky! I’d say it would have to be Eric Clapton’s ‘Layla’.

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

[Olivia Logan] Her kindle as she loves to read.

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

[Olivia Logan] Male toiletries as he doesn’t have time for worrying about that stuff as a single working parent; a little black book of women’s numbers (see previous reason) ; More than 3 pairs of shoes as being practical he doesn’t see the need.

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

[Olivia Logan] Waiting so long to find and reconnect with her long lost father.

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

[Olivia Logan] The first and foremost was my love of Greek and Roman myths that fuelled my passion for writing in the first place as I was saddened as a child to learn that after reading most of them I was running out so I tried to invent my own. The next was my class teacher when I was in (UK) year two who used to make up class stories with us which also made me think I could do it alone. And last but never forgotten my aunt who gave me my first romance book as a teenager(okay so I borrowed without asking) but which set me on my way to writing romance and I have never looked back since.

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

[Olivia Logan] Twinings English Breakfast tea, my laptop for obvious reasons and a window to look out of so I can daydream if I hit a writers road block.

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

[Olivia Logan] ‘The Book Of Lost Things’ by John Connolly.

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

[Olivia Logan] Mmmm that is a tough one as my parents encouraged me to read from an early age and I’ve loved all kinds of stories and authors. If I had to pick one book I would say ‘Under the lilacs’ but Lousia M.Alcott because of the imagery.

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

[Olivia Logan] I would love to say sleep but alas that isn’t true. I work full time so if I’m not writing I am working and if not that then running or hanging out with friends and family.

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

[Olivia Logan] I’m around on twitter as @olivia_logan_ or on my website http://olivialoganromance.com where they can also email me from the ‘Contact Me’ page.

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Thank you!

You can purchase Urgent: One Nanny Required from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below:

About the book:

Hollywood director Nick Trenton needs a nanny and fast. It certainly hasn’t helped that his son has run off every one he’s hired. With a big shoot coming up in LA, Nick’s running out of options. Then along comes Rania George – sweetshop owner and one of the few people his son doesn’t want to give the slip. No, she doesn’t like Nick, but he can work around that. He loves his son and will do anything to get the lovely Miss George to say yes to his plan.

Rania is used to children hanging outside her sweetshop but seeing one alone on a dark night is a first. What sort of parent would let his child wander the streets at night?

Then she meets his Hollywood director father and assumes Nick’s too self absorbed to notice his son is wandering the streets alone. She learned from an early age that anything Hollywood related was bad news. She has vowed to stay away from anything – and she means anything – Hollywood.

Not that it helps when Nick’s cute-as-a-button son captures her heart nor when she’s offered to babysit said son for a huge amount of money. Only catch is she has to fly to Hollywood and spend three weeks in the company of his devastatingly attractive father.

After all her experiences with Hollywood, is she willing to risk it?

Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors

Check out Crimson Romance’s Urgent: One Nanny Required page here: http://www.crimsonromance.com/new-release-romance-ebook/urgent-one-nanny-required/

Interview with Selena Laurence, Author of Love, Lies, and British Spies

Please give Selena Laurence a warm welcome! She’s visiting the virtual offices to chat about Love, Lies and British Spies, her recent release from Crimson Romance. 

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

[Selena Laurence]  Smart, motherly, ambitious, calm, sensible, impatient, bossy, introverted, unpredictable. Does any of that sound remotely positive? I should add overly self-critical and not too good at accepting praise.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Love, Lies and British Spies?

[Selena Laurence]  It’s a fun, quick read with action, comedy, and a couple of hot sex scenes! More precisely, it’s the story of a British MI6 agent masquerading as a musician, who meets an American interior designer, falls in love, and marries her, but neglects to mention his real profession. When his new wife is kidnapped by an old enemy, things get sketchy, and when he goes to rescue her she refuses to cooperate. The poor guy has to work really, really hard to get his Happily Ever After.

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

[Selena Laurence]  A publisher had a special call for stories based on Greek Myths. I thought of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and built from that. Orpheus was a gifted musician, and Eurydice was his wife. She was bitten by a snake and went to the Underworld with Hades. Orpheus followed her and managed to convince Hades to give her back, but the return to the Upper World didn’t go so well. In my version, the Underworld is the catacombs of Paris. It’s all very fun!

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

[Selena Laurence]  Spunky, beautiful, loving.

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

[Selena Laurence]  Wow. You’d think since Owen is a musician (as well as a spy) I would have thought about this! But this is the first time anyone’s asked. Hmm…I think I’d have to say "Another Way to Die" by Jack White and Alicia Keys. But, if he were going to sing about Eva, it’d be something much sweeter, like "No One Will Ever Love You Like I Do" from the television show Nashville.

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

[Selena Laurence]  His giant chair. Lol. No, seriously, he’s never without his minions and rarely without his sister.

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

[Selena Laurence]  Flowers – because seriously, that’s really girly. A mirror – because he’s hot, he knows it, and he sees no reason to fuss about how he looks. And books – because he’s a guy of action and if he does slow down it’s to play guitar not read.

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

[Selena Laurence]  You know what? Eva doesn’t waste time on regrets because she knows that if you were to go back and change your history you’d change your present, and she’s quite happy with her present.

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

[Selena Laurence]  I get asked this, or something similar, a lot. I’m not conscious about what spurs my ideas. I’m sure that all sorts of movies, songs, books, and conversations I have influence me, but it all goes into my subconscious and mixes around until something pops out and I go with it.

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

[Selena Laurence]  Music, a comfortable chair, and a drink (non-alcoholic, regardless of what people think, writing while you’re buzzed doesn’t really work that well! Lol).

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

[Selena Laurence]  Gosh, I read SO many books it’s hard to even remember them sometimes. I like a LOT of books, but I am extremely impressed by only a few. One that I’ve read in the last couple of years that was simply phenomenal was INTO THE WOODS by Tana French. Oddly, it’s not a Romance, which is 99% of what I read, but it was an absolutely fabulous work, and Tana is a brilliant writer.

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

[Selena Laurence]  I was virtually born reading. I can not remember a time when when I didn’t love reading, but as a teen, there were three books that really set my reading interests from that point forward: the old standby, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE; Leo Tolstoy’s ANNA KARENINA; and a somewhat obscure novel by a 17th century British author named Samuel Richardson, CLARISSA.

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

[Selena Laurence]  Read! Lol. I also spend a lot of time watching my kids play sports. I’m a die hard soccer mom. I run and bike a bit as well.

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

[Selena Laurence]  It’s so simple! www.selenalaurence.com From my website they can email me, follow me on Twitter, like my Facebook page, check out my Pinterest boards, and subscribe to my news.
Thanks so much for having me, Julie! It was a lot of fun!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Purchase links:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-lies-and-british-spies-selena-laurence/1115218124?ean=9781440567025

About the book:

After an engagement gone terribly awry, American interior designer Eva Anderson has finally met the man of her dreams. Handsome, charming Owen Martin is one of London’s most talented musicians, and he’s head over heels for Eva to boot. But Owen forgot to tell Eva one little detail: he’s actually a top secret British spy…oh, and there are more than a few women in his past.

From the teashops of London to the cafes of Paris and the ports of Alexandria, Owen and Eva encounter terrorists run amok, friends with the best of intentions, guns, fangirls and espionage galore. But, will love ever be enough to overcome the lies of this British spy?

Check out Crimson Romance’s Love, Lies, and British Spies page here: http://www.crimsonromance.com/new-release-romance-ebook/love-lies-and-british-spies/

Interview with Susanne Matthews, Author of Fire Angel

Please welcome Susanne Matthews to the virtual offices this morning! Susanne is here to talk about her new release, Fire Angel.

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

[Susanne Matthews] I love to read, write, and travel. I enjoy red and white wine. I believe in love and happily ever after, rather than just happy for now.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Fire Angel?

[Susanne Matthews] Fire Angel is a romance/suspense – think Castle meets Criminal Minds. It’s the story of a deranged killer, bent on revenge for what he perceives as injustices done to him by a variety of people,  and the two professionals, both with personal demons to fight, who team up to stop the maniac and discover love along the way.

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

[Susanne Matthews] The basic idea for the fires came from a series of unsolved arsons in my area over the past few years – fires that destroyed a lot of property and animals as well as one man. The villain is a composite of all the people I’ve met over the years who feel entitled to have whatever they want at any cost. Alexis is patterned after my daughter and her ability to bounce back no matter what life has thrown at her.  Jake has some of my husband and my sons’ qualities. His determination to succeed, his need to protect, his need to prove himself are all aspects of their characters. The fact that he has lost a leg was in response to the sacrifice made by those who fight to protect our country. In war everyone loses something, and not all the wounds are visible.

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

[Susanne Matthews] Feisty, persistent, resilient

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

[Susanne Matthews] I’ll Be There by the Jackson Five.  It’s an old song, but if you read the lyrics, it’s exactly the kind of man he is. He’ll be there for Alexis, no matter what.

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

[Susanne Matthews] A flashlight; she’s afraid of the dark and has been ever since the attempt on her life the previous year.

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

[Susanne Matthews] A cat; he’s a dog person;  a picture from his time in Afghanistan;  and scatter rugs—too easy to trip over when he’s tired.

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

[Susanne Matthews] That no one ever discovered why her parents’ plane crashed. She never got the answers she needed.

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

[Susanne Matthews] I get ideas from all kinds of things; I’m very much a people watcher. I hate waiting, so if I can’t read while I do, I weave stories around things I see or stuff I might hear. I got hooked on romance novels in my teens—especially historical novels based almost anywhere in any time. When I read Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier, I discovered a love for romance mysteries. I found Nora Roberts after that, and she inspires me every time I read or re-read one of her novels.

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

[Susanne Matthews] Something to drink—coffee, water, mint tea, my computer, and an idea; since I’m a pantser, once I have the idea, I’m good to go.

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

[Susanne Matthews] Spellbound by Nora Roberts – I love the way she wove the present, the past and the magic together. I’d like to write a book like that one day.

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

[Susanne Matthews] One would be hard to pick, but I guess I’d have to go with Nancy Drew and The Witch Tree Symbol. After that I devoured all the Nancy Drew books I could find.

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

[Susanne Matthews] Like most other writers, I read, but I also enjoy the summer months when I can garden, go camping and canoeing with my husband and sit by the campfire and enjoy a glass of wine. I like to travel, and hope to be able to do more of that in the future. I also enjoy spending time with my grand-children.

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

[Susanne Matthews] Website: http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca

Twitter: @jandsmatt

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/susanne.l.matthews

Blog:   http://mhsusannematthews.wordpress.com

Email: mhsusannematthews@gmail.com

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase Fire Angel from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below:

About the book:

A malicious serial killer is out for revenge in Paradise. Using fire as his weapon, he strikes at random, and the bodies are piling up.

Criminal profiler Jake McKenzie has returned from Afghanistan minus a leg and afraid to trust his instincts. When the police ask for his expertise in identifying the killer, he agrees knowing this is his chance to prove he can still do the job.

Sixteen years ago, fiercely independent Alexis Michaels escaped an abusive uncle and a deadly fire to become one of the country’s top fire and arson investigators. Her uncanny ability to put herself in the arsonist’s place is the skill they need to find this maniac. She reluctantly accepts the assignment and returns home to lead the hunt for the killer, knowing she will have to confront the unpleasant memories.

When Jake discovers that his new partner is the girl who haunted his dreams all these years, he finds himself enthralled, but memories of his dead wife make him doubt his emotions. Alexis has few pleasant memories of Paradise, but Jake is one of them. Undeniably drawn to him, she longs for a deeper relationship but believes he isn’t ready to move on yet.

Until they catch the killer, they must set aside their conflicted emotions and work together. The clock is ticking, and the killer has made it clear: Alexis is next.

Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors

Check out Crimson Romances Fire Angel page here: http://www.crimsonromance.com/upcoming-releases-romance-ebook/fire-angel/

Interview with Elf Aheam, Author of A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing

Elf Aheam dropped by the virtual offices to chat up her recent release, A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing.  Check out what she had to say.

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

[Elf Aheam] An actress named Heidi Jo A-Go-Go once said I reminded her of “daisies and old wine.” I think that’s pretty accurate.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing?

[Elf Aheam] First I’m going to say something about the book then I’m going to give you the blurb, okay?

I adore reading Regency romances, but I wanted something with more zing, and not just sexual zing, which most of them have in spades, but adventure zing. So, I arrived at the concept for A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing. Now, here is the blurb:

In Lord Hugh Davenport’s opinion, women of the ton perpetually hide behind a mask of deception. That’s hard for Ellie Albright, the daughter of an earl, to swallow – especially since she’s disguised herself as a stable hand to get back the prized stallion her father sold to Hugh to pay a debt. If Hugh learns her true identity she’ll lose the horse and her family will go bankrupt. Somehow, though, losing Hugh’s affection is beginning to seem even worse.

Already only a step away from being snagged in her own web of lies, Ellie’s deceit threatens to spin out of control when Hugh’s mother invites Ellie and her sisters to a house party. Now Ellie has to scramble to keep Hugh from knowing she’s the stable girl he wants to marry, while simultaneously trying to win his trust as herself. Can she keep her costumes straight long enough to save her family? And even if she does, will it be worth losing his love?

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

[Elf Aheam] Prior to becoming a writer I was an actress, (another super responsible career). My all time favorite role was Kate Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith. It’s an 18th Century play about a gal who dresses up as a servant to seduce the man she wants to marry. He gets nervous around high-born women.

Hugh Davenport, my dashing, roguish hero isn’t unnerved by women of the upper classes, he just despises them. Bad experiences have left him scarred literally and figuratively.

Unlike Kate Hardcastle, my heroine, Ellie Albright, doesn’t don a stable hand’s clothes to marry Hugh – she despises him as much as he does her, she just wants to be with her horse. But, as happens in romances, loathsome characteristics give way to lovesome characteristics and … well, you know the rest.

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

[Elf Aheam] Hasty, headlong, heartfelt.

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

[Elf Aheam] Eye of the Tiger a/k/a the theme from the movie Rocky.

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

[Elf Aheam] Balls. The girl has balls.

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

[Elf Aheam] Dig as deep as you want, you will never find a neatly folded handkerchief, a box of snuff or a picture of Hugh’s mother in his pocket. You might find a dead mouse, though.

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

[Elf Aheam] That she lied to Hugh about her true identity.

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

[Elf Aheam] My parents and my cat. My mother is an artist and my father was an archeologist – two more creative people, you could not meet. Then there’s my cat, Sufie. She doesn’t write, she doesn’t paint, she doesn’t even knit, but having her to pal around with during the lonely hours of writing is a great creative influence.

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

[Elf Aheam] Total quiet, a computer, a cup of tea, and I’m just going to add one more item – a cat.

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

[Elf Aheam] The Rake by Mary Jo Putney. That novel is just an awe-inspiring Regency romance, and it’s what made me feel like I am cut out for this business.

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

[Elf Aheam] No one’s going to remember this, but an entertainer named Art Linkletter put out a series called Kids Say the Darndest Things based on his TV show by the same name. When I was first reading on my own, I thought this book was a total scream – the funniest thing on the planet. I’m not even sure I got the jokes, but good ol’ Art Linkletter taught me to love reading.

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

[Elf Aheam] I enjoy sitting in the audience at concerts of rare classical music, vigorous exercise and sipping wheat germ smoothies … or maybe I most enjoy making up stuff about the kind of person I ought to be, but am not. Actually, what I really like to be is slumped on the couch holding hands with my husband and watching a good movie while NOT sipping a wheat germ smoothie. Oh, and my cat needs to be on my lap to complete the picture.

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

[Elf Aheam] You know what would really turn my crank? Having readers visit my Web site at elfahearn.com and writing me a note. That would make me smile all day.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below:

About the book:

In Lord Hugh Davenport’s opinion, women of the ton perpetually hide behind a mask of deception. That’s hard for Ellie Albright, the daughter of an earl, to swallow—especially since she’s disguised herself as a stable hand to get back the prized stallion her father sold to Hugh to pay a debt. If Hugh learns her true identity she’ll lose the horse and her family will go bankrupt. Somehow, though, losing Hugh’s affection is beginning to seem even worse.

Already only a step away from being snagged in her own web of lies, Ellie’s deceit threatens to spin out of control when Hugh’s mother invites Ellie and her sisters to a house party. Now Ellie has to scramble to keep Hugh from knowing she’s the stable girl he wants to marry, while simultaneously trying to win his trust as herself. Can she keep her costumes straight long enough to save her family? And even if she does, will it be worth losing his love?

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Check out the A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing page here, too:

http://www.crimsonromance.com/featured/40703/

Interview with Lisa White, Author of Discovery

Please welcome Lisa White to the virtual offices today! Lisa is here to chat about her recent release,  Discovery.

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

[Lisa White] How the world describes me?  I was born in Tennessee and raised in Virginia. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a degree in Italian language and literature, I obtained my law degree from the University of Richmond School of Law.  When not practicing law, I enjoy gardening, spending time with friends and family, and, of course, writing romance novels. I am a member of Romance Writers of America and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Crimson Romance released my first novel, THE LAWS OF LOVE, in July, 2012.  I currently live in Southwest Virginia with my husband and two children.

How I describe myself?  As an uptight, detail-oriented lawyer who desperately loves hiding into the night to make up stories about people I would like to invite to my home for a fabulous cocktail party.

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

[Lisa White] DISCOVERY is a New Adult Paranormal Romance and is the first book in my Council of Powers trilogy.  The trilogy centers around Grace Mackay who thinks she is normal, a little shy maybe, but no less normal than any other struggling young waitress. But she does not know about the secretive Powers world. She does not know she is the last person on earth with the DNA needed for the Powers’ survival. And she certainly does not know her newest boyfriend, Gregory, is an Anti-Powers prince who intends to break her heart and her bones in no particular order.

But when she discovers that Ben, her best friend and unrequited former crush, is actually her secret Guardian with superhuman powers, Grace’s normal world turns on its head. And when she learns that she has the Gift, the rare power to heal the injured and resurrect life with her touch, it is official – Grace is a weirdo even in the Powers world. But what freaks Grace out more than all that is the fact she has feelings for Ben again – and he has feelings for her – which makes Grace’s new normal a lot more complicated.

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

[Lisa White] The story came out of the idea that everyone has a special power.  It may be a great artistic power like Monet – or it may be the simple power to make a stranger smile – but everyone has at least one power.  The problem is that most people don’t think of themselves as special or powerful and this feeling is amplified in our early twenties when we are just trying to find our place in the world.  In DISCOVERY, Grace thinks she has a plan for her life but then she discovers her life is not and has never been within her control.  Her life’s previous plans disappear and she must reevaluate her place in the world – she must discover her own true power.

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

[Lisa White] Shy, moody, loveable

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

[Lisa White] Hard question – good question – but hard.  Probably “I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons describes Ben the best.  His loyalty and love for Grace is nearly outweighed by the patience he must exert when he is with her.  For Ben, patience is painful. 

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

[Lisa White] His ego.  He truly is too much.  Gregory would never be invited to my house for a fabulous cocktail party (see question above…).

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

[Lisa White] A family photo album (sad, I know), a ton of make-up, or condoms (yeah, I went there).

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

[Lisa White] Deep down, Ben’s greatest regret is his rejection of Grace in high school.  He had a good reason for rejecting her – but he did so despite the way he truly felt about her.  He wishes he had not wasted all those years without her.

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

[Lisa White] F. Scott Fitzgerald and the freedom felt in his stories.  Nora Roberts and the love felt in her stories.  Sandra Brown and the suspense felt in her stories.  And almost any music out there – my musical tastes are very eclectic – but I NEED music to write.

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

[Lisa White] My laptop, nighttime, and music, music, music.

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

[Lisa White] Believe it or not, it was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  My daughter and I are reading the series together and Rowling’s world building is phenomenal.  I also love that the book made my daughter excited about reading.

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

[Lisa White] I have to pick just one?  If I can only pick one I must go with Anne of Green Gables.  But Little Women did it for me as well.  There are so many, please don’t make me pick just one.

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

[Lisa White] I love being with my family.  My husband has a great sense of humor which my children inherited so no matter what we are doing, we are always laughing.

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

[Lisa White] Links:

Visit my website at www.lisawhiteauthor.com

Like me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-White-Author/345773668818384?ref=hl

Check out all my books at http://www.amazon.com/Lisa-White/e/B008GHCPCK

Thank you!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase Discovery from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below:

About the book:

Grace Mackay thought she was normal, a little shy maybe, but no less normal than any other struggling young waitress. But she did not know about the secretive Powers world. She did not know she was the last person on earth with the DNA needed for the Powers’ survival. And she certainly did not know her newest boyfriend, Gregory, was an Anti-Powers prince who intended to break her heart and her bones in no particular order.

But when she discovers that Ben, her best friend and unrequited former crush, is actually her secret Guardian with superhuman powers, Grace’s normal turns a little wacky. And when she learns that she has The Gift, the rare power to heal the injured and resurrect life with her touch, it is official – Grace is a weirdo even in the Powers world.

But what freaks Grace out more than all that is the fact she has feelings for Ben again – and he has feelings for her – which makes Grace’s new normal a lot more complicated.

Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors

http://www.crimsonromance.com/new-release-romance-ebook/discovery/

Interview with Dorothy Callahan, Author of Taming the Stallion

Dorothy Callahan is visiting the virtual offices today to chat about her book Taming the Stallion.  Check out what she has to say.

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

[Dorothy Callahan] I’m an avid animal lover who has always dreamed of being a published author. I’m also a chocoholic who refuses any 12 step program.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Taming the Stallion?

[Dorothy Callahan] Raylie really just wants to get a great promotion; she’s done with men and dating. Her baggage is tragic and too hard to deal with, so she represses it, focusing instead on her career. She takes a horse case despite dealing with her past, because she really thinks she can make one more headline arrest.

Ashton is the top horse trainer/breeder around, so the fact this Peace Officer wants to arrest him is ludicrous. He just wants to know who’s poisoning his horses, and the ones he’s losing point to someone being aware of his secretive past.

Neither one really wants anything to do with the other, but they just can’t fight their attraction, despite the risks to their professional careers. Who’s going to solve this case?

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

[Dorothy Callahan] Working in a busy humane society gave me lots of ideas for stories, and, being an animal lover with a defined sense of justice, I knew my heroine would have to embrace those qualities as well. Plus, in all my years working at the humane society, no one ever stumbled on anyone as great a catch as Ashton! All I needed was a situation that put both of them at their personal worst, then stepped back to watch what would happen.

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

[Dorothy Callahan] Driven, empathic, unwavering. She is definitely NOT a closet romantic. Nope. (Ignore her artwork. She does.)

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

[Dorothy Callahan] "Unanswered Prayers" by Garth Brooks.

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

[Dorothy Callahan] Her sidearm.

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

[Dorothy Callahan] Neutral colors, art work, potpourri.

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

[Dorothy Callahan] Dropping out of college, despite how his life prospered.

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

[Dorothy Callahan] Movies, so I can "veg" and let the juices flow, chocolate, because, well, it’s chocolate, and my husband, who is the best sounding board in the entire world.

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

[Dorothy Callahan] A pen to chew on, a cat on my lap, and silence.

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

[Dorothy Callahan] Ooh, it’s a tie between "Darkfire Kiss," by Deborah Cooke, and "Homer’s Odyssey" by Gwen Cooper.

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

[Dorothy Callahan] A book I read as a child about a young boy whose father (a forest ranger) rescued a mountain lion cub, and as she grew into adulthood, the boy risked his life to return her to the wild. I can’t recall the name of it, but I read it about 8 times in elementary school. (I think the librarian hid it from me after a while….) After that, in middle school, it was Piers Anthony and Robert Asprin.

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

[Dorothy Callahan] What do you mean?  :-)
I love to watch movies, read, renovate our house, and shop for antiques. I’m also a Facebook junkie. I love to repost!

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

[Dorothy Callahan] Online at Dorothy Callahan Author on Facebook, or dorothycallahan.com to visit me.  In person, just talk about movies, your pets, or antiques!

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog! I appreciate the opportunity to be here.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can purchase Taming the Stallion from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below. 

About the book:

Peace Officer Raylie McPherson’s mission in life is to protect animals from abuse, and if that means throwing the abusers in jail, so be it. So when the report of two downed horses comes in—from renowned Starstruck Stables, nonetheless—Raylie assumes she can make a quick headline arrest. Despite having to face her horror from the last time she rode, making her relive her fiancé’s death every time she sets foot in a stable, she is determined to do her job. Her coworker swears the owner is innocent, but Raylie’s experience tells her he simply can’t be. But the suspect is anguished, grieving, and too rich to need the insurance money.

Ashton Lyre is devastated over the loss of his two favorite horses—a money maker and a brat. So he’s surprised that the pretty Peace Officer accuses him of the foul deed—for money, no less. She fears his horses, which intrigues him, for she’s obviously ridden before. However, he knows he must be cautious, for he just discovered his very empire was built on shaky ground. Should the pretty cop learn of his fraudulent start, he fears everything he owns could be forfeited, and every case that dips into his past dredges up his fears.

About the Author:

Dorothy Callahan lives in upstate New York with her wonderful husband, a pride of demanding cats, and two loyal dogs, all rescued from shelters (not the husband). When she is not writing, she enjoys shopping for antiques and renovating their pre-Civil War house.