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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Blog Tour - Made the Grade: The Mating Game by Melissa Snark | Review & Pendant/Novel Giveaway

Today I'm turning my blog over to Melissa Snark, with a review of her latest novel "The Mating Game!!"

ALSO -- Be sure to check out Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post to be able to sign up for this blog stop's GIVEAWAY(s)!! [Blog Tour will run on June 25, 2014 -- Giveaway will run from June 9 - 29, 2014]

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Paperback - Pages: 317; Kindle Edition - File Size: 488 KB | Release Date: June 19, 2014 | Publisher: The Wild Rose Press | Obtained: Goddess Fish Promotions

"The Mating Game" by Melissa Snark

Author's Book Description : Two males...two friends...a competition for the right to claim The Heart of the Iron Stone Pack.

An alpha female at her core, Theresa Sanchez struggles to protect her young daughter, but rivalries and politics create volatility in the pack. As Theresa comes into heat, lust and need rule her body. Her pack demands only the most virile male have her. How can she choose only one mate when her body craves two—the virile beta and the man she loves?

Zachary Hunter will do anything to take Theresa as his mate, even if it means killing his best friend. However, Robert Blane is just as determined to ascend to Alpha. Both their beasts howl to mark her flesh, but only one can survive to claim her.

But with enemies circling, they must fight...for the pack, for Theresa, and for a future together.

Warning: Book contains wolf shifters, pack politics, gritty fight scenes, offbeat humor, and sizzling sexual adventures between a ménage of partners.

My Book Review : 3.5 out of 5 stars, two save their pack three friends join together in a mating but will it be enough for everyone?

This exciting novel keeps you entertained with its off-the-wall humor and intense characters! I really enjoyed reading about Theresa & Zach’s friendship turned romance, it was rushed, but sweet at the same time once you learn about their back-story. In addition, I really liked this novel as a setup for this series, since it makes you curious as to how this novel will end while your reading it yet doesn’t leave you unhappy with how it ends even though there is a slight cliffhanger.

However, with that being said, I really wish Theresa, Zach, & Robert’s relationship was better. I mean yes they are good friends and they become mates. Yet, when I read threesome novels the only way I know I’ll, usually, really like it are when I can read each characters’ POVs and when they all stay in their committed relationship. So, because this novel is set up a bit differently than how I typically like to read threesome novels it was harder for me appreciate it as much as I could have. Now I just hope that the three of them get a closer relationship as this series progresses.

Overall, I recommend this series and novel to those to like erotic ménage and/or paranormal romances!

Purchase This Book Here :

Author's Novel Extras : Probably not PG-13 | State of the Snarkology: Cover Reveal THE MATING GAME, Exchange of Hearts, BATTLE CRY Revisions & a Bathroom Reno | Release Date: THE MATING GAME by Melissa Snark | Paranormal Romance Guild May Giveaway || THE MATING GAME | State of the Snarkology: Writing Goals 2014 | THE MATING GAME available in paperback | Goodreads Book Giveaway: The Mating Game | Release Day: THE MATING GAME

Book Teaser(s) :
As they approached the kindergarten playground, he noticed heads turning in their direction and felt the pressure of prying eyes following their movement. “Has everyone always got their noses in other people’s business here?” he asked Theresa in a hushed whisper.
She glanced at him and grinned. “Yes, absolutely. You made a big impression with the other moms the day you picked up Isabel. I’ve never seen so much speculation. No one wanted to believe that we’re just friends.”
Zach huffed and adopted an expression of mild annoyance. “We’re not just friends.”
She laughed. “Yes, I know that but—”
“We should give them something to talk about.”
Without warning, he spun and pulled Theresa into his arms with a great flourish. A startled cry escaped her, but she offered no resistance when he bent her backward and captured her lips in a marauding kiss. ~ within Chapter 13
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Melissa, then please check out her website.

About the Author :

A friend asked me once how I chose my pen name. I told her the following: “Melissa, because when people mix up my first name, it’s the most common goof up. Snark, because it amuses me. A) I love the word ‘snarky’ and B) I love Lewis Carroll.”

As an individual, I’m sarcastic, stubborn and blunt to a fault. I have a strange sense of humor and I like to laugh (usually at my husband or children), but also at myself. I’m not particularly extroverted, although I do enjoy time with my family and close friends a great deal.

At the moment, I’m a stay at home mom who writes in my spare time. I’ve got a B.S. from Arizona State University in Business, and I’ve worked a variety of different jobs, including as a medical device documentation specialist, a technical writer, and an auto liability adjuster.

I live in the San Francisco East Bay of Northern California with my husband, three kids, and three cats. My hobbies include roleplaying, cooking and reading.

I maintain a blog, which I update regularly at The Snarkology.

I enjoy hearing from my readers, so please drop me a line at MelissaSnark at gmail dot com.

Book Excerpt :

Bright and early Saturday morning, Theresa Sanchez opened her front door to discover Zachary Hunter clad in a bright orange dress on her porch. The loose bodice fell low on his chest, displaying dark blond curls and showcasing his broad shoulders and powerful torso. The neon hemline stopped above the knees, revealing muscular calves, strong ankles, and shapely feet.

It was unusual attire for a dominant male werewolf.

She stepped closer and sniffed, seeking to satisfy the impulses of her she-wolf. The earthy scent of him flooded her nostrils—masculine and potent—inciting the heated ache of arousal between her thighs. She licked her lips, hoping that drool hadn’t dribbled down her chin. The man made her mouth water.

“My eyes are up here, love,” Zach quipped in a crisp British accent. His hand lifted and a long, elegant finger tapped her chin.

“Oh, right. Sorry.” She forced her roaming eyes upward, away from his buff chest, striving to remember that she and Zach didn’t play like that. The man was many things to her: best friend, confidant, and protector. He fixed leaky faucets and kept her ancient car running. But of all the roles he played, he remained “lover” only in her dreams.

Giveaways!! (US ONLY) :

  • A Nordic Lights Dolphin Triskilian Pendant for Guidance and Inner Peace to a randomly drawn winner during the tour
  • A signed paperback copy of "The Mating Game" to 2 randomly drawn winners during the tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Soo .... COMMENT on this post & TWEET on twitter!! And you could WIN!! =0)

ALSO -- Be sure to follow the tour around the other blog sites!

Find Melissa Snark :

Friday, April 12, 2013

Blog Tour - Feasted On: Tempted by the Storm by Maxine Mansfield | Review & Giveaway

Today I'm turning my blog over to Maxine Mansfield, with a review of her novel "Tempted by the Storm," which is the 2nd book in The Academy of Magical Arts Series!!

ALSO -- Be sure to comment on this post to be able to sign up for this tour's GIVEAWAYs (listed below)!! [Blog Tour will run from April 1 - 12, 2013]

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Paperback - Pages: 370; Kindle Edition - File Size: 552 KB | Release Date: October 15, 2012 | Publisher: The Wild Rose Press | Obtained: Goddess Fish Promotions

"Tempted by the Storm" [The Academy of Magical Arts Series, Book 2] by Maxine Mansfield

My Book Summary : Larksong (Lark) was born a spiritmaster. Making her strong in the ways of mind-over-mind and mind-over-matter meaning her emotions can control the weather around her and more. It also meant that she was the outcast of the family and her mother always made it known to Lark that she wasn't who her mother wanted because she wasn't a boy and of her abilities. Therefore, she has become her older sister's--Aryanna--companion knowing that her family will never allow her to marry and have a family of her own.

A few days before Lark is charged with attending The Academy of Magical Arts with her sister so Aryanna can meet her betrothed, Aryanna encourages Lark to attend the Carnalval (a masked party where inhibitions rain free) where Lark meets the man of her dreams...

The only down part is that after a wild night of passion she sneaks a peak under his mask, while he's sleeping, just to fully appreciate his handsomeness only to realize she knows who he is! His name is Sarco and just happens to be the future Lord of the High Elves, as well as, he's Aryanna's betrothed!

Now Sarco and her have to deal with their passions, responsibilities, and find out what is more important to them in the end... honor, love, passion, truth, or all of the above if they can manage it.

My Book Review : 4.5 out of 5 stars!! This novel is the perfect mix of hilarity, adventurousness, family love/loyalty, and erotic love scenes!! With its great cast of characters this novel, and series, is one that I feel every adult that reads it will enjoy at least some aspect of it!

I enjoyed reading about Lark & Sarco's struggle between their hearts and their duty. Especially when they both realized that they never truly put themselves first before and no matter how much they want to now they can't because they care too much for their families and their people to do that to them. Nevertheless, these two make a great duo, from their magical talents to their sense of humor they complement each other very well.

Also, even though I understand why they did the things, they did and even though they make a good pair too, I wasn't really a fan of Aryanna & Cyrrick (Lark's sister & Sarco's brother). Mostly because of the way, they handled everything regarding their love and trying to manipulate Lark & Sarco into meeting/being together so that Aryanna & Cyrrick could be together instead of following the prophecy, which was putting Sarco & Aryanna together. --I hope I didn't confuse you ... I know I almost confused myself.-- =0) Anyway, Aryanna & Cyrrick are a good match up too I just wish they did things differently. Yet, I liked how they make up for everything in the last couple of chapters in the book.

Who really stole the show in this novel, though, was Leeky & Laycee (Sarco & Lark's gnomes)! They were a cute little pair with their multipurpose sex dolls Miss Bunny & Tug. While being some of the comic relief in this novel they also held their own by begin the voice of reason for Lark & Sarco. Plus, it was enjoyable to read about Leeky's multitude of "special" gloves he had to wear and his "roguish" ways.

All in all, there was never a dull moment while reading this novel. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did! Now I'm very intrigued to read the rest of this series!

I recommend this novel and series to anyone who likes fantasy romances!

- On a side note -
This novel had so many funny moments that I wanted to share in my teaser section (see below) that I had a hard time choosing.

Author's Series Extras : Leekyism's ta live by | Leekyism of the Day | Leekyism of the Day | Leekyism of the Day :) | Leeky's Day | A Leeky Tuesday Afternoon | Another Leeky Tuesday Afternoon | Just Another Leeky Friday Morning | Just Another Slushy Leeky Morning | Touched by the Magic out May 4th | Sinful Sirens Blog Tour | To be, or not to be NAUGHTY :)

Book Teaser(s) :
First day of classes, and could a nice, welcoming lecture with perhaps a simple homework assignment be sufficient? Oh, no, not for Sarco “The Tormentor” Sunwalker.
After listening to a full hour of mind-numbing facts on ancient wizard history, the class had retired to the arena for what Sarco “The Sadist” Sunwalker described as weeding out the weak.
Lark closed her eyes and concentrated on trying to suck sufficient air into her lungs. The ache in her ribs reminded her that deep breathing wasn’t a function she’d be performing again anytime soon. Nausea threatened to rid her of what little she’d been able to force down at lunch as images raced through her head of what Sarco “The Evil Spawn from the Valley of Torment” Sunwalker had gleefully labeled Wizard Lab. ~ within Chapter 6
Tears burned the corners of Lark’s eyes.
She caught Sarco’s eye, and he smiled that mischievous smile she so loved. A familiar warmth seeped into her mind.
“I don’t like your mother, Wonderful. How much do you want to bet she has that same sour expression on her face when your father gets up the nerve to actually ask her for sex? I’d wager she even critiques the poor fellow’s performance in bed. ‘To the, your other right, barbarian! Faster, faster—no, slower. Oh, just get off of me and forget it.’”
Lark covered her mouth with both hands, trying her best to suppress a laugh. Her face burned even hotter, knowing none of the other people at the table were privy to what Sarco had just thought. They probably thought she was not only a glutton and a mistake, but an idiot to boot.
“Stop it. You’re going to get me in so much trouble.”
His slow, lazy smile made her heart thump wildly. ~ within Chapter 13
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Maxine, then please check out her website.

About the Author :

Hi, my name is Maxine Mansfield and I write romantic fantasy. I live in the far northern state of Alaska where the summer days are long and the winter nights even longer.

I have one very special man, our three equally special children, and six delightful grandchildren in my life. Not to mention a very bossy African Grey parrot named Gabriel.

Oh, and Gnomes! many, many gnomes.

Book Excerpt :

There was only one word that could describe the creature standing before him. Wonderful.

“Did you say something?” the woman whispered.

He shook his head. “Nothing, I just can’t believe my luck. You really are real and here with me.”

She smiled, but her smile didn’t extend to her eyes.

Before another heartbeat passed or another breath taken, he stood at her side. With tenderness, he gazed into her gentle, masked face and took both of her hands in his. He was humbled as her fingers trembled even more than his own did. “We don’t have to do this if you’d rather not.”

She smiled wider, and her eyes gleamed with mischief. “I suppose we might as well. After all, we’re already here, and you’re at least halfway undressed.”

Sliding his hands up her arms and around her shoulders to her back, Sarco felt for and found the clasps holding her gown together. With the flick of a wrist, they gave way, and with a swish, the silky fabric fell to her hips exposing lush, rose-tipped breasts. Just the right size to hold in both hands, to fondle, to caress, to taste.

“Hmm, it seems you’re halfway undressed yourself.”

Giveaways!! :

  • A Tempted by the Storm themed gift bag to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US/CANADA ONLY)

To Enter : Please leave a comment on this post, with a valid email address included at the end of it.

Soo .... COMMENT, COMMENT, COMMENT on this post!! And you could WIN!! =0)

ALSO -- Be sure to follow the tour around the other blog sites! Commenting on the other stops on the tour will also increase your chance of winning!

Find Maxine Mansfield :

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Blog Tour - Feasted On: Dragon Wife by Diana Green | Review & Gift Card Giveaway

Today I'm turning my blog over to Diana Green, with a review of her novel "Dragon Wife," which happens to be the FIRST BOOK in her Dragon Clan Series!!

ALSO -- Be sure to check out Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post to be able to sign up for this blog stop's GIVEAWAY(s)!! [Blog Tour will run from March 10 - 31, 2015 -- Giveaway will run until April 3, 2015]

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Paperback - Pages: 218; Kindle Edition - File Size: 470 KB | Expected Release Date: August 11, 2014 | Publisher: The Wild Rose Press | Obtained: Goddess Fish Promotions

"Dragon Wife" [Dragon Clan Series, Book 1] by Diana Green

Author's Book Description : The clan is waking. After centuries of spellbound sleep, dragon-shifters are returning to the mountains. They are few in number, and the outside world has become overrun with humans.

Huroth, the dragon chieftain, recognizes a need for his kind to adapt, by forming alliances and mate-bonds with humans, but his clan is divided.

From the first time she meets him, Lady Orwenna is drawn to the magnificent chieftain. The mind link he forms with her is both fascinating and frightening, as is the powerful attraction she feels for him. If only she knew what was in his heart.

Does he want her for the woman she is, or for her magical abilities? When war breaks out between kingdoms and ancient enemies of the dragons resurface, the clan will be tested. In the midst of uncertainty, can Huroth and Orwenna find their way together?

My Book Review : 4 out of 5 stars!! Set in a mystical world where old world nobility meets magic and dragon shutters, you follow two individuals who connect during remarkable circumstances and who are trying to carve out better paths for themselves by whatever means they can.

I was intensely drawn to this novel from its prologue and onward. So much so, that I completed reading it in a day! With its fascinating plot and fun characters, I could not get enough! In addition, I really liked how Orwenna (Wen) & Huroth fell in love. Especially I liked that Wen was able to hold onto her new scene of self and purpose throughout the time she was falling for Huroth and how he liked her even more for it.

I definitely recommend this novel to those who like paranormal slightly historical (in their values and traditions) romances.

-- On a side note –-
If you liked reading about "mind linking" type of novels--like Ms. Cantrell's "Mindlink" novel--I'd also recommend this to you!

Purchase This Book and/or The Other Books From It's Series Here : Kobo (e-Book) : Dragon Wife (Book 1) | Kobo (e-Book) : Dragon Warrior (Book 2)

Author's Series Extras : Dragon Clan Series - Overview | Dragon Clan Series - Excerpts | Dragon Clan Series - Trailers

Author's Book Trailer :

Book Teaser(s) :
“I don’t have to explain myself, not even to you. It was my decision to come here, and while it may have been rash, everything has worked out. I found you, and now you know of the invasion. Story over.”
“Story not over,” he corrected. “You still have to make it out of these mountains with your skin intact. I don’t want your blood on my hands.”
“It won’t be!”
“If I leave you alone now, knowing the situation, I’m as good as digging your grave. I’ll have to come with you.”
“I can take care of myself.”
“Is that so?” He let out a dry laugh. “Right now, you don’t even have a horse.”
“Whose fault is that?” she snapped, almost immediately looking sorry.
“Forgive me,” she said, taking a deep breath. “That was unfair. I called you here, and you’re only concerned for my safety. My nerves are just a little thin right now.”
“Not surprising, all things considered.”
Privately, he respected her stamina. It was no small thing, making a solitary trek through these mountains, and still having fire power enough to argue at the end of the day. ~ within Chapter 4
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Diana, then please check out her website.

About the Author :

Since her childhood, growing up in New Zealand, Diana has been an avid storyteller. For years she enjoyed teaching art and special education, while continuing to write as a hobby. After she developed chronic fatigue syndrome, a career change was necessary, but happily this led her to become a professional author.

Diana’s books are mostly paranormal romance, in the fantasy and science fiction sub-genres. She has been a finalist for the CRW Award of Excellence and the Aspen Gold Published Novel Contest. At present, she lives in beautiful Washington State, where she writes for the Wild Rose Press.

Book Excerpt :

The gathering grew quiet as sounds of boot heels on stone echoed from the entryway. A man strode in alone, though to call him a man seemed less than sufficient. There was such raw power about him, such majesty in his bearing. No one could mistake his identity. This was the black dragon, shifted to man-like form, just as legend described. Orwenna felt the hairs stand up on the back of her neck.

“I am Huroth, son of Huren,” he announced, his voice rich and deep. He faced the king, down the long silent hall. “I am chieftain of the dragons who dwell in the Drake’s Teeth Mountains. We offer an alliance to the kingdom of Rhelaun. How do you answer?”

“You are most welcome, honored guest.” The King bowed as he spoke then beckoned the chieftain. “Please, come and talk with me, so we can decide how this alliance should be arranged.”

As Huroth advanced towards the throne, he made an impressive picture. He was tall and broad shouldered, wearing dark leather armor and a heavy fur-lined cloak. His hair tumbled in a thick black mane, his eyes the pale blue of glacier ice. They swept over the courtiers, coolly assessing.

When those eyes came to rest on Orwenna, she felt time slow. Everyone else, all her surroundings, faded to nothing.

And who might you be?

She heard the words in her head, as surely as if he’d spoken aloud. Without consciously choosing, she responded in kind.


His eyes widened in surprise, and he paused mid-step. Apparently, he had not expected her to hear his musing nor be able to answer.

There is an aura of magic about you. He sent the thought, his gaze on her as sharp as a hawk’s.

That’s from my mother. She didn’t know how she spoke directly into his mind. It made her a little dizzy, like too much wine.

Who is your mother?

Sister to the king and the mage, Vardis.

I see.

He considered a moment, before nodding respectfully to her and continuing down the hall. Those nearby gave Orwenna odd looks, and she realized how strange her encounter with Huroth must have seemed. To everyone else, they would have appeared to be simply standing, watching one another without speaking.

How long had it been…one minute…five? She couldn’t guess. All she knew was that it changed her. Reality had shifted and would never be quite the same again. Dragons lived, breathed, and walked upon the land like lords of men. She had spoken mind to mind with one, his fierce eyes locked on hers. It was not an experience she would soon forget.

Giveaways!! :

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Soo .... COMMENT on this post!! And you could WIN!! =0)

ALSO -- Be sure to follow the tour around the other blog sites!

Find Diana Green :

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Blog Tour - Feasted On: Cinderella & Prince Dom by Sydney St. Claire | Review & Gift Card Giveaway

Today I'm turning my blog over to Sydney St. Claire, with a review of her latest novel "Cinderella & Prince Dom!!"

ALSO -- Be sure to check out Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post to be able to sign up for this blog stop's GIVEAWAY(s)!! [Blog Tour will run on September 24, 2014 -- Giveaway will run from September 24 - 25, 2014]

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Kindle Edition - File Size: 238 KB | Release Date: September 12, 2014 | Publisher: The Wild Rose Press | Obtained: Goddess Fish Promotions

"Cinderella & Prince Dom" [Once Upon A Dom Series, Book 1] by Sydney St. Claire (aka Susan Edwards)

Author's Book Description : Jaimie Newberry is jobless, her rent is due, and her cat just died. On top of that, she was accused of embezzling before she was fired. When her friend invites her for a weekend of kinky fairytale role playing, she agrees to go as Cinderella. What has she got to lose when sex with a handsome prince is involved?

CEO Bryce Langston needs to know if Jamie is innocent of embezzlement or just very clever. He arranges for her to be his weekend sub but soon realizes the pretty scullery maid is naïve to the BDSM lifestyle. As her prince and her Dom, he intends to not only learn the truth but to make sure she has a fantasy come true.

My Book Review : 4 out of 5 stars! A woman’s friend tries to give her a weekend of her fantasies, while the man she gets setup with sets out to prove himself to her and find the information he seeks. This is an interesting take on the “fairytale romance novels,” as it gives you the illusion of a fairytale while it still being a contemporary erotic romance.

As partners Bryce (Prince Charming) and Jaimie (Cinderella) are matched set, they just end up working so well it is hard not to root for them to be together. In addition, I liked how they grew within their chemistry for one another. They didn’t have an instant connection but something that was able to grow, with hopes of it possibly lasting.

Nevertheless, though I liked the way it all wrapped up at the very end, I wasn’t pleased with what happened leading up to the ending. I know this wasn’t a step-by-step version of Cinderella but I wish Bryce could have been a bit more gallant than he turned out to be.

Overall, I did enjoy this novel and I’m intrigued to see where this series will lead us from here.

I recommend this novel and series to anyone looking for a fun erotic contemporary romance!

Purchase This Book Here :

Author's Novel Extras : Cinderella & Prince Dom - Overview & Excerpt | Sneak Peak Sunday-Cinderella & Prince Dom | Sneak Peek Sunday #2

Author's Series Extras : Once Upon A Dom Series - Overview | Red & Her Big Bad Wolf - Overview & Excerpt | THE BEAUTY OF POWER WRITING | GHOSTWRITING SPARKS CAREER CHANGE

Author's Book Trailer :

Book Teaser(s) :
Dropping the towel, she pulled the dress over her head, then gasped. The elastic top barely covered her. “Um, I think this too small.”
Her prince smiled. “No, just right.” He reached out and yanked the top down, easing the elastic beneath her breasts then stepped back. “Perfect.”
Jaimie stared down at her breasts, held up and out by the bodice of her dress. She flushed. “I can’t wear it like this.”
“Why not?”
“I feel like a slut.”
Her Dom reached out and cupped her, one breast in each palm. “You, my sweet sub, are my slut. You have beautiful tits. Would you deny me the joy of viewing them?” ~ within Chapter 3
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Sydney, then please check out her website.

About the Author :

Sydney St. Claire is the pseudonym of Susan Edwards, author of 14 Historical Native American/Western/Paranormal romances and the author of the popular "White" Series. During her career, she has been nominated for the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Western Historical and Reviewer's Choice Best Book Award.

Sydney loves writing and sharing stories of love, happiness and dreams come true with her readers. She credits her mother for her writing as she was encouraged to read as a child and preferred happy endings which meant romances were her favorite genre. When the writing bug bit, she followed the sensible advice to “write what you know” and has been writing and publishing her stories since!

Sydney takes her readers into the world of erotica romance where her characters come together in explosive passion as they solve life's problems and find true love along with the best sex our hero and heroine have ever experienced.

Sydney resides in California. Her office is quite crowded with two small dogs at her feet, another huge girl in her recliner and five cats to keep her company while she writes. Three cats always insist on beds on her desk, barely leaving enough room for her monitor and keyboard. Life gets fun when all five insist on supervising...

When not writing, she enjoys crafts of all sorts including quilting, sewing, cross-stitch and knitting. Knitting and crochet are her current passions. She and her husband of 30 + years are avid gardeners. He takes care of the veggies, and Susan is in charge of the 'pretties'. Her medicine wheel garden is in a contact state of war: flowers vs. weeds. Sadly, right now the weeds are wining...

Camping, fishing, biking and hiking (when not hot) are other outdoor pursuits she and her husband enjoy. She is of course, an avid reader and hates cooking and housework. While writing, she listens to a wide variety of music, including Neil Diamond, Celtic, Native American, New Age, Classical, and mood music (bagpipes and howling wolves drive my family nuts). Her current favorites are Blackmore's Night and David Lanz.

Book Excerpt :

“What are you thinking?”

Flushing at his question, which sounded more like a demand, Jaimie wrinkled her nose. “I’m thinking that you have a very fine ass.”

He lifted a brow. “Eager to begin?”

When nervous or excited, Jaimie’s lips twitched on her left side, which made her a horrible poker player. Her lips were twitching now. “I’ve never—”

“I know,” he interrupted. “Let’s get back to business.” He flicked his wrist, and an envelope landed neatly on the table in front of her.

A bit put out by his abruptness, Jaimie lifted a brow but reached for the envelope. She eyed her partner warily.

“That is the result of my blood work, assuring you of my clean bill of health. I’ve seen yours.”

Jaimie scanned the single sheet of paper, noting that the name had been blacked out. She set it down. “Okay, what now?”

“Let’s talk about your sex life. I read the questionnaire you filled out and understand you’re game for a bit of light BDSM.”

“What?” The spit in Jaimie’s mouth dried. “What do you mean by light BDSM?” She was going to kill Lucy. She’d assumed many of the men and women she’d seen earlier were into some kinky stuff, but there’d been others wearing normal costumes. Like her.

“Dominant and submissive role playing.”

“Roles? As in I’m Cinderella and you’re the Prince?”

His lips curved in amusement. “Not quite. I am a Dominant who requires a submissive. I am your Dom and you are my sub. Those are our roles for the weekend.”

Jaimie stood. Yep. Her friend deserved a slow, torturous death. “I think there’s been a misunderstanding. I’m not into kinky sex or pain. I agreed to a weekend of free food, being waited on, and having sex with my prince charming.”

Giveaways!! :

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Soo .... COMMENT on this post!! And you could WIN!! =0)

ALSO -- Be sure to follow the tour around the other blog sites!

Find Sydney St. Claire :

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Blog Tour - Feasted On: Tamed By The Fire by Maxine Mansfield | Review & Giveaway

Today I'm turning my blog over to Maxine Mansfield, with a review of her novel "Tamed By The Fire," which is the 4th book in The Academy Series!!

ALSO -- Be sure to comment on this post to be able to sign up for this tour's GIVEAWAYs (listed below)!! [Blog Tour will run from January 6 - 10, 2013]

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Paperback - Pages: 342; Kindle Edition - File Size: 511 KB | Release Date: October 24, 2013 | Publisher: The Wild Rose Press | Obtained: Goddess Fish Promotions

"Tamed By The Fire" [The Academy Series, Book 4] by Maxine Mansfield

Author's Book Description : Kitrina Dragonheart is a hunted woman, but the last thing the savvy rogue wants is to partner in a quest with the arrogant but oh-so-sexy prince who deflowered her. But when the threat extends to her legacy and her loved ones, she has no choice but to accept his skills as an extraordinary warrior. Now if she can just get past the distraction of his touch.

Barbarian Zander Hammerstrike vowed to protect Kit with his life. But who's going to protect Zander from the sensually sassy human? She's playing havoc on his sanity—as well as his libido—and she's on the verge of stealing his heart...again. He can't let that happen. As future ruler of Alaria, Zander must take a barbarian wife to keep the bloodline pure, and Kit being human...

Destined from birth to follow different paths, their love seems impossible, but does the Dragon Heart Opal have other plans in store for the pair?

My Book Review : 4 out of 5 stars, a girl who has loved her best friends older brother throughout her whole life learns that her feelings/hopes/dreams are reciprocated but--because of who they are and their duties--they can never be fulfilled .... or can they?

This is a great addition to The Academy series by Ms. Mansfield! It portrays a fun look at some of our favorite previous main & secondary characters (where are they now) as well as giving you enjoyable new characters to follow (mostly their children). In addition, this plot has the series' usual suspense that keeps you enraptured and not wanting to put it down!

Kit & Zander are one couple that tries to fight fate even when they don't want to. I liked how these two just clicked despite everything against them. Especially, I enjoyed learning about Kit's abilities and their relation to her stone it was thrilling to find out what would happen to her next. My only wish is that she wasn't so naive when it came to certain things/people, even though it all worked out in the end.

Overall, I recommend this novel and series to anyone who likes fantasy romances!

Purchase This Book and/or The Other Books From It's Series Here :

My Previous Review(s) for this Series : Book 2

Author's Novel Extras : Tamed by the Fire

Author's Series Extras : The Academy Series - Overview | Leekyism's ta live by | Leekyism of the Day | Leekyism of the Day | Leekyism of the Day :) | Leeky's Day | A Leeky Tuesday Afternoon | Another Leeky Tuesday Afternoon | Just Another Leeky Friday Morning | Just Another Slushy Leeky Morning | Touched by the Magic out May 4th | Sinful Sirens Blog Tour | To be, or not to be NAUGHTY :) | Goddess Fish review tour | Today's review link

Book Teaser(s) :
She giggled, though not sure if it was from the euphoria of his touch or the simple lack of oxygen to her brain. Wouldn’t that obituary be interesting to read? Young woman succumbs while still a virgin. But don’t be too sad for her, dear reader, for she died with a smile plastered on her face. One even the mortician couldn’t wipe away. Oh, what a wondrous death it would be. ~ within Chapter 1
Kitrina pushed yet another student, this time a halfling, out of the path of a flying ball of fire. Graydon and Gareth Sunwalker could both go straight to the Valley of Torment as far as she was concerned.
Weeding out the weak...really? A class tradition from the past when their father, Sarco Sunwalker, Lord of the Elves, had been the wizard instructor here? Whatever.
What her two dark-haired, pointy-eared, mostly high-elf, identical pseudo cousins were really trying to do was decrease the number of students they’d have to contend with in their class. But instead of just coming out and saying there were way too many wanna-be wizards interested in learning how to control and use the magic of fire, they’d devised this totally unfair little exercise and had called it weeding out the weak.
In reality, though, what the co-instructors of elemental wizardry were doing was unfairly matching their skills against the poor unsuspecting throng of students and...and...enjoying it way more than they should.
The twins both took turns throwing low-level fireballs at random intervals. Any student unfortunate enough to receive a direct hit was then immediately tossed out of the class.
She wanted to throttle them.
They were supposed to be aiming at all of the students. They weren’t, though. They were cheating, and it was obvious to anyone with eyes and the time to spare a look in her direction. Even after twelve fireballs being thrown in rapid sequence, not one single flaming orb had come anywhere near her.
So much for discretion in their task of keeping her safe. And so much for not showing apparent favoritism.
Gareth grinned at her as he angled his arm off to the right. ~ within Chapter 7
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Maxine, then please check out her website.

About the Author :

Hi, my name is Maxine Mansfield, and I write fantasy, erotic romances. I live in the far northern state of Alaska where the summer days are long and the winter nights even longer. I have one very special man, his three equally special children, and our six delightful grandchildren in my life. Not to mention a very bossy African Grey parrot named Gabriel. Oh, and Gnomes! Many, many Gnomes!

Book Excerpt :

A girl’s deflowering is a once-in-a-lifetime event...

He didn’t say a word as they walked from the great room or even as they made their way down the long hall. Not a “hi, how are you?” Not a “how have you been?” Not even an “I’ve always been attracted to you, and I’m looking forward to doing this.” Nothing but silence.

When the door of her chamber clicked closed behind them, shutting them all alone from the rest of the world, Kitrina jumped at the sound of the bolt tumbling into place. She searched for something clever to say. Where was the speech she’d prepared just yesterday? The witty words meant to assure Zander that she was a woman full grown, sophisticated even? Words meant to put them both at ease?

They were gone, completely gone, and her mind totally blank.

Well, perhaps not totally blank. Even though she no longer faced him, she could still hear the depth of his breathing and in her mind still see the ripple of his muscles, the intensity of his gaze, the nearness of his lips. She gulped.

When his hands lifted her hair away and his fingers grazed the skin at the back of her neck, heat infused her from head to toe, and though certainly not cold, she shivered.

“Easy, my lady. Relax, all will be well. You shall see.”

The closure of her gown suddenly gave way, and with a whoosh, the gossamer green material pooled about her feet. Kit stepped out of it, took a deep breath to steady herself, then turned to face him. The appreciation for what he saw reflected back to her from his heated gaze and bolstered her shaky nerves as nothing else on Albrath could have. Though his breathing appeared steady, his lips parted and his nostrils slightly flared.

Kitrina reached out and undid the clasp holding his kilt together. There was no mistaking his attraction to her as the plaid fell to the floor.

Giveaways!! :

  • A $25 Amazon or B&N Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour

To Enter : Please leave a comment on this post, with a valid email address included at the end of it.

Soo .... COMMENT, COMMENT, COMMENT on this post!! And you could WIN!! =0)

ALSO -- Be sure to follow the tour around the other blog sites! Commenting on the other stops on the tour will also increase your chance of winning!

Find Maxine Mansfield :

Monday, March 30, 2015

Idolizing In: Caller of Light by T. J. Shaw

Format: Kindle Edition | File Size: 672 KB | Release Date: November 26, 2012 | Publisher: The Wild Rose Press | Obtained:

"Caller of Light" by T. J. Shaw

Author's Book Description : As a half-blood princess, CARINA MCKAY is considered an outsider. She’s not nobility, yet not a servant either. She’s not loved, but striving to find love. She’s not strong or respected, but more powerful and deserving of admiration than anyone knows. She’s an insignificant who lives in the background, but is destined to save the world.

KING MAREK DUNCAN has closed his heart to love after an arranged marriage withers to a bitter end. He seeks a mistress to continue his family line, and searches for the CALLER of LIGHT, the one who bonds mystical winged Critons to their riders.

Together, they unlock a love that binds them, a love that seals their souls to each other and gives them the strength to follow their hearts down the dangerous path the gods have ordained they follow. A love where legends are made of and legions follow into battle.

"CALLER of LIGHT" — Awards
  • 2012 — Yellow Rose Winter Rose contest WINNER
  • 2012 — Touch of Magic contest finalist
  • 2012 — Cleveland Rocks contest finalist
  • 2012 — The Sandy contest finalist
  • 2012 — Great Beginnings contest finalist
  • 2012 — Smoky Mountain Laurie contest finalist
  • 2011 — Oklahoma Finally a Bride contest WINNER
  • 2011 — Heart of the West contest finalist
  • 2011 — Melody of Love contest finalist

My Book Review : 5 out of 5 stars!! King Marek travels to a neighboring kingdom with plans to meet the other King's daughter and agree to marry her, even though he isn't very hopeful or even happy about getting married for again he does need an heir. However, his plans change as soon as he sees then meets Carina, deciding to take her as a mistress instead, setting them both on a path neither expected...

WOW!! I am in love with this intensely dynamic fast-paced novel! It was like a fantasy driven Cinderella romance with surprising twists the whole way through. I especially liked that even if some of the twists made Marek behave in a way I didn't like this novel’s fast-pace made it so you couldn't dwell on his dumb behavior that long as there was more action to get into.

Carina made this novel with her sweet ways and strong defiant courage. Yet, her being with Marek brought me back for more. Their connection is shown as being all-consuming but in a way where they both benefit and strengthen each other. I'm very interested in seeing what else will come their way and their relationship growing because of it.

On a different note, can I say, “oh how I HATE Sampson!” I knew from the beginning that I didn't like his attitude but after what he did all I can say is that I loath him. In addition, really I'm curious if his character could really be redeemed. Since through it all he kept saying that he honored Marek and thought of him as a brother. So, I wonder what his true personality is. My guess is he's either the person Marek trusted and just suddenly had something bad in his head happen to him to make him act as he did or a man who hid behind a kind mask for years just waiting for the right moment to act out.

The other person I didn't like---but as per the "Cinderella" type of storyline it was to be expected---was Carina's half-sister Marissa. Basically, she is vindictive with a capital "B."

Nevertheless, as I said before I loved this novel! Therefore, I HIGHLY recommend it to those looking for a thrilling paranormal fantasy romance!!

Purchase This Book Here :

Author's Novel Extras : Pinterest: Caller of Light | Caller of Light Excerpt | Here’s to you, Mom!

Book Teaser(s) :
Carina’s hand still held him. He could’ve easily wrapped his body around hers and fallen asleep. But he’d vowed to behave according to protocol and now that she would recover, he had no excuse for remaining.
When he tried to remove his arm, her grip tightened and her eyes flew open.
“Where are you going?” The peacefulness of sleep had vanished from her face and borderline panic anchored in the harbor of her eyes.
“Shh,” he whispered. “I’ll be right outside if you need me, but it’d be improper for me to stay,” he finished with a lame shrug.
She snorted. “You’ll sleep with me like the other nights.”
He raised an eyebrow at her forcefulness. Her eyes had slipped closed, but her hand clasped his arm with unyielding firmness.
“Carina,” he mumbled with a helpless sigh.
“You will stay,” she commanded in a sleepy drawl.
He smiled. Maybe her stubborn nature wasn’t such a bad thing. And maybe even a bit endearing, he decided as he curled up beside her and buried his head in the crook of her neck , grateful she was alive. ~ within Chapter 25 - titled 'BRINK of DEATH'

For more information on this book and/or any other books by T. J., then please check out her website.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Made the Grade: Goals for a Sinner by Lynn Shurr

Format: Kindle Edition | File Size: 307 KB | Release Date: April 2010 | Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

"Goals for a Sinner" by Lynn Shurr

My Book Summary : Stephanie (Stevie) seems to always get involved with the wrong guy ... so she decides to avoid relationships for a while. But one man (Connor) might just brake his own celibacy "pack" that he took for that season (as he's a professional football player) when he runs into Stevie (literally) again after so many years apart and sweep her off her feet.

They begin with a close friendship that turns into something more over time ..... but can their love survive interfering families, careers, injuries, and most of all ... their own pride??

My Book Review : THE BOOK ITSELF I'M GIVING IT - 3.5 out of 5 stars, BUT OVERALL FOR THE KINDLE EDITION - 2 out of 5 stars. The story was well written, thoughtful, and a true love story!!! I would recommend it for anyone wanting to read it in book form, BUT NOT KINDLE FORM!! In the kindle form I had to make-up sentences at the top of every page so at times it was a little hard to follow which wasn't fun at all. =0(

Book Teaser(s) :
"If they need more help, I can sic St. Jude on 'em. He sure came through for me. I stay celibate for the season. Connor gets well and plays again. Maybe I can work another deal for them."
"Joe Dean, you got the simple faith of a child. The Bible says that's a good thang, but you know, folks have to work on their problems, too."
"I don't see why when a prayer and a nice donation to the Catholic Church will take care of the matter."
"Okay, you the man. You call the plays," the Rev said around a mouthful of ham, cheese, and salami. "Who am I to say miracles don't happen?"
"Damn right. I am the quarterback. Yes, I am." ~ within Chapter 20
For more information on this book and/or any other books by Lynn, then please check out her website.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Blog Tour - Feasted On: The Patriot Girl by Toni Lynn Cloutier | Interview, Review, & Giveaway

Today I'm turning my blog over to Toni Lynn Cloutier, who I interviewed about her debut novel "The Patriot Girl," which is the 1st book in The No Bulls Series!!

ALSO -- Be sure to comment on this post to be able to sign up for this tour's GIVEAWAYs (listed below)!! [Blog Tour will run from June 18 - 22, 2012]

My Q&A with Toni Lynn Cloutier :

Jess : What books did you enjoy reading while growing up?

Toni Lynn : I didn’t like reading at ALL. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties when my best friend introduced me to "Butterfly" by Kathryn Harvey. Had I known these books existed I would have been an avid reader! :)

Jess : Which of your characters would you most & least want to invite to dinner, from which book and why?

Toni Lynn : I would invite Jodi from "The Patriot Girl" because we think alike. No question we’d get a long. My least to invite would have to be Vicky. Although she’s a sweet old lady, I think I would be intimidated.

Jess : What sparked the idea for "The Patriot Girl?"

Toni Lynn : The thought of “What would happen if a woman fell in love with the man she blamed for killing her husband?” had to have been trigged by something I read. I’m not sure how it actually came about. I do recall where and when it happened.

Jess : Is there one particular scene in "The Patriot Girl" that you’re dying for readers to read?

Toni Lynn : Yes, MaKayla’s ah-ha moment.

Jess : Can you tell us anything about it?

Toni Lynn : I don’t want to ruin the scene, but I will tell you a personal story. My husband walked in on me while I was writing this scene and said, “You’re not crying because of what you’re writing, are you?” I nodded and laughed. He walked away smiling, shaking his head. I just wonder if my readers will have the same tear-jerk experience while reading it as I had writing it. Hmmm...

Jess : If "The Patriot Girl" were to be made into a film, who do you see playing the main characters and why?

Toni Lynn : Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds...because love interests start on a movie set and I would love to see these two hook up in real life!

Jess : Which usually comes first for you, the character(s) story or the idea for the novel?

Toni Lynn : Idea...I usually have the beginning and several scenes plotted before I think of character names.

Jess : Please describe your heroine, from "The Patriot Girl," in one to two sentences.

Toni Lynn : MaKayla is an unselfish and loyal woman who puts others first.

Jess : In regards to your most recent novel, if you could write it all over again, would you change anything about it?

Toni Lynn : Noooo. "The Patriot Girl" has been through nine years of revisions. IT’S DONE!! :)

Jess : How many books have you written?

Toni Lynn : Seven romances, but only one is published. Four puzzles book, only two are in print now.

Jess : Which is your favorite and why?

Toni Lynn : "Lassoing Love," which is in my editor’s hands at the moment. I think this is my favorite because I’m not sure who has fallen in love with the foster child more, my heroine or me. I’m crossing fingers and toes that this one sells.

Jess : Do you have any other projects in the works? If so, can you share a little of your current work with us?

Toni Lynn : If you’ve been following the tour, you know that I also write under the pseudonym, This short erotic m/m is available June 29, 2012. I am working on another story by her ("Lucky Waters"). I am working on book two of the No Bulls Series, Jesse’s story, ("Count Down To Love") under

About the Author :

The youngest of five children, Toni was born and raised in Rhode Island. After graduating East Providence High School as a member of the Rhode Island Honor Society, she held several jobs from accounts receivable to billing before attending Rhode Island Associates of Realtors. She has a wonderful husband and is a stay-at-home mom to their teenage son. She is the author of two educational word search puzzle books. Her week is filled with writing romance novels and listening to country music while cleaning house, rearranging furniture, and playing with the cat they adopted from the shelter.

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Paperback - Pages: 238; Kindle Edition - File Size: 365 KB | Expected Release Date: June 2012 | Publisher: The Wild Rose Press | Obtained: Goddess Fish Promotions

"The Patriot Girl" [The No Bulls Series, Book 1] by Toni Lynn Cloutier (aka Renee Ashley Williams)

My Book Summary : MaKayla has been struggling with letting go of her past, and her husband Paul, for the past three years since he passed away from a car accident. She's knows she should come to terms with everything but it's very hard to do, especially when the accident's case hasn't been settled yet. Soon MaKayla will find out that even if she doesn't want to move on fate has other plans for her. The only question is will she accept those plans and get over the past or will she find that letting go is just too hard to do?

Ever since the car accident Dustin was in three years ago, he has tried to move on and put together a life for his three-year-old daughter and himself the best he can. Therefore, he gave up being a lawyer and opened a country club called No Bulls with his best friend. Things are running smoothly until he meets MaKayla, who turns his world upside down. Especially after he finds out about their shared past and now has to embrace an unknown future with or without her. However, is he willing to give MaKayla up after he just got her, even if she thinks it's for the best? Or will he be able to convince her otherwise?

My Book Review : 4 out of 5 stars, this dramatic romance throws a lot of twists your way and keeps you wanting more! I thoroughly enjoyed the chemistry and relationship between MaKayla and Dustin!! It's as if they were made for each other! Also, I appreciated MaKayla's dedication to Paul, even though at times I just wanted her to give up her personal fight earlier than she did so she could have been with Dustin sooner!

My only big problem with the book was all the little secondary storyline questions that were left unanswered. Like .... What happened to Tiffany to make her not show up to meet Buck? Did Tiffany's Dad like the "gift?" Will MaKayla and Dustin have more kids? What did MaKayla's in-laws think of Dustin? ... etc. So, I hope that within the next book in this series they will answer some of these questions and more. =0)

Otherwise, I recommend this novel to those of you who like reading a dramatic-packed contemporary romance!!

Author's Novel Extras : My Journey To Publication

Book Teaser(s) :
Teaser #1 ~ within Chapter 1
He’d never seen a woman with so many ideas for one project. “I think you’ve put a lot of effort into planning.”
“Well, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately.” She handed him a list of what she’d explained. “After I get your information and take a few pictures, I’ll compile some materials for you to go through. First, sign here and here.”
The longer he procrastinated the sicker his stomach felt. He needed to end the misery.
He signed her copy of the contract, which would probably be ripped up before the night ended.
She glanced at the paper. “You have a doctor’s penmanship. What’s your last name?”
Standing, he dodged her question by taking her hand, then leading her toward the opposite end of the bar. She would learn exactly who he was soon enough. ~ within Chapter 6
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Toni Lynn, then please check out her website.

Book Excerpt :

She tilted her head toward his touch. “We do have an unusual chemistry, but anything more between us would complicate things.”

“In what ways?”

“Alex wouldn’t understand. Not to mention Paul’s parents.”

“What about what MaKayla wants?” A loaded question she didn’t know how to answer.

She wanted what she couldn’t have—not to be alone, the noises in her backyard to go away, a husband to spoil, and another child to mother. “It doesn’t matter what I want. What matters is doing the right thing.”

“For who?”

“For everyone.”

“Even if it means being unhappy? When was the last time you did something for MaKayla without worrying about consequences?” He rolled his tongue and smiled.

“There was liquor involved. Otherwise, I never would have growled at you.”

“Why not?”

She shrugged. “Because it’s inappropriate.”

“A tease?”


He cupped her cheeks between his palms. “I find you sexy as hell and I’m going to kiss you. The time to stop me would be right now.”

Giveaways!! :
  • A $10 Amazon Gift Cards to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour

  • A $10 Amazon Gift Cards "Stalker Prize" to one randomly drawn from those commenters who comment on each Blog stop during the tour

To Enter : Please leave a comment on this post, with a valid email address included at the end of it.

Soo .... COMMENT, COMMENT, COMMENT on this post!! And you could WIN!! =0)

ALSO -- Be sure to follow the tour around the other blog sites! Commenting on the other stops on the tour will also increase your chance of winning!

Find Toni Lynn Cloutier :

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Blog Tour - One More Taste by Melissa Cutler | Interview & Spreading the Word

Today I'm showing off Melissa Cutler's "One More Taste," which is her recently released novel, the SECOND novel in her One and Only Texas Series, and the novel I recently interviewed her about!

My Q&A with Melissa Cutler :

Jess : Please describe "One More Taste" in one sentence.

Melissa : When a brazen chef tries to prove her chops to her sexy new boss, they heat up a lot more than the kitchen.

Jess : What can readers expect from "One More Taste?"

Melissa : Readers can expect my signature combination of a book full of both humor and emotional resonance…with one seriously spicy romance woven throughout it.

Jess : Which of your characters would you most & least like to invite to dinner, from which book and why?

Melissa : The characters from this series that I’d most like to invite to dinner are all those hot, sexy cowboy heroes (surprise, surprise!). Decker, Micah, Knox, and (from upcoming books) Paul and Gentry. Mmm….sexy cowboy heroes at my dinner table…now there’s a dream come true!

The character from the series that I’d least like to have over for dinner, and which readers of the series would probably agree with me, is Ty Briscoe, the villain of the first three stories.

Jess : Are there any differences and/or similarities between Emily from "One More Taste" and Carina from "The Mistletoe Effect?"

Melissa : While Emily and Carina are best friends, they have very different personalities. Carina is all about becoming a mom and not working too hard, which is a shift because she used to be a work-a-holic, which Emily still is. On the other hand, Carina is a rule follower, while Emily is more of a rebel. What they do have in common is that they love each other and their home of Briscoe Ranch Resort very much.

Jess : Out of all of the secondary characters within One and Only Texas Series, do you have one or two favorites so far? If so, who are they and can you tell us why?

Melissa : What a fun question. I tend to write books that have huge casts of characters, so there are lots of secondary characters to choose from. My current favorite is from next year’s release, "ONE WILD NIGHT," and it’s the heroine’s grandmother, Mama Lita, who clashes with Granny June at every turn because, while Granny June is the consummate matchmaker of the series, Mama Lita is a wild spirit who doesn’t believe a woman needs a man in her life.

Jess : June Briscoe is one of my favorite characters. She's appeared in all the books. How did you come up with her and her amazing personality (sneakiness, quirks and all)?

Melissa : She’s one of my favorite characters in the series, too. When I wrote her character’s first ever scene, in scene one of "THE MISTLETOE EFFECT," she seemed like an old, strict Italian mafia grandma with old world superstitions at first, which probably would have been fine, but I then wrote a draft that lightened her up and turned her into the scene’s comic relief…and I instantly fell in love with her! Hence, the Granny June we all know and love was born.

Jess : Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

Melissa : Growing up, my house wasn’t a pleasant one, and so I kept to myself in my bedroom as much as possible. In a huge way I’m grateful for the way my childhood played out, because my imagination flourished. The earliest I can remember writing stories and poems is age four. Writing them and reading books took me away to other times and places and let me live, for a little while, in magical places. Even then, I knew I was a writer, an identity that stayed with me in all the years since.

Jess : What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Melissa : What most characterizes my writing is a combination of humor and emotion weight. I’m really interested in real issues and the struggles that everyday people face in their lives, not just romantically, but with family and friends and their careers. My heroines tend to be quirky, smart, career-focused women and my heroes tend to be blue collar workers. In that way, Knox Briscoe, the hero of "ONE MORE TASTE," is unusual. I rarely write about wealthy men because they don’t tend to hold my interest, but what I love about Knox is how he rose to wealth from blue collar roots, which makes his relationship to his wealth and his family really complicated in the best, juiciest possible way for an author to explore.

Jess : What question(s) do you wish that someone would ask about "One More Taste," but no one has? Please write it out here, then answer it.

Melissa :
  1. Have you ever executed a revenge plot (like Knox does in the story)?
    • Mwahahaha! I’ll never tell! 😃
  2. Has your car or house ever been haunted by a dead relative?
    • No, but I fully plan on returning to my high school to haunt it after I pass away like the ghosts at Hogwarts do in the Harry Potter series. [kids whispering to each other] “They say she never recovered from getting that C in Spanish her freshman year, and now she walks the halls begging for extra credit to raise her grade. Poor, tortured soul.”
Jess : If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Melissa : I can’t decide between these two: 1) controlling the weather, or 2) having the power to heal people with a touch. Either one would make the world a better place in significant ways.

Jess : What literary character is most like you?

Melissa : Depends on the day. You know how it goes—some days you’re George, while other days you’re Lenny. Captain Ahab pops up every so often. And Jack Reacher, sometimes. And then there are those days that we all have when we’re Frankenstein’s monster. Mostly, I aspire to be Olivia, the pig from the children’s picture book. Oh, if we could all be more like Olivia.

"One More Taste"
[One and Only Texas Series, Book 2] by Melissa Cutler

Author's Book Description :
    If you can’t take the heat...

    Chef Emily Ford has the talent and ambition to make it in the cutthroat culinary world—which is why she refuses to accept her demotion at the hands of Knox Briscoe, the new CEO of Briscoe Ranch Resort. He has grand plans that include bringing in a celebrity chef to helm an exciting new restaurant at the resort, but Emily has plans of her own—to do whatever it takes to change his mind…


    Cut out of the Briscoe fortune by an old feud that left his family in ruins, Knox grew up dreaming of revenge. Out-maneuvering his uncle for control of Briscoe Ranch is merely the first step in a grand plan that doesn’t include the brazen and beautiful Emily Ford…or the attraction that sizzles between them. With both their futures on the line, can they keep their desires on simmer—or are they headed from the frying pan straight into the fire?

    Return to Brisoce Ranch Resort in the second book in Melissa Cutler's One and Only Texas series!

This book is available to order on :

Amazon (e-Book) USD | Amazon (Paperback) USD | Barnes & Noble (NOOK Book) USD | Barnes & Noble (Paperback) USD | Shop Your Local Bookstores (IndieBound - Paperback) USD | Kobo (e-Book) USD

** Be sure to add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads & LibraryThing! **

About the Author :

Melissa Cutler knows she has the best job in the world writing sexy contemporary romances and romantic suspense. She was struck at an early age by an unrelenting travel bug and is probably planning her next vacation as you read this. When she's not globetrotting, she's enjoying Southern California's flip-flop wearing weather and wrangling two rambunctious kids.

My Previous Review(s) for this Author : The Mistletoe Effect

My Previous Mention(s) of this Author's Books/Characters : Best Book Couples -- Happy Valentine's Day 2015

Book Excerpt/Teaser(s) :

A knock sounded at the open door. Everyone turned, relieved at the distraction. A woman Knox would recognize anywhere filled the doorway, a folder clutched in her arms and a hard-set look of determination on her face. Chef Emily Ford.


“Ty told me about you. You’ve worked at this resort since right out of culinary school a decade ago. No internships, no stints as a sous chef at a celebrated restaurant, nothing remarkable, not even a chef competition show on TV. Your whole career, you’ve been here at Briscoe Ranch, laboring in obscurity. If you’re so talented, then why have you been holding yourself back?”

He watched the shift of her weight from one foot to the other, the extra squeeze she gave the folder in her hand. He’d hit a nerve. Good. Turnabout was fair play.

“I’m not holding myself back. All the years I’ve worked here, laboring in obscurity”—she said with a scoff—“I’ve had the freedom to cook what I want, every dish completely original instead of imitations of more prominent chefs or attempts to pander to critics’ fickle tastes. Over the last decade, I’ve risen from a graveyard-shift line cook in the room service kitchen to the executive catering chef, one of the principal roles at the resort.” She spun the folder onto his desk and speared a finger on it. “A few months ago, Ty agreed to my proposal to open a high-concept, signature restaurant at the resort. Subterranean, I’m going to call it. We were in the process of securing funding when you showed up and ruined everything.”

He took a step nearer to her, then another, stopping just short of arm’s length. This close, those freckles on her cheeks came into focus again, as did a faint, hairline scar along her jaw that curved to her chin. He refocused on her furious green eyes. “I did not take this opportunity away from you. Ty did. He was the one who contacted me, looking for investors. My presence here to execute my vision for the resort, as well as the timing of it, was at his invitation. If he let you believe your restaurant would be possible under this new vision, then he was stringing you along. He’s your enemy, not me.”

Emily blanched, but only for a split second before recovering her wits. “He wasn’t stringing me along. I’m sure he was grooming me for your takeover, knowing you’d want to step up the caliber of the resort’s dining options. He’s not my enemy. He’s the employer who gave me a chance. All I need is an open door and a budget and I will give you the restaurant of your vision.”

She’d been dead on about his sixth sense and the rush he got with each thrill of discovery. He felt that familiar rush right now while sparring with her. He couldn’t wait for her to leave so he could read her proposal. He should have eaten the damn soup. Now he’d never know what he’d missed. “You and I aren’t so different in our ambition, you know.”

She sniffed at that, feigning a nonchalance he saw right through. “You couldn’t be more wrong. I possess a patience that you clearly lack.”

Oh, this woman. She wouldn’t stop pushing his buttons. He felt heat rising on his neck. He had to stuff his hand in his pockets so he wouldn’t give in to the discomfort and tug his tie loose. Emily had no idea how much patience it had taken to wait for the right time to make his move against Ty Briscoe. Years of planning and strategy, years of positioning himself in the right business, with the right connections, silently closing in on his prey, waiting to pounce until the time was right—until the prey thought it was his idea and came to him, on the verge of bankruptcy and begging for a bailout.

“Prove it,” he heard himself say, not knowing exactly what he meant by the dare.

Her gaze was unflinching. “How?”

He had to think fast. “I’ll give you four weeks. If you can prove to me in that time that you’re as gifted a chef as you claim, then I’ll hand you the reins of the restaurant along with whatever budget you require for this . . . Subterranean.”

CREDIT: From ONE MORE TASTE by Melissa Cutler. Copyright © 2016 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin's Paperbacks.

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