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Please note that the stories reviewed in this blog are Romances, and as such, often contain explicit sexuality.

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Author Interview: Gwen Jones – Laws of Seduction

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Today I’m thrilled to bring you author Gwen Jones!  Gwen’s newest book, Laws of Seduction, was just released in Avon and she’s kindly stopped by to answer a few questions today.

Laws of Seduction looks delicious! What was your favorite scene to write for this book?

That would have to be the opening scene when Charlotte encounters Rex at the jail, seeing him for the first time in three months. Charlotte’s tough as nails and she’s normally not intimidated by anyone, though when she sees Rex in all his barely-ruffled elegance, he initially throws her off her game. She recovers quickly, but after that she realizes she has to be on her guard, easily deflecting his verbal sparring. Rex, for his part, learned when they first met just how tenacious Charlotte could be, yet he loves shocking her and pushing her toward the edge. It was just too much fun writing that kind of dialogue.

That sounds like the perfect start, and it sounds like they have great chemistry.   Now, I know every reader imagines the leading couple just so as they read along, but as the author, I have to ask… If Laws of Seduction were made into a Hollywood blockbuster, who would be your dream cast for Charlotte and Rex?

Rex Renaud is the ultimate in suave Frenchmen, which immediately brings to mind Gregory Fitoussi who plays the debonair yet fiery Henri Leclair in the PBS series, Mr. Selfridge. As far as Charlotte is concerned, she’s a combination of beauty, toughness and sass, but she’s also thirty-seven-years old…is Jennifer Lawrence too young?


Oh, wow! Now, that is an incredible couple to imagine together. Yum!   

Speaking on your writing in general, what major tropes will readers likely never see in a book of yours?

Well, let’s see, I’ve done Marriage of Convenience, Secret Baby, Boss/Employee, Rake vs. Ingénue, Tortured Hero, Billionaires…hm…is there anything left I haven’t covered?

Ha! You’ve got all of the good ones! (Don’t tell anyone but Marriages of Convenience are my weakness, by the way…)  Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, can you tell us a few songs from your playlist?

I like absolute quiet when I write, unless you count the sound of a leaf blower which is going on in my background now! Still, music does play a major role in my writing process. I use it to plot by, and some of my best plotting opportunities are when I exercise and drive. One of my favorite music genres (among others) is alternative, with songs such as M83 “Midnight City,” Fitz and the Tantrums, “Out of My League,” Imagine Dragons “On Top of the World,” The Black Keys “Gotta Get Away” (which I just had to put on right now), and anything by the Foo Fighters. Danceable, upbeat music gets me motivated, moody music gets me thinking. It all works.

Great choices in music!  So obviously we all love books here. What’s the last book that you read (other than your own of course) that you absolutely loved?

I’m also an academic, so it was somewhat de rigueur that I read Dear Committee Members, by Julie Schumacher, an absolutely hilarious epistolary novel about an embittered yet seriously snarky English professor (a-hem). And just last night I started the latest Diana Gabaldon novel in the Outlander series, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. I’m hoping it’ll get me through this “Droughtlander” phase until the Starz series starts back up in April. Gonna be a loooong winter…


Oh, Outlander… *dreamy sigh* I completely feel your pain with the hiatus..  While you wait for Outlander to return, where is your favorite place to read?

I have a comfy chair with a equally comfy ottoman in the corner of my office.  It’s also great for restorative afternoon power naps. That, and being from New Jersey, quite naturally, the beach.

You seem to share my philosophy — any good reading spot should also be comfy enough to doze off.

What are three things that you think readers would be surprised to learn about you?

Surprised? Hmm…let’s see. I used to work for the Playboy Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. And no, not as a bunny, but as a slot cashier. Both the casino and the position are gone now, but it was lots of fun and Playboy was a fantastic company to work for, very feminist, no matter the perceived reputation. Also that I’m tall, six-foot, and I can’t speak a word of French (though maybe that’s apparent in my writing, who knows! But I have great sources and even better editors).

“Bunny” or no, that’s still a fun thing to list on a resume!

What can readers expect from you next?

Right now I’m working on a contemporary family-saga type series quite different from “French Kiss.” It involves espionage, political intrigue, Hollywood, international locales and conspiracies. Otherwise known as Stuff That Never Enters My Everyday Life. But when has that stopped me before?

gwen jones

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When Rex Renaud, the COO of Mercier Shipping, is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, he knows he’ll need a miracle to clear his name … and sassy lawyer Charlotte Andreko is the perfect woman for the job. Charlotte has built her career defending pro bono clients against womanizers like Rex Renaud, and she’d much rather let him sweat it out in a jail cell than defend him in court. Yet Rex swears he’s been set up, and when he offers her a shocking sum of money in exchange for her legal counsel, the financial security is too tempting to resist.

The court dubs Rex a serious flight risk—how many people have their own jet?—and he’s released on one condition: Charlotte’s his new jailer, and he’s stuck with her until his arraignment. But when a bomb threat sends Rex and Charlotte on the run, neither is prepared for the explosive chemistry and red-hot passion that flare between them as they hunt for the truth about his arrest.

See more at: http://www.avonromance.com/book/gwen-jones-the-laws-of-seduction

About the Author

Gwen Jones is a mentor and instructor in Western Connecticut State University’s Master in Creative and Professional Writing program, and an Assistant Professor of English at Mercer County College, in West Windsor, NJ. Her work has appeared in Writer’s Digest, The Kelsey Review, and The Connecticut River Review, and she is the author of the HarperCollins Avon FRENCH KISS series, Wanted: Wife, Kiss Me, Captain, and The Laws of Seduction. A writer of women’s fiction and romance, she lives with her husband, Frank, near Trenton, New Jersey.

Visit my website – Gwen Jones Writes

Like me on Facebook – gwenjoneswrites

Follow me on Twitter – gwenjones25

Buy my books! – See all titles

Review/Giveaway: 5 Stars – Dog With A Bone – Hailey Edwards

 

Dog With A Bone

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Expected Release Date: October 30, 2014
Publisher: Hailey Edwards
Imprint: N/A
Author’s Website: haileyedwards.net
My Source for This Book: Gift from the author
via Bippity Boppity Book Tours
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Black Dog Series
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Chaste
Pet Peeves: Cockblocking
Favorite Tropes: Workplace Romance, Forbidden Romance, Reformed Rake

Official Blurb:

Half-bloods with Thierry’s skill set are given two options. They can join the conclave’s marshal program, or they can pack their bags. Turn down the job offer, and you’ve just shredded your residency pass for the mortal realm and booked yourself a one-way ticket to Faerie.

Texas is the only home Thierry has ever known, and she’s not going anywhere. Even if it means following in her notorious father’s footsteps as a peacekeeper. But pinning on the badge opens her eyes to the fact sometimes fae need protection too, and that sometimes humans are the real monsters.

What Worked For Me:

  • I thoroughly enjoyed the first-person point of view. I think it was an excellent choice on the author’s part to help the reader get into Thierry’s mind, as well as to really be a part of the action.
  • Theirry’s passion for seeing justice met for both humans and immortals both is one of the things that made ma fall in love with her.  It’s natural considering her own half-blood status, but even so, her determination that human deaths be treated as just as heinous helps highlight her underdog status (no pun intended), which I enjoyed.
  • Shaw. *fans self* Shaw was just delicious.  The chemistry between him and Thierry was scrumptious of course, but more than that, I liked him on his own merits. He was honorable, snarky, and not afraid to bend the rules.  Throw in just the right amount of insecurity as far as relationships and his own incubus identity goes and…. *fans self some more*
  • No slut-shaming! Okay, okay, I know this isn’t that unusual when the promiscuous character is the male, as it was in this case, but even so, there was the perfect opportunity for this particular character to be bashed for his past, and it was handled beautifully. I highly approved.
  • loved the action in this story. Thierry’s power is so cool, and while I won’t spoil anything, I loved the final confrontation and the unexpected way her power came into play.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

  • As you all know by now, I like my stories a little more on the steamy side. So, imagine my frustration when there’s this truckload of chemistry between Thierry and Shaw throughout the entire story, and yet no actual doing of the do. *dramatic sigh*  Surprisingly though, this was actually a fairly small negative for me.  I’m so excited about this series, and the main storyline was so good, that even though I was disappointed in the lack of actual love scenes, it’s an easy thing to overlook.

The bottom line for me is very simple — I’m obsessed with this series already. From the characters and their powers, to the chemistry, to the world they live in, to the pulse-pounding action, and all the way through to the teaser ending that hints at the next book.  While I won’t deny I was a bit growly at the fact that there was no actual love scene, that ended up being a minor complaint because my adoration for the rest of it was so overwhelming.  In fact, I’ve already read it twice, and my long-time readers should know, that is not something I do often.

5stars5/5 Stars, and I think I’ll go read it again while I stare forlornly at the calendar waiting for the sequel. 

 

EXCERPT:

Burnt ozone tingled in my nose. I inhaled deeply, but all I scented was the coming storm.

Thunder boomed overhead, rumbling through the ground under my feet. I was still hunched behind a twisted metal sculpture of a giant rooster when the first lukewarm raindrops splattered on my cheeks.

Movement on my right slammed the brakes on my heart. I squinted where I thought I glimpsed a pale blur, but the sun was too far gone and the scrapyard too dark for me to tell what it had been.

My left palm tingled with suppressed energy. My kind of magic wasn’t allowed at the marshal academy.

I had to go. Every second I stood here exposed on three sides was an opportunity to get caught.

I filled my lungs until they burned then exhaled slowly, hoping for a clue. Nothing.

It’s now or never.

Shoving off the rooster’s metallic wing, I ran as fast as I could toward the tower at the center of the rusting maze. Even this far away I spotted the white flag plastered against its pole. If I could just reach it, all this ended. Done. Over. If I had that flag, I could go home. If I got there first.

That was a whole lot of ifs.

“Cadet Thackeray,” a low voice rumbled.

My pulse leapt. New plan. Forget the tower. If Shaw had my taste in his mouth, he would not let me reach it. I needed a new hiding spot now before he got close enough to use his lure on me.

Once I drew in the hot scent of his skin, it was over. I was lost. His heat would snare me, and I would be his.

As if I wasn’t already.

After darting past a promising heap, I hesitated until spotting a pair of large red ears sticking up from behind the twisted carcass of what once was a desk. Mei. Best friends shared a lot of things, but their hiding place during final exam was not one of them. I left the small fox to her den and kept running.

Sliding around the corner, I left the small-parts section of the yard and headed toward the stacks of crushed vehicles and rusted-out skeletons of construction equipment. I always avoided this section and the prickly sensation it inspired on my nape. Granted, the odds of the stacks falling and crushing me to a half-blooded fae pulp were pretty slim, but I didn’t want to be the exception that proved the rule.

Mud splashed up my legs and soaked my sneakers. I paused to scent the wind, gulping a lungful of patchouli-and-bergamot-flavored air. My skin sizzled and my head whirled as I fought the urge to follow that hot fragrance to the even hotter man producing it. Bastard. He wasn’t playing fair. Incubus lures were too damn tasty, and I was already nursing one hell of a sweet tooth where my instructor was concerned.

Excerpt from: Dog With A Bone Copyright © 2014 by Hailey Edwards used with permission of author.

About the Author

Born in the Deep South, Hailey is a lifelong resident of Alabama. Her husband works for the local sheriff’s department and her daughter is counting down the days until she’s old enough to audition for American Idol. Her doxie, Black Ilex, helps Hailey write by snoozing in his recliner in her office.

Her desire to explore without leaving the comforts of home fueled her love of reading and writing. Whenever the itch for adventure strikes, Hailey can be found with her nose glued to her Kindle’s screen or squinting at her monitor as she writes her next happily-ever-after.

You can find her on the web at
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter |  Pinterest | Goodreads | Newsletter

 

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Guest Post & Giveaway – Christmas At Tiffany’s – Karen Swan

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On Favorite Scenes

by Karen Swan

There are a couple of scenes that really made me laugh out loud when I was writing them – the ‘Vegas’ swimsuit scene at Hampstead Heath swimming ponds, Cassie having her beauty treatments (Brazilian wax in New York, Endermology in Paris) and I really loved the catch-your-breath moment at the hotel in the Venice scenes. But more than anything, I loved the Christmas scene in New York when Cassie is by the tree in Tiffanys. I had been writing that scene in a meandering, aimless fashion, not really sure where I wanted to go with it and was basing everything upon my memories of having once attended a party there during Fashion Week, thinking of the jewelry cabinets, the lights…

I just didn’t know what to do with her until I realized I had her standing next to the Christmas tree, waiting for her boyfriend, Luke, to buy a present for his mother. The idea for what should happen next came to me in a flash and I couldn’t have been more delighted with it. It’s the ultimate Tiffany’s fantasy and just seemed so obvious once I’d hit upon it. Even better was the way I was able to spin out the surprise when she got back to her boyfriend’s apartment. The entire sequence really brought to the book that sense of indulgence and festivity, as well as being a useful device to ramp up tension with Luke and begin to bring Henry into the mix.

 

‘…She accepted another glass of champagne and ambled slowly towards the giant Christmas tree to wait for him and listen to the carols. The choir really was excellent.  She was determined to hoover up every last atom of Christmas in New York,

She looked up at the tree, just about the only thing in the store she hadn’t scrutinized. It was tall and plush with needles, with empty boxes of every size piled around the foot, adorned with sumptuous white satin bows that blossomed atop the lids. It was like stepping into a fantasy and she wished she was wearing a cocktail dress and chignon, rather than jeans and a-

She blinked and looked more closely, blinking again for good measure. But her eyes weren’t deceiving her – for there, beneath the tree, in beautiful trademarked-blue, was an enormous box with a card dangling from the ribbon, and on it, her name.

She bent over and stared at it more closely. It couldn’t be! And yet it was. Her name….’

 

About the Book

In the wake of a heartbreaking betrayal, a young woman leaves the Scottish countryside to find her destiny in three of the most exciting cities in the world—New York, Paris, and London—in this funny and triumphant tale of fulfillment, friendship, and love.

Ten years ago, a young and naïve Cassie married her first serious boyfriend, believing he would be with her forever. Now, her marriage is in tatters and Cassie has no career or home of her own. Though she feels betrayed and confused, Cassie isn’t giving up. She’s going to take control of her life. But first she has to find out where she belongs . . . and who she wants to be.

Over the course of one year, Cassie leaves her sheltered life in rural Scotland to stay with her best friends living in the most glamorous cities in the world: New York, Paris, and London. Exchanging comfort food and mousy hair for a low-carb diet and a gorgeous new look, Cassie tries each city on for size as she searches for the life she’s meant to have . . . and the man she’s meant to love.

 

About the Author

Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and an ADHD puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest in Sussex, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs. Her first novel, Players, was published in 2010, followed by Prima Donna and Christmas at Tiffany’s in 2011.

http://karenswan.wix.com/karenswan
Twitter: @KarenSwan1
Facebook: www.facebook.com/KarenSwanAuthor
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/karenswan2

One lucky reader will receive a digital copy of Christmas at Tiffany’s! Just leave a comment below to enter!

Book Spotlight & Giveaway – Full Circle by Chudney Thomas

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He’s waited years for her…

In a pack of werewolves, a half human isn’t exactly at the top of the food chain. Half-human, half-werewolf, Ria Marlett knows her place in the pack. And she knows exactly how the pack’s alpha, Drake Neilson, views her; as a convenient lay. So far she’s managed to avoid his advances, but she knows his patience is growing thin.

Now he’s ready to claim her.

Ria does her best to avoid Drake, but the sexy woman can’t hide who she is. Tired of waiting, now he’ll do whatever it takes to win Ria, even woo her while dealing with rabid lone wolf attacks. With the pack in danger Ria is forced to face what Drake has been telling her all along, she just might be the strongest of the pack.

Length: 23,000 words

About the Author

I was born in Brooklyn New York, raised on the island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. According to my father, I learned to read at three and wouldn’t allow him to skip a page of a story. I grew up raiding my mother’s stash of books and my Aunt Patsy’s extensive library. There, I developed my love of literature, and specifically romance. Books transported me to different worlds, and encouraged me to learn about different cultures, continents, expanding my horizons. I currently live in Central Florida with my family and our interesting pet pooch Maya.  You can find me on the net at http://chudneythomas.com/ and on Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram 

Giveaway time! Ms. Thomas is giving one lucky reader a $10 Starbucks gift card! Just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below!
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