‘My Vampire Cover Model’ by Karyn Gerrard

STORY: Life changed for Deanna Brooks the night she attended a book signing for her aunt’s best-selling paranormal romance series. There she met Burney ‘The Cover God’ Sheridan. The model for the series’ fictional vampire hero, Burn is beyond handsome and has an overabundance of Irish charm. He’s too good to be true.

Burn Sheridan, a man with scores of past lives, has a secret: he is a vampire. Meeting Deanna is agony because for the first time in over two hundred years, Burn experiences the rarest of vampiric needs—the mate-of-the-soul connection. Keeping people at a distance has been Burn’s existence for centuries, but Deanna makes his pledge of staying detached impossible.

Many obstacles lie ahead and the biggest of all may be Burn himself. Can Deanna and Burn overcome them and find lasting love?

REVIEW: What would our Halloween posting be without a review of some good ol’ paranormal romance?!

Karyn Gerrard‘s  ‘My Vampire Cover Model’ is such a great little novella, its perfect for this time of year!

You can grab a nice hot cup of coffee or warm apple cider and have a seat and an hour later you have read the entire book and it’s a great little break!

‘My Vampire Cover Model’ is a fun, fast paced, fluffy vampire novella.  It’s cute, engaging and altogether a pretty fun read.  Burney or Burn (LOVE the name) is our vampire hero who changes his identity occasionally to not become detected as a vampire.

For this particular moment in time he is none other than a romance novel cover model for a series of paranormal vampire stories…..very clever if I do say so myself. :)  While at a book signing with the author of the series of books he models for, he finds instant attraction, love at first sight, if you will, with none other than the author’s niece!

Deana is lonely and unaware of the stir she has caused in Burn when she first meets him.  See, he knows who she is to him but she certainly doesn’t. The chemistry between Burn and Dean is instantaneous and doesn’t keep the readers waiting long to combust.  It’s fun and its sexy; its great reading material for all us Paranormal fans!

If you are looking for a good, quick read that is not heavily laden with angst and misunderstandings this is the one for you!

Kristal for b2b

‘A Notorious Countess Confesses’ by Julie Anne Long

STORY: She rose to spectacular heights . . .

From Covent Garden to courtesan to countess, beautiful, fearless, shamelessly ambitious Evie Duggan has riveted London in every role she plays. But the ton never could forgive her scandalous—if shockingly short—marriage, and when her star plummets amid gleefully vicious gossip, the countess escapes to the only legacy left to her: a manor house in Pennyroyal Green.

He never expected to fall so hard . . .

He has the face of a fallen angel and a smolder the devil would envy, but Vicar Adam Sylvaine walks a precarious line: resisting temptation . . . and the wild Eversea blood in his veins. Adam’s strength is tested when scandal, aka the countess, moves to Sussex. But when a woman who fiercely guards her heart and a man entrusted with the souls of an entire town surrender to a forbidden desire, will the sweetest sin lead them to heaven . . . or make outcasts of them forever?

REVIEW: Here comes book seven in Julie Ann Long’s Pennyroyal Greene series and while in this one we’re not following any of the Eversea’s or Redmond’s, even though our hero the Vicar is a cousin to Ian and Colin Eversea, it is still entertaining and character driven as the previous seven.

The story opens with Evie Duggan, or lately better known to the ton as  The Black Widow, as they all ran her out of London believing her capable of ‘doing her husband’ in.

As she escapes to the only place left to her, she meets a town full of women that are righteous, pious and many in awe and very protective of their young Vicar. Laying her eyes on him, she’s not surprised at their actions toward him and to have their friendship, she knows only one man can help her in that attempt, Adam Sylvaine.

Adam Sylvaine is young in age, but when it comes to his soul, the man has seen as much pain as happiness. He’s honest, loving and very protective of his parishioners. His love for them goes beyond his acceptance of their prejudices. It goes to the root of who he is.

Revisiting all the residents of Pennyroyal Greene was like coming to your home town! I loved finding myself among them once again, and as usual, Ms. Long has given me yet another clue to Lyon and Olivia’s story that I wonder if there ever will be a happily ever after for those two together.

Once I found out that this love story would involve a vicar and a courtesan, there was no way in Hell I was going to miss it! She created a Beta hero we can all fall in love with: honorable, caring and kind, and then paired him with a heroine that was flirtatious, smart and loyal; both were loving, courageous and very strong in their own right.

If anyone could pull this off, it was going to be JAL. I can tell you without a doubt, she has done an outstanding job with her writing, pace, plot and dialogue. She’s one of those rare authors that give their secondary characters time and space to grow on us to a point where we become protective of them as much as we do of our hero and heroine.

‘A Notorious Countess Confesses’ is one of those stories that will grab you from the moment our heroine falls asleep in the middle of our Vicar’s Sunday sermon, to the very end when all is revealed.

Julie Anne Long is not just a good story-teller; she’s a poet with her prose. With it, she leaves me light-headed and I promise it’ll do the same to you!

ARC provided by Edelweiss.

Delilah and Melanie’s Excellent Adventure!

Just in case some of you haven’t heard, let me tell you…I won this AWESOME contest Delilah Marvelle ran on her Blog for the month of August. My ‘prize’ was to spend a day with her and ever since I found out that I won, I prayed for good weather and not to get sick…well, one out of two ain’t bad. I wasn’t sick, but the weather sucked BIG time! Not that it stopped either one of us to enjoy each other’s company.

We met down town Chicago in front of the Historic Water Tower then went shopping inside the Water Tower Place. After some fun and just sitting around and getting to know each other, Delilah decided that she’ll give me a day of  ‘firsts’, so she led the way to John Hancock Observatory [holy molly that elevator was fast] and while we ‘observed’ the wonderful view down below, the sun came up! We decided to enjoy the view some more and she treated me to lunch [and just BTW, she treated me like a Queen; paid for everything] and by the time we left, the sun decided to go hide, AGAIN!

Next, came another ‘first’ [and don't y'all laugh at me when you hear my next 'first'] and that was a TAXI ride to an undisclosed location…which was my third ‘first’ of the day…a visit to a MUSEUM. LA&M is not your run-of-the-mill museum. This was a very special kind-a-museum and boy did I get an education walking the rooms of this place! Art was…well, it sort of left me speechless as well as breathless…I was so lucky to have Delilah walk me through some of the more…shall we say, interesting rooms and explain some of the …magnificent art on display. I highly recommend this place be visited, for educational purposes, naturally.

As we were leaving the museum, the wonderful young man thought to let us know that the weather has taken a turn from bad to worse, in fact so ‘worse’ that O’Hare Airport had everyone get down to the lower level because of the Tornado warning. We exited the museum and Delilah wanted to know what would I like to do next.

Seeing as how the afternoon was turning into an early evening [and knowing I only have her 'till nine] I thought why not get to Oak Brook shopping mall and visit my favorite bookstore Barnes & Nobles; get some Starbucks and check out some books! Delilah was all for it, so all we need do now is figure out how to GET THERE! Piece a’ cake! Taxi, she suggests, and I go, hey why not take a train! I NEVER took a train, so another ‘first’ off my bucket list would be scratched off, right?! How hard can that be?! You go to the station, buy tickets go in and BOOM! You’re home! Yeah RIGHT!

Why has no one EVER told me how difficult it would be to ‘take ‘a train? I didn’t know we needed to take the ‘red line’ [or was it the 'blue line' first?] then walk to the ‘blue line’ [again, could be vice-versa] and… then walk, oh, about 10-15 blocks [IN A POURING RAIN; thank God Delilah brought an umbrella with her], climb a ‘mountain’ of stairs just to find out that we were too late to catch Metra….At this point, I was huffing and puffing; my  hair was looking like I just got out of the shower; my boots were NOT meant for walking in the rain-they made this swishing sound,  while I tried to keep a pace with Delilah; my paper bag broke with my stuff falling all over the road; at one point I looked around and saw this fenced abandoned lot and thought to myself…Where in the world are we?

And then I happened to spot Delilah’s up-to-her-knees soaked jeans and prayed to God she doesn’t end up with pneumonia…I could see the headlines … FAMOUS ROMANCE AUTHOR KILLED BY HER NUMBER ONE FAN!  And then I looked at her and tried to apologize for the predicament I got us into, just to see those gorges brown eyes laughing and telling me, it’s all good…We’re just having an adventure together! As the dusk was turning into the evening, she takes my arm and points me into the ‘Don’s Grill’ that we could regroup and do what she originally wanted us to do…GET A TAXI!

This was a small little diner, with no one there but the proprietor who introduced himself as Art for Arturo, and who was such a nice man and between the two of them [I was so tiered at this point, I just sat and tried to recharge my batteries; walking 15 blocks I realized I need to get in shape] they ordered a Taxi to take us to my home.

A bit warmed up and with barest of nourishment [Delilah still wanted to take my hubby and I out to dinner] we were having a nice visit with Art and some of his customers that walked in; like the little 10-12 year old boy who emptied his pockets with a ton of change to order a Pepsi. While he kept counting and recounting his change, I caught Delilah motion to Art to put his Pepsi on her. The little guy politely turned to her and thanked her, then slowly slid all the change from the counter into his hand, and then with one more ‘thank you’ he left. I looked at her and all I could think was….I am in awe of this woman. She was such a trooper, and once we finally [it took NINETY minutes for the Taxi to come and get us] arrived at my home, dried off [I got her out of her pants and wet socks]; she visited with my Don while I played the hostess and a bar tender.  It was way past the hour she had planned to stay with me, but this woman is one true energizer bunny and she was ready to go out once again, so we all went out to dinner at our favorite bar. She had some warm Tortilla Soup while Don and I had Pizza; we drank a bit and after couple of hours came back home waiting for her to be picked up. It was a bit before midnight when she left and as soon as she did, it felt like I said goodbye to my sibling and I missed her already!

How can one describe a day filled with genuine ….the best word I can come up with is, comfort. I felt so at ease with her. Her smile is …contagious and she’s witty and sharp; smart as whip. She impressed Don to no end. Trust me; it is very hard to impress my hubby! We talked about our families, our children, her work, my work, our homes, romance community, our childhoods….We touched on so many subjects and yet I forgot to ask her the questions that one of you asked. However, I emailed them to her and here is what she had to say toleahluvsmedieval:

My question is about her characters. Did they all come at once with the story screaming to be told or did they work themselves in as the story unfolded?

Great question!  My stories never come to me all at once.  I get them in pieces.  I unfold who they are and their journey by spending time with them.  To me, they’re like real people.  The more time I spend with them, the more I get to know who they are and what their story is.  I love writing this way, too, because it allows me to experience the characters in the same way my readers are.  I honestly don’t know what my characters are going to do half the time!  lol.

As much as I like to see a trailer based on the author’s take on the characters or story, do you think it may affect how the reader sees the characters?

I think it’s another way of bringing a creative take to the characters and the story by bringing them to life for a few moments.  It’s no different than a movie.  Does a movie change how much you love a book?  No.  Because the story in the book remains the same.  I think the trailer just adds a dimension to something that already exists :)

Do you think by watching the trailers that we are taking our mind’s view away and placing the author’s view in before we ever start reading?

The trailer is meant to piqué the interest of whoever watches it.  It’s a sneak peek into the world I write.  The author’s view is already stamped on the book that is being read the visual aspect is just one more kiss being blown to our favorite people: our readers!

That also means that toleahluvsmedieval has won from us Delilah’s last book in her Rumor series ‘Forever a Lord’ and as soon as it’s out, we’ll be sending it to her [as long as she lets us know which would she prefer, print or eBook].

In the end, I can tell you all that in spite of the bad weather, soaked feet and dripping hair, I was humbled by and thankful to Delilah for finding and gifting me with her time.

I was given an adventure that will be FOREVER in MY HEART [pun intended]!

btb will be Two Years Old!

Is it possible that we’ll be two years old ALREADY?!

This year just went by so quickly, my head’s spinning…Personally, it has been one of those years that brought with it pleasure and pain, sorrow and happiness, but through it all I found out that true friends and family can get you over the most tragic of moments.

I have truly been blessed and the good Lord is still blessing me with so many of you that are still with me, faithfully stopping by, commenting and making me smile. You cannot imagine how good it feels to have you and your support out there. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you all!

Well, Krissie and I wondered how we could make this a celebration to remember, and since last year our Hook-a-Book one month-long celebration was such a great hit with not just the readers but the authors as well, we thought why not do something similar, hence the PUSH-A-BOOK one month-long celebration. It will begin on November 1st and here’s the concept.

Throughout the month we’ve invited some of the most hard-working, amazingly creative and way too talented people in the romance community to stop by and help us celebrate. Our invitations were answered with so much enthusiasm that we just might schedule some visits in twos!

SABRINA JEFFRIES will be the one to start us off and preview our upcoming month-long celebration and she’ll be pushing a…not so fast! We need you to come back and find out!

Here’s just a few of the authors that will be coming over… Jade Lee, Delilah Marvelle, Trudy Brasure, Vicky Dreiling, Eileen Dreyer, Donna Cummings, Danelle Harmon, Maureen Driscoll,  Tracey Devlyn, Anna Campbell, Sebastian Cole, Karyn Gerrard, Cecilia Grant, Calisa Rhose, Grace Burrowes, Mia Marlowe, Marilyn Brant, Vanessa Kelly, Louise Allen, Karen Erickson, Shana Galen, Elise Rome, Nicola Cornick, Catherine Kean, Jillian Stone, Saralee Etter, Patricia Rice…and just a few more…

Won’t you join our celebration by:

1) Telling us which ‘Book’ would you like to ‘Push’ and why…

2) Subscribing to our Blog…

3) ‘LIKE’ -ing us on our Facebook!

‘Sand Dollar’ by Sebastian Cole

STORY: Noah Hartman, eighty years old, lies sick in a hospital bed recounting his life of love and loss to Josh, in his sixties, a wise and compassionate orderly who stopped in to bring him dinner.

As Noah’s loved ones arrive one by one to see him, they listen in on his story, and we’re transported back in time to Noah’s younger years.

Though outwardly seeming to have it all, Noah, now thirty-five, is actually an empty, lost, and broken man running on automatic pilot. He has no true identity due to having allowed his powerful, wealthy parents to manipulate, control, and brainwash him from a young age.

With the threat of disinheritance and withholding love and approval if he doesn’t comply with the plan they have for his life, Noah is lured in by the reward of great wealth and the illusion of running the family business empire some day. In truth, however, Noah is like a regular, everyday guy living a life that was not meant for him.

Enter Robin, twenty-five years old, who — in direct contrast to Noah — is a vivacious, free spirit. Full of life and always living in the moment, Robin’s love saves Noah by inspiring him to stand up to his parents and live his own life at all costs, reclaiming his true self.

While snorkeling in the Caribbean, the captain of the boat warns them not to disturb anything in the sea. Ignoring the exhortation, Noah dives down and snags a sand dollar from the ocean floor, whereupon it explodes in his hand. With the fragile sand dollar taking on new significance, Robin inexplicably leaves Noah shortly after returning from their trip. Like a passing breeze, she disappears out of his life without a trace, seemingly forever.

Years pass, and Noah still can’t get her out of his mind and out of his heart. After all, she’d always be the one who got away, the one he loved the most. That’s when he finds out about her hidden secret, an underlying condition responsible for her having left. Noah has no choice but to move on with his life without her, meeting Sarah and pursuing a relationship with her.

Years later, it’s Noah and Sarah’s wedding day, and Robin discovers a clue that Noah had surreptitiously sent her, inspiring her to race to the wedding to try to stop it. With the wedding in shambles, the scene jumps back to present day, with both Robin and Sarah placed in Noah’s hospital room. But which one did he choose?

Things are definitely not as they appear as Noah discovers a far greater truth about his past, present, and future. As Noah finishes telling his story, we are brought up to present day, where the pieces of a shattered love are put back together in the remarkable final chapter of his life.

REVIEW: I’m trying to remember if there was another book like Sand Dollar that I read and as soon as I was done with it [I'm talking mere seconds after] that I just wanted to shout to the world and beg people to get it ASAP… come to think of it, it probably happened on one or two occasions, but right now I don’t have the time to ponder when or which book it was, BUT I do have the time to tell you why I think you should find the time to read this story.

First, let me start with how I came across it. The author, Sebastian Cole, asked me if I would have the time to read it and possibly review it for my blog, with him supplying me with the print copy. I decided to sample it from his website before I answered his email and only two paragraphs into it I went to the Amazon and bought the book, not willing to wait for the copy to arrive. I knew that my evening was shot to hell, not to mention my next morning! Nothing was going to get in my way of finishing this book in one sitting!

The above book blurb is quiet comprehensive and it sets up the story that is filled with compassion and plenty of romance. For that reason alone I’ll skip on retelling of the story and dive in to the praise of it. You heard me right! This story is worthy of praise and I have plenty of it.

I’ll start with my praise of the author’s voice. I literally ‘heard’ Noah’s narration of his life story and the gentle yet firm hand of the author taking me to his ‘bosom’ and coaxing me just a bit further, just one more step closer to the heart of the matter…the heart of the story…the revelation of the secret. The author spread the tale in front of me with such ease of telling that I drank it all in and loved every drop coming my way!

Now, I’ll tell you about the three-dimensional characters he took such painstaking time to introduce me to. Noah was one of those Beta heroes that has plenty of Alpha characteristics, but deep down is just a man in search of someone to love him, but more importantly, for someone he could love. He was someone we all can identify with, not with his wealth maybe, but with his dilemma, his personality, his troubles…

Robin was someone who will break the readers’ hearts while she does the same to Noah. Like the bird she was named after, she was free-spirited and flying high only to be slammed into invisible walls of the past. Meeting someone like Noah was as much a blessing as it was a curse for someone with her personality, and she didn’t really know how to deal with it.

This tale is not just for all you Nicholas Spark’s fans, but for all of us that at one time or another have let that ‘one, true and pure’ love get away and for the life of us couldn’t or wouldn’t figure out if or maybe we should want to or not, run after it to get it back. It’s a tale of love refusing to die. It’s a tale of romance for young and old. It’s a tale worth reading and I highly recommend you go and get it while it’s still priced at…wait for this….NINETY NINE CENTS! Book purchased from Amazon

‘Never Run From Love’ by Maureen Driscoll

STORY: Another Kellington brother finds love in the fourth book of Maureen Driscoll’s Regency romance series.

When Hal Kellington sees a respectable reform worker with the stockings of a courtesan, he’s intrigued. When his friend wagers he cannot kiss the chit, he’s challenged. And when he gets to know the spirited American, he realizes the stakes are higher than he could possibly imagine.

Since arriving in England to live with her uncle and aunt, Melanie Sutton has been working to help London prostitutes start new lives in America. When they begin disappearing, she accepts the help of a notorious rake to track them down. But she soon discovers that resisting temptation is much easier preached than practiced.

REVIEW: Awhile back I was approached by Maureen Driscoll to read her first self-published Historical regency novel, and as most of you know by now, I have great admiration for self-published authors [which is not to say that any of the other authors are lacking in my admiration], so I jumped at a chance to do it.

Her first book, ‘Never a Mistress, No Longer a Maid’ was the one that totally hooked me on the Kellington family and after reading the subsequent ‘Never Miss a Chance’ [the second Kellington book], and ‘Never Wager against Love’ [the third one], I wondered what she had in store for Hal, the youngest brother. Well, I wonder no more!

Hal is one of those rake’s that’s more a scoundrel who hides his pain and heartbreak behind a façade of the charmers smile, a healthy sexual appetite and a copious amount of drink, not necessarily in that order. His family loves him and every one of them would do anything to help him, yet they do realize that Hal himself would have to want their help in order for his life to take another turn.

None of them, including Hal himself, would even dream about that ‘the turn’ would walk into his life by way of a very smart, witty and most forward thinking young woman by the name of Melanie Sutton.

Mel was orphaned at ten and went to live with her maternal aunt, but when that aunt passed away nine years later, her uncle, the Earl of Heffner and his wife were happy to take her in and introduce her to English Society. Mel, a free thinking American and Quaker educated, wasn’t so much impressed with the ton and she was restless until she met a reformer by the name of Mrs. Seton. This woman, albeit a bit harsh and at times full of herself, gave our heroine some purpose in life and made her life worthwhile. She never dreamt that she would meet someone like Hal and against all odds, help him find his.

Ms. Driscoll starts off this tale with a scene of Hal and his friend Francis in a brothel…and multiple partners! Holy cow! Get yourself a fan!

As all her other books, Ms. Driscoll gives her all in giving us another tale of happily-ever-after. I truly admired the character of Mel, but I just couldn’t help but fall in love with Hal. I am such a sucker for the fallen angels!

If you haven’t yet read Ms. Driscoll’s books, you are missing on a wonderful family dynamic she created with Kellingtons, and I am waiting with abated breath for Liam’s story as it promises to be one of those heartbreaking love stories I adore.

ARC provided by the author

‘Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed’ by Anna Campbell

STORY: Will a week of seduction…

Desperate to save her sister’s life, Sidonie Forsythe has agreed to submit herself to a terrible fate: Beyond the foreboding walls of Castle Craven, a notorious, hideously scarred scoundrel will take her virtue over the course of seven sinful nights. Yet instead of a monster, she encounters a man like no other. And during this week, she comes to care for Jonas Merrick in ways that defy all logic-even as a dark secret she carries threatens them both.

…Spark a lifetime of passionate surrender?

Ruthless loner Jonas knows exactly who he is. Should he forget, even for a moment, the curse he bears, a mere glance in the mirror serves as an agonizing reminder. So when the lovely Sidonie turns up on his doorstep, her seduction is an even more delicious prospect than he originally planned. But the hardened outcast is soon moved by her innocent beauty, sharp wit, and surprising courage. Now as dangerous enemies gather at the gate to destroy them, can their new, fragile love survive?

REVIEW: I guess I need to come clean before I review this book…I never read ‘Beauty and the Beast’… I never saw the movie either … But if any of those are anything like this story, then they must be good… very, very good!

Sidonie Forsythe is a spinster on a mission. She aims to save her sister from a man who is determined to ruin her family, and as she arrives at his home to barter herself to him, she is faced with a man who is not just scarred from the outside, but who is hiding scars deep in his soul.

Jonas Merrick is not a pretty man. And his reputation is not any better. He is cynical, cruel to a point of ruthlessness, and a reprobate who has a mission of his own: let nothing or no one come in his way while destroying the man who stole his legacy.

As usual, nothing is as it seems and as these two meet, they both begin to unravel their true selves, and as a reader I get to watch this metamorphoses that just melted my heart.

Both of these characters are complex and the attraction between the beauty, who is slowly wooed by the beast of a man, is not to be missed.

You’ll love every minute of the seducer becoming seduced. And this reader definitely needed a fan for those parts of this tale! If you haven’t picked it up yet, you’re missing a great tale. Ms. Campbell hit this one out of the park! Period!