Monday, November 24, 2014

Bewitching the Knight by Diane Darcy

In Medieval Scotland if she dresses, talks and curses like a witch.... Archaeologist Dr. Samantha Ryan does not want or need the public relations firm her boss hired to give her advice on how to speak, act, or charm. She’s busy. She’s just found out where the Scottish Crown of the MacGregor’s is hidden and needs to beat her lying, cheating competitor, Jerry, to the Scottish highlands and claim it for her University! After finding it, and her nemesis, a struggle ensues and they travel back in time to medieval Scotland where Jerry calls her a very ugly name. Unfortunately the villagers think he said “witch”, tie her up, and start gathering wood for a bonfire.

Laird MacGregor is a dead man walking. It’s only a matter of time before one of the many attempts on his life will succeed. When Ian is informed that the villagers are burning another witch, he is determined to save the hapless female. While trying to find out who is trying to murder him, keep the crown entrusted to him by his father safe, and control a rowdy woman who may indeed be gifted with foresight, Ian decides he more than willing to give her the firstborn she’d initially demanded.

I've been waiting for this one for a while now and couldn't wait to get started when I saw it had finally been released. I loved the first book, She Owns the Knight, and couldn't wait to go back to this setting.

We meet Ian MacGregor in the first book and I was excited to see his story and see what kind of women would win him over. Samantha Ryan is a modern-day Indiana Jones. She has been traveling the world working as an archeologist practically her whole life. She loves history and over the past couple years became interested in one Ian MacGregor, she's studied his life and knows all there is about him. She couldn't be more pleased when she is transported back in time and able to meet him in person. I thought this was a fun read, I loved Samantha and Ian and thought they were really cute together. The overall story was fun, there is a bit of a mystery, someone is trying to kill Ian and he's trying to figure out who. We're also briefly reunited with Gillian and Kellen from the first book, it was SO fun seeing them again and I loved how they were worked into the story.

Overall, a really fun read. I liked the mix of the modern with the medieval. Can't wait for more!

Content
Romance: Clean
Language: None
Violence: Mild-Moderate, medieval violence/fighting, nothing too graphic
Nominated for a 2014 Swoony Award, to vote click here.
Source: Amazon Kindle

Monday, November 17, 2014

Rough Edges Cover Reveal

I am happy to be a part of Kimberly Krey's cover reveal. The Sweet Montana Bride series was one of my favorites this year and I am looking forward to Allie's story (which is a companion novel to the trilogy). If you enjoy contemporary romance you'll want to check this series out. And now, without further delay, here are a few words from Kimberly and the big reveal! Enjoy!

I'm thrilled to present the cover to my upcoming novel, Rough Edges. A companion to the Sweet Montana Bride Series, this sweet story provides a closer look at Allie Emerson. Some of you might know her from novels Reese's Cowboy Kiss and Jade's Cowboy Crush. From one story to the next, we see this adorable character go from supportive wife of a selfish man, to a recently divorced woman raising two girls on her own. With Terrance out of her life for good, it's time for Allie to finally get her happy ending. And what better place to start than Fox's Custom Woodwork, where Braden Fox acts as both owner and carpenter. Oh, and did I happen to mention that he's Terrance's old best friend?

Now for the cover to what will be the forth part to the Sweet Montana Bride series.




Since most of us skip the paperback and go right for the ebook, the back covers are often left unseen. For that reason, I thought I'd include the backside as well, along with the spine. I love this one because it includes a rare and beautiful glimpse into Braden's wood shop, a place I have come to love through discovering more about these characters and their past.




And in case you can't read it from the pic, here's the book blurb:

Divorced mother, Allie Emerson, never imagined she’d be raising two teenage girls on her own. Between parenting and paying the bills, she hasn’t even thought about meeting a man. That changes once she hears local carpenter, Braden Fox, is in need of a secretary. Back in high school, Allie had done all she could to deny the sparks burning between her and Braden; perhaps now they could explore the possibilities.

Braden has heard all about what Terrance did to Allie and the girls, has been planning to stop by and see how she’s getting along, but Allie beats him to it by showing up at his shop in search of a job. Her single visit reignites the old flame Braden used to torch for her; trouble is, old feelings of resentment return as well. Allie did choose Terrance over him, after all. And as much as Braden wants Allie in his life, he’s not sure he can open his heart again.

With this second chance at romance, will the bumps in their relationship be too much to get over, or will this carpenter learn to smooth out the past?

Rough Edges will be available on Amazon soon. For updates, sign up for my email list by clicking here. Also receive updates on my FB author page here.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Bold Heart by Carmen Cain

As Scotland's greatest warrior and heir to the earldom of Mull, few dared to cross swords with Ewan MacLean. But the price he paid for his fearsome reputation was a heavy one. To survive, he buried his emotions and became only the warrior, riding from battle to battle with his men to protect Scotland from threats within and without her borders and letting himself feel nothing else. After a bold, mysterious youth rescues Ewan and his men from the English, the group swiftly makes their way back to Scotland. But no sooner embarked on their journey home, a young Prince James sounds the call to arms, rises against his father, King James III of Scotland, and plunges Scotland into a dangerous civil war. But as they journey to join the prince, both Ewan and Alec discover their rescuer's secret--and both men find themselves falling unexpectedly in love with a raven-haired beauty.
I ended up really enjoying this one! We met Merry in [book:The Kindling Heart|18626393], as a young child she was wed to an evil Scottish Lord and her brother Ruan rescued her with the help of Ewan MacLean. Years later Merry learns that Ewan has been captured and scheduled for execution. Without giving it much thought she cuts her hair and rides to his rescue. Disguised as a boy she is able to travel the countryside and arrive in time to free Ewan and his men.

This is the last book in the series and some loose ends are tied up from previous books, but technically it could probably stand on its own. Merry was an extremely likable heroine, she continued to surprise me. I liked her outlook on life and how she could lighten the mood. I was a little nervous about her story since we first met her under upsetting circumstances in the first book, but years have passed and she is at peace and not haunted by what had happened to her. It's barely talked about. I loved how loyal she was to Ewan and they had great chemistry. I also loved that Ewan recognized early on that she was the only one for him. He was always loyal and kind to her. We had seen him in previous books and he is a fierce warrior, so it was great being able to see a softer side of him. I also loved Alec, he was great and I was heartbroken for him!

Overall, a fun medieval series! I think [book:The Bedeviled Heart|23248214] and this one are my favorites!

Content
Romance: Clean-Pretty clean, mild innuendo. Fade to black intimacy (after marriage), just kissing. Language: None
Violence: Mild-Moderate, some fighting nothing too detailed

Source: Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Nominated for a 2014 Swoony Award

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Lady Emma's Campaign by Jennifer Moore

The London Season is ushered in with a thrilling flurry of invitations, gowns, and parties. But despite her status as belle of the ball, lovely socialite Emma Drake simply cannot fathom becoming entangled with any gentleman of her acquaintance. For in truth, since childhood her heart has belonged to Captain Sidney Fletcher, a man of the sea—and her brother’s best friend. Emma knows that Sidney’s directive to free the Spanish city of Cadiz from French occupation will be dangerous, but when word arrives of his capture, she is frantic. Determined to aid her brother in Sidney’s rescue, she hides aboard his ship and sets a course to Spain. But the realities of war are a far cry from the drawing rooms of London, and Emma finds the man she loves a mere shadow of his former self. When a series of events leaves them trapped together behind enemy lines, Emma and Sidney must embark on a journey fraught with danger—from a bloody hunt for Spanish treasure to the battlefields of war-torn Spain, new threats lurk around every turn. As their flight becomes increasingly perilous, Sidney and Emma must trust each other with their lives—but can they trust the other with their heart?
I was playing on Goodreads one night and went to look if Jennifer Moore had any upcoming books, I was pleasantly surprised when I found her blog and it showed Lady Emma's Campaign was available! I hopped on over to Amazon and grabbed a copy. This is a companion novel to [book:Becoming Lady Lockwood|21947381], but can stand on its own.

Emma has had a hard life, growing up with an abusive father has given her an inner-strength that she doesn't even realize yet. Because of her hard childhood her mother and brother tend to shelter her, as well as the men trying to court her. She is also secretly in love with her brothers best friend, Sidney. When an opportunity arises where she can help rescue Sidney from worn-torn Spain she jumps (or sneaks) at the chance.

I loved the romance in this one. I love stories about girls falling or their brothers friends (or similar). I like that they already have an established relationship and so their transition from friends to...more, is believable. Emma and Sidney are perfect together. I like how they bring out the best in each other and how they respect one another. They treat each other kindly and build each other up. It takes awhile for them to figure things out, but it was a nice journey to be on.

While the romance was great, the setting and subject matter is pretty heavy. War is just a horrible thing and it can be upsetting to read about some of the things that go on in war. The majority of the book is with them on the run and there was never a slow moment. It was definitely a page turner. I appreciated that while the subject was heavy there was no overly detailed violence. There was a good balance of war and hope. The side characters added a lot to the story, I loved Serena, Jim and Marco. I hope they all get books. :)

Overall, a great read. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good Historical Romance.

Content
Romance: Clean
Language: None
Violence: Moderate Non-detailed talk of torture, beatings, non-graphic depictions of war, etc.

Source: Amazon Kindle

Nominated for a 2014 Swoony Award.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Petticoat Detective by Margaret Brownley

Pinkerton detective Jennifer Layne is no stranger to undercover work. But posing as a lady companion named Amy at Miss Lillian’s Parlor House and Boots is a first for her. She’s finally landed a high-profile case and is on the trail of the notorious Gunnysack Bandit, when one of Miss Lillian’s girls essential to her investigation meets an untimely demise. Only a handful of people are in the house at the time of her death, including handsome Tom Colton, a former Texas Ranger determined to clear his brother’s name. Amy has many reasons to suspect Tom of murder—and one very personal reason to hope that she’s wrong about him.
I really enjoy Ms. Brownley's Westerns. She is always able to weave in a fun western setting with humor and romance.

Even after reading the synopsis I didn't realize the story takes place at a bordello, our heroine Amy has to pose as a prostitute in order to track down the Gunnysack Bandit. Even though the story takes place at a bordello and the mystery around two murders, it was an uplifting and pretty lighthearted read, never felt too heavy even though the subject matter was pretty serious.

Amy works for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, I remembered studying them a little while in college and it's always fun to see them references in my historical novels. Anyway, Amy has a hard time with this assignment, but it was interesting to get a "behind the scenes" look into a bordello and your heart can't help but hurt for ladies forced into this profession. One of the girls Rose is killed the day Amy arrives, she was also supposed to be Amy's contact so she's having to start from scratch. A mysterious stranger in town, Tom Colton is also investigating the case and the two pair up to try and solve the mystery. Tom doesn't realize Amy's true identity and purpose and is turn when he starts to have feelings for who he thinks is a prostitute. There are some funny situations that arise from Amy's deception and I was impressed that the author was able to keep things light. I also liked how things wrapped up at the end.

Overall, a fun western romance.

Content
Romance: Clean
Language: None
Violence: Mild
Religious: Moderate
Other: Mild (details about life at a bordello)

Source: Received ARC from publisher for honest review.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Cliche Christmas by Nicole Deese

This was so, so good! I loved it!

Finding a good Christmas story can be hard to do, but this book was perfect. It balanced all the Christmassy stuff, romance and was well written. Georgia is a successful screenwriter, her specialty Christmas movies. She spends her whole year working and writing Christmas movies and usually takes the month of December off to go on some exotic vacation. This year, her grandmother ropes her into returning home to work on the towns Christmas pageant. When she returns she comes face to face with Weston James, the very person who made her flee home seven years before.

I loved the relationship between Georgia and her Nan, very sweet. I also liked Georgia, she was easy to root for. It was nice to see her find peace and love. Speaking of love, wow I really liked Weston! I thought they had a nice relationship, it progressed nicely. It wasn't insta-love or insta-forgiveness. They had great chemistry and banter, but I liked the underlying of respect they had for each other. I liked that it wasn't completely conflict-free, they had to work through some issues, but it made their relationship that much stronger.

I loved the setting of Oregon and the Christmas feel. I half expected to find snow when I walked outside! I'm so glad I found this gem and I look forward to reading more of Ms. Deese's books! Go grab a copy!

Content: CLEAN

Source: Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Nominated for a 2014 Swoony Award (read it and then come vote for it!).

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Saving Grace by Michele Paige Holmes

After the death of her grandfather, the Duke of Salisbury, Grace Thatcher wants nothing more than to live quietly in the country with her younger siblings. Her father’s debts thwart those plans, and to protect her sister, Helen, Grace must marry a man of her father’s choosing. As each suitor proves less than desirable, Grace comes up with clever schemes, causing each to reject her. While staying at the mysterious Sutherland Hall, a middle-of-the-night mishap sends Grace into the arms of a stranger, Nicholas Sutherland—and provides inspiration for her grandest plan yet—one that will leave her reputation in tatters yet free both her and Helen from all possibility of marriage. Too late Grace regrets her rash actions when her father’s last choice, Mr. Samuel Preston, proves to be a gentleman and a friend. But Samuel is the sworn enemy of Nicholas Sutherland, the man responsible for her “ruin.” Now instead of being free, Grace is caught between two men—each with his own agenda.
I love picking up a book and falling into the story right from the start. I knew early on that I was going to enjoy this one, and I did. Grace Thatcher finds herself in a tricky spot, her father is trying to marry her off to any wealthy man that he can find to cover his extensive gambling debts. Grace has no desire to marry and simply wants to take her siblings and hide away in the country. Her plans run amok when her carriage breaks down and she finds herself in the home of Lord Sutherland. Through a series of unfortunate events the two find themselves engaged.

I loved the evolution of their relationship, from hating one another to eventually caring rather deeply for each other. I though this had a strong start, I did feel at times it was a tad slow, but I enjoyed it. Grace was a likable heroine, she was kind and honest. I liked that she always attempted to make the right choice, even if it didn't always turn out the best. Nicholas was pretty broody and full of revenge when the book starts, but Grace brings out his softer side. They were a good couple and it was fun seeing them together. There was a bit of a love triangle, but was well done. I actually came to like Samuel Preston quite a bit. I would have liked a scene where Nicholas and Samuel really come to an understanding of what happened with Elizabeth. But, I was happy with how everything turned out.

Overall, a fun regency story and one I'd recommend!

Content: Clean
Nominated for a 2014 Swoony Award.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Swoony Awards

I've been wanting to do an award for a long time. I think it'll be a fun way to recognize the awesome books we read each year and to help share those books with others. I also wanted to let these amazing authors know how much we appreciate their books and all the hard work that goes into it. I'm a sucker for romance and love reading books that have a sweet, swoony romance involved. Hence "Swoony Awards" for books that make you believe in love and happily every afters.

The Swoony Awards is brought to you by Happily Ever After Book Club and my good friends Katie from Katie's Clean Book Collection and Kathy Jo from KJ's Book Nook have helped develop the Swoonys and I couldn't have done it without them, this is our baby! I also want to give a BIG thanks to Tiana at The Blog Decorator for designing our logo, which I think turned out amazing!

So, if you've read an awesome book this year (or more) come officially nominate it for a Swoony, here. And be sure to vote for any of the other books already listed (no limit on votes). We’ll be accepting entries until the end of the year; winners will be announced January 2015. The only thing was ask is that nomination be for books published in 2014 and are clean (no sex (closed door), mild/no language and mild/no violence).

Have fun voting!

Sponsors: Bookworm Nation, Katie's Clean Book Collection and KJ's Book Nook

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Christmas Bargain by Shanna Hatfield

Luke Granger is about to get more than he bargained for… As owner and manager of the Hardman bank, Luke Granger is a man of responsibility and integrity in the small 1890s Eastern Oregon town. Calling in a long overdue loan, Luke finds himself reluctantly accepting a bargain in lieu of payment from the shiftless farmer who barters his daughter to settle his debt. Philamena Booth is both mortified and relieved when her father sends her off with the banker as payment of his debt. Held captive on the farm by her father since the death of her mother more than a decade earlier, Philamena is grateful to leave. If only it had been someone other than the handsome and charismatic Luke Granger riding in to rescue her. Ready to uphold her end of the bargain as Luke’s cook and housekeeper, Philamena is prepared for the hard work ahead. What she isn’t prepared for is being forced to marry Luke as part of this crazy Christmas bargain.
I loved the setting and time period of this one. Based on the real town of Hardman, Oregon (which is now a ghost town) it was easy to step back in time and imagine what life would have been like back then. I liked that it took place around the early 1890’s and I liked how the author worked in their “modern” inventions into the story. It’s fun to think about how things we take for granted now used to be a nifty invention back then. I liked the mix of the old west with a touch of the modern, at least modern for them. I also love marriage of convenience stories and liked how that plot was used here. Luke is a successful banker and in a moment of weakness agrees to take a wife in order to cover the debt. Philamena Booth once had a happy childhood, but that all changed when her mother passed away and her father turned to drinking to try and forget how good he once had it. She has spent the last thirteen years in isolation and being abused by her father. While she had a really hard time, I’m glad the ugliness of what she went through wasn’t dwelled on. The story picks up right when Luke takes Philamena away and for the most part the story is lighthearted and conflict-free. I thought Philamena and Luke had a sweet relationship and were good for each other.

Overall, this is a pleasant step back in time to when life seemed so much simpler. I loved the story takes place over Christmas and thought it added a nice festive feel to the story. A nice, cozy read.

Shanna-Hatfield-Nov-Blog-Tour

Welcome to the

Cowboys & Christmas

Blog Tour!

A kickoff of two new holiday romances by Shanna Hatfield
and a fundraiser for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund

An Interview with Shanna Hatfield

Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”

What inspired you to write the Hardman Holidays Series? I chose the town of Hardman as the setting because it was fun to imagine what the town as like back when it was booming. Today, Hardman is a ghost town. I wrote this particular series because I enjoy creating strong female characters and men brave enough to walk beside them.

What's the series about? Hope. Faith. Love. It’s about never giving up, finding inner strength, and giving love a chance. Filly faces a dismal future until Luke opens a new door for her. Ginny is running away from her past, trying to find a future. Alex thinks her nomadic lifestyle will keep her from ever experiencing true love. Despite everything, each of them hold onto the hope that tomorrow will be a new, better day.

What made you decide to make this a holiday series? I love historical romances, especially those set during the holiday season. Tying in a holiday theme to each story seemed like a perfect fit for the setting and the characters.

Tell us a little about your main characters. Filly is the heroine from The Christmas Bargain, the first book in the series. Much braver than she thinks, she’s endured her father’s abuse and imprisonment on their farm for thirteen years. Luke Granger accepts her in lieu of payment on a loan just to get her away from the cruel man she used to call Papa. She needs all the courage, strength, and humor she can find when the pastor insists Luke take her as his bride. Ginny is the feisty lead character in The Christmas Token, the second book in the series. She grew up in Hardman and fell in love with Blake Stratton. Since he came from a poor family, her mother decided to whisk her away before the two teens could wed. Relocated to New York City, Ginny enjoys life there until she arrives back in Hardman quite unexpectedly and realizes she never stopped loving Blake. In The Christmas Calamity, the newly-released third book in the series, Alexandra Janowski is a prestidigitator on the run from her past, from men out to do her harm, and the opportunity to fall in love. Forced to stay in Hardman while the blacksmith repairs her wagon, she finds her heart and thoughts drawn to banker Arlan Guthry.

Where do you get the inspiration to write? My inspiration for sitting down every day and writing comes from the fact that I love doing it and there is nothing else I’d rather be doing. I left my day job a year ago to write full time, so this truly is my chosen career and source of employment.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers? Thank you for hosting me today. I’m so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to connect with your readers. I hope those who enjoy historical fiction, sweet romances, or a good western, will consider reading  
 

Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund®

Now through Dec. 24, Shanna will donate 10 percent of the net proceeds from all her book sales to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. JCCF logoThe JCCF is a non-profit organization that assists rodeo athletes who’ve sustained catastrophic injuries and are unable to work for an extended period.  

You’re Invited to PARTY!

You’re invited to join in the online Cowboys & Christmas Facebook Party Thursday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PST). Drop in anytime during those four hours to enter to win great prizes, chat with guest authors, and more! Here’s the link to the party: http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasparty The third book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series releases that day! The Christmas Calamity takes readers back to Hardman just in time for the holiday season. Preorders are available now for just $1.99 on Kindle. You can reserve your copy here: http://amzn.com/B00OGOO994 In addition, the first book in the Hardman Holidays series, The Christmas Bargain, will be available free that day, as well!

Prize Basket

Enter to Win Prizes!

To enter the drawing for an Amazon gift card, autographed books, chocolates, original western artwork, and more fun goodies, fill out this form. http://tinyurl.com/cowboychristmasprizes

About Shanna Hatfield

Shanna Hatfield 2A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller. Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.” She is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America. Find Shanna’s books at: Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple Shanna loves to hear from readers! Follow her online: ShannaHatfield | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | You Tube | Twitter

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Now Accepting Nominations for 2014 Swoony Awards

The Swoony Awards is live and now accepting nominations. The Swoony Awards is brought to you by Happily Ever After Book Club. We want to recognize all the great books we’ve read throughout the year. In order to be eligible any books added must have been published during 2014 (if it has previously been published and was re-released in 2014 that counts too!). It also has to be clean (no sex/closed door, no/low language, no/low violence). Nominations can be full length novels, novellas or short stories. We’ll be accepting entries until the end of the year. The winners will be announced January 2015. It is our first year hosting the Swoony Awards so hopefully it’ll go smoothly and we can get all the kinks out and most importantly we want to make sure everyone has fun!

Please feel free to add any books you’ve read and enjoyed this year and be sure to tell your friends! And Authors, feel free to vote for your books too!

Sponsors: Bookworm Nation, Katie's Clean Book Collection and KJ's Book Nook

Friday, October 31, 2014

Winners & Final Poll

I can’t believe Swoon Fest is over! This month has flown by and reading all these awesome McClure books made it so much more fun! I am so grateful for everyone who participated! We had over 850 entries throughout the month! That is awesome! Now I’m sure all of you are wondering who our final winners are, so here you go:

 
1st Place: Autographed Hardcopy McClure Book
(signed and provided for by Marcia)
Heidi Jensen
 
2nd Place: $15 Amazon Gift Card
Tiffany Odell
 
3rd Place: $10 Amazon Gift Card
Jennifer H

I'll send the prizes to the email addresses provided, let me know if you don't receive it. Heidi, I'll be contacting you in regard to which book you'd like, etc. Thanks again to everyone who participated, you all made it so much more fun!
Poll
110643
Happy Halloween! Which paranormal hero would you like Marcia to write about...
 
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