Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Lisa Jackson first introduced Olivia Bechet and New Orleans detective Rick Bentz in the chilling COLD BLOODED. They're back in a new book, MALICE, that has Rick questioning his sanity after seeing his first wife, more specifically his "late" first wife, Jennifer, while recovering from a serious accident. Mystery, suspense and spine-tingling goodness are always guaranteed from the incredibly talented Lisa Jackson, who has an impressive string of bestsellers. MALICE releases tomorrow, March 31 - check this out:
#1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson delivers a gripping, edge-of-your-seat tale of deception and betrayal as New Orleans detective Rick Bentz is forced to confront the ghosts of his past—and a killer’s twisted vengeance…
The scent is unmistakable—gardenias, sweet and delicate, the same perfume that his beautiful first wife, Jennifer, always wore. Opening his eyes in the hospital room where he’s recovering from an accident, New Orleans detective Rick Bentz sees her standing in the doorway. Then Jennifer blows him a kiss and disappears. But it couldn’t have been Jennifer. She died twelve years ago…
Once out of the hospital, Bentz begins to see Jennifer everywhere, haunting and taunting him, then vanishing without a trace. Could she still be alive? But it was Bentz who identified Jennifer’s body after her horrible car wreck, and there had been no question in his mind that it was her crumpled form behind the wheel, her clothes, her wedding ring. He’s never doubted it—until now. He can’t tell his new wife, Olivia, about the sightings or his secret fear that he’s losing his mind, even though he knows she suspects something is wrong. But Olivia is also hiding a secret…
When a copy of Jennifer’s death certificate arrives in the mail, emblazoned with a red question mark, Bentz follows the postmark trail to Los Angeles, returning to the painful memories he’s tried so hard to forget, and straight into a killer’s web. Reconnecting with his former LAPD colleagues, Bentz begins to piece together Jennifer’s last days, but each new discovery only serves as a chilling reminder of how little he really knew about his first wife. Then the murders begin, each victim a part of Jennifer’s past, each grisly corpse pointing to Bentz as the prime suspect.
Someone’s been waiting patiently, silently. Someone who knows exactly what happened that night twelve years ago and has been anticipating Bentz’s every move. Soon it will be Bentz’s turn to suffer for his sins. But he won’t be the only one made to pay the ultimate price. For a diabolical killer has now made Olivia the prime target...
I was able to get an early copy of MALICE, but I'm going to be stingy and keep it because I loved seeing Rick and Olivia get together in COLD BLOODED - at least until I have the opportunity to read it - sorry. But you can win a copy of MALICE (and more) at Access Romance, so stop by and check it out. Lisa has a Borders coupon on her website for 30% off, so make that your first stop being hitting the bookstore, and you can follow that up with a $5. rebate, details also on Lisa's website. When I was at Waldenbooks this past Friday, they had an impressive display of all of Lisa Jackson's books, in anticipation of the release of MALICE.
And if you're not able to get to the bookstore, click here to go to Amazon to get your copy!
Check back in the next couple of days for a review of Alison Kent's NO LIMITS!
As always, thanks for stopping!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I went to random number generator as I typically do if there's no one around to draw a name for me. Seeing how it's 1:40 a.m., everyone here besides me is sleeping, there's not a soul available. The number I drew was 13, which makes Stacy~ the winner - congrats, Stacy!
Thanks to everyone who participated - and thanks to HelenKay for the arc of IT'S HOTTER IN HAWAII!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
HelenKay Dimon has a new book coming out and I was extremely fortunate to get an early copy from her for review. (Thank you, HelenKay!) I've never been disappointed by HelenKay's books and I feel certain that most of you probably feel the same. Here's a little chatter and my review for IT'S HOTTER IN HAWAII and in addition, covers and blurbs for upcoming books.
Cassie Montgomery was in no mood for messing around—until she got an eyeful of the sizzling-hot miscreant breaking into her half-brother Dan’s Hawaii home. Turns out he’s not a criminal, but a friend who’s just as suspicious of Dan’s “accidental” death as she is. Cassie’s beyond tired of bashing heads with thick-skulled local law enforcement, so there’s only one thing for it: team up with Caleb Wilson, and try to keep her secrets—and hands—to herself...
Having a gun trained on him is nothing new for Cal. But when said gun is brandished by a goddess sporting short-shorts, a bad attitude, and a hidden agenda? A man should consider his choices very carefully. Option one: Seduce first, ask questions later. Option two: Find out why she’s in his Air Force buddy’s torn-up house, then seduce her. Option three: Let the islands do their work and let the woman behind the weapon seduce him...
MY REVIEW: When Cassie Montgomery’s big brother dies while piloting, and subsequently crashing, a helicopter used in his Hawaiian island-hopping business, she feels certain that his death was not accidental. Finding Dan’s rural Kauai home ransacked when she arrives to clean it out, she begins to search for clues and it isn’t long before she’s interrupted by an intruder trying to sneak in the window. Cal Wilson isn’t truly an intruder, but his work is cut out for him to get Cassie to trust him and allow him to join her investigation. Sparks fly when the two are together and soon their desire for each other is as strong as that to solve the mystery behind Dan’s death.
Caleb “Cal” Wilson was summoned by Dan shortly before his death and he’s incredulous to learn of Dan’s crash. He hadn’t seen Dan for some time and despite the unsettled issues and hard feelings between them, Cal couldn’t refuse Dan’s request for help. Cal can’t resist his attraction to Cassie, just as he can’t help his frustration over her hard-headed, albeit admirable, determination to find the truth behind her brother’s death. Soon the two have joined forces in searching for answers, in butting heads with local police and the DEA, and there’s an attraction that immediately encompasses them both. As the investigation deepens and more truths about Dan are uncovered, Cal knows it’s simply a matter of time before Cassie learns that he and Dan had been estranged and just what his role was in the termination of Dan’s military career.
HelenKay Dimon is consistently creative and always entertains readers with quick-witted characters, settings that come to life in readers’ minds, and vivid sensuality. Cassie’s pain at the loss of her brother seems almost tangible at times, and despite their frequent banter and heated passions, she and Cal never lose sight of the real reason they’ve been brought together. While this book is promoted as contemporary romance, it has a fair amount of suspense and could also, in my opinion, be categorized as a romantic suspense. Secondary characters play an intricate role in the story and two will have their stories told in upcoming books from Ms. Dimon. I give IT’S HOTTER IN HAWAII the highest recommendation to all romance readers.
If you can't get to the bookstore on release day, I suggest that you pop on over to Amazon and toss a copy in your cart.
Take a look at what's coming in October '09: KISSING SANTA CLAUS with Donna Kauffman and Jill Shalvis!
Hawaii’s no paradise for Marissa, who, thanks to a series of unfortunate events, can’t seem to get away from the sand to enjoy her Christmas East Coast style—with plenty of snow and slush. But tall, dark, and serious police officer Ted’s about to give this bad Santa in heels a Mele Kalikimaka she’ll never forget…
Ted plays a key role in IT'S HOTTER IN HAWAII and I think readers are going to be very excited to read his story. I am so pleased that HelenKay is keeping us in Hawaii a while longer!
Also coming in October '09: HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO - what a gorgeous cover, huh? Very sensual, but tastefully so - I think it's especially nice! And having gotten to know Josh a bit in IT'S HOTTER IN HAWAII, I can't wait to see what HelenKay has in mind for him! He definitely deserves a determined woman who will keep him on his toes!
Deana Armstrong needs a hero—not for herself, but for the nephew all her money and time can’t seem to get out of jail. Unfortunately, the best hero in all the Hawaiian Islands is set on turning in his badge and getting his excellent butt into another line of work. If that wasn’t enough, Josh Windsor also has a big-time grudge against Deana herself. But if there’s anything being rich, smart, and stubborn has taught Deana, it’s never to settle for second best…
Josh has had it with saving people. He’s had it with getting hauled into court. And boy, has he ever had it with Deana. Or well, he hasn’t had it. Yet. But the more she pops up sounding infuriating and looking good enough to eat, the more her hot bod and her cold case wriggle into his mind. And there’s only so much even a hero can resist…
How's that for something to look forward to? I hope you'll all check out HelenKay's newly remodeled website and her books. Be sure to let her know what you think, ok? HelenKay truly appreciates her readers and I don't know any author who doesn't enjoy hearing when someone enjoys their work.
And now, even more exciting news! I have an autographed arc of IT'S HOTTER IN HAWAII for giveaway! Thanks to HelenKay, one lucky reader will win a copy just for leaving a comment. Feel free to chat about the usual romance reader stuff - fave HelenKay book, fave HelenKay hero, HelenKay's new website - it's all about HelenKay!! I'll draw the winning name this Friday, 3/27 - good luck, everyone!
Monday, March 23, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
CHICKEN, CORN, TOMATO, AND HERBED GOAT CHEESE
Makes: 6 servings
Prep: 40 minutes
Start to Finish: 1-1/4 hours
1/2 cup (4 oz.) goat cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
6 small chicken breast halves with skin (2 lbs.), bone removed
8 ears fresh corn, kernels cut from cob
2 cups (10 oz.) grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Stir goat cheese, tarragon, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 tablespoon oil, and the zest together in a small bowl; salt and pepper to taste.
2. Rinse and pat chicken dry. Starting at one end of chicken, gently work your fingers between skin and meat, without tearing, to form a pocket under skin. Spread one-sixth of cheese mixture under skin of each breast. Press top of skin to distribute cheese mixture evenly.
3. Toss together corn, tomatoes, remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, and 1 tablespoon oil; salt and pepper to taste.
4. Tear six 15- by 15-inch pieces of parchment paper and spoon about 1 cup corn mixture onto top half of each. Top each with a chicken breast, skin side up. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the juice. Fold bottom half of paper over to meet top edge. Roll and fold the two edges together toward you to seal, then repeat with sides. Using kitchen string, tie entire packet together like a gift.
5. Place packets in a shallow baking pan, with chicken skin side down, and roast in middle of oven, 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Transfer packets to serving plates and allow guests to untie, being careful to avoid hot steam. Makes 6 servings.
Servings Per Recipe 6 servings Calories 450, Total Fat (g) 25, Saturated Fat (g) 8, Cholesterol (mg) 93, Sodium (mg) 198, Carbohydrate (g) 27, Fiber (g) 4, Protein (g) 34, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! I hope you have a grand day! If you're going to celebrate a wee bit or a lot, please don't drink and drive!
Any Irish blood out there? My mother's ancestors are from the Bailey clan of County Wicklow, so we've a fair amount!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
My (4 blue ribbon) Romance Junkies review:
When the boat carrying Chloe Nelson and other USO performers explodes, it’s just the beginning of the sparks that ignite between her and Airman Jimmy Gage in Catherine Mann’s DEFENDER.
Kidney transplant survivor Chloe Nelson owes her life to the soldier whose death, and subsequent organ donation, saved her. She takes time off from her position as an orchestra director in Atlanta to perform as a back-up singer to a popular pop star in a USO tour. When the boat the USO troupe is traveling in explodes, airmen risk their lives in shark-infested waters to come to their rescue. Jimmy and his team are in the area searching for one of their own that is being held captive and they begrudge the time they’re spending to rescue and subsequently guard the entertainers while their buddy is missing; Jimmy knows first-hand how important it is that they find him right away. Despite her skimpy attire at the time of their rescue, Chloe is not just a pretty face. She is a successful conductor and accomplished musician, independent and self-sufficient; fully capable of taking care of herself. When the danger surrounding her and the attraction between her and Jimmy begin to escalate, Chloe is understandably confused.
Jimmy Gage is focused and determined, and extremely displeased when his team is temporarily delayed because of some fluffy USO entertainers. Sure, he feels the same sparks as Chloe when they’re close, but he doesn’t have time in his life or a place in his heart for more than a quick, meaningless diversion. When it appears that there could be a connection between the repeated attacks on the USO troupe and the disappearance of Jimmy’s friend, he’s more anxious than ever to have Chloe tucked safely away and out of danger.
Chloe and Jimmy are simply wonderful together. Both are cautious, intelligent and in complete control of their lives. Catherine Mann takes readers smack dab into the middle of military operations; it’s immediately clear that her knowledge is first-hand. The amount of military jargon is just right – easy to understand and follow without leaving readers overwhelmed or confused. There are multiple storylines in DEFENDER, all intensely intriguing and intertwined without taking readers on a wild goose chase. I highly recommend DEFENDER to readers of contemporary romance, military romance, and romantic suspense.
Thanks for checking it out! I hope you all enjoy the rest of the weekend!
Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
Kay Stockham has a new book - yay!! You all know how much I love hot, steamy romance, but I also enjoy stories that are fresh and sweet, where passions and lovemaking might be a little more subdued, but the most important element - the romance – is front and center. HER BEST FRIEND’S BROTHER is the next installment in Kay Stockham’s “Tulane’s of Tennessee” series and I truly feel that it is her most emotionally charged to date. Kay was kind enough to send me an early copy and (with her consent) I’ve decided to offer it up as a giveaway here.
How could this have happened?
They had one night. That’s all Shelby Brookes would allow herself to indulge in with Luke Tulane. Yes, he’s gorgeous and yes, he’s the greatest guy she knows, but he’s her best friend’s brother for crying out loud! And she’s pretty sure there are rules against sleeping with friends’ brothers.
Then Shelby discovers she’s pregnant. And Luke’s determined to do the right thing—down to the bended knee proposal and the meeting at the altar. As tempting as his offer is, Shelby’s convinced she’s not the marrying kind. She’s bound to hurt him and that’s definitely against the rules of friendship. Still, she doesn’t count on how persuasive Luke can be when he really wants something…her.
And check this out - HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER is yet another Romantic Times TOP PICK for Kay! Congratulations, Kay!
"In Stockham's heartwarming and delightful tale of love, Shelby and Luke overcome their personal tragedy. The author does an excellent job detailing her characters' emotional growth." -4.5 Stars! ROMANTIC TIMES
Be sure to go to Kay's website for video trailer and excerpt!
Shelby Brookes and Luke Tulane have known each other since they were children. Luke’s sister, Alex, is Shelby’s long-time best friend. While there may have been an attraction between Shelby and Luke when they were teens and young adults, they never gave in to it until after Luke’s brother’s wedding. Maybe it was the romantic atmosphere of the wedding and the reception after, but the passion that flared between them was undeniable and irresistible.
Since their night together, Shelby has avoided Luke and ignored his calls, not terribly difficult when he lives and works in California. When Luke returns to Tennessee for his twin brother's wedding, Shelby can't avoid him. It soon becomes obvious that Shelby is pregnant from their earlier night together and Luke insists that they get married. A child of divorce, Shelby doesn't have much faith in lasting, successful marriages, but she wasn't prepared for Luke's dogged determination and perseverance and they marry.
When Luke returns to California and their marriage is long distance, Luke's positive thinking and the loving support of their families might not be enough to keep them together.
Kay Stockham writes some of the most touching, heartfelt romance I've ever read. Shelby, Luke and their families and friends are incredibly realistic and could easily be your own relatives or neighbors. I strongly recommend this book to contemporary romance lovers who enjoy sweetly sensual, emotionally gripping stories.
I'm doing a giveaway for an autographed copy of HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER. If you're interested - and who wouldn't be, right? - just leave a comment about one of Kay's previous releases. Title, characters, locale, whatever you wish. Look around while you're at Kay's site, there's bunches of good stuff there! I'll pull a winning name from the comments on Friday, March 13th. Fair warning: this is my review copy so it has been read and there is an ever so slight spine crease.
Don't forget the LuAnn McLane giveaway - I'll be drawing the winner of a copy of REDNECK CINDERELLA Tuesday evening.
If you'd like to order your own copy of HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER right now, buzz on over to Amazon and throw a copy in your cart!
Thanks for checking it out!
Saturday, March 07, 2009
I've read most of the books by Jami Alden and wanted to chat about her most recent releases, CAUGHT and KEPT because they are great examples of romantic suspense - and you all know how I love my romantic suspense!
After coming up empty handed at the mall bookstore, I ordered CAUGHT and KEPT from Amazon and was thrilled when they arrived this past week. I read CAUGHT in two days and fell head over heels in love with Ethan and his brothers. Knowing I had review books to read, I was determined to keep KEPT on the nightstand for a couple of weeks. That thought lasted about two hours and I started reading last night, finishing it late this afternoon. These books kick ass. I don't have time to do full-blown reviews but have to say that the characters and their stories are absolutely wonderful and I'm sure that you'll fall in love with them as quickly as I did. This series follows the Gemini Men, three private investigator brothers who are, needless to say, gorgeous and larger than life, doing anything and everything necessary to serve their clients, hell-bent on protecting and keeping their women completely satisfied.
Got an investigation situation? Call the Gemini Men: Ethan and Derek Taggart. Yeah, they’re twins. Double the trouble and twice as sexy—women can’t get enough of them or their older brother Danny, who keeps ‘em in line when things get wild…
Ethan and Derek Taggart: they're the men of Gemini, and when it comes to sheet-scorching undercover work, nobody does it better. The only one they answer to is big brother Danny—that is, until the right women come along to grab the reins and crack the whip as hard as the Taggart men like it...
CAUGHT is the story of Ethan Taggart who meets his match when teamed with Toni Crawford, private investigator/computer whiz.
Here's a blurb:
Ex-military. Tall. Chiseled. Intelligent and arrogant. And so hot he’s on fire. That’s Ethan Taggart. Male to the max. Toni Crawford, computer genius turned PI, can’t stop looking at him and Ethan’s returning the favor. Nice and slow. Those piercing blue eyes of his are about to melt her down but…nothing doing. Toni has to stay cool. Focus on the assignment: the teenage daughter of a multimillionaire just vanished in plain sight. Chasing down leads, investigating every freaky angle, pushing past the boundaries of a hellish underworld of sex and drugs, Ethan and Toni are forced to work closely to stalk an unseen enemy with a taste for cruel games. Risking their lives to save the missing girl is only half the battle. Their blazingly sensual attraction grows every second, until there’s no turning back. Their passion is about to explode…and Ethan and Toni soon find that danger breeds the hottest desire of all…
KEPT is Ethan's twin brother's book and when Derek Taggart becomes the personal bodyguard for Alyssa Miles, a trust funded young woman whose outrageous antics have made her the media's favorite celebrity, sparks are guaranteed to fly. Personally, I think this one would have been just as good with a little less sex, but it doesn't affect the quality of the story, so it's not a serious complaint.
Here's the blurb for KEPT:
Security is Derek Taggart's game, and he plays it straight—no margin for error, no time to fool around...except with one hot little number who changes everything. He takes her home when she needs a ride—one she'll never forget. The problem is Derek can't forget her, a total about-face for a guy who keeps his enemies closer than his lovers. Then he finds out the sexy dynamo is Alyssa Miles, notorious party girl and darling of the gossip rags. It’s time to walk away and never look back, which would be a hell of a lot easier if his agency didn't desperately need the high-profile gig her family's offering: a minor detail that consists mainly of Derek watching Alyssa 24/7. Keeping an eagle eye on every inch of Alyssa's nubile body isn't exactly a hardship—the problem is keeping his hands off and his brain on when things go dangerously wrong...
Danny is the third and oldest brother, and while I can't find anything on Ms. Alden's website or Amazon about his book, there is a book cover shown on the inside flap of KEPT for a book entitled UNLEASHED and I can't help but think this might be his story. I don't know when it will be released but I can say this - it won't be soon enough! I can't wait for it and I'm hoping it will show up on the Romance Junkies review list so I can get my name in the draw for an early copy!
I hope you're all having a great weekend. We're experiencing above normal temps here in Ohio so we're trying to spend as much time as possible outdoors! Don't forget the giveaway for LuAnn McLane's latest - it runs for a couple of more days.
Friday, March 06, 2009
About the book:
Raised by her widowed father, Jolie Russell could keep up with any man—that is, until wealthy and sexy land developer Cody Dean struts into her life.
Cody buys the Russell farm with an impossible-to-refuse multimillion-dollar offer, then relocates Jolie and her dad to the Copper Creek Estates. But the country club atmosphere isn’t ready for Jolie’s kind of country. As her two worlds collide, Jolie wonders how she can ever hope to capture Cody’s heart without giving up her grits.
My (4 blue ribbons) review:
LuAnn McLane offers readers the fun, lighthearted story of a farm girl and admitted redneck, Jolie Russell, who goes from being dirt poor to incredibly rich. Just like Cinderella – every girl’s dream, right? Unfortunately, Jolie is more than a little lost trying to fit in with the snobby neighbors in her fancy new neighborhood. It could be that in trying to find her way around in her new life she’ll find much, much more in the arms of Cody Dean.
Jolie Russell and her father live on a piece of farm land that has become very attractive to local developers. When they’re made an obscenely lucrative offer for their land, they jump at the opportunity for an easier life and move to a ritzy, exclusive new neighborhood where hard, physical work and old pick up trucks are frowned upon. While Jolie wants to be a well-liked, pleasant neighbor, she’s often left floundering by neighbors who’ve repeatedly turned their noses up at her and her father. Before long, her confusion is multiplied as she’s pursued by the very successful, very gorgeous, and much desired Cody Dean. Jolie doesn’t want to lose sight of who she really is, but realizes that she and her father need some polish if they’re ever going to fit in. She eventually hires a local single teacher to coach her and her father in the ways of proper etiquette. It turns out that Jolie’s father can offer the teacher some lessons in the simple life and before long the social graces that she’s so well-versed in don’t seem nearly as important.
High dollar developer Cody Dean finds Jolie fascinating, beautiful and amusing, but he doesn’t immediately understand the appeal of the unassuming simplicity of her life before or how she could possibly miss it. He knows that others in his social circle think she and her father are unsophisticated, but the more he’s around her the less he cares about what others think and he wants the kind and caring Jolie for himself, just as she is.
REDNECK CINDERELLA is written first person, a style that LuAnn McLane has proven herself very competent in. Jolie and her father are definitely simple southern folks, but they’re adorable and don’t come off as being simpletons. Cody Dean and his family are the upper crust of society, but Cody’s opinion of what’s important and what’s good and what isn’t is quickly altered after spending time with the infectious Jolie and her father. REDNECK CINDERELLA is a comfortable, easy read. It’s a lighthearted look at a young woman who finds herself outside her comfort zone, looking in at the strange new world she’s now a part of. Secondary romances and a charming basset hound round out an entirely likable cast of characters. I give LuAnn McLane’s REDNECK CINDERELLA a high recommendation to all readers who enjoy romantic comedy.
I'm going to do a giveaway for my copy of REDNECK CINDERELLA - simply leave a comment and you'll be entered. If you want to chat about LuAnn's work, that's even better! I'll draw a winning name on Tuesday, March 10. Just so there are no misunderstandings, this is not an autographed copy and it is not an arc, it's my review copy and has one barely discernible spine crease. So, while it isn't pristine, it still comes with an enjoyment guarantee!
Can't wait? Then pop on over to Amazon and throw a copy in your cart right now!
REDNECK CINDERELLA is especially fun and I hope you'll all grab a copy!
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Stay tuned for a new giveaway, I'll be announcing it tomorrow.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
I hope everyone's week is off to a great start!
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Anyone who Twitters and can give me some pointers, feel free to jump right in, ok?
How's your weekend going? I hope everyone has had a great weekend! I wanted to pass on a great deal I came across today. I was at Walmart today and decided to pick up my giveaway copies of Alison Kent's A LONG, HARD RIDE - they had all Blazes marked 3 for $10. What a bargain! I also picked up Elle Kennedy's BODY CHECK - I'm not familiar with her work, but this book has a hockey theme and being a huge hockey fan, I couldn't resist! I don't know if all Walmarts are offering this price, but can't imagine that it's exclusive for this one central Ohio store.
Give us a shout if your area Walmart has this same offer, ok? I'm just curious - also wondering if this price is limited to this month's releases or whether it will continue.