The Best Part of Writing a Book by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Good morning, Book Beacon readers! Thank you so much for having me today, Kris, to share my debut novel, Dear Carolina! I’m sure every author says this, but having this book out in the world is such a dream come true for me, and I can’t believe it’s actually happening!

kristy harveyWhen Kris asked me to write this guest post, I was so excited because we had became fast friends, (I think it’s because we have the same name!) and I adore her blog and think it’s one of the best. But I had already written quite a few guest posts about how I got the idea for Dear Carolina, the setting, the tone, strong female characters, book clubs, motherhood, female friendship, where I write, my favorite books… On and on and on. You get the idea. I really, truly thought I was out of book-related topics. So I sat down at my computer, hoping to feel inspired.

I started thinking about how Kris and I had been internet-introduced through a mutual author friend and how nice it was of her to reach out to me, a debut author, and offer to help me and read my book. And that’s when I realized that I haven’t written a single time about the most important thing of all in this book journey: the people I have met!

When you’re starting out as an author it can feel sort of lonely. You have this little book that you’re so proud of and want to share it with the world but even knowing where to begin can feel a little scary. But I started to realize very quickly that it doesn’t have to feel scary because readers and book bloggers are the kindest, most generous humans on earth. I’m convinced of that!

DearCarolinaCoverHighResTotal strangers have emailed me to tell me that they asked their local bookstore to carry Dear Carolina. And total stranger bloggers, like Kris, have reached out and allowed me to share with their readers. Book clubs in far away states have asked me to Skype with them, and fundraising groups have asked me to speak. And I have said, “yes, yes, yes!” to every one of them because what could be better than having all these lovely people share your book?

If there’s anything that can compete with new friends shouting about your book from the rooftops, it has to be new readers sharing their reactions to your story. I hoped people would like Dear Carolina. I thought they would be entertained by it. I crossed my fingers that all of you would feel like my book had been a good use of your four or five hours. But I never expected for people to connect with it in the way that they have.

I was utterly floored when someone emailed me to tell me that my book had given her the strength to tell her children a secret about her past, or when another told me that she felt like she was Khaki, one of my protagonists – and that Dear Carolina had helped her make a difficult career decision. Or, maybe best of all when, after a talk I gave, a grandfather in the audience came to me and told me that he had been grappling with the fact that his grandchildren weren’t his blood relatives. He told me that he realized, through this book, that that didn’t matter.

No award, no prize, no amount of money in the whole wide world could ever top the feeling of knowing that a reader connected with what you wrote in a deep way, that something that you said made a difference. And, as I said, I never expected that.

As I’m learning through this experience, through people like Kris who have embraced my debut novel and me, the unexpected things in life are always, always the best. It just goes to show that, as Khaki’s Daddy would say, “When life gives you an opportunity, you have to keep saying yes. That’s how you find out all the best things in life.” Or, as I am learning every day, the best people.

A note from Kris at The Book Beacon:

Thank you Kristy for sharing those thoughts with our readers!  As a blogger, I can attest to the incredible people that inhabit the literary realm of authors and readers.  Kindred spirits make fast friends, and readers enjoy sharing favorite writers and titles with fellow bookworms.  Some of my favorite people were brought into my life during author events and #fangirl moments.

Kristy’s debut novel, Dear Carolina, will be available for purchase tomorrow, May 5.  We will have a special post and review to celebrate the release of her novel!  Until then, here is more about Kristy Woodson Harvey:

author

Kristy-Picture-1-cropI’m Kristy, wife to the boy whose eye caught mine across the restaurant nearly a decade ago. I pronounced him my husband and haven’t looked back since – or doubted my intuition ever again! We have the most incredible two-year-old boy that is pure joy. (And, yeah, the occasional tantrum.)

I’m a Southerner through and through, a North Carolina girl who loves all four seasons – especially fall in Chapel Hill, where I went to college (Go Tarheels!) and summer in Beaufort, where we spend every free moment. (I’m sitting at my desk in Beaufort in this picture!)

I blog at Design Chic about how creating a beautiful home can be a catalyst for creating a beautiful life. And I’m blogging right here about absolutely everything else!

My first women’s fiction novel is forthcoming from Berkley (Penguin Random House) in Spring 2015. My dream of being a published author is finally coming true and I. Can’t. Believe. It. What’s your dream? (You know, that one you’re afraid to say out loud?) I just know it’s about to come true!

Series Spotlight: The Immortal Vikings by Anna Richland

Before I get into her books, I want to congratulate author Anne Richland for her recent nomination for a Rita Award from Romance Writers of America! She is being recognized for His Road Home, a stand alone contemporary romance that ties into her Immortal Vikings series.  Another reason you should read it: a portion of the author’s royalties from this book will be donated to two charities, the Fisher House Foundation and Doctors Without Borders.
If you enjoy well written military romances, you will love this book.  Just click on the book cover or title for more information:

His Road Home
“Tantalizing … a raw, emotional story.” – PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (Starred Review)

hisroadhomeTo avoid insulting a matchmaking Afghan warlord, Special Forces medic Rey Cruz needs to find a fiancée, fast. He never expects to see the hometown girl whose downloaded photo he uses in an engagement picture, because he’s pounding sand half a world away.

Until the day he’s flat on his back in a military hospital and the woman whose life he blew apart with a suddenly world-famous engagement walks into the room. He’d love to tell Grace Kim how his lie started and set everyone–her boss, the press and their families–straight. Love to, but he can’t. He can’t talk. Can’t write. Can’t get either of them out of the mess his bright idea caused.

Marine Fisheries statistician Grace Kim is shocked to find out she’s engaged to a hero. When she’s offered a plane ticket to visit her “fiancé,” she takes it, but the soldier she meets isn’t what she expected and doesn’t have any answers.

By the time Rey convinces her to help drive his classic muscle car across the country, Grace knows how to play the role of caring fiancée. Thanksgiving with kind strangers in South Dakota makes Grace wonder what place she’ll have in Rey’s new life once he’s finally home.

I knew one I started reading this book I wanted to read more by the author. I was thrilled to know her other books were a part of a separate, but overlapping, series. The characters in His Road Home are most definitely mortal, but working with men from another realm all together.  I read it first and caught on just fine, but it takes place chronologically between the two Viking novels.   If you enjoy paranormal romance that rolls out like a Mission Impossible or James Bond movie, these books are #MustRead:

First to Burn

“If Suzanne Brockmann and JR Ward had a book baby, it would be First to Burn.”
–Sebella Blue, blogger at ragesexandteddybears

firsttoburnA soldier with secrets.

Immortal Viking Wulf Wardsen once battled alongside Beowulf, and now serves in Afghanistan. He trusts the mortal men on his elite special operations team to protect his secret, until an explosion lands him in a place more dangerous to him than a battlefield: a medevac helicopter.

A doctor with questions.

Army captain Theresa Chiesa follows the rules and expects the same from others, even Special Forces hotshots like Sergeant Wardsen. She’s determined to discover the secret behind his supernaturally fast healing, and she won’t allow his sexy smile to distract her.

An enemy with nothing to lose.

Even as Theresa’s investigation threatens to expose him, Wulf dreams of a normal life and a future with her. But the lost Viking relic needed to reverse his immortality is also being hunted by an ancient enemy who won’t hesitate to hurt he woman Wulf loves.

The Second Lie
2nd lie

A woman desperate to achieve her dreams.

To reassure wealthy clients, Christina Alvarez Mancini invented a jet-setting British owner for her Napa Valley wine collection service. Success has brought her close to buying her own winery, when irregularities at a London wine auction threaten her business.

A man in love with a good plan.

Stig, an immortal Viking thief, knows he’s found the perfect role. The California woman who created his character won’t discover what he’s up to in England until after he’s pocketed the money he needs. Then Christina walks into the auction preview, ready to ruin his plans, and he knows his boredom has ended.

Secrets that turn deadly.

By the end of the night, these two rivals must cooperate to escape kidnappers, British authorities, media and a pair of mysterious watchers. That’s when a game Stig’s played for a thousand years puts Christina’s life at risk.

Can two people whose identities are based on lies trust each other enough to survive?

author

AnnaRichland-199x300

Anna Richland is a former military officer turned romance writer. She lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less-quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle, Washington. Her two favorite parts of being an author are that it’s okay to have imaginary friends talking in her head and that work attire includes a cup of coffee.

http://www.annarichland.com/

 

New Release: Everything by Melissa Pearl

Everything (A Songbird novel, Book 3) by Melissa Pearl
Release Day Blitz
April 23, 2015
Jody Pritchett had a dream…but life had other plans. Instead of singing and dancing on Broadway, Jody’s a twenty-year-old single mom, living at home with her disapproving father and overbearing sister. The choice to keep her little Angelia came with a high price and although she adores her baby girl, it doesn’t take away the sting of kissing goodbye her chance at a career on the stage.

Leo Sinclair had his own dream…but got lost along the way. After a failed marriage that left him hollow and downtrodden, the Australian songwriter wonders what joy his future could possibly hold. Encouraged by the one family member who doesn’t think he’s a failure, Leo decides to stop living the life everyone expects him to and start chasing his dreams again.
When the perfect opportunity comes knocking, Leo leaves Australia behind and hops a flight to LA. With his sights set on selling a musical to a Broadway producer, Leo is determined to finally realize his life-long dream. But life gets in the way again, when he spots a young mother outside his apartment in tears. He never realized how one person, one voice, and one Angel could have him contemplating abandoning his dreams once again.

As these two burned hearts wrestle to overcome their past struggles, Leo and Jody must decide what dreams are worth clinging to…because, sometimes, everything you want is not everything you need.

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author
Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan… not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. “Best. Year. Ever!!” She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November 2011. Since then she has continued to produce a steady stream of books, ranging in genres from Fantasy to Romantic Suspense to Contemporary Romance. She loves the variety and is excited about the books she has coming out in 2015.”I am passionate about writing. It stirs a fire in my soul that I never knew I had. I want to be the best writer I can possibly be and transport my readers into another world where they can laugh, cry and fall in love.”

New Release: Excerpt & Giveaway – Asa by Jay Crownover

Asa RDL Banner

Holy smokes!! We are so excited to bring you the Release Week Blitz for Jay Crownover’s ASA! ASA is a New Adult Contemporary Romance novel being published by HarperCollins, and it is the 6th book in The Marked Men Series. We sure hope you’re ready for this amazing book!

ASA

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About ASA:

Jay Crownover’s New York TimesandUSA TodaybestsellingMarked Menseries continues with the much anticipated story of southern charmer and certified criminal Asa Cross.
Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.

Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.

A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.

Asa Teaser 2

excerpt

I pulled the Nova to a stop in front of a duplex that had clearly seen better days. It wasn’t a rusted-out trailer in Kentucky, but it might as well have been. I turned off the ignition and sat back in the seat so I could turn to look at Ayden. She was watching me carefully and I could see how frustrated she was with the entire conversation in the way her shoulders were tensed up and the way her hands had curled into tight balls on her lap. It was the way she used to look whenever I got into trouble and she had to do something desperate and drastic to get me out of it. I reached out a hand and put it on top of her fists.

“I died in that hospital, Ayd. There were no angels playing harps. There was no redemption and repentance. I died and it was very clear that I was going to get exactly the kind of fate I had been courting with all the messed-up shit I had been doing to other people. All I could see was every wrong I had ever committed and every bad decision I had ever made exploding all around me. For once I could see how all of that affected you. I was dying, and I knew what was waiting for me on the other side, yet I couldn’t go knowing that was all you were going to have to remember me by. I had to come back and give you something else to hold on to, some kind of good memory to go with the endless miles of bad I laid at your feet. I wanted to have the chance to show you I could be the kind of brother you deserved all along, so no, I didn’t save myself—you saved me. Just like you’ve always done for my entire life.” Continue reading

#MysterySuspense: Blessed are Those that Weep by Kristi Belcamino

Blessed Are Those Who Weep
Eonly 9780062389404 SmallTitle: Blessed Are Those Who Weep
Series: A Gabriella Giovanni Mystery
Author: Kristi Belcamino
Genre: Fiction/Mystery & Detective/ Woman Sleuth
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Imprint: Witness Impulse
ISBN: 9780062389404
Pages: 320
List Price: 1.99 USD
Goodreads
Buy the Book Amazon | Barnes and Noble | HarperCollins

~Synopsis~

San Francisco Bay Area reporter Gabriella Giovanni stumbles onto a horrific crime scene with only one survivor–a baby girl found crawling between the dead bodies of her family members. Reeling from the slaughter, Gabriella clings to the infant. When Social Services pries the little girl from her arms, the enormity of the tragedy hits home. Diving deep into a case that brings her buried past to the forefront, Gabriella is determined to hunt down the killer who left this helpless baby an orphan.

But one by one the clues all lead to a dead end, and Gabriella’s obsession with finding justice pulls her into a dark, tortuous spiral that is set to destroy everything she loves …

excerpt

At first I think she is a doll. Sitting there so still on the floor in her pink dress, chubby legs sticking out from her diaper, big black eyes unblinking, staring at something I can’t see.  A ribbon hangs loose in her hair. Something that looks like chocolate is smeared around her mouth and one cheek.

The front door is only open wide enough to frame her small body in the dim light. I can’t see the rest of the room.

“Mrs. Martin?” The words echo in the silent apartment. At my voice, the baby turns her head toward me in what seems like slow motion. Even though the apartment door was ajar when I arrived, something stops me from pushing it open more. My hand hangs in the air, frozen. The rhythmic drip of a faucet is eerily loud. And something smells funny. Off. A smell I recognize but cannot place. A smell that increases my unease.

“Are you in there, Mrs. Martin? It’s Gabriella Giovanni from the Bay Herald. We spoke yesterday.”

Silence.

As if my voice has flicked a switch, the child moves and talks, babbling. “Mamamama. Maaamamama.” She picks something up. Something floppy and pale and long. Something with short red fingernails. An arm.

A wave of panic rises in me as I figure out what I smell. Continue reading

Review: Raising Cain by Kelli Ireland

Raising_Caine_new_2400Hiding places are scarce when both Heaven and Hell intend to find you.

Dani Fayel’s backbreaking job as a stable hand at The Freaks’ Fair isn’t glamorous, but for someone looking to keep to the shadows? It’s perfect. Neither paranormal freaks nor human norms ever notice her. But when Dani is forced to either let a child die in order to maintain her anonymity or choose to save him and risk being discovered, she finds herself unwillingly thrust into the spotlight.

Cain, Hell’s premier assassin and a predatory incubus, is close to fulfilling his final contract and earning his freedom. Hired by the Archangel of Death to find his daughter, Cain follows her trail to the Fair. He works undercover, certain his mark is inside one of the portable canopies or traveling cages. Dead or alive, she equals his ticket to freedom.

When Cain’s objective is divulged, Dani realizes she can’t outrun her destiny. As the fabled Key—the one soul with absolute free will who is tied to the three realms of Heaven, Earth and Hell—only she is capable of opening the gates for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Whoever frees the Horsemen allegedly commands them. Now both Heaven and Hell are vying for her allegiance, and there are no limits as to how dirty they’ll fight to obtain it. With Hell raining indiscriminate chaos as Heaven maneuvers its players around her, Dani realizes her would-be assassin may be the only man capable of helping her survive.

review1

In my opinion, this story could be easily broken down into a Three Act Play – each part a different genre: Urban Fantasy, Adventure Fiction and Suspense/Thriller.  This is not a bad thing, but if someone asked me to classify this book, I wouldn’t say Paranormal Romance (which is what I was expecting).  There is some flirty banter and opposites attracting, but this is not a love story. It is an entertaining tale of how Dani is a girl trying to be an insignificant stable hand at a carnival but is really a critical pawn in the epic battle of good vs. evil.

It begins with a modern day Freak Show with supernatural acts and crew, giving the book an Urban Fantasy feel.  I really enjoyed the pace of the storytelling and how the characters are introduced.  The first third of the book is my favorite: the staff of the fair is at odds & we meet Cain.  Hello!  Most of the groundwork regarding the plot and mystery of the Key is put in place.  The second third of the book centers around Dani and Cain – but not in a forbidden love type of way.  More in a tough as nails bodyguard and his rebellious charge.  In Dani’s defense, there is A LOT going on, and I was every bit as confused as she was.  There is a lot of action and surprises as she frequently runs from (and just as often returns to) Cain’s protection.  The final third of the book introduces other characters making their play for the Key, and it feels like a suspense thriller.  Archangels! Fallen angels! Demons! The Holy!  Hellfire!  Nothing is as it seems, and I like how the author keeps you guessing about characters’ motives and what they will do next.

Sometimes when you are reading Book One of a series, it can feel like light reading – not the case with Raising Cain.  This is one epic saga – following Dani from just another day on the job to one dangerous situation after another.   The ending promises more of the same to come in the next installment.  It really is like nothing else I have read, and I am looking forward to seeing where the adventure leads!

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|  Google Play | Kobo

author

denise-196x300Kelli Ireland spent a decade as a name on a door in corporate America. Unexpectedly liberated by Fate’s sense of humor, she chose to carpe the diem and pursue her passion for writing. A fan of happily-ever-afters, she found she loved being the Puppet Master for the most unlikely couples. Seeing them through the best and worst of each other while helping them survive the joys and disasters of falling in love? Best. Thing. Ever.

Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Cover Reveal: Easy Target by Kay Thomas

EasyTarget HiResAEGIS: an elite team of ex-military men who will do anything for their country…and their women.

Fighting to clear her brother of murder, freelance reporter Sassy Smith is suddenly kidnapped and thrown into a truck with other women who are about to be sold…or worse. When she sees an opportunity for escape Sassy takes it, but she may have just jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

Former Marine Bryan Fisher (aka Hollywood) is no stranger to dangerous situations, or to his best friend’s little sister. When he rescues Sassy, Bryan is determined to keep her safe…if he can keep his hands off of her. Because Sassy is all grown up and not at all like the girl he used to know. But he’s got bigger problems. And with enemies coming at them from every corner, Bryan and Sassy will need to work together if they’re going to survive.

Get more info at Kay Thomas’ website: http://www.kaythomas.net/books/easy-target/

Cover Reveal: Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout

We are so excited to bring you the Cover Reveal for EVERY LAST BREATH, the hotly anticipated conclusion to the Dark Elements trilogy from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout!! EVERY LAST BREATH is a Young Adult Paranormal being published by Harlequin Teen and is a part of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s The Dark Elements Series. It is being released on July 28th, 2015. Pre-order EVERY LAST BREATH and then be sure to read the first books in this amazing series before its release!

Every Last Breath - Cover

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EVERY LAST BREATH Synopsis:

Some loves will last ’til your dying breath

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

“Armentrout is a major talent…I just can’t stop reading!”

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter

“Armentrout works her magic with swoon-worthy guys and a twist you never see coming.”

–#1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines on White Hot Kiss

And we have a surprise for you! The first books in the series have been given a new look too!!

Don’t miss the previous titles in The Dark Elements Series-now with new covers! Readers interested in downloading the new cover jackets for their previously purchased Dark Elements Series titles, can download them HERE!

downloadhere

For best results when downloading the new cover jackets:

  • Print on 8.5×14″ (Legal paper)
  • Use landscape or horizontal setting = 8.5″ tall x 14″ wide
  • Print at 100% scale or “actual size”
  • Print with the image centered on page
  • Fold and trim to fit

White Hot Kiss - New Cover

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WHITE HOT KISS synopsis:

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

Stone Cold Touch - New Cover

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STONE COLD TOUCH Synopsis:

Every touch has its price

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

“Constantly entertaining…the narrative sizzles with as much tension as romance.”

Kirkus Reviews on White Hot Kiss

And the Prequel Novella, BITTER SWEET LOVE…

Bitter Sweet Love - New Cover

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BITTER SWEET LOVE Synopsis:

In a sizzling prequel novella to her new series The Dark Elements, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout draws readers into the extraordinary, irresistible world of Wardens and demons.

Dez wasn’t just Jasmine’s crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining the balance between good and evil. He was her everything…right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn’t help that Jas’s father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.

And now he’s back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn’t taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again…

“With her signature flare for combining humor, romance and action, Armentrout weaves a fast-paced read that will have readers’ hearts racing in more ways than one. Like Armentrout’s previous heroines, Jasmine is fun and full of attitude, while Dez is as snarky as he is sexy. This is a must read for new and old fans alike!” –RT Book Reviews

Author Photo

Jennifer L. Armentrout/J.Lynn Bio:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Jennifer L. Armentrout Goodreads | EVERY LAST BREATH Goodreads | STONE COLD TOUCH Goodreads | WHITE HOT KISS Goodreads | BITTER SWEET LOVE Goodreads

Review & Excerpt: The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanovich

SweetSpotPB c

Amanda is a successful, levelheaded woman who built her restaurant from scratch. She’s certainly not looking for a prince charming to sweep her off her feet. So when Chase, baseball’s golden boy,  begins to pursue her, she barely gives him the time of day. Despite his playboy image, Chase is a monogamist who likes strong women. Amanda is exactly the type he’s been looking to settle down with, but she won’t say yes easily.
For Amanda their romance is all too good to be true, can Chase really be this perfect? And then she discovers that squeaky-clean Chase Walker has a spicy little kink. Chase’s fans have no idea  that off the field, he likes to indulge in a little passionate spanking from time to time. To her surprise, Amanda discovers a naughty side she never knew she had. Thanks to a tabloid, their secret comes to light and becomes the nation’s favorite water-cooler  gossip. Will Amanda give up a little bit of her single-girl freedom for true love with a twist? Or will the pressure of Chase’s stardom spell doom for this sexy couple?

author

Evanovich Stephanie ap1Stephanie Evanovich is a full-fledged Jersey girl from Asbury Park who began writing fiction while waiting for her cues during countless community theater projects. She attended New York’s School  of Film and Television and acted in several improvisational troupes and a few small-budget movies, all in preparation for the greatest job she ever had, raising her two sons. Now a full-time writer, she’s an avid sports fan who holds a black belt in tae kwon do.

review1

The Sweet Spot tells the story of two characters in the author’s first novel, Big Girl Panties.  I have not read the other novel, but after reading this book, I am adding BGP to my TBR!  I really enjoyed the witty dialogue, fast pace and (in my opinion) original take on the usual contemporary romance between a famous athlete and girl next door.  Chase Walker falls fast and hard for Amanda, and his courtship is the definition of unwavering perseverance.  His sweet words and thoughtful gestures keep it from being creepy, and it is only a matter of time before their romance is in full bloom.

You know how usually in a romance, boy meets girl – fates try to keep them a apart – they overcome obstacles and then get engaged in the last chapter (or Epilogue?).  I sincerely liked how this story had a romantic proposal in the middle of the book, and the scandal that threatens Chase’s baseball career and personal brand occurs while they are making the wedding plans.  Amanda and Chase handle the fallout very differently, and I liked how they had to go through with the flight vs. fight struggle that couples face once they are seriously committed.

This is a very easy, entertaining read, and again: I liked how it was a fresh take on a stereotypical plotline.  The romance is full of flirty banter and swooning – a great beach book for your Summer travels.

excerpt

Chapter One

It was a top down kind of day.  The sky was blue, with a few passing clouds and just a hint of breeze indicating that winter was waving its final good-bye.  It hinted at summer just around the corner.  The sun was bright and warm, encouraging buds to blossom into fragrant glorious flowers.  The very atmosphere spoke of all the things possible as the earth renewed itself after a cold east coast hibernation.  It was just too tempting.  Amanda never put the top down anymore, not since the first summer she had the Chrysler Sebring anyway.  She’d always wanted a convertible.  At least fate had been kind enough to wait until August two years ago to sport around before a wasp tangled itself in her hair at 40 miles an hour on her way to opening day at the Cold Creek.  It ended up stinging her hand, her neck and inadvertently, her front bumper and an unsuspecting fire hydrant.  She spent the night she had meticulously been planning for months moping in an ER room with a slight concussion and a burn from the airbag.  It had been air conditioning whenever she was in the car from then on.  But when she walked out the front door that late April afternoon and was greeted with that first you-know-you-don’t-need-a-jacket day, she was willing to take the risk.  Today felt different.  And wasps would still be drowsy.  Amanda watched ducks and geese and squirrels roaming in pairs as she drove past Maxwell Place Park, looking actually love struck, ready to extend their respective species.   People on the streets were smiling as they hustled about their day, others were acting flirty.  It was nothing short of spring fever, and she couldn’t help but catch it.  At a stop light, she titled her face up towards the sun to let it shine on her for a moment as she offered up a quick prayer of thankfulness for this beautiful day, her wonderful life and all the possibilities that came with it.  Maybe she’d do some flirting herself.  She turned up the radio and began to bounce to the music.  Yeah, it was a top down kind of day.

And then there was the seagull that flew overhead. Continue reading