Guest Author & Giveaway: Anna Randol featuring A Secret in Her Kiss

Tuesday, January 31

I used to travel...quite a bit actually *sigh*.  Unfortunately, I can't even begin to tell you the last time I traveled somewhere other than my local supermarket, preschool & bank. Target is about as exotic as it gets for me.   

To satisfy my wanderlust, I travel vicariously through my romance reads, which is why I love it when I find a book set somewhere other than the place I live (Midwest) so that I can "virtually" visit different times and places....especially if it is in an exotic locale.

And while a modern day trip to the Middle East isn't high on my places to visit(really it's not even on the radar), I can't help but have a romanticized view of that culture in historical romance ever since studying art from the Orientalism period in Art History and reading several romances by Bertrice Small.  So when I found out about Anna Randol's debut historical romance, which is set in the Ottoman Empire during the Regency period, I was more than just a little bit intrigued!  I was smitten and ready to pack my booklover bags so to speak :)  

Anna Randol is my guest today to share a bit about A Secret in Her Kiss and why a Regency historical romance doesn't have to be set in merry ol' England.  Read and enjoy!


Where are the hedgerows?

When we pick up a Regency romance, there are certain things we’re conditioned to expect. Almacks. Hyde Park. Lavish balls and soirees. Basically all the things that we love about the time period. But my debut novel, A Secret in Her Kiss, is set in Constantinople. Yep, smack dab in the middle of the Ottoman Empire in 1816.

Why, you might ask? Does she have something against England? Does she not like hedgerows? No, to both questions! I love England and carefully trimmed bushes.  I didn’t write this book to try to rebel against the traditional Regency. I’ve loved them ever since I was a teen trying to scope out the library’s collection without being seen. (Who me? I’m looking at these books on automotive repair…) When the idea for A Secret in Her Kiss came to me, I hesitated. Would a publisher want to buy it? The story’s hero is a handsome British army major fresh from the fields of Waterloo and the heroine is a half-English spy, but was that enough? Would the readers miss England?

England? England, who? In Constantinople, the clothing is just as elegant and lavish (and there are veils and caftans!). There are rules of etiquette Mari, the heroine, has to find ways to break.  And while Hyde Park may be thousands of miles away, there are new places for Mari and Bennett to explore: open-air bazaars, lavish walled gardens, Turkish baths...

But most importantly, I think that readers will find that the story is at its heart a Regency—a love story that sizzles with intrigue, adventure, and a passion that is impossible to avoid.

Readers, what do you think defines a Regency? One randomly selected commenter will win a copy of A Secret in Her Kiss!


She would gladly relinquish her life of intrigue…


A rare beauty, raised in the exotic heart of the Ottoman Empire, Mari Sinclair knows it’s time to end her career as a British spy when she narrowly avoids a brush with death. Unfortunately her employers think otherwise—and they are not above using blackmail to keep Mari in the Game.

Saddled with a handsome, duty-obsessed “minder” to ensure that she completes—and survives—one last mission, Mari is incensed…for her guardian, Major Bennett Prestwood, is simply too dedicated, too unbending, and too disarmingly attractive. But in the face of dark secrets and deadly treacheries, as the true peril to Mari is slowly revealed, loyal soldier Bennett realizes that, to save and win this extraordinary woman, he will have to do the unthinkable and break the rules—rules that passion and desire have suddenly, irrevocably changed.


Enjoy this very special excerpt just for Musings readers:

read in a Google document here

Congratulations Anna & thanks for being my guest on this very special day!  I love Regency romances. They are a staple in my romance reading diet.  So any time something different comes along, especially a story set in an exotic location, with a heroine just as unique...then I'm there!

If you'd like to learn more about Anna Randol and the historical romances she writes you can find her at her website, www.annarandol.com, at the Dashing Duchesses blog, Twitter, & Facebook.

To celebrate the release of her debut novel, A Secret in Her Kiss, author Anna Randol would like to giveaway a print copy of the book to one lucky Musings reader.  Here's how you can enter to win...

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory:  Answer the question Anna asked readers in her post & don't forget to leave her some comment love about the excerpt or even a question about the book! (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 addresses only
  • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
  • The contest will end on February 3rd 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!

Booklover signature (revised)

*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.

Read more...

Monday's Muse

Monday, January 30

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!

I'm still battling this wicked bronchitis.  It just won't give up.  I'm told that it is bad this year and that many people are getting it.   I don't know how people telling me this is supposed to make me feel better, because it doesn't, it just makes me pity those poor souls all the more.

Since I was feeling better though, I didn't do as much reading.  However I did get the chance to start Sarah MacLean's new book A Rogue by Any Other Name, and I am loving it!  The heroine has a thing for the hero's thighs...which is something that I can completely appreciate & understand where she is coming from. LOL.  So, in honor of Penelope's love of a well muscled thigh, I give you this week's Muse :)  I think he is particularly lovely, don't you?

This week at Seductive Musings:
  • Tuesday:  Debut author Anna Randol will be my guest to celebrate her historical romance, A Secret In Her Kiss.  I'm very interested in this story since it is set in the Ottoman Empire and can't wait to learn more about it.
  • Wednesday:  I will have another debut author, Sophie Barnes to celebrate her historical romance How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back.
  • Thursday:  Jennifer Haymore will be my guest to share with us her the second book in her Donovan sisters series, Secrets of an Accidental Duchess.  I love books with secrets!
  • Friday:  We'll leave the realm of historical romance with author Katie Reus who will be my guest to celebrate the release of her new paranormal romance, Alpha Instinct...we're talking Highlander wolf shifter heroes people :)
  • Saturday:  I have some winners to announce so I'll be back at some point during the weekend.
  • Tempting Trailer:  This week's Tempting Trailer is for Victoria Alexander's new release My Wicked Little Lies.  This is another of the mini movie book trailers, which don't always work for me, but I have to say that I really liked this one.  Accents may be fake, as well as the blond hair...the story it told however captivated me.  I'm gonna have to check it out.





Finally, I'd like to congratulate all of the authors will new releases this week, especially Musings authors Sarah McCarty, Donna Grant, Victoria Alexander, Anna Randol, Jennifer Haymore, Kate Pearce, Emma Lang, Sophie Barnes, & Shona Husk.  Congrats ladies!


Sheree, no PM this week?  What's up with that!  Did I miss one?


Booklover signature (revised)

*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.

Read more...

Guest Author & Giveaway: Amanda Usen featuring Scrumptious

Friday, January 27

I love food.  I love romance.  Is it any wonder that I'm drawn to romances featuring men who can cook?  LOL.  A man who is delicious AND can create bliss with food....very sexy.  Could be me just not liking to cook, yet wanting to eat ;)

My guest today is debut author Amanda Usen who is not only lucky enough to be married to such a man, but she also gets to write heroes who are just as tempting.  Like the one in her new book Scrumptious.  Amanda is here to share not only her recipe for love, but also one of the recipes that her hero Joe makes in the book. Yum!  Read and enjoy!


How a Chef Becomes an Author: a Recipe for Love

In all honesty, I was a writer before I became a chef. I majored in creative writing at Vanderbilt University with a concentration in poetry. I dated bad boys who broke my heart with distressing regularity – actually, it would be more precise to say I dashed my heart to bits on them – and I wrote soul-torching poetry and short stories about my love life. I had every intention of pursuing an MFA in poetry but instead of writing, I cooked, so I went to culinary school. There I met a hot-chef-in-training who promised to make me happy for the rest of my life. Thus far, he has succeeded, but in one sense finding a good man was bad for me. My perfect husband made me too cheerful to write agonizing poetry!

But a writer doesn’t stop writing, and I became enchanted by the idea of a story about a chef and a pastry chef falling in love. After all, they do say write what you know…

Apparently, I know bad boys, bad girls and food. I used my hot chef husband as a jumping off point for Joe Rafferty (the ice-blue eyes, the shoulders to-die-for) but then he took on a life of his own. Trust me, if my Western New York born and bred husband ever called me sugar, I’d roll on the floor laughing. Now Joe…I’d let him call me anything he wants.

I’ll also admit Marlene Bennet is the pastry chef I’d like to be with bigger boobs and better hair. Why the heck not? I was writing the story! Her desserts are my standbys – and most of them were featured on the menu at Bayona in New Orleans when I was Susan Spicer’s pastry chef. In fact, I’m pretty sure I have the chocolate cheesecake in Chapter Two to thank for my warm welcome into my husband’s family. As for the rest of the food in Scrumptious, I used recipes my husband and I make all the time. (Yes, even the pig. We roast a whole pig for the block party every year.) It was easier that way – less research!

In Scrumptious, Joe makes red curry twice – once for Marlene and once for a food critic visiting the restaurant. Chef Corey Griffith of Nashville, TN, introduced me to Thai food just before I went to culinary school. I’ve loved dumplings and Thai curry ever since. Here’s my recipe for red curry. I wouldn’t exactly call it authentic. However, it is easy to throw together on a weeknight, and even my kids will eat it!


I used this recipe in Scrumptious because it holds so many happy memories for me. Do you have any foods that bring you joy when you eat them, or even think about them? What are they?

 

TALL, DARK & DELICIOUS

Joe Rafferty is just as mouthwatering as the food he cooks. But if he thinks he's going to waltz in and take over her kitchen, he's denser than a thick slice of chocolate ripple cheesecake. Marly has invested too much of her life in Chameleon to hand off the restaurant to someone else—especially a cocky–as–all–get–out superstar chef. But there's no denying the man knows how to light her fire. Question is: Can she have the sizzle without feeling the burn?



Congratulations Amanda and thanks for being my guest today!  Scrumptious was a lot of fun, and just reinforced my belief that my perfect man will a) no how to cook, & b) play the piano (has nothing to do with the book, just something that I love).  You are one lucky woman ;)  Amanda's next book Luscious featuring a character from Scrumptious will be out this summer.

If you'd like to learn more about Amanda Usen and the delicious books she writes you can find her at her website www.amandausen.com, her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.  I'm gonna be checking out all of the recipes listed on her blog...especially the XXX Chocolate Chip Cookies :)  I love a good chocolate chip cookie, but I might just be won over by her chocolate mousse.  Decisions, decisions.

To celebrate the release of Amanda Usen's debut, Scrumptious, her publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, would like to giveaway a print copy of the book to one Musings reader.  Here's how you can enter to win...

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory:  Answer the question Amanda asked readers in her post & don't forget to leave her some comment love or a question! (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 & Canadian addresses only
  • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
  • The contest will end on January 30th 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!

Booklover signature (revised)

*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.

Read more...

Guest Author: Vivian Arend....Cowboys have Great Hands

Thursday, January 26

I know I said today I would have my 2011 favorites list and overall recap...but it's not done yet.  Instead, I have something infinitely better!  Sneak peeks to not one, but two new romances featuring cowboy heroes...both of which are good with their hands.  Definitely better than some boring recap, right?

Vivian Arend is here to save my hide, so to speak, and share a preview of her upcoming contemporary romance, Rocky Mountain Desire, as well as Emma Lang's new historical romance, Matthew.  See, told you it was better ;)  Read and enjoy!


My friend Beth Williamson (who also writes as Emma Lang) and I got to talking, and we realized both of our next releases feature a to-die-for hero by the name of Matthew. Both books are westerns, although hers is historic and mine is contemporary.

It was too good a chance to miss. So I’ve arranged a little “Ode to Matthew”—five lovely little tidbits proving these cowboys are very good at a lot of things! We hope you’ll enjoy taking a ride with our boys! (The full list of places to visit to read tidbits is listed at my blog.)

In this post we’re going for Cowboys Have Great Hands…


A man learns to hold what is his…

It is a vast spread in the eastern wilds of the newly independent Republic of Texas, the ranch their parents fought for … and died for. To the eight Graham siblings, no matter how much hard work or hard love it takes, life is unthinkable without family…

In the wake of his parents’ murder, Matthew Graham must take the reins at the Circle Eight. He also needs to find a wife in just thirty days, or risk losing it all. Plain but practical, Hannah Foley seems the perfect bride for him . . . until after the wedding night.

Their marriage may make all the sense in the world, but neither one anticipates the jealousies that will result, the treacherous danger they’re walking into, or the wildfire of attraction that will sweep over them, changing their lives forever.

Enjoy this special excerpt from Matthew...and his "magic" hands :)

“Roll over and pull up your nightdress, Hannah.”

It didn’t sound sexy, but it sure made her feel naughty as she managed to do what he asked. Her muscles were in sorry shape, but it was the idea his bare hands would be rubbing her that was foremost in her mind.

“My hands are a little rough.” He opened the tin and put some liniment on his hands.

“I don’t mind,” she confessed into the pillow. “I like your hands.”

He chuckled softly. “I’m glad to hear it. Now try to relax.”

Now that would be quite a challenge. She wanted to enjoy the experience, but her anxiety was warring with her need.

Matt touched her behind her knees, making circles as he worked his way up to her thighs. Although his fingers were strong, his touch wasn’t overly so. She closed her eyes and focused on how good it felt.

Her sore muscles slowly unknotted under his hands. Matt’s thumbs swiped her inner thighs, so close to her core that she clenched her muscles. A jolt of pain slammed up her body at the sudden movement.

He stopped, his hands still touching her. “Easy, Hannah. I’m not going to hurt you. I promise.”

“I know. I, um, I’m not used to people touching me there.” She sounded foolish to her own ears.

“I’m not people. I’m your husband.”

Hannah was glad he couldn’t see her blushing. “Please keep going.”

After a moment, he started again. She wanted to show him how much she trusted him, truly she did, so she spread her legs wider.

He made a funny noise and his hands momentarily stopped. “You, ah, surprise me.”

“I hope so,” she spoke into her pillow but she hoped he heard her.

His thumbs traveled upwards again, nearing her pulsing core, then slid past to her behind. He spread her cheeks with each circle, allowing cold air to land on her heated center. Cold. Hot. Cold. Hot.

When he kissed the nape of her neck, a moan popped out of her mouth. The massage had turned into something much more.

If you enjoyed that excerpt you should check out Emma's blog where she is gifting her readers with sneak peek previews every day until release day, as well as the chance to win a copy of the book

Nothing comes easy. You’ve gotta work for it.

Matt Coleman always figured at this point in his life, he’d be settled down with a family. Since his ex split for the big city, though, no way will he give anyone else the chance to drop-kick his heart. Physical pleasure? Hell, yeah, he’ll take—and give—with gusto, but nothing more.

Hope Meridan is working long hours to hold on to her new quilt shop, going it alone since her sister/business partner ran off. Sex? Right, like she’s got the time. Not that she doesn’t have the occasional dirty fantasy about Matt. Fat chance he’d dream of knocking boots with her—the younger sister of the woman who dumped him. Nope, she’ll just have to settle for the F-word.

Friends would be far easier if there wasn’t something combustible going on between them. And when casual interest starts to grow into something more, their tenuous bond strengthens in the heat of desire. But it may not survive the hurricane-force arrival of the last person either of them ever wanted to see again…

Warning: Small-town rivals, men in pursuit and family meddling—in good and bad ways. Look for a cowboy who knows how to rope, ride and rein in a hell of a lot more than eight seconds of sheer bliss.

How about a second helping of Matthew?  Enjoy this snippet from Rocky Mountain Desire...

“Okay, I’ll help you. Just…relax.”

She nodded, eyes closed. That made it easier—not having to watch those expressive orbs as he peeled off her outer layers and got her down to her T-shirt and slacks. Goose bumps rose on her arms, and he was a bastard for noticing her nipples were rigid under the thin layers of her top. When he led her into the bathroom, she went without a complaint.

He turned on the taps for the tub and she nodded. “Oh yeah, that’s what I need. Perfect.”

That’s when the lights went out.

A million scenarios flashed through Matt’s brain where this would be a good thing. If he’d rescued some random damsel in distress from the side of the road who he’d taken back to a hotel and the power had gone off, they’d have to share body heat to survive. One thing would lead to another, and the heat they generated would be most enjoyable.

Hope. This is Hope.

“Matt? I’ve got candles.”

She bumped into him. He’d half-expected it though and managed to keep his balance. Logic and self-control were going to be the only way out of this mess with his sanity intact. “You need a hand?”

“Yeah, but just wait.” She snuck past him, clinging to his waist for a second. Something clattered to the floor then a drawer opened. She groped her way down his arm just before icy cold fingers pressed the hard surface of a lighter into his palm. A rosy glow filled the room as he followed her directions and lit the couple dozen tea lights arranged around the room.

“Convenient.”

“Pretty,” she corrected. “It’s a part of my relaxation therapy. Never thought I’d need them for this.”

Steam rose from the tub. “Thank God for gas hot-water heaters. I didn’t make it too hot though—you’re too cold. We can add hotter water once you’ve warmed up.”

Hope nodded. “Matt? You’re not thinking of leaving, are you?”

He was thinking things that were going to send him to hell. He undid the button on her jeans as quickly as possible, opening the zipper. Ignored her soft gasp as his cold knuckles bumped the heated skin of her bare belly. “I’m not leaving until I know you’re okay. Take off your pants and get in the tub.”

She obeyed clumsily. “You too, right?”

Bloody hell. “Yes, me too.”

Want more?  Enjoy an extended (and yummy) excerpt here.


Thanks Vivian! I can't wait to read both of these books, 'cause you all know how much I have a soft spot for cowboys! They are second only to Highlanders (the kilt...it's the kilt, and the sword that tops the cowboys...though in spirit they are much the same). 

Emma Lang's Brava historical romance, which begins the new Circle of Eight series, Matthew, comes out next week on January 31st.  Thank heavens for small favors, because I don't know if I would be able to wait much longer :)

Vivian's third release in the Six Pack Ranch series, Rocky Mountain Desire, doesn't come out until March 13th...torture...the wait will be torture my friends.  She's been teasing readers with Matt's story since Rocky Mountain Heat.  Evil, she's evil :)

If you'd like to learn more about either author you can find Vivian at her website, blog, Twitter and Facebook, and you can find Emma at her website, blog, Twitter, Facebook & Goodreads.  Congrats ladies!  

Finally,  I thought I would give you one last parting gift....one of my favorite Matthews :)  Have a good one!


Booklover signature (revised)

*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.

Read more...

Monday's Muse: It's All in the Thighs...

Monday, January 23

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!


Usually the saying is it's all in the eyes, but last week Carol L commented on the cover model's thighs on the cover of Surrender by Pamela Clare, and I had to agree that they were completely noteworthy :)  Great thighs on a man are underrated in my opinion.  I like them to have some bulk to them...not like massively big, but I do like them to be bigger than mine, LOL...all muscle of course :)

So in honor of noteworthy thighs that you can sigh over, I give you this week's Muse.  Carol, this one is for you my friend, I hope he lives up to your expectations!


This week at Seductive Musings:
  • Tuesday & Wednesday:  I hope to post a few reviews. Lord knows I have just a few tons to choose from so I'm just gonna wing it and hope to make at least two happen.
  • Thursday:  2011 Favorites.  I was going to post this last week, but it took a little bit longer to put together, and didn't have time to finish it last week, and I want to make sure I at least get it done in January...which means this week is it.
  • Friday:  Contemporary Romance author Amanda Usen will be my guest to share her new novel Scrumptious with us.  Yum!  Cupcakes and a hot man on the cover, what more could you ask for :)
  • Tempting Trailer: This week's tempting trailer is for Kresley Cole's new Immortals After Dark book, Lothaire.  I'm a bit behind on this series.  Have you read this latest one?  Should I put it on my TBR?  I also have to admit, once an author goes hardcover...it's usually the kiss of death for me.  Sheree, is this Paul Marron?  If anyone knows, it'd be you :)




    Finally, I'd like to congratulate all of the authors with new releases this week, especially Musings authors Sabrina Jeffries, & Mari Carr!



    Booklover signature (revised)

    *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.

    Read more...

    Guest Author & Giveaway: Mia Marlowe featuring Sins of the Highlander

    Friday, January 20

    One of the first romance authors I remember reading and collecting is Connie Mason.  The book that I found her with was Pure Temptation with it's Muse worthy cover and shimmery lettering, yeah it was the cover that caught my eye (hey it was the 90's don't judge..even though I actually bought my own copy in 2007), but it was the story inside that had me seeking out her entire backlist. 

    I've been a devoted fan ever since.  And when I found out one of my current new favorites, Mia Marlowe (who wrote one of my favorite historical romances last year, Touch of a Thief) would be teaming up with Connie Mason to write a historical romance...I couldn't wait to read it.  Let me just say that I was not disappointed.  In fact it exceeded my expectations, and I have pretty high expectations.  It was everything that I love about romances set in the Scottish Highlands!  

    Co-Author Mia Marlowe is my guest today to share a bit about writing with another author and their first book together, Sins of the Highlander.  Read and enjoy!


    Collaborating with Connie Mason was pure pleasure, but I can see why some author pairings might not work. Here are some of the reasons ours did:
    1. We both love adventurous, sensual romance. While there is plenty of witty banter, there’s also plenty of action in our stories. A fight scene or a desperate escape can reveal character as deeply as a love scene (though we made certain to include plenty of those, too!)
    2. We have similar writing styles. From my first book, reviewers compared my work favorably with Connie’s.  Readers will find Sins of the Highlander reads pretty seamlessly.
    3. We respect each other. Well, of course, I’m in awe of Connie’s body of work. After a Kathleen Woodiwiss title, my mom—who’s still a diehard romance fan—put a Connie Mason book into my hands. I grew up reading her novels. But I’m thrilled to share that she loves my writing too.
    We love so many scenes in Sins of the Highlander, but here’s a taste of one of our favorites. After abandoning Rob MacLaren to keep him from meeting her father and his men in battle, Elspeth Stewart has been found guilty of being a witch. In this scene, she’s being led to the stake.

           Elspeth never thought so many people could fit into Drummond’s stronghold. On the other side of the ropes, they stood ten deep, chest to back, all jostling for a better view of her in her thin chemise. Their angry shouts were a wall of sound. Her hands were bound before her, but even if they were free, she wouldn’t have been able to stop her ears against their roar.

         She tried not to look around, focusing instead on the long tassel dangling from the back of the priest’s surplice. It swung back and forth as he led the way before her bearing aloft a gilt cross.

         Cold lanced the bottoms of her bare feet and shot up her shins. It didn’t matter. She’d wish for cold soon enough.

         One foot in front of the other. That was all she had to do. The last task. She must walk across the bailey with her head held high.

         The first rotten bit of cabbage that struck her came as a surprise. These were the very people who would have owed her fealty if Rob hadn’t interrupted her wedding to Lachlan. Now all they offered her was scorn.
        
         Elspeth hoped to heaven her parents were being held someplace where they couldn’t see what was happening.
        
       Then suddenly the walk was ended. They reached the stake. Lachlan Drummond was there, waiting for her with a death’s head grin on his face. She looked away. Her hands were jerked over her head. A leather strap ran from her wrists through the iron loop at the top of the pole. Elspeth had the eerie sense of watching herself from outside her own body, a poor marionette whose strings were so tight her arms couldn’t be lowered.
        
         The crowd quieted to listen to the priest drone on about something. Elspeth heard only the pennants overhead snapping in the breeze and in a distant meadow, the mournful call of a rain crow. There’d be a fine soft rain this night, maybe a hint of snow and the world would wake with hoarfrost painting every tree and bush and blade. The winter-brown grass would crackle under her boots. She closed her eyes. She could hear it crunching beneath her imagined tread. Then those sounds faded and all she heard was the rush of her own blood, pounding in her ears.

         Torches were lit as the light faded. Several guards held them nearby, waiting for something. Someone lifted a little boy up and propped him on their shoulders. He was a beautiful child, with a mop of poorly cut hair and the brown eyes of a roe deer.

         Elspeth smiled at the boy. She and Rob might have had a dozen just like him.

         Oh, Rob. Oh, God! I want to live.

    I hope you enjoyed that excerpt. If you’d like to see how the story begins, please pop over to my website to read the opener at www.miamarlowe.com . While you’re there, be sure to do a bit of exploring and take time to enter the contest on my website. The Grand Prize is a new Kindle!

    I love connecting with readers, so if you’re on Facebook or Twitter, I invite you to find me there at http://facebook.com/MiaMarloweFanPage or http://twitter.com/Mia_Marlowe.


    Abduction
    Never had Elspeth Stewart imagined her wedding would be interrupted by a dark-haired stranger  charging in on a black stallion, scooping her into his arms, and carrying her off across the wild Scottish highlands. Pressed against his hard chest and nestled between his trong thighs, she ought to have feared for her life. But her captor silenced all protests with a soul-searing kiss, giving Elspeth a glimpse of the pain behind his passion—a pain only she could ease.

    Obsession
    “Mad Rob” MacLaren thought stealing his rival’s bride-to-be was the prefect revenge. But Rob never reckoned that this beautiful, innocent lass would awaken the part of him he thought dead and buried with his wife. Against all reason, he longed to introduce the luscious Elspeth to the pleasures of the flesh, to make her his, and only his, forever.

    With two clans against them burning for battle, they must find a way to join together—body, breath and soul. Or both will be made to pay for the Sins of the Highlander.





    Congratulations to both Mia and Connie!  And big thanks to Mia for being my guest today.  Like I said before, I really loved Sins of the Highlander.  In fact it's the best Highland Romance I've read in a long time.  It had everything that I love about romances set in the Scottish Highlands...a stolen bride, men of honor wearing kilts, a touch of highland lore, superstitions, a witch or two, as well as a pack of vicious wolves...not to mention the love story...you can't ask for more than that my friends.  I hope to post my full review of the book sometime this weekend, in the meantime I can say it's very much worth your time and money.

    If you'd like to learn more about author Mia Marlowe you can find her at her website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter.  And you can find author Connie Mason at her website.


    To celebrate the release of Sins of the Highlander by Mia Marlowe and Connie Mason their publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, would like to giveaway a print copy of the book to TWO very lucky Musings followers.  Here's how you can enter to win...


    Ways to earn entries:
    • Mandatory:  Tell me what your favorite line or moment is from either the excerpt in this post or on Mia's site.  And please leave Mia a comment or question regarding Sins of the Highlander (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 & Canadian 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 January 23rd 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!

    Booklover signature (revised)

    *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.

    Read more...

    Romance @ Random Reader Rally Giveaway

    Thursday, January 19


    Want the chance to win lots of great prizes from many authors and other bloggers, including daily prizes as well as a Grand Prize from Romance at Random?  Then check this out.

    What am I giving away as part of the Reader Rally?  Your choice of TWO of these romance titles (+ some swag):



    Here's how you can enter to win:
    • Mandatory: Leave a comment telling me what your most anticipated reads of 2012 are (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 prize)
    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 addresses only (sorry!)
    • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
    • The contest will end on January 31st 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!

    Booklover signature (revised)

    *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.

    Read more...

    Review: Stripped by Tori St. Claire

    Wednesday, January 18

    Title:  Stripped*
    Author: Tori St. Claire
    Genre: Erotic Romantic Suspense
    Publisher: Berkley Trade
    Format: E Book, Trade Paperback
    Date/Year: January 2012
    Reviewed by: DD

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

    Summary from the publisher:

    Body of secrets…

    As a member of the CIA’s elite, Black Opals, Natalya Trubachev must live a lie, working undercover as the lover of Dmitri, a Russian mob boss. His business is trafficking vulnerable Las Vegas strippers overseas for twisted sex games. Natalya’s business is to blow the ring wide open and bring down Dmitri and his American contacts. But the stakes are raised when she learns that the next target is her own sister Kate, a dancer in the famed club Fantasia. Only now does Natalya realize how personal her mission has become, and how far she’s willing to go to complete it.

    Body of lies…

    The manager of Fantasia is Brandon Moretti, an undercover detective who keeps a close eye on his girls, and an even closer one on his sinfully sensual hire. For Natalya, working the club could be the break she’s been waiting for. But for Moretti, Natalya is a possible link to a killer. Only he never counted on her being so lethally seductive or so dangerous to get close to.  As every forbidden pleasure between them is stripped away, his own secrets threaten their security, but it’s Natalya’s that could destroy them both.

    My Musings:

    If I'm not mistaken, this is Tori St. Claire's first novel. I am super duper duper impressed. Reading through the first couple chapters, I am reminded of one of my very favorite suspense authors, Shannon McKenna. There is great sex, a creepy villain and a deep seated mystery. That is a huge compliment if I say so myself. There is an immediate feeling of "better than your everyday romance”, and  when you dig in you know St Claire is articulate, creative, and seemingly accomplished far beyond her experience.

    Natalya Trubachev is a toned lethal CIA kick ass machine who is an expert at compartmentalizing her feelings in order to accomplish her job and protect the people, especially women, of the United States and abroad who may become victims of the sex trade. She has a deep love of children and family but has been a block of ice for so long that she barely recognizes the melting of her soul when her Russian lover Dmitri decides the next victim will be her estranged sister, Katarena.

    Natalya is an expert undercover operative. She goes through the motions and acts better than Meryl Streep through her disgusting relationship with the Mob boss who is responsible for several killings and trading of females overseas using critical and sometimes lethal doses of barbiturates. Natalya brings these women under her wing while they mistakenly think she is on their side, and she sacrifices them to the wolves for her Russian counterparts to play with at their whim. Her guilt is suffocating and though she knows it is for a greater good, she has an increasingly hard time living with herself. Natalya is about to meet Brandon Moretti, and finally realize in her soul what true happiness is after being long overdue.

    Brandon Moretti is a product of Witness protection gone wrong, trying to right the wrongs in his life by becoming a public servant-undercover of course. Posing as the manager of the famous Gentleman's club Fantasia in Vegas, he is at the very center of the action, trying to pinpoint whom in the circle of his life is responsible for the killing and drugging of young blonde and beautiful exotic dancers. He has lost so many in his life, family, and most recently, a close friend and coworkers.  One of his best dancers, Kate, recommends a seasoned entertainer-her fraternal twin sister Natalya. No one knows the relation and are blind to it, with the exception of a few of the inner circle. Brandon has no idea. All he knows is that he has an immediate and violent reaction to her. His need to possess Natalya is so strong upon first glance that while he realizes her performing will be a huge draw, possibly the best bait he has had access to so far, he cannot stomach her on stage for others to devour. He immediately casts her as house mother. Their relationship is heated and strained from minute one and they both struggle with their secrets while unaware they are both striving for a common goal. Their stories and fabric of their lives and families are woven together in a quilt of coincidence and circumstance, bonding them in love before they even realize it.

    This book was excellent for many reasons. First off, not only was it highly, highly erotic and sensual, but it was a great textbook suspense. My heartstrings were pulled many times. I felt so sad for Natalya and who she had become. I wanted Brandon to realize that he was worthy of love and that the things that happened in his past to shape him were not his fault. I know I have said this about other novels and in other reviews, but these are the essential elements of a romance that pull you in and make you want happiness for the characters. The bad guy in all this is of course a twisted sick freak which we all love in a mystery/suspense novel. What I enjoyed, or loathed, whichever you prefer is that to a kindhearted reader, he was particularly disturbing and cruel not only with his physical manifestations and dire warnings, but his emotional and psychological warfare. This guy was really off. It's great.

    If I had to criticize at all, it would be that the "red herring" meant to throw us off from the real goon wasn't that convincing. I knew who the villain was relatively early, which was a little disappointing but it didn't lessen the enjoyment of the novel for me. Also, I felt, as I mentioned earlier, a lot of coincidences occurred. It was necessary to tie and bond the characters together, but I felt it needed just slightly more backstory to make it plausible. But this was a great book, and I urge anyone who is a fan of Roxanne St Claire (relation?), Shannon McKenna and others in that class of Grande Dames to give this one a try. You will not be disappointed.

    Ratings:

    Overall: 4.75 Stars (Excellent book. Some issues, but nothing that she can't nip in the bud with the next one.)
     
    Sensuality: 4.95 (Way erotic in my opinion. Nothing kinky, but just freaking awesomely hot.)

    For a complete understanding and definition of the ratings at Seductive Musings, click here

    Other Reviews:





    *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.

    Read more...

    Winners: Alexandra Hawkins, Vivian Arend & Jodie Becker/Sidney Bristol

    Tuesday, January 17

    I have just a few winners to annouce :)  I also need to let you know that if you've been a recent winner on the blog and haven't received your book/item yet it's probably because I am also behind in sending all of that info in to the different publishers and authors.  It is my goal this week to get all of that taken care of.  So don't worry yet, your prize should be on it's way soon!


    To celebrate Head Games, Cassandra is giving away a set of signed Romance Trading Cards to Musings follower...

    (your info has already been sent on to the promotions dept so you don't need to send me any info)

    To celebrate the release of Crash Into You, Roni Loren is giving away a set of signed "Crash" Romance Trading Cards to Musings follower...

    (your info has already been sent on to the promotions dept so you don't need to send me any info)




    To celebrate the release of the fourth book in the Lord of Vice series, Sunrise with a Notorious Lord, Alexandra Hawkins is giving away a print copy of her book to Musings follower...





    To celebrate the release of the new and improved version of Rocky Mountain Haven, Vivian would like to giveaway a digital ARC of Rocky Mountain Desire (Book #3 in the Six Pack Ranch series 3/13/2012) to lucky Musings follower...

    (woo hoo for extra entries!)


     



    To celebrate the release of both of their Ellora's Cave erotic romances, Jodie Becker & Sidney Bristol would like to giveaway a digital e-book copy of either Dirty Beautiful or Flirting with Rescue to lucky Musings follower...



    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 January 20th 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.


    Booklover signature (revised)

    *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.

    Read more...
    Related Posts with Thumbnails

    Post Archives

    Labels

    1 star 2 stars 3 stars 4 stars 5 stars Andrea Angels Anthology Aphrodisia Author's Angels Avon Awards Ballantine BDSM Berkley Billionaire Blaze Blog Hop Blue Book Trailers Booklover BookTrib Brava Candlelight Promotions Carina Character Interview Charity Chick Lit Christmas Cleis Press Conference Contemporary Contests Coupons Cover Reveal Cowboy DD Delacorte Demons Disappointments Disclosures DNF Domestic Violence Dorchester Dreamspinner Press ElaineReads ELF Ellora's Cave Entangled Publishing Erotic Romance Erotica Event Everything Else F/F Romance Fantasy Romance Favorites of 2009 Favorites of 2010 Favorites of 2011 Favorites of 2012 Favorites of 2014 Feature Feel the Heat Firemen Flipbook Forced Seduction Forever Romance Freebies Fun Friday Futuristic Gallery Ghosts Giveaway Goddess Fish Grand Central Guest Harlequin Hidden Gems Highland Romance Historical Fiction Historical Romance Holiday Theme HQN Humor Infidelity Intermix Interracial Romance Interview Irish Romance Julia Just Jinny Kensington Lendle Giveaway Librarian Links LitConnect Loose Id Loveswept M/M Romance Medieval Romance Melissa Meme Menage Menagerie Michele Military Romance MIRA Mira. Month in Review Movie Star Movies Muse Pictures Music Musician Mystery NAL New Adult Newsworthy Noble Romance Non-Fiction Novella Paranormal Romance Pierced Pirates Pocket Books Poem Poll Quickie Giveaway Quiz Random House Reading Challenges Reading Lists Recipes Reviews Riptide Publishing Rock Star Romance Hint Fiction Romantic Suspence Royal Romances Samhain Sci-Fi Scorpio M Seductive Museums Seductive Saturday Self Published Serial Novel Shapeshifters Share the Love Siren Small Town Sneak Peek Sourcebooks Spice Sports St. Martin's Steampunk Romance Summer Reads Sunday Brunch Surveys Susannah Tattoo TBR Thursday's Thoughts Time Travel Romance Tuesday Teasers Urban Fantasy Vampires Victorian Videos Vikings Virgin Western Winners

    My FREE Kindle Quest

    I've wanted a Kindle for what seems like forever, but haven't been able to afford it (and that's saying something since I can justify the cost of just about ANYTHING that I really want). I've tried winning one in one of the many giveaways that have taken place over the couple of years, but with no luck :( So I've decided to take matters in hand so to speak :) I've now decided that I am going to accumulate enough Swagbucks from my Swabucks searches to buy one...so in essence my new Kindle will be FREE...funded entirely by my internet searches done on Swagbucks. I'll keep you informed of the Great Kindle Quest below (in case you're interested....if not feel free to just skip over this part, but really who wouldn't be interested in a FREE Kindle?)
    Goal: $119
    Current Swagbucks Amazon Gift Card balance: $90.00
    If you'd like to learn how you can earn Swagbucks and earn your own Amazon Gift Cards to buy books, a Kindle or other merchandise sold at Amazon contact me and I would be more than happy to tell you how I plan to go about it. (just so you know you can earn both Amazon.com and Amazon.ca gift cards on this rewards site)
    Invesp landing page optimization

    Book Blogs

      © Blogger template Foam by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

    Back to TOP