Thursday, June 28, 2007

LESLIE KELLY - two new releases!

July brings two times the fun from author Leslie Kelly. ( ) I have read and enjoyed several of Leslie Kelly's books, so it was no hardship when Alison Kent put out a shout for bloggers to read and then chat about Leslie's latest releases. Here's a little blurb about HEAT WAVE:

Leslie joins hot Harlequin authors Stephanie Bond and Heidi Betts in this super-sexy summer sizzler. It’s hot fun at the beach…perfect for your hot day at the beach! And Leslie’s story, “Getting Into Trouble” is the latest addition to her Trouble, PA series!
Basic Beach Necessities: Sunscreen Umbrella Pedicure
A little magic…
Single mom Allie Cavanaugh has played nice with others for too long. Then Allie finds herself kissing a powerfully magnetic hypnotist at a carnival--in front of an audience! Sure, maybe she’s mesmerized, or maybe the “real” Allie is finally waking up…

I found myself wondering how they got my picture for the cover of HEAT WAVE? I'm just kidding of course, I don't look anything like that - I'm blonde. All joking aside, this is where I have to admit that I was new to Leslie Kelly's "Trouble" series, but now that I've read these two (don't I read every series out of order? lol), I'll be grabbing the previous books in the series without a doubt! I think it's important to stress that these books stand very capably on their own. Previous characters are mentioned, but not without a brief explanation of who they are and how they came into the series - smoothly and excellently done, if you ask me.

Leslie's story in the HEAT WAVE anthology is the story of Allie Cavanaugh, a single mother determined to make a fresh start. Damon Cole has left his job as a counselor/caseworker with Children's Services after a case he was involved with was grossly mishandled, resulting in the tragic death of a child. When he goes to visit his grandparents, he finds himself unbelievably accepting the position of mesmerist in a traveling carnival. Allie ends up on his stage and when mesmerized by Damon to reveal her secret wish, she expresses in explicit detail her wish to find a man who desires her and wants nothing more than to please and satisfy her. Needless to say, there's an immediate connection between the two and they are both very happy. The heartache comes crashing in once Damon explains to Allie the tragedy at his previous job and the profound affect it had on his life, especially his decision to never have children. Allie hasn't yet told Damon about her son, who is the light of her life; thinking she'd finally found Mr. Right, she is absolutely crushed. Allie and Damon are extremely likable characters and their story is a sweet one. Secondary characters are a quirky mix of personalities and add a great deal to the story. Like the stories in most anthologies, this is a quick read, but it doesn't feel rushed and is very satisfying.

Now, on to SHE'S NO ANGEL. Here's a little blurb:

Mike Taylor was one SORRY New York cop.
If only he’d taken another route to Trouble, Pennsylvania. Then he’d never have rescued a tire-iron-toting, drop-dead-gorgeous woman whose crazy aunts had stolen her shoes and keys and left her more than a little pissed off. There was no way he was ready to get involved with someone like Jennifer, let alone the decades-old murder case swirling around her nutty family!
But writer Jennifer Feeney was one provocative package. And her latest bestseller had stirred up a whole lot of trouble. Which meant that, between rescuing her again and again, Mike had fallen for her, big-time. Just the way he’d promised himself he wouldn’t. Now it looks as if her family’s past is going to catch up with both of them, and it’s time for Mike to choose—solve the case...or get the girl.

From the moment NYC cop Mike Taylor meets author Jennifer Feeney, there's never a dull moment. Not in a slapstick kind of way, but there's an unmistakable attraction right off the bat, and clever banter that will make you smile - repeatedly. Mike is in Trouble, PA to visit his aging grandfather when he runs into Jen walking alongside the road, barefoot and wielding a tire-iron, muttering something about murdering her two aunts. After he rescues her from the side of the road again the next day after another episode with her nutty aunts, and then the two are thrown together at a dinner party soon after, it's clear (this is a romance, after all) that the two are going to hook up. When Mike learns that Jen has been threatened, seemingly by an unhappy reader, he quickly steps in to keep her safe. Mike's grandfather is a fun-loving, worldly old guy who seems to have an endless array of matchmaking skills up his sleeve. Between the grandfather and his British butler, Jen's two aunts and a mysterious murder looming from their past, and a side romance that is just too sweet, the secondary characters are a colorful addition to Mike and Jen's romance, serving to round out a very entertaining book. Fun quips from Jen's "books" open each chapter and I found myself looking forward to them.

I realize that this has been very wordy, even for me, but I truly hope that you'll check these books out - Amazon links are below. I'm going to get my hands on the first two very soon! Thank you Leslie and Alison for allowing me to chat about these great books!



Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Friday, June 22, 2007


Kelsey drew names for me tonight - the winner of the autographed copy of THE WRITE INGREDIENTS is TERRI W.! The winner of the second (not autographed) copy is JILL! Terri and Jill, please email me with your mailing addresses and I'll send your books out on Monday. I'll have you use my Romance Junkies email, , because my regular Earthlink email is ridiculously picky with incoming mail from addresses not already in my address book. I would also note that I'll be at Cedar Point all day tomorrow, so if you may not hear back from me until late tomorrow night.
Thank you to everyone who entered the drawing - I hope you'll go out and get a copy of the cookbook - remember the great causes it supports. Congrats to Terri and Jill!!
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Author Kay Stockham writes Harlequin Super Romances, a line that I had steered clear of for years because I thought they were simply frothy fluff. WRONG! I've read several in the past couple of years including those by Kay and some of Brenda Novak's, and they are all sweetly romantic, sensual without being over the top, and often thought-provoking. I can't help but wonder how many other great books I've missed because of this misconception.
HIS PERFECT WOMAN is the story of a breast cancer survivor, Melissa York - surprisingly, a young breast cancer victim, who has a long life ahead of her but is a little low on courage and strength, especially when it is offered by Bryan Booker, the town doctor with a hearty reputation as a womanizer. Adding to Melissa's insecurity is the fact that her father, after several years of being alone following her mother's death, has fallen in love and intends to marry. Kay made these characters come to life on the pages, and they remained on my mind long after I put the book down.
I emailed Kay a couple of days after finishing HIS PERFECT WOMAN, to tell her how much I enjoyed her book and how much it touched me, something I don't always do. I often intend to, but just don't follow through. I think it must be very satisfying to an author to know that you've connected heart-to-heart, so to speak, with your readers.
My only disappointment was that Melissa didn't embrace her father's new romance from the beginning, thinking how excited I would be if my mother, a widow for 29 years, had found someone to share her life, but given the fact that Melissa's father was her caregiver after her surgery, and the past heartaches she suffered with the loss of her mother and baby daughter, I guess she has a right to be a emotionally fragile and maybe even a little selfish with her father's affection.
I hope you'll all check this book out - it's not on the store shelves for long, so you'll have to scoot (this peeves me at series romance -why can't they leave these books out for two months?) Or you can always drop by Amazon and order it - click here:
I almost forgot to mention that Kay is very generously donating a portion of the proceeds of this book for breast cancer research - so when you buy your copy, snag an extra copy for a friend or relative too! Big hugs to you, Kay!
Thanks as always, and don't forget the drawing for THE WRITE INGREDIENTS tomorrow night - scroll down a couple of posts for details if you haven't entered!

Lacey Alexander's VOYEUR

I haven't read every book by Lacey Alexander, but I have read several and while they are sizzling hot and extremely sensual, sometimes with sex acts that I prefer to skim by (I don't mean this in a bad way, please don't get me wrong, I have no problem skimming past something I don't care for, so long as the rest of the story is engaging), I love the way her characters always fall in love to round out the story with a happily ever after! I anticipate the HEA in every book I read, every movie I watch, etc. There are several movies that my daughters and I have watched countless times (Hope Floats, You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, An Affair to Remember, The American President (my favorite) just to name a few), and I have my favorite scenes, but I cherish those happy endings. I have to admit that I'm not a huge movie-watcher, I just can't sit still that long - I'll typically go about my business doing housework, laundry, cooking, etc. and the girls will shout to me that the happy ending is coming up; then I'll go sit down and watch those last few minutes that make my heart swell. They tease me about it, but they never fail to call me to the television so I don't miss it!
I got off track a tad, sorry. I have known Lacey for quite some time - the majority of which I didn't even know that I knew her - how crazy is that? Lacey is the alter ego of author Toni Blake, who is equally talented, lol, writing sensual contemporary romances that are a perfect mix of sweet and spicy. Toni recently came out, if you will, and revealed her secret identity. I was pleasantly surprised, having wondered for years just who Lacey Alexander was. Knowing that it was a secret made me want to know just that much more!
I was fortunately enough to read Voyeur for Romance Junkies review and would like to share that review with you.
They met via web cam and instant messaging, and soon after are experiencing every fantasy imaginable. Can losing their hearts be far behind? Lacey Alexander’s VOYEUR has all of the makings of a memorable erotic romance.
When novelist Laura Watkins is up against a serious case of writer’s block, her best friend thoughtfully arranges for her to stay at another friend’s mountain retreat, while insisting that sexual release is what Laura truly needs to get her creative juices flowing. Laura decides to let go of her inhibitions during a bout of insomnia one night, at which time she spots a web cam. Certain that the camera isn’t turned on; she fantasizes about what it might be like to have the homeowner actually watching her. When an instant messaging conversation the following day with Braden Stone, the owner of the home, reveals that he was indeed watching, and that he wants to see more, Laura’s conservative nature threatens to return. When Braden unexpectedly returns to his home and the two share untold fantasies, Laura’s writer’s block immediately lifts and she’s soon producing page after page on her manuscript.
Braden Stone doesn’t know when he’s been more turned on by a complete stranger. When he’s no longer satisfied with continuing a long-distance electronic relationship, he shows up at the house and Laura’s fantasies become reality. Spending time with Laura has brought unexpected emotions to the surface for Braden, totally unexpected and not wholly welcome to him. The end of Laura’s week at his home arrives and Braden reluctantly allows her to leave without revealing the feelings that he has developed for her.
Lacey Alexander has given readers an intensely sensual book with VOYEUR. Her trademark heat intensifies love scenes into a heated compilation of erotic sweetness. Laura’s discovery of the real woman deep inside herself is intriguing and Braden’s self-assuredness is just the right touch to keep Laura moving on the path of self-discovery. Laura’s novel is a side story of sorts, and it too is very entertaining.
If you like hot, erotic romance with no holds barred, yet sensual action, then this book is for you. Long-time Lacey Alexander readers as well as those who are new to her work will be thrilled with this latest release.

I hope you'll buzz over and check out Lacey's website - it's beautifully done and has info on all of her work - - and then run over to Amazon and order your own copy of Voyer:
Thanks for stopping! Two more days until the drawing for those two copies of THE WRITE INGREDIENTS!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

CONTEST! The Write Ingredients

UPDATE! Thank you all for stopping and entering the contest! I've decided that since the interest has been so great, I'm going to offer another copy of the cookbook. Obviously, this second copy won't be autographed, but everyone's chances of winning are now improved! Good luck to everyone!
I've spoken a couple of times earlier about an exciting new cookbook, THE WRITE INGREDIENTS, organized by good friend Lori Foster. Proceeds will benefit our continuing program to shop for and ship items to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the YWCA Battered Womens Shelter and the AAF (homeless animal shelter), both located in Cincinnati.
This cookbook contains recipes from some of the biggest names in womens fiction, some up and coming authors, and several readers.
I purchased two copies of THE WRITE INGREDIENTS at the Lori Foster/Dianne Castell Get Together and had several of the authors in attendance autograph their recipe pages in one of them; I am having a contest for this autographed copy. Like all of my contests, this one is fairly simple. You post the names of five of the authors who contributed a recipe to the cookbook (Hint: they're listed at the publisher's site), and you're entered. If you have a friend who posts, indicating that you sent them, and also posting the names of five of the authors (not the same as your five!), you'll get an additional entry. I will be drawing the winning name on Friday, June 22 at approximately 10:00 p.m. (Eastern).
Please take a moment to check out the cookbook - below are links to Samhain and Amazon. This cookbook contains lots of great recipes, it supports three worthwhile causes, and it only costs $13. ($10.40 at Amazon). Keep it in mind for birthday gifts, a hostess gift for that July 4th BBQ you're going to, or even Christmas gifts.
Saying that you can't cook is no excuse for not buying this book. In my opinion, if you can read, you can cook - and I know that most everyone who stops by here is an avid reader!
Thanks as always for dropping by - be sure to send your friends over!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

SHADOW HAWK by Jill Shalvis

The most recent release from Jill Shalvis is a Blaze titled SHADOW HAWK. I imagine the first thing anyone will notice about this book is the gorgeous guy on the cover, but the story inside the cover is pleasingly beefy too!
This is my Romance Junkies review of SHADOW HAWK:
Take one strongly capable male and one fiercely independent but completely feminine female, add some bad guys, suspense and intrigue, and then top it all off with smoldering sensuality and you’ve got the makings of SHADOW HAWK, the latest Blaze offering from the talented Jill Shalvis.
When a mission to recover over 300 rifles stolen from ATF storage goes to pieces while agent Abby Wells listens from a mobile communication center, she can’t help but rush out into the action to see if she’s needed. Abby was formerly active in the field herself, until an earlier mission went wrong and left her emotionally scarred. Someone within the agency is assisting the criminals, and as soon as Conner Hawk grabs her and forces her to go on the run with him, Abby thinks that he is the rogue agent and she is determined to escape him. When Hawk tells her that he suspects their director is involved, Abby is disbelieving, as the man who has raised Hawk’s suspicions is the very man who rescued her several months before. Almost as quickly as Abby is convinced that Hawk’s suspicions are true, the two have an incredibly passionate encounter that leaves both of them a little confused, yet wanting much more.
Hawk realizes that he has deeply frightened Abby by kidnapping her and that he’s asking a lot in wanting her to believe him. He realizes that Abby’s life is also in danger and that the race is on to find the true bad guy while fighting to keep them both alive. Hawk has always been attracted to Abby, but never dreamed that the two of them would actually get together. Hawk now needs to get Abby to drop her defenses so she can open herself up and accept his feelings for her.
Jill Shalvis has penned a fast-moving romantic suspense with intriguing lead characters that readers will quickly become attached to. Secondary characters are equally important and a sensual side romance is an added bonus. SHADOW HAWK is a bit of a change from the humorous, quirky characters that Jill Shalvis often gives her readers. Abby and Hawk aren’t the light and fluffy characters you might associate with a Blaze. Each is dealing with serious issues; current dangers for Hawk and indescribable horrors in Abby’s past, give this book the bones of an excellent suspense.

I keep telling people that if you haven't read a Blaze in a while, you should definitely pick one up. Oh sure, there are still the occasional bits of fluff that are (in my opinion) a little ridiculous in their reasons for the characters getting together, but the majority are satisfying reads. I especially appreciate that they are typically quick reads and easy to squeeze in for a little break from "heavier" reading.
Jill has a fun blog that you should be sure to check out every day - my first stop online every morning is Jill's blog; it's always a fun way to start the day!
Here's the Amazon link for Shadow Hawk - - click it to go get your own copy!
Thanks for checking out my review, and thank you again, Jill, for requesting me to do this review!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Lori Foster/Dianne Castell Reader/Author Get Together '07

My photos are completely out of order and I'm not smart enough to change them, so bear with me, please - I'll get to them all, promise. This past weekend was the third annual Lori Foster/Dianne Castell Reader/Author Get Together; I think we have more fun each and every year. I seriously don't ever see myself going to any of the RT or RWA conventions, mainly because of the expense. It's hard for me to think of spending that much money on myself when I still have children who are still (mostly) in my care. Although I do have to admit to giving a visit to Pittsburgh in '08 a thought or two, just because it's close enough for me to drive. We'll see. I have two daughters graduating next summer too, one from high school and one from college, so it's a very big "we'll see."
This get together in Cincinnati is only two hours away for me, it's inexpensive, very casual, and always a great time. Friday night involved reacquainting yourself with everyone while final touches are put on setting things up. There was a pizza party, fun games with prizes, and a question/answer session with those authors from the Scamps & Vamps loop who were in attendance. Lots of laughs all around! Saturday morning we came down to breakfast and more casual time to talk and catch up, raffle drawings for 70 baskets, lunch with the 50+ authors in attendance revolving amongst the tables so readers could ask questions and authors could pass out their advertising goodies, and then a booksigning. Saturday night there were several forms of entertainment to choose from - movies, in-room board game parties, and a bunch of us went to Rodeo, a local country bar, for line dancing lessons which means there were even more laughs and fun. Some of us chose to sit on the sidelines and drink beer while we watched everyone else dance. Sunday morning brought different groups together for breakfast with favorite authors before everyone headed for the airports or the highway for home.
The event serves as a fundraiser, if you will, to benefit the YWCA Battered Women's Shelter and the AAF, which is a homeless animal shelter, as well as our ongoing troop project. I brought home a trunk full of boxes and bags of donations for the troops and will put up pics of the boxes of them once they are ready to be shipped. I haven't heard final numbers, but believe the shelter donation this year will be over $3,300, the animal shelter netted a few hundred dollars, I don't recall the exact amount, and I collected $225. for shopping and shipping for the troops!
The camera flashes were popping everywhere all weekend as people posed all over the place for pictures with friends, favorite authors and online reader and review groups.
I can't wait for next year! The women shown in the above pics are dear to me, each and every one. I only see most of them once a year, some less than that, some more, but they are all so very special.
This weekend meant another celebration for me - Tim and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary. Yes, I was in Cincinnati with friends, but he understood how much this trip means to me and we agreed to go to dinner together, alone, sometime soon. This picture of us was taken last month - please, I beg you, do not look at the picture any larger as it is not a good picture of Tim. He seriously looks like he's been out on a bender. He's (I think) a great-looking guy and this pic doesn't do him justice!
Thanks for stopping by! Anyone who has thought about coming to the get together next June, I beg you to do so - it's an excellent time!