Happy Book Birthday – MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS TO MARRY by Elizabeth Essex

Congratulations to award-winning author Elizabeth Essex on the release of her latest book MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS TO MARRY, the fourth highly anticipated novel in the Highland Brides series.

MadBadandDangeroustoMarry_ecover_final.jpgHow would you know your one true love, if you didn’t even know your own self?

Ewan Cameron, 5th Duke of Crieff has his future carefully laid out. Heir to a great estate, he’s been betrothed to Lady Greer Douglas since childhood. After years of correspondence, the date is set—they will meet, marry and be happy. But on the way to his wedding, a vicious attack steals everything he holds dear—his home, his future, his bride, and his very self.

Lady Greer Douglas has been faithfully writing to her betrothed, the Duke of Crieff for ten years. Finally, the day she has waited for is at hand—but fate has unkind plans. When her wedding day turns into a funeral, Greer must leave the past behind, and embark on a future without her bridegroom.
While mourning her lost love, Greer is drawn to an injured stranger she encounters on the moor. Compassion leads to friendship, and friendship leads to love that reopens the doors to his shuttered memories. Convinced this man is the lost duke, she helps him embark on a journey to regain everything he has lost. But his would-be murderers lurk nearby, and every step into the past puts their lives in peril. Can they regain their future, without losing their reawakened love—or their lives?


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Available from the following retailers:

• Amz: http://hyperurl.co/mbdmamz
• BN: http://hyperurl.co/mbdmnk
• iB: http://hyperurl.co/mbdmib
• Kobo: http://hyperurl.co/mbdmkobo

SHAMROCKS, SHILLELAGHS & SHENANIGANS, A St. Patrick’s Day Sexy Shorts Collection

In Boracay Vows, Krista got flustered when she opened one of Blake’s gifts – a set of books by one of her favorite authors. They were the author’s first foray into erotic romance. Later, the books served as inspiration for the lovers’ newfound intimacy.

The Shamrock’s Fourth by Zara M Baily, one of the twelve stories in this new anthology SHAMROCKS, SHILLELAGHS & SHENANIGANS, is a sample from those erotic novels.


The Shamrock’s Fourth is the story of submissive Fiona Tay. She signed a contract with Mr. H. O’Brien, not knowing that there are three of them who answer to the name – The Shamrock Trinity. She can handle one Dom or two. For three, she needs Luck. (m/f, m/f, m/f, mmm/f)

shamrock fourth

The Shamrock’s Fourth has a light BDSM theme and is for adult readers only.

A gift from the OSRBC Writing Group, SHAMROCKS, SHILLELAGHS & SHENANIGANS, A St. Patrick’s Day Sexy Shorts Anthology, is FREE from the following etailers:

amazon logosmashwords_icon   nook logo    kobo_logoiBook-icon

Boracay Vows is still FREE on Kindle Unlimited until the end of March.


Fighting Irish by Katy Regnery – Book Birthday Review/Giveaway

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FIGHTING IRISH, The Summerhaven Trio #1

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Blueberry Lane series comes a new trio of romances featuring the Haven triplets!

Rory Haven and Brittany Manion knew one another as children…
…but it’s been a long time since their childhood summers at Summerhaven.

The Havens weren’t the children who attended exclusive Summerhaven Camp in Center Sandwich, New Hampshire. They were the children of the owners, expected to “pull their weight” and absolutely forbidden to fraternize with the paying guests. But that didn’t keep Rory from having a quiet, unrequited crush on gorgeous, popular, insanely-rich, Brittany Manion for four tortuous summers.

When all-grown-up, recently-engaged Brittany books the off-season summer camp for her upcoming spring wedding, she immediately recognizes Rory as the scorching-hot boy who wouldn’t give her the time of day. Meanwhile, Rory, who senses that Brittany’s nuptials are less about Mr. Right and more about Mr. Right Now, launches the fight of his life to win the heart of the girl he’s always wanted.



~Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B2NL7G8
~Apple iBooks: https://apple.co/2GDStBm
~Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2DVvdRW
~Kobo: http://bit.ly/2DT6n54

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Book #1: Fighting Irish (Rory and Brittany)
Book #2: Smiling Irish (Tierney and Burr)
Book #3: Loving Irish (Ian and Hallie)


Fighting Irish is a sweet story of second-chance love amidst class differences and a history of betrayals suffered by the heroine Brittany Manion. Rory Haven is an ideal hero–responsible, kind, understanding, and patient. He’s had a crush on Brittany since they were fourteen, but his obedience to his mother’s edict of non-fraternization with their summer camp’s attendees won out over his adolescent feelings. Given another chance with the woman of his dreams, he took it, but he waited until she was ready and had developed feelings for him in return.

I liked that this was slow-burn and Rory and Brittany did not get together until they’ve declared their love for one another. I absolutely adore the highlighting of love for family in this novel. It’s Brittany’s dream and the happy ever after she deserves after all she’s been through. Rory’s bond with his siblings was celebrated without having it take over the book.

One mark of a good book for me is when I had a hard time putting it down. Fighting Irish is one such book, that’s why I’m giving it five stars.

For a chance to win a copy of Fighting Irish, check out my Carpe Diem Chronicles by Maida Malby on Facebook.


2017 Bloggers’ Choice Awards – Best Romance

The Lone Star Book Blog Tours team has voted, and the results are in! From
Best Fiction to Most Engaged Author, we have seventeen awards to hand out
to the awesome Texas books and authors featured on Lone Star Book Blog
Tours in 2017. From February 15-23, 2018, please join us as we hop around the
LSBBT blogs and share the winners, runners-up, and shortlisted titles. Don’t miss it!

Congratulations to the winners and short listed authors and books for Best Romance!

best romance

Click to learn more about:
Badlands by Melissa Lenhardt
Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer
A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren
Knight on the Texas Plains by Linda Broday
Loving Luther by Allison K. Pittman
Comfort Plans by Kimberly Fish
Cowboy, It’s Cold Outside by Lori Wilde
A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz

LSBBT 2017 Titles


2/14: Awards Announcement
2/15: Best Hook , Best Creative Concept
2/16: Best Non-Fiction History, Best Biography/Memoir, Best Western
2/17: Best Children’s/Juvenile/YA, Best Series
2/18: Best Literary Fiction/Best Religious/Inspirational/Spiritual

2/19: Best Mystery/Suspense, Best Romance, Best Fantasy / Alternate
2/20: Best Cover, Most Engaged Author
2/21: Best Texas Book
2/22: Best Non-Fiction Book
2/23: Best Fiction Book


Best Mystery / Suspense, Best Romance, Best Fantasy / Alternate History
A Page Before Bedtime
Books and Broomsticks
Books in the Garden
Carpe Diem Chronicles
Chapter Break Book Blog
Forgotten Winds
Hall Ways Blog
Missus Gonzo
Momma on the Rocks
The Librarian Talks
Reading by Moonlight
Rebecca R. Cahill
StoreyBook Reviews
Syd Savvy
Tangled in Text
Texas Book Lover

Come back tomorrow for the next award announcements!



“A Tea Party & Books” Scavenger Hunt

Hi, Romance Readers!

I’ve got a special treat for you. I’m one of the sponsors of the Night Owl Romance “A Tea Party & Books” Scavenger Hunt.

During this event I’m going to help you find some great new books. Make sure to check out Boracay Vows along the way, if you haven’t done so yet. It’s free on Kindle Unlimited.

The grand prize is a $100 Amazon Gift Card.

Enter Now at: https://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Blog/Articles/Tea-Party-Books-2018

Event Dates: Feb 15 – Mar 8




Lone Star Book Blog Tours’ 2017 Bloggers’ Choice Awards

I’ve only just joined, but I’m excited to share these award-winning Texas books and authors with y’all.


The Lone Star Book Blog Tours team has voted, and the results are in! From Best Fiction to Most Engaged Author, we have seventeen awards to hand out to the awesome Texas books and authors featured on Lone Star Book Blog Tours in 2017. From February 14-23, 2018, please join us as we hop around the LSBBT blogs and share the winners, runners-up, and shortlisted titles. Don’t miss it!

LSBBT 2017 Titles


  • 2/14: Awards Announcement
  • 2/15: AWARDS: Best Hook & Best Creative Concept
  • 2/16: AWARDS: Best Non-Fiction History, Best Biography/Memoir, & Best Western
  • 2/17: AWARDS: Best Children’s/Juvenile/YA & Best Series
  • 2/18: AWARDS: Best Literary Fiction & Best Religious/Inspirational/Spiritual
  • 2/19: AWARDS: Best Mystery/Suspense, Best Romance, & Best Fantasy
  • 2/20: AWARDS: Best Cover & Most Engaged Author2/21:
  • AWARD: Best Texas Book2/22:
  • AWARD: Best Non-Fiction Book2/23:
  • AWARD: Best Fiction Book


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(Not all blogs posting every day)

A Page Before Bedtime

Book Fidelity

Books and Broomsticks

Books in the Garden

Carpe Diem Chronicles by Maida Malby

Chapter Break Book Blog

Forgotten Winds

Hall Ways Blog

Missus Gonzo

Momma on the Rocks

The Librarian Talks

The Love of a Bibliophile

The Page Unbound

Reading by Moonlight

Rebecca R. Cahill, Author

StoreyBook Reviews

Story Schmoozing Book Reviews

Syd Savvy

Tangled in Text

Texas Book Lover


Top Ten Texas Bookish Destinations 2018

Lone Star Literary Life just announced their Top Ten Texas Bookish Destinations for 2018.

Destination #10 – Permian Basin

Destination #9 – Bryan/College St.

Destination #8 – El Paso

Destination #7 – Rio Grande Valley

Destination #6 – Fort Worth

Destination #5 – Abilene

Destination #4 – Dallas

Destination #3 – Houston

Destination #2 – Austin

and the #1 Texas Bookish Destination 2018 is home – SAN ANTONIO!




My January 2018 Reads

I was 8 for 10 in January for my Reading Challenge. I have three Works-In-Progress and finally joined Twitter; my reading time was severely curtailed. The good news is that I thoroughly enjoyed the eight books I read in January.

My first five-star read was Sonali Dev’s A Distant Heart. I tooa-distant-heart-sonali-devk my time reading this book even though I had a deadline to rate and review it within two weeks of its release. I wanted to not only delve deep into the story and characters, but also study the writing style and learn from it. I’ve decided that the majority of my books will be set away from the US and this is a perfect model for me to emulate. Sonali transported me to Mumbai from the first word. She deftly weaved the Indian culture into the story without the need for a glossary and lengthy explanations.

a devil in scotlandFrom India, I traveled to the Scottish highlands in Suzanne Enoch’s A Devil in Scotland. I enjoyed this action-packed Highland story of redemption and second-chance love. I especially liked Callum’s growth from a drunken irresponsible youth to a sharp businessman, loving father figure, seductive lover, and worthy clan leader. I adored little Margaret and her pack. I appreciated the slow(ish) build up of trust between Callum and Rebecca. The realization of their mutual attraction came as a natural progression due to their shared history and re-acquaintance rather than the lightning strike of instalust. Four stars. This was an ARC from NetGalley.

I love that I’m traveling through space and time with my reading. My next book Moonlight Over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan took me to one of my most favorite cities in the world, during what’s quite possibly my favorite holiday –moonlight-over-manhattan-by-sarah-morgan Christmastime. I rated it four stars. I love that both hero and heroine are self-aware, mature individuals yet they still both grew in the telling of this story. I adore that there are several cases of misunderstanding, but they were discussed and resolved right away. There’s a lot to admire in both Harriett and Ethan, that you just have to root for them to be together. I also appreciate the dogs, the friends, the family who played important roles in the MCs romance. If I have a critique, it would be that the pacing could have been a bit “faster” and the hero and heroine could have more flaws.

beyond scandal and desireWe go back to Victorian England with Lorraine Heath’s Beyond Scandal and Desire.  I loved loved loved that the romance between Mick and Aslyn is at the center of this book and Lorraine Heath never strayed from it. The revenge angle never overwhelmed it as I’ve seen in some other books I read recently. I cried at the end with the reveal and the discussion of baby farming. Ms. Heath has always been able to do that to me and I love her for it. A four-star read for me, this book sets up the new series very well. I’m looking forward to the stories of Mick’s foster siblings. Edelweiss kindly provided me with the Advance Review Copy of this book.

Back to present-day Napa Valley with Love Me Like love me like thisThis by Bella Andre. This was another ARC. Love Me Like This is incredibly sweet and unabashedly romantic. This story of a second-chance love between college best friends, who mistakenly thought their love for the other was not reciprocated, is the very definition of a romance novel. I always enjoy Bella’s books and Love Me Like This didn’t disappoint. I recommend this to everyone who wants to be reminded that there are positive stories out there, stories of generosity and kindness, stories of love and hope. They can be found in the pages of romance novels. Four stars.

heretics of thran

I haven’t taken a break from reading romance in a while so I decided to check out this series prequel by Tai. It turned out to be a great choice because it was a quick, fun read. What I loved is the world-building is happening without excessive info-dump at the start. I’m seeing it unfold as the scenes happen. Also, the characters are introduced in such a way that the reader is not confused by their sheer number, each distinct and easily identifiable. Heretics of Thran is a fast-paced action-packed adventure-fantasy romp and I cannot wait for the Distant Stars series to begin. I hope Edrich gets a love interest somewhere along the way. 😉 That’ll make my romance-loving heart happy.

After the futuristic sci-fi/fantasy, I’m back to romance the ones who got awaywith Roni Loren’s The Ones Who Got Away. Ms. Loren is a new-to-me author and this is the first one I’ve read of her work. It will certainly not the last. I gave this book five stars because it ticked all the boxes for books I enjoy the most. It was satisfying. There’s angst, hot sexytimes, family dysfunction, lots of humor, and what I love best, female friendships. The theme of taking one’s fate in hand and going for your dream in the present is something that parallels my own motto of Carpe Diem that’s why I have such an affinity with this book. “… I won’t play it safe. I won’t be practical. I’ll live a passionate life … I promise, Class of 2005, to live the life that scares me.”


The last novel I completed in January is the first book of Lauren Dane’s Whiskey Sharp series – Unraveled. I was conflicted with this book. I love everything that had to do with Maybe and Alexsei. They are wonderfully well-rounded characters, who are real people and highly relatable. I adore their interactions and the sizzling chemistry between them. Their journey to love was funny, sweet, and oh-so sexy. On the other hand, I didn’t love the storyline with the parents. It overpowered the book. In the end, I will still follow this series, but I’m hoping the villains are gone quickly in the next novel.


To start February, I already have four books opened, both ebooks and paperback. I’ll try to catch up this month and read 12 books. Good thing, one of my WIPs will go to the editor in the middle of the month. I’ll have a little bit more time to read and be able to scale my Mt. TBR.

See my full reviews on Goodreads.

Boracay Vows Recipe: Pork Sinigang

Blake loves to watch Krista eat. In Chapter Three, they have their first “date”. Here’s a snippet:

“Krista tucked into her meal with gusto, leaving Blake enthralled by the way she puckered her lips after taking a sip of the broth from her sour sinigang soup. He had to mentally shake himself to pay attention to his own food.”

Sinigang, one of the most popular viands in the Philippines, is a sour and savory soup. It’s usually made with pork, but can also can be cooked using beef, shrimp, salmon or just vegetables. The typical sour ingredient is green tamarind fruit, but other fruits like kamias (bilimbi), guava, or santol can be used as well. As fresh tamarind is hard to find here in the US, I’ve taken to using a tamarind seasoning mix as a shortcut.

Sinigang na Baboy sa Sampalok



  •  1 pouch soup base mix (I recommend also Mama Sita’s Tamarind Seasoning Mix)
  •  2 lbs. pork (I use pork belly, but other parts like shoulder or neck are fine, too)
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 cup tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup onion, quartered
  • 2 cups green beans, cut into 2″ length (Filipinos use sitaw or long beans)
  • 2 cups radish
  • 2 cups eggplant
  • 1 pc. long green pepper (Anaheim or other)
  • 2 cups leafy vegetables (spinach or kangkong/morning glory)
  • patis (fish sauce) to taste



  1. In a saucepan, bring water, pork, tomatoes, and onion to a boil. Cook until pork is tender. Approximately 30 minutes. Simmer for five minutes.
  2. Pour in soup base mix. Increase the heat and bring to a roiling boil.
  3. Add green beans, radish, eggplant, green pepper, and fish sauce. Cover and simmer for five minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and add the leafy vegetables. Cover to steam-cook.
  5. Serve hot with rice.



Like Krista in the book, I eat it with fried fish–tilapia, bangus (milkfish), or galunggong (mackerel scad)–but it can be served on its own.



Happy New Year – 2018 Goals

A review of my 2017 Goals/Plans:


  • Rewrite and edit Boracay – Done
  • Write New York and Singapore – partially done
  • Publish Boracay and New York – Boracay Done
  • Set-up a blog – Done
  • Set-up a Facebook Author page – Done
  • Join Romance Writers of America – Done, plus the San Antonio Romance Authors chapter, too
  • Win NaNo again – Not done
  • Read 180 books – Read and reviewed 208.
  • Spend only $240 on books – Success! Spent only $190.
  • Attend a writing conference – Not quite. Attended a one-month editing workshop and four reader events all over Texas.

Based on these results, I consider 2017 to be a successful year.



For 2018, here are my goals/plans:

  • Finish writing New York Engagement, have it edited and published. Target date: Saturday, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day)
  • Finish writing Singapore Fling. Publishing target: July 2018.
  • Achieve full PAN status at RWA.
  • Get Boracay Vows into independent bookstores all over the US.
  • Secure local distribution for Boracay Vows in the Philippines. Attempt a movie deal.
  • Read and review at least 120 books for Goodreads Reading Challenge:
    – 1 craft book on writing/editing/publishing
    – 1 male author/non-romance
    – 4 historical romance (2 from my Mount TBR, 1 ARC, 1 new/new-to-me)
    – 4 contemporary (2 from Mount TBR, 1 ARC, 1 indie author)
    Rereads will be after the 10 have been fulfilled.
  • Attend a writing conference.
  • Spend only $180 on books.
  • Register a profit on all books.

So, here’s to 2018. May it be the Best Year Ever.