WHERE THE NIGHT NEVER ENDS by Annette Oppenlander

Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Romance
Amazon | B&N | Kobo

About the Book

A chance encounter between a penniless young woman in search of her missing brother and a hobo burdened with a big secret takes both on a journey to Chicago’s glamorous yet crime-ridden 1920s, where prostitution, bootlegging, and corruption rule. Separated by fate and reunited by chance, WHERE THE NIGHT NEVER ENDS is an unforgettable tale of courage and perseverance, a tribute to the triumph of hope and love against all odds.

When feisty and headstrong Samantha Bruno loses her mother in a freak accident, she decides to search for her brother, Angelo, who didn’t return from a business trip to Chicago seven months earlier. It is the year 1924, the height of prohibition, and the city of Cincinnati is in the midst of a deep recession. Narrowly escaping a band of thugs, Sam meets Paul, a mysterious hobo with a big secret. Together they embark on a harrowing journey to Chicago, where Al Capone is building an empire.

Just when it seems their friendship is blossoming into something more, a raid tears Sam and Paul apart. Sam is sold into a brothel while Paul is arrested. Trapped without money and desperate to escape her new profession, Sam realizes she is on her own. Not only to free herself and search for her brother among Chicago’s three million residents, but also to do the impossible–find Paul.

During his hearing, Paul learns that his father, a wealthy Chicago inventor, is on his deathbed. The judge, an old family friend, gives Paul an ultimatum. See your father or go to jail. Reluctantly, Paul returns home, where he finds that his decision to run away seven years earlier was based on a terrible mistake.

Read an Excerpt

December 8, 1924
Sam

When I was little, I believed all people lived in families—warm spaces full of laughter and the rich aroma of pasta sauce bubbling on the stove. I thought I’d stay cocooned forever in the knowledge my father, Luca Bruno, would take me every day to the market or the Italian grocer, my hand securely tucked into his as he stopped to chat with shop owners and neighbors.

That was when we lived in a two-room flat overlooking a garden plot, Papa growing tomatoes large as baseballs against the sun-warmed brick walls of our home and Mamma welcoming neighbors to homemade Apfelstreusel on Sunday afternoons.

It was a memory I didn’t allow myself often because the joy I felt was always snuffed out by the realization I’d never experience such happiness again. These days I preferred to keep my dreams locked up as securely as the rich hide gold coins in a bank vault.

It was easier that way.

The rap on the door was quick and hard—demanding.

Alarmed, I looked at my mother, ignoring the dread rearing up inside my belly. We never had visitors, yet I realized who it was before he spoke.

“Open up. I know you’re in there.”

Mamma shook her head, her eyes, normally the light blue of an early spring sky, clouded with fear. I knew it well. Lately, my mother was afraid of one thing or another all the time.

“I’m going to kick in the door and you’ll pay for it,” the voice outside threatened.

I slowly straightened and took a step toward the door. Then another.

“Samantha!” Mamma’s voice trembled and she shook her head. My feet stubbornly continued toward the door.

When had things changed?

I didn’t remember a day, only Mamma’s expression the weeks after my brother, Angelo, didn’t return. Her eyes had filled with something less alive—a darkening of features, a weariness that extended to everything she touched.

It was as if Mamma’s chest was filled with two animals. One was a fierce lion that roared and fought. It protected. The other was a timid, washed-out mouse, yielding and afraid. Insignificant. In the beginning after Papa was lost, the lion had taken care of Angelo and me. Found smaller quarters we could afford. Visited rich folks to ask for washing jobs. Negotiated. Bought food at the grocer.

I loved Mamma, but I hated the mouse.

I sped up and yanked open the door just as the massive bulk of Mr. Talbott rushed forward. Taken by surprise, he half stumbled, half fell into the room, coming to a stop in front of the ironing board Mamma cowered behind. I bit my lips to hide a smirk. Too bad the landlord hadn’t fallen on his face.

“Mrs. Bruno.” Talbott, nostrils flared and cheeks reddened, rose to his impressive height once more. “You know why I’m here. Almost three months behind.” He gave our shabby room a once over before his deep-set eyes came to rest on me. “I need at least half of the ten dollars you owe or you’ve got to move out.” He extended a palm, each of his fingers the size of a small sausage.

My Review

When it comes to historical fiction/romance, the Roaring 20s is one of my favorite time periods. There aren’t a lot of books out there set in this era, especially those that include any type of romance. That said, this book is definitely more about the time period and less about the romance.

I enjoyed the wonderful attention to time period detail. It evoked a number of great memories of my own research for the twenties. I liked the idea of eluding to real-life characters and situations. What didn’t work for me was the back-and-forth switch in narration. One chapter Samantha, the next Paul. I found it created some uneven breaks in the story line where I wanted more from the one character and wasn’t quite ready to shift to the other.

However, if you’re a fan of period stories, Where The Night Never Ends is a perfect example of the Roaring Twenties. You will definitely enjoy this story.

About the Author

Annette Oppenlander is an award-winning writer, literary coach and educator. As a bestselling historical novelist, Oppenlander is known for her authentic characters and stories based on true events, coming alive in well-researched settings. Having lived in Germany the first half of her life and the second half in various parts in the U.S., Oppenlander inspires readers by illuminating story questions as relevant today as they were in the past.

Oppenlander’s bestselling true WWII story, Surviving the Fatherland, won multiple awards, including the 2017 U.S. National Indie Excellence Award. Her historical time-travel trilogy, Escape from the Past, takes readers to the German Middle Ages and the Wild West. Uniquely, Oppenlander weaves actual historical figures and events into her plots, giving readers a flavor of true history while enjoying a good story. Oppenlander shares her knowledge through writing workshops at colleges, libraries, festivals and schools. She also offers vivid presentations and author visits. The mother of fraternal twins and a son, she recently returned to her home, Solingen, Germany where she lives with her husband and old mutt, Mocha.

Annette’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

A Giveaway

Author Annette Oppenlander will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

April 25: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin’
April 25: LoveRomanceReads

May 2: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart
May 2: The Reading Addict

May 9: Fabulous and Brunette
May 9: Iron Canuck
May 9: Sharing Links and Wisdom

May 16: Locks, Hooks and Books
May 16: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

~ ~ ~

It has been my pleasure hosting this stop on Annette’s tour.

Nancy

Posted in Historical Fiction, Historical Romance | 4 Comments

JUSTICE GONE by N. Lombardi Jr.

GENRE:  Thriller (legal)
Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Kobo | Waterstones

About the Book

When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.

A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase.

Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture.

Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?

Read an Excerpt

Tessa had given much thought as to how she should dress for the occasion. Her first instinct was her Karen Kane pants suit, but dismissed that idea to wear her copper-brown print kaftan in its stead.

Now, with its folds caught in the vigorous September breeze, giving the illusion of a multitude of miniature flags fluttering around her, her thick locks of hair dancing around her head, she spoke to the crowd, slowly, deliberately taking her time. “Hello, my fellow citizens.” She stopped to survey the mass of people standing in front of her. Dramatic pauses replete with eye contact, if not overdone, were quite effective in getting one’s message across. Not surprisingly,  Tessa  knew  how  to get her message across, a special art in the realm of behavioral scientists. Public relations firms, advertising companies, political campaigns, all hired an army of psychologists to sell a product. And Tessa Thorpe, as someone who had thirty years’ experience as a criminal psychiatrist, could sell as well as any of them.

“We are here today for two reasons, two very important reasons that are essential to our well-being in a modern society. Freedom is one, and justice is the other.”

Enthusiastic cheers.

“When the call for war came, we were told that our enemies hated our freedoms. We were told that the citizens of Iraq had been held hostage by a ruthless dictator who denied his own people these freedoms. Our invasion of that country was sold to us as Operation Iraqi Freedom. And so we sent our young men and women off to war, the most traumatic experience a human being could ever go through, with the belief that they were fighting for liberty and freedom. And yet, one of those whom we had sent…had come back to us only to have his own freedom denied. His single offence at the time he was approached by law enforcement officers was that he was exercising his freedom to stand on a street corner.”

This elicited a roar from the crowd.

“This is not merely tragic, it is an act of deplorable fraud, being denied the very thing he fought for!”

More heartfelt cheering.

“When I was young, we were made to pledge allegiance, an oath that ended with the phrase, ‘with liberty and justice for all.’ Well, Jay Felson was denied liberty…let us make sure he is NOT DENIED JUSTICE!”

About the Author

N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).

In 1997, while visiting Lao People’s Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.

Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc. http://plainofjars.net

His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.

His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.

Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Visit N. Lombardi on Goodreads

A Giveaway

The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

April 29:
1: Rogue’s Angels
2: Christine’s Book Corner
3: Edgar’s Books
4: Fabulous and Brunette
5: Nickie’s Views and Interviews
6: One World Singles Blog
7: Readeropolis

April 30:
1: Books Direct
2: BooksChatter
3: Jazzy Book Reviews
4: JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder
5: Just Books
6: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart
7: Our Town Book Reviews
8: The Avid Reader
9: Wake Up Your Wild Side

May 1:
1: A Writer’s Life
2: Andi’s Book Reviews
3: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love
4: Iron Canuck
5: Mixed Book Bag
6: Two Ends of the Pen
7: T’s Stuff
8: Long and Short Reviews

May 2:
1: Danita Minnis
2: Tina Donahue Books – Heat with Heart
3: Enchanting Reviews
4: Viviana MacKade
5: Independent Authors
6: Welcome to My World of Dreams

May 3:
1: BOOKISH REVIEWS
2: It’s Raining Books
3: Literary Gold
4: Straight From the Library
5: Travel the Ages

~ ~ ~

It’s been my pleasure hosting this stop on the tour for Justice Gone.

Nancy

 

Posted in Thriller | 3 Comments

FRIDAY FRIENDS ~ ANNE ARMISTEAD

We Asked and Anne Answered

Q1:  If you could become any one of your book’s characters, who would it be and why?

Obviously, I would love to be my protagonist Leah who has developed such strength to face down her antagonist as well as found a man who supports and loves her. However, I would love to spend a day as the supporting character Viola because of her flamboyant personality, loyalty, and knowledge of holistic medicine.

Q2:  What do you consider to be the central plot of your story?

With the mysterious and handsome Civil War veteran Marcus Quinn at her side, Leah Sullivan chases after the evil conjurer who has kidnapped her brother. Dangerous Conjurings is a historical paranormal romance set against the backdrop of hanging moss and murder, hoodoo and voodoo, hexes and the grotesque. Enter this story at your own peril. Remember…hoodoo only works if you believe

 Q3:  When did you know you were destined to be a writer?

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t making up stories in my head! I still pinch myself that I have my first book published!

Speed Round (just to get to know you better):

Coffee, tea, or other?  Coffee – without it my eyes won’t open and the day won’t begin!

Music preference?  Eclectic – my playlists include Broadway musicals, Oldie-Goldies, classic rock, jazz, Big Band.  Right now, I’m stuck on the soundtrack from The Greatest Showman.

Favorite movie?  I’ll always have Casablanca (to cheesily paraphrase a line from it) as my answer to this question. My family knows when our channel surfing hits upon it, we are going to “play it again.” I never tire of it and know all the lines by heart. Rick’s  wounded hero trope gets me every time.

Dog, cat, or other?  I am an equal-opportunity dog and cat lover. Growing up, everyone knew to bring any stray dogs or cats to our home because my mom could never turn them away. SammyCat, a black cat with tuxedo markings, consoled my teen-angst tears. Bridget, a cockerpoo, was like my sister I never had. Right now, I’m blessed to have adopted a pom-pap-poodle mix who is fifteen pounds of joy. I named him Jackpot because I hit the jackpot when “he” rescued me.

Favorite author?  I can’t choose just one favorite author!! Growing up, I loved Gothic Romances and read Victoria Holt, Anne Stuart, Daphne du Maurier, and I also read Belva Plain, Barbara Cartland.  I enjoy Jennifer Robson and Susan Meissner’s historical romances (I am a sucker for the World War 1 and World War 2 historical eras.). I enjoy anything by Tess Gerritsen, Karen White, and Hank Phillippi Ryan, each of whom I have been lucky enough to meet several times (and “fangirl” over each time). I also love anything by Nora Roberts and Heather Graham.

About the Book

Desire. Betrayal. Fate. Can love conjure all?

With the mysterious and handsome Civil War veteran Marcus Quinn at her side, Leah Sullivan chases after the evil conjurer who has kidnapped her brother. The couple’s passion heats up while sleeping under the stars only inches apart and surrounded by peril.

However, through a cruel twist of fate, Leah discovers the devastating secret about Marcus’s past that breaks her heart and jeopardizes her brother’s rescue. Will Leah’s love for Marcus be powerful enough to overcome his betrayal? Or will dangerous conjurings doom their future together?

Dangerous Conjurings is set at the close of the American Civil War, during which the protagonist Leah Sullivan journeys across the war-torn Southern states from Savannah, Georgia to New Orleans, where she becomes involved in the voodoo underworld of Marie Laveau.

Find it on Amazon

Read an Excerpt

On the first of September, a stranger came to call.

I was cutting and gathering into a basket the sunflowers Mama fussed over. “At least the Yankees didn’t stampede the flower garden,” she always said. The jaunty flowers served as a small comfort, as far as I was concerned.

Curiosity over the caller set my pulse singing. A visitor was such an oddity. He must be lost and in need of directions.

The skinny reddish mare from which he dismounted appeared sore in need of tending, and so did he. The tell-tale signs he had been a soldier were apparent from his saddlebags, bed roll, canteen, lead and picket rope, tent half, and poncho, all War-issued. His faded trousers with the yellow stripe down their sides marked him as Cavalry. His sack coat bore the dust of many days’ travel. His haversack was slung from his shoulder and slouch hat was tugged over his brow.

He looped his reins around the hitching post by the front porch steps and was making his way to the door. His gait favored his left leg, a war injury I assumed.

Preparing to greet him, I straightened my work dress and checked the ties of my work apron, thankful I was not attired in William’s work trousers I had taken so often to wearing. I patted my hair which I had gathered into one of Mama’s yarn snoods to keep off my neck.

Walking toward the porch with basket in one hand and scissors in the other, I reminded myself it was not this survivor’s fault that William and Fitz were gone. No matter how hard I tried not to blame those who had survived the War, I couldn’t help it. I lay awake nights wrestling with the unanswerable question of why Fitz and William were taken and others spared.

I forced warmth into my voice. “Welcome, sir.”

His quick turn showed I startled him. He tugged his hat’s brim. “Sorry, ma’am. I didn’t see you.”

He held his hand out to assist me up the stairs, his touch firm yet gentle. His broad-shouldered body cast a shadow over me, blocking the slant of the late afternoon sun. Withdrawing my hand from his, my introduction tumbled out. “I’m Leah Sullivan. And you are?”

He hesitated to answer. Had I been improper in introducing myself first? Should I have curtsied? Waited for him to have spoken first? I hadn’t a clue. It had been so long since I had been in the company of others. Hotness crept across my cheeks.

He removed his hat, revealing handsome features, set off by cornflower blue eyes flecked with black. They held the same expression as Daddy’s, one of aged tiredness that told of the horrors of battle. He, as had all soldiers, had endured such suffering. Sympathy overtook my initial resentment.

“My name is Marcus Quinn, ma’am.” His voice held a quiet fatigue.

I slightly bowed my head to avert my gaze. “Pleased to make your acquaintance.” An awkwardness settled between us until my curiosity over his visit overcame it. “What brings you here, Mr. Quinn?”

His posture stiffened, as if my question had been too forward. His reserved mask cracked, exposing the raw sorrow I’d seen so often on Daddy’s face. His one-word answer was an unexpected one. “William.”

About the Author

ANNE ARMISTEAD earned her English degree from the University of Georgia and her MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the Georgia Writers of Romance (GRW), along with the National and Georgia Sisters in Crime (SinC) organization. She writes historical fiction children’s stories for Highlights Magazine under Sandra Havriluk.

Dangerous Conjurings is her debut historical romance novel. Under the title Treacherous Hearts, it was the winner of the 2014 YA Fab 5 Wisconsin Romance Contest. Anne has placed as a finalist the GRW’s Maggies contest, as well as in the RWA Daphne Contest and the YARWA Rosemary contest.

Anne has presented on panels at the 2018 Milton Literary Festival and will be presenting Turning a Nugget of History into a Novel at the 2019 Moonlights and Magnolias GRW conference. Her latest historical romance With Kisses from Cécile will be released in early summer 2019.

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

 

It’s been my pleasure hosting Anne for this visit to Friday Friends. Please come back again soon for more authors, books, and even a few giveaways!

Nancy

Posted in Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Historical Romance, Paranormal/Fantasy | 1 Comment

SOUL MATE TREE SERIES ~ Various Authors

GENRE: Fantasy/Romance
The Complete Series on Amazon

About the Series

An ancient legend spanning eras, continents, and worlds.
To some, it’s nothing more than a dream.
To others, a pretty fairy tale handed down through the generations.
For those in critical need of their own happy ending, a gift.

THE LEGEND OF THE SOUL MATE TREE

I am old, I am ancient, my purpose is clear
To give those who are needy a treasure so dear.
They who come to my roots, touch my bark, stroke my leaves
Find the soul of their lives if they but believe.
When I call and you listen, your prize will be great
If your heart remains open and you don’t hesitate.
Do you yearn? Be you lonely? Is your time yet at hand?
Reach for me and I’ll give to you. I’m yours to command.
For your trust, for your faith, keep my secrets untold
And I’ll gift you forever, to have and to hold.
~ ~ ~ 

Featured Book: Never Give Up on Love

In 1847 London, Vincent is turned by a vampire with tainted blood. His future will be one where he keeps humans safe but can never find love.

Vincent’s eternal life changed on the day the sun burned into him, and he thought he would die. Instead, he was saved by the shade of a mystical tree. Beneath its branches, he dreamed of a woman in the future who would be waiting for him.

In modern-day Bath, Adele is a photographer by day and a vampire hunter by night. How will she cope when she realizes the man she has fallen in love with is what she has been trained to kill?

Thoughts From the Author

How do you come up with the titles to your books?

Sometimes the title is obvious and it basically gives you a glimpse into the story. Sometimes it is question that needs to be answered in the book. Often I will start with a title that I can change later. Sometimes you need to see if there are one thousand books with the same title and what you thought was a new idea has been done many times before. The title for Never Give up on Love was because I wanted to have two people who should never be together to overcome those odds.

Share your dream cast for your book.

Never Give up on Love has some fun character and some dastardly ones.
Vincent-Sexy vampire. Tom Ellis – Love him in Lucifer the TV series
Adele- vampire hunter. Zooey Deschanel
Tristen- Vampire and Vincent’s friend.  Alexander Skarsgard
Carla- Vampire hunter and Adele’s friend.   Anna Kendrick
Uncle Jake- Vampire Hunter.  Viggo Mortensen
Rushton- Villain and vampire.   Gary Oldman

What are you reading now?

I am reading Bella Andre’s book The Way You Look Tonight.  And Damon Suede’s book Verbalize. Bella Andre’s is a lovely romance. She has the ability to get you involved with her characters right from the beginning. Damon’s book had been incredibly helpful as a writer. He gives you a new take on how to get to the crux of your story and the depth of your character. I was lucky enough to meet both of these authors in New Zealand last year. They were both lovely and inspirational.

Read an Excerpt

Adele clipped another stake onto her belt, just in case. As she got closer, Adele saw a man at the base of the tree. She couldn’t make out his face with the way he angled his body away from her.

He groaned as if in pain as the lights around the tree intensified. It must be a power surge or something she supposed. Maybe the poor guy was being electrocuted. She tried to remember her first aid.

“Are you hurt?” She called out. The man didn’t react and then the branches came down and covered him. That was weird. It was like the tree was alive or something. She didn’t want to leave someone hurt and in need of help and moved the branches aside. The guy was gone. She really was losing the plot. Maybe she had imagined him. As Adele moved away from the tree, she heard a whisper.

“Trust me, Adele. He will find you when you need him.”

About the Author

I live in Adelaide, Australia with my husband, two cats, two dogs and a snake. I have a motorbike that I would like to ride more than I do and I love walking at the beach and listening to the waves.  I’ve always loved reading all forms of speculative fiction from high fantasy and paranormal to horror and decided the stories in my head needed to be written down. It was either that or start on medication.

Unlike many I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until a few years back.  I started off doing a degree in Drama but soon realized my love was in writing, though there is a play lurking somewhere on my computer. My day job is as a nurse in the operating room which helps with research for my gory scenes. I believe romance can be fun to read and write but it’s exciting to spice it up with the uncertainty that comes with the worlds of mythical creatures where the rules can be broken.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

A Giveaway

One randomly drawn commenter will receive a $50 Amazon/BN GC via Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Complete Tour

March 5 Fabulous and Brunette
March 7 Wendi zwaduk – romance to make your heart race

March 12 Sharing Links and Wisdom
March 14 Hope. Dreams. Life… Love

March 19 Tina Donahue Books – Heat with Heart
March 21 Angel’s Guilty Pleasures

March 26 Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!
March 28 Lampshade Reader

April 2 Viviana MacKade
April 4 Christine Young

April 9 Nana Prah’s Blog
April 11 Mythical Books

April 16 Lock That Door
April 18 Iron Canuck

April 23 Kit ‘N Kabookle
April 25 Notes From a Romantic’s Heart

April 30 Literary Gold
May 2 Mixed Book Bag

May 7 Wake Up Your Wild Side
May 9 Linda Nightingale…Musings

May 14 Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin’
May 16 fundinmental

May 21 Christine’s Book Corner
May 23 BooksChatter

May 28 Jazzy Book Reviews
May 30 Just Books

June 4 Dawn’s Reading Nook
June 6 Our Town Book Reviews

June 11 Elley the Book Otter
June 13 Long and Short Reviews

~ ~ ~

It’s my pleasure hosting this leg of the group tour for The Soulmate Tree Series. To check out my review of Never Give Up on Love by Maggie Mundy, please follow this LINK.

Nancy

Posted in Fantasy, Paranormal/Fantasy, Part of a Series, Spicy Romance, Vampire Romance | 12 Comments

HEART OF A HIGHLANDER by Maxine Mansfield

GENRE: Time Travel/Romance
Amazon

About the Book

Staff Sergeant Ian Mackay didn’t care if he lived or died. He’d left what really mattered strewn across Afghanistan three years ago. All the self-help groups and doctors in the world couldn’t assuage his guilt. But when an accident takes his life and Fate steps in with an offer to fix what was once unfixable, he jumps at the second chance to save his men. Now he’s stuck in a strange land, in an even stranger time, and expected to bed his equally strange but desirable new bride.

Healer Aila Gordan of the Sutherland clan thought her betrothed dead, had even seen his lifeless body the night before their wedding. Why then is her sworn enemy, Ian Mackay, standing before the priest, waiting for her to repeat the vows that would make her his wife? The fairies must have possessed his body, a frightening notion, indeed. But marriage to the handsome laird, possessed or otherwise, couldn’t be any worse than living in her brother’s castle where, like all women in 1643 Scotland, she has no freedom. And if the kiss at the altar is any indication, she could just steal the heart of a highlander.

Read an Excerpt

“I am not a sidhe, but simply a man, Aila,” he whispered as he nibbled the tender skin of her neck. “Your man, your husband to be exact. I don’t know what you think you saw last night, perhaps you were simply sleepwalking, but I’m very much alive and well and quite capable of making you a very happy woman if only you’ll allow it.”

She shivered in his arms. “I’d expect a sidhe ta say as much.”

My Review

I found it a bit difficult to decide what I like most about this book. It could have been the wonderful characters, the beautifully described setting, the very steamy love scenes, or the perfectly-placed humor that lightened the serious tone of the story.

In the end, I decided I like all those things. They all had their place in this well-crafted time travel/fantasy. The timing was spot on and everything was tied up neatly, as satisfactorily, in the end. Just the way a great romance should be.

Kudos to author Maxine Mansfield for making the second Real Men Wear Kilts offering even better than the first.

About the Author

Hi, my name is Maxine Mansfield and I write erotic romance, be it Fantasy or Time travel from my easy chair in the great state of Alaska. A magical place where the summer days are long and bright, and the winter nights even longer.

Maxine’s Website | Facebook | Twitter

A Giveaway

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

April 8: ReneeWildes1 Weblog
April 8: JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder

April 15: Harlie’s Books
April 15: Fabulous and Brunette

April 22: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart
April 22: Iron Canuck

April 29: Enchanting Reviews

~ ~ ~

It’s been my pleasure hosting Maxine for this stop on her tour. Please come back again later in the week for more authors, books, and giveaways.

Nancy

 

Posted in Erotic Romance, Historical Romance, Military Romance, Part of a Series, Time Travel Romance | 5 Comments

FRIDAY FRIENDS ~ AUTHOR LUCINDA RACE

We Asked and Lucinda Answered

Q1:  If you could become any one of your book’s characters, who would it be and why?

I have a release this year- Grace MacLellan- she is the youngest of three girls and she is strong, feisty and knows her own mind but loves her sisters immensely- she is very loyal to her friends and family.

Q2:  What do you consider to be the central plot of your story?

My strong women, if she’s not strong I don’t have a story.

Q3:  When did you know you were destined to be a writer?

When an English teacher told me, my stories were too far-fetched to be believable, I knew it was one person’s opinion and it wouldn’t stop me from writing. I never take it well when someone tells me NOT to do something.

Speed Round (just to get to know you better:

  1. Coffee, tea, or other? Coffee
  2. Music preference? Country, jazz, rock classical
  3. Favorite movie? When Harry Met Sally
  4. Dog, cat, or other? Dog
  5. Favorite author? If I had to choose one, Nora Roberts

About the Book

After losing her father at the tender age of five years old, Ellie McKenna is determined to protect her heart from further pain. Even as an adult, Ellie has kept any man at arm’s length by burying herself in her career. Soon after the grand opening of The Looking Glass, an intruder attacks Ellie and vandalizes her beloved gallery, including slashing Ellie’s most prized painting on loan from the famous Winifred Simpson.

Is someone trying to shatter Ellie’s dream just as she begins to live it? Can the mysterious Padraic Stone be trusted to solve the mystery and protect Ellie from further harm or is he responsible for what has happened?

Purchase Links

Read an Excerpt

“The Looking Glass.” The words rolled off Ellie’s tongue. Her fingers traced the gold lettering on the dark, wooden sign. “Amazing, don’t you think, Ray? This represents the culmination of a year’s hard work. I wonder if Mom felt the same way when she opened What’s Perkin’.” She glanced at her stepfather, Ray Davis. “Were you there for the grand opening?”

“Your mom wasn’t there when I installed the sign. It wasn’t until later she saw it, and she was as excited then as you are today. You’ve worked hard, Ellie. We’re very proud of you.”

Ellie did a little jig. “Thanks, Ray. I couldn’t have done this without the family’s help, especially yours. The way everyone pitched in painting, building shelves, refinishing floors, there was so much I needed to do before I opened, and now, tomorrow is the big day.”

Ray tweaked her nose. “Kiddo, now the real work begins. You’ll need to discover new artists, build a customer base, and promote the heck out of the gallery.”

“I have a couple of people stopping by this afternoon to drop off pottery, jewelry, and a few small sculptures. Then before the weekend, a photographer is coming through town and wants to show me his photos. If it fits with the theme, I’ll display his work too. I’m thrilled my dream of artisan’s work in any medium will be on display for everyone to see. This gallery will be immersion of the senses, if you will, just like my favorite book, Alice in Wonderland. Remember when she falls through the looking glass and discovers a dazzling world? Well, I hope that’s how people feel when they enter.”

“I’m sure everyone will be enchanted when they discover this place.” Ray placed the rest of his tools in the back of the truck. “What time do you need us tomorrow night? Mom said she was coming over in the afternoon to set up the buffet tables. Do you need some muscles?”

“No, I’ve got it covered, but thanks. If you could come around six thirty that will keep me busy so I don’t wind up a buddle of nerves. The official invitations are for seven. You and Mom should enjoy yourselves at the open house.”

“All right then, I’m taking off unless you need something else.”

“Nope, all set.” Ellie threw her arms around Ray’s mid-section and squeezed tightly.

“Thanks for believing in me. I couldn’t have done any of this without you.”

Ray shrugged his shoulders. “Don’t give me too much credit. All I did was follow your lead and swing a hammer.” He dropped a fatherly kiss on the top of Ellie’s head and mumbled something about needing coffee.

“Say hi to Mom and tell her coffee’s on me.”

Ray hopped in the truck and waved goodbye as his truck disappeared down the street.

Ellie skipped up the wide front steps and bent to deadhead a deep purple petunia. She straightened and noticed a dark car creeping past, and then it sped down the street.  Shrugging, Ellie pulled an old-fashioned hanky from her pocket and polished the antique, brass door knocker, pausing on the threshold to admire the interior space.

About the Author

Lucinda Race is a life-long fan of romantic fiction. As a young girl, she spent hours reading novels and dreaming of, one day, becoming a writer. As life twists and turns, she found herself writing nonfiction but longed to turn to her true passion, romantic fiction. After developing the story line for The Loudon Series, it was time to start living her dream. Fingers flying over computer keys, two novellas and five novels have been published in the series.

Lucinda lives, with her husband Rick, and their two little dogs, Jasper and Griffin, in the rolling hills of western Massachusetts. When she’s not writing romance novels Lucinda reads everything she can get her hands on. She’s passionate about growing tomatoes and roses. Her writing is contemporary, fresh, and engaging.

Lucinda’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

It’s been my pleasure hosting Lucinda for this week’s edition of Friday Friends. Please come back again next week for more authors, books, and a couple of giveaways.

Nancy

 

Posted in Contemporary Romance, Part of a Series | 2 Comments

HER MIDNIGHT SIN by Sofie Darling

Today we are celebrating the Book Birthday for Sofie Darling’s latest release, Her Midnight Sin from SoulMate Publishing. Join me in welcoming Sofie to Notes From a Romantic’s Heart!

We Asked and Sofie Answered

Q1:  If you could become any one of your book’s characters, who would it be and why?

Without hesitation, I would become my heroine, Lady Calpurnia Radclyffe. Life hasn’t always been easy for Callie, but she always fights through the hard times with her determination and grit to do her duty by those she’s sworn to protect. I love that Callie can be both tough as nails and soft without seeing it as weakness. And she makes a mean apple brandy. 🙂

Q2:  What do you consider to be the central plot of your story?

World-weary Captain John Nylander and feisty Lady Calpurnia Radclyffe vie against each other to win a Devon country estate. But at its heart, this story is about two people who crave family and belonging, acceptance and love.

Q3:  When did you know you were destined to be a writer?

When I couldn’t not write the novels I wanted to read any longer and committed to going back to university to pursue my dream. I was a late-bloomer. 🙂

Speed Round (just to get to know you better):

  1. Coffee, tea, or other? Tea
  2. Music preference? I’m a music omnivore. I can’t pick! But for Her Midnight Sin, the song inspiration was “Diamonds” by Rihanna.
  3. Favorite movie? The Philadelphia Story
  4. Dog, cat, or other? Dog
  5. Favorite author? Jude Morgan. Passion is one of the best historical novels ever written. (Dramatic statement, I know, but I stand behind it!)

About the Book

Like a vengeful Norse god, Captain John Nylander has come from the sea to steal the only home that Callie has ever known. And that might not be all he’s after.

                                                                      Can a Viking…

Orphaned as a child, Nylander has never known a real home. Now he is ready to leave the dangers of his past behind and put down the roots he has always longed for. The only thing standing in his way is a lanky aristocratic lady who is more at home on the farm than in the ballroom.  And she has secrets…

                                                                 And a Viscountess…

Callie, the Dowager Viscountess St. Alban, has poured all her energy into making Wyldcombe Grange her home. Managing an estate is not what she dreamed of, but her late husband’s rejection made it clear that love and a family would never be hers. Now she may lose even that to the sinfully handsome Captain. But Nylander is making her dream again…

                                                               Turn passion into love?

Nylander inspires a recklessness in Callie that she can’t control. Soon she finds herself conspiring with pirates and contemplating midnight trysts with the very Viking who has turned her life upside down. For Nylander, being with Callie embodies everything he’s always wanted—home. As midnight strikes, will all their secret, sinful dreams come true?

Find Her Midnight Sin on Amazon | B&N

Read an Excerpt

Captain Nylander.

His voice was deep enough to shake the foundations of this mansion loose. Certainly deep enough to rattle Callie, her breath shallow and her mouth dry. She rose to a stand by slow increments and stood so silent and so still that she imagined she might be forgotten. Then the captain’s gaze met hers over St. Alban’s shoulder, and all hope was lost. His eyes narrowed in question, and she lifted a single, imperious eyebrow in response. The Grange knew that eyebrow well, and she sensed it was her best defense against this man in this moment.

Before her stood the man who would never be her friend. He was her rival . . . her enemy. Soft gaslight caught the golden strands of his unfashionably long, slightly unkempt hair and the glint of clear blue sky in his eye. For all his modern English attire, the man could have been a Viking, a Norse god even, from the tales of yore come to life. All he lacked was a shield in one hand and a hammer in the other.

Callie’s breath had no choice but to catch in her chest. Her enemy was imposing, yes, but did he also have to be so blasted, devastatingly . . . god-like?

My Review

This third book in the series is just as entertaining as the first two and highly recommended for fans of Regency romance.

Author Sofie Darling expertly crafts two engaging main characters. Callie and Nylander both have issues with self-esteem and are, as you would expect, more alike than they think.

All Callie wants is to be left to further restore her home. All Nylander wants is a home. It sounds like it should be an easy fix. After all, Callie’s already endured one love-less marriage, why not another? It’s not that simple, and that’s where the real story begins … and the fun.

The supporting characters are well thought out and add to the story without detracting from the main relationship. As well, I loved Callie’s independent spirit. And, of course, it didn’t hurt to think of Nylander as a Norse God … given Thor is my favorite!

About the Author

Sofie Darling is an award-winning author of historical romance. Her debut novel, THREE LESSONS IN SEDUCTION, won the Writers’ League of Texas’ Manuscript Contest in the Romance Category in 2016.

She spent much of her twenties raising two boys and reading every book she could get her hands on. Once she realized she simply had to write the books she loved, she finished her English degree and embarked on her writing career.

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 | Goodreads | BookBub
Sign up for Sofie’s Newsletter

It’s been my pleasure hosting Sofie for her “Book Birthday”. Please come back again soon!

Nancy

 

Posted in Historical Romance, Part of a Series, Regency Romance | 2 Comments

THE AMBITIOUS BARRISTER AND THE MAID by Marianna Green

GENRE:   Steamy Historical Romance/New Adult
Amazon
This novella is priced at 99¢

About the Book

Sarah-Ann Jennings is quite happy to satisfy her master’s lust. Forced into domestic service by a penny pinching aunt, she is determined to make enough money to secure her own future and that of her eccentric younger brother. She rather enjoys him, besides.

There is, of course, no question of any emotional entanglement between them. Mr. Alfred Grand is a cold-hearted fortune hunter in search of a wealthy wife, after all.

For all that, when Sarah-Ann comes to suspect that somebody may be trying to poison him for reasons of their own, she is ready to put all her energy and determination into finding out who it is. This steamy romance set in the mid-Victorian UK is definitely for over eighteens.

Read an Excerpt

“Any bed that has you in it, my girl, must be a more desirable one than without.” So saying, he sat down and drew me towards him, lips parted.  His mouth moulded mine. I liked that kiss, though a detached part of my mind could still note how he had been at the tooth powder again. He was a vain man, I knew, and besides, he made a habit of drawing in unwary witnesses with his flashing smile.

After more kisses, and much fondling and stroking through my nightdress, his hand slipped under it to fondle one breast, the fingers teasing the nipple.

After yet more kisses, each one deeper and more passionate, he broke off fondling me to draw my nightdress down to my hips, gazing delighted on my body and marveling at my breasts. Being so newly grown, they were round, and stood up as proudly as was a certain part of him that I was soon to discover.

“Such pretty ones: you have the body of one of those statues of Venus, come to life and warm.”

“I am quite shy of seeing yours, Sir, this being my first time.”

He smiled. “Then we’ll introduce you to it slowly.” He slipped the dressing gown off his shoulders.

I had guessed him to be well made, and so he was, with the muscular lean build and the chest raised above a hollow waist and hard belly of an athlete. Seeing him undressed, I was pleased to note his proportions were as fine as I had guessed.

He drew me to him to kiss again. I ran a shy hand down over that chest, and over his belly. There I paused. Hussy though I might be, I was yet too shy to explore further.

His breath rasped as he said, “Should you be shy of greeting Alf?” He drew his hand down. Mr. Grand’s first name was Alfred.

“I am always happy to oblige you,” I said, and let him slowly move my fingers under his dressing gown. Of course, unlike the shameless Molly with her wicked young man, I had never had to do with a man’s organ before. Many girls were terrified of them, but I found Alf interesting. He was standing to attention, of course, and a perfect size. That flesh felt strange to my fingers.

My Review

The story itself is well-written with only a few minor (easily overlooked) errors. I do wish the actual emotional gist of Alfred and Sarah-Ann’s relationship would have begun sooner. As steamy as the love scenes were, they delayed the beginning of what turned out to be a nice story for far too long. Plus, there was a good deal of repetition in the actual physical contact.

Also, because of their age and experience difference, it took me quite some time to warm up to both characters. However, once Alfred realized he was attracted to Sarah-Ann, despite the disparity in their social backgrounds, I could relate to them

If you enjoy short, quick reads with nubile young women and more mature men, you should enjoy this story. The hint of historical storyline adds to the appeal of the book.

About the Author

Marianna Green is lives in the UK, has a geekish fascination with English Literature and History, and an irrepressible sense of humour.

Goodreads Author Link

 

A Giveaway

Marianna Green will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

April 1: Bri’s Book Nook
April 1: Beyond Romance

April 8: Kit ‘N Kabookle
April 8: Two Ends of the Pen – promo

April 15: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart

April 22: The Book Connection
April 22: Sharing Links and Wisdom
April 22: Iron Canuck

~ ~ ~

It’s been my pleasure hosting Marianna today for this stop on her tour.

Nancy

 

Posted in Erotic Romance, Historical Romance, Young Adult | 8 Comments

FRIDAY FRIENDS ~~~ AUTHOR KARA O’NEAL

We Asked and Kara Answered

Q1:  If you could become any one of your book’s characters, who would it be and why?

I would love to step into the shoes of Elinor Armstrong. She’s a secondary character in book 10, The Cowboy’s Embrace. She’s fun and daring and does what she pleases. It sure would be nice to have the courage to throw caution to the wind and grab life by both hands!

Q2:  What do you consider to be the central plot of your story?

The central plot is the love story between the characters and how they learn to trust their instincts and a take chances.

Q3:  When did you know you were destined to be a writer?

Oh, goodness. I never thought I would be a writer. In fact, my freshman English teacher would laugh if she ever learned I was published. Of course, while proper mechanics are important, they don’t matter if you don’t have a story.

I started writing because I’m a day dreamer and a reader. When I didn’t like the ending to a story, or when I had to stop reading, I would imagine what was going to happen, or what I thought should happen. Scenes and dialogue developed. And then when I was a senior in college, as my professor droned on, I started writing Welcome Home, book 1, in my head. And it wouldn’t go away. Finally, when I was pregnant with my first child, I wrote the book. It was a shock to me when I finished. I never imagined I would write a story.

Every bit of this journey has been one surprise after another. And I’m so glad I can tell stories. I love the characters and the development of this series. By the time I’m done I’ll have lived through two decades in Pike’s Run. It’s truly been a blessing.

Speed Round (just to get to know you better):

  1. Coffee, tea, or other? Sweet tea
  2. Music preference? Texas Country music, also known as Red Dirt
  3. Favorite movie? Pride and Prejudice with Tangled running a close second
  4. Dog, cat, or other? Dog
  5. Favorite author? Jane Austen

About the Book

Andrew and Ben Lonnigan, brothers and private investigators, have accepted an important case—to reunite the long-lost DuBois daughters with their rightful inheritance. Abducted from their childhood home in New Orleans when they were three and two-years-old, Jo and Charlotte were adopted by separate families.

Andrew heads north to find Josephine Tatum—a pants-wearing, spitfire veterinarian who challenges his mind and captures his heart. Ben travels south to find Charlotte Ryan—the financial mind behind her father’s ranch, with a sweet disposition and, unfortunately, a fiancé.

As the sisters journey toward destiny, Charlotte must guard her heart against Ben, a man too daring to ever return her love. And Andrew must hide his feelings from Jo, a woman determined to carve her own path. While the foursome battle feelings, they must also war with a villain from the sisters’ past, one with the will and the means to destroy everything the DuBois daughters hold dear.

Find your copy of Destiny’s Secrets on Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Read an Excerpt

With a shake of his head, he stopped her. “It’s all right. I understand why you’re upset, and I have an explanation for why I haven’t carried through with what I promised.”

Intrigued, she straightened and scooted closer to the table. “And what’s that?”

He waited a beat, studying her with a soft expression and a heart-meltingly warm look in his eyes. “I’m in love with you.”

Her breath caught. All thought ceased.

He said nothing else, just watched her with a cautious, uncertain gaze.

He loved her? Impossible.

The sing of bows against strings announced that intermission had drawn to a close, but she couldn’t move. She blinked at her companion as people moved past them, talking and laughing, oblivious to Jo, who felt she stood on her head.

He sat back, one strong hand still on the table, his tan skin a contrast to the white linen.

She swallowed. “H-How is that p-possible?”

About the Author

Born and raised in Texas, the state had to be the setting for my first series. From the food to the fun, like floating the rivers, it is the fire in my blood that inspires me. My family and friends take center stage in my books. My sisters and best friends are my heroines, and my husband created my favorite hero. Love and family are the point of my stories, and I seek to entertain, relieve stress, and inspire people.

Books can take one on a journey that one can relive over and over. I am extremely grateful to those authors who did that very thing for me. I learned and I fell in love with their words and characters. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Kara’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

It’s been my pleasure hosting Kara today on Friday Friends. Please come back again next week for more authors, books, and a couple of giveaways!

Nancy

Posted in Historical Romance, Part of a Series, Western Romance | 9 Comments

EDGER LIVES by David Beem

GENRE: Comedy, Action/Adventure, Fantasy
Amazon

About the Book

Our dork of destiny rides again!

Edger is falling for Mary, his bodyguard, kick-ass spy, and cover wife. But she’s so hopelessly out of his league, it’s clear someone’s going to get hurt. Less clear? That someone may be the Prime Minister of Australia.

When Mary confesses her desire to kill the world leader whose assassination Edger’s supposed to prevent, Edger’s superpowers pick the worst time to stop working. Without a fully functional psychic superhero, their team of spies can no longer order him to probe Mary’s mind for ill intent. The stage is set for a confrontation that threatens to strip a defenseless Edger of his loyal protector just when he needs her most.

Return to the Collective Unconscious, this time with Listerine-chugging stoners, Hollyweirdos, commie-alien-kung fu robots, one space gorilla-unicorn, and an exceedingly lovesick Vladimir Putin.

Mind your fingers and toes on page 270. Those skydiving mind-control monkeys have been known to bite!

Read an Excerpt

All the trucks are in the air.

“Run!” Dad yells, peering upward, one leg bent, hands raised toward the airborne fleet rocketing toward space.

My knees buckle, and the action serves to reboot my body mechanics. I hobble off as fast as I can manage, making it three steps before the shock force of an explosion slams me from behind. My ears pop. My feet leave the ground. Shoulder raking across concrete, I skid to stop. More explosions ring out behind me. I cover my head.

Something wet drops from my brow. I prop myself up on one elbow, wince, collapse onto my side. My arm is a mass of gravel and scrapes. I touch my finger to the inside of my cheek—blood. A spike-like blast erupts, so loud it glows in my ears, a pure white sound. The movie reel of life sputters and jams. The air is incinerator hot. Someone’s moaning. It takes me a second before I realize it’s me. I’m on my side.

The air shimmers. Another explosion erupts from the far side of the parking lot, the flash briefly outlining Dad and Nostradamus. Dad falls backward. Nostradamus faces me, his head cocked sideways. His arm makes another throwing motion. High above, a tiny Peterbilt is bearing down on me like a meteorite. I struggle to get to my feet, twist my ankle, fall. The rising trill of the incoming missile hollows my throat. This is it. I’m going to die.

My Review

I admit, I struggled with writing this review. This book, in its entirety, is difficult to pigeonhole into a category. If you love sci-fi characters and conventions, you’ll love this book. If you enjoy a humorous spy novel and saving the world, you’ll love this book. If you can imagine Vladmir Poutin getting laid on horseback, you’ll … well never mind … that’s an image I don’t particularly want.

It helps to have read the first book in the series to get a glimpse at the characters and their unusual abilities. Thankfully, it’s not necessary in order to enjoy the unique story line and writing style.

I do warn you though, you may just get a case of the giggles and your heart may race. However, if you can get past the quirky style of storytelling, you will enjoy this book.

About the Author

David Beem loves superhero movies, taekwondo, and flossing. He lives in Djibouti with his family and crippling self-doubt. To help actualize David’s inner confidence, visit his website and buy all the stuff: www.davidbeem.com

A Giveaway

David Beem will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

March 28: Long and Short Reviews

April 4: Beyond Romance

April 11: Sharing Links and Wisdom
April 11: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart

April 18: Kit ‘N Kabookle
April 18: Andi’s Book Reviews

~ ~ ~

It’s been my pleasure hosting David Beem on his tour. Please come back again next week for more authors, books, and giveaways.

Nancy

Posted in Action/Adventure, Comedy, Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal/Fantasy, Part of a Series, Science Fiction | 6 Comments