Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Getting Festive with J'aimee Brooker

If you're looking for a smexy little festive read with an Aussie flavour, you've come to the right place. Today I am pleased to welcome J'aimee Brooker to my blog! Thanks for joining us J'aimee.

It's almost Christmas, and I hear you have a Christmas Novella coming out, so what is your very favourite thing about Christmas?
Relaxing! Christmas is just the five of us (hubby & I and our three kids) and we live seven hours from the closest family, so although it is a busy time, it's not the chaotic busy of dashing between relatives, family and friends that used to be the case. Now, we're content to spend the day relaxing with some delicious food, fun tunes and a trip or two to the beach.

What's your favourite holiday food indulgence?
Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without pork crackling, pavlova and trifle. For an indulgence, a bottle (or two) of Mumm champagne J

Do you have any holiday survival tips you could share with us?

Avoid the shops when possible! Failing that, I think you just have to accept that this is a crazy busy time of year and the shops are going to be packed, people will be frantic and (usually) quite frustrated and rude and there's very little you'll be able to do to change that. Accept, understand, and ignore!

What is the one thing you hope Santa leaves in your stocking this year?
An all-expenses paid trip to Italy! I'd love to head back and spend a few weeks exploring and soaking up the culture, food, and beauty of Italy.

Lastly could you tell us a little about your Christmas Novella?
Rescued is the story of two friends, Anya and Sophie, who've recently moved from the small town they grew up in to the big smoke of Sydney. The girls couldn't be any more different when it comes to love, Anya choosing to believe in true love like the books she's read her entire life whereas Sophie is errs toward the 'love 'em and leave 'em' way of love! After a frightening and almost fatal series of events sees Jack put his rescue skills to the ultimate test, Jack, Anya and Sophie fall together for one passionate and steamy night that sets them all on new paths.

Rescued: A Festive Novella
by J’aimee Brooker

Two gorgeous girls
A knight in shining speedos
One red-hot Australian Christmas!
Set against the glorious backdrop of Australia’s iconic Bondi Beach comes the story of childhood friends Anya Thompson and Sophie Anders and their brush with one of Bondi’s finest—lifeguard Jack Covey.

As a lifeguard, Jack’s instincts are finely tuned. He’s spent his career watching for danger and avoiding distractions but when the gorgeous Anya Thompson catches his eye, he can’t help but be intrigued by Anya and her modest and reserved manner.
Anya’s lost more than her Christmas cheer, but will one steamy night with her best friend and the deliciously handsome Jack be just the thing to restart her shattered heart?

Website: www.jaimeebrooker.com.au

Blog: http://jaimeebrooker.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jaimeebrookerauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jaimee_brooker

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7032335.J_aimee_Brooker

Buy it now…

An avid bookworm and creative and commercial writer by trade, J’aimee is the author of contemporary romance novels and novellas focusing on romance, travel, and suspense.

A creative and commercial writer by trade; J’aimee also authors novellas and short stories focused within the contemporary romance genre and incorporating themes of travel, intrigue, and suspense.
J’aimee has written for industry trade publications and lifestyle magazines, and is a regular columnist for several lifestyle magazines and lifestyle/travel websites as well as having a full-time job in radio and three kids (under 9yrs).

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Interview with Nicole Hurley-More

Today I am interviewing Nicole Hurley More! Welcome and thanks for joining us Nicole.

Thanks so much Amber for inviting me. J

Your book Dancing on Air, is about a ballerina, what drew you to writing about ballet?

My mother was a dancer and much of my early childhood was around old theatres, such as The Princess in Melbourne. I have always appreciated the skill and beauty of the ballet. However after suffering through far more than my fair share of ballet lessons when I was younger, I decided that I would much rather watch it than dance it (sorry Mum).

What is your favorite dance themed movie or television show?

There are quite a few but I really enjoyed Center Stage.

If you could only take one book with you to a deserted island, what book would you choose?

Pride and Prejudice.

How long have you been writing and when did you first know that this was something you wanted to pursue professionally?

I’ve toyed with the idea since high school but I didn’t knuckle down and concentrate on writing until about three years ago.

I'm a disorganised writer, my study looks like something exploded, there's currently a pot over-boiling on the stove, and there's two children in this place somewhere...What would we see if we walked through your writing space right now?

I understand completely. Well, I tidied up my desk this morning and got rid of a sea of sticky notes but it still looks cluttered.

What the one thing you wish someone had told you before you were published?

Persevere and don’t let the naysayers get in your head.

Can you tell us a little about your latest book?

Cinderella meets Swan Lake in a cross-class, Victorian novel about a ballerina, an aristocrat, and the space in between them.

Lisette yearns for freedom, security and love, but none are offered on the run-down stage of The Imperial Theatre. Instead she has hard work, a tyrannical aunt, and the hope of one day becoming a prima ballerina. Dancing on the stage she catches the attention of two powerful men: Lord Gainswith and Lord De Vale.

Lord Evander Gainswith never expected to fall in love, let alone with a woman so wholly unacceptable to his family and his peers. The sinister Lord De Vale covets Lisette's youth and strength, and is willing to pay well for it. Lisette may dance roles in fairy tales and fantasies, but the real world is about to intrude, bringing with it the harsh realities of life for a young girl with dreams of rising above the demimonde.

Amazon shortened link -   http://goo.gl/a8jlMD

London, 1884
Lisette was weightless as she leapt into a grand jeté across the stage. She was free and in that moment her heart soared past the walls of The Imperial Theatre. She landed lightly and began the fouetté en tournant, whipping her leg from fourth position to behind her knee; she created impetus to spin on pointe. After the eight revolutions, she planted her feet and lifted her hand in the air, stopping in front of her aunt. There was a slight wobble in her legs and she tried not to wince. Fixing a smile on her face she prayed that her aunt had not noticed. Lisette had wanted perfection but had fallen short. A trickle of sweat slid its way down the middle of her back, her heart beat rapidly and she tried to catch her breath as her aunt stepped forward. 

            Marie Devoré regarded her niece for a second. Her eyes bore into Lisette’s before she raised her hand and slapped her across the face.

            Lisette’s head jerked to the side as the burning sting radiated over her cheek.

            ‘What was that? A farce...? A comedy perhaps?’

 ‘No, Aunt Marie, I am sorry that I wobbled,’ she said as she looked at the well-worn wooden floor and resisted the urge to cradle her cheek.

            ‘When you finish, the movement must be sleek, clean and set in stone, without any trace of a tremble.’

 ‘Yes, Aunt.’

 ‘Go, out of my sight. Prepare the costumes for tonight’s performance,’ Marie said with a wave of her thin hand. ‘You will practice again tomorrow. Without the wobble.’

            Lisette bowed her head before running off into the wings of the stage. She ran as fast as she could past the burgundy velvet curtains, beneath the scenery fly and the rigging, down the narrow flight of stairs that ran beneath the stage, until she was in the cool and narrow corridor, which led deeper into the bowels of the theatre.

Her cheek burned but it was the sting of failure that hurt all the more. 

Nicole has always been a lover of fairy tales, history and romance. She grew up in Melbourne and has travelled extensively, whilst living her life through the romance of books. Her first passion in life has always been her family, but after studying and achieving her BA in History and Honours in Medieval Literature, she devoted her time to writing historic romance. She is a full time writer who lives in the Central Highlands of Victoria with her family, where they live in the peaceful surrounds of a semi-rural town.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Ten Men to Fall in Love With

I am honored to have a special guest on my blog today Chanel Cleeton. She'll be discussing my favorite topic--Men erm Fictional Men. Thanks Chanel!

Ten Men to Fall in Love With
By Chanel Cleeton

I started reading romance novels when I was ten years old.  The moment I read my first romace, I fell in love.  There’s something about a great romance novel— you fall in love with the story, the writing, the characters.  You live within the pages of the novel.  More than anything, though, so many of us fall in love with the hero.  Over the years, I’ve ready so many great stories about dukes and businessmen, assassins and vampires.  Alpha men.  Men who are willing to fight for their heroines and risk all for a happy ending.  But of all of these heroes, these ten men stand out the most:

1.      Mr. Darcy, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
I can’t say enough about Mr. Darcy.  He is the ultimate romance hero.  He’s charismatic, powerful, and undergoes a transformation that has readers falling in love with him.  He’s sexy too— without even kissing Elizabeth, he’s able to conduct a courtship full of passion and love.  He’s a gentleman, one who is made better through his love of Elizabeth.

2.      Rhett Butler, Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Okay, so this one is arguably, not a romance, but Rhett Butler is the kind of character who doesn’t play by the rules so he earned his place on this list.  He is the ultimate alpha male.  He challenges Scarlett and is the quintessential Southern gentleman— with a naughty twist.  He’s also the perfect example of a rake redeemed.

3.      Hardy Cates, Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
Hardy is another alpha male.  He’s a Texan whose success is entirely self-made.  He’s a little rough around the edges, but the way he cares for Haven, the story’s heroine, will melt your heart. 

4.      Matthew Farrell, Paradise by Judith McNaught
Matt is probably responsible for my unrealistic views on men.  I read this contemporary romance when I was a kid and fell completely in love.  He’s another alpha male— self-made and proud of it.  He can be brash and over-confident, but his love for Meredith defines him.

5.      Leopold Dautry, Duke of Villiers, A Duke of Her Own by Eloisa James
I’m a total sucker for a story with a duke.  A wicked duke? Even better.  Villiers is really more of a duke redeeming himself— he’s trying to track down the many illegitimate children he’s lost track of— but he still has plenty of opportunities to be a bit wicked.  He’s a chess prodigy and brilliant, challenging the novel’s heroine at every turn.  If you like intelligent, witty heroes, then he’s the one for you.

6.      Calder Hart, The Deadly Series by Brenda Joyce
Calder’s another one of those heroes who I fell in love with in a young age.  He’s the quintessential alpha male— jaded, powerful, loved by many women.  But then he meets Francesca, the series’ heroine.  The best thing about Calder? He loves Francesca for who she is, accepting her bluestocking ways and unorthodox profession (she’s a sleuth).  He’s an easy hero to fall in love with.

7.      Will Sumner, Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren
Will’s in between a nice guy and a player, until he meets his match.  A successful venture capitalist, Will’s budding relationship with his friend’s younger sister, Hanna, is enough to make the reader fall in love.  Will’s confident and sexy, but not an over-the-top alpha male.  He’s the kind of guy who is a great “catch.”

8.      Jason Fielding, Marquess of Wakefield, Once and Always by Judith McNaught
Pretty much every hero ever written by Judith McNaught belongs on this list.  No one writes alpha males like she does.  But Jason has a special place in my heart.  He carries a lot of dark, difficult baggage with him and strains under the weight of an immeasurable loss.  It isn’t until he meets Victoria, the novel’s heroine, that he begins to open his heart again.  Jason is a complex, jaded hero, but he’s also one that will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.

9.      Rehvenge, Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward
You would think it would be hard to make an occasionally impotent, drug-dealing vampire wearing floor length fur coats sexy.  Somehow J.R. Ward does it…and then some.  Rehvenge is another tortured hero with a really dark past and a pretty tough present.  But, Rehvenge is also the ultimate alpha male and when he meets his perfect match, he sets out to change his life.  J.R. Ward writes the best heroes.

10.   Julian Spenser, Marquess Dryden, How the Marquess was Won by Julie Anne Long
I struggled a bit with this one because I LOVE all of Julie Anne Long’s heroes.  But Julian stands out because he has some of the best dialogue I’ve ever read and he pretty much steals the story.  His love is fierce, protective, and changes him completely.  This book is a bit of a Cinderella story and Julian is a perfect Prince Charming.

These are some of my absolute favorite heroes.  What heroes have you fallen in love with?

Chanel Cleeton writes New Adult contemporary romances and Young Adult thrillers. Her New Adult debut, I SEE LONDON, will be released on February 1, 2014, followed by a sequel, LONDON FALLING, later in the year. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, Chanel is happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, puppy cuddles, and her fighter pilot husband. Chanel loves to travel and is currently living an adventure in South Korea. 

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Monday, 9 December 2013

An Extra Special Cover Reveal and Giveaway

I've hosted a few cover reveals before but I am super, super excited to reveal this one because it's the cover of In Too Deep by Tracey Alvarez!!! 

I am one of the few people who has had the privilege of reading In Too Deep so far, and let me tell you this is one fabulous book! Trust me and add it to your shelves because it is beautiful. 

Available on January 20th 2014, the first book in the Due South series.

She vowed never to return.

To save her brother from financial ruin, Piper Harland must do the one thing she swore she’d never do—return to the tiny island hometown where Ryan “West” Westlake crushed her heart. Piper is tough, resilient and a little wild—much like the remote and beautiful Stewart Island where she grew up. As a cop who’s part of the elite New Zealand Police National Dive Squad, bringing the dead back to their families still doesn’t stop the guilt she feels over her father’s drowning  death. Now nine years later she’s obligated to return to a hostile community as the outsider, and forced to work with the man who was once her best friend and first lover.

She’s a risk he can’t take.

West is an Island man, through and through. As owner of the local pub, he lives and breathes the local community, and sure as hell can’t imagine living anywhere else. But most of all he refuses to ever fall for a woman like his flighty mother. He lost Piper once to give her the chance to fulfil her dreams of becoming a cop. But now she’s back for an unexpected six week visit to help her brother—his best mate. Maybe West wants her a little bit, maybe he can’t resist the temptation to tease and touch her, but can he fall in love with such a flight risk?

Saying goodbye the second time might just destroy them both.

“Hey,” she shouted. “I wanna talk to you.”
“Leave me alone, Piper,” West’s voice rose above the running water.
He hadn’t told her to “piss off” or “stop bitching at me and go back to the city.” Progress, right?
“Not this time.” Catching West in the shower meant she’d have a captive audience.
Knowing he wouldn’t have locked it, Piper walked inside and shut the door behind her. In her imagined scenario, the steam-filled room would modestly conceal West in the shower cubicle while she talked.
She hadn’t taken into account an extractor fan. No steamed-up mirrors, no fogged-up shower glass, just the whirr of the fan and the hiss of the water. Plus the tanned and very bare length of West’s body. She froze beside the door and gripped the doorknob, her heart hurtling into her throat.
Thank God he faced away from her. The sight of his toned ass turned her breathing into an asthmatic wheeze. She debated a quick, quiet exit, but tossed that idea out—West was on the back foot here, since she had clothes on. Besides, the tension etched across the muscles of his back indicated he knew she was already inside.
Just keep it above neck level, say what you need to say, and get out.
She cleared her throat. “That was a crappy way to talk to your mother. You made her cry.”
West pulled his head out of the spray and scrubbed water off his face. “The woman cries at a drop of a hat. It goes with her artistic temperament.”
Then he turned.
Holy guacamole. Piper nearly wrenched the doorknob off the door. Her brain must’ve missed the memo to keep her eyes above West’s neck because, hello—nicely shaped pecs, washboard flat abs, corded thigh muscles…and then her gaze skipped straight back up to his, er, expanding interest.
“True, buhht…” Her tongue unfurled to her knees when West rubbed a bar of soap over his chest, never taking his direct, blue gaze from her.
“So you barged in here to tell me I was rude to my mother?” Water sprayed over his shoulder, running down his body. His soapy hand slid from pecs to the trail of dark hair low on his belly. A happy, happy trail indeed.
“Well, I…” She licked dry lips, looked at anything other than where his hand headed, and found her mud-flecked, crimson-cheeked reflection instead.
So much for West’s awkwardness at being butt naked—she was the one exposed and vulnerable. Her excuses for being there suddenly seemed lame. Under the circumstances maybe his reaction to Claire was understandable, and though she told his mother she’d talk to him, nothing was so important the conversation couldn’t wait until after West had finished being all wet and hot and naked.
The creak of the shower door made her jump.
“Piper?” His voice, low and loaded with seduction, blazed through her.
West left the shower, water cascading off him and onto the tiled floor. She averted her gaze and turned her back, yanking on the doorknob again. It slipped through her damp fingers.
“Is this really about my mother or did you barge in here for something else?”
The spicy scent of his shower gel curled around her and the heat of his skin singed the fine hairs on the back of her arm, but still she grappled with the stubborn doorknob.
“Like because you’re very, very muddy,” he said.
His breath touched the back of her neck, droplets of water falling on her shoulder. “There’s a clean spot here, I think.”
A thumb traced the sensitive skin behind one ear and her vision blurred.
“And another here.” Warm lips trailed along the curve where the cords of her neck met her shoulder.
“But on the whole—” his hand snaked around her waist, fingers spread wide across her lower belly.
Hot shivers arrowed through her pelvis and struck their target.
“—You’re a dirty girl who should hit the shower—” he pressed her hips back against his body, shifting so his erection wedged intimately between her Lyrca-covered cheeks “—with me.”


Tracey Alvarez lives in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand) where she’s yet to be buried under her to-be-read book pile by Wellington’s infamous wind—her Kindle’s a lifesaver! Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.
Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.
When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, she can be found reading sexy books of all romance genres, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.

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Oh an the cover is designed by Romance Book Marketing! 

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