Monday, April 19, 2010


Author Dee Davis has a new book, DARK DECEPTIONS, available this month - it's on the shelves now! This is the first in a new romantic suspense series from Ms. Davis, and everyone who knows how much I love romantic suspense can imagine how very excited I am! Dee Davis is a new author to me and I'm thrilled to have found her. I have reviewed DARK DECEPTIONS on behalf of Romance Junkies and hope that I'll be fortunate enough to snag the upcoming releases DANGEROUS DESIRE (July, 2010) and DESPERATE DEEDS (August, 2010) for review as well. Trust me, regardless of whether I get them for review or not, I'll be getting my hands on them! It wasn't until I was putting together this blog that I saw the extensive backlist on Ms. Davis's website - it left me wondering how in the world I've missed her all these years. Here's a little about DARK DECEPTIONS - I hope you'll check it out a little closer. Dee Davis is an author that I'll be keeping on my watch list!

Covert operations expert Nash Brennon has spent the last eight years trying to forget Annie Gallagher, his former field partner and the only woman he ever loved. Annie betrayed him when he needed her most, then vanished without a trace. Now suddenly she’s back in the game—this time as a suspected traitor and threat to national security.
Annie’s son has been kidnapped by political terrorists. The price for his life? Assassinate a UN ambassador. Then Nash finds her, and immediately, the smoldering passion between Annie and the man she swore she’d never contact again almost blazes out of control. But can Nash trust her? The stakes couldn’t be higher: their enemy’s endgame is personal, and one false move could cost them their lives.

Dee Davis has a great excerpt here for DARK DECEPTIONS - go have a look!

My review:
When Annie Gallagher turned her back on Nash Brennon eight years ago, he moved on with his life. When she turns back up and is in serious danger, he’s put in charge of keeping her safe. No problem for someone who doesn’t have feelings for her any longer. Too bad his heart hasn’t gotten the message.

A CIA affiliated A-Tac operative, Nash Brennon loved his partner, Annie Gallagher, eight years ago and has never forgotten a single detail about her. Especially how she betrayed him and nearly cost him his life before disappearing. When it’s discovered that a hit has been taken out on the life of a UN Ambassador, it isn’t long before A-Tac realizes that the former CIA sharpshooter Annie Gallagher is the suspected hit woman. It turns out that Annie’s young son, Adam, has been kidnapped and the requirement for his return is non-negotiable – she must assassinate the ambassador. The misunderstandings between Nash and Annie continue to grow as A-Tac works frantically to determine who the players are and free Annie’s son. Nash soon learns that things were not what they seemed eight years ago, just as they aren’t what they seem now. His future as well as his very life depends on what he chooses to do with the new information.
Annie always believed that Nash was the one who rejected her and had no idea that he felt the same about her. Her feelings for Nash begin to soften almost immediately and she soon feels familiar tugs on her heart after working with him again, but her primary focus is finding her son. When the ambassador is assassinated and Annie was nowhere near the scene, she realizes that she’s being set up. Unfortunately, Nash and A-Tac don’t see things the same and she is a hair’s breadth away from being charged in the murder. There are many truths to be shared between Annie and Nash, but before they can even begin to think about settling the past misunderstandings they’ll have to fight to stay alive.
Nash and Annie are excellently written characters, each believing they were wronged by the other. Back story is told efficiently and without dragging down their renewed relationship. Secondary characters are huge to this story and their relationship to Nash and Annie will serve well in the future books in this series. I often find juvenile characters unrealistic and their conversations sometimes tedious and irritating. That was definitely not the case with Adam. I found him believable and his actions and mannerisms were spot-on for a child his age – kudos to Ms. Davis for that. Misunderstandings between Nash and Annie as well as an A-Tac inside informant are a tad predictable, but the story is fast paced and well written, making both non-issues. Love scenes are credibly placed and don’t feel thrown in or forced; they definitely aren’t the major focus of the story. I am anxious for the upcoming books in this series and highly recommend DARK DECEPTIONS to all who enjoy suspense and intrigue successfully wrapped in romance.

Lastly, here's a link to Amazon so you can grab your own copy - might as well go ahead and preorder DANGEROUS DESIRE and DESPERATE DEEDS while you're there.
Thanks for checking it out! I hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Winners of SHE'S THE ONE by Kay Stockham!

The two (belated, sorry!) winners of copies of Kay Stockham's SHE'S THE ONE are Tami Bates and Joni! Please email me at with your mailing info so I can get your books in the mail. Thanks to everyone for your great comments for Kay!

Welcome, Patricia Sargeant!!

Please help me welcome Patricia Sargeant! Patricia will be popping in and out today to visit with us and answer your questions - so put your thinking caps on and let's have them! I've posed a few questions to Patricia to kick things off - here's our conversation:

I appreciate you taking time to guest here today, Patricia!
The pleasure is mine, Laurie. Thank you so much for inviting me to spend time with you and your community.
Can you share a little about yourself with the readers here?I'd love to. I was raised in Brooklyn, New York. My husband and I live in Columbus, Ohio, now. Although I enjoy living in Columbus, I'll always consider Brooklyn home. Brooklyn's in the house!!! :)
I have three siblings who are all voracious readers. We're very close. In addition to reading, I love watching movies, jogging and pasteries. And ice cream. And Diet Mountain Dew. That's it. For now.
You now have four books and two anthologies available to your readers, is there any one that is your favorite? Any characters that become close to your heart while creating their story?
Oh, those are fabulous questions. Truly, all of my titles are favorites for different reasons and in different ways. I connect with the themes I explore. That's what connects me to the stories and the characters while I'm writing and after the stories are released. I think the themes I've addressed are ones with which everyone can identify.
The theme for You Belong to Me is family; how do you define family? Is your family a close knit group of people related by blood or marriage? Or do you cast the net a little wider to include friends? Or do you cast it even wider than that? On Fire's theme is trust. I don't think you can have love without trust. Sweet Deception's theme is identity. Do you define yourself or do you allow other people to define you? And Heated Rivalry's theme is self-worth. Do you know your self-worth?
Regarding characters, I love them all, even the ones who need to be smacked, like Harold, Ronald's brother in Sweet Deception. And Traci, Steven's problematic ex-fiancee in Heated Rivalry. They're not really bad; they're just troubled.
Can you tell us about what you're working on now?
I'd love to. Thank you for asking. I'm working on a contemporary romance trilogy featuring a fictitious National Basketball Association team. The first book, Fast Break, is scheduled for release in 2011. The theme is winning. I think to be a winner, you have to be willing to risk losing. With this trilogy, I'll introduce my contemporary romance pseudonym, Regina Hart.
Your characters have had a multitude of professions. How much research goes into each book? Do you enjoy that part of putting a book together?
I do quite a bit of research for my books. As you noted, most of the research is on the characters' professions and the location in which I'm setting their story. I do enjoy it - to a point. Let's not get carried away. :) The research supports the world building. For characters to be three-dimensional, readers need to understand them personally and professionally. They also need to be able to "see" them in their environment.
Some people don't think research is important for fiction. I vehemently disagree. Fiction must be based in fact to encourage readers to spend time in your world. For example, in On Fire, Sharon decorated her apartment with used furniture. Newspaper reporters don't make a lot of money. Trust me. I was a newspaper reporter. It would not have been realistic to put her in a swanky condo.
Are there any particular professions that fascinate you or that you may be considering for future characters?
Laurie, can you read my mind? LOL! Last week, I was talking with a psychology professor about the sports psychology field. I'm considering creating a sports psychologist character for a future book.
You work outside the home, a very busy woman! How do you find the time to write such well-rounded stories? I think I would find myself jotting notes all day for ideas I didn't want to forget (thank heavens for Post-it notes!).
Oh, Laurie! You and I are of the same mind. I used to use Post-It Notes. I recently got this cool cell phone with a Memo application. It's fabulous.
Thank you very much for your kind words about my stories, Laurie. I really appreciate them. Frankly, while on deadline, I don't get much sleep. I often stay up late to try to make my daily page counts. But it truly is a labor of love. I love my characters. I love spending time with them. I love helping them to grow and gain the courage to face their problems. It's very gratifying.
I know some authors use storyboards or 3x5 cards, notebooks, etc. to keep track of the layering in their books, can you share your method of keeping all of those details straight?
I've tried the index card method. I found it very helpful. But I'm most comfortable with a basic scene-by-scene, chapter outline. When I sit down to write, I open my manuscript outline file and review the scene I'm working on that night. My description includes the scene's date, time, location, characters in the scene, and each character's goal, motivation and conflict.
Are family and friends supportive of your writing?
My family and friends are very supportive of my writing. Their support and encouragement was crucial to my first publishing contract and is crucial to my motivation. They believe in me, encourage me and cheer me on. I'm very fortunate.

Laurie, thank you again for inviting me to spend time with you and your friends. I've had a great time.
Happy reading everyone!

Patricia is graciously offering a copy of TAILS OF LOVE to one lucky reader here - thanks, Patricia! To be entered in the draw, simply leave a comment, or even better, a question for Patricia! Good luck!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Patricia Sargeant's HEATED RIVALRY - available now!

Patricia Sargeant has a new release, HEATED RIVALRY, and I predict that her readers are going to fall in love with characters Steven and Valerie! Patricia is going to be my guest here tomorrow and she is offering a prize to one lucky reader! We are celebrating this latest release and invite you to stop back tomorrow.

He knows how to win her surrender
She Wants What He's Got
Valerie Parker is desperate to win the affection of her emotionally distant father and land a promotion at his advertising firm. Her biggest obstacle is junior partner Steven Crennell, a dazzling former NBA star who scores all the big accounts. But Valerie's attempt to outshine her charismatic rival unexpectedly leads her straight into his arms.
And She's Everything He Needs
Steven hopes to dispel the playboy stereotype left in the wake of his NBA career. Between battling his ex-fiancée and focusing on his work, finding his soul mate isn't on the agenda...until he meets his match in Valerie. And when competition leads to explosive passion, he learns that the game of life-and love-involve a very different set of rules.

My review:
Valerie Parker has fought tooth and nail in her father's ad agency, doing everything necessary to advance herself and convince him to give her her own account team. It didn't look like that was going to happen anytime soon, seeing how he's insisting that she share a prospective, very lucrative account with junior partner Steven Crennell. Steven's capability is inarguable; he's charming and extremely attractive. Add the fact that he's a former NBA star and the man is downright irresistible to many, Valerie's father included. Being forced to work together has Valerie and Steven spending considerable time together and the attraction between them is undeniable and intensely heated. Despite Steven's tender affections, Valerie remains deeply hurt by her father's repeated, almost blatant, rejection.
Steven wishes things were different between Valerie and her father, but he sees Garrison Parker as a mentor and doesn't want to interfere in their personal matters. His budding relationship with Valerie has him over the moon, but he's quickly brought down to Earth when Valerie makes a drastic, unexpected decision that has serious ramifications for both of them, professionally and personally.
Readers will quickly fall for Valerie and Steven. Steven is a former NBA star who suffered a career-ending injury. He is an incredibly likable hero, and despite the typical playboy reputation of sports stars, he has maintained a level head and has consistently given back to the community. Valerie continues to mourn the loss of her mother years ago because it seems that she lost her father at the same time. Despite working together, there is an invisible wall between them and Valerie's heartache at times seems almost tangible; her frustration and pain are excellently written. I highly recommend HEATED RIVALRY to all romance readers. I feel certain that you'll find it as emotionally satisfying as I did.

Here's a link to Amazon so you can grab a copy for yourself!
Remember to check back on Monday to visit with Patricia and for a chance to win a copy of TAILS OF LOVE, a multi-author anthology!
Have a great week!

Coming soon - Patricia Sargeant!

Sometime this evening I'll be posting a review and some chatter for HEATED RIVALRY, the latest from author Patricia Sargeant. Patricia is sweet as sugar and her writing is never disappointing. Her characters are always credible and realistic, so satisfying! Patricia will be my guest here tomorrow and will be answering some questions and offering a prize to one lucky reader. Exciting!!
I had planned to get my review posted yesterday, but the weather in Ohio has been absolutely beautiful this weekend and we've been running around to several garden stores and doing outside work. It's so hard to stay indoors when it's so gorgeous!
I hope you're all having a great weekend - don't forget to stop back!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Sasha White's ONE WEEKEND, One word - WOW!

Okay, ladies, Linny drew names for me and the winners are: AC and CrystalGB! Congratulations! Please contact me at w/your emails so I can send your ONE WEEKEND downloads. If you prefer GYPSY HEART, I'll pass your info on to Sasha and she will send it directly to you. Thanks to everyone for playing and special thanks to Sasha for giving me an early look at ONE WEEKEND! If you didn't win a copy, please go grab your own copy - you won't find a bigger bargain for your reading dollar - or in this case, your $2.50!

Sasha White has a new release available today - it's short and not-so-sweet, and goes way beyond sizzling. To help Sasha celebrate, I'm going to give away two downloads here. Sasha writes with a sexy, edgy finesse that few authors can duplicate without coming off as just plain raunchy. She's also one of the sweetest women ever and although we're separated by a border and a few thousand miles, I consider her a good friend.

More about ONE WEEKEND:
Three lovers. Two days. One bed…
Angie Wilson is a lucky girl. She loves her job, her life, and her man, Rick Craig. What red-blooded woman wouldn’t revel in the attentions of a good-looking, athletic boyfriend who’s secure enough to encourage her most adventurous appetites?
One of the worst heat waves in memory has hit town, and by Friday Angie is ready to really let loose. Craig and his best friend, Mark, are chilling on the patio with cold beer when she gets home from work, and the three get comfortable. As the night moves on and the talk turns to sex, Angie longs for more than just cool air on her bare skin.
And the heat’s making her just crazy enough to go for it.

Sasha has an excerpt on her site and don't say you weren't warned - it packs some serious heat and while there is romance, this book leaves nothing to the imagination and isn't going to be what everyone is looking for. Angie is a very adventuresome gal, but no more so than her boyfriend Rick and his best friend, Mark. 'Nuf said.
Want to order a copy? You can snag it for a mere $2.50 at Samhain - for the time being at least, use the code "shinynew" and you'll get an extra 20% off.

I'll draw two names from the comments here on Thursday, April 8. The winners will each get one of the pdf downloads of ONE WEEKEND that I've purchased. Leave a comment about any of Sasha's books that you've read or want to read and you'll be entered. As usual, if you send a friend who mentions your name in their comment, I'll put your name in an extra time for each friend. The more friends you send over, the better your chances! Hurry - and good luck!
Note: If you can't wait to read ONE WEEKEND, please go ahead and get it - if your name is drawn, Sasha is generously offering a download of GYPSY HEART in its place!

SHE'S THE ONE - the latest from Kay Stockham!

Kay Stockham has a new release, SHE'S THE ONE, and typical of Kay's work, it's a real heartgrabber! I have two copies of SHE'S THE ONE for giveaway, one is autographed by Kay and one is not.

Undercover travel writer Alexandra Tulane wonders if maybe she's in way over her head. A men's hunting and fishing retreat in the wilds of Alaska? Not exactly her stylish scene. Fortunately, there's plenty of breathtaking scenery...including good-looking bush pilot Dylan Bower.
Despite the magnetic attraction between them, however, Alexandra is everything Dylan is not--she's a rover, always looking for the next adventure. For Dylan, the scars of the past run deep. He's hidden himself and his silent son in an isolated haven for their protection. Yet Alexandra engages both of them and soon they're under her spell. This--she--feels so good Dylan doesn't want it to end. So how can he convince her to stay?

Click here for a Chapter 1 excerpt, keeping in mind that the book may start out lighthearted and fun, but the emotion gets so much deeper and harder hitting as the story goes. Few authors can write heartfelt emotion the way Kay can. I truly think she has been given a gift.
My review:
Alexandra Tulane has proven herself to be a successful travel writer/photographer. Being sent to Alaska to check out the Deadwood Mountain Lodge places her in the middle of the most breathtaking scenery she's ever seen. A far cry from the resorts and spas she typically reviews, there's an undeniable charm to the rustic lodge as well as the owner and his guests. The owner's son, Dylan Bower, is living at the lodge with his young son Colt, to help out after his father's recent heart attack. Dylan is content to be in the Alaskan wilderness as it's remote enough to protect him and his troubled son from the media. Dylan's wife and her secret lover were killed in a house fire that left Colt severely traumatized and Dylan charged with their deaths. Although he was eventually cleared, the damage was done and his life was changed forever. He questioned whether his son would ever be the happy little boy he was before the fire.

Alex knows about the fire and Dylan being cleared in the incident but she doesn't know the full impact upon his life or why he has chosen a life of seclusion. At the same time, Dylan thinks Alex has come to the lodge to take photos, having no clue that she is an undercover travel writer and that her article could very well bring even more visitors to the lodge, disrupting the quiet life he has established for his son. Just when the two realize that yes, it is possible to fall in love afer just a few weeks, Alex decides that she's not cut out for a life as isolated as the one Dylan desires. Dylan could never have imagined the impact one small woman could make on their lives and seeing Colt respond to her was pure magic. Letting her leave had an even greater impact and it isn't long before Dylan decides that when it comes to Alex he's not too proud to put the past behind him and if need be, he's definitely not too proud to beg.

I've said it many times before, but Kay Stockham's characters are people we all know in our everyday lives. They may be friends, relatives or neighbors, but there's a little bit of someone we know in every one of them. Romance readers should never pass on an opportunity to read a book written by Kay - your heart will be in a much better place after you finish each and every one, I promise!

Here's a link to Amazon so you can order your own copy! Trust me, you want this book!

Now for the contest! Check out Kay's website and tell me something about it, about the excerpt, her previous works, covers, etc. - leave a comment about any (or all!) of those things and you'll be entered. If you send a friend over who mentions your name in their comment, I'll toss your name in the hat an extra time for each friend. Remember, there are two books, so your chances of winning are already doubled, so be sure to tell your friends! I'll draw the two winning names on Sunday, April 11th, so be sure to check back. Something else to remember, I don't track down winners so it's up to you to stop back!
Thanks so much to Kay for sending me a copy of SHE'S THE ONE, my apologies for the lateness in getting a review posted.