Friday, February 27, 2015

Going Dark for MONTHLY READS #amreading @JMDarhower @AnnaZaires @BethanyBazille

I've gone dark this month with my reading choices. Romantic thrillers, dark romance... whatever you choose to call it... I've been intrigued by books with that darker edge lately. There's something to be said for the fantasy of being kidnapped or dominated, so taken in that you can't find your way out. It has to be done well though since there's that line between sexy and creepy when dealing with questionable consent. These books walked the line just right.


Monster in His Eyes (Monster in His Eyes #1) by J.M. Darhower

Ignazio Vitale is not a good man.

I suspect it, the first time I see him, sense the air of danger that surrounds the man. He has a way of commanding attention, of taking control, of knowing what I'm thinking before I even do.

It's alarming and alluring. It's dark and deadly. It's everything I've ever wanted but the last thing I truly need. Obsession.

It doesn't take him long to draw me into his web, charming me into his bed and trapping me in his life, a life I know nothing about until it's too late. He has secrets, secrets I can't fathom, secrets that make it so I can't walk away, no matter how much I beg him to let me go. I see it sometimes in his eyes, a darkness that's both terrifying and thrilling. He's a monster, wrapped up in a pretty package, and what I find when I unmask him changes everything.

I want to hate him. Sometimes, I do. But it doesn't stop me from loving him, too.

Twist Me (Twist Me #1) by Anna Zaires

Kidnapped. Taken to a private island.

I never thought this could happen to me. I never imagined one chance meeting on the eve of my eighteenth birthday could change my life so completely.

Now I belong to him. To Julian. To a man who is as ruthless as he is beautiful – a man whose touch makes me burn. A man whose tenderness I find more devastating than his cruelty.

My captor is an enigma. I don’t know who he is or why he took me. There is a darkness inside him – a darkness that scares me even as it draws me in.

My name is Nora Leston, and this is my story.

Devlin UnLeashed by Bethany Bazile
Devlin Ward was a ruthless man. A man born among violence with a heavily burdened mind. 

He wasn't the sort of man fairy tales were made of, but he was sinfully beautiful, and addictively seductive. Dark and dangerous, yet utterly alluring. I’d fooled myself once, only allowing myself to see the beauty in him despite the shadows I’d glimpsed in his eyes. When that darkness took over, I ran. And now he’s found me. He’d trusted me with his love and now he wants it back. And he’s all too willing to crush my heart to make his whole again. 

Juliana betrayed me. Went against everything I believed in and pushed the monster I tried to keep hidden out into the open. Our love was twisted—and I’d made it that way. But I wasn't prepared to let it go. I hunted her for years, picking up traces of her scent as she moved from city to city to escape me. Now that I've found her, I’m not sure even her fiery light can brighten the blackout she left me in when she walked away.

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What makes a book great for you? Have you read these books yet? What did you think?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Rescuing Cade @ElodieParkes on #RomanceBeckons #Thursday13


Welcome Elodie Parkes for today's Thursday Thirteen on Romance Beckons.
Elodie is a British author writing romance, erotic, contemporary, and often with a twist of mystery, paranormal, fantasy, or suspense. Her books are always steamy. Her tag is, Cool stories: Hot love scenes. Elodie lives in Canterbury with her two dogs. She works in an antique shop by day and writes at night, loving the cloak of silent darkness that descends on the rural countryside around her home.

Elodie writes for, Evernight Siren Hot Ink Press Eternal Press Secret Cravings Ra Jones Anthologies Side Street Cookie Publishing. She has also released titles as an individual indie author.

Today, she's sharing her newest Evernight Publishing release, Rescuing Cade.
13 Sentences from Rescuing Cade
Cade took his time drinking his coffee on Saturday morning. He wanted to go out to the street market and call into the coffee shop to buy fresh grounds, but he knew the reminder of being with Marissa there the weekend before would hurt. He drove there and parked in the big flat lot at one end of the High Street. Thoughts of Marissa teased him as he sat for a moment in his car and assessed his feelings. She’d touched his heart and he knew it. He sighed and thrust away the idea of calling into her place on the journey home from the market. She doesn’t want me. 
He turned up the collar of his leather jacket against the cool breeze, and after checking he’d locked his car, since his thoughts drifted time and again to Marissa’s lovely face, he stalked off up the street. He avoided the market stalls he and Marissa had stopped at the week before, making straight for the farmers’ market section, where he bought two different kinds of apples and a couple of large potatoes he knew could be put in the oven and baked without him having to hassle around. 
When he entered the coffee shop he kept his face turned from the café end and ordered his usual Italian roast grounds, but then, longing to recall Marissa as she gazed at him over the table they shared the Saturday before, he glanced around—and there she was.
She stared at him from a table in the middle of the café. 
Cade blinked to make sure he wasn’t just imagining she was there. He paid for his coffee order, and drawn to Marissa’s table as if by some invisible thread, Cade quickly walked over there.
Copyright Elodie Parkes 2015 Evernight Publishing

BLURB
Cade’s trying to get over a broken heart when his friend Jack takes him off to a nightclub, named
only The Club. Although Cade’s shocked by the place he meets Marissa. It’s not long before he and Marissa get together, but under the pressure of expectations from The Club, and Marissa’s fear of commitment, they’re both running in opposite directions.

Gorgeous Cade has touched Marissa’s heart in ways she doesn’t want to admit.

Lovely Marissa has lifted Cade’s sadness and opened his heart to love again.

The trouble is—someone has to give a little. Who’s it going to be?

An erotic romance with a sprinkle of vanilla BDSM

Buy the Book  |  Add to TBR

Want to Know More About Elodie?
Find Elodie online: Blog Facebook FB Twitter Tsu Google + G+ Pinterest YouTube Amazon USA Amazon UK Smashwords Barnes and Noble ARe ManicReaders Tumblr Kobo

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Author's Craft on #RomanceBeckons: Messages In My Writing #amwriting #HEARTandSOUL


Do you place messages in your writing? Is there purposeful meaning to your stories?
When I began writing, I was compelled by the idea of sharing messages through stories. Sometimes these were obvious but other times, I inserted these unaware. What I discovered though is that I can create a more meaningful story -one that readers are drawn to- by being purposeful, by knowing the message and intertwining it into my book's theme.

Having a message -something readers can take away from the book- takes a story from good to great. A meaningful message stays with the reader after they close your book. Don't get me wrong... a story without a message can still be an entertaining read but it's less likely to be memorable to the reader. Think about it. Consider a book you've read that has stayed with you. Then consider what it was about that book. Was there a message that spoke to you?

The messages come from deep inside the writer. Writers are deeply thoughtful, introspective people. Our feelings run long and our values deeply rooted. So it's no surprise that the messages in our stories are reflections of our values. Sometimes the messages drive the story. They serve as inspiration, or we may use a story to explore an issue. They key though is making sure the story is primary to the message.
If the story is a quilt, the message is the batting. The batting is important to making the quilt but isn't what the eye is drawn to. The batting is covered by the fabric, or in writing terms, the story's characters. The batting just makes us want to snuggle with it a little while longer.
I keep the message in the back of my mind as I write. As the plot unwinds and there are decisions to be made, the choices reinforce my message. More often than not, I find myself infusing the message -or the value set- into my characters and allowing them to choose their path based on these values.
In the Heart And Soul series, Aubrey is discovering who she wants to be as a young
adult. Coming from a home with a verbally abusive father and a withdrawn mother, and her only mission ever being to escape, Aubrey has never really lived. When she meets William, a man who knows who he is and what he wants, she begins looking forward to the future. 
The message that I hope to convey is that while our childhood defines us, we determine that definition. Self-determination takes strength. We can continue a circle of abuse or we can stand against it. By the end of the series, Aubrey's choices are different than those in book one because she has grown into a stronger young woman.
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