Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Another snippet from 'A Hero's Heart'


Here's another unedited little snippet from my upcoming book, A Hero's Heart...

“I debated about doing this but I know I should. Now is best.” He reached in the back pocket of his jeans and pulled out a small velvet pouch. “Marissa, will you wear this for me?”

She frowned until a tarnished faux emerald ring fell out of the pouch. Her eyes widened. “My promise ring? I threw it away. How did you find it?”

He swallowed hard. “My mom pulled me aside after dinner a few nights ago and gave it to me. She said you tossed it in the road the night I left. She searched for it the next morning and then kept it in her jewelry box. She figured you might want it back someday.”

Tears stung her eyes. The gemstone no longer glimmered and scratches marred the tarnished gold band. Still, it was beautiful. “I’ll only wear it if you promise me something.”

“Yes?”

Marissa fisted her hands in his T-shirt. Heat radiated from his chest. “I don’t care if this trouble with Consuelo turns from bad to worse. If you have to leave to protect us, fine. If you can’t contact us, so be it, but you better return. I won’t accept anything less. Promise me you’ll do everything in your power to come back to us. We’re worth it, Jarrett.”


Monday, August 26, 2013

'A Hero's Heart'...

Here's a sexy little teaser from A Hero's Heart...


No one compared to Marissa. No matter how different or exotic the women in his past were, none of them worked his body exactly as he wanted, exactly as she did. With Marissa, everything was equal. Her desire for him matched his desire for her. While he prided himself on putting a woman’s pleasure first, Marissa always put his pleasure before her own. He assumed she satisfied all the men in her past the same way.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Snippet from 'A Hero's Heart'

Here's an unedited snippet from my latest novella, A Hero's Heart, published by BTGN!

Marissa wrapped her arms around her stomach and stepped back. Sobs clogged her throat. She missed Joel so much but as a friend and the father of her son, not as her husband. She swallowed hard. “I married Joel for all the wrong reasons. I was just desperate, pathetically so, and chose your lookalike in place of the real thing. I hate you for that. I hate myself.” She secretly, shamefully, hoped they would find each other again someday. “Your brother deserved better. I should’ve loved him like I loved you.”

She stalked across the room and gripped the doorframe that led into a darkened hallway. Marissa felt sick to her stomach and wished she kept her big mouth shut. She buried that horrible confession deep inside her mind years ago and now it tasted bitter on her tongue.

Waiting for Jarrett to berate her for disrespecting his brother, she deserved whatever he said. She just couldn’t lie or keep things from him. Her stomach always churned when she tried. She loved him. Even though she didn’t know the man he was now, the fact that she fell head over heels for only one man in her life made Jarrett Brandt special to her.

Tears of Tess GIVEAWAY

Check out these links to win free limited edition print copies of Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters, plus goodies like pens and girly bookmarks!!! 










Friday, August 23, 2013

'Love and Other Games' Cover Reveal

Love and Other Games is a collection of four sexy new adult stories centered around athletes competing in the Winter Games by Ana Blaze, Melinda Dozier, Aria Kane, and Kara Leigh Miller. It releases October 1st from Swoon Romance in all major electronic formats.


Love and Other Games Cover.jpeg

Worth More Than Gold by Ana Blaze

Amy Pierce, the klutzy sister and manager of America’s Skating Sweetheart, is used to being invisible. But when a friend drags her to a party near the Olympic Village, Amy catches the eye of a sexy Norwegian ski jumper. It’s a magical night, but an awkward next morning has her running.

Everyone knows Erik Andresen’s best shot at an individual medal was back in 2010, before an injury pulled him from the competition. He’s there for his team, but a hot night and a remarkable final training session have him wondering if a gorgeous good-luck charm could give him another chance at the podium. With a little bit of luck, these two might have a shot at something worth more than gold.

Ana Blaze's: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Trouble With Gold by Melinda Dozier

US snowboarder and notorious prankster, Ty (Trouble) Madsen is only getting a taste of his own medicine when his Olympic teammates shackle him to a fence wearing nothing but his boxers. 

Reception and protocol volunteer, Nadia Hoffman, gets up close and personal with the sexy snowboarder to rescue him, but she's not the kind of girl who lets her hormones get in her way.  A professional performance could help her land her dream job at Olympics Committee Headquarters, but her new assignment supervising the rambunctious US Snowboarding Team is making that difficult. 

Can she see behind the snowman in the community center bathroom and into the warm heart of the man everyone calls Trouble?

Melinda Dozer's: Website | Twitter | Facebook

The Girl Behind the Gold by Aria Kane

Greek aerial skier Lia Milonas’s parents are about to lose the family farm. Saving it means medaling and landing a huge sponsor. While her no-nonsense attitude has her well on her way to a medal, it hasn’t won her a place in fans' hearts.

“Come back with a story that will make readers cry, or don’t come back.” This is what Brandon James’ boss told him before he left New York to cover the Winter Games for Moment Magazine. With a wink and a smile, he can charm his way into any invite-only party, but that career-making story is nowhere to be found – until he meets Lia.

The two strike a deal that should get them both what they want - but neither would have guessed they’d also find what they need.

Aria Kane's: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Ice Gold by Kara Leigh Miller

Colton Campbell thrives on the fast paced, adrenaline rushed lifestyle of being an Olympic hockey player. Despite Brenna Jessup's abhorrence for the games and the athletes, she's hand-picked as the official photographer for the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. When a faux pas by Brenna almost costs Colton his career, she owes him. Too bad for her, Colton doesn't want apologies -- he wants retribution! And he knows just how to get it -- and her -- in the process.

Kara Leigh Miller's: Website | Twitter | Facebook


To celebrate the cover reveal, the authors are giving away a $20 gift card to the bookstore of the winner's choice. Check out the rafflecopter below to enter!



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Life is good

My doting husband cooked a wonderful pasta dinner last night and we cuddled together while watching a movie, 'Oz, The Great and Powerful', which is awesome, BTW. Then we played with Stormy a little and he helped me brainstorm ideas for my latest book.
I love how he's so supportive of my writing. For a man that has never read romance books before he met me, he puts a lot of effort into reading my books and reading books by some of my favorites authors, too, just for the hell of it.
I'm truly lucky to have found him. I'm even more lucky that I didn't have to go through a bunch of lying, cheating, two-faced men just to find a diamond in the rough like a lot of women I know do.
My sweet Greggie and our kitties make my life complete.



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Review - Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters





I’m not sure what to say or where to begin. I’ve wanted to read this book for the longest time and was so excited once I received the ARC. I like BDSM/erotica books and this was definitely a dark book but I was frustrated more often than not. I understood what I was getting into by requesting an ARC. It was going to be a dark, painful read that took me on a roller-coaster of emotions. That’s what I got! I was so angry and tearful at times, and then happy or turned on at other times.

SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tess is an awesome, conflicted character. She knows what she wants but fears going after it. She matures a lot throughout the book. In the beginning, she has a bad relationship with her elderly, unloving parents and her sweet boyfriend, Brax, doesn’t understand her. She wants a light BDSM relationship with him and dreams of being a submissive but, for Brax, she tries to be ‘normal’ and be what he expects, but she’s very unhappy and is a scared, weak person—which I understand, given her rough childhood.

Once she’s kidnapped, she becomes stronger and is determined to survive. She appoints herself as protector of the other kidnapped women and remains strong even after she’s attacked and her wanna-be rapist breaks her rib.

And then here comes the sexiest man ever! Q thinks of himself as a monster and acts like one most of the time. He’s a gorgeous, rich, egotistical prick who needs to be knocked a few pegs (we later learn he has horribly screwed-up self-esteem issues). He’s a control freak but has trouble controlling himself and his dark desires when around Tess. He wants to hurt her because he knows she can handle it. He likewise wants to protect her from harm (outside of what he does to her) but he typically fails to protect her, which he hates himself for.

He is her master, she is the slave, and he treats her like dirt. Tess doesn’t want him to hurt her but accepts it because it makes him happy. She’s attracted to him and is sickened by her sexual, needy reaction to the pain he inflicts. Even though Q holds himself back from hurting her too much (aka - killing her), he plays mind games with her and purposely makes her doubt everything and everyone around her, and then he gets angry that she doesn’t trust or understand him. He holds back for reasons unknown to Tess and the reader (though the reader can assume why even though she’s too oblivious to read the signs).

I suppose my problem is that she can’t decide what she wants. She was beaten and terrified in Mexico by her kidnappers, and now she’s in France where another man is hitting her, threatening and scaring her, but all of a sudden, she likes it. It just doesn’t make sense to me. She’s confused, mentally and physically, and finds Q very appealing even though he’s holding her against her will and is abusing her (which she enjoys and hates). Also, she doesn’t tell anyone about her broken rib throughout the whole story. She easily dismisses the rib pain and concentrates on the pain Q caused instead.

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The part that really upset me was when Q has a dinner party for his friends and puts Tess on display, strung up. He allows his friends to touch her, scare her and allows the Russian to rape her with a knife hilt. All he does in response is shoot the man in the leg and says to Tess, “I’ll protect you. I’ll make this right”. It’s not a good enough apology (he never says “I’m sorry”) and then he avoids her for the next few days, letting her deal with the pain and the blood between her legs on her own. He never explains why he held the party in the first place. (I assume he wanted to scare her into complete submission by threatening to give her to the other men.)

When Tess runs away a few days later, I finally start to respect her. Q has done nothing so far to prove he’s redeemable for the crap he’s put her through. I actually want her to escape and head home—end of book. But then she gets kidnapped all over again and is in a worse situation. Q rescues her, of course, but then he and everyone else in the household blames the kidnapped slave for running away and getting herself into trouble. No one has been honest with Tess. No one tells her anything. She’s kept in the dark, in fear, and is given cryptic messages about why she should trust Q. He’s done nothing earn her trust, so she shouldn’t trust him (but she’s still hot for him and wants him to beat her and have rough sex with her). What’s worse, Tess blames herself for seeking freedom. It wasn’t her fault for meeting up with Driver and Brute who kidnapped and raped her. It’s Q’s fault for not giving her a good reason to stay at the manor and away from the sick, cruel people who live in the nearby village.

After the police come and leave, Q finally opens up while drunk and gives Tess info he should’ve given to her weeks ago. The info is slurred and cryptic but she slowly starts to understand why he’s so cold and cruel. With the help of Suzette and Franco, two members of the staff that reside at Q’s manor, Tess realizes that he helps broken women deal with their trauma and move on with their lives. Even with one mystery solved, a new one runs through her mind. She doesn’t understand why he treats her so badly when he’s helped others who were in similar situations.

We eventually learn that Q never acts out his dark desires on the women he helps. Until Tess. He hurts her because she arrived at his house unbroken. Instead of treating her with kindness and sending her home, he subjugates her to cruelties because he believes she can handle the pain and that she secretly wants the pain. He thinks she’s just as wicked and sexually depraved as he—which she is—and he needs someone like her in his life to help balance him. He wants a hardcore, rough BDSM relationship with her. He forces her into it and she accepts it as a true submissive, but she is still scared of him and everything he represents.

Q couldn’t decide whether he was a good guy, bad guy or something in between. He struggles with the demon inside him. He doesn’t want to be like his brutal father but acts like him a lot when it comes to Tess. He treats her so badly because she’s the first woman he’s met who could grow stronger from the abuse, instead of breaking. He wants her to fight him. All of the other women he helped over the years would have crumbled.

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Emotions were all over the place. Q played Tess like a yo-yo and she was so confused for most of the book—at least where Q was concerned. I liked the confusion at first. I then grew frustrated because I just felt so bad for Tess. I wanted her to be happy and Q wouldn’t allow it.

Tess thinks that she is a strong woman/partner in her relationship with Q but I disagree (until the ending). She wanted Q to whip her and take her body roughly but she also hated him and herself for it. She needs to make up her mind. Q didn’t trust her with any information about himself and she was never strong enough to ask or demand it. She never tried to understand why he was so sadistic and domineering. She let him walk all over her. Yes, I understand she’s a slave and has no choice in what he does to her, but she shouldn’t think of herself as being strong when she’s not acting strong. (My opinion here differs a lot from other reviewers for this book.)

I loved that the epilogue was in Q’s POV. It answered a lot of questions and redeemed Q in my eyes (but I had already forgiven him by that time anyway—except the dinner party scene). Unfortunately, the H/h never once say ‘I love you’. I understand why Q didn’t say it but I expected Tess to. They talked about love and he admitted that he may not be capable of it, but she never said it even though she clearly felt it.

The sex scenes are so hot! I love strong, alpha men who know their way around a woman’s body. He treats her rough but she loves it. She was consensual for most of it, reluctant on the rest even though she enjoyed it. He never raped her. He always stopped himself before crossing that line.

I liked that Tess befriended some members of the household. She needed friends and Suzette understood what she was going through because she lived through even worse. Suzette and Franco kept trying to get Tess to understand and accept Q for all his depravities and cruelness because they knew what he struggled with and they hoped that Tess was the one to save him. Unfortunately, they didn’t explain themselves well enough until it was too late.

On a side note, there are grammar, spelling, misplaced words and syntax issues. Since this copy is an ARC, mistakes are expected.

This book is a great read because both Tess and Q are flawed characters—no one is perfect. He needs to inflict pain; she needs the pain to feel alive. They both experience sexual pleasure from it. He needs her to accept the darkness in him; she needs him to treat her like an object so she feels claimed because she’s felt unwanted her whole life.

I loved and hated Q throughout most of the story (just as Tess did). By the end, I found a new book boyfriend.

All-in-all, I liked the book in the beginning, was frustrated in the middle, and I loved the book in the end, especially when the main characters finally talked to each other and admitted their feelings/wants/desires.

I’m giving this book a 3.5. It’s much better than a 3 but the dinner scene is stopping me from giving it a 4.


Thank you to the author, Pepper Winters, for this Advanced Reader’s Copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Featured Author for BTGN


Books to Go Now published my debut novella, Forever Winter, in March of 2013. Thank you for hosting me on your blog and for my great author feature!

Forever Winter isn’t your typical love story. Sure, a man and woman fall madly in love but you, as the reader, don’t see the blossoming of their relationship firsthand or even how they met. Instead, you met the couple on their wedding day.

I’m not sure where the idea came from for this novella. I just started thinking about all the horrible things that could go wrong on a wedding day and, from an outsider’s point-of-view, how funny it could be.

Once I decided on the basic plot, I needed to decide if it would be a historical or a modern day telling of a wedding from hell. So what would be even worse than a disastrous wedding with a bridezilla? A bride that can’t act like a bridezilla. Due to social customs of the English Regency period, poor Susanna struggled to keep her indignation silent and to tamper her anger but a lady wronged on her most precious day won’t sit idly by and twiddle her thumbs, no matter the era. Come hell or high water, no disaster so great would keep a determined young miss from the altar and out of her beloved’s arms. At least not for long…  

So commence the torture of the lovebirds!


Blurb:



Just imagine the perfect wedding… and then everything that could go wrong.

A Christmas Eve snowstorm barrels through the English countryside and wreaks havoc on the residents of Lorican Manor. Susanna Lorican and her fiancĂ©, Viscount Camden Beckinworth, had planned the perfect wedding but with the dress and several guests delayed, the reverend injured, and after a confrontation with Susanna’s repulsive brother-in-law, reaching the altar seemed impossible. Despite one setback after another, Susanna and Camden vowed to marry, their love too great to deny any longer…

Excerpt:



“I’m glad you chose winter—Christmas time.” Camden gripped the loose braid of her chestnut hair. “Even though the timing isn’t great, considering everything that has happened, it’s perfect for us.” He gently grasped her chin and forced her face up. He brushed his lips across her eyebrows. “I want to get married on the day that everything changed for me. On the day I finally found the one woman I could love and cherish all my life. No one is more important to me than you.” He suckled her pink lower lip between his teeth. A soft moan escaped her throat.

He pulled back and stared deep into her eyes. “You are so kind, love. I wish you realized that. Enjoy today, no matter what, but if something else horrible happens and prohibits our union, God forbid, we will marry as soon as possible.” He clenched his jaw against the idea of waiting.

Susanna nodded. Emotional but intelligent, she understood logic and common sense when she heard it. Sometimes, it just had to be pounded into her.

Camden stroked a stray hair behind her ear and lowered his mouth to hers. Air filled her lungs seconds before his mouth clasped hers. His talented lips tasted and teased hers. A moan gurgled in the back of her throat.

“Camden,” she gasped his name like a plea once he finally pulled back for air. “The door is wide open and we are without a chaperone.” She blinked several times to clear her clouded vision. She licked her lips and nodded to the entryway. “Anyone could see.”

He smirked roguishly. “Let them. We are betrothed. Two people in love, who are about to wed, are expected to kiss.”

“Kiss, yes,” she whispered. “You, my lord, make love with your lips.” Susanna suddenly flamed scarlet. Her eyes widened like saucers and the temperature in the room skyrocketed.

Camden laughed as his embarrassed fiancĂ©e fumed. An arrogant grin spread across his face. “Do I? You have never admitted that before.”

She scowled, her cheeks so hot she could barely stand it. “Well, there are some things you shouldn’t be privy to.”

His smirk lengthened. “Really? I am honored that my bride appreciates the way I kiss. If she didn’t, what kind of man would that make me?”


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pepper Winters

I just received an ARC from Pepper Winters. I've been dying to read Tears of Tess!

Thanks, Pepper!

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What a day.........

I'm exhausted. I went to work today, dealt with police and shoplifters, came home and mowed the grass, now I have to watch a movie with Greg (it's a Netflix day) but I want to finish off season 3 of True Blood. Who knows when I'm going to write. If only I could get over this damn writer's block.
I brainstormed yesterday about my newest book and took care of a plot hole but I'm clueless about where the book is heading.
I'm so frustrated!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Types of Regency Romace Blog Post at BTGN

YAY! My promotions manager, Danica Winters, just uploaded my blog post on the BTGN website.
For all things Regency Romance, this post is a must read for romance lovers.

http://bookstogonow.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-types-of-regency-romance-by-amber.html

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Photo Copyright Issues

I've been doing research on copyrighted images and I'm so confused.

Apparently, Pinterest and Google Images (among others) should not be used for blogs or posts (even on FB) because of copyright issues. So all the pictures we see of hot men without shirts, scenery or fruity drinks could be copyrighted and all of us could be sued (yes, I'm paranoid). Granted, it's very common to posts pics like that here on FB (and unlikely we'll get a take down notice) but it's much more possible if you post that stuff on your blog.

I've looked a public domain and royalty-free photo sites but the pictures there are horrible and I can't use them.

Can someone please explain the rules/laws to me in plain English and hopefully put my mind at ease? All the legal speak I found is confusing.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I DO NOT appreciate being stalked by strangers!!!

After work today, Greg and I went to a local Dollar General to buy cat litter. He stayed in the car while I went in. I was waiting in line with a ten pound bag in my arms and this guy in front of me says I can go before him. Then he starts talking to me and offers to hold the bag. It's not that heavy--I have to hold heavier stuff than that at work--but he keeps offering so I let him hold it. I'm totally freaking out in my head but we chitchat for a few minutes about the weather and the fact that I have cats--since I'm buying cat litter. Anyway, as I'm paying, he offers to take it to the car for me. I politely say no thanks and get the hell out of the store. I tell my husband that he's not staying in the car ever again.

It gets worse.

The man leaves the stores, goes to a gas station nearby and so do we. Greg pumps the gas while the stranger pumps his. He's done pumping before we are and he just sits in his jeep, waiting for us to leave. We go and he then he decides to leave. I swear, it may just be paranoia but he followed us for over 10 minutes as we headed home. (It was raining and he didn't even have his lights on-very suspicious even if I wasn't already on high alert.) I drove past our house a few minutes and stopped at another gas station (no way in hell would I let this person know where we live). He kept driving. Then I turned around and we went home.

Next time, if someone persistently offers to hold a bag of cat litter for me, I'll just say that my husband lifts weights and he's a cop. And that he's waiting for me outside with his gun and badge. Or better yet, I'll just say FUCK YOU and hold the damn bag myself. It's not worth getting raped and killed over.

*Shivers*

Friday, August 9, 2013

True Blood

I'm so loving True Blood. I'm watching the episodes pretty fast and they're getting better and better. I'm on season 2, starting episode 5 by tomorrow, and it's great. Season 1 for me was kinda slow but it had more sex than what I've seen far in season 2.
 

 What's your opinion of this show???