Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More Recommended Reads by Kathryne Kennedy

One of the advantages of being a Sourcebooks author is the opportunity to purchase our publisher’s books at discount. Although part of the reason I take advantage of those discounts is a loyalty to my publisher, the other part is just because they publish darn good reads. I try to focus on those I recognize hearing about on our Casablanca Blog. This also allows me to expand my genre of reading. So, my list includes many Sourcebooks’ authors and works. I purchased most of these books months ago, and am grateful to have the chance to finally read them, although now my TBR pile is sorely depleted…which is a good thing, cause I haven’t read all the Sourcebooks Casa authors, and now I get to buy some more .

The Heir by Grace Burrows
This is a Historical romance, what I consider a ‘classic’ romance, where the story is primarily centered on the relationship between the hero and heroine. This is a particularly page-turning one, easy to get sucked into, easy to read. I especially loved that the physical relationship between the H&H reflected the advancement of their emotional connection. The brothers of the hero are intriguing as well, and I’m looking forward to reading their stories (there’s a sneak-peek of Devlin’s story at the end of the book). I also adored the secondary story-line of the deaf sister, and when Val plays the piano for her after giving her a ‘speaking tube’, it’s truly magical.

Demon’s Curse by Alexa Egan
I was actually asked to read this book for an author endorsement, so the first time around, I read it too quickly. This is a book that should be savored, so I read it again, with my ‘business’ hat off. If you enjoyed my Relics of Merlin series, you’re sure to enjoy this story. The author has created her own race of shapeshifters she calls the Imnada, although they live in hiding, most of their race in a land cut off from mankind by the palings, a magical mist. There are also the Others, the Fey, who live peaceably alongside mankind, but are mortal enemies of the Imnada. The story centers around an Emnil, an Imnada who broke the clan’s laws and is now rogue. He falls for an actress who is strong enough to deal with the man and his beast, and their romantic future will keep you guessing until the end. This is an entirely new, richly textured creation of a world of shapechangers and Fey, incredibly well conceived and realized.

Cover Me, By Catherine Mann
This is another foray into a genre I haven’t read before, that of sexy military men and the women strong enough to fall in love with them. I don’t often read contemporary romances, but I was glad I delved into this one. The hero was incredibly special, incredibly HOT. A Pararescueman, a job I’m assuming is real, although it would take an incredibly special man to do it, which the hero is. This is a wonderful, sexy romance with a thrilling adventure story as well, set in the wilds of Alaska. Great story!

Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier
I have a collection of books that I read over and over, waiting a year or so to forget most of the book, so I can experience it all over again. I have added this book to my collection of treasures. This is my second reading of it, and it was even better than the first.

The Crystal City by Orson Scott Card
One of my favorite authors I’ve been reading for years, I truly enjoy the tales of Alvin the Maker. Here’s just one of the gems in this novel:
“Cal,” said Alvin, “ideas aren’t like land or poems or babies or something. If you tell me an idea, and I like it, then it’s my idea too, and still yours, and it also belongs to everybody on God’s green earth who thinks it’s a good one.”

Cowboy Fever, by Joanne Kennedy
Really warm, believable, charming characters. A hot romance. A hunky cowboy. The scenes of Equine Assisted Therapy had my eyes watering more than once. This is a wonderful romance that can’t fail to touch your heart. An absolute must-read.

The Goblin King by Shona Husk
I’m almost through reading this one. It’s a very dark fairytale, about a king cursed to become Goblin, and about the woman who tries to help him. The author weaves a spell that makes the world of the Shadowlands, and the heartbreak of the king, so very realistic. Even though I haven’t reached the end, I can absolutely recommend this book. The author has an incredible talent for dark fantasy.

A quick disclaimer, here. As you can see, I’m not a reviewer. It takes a certain skill to summarize books clearly, and there are many wonderful professional review sources, like Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, RT BOOKReviews, NOR, TGTB&TU…check out the reviews on my website and blog for more great on-line review sources as well. This is just my personal recommendation of great books I’ve recently read and had to share with my own readers.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Guest Author Tina Donahue with giveaway


by Tina Donahue


Buy Links: 

AVAILABLE: Tuesday, November 4th
This title is offered at a 10% discount. Offer ends midnight CST, November 11th


As a computer hacker, she demands justice.
As a woman, she craves two powerful and commanding men.

Shana’s been hacking one of Manhattan’s most corrupt executives, making him pay for what he’s done to his victims. Using her skills, she convinces Mike and Cody to hire her at their intelligence-gathering firm, where intimate details help their clients.
Never has Mike met a woman as delicious as Shana. Smart as hell, curvy and assured, she’d be a delightful challenge in bed. Cody’s carnal hunger is equally intense. He and Mike want to know everything about her.
She won’t divulge the secrets of her past. All she can offer is unquenchable desire and her heart. 
During weeks of shameless lust and pleasure, Mike and Cody peel away the layers of Shana’s life. The stunning truth changes everything. They’ll do all that they can to keep her safe…and in their arms.


The doors hissed open.
Shana staggered from him, her mouth still wet from his kiss and Mike’s. She’d mussed his hair. Cody’s tie was askew. Backing out of the elevator, she murmured, “Good night.”
Before either of them could respond, Shana turned to flee. No way could she ever come back here.
“Whoa.” Mike grabbed her wrist as he had in the suite.
The guard at the front desk leaned up in his chair. His beer belly hung over his belt. His expression said the security cameras had shown him what had just gone down in the elevator. “Everything okay, Mr. Russo?”
“Is my driver out there?” Mike asked.
The guard craned his neck to see. “Yes sir, he is.”
“Please tell him we’ll be out in a few minutes.”
“Yes sir.”
The middle-aged man hurried outside. Mike held Shana’s wrist gently but firmly. “Good night?”
His lower lip shone with the moisture she’d left on him. Several locks dangled over his forehead. Unable to help herself, Shana eased them back. “I need to go home.”
Mike’s gaze remained lifted to her smoothing his hair. “Yeah, we get that.” Cody had just joined them. Mike spoke quietly. “You’re taking off after what just happened in the elevator?”
She lowered her hand. “It shouldn’t have.”
Cody frowned, his expression a mixture of confusion and disappointment. “Why not? Clearly, we all enjoyed it. You did, right?”
More than anything Shana could recall. Their strength was thrilling and protective, an amazing combination she longed for but couldn’t risk. 
Her throat tightened. Tears threatened.
Suddenly, she felt beyond weary and so alone she rested her head against Cody’s shoulder. Stupid, she knew, but Shana couldn’t help herself.
Cody hesitated a moment, then ran his hand down her hair. Mike played with her fingers. 
She fought against smiling and crying. Crap, her emotions were all over the place.
“You okay?” Cody murmured.
Shana nodded then shook her head then nodded once more.
“You’re hungry and tired,” Mike said, speaking softly. “You’re not yourself.”
She laughed, unable to stop. “How can you say that? You don’t know me.”
“We want to,” Cody whispered.
Her belly clenched with worry. What they were asking for wouldn’t work. Shana knew they’d never harm her deliberately. They weren’t that kind of men. However, they were human and eventually they’d hurt her. It was what people did to each other, whether they meant to or not. Best not to get involved. She needed peace. They deserved a better woman than she could ever be.
“We can talk about it in the car,” Mike promised.
Shana eased away from Cody then memorized his and Mike’s features because she couldn’t see either of them again.
“Really, we can,” Cody said.
Smiling sadly, she straightened his tie then patted the knot, drinking him in, loving the gentleness in his expression, his rough good looks.
“What?” he asked, as Mike had earlier.
Shana’s emotions raged, battling with her thoughts. What she knew she had to do.
The guard returned from the outside.
She glanced at him then the glass door swinging closed. 
Mike and Cody shifted their weight as though they expected her to bolt.
Shana should have. Leave, she ordered herself. Now.
The guard looked at her curiously.
She turned from him before he could read her expression. Mike and Cody studied her. 
Both of them were everything she’d ever wanted in a man, in a friend, and far more than she’d hoped for.
“Yes,” she said, speaking before she could stop herself. “I enjoyed every second.”
They smiled.
“And I’d like more,” she added, admitting what was in her heart.
Now, they grinned.
“But it’d only be sex,” she said, low enough so the guard wouldn’t hear. “Having a good time. Nothing personal. Ever. You guys couldn’t possibly want that. You deserve more.”
“Wait,” Mike said, again keeping her from leaving. “Who said we’re looking for a commitment for god’s sake. What’s wrong with just being friends?”
“Yeah,” Cody chimed in. “We already know what kind of lattes you like and that you’re into cheesecake brownies. That’s personal. As far as I can see the world didn’t screech to a stop when we found that out.” He glanced around then shook his head. “Nope. It hasn’t.”
Mike leaned close, delivering his wonderful fragrance. “We’ll keep it fun. Promise.”
“Nothing personal,” Cody said. “Strictly surface crap. We’ll talk about work, clients, sports, films, food, books. Stuff like that.”
“Why?” she asked, stirred by what they’d said, frightened as hell too.
Smiling, Mike brushed Shana’s hair from her shoulder and stroked the side of her neck. Her breath caught. 
“Because we like you,” he murmured. “That’s what friends do. However, I do have one personal question, and I want an answer.”
Her skin got clammy. She stepped back.
He followed. “Are you in trouble or in some kind of danger? Is that what this is about? If so, let us know, please. We can help.”
Shana stared at him.
“Is someone trying to hurt you?” Cody asked. 
She thought about Raptor, the threat he’d presented in the past. What he’d do now if he were lucky enough to find her.
“No,” she lied. “No one’s after me.” She faked a laugh. “Seriously, you guys were really in military intelli—”
Cody interrupted, “We just want to help, all right?”
Sobering, Shana nodded.
“We won’t grill you on anything personal,” he said. “But you can’t ask us anything either.”
“That’s right.” Mike took her hand. “No more hacking into our accounts either, business or otherwise. Remember, our lives are as private as yours is. Come on.”


Tina Donahue is an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Siren Publishing, and Kensington. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic romances (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. The French review site, Blue Moon reviews, chose her erotic romance Sensual Stranger as their Book of the Year 2010 (erotic category). The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for Lush Velvet Nights, and two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition (2011 and 2012). Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. She was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.


Win 3 of Tina’s backlist erotic romances from this list:

1. Adored – RWA award-winning; EPIC 2011 Finalist; 4 Stars RT
2. Deep, Dark, Delicious – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Holt Medallion Award of Merit
3. Lush Velvet Nights – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Golden Nib Award
4. In His Arms – SIX 5 Star Reviews; 4 Stars RT
5. Sensual Stranger – 2010 Book of the Year (erotic); 4 Stars RT
6. The Yearning – Top Ten Bestseller
7. Take Me Away – #1 Pick, Miz Love Loves Books
8. Unending Desire – Best Book Rating LASR
9. SiNN – Nominated for Book of the Week LASR
10. Sinfully Wicked – Magnificent – Romancing the Book
11.  Claiming Magique – Top Pick – NOR
12. Illicit Desire – Four Stars Romantic Times
13. Come Fill Me – Five Stars – Guilty Pleasures
14. Losing Control - Four and a Half Stars - Sensual Reads
15. Shameless Desire - Four and a Half Stars - The Jeep Diva
16. Illicit Intent - Four and a Half Stars - Sensual Reads
17. Deep Within Me - Four Stars - Romantic Times

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Learning From Movies - The Fury

*****Spoil Alert*****

I am not a big fan of war movies, but I agreed to see this one with my husband. I'm glad to say the acting was good. The dialogue was usually believable. Unfortunately, most of the plot was predictable. At least it was for me. That could be because I'm a writer.

When they introduced the young soldier who wouldn't shoot anyone, I knew the story would center on how he becomes a killer. When the main jerk in the movie told him he was a good man, I knew the jerk would die soon. When they decided to face down over a hundred Nazi soldiers by themselves, I predicted everyone would die except for the young soldier.

To be fair, I did not predict that this handful of men would decide to face down over a hundred German soldiers near the end.

What can writers do to keep their plot points from becoming predictable? Write a list of possible twists in the story until you start to come up with ones that are different, yet believable, and true to the characters. You can also ask a friend what they think will happen next in the story and if they guess your plot, change it.

Until next week,
happy reading and writing.
Tina Swayzee McCright