Friday, June 28, 2013

Cover Reveal with Giveaway for the Melody in My Head by Nikki Lynn Barrett

The Melody In My Head. Love and Music in Texas, Book Two by Nikki Lynn Barrett.  



The Melody in my Head
by Nikki Lynn Barrett
Coming Soon


Book Description:   

Welcome back to Harmony's Echo, Texas.....

Melody Roland is on the run from the one person she trusted completely. One who hid a dark past she could never have imagined. When a pregnant woman on the bus she's fleeing on goes into labor, Melody rushes to her aide. Now she finds herself stranded in a tiny remote town just off the highway, with no way to her original destination.

She's alone, on edge, and unsure who to trust. Her instincts scream to get far away and fast. But how and where?

Jameson Grant struggles through the roughest year of his life. Suffering from the loss of his father, one grief stricken night, he made a mistake. One which cost him the only woman he's ever loved. Each lonely day he's faced with the constant reminders of how quick things can change. Throwing himself into the one thing he has left, his music, helps dull the pain he fights to keep hidden. His last salvation begins to crumble as things spiral out of control and he has no choice but to face the 'music' of his past.

The last thing he needs or wants in his life is a woman with more trouble on her heels than the best of country music lyrics. But Melody sings a sirens call within him that can't be ignored.

Jameson and Melody bond in ways stronger than either could have imagined, but one dangerous person from her past may threaten it all...

If she doesn't flee before he can convince her to stay, and that some love songs last an eternity.




Excerpts:  

The door shut softly behind them. Jameson grabbed the lantern from the porch and held it out to Melody. “Here. Hold this. We'll need a little bit of light.” She took it hesitantly from his hand. Jameson turned away and smiled.
        Carefully holding the guitar case, Jameson climbed the ladder resting on the ride of the house. He should take it down, but until now, he'd forgotten about it. He set the guitar case at the edge of the roof, then glanced down at Melody. “Okay, hand me the blankets and the light.” He called to her. Stepping down a few rungs, he reached for the requested items.  Once on the roof, he peered back at her again.  “Come on up!”
        “Jameson, what are we doing?” But she was laughing. When her head appeared at the top, he held out a hand to her, helping to ease her up onto the roof. He'd already set one blanket down for them to sit on. The other he brought for her in case she got cold.
        “Getting a great view of the stars.” Jameson pointed.  One of the things he loved about living in a small town was being able to see the sky at night. One of the best views ever.  Melody settled next to him on the blanket, staring at the same direction.
        “It's beautiful. I can't remember the last time I just stared at the stars.”
        It had been awhile for him, too. But he knew when the last time he'd been up here. 
        Jameson set the lantern at the edge of the blanket and turned on the light. It was bright enough for them to see, but not too bright to ruin the view of the stars.  “Are you cold? If you are, I have an extra blanket.”  He pointed to it, next to the guitar case.  “The only thing I forgot to grab was something to drink.”
        Melody laughed. “I'll forgive you, you thought of everything else.”
        He enjoyed the sound of her laugh. 
        Jameson shook that thought away and reached for his guitar.
       “Do you do this often? Come up on the roof late at night with your guitar?”
        “Not in some time.” Jameson held the guitar, pulling a pick out of the case and strummed a few chords. “Sometimes, I need a different environment other than the garage, you know? Nice thing is, there aren't a lot of neighbors nearby, so I'm not disturbing anyone. “
        “It is nice.” Melody mused, lying on her back. She crossed her arms behind her head.
        Jameson started to play the chorus to a popular Taylor Swift song. He even sang along, raising his voice a few octaves to mimic the sound. Melody turned her head and laughed.
        “I'm not sure that song fits your voice,” she teased. She rested her head on her elbow, now interested in watching him.
        Jameson stopped mid-play. “No? Damn. Here I thought I was being all cool.”
        That got another giggle out of her. “You are cool! Just...sing a different song.”
        “All right, all right. I'll find another song, since my Taylor impersonation isn't appreciated.” Jameson pretended to pout, which made Melody laugh again. He was on a roll, and his plan worked. The mood had been lightened.  “Okay, how about this?”  He started to play and sing an older Shania Twain song.
        Melody sat up, covering her mouth with her hand. He could see her body shaking as she tried to hold in her laughter. “You know, Jameson, that don't impress me much, either.”
        Pretending to be hurt, he put the guitar down. “What am I doing wrong?  Is my singing that bad? That's a first. Usually, I win them all with these songs.”
        “Oh Jameson. You're so funny.”
        “Okay, one last time, and hopefully third time will be the charm. Are you ready?”  Reaching for his guitar again, Jameson watched her as he started a new tune. This time, he played the tune to the song he'd been working on with her.   Even in the dim light, he noticed her face light up as he sang the first few lines from her song.
        “You win, the third time is the charm. Now that fits your voice. Brava!” She clapped her hands.
        “How about you sing it with me?”
        “Oh, no. I don't think so.”
        “Oh come on. Let's serenade the stars. Maybe we'll catch one falling.” He pleaded. “It's your lyrics. I'd love to hear from coming from your lips.”  As he started over on the guitar, he shot her what he hoped was his best pout.
        “You're relentless!” Melody exclaimed, raising her hands in defeat. She still smiled, though.
        When Jameson got to the chorus, Melody chimed in. He had to force himself to keep going as he listened to her voice. She was pretty good! She had this soft, gentle ease about her voice. It didn't ring out with a lot of power backing her up, but she had a sweet sound that radiated into his mind. He lowered his voice a little bit to let her shine. He couldn't keep his eyes off her as he watched her lips move, and heard the words.
        When they stopped, it was his turn to applaud. “You have a great voice. You sounded really good, Melody.”
        He wasn't sure, but he thought she was blushing. Melody turned away from him for a second.
        “Thank you, Jameson. I'm not one for the spot light, but that was really neat to sing my own lyrics.”
        “You know, we're still looking for a song or two to add to our demo. I like this one a lot.  What would you think about  putting the finishing touches on it and playing it for the band?” As shy as she was about these things, would she even go for that? The words really were great, and he liked the melody he'd put to her words.
        “I- are you serious?” She sounded caught off guard.
        Jameson nodded, setting his guitar down once again. “I am. I like the way it's progressing.  And when you sang with me just now, I liked the idea of having a back up on it. It would be a great addition.”




Fun Facts about The Melody in My Head, and the Love and Music in Texas Book series

  • Melody's character actually had a part in another book. I had her backstory and plot figured out a long time ago, I just had no idea I'd pair her with Jameson and send her to Harmony's Echo, Texas. But it worked out so well! Love it when I can combine story ideas!

  • When Picking out covers for this series, I try to put items that are part of the story on the covers. Look at Baby Stetson- the hat there has a valid reason for being there. It's part of Avery's history. Same with Melody in My Head- Jameson is the lead guitarist, so why not use a guitar? :)


  • So far, I have probably about 7 stories planned in this series.I used to not read series- let alone write them! Now, I'm hooked! I'm going to be working on a project- The songs used in the series, I'm going to try and get them to melody, find a band, and release a music CD with the songs.  (Yep, I'll be singing them. I won't burst your eardrums, promise!)


From now until the end of July, Baby Stetson, the first in the Love and Music in Texas series, is discounted to just $.99.  You'll meet Jameson in this book, and then you can get his story when The Melody in My Head comes out. 




Baby Stetson
by Nikki Lynn Barrett
Release Date: April 6, 2013
Buy Links:  Amazon Barnes & Noble │ Kobo

Book Description: 

In small Texas towns, strangers come and go...

Left in a Stetson hat, on the steps of the local bed and breakfast, Avery Callimer came into the world on a wing and a prayer. Raised by loving adoptive parents, she's never lacked for love...only the knowledge of her past.

By day she works the Inn, but by night...Avery comes alive as lead singer in a band. Life was good...stable, until new guests blew into town.

Some strangers come with secrets and lies

Lucas Bennett is one such stranger. Drifting from one mess to another has left him jaded. Doesn't matter the dramas are never his doing. Giving it one last shot to make a fresh start lands him Harmony's Echo, Texas and smack dab in front of the tantalizing Avery.

Despite his best efforts to ignore the burn Avery's ignited within, he's intent to keep his distance. Secrets have followed him. Secrets he doesn't want Avery to know.

Each time they're near the other things heat up like a brushfire on a dry Texas prairie.

But maybe, after the dust settles and the smoke clears, love can bloom with a fresh start.







 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Nikki Lynn Barrett lives in Arizona with her husband and son. She's an avid reader, a dreamer, and loves everything about books. She runs a book blog, an online used bookstore, and writes various genres of romance. Nikki can also be found outside with her camera when a storm is near, snapping photo after photo. Her dreams of becoming a writer started when she was young, when she started writing books in one subject notebooks by the fifth grade. The Secret Santa Wishing Well is her debut book. You can visit Nikki's site at: www.nikkilynnbarrett.blogspot.com for more information. She is working on her next book. Nikki would love to hear from readers. Email her at nikkilynnbarrett@yahoo.com
www.nikkilynnbarrett.blogspot.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6583655.Nikki_Lynn_Barrett


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NikkiLynnBarrettauthor

Twitter: @Stormgoddess925

Other books by Nikki Lynn Barrett

The Secret Santa Wishing Well Check it out on Goodreads




To enter my quick giveaway - leave a comment or question for Nikki and you'll be entered to win an ebook copy of both Baby Stetson and The Secret Santa Wishing Well in your choice of ebook format.

Please make sure to leave your email address with your comment so I can contact you if you win.

Open to US and International 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review Tour & Giveaway for Audra by Amanda L.V. Shalaby



Welcome to my stop on Amanda L.V. Shalaby's Virtual Review Tour for Audra.  Please leave a comment or question for Amanda below to let her know you stopped by.  Amanda will be awarding an ebook copy of her previous book, Rhianna, to one randomly drawn commenter during her tour.  You can follow her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.  





Audra 
by Amanda L.V. Shalaby
Crimson Historical

Publisher: Crimson Romance
Release Date: April 29, 2013

Genre: Sensual Historical Romance

Buy Links: Amazon B&N │ ARe 

Book Description:


Audra Kingsley, a wealthy heiress, may not have seen much of the world, but she knows exactly how she wants her future to play out - and a coming out ball held at her country estate, Kingsley Manor, would suit her just fine. Her father’s wish that she be presented at St. James in London seems silly since she is to marry her neighbor and childhood sweetheart, Lord Crispin Brighton, but she obliges him.

Audra travels to London with her patroness, the eccentric Lady Sutherland, intending to return home as soon as she has curtsied to the Queen. Unknown to her, Lady Sutherland is in no rush to leave London before the Season is over and intends to show Audra she has more options in the suitor department than Lord Crispin, a second son.


Audra finds herself surrounded by few friends and is forced to attend parties, balls, and operas - all while becoming the object of a secret admirer’s obsession. As Audra struggles to make her way home to her beloved, plans to compromise her into an unwanted marriage are underway.






Excerpt:

Audra shut the door to her bedroom with the intention of making her way to the ivory-and-gold secretary to write a letter to Lady Brighton of the day’s events. As she walked and began to remove her gloves, a letter addressed to “Lady Audra Kingsley” fluttered to the oriental rug, stopping her in her tracks. She had forgotten all about its appearance at St. James, and how she had hidden it. She hardly knew why she hid it, except that its mysterious nature seemed to require that she do so.

Audra lifted her skirts to kneel beside it and held it over her lap. She wasted no time in opening it now, and read the following words:

Dear Lady Audra,

It was an unfathomable privilege to rest my eyes upon you when you arrived in St. James Square today. You are a heavenly creature, and you cannot imagine my happiness in discovering you may be at Almack’s, as will I. I look forward to the time when I am blessed with the indulgence of seeing you again. Until then —

I am & co,

Your Secret Admirer 






AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Amanda L. V. Shalaby's passion for all things Jane Austen was inspired by her mother and grandmother. She now writes her own English historical romances, and is the author of Rhianna and Audra.

Links:









My Review

A sweet historical romance, Audra by Amanda L.V. Shalaby captured my attention from the first page and never let go.  Likable characters, good dialogue, and a rapidly paced plot kept me turning the pages to discover what was going to happen next.  Adding a mysterious “secret admirer”, with a nefarious plan, Ms. Shalaby gives her story added depth with the twists and turns which take place inside the story.

An independent sixteen year old young woman, Lady Audra Kingsley wants to have her “coming out” party at home in Kingsley Hall.  She then plans to marry her best friend and neighbor, Lord Crispin Brighton, and get started on a family of their own.  When her father insists that she spend the “Season” in London, like they had planned when she was twelve, Audra reluctantly agrees.  Assuring Crispin she’ll be back before he realizes she’s been gone, Audra wasn’t planning on complications being a young rich debutante would bring.

Ms. Shalaby does a really good job developing Audra’s character from the very first page; smart, beautiful and determined, Audra is no simpering maid who blindly takes orders from anyone.  A liberated thinker, Audra makes plans, prepares to follow them through and has a really great attitude to boot.  She really grew on me throughout the whole book.

When a “mysterious secret admirer” begins sending her letters, Audra finds them somewhat intriguing but still has plans to come home and marry Crispin.  Making a few “friends” and coming to agreeable terms with her chaperon in London, Audra believes she’ll be going home shortly after her “debut”.  Only nothing is quite as it seems and soon Audra finds her future with Crispin in danger.

Will Audra have the strength of character to fight for the future she wants when a friend, who is much less than they seem, hatches a plan to ruin her and change what she wants?  Will Crispin be able to rescue her before it’s too late?  You’ll have to read Audra to find out.  I enjoyed it and I think you will too. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Shalaby’s books. 


My Rating:4.5 out of 5 Crowns






FTC Disclosure:  I was provided a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I received no additional compensation for my opinion of the reading material provided.



Don't forget to leave a comment or question for Amanda below to let her know you stopped by.  Amanda will be awarding an ebook copy of her previous book, Rhianna, to one randomly drawn commenter during her tour.  You can follow her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.  

Pump Up Your Book Virtual Tour - First Chapter Reveal of Can't Stop Loving You by Peggy Webb


Join Peggy Webb, author of the romantic comedies, Can't Stop Loving You, Only His Touch, Bringing Up Baxter, and Angels on Zebras, as she tours the blogosphere June 3 - June 28, 2013 on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!







Can't Stop Loving You - Chapter One 


"Over my dead body!"

When Brick Sullivan got really mad, the furniture shook. The coffee table was doing a fandango across the wooden floor, the chandelier was rattling like an oak tree in a gale, and the stuffed pillows were cowering against the sofa like frightened rabbits.

Angelica Murphy tried to soothe her client.

"Now, Brick... this is not a firm commitment." He favored her with the lifted black brow and the curled lip that had earned him the adoration of fans around the world. "You know I would never make a commitment like that without consulting you. I did, however, give tentative approval to the plan, and I strongly urge you to consider it."

Brick paused in his thunderous stalking around her office, scooped the letter off her desk, and began to read aloud.

" 'This will surely be the event of the century: The reuniting of Sullivan and Sullivan in The Taming of the Shrew.' "

The voice that sent women swooning in the aisles of movie houses and theaters never failed to move Angelica to tears... of gratitude. If it weren't for Brick Sullivan, she would still be occupying a tiny little cubbyhole without a window instead of an office that commanded a view of Fifth Avenue.

Brick threw the letter back onto her desk.

"I've tamed that shrew once; I have no intention of ever doing it again. Onstage or off."

Knowing how Brick loved exits, she waited until he was at the door before having her say.

"Helen has already accepted."

He turned slowly, an actor from the top of his glorious mane of black hair to the tips of his polished number eleven boots. The brow went up once more.

"Obviously she doesn't know I'm part of the package."

"She knows."

"And she still accepted?"

"Of course. Your wife always did have great business sense."

"My ex."

"Sorry. I forgot."

"Like hell. You remember the make of socks I wore when I did my first Broadway show fifteen years ago. You never forget a damned thing, Angelica."

"Right."

"Wipe that witchy smile off your face. Hell will freeze over before I'll ever occupy the same stage as Helen Sullivan."

"You know what the gossip columnists will say. 'Brick Sullivan deserted his pet charity in a fashion worthy of the cowardly lion merely to avoid seeing the woman he loved on and off stage for five years. What does Helen Sullivan have that turns the mighty Brick into a sniveling mass of putty?' "

"I'll tell you what she has; she has claws."

"And a fabulous career that she's not willing to jeopardize over a simple matter of spending a few days in New Hampshire with you."

"I don't know why I put up with you. You exaggerate everything."

"You put up with me because I'm gorgeous and sexy and I help you make more money than Ted Turner." Angelica's full-bodied chuckle caused her horn-rims to slide down her narrow nose and disturbed the starched front of her prim white blouse. "Ducking out of this small benefit performance will hardly jeopardize your career, Brick. But it will cast doubt on your commitment to the Children's Hospital."

Brick sank onto Angelica's plush sofa and crossed his long legs at the ankles.

"When do I start rehearsals?"

"How does tomorrow sound?"

"You didn't make a firm commitment, huh?"

"I knew you'd come around. Underneath all that rough-and-tumble bad boy posturing, you're a teddy bear."

"Don't tell my fans."

Angelica trotted off to fetch a bottle of champagne from her break room. They always celebrated a deal with a toast: It was tradition for them. As Brick waited for her return, he began to lay his plans.

He hadn't seen Helen since their breakup two years earlier, and he harbored no doubts whatsoever about their first encounter. It would be all-out war, and he had no intention of going into battle without his armor.

*****************

Helen stood in front of the mirror practicing what she was going to say.

"Hello, Brick. How are you?"

No, that was too personal. She didn't want him to think she still cared how he was. And she certainly didn't want to know.

What if he'd weathered the two years better than she? What if he were gloriously happy and perfectly content in addition to being the most devastatingly gorgeous man she'd ever met?

She tossed her long black hair in the way that used to make him call her a high-bred filly and licked her full lower lip in the manner that used to drive him wild.

"Fancy seeing you again... after all these years."

That was better, spoken with just the right combination of nonchalance and bravado. Except that he would see right through the lie. Obviously she would never commit to do a show without knowing the other actors.

Tossing her hair and licking her lips was out, too. She certainly didn't want him to think she was trying to seduce him. Even the Abominables were looking at her as if she had lost her mind.

She sank to the floor between her two Great Danes and wrapped her arms around their necks.

"What am I going to do, girls?"

Chelsea licked her face, and Sami licked her hand.

Helen giggled. "Well, yes, I suppose I could lick him all over, but he might get the wrong idea. Any other suggestions?"

"Talking to yourself again?" Marsha Jenkins, her personal secretary, marched into the bedroom and surveyed the damage like a general getting ready for war. A trail of silk lingerie led from the bureau to the open suitcase on the bed; shoes and handbags made a small lopsided mountain beside the chaise lounge, and jewelry glittered on the satin coverlet like fallen stars. "How many times have I told you to leave the packing to me?"

"At least a hundred."

"You're not even sorry for this mess." Pursing her lips, Marsha attacked the stack of lingerie as if it might fight back.

"I have not one speck of remorse. You'd be miserable if you didn't have a mess to straighten out."

"I'm miserable all the time anyhow." She favored Helen and the Danes with a mournful look, then proceeded to organize the shoes and handbags. "And I can't see how swapping this sweet Georgia winter for that drafty old barn Farnsworth calls a mansion is going to help my feelings one little bit. I've made up my mind; I'm not going."

"I'm taking everybody on this place, and that includes you, so you might as well unmake your mind."

"What in the devil do you need all of us for... as if I had to ask?"

"I don't intend for Brick Sullivan to be able to get within ten feet of me. He's lethal, and I'm taking no chances."

"Love." Marsha's loud, disdainful snort told exactly what she thought of that matter. She scooped jewelry off the bed and marched toward Helen's dressing table, dripping ropes of pearls and diamonds. "If you'd consulted me in the first place, we wouldn't all be fixing to freeze our buns off way up yonder at the backside of nowhere."

Helen began to laugh.

"What's so funny?"

"Here I was, worried about how to keep Brick Sullivan at a respectable distance when I had the perfect weapon all along."

"I'm not even going to ask what."

"Just keep scowling. That face is enough to quell even the indomitable Brick." Helen gave her secretary an affectionate hug. "Is there anything else I can do to keep your ire up for the duration of this trip?"

"You'll think up plenty without me having to tell you."

Helen relaxed for the first time since she'd agreed to do a benefit with her ex-husband.

*******************

Philanthropist Milton Farnsworth didn't merely own a vast estate and the surrounding village; he owned the whole island. Plunked in the middle of Lake Winnipesaukee and set back among towering trees, Farnsworth Manor was a place a man could get lost in, and that was exactly what Brick Sullivan intended to do... after his first performance.

With his feet planted wide apart in the familiar devil-may-care stance, he surveyed his home for the next few weeks. Farnsworth had spared no expenses. Nor had he bothered with understated elegance. Everything about the house and grounds screamed excess, from the ornate Corinthian porticos to the stone gargoyles that guarded the front door.

Clouds hovering over the lake carried a promise of rain, and the chill breezes carried more than a hint of the snows that would soon come. Good weather for cuddling beside Farnsworth's giant stone fireplace... if he had the right woman.

"Brick baby, are you out here?"

The sound of Barb Gladly's voice made Brick think of fingernails being scraped across a chalkboard. She was definitely not the right woman, but she'd have to do for the next few weeks.

"I'm here," he said.

Everything about her bounced as she walked toward him, and he wondered if perhaps he hadn't overdone it a bit. Helen's appeal lay in the air of mystery that surrounded her. There was nothing remotely mysterious about Barb. All her assets were on prominent display. He hoped Helen wouldn't be suspicious.

"The hell with her," he muttered as Barb slithered to his side and wrapped herself around him.

"With me, Brick?"

"Not you."

"Helen?"

"Yes."

"When's she coming?"

"Any minute now. Are you ready?"

"I've been ready since I was born, baby."

"That's my girl." He pulled Barb close. "Let her come."

Helen Sullivan had never missed a cue. The long white limousine pulled into the driveway. It was as if Helen had been waiting offstage to make her entrance.

The chauffeur opened her door, and the first thing Brick saw was the long, glorious legs of Helen Sullivan. He was totally unprepared for the sight. He had expected to feel the rage that filled him, but not the desire, not the quick, hot passion that settled into him like live coals.

He tightened his hold on Barb.

"Ready?" His voice was rough and raw with emotion.

"Anytime, baby."

He waited until Helen was out of the car before he started kissing Barb. It was a stage kiss, designed so he never lost contact with the audience.

His audience was standing facing the portico now, the wind blowing her skirt against her legs and lifting her dark gypsy hair away from her face. He'd never been able to look at her and remain unmoved. That hadn't changed.

"Hmmm, good, baby," Barb murmured, pressing closer.

"Don't overdo it," he said.

"I can't help myself."

At least Barb was honest. At least she hadn't taken his ring and his name and his heart and then walked out the door.

Not one flicker of emotion crossed Helen's face as she watched them kiss.

Rage boiled in him, unexpected and unwelcome. How could he stay in control of the situation if he didn't control his anger?

She turned back to the limousine, and out barreled the Abominables. They'd been mere puppies when Brick had given them to her for her birthday three years earlier, but they were nearly as big as Shetland ponies now.

Brick loved her for keeping the dogs and hated her for depriving him of seeing them grow up. Chelsea and Sami. Named for his grandmother and hers in much the same way ordinary people named their children.

Next came the cat. Gwenella used to hide behind the curtains and pounce on their bed right in the midst of their most amorous moments. Helen always laughed when Brick threatened to banish the Persian from the bedroom.

"Look at that self-satisfied smirk of hers," Helen would say. "She knows you're a big softie, darling. Besides, you would never deprive her of her entrance."

The cat had stayed. Because Gwenella didn't like water, the bathroom became their playground.

The sound of water lapping against the shore triggered memories that stoked the fires of Brick's fury. He escalated the kiss, all the while keeping an eye on Helen Sullivan and her entourage.

She'd kept the same secretary and the same personal fitness trainer. Brick was pleased, though he didn't dare analyze his secret glee.

Bundled up as if she were attempting an expedition to the North Pole, Marsha issued orders that everybody except Helen obeyed. Instead Helen stood by the car, laughing while her tiny, indomitable secretary got the crew moving in not too orderly a fashion.

Gwenella sassed Chelsea, who retreated in alarm and wrapped her leash around the trainer's legs. With a mountain of Great Dane pulling at him, Matt Rider might have gone down if he hadn't had muscles the size of Arkansas. As it was, he merely unwrapped the first dog only to have the second try to hide between his legs when the cat took exception to something Sami had done.

Helen moved in the midst of the melee, laughing in her throaty way and flashing her dark eyes in his direction.

Brick wanted to catch her by the shoulders and shake her until her teeth rattled. Then he wanted to throw her over his shoulder and disappear into the woods until he had loved the truth out of her.

Why did you leave me, Helen?

It was Chelsea who started the entire crew moving in his direction. With a yelp that sounded like recognition, she broke loose from Matt and raced across the portico, her long tongue hanging out in the goofy smile he remembered and her tail flapping like a flag in a windstorm.

Suddenly Brick had his audience.

"Hello, Brick."

That was all Helen said. Just hello and then his name, all soft and sexy the way she used to say it when the lights were low and the fire was crackling and he was stroking her long, long legs.

"Helen." Lord, he sounded like a dying calf in a hailstorm. He'd have to do better than that if he wanted to survive the next two weeks with Helen Sullivan. "I see you still travel light."

Several of Farnsworth's employees had come from the house and were struggling up the steps under the weight of her luggage. She stood amidst her entourage as bright as the evening star in a New Hampshire sky, and just as inaccessible.

"I travel with the people and the possessions that are necessary to me."

"So do I." With a subtle pressure of his arm, he positioned Barb for the best effect. Her blatant sexual impact was totally lost on Helen, but Matt got pink around the ears. "Helen, meet my fiancee, Barb Gladly."

"Nice to meet you, Barb. Congratulations," Helen said, her eyes never leaving his face.

He'd expected more of a reaction. He decided to goad until he got one.

"You used to have more than that to say in the shower."

"You used to put on a better show in the shower."

The gleam in her eye told him he'd scored. That and the color in her cheeks. He bit back his gloating grin.

"This scene on the portico has all the makings of a grade B movie," she added.

"Even grade B movies have appreciative audiences."

As if she'd heard her cue, Chelsea licked his hand and, for good measure, licked his shoes.

Helen chuckled. "You know how Chelsea is. She never could resist a good ham."

With that parting shot, she swept toward the front door.

"Did I do all right?" Barb asked after Helen had disappeared into the house.

"You were great. Thanks."

"Is it all right if I take a walk? I'd like to get a good look at this place."

"Do whatever you like. Just be sure to be at dinner on time, dressed to kill."

Catching her lower lip between her front teeth, Barb glanced toward the front door, obviously awestruck

"I can't believe I was that close to Helen Sullivan," she said.

"Neither can I."

The smell of Helen's perfume still lingered on the portico. He didn't dare breathe deeply until he was safely in the woods.

Thinking of the next few days with her made his stomach turn over. He hadn't won the first skirmish, but he'd survived. He could do it again.







The Forever Friends Series


CAN'T STOP LOVING YOU
Forever Friends, Book 1

Brick and Helen Sullivan had been a team, onstage and off. When she walked out of their marriage without an explanation, he swore he’d never play another role with her, in the bedroom or otherwise. But Fate brings them together to reprise their roles in The Taming of the Shrew, and the sparks begin to fly. Laugh – and cry – as the famous and lively lovers try to untangle a web of misunderstanding and find their way back to the place where they belong. 





ONLY HIS TOUCH
Forever Friends, Book 2

Kathleen Shaw has lost everything – the only man she’ll ever love, the husband who had rescued and adored her, her career, and now her eyesight and hearing. She has even lost the Forever Friends because she’s too proud to call for their help. That she survived the boat explosion is a miracle. When Hunter La Farge returns to Jefferson Parish searching for her, is it too much to ask for another miracle? 








BRINGING UP BAXTER
Forever Friends, Book 3 


Attorney B. J. Corban’s fiancĂ©e is on their honeymoon – with another woman! When her zany sister packs her off to the mountains to get over being jilted at the altar, B. J. takes enough camping equipment to fight off mosquitoes, bears and famine. But she hadn’t counted on a heart-stealer on a Harley, appropriately called Crash. Nor had she counted on a little stray dog she calls Baxter. Crash lays claim to the dog – and her heart. She fights to keep both, but can Crash teach B. J. that to lose her heart is also to keep it? 




ANGELS ON ZEBRAS
Forever Friends, Book 4 

When her sister B.J. asks Maxie to be godmother to her son, the zany interior designer is happy to comply – until she learns she will be sharing god-parenthood with Mr. Perfect. Lawyer Joseph Beuregard is successful, drop-dead handsome and lethally sexy. There are only two problems: he’s the cause of Maxie’s Most Embarassing Moment and he’s B.J.’s brother-in-law. Maxie ruins every man she touches. She’s not about to follow her heart and in the process destroy her sister’s family. Besides, she and Joe can’t even see eye to eye on the christening party. How could they ever have a relationship? But Joe has other ideas. Can two people so totally opposite give their godson the best party in the world and find true love?





ABOUT PEGGY WEBB

Peggy Webb, author of 70 novels and 2 screenplays, lives in a cottage in Mississippi surrounded by gardens she designed and planted. A musician and actress as well as writer, she sings in her church choir and has sung in musicals at Tupelo Community Theater as well as played dramatic roles in Steel Magnolias and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. She started her career in 1985 with a romantic comedy that took the number one spot on romance bestseller lists. Romantic Times presented her with the prestigious Pioneer Award in recognition for her contribution to romantic comedy. Peggy is currently bringing the best of her romantic comedies back to fans as eBooks. In 2008 she turned her talents to mystery with the hilarious Southern Cousins series starring Elvis, the sleuthing basset hound who thinks he’s the King reincarnated. This multi-talented author also pens literary fiction as Anna Michaels and Elaine Hussey. Pat Conroy calls her literary work “astonishing” and former Disney exec Kathie Fong Yoneda calls it “brilliant.” The author composed the blues lyrics that appear throughout her literary novel, The Sweetest Hallelujah, Elaine Hussey, due in bookstores July 30, 2013. To learn more about this bestselling, award-winning author, visit her websites at www.peggywebb.com and www.elainehussey.com.





The Forever Friends Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule


Monday, June 3 – Book featured and First chapter reveal at Faerotic Prose

Wednesday, June 5 – Book featured at Miki’s Hope

Monday, June 10 – Book featured at Bookingly Yours

Monday, June 10 – Book reviewed at Rainy Day Reviews

Thursday, June 13 – Interviewed at Review From Here

Monday, June 17 – Book featured at Authors and Readers Book Corner

Monday, June 17 – Book reviewed at Books+Beach=Escape

Tuesday, June 18 – Interviewed at Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Wednesday, June 19 – Book featured at I’m Shelf-Ish

Friday, June 21 – Interviewed at Examiner

Monday, June 24 – Book featured at Confessions of a Reader

Tuesday, June 25 – Book reviewed at Janna Shay

Thursday, June 27 – Book featured at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, June 27 – Guest blogging and First chapter reveal at Queen of the Night Reviews

Friday, June 28 – Bringing Up Baxter reviewed and Guest blogging at Melina the Reader

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway for The Seduction of Esther by Jennifer Wilck



Welcome to my stop on Jennifer Wilck's Virtual Book Tour for The Seduction of Esther.  Please leave a comment or question for Jennifer below to let her know you stopped by.  Jennifer will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC and Chocolate to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (International Giveaway).  You can follow Jennifer's tour here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning. 

The Seduction of Esther
by Jennifer Wilck

Publisher: Rebel Ink Press, LLC.
Release Date: May 31, 2013

Genre: Contemporary Romance (Jewish Themed)


Buy Links:  
Amazon  B&N  ARe 


Book Description:

Samara Goldberg has a problem even the most beautiful singing voice can’t fix. She’s a walking disaster, especially when she’s around handsome men. To make matters worse, she’s in desperate need of someone to play the character of Mordecai for the Purim spiel she’s producing and the new congregant, Nathaniel Abramson, is a perfect fit. Nathaniel is a divorced dad who’s recovering from the biggest public scandal of his life. The last thing he needs is a relationship with the choir director at his new synagogue, who also happens to be playing the lead female role of Esther in the very play he’s been coerced into joining.

Woven around the Jewish holiday of Purim, The Seduction of Esther is a story of two people whose lives mirror the plot of the Purim story. Like Esther, who had to hide her Jewish identity from the King of Persia, Samara and Nathaniel are hiding key pieces of themselves. Evil Haman wanted to destroy the Jews, and the nasty Josh will do anything to keep Samara and Nathaniel apart. Will their love survive, like the Jewish people in Shushan, Persia, or will their fear keep them apart?






About the Author:


When I was a little girl and couldn’t fall asleep, my mother would tell me to make up a story. Pretty soon, my head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Each character had a specific personality, a list of likes and dislikes, and sometimes, even a specific accent or dialect. Even as an adult, I think about the characters and stories at night before I fall asleep, or in the car on my way to or from one of my daughters’ numerous activities (hey, anything that will drown out their music is a good thing).

One day, I started writing them down (it was either that or checking into the local mental hospital; the computer was way less scary) and five years later, I’ve gotten two book contracts from Whiskey Creek Press. To check them out, click here.


So now it’s time to introduce myself to you. In the real world, I’m the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men I know. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, traveling and watching TV. In between chauffeuring my daughters to after-school activities that require an Excel spreadsheet to be kept straight, running youth group activities, training the dog we recently adopted from a local shelter, and cooking dinners that fit the needs of four very different appetites, I write freelance articles for magazines and newspapers and edit newsletters.

When all of that gets overwhelming, I retreat to my computer, where I write stories that let me escape from reality. In my made-up world, the heroines are always smart, sassy and independent. The heroes are handsome and strong with just a touch of vulnerability. If I don’t like a character, I can delete him or her; if something doesn’t work, I can rewrite it. It’s very satisfying to be in control of at least one part of my life.


My inspiration comes from watching the people around me and fantasizing about how I’d do things differently. I look forward to publishing many more stories in the future and hearing my reader’s comments about my characters and the life they lead.



Find me on Facebook and on Twitter!

My Review

A sweet and often humorous contemporary romance, The Seduction of Esther by Jennifer Wilck captured my attention from the very first page and never let go.  Likable and well developed characters, good dialogue, a somewhat slapstick sense of humor and a second chance romance for a dad with a small kid, make this book very enjoyable.  Mixing in interesting tidbits about the Jewish faith and celebration of one particular holiday, added another layer of depth to reading this story.  

A talented singer and music arranger, Samara Goldberg is young, beautiful and a terrible klutz.  Especially if she gets anywhere around an attractive man, a man she might be interested in.  A chance encounter at a local grocery store brings Samara into direct contact with Nathaniel Abramson, a handsome single attorney who has just joined the synagogue she attends.  Getting him, and his daughter, involved in the synagogue and in her play for the Purim celebration is easy…….not embarrassing herself and not injuring Nathaniel during their encounters due to her clumsiness….not so much.

Divorced and raising his young daughter on his own, Nathaniel Abramson is determined to focus on his career and being a single parent.  Unfortunately he keeps running into Samara and can’t resist her beauty and natural charm.  Wary of risking his heart, Nathaniel isn’t sure what to do about the singer whose voice and companionship lift his heart, and stirs his interest in a romantic relationship.      

The scenes between Samara and Nathaniel are a lot of fun; both likable and nice people, everyone around them can see they are perfect for each other.  Both afraid of being hurt, and possibly embarrassed, they can’t deny their natural attraction.  Ms. Wilck does a good job developing both characters as individuals and as a couple, it’s apparent from the very beginning that these two people belong together.

The secondary characters are well written and all contribute a little something to the story.  From Zoe, Nathaniel’s daughter, a precocious child who plays an important part in bringing Samara and Nathaniel together, to Josh, an architect and fellow member of the synagogue, who wants to be Samara’s romantic interest and at first can't understand her interest in Nathaniel. 

Will Samara and Nathaniel realize their relationship was meant to be?  Will their adaptation of The Story of Esther go off without a hitch for the Purim holiday?  You’ll have to read The Seduction of Esther to find out, I enjoyed it and encourage you to give it a try too.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Crowns

                                       

FTC Disclosure:  I was given a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour.  I did not receive any additional compensation for my opinion of the reading material provided.



Don't forget to leave a comment or question for Jennifer below to let her know you stopped by.  Jennifer will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC and Chocolate to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (International Giveaway).  You can follow Jennifer's tour here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.