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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Christmas Read

With the onset of the Christmas Holidays, we here at the Romance Readers Connection will be posting throughout the month with some Christmas picks made just for our readers. Christmas is my favorite time of the year and I always look forward to reading all of the seasonal romances. And since there is nothing better than love for Christmas, get ready to experience it in some of our favorite Christmas books.

I will start first with my selection, THE BITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS by Heidi Betts.

Heidi Betts
ISBN: 978-0-7582-4761-2
October 2010

Just in time for Christmas, the vamps are making their
appearance in an anthology titled THE BITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. The first story
stars Connor Drake, a vampire looking for a traditional Christmas and more
family time with his two younger siblings. Turned at the tender ages of 19 and
21, he is dealing with youngsters for the most part and they view him as
regimented and stuffy. When he hires a party planner to assist with the plans,
he soon finds that just maybe she will be the best Christmas gift he has ever

Next is A VAMPIRE IN HER STOCKING. Vivian has had a
crush on her boss for two years and when she learns that Sean is dying, she
confides to her friend and fellow vamp, Angelina. Vivian refuses to turn Sean,
especially since he had no idea that she is a vampire. When Sean is turned and
left as a Christmas gift, Vivian knows that Angelina is to blame. Sean was not
prepared for the change and he just might resent Vivian instead of thanking

Last in this Christmas trilogy is the story of Angelina in IT’S A WONDERFUL BITE.
Angelina runs a profitable match making business and is very happy in her life
except for one thing. Her boyfriend has yet to pop the question. When she goes
to sleep and wakes up in a different life, she quickly learns that everything is
not always greener on the other side. She becomes mortal and after so many years
of being a vampire, humanity is the last thing she would want. Especially now
that she is very destructible and working a dangerous job to boot.

Overall, these three stories make for a great read on a cold winter night. So, if you are looking for a little something under your Christmas tree, Ms. Betts book is just what Santa ordered.

Reviewed by Lori Sears
Rating: 4

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Women of The Kauffman Amish Bakery

This week the holiday season begins with our celebration of Thanksgiving on Thursday. I wonder how many of our readers remember the Thanksgiving and Christmases of old when there was no "Black Friday" and no going to bed early to be in store lines by midnight on Thanksgiving night, in order to get the best deal or bargain for the upcoming Christmas Holiday. Well if you were a resident of the fictional Amish community of Bird-In-Hand located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, you would probably enjoy a holiday of old where gift giving comes from the heart and is not always store bought.

Amy Clipston is the author of a series of Amish novels that introduce us to The Women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery and the Bird-In-Hand community. The Amish experience a simple life style and each woman you'll meet in the series displays a sense of hope and a life filled with christian faith and family. They also experience romance and old-fashion or not, they find that the road to love and happiness is often rocky. Of course the women of Bird-In-Hand are accomplished cooks and bakers and you'll find this out throughout the each story; and always the Kauffman Amish Bakery plays a part in the lives of these women.

Currently there are two recommended holiday books available: A PLAIN & SIMPLE CHRISTMAS (9/2010) and NAOMI'S GIFT (9/2011; reviewed in an earlier TRRC newsletter)

The stories in The Kauffman Amish Bakery series are connected and clearly the lives of the women involve overlap. However, the author does an excellent job of providing a brief synopsis for each novel and the reader will have no problem following each woman's story. The holiday books are of course exceptional and uplifting, but it is also a real treat to read the stories associated with normal times in Bird-In-Hand. Please try:

Book One - A Gift Of Grace (3/2010)
Book Two - A Promise Of Hope (12/2010)
Book Three - A Place Of Peace (1/2011)
Book Four - A Life of Joy (1/2012)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 14, 2011

More October Mystery Reads

As I finished reading the October new releases, I thought I would share a few of them with you. For those who like the cozy mystery series, these are strong reads. Each one flows well with characters that you have grown to know inside and out.

THE MORE THE TERRIER A Pet Rescue Mystery by Linda O. Johnston is a cute read for those pet lovers out there that also like mystery reads. It is positive on the animal rescue side, but twisting on the murder side. A story line that will keep you guessing until the bitter end.

HOW TO PARTY WITH A KILLER VAMPIRE A Party Planning Mystery even comes with tips! Written by Penny Warner, this one is one of my favorites. Not only are the tips fun, but Presley Parker knows how to throw a fabulous party that always has some unexpected guests. It is a thrilling mystery story that will have you wanting to throw a party of your own. Without the extra dead weight, of course.

MURDER OF A CREPED SUZETTE A Scumble River Mystery by Denise Swanson is sure to please those who enjoy the unpredictable story lines. It is quick, witty, and scarily believeable.

FLIPPED OUT A Do-It-Yourself Mystery by Jennie Bentley will make you want to lock your door and never hide a key. Avery and her handyman boyfriend, Derek are super remodelers but it always seems they bring out the worst in those around them. This is a fast paced story that will leave you annoyed with Derek's ex wife. There are also bonus design and renovation tips.

DEATH BY THE DOZEN A Cupcake Bakery Mystery by Jenn McKinlay will leave you in sugar coma. A sweet mystery read that is based on a celebrity chef show, it will leave you sweating bullets to see if they win, and in the end, who loses. A great addition to this series.

SHOE DONE IT An Accessories Mystery by Grace Carroll is the first in a new series. Read it and take note, there will be more with these fabulous characters, perfect setting, and fast paced story line. This is one to keep an eye on. I'm sure future books will be great as well!

So, hurry to the book store! Check out these new releases and stay tuned for some November releases as well.

Kathy Fisher-Asbery

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A few cooler weather reads

Now that the weather is cooling off, it's time to snuggle up with a few good romantic mystery books. Or just some good ole' who dun-its.

JoAnna Carl has a new October 2011 release titled THE CHOCOLATE CASTLE CLUE A Chocoholic Mystery series book and it is sure to hit anyone's sweet tooth with a fast paced mystery and some yummy chocolate trivia.

Liz Lipperman has a new series: A Clueless Cook Mystery debuting with LIVER LET DIE which will make you a fast fan. A twisty tale, an every day gal hero, and sexy men are on every page. This is an Oct 2011 release as well and it will stay on your need to read the next to read list.

No mystery lover can resist a Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain story. Based on the television series, MURDER, SHE WROTE The Fine Art of Murder is sure to please old and new fans alike. This one moves quickly with several story lines whizzing by simultaneously. One of my most favorite from this series yet! This one is an Oct 2011 release.

There is never a better time to grab a good mystery, light a fire, and burrow in for the long haul. If none of these strike your fancy, just wait, there are more to come!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Awakened by Blood-Book
Marie Treanor
October 2011
Vampire enthusiasts have a new author to rave over with the Awakened by Blood series. In the latest release by Marie Treanor, BLOOD ETERNAL, Dr. Elizabeth Silk is still trying to reconcile her place in the world. She is consort to Saloman, the last Ancient vampire. She awakened Saloman from his death and since then her world has changed greatly. She is straddling two worlds, as she continues to assist the vampire hunters while still making time for the love of her life. Her skills are growing and along with them her powers as well. Saloman is torn by his feelings for Elizabeth and he is slowly starting to realize that he can't live without her. When his cousin is awakened, he fears for her life as well as for the rest of the world. Luk was insane when he was put down by Saloman and if he continues to live, his power may soon eclipse Saloman's. Elizabeth will have to convince the hunters that they need Saloman in order to defeat this newest foe. But the hunters have fought against all vampires for centuries and will not be swayed easily. Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Saloman will have to learn to trust in each other as well in their love. Ms. Treanor has created a unique new series for paranormal fans that will keep the them clamoring for more.
Reviewed by Lori Sears
Rating: 4