Category Archives: Guest Post

Strangers on a Train Blog Tour & Contest

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Welcome to the Strangers on a Train blog tour! Strangers on a Train is a series of five short, sexy romance novellas that take place on (or near!) trains. It was born when authors Samantha Hunter and Ruthie Knox started riffing on a “Hot Guys on a Train,” a Tumblr featuring photos of unsuspecting (hot) male subjects as they ride the rails to work. Serena Bell joined the conversation, we roped in Meg Maguire and Donna Cummings, and the five of us brought the series to life. A big part of the fun has been seeing how different steamy love stories can be, even when they start from the same idea!

Today, we’re thrilled to be visiting Bookaholic Anon (Thank you, Steph!) to talk about our favorite real-life train experiences, just a sampling of the way that a train ride can stick in your head and get under your skin.

Donna Cummings: My favorite train ride has to be when I toured Europe on the Orient Express … oh, wait. That hasn’t happened yet! While I’ve been on several trains in the U.S., I have to admit my favorites were in England. I remember taking a train from London, enthralled with the hustle-bustle excitement of the train station, feeling like I was on a movie set. And I was impressed with the booth-like chairs with tables in the train cars—they were designed for writers! But who could write with such beautiful scenery to watch the entire four-hour ride? The best part was arriving at Edinburgh, at night, and stepping from the train station to see Edinburgh Castle looming over us, lit up in welcome. So far no other train trip has come close to that for magnificence. Just one more reason I need to give that Orient Express a try.

Samantha Hunter: I’ve never traveled on a train, unlike the heroine in my novella, Tight Quarters, but I love riding them around cities.  I have some fond memories of traveling on city trains, since I usually do it as a tourist, not a commuter (that takes the fun out of it, from what I hear). One of my fondest experiences of riding subways was when I went to Boston with my husband and he was on a business trip, leaving me to amuse myself during the daytime for several days. It was the first time I was on my own in a city, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but I set out on the adventure, starting with learning the subway.

The Boston T has to be the most user-friendly train system I’ve ever used. It’s so clean, bright, and easy to navigate (versus the NYC subway, which I love with a special kind of love, being a native New Yorker, but it’s not easy to get around in). In Boston, I went everywhere—Harvard, Fenway, museums, parks, and stores. I sat on the steps of Harvard Library, read a book in the Public Garden while watching the swan boats, and rode the trains while looking over the landscape of the city. I may have missed a stop or two, but I could find my way back quite easily. By the end of the two days, I felt like I knew the train system like the back of my hand. One of the best moments was coming home from a Red Sox game on the train, awash in a wave of boisterous Red Sox fans…it was awesome. I was already a Red Sox fan, of course, but touring Boston solo on the T really helped me form a bond to that city. Definitely a great experience on a train!

Meg Maguire: As much passionate love/hate as I have for Boston’s T, my best train ride took place nine thousand miles away, in New Zealand. After a week in Wellington, I took a ferry to Picton and boarded the TranzCoastal train that winds through the South Island’s absurdly beautiful surrounds en route to Christchurch. I was traveling solo, and I spent the journey soaking up the nature-porn that streams past the windows, and sipping flat whites and cans of Speight’s. I remember an American family boarded, and the father slung a Red Sox duffel onto the luggage rail. But I kept my mouth shut. As some new friends had explained to me, Kiwis of my generation and older grew up with very few channels, and one the most popular things shown on one of those few channels was Cheers reruns—hence Bostonians are very well received in New Zealand. I had begun to feel rather popular. So I chose to ignore the Red Sox family, content in imagining I was the lone ambassador for my city currently touring the most beautiful country on Earth.

Serena Bell: It’s possible the reason I chose to write Ticket Home about a train commute is that I love the experience of learning a route so well that all its minor features become significant. My favorite train ride was my commute from Salem, Mass to Boston on the commuter rail out of North Station. I knew all the scenery by heart, but I also knew the soundtrack through and through. The individual conductors recited the stop names in their deep Boston accents, and it was a lovely incantation: Chelsea, Lynn, Swampscott, Salem, Beverly (sans “R”), north Beverly (ditto), Hamilton-Wenham-and-Ipswich—which is pronounced all as one sing-song word,  “hamiltonwennumunIPswich.”

Then sometimes my husband and I took the train in the other direction, past Salem to Singing Beach, a white sand beach where the sand makes a squeaky singing sound, and that was a treat because instead of heading south through the grittier parts of the North Shore, you’d go north past gorgeous seaside territory. It was as if someone had magically inverted my commute so I could literally retreat from work.

Ruthie Knox: When I was in my early twenties, I spent most of a year living in London doing research for my dissertation. I lived in Greenwich, but during the week had to go to all these different archives—a month or two at the London Metropolitan Archive, a few months at the newspaper archive, and so on—which meant that most days I spent between forty and ninety minutes waiting for trains, riding trains, switching trains. My favorite was the Docklands Light Rail, which I often took from Greenwich to its stop at Bank on the London Underground.

One fun thing about the DLR was that a lot of men who worked in the City of London got on at Canary Wharf and rode the train in to work. I liked to ogle them in their fancy suits with their mobile phones. In my fantasies, I ended up meeting and dating one of these perfect English bank-working train men, and we had a lot of excellent sex and stayed together forever. This never actually happened, so I wrote a book about it instead—it’s called About Last Night.

But my *best* train ride took place when a male friend was visiting me during that year in London. We flew to Glasgow for the weekend and took the train into the city from the airport. We had a lot of fun on that train, and somewhere along the way I mentally tripped over that friends-to-lovers line that I thought only existed in books. Later, there was physical trippage, as well. Reader, I married him.

Strangers on a Train

April 2, 2013

Samhain Publishing

 

Romancing the rails…

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Tight Quarters by Samantha Hunter

Reid isn’t happy about the mix-up that saddles him with a claustrophobic roommate on his New York train tour. Then his weekend with Brenna progresses to a weekend fling, and so much more.

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Ticket Home by Serena Bell

Encountering her workaholic ex on her commuter train is the surprise of Amy’s life. Especially since Jeff seems hell-bent on winning her back.

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Thank You for Riding by Meg Maguire

At the end of Caitlin’s commute, her extended flirtation with a handsome stranger finds them facing a frigid winter night locked in an unheated subway station.

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Back on Track by Donna Cummings

A wine tour isn’t enough to take Matt’s mind off his baseball slump—until sexy, funny Allie plops into the adjacent seat and tells him three things about herself. One of them, she says, is a lie. Then Allie lets slip one truth too many…

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Big Boy by Ruthie Knox

Mandy doesn’t want romance, but monthly role-playing dates with her stranger on a train—each to a different time period—become the erotic escape she desperately needs. And a soul connection she never expected.

Preorder/order links:

Strangers on a Train at Amazon 

Strangers on a Train at Barnes & Noble

Strangers on a Train at Samhain

Other links

Serena Bell website

Serena Bell on Twitter

Serena Bell on Facebook

Serena Bell on Goodreads

Ruthie Knox website

Ruthie Knox on Twitter

Ruthie Knox on Facebook

Ruthie Knox on Goodreads

Samantha Hunter website

Samantha Hunter on Twitter

Samantha Hunter on Facebook

Samantha Hunter on Goodreads

Donna Cummings website

Donna Cummings on Twitter

Donna Cummings on Facebook

Donna Cummings on Goodreads

Meg Maguire website

CaraMcKenna website

Meg Maguire on Twitter

Meg Maguire on Goodreads

Tell us about your favorite train ride, or just comment to be entered to win. One lucky commenter will be randomly chosen to win a full set of all five Strangers on a Train stories. Good luck to all!

Contest closes on 4/1 at 11:59 pm CDT.  If you are experiencing any difficulties in getting your comment to save please tweet me @sac402 to get entered.

Cover Reveal – Jessica Scott’s The Long Way Home – Contest

I’m thrilled to announce that after a long way, the cover for The Long Way Home is finally out. The fabulous Shawntelle Madison did an amazing job with this, didn’t she?

Want your own copy? Buy it at: Barnes & Noble| Smashwords | Amazon | Kobo

The Long Way Home cover

The Long Way Home cover

From the back cover:

My name is Jessica Scott. I am a soldier. I am a mother. I am a wife.

In 2009, Army second lieutenant Jessica Scott deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. She thought deploying was the hardest thing she’d ever do.

She was wrong.

This is the story of a mother coming home from war and learning to be a mom again. This is the story of a lieutenant making the grade and becoming a company commander. This is the journey of a writer persevering through a hundred rejections. This is the story of a soldier learning to be a woman again. This is the story of a wife waiting for the end of a war.

This is the journey as it happened, without commentary.

This is her blog. There are many blogs from the Iraq war, but this one is hers.

Check out the trailer for The Long Way Home:

Below is an exclusive look at The Long Way Home Excerpt:

The Long Way Home – Excerpt

Make sure you check out the reviews on Goodreads and if you haven’t already, add it to your shelf!

Get your copy today: Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Amazon | Kobo

The rest of the bookstores links will be live soon!

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About Jess

Jessica Scott is a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.

Oprah has called her. True story.

Her debut novel BECAUSE OF YOU launched Loveswept, the first Random House digital imprint.

She’s written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View Regarding War, and IAVA. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of OIF/New Dawn and is currently a company commander stationed at Fort Hood.

Most recently, she’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine’s Americans of the Year for 2012.

Connect with Jessica at

Website: http://www.jessicascott.net
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jessicascott09
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jessicascottauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5131118.Jessica_Scott

 

Jessica is being incredibly generous and letting me give away to one lucky commentor her entire backlist in eBook form.  To win just tell me what format you would prefer and anything you would like to tell Jessica about either her books or her service.  Contest will close on March 22nd, 2013 at noon Central.

Night Demon by Lisa Kessler – Launch Party and Contest!

Night Demon

Gretchen Finch’s job would be much easier if she weren’t alone in the jungle with a brilliant recluse whose every glance sets her on fire. But the more she focuses on her work, the closer she gets to unlocking the mysteries of a terrible creature—the Night Demon—that threatens the world as she knows it. Though her scientific mind tells her it’s impossible, she’s beginning to believe the ancient Mayan tales as the sinister jungle comes alive around her.

Lukas Smith has spent hundreds of years searching for answers to his immortal Night Walker nature. As a series of ancient glyphs become clear, he’s about to find out more than he’d ever hoped, but the more he learns, the more his fate intertwines with the Night Demon, and the harder it becomes to hide his immortal secret from the beautiful, intelligent Gretchen.

Together, they must find a way to stop the inexplicable violence and mass destruction surging across the earth before the Night Demon destroys more than just mankind.

Goodreads –  Amazon –  B&N

Also, check out the first book in the series,  Night Walker, as well as the prequel,  Night Thief.

Lisa Kessler Author Photo

Lisa Kessler is an award winning author of dark paranormal fiction. Her debut novel, Night Walker, won a San Diego Book Award for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror as well as the Romance Through the Ages Award for Best Paranormal and Best First Book.

Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.

When she’s not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.

Website –  Facebook –  @LdyDisney

To celebrate the launch of Night Demon, Lisa is giving away four prizes: A $25 Amazon gift card, a Mayan Glyph necklace, a signed paperback of Night Walker, and an ebook of Night Thief.

To enter the giveaway click here!

Guest Post – Ruthie Knox – Contest!!!!!

15761442I am a lucky lucky blogger today to have Ruthie Knox making an appearance.  I don’t know about you but I fell in love with her when I read About Last Night with her yummy hero City and have not looked back.  With that being said here she is:

 

Hello, fellow Bookaholics!

 

I’m here today to talk about Along Came Trouble, my latest novel (and longest so far). Out next week from Loveswept (Random House), it’s the second story in my Camelot series.

 

Along Came Trouble is about what happens when a woman meets the right man at the wrong time and has to decide how much of herself to give him when she doesn’t feel like she’s got any self to spare. And most of all it’s about how hard it is to find a balance between dependence, independence, and interdependence—and how love can lift our burdens and help us become better versions of ourselves, if we are brave enough to let it.

 

Because Steph was such a sucker for the book’s hero, Caleb, I picked an excerpt that gives you a sense of what he’s like. In this scene, he’s just met Ellen, moved into full-on “here’s how I’m going to make you safe” mode, and gotten shut down. All in the span of about two minutes. Now he’s regrouping . . .

 

Caleb didn’t know what had happened. A minute ago, Ellen had been high-fiving him. Now she was narrowing her eyes and bracing her bare feet in the grass as though she anticipated an assault.

“You can’t fire me.”

“Well, make up your mind,” she said. “Either you work for me, in which case you’re fired, or you work for somebody else, in which case you’re trespassing.”

Trespassing? “I had your permission to step onto the property.”

“I’m revoking it.”

He checked her expression again. Dead serious. Ellen didn’t want him here.

Tough luck for her, because she had him whether she wanted him or not. He needed this account for about five different reasons, all of them nonnegotiable. Breckenridge said Ellen Callahan had to be kept out of harm’s way, and he was the man for the job.

The trick, apparently, was going to be getting Ellen to accept that. She might dress like a bohemian, but the woman had a drill sergeant’s mouth. Fifteen years in the military police had taught him to tread softly around a mouth like that.

He glanced at his watch, then over at Carly’s place. He’d told her he’d be by at eight to talk about security, but this was more important. He could spare a few more minutes.

So what’s going to work on you, Ellen?

Not brute force, obviously. You couldn’t club a woman over the head and force her to accept your protection. If that were an option, he’d have done it to his mom and both his sisters months ago. Feisty lot, the Clarks. Probably explained why he liked women with a bit of steel in their spines.

Because he already liked Ellen Callahan. He’d seen her around town with a towheaded toddler who had to be her son, and she’d certainly caught his eye. Under different circumstances, he might have started angling for her phone number the second he’d witnessed her trying to topple that photographer with her kneecaps. Unfortunately, circumstances being what they were, she was off-limits.

That didn’t mean he couldn’t turn on the charm. Caleb was a big believer in catching flies with honey.

 

About the Book

Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox

Camelot series, book 2

Releases March 11, 2013

 

Ruthie Knox’s Camelot series continues in this sizzling eBook original novel, featuring two headstrong souls who bump heads—and bodies—as temptation and lust bring nothing but delicious trouble.

 

An accomplished lawyer and driven single mother, Ellen Callahan isn’t looking for any help. She’s doing just fine on her own. So Ellen’s more than a little peeved when her brother, an international pop star, hires a security guard to protect her from a prying press that will stop at nothing to dig up dirt on him. But when the tanned and toned Caleb Clark shows up at her door, Ellen might just have to plead the fifth.

 

Back home after a deployment in Iraq and looking for work as a civilian, Caleb signs on as Ellen’s bodyguard. After combat in the hot desert sun, this job should be a breeze. But guarding the willful beauty is harder than he imagined—and Caleb can’t resist the temptation to mix business with pleasure. With their desires growing more undeniable by the day, Ellen and Caleb give in to an evening of steamy passion. But will they ever be able to share more than just a one-night stand?

 

E-book. 350 pp. ISBN 978-0-345-54161-1.

 

 

Buy the book from  Amazon (US) |   Barnes & Noble |   iTunes BookstoreAmazon (UK) |   Amazon (Canada) |   Other buy links via Random House

 

About Ruthie

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Ruthie Knox graduated from Grinnell College as an English and history double major and went on to earn a Ph.D. in modern British history that she’s put to remarkably little use. She debuted as a romance novelist with Ride with Me—probably the only existing cross-country bicycling love story yet to be penned—and followed it up with About Last Night, which features a sizzling British banker hero with the unlikely name of Neville. Other publications include Room at the Inn (a Christmas novella) and How To Misbehave, book 1 in the Camelot series. She moonlights as a mother, Tweets incessantly, and bakes a mean focaccia.

 

I can’t thank her enough for appearing and I hope you love Caleb and Ellen as much as I did.  As a special treat because I love this series so much (I know it’s early but trust me it hits you) I’m going to give one lucky commentor a copy of Tony/Amber’s story, How to Misbehave, and once it releases a copy of this one in e-format for either Nook or Kindle.  

My question for you is…  What makes you swoon over a hero in a book?  Are you an Alpha adorer or does a man who has softer edges appeal to you?

Contest is open until release day, March 11, 2013 at midnight Central.  

Fall In Love with the Sullivans!

Please enjoy this guest post by Bella Andre, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the contemporary romance series, The Sullivans. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including special romantic swag baskets for each book, an iPad Mini, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, and Kobo eReader, and Amazon and iTunes gift cards!

 The Many Types of Love & How They Manifest in My Life

You know that saying – kindness begets kindness? Well, I think love begets love, and the more love you have in your life – of all types – the more you learn about how to love yourself and others. The first kind of love you learn about, soon after you’re born, is love for your family. Then comes love for your classmates and friends, then various dates until you meet the one.

Family love is so important to me. My husband is incredibly supportive and we’re both equal partners in everything we do. Since I’ve always got a new book to write, I try to get my pages in while the kids are at school. But since my daily to-do list often spills over into the evening, I often take my MacBook Air into the living room and write or answer emails while my kids play on the carpet.

In fact, just at this very moment, my son is organizing his baseball cards on the floor while my daughter sits beside him and colors…and my fabulous husband cleans up the kitchen. (Hooray for men with cleaning skills!) I hope we’re creating a loving, nurturing environment so when my kids grow up and find partners of their own, they know what true love feels like.

Mary Sullivan is an example of love for her eight children, the talented siblings of the Sullivan series. Because she cares so much for them, and they care for each other, they’re unwilling to accept less than that level of devotion and affection in their partner.  The family is also so intuitive, they learn to recognize when the others are in love.

In my latest release, Smith (COME A LITTLE BIT CLOSER) falls for his co-star’s sister. But Valentina is determined not to be the kind of woman who falls into bed with a sexy movie star. Only, when Smith’s family meets Valentina and Smith, they’re immediately able to see that Valentina is different than any other woman Smith has ever been with – and that Smith is happier because of her, too.


fall in love

The Sullivans are on tour with Novel Publicity. Follow along for your chance to win amazing prizes. We’ve got special romantic swag baskets for each book, an iPad Mini, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, and Kobo eReader, and Amazon and iTunes gift cards. WOW!

You’ll also get introduced to this amazing contemporary romance series via excerpts as well as interviews with and guest posts from New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Bella Andre. You’ll definitely want to learn more about the family that has captured the world’s heart.

All the info you need to join the fun and enter to win amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To Win the Prizes:

  1. Purchase any of the Sullivan ebooks by Bella Andre for just $4.99 (optional)
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity (go here)
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event (that’s where the HUGE prizes are)

About The SullivansIn this sexy, emotional and funny contemporary romance series, each member of the Sullivan family will eventually find true love…usually where he or she least expects it.

Get the eBooks via Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes & Noblethe iBookStore, or the Kobo Store.

Audiobooks are also available for the first five in the series (with more coming soon). Plus, keep an eye out for paperback editions coming from Harlequin Romance starting Summer 2013.

All Sullivan Covers

Bella Andre_1About the Author: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Bella Andre has always been a writer. Songs came first, and then non-fiction books, but as soon as she started writing her first romance novel, she knew she’d found her perfect career. Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly) about sizzling alpha heroes and the strong women they’ll love forever, nearly all of her novels have appeared on Top 10 lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Kobo.

Her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine “Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into nine languages. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post has called her “One of the top digital writers in America” and she has been featured by NPR, USA Today, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. She has given the keynote speech at Book Expo America on her self-publishing success and has sold more than one million books.

If not behind her computer, you can find her reading her favorite authors, hiking, swimming or laughing. Married with two children, Bella splits her time between the Northern California wine country and a 100 year old log cabin in the Adirondacks.

Interview with Diana Pharaoh Francis

In honor of her upcoming release of Blood Winter, author Diana Pharaoh Francis has graciously allowed me to ask her a few questions…  now she had a bit of a fun time as this is the first time I have ever done this (thanks again!!!) .  I think we ended up with some fun information about the series and other off-the-wall things.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did asking her to answer them.

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The questions:

Q: As a new reader to your Horngate Witches series, what inspired you to write these stories?

In a word . . . apocalypse. So many books that I love, like the Kate Daniels books or Sunshine, have a history of some sort of apocalypse. But usually no one ever tells the story of how that happened. That’s what I wanted to do. Add in that all these disasters were occurring all over the world, from tsunamis to hurricanes to bridge collapses, and I wondered what if they weren’t just natural disasters, but intentional. And that was the first seed of Horngate. Stir in witches, magic, romance, and a lot of action, and voila!

Q:  Is there anything that you would have done differently with the series if you had a chance to start over?  Any stories you wish you had been able to tell?

I don’t think so. There are other stories I want to tell and explore, but what I’m happy with what I’ve written so far.

Q: Who was your biggest supporter when you first realized you wanted to write?

My husband. He never questioned that I could or should. He’s been phenomenal. I don’t know if I could have done it without his unconditional support.

Q:  What do you use to inspire you when you hit a tough spot in your writing?

A lot of times it’s music. Or other people’s stories and poetry. Just enjoying the language and the characters can go a long way toward feeding my creativity. Exercise helps too. The body and mind move together, apparently. Soemtimes jumping up and dancing helps.

Q: What writers do you love to read in your down time?  Is there a particular genre or writing style you are drawn to?

I love epic fantasy and urban fantasy, but I also like romance and mystery. Well, not all romance. I have a love of regency and Victorian romance more than anything. I’ve not been able to read as much recently as I’d like, which is why my Kindle is packed full and my shelves are overflowing. I love Anne Bishop, Kristen Britain, Sharon Shinn, Ilona Andrews, Carol Berg, Roger Zelazny, Gail Carriger, Nalini Singh and so many others.

Q: If you could re-write anything.. and I mean anything..  what would it be and why?  (this just interests me as I was asked that in high school & found some of the answers intriguing…)

Rewrite what other people have written? Well, if you must know, the ending of Pride and Prejudice. I know. It’s sacrilege. But really, I think too much happens off page. Austen was so brilliant with the interactions up until that point, and then she seemed to want to wrap it up without the emotional interaction. She does much better in Persuasion, which is totally satisfying in the end.

Q:  Is there any question you wish someone would ask you?  (yeah yeah I know…  cliché….) 

I don’t know about cliché. I just don’t know if I have a question. Oh! I know! I wish someone would ask me if they could make my books into movies. I’d also like it if they had the wherewithal to do it. Jon Favreau would be good . . .

Q: Besides your upcoming release what other books or projects are you working on right now?

I don’t have any books under contract right now, so I’m working on a few different things. One is an epic fantasy that’s very dark and cool. I’m loving it.  I’m also considering some short stories or novellas in the Horngate world. Oh, and I’m working on another Crosspointe book.

Thanks for having me today!!! I wonder. What books are you most looking forward to?  Steph – I am looking forward to a few books but one I can’t wait for since I hate cliffhangers is The Mistress by Tiffany Reisz.  I am also chomping at the bit for J.R. Ward’s book – Lover at Last – where BDB fans finally get a lot of man loving…  Qhuinn and Blaylock…  YUM!!

Anything you’re hoping that Santa will put in your stocking?  Steph – Wow…  a stumper…  since my TBR pile is currently out of control I really would love if Santa could provide me a time-turner like Hermoine has in the Harry Potter series.  I swear it would be the most awesome thing as I really have a lot of great reads piled up.

The Book:

bloodwintercover

NEW GAME. SAME RULES. SHE FIGHTS. THEY DIE.

Max always does her job, no matter how brutal and bloody. That’s how it’s been ever since she was enslaved by a witch, turned into a supernatural warrior, and assigned to protect the coven of Horngate. But her job just got harder. . . .

Waves of wild magic have returned much of the world to a time when fairy tales were real and danger now lurks behind every tree and bush. As winter descends and food, heat, and water are harder to come by, many have turned to Benjamin Sterling for protection. Leader of the Earth’s Last Stand cult, Sterling claims to be the Hand of God, but his power and charisma secretly come from a dark and terrible source. With devout followers eager to do his sadistic bidding, he has his eyes on Horngate and its magical inhabitants. To save those she loves, Max will knowingly walk into a trap. But when the cult strips Max’s soul bare for all to see, will even Alexander—her lover and her strength—remain? And if she were to lose him, what does it matter if she gains the whole world. . . .

Anne Calhoun – Breath on Embers – Guest Post and Giveaway!

Please help me welcome Anne Calhoun to the blog… This short story was by far one of the best I have read this Christmas season and I cannot tell you loud enough to go read this… Anne has been nice enough to answer some questions so join me in learning more about her…

 

Q&A With Anne Calhoun

 

Q: Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

A: Writer who holds citizenship in 3 countries on 2 continents yet lives in a flyover state for love. Wife. Mother. Loves Frye boots, wool, and character more than wit.

 

Q: Your current release is BREATH ON EMBERS. Deets!

A: It’s the story of a FDNY lieutenant whose relationship with a widow goes from hot to white-hot and intensely emotional over the holidays.
Q: What three words best describe Thea?

A: Trapped. Fighting. Passionate.

 

Q: What three activities would Ronan never engage in?

A: Coercion. Quitting. Smarmy superiority.

 

Q: What is the one accessory Thea won’t leave the house without?

A: Her scarf. It’s practically illegal to leave the house without one in NYC. 😉 Ronan wears them, too.

 

Q: What are your greatest creative influences?

A: Music, although what I’m listening to may not play a role in the current WIP. I read a ton of nonfiction, sometimes for research, sometimes for curiosity. Travel.

 

Q: What three things do you need in order to write?

A: MacBook Air. Quiet (or the steady background noise of a coffee shop). An idea of what I need to write that day.
Q: What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

A: Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island. I’ve read Rainbow Rowell’s two 2013 releases – Eleanor and Park, and Fangirl – and they are wildly different and both incredible.
Q: If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

A: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

 

Q: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

A: Read. Knit. Take yoga class. Walk the dog. I’ve got an eight-year-old boy so much of my non-writing time is occupied with homework, having friends over, activities he’s in. I also like to talk to (or at) my husband. 😉

Q: How can readers connect with you?

A: Annecalhoun.com has an email form. I’m on Twitter as @annecalhoun, and Facebook. I also have a fan group on Goodreads.

 

Now for more about the story that has quite a few of us in awe of her talent….

BreathOnEmbersCover

 

Christmas is the perfect time for Firefighter Ronan O’Rourke to take things to the next level with his sexually adventurous girlfriend. He knows she has feelings for him—and he’s sure of his feelings for her—but when Thea refuses his invitation to sample Christmas in New York City because what they share is nothing more than sheet-burning sex, Ronan sets out to change her mind.

Deep down Thea Moretti knows she cares for Ronan, but she can’t move past her grief over her late husband. Loud music and sex with Ronan are the only things she’s got that her feel alive, so she takes as much of both as she can get. She knows Ronan wants more, but during the darkest time of the year finding her way won’t be easy.

Ronan gambles everything and challenges Thea: one night of passion with him and another man. Can he prove to her that what they share isn’t just great sex but an emotional connection strong enough to last forever?

 

For more information about Anne–

 

And finally…. the good stuff… Anne is being generous enough to allow one lucky commentor to win a download of this wonderfully touching story… Just answer this question for me below to have a chance to win… What was your favorite Christmas present you ever received?

Contest will close on 12/26/12 at 11:59 pm CST.

Katie Porter – Guest Blog and Giveaway!!

I’d like to welcome the wonderful writing duo of Katie Porter to the blog as my first ever guest!  I love the work these ladies have shared with me over the past few months and highly recommend running out and grabbing this series.

And now….

Reunited Lovers

By Katie Porter

I have to admit, I have a special fondness for the reunited lover trope. When I first started reading romances, I snapped them up like candy. The absolute best ones were when the little regency miss had a suitor run off by their evil-intentioned guardians. (My tastes ran a bit gothic. Sorry.) It only got better if the suitor in question was a stable hand who went off to make his fortune and came back big and bad and alpha. Nom worthy. I’ve got quite a few on my keeper shelves.

So when it was time to plot the Vegas Top Guns series, I only managed to hold out until the third book before I suggested we explore the reunited lovers trope. Captain Leah Girardi is no stranger to Captain Michael Templeton when Hold ’Em starts. They dated for a short time when “Princess” Leah was fresh out of flight school, but things didn’t work out. Of course, that leads to the next step: if we’re writing an erotic romance, then the reason they didn’t work out the first time had to be sexual, right? Right, because that’s where the fun stuff is.

We didn’t want Leah to be one of those “pent up” chicks who just never learned how to have an orgasm. Too boring, plus it wouldn’t have fit with the drive and ambition she would have to cultivate to become a fighter pilot. So maybe it was him, then. Maybe Michael and his family-originating chauvinism kept him from understanding some vital part of himself. Like a penchant for taking pain and submitting to a strong woman. *cough* See? The best part of reuniting is the surprises.

And of course, Michael has improved with age. (They always came back more handsome, did you notice that? Ten years never packs a pot-belly on nor makes their hair thin.)

“I really don’t want to spend the whole weekend dragging some random guy all around Vegas trying to find him a place to live.”

“Then we’re good on that front,” said a voice from the doorway behind her. “I’m already locked down. Had my household goods delivered this morning.”

Leah went stock-still, like her engines had shut off. She gripped the padded arms of the seat. And her heartbeat… Yeah, she could admit her heartbeat went into overdrive. Hardcore.

She knew that voice.

It had been a long time—six years, as a matter of fact—but that didn’t matter. When a woman’s strongest memory of a man was his voice in her ear telling her that he loved the way she smiled when she came, it tended to be memorable.

Ryan smiled past Leah. “There you are. Templeton, I’d like you to meet Captain Leah Girardi. Also known as Princess Leah.”

Her eyes narrowed. She was tempted to deck Fang. Princess might be her call sign, but that didn’t mean she liked it.

Ryan kept talking as if he didn’t feel the death threats she was telepathically sending his way. “Princess, this is Captain Mike Templeton. Call sign Strap Happy, right?”

She made herself twist in the seat to look. Seeing him would only get worse the longer she put it off.

In the absence of any logical thought, a creative string of curses assembled in her mind. The man looked better than ever. Good enough to nom down on. A few times.

When Leah had last seen him, Mike had been…cute. Kind of adorable in the way he hadn’t yet grown into his lanky hands and tall height.

But now…

He wore the usual olive-green flight suit, but he filled it out like whoa and damn. His shoulders had gotten wider—way wider—while his hips were as narrow as when she’d wrapped her ankles around him. He’d even matured through the face, his jawline sharper. His eyes were still that unforgettable neon blue, silently laughing at her. Constantly.

He grinned at her. “Leah and I go way back.

Who can resist a guy like that? Certainly not Leah—though she definitely tries.

***

Up next for Katie Porter, the co-writing team of Carrie Lofty and Lorelie Brown:

Now that the first three of the RT BookReviews 4½ Star Top Pick “Vegas Top Guns” series have been released, readers can anticipate the final two installments, HARD WAY and BARE KNUCKLE, in 2013.

November brings the m/m Christmas-themed CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR , described as “masterful” by Publishers Weekly.

In January, LEAD AND FOLLOW will launch the five-part “Club Devant” series of erotic multi-partner romances set in a hot New York City burlesque club.

Where to find us:

http://KatiePorterBooks.com

Twitter: @MsKatiePorter

Or individually: @carrielofty and @LorelieBrown

We’d like to give away a copy of DOUBLE DOWN, INSIDE BET or HOLD ’EM (winner’s choice) in any format. Just answer the question: Have you ever dreamt of reuniting with someone from your past? Or is there one person in particular you’d go a thousand miles out of your way to avoid reuniting with? 

Contest open through Sunday October 7th.  Winner will be send an email so please make sure to include your email address in the comment below.

Thanks again to Book-A-Holic Anon for featuring Katie Porter and Hold ’Em!

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