Monday, December 31, 2012

End of Year Book Survey

best books read in 2012

Best In Books 2012

1.    Best Book You Read In 2012? (You
Since I read and write contemporary romance, I will focus on that, of course!
I cannot pick just one…. But I have two favorites that after reading them I said I had to reread them again in that moment.
About Last NightHer Best Worst Mistake by Sarah Mayberry
Her Best Worst MistakeAbout Last Night by Ruthie Knox
And since it makes me sad not to have a Jill Shalvis book on my faves, I will list one of hers.
Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis

2.    Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Simply Irresistable by Rachel Gibson

3.    Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 

Making Waves by Tawna Fenske – I’m a woman of habit, meaning I usually buy authors I know and love or series/lines I’ve been faithful to. However, I decided to risk it on Tawna and boy was I surprised. Great fun read!
Fifty Shades of Grey series – I know, I know…. Some you hate it, but I loved it! J I didn’t even want to read it, but heard so much about it, I had to read it.

4.    Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
All and everything by Jill Shalvis! If you haven’t read any of her books,  you better get one NOW!

5.    Best series you discovered in 2012?
There are two series: Lucky Harbor Series by Jill Shalvis and Fool’s Gold Series by Susan Mallory

6.    Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
Shannon Stacy, Susan Mallory and Bella Andre

7.    Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
The Siren by Tiffany Reisz – What a deep, enthralling story! Tiffany wowed me in so many ways. I was deeply disturbed by many things in this book, yet I couldn’t put it down. Also made me more interested in Erotica. Plus there are others in the series… on my TBR list.
The Siren (The Original Sinners, #1)
8.    Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
See above! J

9.     9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
My faves that were listed in Number 1. I’d like to reread Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie, too, because I remember laughing my ass off and I need a good laugh.
10.  Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?
There’s so many. The latest I read is a GREAT cover – eye-stopping! The Risk-Taker by Kira Sinclair
The Risk-Taker
And so you won’t think I’m just into Man Candy, I also love this one… Slow Summer Kisses by Shannon Stacey
Slow Summer Kisses
11.  Most memorable character in 2012? 
James Fraser in The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

12.   Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
Tiffany Reisz knocked my pants off with her writing in The Siren, but since I already mentioned her, I will mention that Bella Andre writes some beautiful sex scenes.

13.  Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012? 
I would say Jill Shalvis’s books have an impact on me, because I want to write like her!
Pride and Prejudice would also be on my list. I read it at least once a year, because I love it so much!

14.   Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read? 
The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Now I have no time to read the others in the series, but I can’t wait.

15.   Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? 
“Because you aren't just someone I loved back then. You were my best friend, my best self, and I can't imagine giving that up again." He hesitated searching for the right words. "You might not understand, but I gave you the best of me, and after you left, nothing was ever the same.” Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
“Accept that some days you’re the bug, and some days you’re going to be the windshield.” The Sweetest Thing, Jill Shalvis
“Just when you think you’ve hit rock bottom, someone will hand you a shovel.” Simply Irresistable, Jill Shalvis
 16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012?
Shortest: No Mistletoe Required by Jeannette Murray
Longest: The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

 17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
Fifty Shades of Grey has always been a conversation with other women, hence the reason why I had to read it. I was lucky enough to like it.
The Siren – So many dark, deep issues that I tried to talk to my hubby about and he was like…”What the hell are you reading? You like that stuff?” HAHA.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
The Other Side of Us by Sarah Mayberry – I’m currently reading this as an ARC. The two characters are both going through tough times, but they help each other get through it and help discover a new side to themselves. They are lovely, have me smiling, and rooting for them.
19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
Her Best Worst Mistake by Sarah Mayberry. I’ve read her many times with Harlequin Blaze and Harlequin Superromance. This one was self-published and wonderful!

 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012? 
Sara at Harlequin Junkie –
We love all the same books, so it’s great to find book recommendations from her. Also, she has wonderful giveaways!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012? 
Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis - I’m especially proud of this one since Jill shared it with her readers on Facebook!

3. Best discussion you had on your blog? About Fifty Shades of Grey. I had to vent and others had major opinions about the book.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
Discussion about traditional vs. self-publishing

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I enjoy participating in the Wednesday’s Writer’s Words of Wisdom. Authors give advice about promotion, marketing,etc. Great for a newbie author like me.
Also, Carrie Ann Ryan’s Blog Hops have been a  success. I do one of these a month.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?
Starting my blog in March of 2012!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Here are my top posts:
Christian Grey is My Hump Day Hunk – I still get hundreds of views a week on this one. I had to stop Hump Day Hunks as hubby didn’t like them. ;(
Favorite Romantic Movie #1: Young Victoria
Busted for Reading Romance

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
My announcement that my novel was  contracted!
Time Changes Everything – Here I Come 2013

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Listening to books while cooking, doing chores, etc., baby!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
My goal was to read 60 books this year. I only read 52! So close!!!!

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
Rescue My Heart by Jill Shalvis
Rescue My Heart (Animal Magnetism, #3)
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
I have a post dedicated to this coming in the next week. You have to wait and see! J

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?
This year my first book will be published. Most of my goals are writing related. This year I want to read 60 books (again) and have a more consistent blogging schedule.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Road to Publishing: Major Newbie Author Fail

Have you heard of Track Changes editing? You probably have, but little old me hasn't. So, when I got my first edits back from my awesome editor, she used "Track Changes" in MS Word. Pretty simple.

Here's what it looks like:

What did I do? I printed out the edits, put them in a binder, opened up my manuscript in my writing software, WriteWay Pro (see post about this awesome software) and got to work. Little did I know, I made a huge error. I should have edited in Microsoft Word which tracks my changes. Then, the editor can see the changes I made. Ag! I'm sure she is cursing every word she can think of in English (and French, because she's fluent in French, of course). I just hope she is patient enough  to go through the motions 
with me being a newbie author. 
Me. Right. Now.

Palm to forehead as I read up on Track Changes and how to use it. Here is a great tutorial I found:

My problem now is my MS Word program is in Spanish. Yuck. This is why I like to use my writing software. My whole computer system is Spanish since I bought it in my little country of Guatemala. I will have to buy the English version of MS Office or teach myself all these Spanish editing words that I never knew existed. What do you think? Que piensas? 

Now after deep breaths, I can only hope that you learn from my mistakes. I know I've learned my lesson. Just remember to...

Keep Calm and Track Changes

Thanks for Stopping By,


Book Review: The Risk-Taker by Kira Sinclair

The Risk-Taker
The Risk-Taker by Kira Sinclair

Back of the Book
Subject: Totally buff ranger Gage Harper
Current Status: Walking wounded—both physically and mentally
Mission: Finally get the girl he could never have
Obstacle: She may just be the biggest risk he's ever taken

All returned POW Gage Harper wants to do is forget, even if he has to let some gym rat beat him to a pulp to do it. He certainly doesn't want to tell the tale of his heroism to the tabloids. Especially since he's no hero…. But one journalist is determined to get the inside scoop—and she's the only girl Gage has never been able to resist.

Hope Rawlings never took Gage's romantic advances seriously growing up. After all, she was just his buddy, and a guy like Gage could have any girl he wanted. But now she needs his story to get her dream job in the city. And she's willing to do anything to get it.

Gage Harper returns to his hometown, Valentine, after being rescued from a horrific experience in Afghanistan. Now a hero and instant celebrity, he has to learn how to deal with his emotions. Running into Hope Rawlings, his childhood best friend and crush, he discovers that his love for her has never died. He has to convince her to want him as much as he wants her. Lucky for him, they are paired up in the city's Cupid Couples week, where they are forced to spend time together. Little did he know that Hope paid to be paired up with him, because as a journalist, she wants his story - and only his story - if only her heart wouldn't get in the way. 

What a wonderful story with real characters and real emotions. Of course, since this is a Blaze, there are some hot scenes that I could read over and over. Gage is a likeable hero with pure Alpha tendencies. However, his hurt and pain is so true that I want to reach into the book and hug him myself. A real wounded soldier in need of some tenderness which is given by Hope.

I'm a sucker for friends to lovers stories. This one won't disappoint!

Thanks for stopping by,


Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Song for Julia Blog Tour - #Giveaway - $250 GC & ecopy

Everyone should have something to rebel against.

Crank Wilson left his South Boston home at sixteen to start a punk band and burn out his rage at the world. Six years later, he’s still at odds with his father, a Boston cop, and doesn’t ever speak to his mother. The only relationship that really matters is with his younger brother, but watching out for Sean can be a full-time job. The one thing Crank wants in life is to be left the hell alone to write his music and drive his band to success.

Julia Thompson left a secret behind in Beijing that exploded into scandal in Washington, DC, threatening her father's career and dominating her family's life. Now, in her senior year at Harvard, she's haunted by a voice from her past and refuses to ever lose control of her emotions again, especially when it comes to a guy.

When Julia and Crank meet at an anti-war protest in Washington in the fall of 2002, the connection between them is so powerful it threatens to tear everything apart.

Interview of Charles Sheehan-Miles:

Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?

Let’s see… I’m forty one years old. I served in the Army during the 91 Gulf War, and spent much of the last two decades involved in one way or another in veterans’ issues, primarily focused on Gulf War veterans’ illnesses, PTSD and other related issues. 

I met the love of my life in an independent bookstore in Atlanta (Oxford Books) and we got married in the bookstore on April Fools Day of 1994. You have to have a sense of humor about these things. We’re coming up on 19 years, now, and have two great kids, 17 and 12. My family is very supportive of my writing.
What a romantic story! Now, to your book, what is your favorite scene in A Song for Julia?

Julia, the title character, comes from a diplomatic family, and in the course of the story her father, a retired ambassador, is asked to go to Iraq with a UN team to attempt to negotiate with Saddam Hussein’s government. Julia, unwillingly, is dragged along to a dinner at the White House with President and Laura Bush. It’s an awkward scene, full of hidden tension that most of the characters don’t understand at all, but I tried to focus on keeping it very human and sometimes funny. I really enjoyed writing that one.

Fascinating. I guess that's where your experiences in Iraq come in. 
As I writer, I'd like to know if you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

I tend to get to know my characters as I go along. Sometimes I get surprised, and find out things that I hadn’t planned, and that take the story in a different direction than I originally anticipated. I love it when that happens, though usually that means going back and rewriting early chapters in order to stay consistent.

With Crank and Julia, I knew just the barest sketch about them, from a few paragraphs of Just Remember to Breathe. I knew Julia had defied her parents and ended up managing Crank’s band, I knew the name of the band… and that was just about it. So when I started the story, all I had was a date and two characters. Everything flowed from there.

Thanks so much, Charles and I wish you the best of luck. 


Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a digital copy of A Song for Julia. Winner will be randomly chosen on December 25.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wow! GRAND PRIZE - Charles is giving away a $250 Amazon gift card - this winner will be chosen from all of the commenters throughout the tour by Rafflecopter and announced on 12/26.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other blogs for more chances to win:

Tour Schedule

December 15

December 16 

December 17 

December 18 

December 19 

December 20 

December 21 

December 22 

December 23 

December 24 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cover Reveal: UnBeautifully by Madeline Sheehan

TITLE: Unbeautifully
AUTHOR: Madeline Sheehan

Synopsis: UNBEAUTIFULLY - Danny & Ripper’s Story.
The first time I fell in love it was with a pair of blue eyes and a wide dimpled grin.

“Your old man loves ya, Danny girl,” He whispered. “You never ever forget that, yeah?”

I never did. And I never thought I could ever love any man as much as I loved my father. But as we grow, we change, we begin to make our own decisions and thus become independent and self sufficient and start turning away from our parents and turning to others. We form friendships, strong bonds and ties and begin experiencing life outside of the bubble we grew up inside of. 
And we fall in love…a second time.

The second time I fell in love it was with a badly scarred face, the stuff of nightmares; the sort of disfigurement that mothers steer their children away from. Ugly, jagged slashes marred the skin from the top of his skull, down over his right eye, an eye that had been dug out of his face with a serrated blade. The scars continued across his cheek, over his lips and down his neck, ending at the top of his shoulder. His chest was a hundred times worse; scar tissue as far as the eye could see.

“Baby,” He said gruffly, “Man like me got no business with a girl like you. You’re nothin’ but fuckin’ beauty and I’m a whole lot of fuckin’ ugly who’s already halfway to hell.”

But he was wrong.

Everything has beauty. Even the ugly. Especially the ugly.

Because without ugly there would be no beauty.

Because without beauty we would not survive our pain, our sorrow, and our suffering. 

And in the world I lived in, the world he lived in, a secret world within the world, a world of of constant crime and cruel, cold, death, there was almost nothing but suffering.

“You may not be beautiful the way you were before,” I whispered, placing my hand on his hard chest. “But you’re still beautiful. To me.

Check out Madeline's web-site

Friday, December 14, 2012

Holidays Gift of Love Blog Hop

It's a Happy Holiday from your favorite Authors and Bloggers. While we know everyone celebrates a different way, we wanted to make sure that you guys knew how much we treasure you all. So from Dec 14th to Dec 17th, all 200 or so of us will be blogging about the holidays and what they mean to us. We may talk about our favorite holiday traditions, recipes, gifts, reads, heroes, and so much more. We want to hear about what you do for the holidays, what you read, and who you'll spend it with. Happy hopping!

And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.

But that's not all....

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $200 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

I will give away two Christmas novellas from the list below. That's right! TWO winners.: 

1. Shannon Stacy: Holiday Sparks 
Product Details

2. Shannon Stacey: Mistletoes and Margaritas
Product Details
3. Alison Kent: This Time Next Year 

Product Details

4. Jaci Burton: The Best Thing

Product Details

5. Susan Mallery: Only Us, A Fool's Gold Christmas
Product Details

 Nothing better than a quick read in between all that shopping and festivities. Choose which novella from the list above that you would like to win! There will be two winners and the ebooks will be shipped via Amazon on Dec. 18. Enter in the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit the other 200+ bloggers who are also giving away surprises. You can find the linky list at

Thanks for stopping by,