Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Release Day Bliss: London's Best Kept Secret (Midnight Secrets #2) by Anabelle Bryant Guest Review by Joann


This is book two of the Midnight Secret Series although this book is a stand alone. 

Jeremy Lockhart, Viscount Dearing is commanding in his financial matters but lacks that same ability in matters of love. Dearing was mesmerized when he first saw Lady Charlotte and followed her to all the balls she attended never revealing himself.

When he observed her being pursued by other bachelors he knew his shyness would lose the love of his life. The same methods used by him in his financial decisions he applied To turn the tables in his favor. Although, somewhat unscrupulous it worked. This secret of his machinations ate at his inner conscience. 

Charlotte and Dearing’s marriage certainly did not get off to a great start. His conscience and shyness being the problem. 

Ms Bryant has a gifted way with her characters that warms you inside and out. One moment you urging him on to speak his thoughts and the next your terrified of how Charlotte will feel when she realizes all her own choices were taken from her.

While hoping for a HEA you don’t see how it is possible. Read this book and see.. 



~Joann Maggio~

Monday, March 25, 2019

Romancing the Gold Coast Featured Author : Tabetha Waite


Hello all!Welcome to ROMANCING THE GOLD COAST, the very first Historical Romance event to take place on Long Island. The four day event will take place at the historic, Mansion at Glen Cove and will include fun and games, as well as a High Tea and a Costume Ball. 
A few times a month, leading up to the event, am attending author will be featured on the blog and posted across social media. Please enjoy the author's responses and have a peek at their books! 

The lovely Tabetha Waite is one of the Featured Authors! Here is more about Tabetha!



     Please tell us a bit about yourself and what you write.
I am a small town Missouri girl that held on to a dream for 30 years! I am happily married to the love of my life and have two wonderful daughters. I was always an avid reader, but when my grandmother introduced me to the older Gothic novels that she used to read, I found an interest in romance. Moving to Harlequin, Zebra, Avon, I found that I was hooked on the HEA! This was also what spurred me to write my own romance. I chose historical because I love the balls, the gowns, and the polite society that goes with the territory of the era. However, I have also written an erotic contemporary short, as well as a fantasy short. I’m always ready to push the boundaries of my writing.

    How and why did you become a writer?
It all started at the age of nine. My fourth grade teacher would give us writing assignments. She always said she liked reading my stories, and for a shy, bullied girl, her encouragement started this long journey, one that gets more interesting every single day.

    Was it hard for you to get published?
You could say that! I was notified in February of 2016 that a small publishing company accepted my first novel. They liked the premise of “Why the Earl is After the Girl,” so I was offered a contract. I will always be grateful that they gave an unknown a chance. However, that was the third book I’d written and sent out to agents and publishers. The first two were promptly rejected. Of the three, I have all of my 63 rejections letters that I received before I got ‘the one.’

     Who are your favorite authors and what do you read in your spare time?
There are soooo many authors that it’s hard to narrow it down! But I will say that my bookshelf is full of Sabrina Jeffries, Victoria Alexander, Sophie Jordan, Andrea Kane, Lisa Kleypas – the list truly goes on! However, I also adore Sarah J. Maas and J. R. Ward. Reading their books has inspired me to possibly branch out into the paranormal and fantasy genres. Who knows what the future holds?

     What hobbies do you have?
While a lot of people consider collecting dolls creepy, I find that their smiling faces are a comfort to me. Several of my aunts also enjoy it, so it’s almost inherited! I also can’t seem to pass up the chance to browse a flea market or antique mall. I love hunting for a bargain, or something unique to history.

     What is the hardest thing about being a writer?
The market is terribly competitive, which is why it’s so hard to find someone to represent you and your work. It’s hard (and expensive), to sift through the promotion opportunities that work for you, but that’s why it’s good to have an author community. I’ve had some great advice! At the moment I also enjoy being an indie writer. I like that I can pick my own covers, ones that match the characters I’m bringing to life on my laptop. I just try to write what I’d want to read and hope that my readers will enjoy the adventure.

     If you weren’t an author, what would you do?
I’m not really sure. I always thought it would be fun to be a DJ. I love music and can’t read or write without it. More than likely I’d be sitting at a desk somewhere waiting for five o’clock. As it stands, I work as a part-time lunch lady at the local community college. It’s been great meeting all the new students each year. There are some amazing people out there.

     Favorite hero and heroine from your books? Why?
All of my characters have a special place in my heart. But then we are with them almost every day for hours upon end. But if I had to choose one, it would probably be Orion and Athena from my first book, “Why the Earl is After the Girl.” That couple helped to get me noticed and so they are special to me. And, of course, it was great how Athena constantly frustrated Rion to no end!

     Favorite hero and heroine from another author’s books?
For historical romance, that honor would have to go to Candace Camp and her matchmaker’s series. To this day it’s hard for me to forget Francesca and the Duke of Rochford. I remember them fondly to this day, as well as my all time favorites – “A Rose in Winter” by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and “Midnight Bride” by Kathleen Drymon.

  What’s your favorite food and drink?
That’s a tough one! Hmm. Food would have to be some type of sub sandwich. Even if I can’t figure out what I might be hungry for, that always sounds good! And, of course, ice cream! For drink - alas, I love Pepsi OR Coke, but I try to limit myself on how much I indulge.

  Why are you looking forward to Romancing the Gold Coast?
Location, location, location! I’ve always searched for an excuse to go to New York, but honestly, the prospect has always been daunting. When I learned of this event, I was ecstatic! Not only is it going to take place on impressive Long Island, but it’s also a chance to dress up and rub elbows with fellow authors and fantastic readers! It was perfect!

LINKS!










OCTOBER 1-4, 2020




Monday, January 7, 2019

The Magic of Kat Martin *THE CONSPIRACY*



Harper Winston’s brother has disappeared. Pursuing his dream of sailing the Caribbean, Michael hasn’t responded to texts or emails in days. When even the Coast Guard can’t find him, Harper is forced to take desperate measures. Which means going to Chase Garrett, once her brother’s best friend, now the only man she can trust…or so she hopes.

As the successful owner of Maximum Security, Chase has learned to trust his gut. He knows Harper’s father is mixed up in a deadly business, and suspects there’s more to Michael’s disappearance than meets the eye. Getting involved again with the Winstons goes against everything he stands for, yet old loyalties die hard. As the case draws him closer to Harper and deeper into the Winstons’ snarled crime family, he is forced to put everything on the line to keep Harper safe…and both of them alive.

Chapter One

Dallas, Texas
She knew who he was. The only man at the gala in a black tuxedo and shiny black alligator cowboy boots. Chase Garrett. The man she intended to hire to help her find her missing brother.
Harper Winston had known Chase since the day her father had thrown an obnoxiously extravagant party in honor of her sixteenth birthday.
Chase had attended with her older brother, Michael. She had spotted Chase in a swimsuit standing next to the pool, tall, with a lean, hard-muscled body, whiskey-brown eyes and thick, dark blond hair. In the sun it had gleamed like pirate’s gold.
Aside from the close-trimmed beard along a jaw that had hardened with maturity, Chase hadn’t changed. He still had the perfectly symmetrical features of a movie star combined with a toughness that appealed to a legion of women.
Now that she was thirty, Chase thirty-five, Harper still found him ridiculously attractive, though he’d never given her more than a passing glance.
He didn’t notice her tonight, though she wore an elegant strapless black gown that hugged her slender curves and set off the pale blond hair she wore long and slightly turned under. She glanced over to where he stood next to a stunning brunette, a successful lawyer in Dallas, the typical sort of woman Chase dated. Self-made career women, professors, bankers, stockbrokers. Not someone like her, the daughter of a wealthy Texas businessman, a woman who had attended Sarah Lawrence along with a bevy of other rich socialites from around the country.
It didn’t matter that she was nothing like they were. That she hadn’t the least interest in society. Her interests lay in the business world, in Elemental Chic, the company she had started, a line of affordable, stylish and well-made casual clothing and accessories.
She wasn’t cut out for teaching or social work, she had discovered during a year of volunteer work in South America, an adventure she had undertaken mostly because her father disapproved.
Harvard Business School was where she was meant to be, she had grudgingly conceded. As her father had insisted and was eager to pay for—business being one of the few interests she and Knox Winston, a self-made multimillionaire, had in common.
Unlike her father, Chase Garrett came from big money, which he disdained, though he and his two brothers had inherited a not-so-small fortune from Bass Garrett, Chase’s dad.
Harper lifted a champagne flute off a passing waiter’s tray and took a sip. Chase might not notice her tonight, but he was the reason she was there. She hadn’t seen him in years, but when she had read in the newspaper that he would be attending the gala, she’d seized the opportunity. She wanted to see the man he had become, the man she would be facing tomorrow morning.
It didn’t matter what he thought of her as a woman. She needed his professional assistance. Her brother was in trouble. She knew it deep in her soul. Mikey had disappeared, and Chase was among the few people she trusted to help her find him.
Chase owned Maximum Security, a firm that specialized in private investigation, bail enforcement, personal protection, business and residential security. She had done her homework, knew he had offices in Phoenix and San Diego as well as here in Dallas. Chase was wildly successful, his reputation impeccable.
No matter his opinion of her, he had once been a close friend of her brother’s, a man Michael trusted completely. She needed Chase’s help, and she was determined to convince him.
She wouldn’t give up until she did.
***
Standing next to Chase, Marla Chambers, his date for the evening, took a drink of her martini. “You don’t look like you’re having a very good time,” she said. “Should I be insulted?”
His mouth edged up. “Sorry. I was thinking about a case. I can’t seem to get it off my mind.”
“The missing teenage girl?”
He’d mentioned her earlier. He nodded. “Tammy Bennett. Her parents think she’s been kidnapped. They’ve managed to convince the police, who are in the middle of an all-out search. I think she’s a runaway.”
“Are you working for the parents?”
“No. I just happened to hear something on the street today. I’d like to check it out.”
She eyed him with speculation. “And you’re wishing you were doing that now instead of being here with me.”
He hated to admit she was right. His gaze ran over the attractive brunette he had been seeing for the past couple of weeks. He enjoyed Marla’s company. Enjoyed her in bed. But it wasn’t serious for either of them, and he kept thinking of the missing fourteen-year-old, a story that had been all over the news.
“She’s just a kid. If my source is right, she’s in very big trouble, and I might be able to find her.”
“I don’t suppose you could let the police handle it.”
“I could. I need to check it out first, make sure the tip is real.”
Marla shook her head, went up on her toes and kissed his cheek. “Then you’d better go.”
“What about you? You don’t look like you’re ready to leave.”
“I’m a big girl. I’ll stay awhile longer, catch a cab when it’s time to go home.”
Chase set his scotch down on one of the linen-draped tables. “Thanks, Marla. I appreciate this.”
“Call me tomorrow. Let me know what happens.”
“If I’m right, you’ll see it on the news.” Chase left Marla chatting with a friend and headed for the door. As he made his way through the throng of elegantly dressed men and women, an attractive blonde caught his eye.  Tall, with a slender figure, porcelain skin, and big blue eyes. She looked familiar.
As the puzzle pieces slid together, he recognized her, Harper Winston, the younger sister of his best friend in college. As a teenager, Harper had been pretty. Looking at her tonight, seeing her for the first time in years, he realized she had grown into a beautiful woman.
Unfortunately, she was a Winston. Her father, Knox Winston, was one of his least favorite people. Ruthless in business, his crooked dealings had made him a very wealthy man. But worse than his shady business enterprises was the mental abuse he’d heaped on his son that had put Michael on a downward spiral into drugs. And effectively destroyed his friendship with Chase.
Chase had steered clear of the Winstons ever since. He remembered hearing Harper had moved to Houston some years back. After that, he’d lost track of her and Michael, and he intended to keep it that way.
Though he had to admit as he took in Harper’s sleek curves and shiny silver-blond hair, he wouldn’t mind taking her to bed.
Even if the lady was of a similar mind, renewing his connection with the Winstons was the last thing he wanted. Besides, as he thought back on it, Harper had a reputation for being as cool and remote as she looked.
On his way out the door, he passed her. For an instant, her gorgeous blue eyes slid over him, and Chase felt a jolt of heat he hadn’t expected. He wouldn’t pursue it. Sleeping with Harper Winston, no matter how good it might be, just wasn’t worth it.
His thoughts returned to the task ahead, and Chase headed for the valet stand, a harsh October wind whipping against him on the way. He needed to get home and change. He couldn’t go to the Double Eagle dressed in a tuxedo—the bar was in Old East Dallas, one of the meanest sections of the city.
Earlier that day as a favor to Jason Maddox, a bail enforcement agent in his office who was looking for a skip, he had contacted one of his sources. During the conversation, his informant had mentioned the missing girl. Bennie had figured the tip was worth money, and if it turned into anything, Chase would gladly pay him.
It didn’t take long to reach the high-rise building on Pearl Street where he lived. He parked his silver Mercedes in the garage next to the brown Dodge Ram pickup he used for work.
Taking the elevator up to the seventeenth floor, he stepped into the entry and crossed the high-ceiling living room. An oversize sofa in a nubby cream fabric, dark brown throw pillows and lots of dark wood gave the condo a masculine tone that suited him. Stylized contemporary Western art hung on the walls.
With thirty-five hundred square feet of space, a spectacular view of the city, and a big terrace that opened off the living room and master bedroom, the condo was expensive and worth every dime.
Changing out of the tux, he pulled on a pair of worn jeans, a frayed blue denim shirt and a pair of scuffed cowboy boots. He retrieved the little .380 he carried when he wanted a weapon he could easily conceal, clipped the holster onto his belt behind his back and pulled his shirttail down over it.
It didn’t take long to reach the bar. The Dodge was ten years old, a few dents here and there, the paint a little faded, which helped it blend in. But the tires were new, and under the hood, the rebuilt engine ran like a scalded dog. He parked it on the street half a block from the bar and hoped the truck wouldn’t get jacked.
Looking at the trash on the sidewalk, broken beer bottles, used hypodermic needles, and drunks asleep in the gutter, part of him hoped his information was wrong and the girl wasn’t there.
The other half hoped like hell she was.
If he got lucky, maybe he could get her out of there.



Researching Columbia

Sometimes what you think is going to be a great idea for a novel turns out to be a whole lot of work!  That’s what happens when you realize the idea you are now in the middle of isn’t going to work the way you thought it would.
In THE CONSPIRACY, I got the idea for a book that started in Texas, moved to the Caribbean, and ended up in Venezuela.  With all the trouble country is having, I thought it would be a great setting for a Romantic Thriller. 
Unfortunately, after I was well into the book and started doing the necessary research for that segment of the story, I realized the geography I needed and the rural setting didn’t exist in Venezuela.  I
I spent days digging around in South America, looking for a rainforest that could be reasonably reached from the Caribbean island of Aruba.  Nothing worked. 
Finally, I realized there actually was spot that exactly fit the image in my head.  (This happens to writers all the time.  No one knows why.) The spot was in Colombia, a place I had no desire to write about, but fit the story exactly. 
So I went to work researching a remote area of Columbia accessible from Aruba. 
Chase Garrett, the hero of THE CONSPIRACY, with the help of Harper Winston, the woman who hires him to find her missing brother, wind up in extreme danger in the  Columbian tropical forest.  It’s a very unusual place that required hours of research, but in the end, it was worth it.
I had my work cut out for me, finding which animals, reptiles, and birds lived in the area.  Reading about the customs of the indigenous tribes, and the politic.  Rebel armies inhabit the forest and they don’t like intruders. 
The research made THE CONSPIRACY one of the most challenging books I’ve written, but hopefully its one of my most interesting.  I hope you’ll look for THE CONPIRACY, the first of my Maximum Security series, and that you enjoy.  Until next time, very best wishes and happy reading, Kat    


THE CONSPIRACY
PURCHASE LINKS
AMAZON
BN
KOBO
GOOGLE
ITUNES
INDIEBOUND

Publishers Weekly Review

KAT'S WEBSITE

CONTEST LINKS
To CELEBRATE the release of THE CONSPIRACY, enter my new contest for a chance to win a KINDLE FIRE 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB and a Kindle copy of INTO THE FURYINTO THE WHIRLWIND and INTO THE FIRESTORM. Contest runs from Jan 1, 2019 through Feb 28, 2019.  

For January, Kat Martin is giving away a signed hardcover edition of Book 3 in the AGAINST series, AGAINST THE SUN to celebrate the release of THE CONSPIRACY on Jan 22nd. NOTE: THE CONSPIRACY is not part of the prize.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39929060-the-conspiracy?

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Book Obsessed Chicks Release Day Bliss: The Vixen (Wicked Wallflowers #2) by Christi Caldwell

USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell pits a fiercely independent beauty against a devilish investigator.

Set apart by her ethereal beauty and fearless demeanor, Ophelia Killoran has always been a mystery to those around her—and a woman they underestimated. No one would guess that she spends her nights protecting the street urchins of St. Giles. Ophelia knows what horrors these children face. As a young girl, she faced those horrors herself, and she would have died…if not for the orphan boy who saved her life.

A notorious investigator, Connor Steele never expected to encounter Ophelia Killoran on his latest case. It has been years since he sacrificed himself for her. Now, she hires orphans from the street to work in her brother's gaming hell. But where does she find the children…and what are her intentions?

Ophelia and Connor are at odds. After all, Connor now serves the nobility, and that is a class of people Ophelia knows firsthand not to trust. But if they can set aside their misgivings and work together, they may discover that their purposes—and their hearts—are perfectly aligned.

Amy's Review:
Goodness! My facial muscles got a real workout with this book! I think I pulled a muscle in my jaw from gasping in surprise so many times. And the back and forth motion of smiling, sobbing, and clenching my teeth in anger surely tightened something up. The Vixen, #2 in Christi Caldwell’s Wicked Wallflowers series will definitely shake up your emotions. If you’ve read Ms. Caldwell before, you know she has the uncanny ability to make the reader feel everything the characters are feeling. And this one has all the feels. What a beautiful story of dark secrets, betrayal, pain, perseverance, survival, and the healing power of love. This story is absolutely bewitching!
Connor and Ophelia’s story shook me to my core. I think seeing them first as children and knowing what they’d experienced made me even more absorbed in their story. Connor hadn’t been born on the streets, but that’s where he’d ended up after the murder of his parents. He’d lived on his own, dodging Mac Diggory. Ophelia had saved him from Diggory on more than one occasion. In return, he’d risked his life for hers. Thanks to the Earl of Mar, he’d been saved himself that day and escaped a life of misery on the streets. But he’d never forgotten where he came from and was determined to make the streets safer. Ophelia had only known the streets of St. Giles. She knew the dangers that lurked there. That’s why she put herself at risk to save children there. She’d hated Connor for escaping and at the same time cheered for the freedom he’d found. Though they’d not been enemies, neither had they been friends. When they meet years later, that hadn’t changed. There was still distrust there. But their desire to aid the children of St. Giles was one thing they had in common. And that need to keep the children safe was how they came to learn so much about each other and themselves. They both learned that their own view of the world wasn’t an accurate view. Everything isn’t black and white. There are shades of gray. Regardless of your station in life, there are good and bad people. And even people who fall somewhere in between. That was an especially hard lesson for Ophelia. She’d only known darkness. She trusted no one, especially not the nobility and especially not men. She knew first- hand the treachery lords were capable of. 
Connor had lived in both worlds. As Ophelia made her much unwanted entrance into society, he knew what it was to be new, to have to ignore the looks and insults. They had a kindred connection there, both moving among society yet haunted by the past. I think I fell in love with them during their first waltz. The way they mouthed messages across the room charmed me. They both hated ton events but each other’s presence lessened the tension of enduring them. A friendship formed and it didn’t take long before that friendship became more. But there were so many obstacles between them. The closer they grew, the greater the distance between them and their families seemed to grow. And there were still secrets between them. I have to admit, I was so blown away by the twists, turns, and revelations toward the end that I truly didn’t think they’d make it. 
This story left me reeling. Like Connor and Ophelia, I misjudged a lot of characters. There were characters I admired at the beginning of the story and despised at the end. Likewise, characters I thought were not to be trusted at first, I respected by the end. And I wasn’t prepared at all for the depth of emotion in this story. Be prepared to cry. A lot. It may be a cry of joy, a cry of empathy, or a cry of terror at the impossible cruelty of people, but you will cry. 
One of my favorite things about this book, other than Ophelia and Connor’s love story, was the Killoran family. I learned so much more about them in this book. I can’t wait for Gertrude’s story. She’s made of sterner stuff than people give her credit for. I worry for Stephen. There’s so much distrust and anger in him. And Broderick. No matter how angry he made me, I guarantee you’ll forgive him for all at the end of this story. I am in awe of how much he cares for his “family” and, though they may not realize it, the choices he makes are to secure a better future for them all. I don’t care whose story is next, I just want it now. These characters have captivated me and I can’t get enough of this heartbreaking, emotional, inspiring series.
 A Book Obsessed Chicks Review Team Selection

Friday, August 3, 2018

#BOC Book Love: Cooper's Charm by Lori Foster


One summer, two sisters and a chance to start over…

Before the burglary that shattered her confidence, Phoenix Rose had a fiancĂ©, a successful store and a busy, happy existence. After months spent adrift, she takes a job at the lakeside resort of Cooper’s Charm. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, friendly colleagues and a charismatic, widowed boss, Phoenix is slowly inching her way back into the world.

Visiting Cooper’s Charm to check up on her little sister, Ridley Rose impulsively agrees to fill in as housekeeper. Still reeling from an ego-bruising divorce, she finds satisfaction in a job well done—and in the attention of the resort’s handsome scuba instructor.

For Phoenix and Ridley, Cooper’s Charm is supposed to be merely temporary. But this detour may lead to the place they most need to be, where the future is as satisfying as it is surprising…


Lori Foster is a New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than 100 titles. She’s known for her fun, very sexy contemporary romance novels revolving around alpha males and meet (and fall in love with) strong, independent women. Lori’s been a recipient of the prestigious RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy, and for Contemporary Romance. Even more fun, Lori’s been a clue in the New York Times crossword puzzle, a clue in the USA Today Quick-cross puzzle, and the sensual and sexy Too Much Temptation was Amazon’s 2002 top-selling title in Romance.
Lori has a super-active Facebook page where she regularly gives away reader goodies like books (of course), T-shirts, ARCs (advance reviewers’ copies), tote bags and lots of fun swag. LIKE her Facebook page so you never miss out!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

To Review or Not to Review?: The Book Obsessed Chicks Question



Years ago when review blogs started to appear, those bloggers worked very hard to make sure that they were doing reviews up to industry standards. Proper grammar, format and fair rating was a must for reviewers and publishers as well as authors took notice. Nowadays everyone thinks they can be a reviewer, but can they really?
As a reviewer since 2008, I try as hard as I can to not only write a fair review, but also rate that book according to what was written. Scrolling through reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, I find a stark difference in the written word of the review and the starring. Some reviewers do not understand that if they give a glowing review, they really need to star that review accordingly. If a book is praised highly but starred low, this not a good thing. Starring is what really counts when it comes to the charts, and some don’t realize that they can make or break an author’s release with their choices.
Now I am not saying that a reviewer has to review everything a five, but if you loved it, then do so. On the other end of the spectrum, say that you simply didn’t enjoy the story, or you had to DNF a book for personal reasons, starring that book a two or below is really doing a disservice to the author. I lead a review team and one of the rules I have is that if you really felt that the book was below a three star, you need to tell me why, but move on instead of reviewing that book, because honestly, reviews are relative and just because I loved or hated a particular book, doesn’t mean that everyone feels the same way.
Reviews don’t have to be miles long, they can be just a few meaningful sentences is all that is needed. Now this is my personal view, but I really dislike reviews with gifs. Come on, write a good review, leave the gifs to the kids. If you want to become a respected reviewer, write a good review that comes from the heart. I especially turn my nose up at these reviews with gifs and snarky remarks that are meant to cause a stir for all the wrong reasons. These reviewers are, in my opinion, are trolls and shouldn’t even be called reviewers. Most of these trolls don’t use real names or a real photo on their accounts and I do believe that if you are going to troll an author about a book or on the other end, praise a book, you need to put YOUR name and face to that review. Being honest goes much farther and it gets you respected by all in the industry.

~KIMBERLY~