Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chloe’s Double Draw by Fiona Archer ~ Release Day Blitz

Chloe's Double Draw by Fiona Archer
Available today!!!

Chloe Morgan fled to King’s Bluff, Wyoming, to start a new life. With a past that haunts her, the shy schoolteacher must make a choice. She can hide away and protect her secrets or embrace the acceptance of the small community. 

Noah King and Flynn Taylor have traveled the world as members of Australia’s elite SAS. They’ve earned scars, both inside and out. Now powerful influencers in King’s Bluff, a town founded by Noah’s ancestors, the men have made a haven from the ranch Noah inherited. 

One look at Chloe convinces Noah and Flynn she’s worth pursuing. Introducing her to BDSM and the ménage lifestyle accepted by the town will be a hard sell. She’s scared, skittish, and refusing their advances. 

As the two Doms fight to gain her trust, Chloe’s past crashes in on them, threatening their futures. When a man obsessed with her tracks down his prey, nobody could have imagined how high the stakes would go.

Buy it at

Contest Information:

Fiona is giving away a $10 Gift card to either Amazon or B&N to one lucky commenter. Please fill out the rafflecopter below to enter.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

VBT ~ I Need You For Christmas by Leah Braemel

Please welcome author Leah Braemel to Romance Book Craze. I am so happy to have you. Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I write the way I talk. (I just wish I could edit what I say as easily.)

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I Need You For Christmas
Copyright © 2012 Leah Braemel


The scent of bacon and cinnamon and coffee penetrated Meg’s consciousness long before she convinced her eyelids to open. Accompanied by Ryan’s off-key warbling of “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, she stretched beneath the duvet and planned out her day. Which consisted of…what? Staying in bed all day was tempting, but that probably wasn’t an option, especially since she’d promised Amy she’d help her do her annual Christmas-cookie-making marathon.

Grumbling about having to get up, yet excited to be spending the day with Ryan, she tossed back the covers and padded to the washroom. Once she’d had a shower and dressed, she wandered out to the kitchen where Ryan was frying bacon wearing only a T-shirt and butt-hugging briefs. Standing in the doorway, she stayed quiet, appreciating the sight of his long legs with their muscular thighs and calves from miles of riding his bike over the hilly gravel roads in the area. Legs that had clenched around her the night before, the rough hair tickling her cheeks when she’d gone down on him. Then later, they’d brushed the insides of her thighs when he’d ridden her until they were both out of breath, sweaty and sore and thoroughly satisfied.

The music changed to “Silver Bells”, or as he sang it, Silver Balls. Guys. For such a talented artist, talk about tone deaf.

“Aren’t you worried about grease splatter?” She grabbed a mug and filled it with coffee.

Ever the wise man, he waited until she’d had her first full hit of caffeine before taking the cup and placing it on the counter. As she was about to protest, he wrapped his arms around her. With one hand firmly cupping her butt, he kissed her until they were both breathless.

“I wasn’t expecting you to wake up so early. You were sleeping like a log when I got up.” Ryan’s satisfied smile told her he knew full well he was the reason she’d slept soundly. “I was planning on bringing you breakfast in bed.” His hand squeezed her behind then released her. “But now you’re up, you sit your butt on the couch while I finish here.”

“You spoil me.” She picked up her coffee and headed to the couch, but not before stopping off to admire the seven-foot live pine taking over the corner. Nestled among the original blown glass ornaments and metal pieces Ryan created were a dozen or more embroidered pieces. They’d been his mother’s creations—he’d told her that until his father remarried and his new wife moved in, his mother’s needlework adorned just about every surface in the house.

She stroked the long needles; the scent of pine brought memories flooding back. “Do you remember our first Christmas tree?”

He chuckled. “Not the tree itself, but I remember trying to impress you by driving you out to Shewchuk’s tree farm and getting stuck in the ditch. Not my finest moment.”

“I was remembering what happened after we brought it home.” How they’d made love after they’d decorated it.

“I’ll never forget that part of the day, babe.” His voice was soft.

While she’d always loved the spirit of Christmas, she’d seldom found it at her family’s home. For some reason her parents fought more over the holidays, and the Christmas carols she’d play seldom drowned out the shouting matches. Though she hadn't told him, she suspected Ryan had when he had invited her to his family’s place for Christmas their first year together and included her on the tradition of picking out the family’s tree.

If she hadn’t already been falling in love with him, he’d sealed the deal when he’d said he loved her that afternoon.

*HARLEQUIN COVER ART: Cover Art Copyright© 2010 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. © and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

How did you come up with the title for your current book?

I didn’t. I’d originally submitted the manuscript with a working title of The Art of Love (since Ryan is an artist) but my editor wanted it to be more seasonal, so after much discussion and deliberation she came up with the title.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I based the story upon the theme from O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi, that the best present isn’t something you buy, but the love behind the present, the sacrifice you are willing to make.  

How much of the book is realistic?

I think it is fairly realistic – especially for couples who are forced to be apart for whatever reason. As for the surprises/presents they have planned, I always had it in my head that they had discussed the fact that Meg wasn’t going to be able to get a transfer near Ryan, so their decisions were realistic even if it might have been good idea if they’d mentioned something to the other. 

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

There are a lot of my own experiences and bits of my area in the book. For instance, the mill that Ryan is restoring is based on a real one close to where I live, though I’ve made it a bit fancier.  The story of how Ryan slid his car into the ditch when they were going to get their very first Christmas tree together is based on something that happened to hubby and I our second Christmas together. The pulled pork poutine in a local town is definitely based upon a dish I ate in a restaurant in Haliburton, the area Porter’s Mill is based upon. And the dragon art that Ryan works on is inspired by a dragon by a local artist too.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I’ve been blessed to have several wonderful authors give me advice throughout my career – Red Garnier and Vivian Arend to name two.

What book are you reading now?

Shiloh Walker’s Stolen.

Thanks again Leah for visiting Romance Book Craze!

I NEED YOU FOR CHRISTMAS available 12-3-2012


Ryan Porter is a sculptor, and beneath his callused hands, even the most rigid metals bend to his will. So, too, does his girlfriend Megan--a confident, strong woman who delights in submitting to Ryan's dominance in the bedroom.
Megan is a Mountie, and she's spent the past few years in the Arctic following her career dreams. Family obligations kept Ryan at home, but their love survived the distance thanks to several hot visits. A Mountie always gets her man, and Megan is bound and determined to keep Ryan.
Now Megan's with Ryan for the holidays...but how long will this visit last? She's always been willing to do anything Ryan desires, but will he finally tell her that all he needs for Christmas is her?

Buy Links: 

Contest Info:

Comment below for a chance to win a book from Leah's backlist. Please leave your email so we can get in touch with you. Winner will be chosen and contacted at the end of the tour. No email = no entry.

Also be sure to head over to Leah's website to join her 

"I Need A Kindle for Christmas" giveaway.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Midnight's Warrior by Donna Grant ~ Excerpt and Contest!!!

Defenders against evil. Bound by the gods. The Dark Warriors are taking their battle from ancient Scotland to the modern world—where a woman’s love can set them free…

For ten long years, Tara has been a woman on the run, hiding from the magic-wielding Warriors and Druids of modern-day Scotland. Now, as a tour guide at a remote Highland castle, she hopes to finally escape her past—until one impossibly gorgeous man enters her life…and exposes her wildest secrets.

For centuries, Ramsey MacDonald has concealed his strength and skill as part Warrior, part Druid, for fear of unleashing the full force of his power. But when he takes Tara into his arms—and seals their fate with a kiss—Ramsey will have to fight for her love…though it may mean losing control of the magic inside him.

Midnight’s Warrior

Dunnoth Tower

Northern Scotland

Tara tapped her toe beneath her desk as she discreetly listened to “Part of Me” on her iPod in one ear. She quite enjoyed her job as a booking agent, tour guide, bookkeeper, and anything else they needed at the castle.

She hadn't thought about where she would go when she left Edinburgh after that disastrous run-in with the Warriors and Druids. She’d driven and driven and driven until the road led her to the sea and Dunnoth Tower.

Tara had stopped at the medieval castle to eat and stretch her legs. She’d been instantly taken with the structure and took the tour of it. To her surprise there had been a position open, and she’d applied. She’d started work that very day.

It had only been a few weeks, but she was thoroughly enjoying her time at Dunnoth, which she hadn’t expected after teaching. Yet, she found the quiet and peace of the castle and the North Sea helped to settle the turmoil inside her.

It also helped that the owners were pleasant, her co-workers friendly, and the tourists so eager to learn about the castle that they weren’t much of a problem to handle.

Although tourism in the middle of January in the far north of Scotland wasn’t much to talk about. Most tourists were at the ski resorts, but come summer, the castle was going to be very busy.

Tara looked forward to it. For now, she was reading over the accounting books to make sure everything was in order, and taking bookings for the castle for the summer months.

A door opened to her left and in walked the newest member of the castle employees. Tara’s mouth had dropped open the first time she saw the tall, black-headed hunk with the amazing gray eyes that seemed to see right into her soul.

That had been the day before. And now, she found herself staring at him again as he walked across the entryway and began to work on the electrical outlet that had shorted out months ago.

Though this time she did manage to keep her mouth closed and not make a complete fool of herself.

He filled out the navy short-sleeved tee to perfection with his thick shoulders and muscular arms. Yesterday evening they’d been hit with a rain and snow mix, and he’d gotten caught it in. When he’d come rushing into the castle with his shirt plastered to his abs, she’d been able to count each and every muscle in that washboard stomach of his.

The sight of it had made her wish she could see him without his shirt on to get a good glimpse of that tanned skin and ripped body.

Tara smiled. She’d always been a sucker for a man who knew how to take care of himself. But with Ramsey it wasn’t just his body.

It was his long, black hair that hung past his shoulders with just a hint of a wave to the shiny locks. He kept it pulled away from his face in a ponytail, but she longed to see him with it down.

Then there was his face. She sighed. And what a face it was. Sculpted jaw with just a small shadow of whiskers, square chin, strong nose, and a high forehead with black brows slashed over his eyes. His lips were full and wide, and he had eyelashes so thick, so black, that any woman would be envious. His steel-gray eyes held a hint of laughter in them, as if he knew far more than anyone around him, and he wasn’t going to share.

“Good morn,” Ramsey said in his deep baritone voice.

A shiver raced over Tara’s skin every time he spoke, as if her body were dialed into his husky voice. 

“Morning, Ramsey.”

“What are you listening to?” he asked. He stopped at the wall and bent to open his toolbox and pulled out a couple of tools.

Tara blinked. “Huh?”

Ramsey glanced at her and smiled. “Your music, lass. What are you listening to?”

“Ah…Katy Perry,” she answered, still baffled that he had known she had her iPod on. She had turned it down low enough so that no one would hear, and the cords to her earplugs were hidden by her hair.

Tara’s heart began to pound as her mind raced. Had the Warriors found her again? She knew their senses – hearing and sight – were enhanced, and there was no way a normal person could hear her music the way she had it. Tara scooted her rolling chair back, prepared to grab her purse and keys and run.

Until she spotted the white cord against her black sweater.
She looked at Ramsey to find him staring at her. After a moment, he shrugged and turned his back to her.

Tara released a long sigh and put her elbow on the desk before she dropped her head into her hand. She was so paranoid. She hated living her life this way, but for her, there wasn’t another way.

Because she was a Druid. And not just any Druid.

She was a dangerous one.

Tara squeezed her eyes closed and thought over the past ten years of her life. It wasn’t that she’d had a good or bad childhood. It had been average, just like her grades in school.
Hell, she had been average. Average height, average looks, average clothes, average everything.

She had known since she was a small child that she had magic. It ran strong through her family, and it never worried her. That is, until the day of her eighteenth birthday and she learned far more about the Druids than she had ever been told before.

Her family had lied to her all those years before, telling her that all Druids were the same. 

Not only were there two different kinds of Druids – mies, the good Druids, and droughs, the ones who dabbled in black magic and gave their souls to the Devil – her family were all droughs.

That wasn’t what bothered her. What had made her run from her family was their insistence that she become drough as well. They demanded she give her soul to Satan, which would have condemned her to Hell when she died.

For some odd, inexplicable reason, that didn’t bother anyone in her family. Just her. And they didn’t understand her. Not that they ever had before.

Tara hadn’t wanted anything extraordinary out of life. She had just wanted a simple life. A husband who loved her, children surrounding her, and a house filled with lots of laughter.
Instead, she now couldn’t stay anywhere too long before she had to leave again. Already she had spent ten years in Scotland, which was most likely ten years too long. She should have left and gone somewhere else when she ran away from her family, but she loved Scotland too much to leave.

However, she knew this was her last stop in her beloved land. She was going to have to leave. And it saddened her.

It was just five days until her birthday. She had always thought by the time she reached twenty-eight she’d have at least two children.

Instead, she was alone.
She didn’t even allow herself to make friends, because friends asked questions and became curious about her past. And she hated lying. So, she kept to herself.
There had been one time she made the mistake of thinking someone was a friend. But Declan Wallace had been anything but.

To this day she didn’t know how he had found her in that pub in Aberdeen, but his good looks, charm, and silver tongue had done the trick for a scared, confused eighteen-year-old who had run away from home.

Tara should have known what kind of man he was, but she blamed her emotional state for having overlooked it. She had stayed at his mansion for a month before she learned he was a Druid.

When he didn’t push her to undergo the ceremony to become drough, she worked with him on strengthening her magic for several more months. Tara had been careful about how much she used her magic. No one, least of all her, understood why her magic was so out of control.
But Declan had pressed her to use more of it, to learn to control it. He hadn’t understood her reluctance, and she hadn’t told him. Nothing had worked, yet he hadn’t been upset. He seemed to enjoy the fact her magic was all over the place. If her emotions were high, she could blow up a lightbulb without even trying.

Then, one night, she hadn’t been able to sleep and she’d ventured downstairs to get something to eat when she’d overheard Declan’s plans for her.

Once again Tara was on the run.
She knew eventually she would be caught. Would it be by her family? The Warriors hunting her? Or Declan? Who among them would end her life? Would they come in the middle of the night, or in the light of day? Did it even matter anymore?


She jerked at the feel of Ramsey’s hand on her arm. “Yes?” she asked as she tugged the earphone out of her ear.

“Are you all right?” His brow was knit, his gray eyes full of concern.

“Yes,” she lied.

He raised a thick black brow and flattened his lips. “I doona believe you’re telling me the truth, but I willna press you.”

The heat of his body seared her skin through her sweater where his hand was, but it didn’t hurt. What it did was cause her blood to heat and made her think of leaning close and pressing her lips against his.

She cleared her throat and looked away from his hypnotic eyes. “I’m fine. Really,” she said, and plastered on a smile as she glanced at him.

He released her and stepped back. Instantly she missed his nearness, his touch, and his heat. How he could walk around in a short-sleeve tee in this frigid January weather, with the snow outside several feet thick, she didn’t know. But she wished she could do the same.

“How long have you been at Dunnoth Tower?” he asked as he once more knelt in front of the outlet on the opposite wall.

She hated when people asked her questions, but for some reason she wanted to answer Ramsey’s. Which wasn’t a good sign for her at all. 

“A few weeks.”

He pulled the outlet from the wall and inspected it before he twisted a few wires. “Hmm,” he responded.

“What brought you here?” She licked her lips, refusing to wonder what made her ask her own question. She never did this. It made it appear as if she were interested in him when she needed to keep her distance.

But there was something so alluring, so fascinating about Ramsey that she couldn’t help herself.

“Chance, maybe.” He shrugged and tightened a wire. “Who knows? How about you?”

“I was driving and the road took me here.”

He looked up and met her gaze. “Definitely chance on your part.”
She grinned as she leaned her forearms on her desk. She had no idea what had come over her, asking and answering questions. And she even left her answer open so Ramsey could ask something else.

But he didn’t.

Because he didn’t, it gave her the insane urge to inquire about something else. Thankfully, the phone rang, saving her from making an utter fool of herself.

Tara kept glancing at Ramsey as she looked at the calendar to book a company conference. She grew agitated at the woman on the other end of the line because Ramsey was finishing up with the outlet and she was still on the phone.

And then Ramsey closed his toolbox and stood. He gave her a smile and walked away.
Tara sighed. “I beg your pardon, ma’am. I didn’t hear that last bit. Could you repeat it?”
As she wrote down the dates in the calendar and calculated the deposit, Tara told herself now wasn’t the time to find a man she was interested in.

The problem was there was never a good time for her to get involved with anyone. 

Buy the Book


Find Donna Here ~>

Twitter ~ @donna_grant

Donna Grant is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than forty novels and novellas spanning multiple genres of romance.
She was born and raised in Texas but loves to travel. Her adventures have taken her throughout the United States as well as to Jamaica, Mexico, and Scotland. Growing up on the Texas/Louisiana border, Donna’s Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding.
Her childhood dream was to become a professional ballet dancer and study under the amazing Mikhail Baryshnikov. Though she never got to meet Baryshnikov, she did make it to New York City and performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Later, Donna’s love of the romance genre and the constant stories running through her head prompted her to sit down and write her first book. Once that book was completed, there was no turning back.
Donna sold her first book in November 2005 while displaced from Hurricane Rita, a storm that destroyed portions of the Texas Gulf Coast. Since then, Donna has sold novels and novellas to both electronic and print publishers. Her books include several complete series such as Druids Glen, The Shields, Royal Chronicles, Sisters of Magic, Dark Sword, Dark Warriors, and her new series, Dark Kings.
Despite the deadlines and her voracious reading, Donna still manages to keep up with her two young children, four cats, three fish, and one long haired Chihuahua. She’s blessed with a proud, supportive husband who loves to read and travel as much as she does.

Contest Info:

For a chance at a set of all three DARK KINGS books by Donna Grant, comment below WITH your email. I will pick a winner at the end of the week.

Oh and don't forget to head over to Donna's blog for her HUGE Midnight's Warrior Contest!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Leagh's Review: The Secret Santa Wishing Well by Nikki Lynn Barrett

The magic of Christmas has been lost to Jacob Winston. At the suggestion of his ill sister, Jacob takes a job as a Secret Santa at the mall, hoping to restore his Christmas spirit. Even that doesn't seem to work, until a special little boy ambles up to make a very special wish...

Cheyenne Jensen is struggling to raise her two kids without the help of her ex-husband who refuses to acknowledge his daughter's existence and doesn't provide for the son he does. This Christmas is shaping up to be as heartbreaking as the last, until her son Ben's kind actions lead a stranger to them.

Ah, but it's Christmas time and the magic has begun.

When Jacob and Cheyenne meet, neither can deny their immediate attraction to one another. As situations arise that require they spend more time together, their feelings grow stronger and stronger.

With Christmas fast approaching, the pair learn what matters most in life. Now, if only they could ditch the ghost of Christmases past.

Maybe this holiday will bring some wishes come true- for everyone after all.

The perfect Christmas read about the true meaning of Christmas.

Jacob is hurting really bad, his sister is sick and his Christmas spirit is shattered until a brave little boy walked into his life and changed it forever. Cheyenne is a single mother of two beautiful children, the father isn't in the picture the way he should be and she is financially struggling to make ends meet. There is no end in site, until one fateful day at the mall. When the two of them come together because of one sweet little boy, they have a Christmas they will never forget. 

This book is incredibly sweet and emotional. The characters were well developed and the story line was strong and flowed well. There were a few spots that were a bit jumpy but other than that the story read well. Cheyenne is such a strong women and you can tell she is a wonderful mother. Her son Ben is an amazing boy, who is always wanting to help others and little Desiree is such a sweet little girl. Just let me say that heroes aren't the only fantasies in romance books, lol, this little boy is one any mother would be proud of.  
Jacob is the perfect guy *sigh* He swept into Cheyenne's life with a fierceness that will bring tears to your eyes. He accepts the kids as he would his own and he accepts Cheyenne and all of her responsibilities, doubts, and imperfections, all the while suffering a silent torture of his own. I was torn between wanted to smack him and hug him. 

All in all this book is very well put together with strong characters, a strong plot, and enough emotion to make the strongest person weep.  I would highly recommend this book but be prepared to have your tissues ready. Great read!

Monday, November 12, 2012

VBT - Embracing my Submission by Jenna Jacob

Today I would like to welcome Jenna Jacob to the blog. She just released her debut novel called Embracing My Submission. I have had the opportunity to read this book. Although I cannot review it because I am Jenna's personal assistant, I can say it was a solid 5 stars and a recommended read!

Here is a little bit about Jenna and her book!!!

Author Bio:

Jenna Jacob is married and lives in Kansas. A lover of music, cooking, camping and riding Harley’s on the open country roads. When she was thirteen she began writing and not on a stone tablet as her youngest son often teases. There is always a plot bubbling inside her head that has to be written.
With four grown children she finally has time to paint pictures of her twisted mind, with words. Outgoing with a sassy sense of humor, she’s never once been accused of being shy or introverted. With nearly twenty years of experience in the dynamics of the BDSM lifestyle, she strives to portray Dominance and submission with a passionate and comprehensive voice

Contact Jenna:

Webiste link to book excerpt and buy links:


Haunted for years by dreams of a savage, amber eyed Dominant with lips so enticing my soul ached in frustration and lust. None of the Dominants at Genesis, my local BDSM club ever stirred me in such blistering ways. While I tried to fill my submissive desires vicariously through interactions at the club, I attempted to convince myself it was enough. But it wasn’t. My dream Dom made certain I hungered for more.

Forced beyond what I could bear, my passion and frustration exploded. I threw in the towel, determined to stop chasing a dream and gave up completely on finding submissive surrender. But fate intervened when two gunshots split the night. Forced to confront my desires and insecurities, I was shocked to realize that my dreams may have held a deeper meaning. Were they compelling me to finally embrace my submission?

Giveaway Details

Jenna is offering up 5 copies of the EMBRACING MY SUBMISSION and a GRAND PRIZE of a $25 Gift Card to bookseller of choice. Just fill out the rafflecopter below to enter.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cover Reveal ~ Breaking the Nexus by Lindsay Avalon

First of all, thank you so so much for participating in my cover reveal!! Breaking the Nexus is my baby and I’m beyond ecstatic to finally be able to release it! This gorgeous cover was designed by Miranda Stork, and I’ve been dying to show it off to everyone

On November 11, 2012, please post the following information.  I’ve included all of my links, the cover image, book blurb, and a short intro.


My debut paranormal romance, Breaking the Nexus, is coming 12/12/12!  This gorgeous cover was designed by none other than Miranda Stork and I’m proud to share it with the world! Breaking the Nexus is the first in a series featuring the Mythrian Realm, and will be available from in ebook and print form on 12/12/12. Don’t miss your chance to discover what happens when mythology blends with reality!


Throughout history, myths and legends of extraordinary creatures have been told and retold. Fantastic tales of demons and banshees, gryphons and dragons, and of course, magic. Stories that every child grows to learn are nothing more than fantasy…or are they?

Beyond the world you see lies a hidden realm, the Mythrian Realm, inhabited by all of the creatures you’ve been told are mere fiction. Only one thing lies between humans and the truth: the Nexus. A magical barrier erected millennia ago to separate the two realms, it has stood the test of time. Until now.

For Mythrian Sha Phoenix, magic is nothing new. But when she stumbles upon a portal on the verge of collapse, her fate will forever change. Pulled through the portal into the Human Realm, she lands in the middle of Detective Connor Flynn’s brutal murder scene. Soon it is obvious someone is using blood magic to try to bring down the Nexus. Together, Connor and Sha must work to unravel the secrets before the barrier falls and the realms collide.

The Nexus is breaking and all hell is about to unleash…literally.



Contest will run from November 11 to November 13. Fill out the rafflecopter below to enter!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Men and Women of the Military Giveaway Hop


Hey everyone, welcome to my post in the Men & Women of the Military Giveaway Hop. I am honored to be a part of this. First I want to say Thank you to The Jeep Diva for organizing such a wonderful hop in honor of our military.

Since I am a reader/blogger and not an author, I don't have a book that I can personally feature for this hop but I can however share some of the books that I have read and loved with military heroes and heroines.

First and for most I just want to say THANK YOU to all the men and women who have gone above and beyond to ensure that we have a safe and free place to call home. 

Now onto the books!

Maya Banks ~ KGI Series

Lisa Renee Jones ~ The Zodius Series

Lori Foster ~ Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor

Cynthia Eden ~ Deadly Series

Lora Leigh ~ Tempting Seals

Continue after the Tempting Seals by reading the connected series 
The Elite Ops

and last but definitely not least...

Kallypso Masters ~ Rescue Me Series

These are just a few of the books that feature military men and women whether active, special/secret branch or retired. I hope you take the time to try out these books, I promise they will not disappoint.

Giveaway Information

I am offering one lucky commenter a $5 Amazon or B&N gift card and a package of swag.  All you have to do is comment with your email to enter.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

VBT Smoking Ruin by D.R. Martin

Today I would like to welcome Mystery author D.R. Martin to the blog. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by. He is here with an interview with his Heroine. 

The Author Interviews His PI Heroine: Breakfast with Marta Hjelm

It’s been nearly two years since I’ve had a chance to visit with private investigator (PI) Marta Hjelm and her boyfriend Rick Mueller. Their involvement in the Gottwaldt ad agency case was the subject of my mystery novel, Smoking Ruin. Those were tough times for the couple and I wanted to see how they were doing. I met them for breakfast at the Ace Cafe in downtown St. Paul—just downstairs from their office in the Amalgamated Manufacturing Building. The place was packed this frosty November morning, redolent of frying bacon and brewing coffee.

Marta and Rick arrived just a few minutes after I did, and sat down opposite me in the booth. Both of them had big camera bags over their shoulders, and asked if it would be okay to park them next to me.

Marta, as usual, looked a little frazzled and tired—with circles under her brown eyes. She’d grown out her dark blonde hair a bit since I’d last seen her. She had on a pair of gray stretch cords and a navy fleece hoodie. The lady never did like flashy duds. She looked fit and trim, having shed a few pounds. For his part, Rick hadn’t changed a bit—a lanky, outdoorsy-looking guy in jeans, green plaid flannel shirt, and red down vest.

When one of the Ace’s convivial waitresses stopped by, I ordered some eggs and bacon. Marta and Rick both went for short stacks of sourdough pancakes.

“So what have you guys been up to?” I asked. “How’s the photo agency thing going?”

The two of them looked at each other and Marta kind of shrugged.

“Well, D.R., you know that we wanted to shoot and sell a bunch of stock photography,” she said. “Prepackaged images for websites or magazines or whatever. But there’s so much cheap stuff out on the web, it’s hard to earn a buck. We’re making headway. But it’s not a living yet. We can’t even keep our office upstairs. The rent’s gone way up and we have to move.”

“So herself here,” Rick said, with a sideways head nod toward his girlfriend, “is still in the PI game. Hasn’t retired yet.”

I figured as much. Like Rick, I didn’t think Marta would stay out of investigations very long—despite what happened at the Gottwaldt and Ryan ad agency.

“Admit it,” I said to Marta. “It’s in your blood.”

“Yeah, maybe,” she reluctantly agreed.

“What are you working on these days?” I queried. “Anything dramatic, like what I wrote about in Smoking Ruin?

Marta laughed and shook her head. “Fortunately, no. Skip traces. Retail work. I mean, I nearly got killed three different times on the Gottwaldt case. It might be fun to read about, huddled safely with your Kindle, but it sure isn’t fun when it’s your neck on the line. Anyway, light-fingered retail clerks rarely attempt to blow anyone up.”

“But didn’t the case get you a lot of publicity?” I asked.

“Marta here was hot news for about a month,” Rick said. “Then life went back to normal. Her fifteen minutes of fame.”

“So you wouldn’t want another high-profile gig like that?” I said.

“Tell you what, D.R.,” Marta chuckled, “if one drops into my lap, you’ll be the first novelist I let know about it.”

“Hey, I’m always looking for a good story,” I said. “Are you in touch with any folks from the Gottwaldt case?”

“Only Michelle Norton,” answered Marta. “She just started college out in Connecticut and met me for lunch before she went back east. Got a full ride, apparently, at some little school. Still has those family issues that you wrote about, but seems okay. I heard that Denny Ryan and Archie Gottwaldt are out of jail, on parole. The ad agency’s apparently doing well. Picked up a few more big accounts. And I forgot about Jennifer Nelson. She hired me for a few weeks last spring. Some trouble at her husband’s factory.”

I didn’t know if I should ask a certain, sensitive question, but I did. “And how’s Terry Rosen?”

A little dark cloud flitted across Rick’s face. I don’t think he liked to hear the name of his girlfriend’s ex—the third corner of the triangle I depicted in Smoking Ruin. For her part, Marta kind of glared at me.

“Let’s put it this way, D.R.,” she said. “We exchange Christmas cards. Nothing more.”

“Ooookay,” I said. “Now why don’t you tell me about some of your photo projects…”

Other books by D. R. Martin

Johnny Graphic and the Etheric Bomb, a kids’ ghost adventure; website at

The Karma of King Harald, a canine cozy written under the pen name Richard Audry, to be published in early December; website at

D. R.’s Goodreads author page is at

The Kindle Smoking Ruin page is at

You can contact D.R. at


Minneapolis PI Marta Hjelm failed to prevent a preventable murder. Her guilt has brought her right to the edge of burnout and dropout. But a prize specimen from her ancient past—her cheating ex-husband—appears out of nowhere with a gig too good to turn down. One last job, Marta figures, can’t hurt.

But hurt it does, as Marta tries to make sense of a terrorist plot at a major ad agency. In the dead of a long, bitter Minnesota winter, Marta struggles to survive attempts on her life. To understand her conflicted feelings toward an ex who wants her back, and toward the man who healed her when everything was dark. To make peace with the ghost of a victim she should have saved. And to crack open multiple conspiracies that lead to murder and smoking ruin.


Snuggled tight in the heated basement garage, the ad agency’s Lexus started like a charm. I touched the button on the remote door control, and drove up and out into the brutal January night. I turned right, through the back parking lot, and right again, around the end of the building, into the front parking lot, past my frozen Mercury Marquis.
A minute later I was curving north and east at a good clip, toward Wayzata, feeling like a rally driver. The sky was a deep azure, clear as glass and full of the stars you don’t often see in the city.
It was the first time that day I’d felt relatively on top of the situation. Sure, plenty of things were screwed up.
My boyfriend Rick needed calming down and getting home, where he belonged. I’d had to go to work for people I didn’t like, for a cause that gave pause. And my reaction to seeing my ex Terry again made me a little queasy. What’s up with that? I asked myself. But clear them all up—and I had no doubt that I would—and things looked a lot better.
I tooled over a narrow bridge, went left, then right, the lake only a dozen feet away. The headlights caught the glitter of ice on the road. I lightly tapped the brakes, but didn’t feel them catch. No anti-lock kicking in. Doing something wrong, I thought, as my heart accelerated and my gloved hands squeezed the wheel harder.
I feathered the brakes again—a reflexive, fluttery tapping of my right foot, from teen driving days—as I came onto the ice. I was going way too fast. Again, nothing happened. The Lexus kept rolling. 
Turning the wheel left, I could feel my heart coming up into my mouth.
The tires refused to find a purchase on the ice and the car began to yaw sideways.
I kept feathering the brakes, then pressed hard. The pedal went to the floor with a forbidding “thunk.”
The road curved left again, but the Lexus kept going straight.
A puny steel-cable guard rail came up fast as a shot and the front of the Lexus sheared through it with a percussive roar.
I was briefly airborne over eight feet of steep shoreline, starting to scream, when the car nosed down.
The frozen lake rushed toward me, brilliant in the headlights, like a wall of dirty, corrugated granite. 

Tour Schedule for Smoking Ruin by D.R. Martin

November 5th - Author Harlie Williams
November 6th - Harlie's Books
November 7th - Romance Book Craze
November 8th - My Reading Obsession
November 9th - House Millar

Giveaway Time!!!

D.R. Martin has graciously offered a copy of Smoking Ruin to one lucky commenter. You can pick either print or ebook (ebook only for our international readers). He is also offering one commenter a $25 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble. Be sure to stop at all the tour stops for the best chance of winning.

Fill out the rafflecopter below to sign up!

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