Monday, January 16, 2017

The Rule Maker Released {+ Giveaway}

All her rules are about to change…

The Rule Breakers #2
Jennifer Blackwood
Releasing January 16th, 2017
Entangled Embrace

Ten Steps to Surviving a New Job:

1. Don’t sleep with the client. It’ll get you fired. (Sounds easy enough.)

2. Don’t blink when new client turns out to be former one-night stand.

3. Don’t call same client a jerk for never texting you back.

4. Don’t believe client when he says he really, really wanted to call.

5. Remember, the client is always right—so you can’t junk punch him when he demands new design after new design.

6. Ignore accelerated heartbeat every time sexy client walks into room.

7. Definitely ignore client’s large hands. They just mean he wears big gloves.

8. Don’t let client’s charm wear you down. Be strong.

9. Whatever you do, don’t fall for the client. You’ll lose more than your job—maybe even your heart.

10. If all else fails, see rule number one again.

Here's an excerpt from THE RULE MAKER for your reading pleasure.
He scrubbed his palms over his face and rested his elbows on his knees. “This was not how I saw this night going.”
          “Big Valentine’s Day plans?”
          He lowered his hands and looked at me like I’d just claimed I single-handedly caused the storm raging outside. “I didn’t even know that was today. Does this mean we’re each other’s valentines by default?”
          I scoffed. “Not a chance.”
          He chuckled. “Always so blunt. I like that about you.” He quickly cleared his throat as if he hadn’t meant to say that. “Well, non-valentine, looks like we’re going to be stuck here a while. Have anything in mind?” he said.
          I decided against packing on another insult. He was being nice, and this sure as heck beat staring at the wall the rest of the night. “My form of entertainment is at 6 percent battery, so I’m open to suggestions.”
          “Mine is fully charged. Want to watch something?”
          “Sure.” What else did I have to do? Before I knew it, I was sitting on the bed next to him, leaning against the ornately carved headboard. Snow gusting against the window was the only sound in the room as he searched for a show for us to watch.
          So quiet.
          Way too quiet.
          I fidgeted with my necklace, moving the small diamond back and forth on the chain. The last time I was in bed with Ryder… I didn’t even want to finish that thought, because it’d do nothing but make this situation worse. I chanced a peek in his direction.
          He chewed the inside of his cheek, swiping through our options. “This is awkward, huh?” he said.
          “We’ve achieved Urkel status.”
          He chuckled and scrolled through the show queue. “Would you rather watch Law and Order: SVU or Criminal Minds?”
          “That is quite possibly the worst Would You Rather question ever asked.”
          His eyes cut to mine. “I didn’t know I was playing a game.”
          “You’ve never played it?”
          He shook his head.
          Lainey and I played this game all the time in college, and when we’d take road trips together. She always came up with the grossest ones. “It’s simple. All you have to do is ask the person which horrible thing they’d rather do. The harder the question, the better. Like would you rather lay in a pit of snakes, or eat questionably dead roadkill?” I pointed to his phone. “Oh, John Tucker Must Die. I like that one.
          “Negative, ghost rider.” He scrolled past my suggestion. “And what the hell does questionably dead mean? Is it still twitching, or are we talking suspicious cause of death?”
          I shrugged. “The interpretation’s up to you.”
          “You’re absolutely no help.” He swiped his thumb across his beard and contemplated. “I guess I’d go with the snakes.”
          “Okay, now it’s your turn,” I said.
          “Do I really have to play? I thought we were picking a show.”
          I shot him a look.
          “Fine. Would you rather have me or Chewbacca as your valentine?”
          “Too easy. The spider.”
          He put his hand to his heart. “You wound me.”
          “Stop being such a baby.” I swatted at his chest and immediately pulled my hand back. Nope. Would not go there. “Okay, would you rather not be able to see or talk for a month?”
          He answered instantly. “See.”
          “Right. You’d probably go nuts if you couldn’t open that big mouth of yours.”
          His lips twitched. “You’re one to talk.”
          “Excuse me?” Okay, I did have a tough time keeping my thoughts on lockdown outside the office, but that was my own cross to bear.
          “Don’t even try to play it off like you’re innocent.”
          I’d dated a lot of losers in the past, most who hadn’t even bothered to get to know me, but even after only hanging out a few times, Ryder had me pegged. He was perceptive. I saw the look in his eyes whenever I dealt with Jason. His attention focused solely on me was unnerving. “Jerk,” I sputtered.
          “Now I know you’re holding back. You can do way better than that.” He scrolled through his phone again. “How about Die Hard?”
          “Are all your show selections about death? I’m starting to worry I made a mistake coming over here.” My lips pulled into a smile and I quickly extinguished it. God, I wanted to hate him.
          “Fine.” He continued looking at the Netflix queue. “Would you rather eat sushi from a taco stand, or lick an airplane armrest?”
          “Good one. Sushi.” I pointed to his screen. “How about 10 Things I Hate About You?”
          He shook his head and chuckled. “Are all of your suggestions going to not-so-subtly tell me you hate me?”
          I smiled sweetly. “Maybe.”
          “Just think, most people would find this to be a romantic escape. Two people, stuck in the mountains on Valentine’s Day,” he said.
          “We’re Hallmark movie material, all right,” I deadpanned.
          “Okay, fine. How about The Walking Dead?”
          “Your show picking powers have been officially revoked.” I grabbed the phone from his hand.
          “Hey!” He grabbed for the phone, and I held it out of reach. “You’re going to regret that.” Within seconds he was on top of me, playfully pinning me to the bed, his strong hands circling my wrists. Air evaporated from my lungs as our gazes connected.
          I was immediately transported back to that night.
          Tell me what you want, Zoey. Tell me what you need from me.
          I swallowed hard. That was months ago, and those words still haunted me from time to time. Because he did exactly that, gave me what I wanted and needed. Repeatedly.

You have read THE RULE BOOK, right?

Jennifer Blackwood is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Oregon with her husband, son, and poorly behaved black lab puppy. When not chasing after her toddler, you can find her binging on episodes of Gilmore Girls and Supernatural, and locking herself in her office to write.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Books Written by Women & More

Well, it’s time once again to see what awesome new videos the Penguin Random House channels have to offer.

This week we’re looking at ‘Books Written by Women,’ rethinking a speech by President Ronald Reagan, an author talks about the author that influenced her, and Hoot and Peep. I’m including the videos for the first and last clips and you can click on the link at the end of the cutline on the other two videos to be taken to their corresponding clips on YouTube. I’m going to try to make it so if you click on the video photo it will take you to the clip. If that doesn’t work just click on the link at the end of the cutline.

PAPERCUTS/Read It Forward (Fiction, Fun, Games)

Books Written by Women | Six Picks - Read It Forward editors Abbe and Emma give six recommendations for books written by women! 

You can share this on Twitter by including @ReadItForward and clicking on the following link:

To share Read It Forward's post on Facebook just click on this link:

AUTHOR SHORTS (Authors talk craft and life)

Author Kim Liggett on the author that influenced her | Author Shorts - Kim Liggett (author of BLOOD AND SALT) talks about one of her biggest influences: author Carrie Ryan and her book, THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH. To view the video click on the following link:

You can share this on Twitter by including @penguinrandom and clicking on the following link: 

To share Penguin Random House's post on Facebook just click on this link: 

BRIGHTLY (Storytime videos for kids and families)

Hoot and Peep #readalong | Brightly Storytime - In the night skies above Paris, an adorable young owl teaches her older brother about the power of imagination—and the unconditional love between siblings. Story and illustrations by Lita Judge. To view the video click on the following link:

SIGNATURE VIEWS (Non-fiction, Experts, Thought Leadership)
*Quick note from Penguin Random House — our non-ficition-ish YouTube channel Videracy has a new name: Signature Views. The channel has officially joined forces with Signature, a book site dedicated to making well-read sense of the world. Same great videos as always, just given a facelift.

Rethinking Ronald Reagan's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day speech | Author Eddie Glaude - On November 2, 1983, Ronald Reagan signed a bill that created a national holiday to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Author Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. argues that Reagan's speech served to affirm America's greatness while talking down to the legacy of Dr. King.

You can share this on Twitter by including @SignatureReads and clicking on the following link: 

To share Signature's post on Facebook just click on this link: 

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you found something of interest. Have you read any of the books recommended by Abbe and Emma? Do you agree with author Eddie Glaude about the speech?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Crash and Burn by Fern Michaels

CRASH AND BURN by Fern Michaels
◊ Series: Sisterhood Series, Book #27
◊ Narrator: Laural Merlington
◊ Listening Length: 8 hours and 3 minutes
◊ Program Type: Audiobook
◊ Genre: Women’s Adventure, Romance
◊ Version: Unabridged
◊ Publisher: Brilliance Audio
◊ Release Date: December 27, 2016
◊ Language: English
ISBN-10: 151134203X
ISBN-13: 978-1511342032

The Sisterhood: a group of women from all walks of life bound by friendship and a quest for justice. Armed with vast resources, top-notch expertise, and a loyal network of allies around the globe, the Sisterhood will not rest until every wrong is made right.

The women of the Sisterhood are united by their mission to help those unable to help themselves. But now they’ve encountered opponents who share a unique bond of their own. The law firm of Queen, King, Bishop & Rook—the Chessmen—has been a formidable force in Washington, D.C., for decades. And Sisterhood member Nikki Quinn’s new case has made her their prime target.
Nikki has agreed to represent Livinia Lambert as she files for divorce from her domineering, greedy husband, Wilson “Buzz” Lambert. Buzz, currently Speaker of the House, fears the scandal will scupper his presidential plans and intends to make life extremely difficult for Livinia—with the Chessmen’s help. The Chessmen may play dirty, but the Sisterhood play smart. For too long, the Chessmen have believed themselves above the law they pretend to serve, but there’s no statute of limitations on the Sisterhood’s particular brand of justice—or their loyalty . . .

The Sisterhood Series features a group of characters that are fun to visit time and time again. CRASH AND BURN brings that group back together again for another intriguing adventure.

Narrator Laural Merlington does a superb job of giving each character their own unique voice. Her accents and tones enhance the story. Her pace and pitch are perfect.

Author Fern Michaels weaves a tale of mystery, suspense, humor, and a touch of romance. The characters are likable and well-developed. The characters’ bond of friendship is inspiring. While the group’s plan of attack may not be as intense as earlier adventures, it’s getting back on track to what the Sisterhood came to be known for.

The setting is well described and adds a flavor to the story. The plot moves at a steady pace and holds your attention till the end.

CRASH AND BURN can be listened to/read on its own. New listeners/readers may want to find out some of the prior projects the Sisterhood have undertaken. Returning fans will be happy to catch p with old friends.

This is an entertaining adventure that will have you pulling for the good guys as they delivery just rewards to the bad guys.

Crash and Burn by Fern Michaels, Sisterhood Series (Book #27), Narrated by Laural Merlington, Brilliance Audio, @2016, ISBN: 978-1511342032, Unabridged, MP3 CD, Run Time: 8 Hours and 3 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this audio book was sent to me by the publisher. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have you read or listened to any of the Sisterhood Series? What are your thoughts about a group of women who try to right wrongs?

Friday, January 13, 2017

Wicked Cowboy Charm {+ Giveaway}

It’s always a pleasure to welcome author Carolyn Brown to Thoughts in Progress. I’m delighted to be a part of the Teaser Blitz for WICKED COWBOY CHARM, the latest installment in Carolyn’s Lucky Penny Ranch series.

To celebrate the upcoming release, Carolyn is sharing an excerpt from her new book. In addition, you have the opportunity to win one of ten (10) mass market copies of WICKED COWBOY CHARM being given away during this blitz. Please see the end of the post for more giveaway details.

◊Author: Carolyn Brown
◊Series: Lucky Penny Ranch, Book #4
◊On Sale: January 31, 2017
◊Publisher: Forever
◊Mass Market: $7.99 USD
◊eBook: $7.99 USD


          Josie Dawson is new in town, but it doesn't take a local to know that Deke Sullivan is trouble—in a smokin' hot package. He's sweet, sexy, and has charmed just about every woman in Dry Creek, Texas. Well, Josie won't be next. She'll keep her distance, even if he is great with babies and makes a mean cup of homemade hot chocolate.
          Deke Sullivan really is a one-woman type of guy. He just had to do a lot of looking to find that one woman. Now he thinks he's found her and he won't let a strong, sassy gal like Josie slip away. Just when he's wondering how to convince her he only has eyes for her, they get stranded in a tiny cabin during a major blizzard. If Deke can melt her heart before they dig out of the snow, he'll be the luckiest cowboy in Texas . . .




Now here’s an excerpt from WICKED COWBOY CHARM for your reading pleasure.

Josie could hardly take her eyes off Deke’s strong arms as he carried a pile of wood the short distance from the box to the fireplace. To have those arms around her, to cuddle up next to him on one of those bunk beds—she shook her head to get the picture out of it and reached for the tin box of matches on the mantel.
“How many do you need?” she asked.
“Just one,” he answered.
“Confident, aren’t you?”
“Not confidence, just practice, ma’am.” He got the fire going with the first one.
“Impressive,” she said.
“We’ll get it warmed up in here soon enough.”
Josie sat down on the sofa facing the fireplace and took stock of the little cabin. A set of bunk beds covered the wall to her right. A doorway into a bathroom was to her left along with crudely made bookshelves with about a hundred well-worn paperback books. A deck of cards was in the middle of a card table with a couple of folding metal chairs on either side. A second table was fitted into the small corner from the end of the bunk beds to the wall and another oil lamp had been placed in the middle of it.
“We’ll survive,” Deke said.
“Who are you trying to convince? Me or you?” Josie asked.
“Both of us. It’s better than freezing to death in our vehicles. Lord, I wish I would have turned around and gone right back home when the first snowflake hit,” he answered.
“Me too.” She threw one arm over her head and groaned.
“Top or bottom?” Deke asked.
“Well, now that depends on lots of things,” she said before she thought.
Deke whipped around, his eyes big as silver dollars. “What did you say?”
She blushed and quickly covered her blooper. “I don’t care. I could sleep right here. Maybe I’ll wake up to find this is all a dream.”
“Okay then, I’ll take the bottom bunk. Rascal gets restless if he’s not sleeping right beside the bed on his blanket or else on the foot of it. And darlin’, if you wake up and find this is a dream, don’t leave me behind.”
“No way, cowboy. You are stuck with me for the duration of this damned storm.”
“And you, darlin’, are stuck with me.”

Author Carolyn Brown, Credit Charles C. Brown
Carolyn Brown is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author and RITA® Finalist who has sold more than 2.75 million books. She presently writes both women's fiction and cowboy romance. She has also written historical single title, historical series, contemporary single title, and contemporary series.

She lives in southern Oklahoma with her husband, a former English teacher, who is not allowed to read her books until they are published. They have three children and enough grandchildren to keep them young.

For more on Carolyn and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.

You can follow Forever online too by visiting their website and connecting with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

This blitz-wide giveaway is for ten (10) mass market copies of WICKED COWBOY CHARM by Carolyn Brown.

To enter the giveaway just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have you ever been stranded in a snowstorm? What type of food would you want to have on hand if you were caught in a snowstorm?

BTW, Happy Friday the 13th!