Friday, January 30, 2015

Q&A with Hazel Gaynor, Author of A MEMORY OF VIOLETS @WmMorrowBks #Interview #giveaway


Three Print Copies of 
THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME


A MEMORY OF VIOLETS
A Novel of London's Flower Sellers
Hazel Gaynor
Releasing Feb 3rd, 2015
William Morrow


From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Hazel Gaynor comes a beautiful historical novel about Tilly Harper, a young woman who finds the diary of an orphaned flower seller who was separated from her sister in Victorian England, and her journey to learn the fate of the long lost sisters. Gaynor’s research into the events that inspire her novels is outstanding, and the world of the Victorian flower sellers on the streets of London in the late 1800s is utterly fascinating.

In 1912, twenty-one-year-old Tilly Harper leaves her sheltered home in the Lake District for a position as assistant housemother at Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls in London. Orphaned and crippled girls wander the twisted streets with posies of violets and cress to sell to the passing ladies and gentleman, and the Flower Homes provide a place for them to improve their lives of hardship.

When Tilly arrives at Mr. Shaw’s safe haven, she discovers a diary that tells the story of Florrie, a young Irish flower girl who died of a broken heart after being separated from her sister Rosie. Tilly makes it her mission to find out what happened to young Rosie, and in the process learns about the workings of her own heart.


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Hi Hazel, thanks for taking the time to hang out with A Tasty Read Book Reviews today!

ATR: So, what do you do when you are not writing?

I wish I was writing! It really is a profession you can never really leave behind. I think about my characters and my plot all the time, especially when writing a first draft, and in intense phases of editing. My husband is very patient! I am still very much a part-time writer. When the kids get home from school I have to try and switch off the writing brain and just be mum.

ATR: Where do you get your ideas?

From the past! I am fascinated by forgotten people, places and events, especially from the Victorian, Edwardian and 1920s eras.

ATR: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

My first book was rejected by publishers so I took the decision to self publish. I’m so glad I did because the success of that book, THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME, led to a publishing contract with William Morrow/HarperCollins. They republished THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME in 2014 and it went on to become a New York Times best seller. Proof that you should never give up!

ATR: What a GREAT Story to tell the grandchildren!! Do you buy a book by the cover?

Yes! I adore book covers and am often drawn to a book initially because of the cover. I’m so lucky to have a brilliant design team at my publisher, William Morrow. I really believe a cover is part of the book’s story. I especially loved the cover of The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, which was a huge bestseller in 2014.

ATR: Do you ever write in your PJ’s?

Very occasionally (shhh) if my husband does the school run, but I am always showered and dressed by mid-morning (honestly!)

ATR: If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

To the past. I would love to spend short periods of time in each of the eras I have written in, to really absorb the atmosphere and understand what it was really like back then.

ATR: One of your favorite quotes – 

“Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together.” -Elizabeth Taylor.

ATR: Red, or white wine?

White. I love a really cold Sauvingon Blanc or Sancerre. I also love gin and tonic. Nothing better on a hot sunny day when writing in the garden!

9. What is your favorite type of pet?

My cat, Puffin. We got her from the animal shelter when she was a few weeks old and is really a member of the family now. She often curls up beside me when I’m writing. There’s something about writers and cats, isn’t there!

ATR: Do you prefer print books or ebooks?

Print. I’m a real traditionalist and don’t even own a Kindle. I love browsing in book shops and finding books I’ve never heard about. As long as people are reading books, I really don’t mind what format they prefer.

ATR: What does your family think of your writing?
My family are hugely supportive. I really don’t think anyone could write without that support. It’s a very lonely, singular job in some ways and I think it must be hard for non-writers to understand why we do it! My husband is great at discussing plot ideas with me and my two children are now at an age where they can understand what I do. They often write little stories themselves, which is lovely. My niece and nephew in England think I’m famous but their mum (my sister) just laughs and tells me to get on with the housework. She definitely keeps my feet on the ground.

ATR: What does your writing schedule look like?

I write while the boys are at school, between 9am and 2pm. When I’m writing the first draft, I aim for 2000 words a day. Sometimes I write many more words and other days, less so. I’m not a writer who plots and plans. I tend to start with an initial idea, tonnes of research books and notes, and take it from there. I usually don’t know how things will pan out or where the novel will end, so that can get a little unnerving at times!

My ‘routine’ is that I juggle my writing around family commitments. Occasionally, I take myself off to a local coffee shop for a change of scenery

ATR: Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?

Inspired by true events, A MEMORY OF VIOLETS is a historical novel a young woman who finds the diary of an orphaned flower seller who was separated from her sister in Victorian England, and her journey to learn the fate of the long lost sisters. It is a novel about family bonds, especially the unique relationship between sisters, and with a touch of the paranormal and an intriguing mystery at its core, I hope there is something for many readers to enjoy.

The novel was inspired by my love of Pygmalion/My Fair Lady (I played the role of Eliza Doolittle in the school musical when I was seventeen). I wanted to understand more about the real Elizas – the young women who sold flowers and watercress on the streets of Victorian and Edwardian-era London. I also spent many years living in London and always loved the atmospheric cobbled streets of Covent Garden.

Although fiction, the book was inspired by true events surrounding a charity that was set up in the late 1800s by a philanthropist called John Groom. He set out to take the orphaned, blind and physically disabled flower sellers off the streets and teach them how to make artificial flowers. Their work became widely known in London and eventually reached the attention of Queen Alexandra – great-great-grandmother to the current Queen Elizabeth II. The very first Queen Alexandra Rose Day was held in June 1912, and the charity still exists today.


ATR: Please tell us a little about yourself...

I am a writer and a mum of two boys, aged 7 and 9. I grew up in Yorkshire, England, but moved to Ireland in 2002 after meeting my (now) husband. I started writing in 2009 after redundancy. I love walking in the Wicklow mountains near our home and I love cooking for friends. I’d love to travel to Scandinavia to see the northern lights and would also love to stay in one of the amazing ice hotels they construct from ice blocks every year.

ATR: What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers?

Finish the book! It is so important to finish what you start, to prove to yourself that you have the discipline to write an entire novel. Many new writers hop from idea to idea (abandoning a project when it gets tricky) and end up with scraps of novels, but nothing complete. Finishing a book gives you a real sense of achievement, and even if that one doesn’t find a publisher, it will give you a huge boost to write another.

ATR:  Are you currently working on any new projects? What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m so thrilled to be in the early stages of my third novel titled THE MUSE which is set in post-war London of the roaring twenties. The novel is about the rise of a young woman from chambermaid at the glamorous Savoy Hotel to renowned stage star. I’m really enjoying researching and writing in this era where social boundaries – particularly for women – where in a state of change and flux. With the current resurgence of interest in the Great War, during these centenary years, I’ve been fascinated to learn how the event affected women, both during the war and in the years following. It is a challenging project, but I’m excited to see the book and my characters coming together.

ATR: Where can your followers find you?

I am on Twitter @HazelGaynor and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hazelgaynorbooks My website is http://www.hazelgaynor.com/ I love hearing from readers, so do get in touch!

ATR; Any last words?

Thank you for inviting me to your site and thank you to your visitors for reading. I hope they will enjoy discovering my books!

ATR: Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today Hazel! It's been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.


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Hazel Gaynor’s 2014 debut novel THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME – A Novel of the Titanic was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller. A MEMORY OF VIOLETS is her second novel.

Hazel writes a popular guest blog ‘Carry on Writing’ for national Irish writing website writing.ie and contributes regular feature articles for the site, interviewing authors such as Philippa Gregory, Sebastian Faulks, Cheryl Strayed, Rachel Joyce and Jo Baker, among others.

Hazel was the recipient of the 2012 Cecil Day Lewis award for Emerging Writers and was selected by Library Journal as one of Ten Big Breakout Authors for 2015. She appeared as a guest speaker at the Romantic Novelists’ Association and Historical Novel Society annual conferences in 2014.

Originally from Yorkshire, England, Hazel now lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.

For more information, visit Hazel’s website at http://www.hazelgaynor.com/ or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/hazelgaynorbooks or follow her on Twitter @HazelGaynor




Thursday, January 29, 2015

TVBT: BEYOND LIMITS by Laura Griffin (Tracers Series #8) #NewRelease #Giveaway #Interview #Suspense


Enter to Win Print Bundle of
SCORCHED & TWISTED


Beyond Limits
The Tracers Series #8
Laura Griffin
Released January 27th, 2015
Pocket Books


FBI agent Elizabeth LeBlanc is still caught in the aftermath of her last big case when she runs into the one man from her past who is sure to rock her equilibrium even more. Navy SEAL Derek Vaughn is back home from a harrowing rescue mission in which he found evidence of a secret terror cell on US soil. Elizabeth knows he’ll do anything to unravel the plot—including seducing her for information. And despite the risks involved, she’s tempted to let him. . . .

On the surface Derek’s offering a simple deal—Elizabeth provides him with intel, he delivers the terrorist. But he knows nothing about Elizabeth is easy, and now their volatile relationship threatens to distract him from the most important mission of his career. Together with the forensics experts at the Delphi Center, he and Elizabeth are closing in on the truth, but it may not be fast enough to avert a devastating impending attack . . . or stop a ruthless enemy from escaping to kill again.


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One word comes to mind when I think about BEYOND LIMITS...EXPLOSIVE!  Explosive Action, Explosive Chemistry and an Explosive, on the edge of your seat story line.  If you thought you had a favorite Tracers Novel...Well...Think Again!

BEYOND LIMITS was beyond my expectations...Laura Griffin's writing was spot on, with knowledge, and facts that keep you sucked into the story, literally dropping you right in the middle of the action, as if you are there watching the story unfold.  Griffin's style of writing rival's some of the best in the Romance Suspense genre...maybe topping the list, in my opinion.  I am marveled by her ability to make each Tracer Novel a new and exciting experience...always one step ahead of the reader...from lighting the flame to an explosive finish.

Derek and Elizabeth...I have been wanting to read their book ever since I read SCORCHED, which is Kelsey and Gage's full novel.  Derek is Gage's SEAL Teammate and gets involved in the case where Gage is a murder suspect.  Elizabeth is a newbie in the FBI and she is also working the case.  Just the short amount of time we get to spend with them during SCORCHED is enough to see that these two would ignite quite a spark in and out of the bedroom.  I have to say...LAURA DID NOT DISAPPOINT!  OMG....Elizabeth's reaction to a shirtless Derek is priceless!  

The romance was layered with heart-pounding action and sizzling chemistry that you will have a very hard time putting this one down.  This is a MUST-READ of 2015!

If you haven't read the series yet, I encourage you to start at the beginning, only because each book has so much to offer to the series, but, if you want to just start with SCORCHED and move on to BEYOND LIMITS, that will work too!   

Top Tasty Read




ATR: Laura, Thank you for stopping by to chat about your New Release in the Tracers Series, BEYOND LIMITS. 

For New Readers, what is the Tracers Series about?

LG: The Tracers are an elite group of forensic experts who help investigators solve their very toughest cases. The Tracers include all sorts of talented people: Mia the DNA expert, Ben the cyber detective, Kelsey the forensic anthropologist. The list goes on! I love writing about these people- not just their work but their tumultuous personal lives, too.

ATR: BEYOND LIMITS is the eighth in the Tracers Series, when you first started writing, let’s go as far back as THREAD OF FEAR, did you have ANY idea that the Tracers would become what it is today?

LG: I had no idea. Originally I had envisioned three books, but the series just kind of took on a life of its own. I would introduce a new character, then readers would ask for that character’s story. With each new book I love bringing in new characters and also catching up with people from past books.

ATR: If you could have one of the field careers that pertain to the Tracer’s team, which would you want for a career?

LG: Well, I’m fascinated by so much of what the Tracers do. You could say I’m a forensics junkie! I really love Mia’s job—she’s the DNA expert. I’m also amazed with all the tricks Ben has up his sleeve. He’s the computer expert who uncovers some key clues in BEYOND LIMITS.

ATR: I know you do a TON of research on the careers associated with the Tracers Team, do you have a favorite “research trip” that you can share, or the coolest thing you have gotten to experience for book research?

LG: The fictional Delphi Center Crime Lab sits in the middle of a body farm. I’ve had a chance to visit one, and what they do there is so interesting (if you can get past being squeamish). It’s amazing to see all the ways that human bones can tell a story for investigators.

ATR: To Date, which is your favorite Tracers novel and why? 

LG: The books are all so different, so I don’t really have a favorite. I love BEYOND LIMITS because the story really pushes these characters to their max—both in their jobs and their personal lives. Derek’s SEAL skills come into play, and Elizabeth’s sharp investigative instincts. But what I love most is their relationship struggle. Derek and Elizabeth have to work hard to find their happy ending.

ATR: Is it difficult to come up with fresh ideas? 

LG: I started out as a newspaper reporter, so I like to keep up with current events. I’m always getting inspired by headlines and news tidbits. And every time I interview a new law enforcement person or forensic expert the ideas start rolling in.

ATR: What is the best part about writing Romance Suspense?

LG: I like to read tense, exciting stories. With romantic suspense you have the sexual tension plus the action-adventure plot to drive the story forward. My favorite books are thrillers where you also feel an emotional connection to the characters.

ATR: I know you are working on the HART & MORENO Series with the fabulous Allison Brennen, and just released your first Hard Cover Suspense, FAR GONE, and then of course we have BEYOND LIMITS now released, so what are you working on currently?

LG: I’m writing the next Tracers book, SHADOW FALL. This one features some of my favorite Tracers characters- Mark Wolfe, Kelsey Quinn, Mia Voss. The book’s hero is Mark’s brother, Liam Wolfe, an ex-Marine who runs a private security firm and finds himself being investigated for a brutal murder.

ATR: Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?

LG: People often ask me if you need to read the Tracers books in order, and you don’t . Each story has a stand-alone mystery and a different romantic couple. So you can dive right in to the series!

ATR: Thank you so much for stopping by to chat!!  Readers, don’t forget to enter to win a Tracers Book Bundle featuring SCORCHED and TWISTED!



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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author LAURA GRIFFIN started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of romantic suspense. She is a two-time RITA Award winner (for the books Scorched and Whisper of Warning) as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award (for Untraceable). Laura currently lives in Austin, where she is working on her next book. Visit Laura at www.LauraGriffin.com or Facebook.com/LauraGriffinAuthor


Find Laura Here


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Release Day: CORSICA GATE by Robena Grant #NowAvailable @RobenaGrant #Giveaway


Enter to Win a
$20.00 Amazon or B&N eGift Card



A heroine who has stopped believing in fairy tales and happy endings, Dia Sophia Romani, jilted three days before her wedding, has lived with Mama in San Diego’s Little Italy for six months. She’s tired of everything Italian, and is ready to move on…

Enter an unlikely hero. Carlo Antonelli is of Italian descent. He adores Dia, but he’s willing to take his time and not rush her. When he learns she will be vacationing in Italy and Corsica, he must step up his game.

Will a wish made at a magical gate destroy, or strengthen, their newfound love?






“You mean…?” She looked back at the guy.

Nah, impossible. I’ve never been that lucky.


“Yeah, that’s Carlo Antonelli.”

“You don’t want to accept the date, just make up whatever excuse you want.” Tony beckoned.

A jolt of heat spread through her abdomen when Carlo grinned and waved. He ducked through the slow moving traffic and stopped in front of her smiling a crooked smile. Pushing his sunglasses onto his head, white teeth flashing, and mahogany eyes sparkling, he held out his right hand.

My wedding date? Her heartbeat pounded, and her mouth went dry.

“You must be Dia.” He tucked the book underneath one arm and held her hand gently with his other big warm hand. “Carlo Antonelli.”

“Yes.” The word came out on a soft breath. She swallowed hard. “Tony mentioned you wanted to speak to me about Marco’s wedding.” Something inside of her shifted, as if a huge iceberg started to melt in her chest and slide sideways, leaving a pool of cool, blue, bubbling water. She floundered for a minute wondering what to say next, because she couldn’t use the word date. Not while looking into his magnificent eyes. Then she remembered he was Italian, or at least part Italian.

Strike one.

Her shoulders stiffened. She had no interest in Italian men. She hitched up the purse onto her shoulder, and squinted from behind the dark sunglasses.



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Robena Grant writes contemporary romance about ordinary women in extraordinary circumstances. Travel and discovering new places brings Robena great pleasure, and she often includes these discoveries in her stories. She is Australian by birth, lives in Southern California, and has two grown children. Robena may be contacted at her website.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Release Day: SWEET SURPRISE by Candis Terry (Sweet Texas #4) #JoinTheHunt #Review #Giveaway @avonbooks @candisterry


Join the Hunt
(See Details Below)




Playing naughty or nice . . .

Fiona Wilder knows all about falling in lust. Love? That's another story. Determined not to repeat past mistakes, the single mom and cupcake shop owner is focused on walking the straight and narrow. But trouble has a way of finding her. And this time it comes in the form of a smoking hot firefighter who knows all the delicious ways to ignite her bad-girl fuse. Can lead to heartbreak . . .

Firefighter Mike Halsey learned long ago that playing with fire just gets you burned. He's put his demons behind him, and if there's one line he won't cross, it's getting involved with his best friend's ex. But when fate throws him in the path of the beautiful, strong, and off-limits Fiona, will he be able to fight their attraction? Or will he willingly go down in flames? Or a sweet surprise!


BUY NOW
Amazon | Barnes | iTunes | Kobo | BAM




*SCAVENGER HUNT*

Each host will have a different letter placed within their post during the SWEET SURPRISE Release Blast! 

Readers, you will have to visit EACH tour stop to find the letters, and then enter the "Secret Word" into the Rafflecopter for more chances to win!   

You can enter ONE WORD per day, five words to find!





For all of you who have yet to read a Sweet, Texas Romance by Candis Terry...well...where have you been?  No really...I am talking Smokin Hot TEXAN Brothers here ladies!!  But in SWEET SURPRISE we get a hero who is still smokin hot...just not one of the Wilder Brothers, but the guy who wants to ravage the "Sweet looking, delicate" Fiona Wilder, ex-wife of Jackson (SWEETEST MISTAKE)...Little does this Smokin Hot Fireman know...Fiona Wilder is no delicate flower (well...at least she isn't when Bad Fiona comes out to play!)

SWEET SURPRISE was everything that I love in a romance, it had humor, it had sexual tension, it had romance and that "Falling in love" butterfly feeling...and it had FIREMAN MIKE HALSEY (Forget putting out the fire...Mike Halsey be heating the ladies up...Cold Shower warning!)  

One of the best parts of the Sweet, Texas Series is that we get our favorite characters from the past releases in each story, which always enhances the element of FUN!  Especially when Charli and Abby get going...they crack me up!  And my little Izzy...have loved her since she played dress-up with her daddy in SWEETEST MISTAKE...I love that Fiona and Jackson are both wonderful parents and have continued to be the best of friends even after their divorce. I have been waiting for Fiona to finally get her some...and boy does she pick the right man!

Fireman Mike...I LOVE him...I love the way he cares for his family, and even though he is so far away, he still is the "Man" of the family and takes care them.  And his relationship with his Avo (Grandmother)....I cried...Yeah I did...and You will too..be WARNED!!  SWEET SURPRISE isn't easy on the heart...there is some breaking...and mending...and some Sweet Surprises...but all in all...it is a WONDERFUL addition to the series, and I hope that Candis Terry continues to write romance that steal your heart and comfort your soul!!

TOP TASTY READ!



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Candis Terry was born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California and now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers. Only one thing has remained the same: her passion for writing stories about relationships, the push and pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own happily ever after.
Find Candis Here


SOMETHING SWEETER by Candis Terry is the 
Harlequin Junkie Book Club Read for January!

Mark your calendars for Jan 29th!
(6pm PST/9pm EST)


Monday, January 26, 2015

TVBT: FIRE ME UP by Kimberly Kincaid (Pine Mountain #4) @KensingtonBooks @kimberlykincaid #Review #Giveaway #NewRelease


Enter to Win
Paperback Copy of FIRE ME UP



Fire Me Up
Pine Mountain # 4 
Kimberly Kincaid 
Releasing Jan 27th, 2015
Zebra/ Kensington




IF YOU CAN’T STAND THE HEAT…

Teagan O’Malley can handle a crisis. She’s a paramedic, it’s her job. But she never expected to land in the kitchen of her father’s pub, with no notice, no cash, and no room for error. The kitchen is not her favorite place. Lucky for her, she just scraped a bad-boy chef off the pavement after a motorcycle accident—and something about him says he can turn up the heat in more ways than one.

Adrian Holt has had a rough few years, and he’s not eager to get tangled up in anything more complicated than a good risotto. But with a broken arm and a head full of bad memories, he needs a challenge to keep him sane. Teagan’s dare-me attitude and smoldering mess of a bar are just what the doctor ordered. And the two of them together might cook up some even better medicine…


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FIRED UP AND SERVED HOT!! 

Another fantastic addition to the Pine Mountain Series by Kimberly Kincaid.  I love me some grizzly bear motorcycle ridin' tattooed yumminess and that is Adrian.  And the chemistry between him and Teagan is explosive from the first meeting...Oil and Vinegar...but quite delicious when you mix together!

Adrian can't relax while on a forced leave of absence, and Teagan is trying to keep her father's pub afloat, while just finding out how things have fallen apart worse than she thought.  Adrian play a little "White-Knight" and the sexy-foreplay kitchen games commence...and if anyone can write a sexy as all get out scene in the kitchen....its Kimberly Kincaid!

We get to see old friends from the past three Pine Mountain stories, and it's always fun to get a chance to see what is new with characters we have grown to love!  And we get some new characters, like Brennan...who I think could have a romance in the future???  Maybe? Say yes!

Always fun...Always Sexy...Kimberly Kincaid Never Disappoints with a romance that will keep you up late into the night!!  And a Hero who has you dreaming of sizzling pans and smoldering kisses!!




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Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she's not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as "The Pleather Bomber", she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to ├ęclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book.

Kimberly is a 2011 RWA Golden Heart® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Her digital Line series is all about the hot cops and sexy chefs of Brentsville, New York. She is also the author of the Pine Mountain series, which follows small town singles as they find big-time love. Kimberly resides in Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.



Find Kimberly Here



Pine Mountain Series