Monday, September 29, 2014

Release blitz: Skating On Thin Ice by Jami Davenport

Skating On Thin Ice
Game On In Seattle # 1
By: Jami Davenport 
Releasing September 29th, 2014

Jami Davenport presents Game on in Seattle, a new series featuring Seattle sports teams, hot men, and strong women. 

He trusts his gut, she trusts her numbers, and neither trusts the other, as a billionaire's mission to bring hockey to Seattle clashes with his passion for the woman who holds his heart.

Ethan Parker, a billionaire determined to bring a professional hockey to Seattle, will stop at nothing to realize his dream. After signing an agreement to purchase another city's team, Ethan is anxious to make the move to Seattle, but a gag order by the League forces him to keep the sale a secret until the season ends, leaving him no choice but to go undercover as a consultant to study his team during the playoffs.

Lauren Schneider, Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the Giants hockey team, gets no respect from the team's testosterone-loaded staff. When Ethan bursts onto the scene, full of charm and genuinely interested in her opinions, she shares the team's weaknesses and discovers a weakness of her own--for Ethan. But when his true identity is revealed, and he starts cleaning house based on her unwitting input, his betrayal cuts deeply on both a professional and personal level. Bound by an employment contract, Lauren reluctantly moves to Seattle to work for the newly christened Seattle Sockeyes and her sexy, infuriating boss.

Lauren and Ethan must come to terms with their passions--for the team, for hockey, and for each other. Will their situation build a frozen wall between them, or will their love burn hot enough to melt the ice shielding their hearts?  

An advocate of happy endings, Jami Davenport writes sexy contemporary and sports romances, including her two new indie endeavors: the Game On in Seattle Series and the Madrona Island Series.  Jami lives on a small farm near Puget Sound with her Green Beret-turned-plumber husband, a Newfoundland cross with a tennis ball fetish, a prince disguised as an orange tabby cat, and an opinionated Hanoverian mare. She works in computer support in her day job and juggles too many balls, but she wouldn't have it any other way. 


Lauren had stepped over the line. She’d possibly insulted this man, and his blue eyes had blazed, not with anger as much as a challenge, one she didn’t wholly understand.
The next several weeks would be pure, absolute torture. Not only was Ethan an enigma, but he was attractive as hell. With that same sixth sense which made her a wizard at evaluating hockey talent, she sensed there was more to Ethan than he’d revealed. He was hiding something, and that unknown made her uncomfortable and intrigued at the same time, not to mention she was hot for him. She’d be a liar to deny it.
As she pondered this bewildering mess she’d found herself immersed in, Kaley, her friend and the coach’s administrative assistant, peeked around the door. “What did you say to him?”
“Probably too much. I don’t trust his motives.”
Kaley glanced over her shoulder and then back. “You don’t trust anyone’s motives.”
Lauren shrugged. Kaley spoke the truth.
“Did you see the hot guy with him?”
Lauren thought Ethan was pretty damn hot for a businessman, not her normal type. “Uh, I hadn’t noticed.”
Kaley narrowed her eyes and studied Lauren. “Don’t you dare go crushing on Ethan. He’s trouble; I have a sixth sense about guys like him.”
“Look at you. Warning me when you’re drooling over his partner in crime.”
“I am not, even if he is sexy as hell, and I get an orgasm looking at him. But orgasmically sexy doesn’t mean anything. It’s all look and no touch. I don’t date rich pricks with an ego bigger than Cedric’s.” Cedric was their charismatic forward, who played as hard off the ice as he did on it.
“So you just date poor pricks or what?”
“I do have soft spot for them.” Kaley shrugged one shoulder and studied her fingernails.
“You have a soft spot for good-looking men in general, forget about their personalities.” Kaley was a serial dater, and Lauren lived vicariously through her since dating didn’t seem to be her forte or even one of her sins. Her life revolved around hockey, and unless the man was on skates, had a wicked slapshot, or an even more wicked right hook, she wasn’t interested. Of course, she didn’t date hockey players, at least not anymore. She’d taken a few for a spin around the rink in her college days and decided they made better friends than lovers, except for the one she’d married. That biggest mistake of her life drove home the no dating of hockey players, which she’d amended to any man involved in hockey just to play it safe.
Kaley wagged a finger at her. “Just remember, play nice. The league has been trying to land a buyer forever that would keep the team in Florida. So let’s hope this guy gives a favorable report to his bosses, or we’ll be sold to that Seattle group who’s been circling like a shark. Next thing you know, we’ll be sipping lattes on the waterfront, watching ferry boats putter around.”
“In the pouring rain.”
“Well, there is that,” Kaley acknowledged with a toss of her black hair.
“How do we know this guy isn’t working for the Seattle group?” Lauren frowned as she put to words fears she’d been harboring since Sunday.
For a moment a cloud passed over Kaley’s face, then she smiled, slipping back into her create-my-own-reality mode. “Because Ike said he wasn’t.”
Just thinking of Seattle shot dread through Lauren. She didn’t have a thing against Seattle, but she was an East Coast girl through and through. Moss and mold made her sneeze. Huge trees and mountains gave her claustrophobia. And the geeks Seattle was famous for didn’t buy hockey tickets, did they?
A tall man with dark blond hair and dancing blue eyes poked his head in the doorway. “Hey, I’m looking for Ethan.” He turned his panty-dropping smile on Lauren but it lingered on Kaley. As usual, most men couldn’t get past her long black hair, curvy body, and dark, mysterious eyes. “Hey, hi, again.”
Kaley literally purred as she stopped next to the guy and wrapped her fingers around his arm. “Hi, yourself. Brad, you know Lauren Schneider, our assistant director of player personnel?”
Brad smiled at her, a player this one and obviously good natured and fun-loving. “So you’re the poor girl who gets to babysit the man. Good luck. He’s a handful.”
“I’m sure I can handle him just fine.”
Kaley, in full flirt mode, batted thick eyelashes at Brad. “Let’s see if we can find Ethan. Lauren has work to do.”
Brad laughed, a full-throated laugh. “As long as she’s the one doing the work, and it isn’t us.” He came across as the type of guy a girl couldn’t help but like—gregarious, fun, and not a mean bone in his body.
Together Brad and Kaley strolled down the hall in the opposite direction of where Ethan happened to be meeting with the coaches.
Lauren shook her head. Leave it to Kaley to hustle the hot guy. But anything that helped their cause was more than worth it, as long as it wasn’t Lauren doing the hustling.
With a sigh she went back to work on her statistics and spreadsheets, making notes here and there and jotting down items for Ethan’s attention, items which painted the current team and staff in a positive light.
Anything for the good of the team.


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Friday, September 26, 2014

Blog tour: Prima Donna by Laura Drewry

Prima Donna
By: Laura Drewry
Releasing September 23rd, 2014

In USA Today bestselling author Laura Drewry’s witty, sizzling, and tender romance for readers of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery, a woman who can’t slow down discovers that the perfect guy is in hot pursuit.

Even when her hair salon goes under and she’s on the brink of breaking, Regan Burke keeps her “I’m just fine” attitude. She’s had a tough life, coping with a difficult family and keeping her act together . . . barely. Right now, she just needs a job, any job, so she can pay her mother’s medical bills. It’s the exact wrong time for Carter Scott to come into her life—and to be so damn sexy, so distracting, and so determined to get close.

Carter isn’t looking for anything serious—his heart belongs to the kids who depend on his pediatric practice—but something about Regan makes him reconsider. Maybe it’s the scars she hides so well, the secrets she can’t share. Carter knows all about that kind of pain, and he wants to help. But offering Regan a job in his office only makes things worse, even if their chemistry is off the charts. Lucky for them both, Carter isn’t about to let go of love without a fight.

Laura Drewry had been scribbling things for years before she decided to seriously sit down and write. After spending eight years in the Canadian north, Laura now lives back home in southwestern British Columbia with her husband, three sons, a turtle named Sheldon, and an extremely energetic German shepherd. She loves old tattered books, good movies, country music, and the New York Yankees.

Hello Laura! Welcome to Roberta’s Dreamworld and thank you for your time. First of all, tell us something about yourself, both as a writer and as a person.

Thank you so much for inviting me!  I live in southwestern British Columbia with my husband and our three teenage boys, so life pretty much revolves around food, Marvel vs DC, XBox and Lord of the Rings.  Every once in a while, when they’re not paying attention, I manage to slip in a movie like “Love Actually” or “Crazy Stupid Love” but it doesn’t happen as often as I’d like.  :o)

I seem to have 2 separate personalities.  In my ‘normal’ life, I’m fairly well organized: labels on the soup cans face out, books are alphabetized, Tupperware lids stacked neatly in the drawer, and closets are colour-coded and sectioned.  But for some reason, in my writing life. . .well, that’s where my alternate personality comes out.  My desk is constantly buried under mounds of steno books, binders, coffee mugs, pens, pictures, various school notices and, of course, a layer or two of multi-coloured Post-It notes on which I scribble ideas, names, bits of dialogue and miscellaneous ideas that make absolutely no sense to anyone but me.  I have no idea why I’m not the same in all aspects of my life, but. . .it seems to work.  LOL

How/when did you realize you wanted to become a writer? 

I don’t remember an exact “aha” moment; it was just something that was always there.  I started off writing horrible sappy poetry in high school and tinkered for a lot of years afterward, but it wasn’t until my second child was born that I started to write with a purpose.

Let’s speak about “PRIMA DONNA”. We’ve read the synopsis but can you tell us a little more about what the book is about?

PRIMA DONNA is the second book in my new series which revolves around four women, each of whom has her own struggles she must learn to manage or overcome.   Regan’s been dealt a pretty tough hand, and a relationship with any guy is just not in the cards for her.  She doesn’t have the time, the interest, or the energy it takes to make someone else happy, but what she could really use is a quick distraction, and that’s what she thinks she’s getting with Carter.  Like her, he’s spent his life dodging any mention of commitment, minivans or picket fences, but it’s New Year’s Eve, they’re both consenting adults, so why shouldn’t they have this one night together?  
One night and they’ll both move on with their lives, or so they think, but life has other plans for them.
It’s a story of how two people, who’ve spent their lives keeping everyone at bay, learn that sometimes being strong means letting yourself be vulnerable.  

How did you come up with the idea and how did you create the characters?

Carter and Regan first appeared in PLAIN JAYNE (the first book in this series) and I knew as soon as they presented themselves to me that theirs would be the next story, but it took a lot of back-and-forth, a lot of rewriting and a LOT of deleted pages before it all came clear.  I don’t outline before I write, so it’s usually a surprise when I finally get the characters fleshed out completely.  I do tend to use photos of people when I’m creating a character, but not because I think my character looks like that person.  I base it more on the expression in the photo or the body language.  In Carter’s case, for example, I based him on a picture of a hot guy who, at first glance, looks like trouble, but there was something in the way his head’s tilted and the way he’s looking at the camera that makes you think maybe he’s not so sure of himself, maybe all these years of being the playboy have been a cover for something, and that maybe all he needs is one person – one woman – to demand more from him, to set the bar higher, and to make him want to be better.
As soon as I saw that picture, I knew I’d met Carter.

If you should describe your books in three words, what would you pick?

3 words.  Hmmm. I guess I would say they’re fun, tender and either sizzling or sweet depending on which book you’re reading.  LOL

Do you have any favorite authors and did they influence your choice of the genre?

Oooooh, I have a lot of favourite authors starting with Kristan Higgins, Stephen King, Julie Garwood, Debbie Macomber, Linwood Barclay. . . I could go on and on, but the list keeps growing with every new (or new-to-me) author I find.  I don’t think any one of them specifically influenced my choice of genre, but I do think their work influences me in that they all make me want to be better.   

What else do you enjoy doing, when you’re not writing? 

Reading, of course.  :o)  Romance novels are tops on my list, but as you can tell from the authors I listed above, I enjoy all sorts of different genres.  I love watching movies, I’m a huge fan of ‘Friends’ (yup, even all these years later) and my favourite sport is baseball (go Yankees!).  My husband keeps trying to get me interested in fishing, but I’m not much of a water person – despite being a Pisces – and if I’m going to be on the boat, I much prefer whale watching.  He’s also recently become a bee-keeper so I’m learning all about the little critters as well as teaching myself how to make candles.

As a writer do you get support from your family and friends?

Absolutely!  I’m incredibly blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people who are always encouraging and supportive.  My husband is the most patient man in the world and if I feed him Kraft Dinner (again) because I’m elbow deep in writing a new scene, he’s fine with it.

What are your dreams and plans for your future as a writer?

Easy – to just keep writing, to keep learning the craft, and to hopefully touch readers with my stories.  :o)  I have quite a few ideas bashing around in my head, some of which are stand-alone books and some are parts of new series, so it will be nice to get those written.  

Would you like to say something to the readers to encourage them to read your books?

I would love for all of you to read my books, and if you do, please let me know what you think.  It’s an amazing thing for an author to be able to share her stories with readers, and my wish is that you never reach the bottom of your To-Be-Read pile. :o)


I have a new book boyfriend. And his name is Carter Scott. In just a few pages he has reached the top spot of my "Book boyfriends I wish were real" chart. As I'm writing this, it's only been a few hours since I finished the book and I still haven't been able to get over him - so if my review doesn't make much sense, please know that it's because I'm suffering from a bad hangover (book hangover, that is).
This book made me laugh, swoon and even made my heart melt a few times. I was glued to my Kindle and reading it every free minute I had. The plot is very simple, with no particular angst or tension that will make you hold your breath, but I think this is what made me love the book so much: because the story feels real, and it's something anyone could relate to. There's no need for sharp plot twists, awful events or angsty moments to keep the reader reading on. You'll simply want to know what happens next and if the two characters will get their HEA.
Regan is a fantastic heroine. I loved her from the very first chapter. I loved her strength and the way she’s working hard to help her mother, leaving her own needs to the side. My heart broke for her, especially after she told the story of her life and why her mother was acting like that. I loved her interaction with Carter and all her witty remarks whenever he said one of his bad pick-up lines.
I so loved Carter’s lines! He was so funny. Even though I haven’t seen a single Star Wars movie, I enjoyed all the references (and I would be willing to sit through a Star Wars marathon if that meant I could have Carter on the couch next to me.) :) The one I loved best? This one: “Are you related to Yoda? 'Cause yodalicious.” It cracked me up!
Womanizers and players are not my favourite kind of heroes. But Carter… aww, Carter. He’s a player, yes, but the reasons why he’s doing it make up for his behaviour. After he falls for Regan, he’s willing to change and be the man she needs him to be – and this is absolutely the most romantic and selfless gesture a man could do. I want to find him and marry him! Ahem, I got a little sidetracked here, sorry. :)
I loved him when he with his patients, the way he managed to let them see him more like a friend than a doctor. I loved his interactions with little Hazel, and how he took every single patient’s case to heart. And let's talk about the scene where he’s holding baby Sophia in his arms... I totally melted right then and there. If I'd had any doubts about whether or not he’d make it into my book boyfriends chart, they faded away at that scene.
If by the time you’ve reached the last page you haven’t envied Regan and wished to be her at least once, then let me tell you there’s something seriously wrong with you. :) There were times I wanted to be able to jump into the book, move Regan aside and wrap my arms around Carter. He's that awesome!
Apart from falling for Carter, there are some great side characters too, that make the story so much more fun. Starting from Jayne and Nick (whose story is told in the first book in the series and that I definitely have to read asap), to Julia and Rossick (whose story I hope to read in a future book) as well as Maya and Ellie (please, can we have a book about them too? They would make great heroines! Especially if Ellie fell for Brett… Laura, it's time to get back to work and start writing! *winks*)

Anyway, I could go on and on telling you how much I loved this book, but it would become a veeeery long review and it wouldn't do it justice anyway. So I’ll simply say: don’t waste another minute and buy this book now! And maybe once you've read it, come back here and tell me what you thought of it (and of Carter - LOL).


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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Blog tour: When The Rancher Came To Town by Emma Cane

When the Rancher Came to Town
A Valentine Valley Novella
By: Emma Cane
Releasing September 23rd, 2014
Avon Impulse 

Emma Cane returns to the amazing and romantic town for the latest installment in her sparkling series. When and ex-Rodeo star falls in love with the agoraphobic B&B owner, he must pull out all the stops to get her out of her shell. 
Welcome to Valentine Valley!
The Silver Creek Rodeo is in full swing and everyone’s talking about the rancher who came to town…
Bed & Breakfast owner Amanda Cramer wants nothing more than a quiet, private life. Well, she wants guests too, but after her share of unwanted notoriety she’s gotten comfortable hiding out in her inn…perhaps a little too comfortable. When her newest guest arrives, tall, dark and breathtaking…Amanda begins to question her self-imposed exile.
Ex-rodeo star Mason Lopez knows all about the limelight. He’d avoid it if he could, but since one last ride could mean saving his family’s ranch, he’ll go all in. When he gets to Valentine Valley for the Silver Creek Rodeo, Mason checks into Connections B&B and finds himself immediately drawn to the beautiful, reserved woman who owns it.
Mason only has three days in town…can he convince Amanda to open her heart to him and welcome the world back in?

Emma Cane grew up reading and soon discovered that she liked to write passionate stories of teenagers in space. Her love of “passionate stories” has never gone away, although today she concentrates on the heartwarming characters of Valentine, her fictional small town in the Colorado Rockies. 
Now that her three children are grown, Emma loves spending time crocheting and singing (although not necessarily at the same time), and hiking and snowshoeing alongside her husband Jim and two rambunctious dogs Apollo and Uma.


(Set up: Mason Lopez has come to Valentine Valley to participate in the Silver Creek Rodeo. He stays at Connections B&B, owned by Amanda Cramer, who’s retreated to Valentine to put a Washington DC scandal behind her.)

When she returned to the dining room fifteen minutes later, Mason was still there, reading the Valentine Gazette, which she’d left out for guests.
“There’s a big article on the Wild West Weekend, along with the rodeo,” he said. “You still going to give it a try?”
“Yep, I’m calling the Widows’ Boardinghouse after breakfast.”
“Good for you. Does that include the rodeo, too?”
When unease stirred inside her like scurrying mice, she brushed it aside. “Yes, I’m coming. I won’t let last night affect my recovery. But I do have to work first.”
He gestured to the paper. “Take a look at the schedule. I ride late in the morning.”
She came to look over his shoulder and saw the bull-riding schedule, but soon the warmth of his broad back so close to her chest distracted her too much to read.
He glanced sideways at her, which brought his face inches from hers. She turned her head to face him, knowing she should straighten up, back away. But…she couldn’t. It was like she was frozen in place, desire overwhelming good sense. It had been years since a man had made her feel this way, daring and reckless, and she was caught off guard.
He leaned toward her, his movements slow and easy, giving her plenty of time to back away. But she didn’t, only waited in anticipation for the brush of his lips on hers. And it was a gentle brush, as if her lips had been the delicate petals of flowers that would bend in the slightest wind.
But she wasn’t delicate, she told herself, and leaned into the kiss, parting her lips to taste him, to explore the fullness of his lower lip.
With a groan, he turned, and before she knew it, she was lying across his lap and he was holding her tightly against him. His mouth slanted across hers, hot and inviting and arousing. When their tongues met, it was her turn to moan her welcome. She plunged her hand into his hair, feeling the silkiness of dark curls, while her other arm slid up his back. She could feel the tension in his muscles as he held her, while she felt positively urgent with passion and need, as if she couldn’t get close enough.
At last he lifted his head and looked down at her, breathing hard. Wide-eyed, she stared back at him, her wet lips parted.
“I hope you don’t need an apology for that,” he said huskily.
“You better not apologize” was her fierce response.

When The Rancher Came To Town is a very quick read which you can easily read in one day. It’s set in a small town and involves a cowboy, so it’s something totally up my alley, but maybe because of the length of the book, there wasn’t enough time for much character development, back story or much conflict.
It is a nice story that I enjoyed reading, but the reason for my rating is that I just didn’t have time to get hooked or sympathize with the characters, because by the time I thought I was starting to get into the story, I’d reached the last page. 
The heroine is a woman suffering from agoraphobia; after something happened to her while she was working in Washington, she’s had trouble being among people and she locks herself up in her B&B in Valentine Valley, never going anywhere else for fear of panic attacks. As a reader, I expected the hero to come in, sweep her off her feet and help her heal but when it happened, I felt it was just too easy. The rancher in question, Mason Lopez, is swoon material you can’t help falling for, so I don’t really blame Amanda for letting him sweep her off her feet so fast and ride into the sunset towards their HEA. I would’ve done the same, if I may say so myself. :)
I’m usually a fan of insta-love, and I liked that there was immediate attraction and chemistry between the two characters; however, the whole Happy Ever After closure was too much too soon. I wish the author had decided to have the characters fall in love and decide to try being together, in spite of their lives in different town, rather than make them promise eternal love to each other after two days from meeting. She could have left us with the idea of them starting to date and seeing how it goes, and maybe feature them in another book in the series, maybe as secondary characters. I was happy about the happy ending, but like I said, it happened too soon and I didn’t have the chance to really connect with the characters.
Anyway, in spite of my personal view, it is a nice romance and I think you should give it a chance. It’s the perfect weekend read when you want to chill out and read something light and without angst or suspense. I’m interested in reading more books in the series, because this Valentine Valley sounds like a nice place, and you know I’m a sucker for small town romance.


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Monday, September 22, 2014

Blog tour: Dangled Carat by Hilary Grossman

Dangled Carat 
By: Hilary Grossman
Releasing September 14th, 2014 

For every girl who wondered if she should love him or dump him.....

For every girl who listened to her heart instead of her friends advice....

For every girl who l wondered if she was wasting her time dating that guy....

Meet Hilary....

She had gotten used to dating the commitment-phobic Marc, thirteen years her senior. They had a great relationship--why rush into things? She saw no need to pressure him for marriage, believing that when the time was right, he would propose. But after they had been together for four years, their friends decided to take matters into their own hands, pushing Marc to propose and making Hilary realize how much she really did want to marry the man that she loved. Unfortunately, Marc still wasn't ready--and their friends' meddling in the form of a faux engagement party led to a disastrous New Year's Eve that brought their relationship to an inevitable turning point.

For anyone who has ever dated a commitment-phobe, who has found their patience wearing thin with the one they love, or who has sat around wondering if he is ever going to pop the question while trying to remain the very picture of patience and grace, Hilary's humorous and honest story will hit home.

Hilary Grossman dated a guy so commitment-phobic that she was able to write a book about their relationship.  She has an unhealthy addiction to denim and shoes.  She loves to find humor in everyday life.  And she likens life to a game of dodgeball - she tries to keep many balls in the air before they smack her in the face. When she isn't writing or blogging she is the CFO of a beverage alcohol importer.  She lives on Long Island.


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