Rogues Rush In: A Regency Duet by Tessa Dare and Christi Caldwell

rogues rush in

Release date: 5/22/18
Available at Amazon.com now!

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors Tessa Dare and Christi Caldwell come together in this smart, sexy, not-to-be-missed Regency Duet! 

Two scandalous brides…
Two rogues who won’t be denied…

His Bride for the Taking by NYT Bestselling author Tessa Dare
It’s the first rule of friendship among gentlemen: Don’t even think about touching your best friend’s sister. But Sebastian, Lord Byrne, has never been one for rules. He’s thought about touching Mary Clayton—a lot—and struggled to resist temptation. But when Mary’s bridegroom leaves her waiting at the altar, only Sebastian can save her from ruin. By marrying her himself. 

In eleven years, he’s never laid a finger on his best friend’s sister. Now he’s going to take her with both hands. To have, to hold…and to love.

His Duchess for a Day by USA Today Bestseller Christi Caldwell 
It was never meant to be…
That’s what Elizabeth Terry has told herself while trying to forget the man she married–her once best friend. Passing herself off as a widow, Elizabeth has since built a life for herself as an instructor at a finishing school, far away from that greatest of mistakes. But the past has a way of finding you, and now that her husband has found her, Elizabeth must face the man she’s tried to forget.

It was time to right a wrong…
Crispin Ferguson, the Duke of Huntington, has spent the past years living with regret. The young woman he married left without a by-your-leave, and his hasty elopement had devastating repercussions. Despite everything, Crispin never stopped thinking about Elizabeth. Now that he’s found her, he has one request—be his duchess, publicly, just for a day. 

Can spending time together as husband and wife rekindle the bond they once shared? Or will a shocking discovery tear them apart…this time, forever?

HIS BRIDE FOR THE TAKING by Tessa Dare

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. I read on my computer during my morning coffee/breakfast/busywork ritual, which means it’s a short read, but a very entertaining one. One sitting is all you need.

I’ve read Tessa Dare before, so I was already familiar with her style. I felt like Mary was a likable character, but that sometimes her thought process was skewed. I think we all know a few people like that in our real lives, right? Sebastian, the hero, was rough and gruff and everything one might ask for in an alpha male, but I’m not sure I’d really call him a rogue. Nevertheless, the story was great and the romance within was sweet. Details were given where needed and kept away where not needed. Perfect for a night in when you might have to get up early the next day.

HIS DUCHESS FOR A DAY by Christi Caldwell

I would have liked this in a longer story–I don’t feel like the characters got their moment in the sun as they should have. I don’t feel like it was fair to them to cram the entirety of their romance into a few short chapters. BUT, I have no reason to not suggest this story to other readers. After all, if the only problem I can come up with is that it’s just not long enough, then the writer has done her job and well beyond. I am entertained and I want more.

Crispin Ferguson is the kind of storybook romance novel hero readers (myself included) tend to go bananas for. There is an element of mystery, a gentleman with a reputation that precedes him, and by description, he’s handsome. Oh, and he’s a duke, so he’s loaded. He’s every nineteenth century woman’s fantasy man. His bride, Elizabeth, is a woman most can relate to and identify with in some way or another. I felt the romantic scenes were nicely written and appropriate within the story.

I have absolutely no reason to not give this book my recommendation. I actually really enjoy shorter stories sometimes because there are days when a gal just likes a light read. I’m not someone with a lot of time on my hands, so when I read something (short or long) I enjoy, I feel like my minutes and hours were more than well spent and I can not wait to see what’s next from BOTH of these authors.

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Enchanted By the Highlander by Lecia Cornwall

enchanted by the highlanderEnchanted by the Highlander is the fourth book in a charming and enchanting Scottish series that reimagines fairytales by Lecia Cornwall.

Gillian MacLeod is shy and quiet, the least likely of all her sisters to seek out excitement and adventure. But on a moonlit night at a masquerade ball, Gillian steals a kiss from a mysterious stranger, knowing she’ll never see him again.

John Erly, disowned by his noble English father, started a new life in Scotland. Most people are suspicious of the foreign mercenary and he does everything is his power to avoid romantic entanglements. But he can’t forget the bewitching beauty who kissed him in the dark, and stole his heart, even though he has no idea who she might be.

A year later, John is given the duty of escorting Gillian to her wedding and immediately recognizes her as the temptress he’s dreamed of for months. There’s not much he can do when she’s promised to another man, but fate intervenes and this time, passion—and adventure—can’t be denied. Honor demands he stay away from the MacLeod’s enchanting daughter, but love has a very different ending in mind…

***

I really enjoyed this story. I was surprised to learn there are others in this series, so I’ll be trying to look those up today, too. As of right now, my reading queue is ridiculously long, but one more won’t hurt.

Okay, three more.

I enjoyed the storytelling and the fairytale aspect to the story. It’s a feel good romantic read. Gillian is a woman I can identify with in a lot of ways and I think maybe that’s what makes the story so appealing. I think a lot of women could probably picture themselves in her shoes, if only for a moment. But, it isn’t just Gillian. All of the characters are likable and believable. Bravo, Lecia Cornwall.

The plot of the story is so fantastic and that’s how the fairytale vibe kicks in. It’s very Cinderella-like, but I found myself holding my breath for Gillian and John throughout the story. I knew there would be a happy ending, but at times I found myself worrying how it would come about. I wasn’t disappointed and I can’t wait to find the other books in the series!

You can find your own copy at Amazon!

Dangerously Divine by Deborah Blake

51OyUjnitXLThe author of the “wonderful” (Tamora Pierce) Baba Yaga novels and Dangerously Charming is back with a magically mesmerizing new tale about the dashing and daring Broken Riders…
 
The Riders: Three immortal brothers who kept the Baba Yagas safe, now stripped of their summons to protect. But fate is not finished with them—and their new callings are even more powerful…
 
Though his physical wounds have healed, Gregori Sun, the eldest of the Riders, remains in spiritual turmoil. His search for his mother, the one person able to heal his soul and save his life, is failing—until he crosses paths with a beautiful and fascinating librarian who might be the key to his salvation…

Ciera Evans’s bookish ways are just a guise. The product of a difficult past, she has dedicated her life to saving lost teens—by any means necessary. She works alone, but when a dark, brooding stranger proposes they team up to solve both their problems, she is tempted—in more ways than one…

After Ciera and Sun’s plans are derailed by dangerous enemies, they find themselves entangled in an ungodly affair—one that will force them to either find new strength together or be forever haunted by their pasts alone.

***

This isn’t the first book by Deborah Blake I’ve read and it certainly will not be the last. I don’t want to give everything away, but I can say that the characters (as always) are fantastically written, the dialog is wonderful–and, to the point–and, most importantly, these books are not books you want to put down. Not even for a moment.

After a quick trip to Amazon.com, I see that Deborah Blake has an entire catalog of books written in the same world. There are the Broken Rider novels and the Baba Yaga novels. AND, from what I’ve seen, you can read them all out of order and not miss anything (although, if there IS an order, I’m going to find it and start there to read the rest lol).

I don’t have any big problems with this book and I’m pretty sure there are no small ones either. Go buy it. You’re welcome.

 

Romancing the Scot by May McGoldrick

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Release date: Available now!

In this stunning series starter by USA Today bestselling author May McGoldrick, meet the new generation of Penningtons…five brothers and sisters of passion and privilege. Enter their aristocratic world…where each will fight injustice and find love.

Hugh Pennington—Viscount Greysteil, Lord Justice of the Scottish Courts, hero of the Napoleonic wars—is a grieving widower with a death wish. When he receives an expected crate from the continent, he is shocked to find a nearly dead woman inside. Her identity is unknown, and the handful of American coins and the precious diamond sown into her dress only deepen the mystery.

Grace Ware is an enemy to the English crown. Her father, an Irish military commander of Napoleon’s defeated army. Her mother, an exiled Scottish Jacobite. When Grace took shelter in a warehouse, running from her father’s murderers through the harbor alleyways of Antwerp, she never anticipated bad luck to deposit her at the home of an aristocrat in the Scottish Borders. Baronsford is the last place she could expect to find safety, and Grace feigns a loss of memory to buy herself time while she recovers.

Hugh is taken by her beauty, passion, and courage to challenge his beliefs and open his mind. Grace finds in him a wounded man of honor, proud but compassionate. When their duel of wits quickly turns to passion and romance, Grace’s fears begin to dissolve…until danger follows her to the very doors of Baronsford. For, unknown to either of them, Grace has in her possession a secret that will wreak havoc within the British government. Friend and foe are indistinguishable as lethal forces converge to tear the two lovers apart or destroy them both.

This was a pretty fun book to read. It was heavy on the history, which I thoroughly enjoy. I have never read anything by this author before, so I was pleasantly surprised to have discovered May McGoldrick. I look forward to future titles.  Since this is a romance novel, I will give the heat level a 3.5 and the love scenes were tastefully written.

I felt the characters were well thought out, though there were times I felt like the romance between the two main characters was a little bit forced. I can’t say that turned me away from the book and it certainly wasn’t a big enough deal to make me want to put it away. It was a fantastic way to spend a weekend. I found myself pleased with the ending, which is surprising because I rarely enjoy endings of any kind–happy or otherwise.

As of right now, I’m only seeing Kindle copies from Amazon.com.

 

The Rig by Roger Levy

Golden stars rating template isolated on white background.

Release date: May 8, 2018
Publisher: Titan Books

*EDITED to note that this book will not be released for Kindle until May 22, 2018. *

Rig 

On a desert planet, two boys meet, sparking a friendship that will change human society forever.

On the windswept world of Bleak, a string of murders lead a writer to a story with unbelievable ramifications.

One man survives the vicious attacks, but is left with a morbid fascination with death; the perfect candidate for the perilous job of working on a rig.

Welcome to the System. Here the concept of a god has been abandoned, and a new faith pervades: AfterLife, a social media platform that allows subscribers a chance at resurrection, based on the votes of other users.

So many Lives, forever interlinked, and one structure at the centre of it all: the rig.

Strange Horizons has called Roger Levy the ‘heir to Philip K. Dick.’ That’s a pretty tall order for an author to live up to, eh? I typically dislike when two authors are compared to each other because I rarely see enough similarities to even recognize that a comparison has been made. Well, as it happens, it’s not far from truth. I found Roger Levy’s writing style to be refreshingly gloomy, blunt, and to the point. I believe the comparison to Philip K. Dick to be right on the money.

The premise of the story is unique and I imagine that’s one reason why Levy has been compared to Philip K. Dick. Roger Levy spins his tale with a handle on the English language unlike most. He creates characters that are both believable and unique, but the ways in which he presents their stories is never lacking any of the elements required for entertainment and thought. If there are any science fiction book clubs looking for a good read this week, I think The Rig is worthy of a mention, but with a warning–You will ask yourself an awful lot of questions when you read this book and some of them may have answers you’re not ready for. But, be that as it may, read it anyway.

Without hitting my blog readers with a ton of spoilers, I will say that I can confidently give my recommendation to The Rig and I look forward to finding more titles from Roger Levy in the future.

KINDLE and PAPERBACK formats are available at Amazon.com.

 

Five YouTube Vlogs I Watch Regularly

I have to admit, the idea of starting my own vlog has crossed my mind a few times. I could never pick a theme or make any design decisions, though, so here we are (lol). Meanwhile, I do watch a lot of vlogs. I am a woman with a multitude of hobbies–writing, sewing, baking, cooking, low-carbing, crafting, decorating, organizing–I need inspiration for a lot of my things. And, honestly, YouTube makes me happy. Did you see my list of guilty pleasures in here?

Before you click elsewhere, know this–inspiration comes in many forms. Sometimes all a person needs is to know they can do things. Examples: Finishing projects around the house, making a corner in your bedroom more organized and functional, writing a short story you’ve been meaning to get to, decorating a cake perfectly for whatever function, or just cleaning your living room. There are YouTube channels for just about everything out there.

None of these videos are in any particular order. I love them all equally.


1. The first channel I really love is Love Meg.

This woman is a mom, does DIY’s, clean with me videos, a makeup tutorial/health and beauty vlog here and there, and she has a really bright personality. I usually watch her videos when I need something cheerful to get me moving.

2. I also love Keshia J.

Oh, what this woman can do with dollar store stuff! I never miss one of her videos because she’s very down to earth, but also way more together than I am, so she motivates me. She does DIY’s, fitness and health, home decor and home makeover type videos, and loads of other cool stuff.

3. Professor Pincushion!

These videos are about sewing, as you can imagine. A lot of them are quite long and are instructional videos for completing sewing projects that range from quilt tops to baby shoes to full outfits, following a pattern.

4. California Gardening

This channel is another instructional vlog. Gardening videos are what brings me peace when I need it. Calming, soothing, and educational. Also, I like to grow things sometimes, so I learn a lot.

5. T3N31-Film Studio

This is my brother from another mother’s channel. I keep up. And, if you’re horrorly inclined (I’m allowed to make up words, FYI), you might just learn a thing or two in here. Caid is my go-to for FX. He knows EVERYTHING.

I’m subscribed to a lot of YouTube channels. This list certainly isn’t all of them, but it’s certainly the ones I watch the most. If you’re wondering why I’m not subscribed to more writing channels, well…Maybe I should be. I’m subscribed to a few, but I keep it at a minimum because writing isn’t the only thing I like to do and usually if there is a part of the writing or publishing process I don’t understand, I can easily Google or ask a friend.

That being said, I’d love to know if some of you have any channels you love.

 

10 Things For West Virginia Parents To Do With Their Kids During the Teacher Strike

In case you’ve been living under a rock, West Virginia has been out of school statewide since Thursday due to a teacher strike. I’m not going to explain why the teachers are striking, but it made the national news and I’m just going to share some links for you instead.

FOX NEWS

WVGAZETTEMAIL

HUFFINGTON POST

WASHINGTON POST

So, if you’re in West Virginia and you have a houseful of antsy kids, I’ve given some thought to what you can do with your kids to have some fun and pass the time. My kids have been driving each other (and me) crazy with boredom and I don’t blame them. There has been some rain and mud issues, so going outside is a touch and go thing.

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Chocolate is a very, very important part of a writer’s life.

  1. But, you can always bake some Chocolate Sugar Cookies! My kids love these. We haven’t made them in ages and I think I might do this tomorrow. We sort of made this recipe up ourselves and it never fails to keep everybody happy for at least ten minutes. Or until the milk jug goes empty.
  2. Read some books. I don’t have any suggestions because it would take me all day to hunt down age appropriate material for K-12, but if you have an Amazon Prime account, sometimes there are some killer Kindle freebies available for download immediately. If not, there is always the public library or your own bookshelves.
  3. Plan the week’s breakfast/lunch/dinner menus. This is something I generally do by myself, but this week I had my son help me out. It wasn’t the most exciting of tasks, but I think he enjoyed being able to help. He learned how I budget for the week and how I plan every thing out down to the last ingredient to make sure everything is there. Preparedness–it’s a great life lesson.
  4. While the weather holds, you can go outside and check out the flowers because Easter Lilies are starting to pop up everywhere. As a matter of fact, there are other signs of spring popping up everywhere, too. Maybe even do some flower photography. If you have a printer, print them out and frame them. The Dollar Tree has some nice frames you can use as the base for an art project. Buttons and do-dads can be glued on for extra decoration.
  5. Do you have HBO? DVD’s? Have a Harry Potter marathon. Pop some popcorn, too. Make a rainy day of it.
  6. Enlist the help of your own tiny little army to start spring cleaning a little early. Maybe not the best to start big projects, but you can always have them help you go through toys, clothes, and match containers to lids. You can make a game of it.
  7. Make (ahead) some Easter cards to send to relatives. At our house, we have an art box full of crayons, markers, colored pencils, paper, etc… I like to use every excuse I can to make the kids drag it out (ha!).
  8. Arrange a play date or two. With everyone being home, I’m sure other parents would be more than happy to make this work out. After all, a kid with a friend is a lot more likely to stop telling you how bored they are than a kid sitting at home alone. And, if you’re feeling really brave and don’t have to go to work, you can even have an impromptu slumber party.
  9. Catch up on some problem areas with schoolwork. If there’s a subject your kid needs extra help with, why not go ahead and try to carve out thirty minutes to an hour and figure out how to work through it?
  10. This last one is probably more for the parents. Go to our Governor’s Twitter profile and check out some of the things he has to say.

    BONUS– Reach out to teachers and ask what you can do to help them out. Or, maybe just let them know they have your support.