Guest Author: Monica Burns & Giveaway!

I’m so thrilled to have my good friend Monica Burns featured on the blog today.  Monica is a fabulous, award-winning historical and erotic romance writer.  She’s also a hard-working woman and a real survivor of everything that life can throw in your way.  I have tons of admiration for her, both as a woman and as a writer.

One of Monica’s most popular books was Kismet, which won the 2010 CAPA Award for Best Erotic Historical Romance from The Romance Studio.  Monica is very thrilled that, come Feb. 7, Kismet will be available in mass market format.  If you never got a chance to read it, this is very good news!

Here are some of the many accolades that the book has received:

“… romance akin to a Johanna Lindsey classic. Relax and enjoy the sizzling show… 


“I was hooked and spent the whole day reading this sizzling, sensual, engrossing tale.”

— Barbara Vey, Publisher’s Weekly – Beyond Her Book

And here’s the blurb for Kismet:

It was a gamble she was born to make…

Raised in a brothel at a young age, Allegra Synnford quickly learned that survival meant taking charge of her destiny. Now, a renowned courtesan skilled in the pleasures of the flesh, she chooses her lovers carefully—vowing never to be vulnerable to any one man. Until a mesmerizing Sheikh strips that control from her… 

With a man who wasn’t used to losing.

 Sheikh Shaheen of the Amazigh has been hiding from his past for a long time, but not enough to forget how another courtesan made him abandon his life as the Viscount Newcastle. It’s why the yearnings this dangerous temptress ignites within him are so troubling. Worse, thoughts of Allegra pervade every fantasy, threatening to undermine his cover. With old enemies circling, experience tells him he must resist her charms at all cost. In fact, he’s betting on it. That’s a risky wager when it comes to a woman of pleasure. But Allegra has her own reasons for playing games…with a man who can’t afford to lose. 

What happens between them is Kismet…

I read this book when it first came out, and I can tell you that it’s passionate, emotional, and very sexy.  I’m so thrilled that Monica now has the opportunity to reach new readers with her mass market release.  Be sure to stop by Monica’s website for all the details, including an excerpt, a book trailer, and the buy links.

Like many authors these days, Monica is also moving into the world of indie publishing.  She currently has a wonderful novella out called Love’s Portrait.

Gorgeous, eh?  Here’s the blurb for Love’s Portrait:

When Julia Westgard commissions a nude portrait of herself, the painting is much more than a rebellious act. It’s an attempt to regain her self-worth after years of a loveless, repressive marriage to her late husband. But the private portrait puts her directly in the path of Morgan St. Claire, one of the Marlborough Set’s most notorious seducers. A man who doesn’t take no for an answer.

 From the first moment Morgan sees Julia’s portrait, he’s determined to have her. But the woman he meets is a far cry from the image on canvas. What starts out as a simple exercise in seduction quickly evolves into a quest to reveal the true Julia. With each sensual encounter, he employs every erotic weapon at his disposal in hopes of making Julia see she really is the woman in Love’s Portrait.

So romantic!  Again, please visit Monica’s website for all the details.

For my readers today, Monica is graciously giving away a copy of Kismet.  Since I’m featuring a historical writer today, let’s stick with something close to that.  What’s your favorite historical movie or TV show?  Did you fall in love with Col. Brandon in Emma Thompson’s Sense & Sensibility, or do you prefer a series like Downton Abbey?  Tell all to have a chance to win a copy of Monica’s book!



Marie-Nicole Ryan & Giveaway!

The last few years have seen massive changes in the publishing world, and savvy readers know that more and more talented authors are to be found into the digital realm of e-books.  My featured author today typifies this development:  she’s award-winning author Marie-Nicole Ryan, and she writes very sexy romantic suspense.  Whether Marie-Nicole is writing about the most contemporary of heroes and heroines or a cowboys from the Old West, you’ll be sure to get a great romance, with highly-charged love scenes and some danger to kick things up.

Marie-Nicole has finaled in numerous contests and won some too, including an EPPIE Award for her Samhain release, Too Good to be True.

Wow!  Now that’s what I call a sexy cover!  Like Marie-Nicole’s other books, Too Good to be True got great reviews, including this 5 hearts review from The Romance Studio:

“This was a gripping tale filled with edgy twists and turns…Rilla and Mac smolder when they’re near each other…erotic scenes are very well written and very intense…recommend this to anyone looking for a great story to really get lost in.”

Sounds good to me!  You can check out all the details on Too Good to be True on Marie-Nicole’s website, which includes excerpts, book trailers, and info on all her books.

Like many authors these days (including moi), Marie-Nicole has also branched out into the world of indie publishing.  She has a new book out, and it looks great.

Broken Promises features a sexy FBI Agent and a Mafia princess–talk about your high concept.  I love it!  Here’s the blurb:

An FBI agent and a Mafia princess in love–career suicide.

FBI Special Agent Alex MacGregor has a bad habit of making and breaking promises. Over the years this habit has brought him heartbreak…and broken some hearts as well. But now his older sister has disappeared. Vowing to find her, he takes leave from the Chicago FBI field office’s Violent Crimes Task Force and heads to upstate New York. This is one promise he’ll keep. Even if it means facing Bette Smithson again, the beauty he rescued six months earlier and left behind with a kiss and a broken promise.

Broken Promises has all Marie-Nicole’s trademark elements, including lots of suspense and a steamy love story.  If you like your romantic suspense on the hot side, I think you’ll love Marie-Nicole’s books.

For my reader’s today, Marie-Nicole is giving away a digital copy of Broken Promises.  Let’s talk about TV shows, shall we?  What’s your favorite suspense or cop show?  Right now, I’m really enjoying Person of Interest.  Tell me what your fave show is to be eligible to win a copy of Broken Promises.


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!


Author Feature & Giveaway: Stacey Joy Netzel & Donna Marie Rogers

Welcome to Redemption, the charming town in Wisconsin created by two talented authors, Stacey Joy Netzel and Donna Marie Rogers I’m really happy to showcase Stacey and Donna because, as critique partners, they’ve created a unique, interlinked series of wonderful stories about life and love in a small town in America’s heartland.

Stacey Joy Netzel
Donna Marie Rogers

Like many romance readers today, I love small town contemporaries.  The evocation of a quieter, gentler life, founded on deeply felt relationships between families and friends who’ve all know each other forever is deeply appealing in the fast-paced and often fractured world of modern society.  When life gets us down or feels a little two frantic, there’s nothing like a small town contemporary to ease the tension and bring some warmth and sanity back into our reading lives.

And that’s exactly what the Welcome To Redemption series does.  These are truly lovely, warm-hearted stories about ordinary men and women in this great little town, who fall in love and overcome life’s challenges to find their HEAs.  Here’s what Jane Toombs, the multi-published award winning author had to say about the first set of stories in the series:

“Welcome to Redemption by, Donna Marie Rogers and Stacey Joy Netzel offers four refreshing and heartwarming stories. These stories bring readers right into the heart of this town, and the lives of its people, with four happy and romantic endings. Reading this book was a real pleasure.”

The Romance Studio gave Welcome To Redemption 5 hearts, and called it “a marvelous book.”  And it is a marvelous book – I’ve read it and I loved it, and I’m a real fan of Stacey’s and Donna’s writings.  I also love the fact that the series is a collaborative effort that interweaves the talents of these two writers into a seamless collection of  four tales.

Both Stacey and Donna have garnered critical acclaim for their other books, too.  Stacey’s Mistletoe Rules was the winner of the 2010 Wisconsin Write Touch Contest, and also received a Top Pick from Night Owl Romance and was nominated for Best Book of 2009 at Long and Short Reviews.  And Donna’s contemporary romance, Meant To Be You, took second place in the prestigious Bean Pot Award and was also a finalist in the Wisconson Write Touch Contest in 2010.

For their next collaborative effort, Stacey and Donna have returned to the world of Redemption.  They obtained the rights back to their orginal WTR anthology, re-edited all four stories, and added additional contents to Books 1, 3, and 4.  Then, they each wrote two brand NEW stories to continue the series with Books 5 and 6.  I’m really thrilled for them, and very much looking forward to revisiting the inhabitants of the lovely small town of Redemption, Wisconsin.

On Thursday of this week, all six books in the series will be available as digital reads on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and for other eReaders.   And to kick-start the newly edited series, Stacey and Donna will be giving away some of the new books for free.  Be sure to check their websites on Thursday for all the details.

But I also want to celebrate the release of the new Redemption books, so I’m doing a giveaway today.  Just tell me what you most like (or don’t like) about small town contemporary romance.  One person who comments will win the first two books in this truly lovely series.

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.