Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

Book Giveaway: Chains by Shiloh Walker



One winner will win a copy of CHAINS by Shiloh Walker. How do you enter the contest? Tell us what you are thankful for as we approach a national holiday....


Chains by Shiloh Walker


Out now!


Read an excerpt by clicking here.

Winner to be chosen Friday. Good luck!


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Real-life Romance by Guest Blogger Lisa Dale (with a book giveaway)



I have romance on the brain these days—not just in my books, but in my real life!

For most of my life, I’ve never really had that “bride” gene. While my girlfriends lined up one after another at the altar, I was always content to be a bridesmaid. And I’ve never really responded with any kind of fierce emotion when I see book cover features veils, bridal gowns, or wedding cakes. I never had anything against weddings. I love love. But weddings…they always seemed like much more trouble than they were worth.

Now…it’s a whole different story. You see, my boyfriend proposed to me on a beach in St. Petersburg, Florida, recently. Though he and I have been together very happily for quite some time, I really didn’t see it coming. It was entirely surprising and one of the absolute best moments of my life.

We never talked about getting married because I didn’t want to put any pressure on him to ask me. I’ve seen what pressure to get married can do to relationships. I once went to dinner with a couple who had been dating for a while, and we all knew the girlfriend was dying to get married (she told everyone). That evening, we were sitting around the table chatting happily, and the woman picked up one of the crayons on the table and started to draw on the paper tablecloth. Can you guess what she drew? An enormous blue engagement ring! Not exactly subtle. About six months later, that couple had broken up.

When people ask me if Matt and I have set a date yet I like to tell them we’re not rushing into anything. But the truth is, if I could plan a wedding for tomorrow, I would! It’s so odd that so much time has passed since I first fell in love with him, and now I feel as if I can’t wait one more moment to get married. I’m more than a little excited about buying a dress!



Planning a wedding seems as difficult as planning a novel—if not more, since I’m not much of a planner. But it’s beginning to occur to me what the fuss is all about. And since I’m in the business of romance novels, that’s probably a good thing.

What about you? How do you feel about weddings—especially in novels? Do you like to see wedding scenes in order to feel like the romance is solid, or is the romance enough in and of itself? Is an implied wedding enough in a book?

Share your thoughts, and one commenter will win a copy of my first book Simple Wishes, about a young woman who returns to her mother’s cottage in the mountains—seeking isolation but finding so much more. There’s more information at http://www.lisadalebooks.com/.

Best,

Lisa Dale
http://www.lisadaleblog.com/
Post away and enter to win a copy of Simple Wishes by Lisa!

A Holiday Romance winner is.....


Congrats to poster Maureen!!!


Please email me at pattifischer@yahoo.com with your mailing address.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Guest blogger: Guilt-free Downtime by Donna Alward


Publishing is a funny industry. It’s not the kind of job where you punch a clock, or get paid an hourly wage. There’s no security either – the end of a contract could find you without a publisher. It’s scary stuff, and you learn to take a lot on faith. It also can leave you with a sense of urgency. Urgency to meet deadlines, urgency to put more books on the shelves and to grab every opportunity that comes your way with both hands.

It’s an urgency I feel a lot, and it has me working on fun projects between deadlines, seizing some potential opportunities in this crazy career I’ve found myself in. So while today I should probably talk about my latest release on the shelves, instead I’m going to talk about guilt-free downtime.

There are simply times in life when certain things matter more than others. And when that happens, you need to give yourself permission to step away and do what needs to be done. Sometimes that time away is simply to relax, rest, and refill the creative well. Other times it is time with kids, either on vacation or simply riding bikes together at home. Lately my downtime has been focused on extended family, as my father in law underwent major open heart surgery. My inlaws don’t live close by – it’s a good three hour drive. And the surgery was done close to us as it’s the major heart centre for Atlantic Canada. As soon as we heard what the schedule was, I decided right then and there that work was going on the backburner.

Nine days ago they arrived, and it began days of hospital runs, extra beds, cooking meals, packing lunches. Not to mention nail-biting worry, holding hands, tense phone calls (that last bit mostly the day of the surgery). My sister in law arrived from Ontario on the Wednesday and stayed until the following Monday. On the weekend, two other sets of siblings-in-law came and went. As I’m writing this, it is just my mother in law still here and we are hopeful “The Mister” will be able to go home at the end of the week. As you’re reading this, hopefully he’s back in his own comfy chair and getting on with recovery.

My work output? Suckage. But I knew from the beginning that other things came first and that if I did any work it would be because I had an opportunity. Otherwise, I was just going to squeeze it in when I could. That’s exactly what’s happened too. And I’m exhausted. We all are, to be honest.

The thing is, I wouldn’t change a single bit of it. As far as relaxation, it hasn’t been. But it is important that we give ourselves permission to step away from the job for whatever reason. While the circumstances were not great, I’ve enjoyed having the family here. We’ve laughed a lot, worried together, talked, you name it. I’m not sorry they’ve been here- in fact, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

We have such a tendency to be so hard on ourselves and I certainly could have been. I could have vowed to write so many words a day but it simply wouldn’t have happened. Then I would have been frustrated and stressed. Instead, I’m itching to get back to it again, and hope that the words start coming much quicker very soon.

In the meantime, I do have a release this month from Harlequin Romance called “Hired: The Italian’s Bride”.

DonnaAlward

In it the hero also chides the heroine for working to hard, telling her to take time to smell the roses so to speak – good advice. And it’s easy taking it from Luca since he’s ever so much sexier than I am.

You can read an excerpt on my website and also join my newsletter list for a chance to win a copy as well as other goodies.


****


Donna's book Hired: The Italian's Bride can be purchased from e-Harlquin by clicking here.

Giveaway: A Holiday Romance by Carrie Alexander



A Holiday Romance - Carrie Alexander
Harlequin Superromace
Available now!

Blurb:

A summer holiday in the desert—what had she been thinking? Extreme heat? Scorpions? Senior citizens? Check.

This home-swap vacation had seemed like such a great idea at the time…. Huh. Yet Alice Potter might actually get the romantic adventure she's only ever dreamed about, as resort manager Kyle Jarreau sends her adrenaline into overdrive. Sadly, the resort frowns on socializing with guests, and Kyle has always been a stickler for rules…until now. Seems Alice can be quite tempting when she puts her mind to it. But can they keep their romance a secret or will their Arizona fling burn them both?

***
Question for readers:

Have you ever been in a holiday romance? One that ended when the holiday was over?

Post your answer, one per person, and I'll pick a winner Sunday night!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Winner is.....

Winner of TAMING THE FIRE is......flchen!!


Please email me at pattifischer@yahoo.com with your mailing info by 7/3/09.

Congratulations!!

Spotlight Review: HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO by Ana Leigh


HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO - Ana Leigh
The Fraser Series, Book 5
Pocket Books
ISBN: 978-1-4165-5138-6
June 2009
Historical Romance, Frontier

Fort Redemption and Environs, Arizona Territory, 1874

For three years, Rico Fraser has hunted the Slatter gang, the men who raped and murdered his mother. His search led him to Arizona, where he's currently scouting for the U.S. Army. He's much taken with a local rancher's beautiful daughter whom he meets at the fort. It's not mutual, however, for Miss Jennifer Blake rudely lets him know she doesn't approve of "bounty hunters." But shortly thereafter, four men, believed to be the Slatter gang, attack the Burke ranch and take Jenny and her young aunt hostage. Rico and Captain Don Masters --- who insists upon joining Rico --- set out to rescue the ladies. Many believe it's too late to save them from brutality and death. With much difficulty, Rico manages to get both girls and a wounded captain back to safety. Frank Burke then hires him to safeguard his daughter and sister.

HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO has all the excitement one could want in a Western novel, plus a couple of romances. For quite a while, Jenny treats Rico with disdain, but it becomes more difficult as she becomes more attracted to him. Even then, she thinks monetary profit is his sole motive for his heroic deeds. Jenny runs hot and cold; Rico runs hot, but with reservations.

Rico is the cousin of the four Frasers of Fraser Keep, a California winery where the families live and work. He plans to join them one day when he's satisfied his thirst for vengeance. Jenny's mother died at her birth, but she hasn't lacked for love and care...at least from her aunt. Though Andrea is only ten years older, she's a born caregiver, and probably the most likable character in this novel. She's thoroughly spoiled Jenny. Frank Burke is a whole other case. I was torn between thinking his character totally unrealistic and realizing that circumstances can change some people in uncomfortable ways. He's a hard man with an agenda of his own.

There is a lot to like in HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO, and I can recommend it. The plot is intriguing with its suspense over life and death situations and chancy relationships. The romances work, even with a flawed person or two.

Jane Bowers

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Perfect 10: ATLANTIS UNLEASHED by Alyssa Day


ATLANTIS UNLEASHED - Alyssa Day
Warriors of Poseidon Series, Book 3
A Perfect 10
Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 978-0-425-22041-2
June 2009
Paranormal Romance

Atlantis and Guatemala - Present Day

Atlantean Warrior Lord Justice willingly gave the ultimate sacrifice to save his brother from the vampire goddess of chaos and night, Anubisa. While willing to trade himself into her service, Justice is unable to force himself to serve the needs of the goddess, and she sends him into the Void. Justice’s revelation of his heritage, spoken out loud to convince Anubisa to take him rather than his brother, unleashed an ancient curse that will drive Justice insane, and his torturous time in the Void has accelerated his mental deterioration. Justice is ready to give into the madness when he has a vision of a woman that not only provides a ray of light in the eternal darkness to which he is confined, but also provides him the hope of escape. As his pain recedes with his view of her, his mental lucidity clears, and he knows that she is his.

Dr. Keely McDermott is an archaeologist with a special gift. Returning from a dig to her campus office, Keely gets an unexpected visit from a patron, Liam, who wants to finance her next expedition. When he tells her that she will be investigating Atlantis and that he wants her because she is an object reader, Keely is stunned. She has kept her gift for psychometry very quiet, fearful of other's reactions and the terrible price she has already paid when people found out about her freakish nature. The unbelieving Keely finally accepts the truth when she arrives on Atlantis with Liam. While the reality of Atlantis still existing is overwhelming, it is nothing compared to the revelation of the man behind a portal into another realm. He is the man who carved the talisman she wears around her neck, whom she has envisioned many times while touching it. Even more disturbing, the wild eyed, dirty and bloodied man recognizes her.

As much psychological thriller as romance, ATLANTIS UNLEASHED continues the story of the race to save Atlantis and humankind. Justice is the most complex and tortured of the Warriors, and now he must confront the duality of his parentage. The Nereid half of his nature is trying to overpower the Atlantean, bent on violence to avenge the father who never recognized him. When Justice unwittingly touches Keely, she sees deep into his soul and experiences the pain and humiliation he has had to endure. The psychic bond between the two is intense and emotional. Keely is able to give insight into what must be accomplished for Atlantis to finally rise and commits herself to not only helping the Atlanteans, but to saving the man she is coming to love.

This character driven tale will grab the readers imagination from page one and hold it in thrall until the end. Imperfect, valiant heroes and the complicated women who love them are the highlights of the series, and this story lifts everything up to the next level. Intense action builds throughout with Anubisa’s army fighting the Warriors, the search for the lost gems of Poseidon’s trident, and a personal war for sanity, redemption, and love. This book handily deserves the RRT Perfect 10 rating for not missing a beat in a complex and expertly woven tale. ATLANTIS UNLEASHED is an epic thrill ride that should not be missed.

Jennell

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Perfect 10: FATAL SECRETS by Allison Brennan


FATAL SECRETS - Allison Brennan
2009 FBI Trilogy – Book 2
A Perfect 10
Ballantine Books
ISBN: 978-0-345-50275-9
June 2009
Romantic Suspense

Sacramento, California; the Sierra Nevada Mountains - Present Day

Twenty-one years ago, Sonia Martin was sold into slavery by her father, but she was miraculously saved by Texas Ranger Wendall Knight. Later adopted into the Knight family, she received all the love and support she had been missing as a child. Now a Senior Agent in the Immigration & Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), and considered an expert on the subject, Sonia Knight has dedicated her life to saving other children and women from needless abuse and the horrors of human trafficking.

Acting on a tip from an informant, Sonia and her team have been watching the massive home of Xavier Jones, the middleman responsible for arranging at least 20% of the human trafficking problem in the United States. She’s been patiently waiting, hoping to locate thirteen year-old Maya who’s been abducted, and Sonia feels tonight is the night to catch Jones in the act. Feeling the taste of success as it approaches, Sonia can’t believe her eyes when the place is raided by the FBI!

Feeling anger and frustration as she sees years of work go out the window, she’s greeted by a tall and very commanding brown-eyed man as he exits one of the trucks. Clearly, he’s in charge, but she has no idea who he is. Dean Hooper calmly advises Sonia that he’s there to serve a partial warrant to get some definitive financial information, and she assumes he’s just another agent. A successful lobbyist on the surface, Xavier Jones’s savvy business dealings seem to be on the up and up, and Hooper has been relentless in his pursuit to find something wrong. The warrant may not nail Jones, but Hooper still hopes the invasion of his personal space will make him nervous and irritated enough to make a mistake.

While their motives are decidedly different --- Dean is after a racketeering charge and Sonia a trafficking charge --- they both want Jones and whomever he’s working with locked up forever. Sonia then finds out she’s been verbally sparring with the Assistant Director of the FBI. Sonia is good at her job, but she doesn’t play well with others after being burned by her last partner. Realizing they are on the same team, each possessing the special skills needed to get the bad guy, Sonia grudgingly agrees to meet to share all she knows about her case. Dean knows some of her background and can’t help but admire her courage and beauty, but he puts his attraction on a back burner. Sonia is angry, and doesn’t appreciate the interference of the FBI, but something about Dean Hooper makes her hot. As the plot thickens however, Hooper and Knight can’t hide their feelings any longer. Now understanding that Jones is the least of their worries, they are targeted by a heinous criminal determined to eliminate them by any means necessary. Sonia is forced to revisit the brutal violence and tragedy she suffered in a way she never expects as the situation becomes more personal.

As Allison Brennan passionately delves right into the second book of her FBI series, FATAL SECRETS, the reader is immediately treated to a fast-paced thriller that will be impossible to put down. She has created a taut suspense story with a premise that may be a little unsettling, but is nonetheless factual and well researched. The crime of human trafficking is unthinkable, forcing readers to wonder about the plight of these defenseless victims. I enjoyed Sonia’s personality as the feisty and attractive central character. Not very trusting of men, and not interested in permanent relationships, it’s ironic to see her in what has been considered a vocation traditionally geared toward men, but she’s all woman. Dean Hooper is a gorgeous take-charge guy with great intuition and smoldering sensitivity; he knows how to hold his own. Unfortunately, his career hasn’t allowed him to commit to anyone special. I couldn’t help falling a little in love with him myself. The other characters interspersed throughout this tale are equally absorbing, including the villains. The common link driving this story will keep you on the edge of your seat until the surprising conclusion. My only complaint is that I have to wait a little while longer for Brennan’s next book, as I’m now experiencing withdrawal. FATAL SECRETS is a romantic suspense you should run, not walk, to pick up today, and that’s why it deserves a Perfect 10.

Allegra Alston

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Book Giveaway:TAMING THE FIRE by Sydney Croft


TAMING THE FIRE by Sydney Croft
Out now!

Blurb:

POWER. PLEASURE. DANGER. IT DOESN’T GET ANY HOTTER THAN THIS.

He came to the underground London club for a night of extreme sex play with the enigmatic “Mistress Rik”. But the Special Agent known as Trance is really on a search-and-rescue mission to keep her alive. Part predator, Ulrika “Rik” Jaegar possesses feral powers that make her a danger to others–and to herself. That’s why the Agency for Covert Rare Operatives (ACRO) wants to recruit her to their side….To do so, Trance will have to pull off the impossible: capture and control Rik, both woman and beast.

On the run from the deadly agency that changed her into a pleasure-seeking shape shifter, Rik uses sex to rein in her own raging desires. Operating on pure instinct, she trusts no one…especially the magnificent alpha male with the power to seduce her into submission. An undercover agent with unique hypnotic gifts, Trance is surprised by his instinct to hold Rik and keep her safe — but he has a job to do. And as he hunts her down, as Rik and Trance are thrust into the ultimate game of domination and submission, they’ll enter a place where surrender is their sole hope of survival — and the only thing that can tame the wild beast in both of them…


******

One winner chosen to win a copy of TAMING THE FIRE. Contest ends June 24th at 9:00 PM eastern time.

How do you enter?

Reader's dilemma: You go to a book signing featuring several of your favorite authors. But when you get there, you are given two choices:

You can either go through the door where you buy their books and not only get them signed, but you pay full price for the books.

Or, you can go through the other door and only get their books, at thirty percent off, but they are not signed. You only get that one choice and cannot come back in.

Which would you choose?

Winner of....

The download of Maree Anderson's EVEN DEMON'S GET THE BLUES is....

PAMSOO!!!

Please email me at fisc40pa@aol.com and I'll get it to you.

Congratulations!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Q&A with Maree Anderson and a Giveaway!


First up, I’d like to thank Patti for providing these thought-provoking questions. I’m a newbie at all this so it’s a scary prospect being interviewed about my writing, but these questions made it an absolute pleasure.

June is a special month for me: it’s the month my debut book is released. Coincidentally, it’s a pretty darned special month for my publishing company, too. Happy 15th Anniversary, Red Sage! (And believe me, at Red Sage they really know how to celebrate with their readers, so please check out their official anniversary statement at the end of this interview.)

1. Tell us about your newest release.

I took a punt and entered Red Sage’s Alpha Male Novella Contest last year and when I finalled, Senior Editor Robin Lawson, made me an offer for my novella. It’s called Even Demons Get The Blues and it’s a June 1st Red Sage Presents release.

My heroine, Leisa, was inspired by Holly Hunter’s lead role in the TV series Saving Grace. Leisa might look like an angel, but she sure doesn’t act like one. She’s a bad girl who’s done some pretty questionable things and guilt is eating her alive. Alcohol and casual sex are her chosen methods of self-destruction and she’s embracing both with a vengeance.

And what better hero for a bad girl, than a badass demon? Rez was the demon king’s lieutenant for four thousand wonderfully gory years. But even the most badass demon in Hell can get a bit jaded, so Rez quit and took up beguiling humans. The only problem is that now he’s been beguiled by Leisa, a mere human, and he’s so obsessed that he watches her every move.

When Leisa picks up one loser too many, Rez just can’t stand it any longer and he’s provoked into showing her what a real man—uh, make that demon!—can do. Of course, fate intervenes and the two end up bonded. So there’s Hell to pay. Quite literally!

2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?


A few months before my youngest started school, actually! (He’s now 11.) I figured why not give writing a book a go? And after a truly tragic attempt at chick-lit—and please believe me when I say that first page was a complete disaster!—I ended up writing a fantasy trilogy. On a dare from a friend, I entered the first two manuscripts in a full-manuscript contest called The RWNZ Clendon Award. When I finalled in the contest and was also highly commended, I was hooked! And now I just can’t quit writing...for which I apologize profusely to my long-suffering husband and very understanding kids.

3. Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?


Historical author (and fellow RWNZ member) Helen Kirkman, and I recently gave a workshop at our local RWNZ chapter meeting on just that topic. It’s called: Sources of Inspiration, or, how the heck did you come up with that idea? (If any of your readers are interested, they can find a full transcript on my website: www.mareeanderson.com.)

For me, as a paranormal and fantasy writer, any source has to inspire some twisty weirdness for me to want to write about it. I find ideas in magazine articles, from watching TV or movies, books, snippets of conversation—the list goes on. If I may, I’ll refer to a few examples I talked about in the workshop.
My Crystal Warriors manuscripts were inspired by a book about crystals. Some of the crystals had such wonderful masculine-sounding names—wulfenite, kyanite, malachite—I thought it’d be fun to write about warriors named for their crystals and ultimately imprisoned inside them by a spell.
In a weekend newspaper, I happened upon a travel article which stated that Utah has the second highest incidence of lightning strikes in America. This led to a manuscript called When Lightning Strikes, featuring aliens who ride lightning and prolong their lives by healing and using the bodies of people who’ve just died in a lightning strike. I thought, what would happen if the victim didn’t die and the alien was stuck sharing her body?
I also cut out magazine articles which catch my eye. One had a photo of a woman cuddled up to a guy, completely blissed out on his scent. The article was about men’s fragrances: “In a world of equal opportunities, men are smelling as good as women—well, nearly.” So that inspired a manuscript called Scent Of A Man, featuring a hero who exudes pheromones which make him irresistible to women. And I’m talking all women—even his mother and sisters—so there’s definitely a horror element to that story.
The notice board in my office is covered with notes and bits and pieces which I can’t bring myself to throw out because I know I’ll use them…one day, LOL.

4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?


Umm.... My warped sense of humor? Which I’m told does contribute to my “strong voice”. One of my author friends says I have a “delightfully twisted” mind. I think that’s a compliment?

5. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?


That I was quite a versatile writer. I started out writing epic fantasy. Then I switched to 1st person POV sexy paranormals. I’ve also written a paranormal with a Sci-Fi twist and a Regency inspired fantasy. Oh, and a YA paranormal because my daughter was bemoaning the fact she wasn’t allowed to read any of my manuscripts, so I wrote one specifically for her. And with Even Demons Get The Blues being erotic romance and novella-length, I guess I’m pretty much up for giving anything a go...so long as there’s a paranormal or fantasy aspect ;-)

6. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?


An afterword by sci-fi and fantasy author, Stephen Donaldson, was the inspiration for my very first manuscript. Angela Knight has had a huge influence on me, too. I love her books and she’s just an incredible lady!

At the very first RWNZ chapter meeting I ever attended, I remember being quite overwhelmed by talk of writing for specific markets and researching what editors were specifically looking for. Heck, I didn’t even know what a category romance was back then! Barbara’s Books owner Barbara Clendon set me on the right track when she commented that authors should “write the book of your heart”.

RWNZ also has some amazing published authors: Nalini Singh, Shelley Munro, Amanda Ashby, Helen Kirkman, Tessa Radley, Abby Gaines, Sophia James, Yvonne Lindsay...honestly, there’s too many to list. I’ve found everyone to be incredibly generous with their advice and mentorship. And now I’m a member of the Red Sage family, too, I have access to their mentoring and the extensive networks they’ve made available to their authors. I’m truly blessed!

7. What does your family think about your career as a published author?


Well, I’m just starting out as a published author, so my husband isn’t allowed to quit his job just yet. He’s ever hopeful, though, and there’s talk of me eventually being able to keep him in the style to which he’d like to be accustomed, LOL. Seriously, I’m very lucky to have a husband who understands my need to write and despite the financial burden, allowed me to quit work and give full-time writing a go.

And my kids think it’s pretty darned cool—especially my daughter, when her teacher attributes her talent for English to the fact her mother is a writer. Unfortunately, my kids can hardly show their mom’s very first published book to their friends because of its genre. Paranormal erotic romance? I don’t think so!

8. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing-wise?


I’ve just finished Let Sleeping Demons Lie featuring a heroine called Naamah—she’s the felinoid demon who had a huge “thing” for Rez. Thanks to the demon king’s machinations, Naamah ends up in a truly hellish situation with a leonine Lycan prince named Brennan. In a nutshell, it’s kitty vs lion with some truly heinous hyenas thrown into the mix...mwah hah hah! I also have plans to give my demon king his own story since he soooo needs to get his comeuppance!

At the moment I’m working on a paranormal featuring immortal Spartans who’ve had their souls stolen by a dryad. And just for something totally different, I’m trying my hand at a novella-length “Space Opera”.

Feel free to drop by my website—I love it when people visit and leave a comment!

Cheers,

Maree Anderson
Even Demons Get The Blues, Red Sage Presents, June 1st
www.mareeanderson.com
www.writersgonewild.blogspot.com
www.eredsage.com

________________________________________

Visionaries. Risk-takers. Just plain wild.

These are some of the words reviewers have used to describe Red Sage authors, the Secrets anthologies, and the Red Sage Presents line of e-books. Featuring best-selling paranormal authors such as Angela Knight, MaryJanice Davidson, Emma Holly, Larissa Ione, Cynthia Eden, and many more, Red Sage books have earned a place on many readers’ “keeper” shelves.

This month, Red Sage celebrates its 15th anniversary with a month-long sale and celebration.

15 Years.
15 E-Books.
$1.50 Each.

Visit the Red Sage website, www.eRedSage.com, and Red Sage Revealed (http://redsagerevealed.blogspot.com) throughout the month of June for the sale, special surprises, and maybe even a giveaway or two!

Red Sage. Read Dangerously!

****

Learn more by visiting Maree's website at www.mareeanderson.com

You can purchase Maree's ebook at www.eredsage.com

Now...for the giveaway.

Post away and I'll choose one person to win a copy of Maree's ebook EVEN DEMONS GET THE BLUES.
And here is the fun part. You can enter more than once. Ask Maree questions and she'll pop in to answer them for you.

Red Sage winners.......

Winner of Secrets Volume #25 is poster #10 - Jane!

jane, please email me at pattifischer@yahoo.com with your mailing address.


Winner of Secrets Volume choice is KarenH from NC!!!
I've sent her an email


Congrats to all our winners!!!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chat Thursday night!

Interrupting Red Sage week here to announce that the Infinite World of Fantasy Authors have their monthly chat at RRT Thursday night beginning at 9:00 PM Eastern time.

Click -->>
HERE to enter chat room.

Contest for Red Sage readers!




Next up for our Red Sage week is a game of match the author and book! Winner gets their choice of whatever Red Sage Secrets Volume book they want, including Vol 27 when it comes out. The only requirements are that you get ONE book and the mailing address must be in the Continental United States.

Here are the rules: First off, I will list the authors and then down below I'll list titles. Match the authors and the titles and then email me at pattifischer@yahoo.com with your answers.
Deadline to enter is 9:00 PM eastern time on Thursday June 18th.

Here are the authors:

Roxana Blaze
Alice Gaines
Fiona Jayde
Anne Rainey
Lynne Logan
Bethany Michaels
Jess Michaels
Rae Monet
Selah March
Brenda Williamson

Here are the titles:

Booty Call
Secrets Volume 12
A Damsel in Distress
Addiction
Fires Within
The Killing Frost
Master of the Elements
Secrets: Surrender to Seduction
Forbidden Fruit
A Christmas Cara


Good luck!

Remember to email Pattifischer@yahoo.com with your answers.



DEADLINE IS THURSDAY NIGHT AT 9:00 PM EST

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Red Sage Anniversary Chat Wednesday Night!



Red Sage Anniversary Party

Date: Wednesday June 17, 2009
Time: 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm EST

Location: http://client0.addonchat.com/sc.php?id=102122

( www.romrevtoday.com then click Chat on left hand side)


Notes:

Join CrazyMo, KatBos and BadBarb as we celebrate Red Sage's 15th Anniversary as a publisher. Authors will be dropping in to visit and door prizes will be given away ;)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Book Giveaway: Secrets Volume 25


Secrets Volune 25 with authors Anne Rainey, Cynthia Eden, Sedonia Guillone and Natasha Moore

You can find out more about it by clicking here.

Question for readers:

Who are your favorite Red Sage/Secrets authors?


A winner will announced Thursday evening!

Red Sage Publishing week at the blog!


In honor of Red Sage Publishing's 15th anniversary, there will be a few things going on this week in their honor. A book giveaway. A chat. An interview with one of their authors.


Stay tuned and help Red Sage celebrate their anniversary by going to site at http://eredsage.com

Friday, June 12, 2009

Q&A with Ann Whitaker!!!



1. Tell us about your newest release.

Dog Nanny (which is set for release June 12 from The Wild Rose Press) is about a doggy do-gooder named Julie Shields, who has one month to save two delinquent poodles from becoming doggies of divorce. She’s also a self-proclaimed born-again virgin with a biological clock running out of juice and needs to find a husband for a couple of reasons.

When a hunky pilot named Nick Worthington arrives at the Abilene airport to fly her to Waco, he sends her into a tailspin. But he also may be a drug trafficker and smuggler of illegal aliens. Not only that, he’s involved with another woman.

Julie's quest for a suitable husband leads to several misfires—one disgusting, another downright dangerous. Only Nick leaves her panting for more. Will she have to put a choke chain on him before the month is out?

That’s the love story.

An underlying theme is the importance of pet adoption, training, spaying, and neutering our pets. I didn’t consciously set out to write a lesson in dog-rearing. Those parts of the story are the result of my interest in dogs and living with and training my own two poodles, both of whom are now senior citizens. If I could only sign them up for Medicare benefits!

By the way, all the tricks mentioned in Dog Nanny, except one, are tricks both my dogs have mastered. But then, they’re poodles. And as I like to say, poodles are so intelligent they make their owners look smart.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always written. I wrote letters when I was a young child. I began writing poetry in high school. I later wrote newsletters, freelance reviews and stories for newspapers, and poetry and articles for magazines and journals. And I’m notorious for writing lengthy, stream-of-consciousness e-mails.

I’m also a former high school and college English teacher, so I’ve always read a lot of fiction, but I never thought of writing a novel until I finished my master’s degree and offhandedly asked my husband what I should do next. When he said write a novel, I balked at first. But since I can’t pass up a challenge, I decided to give it a try. And I’m still doing it. Dog Nanny is my fourth out of five novel manuscripts.

3. Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?

Everywhere. My own experiences or those of friends. Snatches of conversations overheard in restaurants. Something I see on TV or read in a magazine. For years I’ve collected bizarre stories from the newspaper. I keep paper and pens in every room of the house to jot down ideas as they come to me. I’ve been known to wake up in the middle of the night and write a line or two so I won’t forget it.

So far, I’ve set all my books in modern times in the parts of Texas I know, because I feel I’m capturing a time and place that will never exist again. For example, I have a manuscript I wrote in the late 1980s, during the oil boom and bust in Texas. Reading it now is like revisiting a wild and crazy part of my past.

Unfortunately, like some writers, I don’t have all kinds of plots racing around in my head. I start with a character and then really have to work at plotting. I always know how the story will end. But I may not know exactly what’s going to happen along the way. And sometimes the story takes a turn I wasn’t expecting.

4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

It’s more curse than quirk. I have to be alone to write, preferably in a small room with the door shut, and I need quiet. I’ve been this way ever since I can remember. Possibly because as an only child whose parents both worked, I spent a lot of time alone. I envy those writers who can write at Starbucks or in a newsroom or with small children to tend to. I need solitude and quiet to concentrate. And I need a sense of order around me. Bed made, dishes in the dishwasher, desk cleared of clutter… And I have to know I have several hours of uninterrupted time.

5. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

For some reason, my fiction is stronger and more natural when I write in first person point of view. Maybe it’s all those long letters and e-mails. With first person I feel as if I’m telling a story to a good friend.

I’ve also learned interesting characters have to feel passionately about something and have to fight for their beliefs. In my own life, I try to avoid conflict and confrontational situations. So when I’m writing a scene, I often have my characters do the exact opposite of what I would do. For example, I would never talk back to a law enforcement officer, as Julie does in Dog Nanny.

6. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?

My husband, a journalist and editor, has always encouraged me to write. In fact, in a roundabout way, we met because of something I’d written.

My longtime friend, Gwen, has always supported me. She even read my first manuscript and was kind enough not to tell me it stunk. And it really did. My friend Nikki read a later work and told me her husband made her stop because her laughter was shaking the bed and keeping him awake. Most writers can use all the positive reinforcement they can get, so I’ve been lucky in that regard.

Now that I’ve strayed from writing women’s fiction into the world of romance, my RWA Elements critique group has been invaluable. I couldn’t have asked for better support, constructive criticism, and sometimes off-the-wall conversations that make me laugh out loud and have even give me ideas for stories.

My voice and humor has probably been influenced by modern writers like Sarah Bird, Billie Letts, Sue Grafton, and Nora Ephron, since my female protagonists come often come across as slightly feisty and flippant.

But my writing rhythms and sense of sound go back further to writers like Shakespeare, Poe, and southern fiction writers like Eudora Welty and Flannery O’Connor. And my own background of writing poetry.

7. What does your family think about your career as a published author?

They’re all for anything that keeps me out of trouble.

8. What is coming up next for you writing wise?

I’m working on a collection of essays called “Born To Be Fried.” The title comes from a comment my mother once made about chickens. She said, “Don’t you think some things were just born to be fried?”

I’ve also written the first draft of romantic comedy that was a result of a Book-in-a-Week workshop. I call it my book-in-a-week-that-took-twenty-two-days. The working title is Desire Daily. It’s about Mahogany Marsh, a nightside editor for the Desire (Texas) Daily Democrat. When she loses a promotion to a good-looking Yankee with Kennedy hair, she thinks she’s getting even by reducing him to hero-fodder for her romance novel-in-progress. But who will get the last word?

Thank you so much for having me here. I’d love to hear from readers. They can reach me at the addresses below:

ann@annwhitaker.com
http://www.annwhitaker.com/
www.myspace.com/annwhitaker


***
DOG NANNY can be purchased by clicking here

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Reviews Posted at RRT!


Romance Reviews Today,

Issue 70, Volume 1, June 11, 2009



CONTEST:

Prize Winners for June 2009



6/6/09 – Leslie Figueroa wins SAY GOODBYE by Lisa Gardner



Click on the Contest Page for information on entering the contest.



NEW RELEASES:

Visit our new release page and start your shopping list today!



BLOG:

Visit the RRTBlog to see what Patti is up to – and what books she is giving away. If you are not on the RRTChatters loop, you are missing some great conversations – and prizes.



CHATS:

Join Patti every Friday night in the RRT chat room at 9 PM ET to chat about this, that and the other.



Join the Schemer every Monday night in the RRT Chat room at 9 PM ET – you never know what the topic will be!



Join CrazyMo in the new chat room: Mo’s Book Buzz. Check out the new calendar on the home page for the Chat Schedule.


News/Information:

Romance Reviews Today is seeking enthusiastic reader.



REVIEWS:

In this issue, we have 15 new reviews for your reading enjoyment!



Contemporary Fiction
MATTERS OF THE HEART – Danielle Steel – Deborah

THE LOVE OF HER LIFE – Harriet Evans – Deborah



Contemporary Romance

A LITTLE LIGHT MAGIC – Joy Nash – Robin

COLORADO SECRETS- Jacquie Greenfield – Carolyn Crisher



Fantasy Romance
GHOSTLAND – Jory Strong – Mel – Urban



Historical Romance
LEAVING WHISKEY BEND – Dorothy Garlock – Jane



Paranormal Fiction
SINS & SHADOWS Lyn Benedict – Shadows Inquiries, Book 1 – Carolyn
STRANGE ANGELS – Lili St. Crow – Kate –Young Adult


Romantic Comedy
DIRTY SEXY KNITTING – Christie Ridgeway – Patti



Romantic Suspense
FATAL SECRETS – Allison Brennan – 2009 FBI Trilogy, Book 2 – Allegra



Series Romance

BEDDED BY BLACKMAIL – Robyn Grady – Jennifer – SD #1950

BRANDED – Tori Carrington – Patti – HB#471

SEDUCED INTO A PAPER MARRIAGE – Maureen Child – The Hudsons of Beverly Hills, Book 6 – Patti – SD#1946

VALENTE’S BABY – Maxine Sullivan – Miniseries: Billionaires and Babies – Patti – SD#1949 WYOMING WEDDING – Sara Orwig – Stetsons & CEO’s , Book 3 – Jennifer – SD#1947



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Winners!!!


The Tracy Wolff winner is...... Penney!!

The Toni Blake winner is.....Mariee!!!!

Please email me by June 19th at fisc40pa@aol.com with your addresses!

Congratulations!!!

Chat Wednesday night with Ann Whitaker!

The Wild Rose Press author Ann Whitaker joins us to discuss her book, DOG NANNY. Door prize: TBA!

Moderated by CrazyMo.
When? This Wednesday (tomorrow) at 9:00 PM Eastern Time
Hope to see you there!
Mo

Monday, June 08, 2009

Guest Author: 4 Little Life Lessons or What I’ve Learned from the Women I Write by Tracy Wolff


When I was getting my MFA in creative writing, my fiction professors always told me that a good short story or novel must make its readers think. It must have a message and characters that transcend time and race and culture and creed. It must be real. These are, of course, many of the same professors who scoffed at me when I told them I wanted to write romances. The same ones who told me writing genre fiction was a waste of my talent.

Well, here I am a number of years later, writing romance novels and loving every second of it. And while their advice about romance novels were complete idiocy (I’ve been reading love stories since I was in fifth grade and I certainly have no plans to stop anytime soon) a lot of what they taught me has stuck with me—including the fact that a reader should be able to learn something about the human condition from the books she reads.

Now, I write two very different types of books—erotic suspense and family oriented contemporaries, both of which will soon be joined by paranormals when my first novel of dragon shapeshifters hits the shelves next year. And though my books lend themselves to very different plotlines, language and heat levels, one of the things I’ve found has remained the same between my NAL Heats and my Harlequin Superromances, is my characters—and what I (and hopefully my readers) learn from them. Whether I’m writing a kick-butt police detective (my September 2009 release Tie Me Down) or a surrogate mother on the brink of emotional collapse (my June 2009 release From Friend to Father) I tend to gravitate to the same kind of heroines—strong, smart and self-assured. Heroines I can respect and heroines I can learn something from. So, with no further ado, here’s a quick look at some of the life lessons I’ve learned from the women I write.

Sarah Martin (Heroine of From Friend to Father—June 2009): Mother of twin boys and surrogate mother for her best friend’s baby, Sarah has taught me the importance of hanging on to my sense of humor. No matter what life throws at her—from overflowing toilets to a deadbeat husband to falling in love for a second, scarier time, Sarah never forgets to laugh.

Serena Macafee (Full Exposure—January 2009) Serena’s been through the emotional wringer—when she was seventeen, she survived the brutal attack that ended up killing her twin sister. Ten years later, her sister’s murderer—and her own assailant—is being released early from prison and Serena must deal with the emotional and actual fall-out. With her past, she is scared to death of being vulnerable—to anyone, including her lover, Kevin Riley. But as the book unfolds, Serena realizes that being strong doesn’t mean doing everything alone. So from her, I’ve learned the importance of standing on my own two feet—and of asking for help when I need it.

Genevieve Delacroix (Tie Me Down—September 2009) A tough-as-nails homicide detective, Genevieve survives the violence of New Orleans’s streets by staying in control at all times. But when she meets her hero, Cole Adams, she learns that some of the most important things in life—friendship, passion, love—can’t be controlled. Genevieve has taught me the value of spontaneity and that coloring outside of the lines is often more rewarding than doing the same old thing.


Vivian Wentworth (A Christmas Present—December 2009) Vivian reminded me of the importance of keeping an open mind. An attorney who’s spent her career fighting for women who can’t fight for themselves, Vivian is shocked and upset when she ends up defending a seventeen-year-old boy accused of murdering his pregnant girlfriend. But things aren’t what they seem in the case and Vivian must work with her client’s mentor and guardian to keep an innocent boy out of jail, even after he’s given up on justice and himself.

So, what, if anything, have you learned from the romance novels you’ve read? Leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of my first novel, A Christmas Wedding.


Learn more about Tracy and her books by visiting her at www.tracywolff.com


Post once to be entered to win Tracy's book, A Christmas Wedding.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Book Giveaway: ONE RECKLESS SUMMER by Toni Blake



One copy of ONE RECKLESS SUMMER is up for grabs! Find out more about this book by Toni Blake by going to her website here: http://toniblake.com/onerecklesssummer.html

All you have to do to enter is post once here and I'll announce the winner later in the week.

Good luck!!!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Guest Blogger: A Good Day to be a Computer by Jessica Inclan


My computer told me last week that she was tired.
She said, "Listen, I don't feel like leaving home so much. I hate being cooped up and tossed around. I go out, and man, I get so tired! I just, well, I just have to take a little nap."
I didn't listen to her. I packed her up, threw her in the back of the car, and went to work. Of course, when I walked into my office after a class and saw that my computer was still and lifeless, I rushed to her, pressing this and that.
"Oh, my," my computer said, waking finally. "No need for all the fuss. I just wanted a little down time. I needed to relax. And no one was here, and I thought, what would it matter? Who would need me?"
I pressed some more buttons.
“Really,” she said. “I’m not lying.”
But then I turned my back, and my computer nodded off again.
Sighing, I turned her off and brought her back home, putting her in her happy spot on the desk. The trip had not done her good. She was blinking and hot, and I thought to call the doctor.
But then the blinking stopped. She stayed her cool self. I put down the phone, looked at her. My computer has been through a lot. Poor thing has flown all over the country. She’s helped me write a lot of novels. She's browsed and linked and saved and pasted herself into an early retirement, I think. She's beaten and worn and just not the spring chicken she used to be.
Now at night, I put her to bed and turn off the light, hoping that in the morning I will press the button and she will light up, as usual. Like today, here she is beaming at me.
It's a good day to be a computer. May they all be so.


Learn more about Jessica and her upcoming release THE BEAUTIFUL BEING by visiting her website at http://www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com/

New Reviews Posted at RRT!



Romance Reviews Today,
Issue 69, Volume 3, May 25, 2009

CONTEST:
Prize books for May 2009

5/2/09 – TILL THERE WAS YOU – Lynn Kurland – Winner: Sue Ahn
5/9/09 – CONFESSIONS OF A LITTLE BLACK GOWN – Elizabeth Boyle – Winner: Cheryl Ricin
5/16/09 – CROUCHING VAMPIRE, HIDDEN FANG – Katie MacAlister – Winner: Martha Lawson
5/23/09 – MAGIC’S DESIGN – Cat Adams – Winner: Donna Clark
5/30/09 – DEATH ANGEL – Linda Howard – Winner: Bernadette Long

Click on the Contest Page for information on entering the contest.

See the contest page for the NEW Book a Week Contest - the first prize winner will be drawn on April 5th and contest winners will be announced on the RRTAnnounce and RRT Chatters lists.
Click on the Contest Page for information on entering the contestNEW RELEASES:
Visit our new release page and start your shopping list today!

BLOG:
Visit the RRTBlog to see what Patti is up to – and what books she is giving away. If you are not on the RRTChatters loop, you are missing some great conversations – and prizes.

CHATS:
Join Patti every Friday night in the RRT chat room at 9 PM ET to chat about this, that and the other.

Join the Schemer every Monday night in the RRT Chat room at 9 PM ET – you never know what the topic will be!

Join CrazyMo in the new chat room: Mo’s Book Buzz. Check out the new calendar on the home page for the Chat Schedule.
News/Information:
Beginning in April 2009 we will be updating Romance Reviews Today once a week, generally sometime between Friday and Monday.
BEST BOOKS 2008 – Check out the Reviewer’s Choices for BEST BOOKS OF 2008

REVIEWS:
In this issue, we have 19 new reviews for your reading enjoyment!
Anthologies
THRILLER 2 – Edited by Clive Cussler – Robin – Mystery – Short Story Collection
Contemporary Fiction
A THREAD OF TRUTH – Marie Bostwick – Marilyn –HOTHOUSE FLOWER AND THE 9 PLANTS OF DESIRE – Margot Berwin – Jani – Fantasy
ROGUE – Danielle Steel – Deborah
SWEET LOVE – Sarah Strohmeyer – Astrid
TEMPTING TAYLOR – Joan Elizabeth Lloyd – Kathy – Chick Lit
THE ACCIDENTAL BEST SELLER – Wendy Wax – Jane
THE GLASSBLOWER OF MURANO – Marina Fiorato – Marilyn
UNDER THE RADAR – Fern Michaels – A Sisterhood Novel, Book 8 – Marilyn

Contemporary Romance
LIP SERVICE – Susan Mallery – Lone Star Sisters, Book 2 – Carolyn
WATCH OVER ME – Lucy Monroe – The Goddard Project, Book 4 – Patti

Fantasy
DEMONS NOT INCLUDED – Cheyenne McCray – A Night Tracker Novel, Book 1 – Jennifer

Historical Romance
HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO – Ana Leigh – The Frasers, Book 5 – Jane
NOT QUITE A HUSBAND – Sherry Thomas – Jane
THE CONFESSIONS OF A DUCHESS – Nicola Cornick – The Brides of Fortune Trilogy, Book 1 – Jane
THIS DUCHESS OF MINE – Eloisa James – Desperate Duchesses, Book 5 – Jane
Paranormal Romance
ASHES OF MIDNIGHT – Lara Adrian – Midnight Breeds, Book 6 – A Perfect 10 – Jennell ATLANTIS UNLEASHED – Alyssa Day – Warriors of Poseidon, Book 3 – A Perfect 10 – Jennell

Romantic Comedy
HOW TO SCORE – Robin Wells – Patti

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Spotlight Review: WILD HEAT by Bella Andre


WILD HEAT – Bella Andre
Hotshots: Men of Fire, Book 1
Dell Books
ISBN-10: 0440245001
ISBN-13: 978-0440245001
April 2009
Romantic Suspense

Tahoe National Forest, California/Nevada – the Present

Overwhelmed by the recent death of her firefighter brother Tony, Maya Jackson tries to drown her sorrows in alcohol. She meets a sexy stranger in a bar and finds sexual release in his arms. Now, six months later, Maya is back in Tahoe Forest investigating a suspected arsonist in the Tahoe National Forest, Mr. Logan Cain.

Logan is the head of the crew at the Tahoe Pines Hotshot Station. He has dedicated his life to fighting wildland fires and is willing to place his life on the line for his community. To say he is shocked that Maya is investigating him is an understatement. The fact that she is also the same stranger that he met in the bar just adds to his bemusement.

Maya still finds Logan extremely attractive but is determined not to let her attraction affect her investigation. She suspects that the fire that caused her brother’s death was started by an arsonist. Maya’s gut is telling her that the same person who started that fire is responsible for the numerous fires around Tahoe National Forest. Although she can’t believe Logan could cause such destruction, all of her leads are pointing directly to him.

Logan has his own suspect, and if it were anyone but Joseph, the man who raised him from a rebellious teenager, he would have already turned him in. Logan believes that since Joseph is suffering from dementia, he could possibly be starting the fires and not remembering. But the stakes become quite high when the arsonist begins targeting Maya directly. When her motel room is burned down and a threatening note is left for her to find, Maya knows that she must find this arsonist quickly because her life is on the line.

Ms. Andre has penned an excellent novel that will keep readers guessing until the very end. Many of the secondary characters have you wondering if they are the ones who are causing all of the havoc with the wildfires. The suspense will have you turning the pages in a frenzy to find out who is behind the fires. The ending and the arsonist are sure to catch you off guard and will have you looking forward to reading the next installment in this series, HOT AS SIN, arriving in December 2009.

WILD HEAT is a masterfully written novel that I highly recommend to readers looking for an action-packed ride full of suspense and a wild, hot romance.

Anthonette Dotson

Mo's Weekly Buzz chat guest is... TERRI BRISBIN!


Title: Terri Brisbin chat

Date: Wednesday June 3, 2009
Time: 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm EST

Location: http://client0.addonchat.com/sc.php?id=102122

Notes: Terri Brisbin joins us to discuss her Harlequin Historical Undone, A NIGHT FOR HER PLEASURE. Door Prize: TBA! Moderated by KatBos.

Blurb:

Lord Simon of Rennes is marrying the woman of his dreams, but he is certain that she can never love a man like him -- for in spite of his wealth and position, he is a giant of a man and she is the most feminine woman in his world. Lady Elise marries to save her family from the folly of her father's treachery and never dares to hope that her new husband could love her, after all she is innocent and not at all like the women he usually seeks out for. . . companionship! Now, it's their wedding day and they only have hours before seeking the pleasure of their marriage bed -- and only hours to learn if their future will hold passion and love or heartbreak.

Monday, June 01, 2009

A Perfect 10: THE DEVLIN DIARY by Christi Phillips


THE DEVLIN DIARY - Christi Phillips
A Perfect 10
Pocket (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1-4165-2739-7
ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-2739-8
Historical Fiction

England during the Restoration and Present Day

American Claire Donovan has her hard-won Ph.D. and has been hired to teach history at the prestigious Trinity College in Cambridge, England. Andrew Kent, a Trinity fellow whom she met while finishing her thesis studies in Italy, has pulled strings and gotten her this post. Due to school requirements, Claire begins to do research on a new topic, encryption --- as her fascination with ciphers and codes is piqued when she finds a coded diary written during the reign of Charles II. All of her work, though, is brought to a halt when one of the Trinity fellows is found dead in the River Cam. And not just any fellow, but Dr. Derek Goodman, a rakish rogue who had recently stolen the diary that Claire found and gleefully revealed to her that he was going to write on the same topic.

In 1672, with Charles II on the throne, London is a city recovering from many aftershocks. The Civil War is behind it now, as is the great fire of 1666, and the world is changing, although not necessarily for the better. Bodies are turning up that have been mutilated and left with puzzling marks on them. Strangely, no one seems to be questioning the coincidences of the murders except two people, Hannah Devlin, a physician trained by her father, a court physician who was murdered, and another doctor, Edward Strathern, who has done post mortems on two of the victims.

What do murders in two different centuries have in common? That's what Claire and Andrew want to know after discovering that Derek, not well liked by his fellow staff members, had found links to the seventeenth century murders. The more information they discover about Derek and his antics, the more Claire and Andrew need to find that diary and decipher the code.

THE DEVLIN DIARY is one of the best books I've read this year. It's fast-paced, exhilarating, and beautifully researched. The transition from the twenty-first century to the seventeenth is done brilliantly with no loss of continuity between eras. Characters in both centuries are well drawn and realistic. Hannah, who has severe headaches and keeps dosing herself with poppy syrup, has to keep her focus on the dangers she's investigating with Edward. Claire and Andrew have to use all of their historical know-how to get to the bottom of Derek's murder --- and there are several twists and turns during both centuries' searches.

Much like her first book, THE ROSETTI LETTER, Ms. Phillips devotes chapters to each mystery, subtly linking them. Readers will think they've discovered the killer that Hannah is trying to find several times, but the author keeps us on our toes! THE DEVLIN DIARY grabbed me at the first page and kept me riveted to the story until the very satisfying, and surprising, conclusion. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, which is why I've given it a Perfect 10. Christi Phillips is an author I will follow!

Jani Brooks