Posts Categorized: Sent

Anne Calhoun – Breath on Embers – Guest Post and Giveaway!

December 19, 2012 Carina Press, Contest, Guest Post, Read in 2012, Sent 1

Please help me welcome Anne Calhoun to the blog… This short story was by far one of the best I have read this Christmas season and I cannot tell you loud enough to go read this… Anne has been nice enough to answer some questions so join me in learning more about her…

 

Q&A With Anne Calhoun

 

Q: Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

A: Writer who holds citizenship in 3 countries on 2 continents yet lives in a flyover state for love. Wife. Mother. Loves Frye boots, wool, and character more than wit.

 

Q: Your current release is BREATH ON EMBERS. Deets!

A: It’s the story of a FDNY lieutenant whose relationship with a widow goes from hot to white-hot and intensely emotional over the holidays.
Q: What three words best describe Thea?

A: Trapped. Fighting. Passionate.

 

Q: What three activities would Ronan never engage in?

A: Coercion. Quitting. Smarmy superiority.

 

Q: What is the one accessory Thea won’t leave the house without?

A: Her scarf. It’s practically illegal to leave the house without one in NYC. 😉 Ronan wears them, too.

 

Q: What are your greatest creative influences?

A: Music, although what I’m listening to may not play a role in the current WIP. I read a ton of nonfiction, sometimes for research, sometimes for curiosity. Travel.

 

Q: What three things do you need in order to write?

A: MacBook Air. Quiet (or the steady background noise of a coffee shop). An idea of what I need to write that day.
Q: What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

A: Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island. I’ve read Rainbow Rowell’s two 2013 releases – Eleanor and Park, and Fangirl – and they are wildly different and both incredible.
Q: If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

A: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

 

Q: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

A: Read. Knit. Take yoga class. Walk the dog. I’ve got an eight-year-old boy so much of my non-writing time is occupied with homework, having friends over, activities he’s in. I also like to talk to (or at) my husband. 😉

Q: How can readers connect with you?

A: Annecalhoun.com has an email form. I’m on Twitter as @annecalhoun, and Facebook. I also have a fan group on Goodreads.

 

Now for more about the story that has quite a few of us in awe of her talent….

BreathOnEmbersCover

 

Christmas is the perfect time for Firefighter Ronan O’Rourke to take things to the next level with his sexually adventurous girlfriend. He knows she has feelings for him—and he’s sure of his feelings for her—but when Thea refuses his invitation to sample Christmas in New York City because what they share is nothing more than sheet-burning sex, Ronan sets out to change her mind.

Deep down Thea Moretti knows she cares for Ronan, but she can’t move past her grief over her late husband. Loud music and sex with Ronan are the only things she’s got that her feel alive, so she takes as much of both as she can get. She knows Ronan wants more, but during the darkest time of the year finding her way won’t be easy.

Ronan gambles everything and challenges Thea: one night of passion with him and another man. Can he prove to her that what they share isn’t just great sex but an emotional connection strong enough to last forever?

 

For more information about Anne–

 

And finally…. the good stuff… Anne is being generous enough to allow one lucky commentor to win a download of this wonderfully touching story… Just answer this question for me below to have a chance to win… What was your favorite Christmas present you ever received?

Contest will close on 12/26/12 at 11:59 pm CST.

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Came Upon a Midnight Clear – Katie Porter – 4 stars – Contest

December 5, 2012 Contest, Read in 2012, Sent 3

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When Katie asked me if I wanted to check out some upcoming reads my answer was “YES YES YES”.  Now mind you I didn’t know exactly what she was sending me but man oh man this one was so yummy.  I believe when I was reading this I kept tweeting “OMFG This is war war war too freaking HAWT!!!” If you don’t like M/M then please turn away from this review because this is one steamy man-love story complete with angst and past heartbreak…

 

Kyle was born to money and prestige.  His current career as a hot Hollywood producer has just continued this tread of power and privilege.  Only one issue haunts him…  He’s gay.  Now I know …  who really cares..  well his family for one and in reality the industry he is still proving himself to.  So he’s deeply in the closet and satisfies his urges with well hidden affairs.  His production company hires a stunt company that uses ex-felons and other outsiders as performers.  One of the owners/performers of this company is his one major teenage regret – Nathan.  You see he and Nathan had an incredible connection that blew apart due to one major mistake.  He’s never really come to terms with what happened and as we soon find out they both still want each other with an incredibly combustable result…  *fans self* dear God the pool table…. WOWZA.

 

Nathan has never forgotten Kyle.  He never felt like he was enough for Kyle but cannot deny how much chemistry they had and still have.  He’s got his own issues to work thru and is unwilling to keep his true feelings hidden.  He doesn’t like life in the closet so doesn’t understand Kyle’s inability to live his life openly and without fear.  He’s tough on the outside but inside he truly is a lost little boy who just wants to be with the man he loves openly and without reservations.  He pushes Kyle when needed but isn’t willing to be hidden away in the closet so pushes away from what he so desperately wants…

 

This was a very angst ridden… dear god scorch the sheets and whatever other surfaces the men end up on… incredible love story.  The men both are so much better when they are together than when they are apart and getting glimpses of what they were to each other as teenagers just pumps the volume up on what they ultimately become.  I was so proud of both men as they grew up and into the couple they become.

 

Again..  dear gawd HAWT …  Thanks to Katie Porter for giving me this with no real expectation of a review but man oh man..  just read this one.

 

Kindle

 

Because I loved this so much…  I’m going to give away a Kindle copy of this to one lucky commenter…  The drawing will close on Sunday, 12/9/12 at noon Central.  Please just leave a comment to have a chance to win.

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A Galactic Holiday – Stacy Gail/Sasha Summers/Anna Hackett – 4 stars

December 5, 2012 Carina Press, Read in 2012, Sent 0

Galactic Holiday

Once again another fun holiday anthology from Carina Press edited by the wonderful Angela James.  In this case she’s also very generous as she was nice enough to send me a copy of this after I tweeted for ideas of what to read next.  🙂  This is an excellent read for any sci-fi/fantasy fans who also like a bit of heat and romance.

Again Angela – Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

 

How the Glitch Saved Christmas, by Stacy Gail

Reina is an oddity in the current Chicago police force…  She actually wants to stay completely human and not take advantage of all the body mods that are available.  Unfortunately for her this results in her being demoted and harassed by other cops.  She still wants to do her job but due to items that happened in her past cannot envision ever being turned in to a “walking toaster”.  She’s called in on a case and while there runs in to a man who just drives her a bit insane both from a professional standpoint and a personal one.  She’s teamed up with him to solve this case and while they work it they finally give in to the feelings that have been simmering below the surface since the day they met.

Edison is the departments poster boy.  He has been willing to get every enhancement they have on the market but only because he felt it would help him serve the public better.  He’s smart but also believes in taking any advantage you can when it comes to hunting down bad guys.  He’s had his eye on Reina for a while but just can’t seem to penetrate the wall she has around herself until now.

The case itself was interesting and I won’t give it away but what I liked best was the fact that both main characters acknowledged their weaknesses and were willing to see the others side even if it wasn’t what they would have chosen for themselves.  There seemed to be a good balance between them and that at times is missing in romances…  Also let’s just say the ending made me do a bit of an Awwww ….  I will definitely keep my eye out for more by Ms. Gail.

Galileo’s Holiday, by Sasha Summers

Riley has almost always been alone and that’s what she believes she will always be.  She hasn’t had a lot of human contact as an ice miner but when a raider ship destroys her spacecraft she ends up finding something that she never realized she was missing…  a partner and a home.  She’s incredibly intelligent and watching this woman soak up human contact and love was sweet to see.  She just jumps in and immediately starts to try to help the people who have taken her in and given her more kindness in an hour than she really has had her entire life.  Actually I don’t want to say her mom didn’t love her but the lifestyle of an ice miner doesn’t really seem to lend itself to any traditional human interactions…

Leo ends up rescuing Riley when her ship is destroyed but he is also hiding something.  You see the raiders are looking for cargo he is moving and will stop at nothing to acquire it.  He’s on Galileo to not only bring supplies to the people who live there but also to wait for a chance to run the life-saving supplies out to another planet.  When he meets Riley he is drawn to her and they start a passionate affair.  I don’t think either of them ever expected to find the one for them so it was fun to see them dance around it briefly before finally giving in and taking what they wanted.

I think the reason I liked this one so much was you could feel the deep loneliness both of them felt and seeing them both open up and fall was sweet to watch.

Winter Fusion, by Anna Hackett

Savan is one of the best planetary negotiators in the galaxy but when he is forced to negotiate with a rival on Perma that’s when all hell breaks loose.  He’s got his life mapped out for him…  I mean he’s next in line for the top negotiator slot on his planet…  he can have his pick of women to have a child of his if he wants with no pesky commitments…  all the wonderful tech gadgets he wants and the ability to travel to whatever strikes his fancy…  Are we sensing he is about to have his feet knocked out from under him?  Good…  cause he does…

Brinn hates Savan…  I mean seriously hates the man.  I mean his planet kept Perma from getting in to the trade union which could have allowed them to get the technology they desperately needed to save lives including her father’s.  She doesn’t want to have to deal with him but they did win the first right to bid and negotiate for power crystals that her planet has.  When he insists on visiting on Yuletide Eve she doesn’t realize that she is about to be embroiled in a fight for her life and find the love she never expected.

They both learn a lot as they try to keep alive and their times together were laden with tension and the right amount of heat.  When they both learn more about each other and let the walls down the results were hot but also emotional.  I enjoyed watching the changes they both ended up making in order to make things work and would love to see more.  I’ll have to keep an eye out for more by Ms Hackett.

 

Again as with all my posts on Carina Press works if you wish to purchase a copy please use the link on my sidebar to head to their site.

Thanks again to Angela James for being such a generous soul and giving me the chance to read this with no expectations..  Just cause she loves to share…  🙂

 

 

 

 

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A Political Affair – Mary Whitney – 4 stars

December 2, 2012 Read in 2012, Sent 0

A Political Affair

 

The Blurb:

Stephen McEvoy never expected to fill his father’s U.S. Senate seat at such a young age—or to fight to keep it. When clever Anne Norwood interns in his office, Stephen dismisses her as another pretty face—until her independent streak catches his attention. They’re both too smart to fall for one another, yet they do. During a tough election, their relationship is an impossible political gamble. Campaigns—like love—are either won or lost.

 

My thoughts:

I received an email from a publicist for The Writer’s Coffee Shop asking if I would be interested in reading this novel about two people finding each other during an election season.  Now mind you I was approached just as our own election season was reaching the end and I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to deal with more about politics..  I’m glad I said “Yes” and even happier that I got the chance to read this plus support it.

 

Stephen McEvoy is the only member of an extremely close political family that can be a bit overbearing.  He’s the designated heir to the throne that is his family’s political machine and while he loves working for the people he really wants to have something for himself.  He took over his dad’s Senate seat when his father passed away but other than that sense of duty you get the feeling he isn’t in a good place.  He plays a bit fast and loose with women but all affairs are kept very discrete except for those times when he has a regular face to take out in front of the press.  He’s shocked when he meets a new intern in his office (10 years younger intern) that catches his interest.  She shares a lot of the same interests he does and he finds himself wishing that he was anybody else so he could pursue her.

 

Anne Norwood is the lone Democrat in her family and while she knows her father isn’t 100% happy with her politics he believes in her enough to not push to stop her from becoming an intern in Democrat Senator McEvoy’s office.  He doesn’t speak up for her to get the slot but doesn’t stand in the way.  She is also instantly attracted to Stephen but realizes it would not be a wise thing to even consider that he might be interested in her.  I mean he’s a Senator that dates movie stars and other gorgeous women of power so what would he want with a college student.  She’s smart and has a great head on her shoulders for someone that is only 22.  I liked that while she was interested in him she wasn’t a pushover when it came to deciding her own future and path in life.  She knows her mind and always tried to do what was right even if it sucked.

 

While there were a few parts that lagged a bit for me this was a great story overall.  We have political back-stabbing, ex-flings, smarmy politicos and a great family for both leads which make for a fun story with a bit of truth behind it.  I could definitely see this happening and appreciated that while their relationship did start under what could be considered illicit circumstances nothing was truly done without the consent of both parties and calmer, clearer heads prevailed.  The relationship builds nicely as both had to decide that what they felt was worth the potential consequences and of course that love is worth any hurdles it requires to cross.

 

Go grab this one as it is a great read with a lot of heart and wit.

 

Kindle

Barnes and Noble

 

The Author:

Mary Whitney

 

Even before she graduated from law school, Mary Whitney knew she wasn’t cut out to be a real lawyer. Drawn to politics, she’s spent her career as an organizer, lobbyist, and nonprofit executive. Nothing piques her interest more than a good political scandal or romance, and when she stumbled upon writing, she put the two together. A born Midwesterner, naturalized Texan, and transient resident of Washington, D.C., Mary now lives in Northern California with her two daughters and real lawyer husband.

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