Wednesday, October 7, 2015

'A Second Helping' by Andria Gaskins


Andria Gaskins presents a fresh voice to the world of contemporary romance with her debut novel that captures the joys and frustrations of getting older, starting over and falling in love for the second time.

Michelle Taylor knows what it’s like to be cheated on. And following the death of her best friend, she decided to change her life. She returned to her maiden name, sold her specialty food store and moved back to North Carolina with her two boys. A chance encounter at a local barbecue restaurant lands her the perfect contractor to revive an old farmhouse she purchased during her divorce. Not only is he qualified for the job, but he's the first man in a long time to make her feel good about herself. But when her ex-husband moves to town, he brings a truckload of regret, attitude and drama onto the scene.

“As a forty-something mother of two, I wanted to write a story that could only be told from the perspective of a mature woman who is a little seasoned with some real life experiences that have made her better instead of bitter.”

A Second Helping started as a cookbook but eventually morphed into a novel. The book marries Andria Gaskins’ passion for food and love, with recipes brought to life in a modern-day romance. A Second Helping is an honest and humorous love story strengthened by the comfort and security of friendship and home cooking.

Read an excerpt:

Damien greeted Michelle in the conference room and she barely recognized him. He resembled Mr. Carlucci, her third grade teacher and her first love. A corporate-casual businessman in cuffed khaki trousers and a pink oxford shirt stood before her—not the t-shirt-and-jeans-clad dude she’d met previously. A medium-length haircut had tamed his thick wavy hair. He’d even trimmed his scruffy beard to a nice Hollywood stubble.

Damien possessed a cultured swag that made her want to unbutton her dress, lay back on the table and let things just happen. But who was she kidding? She’d probably spontaneously self-combust if he got too close.

She reminded herself to keep their interaction professional. It was safer that way.

“I see you’ve stepped up your game, Mr. Anthony,” she said, casually.

“Ms. Taylor, I find that people are more apt to sign those big checks when I don’t look like I recently bought weed,” he said as he pulled the door closed and sat next to her at the head of the sleek stylish conference table.

He smelled fantastic—fresh, clean, refined. And slightly sweet.

“Good point. Is this your way of buttering me up before giving me the smackdown with your estimate?”

“No. That’s what these are for.” He reached down the long table and pulled a platter of sticky buns, danishes and doughnuts in front of her. “We also have some fruit over there on the credenza if you’re into that kind of thing.”

Michelle laughed. Why’d he have to be gorgeous and funny?

“What’s the damage?” she asked, wincing to brace herself for the figure.

“Don’t you want to look at the design first?”

“No. I’m one of those bad news first kind of people. How much?”

“Remember, your house is very old,” he began, “and although there’s been some additions made and changes to the house over the years, it still needs an overhaul.” Damien opened a white folder labeled Taylor Design and Renovation and laid it out in front of her.

She gasped, blinked a few times as if that was going to make the amount smaller. Then she clutched her chest. “Good Jesus,” she said, blinking once more. “That much?”

Damien nodded. “Yes, but—”

“Can I have some water please?” She swiped a sticky bun from the platter, ripped a piece off and shoved it in her mouth.

Damien returned to the table with a bottle of water, a glass and a couple of napkins. “Are you gonna be alright? You look like you’re about to pass out.” He poured the water into the glass for her. “I know CPR, if you need a little mouth to mouth.”

He sat in his chair and chuckled as if her shock amused him. “I’ve witnessed a lot of reactions over the years when clients discover that renovation costs on HGTV and DIY Network aren’t based in reality. Yours is up there with some of the best.” He pulled a piece from her sticky bun, stuck it in his mouth and sucked some caramel goo from his thumb and index finger.

Michelle cut her eyes at him. He was getting a little too comfortable with her. “I don’t need CPR, I need a discount. And are you always so forward with your clients like this?”

“No, you’re the first,” he said. “I can’t help myself. I like you, you’re funny.” He pinched a corner of her sticky bun and proceeded to pull off a large chunk.

“You want my water too?”

He reached for a water bottle with his free hand. “Got one. But I can do this for you.” He scribbled a number on a notepad and showed it to her. “How’s that?”

Michelle looked it over and countered his percentage with one of her own. “Not as good as this.”

Damien laughed and tapped the notepad with a pen. “For that right there, we’d have to rustle up some sheets.”

That was bold. But she did want to save some money. Every penny counted. What the hell was she thinking?

Michelle squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head. “No, that’s not a good idea, especially since I’m not a hooker.” She blacked out her figure with the Sharpie from the pen cup on the table. “How about we go with this?”

Damien considered her counteroffer for a few seconds. “That’ll work,” he said, extending his hand. They shook on it to make it official.

“I would’ve settled for less,” Michelle said, thinking she got the best of him.

Grinning, he closed her folder. “I would’ve given you more.”

Buy links

About the author:

When both of my boys started school full-time I took the opportunity to discover what I really wanted to do with my life. I love to cook, so I used that skill to earn some extra money while my kids were at school. I dabbled in catering and selling baked goods at the farmers market. And then I discovered recipe and cooking contests. I’ve been fortunate enough to compete in competitions for Food Network, Cooking Channel, Nordic Ware, Beringer and Martha White.

With my cooking experience, I went to work on my first cookbook that morphed into a novel. My book is inspired by true love and great food. The story celebrates regular people living in North Carolina who are just trying to make it in the world with the support of family and friends. They laugh, cry, argue and love passionately, and they eat and enjoy wonderful food without guilt.

I’m a Jersey girl who fell in love with North Carolina over twenty years ago as a college student. I live in a small town outside Charlotte with my husband and two boys.

#BookReview 'The Trouble With Snowmen' by Dorlana Vann

trouble with snowmen tour banner

The Trouble with Snowmen by Dorlana VannSnowmen drift into your life like they were sent from above. The relationship is great, rolls right along, and builds. Everything seems perfect … until a little heat is introduced. Then they melt, leaving only their hat, their scarf, something to remind their victims of what they’d lost.

Urban cowgirl Haley Monroe is told that the fabulously hot guy who just dumped her was a snowman. Her friend Maximilian convinces her that the only way she’ll ever stop being played by snowmen is to become one. It takes a lot of drinks to work up the nerve, but Haley gets her sexy on and goes on the prowl.

Famous horror author Larry White drops everything to attend a midnight séance at Maximilian’s apartment where he meets Haley. By the way she’s dressed—and just propositioned him—he assumes she’s a hooker. Larry can’t pass up the chance to get inside her head, especially since prostitution is the character’s occupation in his next book.

After spending the weekend together, unexpected sparks surprise both Haley and Larry. The trouble is Haley is dead-set on snowmanning the unkempt “starving artist” she met at the séance, and Larry doesn’t think he could have a real relationship with a woman with a past, so they go their separate ways.

The real fun begins when they meet again and find out neither one of them were who they thought they were. Can they reignite the flame? Or will they have a snowman’s chance in hell?

**My thoughts**

I have never heard the term "snowman" before, referring to men, but I have definitely known my fair share! I think a lot of us have, which makes us relate to Haley right out of the gate. She has been left once again, and is just starting to figure out the pattern, thanks to her friends. So, she attempts to go to the opposite extreme for a little while. Like any good rom-com heroine, she falls flat on her face and makes a fool out of herself, while also somehow coming off as endearing. There is a fine line between situations being contrived for comedic effect and simply being absolutely ridiculous. Dorlana manages to stay within the boundaries, making you chuckle while also truly believing that it could happen.

Larry may be a famous horror writer, but he doesn't come off as a rich man. He is definitely passionate about his writing and research, observes everyone around him, and is constantly creating in his mind. He is smart and just very real. Lately, many romances are focused on the billionaire coming in to swoop the woman off of her feet. Larry has money, thanks to his fame and success, but you feel like he could be the hot guy down the street who is very attainable. I found myself crushing on him a bit, because I felt like I could actually know him.

The chemistry between the two is evident early on and helps to navigate their roller coaster ride. You know that people and life in general are going to conspire to give these two some big twists and turns to test their relationship, but you want to take the ride with them to see it all play out.

Then you have the supporting cast. Maximillian is the obligatory gay best friend, full of fun and crazy antics, yet lots of love for Haley. He is a very wise man and one you would definitely want in your corner. Brenda is the conniving "other woman" who is necessary for some conflict. A few other characters are peppered in, but well-placed. Their intertwined relationships are crucial to the plot. You have all of the ingredients of a successful romantic comedy formula that yields a delectable treat to savor with a cup of coffee or wine. I actually read the whole thing in one sitting, pages flying faster than usual, and practically hissed at anyone who interrupted me. I think Maximillian and Brenda have their own stories waiting to come out in a couple of spin-offs. I also think I need to find some more of Dorlana Vann's books!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Available now on Amazon

About the author:

The inspirations for Dorlana’s books and short stories are fairy tales, the supernatural, and classic romantic comedies. She has several books (teen and adult) available. She lives in Texas, near Houston, which is also the setting for her upcoming romance series Trouble with Men. The series will have fun, new dating terms and concepts, outrageous shenanigans, and a touch of magical realism. She enjoys shopping, TX Hold’em, movies, shoes, the beach, restaurants, and festivals.

Find the author:
Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

Follow The Tour

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

'Diary of a Single Wedding Planner' #BookTour #Blast & #Giveaway

diary of a single wedding planner tour banner

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00001]Wedding planner Tyler Warren left heartbreak behind when she ran away from her small Southern hometown and started a new life in a big city. Years later, she wants to believe in the fairy-tale endings her job promotes, but the clients she meets day after day seem to be more “Crazily Ever After” than “Happily Ever After.”

Meanwhile, her own attempts at romance play out as bizarre comedies rather than love stories, and she’s starting to think Prince Charming either fell off his horse or got eaten by a dragon. When unresolved issues from Tyler’s past complicate things even further, she discovers she may yet have some things to figure out before she can find her own happy ending.

This delightful first book in the Tales Behind the Veils series chronicles Tyler’s wacky misadventures, both personal and professional. Whether she’s getting insane requests from brides or outlandish requests on dates, you’re sure to be charmed and entertained by the Diary of a Single Wedding Planner.

Buy on Amazon


violetAbout the author:

Violet Howe enjoys writing romance with humor. She lives in Florida with her husband, who is her knight in shining armor, and their two handsome sons. They share their home with three adorable but spoiled dogs. When she’s not writing, Violet is usually watching movies, reading, or planning her next travel adventure. You can follow Violet’s ramblings on her blog, The Goddess Howe.
Find Violet: Website | Facebook | Twitter 
The Goddess Howe: Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Follow the Tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway

'Trapped in a Fantasy: A Strong Desire Meets a Stranger (Book 1 of a Curiously True Trilogy) by Karlee Christopher


A true story, Trapped in a Fantasy (A Trilogy) is part memoir, part sexually-charged emails shared between two people who meet as strangers on the Internet. After their first night together, a sexual explosion for both of them, Karlee and Jack find themselves on personal expeditions, sharing intimate details of their lifelong suppressed sexual fantasies. Wrapped in an endearing friendship raw with yearning and desire, Karlee finds herself in love with her sexual soul mate, Jack, who often appears emotionally desolate and plagued with professional unrest, yet touches her sexuality to the depths of her core. Ill-equipped to offer her a desired conventional relationship, Karlee finds her heart in a 10 ½ year tug-of-war between the man who continues to ignite her sexually in every way and the abyss of her desire for requited love.

Read an excerpt:

This is how it all began . . .

Sunday, June 27, 2004 7:55 AM

Hot, Fun Woman Looking for New Experiences—45—w4m

I will be in Las Vegas July 6-10. I am looking to have fun with a young, well-built, clean, attractive male. We can meet for a drink, dinner, or a swim at my hotel pool (I’ll be staying at one of the Strip properties) and see where it goes from there. Recently divorced and in need of some exciting sexual experiences! Not looking for anything outrageous; just good, hot sex. Must be willing to wear condoms (I will supply) for both oral and intercourse, provide photos, and have at least one telephone conversation with me before I head out. Non-smokers only. I am attractive, 5’ 2”, a size 8 with great breasts, blonde hair, and blue eyes, and fun, fun, fun . . .

Available on Amazon

About the author:

Karlee Christopher is the founder of a life advice program dedicated to personal transformation and the psychology of success. She has worked with and inspired people from all walks of life, including CEOs, business owners, entrepreneurs, speakers, authors, and people in transition. An internationally published author and avid reader who loves bicycling and travel, Karlee currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio.

#ReleaseDay! 'Bite the Dust (A Blood and Moonlight Novel)' by Cynthia Eden


Vampires. Werewolves. Beasts that hunt in the night. When New Orleans Detective Jane Hart investigates her first official homicide case, she never expects to have her world ripped apart. But the murder she’s investigating is part of a deadly war between vampires and werewolves…and now Jane is caught in that eternal battle. A battle that can’t end well.

Werewolf Aidan Locke has been running New Orleans for years. It’s his job to keep the vamps out of the city. But when a Master Vampire comes to town, determined to unleash hell, Aidan knows it’s time to fight with all the fury of his pack. Beast versus vamp, until the last breath. Then he meets Jane…

One look, one taste, and Aidan knows that Jane is far more than she seems. Far more than she even knows herself to be. She’s important in the paranormal war, not a pawn to be used, but a queen to be won. And if he can’t keep her at his side, if he can’t stop the darkness from descending on the town…then Jane Hart will become not just a fierce cop, not some guardian, but something deadlier. Darker. Aidan will fight heaven and hell to change her fate. To change their fate because he is more than just a predator.

And Jane is more than prey. Far more.

The world is changing—for the humans and the monsters. Hot, sexy, and intense, BITE THE DUST is the first novel in New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Cynthia Eden’s dark new “Blood and Moonlight” series.

Read an excerpt:

Jane whirled toward him, her gun drawn and her body surging with a quick, fluid power. Before he could even blink, her gun was aimed at his heart.
“What kind of idiot stalks a homicide detective?” Jane snarled at him.
The woman had bite. He normally liked that, a lot. But this wasn’t about pleasure. This was about business. Strictly business. “Stalking is a very strong word,” Aidan murmured, “I was merely…hoping for a chat.”
She didn’t lower her gun. “So we could finish our conversation from earlier?”
He nodded.
“Conversation…interrogation…I guess you could call it whatever you wanted, Aidan.
Ah, so she’d been digging into his life. He wasn’t worried. The cops knew only what he allowed them to know. “Aidan Locke,” he said, inclining his head toward her. “At your service.”
The gun still wasn’t lowering. So, he just stepped forward, and he kept advancing, until the gun pressed into his chest. “I didn’t kill that poor girl.”
“So your staff at Hell’s Gate told me, again and again. The ME said the victim died less than an hour before she was found.”
Made sense, considering that Aidan knew the killer would have only hunted at night.
“And everyone who works for you was quick to point out that you’d been having some kind of grand opening bash at that time, and you were right at the bar, serving drinks for all to see.”

“Glad you checked out my alibi.”
I checked out you.” Then, finally, she lowered the gun. But her delicate shoulders remained tense and her chin had notched into the air. “I also sent in one of the uniforms to find you right after that little disappearing act you performed on Bourbon Street, but you were nowhere to be found.”
Light from a street lamp fell onto her face. A rather striking face. Not beautiful, but better. Her eyes were a bit exotic, turning up at the corners. Her nose was long, elegant. And her thick hair was slipping out of the ponytail and sliding around her face. Softening her.
Tempting him.
Not now. Business only. Pleasure later.
“I want to help,” Aidan said. The words were true enough. He did want to help. He’d find justice for that poor victim. After all, giving her justice was his job.
“Glad to hear that.” Jane nodded.
So serious. He knew quite a bit about the new detective. Facts that he’d read weeks ago when she’d first been vetted for the open homicide detective position. Though he doubted the woman realized he’d been the one to approve her promotion. When it came to homicide cops in the Big Easy, he always had final say. After all, he didn’t want anyone getting in his way.
There was a status to maintain.
“If you’re helping,” she continued, “then I’d like you to turn over your bar’s security footage from tonight. I could get a court order, but that would just take precious time. Time I don’t need to waste.”
No, he didn’t imagine that she liked wasting time.
“I’ll help,” he said again, nodding.
Good.” She holstered her weapon. “And if we’re going to talk, we’re going to walk at the same time. I want to see what else the ME has for me.”
The walk wouldn’t be far. And the ME would have nothing for her. Aidan had seen to that.
But he fell into step beside her, automatically slowing his faster stride to match up with hers. Her scent wrapped around him—something soft. Feminine. Probably one of those lotions that human women were always using. He rather…liked her smell. What was it? He inhaled again.
Apples and…lavender. A nice blend.
Only…there was something more. A deeper, richer scent that was pulling at him. Drawing him closer to her.
“Are you sniffing me?”
He stopped.
“Because that is some weird serial killer shit if you’re doing that. Don’t make me go for my gun again.”
From the corner of his eye, he saw that her hand was already near the holster.
“You smell good,” he said, deciding to go with the truth. “But I’ll try to stop the ‘serial killer shit’ for you.”
“You’d better.” Her steps didn’t hurry. She wore boots and jeans. Jeans that hugged her legs and ass ever so well. He’d noticed the ass-hugging earlier, before she’d turned with her gun drawn. She had on a jacket, one that looked a bit battered, so he couldn’t tell much about her upper body. He suspected her breasts were as perfect as her ass.  

Available at these retailers:

Monday, October 5, 2015

'SEAL the Deal' by Makenna Jameison Book Blast & #Giveaway

seal the deal blast banner

SEAL the Deal_FINALShe needs his protection almost as much as she needs his heart...

Rebecca Mayes has already endured more than her fair share of tragedy. After her husband was killed in a horrific car crash, she'd do anything to shield herself from more heartache. A highly sought after attorney, Rebecca's success in the courtroom has not come without costs. The disgruntled ex-husband of a client is seeking revenge on the one he blames for his troubles--and his sights are set on Rebecca. While she remains blissfully unaware, he's stalking her, and getting closer every day.

Navy SEAL Patrick "Ice" Foster vowed to never be in a relationship again after watching his ex-wife slowly die of cancer. That type of anguish was more than he could handle in one lifetime, and there's no way anyone can change his mind.

Despite their determination never to fall in love again, Rebecca and Patrick can't deny the connection between them. But when danger lurks around every corner, she knows there's only one man she can trust to protect both her and her daughter. But who will protect her from a broken heart?

SEAL the Deal, a stand-alone novel, is book one in the new series, Alpha SEALs.

Buy on Amazon

Alpha SEALs Covers


Amazon Bestselling Author Makenna Jameison writes military romance and romantic suspense novels with hot alpha males, steamy romance, and happily-ever-afters. She loves reading, writing, coffee, the beach, and traveling to new places. Makenna lives in Washington DC with her husband and daughter.

Makenna loves to hear from her fans! Contact her or join her mailing list by sending an email


The author is giving away an autographed copy of SEAL THE DEAL and $15 Amazon giftcard.
Giveaway ends Friday, October 16th at 11:59 pm EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

'A Love That's True' by Jala Summers


Naomi, whose world has been rocked by a pregnancy and divorce all within a matter of months, is finally starting to appreciate her life’s new normal. But her ex-husband,Shane,decides he isn’t quite ready to embrace this new life just yet.

Before she even has a chance to calm herself after his proposition, her high school crush, Brandon Neal, emerges to further complicate matters. And unfortunately, the elapsed time hasn’t seemed to diminish Naomi’s undeniable attraction to the former jock.

Brandon Neal, also divorced and a doting father, is excited about the chance to finally get close to Naomi. But the obligations of his own life and family don’t make his pursuit of the woman he’s secretly admired as easy as he’d hoped.

Soon, they are forced to deal with the reality of their situation. And when the consequences of choosing wisely weigh so heavily, will Naomi and Brandon be able to see through the fog of chaos around them to make the choices that can lead to a love that’s true?

Author Bio: 

Jala Summers, a lifelong fan of the art of storytelling, enjoys creating fiction which allows her to explore the complexities of everyday life and the intricacies of human emotion.