Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Blog Tour: Synchrony by Cindy Ray Hale

This is my stop during the blog tour for Synchrony (Destiny #2) by Cindy Ray Hale. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours . The blog tour runs from May 5 till May 25, you can view the complete tour schedule hereI am running a few days behind for this blog tour and for that I apologize.  I read both the first book in this trilogy, Destiny, as well as Synchrony which is book two.  I have shared my thoughts below.

(Book 1 of Destiny Trilogy)
Cindy Ray Hale

Genre: Contemporary Romance, YA

Destiny Clark, a young Mormon girl living in Tennessee, is wildly infatuated with Isaac Robinson, the headmaster's son at her Baptist high school. When they're cast together in the school's production of Les Misérables, Destiny is horrified to find that she has to be publicly humiliated by acting out her true feelings of rejection onstage. 

As their rehearsals begin, Destiny realizes the unimaginable: Isaac has developed deep feelings for her despite their religious differences and the fact that he has a girlfriend. 

But will they be able to find their place amongst the backbiters of their ultra-conservative world?

Weaving around Destiny and Isaac's alternating viewpoints, Destiny is the first book in a series inspired by the characters of Les Misérables and explores heartbreak, self-discovery, intolerance, and love.

(Book 2 of Destiny Trilogy)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, YA
Release Date: April 8, 2014

When her parents discover she’s been sneaking out with Isaac Robinson, the forbidden Baptist boy, Mormon girl Destiny Clark decides it’s time to keep their relationship quiet. As their relationship moves to shakier ground, Destiny discovers that Isaac has a terrible secret, and she is left completely shattered.

The moment Destiny feels all hope is lost, Preston Nelson, her longtime church friend and Isaac's bitter rival, arrives like a beacon of light. It isn't long before two separate disasters strike for Preston and Destiny's best friend, Hannah. As Destiny helps them through their issues, she discovers that sometimes the best way to forget about your own problems is to help a friend in need.

Just as her heart begins to mend and her friendship with Preston begins to heat up, Isaac walks back into her life, threatening to rekindle the feelings she’d hoped to bury forever. Will Destiny and Preston find the synchrony they so desperately need, or will she find a way to forgive Isaac and return to his outstretched arms?

My thoughts: I am going to review these books as one.  Because I read them back to back I am not sure where the story ended and the second one picked up.  I liked these books and the whole lover's triangle between Destiny, Isaac, and Preston.  Barring the religious undertones, I bet you can find at least one triangle like this in every high school in America.  

Destiny is only 15 when the book starts and is a Mormon attending Bethel Baptist  High School.  Her family are the only Mormon's that attend and they were former members of Bethel Baptist Church.  When they converted, a lot of their friends didn't understand and broke off the friendship.  While her brother Michael seems to be very well-liked, Destiny doesn't feel like she belongs anywhere. At the start of the school year she only has two girls that she calls friends, and one of them turns out to be Isaac's cousin.  

There are actually two more books coming out, Complexity - book 2.5 and Harmony - book 3.  I am going to have to read these because I want to know what happens with these three!  There is also some smaller stories going on - one with Destiny's best friend Hannah and her boyfriend and another with Destiny's little sister Olivia, and a would be suitor.  Both could be explosive all on their own.

Now that I have shared what I liked about the books, I do have to let you know about something that bothered me.  I am a born-again Christian and felt a little bit like the Christians in this book weren't represented very well.  They seemed to be the ones who were unaccepting, rumor mongerers, druggies, and having pre-marital sex.  The Mormons on the other hand, all had close knit families, watched out for their siblings, dressed conservatively etc.  And it wasn't until Isaac, (Christian) decides to learn more about the Mormon religion that he is portrayed in a much better light.  I understand that this is central to the story line, the different religions and the conflicts between the two, but you don't run into very many good Christians in this story. Meanwhile, even though the Mormons are breaking some house rules, there is no comparison to what their Christian counterparts are doing.  I am wondering if some of this is going to change in the next books though and look forward to finding out. 

You can watch the book trailer here:

Are you Team Isaac?

Or Team Preston?

About the Author:  Cindy Ray Hale lives in a little slice of wooded heaven near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and children. She spends way too much time following up-and-coming musicians on YouTube and dreams of joining their ranks one day. She’s a bit of a health food nut and can’t live without her daily green smoothies. She tries to stay sane as she juggles writing with four kids, staying active on social media, and keeping up her book blog at http://cinnamoncindy.blogspot.com/. In addition to writing and self-publishing two Young Adult Contemporary novels, she has also written articles for "New Era" magazine and The American Preppers Network.

For more information on The Destiny Trilogy and Cindy’s upcoming books visit http://destinybycindyhale.blogspot.com/ or follow @CindyRayHale on Twitter.

Author Links: 
Website /  Website for destiny /  Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Google+ / Pinterest

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Synchrony. These are the prizes you can win:

- A $25 Amazon Gift Card (INTL), and a Destiny Swag Pack which includes: a signed copy of Destiny, a signed copy of Synchrony, a Destiny bookmark, a Destiny magnet, a Destiny keychain, and a Synchrony keychain.

- An ecopy of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris and a swag pack

- A Camp Boyfriend swag pack by JK Rock

- An ecopy of Definitely, Maybe in Love by Ophelia London.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Book Blitz: The Middle Eye and Devil Eye - both by Rebecca Jean Downey - with a giveaway!


The Middle Eye
by Rebecca Jean Downey

 When eleven-year-old Rosa Garcia disappears from an El Paso, Texas playground, Penny Larkin, a newly-certified remote viewer, is hired by Sheriff Leo Tellez to find her. The FBI believes she's a runaway, but this is the second time Rosa has been kidnapped, and Leo fears she's been taken by a sexual predator. Penny's lingering memory of fighting off a rape attempt by her foster father clouds her thoughts and prevents her from locating the kidnapper quickly. The sheriff, who rescued Rosa from a homeless man five years earlier, is up for reelection and seeks to curry public favor by finding her again. His deputies claim Penny is a charlatan and a waste of the department's money. When Penny can't locate Rosa promptly, Leo boils with frustration and fires her. Penny refuses to give up, and soon discovers the bloodcurdling kidnapper's hideout. With time running out, Penny sets out alone to rescue Rosa.

Will Penny find young Rosa and exorcise her own demons in the process, or will she fall into the clutches of a Russian child-trafficking ring?

Buy the book


The Devil Eye
by Rebecca Jean Downey

When the U.S. Marshal wants to stop a sale of firearms to Mexico, he asks Penny Larkin to use her remote viewing skills to track down New Mexico gunrunner, Juan Rico. Penny is sworn to secrecy because the marshal believes a law enforcement officer is involved. She can't even tell her boyfriend, El Paso County Sheriff Leo Tellez.

Penny heads off to Columbus, New Mexico alone, and winds up stranded on the Interstate during a dust storm. She is forced to use her own gun to hold off a gang of men trying to hi-jack her car. A man winds up dead and New Mexico State Trooper Johnny Trejo, arrests Penny on suspicion of murder. When Leo comes to rescue Penny from the clutches of the law, he brings Adriana, the beautiful twin sister of Alejandra, Leo's dead wife. Penny is desperate to get out of jail to defend her relationship with Leo, but when she is finally free, she must keep her word to the marshal and find Juan Rico, first.

On the trail of Rico, gun traffickers kidnap Penny and drag her across the Mexican border, along with their guns. This means certain death for Penny in a country where women often go missing. A rescue by the U.S. Marshal or even Sheriff Tellez is unlikely since no one knows where she is. Will Penny escape the grasp of ruthless gunrunners? The answers can be found in Devil Eye!

Buy the book

About the author: Rebecca Jean Downey has a way of pulling you into her stories. You don't want to put the book down until you make sure her characters survive! She graduated from the Indiana University School of Journalism, covered police and court beats as a newspaper reporter, and has since had a life long fascination with law enforcement and criminal behavior. Rebecca read Sherlock Holmes in elementary school, and has devoured hundreds of mystery novels over her lifetime. She finally realized that her home in El Paso, Texas—lying on the cusp of two countries—was a perfect backdrop for sharing the haunting headlines generated south of the border in Mexico.

Today, Rebecca is a speechwriter for the President of The University of Texas at El Paso and Director of Development for the College of Health Sciences.

Author Links:
Facebook | Twitter | Website | Blog

More about Rebecca's Books

Rebecca's novels introduce the reader to a psychic technique called controlled remote viewing, developed in the 1970s by the CIA when the agency suspected that the Soviet Union was conducting psychic spying on the United States. The US Army and the CIA utilized Stargate until the end of the Cold War when the US Government declassified it.

Today, remote viewers help law enforcement agencies and individuals locate missing persons and solve cold cases.

As a remote viewer herself, Rebecca found writing about Penny Larkin’s adventures to be therapeutic.

Click on the giveaway banner below to enter to win a copy of "The Middle Eye" or "Devil Eye" !

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sad Day

8/16/2003 - 5/22/2014

You were the best dog and will be dearly missed. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge: Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan

Here is the second review book for the BookSparks 2014 Summer Reading Challenge.  I don't know about you - but it hasn't felt like spring around here yet, let alone summer!  We saw snow earlier this week - Winter, I am so over you!

Love and Other Foreign Words
by Erin McCahan

Josie lives her life in translation.  She speaks High School, College, Friends, Boyfriends, Break-ups, and even the language of Beautiful Girls.  But none of these is her native tongue.  And Love?  The most foreign language of all.  So when being fluent in True Love becomes the only way to avert a sure catastrophe, Josie is forced to examine her feelings for the boy who says he loves her, the sister she loves but doesn't always like, and the best friend who hasn't said a word -- at least not in a language Josie understands.  

Insightful, poignant, and laugh-out-loud funny, this is an irrepressible love story about sisters, friends, boys, and how it feels to find someone, at last, who speaks your language. 

My thoughts: I loved Josie!  She was funny, smart, loyal - but it was probably her quick-wit and dry humor that endeared me to her the most.  I wish that I could be as quick with the comebacks.  As her family says, she is 15 going on 30 - and she juggles as much as some 30 year olds.  She is a sophomore in high school in the afternoon, but as part of an accelerated program she is also a freshman in college in the mornings.  She plays volleyball, runs track, and is very close with her family - which include two older sisters.  

She is okay with her oldest sister's husband, but when her middle sister comes home engaged, she has a hard time finding anything to like about him.  She spends the majority of the book trying to find reasons to make her sister break up with him, or at least to make her family see that they are not right together.  She is enthralled with languages and believes that everyone has their own language, and you won't really fit in if you don't speak their language. 

This made me think about the situations that I find personally to be the most uncomfortable - and when it comes down to it, it is because I don't feel that I will be able to speak the right language to fit in.  Knowing this, I think it will make me approach some situations differently - and without such trepidation.  

Something else that she wrote that stuck with me is "It's easier to hate than to hurt."  Just think about that for awhile and I am sure you will come up with an instance that you could apply this to your own life.  I am passing this book along to my daughters.

~I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSparks PR in exchange for my unbiased review.~

Purchase Links:

About the author: Erin McCahan is the author of the YA book I Now Pronounce You Someone Else (Scholastic, June 2010). 
Erin’s debut novel was a 2010 Cybils Award finalist. She grew up in Michigan and worked extensively 
with teenagers before beginning her writing career. She lives in Columbus, Ohio. 

Author Links:
Facebook / Website / Twitter / Goodreads

All the books for the challenge:
Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan
Cure for the Common Breakup by Beth Kendrick

The Witch of Belladonna Bay by Suzanne Palmieri
The Revealed by Jessica Hickam
The Walk In Closet by Abdi Nazemian

Elly in Love by Colleen Oakes
After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Serenade by Emily Kiebel
Queen of Hearts Vol. 2 by Colleen Oakes

Gravel on the Side of the Road by Kris Raddish
The Curse of Van Gogh by Paul Hoppe
Wild Within by Melissa Hart

My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal
In Bloom by Katie Delahanty

Cover Reveal: Harp's Voice by Cassie Shine

I’m so excited to take part in the cover reveal for HARP'S VOICE (Harp's Song #2) by Cassie Shine! Check out the cover below, and let us know what you think in the comments. Then be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of HARP'S SONG or HARP'S VOICE (winner's choice), and a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card!


Harp's Voice
(Harp's Song #2)
by Cassie Shine
Publication Date: June 24, 2014

Single-minded to the point of near seclusion, Harp Evans' only goal was to move away from her abusive mother, and start a new life at college.  Now a freshman at a prestigious university, Harp continues to struggle letting people in, including her ex-boyfriend -- Connor Williams -- who has always stood by her, especially after her mother exposed a devastating secret about Harp's origin.

While Harp figures out how to navigate her relationships, especially with her mom, Anne, she will have to exorcise her own demons and face challenges with uncompromising courage, including reuniting her broken family -- the family that was shattered by the acts of one man.

After almost twenty years, is it possible for people to change their minds and open their hearts?  More importantly, is Harp strong enough to pull them all back together?

Add Java Man to your Goodreads TBR!

What do you think of the cover?

About the author:  Cassie Shine released her debut young adult novel, Harp's Song in November 2013, finally finishing the short story she started in her college creative writing class. . . many, many moons ago.  She has always Been an avid reader and lover of music (yes, she was in the high school marching band).  While she has a weak spot for all things teeny bopper, especially boy bands, she also loves classical, country, rock and well, pretty much everything.

After living in St. Louis for more than ten years, she and her husband packed up a U-Haul and headed west.  They currently live in Orange county, CA with their furry kids Finnegan and Molly.

Author Links: 
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | Goodreads


Enter to win a signed copy of HARP'S SONG or HARP'S VOICE (winner's choice) with $25 Amazon or B&N gift card! (US/CA only)
***Any contestant that uses dummy or contest only accounts to enter will be disqualified.***
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Jen Halligan PR host

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Review: The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan

The Faerie Guardian
(Creepy Hollow #1)
by Rachel Morgan

A faerie girl.
A human boy.
A magical world.
A dangerous plot.

Protecting humans from dangerous magical creatures is all in a day’s work for a faerie training to be a guardian. Seventeen-year-old Violet Fairdale knows this better than anyone—she’s about to become the best guardian the Guild has seen in years. That is, until a cute human boy who can somehow see through her faerie glamour follows her into the fae realm. Now she’s broken Guild Law, a crime that could lead to her expulsion.
The last thing Vi wants to do is spend any more time with the boy who got her into this mess, but the Guild requires that she return Nate to his home and make him forget everything he’s discovered of the fae realm. Easy, right? Not when you factor in evil faeries, long-lost family members, and inconvenient feelings of the romantic kind. Vi is about to find herself tangled up in a dangerous plot—and it’ll take all her training to get out of it alive.

My thoughts: This was a fun, pretty quick read and I definitely want to continue on in the series.  Even though in the book, Vi doesn't have a lot of friends, she is a very sympathetic character.  Especially as you get into the book and learn more about her.  There is a lot of action and it was fun to visit this fantastical world of faeries, trolls, pixies, half-lings, etc.   The author does a good job of describing the magic that they have.  It is always interesting to see what an author will come up with to make her characters special in the magical sense.  

Vi's life ends up pretty messy by the end of the book, friends become enemies, enemies become friends and you can't really trust what you know.  This book continues on with The Faerie Prince and book 3 is The Faerie War.  

~I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for my unbiased review.~

Cover Reveal: Sticks and Stones by Shawn McGuire

Sticks and Stones
(The Wishmakers Book One)
by Shawn McGuire
Cover designed by  Art by Karri
Publication date: June 15th 2014 
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Everyone has a dark side. Mandy’s just moved in with her.
The last time sixteen-year-old Mandy Matteo broke a rule, her sister died. Since that day she has done only what is expected of her, but life as a goody-goody has made Mandy so boring her friends have all but abandoned her. And she’s given up on ever getting Ethan, the boy she’s liked forever, to notice her. Desperate, Mandy makes a wish to simply be happy.

Her wish is granted and happiness arrives in the form of Lexi, her childhood imaginary friend come to life. Magical wishes have conditions though: Once started, the wish cannot be altered or stopped. And once Mandy is truly content with her life again, Lexi must go back to where she came from. But Lexi loves being alive and she’ll do whatever it takes to stay that way.

About the Author: Shawn McGuire started writing after seeing the first Star Wars movie (that’s episode IV) as a kid; she couldn’t wait for the next one so wrote her own episodes. Sadly, those notebooks are long lost. STICKS AND STONES is her debut and is the first in the planned five-book YA fantasy series, THE WISH MAKERS. She grew up in the beautiful Mississippi River town of Winona, Minnesota and after graduating college moved to the Milwaukee area of Wisconsin where she lived for many years. She and her family now call Colorado home and when not writing or reading, Shawn enjoys cooking and baking, crafts, interior decorating, and spending time hiking and camping in the spectacular Rocky Mountains.

Author Links: 
Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Goodreads

Monday, May 12, 2014

BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge: The One and Only by Emily Giffin

I am very excited to be a part of BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge and am kicking it off with my reivew of The One and Only by Emily Giffin!  To see a full list of the review books, continue reading to the bottom of the post.

The One and Only
by Emily Giffin

Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas—a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade.

But when an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit Walker community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she has always trusted most—and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets.

Thoughtful, funny, and brilliantly observed, The One & Only is a luminous novel about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself . . . the one and only thing that truly makes life worth living.

My thoughts:  This book started out slow for me, but I was interested enough in Shea that I kept reading.  I soon became invested in Shea's life, wanting to know who she would end up with as well as what career path she would take.  

Shea was raised by her mother, but considers her best friend Lucy's family as her own as well.  When Lucy's mother Connie dies, it leaves a hole in all of their lives, including Coach Carr, her husband, who is also the winning coach of Walker football and has been for years.  Shea's relationship with Coach Carr has changed over the years, from him being her best friend's dad, to mentor, to friend.  She understands and is involved in football in a way that Lucy is not, so is closer to coach than his own daughter.  He has most recently given her a lead on a job that would finally get her out of the Walker atmosphere and start a life of her own.  

The relationships in this book were complex and messy.  And that is what I liked best.  The author does not back away from the uncomfortable, but meets it head on.  She explores unlikely attractions as well as unhealthy ones.  She shows us that what might appear perfect on the outside sometimes hides ugly secrets and the things that make us uncomfortable might really be what's worth fighting for.

I will definitely pick up another book by Emily Giffin!

~I received a complimentary ecopy of The One and Only from BookSparks and Net Galley in exchange for my unbiased review as part of the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge.~

Purchase Links: 

by Emily Giffin

Random House; May 20, 2014
432 pages; $28.00 U.S.
ISBN- 978-0-345-54688-3

Check out all the great books that will be reviewed this summer!
The One and Only by Emily Giffin
Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan
Cure for the Common Breakup by Beth Kendrick

The Witch of Belladonna Bay by Suzanne Palmieri
The Revealed by Jessica Hickam
The Walk In Closet by Abdi Nazemian

Elly in Love by Colleen Oakes
After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Serenade by Emily Kiebel
Queen of Hearts Vol. 2 by Colleen Oakes

Gravel on the Side of the Road by Kris Raddish
The Curse of Van Gogh by Paul Hoppe
Wild Within by Melissa Hart

My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal
In Bloom by Katie Delahanty

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Review: When We Met by Susan Mallery

When We Met
(Fool's Gold, #13)
by Susan Mallery

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery invites you back to Fool's Gold, where a newcomer to town might finally meet the man she never knew she needed. . .

Angel Whittaker earned his scars the hard way, but the scars that can't be seen are the ones that haunt him the most.  Since he moved to Fool's Gold, California, he's cobbled together a life for himself as a bodyguard trainer.  If he's not exactly happy, at least his heart is safe.

Working with pro-football superstars taught tough-talking PR woman Taryn Crawford one thing -- she can go toe-to-toe with any man.  But then dark, dangerous former Special Ops Angel targets her for seduction. . . and challenges her to resist his tempting kisses.

Even in four-inch heels, Taryn never backs down.  Unless, somehow, Angel can convince her that surrender might feel even better than victory. 

My thoughts: Taryn and Angel were both mentioned in the last book and it was fun to see that storyline picked up in When We Met.  Neither is looking for a relationship - Angel because he had a family once - and he felt that he couldn't keep them safe - so didn't want to travel that path again.  Taryn had an ugly childhood and was left scarred by both parents, and feels single is safer if it means never having to trust again.  However. . . they are both open to having a little fun.

Taryn runs a PR firm and bosses around three NFL players, so when she is not at work she likes it that Angel doesn't always play be the rules.  He isn't following the script she is used to which leaves her even more intrigued.  Angel likes it that Taryn doesn't run from a challenge but actually steps up to play.  This makes for an interesting combination as the dating ritual begins, as neither one knows what to expect.

If it was all about the sparks, maybe neither one would be in trouble - but along the way they discover the softer side that they each try to hide.  

I liked this couple very much - both powerful, Taryn in her job, Angel - both physically and at his job.  At the same time, though they try to fight it, they very much love being a part of this small community and giving back.  Taryn might fight that every one is "too nice", but is really enjoying have girlfriends.  And though Angel feels he was coerced into being a Grove Keeper for a group of 7-8 year old girls, he is really enjoying it.  As they get to know each other, they also begin to know themselves better, and they are really not the loners they think they are.

 I have had the opportunity to read only one other Fool's Gold book - Three Little Words, but have found they they read very well as stand alones.  It was fun to recognize some of the other characters in the book and know some of their back story, so I look forward to continuing on in the series and hope to one day have the chance to go back and see where it all started.  

~I was given a copy of When We Met by Meryl Moss Media in exchange for my unbiased review.~

Purchase Links: 

About the author: SUSAN MALLERY is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 80 novels, with more than 25 million books sold worldwide. Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans. Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

by Susan Mallery

Harlequin; May 1, 2014
352 pages; $8.99 U.S./$9.99 CAN.
ISBN- 978-0-373-77865-2

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cover Reveal: More than Music by Elizabeth Briggs

More than Music
(Chasing the Dream #1)
by Elizabeth Briggs
Cover designed by Najla Qamber Designs
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Contemporary, NA

Music major Maddie Taylor seems to have her life all figured out. She’s just finished her junior year of college, has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, and plans to go to grad school to write movie scores. Only her roommates know she practices guitar every night and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don’t get to be rock stars.

Tattooed singer Jared Cross has a new girl every week, but when he catches Maddie playing one of his songs, she attracts his attention in an unexpected way. His band needs a fourth member for The Sound, a reality TV show competition—and he wants her. Though Maddie refuses to be another notch on Jared’s bedpost, she agrees to risk everything for the chance to be a rock star.

Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared behind his flirty smile, and with each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore. When the show pressures Jared to flaunt his player image, they’re forced to keep their relationship secret, but Maddie can’t help but want something real.

As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.

About the author: Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She plays the guitar, mentors at-risk teens, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of small, fluffy dogs.

Author links: 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Welcome to The Chatsfield! (with giveaway)

Harlequin has launched The Chatsfield, a "first of its kind" digital series from Mills & Boon on 6th May.

Set in the luxury hotel "The Chatsfield", this digital series provides an extra journey for the reader to continue engaging with the characters of a book and series beyond what is just on the page, thereby extending the life of the story.

The Chatsfield is a digital journey that blends fiction and reality and comes across multiple mediums including print (The Chatsfield Presents books), video (YouTube), digital (blogs and the main Chatsfield website) and social (twitter, Facebook.)

To be a part of the digital journey, you can explore here:
The Chatsfield opened its doors on 6th May at www.thechatsfield.com

Other important links:
Facebook / Twitter / Google+ / YouTube  / Mills & Boon website


Coming in May
 Sheikh's Scandal
 by Lucy Monroe

Sheikh Sayed of Zeena Sarha and his harem of beautiful women are staying at the exclusive, opulent Chatsfield Hotel, London, for the last stop on his worldwide tour before his wedding. But when his engagement is unceremoniously broken, Sayed sets his sights on his sexy chambermaid! 
Liyah Amari only took the position as chambermaid to find the truth about her birth father. But her search ends in heartache, leaving Liyah vulnerable to this powerful Sheikh's desires. Now their one night of passion could result in a scandalous consequence for the proud Sheikh! 
Welcome to The Chatsfield, London!
About the author: Award-winning and bestselling author Lucy Monroe lives in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest, surrounded by a plethora of pets and children (her own, the neighbors, her sisters…). She finds inspiration for her stories everywhere as she is an avid people-watcher. So much so that she disconcerted her husband upon first meeting him when she watched the other dancers as much as she watched him. He thought she wasn't interested…silly man.
She believes there is no stronger emotion than love; that it truly can overcome pain, past rejection and the challenge of finding happiness despite the hardest things life has to offer. She believes in the victorious conclusions found in today's romance. To her, the passionately sensual romance novel is a beautiful expression of the reality of love, packaged in a fantasy readers can enjoy.
When she's not writing, Lucy likes to read—big surprise, that. She can't tell you the latest show going on television, but she loves romantic movies, action adventure and the theater. She adores her family, and is a smatterer when it comes to hobbies…a little of this, a little of that.
Since selling her first book to the Harlequin Presents line in September of 2002, she has sold more than thirty books to three publishers and shows no signs of slowing down in the near future.
Visit her web site to read about all of her books and see flash movies for select releases, including her Harlequin Presents title. She truly loves to hear from readers, and can be reached at lucymonroe@lucymonroe.com.

Coming in June
Playboy's Lesson
by Melanie Milburne

Lucca Chatsfield has one simple motto: no rings, no strings. Adored wherever he goes, he has yet to meet a woman who can resist him. Until he's sent to the small principality of Preitalle and meets his greatest challenge ever…. 
Poised and polished, princess Charlotte does not do drama. The very last person she needs interfering in her life is this reckless playboy! Lottie is determined to resist Lucca's seduction, but his charm is potent, and practically perfect Lottie finds herself risking everything for just one more touch….
About the author: It was while she was supposed to be studying for her final high school exams that Melanie Milburne read her first Mills & Boon novel. She was 17 and decided right then and there she would continue reading romance novels, and not only that, she would settle for no less than a tall dark handsome hero as her future husband. Well, she's not only still reading romance but writing it as well! And the tall dark handsome hero, you ask? She fell in love with him on the second date and was secretly engaged to him within six weeks.
They moved to Scotland so he could work and study for his M.D. in surgery, and two sons later, arrived in Hobart, Tasmania—the jewel in the Australian crown. Once their boys were safely at school, Melanie went back to university and upgraded her teaching qualifications to a bachelor's and then master's degree.
As part of her final assessment she conducted a tutorial in literary theory concentrating on the romance genre. She had the tutorial room decked out with hearts and champagne and roses and was standing at the front of the room reading a paragraph from the novel of a prominent Harlequin Mills & Boon author when the door suddenly burst open. The husband that she thought was safely tucked away in an operating theater doing what surgeons are supposed to do was actually standing there dressed in a tuxedo, his dark brown compelling gaze centered on her startled blue one. He strode purposefully across the room, hauled Melanie into his arms and kissed her deeply and passionately before setting her back down and leaving without a single word. The lecturer gave Melanie a High Distinction and her fellow students gave her jealous glares! You can see by now her pilgrimage into romance writing was more or less set!
As well as writing full-time, Melanie is also a keen athlete. She enjoys long-distance running and is a nationally ranked top-10 master's swimmer in Australia, holding several individual state records. She learned to swim as an adult, so for anyone out there who thinks they can't do something—you can! Her motto is "Don't say I can't; say I CAN TRY."
Melanie loves the pace and passion of the Harlequin Mills & Boon Presents series and hopes fans enjoy reading her stories as much as she loves writing them.

Coming in July
Socialite's Gamble
by Michelle Conder

As the darling of London's party scene, Cara Chatsfield isn't surprised when her father's CEO sends her to Las Vegas to host The Chatsfield's world-famous poker tournament. And if behind the glitz and glamour there's a girl hurt by her past? She'll never tell.  
Aidan Kelly detests women like Cara, but when his biggest rival includes Cara in the stakes, Aidan must win—and not just for her protection! But getting to know the stunning socialite, he discovers a beautiful, vulnerable young woman awoken by his own personal brand of passion!  
Welcome to The Chatsfield, Las Vegas!
About the author: After graduating from the University of Melbourne, Michelle Conder took a variety of jobs before packing her bags and traveling and working overseas. When none of the career opportunities she encountered grabbed her she returned to Australia, and after more study decided to follow her lifelong dream of becoming a writer.
Michelle now lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children; when she isn't writing, she loves to visit faraway places and spend time with her family and friends.
--10 winners will get copies of The Chatsfield series (Books 1-3)

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