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Archive for February, 2013

Beyond The Page: “The Single Daddy Club” by Donna Fasano

Feb 28

Jason coverEnjoy stories about single parents who find that special someone who loves them and their child/children?

Then you’re in luck today because Donna Fasano, author of “The Single Daddy Club“, has taken over Caribbean Accent Book Reviews for the day. 😀

Read on to find the answer to the GIVEAWAY question.

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What Makes Single Dads So Darned Sexy?

Donna Fasano picCome on. You have to admit it.

 

When you’re out at the mall or the playground, and you see a dad alone with his child, your heartstrings get a good, hard tug.

 

You pause, your eyes follow him, you watch him smile down at his kid…and you get tingly all over.

 

What is it that makes bachelor dads so sexy?

 

You might be too young to remember the movie “Three Men and a Baby”, but just look at this picture:

Three Men and a Baby picWho wouldn’t find these guys drool-worthy?

 

When a man automatically picks up a crying baby, or races to rescue a toddler who’s fallen.

 

Or stops what he’s doing to comfort a child.

 

A complicated chemical reaction takes place in a woman’s brain that makes her think…mmmm, now that’s sexy.

Let’s break it down:

Derrick coverA single dad who puts his kids needs before his own will, more than likely, put his woman’s needs before his own too. (Sexy!)

 

A single dad who raises happy, well-adjusted kids has proven he’s responsible, mature, and strong. (Sexy!)

 

A single dad who dedicates himself to his children has shown that he’s a good and caring provider, and the selfless love he exhibits shows he’s willing to sacrifice for his family. (Sexy!)

 

Raising kids takes patience, discipline, kindness, tenderness. (Sexy, sexy, sexy, and sexy!)

 

The simple answer would be human nature; procreation is a basic human instinct, and, as women, we are attracted to men who show signs of being good mates and excellent fathers.

 

Now, that doesn’t mean we’re willing to “be fruitful and multiply” with the bachelor dads we meet…but is does help explain why seeing a father hugging his baby makes us think, awwww, that’s so sweet…and sexy! 

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Reece coverBUY Links
for “The Single Daddy Club”: 
Filed Under: Beyond The Page

Beyond The Page: “A Marine and a Gentleman” by Heather Long

Feb 26

A Marine and a Gentleman coverLove military romance?

Looking for something different to read? (M/M romance)

Then read on to find out how you can WIN four books in Heather Long‘s “Always A Marine” series. 🙂

CABR: Using 120 characters or less (a la Twitter), tell us about “A Marine and A Gentleman“.

HL: Life made Brenden and Liam friends, but with the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – Brenden wants a chance to make it more.

CABR: This is your first m/m romance right? I understand reader feedback has been great. Tell us about that.

HL: It’s been tremendous. I never said ‘no’ to writing an m/m, but I’d never had the right story before and this one snuck up on me.  It was a magical experience for me that has become so much more magical because of the reader response. I’m a debut author in this genre and they’ve been overwhelming in their support.

CABR: Did Brenden or Liam ask you to tell their story or did the idea for this book come from a discussion with your editor?

Heather Long picHL: The story came from Brenden. I was working on a different book and the idea for him just filled my mind. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I worried about the reception—primarily because it was an M/M and the others have been M/F or M/F/M. But I couldn’t not tell it after I got to know them.

CABR: Is there a soundtrack for this book or did you have one while writing it?

HL: No soundtrack specifically. I tend to listen to soundtracks from films when I write, and I think I listened to quite a bit of Jurassic Park of all things while I wrote this.

CABR: What was your favorite scene to write? Please include an excerpt from it.

HL: I think their first kiss was hands down my favorite scene – partially because it was so emotional for both men.

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Excerpt

“Sure. Did you check in at your hotel yet?” Brenden pulled out a credit card and held it up for the waitress. Liam reached for his but he waved him off. “My treat.”

 “Okay. I’ll get breakfast.”

The teasing reply tripped a ripple through the Marine’s nervous system. They were really going to do this. He half expected second thoughts to assault him, but his internal security system didn’t sound any alarms. Check paid, waitress tipped, and Liam’s coat gathered, they walked back out into the crisp Dallas winter evening. After the warmth inside, he welcomed the cooler air washing over him. “Want to walk to the car?”

“I parked mine with the valet.” Liam’s words held the smallest of hesitations, but they were still there. If they drove separately would they end the evening before it started? Did he want to drive alone? Is this a good time to call it an evening—before either of them were disappointed? The unspoken questions hung in the air.

“Get your keys. We’ll pick it up on the way to breakfast in the morning.” Brenden wanted to answer all those questions and halt their trip down doubt alley before they veered off the path.

After settling with the valet, they had him bring up Liam’s overnight bag. The walk to the truck was a short one. Around the corner and, just like that, they were alone. They didn’t say anything, walking in a companionable enough silence, but Brenden could almost feel Liam twitching.

When they arrived at the truck, Brenden took the bag and tossed it into the bed.

Liam dragged a hand through his hair. “Would you mind if I grabbed a smoke before we headed out?”

“Actually, one thing’s been bothering me since I got here.” Brenden stared at him.

“Look, smoking’s a bad habit and all of that….”

Brenden pivoted and caught his old friend up against the door of the truck. His body stretched long and hard against him, taut with coiled energy inside. Coiled and ready to strike. Liam’s eyes widened.

“I’ve wanted to do this for years.” He exhaled the words, pressed forward, and kissed him. Liam’s lips were hot and smooth. Brenden sank into the kiss, using his teeth in gentle nips to get the man’s mouth to open and teased him with gentle thrusts of his tongue. He held him captive, but one real sense of rejection and he would let him go.

Liam’s passivity came to an abrupt end. He slid his arms around Brenden and gripped him just above his ass, and he returned the ferocious kiss, tangling their tongues together. Their closeness in height aligned their hips and Brenden’s cock swelled at the contact.

Holy hell…I’m finally kissing him…. He hadn’t been kidding when he said he wanted to do it all night long. But they were still getting reacquainted; overcoming preconceptions. Liam bit down on his lower lip and ground their pelvises together in a slow, almost languorous motion, and Brenden’s train of thought derailed right into the ocean.

************************************************************************************************************

Combat Barbie coverCABR: I know you have a busy appearance schedule in 2013. What about book releases?

HL: Lots of new releases this year. Currently on the schedule we have:

Combat Barbie, February 25 – this is Always a Marine #11

Into the Spotlight, March 4 – Soulgirls #1, a paranormal romance

A Fistful of Dreams, April 9 – Fevered Hearts #4, Paranormal Western Historical Romance

What Part of Marine Don’t You Understand? – May 24, Always a Marine #12

A Marine Affair – June/July release, Always a Marine #13

Taking the Stage, August 13 – Soulgirls #2, a paranormal romance

That’s the schedule so far

CABR: WOW 🙂

 

A Marine and a Gentleman coverTRIVIA

Fruits or chocolate?

HL: Hmm – fruit dipped in chocolate

Dogs or cats?

HL:  Yes! I have both

Ideal getaway?

HL: A cruise – I like getting away from everything.

If you could meet anyone from history, living or dead, who would it it be and why?

HL: Oh, what a great question.  I think I’d like to meet William Shakespeare.

He was an artist at the whim of a Queen and later a King. He had a very hard audience to please, I’d love to know how he did that!

Thanks so much for having me, Sasha!

CABR: Thank you for stopping by my blog Heather.  🙂

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BUY Links for “A Marine and A Gentleman“:

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Filed Under: Beyond The Page

Review: “The Prince’s Royal Concubine” by Lynn Raye Harris

Feb 25

TPRC cover 2Title: The Prince’s Royal Concubine

Series: A Royal Duo, bk 2

Author: Lynn Raye Harris 

Rating: 5 stars

Publisher: Harlequin Presents/Mills & Boon Modern

Publication date: June 2010

Synopsis: Two glittering royal houses…

Prince Cristiano di Savaré hunts his prey by ruthless means. Tonight’s pickings–Antonella Romanelli, crown princess of a rival country and part of a dynasty he has every reason to despise….

One majestic seduction

Antonella is rocked by Cristiano’s unexpected magnetism. But there’s ice in his wolfish smile…. She’s far from the promiscuous, spoiled socialite he believes her to be, but Cristiano is here to persuade her into compliance. If bedding her is what it takes, then it will make his mission all the more pleasurable….

 

STAR-5

Review: The synopsis of this book does not do the actual story justice. Lynn Raye Harris tackles the effects of emotional and physical abuse, as well as survivor’s guilt, in a story which takes place largely during a hurricane.

Cristiano and Antonella are royalty, and they project the image many of us associate with that – expensive clothes, jewels, private jets, Caribbean getaways, but beneath it all are two people on a parallel mission to bring peace and prosperity to their neighbouring yet warring countries.

Lynn Raye Harris has become an auto-buy for me and this book, published almost 3 years ago, did not disappoint. 😀

I highly recommend you get your own copy of this book so you can discover for yourself how Cristiano and Antonella find their own HEA.

TPRC cover 1BUY Links: 

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

The Book Depository

iBooks

 

 

Filed Under: Category romance

Beyond The Page: “The Healer” by Dani Collins

Feb 21

the-healer-ecoverIt’s my pleasure to welcome back Dani Collins to CABR 🙂

You may remember her talking about her debut novel with Mills & Boon, “No Longer Forbidden“.

Today Dani is shifting genres as she tells us all about her March 4th release, “The Healer“.

CABR: Dani, “The Healer” is a fantasy romance. Quite a departure from your debut category romance novel. Tell us about it≥?

DC: The Healer” is different from my Harlequin/Mills & Boon novels.

I began writing The Healer at least ten years ago, when my kids were quite little. I was still trying to figure out exactly what kinds of stories I wanted to write (while knowing it had to be romance!) I scribbled in a notebook on my bedside table before I went to sleep.

I finished it at least five years ago, but by then had so many genres going: romantic comedy, mainstream romance, category and even a paranormal suspense. I knew one of the reasons I wasn’t publishing was because I was all over the map. I had to pick a destination. Harlequin Mills & Boon in London were showing some interest so I set aside everything else.

Dani Collins picLast year, before I got The Call from M&B, I saw a small press in Canada, Champagne Books, was looking for submissions. I hadn’t really submitted “The Healer” anywhere, but had a feeling that its length meant it would do better electronically so I sent it in.

Five weeks after London called, Calgary emailed with a contract offer. It’s been nonstop roller coaster fun ever since.

CABR: That’s fantastic! 🙂

Did the characters demand you tell their story or were you inspired by something?

DC: Yes! I often say that Vaun, the hero, leapt of a cliff and into my imagination and that’s so true. That’s how I started scribbling in the notebook that first night. I had a very distinct image of him in mind.

I thought it was going to be a Scottish historical and he was a highlander – and the story does read that way a little bit – but then Athadia started healing people during the battle and I realized I had something else on my hands.

But the notebook and ‘flying into the mist’ of plotting didn’t get me very far. I knew I wanted to write a big story that a reader could really sink into, but I wasn’t sure how. I wound up doing the 30 Days Of Worldbuilding ( http://www.web-writer.net/fantasy/days/index.html ) exercises in preparation for Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) and that was more than inspirational. It gave me all the intrigue and politics behind the action and helped me develop my characters by figuring out their cultures and why they really, really shouldn’t fall in love.

the-healer-ecoverCABR: Is “The Healer” bk 1 in a new paranormal series that you’re publishing with Champagne Books?

DC: Over the years since beginning “The Healer“, I’ve known I should have a follow up book. As a reader I don’t love trilogies, but I do love linked books, so I’ve considered which characters from The Healer I could follow into a future story and have some ideas.

I also have an idea for a completely different story with a woo-woo element that I may pitch to Champagne , but I have contracts with M&B that need fulfilling right now—which is an awesome problem to have.

TRIVIA

Paperbacks or eBooks?

DC: Currently paperbacks, but that’s because I can’t be bothered fighting the kids for the iPad. Once I have my own, all will be eBooks!

Pantser or plotter?

DC: Plotter

Coffee or tea?

DC: Coffee

Beach getaway or winter ski trip?

DC: Beach.

Visit Dani’s website  (www.danicollins.com/books/) and SIGN UP for her NEWSLETTER by March 2, 2013 to win a Kindle

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The following excerpt from “The Healer” takes places as the hero, Vaun, and his men are patrolling lands that should be theirs by rights of treaty with the Shotes, but he keeps finding Shote Traders.  This particular group has a captive with them and she appears to have tattoos, which would make her Kerf, like him.  He leads an attack to free her.

Excerpt from “The Healer“:

Vaun paced the broken camp, willing to wait for the food while he counted the dead and came to terms with the fact he’d made a terrible mistake. The woman wasn’t Kerf. She didn’t understand his language, didn’t wear tattoos, and didn’t seem grateful for her rescue. He’d killed all these Shotes, possibly started a war, for naught.

Vaun counted, then counted again. Nay, they hadn’t killed all the Shotes. Three had escaped. He’d definitely started a war. Pox.

Catching a darting motion out of the corner of his eye, he saw the woman aimed for the gap between the mountainside and the wall of tumbled boulders. She almost made it before he called out to Chador.

Chador dropped a sack and caught her. She screeched in frustrated denial then fought, but not properly, just squirmed for freedom like a tempered waddler.

Vaun let Chador deal with her while he said his prayers over Elden’s would-be Southern allies, now dead. As if this situation weren’t bad enough. The hope of repairing weak relations between the North and South Kingdoms disappeared as Gunar took the men’s armbands for their families, his acceptance of Vaun’s sympathies grim and wordless.

Vaun tamped down on the heated desire to place the blame on Gunar’s shoulders where it belonged. He could point fingers later, if they survived to see Elden.

First they would bury the men, even the Shotes. He hadn’t intended the raid to turn out this way. He wasn’t certain how it had. High emotion on the heels of a long march, he supposed. And he had thought they were freeing a Kerf.

But the woman wasn’t Kerf and didn’t respond to Shote words, so what was she?

He halted over the Shote he’d disemboweled and yet hadn’t. The entrails were there, but the gash gone. How—?

Chador’s shout of alarm sent Vaun’s hand to his sword, but Chador only struggled with the captive. He released her to stare at his forearm, bent to wipe it on his breeches.

She made to run again but halted as Bezek stepped in front of her.

Chador looked to Vaun with an expression of baffled fright. “It’s gone.”

“Your armband? It’s on the other side, friend.” Battle fatigue, Vaun thought, relaxing his grip on his sword. “Drink something. Eat.”

“No, the cut,” Chador said, still panicked. “Look, the bloodstains are here, but…” He rubbed. “There’s not even a scar.”

The statement silenced all the men. They looked from Chador, to the woman, to Vaun. Apprehension crackled on the air.

“Is she one of those Alvian soul-stealers?” Chador asked in a whisper.

She was terrified was what she was, but Vaun sensed eerie fear in his men, too. He felt it as a contagion in himself as he recollected his history lessons—bloody tales of the First Settlement Wars. Battles against primitives who healed with touch but also banded together to slaughter indiscriminately.

“Those are legends,” Vaun said, not as filled with certainty as he wanted to be. “Stories exaggerated by time.” He looked to the ridge of the vulnerable bowl in which they stood.

The woman attempted to sidle past Bezek. Another of Vaun’s men moved to block her and she paused, her gaze growing more anxious as the rest encircled her.

Could she be one of those unnatural Alvian creatures, Vaun wondered?

Behind the woman, one of Vaun’s soldiers made an abrupt move.

With a small cry, she whirled. As the fabric of her swirling robe settled, Vaun saw his man held a hunting knife. The point gleamed red.

~ * ~

Athadia dodged the next blade that jabbed at her thigh and blocked a third with her forearm, feeling the cut streak deep. If she hadn’t been so taxed, she might have found her center and accompanying discipline, but the men closed in, stealing her concentration. She tripped over the hem of her oversized robe trying to escape another swipe and curled as she fell, protecting herself. A stab nipped into her side anyway.

A male bellow sounded and the sickening thud of a blow followed. She cringed, waiting for boots and pain, but nothing struck her. The sounds of fighting continued though, with cries of protest.

Working up the nerve to peek past her bent elbow, she saw the leader of these Kerfs using his fists to break up the mob, forcing the men back from her. One man babbled hysterically and pointed his sword tip at her, as though he wanted to skewer her to the ground. The big Kerf cuffed him.

Distantly, Athadia heard his fury in his sharp words, but turned herself inward, not bothering to attempt translation as she searched within herself, found shreds of calm and balance, mentally spoke her vows and repaired herself. When she became aware of silence, thick with hostility, she tentatively uncurled. Most of the men looked abashed. Some glared with mistrust. The leader wore an expression of angry remorse.

If she begged for freedom, he might grant it. Longing washed over her for The Circle, the closest thing to a haven her people had left. If she could rest and heal, consult with the Elders, she might try again to fulfill her purpose. If only it hadn’t been so long since she’d spoken. She wasn’t sure she could make herself understood. Perhaps if she just walked away. Surely the Kerf would comprehend that.

He reached to help her rise.

Hesitantly, she let him close his hand around her arm.

Alvian energy burst in her cells, buckling her knees as she tried to stand. She used both hands to catch at him and he steadied her while his own feet staggered, his expression shocked.

Like weak sunlight expanding through a break in the clouds, his gift washed over her, pale and lacking intensity because he was only a Latent, not a full-blooded Alvian. He emanated signals of exhaustion and taxed muscles and seeping battle wounds—a deep need for healing, but he was a glimmer of everything she longed for.

Her energy reached insistently for greater contact, craving Alvian healing. He’s Kerf, her mind insisted, but vows and a fundamental recognition prevailed. She let her body tip forward until she collapsed against him.

~ * ~

Lightheadedness struck Vaun as he absorbed her slight weight, nearly knocked off balance by this feather of woman. His blood heated in one mighty, restorative pulse. At the same time, melancholy homesickness rippled through him. He thought of his mother for the first time in years and experienced a sudden longing to hold his youngest son before Mekel grew too big to be lifted willingly like the older boys.

The strange, out of place thoughts were disconcerting. He dismissed them. Of course he wanted to see his sons and his brother. He wanted to ensure his village, nay his entire Kingdom, was safe. He wanted to report and devise a strategy to keep their corner of Kerf territory protected. He wanted to be home.

“You’re claiming her?” Gunar asked with shock.

Vaun realized his arms had closed around her. He hadn’t held a woman outside a bed since his wife had died, but he tightened his hold as he surveyed the frightened, hostile faces of his men.

“She could have knowledge of Shote armies,” he said, searching for logic behind his purely instinctive compulsion to draw her tight against him. “Information on their weaponry and intentions. And look at her. She’s just a harmless woman.” Near unconscious judging by the limp weight of her. Badly injured, perhaps? A slit in her sleeve showed a wet line of blood on her upper arm. Vaun smeared it, leaving an outline where the welled blood had been but the injury was gone. The hair on the back of his neck lifted.

Harmless, yet unable to be harmed.

Filed Under: Beyond The Page

Beyond The Page: “Real Men Don’t Break Hearts” by Coleen Kwan

Feb 20

RMDBH coverAlly Griffin has stopped by CABR today to chat with us about how Coleen Kwan told her and Nate Hardy’s story in “Real Men Don’t Break Hearts”  🙂

 

CABR: Ally, what do you think of how Coleen told your story?

AG: It made me squirm, blush, and cry to read about myself and Nate. I’m a private person, so it was hard to see my inner-most feelings bared for everyone to read.

But I absolutely loved finding out how Nate saw things! What an eye-opener. He is such a gorgeous enigma that it was thrilling to discover his secret thoughts.

CABR: That’s very cool (insight) 🙂

When did you really, truly, realise you were falling in love with a ‘bad boy’?

AG: When he cooked me dinner for the first time and asked me to move in with him.

That’s when it struck me that I was totally hooked on this bad boy, and knowing his past history and mine made me panic at the discovery.

Suddenly everything I cared about was at stake. Nate held my heart in the palm of his hand, and I was so afraid he’d crush me.

CABR: Do you have a secret place you go to get away from it all?

AG: I don’t have a physical ‘place’, but I go jogging to get away from everyday stresses. When I’m jogging I can zone out, leave my problems behind. It’s very meditative and relaxing.

CABR: If your story was made into a movie, who would you like to portray you and Nate?

katherine-heigl-photoAG: Oh, fun question! Jake Gyllenhall would make a fantastic Nate. For myself, would it be too presumptuous to suggest Katherine Heigl.

CABR: Great pairing 😀

Can you tell us what’s next for you two, and for Coleen in 2013?

AG: Coleen is busy writing a story about my best friend, Tyler, who is the complete opposite of me.

Tyler is sexy, sassy, and a single mother. She’s a blast, so I’m looking forward to reading Coleen’s take on her story. Nate and I make an appearance, but I can’t give too much away!

 

 

TRIVIA

eBooks or paperbacks?

AG: Both. I love the feel and smell of paperbacks, but I love the convenience of eBooks.

Spa retreat or adventure vacation?

AG: I love the idea of a spa retreat, but only for a short stay. I like to keep busy, so after a few days lazing by a pool I’d be raring for a bit of adventure. Of course, Nate would be a compulsory component of either vacation.

If you could be anyone in history for a day, who would you be and why?

AG: I’d like to be Mary Shelley at Lake Geneva during the summer she spent with her then lover, Percy Bysshe Shelley and their friend Lord Byron. During that stay she began writing Frankenstein. Mary certainly knew plenty about ‘bad boys’—perhaps that’s what attracts me to the idea of being her!

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RMDBH coverSynopsis of “Real Men Don’t Break Hearts“:

Ally Griffin is horrified to learn her new landlord is none other than the infuriating playboy Nate Hardy—the man she blames for getting her jilted at the altar six years ago. Plus, now her ex-fiancé is back in their hometown of Burronga, Australia, to marry his beautiful new bride…for real this time. Everybody’s treating Ally with kid gloves, as though she’s still heartbroken, but she’s just fine, thank you very much.

Nate Hardy is tired of his high-flying city career and bachelor lifestyle and is looking for something more real. The last thing he needs is to find himself undeniably attracted to Ally, the woman with whom he never saw eye-to-eye. But is he even capable of what Ally wants and deserves?

As Ally tries to pull her life out of the rut it’s fallen in, she doesn’t count on Nate stirring up her emotions. A short-term fling with the resident bad boy is practically irresistible, but only if she can guard her heart…

BUY Links:

Amazon:  http://tinyurl.com/as48adk

Barnes &Noble:  http:/tinyurl.com/a9qxs8c

Coleen-Kwan picAuthor Information

Coleen Kwan has been a bookworm all her life. At school English was her favorite subject, but for some reason she decided on a career in IT. After many years of programming, she wondered what else there was in life — and discovered writing. She loves writing contemporary romance and steampunk romance.

Coleen lives in Sydney, Australia with her partner and two children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate, and watching The Office.

Website: http://www.coleenkwan.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/coleenkwan.authorpage

Twitter: @ColeenKwan

GoodReads: http://tinyurl.com/a3pzyaq

 

 

Filed Under: Beyond The Page

Beyond The Page: “Melt” by Cari Quinn

Feb 19

Melt coverCari Quinn is visiting Caribbean Accent Book Reviews today! 😀

She’s here to tell us about her latest sexy romance, “Melt“.

CQ: I’m so excited to be visiting CABR today! Thank you so much for inviting me!

CABR: I’ve been looking forward to your visit Cari. On to the inquisition (just joking) 🙂

Using 140 characters or less (a la Twitter), tell us about “Melt“.

CQ: Her knight in fleece saved her on the snowmobile trail…but will he help cure her cracked heart?

CABR: Did the h/H ask you to tell their story or did the idea for this book come from a discussion with your editor?

CQ: Melt actually is a story I started years ago for a submission call. It lurked on my hard drive, half-finished, for years until this year when I submitted it to Loose Id for their Christmas collection. The story changed a little from how I originally conceived it, but not too much!

CABR: Is there a soundtrack for “Melt” or did you have one while writing it?

CQ: Oddly enough, no. I usually do have soundtracks for my books—it’s practically a requirement—but for this one, I think I was so much in deadline mode that I never got around to creating one.

CABR: Interesting. 🙂 What was your favourite scene to write? Please include an excerpt from it.

CQ: Sure thing! I picked a G-rated scene about how Justin got his tongue ring, but trust me, Melt has a ton of dirty ones if that’s your thing!

CQ_Melt_bannerEXCERPT:

“And there’s something else I want,” Kylie said.

“What’s that?”

“For you to tell me how you got that tongue ring.”

“Story’s not nearly as sexy as you’re thinking it will be.” Justin shrugged and sipped his coffee. “The kids razz me about stuff. I’m used to it, and it’s sort of a bonding ritual. They say since I’m past thirty there’s no way I could relate to what they’re going through. So one day Jared’s in my office, and he’s showing off his new tongue piercing, bragging about how all the chicks love it.”

“I bet,” she said under her breath.

“He asked me if I have a girlfriend, and the conversation sort of devolved from there. Next thing I know he’s daring me to pierce my tongue.” He shrugged again. “So I did. And what do you know?” He grinned. “Chicks do like it.”

“So how many chicks have…liked it?”

“Thousands, naturally. Didn’t you see all the notches on the bedpost?”

To keep from smiling at his easy tone and twinkling blue eyes, she distracted herself by wrapping her feet around the rungs of her chair. He kept the place so warm she wasn’t the slightest bit cold, even with the frosty day outside. “I don’t normally sleep with men without knowing their sexual history.”

“Want names and dates?” He scraped egg off his plate and cupped a hand beneath his fork as he offered her the bite. “How about rankings?”

She gripped his wrist and took the forkful into her mouth while her mind whirled. Rankings made her think too much about Rob, who’d never been satisfied with just her. At least not lately. Yet he’d called her cell all night, claiming he wanted to make sure she was all right. She’d finally given in and left him a quick voice mail after her shower, though she’d slipped and told him she was at Justin’s. She’d always been careful to tell Rob that Justin was just a friend—and he had been—but she regretted her slip. She so didn’t want to get Justin involved in her messes.

After chewing and swallowing, she pasted on a smile. What was done was done, and she’d be damned if she spent any more time thinking about her ex. “So where do I rate?”

“You even have to ask?”

She licked her lips. “Yeah, I do.”

His gaze went from warm to hot in a finger snap. “Think I need more evidence before I can say definitively. A scientific study requires plenty of statistics.”

CQ_Melt_banner

CABR: Having read this excerpt, I can’t wait to read “Melt”.

What’s your 2013 schedule looking like Cari?

CQ: Lots of books ahead! This year I’ll be releasing my first paranormal book, a vampire menage, coming this spring to Decadent Publishing.

In June I’ll be releasing my first book for Samhain Publishing, Dirty Distractions, a super fun, super sexy cougar story. It even has a talking bird. 😉

After that will be the next book in my Love Required series with Entangled Publishing, No Romance Required (Cory and Vicky’s story.)

Add in a Halloween novella and a brand spanking new rockstar series I’m starting with my awesomesauce CP, Taryn Elliott, and it’s going to be a busy year!

CABR: WOW. 🙂

TRIVIA

eBook or paperback?

PENTAX ImageCQ: I was a slow adopter of eBooks, but eBooks all the way! I have a Nook, a Kindle, an iPad mini…yeah, I like my eBooks! 😉

Fruits or chocolate?

CQ: Actually I like fruit dipped in chocolate, but since I’m craving fresh blackberries right now, I’ll say fruit!

Dogs or cats?

CQ: Cats…always cats. I love dogs, too, but cats will always be my favorite. They’re so quirky and utterly huggable. And portable, too, since my favorite dogs are almost the larger breeds.

Ideal getaway?

CQ: In the United States, Marblehead/Salem, Massachusetts where me and my CP, Taryn Elliott, visit every fall.

Outside the States, I’d love to visit Italy. It looks like a truly beautiful country with amazing architecture and history.

If you could meet anyone from history, living or dead, who would it it be and why?

CQ: Nora Roberts, though I probably wouldn’t be able to speak! She’s been my idol since I read my first book of hers when I was fourteen, and she’s a big part of the reason I decided to become a writer. I’d love to just pick her brain…and maybe check out that gorgeous inn of hers!

CABR: Me too! Having read her “The Inn Boonsboro” trilogy, I would love to visit the town its set in.

Cari, thanks for taking the time to chat with me at CABR. You are welcome back anytime.

CQ: Thank you so much for having me! This was so much fun!


GIVEAWAY:

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Melt coverVisit Cari Quinn www.cariquinn.com

BUY Links for “Melt“:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

All Romance eBooks

 

Filed Under: Beyond The Page

Beyond The Page: “Love Kinection” by Jennifer James

Feb 18

LK_MDEveryone please welcome debut author, Jennifer James, to CABR.

Today she’s in charge, telling us about why her heroine in “Love Kinection“, Abby Fine, is soo not a fan of Valentine’s Day.

Comedic moments ensue as Abby lets the hot office geek, Tom Walker, into her home to try repairing her iPhone.

Over to you Jenn 😀

***********************************************************************************************

There’s lots of reasons single people don’t like Valentine’s Day. I think the top two reasons would be that either someone they loved ditched them on that day OR they don’t have someone to love going into it.

Either way you end up feeling like a loser.

I’ve never been big on commercial holidays, I think we should love and be nice to the people we care about all the time. Not that we always manage that, but we should. Spontaneous gifts are so much better than the obligatory ones.

In the spirit of Anti-Valentine’s Day, I wrote LOVE KINECTION. Of course, it’s romance, so it ends with two people falling in love…even though the heroine is pretty much dead set against even getting close enough to kiss a man ever again. She hates Valentine’s Day…and at the end of the book, well, she still hates it. But she has learned to love and trust again. *grin*

I decided to take a look around the internet with my heroine Abby Fine in mind and found some hilarious items on Café Press that she would absolutely love.

Lemme share some of this stuff…

 

This is completely perfect. Abby would wear this with pride. Boys are Stupid T-shirt

Oh, yes…this one too is a definite buy! B*tch Slap Cupid T-shirt

And this one too…cause it’s also one of her favorite movies. My Bloody Valentine T-shirt

And finally, this super cool decal that has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, but everything to do with being a Joss Whedon Buffyverse fan girl.

 

Jennifer_James author photoHuh. Writing this post has helped me realize something…the retailers have cornered every angle of the market. Love Valentine’s Day? Here’s a teddy bear and some candy and booze.

Hate Valentine’s Day enough to want to puke when you see a store display? Well, look here! Merchandise for all those needs too.

Yeesh.

 

So, what do you think?

Is Valentine’s Day nothing more than a commercial nightmare or is it a nice excuse to go out on a special date? Both? Are you shopping right now over on Café Press?

***Post a Comment below and in addition to the Rafflecopter prizes, I’ll pick someone from the comments to receive an ebook copy of Love Kinection!***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

LK_MDBlurb:

Love, romance, hearts, flowers, cupid…. Rubbish.

Abby Fine still hasn’t gotten over the pain of a year-old betrayal and plans to spend this Valentine’s Day drowning her sorrows with a ménage of men named Ben, Jerry, and Riesling.

Her plans are diverted when she drops and breaks her new iPhone and gives in to a momentary hormone surge, agreeing to let office hottie and tech god Tom Walker squirm his way into her condo to fix it.

Tom shows up with his Xbox, spicy Chinese food, and a habit of stealing kisses every time she lets her guard down.

Can a weekend of laughter, video games, and movies change Abby’s opinion of stupid Cupid?

Excerpt:

(This starts with the hero Tom talking to Abby)

“Okay, so you collect books. Let’s talk about the movies then. Let’s see what we’ve got. Oh, look. The entire Star Wars saga on VHS, DVD, and Blu-Ray. Complete collections of every season of Dr. Who, Angel, Firefly, Buffy, Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica…. Let’s not forget the shirt you’re wearing right now. There are Star Trek sporks in your utensil drawer. You made me watch a B-movie horror flick. I wouldn’t be surprised if you get together with your friends and go all ga-ga over Joss Whedon and what a ‘genius’ he is. Geek.”

“Hey, Firefly is an incredible show. The network killed it. I dare you to tell me the ‘Hush’ episode of Buffy wasn’t one of the best episodes of network television ever. Oh, and ‘Out of Gas’ on Firefly? Remember that one? I know you’ve seen it. I know it.” I poked his chest with my index finger.

“Just admit you’re as much a geek as me. Maybe even a bigger one. You have a TARDIS mug. And you use it. I bet there’s another one, here, in your house all wrapped up for safe keeping.”

“I will admit I’m a geek, but not a bigger one than you. I’ve never seen your geek evidence. And I don’t have a TARDIS mug wrapped up. I like to use the stuff I buy.” I inched closer to him, enjoying the debate. “For all I know, you have rooms and rooms with nothing but unopened action figures like The Forty-Year-Old Virgin. I bet you play those big online games like World of Warcraft and Warhammer. Planning your giant raids while surrounded by little plastic Luke Skywalker figurines.”

He stepped closer with a grin, the distance between our bodies closed almost completely, and pulled a strand of my hair through his fingers. “You’ll have to come over and see then. And I’m no virgin.” He stared at my lips. I licked the lower one, nervous for some reason. My stomach floated somewhere around my throat, and my heart tripped over itself in an attempt to escape my ribcage.

 

BUY Links for “Love Kinection”:

Decadent Publishing

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

All Romance Ebooks

Smashwords

 

Author Bio:

Jennifer James never thought she would be a multi-published author of erotica and erotic romance. What she likes best are happy endings – whatever that might mean for the characters. Wife, mother of two Tiny Divas, and college student, when not writing Jenn enjoys the outdoors, adventures of all sorts, horror movies, and the occasional comic book.

Links:

Website: http://www.authorjenniferjames.com/

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-James/212335188856799?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenniferJames34

Love Scenes and Wet Dreams: http://www.lovescenesandwetdreams.com

 

Filed Under: Beyond The Page

Giveaway Winner: Medical romance novels by Wendy S. Marcus

Feb 17

Soldier Socialite 2in1 coverVeronica it’s your luck day!

You’ve won a 2-in-1 paperback of medical romance novels by the wonderful Wendy S. Marcus 😀

Readers, for more information on where to purchase medical romances, try the UK sites for Amazon, Mills & Boon and Harlequin.

You can also get BUY Links for Wendy’s books by contacting her at these sites:

Connect with Wendy S. Marcus:

Facebook 

Twitter 

Goodreads

Filed Under: Winners

Giveaway Winner: “Return to Sender” by Annabeth Albert

Feb 17

RTS coverCongratulations Darcel 🙂

You’ve won an eBook copy of Annabeth Albert‘s ode to “mommy porn” done the right way – RETURN TO SENDER. 😉    Enjoy.

Everyone else, be sure to check out this fun, sexy, read at your favourite eBook store

BUY Links for “Return to Sender”:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

All Romance eBooks 

Ellora’s Cave 

Filed Under: Winners

Beyond The Page: “33 Valentines” by Stephanie Monahan

Feb 15

33 Valentines coverValentine’s Day has come and gone. Was it good for you?

Whatever that means in your life, I hope you enjoyed all the flowers that were sure to have ‘popped up’ in your work place yesterday.

Today Stephanie Monahan is here to chat about what some have called her anti-Valentine’s Day book, “33 Valentines“.

CABR: Stephanie, do you agree with this assessment?

SM: Definitely. Sophie’s feelings about Valentine’s Day are conflicted and complicated. She’s got good reasons to be wary about the day, and yet she wants more than anything to be able to embrace it.

But she’s spent so long dreading that day, and that time of year in general, and she doesn’t quite know how to go about changing things for herself. She’s also not the best at showing emotion and being vulnerable, which makes confessing to her best friend that she’s in love with him pretty intimidating!

I also thought of Valentine’s Day as a metaphor for the huge expectations we put on ourselves, and how we often fail to live up to expectations, in both life and love. Sophie’s far from perfect, but she’s trying!

author pictureCABR: When did Sophie first start “pestering” you to tell her story and how long did it take to write it all down?

SM: When I first thought about writing the story, Sophie’s voice popped into my head right away.

She had just broken her arm, and the man she was in love with had a date with someone else. So she was pretty miserable.

But she was also funny and snarky and smart and I loved her immediately, and I knew I had to jump into her story to find out what happened. The original version was a novella, which was about 80 pages and written in two weeks.

When I got contracted to expand it into a full-length novel, it took me about two and a half months. It was the most fun I’ve ever had writing and it didn’t feel like work at all, which is probably why I was able to write it so quickly!

CABR: Tell us about your favourite fan encounter/feedback

SM: Everyone at my workplace has been so supportive – my co-workers made me a cake with the book cover on it and decorated my cube with balloons and red hearts on my release day! They also put a little story on the company Intranet so everyone could read about the book. I’ve had lots of people stop me in the hall or the elevator to tell me they’ve read the book and loved it, which is a really awesome feeling.

(Photo of a popular North End spot in Boston that’s mentioned in “33 Valentines”)NorthEnd
CABR: Do you have any plans to write a sequel? Perhaps featuring one of Sophie’s family members?

SM: I don’t have plans to write a sequel, but you never know! I think if I were to do that, I’d like to write about Dylan and find out more about the woman that haunts the medicine cabinet in his apartment.

CABR: I understand you’re working on a book about a “former mean girl” who finds herself confronting her past in a Top 40 hit. What else can you tell us about it? Title perhaps?

SM: Yes, I am currently working on this book! It is similar to 33 VALENTINES in that it is women’s fiction, told in first person by a female protagonist in her 30s. The tone is a little darker, though.

The main character, Natalie, has done lots of mean things in her past that she’s trying to make up for. The Top 40 hit is sung by Jack, someone she knew in high school who is now a famous musician. They haven’t seen each other in 13 years. Safe to say things didn’t end too well for them back then. My working title is THE MEAN GIRL APOLOGIES.

33 Valentines coverTRIVIA

Coffee or tea?

I am a big tea drinker. I love all kinds, but especially chai (with lots of cream & sugar).

Adventure or relaxation for vacation?

Definitely relaxation. If I have books and the beach, I’m a happy girl.

If you could meet anyone from history, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Probably Oprah. I grew up watching her show with my mom. I imagine she’d have lots of fun stories to tell, and she loves books so we’d have something in common right off the bat.

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BUY Links for “33 Valentines”:

Amazon

Barnes & Nobles

iBooks

Books On Board

 

 

Filed Under: Beyond The Page
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