Hopefully you won’t find yourself waking up in the middle of the night panicked that you now need the very thing you forgot to pack. Or, finding out moments before you have a meeting or fun place to go, you ran out of or forgot something essential.
So, to all the newbies, and seasoned travel veterans, I’m running an Authors Dish specifically targeted on what authors and industry professionals always include in their suitcases, what they stash in their conference bag to avoid hunger pains and the things they forget once and hopefully never again. While some of the authors contributing are not attending we love that they want to contribute.
May this inspire you to plan, make your lists, and triple check so you are prepared for just about anything. If you’re heading to RWA2019 I’d love to say hi. Comment below so we can be sure to meet up in NYC.
Stay tuned as we’ll have plenty of tips and tricks in the upcoming weeks so check the blog daily.
Today in the cafe are USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Covington, Author Kelly Maher and Author Cate Taylor
Rae: What five things do you have to pack when attending a conference?
a power strip for all my chargers (and my roomies)
earbuds to play music as I go to sleep – hotels are noisy!
at least two black jumpsuits – they go with any occasion!
my planner – its the only way I get it all done
flat shipping boxes and packing tape to mail books home
1. Comfortable shoes. This is an absolute must for me as I developed plantar fasciitis when I first moved to DC and it stuck around for 2.5 years. I never want a recurrence of it if I can help it.
2. Pen and paper. While I often do take notes on my phone or tablet, in some rooms, the set up is just more conducive to pen and paper. Plus, I love the feel of a perfectly matched pen and notebook.
3. A refillable water bottle. It is *so* important to stay hydrated during the conference, and the hotel will suck you dry.
4. A wrap or cardigan. Just as the hotel air is dry, it’s often overly cool. I tend to run hot, so sometimes the cool air will be welcome, but I have a very fine range of when I’m comfortable and will go from feeling hot to “can’t get warm ever again!” in under 5 minutes.
5. My ereader. While I am a total extrovert and you’ll often catch me in the halls talking with people, sometimes I need a few minutes to regroup in quiet and read for a bit to let my brain process all of the conversations.
6. I’m going to stick in a bonus for those who rely on tech: portable battery charger!
- Crocs (or other comfortable shoes). You’ll be on your feet much of the day and walking a LOT. Unless sexy shoes are your brand (a la Kim Kincaid and her fabulous footwear!), consider sacrificing a little fashion for comfort. I wear “fancy” Crocs or my Chucks.
- A pashmina. No matter where the conferences are, July is going to be hot. So the rooms will be air conditioned and/or the nights cool. A pashmina is a lightweight, easy to pack and carry way to keep the chill away. I usually bring a few, at least one dressy and one casual.
- A towel. Because one should always travel with a towel. (Shout out to the late Douglas Adams for that tip!)
- Business cards/bookmarks. It seems like a no-brainer, considering you’ll be networking, but you wouldn’t believe the number of people who forget. I’ve had agents and editors have to write their info on slips of paper because even THEY forgot!
- Really good unscented lotion. My skin dries out in the air conditioning and then I get itchy.
Rae: What is your snack attack must haves in your day bag?
fruit and nut granola bars
haribo gummi bears
dentyne fire gum
Kelly: I usually try to pack something with protein and tend toward peanut butter Clif bars. However, by the time I realize I’m hungry and need a hit, I tend to need to eat 2 to quench the craving. I’m honestly horrible about eating healthy, but when it comes to conference snacks, I like things like the Clif bars, Sargento’s Balanced Breaks kits (I prefer the white cheddar, almonds, and dried cranberries), or dried fruit packs from Trader Joe’s. They’ve got these 3-packs of dried apricots that are fabulous.
- Trail mix
- Twizzlers (satisfy my sweet tooth but don’t melt all over the place like chocolate)
Rae:What’s the one thing you forget to pack and swear to remember next time?
Robin: I have a laminated list that I triple check – I can’t remember the last time I forgot something – I usually overpack! LOL
Kelly: I’m really lucky in that I’ve been going to conferences both for writing and the day job about 3-4 times a year for the last eight years that I’ve got my packing down to an art. If anything, I’m usually out of tissues. But, that’s the fabulous thing about being in New York, there are stores where we’re going! (Duane Reade, owned by Walgreens, is the convenience store of choice in NYC for those who’ve never been.)
Rae: Thank you so much authors! I’ll be keeping a running list and will post it a week before RWA2019 so that hopefully no one needs to make a quick run to the lobby market or drug store around the corner. I’ll see you soon for new authors and more ideas!
Robin Covington: A USAToday bestseller, Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her books. Her stories burn up the sheets…one page at a time. A Native American author of color, Robin proudly writes diverse romance where everyone gets their happy ever after.
She is an unapologetic Indiginerd and comic book geek. She hoards red nail polish and stalks Chris Evans.
A 2016 RITA® Award finalist, Robin’s books have won the National Reader’s Choice and Golden Leaf Awards and finaled in the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, HOLT Medallion, and the Book Seller’s Best.
She lives in Maryland with her handsome husband, her two brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!), and her beloved furbabies, Dutch and Dixie Joan Wilder (Yes – THE Joan Wilder)
Drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org – she always writes back.
Social Media Links:
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Kelly Maher is the author of contemporary romances that feature smart heroines, witty heroes, and settings that make you feel like you’reliving there. A city girl at heart, Kelly currently lives in DC where she works as a librarian when not writing.
Cate Tayler is a beach baby, born and raised on the Connecticut coastline. She met the love of her life while serving in the US Air Force, and after extensive overseas travel, they are now raising their four children in the wild suburbs of Maryland. In addition to writing contemporary romance–always with a happy ending!–her passions include cooking, everything 80s, sappy Hallmark movies, Wonder Woman, and the Miami Dolphins.
Reader Friends –
I am so excited to
reveal the covers for my next series. Aren’t they gorgeous?
An edgy romantic
suspense set in in Baltimore, MD (one of my favorite cities) this series revolves
around a foster family – a thief, a killer, a liar, and a stranger – who are
dragged into the fight against a violent threat in their city. This battle will
test their family, their futures, and their hard-won personal honor. And in
midst of the chaos, they’ll meet the people who will become the reason they
fight – for their lives and for the love that makes it all worthwhile.
I can’t even tell you
how excited I am to bring this series to you but it gets even better! I’ve
partnered with TOGETHER WE RISE, a group dedicated to helping foster kids all
over the country. They provide duffle bags to kids in the system (no more
carrying around their belongings in garbage bags), bikes for kids who’ve aged
out of the system to help them get to jobs and school, and scholarships to help
them continue their education. I’m proud to pledge a portion of the net
royalties of each book in this series to this amazing group and their support
of kids in foster care. You can check them out www.togetherwerise.org.
This series will hit
your e-readers in February, May, July, and October 2018 . . . you can add the first
book to your Goodreads TBR shelf.
A Thief. A Killer. A Liar. A Stranger.
When it comes to love. . . never say never.
Billionaire philanthropist and businessman, George Tarras,
was not a man who tolerated excuses of any kind. Not from himself. Not from his
employees and not his son. When sixteen-year-old Alek indulged in a little
youthful hacking of government websites and theft, George decided to let him
fully experience the consequences of his actions: two weeks in a juvenile
facility and one year of community service.
Always one to lead by example, George volunteered during
this time at the local community center and got to know the three youths who
befriended his son: a thief, a grifter, and a killer. In spite of their pasts
he saw something special in all of them: hope and a future full of promise.
By the end of that fateful year, George had put into motion
the opportunity to change their lives if they dared to take it. A gift—freely
given—but carrying responsibility and consequences.
But, what he really gave them was the one thing they all
needed the most…a family.
Brothers and a sister—they would do anything to protect each
But, danger is coming. Secrets and lies will test their
bonds, challenge their courage, and test their definition of family and love.
To win, they will have to resurrect their pasts and revisit
demons buried long ago.
To survive, they will have to rely on bonds formed not by
blood but by loyalty.
To love, they will have to risk everything.
NEVER LOVE A THIEF
easy. Love is dangerous.
Rescued from the streets at sixteen, former thief, Carmen
“Mina” Salazar, is a law-abiding citizen who no longer indulges in her favorite
pastime: freeing the wealthy from the burden of their belongings. Now Mina spends
her days and nights running St. Nick’s, her bar in the Fell’s Point section of
Baltimore. Abandoned by her father for reasons she doesn’t understand, trust
doesn’t come easily for Mina. But a sexy, dangerous cop in her bar with a reckless
proposition tempts her to take a chance.
The son of a former Baltimore police officer, FBI Special
Agent Declan McGregor has spent his entire life trying to outrun the scandal of
being the son of a drunk, dirty cop. But years of undercover work and living in
the bowels of the dirtiest of organized crime networks has left him with a dead
partner and relief he can only find at the bottom of a bottle. The man in the mirror looks a lot like his
old man and a failed marriage and crumbling career testify to just how close to
the bottom he really is.
Declan wants retribution for the death of his partner and
Mina is the key. When her long-lost father turns up in the bed of the head of
the mob responsible for the murder, Declan offers Mina the one thing she can’t
pass up: the chance to find out why her father left her. All she has to do is
what she does best . . . break, enter and steal her way into the inner circle
of the syndicate. Danger fuels their intense attraction and soon the lines
between revenge and lust are blurred by emotion and tested by betrayal. When lives
are in the balance, there is only one question . . . is it ever safe to love a
thief?*** Book info provided by Author
A USAToday bestseller, Robin
Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in
her books. Her stories burn up the sheets. . .one page at a time. When she’s
not writing, she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book
geek love, hoarding red nail polish and stalking Chris Evans.
A 2016 RITA® Award finalist, Robin’s books
have won the National Reader’s Choice and Golden Leaf Awards and finaled in the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, and the Book Seller’s Best.
She lives in Maryland with her handsome
husband, her two brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!), and her
beloved furbabies, Dutch and Dixie Joan Wilder (Yes – THE Joan Wilder)
Social Media Links:
In Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology, USA Today Bestsellers Robin Covington, Desiree Holt, Kimberly Kincaid, Nana Malone and Virginia Nelson, Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller Angi Morgan, along with Xio Axelrod, Christi Barth, Andie J. Christopher, Avery Flynn, Kim Golden, Lena Hart, Robin Kaye, Katie Kenyhercz, Heather Long, Kate Meader, Susan Scott Shelley, and Misty D. Waters bring you romances with smoking hot heroes—both on and off the ice—who are all a part of the fictional Cajun Rage hockey team. In addition to being a great read at a great price, 20% of the royalties from sales of Hot on Ice will be donated to the Homes for Troops charity, a nonprofit organization that builds mortgage-free, specially modified homes for severely injured veterans
I love that 20% of all royalties earned will go to Homes for Troops. Don’t miss this AMAZING price! On March 27th the price increases to $5.99 and then April 21st it’s gone forever.
What would you do if you had the Stanley Cup for one day? Time to check out these super sexy hockey players! The spicy factor ranges from two peppers to four in these must read stories!
In Skates Trouble by Kate Meader is a flirty and hot introduction into her new Chicago Rebels series. Discover Chicago, it sizzles!
Ford “Killer” Callaghan is not prepared for his reaction to Addy and the ice may melt in this steamy must read. Can Addy handle the heat? Two strangers, an intimate moment and a desire for change turn Chicago smokin’ hot.
What will Addy do when she discovers the identity of her midnight encounter? Can she move past her own insecurities to open up and finally find love?
I can’t wait to read how steamy it gets in Kate’s new hockey series! .
Blocked by Heather Long sizzles from the cover to the last page in this reality star meets hockey hero story.
Hoshi Sato is thrown into a family scandal, will her knight in shining armor save her or throw her to the paparazzi wolves? Protected for most of her life she will discover that Archer Durham is not the same man the media portrays.
Will they move past their family disapproval and find happiness? A day with the Stanley cup and a mountain resort is a bit spicy. I’m ready to book my vacation getaway now!
Blade by Avery Flynn thrusts us into the world of a thief with a chance for redemption and to save the one man who broke her heart. Can Gillie Pike leave her shady past?
Flynn Kazakov has just won the Stanley Cup and everyone want’s a piece of him. There’s just one problem, he needs to pay off a debt. When it comes to matters of the heart, sometimes those debts are harder to repay.
Gillie and Flynn have unfinished business, will they be able to walk away unscathed this time?
The sexy hot tension off and on the ice is enough to put your senses into overdrive!
If you enjoyed The Thomas Crown Affair and love hockey…sit back and enjoy the fun!
Deep Check by Kimberly Kincaid delivers hot hockey players with a few surprises from her sexy firefighters in this must read novella.
Finn has just won the Stanley Cup and it’s time to return home. There’s just one problem, he must make amends with his past. Will it be too much? There is something he has wanted and even after winning the cup, it still might be out of reach.
January had it all until she lost the two people she cared for the most. When one returns, will she be able to finally find peace?
Finn and January still burn hot for each other despite the tragedy in their past. Can they find a way to open up and trust in each other? What will Finn do when he finds out he had it wrong all along, or was he too afraid?
Kimberly writes gritty, raw, hot stories with characters that you crave long after the last word on the page.
Full Contact by Andie J. Christopher is a story of one man’s quest to stay true to his beliefs and not give in. Among the team, the bounty on his virginity is the most coveted prize second to winning the cup.
When Anders Sorenson meets Dahlia he questions the bounty and wonders is she out for the money or his heart?
Dahlia has a past that won’t let her move on and when her family doesn’t take her seriously she wonders if she’ll ever have her dream job.
Can they both get what they want? This story sizzles and I look forward to reading more from Andie!
Free Agent by Robin Covington is a M/M romance that is full of steamy heat off the ice as the Stanley Cup travels to Washington, DC.
Jamie Watson has not forgotten his roots, and his trip home with the cup is proof that he’s ready to live his life out in the open. In order to be a positive role model, first he needs to be true to himself.
Etienne has not been shy about his feelings for Jamie, but they’ve never tested the waters. Will he finally succeed in his quest when an opportunity lands in his lap?
Both men will have to take a leap of faith or risk losing the one thing they both desire the most, each other.
Don’ miss another must read from Robin, her stories are not to be missed!
The Warm Up by Xio Axelrod is fresh and exciting in the city of love, Philadelphia.
When Suji decides to take control and start over, she has the support of her sister and friends.
I love it when the heroine is strong, determined and a force to be reckoned with. If only she could channel that into a relationship instead of her job.
A devastating loss has driven Constantine Zimin to do something no one would expect, least of all Suji. Just when you think love is not going to find you, it shows up in the most unusual way.
When Zim returns home with the Stanley Cup he will challenge Suji and force her to make a few decisions that could change her life forever. Trust is paramount, not all men are out to hurt her.
This spicy story is sexy, witty and hot. I look forward to reading more from this must read author. Everyone should have a sister like Suji and a man like Zim in their lives.
Check My Heart by Christi Barth has it all. A smoking cover and check out the hockey puck! I would love one of those!
Kurt has just won the Stanley Cup and is preparing to throw the most amazing party, if only he could have the one thing that he desires most.
Lisette has a job that gives of herself, taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves. That job forever changes her and is the reason she pushed Kurt away.
The hockey season is officially over, but Kurt might land in the penalty box and throw everything away. Will he fix it in time? It will take a leap of faith, trust and forgiveness to discover their hearts can be mended.
This was the first story I read from Christi Barth and I look forward to reading her backlist!
There are other fabulous stories in this collection and I look forward to posting my thoughts soon. For now…don’t miss out on the sale price of #99cents. Today is the last day to enjoy 18 stories in a collection that won’t be around much longer.
Be sure to give a few as gifts, your friends will thank you! Get your copy here:
In honor of the WRW Readers and Bloggers Luncheon this weekend I’m highlighting a few authors today on the blog.
It’s time to have a little fun – Enjoy!
Ten Tantalizing Tidbits from Ferrara with Love
1. How does it feel to be called an International tycoon?
low chuckle* It has a nice ring to it. Wouldn’t you agree? Though, The Dragon, is much more effective.
2. After reading about pastries and baked goods I think it’s fair to say that women will never look at a biscotti the same way again. Any comment?
Well, De Luca biscotti is known for giving women great pleasure. Though the only woman I prepare my biscotti for these days is Chase Huntington. Nonna would have my hide if she thought I was baking for someone else.
3. Boxers or briefs?
My absolute preference? No clothes at all and with my beautiful woman in my arms.
4. Would you pose for a pin-up calendar for charity?
I would be delighted. Art is beauty, and beauty is to be celebrated. And when we’re finished, I’d make a donation to the cause. My Nonna taught me the value of community, so I’d be happy to help in any way I can.
5. What’s your guilty pleasure? (remember we have a PG-13 audience Drago 😉
*rubs chest with a chuckle* My guilty pleasure would be a well aged Scotch and a great book by the light of a fire. Or…see question #3.
6. Hard Rock or Country?
Hard rock…with a mix of classical and techno.
7. Favorite Movie?
One of Italy’s classics… La Vita è Bella or “Life is Beautiful” .
8. Most romantic thing you’ve done?
I think, a slow, hot, cleansing massage in the shower for the woman I love for no other reason than to take care of and cherish her. But Chase might mention a trip to Rome on my private jet to see Rome by the light of the moon. As a matter of fact, I think both happened in the same evening.
9. You open up your ipod, top five songs in your playlist?
Something by Tiesto
Nessun Dorma by Pavarotti
One by Metallica
Sound of silence by Disturbed
Por ti Volare by Andrea Bocelli
10. It’s Sunday night and the TV is on, what are you watching?
Lucifer with Tom Ellis. He reminds me of someone. *wink, wink*
Thank you for having me, Miss Rae. I love spending time with a beautiful woman.
You are welcome Drago, I had a fabulous afternoon.
“Oh come now, that’s no way to start off as the new kid in town, is it? Perhaps I might be of some assistance.” A miracle came in the form of a familiar voice that skimmed down her spine for a second time that day. Her glance at his shoes was nothing more than a reflex. Immediate silence followed. “You’re my translator?” Chase looked over the heads of her motley crew and took in her tall, dark, and handsome she’d been sparring with only minutes ago. She could look at this man all day, but right now she needed his voice. “Thank God.” “No, thank Drago.” He flashed a devastating grin, then extended his hand. As she slid her much smaller one into his firm grip, she couldn’t help but feel like she were shaking hands with the devil. Because there was no way God would ever make a man this sexy on purpose.
ICYMI: Seducing the Tycoon Review
Seducing the Tycoon -$3.99
Fans of Robin Covington get to know her charming Doc Beck from Southern Nights and Secrets.
Readers want to know…
Beck insisted that he meet you in his favorite booth at the Southern Comfort Diner. When you walk in, he stands and flashes the sexy grin that every woman in the restaurant between the age of 18 to 78 responds to with smiles, shakes of the head and heavy sighs.
As you slide into the booth opposite him you catch a whiff of his spicy aftershave and his own warn scent, unsure whether he smells more delicious than the peanut butter pie and steaming coffee waiting at your place. You realize your staring and shake it off, open your notebook and ask . . .
1.You could have chosen any profession, why a Doctor?
I kind of fell into it. I was huge fu . . .uh . . screw up in school until I went to live with the Landons and then when I finally had someone giving a shit about me doing my homework, I realized that I was really good at science and math. They insisted, along with the Cantrells and Elliotts, that I apply to college and I happened to get a full-ride academic ride to the University of Virginia. Once there, the faculty pushed me towards pre-med and I got a job interning at the hospital. I loved the action and excitement and that I could help people and I figured “why the hell not?” I ended up being very good at it and I love so . . . yeah, that’s it.
2. What’s the most challenging aspect of being a Doctor and working for a woman who you have history with?
Oh man. It sucks and it doesn’t. She’s ready to bust my balls at every turns when I all want to do is have her do something else with them, if you know what I mean? She’s made work a challenge and ruined me for any other woman in my own time. Let’s just say that I’ve done a lot of airplane jumps since she arrived . . .
3. Boxers or briefs?
Probably commando but I’ll let you check if you want.
4. Would you pose for a pin-up calendar if it was for a good cause?
Uh yeah, no problem. Hell, I’d do it even if it wasn’t for a good cause. I’ll do anything once especially if I think it’s going to piss off the stuffed shirts at the hospital.
5. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Other than sex? No – scratch that. I’m never guilty about sex.
I don’t have one. I do what I want and when I want to do it. I never apologize for it and I don’t ask permission. Life is way too damn short to deny yourself pleasure.
6. What is the one thing you need to start your day?
I run. I’m addicted to the adrenaline and its better than coffee.
7. Motorcycle or Car?
I have both so . . . both!
8. Most romantic thing you’ve done?
When Ginger and I were in school together I sweet-talked the librarian into opening up her study carrel for me and I put flowers and her favorite study candy in there. She loved it . . . and showed me how much in the middle of the stacks in the back of the library. Great memory. I’ll have to see if I can get her to do that again . . .
9. You open up your ipod, top five songs in your playlist?
1. Come As You Are by Nirvana
2. Do You Wanna Know? By Artic Monkeys
3. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi by Radiohead
4. I’m Not the Only One by Sam Smith
5. Already Gone by Puddle of Mud
10. It’s Sunday and the TV is on, what sport are you watching? What team are you rooting for?
I don’t sit on my ass and watch sports, I get out and do it. So Sunday afternoon I’m BASE jumping or climbing or something else.
Southern Nights and Secrets (The Boys are Back in Town) $3.99
A USAToday bestseller, Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her books. Her stories burn up the sheets. . .one page at a time. When she’s not writing she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, hoarding red nail polish and stalking Chris Evans.
A 2016 RITA® Award finalist, Robin’s books have won the National Reader’s Choice and Golden Leaf Awards and finaled in the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, and the Book Seller’s Best.
She lives in Maryland with her handsome husband, her two brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!), and her beloved furbabies, Dutch and Dixie Joan Wilder (Yes – THE Joan Wilder)
Drop her a line at email@example.com – she always writes back.
Social Media Links:
Facebook Profile: https://on.fb.me/YSW9n3
Facebook Page: https://on.fb.me/1fCyWuQ
Amazon Follow: https://amzn.to/1L2PrAG
Street Team: https://on.fb.me/1hZdeEu
Newsletter sign up: https://bit.ly/1hde9GD
****** Congratulations to the winners of the Day 10 Giveaway ******
ROBIN COVINGTON PRIZES:
Congratulations to Michelle Hayes you won ONE print copy of RUSH
SANDRA LAKE PRIZE WINNERS:
Congratulations to Keri B and Julie K you won an e-book set of A Sons of North Romance series.
ELIZABETH HOYT PRIZE WINNER:
Congratulations kaisquared4 you won a copy of The Duke of Sin
ELIZABETH HEITER PRIZE WINNER:
Congratulations Linda Bien you won ONE autographed print set The Profiler books (Hunted, Vanished & Seized).
LAUREN BLAKELY WINNER:
Congratulations Leslie S you won ONE e-book of Big Rock
You all have 24 hours to e-mail me your information at firstname.lastname@example.org or a new name will be drawn.
Today I’m featuring books by Robin Covington, Elizabeth Heiter, Sandra Lake, Lauren Blakely, and Elizabeth Hoyt. Their books include Erotic, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance and Historical Romane so there is something for everyone.
Be sure to check out the amazing e-book giveaways at the very bottom. It’s going to be a sweet and spicy day!
******* ROBIN COVINGTON ******
Bestselling author Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her bestselling books. When she’s not writing sexy, sizzling romance she is collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, and stalking Joe Manganiello.
You can find Robin at her website (robincovingtonromance.com), Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Don’t send chocolate . . . send eye candy!
Robin lives in Maryland with her hilarious husband, brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!) and her beloved furbabies.
One Little Kiss by Robin Covington is absolutely sinful and I am thrilled to see it’s a contender in the 2016 RITA Novella category. It’s got depth of emotion and plot, amazing characters and a VERY emotionally satisfying ending. Without sacrifice, work or challenges, love isn’t worth the risk!
Leighton Greer is on her way to Dublin for a chance of a lifetime until a raging blizzard delays her flight and strands her at the airport.
Karma can be worse than an crazy ex-boyfriend. For Leighton it smacked her straight into the very man she ran out on. Now, it will take a little Irish luck to charm her way around the very man who stole more than just her heart.
Jonas Sutton has a secret, he’s in love with Leighton and absolutely pissed she walked out on him. Things are totally complicated now, she’s his best friend’s sister.
Desperate to spend time and find out why she left him, Jonas rescues her from the airport. They are given a second chance for redemption, both at the airport because they are headed out of town. What are the odds?
Leighton is shocked by his sudden news and forced to face her feelings, will she run again? Can they both have their dreams? Will these two souls desperate for each other finally connect?
This three pepper spicy latte sizzles and is a must read. I sat down to read it and did not get out of my chair till I clicked on the last page. I am in love with this tasty tale.
This story is pretty hot with content for mature readers 18 +.
The guy leaning on me really needs an Altoid.
I shift to the side as my impromptu airport floor roommate snuggles closer and lets loose a snore that makes my nearby fellow captives look in our direction in alarm. I’m not looking forward to riding out the snowstorm in Terminal D with a man who needs an industrial strength nasal strip but I fought hard for the prime spot along the wall close to an electrical outlet and I’m not moving.
When the airline had begun cancelling flights due to the unexpected blizzard three days before St. Patrick’s Day, the first wave of activity in international departures was to secure a hotel room for the night. Being neither a platinum or some other precious gem level member at one of the big hotel chains had meant I was out of luck in securing any kind of room for the night so I’d wedged my way in between overstuffed carry-ons and whiny kids to grab my piece of prime real estate along the wall.
Two hours later, my phone is fully charged but the answer is clear—there is no room for me in the inn. Or the Marriott. Or the Hilton.
A great way to start my first adventure.
Two and a half months from my college graduation and I’m taking the chances in my life that I should have been taking all along. Finally. I’m beginning to feel like the person I am supposed to be but not everyone is on board with my accelerated program of development. The parentals, my twin brother—they mean well but they worry about me. Too much.
I am the fragile one. The one who needs to be careful. The one they almost lost. You’d think beating childhood leukemia would have made me brave, fierce. Nope. I’d bought into their characterization and worn it like a cloak to protect me from the big bad world until I’d almost suffocated under the weight. And then a few months ago, Brian-the-cheaterface had kicked my ass to the curb two weeks before Christmas for a girl named Silver who had green hair, ear gauges and a tongue stud and blamed it all on my being only slightly less boring than a bag of flour. Actually, his exact words were “if you’d only live with the passion you put into your fucking music I wouldn’t have had to look elsewhere” but it all amounted to the same thing.
And as big a cheating asshole Brian was, he wasn’t wrong.
So, I wallowed in my misery for a week and then grabbed the nearest bottle of champagne and proceeded to spend New Year’s Eve “living with passion” in the bed of a guy I’d wanted for what seemed like forever. I also beat feet out of there before the morning after ruined the memories of the night. A cowardly move, I know.
He must have been on the same page because he avoided me in the weeks following our night of sweaty fun between the sheets. The times when we had to be together were infrequent but held a level of awkward somewhere between catching your parents making out on the couch and leaving the restroom with your skirt stuck in your panties. Good times.
But I am determined to live with passion, so when my music program selected me to go to the Celtic Music Festival in Dublin a month ago, I dusted off my passport, spared a moment to regret the terrible ID photo, and booked my ticket.
And now my flight is cancelled until the snowstorm passes, I’m stuck in the airport with a million other spring breakers, and my folks have lost their minds. It isn’t like taking a spring break trip to Ireland is the height of danger but you’d think I was pledging to marry a death-row inmate or something, the way they are acting.
They finally stopped calling after I let their calls go to voicemail but they weren’t shy about pulling out the big guns and so the next series of calls were from their not-so-secret weapon—my twin brother Landon.
I hit the screen and sigh, making sure a little bit of bitch is added to the overall tone of annoyance. “Landon. I’m going to Dublin. The flights will be back on tomorrow. Stop calling.”
“Number Two.” I bite back the urge to tell him for the eleventy billionth time to stop calling me that childhood nickname. I was three minutes behind him in arriving on this planet and he never lets me forget it. “Mom is shitting a brick because she thinks you’re going to be murdered in your sleep by someone who wants your carry-on.”
I glance at the small backpack at my feet. Yeah, I have the usual electronics in it —iPad, iPod—but the real treasure is in the hard case tucked close to my side. My violin, Wonder Woman, is inside and worth at least a year of tuition according to the insurance papers. She is my best friend, an extension of my body. My heart. We’ve been together since I was sixteen years old.
“If someone wants her they’ll have to pry her out of my cold, dead hands.”
He laughs. “And that is exactly what mom’s having a cow about.”
“Landon,” I sigh.
Did I mention how much I hate that nickname?
“I wish everyone would stop treating me like I am helpless or something. I’m not going to break or have a breakdown because I have to sleep at the airport.”
“We worry about you,” he says and then mumbles something to himself I can’t make out.
“What? What did you say?”
“Look. I sent the cavalry,” he rushes in and I let out a groan that catches the attention of several of my fellow strandees. I smile, trying to reassure them that I’m not the wacko they need to worry about as he keeps talking. “It was either this or mom was going to call airport security.”
“She didn’t.” If she did I was going to die on the spot. Melt into a pile of embarrassed goo and be nothing but a dark stain on the disgusting industrial carpet.
“She didn’t because I offered a compromise.”
“What kind of compromise?” But I knew. I knew because I saw it walking towards me with a slow grin and six feet three inches of lanky, sexy, muscled body. I can’t help the way my mouth drops open on a whispered, “oh my God” as I end the call. Hell, I’m glad I can still form a sentence at this point in time since the last person I want to see and the one person I’m desperate to have saunters towards me.
The guy I spent the night with on New Year’s Eve and then ditched before the sun came up. My brother’s roommate and best friend.
He stops right in front of me, forcing me to look up to see his face. He stares down at me, not missing a damn thing and barely hiding the smirk teasing at his lips.
“Who’s your boyfriend?”
I glance at the dude still leaning against my shoulder and lightly shove him away. He sways in the opposite direction for a nanosecond but then falls back against me, a loud snuffly snore joining the waft of bad breath he aims in my direction. I shudder and try to breathe through my mouth.
Jonas shoves his hands in his pockets but I’m not fooled by the casual manner, the zinger is coming. He’ll never let a moment like this pass him by.
“You gonna ditch him in the morning too?
Get your own copy here –
One Little Kiss – $0.99
******* LAUREN BLAKELY *******
About Lauren Blakely:
Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With nine New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller List more than three dozen times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love and Fighting Fire. She recently released BIG ROCK, a sexy standalone romantic comedy that became an instant New York Times Bestseller. In the late spring, she’ll release MISTER O, another standalone romantic comedy.
Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter ** Goodreads
Mister O by Lauren Blakely is a sexy and fun adventure of a man that will knock your socks off. In her latest release Lauren has once again written a story that is full of charm, impeccable comedic timing and sizzle. For those who read Big Rock and thought it couldn’t get any better, you haven’t read Mister O.
Satisfaction guaranteed is Nick Hammer’s motto, a skill he’s quite proud of and not afraid to mention to anyone willing to listen. In fact, when his best friends younger sister needs help with men, Nick is all too eager to help. There’s just one catch, Nick needs to remember that she’s practically family and off limits. If Nick isn’t careful he’ll discover that he’s attractive to her nerdy ways and quirkiness.
Nick is a cartoonist and has it all going for him, a hit TV show, a lifestyle that suits his single ways, and loves living in NYC. But, is he ready to let go of his heart and fall in love?
Harper Holiday has known Nick for years and is clumsy, nerdy and absolutely unable to talk to men. At least a man who isn’t a friend. When Nick witness’s her blunder when men approach her, intervention is necessary. Harper admires Nick’s uncanny way with words and wonders about the truth to the rumors of his skills in the bedroom. With her brother away for a week on his honeymoon, it’s time to put her plan into action. Will Nick help her learn what she needs to finally find a man?
A week is a long time for advice, tutoring and lots of time together to perfect a few necessary dating skills to secure a man. Hmmm, will these two friends discover that the chemistry between them is more than just a fleeting moment? It’s obvious to everyone around them, but they are too scared to admit it to each other.
Between the flirty texts, the sexy moments and the intense banter this book will become a new favorite read. I’m looking forward to reading about the other supporting sexy men that Lauren has written about.
If you loved reading about Spencer and Charlotte in Big Rock, then you will LOVE Mister O. I’m also thrilled to read that Nick’s brother Wyatt will have his story next. Congrats Lauren on a fresh, fun and intensely sexy read!
Please be sure to check the blog tomorrow for my Coffee With Lauren!
This 4 Jalapenos Spicy Latte is full on, no holds barred and go for it sensuality and situations. Definitely heats it up and might offend. For mature readers, 18 +.
I received this ARC from the author for a fair and honest review.
“You’re good, Nick. You know just what to do and how to behave. This is why you attract women in droves.”
I kind of want to protest. I feel like she has this impression of me that I don’t necessarily want her to have, but I’m not sure how to deflect this. “Because I have a gift?”
“That and several other reasons.” She waves broadly at my arms. It’s October, but it’s not chilly tonight so I don’t have a jacket on. “First, there are the arms. All that ink and muscle.”
She roams her eyes over my biceps. “I mean, your ink is awesome,” she says, pointing to the shapes and swirls I designed myself. The tattoos are abstract lines and curves, but inside them there’s a sun, a moon, and stars, because those were the first things I realized I was good at drawing.
“Then, the body. Mr. Men’s Health-I’m-so-fit,” she says in this mocking tone, but it’s not me she’s making fun of. It’s the article.
“You read it?”
“I read everything. I devour information,” she says, and we’re right back to that place I seem to inhabit with her, where she compliments me, but she could be saying it like I’m a car she’s considering buying. And this one has one hundred seventy horsepower.
“And then, there’s your face, and you have all this awesome scruff on it.”
I run a hand over my jaw, and the neat, trim beard that’s like an additional sex toy I can bring to the bedroom. “Chicks dig the beard,” I say, with a lopsided grin.
“I bet they do,” she says under her breath. She doesn’t say anything else right away. She presses her teeth into the corner of her lip and then speaks, more softly than before. “Can I feel it?”
Get your Amazon copy here –Mister O
** I received the excerpt, graphics, and all non-amazon links from Ink Slinger.**
(** re-posted from 5/2/16)
Big Rock by Lauren Blakely is available now!
Does size matter? It depends on what you’re talking about! For many, some will say no, it doesn’t matter, for others, they will say yes, it does. Spencer Holiday loves to brag. If you want to know how he feels, read Big Rock.
Spencer is perfect in almost every way. Gorgeous, smart, a savvy businessman and heir to the renowned jewelry store in the heart of New York City. You know, the one that puts all their jewels in a little blue box. It’s a family business that just might need his help but he’s content with his own business, the one he runs with Charlotte Rhodes, his best friend.
Charlotte is both a perfect business partner and best friend. She’s the kind of woman that knows what Spencer needs, most of the time. Beautiful in her own right, she’s always willing to partake in a plan or rescue without hesitation
When Spencer randomly mentions to his father during a key meeting for the family jewelry store that he’s just proposed to Charlotte, will they take him seriously? Engaged? Can he go through with it? Perhaps there’s more to it than changing the outcome of the meeting? Sometimes a plan doesn’t always end the way it should. Spencer might just find out that what he’s been looking for has been right in front of him the entire time.
Discover what happens as Spencer and Charlotte kick their game up a notch. Can these friends convince everyone their love is the real deal despite being “just friends?”
Is it true that New York City’s notorious playboy is off the market and ready to commit to forever with one woman? Everything is perfect, but someone isn’t happy about Spencer and Charlotte’s impending nuptials. Will they make it down the aisle?
If you are looking for a standalone read that’s off the chart with sizzle from the super smokin’ cover to a story written from his POV, then you will want to get your copy now. At $3.99 the price is just right for a mid-week treat. Tackle those mid-week doldrums with a Spicy Latte read.
This was the first book I’ve read from Lauren and I thought her writing was flawless, witty and super steamy. A quick mention to the cover designer, creative use of the wording on the cover
This Spicy Latte is full on, no holds barred and go for it sensuality and situations. Definitely heats it up and might offend. For mature readers, 18 +.
I received this ARC from the author for a fair and honest review.
(** re-posted from 1/6/16)
******* ELIZABETH HEITER ********
ELIZABETH HEITER likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range.
Checkout a few books from Elizabeth’s Harlequin Intrigue series.
Seduced by the Sniper, by Elizabeth Heiter, is the second book in The Lawmen Series from Harlequin Intrigue. Chelsie Russell, an FBI negotiator, is involved in a tragic hostage situation that doesn’t end they way she’d planned. The results affect her family and colleagues. Scott Delacorte is an FBI agent trained to rescue hostages and has a reputation for being a playboy. When an unexpected development in a supposedly resolved case puts them in jeopardy, will they have the strength to admit the truth about how they feel towards each other?
Assumptions were made that could interfere with him protecting her. Can Chelsie open up to him? Will he put his playboy ways behind him? Scott is determined to keep her safe at all costs. There’s just one problem, he is still thinking about what happened between them before the hostage ordeal and it’s driving him crazy.
There is something so sexy about an FBI agent who can’t figure out his way around women but knows how to fire a weapon with precision and accuracy. So sexy! This story will keep you engaged with enough action, sizzle and heat to keep you reading till the very last page.
This was the first book I’d read by Elizabeth and I absolutely LOVED it. I receive this ARC from the author for a fair and honest review but would have purchased this book for myself or a friend. Get your copy now!
(** re-posted from 3/29/15)
SWAT Secret Admirer (The Lawmen), by Elizabeth Heiter, is a must read. Maggie Delacorte has been haunted by a madman from an unsolved case that has remained so for the past ten years, with very few leads. Everything she’s done, her job and relationships, has been affected because of what happened. Working for FBI SWAT is vital to her physical and emotional survival. When an unexpected letter arrives, everything changes and no one is safe.
Grant Larkin is new to the SWAT team and unbeknownst to Maggie, knows more than she probably would like about her past. When Grant is assigned to her case, things become clear, risks must be taken, and secrets need to be revealed. However, Grant wants more than friendship from Maggie and isn’t sure how to tell her. If he pursues his feelings it could jeopardize everything. How will she respond? How will he react? Maggie can’t afford to let herself get close to him, or can she?
This book is another great read from Harlequin Intrigue and has all the elements of it that we expect from a fabulous publisher! The perfect amount of romance, hot young FBI agents in a compelling and griping story that twists and turns!
While this book reads great as a stand alone, it’s even better when read in order as there is crossover from other great characters in each book.
I received this ARC from the Author for a fair and honest review and would absolutely buy this book and any future Lawmen series books. In fact, I look forward to more. Who’s will be next, Kammy? Clive? There just has to be more!
(** re-posted from 3/30/15)
**** ELIZABETH HOYT ****
Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.
The Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt is the tenth installment in the Maiden Lane series. Welcome to the world of secrets, games and fairy tales wrapped in a beautiful cover!
Bridget Crumb is the loyal housekeeper for a man who seek out the worst in people and holds those secrets for his gain. When circumstances force the Duke out of town, Bridget is left to manage his home and it leaves many questions unanswered. Intent of saving someone she loves from his wicked schemes she seeks out the truth from within the house. If her boss is away, why does she always feel like someone is watching her too?
Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery has witnessed his share of horrific acts by men who were supposed to keep people safe. Now a grown man he is still on a quest to find out the truth to that painful night all those years ago. The grown Duke is not a man anyone wishes to cross and with his collection of secrets it could be disastrous for anyone who crosses him. Can the man who controls everything let himself be tamed? One question still haunts him, who is Bridget loyal too?
Growing up without love can destroy a man rendering himself unable to reciprocate when the opportunity presents itself. When Bridget sets out to fix the pain Val has inflicted, what will he do with the news of her betrayal? Is it really a betrayal if it’s with good intention?
Elizabeth has infused this story with redemption, honesty and love. When Val believes he is unable to be loved it is due to the knowledge of atrocious acts inflicted by those closest to him. The damaged is from witnessing the effect it had on the one person he cared about. Yet, years later, he hasn’t been broken. While he still carries that secret close to him it is out of love to protect his sister. It will take a strong woman to show him that he is worthy of love and affection with someone of his own.
Another captivating read from Elizabeth with attention to most intricate details. From the characters to the house Val lives in, this story is fantastic. There is a certain expectation when you sit down to read a Maiden Lane book. What is that dear reader? A great story infused with a magical fairytale of wisdom and truth, animals of all kinds, and absolute chemistry for our hero and heroine that sizzles.
Are you new to the series? Fear not dear readers this book can be read as a standalone but I think you will enjoy your reading pleasure more if you read the entire series in order. There are TEN books to dive into. So, wherever you obtain your books from – library, bookstore or e-retailer, you can find them anywhere!
A spicy 2 1/2 pepper read and has enough heat to make you sizzle and is for mature readers 18+.
Get your copy here and have it delivered to your e-reader before you wake up this Tuesday. A wonderful gift to yourself this holiday weekend.
Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane)
Around back of the stables Bridget saw a group of boys surrounding something on the ground. As she gasped, a boy—a great big fellow, nearly as big as a man—drew back his leg and kicked.
The thing on the ground yelped.
“No!” Bridget shouted, but she was drowned out by a gunshot.
She turned to see the Duke of Montgomery, standing in his shirt-sleeves and pink embroidered waistcoat and breeches, hip cocked, a smoking pistol held almost negligently aloft in his left hand.
He smiled, as sweetly as an adder baring its fangs, at the boys. “Won’t you please vacate this area?”
The boys seemed frozen by surprise—or stark fear.
The duke tilted his head and his smile dropped from his face, leaving it blank—and somehow much more frightening. “Now.”
There was a mad scramble and then the mews was deserted save for her and the duke.
Bridget blinked and hurried to her little terrier, tied quite disgracefully by a cord around his neck to a stake in the ground. He lay on his side in the mud, but his tail thumped against the dirt when he saw her. He jumped to his feet, shaking himself, and tried to limp toward her, but was stopped by the cord.
She knelt in the mud and tried to pull the cord from his neck, but it had been tied terribly tight and her hands were shaking.
She felt the duke crouch behind her, his arms reaching around her, warm and hard, and felt a moment’s confusion before he leaned forward and murmured in her ear, “Here.”
He placed her opened chatelaine knife in her hands.
She took it gratefully. “Thank you.”
Carefully she cut the cord and picked up the little dog, his body warm and rather smelly in her arms.
The terrier immediately began licking her chin.
Bridget inhaled on a sob, even as she felt the brush of the duke’s tongue at the corner of her eye.
“Your tears taste like salvation.” His voice was deep, resonating against her back, and he almost sounded puzzled.
She shuddered, gasping, but didn’t dare look around, and then he was gone.
Biting her lips, she smoothed her hands over the dog’s small, wriggling body, trying to feel for broken bones. As far as she could tell, the terrier was bruised, but fine, although he had a bit of blood over one eye. He gazed up at her adoringly and it came to her all at once that his name was Pip.
She looked up.
The duke was still there, watching her in the gloaming, his beautiful golden hair ablaze in the setting sun.
She cleared her throat. “I…thank you. For saving him.”
It was hard to tell his expression in the dim light, but she thought he smiled.
She still held Pip, loath to let him go. Would the boys find him again, perhaps kill him this time? “I…er…I didn’t know you liked dogs?”
“I don’t.” He shrugged. “But you do.”
*************** GIVEAWAY ********** GIVEAWAY ***************
Check out the featured prized that have been generously donated for the first post of the day. Check out what you could win…
From Robin Covington:
ONE print copy of RUSH
From Sandra Lake:
SIX e-book sets of A Sons of the North Series (The Warlords Wife, The Iron Princess, and The Northman’s Bride)
From Elizabeth Heiter:
ONE autographed print set The Profiler books (Hunted, Vanished & Seized).
From Lauren Blakely
ONE e-book of Big Rock
From Elizabeth Hoyt
ONE Paperback copy of the Duke of Sin
For a chance to win one of these AMAZING prizes please comment and respond to the following questions on this blog post:
How do you decide where to go for your big meal of the holiday? Is your family so big that you have to spread it out? What is your favorite dish to make and what do you do while you are waiting for it to all cook?
Do you cook it all or split it up and have everyone bring a faborite dish?
Contest ends 7/20/16 at 11:59 PM EST. Winners will be randomly selected AND must comment on this blog post OR on the public Books I Love A Latte FaceBook Personal Blog Page.
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