Monday, December 31, 2012


It’s that time of year again when many people reflect on what they havehappy-new-year-2013-clip-art-05.gif or haven’t done and plan for what they want to do in the coming months.

It’s NEW YEAR’S EVE!! At midnight we ring out 2012 and ring in 2013. It’s the day many make their resolutions for the coming year and take stock of what they have accomplished in 2012.

I would wager the number one resolution most make will have something to do with losing weight. It won’t be eating smarter, exercising more or even cutting down on what we eat - it will just be to lose weight (without really giving thought as to how to make it happen).

We do that with a lot of things, or at least I tend to do that. For that reason, I’m not making any New Year’s resolutions this year. Resolutions are just wishes without a plan as to how to make them a reality. I chose instead to make a list of goals in steps that I can achieve one step at a time. Being realistic I won’t reach all my goals. But if I can get a good start on the path to realizing them, then I’ll see that as a positive element for the new year.

One of my goals for 2013 is to be a better blogger. I want to present informative and entertaining posts that will capture your attention. Authors have been great about guest blogging here and I do so appreciate that. I look forward this coming year to meeting new authors and revisiting with ones I’ve come to know. I also want to provide posts from me on books, writing and life in general. I want to improve my book reviews to be more enlightening for you. Most of all, I want to be a better blogger by visiting (and commenting) on the various wonderful blogs I follow.

Another goal is to seriously pursue freelance writing and editing. I dabbed briefly in the field last year and then life sidetracked me. I hope now to devote more time to the endeavor and see where it leads me. I’d especially like to explore the world of freelance writing. After putting in 30-plus years of article writing, it’s hard to quit. I’m hoping there’s a need for one more freelance writer out there somewhere.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions or do you prefer to set goals? How do you achieve your resolutions or goals? Did you reach a major goal this past year or do you have one in mind for 2013? What is the best advice you have for those making resolutions and setting goals for the coming year?

As this year draws to a close, I want to express a heartfelt ‘THANK YOU’ to each and everyone who has stopped by here at Thoughts throughout 2012. Your support and especially your friendship is very much appreciated and important to me.

I’d like to take a moment and reflect on those we have lost this past year. There have been many tragedies throughout the year that we have endured as a nation, as well as the private ones many families have faced. May those taken from us be a reminder that we should always live each day to the fullest and take time for the ones we love. Those taken from us, whether it was a personal loss or one felt as a nation, will remain with us in spirit and through their love. In addition, those who have lost their furry, four-legged friends this past year are also in our thoughts and prayers as their loss is a heavy burden as well. May the new year bring strength and guidance to all.

Now my wish for each of you is one of good health, happiness, success in your endeavors, peace with yourself, and an abundance of love throughout the coming year. As the clock strikes midnight wherever you are, I’m sending a joyous HAPPY NEW YEAR wish your way!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Salon: The Adventures of Charlie Bubbles

main-hot-chocolateIt’s hard to believe another week has come and gone bringing us back to Sunday Salon once again. And this will be our last Sunday Salon of 2012.

I hope during this past year you have found lots of new books for your reading pleasure, as well as numerous ones to share with others. For my last Sunday Salon of 2012 I’d like to share a charming children’s book with you. The book is recommended for youngsters in pre-k through fourth grade, but will appeal to the child in all of us.

coverTHE ADVENTURES OF CHARLIE BUBBLES transports youngsters on a magical adventure and teaches about friendship along the way.

Charlie blows a large bubble that encircles him and the winds pushes him out the window thus beginning his fascinating adventure. When the bubble deposits Charlie back to the ground, he finds his is lost and begins searching for home.

Along the way he encounters Paulie Pumpkin, who is really a scared little squirrel hiding inside a pumpkin. The pair soon come upon Teddy Hiccup, a discarded teddy bear with the hiccups.

The trio forms a bond of friendship. When they are faced with angry bees, Charlie’s new friends help out as he makes his way home.

Author Paul Carafotes has created a delightful story that demonstrates the strength of friendship. He takes youngsters on a magical journey where they learn while having fun. 

The beautiful illustrations by Jeff Vernon will draw youngsters attention to the story. The vivid and creative drawings will hold them spellbound as the adventure unfolds.

THE ADVENTURES OF CHARLIE BUBBLES will make a charming addition to a youngster’s library. This is an enchanting story for anytime of day, but will take youngsters’ imagination on an amazing adventure at bedtime.

Author Paul Carafotes’ website is

The Adventures of Charlie Bubbles by Paul Carafotes, Illustrated by Jeff Vernon, Createspace, @2012, ISBN: 978-1480263345, Paperback, 30 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this book and it was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Thanks everyone for visiting today. Hope you’ve had a great year and enjoyed the Sunday Salons. What intriguing books have you found this year that you’ve shared with others? Any one book stand out above the rest?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Author Cristiane Serruya Talks Writing

Finding new authors is always fun and when those authors are from other countries then it just adds that much more pleasure to blogging. One such author I recently became acquainted with is Cristiane Serruya, who I’m delighted to welcome here today to talk about her new release, TRUST, A NEW BEGINNING.

Cristiane is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is a fellow lover of contemporary romance, paranormal and historical romance, among others. Her book (the first installment in a trilogy) tells a love story involving three tortured characters, with dark secrets in their past, set in beautiful locations in Europe. 

Here’s a brief synopsis of TRUST: A NEW BEGINNING, a contemporary adult romance distributed by CreateSpace:

     They are beautiful. They are rich. They are strong willed and successful. They have everything, but love. And each one of them has a dark secret looming in their past.
     Sophia is a 25 year old Brazilian widow. Intelligent and ravishing, she flees from her own country after a tragic incident. Hiding from everyone and everything, she remains alone, torn between the love for a dead man, the torment of living without part of her memory and the fear of moving on. 
     Ethan is one of the most important tycoons in the steel industry. As the memory of an awful evening in his adolescence haunts him night and day, he keeps looking for an elusive woman whom he could love - and who would love him - as he never has in all his 35 years... Until he finds Sophia. 
     Alistair is a 34 year old powerful banker, searching for one–night stands with women who will warm his bed. And that he can punish physically to abate his anger for his late wife's black deeds and his own guilt for being such a debauched man for so many years. Any woman will do, and he has many to choose from, as they all fall instantly for his manly, devilish charming ways.
     In Europe, in the months after October 2009, their paths will cross and clash. Who will win the prize of love?

Cristiane has graciously answered some questions for me about her writing.

Mason - What is an average writing day like for you? 

Cristiane - What started as a pastime, in a few days, turned into a huge project that involved much more than just writing as a hobby. When I started writing in January 2012, I used to spend more than 12 hours a day, weekends included - dedicating myself to the trilogy. I fell in love with my characters. It has really, really strange...  I started to talk with them and my family probably thought that I was mad. LOL

Well, now that the first book is published and the trilogy is all planned, I work at least 8 hours during the week and 4 hours at the weekends. I'm still in love with the characters. And I'm still talking to them.Smile

Mason - Do you write longhand and/or on the computer, have a favorite place to write, a favorite time to write, listen to music, etc.?

Cristiane - I have an office at home. It‘s my favorite place to write.Trust- A New Beginning - Capa Amazon But I always carry a moleskine and a pen for sudden ideas. I can also write on my iPhone if I'm in traffic - don't worry I have a driver. I have a few writing habits. Lots of homemade ice-tea and music. Music has always had a big influence in my life. I played the piano when I was younger and I always listen to music, no matter what I am doing. When I started to write the trilogy, I made three lists on iTunes: one with classical music, one with alternative rock and another one with pop. Depending on my mood - or on my characters' mood or what they were doing - I played one of them.

Mason - Of all the authors (past and present) you enjoy reading, has any one (or more) been an influence in your writing?

Cristiane - I’m kind of obsessed about books, so I have a kindle and the kindle app on my iPad, iPhone and iMac besides lots of physical books. I read in traffic, in the doctor’s waiting room and a few hours every day at home. Recently, I finished the Millennium trilogy, by Stieg Larssen and loved it. I'm reading a biography of Hannah Arendt. I'm looking forward to reading 1Q84, by Muramaki. 

Well, I have very eclectic taste in books. When I was young, I loved Barbara Cartland, Charlotte and Emile Bronte. As I grew, Kafka, Becket, Anouill, Victor Hugo, George Orwell and many others made their way into my library. And, of course, the Greek classics and lots and lots of romance. 

I hope I have learned something from them, but I cannot say that I have just one author that has influenced me.

Mason - If you had to write this book over, would you do anything differently - content in the book, your writing schedule, the way you researched it, etc.?

Cristiane - Although, I am satisfied with how the book came out, I think that a few modifications could make it better. It's a kind of flaw of mine. But, really, I am satisfied with it. 

When I write something, be it a petition, a thesis or a romance, I do a thorough research on the subject. You may ask yourself if a romance compares to a thesis and my answer is yes, it does. The readers deserve respect. I don’t like to read books with spelling and grammar mistakes or that are geographically misplaced or have mistaken historical facts. It doesn’t even matter if I like the subject, I close the book and - finally! - let it rest in God's peace. Smile

Mason - Why write this book? What made this story so compelling to you that you had to tell it?

Cristiane - Real life is what inspires me to write. Look around you, listen to your family’s stories, your neighbors’ daily lives, read the newspapers. People are so fascinating. They have real weird stories to tell. And these stories are waiting to be told and there is not enough time to write about them. I don’t want to give away too much, but one of the subjects treated in my book, especially the relationship between Alistair and Sophia, is being talked about by everyone and it's very similar to my Law School thesis.

Mason - With the book’s release, as you look back what was the biggest surprise that came about in writing the story?

Cristiane - Although, I've always written, I never thought I would have so much... to write about. The biggest surprise is how it came out so easily. Maybe it's because I write about things I have experienced, and liked or disliked; be it in my own life or in my friends’ lives.

Mason - What can readers look forward to next from you?

Cristiane - Well, in the first months of 2013, the second book of the trilogy, TRUST: BETRAYED is going to be released on e-book and paperback format. New characters are going to appear and I will reveal many important events from the three principal characters' past. Oh! Secrets, I love secrets! 

Their lives are going to be turned upside down and then again inside out. In the second semester of 2013, the readers will be able to read the conclusion in TRUST: FORGIVEN. 

After that, I intend to write about the love stories of the other Santo siblings. I have already started Carolina's story, but Felipe has been asking to go first, since he is the older brother. Stay tuned to find out!

Cristiane, thanks so much for joining us today and giving us a look at your writing techniques. I especially like your eclectic taste in books. To me, that’s the only way to read - a little bit of everything.

Now let me tell you a bit more about Cristiane. Living in Rio de Janeiro with her husband and two daughters, Cristiane works as a lawyer specializing in cases of sexual abuse and violence against children and women. She also has a Masters in Business Law and a BA in Fine Arts. 

She has always loved to read, write and listen to music. In addition, she has lived and studied in England, France, Italy and Switzerland. Traveling is one of her passions - as is keeping fit and healthy. 

After twenty-two years of practicing law, Cristiane decided to give writing a go. She says, “And - amazingly - it was just the piece that was missing in my life.”

Thanks everyone for stopping by today and meeting Cristiane. Do you read books in various formats or only one?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Stories To Extend The Holidays

Christmas may be over, but it’s never too late to enjoy books with the holiday theme - as well as ones that don't involve Christmas.

LET IT SNOW by Debbie Macomber

Let It SnowIf you’re looking for a quick story to boost your holiday spirits, LET IT SNOW by Debbie Macomber is perfect.

Narrator Sarah Grace does an excellent job giving voices to the characters and bringing the magical story to life. Her cadence will draw you in and hold you spellbound as the story unfolds.

Shelly Griffin is excited to visit with her dad during Christmas even if she does have to fly. When her plane is rerouted from Seattle to Portland, Shelly decides to rent a car and drive the rest of the way home.

Slade Gardner has an important business meeting he must attend in Seattle. When the plane is delayed due to bad weather, he decides to rent a car and drive. 

Shelly and Slade encounter a problem as there’s only one car left. While they had flown on the same plane and not spoken, they agree to share the car. The trip to Shelly’s dad’s proves to be an eye opener for both travelers. Once they arrive, the weather takes another nasty turn and the travelers end up spending more time together.

LET IT SNOW is a heartwarming story of two people meeting by chance and changing the course of their lives forever. Author Debbie Macomber makes the characters realistic with flaws and fun quirks. The story is fast pace and will capture your attention until the end.

Author Debbie Macomber’s website is

Let It Snow by Debbie Macomber, Performed by Sarah Grace, Brilliance Audio, @2012, ISBN: 978-1469267791, Unabridged, 2 Discs, Listening Time: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
HERE COMES TROUBLE by Debbie Macomber

Here Comes TroubleAuthor Debbie Macomber creates another heartwarming tale of opposites attracting for a tantalizing outcome with a holiday touch.

HERE COME TROUBLE is the Christmas Eve tale Maryanne and Nolan Adams tell their children about how they meet and fell in love. The story looks back at their beginning and concludes with two surprise gifts for the youngsters.

The charming voice of narrator Sarah Grace brings the characters to life. She vocalizes the emotions of the characters as the attraction sizzles and the bantering begins.

Maryanne and Nolan worked for rival newspaper. After Nolan wrote a column about Maryanne’s pampered life, Maryanne quits the job her father had gotten for her and strikes out on her own. Feeling guilty for his actions, Nolan takes it upon himself to look over Maryanne and her new endeavors. The laughter begins as the pair try to fight the attraction they feel for each other.

Macomber creates intriguing characters you’d like to know better. She gives them trials and triumphs readers/listeners can relate to.

HERE COMES TROUBLE is a story where you know the ending (maybe not all), but it’s how they arrive there that’s the fun.

Author Debbie Macomber’s website is

Here Come Trouble by Debbie Macomber, Performed by Sarah Grace, Brilliance Audio, @2012, ISBN: 978-1469267838, Unabridged, 5 Discs, Listening Time: 5 Hours 41 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
BREAKING NEWS by Fern Michaels

Breaking NewsAuthor Fern Michaels brings her lovable characters from the Godmothers Series back in BREAKING NEWS.

Teresa ‘Tootis’ Loudenberry is busing caring for her ailing housekeeper, Bernice, in Charleston, S.C. She denies she has an interest in the doctor treating Bernice. Her friends and her daughter’s godmothers - Sophia, Ida and Mavis - think Tootis is looking at husband number nine.

Meanwhile in California, Tootis’ daughter, Abby, is busy managing the gossip magazine Tootis owns. 

Tootis’ life takes an unexpected turn when a dog needs emergency surgery sending her to Florida with the sexy doctor. Before she has a chance to catch her breath and enjoy the moment, tragedy strikes when Abby is kidnapped. Tootis and the doctor rush to California where they’re joined by the godmothers. Pulling together and using their resources, Tootis and the godmothers come through.

Narrator Natalie Ross does a wonderful job bringing all the characters to life. She gives each their own distinct voice making it seem there is more than one narrator.

BREAKING NEWS travels around a bit, but moves at a steady flow making it easy to follow. The characters are zany and lovable, and the friends loyal and dependable.

For listeners/readers new to the series, there are references to prior stories but enough background included to keep you well informed. Returning fans of the series will enjoy the latest adventures of Tootis and the 3 Gs.

Author Fern Michaels’ website is

Breaking News by Fern Michaels, Godmothers Series (Book 5), Performed by Natalie Ross, Brilliance Audio, @2012, ISBN: 978-1455812691, Unabridged, 7 Discs, Listening Time: 7 Hours 45 Minutes

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Thanks everyone for stopping by today. Hope your holiday was everything you wished for and continues to be a wonderful adventure with the new year. Did you receive any Christmas-theme books from Santa?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas My Friends!

Merry-Christmas-Mackenzie-3-the-fifties-27746502-441-500Wishing you and your family a MERRY CHRISTMAS

May your holiday be filled with joy and happiness, good health and success, peace and comfort, delicious food and drink, and especially family and friends.

For those who don’t celebrate Christmas, I wish joyous days, much happiness, and fun with family and friends for you.

I’d also like to say thank you to everyone for visiting here throughout the past year. I do so appreciate it. I haven’t been able to visit with you as much as I’d like, but I hope I can start visiting again soon.

May you find lots and lots of wonderful new books under your Christmas tree, in your stockings hung by the fireplace, and uploaded to your eReaders.

(P.S. Sorry about the Christmas music widget not working. I’m searching for a new program to add the music back. Hopefully I’ll find something soon. If you know of a program that will work on the sidebar, please let me know.)

Wishing you a safe and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Author Lawna Mackie: The Appeal of Fantasy Books

I’m always delighted to participate in a WOW-Women On Writing Blog Tour as I get to meet new authors and discover intriguing new books.
One such author is Lawna Mackie who is touring blogdom with her fantasy romance, PERFECT MISFITS.

This is a fun book to lose yourself in and forget all the stress of the holiday season. PERFECT MISFITS is a story about two people who find themselves falling in love. It’s a typical love story with a bit of a twist - the boy is a gargoyle, the girl is a misfit fairy and they have to overcome the evil overseer of the mountain were misfit creatures are banished to. Here’s a brief synopsis to explain more:

     Ryder, commander of the Levarian legion of gargoyles, has a problem. He keeps dreaming on duty…and falling…neither of which gargoyles ever do. Every dream is of the same woman, and every time it brings on red-hot, searing pain in the crescent-shaped scar on his palm. Driven to find the woman and the reason for his bizarre dreams, he lets himself fall…
     He lands in a place he never knew existed and face to face with the woman of his dreams.
     Labeled a misfit, Tempest was snatched away as a child and imprisoned in the hidden realm of Misfit Mountain. Locked up by Fedor, the ruler of the kingdom who intends to take her as his bride, Tempest has no choice but to brave the dangerous snow and ice of the mountain to escape. Faced with the impossible choice of Fedor or death, love is the last thing on her mind until Ryder snatches her from the air and into a whole new realm of feeling.
     Can Ryder find the key to freeing her and save them both?

Lawna joins us today to talk about the ‘appeal of fantasy books.’ In addition, thanks to Lawna and the great folks at WOW, I have a copy of PERFECT MISFITS to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for the giveaway guidelines. Now here’s Lawna.

I was a teenager when I started to read romance novels. I was hooked after the first one. One after another I devoured any romance I could get my hands on. Years flew by and I continued to be an avid reader then one day I stumbled upon a novel that was a bit different. It was about a spaceship that crashed on earth and an alien actually falls in love with a woman. I really wish I could remember the name of the novel. I then realized there were other types of romances out there…ones that were a bit different than the normal everyday romances.

It was a struggle to find romances like them they weren’t readily available back then. I’m probably giving my age away now!

LawnaBookCoverWell, soon enough paranormal romances hit the shelves and I was in heaven. Vampires, werewolves, and things that go bump in the night were the characters that became the heroes and heroines that I loved. Just like the regular romances I didn’t seem to be able to read them fast enough.

But in the back of my head was the alien story I’d read. The ending of this book was that the heroine went with the spaceman back to his world. I so wanted to read this. I kept wondering what the world would be like and how their journeys would evolve. Basically I wanted to read about a world other than earth!

Time went on and I began looking into fantasy novels, but for me there was one problem–they weren’t necessarily romance related. I wanted fantasy with romance as the key element of the story. That was hard to find.

One night about eight years I had a fantastic dream. It took place in another world filled with brilliant colors, odd rivers and streams, and unusual looking mountains. Somehow in my sleep I created a creature called a Hippo-Dog-Burrowing Owl. No, I don’t do drugs! I called him Threeo. Any way, after that dream I started writing my first novel ENCHANTMENT. My world created my way, with an undying love, evil villains, conflict, passion and a happy-ever-after.

My latest creation is called PERFECT MISFITS! I love this story, but I guess I’m prejudice. If anyone has a liking for gargoyles and pixies like I do, you’ll love this story. It takes place in a world call Levare.

I do have a secret…okay maybe it’s not a big secret, but I love Christmas. My favorite Christmas show is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, so if anyone out there is familiar with this Christmas Favorite, there is a connection between a piece of my story in PERFECT MISFITS and the show. It’s not a big piece but see if you can figure it out. For those of you that do have an answer please pop by my website and contact me. In your subject line put Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Let me know what you think the connection is and I’ll send you a gift or a free eBook.

Thanks very much for joining me today and I really hope you’ll enjoy some of my romantic fantasies! I’d love to hear from you.

Lawna, thanks so much for joining us today. While I enjoy mysteries, I’m also drawn to the appeal of fantasy books from time to time. They make for a wonderful escape and a chance to let your imagination run free.

Lawna lives in Didsbury, Alberta with her husband and her animal companions Dozer, Daisy and Mandarin. She loves mountains and water…almost as much as she loves fairy tales. 

Although she read her first romance as a teenager it was years later, when she stumbled across a paranormal romance, that she knew she had found her passion. Lawna spent years telling friends the wild dreams she had and occasionally would try to craft them into stories but more often than not, they would end up in the recycling bin. Then one summer she challenged herself to just sit down and WRITE. So she did. Four books later, Lawna is still writing.

BTW, Lawna also has a Christmas theme novella out entitled, QUINN’S CHRISTMAS WISH (and she’s busy working on a sequel to it). Here’s a brief synopsis:

     As far as twelve-year old Quinn is concerned Christmas has lostchristmasquinnswish its magic. Since his father’s death life has lost its sparkle. His mom is now a widow struggling to put food on the table. Quinn is no help, and the mysterious illness afflicting him only makes things worse. Even Christmas, complete with decorated trees, ribbons and bows have no meaning…then along comes Jazira. 

     Jazira doesn’t know what happened to her former self, the eleven-year old little girl. She drowned, didn’t she, along with half the other folk of Bandit Creek in 1911? Somehow, she’s grown four furry legs complimented with a large wolf head and body. Scared and alone, she reaches out to Quinn and a strong bond is formed. Jazira learns Quinn, and his mother, are threatened by a wealthy powerful citizen of Bandit Creek. She is determined to protect her new family, no matter what. Christmas Eve finds Quinn staring up at the adorned tree and muttering a quiet prayer. Will the Spirits of Christmas grant his wish, or will the evil surrounding Bandit Creek prevail once again?

For more information on Lawna and her writing, visit her website and find her on Facebook and Twitter. The hashtag for Twitter is #LawnaMackie.

Now for the giveaway guidelines. A print copy or an eBook of PERFECT MISFITS is available to the winner if they live in the U.S. or Canada. If the winner is international, an eBook is available. 

To enter, send me an e-mail ( with the subject line, “Win PERFECT MISFITS.” Your message should include your name and mailing address if you reside in the U.S. or Canada. And, just so you know, I don’t share this information with anyone other than the publisher nor use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance at a copy of PERFECT MISFITS will be 8 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, Dec. 29.

Thanks so much everyone for stopping by today. Do you enjoy a fantasy book now and then to help escape from the stress of everyday?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Feast Of Souls On Tour And A Giveaway

I’m delighted to be a part of the Lit Connect Promo Tour for author Hailey Edwards’ second installment in her Araneae Nation series, A FEAST OF SOULS.

Born in the Deep South, Hailey is a lifelong resident of Alabama. Her husband works for the local sheriff’s department and her daughter is counting down the days until she’s old enough to audition for American Idol. Her doxie, Black Ilex, helps Hailey write by snoozing in his recliner in her office.

Hailey’s desire to explore without leaving the comforts of home fueled her love of reading and writing. Whenever the itch for adventure strikes, Hailey can be found with her nose glued to her Kindle’s screen or squinting at her monitor as she writes her next happily-ever-after.

Here’s a brief blurb of A FEAST OF SOULS, a fantasy romance with a heat level of mainstream:
The only way to save her is to bind their souls as one.

Araneae Nation, Book 2

Born with the ability to communicate with the dead, few things take Mana by surprise. But when a canis lopes into her life, announcing himself as the long-dead father of a childhood friend, she’s shocked. To make matters worse, he has a dire message that she alone can deliver.

Now Mana must face Vaughn, the male who inspired one too many girlish fantasies, and impart the spirit’s message—without acknowledging her source—so the soul can be laid to rest.

With rumors of a burgeoning clan war setting his nerves on edge, the last thing Vaughn needs is for an innocent to get caught in the crosshairs. But thFeast-of-Souls-by-Hailey-Edwardse woman he remembers as an awkward girl refuses to leave his side until he’s heard her out. That’s not the only change in her that calls to him. Her kindness soothes his battle-scarred soul—and he craves her in ways a warrior shouldn’t.

When they are both captured, they learn of an even greater threat. The plague devastating the southlands has come to his clan home. And his best—and only—chance to keep his people alive is the female who walks among the dead.

Product Warnings: This book contains one fierce hero with a nose for danger, one stubborn heroine who smells like trouble, and one wolfish spirit who makes most relationships with the in-laws seem downright tame. Fur, fangs and some biting should be expected. But never fear, the hero has a sword, and he knows how to use it. 

A FEAST OF SOULS is available from Samhain Publishing, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

To entice your reading buds, here’s an excerpt from A FEAST OF SOULS:

     “Admit it.” The familiar sounds of a fire starting drifted to me. “You find me charming.”
     “I find you…” I struggled for words less insulting than the truth, “…kinder than I recalled.”
     “Hmm.” Had he moved closer? “And how did you recall me?”
     “You were Rhys’s older, more intimidating brother.” And you terrified me.
     With a hearty sigh that weighed on my conscience, he cupped my elbows and got me on my feet. Wood scraped as he kicked the stool closer to where warmth ebbed from the crackling fire.
     “Sit. I’ll melt some snow and find a rag.” Hinges groaned. Frigid air nipped at my cheeks. A door shut. Fabric tore. More metal grated. I removed my gloves and touched my eyes before he lowered my hands. We sat like that for a bit, until, “Let’s get those eyes of your open, shall we?”
     I let him tilt my head back. Water dripped to my right. Then a hot cloth was draped over the upper portion of my face. I sighed with bliss as Vaughn dipped and dabbed at me. “Thank you.”
     His hands stilled, and his reply took so long I gave up on it coming. “You’re welcome.”
     I leaned into his touch and relished playing the role of patient for once.
     Several hot cloths later, light seeped beneath a crack in my lids. For some reason I held my tongue and used the opportunity to steal a glimpse of Vaughn. His face filled my vision. His eyes were warm and held sparks from the fire. His brow crinkled, and his large, warrior’s hands were so adept as they wrung water from the cloth—which I now saw was a scrap from his shirt—and cleared the melting ice from my face. Seeing him like this snapped some tight thing in my chest.
     Water splashed as he tossed the rag. Big hands cupped my cheeks. “Try to open your eyes.”
     Blinking came easy. Though my lids were raw, pain was a distant hurdle while Vaughn kept his hands on me. His expression was too gentle, too soft. Surely it was a trick borne of firelight.
     When he leaned down, his lips a whisper from mine, I held my breath.

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Hailey is gifting one lucky commenter from each tour stop, a digital copy of a title from her backlist. (A FEAST OF SOULS isn’t included in the options.) The contest is open internationally and will run the duration of the tour (ending 12:01am EST Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012). The winner(s) will be randomly selected and notified via email. To enter, sign up with the Rafflecopter below.

Additional Tour Stops
For additional chances to win, be sure to check out the other stops in Hailey’s tour. The more stops you comment on, the greater your chances of winning.

For more information on Hailey and her writing, visit her website and find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. Do you enjoy escaping to other locations and worlds through reading?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Just A Cowboy And His Baby by Carolyn Brown

One of the many things I enjoy about author Carolyn Brown’s writing is the way she shares families with you.

Brown gives family members zany and fun personalities you can’t help but love and want to know better. Then she branches the families out giving individual members their own story and ties many of the families together through friendships and marriage making for one big, happy family.

JUST A COWBOY AND HIS BABY is a fun example of bring two of these families together.

Gemma O’Donnell has a good life in Ringgold, Texas, where her family is, as well as her beauty shop. But she has a dream to be the second woman to win the national bronc riding championship. With the prize money she plans to buy her own little ranch and one day have a family of her own.

Trace Coleman isn’t interested in the bronc riding title, he just wants the prize money. His dream is to buy his uncle’s ranch.

When Gemma and Trace square off in the arena, the attraction between them becomes more ardent than any bronc they attempt to ride. Both are determined to win the title, but the winner could also be the loser.

As Trace’s past is revealed, Gemma has to decide whether to focus on winning or fight for her new dream.

Brown gives her characters depth, along with flaws and quirks making them realistic. She adds problems, hopes and dreams readers can relate to. She spices it up with sexy cowboys, feisty cowgirls, and enough steamy romance to warm you on the coldest of days. Brown’s writing holds you spellbound as you slip into the world of tantalizing cowboys, spirited cowboys, and love of family with a lot of fun added in for good measure.

While JUST A COWBOY AND HIS BABY is a stand alone read, by following the Spikes and Spurs series as it unfolds you get a better understanding of all the family structures. In addition, the characters become friends you watch grow and evolve from book to book.

For a spicy hot read, be sure JUST A COWBOY AND HIS BABY is at the top of your list.

Author Carolyn Brown’s website is

Just A Cowboy And His Baby by Carolyn Brown, Spikes and Spurs Series, Sourcebooks Casablanca, @2012, ISBN: 978-1402270185, Paperback, 352 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this book and it was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Thanks everyone for stopping by today. Hope your holiday plans are going well. Are you a cowboy fan? If so, who was the first cowboy of your dreams? Was he anything like Trace?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Trouble In Texas Releases Today!

It’s my pleasure to welcome author Katie Lane here today to discuss Book #4 in her bestselling Deep in the Heart of Texas series, TROUBLE IN TEXAS, that hits bookstores today.

TROUBLE IN TEXAS is a fun and spirited read. Here’s a brief synopsis:


Inheriting the most notorious house of ill repute in Texas can spell trouble for a girl's reputation . . . especially when she's Elizabeth Murphy, Bramble's prim and proper librarian. Yet when she discovers a buck-naked cowboy handcuffed to a four-poster bed, she forgets all about the town gossips. Elizabeth has sworn off men, but the stranger's kisses melt her resolve faster than ice cream on a hot summer day.

Waking up in Miss Hattie's Henhouse isn't how Brant Cates reckoned on getting to the bottom of his great-granddaddy's murder. The plan was to solve the centuries-old crime, then get the heck out of Dodge. But after meeting Elizabeth and discovering that the buttoned-up beauty is a sexy siren in disguise, he just can't pull himself away. Now Brant needs Elizabeth to finally put his past to rest, but is she willing to risk her future on Bramble's newest bad boy? 
Katie joins us and has graciously answered some questions about her latest release and her writing.

Mason - The age-old question, what inspired this book?  

Trouble in Texas coverKatie - The musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. One morning, I woke up with the title song in my head and I couldn’t get it out. I got to wondering what would’ve happened if the Chicken Ranch hadn’t closed down. The next thing I knew, I had a story.  
Mason - What made it so compelling that you had to tell it?  

Katie - I just found the entire premise of a dilapidated mansion that had once been a house of ill repute fascinating. Or maybe it’s just fascinating to a romance writer. Ha!

Mason - How did you go about doing research for this book?  

Katie - Well, I went to this place in Vegas . . . just kidding! I did research on the Internet and read books about bordellos and madams of the old west. It was great fun!
Mason - With the book’s release, as you look back what was the biggest surprise that occurred while writing this story?  

Katie - That I ended up loving Minnie, the madam and head hen, so much. She’s a cantankerous old woman who chain-smokes and carries a gun. Who knew that beneath the bad wig and negligee was a savior.

Mason - What would you like readers to know about your writing that you’ve never been asked before?  

Katie - Only that I feel truly blessed to get to do what I do and I work hard to give readers the best story that I possibly can. 

Mason - What can readers look forward to next from you?  

Katie - FLIRTING WITH TEXAS comes out July 2013. The story is about Beau, Brant’s little brother, and Jenna Jay, a character from my first book, GOING COWBOY CRAZY. I had great fun putting these two together.

Katie, thanks for joining us and giving us a look at how this Hun for the Holidaysbook came about. Now I have that title song in my head. Smile For more on Katie and her writing, visit her website.

In addition to TROUBLE IN TEXAS, Katie also has HUNK FOR HOLIDAYS out in time for the season’s enjoyment. Here’s a brief synopsis of it: 

Always putting business before pleasure, Cassie McPherson works hard for her family's construction business. That might explain why she doesn't have a date for the company Christmas party. But it doesn't quite explain why she's crazy enough to hire an escort for the event or - crazier still - why she's dying to unwrap him like a present . . .

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. Do you enjoy reading books where the main character may seem one way on the surface, but is more sensitive and caring when their true nature is revealed?

Monday, December 17, 2012

On Tour With Nadège Richards’ Burning Bridges

I’m delighted to be a part of author Nadège Richards’ Juniper Grove Book Solutions virtual book tour for the first installment in her Bleeding

Listed in the YA Dystopia genre, BURNING BRIDGES is recommended for ages 16 and up. Here’s a brief synopsis of it:
Do or Die...

In a world that has been divided amongst the Hunter race and the Warrior, prisoners who have fallen prey to King Cyrus' decrees are forced into the arena to fight until death. Winner is granted mercy and privilege to see another sunrise. Death unto the weak. In an attempt to get back at everyone who has ever shut her out, seventeen year-old Princess Echo becomes another victim, dragging Ayden, her forbidden love, along in a race to freedom, to find out who she really is, and to put a world that has been swallowed by lies back together again.

In the first installment of The Bleeding Heart Trilogy, life becomes a dangerous game of kill or be killed, love or let go. When death threatens the forbidden love of an unlikely couple and they are forced to do the unthinkable, to what extent will they go to be together?

Born in New York City and raised in Pennsylvania, Nadège has traveled to five other states and two countries, but aspires to travel the world some day. Her name is of French origin, though she’s never been to France. Forever a lover of art and all things pertaining to Literature, she hopes to obtain knowledge from her writing career, rather than popularity or fame. 

She wrote her first story about aliens and goats in the 8th grade and has had a passion for story-telling ever since. Her friends and family are her biggest inspiration, and the occasional cup of coffee. She enjoys being part of the Indie community and sharing her stories with the world.

Nadège joins us today and has graciously answered some questions for me about her writing.

Mason - How did you go about doing research for your book? Is research a process you enjoy or just find it necessary?

Nadège - I research for anything and everything. I didn’t have toBurning Bridges do too much when writing BURNING BRIDGES, though. The most I had to do was read a lot of historical romance novels in order to learn how they talked back then and what was/ wasn’t expected from people in high standing. Researching is a love of mine. I like the fact that I seek one answer and find many.
Mason - How would you encourage someone who has never read your genre to give it a try?

Nadège - Tough question. I’d tell them that the genre is not only insightful but it is where true imagination comes alive in a writer’s soul. It’s one thing to take a world you’re used to—the one you live in—and build on it, but it’s another when you create a world from the bottom up only to destroy it again. That alone takes courage.

Mason - In what order does your characters come to life - name, physical description, personality?

Nadège - Name first. That’s an always for me. Personally I think someone’s name says everything, despite whatever meaning it may or may not have. Of course we are not our name, but it is what embodies us, what stays long after we are gone. A character is introduced in a book by name first, and eventually the rest will follow.

Mason - Of these three elements (name, physical description, personality), which is the easiest to develop and which is the hardest?

Nadège - Physical description. Before I put pen to paper a story must first play out like a movie for me. Usually envisioning your character and what they look like comes naturally. With personality I have to have a name set. So it’s really like an equation: Name + Personality + Physical description = Main character.

Mason - Do you just jump right into a story or do you plan and outline?

Nadège - I outline everything down to what happens in every chapter. Of course I usually end up adlibbing, but it’s something I can work with and it helps prevent writer’s block a lot.

Mason - What can readers look forward to next from you?

Nadège - My second novel, DECEIVING DESTINY, comes out soon (yay!) and in April 2013 the last volume in the trilogy, FLEETING FIRES, will be out. From there I will still be working in the dystopia genre as I start The Bionics Saga, my take on a robot/zombie apocalypse! A novella is also in the works as a prologue to The Ryn Chronicles, my break away from fantasy and into something much more real, yet very sexy and badass.  

Nadège, thanks so much for joining us today and answering these questions. I like your take on encouraging others to read in your genre. For more on Nadège and her writing, check out her website and her Amazon Author Page, and find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. For additional stops on her virtual book tour, visit her Author Tour Page at Juniper Grove Book Solutions.

Now here’s a brief excerpt from BURNING BRIDGES:
I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, I was going to die tonight. There was no escaping it or any way around it. I couldn’t run from my destiny this time; I couldn’t hide. No, tonight I faced my fate in the chambers of death. The screams of the crowd in the arena filled my ears, the shouts of excitement and laughter boiling my heart down to nothing but untainted sorrow. I refused to open my eyes, but I could sense where I was by that rusty smell of metal and dried blood Father brought home with him every day. The shackles that bound my ankles and wrists to the wall confirmed it. I was a prisoner in my own home, my own Haven. I couldn’t fathom how in forty-eight hours my life had taken a complete three-sixty spin, but here I was, locked in the dungeon of my father’s kingdom, hidden from the world until it was my time to surface.
Burning Bridges Banner
Nadège mentioned the second installment in her series, DECEIVING DESTINY, that is slated to be released this week. Here’s a brief synopsis of it:

Deceiving DestinyWhen your destiny lies in the hands of your enemy, there’s only one thing you won’t do to save the ones you love...
Now free from the walls that confine New Haven, the place she had once believed to be her home, Echo must find a way to put an end to a war only she has the power to stop. She has yet to discover her true abilities as a hybrid leader, but what happens when the dreams that plague her become something more? Someone more? In the midst of exploring her love for Ayden and venturing through forbidden lands for a key that will explain everything, Echo finds Kahl -- the boy that haunts her in her sleep, yet has the hidden answers she seeks. And Echo will do just about anything to get them.

In the second installment of The Bleeding Heart Trilogy, relationships are put to the test, dreams become desires, and ultimately one girl will discover her purpose in a promised legend written in stone. 

With the first installment in her series out and the second about to be released, Nadège is offering a tour wide giveaway, open worldwide, with the following prizes up for grabs:
5 signed print copies of BURNING BRIDGES
2 eBook copies of BURNING BRIDGES

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the awesome giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. Hope you’re ready for the fast approaching holidays. Have you read any books from the YA Dystopia genre? Do you read only by genres or more by how the book interests you?

Here’s a book trailer featuring BURNING BRIDGES for your enjoyment: