Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Healing Notes by Maggie Jaimeson: Book Blast

Forgiving yourself is the first step, but helping others forgive may be just too hard.

Rachel Cullen grew up in Scotland with a fiddle in her hand from the age of four. She couldn't imagine life as anything but a musician. When her husband brought her to America she was immediately embraced by the Celtic and Bluegrass communities. But after her divorce, Rachel's life is a mess.

A year of trying to prove to herself that she's woman enough for any man, and then a vicious rape while on tour with the band, leaves Rachel reeling. When she meets Noel Kershaw, an English teacher who is poetry in motion, she is definitely attracted. But he has a young child and he's suffering from his own divorce. The last thing Rachel needs in life is more baggage.

First, Rachel must reconcile who she is, what she wants, and how to get there. Maybe then she'll know how to be a part of the family she's always wanted.

Maggie will award one autographed cover flat to a randomly drawn commenter at each blog stop.  In addition, she will award  a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) as a grand prize to one randomly selected commenter on this tour, and a $25 gift certificate to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn host.  You must leave an email address to be entered into any of the drawings.


As she reached for the handle, the door opened and a little girl rushed out, maybe six or seven years old, with beautiful long blond hair caught up in a blue denim bow.  She ran to a light blue sedan next to Rachel’s and giggled as she skipped through puddles circling the car. Rachel couldn’t help but smile at the child’s carefree innocence.

After three circles, the girl stopped at the back end of the car, cocked her head and waved two fingers at her. “Hi.”

“Um, hi.” Rachel raised her hand and waved back. “Did you forget somebody? Your mommy maybe?”

“Claire, I told you to stay close.”

At the sound of the tenor voice beside her, Rachel started.  A man three to four inches taller than her had stepped out. In one hand he held several colorful ribbons attached to a bright pink, heart-shaped helium balloon that read Happy Birthday. He looked toward the car where the child was still giggling.

The little girl raced back. Skidding to a stop in front of Rachel, they bumped and Rachel teetered slightly toward the wall.

“Careful there.” A weathered hand reached toward her and wrapped around her elbow. His touch was softer than she expected, but her knees still locked, ready to spring if she needed to move fast. He held her up with one hand. Deep brown eyes, emphasized by his full head of short, wavy blonde hair, looked at her then turned toward the girl.”

“Apologize, Claire. You almost knocked her over.”

“I’m sorry.” A small hand lifted to touch her other arm.

“That’s okay. Really.  I should have been paying more attention.” Rachel smiled and pointed to the balloon. “Latha breith.”

“Excuse me?”

“Oh, I…” She had lapsed into Gaelic.  Something she hadn’t done in public since Kavan left her almost three years ago. “I said ‘Happy Birthday.’”  

About the Author:

Maggie Jaimeson writes romantic women’s fiction and romantic suspense with a near future twist. She describes herself as a wife, a step-mother, a sister, a daughter, a teacher and an IT administrator. By day she is “geek girl” – helping colleges to keep up with 21st century technology and provide distance learning options for students in rural areas. By night Maggie turns her thoughts to worlds she can control – worlds where bad guys get their comeuppance, women triumph over tragedy, and love can conquer all.

HEALING NOTES is the second book in the Sweetwater Canyon Series of four books.  The final two books will be available in 2013.

Website: http://maggiejaimeson.com
Blog: http://maggiemeandering.blogspot.com
Twitter: @maggiejaimeson

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey: Review

Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.

Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?

About the Author:

Alyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women’s rights, and ice cream.

Among her favourite books are 'The Wood Wife' by terri Windling, 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Bronte, and of course, 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen. Elizabeth Bennet is her hero because she’s smart and sassy, and Mr. Darcy is, well, yum.

Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with three dogs and her husband.

My Thoughts:

My teacher book club read this book this month and it is quite a genre change for me, but a good one!  I loved the novel, was hooked and following every word! 

I have never read anything by this author before but she definitely proved to be a great writer, one that can write a good mystery/ghost story!

I loved the tangle between Violet and Colin, and how they are so much in love but unable to act on it because of the class issue - she writes poignantly about their hidden love and it parallels nicely with the love affair of the other main character, Rowena and her hidden love, Reese.

The ghostly encounters are amazingly written, I was very intrigued by who the next appearance would be and she writes these characters in beautifully!  Mr. Rochester was one of my favorites :)

I loved the book, loved the plot, the characters and everything this ghost story has to offer - following this author is the only option!


There's a Hurricane a'Comin'...

Chances are, I may lose power soon as we tend to each time there is any major winds - it appears 75 mph winds are headed our way as I am in Eastern Virginia.  Please pray for everyone in and behind the path of Hurricane Sandy. 

As for me, I have stocked up on plenty of books and batteries for my book light, now as long as a tree doesn't come crashing down on or around my house I should manage just fine.  Posting may not happen for a bit, but know I will be reading away - and posting as soon as we are back up and running!  God bless...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Zurian Child by Jessica E. Subject: TOUR

Lindsay Beckett longed to be reunited with her first love, Quinn Montgomery, until she learns the secret that sent him fleeing from her in the first place. He's an alien, a Hemera, and she's half-Hemera herself. As if that wasn't enough to ruin her dreams of a perfect life, when their child is born, they discover she fulfills a prophesy told twenty light years away and many years ago. Lindsay wants to ignore it, until her husband is murdered and suddenly believing becomes a matter of survival.

Lindsay and her young daughter are forced to rely on another Hemera, her husband's partner and best friend, Bryce Beuermann as more and more of the Hemera are slaughtered. Bryce will do anything to help his best friend's widow—including suppressing his own deep feelings for her. But he must prove they can trust him, even pretending he doesn't want her with all his heart.

Buy Links: Silver Publishing (ebook/print) / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / All Romance
About the Author:

Jessica Subject started writing to encourage her daughter to read. Now she writes to keep herself grounded. Although she reads many genres, she enjoys writing Science Fiction Romance the most and believes everyone in the universe deserves a happily ever after. She lives Southwestern Ontario, Canada with her husband and two kids and loves to hear from anyone who has enjoyed her stories.

Excerpt from The Zurian Child:

A block stood between him and the bottom of the mountain, where the Law Enforcement Office greeted Hemera friend and foe. The office signified the beginning of the main city within the mountain, where the quartz miners lived and worked. In the centre of the mountain, an open cavern held seven quartz-powered ships, enough to save the entire Hemera population.

"We are almost there," he said to himself and the baby in his arms.

Lorne gagged. Erebus. The stink hit his senses before he heard the creature's call. The monstrous beast lumbered toward his direct path to the mountain, having a central core and tentacles larger than any other he had laid eyes on. This one moved faster, too. The creature could take him out before he reached the mountain. I have to get there first.

Only one chance existed to get off the planet. He filled his lungs with air then pumped his legs as he raced past the Erebus toward the office.

Five meters from the facility, a tentacle whipped out, wrapping around Lorne's ankle. He crashed to the ground. Twisting over to one side, he landed on his shoulder, in an attempt to keep Bryce unharmed. His maneuver failed and the baby wailed in pain. The Erebus yanked the screaming boy from his arms.

"Be ready!" A man stood in front of the LE Office, weapon aimed at the large creature. "You had better catch that baby!"

Bryce squirmed high in the air as the Erebus taunted Lorne, swinging his tentacle around, ready to send the boy crashing to the ground. Lorne had witnessed the murder of a good friend by the same method. He would not let the same thing happen to Bryce. Bracing himself for the weight of the baby, he bent his knees while standing to the side of the Erebus. He had to catch the boy in time.
A blast sizzled through the air. The Erebus howled. Bryce rose higher.


"Again!" Lorne couldn't lose him.

The Erebus received another jolt, jerking in response. The baby, screaming, remained out of Lorne's reach.

With no time to waist, he removed his own weapon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fearless Love by Meg Benjamin - GUEST POST & TOUR

I am very excited to be participating in this tour from Goddess Fish Promotions today - I was interested in this novel from the moment I saw it!  Enjoy!

Meg will be awarding a $10.00 Gift Card, winner's choice, for Amazon, Sur la Table, iTunes, or Lush to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Definitely make time to follow the tour and comment for more chances to win!  The tour dates can be found here:


About the Novel:

Konigsberg, Texas, Book 7.

MG Carmody never figured her musical dreams would crash against the reality of Nashville. Now the only thing she has going for her is her late grandfather’s chicken farm, which comes with molting hens that won’t lay, one irascible rooster, and a huge mortgage held by a ruthless opponent—her
Great Aunt Nedda.

With fewer eggs to sell, MG needs extra money, fast. Even if it means carving out time for a job as a prep cook at The Rose—and resisting her attraction to its sexy head chef.

Joe LeBlanc has problems of his own. He’s got a kitchen full of temperamental cooks—one of whom is a sneak thief—a demanding cooking competition to prepare for, and an attraction to MG that could easily boil over into something tasty. If he could figure out the cause of the shy beauty’s lack of self-confidence.

In Joe’s arms, MG’s heart begins to find its voice. But between kitchen thieves, performance anxiety, saucy saboteurs, greedy relatives, and one very pissed-off rooster, the chances of them ever making sweet music are looking slimmer by the day.

About the Author:

Meg Benjamin is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. Her Konigsburg series for Samhain Publishing is set in the Texas Hill Country. Book #3, Be My Baby, won a 2011 EPIC Award for Contemporary Romance. Book #4, Long Time Gone, received the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Indie Press Romance. Book #5, Brand New Me, won the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers and was nominated for Book Of the Year at Long and Short Reviews. Meg lives in Colorado with her DH and two rather large Maine coon kitties (well, partly Maine Coon anyway).  Her Web site is http://www.MegBenjamin.com and her blog is http://megbenj1.wordpress.com/. You can follow her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/meg.benjamin1), Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/megbenjamin/), and Twitter (http://twitter.com/megbenj1). Meg loves to hear from readers—contact her at meg@megbenjamin.com.

Author Guest Post:

Cooking Up Romance

My seventh book set in Konigsburg, Texas, Fearless Love, features a chef as the hero. That was deliberate. As a sort of low-grade foodie myself, I was really excited about the idea of researching and writing about cooking.

My chef, Joe LeBlanc, is a former superstar chef who’s come back from his own burnout. He runs the Rose restaurant at a very upscale bed and breakfast. Now it may seem strange to have a chef as a romantic hero—I mean, I love Jacques Pepin, but he’s not exactly a romantic figure. Still, if you think about it, chefs have a lot going for them. Like athletes, they have to make split second decisions. Like artists, they create sublime things out of ordinary ingredients. And like other authority figures (cops, military men, vampire hunters, etc.), they have to take charge and keep things going in tricky situations.

Joe is all of these things and more. He’s also a gilt-edged romantic who’s head over heels for the heroine, MG Carmody. MG’s in a tough spot, trying to earn enough money to pay off the mortgage on the farm she inherited from her grandfather. And Joe hires her to be a prep cook in his kitchen even though her culinary skills are a bit limited.

I knew that somewhere in the course of the book, Joe was going to have to cook a meal for MG. After all, what chef could resist feeding the woman he loves—it’s a great way to demonstrate his devotion. But as it happened, the dinner-fixing scene came right after Joe and MG make love for the first time, and they were at her dilapidated farm house rather than his super-fancy restaurant. So no fancy kitchen with its super-hot stove and array of pans, no special ingredients (MG’s on a tight budget, after all), no elegant dining room with sparkling crystal and china. I had to find a dish that would work in a normal kitchen and still show a little pizzaz.

I settled on a variation of a classic “midnight supper” dish—spaghetti with anchovies and bread crumbs. The recipe is simplicity itself. You boil up some spaghetti, and while it cooks, you sauté a couple of cloves of sliced garlic in olive oil. Then you add three or four chopped anchovy fillets to the hot oil. The anchovies will melt away in the oil and you can add the whole thing to the cooked and drained spaghetti. As a finishing touch, you sprinkle some toasted breadcrumbs on top.

That’s the basic recipe, but you can do all kinds of things to jazz it up. Mario Batali adds caramelized onions. The New York Times food guy adds capers. Other recipes add lemon juice, and red pepper flakes are always an option. A sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley on the top is a nice touch too.
It’s a meal fit for a pair of hungry lovers, who need to keep their stamina up. And it can even be cooked wearing only a pair of jeans, as Joe does it. 

And ultimately it works. Which is to say it gets things heated up a bit.

He cupped the back of her head and covered her mouth with his.

A few moment later, he raised his head. “I’m starved too,” he growled. “Eat fast.”


“Only cars are named MG. What’s your real name.”

For a moment, she looked like a sulky seven-year-old, her face scrunched into a scowl. “You can’t laugh.”

“I’ll do my best. What are you—Mariah Grimsby or something?”

“Mary Grace,” she said flatly. “Mary Grace Carmody.”

He blinked. “And you’re upset about that?”

“Of course.”


“Well, to begin with it sounds like the name of a sixty-year-old nun.” She sighed. “Probably from County Clare.”

“Trust me, honey, nobody’s going to mistake you for a sixty-year-old nun. Although the County Clare part could fit.” He ran his fingers along her cheek, tracing the high bone. “What else you got?”

She blew out a breath. “The problem is the Grace part. My mom’s the most practical person I know, and a harder worker you’ll never find. But why the hell she saw fit to stick me with Grace, I’ll never understand.”
He let his fingertips trail down the side of her throat. “What’s wrong with Grace? I like it.”

“It’s everything I’m not. Calm. Steadfast. Slow to anger. You name a virtue I lack and it’ll be one Grace should have. Including being able to move around without tripping over my own feet. It’s like naming your kid Chastity or Excellence or something.” She turned her head slightly, brushing her lips against his palm. “And no, I’m not fishing for compliments and I don’t need to be reassured about my general wonderfulness. It’s just that the good things about me aren’t things a Grace would have.”

“Don’t tell me I can’t reassure you about your wonderfulness if I want to,” he murmured, sliding his lips along the line his fingers had followed. “Besides there’s all kinds of grace in this world, darlin’.”

“Such as?” Her voice sounded a little breathless. A very good sign.

“Well, I figure you’re thinking about something like a ballet dancer—you know, professional grace. Or some model, assuming she doesn’t fall ass over teakettle with those skyscraper heels they wear.” He nuzzled the soft spot beneath her ear.

“Something like that.” Definitely breathless now.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Extraordinary Rendition by Paul Batista: Author Guest Post

“Batista does it again when international intrigue collides with murder in Extraordinary Rendition! A high -priced Wall Street lawyer gets the shock of a lifetime...  law school never prepared him for this!  It's a fast ride--buckle up!"

--Nancy Grace, Attorney, TV Personality and NY Times Bestselling Author of Death on the D-List

About the Novel:

When Ali Hussein—suspected terrorist and alleged banker for Al Qaeda—is finally transported from Gitmo to the US mainland to stand trial, many are stunned when Byron Carlos Johnson, pre-eminent lawyer and the son of a high-profile diplomat, volunteers as counsel.  On principle, Johnson thought he was merely defending a man unjustly captured through Rendition and water-boarded illegally. But Johnson soon learns that there is much more at stake than one man’s civil rights.

Hussein’s intimate knowledge of key financial transactions could lead to the capture of—or the unabated funding of—the world’s most dangerous terror cells. This makes Hussein the target of corrupt US intelligence forces on one side, and ruthless international terrorists on the other.  And, it puts Byron Carlos Johnson squarely in the crosshairs of both.

Pulled irresistibly by forces he can and cannot see, Johnson enters a lethal maze of espionage, manipulation, legal traps and murder. And when his life, his love, and his acclaimed principles are on the line, Johnson may have one gambit left that can save them all; a play that even his confidants could not have anticipated. He must become the hunter among hunters in the deadliest game.

Written by no-holds-barred-attorney Paul Batista, Extraordinary Rendition excels not only as an action thriller, but as a sophisticated legal procedural as well; tearing the curtains away from the nation’s most controversial issues.

Provocative. Smart. Heart-pounding. A legal thriller of the highest order.

About the Author:

Paul Batista, novelist and television personality, is one of the most widely known trial lawyers in the country. As a trial attorney, he specializes in federal criminal litigation. As a media figure, he is known for his regular appearances as guest legal commentator on a variety of television shows including, Court TV, CNN, HLN and WNBC. He’s also appeared in the HBO movie, You Don't Know Jack, starring Al Pacino.

A prolific writer, Batista authored the leading treatise on the primary federal anti-racketeering statute, Civil RICO Practice Manual, which is now in its third edition (Wiley & Sons, 1987; Wolters Kluwer, 2008). He has written articles for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The National Law Journal.

Batista's debut novel, Death's Witness, was awarded a Silver Medal by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). And his new novel, Extraordinary Rendition, is now being published—along with a special reissue of Death’s Witness—by Astor + Blue Editions.

Batista is a graduate of Bowdoin College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and Cornell Law School. He’s proud to have served in the United States Army. Paul Batista lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York.

Author Guest Post:


More basically, why exit from a business with a good regular paycheck to a business where the financial rewards are uncertain?  Why exchange a suit for a casual shirt and jeans?  I get asked these questions a lot, and they are in fact questions I ask myself.

Let's start with a disclaimer.  I haven't entirely abandoned the practice of law.  This is work I've done for more than thirty years, and old habits die hard. Besides, I like it. More important is the fact that the legal work I do provides fuel for the novels I write.  A criminal case or even a civil lawsuit involves a story, a narrative.  Part of the function of a lawyer is to shape the narrative -- not to fabricate facts but to tell a story. 

Creating fiction, however, does give me a license to do more than just shape the narrative of a case.  In writing a novel I have the ability and the incentive to weave imagined events together, to create personalities and personal histories, to generate intrigue and conflict.  In practicing law, I’m confined by facts -- and those facts can be extremely interesting given the nature of the work I do -- but there are no such constraints in writing fiction.

There's another factor.  Law is a highly regulated business.  No matter how independent you may be as a lawyer, there are people known as judges.  They require you to do specific things on their schedule, not on yours.  They want you to do things their way, not necessarily yours.  They tend to have outsized personalities -- wearing a robe can transform a guy or gal who in civilian clothes is demure and shy into a muscled-up action figure.  And there are also clients.  They get to call you in the middle of the night.

The external controls on fiction-writing are different.  Sure, an editor can set "deadlines" but those are more goals and aspirations rather than drop-dead dates.  You can be disbarred for missing a judge-imposed deadline if you do that too often.  The worst a publisher can do is get mad at you.

But the most important reason for transforming myself into a novelist from a practicing lawyer is the beauty of transformation.  The stuff of a novelist's life is different from the stuff of a lawyer's life.  Creating novels is a liberating experience; you can let loose your imagination.  I find I can have a passion and a drive that, even though I’ve loved practicing law, I can't completely tap into in a courtroom. You hear commencement speakers constantly delivering to young graduates the trite mandate to "follow your passions."   As you move through life and hit the jarring realities of jobs, families and obligations, you can get cynical about those conventional admonitions to follow your passions, live out your dreams, and fulfill your talents.

But those inspirational messages do have meaning, at least for yours truly. Even a lawyer can break out of the constraints of the life he or she has lived.  There is something invigorating, even for a seasoned adult, in taking risks and having the courage to give up security and embrace something unknown, strange, exciting -- fresh.