historical

Review of Victoria Dahl’s Latest + Interview + GIVEAWAY!!!

>I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Victoria Dahl’s latest release IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU from Kensington Zebra for review.  Then doubly blessed when Victoria agreed to an interview.   And triply (is that a word?) fortunate to have her generously offer a giveaway!  YAY!!  It’s a GREAT Monday!

Comment or ask Victoria a question to ENTER to WIN one of the following:
An ARC of IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU!
A copy of Victoria’s A LITTLE BIT WILD, the first book in the York series.
1 of 5 custom bookmarks.

Victoria Dahl’s IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU, is the second book in her historical romance York series and her August release.  I haven’t read A LITTLE BIT WILD yet (though you can bet I will) and it’s good for those of you in my position to know that IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU completely stands on its own.  Not once did I feel lost or out of sync because I hadn’t read the prior novel!

IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU is one of those books with instant intrigue. Victoria crafts a suspenseful read with characters I rooted for and story questions that made me turn the pages in search for their answers.

I’m a fan of tortured heroes and crafty, independent heroines, and IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU has both. The hero, Aiden, believes the love of his life, Kate, the heroine, is dead. Has been dead for a decade. When this novel begins, he is haunted by the resemblance of a random stranger to the woman he could never cast from his heart. And when he confronts the stranger, simply to prove to himself she isn’t the woman he thinks she is, he’s shocked to discover Kate is in fact alive.

Kate has many secrets and has told many lies in an effort to keep herself safe. She believes Aiden cast her aside so many years ago and now is determined to remain unknown, unhindered and undiscovered.

Click for larger image.
Bookmarks are even prettier
in person!

The black moment in this book was riveting and heart-rending. The suspense kept the pace fast and the storyline intriguing. The resolution pushed me to read to the very last page in the novel—not something I often do.

IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU is a tale woven from the strongest of human emotions, the harshness of life’s often random circumstances and the double-edged sword of endless love.

You can GET IT HERE in paperback or GET IT HERE on Kindle.

Now Victoria answers a few questions:

What is your writing routine?

I’m not exactly the most disciplined person you’ll ever meet. And by that, I mean I have to promise myself rewards, much as you would a small child. “If you get X words written before noon, you can go out to lunch with a girlfriend!” When I’m on deadline, I know what word count I need to hit every day. It’s often something around 2500 words. I can’t write 2500 words in one sitting, so I’ll normally do one hour of intense writing, which should get me close to 1000 words, and then I’ll take a few hours to brainstorm and write the next 1500.

How do you keep in touch with your readers?

My number one way of interacting with readers is via Twitter. It’s immediate and easy and quick, and it doesn’t feel like work. (See Question #1.) I’m terrible at Facebook and almost as bad with email, sadly. I procrastinate, and then I feel guilty, and then the whole big mass of emails and Facebook messages and guilt hangs over my head like a boulder. That’s when I like to hide in my Twitter cave and frantically tell dirty jokes.

What are you reading now?

I’m just finishing up Courtney Milan’s novella Unlocked, which is beautiful! I’m also reading a couple of non-fiction books about Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as my next contemporary series is set there. I just read a not-yet-released Ann Aguirre book, Enclave, as well as an untitled manuscript from my amazing critique partner, Jennifer Echols. It’s so very nice to have lots of friends who are amazing writers and send me advance work. *GRIN*

What is in your TBR pile?

Oh, my God. What isn’t in my TBR pile? That thing about how nice it is to have great writer friends? It’s also torturous! Because I want to read all of their books and I can’t keep up! Let me fire up my Kindle and we’ll see what’s on it:

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler
Unclaimed by Courtney Milan
Too Hot to Touch by Louisa Edwards
Goddess with a Blade by Lauren Dane
Broken by Megan Hart
Collision Course by Zoe Archer

Do you have a second career? If not, what did you do before you became a full-time writer?

I’m a mom of two, so I spend a lot of my time making sure the house is spotless and the kids eat nothing but home-cooked organic foods. *snort* That’s a joke. But I do spend a lot of time hanging out with them and buying Lunchables at the grocery store. Before I had kids, I worked in financial services and banking. Exciting!

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

All of my books start with an idea for one scene. Just one scene, maybe even just a few heartbeats in that scene. In IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU, it was the moment when Aidan sees Kate for the first time in ten years. That’s the idea that started the book for me, and then I work back from there. Who are these people? Why is his reaction so visceral and heartbreaking? What happened to bring them to this place? How will he react? That’s where the story always starts. I love that moment of curiosity.

Tell us about your upcoming recent release, IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU.

IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU is the second in my York family series. I love a tortured hero, and Aidan York has had his share of heartbreak. His own behavior has only added to his torment over the years, and he hates the man he’s become. But when he’s reunited with his first love, Kate Tremont, anything seems possible. Redemption, love, happiness. But nothing is as simple as it seems, and Kate has to convince him that they have no future together. Still, even the most dangerous of secrets can’t stop her from responding to his touch…or his heart.

What are your current projects?

I just turned in the last book of my Donovan Brothers Brewery series! Good Girls Don’t, Bad Boys Do and Real Men Will will be out in September, October and November. And now I’m starting a brand new contemporary series set in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I don’t have any titles yet, as I’m only nine pages into the first book, but I’m having fun!

Where can we find you online?

On Twitter! www.Twitter.com/VictoriaDahl
My website: www.VictoriaDahl.com
and my email of shame: Victoria@VictoriaDahl.com

Bookmarks are more gorgeous in person!

Comment or ask Victoria a question to ENTER to WIN one of the following:

An ARC of IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU
A copy of Victoria’s A LITTLE BIT WILD
1 of 5 custom bookmarks

**US/Canada shipping for books**
**International shipping for bookmarks**
*MUST leave contact email**
(otherwise how will we tell you YOU WON?)

Bio:

Victoria Dahl lives with her family in a small town high in the mountains. During the summer she hikes and drinks margaritas (usually not at the same time). During the winter she likes to curl up with a book and a cup of hot cocoa and think about all those poor, freezing skiers working so hard out in the snow. 

Her first published novel, the winner of the coveted Golden Heart for best long historical romance, debuted in 2007. As of the end of 2012, she will have seventeen books and novellas in print in historical, contemporary, and paranormal romance.

Victoria’s first contemporary romance, Talk Me Down, was nominated for both the Romance Writers of America® Rita Award and the National Readers’ Choice Award. Since then, her books have been nominated for two more Rita Awards, and she hit the USA Today Bestseller list with the contemporary anthology Midnight Kiss!

>Review of Victoria Dahl’s Latest + Interview + GIVEAWAY!!!

>I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Victoria Dahl’s latest release IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU from Kensington Zebra for review.  Then doubly blessed when Victoria agreed to an interview.   And triply (is that a word?) fortunate to have her generously offer a giveaway!  YAY!!  It’s a GREAT Monday!

Comment or ask Victoria a question to ENTER to WIN one of the following:
An ARC of IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU!
A copy of Victoria’s A LITTLE BIT WILD, the first book in the York series.
1 of 5 custom bookmarks.

Victoria Dahl’s IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU, is the second book in her historical romance York series and her August release.  I haven’t read A LITTLE BIT WILD yet (though you can bet I will) and it’s good for those of you in my position to know that IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU completely stands on its own.  Not once did I feel lost or out of sync because I hadn’t read the prior novel!

IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU is one of those books with instant intrigue. Victoria crafts a suspenseful read with characters I rooted for and story questions that made me turn the pages in search for their answers.

I’m a fan of tortured heroes and crafty, independent heroines, and IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU has both. The hero, Aiden, believes the love of his life, Kate, the heroine, is dead. Has been dead for a decade. When this novel begins, he is haunted by the resemblance of a random stranger to the woman he could never cast from his heart. And when he confronts the stranger, simply to prove to himself she isn’t the woman he thinks she is, he’s shocked to discover Kate is in fact alive.

Kate has many secrets and has told many lies in an effort to keep herself safe. She believes Aiden cast her aside so many years ago and now is determined to remain unknown, unhindered and undiscovered.

Click for larger image.
Bookmarks are even prettier
in person!

The black moment in this book was riveting and heart-rending. The suspense kept the pace fast and the storyline intriguing. The resolution pushed me to read to the very last page in the novel—not something I often do.

IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU is a tale woven from the strongest of human emotions, the harshness of life’s often random circumstances and the double-edged sword of endless love.

You can GET IT HERE in paperback or GET IT HERE on Kindle.

Now Victoria answers a few questions:

What is your writing routine?

I’m not exactly the most disciplined person you’ll ever meet. And by that, I mean I have to promise myself rewards, much as you would a small child. “If you get X words written before noon, you can go out to lunch with a girlfriend!” When I’m on deadline, I know what word count I need to hit every day. It’s often something around 2500 words. I can’t write 2500 words in one sitting, so I’ll normally do one hour of intense writing, which should get me close to 1000 words, and then I’ll take a few hours to brainstorm and write the next 1500.

How do you keep in touch with your readers?

My number one way of interacting with readers is via Twitter. It’s immediate and easy and quick, and it doesn’t feel like work. (See Question #1.) I’m terrible at Facebook and almost as bad with email, sadly. I procrastinate, and then I feel guilty, and then the whole big mass of emails and Facebook messages and guilt hangs over my head like a boulder. That’s when I like to hide in my Twitter cave and frantically tell dirty jokes.

What are you reading now?

I’m just finishing up Courtney Milan’s novella Unlocked, which is beautiful! I’m also reading a couple of non-fiction books about Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as my next contemporary series is set there. I just read a not-yet-released Ann Aguirre book, Enclave, as well as an untitled manuscript from my amazing critique partner, Jennifer Echols. It’s so very nice to have lots of friends who are amazing writers and send me advance work. *GRIN*

What is in your TBR pile?

Oh, my God. What isn’t in my TBR pile? That thing about how nice it is to have great writer friends? It’s also torturous! Because I want to read all of their books and I can’t keep up! Let me fire up my Kindle and we’ll see what’s on it:

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler
Unclaimed by Courtney Milan
Too Hot to Touch by Louisa Edwards
Goddess with a Blade by Lauren Dane
Broken by Megan Hart
Collision Course by Zoe Archer

Do you have a second career? If not, what did you do before you became a full-time writer?

I’m a mom of two, so I spend a lot of my time making sure the house is spotless and the kids eat nothing but home-cooked organic foods. *snort* That’s a joke. But I do spend a lot of time hanging out with them and buying Lunchables at the grocery store. Before I had kids, I worked in financial services and banking. Exciting!

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

All of my books start with an idea for one scene. Just one scene, maybe even just a few heartbeats in that scene. In IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU, it was the moment when Aidan sees Kate for the first time in ten years. That’s the idea that started the book for me, and then I work back from there. Who are these people? Why is his reaction so visceral and heartbreaking? What happened to bring them to this place? How will he react? That’s where the story always starts. I love that moment of curiosity.

Tell us about your upcoming recent release, IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU.

IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU is the second in my York family series. I love a tortured hero, and Aidan York has had his share of heartbreak. His own behavior has only added to his torment over the years, and he hates the man he’s become. But when he’s reunited with his first love, Kate Tremont, anything seems possible. Redemption, love, happiness. But nothing is as simple as it seems, and Kate has to convince him that they have no future together. Still, even the most dangerous of secrets can’t stop her from responding to his touch…or his heart.

What are your current projects?

I just turned in the last book of my Donovan Brothers Brewery series! Good Girls Don’t, Bad Boys Do and Real Men Will will be out in September, October and November. And now I’m starting a brand new contemporary series set in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I don’t have any titles yet, as I’m only nine pages into the first book, but I’m having fun!

Where can we find you online?

On Twitter! www.Twitter.com/VictoriaDahl
My website: www.VictoriaDahl.com
and my email of shame: Victoria@VictoriaDahl.com

Bookmarks are more gorgeous in person!

Comment or ask Victoria a question to ENTER to WIN one of the following:

An ARC of IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU
A copy of Victoria’s A LITTLE BIT WILD
1 of 5 custom bookmarks

**US/Canada shipping for books**
**International shipping for bookmarks**
*MUST leave contact email**
(otherwise how will we tell you YOU WON?)

Bio:

Victoria Dahl lives with her family in a small town high in the mountains. During the summer she hikes and drinks margaritas (usually not at the same time). During the winter she likes to curl up with a book and a cup of hot cocoa and think about all those poor, freezing skiers working so hard out in the snow. 

Her first published novel, the winner of the coveted Golden Heart for best long historical romance, debuted in 2007. As of the end of 2012, she will have seventeen books and novellas in print in historical, contemporary, and paranormal romance.

Victoria’s first contemporary romance, Talk Me Down, was nominated for both the Romance Writers of America® Rita Award and the National Readers’ Choice Award. Since then, her books have been nominated for two more Rita Awards, and she hit the USA Today Bestseller list with the contemporary anthology Midnight Kiss!

New Year’s Giveaway: Day 17, Delilah Marvelle

I think the way I met Delilah Marvelle is the most entertaining story of all – next to the story of how I met Gail Barrett.

The question is…how to tell the short version?

It was RWA 2010, Orlando.  I had planned a release party for my CP, Elisabeth Naughton, and her fabulous 2nd book in the ETERNAL GUARDIAN series, ENTWINED.  We decided to have the party in our room, but as the guest list mounted and the number of “yes” responses grew, we decided it would be more comfortable – not to mention more fun – if we asked some fellow authors to book an adjoining room and have a two-room party with us.

Fun, right?

The hotel evidently had quite a bit of difficulty with the adjoining room request.  It seemed the whole REAL names versus PSEUDONYMS discombobulated their staff.  Add to that the fact that four authors were staying in the other room and neither Elisabeth nor I knew which one had booked it, or booked it under which name, and…well, you can imagine the confusion.

To make this long story a tad shorter, let me just say that I moved rooms 4 times.  Yes, FOUR times.  The other girls moved rooms TWICE.  All so that we could end up in adjoining rooms. 

Yes, Elisabeth — you are loved.

Okay…this is the entertaining part…

I was standing in front of the door to my 4th and final hotel room door, waiting for the bellman to return with the key (see – I cut all that out – so don’t ask why…), and suddenly realized I had no cash.  No cash for a tip after my forth room move and a staff downstairs who I’m sure referred to me as “that writer bitch who’s never happy” and the bellman having to run downstairs twice?

I was scrambling in the change pocket of my purse, sickened I was going to give him a fistful of coin as a tip, when he returned with the room key.  At the very same moment, two women exited the room next to mine — our adjoining room.

I felt compelled (after having them move rooms twice) to introduce myself and thank them for doing all they did.  But they didn’t know who I was!  We’d never met.  They were Elisabeth’s friends.  And the bellman was still standing there because I had my hands full of change, and I couldn’t take the key.

Worse — I couldn’t bring myself to hand two fistfuls of change to the guy, gushing over an apology for all the nickles and dimes (no, I didn’t resort to pennies) while these other women — who, of course, I wanted to make a good impression on — watched. 

Seriously, I was mortified.  Ridiculous?  Probably.  But I’d flown 7 hrs, ridden another in a bus to the hotel, moved rooms — and all my luggage — 4 freaking times.  I’ll admit, I was probably a little unreasonable at that point.

So, I made small talk with the girls, while the poor bellman waited.  It was the most awkward situation ever.  I felt like I’d gotten caught propositioning the guy to come into my room!  With a freaking handful of change (to the tune of about $4 bucks).

One of those women in the hall was Delilah, and she was so incredibly gracious and smooth at the time, even though it was the most painfully awkward moment for everyone.

Later that night, after Elisabeth had arrived, we saw Delilah in the restaurant downstairs and ended up sitting with her for dinner.  When I went to introduce myself with an intent to fess up to the whole stupid tip thing, I hadn’t even gotten the words out when Delilah waved her hand in dismissal and said…I don’t remember her words exactly…but something to the effect of, “Yeah, yeah.  I saw you coming on to that bellboy.  Few more minutes and you’d have been down on your knees.”

I suppose you could take that a couple different ways.  Maybe Delilah can shed light on her true meaning…although…based on her sexy books…maybe we’ll just let that subject drop.

ROTFLMAO.  *Sigh*  One of my fondest memories.  Seriously.

Delilah has since continued to show her sharp humor and generous nature.  She is an absolute doll and I’m so grateful we met last year.

Delilah writes historicals with a scandalous twist.  Win one today!!

Up For Win Today:
The first in her SCANDAL series, PRELUDE TO SCANDAL

To enter:
Follow me on Twitter: @joanswan & send me a tweet with #newyear in the message. (Tweet Here)

Book Summary:
Having been raised in the jungles of South Africa, assisting her father in the study of mammal copulation, Lady Justine Fedora Palmer sweeps back into London to embark upon her coming out. She quickly discovers animals are far more civilized than the men surrounding her.

When her father’s observations are made public, proving buggery is natural to the animal kingdom, all of London is in a huffing outrage, including His Royal Majesty. Her father is imprisoned and slapped with outrageous penalty fees they simply cannot pay.
 
Lady Justine becomes more than willing to trade her good name and her place in London’s gossip hungry society to secure her father’s release. There is only one person she knows she can trust: her father’s patron, the Duke of Bradford. A dashing libertine, yes, but one she passionately adores for his unwavering kindness, wit, humor, and a willingness to support her father’s studies even as everyone else had laughed her father off.

To her astonishment, the Duke of Bradford is not the same man. His newly marred face hides a scandal that is about to test them both…
 
Upcoming Releases:
ONCE UPON A SCANDAL, book two in the SCANDAL series, OUT NOW!
THE PERFECT SCANDAL, book three in the SCANDAL series, February 2011

Contact Info:
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Tomorrow, Kristina McMorris, women’s fiction debut author!

>New Year’s Giveaway: Day 17, Delilah Marvelle

>I think the way I met Delilah Marvelle is the most entertaining story of all – next to the story of how I met Gail Barrett.

The question is…how to tell the short version?

It was RWA 2010, Orlando.  I had planned a release party for my CP, Elisabeth Naughton, and her fabulous 2nd book in the ETERNAL GUARDIAN series, ENTWINED.  We decided to have the party in our room, but as the guest list mounted and the number of “yes” responses grew, we decided it would be more comfortable – not to mention more fun – if we asked some fellow authors to book an adjoining room and have a two-room party with us.

Fun, right?

The hotel evidently had quite a bit of difficulty with the adjoining room request.  It seemed the whole REAL names versus PSEUDONYMS discombobulated their staff.  Add to that the fact that four authors were staying in the other room and neither Elisabeth nor I knew which one had booked it, or booked it under which name, and…well, you can imagine the confusion.

To make this long story a tad shorter, let me just say that I moved rooms 4 times.  Yes, FOUR times.  The other girls moved rooms TWICE.  All so that we could end up in adjoining rooms. 

Yes, Elisabeth — you are loved.

Okay…this is the entertaining part…

I was standing in front of the door to my 4th and final hotel room door, waiting for the bellman to return with the key (see – I cut all that out – so don’t ask why…), and suddenly realized I had no cash.  No cash for a tip after my forth room move and a staff downstairs who I’m sure referred to me as “that writer bitch who’s never happy” and the bellman having to run downstairs twice?

I was scrambling in the change pocket of my purse, sickened I was going to give him a fistful of coin as a tip, when he returned with the room key.  At the very same moment, two women exited the room next to mine — our adjoining room.

I felt compelled (after having them move rooms twice) to introduce myself and thank them for doing all they did.  But they didn’t know who I was!  We’d never met.  They were Elisabeth’s friends.  And the bellman was still standing there because I had my hands full of change, and I couldn’t take the key.

Worse — I couldn’t bring myself to hand two fistfuls of change to the guy, gushing over an apology for all the nickles and dimes (no, I didn’t resort to pennies) while these other women — who, of course, I wanted to make a good impression on — watched. 

Seriously, I was mortified.  Ridiculous?  Probably.  But I’d flown 7 hrs, ridden another in a bus to the hotel, moved rooms — and all my luggage — 4 freaking times.  I’ll admit, I was probably a little unreasonable at that point.

So, I made small talk with the girls, while the poor bellman waited.  It was the most awkward situation ever.  I felt like I’d gotten caught propositioning the guy to come into my room!  With a freaking handful of change (to the tune of about $4 bucks).

One of those women in the hall was Delilah, and she was so incredibly gracious and smooth at the time, even though it was the most painfully awkward moment for everyone.

Later that night, after Elisabeth had arrived, we saw Delilah in the restaurant downstairs and ended up sitting with her for dinner.  When I went to introduce myself with an intent to fess up to the whole stupid tip thing, I hadn’t even gotten the words out when Delilah waved her hand in dismissal and said…I don’t remember her words exactly…but something to the effect of, “Yeah, yeah.  I saw you coming on to that bellboy.  Few more minutes and you’d have been down on your knees.”

I suppose you could take that a couple different ways.  Maybe Delilah can shed light on her true meaning…although…based on her sexy books…maybe we’ll just let that subject drop.

ROTFLMAO.  *Sigh*  One of my fondest memories.  Seriously.

Delilah has since continued to show her sharp humor and generous nature.  She is an absolute doll and I’m so grateful we met last year.

Delilah writes historicals with a scandalous twist.  Win one today!!

Up For Win Today:
The first in her SCANDAL series, PRELUDE TO SCANDAL

To enter:
Follow me on Twitter: @joanswan & send me a tweet with #newyear in the message. (Tweet Here)

Book Summary:
Having been raised in the jungles of South Africa, assisting her father in the study of mammal copulation, Lady Justine Fedora Palmer sweeps back into London to embark upon her coming out. She quickly discovers animals are far more civilized than the men surrounding her.

When her father’s observations are made public, proving buggery is natural to the animal kingdom, all of London is in a huffing outrage, including His Royal Majesty. Her father is imprisoned and slapped with outrageous penalty fees they simply cannot pay.
 
Lady Justine becomes more than willing to trade her good name and her place in London’s gossip hungry society to secure her father’s release. There is only one person she knows she can trust: her father’s patron, the Duke of Bradford. A dashing libertine, yes, but one she passionately adores for his unwavering kindness, wit, humor, and a willingness to support her father’s studies even as everyone else had laughed her father off.

To her astonishment, the Duke of Bradford is not the same man. His newly marred face hides a scandal that is about to test them both…
 
Upcoming Releases:
ONCE UPON A SCANDAL, book two in the SCANDAL series, OUT NOW!
THE PERFECT SCANDAL, book three in the SCANDAL series, February 2011

Contact Info:
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Tomorrow, Kristina McMorris, women’s fiction debut author!

Special Edition: New Year’s Giveaway — Review & Giveaway

> Sylvia Day’s upcoming release PRIDE AND PLEASURE, available January 25th

I was hooked at “the cover”.

Yes, I’m still a sucker for a gorgeous cover. Guess you can tell I’m not an e-reader yet. Soon, I hope, but as of this post, I’m still a paper book gal. And, boy was I sucker-punched by the cover of Sylvia Day’s, PRIDE AND PLEASURE.

No, really…I could just sit and stare. (Okay, I did just sit and stare…)

When I finished ogling, I turned the book over and read…

Wealth has its dangers…

There are disadvantages to being an heiress, as Eliza Martin knows well. Fortune hunters flock to her, acquaintances lie and pander, and lately, someone is engineering “accidents” to propel her to the altar. But Eliza will not be bullied, and she will get to the bottom of this plot. All she needs is a man to infiltrate her assemblage of suitors and find the culprit. Someone not easily noticed; a proficient dancer, quiet, and even-tempered.


…so do certain men

Thief-taker Jasper Bond is entirely too large, too handsome, and too dangerous. Who would believe that an intellectual like Eliza would be seduced by a man of action? But the combination of her stubbornness and the mystery makes the case one Jasper can’t resist. Client satisfaction is a point of pride and it’s his pleasure to prove he’s just the man she needs after all…

Oh… My…

I had to open the book and read the first sentence:

As a thief-taker, Jasper Bond had been consulted in a number of unusual locations, but today was the first in a church.

Well, damn. Now I’m hooked. I’m going to have to stop what I’m doing and read until I lose interest.

Several hours and half the book later…no, I’m not freaking kidding…I had to stop reading because I was hungry, I had to pee and the employees at my local McDonald’s where I’d sat down for breakfast several hours prior were shooting me is-she-ever-going-to-leave? glances.

As I closed the book and slunk out of the fast food restaurant, I wondered if the rest of the book would hold up. I often find the second half of novels otherwise well done, lacking.

Sometimes the characters don’t live up to their promises in the beginning. (See my Brava Blog post today for more on promises.) Sometimes the plot peters-out or fragments. Sometimes the story just drags.

None of that happened in PRIDE AND PLEASURE. I read the second half as quickly as the first, with just as much interest. Past the mid-point, Sylvia amped the suspense plot, complicated the romance and kept the pace kicking along.

There are so many well crafted storytelling elements in PRIDE AND PLEASURE, I decided to use the novel as the subject of my first regular column at Savvy Authors, a monthly article reviewing fiction novels from a writer’s perspective and spotlighting effective use of craft. So, if you’re interested in developing your writing to the level of this National Bestseller, Sylvia Day, stop by Savvy Authors February 2nd for my debut column.

Of course, I also suggest picking up a copy of PRIDE AND PLEASURE for yourself, because my description would never transcend the experience of reading it yourself.

Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble.com
Borders.com
Books-a-Million.com
IndieBound.com
BookDepository.com

Read an excerpt: HERE.

Or you can enter to win a copy: Follow me on Twitter: @joanswan & send me a tweet with #newyear in the message. (Tweet Here)

Contact Info:
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Tomorrow, A special day for WRITERS! Margie Lawson will be here with a mini-lesson and lecture packets to give away!

>Special Edition: New Year’s Giveaway — Review & Giveaway

> Sylvia Day’s upcoming release PRIDE AND PLEASURE, available January 25th

I was hooked at “the cover”.

Yes, I’m still a sucker for a gorgeous cover. Guess you can tell I’m not an e-reader yet. Soon, I hope, but as of this post, I’m still a paper book gal. And, boy was I sucker-punched by the cover of Sylvia Day’s, PRIDE AND PLEASURE.

No, really…I could just sit and stare. (Okay, I did just sit and stare…)

When I finished ogling, I turned the book over and read…

Wealth has its dangers…

There are disadvantages to being an heiress, as Eliza Martin knows well. Fortune hunters flock to her, acquaintances lie and pander, and lately, someone is engineering “accidents” to propel her to the altar. But Eliza will not be bullied, and she will get to the bottom of this plot. All she needs is a man to infiltrate her assemblage of suitors and find the culprit. Someone not easily noticed; a proficient dancer, quiet, and even-tempered.


…so do certain men

Thief-taker Jasper Bond is entirely too large, too handsome, and too dangerous. Who would believe that an intellectual like Eliza would be seduced by a man of action? But the combination of her stubbornness and the mystery makes the case one Jasper can’t resist. Client satisfaction is a point of pride and it’s his pleasure to prove he’s just the man she needs after all…

Oh… My…

I had to open the book and read the first sentence:

As a thief-taker, Jasper Bond had been consulted in a number of unusual locations, but today was the first in a church.

Well, damn. Now I’m hooked. I’m going to have to stop what I’m doing and read until I lose interest.

Several hours and half the book later…no, I’m not freaking kidding…I had to stop reading because I was hungry, I had to pee and the employees at my local McDonald’s where I’d sat down for breakfast several hours prior were shooting me is-she-ever-going-to-leave? glances.

As I closed the book and slunk out of the fast food restaurant, I wondered if the rest of the book would hold up. I often find the second half of novels otherwise well done, lacking.

Sometimes the characters don’t live up to their promises in the beginning. (See my Brava Blog post today for more on promises.) Sometimes the plot peters-out or fragments. Sometimes the story just drags.

None of that happened in PRIDE AND PLEASURE. I read the second half as quickly as the first, with just as much interest. Past the mid-point, Sylvia amped the suspense plot, complicated the romance and kept the pace kicking along.

There are so many well crafted storytelling elements in PRIDE AND PLEASURE, I decided to use the novel as the subject of my first regular column at Savvy Authors, a monthly article reviewing fiction novels from a writer’s perspective and spotlighting effective use of craft. So, if you’re interested in developing your writing to the level of this National Bestseller, Sylvia Day, stop by Savvy Authors February 2nd for my debut column.

Of course, I also suggest picking up a copy of PRIDE AND PLEASURE for yourself, because my description would never transcend the experience of reading it yourself.

Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble.com
Borders.com
Books-a-Million.com
IndieBound.com
BookDepository.com

Read an excerpt: HERE.

Or you can enter to win a copy: Follow me on Twitter: @joanswan & send me a tweet with #newyear in the message. (Tweet Here)

Contact Info:
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Tomorrow, A special day for WRITERS! Margie Lawson will be here with a mini-lesson and lecture packets to give away!

New Year’s Giveaway: Day 11, Kris Kennedy

>My friendship with Kris Kennedy developed from a combo of Twitter chat and critque partner intro.  Yet another sweetheart of a person as well as a talented writer of sexy romance.

Kris writes medievals, but works to keep them accessible—both in language and tone—to the modern-day reader.

          “I don’t ‘thee’ and ‘thine,’ I like adventure, and keep it plenty hot.”
          ~ Kris Kennedy

Before you write medievals off as not being ‘your thing,’ read one of Kris’s stories — especially the IRISH.  It could be  exactly what a non-medieval lover would, well…love.

And here’s your chance to give it a try!!

Up For Win Today:
A sexy romantic adventure, THE IRISH WARRIOR.  This novel is a 2008 Golden Heart Winner and a Fresh Fiction Fresh Pick!  Any way you look at it, THE IRISH WARRIOR is a winner!

To enter:
One tweet and you are entered for the whole month!
Follow me on Twitter: @joanswan & send me a tweet with #newyear in the message. (Tweet Here)

Book Summary:
Inhibited, accountant-minded Senna de Valery comes to Ireland to finalize a deal that will save her faltering wool business. What she gets instead is a cunning English lord with dangerous ulterior motives.

Forced to rely on her wits, not her ledgers, Senna frees an Irish warrior chained in the prisons, and together they flee across the war-torn land of medieval Ireland. But Finian O’Melaghlin is much more than a charming, roguish warrior. He is councilor to his king, on a grave mission to recover military secrets, and has a dangerous agenda of his own.

Read and excerpt: HERE.

Upcoming Releases:

  • DEFIANT, April 2011
  • Set on the eve of Magna Carta, Jamie, one of King John’s chief lieutenants is sent on a mission to bring in an exiled priest who has information that could destroy King John’s throne.  It’s a simple mission, until Jamie comes up against a thief.  Eva, a beautiful, startling woman, not only gets in his way, literally, but upends all his plans. When the rebel barons send an armed mercenary after the priest as well, Jamie and Eva form an explosive alliance, embarking on an adventure that will betray the truth about their identities, reveal their unexpected loyalties, and unleash a passion that could seal their fates forever.

Works In Progress:
Currently, Kris is working on another medieval, as-yet untitled, which will be out in 2012.

Contact Info:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Email

Tomorrow, Alison Kent, prolific, multi-genre romance author

>New Year’s Giveaway: Day 11, Kris Kennedy

>My friendship with Kris Kennedy developed from a combo of Twitter chat and critque partner intro.  Yet another sweetheart of a person as well as a talented writer of sexy romance.

Kris writes medievals, but works to keep them accessible—both in language and tone—to the modern-day reader.

          “I don’t ‘thee’ and ‘thine,’ I like adventure, and keep it plenty hot.”
          ~ Kris Kennedy

Before you write medievals off as not being ‘your thing,’ read one of Kris’s stories — especially the IRISH.  It could be  exactly what a non-medieval lover would, well…love.

And here’s your chance to give it a try!!

Up For Win Today:
A sexy romantic adventure, THE IRISH WARRIOR.  This novel is a 2008 Golden Heart Winner and a Fresh Fiction Fresh Pick!  Any way you look at it, THE IRISH WARRIOR is a winner!

To enter:
One tweet and you are entered for the whole month!
Follow me on Twitter: @joanswan & send me a tweet with #newyear in the message. (Tweet Here)

Book Summary:
Inhibited, accountant-minded Senna de Valery comes to Ireland to finalize a deal that will save her faltering wool business. What she gets instead is a cunning English lord with dangerous ulterior motives.

Forced to rely on her wits, not her ledgers, Senna frees an Irish warrior chained in the prisons, and together they flee across the war-torn land of medieval Ireland. But Finian O’Melaghlin is much more than a charming, roguish warrior. He is councilor to his king, on a grave mission to recover military secrets, and has a dangerous agenda of his own.

Read and excerpt: HERE.

Upcoming Releases:

  • DEFIANT, April 2011
  • Set on the eve of Magna Carta, Jamie, one of King John’s chief lieutenants is sent on a mission to bring in an exiled priest who has information that could destroy King John’s throne.  It’s a simple mission, until Jamie comes up against a thief.  Eva, a beautiful, startling woman, not only gets in his way, literally, but upends all his plans. When the rebel barons send an armed mercenary after the priest as well, Jamie and Eva form an explosive alliance, embarking on an adventure that will betray the truth about their identities, reveal their unexpected loyalties, and unleash a passion that could seal their fates forever.

Works In Progress:
Currently, Kris is working on another medieval, as-yet untitled, which will be out in 2012.

Contact Info:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Email

Tomorrow, Alison Kent, prolific, multi-genre romance author