Thursday, July 24, 2014

Book Club Thursday: What Does Reading Mean to You?

This week we have a wonderful topic to talk about for out Book Club Thursday. We are talking about what does reading mean to you...

We all read for many different reasons, some of us read to learn, others to relax and to lose ourselves for a little while. 

I believe I do all the above. I started reading when I was a kid. I saw my aunt reading and wanted to be just like her so I started reading. I can't tell you how grateful I am to her. She opened up my world to places and worlds I could never go to any other way. 

She would bring me books and I'd read them and we'd talk about them and have a bonding moment. 

I've had many bonding moments over books and reading. If you follow me then you know I'm a huge romance reader. I love books with happy endings. They don't have to be in your face..."marriage"...but they do have to leave you with the idea of togetherness. 

Other then my aunt, my sister is another important person in my reading world. I can remember when we were very young teenagers...A LONG TIME AGO...and our mother would bring us Harlequin romances from a woman she worked with and we'd lay in our beds and read all night long and have to lie to our mother that we weren't up all night. It was summer so she let the lie slip by.   

My world of reading didn't end there. As I grew older and my own child grew she became a reader, now she doesn't read romance like I do, nor does my nephew, but they along with myself, still hold a love of reading. My niece on the other hand loves reading romance and we have so much to talk about. We share books...I buy them and she reads them...a love sitting around talking about which characters we love or don't. We've also just recently sucked in my sister-in-law who is now reading paranormal romance. It's wonderful to have a whole family that reads. It's a common thread we all share. 

It wasn't only family that I shared my love of reading with. There has been other mothers at my daughters school and I even for  a long time worked in a used book store and got to spend hours doing what I loved. Reading also gave me my two best friends. Our love of reading has bloomed into a fifteen year plus friendship. With said friends I've traveled hours to do book related things with. We've gone to Nora Roberts book signing for a weekend and Lori Foster Reader Weekend, each year at least two of us goes to the Romantic Times Convention and have gone to a ton of book signings together.  We can and have talked hours about books. For over ten years we've been in a book club together and last year started our Book Club Thursday on our blogs. 

So as you can see, reading is like breathing to me. I can't tell you how close its brought me to some very special people in my life and how many new ones I've met. I would sooner stop eating then I would put down my book. 

We would love to hear how reading has impacted your life. Don't forget to stop by my fellow Book Club Thursday Bloggers and she what they had to say. 





Next week, July 31st, we will be reviewing First to Burn by Anna Richland. Please stop by! 



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Promo & Giveaway: Marry Me For Money by Mia Kayla

Marry Me For Money
By: Mia Kayla
Released May 4th



Blurb

Leaving her small town behind, Bethany Casse moves to Chicago in search of a new life. Working at a top financial bank brings her into contact with two men who are as different as night and day.

Kent Plack, heir to Plack Industries, has no interest in being with a woman for longer than one night. A spoiled and lazy man-whore, he is completely content with his playboy lifestyle, and Beth is surprised when they form an unlikely friendship.

Brian Burcham, a finance banker, is gorgeous and respectful. A man plucked from Beth’s dreams, he is definite husband material. Unfortunately, Beth has a hard rule against dating coworkers, but Brian is determined to change her mind.

When a deadbeat mother and money problems follow her to Chicago, Beth is offered a solution that could fix everything. Marrying for money seems simple enough, but when lines become blurred, Beth faces difficult choices, making her realize that the easy way out just made her life even harder than before.

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Excerpt

Prologue

The woman was beautiful. She looked like a supermodel ready to walk the runway. The blackest of black eyelashes swept upward, accenting the depths of her emerald eyes. Curls of mahogany sat on top of her head while the apple of her cheeks were highlighted with a slight pink as if the sun had kissed her.

I should have been excited. I should have been anxious.

But as my heartbeat thrashed in my ears, all I felt was dread.

I sat on the stool, staring at the girl in the mirror. I wondered who this girl was. I wondered where the old girl had gone and how I could get her back.

The problem was I couldn’t. The lie was so deep, the charade so long that there was nowhere else to go but to move forward.

It was an out-of-body experience as the chaos of the circus around me was happening. I barely noticed the woman in front of me as she swished her little brush of pink gloss on my pouty lips.
Everybody was getting ready for the big day.

My big day.

Four photographers were scattered around the room, catching every moment and every detail from the shoes to the invitation to the flowers.

Orchids.

Orchids didn’t give off a scent like every other flower. Too much water would drown them. Not enough sunlight would kill them. They were useless and high maintenance.
So, when the florist had asked me what kind of flowers I would like for my bouquet, I’d said, 
Orchids.”

It was the flower I despised the most. It wasn’t because of its lack of beauty or its uselessness, but I didn’t want anything that I would pick for my real day.

The photographers moved to the king-sized bed, and they snapped pictures of the regal designer wedding gown. This was another thing I would have never picked for myself. I remembered my last fitting. I had barely squeezed into the strapless couture dress. I would never pick a dress that I couldn’t walk, dance or eat in. I hated it, and that was the reason I’d picked it.

My stomach growled from starvation. I’d had no appetite the night before, and today, Kendall, my maid of honor, wouldn’t allow me to eat.  It was so unlike her.  I guessed it was for my benefit because it took forever and a half to fit into my dress. Either way, my stomach was eating itself because it had nothing else to feed off of.

The time went by slowly as if it were dragging on purpose to punish me for living the biggest lie of my life.  Most people would say their wedding day had flown by. This day was killing me, killing me softly and slowly.

All I wanted was for it to be over, but the day had just begun.
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. If I can only get through this day…this one day…


I just needed to get through today.




Author Info
Mia Kayla is a New Adult/Contemporary Romance writer who lives in Illinois. She is wifey to the husband of the year and mommy to three unbelievable cute little girls who have multiplied her grey hairs.

In her free time she loves reading romance novels, jamming to boy bands, catching up on celebrity gossip and designing flowers for weddings.

Most of the time, she can be caught on the train with her nose in a book sporting a cheeky grin because the main characters finally get their happily-ever-after at the end.

She loves reading about happy endings but has more fun writing them.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Promo & Giveaway: Nothing Compares to You by Tiffany Marie

Nothing Compares to You
Pine Lake Series Book Two
By: Tiffany Marie

Blurb
Mitch loves everything about his job as a photojournalist––the excitement, the money, the notoriety––which is why he has no plans for a lengthy stay in his childhood hometown of Pine Lake. But when he meets enigmatic single mother Natalie, he can’t help his attraction, or his overwhelming desire to pursue her.

The last few years have taught Natalie she’s stronger than she ever thought. She was strong enough to leave her abusive ex-husband, strong enough to endure a year in a women’s shelter, and strong enough to begin rebuilding her life with her young son. She’s going to make sure she’s also strong enough to avoid future heartbreak, which means not getting close to anyone––especially not someone like Mitch, who doesn’t plan on staying in town for more than a few months. Yet the more time Natalie spends with Mitch, the more her resolve crumbles.

As their tentative friendship develops into a passionate romance, both Mitch and Natalie realize they’re in deeper than they ever intended. When an exciting new job assignment sends Mitch halfway around the world, Natalie is left with the realization that she let the wrong man in once again. And Mitch realizes giving Natalie up for his career was the biggest mistake of his life—and one he might not be able to fix.


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Author Info
Tiffany Marie grew up in Michigan and currently lives in northern Indiana with her wonderfully supportive husband, rambunctious young son, and two rescued pets. She has worked in an elementary school, a bookstore, and a winery, and now she stays home with her son and writes whenever she has a few minutes to spare. She spends her free time reading too many romance novels, drinking too much Diet Pepsi, and taking too many naps.

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Release Day: Deep in Death by Colleen Helme




Deep In Death 
(A Shelby Nichols Adventure #6)
By Colleen Helme


Blurb: 
Running “errands” for her mob-boss employer, Joey “The Knife” Manetto, often ends with Shelby in trouble, making her cautious about continuing her association with him. Instead, she focuses on a new client who hires Shelby to find her missing mother. What seems like a routine case turns into something more sinister and deadly than she ever imagined. In the meantime, Uncle Joey has summoned Shelby to his office, where she runs into her former nemesis. Shelby inadvertently hears something that makes her fear for the lives of Uncle Joey and his hit-man, Ramos. This time, Uncle Joey is not sure he wants to involve Shelby in something he knows could get her killed. Keeping Shelby’s involvement to a minimum has disastrous results, sending Shelby on a dangerous path. As her investigation unfolds, Shelby finds death at every turn, and soon realizes she is in over her head. Can she escape from danger in time? Or will she find herself deep in death?



Available for purchase at 




Excerpt


“I’m investigating a missing person’s report.” I pulled out my file and opened it up. 

“Her name’s Darcy Shaw, and she went missing about six years ago. Do you think I could look at your files and see if there’s anything I could use?”

Dimples frowned. “From that long ago, it’s probably downstairs in the dead files room. Come on, I’ll show you where they are.”

“Thanks.”

I followed him to the hall and down two flights of stairs to the basement. He opened the door to a room and flipped on the light. Wall-to-wall filing cabinets filled the room, and a stale, musty odor permeated the air. From the smell, I’d guess no one had come down here in a long time, kind of how I imagined it would smell visiting a mausoleum. It seemed colder than normal too, and I realized that all of the files belonged to real people who had disappeared and were probably dead, and no one knew why or how.

“Go ahead and take a look,” Dimples said. “They’re filed alphabetically.”

“Um…yeah, okay.” I hesitated, not wanting to venture further into the room. It was so cold and dank that it kind of gave me the creeps. But I only needed one file. 

That wouldn't take long.

“When you’re done, come on back up and I’ll fill you in on a case I could use your help with.” Dimples was thinking he was anxious to leave me to it, not because he had a lot to do upstairs, but because the room had kind of a weird vibe that he didn't like.

“You’re leaving me here alone?” I blurted.

“What? You’re not scared are you?” He scoffed. “It’s just a room with files in it. 

There aren't even any guns or crazy killers down here.”

“Oh fine,” I said, still hesitating in the doorway and wishing I hadn't heard that part about the weird vibe.

“You want me to stay?” He folded his arms and raised his brow in challenge.

“Of course not,” I said. “Like you said, I’ll be fine.”

“Good. Hey…if one of those files attacks you…I’m right up-stairs if you need me.”

“Ha, ha.”

He chuckled and left. I shook my head and hurried over to the cabinets. As I found the cabinet with “S through T” on it, the door clicked shut behind Dimples, sealing me in. It was deathly quiet. The only sounds in the room came from me. My breathing and the shift of my feet echoed from the walls, magnifying each tiny breath and movement I made.

An unexplained sense of urgency rolled over me. I was alone in an enclosed space that seemed to get smaller the longer I stood there. A sudden stab of dread tightened my stomach, and my hands shook a little. It was mostly thoughts of the lights going out and leaving me in total darkness that did it. If Bates knew I was here, I wouldn't put it past him to do that to me, and I wanted out of this creepy place as fast as I could.

With renewed effort, I scanned the labels until I came to the right drawer and yanked it open. I quickly leafed through the folders and caught my breath to actually find the file. I swallowed with relief and pulled the bulky file out. Pursing my lips together, I set it on top of the other folders and opened it up checking to make sure it was the right one.

A larger version of the same picture I’d received from Tiffany stared back at me. Her eyes held a haunting mixture of sadness and foreboding, and goose bumps broke out along my arms. A sudden chill ran up my spine and my heart picked up speed. All at once, it felt like I wasn’t alone, and someone was standing right there beside me. I froze. I didn’t believe in ghosts, but I didn’t dare look either.

My mouth went dry and I hardly dared to take a breath. Glancing back down at the picture, I felt something cold and feather-like brush against my cheek. I inhaled sharply. It came a second time and I jerked my face away, hunching my shoulders to my neck with fear. “I…I’ll try and find out what happened to you,” I croaked. The chill intensified, then suddenly fell away in a cool breeze, leaving the scent of flowers behind, which I recognized as the distinct smell of gardenias.

With my heart racing, I grabbed the file and slammed the drawer shut, then raced out of the room as fast as I could. In my haste, I left the light on, but I was too scared to go back and turn it off. The smell of gardenias stayed with me all the way up the stairs, but disappeared as I entered the office. With my chest heaving, I hurried over to Dimples’ desk and sat down, rubbing my cold arms.



About the Author

 A long career as a wife and mother while juggling several part-time jobs gave Colleen the ambition to dream of being a published author, where she could put her imagination to good use. Now instead of making up stories to tell her children, she writes books they love to read. Hopefully you will too. She is the author of three romantic fantasy novels, Songbird, Flame of Destiny and The Relic. Her Shelby Nichols Adventures include Carrots, Fast Money, Lie or Die, Secrets That Kill, and Trapped By Revenge coming soon!




You can find Colleen here:

         








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Monday, July 21, 2014

Promo & Giveaway: Hearts in Vegas by Colleen Collins

Hearts in Vegas
Private Eye Romance Series #3
By: Colleen Collins
Releasing July 1st, 2014

Blurb

"You're not going into this alone." 
P.I. Frances Jefferies is the perfect person to slip into Las Vegas's underworld to recover a priceless necklace. With her elite investigative skills, not to mention her jewel-thief past, she knows she can get the job done. That is, until a sexy stranger gets in her way. 

Braxton Morgan's past is as secretive as her own. There's so much about this man she wants to discover—but not at the cost of her case. For that, she must stay focused. Then Braxton suggests adding his security expertise to catch the criminal. And suddenly they're mixing smarts with danger and a whole lot of passion!

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Author Info
Colleen Collins is an award-winning author who has written several dozen novels for Harlequin and Dorchester, as well as three indie nonfiction books on private investigations and one indie mystery, The Zen Man. When not sleuthing, Colleen loves spending time with her husband, the two of them watching one of their favorite sports teams, taking walks with their two Rottweilers (named Jack Nicholson and Aretha Franklin) and herding their three cats.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: Letting Go by Molly McAdams




Image Map LETTING GO by Molly McAdams On-sale 11/4/2014 

When Grey and Ben fell in love at thirteen, they believed they’d be together forever. They never dreamed that three days before their wedding, twenty-year-old Ben would suddenly die from an unknown heart condition, destroying his would-be-bride’s world. Grey would have spent the next two years simply going through the motions if it hadn’t been for their best friend, Jagger. He’s the only one who understands her pain ... the only one who knows what it’s like to force yourself to keep moving when your dreams are shattered. While everyone else worries over Grey’s fragility, Jagger is the only one who sees her strength, and vows to always be there for her-even if it’s only as her best friend. As much as he wants Grey, he knows her heart will always be with Ben. But when Grey finds out that Jagger has loved her since before he even knew what love was, it might prove to be too much for her to handle. Grey soon realizes their chemistry is undeniable, and they learn that admitting their feelings for each other means they’ve got to face the past. Is being together what Ben would have wanted . . . or a betrayal of his memory that will eventually destroy them both?


Review & Giveaway: To Marry a Scottish Laird by Lynsay Sands

To Marry a Scottish Laird
An English Bride in Scottland #2
By: Lynsay Sands
Releasing June 24th, 2014

Blurb

New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands returns to the Highlands of Scotland in her hottest new historical romance yet!
Highlander Campbell Sinclair is no stranger to battle, so when he sees a lad attacked by bandits, he jumps into the fray. He didn't count on being stabbed. Grateful to the boy for nursing him back to health, Cam offers to accompany Jo safely to his destination. But when he accidentally comes across the lad bathing in the river, Cam discovers that Jo is actually Joan . . . with the most sinful of curves.

Joan promised her mother that she would deliver a scroll to the clan MacKay. But traveling alone is dangerous, even disguised as a boy. When a Scottish warrior lends his aid, she is more than relieved . . . until he surprises her with lingering kisses and caresses that prove her disguise hasn't fooled him. As their passion ignites, will the secrets of the scroll force a wedding . . . and lead to a love she's never known?

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Author Info
Lynsay Sands is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there are occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus.

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Review

I can honestly say that there isn't much that Lynsay Sands can write that I wouldn't read. Well, maybe first person since I'm not a fan. Otherwise I enjoy both her paranormal and historical romance. I think what I like best is the heart and humor she puts into each and every book. That's one of the reasons I loved To Marry a Scottish Laird. It's a wonderful story that sucks you in and keeps your there. I will admit that for a few minutes I was confused because An English Bride in Scotland is the book before it and the couple in it are now in this one and a many years older, so there is a gap. That threw me a little. But as soon as I figured that out I couldn't put the book down. I love Joan and how caring she is. She never wants to put anyone out. Campbell was full of heart even if he didn't want it to show. This series is a must read!  

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