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Showing posts with label contemporary romance. Show all posts

"In The Cowboy's Arms" Guest Post from Author Vicki Lewis Thompson



IN THE COWBOY’S ARMS
By Vicki Lewis Thompson

Harlequin
May 23, 2017
$5.75 US; 224 pages
ISBN: 978-0-373-62352-5

Matt Forrest was born to be an actor, but grew up at Thunder Mountain Ranch as a cowboy. So when things go haywire after shooting his first Hollywood movie, he retreats to his childhood home where he knows his parents and foster brothers can help him figure out what he really wants out of life.

But PR agent, Geena Lysander, isn’t about to lose one of her best new clients—so she follows him. And things get complicated because she’s attracted to Matt, and not just for his handsome, movie-star good looks. As she gets to know the man behind the cowboy, their professional relationship becomes passionately personal. Could Matt’s next big role be as Geena’s leading man?


VICKI LEWIS THOMPSON is a New York Times bestselling author who worked as a journalist and a high school English teacher before deciding to become a romance novelist. She was the recipient of Romance Writers of America’s Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, and has published more than 100 books.


And now a guest post from Vicki Lewis Thompson! Welcome to In the Hammock, Vicki!

How-to Tips for Aspiring Writers by Vicki Lewis Thompson:

Tips for those looking to get their work published/break into the industry.
1. Be an artist and a businesswoman. A myth persists that all you need is a great book and minions will appear to do the rest. A great book is a good start, but it will languish unless it’s shepherded through the process by an educated author who’s studied the market and researched her publishing options.
2. Turn in clean copy. Pleasing a reader is the goal, whether the reader is your mom, an agent, an editor, or the stranger who plunks down money for your book. No one deserves to be handed a story riddled with typos and grammatical mistakes unless that person has agreed, for love or money, to help you make it presentable.
3. Study story structure. Commercial fiction is more than a random collection of scenes. Many excellent books have been written about story structure if you’re hazy on the concept. Even if you think you understand it, brush up on the topic to be sure.
4. Read and analyze bestsellers in your sub-genre. They’ve achieved what you’re aiming for and it’s extremely valuable to figure out how and why they’re reaching a large audience. If the answer seems elusive, keep looking. It’s there.
5. Find your tribe. Writing is a solitary pursuit, but with all the communication tools we have, you should be able to locate your peeps. If possible, funnel down from the general category of writer to fiction writer, then to romance fiction writer and finally to the specific sub-genre(s) you’re targeting. Building a network of those who write what you do will help with your plots, your sales and your sanity.


Dislcosure: I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for this post.

"Always My Baby" by Martha Kennerson and Song Playlist

ALWAYS MY BABY
By Martha Kennerson
Published by Harlequin
April 18, 2017
$6.50 U.S.; 224 pages
ISBN-978-0-373-864997


China Edwards is an ambitious environmental attorney who pursues every goal with drive and dedication, and having a baby is no different. No husband? No problem. She’ll find the perfect donor. Then, after one spontaneous and passionate night with bachelor Alexander Kingsley, these two longtime friends are left with an unanticipated benefit that throws China’s future plans into turmoil.
China’s bright, legal mind and friendship are indispensable to Alexander and his multi billion dollar oil firm. However, the possibility of her moving on makes him realize just how deep his feelings actually run. After their all-business relationship takes a wildly erotic detour, Alexander is drawn into a company scandal that rocks his life. With trust in tatters, can an unplanned bundle of joy lead them to become the family they never expected?


MARTHA KENNERSON is a bestselling and award-winning author who believes her current blessings are only matched by the struggle it took to achieve such happiness. She has enjoyed a successful career in executive management for more than 20 years and lives in Texas with her family.



Song Playlist: A prepared playlist of songs that embodies the book’s characters and their love story.
Baby Hold On To Me by Gerald & Eddie Levert
Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
In My Mind by Heather Headley
All of Me by John Legend
Stay With Me by Sam Smith featuring Mary J. Blige
Like I’m Gonna Lose You by Meghan Trainor featuring John Legend
Let It Go by James Bay
Exceptional by Babyface
Share My Life by Kem
Our Love by Natalie Cole



disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publicist in exchange for this post.

"Lucas" by Delores Flossen Blog Tour and Song Playlist


LUCAS
By Delores Fossen
Published by Harlequin
April 18, 2017
$5.75 U.S.; 256 pages
ISBN-978-1-335-720955


A Texas Lawman will do anything to protect his son – even if it includes reuniting with the boy’s on-the-run mother…

Lucas Ryland has always had a way with the ladies. That is, until Hailey Darrow dropped him after a single night of passion. Then he discovered her unconscious body in a wrecked car with a fake ID and enough money to disappear. Unbeknown to him, the one who got away was leaving town with his baby…

Now Hailey is out of her coma, but still in danger. However, hiding her at his Silver Creek ranch ignites old passions and introduces new threats. Lucas must use every protective instinct in his arsenal to keep Hailey and their infant son safe. And to keep his body from remembering how good it felt to hold her in his arms.

DELORES FOSSEN is a USA Today bestselling author and an Air Force veteran who has sold millions of copies of her novels. She’s received the Booksellers’ Best Award for romantic suspense, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and was a finalist for the prestigious Rita. She’s written more than 50 books and has nearly 100 short stories and articles published in national magazines.




Song Playlist: Delores has prepared a playlist of songs that embodies the book’s characters and their love story.
Austin - Blake Sheldon
Come a Little Closer - Dierks Bentley
Let's Be Us Again – Lonestar
Don’t Cry - Guns N Roses
Blue Ain’t Your Color - Keith Urban
You're The Love I Want to Be In - Jason Aldean
I Won’t Give Up - Jason Mraz
Stay - Rhianna


disclosure: I recieved a copy of this book from the publicist in exchange for this post

"Guardian" Blog Tour and Movie Star Cast




"Guardian"
Terri Reed 
April 21, 2017
Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense


 Summary from Goodreads


PROTECTING THE SINGLE MOM
When a fellow FBI agent is kidnapped and a protected witness vanishes, Leo Gallagher will stop at nothing to find them both. So when he discovers a link between the case and a single mother in Wyoming, Leo and his trusty K-9 partner rush to question Alicia Duncan. Could she be the key to locating the missing persons? Not if a killer has anything to say about it. Someone is determined to keep Alicia from talking, so Leo and his chocolate Lab must keep her and her little boy safe on their family ranch. With danger lurking around every corner, Leo must work overtime to not lose another person who's important to him.


 Author Terri Reed


Movie Star Cast: Terri Reed has chosen movie stars to play the characters in "Guardian" in a movie.


For my hero FBI agent Leo Gallagher, I would cast Jason Lewis. There’s something about his chiseled jaw and bright eyes that is captivating.


My heroine, Alicia Duncan, would be Zoey Deschanel. She has such an interesting look. A mix of innocence and sensuality. She could play the fiercely protective heroine quite well.


Thanks so much for stopping by, Terri! Great movie cast, I'd love to see that movie!

disclosure: I received an ecopy of this book in exchange for this post.

"Finding Our Forever" Blog Tour and Writing Tips from Brenda Novak




"Finding Our Forever" 
Brenda Novak
March 21st Harlequin Special Edition
Summary from Goodreads:  


New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak welcomes readers to the town of Silver Springs, where surprises wait around every corner!

The search for her birth mother brought Cora Kelly to the New Horizons Boys Ranch. Getting a job there was easy enough, but confiding in Aiyana, the ranch's owner, that she's really her daughter? Cora's not sure she can do that, not unless she's confident the news will be welcomed. And once she gets to know Elijah Turner, Aiyana's adopted son and ranch manager, that decision becomes even more difficult.

Although Elijah can't deny his deep attraction to Cora, he's always struggled with trust. Anyone with his past would, and there's something about the ranch's newest employee that isn't exactly as it seems. But if the feelings she awakes in his guarded heart are any indication, she might be just what he's long been waiting for.




How-to Tips for Aspiring Writers: Tips for those looking to get their work published/break into the industry.
Ten Things Every Novel Needs By Brenda Novak

The beautiful thing about any creative endeavor is that there is no one “right” way to accomplish it. Everyone’s imagination works differently, and that’s what provides such great variety in art and literature. Just when someone thinks there’s an easy formula or “recipe” that must be followed if a book is to be “good” or “successful,” some author will invariably break one or more of the “rules” and wind up with a blockbuster. That said, there are certain elements that help to make one story better than another. These are the ten I believe to be most important.

  1. A great hook. These can be really fun to come up with. I got the idea for THE SECRET SISTER, which was nominated for the presitgious Rita Award, from an episode of Dateline. I was mesmerized as I watched a brother and sister, now adults, talk about the vague memories they had of another child. They were certain that child had been a sibling, but their mother claimed otherwise. They decided to dig deeper, and I was hooked! I wanted to know where that child was and what had happened to her—and why the mother had lied. Then I wanted to write a story that explored the same premise (although my book develops and ends in a completely different way than the incident that inspired it).

  1. Layered characters. What’s interesting about characters is that they can’t be “too” real, or they will seem fake. I know that’s a paradox, but real people are too inconsistent to make believeable characters. On the other hand, flat, two-dimensional characters are unengaging. So finding that middle ground can make all the difference, and that often involves creating characters who are flawed—because that’s what makes them sympathetic.

  1. Tension. In almost any kind of book it’s tension, created from conflict, that propels a story forward. Without something to conquer, something to overcome, there is no journey, no reason to read on.

  1. Solid Research. In a way, an author has to be a “jack of all trades.” Although she may have only limited experience with certain things (like the adoption process and what it takes to unravel a closed adoption such as what I wrote about in FINDING OUR FOREVER), it becomes encumbant on her to do enough research to be able to write with authority, which is what makes the book convincing. A single error can throw the reader right out of the story with the thought, “That could never happen!”

  1. Pacing that fits the style and genre of the book. While a romantic suspense novel might need to move fast, a contemporary romance seems to have a relatively moderate pace and a straight historical novel or a literary novel might be able to withstand even more introspection. Either way, the pacing must be appropriate to the story.

  1. Chapter/scene hooks. An author who builds her chapters and scenes such that she ends on an an up beat, instead of a sense of denoument, propels her reader into the next chapter—and the next and the next and so on.

  1. Active writing. Avoiding passive verbs like had, has, was, seemed and looked, and using stronger verbs in their place, will help bring the story alive. We’ve all heard, “Show, don’t tell.” This is part of the same thing. You want your readers to actively experience the story, to live the story, and that won’t happen if you’re standing back, telling them what’s happening from a distance. You need to bring them close in order to ignite their imagination and emotions. Then they will be right there with you, participating in every event.

  1. Tone. Hold to a sense of mystery as your tale unfolds. I never thought much about tone until I read a book that was light and funny at first (just like what was promised on the cover and blurb), but suddenly turned dark and angry. The change so unexpected and so sudden it nearly gave me whiplash, and it made me slightly angry. I felt like the author had broken her contract with me, the reader, which made me realize that holding fast to the correct tone as a writer is important.

  1. Unanswered questions. Why is the heroine doing this or that? Will she escape? What will the hero do when he finds out? Are they going to make it? What’s going to happen next? Knowing how much information to convey—and when—is key. Posing such questions will build a sense of urgency that should escalate through the novel to the black moment, making the “big finish” that much more exciting and satisfying.

  1. Subtext. Sub-text makes everything richer, more intriguing. According to fellow author Alicia Rasley, “A layered conversation is always more interesting than a simple one. Make it obvious that your characters are really saying more than what is on the page. That engages the reader’s thoughts and imagination as they try to puzzle out the subtleties.” I wholeheartedly agree with her!





Thank you so much for stopping by, Brenda!! Enjoy the book, everyone!


disclosure: I received an e-copy of the book in exchange for this post

"Her Sweetest Fortune" Blog Tour and Author Recipe




As part of the February Harlequin Blog Tour, I'm featuring a family recipe from Stella Bagwell, author of "Her Sweetest Fortune" out this month from Harlequin! Check out the book and the recipe below!





HER SWEETEST FORTUNE
by USA Today bestselling author
Stella Bagwell
Harlequin Special Edition; January 17, 2017
$5.75 U.S.; 224 Pages
ISBN-978-0-373-623266

Sophie Fortune Robinson is on a mission. The word around the office watercooler is that the boss's youngest daughter is intent on landing Mr. Right by Valentine's Day—and that she has her eyes, and heart, set on a certain hunk in Marketing.

But when she enlists her longtime pal and coworker Mason Montgomery to teach her how to get a man to notice her, little does she know she's already captured his attention!

Now Mason's in a real bind! He has just a few short weeks to fight his way out of the "friend zone." On his agenda: convincing sweet Sophie that he is the real man of her dreams! Will Fortune smile on true love's venture?

STELLA BAGWELL is a USA Today bestselling author who has written close to 90 books for Harlequin. She lives on the Texas Gulf coast with her husband, where the winters are mild and the summers sweltering. Along with her writing, she stays busy helping her husband care for their 10 horses, 11 cats, and a flock of gulls that always seem to know when it's feeding time!

T:\Harlequin 2017\Harlequin Feb 2017\IMG_1387 Stella.JPG

Bon Appétit and a Book: A special Valentine's Day recipe from Stella Bagwell!

Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without something chocolate! Here’s a cake recipe that my family enjoys.

Buttermilk Cocoa Cake

2 cups sugar, ¾ cup shortening, 2&1/2 cups flour, ½ cup cocoa, 2 teaspoons soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup boiling water.

Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Sift dry ingredients together and add alternately with buttermilk to creamed mixture. Add vanilla and water. Pour batter into 13/9 inch pan, or if you prefer layers, two 9 inch pans and bake at 350 degrees until cake springs back when touched.

Frosting

4 cups confectioner sugar, 6 Tbs. cold butter, ½ tsp. vanilla, ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ scant cup milk. Whip with mixer until creamy.




Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for this post.

"Christmas in Destiny" Excerpt

 To celebrate the release day for "Christmas in Destiny" by Toni Blake, I have an excerpt from the book, courtesy of the publisher! Enjoy! And keep your eyes peeled for my review coming soon!

"Christmas in Destiny"

By Toni Blake
Publisher: Avon Books
Oct 25, 2016
Source: Sent by publisher


Summary: (from Goodreads)

“Go to Destiny. There’s something waiting there for you.”

Shane Dalton’s new life is waiting in Miami, complete with fast cars and faster women. But first, he’s heeding his father’s dying words and stopping off in Destiny, Ohio. The detour wasn’t supposed to include a busted pickup and a blizzard. But Candice Sheridan, the cute redhead who reluctantly offers shelter, could prove a pleasant diversion. Trouble is, she thinks Shane’s bad news. And he’s pretty sure she’s right . . .

Candice had her trust broken once before. Yet something about Shane won’t let her stay away. By Christmas, he’ll be gone. Until then, she’s itching to stop playing nice and safe . . . and try being a little naughty for once.

As their holiday romance heats up, Shane uncovers a shattering secret and Candice is preparing to face heartache once again. But there’s no better place than Destiny—especially at Christmastime—for two lost souls to find the gift of sweet, surprising love . . .

EXCERPT:

From CHRISTMAS IN DESTINY by Toni Blake. Copyright © 2016 by Toni Blake. Reprinted by permission of Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Bang. Bang. Bang.
Candice’s eyes sprang open as the jarring noise jolted her awake.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
What on earth? She briskly sat up, trying to get her bearings in the dark.
The sound came again. Louder this time. And as she sat there in bed, the room lit only by the deluge of white outside, she realized someone was beating on her door in the middle of the night. Which seemed almost impossible given that the weather outside was more than a little frightful.
Her heart beat rapidly as the relentless banging continued. Even while she dragged herself out of bed and headed toward the stairs, her sleep-addled brain whirled. As a woman who lived alone in an isolated area, she didn’t particularly want to answer. But what if it was Jenny or Mick—what if something was wrong with their little boy?
Flipping on the dim porch light, she made out a shadowy male figure and concluded it was Mick.  The fact that he was out in this weather, at this hour, filled her with worry.  So she flung open the door.
Then gasped.  It wasn’t Mick. 
It wasn’t Mick at all. 
She didn’t know who this was – but he looked horribly out of place, and a little bit scary.  “Wh-wh- …” Words failed her in her fright.
The tall, dark stranger regarded her through piercing blue eyes.  “Look, I know it’s late, but my pickup spun out and I hit a snow bank around that last bend.”  His voice was deep and his tone unapologetic as he pointed over his shoulder in the general direction of the road.  “Can’t get a signal on my cell, so need to use your phone.”
Strangers didn’t just show up on porches in the middle of the night in Destiny, and she simply stared at him as if he were a ghost standing at her door in the blowing snow.  The scary kind, with a lock of dark hair dipping over his forehead, a thick shadowy stubble on his chin, and even a little scar near his right eye.  Though she wasn’t sure if ghosts bothered to knock.
“Who are you going to call?” she managed to ask.  Then blinked repeatedly.  It was an unfortunate habit of hers – blinking when she was nervous.
He arched a critical brow as a cold wind blew around them, his expression implying that maybe he thought she was still half-asleep.  “A tow truck,” he said, enunciating, as if the answer was obvious.
But he was clearly uninformed about something she thought obvious.  “Have you seen the roads?  A tow truck won’t come out here when it’s like this.  I don’t know how you got any truck out here tonight.  And we don’t have a tow truck in Destiny anyway.”
His eyebrows both shot up then, though his voice came out sounding almost matter-of-fact as he said, “Tell me you’re kidding.”
“I can’t.”
A heavy sigh left him as he muttered, “Jesus Christ.”
Since she was pretty sure he wasn’t making a Christmas reference, she ignored that and went on.  “Someone will have to come from Crestview,” she explained.  Then blinked and added, “But I’ll try to call anyway.  Just in case.  Wait here.”
After which she shut the door on him.  And locked it.  In a near blizzard.  Which didn’t exactly feel kind or charitable, but a woman had to protect herself.  And as for calling – despite what she’d told him, she’d decided it was worth making sure, worth a try, to get the scary stranger off her porch as efficiently as possible.
She rushed to the phone and dialed briskly.  And promptly heard a recording on the other end, saying what she already knew:  Meffler’s Towing was closed due to inclement weather and anyone in need of a tow should call back after the storm.  And they were sorry for the inconvenience.  “Me too,” she whispered to no one, hanging up.
Then she steeled herself and walked back to the front door.  Unfortunately, when she opened it, he was still standing there.  Looking cold and a little snow-covered since the snow now even blew up under the roof that covered her porch.
She just shook her head.  “They’re not answering their phones until the snow stops.”  Only then it occurred to her to ask, “What on earth are you doing out here in a blizzard anyway?”
“Got lost,” he said. 
And as he shifted his weight from one snow-covered work boot to the other, she noticed for the first time that his coat was too thin for the weather, and she thought of him trudging from around the bend in a foot of wet snow and for some crazy reason wondered if his feet had stayed dry.  She also wondered what kind of person was out in the country this late at night in this kind of weather.  Escaped convicts and serial killers came to mind. 
“Made a wrong turn looking to find a room for the night,” he said, “but I’m guessing a motel’s gonna be pretty hard to come by here, too.”
She nodded, sorry for both of them to have to deliver the bad news.  “The Half Moon Inn is miles away.”
As another heavy sigh left him, she began to realize – almost against her will – that underneath all the scary, that he was also maybe … kind of hot.  His voice was deep and a little raspy, and the thin coat he wore didn’t hide broad shoulders.  There was something visceral about him – she could somehow feel his very maleness.  And that was when he narrowed his blue gaze on her and said, “Looks like you’re stuck with me then.”

Purchase Here:

CHRISTMAS IN DESTINY – https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062392602/christmas-in-destiny#




Connect with Toni Blake:

Website -http://www.toniblake.com/

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Just Fine with Caroline" Review

"Just Fine with Caroline"
by Annie England Noblin
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: Oct 11, 2016

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

From the author of Sit! Stay! Speak! comes a tender, terrific novel complete with long-buried secrets, a three-legged pot belly pig, and an irresistible dog—an unforgettable story about love, friendship, and community. Perfect for fans of Mary Kay Andrews and Mary Alice Monroe.

Caroline O’Connor never dreamed she’d be back home in Cold River, Missouri, the Ozark Mountain town where everyone is ‘up your business.’…they mean well as they drive you crazy. She thought she’d left town for good, but now she’s back, helping to care for her New York born mother—struck with Alzheimer’s, and prone to saying and doing anything—and her father, the beloved local doctor frustrated he can’t cure his own wife.

As for Caroline, she’s doing ‘just fine’ coping with her parents, her brazen cousin Ava Dawn’s marital disasters, her mostly-deaf dog…and with Noah Cranwell, far-flung relative of a local family mostly infamous for running moonshine, an ex-veteran who’s come to Cold River with troubles of his own.

Caroline believes she knows everything about Cold River and the people who live in its hills and hollers … but sometimes life’s greatest surprises happen closest to home.
My Review:

"Just Fine with Caroline" is the first book in the author's new Cold River series, set in a small town in the Ozarks. The small town setting and quirky characters are the main attraction in this story. The romance is there, but it's really all about those characters, relationships, and interactions that you can really only find in a small town.

I think a lot of people can identify with Caroline. She's a very likable character, and she really always tries to do the right thing for everyone she cares about. This includes her mother, who has Alzheimer's, her doctor father, her trouble-finding cousin, Ava Dawn, her childhood friend, Court, and her fur friend, Yara. Then comes Noah, the long lost grandson of one of the town's most notorious and mysterious citizens. Family secrets are unravelled as new relationships grow.

I loved the town and characters, but sometimes the story meandered off track a bit. I perfer a tighter story, but that's a matter of personal preference. The family mystery was a bit predictable from the start, it wasn't a shocking revelation at the end. There was an interesting sub-story about Caroline's fascination with prohibition era, I would have loved for that to have been developed even more to mirror the current story.

The author has an authentic small town, Southern voice, which I appreciate. Sometimes this type of voice can come off forced and fake, but Noblin's characters come across so natural. This made the story believable and highly readable at the same time.
 
Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5

Romance: 3.5/5

Uniqueness: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 5/5


Bottom Line:Overall, this is a nice read for fans of small town fiction. The story could have been fleshed out a bit more, but fans of quirky characteres and small town comraderie will not be disappointed.

disclosure: I received an E-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Song Playlist for "Her Halloween Treat"

Her Halloween Treat
By Tiffany Reisz
Harlequin
Sept. 20, 2016
Source: received E-copy from publisher


Summary from Goodreads:

Trick…or wicked treat!

It was a devastating dirty trick—Joey Silvia just found out her boyfriend of two years is married. What. A. Dick. Joey knows her best chance to get over one guy is to get under another. Of course, heading home to her family's remote cabin in Oregon poses some challenges in the "available men" department…until she discovers this cabin comes with its own hot handyman!

Holy crap, Chris Steffensen. When did her brother's best friend turn into a hard-bodied pile of blond-bearded hotness? He's the perfect Halloween treat—and a surprisingly dirty rebound guy. For a couple of weeks, anyway. Except that Chris has other ideas…like proving to Joey that this blast from the past is a whole lot more than a naughty Halloween hookup.

Song Playlist: 

For the Halloween Treat blog tour, Tiffany Reisz has put together a playlist inspired by the characters in the book! Enjoy!
In HER HALLOWEEN TREAT, Joey and Chris talk a lot about music especially after Joey sees that Chris has carved the face of Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder into his Halloween pumpkin on her porch. While in high school Chris was obsessed with grunge music and even now listens to it all the time. But they also attend Joey’s brother’s 80’s-themed wedding with all the greatest 80s pop music playing at the reception. For a HER HALLOWEEN TREAT playlist, you’ll need a good mix of 80s dance songs and 90s alternative plus one very important song from the 70s.
Song 1 – Jolene by Dolly Parton – Joey’s real name is Jolene and she’s feeling the irony of it when she learns her boyfriend of two years has been secretly married the entire time
Song 2 – Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam – Joey sees an Eddie Vedder pumpkin on the porch and although I have no idea what Yellow Ledbetter means, it’s one of my favorite Pearl Jam jams.
Song 3 – All Apologies by Nirvana – Chris tends to hum or sing Nirvana while he’s doing his handyman work. Joey teases him about this habit while they’re painting a bedroom in Joey’s Oregon cabin.
Song 4 – True by Spandau Ballet – Joey and Chris have to pick 80s costumes to wear to her brother’s costume wedding taking place on Halloween and they choose to dress like characters from a classic John Hughes film and this song is on the soundtrack.
Song 5 – Learn to Fly by Foo Fighters – Chris is a big Dave Grohl fan and Joey works for an airline. This one’s a no-brainer.
Song 6 – Hello by Lionel Richie because why not? It’s a fabulous song and someone dresses like Richie at the 80s costume wedding. Plus I’m sure Joey sings along to it at the top of her lungs when it’s on the radio. Who doesn’t?
Song 7 – The Safety Dance by Men Without Hats – This song comes on at the wedding reception and it inspires Chris to say one of my favorite lines in the book. I won’t tell you what that line is but it includes the word “boner.”
Song 8 – Interstate Love Song by Stone Temple Pilots – At the end of this book, this is the song playing in the background when Joey and Chris end up making a very important decision together.




disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for a blog post.

Spotlight on "Ride Hard"

"Ride Hard"
by Laura Kaye
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Source: sent by publisher


Summary from goodreads.com:

Brotherhood. Club. Family.

They live and ride by their own rules.

These are the Raven Riders . . .

Raven Riders Motorcycle Club President Dare Kenyon rides hard and values loyalty above all else. He’ll do anything to protect the brotherhood of bikers—the only family he’s got—as well as those who can’t defend themselves. So when mistrustful Haven Randall lands on the club’s doorstep scared that she’s being hunted, Dare takes her in, swears to keep her safe, and pushes to learn the secrets overshadowing her pretty smile.

Haven fled from years of abuse at the hands of her criminal father and is suspicious of any man’s promises, including those of the darkly sexy and overwhelmingly intense Ravens’ leader. But as the powerful attraction between them flares to life, Dare pushes her boundaries and tempts her to want things she never thought she could.

The past never dies without a fight, but Dare Kenyon’s never backed down before . . . 




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

"Make Me" Blog Tour & Giveaway!

 Today, I'm happy to participate in the blog tour for Tessa Bailey's newest book: Make Me! It's the third in the Broke and Beautiful series! I have a blurb and a tour-wide giveaway to share with you!

About MAKE ME

In the final Broke and Beautiful novel from bestselling author Tessa Bailey, a blue collar construction worker and a quiet uptown girl are about to discover that the friendzone can sometimes be excellent foreplay.

Construction worker Russell Hart has been head-over-work boots for Abby Sullivan since the moment he laid eyes on her. But he knows a classy, uptown virgin like her could never be truly happy with a rough, blue-collar guy like him. If only she’d stop treating him like her personal hero—a role he craves more than oxygen—maybe he could accept it.

With the future of her family’s hedge fund on her shoulders, Abby barely has time to sleep, let alone find love. And her best friend Russell acting like a sexy, overprotective hulk any time their Super Group goes out in public definitely isn’t helping her single status. But after a near-tragedy lands Russell in her bed for the night, Abby’s suddenly fantasizing about what he looks like shirtless. Chest hair and tattoos—who knew?

As Russell struggles to keep Abby at a safe distance, she begins to see through his tough-talking exterior—and acknowledge her own feelings. Now she’s ready to turn the friend-zone into foreplay…and make him lose control.

About TESSA BAILEY
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tessa Bailey lives on Long Island with her husband and young daughter. When she isn’t writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.


Where to buy MAKE ME
HarperCollins: http://www.harpercollins.com/9780062369093/make-me
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Make-Me-Broke-Beautiful-Novel-ebook/dp/B00SG0WROS/
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/make-me-tessa-bailey/1121093839
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/make-me/id959625481
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Tessa_Bailey_Make_Me?id=yOI_BgAAQBAJ

Tour-wide Giveaway!!
This contest and Rafflecopter widget is run by the publicist, not In the Hammock, the info you submit, prizing and emails will be handled and administrated by the publicist.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway: "Midnight Thunder"

Today, as part of the "Sexy Heroes of Summer" Blog Tour from Harlequin, a copy of "Midnight Thunder" by Vicki Lewis Thompson is up for grabs!! Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form below!


"Midnight Thunder"
by Vicki Lewis Thompson
(synopsis from publicist)
Thunder Mountain Ranch was the only place cowboy Cade Gallagher had ever called home. But after he and Lexi Simmons broke each others’ hearts, he left it behind, along with his foster family. Since then, Cade has drifted, looking for something—anything—to call home. Until a call from Lexi changes everything. Cade has been gone too long. His foster mother is hospitalized, and the ranch is in deep financial trouble. Yet even as his world crumbles, Cade’s hunger for Lexi is almost as tangible as the taste of her lips and the way her body fits deliciously against his. It’s bittersweet surrender. But Lexi isn’t the girl she used to be, and she’s determined to have the hot cowboy in her bed only if she keeps him out of her heart. 

Buy here: http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=59194




GIVEAWAY RULES: The publicist has generously provided a paperback copy of "Midnight Thunder" 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 June 15
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.

Giveaway: "The Italian's Deal for I Do" Autographed Copy!

Today, I have an autographed copy of Jennifer Hayward's "The Italian's Deal for I Do" up for grabs!! Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form below!

"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 May 12
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.

"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.
爵士娱乐华人