Cover Reveal: After The Kiss by Lauren Layne

I have a cover reveal to share today!  Loveswept pulled out all the stops for Lauren Layne’s After The Kiss.  I really like this cover!  It’s got a Julie James vibe, and guess what else I like? Everyone’s got their clothes on.  Yup, I get tired of all of the bare man chests.  What do you think about the cover for After The Kiss?

 

After the Kiss: The Stiletto Series

Lauren Layne

Loveswept  |  August 26, 2013

In the first book of a delightful new series from Lauren Layne, the star columnist of Stiletto magazine will do anything for a story. Anything . . . except fall in love.

Julie Greene loves flings. Loves steamy first dates, sizzling first kisses, and every now and then, that first sexy romp between the sheets. Comfy pants, sleepy Sundays, movie nights on the couch? Shudder. But when Julie gets assigned the hardest story of her career—a first-person account of that magical shift between dating and “I do”—she’ll need a man brave enough to give a total commitment-phobe a chance at more.

Normally, Mitchell Forbes would be exactly that man. A devastatingly hot workaholic who tends to stay in relationships for far too long, he should be the perfect subject for Julie’s “research.” But what Julie doesn’t know is that Mitchell is looking to cut loose for once in his life. And the leggy journalist notorious for avoiding love is exactly the type of no-strings fling he’s looking for. In other words, Mitchell is the polar opposite of what Julie needs right now. And, at the same time, he’s exactly what she wants.

Connect with Loveswept and Lauren:

ReadLoveswept.com  |  Lauren’s Website  |  Lauren on Twitter

Pre-order After the Kiss:

Amazon  |  B&N  |  iBookstore 

Excerpt: Flirting with Disaster by Ruthie Knox

Random House has an excerpt from Ruthie Knox’s Flirting with Disaster.  If you enjoy it, click the link below to purchase a copy!

Flirting with Disaster by Ruthie Knox, A Loveswept eOriginal Excerpt by Romance At Random

 

About the book:

In the latest eBook original novel in Ruthie Knox’s scorching-hot Camelot series, a no-strings fling looks an awful lot like falling in love—or flirting with disaster.
Fresh out of a fiasco of a marriage, Katie Clark has retreated to her hometown to start over. The new Katie is sophisticated, cavalier, and hell-bent on kicking butt at her job in her brother’s security firm. But on her first assignment—digging up the truth about the stalker threatening a world-famous singer-songwriter—Katie must endure the silent treatment from a stern but sexy partner who doesn’t want her help . . . or her company.
Sean Owens knows that if he opens his mouth around Katie, she’ll instantly remember him as the geeky kid who sat behind her in high school. Silence is golden, but he can’t keep quiet forever, not with Katie stampeding through their investigation. It’s time for Sean to step up and take control of the case, and his decade-old crush. If he can break through Katie’s newfound independence, they just might find they make a perfect team—on the road, on the job, and in bed.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: How to Misbehave, Along Came Trouble, and About Last Night

 

Buy Link

Interview with Sharon Cullen, Author of The Notorious Lady Anne

 

Please give Sharon Cullen a warm welcome! She’s visiting the virtual offices to chat about her new Loveswept release, The Notorious Lady Anne.  After the interview, enter for your chance to win a digital copy of her book!

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

[Sharon] Taxi driver to 3 busy kids, chef, laundress, mediator, beauty addict (eyeshadow and lip glosses are my vice) & historical romance author.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Notorious Lady Anne?

[Sharon] The Notorious Lady Anne is about a strong-willed lady pirate bent on vengeance against the father who left her destitute. Her revenge has been eleven years in the making and nothing will stand in her way. Except for an arrogant, sexy nobleman who is trying to regain his life after a near fatal accident. He doesn’t believe in vengeance. She doesn’t believe in the goodness of people. Together they will prove the other wrong.

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

[Sharon] When I first started writing Lady Anne, there weren’t many stories out there about strong-willed, alpha heroines. I wanted to explore the concept. Except Nicholas refused to be put in the role of the beta hero. He became just as headstrong and obstinate as Anne. That’s when the story really took off and the sparks flew.

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

[Sharon] Headstrong, obstinate, dangerous

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

[Sharon] Shipping off to Boston by the Dropkick Murphys. While Nicholas didn’t lose his leg, like the sailor in the song, he did almost lose his life in a naval battle.

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

[Sharon] Her dagger

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Nicholas’ pockets?

[Sharon]  This was a tough question. I’ve never really thought about what he would have in his pockets let alone what he wouldn’t have. So I asked my kids the question and this is what they came up with: iPhone, iPod and makeup. I laughed so hard that I thought I’d share with you.

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

[Sharon] That she was never enough for her mother. After Anne’s father left them, her mother’s health and mental well-being were never the same. Anne always believed that she was never enough to keep her mother alive.

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

[Sharon] Reading is a great influence. My family and my fellow writers are my other influences.

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

[Sharon] Time, time and more time. LOL. Seriously, I can write with pen and paper, chalkboard and chalk, computer, whatever. But what I really need is the time to write.

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

[Sharon] Ken Follett’s Winter of the World. I love, love, love that series–the historical wrapped around the fiction as he follows the lives of a few families–and am sad he can’t write faster so the next book will come out :-)

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

[Sharon] Black Beauty. When I was ten I read the entire series and fell in love with reading. I was unstoppable after that, grabbing anything that had words in it. 

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

[Sharon] I like spending time with my husband and kids. The kids are getting older now and aren’t home as much so a lot of the time its just my husband and I. It’s like we’re dating all over again.

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

[Sharon] I’m addicted to social networking. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, my website and my blog

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sharon-Cullen-Author/243329341691

Twitter – http://twitter.com/SharonCullen

Website – http://sharoncullen.net/

Blog – https://sharonwritesromance.wordpress.com/

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Ready to enter for your chance to win a Netgalley preview copy of The Notorious Lady Anne? Just fill out the widget below! Earn extra entries for following.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can purchase The Notorious Lady Anne from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below.

About the  book:

From rising romance star Sharon Cullen comes a tale of the fiery passion between a noble naval officer and a female pirate that’s as tempestuous and as unpredictable as the sea.

Nicholas Addison, celebrated captain of the Blackwell Shipping Fleet, has agreed to take Mrs. Emmaline Sutherland aboard the Pride and ferry the raven-haired beauty across the Atlantic on what he imagines will be a routine trip. But when the ship is attacked by pirates, the seemingly innocent passenger is revealed to be none other than the infamous marauder Lady Anne, whose name strikes fear in the hearts of sailors everywhere—and whose seductive wiles commandeers Nicholas’s affections.
Lady Anne, a legend of the high seas, has spent the last eleven years plotting revenge against her father, the owner of Blackwell Shipping. She’s targeted the Pride in hopes of plundering its captain’s company secrets. But beneath her fierce courage and bitter determination, Anne has the delicate heart of a woman—a heart that cannot help falling for Nicholas. Now Anne must make a difficult choice: bring down Blackwell or surrender to love.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: The Reluctant Countess, Wild Rain, and Silk on the Skin.

About the author:

After earning a degree in journalism from Ohio University, Sharon found the stories inside her head were more interesting than what was going on in the world around her. Yet, it wasn’t until years later that she decided to pursue her secret dream of writing a romance novel. Since then she’s been published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance and contemporary romance and historical romance.

Sharon’s other job descriptions include chauffer, laundress, cook and mediator to her three very busy kids, her husband and two dogs. She lives in southwest Ohio with her brood although her dream is to someday retire to St. Maarten and live on the beach.

If you’d like to find out more about Sharon and her books, you can visit her at her blog or her website. She’s addicted to social networking so you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Friend her! Like her! Follow her! She’d love to hang out with you and talk about her passion—books.

Cover Shot! Taking Shots by Toni Aleo

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

This is another YUM! cover!  And since we didn’t get much hockey this season, I may as well read about it.  Taking the Shots by Toni Aleo will be available in May.

In Toni Aleo’s exhilarating Loveswept debut, the first in a series featuring the hockey hunks of the Nashville Assassins, a reformed bad boy helps a charming, willful woman face off against the demons of her past.
No matter how hard she tries, Elleanor Fisher never thinks she’s good enough, from her job to her weight to her love life. After enduring years of abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, Elli has been drifting through life in a daze. Until, that is, she meets Shea Adler on a promotional shoot for the NHL’s Nashville Assassins. Before Elli knows what’s happening, the gorgeous Shea breaks the ice and shatters her world.
A brilliant athlete inside the rink, Shea Adler is tired of the life he’s living outside of it: the women, the money, the drinking. But everything changes when he meets Elli. After laying eyes on this feisty, witty, beautiful woman, he feels like he’s just taken the hardest hit of his life. No matter how skeptical she is, Shea knows they are meant to be together—if only he can convince Elli to put her insecurities aside before she misses out on a shot at love.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: Trying to Score, Empty Net, and Along Came Trouble.

Cover Reveal: Flirting with Disaster by Ruthie Knox

Today, we at Manga Maniac Café have a special treat!  Ruthie Knox is sharing the cover reveal for Flirting with Disaster, which hits stores in June.  It’s the final book in her Camelot series.  Check out what Ruthie has to say about the cover:

Hello, everyone!

I’m thrilled to be able to reveal the cover for the final title in my upcoming Camelot series with Loveswept:  Flirting with Disaster. I hope you love it as much as I do! I’ve been really gratified to see each of the covers the Random House design team comes up with for this series — all of them sexy and intimate, but with that spirit of fun that infuses all three of these stories.

The Camelot series consists of a hundred-page novella and two full-length novels set in the Midwestern college town of Camelot, Ohio. It revolves around the three Clark siblings — Amber, Caleb, and Katie — and contains a number of hot security guys, extended-family shenanigans, banter, angst, and of course the occasional steamy scene, just to keep things interesting.

 

The other books in the Camelot series are How to Misbehave:

and Along Came Trouble:

Here’s a handy-dandy info sheet about the series:

To learn more about Ruthie’s Camelot series, please visit the following:

How To MisbehaveDescription and Excerpt on Ruthie’s Website | Preorder from Amazon | Preorder from Barnes & Noble | Preorder from iTunes | Add to Goodreads

Along Came TroubleDescription and Excerpt on Ruthie’s Website | Preorder from Amazon | Preorder from Barnes & Noble | Preorder from iTunes | Add to Goodreads

Flirting with DisasterOn Ruthie’s Website | Preorder from Amazon | Preorder from Barnes & Noble | Add to Goodreads

What do you think about the cover for Flirting with Disaster?  I think it’s super sexy, and I can hardly wait to read it!

Review: How To Misbehave by Ruthie Knox

 

Title:  How to Misbehave

Author:  Ruthie Knox

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

What woman can resist a hot man in a hard hat? Beloved author Ruthie Knox kicks off her new Camelot series with this deliciously sexy original novella, in which a good girl learns how to misbehave . . . with all her heart.

As program director for the Camelot Community Center, Amber Clark knows how to keep her cool. That is, until a sudden tornado warning forces her to take shelter in a darkened basement with a hunk of man whose sex appeal green lights her every fantasy. With a voice that would melt chocolate, he asks her if she is okay. Now she’s hot all over and wondering: How does a girl make a move?

Building contractor Tony Mazzara was just looking to escape nature’s fury. Instead, he finds himself all tangled up with lovely Amber. Sweet and sexy, she’s ready to unleash her wild side. Their mutual desire reaches a fever pitch and creates a storm of its own–unexpected, powerful, and unforgettable. But is it bigger than Tony can handle? Can he let go of painful memories and let the force of this remarkable woman show him a future he never dreamed existed?


Review:

How to Misbehave didn’t click for me because of the length.  This 96 page novella is hot, but I never connected with the characters.  Ruthie Knox has a wonderful way of painstakingly developing her characters, and they were just getting interesting when the story screeched to a halt.  My favorite aspect of Ruthie’s writing was missing, and that’s the careful unraveling of her protagonists’ strengths and flaws; by the end of her two longer novels, I was so invested in her characters that I wanted, no, demanded, that they have their HEA.  The emotional depth was absent here, and though it is a fun, quick read, I was a bit disappointed when I reached the last page.

Amber is attracted to hunky construction worker Tony, but because she’s a good girl, she hasn’t acted on her attraction.  A tornado and a few hours in a darkened basement change things for both Amber and Tony, and desire blazes between them.  Tony tries to resist, though, because he isn’t one for a long-term relationship, and he knows that Amber won’t be happy with a one-night stand.  She convinces him otherwise, finally finding release with Tony after two previous disastrous sexual encounters.  Tony is a walking woman pleaser, and sure enough, Amber is devastated when he won’t even look at her afterwards.  Oh. My.  Talk about a heartbreaker!

Tony is suffering from guilt after a tragic incident in his past.  He has convinced himself that he doesn’t deserve to be happy, and so he keeps himself aloof and never allows himself to have a serious relationship.  He will just let his partner down, so why even risk it?  Without more buildup, he just seemed a bit whiny and self-indulgent.  His emotional flip-flop after meeting Amber wasn’t convincing and was too easily won.

While I wasn’t completely satisfied with How to Misbehave, I did enjoy the author’s writing style, and I am looking forward to the rest of the series, which is comprised of full-length novels.  This novella is only .99, so if you’d like a taste of Ruthie Knox’s writing style, this isn’t a back place to start. 

Grade:  C+

Review copy provided by publisher

Excerpt: The Reluctant Countess by Wendy Vella

Thanks to Random House, I have an excerpt from Wendy Vella’s The Reluctant Countess to share. If you enjoy it, there’s a link to purchase after the excerpt.

The Reluctant Countess by Wendy Vella (Excerpt)

About the book:

From rising romance star Wendy Vella comes a Cinderella story of whirlwind passion between a dashing earl and a beautiful countess—and the secret that threatens to tear them apart.

Regal, poised, and elegant, Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is everything that a highborn lady should be. But Sophie is hiding a past that is far from royal. When Patrick, Earl of Coulter, realizes that her story doesn’t add up, he resolves to find out the truth of what Sophie and her sister-in-law are concealing. Although Sophie has every reason to avoid him, the handsome and charismatic Patrick awakens something wicked deep within her soul . . . a powerful need that Sophie must stifle in order to protect her place in society.

Despite Sophie’s humble background, the raven-haired beauty has won Patrick’s heart. But what Sophie needs now is an ally. Viscount Myles Dumbly, the disgruntled former heir of Monmouth, is determined to expose Sophie as a fraud to recapture his lost inheritance. Soon Patrick is drawn into a fight for both their lives. Somehow he must find a way not only to rescue Sophie from poverty once and for all, but to keep her in his arms forever.

If you enjoyed the excerpt, you can purchase The Reluctant Countess from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below:

 

Interview with Samantha Kane, Author of The Devil’s Thief and Giveaway!

I’m excited to welcome Samantha Kane to the virtual offices today.  Samantha is the author of The Devil’s Thief, a new release from Loveswept, one of my favorite romance imprints.  Say “hi” to Samantha, and after the interview, enter for a chance to win a digital copy of The Devil’s Thief!

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

[Samantha Kane] I’m a 45 year old mom, writer, wife. I’m a bit introverted, laid back in some ways and high strung in others. I like to knit and bake and sit outside on beautiful days. I do not multi-task well. I don’t understand how the internet works, or my cell phone, but I use them just the same. This can be said of a lot of things in my life. I drive a minivan by choice, and I am a cat person.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Devil’s Thief?

[Samantha Kane] The Devil’s Thief is the first book in a new Regency historical romance series called The Saint’s Devils. The series is about a group of rakes who’ve been friends since their school days. Their unofficial leader is Sir Hilary St. John, a sort of brilliant, hedonistic Sherlock Holmes character. The Devil’s Thief is about Alasdair Sharp, a well to-do gentleman whose famous family heirloom The Stewart Pearl is stolen by Miss Julianna Harte, a quiet lady who needs the money from the pearl to save the foundling home she sponsors. When Alasdair catches Julianna stealing the pearl she lies about her identity and he thinks she’s an experienced thief, a product of the underworld. So he offers her a bargain–one night in his bed for the pearl. He never means to keep the bargain, however. He plans to pay her off with something else in the morning and make her his mistress. But when morning comes Julianna has disappeared with his pearl and Alasdair has to enlist the aid of his friends to find her and his family heirloom.

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

[Samantha Kane] Many years ago I came up with the concept of the Alasdair and Julianna characters, but in a different series context. Another author and I discussed doing that series together. That idea fell through because of schedules and prior commitments, so I shelved it. Then came Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes, and the Sir Hilary St. John character came to me, and Alasdair and Julianna and their story fit so well with his character The Saint’s Devils were born.

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

[Samantha Kane] Guarded, sincere, misguided.

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

[Samantha Kane] King of Diamonds by Motopony.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Julianna won’t leave the house without.

[Samantha Kane] Her lock picks.

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

[Samantha Kane ]Pajamas, anything out of place, another woman after Julianna.

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

[Samantha Kane] Music, movies, the outdoors.

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

[Samantha Kane] Music, isolation, a computer (I can’t write free hand. I block.)

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

[Samantha Kane ]Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh.

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

[Samantha Kane] Watership Down by Richard Adams.

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

[Samantha Kane] Hang out with my kids and husband.

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

[Samantha Kane] website: http://samanthakane.us

twitter: skaneauthor

Facebook: authorSamanthaKane

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Ready for a chance to win a digital copy of The Devil’s Thief?  Thanks to Random House and Samantha, I have one to give to one of you! Just fill out the widget below to enter! Earn extra entries for following.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can order The Devil’s Thief from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below.

Excerpt:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/103080466/The-Devil-s-Thief-by-Samantha-Kane-Excerpt