Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Spotlight + Excerpt: Slow Hand by Victoria Vane


In rural Montana...

Wade Knowlton is a hardworking lawyer who's torn between his small-town Montana law practice and a struggling family ranch. He's on the brink of exhaustion from trying to save everybody and everything, when gorgeous Nicole Powell walks into his office. She's a damsel in distress and the breath of fresh air he needs.

Even the lawyers wear boots...

Nicole Powell is a sassy Southern girl who has officially sworn off cowboys after a spate of bad seeds-until her father's death sends her to Montana and into the arms of a man who seems too good to be true. Her instincts tell her to high tail it out of Montana, but she can't resist a cowboy with a slow hand...



EXCERPT from SLOW HAND (Hot Cowboy Nights #1) 
by Victoria Vane

He went to work on his shirt buttons. His collar was soon wide open, revealing a generous show of muscular chest that make her hands itch to rip it off him. She diverted her gaze and curled her itchy hands by her sides.
“Have no fear, cowboy,” Nikki replied in a tone meant to disguise the warm flush that had come over her. “I corralled all my wild impulses long ago.”
“Did you, now?” He still stood in the doorway, head cocked. “Somehow, I think you may have missed a few strays.”
“Maybe I need to make myself clearer. I have an aversion to cocky cowboys.”
Just keep telling yourself that, Nikki. Maybe if you repeat it often enough, it’ll become true.
“Is that so?” His brows flew upward. “I can’t say I ever met a woman with an actual aversion to me.”
“Don’t take it personally. It’s nothing against you in particular, but to your type.”
“And what do you think you know about my type?”
“Since I don’t have a pole handy, enough to keep you at arm's-length. Besides that, this whole line of conversation is entirely inappropriate in light of professional ethics, don’t you think? You are my attorney, after all.”
“Well, darlin’,” he scratched his unshaven jaw, “there’s a little hitch to that.”
“What do you mean? You said you’d help me.”
“And I will, but you can’t engage my professional services until I know who you are.”
“I’ve told you who I am!” she insisted.
“Sweetheart, I’m a lawyer, and according to the law, your claim don’t weigh without authentication.”
“Authentication?”
“Proof.”
“So what are you saying? That you don’t believe me?”
“I’m not saying that at all. Only that our professional relationship will commence once you get your I.D. In the interim,” His gaze slid over her in a way that threatened to melt her insides, “you’d best find yourself a nice, long, sturdy pole.”



About the Author:

Victoria Vane is an award-winning author of smart and sexy romance. Her collective works of fiction received twenty-one reviewer awards and nominations to include Library Journal Best E-Book romance of 2012 and five RONE nominations for The Devil DeVere series, as well as two RONE Finalists for Treacherous Temptations and The Sheik Retold.

Her works range from historical to contemporary settings and include everything from wild comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Look for her hot new contemporary cowboy series coming from Sourcebooks in Fall of 2014. Check out all of Victoria's books on her website.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

From the Back Cover:

"Every child knows how the story ends. The wicked pirate captain is flung overboard, caught in the jaws of the monster crocodile who drags him down to a watery grave. But it was not yet my time to die. It's my fate to be trapped here forever, in a nightmare of childhood fancy, with that infernal, eternal boy."

Meet Captain James Benjamin Hook, a witty, educated Restoration-era privateer cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in a pointless war that never ends. But everything changes when Stella Parrish, a forbidden grown woman, dreams her way to the Neverland in defiance of Pan’s rules. From the glamour of the Fairy Revels, to the secret ceremonies of the First Tribes, to the mysterious underwater temple beneath the Mermaid Lagoon, the magical forces of the Neverland open up for Stella as they never have for Hook. And in the pirate captain himself, she begins to see someone far more complex than the storybook villain. 

With Stella’s knowledge of folk and fairy tales, she might be Hook’s last chance for redemption and release if they can break his curse before Pan and his warrior boys hunt her down and drag Hook back to their never-ending game.

My Thoughts:

I was so excited to read this book, especially because I've not really been a fan of Peter Pan. I always thought he was a bit of a brat, so I was very intrigued to read about him from the viewpoint of his great nemesis, Captain Hook! As the son of a wealthy British shipping merchant in the eighteenth century, James Hookbridge had the world at his feet and took full advantage of the pleasures it had to offer. In love with the sea and life on board a ship, he happily took on a privateering commission and swashbuckled his way across the sea, seizing the riches of enemy ships and leaving a trail of female conquests in his wake. Until the day he was captured by the French and thrown into prison to rot for several years. Upon his escape, he emerges into a world much changed, where everything he once loved has disappeared and a bounty has been placed upon his head for piracy. Angry and lost, he decides he might as well earn that bounty and throws himself into the cutthroat world of pirates. But along the way, he breaks yet another heart--only this time with disastrous consequences--and the beautiful Caribbee witch Proserpina banishes him to the Neverland to atone for his sins.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Blog Tour Excerpt + Giveaway: Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

With a slight nod to Wicked, veteran film critic Lisa Jensen trades Oz for the Neverland and re-imagines one of Great Britain’s most beloved classics of children’s literature in her sparkling new novel, ALIAS HOOK (Thomas Dunne Books; July 8, 2014). In Jensen’s retelling, Captain James Benjamin Hookbridge is no storybook villain, just a misunderstood Restoration-era privateer trapped forever in a nightmare of childhood fancy. By filling in the back story, Jensen leads us to question what really is so wonderful about that “infernal, eternal boy” and his band of Lost Boys. The result is an ingenious send up, with Jensen providing a thoughtful meditation on love, war, the masculine and the feminine, and the delicate art of growing up. 

Meet Captain Hook, a witty, educated pirate captain cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in a pointless war that never ends. Everything changes, however, with the arrival of Stella Parrish, a forbidden grown woman, who dreams her way to the Neverland in defiance of Pan’s rules. From the glamour of the Fairy Revels, to the secret ceremonies of the First Tribes, to the mysterious underwater temple beneath the Mermaid Lagoon, the magical forces of the Neverland open up for Stella as they never have for Hook. And in the pirate captain himself, she begins to see someone far more complex than the storybook villain. 

With Stella’s knowledge of folk and fairy tales, she might be Hook’s last chance for redemption and release, that is if they can break his curse before Pan and his warrior boys hunt Stella down and drag Hook back to partake in their never-ending game. 


PRELUDE

Him Or Me

Every child knows how the story ends. The wicked pirate captain is flung overboard, caught in the jaws of the monster crocodile, which drags him down to a watery grave. Who could guess that below the water, the great beast would spew me out with a belch and a wink of its horned, livid eye? It was not yet my time to die, not then nor any other time. It’s my fate to be trapped here forever in a nightmare of childhood fancy with that infernal, eternal boy.

No one knows what came next, the part you never read about in the stories. I clawed through water bloodied by the corpses of my crew driven overboard to make a meal for the sharks, flailed for the hull of my ship before the sharks caught up to me.

I saw it all by moonrise as I hooked my way up the chains to the deck. One of my men lay asprawl on the hatch coaming, dead eyes staring at the moon, curled fingers frozen over his ruptured belly. Another had dragged himself a few paces toward the rail before he expired, leaving a smear of fresh blood on the deck that could never be stained red enough to disguise it. Half a dozen others lay about in shadowy heaps, limbs twisted, faces ghastly, silent as waxworks. Everything stank of blood and decay. One man was draped face down over the foredeck rail, arrows sprouting from his back. The redskins were teaching the boys archery, as if they needed any more advantage over us in battle. None of the dead were boys.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I've Got Some Winners to Announce!

Lady Bibliophile

Amanda

Emails have gone out to the winners. Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and comment on these posts! Check my sidebar for more great giveaways!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Blog Tour Guest Post: Researching Historical Fiction "Just in Time" by Carol Bodensteiner, Author of Go Away Home

Please join me in welcoming author Carol Bodensteiner to Let Them Read Books! Carol is touring the blogosphere with her historical fiction debut, Go Away Home, a moving coming-of-age story set in America's heartland before, during, and after World War I. I was privileged to work with Carol in an editorial capacity on her road to publication, and I designed the book's cover! Read on to see how Carol learned to balance research with writing--a problem that plagues many writers of historical fiction, and enter to win a copy of Go Away Home!


Fact to fiction - Researching historical fiction “Just in Time”

As a reader, historical fiction entices me because I learn about a different place and time. I admire the author’s ability to choose just the right details to transport me to another era without bogging me down in details that are nice but not necessary.

As a first-time writer of historical fiction, my challenge was knowing what details I’d need. At the outset of writing Go Away Home, I knew my general story line and made extensive lists of things I’d need to know about the WWI era – clothing styles, farming methods, camera types, remedies for the flu, prevalence of cars, road construction, types of buggies. The list went on and on.  Then I set about finding resources to learn about each of these – trips to the historical society, interviews with subject matter experts, Internet searches that lasted for hours.

The research process itself became a passion. I loved it.

Eventually, however, I realized that while endlessly fascinating, the research was keeping me from actually writing. The research was uncovering a wealth of information that while interesting would probably never make it into my novel.

As a career public relations professional, I always subscribed to the belief that I needed to know ten times more about a subject than I finally wrote, yet the path I was on was becoming ridiculous. In that moment I fully embraced a writing mantra I now live by: Reading isn’t writing. Thinking isn’t writing. Research isn’t writing. Only writing is writing.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I've Got Some Winners to Announce!

Denise

Soft Fuzzy Sweater


Emails have gone out to the winners.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and comment on these posts! Check my sidebar for more great giveaways!