Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I was going to announce some book winners today, but due to the catastrophic conditions on the east coast, I'm going to hold off for a couple more days.

Also, Mo's chat tonight will be an open chat. If you're not doing anything, drop in from 9-10 PM eastern time in the chat room. Find us at and then click on the chat. We are in Mo's chat room.

On another note, Happy Halloween. Spend time with your kids and hug them.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Guest: HelenKay Dimon discusses Hero Personalities

Thank you for having me here today to talk about my recent release, LEAN ON ME. 

I'm going to be honest, my favorite part of writing a romance novel is the hero. Yes, I like the plots and heroines and all that, but I tend to build a book by thinking about the hero first. I have no idea why…okay, I probably have some idea why. There's just something about their flawed, sometimes damaged, always eventually loveable personalities, I adore.

Every now and then when I find a few extra hours, I look through some of my favorite books and think about the televisions shows I'm watching and try to figure out what I find so compelling about the male characters I can’t forget. It's sort of a constant striving to see if I can create one of those endearing hero types. The hero in this book, Mitch, is one of my favorites. He's a mix of hot and stubborn. He is really attracted to the heroine, Cassidy, yet not a wimp. And then there's that Tall, Dark and Handsome thing. Love that.

When I conducted my most recent male-characters-I love assessment I included some old favorites and a new one. Here's an edited list:

1. Johnny from Karen Robards' ONE SUMMER. Honestly, if you haven't read this, go buy it. He's the bad boy who comes back to town and has a thing for his former teacher. That last part makes my brain hurt, but Robards somehow makes it work. Because of their respective ages and later-in-life relationship there's no ick factor. But he is damaged and hot…really, go buy it.

2. The Navy SEAL on the new show LAST RESORT. Really, I can’t even remember the character's name but he is oddly compelling. Aside from being ridiculously handsome, he's kind of a mess. Drinks too much, has a darkness inside him but a baby face on the outside. I don’t think much on the show works, but he does. I keep watching for him.

3. Zane from the show EUREKA. This show just ended but there was this character Zane. He was wicked smart with a bad boy past, thanks to some hacking issues. He isn't as dark as either of the guys named in #1 and #2 but there's something about him. Probably has something to do with his relentless pursuit of a woman, Jo, who is a toughie and tries very hard not to fall for him. I'm thinking part of the attraction with him, in addition to the impressive abs, is Smart Guy Hottie thing.

Next time I assess the list will change, though Johnny ends up on it a lot. If there's anyone I should add to the rotation, let me know.

Post a comment to win a digital copy of LEAN ON ME from HelenKay!

Learn more about LEAN ON ME (and HelenKay) by visiting her website:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Giveaway:

RESCUING CHRISTMAS with authors Vicki Lewis Thompson, Catherine Mann and Kathie DeNosky


Holiday Haven by Vicki Lewis Thompson

All Ben Rhodes wants for Christmas is to be left alone. And yet, in a fit of Christmas-cheer-induced insanity, he agrees to help beautiful shelter director Tansy Dexter find homes for all her rambunctious animals. Little does he know that the one truly in need of a loving home this season…is him.

Home for Christmas by Catherine Mann

Shelby Conrad has had more than her fair share of silent nights. But even though her husband, Tech Sergeant Alex Conrad, is coming home in time for Christmas, Shelby isn't sure he's in time to save their marriage. Can a road trip to deliver three shelter dogs to their new homes teach the couple that the most precious gift of all is hope?

A Puppy for Will by Kathie DeNosky

Will Parker hasn't exactly had all his hopes and dreams met, but work has filled the gaps in his life. Or so he thinks…until an energetic and large Saint Bernard foster puppy and Will's cute neighbor Macie Fairbanks introduce him to the best thing about Christmas and life—unconditional love.


So, what is your favorite type of pet? Post your response and you'll be entered in a chance to win a copy of  RESCUING CHRISTMAS.
 (open to US and Canada mailing addresses only)


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spotlight Review:

EMBER'S KISS – Deborah Cooke
A Dragonfire Novel
Signet Eclipse
ISBN: 978-0-451-23825-2
October 2012
Paranormal Romance

Hawaii – 2011

Pyrs are shape-shifting dragon warriors who defend humans from evil. Slayers are vowed to destroy mankind and Pyrs.

Despising the fact that he is a dragon shifter, Brandon Merrick just wants to be a surfer in Hawaii. Hoping to diminish his shape shifting, he is befriended by an elderly Chinese man, Chen, who gives him a magical powder in exchange for some of Brandon's dragon scales. Unbeknownst to Brandon, what he is doing will guarantee he will be enslaved by Chen, a Slayer. When he meets marine biologist Liz Barrett, Brandon is stunned to realize that she is his mate when she sets off his firestorm. Maybe there is something to say for being a Pyr!

Liz is hoping to just enjoy the marine workshop she is attending in Hawaii, but her own past screams to the present when, while passing through the tunnel that runs within a volcano, she experiences flashes of her own power returning. As a Firedaughter, Liz is from a long line of witches. However, like Brandon, she doesn't want to embrace her powers after watching her mother die fourteen years previously. Then she meets surfer Brandon, and they have a torrid night, topped off by a powerful earthquake. That isn't frightening enough, but a huge dragon appears in her room, and she can't find Brandon. Liz is rapidly realizing that something is very unusual about her trip to Hawaii.

The Dragonfire novels are an amazing series of exciting, romantic, and enchanted stories. EMBER'S KISS introduces two incredibly vulnerable people who, rather than embracing their extraordinary abilities, instead want to suppress them. But all their private wishes don't take into account the Slayers who only want to destroy them, and they will stop at nothing, including laying waste to the islands and the people who live there.

Readers will be glad to know that many of the heroes and heroines from the previous novels will have parts in this story. EMBER'S KISS is a thrilling continuation to this excellent, intoxicating series. Like the other books, it's beautifully written, and has realistic and very human characters.

I highly recommend EMBER'S KISS and suggest reading the previous novels. Check out Deborah Cooke's website for a complete list:

Jani Brooks

Friday, October 26, 2012

Gift card winner is.........

Congrats to Chelsea, who wins the $20 giftcard from Amazon or BN.

Please email me at with your choice and the email address you want it to go to.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Q&A with Eliza Daly and a giveaway!!!

1.      Tell us about your newest release.

First, I’d like to thank Romance Reviews Today for helping me celebrate the release of my debut novel, Under Her Spell, a lighthearted contemporary romance. This is a very exciting time for me and I’m so glad to be sharing my news here today.

Below is the book’s cover blurb.  

When a series of failed relationships and business ventures have Monica Jackson doubting her self-worth, she turns to spell casting to attract positive energy and the opportunities needed to achieve her goals.  But can Monica’s belief in spells restore her belief in herself? 

Monica creates a spell to find her soul mate, and one to ensure the success of her new romantic event planning company, Enhance Your Romance.  Monica is confident she has found her niche until divorce lawyer Reed Walker opens a practice next door to her office.  The anti-marriage slogan plastered on his office window, and his down-on-love clients, quickly prove detrimental to Monica’s business.  When his arrival appears to trigger a string of bad luck, Monica fears one of her spells sent negative energy into the universe and it has returned to her threefold.  Although Reed is beyond sexy, and she admires his self-confidence, she’ll do whatever it takes to get the universe back on her side, and Reed out of her life. No way is she losing another business.

Reed finds himself attracted to Monica’s beauty and her optimism. His job and his parents’ divorce have made him a pessimist, especially when it comes to love. However, he soon finds that Monica’s pro-love attitude is rubbing off on him, causing him to lose his edge.  If Reed doesn’t distance himself from Monica, he’ll likely destroy his reputation as a pit bull divorce lawyer.

Can Monica and Reed look past what they might be losing to realize the love they have found?

2.      Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story?

One of my favorite scenes is when unbeknownst to Reed, Monica plans a romantic event for him per his mother’s request. The event falls apart, and so does Monica. This brings Monica and Reed closer together and they make love for the first time.

3.      What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your story?

That I still work as an event planner after writing about all the pain and frustration poor Monica endures because of her job. Just kidding. I think. I was surprised to learn how much I enjoyed researching spell casting. Outside of watching the movie Practical Magic, I knew little about the concept of spell casting and that the basis for it really is belief in your goal and focusing your energy on making something happen.

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

Lawrence Sanders, author of the McNally series. He was so influential in my becoming a writer I’ve dedicated an entire post to him on my blog tour.

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

My family has been extremely supportive. My husband has always believed in my writing and never once told me to give up, even when I asked if I could. My mom has read every one of my books. She’s great at catching inconsistencies and grammar issues. My sisters are very supportive on Facebook and you’ll likely see them commenting on my blogs throughout this tour.  And my dad constantly praises my perseverance, and that I never gave up on my dream.

6.  Besides writing, what other interests do you have?

I’m obsessed with I’ve been researching my ancestors since visiting Ireland in 2007 with my parents and cousin. I’ve traced several lines forward and I’ve gone to Ireland twice to visit me rellies. I’ve also been helping some Irish friends research their ancestors who came to America. I’ve often found myself so involved in my research that I look at the clock to discover it’s 2 A.M.

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

My next book from Crimson Romance, Identity Crisis, comes out in March 2013. It’s a romantic suspense and completely different than my typical lighthearted romances. I’ve always been intrigued by the witness protection program and art forgery, so when a story idea popped in my head one day, I ran with it. I’m also currently querying a women’s fiction book set in Paris. Hopefully I’ll have exciting news about that book in the near future.

8.  How can readers connect with you online?

Thanks so much for asking. Please stop by and visit me at any of the below locations on the web. Also, please check out the upcoming stops on my blog tour, October 22-November 21, at Eliza Daly’s Blog Tour . I’ll be giving away a variety of gifts, such as e-books, writing journals, Amazon or B & N gift certificates, and chocolate on Halloween. If you comment on 5 or more of my 20 blog stops, and are a Facebook fan, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win one of two $25 Amazon or B & N gift certificates at the end of my blog tour.

Under Her Spell is available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Also available at itunes store

Author Bio

Eliza Daly’s first attempt at creative writing was in fourth grade. She and her friends were huge Charlie’s Angels fans and she would sit in her bedroom at night writing scripts for them to act out at recess the following day. She was Kelly Garrett. Fast forward to the present, she’s still writing stories about beautiful women who always get their men. The journey from fourth grade script writer to published author wasn’t an easy one, but it was always an adventure and the final destination was well worth it.
When Eliza isn’t traveling for her job as an event planner, or tracing her ancestry roots through Ireland, she’s at home in Milwaukee working on her next novel, bouncing ideas off her husband Mark, and her cats Quigley and Frankie.

Eliza is giving away e-copies of UNDER HER SPELL to two lucky posters! Make a comment and you'll be entered in the drawing. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Katie Porter on... Karaoke in Romance?

Check out the giveaway at the end of the post
One of the running themes in the “Vegas Top Guns” series of erotic romances is karaoke. Our hot fighter pilots at Nellis Air Force Base just outside of Las Vegas unwind at a little dive called Paulie’s, where almost everyone takes to the stage. Some are cool, some have swagger, some are painfully tone deaf, and some rock the house.

Sure we could’ve demonstrated many of the same relationships and included similar trash-talk by situation our characters at a regular bar. But…it’s karaoke! One’s selection of song says a lot about a person. So does what they don’t select.

For example, Ryan Haverty from the series opener, DOUBLE DOWN, is a terrible, terrible singer. He likes Springsteen and does his best to do harm to everyone’s ear drums. It says he’s an all-American guy who’s also a good sport and a man who’s not afraid of laughing at his failings. He has plenty of other things to be proud of.

Heather Morris, the enigmatic heroine of INSIDE BET, croons to Billie Holiday. We’re talking old school cinema cool. She exists in her own world while smoothing out the silky notes of a heartbreaking ballad—melancholy without going overboard. Her boyfriend, fighter pilot Jon Carlisle, however, is a show off to end all show offs. He doesn’t choose his own tunes. He dares his buddies to pick one for him—which requires serious balls. Jon would take that as a compliment.

Leah, from our latest release, HOLD ’EM, is an angry little thing. The hero, Mike, once thinks of her as a demonic ballerina. She’s petite but can fly F-16s better than anyone in her squadron. That she belts out “I’m Only Happy When It Rains” by Garbage and “She Hates Me” by Puddle of Mudd gives a small indication of her personality. She’s a ticking time bomb of energy that needs some outlet.

Which leads us to Mike… Who doesn’t sing at all. He isn’t particularly interested when he has Leah to watch. And then, well, it’s hard to sing karaoke when making out in naughty places…

“Meet me in the bathroom,” Leah said. “Women’s. Ten minutes.”
She slipped away from the table, making sure to stop by to talk to some women she knew from another unit. They were out for a girls’ night, and Leah had to deliver the bad news that yes, Ryan and Jon were both off the market. The questions about Mike were much less deftly handled. She didn’t have any claim on him, but she couldn’t seem to lie and say he was involved with anyone else.
Instead she popped smoke and headed for the bathroom, nerves making her hands shake the whole way.
Thank God the tiny room was clean. White-tile walls gleamed. Even better, it was private and had a single locking door. Since the night was relatively young, she hoped they wouldn’t be interrupted.
Leah managed to keep her guts together until the knock on the door. Then her heartbeat amped to fuck-all overdrive. Zooming. She plastered a smile on her face, in case it wasn’t Mike, and opened the door.
It was him all right. The hot, dark light in his eyes completely belied his casual grin. “You rang?”
She grabbed his T-shirt. Yanked. Hard. He staggered into the bathroom. She slammed the door shut and flipped the lock.

Some things are more important than showing off on stage. Sometimes it’s more about showing off in private…no matter where that “private” takes place!


Up next for Katie Porter, the co-writing team of Carrie Lofty and Lorelie Brown: 

Now that the first three of the RT BookReviews 4½ Star Top Pick “Vegas Top Guns” series have been released, readers can anticipate the final two installments, HARD WAY  and BARE KNUCKLE, in 2013.

November brings the m/m Christmas-themed CAME UPON AMIDNIGHT CLEAR , described as “masterful” by Publishers Weekly. In January, LEAD AND FOLLOW  will launch the five-part “Club Devant” series of erotic multi-partner romances set in a hot New York City burlesque club.

Where to find us:

Twitter: @MsKatiePorter
Or individually: @carrielofty and @LorelieBrown

We'd like to give away a copy of DOUBLE DOWN, INSIDE BET or HOLD ’EM (winner's choice) in any format. Just answer: What karaoke song have you sung, and were there dares/alcohol involved? If you haven’t…what’s holding you back?

Thanks again to Romance Reviews Today for featuring Katie Porter and Hold ’Em!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Q&A with Miranda Neville!!!

1.  Tell us about your newest release.

My novella THE SECOND SEDUCTION OF A LADY is a second-chance-at love story. Max and Eleanor fell in love years earlier, but broke up when she discovered Max had participated in a bet about her. When they meet again by chance, Max is determined to win her back, despite her doubts about him and the institution of marriage in general.  Here’s a little snippet:

“He wanted her body, heart, and soul, forever. Her body he’d won before and he sensed from her response that he could do so again. But her heart was hidden behind defenses he’d never suspected existed, because he’d never taken the trouble to find out. As for her soul, he’d bruised it badly when he’d betrayed her trust with that foolish bet. He still had work to do to.
He kissed her gently, their lips moving together soft and sweet. It wasn’t a deep kiss but a slow investigation of taste and texture, a scouting trip with the promise of a full exploration. Max let lust fall away as he devoted his mind to the joy of a simple kiss with the woman he loved.”

2. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your story?

Don’t write a prequel! Seriously, the novella is a prequel to my forthcoming novel THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED. It contains some of the history of Caro, the heroine of that book. Because I wrote the prequel after the novel, I kept running into facts I’d already put into the novel and I couldn’t change them. Nothing major because Caro’s story is only a subplot, but I did have to be really careful not to contradict myself.

3.  How long have you been writing?

In a way, most of my life. I had various jobs that involved writing non-fiction. I started to write romance about seven or eight years ago and I would have told you I’d never written fiction before. But when I was helping my dad move out of my childhood home, I discovered a box of unfinished (OK, barely started) historical romances I’d written as a teen and completely forgotten about. I am happy to say my writing has improved since then!

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

I grew up reading the older type of romance – Georgette Heyer and Mills & Boon (the English equivalent of Harlequin). After a long break from romance I discovered the newer, sexier historical books by writers such as Jo Beverly, Mary Jo Putney, Amanda Quick, and Julia Quinn. I started to think it would be fun to try my hand at writing one. I learned by reading other writers but one can’t duplicate the work of others. In the end I had to find my own voice and style.

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

They are somewhat surprised and very proud. My daughter brags about me but won’t read my books because they contain “sex written by Mom. Ew.”

6.  Besides writing, what other interests do you have?

I live in the country and when I’m not writing you’ll find me gardening, taking long walks, cross-country skiing in the winter, and watching far too much reality TV. My favorites are Top Chef and Project Runway. I like to escape to the city, too, to visit art museums and see lots and lots of people in the streets.

7.  How can readers connect with you online?

I love to hear from readers! I can be found on Facebook and Twitter and on my own website. I blog regularly at The Ballroom Blog