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Sunday Shout Out 61


Recently, I introduced a new feature here at In the Hammock on Sundays. It's called "Sunday Shout Out" and it's a place where I can give a special shout out to those publishers and authors who have sent me books over the week, as well as those bloggers who have hosted contests that I've won! I'll also be giving shout outs to any other cool books, blogs or bookish news that I've spotted during the week.


For Review
I'm playing a bit of catch up this week, I didn't receive ALL of these books in one week! There's more catching up to come next week as well!

 "The Devilish Mr. Danvers" by Vivienne Lorret


"Need Me" by Tessa Bailey
 

"All's Fair in Love and Scandal" by Caroline Linden

"Sew Cute and Collectible Sock Monkeys" by Dee Linder

"Dark Sparkler" by Amber Tamblyn

"The Highlander Takes a Bride" by Lynsay Sands

"All of Me" by Jennifer Bernard

"The Lady's Maid" by Dilly Court

"Put Up Your Duke" by Megan Frampton

"Little Beach Street Bakery" by Jenny Colgan

"True North " by Liora Blake
 

"Material Girls " by Elaine Dimopoulos


"Boywatching " by Chloe Bennet

"The Haunting of Sunshine Girl " by Paige McKenzie

"Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton" by Don Tate
 (I loved this one! Can't wait to write a review :))    

      

What books did you receive this week?


"From Fake to Forever" Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Today, I'm happy to welcome Kat Cantrell to In the Hammock to celebrate the release of her book, "From Fake to Forever"! Kat will share with us a delicious recipe to enjoy while reading her book, and tips for aspiring writers! Don't miss the giveaway of one copy of "From Fake to Forever" at the bottom of this post!

FROM FAKE TO FOREVER
By Kat Cantrell
Harlequin Desire; April 7, 2015
$5.25 US; 192 pages


(Synopsis from the publicist)
After one night of tequila and sex, their impromptu Vegas wedding shouldn't be valid. But Meredith just discovered she's still tied to businessman Jason Lynhurst. She needs out of their marriage, but if he's to become his company's new CEO, he needs her as a bride. Meredith can have her divorce, but only after he gets what he wants—which is more than merely a promotion. Let the newlywed games begin.


Bon Appetit and a Book 
for 
"From Fake to Forever" 
by Kat Cantrell

Bon Appétit and a Book: A delicious recipe to enjoy alongside the book
Hummus and Pita Chips
This is my recipe for hummus, which I love to make fresh because store-bought generally has a high sodium content, as well as preservatives and other yucky stuff. This is easy to make and doesn't call for tahini which can be expensive.

Ingredients (4 servings)

1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 drops sesame oil, or to taste (optional)

PREP
5 mins
READY IN
5 mins

Directions
Blend garbanzo beans, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, salt, and sesame oil in a food processor; stream reserved bean liquid into the mixture as it blends until desired consistency is achieved. Spoon into a serving bowl. You can let the flavors blend several hours or overnight before serving this.

To make fresh pita chips:
Cut two-three pitas into wedges (like a pizza)
Arrange on a pan and brush with olive oil
Grind or sprinkle salt and pepper to taste
Cook for 15 minutes at 375.

This is such an easy snack. I love to make it with my two boys and there are things even the little one can do. He likes to use the basting brush to "paint" the chips with oil. My older son likes to use the food processor--probably because I don't make him clean it!


Thanks for the recipe, Kat!! Sounds delicious!! 


How-To-Tips for Aspiring Writers: Advice on how to break into the series-writing business from Kat Cantrell
If you love romance novels and have always dreamed of writing one, you’re in good company. You’d be hard-pressed to find a romance writer working today who didn’t start out as a reader first. Guess what? If you’re a reader, you’ve already completed the all-important first step toward the goal of becoming an author! Reading is critical to understanding a bunch of important things like voice, structure, plot and character. Now you should target your reading to the specific type of story you want to write. If you’d like to write for Harlequin Desire, read as many as you can get your hands on. Study them and learn from them. Each line has a particular “feel” to it and always includes certain elements. Harlequin posts writing guidelines on its website so you don’t have to guess, but it’s always better to see it in action, so to speak.
Then the next steps are:
  1. Sit down and write.
  2. No, really. Set a goal and write.
  3. Not sure what goal to set? Start out with 500 words a day. Then write 500 tomorrow. And the next day. I work on my books every day. Yes. EVERY day, even Christmas.
  4. Read some craft books. I like Goal, Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon. But there are many, many great ones. If you already know you have a particular weakness, like you have no idea what I meant above by “voice”, find a book on that.
  5. If you don’t know your weaknesses, join a writer’s group. Romance Writers of America is one a lot of us belong to. Harlequin.com has a community forum with a particular area for writers. Talk to other writers. Find people to read your writing who can help you get better. I still have a friend read my stuff even though I’ve written fifteen books (Hi, Jen!).
  6. Be prepared to work hard and be realistic. Most authors will tell you it takes two years and at least two manuscripts to sell to a publisher like Harlequin. It took me two years and five manuscripts. Your mileage may vary.
  7. Go back to #1 and do that. You’d be surprised how many people get bogged down in craft books and writer’s forums and forget to actually, you know, write the book. You can’t sell a manuscript to any publisher if it doesn’t exist.

Wow, thanks for the great advice, Kat!!!

Buy the book here: http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=58842


T:\Harlequin 2015\APRIL - WEDDING\Kat Cantrell\Images\katcantrell_photo.jpgKAT CANTRELL read her first Harlequin novel in third grade and has been scribbling in notebooks since she learned to spell. What else would she write but romance? She majored in Literature, officially with the intent to teach, but somehow ended up buried in middle management at Corporate America, Inc. After three years and many thousands of words, her dream of publication finally came true. When she's not writing about characters on the journey to happily-ever-after, she can be found at a soccer game, watching Friends or dancing with her kids to Duran Duran and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Check out the other two featured Harlequin Series Romance books this month!

"The Billionaire's Bridal Bargain"
by Lynne Graham
(synopsis from publicist)
To get his hands on her Mediterranean island inheritance, Cesare Sabatino must wed innocent Lizzie and ensure she's carrying his heir! Luckily the formidable Italian is legendary for his powers of persuasion. With Lizzie desperate to save her family's farm, it's only a matter of time before she gives in and discovers the many pleasurable benefits of wearing this tycoon's ring.

Buy here:  http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=58800



"The Italian's Deal for I Do"
by Jennifer Hayward
(synopsis from publicist)
He's conquered global markets and immeasurable hearts, but to regain control of the fashion empire that's rightfully his, Rocco Mondelli must prove his playboy days are over. His secret weapon? Supermodel-in-hiding Olivia Fitzgerald and the power to ruin her if she refuses to play his loving fiancée!
   




GIVEAWAY RULES: The publicist has generously provided a paperback copy of "From Fake to Forever" for a lucky reader of my blog!
All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
  • US only
  • Books will be mailed out by the publicist
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends April 21
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I received copies of the books from the publicist in exchange for this post.

Spotlight: "It Started with a Scandal"

"It Started with a Scandal"
by Julie Anne Long
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Source: e-arc sent by publisher


Summary from goodreads.com:

Lord Philippe Lavay once took to the high seas armed with charm as lethal as his sword and a stone-cold conviction: he'll restore his family's fortune and honor, no matter the cost. Victory is at last within reach--when a brutal attack snatches it from his grasp and lands him in Pennyroyal Green.

An afternoon of bliss brings a cascade of consequences for Elise Fountain. Shunned by her family and ousted from a job she loves, survival means a plummet down the social ladder to a position no woman has yet been able to keep: housekeeper to a frighteningly formidable prince.

The bold and gentle Elise sees past his battered body into Philippe's barricaded heart...and her innate sensuality ignites his blood. Now a man who thought he could never love and a woman who thought she would never again trust must fight an incendiary passion that could be the ruin of them both.
Book #10 in Julie Anne Long's Pennyroyal Green series!

Find out more about the book here

My thoughts: I haven't read this one yet, but I can't wait! Whenever I see the words "took to the high seas", I'm pretty much ready to buy the book! I can't resist anything even remotely swashbuckling. I'm also intrigued by the heroine's position as a housekeeper. We usually only get to see the upper class in historicals, so it will be different to read about the servants' point of view. Looks like another can't miss book by one of my favorite authors!

Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher

"Just Add Watercolor" Review

"Just Add Watercolor"
by Helen Birch
Publisher: Watson-Guptill
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:


A beautifully illustrated, easy-to-navigate guide to creating contemporary watercolors, pairing full-page paintings with insights and tips for artists.
     Featuring 200 of the best works of young, modern watercolor painters, paired with bite-sized painting tips and art instruction, Just Add Watercolor gives aspiring artists access to information about--and examples of--top work in the medium. Artist and instructor Helen Birch breaks down each painting by techniques, subject matter, and tools, providing art enthusiasts and painters with a one-stop resource and gallery of the best that modern watercolor has to offer. Its small trim size with one painting per spread provides a bold, but user-friendly alternative to traditional, process-heavy painting instruction texts. Just Add Watercolor shines the spotlight on featured paintings, while still giving readers all the insights needed to get started painting in this popular medium.
My Review:

This is just such a lovely little book! The size is small, perfect for adding to your bag to read while out and about. Honestly, even if you don't read the advice on watercolor painting, the wonderful illustrations alone are worth picking up this book to see!

There are no step by step instructions, its more of a compilation of advice, techniques, and tips for a watercolor artist. The tips come from many different artists, which gives such a great range of styles. If one artist isn't your style, there are many others that may right up your alley!

The format of the book is perfect for paging through. There is a grid at the front of the book with all of the artwork contained inside. So you can pick and choose that way or you can just page through. There are 200 watercolor artworks to choose from, each with a full page of tips and techniques from the artist.

Bottom Line: This book is the perfect gift for the watercolor artist of any skill level. It's small in size, but packed with info and beautiful paintings.

More info about the book here

Author bio

Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
爵士娱乐华人