Thursday, October 31, 2013

Don't Cry For Me by Sharon Sala

I had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful author, Sharon Sala, at the Ancient City Romance Authors' conference last weekend.  I got to be a fan and tell her how much I enjoy her work.  Her novel, Don't Cry For Me, took first place in the Romantic Suspense Category of the 2013 Heart of Excellence Readers' Choice Awards.  In my opinion it was well deserved.

Don't Cry For Me is the story of Mariah Conrad, a veteran released from active duty in Afghanistan.  She comes home physically and emotionally wounded.  She is surprised when Quinn Walker, who served with her, comes to pick her up on the day of her release.  He takes her to his home in the remote forests of Appalachia.  There she begins the arduous process of healing both her body and her mind.

Quinn and Mariah grow closer as they both heal from their wartime duty.  Their safety and very lives are threatened by outsiders come to use the rural mountains for illegal purposes.  Also there is a renegade bear rampaging in the area. As danger comes close to them, they grow closer still, more comfortable with each other.  They grow to hope they have a future together.

They are adopted by a foundling hound pup who turns out to be a great friend, indeed.

This one is a real page-turner.  Danger beckons while love blossoms.  It's got something for everyone.

Don't Cry For Me is a must-read for fans of suspense, contemporary stories about veterans and their families, and wonderful, realistic love stories.  It is the next novel in Ms. Sala's successful Rebel Ridge Series.

Pick it up.  You'll be very glad you did.


Mariah Conrad has come home.  Badly wounded on active duty in Afghanistan and finally released stateside, she has no family to call on and nowhere to go - until Quinn Walker arrives at her bedside.
Quinn - her brother-in-arms, ex-lover, and now maybe her future.

Quinn brings Mariah to his log cabin in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky to rest and recuperate both physically and emotionally.  While she's incredibly grateful, Mariah is also confused and frustrated.  She's always stood on her own two feet, but now even that can be torture.  She's having flashbacks and blackouts, hearing helicopter noises in the night.  She wants to push Quinn away and hold him closer than ever.

But will she get the chance?  Those helicopters are more than post-traumatic stress, they are real and dangerous. Bad things are happening on the mountain.  Suddenly there's a battle to be fought on the home front and no guarantee of survival.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Beautiful Imperfection by Kathryn J. Bain

Beautiful Imperfection, the fourth novel by Kathryn J. Bain, follows the tradition of wonderful writing she established with her first novel.

Honestly, she is one of my favorite authors.  Her writing style is clean, concise, with plenty of action to keep the reader's interest.  One of the best things about her books is that she understands the use of "the hook" to grab the reader at the beginning.

In Beautiful Imperfection, we are introduced to Teddy Federline, a woman who had a recent mastectomy and has been pronounced cancer free.  At the insistence of friends, she is meeting a man for drinks in a local restaurant.  We see her apprehension in having this date as well as her insecurities due to the recent surgery.  It is a brief but wonderful introduction to this character.  The reader just starts having empathy for Teddy, when a gunman walks into the place and begins killing people at random.  Boom!  And there's the well-placed hook.

Teddy watches as someone she knows is killed, as well as others in the room.  Given her recent illness, she is determined to survive and takes action she never would have before in her life.  She helps take down the gunman so he can be disarmed.

That act of bravery makes her the target of the serial killer who shot the people in the restaurant.  One by one, the witnesses start dying, even though he sits securely behind bars.

In walks Sloan Michaels, her boyfriend from years ago, now a detective with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.  Teddy does not want to trust him because he deserted her when they were young.
He has feelings of his own and secrets he has never revealed.  He is determined to protect her, even at the cost of his own life.

Thus begins an intricate story that moves quickly and keeps you reading until the satisfying conclusion.

Ms. Bain has filled her story with well-drawn characters with whom we can empathize.  She also researched the healing process for women with breast cancer.  Teddy's battle, both physical and psychological is real.  In my old days in the field of social work, I worked with women like Teddy who were trying to cope in the aftermath of treatment from this disease.  I recognize Teddy's behavior as well as her physical symptoms.

The author will donate a portion of her net earnings for 2013 to Breast Cancer Research.

This is a terrific story of healing and redemption and not just for Teddy.  Filled with sensitivity and suspense, it is a good read that will stay with you.

I hope you will read this book and discover the talented Kathryn J. Bain. 

By the way, her cover art just took first place for the Inspirational category in the Sunshine State Romance Authors "Show Me Your Cover" contest.  It is a gorgeous cover, indicative of the sensitivity of the story inside.

Brava, Ms. Bain for another beautifully written novel!


When witnesses to a mass murder start dying, breast cancer survivor Teddy Federline must push aside her anger and trust an ex-boyfriend to ensure she lives long enough to testify against the killer.

Detective Sloan Michaels still has deep feelings for Teddy but realizes that after the way he left her years ago, he has a lot of making up to do. Now, he must keep his focus on the case and off the woman he loves. If Sloan doesn't keep Teddy safe, he'll never get a second chance.

Where to purchase:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

One Lucky Vampire by Lynsay Sands

Lynsay Sands' most recent Argeneau novel, One Lucky Vampire, has been published.  It is the story of Stephano Notte, who goes by the name of Jake Colson.  Stephano, or Jake, doesn't want to be a vampire.  In fact, he's estranged from most of his family.  He's asked to do a favor for Marguerite, the charming and infamous matchmaker of the Argeneau clan.  There is a young lady of her acquaintance who is being threatened by an unknown stalker.  She is in need of a bodyguard, but will not accept the fact that someone is after her.

So Marguerite presents Jake to the young lady as a cook/housekeeper of the live-in variety.  The fact that Jake can't really cook doesn't seem to matter.  With cookbook in hand, he accepts the job and moves in with the soon to be divorced artist, Nicole Phillips.  There are several apparent attempts made on her life.  Plus there is a dangerous attraction between Jake and Nicole.  He fights the attraction, but the signs are all in place.

How does Marguerite always know?

This novel is hot, hot, HOT!!  Also, it is laced with Ms. Sands' characteristic humor.  The vivid characters bring life to the tale.  It is a warm and passionate love story played out among elements of danger, everything a reader could want in an enjoyable novel.

You'll read it in one sitting, because you won't want to put it down.  Vampire novels are common in the romance world.  But nobody writes them like Lynsay Sands.  Each story is a gem on its own, never a formula followed.  One Lucky Vampire is no exception. 

Wonderful job, Ms. Sands!  You keep writing and we'll keep reading.


Luck be a vampire tonight . . .

When Nicole Phillips agreed to hire a housekeeper, she pictured someone a little frumpy and almost certainly female. Instead, she gets gorgeous, unmistakably male Jake Colson. The man is proving indispensable in the kitchen—and everywhere else. Except Jake might not be a mortal man at all.

. . . and every night

Who wouldn't want to be a tall, dark, powerful vampire? Jake, for one. He's barely had time to adjust to his new state before he's roped into a family favor. Still, secretly playing bodyguard to sweet, sexy Nicole is turning out to be the wildest ride of his life. First he'll put a stop to whoever's targeting her. Then he'll prove that this kind of love, and luck, happens only once in an eternity.

Links for purchase: