Title: Beautiful Ties (The Beautiful Series #4)
Author: Alicia Rae
Genre: Contemporary Romance 18+
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Cover Design: Okay Creations
Event Organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.
While watching her brothers find their happily ever afters, Abbey dreams of falling in love. Smart, fun, and sexy, Abbey is also independent and works hard alongside her brother, Kyle. When Kyle joins his business ventures with his wife’s cousins, Jason and Damon, Abbey struggles with keeping things professional.
Jason is instantly enamored with Abbey, and he becomes determined to win her over. Although she does not want to mix business with pleasure, he uses his good looks and sweet charm to work his way into her heart. All the while, Abbey begins building a friendship with a neighborhood child, Pearl. Abbey’s heart warms to Pearl, and their friendship quickly blossoms into a loving relationship.
Can Abbey find a way balance her growing feelings for Jason and her need to take care of Pearl? Or will Abbey need to sacrifice one relationship for the sake of the other?
~ About the Author ~
Alicia Rae is a Contemporary Romance Author who lives in Dekalb, Illinois, with her husband and three beautiful boys. Alicia has a passion for reading all types of romance, writing to bring a story to life, and photography.
Thank you to my dear sister, Kels, who showed me a few years ago how much I truly missed reading. And to my loving husband, for not throwing away my Nook, and planting the seed of writing into my mind. I am forever grateful. Xo
Readers, words cannot thank you enough for supporting me along this incredible journey. I hope you enjoy my novels as much as I do writing them. I thank each and every one of you.
Believe in yourself and follow your dreams…
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Genre: Contemporary and Historical Romance
Date of Publication: 2010
Publisher: Allison and Busby
Book Description: In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.
Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.
But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth-the ultimate betrayal-that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her…
Gah!! It’s been forever since I wrote a review. So I’m currently trying to catch up. I’ve been reading but that irritating thing called life keeps getting in the damn way! I finished The Winter Sea several weeks ago and couldn’t wait to write my thoughts down. Many of you may have already read it since it’s been several years that this book has been published and released. I loved it. But there were certain parts I wanted to scream at my device. The ending was completely frustrating for me, but I can’t have my own subjective views regarding the ending decrease the overall rating of the book. I didn’t like how Gone with the Wind ended, but do you see me giving that less than the deserved 5+ stars? Nope. So I won’t go there.
The overall premise of the book of an extremely successful author that can jet set to where ever she likes on a moments notice, in order to satisfy her literary inspiration, is what makes fiction worth reading. She was
“thirty-one, with four bestselling novels to my credit and the freedom to live anywhere and anyhow, I chose.”
I want to be that lady.
I want to be that author that gets to experience love in two different time periods. The one that has scores of men falling over themselves to offer a tour of the town. But I don’t want to be that fictional author that writes about her fictional ancestor, Sophia, who to me was just completely flawed. She was too fragile, too innocent, and just too blah. What she did in the end made me angry. As Carrie writes and researches her book, she begins to find that her writing resembles real life. She is inspired by a thought or a vision and becomes overly consumed with writing the piece that when she looks up from her laptop, the sun is rising. Coffee is mentioned a lot in this book.
The writing is beautiful as was the scenery. The historical aspects appeared concise, although I would not deem myself an expert on the Jacobite rising and rebellions, however, Gabaldon is a favorite so I do have some background knowledge. One-sided it may be, that side being Jamie Again this is fiction, but with any well written historical fiction it is still essential to have accuracy with regards to background and historical figures. And that it why I love them so much, because you learn about other places and other times, other languages. The Doric language pulled me in and I found myself wanting to try it. Can you imagine, this little Asian girl speaking the Doric? I could be on a reality show over here!
So to that end, enjoy the beauty of the dialect below, cause it frigging rocks. (There were other great educational how-to-speak Doric videos, but they were just downright boring)
Title: Coming Home
Author: Priscilla Glenn
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: January 20, 2014
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Event Organized By: AToMR
~Michelle’s 5-Star Review ~
“Traditions are good. They help keep memories alive.”
Priscilla Glenn falls into a certain category of authors–I will read ANYTHING she writes because I know it will be a fantastic read and perfectly edited! She’s an English teacher for heaven’s sake, and she can write those scenes that make me feel like I’m in the story, and I can feel exactly each and every emotion that I’m reading. (Do you remember the piano playing scene from Emancipating Andie? Holy hotness and sweet emotion! ) Well, Priscilla is now three out of three for me! She knocked this one out of the park with a grand slam.
I typically do not read teasers for upcoming novels (as I do like to be surprised) and hadn’t even read the synopsis for Coming Home. So it wasn’t until I was twenty-five percent into the book (and curious) when I finally went back and read the synopsis. (Again, that proves to you that I will read anything she writes.)
At this point in the story Leah was on the phone with Danny and they were asking each other questions. I remember having a wicked grin on my face the entire time. I felt like a teenager again enjoying the “getting to know” you period. I was so vested in Danny and Leah’s story already, and there was no going back. Of course, I was very curious about Danny’s secret and his intentions at this stage of the book. (Did I mention that I literally laid in bed ALL day reading and put everything and everyone on hold?)
Coming Home is written in third-person point of view, which is great because I felt every emotion that Danny and Leah experienced. I laughed, I cried, I smiled, and I mourned throughout Coming Home. Priscilla included quite a bit of humor in this book, which was a welcome change. Leah had a great relationship with her family, and they were constantly teasing one another. Once again, I felt like I was part of the family and my heart was full with that familiar feeling of being loved and having family to count on no matter what.
Leah is so refreshing to read because she is a confident woman, and she doesn’t have too much of a problem telling Danny what she is thinking or what she wants. Oh, can I tell you how much I enjoyed her character? I seriously want to just hang out with her, especially at the Cheesecake Factory or a bar.
“I don’t mind a little disappointment now and then. It just means you’ve got high standards. I’d rather shoot high and be disappointed sometimes than just live in the middle with the illusion of being satisfied.”
And when she laid her head back down on his chest, he rested his cheek against her hair and closed his eyes, wondering if there would ever be a man on this planet who was worthy of her.”
“So if something seems too hard, princess, before you throw in the towel, you should always ask yourself, ‘Will the reward be worth the suffering.’”
Danny DeLuca (gosh, I love saying his name) is no doubt going to make the list of top book boyfriends. He is sexy, complex, wishy washy, but he is honorable and has his reasons for the way he acts. Yes, he has a secret. He has a past, and he is his own worst enemy.
The hurt will be temporary, she reminded herself as his lips moved against hers. This is the forever.
In addition to Leah and Danny and their families, Priscilla has included their best friends as well. And once again, their scenes are some of the best, both funny and heartbreaking.
If you are a fan of Colleen Hoover’s writing, I encourage you to pick up Coming Home, especially if you have never read a book written by Priscilla Glenn. There were two scenes in particular that I honestly thought were written by Colleen. Yes, that is one hell of a compliment, which tells you how great this book is. Coming Home will no doubt sit on my shelf of Top 10 Reads for 2014!
“I just…I want you to know that no matter what happens, I know you, Danny,” she said. “I know who you really are.”
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book directly from the author. I was not paid to read or review this book. All opinions are my own, and I was never influenced by anything or anyone.
~Author’s Take on Danny DeLuca ~
By Priscilla Glenn
Danny DeLuca is “the perfect combination of cute, but sexy. Pretty, but rugged. Exuding a gentleness, but at the same time, radiating a raw sex appeal.” He’s described as tall with black hair, and eyes that are “shockingly blue” against the dark tone of his hair. And the cherry on top? A pair of dimples that make Leah feel like her veins are full of helium whenever they appear. When he’s not working underneath a car and cursing like a sailor, he’s taking care of Gram and apologizing for his friend’s crude behavior. He is a walking, talking, delicious dichotomy.
Danny is passionate about everything he does; he works hard, fights harder, and loves with his entire being. He can be moody and unpredictable at times, but he is extremely loyal to those he cares about and will do anything to protect them or make them happy, even if he suffers as a result. There are events in his life he’s still struggling to move on from, but despite his traumatic experiences, he has managed to maintain a level of sensitivity and kindness. (Although, you’d be remiss to mistake his kindness for weakness.)
Unknown fact about Danny: When I first wrote Coming Home, it was done in first-person point of view with Leah as the narrator. It wasn’t until I went back and gave it an overhaul that Danny’s point of view made an appearance, and holy hell, there was so much he wanted me to know about him. I totally fell for him while writing his perspective, which in turn gave me a deeper understanding of Leah.
~About the Author ~
Priscilla Glenn lives in New York with her husband and three children. She has been teaching English at the middle and high school levels for the past twelve years while moonlighting as a writer, mom, coach, student, and professional laundry-doer.If you catch her when she’s feeling sophisticated, she’ll tell you her favorite things are great books and good wine. In the moments in between, she’ll admit her love for anything Ben and Jerry’s, UFC fights, and Robert Pattinson. Glenn is also the author of the contemporary romance novels Back to You, and Emancipating Andie.
The Inspiration for the Spiral of Bliss Series
At the risk of sounding rather nutty, I can say with complete honesty that the inspiration for Liv and Dean’s story came from Liv herself.
One afternoon in July 2011, I sat down at my computer to write a short, erotic story that I was planning to self-publish. I didn’t have much of an idea in mind, except I thought that if I wrote about a woman who was trying to get pregnant, that would certainly leave plenty of room for sex scenes.
But when I started writing, Olivia West walked right into my head and started talking to me. To this day, I have no idea where she came from. I don’t know anyone like her, she’s not based on anyone I know or even any other fictional characters I’m aware of. Instead she just emerged, fully formed like Athena from the head of Zeus, with all her hopes, dreams, insecurities, wishes, doubts, and fears.
I initially wrote the book in a diary format, as if Liv was keeping a journal of her thoughts, and the first draft started with her introducing herself as “My name is Olivia West. I’m medium-height, with long dark hair… etc.” (later, I realized she was introducing herself to ME). So Liv is really the one who drove the story from the very beginning. In some ways, I feel like I was just going along for the ride.
As the story progressed, I became both consciously and unconsciously inspired by some of my favorite stories and themes—the idea of journeys and returning home in Alice in Wonderland, The Little House on the Prairie series, the Wizard of Oz, and themes of true love and betrayal in Gone with the Wind.
I also found a great deal of inspiration in classic fairy tales with motifs of defeating evil and finding your way through dark forests, as well as medieval legends about chivalry and the codes of honor that Dean represents.
And of course, the theme that inspired me the most was that of a couple so devoted to each other and so deeply in love that they will fight any battle to stay together.
The beautiful Spiral of Bliss covers were painstakingly designed by Victoria Colotta of VMC Art & Design. When Victoria and I discussed imagery for the new covers, we decided to create something more unique and “outside the box” than the previous covers of sexy couples.
She and I also both wanted the covers to have a progression, with the first cover representing Liv, the second Dean, and the third cover symbolizing them together. One of the reasons I love the covers so much is that they are so tied to the story and characters.
The cover for AROUSE, a flower in a nest, represents Liv on so many levels—her love of gardening, her desire for a home/nest and family of her own, her fragility, and her hope of blossoming into the woman she wants to be.
The cover of ALLURE, books and a butterfly, is equally tied to Dean. The books represent his intelligence and love of scholarship, while the butterfly symbolizes his struggle to let Liv take flight while wanting to protect her. The butterfly is also an allusion to Liv and Dean’s conversation in ALLURE about the monarch butterflies of Pacific Grove who always return home.
The AWAKEN cover of two antique keys and hydrangea flowers represents both Liv and Dean. The keys allude to the conversation in AROUSE about everyone having a “key” to unlocking their secrets. Liv soon realizes that Dean is her key, but together they have to fight through the consequences of unlocked, destructive secrets.
I also discovered that hydrangeas symbolize “heartfelt emotion” and are the “4th anniversary flower.” In AWAKEN, Liv and Dean celebrate their fourth anniversary as a married couple, and they certainly do have a great deal of heartfelt emotion!
Finally, the color progression on the three covers represents Liv and Dean’s unity and reconciliation:
red + blue = purple
Arouse + Allure = Awaken
Liv + Dean = togetherness.
I’m so grateful to Victoria for designing such beautiful and emblematic covers—I could not be more thrilled that Liv and Dean’s story is so perfectly packaged.
The Spiral of Bliss Symbolism
When I started writing the Spiral of Bliss series, I didn’t set out to incorporate themes of home, courage, friendship, and finding your way. Those ideas grew organically as Liv and Dean’s story evolved, though early on I had the sense that Liv was a lot like Alice in Wonderland and Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.
Once I realized I was writing about a woman who was trying to find her way home after traveling on strange, twisting roads and battling scary creatures, I made the symbolism a more intrinsic part of the story.
In all three books, there are many allusions to characters in Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz. Here are just a few:
- Mirror Lake = reference to “Through the Looking Glass”
- Emerald, Ruby, and Poppy Streets = Emerald City, the ruby slippers, the poppy field
- Avalon Street = mystical island in Arthurian legend and the place where King Arthur’s sword Excalibur was forged
- Maggie Hamilton = Margaret Hamilton, the actress who played the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz movie
- Helen Morgan = Morgan le Fay, the sorceress in the Arthurian legend
- Kelsey March = March Hare in Alice in Wonderland
- Allie Lyons = Cowardly Lion in Wizard
- Professor Marvel = the magician/peddler in the B&W part of the Wizard of Oz movie, who is later the Wizard himself
- Crystal Winter = the witch’s crystal ball
- North = The Good Witch of the North
The symbolic themes of the books relate to Liv’s difficult past and her struggles in a strange, frightening world of uncertainty. Although she has found a safe haven with her husband, she still has to try and find her own path and a way “home.”
Along the way, Liv establishes her own friends and support system, and eventually has to figure out exactly what “home” means to her. In the midst of her journey, Dean is like the wizard, fighting to give Liv everything she wants and needs while hiding his own flaws. They both have to discover in different ways that they each have power and strength within themselves.
The Awaken Symbolism
From the beginning, Olivia West is a woman who is trying to find her way, just like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. Liv wants to believe she’s strong and capable, but her life’s experiences have thwarted her efforts. As she says, “The ground has always shifted beneath my feet. I’ve had a hard time planting myself firmly on it, figuring out in which direction I should or even could grow.”
After making her way through the twisted, confusing path of her childhood, Liv found a safe haven in her husband. For years, Dean has been Liv’s rock, her port in the storm, but she soon realizes that her need to be nurtured and cared for has made her lose sight of who she is and what she wants.
So Awaken is in part about Liv’s journey, like her compatriots Dorothy and Alice, not only to find her way home again, but also to discover her own strength and power. And we learn about her “Good Witch of the North,” a man named North who helps her along the way, and Liv’s need to defeat her own personal version of the Wicked Witch of the West.
The Wizard of Oz and Wonderland themes come to fruition in AWAKEN, as Liv both finds solidarity with her friends and learns to stand on her own. Also, Dean has to figure out his own way through the chivalric code of honor that he has always tried so hard to follow—but navigating the tenets of duty, faith, and sacrifice prove more difficult than he imagined.
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances and spicy erotica. Originally from California, she loves traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Nina also spent many years in graduate school studying art history and library sciences.
Although she would go back for another degree if she could because she’s that much of a bookworm, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer. Nina’s novel The Erotic Dark hit #1 on Amazon’s Erotica Bestseller list, and Allure is a USA Today Bestseller.
Title: Love of a Rockstar
Author: Nicole Simone
Genre: Contemporary Romance 18+
Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Cover Design: Okay Creations
Event Organized by:Literati Author Services, Inc.
Marlene Parker thought she met her soul mate at eighteen, but when he left her pregnant and alone to pursue a life of rock ‘n roll, she vowed to never love again. Now four years later, she is being offered the dream of a lifetime. Moving to France with her daughter to start anew. There is only one problem. Marlene’s formative ex is back in town and his pull is strong as ever.
Luke Anderson has everything a man could want. Fame, fortune and enough beautiful women to last him a lifetime. That is until a young runaway shows him what is truly important. Family. A word in which plagues Luke with regret.As a scared twenty two year old he ran away from the love of his life and their unborn child. Now ready to reverse his biggest regret with only three days to do it, Luke’s fate hangs in the balance. The question is, will he be able to convince Marlene their love story deserves a second chance?
About the Author
Nicole Simone works in digital media by day and at night, pen’s character driven romance novels that will make your mama blush.She lives in Los Angeles, C.A with her fat bulldog named Humphrey. Love of a Rock Star is Nicole’s first novel but certainly not her last.
Author: Mary Whitney
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Cover Design: R. Doyle from Literati Author Services, Inc.
Event Organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.
We weren’t supposed to be friends. We weren’t even supposed to like each other.
I’m Michael Grath. I’ll admit I was elected to Congress on my Republican family history. I was out to make a name for myself, until I met Jessie Clark, a spitfire Democrat.
She’d be my nemesis, if I could just stop thinking about her. We’ve got nothing and everything in common, and one big issue that divides us. All of this is going to land us in more than one compromising position.
And like I said, we weren’t supposed to be friends, we weren’t even supposed to like each other, and we certainly weren’t supposed to fall in love.
Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20426604-compromising-positions
About the Author
Even before she graduated from law school, Mary Whitney knew she wasn’t cut out to be a real lawyer. Drawn to politics, she’s spent her career as an organizer, lobbyist, and nonprofit executive. Nothing piques her interest more than a good political scandal or romance, and when she stumbled upon writing, she put the two together. A born Midwesterner, naturalized Texan, and transient resident of Washington, D.C., Mary now lives in Northern California with her two daughters and real lawyer husband.
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