Thursday, June 30, 2011

Writing Romance: Dianne Duvall (Guest Post & Giveaway)

Today I am very happy to have a wonderfully talented author joining our Writing Romance event, Dianne Duvall! Her debut novel, Darkness Dawns, was released this February and the second novel in her Immortal Guardians series, Night Reigns, will be released December 6th, 2011. You can read my review of Darkness Dawns *here!* Make sure to also visit author Amanda E Alvarez at Secrets of a Book Lover today!

What’s in a Name?

The question was famously posed by Juliet in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet:

“What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Such is true, of course.  But in fiction, choosing the wrong name for one’s characters can detract from the story and possibly repel readers. 

When I sat down to write Darkness Dawns, the first book in my Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series, I put a lot of thought into choosing not just the hero and heroine’s names, but that of every character in the book.  For the heroine, I chose Dr. Sarah Bingham, Music Theory Professor.  Why Sarah?  I wanted a name that was both pretty and common.  She’s mortal.  She’s from the suburbs.  She didn’t have a perfect family life growing up, but it was a relatively sheltered one.  She certainly never fought vampires or came to the rescue of injured immortals prior to meeting the hero.  Rather she worked hard to put herself through college, dealt with the same stresses many others do at the job and otherwise led a quiet life.  Sarah seemed the perfect name for her.

For the hero, I chose Roland Warbrook.  Did I think Roland sounded like a good immortal name?  To be honest, I didn’t even consider that.  Roland is nearly a thousand years old.  So I researched what names were common in England (his country of origin) around the time of his birth.  Of the substantial list I accumulated, the name Roland immediately leapt out at me.  Roland is a name that has long been associated with strength in literature.  In La Chanson de Roland (Song of Roland), Roland is a courageous knight and Charlemagne’s nephew.  In Robert Browning’s Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, Roland is a not-yet-knighted young man on a valiant quest for the “Dark Tower.”  And in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, Roland Deschain of Gilead is a strong, quiet, enigmatic warrior with a disposition not unlike that of my hero.  I knew instantly that this was the perfect name for him.  And I haven’t been able to think of Roland as anything else since.

I did the same research with the other immortals that people Darkness Dawns.  There are three French immortal siblings in my series:  Lisette d’Alençon and her twin brothers Étienne and Richart.  They are a mere two centuries old, give or take a decade.  I actually chose their names after viewing the passenger lists of several ships that embarked from France around the time of their births. 

While my immortals come from a wide variety of eras, the vampires do not.  The vampires in my series are humans who have been infected with a rare symbiotic virus that lends them enhanced speed, strength and regenerative abilities coupled with photosensitivity and a need for blood.  Sadly, my vampires do not choose to succumb to bloodlust or become evil.  Their descent into villainy is involuntary and unavoidable, a result of brain damage caused by the virus.  So even the kindest of men infected with it will become monsters.  Immortals in my series are infected with the same virus.  They, however, weren’t humans when they were transformed.  They were something more.  And their advanced DNA protects them from the corrosive aspects of the virus so they don’t suffer the same fate as the vampires.

Because of the madness that afflicts them, the vampires in my series live no longer than the average human.  I therefore wanted them to have names readers may have heard around the neighborhood or at school while growing up, at work, etcetera.  Some of the vampires’ names in Darkness Dawns include Cliff, Joe, Vincent and Casey.  My all-time favorite vampire name, however, I bestowed upon a vampire in Night Reigns:  Eddie Kapansky.  I have to admit, I have a soft spot for Eddie. 

Since we’re talking names, I thought I would include an excerpt from Darkness Dawns that features Roland and Sarah’s introduction.  It’s a rather turbulent one.  :-)  A longer excerpt is available on my website.

* * *

Roland’s ankles (and most of the rest of him) screamed in protest as he dragged himself upright.  As soon as he was standing, the woman shifted to his side and carefully drew one of his arms across her narrow shoulders.  The top of her cap barely reached his chin.

“Can you walk?”

He nodded wearily and let her steer him toward the trees.

The cool shade there provided welcome relief from the burning that was already lashing his skin.  Despite their hurry, his petite rescuer took great pains to protect him, holding back branches that would have otherwise brushed his wounds or jostled the spikes in his hands.  She even warned him of sharp twigs and other hazards on the ground that might harm his bare feet.

When they reached the edge of the trees and he saw the bright, empty meadow ahead of them, Roland swore.

The woman bit her lower lip and cast him an apologetic look.  “I live on the other side of those trees.  Should we take the long way around and stay in the shade or can you make it across the clearing?”

Damn it.  He needed to get to shelter before he fell flat on his face.  “Cross the clearing.”

She didn’t hesitate or second guess him.  She merely propelled him forward, righting him when he stumbled and hastening him until they were practically jogging.

“Is it me or are you already turning pink?” she asked.

“It isn’t you.”  A few more seconds and blisters would begin to form.

They made it to the trees, where she again warded off combatant branches.  When they reached the other side of the cluster of foliage, Roland was grateful to see a small frame house preceded by a deck and a densely shaded backyard.

He would be shielded from the sun all the way to the back door.

“Just a little farther,” she said breathlessly, the arm she had looped around his waist giving him a faint squeeze of encouragement he found oddly endearing.

Across the grass.  Up the steps.  A brief pause on the deck while she retrieved her keys from her shirt pocket and unlocked the door.  Then the two of them were squeezed inside a very narrow laundry room with the door closed and secured behind them.

Both emitted simultaneous sighs of relief.

“What’s your name?” he heard himself ask.

“Sarah Bingham.  Yours?”

“Roland Warbrook.  Thank you for saving my life, Sarah.”

* * *

Thank you for joining me here at Reading Between the Wines!  And thank you, Crystal, for inviting me to participate!  I’m giving away a signed copy of Darkness Dawns to one commenter.   So, tell me:  What are some of your favorite romance hero and/or heroine names?

Dianne Duvall

As Dianne mentioned in her post, she is giving away one signed copy of her absolutely fabulous novel, Darkness Dawns!
To enter, just leave a comment answering her question above AND fill out the form below. 
Giveaway will end at 11:59pm on July 8th, one winner will then be selected at random and contact via email. Open Internationally. 

Writing Romance: Julianne MacLean (Guest Post & Giveaway)

We are lucky to have two author visits today! First I'd like to welcome author Julianne MacLean who is stopping by with an inspiring post and a great giveaway! I've recently reviewed two of her novels, Claimed by the Highlander and Captured by the Highlander, click on the titles to check them out! 

Julianne MacLean - On Not Giving Up

Last week I released a new e-book called The SEXY GIRL'S GUIDE TO COWBOYS, and it is a testament to the fact that anything is possible - even if it takes time.  But I’m a firm believer that if you keep working passionately toward your goal and developing your skill level, you will reap the rewards of your hard work.

My new release is a time travel romance I wrote in 1995, when I was still an unpublished writer and time travel romances were selling like hotcakes to all the publishers.  When I finished it, however, that particular trend was on its way out and no one was buying time travels anymore, so after shopping it around without success, I shelved it and started something new.

After 5 years of writing and submitting to publishers, I got an agent and later sold my first novel (a western romance called PRAIRIE BRIDE) to Harlequin.  Since then, I have published 17 romances, but I always had a soft spot in my heart for that quirky time travel I wrote back in the nineties when I was an aspiring author.  The book no one wanted to publish.

So here we are in 2011, and e-book technology has made it possible for me to publish the book on my own.  It took some effort, because I wrote it when I was a very "young" writer, and the prose needed some polish.  (I believe this is part of the reason it didn’t sell back then.)  But I’ve learned a lot about revision in the past ten years - it’s incredibly important - and I was able to bring it to whole new level.

Which brings me to the theme of this blog.  Fifteen years ago, when I started writing this book, I had high hopes for it.  When it didn’t sell, however, I soldiered on.  I WROTE MORE BOOKS.  If someone had told me it would take me 6 years and four unsold manuscripts before I became published, that wouldn’t have stopped me either, because the time is going to go by anyway, right?  And I loved writing romances.   It was time well spent.

Nowadays there are more options for writers because of the indie revolution and the new technology which makes it possible to self-publish.  In many cases this is a good thing.  In other cases, it may result in writers publishing their work before they are ready, just because they can.

No matter which road you decide to take, the important thing is to keep writing and honing your craft.  With each book, your storytelling abilities will get better.  So always make improvement your goal.  Even after 17 novels, that is still my goal.

So let me know what you think of these issues, and I’ll give away a signed copy of THE COLOR OF HEAVEN (another indie book of mine) to one lucky winner!

As Julianne mentioned above, she is giving away one signed copy of her novel, The Color of Heaven.  
To enter, just leave a comment answering the question at the end of her post AND fill out the form below.
Giveaway will end at 11:59pm on July 8th when one winner will be selected at random and contacted via email. 

Review: Claimed by the Highlander by Julianne MacLean

Claimed by the HighlanderClaimed by the Highlander 
Highlander Trilogy #2
by Julianne MacLean
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
ISBN 0312365322 
With his tawny mane, battle-hewn brawn, and ferocious roar, Angus “The Lion” MacDonald is the most fearsome warrior Lady Gwendolen has ever seen—and she is his most glorious conquest. Captured in a surprise attack on her father’s castle, Gwendolen is now forced to share her bed with the man who defeated her clan. But, in spite of Angus’s overpowering charms, she refuses to surrender her innocence without a fight…                                               With her stunning beauty, bold defiance, and brazen smile , Gwendolen is the most infuriating woman Angus has ever known—and the most intoxicating. Forcing her to become his bride will unite their two clans. But conquering Gwendolen’s heart will take all his skills as a lover. Night after night, his touch sets her on fire. Kiss after kiss, his hunger fuels her passion. But, as Gwendolen’s body betrays her growing love for Angus, a secret enemy plots to betray them both…
My Thoughts:
The second novel in Julianne MacLean’s Highlander trilogy delivers a gripping tale of treachery, heartbreak, intrigue, and trust, where only the fittest survive.

Claimed by the Highlander starts two years after the events in Captured by the Highlander.  Angus ‘The Lion’ MacDonald has been living on the outskirts of civilization in exile when he learns about the death of his father and returns to reclaim his homeland. After winning the castle Angus claims the former laird’s daughter, Lady Gwendolen, as his bride in effort to unite the two clans living under one roof, but instead of finding a meek woman he can easily ignore he finds a stunning beauty refusing his claim.
To keep her clan safe though Gwendolen must accept her duty and marry the fierce warrior, but she will not bow down easily and sets her own terms. Just when their marriage seems to be more then one of mere conveyance a traitorous plan is revealed, one that could destroy their marriage, precious life’s, and the peace both of them long for. 

If you read the first novel, Captured by the Highlander (which you do not need to in order to read Claimed by the Highlander), then you know that Angus wasn’t the most likeable character and I fully expected to carry on those negative feelings towards him into this novel, but I was pleasantly surprised at what I found and got swept away by his story.
Angus is riddled with guilt over his past but because of it he has wonderful morals, especially when it comes women. You see a depth to his character that was lacking in the previous novel and is incredibly endearing. To say that I ended up loving this fierce Highland warrior would be an understatement. He is a conflicted hero scared to love and be weakened by it, but with a surprisingly gentle touch and a golden heart.
Gwendolen on the other hand is dealing with her own internal struggles, trying to balance her loyalties that are all at odds. She is a charming heroine, who is brave, fighting for her beliefs. She at first is leery of the terrifying Lion but easily succumbs to her physical attraction to him. When she starts to develop deeper feelings for Angus, she tries to prove her love and trustworthiness to him and that journey was both heart warming and heartbreaking.
The characters and situations in Claimed by the Highlander were believable, entertaining and enamoring with incredible twists at the end of the plot that kept me on the very edge of my seat and my gut in knots, not to mention seductive scenes between Angus and Gwendolen that captured my breath.

Claimed by the Highlander was a wonderfully written, captivating story, which I was unable to put down. A definite must read!  

Rating: 4 Wine Glasses - Loved It!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Writing Romance: Save My Soul Blog Tour (Interview & Giveaway)

Today we have Zoe Winters, author of Save my Soul, over for our event and a stop on her blog tour! You can find my review of Save my Soul *Here* And don't forget to stop by Secrets of a Book Lover to say hi to author Jennifer Turner!

Zoe Winters writes quirky and sometimes dark paranormal romance. She lives with her husband and two cats, and her favorite colors are rainbow and clear. For more information visit or her blog at:

Welcome Zoe! Thanks so much for stopping by on your blog tour and joining us during our Writing Romance week! Why did you choose to write romance, and what are your favorite aspects about it?

In 8th grade I had a teacher who really encouraged my dream to write and told me about a friend she had who was a romance novelist. I thought “those aren’t real books”. (And I really hope I just “thought” it and didn’t say it out loud.)

But eventually I realized that when I would watch a TV show or movie or read a book, what I really cared most about was the sexual tension between characters and what happened on the romance front. Once I figured that out, I kind of just fell into it and lost my snobbery about it.

Can you tell us about the second novel in your Preternaturals series, Save my Soul?

Save My Soul is about a woman who buys her dream house only to learn it’s haunted, but not by what she thinks. She spends a lot of time and effort trying to get the demon out of her house while trying to avoid falling for him and risking her life and soul.

In a today’s paranormal reading world, where vampires and werewolves seem to reign, what inspired you to write about an incubus?

I was trying to write about something besides vampires and werewolves. When I originally wrote Save My Soul everyone was saying that vampires were “over” (which obviously isn’t true). And so I wanted to write something that would stand out and be different. Of course there are also other great demon books out there now. Larissa Ione’s Demonica series comes to mind.
Of course, we're big fan's of Larissa Ione and her yummy demons here!

Tell us about Save my Soul’s couple, Luc and Anna. What do you think readers will love most about them? What makes them perfect for each other?

I actually can’t tell you what makes them perfect for each other without introducing major spoilers, and I don’t want to do that. But I think readers will love that Luc is not ashamed of who or what he is. (He isn’t whiny and broody about his dark past.) Even though he does have darkness in him, he’s a noble guy who is trying to protect Anna. Anna is brave, generous, and a smart ass. These two have some great banter between them. The banter is always my favorite part.

What do you feel are five must have ingredients for a great romance?

1. Banter/wit
2. Sexual tension
3. Alpha-male (Sorry, that’s just my preference. I’m not saying it’s not a romance if it has a beta, but these are just what I feel a romance “must have”, at least for me to like it or write it.)
4. Something else happening in the plot besides the characters just staring into each others eyes or having everything revolve around the “big misunderstanding”.
5. A happy ending

What is your favorite type of male to write about? Alpha, beta, hero, villain, brooding, charming, ect.

Alphas and villains. My favorite character in the series is Cain. He’s the villain in SMS but he gets his own book later. I don’t actually think he’s that evil in SMS to be honest, though I know some readers’ mileage may vary on that one.

Save my Soul is bursting with tension-laden scenes; is there one specific scene that stood out for you while writing?

A lot of it is a blur now. I originally wrote it about four years ago, and it went through so many drafts and permutations. The only things that really stick out for me are things I can’t talk about without major plot spoilers. (The stuff I always want to talk about is the stuff I can’t talk about without ruining it for a reader, which sucks!)

Blood Lust (Preternaturals, #1)
Do you have any more novels planned for the Preternaturals series? If so, how many and can you share with us what we can expect next? 

I have ten planned out so far, but the way the series is written I can expand it indefinitely. It just depends on how I feel about it and if I want to keep going after ten and how fans feel about it. I might retire this pen name after ten. I haven’t decided.

Right now I’m working on the third book which features a panther therian and an agoraphobic witch. I’m really having fun with their story. And book 4 will be Cain and Tam’s book.

What was the first romance novel that you read? Do you still have it?

I didn’t start reading romance until my twenties, unlike a lot of people who started in their teens. So there really isn’t some big “moment” that made me remember the first book. I know the first paranormal chick lit I read was MaryJanice Davidson’s “Undead and Unwed”, but that’s not really romance. I wish I could remember the first actual romance book I read, but I have no idea what it was.

Thank you again for joining us today Zoe!

Thanks for having me!

Zoe is graciously giveaway away one print copy and one digital copy of her novel, Save my Soul
To enter, just fill out the form below AND leave a meaningful comment or question for Zoe. 
One winner each will be chosen at random. Giveaway will end on July 8th, 2011 at 11:59pm. You are welcome to enter for both forms of this novel. Open Internationally. 

Make sure to check out the next stop on the Save my Soul tour at Book Lover's Hideaway!

Review: Save My Soul by Zoe Winters

Save My Soul (Preternaturals, #2)Save My Soul 
Preternaturals #2
by Zoe Winters
ebook, 300 pages
Published January 24th 2011 by IncuBooks
ISBN 0981943683
Courtesy of the author and Bookish Snob Promotions
All he's asking for is her soul.                                  After buying the antebellum home she's fantasized about since childhood, Anna Worthington discovers Luc, a dangerously seductive incubus who has been trapped in the house by a fifty-year-old curse. To rid herself of her problem house guest she call on a priest, gypsies, ghost hunters, and the coven of witches from lust bunny hell. All she has to do is resist him long enough to break the spell so they can go their separate ways. If she doesn't, she could die. And that would be the best-case scenario

My Thoughts:
A fun, sexually charged novel chuck full of captivating supernatural creatures!

After her father passes away, Anna Worthington moves into the house that she has been drawn to since a child. Claimed to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who died in the house fifty years ago, Anna doesn’t believe in the supernatural until the supposed ghost takes form in a dark and sexy incubus named Luc.
Cursed by a witch and trapped in the house Luc must feed off the residents or have his meals brought to him by the incubus leader, Cain, but being surrounded by humans has brought the humanity out in him. Feeling more human then demon now, Luc falls hard for the spunky Anna but can he convince her that their love is worth more then her soul and the house that she has dreamed of since childhood?

Save my Soul is the second novel in Zoe Winter’s Preternatural series and my first read from this author. It was a great stand-alone and I did not feel that I was missing anything in jumping right into the second installment in this series.

Packed with mass amounts of sexual tension and danger Save my Soul was captivating with a plot that continuously flowed quickly and smoothly. Each character was endearing and well devloped, along with the world built around them. Anna was a feisty, smart and independent protagonist who sticks to her morals and sense of right and wrong throughout the story. Luc is possessive and protective, a great alpha male to fall for despite being a soul-sucking incubus. He tugged at your heart and had me rooting for him throughout the story. The story line was fresh and unique, full of action, humor, suspense and intrigue, and numerous supernatural characters that kept it interesting. 

A great read and I look forward to reading more from this fabulous author! 

Rating: 4 Wine Glasses! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Writing Romance: Lori Foster (Interview & Giveaway)

Today I am super excited to have New York Time's best selling author, Lori Foster joining us for an interview! *squee*
Lori just released a new series called Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor and if you haven't read them yet then you must go out and get them today! Seriously. Each book is superb and the third title in the series, Savor the Danger is in stores today! You can catch my reviews on each book here: When you Dare, Trace of Fever, Savor the Danger. Don't forget to visit Secrets of a Book Lover to say hi to author Michele Hauf!

Lori Foster
Welcome Lori! Thanks so much for stopping by during our Writing Romance week and for your newest release, Savor the DangerWhy did you choose to write romance, and what are your favorite aspects about it?

I’m the eternal optimist, and romance guarantees a happy ending. I couldn’t write without knowing that, come what may, it will all end well. The aspect I like most about romance is that it’s character driven. The characters themselves are the ones that come through hardship, triumph over adversity, and eventually get to a better place. The individuality of romance is also of great appeal. Sure, some storylines are reader favorites. But with so many different personalities, and no relationships alike, each book feels fresh and new.

For readers who aren’t familiar with the Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series, how would you describe it to them?

The Alpha heroes take center stage and lead the charge in the books, but I hope that I’ve balanced them with strong heroines. The heroes do what we often wish we could do:  they obliterate evil and injustice. But readers tell me that they’re also very sensitive, especially with the women they love.

The series focuses around human trafficking, and all the ways it can affect innocents. 
And of course, the books are sexy. ;-)

Savor the Danger
Can you tell us a little bit about your newest release and third novel in the series, Savor the Danger?

The 3rd book features Jackson Savor. He’s a hunky, highly capable, humorous guy who is more irreverent than the heroes of the first 2 books. As the newest recruit to the elite team, he’s still a little agog over what they do and how they do it. He’s also madly in love with Alani, younger sister to Trace, the hero of the 2nd book. That in itself poses some possible problems, since Trace is very protective of her, and because Alani was once the victim of human traffickers.

I love the play on words for your titles in this series, not to mention the sexy covers. Are they the original working titles or were they changed later into what we have today? How much say did you have in the title & covers of these novels?

I suck at titles. Not my forte. But I told my editor that I’d like to continue with having each hero’s name somehow incorporated into the title, and she helped a lot. I have so many books, it makes it a little easier for readers to identify which book goes with which hero. I’ve been doing that for awhile now, across 3 or more publishers.
So basically, I tell my editor, “Here’s the hero’s name. Got any ideas?” J She’s pretty terrific at helping me figure out a title.
When I finally gained some name recognition, one of the first things I negotiated in my contracts was cover approval. So I get to see early concepts of the covers, and eventually the models that are chosen and I can nix an idea if I think it’s awful. Overall, though, the publisher really knows what it’s doing. They have an entire team of experts who conceive art concepts. The last cover I asked to have changed was two publishers ago, on an anthology. Since then, I’ve been pretty darned pleased with what’s been given to me.

Savor the Danger
Can you tell us about the hero of Savor the Danger, Jackson Savor? What do you think will draw readers to him?

Everyone loves a guy who makes you laugh, right?  And confidence? Jackson has it in spades. Dedication? He’s so dedicated to Alani, it’ll break your heart. He’s not always smooth, but he makes up for it with honesty. And ho boy, is he sexy. J

Now tell us about the heroine, Alani Rivers. What do you think readers will love about her? What makes her and Jackson so perfect for each other?

Alani is a survivor. She’s a little emotionally wounded after being taken by human traffickers. She’s also a realist, and she knows that what happened to her is nowhere near as bad as it can get. Being in the shadow of a larger-than-life brother and dear family friend (Trace and Dare from the 1st two books) is humbling; she doesn’t have their ability or their courage. But she’s strong enough to move on, smart enough to reason through problems, and honest enough to accept her own shortcomings, and her feelings for Jackson.

What do you feel are five must have ingredients for a great romance?

It changes with the times, because society changes. Currently, I’d say a fast pace, sharp characterization, snappy and believable dialogue, sensuality, and an element that readers can relate to – either in the background, in the characterization, the internal or external plot.

Trace of Fever
Was there a character or novel in this series that was harder to write than others? Has the series gone the way you originally planned it?

I don’t really plan ahead, so that question doesn’t apply to me. When I started Dare’s book, I knew Trace would have a story too. But I didn’t know what his story would be. And I had no concept for Jackson until he showed up on the page. Each story is a challenge in its own way, but I wouldn’t say any of them were difficult – at least, not more so than every other book.

You have one more novel planned for this series, A Perfect Storm, set to be released in May of 2012, can you share just a teeny bit of what we can expect from Spencer’s story? I have to say, by the end of Savor the Danger I was hooked on him and I’m dying to know what happens next! 

I don’t want to say too much about that heroine, because that could be a spoiler for Jackson’s book. Also, I’m still writing that book (should be done very soon, though!) and I don’t like to talk about them too much while writing them. It dilutes my drive to get it written if I tell about it.
I’ll just say that Spencer is amazing. I love him. He’s so over-the-top caring, so insightful, and so confounded by the heroine in his book. Fun stuff.

If Jackson opened up his own Twitter account, what would be his first tweet?

I can’t imagine Jackson ever tweeting. All of the guys in this series are far, far too private for social forums.

When You Dare
What was the first romance novel that you read? Do you still have it?

I don’t have it and I don’t remember the title! It was a historical, and I’d flipped through it until a page grabbed me. What I remember most was a woman abandoned on the side of a road, having a miscarriage. I don’t recall if she’d been running away and got lost, or if someone had dumped her. Along comes a Duke or some such who nursed her back to health. It was so intense, and so intimate, that I couldn’t stop reader. Of course they fell in love and he avenged her and they lived happily ever after. :::sigh::: That book hooked me and I’ve never looked back!
After that I sought out a ton of romance books and finally found some of my favorites, including Julie Garwood, Catherine Coulter, Linda Howard, Johanna Lindsey, Jayne Ann Krentz, Brenda Joyce, etc... Too many to name them all!

Thank you again for joining us today Lori, do you have any other words to share with our readers before you go? 

Thank YOU. I always enjoy reaching out to readers. For anyone who hasn’t heard yet, I have app! If you have an iPhone, you can find the app by searching FREE apps in the iTunes library. A version for Android is coming very soon.
I hope everyone has an excellent and relaxing summer.

And for your viewing pleasure, the oh-so-yummy trailer for this series...try not to drool too much, don't want to short circuit your keyboard!
You can find out more about Lori and her books at
including fun (and Sexy!) pictures and excerpts from this series. 

Thanks to the wonderful Lisa at Harlequin I have one copy of Savor the Danger to giveaway! 
To enter, just fill out the form below AND leave a meaningful comment or question for Lori.
Giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada and will end at 11:59pm on July 8th, one winner will then be selected at random and contacted via email. 

ARC Review: Savor the Danger by Lori Foster

Savor the Danger (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #3)Savor the Danger
Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor #3
by Lori Foster
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: June 28th 2011 by HQN Books
ISBN 0373775822
Courtesy of NetGalley
The one woman he couldn't have was the only woman he desired… She may be aloof, and more pretty than gorgeous, but Alani Rivers is the kind of woman a hot-blooded mercenary can't forget, no matter how hard he tries. So when Jackson Savor wakes up next to the naked, sleeping beauty—with no memory of what happened—he knows he's been drugged… even if Alani doesn't. After she was kidnapped, Alani swore she'd never trust another man again. Still, something about this strong, sexy hero with the tender touch makes her want to believe him. As Jackson hunts downs a mysterious intruder, he swears he'll move heaven and earth to keep Alani safe. But what really happened that night? And will the truth bring them closer than they ever thought possible—or put Alani squarely in harm's way again?
My Thoughts:
The exciting saga of sexy men who walk the edge of honor continues with Savor the Danger!

Jackson Savor can’t get the beautiful Alani Rivers out of his head, but with respect to her recent trauma and being his friend, Trace’s, sister he vows to keep his distance. When Jackson wakes up in bed next to a naked Alani though, with no memory as to how he got there, all his good intentions get thrown out the window. Now he can’t stop thinking about what might have happened between them and what it would be like if it happened again, but Alani wants nothing more to do with him. When they realize Jackson was drugged though, and now someone is trying to kill him, they must work together to find out who’s behind it all. With the help of their friends and a mystery protector, Jackson and Alani embark on a dangerous journey to find the truth, will it be more then their budding relationship can handle though?

I fell in love with Jackson’s sarcastic, fun and laid back attitude in Trace if Fever, and Savor the Danger just bumped up my obsession with him! He’s passionate, protective, charming, sexy and another alpha to add to the delicious list of Foster men. His southern drawl and cowboy hat *drool* definitely had me getting all hot and bothered! Jackson's whole attitude revolves around Alani, his feelings for her and her traumatic kidnapping by human traffickers; and the internal dialogue when it came to trying to figure out a woman's mind (Alani) was hilarious and added a fun element to some emotionally tense scenes. 
Alani was a great heroine as well, I loved her just as much as Molly (When you Dare); she was smart, a little quite and innocent but when it came to the important things in life she knew how to put her foot down and take a stand. The person she strives to be, and eventually grows into, is admirable and I don't think you could dislike this heroine even if you tried! Alani is innocents in a lot of ways though and Jackson handles all the hurdles with sensitivity and compassion. There were so many layers to his character and Foster revealed each one masterfully.
Jackson and Alani’s chemistry set the pages on fire and you could feel the sizzle in the air when these two got together. Pages were literally smoking in my hands when they got between the sheets! 

Lori Foster pens a delicious tale with mystery and suspense, action and danger, tying in events from the first novel, When You Dare, and slowly unraveling the story of Alani’s traumatic abduction. Dealing with the real life issues of PTSD and human trafficking, you have no trouble connecting with the characters of the story and sympathizing with them. I was kept on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next.
Past characters arrived on page to help this duo out in more ways then one, and I loved seeing more of Dare *sigh* and Trace. Entertaining ‘girl talk’ between Molly, Priss and Alani had me laughing out loud and the ribbing these men give each other was priceless. The dialogue was both smart and witty. New characters were introduced as well and I cannot wait to see more of Arizona, and especially Spencer, in A Perfect Storm.

Calling all romance book junkies, you need to read this series! I was glued to every page and literally devoured Savor the Danger in no time at all. Drop what you’re reading and go get these books today! Savor the Danger is pure perfection! 

"We have to figure this out, Jackson, so leash the lust.”
His chin went up as he stared down at her. “Woman, you ask the impossible.”
“Do it anyway!" 

Reading Order:
A Perfect Storm, May 2012

Rating: 5 Wine Glasses - Love Love LOVED It!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Writing Romance: Marie Force (Guest Post & Giveaway)

Good morning lovelies and welcome to our week long Writing Romance event, hosted by myself and the lovely Kelly at Secrets of a Book Lover
Everyday this week we will have a wonderful author stop by each blog for an interview or guest post focused on...Writing Romance, and of course there will be fab giveaways as well! So make sure to check in each and every day to visit with some of your favorite romance authors! Note: Because RWA starts this week some authors won't be around all day but don't worry, they will check in whenever they get a chance to respond to reader's questions and comments. J

Okay, enough with the boring I have the pleasure of having one of my favorite romance authors, Marie Force, joining us at Reading Between the Wines! Make sure to visit Secrets of a Book Lover where  Karen E Taylor will be visiting today!

What Makes a Great Romance?

By: Marie Force

Togetherness. There. That’s it. End of blog.
Just kidding! When Crystal asked me to write a blog for today she offered me a number of topics, and I chose to answer the question in the title. My favorite romances have the hero and heroine together for most of the book, battling through their issues to get to their happily ever after.
While I do include them in my books from time to time, I’m not a big fan of “girlfriend scenes,” in which the heroine pours out her heart to a friend while she’s avoiding the guy who caused all her problems.
I want to see her with her guy, working through whatever is keeping them apart. I want to see them enjoying each other, fighting with each other and loving each other.
That doesn’t mean girlfriends and secondary characters don’t play a big role in a great romance. They do. Just like in real life it’s important that the people in the lives of our characters interact with our couple as they work toward their happily ever after.
This summer, I’ve published three of my favorite books for Kindle, Nook and other e-readers. The McCarthys of Gansett Island series takes place on a fictional Rhode Island island and opens with Mac McCarthy accidentally knocking Maddie Chester off her bike in downtown Gansett. Maddie, a single mother, is badly injured so Mac basically invites himself into her home and her life to nurse her back to health and care for her infant son.
I loved putting Mac right in her apartment where they had to fight their way through all kinds of issues while dealing with their instant attraction to each other.
In the second book, Fool for Love, Mac’s best friend Joe Cantrell has been in love with Mac’s little sister Janey for as long as he can remember. When she ends up in a crisis, she turns to Joe, and he takes her to his home on the mainland where they spend a few days testing the waters of what they could have together.
These situations are the most fun to write for me, and I hope, the most fun for readers, too.
So those are my thoughts on the matter. I’d love to hear what you have to say about what makes a romance memorable for you. I’ll give away PDF copies of Maid for Love, Fool for Love and the third book, releasing this week, Ready for Love to one commenter.
Thanks for having me today!

Marie Force is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Fatal Series from Harlequin’s Carina Press. The series includes FATAL AFFAIR, FATAL JUSTICE, FATAL CONSEQUENCES, FATAL DESTINY and FATAL FLAW, with more books planned. “This novel is ‘The O.C. does D.C.,’ and you just can’t get enough.” (RT Book Reviews, 4.5 stars for FATAL AFFAIR). In its July 2010 issue, RT Book Reviews named Marie a “Future Star of Romantic Suspense.”
Since 1996, Marie has been the communications director for a national organization similar to RWA. She is a member of RWA’s New England and Published Author Special Interest Chapters.
While her husband was in the Navy, Marie lived in Spain, Maryland and Florida, and she is now settled in her home state of Rhode Island. She is the mother of two kids and a feisty dog named Brandy.
Find her on her website, or on her blog, where she runs the popular weekly Romance & Oreos Book Club, on Facebook, and on Twitter. Marie loves to hear from readers. Contact her at


As Marie mentioned above, she is graciously giveaway away digital copies of all three of her The McCarthys of Gansett Island novels to one lucky reader! 
To enter, just leave a comment answering Marie's question at the end of her post AND fill out the form below. 
Open Internationally, giveaway will end at 11:59pm on July 8th when one winner will then be selected at random and contacted via email.