Wednesday, November 19, 2014

THE FABERGE SECRET by Stephanie Burkhart: Book Review and Giveaway

Kinky Vanilla is pleased to share The Faberge Secret by Stephanie Burkhart, a contemporary romance novella available now from Desert Breeze Publishing.

Stephanie will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Starbucks GC to a randomly drawn host. Click on the banner to visit other stops on this tour. Be sure to follow the tour and comment. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

The Faberge Secret by Stephanie Burkhart

Elise Goodwin operates a heritage museum in Brattleboro, Vermont. Needing to buy some items for her museum, she travels to Boston and acquires a delicious surprise that would excite any curator – a Faberge Egg.

Enter Russian businessman Dimitri Romanov, the true owner of the jewel. He's following a lead hoping to reacquire his stolen egg when he bumps into Elise. He can't hide his attraction to the petite brunette with doe-like eyes. 

Dimitri's rival, Gustav Kelch, wants the rare Faberge jewel and will do anything to find it, including destroying Dimitri's life. Can Dimitri keep Elise and his Faberge heirloom safe or will his attraction place their lives in jeopardy?


His gaze was as soft as a caress. He reached out and tucked a stray tendril of hair behind her ear. Then slowly, he curved his hand around the nape of her neck and moved closer so there was no space between them.

Their lips skirted each other's, teasing, tempting... until Dimitri's mouth finally captured hers in a drugging kiss.

His lips were firm and persuasive. He smelled of soap and sandalwood. Something intense flared within her, and she fisted her hands around the lapels of his coat. Her body betrayed her desire. His erection pressed against her thigh.

All of a sudden, an all-crushing fear consumed her. He was hard for her. It was too soon, too fast. She broke the kiss and pushed him away.

"Elise--" Dimitri began.


Elise's heart jumped. She swung around and looked at the door.

It stood ajar.

"Lucy!" Elise forgot all about Dimitri's kiss and rushed inside with him right behind her. Concern spiked within her the second she saw Lucy.

Her friend's hands and feet were tied to a chair, and a gag was in her mouth. The room had been trashed. Their suitcases had been turned over; their clothes and books tossed haphazardly about.

Fear knotted inside Elise. She rushed to the chair and took off Lucy's gag. Dimitri untied the knots at Lucy's feet, concern for her friend evident in his eyes. Elise was thrilled that Dimitri had helped her with no hesitation or reservations.

"What happened?" Elise asked. "Who did this?"

"They were looking for the egg," Lucy said. She glanced at Dimitri, but instead of her earlier resistance to him, gratefulness filled her gaze.

Dimitri froze and glanced up, his stare drilling into Elise. "Egg? A Faberge egg?"

Elise loosened one of the ropes around Lucy's hand and looked at Dimitri, perplexed. "What do you know about Faberge eggs?"

He muttered something in Russian, finished untying the knot around Lucy's other ankle, and stood, straightening his shoulders.

"That's what I lost. What I've been looking for -- my Faberge egg."


At just 88 pages, The Faberge Secret hit the right notes with me. I am fond of shiny things, historical tidbits, steamy romance, and Russian accents.

I didn't know a lot about Faberge eggs before reading this story. The author did a good job of weaving in historical information with the romance and adventure. I liked being able to learn a little bit about Faberge eggs and related Russian history along with the heroine, Elise.

I also really liked Elise's willingness to put herself out there in spite of the risks to her safety and her heart. If placed in similar situations, I would probably choose the conservative route and miss out on all of the danger, excitement, and heady romance. Where's the fun in that? Seize the day! And that hunky cerulean-eyed Russian!

FYI - There is a bit of insta-love going on here, but it works for the story.

The Faberge Secret is a fast and fun read. I think fans of contemporary romance will enjoying spending an afternoon with Dimitri and Elsie.

I wonder if Lucy, Elise's best friend, will get her own story?


Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. After serving 11 years in the US Army she currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate, is addicted to coffee and enjoys early morning walks. She's also an assistant den leader for her son's Cub Scout den and is a Boy Scout mom. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children's books published with 4RV Publishing.














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Last month I featured another book written by Stephanie, The Wolf's Torment. It is a paranormal romance that's also available now from Desert Breeze Publishing.

You can check out an excerpt from The Wolf's Torment here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pitch Imperfect by Elise Alden: Author Interview and Giveaway

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share Pitch Imperfect by Elise Alden, a contemporary romance released last month from Carina Press. This interview post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Prizes for the tour are as follows:

• One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.
• One randomly chosen host will receive a $25 Amazon/ gift card.

Click on the banner to visit other stops on this tour. Be sure to follow the tour and comment. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

Pitch Imperfect by Elise Alden

Once-famous singer Anjuli Carver has returned to tiny Heaverlock Village alone and nearly broke. She’s poured every last penny into a rambling Victorian manor, hoping to start over. Trouble is, her money pit is falling to pieces and the only restoration architect for miles is Rob Douglas…her ex-fiancĂ©. 

For eight years, Rob has regretted not telling Anjuli why he never answered her letters. Being left at the altar broke his heart, but being used for sex one night in London after the fact nearly drove him to the edge of sanity, and he’ll be damned if he allows Anjuli to wreak havoc on his life again. He’ll restore her manor, all right, and give her taste of her own medicine while he’s at it. 

But how long can revenge last when memories of their shared past keep rushing to the surface? 

Soon, Rob wants answers. Why did Anjuli leave the international spotlight to become a recluse in the Scottish Borderlands? And why does she refuse to sing? Anjuli wants nothing more than to be left alone with her grief, even as she struggles to keep her sexy fantasies about Rob in check. With gossipy villagers, interfering friends and more secrets between them than notes on a scale, Anjuli and Rob will need to find forgiveness in order to work together, then decide if they’re willing to risk it all on an encore performance.


What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?

I’m currently writing my next new adult novel, provisionally titled, Clueless, and the next book in the Scottish Borders series, Blown Away. I also write sci-fi and speculative romance under pen name Sienna Bronwyn. My sexy off second book in my sexy off-beat trilogy, Supernova Secret, will be released in May, 2015. The first book, Black Hole Bounty, is already available at the usual e-tailers.

Here’s the blurb:

Destiny is written in the stars? Maybe, but when you’re in a black hole you make your own damn destiny.

It’s not every day you get abducted by an alien general, but then, Jerusa Whichab isn’t having an average day. Earth is fading from view and she’s got a decision to make—cooperate with her despotic, yet unnervingly attractive captor or receive an injection of goo. General Toyeb can’t be trusted, and his body-healing, mind-blowing Theta waves leave her panting for more. But what choice does she have if she’s to stay alive?

None, if enemy bounty hunter Berwyck dal Korth has his way. Intent on capturing Jerusa, he performs a binding ritual to ensure she cannot escape him—a ritual with unforeseen side effects for both of them. Forced into hostile proximity, Berwyck and Jerusa battle to subdue their rising attraction, but will they conquer their desire—or succumb?

What song would you choose for Karaoke?

I had to smile at this question since I promised my husband I’d never sing Karaoke again. The last time I attempted Karaoke was on an almost empty ferry from Tokyo to Hokkaido before our children were born. The boat was almost empty and we’d found a small salon with a Karaoke machine. My husband did Skyline Pigeon and attracted two or three other passengers who smiled and clapped. Then it was my turn, and I tried to sing La Isla Bonita because I thought my tone deaf and squeaky voice could handle it. Never. Again. All of a sudden the ship started rocking back and forth, something was announced in Japanese and the three other people ran out of the room. We did too, and spent the night with life jackets on near the assembly point, on tenterhooks because we’d hit a typhoon and might have to ditch the ferry. So now I’m not allowed to do Karaoke.

Do you like to dance?

I love dancing! It’s one of my favourite pastimes. You name it I will give it a go, and my Chicken Dance is second to none. Rhythms that really get me going, though, are latin: salsa, meringue, cumbia. Salsa is my dance music of preference when I am feeling down or in need of an instant pick-me-up. I salsa when I am feeling happy or want to celebrate something. It’s the music I danced to when I received my first offer of publication from Carina Press, a few seconds after my daughters and I squealed and jumped up and down. Time was when I’d spend every Friday and Saturday night dancing until the salsa clubs closed in London, but now I live in rural Scotland and must content myself with cajoling my Scottish hubby to shake his stuff in the sitting room when I’m in the mood. FYI, whisky helps loosen stiff British hips.

Can you describe your dream home?

My dream home would have the elegance and spaciousness of an Edwardian manor with all the mod cons of a futuristic, high tech spaceship. Bonus points if it could take me on a whirl to the stars. It needn’t be large, but a big kitchen is a must. My husband and I are sociable people and we tend to throw big parties. Made from thick stone, my dream home would have wooden floors and lots of wall space for paintings and colourful art, and it would have to fit my grand piano. No space for the piano would be a deal-breaker, regardless of any galaxy-hopping capability. All the bedrooms would be en-suites, and as for the mod cons, it would be computerized so that my shopping list was always updated, a message sent to a supermarket that delivers so that we never have to go food shopping unless it’s to a deli. And as soon as I walked into the front door a panel would open up in the wall and out would come either a gin and tonic or a margarita.


Elise reads, writes and revels in romance, and is never happier than when caught up in a heart-thumping, sweat-your-socks-off tale—hers or somebody else’s. She loves creating stories about flawed characters, people for whom love isn’t simply a question of boy-meets-girl, but a gut wrenching journey of transformation.

Author Links:

To find out more about Elise and her books, check out her website . Drop by and say hello on or tweet to her @elise_alden

Book purchase links: Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Barnes and Nobles | Kobo


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Thursday, November 13, 2014

WORDS THAT BIND by Ash Krafton: Excerpt and Giveaway

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share Words That Bind by Ash Krafton, a paranormal romance released last month from The Wild Rose Press. This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Ash will be awarding a $25 gift card to Amazon or BN as well as a unique handmade book-inspired keychain to a randomly drawn commenter and to a randomly drawn host. Click on the banner to visit other stops on this tour. Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

Words That Bind by Ash Krafton

Social worker Tam Kerish can’t keep her cool professionalism when steamy client Mr. Burns kindles a desire for more than a client-therapist relationship—so she drops him. However, they discover she’s the talisman to which Burns, an immortal djinn, has been bound since the days of King Solomon…and that makes it difficult.

Ethical guidelines are unequivocal when it comes to personal relationships with clients. However, the djinn has a thawing effect on the usually non-emotive Tam, who begins to feel true emotion whenever he is near. Tam has to make a difficult choice: to stay on the outside, forever looking in…or to turn her back on her entire world, just for the chance to finally experience what it means to fall in love.


“So. You’ve destroyed a stereotype for me. A genie who lives in a library. Different.”

“When in Rome, no?” He stirred his cup before setting down the spoon with a light clink against the saucer. “Or, I suppose it is more accurate to say when in human form. When I am Burns, I prefer here.”

“Human form.” It didn’t sound right. Who said things like that, and meant it? “Can you change into anything you want? Any shape at all?”

He stretched out his legs and cocked his head, sliding his gaze up and away. “I suppose I could. I’m getting old and set in my ways. There’s this…” He swept his hands down the line of his body.

Her eyes were unable to keep from following, not even when he lingered over his midsection. Even lounging, his shirt was tightly tucked into his beltline. No belly fat there.

He tilted his head and gave her an upper-teeth smile, nibbling gently at his lower lip. “And apparently this form is pleasing to the eye, so I wear it often. But there are others. Tiger, a favorite. Savage and regal and the colors of flames in the night. Fearsome to behold, but very useful when dealing with physical conditions in which a human form may be outmatched. Plus, I can lash my tail.”

His voice took a teasing, conspirator’s tone. “I love my tail. You’d love it too, if you saw it.”

She trained her eyes firmly upon his. No way would she give him the pleasure of checking out his tail.


Ash Krafton is a speculative fiction author from northeastern Pennsylvania. Krafton’s first novel, Bleeding Hearts was published in 2012 as part of an urban fantasy trilogy The Books of the Demimonde (Pink Narcissus Press). An urban fantasy novella, Strangers at the Hell Gate, was published by Wild Rose Press in 2013. Her newest release, Words That Bind, won first place in the HeRA RWA “Show Me the Spark” 2013 competition as well as a Zebulon award in 2014.

Krafton also writes New Adult speculative fiction novels under the pen name AJ Krafton. Upcoming titles include The Heartbeat Thief, Face of the Enemy, and the award-winning Takin’ It Back. She is part of a YA/NA collective known as the Infinite Ink Authors.

In addition to novel-length fiction, Krafton enjoys writing poetry and short prose, some of which earned distinctions in various writing competitions. One of her poems was also nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She’s a proud member of Pennwriters, Romance Writers of America, and Pikes Peak Writers. Krafton also writes for the Query Tracker Blog and the Prose and Cons blog.

She resides with her family in northeast Pennsylvania.






Purchase the Book: The Wild Rose Press | Amazon


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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

$50 Book Blast: The Soul Ajar by Kiana Davenport

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share The Soul Ajar by Kiana Davenport, political thriller/romance novel. Check out the intriguing cover and blurb. Then enter to win a $50 gift card!

 The Soul Ajar The Soul Ajar by Kiana Davenport

From bestselling Hawaiian author, Kiana Davenport, comes 'The Soul Ajar,' a riveting political thriller and love story. Set primarily in contemporary Russia and the United States, here is a novel that brilliantly knits together four seemingly unconnected lives: Adam, a CIA intelligence operative who suffers from albinism, and searches for the Russian assassin who killed his mother, an act he witnessed as a child; Lily, a young Hawaiian-Chinese journalist who falls in love with him; Bazil, an Indian intelligence operative from Mumbai who befriends Adam; and Zahira, a beautiful Afghani girl mutilated by the Taliban. In this searing and multi-faceted novel, Davenport reveals the paths these characters travel as their lives become intertwined in a haunting and timeless story of the love that binds humans together, and the wars that continue to tear us apart.



“A great story written in beautiful prose. It’s been a long time since I cried while reading a novel. Davenport is a brilliant writer.”
-- The Huffington Post

“A powerful story about love and war. Davenport is ingenious in the way she writes.
A novel you are unlikely to ever forget.”
-- Book Reporter

 “A powerful and moving experience.”
-- The Washington Post

 “A lush, ambitious novel that offers a fascinating glimpse into the beauty and contradictions of Native Hawaiian culture.”
-- Publishers Weekly

“Davenport mines the depths of emotion…Readers who enjoy a Doctor Zhivago-like saga will appreciate the broad scope of this novel.”
-- Library Journal

 “Deeply moving. She possesses the qualities all great writers have, compassion for their subjects. You can’t read Kiana Davenport without being transformed.”
-- Alice Walker

“Incredible. Haunting. A powerful tale of love and loss.”
-- Booklist (starred review)

“What separates ‘Song of the Exile’ from popular novels is its intensity of feeling, its sensuous detail on every page, its dedication to a level of writing few bestsellers possess.”
-- Norman Mailer

“Great storytelling! An epic feminine saga…Davenport’s prose is sharp and shining as a sword. Yet her sense of poetry and love of nature permeate each line.”
-- Isabel Allende

“Torrid, yet intelligent. Compares with the fiction of Toni Morrison.”
-- Glamour

 “A giant, image-fevered, luxuriant saga of a Hawaiian family…powerful, memorable, intoxicating!”
-- Kirkus Reviews

Goodreads Book Giveaway

THE SOUL AJAR,  A Love Story by Kiana Davenport


by Kiana Davenport

Giveaway ends December 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Author Kiana Davenport

KIANA DAVENPORT is descended from a full-blooded Native Hawaiian mother, and a Caucasian father from Talladega, Alabama. Her father, Braxton Bragg Davenport, was a sailor in the U.S. Navy, stationed at Pearl Harbor, when he fell in love with her mother, Emma Kealoha Awaawa Kanoho Houghtailing. On her mother's side, Kiana traces her ancestry back to the first Polynesian settlers to the Hawaiian Islands who arrived almost two thousand years ago from Tahiti and the Tuamotu's. On her father's side, she traces her ancestry to John Davenport, the puritan clergyman who co-founded the American colony of New Haven, Connecticut in 1638.

Kiana is the author of the internationally best-selling novels, SHARK DIALOGUES, SONG OF THE EXILE, HOUSE OF MANY GODS, THE SPY LOVER, and most recently, THE SOUL AJAR, now available in paperback and on Kindle. She is also the author of the collections, HOUSE OF SKIN PRIZE-WINNING STORIES, CANNIBAL NIGHTS, PACIFIC STORIES Volume II, and OPIUM DREAMS, PACIFIC STORIES, VOLUME III. All three collections have been Kindle bestsellers. She has also been a guest blogger on Huffington Post.

A graduate of the University of Hawaii, Kiana has been a Bunting Fellow at Harvard University, a Visiting Writer at Wesleyan University, and a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Her short stories have won numerous O. Henry Awards, Pushcart Prizes, and the Best American Short Story Award, 2000. Her novels and short stories have been translated into twenty-one languages. She lives in Hawaii and New York City.

Website * Facebook

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Book Blast Giveaway 

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 11/27/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Inspiring the Temporarily Uninspired by Elle Hill ~ THE TITHE Book Tour (Guest Post & Giveaway)

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share The Tithe by Elle Hill, a sci-fi paranormal romance available now from Soul Mate Publishing. You can purchase the book at Amazon.

This guest post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Elle will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the banner to visit other stops on this tour.

The Tithe by Elle Hill

Every seven years, the towns sacrifice their sick and disabled. No one has ever survived the angels’ harvest. Until now.

“Every seven years, seven persons from each of the ten towns must go into the desert, where they will enter into the realm of Elovah, their God.”

No one knows exactly what happens to these seventy Tithes, but everyone knows who: the “unworkables,” those with differing physical and mental capacities. Joshua Barstow, raised for twenty years among her town’s holy women, is one of these seventy Tithes. She is joined by the effervescent Lynna, the scholarly Avery, and the amoral Blue, a man who has spent most of his life in total solitude.

Each night, an angel swoops down to take one of their numbers. Each night, that is, except the first, when the angel touches Josh… and leaves her. What is so special about Josh? She doesn’t feel special; she feels like a woman trying to survive while finally learning the meanings of friendship, community, and love.

How funny that she had to be sacrificed to find reasons to live.


“I don’t want to die.” The words surprised her, spinning so artlessly from her lips.

“I don’t want you to die,” Blue agreed.

“What about you?” Josh whispered.

He didn’t respond for a long moment. “It doesn’t much matter, I guess.”

“Of course it matters!”

“If you say so,” he said.

“Blue,” she began, and then stopped. “Blue, why? Aren’t you scared?”

His blue eyes remained completely empty. Had his mouth not moved, she might think him a statue. “No.”


“Because I don’t matter. I’ve spent my life existing. Sometimes I think the best thing humanity does is provide sustenance for bacteria and other symbiotes. And then there was here. And you, Joshua Barstow.”

“I’m not special,” she insisted.

“You exist so grandly, so loudly, I can feel you. The air trembles around you. You walk through a room and atoms collide. Everyone here can feel the greatness of your being. They may love you or despise you or want you to lead them, but everyone notices you.”

She exhaled a startled breath. Blue, her friend, her bodyguard, her socially-backward philosopher. Her hand moved to his hair, smoothing through its knots. When her voice returned, she told him, “You matter, Blue.”

“I don’t,” he said gently, as if imparting an uncomfortable truth to a child.

“You matter a lot to me,” she carefully enunciated, unsnarling a particularly knotted tangle.

“Well, then.”

Inspiring the Temporarily Uninspired

by Elle Hill

Writing is not only my craft but my passion. I derive enormous pleasure from toying with words, stacking and fitting them into sentences like Tetris blocks, all the while creating an inspiring and colorful geography. When I write, I am a master conductor, leading an orchestra in making auditory the universe of feelings; I am a painter whose colors stroke the eye, capture the moment, and challenge the mind; I am a teeny, tiny little god who uses a keyboard, black lines on a white background, and her imagination to spin two-dimensional worlds into being.

I really, really like writing.

This is not to say writing comes easily to me. My literary muse - let's call her Shi-Shi, the chubby muse of inspired writing - is way-too-often on break, perhaps on her cell phone with my academic muse, or maybe playing hide-the-catnip-toys (where do those go, anyway?) with one of my cats. So I've grown used to finding inspiration on my own. Oftentimes I just plunk down in front of the computer, forbid myself approximately 813 times the temptation of checking Facebook, and make myself write, sentence by grueling sentence, paragraph by slogging paragraph, until I've finished for the day. Other times I drop with a happy plop in my computer chair and listen to the percussive music of my fingers playing keyboard. (Those latter days, rare and beautiful as they are, rock, by the way.) However, most of the time, I coast between these two extremes, approaching my writing with hope and trepidation and slowly, eventually losing myself in my literary landscape.

I do have a few tips for aspiring writers out there who struggle with their version of the Shi-Shi-less blues. When I'm writing a scene, or multiple scenes, I usually get super stoked right about the time the scene's climax happens. I mean, duh, right? But you know what? I often stop writing for the day during that climax. It's frustrating, sure, but it also makes coming back tomorrow that much easier and more exciting. It also makes for more seamless writing.

That said, sometimes I just can't help it and I end my writing session when the scene ends. Of course, this means tomorrow's writing will take much longer to get into. My rather weak solution is to include a snippet or a reminder at the bottom of my page about what tomorrow's writing will include. I might also pen the first paragraph or two of the next scene. That way, I'm a bit less lost when I sit down the following day and once again snatch up those writing reins.

So, yes, writing is my great passion, my favorite art, my ultimate medium for expression. Alas, it can, on occasion, also be quite tedious and stymieing.

Sometimes it's challenging to be a minor god of a made-up universe.


Born in Idaho during the height of disco, Elle Hill now chicken-pecks at the keyboard while rocking out to Donna Summer and KC and the Sunshine Band. She worked in Idaho for several years as a secretary and journalist before moving to California and selling her soul to academia. After receiving her PhD in Sociology, Elle Hill became a not-so-mild-mannered college instructor by night and a community activist during the remainder of her waking hours. Always a journalist and writer at heart, one of her favorite pastimes includes publishing commentary on the political and social state of the world; some of her thoughts are posted on her blog at

Elle welcomes visitors to her website at She also urges everyone to become a superhero and adopt their next non-human companion from a local animal shelter.




Twitter: @ellehillauthor


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Monday, November 10, 2014

IT TAKES A THIEF by Jean Louise: Book Blast & $15 GC Giveaway

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share It Takes a Thief by Jean Louise, a women's fiction / action / heist book available now. This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.

The author will award a $15 Amazon GC to one randomly selected winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the banner to visit other stops on this tour.

It Takes a Thief by Jean Louise

When you want to do something good, sometimes you need to be a little bad.

Angelina Carr is a thief. Nick Aston is a corporate security consultant. With her special skills, and his professional experience, they’re uniquely qualified to bring down a small-time criminal. The real challenge arises when that simple task gets them mixed up with a big-time mob boss.

In order to solve the problem for good, Gina and Nick have to find a way to bring down the kingpin. Hopefully without anyone getting hurt....


She opened a file drawer and riffled folders back and forth, and then closed the drawer loudly. Then she turned to the desk and picked up Volpin’s phone, careful not to get a dial tone. “Hello, I’m calling about the status of that file we discussed,” she said in a normal speaking voice.

After a second or two of surprised silence, Nick’s voice said uncertainly, “Um, are you talking to me?”

“Yes, of course.”

“Oh. Well, um, let’s see. The file is about ninety percent installed. Ninety-two percent... ninety-five... ninety-eight.... Okay, it’s done. You’re clear.”

“Thank you, I appreciate it.”

“Gina, what is going on? Is someone else there?”

“Yes, unfortunately. But I’ll get that information to you as soon as I can. Thank you.” And she hung up Volpin’s phone loudly.

The small flash drive was already back in her pocket, so Gina picked up the folders she’d been carrying and walked out of the office. Thing One and Thing Two were still in the outer reception area, and even with peripheral vision Gina could see they were showing her more interest than she liked. She tried to sail past them, but Thing One moved to stand in front of her.


I grew up with stories: stories told around the campfire each summer while growing up in New York state; stories read to me by older siblings; stories I read while pretending I, too, was old enough to go to school. And stories I wrote to amuse myself and my family.

Years later, I’m still writing stories.

Since being graduated from college I’ve worked for small business, large corporations, and even the government. I now live in North Carolina, far from those campfires of my childhood. Writing is still in my blood, though, because when you have stories to tell, the characters won’t let you rest until you tell them.

Feel free to contact me at, or on the J.Y. Harris page on Facebook.

Buy Link: Amazon


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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Quilts of Love | QUILTED BY CHRISTMAS – Kindle Giveaway & “Merry Quilted” Facebook Party!

Don’t miss the newest Quilts of Love book, Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey. October’s QOL release is a warm Christmas tale of God's steadfast love.

Enter to win a Kindle HDX, and RSVP for the “Merry Quilted” Quilts of Love Facebook party on December 9th.

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Two copies of Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey (One for you and one to give away as a gift!)
  • Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll
  • Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven

Enter today by clicking the button below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 16th. Winner will be announced November 17th at the Quilts of Love blog.

Wait! There's more! RSVP for the "Merry Quilted" Quilts of Love Christmas Book Chat Party on December 9th and connect with some of the Quilts of Love authors. Jodie Bailey, Laura V. Hilton, Cindy Loven, Cathy Elliott, and Gina Welborn will be hosting a "merry" evening of book chat, Christmas traditions, prizes, and more!


RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on December 9th!

Friday, November 7, 2014

LOVE ON THE RUN by Dean C. Moore: Author Interview and Giveaway

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share Love on the Run by Dean C. Moore, a romantic comedy action/adventure available now. This interview post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. I hope that you'll find the interview to be as interesting as I did.

Dean will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.

Love on the Run by Dean C. Moore

Husband and wife thieves are on a mission. Just not the same one. He’s out to pay for her cancer therapy–at any costs. She’s out to humanize him, and make him less of a self-absorbed jerk.

The fast-talking, fast-acting, adrenaline seeking duo pick up a few on-again off-again sidekicks along their way, despite staunch protests from Zinio. But with all they’re up against–not the least of which being one smart, hound-dog of a lady detective–the question is: Can love conquer all?

“The story is smart and funny.” R. D. Hale, Sky City: The Rise of an Orphan

“For the booklover that doesn’t like having his or her time wasted.” Jack Heath, Remote Control

“This would make a brilliant movie or TV series.” Demelza Carlton, Ocean’s Gift

“Reminded me of The Thomas Crown Affair, down to the whip-cracking humor, the snazzy plot turns, and the character dynamics between the leads and the hotshot female detective on their tales.” Rhys Jones, The Whispering Void

“Only if you want an action packed read with fully developed and interesting characters.” Victor Longshanks, One Big Problem


“Any big ideas, bright guy?” Delaney said, holding the broken rearview mirror in her hand to check out what was going on overhead, to avoid giving those inside the chase helicopter the satisfaction of her looking up.

“Just drive straight into the ocean.”

“Please tell me you’re joking.”

“Why would I be joking at a time like this?”

“Okay, fine, I’m sorry for picking on you so much. I know you’re doing the best you know how. There, I said it. You happy?”

“I’m not depressed, Delaney. I just need you to drive into the ocean.”

“A psychotic break? Is that it? You picked now for a psychotic break? Why not all those times I chewed off your male appendage, metaphorically speaking—not to make myself out as a man-eating black widow?”

“You dragged along the equipment I asked you to, right?”


“So, you get it now?”

“Yeah, duh. God, that just makes so much more sense in context.”


Kerry looked up from the photos of the couple to the big screen again. Her jaw dropped as she watched Delaney drive the convertible Thunderbird straight into the ocean. They made no attempt to get out of the vehicle; they let the sea swallow them up along with the car.

“Are we finally rid of them?” Carter said.

Kerry started chuckling slowly. The guffawing grew into a geyser of loud laughter, which finally subsided. “No, Carter, not yet.” She glanced back up at the screen. “God, that’s clever.”

Buy Link: Amazon


What came first for LOVE ON THE RUN, the characters or the story itself?

Neither. Scenes started popping into my head involving stylish, high profile bank and casino heists. From these I started to get a sense of my characters. So the characters definitely preceded the story, but they did not come first. I had to get a sense of Zinio and Delaney through their actions, their dialogue, their interactions with one another and the world around them, and of course through their personal chemistry. The more the picture of the two of them came into focus, the more the rest of the story followed; the latter you could say arises naturally from the conflicts between Zinio and Delaney and their inner and outer demons.

What about your characters surprised you while writing?

Despite all their chemistry, wit, and charm, Zinio and Delaney can’t maintain the sizzle on their relationship without a focus on the outside world every bit as great as their focus on one another. They seem to need to champion the downtrodden; they need their social causes and a sense of working for the greater good to keep from self-destructing. As intense as their love is for one another, if they kept that love bottled up without it bleeding into the rest of the human condition they would simply implode. As to why that is, I leave that for the reader to discover. It’s a subject I meditate on to this day.

What answers I’ve come up with are partial at best. 

Is it because they are larger than life, and their higher power refuses to have them take themselves off the gaming table of life when there are so many people hurting simply to create an island oasis about themselves, oblivious to the desert that surrounds, when that much psychic energy could be put to more important ends? Or is it that only by balancing romantic love with brotherly love do they become larger than life?

As characters that are so spontaneous and in the moment and who live life more fully than the rest of us, do they need to leave some trace of themselves that’s more permanent for fear there might otherwise be no record of their ability to raise life to the level of art?  

Just what drives them exactly?  

Do they feel like they have to do penance for the parts of themselves they can’t forgive, the actions, thoughts, and deeds they’d just as soon forget? 

Have they found a formula that allows them to integrate the dark and light sides of their nature worth emulating by all of us, or have they instead found a shorter and quicker path to ruin?  

Am I even asking the right questions in attempting to probe into what drives them? I guess in the final analysis it’s for the reader to decide. 

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?

The first bank robbery that Zinio and Delaney go on, which was initially the hook chapter, but is now chapter two. In the middle of the heist of the century they’re also having the marital spat of the century. I had to take frequent breaks from writing the sequence because my eyes were welling up from laughing so hard I could no longer see the page. Of course, my sense of humor might be different than yours and I might be a lot funnier in my own mind. Feel free to reassure me neither of those is the case by using my “contact me” form on my website and requesting to get on the email list to find out the instant the sequel is available.  

The first two chapters set the tone of the story and put one in mind of the movie, The Thomas Crown Affair with Pierce Brosnan. Chapter one introduces the female FBI profiler that will be hounding our heroes throughout the story. But it’s in chapter two that we find out why they’re worth her while and ours. In short order, Zinio and Delaney demonstrate what is actually more stimulating about the two of them than downhill skiing; why the latter is actually that much less of an adrenaline rush.

What scene was the hardest to write? Why?

There are a few contenders for this one. But getting out of the bed on the side I did this morning, my choice is for the prison scene, when they’re thrown behind bars and the key locking the door is happily destroyed (well, proverbially speaking anyway). It is painful to see these two colorful, Scarlet Macaw personalities encaged, as all birds should be set free to do what they do, take to the air. And the thought that they can no longer be what they’re meant to be is gut wrenching enough. Add to that the fact that Delaney’s cancer is flaring up and each day she’s trapped in that cell she’s one step closer to death’s door. They say these scenes are hardest for actors to act, but I can assure you, they’re no easier for writers to write. Intense emotions of any kind are never easy to render on paper or on screen, but they’re an essential part of good storytelling.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

George Clooney and Julia Roberts definitely came to mind for the leads, Zinio and Delaney, as did Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The latter couple paired up for Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which has some of the flavor of Love on the Run. Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock would also make the shortlist, I would think, considering their pairing in The Proposal. Whoever’s chosen, they better start their jaw exercises from now, because keeping up with the whip-cracking humor throughout this novel and the fast-paced banter in general is not a job for out-of-shape tongues and inelastic jaw bones. 

They say comedy is one of the hardest genres to write in because what strikes one person as hilarious might not even get a rise out of someone else. While I don’t think writing comedy-dramas like Love on the Run is any easier, the hats off, in my opinion, definitely goes to the actors, as the precise timing required to get the scenes to play necessitates that only A-list actors need apply. What’s more, there’s a hefty dose of romance in Love on the Run; in my experience, that kind of screen chemistry can’t exactly be faked either. The last couple that had as much on-screen-chemistry as Zinio and Delaney have on the page was Dick Powell and Myrna Loy of The Thin Man series. 

What character from LOVE ON THE RUN is most like you?

Zinio and Delaney are both exaggerations of a couple facets of my personality. In real life I’m a fairly decent strategist, but only in my wildest dreams am I the master schemer that Zinio is. And like Delaney, I have numerous human rights causes I champion, but I tend to do so through my writing, whereas Delaney puts herself right on the front lines, the way the Occupy Movement protestors do every day. I guess that by living through Zinio’s and Delaney’s escapades in Love on the Run, I’m conditioning myself to take the next step in being all that I can be.

There are a couple senior citizen couples in Love on the Run that are among the on-again, off-again sidekicks accompanying Zinio and Delaney on their journey to evade the FBI long enough to do some social good. I would hope when I’m the ripe old age of these septuagenarians that I can deal with getting old with the same sense of heroism and self-deprecating humor. You only have to spend five minutes with them to know that any challenges faced even by superheroes in Marvel comics pale by comparison. So I guess you could say that Zinio and Delaney’s sidekicks, too, are idealizations of me, and the kind of person I’d like to grow into. 

As to the young Marty, if there is such a thing as reincarnation, he’s me in my next life. I’ll leave you to read the book to figure out why.  

What’s your biggest challenge as a writer? How did you overcome it, or how are you working to overcome it?

I would say my biggest challenge as a writer is balancing quality with quantity. When you’re not part of the top one percent of writers who get all the huge marketing and promotional campaigns, then you pretty much have to sell more books to eke out even a subsistence living. When you think of what they pay Steven King, does he even ever have to write a second book? But do the math at our end of the spectrum, and at least a couple books a year are probably required just to keep us well stocked on canned beans and rice. So then, how do you be more prolific without sacrificing quality?

There is no one easy answer to that. I have more tools in my carpenter’s tool box to that end than a seasoned journeyman. For one, I’ve been writing consistently for over a decade, and as with anything, practice makes perfect, and the more you do something, the faster and better you get at it. I also type a 120 words per minute, which helps me to maintain a prodigious output without getting bogged down in the simple act of re-typing that comes with editing. Of course, technology has played its part as well. Computers and software are godsends to a level of productivity that would have been unimaginable in the days of typewriters, paper, and ink.

But I have many other tricks up my sleeve. I’ve trained myself over the years to enter a meditative state at will, what peak performance athletes refer to as “the zone.” This all but eliminates writers block and keeps my output humming along at top speed while actually increasing the quality, as we can only do our best work from within the zone.

I’ll share just one more trick with you—I don’t want to give away too much, pending the book, entitled, “How I overcame Writer’s Block to go on to Become One of the Most Prolific Writers in the World”—and that’s my tendency to edit several books in parallel. Since you need cold, detached eyes to look at a draft you just finished, and that usually requires setting it down for a couple of weeks or more before coming back to it, moving on to editing another story in the meantime all but eliminates any downtime. The only downfall of this system, as I’ve bemoaned elsewhere on some of my earlier guest posts, is that several titles come to fruition at once instead of one at a time. Harvesting the fruit of the vine in this manner might be great for farmers but is a nightmare for undiscovered indie authors. It’s hard enough to get one book recognized, let alone several at once. As soon as I figure out the solution to this Catch-22, I’ll let you know. Here’s hoping these virtual book tours are part of the answer of how to rescue myself from obscurity!

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

My most rewarding experience since being published is being published. I predate the internet revolution and the renaissance happening in the arts. In my day, if you weren’t lucky enough to be part of the top one percent of writers, which is more political and less based on merit than you would imagine, you pretty much saw your manuscripts stacking up in the closet without any hope of an outlet. At least painters can make a living if they just have one fan willing to buy their one painting and they’re willing to pay enough. With novels you need to be just a little more popular than that. So the self-empowerment, indie-author tools were a revelation. These days I’m proud to be a child of the renaissance movement in the arts, which is helping to wrest power and control from the gatekeepers who want to limit what people have to read based on their own hidden agendas. I can’t imagine that I could ever be tempted by mainstream publishing in lieu of the added creativity and quality standards that accompany putting art first and politics second, if not scratching the latter off the list altogether.  

If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title of the book should be? Why?

Full Moon Rising. “Full Moon” was my nickname in college. And it wasn’t always used fondly. I have a certain intensity that never waxes or wanes that makes me great fun in small doses, but probably more than most people can handle for longer periods. I’d like to think aging has mellowed me, but that’s hardly for me to decide. When you consider my formula for maintaining prolificness as a writer (mentioned above), that might be one clue that I haven’t mellowed all that much. Back in my IBM-correcting-Selectric typewriter days (for those who can remember back that far), when I also lived communally in Berkeley, CA, people would pass the closed door on my bedroom, hear the typewriter, and duck. They thought they were under machine gun fire.  

Living communally, on the other hand, that did mellow me quite a bit. I miss those days. I’m hoping to turn the country acreage I’m currently on into an artist sanctuary for writers someday. As it would not only help me to get out of my head to interact with people more, but nature itself is very calming and grounding. So with some concerted “social engineering,” who knows, the moon may actually begin to wax and wane finally.  

Characters often find themselves in situations they aren't sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

Funny you should ask. The situation I’m in now is one of rescuing myself as an indie author from obscurity. Simply getting the word out that my novels are out there and something people might well enjoy, particularly if they’re into sci-fi, paranormal fantasy, and action-adventure, all with a healthy dose of dry wit and strong female leads, is no small feat. I hear that 400 books get published a day at last count. I can’t say I’ve mastered the art of getting heard above all that noise, but I’m definitely on the road to find out just how to do that. Moreover, as I believe I have a lot to offer, not just by way of delightful escapist fantasies, but with helping people to become the types of heroes and heroines they’ll find in my stories in real life. I’ve made a lifelong study of helping to procure that alchemy in myself and others, and now I slip that learning into the magic of storytelling with its ability to transform us all from an altered state far more readily than sitting in a lotus position and meditating for years on end.

When it comes to building a loyal fan base, I’ve come to accept that it might just take a little longer in my case for reasons that are under my control versus the reasons that aren’t (as cited above.) For starters, one of the things I enjoy about being an indie author is the freedom it allows me to follow my heart wherever it leads me, and if that’s into other genres that I’m not known for, so be it. Love on the Run would never have been written weren’t it for that tendency to stray. Asides from being one of my favorite projects, about the only thing it shares with the bulk of sci-fi and paranormal fantasy that I write is a thirst for action-adventure, smart banter, and a distinctive narrative voice that follows me most everywhere, which I’m told is a rare and precious gift. Sometimes I wonder if it’s more of a curse than a gift, as it seems enviable to me to be able to disguise one’s narrative voice from one project to another. But I guess those folks are actors first, and writers second, the kind of writer that would be great say doing episodes of a TV series actually piloted by someone else. Indeed, they make a whole lot of money, so, while I’ll take the praise and the free PR concerning the distinctive narrative voice, in my mind, I sometimes wish I were more of a chameleon in that respect. But for those who enjoy the comedy-drama tone that accompanies much of my writing, the good news is, if you don’t traditionally read in all the genres I write in, you should find yourself enjoying tagging along for the ride all the same.

The other arguably self-sabotaging thing I do is release several books close together instead of releasing one at a time and focusing on marketing that one for say six months straight. As discussed in my answer to one of the above questions, I release more than one title at a time because I write, edit, and polish more than one title at a time, and I do that as a way of minimizing downtime. It’s really not advisable to try and do another draft of something you’ve written until you can get some distance on it. Rather than be unproductive during that two week cooling off period, I will move on to editing another book. Again, this method is great for productivity without sacrificing quality, but when it comes to marketing, it makes an already prickly situation that much more pointed. So, do me a favor, if you sample one of my books and enjoy it, do read them all and help me to get the word out. Maybe that way you can help me to overcome my own nature as well as marketing realities that stymie the best of us.


I write sci-fi, fantasy, action-adventures and thrillers, or some combination thereof—usually with a strong vein of dark humor. Though, my works are dramas first; the humor is there to take the edge off as with the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Transformers, and Jurassic Park franchises.

I wrote screenplays for a while, and while enjoying them, I found them a bit confining. After a while you just need the extra page count to flesh out characters better and do additional world building, especially when considering doing anything epic in scope. I also took a run at future forecasting and trend tracking, being as I always had my head in the future, things like Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock. I also relished this, and can certainly see myself releasing a few titles accordingly in the nonfiction area. But since delving into novels, short and long, I’ve definitely found my home and my voice. For the first time I feel the restraints have been taken off of my imagination. I suppose all mediums have their limits, so I may end up doing a mix of things, but I suspect I will continue to spend most of my time with novels. Series add an additional dimension, allowing for even more depth and development both in the character and world building departments. But I remain at heart a divergent thinker, so, no surprise, I seem to have more series going than follow up installments at this point. That too may change over time; we’ll see. Until then, it may be best to just think of these books as one-offs if you’re fond of my writing style and some of the themes I work with.

My current catalog of twelve books represents a little over five years' worth of work. I'm currently averaging a couple books annually. Of my existing franchises with multiple installments, The Hundred Year Clone books can be read in any order, while the 5 books of Renaissance 2.0 must be read in sequence as they form part of a singular story arc (much as with A Game of Thrones.)

I live in the country where I breed bluebirds, which are endangered in these parts, as my small contribution to restoring nature's balance. When I'm not writing, or researching my next book, I may also be found socializing with friends, or working in my organic garden.


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Thursday, November 6, 2014

New Prints in Old Calico by Jennifer Lynn: Blurb Blitz and Giveaway

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share New Prints in Old Calico by Jennifer Lynn, a time travel romance/historical (old west) available now from Champagne Books. This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Jennifer will be awarding a hand-painted plate (US/Canada only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the banner to visit other stops on this tour.

New Prints in Old Calico by Jennifer Lynn

Amanda Bradshaw, a librarian from modern day New York City, is suddenly transported to Calico, a small 1880s era western town. Without warning, she becomes the new schoolmarm in Calico instead of a librarian. Bewildered by this sudden change in scene, she is befriended by the sheriff, Austen Riley, and a sympathetic saloon owner named Lil. Riley is a man with dark secrets and an axe to grind with rancher Matt Mallory, who turns Amanda's life inside out. Matt is handsome, determined to win her as his wife, but his shady reputation leaves a lot to be desired. Still, Amanda is attracted to him as they flirt and tease, argue and banter their way towards love.

As Matt, Amy, and Matt's young daughter, Molly, struggle to become a family, Marshall Riley plans to destroy Matt and claim Amy for his own. But how can Amy prove Matt’s innocence to the one man who wants him dead?


She turned to Chili and blew out a breath. “Kettle on?”

He nodded and turned toward the door. “Yep. I’ll pour us a couple mugs o’ tea.”

A few minutes later, Amy was sitting at the long dining room table with a steaming mug of tea between her palms and Chili Bob waiting expectantly for her to speak.

She took a sip and studied the rim of her cup before raising moist eyes to the old man. “I’m scared, Chili. They’re bound and determined to hang Matt, no matter what.”

He scratched a bristled cheek and squinted across the table. “I’ve been telling Matt for years that we should pull up stakes and head for friendlier territories, but he’s stubborn. Refuses to let anyone run him off his own ranch.”

She looked at him pointedly. “It’s that attitude that’s going to get him killed.”

Chili nodded. “Matthew’s mulish, that’s for sure.”

Amy looked back at him with disbelief on her face and fear in her voice. “They’re building the gallows, Chili! He knew this was going to happen. He could have stopped it.”

“You can’t hide from your destiny, Miss Amy. Sometimes ya gotta stand and face it if you want to change it.

“He must face the hangman’s noose if he wants to avoid it?” She guffawed. “Great, just what I need. A nineteenth century Yoda.”


“A short green guy with big pointy ears. Says a lot of profound things.”

He quirked his eyebrow and took a mouthful of tea. “You got some strange things in that New York City of yours, that’s all I can say.”


After a failed marriage, Jennifer Lynn lost herself in juicy romance novels, with the belief that there had to be a happy ending for someone. Finally, she decided to pull herself together and create her own happy endings, and several novels later, she’s still not finished.

These days she calls High River, Alberta home with her husband, and three dogs. Finding new and exciting plots makes the journey worth the hard work. No rest for the wicked, she says, but is she complaining? Nah. Does she need to find another happy ending? Yes. Want to join her in the quest? Great, you can keep each other company along the way!


Twitter: @JennLynnbooks

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur’s Court by Mari Mancusi: $25 Amazon GC Giveaway

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court by Mari Mancusi, a time travel romance available now. This guest post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Mari will award a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly selected winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the banner to visit other stops on this tour.
A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur’s Court
by Mari Mancusi

"Sparkling debut...a nice twist on the modern girl's search for prince charming." -- Publisher's Weekly

Once upon a time there lived an outspoken fashion editor named Kat, who certainly was not your typical damsel in distress. But when a gypsy curse sent her back in time to the days of King Arthur, she found she'd need every ounce of her 21st century wits (and pop culture references) to navigate the legend. After all, surviving a magical plot, an evil prince, and a case of mistaken identity--all without changing history or scuffing your Manolos--takes some doing!

Luckily, she's got her very own knight in shining armor, Lancelot du Lac, on her side. The honorable-to-a-fault and devastatingly handsome champion insists on helping her out, even though she's not quite sure she wants him to. After all, shouldn't he be off romancing Queen Guenevere or something? Will Kat manage to stay out of trouble long enough to get back to her beloved lattes, cosmopolitans and cashmere? And what will Lancelot's forbidden love mean for the kingdom of Camelot?


"What do you want to ask, Kat?" Lancelot prompts me with a tender voice. He takes an embroidered handkerchief from a small bag tied to his belt and blots my tears. For a medieval knight, he realty is a nice guy. Honorable. Stable. Loyal. The kind of man I should look for in my real life, instead of the I'm-in-a-rock-band-and-have-no-job losers I always end up with.

But should I tell him I think I've traveled back in time? He's going to think I'm majorly screwed up in the head. But, then again, what do I have to gain from his thinking I'm normal? And truly, I'm sick of keeping all these crazy thoughts to myself. I need desperately to share.

"This is going to sound insane," I say, offering the disclaimer up front. "But what I was asking is when am I? 'Cause to me it seems a lot like I'm back in the days of King Arthur. And that's a time zone I don't belong in."

Lancelot looks surprisingly unpuzzled, and he continues to stroke my hair. His touch is comforting, supportive, and gives me the courage to go on.

"What would you say if I told you I was really from the twenty-first century—like, a thousand years into the future? And that somehow I have traveled back in time?"

Instead of freaking out, Lancelot offers a fond smile. "I would say you already told me that last night. About thirty-five times, in fact."

I stare at him in shock and awe. Did I really already spill the time-travel beans while drunk off my ass the night before? I know I have a tendency to babble and, worse, repeat my babble when drunk, but would I really have told him that I was a girl from the future not once, but thirty-five times?

Oh, man, I am never, ever drinking again.


Mari Mancusi is a two-time Emmy award-winning television producer and author of novels for adults and teens. A graduate of Boston University, she now lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and young daughter. When not writing or producing she enjoys traveling, snowboarding, reading fantasy novels, and her favorite guilty pleasure: video games.



Twitter: @marimancusi


Instagram: marimancusi

Book is available on Amazon and is part of the Kindle Unlimited program.


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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

BECOMING BEA By @LeslieJeanGould | Kindle Giveaway and Facebook Party!

Leslie Gould is back with the latest book, Becoming Bea, in her Shakespeare-inspired series, The Courtships of Lancaster County. Don't miss the other books in the series, Courting Cate (retelling of The Taming of the Shrew), Adoring Addie (inspired by Romeo and Juliet), and Minding Molly (inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

Leslie is celebrating the series with a Kindle giveaway and a Facebook party on November 11th.

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • One copy each of the entire The Courtships of Lancaster County series: Courting CateAdoring Addie, Minding Molly, and Becoming Bea.
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 11/11. Winner will be announced at Leslie's 11/11 Becoming Bea Facebook author chat party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Leslie and Amish fiction fans, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!


RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 11th!

Monday, November 3, 2014

THE GLADIATOR'S BRIDE by Nhys Glover: Book Blast and Giveaway

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share The Gladiator's Bride by Nhys Glover, an historical romance published by Belisama Press. This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the banner to visit other stops on this tour.

Nhys will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.
The Gladiator's Bride by Nhys Glover

Crippled by shyness, shunned for being not-right-in-the-head, gifted artist and Roman noblewoman, Marcia Mica, has only two people in the world who truly love her – her teacher, Daedalus, and her childhood friend, Asterion, both slaves in her father’s household. But when forbidden love blooms between the unlikely friends, only disaster can come of it. That disaster leaves Marcia horribly scarred and Asterion sold into the arena as a gladiator.

Years later, Daedalus brings a broken Marcia to Britannia, and Sabrina, the healer who saved his life when he was a boy, works miracles on the scarred girl. However, not all scars are physical and those Sabrina has no ability to heal.

When Sabrina and Marcia are kidnapped by a Celtic leader bent on revenge, Asterion must depend on the dreams of a Celtic Seer to find the love of his life and help foil a revolt that threatens the fragile peace in Roman Britannia. But even if he and his friends succeed, can scars that are more than just physical ever really be healed and can those whose lives are owned by others ever truly be free to follow their hearts?


She launched herself at him so fast that he again dropped the sack of flour. Her tightly closed lips butted against his in a fiercely innocent kiss. It smashed her teeth into his, cutting his lip, and it felt nothing like the soft, seductive caresses the Widow gave him.

But it was like putting a naked flame to tinder. Like a lightning strike to a tree. The very fact that her lips were sealed to his blew every thought from his head and brought him to instant, painful attention. Blood pounded in his ears, his legs grew weak. Air evaporated from his lungs.

Fighting for control, he pushed her away. ‘What are you doing? Stop!’

‘You don’t have to go to her. If kissing is what you want, I can give you that. You don’t have to go to her!’

‘Yes I do!’

‘Why? Aren’t I good enough for you?’

He grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her in fury. His head felt ready to explode.

‘I need more than kisses! Don’t you get it? We aren’t children anymore. And I need more than friendship and kisses. And you can’t give me what I need. You’re the little mistress and I’m the slave. They’d cut off my balls if I so much as looked at you the wrong way!’


After a lifetime of teaching others to appreciate the written word, Aussie author Nhys Glover finally decided to make the most of the Indie Book Revolution to get her own written word out to the world. Now, with almost 100,000 of her ebooks downloaded internationally and a winner of 2013 SFR Galaxy Award for 'The Titan Drowns', Nhys finds her words, too, are being appreciated.

At home in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales of England, Nhys these days spends most of her time "living the dream" by looking out over the moors as she writes the kind of novels she loves to read: The ones that are a little bit steamy, a little bit different and wholly romantic.








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