An American Duchess – Sharon Page BLOG TOUR REVIEW STOP

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An American Duchess

Title: An American Duchess

Author: Sharon Page

Release Day!

 

About An American Duchess:

Set on a crumbling English manor estate during the height of the Roaring Twenties, an American duchess must decide how much she’s willing to risk for the life she truly desires…

It’s 1922, and New York heiress Zoe Gifford longs for the freedoms promised by the Jazz Age. Headstrong and brazen, but bound by her father’s will to marry before she can access his fortune, Zoe arranges for a brief marriage to Sebastian Hazelton, whose aristocratic British family sorely needs a benefactor.

Once in England, her foolproof plan to wed, inherit and divorce proves more complicated than Zoe had anticipated. Nigel Hazelton, Duke of Langford and Sebastian’s older brother, is as austere and imposing as the family’s ancestral estate. Still reeling from the Great War, Nigel is now staging a one-man battle against a rapidly changing world—and the outspoken Zoe represents everything he’s fighting against.

When circumstances compel Zoe to marry Nigel rather than Sebastian, their heated quarrelling begets passion of another sort. But with Nigel unwilling to change with the times, will Zoe be forced to choose between her husband and her dreams?

 

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Review

Literally after reading only a single page of An American Duchess I knew I was going to greatly enjoy it. Truly, how could a story that is part Downton Abbey, part Beauty and the Beast with a splash of Pride and Prejudice not appeal?

Anna Neagle – Film actress (Finger Waved Eton Crop)

Zoe Gifford is a “modern woman”, sporting an Eton crop hairstyle she flies, drives, smokes and believes that a marriage of convenience is the answer to her mother’s dilemma. Marriage would allow Zoe access to her sizeable trust fund and Sebastian Hazelton is sorely in need of funds… and a “beard“. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement.

“Julia!” Her name came out in a roar of shock.

The creature in front of Nigel was nothing like the demure English lady who had climbed into Zoe Gifford’s motorcar that morning. Several feet of dark hair has been cut. Her face was made up like an actress on Drury Lane. As for her dress –

Nigel Hazelton, the Duke is a recluse, physically scarred and mentally traumatized by the Great War that marked him. All he has left is his title and impoverished estate and he is determined to do whatever it takes to protect them. When Nigel and Zoe meet to say they don’t get on would be a vast understatement, however underlying that antagonism is an electric connection between the two just waiting for the right spark to explode into a seething passion.

An American Duchess is the perfect read for fans of Downton Abbey like myself, who need a distraction from the interminable wait until its January 2015 première. Page has taken some classic tropes and combined them beautifully resulting in an exciting glimpse into the Roaring Twenties and the epic struggle between the old standard and the lure of the modern age.

 

Sharon PageNew York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Sharon Page sold her first book, an erotic romance novel A GENTLEMAN SEDUCED, in 2004. Since then, she has published more than 20 novels and novellas, both traditionally through NY publishers (Kensington, Random House, Harlequin), and on her own through self-publishing.

Sharon writes:

  • Historical romantic women’s fiction (AN AMERICAN DUCHESS)
  • Erotic historical romance (SIN, DEEPLY IN YOU)
  • Erotic paranormal romance (BLOOD RED, BLOOD CURSE)
  • Sensual historical romance (THE CLUB, ENGAGED IN SIN)
  • New adult contemporary erotic romance (The Yardley College Chronicles series).

Sharon’s books have won many awards including two RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Awards, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Colorado Award of Romance, and the Golden Quill. Sharon was nominated by RT Book Reviews in 2013 for Career Achievement in Erotic Romance.

She graduated with a degree in Industrial Design (School of Engineering) and worked for years in the structural engineering field. Married, with two children, Sharon now writes almost full time.

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Home Is Where You Are – Tessa Marie

HOME IS WHERE YOU ARETESSA MARIERELEASE

HOME IS WHERE YOU ARE BY TESSA MARIE

RELEASES SEPTEMBER 30 2014

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Anna’s life reads like a check list.

  • Straight A’s (Check)
  • Editor of the school paper (Check)
  • Volunteering time at the local soup kitchen (Check)
  • Ivy League (So close she can taste it)
  • Falling in love with a homeless boy (Not on the list)

SUMMARY – Dean has a plan too. Survive. After being subjected to his foster father’s violent attacks, Dean made the hard choice to leave. Now he lives on the streets doing everything he can to get by, refusing to let people help him. But when he meets Anna, he realizes not everyone is out to hurt him.

Slowly, Anna and Dean let each other in, blending their two worlds into one. But when a series of events brings Dean’s world into perspective, he pushes Anna away. Not willing to accept the line that divides them, Anna sets out to bring Dean back to her. Her determination and faith in their future puts her on the tracks of danger, and he is the only one who can save her.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author-Tessa-Marie-e1408422211952Tessa Marie lives in the same town she grew up in on Long Island, NY with her long time boyfriend and their fish. Under her real name, Theresa Paolo, she released her debut novel (NEVER) AGAIN, a NA romance, in Fall 2013 with Berkley (Penguin) and (ONCE) AGAIN released this summer. She is also the coauthor of the Amazon bestseller KING SIZED BEDS AND HAPPY TRAILS and BEACH SIDE BEDS AND SANDY PATHS, a YA contemporary series. She has a hard time accepting the fact she’s nearing thirty, and uses her characters to relive the best and worst years of her life. She put her love of writing on hold while she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Dowling College. When she’s not writing, she’s behind a camera, reading, or can be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

Home Is Where You Are – Tessa Marie NOW AVAILABLE

HOME IS WHERE YOU ARETESSA MARIERELEASE

HOME IS WHERE YOU ARE BY TESSA MARIE

RELEASES SEPTEMBER 30 2014

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Anna’s life reads like a check list.

  • Straight A’s (Check)
  • Editor of the school paper (Check)
  • Volunteering time at the local soup kitchen (Check)
  • Ivy League (So close she can taste it)
  • Falling in love with a homeless boy (Not on the list)

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GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author-Tessa-Marie-e1408422211952Tessa Marie lives in the same town she grew up in on Long Island, NY with her long time boyfriend and their fish. Under her real name, Theresa Paolo, she released her debut novel (NEVER) AGAIN, a NA romance, in Fall 2013 with Berkley (Penguin) and (ONCE) AGAIN released this summer. She is also the coauthor of the Amazon bestseller KING SIZED BEDS AND HAPPY TRAILS and BEACH SIDE BEDS AND SANDY PATHS, a YA contemporary series. She has a hard time accepting the fact she’s nearing thirty, and uses her characters to relive the best and worst years of her life. She put her love of writing on hold while she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Dowling College. When she’s not writing, she’s behind a camera, reading, or can be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

The Position – Dahlia Salvatore BLOG TOUR REVIEW STOP

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  • Title: The Position
  • Author: Dahlia Salvatore
  • Series: Stand Alone
  • Published: August 18th 2014 by Booktrope Entice
  • Format: eBook
  • Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
  • Page Count: 186
  • Rating: B
  • Source: Tour Operator

SUMMARY – Dylan Farrow puts on his pants every morning one leg at a time, just like everyone else at the Kerrigan Advertising Agency. He handles high-pressure projects with a fast turnaround. He’s prized for his keen intellect and admirable performance. But how did he get where he is today—to the level of Junior Executive of Design Production?

Well, that involves how he takes his pants off…

and for whom…

Hoping to break through the glass ceiling under which she’s been trapped for years, Valerie Caplan picks up her life and moves to Seattle. After hearing about the position of Senior Executive of Design Production from an art director at Kerrigan, she decides to apply. When she lands the big interview, she never thinks for a minute that she’ll have any serious competition. She assumes that she has the job in the bag…until she discovers that the only competition has something she doesn’t have—the willingness to go outside the office to impress Danica Stewart, their uptight female boss.

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REVIEW

Dylan Farrow has screwed his way to the top or is in the process of doing so. He has the good fortune to work at an agency populated almost entirely by women and to be very attractive and completely lacking a conscience. The plethora of sexually deprived women is a buffet that he takes advantage of regularly and without remorse. However what he was not anticipating was having to compete for a coveted promotion let alone with the one woman who may prove to ruin his carefully balanced life of indulgence.

She was a stepping stone that I was about to step on – just like all the other women in my life. The money, the power, the position, they were the supreme motivation.

The Position was not what I expected, I thought that I had largely gotten over thinking I knew everything when I was around thirteen but apparently this is not the case. When I read the premise I was anticipating a rom-com type farce along the lines of The Proposal only dirrrtier. I wouldn’t say that I was entirely wrong only that I was not anticipating the sharp turn into Eyes Wide Shut territory that transpired.

I enjoyed The Position surprising plot twists notwithstanding, Dahlia Salvatore created a character in Dylan whom you couldn’t help but want to receive his comeuppance and soon preferably in the form of a woman whom he couldn’t just blithely manipulate in the whatever manner he sees fit. The reader can only hope that Valerie is just that woman.

About the Author

Dahlia Salvatore is a thirty-two-year-old female author living in Seattle, Washington with her husband. She comes from Coos Bay, Oregon and moved to Seattle six years ago. She loves the west coast and doesn’t see herself anywhere else.

Her influences include contemporary writers J.K. Rowling, Mary Balogh, Christina Dodd, Stephanie Laurens, Laurell K. Hamilton, Anne Rice, Stephen King, and many many others.

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CELEBRATE CELESTE FEST (FLAT OUT LOVE #2) – JESSICA PARK

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From Goodreads

For high-school senior Celeste Watkins, every day is a brutal test of bravery. And Celeste is scared. Alienated because she’s too smart, her speech too affected, her social skills too far outside the norm, she seems to have no choice but to retreat into isolation.

But college could set her free, right? If she can make it through this grueling senior year, then maybe. If she can just find that one person to throw her a lifeline, then maybe, just maybe.

Justin Milano, a college sophomore with his own set of quirks, could be that person to pull her from a world of solitude. To rescue her—that is, if she’ll let him.

Together, they may work. Together, they may save each other. And together they may also save another couple—two people Celeste knows are absolutely, positively flat-out in love.

  • FLCTitle: Flat Out Celeste
  • Author: Jessica Park
  • ISBN: 1499646704 (ISBN13: 9781499646702)
  • Series: Flat Out Love #2
  • Published: May 22nd 2014 by CreateSpace
  • Format: Kindle Edition, 336 pages
  • Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
  • Source: Purchased
  • Rating: B+

WARNING: If you have not read Flat Out Love I cannot stress strongly enough that a) You stop reading this post immediately and b) BUY, BORROW OR STEAL! Flat Out Love immediately! Actually let me rephrase, do not steal it but legally obtain a copy with the utmost urgency and while you are at it purchase Flat Out Matt and Flat Out Celeste as well. You will thank me later. There are some series that can be read out of sequence or as stand alone entries, in my opinion this is NOT one of them.

Occasionally a supporting character is just so unique and vibrant that they completely overshadow the others. Celeste Watkins would have been just such a character if Jessica Park had not created such a superior cast in the first of this series. An uncommonly intelligent child, her formality and sensitivity was original and endearing, which Park demonstrated with aplomb, a difficult feat as most child characters are either distracting or annoying.

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Four years have passed since the events in Flat Out Love and Celeste is now a senior in high school trying to decide which Ivy League school she should attend. She is literally spoiled for choice as an intellectually gifted Watkins. However she is adrift in social situations, distrustful of overtures from other students and unsure of how to approach her peers without appearing condescending that is until she begins corresponding with Justin Milano the student liaison from Barton College on the west coast.

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down – The Band (1969)

 

Flat Out Celeste was a fitting conclusion to the story begun when the reader met a highly intelligent but clearly deeply traumatized girl largely unable to function without the life sized cutout image of her eldest brother. To fully appreciate the series it is best evaluated as a whole (see my above incoherent ravings about not reading them out of order), and as such the reader can enjoy Celeste’s grown up incarnation and revisiting Matt and Julie as well as much as I did.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

park-300x275Jessica Park is the author of LEFT DROWNING, FLAT-OUT LOVE, the FOL companion novella, FLAT-OUT MATT., FLAT-OUT CELESTE (new!), and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. Jessica grew up in the Boston area and attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. After spending four years in the frigid north, including suffering through one memorable Halloween blizzard, Jessica hightailed it back to the east coast. She now lives in (relatively balmy) New Hampshire with her husband, son, bananas dogs named Fritzy and Finn, and a selfish cat. When not writing, Jessica indulges her healthy obsessions with Facebook and complicated coffee beverages.

Fading Light (Shadow Born #2) – Angela Dennis SPOTLIGHT / Q&A

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Title: Fading Light (Shadow Born #2)

Author: Angela Dennis

Release Date: 23/9/2014

SYNOPSIS – Her hundred-year penance lifted, Shadow Bearer Brenna Baudouin returns to the Earthly plane with her partner, Gray Warlow, to keep the peace between humans and supernatural creatures and to prevent another apocalyptic war from happening.

The attraction between them is nearing a critical point, but their checkered history has left Brenna unable to trust either her heart or her instincts.

It s chaotic business as usual until humans begin turning to statues of dust. There is no explanation, no sign of magical foul play or a biological toxin. The humans are convinced it s the work of a deviant supernatural faction, twisting the knife in the already tense relationship between their species. Brenna and Gray agree the deaths have a former comrade-turned-rogue stamped all over them.

In a race against time, they enlist the help of both friend and foe to save the human race and stop the impending civil war. Along the way, they are forced to come to terms with their past and decide, once and for all, whether they will come together or fall apart.


 Q&A With Fading Light Author Angela Dennis

1.) Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I created a diverse cast of characters for this series because I wanted to celebrate the uniqueness that is inherent in every person. I think it’s really important to embrace our own individuality and learn who we really are, not who other people want us to be. We all deserve to be loved for ourselves.

2.) If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Wow. That’s a really hard question. I’m going to say no, because it would require me to rewrite the next book J

3.) What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?

Right now my life is full of challenges. Finding time to write is always my biggest struggle. We have a crazy household schedule. My husband and I both work full-time, plus he goes to school full-time and I write. We also have a toddler. Because of that, Fading Light was written in the wee hours of the night/morning while everyone else was asleep. A LOT of coffee was consumed to create this plot J

4.) What are your ambitions for your writing career?

It’s always been my dream to write full time. I love writing Urban Fantasy, and have a few more series ideas up my sleeve. I’m also hoping, if all goes well, I will be branching into Paranormal Romance. I’ve got a secret project in the works that I’m hoping to be able to announce soon.

5.) Which writers inspire you?

I cut my teeth on books by Victoria Holt and Dean Koontz, two authors who will always hold sway over the majority of my bookshelves. But it wasn’t until I found authors like Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, and Ilona Andrews that I really knew what I wanted to write.

6.) What are you working on at the minute?

Right now I’m working on the third book in the Shadow Born series as well as another Shadow Born Novella.

7.) What’s it about?

I would love to tell you, but it’s a secret. Let’s just say the ramifications of what happens in Fading Light are far deadlier than anyone expected.

8.) What genre are your books?

Urban Fantasy, but with strong romantic elements.

9.) What draws you to this genre?

I love everything about it. It leaves the door wide open to explore so many possibilities, and I love possibilities.

10.) Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I do both. I have all of the books in the Shadow Born Series outlined, but I let myself veer off the beaten path as I write. I’ve found some of my best ideas come when I’m not confined to any one direction.

11.) How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

That’s a hard question. My ideas and world building have definitely become darker and more complex, but I’m learning to temper that darkness with humor and sarcasm. There’s a character in Fading Light, Keegan, who is a perfect example of this. Sometimes, you’ve got to have a little comic relief.

12.) What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

I think they’re both important. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, especially in regard to something as subjective as reading. I love to hear other people’s thoughts, both positive and negative. There’s always something to learn from them.

13.) If you could be any supernatural creature what would you be?

Honestly, it wouldn’t matter as long as they had the ability to travel through time. That’s my favorite “super power.”

14.) Do you have a zombie apocalypse kit?

No, but I totally need one.

15.) What would you have in yours?

A few spelled daggers, a shot gun, and some grenades.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ADAngela Dennis lives outside Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, son and a Sheltie with a hero complex. When she is not at her computer crafting stories, she can be found feeding her coffee addiction, playing peek-a-boo, or teaching her son about the great adventures found only in books.

 

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Amazon Author Page

Book Links: (*American, UK, etc.)

Amazon US |  Amazon UKBarnes & Noble | KoboiTunesGoodreads

Outlander, S1, Ep. 4-5 “Taking Oaths and Warmongering…”

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GUEST REVIEWER – teachergirl73

Episode 4 – The Gathering

I really do think that script writers for Outlander, have done an excellent job translating the original story with a new and original perspective.  The evidence of this expertly interwoven storytelling is demonstrated in Episodes Four, Five and Six. Although this post will deal exclusively with the events of Episode Four “The Gathering” and Episode Five “Rent”. Episode Six “The Garrison Commander” requires a post all on its own (once you’ve seen it, you’ll understand).

“The Gathering” is a very significant turning point for both Jamie and Claire as they both try in their own ways to avoid becoming more involved in the power and the politics of the Clan Mackenzie.  Of course, neither Jamie nor Claire can avoid the inevitable push and pull that is the Clan, but then again, it would be a much different story to tell if both characters escape plans had been successful.

The fourth episode opens with Claire playing with the children of the castle in the woods. To her guards and anyone else watching, it merely appears that Claire is having fun playing a version of “hide and seek” with Hamish Mackenzie, Colum’s son, and the rest of the castle’s offspring. However, Claire’s intentions for playing in the woods with the children are much more serious. What she is in fact doing is reconnaissance of the property surrounding the castle so that she can plan her escape. As she secretly leaves “breadcrumbs” to mark her escape path, to everyone else, she appears to be getting into the festivities of the Gathering.

All seems to be going as Claire has planned until she discovers Geilis Duncan in her surgery, who is openly snooping through Claire’s meager belongings as well as her stores of various herbs. Subtly malicious in her friendliness Geilis questions a clearly wary and uncomfortable Claire about her husband, she leaves her with a warning that the “highlands are no place for a woman on her own”.

In a significant departure from the original story-line, just as Claire’s getting ready to flee the castle, she is interrupted at her surgery door by Laoghaire. The young girl has come to seek Claire’s help with “moving Jamie’s heart forward” with a love potion. This is another one of those moments where Claire does not fully appreciate the superstitious nature of the highland folk. Claire thinks it is a sweet and innocent request from a young girl with a crush, and does not fully appreciate what this request might cost her in the future.

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The rest of the episode travels along following most of the original story-line, where Jamie inadvertently is forced into swearing an oath of sorts to Colum, thanks to Claire, despite what the political and personal consequences might be for him. There is a wild boar hunt where Claire and Dougal have a bonding moment as they help a fatally injured clansman pass on with dignity. At the end of the episode, Dougal declares that he will be taking a group to collect the rents from those living on the Mackenzie lands that couldn’t make it to the Gathering and that Claire will be going with him.

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Episode 5 – Rent

The tone of Episode Five is quite different from the way Claire is treated in the book. While travelling through the Mackenzie lads, Claire is treated as an outcast most of the time. The clansmen are far more antagonistic towards her and she is treated quite poorly by them. The only exceptions to this treatment seem to be Ned Gowan, the Clan’s lawyer/accountant and Jamie. But I felt at times that even Jamie was colder towards her in this episode than he ever was in the book at this point. The novel portrays Claire’s relationship with the clansmen as more jovial and light-hearted, and there’s a greater sense of camaraderie.

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While out collecting the rents, Claire finds her own amusement by helping a group of women working wool.  Enjoying her afternoon working with the village women, Claire takes the opportunity to ask some questions about Craigh na Dun, trying to figure out how far away she is from her escape. Claire’s day takes a turn for the worse when she gets into an argument with Angus about how she is spent her day. Emboldened by some whiskey shared with the other ladies,  she makes quite a scene, causing Dougal to step in. It is while Claire is in the midst of an argument with Dougal in front of the townsfolk that tensions become more heightened as an Englishman appears from one of the huts and tries to intervene. This gallantry on the part of the Englishman does not go over very will with the clansmen and when it looks like swords and blood might start flying, the lone Englishman backs down. After Dougal and his party leave, we see that he is actually a British officer.

This trip is not just to collect the Mackenzie rents. Unbeknownst to Claire, Dougal is also using the trip to collect funds for the Charles Stuart, the Catholic king and “rightful” heir to the Scottish throne. His tactics to help the return his king to the throne begin with using Jamie’s back as the proof that the British are not fit to rule. But when they come across the bodies of two highlanders strung up for all to see. Dougal’s retelling of finding the desecrated bodies left in the open for the crows to eat, helps to further his warmongering cause. Claire tries to warn Ned Gowan, strongly implying that the Scots won’t stand a chance against the British army, but it is to no avail.

There is a moment near the end of the episode that seems to help break the tension felt between Claire and the clansmen. Following inappropriate comments from others about the “Sassenach” the Mackenzie men start a room clearing brawl. In defending her honour the Mackenzie men find a way to coexist peacefully with Claire.

As the party moves on to the next town, Dougal and Claire have another conversation where he questions her about who she really is and why she is in Scotland, as he knows about her conversation with Ned Gowan about the fate of the Stuart cause. Claire tries to tell Dougal that she is just trying to save his life and that of his men when they are interrupted by the British officer that they encountered earlier in the episode. The episode comes to a close with Dougal clearly outnumbered, and the lieutenant questioning Claire if she is being held against her will. You’ll have to watch Episode Six, “The Garrison Commander” to find out what Claire’s response is…

The Garrison Commander (S1, Ep6) – PROMO