Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith aka JK Rowling

by:  JK Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith
published by:  Mulholland Books
publish date:  April 20, 2013

A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide.

Cormoran Strike is at rock bottom.  He's broken up with his girlfriend, he's living in his office, he's down to one client, and he has creditors threatening him with bodily harm.  To make it worse, a temp agency has just sent him an employee he doesn't want and can't afford.  Then, as if all his prayers are being answered the very wealthy brother of a childhood friend comes to his office and says that his supermodel sister didn't commit suicide, that she was murdered.

Cormoran, along with his incredibly efficient new secretary, set about proving that Lula Landry was murdered.  They have to delve deep into the world of the incredibly rich and the super famous to get answers into who Lula Landry really was and whether or not she wanted to kill herself.

As someone that really didn't like The Casual Vacancy, I was wary about this book.  I had heard that this one was much better and the rumors were true.  This book was far better.  One thing I have to give props to JK for is her story construction.  I really love the way she enters into a scene, for example the way this book starts with Robin (the temp) preparing for her first day at a new job.   This book, I would definitely recommend to people that like detective stories, mysteries, or all the grown up Muggles wanting to know what JK has been writing lately.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand

by:  Elin Hilderbrand
published by: Reagan Arthur Books
publish date:  June 25, 2013

The Carmichaels and Grahams have gathered on Nantucket for a wedding. Plans are being made according to the wishes of the bride's late mother, who left behind The Notebook: specific instructions for every detail of her youngest daughter's future nuptials. Everything should be falling into place for the beautiful event--but in reality, things are far from perfect.

This was one of those wedding stories for people who are wealthy.  The elite that have the money to spend nearly $200,000 on a wedding.  While that part of the story was crazy and amazing, the rest of it was more like all us regular folks.   Some relationships were perfect, some were falling apart, some were just beginning and all of it was taking place in the shadow of this wedding that planned many years earlier.

Jenna was the baby of the family, so she was much younger and unmarried when her mother was dying of ovarian cancer.  Her mother's big regret was that she was going to miss Jenna's wedding.  So, she wrote The Notebook planning out Jenna's wedding on her deathbed.  That notebook became the bible for planning the wedding.  It worked perfectly until the actual wedding weekend, when everything started falling apart.

I love everything Elin Hilderbrand has written, this book included.  I'm not a big chick-lit fan, but to me her books just don't feel like they fall into that category.  Her books are great beach books, so if you're trying to hold on to that last little bit of Summer check out Beautiful Day.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Giveaway & Review: Son of a Gun by Justin St. Germain

Giveaway Details:  Just fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter to win a copy of this riveting memoir(US/Canada only).  Good luck!!

Author:Justin St. Germain
Publisher: Random House
Date of Publication: August 2013

Tombstone, Arizona, September 2001. Debbie St. Germain’s death in her remote trailer, apparently at the hands of her fifth husband, is a passing curiosity. “A real-life old West murder mystery,” the local TV announcers intone before the commercial break, while barroom gossips snicker cruelly. But for her twenty-year-old son, Justin St. Germain, the tragedy marks the line that separates his world into before and after.
Justin’s journey takes him back to the ghost town of Wyatt Earp and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, to the trailers he and Debbie shared, to the string of stepfathers who were a constant, sometimes threatening presence in his life, to a harsh world on the margins full of men and women all struggling to define what family means. He decides to confront people from his past and delve into the police records in an attempt to make sense of his mother’s life and death. All the while he tries to be the type of man she would have wanted him to be.


Son of A Gun is a memoir about one man's search for closure to help himself deal with the murder of his mother. When Justin was 21, his mother was shot multiple times by her husband, Ray. Ray disappears only to be found months later having committed suicide.  In trying to distance himself from this mess, Justin tries to create a new life for himself.  As we all know, that never works.

The story that follows is his attempt to figure out why his mother was murdered.   More importantly, how she ended up with someone who would kill her.  He retraces his life by talking to the several men that his mother married or lived with. I thought one of the saddest parts was when he returns to Tombstone with is girlfriend.  As he shows her the historical sites, he only "sees" the sites that  impacted his own history.  

The book is well written and well laid out.  Sprinkled throughout the book, the author includes the history of Wyatt Earp, his fight at the OK Corral and his life after.  The last few pages of the book were just heart-wrenching.  My only hope is that Justin has found some peace through his journey.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

Justin St. Germain was born in Philadelphia in 1981. He attended the University of Arizona and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. He lives in Albuquerque and teaches at the University of New Mexico.

To learn more about Justin, visit his website,

Throwback Thursday: The Dauntless Miss Wingrave by Amanda Scott

Author: Amanda Scott
First published in 1989 by Signet
Re-issued by Open Road Media May 2013

Brave and beautiful Miss Emily Wingrave knows that it will not be easy to help her older widowed sister deal with the trustee of her late husband’s estate. The trustee is none other than the willful, arrogant Earl of Meriden, and she is determined to stop him from meddling with her sister’s struggling family. But as Emily engages the provocative Earl in a battle of wits and wills, she learns just how well armed he is: His surprising charm and seductive techniques will make her worry that she might very well be the one who surrenders.

I've only read one other book by this author. Compared to that one, this was better. But not by much. The Dauntless Miss Wingrave was just OK for me. The story was kind of boring. Not much happens. 

The only character I liked was Jack. Emily was kind of a bitch. Jack is only trying to do the right thing by his family and reign them in a little, but Emily constantly flies off the handle. There were some amusing scenes resulting from their fights, so I did enjoy that. There is a little bit of a mystery, but it wasn't anything exciting. The book is fairly clean with only kissing. I'd say skip it unless you have nothing else to read.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Review & Giveaway: The Returned by Jason Mott

 Giveaway Details:  Want to win a copy?  Just fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. (US & Canada only)  The  winner will be chosen on 9/3/2013. Good luck!

Author: Jason Mott
Publisher: Mira (Harlequin)
Date of publication: August 2013

Harold and Lucille Hargrave's lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they've settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds tempered through the grace of time ... Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep—flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old.

All over the world people's loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it's a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he's their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargrave family finds itself at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.

The Returned is a beautifully written debut novel by Jason Mott.  It's an interesting look into what would happen if the dead started coming back.  This isn't your typical zombie story.  The people don't want to eat you.  They just appear one day having no idea how they got there or what happened to them after they died.  Most people come back in far away places.  The Returned focuses on the impact of  the phenomenon and how it affects one town and one family.  Sprinkled throughout the book are hints as to how the rest of the world is dealing as well.

For Harold and Lucille, they find that the return of their 8 year old son (who died in 1966) isn't all its cracked up to be.  They both have very different initial reactions.  Lucille is thrilled, but Harold is wary and doesn't believe it is his son.  Despite this, Harold chooses to stay with Jacob when he is put into the containment camp. The scenes in the containment camp reminded me of the horror stories we heard about the shelters during Hurricane Katrina. Being over run with people, no space, running water, or sanitary conditions. Not a situation I would wish on anyone.  I don't want to give too much away, because it would spoil the story. For me the ending was very bittersweet. 

The unique thing about the book is that no one ever figures out how or why the people came back. At least, the reader is never told. For me, that wasn't really the point of the book.  The book is more about deciding if you would want that second chance. If you got it, what would you do with it?  Sometimes, I think about having one more day with a lost loved one.  But, would that ultimately cause me more grief once they left me again? I think this is going to be one of those books that will stick with me for a long time to come.  I definitely recommend trying it out.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Did you know that the book is being turned into a series for TV?  It is called Resurrection. How cool is that to have your debut made into a TV show?  Check out the trailer below:

About the author:

Jason Mott lives in southeastern North Carolina. He has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from
the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction has appeared in various journals such as Prick of the Spindle, The Thomas Wolfe Review, The Kakalak Anthology of Carolina Poets, Measure and Chautauqua. He was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Prize award and Entertainment Weekly listed him as one of their 10 “New Hollywood: Next Wave” people to watch.

He is the author of two poetry collections: We Call This Thing Between Us Love and “…hide behind me…” The Returned is his first novel.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

TREMBLE and QUIVER by Tobsha Learner

Publisher: Plume
Date of publication: Reissued April 2013

Prepare to stimulate your senses and explore the deepest longings of the human heart. In Tremble, Tobsha Learner, the author of the international bestseller Quiver, depicts the pleasures of new and rediscovered love, lust, and obsession in a world where passion and magic are interwoven—and where boundaries are pushed beyond expectation.
In a Welsh village, a young woman’s sensuality is awakened by an outrageous inheritance; a drought-stricken Oklahoma town is offered salvation by a travelling rainmaker; a Sydney record producer struggles to satisfy his wife and his mistress—until one of them takes matters into her own hands.

Publisher: Plume
Date of publication: Re-issued April 2013

In twelve interconnected stories as naked and primal as passion itself,Quiver explores the full spectrum of human sexuality in all of its variety and complexity. Spare yet evocative, this explicit collection depicts the pleasures of new and rediscovered love, lust, and obsession. In the flashes that blur the line between fantasy and reality, each story captures the spontaneous erotic experiences of a small group of middle-class acquaintances, showcasing sexual interludes of kaleidoscopic range—heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, exhibitionistic, and sadomasochistic. Each of these stories, alternating between a woman’s point of view and a man’s, a participant’s and a voyeur’s, expresses a passion for youth, excitement for the new, and nostalgia for love lost. Sensual and provocative, Quiver introduces a fresh voice to the genre of erotica.

My thoughts:

Any follower of this blog knows that I am open to reading anything.  I also am the romance/erotica reader of the team.  I was looking forward to reading both of these books.  Sadly, for me, they weren't my cup of tea. 

Tremble is an anthology of  fairy-tale like stories. I only read a couple of them.  After reading the first few, I was kind of turned off.  The first story, "The Root", is about a woman who inherits a mandrake root the turns into a living penis.  The penis follows her around. and gets jealous when she becomes interested in a real man.  What is erotic about that?   Eww.  In another story, "Virgin", a nun gets pregnant after touching a sacred relic (which happens to be the nipple of a sainted nun).  She then goes to an island to have the baby. The baby grows up rapidly and she has sex with him.  Just, no.  I could go on, but I think you get the point.   

Quiver is a shorter collection that looked like they should be more "normal" stories.  I gave up after the first couple of stories.  They just didn't pull me in and I found myself constantly putting the book down.  I didn't really find any of these erotic.  I couldn't connect with them.   The two books look like they have received mixed reviews.  I think these are ones that you have to try out for yourself.  
About the author:

Tobsha Learner was born and raised in England; she now divides her time between Australia, the UK and the USA. She is well known in Australia as an author and playwright. 


Monday, August 26, 2013

Review & Interview: What the Bride Wore by Jade Lee

Please welcome author Jade Lee as she promotes her book, What the Bride Wore.  Enjoy our interview with her after my thoughts on the book!

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Date of publication: August 2013

Grant Benton, Earl of Crowle, finally has the funds he always pretended to have, and what he wants now is a woman. That woman is Lady Irene Knopp, who spends her days helping debutantes plan their weddings. A recent widow, Irene longs for love again, but she's afraid to risk her heart, especially to the notorious Grant Benton.

My thoughts:

What the Bride Wore was an enjoyable read for the most part.  I definitely wish I had read the first two books in the series.  I felt like I was missing some back story abut Irene's friends at the dress shop.  Despite that, I liked the love story.  I enjoyed Grant and Irene together  I did get a bit frustrated with her as she didn't want to marry him because she still wanted to work.  Thankfully. Grant was very persistent   There is a little mystery included to make things exciting.  The epilogue ends in a cliffhanger that sets things up for the next book.  I'll probably go back and read the first two books before the fourth comes out!

Kari& Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?

Jade: A rich fantasy life and an inability to do science. Also, my mother was pushing for me to have a diplomatic career. (My friends have just keeled over laughing at the idea. Me? Diplomatic? Okay, now I’m laughing). Anyway, my mother thought I had a facility with languages and would be perfect in the foreign service. The truth was that I am good with the ENGLISH language and not so much with other languages. So, add in a rich fantasy life and bam...I became a writer. Plus, I got really tired of saying, Do you want fries with that?
Kari& Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?
Jade: Ideas? Really? I thought I was supposed to throw darts at a list of tropes! Honestly, I get inspiration from everything. I have a very bizarre brain that picks up random stuff and mushes it together to form....well, complete chaos. Writing is just a way of paring away the stuff that belongs with a different chaotic idea.
Kari& Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?
Jade: That would be telling!  Okay, okay. My alter ego Kathy Lyons is doing a great Dream Nights series. (Dream Nights with the CEO, Dream Nights with the Wrong Twin) You might have guessed from the titles that it’s contemporary category (Brazen line from Entangled Publishing). It’s also SEXY.  Here’s what you need to know about it: Shared erotic dreams in a special B&B. That’s it. Two strangers start having hot dreams. And then they get to figure it out in the daylight!
Kari& Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?
Jade: Ziggy by Tom Wilson. Because...frankly, my entire childhood was very Ziggy-esque. Things just often turned out badly for me. I’m really not sure why. Not in a sad, child abuse way, but in a that’s too funny. Did that really happen? Yes, I really did trip over a painted line. Yes, I really did turn in my English paper to my physics teacher. Yes, my cat’s favorite position on my body is with her tail draped over my face. Which puts her butt...yeah, right there.
Kari& Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
Jade: A housecat. Sleep all day/ play all night, my base requirements completely fulfilled, and no need to do anything but be snooty unless I need a cuddle.

About the author:
USA Today Bestseller, JADE LEE has been scripting love stories since she first picked up a set of paper dolls. Ball gowns and rakish lords caught her attention early (thank you Georgette Heyer), and her fascination with the Regency began. And as a Taurus, she lives to pit a headstrong woman against a tortured hero just to watch them butt heads on the way to true love. Flesh wounds are rare, but the healing and laughter are real.
Now an author of more than 30 romance novels, she finally gets to set these couples in the best girl-heaven of all: a Bridal Salon! This way she gets to live out all her wedding fantasies, one by one. (Let’s be honest, what girl has only one idea for her dream wedding?) For more on the Bridal Favors series, visit Jade on the web at herwebsiteFacebook or Twitter.
And don’t forget Jade’s other name, KATHY LYONS. That’s Jade’s lighter, contemporary side. She writes for Harlequin Blaze merging hawt sex and funny relationships into really great reads. Visit her website.

Romance at Random sponsored - "Flirt University" Blog Hop

Welcome to Flirt University's Back to School celebration! It's time for the Three R's, Flirt style—Reading, (W)Riting, and Romancing! In the spirit of getting to know one another on the first day of school, Flirt, Random House's New Adult imprint, has set up a New Adult blog hop so you can discover other blogs that love the hottest new romance genre.

As part of the hop, Flirt is giving away its signature "I <3 New Adult" tote (for carrying books, ereaders, and other fun things), and its signature "I <3 New Adult" mug (perfect for that morning coffee pick-me-up)! Just check out the Rafflecopter below—stop by each blog for more chances to win, and to meet awesome New Adult fans and reviewers! 

Head back to Romance at Random on Tuesday, September 3 to find out if you won (we'll email winners, too!), and don't miss your first Flirt University "lecture" from one of Flirt's esteemed New Adult Author Professors! They'll be sharing their thoughts on everything New Adult!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other blogs on the hop for more chances to win!
  1. Cocktails and Books
  2. Evie Knight
  3. Bookhounds
  4. Manga Maniac Café
  5. What I'm Reading
  6. The Book Tart
  7. Acting Balanced
  8. The Jeep Diva
  9. Reading Under the Willow Tree
  10. Stuck in Books
  11. Books of Love
  12. Book Lovin Mamas
  13. From the TBR Pile
  14. Book Flame Reviews
  15. Romance Crush Junkies
  16. My Book and My Coffee
  17. Bout a Book Blog
  18. Mackable Book Babes
  19. Tonya's Bookshelf
  20. Book Mom's Reviews
  21. The Revolving Bookcase
  22. Victoria's Gossip
  23. Dr. Pepper Diva
  24. Mad Book Reader
  25. Rose's Book Blog
  26. Renee Entress's Blog
  27. Book Addicts Not-So-Anonymous
  28. Go and Read Now
  29. Whirlwind Books
  30. Live. Laugh. Romance
  31. Brenda's Book Beat
  32. Crafty Momma
  33. Stories and Swag
  34. Book-A-Holic Anon
  35. Foxylutely Book Reviews
  36. Fictionators
  37. Zakirrah's Books Blog
  38. Feeling Fictional

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Reviver by Seth Patrick

by:  Seth Patrick
published by:  Thomas Dunne Books
publish date:  June 18, 2013

Jonah Miller is a Reviver, able to temporarily revive the dead so they can say goodbye to their loved ones—or tell the police who killed them.

This book is kinda divided into two different stories.  There's the story about the the Revivers and their work and what they do.  In addition, there's a story about the dark side of Reviving and people who want to use it for nefarious purposes.  Personally, I didn't care for the "dark side" story.  

The part of the story about just the Revivers and their "regular" work, was really awesome.  I liked the idea of a CSI type group of people and their purpose was to raise the dead for a couple of minutes to name their killer or say goodbye.  That'd probably make a cool television show.   AMC please, not network!

Good job Seth Patrick!  Can't wait to read more.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise

by:  Katie Sise
published by:  Balzer + Bray
publish date:  April 30, 2013

Audrey McCarthy can’t wait to get out of high school. Her father’s death and the transformation of her one-time BFF, Blake Dawkins, into her worst nightmare have her longing for the new start college will bring.  But college takes money. So Audrey decides she has to win the competition for the best app designed by a high schooler—and the $200,000 that comes with it. She develops something she calls the Boyfriend App, and suddenly she’s the talk of the school and getting kissed by the hottest boys around.

The Boyfriend App wasn't the bubblegum sweet YA book I was expecting, it was a lot better.

The book is all about Audrey developing this app for a nationwide competition.  I thought the App was going to be some kind of fake boyfriend to make people think you had a boyfriend, but it was a lot more complicated than that.   It starts off kinda like a dating website, but quickly evolves into something a lot more devious when she stumbles onto some hidden software in her phone.

Throw in a surprising non-instalove relationship, no real love triangle, and an actual present parent, The Boyfriend App was a better than average contemporary YA book in my opinion.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Joint Review: Gated by Amy Christine Parker

Author:  Amy Christine Parker
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Date of publication: August 6, 2013

Do the gates keep the unchosen out or the chosen in?

In Mandrodage Meadows, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban community have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives. Lyla Hamilton and her parents are original members of the flock. They moved here following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking to escape the evil in the world. Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned:

Pioneer is her leader.  Will is her Intended.  The end of the world is near.

I ultimately enjoyed Gated. But I will admit that the book frustrated me to no end.  I had a hard time reconciling the fact that the parents in this "community" actually bought into what Pioneer was feeding them.  So much that they gave up everything to follow this man.  I found I had to let all of that go in order to enjoy the book.  The scariest part of this book is that it isn't a dystopian present.  Because the reality is that there are people in real life who choose to believe things like this.

I liked Lyla and her strength in questioning Pioneer.  I was really rooting for her to turn things around.  There was the kind of love triangle, but it wasn't as annoying as they usually are in YA books.  The one things that kept creeping me out throughout the book was the quotes from real-life cult leaders that start each chapter.  I swear I kept getting shivers.  Definitely recommend this debut novel.

I, too, enjoyed Gated.  It's all about Pioneer leading these families into his "community" to prepare for Doomsday.  Have you watched Doomsday Preppers?  I don't think this scenario is too far off for some of these people.  It made me question how much of this is going on right now.  Are there groups of people living underground right now living out the apocalypse?  There might be!

This was one of the books Kari and I discussed quite a bit because she had a hard time believing that people would follow some crazy scheme like the Pioneer had, but I pointed out that history has proven that people will do those crazy things.  I think the quotes in the book by real cult leaders, like Jim Jones and Charles Manson, were brilliant to remind the reader that these thing have happened before.  Like Kari, I definitely recommend this book.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Rebel Waltz by Kay Hooper


Author: Kay Hooper 
First published in  1986 by Loveswept (Bantam Books)

With its antebellum setting and gallant history, Jasmine Hall was more than just a business for Banner Clairmont. The lovingly preserved plantation-era inn had been home to the Clairmont family for generations. But the realities of modern real-estate had made it time to sell even the most priceless treasures. So it was hardly with a great deal of enthusiasm that Banner led real-estate speculator Rory Stewart around the property. How could this stranger—whose southern charm and universal good looks made it impossible to entirely distrust him—have any idea of Jasmine Hall’s true value?

I'm a big fan of Ms. Hooper's older books.  While they are over 25 years old, they are timeless.  They have just the right amount of cheesy romance factor to make them fun to read.  Rebel Waltz is no exception.  

I enjoyed the romance between Rory and Banner.  Rory falls hard and fast when he meets Banner.  His pursuit of her was amusing.  I'll admit that I liked Rory more than I like Banner.  I thought she gave him too much of a hard time about things.  Personally, I thought the "practical joke" that she plays on him to get back at him for helping her was in very poor taste.  I didn't see the humor in it.  Anyway, while it's not the best of her early works, it is an enjoyable read.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Interview & Review: Surrender to Sultry by Macy Beckett

Please enjoy our interview with author Macy Beckett.  She is promoting her latest book, Surrender to Sultry. Enjoy it after my thoughts on the book.

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Date of publication: August 2013

Growing up the daughter of a rigid Baptist preacher was no cakewalk, so when Leah McMahon graduated from high school, she tossed her cap into the air and skipped town before it hit the pavement. Now she’s back in Sultry Springs to help her daddy recover from surgery.

But there’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s none other than Colton Bea, the wild-as-weeds boy who stole her heart—not to mention her virginity—a decade earlier. Colt’s a changed man, and the feelings between them are stronger than ever, but Leah has a sin to confess… a secret so devastating that Colt may never forgive her. Can she find a way to earn his forgiveness and build a future with the Sultry man she’s loved half her life?

 My thoughts:

Surrender to Sultry is the third book in the Sultry Springs series.  I really enjoyed the book.  While it wasn't the best out of the three, I think that the characters in this book are the most changed, especially Colt.  His old nickname was Crazy Colt.  After being almost killed in the previous book,  he has cleaned up his act and is now sheriff of Sultry Springs.  When Leah comes back he realizes this is his chance to make her his for good.  It was fun to watch Colt try to win Leah over.  I have to say, the surprise date was just too sweet!

The one thing that I really had a hard time with was the secret that Leah kept from Colt.  I thought his forgiveness of her was a little too quick.  I'm not sure I could forgive that so easily.  But, in the end, Leah's decisions was all for the best.  I did love the epilogue. I'm not sure if there will be any more books from this town.  I hope there are because I have enjoyed them immensely!  If you love stories about second chances, give this series a try!

Kari& Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?

Macy Beckett: I have an English degree, so I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but I never wanted to be an author. Writing was work—reading was fun. Then I “retired” from teaching to stay home with my babies, and everything changed. I needed a creative outlet and a form of intellectual stimulation, so I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November of 2009. I wrote my first book then—my YA debut, Alienated—and I was hooked! After that, I wrote the first book in the Sultry Springs series, Sultry with a Twist. The rest is history! The third book in the Sultry Spring series, Surrender to Sultry, hit stores earlier this month!

Kari& Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Macy Beckett:  Inspiration usually strikes in one of three places: in the shower, in the car during a long drive, or on a solitary walk.

Kari& Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Macy Beckett:  I sold a new romance series to Penguin, which kicks off April 1st (no foolin’) with PREMARITAL HEX. Like all my romances, it’s a hot, humorous contemporary, but with a teensy-tiny dash of paranormal. I also have a YA sci-fi romance coming in February from Disney-Hyperion. Alienated follows the adventures of valedictorian Cara Sweeny, who gets more than she bargains for when she falls for her interplanetary exchange student. They’re very different projects, but I’m excited about them both!

Kari& Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Macy Beckett:  This is a toughie. I’d say it’s a tie between Jane Eyre and Harry Potter. They’re both underdogs (which I love), and they’re both incredibly moral characters who do what’s right, often at great personal sacrifice.

Kari& Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Macy Beckett:  Definitely an ocean creature. My first reaction is a dolphin—it looks like they have fun. But my second reaction is something at the top of the food chain, like a Great White. I don’t want to be eaten alive.

Praise for Surrender to Sultry:
“This heartwarming tale will pull at the heartstrings yet still leave the reader with a sense of satisfaction.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

“Fans of Sultry with a Twist and Shot of Sultry will appreciate Beckett’s humor and the reappearance of old friends.” —Publishers Weekly


Macy Beckett writes hot and humorous romances, including the Sultry Springs Series—where first Sultry with a Twist, A Shot of Sultry and Surrender to Sultry. Additionally, Macy writes young adult science fiction under the name Melissa Landers. You can learn more about her books—for adults and teens—on her website., on Facebook,, and on Twitter, @MacyBeckett.

To Purchase Surrender to Sultry:


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Working It Out by Rachael Anderson

Author: Rachael Anderson
Publisher: HEA Publishing
Date of publication: July 2013

A chance encounter . . . 
Grace Warren’s life is safe and predictable—exactly the way she likes it. But when she gets roped into going to an auction to help out a friend, everything changes. She meets Seth Tuttle—a guy who unexpectedly kisses her then disappears, leaving her flustered and upset. If she never sees him again, it will be too soon.
A chance for love . . . 
Weeks later, when Seth limps into Grace’s rehab clinic post surgery, she immediately recognizes him. Unfortunately, he’s every bit as frustrating and annoying as she remembered. Yet there’s something about him that makes her second-guess her carefully placed boundaries even though he’s everything she’s sure she doesn't want in a man. But maybe Seth is exactly what Grace has needed all along—assuming she’s willing to risk safe and predictable for a chance at love.
Working it Out is another really sweet romance from author Rachael Anderson.  It's also another sign that it is possible to write sigh-worthy clean romances.  Grace and Seth are two people who are so right for each other.  They both are able to bring out the best in each other.  I loved that the relationship built slowly.  They essentially became friends first and that made them stronger.  
I loved Seth and his outlook on life.  I could understand Grace's hesitation with Seth's daredevil tendencies.  Especially after we find out about what happened to her brother.  I think that fear would be something that would be hard to get past.  Their HEA was wonderful and the epilogue in the end was perfect! 
While I loved the side romance, I wish that we could have seen more behind the scenes of how they got together.  Lanna and Alec's story is definitely one I would want to read.   I look  forward to reading Ms. Anderson's next book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

Rachael Anderson is the author of five novels (Working It Out, The Reluctant Bachelorette,
Minor Adjustments, Luck of the Draw, and Divinely Designed) and two novellas (Twist of Fate, from the All I Want anthology and The Meltdown Match from The Timeless Romance Anthology: Summer Wedding Collection). She’s the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Blog * Facebook * Twitter

Monday, August 19, 2013

Review & Interview: Dark Waters by Toni Anderson

Please welcome author Toni Anderson as she promotes her latest book: Dark Waters.  Enjoy our interview with her after my thoughts.

Publisher: Montlake Romance
Date of publication: August 2013

It may be summer, but schoolteacher Anna Silver’s trip to the coastal town of Bamfield is anything but a vacation. She’s on the run, desperate to stay one step ahead of her father’s

murderer and determined to track down the one man she’s been told to trust: her father’s old cell mate, Brent Carver. But when she finds him, she discovers not a kind, elderly artist but a dangerously hot alpha male with blood on his hands.

Loyal to the core, Brent would never turn away his friend’s daughter when she comes seeking help. He can’t deny Anna his protection…just as he can’t deny the instantaneous attraction he struggles to keep in check. But as their passion blazes out of control, a sadistic killer is on the hunt to stop Anna from uncovering his dark secrets.

My thoughts:

From the first page, Dark Waters takes off running and doesn't stop. I enjoyed the ride.  It's apparently a sequel to Dangerous Waters, but I didn't really feel like I was missing anything in reading this.  I just want to go back and read Finn and Holly's story now.   I loved Anna and Brent.  Because Brent got to know Anna through her letter, I didn't feel like their romance was rushed.  While there wasn't a lot of suspense, there were a couple of surprises in the end.  I definitely recommend the book.

Kari& Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?

Toni: I was always a voracious reader. Growing up in the UK I devoured Fantasy novels and Mills & Boon. Then I moved to Canada in the nineties and discovered Nora Roberts and Catherine Coulter and Karen Robards et al. When I hit my mid-twenties I ran out of books to read (I now sympathize with authors who fret because it can take six months to write a book and a reader gets through it in a day!) and started thinking maybe I could try writing something. It took me five years to finish my first novel—I guess I learned my craft by constantly rewriting that story—but it was published and became my first release HER SANCTUARY. Nowadays, I write much faster.

Kari& Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Toni: Often two or three ideas collide and give me an idea for a book. I watch and read a lot of news articles and I’m curious about odd stuff—archeology, biology, war, aberrant behavior, the British SAS, law enforcement , environmental issues, history. I’ve discovered that whatever weird idea I come up with people have always done something stranger in real life.

Kari& Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Toni: I’m working on a couple of things right now. The first is trying to self publish a much requested follow up to HER SANCTUARY featuring two of the secondary characters from that book. I’m also working on a new Romantic Suspense novel with a FBI heroine and a hero who’s an assassin. Then I want to write another British SAS hero to follow up THE KILLING GAME and I’m plotting a new trilogy featuring three cop brothers. Life’s busy.

Kari& Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Toni: I’d love to say someone sophisticated and intellectual, but it’s probably Sam Starrett out of Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series. I love him because he’s honorable but makes mistakes and loves his woman the way a man is supposed to love a woman, with his soul. He’s not perfect but I want to know what’s going on with Sam. Always.

Kari& Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Toni: Looking at my dog sleeping all day I’d say her :) But actually I think I’d like to be an eagle, soaring over the world, unafraid of heights unlike this pathetic human. They are spectacular creatures and always look so smart and beautiful.

Thanks so much for having me today!

Toni is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one winner from all the different tour stops.Fill out the rafflecopter below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

Toni Anderson is a bestselling author of Romantic Suspense. A former marine biologist, Anderson

traveled the world with her work. After living in five different countries, she finally settled down in the Canadian prairies with her husband and two children. Combining her love of travel with her love of romantic suspense, Anderson writes stories based in some of the places she has been fortunate enough to visit.

Toni donates 15% of her royalties from Edge of Survival to diabetes research--to find out why, read the book!

She is the author of several novels including Dangerous Waters, Storm Warning, and The Killing Game. Her next release is Dark Waters, August 2013.

Buy Links: