Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Book Review, Giveaway: Beard In Mind by Penny Reid


Beard in Mind, an all new standalone in the bestselling, romantic comedy Winston Brothers Series by Penny Reid, is available NOW!

BIM-cover (2)

All is fair in love and auto maintenance.

Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.

Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.

She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words.

Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.

The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

She said something about me being as sharp as a bowling ball.

It was like being stuck in all that morose poetry I’d been reading over the weekend. Lord Tennyson was a moron. It wasn’t better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. I didn’t know what he’d been smokin’, but it must’ve been strong.

“I’m here to listen and hold your tools.” I hoped that last bit was an innuendo. “Not that tool.” Damn.

I want you to love me always… How can I make sure that happens?

You’re bright as a black hole and twice as dense.

I especially liked it when you told Devron Stokes he needed to save his breath, ’cause he was going to need it to blow up his date.

My Review:

I adore Penny Reid’s unique, clever, and humorous writing style as well as her sharply honed wit.  Her storylines are fresh, crisp, and cunningly crafted.  Five-stars aren’t enough to reflect how much I enjoyed this skillfully executed and well-plotted tale, so I'm giving it ten!  Penny Reid struck comedy gold yet again with the indelible Winston brothers along with the addition of a profane parrot, a pithy OCD heroine, and a well-kept and shocking family secret.  Ms. Reid’s enticing characters always raise the bar on endearingly quirky as well as alluringly cracked.  Beau was an absolute treasure and Cletus is always a delectable treat, but it is Ms. Reid’s captivating and insightful writing that keeps me haunting her listings.  Her work on this series has been so delightfully detailed, I felt as if I had programmed and engaged the Star Trek Holodeck for Green Valley, Tennessee as I was right there with them, and feeling the double skip of Beau’s tender heart.  Penny Reid has mad skills and I am her die-hard fangirl for life, even if she started writing about dreadful zombies.    

Empress DJ


Read Today!

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)
Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/hsTLLC


Enter the Giveaway!

Meet Penny Reid:

PennyReid  Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja. 

Connect with Penny:

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Monday, August 21, 2017

Spotlight: Inked Hearts by Lindsay Detwiler

Inked Hearts

by Lindsay Detwiler 

Publication Date: October 21, 2017 
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance


“Six years, a complex about my freckles, a love for pastrami, and a fear of failure. 
That’s what he gave me before slaughtering my heart and my faith in men.” 

Suffering from the sting of betrayal, twenty-eight-year-old Avery Johannas quits her job and moves hundreds of miles away to Ocean City, the beach town of her dreams. With the help of her zany roommate, Jodie, Avery finds a new career, home, and freedom. Throughout her self-exploration, she makes only one rule: She won’t give her heart to a man again. She’s living for herself this time. 

But then she meets Jesse. 

A tattoo shop owner, the green-eyed Jesse Pearce is wild with a touch of mystery. As Jesse and Avery explore Ocean City and their friendship, they’ll have a hard time drawing a line in the sand between their hearts. 

When summer nights get a little more heated than either expected, they’ll have to ask themselves: Can they let go of their notions of love, or will their hearts be permanently inked by past pain?

 About Lindsay Detwiler

An English teacher, an author, and a fan of anything pink and/or glittery, Lindsay’s the English teacher cliché; she loves cats, reading, Shakespeare, and Poe. 

She currently lives in her hometown with her husband, Chad (her junior high sweetheart); their cats, Arya, Amelia, Alice, Marjorie, and Bob; and their Mastiff, Henry. 

Lindsay’s goal with her writing is to show the power of love and the beauty of life while also instilling a true sense of realism in her work. Some reviewers have noted that her books are not the “typical romance.” With her novels coming from a place of honesty, Lindsay examines the difficult questions, looks at the tough emotions, and paints the pictures that are sometimes difficult to look at. She wants her fiction to resonate with readers as realistic, poetic, and powerful. Lindsay wants women readers to be able to say, “I see myself in that novel.” She wants to speak to the modern woman’s experience while also bringing a twist of something new and exciting. Her aim is for readers to say, “That could happen,” or “I feel like the characters are real.” That’s how she knows she’s done her job. 

Lindsay’s hope is that by becoming a published author, she can inspire some of her students and other aspiring writers to pursue their own passions. She wants them to see that any dream can be attained and publishing a novel isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

Book Review, Giveaway: READY TO RUN - I Do, I Don't #1 by Lauren Layne

Named Best Book of the Month by Amazon and iBooks

I Do, I Don't #1
by Lauren Layne

Releasing Aug 22, 2017


The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride in this addictive romance novel about a reality TV producer falling for her would-be star: a Montana heartthrob who wants nothing to do with the show.

Jordan Carpenter thinks she’s finally found the perfect candidate for Jilted, a new dating show about runaway grooms: Luke Elliott, a playboy firefighter who’s left not one but three brides at the altar. The only problem? Luke refuses to answer Jordan’s emails or return her calls. Which is how she ends up on a flight to Montana to recruit him in person. It’s not Manhattan but at least the locals in Lucky Hollow seem friendly . . . except for Luke, who’s more intense—and way hotter—than the slick womanizer Jordan expected.

Eager to put the past behind him, Luke has zero intention of following this gorgeous, fast-talking city girl back to New York. But before he can send her packing, Jordan’s everywhere: at his favorite bar, the county fair, even his exes’ book club. Annoyingly, everyone in Lucky Hollow seems to like her—and deep down, she’s starting to grow on him too. But the more he fights her constant pestering, the more Luke finds himself wishing that Jordan would kick off her high heels and make herself comfortable in his arms.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

“That is one hot firefighter… Every last one of them belongs on a naughty calendar.”  She gave him a look with a raised eyebrow. “If you don’t get ahold of yourself, they’re going to have to turn the hose on you.”

He’d spoken with his mother just yesterday, and she’d launched into a fifteen-minute description of an article she’d read about how men’s reproductive systems age just like women’s and if he was going to give her grandchildren, he’d better get on it. He’d claimed a fire emergency before she could describe what or whom exactly he was supposed to get on. 

Call me a girl, and I’ll do just about anything you want. The men in your town have been ma’am-ing me, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Small population means limited number of eligible men and women. Anytime there’s fresh blood, the sharks circle.

My Review:

Jordan was intrigued with uncovering Luke’s story and signing him as a star of her new reality television show.  Luke was dead-set on keeping his history under wraps.  They were in a dual to out-stubborn each other while his small meddlesome community is uncommonly tight-lipped.  Jordan grows even more determined with the thought that there must be something more to his story if no one is willing to spill the beans.  She wouldn’t give up and he wouldn’t give it up.  I enjoyed the premise of Ready To Run and surprisingly nuanced and complex story behind the story.  Ms. Lane has a definite knack for creating complicated and endearing characters who are flawed yet ever so enticing, and I just adored Luke.  I also appreciated the storyline being well-balanced between the heart squeezes and humor. 

Empress DJ


Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career. She signed with her agent in 2012, and her first book was published in summer of 2013. Since then, she's written over two dozen books, hitting the USA TODAY, New York Times, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Cover Reveal: Zenka by Alison Brodie


Alison Brodie
Publication date: November 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Thriller

“She’s the one to die for”
Zenka is a seductive Hungarian pole-dancer with a stubborn streak. When London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not.
“How can you be my guardian angel,” Jack scoffed. “You’re only five foot two.”
Zenka shrugged, “So vat? I am small, but a grenade is also small.”
Jack receives a letter saying he has a son, Nicholas. Nicholas is a wimp, bullied by his flatmate, pussy-whipped by his girlfriend and terrorised by his elderly patients.
Jack is delighted to be a dad, but he has to tread carefully. People are out to harm him and those close to him. Can he use his wealth, wiles and tough-guy contacts to make a man out of this mouse – before his enemies turn him into mincemeat?
Zenka takes charge. She’s going to “bring out the gorilla” in Nicholas. And she succeeds!
Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out exactly where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill … or be killed.
As family ties become more disturbing, questions have to be asked:
How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?
And is Zenka really who she says she is?
ZENKA is a black comedy/crime thriller/romance set in gangland London in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Praise for ZENKA: “ZENKA is top of my list for best fiction this year. If Tina Fey and Simon Pegg got together to write a dark and hilarious mobster story with a happy ending, ZENKA would be the result!” -Lauren Sapala, Book Reviewer and Writers’ Coach
Link to 26 5* reviews for Alison Brodie’s last book, Brake Failure – ALL from top book bloggers: http://www.alisonbrodiebooks.com/untitled

Author Bio:

Alison Brodie is an internationally-published author. GOOD HOUSEKEEPING chose her debut for their Pick of the Paperbacks. The Scottish Daily Mail reviewed 'Face to Face': "Vain but wildly funny leading lady."

Alison has a criminal record for busking/disturbance of the peace in Piccadilly Circus; speeding in Spain and hustling in Athens. She lives in Biarritz, where she can be found speaking unnintelligabuble French.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Book Review: Toying With Her by Prescott Lane


Toying with Her by Prescott Lane Release Date: August 17th Genre: Contemporary Romance

Toying with Her, an all-new standalone from Prescott Lane is available NOW!!!


No one said finding love was easy, but when you invented the world’s best selling vibrator, it’s near impossible.  Yep, that’s right.  That little toy hidden in your bedside table is my brain child.  It’s aptly named Woman on Top.  And you know what they say . . . it’s lonely at the top.
So I’m headed home to my Southern roots.  It’s supposed to be an extended Summer vacation — nothing more.  But Rorke Weston has other plans for me.  Plans that not only involve me being on top, but also underneath him.   
It’s been said you never forget your first.  For me, that’s definitely true.  No night has ever lived up to the one I spent with Rorke.
He’s turned into quite a man.  Tan from the Southern sun, and stubborn as the day is long.  And there’s nothing sweeter than the swipe of his tongue.
Rorke wants his chance.  The one we never had.  But that was a long time ago.  When I still believed in Prince Charming and Happily Ever Afters.  Even ten years later, I feel a pull.  And it’s not simply Rorke yanking down my panties.  
Do second chances really happen?  Or is my heart simply toying with me?

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

Nestled along the shores of Mobile Bay, the pace here tends to be a little slower, the tea a little sweeter, and the sun a little hotter.

So no friends, no boyfriend, and no dates in almost three years, because men were either turned off by my profession or turned on for all the wrong reasons. I was feeling pretty desperate. And mansperate, too.

“Let’s make some babies.” Good God, he’s out of control. We went from one baby— singular— to babies— plural— in a nanosecond. “How about we just practice?

My Review:

Despite the book cover and the title, Toying With Her was not erotica, although several breath-stealing steamy scenes occurred as part of a long brewing and blossoming romance. I was engaged by Ms. Lane’s smartly written tale from beginning to end and adored her alluring characters, entertaining storyline, and especially the clever use of humor sprinkled throughout and tucked into amusing descriptions and colorful observations. The premise was relevant and her storyline and writing style was interesting and appealing. Written in my favorite dual POV, I enjoyed this couple and their second chance at romance and had a proud fist pump-moment for Sterling’s resourceful and clever use of strategy.

Rorke had been in love with Sterling since they were small children growing up in a small rural community in Alabama, although he had been too reserved and timid to ever express his deep feelings for her. They had been friends who had finally shared one special night before returning to their separate college plans and regretfully, never crossing paths other again over the following ten years.

I adored Rorke; he was insightful, patient, sexy, and sweet, although he also came with a side-orders of proud and stubborn. I cherished Sterling as a smart and successful businesswoman with sass and savvy. However, her well-deserved wealth and marked success caused unexpected difficulties for her private life, as well as complications for her parents who were still living in their narrowed-minded small-town community in Alabama. A much-needed summer vacation spent with her loving parents had been her plan. Although the little Southern homespun community was not exactly the same as she remembered.

Empress DJ


Read Today!

Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/G7qAFh

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About the Author:

PrescottLane  Prescott Lane is the Amazon best-selling author of Stripped Raw. She's got seven other books under her belt including: First Position, Perfectly Broken, Quiet Angel, Wrapped in Lace, Layers of Her, The Reason for Me, and The Sex Bucket List.  She is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, and holds a degree in sociology and a MSW from Tulane University. She married her college sweetheart, and they currently live in New Orleans with their two children and two crazy dogs. Prescott started writing at the age of five, and sold her first story about a talking turtle to her father for a quarter. She later turned to writing romance novels because there aren't enough happily ever afters in real life.

Connect with the Author:

Twitter: @prescottlane1

Series Book Review: Getting A Grip and Balance Check - A #MyNewLife Novel by M.E. Carter

Title: Balance Check
A #MyNewLife Novel
Author: M.E. Carter
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: August 18, 2017


Life has a funny way of throwing you off balance.

Take me for example. I spent years in a bad marriage with a self-serving ass, only to have the love of my life show up when I least expected him. Greg helped me on my journey of self discovery and taught me that, no, I’m not perfect. But I’m perfectly me.  It was an amazing journey.

We laughed hard. We loved even harder.

And then he was suddenly and cruelly ripped away from me by the unclenching jaws of fate.

Ok, so it wasn’t that dramatic. And I really need to stop watching the Investigation Channel.

But now Greg is back and as it turns out, re-incorporating someone into your life isn’t that easy. Between jobs, kids, and barely-there friendships, life and love can be messy. Making it all work is a balancing act. 

But we’re determined to get it in check.

Purchase Links


Also Available


My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:

Getting a Grip

“I feel bad for poor Bruce Jenner.” She shakes her head and sighs. “It’s no wonder that poor man had to become a woman… If you had your choice of being married to that woman or wearing a dress for the rest of your life, I’d choose the pantyhose, too.”

 Poor kids. They can see the trampolines, rings, and foam pits… it’s all right in front of their wide little eyes… and no one will open the gate to let them in and run free. I get it. I feel that way right before they open the doors at Target during Black Friday every year.

Briefly, I feel an urge to run out there myself and start tumbling. But then I remember the last time I jumped on a backyard trampoline with Fiona to show her my front flip, and I peed all down my leg. They don’t tell you about that in your health classes in high school. We’d see a huge drop in teenage pregnancy in this country if we only told the poor girls about weak bladders and hemorrhoids. I’m sure of it.

“Callie, I have to join a gym.” That finally gets her attention. She looks at me, face pale, hand over her mouth. “It’s a fate worse than death,” she whispers.


 Balance Check

Then he turns and swaggers out the door. Literally swaggers. Puts his hands in his pockets to make sure the seat of his pants pulls tight as I watch him walk away. Damn that kid. He just used his best asset to make sure I didn’t say no. He’s good. He’s real good.

 Have you ever seen a forty-one-year old woman hit the deck? It’s worse than if I tried to drop it like it’s hot. And the last time I did that, my pants ripped straight down the middle... It sounded like an explosion in the back of my pants.

He puts the present up to his ear and shakes it, grimacing when it rattles… “They’re the tiny Legos with instructions in Spanish that I’m going to have to try and interpret while I make the damn things myself, aren’t they? …You’re a family full of evil people, you know that?”

My Review:

Getting A Grip was my first venture into the works of M.E. Carter and I am a smitten kitten. She is my new favorite author as she has well mastered the tricky skills of putting fun and interesting words in a delightful and endlessly entertaining order upon the page. She definitely has the word voodoo as I quickly fell under her spell on page one. I now want all her words.   I giggled, smirked, snorted, and laughed aloud as I gobbled up this amusing and delectable treat. How have I not discovered her genius before this?  Getting A Grip was a fun yet pertinent read with a crisp and engaging storyline, snappy wit, and mature and feisty characters who cleverly deliver one-liners and quips like a prize fighter delivers jabs. Woven into the humor and deftly handled with smooth aplomb were real-life issues pertinent to many of us - betrayal, body image and insecurities, broken marriages, and navigating the treacherous waters of child-rearing with contentious and childish ex-spouses. I reveled in noting the main character’s transformation and may have over identified with her, just a tad, as I actually voiced a few exuberant cheers when she found her voice. M.E. Carter has mad skills and a new fangirl.

Balance Check picked up nine months after the end of Getting A Grip with a narrative that quickly brought us up to speed and then launched Elena into a comical dilemma. I enjoyed this humorous yet observant installment as much as I had the first book in the series, and although book two was considerably shorter, both were equally eventful, amusing, and satisfying reads. I adored these strong, playful, and sassy characters and look forward to reading many more engaging tales from this talented scribe.

Empress DJ

Author Bio

Mother, reader, storytellerME Carter never set out to write books. But when a friend practically forced a copy of Twilight into her hands, the love of the written word she had lost as a child was rekindled. With a story always rolling around in her head, it should come as no surprise that she finally started putting them on paper. She lives in Texas with her four children, Mary, Elizabeth, Carter and Bug, who sadly was born long after her pen name was created, and will probably need extensive therapy because of it.

Author Links