Monday, April 30, 2012

Toni Aleo Talks Hockey and Host's a Giveaway



Yes, Toni Fans...She is BACK!!  And I am THRILLED to have her here for another visit!!  Toni is kind enough to not only answer some great questions but she is GIVING AWAY an E-Copy of her NEWEST Release, Trying to Score.  Keep reading past her interview for the Giveaway Question, and my review of Trying to Score.

Let's get started...



A Tasty Read: So Ms. Toni, This Assassians Hockey Series was created how? Where did the idea stem from ?

Toni Aleo: I have always loved hockey. I have been with my husband since we were 14, and I would always go to all his games. I soon fell in love with the sport, but I was told I was a Red Wings fan. So I spent the 13 years as a Red Wings fan, but then my husband started taking me to all the Predators/Red Wings game, and I soon fell in love with #6 Shea Weber. I decided I was done wearing red, and I wanted to wear blue, (its yellow now), my husband wasnt happy about it, but he supported it, and told me about a open practice during the playoffs. I went, and met Shea Weber. It was the most amazing moment of my life, and he was incredible patient with my giggling self. He told me I was cute, and the rest is history. I came home after that, and wrote the first three chapters of Taking Shots. I had started it a long time ago, but it wasnt working and the main hero's name was Rick. It was horrible, but now it is perfect.



A Tasty Read: Can you tell us a bit about your New Release, Trying to Score, the second book in the Assassins Series.

Toni: Get ready for some drama! If you thought Taking Shots was drama filled, you havent seen nothing yet! Fallon and Lucas as so intense, and their sexual chemistry is fierce. They meet when Fallon is young, only 19, and Lucas is 21. Its love at first sight for him, and she soon falls in love with him, but then he betrays her. Fallon heads back to Nashville, and 7 years later, they meet up again. Lucas feels exactly the same way he did before she left and Fallon does too, but she doesnt trust him. Throw in a big twist and things are a little crazy. Everyone has said that this book is better than Taking Shots, and after doing the first edit, I might have to agree. It intense, and perfect. I cant wait for everyone to read it!

A Tasty Read: What are you plans for The Assassians series?

Toni: Well, the next book is called, Empty Net. It is about a goalie and someone from Trying to Score. Then we go into Blue Lines, which I'm pretty sure is going to be awesome, I have so many ideas for that one. It is about a girl that sells everyone Happily Ever After and all she wants is her own, while the hero wants nothing to do with any kind of commitment. Then there is Breaking Away, which will be about a dance teacher and a hockey player. I write Happily Ever Afters. They make me happy. Expect a lot of love, and devilish sexy hockey guys!

A Tasty Read: Is there any other Genre that you would eventually like to write?

 
Toni: I've dibble dabbled in young adult, but I think I like sex too much....can I say that? lol!




A Tasty Read: Which Author's have been the biggest influence on you as a writer?

Toni: I love Kristin Higgins and Julie James. They are fantastic, and if I can be half of what they are, I would be a happy woman! Then of course, the amazing Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She is the queen of romance in my eyes!




  A Tasty Read: Favorite Sports Romance, Aside from your own?


Toni: Susan Elizabeth Phillips' This Heart of Mine and all the Chicago Stars series. I also love, See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson.

A Tasty Read: Toni, it has been a pleasure as always, and I hope you will come back when Empty Nest hits the shelves.

Toni: Thanks for having me!



Giveaway Question: Which is your FAVORITE Sports Romance?
(Giveaway is for U.S. residents only.  Please leave your answer with a VALID EMAIL ADDRESS to be entered to win.  Giveaway will run until Tuesday, May 1st at 8pm Eastern Time)

Congratulations Joanne...You have won the e-copy of Trying to Score by Toni Aleo.  I will be contacting you today for your information!!


About Author

My name is Toni Aleo!
I am a wife, mother, and hopeless romantic.
I have been told I have anger issues, but I think it’s cause of my intense love for hockey!
I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena’s glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!
When my nose isn’t pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son’s hockey games, my daughters dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, and reading the latest romance novel.
I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, and did I mention I love hockey?
I hope to hear from you on here, my Facebook, or my twitter! Thank you so much!






Trying to Score
Assassins #2
Toni Aleo
Released April 11th, 2012
400+ Pages
Amazon
Source: Reviewer Purchased


Secrets, Lies and Betrayals....and that's just the first hundred pages


In TRYING TO SCORE by Toni Aleo, we meet single mother, Fallon Parker, who is trying to take the Family Wine Business to the next level, by having wine sold at the Hockey Arena.  Unfortunately for her, she has come face to face with the new player for the Nashville Assassins, Lucas Brooks, the man who "broke her" eight years ago, and she hasn't seen since. 

Lucas Brooks is finally fully recovered from his addictions and he is ready to make a new start with the Assassins.  When he sees Fallon Parker again, he knows this is the second chance that he has been waiting for, and he does ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to try and get her back in his life, if only she would let him within five feet of her.

TRYING TO SCORE was a more enjoyable read than TAKING SHOTS, at least for me.  I love a good "secret baby" story and the fact that he did the unthinkable while they were dating, well...that just made it all the better.  I will say that there was a few scenes that could have been removed to make the book shorter, and it still would have been great.  Some things can be said without reiterating it again and again, so I could have done with a little less of the same thing.

Aside from wanting to smack Lucas when he first meets Fallon...and I think you will all agree he needed a slap across his face for that dirty mouth...I did begin to like him as I kept reading and I think I may have even fallen for him by the end.  He became a real man, one that would take care of his family, even Audrey.  I think I might have liked him a little more if he wouldn't have had such a dirty mouth in the beginning.  I mean if you are trying to win back a lady because she was the love of your life, I don't think I'd be talking about sexual positions. 

As for her parents and his mother...I didn't really like any of them as secondary characters, and when it comes to Aiden's birthday party and Lucas' mother has a "talk" with Fallon...I think I'd of knocked her out for what she said. It was a bit much and it really made me not like her as a secondary character.  Fallon's father was just an asshole, but we expect that since we learn about him in the beginning of the book.  And Lucas' best friend, Levi, what a DOUCHE....excuse my french, but really...there is NO OTHER WORD to describe him, but douche.  As for Audrey, I really liked her and I hope that she finds her HEA in EMPTY NET.  I liked that Audrey told Fallon when she was being a complete Bitch and that she should let go of the past and see Lucas for who he is now. 

As I said, I did enjoy reading this second-chance romance, and I was hoping that the two of them out end up together.  I would definitely recommend you give this author a chance and pick up both of the books in this series, but if you have to buy one, go for TRYING TO SCORE....you will be happy you picked it up.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Handsome Heroes Under Fire

Under Fire
Elite Force #3
Catherine Mann
Released May 1st, 2012
384 Pages
Sourcebook Casablanca
Source: NetGalley/Publisher

So after six months of unanswered phone calls, Rachel Flores finally shows up with an interesting story and the only person she trusts to help her is the same man who she was trying to forget.

 Pararescueman, Liam McCabe knows Rachel wouldn't come to him if she wasn't in serious trouble and he plans to find out who is trying to keep her quiet.

I think Hot Zone is still my favorite of the three books, but Under Fire gives it a run for its money.  Not only do we FINALLY get to see what has happened since Liam and Rachel met in the Bahamas six months ago, but we get a secondary romance between a retired military policeman, Brandon and Catriona, the woman who has been in love with him from afar.  I truly enjoyed watching each couple deal with their individual struggles as they try to stay alive while trying to distinguish the enemies from the good guys.

The best part about this book was our hero, Liam.  His psycho-babble had me cracking up at times and then crushing my heart in others.  I think he might always hold a piece of my heart, for the little boy who just wanted to find true love and have a family.  I was cheering for Liam and Rachel through page after page of danger and suspense...it was quite frustrating.  Thank God for Cuervo...and I am NOT talking about Tequilla.

The fact that Catherine Mann wrote Rachel as a owner of rescue dogs, as well as Catriona, made it all the more special to me.  As the momma of two beautiful rescue dogs, its always makes my heart feel good when I read about other wonderful pups getting a second chance at life.  Another reason that Under Fire will stay with me, and that's saying a lot.

For anyone who fell in love with Liam in Hot Zone, you will need to read Under Fire.  I didn't think he would pull me in like he did, all that charm and heroism...definitely worth the read, and I wouldn't mind if Catherine keeps going with this series, I think there are a few more handsome heroes that I wouldn't mind watching crumble under the "Elite Force" of a strong woman.



Saturday, April 28, 2012

Daring Rescues and Steamy Nights

Hot Zone
Elite Force #2
Catherine Mann
Released Dec 1st, 2011
337 Pages
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: Reviewer Purchased

Now this is what I'm talkin' about!!  This is my kind of romance suspense, one with a broken hero and heroine who are fighting the attraction to each other the whole way, kicking and screaming...I LOVED IT!!

Master Sergeant, Hugh Franco, has lost more than his share in his lifetime and he is just counting the days until he can be with his family again. 

That's before he meets Amelia Bailey, an Alabama based prosecutor, who is in the Bahamas helping her brother and sister-in-law with their adoption proceedings, right before the earthquake struck.  Hugh is sent in to stabilize the victim and before he knows what is happening, they have formed a connection that he has only felt with one other woman in his life.  After his team rescues them both and her nephew, Joshua, he tries to walk away, but something keeps pulling him back, something he doesn't want to feel, something that he wants to keep buried deep.

As the book goes on, Amelia and Hugh find themselves buried deep in more than they ever imagined, not just in each other, but in danger.  They must work together, while keeping their true feelings buried deep.

Oh boy....did this book have more emotion than I expected. I simply adored this book, and the building relationship between Hugh and Amelia.  This was a page turner for me and I did not want it to end.  Such a better fit for me than book one of the series. 

I can't wait to get started on Under Fire so I can see where the flaming attraction between Liam and Rachel is headed!!  We get a great start to their romance in Hot Zone!

My recommendation is to READ THIS BOOK...KIndle even has Cover Me and Hot Zone for $1.99 as a Two Book Deal...That's a SICK price...so all my kindle users...get them NOW!!

http://www.amazon.com/Elite-Force-Others-Catherine-ebook/dp/B007SXAOQW/ref=sr_1_8?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1335622172&sr=1-8

Friday, April 27, 2012

Handsome Hero Weekend with Elite Ops

Cover Me
Elite Force #1
Catherine Mann
Released July 1st, 2011
342 Pages
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: Reviewer Purchased


Ok...I'd say we have a decent start to this Elite Ops series.  I have to admit that this is my first Military Romance by Catherine.  I have read all of her Harlequin Romances, but I thought it would be a great idea to venture out, maybe meet a sexy military hero or two or three!!

I truly enjoyed watching our hero, Wade "Brick" Rocha, in action as a Pararescue Jumper (PJ).  Catherine writes the scene as if she is right there, next to Wade as he scales the mountain side...So realistic and fascinating.

Then he meets Sunny Foster, when he parachutes in to rescue her and instead of a thankful heroine, he gets a girl with an attitude and an escape plan.  I was cracking up during their first meeting, with the bantering back and forth...Wade had no idea what he was getting himself into...certainly more than he bargained for.

Let's just say that Sunny has some secrets that she isn't supposed to talk about, but when two bodies, that she helped escape a secret town where she grew up, are found dead on the mountain, Sunny is forced to start talking.

I have to be honest and say that the "love story" fell short for me.  I didn't see too much of a budding relationship, or any connection between the hero and heroine.  I think we had more of a love story between Misty, Sunny's sister and her long ago boyfriend, Flynn.

The suspense part of it was what kept me going, and I honestly kind of liked the Villain.  I know he was the bad guy, but he had a reason for doing what he did, be it a bad reason, he just loved someone SO MUCH that he would do anything to make their life better.  Can't blame him for loving his wife.

So all in all, it was a decent start to the series.  I wouldn't say don't read it, but I tend to need more of a romance in my romance suspense, so if you are like me, be forewarned!!

I will be moving onto Hot Zone, with Master Sergeant Hugh Franco...Yum!!

Happy Reading Ladies...More Handsome Heroes to come!!



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Throwback Thursday

Falling For Rachel/Convincing Alex
The Stanislaskis #3&4
Nora Roberts
Released April 2008
Originally Released 1993
512 Pages
Silhouette
Source: Reviewer Owned


One of my FAVORITE FAMILY series ever!!  I simply adore the Stanislaskis Family and know you will too!!




Falling for Rachel

Landlocked in Manhattan, rugged seaman Zack Muldoon needed a tough, no-nonsense lawyer to save his kid brother's delinquent hide. Public defender Rachel Stanislaski was not what he had in mind--until he discovered there was a lot more to the beautiful, coolheaded attorney than met the eye...and found himself falling for her, hook, line and sinker.

Convincing Alex

When Alex Stanislaski mistakenly arrested daringly bold soap-opera writer Bess McKnee for soliciting, she decided the sexy detective was absolutely perfect--for her research and for herself. Now all she had to do was convince him she was right....



For those of you who have read EVERY Nora Roberts book ever published, you will remember these books from a while back, but when I started my Nora obsession, only in the last ten years, I was lucky enough to stumble upon This Wonderful Collection that was just re-issued and made into three books, with two stories to each book. 



The first two family members, Natasha and Mikhail, started out the collection, and I enjoyed their romances, getting to know the family and falling in love with them.  But I fell even harder when it came to the love between Rachel and Zack, and Alex and Bess. 

Zack Muldoon...*swoon*...there is just something about him, could be the sailor aspect, the blue, blue eyes, or maybe it was just his rugged, sharp attitude, that funny enough, Rachel was having no part of.  She was tough, and grew up with two older brothers, there was no way in hell she was going to let this handsome, sexy, broody stranger push her buttons, well....maybe not those buttons...ehem...hahaha.


We also get to meet Zack's troubled brother, Nick, who actually goes on to become the hero of book #5, Waiting for Nick. 




Alex and Bess also have a wild, love/hate romance that will keep you turning the pages wondering when these two will finally kiss.  She is crushing on him, he is crushing on her, even though he doesn't want to be.  I laughed, I cried and I cheered for them in the end.  I just simply adore this family and I have re-read each story over a dozen times.


If you have never read this collection from Nora, it is SO worth the read, and they have recently been released digitally for your e-readers, so now you don't have to scour the library looking for the paperback copies. 



Happy Reading my lovely Tasty Readers and I will be back tomorrow for Elite Force Weekend!!





Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Kristan Higgins Talks Heroes and Heartache with a Tasty Giveaway


Today is BEYOND an exciting day for me...I have the AMAZINGLY TALENTED author, Kristan Higgins as my guest today and right now I am doing a bit of a HAPPY DANCE, Today is ALSO Release day of her Newest Romance, Somebody to Love.  If you have NEVER picked up a Kristan Higgins Romance then I believe we can't be friends anymore...ok...just kidding...but it is time to get started today. 



I am also hosting a GIVEAWAY for One Lucky Commenter to win SOMEBODY TO LOVE.  So PLEASE make sure to read the entire post and answer the GIVEAWAY QUESTION at the end with a Valid Email Address included.  I'll pick the winner tomorrow morning, and if you are NOT the winner, PLEASE purchase the book anyway.  Kristan is giving part of the first week proceeds to Save the Children.  So...It's for a GREAT cause!!!


A Tasty Read: Kristan, welcome to A Tasty Read...gush, gush, gush, wipe the drool, I'll contain the Fan Girl Screams in just a moment.



Kristan Higgins: Oh, let it all out! I love Fan Girl Screaming! Gush away—it never gets old.



A Tasty Read: Kristan, Firstly I just wanted to tell you that each time I have met you, you have been one of the nicest, sweetest, most gracious people I have ever met.  And so darn funny!  I know both times I met you, I was nervous and probably stuttered...A LOT.  Is it strange when fans gush over you, or when people recognize you while you are out?  Do you have any "Funny" Fan moments that come to mind?



Kristan: See, now we’re best friends, given all those nice things you’ve said. I generally am not recognized when I’m out, except at writer conferences or once in a while when I hand over my credit card, since Kristan Higgins is my real name. It’s always thrilling…the clerk might say, “Are you…a writer?” And I say, “Yes! I am! Seriously? You’ve heard of me? Kids! She’s heard of me! Mommy’s famous!”



I do have a funny fan moment—a woman came up to me at a signing once and just burst into tears, hands shaking (like me if I met Jeremy Renner), and I said, “What happened? Are you okay? Want me to call someone?” because you know, I figured her dog had died or something. But no, she was just a little overwhelmed. And being me, I said, “You’re crying because you met me? That is so great!” I still have a picture of us together.



Another time, a librarian chased me down a street at an American Library Association conference. I thought she was a mugger. That was exciting. I believe I offered her my wallet if I could keep the pictures of my kids.




A Tasty Read: Only you...I am cracking up over here.

OK...onto the important stuff...Trevor Meade...*swoon*.....Sorry....*wipes chin*. 

Since you are the Author of the book that features My Favorite Hero, (ok...he shares the spot with Luc "Lucky" Martineau from See Jane Score, but you are friends with Rachel, so I figure you won't mind) I wanted to ask you who your Favorite Hero is?



Kristan: Okay, first of all, I do mind! That Rachel! How dare she write such great books! (Luc…I love you!) Trevor…sigh! Any man who will carry you out of a burning building…so sexy.



Anyway, my favorite hero is usually the one I’m writing at the moment, the blush of first love and all that. When I was writing SOMEBODY TO LOVE, though, I got to revisit Malone from CATCH OF THE DAY—he makes an appearance—and I found him just as smokin’ delicious as ever.




A Tasty Read: Malone definitely has that...something.  Haha

Kristan, your books can have the reader cracking up laughing one minute and then bawling their eyes out a few pages later.  From Widowed Characters, to Loving from Afar, to Broken Families, Is there one particular book of yours that was the hardest to write emotionally? 



Kristan: Yes, and that’s an excellent question. The hardest book to write was, by far, THE NEXT BEST THING, because my heroine was a widow. I’d read a lot of books featuring a widow, and it seemed that the trend was to make the first husband nice, but not the love of her life…the new guy, he’s the love of her life. I wanted Lucy to lose the love of her life and try to get over that.



It was also hard because there are a lot of young widows in my family. My own mom was widowed young, and because McIrish, my sainted husband, is a firefighter, I’m always worried about losing him. One time, he came home from work half an hour later, and I was sitting there, typing and crying. He said, “What are you working on?” My answer: “Your eulogy.”



So yes, that book was hard, and it has a special place in my heart because of it. Of all my heroines, I think Lucy had the most to overcome, and that last scene, when she’s so brave…blerk! I’m tearing up just thinking about it.




A Tasty Read: Don't get me started now...I cried like a baby while reading My One and Only, and thought my heart would crush into a million pieces while reading Until There Was You.  What can I expect with your new release, Somebody to Love?  Is it true that we might see some old friends?



Kristan: So glad to have made you cry! I know, I’m cruel that way. I cry while writing these scenes, too, so it goes both ways…



SOMEBODY TO LOVE: Parker Welles is sitting pretty in life. She’s wealthy, she has her perfect son, she’s successful…and then she loses everything (except her kid). Dear old Dad gambles away her trust fund in an insider-trading scheme, and voila. Parker’s broke. No money, no job…just a decrepit little shack on the coast of Maine that’s her only hope of a nest egg. When her dad’s lawyer, whom Parker calls Thing One, shows up on the scene, she’s forced to accept his help, even though she hates that she has to. But maybe James has more going for him than being a slick lawyer, and maybe losing everything was the best thing that ever happened to Parker.



So yes, you’ll see a few familiar faces: though the book isn’t part of a series, Parker first made an appearance in THE NEXT BEST THING, and she goes to Gideon’s Cove, Maine, the setting of CATCH OF THE DAY. For readers of those books, I think it’ll be nice to see some of those characters, though the book is definitely a stand-alone.



A Tasty Read: I know they are stand-alones, but I think EVERYONE should experience The Next Best Thing and Catch of the Day ALSO...oh and Just One of the Guys, Until There Was You, My One and Only, Too Good to be True....I can go on and on....

What's next for Ms. Higgins?  Is it true that you are planning a series?



Kristan: Yes! I’m giving a series a try. McIrish and I went up to the Finger Lakes region of New York, and we fell madly in love with the area. One of the things I like best is writing the town where my books are set, and I thought it’d be nice to see a place again. SOMEBODY TO LOVE was my first attempt to revisit a place or character, and I loved doing it, so voila! A series. I’ll let you know how it goes.



A Tasty Read: I can't tell you what an HONOR it was to have you as a guest today.  You write some of the most amazing Romances and anyone who has not read your books has some major catching up to do.  I will try to contain the gushing from here.....


Kristan: Thank YOU! More gushing right back atcha.


Giveaway Question: Which Kristan Higgins Romance has made you cry like a baby??  And If you haven't read a Higgins Romance, what romance have you read that had you bawling like a baby? 

(Please include a valid email address.  U.S. Residents Only.  Giveaway will run until 7am on 4/25/12, Eastern Time)


Congratulations Candice Valdez, you have won the Somebody To Love Giveaway!!  I will be contacting you today for your information. 

A special Thank You to ALL of you who entered, I hope you will all come back to enter more Giveaway's!! 


About Kristan

I started writing romance novels when my kids were little. I’d always been a writer of some type—public relations, advertising, research—but wanted to stay home with the bunnies. I’d been reading romance novels ever since I swiped Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss from my grandmother’s night table. “Higgins,” I said to myself, “I bet you could write one of these.” And so I sat down every afternoon when the kids were napping, took my lifelong love of romance novels and tried to make a career out of it. We’ve been living happily ever after since.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Book to LOVE

Somebody to Love
Kristan Higgins
Released April 24th, 2012
425 Pages
HQN Books
Source: NetGalley


I am going to put it out there up front and tell you that I AM A HUGE KRISTAN HIGGINS FAN, but I am using an unbiased opinion on this review.  It just so happens that I completely Fell In Love with Somebody To Love. 

I will disclose now that I think the ending of this book will go right up there with Just One of the Guys as one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE endings!!

Ok...now that we have that out of the way, let's move on to the review.  Not only was this book SO MUCH FUN because we get Parker, from The Next Best Thing, as our heroine, and who didn't LOVE her in that great read!  This time we get Parker, Ethan, Lucy and the crew, and we get our friends over in Gideons Cove, where we first met Maddie and Malone from, Catch of the Day.  I couldn't have had more fun seeing old friends again, and getting to know new ones...particularly our Hero, James Frances Xavier Cahill...I know....what a name!!

As in all of Kristan's books, we get a cast of CHARACTERS....they are funny, and loving, and kinda nutty, but the book just wouldn't be the same without them, and this book is NO DIFFERENT!!  I enjoyed every minute of Somebody to Love.  I loved the budding relationship between Parker and James, the hysterical commentary from the Holy Rollers and Spike..I mean, so funny!  And Beauty....OMG....had me bawling only 31% through the book....but that is to be expected when reading a Higgins Novel.

I completely adored Somebody to Love.  Kristan brings out the guns blazing on this one!  It was like attending a reunion with so many old friends....like coming home!  It was such a delight!  I would recommend Somebody to Love to EVERYONE, as I do with all of Kristan's books, but also because I just plain LOVED IT!!  Parker and James are a pair, it just takes them a little longer to figure it out!!

Please stop back tomorrow where Kristan will be stopping by to answer a few questions about her new release and some very special characters.

Blurb:

After her father loses the family fortune in an insider-trading scheme, single mom Parker Welles is faced with some hard decisions. First order of business: go to Gideon's Cove, Maine, to sell the only thing she now owns—a decrepit house in need of some serious flipping. When her father's wingman, James Cahill, asks to go with her, she's not thrilled -- …even if he is fairly gorgeous and knows his way around a toolbox.

Having to fend for herself financially for the first time in her life, Parker signs on as a florist's assistant and starts to find out who she really is. Maybe James isn't the glib lawyer she always thought he was. And maybe the house isn't the only thing that needs a little TLC….


Kristan is also donating parts of the proceeds of the FIRST WEEK of sales to Save the Children, so if you were planning on purchasing this book, Please do it now!!

http://www.amazon.com/Somebody-To-Love-Kristan-Higgins/dp/0373776586/ref=sr_1_1?
ie=UTF8&qid=1335181660&sr=8-1

 http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/somebody-to-love-kristan-higgins/1106936650?ean=9780373776580

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Laura Talks Tracers and Autographed Giveaway

Not only do I have the AMAZING Laura Griffin chatting with me today BUT she is also going to be GIVING AWAY a SIGNED COPY of her BRAND NEW RELEASE, TWISTED to ONE LUCKY COMMENTER.  So keep an eye out for the Giveaway Question at the end of her interview. 



For anyone that reads A Tasty Read, they know how much I LOVE Laura Griffin's Romances.  Not only does she write heroes and heroines that you will remember long after you have finished the book, but she writes suspense that keeps you reading long into the night.  There hasn't been one of her books that I haven't absolutely adored and they always keep me in anticipation for the next release.  If you haven't read a Laura Griffin Romance yet, I am telling you...it is time to change that RIGHT NOW!!

Let's see if Laura agrees....


A Tasty Read: Laura...Thank you SO much for coming to visit today.  I am so thrilled to have you here.

Laura Griffin: Thanks so much for inviting me to hang out with you guys!

A Tasty Read:  Laura, Did you have any idea that Nathan from Thread of Fear and Alex from Whisper of Warning were going to become the first Hero and Heroine of the Tracers Series, that is now going on Five Books? 

Laura: About Alex, I had no idea she was going to be the first heroine of what is now a long-running series (nine books published or in the works). Alex just kind of waltzed onto the scene with her attitude, and I knew she would end up in her own book one day. I just didn’t know it would be UNTRACEABLE.



A Tasty Read: How do you decide what characters are going to be your next Hero/heroine?  Are you a planner? 

Laura: You know what they say about best-laid plans… Sometimes I have plans for characters, but they end up taking different paths. Originally, I thought Nathan (Alex’s hero) would end up with Courtney. But when I started writing WHISPER OF WARNING, the story spun in a completely different direction. I’m glad it did, too, because people have told me Courtney and Will are one of their favorite couples. Must be fate!



A Tasty Read: You must do some very extensive research for your books.  Has there been a career that you have researched that you said "If I wasn't a Writer, I would definitely be a..."?


Laura: Every time I interview some interesting law enforcement person or forensic science expert, I get job envy. I would love to be a forensic artist, or an FBI agent, or a CSI. But we have to go with our skills, and for me that means writing about what all those interesting people do and weaving it into my books. I got my writing start as a newspaper reporter, which gave me lots of opportunities to interview people. If I wasn’t writing fiction, I’d love to do that again.




A Tasty Read: Where do most of your story lines come from?  Have you been in the shower and BAHM...out of nowhere...A story?  (Has happened to me twice!)



Laura: Many of my story lines come directly from news. “Ripped from the headlines,” I guess you could say. I read a lot of news articles looking for quirky happenings that might make good plot twists.




A Tasty Read: Have you ever wanted to write in any other Genre aside from Romance Suspense?  

Laura: I’ve always loved to write suspense. I’m enjoying writing romantic suspense right now, but I don’t know what I might be writing down the road. Not knowing is part of the adventure.


A Tasty Read: What is next for Laura Griffin?  More Tracers Series? 




Laura: Yes! I’m happy to say I’ve got plans for at least four more Tracers books. TWISTED comes out this spring (that’s Allison Doyle’s story), and I’m thrilled that it was named a “Top Pick” by RT Book Reviews magazine. Then we have SCORCHED in the fall. That book is about Kelsey & Gage--the forensic anthropologist and the Navy SEAL who met for the first time during UNSTOPPABLE. Readers have been asking for more of Kelsey & Gage’s story, so I’m looking forward to SCORCHED.

A Tasty Read: THANK YOU, THANK YOU for taking the time to come over and chat with me today.  I hope all of you will go out and grab a Laura Griffin Romance, I know you wont be sorry. 


If you would like a chance to WIN a Signed Copy of TWISTED, Please leave a comment telling me which Couple from any of Laura's Romances is you favorite.  You need to leave a VALID EMAIL in order to be entered to win.
If you are not yet a FOLLOWER of A Tasty Read, consider Following my blog, or even my Facebook Page...I'd love to have more Tasty Readers to share reviews with.
(U.S. Residents Only, Giveaway will run until Friday 8pm Eastern Time)
Congratulations to Di....You are the winner of the Signed Copy of TWISTED, but be warned....once you read one Laura Griffin Romance..You will be HOOKED!!!

I will be contacting you today for your information!!  Thank you to all of you who entered!!

New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of romantic suspense. She is the author of ten novels and has won numerous awards, including a RITA Award for Whisper of Warning. Laura lives in Austin, where she is working on the next book in her popular Tracers series.
Find Laura on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LauraGriffinAuthor or visit www.lauragriffin.com.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ms. Griffin keeps us TWISTED

Twisted
Tracers #5
Laura Griffin
Released April 17th, 2012
400 pages
Pocket Star
Source: Author Gifted

Oh how I freakin LOVE the Tracers Series, and Twisted can just be added to the top of the list. 

Detective Allison Doyle, who you will recognize from Snapped, is caught in the middle of a robbery when she is helped by FBI Profiler, Mark Wolfe....and the sparks fly from there.  Mark is a no-nonsense kind of agent who is in town working a serial murder case, that may or may not be connected to a recent homicide in the small-town of San Marcos.

Unfortunately for Mark, when Allison gets on a case, or bullies her way onto a case, she does not back down, even if it mean putting herself in danger.  She tends to get under Mark's skin in more than one way, but he knows that a relationship, even a one night stand, is a bad idea.  He is a workaholic and a relationship with a woman sixteen years his junior is not what he is looking for, but stubborn Allison is not backing down on the case or on Mark. 

"I don't want to watch him look at you!" he boomed, and she jerked back.  "I don't want him seeing you! Thinking about you! I don't want him goddamn smelling you, all right?  He's a piece of shit and you don't belong in the same room with him!"

OH BABY....Not only was I caught up in the Twists and Turns the case was taking, but the chemistry sizzling between Allison and Mark from the second they laid eyes on each other.  I was hung up on every word, every look, every move these two made.  It was like watching an intense chess game where you are awaiting the next move.  I LOVED IT!!  And Kelsey had it right when she said that Mark was "intense" and it was in everything he did, even the way he looked at Allison sometimes...I just wanted things to work out between them so bad.

And...we get the low down on WHAT HAPPENED WITH GAGE AND KELSEY...well...we will have to wait until Burned is released to read the full story, but we do get a little snip it of information which has me on my toes in anticipation for the next Tracers book. 

If you are a Laura Griffin fan and are a Tracers Fan then I don't have to tell you to get this book, but if you have not yet read a Laura Griffin Romance Suspense, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??  I would even start as far back as Thread of Fear to where we get to meet Nathan Devereaux for the first time, who is the hero of the first Tracers Book, Untraceable,  and you get to meet Jack and Fiona, who are by far on of my FAVORITE literary couples.  So there are SO MANY good reason to pick up a Laura Griffin Romance and I hope you will take my advice!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Interesting New Series

Trauma Plan
Grace Medical #1
Candace Calvert
Released May 1st, 2012
Tyndale House
Source: NetGalley


Sidelined by injuries from a vicious assault, chaplain Riley Hale is determined to return to her former duties as an ER nurse. But how can she show she's competent when the hospital won't let her attempt even simple tasks?

Determined to prove herself, Riley volunteers at a controversial urban free clinic despite her fears about the maverick doctor in charge.Dr. Jack Travis defends his clinic like he's commander of the Alamo. He'll fight the community's efforts to shut its doors, even if he must use Riley Hale's influential family name to make it happen.

As Riley strives to regain her skills, Jack finds that she shares his compassion--and stirs his lonely heart. Riley senses that beneath Jack's rough exterior is a man she can believe in. But when clinic protests escalate and questions surface about his past, Jack goes into battle mode and Riley wonders if it's dangerous to trust him with her heart.

I have to say, for a romance without any sex, I really enjoyed it.  It was very different from many of the romances I read.  I wont say it is a religious romance but the heroine is a Chaplain and they do spend a bit of time praying to God, which I am fine with because Hey, I pray to God throughout the day.  It just felt normal to me and for the characters.

Now my one and ONLY Jack Travis is from Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas, but since this hero, Jack Travis, was also from Texas, I let it slide, and he is pretty easy on the eyes.  I really enjoyed the relationship that built between Jack and Riley.  I loved their first meeting, had me cracking up, and the way they were able to pull the best parts of each other out, almost like finally sharing themselves with someone else.

The secondary story was slightly suspenseful, since we start the book not knowing what we are going to get.  We meet a few friends of Riley and Jack's which lead us deeper into the relationship and into the mystery. 

I have never worked at a hospital, but the scenes were written so true to what I believe happens during an emergency situation and the author really put a lot of her experience into this book without overwhelming the readers with too much hospital mumbo-jumbo.  It was just enough to keep the readers interested.

This was the first book by Candace Calvert that I have read, but she has another series which I think also sound very interesting and have great story lines.  I will have to add them to my TBR list and I think you should add Trauma Plan to yours.




Monday, April 16, 2012

Love to be back in Lovett

Crazy On You
Lovett, Texas #2
Rachel Gibson
Released May 1st, 2012
ebook
Avon
Source: Avon Addicts

What a delight to have the chance to visit Lovett, Texas again, which also happens to be the setting for Rachel's Newest Release, Rescue Me, on May 29th.

I was a huge fan of Daisy's Back in Town, the storyline, the characters and the crazy, secondary characters that make up a great Romance.  One of those characters was Daisy's sister, Lily Darlington, who was having a bit of trouble dealing with her cheating ex-husband. 

She gets a little "Crazy" and the nickname kind of sticks with her.  So eight years later, we meets her again, she is a business owner, a mother to Pippen, who is now ten years old, and she has a couger crush on her new next-door neighbor, Tucker Matthews. 

Tucker is retired military and  has just recently moved to Lovett to start a new life with his cat Pinky.  He just happens to move in next to a gorgeous woman and her son.  The mutual attraction sparks between them, but nothing like the heat that flames in Lily's kitchen on afternoon when Tucker offers to bring in her groceries.

The book is a novella, so I don't want to give too much away.  I will say, Tucker is quite charming and Lily is quite susceptible to that charm, but she is also aware that she is a few years older than Tucker and that seems to keep her at a safe distance from really falling for him.  But Tucker doesn't back down when he wants something, and he wants Lily.

It was so wonderful to see a few old friends in Crazy On You, and I really enjoyed getting to read Lily's story, which we have all been waiting for.  I would love to see more of Rachel's books get a small novella conclusion using other characters from her books. 



I would suggest reading Daisy's Back in Town first, if you have not yet read it, since there is information that you would want to know, and since the parts with Lily in them were so funny, you may just need to read it for the comedic factor, aside from the fact that the book is AMAZING.

So read Daisy's Back in Town now, and then Pre-Order, Crazy On You.  You won't be sorry you did. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Blog Tour with Karen Mueller Bryson



Hello Tasty Readers,


We have another GREAT Guest Blogger here today making a stop on her Blog Tour, Karen Mueller Bryson is hanging out today and she has planned her perfect road trip to go along with one of her Short Romantic Comedies. 


We get DOUBLE the Romance on this stop since Karen is promoting her TWO Shorts, Twyla's Last Trip and One Last Class.  After reading about Karen's Dream Road Trip, make sure to LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW in order to be entered into the Drawing for a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card, and keep following Karen on the rest of the tour for more chances to enter.


Karen....Take the Floor....



A Tasty Read asked me to plan my Dream Road Trip, so here we go:


Where is your Destination?


My husband and I would like to take an extended trip along the Oregon Coast.  We drove the coast last year on our way back home to Arizona from a vacation in British Columbia. Unfortunately, we did not have much time to stop and enjoy the sites and beauty of the 363 mile coastline. On my dream road trip, I would take a few weeks for the drive and make plenty of extended stops!


What Car would you drive?


It might be fun to take a convertible and enjoy the Pacific Ocean breezes as we drive. Since it’s a dream road trip, I’ll take a Tesla Sport Roadster.


What songs would be on your Road Mix?


When I was in college, I spent many hours driving from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois back to my parents’ home in New Jersey, where I spent my breaks. I played many different types of music, which back them, was on cassette tapes! I discovered some of the best road trip music: Simon and Garfunkel (America, Cecilia, The 59th Street Bridge Song, Homeward Bound, I am a Rock, Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard); old REM (Drive 8, Fall on Me and Superman); Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music (Slave to Love and More than This); Elvis Costello (Alison, Pump it Up and Watching the Detectives); Peter Gabriel (Solsbury Hill, Games without Frontiers, Biko, In Your Eyes and Red Rain); Howard Jones (New Song, What is Love, Things Can Only Get Better and No One is To Blame); Katrina and the Waves (Walking on Sunshine); The Church (Under the Milky Way); Echo and the Bunnymen (The Killing Moon, Bring on the Dancing Horses and People are Strange); Violent Femmes (Blister in the Sun); Neil Young (Heart of Gold and Old Man); America (Ventura Highway, Sister Golden Hair and a Horse with No Name).  I would still play those classics but now the music would be stored electronically on an IPod.

Where would you stop along the way?


There are so many exciting places to visit along the Oregon Coast. I would want to explore the land of Lewis and Clark and see the historical landmarks in their honor. I would be interested in seeing the Tillamook Head Lighthouse. I would view the Forbidden Cliffs near Manzanita. I would also like to see Elephant Rock, Seal Rock, the Devil’s Punchbowl and Cape Perpetua and the Devil’s Churn. Driftwood Beach would also be on my list. I would also do whale watching at Depoe Bay.

Sounds like a GREAT TRIP!!  If you have a bit of room left in the car....I think this Tasty Reader would love to come along.  Ill bring the snacks!!

In the romantic comedy, One Last Class, thirty-two year old, Zak Spencer, is a washed-up teen idol, who decides to rebuild his life by returning to college in Arizona. Trouble ensues when Zak falls in love with the young professor, Amy Campbell, who teaches the one class he needs to complete his degree.




In the romantic comedy, Twyla’s Last Trip, twenty eight-year old, Lucinda Starr is an uptight research psychologist, whose deadline to complete her doctoral dissertation is completely derailed by her estranged mother, Twyla Starr's sudden death. Lucinda must take her mother's ashes on a road trip on Route 66, in order to fulfill the requirements of her will and inherit her fortune. To make matters worse, Lucinda finds herself forced to travel across the country with her mother's easygoing country lawyer, T.J. Yates, who drives her crazy, and his drooling bloodhound, Dakota, who Lucinda finds revolting.



Excerpt from “Twyla’s Last Trip:
Lucinda peered intently into her microscope until Bunny's voice blared from the intercom—again. “I'm sorry to bother you, Lucinda, but Mr. Yates is on the phone. He says he won't hang up until he speaks with you personally.”

Lucinda took a deep breath, stood and exited the lab. She marched over to the reception desk and ripped the phone from Bunny's grasp.

“Lucinda Starr,” she growled into the phone. “How may I help you?”

Thirty-year old T.J. Yates, the epitome of all things country, spoke to Lucinda from his cell phone. “Miss Starr,” he said. “I know we've never met but I've been your mom's attorney now for nearly a decade.”

“Will you please get to the point?” Lucinda interrupted. “I'm in the middle of an extremely important experiment.”

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news but your mom has passed away.”

Lucinda flinched slightly but then it was back to business. “And what does this have to do with me?” she asked.

“Well, Miss Starr, you are the sole beneficiary of your mom's estate.”

“Estate?” Lucinda snorted. “My mother was a cat lady, who lived in a trailer.” 

“Miss Starr,” T.J. continued. “I don't think you understand.”

Before T.J. could finish, Lucinda slammed the phone into the receiver and hurried away.

T.J. looked at his cell phone dumbfounded. People never hung up on him, especially women.

Dakota, his two-year old bloodhound, glanced up from her doggie pillow and gave her head a tilt.

“I think this requires a little trip up to Chicago,” T.J. said.

Dakota just yawned and plopped her head back down on her bed. 

I was slightly disappointed with the two shorts and I'll tell you why.  I wanted MORE...I think this is why Shorts always drive me crazy.  I just don't seem to get enough of what I want, which is the romance, the getting to know one another, the flirty banter, which Karen does give a bit of, but I as a romance reader need more.  And It wouldn't hurt to have a few more intimate scenes, even if the bedroom door is closed, a little groping never hurt anyone.
For Shorts, they were good, especially if you are a fan of the Romantic Comedy, which I am.  The characters could have been a bit more three dimensional, but with so little pages, I know that sometimes they can fall flat. 
I think my favorite character was T.J. from Twyla's Last Trip.  He is country boy, which I love, especially since he contrasts so much with Lucinda, and he is charming, which is how he worms his way into her heart.  And he has Dakota, his bloodhound pup, who actually takes a liking to Lucinda.  Don't they say that dogs are a great judge of character?  I believe Dakota saw something in Lucinda that we all get to see by the end of the story.
All in all, I enjoyed both of the quick reads, and would recommend them to anyone looking for a quick romance read, with plenty of laughs and four opposites attract characters.
Make sure to leave a comment for Karen, maybe share a road trip experience or just tell her how much you enjoyed her post, or give us a song from your "Road Trip Mix". 


About The Author


Karen Mueller Bryson is an award-winning screenwriter, produced playwright and published novelist. She has been writing since she learned to read and fell in love with books! Karen is the creator of Short on Time Books, a series of fast-paced and fun novels for readers on the go. When she’s not at her computer creating new stories, Karen enjoys spending time with her husband and their bloodhounds.








Short on Time Books: http://www.shortontimebooks.com