Monday, December 23, 2013

His for Christmas by Jennifer Haymore

His for Christmas
by Jennifer Haymore
October 1, 2013
by Forever Yours (Grand Central Publishing)

Sweet, shy Lady Esme has a little-known pastime-penning scandalous stories! But society must never find out or she'll be ruined! Fortunately, her dear friend, USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Haymore, is happy to share Esme's sensual tale of lost love and second chances . . .


Lady Amelia Witherspoon simply must get home to her beloved family on Christmas Eve. So when a terrible storm threatens to leave her snowbound, she refuses to admit defeat-even if that means sharing a carriage with Evan Cameron, the last man she ever hoped to see . . .

Evan can't fathom why his oldest friend is as icy to him as the winter wind. All he does know is that Amelia is still the loveliest, most tempting woman he's ever laid eyes on. Their only option is to take refuge together at a nearby inn, sharing the one remaining room. Evan promises to be a gentleman . . . but it's a promise neither of them wants him to keep.

About the author:
Jennifer Haymore grew up in California and on the Big Island of Hawaii. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in Education from UCLA. Before she became a full-time writer she held various jobs from bookselling to teaching inner-city children to playing bit roles in soap operas. 

You can find Jennifer in Southern California trying to talk her husband into yet another trip to England, helping her three children with homework while brainstorming a new five-minute dinner menu, or crouched in a corner of the local bookstore writing her next novel. 

Find out more at

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas in Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis - Review

Christmas in Lucky Harbor
by Jill Shalvis
Published September 24, 2013
by Forever (Grand Central Publishing) 

Love awaits you in Lucky Harbor . . .

Simply Irresistible (Lucky Harbor #1)
After losing her boyfriend and her job, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim her inheritance-a ramshackle inn nestled in the little town of Lucky Harbor, Washington. She sees the potential for a new home and a new career-if she can give the inn the makeover it needs. Enter Jax, a tall, handsome contractor who knows exactly what Maddie needs...

The Sweetest Thing (Lucky Harbor #2)
Helping her sister set up the family inn is just the thing to make Tara forget her ex-husband and focus on her new life. Until she meets a sexy, green-eyed sailor determined to keep her hot, bothered, and in his bed. When her ex reappears, Tara must confront her past and decide what she really wants.

Kissing Santa Claus (Lucky Harbor #2.5)
NASCAR driver Logan Perrish returns to Lucky Harbor, Washington, with love in his heart and a ring in his pocket. But can Sandy Jansen forget the past and give him a second chance? Or will Logan be spending another Christmas alone?

Under the Mistletoe (Lucky Harbor #6.5)
There's no place like home for the holidays. And the Lucky Harbor Bed & Breakfast is bursting with festive lights and good cheer. But for Mia, Christmas is turning out to be anything other than merry and bright. Her recent break-up with her boyfriend Nick has made her return bittersweet. But then a surprise arrives, when Nick follows her to town bearing gifts - and asking for forgiveness.

My review:
I have never been disappointed with a Lucky Harbor novel, and this was no exception. This omnibus, Christmas in Lucky Harbor, includes the first two novels in the Lucky Harbor series, Simply Irresistible and The Sweetest Thing, and also includes two Christmas short stories, Kissing Santa Claus and Under the Mistletoe.

In Simply Irresistible, three sisters have just found out that their recently deceased mother left them a bed and breakfast in Lucky Harbor. Each sister has a different father and each one was mostly raised by their father instead of their irresponsible, free-spirited mother. Maddie, the middle sister, spent the least amount of time with their mother while growing up, but Maddie is at a place in her life where she feels she doesn't belong anywhere and really wants to connect with her sisters and make a success of the bed and breakfast so she will have a place to call home. The other sisters just want to sell it quickly and get on with their lives. While Maddie is trying to convince her sisters that the bed and breakfast can be a great business for all of them, Maddie gets hot and heavy with the contractor hired to fix up the inn, who has a few secrets about the inn and Maddie's mother.

In The Sweetest Thing, the oldest sister, Tara, is trying to get her life back on track after her divorce and is working hard to make a success of the bed and breakfast. Tara used to spend some summers with her mom in Lucky Harbor, and Tara has to face her past with Ford, a long time Lucky Harbor resident who is also best friends with her sister, Maddie's, boyfriend, Jax. Even after all these years, the attraction between Tara and Ford is impossible to deny and hard to resist. Things are further complicated when her ex-husband shows up and wants her back.

In Kissing Santa Claus, we get to see another side of Tara's ex-husband, Logan. In The Sweetest Thing, you are sort of against him and for Ford, so it is nice to get to read about him in another light. Kissing Santa Claus is a sweet short story that gets you in the mood for Christmas.

In Under the Mistletoe, we get to know Tara and Ford's daughter, Mia, a lot more. Mia is coming back to Lucky Harbor for Christmas and for her Aunt Chloe's wedding. This great short story really focuses on the joys of family and makes you believe in true love.

Overall, each story in Christmas in Lucky Harbor, as well as all of the other Lucky Harbor novels I have read, are well-written, excellent romances. They do not have to be read in order for you to enjoy them. Jill Shalvis has the ability to make you laugh and fall in love with the characters, while also heating up the pages. The romance is hot and spicy without being too explicit, and there is still a story that you get drawn into beyond all of the action between the sheets (or in most cases, not between the sheets). I have really enjoyed every book I have read from Jill Shalvis, and she has become one of my go-to authors for contemporary romance. 

A copy was received from the publisher. I was not required to write a review.

About the author:   
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's latest, RUMOR HAS IT, on shelves and ereaders now, and get all her bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold. Also, visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures. 

Find out more at 

Check out these reviews I have written about other Lucky Harbor novels:
Head Over Heels, #3 - Chloe's (the third sister) story 
Lucky in Love, #4 
At Last, #5  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Rook by Stella MacDonald - Win Amazon Gift Card or Paypal

rook updatedRook by Stella MacDonald

Could you be the monster to save who you love? 

Two women, separated by generations, must leave what they know to start a new life. Seventeen-year-old Kate's senior year is ruined when she's moved from the only home she's ever known. After an isolating month alone in her apartment, school starts, but neither her classmates nor her teacher are who they seem. Kali, a single mother living in the nineteenth century wilds of Montana, is stalked by a malicious past. She fights to keep her daughter safe while her freedom is threatened by her less than benevolent benefactor. Both find love, and with it hope, but that is quickly ripped away as one woman must learn the lessons of the other -- before it's too late to save either.   

amazon blog
Praise for Rook: 
"This book also drew me in. I couldn't let go of what was happening and when life intervened and forced me to close my computer I kept looking for a few moments to sit down and read some more.” Brookeworm, a Blog 4 Stars 

"Rook had me hooked from the first page. It all started so mysteriously that I just had to know what it was all about. “ Jannat Bhat, Obsessive Compulsive Reader 4 Stars 

“Rook is an amazing story that had me at the edge of my seat.” Tee Loves Kyle Jacobson Blog, 5 Stars 


Is that him? Is he back? 

My legs jerked, kicking and twitching me around to face the sound. I managed to roll slightly, knocking against a soft, solid object at my feet. It grunted weakly, and immediately I recoiled as though I had been bitten. Squinting, I stared, willing my eyes to find light in the dark, but there was nothing. 

The sound of the runner drew closer, as if they would trample me any moment. A dim, swaying light appeared through the trees, burning away the inky edges of the deep shadows. When light and sound were almost upon me, branches above me snapped, spraying me in a shower of dried pine needles and snow. 

Monica M Author Stella MacDonald 
Stella is a married graduate student with three boys. Utah is home right now, but the need to wander has extended beyond the fantasy world of writing and into real life. She's lived all around the US and even into the Middle East. The world is really a small place, only made bigger through imagination.  

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BookBlast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/30/13
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Not My Mother's Son by R.K. Avery - Win Amazon Gift Card & Signed Copy

About the Book:

Not My Mother's Son
by R.K. Avery
Devious.  Conniving.  Deceitful.  Insidious.  David Miller thought he knew his mother.  He thought kidnapping three children was the most appalling and horrendous thing any human being could do and she couldn’t possibly do anything more monstrous.  He thought there was nothing else she could do or say that would astound him.  How wrong he was.

After Beatrice Miller, David’s serial kidnapping mother, is sentenced to thirty years, David moves to Phoenix, Arizona; and with the help of a trust fund and an old friend, he starts the Never Give Up foundation, an organization dedicated to finding and returning exploited and missing children safely to their families.  With all the wicked things his mother had done, David feels it is his unspoken duty to do something worthwhile.

Hesitant at first but after reading his mother’s journal, David is determined to mend their dysfunctional relationship.  Every time David visits Bea in prison, she seems deranged insisting that people are trying to kill her.  She ends each brief encounter with a chilling statement, “Remember David, things aren’t always what they seem.” 

As word about the foundation spreads, the services of Never Give Up are requested time-and-time-again to help where other agencies have failed.  That is, until the police come knocking on David’s door and arrest him, taking him back to Bunting Valley, North Dakota, for the murder of a newborn baby boy.

Forced to shut down Never Give Up, David is amazed at how quickly the entire world turns their backs on him.  The trial begins and his mother’s testimony is the only thing that can save him.  Telling the truth is as foreign to Beatrice Miller as giving up drugs is to an addict.  As everyone in the courtroom holds their breath, you will too.  Remember, things aren’t always what they seem.

Purchase Your Copy at AMAZON



About the Author:
As a recent graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, R. K. Avery has written numerous, unpublished, children’s picture books, but her true passion is writing adult fiction.

“Having the ability to make people laugh or cry, just by using the written language, is a gift so powerful and I hope, one day, my name will be among those who possess it” ~ R.K. Avery

After Be Careful What You Wish For achieved near-instant eBook best-seller success even before its print release, Avery had re-signed with Brighton Publishing LLC for her second novel, Not My Mother's Son. Sure to send chills down readers’ spines, Avery’s brilliant new thriller is now available for sale in both e-Book and paperback wherever fine books are sold.

R. K. Avery lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband, two kids, and four dogs.  She often jokes instead of sign that says, “Don’t let the dogs out” she has a sign that says “Don’t let any more dogs in”.

Visit her website at

Connect & Socialize!


Pump Up Your Book and R.K. Avery are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate and an autographed paperback copy of Not My Mother's Son
  • This giveaway begins November 25 and ends December 20.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, December 23, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


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The Next America by Don Holbrook - Excerpt & Win Amazon Gift Card

Title: The Next America: Moving Beyond a Fragile Economy
Author: Don A. Holbrook
Publisher: Don A. Holbrook
Pages: 304
Language: English
Genre: Nonfiction/Business & Economics
Format: Paperback, eBook & Audio Book
Purchase at AMAZON

The economic chaos of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis that has created so much destruction of wealth for regular Americans is far from over. This book examines problems and possible solutions within national, international, and local realms that will help us navigate these times and set a course toward calmer waters. While some clamor for more taxes to cover our government's programs, The Next America shows how we can restructure our tax code so it positively affects all aspects of our communities: education, businesses, innovation, political transparency, environmental issues, investments, and more. Concerned citizens and economic players alike will be inspired and motivated to act to reestablish the American Dream during this transitional time. The Next America believes an informed citizenry can create a solution to hold our elected officials accountable for real change that will be robust and beneficial to all American’s not just the elite few at the top, without moving away from our free market and capitalism based economy.

From reading the newspaper, watching television, or listening to the radio, it should be clear that the unsettling situation America finds itself in today has presented us with several conundrums. We are concerned about where our nation is headed, how to make a living, how to prepare for retirement, how to create a better life for our families today, and how to leave our posterity with an inheritance of economic opportunities.
The global economy has created more chaos and hardships than most of us have previously experienced. Not since the Great Depression have folks been so beleaguered by so many tumultuous problems. Even more devastating is the degradation of our main pillar of humanity, our core: the family unit. With the massive amount of unemployment and underemployment that has arisen in this perfect economic storm, many of us have burned through our benefit claims, extensions, and options. We face loss of income and also hope and self-dignity. These immense problems have made many of us rethink our values and dreams. In the worst of cases, we have given up the ideal of aspiring for a better life—not only for ourselves, but also for our children. The economic pressures are not the only problems in this perfect storm. We face burgeoning pressure from religious zealots who are not tolerant of religious differences. We face environmental calamities,
both natural and man-made. In addition, the resources that we depend on to fuel our global economy, such as energy, are peaking in costs and diminishing in availability.
To further frustrate and annoy our already overloaded psyches, we have a complete lack of trust in our governmental systems. People are weary of the either/or partisan politics and government’s failure to look out for our best interests.


About the Book:

The economic chaos of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis that has created so much destruction of wealth for regular Americans is far from over. This book examines problems and possible solutions within national, international, and local realms that will help us navigate these times and set a course toward calmer waters. While some clamor for more taxes to cover our government's programs, The Next America shows how we can restructure our tax code so it positively affects all aspects of our communities: education, businesses, innovation, political transparency, environmental issues, investments, and more. Concerned citizens and economic players alike will be inspired and motivated to act to reestablish the American Dream during this transitional time. The Next America believes an informed citizenry can create a solution to hold our elected officials accountable for real change that will be robust and beneficial to all American’s not just the elite few at the top, without moving away from our free market and capitalism based economy. 

Purchase Your Copy at AMAZON




About the Author:

Don Holbrook is a private economist consultant involved in economic development public policy, site location decisions for private sector investments of new facilities, strategic destination tourism development feasibility and public-private partnership conceptualization, including public sector incentives to entice business investment into local economies. His non-fiction books on local economic development efforts to rebuild, renew and sustainably balance economic development public policy to create world-class communities have been groundbreaking successes within economic development.  His first book, the “Little Black Book of Economic Development” has spawned a series of follow-up books on how communities, companies, individuals and families can navigate these treacherous economic times.

Holbrook is one of the worlds foremost thought leaders and public speakers on the subject of how communities can build smart and sustainable local grassroots driven economic development strategies to achieve maximum success in what he refers to as “The Art of the Deal Today.”

Holbrook was formally indoctrinated as a Fellow Member of the International Economic Development Council, for his lifetime achievements by his peers in 2008. 

He lives with wife and two sons in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In 2010, Holbrook was formally Knighted at West Point USMA as a member of the modern day Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, a modern day Knights Templar Order.
His latest book is the nonfiction/business/economics,The Next America: Moving Beyond a Fragile Economy.
Connect & Socialize with Don!


Rafflecopter Code for Kindle Fire HD Giveaway

Pump Up Your Book and Don Holbrook are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins December 2 and ends December 27.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, December 30, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


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The Next America Book Blast Page:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Secrets and Lies by Christine Amsden - Guest Post & Kindle Fire HD Giveaway

Looking Forward 
Guest Post by Christine Amsden
When I talk about Cassie Scot I'm usually not talking about the book, Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective. I'm usually talking about the entire series. This is my third book, but my first series, so it has been an interesting adjustment for me. In my mind, Cassie's story is complete, even though for the reader it has barely begun.
In fact, Cassie's story is complete. There are four volumes in the series, all written, all under contract, and all pending release within the next year or so. Each of the volumes is framed by a self-contained mystery, which should give the reader some sense of closure at the end. Personal, romantic, and familial problems remain, however, and these issues are what I think of as Cassie's story. The first book is about Cassie solving a murder/missing person mystery. The series is about Cassie discovering who she is and what she wants. I suppose that part doesn't play as well in a teaser, but I think it's relevant. To some extent, we all strive to figure out who we are and how to accept ourselves. This is never more true than when faced with the disapproval or disappointment of parents – something Cassie knows all-too well. 
Cassie isn't the only one going through a period of self-discovery. To a lesser extent Evan Blackwood is trying to figure out who he is and what he wants. Well, he's sure about one thing – and if you've read the epilogue to book one you know what that is. He's confused about much of the rest. In stark contrast to Cassie, Evan has a lot of magical power and he doesn't want to be like his father –using that power for his own wealth/comfort and little else. At the same time, Evan is used to getting his way and he has the power to take most of what he wants. On the surface this may seem like a good thing, but in Secrets and Lies, book two in the Cassie Scot series, he will learn differently. It was a challenge to show him going through this sort of transformation from Cassie's point of view, but I hope the reader sees it. 
When I look at the series as a whole, one of the choices I have often found myself questioning is the use of vampires in the first book. This may seem like an odd thing to say. I mean, it's urban fantasy. Of course it has vampires! Well...
I didn't plan to write the first book right away. In those early weeks, I thought I would write a long short story or novella as a sort of proof of concept. There were a lot of important details popping around in my mind – Cassie character, her family, the town, the rules of magic, the love interest – somewhere in the middle of all that I decided to test the waters with vampires because it's simple. Everyone knows them. They don't require a lot of thought. I don't know when they became permanent, but somewhere along the line I knew I was writing a whole novel instead of a short story, and by then the plot had stuck. 

Vampires are not at all important to the overall story. It's not the last you'll see of them, but they don't have a huge part to play. If you're a vampire fan, sorry, but hopefully you love Cassie enough to stick with her. Those who are sick of vampires in fantasy, bear with me. And know that these vampires are Stoker-esque (and not even a little bit sparkly :) ). 
“There isnothing so evilin the worldas what humans cando to oneanother.” –Edward Scot (Cassie's father). This may have almost seemed like a throwaway comment in book one, but it wasn't. It definitely becomes important later on, and it's something I firmly believe. I've never thought fantasy novels needed literal demons to fight. Give a human being power, and let's see what he decides to do with it. History has shown us that it isn't always pretty. 

The last time I revised the first book in this series, I had completed the final volume. This means that I had my plan fully formed and implemented. There are a couple of little things in the first book that you probably won't even think about unless you go back and reread it sometime after you finish the series. Then you'll think, “Oh, she did have a plan!” 
I love it when authors do that. I hope I've pulled it off to your satisfaction as well. 
Book Two Teasers:
1. Cassie is going to learn something very important about her mother that she never knew.
2. Kaitlin and Madison will take on bigger roles, and each will develop a problem of her own.
3. Edward Scot (Cassie's dad) and Victor Blackwood (Evan's dad) will come face to face. Their mutual enmity will not be in doubt.
4. The reader will learn one more of the reasons why Edward hates Victor. 
5. The mystery will be the search for two teenage girls who went missing from a summer camp.
6. The life debt Cassie owes Evan will be a big deal.
Secrets and Lies by Christine Amsden 
Cassie Scot,still stinging from her parents’ betrayal, wants out of the magical world. But it isn’t letting her go. Her family is falling apart and despite everything, it looks like she may be the only one who can save them.
To complicate matters, Cassie owes Evan her life, making it difficult for her to deny him anything he really wants. And he wants her. Sparks fly when they team up to find two girls missing from summer camp, but long-buried secrets may ruin their hopes for happiness. Book 2 in the Cassie Scot Mystery series.

Purchase Your Copy from AMAZON.

About the author:
Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.
At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. (You can learn more here.)
In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.
Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

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Sleeping with a Wall Street Banker by Marlene Morgan

Title: Sleeping with a Wall Street Banker
Author: Marlene Morgan
Genre: Psychological Thriller/Romantic Suspense
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Pages: 322
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1-48178-874-8

Sleeping With A Wall Street Banker is a psychological thriller that begins when lawyer Alice Francis leaves her life in London for a new start with Wall Street banker Jake Logan in New York. She quickly learns that this is a man consumed by his need to control; he loves but on his terms. When Jake’s ex-girlfriend, Jessica, finds out about Jake’s relationship with Alice, Alice’s life takes a dark turn. For all the trappings of success from a Wall Street career, Jake is a man tormented by the irrational guilt he carries from his past relationship with Jessica. Jessica is unmarried and childless with a biological clock that has all but stopped ticking, and Jake is her back-up plan. Her ultimate goal is to fix Jake’s life by interfering, setting him up, and blackmailing him in an effort to force him into a horrible relationship that was never meant to be. With Alice in the picture, Jessica’s goal is almost certainly a recipe for disaster and a fate equal to death itself. When the plan begins to fail, a mentally unbalanced Jessica resorts to destruction.

Purchase Your Copy at AMAZON.

About the Author:
Marlene Morgan is an author, and a Barrister-at-law. She also holds a master degree in taxation and administration law from Kings College London. Having recently passed the New York Bar Exam she is currently seeking admission to the New York Bar.

She can be contacted through her website at


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