Thursday, August 30, 2012

Romancing the Hop -- Recommended Romances!

Welcome to stop #53 of Romancing the Hop! 

Below I recommend some of my favorite romance authors and explain what kind of romances I like, so if you like the same thing, you just might find some awesome new-to-you authors! I'm also giving away a $15 Amazon gift card. To enter, go to the RaffleCopter at the end of this post and follow the instructions. The more items you do, the more entries you get! 
When it comes to romance, I like dark, gritty, sexy books with tortured heroes and anti-heroes, so I read a lot of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. I also love historicals that delve into the darker parts of history. Again, I like the gritty, even when it comes to lords and ladies! And did I mention that I *love* sexy, sexy books? The steamier the better. So I've read more than my share of erotic romance as well.
Here are some authors I highly recommend checking out!
Romantic suspense: Kristine Cayne (Deadly Vices series), Pamela Clare (I-Team series), Diana Layne (Vista Security series), Ann Charles (Deadwood series), Cherry Adair (Lodestone series), Trish McCallan (Forged series), Stacey Joy Netzel (Lost in Italy), Zee Monodee (Walking the Edge)
Paranormal romance: J.R. Ward (both the Black Dagger Brotherhood and Fallen Angels series) and Larissa Ione (both the Demonica and Lords of Deliverance series). And if you like gritty urban fantasy as well, check out Karen Marie Moning (the Fever series), Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson series), and Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series up through Cerulean Sins
Historical romance: Delilah Marvelle (School of Gallantry, Scandal, and Rumor series), Laura Navarre (The Devil's Mistress)
Erotic romance: Emma Holly (especially Menage), Joey W. Hill (especially Natural Law), Lorelei James (Rough Riders series -- oh, those cowboys!), Lacey Danes (Being Wicked), Jess Michaels (Everything Forbidden, Something Reckless)
And if your tastes run a little lighter than mine, try Julia Quinn in historicals, Diane Kelly's Tara Holloway series in humorous romantic suspense, or Natalie G. Owen's Moonlight Dating series in short paranormal romance. 

What are your favorite romances or romance authors?

Now that you've read my recommendations, are you wondering what kind of books I write? Of course you are! :)

My current romantic suspense series is called Blood and Honor and is set in Italy among the Calabrian Mafia. The series chronicles the battles--both bloody and romantic--between two warring Mafia clans. Books 1 and 2 are available now. Here's a taste of Book 1: 

A woman on the run. A damaged Mafia don. A rival bent on revenge...

Kate Andretti is married to the Mob--but doesn't know it. When her husband uproots them to Italy, Kate leaves everything she knows behind. Alone in a foreign land, she finds herself locked in a battle for her life against a husband and a family who will "silence" her if she will not do as they wish. When her husband tries to kill her, she accepts the protection offered by a wealthy businessman with Mafia ties. He's not a mobster, he claims. Or is he?

Enrico Lucchesi never wanted to be a Mafia don, and now he's caught in the middle of a blood feud with the Andretti family. His decision to help Kate brings the feud between the families to a boil. When Enrico is betrayed by someone in his own family, the two of them must sort out enemies from friends--and rely on each other or die alone. The only problem? Enrico cannot reveal his identity to Kate, or she'll bolt from his protection, and he'll be duty-bound to kill her to safeguard his family's secret. 

Attacks from without and within push them both to the breaking point, and soon Enrico is forced to choose between protecting the only world he knows and saving the woman he loves. 


Enrico’s hand dropped from Kate’s forehead to caress her cheek, his fingers skimming over the bruises Vince had left. Then his thumb traced over her swollen lip, his face darkening. “I could kill him for this.”

Kate felt a jolt. Did he mean that? He looked so grave. She didn’t want him to do something foolish; he’d already taken enough risks for her. “I’m okay. Just a little beat up. I’ll be fine in a few days.”

He crouched down beside her and took her hands in his, resting them in her lap. “I will protect you from now on. I swear it. You will never be unsafe again.”

Kate’s throat constricted painfully and tears threatened to spill down her cheeks again. Jesus, how did he know just what to say? This man who looked at her with such tender eyes couldn’t possibly be a mobster. Certainly her faulty Italian was to blame for what she thought she’d overheard. 

Enrico leaned forward, one of his hands going to the back of her chair, the other releasing her hand and cupping her knee. He was now just inches from her, his eyes darkening with care, with… desire. Kate inhaled in surprise, her body suddenly on alert. He smelled sharply masculine, like citrus and pine trees mixed together, a hint of something that was all him underneath. He was too close, much too deliciously close. Her heart hammered out of control. She should stop this. She was still married, even if her husband had tried to kill her. 

Enrico let go of her knee and placed his fingers under her chin, tilting her mouth to meet his. Kate stiffened, but after his lips touched hers, she relaxed and forced herself to stop thinking, forced herself only to feel, only to hear. The satiny brush of his lips across hers, the touch of his hands on her face, his fingers tracing her cheekbones. The groan low in his throat when she opened her mouth to his, when she let their tongues touch. He groaned again, the sound more urgent when she opened her mouth wider, her tongue swirling around his. 

He pulled her up from the chair, his large hands sliding down to her ass, crushing her to him greedily. When she felt the bulge of his erection against her belly, a warm tingle ran through her, zinging down between her legs. 

My God, he was an amazing kisser. And if she wasn’t mistaken, his body was going to be amazing too. He was all hard slabs of muscle and sinew, granite next to her softness. She ran her hands across his wide shoulders and down his back. Jesus. This was going to be out of this world

He broke the kiss, both of them breathing fast. She looked up at him, confused. Why was he stopping? 

“Are you certain you want this?” he asked. “A lot has happened—”

“I’m sure. Very sure.” 

His lips curved into a slow smile. “Then we need some place more private, yes?”


Want to know what happens next? You can find out in Revenge (Blood and Honor #1). Regularly $4.99, Revenge is on sale now for only $0.99, for a limited time. You can find Revenge at these retailers: Amazon US (Kindle)Amazon UK (Kindle)AppleAll Romance eBooksBarnes & NobleDieselKoboOmniLitSmashwords, and Sony. If you prefer print, Revenge is also on Amazon US (paperback) or Amazon UK (paperback).

Prize Giveaway!

To thank you for visiting my blog and participating in Romancing the Hop, I'm giving away a $15 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner's choice)! To win, you MUST post a comment with your name and email address. For additional chances to win, follow the instructions in the RaffleCopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grand Prize Giveaway!

Romancing the Hop has THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!
Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Romancing the Hop Starts This Friday!

What is your favorite thing about romance? Well, we authors are ready to share our romantic tips and favorite romance reads! Starting on Friday August 31st and ending on September 3rd, over 200 authors and bloggers will share their favorite things about romance, reading romance, and dating.

And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that author or blogger.

But that's not all....

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!
Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack!

Bookmark this blog and stop by on Friday to get in on the fun!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Get Eight Award-Winning Books for Under $8!

Readers! Eight award winners in the 2012 eFestival of Words "Best of the Independent eBook Awards" have grouped together to offer you an amazing opportunity. They've reduced the prices of their award-winning novels to 99 cents for August 27 and 28th!

Whether you like to read mysteries, romance, horror, young adult, women's fiction, or fantasy, this group has it. Are you a writer yourself? Do you want to learn all about digitally publishing your next masterpiece? They've got you covered there too.

Get all eight award-winning ebooks for the price of one single paperback!

Award Winners

Best Mystery/Suspense: Dead is the New Black by Christine DeMaio-Rice
Best Non-Fiction: DIY/Self-Help: Let's Get Digital by David Gaughran
Best Horror: 61 A.D. by David McAfee
Best Romance: Deadly Obsession by Kristine Cayne
Best Young Adult: The Book of Lost Souls by Michelle Muto
Best Fantasy/Urban Fantasy and Best NovelThe Black God's War by Moses Siregar III
Best Chick Lit/Women's LitCarpe Bead'em by Tonya Kappes
Award for Best Twist ("I've Been Shyamalaned"): The Survival of Thomas Ford by John A.A. Logan

Here's a one-stop shopping link for your convenience:

Book Blurbs

Dead is the New Black by Christine DeMaio-Rice
Laura Carnegie gave up on the man of her dreams a long time ago. He's fashion designer Jeremy St. James, and not only is he her boss, everyone knows he's gay.

When the woman who holds the company purse strings is found dead in the office, and Jeremy's arrested for the murder, everything changes. If Laura can just solve this crime, keep the cops off her tail, break up a counterfeiting ring, and get the show on the runway by Friday, she might stop being Seventh Avenue's perpetual loser.

If you love Project Runway, or enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada, try Dead Is the New Black.

Let's Get Digital by David Gaughran
This guide contains over 60,000 words of essays, articles, and how-to guides, as well as contributions from 33 bestselling indie authors including J Carson Black, Bob Mayer, Victorine Lieske, Mark Edwards, and many more.

It covers everything from how the disruptive power of the internet has changed the publishing business forever to the opportunities this has created for writers. It gives you practical advice on editing, cover design, formatting, and pricing. And it reveals marketing tips from blogging and social networking right through to competitions, discounts, reviews, and giveaways.

If you are considering self-publishing, if you need to breathe life into your flagging sales, or if you want to understand why it's a great time to be a writer, Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should will explain it all.

61 A.D. by David McAfee
61 A.D. For ten years, Taras has lived in the young city of Londinium, feeding off the city’s underbelly. But now Theron, his old enemy, has come looking for revenge, and Taras’ nights of living in relative peace are about to end.

Yet not even Theron can slip into town unnoticed, and the Council of Thirteen sends Ramah to deal with the two renegades once and for all. But unknown to the Council, a much older enemy is also in Londinium, and this time even the great Ramah might not be safe.

Set against the backdrop of the Iceni uprising in Roman-era Britannia, 61 A.D. continues the story of Taras, Theron, and Ramah, as they fight their way through history.

Deadly Obsession by Kristine Cayne
Nic Lamoureux's perfect movie star life is shattered by a stalker who threatens any woman close to him. When he meets photographer Lauren James, the attraction is instant--and mutual. She's exactly the sort of woman he craves, but the stalker makes deadly clear Lauren is the competition.
And the competition must be eliminated.

"Stock up on ice cubes because this is definitely one sizzling debut. Readers will be hooked from the first sentence- on the book and on Nic! As rich as a white chocolate cheesecake, Cayne's entrance into the suspense genre is invigorating, explosive and simply intoxicating." ~ RT Book Reviews Top Pick

The Book of Lost Souls by Michelle Muto
When teen witch Ivy MacTavish changes a lizard into her date for a Halloween dance, everything turns to chaos. And when no one is powerful enough to transform him back except Ivy, it sparks the rumor: Like father, like daughter. Worse, someone has used an evil spell book to bring back two of history's most nefarious killers.

Ivy's got a simple plan to set things right: find the real dark spell caster, steal the book, and reverse the spell. No problem! But first, she’ll have to deal with something more dangerous than murderous spirits: the school’s hotter-than-brimstone demon bad boy, Nick Marcelli. Demons are about as hard to handle as black magic, and Ivy soon discovers it’s going to take more than a lot of luck and a little charm if she wants to clear her status as a dark witch, get a warm-blooded boyfriend, and have her former date back to eating meal worms before the week’s end

The Black God's War by Moses Siregar III
Against the backdrop of epic warfare and the powers of ten mysterious gods, Lucia struggles to understand The Black One.

Her father-king wants war.
Her messianic brother wants peace.
The black god wants his due.
She suffers all the consequences.

"Moses is a fine writer deserving of success, and I think that it will follow ... I really enjoyed Moses's work." - David Farland, NYT Bestselling Author of The Runelords

Carpe Bead'em by Tonya Kappes
Hallie Mediate was raised by her (slightly) crazy Great Aunt Grace on the wrong side of the tracks in Cincinnati. Hallie escapes her hometown and never looks back.

That is, until she’s transferred back to the hometown. Not wanting her past to cross paths with her future, Hallie puts her life on hold.

Aunt Grace is still up to her old tricks, but Hallie finds some sanity at a local jewelry-making class where she uncovers a hidden talent for beading.

Will she keep searching for the happiness she may already have found?

The Survival of Thomas Ford by John A.A. Logan

Thomas Ford is the only survivor of the car crash which killed his wife. He is also the only witness who would be willing to identify the young, reckless driver who caused the crash. But the driver would sooner see Thomas Ford dead than ever let that happen.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hot Summer Heroes Blog Hop - Heroes Who Make Me Melt

Heroes Who Make Me Melt

My favorite heroes--the ones who make me melt--are kind, caring, and protective. Alphas, but not overbearing. Cocky, but able to laugh at themselves. They care about the people around them, to the point of making serious sacrifices, even of the things they most want or even need. They cherish their mates, their families, their friends. And they're not afraid, in the end, of being vulnerable to the ones they love.

I swoon over heroes who are highly intelligent, quick on their feet, and ready for any challenge. They must stand up to injustice when they encounter it and have a moral code they live by--even if they live outside the law or bend the rules at times. They also must have a strong passion that guides them--some desire or goal that they're willing to move mountains to achieve.

I tried to imbue the heroes of my romantic suspense series, "Blood and Honor," with these same qualities. Even though all of these men are involved in the Mafia, they have lines they won't cross, injustices they won't abide, and loved ones they'll put their lives on the line for, time and again. They may be anti-heroes, or dark heroes, but to the women and families they love, they're the heroes they need, their bulwarks against foes who have no boundaries.

For example, in Revenge (Blood and Honor, #1), Enrico Lucchesi may be a Mafia don, but he doesn't hesitate to get involved when Kate Andretti needs help escaping her abusive Mafia husband--even though helping Kate risks restarting the long-standing feud between the Lucchesi and Andretti families. Enrico isn't the sort of man who can stand by and watch a woman be abused and threatened with death if she won't "behave." Soon, sparks fly between Enrico and Kate, and she learns that she may not want to leave the Mafia after all... but the Andretti family will do anything to exact vengeance on the woman who dared defy them and on the man who chose to break the code of the Mafia and help her.

Want to know what happens next? You can find Revenge at these retailers: Amazon US (Kindle), Amazon UK (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple, Sony, Kobo, Smashwords, and Diesel. If you prefer print, Revenge is also on Amazon (paperback).

Here are some of my other favorite romance novel heroes: Zsadist, in J.R. Ward's Lover Awakened; Jonathan, in Delilah Marvelle's Once Upon a Scandal; Mac in Joey W. Hill's Natural Law; Rehvenge in J.R. Ward's Lover Avenged (I love nearly all of Ward's heroes!); Eidolon in Larissa Ione's Pleasure Unbound; Ares in Larissa Ione's Eternal Rider (come to think of it, I love nearly all of Larissa Ione's heroes too!)

Who are your favorite heroes? What about them makes you melt?

Prize Giveaway!

To thank you for visiting my blog and participating in the Hot Summer Heroes blog hop, I'm giving away a $10 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner's choice)! To win, you must post a comment with your name and email address. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grand Prize!

In addition to the giveaway at each blog, one commenter from the tour will win a $100 gift card to Barnes & Noble!

Many thanks to Bella Media Management, H.D. Thomson, and Caris Roane for organizing this blog hop.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

"Revenge" hits #10 on ARE Top Thrillers List!

Woot! As of 8/9/12, Revenge is now in the #10 spot on the All Romance eBooks Thriller list and has also made the list of Best-Selling Thriller eBooks! 

I'm really blown away by this, as Revenge has only been on ARE since 8/2/12. Many thanks to ARE for featuring Retribution in their newsletter (I'm sure this is what helped people find Revenge so quickly). I never expected it to hit a top 10 list there, and especially not so quickly. And look, I'm in the same category as my awesome friend Kristine Cayne! 

"Retribution" gets 4.5 stars from Steph's Book Retreat!

Retribution got 4.5 stars from Steph’s Book Retreat! “This novel surpassed my expectations... You are kept on the edge of your seat until the very last page.”