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Friday, February 17, 2012

February Reads

I was excited to see that not all of Feb. reads revolved around romance. What a treat that was! There were a few new mystery series that started this month as well.

One new one is titlted ONE BOOK IN THE GRAVE A Bibliophile Mystery by Kate Carlisle. It is written with Brooklyn Wainwright as the main sleuth but she has a new twist to things! To have her life turned upside down with the mere sight of a book she once owned is an understatement. This new tale will leave you spinning trying to figure out who fits in where before something else happens. A definite page turner!

ONE BOOK IN THE GRAVE by Kate Carlisle Obsidian Feb 2012 ISBN: 978-0-451-23612-8 rating: 3.0 by Kathy Fisher

Another new one is BURIED IN A BOOK a Novel Idea Mystery by Lucy Arlington. I found this book to be charming in it's newness of a different theme. A middle aged woman finds herself out of a job, but is cunning enough to find a new one as an editor at a literary agency in NC. From the moment she walks onto the job, you can tell this will never be the routine read and correct type of job. I was sucked into characters that felt like people I knew in my life, fighting for a job I would love to have. Watch out! This series will be around for awhile!

BURIED IN A BOOK A Novel Idea Mystery by Lucy Arlington Berkley Feb 2012 ISBN: 978-0-425-24619-1 rating: 4.0 by Kathy Fisher

Some other Feb releases by Berkley are the level of cozy reading you come to expect from authors that Berkley publishes. They are continuances of series that readers have loved for many books. Each of them has a great plot, friendly characters, and a comfortable feel of visiting old friends for a new adventure. These are:
TOWN IN A WILD MOOSE CHASE A Candy Holliday Murder Mystery by B.B. Haywood Feb 2012 Berkley ISBN: 978-0-425-24617-7 Rating: 3.0 Reviewed by Kathy Fisher

OLD HAUNTS A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery by E.J. Copperman Feb 2012 Berkley ISBN:978-0-425-24620-7 Rating: 4.0 reviewed by Kathy Fisher

CAKE ON A HOT TIN ROOF A Piece of Cake Mystery Feb 2012 Berkley ISBN:978-0-425-24622-1 Rating: 4.0 Reviewed by: Kathy Fisher

CLOBBERED BY CAMEMBERT A Cheese Shop Mystery Feb 2012 Berkley ISBN: 978-0-425-24587-3 Rating: 3.0 Reviewed by: Kathy Fisher

THE WALLED FLOWER A Victorian Square Mystery Feb 2012 Berkley ISBN: 978-0-425-24616-0 Rating: 4.0 Reviewed by: Kathy Fisher

A couple new releases this month from Obsidian also hit the mystery world.

DEATH ON HEELS A Crime of Fashion Mystery by Ellen Byerrum Feb 2012 Obsidian ISBN: 978-0-451-23613-5 Rating: 4.0 Reviewed by: Kathy Fisher

DEATH ON HEELS gives you that neat insight of a fashion wearer. If the shoe fits, you can figure out not only who wears it, but who hangs it on their wall as a trophy. This book is sure to shock, disgust, and amaze the reader with it's twists and turns. And the ending...to die for!

A FITTING END by Melissa Bourbon is A Magical Dressmaking Mystery. This book is light and makes you think about those things you put on that you just look great in right away. Maybe those garments have a life of their own. Harlow knows the truth behind the fabric that makes your clothes and with her resident ghost of a grandmother, she can make your every wish come true. A sweet mystery that will leave you talking to yourself.

A FITTING END Obsidian Feb 2012 ISBN: 978-0-451-23614-2 Rating: 3.0 Reviewed by: Kathy Fisher

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Blogging with Tawny Weber

Today at TRRC, we have author Tawny Weber blogging about and what makes a good love scene.

Welcome to TRRC Reading Tawny!

Loving the Love Scenes

One of the things I love about reading and writing for Harlequin Blaze is that these are some awesomely hot books. I’m a big believer in the power of a love scene to not only make the book a little more exciting, but to bring so much more depth (no pun intended) to the characters and add layers of dimension to the conflict. The connection between the heroine and hero that drives the story and keeps the reader turning the pages. A well-written love scene not only heats up the pages, but it moves the plot forward and adds layers to the story conflict.

I’ve had 14 books published with Blaze so far, each one with multiple love scenes. And just as the characters in each story are different, no two love scenes in any of the books are the same. To me, a love scene has to be driven by the emotional needs and fears of the characters it showcases.

To me, a good love scene should push the characters’ emotional buttons and force them to face their own needs and wants. When I write the scene, I want to know exactly what my characters’ wants and needs are –and why they have them. And because the reader expects it—and the characters deserve it—I also want to make sure the love scenes address and fulfill those needs and wants... eventually. Why eventually? Because any need immediately fulfilled ceases to create conflict. And conflict is what keeps readers turning the page! So how do I write love scenes that touch on, but don’t quite fulfill my characters deepest emotional needs? The same way we write the rest of the story. With turning points, mini-epiphanies and escalating tension.

Here’s an example from my current Undercover Operatives release, SEX, LIES AND VALENTINES, which is the third book in the Sex and Lies trilogy.

“You need to start following the rules,” Danita snapped.
Sick of rules, sick of someone else calling the shots, Gabriel strode over, grabbed her shoulders and took her mouth in a quick, searing kiss. Her lips melted beneath his, soft and welcoming.
His body hardened. But before things could get interesting, she pressed her palms against his shoulders.
“This is crazy,” she protested, pulling her mouth from his and stepping quickly away. So quickly, she almost tripped over her own feet and landed on the bed. She grabbed the footboard for balance with one hand while shoving the other through her hair. Taking a deep breath, she shook her head in protest.
“Crazy,” she repeated. “You need to stop doing that. I’m a federal agent. You’re in my custody. Quit,” she stopped, as if she’d run out of words. Instead she waved her hand in the air to indicate whatever had happened before and grimaced. “Just quit.”
“But I like it,” he said with a grin as he leaned against the headboard and crossed his arms over his chest. He liked her all flustered and out of control, too. The more confused she was, the more confident he was that he was in charge of this little game. And as his daddy had taught him when he was young, confidence was key to everything.
He stepped closer, trapping her between the footstool and the hard length of his own... Body. His muscles tensed, hardening right along with his [****]as he watched her breath shudder. Her pupils were huge as she ran her tongue along the lush deliciousness of her lower lip.
His eyes narrowed, taking in the rapid pulse fluttering against the delicate line of her throat, the gorgeous sight of her nipples pebbling against the soft fabric of her black sweater. She was incredible.
And he was going to have her.
Keeping his hands to himself, he leaned in, brushing a soft whisper of a kiss against the pulse pounding in her throat. She moaned. He leaned back and grinned.
“Get a grip, Black. We’re here to do a job,” she reminded him, her words coming out in a gasp. “You’re just getting carried away with the roles we’re playing.”
“Right. This isn’t real,” she claimed, sounding desperate. He figured she was trying to convince herself as much as him. “None of this is real.”
“Didn’t you hear? The food at that little gathering was all made up of aphrodisiacs,” he said, his fingers sliding along the silky smooth curve of her cheek before tangling in her soft blonde curls. “You know the thing about aphrodisiacs? They don’t create desire. They amplify it.”
Her breath shuddered, washing over his lips like a soft caress.
“So baby, all this heat between us? Those oysters and asparagus, the chocolate and cayenne, they’re just turning up that heat. And that heat is real. Do you like how it feels? Aren’t you curious about how much better it’ll be when it hits a boiling point?”
This time he pressed his lips to the delicate line of her jaw, whispering tiny open-mouthed kisses all the way to her ear, where he blew softly before nipping at the soft flesh of her earlobe.
Her tiny mewl of approval made his [****]dance with happy joy. Damn, she was responsive. This was going to be one hell of a hot night.

So what do you think? Are you a fan of love scenes? Who is your favorite author when it comes to the sexier side of romance?

Tawny Weber has been writing sassy, sexy stories for Harlequin Blaze since her first book hit the shelves in 2007. When not obsessing over deadlines, she’s shopping for cute shoes, scrapbooking or hanging out on Facebook and Twitter. Come by and visit her on the web at www.tawnyweber.com

Tawny launched her Undercover Ops series with SEX, LIES AND MISTLETOE, in December 2011. The second book in the series, SEX, LIES & MIDNIGHT on shelves now, was released in January 2012, quickly followed in February by SEX, LIES & VALENTINES. You can read the first chapter of SEX, LIES AND VALENTINES on her website, too! All you have to do is join the Reader Love-Fest! Be sure to follow Tawny on her Holiday Survival Tour as she celebrates these three books with tons of fun and a chance for readers to win a $100 giftcard!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Two January Historical Romances

BRAZEN by Margo Maguire

The second book in this "Sisters" series, this one features Lady Christina Fairhaven, who was orphaned at a young age. Now that her grandfather has hired someone to find her and bring her back, she can't go because she has to help her adopted brother. Captain Gavin Briggs, a war hero, is determined to get her to her grandfather to get his pay to help his sister and her child. As passion simmers between them, Gavin believes himself too unworthy of her. Christina doesn't think much better at first, but soon their love begins to blossom. Now that she is discovered, another wants Christina dead so she doesn't inherit from her grandfather, and Gavin risks everything to ensure her safety. With the element of intrigue, adventure, and romance, these two characters will win your heart in this sizzling story.

Maguire Avon Publishing ISBN 978-0-06-201841-0 January 2012 Historical Romance Rating: 3


Second in the series, in order to clear his name of murder and rape, Captain Sinjon Rutherford must go undercover as a footman to the "widow" Lady Evelyn Renshaw to discover what she knows about her husband's involvement in recent activities involving the French army. Despite the fact she hasn't seen or heard from her husband, being labeled as a traitor's wife has left Lady Evelyn virtually in seclusion. After being accosted in the early morning hours, she is saved from her attacker by a handsome man, who, much to her surprise, is now her footman. Her attraction to him is unbecoming of her station, but she can't stop her feelings for "Sam". As the danger draws ever closer, Evelyn begins to fall in love with Sin, who is not what she believed. Will the danger be too much for their to overcome, or will the truth finally set them apart forever? The drawn out passion, longing and mysterious elements create a "can't put down" book that will engage the senses!

Cornwall Avon Publishing ISBN 978-0-06-201894-6 Historical Romance Rating: 4

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones

Friday, February 03, 2012

Blogging with Kristen Callihan

TRRC Reading welcomes new author Kristen Callihan whose debut book, the historical paranormal, FIRELIGHT, begins the exciting Dark London series...it only takes one encounter in a darkened alley in Victorian London for Miranda, a down on her luck aristocratic thief and the cursed and wounded Lord Benjamin Archer to feel the connection between them...Beauty and the Beast who together find love and trust...and when their love overcomes dark magic and evil, salvation. Below Kristen writes about Insta-Love, or Love at First Sight...Visit Kristen at her website: www.kristencallihan.com

Debora Hosey

Insta-Love? Do you believe in it?

Insta-love. If you’ve read enough romances, you’ll know what I am talking about. This occurs when a couple sees each other and “bam!” they are in love. Insta-love bothers some readers because they either don’t believe in it, or they’re sick of that trope.

As for me, do I believe in insta-love? No, I don’t. Insta-LUST, however, yes, yes I do.

My husband also happens to be my best friend’s brother. We met late in high school. The story he likes to tell me is that my friend had a picture of me in her room. My husband saw that picture one day and pronounced that we would be together. Understandably, my friend –his sister- was irate. You don’t even know her, she argued. You could hate her when you meet her. This didn’t faze him. He just knew.

But did he love me? No. Love comes later. Love develops through mutual connection and understanding. You have to get to know someone to really love them.

In FIRELIGHT, my characters, Miranda and Archer, feel an immediate and strong attraction to one another. This isn’t love –not yet- but a connection that I think happens now and then to people who are destined to belong together. But as the story progresses, and Miranda and Archer learn more about each other, learn that they both have much of the same fears and longings, they fall in love.

Perhaps you’d like to join them for the ride? And what of you? Have you ever fallen into insta-lust? Did it evolve into something deeper? Or perhaps you had the opposite reaction. Insta-hate that gradually turned into love.