Review: Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion

grand centralReviewed by Karin

Blurb

A war bride awaits the arrival of her GI husband at the platform…

A Holocaust survivor works at the Oyster Bar, where a customer reminds him of his late mother…

A Hollywood hopeful anticipates her first screen test and a chance at stardom in the Kissing Room…

On any particular day, thousands upon thousands of people pass through New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, through the whispering gallery, beneath the ceiling of stars, and past the information booth and its beckoning four-faced clock, to whatever destination is calling them. It is a place where people come to say hello and good-bye. And each person has a story to tell.

Now, ten bestselling authors inspired by this iconic landmark have created their own stories, set on the same day, just after the end of World War II, in a time of hope, uncertainty, change, and renewal….

Very touching and evocative. This book features original stories by best selling authors. Much of it has to do with Jewish refugees — and also Jews who had left Europe for America, at least one had been in concentration camps. It gives a glimpse into what it must have been like to live those early years post war.

My father served in the air force in Europe, so it holds a special poignancy for me.

While there are possibilities — and even love — it is not an easy life or an easy read. It is a world very far removed from where we are now, but not far enough to be in the way distant past. It holds too many memories.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion

Review: Slow Hand (Hot Cowboy Nights, Book 1) by Victoria Vane

Slow Hand-300Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Nicole “Nikki” Powell has some regrets.  And with the way her story starts off you have to feel sorry for her.  And the author does a great job at showing all the emotions that Nikki is feeling.  Wade Knowlton has a soft heart but that doesn’t mean that he’s a pushover.  The author did a great job in showing how seductive or sweet he could be.  Their first real interaction will have you chuckling.  Our couple’s second conversation shows what a great read this is going to be.  You will have to read in order to find out who won the “tug of wills”.

This book is also a great incentive to check out Montana if you’ve never been.  Another suggestion would be to check out those vacations that you could spend your time on a working ranch.  But in both instances you will want to make sure to bring this book with you.  There is tons of steam heat and you can’t blame it on the humidity – just sayin’.  There’s graphic language and some graphic sex scenes so that you will need plenty of ice or a big fan handy.  It may even spice up your love life a little.

Some authors include a character that you just seem to hate – one step above a jerk.  This is one more incentive to grab your own copy of this great book – to learn more about Wade’s brother.  And this author goes one step further and includes a real bitch that has you hoping that she gets what she deserves.

Victoria will give you your HEA ending and this book will also get you ready for Rough Rider that comes out in February.  If I have one disappointment is that I wasn’t able to get to a ranch in order to set the tone while reading this book – but never say never.  And if you would like to read a Christmas novella starring our couple, Slowly Unwrapped can be found at Victoria’s web site.  (http://www.victoriavane.com/free-reads/).

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Slow Hand (Hot Cowboy Nights)

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Giveaway: Harlequin’s Sexy Christmas Romances!

beaumont christmas wedding Naughty & Nice…: Public relations whiz Matthew Beaumont won’t let scandal ruin his brother’s Christmas wedding. Yet scandal is Whitney Maddox’s middle name. He grudgingly allows the outrageous child star turned horse trainer to stay in the wedding party…as long as she behaves herself. But soon he’s the one misbehaving with this irresistible maid of honor.

Buy: A Beaumont Christmas Wedding (The Beaumont Heirs Series Book 3)

a virgin for his prize Her awakening: San Francisco heiress Romi Grayson has only had a taste of Maxwell Black’s addictive brand of seduction and knows she should stay away…especially having discovered just how determined he is to possess her!

His proposal: Max prides himself on always being in control, yet somehow Romi sneaked under his cast-iron defenses, then walked away. Now he is driven to finish what they started….

The ultimate prize! This Russian tycoon will stop at nothing, even blackmail, to have Romi warm and willing in his bed. And her innocence will make his long-awaited possession all the sweeter….

Buy: A Virgin for His Prize (Ruthless Russians Book 2)

christmas with a seal Subject: Navy SEAL Lieutenant Phillip Banks

Mission: Resist one saucy redhead’s attempts to de-Scrooge him…and seduce him!

Silversmith Frankie Silvera has lost her creative mojo. And she knows how to get it back—by getting her sexy on with a certain hot sailor. Just the thought of Phillip’s hard, Navy-trained body against her, and everything goes molten. He’s the “inspiration” Frankie needs for the holidays!

Navy SEAL Phillip Banks is the prince of protocol. But after his last mission went horribly off-course, all of that control has dissipated. Now he’s at the mercy of one very determined female who is pulling out all the stops on Operation Christmas—including red-hot lingerie and the promise of oh-so-wicked delights… But does giving in mean giving up everything he’s worked for?

Buy: Christmas with a SEAL (Uniformly Hot!)

sexychristmas

Giveaway: One reader in North America will win a copy of each of the above books. Enter by leaving a comment about why you love holiday romances. Contest ends: 11/22/14.

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Romance with a Dash of Horror

Asylum_200x300Thanks for having me on the blog today! My name is Dana Wright and I write romance with a twist of horror. Asylum is my first novella under my real name and is the beginning of the Ghost Echoes series featuring Rachel, a ghost hunter and Matt, a skeptic who becomes one of the converted.

My writing process is somewhere between plotter and panster. I use a foam core board and colorful sticky notes to get the idea down. Then I scribble on a legal pad until the basic framework is set. Then…I write.

The thing I love about the sticky note system is it stares at me the entire time and if I need to change something I can. It does happen. The picture you are seeing is a chart of another recently completed project.

LRP - Post its

Music is another consideration. You have to set the tone. My office is a bit of a book pile and I like to escape into sound while I conjure up new and spooky worlds. Here are a few of my favorite tunes:

LRP - Desk

http://writerunboxed.com/2014/09/07/why-every-first-novel-should-be-a-ghost-story/

Pictures help. Pinterest can really set a tone to write to. For nearly every project I start, I first go to Pinterest and see some of the inspiration for my work and start a board.

http://www.pinterest.com/dana19018/asylum/

Are you a writer? What kind of spooky stories make you shiver in the night? I would love to hear from you.

Blurb:

The voices of the past are alive behind the iron gates of Bremore Asylum. Can Rachel and Matt deduce its secrets before it’s too late?

When Rachel agrees to take the job investigating the disappearance of a fellow ghost hunter at Bremore Asylum, she is totally unprepared for the sexy and stubborn psychic debunker Matt Rutledge to be a part of the package. Can these two opposing forces find the answers behind the asylum’s crumbling walls before they become the newest victims to the asylum’s grim history?

Find Dana Wright on Amazon

Excerpt:

Rachel narrowed her eyes. What little hold she held on her frayed temper snapped. Self-doubt flared, but she stamped it out as quickly as it came.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” She stepped forward, hands clenched into fists, her foot brushing against the luggage. Her hoodie slid off the suitcase and flopped unceremoniously into the dirt.

“We haven’t even started on the project and you’re trying to displace me already?”

Rutledge stepped back, surprise clear on his lightly parted lips. Lips she apparently still wanted to kiss, damn his eyes. God, what was wrong with her?

“My friend almost died because of a mistake I made. But you’re already aware of that, aren’t you, Mr. High and Mighty? Listen to me and listen good. I’m here because my grandmother needs me. I’m a damn fine ghost hunter, which you would already know if you bothered to see beyond what happened to Jeannie.” She poked her finger into his chest and had the satisfaction of seeing him wince.

Matt stepped back and held up his hands, a ruddy flush creeping up his cheeks. “Okay. I was out of line. Truce?” He bent down and carefully picked up her hoodie, handing it to her gingerly.

“Thank you, Mr. Rutledge.” Rachel snatched the hoodie from his hands and tied it around her waist with a firm yank. She didn’t want to chance it falling in the dirt again and it was going to be a long weekend. At the rate they were going, it was going to be a full-on ice storm between them.

A flash of humor crossed his face. “Do you think maybe you could call me Matt?”

“That depends.”

“On what?” Matt cocked his eyebrow with surprise.

“On whether you can stop dissecting me like one of your frauds.”

Find Dana Wright on Amazon

Dana Wright Author PicAbout the author:

Dana Wright has always had a fascination with things that go bump in the night. She is often found playing at local bookstores, trying not to maim herself with crochet hooks or knitting needles, watching monster movies with her husband and furry kids or blogging about books. More commonly, she is chained to her computers, writing like a woman possessed. She is currently working on several children’s stories, young adult fiction, romantic suspense, short stories and is trying her hand at poetry. She is a contributing author to Ghost Sniffer’s CYOA, Siren’s Call E-zine in their “Women in Horror” issue in February 2013 and “Revenge” in October 2013, a contributing author to Potatoes!, Fossil Lake, Of Dragons and Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds, Undead in Pictures, Potnia, Shadows and Light, Dark Corners, Wonderstruck, Shifters: A Charity Anthology, Dead Harvest, Monster Diaries (upcoming), Holiday Horrors and the Roms, Bombs and Zoms Anthology from Evil Girlfriend Media. She is the author of Asylum due out in October 2014.   Dana has also reviewed music for Muzikreviews.com specializing in New Age and alternative music and has been a contributing writer to Eternal Haunted Summer, Nightmare Illustrated, Massacre Magazine, Metaphor Magazine, The Were Traveler October 2013 edition: The Little Magazine of Magnificent Monsters, the December 2013 issue The Day the Zombies Ruled the Earth. She currently reviews music at New Age Music Reviews and Write a Music Review.

Follow Dana’s reviews:

Twitter: @danawrite

Author site: http://danawrightauthor.wix.com/danawright

Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/danawrightauthor

Review: Striking a Chord (Backstage Pass, Book 3) by Dani Wade

Striking a ChordReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Sean changed his life for the better after ignoring his friend’s father who said he shouldn’t decide to make his mark as a musician – as he has got this far as a US rock star, he only needs to find the woman of his dreams, but Meghan is the sort of woman he can’t ever have – or can he?

Review: The tattooed lover boy on the front says it all – a career in music is all sex, drugs and rock and roll, but the fact that it looks like she’s two steps away from giving him full fellatio tells us all we need to know. Meghan is a stunner, even if he has only spent months on the phone with her that have ended with him getting a hard-on, he’s yet to meet her and he’s anticipating seeing her. Whether it’s good or bad, he doesn’t know, but his need to see her, to bed her comes before anything else. Sean only knows a few facts about her, she’s mid-twenties, divorced and has an upper level degree in education, but this is as much as he knows. Meghan has issues about whether he will like the look of her once they meet, and whether she will be the rock chick he is used to seeing everywhere he goes. She isn’t the size 8 that she might have wanted to be, but that doesn’t matter to Sean as she has a hourglass figure he’d like to get his hands on. Hearing her on the phone every night for three months seems like a form of harsh, teasing foreplay for Sean, and once he meets her, he wants her no matter what.

As his assistant, Meghan is used to opening Sean’s mail and when one letter is from Sean’s brother Kieran, she has to bring him to see Sean as there is something he needs to know – his father is dying of liver disease and wants his family around him before he meets his maker. When he sees Kieran, all his childhood memories flood back. He was hoping for the time of his life – he would be finally meeting the woman of his dreams, the woman who made him wet just from talking to her, but to bring his brother along too is a taboo even he didn’t think she would make. It doesn’t take her long to find out that Sean has a dark past and a dark secret his brother knows, and she realises she might have made a mistake coming to see him.

Good Bits:

  • The cover – it rocks!
  • I wonder why she’s called Meghan the Mouth?
  • Sean’s brother Kieran

Summary: Dani Wade is the author of several novels, Finding Her Rhythm (Backstage Pass #1), His by Design, Snow Bound, Maximo Placer and A Bride’s Tangled Vows and knows what her readers want to discover. One of the first things I will say about this is that l liked it being about a plus size woman rather than the usual slender maiden in contemporary romance novels. Meghan is a big girl and once she has got with her new boss, Sean and he loves it. So much so he can’t resist spanking that desirable behind of hers – especially when she’s been very naughty and I would say bringing over his brother was naughty, wouldn’t you? Her bringing over Kieran is the conflict in the story we are looking for and if she is as irresistible as he thought, then he could be in for a very interesting relationship. The characters from the first two in the Backstage Pass series are connected while this one takes an intriguing turn as different and being set in Ireland. Judging by this one alone, I would like to read more from Dani Wade. Who knows who her characters will be spanking next!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Striking A Chord: Backstage Pass Book 3

Review: Tiger Lily (Gilded Flower, Book 3) by Vivian Winslow

tiger lilyReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: When Lily has had enough of trying to prevent a hostile takeover of the family business, she decides she needs some time for herself. Her attention goes to Todd, a bartender with plenty of money who wants to spend it on a lady like her. He’s not bad in bed either, so he provides a distraction from the other men who have annoyed her along the last two novels.

Lily however finds she is getting on with Alejandro, a wealthy Cuban-American who has it all, looks, power and of course wealth, but he also has a brother, Rodrigo who is currently dating her sister Dahlia.

Review: After a disastrous romance over the past couple of novels, Lily thinks she might have fallen in love when she dates Alejandro. He is the man with everything she wants, yet her discovery of a photo of him being photographed with a model makes her think he isn’t the man for her after all. What I liked the most was how Lily got even with her sister as she is watching what is going on between Dahlia and her lover – the other brother and is enjoying her sister’s reaction. For a woman who has spent her whole life being spurned and used by men, she seems to have made a full recovery and grown into a strong woman. I suppose it could be something to do with being left to run a business – or it could be those men who have been bad to her.

Good Bits:

  • Lily’s dating one brother, Dahlia’s dating the other brother – it’s a hoot!
  • Alejandro being a silver-tongued devil.
  • The difference two novels makes to a woman like Lily.

Summary: As Lily has grown as a woman, this makes her more desirable to men, and the reader. I loved reading how she overcame all her problems only to be confronted by more later on. She can be seen as a crusader for women the world over, and still have a considerable sex drive – good on her! I found this story to be as sensual, hot and as good as the last two and look forward to reading the next installment.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Tiger Lily (The Gilded Flower Series Book 3)

Review: Calla Lily (Gilded Flower, Book 2) by Vivian Winslow

calla lilySandra Scholes

Synopsis: Gilded Lily saw Lily Baron, daughter to a media empire find her true sexual awakening, whereas here, Lily has to rush back to New York to see her father after he had fallen ill. As he is unable to keep the business going smoothly, it is up to her to take the helm and take a chance on making a go of the Baron Media family business. There are pitfalls though, and also temptations. The question is whether she can resist them…or let them take over.

Review: Now that Lily is the CEO of Baron Media Enterprises she has no time for having the fun she encountered in the first novel. Instead she is propelled into the harsh and difficult world of running a business and having to make a family friendship work with betraying sister, Dahlia who we remember stole and slept with her fiancé, Jack. It isn’t easy for Lily to try her hardest, but it seems she does it for her father in the hope to build a strong family bond she can keep together. In taking on the family business (bear in mind she didn’t have much choice) she loses her independence and the enjoyment she felt when she was a free woman. When Gustavo, the man she used to have as a lover comes back into her life, she sees him as limiting and constricting . He is the sort of man who thinks a woman needs a man around her and acts in a very sexist way that turns her off. plus, he’s a married man – so she has no intention of continuing the affair. Vivian writes Gustavo as a man who stops at nothing to get what he wants, being a high flyer. There are only a couple of men in this novel, Gustavo being one, and Antonio being the other, both are devastatingly sexy and alluring and this doesn’t stop us reading through how Lily feels about them.

Good Bits:

  • The conflict within the story.
  • Lily’s sister Dahlia – remember her? She still has to make peace with her after her betrayal.
  • Gustavo still tries to persuade Lily he is the man for her.

Summary: Although this has our heroine turning in a different direction, she can still have men flocking around her. She is a very desirable woman who has had the chance to show how businesslike she really is and even if others don’t like her being the head of the business at the time, they have to put up with it. I found it exciting to have a woman at the helm of a normally male run business and felt for her and what she was going through in every chapter. I am now looking forward to the next book in the series…hoping it is as steamy as this one.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Calla Lily (The Gilded Flower Series Book 2)

Review: Gilded Lily (Gilded Flower, Book 1) by Vivian Winslow

gilded lilyReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: When Lily Baron catches her fiancé Jack in bed with her sister the day before the most important day in her life – her wedding day, she leaves for Rio alone which would have been her honeymoon destination. Things aren’t all bad though as she soon meets the enigmatic and sensually sexy hotel masseur, Marcelo who unleashes a sexual passion she never thought she had with the man she would have married. It’s a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire for her though as she starts to get interested in another man, who is totally loaded, called Gustavo de Lima – her only problem is he is married.

Review: This is a good premise for a novel. After being cheated on, does a woman who felt such awful emotions for her fiancé help a married man cheat on his wife? I suppose it depends on the person, but Lily gets a deep sexual thrill being with men who turn her on, something she never got with Jack, so as she is free of him and not in a serious relationship, I think she might have forgot what a relationship means and the commitment involved. What is interesting is that for the woman who has everything, money, beauty and social status, she doesn’t have a man who would do right by her.

Good Bits:

  • Jack’s her childhood sweetheart and it’s awful to think that he would do that to her – but it’s amazing how many of these kind of relationships don’t tend to work out.
  • The intense sex scenes between her lovers.
  • The question of whether she would do the decent thing and not be Gustavo’s bit on the side.

Summary: I liked the idea of an independent woman out for thrills and sexual exploration. After all, that’s what her would be husband, Jack wanted to do with her twin sister. There are the concepts of right and wrong to consider and whether she would like it if she all of a sudden got into a serious relationship again only to have her man cheat on her the same way Jack did. As this is an erotic novel, the same can’t be said for Lily as she is caught up in the sexual thrills of being with a man who pushes her buttons and makes her feel good about herself in bed. The way Winslow weaves a story is as erotic as it is sensual and I would definitely recommend reading more by this writer.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Gilded Lily (The Gilded Flower Series Book 1)