Book Recommendation: Irresistible You by Kate Meader

My book recommendation of the week is Kate Meader’s Irresistible You. I love sports romances and this one is hot, hot, hot. I reviewed it for NetGalley and this is what I posted on Goodreads and Amazon.  pro_reader_120

“Five icy-hot stars. Kate did it again! She delivered another book with a delicious hero one can’t help but fall in love with, a strong heroine you can relate to, a fascinating story you enjoy following along, and fully fleshed-out secondary characters whose future books you’re looking forward to reading. Irresistible You is funny, but also addresses several heavy issues like sexism and violence against women. It’s super sexy and incredibly fun to read. I love both Remy (He cooks! He reads Pride and Prejudice!) and Harper and enjoyed their journey into love. I also love the team, the hockey, the sisters, and the DuPres. The pacing is just right and the situations were realistic. Although many characters were introduced, none of them detracted from the fact that this is Remy and Harper’s book. That’s very well done by Kate Meader. This is truly a wonderful first book in her new series. I can’t wait to read the rest.”

 

About the book:

IRRESISTIBLE YOU
Chicago Rebels series, Book 1
Kate Meader
Pocket Star EBooks
August 14, 2017
$1.99 (August 14th – August 27th, 2017)
$5.99 (After August 27th, 2017)
ISBN 9781501168550

“Meader’s strength is creating characters who live, breathe, and jump off the page; Remy and Harper shine, and the supporting cast of characters, including Harper’s half-sisters, is very strong. The mix of sexual tension and emotional decisions will lead Meader’s series launch to many a keeper shelf.”
—Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

“Meader takes her readers on a breathtaking, non-stop, glorious ride. The sex scenes are lyrically written with fresh, descriptive prose. Enough is included about hockey to add its fast rhythm to the book. Remy’s family is multi-faceted and fills the pages with joy. Readers will love the relationship between Remy and Harper, and will be excited for the next story — Isobel’s.”
—RT Book Reviews Four and a Half Star TOP PICK

IRRESISTIBLE YOU kicks of the all new, scorching Chicago Rebels hockey series by Kate Meader, featuring her signature “steamy sex scenes, colorful characters, and riveting dialogue” (Romantic Times). Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.

Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won’t let anything stand in her way. Not her gender, not her sisters, and especially not a veteran player with an attitude problem and a smoldering gaze designed to melt her ice-compacted defenses.

Veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre is on the downside of a career that’s seen him win big sponsorships, fans’ hearts, and more than a few notches on his stick. Only one goal has eluded him: the Stanley Cup. Sure, he’s been labeled as the unluckiest guy in the league, but with his recent streak of good play, he knows this is his year. So why the hell is he being shunted off to a failing hockey franchise run by a ball-buster in heels? And is she seriously expecting him to lead her band of misfit losers to a coveted spot in the playoffs?

He’d have a better chance of leading Harper on a merry skate to his bed…

IRRESISTIBLE YOU is available at:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ktKuiM
Nook: http://bit.ly/2ktBFkU
iBooks: http://apple.co/2k4aYXk
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2jy3E2D
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2k0sZW5

About the author:

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Kate Meader was raised on romance. An Irish girl, she started with Catherine Cookson and Jilly Cooper novels, and spiced it up with some Mills & Boon. Now based in Chicago, she writes romances of her own, where sexy contemporary alpha heroes and strong heroines match each other quip for quip. When not immersed in tales of brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, Kate lives on the web at katemeader.com.

 

 

 

Ye Are Blood Of My Blood, And Bone Of My Bone

Today is my and my husband’s 12th wedding anniversary, the first of two we celebrate – one civil, the other church.

This special time always makes me think ooutlander wedding vowsf wedding vows from romance books. One of my favorites is the Gaelic Wedding Vow.  This has been used in many romance books, especially those set in the Scottish Highlands, most famously Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. One of my favorite new authors of Historical Romance, Kerrigan Byrne, also used it in the first book of her Victorian Rebels series – The Highwayman.

“She looked up at him with those eyes, and Dougan experienced a pang of love so intense and ferocious it felt as though it didn’t belong in this holy room.
He began the incantation he remembered from watching once from behind his mother’s skirts when he was young.

‘Ye are blood of my blood, and bone of my bone.
I give ye my body, that we two might be one.
I give ye my spirit, ’til our life shall be done.’

Farah needed a bit of prompting to remember all the words, but she said them with such fervency that Dougan was touched. Slipping a ring of a willow herb vine onto her finger, he recited the sacred olde vows with perfect clarity, but translated them into English for her sake.

‘I made ye my heart
At the rising of the moon.
To love and honor,
Through all our lives.
May we be reborn,
May our souls meet and know.
And love again.
And remember.’

She looked lost and mystified for a moment, then announced, “Me, too.”

 

I’ll be writing a wedding scene for Book 2 of my Carpe Diem Chronicles series and this certainly has given me inspiration.

 

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Camp NaNo Winner 2017

Winner again!

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I wrote and completed the first draft of my debut novel in November 2016 during NaNoWriMo. I started without an outline, without a plot. Nothing but one page of a scene I wrote in 2003 and never finished. I only knew two things that first day of NaNo: 1) I will set it in Boracay 2) It will be a multicultural romance. Yes, I was a Pantser. One month, two titles, three name changes, and 54,000+ words later, I had a complete book. Not finished, only completed. It had a Beginning, a Middle, and an End.

Naturally, first drafts are the worst. It went through four more revisions with Beta readers chiming in and editors turning it down. The verdict is clear: they want more conflict. Fine, I said. This July, I joined CampNaNo and with the support of my Old School Romance Book Club cabin mates, I wrote, rewrote, retitled, and edited my first book. As a result, I now have a 58,000-word sixth draft with a little more drama, a lot more love.

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On to more beta reading, more editing, more polishing, and hopefully soon, on to Publishing.

Carpe Diem!

 

Note: Photo credit to Chippy Ledesma. Location: Boracay Island, Philippines.

Modern Fairytale Series by Katy Regnery – Cover Reveal!

New York Times bestselling author Katy Regnery has given her modern fairytale collection a whole new look! They’re so gorgeous…go take a peek!
Amazon US → http://amzn.to/2ufzPMe
iBooks → http://apple.co/2us4TJA
Nook → http://bit.ly/2valxee
Kobo → http://bit.ly/2uvzBkL

new covers

Available now (coming to KU on Aug 1):
~ THE VIXEN AND THE VET (Beauty & the Beast)
~ NEVER LET YOU GO (Hansel & Gretel)
~ GINGER’S HEART (Little Red Riding Hood)
~ DARK SEXY KNIGHT (Camelot)
~ DON’T SPEAK (The Little Mermaid) – Only 99¢ until July 30!

Coming in December 2017:
~ SHEAR HEAVEN (Rapunzel)
Coming in 2018:
~ FRAGMENTS OF ASH (Cinderella)
~ SWAN SONG (The Ugly Duckling)

About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013.
Twenty-five books later, Katy claims authorship of the multi-titled, New York Times and USA Today Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other standalone novels and novellas.
Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set, The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Today bestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1-4, became a New York Times E-book bestseller.
In 2016, Katy signed a print-only agreement with Spencerhill Press. As a result, her Blueberry Lane paperback books will now be distributed to brick and mortar bookstores all over the United States.
Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

Author Links:
Website/Newsletter Signup: http://katyregnery.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7211470.Katy_Regnery
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dqySsy
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatyRegnery
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KatyRegnery
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/katharineregner/

Adopt, Adapt

Adopt a positive attitude. Adapt to changes.

These are truisms we try to keep in mind whenever we travel. Heaven knows we needed every bit of flexibility and patience we could muster during our trip to and from Scotland and Ireland. Again, it wasn’t the being there that was the problem, it was the getting there and back here to the US that were stressful.

We had a wonderful time in both countries. All of us enjoyed the rich history, the breathtaking scenery, the refreshing weather, and the fascinating attractions in all the places we visited. The hotels we stayed in–Doubletree in Edinburgh and Fitzwilliam in Belfast–provided our needs well and were conveniently located. We hope to go back someday, especially to the Highlands, which we didn’t see during this visit. I just wish we could just teleport there and won’t have to go through London’s horrible Heathrow or Chicago’s O’Hell, I mean O’Hare.

It started well enough with the flight from Belfast actually leaving on time. Terminal 5 at Heathrow was so poorly constructed, it was a mad dash again to get to our gate for our flight to Chicago. We didn’t have time to get our tax refund at all. And, naturally we arrived late in the States, thereby missing our connection to San Antonio. It is virtually impossible to go through the immigration and security processes for entering the US within two hours, much less the lone hour we had.

Thanks to British Airways, we had an unplanned extended vacation in Chicago. They sponsored our hotel and meals for the night we had to stay until our morning make-up flight to Texas. We actually appreciated the night’s rest for we were simply exhausted. In hindsight, arriving home at daytime instead of midnight turned out to be a better choice for us.

So, if there are lessons I’d always remember from this adventure, they are:

  1. Have a sense of humor. Murphy’s Laws are forever at work, there’s no use flipping out when things go wrong.
  2. It is okay to over-pack. Always keep a fresh set of clothes, especially underwear, in your carry-on bag. Flights will get delayed, luggage will get lost or left behind.
  3. Carry an extra tote/sack in your bag in case you go over the weight limit. Remember: dirty clothes are heavy.
  4. Buy an adapter.

CE_approved_universal_plug_adapter

Last, smile. And the world will smile with you. Truth.

 

Photo credits: Confucius quote – quotesvalley.com, universal adapter – Bing search

 

I Love Traveling, I Hate The Trip

My boys and I are traveling right now. We just left Scotland after 3 days there. Stayed mainly in Edinburgh and took a bus tour to the Kingdom of Fife – Anstruther, St. Andrew’s, and Falkland.

We’re now in Belfast for the Irish leg of our journey. We’re taking the Game of Thrones tour tomorrow and then plan to go to Dublin on Friday.

MapGB

The best part of this vacation had been arriving in our destination. The getting there were some of the worst experiences we’ve had. Our flight from San Antonio to Dallas was delayed twice and we were on the line for over an hour just to get our bag checked in–we already had our boarding passes. We got to our gate in Dallas just in time to make the flight to London. It was an eight-hour flight, but there was no way to sleep with crying babies, the crew serving drinks/food, and occasional turbulence. The flight to Scotland wasn’t too bad, until we waited and waited for our luggage which did not arrive. It was left at Heathrow. Thankfully, it was delivered the same night.

Today was another nightmare.  We arrived at the Edinburgh airport early only to find out that the power was out and all systems were down. They needed almost one hour to restore the computers, because heaven forbid they had to write the boarding passes manually, etcetera, etcetera. Flight to London was again delayed and we barely had time to make our flight to Belfast because we had to tour the whole airport before getting to our terminal. Once we arrived in Belfast, we were not even surprised to find out that our luggage was once again left in Heathrow. This time, the bag is not going to be delivered until tomorrow morning. Yep, they’re two for two in losing our bag.

It’s a good thing I was once a Girl Scout and had a change of clothes for the three of us in our hand-carry. At the end of the day, we got here, we’re all together and safe, so we’re not letting this anger us too much. As for American Airlines and British Airways, they won’t be getting a good review from me anytime soon. I really miss Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Thai Airways, and Changi Airport. In my opinion, the Asian airlines are the best in the world. No one can convince me otherwise, especially after today.

 

Photo credits:  featured image – transom.com; map – Bing search

 

I’m An Advanced Reader

This year, I’ve taken fangirling to the max and made friends with my favorite romance writers on Facebook. I’ve also subscribed to their newsletters and joined their reading groups. Thus, I’m one of Sally Thorne’s Flamethrowers, Kate Meader’s Kittens, Sophie Jordan‘s Sirens, and Katy Regnery‘s Ladies. I’m also a member of Bella Andre’s Street Team, Eloisa James’ Book Club, and–the one that started it all for me–Sarah MacLean’s Old School Romance Book Club. One of the privileges is getting a bead on their upcoming books, months or weeks before they go on sale in the form of Advance Reading Copy. This week, I’m putting three of these ARCs on top of my To-Be-Read pile.

 

forever nightsOne more easy job, life coach and empath Jamie Donovan promises herself. Then she’ll take a well-earned break from her booming business to properly grieve the loss of her mother and pull herself together. When that job turns out to be an ambush intervention for Las Vegas heiress Layla DeGrasso, all bets are off. But Layla isn’t Jamie’s biggest problem on her new job. That honor goes to her client’s hot as hell bodyguard, Axel. Damn those abs.

Axel Frasier is finally free from the Army and is trying to make a name for his fledgling network security firm. When he lands a promising contract at Lush, Victor DeGrasso’s crown jewel on the Vegas strip, a few quiet weeks of system analysis beckon. But a twist of events force him back into the role of bodyguard, one he swore he’d never play again. It wouldn’t be so bad if he could only keep his head on straight around his clients’ distracting life coach.

Jamie needs to move past the baggage her mother has saddled her with, while keeping Layla on track. Axel can’t afford to be distracted by lust and doesn’t trust the lure of more. Neither is ready for true love, but the nights in Las Vegas are long and lonely…

Forever Nights will go on sale on June 27, 2017.

 

director and don juan

Heiress Alice Story left her father’s company three years ago in a blaze of glory, inviting all of his employees to jump ship and join her, but only one accepted her offer: mail room clerk, Carlos Vega.

While Alice spent the next three years getting her own company off the ground, Carlos became her indispensable right-hand man — executive assistant and office manager, loyal counsel and trusted co-worker.

And all the while, they were quietly falling in love with each other.

When Alice is offered a lucrative business deal in Puerto Rico, island-born Carlos is the perfect person to accompany her on her trip as translator. But as they travel together from Philadelphia to Santo Domingo to Ponce, two unlikely co-workers will discover that their feelings for each other have grown far deeper than they ever could have guessed.

And though business-minded, proper Alice will try her very best to ignore the longings of her heart, scorching hot, insanely sexy Boricua, Carlos, has no intention of letting her go.

The Director and Don Juan is available on June 30, 2017.

 

sophie jordan the scandal of it all

It takes two to make a scandal…

What kind of woman ventures into London’s most notorious pleasure club? An outsider like Graciela, the Duchess of Autenberry, snubbed time and time again by society because of her Spanish roots. Ela longs to take a lover for a single, wild night, and within the walls of Sodom there are gentlemen to suit every forbidden taste. If only she were not so drawn to the smoldering Lord Strickland…a dangerous man who sees beyond her mask, and could ruin her reputation with a mere whisper.

Lord Strickland never permitted himself to fantasize about the sultry, off-limits lady, but then he never expected to find Ela in a place so wicked, looking for what he’s more than too happy to give. She may not be to the ton’s taste, but she suits him perfectly. First, however, he must convince her to trust in this dangerous desire—and in the promise of forever unleashed by one wild, scandalous night.

The Scandal of It All will be published on July 25, 2017.

 

From these blurbs, I can already tell I’m going to love these books. I’ll be posting my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Happy Reading to me!

 

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Photo Credits: ARC – CreativIndieCovers.com; Cover photos and blurbs – Amazon.com

 

Celebrating Loving Day Everyday

On June 12, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court which invalidated the state laws prohibiting interracial marriage.

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I celebrate because I’m a direct beneficiary of this decision. My husband’s American, I’m Filipino. He’s white, I’m brown. In 2005, we were able to marry legally because we could, because we were allowed. I celebrate not just on June 12, but everyday. Thanks to Richard and Mildred Loving. Thanks to the US Supreme Court in 1967.

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The Lovings’ story, my own story, and the stories of more than half a million interracial couples are the inspirations for my books. I’m also encouraged by the great multicultural romances I’ve been reading recently. Surely, they too have been inspired by real-life stories of mixed race pairings. Some of them are: Courtney Milan’s Cyclone series beginning with Trade Me (Chinese-American heroine); Alisha Rai’s upcoming Forbidden Hearts series with its first book Hate to Want You (Japanese-Hawaiian heroine); and Tif Marcelo’s North to You (Filipino-American hero), the first book of her Journey to the Heart series.

trade me hate to want you north to you

All of these books show love between two people, regardless of race or skin color. All of them prove that love is, indeed, color blind.

 

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Photo credits: Love is Color Blind – quotesgram.com, Loving photos – lovingday.org, book covers – Bing images, and Share the Love – RWA

My Book Boyfriends

When I’m reading a book, especially if it’s a good one, I tend to cast the characters in my head, often using well-known personalities like actors, athletes, and musicians. It helps bring the story to life in my mind. I think many readers do the same, especially romance readers. The tendency, of course, is to choose only the hero and imagine one’s self to be the heroine. Hence, the term Book Boyfriend.

Recently, there have been discussions in a couple of my Facebook reading groups on who we’d cast for specific books if they were ever made into movies. At Sally Thorne’s Flamethrowers, The Hating Game’s fan group, Joshua Templeman is always Liam Hemsworth. Sally herself said he’s her inspiration for the character and who are we to argue with the author? Josh is supposed to be at least six-four, has dark brown hair, ink-blue eyes, strong masculine jawline, and sulky, pretty mouth. Here he is in Wednesday Dove-Gray. Hmm. Looks about right.

THG Liam as Josh

 

At the Old School Romance Book Club, our Book-of-the-Month for June is Lisa Kleypas’s Dreaming of You. The hero is Derek Craven, described as having blunt, strong and even features; “green eyes, the color of grass on a cool spring morning”; and swarthy skin. I suggested a younger Clive Owen, and a lot of the members agree with me.

dreaming of you

 

Whenever I read about a tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed hero in romance novels, I immediately think of Henry Cavill. It doesn’t matter if he’s Irish, British, or American; whether the book is historical or contemporary, the hero will always be Henry. For me he’s Roarke, my ultimate Book Boyfriend, from J.D. Robb’s In Death series.

Henry as Roarke

 

He’s also Blake Ryan in my novel, One Week in Boracay. And since I can’t make myself the heroine, I chose Filipina actress Iza Calzado as inspiration for Blake’s love interest, Krista Lopez.

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I’m so excited to finish writing about these two and their journey to finding love. I hope to share them with everyone soon. Maybe someday, Blake will be someone’s Book Boyfriend, too. One thing’s for sure, he’s mine right now.

 

Bookboyfriend

 

Note: Photos featured here are not my own and were accessed through public sites.

 

 

 

My Name Is Maida And I’m A Bookaholic

I am not exaggerating when I say I have a To Be Read mountain–ok, fine, hill–rather than a mere pile. There are a couple of hundreds of paper books on the floor of my home library and a few hundreds each of ebooks on Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, and Nook. Add to these my membership to the San Antonio Public Library and Houston Area Digital Media Catalog and I have an unlimited access to thousands of books

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Does that stop me from buying more? Heck, no! Yesterday, May 30, was release day for some of my favorite romance authors–Lorraine Heath, Eva Moore, Julia Quinn, and Nora Roberts. Naturally, I bought them all.

new releases may 30 2017

 

Bibliophile. Book Collector.  Book Hoarder. No matter the label, that’s me. As another Bookaholic said, I’m “Addicted. Obsessed. Passionate.” about books and I’m proud of it.

 

Even stormy weather