Spotlight on The Viscount’s Prize by Patricia Bates

SOR The Viscount's Prize VBT BannerThe rogue spy and his sheltered courtesan must fight to find a far more ephemeral reward than mere passion – they must try to survive falling in love in a time when love isn’t fashionable.

Viscounts_Prize_thumbnailExcerpt:

Frederique’s gaze slid past the queen as he knelt. His heart lightened when he recognized one of the queen’s maidens. “Elisabeth.” The name slipped past his lips in a soundless whisper. Shock reverberated through his body as she drifted into court a few steps behind her majesty.

His attention wandered to the other women in the royal procession and his heart nearly stopped when he saw the last woman in line. Dressed in silver, her hair was swept up into a loose pile of curls atop her head. Powdered to perfection, it had a pale glow to it. Her clear, stunning blue eyes swept the room with curiosity and a touch of anger. Artfully applied cosmetics highlighted her high cheekbones and small nose. Her red lips were tilted in a smile that did not reach her eyes. A small black mole decorated her upper lip in the fashion of the times. A fan hung from her hand, and the ruffles along the edges of her skirts fluttered like butterfly wings with each step. Her breasts seemed near to bursting out of the lace of her bodice. Ribbons and bows cascaded over the gown in simple splendor compared to the queen’s lavish bejeweled gown.

His body tightened as she bowed before the king and her full breasts pushed against the confines of her bodice. The king’s expression bore no hint of lust. Indeed, the king barely acknowledged her before turning to assist his wife into her seat. With the queen settled next to him, he motioned to the fair haired beauty standing a few steps beyond the dais.

Buy Links:  Carnal Passions  

About the Author:

Currently I have over 20 books under contract under my own name and under my pen name Elise Whyles in multiple genres. My goals this year are simple to continue putting out stories my readers love, books they can relate to and characters they can identify with. For the full list of my books please check out my books page.

Author Links:  Site     Twitter    Facebook

 

 

Spotlight on Sex Boot Camp by Paisley Brown

Sex Boot Camp VBT BannerA week away…

After a hectic month at work, Cara expects to spend the next few days relaxing in her pajamas. Until her boyfriend surprises her with a getaway to a remote location.

To open her mind…

When she arrives at Sex Boot Camp, she anticipates her boyfriend will be by her side. Instead, she is left with a houseful of curious young women and a sexy instructor.

And fulfill desires she never dreamed of…

Although reluctant at first, Cara becomes entangled in a world of seduction and wicked fantasies.

Caution: This story contains an Alpha leader who ensures his guests leave satisfied, hot woman-on-woman action, and an MFM ménage that will leave you breathless.

Sex Boot Camp Cover“I’m sorry, Cara. I should have told you about this. It’s just that I really want things to get better between us. I’m trying, okay?”
The hint of vulnerability surprised me. I’d never seen this side of him before. As much as the place filled me with the urge to run far away, I also wanted things to improve between me and Braeden. Ending the relationship took just as much work as trying to fix it. We were here already. And if boot camp worked, why not? Maybe he could learn some new moves, too.
“Okay, I’ll give this a go, but there are some things I just won’t do.”
He stroked my cheek with his thumb, the gentlest touch since…forever. Could he really become the lover I desired? If so, I would have come here long ago.
“I know.” He helped me out of the car, lacing his fingers with mine as we walked to the porch of the chalet. A definite improvement, and hopefully a sign of things to come.
A man and woman came out the front door of the chalet when we reached the porch. They didn’t wear military fatigues like I’d expected. The man’s faded T-shirt hugged his wide, muscular frame. His khaki shorts and the stubble across his jaw only added to his casual appearance, taking away some of my tension. If he looked relaxed, I could be, too. He stared at me, his eyes a cerulean blue that left me mesmerized. I glanced away before I started drooling.
He seemed the total opposite of the woman beside him wearing a finely tailored black suit. Her blonde hair up in a bun and black-rimmed glasses completed the businesswoman look I was all too familiar with. But my heart pounded with one glance at the clipboard she held. What did she want to know? What did she already know?
“You’re Braeden Jones and Cara Taylor?” She lifted her glasses, glancing back and forth between us.
I froze. What if we pretended we were lost? We could get back in the car and pretend we’d never seen the place. I could spend my time off doing what I wanted all along. But Braeden would never go along with the story. He’d driven us there. Since I didn’t have an escape, I kept quiet.
“Yes, we are.” He squeezed my hand, another unexpected move. A spark of hope flickered in my chest. This really was where we needed to be.
“Great, let’s get started then.” She lowered her clipboard. “I’m Denise. Cara, you’re with me. Braeden, you’ll be escorted to your quarters by Daemon.”
A sexy name for a sexy man. I hoped to see him around during my stay. A little eye candy never hurt.
“But I thought….” Braeden gripped my fingers, almost cutting off the circulation. “I thought we’d be staying together, at least. I don’t remember this detail on the website.”
“Great! You signed us up for something you read about online?” So much for fixing anything. Of all the lame-brained things for him to do. I stepped back, out of his reach. I never should have gotten in the vehicle to begin with. One sexy man taking my jerk of a boyfriend away was not going to convince me to stay all week.
“Hold on.” I help up my hands. “I didn’t agree to any of this, only found out where we were going when we pulled up. So, if you would call me a cab, I’ll be going home to pretend this was all a horrible dream.”
“Unfortunately, taxis don’t travel all the way out here,” Denise said.


Buy Links:   Amazon      Amazon UK     All Romance eBooks     Smashwords

About the Author:

I’m happily married with a naughty imagination. Sometimes all it takes is a whispered word or a sexy picture to inspire my next tale. My erotica stories may be contemporary, sci-fi, or paranormal, but all of them will leave you wet and panting for more.

Author Links : Blog    Facebook     Twitter    Goodreads   
Follow her tour with Shades of Rose by clicking here.

Writers Reviewing Writers with Julie Hutchings

JHutchingsIf one author writing within a genre thinks another in the same genre is absolutely horrid, should a public review be left and why?

My debut novel is of the vampire variety. Needless to say, there are plenty of vampire novels out there to read, some may say too many. And of course, when you have a plethora of work to look at, some stand out as particularly terrible, just as some stand out as benchmarks.

I’m a big fan of speaking your mind, but not of running your mouth. Say something if there’s a point. And I don’t think there is any point to putting up a derogatory review for the sake of yapping your flapper and making yourself feel superior.

I’ll still leave a review, an honest one, but if it’s just a plain awful book, it will be short, pointing out the one or two things I did find merit in, and I’ll plainly state what I did not find to my liking. Because that’s all it really is; not to my liking. Someone  else may find it to be amazing. Literature speaks to different people for different reasons. Reading in your genre can be difficult for the fact that you tend to find what you would do differently, i.e, better. But I read with an open mind, and try to think of what I would write to portray the same thing that author was trying to. Why wasn’t it successful for me? What is the difference between that author’s voice and my own?

Again, when you talk about vampire novels, the scathing comments one constantly hears about Twilight spring to mind. After reading the series, I was entranced by it, and could not quite put my finger on why I was. I grew tired really quickly of people saying how badly it was written. The fact remains that the series is the most popular vampire series since Interview WithThe Vampire for a reason. It appeals to every age, and is something we can all relate to—finding something and someone absolutely extraordinary in your ordinary world. The writing style may not be what many authors find to be developed enough, but for me, the story took precedence over what didn’t work.

I find authors that write negative reviews without looking back generally do so because they don’t find anything to learn from what they’re reading. Every book has something for you to learn from it in one way or another, and the ones in your genre are the most important of all. To post a bad review is self-serving in the worst way in my eyes.

Before writing a negative review, ask yourself if it has any value aside from deterring people from reading and forming their own opinions, and burning a bridge in the meantime. Authors should support one another and offer their criticisms privately in a professional manner, or risk being seen as a hack themselves. 

To read more of Julie’s work, check out Running Home

Running Home - CoverDeath hovers around Ellie Morgan like the friend nobody wants. She doesn’t belong in snowswept Ossipee, New Hampshire; she doesn’t belong in the frigging gift shop she works at, she doesn’t belong with people that death will always take from her, and she definitely does not belong at this black tie party with Kat. But that is where she is, and where he is. Nicholas French, the man who mystifies her with a feeling of home she’s been missing, and impossible knowledge of her troubled soul.

Nicholas followed an abomination that is one of his own, but soon finds fate has driven him to New Hampshire as more than a bystander. He reveals himself to Ellie as being of the Shinigami, a heroic vampire order that “save” their victims from more tragic ends. He knows why Ellie is human repellent, and why physical agony grips them when apart. The Shinigami are cornered into isolated human lives, plucked out when they have no one left to be created for their higher purpose. Ellie is destined to be a legendary Shinigami, and Nicholas her creator.

Nicholas and Ellie’s fates intertwine closer when his latest victim in waiting turns out to be the only person who tethers her to this world, Kat. Fate will not be ignored, and in the only real choice Ellie has made in her life, she must determine a horrifying path; let the vampire who would make her a hero wither to shreds or sacrifice the life of her closest companion.

About the Author

Julie’s debut novel, Running Home, an Urban Fantasy  giving you vampires with a Japanese mythology twist will be published by Books of the Dead Press July 22nd, 2013. In the meantime, the Muscle and Wildcard of the Undead Duo is working on the sequel, Running Away, and a new and fun freakshow called The Harpy. Julie revels in all things Buffy, has a sick need for exotic reptiles, and drinks more coffee than Juan Valdez and his donkey combined, if that donkey is allowed to drink coffee.  Julie’s a black belt with an almost inappropriate love for martial arts. And pizza. And Rob Zombie. Julie lives in Plymouth, MA, constantly awaiting thunderstorms with her wildly supportive husband and two magnificent boys.

In addition to Running Home, you can also read her stories at Elephant Press and Opening Line Magazine.

How to connect with Julie:

Writers Reviewing Writers with Kristen Strassel

kristenpic 3Once I started working with editors, I noticed that I read more critically. This isn’t a big surprise, I’ve been trained to notice details in every line I’ve work I’ve ever done. This means I’m particular about makeup, clothing, ear piercings, even underwear. Watching TV with me can be a trying experience, and I’ve had to learn to keep my critiques to myself.

Now when I read for pleasure, I have remind myself to shut that internal editor off. The book has been completed and published, and no one is looking for my opinion on sentence structure or tense or any of that sort of stuff. It is meant for me to enjoy just how it is.

Have you ever had a bad review? If not, brace yourself, because it’s coming. It’s impossible to please everyone. Think of all the bands that are popular right now, how many of them do you really enjoy? Or look at reviews for some recent best sellers. Not everyone liked them. In fact, it almost becomes a sport to not like what’s popular.

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” –Dita von Teese

There’s no way around it. Bad reviews crush the soul. It’s having people laugh while your imagination gets trampled. Some negative reviews contain important advice, but when people hide behind their computer, some of them can’t resist the urge to just be plain mean.

Bad reviews do have their place. If I’m booking a hotel or looking for a restaurant, I seek out the bad reviews. I find that they are honest, but they’re only capturing a moment in time. An opinion. That could have been the only time that establishment was off point. It needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Book reviews should be done by readers, not writers. It’s their experience that we are most interested in.

I’ve decided not to review books at all anymore unless a friend asks me to review their work. Why? I’m too close to writing to give a completely objective review. I feel like it’s a conflict of interest. This means good reviews and bad reviews. Now, as an author, I never know when I will cross paths with a fellow author. I don’t want to create bad blood.

The last time I ever gave a negative review, someone asked me to do an interview, along with the author of the book I didn’t enjoy. There are the time of things that happen to me. How could anyone come out of that looking good? That solidified my decision to never post another negative review.

If a book particularly moves me, I may break this policy. But you’ll never see another negative review from me. I feel as if it would instantly look like mean spirited nit picking. I would never intentionally write a mean review, but I know I’m a tough critic, and my words might be taken in a way I didn’t intend them to be interpreted. There’s enough of that in the world. If enough people felt like that book was good enough to be published, my opinion is nothing more than that, an opinion. The next person who picks that same book may love it.

I would never want to stop someone from finding something they love.

btnfinalfinalTo read more from Kristen Strassel –

Because the Night: Sex, Blood, and Rock n’ Roll.
Immortal Dilemma is the hottest band in the Las Vegas vampire rock scene. They draw insatiable fans from around the globe, thanks to a supernatural attraction called Bloodlust. Tristan craved such an opportunity to fill his empty mortal life, and now he has eternity to earn his place along the legends of rock n roll debauchery.Callie always feared that Tristan’s excesses would get him into trouble, but she never thought they’d lead him to immortality. To reconnect with him, she must weave her way through a world not only she had no idea existed, but does not welcome her.

Blade turned down a spot in Immortal Dilemma after learning what he must sacrifice for that lifestyle. He finds Callie a refreshing change from the girls in the vampire rock scene. When Callie drags Blade back into the world of Immortal Dilemma, his resistance drives her into the waiting arms of Tristan, who shows her the true meaning of Bloodlust.

But the very things that Callie fights so hard to save are the very things that fight to destroy her.

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble 
About the author:

Kristen shares a birthday with Steven Tyler and Diana Ross.  She spends each day striving to be half as fabulous as they are.  She’s worn many hats, none as flattering as her cowboy hat: banker, retail manager, fledgling web designer, world’s worst cocktail waitress, panty slinger, now makeup artist and aspiring author.  She loves sunshine, live music, the middle of nowhere, and finding new things to put in her house. Kristen is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Foreword Literary.

Spotlight on A Love Unfinished

A Love Unfinished by Bethany-Kris

aloveunfinishedGenre: Paranormal Erotic Romance

Length: 95k—Full length novel.

Release Date: January 10th, 2014

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Blurb:

Over two decades ago, an attack on The Clan of Cobalt left families of dragons in ruins; now, with the clans able to start rebuilding their lives, history is beginning to rewrite, one dragon and one mate at a time…

Dani Heartview spent a year running from the past she can’t forget and it’s about to catch up in the form of Holden Levy. When he suddenly disappeared, she was devastated, but now he’s back. Even if she can’t deny their connection, the man who returned is vastly different from the one who left.

With Holden’s secrets uncovered, the Alpha dragon inside the man is demanding for its mate to be claimed, but there’s danger lurking close by. Still, his abandonment is a monster she can’t shake. Can she forgive to restart their life, and if she does, can Dani handle exactly what it means to be a dragon’s mate?

~~~~

Clans of Fire, Book One

Excerpt:

“Get away from me,” I hissed. “You have no right to be here.”

Emotion broke through on his handsome features, marring it with sadness as my eyes blurred with unshed tears. “Please, Dani…”

“Stop saying my name.” My voice was rising to an unhealthy octave. My heart was pounding at a too fast pace. Why would he be here? He had to have known I wouldn’t want him here. “Stop sharing my fucking air. For God sakes, get out of my space, Holden.”

“Ouch, man.”

Holden didn’t even glance back at his friend. “Shut up, Duran.” There was a timber in his tone, something else I didn’t recognize from the man standing before me. I felt wetness drip down my cheeks. “Oh, Dani, please don’t cry…I didn’t come here to make you cry, baby.”

 Baby? “Who in the hel—”

“Dani!” Jade was out of the kitchen and rushing over to my side. She barely noted the men or my heartbroken expression. That, or she mistook it for the pain of the coffee spill. “Did you get burned?”

“I’m fine.” Those words were the biggest lie I’d ever spoken.

“She’s not,” Holden replied quietly. “Could you get a cool cloth and the first aid kit, if you have one?”

“I’m fine,” I repeated. “Jade, could you handle these guys, please?”

“Dani, wait.”

“Holden, I swear to God if you don’t walk out of this place right now and never look back, I will…” I couldn’t finish my sentence because there wasn’t anything I didn’t already feel for him. Hate. Love. Desire. Disgust. I felt all of that. With him being so close, it only served to make me more confused. Defeated, air rushed from my lungs, in a harsh exhale. “Leave, right now.”

Jade appeared lost. “Um…okay, I’m going to grab the first aid. You’re going to stay here and sit down.”

Duran smiled at Jade when no one responded. “Thanks, sweetheart.”  

Holden hadn’t taken his eyes off me. When he moved forward, I backed up. “Don’t come any closer. I don’t want you near me.”

Agony pulled Holden’s full lips into a frown. “Let me explain.”

“I told you this wouldn’t be the best place to approach her,” Duran said. “We should have waited.”

“We don’t have that kind of time.”

“Why haven’t you left?” I asked, feeling a seething rage beginning to take over my initial shock and pain. “Have I not made it clear enough yet that you’re not welcomed?”

“You made it clear.” Holden’s gaze flickered up to the ceiling, a tick showing in his strong jaw. “But it’s not that simple. One minute, Dani. That’s all I’m asking for. After all we were, don’t you owe me that?”

“Owe you?” My hands trembled. The sudden burst of fury and courage that swept over me was all consuming. I stepped up to him and slammed my fist into his chest. Holden barely flinched and the action hurt me a great deal more than it must have him, but emotional pain registered in his eyes. “I owe you. Are you fucking insane? You left me, Holden. Left me in Tennessee with nothing. Not a goddamned explanation, not a goodbye…nothing!”

I hit him in the chest again, disbelief coursing through me. “How could you ever say that I owe you after everything you did to me? I waited for months. I called your phone every day. I texted, emailed, and left messages until your inbox was full. You could have been dead if not for that stupid note. I defended you when it was clear you didn’t want me anymore … Once, Holden. All you had to do was answer me back just once! You up and walked away from me, from our home, and our life without a single care in the world. And you have the audacity to say that I owe you anything?”

“Do not…” he growled, face suddenly mere inches from mine, “…say that I just walked away from you, Dani. I never would have walked away from you like that had I been given the choice. Ever.”

His response only served to fuel my rage. “Well, excuse me for living. What would you call me waking up to an empty house, with a note on the counter, and no you to be seen again, exactly?”

Anger clouded his face. “What did that note say, Dani?”

“Holden, calm down.” Duran was up off the bench, a hand on his friend’s shuddering arm. Rippling tension flowed between the men, but my former lover and fiancé didn’t register the one person attempting to help the situation. No, his focus was solely on me. “Come on, we’ll do this another time.”

“You won’t do it ever again,” I spat hatefully.

“Yes, I will. I have to. I can’t be me without you.” That confession struck me like a knife in the chest, the blade twisting painfully. Holden breathed deeply, the fight suddenly gone from his body as quickly as it came. “I will always come back for you. I lo—”

“No, you don’t. You never did. If you had, this…” I said with a wave at us, “…wouldn’t have happened.”

Buy Links:

Amazon | Evernight | Bookstrand | ARe

~~~~

Author Bio:

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to two young sons, two cats, and two dogs. With her children under her feet, animals at her side, and spouse calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something…when she can find the time.

Author Links:

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads

Writers Reviewing Writers with Vallory Vance

photo (2)Here’s the question, I asked last month – Should writers in the same genre review each other? I got some responses so check back to get other writer’s opinions. Here’s mine:

I read quite a bit. Not as much as I did before I started writing, but still a lot. There are books I don’t like. There are some I love. There are some I think are okay.

Will I post these up on Amazon or Goodreads or this blog? If I’m asked to I will. Or if I just love them and have to tell somebody, then sure. What if I hated it? Nope. I’ll keep that to myself.

Why? Because I know how difficult the work was to create in the first place. I know there was time away from families and sleepless nights involved in putting that story out there and I know how negative reviews sting.

It’s also self-preservation for my writing dreams. I want to be a part of the small community of interracial romance writers and a supporter of the genre. I don’t want to be one of it’s detractors. There are enough of those without me.

My two cents – Kristen Strassel will give hers this weekend.

Happy Reading!