Rock*It Reads Guest Author: Monica Burns & Giveaway!

Readers today are flooded with reading choices, both in digital and in print.  That’s fantastic, but how do you find the really good books in such a tidal wave of words?  Well, I have an answer for you.

Rock*It Reads.

RIR is an author collective I belong to which includes writers like Pamela Clare, Elisabeth Naughton, Joan Swan, and Erin Kellison.  We’re traditionally published authors who are also self-publishing.  We bring the same level of care to these works as we do to our traditional, New York published books, and when you see the RIR logo on our covers you can be assured that you’re getting a great read.

Over the next few months I’m going to introduce you to the writers in this group, some of whom you already probably know.  And I’m starting off with one of my favorite historical romance authors, the fabulous Monica Burns.

Monica is an award-winning author of spicy historical and paranormal romance.  Her historical book awards include the 2011 RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award and the 2012 Gayle Wilson Heart of Excellence Award for Pleasure Me. She is also the recipient of the prestigious paranormal romance award, the 2011 PRISM Best of the Best award for Assassin’s Heart.

Monica’s latest RIR book is Obsession, a sexy historical romance which got wonderful reviews.

“…a fresh spin on a damsel in distress and… a hero who not only does the rescuing, but needs to be rescued from some demons of his own.” — Romance Reader at Heart

Here’s the blurb for Obsession:

A woman on the edge of sin…

Helen Rivenall is willing to do anything to escape the brutality of her uncle’s home. But a promise of honest employment is a ruse. Drugged and auctioned off in a notorious London brothel, she finds herself won by a man who wants nothing from her except her participation in a harmless charade. Left with no choice, she reluctantly agrees, but as their web of lies grows, so does temptation and the realization that pleasure and sin are often one and the same.

A man about to lose all control…

Sebastian Rockwood, Earl of Melton is haunted by a dark secret in his past. One that taught him control is a personal trait to be valued above all others. He also learned never to give his heart to anyone. The risk is too great. Yet where Helen is concerned, his prized control is slowly giving way to temptation, and all too quickly he discovers nothing can protect him from the ultimate obsession–love.

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?  And that is one gorgeous cover, if I do say so myself.  If you like your historical romance on the steamy side and with lots of emotion, then Monica’s books are perfect for you.  To read the first three chapter of Obsession and to watch the beautiful book trailer, visit Monica’s website.

For my readers today, Monica is giving away a copy of Obsession.  And I’m also giving away a copy of my latest VK Sykes contemporary romance, Bigger Than Beckham.  For a chance to win both books, just tell me something that you’re obsessed with – books, chocolate, a TV show – I want to know what really turns your crank!

And don’t forget to visit the RIR website to find out more about our authors and to sign up for our newsletter!


We Have Winners!

The winners of Monica Burns‘ books are Jeanne and Natasja.  Congratulations!  Jeanne will recieve a copy of Inferno’s Kiss, and Natasja will recieve a copy of Pleasure Me.  Ladies, I’ll be in touch soon to get your addresses.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by the blog.  My guests next week will be contemporary and historical romance author Mary Campisi, and historical romance author Tiffany Clare.  Be sure to stop by!

And speaking of contests and book giveaways, don’t forget to check out the awesome one I’m sponsoring with several other romance authors.  You could win the entire backlist of one of your favorite romance writers – like Julia QuinnDetails here.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Guest Author: Monica Burns & Giveaway!

It’s my absolute pleasure to be featuring paranormal and historical romance author Monica Burns on the blog today.  Monica is one of my favorite people in the romance world.  Not only is she a super-talented writer, she’s a strong and courageous woman who has overcome a lot of adversity in her life – I mean, a lot.  And she’s not shy about talking about these challenges because she knows that being up front about her experiences is a way to both heal and help others.

In a word, Monica is a survivor.  She survived date rape at the age of 19 and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder many years later.  But rather than giving into a sense of victimhood, Monica used her indomitable will and her belief in happy endings to craft a good life – a life which includes fabulous romances.  In fact, Monica will tell you that writing erotic romance aided in her life-long process of healing and reclaiming her self-worth.  Her courage leaves me awestruck, and very grateful that she has poured her creative energies into writing such wonderful romances.

And let’s talk about those books, shall we?  The first Monica Burns novel I read was Kismet, and I loved it.  It’s a historical romance which builds on that beloved old romance trope, the desert sheikh book.  Monica brings several interesting twists to the sheikh myth, and the result is an adventurous, very sexy, very emotional book.

Kismet won the 2010 CAPA from The Romance Studio for Best Erotic Historical, and garnered oodles of great reviews.  Like this one from RT Book Reviews:

“Burns’ story is hotter than the desert sands! She succeeds with a classic captive/captor romance akin to a Johanna Lindsey classic. Relax and enjoy the sizzling show — complete with a lesson in bananas and seduction.” 

Bananas and seduction?  How can you resist that?!

As I mentioned, Monica also writes fantastic paranormal romance, and she has a new novel out next month, which will be the third book in her acclaimed Order of the Sicari series.  This series (which is SO cool) explores a very old and very deadly feud between the Roman Praetorian Guard and the legendary Sicari assassins.  The first two books—Assassin’s Honor and Assassin’s Heart—received rave reviews and picked up some awards, too.  You can check them out and also read the first three chapters of the books on Monica’s website.

The third book in the series, Inferno’s Kiss, will be released by Berkley Books on October 4th.

Already, Inferno’s Kiss is getting great reviews, just like the other two books in the series.  Here’s the blurb:

The laws of desire…

Dante Condellaire, heir apparent to the Sicari Lords, knows that being a true leader means sacrifice. For Dante it was relinquishing all erotic pleasures. But he never expected his willpower to be tested so fiercely by Cleopatra Vorenus, expert assassin of the Order, and daughter of the man he is positioned to succeed. 

The rules of battle…

Cleo prefers working alone—until she meets Dante who shares her goal: to destroy a Praetorian stronghold where Sicari women are imprisoned for devious purposes. Bringing the mission off without a hitch pumps up more than their resolve. It sets off a sexual spark too combustible to ignore. 

Are all made to be broken.

 As their attraction flares like an inferno, the stakes are raised. So are the risks. Before the mission is over, Dante and Cleo will be plunged into a dangerous conspiracy where a traitor threatens the very foundation of the Order, as well as the fiery bond between Dante and Cleo—warriors and lovers now torn between duty and desire.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  I’m really looking forward to this book!  You can read the first three chapters of Inferno’s Kiss on Monica’s website.  And while you’re there be sure to check out the other features – including some great articles – and also make sure you stop by her blog.  There’s always something interesting going on in Monica’s house!

For my readers, Monica is giving away a copy of her historical romance, Pleasure Me, and a copy of Inferno’s Kiss.  Just tell me what your favorite romance movie is—old or new!  Two people will win the books!


We Have Winners!

I have two winners to announce today.  The first is Sandy Ball, who won a copy of Monica Burns’ latest book, Pleasure MeAnd Jami S. won a copy of  Katharine Ashe’s Captured By A Rogue Lord.  Congratulations, ladies!  I’ll be in touch soon.

Tomorrow I’ll be featuring a very special author on my blog:  Julianne MacLean.  Julianne, a USA Today bestselling author, writes passionate historical romance novels.  But she’s also branching out into other kinds of books, including women’s fiction and a really fun time-travelling romance  that she released this week in digital format.  Stop by tomorrow to get the scoop!

Guest Author Monica Burns & Giveaway!

I’m so pleased to feature one of my favorite romance authors today, Monica Burns.  Monica is not only a talented writer, she’s a strong, intelligent, and wonderful person – one of my favorite in all of romancelandia.  I met her several years ago at a Romance Writers of America conference, and I was immediately struck by her combination of wit, maturity, and heart, which shines through in her writing.  The first book I read of hers was Kismet, and I adored it.   It’s the story of a courtesan and a sheikh, which is totally cool to begin with, but it also has some interesting twists and a deeply sexy, emotional story.

Kismet won a CAPA in 2010 from The Romance Studio for Best Erotic Historical Romance, and garnered wonderful reviews, including this one from the Sacremento Book Review:

“Kismet is a strong debut, and a strong historical romance in general, and Burns has a charismatic and confident writing style.”

You can check out all of Monica’s earlier books on her Wicked Bookshelf. 

Monica’s latest book is Pleasure Me, and it’s another passionate, deeply emotional love story with an unusual heroine and hero.  And that’s one of the things I love about Monica – she always brings something new to the table.  She writes great love stories, fulfilling all the conventions of the genre, but with incredible intelligence and sensitivity, and with striking characters or settings.

Here’s the cover for Pleasure Me, which is truly beautiful.

Pleasure Me has been garnering wonderful reviews, including the coveted Desert Island Keeper status from the review site, All About Romance.  You can check out all of  Monica’s great reviews for the book on her website.

Here’s the blurb for Pleasure Me:

Youth and beauty are a courtesan’s greatest assets. At forty-one, Lady Ruth Attwood appears to have lost both, as her latest lover just abandoned her for a younger mistress. Struggling with the knowledge that she’s no longer considered desirable, she’s uncertain whether to be offended or flattered when a younger man makes her an unusual offer. In need of funds, she agrees. But then she does the unthinkable. She falls in love.

Despite his reputation as a man’s man, Baron Garrick Stratfield has never been with a woman. His physical impairment is such that he knows not even a whore will touch him, and he needs a mistress who’s willing to be kept without sharing his bed. But passion is just a delicious kiss away because his new mistress is wreaking havoc with his senses.  Worse yet, someone is not only out to ruin his reputation, but frame him for murder. 

Doesn’t that sound like a FABULOUS story?  You know you want to read this one!  Pleasure Me is now in bookstores, and available from Amazon and other on-line retailers. And you can read an excerpt on Monica’s website.

And we’re giving away a copy of the book!  Let’s talk about unusual settings.  Just tell me what kind of unusual settings you like, or would like to see, in historical romance.  One person who comments will win a copy of Pleasure Me.