Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Book Blast + Giveaway: Charming the Duke by Holly Bush

GENRE: Historical Romance

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share Charming the Duke by Holly Bush with you. It is a historical romance novel with the loveliest of covers. 


1849 . . . Matilda Sheldon, the middle daughter of the sixth Earl of Bisset, has never been interested in the fashionable society events that so preoccupy her parents and siblings. Her loving, albeit, daft family cannot understand why. But Matilda has little use for silly rules and dramas. She would rather occupy her time with a worthwhile cause such as opening The Sheldon Home for Orphans, much to the chagrin of her mother and grandmother. They are quite certain a venture of this nature will discourage suitors. Matilda is quite certain that if suitors are discouraged it is because she is clever, plain, a bit clumsy, and inevitably compared to her beautiful sisters.

The Duke of Thornsby is in tight spot. After receiving the title on the death of his father, he discovers the inheritance is to be gifted elsewhere if he does not marry before his thirtieth birthday. Unfortunately, our man-about-town is embroiled in a scandal, not of his own making, and the marriage mamas won’t let any eligible misses anywhere near him. What’s a Duke to do? Get invited to a house party hosted by the notoriously absent-minded Earl of Bisset, who just happens to be Papa to some young ladies of marriageable age!

Thornsby finds himself fascinated, not with the two Sheldon debutantes actively seeking a husband, but rather with the ‘brown wren’ he first mistakes for a servant. Matilda is counting the hours until the house party ends when the necessity of conversing with the guests will be over, and ridiculously handsome men go far away. Can a worldly Duke convince a sensible girl to accept his court? Find out in Charming the Duke.

An Excerpt

Our hero can’t resist a kiss . . .

“Thornsby!” Matilda hissed. People from one end of the room to the other were staring. Oddly, the glimpse Matilda caught of her mother revealed a smile.

“What is wrong with you, Thornsby?” Matilda asked when he finally released her after pulling her into the first deserted room they came to.

“You said yourself that Altry has never asked you to dance. What do you imagine prompted him now?”

“Heavens, I don’t know. Why would I care? It was just a dance,” Matilda replied.

“Just a dance? That young pup was nearly drooling.”

“Drooling? Whatever are you talking about?” Matilda asked.

“Miss Sheldon! You are no fool. Don’t presume to tell me you don’t understand. Altry asked you to dance because of this damned outfit you’re wearing.” Thornsby shouted.

“You’re only angry you can’t compare me to a maid or a washwoman.”

Matilda supposed the Duke was right though. Altry would have never paid her court if she hadn’t been wearing this dress. It all supported her notion that the glasses, brown dresses, and scruffy boots separated the chaff from the wheat. Those that deemed her worthy enough to speak to when dressed that way, and those that chose this evening to address her. The Duke had apparently noticed her gown.

Thornsby stared at her as if in a trance. She wondered what was going through his mind. “Don’t make Altry to be any more the cad than you, Thornsby. You’ve never noticed me either. Unless to insult me.”

His eye twitched. “That is untrue.”

“Far from it,” Matilda said.

“Don’t presume to know what is in my mind,” Thornsby said and grabbed Matilda’s bare shoulders.

The moment was charged with sparks, shooting through the air, connecting him to her. Matilda felt, well, she didn’t know what she felt. Fluttery and female. Angry. Aware. The touch of his fingertips drifted down her arms leaving her hands numb. Her voice came out barely above a whisper.

“What is on your mind then?” she asked.

“I’m thinking of kissing you, Miss Sheldon.”

Matilda batted her lashes. “Is it the dress?”

Thornsby touched his lips to hers. A feather’s touch. He inched back to gaze over her face. “I don’t know. But I don’t think so.”

His breath was warm on her cheeks. She’d never been this close to a man before. She could see the lines around his mouth and the bristle of his beard. He touched his lips to hers again.

“What do you imagine it is?” Matilda whispered into his mouth.

Thornsby slipped his hand around her waist and pulled her close. He tilted her head up with his finger. “I haven’t a clue,” he said. Then he kissed her. Really kissed her.

Author Bio

Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years. Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public
speaking on the subject.

Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She has written four romance novels, all set in the U.S. West in the mid 1800’s. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.

Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, and former vice-president of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.

Author Links


Holly will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Be sure to follow the Goddess Fish Promotions book tour and comment. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here.

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Excerpt and Giveaway: Ultimate Kill by Kristine Mason

GENRE: Romantic Suspense
Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share Ultimate Kill by Kristine Mason. Ultimate Kill, a story of romantic suspense, is book one of the Ultimate CORE series. 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kristine will be awarding a $5 Amazon gift card to five randomly drawn commenters during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more you comment, the better your chances to win.

Ultimate Kill by Kristine Mason
 Ultimate CORE (#1)

When the past collides with the present, the only way to ensure the future lies in the ultimate kill…

Naomi McCall is a woman of many secrets. Her family has been murdered and she’s been forced into hiding. No one knows her past or her real name, not even the man she loves.

Jake Tyler, former Marine and the newest recruit to the private criminal investigation agency, CORE, has been in love with a woman who never existed. When he learns about the lies Naomi has weaved, he’s ready to leave her—until an obsessed madman begins sending her explosive messages every hour on the hour.

Innocent people are dying. With their deaths, Naomi’s secrets are revealed and the truth is thrust into the open. All but one. Naomi’s not sure if Jake can handle a truth that will change their lives. But she is certain of one thing—the only way to stop the killer before he takes more lives is to make herself his next victim.

Excerpt (Heroine’s POV)

Naomi’s heart raced. Her mouth went dry. An uncontrollable shiver ran through her body.

The past five years suddenly disintegrated. As if she’d just woken from a disjointed nightmare, the months of running, of searching for the perfect place to hide in plain sight, the lonely days and even lonelier nights faded into a blur.


Tears welled in her eyes. For the lost years, the lost love, for the future they could never have. She quickly blinked them away and opened the car door. Her legs weak, her stomach somersaulting with embarrassment, excitement and regret, she placed a shaky hand on the door for support. A small part of her wanted to climb back into the car, drive off and pretend Jake had never come to Woodbine. But a large part of her, the part that had never stopped loving him, that had never allowed the memories of what they’d had together die, wanted to run to him. Throw her arms around his neck and kiss him.

“Jake,” she whispered, then cleared her throat. He looked so damned good. Tan, lean, muscular, his big toned arms showing from beneath his short sleeve golf shirt, his dark hair no longer in his trademark military crew cut.

Chin trembling, hand still clinging to the opened car door, she took a small, tentative step forward. “Jake,” she said louder, firmer.

He pushed off the SUV and slowly approached, his gaze never wavering from hers. Lightheaded, she stayed put, kept her hand on the door for fear she might crumble to the asphalt. She’d dreamed of seeing him again, had imagined what she might say, the excuses she could give him. But anything she’d ever come up with had sounded terrible, selfish and ridiculous. Even if what she’d tell him was the truth.

Now that he was less than five feet away from her, she had no idea what to say or do. A million questions buzzed through her mind. Was he married? Did he have children? Fresh tears filled her eyes. God, she really was a selfish bitch. She wanted him happy, had always prayed he’d find someone to love, but deep down she’d hated the thought of him loving someone else. Making love to another woman. Creating a child. A future that hadn’t included her.

“You look beautiful,” he said, his voice rough, raw. He blinked, looked to the ground and took a couple of more steps until he stood within arm’s reach. When he met her gaze, she expected anger and resentment, instead she found anguish, longing and heat in his dark eyes.

She pressed her lips together to stop her chin from trembling and swiped at an errant tear. She’d hurt him. Because she’d loved him so much, she had no choice but to run from him.

Until the bastard who’d murdered her family and forced her into this self-imposed exile was rotting in Hell, she’d keep running. Otherwise, Jake would end up like everyone else she’d loved.


Author Bio

I didn’t pick up my first romance novel until I was in my late twenties. Immediately hooked, I read a bazillion books before deciding to write one of my own. After the birth of my first son I needed something to keep my mind from turning to mush, and Sesame Street wasn’t cutting it. While that first book will never see the light of day, something good came from writing it. I realized my passion and found a career I love.

When I’m not writing contemporary romances and dark, romantic suspense novels (or reading them!) I’m chasing after my four kids and two neurotic dogs.


Author Links:

Books available on:


It's Release Day for Hold Me Tight by Faith Sullivan

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share Hold Me Tight by Faith Sullivan with you.

Title: Hold Me Tight
Author: Faith Sullivan
Release date: April 30, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Ebook available at: Kindle | Nook | Smashwords 


He loves me. He loves me not.

Ivy's heart shatters upon hearing Eric's crushing ultimatum. Despite how much she cares for him, she won't give in to his demands. She has no choice but to leave, even if it's the hardest thing she's ever had to do.

She loves me. She loves me not.

When Ivy walks out, Eric can't help feeling betrayed. Unwilling to put her at risk, he values her safety above all else. By refusing to compromise, he's blindsided when she moves in with a man who's already stolen so much from him.

I love you. You love me not.

Lauren sees Eric and Ivy's split as an opportunity to end their relationship once and for all. When Ivy places herself at the mercy of Eric's rival, Lauren plots to destroy the fragile tie binding them together, even if she endangers Ivy's life in the process.


But there’s something I have to do before this goes any further.

Slowly, I draw my head away from her embrace, finding the courage to finally meet her eyes. Her hair hasn’t been combed and her face is all tear-stained, but she has never looked more beautiful.

She stands, bracing herself against me. Her breath hitches when I gently start unbuttoning her shirt, but her eyes never leave my face. I stop partway up, raising the bottom half of her cami up and over her baby bump. Dropping down, I run my hands across her stomach, feeling her shiver against my fingertips. Looking up at her, I place my lips on her bellybutton, kissing the child that’s growing within her, the miracle we created.

“I will never ask you to choose again,” I say solemnly, my voice nothing but a whisper.

Ivy starts to cry in earnest, placing her hands atop mine.

“You are my heart now. Whatever happens to you happens to me.” I kiss each one of her knuckles as she sighs deeply, like she’s been longing with all her soul to hear me say these words. “I know I’m not as brave as you are, but I promise to try harder.”

“Eric, stop. You’re the bravest man I know,” she proclaims with a tender fierceness, tears shining in her eyes.

“I’m just so afraid of losing you,” I mutter, breaking down.

“Oh, Eric,” she whimpers, sobbing right along with me. “I know, baby... I know.”

I lean back against the wall, guiding her onto my lap. We don’t say anything more. We just sit there and hold each other, savoring the moment.

What readers are saying about HOLD ME TIGHT:

"I'm so excited! Eric's balls grew back! He's going to fight for her. I envisioned the whole scene in my mind. True romance at its finest." 
- Rhonda Hofmiller

"You are such a tease! What a way to leave me hanging there, after that scene at the kitchen table. DAMN. Hose me down with cold water please!" 
-Natalie Smith

"Hallelujah and praise the Lord, Eric is FINALLY going after what's his! *sigh* What a lovely welcome home present indeed!"
- Ashley Bodette

Books in this New Adult Contemporary Romance trilogy:

About the Author:

Faith Sullivan is an author of New Adult contemporary romances including the HEARTBEAT trilogy, the TAKE ME NOW series and the 9/11 novel, UNEXPECTED. She writes love stories with a little dash of crazy.

Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Top Nine Facts about Love by Bambi Bellamy, author of Spark + 2 Giveaways

 Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share Spark, an erotic novella by Bambi Bellamy with you.


WARNING: Spark contains sexy neighbors who love getting it on… with each other. Graphic language and sex scenes abound. Be advised, this is no sweet romance. Contains hard pumping and ridiculous sexual situations and scenes to make your toes curl. If you can finish Spark without getting hot and bothered, I would check for a pulse. 18+ only!

Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Genres: Adult, Erotica, Romance


Newlyweds Violet and Hunter are new in PussyWillow Falls, and they’re loving it.

Everything is beautiful, including the people.

Things heat up FAST when Violet satisfies her husband while they both watch a menage a trois over the fence going on in their neighbors backyard.

But, when the mailman, the paper boy and all the neighbors come calling for a piece of the Violet and Hunter action, was PussyWillow Falls a swinging paradise, or a swinging hell?

Add to Goodreads |
Purchase at Amazon

KVR Giveaway

Prize: one (1) ebook copy of Spark
Open internationally. See Rafflecopter for complete terms and conditions.

Top Nine Facts about Love by Bambi Bellamy
"What is love, baby don’t hurt, don’t hurt me no more." - Haddaway in What Is Love

Love is one of the most misunderstood, and misused concept around today. Love is hard to define. It’s an intense feeling of affection. But, what does that really mean?

Well, I searched and researched and found some really cool facts about love.

9. It only takes up to 4 minutes to decide whether you like someone or not

If you want to make a good impression on someone, you’ve only got about 4 minutes to do it. It is believed that it has far more to do with your body language, tone and speed of your voice rather than exactly what you say.

8. When Two Lovers Gaze At Each Others’ Eyes, Their Heart Rates Synchronize

Some extraordinary research has found that couples who are in love and bond in a romantic relationship synchronize their heart rates after gazing into each others’ eyes for three minutes.

7. Falling In Love Has Neurological Effects Similar To Those Of Cocaine

Falling in love is much like taking a dose of cocaine, as both experiences affect the brain similarly and trigger a similar sensation of euphoria. Research found that falling in love produces several euphoria-inducing chemicals that stimulate 12 areas of the brain at the same time.

6. Romantic Love Eventually Ends…Only To Be Followed By Committed Love

Couples at the very beginning of a romantic relationship will be very different a year later. It is estimated that romantic love, which is linked with euphoria, dependence, sweaty palms, butterflies and alike, only lasts about a year. After that first year begins the so-called “committed love” stage. The transition is linked with elevated neurotrophin protein levels in newly formed couples.

5. Thinking Of Love And Sex Influences Creativity And Concrete Thinking, Respectively

Research based on the construal level theory found out that reminders of love influence more abstract and creative thinking because they are associated with more distant and abstract considerations – long-term relationships, devotion, commitment and intimacy. Reminders of sex trigger concrete thinking, making a person focus more on momentary details than on long-term plans or goals.

4. Attachment + Caring + Intimacy = Perfect Love

The triangular theory of love suggest a clear formula for the components of different kinds of love. There are three kinds of love that are a product of two different pairs of basic components: romantic love = passion + intimacy, companionate love = intimacy + commitment, and fatuous love = passion + commitment. Of course, the truest and strongest of all is consummate love, which consists of all three components.

3. Butterflies In The Stomach Are Real And They’re Actually Caused by Adrenaline

When you fall for someone you probably won’t be able to avoid the butterflies flying, dancing and fooling around in your stomach. They’re caused by adrenaline, which floods your body during flight-or-fight response situations.

2. People Who Are In Love Have Chemical Similarities With People With OCD

Studies show that people at an early stage of love have lower levels of serotonin, which is associated with feelings of happiness and well-being, and higher levels of cortisol, associated with stress. This is strikingly similar to those people who have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, which explains why we act so out of character when we fall for someone. It works the other way around as well – people with lower levels of serotonin fall in love and get into sexual relationships quicker than others.

1. Love Is Really All That Matters
A marvelous 75-year long study, which was conducted by a group of Harvard researchers, has shown that love is really all that matters. The participants’ lifelong experiences revealed that happiness and life fulfillment revolved around love or simply searching for love.

Maybe we’ve come closer to answering the question, What is Love.

I don’t think we’ll ever be able to truly define love, but as we live life, lets all try to experience it.

Blitz-wide Giveaway

Prize: Kindle paperwhite
Open internationally. Giveaway is set and managed by the author.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Hungry Heart by Meg Benjamin | Author Interview + $50 Amazon GC Giveaway

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share Hungry Heart by Meg Benjamin with you. Hungry Heart is the eighth book in the Konigsburg series. It is a available now from Samhain Publishing. Meg Benjamin agreed to answer some interview questions for me. I hope that you enjoy her responses as much as I did.

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Meg will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour and her reviews tour, here. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more you comment, the better your chances to win.

Hungry Heart by Meg Benjamin 

Peace, love, and barbecue—with a big order of sexy on the side.

Sous chef Darcy Cunningham is less than entranced with small-town Konigsburg’s obsession with barbecue. But her future career as a chef de cuisine requires expanding her culinary horizons, so she talks the Barbecue King, a.k.a. Harris Temple, into taking her on as his apprentice.

However, learning Harris’s professional secrets wasn’t supposed to include falling for his spicy blend of smoky sexiness and laid-back charm.

Chico Burnside specializes in flying under Konigsburg’s small-town radar, but lately life has been going a little too smoothly, even for him. Hoping to shake things up a bit, he talks Harris into teaming up for Konigsburg’s first barbecue cook-off. But once shy scientist Andy Wells catches his eye, Chico’s got more on his mind than brisket. Like enticing her out of her shell to show her just how tenderly a big guy can love.

As the competition ignites, so does the romance. Until a natural disaster threatens to derail Konigsburg’s dream team before the grills even get good and warmed up.

Author Interview

1. Where do you get your ideas? I come from a family of barbeque lovers. When I read Hungry Heart's description I thought, “Oh, that’s good.” From pit master to tasters, people are passionate about barbeque. Barbeque and romance are a spicy paring.

The ideas for the Konigsburg series all come from spending time in the Hill Country, my favorite part of Texas. I’ve done wineries (Long Time Gone), honky tonks (Brand New Me), and fine dining (Fearless Love), so barbecue seemed like a logical next step. Texans love their barbecue, and sometimes it seems like every little town in the Hill Country has its own barbecue joint—or just a barbecue smoker set out under the trees.

2. What was your favorite chapter (or part) of Hungry Heart to write and why?

I really loved doing Chico and Andy. They’re not your typical romance couple—a former pro wrestler turned bouncer and a shy scientist don’t really seem to go together. I had a great time showing that these two very different people actually had a lot in common.

3. You have lived all around the U.S., including some "barbeque" states (Kansas, Texas, and Alabama). Is anything in Hungry Heart based on real life experiences or is it purely all imagination?

Well, I’ve eaten a lot of barbecue in my time, and I’ve picked up some things (like the smoke ring on a well-cooked brisket) just from observation. But I also did a lot of research about Texas barbecue before I started writing. The history of barbecue is fascinating, and I managed to work some of that in, along with the whole barbecue contest plot. I had no idea there was a big-time barbecue contest circuit, but now I’d love to check it out—as a diner, not a cook!

4. Hungry Heart is the eighth book in the Konigsburg series. Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

I’m not sure if I’ll be doing more Konigburg books or not, but there are always more stories to tell about the Hill Country. And I always find characters I’d like to spend more time with (like Harris’s brother Gray, for example).

5. What are the most important elements in good romance writing, in your opinion?

I think character is really the most important part of most romances, or the romances that I like anyway. I want to read about people who appeal to me. I want to like them and be interested in what they do. I want to cheer for them, and I want to be surprised by them. After character, story makes a big difference. Those characters need something to do, and it shouldn’t be something that you’ve seen a hundred times before. I’m always impressed by writers who can take a plot that seems conventional and turn it on its head. I love being surprised.

6. What project are you working on now?

All of my books until now have been about Texas, where I used to live. But I’ve lived in Colorado for the past five years, and I’d love to write about the mountains too. I’ve got a couple of Colorado trilogies I’m trying to finish right now.

7.  I laughed out loud while reading your blog post, My Secret Identity. Do you own a pair of knee-high suede boots? What are you planning on wearing to the next Authors After Dark or RWA gathering?

I’m really big on ruanas, those long, dramatic shawls that you can wrap around yourself. I’ve got a couple of gorgeous silk ones that I wear to RT and RWA. And this year I’ve also got a long drapey skirt that I can wear with a silk top. I’ve been assigned to the Saints side of the Saints and Sinners evening at RT, and I figure that’ll be perfect. The knee-high suede boots were more hypothetical than real. I wouldn’t have much chance to wear them at summer conferences, and wearing them in winter in Colorado would be suicidal, given our snow depths!

8.  What's the most amusing thing that happen to you at a book signing event or writers’ conference?

Well, the Karaoke party that Nine Naughty Novelists do with Smutketeers (and this year with International Heat too) is always a hoot at RT. I’m willing to sing, but dancing is beyond me. Still, watching the cover models boogie with the audience is a lot of fun.

9.  If you could invite any 3 people to a barbeque dinner, who would you choose?

Oh, let’s go with cooks for this one. Bobby Flay would be a good start. Robb Walsh is a Texas ‘cue expert, who’d be great at the technical details. And I’d go with Anne Burrell for number three just because she looks a little like one of my heroines in Hungry Heart.

10. What is your favorite style of barbeque sauce? Kansas City, Memphis, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Alabama

Sauce? Sauce?!? We don’t need no stinkin’ sauce! Seriously, Texans are notorious for not taking sauce with their barbecue and being insulted if offered. It’s not quite as bad a putting beans in chili, but it’s close. The only kind of sauce I’ll take is one that’s a little tangy and a little hot, and it has to be on the side. Still, if the brisket is juicy enough, no sauce is needed!

Author Bio 

Meg Benjamin is an author of contemporary romance. Her Konigsburg series for Samhain Publishing is set in the Texas Hill Country and her Medium trilogy for Berkley InterMix is set in San Antonio’s King William District. Meg’s books have won numerous awards, including an EPIC Award for Contemporary Romance, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Indie Press Romance, the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers and the Beanpot Award from the New England Romance Writers. Meg lives in Colorado with her DH and two rather large Maine coon kitties (well, partly Maine Coon anyway).

Author Links

Her Web site is and her blog is

You can follow her on Facebook (, Pinterest (, and Twitter (

Meg loves to hear from readers—contact her at

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

KVR Sunday Cinema (4/27): The World Unseen #LGBTApril

Every other Sunday, I feature a romance movie here on Kinky Vanilla Romance. This month I am featuring movies, two Sundays in a row, in honor of #LGBTApril.*

Last week, we watched I Can't Think Straight (2008), based on the book of the same name.

Today I am featuring The World Unseen (2007), also based on the book of the same name. The film was written and directed by Shamim Sarif and starred Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth. You can check it out (free and legal) via Hulu.

In 1950's South Africa, apartheid is just beginning. Free-spirited Amina has broken all the rules of her own conventional Indian community in South Africa by running a cafe, a safe haven of laughter, music and home-cooked food. - Hulu

Movie | Aired on 02/15/2008 | PG-13 | 1 hr. 33 min.

I am going to start watching at 5 pm EST today. Have you read The World Unseen or seen the movie?

Movie Synopsis

In 1950′s South Africa, apartheid is just beginning.

 Free-spirited Amina has broken all the rules of her own conventional Indian community in South Africa by running a cafe, a safe haven of laughter, music and home-cooked food; a “grey area” for those who fall outside the strict “black and white” rules of the apartheid-led government.

Cafe regulars include Amina’s feisty waitress Doris, her gentle “Coloured” business partner Jacob and the sparky White local postmistress Madeleine. Long accustomed to the racial barriers of the country and its new laws, Madeleine and Jacob nevertheless share a budding attraction.

Miriam, on the other hand, is a doting mother to her children and a demure and subservient wife to her chauvinistic, frustrated husband, Omar. Quietly intelligent, Miriam has never assumed that she may have choices in life.

When Miriam meets Amina, their unexpected attraction throws them both off balance. Although Miriam manages to subdue her fascination with unconventional Amina, she finds herself slowly inspired to confront familiar and familial constraints. Shortly after their encounter Miriam moves to an isolated life in the country, but even here apartheid is placing its cruel footprint on society, and these injustices bring the two women together again, cementing the basis of their growing feelings.

Meanwhile Jacob decides to pursue a love affair of his own and he and Madeleine begin a tentative, touching relationship. But the best intentions of both are overcome by practical challenges and indignities of simply spending time together.

Even the fearless Amina, faced with the strength of her feelings and with the reality of Miriam’s situation, starts doubting herself. And Miriam finds herself making some courageous choices that will change her own life forever.

Using the stunning South African landscape and jazz tunes of the time, The World Unseen explores a system that divides white from black and women from men, but one that might just allow an unexpected love to survive. - See more at Enlightenment Productions.

Movie Trailer
Official UK trailer for The World Unseen


*LGBT Month is hosted by Cayce at Fighting Dreamer and Laura at Laura Plus Books. It runs throughout April and it’s here to celebrate LGBT readers, LGBT authors and of course LGBT books.

Laura Plus Books

Saturday, April 26, 2014

#Dewey’s #Readathon: My #RahRahReadathon Updates

My Progress

Moving on to Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller.


Finished Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. *wipes brow and throws confetti*

I want to go to Scotland now. Wanna come with me?


My only reading goal today is to finish Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. It is 896 pages!!

I would also like to participate in at least 3 mini challenges.

Hour 24 End of Event Meme:
  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? 21
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Not really. Maybe after I get more sleep ;-)
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Not really. Maybe after I get more sleep ;-)
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Twitter support and interaction
  5. How many books did you read? 3
  6. What were the names of the books you read? Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, A Suitable Wife by Carol Burnside
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  8. Which did you enjoy least? n/a Thankfully, they were all good.
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? n/a I didn't get any official cheerleader support. The @readathon account was really supportive.
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I count me in. Reader and maybe cheerleader.
Better Book Titles
I read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. My alternate title -

Time Travel: A Way to Start a New Life of Adventure (and Hot Sex) without "Really" Cheating on Your Spouse

Books Around the World
North America - Big Sky Mountain by Lori Lael Miller (USA)
South America - Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel GarcĂ­­a Marquez (Colombia)
Africa - The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (Botswana)
Europe - Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (Scotland)
Asia - Memoirs of A Geisha by Arthur Golden (Japan)

List FIVE books that take place on FIVE different continents

TBR Challenge
I answered questions 1, 2, and 5. Fingers crossed to win. That TBR pile made me swoon.

Read-a-thon Hour 17: An uncomfy challenge!
I am reading in a chair from a card table set - in the utility room. Waiting for the laundry to finish drying. It's warm and quiet except for the tumble of the clothes. My cat has decided to join me. She likes the dryer.

Hour 15 – That Reminds Me of a Book!
Foggy Autumn Forest -oil by Oksana007 reminds me of Claire's journey to find Jaime after he was taken by Red Coats in Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Dewey’s Name in Titles Mini-Challenge
S – Stay by Hilary Wynne
K – Kiss of the Beast by Mallory Rush
E – Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
E – Escorted by Claire Kent
T – Tryst by Cambria Hebert
E – Elemental by Brigid Kemmerer
R – Railroad Man by Alle Wells

Hour 12 — Mid Event Meme! You’re Halfway There! Mid-Event Survey
1. What are you reading right now?
Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller

2. How many books have you read so far?
One big fat one! Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
A Suitable Wife by Carol Burnside

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
Got all my work done early.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
My dog and cat have been unusually vocal today. Headset and treats.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
The level of interaction on Twitter. A lot of multi-tasking going on.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Not so far.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?
As a reader, nothing. It's been a lot of fun. Maybe I'll invite a friend to read with me next time.

9. Are you getting tired yet?
I was tired at hour eight. I have had something to eat and a good stretch. I am back in action, for now ;-)

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?
Readers - take frequent breaks to give your eyes a rest. Check out Twitter during one of the breaks, There are lots of interesting people reading.

Cheerleaders - haven't seen any cheerleaders so no advice there.

Readathon Hour 11 Mini-Challenge: First Editions
1) the name of the book: Keep a Little Secret
2) the name of the author: Dorothy Garlock
3) information about the edition:  First edition, 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Jigsaw Puzzle Cover Challenge
I love puzzles. Finished them all.

Dewey’s 24 Hour ReadaThon and The Twelfth Child Giveaway
Longest time reading: around 9 hours

Six Word Celebration Mini-Challenge, Hour 7
Your challenge is to creative a six-word celebration of Dewey's Read-a-Thon.
Dewey, may your readathon legend grow!

Hour 0 – Kick Off Meme
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Atlanta, Georgia, United States

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
A Suitable Wife by Carol Burnside

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I am an avid reader. Just really started reading romance novels last year.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
Seeing what other people are reading. It's a great way to find new books.

What are your goals?

What is Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon?

For 24 hours, we read books, post to our blogs about our reading, and visit other readers’ blogs. We also participate in mini-challenges throughout the day. It happens twice a year, in April and in October.

It was created by the beloved Dewey (her blog has since been taken down, so the link won’t work). The first one was held in October 2007. Dewey died in late 2008. We’re still saddened by her absence, but the show must go on. The read-a-thon was renamed to honor its founder in 2009.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon is hosted by Heather and Andi of The Estella Society, with help from volunteers.

W is for White | @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

Coming July 15th from USA Today Bestselling author Karey White
The Husband Maker by Karey WhiteThe Husband Maker

Charlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she’s dated since high school has become his next girlfriend’s husband. Not hers. Not three girlfriends down the road. The next. Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed? When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she's not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle's wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?

kareyadd to goodreads

Author Karey White

Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.  

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway
Ends 5/15/14

a Rafflecopter giveaway

W is for White

Friday, April 25, 2014

Evernight Publishing's Book Boyfriend Blog Hop

Book Boyfriends…

They can be strong and sexy, dark and dangerous, rebellious and reckless or cute and quirky. We can’t wait to escape into their world and fall in love with these irresistible heroes. Evernight Publishing is throwing an event in honor of romance hero lovin’ readers like you.


Here are just a few book boyfriend candidates you’ll meet along the way…

  • Jhennen from Ela Stein’s upcoming release, Love's Labyrinth (cover coming soon)

  • Justin from His Assistant by Nikka Michaels, short story in the upcoming Executive Assistant: Manlove Edition anthology (cover coming soon)


Grand Prize: One lucky hopper will win a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate from Evernight Publishing!

How to enter? Answer this question in the comments below…

Evernight’s next anthology is based on office romances. Have you ever had an office romance?

Be sure to leave the answer and your email address to be eligible to win a prize. Each comment gives you an entry for the grand prize (one per blog hop stop). Plus, every author has a giveaway, so visit each blog hop stop for a host of fabulous prizes to win.

Keep hopping to the next author or blogger. After you’ve met each hero click here to vote for your favorite book boyfriend. You’ll earn an extra grand prize entry!

You’re one step closer to meeting your next Book Boyfriend...

V for Variety | #AprilA2Z #atozchallenge | #Dewey’s #Readathon

I am picking out my books for tomorrow's read-a-thon. Any suggestions?

V for Variety

What is Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon?

For 24 hours, we read books, post to our blogs about our reading, and visit other readers’ blogs. We also participate in mini-challenges throughout the day. It happens twice a year, in April and in October.

It was created by the beloved Dewey (her blog has since been taken down, so the link won’t work). The first one was held in October 2007. Dewey died in late 2008. We’re still saddened by her absence, but the show must go on. The read-a-thon was renamed to honor its founder in 2009.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon is hosted by Heather and Andi of The Estella Society, with help from volunteers.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

More Than a Feeling by C.J. Carmichael | Book Blast and 3-Book (Anthology) Giveaway

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share "More Than a Feeling: A Frost Family & Friends" story (Cozy in Carol Falls) by C.J. Carmichael. It is a cozy mystery with a touch of romance.

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding an E-copy of "Frost Family Christmas Anthology" - which includes the first 3 books in the Frost Family & Friends Series as well as a bonus short story - to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more stops you visit, the more chances you earn to win.

NOTE: More Than a Feeling is on sale for only $0.99 at Amazon! Pick up your copy today by clicking here.

A dangerous twenty-year-old secret is about to be uncovered in the quaint Vermont town of Carol Falls, where not everyone is who they seem to be.

At first meeting, Spencer Frost appears to be a simple farmer who enjoys reading and quoting poetry. In fact he’s a criminal law attorney from Boston on sabbatical at Frost Family Farm. When he meets Robin Redmond, the lovely new sales clerk at the local independent bookstore, he has no idea he’s about to step into a drama to rival even his toughest legal case.

Robin moved to Carol Falls in pursuit of the man who destroyed her sister’s life. Driven to face him—as well as her own guilt about her sister--falling in love with Spencer is not part of her plans. But as they partner up to unravel the twisted truth behind the crime, she discovers love is the strongest weapon of all.

This is the fourth book in a small-town romance/cozy mystery series that began with The Frost Family Christmas trilogy. These three titles are:

Book 1: "What Child Is This" by C.J. Carmichael

Book2: "Home For Christmas" by Roxy Boroughs

Book 3: "The Holly & The Ivy" by Brenda M. Collins.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

Robin turned on the radio. Loud.

She did not want to think about the magical evening she’d just had. The wagon ride, the stars, the nice Frost family, Spencer whispering poetry in her ear, then looking at her like he wanted to kiss her when they were finally alone.

Worst of all had been the seedling of hope that had awoken in her heart. That she could be happy. Maybe even, one day, loved. And, most of all—normal.

It was like an early April Fool’s joke. She’d been completely taken in. Despite the signs to the contrary—his upper crust accent, his unhardened hands—she’d thought Spencer was a poetry-loving farmer, a modern day Robert Frost.

Only to find out he was an advocate for the sort of criminal who had stolen her family from her. He defended the bad guys, getting them off, twisting the evidence to try and make victims look guilty, fighting for shorter sentences and arguing mitigating circumstances.

He was the champion of men like the one she hated most in the world.

Robin pulled over to the side of the road. She must have been driving in autopilot. Somehow she’d passed the heart of Carol Falls, traveled over the covered bridge and a mile down Red Bridge Avenue to the Fix-It Shop.

It was a narrow, two story wooden building, hemmed in on one side by a pawn shop and a vacant building on the other.

This was not the cute area of Carol Falls where she worked. No, this was where people who couldn’t afford luxuries like ambience or street appeal lived.

She’d already figured out that there was an apartment over the Fix-It Shop where the McGuires lived. The main floor shop was dark now, but at least one lamp glowed in the upper apartment. She could imagine Alistair in an overstuffed chair, feet up on a stool, reading The Brothers Karamazov. Maybe he’d be sipping a cup of tea, or a brandy, with classical music playing softly in the background.

But what about his brother?

The other McGuire, she simply could not imagine. Since she’d arrived in Carol Falls, she hadn’t caught a glimpse of him. Did he ever leave the apartment? She was starting to doubt it. She knew for sure he was there. As the last surviving relative of his victim, she’d been notified when he’d been released from prison and told that he was planning to go live with his brother in Carol Falls.

She wished she could have filed the information under “better off forgotten” and gone on with her life. Not that she’d had much. Since her mother’s death in September, she’d been barely hanging on to her job, let alone doing what she knew she needed to do.

Get new interests. Make friends. Start living.

Instead, the idea of Allan McGuire, free to start over when her own family had been destroyed, had festered in her brain, until finally she’d decided she’d never be able to let this thing go until she’d seen him again and made sure that he would never do to another family what he’d done to hers.

She’d had enough counseling over the years to know this wasn’t healthy. Her obsession with the tragedy had stunted her life and cost her her marriage. Brad had been more than patient with her at first, certain that she would eventually learn to let the past go.

But the seeds had been planted early. She’d only been six years old. Twenty-two years later, the garden that should have been her life had been completely overgrown with weeds.

Robin waited, for what seemed like an hour, until finally the lights in the apartment went out. She stayed an extra twenty minutes, checking to make sure that no furtive figure snuck out into the quiet darkness. Only then did she feel free to make her way home.

National bestseller, CJ Carmichael, has published over 35 novels and has twice been nominated for a RITA award. She likes to write stories about romance, family and intrigue, usually in small town or rural settings. She’s currently working on the next book in “The Carrigans of the Circle C” trilogy for Tule Publishing, as well the next “Frost Family & Friends” cozy mystery/romance for a multi-author series set in Carol Falls, Vermont.

When it’s time to take a break from the computer, she heads to the Rocky Mountains near her home in Calgary where she lives with her partner Michael. If you’d like to learn more about her books, sign up for her newsletter on her website: . (C.J. likes to reward her loyal readers on this list with regular draws for free, autographed books.)

Facebook: authorcjcarmichael

Twitter: cj_carmichael

Amazon Kindle Edition:

U is for Union | #AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

6 Ways to Crash a Wedding (Union) Ceremony

wedding: the act or ceremony of marrying; marriage; nuptials.

          synonym - union

U is for Union

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Home Run by Bernadette Marie: Author Interview and Giveaway

GENRE: Contemporary Romance

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share Home Run by Bernadette Marie. The book, a contemporary romance, is available now from 5 Prince Publishing. Hope you enjoy the author interview!

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Bernadette will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click here to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more you comment, the better your chances to win.

Home Run by Bernadette Marie
The Keller Family Series (Book 7)

In one moment Christian Keller’s life was changed. Now as he picks up the pieces he wonders if he can possibly recoup what he lost.

Victoria Lincoln had a promising future with Christian until an accident took the life of her sister and left her as guardian to her two small children.

Their lives have gone in different directions, but Christian and Victoria’s paths will cross again. It will take a lot of change to pick up where they left off—if either of them can.

Author Interview with Bernadette Marie

·  What was your favorite chapter (or part) of Home Run to write and why?
My favorite part to write was the times when Christian had to face his walking away and watch Victoria move on. It was interesting to write his pain.
·  A shared tragedy causes Christian's and Victoria's life path to split in different directions. Is anything in Home Run based on real life experiences or is it purely all imagination?
Everything is fictional—I think. J No big tragedies that are real in the book, but I draw from everyone when I build a character.
·  Is there a message in your Keller Family series that you want readers to grasp?
Family is important and strong. And family doesn’t have to be blood bound. You can make your own family.

·  Home Run is the seventh book in the Keller Family series. Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
The fun part about this series is that every character is in every book. So I still get to work with all of them. And as for themes and ideas—by the time I get to book ten I think I’ll have used up all my ideas. J

·  Your first book took you twenty-two years to write the way you really liked it. Once completed, you went on to write twelve more books during next year and a half. Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
That book that took 22 years to write isn’t published. BUT it will be. I’m rewriting it and it will be an Aspen Creek trilogy within the series of Aspen Creek books. But it is the only one I haven’t been able to make what I want it to be yet.

·  Has your life changed significantly since becoming a published writer and book publisher? I pay my bills quicker! I can say yes because this industry is always moving forward and I’m learning all the time. People I think there is an interesting feeling that goes through you when someone is standing there giddy to meet you…you who just yelled at your son to clean his room, threw in a load of laundry, and forgot to make your bed. Very humbling to have touched someone’s life and they want to be a part of yours for just a moment.

·  Is there any particular author or book that influenced you, in any way, either growing up or as an adult?
Sidney Sheldon really turned me onto writing. He was quick chapters that told a story. So having to learn to show a story was a challenge, but he really got me wanting to try my hand at it.

·  What project are you working on now?
I’m working on book 8 of the Keller series and a trilogy called THE THREE MRS. MONROES which will release this summer.

·  Why Tang Soo Do? Any chance we'll see a see a romantic suspense novel featuring a martial artist from you?
Tang Soo Do was the art the school I joined taught, but I loved it so much!! And maybe not a romantic suspense, but my next release, INDOMITABLE SPIRIT, is a martial artist and her school. And one of the Mrs. Monroes is also a martial artist.

·  Do you have a guilty pleasure? If so, what is it?
Chocolate. Really that’s it. It makes me light headed and I eat too much, but it is my go to pleasure.


Author Bio


Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends. Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter. At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years.

In 2007 – after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children – Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published. That year she wrote 12 books. In 2009 she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born. In 2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, and has released contemporary titles and has begun the process of taking on other authors in other genres.

Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events. She is also an accomplished martial artist, working her way to her second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do. An avid reader she loves to meet readers who enjoy reading contemporary romances and she always promises Happily Ever After.
Author Links