Spotlight on Ruth Kaufman and ‘My Life as an Extra’

mlaae rkBOOK BLURB: Chicagoan Marla Goldberg must rebuild her life at forty-one after an unexpected divorce. While adjusting to singlehood, trying to improve conditions at the radio station where she’s an account executive and fit in with her successful family, she dips her toes into the daunting dating pool.

Marla yearns to fulfill her dream of being a working actor, yet can’t quite believe, “Leap and the net will appear.” Working as an extra teaches her meaningful lessons, but she must learn what for her is the hardest lesson of all: how to feel special when you’re not the star.

BUY LINKS: Amazon /

EXCERPT:

My heart starts to race. A famous, award-winning director has noticed me. Will he pluck me from obscurity? Will I be upgraded to a slightly better role and higher pay, or will he even give me a line, a boon bestowed on rare occasion?

“I don’t like the way her scarf is blowing.” The director walks down the row of extras and borrows a dark green, fringed wool one from some guy. For a second the guy’s face perks up. I know he thinks he’s going to be moved to a better place in the shot, my place, but Adam, if I may be so bold, just wants his scarf. I put it on and a wardrobe person safety pins it to my coat.

“Rolling….” a voice calls.

“Rolling!” several people echo.

“Picture’s up.”

“Background action!”

Leaning over the wind machines as the train rolls by, I and the others brave icy blasts. My hair and the borrowed scarf blow straight up. The cold has pierced my coat and layers, so I’m shivering harder. I know my nose is bright red. The woman beside me jumps up and down.

We endure a few more takes.

Adam comes toward me again. My heart starts pounding again. Why an intelligent person such as myself gets nervous because a famous movie director approaches is beyond me, but I can’t seem to help it. I hope I’ll get to do something good and fear I did something wrong at the same time.

“Will you step out of the shot, please?” he asks.

My stomach drops. I do fear I’ve done something wrong. That even as a train-platform-standing-in-the-freezing-cold extra, I’m not good enough. I move to the side and watch forlornly as they do more takes, all these people crammed into such a narrow space doing their best for Superhero IX. Except me.

A few minutes later, Adam comes over. I can’t help it, I perk up just like scarf guy. The director of a major motion picture actually left his chair to find me.

“You can come back now,” he says. “It wasn’t the same without you.”

A wave of joyous warmth washes over me. How nice is that. My day is made.

Later, we’re working on a different shot on the other side of the platform. Adam comes over yet another time. I suck in a breath. My icy hands get icier.

“Great reaction.”

My face is probably so red from the cold he can’t tell I’m blushing. It’s the wind making my eyes tear up.

The Adam Markham probably won’t remember me or those shots, for him just two of many in one movie of many, but I’ll never forget how nice he was. The way he knew how to make an extra feel like an actor. Feel talented and special.

On the drafty train platform, inspiration hits me hard as a wind machine gust. If Adam Markham thinks I do a good job on camera, maybe others will, too.

The once-familiar urge to perform, to entertain and move an audience, unfurls in my chest in a fiery burst like a phoenix spreading its wings. My first lines in a Kindergarten play made the crowd laugh and inspired me to be an actress…someday. But everyone knows acting is a risky, unreliable career. Would I be good enough? Find the elusive mix of right place, right time, right roles?

Today made me realize how much I’ve missed acting. I’d repressed the bug, but it still bit. I’d lost two dreams: a successful, loving marriage and gorgeous house. I would find a way to make this dream come true.

Someday is now.

rkAUTHOR BIO: Ruth Kaufman is a Chicago author, on-camera and voiceover talent and freelance editor and speaker with a J.D. and a Master’s in Radio/TV.

The second book in her Wars of the Roses Brides series, FOLLOW YOUR HEART,  releases April 14. Writing accolades include Romance Writers of America® 2011 Golden Heart® winner and runner up in RT Book Reviews’ national American Title II contest. Her true, short story, “The Scrinch” is in the St. Martin’s Press anthology The Spirit of Christmas, foreword by Debbie Macomber.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Blog Gainfully Unemployed / Facebook  or Ruth Kaufman Author & Actress / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon Author Page

‘Three Weeks with a Princess’ by Vanessa Kelly

twwap vkSTORY: Lia Kincaid, illegitimate daughter of the Duke of York, comes from a long line of notorious women. Raised by her grandmother, formerly mistress to the late Marquess of Lendale, she has little hope of a respectable marriage. But the new marquess, her childhood friend, Jack Easton, would make a very desirable protector . . . if he weren t too honorable to take her to bed.

It s bad enough being saddled with a title he never desired. Now Jack must resist the beautiful woman he desires far too much. Duty calls, and he is duty-bound to choose a wealthy bride.

But then Lia makes another outrageous suggestion: asking Jack to devise some tests to find her the perfect paramour. Tests that involve flirting, kissing, and other pleasurable pursuits. Tests that, in a matter of weeks, could transform friendship into the ton s greatest scandal, igniting a passion even duty can t deny. . .

REVIEW:  This is the second story in the Improper Princesses series and I’ve loved it as much as the first. Once more Vanessa Kelly’s characterization and plot manage to make me laugh and care for the protagonists.

Lia and Jack’s back and forth totally made this read engaging and enjoyable for me. Their “friends to lovers” story was sweet and heartwarming and I liked every minute of their growing romance.

If you’re looking for a story well written with an intriguing plot, peppered with witty dialogue and steamy romance, look no further. This is it.

Melanie for b2b

Gift copy provided by the publisher for an honest review

‘The Wallflower’s Wicked Wager’ by Collette Cameron

twww ccSTORY: He loved her beyond anything and everything—precisely why he couldn’t ever marry her.

A wounded hero.
Love—sentimental drivel for insipid, weak, feckless fools.
Since an explosion ravaged Captain Morgan Le Draco’s face and cost him his commission in the Royal Dragoons, he’s fortified himself behind an impenetrable rampart of cynicism and distrust. Now destitute and shunned by the very society that once lauded his heroics, he’s put aside all thoughts of marrying and having a family. Until he risks his life to save a drowning woman. At once, Morgan knows Shona’s the balm for his tortured soul, but as a wealthy, titled noblewoman, she’s too far above his humble station and can never be his.

An intrepid wallflower.
Love—a treasured gift reserved for those beautiful of form and face.
Scorned and ridiculed most of her adult life, Shona, Lady Atterberry believes she’s utterly undesirable and is reconciled to spinsterhood. She hides her spirited temperament beneath a veneer of gauche shyness, until a strapping, scarred stranger saves her life, and she can’t deny her immediate, powerful, and sensual attraction to him. Despite how ill-suited they are and innuendos that Captain Le Draco is a fortune-hunter, she cannot escape her growing fascination.

Two damaged souls searching for love.
Others are determined to keep them apart, and Shona is goaded into placing a wicked wager. One that sets her upon a ruinous path and alienates the only man who might have ever loved her. Is true love enough to put their pasts behind them, to learn to trust, and heal their wounded hearts?

REVIEW: This is the fifth installment in Waltz with a Rogue novella series, but it can be read alone. Above blurb summarizes the story well, so I’ll just tell you the reasons why I loved it.

First, I really loved the characterization of the two leads. We not only have a broken hero, but our heroine was almost, if not more, broken than the hero. The backstory of these two was heartbreaking. I thought the “love at first sight” trope well represented with Shona and Morgan. The attraction and tension between the two was so well written it jumps off the pages.

Second, I thoroughly enjoyed the plot which had enough drama and conflict to populate two full length books, let alone this novella. The road to their happily ever after was fraught with a lot of complications, but I thought their perseverance prevailed and they both got stronger by the experience.

Third and last, but not the least, this story had a lot of heart as well as humor, which combined with a fast pace, makes for a wonderful and entertaining read.

As usual Ms. Cameron’s  richness and depth of the characters is what keeps bringing me back to her writing and I hope you’ll give her a try. I promise you’ll not be disappointed!

Melanie for b2b

Gift copy provided by the publisher for an honest review

Spotlight on ‘Say Yes to the Scot’ Anthology

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The Highland wedding event of the year has landed! Sabrina York, Anna Harrington, Lecia Cornwall, and May McGoldrick teamed up for Say Yes to the Scot, an all new Scottish anthology, and we’re celebrating it’s release Highland style!
Join us today (7pm to 8pm EDT) on the SMP Romance Facebook page as we celebrate with all the authors with another Swerve Soiree: Highland Wedding Edition.
 
Tell us who you’re bringing, what you’re wearing, and what he’s wearing (or not wearing). Kilts are obviously strongly recommended.
There will be amazing giveaways throughout, and you can chat with all of the authors and ask any of your burning questions.

 

sytts sy mmg ah lcBOOK BLURB: You are formally invited to the Highland wedding event of the year. These four lasses are about to meet their matches in an original digital anthology featuring stories from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sabrina York, Lecia Cornwall, Anna Harrington, and May McGoldrick.

How a Lass Wed a Highlander by Lecia Cornwall
In this retelling of The Princess and The Pea, Laird Alex Munro of Culmore has just five weeks to find a bride and marry her…or else the clan will be cursed with ill luck. Cait MacLeod finds herself caught in a clan feud, and when she tries to stop a deadly raid, she ends up as Alex Munro’s prisoner. With timing running out, is this couple meant to be?

A Match Made in Heather by Anna Harrington
She was the laird’s daughter. He was nothing more than a penniless, nameless Scot with nothing to offer but his heart. Fate tore them apart, but now he’s back in her life with status, money and a title. Can they let go of past hurts and find love?

A Midsummer Wedding by May McGoldrick
Their marriage was two decades in the making. The young, educated woman and her highland, pirate husband, betrothed when they were still children. But on the day of their wedding, Elizabeth Hay and Alexander Macpherson are in for a surprise.

The Scot Says I Do by Sabrina York
Catherine Ross’s world is turned upside down when her brother gambles away every penny they own. But to make matters worse? He’s lost everything to none other than Duncan Mackay, the rugged Scot who Catherine loved for years–but he never noticed her, and now she positively loathes him. But her brother’s in danger of going to Newgate, and the despicable Duncan has a plan– she can claim back the money and save her brother. If she marries him…

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / Kobo /

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TEASER for The Scot Says I Do by Sabrina York

“So you want to marry me because I am better disposed to tolerate your unrefined manners?” She was teasing him now, but frankly, he deserved it.

His face went ruddy and he began to sputter.

“Or because I can converse with you on lower subjects, such as offal and breeding?”

“Catherine!”

“Or is it—”

“Stop.”

TEASER for A Midsummer Wedding by May McGoldrick

“I feel no sense of duty toward the agreement binding us together. That deal was made decades ago, and both families have already profited by it. And in return for my freedom, I’ll provide a sizable sum of gold for you to do with as you please.”

“You don’t want to marry me?”

“Blast me if I do. You don’t want to marry me, and I don’t want to marry you either,” he responded, looking like he’d just won the prize pig at the fair. “You can choose anyone you please, so long as it’s not Alexander Macpherson.”

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REVIEW: You know the saying “You had me at HELLO.”, right? Well, this anthology had me at Lecia, Anna, May and Sabrina, not to mention SCOT!

All four stories are well written and each was unique in its own way. And the steam level in all four is way up there! For hot and sensual, this is the read not be missed.

From Lecia we were introduced to an interesting take on Princess and the Pea and if you love your romance to have a heart, sensuality and intrigue, you’ll fall in love with Cait and Alex.

Anna brings us a second chance in love trope with a pair of characters that will need a lot of patience with each other in order for that love to blossom to its full bloom.

May’s story was so much fun to read. I mean, LOL funny moments and situations. I adored these two and their “dance” to happily ever after was entertaining and intriguing to read.

Sabrina tells the tale of Duncan and Catherine, a couple that had known each other for ever and ever, but years apart puts them at a disadvantage. They needed outside elements to bring them closer together and a truly despicable villain. But have no fear, fast pace and witty dialogue moves this tale to its happy ending.

Melanie for b2b

Gift copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.

lcAUTHOR BIO: Lecia Cornwall lives and writes in Calgary, Canada, amid the beautiful foothills of the Canadian Rockies, with four cats, two teenagers, a crazy chocolate Lab, and one very patient husband. She is hard at work on her next book.

For more of her bio, please click here.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter

ahAUTHOR BIO: An award-winning English professor and romance writer, Anna Harrington fell in love with historical romances and all things Regency—and especially all those dashing Regency heroes—while living and studying in England, where she spent most of her time studying the Romantic poets and Regency England, reading Jane Austen, and getting lost all across the English countryside.

In addition to earning her B.A. in English from Ashland University, M.A. from Michigan State University in literature, and Ph.D. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Composition, she has studied theatre in London, Mexican history in Guadalajara, and Spanish in Ecuador. She has traveled the world, visiting schools and volunteering in Peru, Ecuador, France, Italy, Thailand, and Mexico, and has amassed thousands of photos she unleashes on unsuspecting friends who dare to ask about her travels… Read more here.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Blog /  

mmcgAUTHOR BIO: May McGoldrick
(a.k.a. Nikoo & Jim McGoldrick)

Two peas in a pod, a pair of halfwits, the Laurel and Hardy of romance fiction…Nikoo & Jim McGoldrick were married in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin 68 years ago before a worldwide television audience. After a honeymoon tour of their oil fields in Iran, they embarked on a writing career that has produced dozens of New York Times bestsellers, two Academy Award Winning film adaptations, and a Nobel Prize for Literature. After all this, fortune FINALLY smiled on them and they won the New Jersey Lottery. Taking their two sons, Nikoo and Jim spent a year backpacking through Africa and then seven years in Tibet, teaching the Dalai Lama the subtle intricacies of Scrabble. Upon returning to the States, these two storytellers wrote thirty adult and young adult novels, two of which were RITA finalists and three which were NJRW Golden Leaf winners. They have also written two nonfiction works. Nikoo picked up an engineering degree somewhere along the way, and Jim has a PhD in 16th Century British literature.

These two write under the pseudonyms of May McGoldrick and Jan Coffey and now reside in northwest, Connecticut.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram /

syAUTHOR BIO: Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. With over 25 titles her books range from sweet & snarky to scorching romance. Visit her webpage to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Represented by Lane Heymont with the Seymour Agency.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Special: Kelly Bowen Sweepstakes + Vote on Kelly’s New Duke Cover!!! 

Check this out! This is so much fun 😉 Let’s help Kelly Bowen pick her New Duke Cover and enter into the sweepstakes!
I’m voting for #2 🙂
It’s the stance and the shirt that won me over 😉
Have fun!

Melanie

doingsomereading


Forever is holding a sweepstakes to help choose the cover of Kelly Bowen’s January 2018 novel and we need your help to get the word out—and also your vote!  On Cover A our sexy Duke is dry and on Cover B, the same Duke is now wet (a la Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy).   Participants will also have the chance to win a Kelly Bowen prize pack of 6 novels and a tote bag.  

The sweepstakes is open from June 16-June 30 and the chosen cover design will be printed on the final book. 

#KellyBowenSweepstakes

Forever Romance is giving away a Kelly Bowen historical romance prize pack and asking for your help in choosing the cover design for Kelly’s February 2018 release. Click the link below to enter for a chance to win and you can cast your vote on the dreamiest duke while you’re…

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‘Temptation & Twilight’ by Charlotte Featherstone

tat cfSTORY: Iain Sinclair, Marquis of Alynwick, is certain there is a special hell for him. An unrepentant rake, he holds nothing sacred – except for beautiful Elizabeth York. For years, Alynwick has tried to forget the woman he loved so well, and treated so badly. A woman who could hold nothing in her heart for him except hatred.

All of society believes Elizabeth, blind daughter of a duke, to be a proper young lady. But no one knows of her wanton affair with Alynwick. When Lizzy learns of her ancestor’s ancient diary – filled with exotic tales – she longs to uncover the identity of the unnamed lover within and hesitantly allows Alynwick, who claims to have knowledge of the “veiled lady,” to help her solve the mystery.

Eager to be Lizzy’s eyes, Alynwick brings the seductive text to life, and each night it takes greater effort for her to forget his betrayal. With each whispered word, her resolve gives way, without her knowing that a centuries-old secret will lead them to a present-day danger.

REVIEW: This is the third and last story in the Brethren Guardians series, but my first book read by this author. Reading it, I realized that I should have read them all in order because I would have gotten to know the leads and their backstory better. That said, I enjoyed regardless of reading it out of order.

Here is why I think you should read this story. The author did a fantastic job with characterization of the hero and heroine and while the story might have used a faster pace, I enjoyed the relationship growth between the two.

This story has a lot in it, besides the inevitable romance. It’s filled with angst and passion, while many twists and turns expose a truly despicable villain.

Highly recommended.

Melanie for b2b

Gift copy provided by the publisher for an honest review

Spotlight on Harmony Williams and ‘How to Ruin Your Reputation in 10 Days’

How to Ruin Your Reputation in 10 Days Tour Banner

HowToRuinYourReputationin10Days-500BOOK BLURB: In 1814 London, England, a lady is defined as a demure, delicate flower. Miss Francine Annesley is not that lady. If men were like plants, she would have a garden of admirers to choose from instead of the thorn in her side since childhood, Julian Beckwith. But she would make an even worse nun than she does a lady, which will be her fate if she can’t dig up a husband before the Season ends. However, Julian is not an option.

With only ten short days left in the Season, Francine doesn’t have time to waste on petty squabbles or knee-weakening kisses, even if Julian’s offer to fulfill her every wish rouses her curiosity. It seems men are more complicated than plants. Too bad love bloomed at the most inconvenient of times…

 

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / iTunes / Kobo /

EXCERPT:

FPQ05

“Tell me about this plant you saw.”

“You know I can’t do it justice.” Mirth infused his voice. “I once described a rose to you as ‘red.’”

I chuckled. “Well, you weren’t wrong.”

“I also wasn’t very observant, as you pointed out for the next hour.” He shuddered. “It was very like schoolwork. I think you made me memorize the parts.”

I lifted my head. “I did not.”

“You made me repeat them so often, it felt as though you did.”

I smiled. “You didn’t get it wrong after that, did you?”

“Of course I did.” He barked out a laugh. “You know I have no head for that kind of thing.”

“No?” I shifted to study his face while we spoke. “I’d wager you could describe your crops to the tiniest detail.”

He shook his head. “Not even if you threatened my life. But I can look at them and tell you if they look…wrong.”

I laughed. “Is that the technical term?”

“You know what I mean.” He threw his free hand into the air. “Weak. Sickly.”

I grinned. I was only teasing him. Judging by the half smile turning up one corner of his mouth, he knew it.

“You did an admirable job describing the problem with your crops. The one I helped with.”

His arm tightened around my shoulders. “Thank you again, by the way.”

My cheeks heated as my gaze dropped to his mouth. The heat of his body surrounded me. I’d never felt so relaxed, comfortable and yet aware of him at the same time. Would he kiss me again? When he made no move to, I leaned closer. He didn’t pull away.

FPQ04

GIVEAWAY:

Print copy of

How to Play the Game of Love - Book 1

“How to Play the Game of Love”

– US shipping ONLY.

– A digital copy will be sent if winner is International

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> RAFFLECOPTER <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

REVIEW: This is the second story in Ladies of Passion series and not having read the first in story, I can safely say that it can be read as a stand alone.

I am a huge fan of “childhood friends to lovers” trope and this story was fun to read. It had interesting and fun characters, entertaining plot and fast pace. What was different and stood out for me was the telling of the tale. It was told in first person, from the heroin’s point of view, and while I am not overly fond of it, I thought the author pulled it off.

If you’re a fan of strong heroines and a combo of Beta-Alpha heroes, witty dialogue and sweet romance, you’ll really like this one.

Melanie for b2b

Gift copy provided by the publisher for an honest review

Harmony WilliamsAUTHOR BIO: Harmony Williams has been living vicariously in Regency-era England since she discovered Jane Austen. Since time machines don’t yet exist, she’s had to make do with books—fictional and non-fictional.

On the rare occasion she doesn’t have her nose stuck in a book, she likes to drink tea and spend time with her 90-lb lapdog. A feminist, she writes stories about strong women and the men who support them as equals.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / Goodreads /