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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

With This Kiss Giveaway!

Nominated for Romantic Times
“Best Historical Romance”


BLURB:
Beauty and the beast: they were the scandal of the ton. All eyes feasted on the beautiful flame-haired gambler in London’s most infamous club. But Julia Prentisse was interested only in the rake-turned-recluse whom they now called “The Beast.” She lured him out of the crowded club to a deserted warehouse, where she made her scandalous offer: If he married her and protected her from her uncle, she would help him capture the arsonist who had ruined his life.

An act of heroism had left Morgan St. James burned, scarred for life, but Julia’s bold gaze lit other fires he had long suppressed. And now this glorious stranger was his bride. But when he tried to claim his husbandly rights, she demanded three months grace—three months to know a stranger’s mind, to touch a stranger’s soul, to go where no woman had ever gone before. Into his heart…

EXCERPT:
"Why did you come here?" he asked.
Gathering her courage, she ventured hesitantly, "If you're not too busy, I thought we might do something today. Together. As man and wife."
He released a bored sigh. "What did you have in mind, a waltz? Ordinarily I'd indulge your whim, but as you can see, the orchestra has temporarily abandoned its post."
"I've missed you."
The statement hung in the air between them. Morgan studied her face for a long moment. "There is a term in fencing for toying with one's opponent."
"Are we opponents?"
"Are you toying?"
"I'm not sure what I'm doing."
"Forgive me if I find that difficult to believe. I've never met a more purposeful woman in my life."
A small smile touched her lips. "Is that good or bad?"
"What do you want, Julia?"
She couldn't remember him ever using her name before. The sound of it rolling off his tongue sent an unexpected rush of pleasure racing through her. Idly wondering if his reaction would be the same if she spoke his name, she said, "I thought it might be nice if we spent a little time together, Morgan."
She saw something flash in his eyes, but the emotion, whatever it was, vanished too quickly for her to properly define. "Ah. So that's it." A small, cynical smile curved his lips. His gaze moved over her body with scorching intensity, as though he were able to see right through to her drawers. He straightened and glanced around the empty room, then back at her. "Interesting timing."
Heat flooded her cheeks. "I didn't mean—"
"Didn't you."
"Certainly not. Must you always be so base?"
"You're the one who came to me."
"With the simple proposition that we attend Lord Attmark's boating party this afternoon," she said, seizing upon the sudden inspiration. "That's all I had in mind."
"Lord Attmark's boating party?"
"I thought it would be quite diverting."
"Floating along a river that smells like rancid sewage in this sweltering heat. That's what you came to see me about."
"Yes."
A knowing smile curved his lips. "Liar."
"I don't know what—"
"Liar," he repeated softy.


BUY LINKS:
Amazon (Kindle Edition)
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble (Paperback)
Smashwords (All Formats)

IMHO:
This was an extremely well written book, with believable, complex characters and a very interesting plot.
Morgan St. James, Viscount Barlowe, has always kept the world at a distance with his cynical humor, even more so after the nightmare of the past two years recovering slowly from burns from a fire that almost killed him.
Imagine his surprise when Julia Prentisse, a beautiful woman who wants his scarred hand in matrimony, seeks him out! And he is even more surprised when she tries to convince him that her talents as a journalist can lead him to the arsonist who has set the fires that have destroyed so many lives.
The subplot of Lazarus, the mysterious arsonist, is an edgy counterpoint to the love story. This story has two extremely likeable main characters. The dialogue between them was so entertaining and well worded. I absolutely adored Morgan’s sense of humor. Definitely 5 stars!

READER REVIEWS:
With This Kiss — A Romantic Times ‘Top Pick’!
“Ms. Lynne weaves her magic to bring the reader a bit of poignancy along with a sexually charged romance in this very satisfying historical romantic suspense.  Find a place for this one on your special shelf.”  —Romantic Times
Nominated for Romantic Times  “Best Historical Romance”
“A smoldering Victorian era romance.”  —Booklist
“The unexpected twists in Ms. Lynne’s newest historical entertain and satisfy.”  —Publisher’s Weekly
“…Trust me: A fun read for lovers of romance, and CERTAINLY for lovers of the Beauty/Beast type story (which I am).  This is the only book of Ms. Lynne’s that I’ve read, but based on my enjoyment, I shall surely seek more.”
“An excellent read—I loved it!  I have never read Victoria Lynne before this book.  You can bet I will from now on.  This book was excellent and I couldn’t put it down… If you like Jude Deveraux or Kathleen Woodiwiss, pick up this book!”
“This book is as great as the reviews!  I am happy to say that it was a pleasure to read a romance that fulfills everything I look for in a novel…This was my first book by this author but I will by all means be looking for more.”
“Surprisingly good!  I received this book from my sister and thought it would prove to be just another trite formula romance.  She said it was “really good,” so I gave it a chance.  She was right.  It does have all of those necessary facets that make it a romance novel, but the writing is crisp and talented, the characters sizzle with a never flagging sexual tension, and the plot never sinks to feeling contrived or phoney.  I enjoyed every page!”
“I loved this.  I could write a long review of this book, but I won’t.  I will sum it up in as few words as possible.  This story contained two extremely likeable characters.  The dialogue between them was so entertaining and well-worded.  I loved every encounter between them.  Everything about this novel was real.  I loved it, and I can truly say it is one of my favorite novels.”
“Fabulous!  With This Kiss had everything I look for in a romance—a tender hero, touching love scenes, a strong heroine, and even a mystery to solve.  I will be hunting down this author’s backlist.”
“Fresh and rewarding…definitely get you hands on this book.”
“This was an extremely well-written book, with believable characters and an interesting plot…”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Victoria Lynne is the author of five historical romance novels.  She’s received two RITA Award nominations, and has consistently earned Romantic Times’ “Top Pick” award.  Called “A Fabulous Storyteller!” by Rendezvous Magazine, her work consistently draws rave reviews and continues to attract new readers.  Her books have been translated into German, Italian, and Spanish, and are currently available online through Kindle and Nook.  
Ms. Lynne lives in Vermont with her husband and two children.  When she’s not plotting her next novel, she loves to get away from her keyboard to ski and hike.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Messages

"Messages, by John Michael Hileman, is a high-energy, fast paced work of fiction packed with grit and substance"
-
Literary Classics Awards and Reviews

Synopsis:
David Chance can see messages in the sea of words around him, messages that warn him of future events.
Words are everywhere-- on labels, magazines, sign posts, t-shirts-- everywhere. And as much as David Chance would like to hide from them, he can't. Words keep leaping off objects around him, forming messages in his mind. But how is this possible? Has his brain suddenly taken an evolutionary leap forward, or are the mysterious messages proof of divine intervention? Does God really exist?
Driven to answer a question he'd long ago abandoned, and stalked by the killer he's trying to stop, David risks everything to follow the messages to a dirty bomb set to go off in the heart of Boston. But can he trust the author of the messages to protect him from a terrorist who seems to know his every move.
IMHO:
Mr. Hileman kept me up until 2 in the morning! I started reading this book and could not put it down. David starts ‘seeing’ words that mysteriously put themselves together to warn him of something or tell him something he needs to do. Has he become physic? Is it a deceased relative? Is it God? There were many times in the book when I found myself thinking, ‘that’s exactly what I would have thought or done if I were in David’s place.’ Mr. Hileman has taken an ordinary man and made his life suddenly extraordinary, David goes from being an intern at a news station to trying to stop the detonation of a dirty bomb in downtown Boston and the assassination of the president, quite a feat of story telling if you ask me. The courage David develops over the course of the story is amazing, I don’t think I could have done what he did in the end, was truly surprised at the ending!
There were many twists and turns to the plot but it was so well written and the characters came alive so well that I had no trouble following the story. The Christian themes woven into the story intrigued me as well, I don’t know many people who have not questioned the existence of God at some point in their lives and Frank (his neighbor) does an excellent job of answering David’s questions.
If you want a good clean suspense story this is the book for you! Definitely giving this one 5 stars.

BUY LINKS:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble (Paperback)

THE AUTHOR:
John Michael Hileman writes contemporary Pop Fantasy with a spiritual twist. If you like adrenaline packed supernatural mysteries, you've picked the right author. 

His debut novel VRIN: ten mortal gods is available world-wide where books are sold, and on the internet in eBook form. 

His second novel Messages, a supernatural thriller, is now available. 

John lives in Bangor Maine with his lovely wife, precious daughter, and "the boy".
How to find him...
Website
Twitter
GoodReads









(The Kindle Book Review)


Friday, January 20, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday January 20th





Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to get your hands on any particular book?

I got up at midnight to buy and download on release day so I could start reading....


RULES
To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

(Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
(Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers
If you’re new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Against the Storm



AGAINST THE STORM by Kat Martin
Book #4 in the Raines of Wind Canyon Series


Redheads like Maggie O'Connell are nothing but trouble. But Trace Rawlins, a former army ranger turned private investigator, takes the case anyway. After all, he knows a thing or two about women.
Trace can sense that something is wrong—Maggie isn't telling him everything. If these menacing calls and messages are real, why won't the police help her? And if they aren't real, what is she hiding?
As Trace digs deeper to find the source of Maggie's threats, he discovers a secret that no one was meant to uncover. And the only puzzle left to be solved is whether the danger comes from an unknown stalker… or from the woman he's trying his hardest not to fall for.
Kat Martin writes powerful stories that sweep the reader along for a fast paced ride. Trace and Maggie both have issues from their past that help shape who they are now. Their love story has twists and turns but it's well worth the journey. 
What follows is a suspenseful, wildly romantic story, which will have you turning the pages to find the outcome.  Ms. Martin is very good at delivering a suspenseful mystery interlaced with the right amount of romance. Even the side story of Maggie's sister is a great addition.

I recommend Against the Storm to anyone who enjoys suspenseful mysteries and spicy romances. It is a quick, easy, and delightful read.  I am looking forward to the next book in the series entitled, Against the Night which is being released February 28th.

Buy Links:

Author:
Currently living in Missoula, Montana, Kat is the New York Times bestselling author of over fifty Historical and Contemporary Romance Suspense novels.  Before she started writing in 1985, Kat was a real estate broker.  During that time, she met her husband, Larry Jay Martin, author of more than twenty books, both westerns and mysteries.  Kat is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. 
"I've always loved books.  I was an avid reader, with any number of my own stories rolling around in my head.  Writing them down seemed a logical step."
"I love anything old," Kat says.  "I love to travel and especially like to visit the places where my books are set.  My husband and I often stay in out-of-the-way inns and houses built in times past.  It's fun and it gives a wonderful sense of a by-gone era."
 Kat began with historical romance and is currently writing romantic suspense.   She is published in twenty foreign countries.
Where to find Kat:
Website





Monday, January 16, 2012

Ride With Me FREE Sneak Peak!

“A sweet yet sultry, honest and heart-tugging ride. Everything a love story should be!” Carly Phillips, New York Times Bestselling Author
A fantastic, sexy, and fun story! Ruthie Knox’s, RIDE WITH ME, was a delight to read.
Jill Shalvis, NYT Best Selling Author
Ride With Me, is a unique kind of road trip with the best kind of bumps and curves!”
Sandra Hill, New York Times Best Selling Author
“Smart, sexy, and downright fun–I loved every moment of the ride!”
Julie James, National Bestselling Author
“Ruthie Knox writes a devil of a good book! Ride With Me is one wild and fun ride you’ll enjoy from the first page to the last!”
Christie Craig, award winning author of romances with heart, humor and suspense.


When Lexie Marshall places an ad for a cycling companion, she hopes to find someone friendly and fun to cross the TransAmerica Trail with. Instead, she gets Tom Geiger — a lean, sexy loner whose bad attitude threatens to spoil the adventure she’s spent years planning.
Roped into the cycling equivalent of a blind date by his sister, Tom doesn’t want to ride with a chatty, go-by-the-map kind of woman, and he certainly doesn’t want to want her. Too bad the sight of Lexie with a bike between her thighs really turns his crank.
Even Tom’s stubborn determination to keep Lexie at a distance can’t stop a kiss from leading to endless nights of hotter-than-hot sex. But when the wild ride ends, where will they go next?


Scribd.Ride With Me Excerpt - by author Ruthie Knox


Coming your way....review and giveaway February 4th right here @ Love to Read Romance!
Available for purchase February 13th, a Loveswept, digital imprint of Ballantine Bantam Dell at Random House:
http://www.randomhouse.com/book/218035/ride-with-me-by-ruthie-knox#abouttheauthor



Friday, January 13, 2012

Follow My Book Blog Friday




RULES
To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:


1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers - Bad Ass Book Reviews & Book Lover Musings.
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
7. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fall of Rain


“The steadfast, true love Ms. Vincent creates in Mac Liam takes one’s breath away.
A memorable, satisfying story!”
~ 4.5 Books ~ Long And Short Reviews



Blurb:
Leif Dæganssen, an archeologist from Norway, is determined to trace back his Scandinavian roots as far as the Dark Ages and find proof of their existence on the Emerald Isle. After several years of living off the west coast of Ireland, he finally uncovers an ancient artifact—an intricately decorated chest with pagan carvings—buried beneath the very porch of his coastal cottage. Knowing it only confirms the presence of a glorified Norse-influenced settlement on Inis Mór, he’s determined to establish a link between himself and those who once inhabited the rugged isle.
For as long as she can remember, Lorraine O’Connor has had dreams of a Norse warrior kissing her. And even though she’s never fully understood the reason for her vivid subconscious imagination, she welcomes the meaningless and wanton pleasure of being in a Viking’s protective embrace—until the day she meets that brazen Northman on an impulsive vacation trip to Ireland.
Though blindsided by the relevance of her dreams and the strange familiarity of the man within them, Lorraine can’t help but feel a deep-seated intimacy toward Leif. And the more she gets to know him, the more she’s convinced they’ve shared a life together in a time long forgotten.
Are the clues to their ancestral past hidden within the contents of the chest or buried deep within their hearts?

Excerpt:
Leif laughed inwardly as he heard the lock engage. Lorraine was definitely an odd sort of female, with all her outlandish outbursts and peculiar reactions, but no less interesting. She had this way about her that made him pay close attention, made him want to pay close attention, else he might miss something. No woman had ever been able to do that to him.
He was not a man easily beguiled. ‘Exceedingly picky’ were Kristoff’s words on many occasions when they could’ve had a few choice opportunities with several of the women who entered Tí Joe Mac’s Pub in Kilronan. But he always found a way to stay clear of them. Either their hair was too short, their fingers too long, or they were excessively giggly over anyone who spoke Gaelic to them. No matter how beautiful they were to the eye, Leif always managed to find some flaw, an imperfection he couldn’t get passed.
The only imperfection Lorraine possessed, if he could call it that, was being unreadable. Even then, he couldn’t rightfully hold it against her. He was glad that she left him guessing, left him wondering what she’d say or do next. Every time he spoke to her, he had no idea what would come out of her mouth.
And what a pretty mouth it was.
Her lips were a delicate shade of rose and looked just as supple as the petals from which its color derived. He imagined they felt as soft and delicate in a kiss, and longed to taste them, to press his lips against her and savor every blessed moment of it while watching her eyes close in automatic response.
Oh, those eyes…
Their exquisite brilliance utterly entranced him. He couldn’t look away no matter how hard he tried. They shone as bright and vivid as the intrinsic color of an emerald, with flecks of lighter green pigments fissuring throughout.
Though he’d stared at them as if they were rare jewels tucked within the hilt of a Viking warrior’s ceremonially-bent sword, uncovered from a sacred burial site, he couldn’t help but feel he was gazing into something he’d known and seen before. Words could not describe what he felt, except that his longing was innate—as if her eyes and all its wonders had been engraved on him from years past.
Again, he laughed inwardly, reminding himself that his entire week had fallen into the epitome of the absurd. Between finding the carved chest of treasured antiquities buried beneath his porch to having a gorgeous woman bathe in his home, he could hardly believe his bizarre stroke of luck.
He quickly left the hallway and entered the kitchen, flipping the nearly burned fish in the pan. The unrelenting vision of her slick wet body clung to him like a wet blanket, drenched with his own lustful musings of what she’d feel like if he dared to touch her. At least, he was glad to know he was still a red-blooded man. As many times as Kristoff had ridiculed him for his lack of interest, tonight he didn’t have to ponder his gender. It was as plain as the nose on his face, and stuck out a bit further than he cared to admit.
Reaching down, he shifted himself, trying to award his erection some more room in his jeans, while cursing it all the same. “Now is not the time.”
“Not the time for what? Dinner?”
Leif turned at the sound of Lorraine’s voice, not expecting anyone to be behind him, and almost knocked the pan off the stove. He caught it by the handle, fortunately, steadying it before it slid off the edge.
“I take it you’re not used to a woman in your home,” she stated discernibly.
Heaving a sigh, he smiled. “How was your shower?”
“Exhilarating.”
I’m sure it was. “Good.” He rallied his best casual voice and turned back to the fish, still simmering on the stove. As he resumed cooking, he secretly regarded the way the small swell of her breasts put curves in his oversized T-shirt that her raincoat had once hidden. Though her dainty figure had been virtually swallowed up by his cotton drawstring sweats, he knew somewhere beneath all that fabric was an enticing set of feminine curves.
“Since my clothes were still damp, I hung them over the shower rod to dry,” she confessed. “I hope that’s all right.”
His grip tightened on the handle. The image of a lace-lined bra and delicate panties, hanging in his bathroom flashed in his mind and he could do little about the smile teasing the corners of his lips. Without facing her, he shrugged his shoulders, pretending he hardly cared and changed the subject. “I hope you’re hungry,” he replied, fisting a quartered lemon above the pan-seared cod and dousing it with lemon juice. “I’ve made enough for the whole village it seems.”
He thought he heard a slight chuckle, regretting that he’d probably missed the first opportunity to see her smile. But he kept to his mission of transferring the food to the two plates sitting on the adjacent counter. That little feat required more of his attention given he wasn’t much of a practiced chef.
“It smells delicious.”
Adding the final touches to the plate with a few island flowers he’d picked days ago—only because he heard from the more experienced chefs in Dublin’s pricey restaurants that presentation was everything—and a slice of soda bread on top, he turned around and caught her looking at him. Her eyes, however, did not meet his until they jumped up from a lower direction.
She cleared her voice and looked away, feigning that she had ever been looking at his arse. Leif was not a stupid man, nor did things often get passed him, but for her sake, he acted as if he were none the wiser.
“Please. Have a seat.”
She did as he suggested, wringing her hands in the extra T-shirt cloth at her waist.
She’s still nervous.
For that reason, he sat in the seat directly across from her instead of next to her where they could share the same corner of the table. Disappointed as he was, he refused to show it, keeping a keen eye on her facial expressions and body posture. At the present, she sat stiff-backed in the chair, her eyes fixed on the bounty of food he placed in front of her.
A quick grin teased her lips when she saw the white and yellow daisy garnishing the corner of her plate. She never said a word in regards to his makeshift embellishment, but the smile that hung about thereafter was enough for him.
She didn’t waste any time taking her first bite, closing her eyes as she pulled the fork from her mouth. Her shoulders melted and a slight hum reverberated from her lips.
“Does that mean it’s good?”

Sinful


BLURB:
Music was their only dream & passion...
Until they found one another...

For years, Mikayla Gallan has dreamed of providing a better life for her younger brother, Matthew, and herself. Coming from a family of musicians, Mikayla and Matthew have dreams of someday making it big. But Mikayla's first priority is always ensuring Matthew's future. When Houdini Records comes knocking on her door, offering her everything she's ever wanted, Mikayla's scared to grab onto their offer.

Sinclair "Sin" Devlin, part-owner of Houdini Records has loved and lost and has no intentions of ever going down that path again. He's determined to put his company back on the map and is willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. Meeting Mikayla Gallan, hearing her sultry and passionate voice on stage, Sin believes he has found the only woman that could save the company. He's even more shocked to realize that perhaps she's also the only woman to save him from himself.


EXCERPT:
Sinclair heard the voice before he saw her. Her voice in itself was smooth, raspy and packed a hell of a punch to the gut. The vision before him—he wouldn’t have expected to have that voice. Des was correct, long flowing hair, and damn, she was hot. He couldn’t see her eyes, but he hoped to get a bit closer soon to have a peek. About five-three in height, she was a itty bitty thing, but her voice—he had to admit—Des had found him a woman who had more potential than the hundreds they had seen over the last few months.
Her voice called to him. He could close his eyes, hear it and think of hot summer nights. The oohs and aahs in her lyrics brought his visions of satin sheets and hot bodies to life with sound. He could picture lovers walking hand-in-hand and satin sheets with sweaty, writhing bodies making love.
The more she sang, the deeper his senses went on full alert. She was drawing him in, which of course was a good thing for any singer to capture his or her audience, but his libido was coming to life. She was seducing him.
He was finding it hard to settle his naughty thoughts and direct them to the task-at-hand.
He turned to look at Des, leaned closer so he could hear him over the music. “She’s good, I’ll give her that. What do you know about her?”
Des stood tall and proud, obviously very pleased for his find. “Emilio felt she had something, too, and a demo of her landed on my desk. There was a note, unsigned, with After Hours address and the nights she worked. I was in awe of her talent and wanted to see her in action before wasting your time, though I was confident from what I heard on the demo. She’s thirty, single, no kids, works here at night. Haven’t found out her day job as yet, if she even has one. I was here a couple nights ago, when you had that meeting with the banker…?”
Sinclair nodded, eyes riveted to the stage. He was listening to Des but his eyes were drawn back to her.
“Anyway, the one waitress, Christine, told me a bit about her. But when I started asking more and more questions, like her day job, where she lived, she stopped talking and wouldn’t answer anything else.”
“Well, those kinds of questions, she probably thought you were a crazed stalker after her friend,” Sinclair reprimanded.
“Yeah well. I had to have answers. You can hear her. She’s perfect, Sin! You know it, that intense look on your face is very telling.”
Sighing, Sinclair looked at his friend. “She can put on a good show and has power chords, but who’s to say she can do live shows, night after night?” Sinclair needed to remind Des that just because someone could carry a tune, hold a few notes didn’t mean that in front of large audiences and stadiums, in videos or on tour, that they could keep up and hold their own. Des might be a great business partner who had handled things for them solo over the last few years, but he often times let his emotions get the better of his common sense.
“Dammit, man. I wish you would take stuff like this from me seriously sometimes! She’s our girl. She’s exactly what we’ve been looking for. You’d be a fool to be stubborn on this!”
“Okay, okay, I am listening. What else do you know?”
“Her name is Mikayla Gallan. That, and what I already told you, is about all I do know.” Des looked toward the stage as she held the last note for what seemed like an eternity.
Sinclair looked around the nightclub. Not one man in the room was paying any attention to their dates. Even the bartender and male waiters had stopped to stare.
“Thank you ladies and gentleman. I’m pleased to see so many familiar faces tonight. Sit back and enjoy,” came the voice from onstage.
Even her speaking voice had a breathless quality to it that sent shivers down Sinclair’s spine. That voice, it was what he wanted. The rest of the package was more than he could ever have hoped to find attached to a voice like that.
Sinclair looked at Des. They stood looking at one another for at least thirty seconds. Sinclair had to admit that though Des sometimes let his emotions lead, there was no man he trusted more with his career and life.
“See if you can get us backstage at some point tonight to meet this Mikayla Gallan. Let’s at least introduce ourselves,” Sinclair said, silently admitting defeat and giving in to his pal.
“Yes!” Des said, slapping Sinclair on the shoulder. “You will not regret this, Sin. I promise.” Des headed off to speak with the bartender.
Sinclair looked back to the stage as the crooning angel began the next song.
Unbeknownst to you, Mikayla Gallan, you are the only hope I have to stay in this business. I need you...more than you could possibly know.

BUY LINKS:
Amazon | aRe | Barnes & Noble (Nook) | Smashwords | Bookstrand

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Canadian-born author, Kacey Hammell is a self-proclaimed book-a-holic, who began reading romances at a young age and became easily addicted. As a Mom of three, Kacey has made certain that each of her children know the value of the written word and the adventures they could escape on by becoming book-a-holics in their own right.
A decade ago, while working for multiple review sites, Kacey quickly discovered that she was developing the writing bug. Thanks to the encouragement of her own beloved hero husband, she decided to try her hand at writing.
With a love of contemporary settings, modern day romances and the happily ever after, as well as the excitement of suspense, Kacey creates stories in genres she’s familiar with and that she loves most. She also loves vampires who nibble the necks of the heroines, ghosts who can't leave a loved one, shape-shifters who are sexier than hell and the thought of her very own werewolf or were-cat to tame makes her tremble!
Readers can contact Kacey at kaceyhammell@gmail.com
Readers can learn more about Kacey’s books and contact her via …
Facebook
Twitter
Website/Blog
Email

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Win an iPad or a Kindle Fire! Rafflecopter Giveaway!

Rafflecopter has just come out of it's beta testing and is now available to the public for use.  To celebrate they are giving away an iPad and a Kindle Fire.  Use the widget below to enter, and let them know Love to Read Romance sent  you.  




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The Demon Lover

“Wonderfully inventive and clever.” - Romantic Times



Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of her having written the bestselling book The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she’s found herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.  But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and  eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: Her incubus is not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the  tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the demon, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this supernatural lover from her heart.




EXCERPT:

“So, Dr. McFay, can you tell me how you first became interested in the sex lives of demon lovers?”  The question was a bit jarring, coming as it did from a silver- chignoned matron in pearls and a pink tweed Chanel suit. But I’d gotten used to questions like  these. Since I’d written the bestselling book Sex Lives of the Demon Lovers (the title adapted from my thesis, The Demon Lover in Gothic Literature: Vampires, Beasts, and Incubi), I’d been on a round of readings, lectures, and, now, job interviews that focused on the sex in the title. I had a feeling, though, that Elizabeth Book, as dean of a college with a prominent folklore department, might genuinely be more interested in the demon lovers of the title.  It was the folklore department that had brought me to the interview. It certainly wasn’t the college— second- tier Fairwick College, enrollment 1,600 students, 120 full- time faculty, 30 part- time (“We pride ourselves on our excellent teacher to student ratio,” Dr. Book had gushed earlier). Or the town: Fairwick, New York, population 4,203, a faded Catskill village shadowed by mountains and bordered by a thousand acres of virgin forest. A great place if your hobbies were snowshoeing and ice fi shing, but not if your tastes ran, as mine did, to catching the O’Keeffe show at the Whitney, shopping at Barneys, and dining out at the new Bobby Flay restaurant.  And it wasn’t that I hadn’t had plenty of other interviews. While most new Ph.D.s had to fi ght for job offers, because of the publicity surrounding Sex Lives I had already had two offers (from tiny colleges in the Midwest that I’d turned down) and serious interest from New York University, my undergraduate alma mater and fi rst choice since I was determined to stay in New York City. Nor was I as financially desperate as many of my friends who had student loans to pay back. A small trust fund left by my parents had paid for college and grad school and I still had a little left over to supplement my teaching income. Still, I wasn't sure about NYU yet, and Fairwick was worth considering if only for its folklore department. Few colleges had one and I’d been intrigued by the approach the college took, combining anthropology, English, and history into one interdisciplinary department. It jibed well with my interests— fairy tales and Gothic fi ction— and it had been refreshing to be interviewed by a committee of cross-discipline professors who were interested in something other than the class I taught on vampires. Not that all of them were fans. An American history professor named Frank Delmarco— a burly guy in a proletarian denim shirt rolled up to show off his muscular, hirsute forearms— had asked me if I didn’t think I was catering to the “lowest common denominator” by appealing to the popular craze for trashy vampire books.  “I teach Byron, Coleridge, and the Brontës in my classes,” I’d replied, returning his condescending smile. “I’d hardly call their work trash.” I hadn’t mentioned that my classes also watched episodes of Dark Shadows and read Anne Rice. Or that my own interest in demon lovers wasn’t only scholarly. I was used to academic snobs turning up their noses at my subject area. So I phrased my answer to Elizabeth Book’s question carefully now that we were alone in her office.  “I grew up listening to my mother and father telling Scottish fairytales . . .” I began, but Dean Book interrupted me. “Is that where you got your unusual name, Cailleach?” She pronounced it correctly— Kay- lex— for a change. “My father was Scottish,” I explained. “My mother just loved the stories and culture so much that she went to St. Andrew’s, where she met my father. They were archaeologists interested in ancient Celtic customs— that’s how I got the name.  But my friends call me Callie.” What I didn’t add was that my parents had died in a plane crash when I was twelve and that I’d gone to live with my grandmother on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Or that I remembered very little of my parents besides the fairy tales they told me. Or that the fairy tales had come to seem so real that one of the fi gures from those stories had haunted my dreams throughout my teens.  Instead I launched into the spiel I’d delivered a dozen times before— for my college essay, grad school interviews, the pitch for my book. How listening to my parents telling those old stories had fostered a love of folklore and fairy tales that had, in turn, inspired me to study the appearance of fairies, demons, and vampires in Romantic and Gothic literature. I had told the story so many times that it had begun to sound false to my ears. But I knew it was all true— or at least it had been when I first started telling it. I had felt a passion for the subject when I first realized that the stories my parents had told me when I was little existed in the outside world— or at least pieces of them did. I’d find traces of their stories in fairy tale collections and Gothic novels— from The Secret Garden and The Princess and the Goblin to Jane Eyre and Dracula. Perhaps I’d felt that
if I could trace these stories down to their origins I would reclaim the childhood I’d lost when they died and I moved in with my conscientious, but decidedly chilly and austere, grandmother.
Perhaps, too, I could find a clue to why I had such strange dreams after their deaths, dreams in which a handsome but shadowy young man, who I thought of as my fairy-tale prince, appeared in my room and told me fairy tales just as my parents had. But instead of becoming clearer, the stories my parents had told me had grown fainter . . . as if I’d worn them out with use. I’d become a very competent researcher, earned a doctorate, received awards for my thesis, and published a successful book. The dreams had ended, too, as if I’d exorcised them with all that scholarly research and analysis, which had sort of been the point. Hadn't it? Only with the disappearance of the dreams—and my fairytale prince—the initial spark that had spurred my work had also gone out and I was struggling with ideas for my next book.  I sometimes wondered if the storytellers I documented— the shamans sitting around a campfi re, the old women spinning wool as they unfurled their tales— ever grew bored with the stories they told and retold.  But the story still worked.  “You’re just what we’re looking for,” Elizabeth Book said
when I’d finished.  Was she actually offering me the job here and now? The other universities where I’d interviewed had waited a seemly ten days to get back to me— and although I’d had two interviews and taught a sample class for NYU, I still wasn’t sure if they were going to hire me. If Dean Book was actually offering me a job, her approach was really refreshing— or a little desperate. “That’s very flattering,” I began. Dean Book leaned forward, her long double rope of pearls  clicking together, and clasped her hands. “Of course you’ll have had other offers with the popularity of your subject. Vampires are all the rage now, aren’t they? And I imagine Fairwick College must look rather humble after NYU and Columbia, but I urge you to consider us. Folklore has been taught at Fairwick since its inception and the department has been nurtured by such prominent folklorists as Matthew Briggs and Angus Fraser. We take the study of legend and myth very seriously . . .”  She paused, as if too overcome by emotion to go on. Her eyes drifted toward a framed photograph on her desk and for a moment I thought she might cry. But then she squeezed her hands together, turning her knuckles white, and firmed her mouth.  “And I think you would fi nd it an inspiration for your work.”  She gave me such a meaningful smile that I felt sure she must know how much trouble I was having with my second book.  How for the fi rst time in my life the folklore and fairy tales that had seemed so alive to me felt dull and flat as pasteboard. But of course she couldn't know that, and she had already moved on to more practical issues.  “The committee does have to meet this afternoon. You’re
the last applicant we’re interviewing. And just between you and me and the doorpost, by far the best. You should hear from us by tomorrow morning. You’re staying at the Hart Brake Inn, correct?”  “Yes,” I said, trying not to cringe at the twee name of the B&B. “The owner has been very nice . . .”  “Diana Hart is a dear friend,” the dean said. “One of the lovely things about teaching here at Fairwick is the good relationship between town and gown. The townspeople are truly good neighbors.”  “That’s nice . . .” I was unsure of what else to say. None of the other colleges— and certainly not NYU, which had all Manhattan to boast of— had bothered to talk about the amenities of the town. “I certainly appreciate you taking the time to consider my application. It’s a fine college. Anyone would be proud to teach here.”  Dean Book tilted her head and regarded me thoughtfully.  Had I sounded too condescending? But then she smiled and stood, holding her hand out. When I placed mine in hers I was surprised at how forcefully she squeezed it. Beneath her pink suit I suspected there beat the heart of a steely- willed administrator.  “I look forward to hearing from you,” I told her. Walking through the campus, past the ivy- covered Gothic library, under ancient leafy trees, I wondered if I could stand to live here. While the campus was pretty, the town was scruffy and down at the heels. The heights of its culinary pretensions were a handful of pizzerias, a Chinese takeout, and a Greek diner. The shopping choices were a couple of vintagey- studenty boutiques on Main Street and a mall on the highway. I paused at the edge of the campus to gaze out at the view. From up here the town didn’t look too bad, and beyond were forest- covered mountains that would look beautiful in the fall—but by November they would be bare and then snow-covered.  I had to admit I had my heart set on New York City, as did Paul, my boyfriend of eight years. We’d met our sophomore
year at NYU. Although he was from Connecticut he was passionate about New York City and we agreed that someday we would live there together. Even when he didn't get into graduate
school in the city he had insisted I go to Columbia while he went to UCLA. Our plan was for him to apply to New York City schools when he finished rewriting his doctoral thesis in economics and got his degree next year. Surely he would tell me to hold out for the NYU offer rather than leave the city now. But could I really say no to Fairwick if I hadn’t gotten a definite yes from NYU? It would be better if I could find a way to put off my answer to Dean Book. I had until tomorrow morning to think of a delaying tactic.  I continued walking past the high iron gates of the college onto the town road that led to Hart Brake Inn. I could see the blue Victorian house, with its decorative flags and overspilling flowerboxes, from here. The opposite side of the road was bordered by massive pine trees, the beginning of a huge tract of protected state forest. I paused for a moment at the edge of a narrow trail, peering into the shadows. Even though the day was bright the woods were dark. Vines looped from tree to tree, fi lling every crevice and twisting into curious shapes. This is where all the stories start, I thought, on the edge of a dark
wood. Was this why the dean thought that living here would be an inspiration to me? Because the woods were the natural habitat of fairies and demons? I tried to laugh off the idea . . . but
couldn’t quite. A wind came up and blew out of the woods toward me, carrying with it the chill scent of pine needles, damp earth, and something sweet. Honeysuckle? Peering closer, I saw that the shadowy woods were indeed starred with white and yellow fl owers. I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply. The breeze curled around me, tickling the damp at the back of my neck and lifting the ends of my long hair like a hand caressing me. The sensation reminded me of the dreams I’d had as a teenager.  A shadowy man would appear at the foot of my bed. The
room would fi ll with the scent of honeysuckle and salt. I’d hear the ocean and be fi lled with an inchoate longing that I somehow knew was what he was feeling. That he was trapped in the
shadows and only I could release him. The psychiatrist my grandmother had sent me to said the dreams were an expression of grief for my parents, but I’d always found that hard to believe. The feelings I’d had for the shadow man were not at all filial. Now the invisible hand tugged at me and I stepped forward, off the pavement and onto the dirt path. The heels of my boots sank into the soft, loamy soil.  I opened my eyes, stumbling, as if waking from a dream,
and started to turn away . . . That’s when I saw the house. It was hidden from the road by a dense, overgrown hedge. Even without the hedge the house would have been hard to see because it blended in so well with its surroundings. It was a Queen Anne Victorian, its clapboard painted a pale yellow that was peeling in so many places it resembled a cleverly camouflaged butterfly. The roof was slate and furred with moss, the decorative cornices, pointed eaves, and turret were painted a deep pine green. The honeysuckle from the forest had encroached over the porch railings— or, more likely, the honeysuckle from the house’s garden had spread into the woods. The vines and shrubs circling the porch were so thick it looked as though the house were sitting in a nest. I stepped a few feet closer and a breeze stirred a loose vine over the door. It waved to me as though it were beckoning me to come closer. I looked around to see if there were any signs of habitation, but the driveway was empty, the windows were shuttered, and a green dust, undisturbed by footprints, lay over the porch
steps. Such a pretty house to be deserted, I thought. The breeze sighed through the woods as if agreeing. As I got closer I saw that the vergeboard trim along the pointed eaves was beautifully carved with vines and trumpet- shaped fl owers. Above the doorway in the pediment was a wood carving of a man’s face, a pagan god of the forest, I thought, from the pinecone wreath resting on his abundant fl owing hair. I’d seen a face like it somewhere before . . . perhaps in a book on forest deities . . . The same face appeared in the stained- glass fanlight above the front door.