Friday, February 28, 2014

SUNNY: COVER REVEAL "The Singer" by Elizabeth Hunter

The Singer
by Elizabeth Hunter
Release:  May 2014

Look what is new from Elizabeth Hunter.  Isn't it pretty?  I can't wait to read it!

When you've lost everything you love, how do you fight the darkness?

Ava left Istanbul with a new identity, new name, and new magic she could barely control. Laid low by Malachi's sacrifice, she searches for help from the fabled Irina. But will the secretive women of the Irin race welcome or shun her? Ava's origins are still a mystery, and her powers are darker than any they've encountered before.

The Irin world hangs in the balance. And as the children of angels battle their own demons, ancient rivalries among the Fallen threaten to wreak havoc on earth.

Thousand of miles away, a warrior wakes with no memory of his identity or his people. Stumbling though the dark and twisted schemes of fallen angels, ravenous Grigori, and even his own leaders, he must find a way back to the one thing he remembers. A single voice calls him. Malachi has one mission.

"Come back to me."

THE SINGER is the second book in the Irin Chronicles, a contemporary fantasy series from Elizabeth Hunter, author of the Elemental Mysteries

ELIZABETH HUNTER is a contemporary fantasy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance writer. She is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College and a former English teacher. She once substitute taught a kindergarten class, but decided that middle school was far less frightening. Thankfully, people now pay her to write books and eighth-graders everywhere rejoice.

She is the author of the Elemental Mysteries and Elemental World series, the Cambio Springs Mysteries, the Irin Chronicles, and other works of fiction.
Connect with Elizabeth: 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

SUNNY: BLOG TOUR, REVIEW and GIVEAWAY "Shame On You" by Tara Sivec

Shame On You 
(Fool Me Once #1)
by Tara Sivec

Release Date: February 25, 2014


War veteran Kennedy O’Brien is in the business of sticking it to the man—or at least any man who tries to cross a woman. After she returned home from Afghanistan and caught her husband in bed with the nanny, Kennedy lost her faith in men and started Fool Me Once Investigations with her two best friends. After all, there’s no better bounty hunter than a woman scorned.

When Kennedy takes a case to slap cuffs on a bail jumper turned dog-napper, she figures it’ll be an easy paycheck. But trouble has a way of finding Kennedy. Enter the last man on the planet she’d willingly choose as a partner: her cheating ex-husband’s best friend, Griffin Crawford.

As gorgeous as he is unwelcome, Griffin has always had a thing for Kennedy, and after keeping quiet about her ex’s cheating, he’ll do anything to earn back her trust. Whether or not she wants to admit it, Kennedy will need help as the case of the Chihuahua thief spirals out of control. Griffin may be just her man—in more ways than one.


Shame On You is book one in the new series, Fool Me Once, by Tara Sivec. Fool Me Once is a private investigation agency started by three best friends:  a legacy US Army veteran (Kennedy), a former model (Paige), and a working attorney (Lorelei).  You can almost imagine the Charlie's Angels silhouette - smart one, cute one, lethal one. Cue the music. Each of the three has been burned by love and started this agency to ensure that fools do not get away with being foolish.  

The first word that comes to mind when I think about this book is IRREVERENT.  Tara Sivec writes with a wicked, irreverent sense of humor. I found myself grinning through most of the book and enjoying the sarcastic dialogue. This is one my favorite kinds of books. 

Kennedy is tough.  She grew up with a bevy of real and adopted brothers and her father is her hero.  She joined the Army as a part of the family tradition. When it comes to her work, she is self-assured, self-confident, and hung-ho.  When it comes to love, however, she's a mess. 

Enter stage right, Griffin Crawford.  Griffin is Kennedy's childhood friend and her ex-husband's best friend.  Kennedy and Griffin...they are complicated.  Watching them interact should be the best part of the book.  I'm am usually glued to the pages savoring the relationship as it develops. But with so many other things happening in the story, I found myself wanting more of just Kennedy and Griffin together.  So much of their relationship happens in the past. They have been friends since high school. The present-day interactions are short, albeit very hot. Their relationship does not unfold; it lands. Perhaps it has to do with the pace of the book - it is very fast,  or the length of the book - it is relatively short 127 pages, but I wish there was more. 

IN A NUTSHELL:  Now that I'm in the Fool Me Once universe, I'm can't wait for the next book.  I'm looking forward to being a part of the crazy antics of our girls at the agency.  

Tara Sivec is a USA Today best-selling author, wife, mother, chauffeur, maid, short-order cook, baby-sitter, and sarcasm expert. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children and looks forward to the day when they all three of them become adults and move out.

After working in the brokerage business for fourteen years, Tara decided to pick up a pen and write instead of shoving it in her eye out of boredom. She is the author of the Playing with Fire series and the Chocolate Lovers series. Her novel Seduction and Snacks won first place in the Indie Romance Convention Reader’s Choice Awards 2013 for Best Indie First Book.

In her spare time, Tara loves to dream about all of the baking she’ll do and naps she’ll take when she ever gets spare time. Tara also writes under the pen name T.E. Sivec.

Connect with Tara Sivec

We will have Three Grand Prize Winners!!
The Grand Prize includes:
Audio CDs of Shame on You
Autographed handcuffs
a 30 minute group Skype chat with Tara Sivec!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 24, 2014

SUNNY: LAUNCH PARTY, REVIEW and GIVEAWAY "Hard As You Can" by Laura Kaye

As Hard As You Can 
by Laura Kaye

Welcome to the Launch Party for Hard As You Can, Book Two in the Hard Ink series by Laura Kaye. Enjoy the little extras including a review, a part of the Hard Ink Dossier, an Excerpt and a GIVEAWAY!

Ever since hard-bodied, drop-dead-charming Shane McCallan strolled into the dance club where Crystal Dean works, he's shown a knack for getting beneath her defenses. For her little sister's sake, Crystal can't get too close. Until her job and Shane's mission intersect, and he reveals talents that go deeper than she could have guessed. 

Shane would never turn his back on a friend in need, especially a former Special Forces teammate running a dangerous, off-the-books operation. Nor can he walk away from Crystal. The gorgeous waitress is hiding secrets she doesn't want him to uncover. Too bad. He's exactly the man she needs to protect her sister, her life, and her heart. All he has to do is convince her that when something feels this good, you hold on as hard as you can--and never let go.

Read an Extended Excerpt of Book 1, Hard As It Gets

Buy Hard As You Can at Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

There is something about a Southern man...pair that with a special forces experience and a heart of gold, you've got a winning combination for a heart-stopping hero. In this book, it is Shane McCallan. 

Crystal Dean has more courage and perseverance than just about any character I've read in a long time.  She is beyond resilient.  Every time I think about what she has endured and overcome, my heart hurts a little.  If any one deserve a little (or a lot) of special attention from an ultimate alpha, it is Crystal.  

The team of Hard Ink is still trying to unravel the mystery of why they were wrongly accused after a terrible ambush that ultimately led to their resignations from the military.  This book takes up immediately after the series opening, Hard as it Gets.  Their search for answers leads them to a confrontation with a criminal gang run by Jimmy Church. Church's enterprises include white slavery, strip clubs and prostitution.  This is where Crystal meets Shane.  

In the midst of all the suspense, this is a poignant love story.  It suffers a little from insta-love, but the author more than makes up for it with the deep tenderness between Shane and Crystal.  Crystal's ability to survive her past is what attracts Shane: " was the survivor in her that really spoke to this soul, that brought him peace and gave him purpose." 

In addition to the connection between Crystal and Shane, it is the team dynamic that draws me in again and again.  There is a strong camaraderie between the members.  Forged from the challenges they faced together, this group is truly a brotherhood - with all the quibbling, quirks, and love you would expect as a family.  

IN A NUTSHELL: Even better than the first, I suspect that each successive book will be better and better.  If you haven't started the series, you need to get the first book now.  


Hero of: Hard As You Can (2/25/14)

Height: 6’1”
Weight: 205 pounds of all-American good guy
Hair Color: Light brown with blond
Eye Color: Gray
Born: 1984
Currently Resides: Northern Virginia

Occupation: Defense Contractor
Known Relatives: Parents, William and Barbara McCallan
Military Experience: Discharged after 10 years, U.S. Army Special Forces
Distinguishing Marks: Numerous tattoos
Biggest Weakness: Guilt over the loss of his little sister when he was a kid
Languages: English, Dari, Arabic
Notable Skills: Intelligence specialist, Medic Training
Drink of Choice: A nice cold beer always works
Preferred Type of Woman: He loves ‘em all
(As visualized by Laura Kaye - fitness expert, Jessie Pavelka) 

First description of Shane (Jeremy’s employee Jess’s), from Hard As It Gets:
A moment later, Jess ducked back around the corner. “Uh, guys,” she stage whispered. “There’s a big-ass male model out here.”
Becca grinned, but Nick flew out of his chair. “Don’t call him that, Jess. It’ll go right to his frickin’ head.”
“Which one?” she asked with a grin as he stepped around her and went out front.

Becca’s description of Shane, from Hard As It Gets:
Just when Becca thought Nick had been gone a really long time, he and another man made their way toward the lounge. And, holy wow, if men could be pretty, this guy was. Tall and lean, his light brown
hair was short on the sides and longer on top, where the blond-tipped ends stuck up this way and that like he’d run his hands through it a million times. His steel gray eyes held a natural smile in their depths, and if God had ever used a chisel on a man’s jaw, it was this guy’s.
“Everyone, this is Shane McCallan,” Nick said in a tone of voice that seemed reserved, even for him. “Shane, this is my brother, Jeremy.”
“The smarter Rixey, I presume,” Shane said with a hint of a southern accent.
They shook and Jeremy smiled. “I like you already.”
“You already met Jess.” Shane shook her hand with a wink, and Becca swore the normally kick-ass woman went weak in the knees. The Shane Effect, she thought, twisting her lips to hide her smile.

EXCERPT with a note from the author: 
It’s release day! And I’m thrilled to share Hard As You Can, the second book in the Hard Ink series, with all of you here today! Hard As You Can follows the surviving members of a disgraced Army Special Forces team as they fight to regain their stolen honor, and finds their investigation crossing paths with a waitress willing to do whatever it takes to stay alive and protect her younger sister. For Shane McCallan, saving Crystal Dean is a mission he refuses to turn down.

Today, I’m excited to share Shane and Crystal’s first kiss! Don’t you love first kiss scenes? Gah! I so do. *grins* Here we go:

“Tell me not to,” Shane said, his voice a raw scrape.

“I can’t,” Crystal whispered in a shaky voice. “I don’t want to.”

Shane’s body took over then, all urgent need and basic instinct. The rest of the world be damned. He pulled her in and kissed her, his lips devouring, his tongue exploring deep. Nothing held back. Nothing denied. Not even as her lips reawakened the sting from the cut on his lip. Totally worth it.

Crystal’s arms came up around him. She trembled against him, and Shane wasn’t sure if it was caused by adrenaline or fear. Unable to tolerate the thought that she might feel forced, he eased off.

She moaned and held him tighter, like his retreat had made something snap within her. Their kisses deepened, and her body moved against his, sinuously, maddeningly, desperately.

They tasted one another again and again, giving in to the heat that had sparked between them from the moment Crystal had collided with him at Confessions. Little nips and bites of lips and teeth warred with long, sensual strokes of tongue that stole his breath and made him instantly hard. The sting in his lip, the throb of his GSW, the aches from Nick’s asskicking, every bit of it faded away—no, her touch made it all go away.

The few times they’d spoken, Crystal had most often been guarded, tentative, fearful. Just as she’d been when he first kissed her. But, now, she was revealing a passionate woman who could be fearless, giving and receiving openly and without hesitation. Christ, the thought that this fierceness was the real Crystal slayed him because it meant she was burying and denying her true self, not because she wanted to, but because she had to.

No, because someone forced her to.

The thought reminded him of the bruises on her arm. Shane had known this woman for three days, and twice in that time she’d been hurt by another man. And both as a consequence for things Shane had done.

A crack of thunder echoed from the heavens, making Crystal jump and gasp into his mouth.
“I’ve got you,” he rasped around a kiss.

Part of him wanted to say more, to tell her he had her and he’d keep her safe. But he couldn’t make himself give up her heat, her sweetness, her obvious hunger—for him.

So he made her a silent promise instead.

Never again, Crystal. He’ll never hurt you again. Not on my watch.

Because Shane McCallan had made a mistake like that once. And, as bad as his sister’s disappearance had been, something’s happening to Crystal would actually be worse because Shane knew it was coming. The one break he’d ever given himself over Molly was that he’d had no way to know she’d be abducted. Didn’t excuse the role he played in allowing it to happen, but he couldn’t have known. But with Crystal, while he might not know when or how this Bruno asshole would strike out to do the ultimate damage, it was all but a done deal at this point. Always was with guys like him. And Shane would go to the grave before he let it happen, before he failed another female for whom he cared.

Because he did care. Made no damn sense given how long he’d known her. And the timing was beyond piss-poor. But there it was all the same.

So that’s Shane and Crystal starting to give in to what they feel for one another – I hope you enjoyed! Did you have a favorite line? Thanks for reading!


Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 21, 2014

SUNNY: ARC BOOK REVIEW "Hold On To Me" by Elisabeth Naughton


He thinks he’s finally found the one. 
Mitch Mathews never believed in love—at least not the happily ever after kind. Then he met Simone Conners. Just one night with the sexy lawyer made him reevaluate his priorities and look toward a future he never planned. The only hang up is making her see it too.

She’s almost ready for a second chance. 
What started out as a casual hookup with a rugged geologist has turned into something a whole lot more. Simone’s on the verge of handing over her heart, but fear over what Mitch will say and do when he learns who she used to be holds her back.

The past could destroy their future... 
Just when Simone is about to take a chance on forever with Mitch, the mistakes of her past catch up with her. Suddenly it’s not just her safety on the line anymore, it’s his too. Forced into hiding, Mitch demands answers, and Simone realizes the only way to protect everything she holds dear is to delve into a past she’s spent fourteen years trying to forget. As they search for the truth, they discover secrets, lies and a rekindled passion that burns hotter than before. But they also uncover a conspiracy that threatens the very fabric of society. One that could cost them more than just their future…it could cost them their lives.


Hold On To Me is book two in the Against All Odds series.  The first book, Wait for Me,  floored me with how beautiful and emotional it was.  I was highly anticipating this story about Mitch.  

Mitch, the perpetual bachelor, thinks he's found the ONE.  He is ready to commit not only to Simone, but her daughter Shannon.  This player is ready, willing and eager to embrace the whole package becoming a husband and a father.  Unfortunately, there are things in Simone's background that are threatening their lives together.  So much so, in Simone's mind, there is only one way to keep Mitch safe - to run away.  

You have to give Elisabeth Naughton credit.  She really knows how to write a yearning hero.  In her Eternal Guardians book, Enslaved, Zander's longing for Callia broke my heart.  This one rivals that relationship.  There are moments that are so poignant, it hurts to read.

"No matter what had happened, no matter how far they'd strayed from where they'd once been, she still wanted him, still needed him, still craved him with the same soul-deep intensity that he craved her." 

I also really enjoy Mitch and Ryan's (now including Tate) relationship.  There is an easy and playful sense of camaraderie. The way that they dig at one another feels genuine for men who have been almost life-long friends.  I find myself chuckling and looking forward to their interactions.  

I loved the emotion, but I struggled a bit with the story.  Part of the tension that keeps Mitch and Simone apart revolves around a big coincidence in the plot.  From my perspective, it's a little implausible.  

IN A NUTSHELL:  Despite my criticism,  Ms. Naughton created a tightly woven story with just enough intrigue to keep this reader staying up all night.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

SUNNY: BLOG TOUR, REVIEW and GIVEAWAY of "On the Rocks" by Sawyer Bennett


By Sawyer Bennett
Last Call, #1
Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Big Dog Books, LLC (February 17, 2014)


He left to travel the world for fame and glory, but only after spurning Gabby Ward and crushing her young heart. Now Hunter Markham has come back home to the sand and salty breeze of the North Carolina Outer Banks so he can open up Last Call, a beach bar nestled among the dunes of the Atlantic. 

Gabby Ward is not happy that Hunter has returned. Bitter over his rebuff years before, she’s content to stay far away from him and his dangerously charming ways. 

Gabby’s well-schemed plans to ignore Hunter go up in flames when he presents an offer to her that she simply can’t refuse, throwing them together in a common quest to each reach their goals. Working together day in and day out proves to be problematic for Gabby, who soon realizes that the feelings she had for him are still very much alive. Hunter struggles to reach through to Gabby’s cold heart, all while starting a new career away from his life as a top ranked, professional surfer.

What starts out as a mutual business arrangement soon turns into a passion that neither of them can continue to deny. 

Hard choices lay ahead for both of them when Hunter is offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to return to the pro surfing tour.

Choices that could destroy what they have built or take them further than they ever had dared to hope.


What an OUTSTANDING start to a new series from Sawyer Bennett. I can tell this one is going to rival my beloved "Off" series.  There are a many reasons to love this book, but here are my top: 

1. It's Sawyer Bennett and her amazing ability to write poignant and passionate stories.

2. She creates believable worlds with hunky heroes and relatable heroines. 
3. Her characters could be your best friends.  You like them that much.  They are funny, loyal, compassionate, and straight forward (they don't play games). 
4. Hunter Markham - a hero in my book with the ability to make difficult choices, and  stick with what he knows is right for him. 
5. Gabby Ward is adventurous and courageous.  Never taking the easy way, she chooses to take a career path that puts her under greater scrutiny and subject to sexist judgments. You go, girl! 
6. Hunter is a world class surfer!  Yowzah! 
7. She mentions Huntington Beach twice. (And yes, as you can imagine, there are plenty examples of what you could imagine Hunter might look like.)
8. She introduces us to a character whose story is surely going to break our hearts in the next book, Brody Markham.  Ahh, Brody. 


If you are a fan of contemporary romance, make sure you include Sawyer Bennett and specifically this book in your collection.  


USA Today Best-Selling author, Sawyer Bennett, is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. She is married to a mobster (well, a market researcher) and they have two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.


Enter for your chance to win one for the following prizes:

(1) $50.00 Amazon Gift Card 
(1) Off Series Boxed Set (Off Sides, Off Limits, Off The Record, Off Course, Off Chance)
(3) Signed books by Sawyer Bennett (winner's choice of any book in print)
(1) Epic Love Boxed Set – releasing 3/10/14 with following novels:  
-Off Chance by USA Today Bestselling Author Sawyer Bennett
-Trophy Husband by NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Lauren Blakely
-Finding the Right Girl by NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Violet Duke
-Indulgent Pleasures by USA Today Bestselling Author Karen Erickson
-Keeping You by iBooks and International Bestselling Author Jessie Evans
-With Every Heartbeat by USA Today Bestselling Author Melody Grace
-Unravel Me by NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Kendall Ryan
-Text Appeal by NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Lexi Ryan

a Rafflecopter giveaway