Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Feature: Excerpt from MY KIND OF CRAZY

I've been working on my Young Adult books a lot lately, and thinking about young love and first kisses. But a first kiss between two adults is still that - a First Kiss. Still a magical thing. Thought it might be a nice way to kick off the long Memorial Day weekend to share my favorite first kiss scene, from my 2014 beach romance, My Kind of Crazy....

Excerpt:



He reached out and gently wrapped his fingers around her arm, not letting her leave the front hall. “Kendall?” 

Again with the major electrical sparks zinging through her! She was afraid to look him in the eye, afraid he’d be able to see it in her face, the devastating effect he had on her. They stood so close she felt the heat from his body radiating, warming the small space between them. His touch was fire on her bare skin. She finally raised her gaze to meet his eyes, luminous and deep. She felt like she might fall into those green pools and drown.

Breathe in, breathe out. She searched for words to answer the unasked questions in his eyes but none came to her.

“Kendall.” He whispered her name again as if it were the answer to some puzzle he was trying to solve.

Thoughts whirled through her head at lightning speed. Nothing about this made any kind of sense— especially not her attraction to a complete stranger. But there was no denying the electricity that ran through her body from his simplest touch.

“I’m not looking for a relationship right now.” Her low whisper matched his.

“What are you looking for?” He moved closer, his lips brushing her mouth, tasting of beer and salted peanuts. His warmth pulsed through her in shock waves, her traitorous body responding all too eagerly. He tasted so good, the salt sizzling on her tongue. The kiss shifted from soft and gentle to solid and deep. Arms slid around her, pulling her close, but she was too wrapped up in the kiss to protest. Why complain? He felt so good, the hard muscles of his arms and planed chest underneath that thin dress shirt, and another hardness evident, despite his proper dress pants.

Suddenly Kendall remembered that this was the same man who was fooling around with the married cougar of a librarian. She wanted to be outraged for the unwitting spouse, but all she could think was, Lucky librarian.

She wrapped her arms around his neck and shoulders. Vaguely she registered the wall behind her, pressing hard against her back. His clever tongue tangled with her own, sending fresh waves of desire rippling through her.

Even as her body screamed Yes! she slid her hand between them, firmly pushing him backward and breaking the connection. “I can’t do this. I don’t want to get hurt again.” Her eyes searched his before she turned her head to look away. If she looked into those eyes for one more second she would forget all about saying no and let her body do whatever it wanted.

Buy it now on AMAZON

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Writing Wednesday: Do You Judge a Book By Its Cover?

Everyone does it.

Not all the time, maybe, but more often than we want to admit.

What's the first thing a reader sees? The book cover. You want a cover that sucks you right in, and makes you want to know more about the book, the characters, the situation, the author...

Do you ever buy a book with a bad cover? Yes. When someone tells you it's a good read, or when you know the author and like her writing. Or when the author is a friend. But really, what draws you in the first place if not the cover art?

On some of the email newsletters I receive, the covers are blocked and I have to click to allow images. So sometimes, I read the book descriptions and don't bother to see the covers. That must be how these two books ended up in my TBR pile, because I dislike both covers pretty intensely. As in, I can't believe I bought these books. And yet, I really enjoyed them. It's like when your daughter bakes you the ugliest birthday cake ever, and it turns out to taste really, really good. What a nice surprise!

Another Shot at Love, by Niecy Roy
What's Love??? Series, book one
Published 2013
New Adult contemporary romance

About the Book:
Imogen Gorecki needs a date to her sister’s engagement party—especially since her cheating ex-boyfriend is on the guest list. But finding Mr. Perfect in a time crunch is proving impossible.

Just when she’s about to give up, she face-plants into the crotch of the sexiest guy she’s ever met.

Matt Sesnick is everything Imogen wants in a man, but he’s not looking for a relationship so soon after his recent divorce. Will Gen’s pregnant and hormonal older sister, her bridezilla twin, and all of her past Mr. Wrongs get in the way of their happily-ever-after, or can she convince Matt to take another shot at love?
My Take:

Hate the cover, and truly hate the series title. Why do we need three question marks? Are we in middle school passing notes about cute boys?

That said, I enjoyed this book quite a bit! It's the first book of a trilogy about three friends in their early twenties (twin sisters and their mutual best friend) who are each struggling with figuring out the complexities of relationships and finding true love. Told in first person POV this new adult tale of twenty something's was engaging and entertaining. A quick, fun read, I'd recommend it for a fun beach book, and may have to check out the next two tales to see how the sister and friend fare when it's their turns to find out what love is. But please, spare me the extra punctuation marks.


I Love the 80s, by Megan Crane
Published 2014 by The Tule Publishing Group
New Adult time travel romance

About the Book:
Live in the now, they say, but for Jenna Jenkins, the now sucks.

Her fiancĂ© dumped her, and she's lacking the drive that might lead to a promotion at the eighties-themed cable station where she works. The only thing keeping her sane is her obsession with a brooding rock star, and an era, that died twenty-odd years ago. But then lightning strikes—literally—and sends her back to the year and the man she’s loved her entire life. Jenna has no choice but to take action to save Tommy Seer, lead singer of The Wild Boys, from the tragic accident that only she knows will claim his life.

But the real Tommy Seer is very different from the one who's spent all this time starring in her favorite fantasies. As Jenna falls deeper into Tommy’s world—under his spell all over again, only this time without the schoolgirl crush—she realizes that his death was no accident. Can she find a killer, prevent a murder, and save the man she loves without everyone thinking she’s crazy?

And who thought shoulder pads were a good idea, anyway?
My Take:

Hate the cover, but even more than that I absolutely hate the title... But I totally loved this engaging tale of time travel and 80s nostalgia rolled into a sweet romantic suspense. The narrator started off a little too whiny but watching her develop her backbone and grow throughout the story was satisfying. The storyline is a little bit of a hot mess, and yet I couldn't seem to put it down, and kept it open on my desk when. I should have been doing other things, like, um, work. If you like time travel stories and remember the 80s and that music with any sort of nostalgia, this is a fun, quick read.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday Book Review: THE SHELL GAME, by Chris Keniston

The Shell Game, the Aloha series, Book 0.5
By Chris Keniston
Published August 2014

About the Book:
He's High Risk... She's High Stakes.
Tricked into taking a Caribbean cruise, former Navy SEAL Luke "Brooklyn" Chapman is expecting free-flowing booze, bikini-clad women, and an abundance of recreation.
Hardworking Sharla Kramer has her hands full keeping her sticky-fingered grandmother out of trouble. Looking forward to a nice rest while on vacation, the last thing she needs in her life is a high risk Navy SEAL.
Toss in a couple of swindlers, a retired cop, and a few fun-loving ladies in red hats, and a little high seas R&R quickly becomes a lot of high stakes shenanigans!

MY TAKE:
First I will admit I haven't read any of the other books in Keniston's Aloha series. My opinion after finishing is that its not necessary to read the series to enjoy this prequel. This is a stand alone book, although I guess if you already know and love these characters, it might be really fun to finally get this backstory. Because these are fun characters. The author does a great job introducing both main and secondary players and investing the reader in their stories. The majority of the book takes place on a cruise ship, and having been on a few cruises it all rang so true I had to laugh at points.

Sharla Kramer is a hospital nurse who lost her policeman husband a few years back in an on the job shooting. Now her grandmother has moved in with her, an aging former con artist with a definite twinkle in her eye. Sharla ends up accompanying Nana on a vacation cruise, where her only plans are to keep Nana out of trouble and read through the many books back logged on her Kindle (sounds like a plan to me!) Nana has other ideas, especially after she bumps into one particular hunk who seems to be the only single guy in her granddaughter's age group.

Luke "Brooklyn" Chapman is a former Navy Seal who now works for the CIA taking down the bad guys in a more surreptitious but no less dangerous way. After a close encounter with a knife, his superior sends him on a mandatory vacation cruise to rest and relax. When he and Sharla meet, it feels less like sparks flying and more like he's finally found a home and someone to care about. Which is crazy, since they're in the middle of the ocean and Sharla has sworn off dating men with dangerous jobs. Nana has other plans, and she's a woman who gets what she wants.

They say it takes a crook to know a crook, and Nana spots a con man working the cruise line clientele with a real estate shell game. (Thus the title.) The adventure starts when they all team up to bring the guy down.

This book is a lot of fun, and a fast romp of a read. I recommend it for entertaining easy summer reading, especially if you're headed out on a cruise.

p.s. when I wrote this review, the Kindle edition of this book was on sale for free! Grab a copy today and save it for summer fun!



Friday, May 15, 2015

FRIDAY FEATURE: New Release! CARPE DEMON by J.C. McKenzie

My friend and fellow author J.C. McKenzie is celebrating the newest addition to her sizzling paranormal series that began with SHIFT HAPPENS and then BEAST COAST. Her tangled tale continues with CARPE DEMON, which I was lucky enough to beta read and know what a wonderful story it is! I love this story and these characters - the world J.C. creates is rich, vibrant and real, populated with colorful supernatural characters of every stripe and type. 

If you haven't tried any of her books yet, pick up the first one today! Fans of Charlaine Harris will love J.C. McKenzie's take on shifters, vamps and demons. If you love J.C.'s stories as much as I do - let's happy dance together and grab a copy of the newest installment of Andy's snarky take on all things supernatural!


About the Book:

As an ambassador with the Supernatural Regulatory Division, Andy McNeilly is responsible for acting as the Liaison for the Vancouver Vampire horde. The problem? She detests the Vampire Master, and the SRD can’t discover the beast she keeps locked inside.

After a menacing Demon throws an important Vampire event into chaos, Andy finds herself sniffing out crime scenes to identify and locate the mystery fiend from the nether realm. What she learns chills her bones.

Threatened by the Master Vampire to deal with the Demon, Andy's complicated personal life doesn't make things easier. She's willing to risk her life and pride to keep loved ones safe. But how can she make a choice that will break one heart…and complete another?


Grab your copy today -
 
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