Tag Archives: romance

Submitting to Him by Tara Conrad in the Featured New Book Spotlight!

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Woo hoo! Tara Conrad and I have gotten to know each other over the past year or so, thanks to Pennwriters. If you’re looking for a top-notch writing group, that’s it. Right there.

But we’re not here to talk writer’s groups; that’s just your bonus tip of the day. No! We are here to talk about Tara and her new book, which is actually a re-release, cleaned up and made prettier and all sorts of better — for her and for us. And if you’re into BDSM fiction, this one’s for you. Need proof? Let’s get to it! Tara Conrad, what song makes you think of your book?

Caleb and Kelsey’s Medley: From this Moment/You’re Still the One
Alex and Natalie didn’t go to the club that night hoping to meet someone. They were both suffering from past hurts and wanted nothing to do with love. However, when they saw each other, they couldn’t ignore what they were feeling. The first lines of the song really speak to the heart of where Alex was at and what happened when he saw Natalie, “From this moment life has began…right beside you is where I belong.” Meeting Natalie brought Alex back to life. He found his soulmate, and he wasn’t going to let her get away.

In the middle of the song, the lyrics read, “They said I bet they’ll never make it. But just look at us holding on. We’re still together still going strong.” This speaks to Natalie’s side, especially with her family discouraging her relationship with Alex. But despite all that, they were together and strengthening their bond.

Later in the song is the lyric, “And you’re the reason I believe in love. And you’re the answer to my prayers from up above. All we need is just the two of us. My dreams came true because of you.” For me, this is where Alex and Natalie have become a solid couple. Everything around them fades away. They’ve helped heal one another’s hearts. Love is no longer something they avoid, but is something they embrace.

The song ends, “So glad we made it. Look how far we’ve come my baby. I will love you as long as I live. From this moment on.” I don’t want to ruin the ending of the book, but these lines reflect on Alex and Natalie’s journey and the love the share. They’re going to need to rely on the strength of their love for the challenges that lie ahead.

Overall, I think the songs represent the beauty of two people finding each other and overcoming all the odds–finding that once in a lifetime love.

Ooh, wow! What a detailed, rich answer!

Ready for the official description? Here you go!

An act of betrayal, a call to 911, and a note from the brother she lost give Natalie the courage to embark on a journey of self-exploration.
Unknowingly set up by their friends, Alex and Natalie spend the evening together at New York City’s Fire and Ice Club.
Neither one is looking for love, but their chemistry is too strong to ignore.
They agree to a relationship with an expiration date—the insurance policy both believe will keep their hearts safe.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder, or so they say.
Forces outside their control seek to pull them apart, but they find their way back to one another.
The couple’s connection is stronger than ever until tragedy strikes Natalie’s family.
Mistakes are made. Words that can’t be taken back are uttered.
Sometimes it takes the love of friends to pick up the pieces.
Can two broken souls find their way back to one another?

Do you need a copy? Of course you do!
Readers can find Submitting to Him here

They can also find the pre-order links and physical book copy links for the other two books in the trilogy here:
Fighting with Him
Living for Him
They both release on June 21 — so preorder away and have a nice surprise waiting for you on the 21st (Hey, that’s my parents’ anniversary, too, so when your book magically shows up, be sure to send my parents anniversary wishes!)

Hey! Do you need a signed copy? Of course you do! Signed copies are available on Tara’s website

And get to know Tara, too. She’s lovely, and always glad to be active in the greater community to fundraise and be involved to help make the world a better place. You all know I love people who do that!
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The Name I Chose by Naima Haviland in the Featured New Book Spotlight!

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Let’s all welcome Naima Haviland and her new book, The Name I Chose, to West of Mars and the Featured New Book Spotlight!

(Insert sound of crowd cheering and confetti flying because it’s just that sort of day and we all need cheers and confetti.)

Naima Haviland and I share a mutual friend who sent her over… so if you would like to be a mutual friend, I’d love it! Your other friend will, too, I’m sure. After all, this is a fun place. (Points to cheers and confetti.)

Let’s put the focus back where it belongs, on Naima Haviland and… the song that makes her think of her book, The Name I Chose. (Awesome, kickin’ title, by the way.) Naima? What say you?

You’re Dead by Norma Tanega:
You’ll never get a second chance
Plan all your moves in advance
Stay dead, stay dead, stay dead
Stay dead and outta this world
Run fast don’t stand in the sun
There’s too much work to be done
You’re down, you’re down, you’re down
You’re down and outta this world

It’s a last-minute warning to a sheltered society girl before she dives headlong into London’s underworld to catch up with the man she loves before her family sees him hanged.

Whoa. This is oldie but WOW goodie. I’ve never heard it before; had you?

And how about that last line? Does that make you curious, or WHAT? I mean, let’s just get right to the book’s cover description because whoo boy, it sounds like a don’t miss.

A story of passion and peril in alternative Victorian England.

It’s the late 19th century. Bold inventions usher in a new age, while genetic and cosmetic sciences reinforce an age-old class system. For the rich, immunity to disability and disease justifies their hold on power. Born disfigured, Mordecai Michaelson has employed his musical talent to rise above a life of poverty. Philomena Paulson appears no less perfect and no more talented than her upper class world requires. But she has secrets only Mordecai understands. Acceptance, trust, and a passion for music compose bonds of forbidden love between them. When chance discovery of Philomena’s darkest secret threatens scandal and revolution, she’s determined to save Mordecai from the gallows. But Mordecai is just as determined to keep her from social suicide, even if it costs him his life.

Whoo boy, there’s a lot going on there. And WOW.

I need a copy. Do you need a copy? Get yours here:
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And be sure to connect with Naima Haviland, too! You never know when you’ll run into a lovely person, although I’ve been doing this so long, I feel safe in saying everyone who stops in here is lovely. Like attracts like, right?
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As always, remember that the best way to thank an author for a good book is to buy a second copy for a friend. Or more copies for more friends, of course! But if you can’t do that for whatever reason, leaving a review online is also great and helps other readers find the book you’ve read.

Pay that kindness forward. Tell others about your reading experience.

And, of course, send your author friends my way, too! I love meeting new people, I love learning about new music, and I love hearing about new books. Win-win-win!

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Prophecies and Promises by Alana Lorens in the Featured New Book Spotlight!

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Book Cover It’s another visit from our friend Alana Lorens! This is her FIFTH visit here, which might be a new West of Mars record, and one I encourage all my author friends to try to take on and exceed. And the author friends of my author friends, as well!

If you’ve missed her earlier visits, here they are:
Second Chances (in 2013!!!)
Tender Misdemeanors
Encounter
A Rose by Any Other Name

Wow! And you ask why she’s one of my favorite people! Here’s only one example of why. Well, two. She’s prolific AND likes to drop in to visit. Plus, she’s really super, but we’ll talk about that part in a minute.

First, let’s find out what song makes Alana Lorens think of her NEW book, Prophecies and Promises. Alana, take it away!

Who doesn’t like pirates? Well, I suppose those enforcing the letter of the law may not be thrilled with them, but many ladies I know swoon over the romantic notion of a man who lives at sea and experiences the wild, free life! The mystery, the wicked pleasures …the sea shanties. Yes, the sea shanties, and there are several in PROPHECIES AND PROMISES, as sailors used the songs to set the timing for their tasks, pulling lines and setting sails, even swabbing the decks. When I was polishing this story, the pandemic was in full swing, and the sea shanty craze hit. I was inspired, of course, but this one hits my funny bone. I hope you enjoy it too.

Not only did I turn off TIDAL’s list of heavy metal to give it a watch and a listen, it summoned both my cats! Okay, maybe that’s only coincidence, but it happened. I swear.

So other than sea shanties and cats — although probably not cats — what’s Prophecies and Promises about? Alana Lorens, let’s hear it!

Tamsyn McKiernan thinks her dreams have come true. She’s engaged to a dashing Key West bachelor and finally in her widowed father’s good graces. But in her heart, she knows something’s wrong. She loves the ocean and the quiet pleasures of nature—so what does the aristocratic life she’ll lead truly hold for her?

Mercenary captain Drake Ashton is neck deep in preparations for the Spanish-American War, running guns and other supplies to Cuban natives who want out from under their Spanish masters. He and his brother Freddie risk their lives daily, focused on saving his friends on the island. Nothing else matters but his mission.

A chance encounter with a spiny sea urchin brings the two together, and neither of their lives will ever be the same again.

This might be the most intriguing Alana Lorens plotline yet, and I know I say that every time. I don’t know how she manages to top herself, but… she does. Also, the idea of shrugging off a life of propriety sounds mighty appealing. Maybe I just need a grand adventure, though. It’s possible. And this book just might be grand adventure enough!

Be sure to grab your copy! It’s not releasing for another week, but c’mon. You know how important preorders are, and you know that there’s no better gift to yourself than to wake up one day and find hey! A new book on your device!

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Remember, the best way you can show your appreciation for an author’s book is to buy a copy for a friend or two. Or seven. But the second best way is to leave an online review, and I heartily encourage all readers to get in the habit of leaving reviews.

So. Ready to connect with Alana Lorens? Like I said, she’s pretty awesome.
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As always, if you’ve got author friends who’d like a turn in the spotlight, or if you’re an author wondering how to get in on the fun, follow this link to the handy-dandy form. Even if we’ve not met yet, I’d love to fix that and host you for the day!

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Bridges by Linda Griffin in the Featured New Book Spotlight!

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Third time’s a charm, right? Well, let’s welcome Linda Griffin back to West of Mars for her third stint in the spotlight.

If you missed the first two, here they are:
Guilty Knowledge
Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking

And so Linda Griffin is back with a third book! This one’s called Bridges, and let’s learn about it, shall we?

Linda, what song makes you think of your book?

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” because Neil is always on Mary Claire’s side when she needs a friend, and their friendship is a bridge over the troubled water of their differences and her situation.

Oh, my! That’s rather provocative, isn’t it? I’m intrigued by that, and I love good, healthy friendships in books, too.

Ready for the cover copy? I sure am!

In 1963, Neil Vincent, a middle-aged World War II veteran and “Christian atheist”, is working at Westfield Court as a chauffeur. He spends most of his spare time reading. Mary Claire DeWinter is a young, blind Catholic college student and reluctant heiress. To secure her inheritance, she has to marry within a year, and her aunt is pressuring her to marry a rich man who teased and bullied her when she was a child. Neil and Mary Claire shouldn’t even be friends, but the gulf between them is bridged by a shared love of books. Can they cross the bridge to more?

Oh, I hope so! No one should be forced to marry a bully, current or former. (My clients can tell you I’m a big proponent for healthy relationships among their characters!) And how romantic could it be for Neil to read to Claire…

Heck, why don’t we see MORE scenes of couples reading to each other?

Are there reading-to-each-other scenes? I sure hope so, but grab a copy and see for yourself. Because that’s what we’re here for: to entice you to pick up a copy!
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Remember, the best way to help an author is to leave a review after you’ve read the book. It doesn’t have to be fancy; one of the best reviews I saw recently read “This gutted me.” That was it! The whole review! How EASY is that, and why aren’t you helping make a book more discoverable, especially if you liked it?

And, of course, connect with Linda Griffin.

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Remember, if you’ve got a friend who’s an author, or if you’re an author yourself, send them over to the Featured New Book Spotlight. One question, a bunch of links, a lot of fun. And, of course, we all get to discover new books–and, often, new music, too! Everyone wins!

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Zeus by Carly Spade in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Book CoverLet’s welcome author Carly Spade to West of Mars!

And does that book cover remind anyone — in a very very very good if a bit I-miss-you way — of Lucifer? That right there is reason enough to grab this book, no?

But we’re here to talk about the music! So let’s talk music! Carly Spade, what song makes you think of your book, Zeus?

Throne by Saint Mesa This song represents the royalty aspect of Zeus but also the carnal and powerful sides he exudes as well as the book’s themes as well.

I have never heard of Saint Mesa before, but WOW. I ran over to TIDAL and added this and made a note to myself to explore more of this Saint Mesa man. This is good stuff. And it’s great to have on as I work, too.

So okay… we’ve got carnal and powerful sides and this amazing song… if THAT hasn’t sold you yet on this book, how about its description?

𝘼 𝙜𝙤𝙙-𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙙𝙞𝙨𝙜𝙪𝙞𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙨 𝙖 𝙘𝙧𝙞𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙙𝙚𝙛𝙚𝙣𝙨𝙚 𝙡𝙖𝙬𝙮𝙚𝙧…⁠ ⁠

Zeus/Zane, King of the Greek gods, holds the world in his palm in both his mortal and godly form… until Hera leaves him, forcing him to uphold Gaea’s clause: There must always be a Queen, or he loses his title and part of his power along with it. Time is short. Too bad the one woman he has his sights on wants nothing to do with him. Or does she?⁠ ⁠

𝘼𝙣 𝙚𝙢𝙥𝙖𝙩𝙝 𝙘𝙧𝙞𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙨𝙚𝙘𝙪𝙩𝙤𝙧…⁠ ⁠

There’s nothing Keira Bazin dislikes more than defense lawyers. So when she discovers Zane Vronti, one of New York’s finest, has been brought in on her newest murder case, it’s anything but good news. Tensions flare as the two immediately butt heads, but there’s something about Zane she can’t put her finger on. His emotions are the strongest she’s ever felt–borderline overwhelming. Power. Lust. Command. Can she fight her growing attraction for him? Does she want to?⁠

WOW. This looks like fun.

Make note, though: this is the last (the sixth! Good on you, Carly!) in the series and CAN be read as a standalone, there are some Easter Eggs that’ll jump out at you if you’ve read the first five. So… I’d say get this, read it, then go back and start at the beginning and read the series the whole way through to catch those Easter Eggs. Why not?

Pick up your copy:
Universal Amazon link
Pre-Order Incentive Bonus Sign Up (Free art print and bookmark)

Nice. Preorders are always good things. And you won’t have to wait TOO long, as this releases on April 25. That’s two weeks! Heck, if you’re a fast reader, you can buy the first five and speed read and be ready for this one to drop. (I wish; how about you?)

And be sure to connect with Carly Spade, too.
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Of course, the best way to thank an author for a book you like is to either tell a friend or buy them a copy. The second best way is to leave a review, and I think leaving fair reviews is always the way to go. If you’re not sure what a fair review is, drop me an email.

But the bestest best way of all? Send your author friends to the Featured New Book Spotlight submission page!

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Lies of Gold by Jan Selbourne in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Book Cover

Lies of Gold by Jan Selbourne

Let’s welcome Jan Selbourne to West of Mars!

Jan found us because an author friend pointed her in our direction. Yay, author friend! Yay, Jan for taking a chance on a total stranger! (I am only strange until you get to know me, so welcome to my world.)

Jan’s got a book. It’s a Regency Romance, for those of you who love Regencies (I don’t love them, but like them a lot and will gladly read them, so if you’re in that boat with me, welcome and let’s find out more about this one, shall we?), and it looks like it’s a standalone, for those of you who like those (Me! You?). Standalones are always nice in between all those commitment-demanding series.

So. Jan Selbourne, what song makes you think of your book?

Emotion in music speaks to all of us. The words from Some Enchanted Evening, (musical South Pacific) -‘You may see a stranger across a crowded room. And somehow you know, You know even then, That somewhere you’ll see her again and again,’ was exactly how Julian felt when he set eyes on Katherine in the crowded ballroom. Although my book Lies of Gold is set in Regency England, and Julian and Katherine were forced to part, fate, cloaked in treason and treachery, brings them together again.

South Pacific! An absolute classic!

Jan, tell us what the book’s about!

Their love affair ended in anger and painful consequences. Katherine Ashford has guarded a secret through years of abuse from her husband and now, after his death, from his brother now guardian to her children. Hard living and fighting wars have numbed Julian Ashford, Katherine’s former love. Then, as so often happens, fate steps in. A traitor is smuggling gold across the Channel to Napoleon Bonaparte, and Julian is ordered back to Halton Hall and Katherine, the woman he’s tried for years to forget. It’s her secret and their increasing danger that rekindle the love they once shared. Even when a murder reveals the shocking truth of the gold smuggling, nothing can prepare them for the devastating betrayal that awaits when they finally face the mastermind behind the sordid operation.

Lots going on here… definitely one you’ve got to pick up and read, no?

It’s an Amazon exclusive, so apologies to those of you who don’t buy via Amazon for whatever reason. (They’re all valid!)

And be sure to connect with Jan, too! Being an author can be lonely work. Rewarding, especially when readers leave good reviews (good = well thought-out, focused on the book and its merits and nothing personal to the author; etc. Good doesn’t always mean the number of stars!)
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Remember, as always! The best way to appreciate an author’s book is to recommend it to a friend. The second best way is to leave a review. And the third best? Tell them to come here and take their turn in the spotlight!

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Marelo by Eileen Troemel in the Featured New Book Spotlight!

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Book cover for book titled Marelo

The book is called Marelo and it was written by Eileen Troemel

Let’s welcome Eileen Troemel to West of Mars! We were chatting on Twitter and I invited her to stop in… see why it’s always good to chat on social media?

Eileen’s new book is called Marelo, and it sure sounds interesting to me! Let me share with you the hows and whys, and let’s start, of course, with the question of the day: Eileen Troemel, what song makes you think of your new book?

When I write, I listen to classical or non-vocal music. With Marelo, she’s very focused and has a light touch. Gary Stadler Fairy in the Woods album is one that comes to mind as I think about the story. The music is ethereal and that’s how I see the studies Marelo is doing.

I have always loved classical music and lately have been getting into instrumentals to play as I edit, as well, so I understand this impulse! And this song is everything Eileen says it is, so check it out, and then grab a copy of Marelo.

But before we get to the buy links, let’s hear the description!

Marelo studies water dragons. Bandor studies her heart. Driven to succeed, Marelo focuses on her studies. She doesn’t have time for males claiming her as a mate. She came here to study the dragon’s ancestral home. She will find the evidence she needs while avoiding all males especially Bandor who makes her heart rush. Bandor takes one look at Marelo and knows she’s his mate. Her haughty demeaner doesn’t put him off. She’s his mate, he’ll do anything to win her. But he has secrets only his mate can know. Can he convince her to be his mate or will it take something more?

Whoa. There’s a LOT of interesting stuff going on there! And this is categorized as a short read, too, so if you’re in the mood for something quick and (what sounds) lovely, this might be perfect for you!

Pick up your copy here:
Books2Read

And be sure to connect with Eileen Troemel!
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And my usual reminders for you all…
* If you read a book, be sure to leave even a few words in a review of it. Reviews help readers find good books — and, of course, they help readers know what to avoid. Do your part! Your opinion matters!
* If you are an author, if you are friends with an author, if you have an author you like but want an excuse to talk to… I don’t care! Send them my way and tell them to fill out the form. I genuinely miss the days when I was posting one of these a week.

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A Rose By Any Other Name by Alana Lorens in the FNB Spotlight!

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Let’s welcome Alana Lorens back to West of Mars! Woot!

Alana is one of my favorite people and if you catch us at the right moment, you’ll see us chatting on Twitter. Come join the conversation, of course!

But today, the focus is on business, which means Alana Lorens’ new book, A Rose by Any Other Name. If you’re on social media at all, you’ve seen this making the rounds, but only I have the scoop on what song makes Alana think of this new book baby. Ready for the answer? I am!

Marisol and Russell, known as Rusty, dated in high school, but he broke off their relationship to chase the popular homecoming queen. When they get together at their 20-year high school reunion, Rusty is importuned by the committee to reprise his famous interpretation of Pee Wee Herman’s “Tequila” big shoe dance. It may not be as ubiquitous as the Chicken Dance or the Macarena, but it’s definitely a performance number.

HOW CAN YOU NOT WANT TO READ A BOOK THAT WILL MAKE YOU THINK OF THIS SONG???

This might be a new height of perfection.

So.

Ready for the description? I sure am. I mean, after THAT, how can you not be?

Up-and-coming mommyblogger and single mom Marisol Herrera Slade returns to her old hometown in Western Pennsylvania for her 20th high school reunion in 2005, reluctant and yet compelled to see her high school sweetheart, Russell Asher, who dumped her for the homecoming queen.

Russell’s marriage to the golden girl, however, ended in a nasty divorce, and he has been systematically excluded from his sons’ lives. In his Internet wanderings, he’s found a feminist blogger named Jerrika Jones, who glorifies single motherhood, essentially putting a stamp of approval on what’s happened to him. His group of single dad advocates have vowed to take this woman down.

What Russell doesn’t know, when he thinks to rekindle what he had with Marisol, is that Marisol and Jerrika are one and the same. When his group discovers the truth, will their drive for revenge derail any chance the couple have to reunite? Or will they find they have more in common than they ever expected?

Oh, my. Russell, Russell, Russell… Maybe you need better single dad advocates, my man.

Or does he? Gotta read it to see!

Before you grab a copy, check out the book trailer.

Grab your copy:
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And like I said, feel free to connect with Alana Lorens! She’s fun.
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And remember, the best way to say thanks to an author for their hard work is to leave a review. Even a few words, or a bulleted list of what you like is super!
As always, if you’re an author, have a friend who’s an author, or want to help promote a book you love, here’s the link so you or your author friend can step into the spotlight themselves. All are welcome!

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Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking by Linda Griffin in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Let’s welcome Linda Griffin back to West of Mars! She was just here last March, which means she’s either really prolific or likes us. Or both!

Her new book is called Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking, and how can you NOT love that title? Not only does it flow really well off the tongue, but it’s intriguing as all get out. Let’s learn more about it, shall we?

Linda Griffin, what song makes you think of your book?

“Friends and Lovers” by Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson, because Alyssa wants to be just friends, even though they keep ending up in bed, and Reid wants so much more.

Wow, that’s an oldie.

So what’s the book about? How do Alyssa and Reid handle this familiar (and beloved; it really is one of my faves) trope? Let’s see…

Software engineer Reid Lucas loves to cook and has a history of falling in love with married women. When he leaves his complicated past in Chicago for a job in California, he runs into trouble and must call a virtual stranger to bail him out of jail. Alyssa Knight, a tough street cop waiting for a church annulment from her passive-aggressive husband, is the roommate of the woman Reid calls for help, and she reluctantly provides bail for Reid. He falls for her immediately, and cooking for her is an act of love. She just wants to be friends, but they keep ending up in bed together. When his boss is murdered, Reid is a suspect—or is he the intended target?

YES. Cross-genre stuff happening here, it looks like. Some mystery with your romance, some romance with your mystery. Maybe some romantic suspense entirely?

Gonna have to read it to see… Grab your copy today!
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Remember, the best way to say thanks for a good book is to recommend it to others. And one way of doing that is to leave a review. Leave reviews, friends!

And connect with Linda Griffin. Authors are fun people to chat with.
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Dance to a Wylder Beat by Marilyn Barr is in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Book cover for Dance to a Wylder BeatLet’s welcome Marilyn Barr back to West of Mars! This isn’t her first, err, rodeo here, so let’s get right to business.

Marilyn Barr, what song makes you think of your book?

The core issue of Dance to a Wylder Beat is the need for community. Nartan’s secret Shamanic dancing and Olive’s paranormal secret keep them on the outskirts of Wylder society. In line with their desires, their song is “Stolen Dance” by Milky Chance.

Listen to this haunting song here – https://youtu.be/k750IIdKq08

In the late 1870s, the Arapaho nation’s way of life was being destroyed by the US Government. Their nomadic existence was at odds with the settlements, like Wylder Wyoming, popping up along the railway line. The Arapaho followed the migratory herds with small bands creating circles of teepees for a season before packing their travois and heading to the next place. The US Government turned tribes against each other and in 1871, the Shoshone and Arapaho battles destroyed the Antelope Band which broke my heart. This conflict is the catalyst for Nartan and his brother, Ikshu to set up their homestead at the edge of Wylder.

“I hope they didn’t get your mind
Your heart is too strong anyway
We need to fetch back the time
They have stolen from us.” –Stolen Dance, Lyrics – Clemens Rehbein

Away on a vision quest, Nartan missed the chance to defend his band. His younger brother, Ikshu, was with the women, elderly, and children when the attack happened. His PTSD gives him night terrors and selective mutism. Despite being a Shamanic apprentice and destined for mystic greatness in his tribe, Nartan becomes a humble leather tanner and protector of Ikshu’s fragile state. What he refuses to give up is the support of his spirit team. The six spirits answer his calls when he dances in secret. His ceremonial herbs, dance steps to create the sacred geometry of his people in the dirt, and incantation (the same incantation I use in my energetic healing practice) are offerings to the spirit realm. Such practices are against the law on the reservations which is a second reason why Nartan left. While I would argue Nartan is never stoned, the unbelievers contribute his visions to the ceremonial herbs – which were most likely sage, tobacco, and sagebrush in 1878.

“You’ve never danced like this before
We don’t talk about it
Dancin’ on, doin’ the boogie all night long
Stoned in paradise
Shouldn’t talk about it” –Stolen Dance, Lyrics – Clemens Rehbein

What about his love interest, Olive? While she doesn’t dance, this song has a ring of truth for her story as well. Olive is a guttersnipe. These were orphaned kids who rode the railways to find their adventure. Olive migrated from “Mexico to Montana” with the native tribes who would protect her. She learned many skills – such as the basics of leather tanning – from the gentle souls who helped her along the way. Unfortunately, her paranormal secret has kept her from assimilating into the settler towns of the Wild West. Yes, Olive is too wild for the Wild West and tired of wandering alone.

“I want you by my side
So that I never feel alone again” –Stolen Dance, Lyrics – Clemens Rehbein

When a medicine man on the Wind River Reservation suggests answering Nartan’s telegraph ad for a wife, Olive dares to dream of living in a house with a soft bed and a roof over her head. Could she keep her secret, learn to be a settler wife, and have a family of her own? She has nothing to lose.

“Coldest winter for me
No sun is shining anymore
The only thing I feel is pain
Caused by absence of you” –Stolen Dance, Lyrics – Clemens Rehbein

Will they put aside their differences to create a family nestled in the community of Wylder or will Nartan reject Olive out of the desire to hide his spiritual past? Find out in Dance to a Wylder Beat.

Whoa. There’s a LOT going on there. And I’m fascinated.

And this song? It’s catchy. Fun. I’d add this to my Spotify playlist. I can see myself singing along as the miles while away on a road trip. It’s got that vibe. Also, it kinda makes me want to dance. That would definitely be hard to do while driving.

Ready for the back cover copy? Here you go:

Nartan Sagebrush’s name may mean “to dance” in Arapaho, but he dances in secret. Forced to abandon his Shamanic apprenticeship, he is overwhelmed with homesteader life, and even his spirit guides are at their wit’s end. Nartan takes fate into his own hands. Instead of divine intervention, a wife will help with his responsibilities and in assimilating into the Wylder community.

Olive Muegge answers Nartan’s “wife wanted” advertisement. Wildly independent she has secretly dreamed of a family to call her own. The secret she carries inside makes her an outcast and her wild ways don’t fit the quiet wife Nartan thinks he desires. Despite their differences, they are drawn to each other but a mistake may drive them apart. Will Nartan embrace his Shamanic past to save them both or will he choose to rid himself of Olive forever?

Yeah… I’m so there. Are you? Grab a copy of Dance to a Wylder Beat by Marilyn Barr
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Go and connect with Marilyn Barr! She and I chat very occassionally on Twitter and just based on that, I can say she’s lovely.
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Still here? Good! Remember that the Featured New Book Spotlight is open to any author of pretty much any book or even if you have a short story in an anthology. I’m here to help spread the word about your fictional masterpiece!

And since the best way to say thanks to an author for all their hard work — well, other than buying their book (often in multiples) — is to leave a review, if you’re struggling with one, drop me a line. I’m really busy right now and this isn’t a free service, but if I’ll make the time for you, I’ll also make it worth your five bucks.

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Sixshooter by Lyndi Alexander in the Featured New Book Spotlight!

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Woo hoo! Let’s welcome Lyndi Alexander back to West of Mars!

Lyndi’s got a new book out, called Sixshooter, and it’s part of the Horizon Crossover series. Want to know more? I sure do!

Let’s start with the usual, of course. I mean, it’s what we’re all here for!

Lyndi, what song makes you think of your book?

The Joker by Steve Miller. I mean, a SPACE COWBOY? I’ve been a long-time FIREFLY fan, and the thought of living out among the far-flung stars leads naturally to thoughts of Terran cowboys on the Plains. No one’s micromanaging you, and you’ve got the open spaces to call your own. You meet all sorts of interesting people and aliens, too. But as always, evil parts of government manage to get their tendrils into every life, and you’ve got to fight to stay independent and free.

Oh, and his name isn’t Maurice–but his grandfather’s is. 🙂

Like space, love has no boundaries.

Heh. His grandfather’s name is Maurice. Get it? (If not, hello? CLICK THE LINK.)

So. What’s the official book description?

Valeni Pascual wants to be free to make a living hauling cargo with her spaceship and to understand the shapeshifting alien who presents sometimes as the steamy male Nik and other times as the blonde bombshell Nikki.

As a rebel insurgence builds against the oppressive government known as the Agency, Valeni and Nik/Nikki encounter a sexy Terran cowboy named Garrett Rawls. Since being pulled into this region of space by another mysterious wormhole, Garrett has looked for a way to return to Earth. After meeting Valeni and Nikki, he might have found something worth staying for.

However, dark forces may have a much bigger picture in mind for all of them. Valeni, Nik/Nikki, and Garrett are pulled into a life and death fight that lays bare all of their secrets and their desires. Will they lose everything as the battle against the Agency rages around them or can love pull them through?

Pick up your copy!
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And connect with Lyndi:
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Remember, if you like a book you’ve found here, the kind thing to do is leave a review (and if you hang out with me here, you’re kind. RIGHT?) wherever you bought your copy. Or, better, in multiple places. Tell a friend! Spread the word! Books bring us together as a community.

And if you’re having trouble with your review and need some help, drop me a line. I’m here to help!

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Crush by Lucinda Race in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Woot! Lucinda Race is CRUSHing it with the book releases of late! She’s back today with the next in the Crescent Lake Winery series, Crush. Because she’s so fast I can barely keep up with her, let’s get right to it! Lucinda, what song makes you think of your book?

The song that reminds me of these characters is Ed Sheeran – Perfect. It’s about getting a second chance at love. The first time Colin and Anna meet its just not the right time – but the second time he’s determined to not let her go. Anna is perfect for Colin and Colin is perfect for Anna.

Now, I’ve got ONE Ed Sheeran song on my Spotify playlists. So sometimes, I’m not sure how Lucinda and I get along so well, but this song’s quite lovely. And yes, it fits this book. Listen hard!

Are you dying to know what this installment is about? Oh, you should be!

He’s just the spark she needs…

Anna Price is an Enologist, a world-renowned expert in anything having to do with wine. Her work at her family’s Crescent Lake Winery in the Finger Lakes region of New York has her feeling as if she’s treading water. There has to be more to life than just wine. Has she lost her spark? She’s jolted when her father suffers a heart attack, then gets a jolt of a different kind from the man taking care of her father.

Colin Grant is a nurse practitioner, specializing in the care of cardiac patients. He’d met Anna once before, but had just ended a long-distance relationship and wasn’t ready for someone new. But this time it’s different. There’s no denying his attraction to the curvy girl who has no idea how beautiful she is.

When Anna is offered a job in France, they may find their growing relationship crushed. How can she say no to the offer of a lifetime? Colin’s job is caring for other people’s hearts; he’s determined not to have his own broken again. Absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder. But is it worth the risk, for a lifetime of love?

Seriously. This is a keeper. Don’t miss it!

And, of course, once you’ve finished it, remember to leave a review! Reviews are a great way to say thanks to an author, even if all you’re thanking them for is the hard work they put into a book.

Grab your copy!

And be sure to connect with Lucinda, as well:
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As a reminder: the Featured New Book Spotlight is open to ANY author, regardless of… anything! Share the link, tell your friends, send them on over, and have them fill out the handy-dandy form. (It’s working again, in case you had tried when it was broken, and thanks to the author who notified me it was broken!)

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Kim McMahill’s A Measure of Madness takes the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Book Cover for A Measure of Madness

Let’s welcome Kim McMahill to the Featured New Book Spotlight! Her newest release is the fourth in her Risky Research series, and it sounds like if you are into federal action heroes, this is right up your alley! We’ll get to more about the book in a second, but first, let’s get to what we’re all here for: the music!

Kim McMahill, what song makes you think of your book?

Whenever I hear, In The Air Tonight, I’m transported back to the 80’s television show Miami Vice and picture organized crime, hot tropical nights, and those iconic speedboat scenes off Miami. The latest installment in my Risky Research Series, A Measure of Madness, is primarily set in Florida, Puerto Rico, and Brazil. In the opening chapter, as the yacht races through the night, the bow rising and then slamming down over the gentle waves with the moonlight reflecting off the ocean and wind rushing through Max’s hair after successfully completing his mission, I can almost hear the music queue up. It really isn’t as much about the lyrics as it is about the mood the music creates.

Ahh. Classic song with a new twist. And yes, I can picture this scene? Can you? Well, we’ve got to know what happens next to this dude named Max, don’t we?

FBI agent Devyn Nash’s pursuit of a deadly organization heats up in this fourth installment of the Risky Research series.

The FBI locates the mastermind behind Coterie, but attempts to bring him in result in a shootout that sends Coterie’s members scrambling for cover. When Devyn’s partner is left fighting for his life in a Puerto Rican hospital, she becomes more determined than ever to bring them to justice.

Devyn’s decision to ignore her orders and pursue the head of Coterie to Brazil puts her job and her relationship with Sheriff Gage Harris in jeopardy, but she is unwilling to allow those responsible for so much death to live out their lives in paradise.

Hey… where’s Max? Max of the cool opening scene?

Well, shoot. Now I GOTTA read this to find out!

Pick up your copy; you know you want to!

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And remember: authors are fun to chat and connect with. Here’s Kim McMahill’s social information:
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As always, if you’re an author or have a friend who’s an author, the Featured New Book Spotlight is open to you or them. And, of course, no matter who you are, leaving a review is always the best way to say thanks to an author for their hard work. If you’re struggling with a review, never hesitate to reach out. Yeah, it’ll cost you a nominal fee to cover my time, but I am worth it. More importantly, so are you.

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Breathe by Lucinda Race in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Book cover for Lucinda Race's Breathe Yes, it’s back to back weeks of Lucinda Race! Woo!

Jealous? Step into the spotlight, yourself. You know I want to host you.

So last week, we learned all about Blends, the prequel novel in the Crescent Lake Winery Series. Now it’s time to dive in to the actual meat of the series, and hoo boy, is there meat to this series! Yes, I’ve had a sneak peek and yes, you will LOVE what Lucinda’s cooking up.

So. Book One. Breathe. Let’s talk about the important stuff first: the music! Lucinda, what song makes you think of Breathe?

In Case You Didn’t Know – Brett Young

Max holds so much inside, afraid of being hurt that he overly cautious – but he does fall hard for Tessa and when I hear this song I always think that Tessa didn’t know…

Okay, so what’s a rocker chick like me doing, hanging out with the likes of Lucinda Race, who’s exposed me to not one but TWO good country songs that I’d actually add to my playlist? Well, expanding my horizons and learning new things, of course! And yes, I can totally see this being Max’s song! Want to know why? Get the book.

But before we get to the buy links, here’s the official book description:

Romance and fine wine both need time to breathe…

Her family’s successful winery business in the Finger Lakes region of New York should have gone to Tessa Price. She’d always dreamed of running the winery, but when the “prodigal son” returns to take up the reins, she boldly strikes out on her own, purchasing Sand Creek Winery—a cash-strapped competitor—right out from under her family. She can forge her own destiny, using her marketing skills and big plans to bring new life to the winery. But first she has a proposition for the sexy previous owner. And he’s likely to hate it.

Kevin “Max” Maxwell would never have willingly sold his winery to anyone named “Price.” Family always comes first, and if paying for his sister’s cancer treatment cost him his business, it was worth it. But when the new owner offers him a one year contract to stay on as general manager, with a possible bonus, he really can’t afford to turn it down. He can ignore the effect her deep brown eyes and heart-shaped face have on his senses for a year, can’t he?

Relationships, like slowly ripening vineyards, take time. But Max has been keeping a secret from Tessa, one that could destroy her hopes for their future. Will a terrible accident force Tessa and Max to face how much they have to lose, or tear apart their budding relationship forever? Sometimes a romance is like a fine wine. To be its best, it just needs time to breathe.

Ooh, do you love that? “To be its best, it just needs time to breathe.”

YES.

Here’s your universal buy link. Because universal buy links are the way to go.

And remember to connect Lucinda Race so you don’t miss out on any of the great books in this series. Yes, I’m still biased, and proud of it.

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Remember: I’d love to host you, your friend the writer, the person you really don’t like but pretend to… I don’t care! I’m about helping books find readers, so take advantage!

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Blends by Lucinda Race in the Featured New Book Spotlight!

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Book cover for Blends, written by Lucinda RaceI am beyond thrilled to welcome romance author Lucinda Race to West of Mars today! And how can I not me? Lucinda is ALL kinds of awesome. If you haven’t read her books yet, you’re in for a treat. And yeah, I may be a bit biased, but that’s okay, right?

So, Lucinda, tell us what song makes you think of your book!

Making Me Look Good Again – Drake White

The line – leather and lace and denim and pearls just sucked me into Sam and Sherry’s story – all about opposite fitting together.

This is a new song to me. Probably my first Drake White, too, and… ummm… WOW! Yearning, longing, and yet nostalgia in there. Good stuff.

Ready for the book description? I sure am!

His mother’s final illness waylaid Sam Price’s college dreams, but he’s content working in his family’s vineyard in the Finger Lakes region of New York. When he finds a woman with a flat tire on a vineyard road, he’s stunned to discover it’s the girl he’d had a crush on in high school. He’d never been confident enough to ask her out back then. He’d been a farm kid. Her daddy was the bank president. Way out of his league.

Sherry Jones is tired of her parent’s ambitious plans for her life. She’ll finish her college accounting degree like they want, but how can she tell them about her real love: working with growing things? Then a flat tire and a neglected garden offer her an unexpected opportunity, with the added bonus of a tall, gorgeous guy with eyes that set her senses tingling.

What does a guy with dirt under his nails and calluses on his hands have to offer a woman like Sherry? It will take courage for her to defy her parents and claim her own dreams. Sam and Sherry’s lives took different paths, but a winding vineyard road has brought them back together. Are they willing to take a chance to create the perfect blend for a lifelong love?

People. THIS is the start of a family dynasty. Right here. Don’t miss it.

Grab your copy. Here’s the universal buy link, and can I tell you guys how much I love universal buy links?

Connect with Lucinda Race, because she’s fun and totally bad for my discipline and yet so totally disciplined herself and yes, I just adore her.

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Remember, the Featured New Book Spotlight is always open! You don’t have to be a friend, an acquaintance, or a client to step into it. I’ve met amazing authors and read great books they’ve written — and I know many of my readers have, too. Don’t be shy!

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A Memory Like You by Vickie Fisher in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Book Cover for Vickie Fisher's new book, A Memory Like You
Do you LOVE this cover, or WHAT???

It’s what caused me to strike up a conversation with author Vickie Fisher, and then invite her to stop in today to tell us about the book itself. As if that cover doesn’t speak for itself. Ooh, baby. I am in love. With the cover. Don’t judge me.

So… Tell us, Vickie Fisher! What song makes you think of your new book?

What’s A Memory Like You (Doing In A Love Like This) byJohn Schneider. I have always loved this song and thought how amazing it would be to have someone love you so much that your memory is always just a moment away. Then of course the realization that the reason they are pining for me is that I didn’t love them the same way. And the happy feeling the song first gave me turned to sadness. I mean how could someone love someone so completely without that person loving them back. In my romantic mind, I had to fix it. After all, the foolish girl who threw that love away had to have a reason, right. Maybe she did love him like that, but something happened and she had to walk away from him. And so A Memory Like You was born.

Ooh, WOW. What a reason! I love books inspired by songs… obviously, right? Because what’s the one question I ask y’all around here? But to improve on the song and make it happy?

I’m there. Totally.

Check out the official back cover copy:

Anyone who knew them never doubted the love Cassidy and Shane shared was a gift from God.

When a misunderstanding blows their relationship apart, no one expects them to still be apart five years later. Champion bull rider Shane Cartwright has made too many mistakes in his life—the worst was letting Cassidy McDaniel go. Can she ever forgive him? With the rodeo season half over, he needs to convince her to once again pursue her dream of becoming the first female World Champion Bull Rider.

Can their time together mend broken fences, or will it take a miracle to bring their hearts back together?

And it’s a Western! The cover, the setting… this is my catnip, folks. Is it yours? Or maybe a friend’s? Pick up a copy:
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And connect with Vickie Fisher, too! We haven’t spoken much, but so far, I like her. She’s a fellow Pennwriter, after all. (And yes, I highly recommend the Pennwriters, no matter where you live. I have been a member for the past 20 or so years, and then for a short time before that, so yeah. 10/10. Highly recommend.)

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Remember, the best way to thank an author for their hard work is to buy a copy of their book–and then to gift a copy, as well! But if you can’t do that and still want to pay it forward, think about leaving a review online. If you’re struggling with your review, let me know and I’ll help.

And if you’re an author who’d like to step into the spotlight, or have a friend who you’d like to see featured here, the Spotlight is open to all, even if we’ve never met before. Fill out the handy-dandy form and I’ll get to each entry in turn, usually on Sundays, after my bike ride. Because yes, I’m back on bikes and yes, that’s when I’m not busy editing!
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Gelato Surprise by Sadira Stone — The Featured New Book Spotlight

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Let’s welcome Sadira Stone to West of Mars!

Sadira’s a new-to-me author, and I’m glad to meet her and host her here today. Let’s get right to business:
Sadira Stone, what song makes you think of your book?

Call me corny, but the song that comes to mind when thinking of my steamy older woman/younger man beach romance novella Gelato Surprise is “At Last” as sung by Etta James. This one’s popular at weddings, and for good reason.

Hubs and I are a late-in-life love story. Both divorced, we met while working at the same high school on a U.S. Air Force base in Germany—which makes him my high school sweetheart, I guess. 😊 At our wedding in 2014 my daughter, a gifted singer (proud mama much?), sang “At Last” for our first dance. Reader, there was not a dry eye in the house. I’m so grateful to have found my perfect partner, even if I had to wait 48 years to finally meet him.

Danielle Peters, the heroine of Gelato Surprise, goes through something similar. Forty-two and freshly divorced, Danielle is determined to keep her kids’ lives as normal as possible. But her ex spoils their annual beach vacation by whisking the kids away for a surprise Disney trip, leaving her stuck with a two-week rental. Her friends convince her to take the trip solo, time to think about her next chapter. Skeptical and glum, Danielle heads for the beach alone—until she meets Matteo, a gorgeous young Italian gelato vendor and furniture designer. She agrees to be his pretend date to the town’s Sons of Italy banquet in an effort to thwart the matchmaking nonna mafia, but their first kiss flares into something much hotter than make-believe.

Now she’s faced with an impossible situation: what she promised herself would be a no-strings vacation fling is quickly spinning into a deeper connection, but how can she reconcile that with her responsibilities to her kids?

Here’s a peek at Danielle’s dilemma.

Still holding her hands, Matteo drew her to a patch of shade beneath a cluster of anemic palm trees. He flashed an adorable, shy grin that crinkled the corners of his eyes. “Danielle, I really like you, but I don’t want you to feel like I’m pressuring you to do something you’re not ready for.”

I’m ready! Her id hollered and waved like an over-excited second grader.

He twined his fingers with hers and continued. “Unfortunately, Sal needs me this afternoon, and I’m driving him to Aberdeen tonight. How about tomorrow? We could do a picnic lunch on the beach. There’s a special spot I’d like to show you.” He dipped his head and nuzzled the sensitive crook of her neck. “Are you still up for it? Or have I scared you off with my grabby hands?”

The heat of his breath scrambled her brain. No doubt about it, he wanted her. And she wanted him so badly her teeth ached.

She sucked in a deep breath. “I’ll bet you get a lot of single women tourists throwing themselves at you.”

He shrugged. “A lot of women flirt. Doesn’t mean anything.” He rested his forehead against hers. “I collect drawer pulls, and doorknobs, and picture frames—not women.”

She pressed her lips together and dropped her gaze to their joined hands. This guy definitely earned an A-plus in handholding. Never had such a simple act felt so intimate, so sensual. The way his thumb traced arcs across her knuckles made her imagine what those hands could do on her bare body, stretched out on her king-size bed, the sea breeze lifting the curtains while his hands brushed over her breasts…

Her common sense made a last, futile stand. “Matteo, I’m old enough to be your—”

“No.” He squeezed her hand. “You’re not. Though you are old enough to be my sexy babysitter.” He quirked an eyebrow. “Every guy’s fantasy.”

I love a good May-December romance, and this one looks like sexy fun.

Ready for the description? Although after that intro, you may not. That was a GREAT answer.

She came to the beach to find herself—and found him.

Forty-two-year-old divorcée Danielle Peters ends up alone on her family’s annual beach vacation. Maybe time to herself is exactly what she needs. That and gelato from her favorite ice cream shop. But when the owner’s intoxicating young nephew offers more than sweet treats, she’s tempted to indulge in a hot summer fling before returning home.

Thirty-one-year-old Matteo Verducci craved a fresh start to mend his broken heart, and he’s found almost perfection in Ocean View, where he scoops gelato by day and crafts furniture by night. But when a sexy older woman stops to sample his wares—Mamma mia! He only has two weeks to convince her their passion is more than a delicious surprise.

Need a copy? I bet you do!
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And be sure to connect with Sadira Stone. It’s always fun to get to know the authors whose books you admire and appreciate.
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As always, if you’re a reader, remember that the best way to show appreciation for an author’s work — well, beyond buying copies to share with your friends — is to leave a review. If you’re stuck, struggling, or need help, drop me a line and I’m glad to do so. Remember: I am a former pro book reviewer! I know a few things about book reviews.

And if you’re an author or friends with an author, this spotlight is always open to you! The only requirement is that the book be new to my readers…

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Alpha Revealed by Brenda Sparks

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Brenda Sparks is here to visit us!

I’ve known Brenda for years now, via Triberr, which helps us share our posts with the rest of the Twitterverse, but I think this is the first time she’s stopped in.

So let’s roll out the red carpet!

Brenda Sparks, what song makes you think of your book?

Secret” by Maroon 5.
All of us have our secrets, and some secrets are easier to keep than others. Ever notice how secrets stomp around your brain, over and over, pounding hard footprints into your gray matter until at last, you share them with someone you trust. I began to wonder if vampires are any better at keeping secrets than humans. Turns out, not so much.

I gave the lead characters in Alpha Revealed plenty of juicy secrets, and they just couldn’t keep them. So I guess vampires, like humans, have only so many secrets they don’t share…and maybe that’s for the best.

Ooh, now, I want to make sure you know this is the fifth book in a series, and so as enticing at this commentary is (and holy cow, am I curious!), you might want to check and make sure you can drop into the middle. Or, of course, start with the first! What else are you doing while social distancing or sheltering in place? (Okay, you could be like me and working, and if so, I hope your job is the joy that mine is.)

This brings us to the next best part of these spotlights. What’s the book about?

Natasha Peterhoff is the luckiest vampire in the world. Having pined over the sexy, but aloof Vladimir Starikovich for centuries, her feelings are reciprocated when the pair are drawn to each other the night of her brother’s wedding. Unfortunately, the stark light of day dawns, and the couple parts ways.

Back in Siberia, Vlad is overcome by doubts. Not only will Natasha’s brother kill him, but his own past is reason enough to keep her away. He vows to do everything in his power to keep her safe, even it if means never seeing her again.

With so many reasons to stay apart, will the ties that bind be strong enough to pull them together?

Ooh, a couple tropes at play in here… how can you resist?

Get your copy!
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And after all these choices, I’m going to say it! If you’d like a print copy, call up your favorite indie bookstore and see if they can get it for you. They’d love the business, the money you spend stays in their local community, and it’s helping keep lights on and doors metaphorically open.

Connect with Brenda Sparks, too!
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Twitter Handle: @brenda_sparks
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Be sure to leave a review once you’ve read the book. Reviews help! If you need help with one, drop me a line and I’ll strive to give you pointers you can use forever and ever.

And if you’re an author, feel free to fill out the Spotlight form, yourself. If you’re not an author, feel free to ask your favorite author to stop in. A book only has to be new to the majority of my audience to be eligible…

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Rock House Grill by DV Stone

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Book Cover for book titled Rock House GrillToday’s guest, DV Stone, is especially comfortable in the spotlight. I mean, check out that book cover; it says it all, no?

Except… it doesn’t. Totally doesn’t. Not even close. I mean, do YOU know what song makes DV think of her book? I don’t. So I’m glad she provided the answer!

Hi, Susan.
What a fun question, especially with a book titled Rock House Grill. You know there’s going to be music. Each character has their own special song. Aden House, one of the main characters, is Simple Man. Every line of Lynard Skynard’s beautiful words touch me the author, and thus touches Aden.
The line
“Boy, don’t you worry, you’ll find yourself
Follow your heart and nothing else”
is something Aden and all of us need to do at times. Follow our hearts.
Aden’s path to becoming that “simple man” is a long, pothole-filled one. But with the help of family and friends, he should find his way.

Awesome song. Truly a classic. (And funny how many people think it’s a Shinedown song!)

I love that this song focuses on the hero’s journey, as well. Who said romance was only about the heroine’s journey?

So… what’s the whole thing about? Hero and heroine, together? Because, after all, that’s the fun of romance.

One man’s choices—One woman’s impact

Aden House, successful but driven chef and TV personality, refuses to slow down. His life implodes one night, damaging him both physically and emotionally. He’s rescued by a woman he thinks of as his angel.

Shay McDowell has rebuilt her life after her divorce. She juggles volunteer EMT duties and her job, while dreaming of becoming a chef. She finds her way to Rock House Grill and back into the life of the man she helped save.

Can love be the ingredient needed to survive the many obstacles they face?

I’m curious where the music comes in, since these people are all about cooking. Why is the place the Rock House Grill, and why does it get the title?

We need to read it, gang! C’mon! Pick up your copy and find out.
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Want a print copy? You can order that through your favorite independent bookstore, as well.

And be sure to connect with DV Stone! We all need a little human contact, no matter what’s happening outside (or inside) our homes!
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Remember! Leaving a review helps other readers find a good book — and that thoughtfully negative reviews are okay things, too. If you need help writing a review, reach out. I’m here. And if you’re an author with a book to tell us about, let’s hear from you, too!

Featured New Book Spotlight

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Sweet Dreams at the Palace Hotel by Stella Jayne Phillips

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Book Cover for Sweet Dreams at the Palace Hotel It’s time for Stella Jayne Phillips to step into the Spotlight! Let’s give her the kind of warm West of Mars welcome authors are coming to expect once again.

And then let’s give her another because hey! This is Stella’s debut novel! (And if it’s not, it’s the only one she’s got for sale at Amazon.)

Stella Jayne Phillips (I hate that SEO makes me use your full name; it seems so stilted! But that’s what’s up. It’s all about SEO.), what song makes you think of your book?

Deep Purple by Nino Tempo and April Stevens pulls me into Sweet Dreams at The Palace Hotel and the town of Creekide because the moments when the sky is falling to purple, before true darkness, create infinite possibilities and a sense of magic. In the time between day and night, the appearance of Victoria, benevolent resident ghost of The Palace, feels almost normal and certainly believable.

I was SO not prepared for the age of this song! Or how poppy it is! I’d been expecting something dreamy, especially the way Stella describes the sky and the sense of magic… Wow! This is a really cool juxtaposition.

So. What’s the book about?

Nikki Benton crossed the threshold of the historic Palace Hotel, leaving her shattered dreams behind. Determined to follow in the footsteps of the Hotel’s original owner, she puts her heart into creating an intimate lodging experience while becoming an integral part of of the community. So what if she takes lessons on embracing life? And does it truly matter that her teacher, Mrs. Victoria Wyatt, is the hotel’s live-in ghost?

This sounds like fun! And something about the ghost makes me think of the Aunt Dimity books, which I adore as well, although I’m willing to bet that the similarity ends at the ghost.

Pick up your copy!
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As always, if you’d like a print copy, feel free to get in touch with your favorite indie bookstore and ask them to order it. They could use the business, more of the money you spend stays in the local community, and we don’t have to get angry at the store owners who act in less-than-heroic ways in order to protect their billions.

And remember: if you can leave a review online somewhere, it’ll help this book gain traction and visibility, and that’s always a good thing. If you need help writing reviews, contact me.

Connect with Stella Jayne Phillips!
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And, of course, if you’re an author and would like to feature YOUR book, I’d love to host you. Seriously. This is fun for me and I love doing it. I love reading what your books are about, I love listening to your songs, and I love chatting with you guys. I’m here to help you, so take advantage!

Featured New Book Spotlight

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