Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Review: Cougars and Cubs Anthology

Title: Cougars and Cubs Anthology
Featured Author: Ashley Ladd
Featured Author Website: Ashley Ladd
Additional Authors: KS Augustin, Mia Watts, Catherine Chernow, Elizabeth Coldwell, Imari Jade
Genre: Romance Anthology; Contemporary; Older Woman, Younger Man
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Price: $11.36
Link to purchase Link to purchase

What I liked: Forty-four now, she was a lot wiser than she’d been at twenty-two.

Faye Dunaway once said a woman at 19 is like Switzerland – beautiful but boring.

Nothing heats up the pages like a story filled with lust, passion, and the reckless abandon of living life to the fullest. Move over girls and make way for the women; the sensual women who have desire to spare and the experience of knowing how to really work it. Cougars and Cubs ladies are worldly, sophisticated, voluptuous, and leave their men gasping for more. Guaranteed to add even more heat to your summer, this book is your perfect guilty pleasure this season!

The cornerstone story, Scene of the Crime, introduces readers to Robin who has returned as a history professor to teach at her alma mater. Robin knows better than anyone how history repeats itself; and those who do not learn the lessons of the past are doomed to make the same mistakes. Robin swears that she is over her old ex Phil, but then meets Phil’s studly son. Is Robin’s lust really for Phil, or for this newly updated carbon-copy of manliness? Son or no son there is no denying the intense physical chemistry and who wants to stop anyways?

In the pages of Cougars and Cubs, we meet more red hot mamas and follow their adventurous trysts. Singapore Sizzle’s Sophie grabs on tight to new beginnings and to the dashing Adrian. In Melting Melinda, Melinda fulfills Ethan’s long-time fantasies and shows this young man a thing or two about ecstasy. But since Ethan is Melinda’s best friend’s son, can this be more than a casual fling? Later we see age is no match for sex as Lucky in Love’s Maddie finds her long lost lust rekindled beyond scorching with Jake and his virile physique. In Something With Him, Kate shows her intern Stephen you can only write about what you experience and his research is about to become explosive. Finally in Something to be Thankful For, Julianne balances adult responsibility and sexiness with the untamed Cameron.

These ladies may still worry about their bodies and the opinions of others as they seduce their charges. But soon all those years of pent up sexiness has to go somewhere and it does-right into the arms of some of the hottest guys around. Indulge yourself with these sassy and inspiring reads!

Book blurb: Scene of the Crime by Ashley Ladd

Robin didn't know whether to be relieved or appalled that the sexy man she'd fallen into bed with wasn't her ex-boyfriend, but his adult son.

When Robin returns to her alma mater as a professor of history, she can't believe her ex-boyfriend is still on campus, much less looking so young and buff after twenty years. The sexy-as-hell man she'd seen on her first day back, however, isn't her ex but his adult son. Although she wants nothing to do with either of them, they won't leave her head or her heart alone.

Book Excerpt: Scene of the Crime by Ashley Ladd

Chills struck Robyn Cattrall as she stepped onto the grounds of her alma mater. Memories good and bad blindsided her for several moments. She’d done a lot of soul-searching before accepting a post here as history professor.

But the burnished autumn leaves and chill in the air made her feel alive again. They brought the promise of soon-coming winter with its wonderland of glistening snow, something she’d missed living in south Florida for the past couple of decades.

She consoled herself that as a connoisseur of history, she had learned from past mistakes and knew better than to repeat them. Just because she was back at the scene of her first heartbreak didn’t mean she was doomed to repeat it. She’d make sure she didn’t. Forty-four now, she was a lot wiser than she’d been at twenty-two.

Funny, she felt young on a campus surrounded by twenty-year-olds, especially when a horde of students burst into the sunshine and several young studs eyed her appreciatively.

She did her best not to drool over what might be her future students, and tried hard to keep a pleasantly professional smile. But when she came face to face with the ghost of her first love, Phil Williams, her jaw dropped, her eyes widened and her heart stopped. Unabashedly, she stared.


What was he doing here?

Phil’s glance slid over her without a hint of recognition, and he passed by without a falter in his step.

She hated herself, but she turned and stared at his retreating back as the sea of people parted around her, then swallowed him. How could he not turn to look at her? How could he forget? How could he look so damned good?

She gulped and licked her lips. When someone bumped her, she jolted awake.

Embarrassed, she checked her campus map and hurried to her office.

Tammy Elizabeth Southin

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Hungarian: Budapest Moon (Book One) by Stephanie Burkhart

The Hungarian
Budapest Moon Series (Book One)
by Stephanie Burkhart

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.
Price: $5.99 (Kindle edition)

What I Liked:
I appreciated the newness of the setting. Haven't read many historicals set in Hungary. As it happens, I do love a unique historical. And I think this one was.

And, of course, I happened to have just seen The Wolfman and loved it. Slightly different time period, slightly different plot, but very similar in a lot of good ways. In fact, after awhile of reading The Hungarian, I pulled out my soundtrack from the Wolfman and listened as I went along. Like I said, the plot is different, but I think if you enjoyed the Wolfman movie, you'll enjoy The Hungarian as well.

The hero, Matthias (great name, btw), is a Hungarian count turned werewolf, with a past. And Kate falls in love as much with the mystery of him as his alpha-ness. I appreciated that. I thought the conflict was well-done and interesting. And I actually liked Count Varga, the "villain", who apparently will have his own book coming out in February of 2011. I think that will prove to be another good book. The characters are unique in this book, which promises good things in the series to come. I hope that she'll continue to have the settings be unique and off-the-beaten-path, as well. That was, by far, my favorite part of this book.

Overall, a great historical paranormal read. Worth the time and money to pick it up if this is your arena.

Book Blurb:
Katherine Archibald is in search of a grand adventure. A young woman in late Victorian England, she wants to open up a book store in London and travel Europe hunting down rare books. Love isn't on her map.

Enter Matthias Duma. The Hungarian count captures Katherine's attention like no other man before him with his unusual gold-malachite eyes, his exotic features, and his command of the night sky.

After a night of intrigue during Katherine's birthday, she discovers the map does include love in the legend, but will the map lead her to Budapest and the dark, brooding Hungarian she's just met? 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Review: Haunting Flame by Janice Bennett

Title: Haunting Flame
Author: Janice Bennett
Author Website: Janice Bennett
A Paranormal Romance Regency Novel

Publisher: A Cerridwen Press Publication/Ellora's Cove

ISBN: 9781419925528

What I Liked (Haunting Flame by Janice Bennett): Janice Bennett has written a story about a vivacious heroine who leads a cast of characters that feel more like friends than fiction. It is a sweet romance with a touch of adventure.

Callie is elated to see her childhood friend and crush, Tony, until she realizes that the Peninsula War and a crumbling estate have extinguished the mischief in Tony's eyes. She'd do anything to help him heal even though she knows the result will be his marriage to another woman. Thanks to the lingering spirit of Anne, Tony's spurned ancestor, Callie has just the plan to bring Tony back from the dead.

With the estate in trouble, Tony knows the best way to fullfill the promise to look after Callie is to marry her. Seeing her again makes him believe she deserves a man unbroken, but that makes him even more unhappy. And why is he jealous of the attention she's giving his long dead relative?

While the essence of the dialogue between characters rings true, it sometimes feels like the author struggled to maintain the syntax of the time period. And while the plot was not difficult to ascertain, watching it unfold was enjoyable. It should also be mentioned, for those who have a preference, that this story is a romance in a very literal sense and does not contain explicit or very erotic scenes.

Book Blurb (Haunting Flame by Janice Bennett): When Captain Anthony, Lord Lambeth, returns from the Peninsular War, he is crippled in both body and spirit. He has just inherited an estate in desperate need of repairs and no money to make them. He can’t stomach making the marriage of convenience his family urges on him, avoiding it by vowing to fulfill a promise to his dying friend to look after his impoverished little sister—by marrying her.

The lively Calpurnia Rycroft has worshipped Tony since they were children and is appalled by his depression. She agrees to an engagement to give him time to recover—though it will break her heart when he eventually marries someone more suitable.

The ring he gives her turns icy on her hand and a ghostly flame emerges from it. Callie realizes the ghost wants something from her, but is it revenge or help? The search is on to find the answers, but as Tony’s spirits improve, Callie sees her chance of love slipping away.

Book Excerpt (Haunting Flame by Janice Bennett):

“Oliver asked me to look after you—”

“Oh he did, did he?” she muttered.

“Of which I’ve done a deplorable job since my return. And since I must have a bride and I have no desire to seek one in London this seemed the obvious and sensible solution.”

“Obvious and sensible.” She directed a falsely sweet smile at him. “Let me understand you. You wish to marry me for the sole purpose of fulfilling a promise to my brother?”

He regarded her with a puzzled frown. “That and the other reasons I gave you.”

“To be sure. How forgetful of me. Oliver wrote me how your brother played at ducks and drakes with the Lambeth fortune. But do you truly think that marrying me will be less costly than hiring me as a companion for your mother?”

“Lord, you’re not going to be missish are you, Callie? I hadn’t thought it of you.” Abruptly his face clouded. “Or is it that you cannot bear the thought of being leg-shackled to the wreck of a man?”

She closed her eyes, tried to force her soaring temper under control and failed miserably.

“What I cannot bear,” she said through gritted teeth, “is to be married because you happen to find it a convenient solution to your momentary problems. Where will that leave us in a years time when you have recovered much of the use of your leg and your mamma has had her fill of my acid tongue?” She surged to her feet. “You may take your obliging proposal, my lord, and go to the devil with it!"

Interview and Contest!

Amy Ramsey of Ramsey's Book Reviews was kind enough to interview me today at Although she focused on my new print release, Scion, Amy did a great overview of several of my books. If you would like to see what I've been up to, please stop by! There is a week-long contest for a print copy of Scion.

A Pen & Muse Review: HIS SEA GODDESS

Author: Marisa Chenery
Author Website:
Genre: A paranormal shape-shifter Quickie
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave:
Info: ISBN: 9781419924927
Price: $2.49 Available as e-book


The author paints a picture of a middle eastern seaside paradise. Her workaholic hero, Jarrett, survives a life-threatening encounter while scuba diving. Saved by a sea creature, his wounds attended to by a mysterious goddess, Jarrett finds himself propelled into a mystical haven and into the arms of a beautiful woman who cannot be true.

I liked Hatmehyt right away. Her need to protect an unknown mortal visiting her world made me smile. Their instant attraction kept me reading. Spicy yet poignant love scenes add to the story. Jarrett’s pain and worsening illness tests Hatmehyt’s devotion. Jarret’s prayer to the God Ra proves he loves her. There is a lot of story tucked in this novella and I look forward to reading all the books in the Goddess Revealed series.


Book four in the Goddess Revealed series.
After a near miss with a shark while diving in the Red Sea in Egypt, Jarrett is rescued by a dolphin and unwillingly dragged to an underwater chamber. But it isn’t just any dolphin. Wounded and unsure of his surroundings, Jarrett watches in awe as the dolphin shifts into a beautiful woman he is unable to resist.
Hatmehyt, an Egyptian goddess, was drawn to the man swimming near the reef while in her dolphin form, but soon realizes Jarrett is her mate. Unable to thrive on land, she has to make the painful choice to either keep him with her or let him go to the surface when the shark bite he received threatens his life.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Review: Owned By Rome by Katalina Leon

Title: Owned by Rome

Author: Katalina Leon

Author Website:

Genre: Historical – Roman

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave

Price $6.99

Link to purchase

What I liked: First, I have to say how much I adore this cover. For me it simply sizzles from the screen and draws me in to learn more.

I don’t normally read a lot of historicals, but I am fascinated by ancient periods and especially the Romans. They were cruel, violent, deviant, loving, and among other things indulgent. And in Owned by Rome you see all of this. Atellus is a strong and noble hero that any woman would fall for and Rutila is the willful and strong type of heroine we’d all wish to be. In fact, all of the characters are richly drawn, from the disgusting cousin of Atellus to the slaves that wish to save Rutila from needless suffering when she faces death.

When I got to the end of this book I felt like I’d been on an epic journey. There were moments of highs and lows throughout that made it all very real. Atellus and Rutilla worked hard for their romance and I cheered them on the whole way. In the midst of fighting, hunger, and some emotional exhaustion there were some beautiful spicy moments. Some light bondage and domination elements are included as well.

The only issue that ever pulled me out of the story was some of the latin. While appropriate for the story, a bit less might have been easier on me as a reader. Still, I loved this story and highly recommend it and plan to check out more of Ms. Leon’s work.


On the edge of the Roman Empire, Queen Boudica’s rebellion has ended. A time of great tragedy has passed. Atellus, a Roman magistrate living in Gaul, discovers he’s no longer sympathetic to Rome and must now question every facet of his life.

A cunning Celtic woman with golden-red hair arrives in the slave markets, defiant and angry—a danger to anyone foolish enough to purchase her. As punishment for her willfulness, she is to be offered as a sexual favor to Roman guests at a lavish feast and put to death for their entertainment.

For Atellus, it’s love at first sight. He wants to own her. They embark on an erotically turbulent journey through a lonely Celtic forest. He suspects his beautiful slave is harboring a painful secret and must never again speak her true name. She is Celtic royalty—the last of her kind.

In the heart of the forest, strong-willed lovers clash, fall in love and catch a glimpse of what the future can be if both can learn to trust and forgive.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Review: Lust Bites Carnal Lust by Ashley Ladd

Title: Lust Bites Carnal Lust
Author: Ashley Ladd
Author Website: Ashley Ladd
Genre: Historical – 1400/Vampire/Paranormal/Time Travel
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Price: $2.96
Link to purchase

What I liked: The woman laughed in his face and circled him. With great disdain she regarded him from head to toe. She licked her finger then slid it along the tip of his sword. When the weapon drew blood, she stared at her injury then sucked her finger quite suggestively. “Impressive, but you don’t scare me.”

If we were given the chance to see into the past and the future what would we dread the most? Would we discover something so powerful that the very existence of all life is threatened with obliteration? Even more unsettling is the fact that this powerful force must be destroyed before it is too late, but that same force reaches a place deep within us and stirs up the most intense passion and sexual desire.

Kes travels through time in her quest to destroy the beast she knows is responsible for bringing pain and suffering to her family and to the rest of society. Kes is on a quest to avenge the evil of the past making this a very personal journey. But how can she ignore those lusty erotic nightly visits that go beyond mere mortal dreams as her body is invaded by the handsome force that matches her in strength, intelligence, and sexual appetite.

Nikolai may be the most powerful force, but he is rendered virtually helpless to overcome his desire to be with the woman who intrigues and even scares him. As Kes and Nikolai ravage each other’s bodies, will they unite as a single force to save the future? Or will one have to destroy the other in the name of preservation and ultimate sacrifice?

In Carnal Lust, Ashley Ladd whirls readers through the ages on a journey that is timeless; a journey of facing great decisions made with both the heart and the mind. Would we have the strength to know what is right or would we surrender to self gratification?

Book blurb: Kes is obsessed with killing Nikolai – to prevent him from destroying Earth nine hundred years into the future.

Kes is obsessed with eliminating Nikolai before he's reborn as the evil vampire who destroys Earth and propels her family into the past.

Once she finds the Nikolai of her present is a good and kind man she's not sure she can hold the very sexy human accountable for something he hasn't yet done.

Book Excerpt: Kes languished in the arms of her lover, a man she knew not by name but by his deep, sexy voice and his intoxicating kisses. She bade the sun not to set so she could steal more time in his arms, for when the moon chased the sun out of the sky, her lover would evaporate and she would be thrust back into the real world. And the real world was hell.

But this was heaven, if a vampire could be in heaven. She writhed and twisted in his arms, pressing her naked flesh to his. He was lithe and strong for a human, and he never failed to pleasure her.

“Are you in the mood to play, milady?” her lover murmured against her flesh.

She tilted her lips into a smile and nodded. “Wild and rough.”

He beamed at her with a sparkle in his eyes. “Whatever milady wishes.”

When he shackled her to the bed posts, her stomach pressed to the mattress, her legs spread wide, she didn’t demur. She squirmed with anticipation, her pussy clenching.

She turned her head and watched as he spread oil over his beautiful cock and then climbed aboard the bed. She lay there helpless, swaying with the motion as he approached stealthily. Her ass clenched, too, yearning for his touch. When he delivered a stinging slap to her bare buttocks, she screamed in a mixture of pain and pleasure. Never before had anyone spanked her, and she tingled.

Titillated, she rubbed her breasts against the bed, cajoling him to unite with her. But he sat beside her and ran the tips of his fingers across her back, to the edges of her breasts then pulled back. He walked them to the small of her back and withdrew again.

“Do you not wish to make love to me? To fuck me?”

“Are you that anxious to feel my cock move inside you? To be one with me?” He drew himself up to his knees and drew the tip of his cock along her side.

He bent by her ear and dipped his tongue inside. Then he whispered huskily, “Does that feel good? How bad do you want it?”

Her rear throbbed with an exquisite ache but not enough. She yearned for much more. “I crave your cock. I want you to fill me, to be inside me. Now.”

Tammy Elizabeth Southin

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Deadline Approaching for Short Story Contest!

The Pen & Muse Blog proudly presents

a Romance Short Story Contest!

This is it's second year and running!
This contest is open to published/unpublished writers.
There will be two categories/divisions for winners,
published and unpublished.

Grand Prize:

Apple Ipod Shuffle (Your choice in color) $60 Value


Interview on the Blog with Story published on the blog.

Second Prize Winner:
$15 Amazon Gift Certificate

Third Prize Winner:
$10 Amazon Gift Certificate
Certificate & Honorable Mention

What Genre's are accepted:






Story length: 10,000 (no more than 10,000 for minimum) It can be longer than 10, 000.

Deadline: June 25, 2010

Please email :thepenmuse(at)

Subject : Short Story Contest

Please be sure to specify your genre and if you are published
or unpublished. There will be winners in both the published and unpublished categories.

Also you may submit in certain formats: .doc, pdf, and rtf.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Review: Always a Bridesmaid by Elaine Hopper

Title: Always a Bridesmaid
Author: Elaine Hopper
Author Website: Elaine Hopper
Genre: Romance: Contemporary Sweet Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Price: $4.50
Link to purchase

What I liked: She had to stop living in the past. From now on, she would put one foot in front of the other and start living. Not just the admirable show of it she’d been putting on all those years. But for real.

Life moves forward, yet events from our past can be so powerful that their grip keeps a part of us stuck and unable to move on. We try to drown out the painful past with a busy current life, but there is always something reminding us that until we deal with the unfinished business, the past will not only influence our present but overshadow it completely.

Breanna Parker fled her hometown physically but not emotionally. No matter how much physical distance Breanna has put between herself and the tragic events in her past, she has yet to fully acknowledge and deal with these chapters in her life. Forced to return home to take part in her sister’s wedding, Breanna must confront her ex-fiancĂ© but more importantly she must confront herself. If she is to ever get past her mixed feelings for the emotionally immovable Troy Youngblood, Breanna will need to dig deep down to find the inner strength she never knew she had.

In Always a Bridesmaid, author Elaine Hopper draws the reader into a story of two wounded parties bent on clinging to their painful pasts. Troy and Breanna share a difficult past but there is no denying the powerful chemistry between them in the present. Neither Troy nor Breanna want the other to see their vulnerability and fiercely hold onto their hurt and anger. Each fears what will be left behind when they let go.

Book blurb: Hell has finally frozen over. After nine long years, Breanna Parker has come home to be her sister's maid of honor. Just her luck that the first person she runs into is her ex-fiancĂ©, Troy Youngwolf—the man who eloped with her ex-best friend and broke her heart. Now a widowed father and sheriff of their Florida home town, sexy bad boy Troy wants another chance and won't take no for an answer. However, every time Breanna looks at Troy or his little girl, her heart breaks anew. She can hardly wait for her sister to get hitched so she can escape back to her urban family in Ft. Lauderdale. The risk is too high that Troy may discover her most closely held secret, one with the potential to destroy them both…perhaps this time forever.

Book Excerpt: “So this is how the worldly Breanna behaves in her off-duty hours?” Troy righted Breanna, his hands lingering on her arms.

She stepped back, quelling the desire to rub away his prints. She chafed that Sierra was getting a big head start and she was left alone with Troy. “What are you doing in my house? Daddy’s not home.”

“Is that how you greet your boss? Or your old flame?”

Fire smoldered in Troy’s eyes as mischief danced in his voice. Knowing Sierra was way ahead, she sighed. “What do you want? More memos copied? Someone to pour you a coffee?” she said with saccharine sweetness, vowing to return to college and upgrade her career.

“I stop by periodically to make sure everything’s okay. This is my last stop of the day.” He didn’t move to leave. “Everything okay here?”

Was he daring her to make him leave? She scowled. “Only if you call having a crazed sister okay. Or having my boss intrude on my personal space.”

He didn’t blink, just advanced a step. “Is being around me really that bad? You didn’t used to think so.”

Before she realized his intentions, Troy backed her against the wall and crushed close. He captured her lips in a searing kiss that left her weak-kneed and breathless. Soft hands cupped her face, stilling her head. His hips pinned her to the wall so she couldn’t do more than squirm against his solid frame.

How long they kissed in the hall, she didn’t know. She was powerless to break the kiss—as if she’d been starved for it for years. Shirt balled in her hands, she molded her body to his.

He drew back a short distance. “You can kiss me like that and still say you hate me?”

Tammy Elizabeth Southin

Monday, June 21, 2010

Review: Eagle's Run

Eagle's Run
By: Desiree Holt
Genre: Erotica
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Price: $5.20

What I liked:

Ms. Holt is a very engaging writer who can bring her Texan setting to life. Leah Morgan, owner of White Eagle Ranch, is suddenly faced with an unsolved murder and two illegitimate half brothers. She finds solace in the arms of Shane Duffy, hot-blooded veterinarian. As expected in the Erotica genre, their sex was quite hot, frequent, descriptive and satisfying.

The crime which sparks the story is clear, and the villain strongly foreshadowed. Although I did enjoy following the relationship between Leah and Shane - and her new family members - I felt that the plot needed more of a twist; it turned out exactly how I thought it would.

That said, if you enjoy crime drama with erotica, expect to be thoroughly entertained with an evening’s read of “Eagle’s Run.”


Leah Morgan forced herself to sit still in the massive leather chair, moving only her eyes as she scanned the occupants of the law office. No one looking at her could tell her heart was racing and her blood pounding as if she’d just exploded in the throes of orgasm. For a brief moment, as the full scenario she faced hit her, she wished herself back generations. Today she wanted to be one of the fierce Comanche warriors she’d read so much about, brandishing a spear, the light reflecting off the war paint streaking her face as she attacked.

It took every bit of her self-control to tamp all of that down, put a tight lid on it and assess the situation.


She snorted. Now there was a word for you. This was far more than a situation.

She’d come here today for what she thought was a mere formality, a scan of some documents, a few signatures. She’d actually almost forgotten the appointment until Amos DeWitt, her father’s long-time attorney, had called to remind her. Shouldn’t take too long, he told her. Just the reading of the will. Then she could get back to the ranch—her ranch—White Eagle Ranch—and on with her life.

Not for the first time she cursed the poachers who somehow managed to breach their fence lines in the dark of night and shoot the white-tail deer that ran wild on their ranch. A large herd ranged over their property but White Eagle wasn’t a hunting preserve and they didn’t even allow licensed hunters. And now, she was sure, one of those scumbags had been responsible for her father’s death. The grief she’d suffered since her father’s murder simmered beneath the surface, a luxury she didn't have time to indulge in at the moment. She couldn’t afford to. She had work to do. Responsibilities to take care of. But walking into the familiar law office had changed everything. She stopped at the sight of the two men waiting with Amos. The last thing she’d expected was to be told they were her illegitimate half brothers. She’d stumbled to the closest chair, fisting her hands to control the quaking inside her.

Illegitimate half brothers?

Joe’s children?

Kris Tualla

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Review: Deceptions

Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Five Star/Gale
Price: $25.95
What I liked: 
Have you ever wished for something, you got it, and realized that it was not exactly like what you thought it was going to be? That is what Catherine finds out in Clay's book Deceptions.
The story begins in England with Catherine about to be wed to a creditor of her guardian, but her heart belongs with another that went to The New World. She comes up with a plan and escapes to Virginia, where she finds out that the man that she loves is with another.

She flung herself into his arms and, burying her face in his shoulder, drank in his familiar scent, "I am bereft without you. Please say we can now be wed."
He pushed her from him as he barged into the house. "There are things I must take care of before I marry again."
"What things?" she cried. "You are free, I am free, what can possibly stand in our way now?"
"Plenty." He sat down on the stump before the low-burning fire.
"I don't understand." She stood before him wringing her hands.
"Benson is making it impossible for me to marry again."
Catherine sucked in her breath. "How can he do such ?"
Noah snorted. "Benson can do anything he pleases."
Tears sprang to Catherine's eyes. "But surely you can do something, Noah."
"Don't fret, sweeting. We can be together, we just cannot be...married."
This tale let's you in the head of an early colonist, and the many trials that she goes through.
I enjoyed this read for the realness of the situations and the characterization. Clay really made everything come alive.

Excerpt at the hyperlink above.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Review: Cross Check My Heart By Kerri Nelson


Cross Check My Heart

by Kerri Nelson
Price: $ 4.50

Genre: Romance
Sub Genre: Sports
Purchase:Buy Here
Publisher: Eternal Press
What I liked: Sign me up to be a sports therapist! I want my own Danny Cipriani! A man who cooks, is passionate, plays sports, and has amazing blue eyes... Sigh. Jana is one lucky girl to have help from this type of guy and boy will she need it because she is  hiding a past so big, I'm not sure Danny knows everything about it. Whose to stop love? Apparently some guys with guns who have been hunting poor Jana or is it .. someone else? Not everything is all that it seems...Nelson conveys the story beautifully through these two great characters and makes us all want to find that happily ever after. Nelson combines romance and sports that mimics one of my favorite movies, The Cutting Edge.. If you love sports, romance, and well amazing characters, you cannot miss this story! I look forward to reading more of Kerri Nelson's work!

Book Blurb:
One woman running from her past, one man chasing his future…when their worlds collide, passion and danger ignite the way! 
He’s on the run from something ominous in her past. She escapes to a new town and a new job as the physical therapist for the U.S. Hockey Team, which is preparing for the Winter Olympics.

He’s a veteran hockey player with a secret of his own that threatens his chances at making the final cut for the team.

He shifted his stance and tried to shake the naughty images from his mind. 

Get a grip Cipriani! This is serious business, and it’s no time to be making her into your fantasy girl. 

As he chastised himself internally, she sat up and eyed him from the floor.

“Are you okay?” she asked raising one eyebrow at him. 

This was the first time he’d really been able to look at her face, and she was even more beautiful than he could have imagined.



Review: Digging Deeper by Barbara Elsborg


Digging Deeper

Barbara Elsborg

Genre: Contemporary Comedy

Publisher: Cerridwen Press


What I liked: One thing is clear- you never know quiet what you're going to find wen you start digging.

This line says it all about this story. This story follows the story of Beck and Flick. Two cast of characters in their own worlds until they meet each other. Beck has a dream since he was young and is passionate about archaeology, which I loved because it was also a passion of mine. It was great to see a hero with intelligence instead of brawn for once. I also loved Flick, she is passionate yet clumsy which helps her keep meeting Beck in the funniest of ways. The characters, the plot, and the dialogue was great, it all fit like a puzzle. Elsborg knows how to create and was certainly in her element when writing this story. This is a story for those of us that love life and have a passion for things, but find romance in the most interesting of ways. This is a must read and I would recommend it to those who love romance and the comedy that always seems to follow it.

Book Blurb:

Archaeologist Beck isn’t expecting much to come out of this summer’s dig. While his colleague spends the summer in Italy, Beck draws the short straw supervising a group of archaeology students excavating on the grounds of Hartington Hall in Yorkshire. Little does Beck realize when he saves a redhead from the attentions of an amorous ram, that this accident-prone female will throw his ordered life into chaos.


The last thing Flick needs in her life is a digger, because some secrets are meant to stay buried. Very deep. But Beck is irresistible. She’d love to get him into bed, though after the incident at the swimming pool, the collapsing wall, the snake bite and the unexploded bomb—a hospital bed looks more likely. As their relationship lurches from one disaster to another, Beck has to delve deep to get to the bottom of this irrepressible redhead.


One thing is clear—you never know quite what you’re going to find when you start digging.




You are Cordially Invited..

Gabriel Timar

Cordially invites you and your friends to the

Toronto Small Press Book Fair

In the Great Hall

1087 Queen Street West

On June 19, 2010 from 11 a.m to 5 p.m.

To launch his latest novel

Heroes or criminals

Although viewed from the Axis side, this is a realistic, though entertaining, thought provoking, and unbiased account of the Second World War. The pace of the adventures of Mark Kende, a Hungarian infantry officer accelerates as a runaway train paralleling the decay of the Axis war-machine. The politically aware reader interested in the realities of war will find answers to many provocative questions. Although it is a work of fiction, many episodes are based on fact. Therefore, some graphic descriptions might be upsetting.

Available in paperback and digital format

ISBN 978-1-897521-21-2

Author profile:

Publisher:XoXoPublishing ™


Cordially yours

Gabriel Timar

Review: The Unsaid Book One: The Unsaid Trilogy by Sally Royer-Derr

Title: The Unsaid Book One: The Unsaid Trilogy
Author: Sally Royer-Derr
Author Website: Sally Royer-Derr
Genre: Mainstream Romance: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Price: $2.99
Link to purchase

What I liked: I’ve only known his a few days, but I feel like he knows everything about me.

Entering into a new relationship is exciting especially during the first few ‘getting to know you’ encounters. You swear that you have finally met not only the man of your dreams but your true soul mate; the person you were destined to be with. The powerful connection between you both is undeniable and you feel perfectly safe in baring your entire self.

But is it ever entirely safe to reveal all of the events from your past? Could revealing the one deep secret held so close to your heart threaten more than just this new relationship?

In The Unsaid, the first book and sizzling jumping point for The Unsaid Trilogy, Amy Hunter is the heroine we can relate to. A strong and courageous woman, Amy is starting over in her new career and new life. Believing that she is finally free from her secretive past, Amy is ready for change and will not let anything stand in her way. Until the past, with all its vengeance, is back to remind Amy that she can never truly be free

Author Sally Royer-Derr carefully interweaves Amy’s past with the present in this lively-paced suspense thriller. Amy has just met the handsome hero Danny Lopez and is falling madly for his warmth and how he makes Amy feel safe and secure. In an ironic twist of fate, it is because of her past that Amy comes into contact with Danny. Her past is responsible for this fated meeting but at the same time threatens to expose Amy’s painful secret. Not only does she face losing Danny, Amy faces losing her own self.

Royer-Derr’s Unsaid provides a glimmer of hope in the midst of the most terrifying fear known; those events that could happen to any one of us. This read grabs us from page one, sets the stage for compelling reading, and creates enthusiastic eagerness for the second instalment!

Book blurb: Trying to escape the horrors of her past, Amy Hunter encounters her future. Will she find love with handsome police detective Danny Lopez? Or will Alex, the calculating killer from her past, end her life because of the secret left unsaid for so many years?

Excerpt: The cold steel of the handgun cut into her shaking hand even though she gripped it with an unlikely confidence. A feeling of satisfaction washed over her as she watched him lay motionless on the cold, unforgiving ground. He'd finally received what he deserved. Her body shook, and the gun dropped from her hands, its weight hitting the ground, startling her more than the piercing gunshot. She thought she saw his arm move; her tortured mind raced with possibilities. Crimson blood seeped through his striped Brooks Brothers dress shirt. At the sight of his blood oozing onto the dry earth, a high-pitched, animalistic scream escaped her; the sound ricocheted off the tall trees and gravelly dirt surrounding her. The cry originated from her soul, urging her to disappear into the dark woods that may provide her with sanctuary.

Tammy Elizabeth Southin

Monday, June 14, 2010

Award-Winning Author to Teach UCLA Class for Writers


Contact: Carolyn Howard-Johnson


Fax: 818-790-4299

Phone: 818-790-0502

For Immediate Release

Award-Winning Author to Teach UCLA Class for Writers

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, the multi award-winning author of more than a dozen books, will teach a one-day seminar on book marketing for writers at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program this summer quarter.

The world-renowned program offers writers classes--from the craft of writing to promoting one’s writing--at several different venues and online. Howard-Johnson’s seminar, Creating a Promotion Package for Your Fiction or Nonfiction Book,will be taught Sat. Aug. 7 on the UCLA campus. The class is based on the content of her book The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won’t, winner of USA Book News Award for business books and the Irwin award, given by Book Publicists of Southern California for marketing campaigns.

The author has been and instructor for the Writers' Program since 2004. She has served as a publicist for all her own books (including her poetry chapbooks--the most difficult of all genres to promote), been a fashion publicist in New York City, done the marketing for her own chain of retail stores, and has worked in the publishing industry for Good Housekeeping Magazine and a variety of newspapers and trade publications.

Howard-Johnson was named Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment by the 43rd and 44th District of the California Legislature. Her fiction, nonfiction and poems have appeared in national magazines, anthologies and review journals. One of her poems recently won the Franklin Christoph prize. She speaks on Utah's culture, tolerance and other subjects and has appeared on TV and hundreds of radio stations nationwide.

For more information on UCLA’s Writers’ Program or to request their quarterly extension catalog, call (310) 825-9415. Sign up online atwww.uclaextension.eduThe registration number for the English 735.1 class is 76941.

Howard-Johnson may be reached at ( is also available at http://carolynhoward-johnson.comand .


(Photos, book cover art and a full media kit are available electronically or by post upon request.)

Review: A Hollywood Affair by Sally Royer-Derr

Title: A Hollywood Affair
Author: Sally Royer-Derr
Author Website: Sally Royer-Derr
Genre: Contemporary/Romance; Interracial/Multicultural
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Price: $4.99
Link to purchase

What I liked: “...we are perceptions of who we think we are until something in our lives changes.”

What woman hasn’t stood on a precipice of making an important life-altering decision? No matter the choice, there is a pay the price regardless of the outcome. More often than not, it is the hearts of others and the self that must pay the ultimate price. Is the heart strong enough to take both the pleasure and the pain?

In A Hollywood Affair, we meet Sara Montgomery. Yearning for something, anything to fill the void that threatens to intrude into her comfortable life, Sara takes a chance by meeting her dream actor. Sara’s fling soon turns into an affair that promises the excitement she craves plus important connections to help Sara realize her dormant lifelong dreams.

Watching Sara’s journey develop and countered with numerous flashbacks we are drawn into the powerful pull of wanting to do the right thing versus wanting to do what feels right. We empathize with how Sara questions her previous life choices and the impact those choices have made. Now she has the chance to correct the wrong turns she made. As readers, we see much of ourselves as we identify with Sara. We keep peeking over our shoulders to the past while we wish the future would unfold to our desires. Sara’s struggle with her feelings reminds us of our own lives as we deal with the 'what ifs' of the past and the future.

Book blurb:

Sara Montgomery's comfortable suburban life is turned upside down when handsome Hollywood actor, Enrique Alvarez, enters her life. Restlessness with her life drove her into his arms, but passion kept her there — a passion for him and for the love of writing he ignited once again. This burning need brings Sara a Hollywood success exceeding her wildest dreams. Everything that she thought was true in her life has changed, but at what cost?


He saw her standing there wearing a black dress that hung just above her knees. Sara Montgomery. The woman he spoke to and thought about daily. She looked young to him, even though he was two years her junior. Her long chestnut brown hair tumbled down her slim shoulders, and her alabaster skin made a nice contrast against the dark material. He admired the full breasts that swelled under her dress and the curve of her hips beneath the clothing. She peered around the lobby, obviously looking for him. He walked toward her.

She held on to a column, trying to peek around into the lounge. She looked damned cute.


He inhaled her sweet scent, like lilacs on a summer day, as he kissed her soft cheek. The rush of feelings, being so close to her, surprised him. The chemistry between them almost crackled.

They stared at each other for a moment. Sara reached out to touch his smiling lips. He grasped her hand on his lips, wanting to feel more of her.

“Do you want to eat lunch?” He stroked her hand.

“No.” Her eyes locked with his.

“Do you want to go to my room?” He waited for her answer with anticipation. I hope she says yes.


Tammy Elizabeth Southin

Review: Bonded Souls by Nina Pierce

Title: Bonded Souls
Author: Nina Pierce
Author Website:
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Shape Shifter
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Price $5.20
Link to Purchase

What I liked: Bonded Souls by Nina Pierce was a great little story. Hot and sexy with a little suspense to keep you turning the pages to the end. I like a heroine who’s not afraid to walk into a bar and take what she came for and then some, and Jayda is just that kind of woman.

When it comes to shifters, I love seeing an alpha male meet his mate. Cole gets hit hard but then things get complicated when his duties put him in direct opposition with his desires. The conflict between right and wrong and what your heart desires is what makes for a great read. Not to mention the action, the creepy villain and the protective pet to warm every pet lover’s heart.

Ms. Pierce’s writing is as lovely as ever and I for one can’t wait to get my hands on more.

Book Blurb:

After finding out her boyfriend is married, veterinarian Jayda Kynslan decides to give up men. She has every intention of planting her feet firmly on the path of celibacy—right after one more night of shameless sex with a stranger. A vacation in Montana would certainly ease the pain of betrayal and offer her anonymity.

Police chief and wolf shifter council leader Cole Takoda needs a break from investigating the murders of shifters plaguing his town. When a beautiful stranger seduces him at the local tavern, it’s more than a tryst…it’s uncontrollable desire. And Cole can’t stand it. To top it off, their quickie becomes a revelation of shifter secrets and unfulfilled prophecies.

The discovery of a dead man in the forest behind Jayda’s rented cabin thrusts her into a foreign world of animal shifters and murder, and the man she thought was only a casual diversion seems to be the only one willing to hear her side of the story. Jayda’s just not sure if Cole’s going to take her to jail—or his bed.


“I know it’s hard to go through the details over and over, but I need you to tell me everything that happened from the time you left the tavern last night until you found the body this afternoon.” Cole settled in the overstuffed chair across from the couch, too far from her to be of any comfort.

Jayda wanted to crawl into Cole’s lap and have his arms, strong and warm, wrapped around her. She wanted him to kiss her passionately and tell her everything would be all right. But the hungry eyes that had gazed at her naked flesh last night were now cold nuggets of blue ice, looking out through a hard mask of professionalism. As much as she’d like to remind him of the passion that transpired between them, Cole was obviously here in an official capacity and cuddling her certainly wasn’t part of the job description. Jayda folded her feet up under her, covering her shivering muscles with the afghan. Fine, if he wanted a detached rendition of her side of the story, she could manage that.

Thirty minutes later, after she’d shared nearly all the activities of the last twenty hours of her life, leaving out the details of her shower and the sexy dreams, Jayda fell back against the couch. Reliving the scene in the forest had really shaken her up.

“You’re sure that’s it?” Cole asked.

Jayda couldn’t keep the confusion from contorting her face. “What else would there be?”

“You don’t remember seeing the kid at the Bull?”

“I already told you I didn’t.” She’d gone over the details of her visit to the tavern—twice. Jayda had no idea what Cole was searching for. “There were lots of people at the tavern, Cole. I’m not going to remember one stranger from another.”

His features softened as he tucked away his professionalism with his notepad. “I believe you, Jayda.”

“I was beginning to wonder.”

“Word’s going to get out that we were together last night and I didn’t want to be accused of showing any favoritism toward a witness.” He leaned forward and brushed his knuckles over the back of her hand still wrapped around the coffee mug like a life preserver. “You got more of that? I think we could both use something to ward off this chill.”

“In the kitchen.”

“I’ll get it.” He stood and offered to take the cup from her, but she waved him off. Somehow having Cole in her kitchen, pouring himself a mug of coffee, would feel too much like a morning-after scenario and she just couldn’t deal with that.

On autopilot, Jayda stood, walked around the couch and down the tiny hall to the kitchen nook. The ticking of Lady’s nails on the wood floor was the only sound filling the awkward silence. The police officer following her certainly didn’t seem to be the same passionate man who had held her last night, and she really needed that man right now. Being in a strange town and apparently the sole connection to a murder was taking its toll. A little compassion would certainly go a long way.

The smell of burned coffee assaulted her nose. “It’s old. Let me make some more.” With shaky hands, she reached for the pot, the decanter bumping several times against the machine.

“Don’t.” Cole came up behind her, his hand covering hers, solid and warm. He guided the coffeepot back into place and snapped off the machine. The hard planes of his chest pressed solidly against her back. With a sigh, Jayda’s head fell back as she leaned against him, seeking comfort she so desperately needed. There was no one else to share this horror with. Not here. Not back in Blackfish Springs where she’d given up all her friends for a man who loved someone else. Cole was all she had, and as temporary as their connection might be, Jayda would take all he had to offer.

He turned her to face him and she looked up into the compassion filling his eyes.

She touched the bruise on his cheek.

“Gift from the kids’ brawling last night. I forgot to duck.” Cole took her hand and kissed her fingertips. “It’s going to be all right,” he said.

“Is it?” she asked softly. “Is a person ever the same after finding a human being slaughtered?” The tears she’d held at bay all afternoon finally released.

Cole sandwiched her face in his hands and wiped the tears with his thumbs. When he bent close, she closed her eyes, anticipating the softness of his lips on hers. He didn’t disappoint. The heat of his mouth seared through her, and she opened to him, inviting his tongue to delve in to taste and explore. He tasted of fresh mountain air, hot male lust and something uniquely his. And before she could assimilate their connection, it was there again, flowing over her with the power of a tidal wave, the feeling of being swaddled by the quintessence of Cole. It wasn’t just the heat of his arms around her or the solid wall of him pressing against her from breastbone to knee, but the complete meshing of her life force with his.

But that thought was insane.

She wanted him only because he was here and familiar. Lust and need had simply been forged in the heat of adversity, making her believe it was something more pulling her toward him. This was about the sex and feeling blood searing hot through her veins and the touch of another human being. Not about intimate connections or bonds. What Cole felt for her didn’t matter. Right here, right now, she simply needed him.

He pulled from her mouth, his gaze raking her face. “This is wrong to want you so badly, but I can’t help myself. Tell me to stop now and I will.” His needy pants feathered across her lips. “I’ll die a slow, agonizing death but I’ll stop.”

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Review: Fever Dreams by Cate Masters

Title: Fever Dreams
Author: Cate Masters
Author Website:
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: Eternal Press
Price: $5.95
Link to Purchase

What I liked:

Fever Dreams is a well-written contemporary novel that delves into the emotional journey of a woman deeply entrenched in a life headed nowhere. Her determination to find something better without destroying everyone she knows is something we can all identify with. I was quite happy to see her leave her boring boyfriend Adam behind, and take on the challenge of a new job away from her friends and family.

When Diana met Cal at her new place of employment she was thrust into a world of dark dreams and intense attraction. Two very flawed people come together in passion that can’t be denied and take you along on an unsuspected path where the line between love and obsession get very blurry. I do have to admit that prior to the hero and heroine meeting, there were times I grew impatient with the authors pacing and felt we were in unnecessary scenes. However, if you are looking for something different from the usual romance story, this would be the book for you.

Book blurb:

When Diana Taylor changes jobs, she doesn’t expect it to change her life. Meeting Cal opens up a new world of passion. He encourages her to pursue her passion for photography. Her love overwhelms her, blurs the line between reality and dreams. But is it love or obsession?


Cocking his jaw, he scanned the room. “Last weekend, I called your apartment about twenty times.” His short laugh revealed his embarrassment.

“I moved,” she stammered. So that’s what he tried to tell her that morning when Jack interrupted.

He flicked his gaze to hers. “I know… now.”

“I didn’t realize.” What an idiot she’d been. “I disconnected my answering machine.” Trying to avoid Adam’s calls.

The ring of her cell phone interrupted. Adam’s name showed in the display. So much for her avoidance techniques. She sent the call to voicemail.

By his forcibly dissolved grin, he must have deduced the caller had been Adam.
She had to cut to the quick. She knit her brow. “Look, I don’t play games.” Losing had grown tiresome.

“Me either,” he quickly agreed, the image of sincerity.

If only he didn’t look so good—his hair uncombed, the layers tousled. His steely blue eyes piercing hers. “Why are you here? You said you don’t want to get involved with a coworker.”
He slid toward her. “I said I was hesitant to get involved.”

“No, no, no.” To put distance between them, she stood and paced in front of the table. “I distinctly remember your exact words. You said you did not want to be involved. And, it’s probably the best solution.” She stopped and folded her arms, avoiding his gaze. Until he spoke in that deep, low voice that reached inside, twined around her spine. Made her yearn to open herself as never before.

“Maybe I was wrong.” He spoke slowly. Deliberately. “Maybe I didn’t know how much I wanted you.”

A shiver ran through her, and she could barely respond. “Oh.”

Narrowing his eyes, he studied her. “You scare me.”

“Scare is probably not an adequate word for what you do to me.” She wouldn’t be able to articulate how he made her feel—unlike her usual self, but more like her true self than ever. As if his presence uncovered her core.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Review: Spirals by Beth Carter

by Beth Carter

Genre: Multicultural Menage Fantasy Erotica
Publisher: Loose Id
Cost: $5.99

What I Liked:
This was a very interesting premise. The sort of futuristic dystopic fantasy, I haven't seen yet in the erotic romance arena, so it was very interesting to read this book and get a picture for what was coming. I did like that it was multicultural, and I like that the cover art reflects that. I've read far too many books with multicultural characters that didn't have appropriate cover art, so that was good. And I thought the choice to set part of the book in Montana was a nice touch (since I'm from Montana, and live very close to the place she was writing about, I found it particularly interesting).

I still find it very interesting to explore the concept of menage in romance. I've seen a couple of books do this really well in the last few months, and I'm interested to see what will happen in this genre in the future. There's a different kind of love story that takes place when you're writing menage, and it needs to be reflected in the plotting as well as in the relationship. I thought this book did a pretty good job of that. I'm interested to read more of this menage romance in the future.

Book Blurb:
Kaori Carnelian was only sixteen when Los Angeles was hit by an earthquake that devastated it. With the world trying to recover from a plague that has wiped out half of the population, she learns how to survive by her wits and a great ability to hide, scavenging through what is left of LA.
Years later, the government sends in recon men Sergeants Tobias Noble and Orion West to find any survivors before another earthquake destroys everything. They spiral her world out of control in a very delicious way. But when the men have to go find two others in their regiment that are missing, Kaori has to decide if her love outweighs her instinct for surviving.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Review: Island Fantasy by Ava McKnight


Island Fantasy

Author: Ava McKnight

Genre: Contemporary/Romance

Publisher: Ellora's Cave

What I liked: I really enjoyed this story. It was set in modern day and was very straight to the point. It was also easy to follow. I felt sorry for Jewel once I learned her story and I enjoyed J.T. He's the alpha dog who knows how to pick a girl and then sweep her off her feet! This is a beautiful tale about a girl finding out that there are happily ever afters.


Book Blurb:


Jersey-girl-turned-islander Jewel spends her days hosting fishing excursions on her father’s boats. After ten years on the island, she’s learned to avoid vacationers with sexy smiles and promises they can’t keep. Until gorgeous J.T. Hollander arrives, a man whose mouth and hands she wants all over her body.


J.T.’s just looking for a little R&R on the remote Caribbean island…until he meets Jewel. A beautiful topless woman in paradise is one temptation that’s simply too irresistible to pass up.


But a mainlander on holiday has to return to the real world someday…doesn’t he?


Publisher’s Note: This story was previously published elsewhere under the title Summer Temptation and has been revised for Ellora’s Cave.

You're invited to a summer wedding...

....And what's a wedding without the gifts?!

To take part in a special giveaway attached to my free PPB wedding story, Bloom,
simply visit my blog:

Answer the question in the comments to win a bumper goodie bag filled with
freebies you won't want to miss this summer!

Don't forget to download the other 5 stories in the Pink Petal Books Summer
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