‘A Season for Sin’ by Vicky Dreiling

STORY: Introducing the Sinful Scoundrels…

The Earl of Bellingham is nothing is not a creature of habit: money, meals, and mistresses must be strictly managed if a man is to have a moment’s peace. It’s a system that works splendidly for him–until now. With his oldest and dearest friends succumbing, one by one, to wedded bliss, Bell is now restless and a trifle lonely. Enter the Sinful Scoundrels–Colin Brockhurst, Earl of Ravenshire, and Harry Norcliffe, Viscount Evermore–who drag him back into society and draw his rakish eye to the ton’s new beautiful young widow. Bell isn’t after a wife, but a challenge. And Laura Davenport should fit the bill quite nicely…

REVIEW: This is an e Novella and as such it is a short introduction into the upcoming series Sinful Scoundrels from an author on the rise, Vicky Dreiling. If you’ve never read anything by this author, then this is just the perfect vehicle for you to ‘sample’ and ‘taste’ her fresh take on the regency era. I find her writing style light and refreshing and I hope you will too.

As the story opens we are introduced to Andrew Carrington, the Earl of Bellingham, who is getting ready to ditch his latest mistress. It’s something he dreads to do, but alas she’s begun to grate on his nerves with her whining and nagging. It turns out, the mistress has a mind of her own and she’s about to shock the poor man!

Lady Chesfield is a young widow with a seventeen year old stepson that just can’t stay out of trouble and unless she can reel him in, she just may lose him altogether, and that she’s not willing to accept.

What I liked best about this little novela, is the way Ms. Dreiling introduced her hero. She took her time and took me on an entertaining and fun journey of a life of an Aristocrat. It was too much fun to live in this man’s mind and I can truly say that A Season for Sin is a perfect Prequel to What a Wicked Earl Wants and I am eagerly awaiting the full story of happily ever after of these two characters that are witty, passionate and charming.

And then she gave us the other two scoundrels and as secondary characters, Colin and Harry, were so well written, that they really jumped off the page and I was glad that Ms. Dreiling reined them both in, otherwise, left to their own devices, those two would have taken over the story!

ARC provided by NetGalley.


‘Loving Lady Marcia’ by Kieran Kramer

STORY: Marcia gets schooled…
Of the three Brady sisters, Lady Marcia has always seemed the girl most likely to lead a perfectly charmed life. But after a handsome cad breaks her heart, she swears off love and devotes her life to teaching girls at a private school. In spite of her family’s wish for a London debut, Marcia is happy where she is—until terrible news sends her back to the Brady clan…and into the arms of an unexpected suitor.

On the subject of love.
A dark and dashing earl who knows Marcia’s past, Duncan Lattimore is surprised by what a fascinating and independent woman she’s become. Marcia, too, is surprised—by the fiery attraction she feels for Duncan. But why—why—must he be the brother of the scoundrel who broke her heart? Why must Marcia’s rival at school forbid her from seeing him? How can this lady possibly resist this fellow—when they know that it’s much more than a hunch…?

REVIEW: Kieran Kramer has decided to resurrect the Brady Brood [and if you haven’t ever seen this show from the 70’s that went into the 80’s, you need to watch it] in her new regency series, House of Brady.

Now, if all you fans of Brady Bunch are expecting this to be a retelling of the show, you’ll be disappointed. Ms. Kramer does have only couple of light touches that bring back the memories of the much-loved series, but the story is as fresh and original as all of her earlier books.

The story opens in 1814 with Lady Marcia at an impressionable age of 15 and even at that tender age, she believed in and knew that she wanted to find that perfect love. That belief becomes her reality as she meets the love of her life in Mr. Finn Lattimore, the younger brother of Lord Duncan, Earl of Chadwick, who is along with the Earl, accompanying her on her trip to Ireland. All three will undergo profound changes and Lady Marcia especially.

It’s 1819 and Duncan, Earl of Chadwick is a man who has gone through a profound change in the past four years. His life finds a purpose with the birth of his illegitimate son and things seem to be more settled with his household. Where in the past he was too somber and serious, now he’s much mellowed and relaxed, especially with his brother Finn far away in America. He doesn’t expect that the chance meeting with his ‘girl-on-the-prow’ would turn his orderly life into one journey that he never really thought would be possible for him.

To follow these two while they try to grapple with the past and try to come to terms with their own feelings for each other in the present, while still looking to fulfill their own dreams for the future was a thrill not to be missed.

‘Loving Lady Marcia’ is yet another delightful tale from an author that I’ve become so found of. I loved almost everything about this story. What I could have done without, is the use of the word ‘okay’ in the dialogue but that is my personal pet-peeve. It, however, never took away from my enjoying the story. The chemistry between the characters, and not just the hero and heroine, but also between the parents and the siblings; servants and friends alike, was wonderful. As for the dialogue, Ms. Kramer knows her craft and she gives us not just witty, but smart and sharp.

I would be remiss in not mentioning the steamy and sensual scenes which were accompanied with her prose that made me sigh and smile all through the book.

“Almost in a panic, he kissed her, if only to ignite that ember in her that should never dim. He held her tight and parted her lips with his own, a teasing, soft, lingering kiss. And like a blossom in the rain, she opened up to him.”

And then I read this…..I dare you not to sigh…

“For a few intense moments, he refused to let her gaze stray from his. Her eyes were large and soft and stormy, all at once. Framed by the green leaves, she was as pretty and beguiling as the naked Eve must have been in that long-ago garden.”

As I look forward to the next story in this series, I can’t help but wonder if there will be Prequel because there MUST be a Prequel! All of us want to know the story of the Marquess of Brady, the widower that ends up with the love of his life and adds daughters to his brood.

If you’re looking for a sweet, sensual and utterly charming tale, this is it. Find it, buy it and enjoy it!

ARC provided by NetGalley.

Fan2Author Interview with…Delilah Marvelle!

I am a ‘newbie’ to this author and while I am ‘on the hunt’ for her back list, she’s impressing the shit out of me with her new Rumor Series. It’s easily one of the best series in romance I’ve read and every book I own is a keeper. But what impressed me about Delilah Marvelle beside her writing, is how utterly charming and sweet [not to mention sexy] she is in person. She even makes me look good! People, if you’ve never read her, please try to remedy that ASAP! Check out my reviews of the Rumor Series here. Oh, and if you want to contact her, you can find her on FB, Tweeter and at A BIT O’MUSLIN blog! Okay, okay!!! Here she is!!!!

b2bMelanie: Hello Delilah! Can you tell I am ‘over the moon’ by having you stop by?!!! Tell us, are you enjoying your summer so far?

Delilah Marvelle:  LOL!!! I most certainly am.  I usually take the summers off, so I *really* enjoy my summers 😀

b2b: How exited are you with the latest Rumor book ‘Forever a Lady’ that just came out?

DM:  VERY.  Especially in light of the premier showing of the BBC show COPPER.  I’m hoping people will see the magic of New York City of the Five Points.  I love the history behind it.

b2b: OMG! My DH is NUTS about the show! He was the one that told me about it, so now we have  a TV show we can watch together. I wonder if I could talk him into reading your Rumor series ;D

It’s no news to my readers how much I enjoy reading the ‘behind the story’ notes of any book, so tell me more about your research and ‘behind the story’ of ‘FaL’…

DM:  Few people know that I grew up in Chicago within a lower class, gang infested neighborhood where walking down the street in the wrong colors or a certain headband could get a girl raped or killed.  I got beat up a couple of times for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I got sick of being bullied and eventually banded together a group of friends (both guys and girls) who were my age. One of them, Greg, turned out to be my best friend. He looked out for me and I looked out for him and it not only made us closer but made us realize something: we could rise above anything if we were surrounded by the right people. I eventually left that neighborhood at 13, leaving my best friend behind, and moved into a better community. Greg and I lost touch and to this day, I often wonder what happened to him. But those years spent on the street bonding with him and others who struggled to rise above the intimidation and gang violence affected my life. Forever.

Although the story of FOREVER A LADY is a nod to my favorite New York movies like Annie and Newsies and Cinderella Man, at the heart of the story, it darts into the corners of my own life and my youth. It was all too easy for me to imagine and research what life would have been like back in 1820s and 30s New York in the slums, when a man loses everything and is forced to survive against thugs. I remembered the anger, the disbelief, and the desperation of others to want to become more but unable to. I was lucky to have gotten out when I did.  The hero of my story, Matthew, is an homage to my childhood. I wanted to give my best friend of old, Greg, a story. I imagined what his life turned into and wanted him to be happy. Giving him a lady who could make all of his dreams come true was part of the equation. He deserved a happily ever after and it is my hope, that with FOREVER A LADY, I did him justice. Because it doesn’t matter how you grow up, all that matters is how you come out of it and the person you become as a result of it.

Now as far as research goes, I went to New York several times to not only see the areas I was writing about (which only one building exists from my era and it wasn’t worth seeing, lol), but to access the New York City library in person that has newspapers and maps from the 1830’s that helped me flesh out the stories I was looking to write.  I wanted everything in the story to be not only historically accurate but authentic.  Research for FOREVER A LADY took me about 2 months.

b2b: WOW! I think you should write your memoirs! Tou know, the first ‘picture’ I had in my head when I started reading your book, was Leonardo DiCaprio and the movie ‘Gangs of New York’ which I caught again last week.

Just in case someone out there hasn’t read any of your books, [like I said, I am one of the brand, spanking new fans], would you tell us a bit about them and what’s coming up for you in the future? Will you be releasing more of your backlist or will you concentrate on the future books?

DM: I basically write really steamy and sometimes brow raising historical romances that infuses history with the idea that people in the past were no different from us.  They were just surviving with a different set of societal rules.  I love infusing real history, humor, adventure and anything I can cram into a book that no reader will be able to predict.

My next book coming out is FOREVER A LORD (Dec. 20th).  It’s the last of the Rumor Series and features a hero who is a bare knuckle boxer who was kidnapped as a child and learns to cope with who he really is while trying to mold himself back into the world he was taken from.  I have an e-release only coming out with Entangled this Nov. 1st, as well.  It’s an anthology that Maire Claremont and I are doing together called ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A DUKE.

After that, I am returning to a former series of mine, The School of Gallantry, in March 2013.  It’s a school led by an elderly courtesan who educates men on the topic of love and seduction.  It’s cheeky, less serious and I’m just having a lot of fun knowing I’m returning to my original series.  There are three more books left to write in that series.

b2b: Oh I can’t wait! For all of them! I just got done with the first of ‘The School of Gallantry’ book ‘Prelude to a Scandal’ and I loved it!

Which one of your books was the hardest and which the easiest to write and which touched you the most?

DM: The easiest book to write was my first book, MISTRESS OF PLEASURE.  It was all tongue and cheek and just flew right out of me.  I had so much fun giving into bawdy humor and just letting whatever needed be said be said, lol.  The hardest?  I would say my upcoming release FOREVER A LORD.  Whenever it comes to finishing any series, you have to ensure that you’re not only tying up all loose ends, but making the end of the series end with a bang.  I’m always trying to outdo myself and needless to say, it was hard to do, but I somehow pulled it off, lol.

b2b: Which is harder to write, sensual or humor filled scenes?

DM: Surprisingly, both come easy to me.  What is harder for me to write about is ensuring that the history I weave in isn’t overwhelming the reader.  I love history a bit too much, and so I try to ensure whatever history I’m weaving in doesn’t burden the reader or the story too much.  And that, I will admit is HARD, lol.

b2b: Do you let someone read your work during your writing process and who is that lucky person and why he/she? Or do you wait ‘till it’s finished, then you let someone read it…and who?

DM: I have two lucky people, lol.  Jessa Slade (author of Seduced by Shadows) and Maire Claremont (author of The Dark Lady).  Both are incredible authors who understand story but also my voice.  They always ground me and what I am doing while guiding me.  I can’t imagine *not* sending anything their way, because they always give me ideas and how to better mold my manuscript.  It’s a mutual thing we do for each other.  I give them feedback for their stories and they give me feedback for mine.  It’s a beautiful thing, lol.  My agent, Donald Maass, also reads my stuff and gives me incredible feedback.  With the team I have behind me, I feel confident when that manuscript lands on the editor’s desk.

b2b: I think Cover Art is very important to a book, almost as much as what’s inside. Tell me about the cover art of your books. They really are gorgeous. Who came up with hem? What about the older ones?

DM: The covers are gorgeous.  I was fortunate enough to have landed incredible covers every time.  Harlequin has an amazing art department.  That said, I don’t get any say on the covers.  Whatever I see is what I get.  Which is why I’m thankful they’ve been amazing.  The same with my older ones.  I had no say.

b2b: Let’s talk titles…How hard is it to ‘name’ your ‘baby’?

DM: As with my covers, I really don’t have too much say on the titles.  If they like a title, they go with it.  If they don’t, they find another title, lol.  In some way, I’m thankful, because I don’t think I’m really all that good at coming up with titles.  So naming my baby isn’t all that hard.  I have someone else do it for me 🙂

b2b: We all have favorite books, authors… How about you? Are you willing to fess-up?

DM: My favorite authors are the ones I work closely with.  There’s a reason why I work closely with them.  Because I’m crazy about their writing.  Jessa Slade is my favorite paranormal author and Maire Claremont is my favorite historical romance author.  Now mind you, Maire’s first book won’t come out until Feb. 2013 with NAL, but I’ve been reading her for years, well before anyone knew who she was, lol.  So I feel blessed.  I will also say that my favorite books are by all the dead people.  Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton, to name a few.  My love for history comes from writers who were actually breathing the history I now write about.

b2b: Some authors write at certain times of day or week and even a place. What’s your typical writing schedule and what gets your creative juices flowing? If you have any tips to help other aspiring new authors out there, feel free to share!

DM: I don’t write during the summers.  Or at least, I try not to, as I enjoy spending the summers just hanging out with my kids.  During the school year, my typical writing schedule is to get the kids out the door and start writing at 7:15 a.m.  I can’t write when there are people in the house.  It may sound strange, but I feel like their energy is bleeding into my ability to focus.  When writing about history, one has to immerse themselves in a different world and I find it’s hard to do that when you’re surrounded by people who remind you your world is fake, fake, fake, lol.  So I basically write from 7:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.  I break for lunch, but it’s usually less than 10 minutes and I go back to work.  When I’m on deadline, I’ll write as much as 12 hours in a day.  But I usually try to keep it to the 7:15 a.m.-4 p.m. schedule.  It allows me to unwind and do stuff with my family in between the madness of writing.

b2b: The Rumor series is so well written, that it made me go out and track some of your back list to keep me going ‘till ‘FOREVER A LORD’ hits the shelves (or my Kindle)! What inspired it?

DM:  A number of things.  My own childhood, an old article about a missing boy who re-surfaced 30 years later, and my own love for historical New York City.

b2b: What do you like to read and what’s on your TBR right now?

DM: I love reading everything and anything, though mostly non-fiction.  What am I reading right now?  50 Shames of Early Grey by Andrew Shaffer.  It’s a heeelarious take on the ’50 Shades of Grey’.  I just love tongue and cheek writing.

b2b: Now, that ends up our ‘professional’ portion of this interview. Are you ready to get personal? Or are you going to chicken out on me?

DM:  Bring it, lol.

b2b: So, tell us a bit about yourself, something personal that you haven’t shared with anyone before…you know…anything that makes you comfortable…or not…like how many times did you fall in love? Flannel or Silk? Cats or Dogs? Champagne or Beer?  Rock or Classical? Movies or TV?

DM:  Bring it, lol.   Okay, here’s a list of dirty laundry.  I don’t drink very much, if at all.  If I do, it has to be a sweet drink, because the idea of drinking anything bitter or sour grosses me out.  I was a Romeo in my younger years.  Meaning I was in love with the idea of being in love.  I fell in love a total of two times, though, out of all my dates.  The first time was my high school sweetheart and the second time was true love, with my college sweetheart and 20 years later husband 😉

I have no cats or dogs.  I have two children and a husband, lol.  I see them all as being my cats and dogs, I clean up after and cuddle with.

Flannel all the way.  Silk makes me feel like I’m personally starving children in Africa.  I don’t like spending a lot of money on bed sheets or clothing for that matter.  I’m more of a bargain hunter.

Music wise, alternative all the way.  I love listening to music that isn’t mainstream and comes from Europe.  It makes me feel like I’m branching out creatively, too, as I use music for my writing.

Movies all the way.  I’m a huge Netflix nut and movie theatre goer.  Whatever I can see and get my hands on, I do.

b2b: Delilah, this was such fun! Thanks for stopping by to play 😀

DM: Thanks for having me, darling!!! I have a copy of FOREVER AND A DAY and FOREVER A LADY so let’s give two people a chance to win them by answering this question: What’s your favorite New York based movie? Oh, and don’t forget to stop by my blog and enter my awesome giveaway: ONE DAY with me IN YOUR TOWN!!!

‘The Mad Lord’s Daughter’ by Jane Goodger

STORY: Locked away by her reclusive and intensely protective father, the recently deceased “Mad Lord of Northumberland,” Melissa is beautiful and educated but painfully naïve about the real world–and the dark secrets of her birth. Now in the care of her uncle, the Earl of Braddock, she must prepare to enter London society and find a proper husband, a task that grows complicated when she falls for the one man she can never have. Just as a promising new life begins to eclipse her tragic past, she’ll find herself consumed by a forbidden love that could destroy it all…

REVIEW: There’s nothing worse for a reviewer then the fear that one’s review of a beloved book will be weighed, measured and found wanting.

Ms. Jane Goodger is very new to me and after only two books, her writing leaves me breathless. She weaves her stories with out most care and I find her characters, even the ones on the periphery of the story, were given an element of humanity, which brought them to life for me.

Her broken heroes or heroines always rise like a phoenix from the ashes and my heart is filled with joy watching them reach their happily ever after.

She never takes her secondary characters for granted and she cleverly incites our curiosity with them that in the end we’re left asking to know and want one of their own stories. That was the case of Miss Diane Stenhope, our heroines chaperon and Lord Braddock, the hero’s father. Their happily ever after was as much interesting as John and Melissa’s. That kind of writing takes forethought and ingenuity and the author has achieved both in this novel.

The story was paced to perfection, as our hero and heroine slowly develop a friendship and comradery, which gives both time to develop deep and lasting feelings of love for one another. Melissa grew up in such a confined enviroment, that the first thing that comes to her mind when she meets John is a feeling of awe and strong desire, not of passion, but of longing to be just like him, fearless and carefree.

If you’re looking for a story that will curl your toes with sweet, passionate and very sensual content, you won’t go wrong in picking this one up.

ARC provided by the Author.

Fan2Author Interview with…Danelle Harmon!

I am a brand new fan of this author and I am on the hunt! For the past week I’ve been tracking Danelle Harmon’s back llist because I fell in love with her story telling.

Recently I read five of her brand new back list releases as my review assignment for RCJR eZine and my blog. To Christine Morehouse I say, THANK YOU for introducing me to such a great author and her awesome series. Please help me welcome an author that I hope will become, if she already isn’t, your favorite as well.

b2bMelanie: Hello Danelle! Are you enjoying your summer so far?

Danelle Harmon:  I’m having a great summer, Melanie!  I hope you and your loved ones are, as well!

b2b: Actually, it has been a mixed bag, but the weather is getting to a point of tolerance now that we’re out of the 100 degree’s!

How exited are you with ‘Wicked at Heart’ coming out?

DH: I’m thrilled, especially as it has a beautiful new cover and one that I actually love!  I really fell in love with the hero of this story, and I hope readers will enjoy his journey as much as I did.

b2b: I definitely did! Loved the story!

It’s no news to my readers how much I enjoy reading the ‘behind the story’ notes of any book, so tell me more about your research and ‘behind the story’ of ‘WaH’.

DH:  I wrote Wicked At Heart while I was still living in England, so I took a lot of inspiration from my setting.  Oxford was only six miles away, and of course, the English countryside, which figured in a good part of Wicked At Heart (I set part of the book in the Cotswolds, one of my favorite areas of England).  It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many resources, and such beauty and history!

b2b: Cotswolds is now officially added to my Bucket List.

Just if someone out there hasn’t read any of your books, would you tell us a bit about them and what’s coming up for you in the future? Will you be releasing more of your backlist or will you concentrate on the future books?

DH: My career as an “Avon Lady” included ten books published by them; to date, five of them have been released as e-books, and I’m currently working on the sixth, Captain Of My Heart, which will, I hope, be available sometime in late August or early September.  I plan to revise and update all of my backlist, and when they are all available, with their beautiful new covers, I’ll finish the story that so many people have asked me for: that of Perry, Lord Brookhampton and the youngest de Montforte sibling, Lady Nerissa.

b2b: Let me tell you! I am really looking forward to all of them, especially Nerissa’s story. I truly thought that she needed her own book.

Which one of your books was the hardest and which the easiest to write and which couple did you like the best?

DH:  Without question, the hardest was The Beloved One.  Actors have to “inhabit” a role when they play it, and I believe that is true for authors, too. I get very wrapped up in my characters when I’m writing about them, and Lord Charles’s (the hero of The Beloved One) heartbreaking plight took a lot out of me, emotionally. Because of that, it got to the point that I was having trouble making myself sit down and spend time with him, so one winter weekend, I packed up my laptop and checked in to a local beach hotel and there, wrote a good part of the book.  I’ve never had to do that with any of my other books, and maybe that’s one reason that Lord Charles is my favorite of all the dashing, aristocratic de Montforte men… we really wrestled that story, the two of us, and I felt his pain right along with him.  As for couples, I don’t think I could pick any one set of characters … there are things I like and admire about all of them, I think.

b2b: You know, after five books that I’ve read, I think that ‘The Beloved One’ is my favorite!

Do you have a hard time writing the intimate scenes?

DH:  Yes; but to be honest, I can’t think of a romance writer who doesn’t!

b2b: LOL! Do you let someone read your work during your writing process? Who and why? Or do you wait ‘till it’s finished, then you let someone read it…and who?

DH: Nobody reads my work during the writing process, and I don’t belong to a critique group… in fact, I’ve never belonged to one.  Occasionally I’ll bounce ideas off my husband or a friend, but for the most part, I fly solo.

b2b: Now that’s interesting! Tell me about the cover art of your books. I can see that you have new Kindle covers for your backlist and I just love them. Who came up with it? What about the older ones?

DH:  Awww, thank you!  I just love my new covers!  Unlike with the older (paperback) versions, where I had zero control over the covers (and cried many a tear when I’d get my first look at them … the old covers for Wicked At Heart and The Beloved One were ghastly and looked NOTHING like my characters!) I had very specific ideas about what I wanted on the cover of each e-book.  Much to my delight and excitement, designer Kim Killion of Hot Damn Designs was able to bring those ideas to fruition… I love her work, and can’t thank her enough for these beautiful new covers!

b2b: She did an outstanding job in creating these covers. They are amazing!

Let’s talk titles…How hard is it to ‘name’ your ‘baby’?

DH:  My very first book was originally called “Forever A Free Prince” (my working title), but Avon, with an eye toward marketing, changed it to Pirate In My Arms.  The titles of the nine books that followed were all mine; I don’t seem to have any trouble naming books.

b2b: You are lucky, then. Some authors agonize over it.

We all have favorite books, authors… How about you? Are you willing to fess-up?

DH:  I read very, very little when it comes to romance, so I really don’t have any favorites within the genre.  I do like historical fiction, though, and occasionally will pick up something by Dean Koontz or Tess Gerritsen.  I loved the Joshua books by Joseph Girzone.

b2b: You know, I hear that a lot and it makes a lot of sense.

Some authors write at certain times of day or week. What’s your typical writing schedule and what gets your creative juices flowing? If you have any tips to help other aspiring new authors out there, feel free to share!

DH:  I wish I had a “schedule,” but, I’m also a mom, and as anyone with children knows, when it comes to kids, the old adage “the best laid plans…” certainly holds true.  Our daughter is home from summer camp now, so my writing time is very late at night.  I cannot work with interruptions, and in a house with my family and four dogs up and about, my best … perhaps my only … work gets done after they all go to bed.

b2b: LOL! So I see that it doesn’t differ from most mom’s out there. They all do the bulk of their chores after the household ‘settles down’.

I honestly enjoyed every aspect of this book. What inspired it and who did you envision as Damon?

DH:  Damon is a very wounded hero, and in adulthood, he’s paying the price for having an abusive mother who never showed him any love.  As a result, he’s prone to panic attacks, anxiety, and has an impossible time seeing the beauty in the world about him.  He’s angry, without knowing why, but he yearns for so much more.  I know people like Damon, loved ones who suffer panic attacks and anxiety disorders, and I must confess that my empathy toward them inspired me to write Damon’s character.  I wrote the paperback version of Wicked At Heart in the mid-1990s, and the young, intense, gorgeous and still relatively unknown Ralph Fiennes was the person I envisioned as Damon.

b2b: I am not surprised. He would definitely do justice to the role of Damon with his intensity and voice.

What do you like to read and what’s on your TBR right now?

DH:  I’m currently reading With Fire And Sword:  The Battle of Bunker Hill and the Beginning of the American Revolution by James Nelson, who’s actually quite well-known for his great fiction.  It’s a great read, and I’m enjoying his portrayal of Dr. Joseph Warren, the young, handsome, and sadly forgotten patriot without whom, I think, we probably wouldn’t have had a revolution.  Dr. Warren is one of my very favorite historical personages, right up there with British Admiral Lord Nelson.

b2b: Cool. I’ll make sure to look it up.

Now, that ends up our ‘professional’ portion of this interview.

…Let’s get Personal:

So, tell us a bit about yourself, something personal that you’d like us to know…anything that makes you comfortable…or not…like how many times did you fall in love? Flannel or Silk? Cats or Dogs? Champagne or Beer?  Rock or Classical? Movies or TV?

DH:  I can’t remember how many times I’ve fallen in love, but I’ve been happily married to my husband Chris since we tied the knot back in Abingdon, England, in 1995!  As for your other questions:  Flannel (it gets cold here during a Massachusetts winter!) … Dogs (I have four German Shorthaired Pointers ranging in age from one to fifteen years), though I do love kitties, too (my allergies don’t!), and Sam Adams Cherry Wheat beer, please!  My iTunes library is pretty eclectic, but I’m a big fan of the British band Oasis (which was HUGE when we were living in England); I also love Madonna, Lady Gaga, the Bee Gees’ older stuff (before the disco era), and anything with great energy to it.  I don’t watch TV (every time I get hooked on a show it gets canceled, so I don’t bother anymore!).  I’m a huge and devoted fan of Jesus Christ Superstar — the movie, the soundtrack, the live production — and have seen it on stage more times than I can count.  I even have a photo of myself with Ted Neeley, who’s holding a copy of The Wild One!

b2b: Danelle, you’re one fun lady! You’ve been very gracious to stop by and play, and I thank you so much. I am sure that our readers will be thrilled to learn that you’ve offered FIVE lucky winners   (one book per winner/title of their choice) ALL FIVE of your books as a giveaway, and all they have to tell us is this: how much of sensuality do you like to read about? No sexual contact whatsoever, sexual contact all over, or are you somewhere in between?

You can reach Danelle on Facebook, Tweeter and her website. To buy her novels right now, just click on the cover.

‘Jazz’ by Cristian Mihai

STORY: A heartbreaking portrayal of ambition, treachery, and deception, Jazz tells the story of Chris Sommers, an aspiring writer from New York, who travels to Paris in the hopes of meeting Amber, a mysterious and beautiful woman he has always been irresistibly drawn to.

Chris is soon thrust into a world where everyone seems to be playing a dangerous and corrupt game. Anything is permissible, and even secrets that have been locked away inside the most hidden drawers of the soul will resurface.

REVIEW: For a short story, this is very, very good. It is nothing like what I usually read, and that’s one of the reasons I requested the author let me read it. The book blurb intrigued the mind and once read, the story within fully satisfied it.

This is a well told tale of a painful unrequited love of Chris for Amber, his cousin’s girlfriend. The story starts of gently, with the relationship between all protagonists slowly flushing out, picking up steam with Chris traveling to Paris to face not just Amber, but his feelings for her.

There’s a lot to like about this psychological thought-provoking short story that is filled with picture painted prose.

I liked Chris because he was so real and in touch with his inner thoughts and feelings. He was one of those very likable characters that we want to smother with hugs.

Amber was another story altogether. I felt sorry for this lost soul and hoped that by the time I reached the end, she would have grown up. In the end, I appreciated the author letting my imagination fly on the ending of this story.

If you’re in a mood for a short story with substance in which the author masterfully crafts his characters with a wonderful prose, I highly recommend you pick this one up. It is a great poolside, beach side or just plain at home read.

Here are some excerpts that impressed me and I hope will give you a glimpse of the writing style of this author:


A blistering wind blew off from every direction, and the quiet light that came from lamps and enclosed the grey skin of the sidewalk couldn’t stop darkness from wrapping itself around glass and concrete and flesh in what resembled a tight and desperate embrace. I could feel the harsh air painfully playing inside my lungs. It hurt to even blink.


We never perceive the passage of time in the same mechanical manner the ticking of a watch implies. For us time is subjective, a sinuous river, sometimes viscous, almost grinding to a halt as we zigzag our way among pedestrians wearing heavy jackets, and sometimes fast and turbulent, leading our lives with indescribable fury.

Fragments of a wild and bizarre beauty would appear and disappear fast, never settling for more than what felt as a second. My mind couldn’t put together all the glints that my past kept throwing at me. But then the incessant moan of the city night faded away into silence, and my mind began to weave an intricate web of memories.

What had started off as a waffling and erratic cocktail of images, condensed to such a degree that I could barely discern Amber’s face, had now grown into a fascinating and yet frightening labyrinth.

I took pleasure in building Amber, piece by piece, until my mind contained a fully fleshed version of a thin and gracious young woman, a white dress sculpted around her body and her black hair falling down to her waist. It was a two year old memory, but it felt as real as the people I was walking around with.


It’s a shame actually that certain depths of the human spirit cannot be explained using conventional words. Those who have dealt with words for some time know it better than anyone else. For them moments of extreme clarity, of powerful inspiration, are rare, and they approach them with fear and respect, the same way you’d approach an ancient relic.