Monday, April 14, 2014

Blog Tour: RESISTING THE RANCHER by Roxanne Snopek




Book Title: Resisting the Rancher
Series: Three River Ranch #4
Author: Roxanne Snopek
Release Date: 4/14/14
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Country veterinarian Celia Gamble is in trouble. A misunderstanding from her past is rearing its ugly head and the only person she can turn to is Jonah Clarke—her family’s lawyer and, as it turns out, her brother Zach’s best friend and her childhood crush. She always wanted Jonah to see her as a bona fide woman, but as a woman who’s being wrongfully blackmailed for seducing a married man? Not on her life.

Jonah is happy to help little CeeCee Gamble, if only she’d come clean about why she’s being blackmailed. But with Zach’s wedding on the horizon and Zach’s fashionista fiancée Desiree giving CeeCee a makeover, the little duckling Jonah remembers is turning into a definite swan. And the unwritten law on sisters is clear—hands off. Jonah must resist Celia or lose the only true family he’s ever known.

Please welcome Roxanne Snopek to the blog today.  


Dressed to Chill

“The finest clothing made is a person’s own skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this.” –Mark Twain

You know those dreams where you’re walking down the crowded hallway of your old high-school, stark naked? The classical interpretation is that it represents a fear of vulnerability, of being literally “naked” and targeted for judgment.

However, some say our choice of clothing is revealing too.

The CLASSIC personality is sophisticated, organized and well-groomed, with tailored outfits and simple jewelry, like pearls or simple chains.

If you favor jeggings, a trendy tunic and gladiator heels (what are these, I ask?) you’re probably a CONTEMPORARY, confident, direct and independent.

Maybe you’re more of a spontaneous, trend-setting CREATIVE, preferring unique, one-of-a-kind items, paired with multi-colored jewelry and sequined jackets.

Or you’re an adventurous, open-minded DRAMATIC, in black skinny jeans, a black bra under a sheer scarlet blouse, a cropped leather jacket and stacked-heel boots.

The friendly, casual NATURAL wears jeans and T-shirts, canvas running shoes and simple stud earrings.

And of course, there’s the empathetic, sensitive ROMANTIC, decked out in a flowy, ruffled dress, charm bracelet and espadrilles.

In my latest release, Resisting the Rancher, my heroine Celia, hides behind baggy T-shirts and old jeans. She’s afraid of her femininity, unsure of her sex appeal and terrified of looking, as she puts it, “like a pig in drag.”

But in preparation for her brother’s wedding, she’s forced into a makeover, from underwear to mascara. In the process, she discovers aspects of herself she never dreamed existed. Jonah, my hero, is of course delighted to see Celia embrace the beauty that he’s always been able to see. For myself, I like to be comfortable, to feel relaxed and good about myself in my clothes. But, every now and again, I love to get my sexy on, too.

What about you? What kind of clothing do you feel best in? Do you think your clothing matches your personality?

Meet Roxanne

Roxanne Snopek has been writing professionally for more than two decades and her work has appeared in publications varying from The Vancouver Sun and Reader’s Digest to newsletters for Duke, Cornell and Tufts Universities. She’s done corporate copywriting on topics ranging from pet food for Iams/Eukanuba, to employee profiles for VersaCold to air-conditioner maintenance for Home Depot. (That’s right. Air conditioner maintenance.)

But she’s also had a bunch of other stuff published, including one mystery novel, a couple of literary short stories and a non-fiction series. One summer, she wrote video game dialogue and narrative for Silicon Sisters Interactive, a project that combined her two favourite genres – mystery and romance – with the world of casual gaming.

In 2012 she sold her first romance novel to Entangled Publishing. THREE RIVER RANCH made the Barnes & Noble Top Ten list, The Amazon Top 100 list and is now the foundation of a multi-book series. Recently, the first three books sold to France.

Author Email: rsnopek@shaw.ca
Author Website
Author Blog
Author Twitter
Author Facebook
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Newsletter

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Authors After Dark -- Come Join the Fun!

Authors After Dark is coming QUICKLY and OMG this year is going to be INSANE!

As always AAD is about the readers, and the amount of awesome we have put together for you this year, you would be INSANE not to attend….

First, our amazing Master of Ceremonies is none other than Alexandra Ivy! She will be doing a cool little event to celebrate your favorite gargoyle, Levet on Friday! Wanna know more? Check out the FB group where Alex will be talking about the awesome that she has going on!

Torquere and authors BA Tortuga and Julia Talbot will be Sponsoring our Welcome event, the Midnight Rodeo… And it looks like We will have some VERY COOL goodies and… Riding… happening… *SNICKER*

How about Parties? This year we have a special event called the Leather and Lace Ball! Curious? We thought so! Take a ride on the wild side and let your inhibitions fly with five New York Times Bestselling Authors of erotic romance. Cuffs and corsets encouraged.

With:
J. Kenner, Liliana Hart, Carly Phillips, Janelle Denison, Jasinda Wilder and Lorelei James

The ladies will be talking more about this on the FB group starting soon!

New for 2014 is the Paranormal Party! Join over 20 Paranormal authors who will be giving away goodies, some books and hanging out with you to snack and chat! Wanna know what authors are involved? You will have to join the FB group to see!


And of course, we have the amazing Masquerade Ball! This year it’s the SINS AND VIRTUES BALL! Are you a sin or a virtue? Join us for a wild costumed event! Prizes for the best costumes, including a 200$ gift certificate to Lori Ann Costumes!

Your Sins and Virtues Sponsors:
Sin Lust
Boone Brux
Opal Carew

Sin Pride
BA Tortuga
Andrew Grey

Sin Envy
Stella Price
TJ Michaels

Sin Gluttony
Desiree Holt
Saranna DeWylde

Sin Greed
Ann Mayburn
Heather Long

Sin Sloth
Lizzie T. Leaf
Julie Morgan

Sin Wrath
Stacey Kennedy
Marianne Morea

Virtue Charity
Kerry Adrienne
Trista Ann

Virtue Chastity
Jenn LeBlanc
Annabel Jospeh

Virtue Humility
Milly Taiden
Donna McDonald

Virtue Kindness
CJ Ellisson
Alexandra Ivy

Virtue Temprance
J. Kenner
Sidney

Virtue Diligence
Denise Grover Swank
Jenna McCormick

Virtue Patience
Lousia Bacio
Kallypso masters

And if THAT isn’t enough awesome that will be going on… This year we have an amazing off site costumed event… the Ladies on the Green event sponsored by the AAD Anachronistic Society! This will be an hour and a Half on the famous GREEN in Charlotte (a half block from the hotel). It will be a Costumed event (though Costumes are not required they are encouraged!) to celebrate Gothic, Victorian, steampunk dark historical literature! Your hosts will be: Sahara Kelly, Amanda McIntyre, Leanna Renee Hieber, A.L. Davroe and S.A. Price. Prizes and readings will happen, as well as photo ops!

And NEVER forget the Amazing Open bar with Mel Schroeder and friends! They have SO MUCH awesome set up for you just before the Bookies… you do NOT wanna miss that!

Getting excited yet? How about some info on the AWESOME mini events we have going on? Ready?

On Wed. Night,  Join Sasha White and Joey W. Hill for a wild party and Q&A, Also, the Blind Date Book Party will be open to start your con right! (If you have never done a BDBP, you are MISSING out! You need to attend, Get your blind date book, find the author that wrote it, and hang out with them!)

Thursday?  Panels up the wazoo, and the Bookie Awards----- goodies and books to be given out! The hangout with The GNO girls lead by CJ Ellisson and Boone Brux for some crazy fun! And if that wasn’t enough?  Readings and a Blogger Sleepover party as well!

Friday? More panels, a games carnival with Nina Gooden and Pals, Name that Author with Cat Johnson, and some other fun surprises!

Saturday? A few panels, the Big ass booksigning with 100 authors,  the Cowboy Stampede party, the Readers Mad Tea Party with Hildie McQueen, An after the bookies event with a special publisher sponsor, And Jess Michaels’ Birthday extravaganza!

SEE? SO MUCH AWESOME! All the authors that are involved with parties will be talking about their involvement on the FB group, so join up and get ready to rock.

Oh? You say you’re not registered for AAD yet? You need to be! All registrants get put in the hat for the welcome party prizes, and these prizes are AMAZING! Breakfast with authors, Booze and Books, side trips to Carrowwinds…. We have a minimum of 90 special prizes…. So…

You need to rock this con! And as if this wasn’t enough…. AAD will be giving away something really awesome to registrants…. Wanna know what?

How about 5 VIP registrations for THE NOVEL EXPERIENCE 2015 in LAS VEGAS? YES… 5!


And…

How about this… If we hit 100 more registrations from TODAY April 10th to June 10th, we will give away 2 AAD registrations for 2015…  2!!!!! So get registered, get your room and get ready for one HELL of an amazing year with us!

 JOIN US! WE CANT WAIT TO HANGOUT WITH YOU!

Blog Tour Review: STILL LIFE WITH STRINGS by L.H. Cosway



Title: Still Life with Strings
Author: L.H. Cosway
Publisher: L.H. Cosway
Pages: 350
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

My name is Jade Lennon and I stand still for money.

The night I saw Shane Arthur watching me everything changed. A man in a suit always catches my eye, but it was the way he looked at me that was different. Like he knew me or something. He didn’t know me, especially not in my costume. My sobriety rests on staying away from men, but there was something about him that made me throw caution to the wind.

After all, I was never going to see him again, right?

Wrong.

Standing still isn’t the only way I make my money. I also bartend at a concert hall. Never in my wildest dreams did I think Shane was going to show up there. Not only that, but he’s the most recent addition to the orchestra. So now on a daily basis I have to resist one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever met and he plays the violin. For me that’s one hell of a deadly cocktail.

He wants me to teach him how to live. I’m not sure how much a twenty-six year old recovering alcoholic who works in a bar and moonlights as a living statue can teach a world class concert violinist, but I’m sure going to try.

Still Life with Strings is a story of music, art, sex, magical realism, and romance that you will never forget.


Review by Angela
I received a copy of Still Life with Strings for an honest review.

To be honest I was a little unsure about this book in the beginning. There was something in the blurb that caught my attention but I couldn't quite figure out exactly what. I'm glad I read it. This story has a whimsical & magical feel to it but not too much. Shane & Jade are characters that almost anyone could relate to. Separately they have their odd quirks about them but together they make perfect sense. There are some pretty big twists & surprises along the way that keep you turning page after page. For any reader looking for a romance that wouldn't mind a bit of a whimsical spin on it this is a fantastic read.
Book Excerpt:

They call me the Blue Lady.
The more poetic would say a dark angel, or an unexpected, fantastical surprise standing upon the mundane street. I wear a long midnight blue dress, a matching wig, white paint on my hands and face, and glorious, feathery blue wings affixed to my back.
I feel like a gap in reality, a moment where people can pause mid-stride and say in a breathy, wonder-filled voice, wow, look at that. For the more cynical, wow, look at that nutjob.
Perhaps for a moment someone will think that they’ve stepped into a world where normal is not the rule anymore, that the extraordinary is. That my wings aren’t false but real, that my skin is really this white, my hair really this blue.
Unfortunately, none of it is real.
But it’s nice, isn’t it, for a brief moment to imagine that it is?
In reality I’m a twenty-six-year-old woman with a stack of bills I’m struggling to pay and two younger siblings who are reliant on me to keep a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs, and food in their bellies.
I do this living statue act whenever I have the free time. It gives me an artistic outlet, while also making me some much-needed cash on the side. Admittedly, I don’t normally do it at one o’clock in the morning in the middle of Grafton Street, but it’s a Saturday. That means there’ll be lots of tourists. More to the point, lots of drunk tourists with loose pockets and even looser inhibitions about who they hand over their cash to – such as women who stand very still while dressed like a Manga fairy.
I stare directly ahead, unblinking, controlling my breathing using a qigong method, just as I hear the recognisable loutish shouting and laughter of a stag party up ahead. When they come into my line of sight, I see that they’re all wearing black T-shirts with their nicknames written across the back and Jack’s Stag Weekend across the front.
No shit.
I am an island, an inanimate object among the to and fro of humanity. I brace myself for the possibility that the stag party is going to be trouble. Moments later, one guy stands in front of me, waving his hand in my face and trying to get me to blink. How original.
Sometimes I feel like those guards who stand outside Buckingham Palace. And like those long-suffering buggers, I have also perfected the art of remaining still and giving no reaction at all.
“Are you blue all over?” he slurs with a drunken sideways grin.
As a street performer, you have to take the rough with the smooth. When you put yourself out there, you’re going to encounter every facet of society: the good, the bad, and the drunk off their arses. Kids are the best. They haven’t yet lost the sense of wonder that makes them stare up at you and truly believe you’re some sort of blue-fairy-bird-woman-thing.
“That’s a real nice rack,” says another of the stag partiers.
Yeah, you try carrying it around all day and dealing with the back problems, and then tell me how nice it is, I think. Soon they lose interest and continue on their way. A half an hour passes, and several more pedestrians throw some coins into my hat.
The moon is full tonight, a round white orb perched amid the stars. I want to go up there and see what everything looks like from on high. I flutter my wings and prepare for flight, flapping them through the air and then leaping into the sky. My ascent is an easy one. I pluck a star out of the blackness and stick it in my blue hair as an adornment. When I reach the moon, I find a comfortable spot and sit. Leaning my chin on my hand, I gaze back down at the street. The people look like tiny black ants, the buildings like less brightly coloured blocks of Lego.
I blink, and I’m back on my box, back on the street. I was never really on the moon. My wings are a pretty accessory, but they’re useless for flying. Sometimes I can imagine things so hard that I feel like they’re really happening.
My eyes catch on a group of people I recognise. They all play in the symphony orchestra at the concert hall where I work as a ticket attendant and bartender. I don’t talk to most of them, but I’m friends with a couple of the ladies. I know that one of the violinists is leaving to move to Australia with his family, so tonight must be his big send-off.
Often on my breaks I’ll sit at the back of the hall and watch their rehearsals, allowing myself to be swept away with the music. My favourite sound is at the very beginning of their performances, when all the instruments clamour together to get in tune. It builds up this addictive sense of anticipation.
I envy their lives as musicians, travelling the world and playing for amazing audiences in historic venues. It’s so much more beautiful than the life I live. I think a lot about the fact that I’m constantly near these people, and yet my reality is so far removed from theirs.
None of them even know that the woman with the painted skin dressed all in blue is the same inner-city girl who sells tickets for their concerts and serves them drinks at the bar after their practices.
In a way it’s quite a wonderful feeling. For a moment I am unchained from my own humdrum identity.
By the time I withdraw from these thoughts, the orchestra musicians are gone. Slowly, I turn my head slightly to the left and find a new position. I stand in the same pose for fifteen minutes at a time, and then I’ll make an almost imperceptible move to ease some of the strain. It takes willpower and the patience of a saint to do this. Fortunately, I’ve had years of practice being responsible for my younger siblings.
I’m all about the willpower, especially since I’m a recovering alcoholic who works in a bar. Most people say that to properly get over an addiction, you have to purge all presence of the drug from your life. I take a different approach. The fact that I can be around alcohol and not drink it, well, I like to think that makes me stronger. It’s been five years, and I haven’t touched a drop.
Anyway, what with jobs being so thin on the ground these days, I can’t exactly afford to be picky. You’ll be amazed by what you can achieve when necessity sets in.
Once I settle in my new position, I notice a man standing by the shuttered window of a shop on the other side of the street. He’s got brown hair in what my mother would have called a “gentleman’s haircut” when she was alive. It’s all neatly combed and swept to the side. His facial features are exotic yet not, giving the impression that he was born of a white father and an Asian mother — or vice versa.
He’s just standing there staring at me, looking fascinated and a small bit lost. I sometimes encounter people like this. Adults who see me and are touched by whatever emotion my appearance has managed to evoke in them.
These are the things I live for. Aside from the money, it’s the main reason why I do this.
Up until this moment, though, I’ve never had someone I’m attracted to show a similar sort of wonder. His eyes crinkle in a smile. I think he knows that I’ve noticed him. A couple who have also been watching me for several minutes finally drop some money in my hat, and I give them a small bow for their generosity.
My legs are starting to get a little too stiff, so I decide it’s time to call it a night. Stretching my arms up over my head and stepping down off my box, I pick up my money hat, fold it in half, and shove it into the box.
The beautiful man across the street stands up straight when he sees me move. I pull off my wig and stick that in the box, too, loosening my real hair out of the tight bun I’d had it in under the wig. Making sure not to damage the feathers, I shrug out of the wings and place them inside as well.
When I glance up, the man is standing before me, too close almost. His eyes are a deep golden brown, like a glass of fine brandy, and his features have a delicate masculinity. Strong yet vulnerable.
“Hello there,” I say with a hint of amusement, pulling my long cardigan from the box and shuffling out of my blue dress. I always wear a light slip underneath.
“Hey,” the man replies, watching as I fold the dress neatly and place it in the box before ducking into my cardigan. “You’re blonde,” he says then, eyes on my hair.
I’d expected him to be foreign, given his semi-exotic appearance, but his accent is middle-class Dublin through and through.
“That I am,” I answer, giving him a look as if to say, are we done here?
It’s almost two in the morning, but the street still has quite a few people on it, so I don’t really feel on edge about this stranger standing near enough that we’re practically touching.
His gaze travels down to my feet, a wry smile shaping his lips when he takes in my black biker-style boots. As he scans my bare legs, I feel a shiver run down my back, lingering erotically at the base of my spine.
Hmm, it has been a while, and this man is utterly gorgeous. He’s wearing a dark suit with a white shirt, no tie. He hovers over me, standing only a couple of inches taller. His breath whispers across my skin, smelling faintly of gin.
“Would you like to have a drink with me?” he asks, reaching out to run a hand through the waves at the end of my long hair.
Despite his forwardness, it feels good to be touched. Sometimes it seems like no one ever touches me like this — just for the sake of it. I had a really stressful day with my younger brother Pete acting the brat; a little relief would be nice. A bit of physical interaction. Some skin on skin.
Something thickens in the air between us as we make eye contact. The man sucks in a quick breath, his gaze flickering back and forth over my features.
Once I have everything put away, I close my box, pulling it along on its wheels.
“How about a quick shag instead?” I ask back, uncharacteristically brazen.

About the Author:


L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books. 

Her latest book is the contemporary romance, Still Life with Strings.

Visit her website at www.lhcosway.com.

Connect & Socialize!

  
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Book Spotlight: THE FIRST SERIES by Dawne Dominique


Eden’s Hell, I: The First
In the beginning…
God created man and called him Adam, a fine specimen replicated in his own image. He then created woman to ease Adam’s loneliness and named her Lillith. Unfortunately, God realized his mistake too late in giving woman free will, for she would rule her domain-not man. When Lillith left Adam, God created another for his first-born son, and gave her the name Eve and a kingdom called Eden, but by then it was too late, for he’d unleashed Hell into the world of man.

Purchase your copy:

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Dark Dairy, II: The First
The lives of a deranged serial killer, a seven centuries old First vampire and a City of Winnipeg detective collide in this second novel of Dawné Dominique’s The First series. Daniella Rolfe, a seven-century old First vampire is unwittingly drawn together with a City of Winnipeg detective, who happens to be investigating a string of some rather bizarre serial murders. It doesn’t take long for her to discover that this mere mortal man holds more power over her than any she’s ever known. And Aiden…he’s only dreamed about women like Daniella. Blood battles and broken vows are just the beginning of Daniella Rolfe’s woes.

Purchase your copy:

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Kindred Blood, III: The First
There is nothing thicker—or stronger—than kindred blood.
Being married in Scotland sounds like the perfect romantic getaway, doesn’t it? For Daniella Rolfe and Aiden Blackmore, the nightmare they’d left behind was just the beginning. When Aiden is kidnapped, Daniella will go to any lengths to ensure he’s brought safely back to her, no matter the amount of blood to be shed. Together with Spencer Dalton, a private investigator she hired to help find Aiden, they begin to unravel more than they bargained for.
Broken vows are the least of Daniella’s worries now.

Purchase your copy:

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Crimson Cries, IV: The First
Can she leave behind her past in order to do what’s necessary for the future?
When Paladin Sandalio, prince of the vilkacis race, shows up at her door with the same cryptic warnings as her father, Daniella Rolfe has no choice but to believe the Nuasiar Nine walk the world again. With vamps and wolves dying side-by-side, and innocents caught in the crossfire, she knows it won’t be long before the veils are set asunder. Trusting those she’s detested for centuries is no easy task, but learning that entities like them were not created by accident will be the greatest challenge of all.
New vows will be taken—now she will show them real fear.

Purchase your copy:

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Discuss all these books in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

A multi-published and award-nominated author of paranormal erotic romance and fantasy, Dawné Dominique’s novels instantly hook readers until that last page is read.
Although published in the US, she’s a Canadian author through and through. The second novel of her vampire series, Dark Diary, II: The First, is set in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she resides with her family, and Gunkers, a stray cat she recently saved, and Chumbly, their newest addition to the feline household.
She embraces life with one simple rule: “Everything in life happens for a reason, be it good or bad, and it’s because of this we learn to never take anything for granted.”
Her latest books are in The First Series: Eden’s Hell, Dark Dairy, Kindred Blood and Crimson Cries.
Drop by to pay her visit at: www.dawnedominique.com or www.DusktildawnDesigns.com.

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  This tour is brought to you by the fine folks at Pump Up Your Book!

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Blog Tour: SAVED BY YOU by Helen Conrad




Saved By You - Week Blitz
By Helen Conrad

Contemporary Romance
Date Published: January 14, 2014

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Image is everything

Bad boy Kane's image is what gets him the job protecting Annie and her Hawaiian ranch but it's an image he's restless to shake.  This time he wants to get the girl--not the blame.

Annie Ventura needs Kane to be a tough guy, but what she falls for is the tenderness.  Now she has to figure out how to handle both sides of this irresistible man who is dredging up secrets from her past.

Kane Carrington can't resist a call for help from the girl he secretly loved in high school.  He goes back to his Hawaiian home, only to find he's still the "bad boy" to her golden girl image.  But now he's a man, not a boy and Annie Ventura can't resist him.  But does he have to destroy her memories of her dead husband in order to seal the deal?

As they work together to get to the bottom of the harassment she’s been experiencing, memories return and emotions are rekindled.  Annie learns that protecting the past for her son just might lead to her losing their future.  Kane begins to understand his family and his place in it—and how important it is to build bridges instead of blowing them up.



SAVED BY YOU is book #1 of  Destiny Bay Romances-The Islanders.
The full set:

Destiny Bay Romances~Islanders







EXCERPT

Emotions were usually pretty deep with him. He didn't like to let them get too near the surface. But for just a moment, he'd stopped and turned slowly, taking it all in, remembering a past that could never be again, missing it, missing home and actually feeling a slight stinging in his eyes.

And that was when she got him.

"Okay, you bastard, hold it right there. Don't make a move."

At the same moment the voice hit him, both barrels of a shotgun were jammed very hard and very painfully into the small of his back, and he groaned in disbelief. He hadn't even heard her coming up behind him. He shook his head. He was losing it.

"I'd like to blast a hole right through you. How would you like that, you slime ball?"

"Hey, hold on just a minute..."

The barrel jabbed him. "Don't try to talk, dirt bag. Just start walking. I'm going to walk you right off my land, and then I'm going to call the cops. And the next time you come slinking around I'm going to blow your brains out. You got that?" She jabbed him again to get him going toward the road. "And you can tell Bart Carlson I'll do the same for any other of his pathetic flunkies that he sends over here to screw up my life."

It took only one quick twist and a little leverage, and he had her on the ground, his big body holding hers down, the shotgun wrenched from her grasp and sent spinning in the dust.

But that didn't mean she gave up. Not by any means. She fought like a wildcat, spitting and scratching at him with fury. It took both his hands to hold down hers, and the full length of his body to hold her captive.

"Cut it out, Annie," he growled at her, annoyed that she wasn't giving up even once she'd realized his superior strength. "I'm not going to hurt you."

The sound of her name was what seemed to still her for a moment. She stared up at him and he stared down at her, wondering if she had any idea that they had known each other before.

She'd changed. But her hair was still blond, still a mass of shimmering tangles that seemed to go on forever. Her body was still slim and lithe, but there was a strength to her he wouldn't have thought she would ever possess. She was still squirming beneath him, but it was beginning to feel good. He glanced at her cotton blouse, all askew and revealing the soft curve of her breast and a tiny strip of lace.

"Don't," she spat at him fiercely.

He looked up. Her face was older, naturally. The crystal blue eyes he remembered so vividly were wary, haunted by pain and struggle she couldn't have dreamed of in her younger days. And she wasn't laughing. In his memories, she was always laughing.

There was no sign of recognition. Didn't anybody remember him? Had he been erased from the minds of an entire community?


Helen Conrad

 photo HelenConrad_authorphoto300_01_zpsed720117.jpgHelen Conrad is an award-winning, best-selling author (over 15 million books sold) of heart-felt--and often humorous--contemporary romances, most of which are spiced with a little heat.  She's published more than 99 romances under various pseudonyms with Harlequin, Silhouette, Mills and Boon, Loveswept, and others and is currently revamping the best of her backlist, creating the Destiny Bay Romances Series about a rich, influential family living along the Central California Coast, Arizona and the Hawaiian Islands.  The Carringtons are good-looking, fast-driving, hard-hitting men and women whose impulses lead them into trouble--and inevitably, into love--every time.  Saved By You is the story of Kane Carrington who returns to Hawaii to settle old scores and revive a lost love.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Guest Post: HOW TO HANDLE A COWBOY by Joanne Kennedy

I am so very excited to have Joanne Kennedy on the blog today. She is another of my favorite Western authors. Today she stopped by to answer a few questions and celebrate the release of her newest book How To Handle a Cowboy.

Share your favorite cowboy, rodeo event, or something Western in the comments and enter to win a copy of How to  Handle a Cowboy + a surprise cowboy-themed gift from Joanne. 
1 winner, US and Canada only. Giveaway ends April 30th at 11:59 pm Central. Don't forget to leave your email address.

His Rodeo Days May Be Over...
Sidelined by a career-ending injury, rodeo cowboy Ridge Cooper feels trapped at his family's remote Wyoming ranch. Desperate to find an outlet for the passion he used to put into competing, he takes on the challenge of teaching his roping skills to five troubled ten-year-olds in a last-chance home for foster kids, and finds it's their feisty supervisor who takes the most energy to wrangle.

But He'll Still Wrangle Her Heart…
When social worker Sierra Dunn seeks an activity for the rebellious kids at Phoenix House, she soon learns she's not in Denver anymore. Sierra is eager to get back home to her inner-city work, and the plan doesn't include forming an attachment in Wyoming—especially not to a ruggedly handsome and surprisingly gentle local rodeo hero.

Praise for How to Handle a Cowboy
“Realistic and romantic... Kennedy’s forte is in making relationships genuine and heartfelt as she exposes vulnerabilities with tenderness and good humor.” —Booklist STARRED Review

“The sex scenes are juicy... Each character is essential to the storyline and the plot moves seamlessly.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

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Me: What makes you like writing Westerns and cowboys?
Joanne: For starters, I live in Wyoming, where cowboys rule! I also love horses, so this subgenre was a natural fit. But the main reason I love writing about cowboys is because they make such great romantic heroes. Whether I’m writing about a wild rodeo cowboy or a strong-and-silent ranch foreman, I’m writing about a man with a deep connection to the land, a gift for working with animals, and a deep sense of family and tradition. I’m also writing about a man who’s spent hours in the saddle working certain muscles that women find very, very attractive (wink, wink, nudge, nudge!).

Me: What is your favorite rodeo event? Do you get to attend a lot of rodeos? Is there one even that you want to attend but haven't had a chance yet?
Joanne: I love any kind of bronc riding. Saddle bronc riding is a wild Western dance that takes a surprising amount of finesse. Bareback bronc riding is a grueling sport that requires a lot of strength and flexibility. Both are beautiful to watch. I also love barrel racing, because those girls ride with such grace and courage, taking those tight turns right on the razor’s edge of disaster.

I get to attend lots of top-notch rodeos because I live in Cheyenne, the home of the largest outdoor rodeo in the world. Cheyenne Frontier Days is an essential stop on the road to the National Finals, so all the great cowboys and cowgirls compete here.

On the other end of the spectrum is the Double Bar G rodeo in Pine Bluffs, a fun and friendly small-town rodeo that for me captures the real spirit of the West.

There are two rodeos on my bucket list: the famous Pendleton Round-Up in Oregon, and the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale.

Me: What is your favorite line from How to Handle a Cowboy?
Joanne: It’s hard to choose, but I really love the scene where Sierra and Ridge are locked in a closet with the lights out. Here’s one bit…

“It’s me,” he said. “Just me.”

Yeah, right. Just him, with his tanned skin and uncanny eyes, with that five-o’clock shadow and that body part she wasn’t supposed to think about. But how could she not think about it when she’d just touched it?

And this one, when Sierra expresses her surprise that Ridge smells good.
“Have you seen yourself? Your jeans are torn, your boots look like you dipped ‘em in horse hooey, and that hat…Best case scenario, I figured you smell like the front end of a horse. Worst case, the back end.”

And for a romantic moment:
“The glow of her lit up the room, and the moment seemed to draw out a little, as if there’d been an extra couple of seconds added to that particular minute.”

Me: Can you describe Ridge in 3 words? Sierra?
Joanne: Ridge is strong, silent, and sexy. It’s a cliché, but you only gave me three words and they fit!

Sierra is nurturing, dedicated, and strong. And yes, the “strong” part overlaps, and it’s a good thing, considering what they go through in this book!

Me: Can you share what you have coming up?
Joanne: How to Handle a Cowboy was the first in the Cowboys of Decker Ranch series, so I’m working on the second book, How to Wrangle a Cowboy. This one’s about Brady Caine, the youngest and wildest of the Decker Ranch cowboys. He leads a carefree life that’s all about buckles, babes, and beer until he literally ropes a champion barrel racer. Suze Carlyle is everything Brady isn’t: focused, ambitious, and goal-oriented. But deep down, these two have some strengths in common, just like Ridge and Sierra. It just takes them a while to figure it out…

Thank you so much for stopping by today! I'm finishing up How To Handle a Cowboy and absolutely love Ridge and Sierra. My review will be up soon.


Joanne Kennedy’s lifelong fascination with Wyoming’s unique blend of past and present inspires her to write contemporary Western romances with traditional ranch settings. Her books include Cowboy Tough, Tall, Dark and Cowboy, and the RITA-nominated One Fine Cowboy. At various times, she has dabbled in horse training, chicken farming, and bridezilla wrangling at a department store wedding registry. Her love of reading led to careers in bookselling and writing. She lives with two dogs and a fighter pilot in Cheyenne, Wyoming. For more information, please visit http://joannekennedybooks.com/.

Monday, March 31, 2014

New Release: FINDING HER DREAM

 Available now!! 
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Western Romance
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It wasn't until she watched her best friend find the man of her dreams that RayAnne Hill realized there was a part of her missing. She knows the empty space can only be filled by finding her own true love, complete with kids and the white picket fence. Fear of letting someone in stops her cold, and it's much bigger than just finding Mr. Right.

James Shaw moved away from Kentucky and the family business to chase his own goals, settling in the small town of Kimmswick, Missouri. His business is succeeding, now he's ready to complete his life with a wife and kids. One night, one look and he's found her. RayAnne is everything he's been searching for.

As hard as James has fallen for RayAnne, can he be enough to help her overcome her worst nightmare? Or will he decide he can't wait forever, and walk away to find happiness?

Purchase: All Romance | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Excerpt:

He swallowed another drink of dark amber beer. The local brew had quickly become one of his favorites. The bar, a second favorite. It was tiny, just like the town. Everyone knew everyone. Laughter from the front door pulled him from his pity party. James turned to see whose laughter sounded like wind chimes on a warm spring night. He sucked in a deep breath and pounded his chest to get his heart beating again. Blonde hair fell over her shoulders. Shorts, not a skirt, showed off her legs. Her cowboy boots were broken in, but perfect for the outfit.

By the time his heart came back on line the group had broken off into two directions, one of the women went to find a seat while the blonde headed to the bar. With a man. Just his luck. But he couldn’t keep his eyes off the way she sauntered up to the bar, her hips wiggling just enough to draw his attention. As he watched her order he noticed the man had his sights set on the other woman they’d arrived with. She had spiky black hair, piercings, and tattoos. Maybe his day wasn’t doomed after all. The dark haired one wasn’t his type. But the blonde…the cute, innocence of her face contrasted with the sexy short shorts and flannel shirt tied at her waist. She was exactly his type.

She looked up and down the patrons, stopping at him. James couldn’t pry himself away from her gaze. He winked and she grinned before offering him a finger wave. A little vixen.

“Hi.” Her cute, kissable mouth formed the word.

“Hey, sugar,” he replied, garnering the attention of the guy standing at her side. The other man glanced down the bar at him and cocked an eyebrow. Did they know each other? James didn’t think so, but he wasn’t very good at names or faces, so it was possible.

James broke their connection, turning to signal the bartender he wanted another round. As he tipped the bottle back, a warm, soft touch landed against his neck. “Save me a dance, cowboy,” the sweet words were whispered in his ear.