Super Sampler Saturday! Karen Marie Moning reveals
When MacKayla Lane’s sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone– Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers.
The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae… Read more
WEEKLY GIVEAWAY: Enter to win a copy of ICED!
This week we’re giving away 10 copies of ICED by Karen Marie Moning, the new urban paranormal trilogy set in the world of the blockbuster Fever series. Winners will be emailed this Friday, so enter to win below!
Follow us now so you won’t miss out! Read more
New Release: Iced by Karen Marie Moning
About the book:
#1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning picks up where Shadowfever leaves off with Iced, the first book in her hotly anticipated new urban paranormal trilogy set in the world of the blockbuster Fever series.
The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. The Fae are free and hunting us. It’s a war zone out there, and no two days are alike. I’m Dani O’Malley, the chaos-filled streets of Dublin are my home, and there’s no place I’d rather be. Read more
On Sale Today!
|Forbidden by Jacquelyn Frank (On Sale 10/30)
The unexpected happens in an instant. On her way to work, secretary Docia Waverley hurtles into a crashing crossroads, and she quickly begins to suspect that things will never be the same. Then, when a tall, blond, muscular stranger intervenes on her behalf, telling her it is his duty to protect her at all cost, what is just a feeling turns to proof positive. That is, as long as Docia’s savior doesn’t turn out to be a crazed kidnapper.
|The Recruit by Monica McCarty (On Sale 10/30) Read more|
Check out the trailer for Karen Marie Moning’s ICED!
Karen Marie Moning picks up right where she left off in SHADOWFEVER with ICED, the newest novel in her bestselling Fever Series.
Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.
Watch the trailer below:
Don’t forget, we’re also running a giveaway for this title this week. Today is your final chance to enter, so fill out the entry form here.
Iced is on sale October 30th, wherever books are sold, but you can preorder your copy today!
WEEKLY GIVEWAY: Win a copy of ICED by Karen Marie Moning!
We have an exciting announcement to make! Here at Romance at Random we’re launching WEEKLY GIVEAWAYS!
Preorder ICED by Karen Marie Moning
|ICED by Karen Marie Moning is on sale October 30th. Preorder your copy today!|
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning comes the first book in her hotly anticipated new urban paranormal trilogy, set in the world of her blockbuster Fever series.
The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. Read more
Preview some of the gorgeous art from Karen Marie Moning’s FEVER MOON!
July New Releases
Here’s what’s coming this month from Random House Romance.
| Kevin’s Story by Adrienne Staff and Sally Goldenbaum (On Sale 7/9)
In this tender romance from authors Adrienne Staff and Sally Goldenbaum, two people must overcome the sea of silence that separates them.
When Suzy Keller bursts into his life, Kevin Ross forces himself to keep his distance from her. How can a deaf man ever give a woman as beguiling as Suzy all that she wants and needs? Kevin is about to find out.
Editor’s Corner: Interview with Shauna Summers
We here on Romance at Random like to think of Shauna Summers, executive editor for Ballantine Bantam Dell, as a sort of “editor to the stars.” You name a big romance author, she’s probably edited them at some point during her impressive career. She’s here today to tell us what she’s working on, what she’s reading, and what it’s like behind the scenes, as she helps bring new romantic stories to life.
If you like paranormal romance . . . you’ll love_____, how would you fill in the blank?
When I was a bookseller customers always asked what to buy. I soon realized that if I first found out what they liked to read, who their favorite authors were it would make it so much easier to offer a recommendation. That’s the theme for our post today – help us fill in the blank – If you like paranormal romance . . . you’ll love ________? Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
In order to fill in the blank don’t we need to know what category of paranormal romance to suggest? Whether it be – psychic, vampires, shape-shifters, futuristic, witches, and so forth?
For example – If you like paranormal romance with ghosts & witches . . . you’ll love ________? Read more
Great Random Romances, on sale today!
| Into the Dreaming by Karen Marie Moning
Available now in hardcover and eBook! Read more
A Treat from Karen Marie Moning to Her Fans: Special Edition of INTO THE DREAMING with Exclusive Content
Karen Marie Moning‘s newly re-released Into the Dreaming (on sale April 24th) is a fan’s dream. The package includes the long out-of-print title novella that offers an glimpse into the early development of both the Fever world (the Unseelie King and Seelie Queen make appearances) and the Highlander world (MacKeltars, anyone?). That sexy story alone is worth the cover price, but beyond that, the book includes tons of extras: an unpublished novel proposal, deleted scenes from the Highlander books, and an exclusive preview of the art from the upcoming Fever graphic novel, Fever Moon. Karen herself wrote the introductions for each piece, and speaking as a fan, the book offers a rare inside-look into the writing process of this great author.
If you’ve ever put down a Moning novel and immediately thought, “I want MORE,” this is the answer to your craving. Here’s a sample for your reading pleasure:
ICED cover revealed! An all new series by Karen Marie Moning—coming this Fall!
Karen Marie Moning has revealed the cover of Iced on her Facebook page! This will be an all new series by this bestselling author, with the first book set to release (appropriately) for Halloween on October 30th, 2012. The series will center around Dani O’Malley, a young heroine who made her first appearance in Karen’s hugely popular Fever series.
What do you think of the cover? If you’ve read the Fever series, what do you think of Dani becoming the central character of her own series?
Guest Post by Emily March! + Giveaway
For someone who makes her living imagining things, I am a pretty down-to-earth sort of girl. I’m not especially superstitious–well, except that I always wear my alma mater’s colors on game day, and I do have my lucky hat to wear whenever I go fishing. And, as a southerner, I wouldn’t dream of skipping my serving of black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. As a rule, I’m skeptical about UFO sightings, I don’t think Bigfoot roams the woods, and I do not believe in the likes of werewolves, vampires, fairies, zombies, or selkies.
I chose this subject for today’s blog because of a fascinating, ongoing thread on my college alumni message board about personal paranormal experiences. It’s made me think about what “woo woo” things I dismiss out of hand, what I could accept, what I do accept, and what I believe in absolutely. ESP is something I can accept. As a mother, so many times I’ve sensed something was wrong with one of my children who was miles away, and it was. Then there are the times I think about my sister out of the blue and bingo, the phone rings and she’s called.
Some of the stories on the personal paranormal thread are fascinating, and some are downright spooky. Shakespeare said it best: ‘ There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’
Which brings us to angels. I do believe angels exist. I am a religious person, so this is a matter of faith for me. However, even if that were not the case, a couple of things have happened to me personally that make me a believer.
In the final days of my father’s life, he conversed with his brother and sister, both of whom had passed decades earlier. Scientists might say they were hallucinations of a dying mind, but I was there. I think angels were waiting for him.
The other event happened when my son played in a neighbor’s backyard with friends. He came in crying and my neighbor asked him what was wrong, and he told her he was sad because his grandmother died. Later, we discovered that my mother-in-law had indeed passed away that afternoon.
Ghosts or souls or spirits– angels–or mere coincidence– you decide.
That’s the direction I’ve taken in creating the character of Celeste Blessing in my Eternity Springs series. I have tried to write her in such a way that readers can decide for themselves just who, or what, she is. Wise woman or heavenly messenger? It depends upon your personal beliefs, personal experiences. One thing about her is certain. She’s a wonderful character to write.
How about you? Have you had any brushes with angels–either the earthly or heavenly variety in your lives? Remember, every week R@R randomly chooses 5 winners for random books, winners announced on Sunday – good luck!!
Cover Time – what rocks your socks? + Giveaway
We’ve not done a cover post in quite some time — our tastes surely have changed since our last discussion — what we liked yesterday may not be the look we like today? The cover to my left is our hero, Tom – Tom is my cover of the month for Feb – he’s my avatar on Twitter. I chose Tom because he makes me smile & reminds me of Ruthie’s story, which BTW, is laugh out loud fun! Heart-warming and sexy too – really a great story & our next Original Loveswept release, on sale 12/13/2012, $2.99. I also love the cover of her next book, coming out in June, About Last Night -
Yes, the cover Gods have blessed us — we’ve got an awesome art department that seems to nail our covers, depicting the hero of our stories to a ‘T’.
But there are more to choose from, and I’m anxious to hear what you like & don’t like, and to find out if your opinions have now changed since you’re purchasing more digitally? Tell us below!
And now, for the Cover Revue. There are five covers within each category — these books have released in the past few months or are soon to be released — based on the category, pick your favorite cover & tell us in the comments what you like best – have fun!
Remember, 5 randomly chosen commenters are chosen weekly to win a random book – winners announced on Sunday -good luck!
Guest, Nicole Jordan + Giveaway!!
Princess Charming, by Nicole Jordan
I admit it: I’m a sucker for a horse. My hunter mare Riva is the love of my life, second only to my husband. Sailing over a fence astride this magnificent equine creature brings a rush of joy to my heart—and plot ideas to my mind.
As I was writing Princess Charming, Book 1 in my Legendary Lovers Regency historical series, I knew that my hero, Ashton Wilde, Marquis of Beaufort, was determined to win the heart of his unlikely Cinderella. Maura Collyer wasn’t looking for a prince, but she was desperate to reclaim her beloved stallion, which her wicked stepmother had gambled away to an evil viscount. What else was Ash to do but help Maura rescue her magnificent horse?
With Ash’s romantic gesture on my mind and February 14 right around the corner from Princess Charming’s release day (today!) I thought it would be fun to ask my readers to share memories of their favorite Valentine’s Day gift, an actual present or, as in Ash’s case, an action that took their breath away. Every day on my Facebook page through February 13, I’m sharing an entry that has touched me—or made me chuckle.
One reader wrote that her husband surprised her on Valentine’s Day with a card into which he’d tucked a certificate for an AAA membership. He wrote in the card that he wanted to be sure she was safe on the road when she was without him. Don’t you just love that?
Another reader, whose wedding anniversary (like mine) is January 29, and whose birthday is February 3, said Valentine’s Day was usually a non-holiday for her and her husband, because by February 14 they’d done their share of celebrating. One year she told her husband that Valentine’s Day should be in August, when they didn’t have anything else going on. That year her husband gave her a Valentine on August 14 and took her out to dinner. Score big points for this guy!
Then there was the couple who live on a small farm in West Virginia. When this reader went to Ohio to visit their children, she told her husband no buying; they had enough cows and equipment. When she returned home, her husband, who had not bought her a present in all the years they’d been married, announced he had a present waiting for her. He took her across the river to their barn to see it. There stood a little bull, white all over except for his feet, the tip of his tail, and a perfect valentine in the middle of his forehead. This one gets high points for originality, don’t you think?
What about you? Do you have a fun Valentine’s gift story to share? If so, tell me about it here on Romance at Random today, and I’ll enter it into the competition to win a $100 VISA gift card for dinner out with your sweetheart.
But here’s an exclusive contest for all of you here Romance at Random. From the Valentine’s gifts/remembrances you share here today, I’ll draw a name at random (no pun intended!) to win a pair of exquisite earrings selected to add romantic dazzle to any Valentine’s Day outfit.
So ready, set, write!
Winners of the prizes will be chosen randomly & announced by the author in this blog – good luck to all!
Stacie D is our winner — congrats, Nicole will be in contact with you to mail you your lovely earrings!! Happy Romance – SueG
HEA at USA – Book Review of Sweet Revenge by Christy Reece
Review written by – Mary Grzesik, USA TODAY
Sweet Revenge is Christy Reece’s latest Last Chance Rescue novel, and it starts off with a heart-racing, daring rescue. Dylan Savage, a Last Chance Rescue operative, is sneaking into a house to rescue kidnapped schoolteacher Jamie Kendrick. This first scene is very telling about these two characters.
When Dylan reaches the room where Jamie is held, she jumps on his back. Not wanting to hurt her, he drops to the floor. She says in a raspy voice,
“Touch me and I’ll kill you.”
Dylan feels admiration and compassion at the same time. He’s relieved that she’s “tough.” Dylan reassures Jamie that he is there to rescue her, but she doesn’t believe him. She’s naked and chained by one wrist. Jamie covers herself with a sheet while Dylan picks the lock on the handcuffs then gives her his shirt. She is weak and barefoot but determined to walk out on her own. For expediency he picks her up tenderly and rushes her out of there.
Jamie’s and Dylan’s personalities contradict their appearances: Dylan is alpha strong with a tender middle, and Jamie is petite with an iron will. This theme weaves throughout the book and makes their interactions riveting.
Stanford Reddington is a wealthy, “respectable” businessman. He has many diverse business interests, but his human-trafficking division is hidden under layers of secrecy. He lives in a secret location with his wife and daughters. What makes this villain particularly creepy is how normal he is with his family. He loves his wife and treats her with great respect. He dotes on his daughters and toddler son, and they have everything they need, except a view of the outside world. It’s another contrast: He considers the girls he kidnaps for his business “merchandise.” He’s angry when Jamie escapes. The law put a microscope on him, but he came out OK by saying he was taking care of Jamie in her abused condition. His older son, Lance, who was involved in the human trafficking, has been sent away to keep him out of trouble.
Jamie’s sole purpose now is to stop Reddington from hurting anyone else, not just revenge. She wants to be trained by LCR so she can go after Reddington herself. The LCR team, including her sister/LCR operative McKenna, wants Jamie to return to her old life while they take care of Reddington. She deals her way in by dangling insider info she heard as a prisoner in Reddington’s home. She won’t divulge the info until she’s trained. She spends a few grueling months at a cabin, training under Dylan’s tutelage. Jamie’s been in love with Dylan since her rescue. Dylan tries to keep her at arm’s length but fails miserably. Their chemistry is too strong. When Jamie’s training is almost complete, Dylan pushes her to divulge the insider info. To break their bond, he lies and claims that’s all he ever wanted from her and she’s furious and hurt at the same time. She leaves him there.
Jamie promises her sister McKenna that she is taking a teaching job in the U.S. In reality, and in disguise, she’s taken a teaching job with the Reddington family. Dylan, also undercover, has worked his way into Reddington’s inner circle and is invited to his private island. Dylan’s and Jamie’s paths converge again, although Jamie recognizes Dylan well before he recognizes her, from her laugh. They find what they came for with some unexpected help. Their late-night escape from the island is knuckle-biting. The HEA is very satisfying, even if Jamie thinks it’ll never happen.
Christy does it again with another terrific couple. I loved this book for its message of hope and redemption. Jamie is one of the toughest heroines I’ve ever read. She bounces back from a horrific experience and balances great determination with a loving heart and a love of teaching children. Dylan is my favorite type of hero: tough, strong alpha but gentle with Jamie. He overcame a horrible childhood, obtaining a psychology degree so he can help others. He respects Jamie’s strength and determination and treasures her at the same time, an irresistible combination.
I’m looking forward to the last of the trilogy, Sweet Reward.
Downton Abbey Mania – has it grabbed you? + Giveaway
People have been all a ‘Twitter’ about this PBS series, now in it’s second season – listen to this recap of season 1:
The Downton Abbey estate stands a splendid example of confidence and mettle, its family enduring for generations and its staff a well-oiled machine of propriety. But change is afoot at Downton — change far surpassing the new electric lights and telephone. A crisis of inheritance threatens to displace the resident Crawley family, in spite of the best efforts of the noble and compassionate Earl, Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville, Miss Austen Regrets); his American heiress wife, Cora (Elizabeth McGovern); his comically implacable, opinionated mother, Violet (Maggie Smith, David Copperfield); and his beautiful, eldest daughter, Mary, intent on charting her own course. Reluctantly, the family is forced to welcome its heir apparent, the self-made and proudly modern Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens), himself none too happy about the new arrangements. As Matthew’s bristly relationship with Mary begins to crackle with electricity, hope for the future of Downton’s dynasty takes shape. But when petty jealousies and ambitions grow among the family and the staff, scheming and secrets — both delicious and dangerous — threaten to derail the scramble to preserve Downton Abbey. Created and written by Oscar-winner Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park), Downton Abbey offers a spot-on portrait of a vanishing way of life.
What is it that intrigues its’ viewers? The time-period? The wealth? Economic Struggles? Family?
I’m going to confess something, I’ve not been a avid viewer of the series, primarily because I read all the time, however, after reading the above, I thought, wow, this is similar in story to Dynasty – your classic family saga. . . isn’t it, or is it more than that? Now’s your chance to convince me & millions of others why this is the show to watch this season? and if not this one, what is the one show or series you are hooked on & why?
Just have to know what all of the fuss is about *grins* – every week 5 randomly chosen commenters will win a book , winners announced on Sunday – good luck!!
Darker After Midnight, by Lara Adrian + Giveaway!
THE MIDNIGHT BREED SERIESby Lara Adrian –
When I first began writing the Midnight Breed series, I never dreamed it would reach ten volumes (and counting!). In fact, the series began as a single book, which I pitched to my agent in the summer of 2005. I was just coming off a seven-book career writing medieval romances, and I now had the chance to reinvent myself and do something completely different. My agent was encouraging, but a little skeptical too. Vampires hadn’t really exploded in the marketplace the way they would later that year with a little phenomenon called TWILIGHT and the debut of JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. Still, I had my heart set on a dark and dangerous modern-day vampire knight named Lucan Thorne, so I drafted an outline of his story and sent it off to my agent.
To my delight (and relief) she loved it! Loved it so much, she asked if I could expand the storyline into a trilogy before she started showing the proposal to publishers. Could I ever! I sketched out the next two book ideas, and sometime around Labor Day, the Midnight Breed series had found its happy home at Bantam Dell. More stories followed those first three–seven more, one novella, and another two novels currently in the works. To say it’s been a blast is an understatement to be sure. But it’s also been a challenge. How can I keep this long-running series fresh and evolving? How can I avoid letting my Big Bad slip from diabolical–a true threat to my cast of characters–into a weak, ineffective caricature of Eeevil? And a bigger challenge: How can I keep my readers engaged, even surprised, ten-plus books later without losing hold on the characters or the heart of the series–the core elements that drew them to my books in the first place?
My answer to those questions is DARKER AFTER MIDNIGHT, on sale today! I’ve been writing with an eye toward the events that unfold in this book for quite some time, so it’s really exciting to finally bring out all the big guns, pick up some of the threads first woven into the early books, and spin the story world into a fresh new direction. I’m currently writing Book 11 and having more fun than ever with the series. I hope you enjoy DARKER AFTER MIDNIGHT, and I hope you enjoy all the rest of the books still to come!
Thanks for reading!
To celebrate the release of DARKER AFTER MIDNIGHT, To be entered in the random drawing, please post a comment on today’s blog post. Tell me what you enjoy about a long-running series, and what it is about your favorite series that keep you coming back for more.
Thanks again for blogging with us this week — winners are below & if you are one, please send your snail mail to: email@example.com so we can get you your book! International commenters &/or commenters that prefer a digital copy please provide us your email addy so we may prepare your preview in Net Galley. Authors that may have offered a giveaway during the week will post their winners on those posts in the comment section — so take a look to see if you’re included!
Congratulations to these 5 ladies!
& join us this week to be one of the 5 – congrats to all & thank you for blogging with us!!
Guest Post -2012 Reading Goals + Giveaway!
Holly: Many of us set resolutions in the new year. I personally don’t believe in resolutions. I feel like I’m just setting myself up for failure when I set resolutions. Year before last, I did set a reading goal. I’d planned to read 144 books and I reached my goal. Last year I set a reading goal of 211 books in 2011 and didn’t reach it. I only read 191 (I think. I haven’t tallied up all the re-reads yet). Not a bad number, but not the number I was shooting for.
This year I’m going to try for 200. That’s about 16 books a month, approximately 3 a week. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. 2011 was a pretty crazy year. I had a hard pregnancy and then a newborn, so my concentration was shot. I’m hoping I’ll be able to focus more in 2012.
I also want to try to read a better variety. Most of what I read in 2012 were contemporary romance. I burned out on paranormal a few years ago and haven’t read but a handful since. I’m going to try to get back into them. I also want to get through my giant pile of historicals. To that end, I think I might join a TBR (to-be-read) challenge so I’m forced to read at least one book from my TBR pile per month. I need to start culling that bad boy down.
Rowena: I always set goals. Whether they’re life goals, work goals, reading goals. I set them. Sometimes I accomplish them and most of the time I don’t but I don’t mind, it doesn’t stop me from setting them. I love lists and I’ll keep making them whether I finish them or not. Last year, I barely accomplished the only goal that I was actively keeping all year long so this year I’m piping down.
Of course, that goal was a bookish one. It was my reading goal of reading 150 books in the entire year of 2011. I read 150 books and that’s it. Not more, but not less which I’m glad for. I don’t think I’d be able to do it again but I’m going to try to do it again anyway. As of right now, I’m totally stinking it up on that reading challenge but I still have a little under 12 months to get my act together so wish me luck on that one.
Other reading goals that I have are reading more romance novels. Last year, I read a lot of YA books and my romance novels fell off my radar. I’m going to spend this year getting back into my love stories of people my own age. Again, wish me luck.
What are some of your reading goals for this year? Remember, every week 5 winners are chosen randomly for a free book — announced on Sunday, Good Luck!!
P versus E + Giveaway!!
P versus E
By Inga Kupp-Silberg
There have been lots of discussions about paper- versus eBooks and I am no different from the others. I do read both and there are several reasons behind it.
I am a book blogger who mostly reads and reviews books written in English, but I live far from English speaking markets – in Estonia. My geographical location determines and influences my choices almost every day.
Let me start with paper books. I am a total fan of book covers! It does not mean, that I am buying books only because I love their covers, but I do pick up books because the cover catches my eye and in case the blurb on the backside of the book is interesting – I am sold or should I say, that the book is sold!
Besides that, I like the smell and the feeling of a new book. Sometimes, I am trying to figure out what it is about the paper books that I love so much about and I think it is the feeling of holding it and turning the pages. It has something to do with my desire having filled bookshelves- it’s not so fancy to show people my Kindle and tell them that I have so and so many books on it. I enjoy my reading room with the bookshelves and hundreds of books on them.
To have signed paper books is also so much cooler than having them signed in e-versions of the books. You can call it being vain, but I truly treasure my signed paper-books; they are more personal somehow.
Truth be told – I have read more eBooks than paper books lately. The reason behind is exactly what makes eBooks so attractive to readers – eBooks are usually cheaper and easier to access – you just have to click couple of times and you have your book. This also is the point, where my geographical location plays a big role. I have seldom patience for waiting 5-10 days of delivery. If I find something that I really want to read, I want it now!
Besides that, the cost for shipping often makes the price of the paper book more expensive. When authors ask me to review their books, I do understand that they would prefer sending me eBook copy of their book. Shipping a paper book to Europe takes more time and costs more. Authors are always surprised when they find out my location and after hearing about it, they offer an eBook.
I used Kindle for PC when I started reading eBooks, using my laptop, but it was very uncomfortable when I wanted to read in my bed and too heavy to carry when I went for shopping and wanted to read while having coffee in the café. That is also the reason behind I made myself a little Christmas present and now I read my eBooks using my new Kindle Fire.
To sum it up, when I am in the book store, I buy paper books, when I give presents, I give paper books. Otherwise I am reading eBooks.
What about you? When and why do you prefer eBooks and when and why you prefer print? Remember, 5 commenters are chosen every week to win a FREE book – winners announced on Sunday!
Reminder to observe Martin Luther King weekend & hoping you are enjoying your day -
Thanks again for blogging with us this week — winners are below & if you are one, please send your snail mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org so we can get you your book! International commenters &/or commenters that prefer a digital copy please provide us your email addy so we may prepare your preview in Net Galley. Authors that may have offered a giveaway during the week will post their winners on those posts in the comment section — so take a look to see if you’re included!
My Passion for Police + Giveaway!!
My Passion for Police
By Deborah Harmse, author of In The Arms Of The Law
I’ve always been crazy about cops. Not cops-really-turn-me-on crazy or I-love-a-man-in-uniform crazy. Not that kind of crazy. In fact, maybe crazy isn’t the right word. Maybe curious is a better word to describe my interest in law enforcement officers.
You see, I’ve always wondered how a man who deals with scumbags all day at work can go home to his family and lead a normal life. How does he spend his day investigating crime scenes, witnessing autopsies, interrogating reluctant witnesses and probable murderers…then walk through his front door, hug his kids, kiss his wife and sit down at the dining room table to eat dinner and talk about homework and home improvement projects and the front lawn that absolutely must be cut this weekend.
I didn’t understand. I kept asking myself one question: How does a man managed to live such a dichotomous existence. That became the question at the center of my novel, In the Arms of the Law.
To answer that question, I set out to learn all I could about the life of a policeman—his typical work day; his opinions about criminals and witnesses and victims; how, after a particularly gruesome day on the job, he left all that behind and met his family for pizza to celebrate his son’s 5th birthday.
I devoured nonfiction and fiction books and articles written about (and by) cops. I was getting somewhere. My homicide detective, Mackenzie Hoyle (Hoyle because he was the type of cop who does things “by the book”) was beginning to come to life.
But I hit the research jackpot about 30,000 feet in the air somewhere between New Orleans and Los Angeles. I was flying home from a Romance Writers of America conference when I zeroed in on an article in Delta’s In Sky magazine praising a recently published nonfiction book—Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, by David Simon. (Years later the same book would be fictionalized in the television show Homicide: Life on the Streets and eventually become the inspiration for the HBO series The Wire.)
Homicide? Killing Streets? I thought. Now this is what I’m talking about. I couldn’t get a copy fast enough.
Then one day, when I was sitting at the counter in a coffee shop in Southern California, my nose buried in this fascinating book, the man sitting next to me asked me what I was reading. I looked at him, and without saying a word, showed him the cover.
“Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets,” he said. “Interesting topic. I have a friend who recently retired from the California Highway patrol. He was a homicide detective,” the man said.
“No kidding,” I said. “Do you think he’d be willing to meet with me? I’m writing a novel and my main character is a homicide detective.”
“Probably,” he said.
And that’s when my research got really interesting.
So question, any police type characters that light your fire? Either on TV, from a book or in real life? James Bond is always a favorite spy type what about you — comment to win one of five books randomly given out to random winners every week on R@R – winners announce on Sunday – Good Luck!
The Making of . . . .by Jean Stone + Giveaway!
I am thrilled to have my first three novels included in the Loveswept program. Talk about timeless female topics: babies, lovers, and awakening independence.
The concept for IVY SECRETS began with my editor. A graduate of Amherst College, she attended the school when Prince Albert of Monaco was studying there. We wondered what it was like to be royalty at small college in western Massachusetts. Because I write for and about women, and because western MA is my home, I shaped an idea around a princess who went to Smith College in neighboring Northampton.
My mother had dreamed I would go to Smith. Of course, that was a while ago. The woman who’d headed the ladies’ guild at our church was president of the Alumnae Association. I think my mother hoped that a Smith education would turn me into a white-gloved, proper lady, like Mrs. whatever-her-name-was.
I did not want to go there. There were no boys. It was too close to home. And I had little interest in taking classes with the daughter of President Nixon.
Fast forward about a hundred years: I found myself prowling the Smith College grounds, notebook in hand, enthralled by the ages-old campus with its ivy-covered brick buildings, its rambling walkways and inviting stone benches, its old New England, academic charm. What a magical place for adventure! For romance! For a princess to land!
I muttered to my by-then-deceased mother that perhaps I should have listened to her.
I love to write about situations that affect women of all ages, all backgrounds, all walks-of-life. As a writer, I have the most fun when I toss a few very different females together and watch what happens. Guaranteed, there will be conflict. Guaranteed, there will be fun. And usually, they will wind up with a secret or two.
Often they find love, which can be enchanting and wonderful, or nerve-wracking and exhausting, but always life-changing.
IVY SECRETS opens years after the main characters – Charlie, Tess, and Marina – had been roommates at Smith. On the surface, it appears that the women have nothing in common, not then, not now. But, today, Charlie’s fourteen-year old daughter has been kidnapped: Reluctant or not, the women know the importance of sticking together.
As they attempt to locate the girl, we learn the story behind their story…how each arrived at where she is today, and what, if anything, can be done to change decisions of the past.
I hope you enjoy IVY SECRETS as much as I enjoyed writing it. I’d like to extend a special thanks to my bff, Steven Cooper, who came up with the title. And thanks to Prince Albert of Monaco, too, for his unwitting contribution!
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Can you think of a situation where you found yourself depending on women with whom you have nothing but in common except for one situation?
Remember, 5 winners are chosen every week to win a random book – good luck! Winners announced on Sundays.
What’s Next: After having written several playful, tongue-in-cheek novels under the pen name, Abby Drake, I am currently working on a series that takes place on Martha’s Vineyard. Visit my website for updates: http://www.jeanstone.com.
Sue’s Review – The Demon Lover, by Juliet Dark + 5 Book Giveaway!!
I gasped, or tried to. My mouth opened, but I couldn’t draw breath. His lips, pearly wet, parted and he blew into my mouth. My lungs expanded beneath his weight. When I exhaled he sucked my breath in and his weight turned from cold marble into warm living flesh.
Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of her having written the bestselling book The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she’s found herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.
But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: Her incubus is not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the demon, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this supernatural lover from her heart.
A very good friend, whom I trust immensely, had asked if I’d read this book — of course, I said yes before I even knew what I was getting myself into.
Don’t get me wrong — I like paranormal romance – at one point, I could not stop reading paranormal — Feehan, Kenyon, Ward – I immersed myself in the sub-genre, so much so, that I lost track of what else was being published. Since then I’ve been reading more mainstream books, so to delve back into the unknown worlds of darkness and pleasure — this book would have to be pretty damn good to hold my attention.
Boy, & hold your attention . . oh yea, DEMON LOVER does just that — I will agree with most of the reviews on this book and that it is a bit slow to start. Callie as a young girl has always had some intense sexual dreams. As she got older they waned. She went off to college, met Paul (her mortal boyfriend) & anticipated at some point they would become engaged and marry. Graduated from college looking for a teaching job she becomes an instructor at Fairwick College. Fairwick was not at all what it seemed and as the weeks went by she noticed odd things . . .but more importantly, her demon lover came back. As the story unfolds you see many different angles develop. Callie herself realizes she is not the mortal she thought she was, nor was her family & neither was dear grand-mama in particular. Very cleverly written, intertwining historical facts with fiction and so forth. A nice mystery woven to the end, leaving you hooked for the next book. Although witches are the primary character type, incubus, demons, shifters and other worldly creatures make an appearance giving lots of depth to the story.
DEMON LOVER is a romantic story, but not a classical romance — at least not how you or I would categorize it. It is sexy, Callie has romantic encounters but everything is edgier, which really was a nice change for me —- I did not have to forgo my favorite elements of a romance book as DEMON LOVER included them plus a whole lot more.
Caution — although not a Happy Ending, it was satisfying . . or understandable. But, by the time you get to the end, you’re ok with that so it does not detract from the story.
So here’s my take, this is a book for you if you answer yes to these questions —
This might be the book you’ve been waiting for — Let me know what you think? What is it about paranormal romance that makes it a must buy for you?
5 book giveaway! comment below – winners announced at the end of the day — good luck!
Amazon Reviewers – excerpted comments:
Demon Lover is the grown-up’s [insert any hot YA paranormal romance]; it’s like the coolest lit professor ever decided to teach a class on gothic novels, then slipped in folklore on fairies, witches, vampires, and other magical creatures. There were references to Twilight, The Mysteries of Udolpho, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Dracula, The Faerie Queene, Tam Lin, and (what won my devotion) an outright homage to the queen of gothic romances, Victoria Holt. [Holt also penned a novel called The Demon Lover, which I don't think is a coincidence. And yeah, I own a copy.]
The Demon Lover was dark, delicious and oh so addicting. It’s like your favorite piece of decadant Dark Chocolate; melts in your mouth and leaves you wanting more long after you devoured it. I will admit that the beginning was kind of slow, but when the story picked up, boy did it pick up in a big way.
Donna S http://www.romanceatrandom.com/sues-review-the-demon-lover-by-juliet-dark-5-book-giveaway/#comment-41646
Romance in the 20′s by Vonna Harper + Giveaway!
Despite rumors to the contrary, I haven’t been writing since the Dark Ages. Close but at least a dozen years short of that. What I have been doing the past few months is immersing myself in fiction from the 1920s. I’m currently surrounded by a number of stories that appeared in the classic pulp magazines and sold millions of copies. Why are you doing this, you might ask. Hey, I’m delighted you did because hopefully you’ll indulge me for a few minutes.
To clarify, all the pulp fiction I’ve been reading was written by one man, Homer Eon Flint who died violently and mysteriously in 1924 at age 36. Why him? One reason. He was my grandfather. I believe whatever writing genes I have came from him.
Sentiment aside, every time I open one of his stories, I discover a writing style that might not pass muster with today’s editors. Today’s writing ‘rules’ call for no information dumps and for the most part shun omniscient point of view. Well, there was a lot of info dumping and the all-knowing author in Grandpa’s day and it paid well.
Example: The Money-Miler, his last story, was published a few months after his death. He received $400 for the novella—in 1924.
Starting in January, Grandpa’s body of work both published and in manuscript form will join the electronic age via a project http://www.musapublishing.com/ is running with. I can hardly wait to see how today’s readers respond to what he wrote nearly 100 years ago. Fortunately, thanks to Sue Grimshaw, I can jump the gun a bit with an example of what both brings Grandpa back to life for me and serves as a representation of his time.
At the start of The Money-Miler, the reader is introduced to truck driver Lawrence Stowe. The young protagonist doesn’t know it yet but his world will change today. However, before it does, he engages in—well, let the narrative tell the tale.
On the counter stood a slot machine, of a type outlawed in certain cities. The truck driver dove into his pocket and unearthed a handful of small change, which he regarded rather seriously. But he selected a quarter and silently placed it on the counter. As silently the proprietor passed over five brass slugs, on the order of round Chinese ‘cash’. The driver proceeded to test his luck. Immediately he began to win. Slug after slug drew forth returns two, four, eight, twelve, and even twentyfold. In five minutes he had a double handful.
“Hey—my lucky day,” he jubilated in a low, agreeable voice, for the benefit of a totally indifferent proprietor. “First time I’ve won in a week. If I had any sense now, I’d quit.”
He kept right on dropping slugs into the machine’s willing throat. Eight or ten disappeared without effect; it began to look hopeless for the double handful. At that psychological moment the telephone rang; and the proprietor, noticeably irritated, said:
“Office has been trying to get you, Stowe. Guess that’s them now.”
I couldn’t get away with presenting that to an editor today, but it paid off big time for Grandpa.
The roaring twenties seem like ages ago — is this a time period that interests you & if so what do you find so intriguing about those days — remember, 5 winners are chosen weekly for a giveaway – winners announced on Sunday – good luck!!
Heroine Love from our Guest & giveaway!
Holly: It’s no secret I struggle with romance heroines. I find that I’m much harder on the heroine than I am the hero of the story. Mostly, I think, because I have high expectations for women in general. I want to see my sex represented well in all places, especially in romance.
It doesn’t take much for a heroine to ruin a story for me. Last night I read a contemporary romance. I really enjoyed the first half of the book. During the second half the heroine started blaming the hero for things outside his control and generally acting crazy..before I knew it a book I was really loving ended up a wallbanger. That’s all it takes for me sometimes.
So when I find a book with a heroine I love, it’s practically a miracle. It doesn’t happen often, but when I finish a novel and think “wow, I really loved that heroine”..well, that’s the best feeling in the world.
Here are 5 romances featuring really amazing heroines:
1. Amber Flame (aka His Bonnie Bride) by Hannah Howell – Storm Eldon is one of my most favorite romance novel heriones ever. Honestly Tavis, her hero, kind of pales in comparison.
2. The In Death Series by J.D. Robb – Eve Dallas is probably one of the most well-known kickbutt heroines. She’s strong emotionally and physically. I kind of want to be her when I grow up.
3. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase – Jessica Trent. Oh how I adore Jessica Trent. Here’s a woman who is confident in herself, knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it (or him, as the case may be).
4. Heart of Fire by Linda Howard – Jillian Sherwood is another woman who is confident in herself and knows her own mind. Plus, she deals in sarcasm..something I greatly appreciate.
5. Anything by Meljean Brook – I was going to choose one of Brook’s heroines, but..well, I just can’t decide. She writes very heroine-centric novels and every one of them is strong and amazing (though I will admit to having a soft spot for Savi).
Casee: I mostly agree with Holly about being harder on the heroines than the heroes. As we all know, Holly has a bit of neuroticism running through her (one of the reasons I love her so).
Recently I have found myself deluded with men and their eternal stupidity. Heroes are generally stupid in the choices they make and how they are always trying to protect the heroine a) from herself b) from himself c) some unknown enemy. Thus the BIG MISUNDERSTANDING. It’s almost always perpetrated by the heroine because of some the hero has done. We need heroines that are smarter than that.
Here are my 5 favorite romance heroines:
1. J.D. Robb In Death – Eve Dallas. She can kick Roarke’s ass and she puts up with Summerset.
2. Elena Deveraux from Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. She has changed so much from the first book in the series, but everything that made her a great heroine has remained the same. She’s a consort to the scariest Archangel and she doesn’t even blink. Elena has never disappointed me as a heroine.
3. Christina Bennett from Lyon’s Lady by Julie Garwood. I love her guilty innocence.
4. Lady Emma Wells Finch from Lady Be Good by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Only a very special heroine could put Kenny Traveler in his place.
5. Evangeline Jenner from Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas. Sebastian, Viscount St. Vincent. Enough said.
What romance heroines do you love? Remember 5 winners are chosen every week to win a Random FREE book – winners announced on Sunday – Good Luck!
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen + Giveaway!
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
If you like Adriana Trigiani or Kristian Hannah, you’ll enjoy, THE PEACH KEEPER – this is a good Southern type of contemporary story with a little mystery woven in. Nice romances (yes there are two!) and good characters – very enjoyable story.
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Sarah is unique in her ability to create that contemporary Southern, ‘comfort-reading’ story. Set in the Blue Ridge Mts, we meet two women who are trying to move on with their lives. Willa, whose fallen a bit from the towns grace with an old scandal created by her grandfather and Paxton who is just trying to get away from a very controlling, wealthy Southern family. Each find their heroes to be men that have been in their lives all along but just did not even realize . . or did, but because of circumstance, could not act on it. As the story develops a body is found creating a small murder mystery from years ago — as this plot line develops, Paxton & Willa become friends and also find out they are linked in the outcome of this mystery.
Very well written, great paced story with twists & turns & fun characters — If you enjoy Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs, Jan Karon, Sarah’s contemporary Southern story will appeal to your reading tastes too – enjoy!
Willa Jackson: Thirty-year-old woman from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago; owner of Au Naturel Sporting Goods and Café; perpetual joker as a youth.
Paxton (Pax) Osgood: Socialite do-gooder; an old classmate of Willa’s
Tucker Devlin: Charismatic traveling salesman
Colin Osgood: Landscape architect and Paxton’s twin brother.
Sebastian Rogers: A local dentist and Paxton’s friend. Beautiful and thoughtful.
Georgie Jackson: Willa’s grandmother and one of the two co-founders of the Women’s Society Club. She is currently in a nursing home diagnosed with a dementia.
Agatha Osgood: Pax”s grandmother and one of the two co-founders of the Women’s Society Club. She is currently in a nursing home diagnosed with a macular degeneration.
Sophia Osgood: Paxton’s mother
Was this review helpful? Ask me any question below & I’ll try to answer for you & help you decide if this is a book for you! Happy reading! SueG
Allen juggles smalltown history and mystical thriller, character development and eerie magical realism in a fine Southern gothic drama. The underlying tension will please and unnerve readers, as well as leave them eager for Allen’s next.
Praise for Sarah Addison Allen’s The Girl Who Chased the Moon
“Captivating . . . Sarah Addison Allen produces tantalizing fiction.”—The Roanoke Times
“A dusting of magic, the aroma of sugary cakes swirling through the breeze, and a girl who unwittingly brings change to a town of misfits make for a sweet summer story filled with hope and forgiveness.”—Beth Hoffman, author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
“Charming and entertaining . . . Don’t miss this spellbinding tale.”—Asheville Citizen Times
“Allen clearly knows that all the fun is in the journey. . . . Sit back, open this book and join her.”—Greensboro News & Record
“An enjoyable read [with] doses of magical realism and romance.”—Associated Press
“Easy to devour in one sitting.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
5 winners are randomly chosen weekly for a random book on Romance At Random and winners are announced on Sunday’s –Good Luck!