GENRE: Paranormal, fantasy romance

SERIES: The Dark Ones (Book 2)


About the Book

“Every story has more than one side, like a crystal that captures and reflects different colors of light. Do not take for granted what you think you know… for until you hold the entire jewel in your palm, the temptation is to fall prey to illusion and deception.”

This is a story of the Dark Ones…

Inanna: the vampire warrior

Known as the Angel of Death among her Kind, she has lived millennia alone, one of the remaining True Bloods in existence, unconsciously longing for the one male she could never have…

Gabriel: the forbidden human

His soul recognizes hers from the first encounter. With the first touch, he is awakened… Though he does not know it, he has been searching for her across the ages…

But even as they are finally reunited, their love faces seemingly impossible odds. Would history repeat itself or will they break all the rules and chart a new course together?

Read an Excerpt

“Thou shalt be a benevolent ruler of the human race.  Thou shalt not forget thy place, nor that of thy weaker subjects.  Except through the Blood Contract, with Consent, or through the Deliverance of Justice, the taking of human blood and souls is forbidden.” —Excerpt from the Dark Laws, verse ten of the Ecliptic Scrolls

Inanna watched the couple through the thin wall of the hospice, seeing clearly every hair, every eye-lash.

For the most part, her unique ability could be likened to infrared vision, but it was much more powerful than that: she could see through walls as if they were entirely transparent, and she could zoom distant objects into focus to the finest detail.

His chin-length hair hid most of his expression, but Inanna understood the exchange between husband and wife as if she’d heard every word.  She knew what was being discussed; Olivia had told her late last night after Gabriel had taken Benji home.

Benji.  Benjamin.

Inanna’s new son.

Human son.

How did a four-thousand year-old vampire get into this predicament?

Because she was greedy, that’s how.  She’d fallen in love with the little boy and his bouncy, blond curls at first sight.  And first sight was before he had any hair, right after he was delivered, in fact, at New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley-Komansky Children’s Hospital.

But who was she kidding, Inanna silently chided herself.  She wasn’t just in love with the boy.

She was head over heels in lust with the husband.

Gabriel D’Angelo.

Inanna turned away from the hospice room and walked briskly outside toward her sun-proofed gun-metal Lamborghini Aventador.  Folding her long limbs into the vehicle, she fired up the ignition and raced out of the hospice parking lot, into the pitch-black night.

She would grant husband and wife one last night together before collecting on Olivia’s Blood-Contract.

And fulfilling her own.

My Review

I really enjoyed learning about the world created by the author. I was also glad that I found the glossary ahead of time, as it helped me when I became confused. Which, unfortunately, was more often than I would have liked. It would have been nice to see the information in the glossary incorporated into the story, rather than stand alone at the end of the book.

The book started off in a first-person prologue but then switched to third person and slipped a bit into omniscient pov a couple of times. However, this did not detract from the story as it was clear which/whose head we were in.

Having not read the first book in the series, I found the references to the different races (e.g., Pure Ones, Dark Ones, Humans) a bit confusing, again another good reason to have incorporated the glossary directly into the story.

I definitely enjoyed that last 50 or so pages the most as this is where the story and the action really picked up for me. If you enjoy a heart-tugging paranormal, you will definitely get your money’s worth with Dark Longing.

About the Author

Aja has been writing stories since the age of six, and novels since the age of thirteen. While she’d be the first to admit that those early efforts weren’t particularly good, she sure loved putting them down on paper!

The best part of writing, according to Aja, is that it’s completely organic, the way the stories develop. When the inspiration hits, she writes just so she herself can learn where the characters are headed because oftentimes, they take her by surprise! It is her ultimate dream to share her stories with as many readers as she possibly can.

Her other loves include art, cooking, old movies (anything with Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Robert Redford, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Clark Gable, and all the song and dance numbers because she can’t watch them and not be happy!)

She adores taking long walks with her husband and running after her two rambunctious kids. She has traveled extensively (all seven continents except Antarctica) and has a multi-cultural upbringing. She speaks two and a half languages and binge watch TV shows when the mood strikes.

Aja has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Comparative Literature and Economics and two Master’s degrees, one of which is in East Asian Studies.

Aja’s Website | Facebook | Twitter

A Giveaway

Aja James will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

This is a four-week review tour. You are welcome to visit as many of the stops as you’d like for more information on the author and book as well as more chances to win!

February 14: Emily Carrington
February 21: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart
February 21: More Books Than Livros
February 28Two Crazy Ladies Love Romance
February 28The Avid Reader
March 7Harlie’s Books

~ ~ ~

It’s been my pleasure hosting Aja James today. Please come back again next week for more authors, books, and giveaways.


Posted in Fantasy, Paranormal/Fantasy, Part of a Series, Vampire Romance | 7 Comments

GRINDER’S CORNER by Ferris H. Craig and Charlene Keel *Review*

GENRE:   Romantic Comedy

On sale for 99¢ at Amazon

About the Book

Grinders Corner explores the world of taxi dance halls in the 1960s in all its raw hilarity.  Saucy, sassy and sexy, but not the least bit erotic, it follows the adventures of three young women trying to survive in the glitter palaces of Los Angeles.

Like lambs led to the slaughter, Uptown, a newly divorced English major with panic anxiety disorder and no job skills, Voluptua, an out of work actress, and Mouse, a former child star trying to make a comeback all struggle to make enough tickets to pay the bills. Things get complicated when Uptown falls in love with a customer who happens to be a priest.

In Grinders Corner it was a simpler time, long before gentlemen’s clubs and pole dancers, and it happened in a place where shy, lonely men could talk to women, even dance with them, with no fear of rejection—for about fifteen cents a minute.

Read an Excerpt

As time went on, I realized customers were asking me to dance less and less.  I was staying barely above the two-bucks-per-hour guarantee.  I asked one of the old timers about it.  A bit condescendingly, Lamour (that was her name—I’m not kidding) put me straight regarding the realities of life in Romanceland.

She said, with authority born of experience, my drop in popularity was due to the fact that the regulars had all danced with me and discovered I wasn’t a sexual opportunity.  So, she explained, I was going to have to go out with them after two a.m., when Romanceland closed.  If I didn’t, I’d go broke.  I said I’d starve first, and she said:

“Lissen, Baby, they’re not that bad.  Just a little good night kiss and they’re happy as a kid with a lollipop.  You gotta think devious to succeed in this business.  Just promise a lot and give as little as possible and you’ll get along okay.  You got good legs and a good personality, but you’re too naive.  Start thinkin’ devious.”

Lamour’s name didn’t match her personality; she was hard as nails.  I liked talking with her.  Not that I meant to take her advice.  It was just that I’d never known anyone like her.

“Baby, love is for the birds,” she’d say.  “It don’t exist.  What makes this world go round is bull.”

“What do you mean?” I wanted to know.

“Okay, like—I overheard you talkin’ to a customer who asked you what your hobby is and you said you take an English Lit course at night school.  Then he asked you what Lit is, and you told him.  Now I’m tellin’ you.  You never wanna tell a customer a thing like that unless he’s a professor or somethin’.  You got me?”

“Yes, but . . . well . . . why not?”

“Because you never want to be above them in any way.  You shoulda told him you read True Confessions and maybe he coulda grabbed onto that.  You got me?”

“I got you.”

My Review

I haven’t laughed this hard in ages! The authors have created a delightful story of three friends who support each other through the rough times and the fun times. As individual characters, all three women shine in their own way.

I grew up in a tenement apartment in Detroit, kitty corner from the Campus Ballroom, a dance hall just like Romanceland. This book brought back a lot of fond memories of Saturday nights perched on my window ledge listening to big band music and watching strange men and fancy ladies come and go. Grinder’s Corner has finally filled in the blanks my pre-adolescent mind didn’t understand at the time.

The romance, while not center stage in the story, was still interesting and handled beautifully. Kudos to Ferris Craig and Charlene Keel for a very entertaining story.

About the Authors

Ferris Craig is a professional dancer, choreographer, actor and writer. Her credits include The Dean Martin Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Honeymooners, The Golden Girls and many TV commercials. In the 1970s she performed with The Hollywood Hoofers in Las Vegas, later establishing The Burbank Academy of Performing Arts where she taught dance and acting. More recently, she choreographed and performed for The Broadway Seniorettes, and with Recycled Teenagers (dancers over 50). Currently she lives in Southern California with her three delightful dogs. Connect with Ferris on Facebook.

Charlene Keel has written over a dozen novels and how-to books. Shadow Train, the final installment of her YA supernatural trilogy, won a Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award, and The Congressman’s Wife (for Red Sky Presents) is getting rave reviews. Her new blended-genre novel, Lost Treasures of the Heart, was released in November, 2016.

Keel has also worked as editor for international magazines, including Playgirl, For the Brideand Black Elegance.  She says the most fun she’s had as an editor (so far) was at Spice, a fanzine featuring rap, R&B, soul and gospel music. During her time there, she enjoyed going to parties for such notables as Puff Daddy, having lunch with Gloria Gaynor and attending a pasta dinner where Mariah Carey did the cooking.

Keel’s editorial assignments include The Health of Nations, a book on political philosophy, and That Nation Might Live, a moving tribute to Sarah Bush Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s stepmother. Her TV credits include Fantasy Island and Days of Our Lives, and her book, Rituals, was the basis for the first made-for-syndication soap opera. She also produced (for Romantic Times) the first annual Mr. Romance Cover Model Pageant.

A Giveaway

The authors will be awarding two winners, a free copy of Grinders Corner (print or ebook). (U.S. only for print, International for ebook) to two randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

This is a four-week review tour. You are welcome to visit as many of the stops as you’d like for even more chances to win.

February 13: Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! – promo
February 13: Long and Short Reviews
February 20: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart
February 27: Beyond Romance
February 27: K.T. Castle
March 6: Jennifer Macaire, Tell me a Story
March 6: Bookaholic

~ ~ ~

It’s been my pleasure hosting this stop on the review tour for Grinder’s Corner. Please come back again tomorrow for another author, book and giveaway.


Posted in Comedy, Vintage Romance | 2 Comments

DON’T LET HIM GO by Kay Harris *Review*


GENRE:  Contemporary Romance/Multicultural

SERIES:  I Want Morrison (Book 1)

PUBLISHER: The Wild Rose Press

Amazon | B&N

About the Book

Candace Gleason passed the bar, landed a great job, and is making a killer salary–basically, all of her dreams are coming true. Until she’s assigned to keep the boss’s petulant son out of trouble.

Jack Morrison is the rebellious black sheep of a mighty real estate family. He runs a nonprofit whose mission is to save poor people from evil corporations, like the one his own family owns. He is obnoxious, ridiculously charming, and insanely hot. He is the bane of Candace’s very existence.

Sparks fly from the moment they meet.  Candace suddenly has more to worry about than keeping Jack out of jail. She has to keep him out of her heart.

Read an Excerpt

He held his hand out to me. When I didn’t immediately take it, he wiggled his fingers. I relented and put my hand in his as I followed him onto the trail.

“Why are your hands calloused?” I asked.

“I use them a lot,” he explained. “I do projects at the apartment complex, help out some buddies working to renovate other buildings, stuff like that.”


“Some women find a man that works with his hands to be sexy,” he said, rubbing his thumb along the inside of my wrist.

“And some women find a man in a suit sexy,” I retorted.

“Hmm. I bet I can guess which one you are, Candie.”

“Why do you call me Candie?”

“I like it. It suits you. And I like that I’m the only one who calls you that.”

“You’re not.”

He stopped on the path and cocked his head at me. “I’m not?”

“No. My dad calls me that. When you first did it, I thought maybe you knew him.”

“Hmm. Maybe I should stop then.”

For reasons I would probably never comprehend, I didn’t want him to. “Why?”

Suddenly, Jack pulled me into his arms and moved us both off the trail until my back was up against a giant tree. My head spun as I looked up at him, my breath shallow, my eyes wide.

“I don’t want you to think about your dad when you’re with me,” he said, lowering his head.

I put my hands on either side of his face. He was freshly shaven today, and his skin was deliciously smooth. “I don’t,” I told him.

My Review

Well written and entertaining romance based on the opposites attract theme. I loved Candie’s character, all professionalism and tact until she meets her match in the mischievous and (as expected), devilishly handsome Jack. I struggled a bit with Jack’s character in that I felt he wasted a number of opportunities to show what he was made off by relying on his charm to get through Candace’s defenses. However, given that some of his attempts made me laugh out loud, I can overlook this minor flaw.

I thoroughly enjoyed the multicultural aspect of the story and the fact that, even though it’s part of a series, the book did not end in a cliffhanger so it can stand on its own. Also, dual first person is hard to pull off but author Kay Harris does an admirable job of keeping us in the right head. I do have to admit though, I found the time shifts from one week to the previous and back again, a month back, and years ahead, a bit jarring.

All in all, a few nice twists on a much-used theme, and an overall fun and entertaining read.

About the Author

Kay Harris has had a diverse career with jobs ranging from college professor to park ranger. Now she adds author to her repertoire. Kay writes romance novels that contain a little bit of sweet, a dash of sexy, a touch of heartbreak, and a whole lot of fun!

Kay grew up in the Midwest and has since lived all over the western United States including Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. She loves to hike, is obsessed with museums, and enjoys taking her extremely tall and very handsome husband on adventures.

Kay’s Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

A Giveaway

Kay Harris will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

This is a one-month, multi-stop, blurb blitz tour. You are welcome to visit as many sites as you’d like for even more chances to enter the drawing. Here is the first week’s schedule:

February 12: Christine Young
February 12: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin’
February 12: The Reading Addict
February 13The Avid Reader
February 13Books to Light Your Fire – review
February 13Romance Novel Giveaways
February 14Sharing Links and Wisdom
February 15J. Lynn Rowan ~ Author of Romance & Historical Fiction
February 15Edgar’s Books
February 15T’s Stuff
February 16Long and Short Reviews
February 16Notes From a Romantic’s Heart – review

The remaining weeks can be found here at Goddess Fish Promotions.

~ ~ ~

It’s been my pleasure hosting Kay for this stop in her tour. Please come back again next week for even more authors, books, and giveaways.


Posted in Comedy, Contemporary Romance, Multi-Cultural Romance | 6 Comments

BEAUTIFUL EVIL WINTER by Kelly K. Lavender *Review*

GENRE:   Suspense

PUBLISHER: Self-published


About the Book

After the USSR collapses, a time reminiscent of the unforgiving gun-slinging days of the frontier west, mild-mannered Ethan and fiery Sophia board a plane bound for Russia. They hope to prevail with their homespun plan to secure their son’s safe passage to America. What can go wrong? Maybe, an innocent ill fated encounter with the Mafia or maybe, being marked as a target for mob revenge. Perhaps, having to rely on a first-time adoption coordinator to complete the process and shelter them from harm. Honestly, what won’t go wrong?

Inspired by a true story, Beautiful Evil Winter triumphs as epic historical fiction about the human capacity for hope, the traumas that shape our lives and the hardships we’ll endure for love.

Read an Excerpt

The conversation with Natasha on the phone last night burns in my brain.

“Adoption very risky in Russia now. The ban make Mafia watch money very close.”

How could she say that on the eve of our trip? I play back what Natasha said.
“This trip big gamble for you. I work to keep adoption away from Mafia. If I do not, police arrest you for human trafficking or Mafia take you. Better to go to prison. My name not appear anywhere, only yours. Phone will be disconnected. And I never know you.”

“Hello, folks. This is your pilot I apologize for the delay. The maintenance crew is working diligently to insure the safety of our trip. Thanks again for your patience.”

I glance over at Ethan, who’s dozing now.

“Honey?” I place my hand on his arm, but he doesn’t stir. Probably, the fatigue finally caught up with him, or… maybe he drank a cocktail, in which case he’ll be comatose. I think I’ll go to the restroom before the plane takes off. “Be back in a minute.”

I carefully unclasp my seat belt and try to skitter by him without disturbing him. As I walk past the rows on either side, I glance at the tendrils of ear plugs reaching upward like small sun- seeking plants, and the hand-held devices, passengers attached to them like farmers admiring prized vegetables pulled from the fields.

As I reach the door, the occupied sign forces me to pause and begin to turn around. Suddenly, I hear the click of the door unlocking.

What luck! I’ll just dash in and dash out. Hopefully, I won’t have to hold my breath to stay in there. My face twists in repulsion at the thought. A haggard looking middle-aged man with a large paunch emerges and smiles too brightly at me.

That look—that look of recognition like I’m a favorite relative, but I’m not. His lids half close as he squeezes past me taking his slow sweet time. And he looks back at me before he stumbles down the aisle way.


My Review

Author Kelly K. Lavender has given the reader an insightful look at post-Communist Russia by introducing us to a number of colorful people. Beautiful Evil Winter touches very vividly on the subject of adoption of unwanted Russian children and shows us that the idea of family is worth any number of risks.

After reading the blurb, I really wanted to like this book. I do like the idea of the book. Unfortunately, for me, there were far too many historically inaccurate details, passive voice, and outright grammatical errors that took away from my enjoyment.

I also found the use of flashbacks in first person very confusing. I did enjoy the heroine, Sophia’s strong character. I wish her husband had been as likable. He did come through when necessary and that is to his credit.

Although there is a hint in suspense/intrigue, I was expecting more. I would classify this more as women’s fiction than suspense. If you are a fan of this era of history (early 1990s) and don’t get sidetracked by inconsistencies, you could very well enjoy this book. It does have a wonderfully uplifting premise.

About the Author

Kelly’s fascination with fiction began in middle school when she entered a book-reading contest and won. As an ardent fan of the resonating narrative and the cliffhanger, she decided to dedicate herself to becoming a skilled writer. When college professors spotlighted her writing in the classroom, it anchored her interest in becoming a novelist.

After earning a business degree, she continued to pursue her education at UCLA, via the UCLA Writers’ Extension Program, where her work earned praise from an Award-Winning Author. A rickety project trip to Russia, to adopt a baby boy, provided the inspiration for her debut novel, Beautiful Evil Winter.

A Giveaway

Kelly K. Lavender will be awarding $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

This is a four-week, review tour. You are welcome to visit the previous stops for even more chances to win!

January 30: Kimmi Love
January 30: Long and Short Reviews
February 6: Straight From the Library
February 13Notes From a Romantic’s Heart
February 20Locks, Hooks and Books
February 20Bookaholic

~ ~ ~

It’s been my pleasure hosting this stop on Kelly K. Lavender’s tour. Please come back again on Friday and again next week for more authors, books, and giveaways.


Posted in Suspense | 16 Comments


GENRE: Contemporary Romance

SERIES: English Village (Book 3)

PUBLISHER: The Wild Rose Press


About the Book

Lizzie York, a young paraplegic, has the chance to teach at a new school in Oldcastle. On a quest for independence, and to live alone, out from her brother’s watchful eye, she encounters discrimination from narrow-minded villagers. Toss into the mix: a school employee who sets her heart racing, a home of her own, and work she is passionate about.

Peter Barrington, a London solicitor, invests in Bright Academy. Having experienced pain and loss in his past, he became a workaholic. He now desires a quiet life in the country. He meets Lizzie, is immediately smitten, but respects her need for independence. As they work together, their mutual respect and love grows.

When someone hides in the woods and photographs them, Peter does everything in his power to protect Lizzie. But Lizzie is up for a fight. Will their love be strong enough to overcome hatred, and intent to harm, so they can forge a future together?

Read an Excerpt

“Maybe he has a secret life? Doesn’t like women?” Sara said, keeping her voice low.

“You. Are. Kidding. Right?” Naomi leaned forward. “He’s so darn hot.” She fanned her face. “He’s every woman’s dream. Did anyone else notice that he looks like Dev Patel’s older brother? If he had a brother.”

They all spoke over each other in whispered tones. Of course, many had observed his resemblance to the British born actor of Indian parents. She had too. “Shush,” Lizzie said, and frowned. “He might return, and well, it seems rude.”

Everyone snickered, but returned to their work. Lizzie glanced around the table; nobody had made much progress. When Peter left, she’d have to get tough with them. An old saying, things come in threes, popped into her mind. Good and bad.

This would be three weddings. All good. She hoped the nosey villagers would leave handsome Peter Barrington alone. She couldn’t bear to watch his wedding. Especially to a woman from the village. And that would start another round of three.

Were there even three single people left in Oldcastle?

My Review

Although part of a series, One Unforgettable Friday, works just as well as a standalone. That said, I’d still highly recommend the first two books in the series, One Safe Place and One Truth Revealed, so that you get a feel for the small town of Oldcastle and its quirks.

As always, author Robena Grant has given the reader something to think about along with a touching romance. In this instance, it’s the prejudice people can feel for someone who’s “different”.

Fortunately for our heroine, Lizzie, she meets the slightly flawed and somewhat damaged Peter. Together they build a relationship based on trust and attraction. When Lizzie’s safety is threatened, Peter realizes exactly how strong a woman she is when she refuses to give up her hard-earned independence.

If you enjoy your romance with a side of non-traditional heroines, it’s time for a trip to the English countryside!

About the Author

Robena Grant writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense about ordinary women thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Travel and discovering new places brings her great pleasure, and she often includes these discoveries in her stories. She is Australian by birth, lives in Southern California, and has two grown children.

Robena’s Website | Facebook | Twitter

A Giveaway

Robena Grant will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

This is a four-week, review tour. You are welcome to visit the previous stops for more chances to win, as well as bookmark the upcoming stops for even more insight into the book and the author.

January 29: Two Crazy Ladies Love Romance
February 5: Locks, Hooks and Books
February 5: Jennifer Macaire, Tell me a Story
February 12Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
February 12Notes From a Romantic’s Heart
February 19Harlie’s Books
February 19My Reading Journeys

~ ~ ~

It’s been my pleasure hosting Robena for this stop on her tour. Please come back again tomorrow and Friday for more authors, books, and giveaways.


Posted in Contemporary Romance | 9 Comments

LAUREL’S GIFT by Tricia McGill *Review*

GENRE: Paranormal/Contemporary


About the Book

The plaintive singing of a ghostly child in the night sets off a chain of events that lead to Laurel learning the dark secrets that dwell in her Great Aunt Maggie’s house in a Melbourne suburb. When Eli comes into Laurel’s life, instead of instantly uncovering the secrets that have been buried in this house for many years, their joint efforts lead them to discover even greater mysteries.

Eli’s past is tied up with the ghost of the child who haunts the house, and there are many hurdles to cross before he discovers just why he also sensed strange vibes in the old house as soon as he entered.

In their search for the answers to an extraordinary mystery they uncover a passionate love affair shared by the people dear to them or those who dwelt in the house at one time of another. Despite their shared psychic abilities can the couple also find such a love?

Read an Excerpt

The phone rang while she was deciding which clothes to wear. Laurel sat on the side of the bed and picked up the extension.

“Good morning. How did you sleep?” Eli asked. He possessed a really nice voice, she had to admit.

“Not the best.” Wasn’t that the truth? Laurel ran a hand over her head. She really should have called Ben first thing. Too many things were happening in her life too suddenly and her brain was beginning to feel like mush.

“No interruptions?”

“No.” Presumably he meant the child.

My Review

Laurel’s Gift is a short, one-sitting read filled with a touch of paranormal, a bit more mystery, and even more romance. Definitely more of a romance than a ghost story.

An unusual twist with both main characters having psychic abilities, I was much more attuned to Laurel’s gift than I was Eli’s. While I definitely enjoyed the development of the connection between Laurel and Eli, I felt the paranormal aspects of the story were overshadowed. Author Tricia McGill wove a few surprising twists/mysteries into the story that I would have liked to have seen more of rather than just a mere mention. I was hoping for more pages to flesh out these add-ins.

If you enjoy your romance with a side of ghosts and strange happenings, this may well be the story for you.

About the Author

Award winning author Tricia McGill was born in London, England, and moved to Australia many years ago, settling near Melbourne. The youngest in a large, loving family she was never lonely or alone. Surrounded by avid readers, who encouraged her to read from an early age, is it any wonder she became a writer? The local library was a treasure trove and magical world of discovery through her childhood and growing years. Although her published works cross sub-genres, romance is always at their heart.

Tricia’s love of animals has always shown up in her books. Tricia devotes as much time and money as she can spare to supporting worldwide conservation groups and is passionate about supporting those who do all they can to preserve our wildlife for future generations, especially elephants and orangutans who seem to be getting the raw end of the deal even in this enlightened age. She also volunteers for a local community group that helps disabled adults and children to connect to the internet with provided computer equipment. When people ask what she does in her spare time she is heard to ask, “Spare time, what is that?”

Tricia’s Website | Blog | Facebook

A Giveaway

Tricia McGill will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

This is the last stop on Tricia’s four-week, review tour. You are invited to visit the previous stops for more book insight as well as more chances to win.

January 17: Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!
January 24: The Book Garden
January 24: Sharing Links and Wisdom
January 31: Jennifer Macaire, Tell me a Story
January 31: T’s Stuff
February 7: The Reading Addict
February 7: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart

~ ~ ~

It’s been my pleasure hosting Tricia today. Please come back again next week for more authors, books, and giveaways.


Posted in Contemporary Romance, Mystery/Intrigue, Paranormal/Fantasy | 8 Comments

THREE LESSONS IN SEDUCTION by Sofie Darling *Review*

GENRE:   Historical (Regency) Romance


About the Book

Lord Nicholas Asquith needs his wife. Too bad he broke her heart ten years ago.

Can he resist a second chance at the love he lost?

When Mariana catches the eye of the man at the center of an assassination plot, Nick puts aside their painful past and enlists her to obtain information by any means necessary, even if it means seducing the enemy agent.

Even if the thought makes his blood boil.

Only by keeping his distance from Mariana these last ten years was he able to pretend indifference to her. With every moment spent with her, he feels his tightly held control slipping . . .

Can she trust the spy who broke her heart?

Mariana spent the last decade forgetting Nick. Now she has the chance to best him at his own game, an opportunity she can’t resist, even as her view of him begins to shift. Increasingly, she wants nothing more than to seduce her own husband . . .

It’s only a matter of time before mad passion ignites, a passion never convincingly extinguished. A passion that insists on surrendering to the yearning of the flesh and, quite possibly, of the heart.

Read an Excerpt

“Unbutton your dress?” Nick repeated. It wasn’t possible he’d heard those words in that order.

“Have you spent a single minute of your life bound within layers of corset, shift, and tightly buttoned dress? Has this ever been required for one of your spy missions?”

He couldn’t miss the scorn in her voice. “Never.”

“Then you’ll have to trust me when I suggest that it’s a bloody fantastic idea for you to unbutton me. You’ve done it before, in case you’ve forgotten.”

“I haven’t,” he said, his voice incapable of more than a low, gravelly rumble.

She blinked, and a moment passed.

Reason bade Nick exit the room and abandon the entire proposition. Under no circumstance should he close the distance between them and place his hands on Mariana’s body. Paper thin layers of chartreuse silk and muslin between his fingers and her skin wouldn’t be enough.

A few quick steps could carry him to her.

A few quick steps could undo him.

My Review

I love a good story of redemption. I love a splash of intrigue with my romance. I love couples with maturity and history. Throw in children and a Paris setting and you’ve got me hooked. Author Sofie Darling has elevated those things I love into a great book.

Beautifully written, Three Lessons in Seduction, is a heartfelt story of love lost but not forgotten, passion staunched by willpower not lost desire, and secrets. Lots of secrets.

I was immediately drawn to the heroine, Mariana. A devoted mother, she’s nursed her heartache over what she sees as her husband’s betrayal for far too long. It took me a bit of time to warm up to Nicholas, but he won me over once I saw his vulnerability where his wife was concerned.

I highly recommend this book. It has definitely won its place in the keeper-queue of my e-reader.

About the Author

Sofie spent much of her twenties raising two boys and reading every book she could get her hands on. Once she realized that she was no longer satisfied with simply reading the books she loved, that she must write them, too, she decided to finish her degree and embark on a writing career. Mr. Darling and the boys gave her their wholehearted blessing.

When she’s not writing heroes who make her swoon, she runs a marathon in a different state every year, visits crumbling medieval castles whenever she gets a chance, and enjoys a slightly codependent relationship with her beagle, Bosco.

Sofie’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

A Giveaway

Sofie Darling will be awarding $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

This is the last week of a four-week, review tour. You are welcome to visit the previous sites for even more insight into the author and book, as well as even more chances to win!

January 16: Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog
January 16: The Reading Addict
January 23: Two Ends of the Pen
January 23: Am Kinda Busy Reading
January 23: Emily Carrington
January 30: Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess
January 30: Buried Under Romance
February 6: Fabulous and Brunette
February 6: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart

~ ~ ~

It’s been my pleasure hosting Sofie for this final stop on her tour. Please come back again tomorrow and next week for more authors, books and giveaways.



Posted in Historical Romance, Regency Romance | 11 Comments


Today’s post and review represents a departure for Notes From a Romantic’s Heart. In addition to changing our focus from romance to children’s/middle-grade fiction, we will be welcoming a second, guest reviewer…my 10 year old granddaughter, Anya.

GENRE: Children’s (Middle Grade)


We Asked…The Author Answered

If you could become any one of your book’s characters, who would it be and why?

It’s a toss-up between Sophie and her best friend Chloe. Sophie is smart, sweet, and funny and everyone’s best friend, but she gets into trouble a lot trying to fit in with others. I’d want to be Sophie’s best friend Chloe because she is kind, beautiful, and strong-willed and has a killer wardrobe. The only problem I’d have being her is that I love to read all the time and Chloe has dyslexia.

What do you consider to be the central plot of your story?

Ten-year-old Texan Sophie Washington and her friends are being bullied by Lanie Mitchell, a new girl in school. Sophie is afraid to turn Lanie in because she doesn’t want to be labeled as a snitch by the other kids and ostracized. Another classmate gets seriously hurt by the bully and Sophie needs to make a decision. Should she risk being kicked out of the “in-crowd” and become a snitch?

When did you know you were destined to be a writer?

I knew I was destined to be a writer when a story I wrote on “Mr. Peanut” in the fifth grade won first place in a young author’s contest. Then in high school I wrote an article that was published in my hometown newspaper, which sealed the deal.

Speed Round – Just to Get to Know You Better!

  1. Coffee, Tea or other? Hot English black tea with cream and sugar.
  2. Favorite Music? Neosoul, Smooth Jazz and Pop
  3. Favorite Movie? My favorite kid’s movies are Up and all three Toy Story
  4. Dogs or Cats? Dog
  5. Favorite Author? Judy Blume

About the Book

There’s nothing worse than being a tattletale…

That’s what 10-year-old Sophie Washington thinks until she runs into Lanie Mitchell, a new girl at school. Lanie pushes Sophie and her friends around at their lockers, and even takes their lunch money. If they tell, they are scared the other kids in their class will call them snitches, and won’t be their friends. And when you’re in the fifth grade, nothing seems worse than that.

Excitement at home keeps Sophie’s mind off the trouble with Lanie. She takes a fishing trip to the Gulf of Mexico with her parents and little brother, Cole, and discovers a mysterious creature in the attic above her room. For a while, Sophie is able to keep her parents from knowing what is going on at school. But Lanie’s bullying goes too far, and a classmate gets seriously hurt. Sophie needs to make a decision. Should she stand up to the bully, or become a snitch?

Read an Excerpt

“Nice glasses,” smiles Mariama, one of my other good friends in our class. Mariama’s family moved to our neighborhood from Nigeria last year. Some people make fun of her because she dresses different sometimes and talks with an African accent, but she’s really nice.

“Thanks, this is my first time wearing them,” I say. “I was a little nervous this morning.”

“Well, you shouldn’t be because they look really good,” she assures me. A few of our other classmates come through the hall, and no one seems to pay too much attention to me wearing glasses. Seems like it’s not a big deal after all.

“Hey Soph,” calls Chloe, rushing over to join us at the lockers, “those are some cute specs. I may get some with red frames to match my uniform logo.”

“You’re supposed to wear glasses to see, Chloe,” Mariama and I laugh.

“Well, they can be used for fashion, too,” she informs us.

We compare notes on last night’s science homework and grumble about the many review packets Mr. Simpson assigns.

“He must really want us to become astronauts,” Chloe complains.

“Yeah, it took me over an hour to get mine done,” I say.

Suddenly, I hear Mariama whistle under her breath.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.

I see Lanie moving in our direction.

You mean she bothers Mariama, too? I think to myself.

“Hey, Miss Tarzan,” Lanie says, turning toward our friend. “I see you’re wearing that necklace from Africa that you promised me,” she says, pointing at the string of colorful wooden beads my friend is wearing.

Mariama, who is at least a foot shorter than Lanie and probably 15 pounds lighter, starts to shake.

“My mother gave me this necklace,” she says, “and it was a gift from her mother to her.”

“Well, it’s going to be my gift now,” Lanie snarls, reaching out to grab it.

“Why don’t you give it a rest?” says Chloe, moving to block her.

“And who’s going to make me?” Lanie smirks.

I feel my face getting hot under my new glasses. I am so tired of Lanie bothering everybody and spoiling all our fun. If I wasn’t so scared of people calling me a snitch, I would march right down to the principal’s office and tell on this bully.

“Leave her alone, Lanie,” I say through gritted teeth.

“And who’s going to stop me?” she asks.


Lanie laughs and shoves me against the locker.

“You couldn’t stop a flea.”

“Come on, Sophie, let’s just go,” Chloe urges.

But I’ve had enough.

I shove the bully back.

“I said, leave her alone.”

Lanie looks surprised for a second.

“Fine, if she won’t give me her necklace, then I’ll take yours.”

She yanks my precious silver friendship chain from my neck and knocks me to the floor so quickly that my new glasses fall off.

“Sophie!” Chloe and Mariama rush over to help me as the bully hurries off down the hall.

“I hate her!” I reach on the floor for my new glasses and see that the glass is cracked in one of the lenses.

“Oh no!”

What am I going to do now?

~ ~ ~

My Review

Lovely first-person accounting of what it’s like to be bullied. The book’s young heroine struggles with very real perceptions that most ten-year-olds would worry about. How to fit in. How to keep from being seen as a tattletale. No young person wants to be a snitch. Yet, when it comes down to helping a friend, Sophie stands up and does the right thing.

I would have like to have seen more of an explanation as to what problems led the bully to be the way she was and why there wasn’t more of a teacher presence in the school hallways given the current climate in today’s elementary schools.

The story and resolution however were a life-lesson very much worth learning and worthy of a 4-rating.

Anya’s Review

I enjoyed the the book because it deals with bullying, which is a huge problem. Some people who are bullied feel alone and they don’t tell anyone, which is why it is good that this book talks about it.

I also enjoyed the book because the author made up incredible  characters and story lines. I liked it even more when there was a raccoon in the roof!

I think the author made a wonderful book and did a great job!

Rating: 3 ½ baby sloths!

About the Author

Tonya Ellis remembers hiding in the restroom from a few bullies during her elementary school days. She encourages kids to speak out if they are being mistreated. She knew she wanted to become a writer after an article she wrote was published in her hometown newspaper. Since then, Tonya has worked as a journalist, written for newspapers and magazines and won awards for her books. When she’s not busy writing, she enjoys reading, biking with her husband and two sons and daughter, and travelling to interesting places. Sophie Washington: The Snitch is the second book in a series about Sophie and her friends.

Tonya’s Website | Facebook | Twitter

A Giveaway

Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

This is a four-week virtual book tour. You are welcome to visit as many of the sites as you’d like for even more chances to win.

January 22: Rogue’s Angels
January 23: This and That Book Blog
January 24: The Reading Addict
January 25: Books in the Hall
January 26: Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
January 29: Fabulous and Brunette
January 30: T’s Stuff
January 31Reviews by Crystal
February 1Notes From a Romantic’s Heart – review
February 2Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!
February 5The Avid Reader
February 6Two Crazy Ladies Love Romance
February 7BooksChatter
February 8Mixed Book Bag
February 9Lampshade Reader
February 12Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog
February 13Locks, Hooks and Books – review
February 14Kit ‘N Kabookle
February 15Hope. Dreams. Life… Love
February 16Long and Short Reviews YA

~ ~ ~

It’s been my pleasure hosting Tonya (and Sophie) for this leg on the tour. They will both be back over the next few weeks as we look at more books in the series.

Please come back next week for more authors, books and giveaways.






Posted in Children's/Middle Grade | 9 Comments


GENRE:   Young Adult Romantic Fiction


A Note From the Author

My Purpose for writing this novel is to bring generations of women together.  My goal is to build a sense of camaraderie that resonates with women of all ages.  For the older generations this novel acts as a time capsule.  The novel is filled with so many emotions that the reader will laugh, cry, and feel as though the characters have come to life.  As for the younger generations, they are able to learn some of life’s lessons and know that other women have gone through similar circumstances that they may be experiencing.

About the Book

Amy Thatcher is full of despair since her best friend is no longer by her side. Known as the ice queen, Amy is quick to dismiss people and barricade her sweet and beautiful soul. Although young, she’s wise beyond her years. And nothing and no one is going to get in the way of achieving her goals; or so she thinks.

Life soon shows Amy that it has other plans. She’s suddenly thrust into a world full of difficult circumstances and even more difficult decisions.


Read an Excerpt

He hugged me tightly for so long I wondered if he’d ever let me go.  Our cigarettes developed the longest ashes I ever saw.  As mine finally fell to the ground, I was reminded of how quickly I fell for Johnny and how our relationship had been burning for the last three years.  Eventually, we, too, like that ash, would fall.  We would end up a memory of something that burned so deeply into our souls and it too would eventually turn to ash.

Such thoughts swirled through my mind, as I drove without a destination.  Eventually, I found myself at the park where Johnny and I went that fateful night when he showed me the secret overlook and took my virginity and my innocence.  I decided to park the car, then I grabbed my emergency blanket, flashlight, and cigarettes and walked toward the precipice where it all began.

A tear fell down my cold wet cheek.  I sighed and gave him my heartbreaking answer.  “Honestly?”  I held back my tears as best I could.  “I want you to leave me alone, Johnny.  I want you to love me enough to let me go.  I want you to help me finally get over you by staying the hell away from me.  I want you to stay out of my life and let me be.  Please, Johnny, I’m begging you.

“I want to be happy.  I deserve that, and you of all people know it.  Since I can’t have it with you,” I said, crying a little harder, then I deserve to have it with someone else.  So, please, Johnny, if you love me like you say you do, you’ll let me go.”

About the Author

Katie L. Oslin is a Midwesterner who started writing diaries, poetry and many short stories at a very young age.  As a newly published author The Details of My Reality is her first novel.

She is also a wife, mother and bachelor’s prepared registered nurse.  Living on the coast of North Carolina, she frequents the beach and finds inspiration in the sound of the waves and the solitude of her surroundings.

Katie’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

A Giveaway

Katie L. Oslin will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

This is a four-week, blurb blitz tour. You are invited to visit as many of the stops as you’d like for even more chances to win.

January 8: Rogue’s Angels
January 9: Queen of All She Reads
January 10: Fabulous and Brunette
January 11: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
January 12: The Avid Reader
January 15: Red Wine and Books
January 16: Two Crazy Ladies Love Romance
January 17: T’s Stuff
January 18: It’s Raining Books
January 19: BooksChatter
January 22: Readeropolis
January 23: Books in the Hall
January 24: Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!
January 25: Two Ends of the Pen
January 26: Queen of All She Reads
January 29: Rainy Day Reviews
January 30Notes From a Romantic’s Heart
January 31Jazzy Book Reviews
February 1Sapphyria’s Books
February 2Long and Short Reviews YA

~ ~ ~

It’s been my pleasure hosting Katie today for this stop on her tour. Please come back later in the week for another author, book and giveaway.


Posted in Contemporary Romance, Young Adult | 7 Comments


GENRE: Contemporary Romance

Amazon | B&N

About the Book

Kinsley just wanted to have some fun for a change. Then she wakes up in a stranger’s bed, with her bridesmaid dress on backward and a hazy memory of what happened at her friend’s wedding. With a quick escape, she can get back to her predictable life. But then she meets her new boss—the same guy she’d woken up next to—and seeing him with a clear head doesn’t make him any less attractive.

Mixing business with pleasure has never been Damon’s style, and easily avoided, but the hotel he just bought comes with an unexpected perk—its manager. “Sensible” Kinsley today is as alluring as “impulsive” Kinsley was the night before, and she talks him into a deal. If she can turn around the hotel by the end of summer, he won’t tear it down to put up a more profitable casino.

Their plan is simple…until falling for each other becomes more than they bargained for.

Read an Excerpt

Damon pierced her with his blue-eyed gaze for several long seconds, as if debating something in his mind before finally taking hold of her hand. “Good night, Kinsley.” Then he leaned in and brought his mouth across hers. Once she got over the shock of his lips on hers, she kissed him back, tightening her grip on his hand for balance.

Oh, but he had a nice, soft, giving mouth, like their lips were two puzzle pieces fitting perfectly together. The world around her disappeared as he wove his hands into her hair, tilting her head back. He trailed light kisses down her neck, bringing every nerve in her body to high alert and begging for even more of his touch. She’d never felt like this before with a man—maybe it was the excitement of him being a virtual stranger or maybe just the man himself, but her body came alive. She didn’t want it to end.

And for once in her sensible life, she wanted to do the insensible thing.

She eased back slowly, gaining confidence when she heard him exude a low moan. “Um, yeah, well then.” She licked her lips, growing dizzier when she tasted him again. “On second thought, maybe…we don’t have to say good night just yet. I mean, if you’re still interested,” she hastily added.

A slow, lethal grin stretched Damon’s lips as he took hold of her hand again. “Yes. I’m definitely interested.”

About the Author

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Montlake Romance and Entangled Publishing. She loves coffee, wine, the people living in her house and God. (Not necessarily in that order). Strong literacy and library advocate as well.

She resides in a beach resort in NJ, so when she’s not writing or working on her tan, she’s taking care of her most treasured possessions: her husband, daughter, puppy (Sox) and four hermit crabs.

Lately she’s been on a serious exercise kick. But don’t hold that against her.

Jennifer’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter Sign Up

The Giveaway

Jennifer Shirk will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

This is a two-week, blurb blast tour. You are welcome to visit the previous stops for even more chances to win.

January 15: The Avid Reader
January 15: Straight From the Library
January 16: BooksChatter
January 16: Hearts and Scribbles
January 17: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
January 18: Punya Reviews…
January 18: Independent Authors
January 19: Harlie’s Books – review
January 22: Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog
January 22: Book Magic – Under a spell with every page – review
January 23: Sharing Links and Wisdom
January 23: Long and Short Reviews
January 24: Sue’s Romance Reviews
January 25: Fabulous and Brunette
January 26Notes From a Romantic’s Heart

~ ~ ~

It’s been my pleasure to host the last stop on Jennifer’s two-week tour. Please come back again next week for more authors, books and giveaways.


Posted in Contemporary Romance | 6 Comments