Monday's Muse

Monday, October 31

Sorry, but the image containing the Monday's Muse has been removed from this blog so as not to violate any copyright issues.  Thanks for your understanding!

Happy Halloween!  How about some sugar free eye candy for your viewing pleasure :)  

I'll give you two guesses what I read this past weekend?  If you guessed Wrangled and Tangled by Lorelei James, and/or Rocky Mountain Heat by Vivian Arend then you would be right!  When it comes to cowboys I just can't seem to get enough, especially if it is by these two authors :)  They're like chips, or your favorite candy...one just isn't enough!  What's your favorite fiction candy?  Cowboys and Highlanders are my two favorites.  Now if we are talking actual treats...hands down it's Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!  What's yours?  And do you commandeer any of Halloween goodies when no one is looking :)  What?  I can't be the only one :)

This week at Seductive Musings:
  • Tuesday:  I hope/need to have a few reviews for you as well as a giveaway for Gillian Bagwell's new novel The September Queen.
  • Wednesday:  Historical Romance author Katy Madison will be my guest to share a bit about her new book All About Seduction.  I'm liking the sound of that!
  • Thursday-Friday:  I need to post some more reviews and hopefully I'll find the time to do that ;)
  • Tempting Trailer: This week's Tempting Trailer is for Kieran Kramer's new historical romance If You Give a Girl a Viscount. Sadly, I've fallen a bit behind in the Impossible Bachelors series, but it's one that looks to be lots of fun if the video is any indication...as well as my enjoyment of the previous books :)

Finally, I'd like to congratulate all of the authors will new releases this week, especially Musings authors Maya Banks, Lucy Monroe, Grace Burrowes, Lauren Dane, Lorelei James, Margaret Mallory, Jill Shalvis, Cara Elliott, Kieran Kramer, Anita Clenney, Mary Wine, Amanda Forester, Melissa McClone, Katy Madison, & Gillian Bagwell!


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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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Friday Freebies

Friday, October 28

Did you miss me?  Did you even realize I've been gone a few days ? LOL.  Yeah, I had some computer issues so I wasn't able to get online like I had planned.  Anyways, I hope to be able to post a few reviews later today if I can get my a*@ in gear :)  

In the meantime I thought I would share some of the freebie Amazon books I've downloaded this week (which more than likely will languish in my digital TBR) in case you hadn't noticed them yet.  There are also quite a few deals going on for Halloween including a surprise B&N discount at checkout that could be anywhere from 15-50% off.  I might check that one out myself :)


There were quite a few Ellora's Cave that popped up recently.  These have been hit or miss for me, but for free...I'm willing to check them out and try out some new to me authors.  There is also the Lucky Harbor cookbook by Jill Shalvis.  Very cute, and I've actually tried one of the recipes, the Good Morning Sunshine Casserole.  Super easy, and everyone loved it, though not exactly diet friendly :)  I also got one mystery which is a deviation for me, but it was by Lori Armstrong (aka Lorelei James...one of my fav authors) and this series is supposed to be excellent. In the past I tried to get the book at my library but couldn't even get it as an interlibrary loan so I was super excited to be able to try this series!  

All in all it was a good freebie week.  Did you get any freebies this week you'd like to share?  I'd be curious to know what was offered at B&N this week because I believe that they have a free book each Friday?  And while we are at it, do you read freebies right away?  And have they gotten you to purchase any other books by the author?

Hope you have a good weekend, and make sure you check out the reviews...you never know there may be a surprise or two...not to mention some really great reads :)

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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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Monday's Muse

Monday, October 24

Sorry, but the image containing the Monday's Muse has been removed from this blog so as not to violate any copyright issues.  Thanks for your understanding!

My life has been crazy lately, but even in the past when I've been busy or stressed reading was my escape and my relaxation.  I've taken a few Sundays recently and just escaped by reading what I wanted and completely immersing myself in the story....I love those days unfortunately they are even fewer and farer (is that even a word?) than I would like.  But I think you all can understand that since our lives get busier each year.

I was updating Goodreads on Sunday and noticed that  in 2010 on average I read about 10 books a month...basically a few books a weeks (2-3).  This year started out ok, but the last couple of months I've read about half that.  This month I've only read a total of one book each week.  And I'm really disheartened by that...not because of the count, actually I could really care less about that, but it's representative of my dwindling free time.  And I've also found that when I can read more than one book a week I'm a much happier person :)  At least that's what I feel and also what I've been told, and frankly I can't argue with that assessment.  I've been a tad testy with those that I love recently, and that also makes me sad.  They are easy targets, and that is  totally and completely inexcusable.

So this week's Muse is all about attitude adjustments...mine.  And to help me get there is our Muse this week :)  What do you think?  And tell me I'm not alone....when you have a hard time finding time to do the things you love how does it affect you? And did you find a way to find a few extra moments in your day to indulge...and if so please share them!

btw...our conversation a few weeks ago about male jewelry...I have to say I'm liken' his embellishments ;)

This week at Seductive Musings:
  • Monday:  Later today I plan to have some winners for you.  I actually forgot to do this over the weekend.  oops :)
  • The rest of the week I will have reviews!  I'm actually looking forward to easing my guilty conscience over all of the ones I have to post.
  • Tempting Trailer: This week's Tempting Trailer is for Shiloh Walker's first book in her new Romantic Suspense trilogy If You Hear Her.  If you don't remember, Ms. Walker wrote my favorite book in 2010 so to say I've been anxiously awaiting this series is a vast understatement.  I was lucky enough to get an advanced reader's copy of the book and will have my review for you this week...maybe even tomorrow if the stars are aligned ;)




Also of Interest:
  • Fellow blogger Limecello is trying to raise awareness and donations for the Children of the Plains.  If you are anything like me you are hurting for money...not just book buying money, but like money for everything money.  So while I can't afford to donate $$$ I can save my Box Tops Education and send them.  I hope you read her post, especially since Saturday was National Make a Difference Day, it's sad and thought provoking at the same time.  We can all make a difference even if it's only by mailing some box labels.
  • Authors Shiloh Walker, Jaci Burton, and Lisa Renee Jones are having a really big Nook giveaway to celebrate the release of all three of of their new Romantic Suspenses in their Chills and Thrills contest.  The posts in which you can enter to win began last week, but you can read the posts, and learn more about the contest here.

Finally, I'd like to congratulate all of the authors will new releases this week, especially Musings authors Elizabeth Hoyt, Maya Banks, Victoria Dahl, Gwyn Cready, & Lori Foster!  Congrats Ladies and thanks for the great reads!!!



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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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Winners! ... Goblin King, Always a Temptress & Scandalous Desires

Saturday, October 22

To celebrate the release of the first book in the Shadowlands series, The Goblin King, Shona's publishers Sourcebooks Casablanca would like to giveaway a print copy of the book to these two Musings readers...


To celebrate the release of the third book in the Drakes Rakes historical romance series, Always a Temptress, Eileen's publisher, Forever Romance, would like to giveaway a copy of the book to these three lucky Musings followers...




To celebrate the release of Scandalous Desires, the third book in Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series, her publisher Grand Central Publishing would like to giveaway a print copy of the book to these three lucky Musings followers...



Congratulations!   As always, you can click on any of the links or the book covers found on this blog to purchase the books you are dying to read...even if you didn't win them.  If you didn't win one of these, don't lose heart because I'll have some new ones for you soon!

If however,  you've been lucky enough to have already won these book(s) in another giveaway please let me know so that alternate winner(s) can be selected.  The winners will have until Friday October 28th to contact me with your mailing address, otherwise alternate winner(s) will be selected.  

For new followers to Seductive Musings please take note I do NOT email you that you have won.  The blog post serves as the announcement and it is your responsibility to contact me with your mailing address. You can send your mailing address to me by using the Contact link in the menu bar at the top of the blog then filling out the form.

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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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Guest Author: Bella Andre featuring The Sullivans

Wednesday, October 19

In my opinion there's nothing better than family...whether it's the one you're born with, or the one you've made.  Maybe that's one of the reasons why I love romance series that revolve around families...because there's that intimacy already built into the relationships that give you the insight into the characters that is so important.

Author Bella Andre is my special guest today to share with us why the characters from her Sullivans family series would be a great inspiration to your Halloween costumes, and at the same time a bit about the second book from the series, From This Moment On.  Read and enjoy!


It’s October 19th. You know what that means. You only have less than two weeks to figure out your Halloween costume! If you’re anything like me, you’ve been procrastinating. Fortunately, there is a whole lot of inspiration in my new contemporary romance series about the Sullivan family.

The first two books in the series – THE LOOK OF LOVE and FROM THIS MOMENT ON - follow a family of six sexy brothers and two sassy sisters as they fall in love. They’re a big family who butt heads one minute and laugh with each other the next. While they have a lot in common – a love for family gatherings and good food – they’re also very different in temperament and career, and there’s more than enough costume ideas to go around.

CHASE – the sexy photographer in THE LOOK OF LOVE, Sullivans #1. Wear some dark jeans, a white button-up shirt untucked at the waist, and sling a fancy camera around your neck.

MARCUS – the winery owner in FROM THIS MOMENT ON, Sullivans #2, demands a crisp suit and a bottle of wine in your hand which is sure to make you a hit at any Halloween party.

GABE – the firefighter in my upcoming release CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE, Sullivans #3 (release date: November 22!) is a little trickier to pull off, but if you can find a red fire engine hat then feel free to imitate Gabe’s firehouse wear with some black snowboard pants to stand in for fire-retardant pants and a white t-shirt.

LORI – aka Naughty, is a hip hop instructor with the perfect costume for someone in need of a last minute fix. Find a pair of baggy pants, get a tight midriff-earing top and some hoop earrings.

ZACH – while he might own a hugely successful chain of mechanic shops, he still likes to get his hands dirty. Get a workman’s outfit, grease it up and walk around with a devil-may-care grin and a wrench.

SMITH –is a movie star and nothing says movie star more than dark sunglasses and windblown hair. Maybe get a friend to dress up as paparazzi and follow you around taking photos!

RYAN –is my baseball player so a baseball cap, your favorite team sport tee and a toy baseball bat will tie the look together.

SOPHIE (I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU, Sullivans #4 – coming Feburary 2012)– aka Nice, is a hard-working librarian so I recommend a cute skirt, a prim button-up top and some sexy glasses, even if you don’t have a prescription. Tuck your favorite book under your arm and you’re set.

I hope that helps you inspire you to pull your costume together, and Happy Halloween!

:) Bella Andre

For thirty-six years, Marcus Sullivan has been the responsible older brother, stepping in to take care of his seven siblings after their father died when they were children. But when the perfectly ordered future he's planned for himself turns out to be nothing but a lie, Marcus needs one reckless night to shake free from it all.

Nicola Harding is known throughout the world by only one name - Nico - for her catchy, sensual pop songs. Only, what no one knows about the twenty-five year old singer is that her sex-kitten image is totally false. After a terrible betrayal by a man who loved fame far more than he ever loved her, she vows not to let anyone else get close enough to find out who she really is...or hurt her again. Especially not the gorgeous stranger she meets at a nightclub, even though the hunger - and the sinful promises - in his dark eyes make her want to spill all her secrets.

One night is all Nicola and Marcus agree to share with each other. But nothing goes as they plan when instead of simply tangling limbs, they find a deeper connection than either of them could have anticipated. And even though they both try to fight it, growing emotions - and sizzling attraction - keep drawing them closer together.

Close enough for them to wonder if stealing one more secret moment together can ever be enough?

Read an excerpt


Congratulations Bella on your Sullivans series!  I've not had the pleasure of reading the first two book yet, but I'm definitely looking forward to it.  I love series revolving around a family so this one is right up my alley, especially when you take into account that it's a sexy contemporary romance written by Bella Andre :)

If you'd like to learn more about Bella Andre and the books she writes you can find her on her website www.bellaandre.com, on Facebook, and Twitter.  One of my favorite extras on her website are the Alpha Male Puzzles ;)  Puzzles + Hot Cover = A Muse worthy activity!


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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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Guest Author & Giveaway: Elizabeth Hoyt featuring Scandalous Desires

Tuesday, October 18

I've been singing the praises of Elizabeth Hoyt ever since I found her books a little over a year ago.  She is quite possibly my favorite historical romance writer right now.  Her stories contain just about every element I love about historical romance.  A little bit of a fairy tale, complex characters, emotional stories, steamy seductions...I could go one, but for your sakes I won't :)  

There is not one of her books that I've read that I have been disappointed in....and that in and of itself is AMAZING since I have pretty high expectations for favorites.    Elizabeth Hoyt is my special guest today to share a bit about her newest book in the Maiden Lane series, Scandalous Desires, which has gotten some amazing reviews so I think it's pretty safe to say that I'll not be disappointed in this one either.  Read and enjoy!

Welcome back to Seductive Musings Elizabeth! I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am that Scandalous Desires is finally here...and early, Woo-hoo!  One thing I find interesting is that many authors write series in trilogies, yet it seems like most of your historical romances consist of a series of four books instead of three (which I happen to love!)  Is this a deliberate choice, or an inadvertant product of your Muse?

I suppose inadvertent. Maiden Lane will have at least six books, so I guess I haven’t settled on a series number yet. ;-)

Your newest story in the Maiden Lane series is of course Scandalous Desires.  For someone who has not had the pleasure of reading the series, can you give us a brief summary about each of the Maiden books? How they are related, and should they be read in order?

The Maiden Lane books are mostly linked by St. Giles. Wicked Intentions features Temperance Dews who runs an orphanage in St. Giles. Her hero, Lord Caire, is searching for a murderer in St. Giles.

Notorious Pleasures is about Lady Hero and Lord Griffin. Lady Hero is a patroness of the orphanage and Lord Griffin runs a rather shady business in St. Giles.

Scandalous Desires is about Silence Hollingbrook, Temperance’s sister from Wicked Intentions. Her story actually starts in Wicked Intentions, so I think it’s best to read the books in order. The hero is Mickey O’Connor, a notorious river pirate who lives in St. Giles.

We first met Silence, the heroine in Scandalous Desires, in Wicked Intentions where she seemed to have already had her happily ever after ending with a man she loved...that is until she meets Charming Mickey and her whole world starts to fall apart.  What made you decide that Silence’s fate needed to include the death of her husband, and being seduced by a scoundrel like Mickey?

“Seemed” is I think the operative word in the question above. ;-) Basically, I wanted to write a rather involved love story with more backstory than could fit in one book. It is possible to read Scandalous Desires without reading the previous two books, but I think the reader gets a much fuller understanding of Silence’s journey in particular if you’ve read the previous books.

Tell us more about the hero, Mickey O’Connor!  He’s manipulative, cunning, ruthless, dangerous, yet has earned the moniker “Charming” Mickey.  I have to say the more I learn about him the more he reminds me of another of my favorite heroes, Lisa Kleypas’s Derek Craven.  I especially like the fact that he is also a self made man.  What do you think will make readers, much like his reluctant heroine Silence, fall in love with him despite.....everything? And can you tell us a little bit about their story in Scandalous Desires?

Mickey was a delight to write! I love aristocratic heroes, but there’s soooo many other characters to explore in history. Mickey is one of them. He was born and grew up in the worst part of London and I think he basically had to chose to either become a victim or to become a predator--there was no middle ground for him. He’s almost impossible to sympathize with unless you understand where he came from.

In Scandalous Desires, Mickey has manueavered Silence into a position in which she has to come live with him. He thinks he’s “won”...but Silence isn’t nearly as passive as Mickey counts on her being, and his world is basically turned upside-down.

What's your favorite scene or moment from Scandalous Desires, and why? Can you describe it (or provide a short excerpt) for us without giving too much away?

Well, the artichoke scene was a lot of fun to write.

She looked at him thoughtfully for a moment and then down at her untouched artichoke. “What is this thing?”

“The artichoke?” His lips quirked.

“Is that what it’s called?” She stared disapprovingly down at the vegetable. “I’ve never seen the like. It looks like a giant flower bud.”

“Well, ’tis—or so I’m told.” He gently took the fork from her fingers and picked up her knife, beginning to pry apart the dark green leaves. “They’re grown far away in Italy. A sea captain gave me a crate o’ the things some years ago.”

“Gave?” She raised her eyebrows suspiciously.

He shrugged and flashed her a sly smile. “Gave, took, does it matter, love? To be sure the captain hadn’t much choice, but the result was the same: a case o’ artichokes ended up in me care and I’ve had a fondness for them ever since.”

“Humph.” She peered down suspiciously as he parted the leaves to reveal the choke. “That doesn’t look very tasty.”

“That’s because it isn’t,” he said. “Pay heed: the artichoke is a shy vegetable. She covers herself in spine-tipped leaves that must be carefully peeled away, and underneath shields her treasure with a barricade o’ soft needles. They must be tenderly, but firmly, scraped aside. Ye must be bold, for if yer not, she’ll never reveal her soft heart.”

He finished cutting away the thistles and placed the small, tender heart on the center of her plate.

She wrinkled her nose. “That’s it? But it’s so small.”

“Ah, and d’ye judge a thing solely upon size alone?”

She made a choking sound.

He paused, the knife and fork still in the air. “Now what is it yer thinkin’ about in that prim little mind?”

She shook her head mutely and pointed at the artichoke heart. “Go on?”

“Hmm.” He took bit of soft butter and spread it over the little heart. “Well, I was thinkin’ that sometimes the smaller the treasure, the sweeter the pleasure.”

He cut the heart in half and held it out to her on the tip of the fork and found he was holding his breath. Would she let him feed her? Let him care for her?

She stared suspiciously for a long moment before accepting the morsel into her mouth. His heart leaped in triumph. He watched as the taste in her mouth was reflected in her bright eyes.

“So delicate, so buttery,” he crooned to this fascinating woman. “Green and rich and smooth, but with a tiny bitter taste on top as if to keep yer interest.”

She swallowed and licked her lips. “It’s rather good.”

He laughed breathlessly. Have care, part of his brain whispered. This way only leads to pain. But his cock was pressing hard against the placket of his breeches and he wanted to take her hand and draw her away to his rooms and keep her there until she learned to scream in pleasure.

Until she screamed his name and no other.

“Yes, rather good,” he imitated her tones gently. “Well worth the trouble o’ the thorns and the prickles to reach that sweet, meltin’ center, I think.”

Many authors have a synopsis, outline or idea of what the story they are about to write will be.  However, sometimes during the writing process your “Muse” might speak to you and lead you in a different or unplanned direction.  What surprised or changed the most from your original intent for Scandalous Desires?

It’s a lighter story than I originally thought it might be.

Can you tell us about some of your upcoming releases, or new projects that we can look forward to?

Next up is Thief of Shadows about Winter Makepeace, the youngest brother in the Makepeace clan.

If you could ask readers a question, or have them finish a sentence what would it be?

Which of my books is your favorite and why?

Finally, just for fun…if you could write the “fortune” in a fortune cookie what would it be?

Dream your life, live your dream.



Can a pirate learn . . .River Pirate ‘Charming’ Mickey O’Connor has lifted himself from the depths of the slums to be the King of St. Giles. Anything he wants he gets—with one exception. Silence Hollingbrook has been haunting his dreams ever since she spent a single night in his bed.

That the only true treasure . .
.
Once Silence was willing to sacrifice anything to save the man she loved. Now a widow, she’s finally found peace when Charming Mickey comes storming back into her life with an offer she can’t refuse. But this time she won’t be the only one paying the price for his sins.

Lies in a woman's heart?
When his past comes back to torment him, Mickey must keep Silence safe from a merciless enemy, while wrestling with the delicious hold this widow has on his heart. And in the face of mounting danger, both will have to surrender to something even more terrifying . . . true love.

Read an extended excerpt, and if you're interested watch a behind the scenes video of the making of the Scandalous Desires cover here.



Congratulations Elizabeth!  I can't imagine a better gift to readers than an earlier than expected release.  It should be in book stores this week, and is available as a digital book today *squee*!  I can't wait to read this one.  If I disappear from the blog for a few days, you can blame Ms. Hoyt ;)

If you'd like to learn more about the Maiden Lane series I suggest downloading the Insider's Guide to the Maiden Lane series.  It has all sorts of goodies like family trees, a cast of characters, and excerpts.  And if like me you love the fairy tale stories that are in each of her historical romances then I would definitely recommend the free read Clever John.  I've always wanted to be able to read the fairy tales as a whole instead of at the beginning of each chapter and this special extra is exactly that.  Love :)  You can find Elizabeth at her website www.elizabethhoyt.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

To celebrate the release of Scandalous Desires, the third book in Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series, her publisher Grand Central Publishing would like to giveaway a print copy of the book to three lucky Musings followers.  Here's how you can enter to win:

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory: Answer the question Elizabeth addressed to readers in the interview AND please show her some comment love with a question or thought about her books. (good for 1 entry)
  • Mandatory: You MUST be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower in order to be eligible to win (unfortunately an email subscriber, or subscription in Google reader, and a follower are not the same thing so make sure you are signed up as a follower if you'd like to win this book)
  • If you have a blog, or even if you don't, you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they successfully enter to win and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries. You can blog about it with a link to this post, post it on Facebook, Twitter, email...or even word of mouth (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) . Please note that to earn the points they must mention your GFC name so that I can match you.   
  • Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
How to enter:
  • You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment 
Rules and disclaimers:
  • This contest is open to US & Canada addresses only.  No PO Boxes.
  • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
  • The contest will end on October 21st at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
  • Winner(s) will be selected using Random.org
  • The winner(s) will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
  • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
  • Winners will be subject to one copy per household, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, that you will only receive one copy of the title in the mail
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
Good Luck!

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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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Monday's Muse

Monday, October 17

Sorry, but the image containing the Monday's Muse has been removed from this blog so as not to violate any copyright issues.  Thanks for your understanding!

This week's Muse is inspired by a paranormal romance I just finished reading.  The Goblin King by Shona Husk, which I think is my favorite paranormal romance that I've read so far this year.  Granted I don't read a lot of paranormals, but this one was fresh and emotional (which I always love).  I hope to have a review for you about it sometime soon, but in the meantime I couldn't help but look for a Muse with dreadlocks.  

Ms. Husk's hero in the Goblin King has dreadlocks that he strings amber beads into  which has  significant meaning to the story as well as to the character...so much so that I even abandoned my usually hard and fast rule that a man should have shorter hair than me and actually made me dig the dreads :)  Though the hero in the story was of Celtic decent, I'm thinking that Mamoa with his dreads and beads would make a good stand in for Ms.  Husk's hero because he is undoubtedly sexy, but he can also give some mean killer looks. 

What do you think about long hair on men?  And while we are at it, what about men wearing jewelry?  Usually I don't like it, but on Mamoa it works...big time.  Maybe its because the necklace isn't gold, or some big flashy thing.  Anyways I decided not to question it too much and just enjoy :)  Like I hope you do!

This week at Seductive Musings:
  • Monday:  Later today I think I should have some winners from previous posts to announce
  • Tuesday:  Author Elizabeth Hoyt will be my guest to share a bit about her upcoming historical romance Scandalous Desires.  I don't know about you, but I've been waiting to read this story since Wicked Intentions (the first book in the Maiden Lane series).  I can't wait to read it!!!!  Have I mentioned lately how much I love Ms. Hoyt's stories :)
  • Wednesday:  Contemporary Romance author Bella Andre will be my guest to share with us her relatively new Sullivan Family series.  This is one series that has been on my radar so I can't wait to learn more about it.
  • Thursday-Friday:  I hope to have a few more reviews for you.
  • Tempting Trailer: This week's Tempting Trailer is for Karen Hawkins' new historical romance A Most Dangerous Profession, the third book in her Hurst Amulet Series.  While the book description is definitely tempting, the video itself...I don't really care for.  It's the acting.  It's not good.  I think this is a prime example when still pictures definitely would have been better....at least in my opinion :)  What do you think?


Also of Interest:
  • The British Babes Book Brigade is having a month long celebration on their Facebook page in honor of the 200th anniversary of Sense & Sensibility! They will be giving at least one Jane Austen related book away each weekday! All Jane Austen fans are invited to check it out!  

Finally, I'd like to congratulate all of the authors will new releases this week, especially Musings author Jaci Burton whose Romantic Suspense The Heart of a Killer comes out on Tuesday!  That is one smokin' hot cover.  I especially love that her hands look as if he pinned them to the wall....but his hands are holding her face.  Love!  Congrats Jaci!


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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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Review: Steamlust Steampunk Erotic Romance Anthology

Saturday, October 15

Title:  Steamlust:  Steampunk Erotic Romance*
Editor:  Kristina Wright
Series: N/A
Genre: Steampunk, Erotic Romance
Publisher: Cleis Press
Format: Paperback
Date/Year:  October 4, 2011
Reviewed by:  Julia

*This book was provided to reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Summary from the publisher:

Victorian Elegance Meets Steamy Exploration

Steampunk erotic romance is shiny brass and crushed velvet, mechanical inventions and romantic conventions, sexual fantasy and kinky fetish. This unique collection includes tales of adventure and intrigue, enhanced by imaginative gadgets and clever automatons, populated by the passionate, free-spirited rebels and dreamers steampunk is known for. In Nikki Magennis's "Make Your Own Miracles," a lust-filled lady orders a machine to relieve the agony of her longing; while a brilliant inventor and a wanton engineer collaborate with ecstatic results in Saskia Walker's "Hearts of the Daedalus." In Lynn Townsend's "Golden Moment," an invention leads the heroine to exactly the right lover at precisely the right time. And the time bandits of Vida Bailey's "Undergrounded" indulge their desires, just one step ahead of the law. Tantalizing steam engine dreams and clockwork visions await!

My Musings:

Steampunk. I accidentally fell into this genre when I picked up a book with a pretty cover and decided to read it. How fun it was! Cool Victorian mannerism, things, ideals, added in with a twist of taking industrialization to its science fiction- fantasy extreme.

When this book came to me I was just thinking I wanted to read more erotica, and with steampunk being fun and unique, I thought this would be the best thing for it.

Steamlust, as aforementioned, is an anthology. Each story is roughly ten pages long. My normal problem with anthologies is that it is extrememly hard for me to get to know the characters with only thirty or so odd pages to work with. That is not the case with Steamlust. The first story wow’d me (I’d venture to say it was my favorite) and let me know I wasn’t in for the dreary anthologies I've read in the past where I felt like I wasted my time.

Each story has wonderful characters and focuses on a certain type of Steampunk. One story may focus more of the innovations of the genre, where another focuses solely on the machines themselves. Regardless of the focus there was always some fun aspect that took the story from meh...to marvelous!

Now, I can’t say all of the stories wow’d me the same as that first one did, but they were all enjoyable and a great way to get in some quick reading after a tough long day at work. I had no need to worry about getting caught up in the book and be roped in for 15 chapters, because each short story was its own book.

This book has something for all romance loving Steampunk fanatics. It is definitely steamy...some stories even had me grabbing for my hand fan!  The moral is, ladies and gents, if you are into Steampunk and don’t mind it with an emphasis on the steam, check Steamlust out.  If you don’t know what steampunk really is and are willing to get thrust into the realm of Victorian fantasy with clocks and goggles, give it a go! I am sure glad I did!

Ratings:

Overall:  4 stars
Sensuality level: 5

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Review: Silent Night, Sinful Night Anthology with Sharon Page, Chloe Harris & Melissa MacNeal

Friday, October 14

Title:  Silent Night, Sinful Night*
Author: Anthology with Chloe Harris, Sharon Page & Melissa MacNeal
Series: Some of the short stories contained within the collection may be connected to existing series
Genre:  Erotic Romance
Publisher: Kensington Aphrodisia
Format: Trade paperback & e-book
Date/Year:  September 27, 2011
Reviewed by:  Booklover1335

*This book was provided to me by one of the authors in exchange for an honest review

Summary from the publisher:

‘Tis the season for sweet seduction and passionate pleasure. Let visions of sultry sex sweep away your inhibitions and savor the delights of these three erotic encounters…

Wicked For Christmas Sharon Page
 Every Christmas, Amelia Weston is reminded of the night Lord Dante Rivington asked for her hand in marriage, took her body in passion, then vanished the next day into the snow-covered streets of Regency London. Every Christmas, she wonders if it will happen again…

Stolen Chances Chloe Harris
Winston Matthews knows a thief when he sees one, even if she is stunningly beautiful. And so he offers himself as an easy target for a sensually sinful Christmas Eve seduction…

Naughty Or Nice? Melissa MacNeal
Anxious to escape her memories of Christmas past, Tess Bennett takes a train west to the mountains of Colorado. And when she meets the sexy and seductive Johnny Gazara, she realizes that a naughty night of erotic delights is just what she needs…


My Musings:

Silent Night, Sinful Night is a collection of erotic short stories by some of Aphrodisia’s best known authors, and has a little bit of something for everyone.  While all are considered historical, each is set in a different period and location.  One is set in Regency England, another in Georgian West Indies, and the third is set in Victorian United States...all of them will spice up any cold winter night.

In Sharon Page’s Wicked for Christmas the heroine Amelia, is the Governess to a privileged family of the Ton.  She falls in love with the family heir and when he vows to marry her against his family’s wishes she succumbs to his passionate seduction only to find herself ruined and abandoned in the morning.

Alone, she is left to face the condemnation of her employer and is reduced to a mere servant, as well as the loss and seeming betrayal of the man she loved.  Several years elapse and just when Amelia is on the verge of moving on with her life and trying to trust in love again, Dante returns.  While his love for Amelia has not wavered he can no longer offer her the love he once did...only the protection of his name.  Because on the night he disappeared he was changed into a vampire.

Dante has yearned for his one true love ever since becoming a vampire, even incurring the wrath of his maker to return to her.  But now Dante must convince Amelia to marry him once again, even though they cannot be together forever.  His determination to win her over results in twelve days of seduction cleverly inspired by the twelve days of Christmas.  And while Dante might not be able to be in the light, he makes up for it in his creative erotic nocturnal temptations.

I enjoyed almost every aspects of Ms. Page’s story....all except for the parts that dealt with Dante being a vampire which I thought were somewhat laughable in their throw back to Bram Stoker’s Dracula.   Granted this is a paranormal historical romance, but every reference to vampires in long black capes, or shifting into bats...was just too....Bram Stoker Dracula archaic.

Wicked for Christmas would have been everything that I love about erotic historical romance if Dante would have been kidnapped by just an ordinary person instead of a vampire (though evil in his own way), escaped, then pursued by his abductor…basically removing every element of “vampireness” in the story.  In truth, the paranormal aspect actually made me step outside of the story I was enjoying, because I found some of it to be ridiculous.   It changed what would have been my favorite of the stories, a 5 star read, into a story that I loved only partially resulting in a 3.5 star read instead.  In the end I think I will avoid Ms. Page’s stories that contain paranormal elements based on my experience with this story, BUT I enjoyed her writing style, the sensuousness of the story, as well as the historical setting so much that I will most definitely be checking out her Historical Romances like The Club or any of her other Erotic Historical Romances in the very near future.  (3.50 stars /3.75 sensuality)

In Naught or Nice? by Melissa MacNeal the heroine Tess is facing her first Christmas alone after the deaths of her husband and daughter, in addition to being pressured by an unwanted suitor to remarry.  On a whim she decides to flee and while at the train station she finds an ad in the paper for employment and decides that it is exactly what she needs.  So she boards a train for the West to escape her memories and to avoid a man she despises.

This story was my least favorite of the three.  I just couldn’t get past Tess’s need to believe that her employer is Santa, or someone like him.  Santa.  I don’t know why I had a hard time believing that she would believe, considering that I usually try to suspend reality in ANY fiction book that I read, but I just couldn’t get past that.  I wish the story would have focused more on Tess’s loss and learning to live again and finding a new love, as well as a new purpose with the wealth she inherited.  Instead the story focuses on a wealthy childish man who is a mix of Willa Wonka and Santa, who lives in a fantasy world of his own creation (helped along with his opium & sexual addiction).

Perhaps I might have enjoyed Naughty or Nice?  if the man needing redemption would have been the hero, but he wasn’t he was just a secondary character that took up too much page time in my opinion.  As a result I felt that the story was very superficial much like the candy that Tess’s “Santa” manufactures.  All sugar...no not really sugar, more like saccharin...with very little substance.  It leaves you craving so much more after you are finished.  Naughty or Nice? by Melissa MacNeal  gets 2.75 stars /3.50 sensuality

Stolen Chances by Chloe Harris is by far the best story out of the three in this anthology, and in my opinion should have been the headliner...the star, even though the author is not as well known as the other two.

Winston Matthews is the son of an important and corrupt government official whom he basically despises, but because of his love for his mother he returns home for the holidays where he encounters a beautiful woman at a ball with lust in her eyes…except the lust is not for him, but for the jewels that she is planning to steal....at least at the beginning.

Winston begins his seduction of the beautiful woman in order to thwart her attempts to illegally appropriate his guests’ valuable possessions only to find himself enthralled by the lady behind the deception.  Thus begins their steamy (very steamy) holiday affair where both of them learn a bit about the other, while still protecting their own secrets.

I really loved Stolen Chances, in fact I wish it would have been a full length novel because I loved the setting of the story, I loved the dilemmas that both the heroine and hero found themselves in, as well as watching them learn to trust and believe in each other...which is against both of their skeptical natures and jaded hearts.

I did feel that their intimacy upon meeting each other was rather quick, but when you take into account that they are both attempting to use the other for their own means it becomes more believable.  I also wished that there would have been the opportunity to explore both of their histories more than what was possible in the story.  I wanted to know more details about Rosie’s life, and I also wanted more about Winston’s estranged relationship with is father.  Both played pivotal roles in who the characters were when they meet each other and colored there actions and reactions to one another.

It’s not that the story was lacking those connections to their pasts, they just weren’t as in depth as I would have liked because I enjoyed the hero and heroine so much.  Stolen Chances is the shining star of this holiday themed erotic romance anthology.  With its exotic locale, characters that you are dying to learn more about, not to mention the spicy and steamy love scenes which were positively sinful, this story is the one to buy Silent Night, Sinful Night for.  I’m looking forward to reading more by Chloe Harris.  Stolen Chances by Chloe Harris gets 4.25 stars/4.00 sensuality.

Ratings:

Wicked for Christmas by Sharon Page 3.50 stars /3.75 sensuality
Stolen Chances by Chloe Harris 4.25 stars / 4.00 sensuality
Naughty or Nice? by Melissa MacNeal 2.75 stars /3.50 sensuality

Overall:  3.50 stars
Sensuality level:  3.75
btw:  I really hate this cover! Not that anyone asked :)

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    Guest Author& Giveaway: Eileen Dreyer featuring Always a Temptress

    Wednesday, October 12


    I know many of you have enjoyed the previous books in Eileen Dreyer's Drake's Rakes series, so when I had the opportunity to have her as my guest to celebrate her new historical romance, Always A Temptress, I couldn't say no :)  And of course when the hero is modeled after Daniel Craig....a very drool-worthy Muse...need I say more?

    Eileen is my guest today to share a bit about Harry and Kate's story in Always a Temptress with some very tempting excerpts just for you my friends ;)  Read and enjoy!

    Welcome to Seductive Musings Eileen! Your newest story in the Drakes Rakes series is ALWAYS A TEMPTRESS. Can you tell us how many books are planned for this series?  How BARELY A LADY, NEVER A GENTLEMAN, and ALWAYS A TEMPTRESS are related, and for someone who has not had the pleasure of reading them, can you give us a brief summary about each of these stories? And do they need to be read in order?

    Temptress is the third in what I hope is a series of nine books that would follow the story of each of my team of gentlemanly spies, DRAKE’S RAKES. The series actually began as a trilogy following my heroines from the moment they meet in Belgium during the battle of Waterloo. But when I realized that they were caught up in espionage, I knew I needed heroes to fight against the nefarious spies. And as I progressed through the second book, NEVER A GENTLEMAN, the Rakes started making their appearances, encouraging me to tell their stories. Right now I’m signed through book 5. My fingers are crossed that I get to do them all.

    I think you can read each book by itself, but I hope you would get a more complete enjoyment by reading them in order. BARELY A LADY introduces the series when Olivia Grace, Grace Fairchild and Lady Kate, the Dowager duchess of Murther, meet in the medical tents of Brussels during Waterloo. Searching Waterloo for Grace’s father, Olivia instead discovers Jack Wyndham, Earl of Gracechurch, who divorced and disgraced her five years earlier. Not only is he missing much of his memory from a head injury, but he is clad in an enemy uniform, and no one knows why. Even though she’d rather leave him in the dirt, Olivia protects him until he can learn the truth.

    In NEVER A GENTLEMAN, handsome, debonair Diccan Hilliard is drugged and left naked in the bed of painfully plain, undeniably honorable Grace Fairchild. Marriage is inevitable. Love isn’t. Caught in a tortrous web of intrigue, the two must work their way past lies, betrayal and danger to find each other.

    If you had an opportunity to provide only a two or three sentence "teaser" quote from ALWAYS A TEMPTRESS, to grab the attention of potential readers and give them a glimpse and feeling of what the story is about what would it be?

         “I’m not doing anything!” he snapped. “I’m certainly not betraying my country.”

         “And you immediately assume I am.”

         She was trembling, the cold wall damp against her back. Her first instinct was to cower, throw her arm up to protect herself. She knew too well, though, that cowering only made it worse. She held perfectly still.

         ‘Yes,” he all but snarled, too close. Too angry. “I do.”

    Tell us about your hero, Sir Harry Lidge.  What do you think will make readers, much like his heroine Lady Kate, fall in love with him despite their past and their antaganistic relationship? Can you tell us a little bit about the obstacles they overcome in ALWAYS A TEMPTRESS?

    It is obvious that Harry is courageous. After all, he was knighted for bravery, and led a Forlorn Hope, a suicide action. He suffers, not only from physical injuries, but the mental and spiritual tolls of war. He protects those who rely on him, like Mudge, his batman. And even as furious as he is with Kate, he never hurts her. But it is when her secrets are revealed that Harry’s true strength and compassion are shown. When they have the courage to go back and untangle the lies and missed opportunities that turned them against each other. Harry believes that Kate betrayed him. She believes he deserted her. He believes that she ruined his two engagements(she did). She believes that he is vengeful(he might be, a little). But when trouble comes they band together and fight for their future.

    What's your favorite scene or moment from ALWAYS A TEMPTRESS, and why? Can you describe it (or provide an excerpt) for us without giving too much away?

    My absolute favorite scenes are the revelation scenes. I hope you understand why I don’t feel ready to share them. But my second favorite scenes are when Kate and Harry banter. Below is an example, when Kate, attending a ball with Harry, is surrounded by her adoring acolytes:

    "I will write a poem," young Luddy Clarke said, hand to heart for his goddess. "The legendary beauty rewarded for her faith by the return of her love after ten long years. I will call it, The Return of Odysseus. Cannot you see how your story parallels that of that great hero? Kept away for ten years, while the faithful Penelope weaves?"

        Kate caught the wicked glint in Harry's eye and saw the perfect opportunity to distract him from Ian.  "Oh, lord, Luddy, don't compare me to Penelope," she objected. "She was a ninnyhammer. And  she  waited twenty years, Luddy. Not ten."

        Harry chuckled. "Why, Kate. You used to think the Odessey the most romantic book in literature."

        "You've read the Odessey?" one of the court asked, looking a bit flummoxed.

        "In Greek," Harry said, an amused twinkle in his eye. "She loved to quote it."

        Kate scowled. "I was also fifteen. Everything is romantic at fifteen. After further study, however--and--" she cocked a wry eyebrow at Harry. "--much experience--I've decided that after what Odysseus did, Penelope should have fed him to her own pigs."

        Now they had an audience. But Kate was focused on Harry, the exhilaration of debate rising like champagne bubbles in her blood.

        "After what he did?" Harry echoed dryly. "What? Win the Trojan War?"

        "Don't be silly. I'm talking of course about how quickly he dashed home to be with his ailing mother and faithful wife, who, silly nit, kept herself chaste for him while he caroused with every siren and witch in the hemisphere. He didn't deserve her, and so she should have told him."

        Harry's eyes were twinkling. "But he was ensorceled. He couldn't help it that he was Calypso's lover for seven years."

        Kate snorted. "How like a man. 'Couldn't help m'self,'” she barked like an old general. “'Bewitched me and all that. You understand, old girl.' Pull the other one, Harry. And then he has the gall to test Penelope's faithfulness. I repeat. Pigs."

        Tommy blinked. "I say." Luddy looked vague, as if already translating her diatribe into rhyming verse. Someone clapped.

        "Don't encourage her," Harry protested, laughing.

        "He doesn't have to encourage me," Kate retorted, giddy with the sly challenge in Harry's eyes. "I've been saving up opinions for ten years."

        "Oh, lord," he groaned. "And I married you before I knew it."

    What are five fun facts about you or this book, that readers would love to know?

    1. I always listen to music when I write, and each book has a 'soundtrack.' The soundtrack for this book was Book of Secrets by Loreena McKennitt, Lord of the  Rings, Waking Ned Devine, Some Devil by Dave Matthews, and Fallen by Evanescence.

    2. No debutantes were harmed during the writing of this book.
    3. Daniel Craig was the inspiration for Harry. I needed someone who was earthy, dangerous and strong. Okay. And handsome. Kate was a lot harder, because I think her personality is so big that the closest would be a cross between Kate Hepburn and Ava Gardner.
    4. Sadly, until relatively recently, it was perfectly legal for a husband or brother to commit his female relative into an asylum for no better reason than her disobedience.
    5. I got the chance to walk the streets Mayfair and trace Kate's steps, choose her house and figure where to stable her horses. The wonderful thing about London is that even as it changes, it keeps so much of its historic character. I can easily see Kate and Harry walking into their townhouse on Curzon Street.


    His greatest battle is just beginning . . .

    Captain Harry Lidge has done his duty. After losing too many good men on the battlefield, he's ready to put his responsibilities behind him and live a life free of care. But first he has one last mission: find out what the most outrageous woman in London, the same woman who betrayed him nearly a decade earlier, is concealing, before her secrets take down the crown.

    Her heart is the only thing she won't risk . . .
    Surrounded by ardent admirers and a few loyal friends, Lady Kate Seaton glides through the ton on a confection of couture gowns and bon mots. No one suspects that beneath her lighthearted fa├žade Kate hides a sorrow so scandalous she'll do anything to keep it hidden. But only when she trusts Harry with the truth and only when he trusts her with his heart can they stop the villains all too willing to kill Kate to attain their ultimate goal: destroy England.

    Read an excerpt, & an exclusive excerpt for Musings readers in the flipbook below:


    psst:  the flipbook is now playing nice:), so I added it back to the post.  Either way you can read the exclusive excerpt here.


    Congratulations Eileen and thank you so much for being my guest today.  Always a Temptress sounds sooo good, I can't wait to read it!  It's getting great reviews so it very well may follow in it's predecessor's steps by being one of the best historical romances of the year.

    If you'd like to learn more about Eileen and the books she writes you can find her at her website www.eileendreyer.com, her blog, as well as Facebook, Twitter, & Goodreads.  Eileen has a great extra on her website for readers...Romance Trading Cards.  They are all the rage right now, and you can get ones for Eileen's books for FREE.  And if you love jewelry (hello!) make sure you check out her Contests page where she is giving away two beautiful bracelets.  See her website for all the details.

    To celebrate the release of the third book in the Drakes Rakes historical romance series, Always a Temptress, Eileen's publisher, Forever Romance, would like to giveaway a copy of the book to THREE lucky Musings followers.  Here's how you can enter to win:

    Ways to earn entries:
    • Mandatory: Answer this question: One of the reasons Harry refuses to trust Kate is because she did something to him. Twice.  What did she do?  AND please show Eileen some comment love with a question or thought about her books. (hint: the answer to the question is in the interview)  (good for 1 entry)
    • Mandatory: You MUST be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower in order to be eligible to win (unfortunately an email subscriber, or subscription in Google reader, and a follower are not the same thing so make sure you are signed up as a follower if you'd like to win this book)
    • If you have a blog, or even if you don't, you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they successfully enter to win and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries. You can blog about it with a link to this post, post it on Facebook, Twitter, email...or even word of mouth (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) . Please note that to earn the points they must mention your GFC name so that I can match you.
    • You can also earn extra entries by sharing the flipbook excerpt on Facebook, Twitter, your website or blog or other social media sites. You can earn 5 entries for each place that you share it and leave a link in the comments.    
    • Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
    How to enter:
    • You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment 
    Rules and disclaimers:
    • This contest is open to US & Canada addresses only.  No PO Boxes.
    • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
    • The contest will end on October 21st at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
    • Winner(s) will be selected using Random.org
    • The winner(s) will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
    • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
    • Winners will be subject to one copy per household, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, that you will only receive one copy of the title in the mail
    • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
    • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
    Good Luck!
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    *Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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