New Release: AWAKEN MY HEART by Maria K. Alexander

perf5.000x8.000.inddAWAKEN MY HEART by Maria K. Alexander / Spicy contemporary Romance / Released May 10, 2017 by The Wild Rose Press

Lies have a way of coming back to haunt you—a lesson Ashley O’Neil learns the hard way when she runs into the man she shared a steamy night with over fourteen years ago. Now tangled in a web of deception, she’ll need to right a wrong and chance losing her heart to the very man she deceived.

An unexpected encounter with the woman he had a one-night stand with has thrown Detective Nick DiFrancesco for a loop. Recently divorced, he’s cautious around women, but one look at Ashley has him considering taking a chance. Until he learns her secret…one that impacts him where it counts most—family.

When Nick’s drug trafficking case goes south, a lead puts him in Ashley’s path. With his family in danger and his heart on the line, he’ll need to fight for justice and risk it all to the woman he’s never forgotten.

Headshot - Maria K. AlexanderMaria K. Alexander is an award-winning author of Contemporary Romance. When not writing, Maria loves to read, bake, downhill ski, visit the beach, and watch romantic comedies. Maria lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, and writes in her “spare” time between juggling a full-time job and her kids’ busy schedules. You can keep in touch with Maria at http://mariakalexander.com.

Book Excerpt: A KISS TO BUILD A DREAM ON by Katie Baldwin

51p-JYWN6WLA KISS TO BUILD A DREAM ON by Katie Baldwin / Saving Graces Fantasies Book 1 / Spicy Contemporary Romance / Released March 2017 by  the Wild Rose Press

Bethany Michaels leads a fairly isolated existence, but she longs to be an outgoing and sexually confident woman. When her celebrity crush comes to town, and literally falls at her feet, her prayers seem to be answered. But can she protect her heart while still experiencing true passion?

Hollywood celebrity Aidan Shannon, drunk and lost in small-town Virginia, finds himself in the home of a beautiful woman, and he finds her more than just a little alluring. Bethany is voluptuous and nurturing, fragile, yet steely. And that is a problem for a man who never wants to be tied to another woman again. 

Living in the now is good enough for Aidan and Bethany for the short term. When the universe steps in and shows them what’s important, will Aidan take a chance on love a second time around when his girl needs him?

Book Excerpt

Well, either she was a crazy fan about to poison him or she was a shapely woman who was about to save him from a diabolical hangover. In for a penny, in for a pound. He eyed the tea one more time before making a decision.

Aidan carefully sipped the tea, unsure what to expect. Before the liquid touched his lips, his stomach clenched. This was going to be dreadful. Not even someone with his acting skill could pretend this tasted good.

“Drink it all, Mr. Shannon, or it won’t help,” the sweetly militant voice cautioned.

“It tastes worse than it smells,” he said, trying not to whimper. But then he realized she had said “Mr. Shannon.” He sighed. “It appears you know who I am.”

“Are you kidding?” The woman before him giggled softly. “The entire town is in ecstasy because you guys are filming your movie here.” She paused as she narrowed her eyes. “Wait a minute. Don’t try to distract me; drink your tea. How about this…? If you drink it, I will make you some eggs.”

He considered arguing but drank the whole thing down like a shot of whiskey.

Continue reading “Book Excerpt: A KISS TO BUILD A DREAM ON by Katie Baldwin”

New Release: CHARMED BY CHARLIE by Amanda Uhl

Charmed by Charlie1800x2700CHARMED BY CHARLIE by Amanda Uhl / Contemporary Romance / Released April 17, 2017 by Borough Publishing Group

Everybody loves marketing whiz Charlie Solanger…except the woman he really wants.

PAINT, PROMOTIONS & PERFECTION

Creative genius Charlie Solanger has it all: good looks, money, intelligence, charm. And when he swoops in to save Reynolds Paint Company with a brilliant marketing campaign, he has all the ladies in the office vying for his attention. Everyone except math whiz Valerie Wilson.

Val’s not happy Charlie stole her promotion. Worse, his brand of flirtatious charm is reminiscent of her cheating ex-fiancé. So, how come she can’t get him out of her head? The more she challenges him, the more interested—and interesting—he becomes. What secrets is Charlie hiding, and who or what is behind the sudden mysterious drain on their company’s funds? The only way to find out is to join forces. Then it will be a battle of wills…and a triumph of hearts.

Advance Readers Weigh In

Author Amanda Uhl lets us in on the romantic tension and intrigue from the very first page. All the reader has to do is hold on for the ride.”

“I really LOVE this book!!! It’s my genre, which probably helps, but I didn’t want to put it down. Just read it in one sitting. It’s easy to see the character development and their tendencies based on how they think and talk — not just for the main characters but everyone (I feel like I know families just like George’s family with the somewhat crazy mother figure with the strong personality, etc.). It’s great!”

 

IMG_0703AMANDA UHL has always had a fascination with the mystical. Having drawn her first breath in a century home rumored to be haunted, you might say she was “born” into it. After a brief stint in college as a paid psychic, Amanda graduated with a bachelor of fine arts in theatre and a master’s degree in marketing. Over the past twenty years, she has worked as an admissions representative and graphic designer, owned her own freelance writing company, and managed communications for several Fortune 500 companies, most recently specializing in cyber security. Amanda is an avid reader and writes fast-paced, paranormal romantic suspense and humorous contemporary romance from her home in Cleveland, Ohio. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find Amanda with her husband and three children, gathering beach glass on the Lake Erie shoreline or biking in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Visit her online at http://www.amandauhl.com and follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/amandauhlauthor or Twitter at @AuAuthor.

Review: WHITE SANDS, BLUE SEA

5180-8M3tPLWHITE SAND, BLUE SEA:  A St. Barts Love Story by Anita Hughes

Contemporary Romance / Released April 11 by St. Martin’s Griffin

I fell into Anita Hughes’ story, “White Sand, Blue Sea” from the first paragraph, living and breathing the past and present with each character as this book took me through their individual and family dilemmas. Admittedly, I am a fan of literary and women’s fiction, and Anita Hughes has written this novel in such a style. However, I encourage those who feel hesitant to read such genres to pick up “White Sand, Blue Sea,” for some element of other more common genres – romance, suspense, or historical – will certainly be woven in.

Although this story takes place over only a few days, it spans years as Anita adeptly reveals past events which formed the bases of relationships pertinent to the book’s main theme. She also uses setting as a character, masterfully putting the reader into each character’s shoes as they come to grips with the current tumult in light of what happened years ago.

“White Sand, Blue Sea” is a title that insinuates happiness, and indeed the desire to be happy is a strong theme, even without the promise that this is how the characters’ situations will end. Anita has clashed and fitted at the same time a previously abandoning husband/father back into the lives of his ex-wife and daughter who are twenty years into their new family when he appears. It wasn’t a lack of love that caused Sebastian to walk out on Hadley and their daughter, Olivia, ages ago, and it wasn’t the end of that love which kept him away all those years. Nor did his abandonment destroy their love for him, thus creating outer upheaval as well as inner turmoil for the three of them – not to mention Hadley’s current husband and Olivia’s potential fiancé – when Sebastian unexpectedly shows up for Olivia’s twenty-fifth birthday. With the passion and eye of the true artist he is, Sebastian is not only a reminder of what was lost those past twenty years, but also a naked look at what might currently be missing in all of their lives, especially in Hadley’s and Olivia’s new family and relationships.

I give this book five stars, and intend to read more of Anita Hughes’ stories.

 

Review provided by Colleen L. Donnelly, Amazon #1 Bestselling Author of MINE TO TELL.

New Release: THE LAST RESORT by Ember Leigh

thumbnail_thelastresort_w10897_750THE LAST RESORT by Ember Leigh

Steamy Contemporary Romance / Released March 17, 2017 by The Wild Rose Press

Rose Delaney is a baby bounty hunter, rescuing children from fugitive ex-spouses. All she wants is to return a recovered child to its mother and get back to her regimented solitary life. But when a snow storm leaves her and baby Emmy stranded, Rose has no choice but to lean on the ruggedly handsome rescuer, who thinks the baby is hers. Holed up in their mountain resort-under-construction and unable to contact Emmy’s mother, Rose’s priority is hitting the road—even if Garrett’s erotic touch entices her to ride out the storm. Five days trapped on a mountain could change everything.

thumbnail_img_4623Ember Leigh has been writing erotic romance novels since she was far too young. A native of northern Ohio, she currently resides near Lake Erie with her Argentinean husband, where they run an Argentinian-American food truck. In addition to romance novels, Ember also writes travel memoirs and occasionally updates a couple of blogs. In her free time, she practices Ashtanga yoga, hops around the world, and eats lots of vegetables.

New Release: JUST FRIENDS by Stacy Gold

thumbnail_justfriends_w11403_750JUST FRIENDS By Stacy Gold

Sizzling Contemporary Romance / Released March 3, 2017 by The Wild Rose Press

Taya Monroe is trying to pick up the pieces of her failed writing career and broken life after walking out on her cheating fiancé. The last thing she needs is a serious relationship. The last thing she wants is a fling. Then she runs into an old friend and ski partner—the one man she always wanted who never wanted her.

Ski Patroller Jordan Wiley is a single dad with zero time or energy for dating. When he reconnects with Taya, his attraction to her is even stronger than before she left him behind for a career in the city. But with a young son to think about, he’s determined to ignore his feelings. Again.

After a magical day on the slopes, a snow storm traps them in an avalanche of chemistry neither can deny. Will their friendship survive the weight of their passion or will they surface as more than friends?

thumbnail_stacygoldheadshotStacy Gold Bio: 
Compulsive tea drinker.  Outdoor sports junkie. Lover of good (and bad) puns.  

Stacy Gold gave up her day job as Communications Director of a nonprofit mountain biking organization to write sassy, steamy, contemporary romance novels. Her stories are packed with strong, independent women—and men who can’t resist them—finding love and adventure in the great outdoors. When Stacy’s not busy reading or writing, you can find her dancing, laughing or playing hard in the mountains with her wonderful hubby and happy dog.

Interview with Karen Harper

karenharperKaren Harper is the NYTimes and USA TODAY bestselling author of romantic suspense and historical novels. A former high school English teacher and college instructor of composition (Ohio State University,) Harper now writes full time. For years, she and her husband have divided their time between Columbus, Ohio and Naples, Florida. They love to travel to the British Isles. Harper won the Mary Higgins Clark Award in 2006. Visit her at www.KarenHarperAuthor.com or www.facebook.com/KarenHarperAuthor.

–Tell us about your new release, CHASING SHADOWS. I’m excited to say that CHASING SHADOWS is the December launch book for a new romantic suspense series, although I’ve written each book to stand alone in case a reader picks up mid-series. The first three books will come out close together. Book #2, DROWNING TIDES in February, and FALLING DARKNESS in May. Claire Britten is a forensic psychologist who has gone through a divorce and is fighting the tough disease of narcolepsy. Nick Markwood is achasing-shadows-front-cover criminal lawyer with a dangerous enemy who hires Claire to help him with a case. Though they don’t trust each other at first, threats and attacks soon have them working together as a team, and spark fly from there.

–What led you to write this book? My husband and I were South West Florida snowbirds for 30 years—in Naples, to be exact. I fell in love with the glitz and glamour of the area, but also with the scary elements of the wild Everglades and “old Florida.” Eccentric characters and crimes galore somehow breed in south Florida. Ripped-from-the-headlines cases inspired me to partner Claire and Nick to delve into deaths that might be murder, or suicide—or even an accident.

–How important is setting to your story? Setting is so important that it becomes another key character in my stories. From the deep, dark Everglades, to Civil War Era plantation to the mysterious Ten Thousand Islands, Florida is a real gift for a suspense writer. The first two books also use tropical settings in the Caribbean such as Grand Cayman Island and even Cuba. Island are so unique and romantic.

–Have you ever written a scene that creeped you out? Absolutely! I try to write two or three of those in each book, especially when the hero and heroine are trapped. The fact that Claire must take some strong meds to fight her disease also helps the already scary settings and events. If she takes her meds wrong (or someone tampers with them—hint, hint) she experiences dreadful walking, waking nightmares on top of the fact she and Nick are under attack from their enemies.

–Do you read the same genre you write? Yes, but not when I’m writing it. When I’m not reading my own research, I binge read between books. The exception to that would be if I’m asked to give an endorsement of another author’s novel, and there is a deadline for that. I also write in two genres—romantic suspense for Mira Books and historical novels about real British women for HarperCollins—so I might read historicals while I’m writing a rom/sus. I really need a ‘brain transplant’ when I switch from one genre to the other since the dialogue, characters and cultures are so different.

–Do you people watch for character inspiration? I think all authors do this, although I have never completely copied a character in one of my books (60 and counting!) I do, however, use a particular characters trait I might see or certain way of speaking. But if someone I know thinks they are “in” one of my books, that’s not quite true. However, since I write about real people in my historicals, that is a whole different thing, bringing people I have researched to life from another era.

drowningtides_concept_approved–What’s next for you? I hope to keep writing both romantic suspense (I’m ready to sign a new 3-book contract for more of THE SOUTH SHORES SERIES.) There are lots of changes in Nick and Claire’s lives, both domestic and professional. I’m having such fun taking them into a deeper relationship with each other—and Claire’s ex is on the horizon as one of Nick’s staff. I’m also writing another Edwardian story. Think Downton Abbey for that elegant era. THE ROYAL NANNY, out last June was the true story of the Cockney woman who reared two kings. Although I was first published in 1982, I never get over the thrill of seeing a cover for my new book, seeing it in the stores or in someone’s hand. I saw a woman reading a Karen Harper book on a Florida beach a few years ago and proudly told her, “That’s my book!” She said, “It is not! I paid for it at Barnes and Noble!” And so it goes. Happy, sunny and scary reading to all of you this winter.