Thursday, 22 November 2012

We've got a guest!!


I am so excited today! It is my first author interview!
My guest today is award winning, reviewer and reader acclaimed! (How often does that really happen?)
 Readers have called her stories fun and fabulous, her characters charming and endearing. And I have to call her love scenes scorching!

I am delighted to introduce you to Bronwen Evans!
She is touring some fantastic blogs this month to promote her latest release; To Challenge The Earl of Cravenswood

(from the publisher)
New Zealander Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She’s always indulged her love for story-telling, and is constantly gobbling up movies, books and theatre. Her head is filled with characters and stories, particularly lovers in angst. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer?
She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and compassionate alpha heroes. Her debut Regency romance, Invitation to Ruin won the RomCon 2012 Readers Crown Best Historical and was an RT Reviewers’ Choice Nominee Best First Historical 2011. To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield was a FINALIST in the Kindle Book Review Indie Romance Book of the Year 2012. Look out for her first Entangled Publishing Indulgence release in late 2012, The Italian Conte’s Reluctant Bride.

Nice Girl: Hi Bronwen, Welcome to the blog! This is my first author interview, so I hope you'll excuse the excitement. The blog's a little dusty so brush off the cobwebs and have a seat.

Bronwen: Hi Morgan, thanks for letting me stop by and introduce myself and my latest Regency romance release, To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood, book #3 in the Wicked Wagers trilogy.

First, here’s the blurb for the story

To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood (Wicked Wagers Book 3):
To live happily ever after...

Henry St. Giles, the Earl of Cravenswood, longs to find his soul mate. Now that his two best friends, both reformed rakes, are happily married, the need becomes an obsession. When they challenge him to find a wife by the end of the season or marry his neighbor, the innocently alluring Lady Amy Shipton, he can’t believe his luck. He wins, either way. But a darkened garden, a case of mistaken identity, a drunken kiss, and a dropped emerald earring, leads Henry on a Cinderella hunt. He knows the woman he held in his arms could be the one he's searched for all his life. He just has to find her.
Lady Amy Shipton is determined to marry for love instead of sharing her husband like her mother did. So why did she let her handsome neighbor and romantic fantasy, the Sinful Saint as he's called for his bedroom prowess, seduce her in his garden? And what can she do when in the middle of their passionate encounter; he whispers another woman's name. Now Henry is hunting the owner of the earring Amy left behind, and she's determined to retrieve it before her identity is revealed. She's not about to give her father the ammunition he desperately wants to force her down the aisle.
Available for Kindle, Nook, and Kobo


Nice Girl:  I received a copy of the book for review and I could not put it down! The characters had wit and spark and even their names were unique (no clichéd Nicholas and Sophie here!). The plot rolled along and the fact that this was a fun spin on Cinderella was very much appreciated. This is not your daughter’s fairy tale; this is for grown up big girls only!!

Since, we are all grownups here (or at least we pretend to be), what is your favourite adult beverage?

Bronwen: Pimms and Ginger Ale. Pimms is a very English drink which I believe is gin based. They make up large jugs of it with ice. It’s a summer drink with loads of mint and strawberries thrown in the jug. They drink it at Wimbledon, Henley and Ascot etc... It’s very dangerous because it’s like drinking a soft drink (pop) but it’s full of alcohol. Here’s a link to learn more – it really is delicious

Nice Girl: That sounds delicious! I have heard of Pimm’s and ever so often a celebrity chef with offer it off as a cocktail, so I always have an eye out for it, I’ve wanted to try it for ages!

When writing the book, did you have certain celebrities in mind for the characters? On that same now, are the Character's names influenced by celebs in any way?

Bronwen: I usually don’t picture a celebrity until after my heroes have invaded my head. Once I’ve got to know them better I sometimes compare them to a living person.

Henry would definitely be played by Philip Winchester, Leontes in Camelot (in Regency historical romances the men are always a bit older). I think he’s so sexy. Amy would be played by Nina Dobrev from The Vampire Diaries. Sassy, strong and gorgeous. Can you see them together?

As for their names – they usually just come to me and once I’ve named them that’s it. I can’t think of them as anyone else. My agent once wanted me to change one of my hero’s names and I just couldn’t!



Nice Girl: As a fellow Canadian girl, I love your choice of Nina Dobrev, she’s perfect for the character! I just had to Google and ogle Philip Winchester. Very nice pairing!

Have you ever found yourself falling in love with your Hero?

Bronwen: I fall in love with all my heroes. It makes for a very happy life. Seriously if I don’t’ fall in love with them, why would my readers? What I find really sad is that when each book is completed, I have to leave them behind while I begin another love affair with my next hero. That’s why I love writing a series. I get to keep my band of gorgeous men for a while longer!

Nice Girl: You've traveled the world, but returned to your home of New Zealand; do you have a favourite spot along the way that holds a place in your heart?

Bronwen: I love so many different countries for much different reasons. I did a safari in Kenya and I loved it because it was with my mother who is a zoologist. She’d always wanted to see Africa and it was a delight to travel with someone so knowledgeable. I had a month long stay in Turks and Caicos – a small island in the Caribbean. It was paradise on earth and I met rock bands and film stars (it’s a tax haven). I did a trip to Russia in 1989 and saw firsthand how communism didn’t work. I’ve never seen such happy people who had so little. Each place is special because of someone I met or something I learned or the people I traveled with.

Nice Girl:  Sounds like you have had some amazing experiences.

My daughter and I went to a book signing recently (YA Paranormal) and she was thrilled to be able to ask her favourite authors a question, so I'll ask you her same question, do you have a favourite genre of books that you like to read? (yes, she really used the word genre)

Bronwen: I do read across loads of genres BUT I LOVE Regency historical or historical in general. The world was in major change in the 1800’s. It leads to really rich worlds and fascinating characters.

Nice Girl: I agree! 

I love that this is a Cinderella story; do you have a favourite story princess? Or is there one that you relate to the most?

Bronwen: Great question! I love Drew Barrymore’s version of Cinderella-Ever After. I have it on DVD and I watch it a lot. She’s sassy, intelligent, strong, and of course what’s not to love about her hero played by Dougray Scott. He’s gorgeous. And I love his Scottish accent.

Nice Girl: Oh, yes! A world of yes! LOL

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog Bronwen, it was so much fun!!

To celebrate the release of To Challenge The Earl of Cravenswood, Bronwen has some giveaways!  

For visiting today, comment below, and tell us your favourite Cinderella story, and we’ll draw one lucky winner who’ll receive an eBook copy of To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood. 
Open internationally.

There is an overall blog tour grand prize of a $30 Amazon or B&N gift card.
Open internationally



Giveaway will run until November 30th.

Want to check out Bronwen’s other books?

(From the publisher)

Invitation to Ruin:

One Good Lady Is About to Go Bad. . .
The only thing Miss Melissa Goodly has ever wanted out of a marriage is love. But any hope of that dissolves one wild night, when she loses herself in the arms of the most irresistible--and unobtainable--man in all of England. For when they are discovered in a position as compromising as it is pleasurable, she has no choice but to accept his proposal.

Avowed bachelor Anthony Craven, Earl of Wickham, never meant to seduce an innocent like Melissa. Yet now that the damage is done, it does seem like she'd make a very convenient wife. After all, she is so naive he won't have to worry about ever being tempted. Or so he thinks, until the vows are spoken and they are left alone--and his new bride reveals a streak just as brazen and unrestrained as his own. . .

Available in paperback, as well as for Kindle, Nook, and Kobo



To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield (Wicked Wagers Book 1, Novella):

Let the Wicked Wagers Begin...
Lady Caitlin Southall's temper has finally got the better of her. She's challenged Harlow Telford, the Duke of Dangerfield, the most notorious rake in all of England, to a wager. She wants her house back. The one her destitute father lost to Dangerfield in a card game. But if she doesn't win their bet, she not only loses her home, she loses her dignity and pride and damn it all, maybe her heart... For the handsome Duke has decreed, when he wins, she must spend the night in his bed.

Harlow Telford is amused by his hellion neighbor, Caitlin, or Cate to her friends, who seem to encompass everyone on earth except him. When she bursts into one of his private gatherings, he mistakes her for the entertainment. Her slap across his face sets him straight and raises the absurd desire to seduce the unconventional beauty into his bed. When she issues her daft challenge to win back her father's pile of rubble, the terms are set. And he'll do anything to win--except fall in love...

Available for Kindle, Nook, and Kobo


 To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone (Wicked Wagers Book 2, Novella):
They Say Revenge is Sweet…
Marcus Danvers, the Marquis of Wolverstone, is renowned for his cynical demeanor. It's rumored that long ago, a beautiful woman broke his heart. Now he lives life for pleasure. He’s the consummate, handsome rake. If anyone tries to get too close—let’s just say his bark is as bad as his bite. That is, until the beautiful, as she is deceitful, Contessa Orsini re-enters his life with a wager he cannot resist. When he wins, he’ll have Sabine exactly where he wants her—in his bed and at his mercy.

Forced to return to England and avenge her father’s death, Sabine knows the one person who can help her is the only man she has ever loved—Marcus. The man who hates her with as much passion as he once loved her. But Marcus doesn’t know that by winning the wager he’ll also be getting his revenge. For there are some secrets best left buried…

Available for Kindle, Nook, and Kobo



Invitation to Scandal:

Her secrets are coming undone...
Plagued by scandalous rumors, Rheda Kerrich will stop at nothing to restore her reputation and make an honest living for herself-and she's determined to do it without a husband. But times are hard, and smuggling is a risky though profitable trade. So when a dashing agent for the English government catches her in the act, she desperately resists his charms and conceals her illicit profession. Until she realizes he may be the key to her ultimate freedom-and unbridled passion...

Rufus Knight, Viscount Strathmore, has never had trouble beguiling the ladies of Kent. When his search for "Dark Shadow," a cunningly elusive smuggler, leads him to alluring and headstrong Rhe, her objections to his amorous advances merely incite a tantalizing game of cat and mouse. Soon, they'll find the very secrets driving them apart could ensnare them in a love they can't escape...

Available in paperback, as well as for Kindle, Nook, and Kobo


Want to know more about Bronwen? 
Visit her Website, Find her on Twitter stalk her of Facebook, she is also on Goodreads! Or, if you feel like it, she loves to hear from her readers, send her an email romance@bronwenevans.com

Don’t forget to check out tomorrow’s stop on Bronwen’s Wicked Wagers Blog Tour, Romantic Crush Junkies!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Dukes and Rakes and Scoundrels... Oh My!


I like to read. I like to read A LOT. I especially like to read Romance. 
Over the years I have found some favourite authors, some I have grown out of and some that I will stay with and read forever, but I am always on the hunt for new authors and new styles.
Sometimes it is a complete disaster and I either force myself to finish the book or I just give up because I can’t take it anymore.
Sometimes, there is magic. 
Once in a while you can find an author that has a gift and you know that this is someone you will stay with and eventually fill a shelf with. Earlier this year I discovered such an author; Vicky Dreiling. I know I’m not alone in this because she was nominated for three (yes, three!) RITA Awards (that’s like the Oscars of the Romance writing world.)

(from the publisher)
Triple Rita®-finalist Vick Dreiling is a confirmed historical romance junkie and Anglophile. Frequent business trips to the UK allowed her to indulge her passion for all things Regency England. Bath, Stonehenge, and Spencer House are among her favorite places. She is, however, truly sorry for accidentally setting off a security alarm in Windsor Castle. That unfortunate incident led her British colleagues to nickname her “Trouble”. A native Texan, she holds degrees in English literature and marketing.

Vicky is a Texas Lady, with the heart of a Regency Grand Dame. I image that at birth she must have been visited by fairies who sprinkled her with fairy-dust and gifted her with beauty and art of weaving a story. In a past life she was most likely the Belle of the Ball (although secretly a hoyden and bluestocking!)
Her close friends may call her Trouble, but with her wicked and witty characters and naughty scenes, to me, she must be a Vixen. (Her creation of Man Candy Mondays is proof enough of that!)

Vicky’s first novel was published January of 2011. How to Marry a Duke was soon followed by How to Seduce a Scoundrel (July 2011) and How to Ravish a Rake earlier this year. 
Take a peek below to know more! 
As well, I am re-reading them all so keep an eye out for my reviews over the next few days!

(From the publisher)
How to Marry a Duke:
Tristan, the Duke of Shelbourne is a man with a mission: find a wife he can tolerate as long as they both shall live. No love is necessary—nor desired. But how to choose amid a dizzying array of wealthy-yet-witless candidates? Hire London’s infamously prim and proper matchmaker. Then pretend she’s not the most captivating woman he’s ever met . . .
Helping a devilish Duke create a contest to pick his perfect mate is the kind of challenge Tessa Mansfield relishes. Her methods may be scandalous, but she’s determined to find the notorious bachelor more than a wife—she’ll bring him true love. Yet when Tessa watches the women vie for the Duke’s affections, she longs to win his heart herself. And after a stolen kiss confirms Tristan’s desire, Tessa knows she has broken a matchmaker’s number one rule: never fall in love with the groom.


How to Seduce a Scoundrel:
SCOUNDRELS, RAKES, AND ROGUES BEWARE Lady Julianne Gatewick is in a pickle. It started when her brother’s best friend—for whom she’s long nursed a secret tendre—agreed to act as her guardian for the Season, only to seduce her with a risqué waltz.

But when the music stopped and the expectant ton waited for the Earl of Hawkfield to claim her as his own, he made his disinterest clear. Rather than succumb to humiliation, Julianne does what any recently discarded, wickedly witty young miss would do. She secretly pens a lady’s guide to enticing unrepentant rakes . . . and it becomes the hottest scandal in London.

Every honourable rake knows that friends’ sisters are forbidden. But suddenly Julianne has a spark of mischief in her eyes that Hawk can’t resist. Try as he might to push her away, he spends his days listening for her laughter and his nights dreaming of her kisses. He’s always avoided innocents and their marriage-minded mothers, but has the man least likely to wed finally met his match?


How to Ravish a Rake:
SCANDALOUS DESIRES Amy Hardwick has one last Season to shake off her wallflower image and make a love match. If she can’t, she’ll set aside her dreams of romance and return home to a suitor who can provide security—if little else. What she doesn’t count on is the inappropriate—and irresistible—attention lavished on her in a darkened library by rake extraordinaire Will “The Devil” Darcett.
When Will is caught in a tryst with the ton’s shyest miss, he knows he must offer for her hand. Yet Amy is not the shrinking violet she seems to be. Passion lies beneath her prim exterior and Will is eager to release it. But winning Amy isn’t simply a matter of seduction; first, Will must convince her that he’s mended his wicked ways . . .



And now there is a new addition! Released just this week an e-novella starring characters we know and love and new ones who will claim our hearts.

A SEASON FOR SIN:
Introducing the Sinful Scoundrels... The Earl of Bellingham is nothing if not a creature of habit: money, meals, and mistresses must be strictly managed if a man is to have a moment's peace. It's a system that works splendidly for him--until now. With his oldest and dearest friends succumbing, one by one, to wedded bliss, Bell is now restless and a trifle lonely. Enter the Sinful Scoundrels--Colin Brockhurst, Earl of Ravenshire, and Harry Norcliffe, Viscount Evermore--who drag him back into society and draw his rakish eye to the ton's new beautiful young widow. Bell isn't after a wife, but a challenge. And Laura Davenport should fit the bill quite nicely...
Available for KindleNook, and iBooks

To celebrate the launch of Vicky’s new novella her publisher has specially priced How to Marry a Duke (the booked that launched it all!) For $2.99 you can start at the very beginning. 
This is available for all e-reader formats!
KindleNookiTunesKobo, and Sony (note: at time of posting Sony was not yet updated)

What's next? Keep an eye out next spring for What a Wicked Duke Wants (Dukes as a rule are delightful, but a Wicked Duke is delicious!) 

For readers such as myself, we think of our authors as Rockstars, and Miss Vicky Dreiling is a Regency Rockstar. With fellow author Kieran Kramer, Vicky has a street team, of which I am a proud member. This group (lead by the amazing and fantastic Kati Rodriguez) has allowed me to get to know Vicky and to call her friend.

Additionally, in honour of the release of A Season for Sin Vicky is giving away some swag! 
  • 1 set of romance trading cards
  • 1 signed bookplate
  • 2 bookmarks


If you have seen her book covers (you have, look up!) you know that the cover art is beautiful, that same art is on the cards and bookmarks (so lush and pretty!) I have some myself and love to look at them and use them (but then I also have a bookmark fetish, don’t judge!)

To win, comment below and tell me why you love Vicky’s books or tell me about another author you may have discovered and loved this year.
To sweeten the deal, if I have 15 or more comments, I will personally gift one of you with a Kindle version of How to Marry a Duke or A Season for Sin (winner’s choice!)
Giveaway will run until September 30th.

 And if we all think happy thoughts, maybe Vicky will pop in below to say hello!

Want to know more about Vicky? 
Visit her Website, Find her on Twitter (this is where you may find the above mentioned Man Candy), stalk her of Facebook, she is also on Pinterest and Goodreads



Friday, 3 August 2012

Book Review: The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner



Format: eBook via Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Imprint: Atria Books

From the Publisher: Actors aren't the only ones trying to make it in Hollywood.…At twenty-three, Ruth Saunders left her childhood home in Massachusetts and headed west with her seventy-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to make it as a screenwriter. Six years later, she hits the jackpot when she gets The Call: the sitcom she wrote, The Next Best Thing, has gotten the green light, and Ruthie’s going to be the showrunner. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on her boss, and her grandmother’s impending nuptials. 

Set against the fascinating backdrop of Los Angeles show business culture, with an insider’s ear for writer’s room showdowns and an eye for bad backstage behavior and set politics, Jennifer Weiner’s new novel is a rollicking ride on the Hollywood roller coaster, a heartfelt story about what it’s like for a young woman to love, and lose, in the land where dreams come true.



I am going to be honest, up until this book I have never read anything by Jennifer Weiner. It's not that I set out not too or was avoiding her books (I even have a couple on my shelves) I just never got around to it. While I really liked this book, it hasn't made me run out to buy all of her books, but I will make a point of actually reading the ones I do have.

Ms. Weiner has created an interesting story with likable characters. Main Character Ruth Saunders is all grown up, but with a disfigured face (the product of a childhood car accident and the subsequent surgeries) she still feels like the ugly girl in a world of pretty girls. Ruth lives with her grandmother and uses their life experiences for a sitcom she created; The Next Best Thing. I loved her grandmother, she is the heart of the story, always making sure Ruth eats well, wants to hear about her day, her grandmotherly pride shines.
As with any experience there are ups and downs for Ruth as she tried to launch her show, but it all ends up neat and tidy in the end.

Ms. Weiner uses her real life experience to create this story. Back in 2010/2011 she co-created  “State of Georgia” (originally titled The Great State of Georgia.) The pilot was picked up and 11 episodes ran but was then cancelled. Raven-Symoné was cast as the lead; a character who was originally imagined as "plus-sized" and Jewish, which the newly svelte starlet was not (this is an issue that was eventually crafted as a plot-point for the The Next Best Thing)

I liked this book. It was light and comfortable.There were no gut clenching "uh-ohs" and parts that made me smile while reading them, this is definitely a book that I would recommend.

The Next Best Thing is available for purchase on amazon.com, and later this month on amazon.ca as well as other book retailers.


Saturday, 14 July 2012

Winner, Winner!!! My first ever WINNER!!












We have a WINNER!!!

Thank you to everyone who came, followed and commented!

The WINNER of My Birthday Giveaway is........

Herding Cats - Burning Soup!!!!!

Anna, please send an email to morgan.walters1980@gmail.com 
Please send me your email address and which Kindle book you would like from any of the following authors: Stefanie Sloane, Julia Quinn, Maya Rodale, Vicky Dreiling, Kieran Kramer, Maggie Shayne or Delilah Marvelle.


Everyone else, I will do another giveaway next month, for a Pride and Prejudice Mug, plus assorted swag and samples I may get my hands on at the CGTA Gift Show.  I love it!!!

Every Little Thing She Does is Magic!

UPDATE: Today is the last day to enter the Enter the Portal contest.
4 questions, 4 chances to win and a couple of FREE BOOKS!
It's a great opportunity to win.

Tomorrow is release day for Legacy of the Witch!
Pre-order on amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com, it is FREE!
Twilight Phantasies











Author Spotlight: Maggie Shayne - Part 1

I have had a 17 year love affair with an author, that's more than half my life, longer than I've know my husband, this is the real thing. When I think books about Vampires or Witches, I think Maggie Shayne.

While she has many stand alone stories, by true love is for her Vampire Series and her Immortal Witches series.

Wings in the Night

You will find no sparkly Vampires here.

It all began in 1993 with Twilight Phantasies and now has 18 stories,  the latest Twilight Fulfilled came out in October of last year. The series tells the stories of a family of vampires and their mortal friends and family. Ms. Shayne has created a compelling cast of characters. The Vampires are not demons, but humans who had a rare Belladonna antigen in their blood, the very thing that helps them transform, without the transformation they usually die young.
There is a common enemy in each book, D.P.I. (the Dept. of Paranormal Investigations)
Many of the characters weave in and out of each book in a beautiful tapestry, we meet some character when they are quite young and watch as they grow up through the series to become integral parts of the whole.
I'll be honest and admit that I don't love all of the books, but there are many of the books that I LOVE, so that more than makes up for it. As a whole, this series is my favorite of all Vampire series.
The stories do not get muddied up by werewolves or zombies, this is pure Vampire, and the OG Vampire of pop-culture Dracula does make an appearance along the way, but Ms. Shayne's Vampires go back much further.
Twilight FulfilledThere are twists and turns and surprises in every book, magic and mayhem, but there is heart. While they may be Romances there is more to it, these characters breathe. They are so much more than words on paper; they are sisters, brothers, mothers, daughters, friends.


All of the Wings in the Night books are available on Kindle and other eBook retailers, some of the later books are still available in paperback. If you can, pick one up and dive on in; you won't regret it.







I am eagerly awaiting what Ms. Shayne has coming up next, her new series; The Portal






The series will begin with a FREE ebook prequel, LEGACY OF THE WITCH on September 1st, 2012.  





Book 1, MARK OF THE WITCH goes on sale on September 18th, 2012.  

This is the story of Indira.




Book 2, DAUGHTER OF THE SPELLCASTER hits the stands on November 20th.  
This is Magdalena’s story.  




Book 3, BLOOD OF THE SORCERESS releases January 20th.  
This story belongs to Lilia.




And just in time for Halloween; THE MAGICK OF THE WITCHES: Maggie’s non-fiction book about witchcraft, magick, how and why it works, with spells and rituals to enhance anyone’s practice, will be available in E and print editions.

For more on the series and the magic of Maggie Shayne, check out theportalbooks.com or this amazing book trailer: 


Thursday, 12 July 2012

Likes, and Shares, and Comments, oh my!

You know that scene in Annie (the original movie, not any of the remakes), Daddy Warbucks has just given Grace the okay to keep Annie and she's dancing around in that wispy yellow dress, singing "We Got Annie"? That is exactly how I feel right now, I have Followers and Comments!



A big thank you! to everyone who has stopped by and spread the word.

I will do the draw on Saturday and hope to do other giveaways soon!

xoxo

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Getting Hot in the Kitchen with Bobby Flay

So, I bought myself the Bar Americain Cookbook by Bobby Flay. I adore him.
Last summer I went to New York City for the first time, one of my musts was to eat at a Bobby Flay restaurant, I chose Bar Americain. Oh my God it was good.
Here and there I have been slowly trying some of the recipes, most to pretty good success.

The first one I did was the Black Pepper Vinegar sauce (also with mustard). I very carefully selected and purchased the ingredients. (The first time I tried this sauce last year I used a grainy mustard and regular vinegar, it did not turn out well.) I did it! Here was the sauce I remembered, tangy, smooth and delicious. I could bathe in this sauce. I wasn't able to make the Smoked Chicken that the sauce usually accompanies but did use another Bobby Flay chicken recipe. I may have cooked at too high a temperature on the barbecue, the outside had a hard black layer, but inside was perfection! Sweet and juicy, exactly how you want chicken to be.



The next recipe I tried I had to modify a little, it was the Blackberry-Bourbon Julep.
My daughter chose this as her drink of choice for her birthday party. The fact that she's twelve meant that I had to omit the bourbon and double up on the club soda. The recipe is a little time consuming and a little messy but well worth it.
I used regular ice cubes instead of shaved ice and served it in a pitcher and it was beautiful and delicious. The sweet of the berries, the cool refreshing taste of the mint, I will make this again and again.

There is more, but I will save them for next time. It's getting hot and hungry in here!

Book Review: The Siren by Tiffany Reisz

“I know people think erotica is just a romance novel with rougher sex. It's not. If it's a sub-genre of anything, it's horror.

Horror? Really?

Romance is sex plus love. Erotica is sex plus fear.”



The Siren by Tiffany Reisz


Format: eBook via Netgalley
Publisher: Harlequin


The problem with this book is that it's well written. Ms. Reisz has created a multifaceted like-able character in Nora. Like me, she can be snarky and sarcastic, but also be soft as a marshmallow. For her public persona she always wears red, but at home she's usually in PJs, so far I am in!
Unlike a traditional Romance there is not one clear "Hero", in The Siren there are three potential men (and one boy, but I'm staying away from that.) This is not a Romance Novel.
Bachelor #1 is her former Dom (Dominant) Soren. He too has conflicting public and private personas.
Bachelor #2 is her new editor Zachary. He is separated from his wife and initially not interested in being Nora's editor.
Bachelor #3 is Wesley. He lives with Nora. I think of him as Nora's moral compass, her heart. He's also younger and a virgin. He was my favorite.

Each man is right and wrong for her on many levels.

Just like this book was right and wrong for me on so many levels.
I enjoyed most of the characters, I enjoyed the witty, snarky, funny banter. I enjoyed Ms. Reisz writing. The book was not dripping with sex on every page, but Nora does get quite a lot of action.

This is the first BDSM Erotica I have read, it differs greatly from the Erotica Novellas I have read before. As I mentioned, it was well written, Ms. Reisz has a gift with words. She has crafted a story and created characters that anyone could become obsessed with. Unfortunately, to use the words of our main character, Nora, I'm just too vanilla. I was uncomfortable with much of the BDSM scenes and stories included, sure anyone with a healthy sex life is up for a little adventure, but it was too much for me.

Every other review I have read sings the praises of this book, and it's true, Ms. Reisz has talent, she's brilliant, and an expert in her field. I would love to read more about Nora and hope that eventually she'll ride Wesley into the sunset, but if I'm going to make it though the strong subject matter I am going to need a blankie, a therapist on speed dial and a really really good Safe Word.

The Siren is available for purchase on amazon.com, and later this month on amazon.ca as well as other book retailers.

It's July, How the Hell Did That Happen?

Life is a funny thing, there will be moments that last (ie: drag) forever, and then it all whips by.

Last week was my birthday, my 32nd birthday. How did that happen?
To celebrate, albeit belatedly, everyone who follows and comments on the blog between now and Sunday July 15th will be entered in my Birthday Giveaway. One lucky winner will get to chose a Kindle format book from a selection of my favorite authors: Stefanie Sloane, Julia Quinn, Maya Rodale, Vicky Dreiling, Kieran Kramer, Maggie Shayne or Delilah Marvelle. (This is in no way endorsed by any of the authors or their publishers, just me spreading the birthday love.)



Here is a once in a blue moon picture of me, celebrating my birthday out with a friend, white sangria does no wrong!

I am about to post my first book reviews, something that I had intended to do a month ago, but it's ready now. Please be kind.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

When Life Gives you Lemons,

I'm sorry that I have been MIA recently, life just has a way of getting in the way, pardon the pun.
My youngest has been quite sick and I have been with her since my last post, some of the time was spent at the Children's Hospital. She's on the mend now and we hope to try going back to daycare tomorrow.

I thank you for your patience and how to give you more soon.


Friday, 1 June 2012

Cocktail Hour


It’s Friday and time to kick up our heels!
I may not have the book reviews up by I can certainly share a couple of my cocktail pairings.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness -  My choice cocktail is a Chambord Champagne cocktail.
The book has a very large French influence as does this drink. It’s a perfect blend of smooth, sweet, and surprises. Every sip is magic and if it hits the right way, fireworks!



The Siren by Tiffany Reisz – My Choice cocktail is a Spicy Jalapeno Mary.
The main character is infamous for only wearing red in public, hence a red drink. While the book, like this drink is not my “cup of tea” there are those that will keep coming back to it. The spiciness stings your tongue into submission like a whip. And then there’s the alcohol, the booze, reminding us that there is always a reason we do something, however much it hurts, be it love or getting drunk



Have a great weekend!

Fun Stuff!

I love following my favourite authors. It is so much fun to know what they are up to in real life and it is more than awesome being able to interact with them. Twitter and Facebook conversations are the closest thing I have to a coffee date, but maybe one day it will happen (I've met some of my favourite Star Trek actors at conventions, so you never know.)

I am excited to say that I have joined a couple Street Teams (via Facebook) today I'll be spreading the word for Maggie Shayne. Have you read any of her books? I love them.
She may be most well know for her Wings in the Night series, for me this was the original Twilight Series as most of the titles include Twilight (Twilight Illusions, Twilight Hunger, Born in Twilight, etc...) and yes, they are about Vampires. I love these books and am proud to say that I have them in multiple formats.

Some exciting news for lovers of Maggie Shayne today:

Today is the launch date for Maggie Shayne's new site, dedicated to her upcoming series, THE PORTAL from MIRA Books, and the premier of the video trailer for Book 1, MARK OF THE WITCH
Also launching Today, her Blissful Secrets Savenger Hunt contest, in cooperation with authors Teresa Medeiros, Shelly Thacker, Jane Porter and Susan Mallery. Readers find each of five "Blissful Secrets" (one on each authors FB page) and paste them all into a single email to enter. Grand prize at month's end, a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet, winner's choice. Details at the site. There's much more going on with Maggie this month, so stay tuned.
The Portal Series Site: www.thePortalBooks.com