Highland Shifter Tour ~ Book Spotlight & Review ~ Catherine Bybee

I am so excited that it is finally my turn to host Catherine Bybee's Highland Shifter Tour, this is being presented by Sizzling PR.  I encourage all of you to follow along on the tour.  I simply loved this book and hope that you all go out and buy it!!!

Barnes & Noble

Helen Adams has a knack for finding lost objects, but the Simon McAllister she finds isn’t what she expected. The missing California teen is now a grown man—a kilted, sword wielding, Highland warrior.

A mysterious Druid book and Helen’s sixth sense send her to Scotland in search of a missing boy. After being attacked by strange men dressed in medieval garb, a handsome, desirable hero answering to the boy’s name rescues her. No one is more surprised than she to find herself in sixteenth century Scotland. Unable to deny the reality of time travel, Helen discovers smoldering passion with a man destined to leave her.

Simon has lived his Druid life in two very different worlds, two vastly different times, and when Helen practically lands in his lap, he knows his life is about to change forever. There are enemies in California lying in wait for her, and an army in Scotland closing in on his family. Simon is the only person who can protect her. But when she learns his most guarded secret, will she still want him? Can Helen love a Highland Shifter? 

In the Spotlight ~ Sweet Southern Home

This feature has become very popular amongst my followers. I just love learning about new blogs and meeting new people. This week, I spotlight Carrie from Sweet Southern Home!!

Thanks so much for featuring me! Here are the answers to my interview questions. Please let me know if you need anything else!

Welcome from a fellow southerner, your blog name is very catchy, tell us about the name ' Sweet Southern Home' and why you chose it.
When I decided to start a blog, I knew I would not want to limit myself to just one specific topic. I wanted to blog about everything that makes my life and my home, "sweet". I am now primarily a book blogger but occasionally will post about other topics such as food or parenting!

When and how did you decide to become a book blogger?
At the beginning of this year, I told myself that I would become more dedicated to blogging and try to post everyday (except for weekends). I had just started getting into reading seriously again, and when I found the great community of bloggers, publishers, and authors, I knew I had to get into book blogging.

So far, what’s the hardest part of being a book blogger?
First of all, I never feel like I'm reading quite enough! Right now I'm posting reviews twice a week but I know some bloggers do a lot more than that. Secondly, I wish I knew how to get more comments on my blog.

Under a Vampire Moon by Lynsay Sands

Under a Vampire Moon (Argeneau #16)
by Lynsay Sands
Publisher: HarperCollins
Expected publication: April 24th 2012
ISBN 0062100203 (ISBN13: 9780062100207)

Review courtesy of netGalley

Christian Notte's story, the sixteenth book in the Argeneau series is set on an island paradise called St. Lucia. After a bad relationship and an even worse divorce, Carolyn decides to go on a long overdue and much needed vacation with the 'girls'. Only the rest of the vacationers didn't get the memo. Around every corner there seems to be another couple celebrating their honeymoon or anniversary and the few single men she does see are far too young to even consider, including an irresistibly attractive rock violinist she meets. It's really too bad he's so young but in the end it doesn't matter because according to his cousin, Giacinta, women in general aren't Christian's type. But there's a catch, Christian needs Carolyn's help. He needs her to be his beard (to play the part of his fake girlfriend) for the week to appease his 'machismo' family. Carolyn just can't seem to say No and decides to help Gia's cousin. The only problem is that being around Christian and acting like they are a loving couple is wreaking havoc on her emotions. Carolyn's thoughts keep drifting back to places they shouldn't, like kissing his full lips or feeling his broad shoulders under her fingertips... good lord, she's in trouble.

Wings Of Desire Tour ~ Guest Post~ Arianna Skye

Well it is my turn to host Arianna Skye as she is traveling from blog to blog on her Wings of Desire book tour, the tour is presented by Bewitching Book Tours.

Arianna joins us today to talk about creating a believable fantasy world. Characters, especially fantasy characters inhabit worlds which do not exist, so it is up to the writers to convince the reader that the world and the people who live there are Real. We ask Arianna to tell us how she gos about doing that.
I’ve always dreaded discussing this topic. Matter of fact, I was asked to discuss the same topic at a local writers’ conference and I totally bailed. My friend said, “But you’re really good at world building.”

The truth is, my world building is kind of half hazard. I’ve gone to a lot of world-building workshops over the past few years and I cringe. Authors talk about the bibles they’ve compiled to keep track of their worlds or the detailed charts and graphs they use to keep their world organized and believable. It was enough to make someone’s head explode.

In Wings of Desire, I basically followed a modified hero’s journey plot. There’s a call. The heroine refuses the call. The hero sort of kidnaps the heroine and sort of drives her to action. I also gave the world a Celtic influence, using names of gods and goddesses. Rhiannon is a Welsh goddess, and Cerne is based on Cernunnos, the great Celtic horned god. Then I threw in a few historical figures, including two of Shakespeare’s most famous players. No, it’s not Romeo and Juliet. I prefer a love story that ends happily.

But I pretty much just threw all the fantasy elements in together and mixed. I then poured it into a lightly greased pan and baked them all together for thirty five minutes at 350 degrees.

Because of this not so well thought out approach, I find myself opening previous books in the series and re-reading parts to make sure everything meshes together. Not very organized at all, eh? Maybe if I didn’t concentrate on baking so much, I might not be so scatterbrained.

So maybe this post should really be how NOT to worldbuild instead, huh?

In the Spotlight ~ Forget the TV, Grab A Book

Another week has gone by and it is time for another feature of "In the Spotlight", where I invite a fellow blogger over to answer a few questions. Today we are being joined by Berenice of  from Forget the TV, Grab A Book.

Berenice, thanks so much for going us today.

When and how did you decide to become a book blogger?
I became a blogger in August 2011. After San Diego's Comic-Con I ended up with a bunch of books and I wanted to do something with them, then I stumbled into some book-blogs and thought “hey I can do that” so I started reading and soon enough I did my first book post on August 8th, by the way this all happened fast, on the 7th I stumbled into the book-blogs, opened the blog and did my first post, because I know that if I over thought it the blog would not be here today.

So far, what’s the hardest part of being a book blogger?
Well its in between getting everything organized between my book blogging time and everything not book related in my life.

Texas Heart Series Tour by Lisa Mondello

Today I am part of the Texas Hearts Series Tour hosted by Sizzling PR.  Author, Lisa Mondello is out and about promoting her Texas Heart Series, here is a list of other stops along the tour.

Book 1 of Texas Hearts series

 Amazon / B&N / Smashwords

Mandy Morgan swore she’d never step foot in Texas again after Beau Gentry left her for life on the rodeo circuit eight years before. But now her uncle’s heart is failing and she has to convince him that surgery will save his life. She never dreamed the first thing she’d see when she stepped off the plane would be her biggest nightmare...the one man she’d never stopped loving.

Beau Gentry had the fever for two things: the rodeo and Mandy Morgan. But for Beau, loving Mandy was complicated by his father’s vendetta against her uncle. This led him to make the hardest decision of his life and he can still see the bitterness and hurt on Mandy’s face. All these years it has killed him to think Mandy had forgotten him and moved as far away as possible from him. But now they’re back in Texas, and he’s going to do all he can to win back her love.

Sunny Days for Sam Blog Tour ~ Guest Post and Giveaway ~ Jennifer Shirk

Today we are welcoming Jennifer Shirk, she is the author of Sunny Days for Sam, a sweet contemporary romance being released by Avalon Books on April 16, 2012. The tour is hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions and will run April 2 - 13, 2012.  Here is a link to all the stops on the tour. See below for the Giveaway information.
Living Vicariously through your Characters

Hi, all! Jennifer here!

One of the great things about being a writer or even a reader is that you get to have things your character has without lifting a finger or spending any money. Pretty cool, huh?  And economical. J

I confess I want something pretty badly now. I must want it, because I’ve given it to each of my characters in the last two books I’ve written. What is it? It’s a …


Yeah, I confess I really want a dog. Not just any dog either, but a BIG dog. In the manuscript I’ve just finished I gave my character a German Shepherd (Deuce), and in my recent romance, Sunny Days for Sam, I gave my heroine the sweetest, biggest Golden Retriever that ever lived. Her name is Oats, and I am so in love with her.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Good grief, woman, go out and get a dog already!”

You’re right! And I would except…I have terrible allergies. Awful, in fact. There are only so many breeds a woman in my condition can own, and the family isn’t too pleased with those choices. So in the meantime, we own four hermit crabs. Yeah. Not the cuddliest of pets, which is probably why I’m so desperate to write a more fun pet into my stories. In my books I can enjoy my dogs all I want without any sneezing.

 And bonus, there’s no pooper-scooper duty!

Big thanks to Forever Book Lover for having me today! I hope you all get to meet Oats in my new release Sunny Days for Sam and come to love her as much as I do! 

In the Spotlight ~ Reading by Kindle Fire

It's the middle of the week, so it is another addition of "In the Spotlight", where I invite a fellow blogger over to answer a few questions. Today we are being joined by Ning from Reading by Kindle Fire

Ning, thanks so much for going us today!!

When and how did you decide to become a book blogger?
I tried blogging early in 2010, but I wasn't that committed to finishing it. Last November, I actually don't know what got into me, but I decided I should start again. I think it's probably because I read the Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning and I really wanted to discuss it with someone because of how much I loved it.

What’s the hardest part of being a book blogger?
I would say the time commitment. I don't want it to take over my life. I love to read, mostly paranormal and historical romance, although I'm branching out into YA recently. I want to be able to find a balance between reading for enjoyment and reading for reviews. While I love getting author requests to review their books and do blog tours and stuff, I mostly want to read books I know I'll enjoy.

How many followers do you have? How did your blog get so popular? How long did it take to rise to that level?
Currently, my blog has about 500 followers. I've been blogging almost four months come March. Part of getting so many followers is being part of a giveaway hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not a Writer. Some of these new followers might not be consistent readers, but I also think of it as getting my blog name out there for other bloggers who will read my blog rather than not hearing about my blog at all.

Whistle Down the Wing Tour ~ Guest Post, Review and Giveaway ~ Sibelle Stone

Today, we are joined by Sibelle Stone, she is out and about promoting her her book, Whistle Down the Wind. If you want to see the rest of the stops on her tour, click on this link.

Visiting the Past in Jamestown 
Sibelle Stone

What writer hasn’t dreamed of having their own personal time machine? When you’re reseaching an era, you simply step into the machine, twist the dial and spend a few days visiting the time period you’re writing about. You eat the food, wear the clothes, and converse with the locals. Easy research.

Unless of course you’re injured, get arrested, get sick or encounter all the various horrible things that could happen.So, how do you experience the past while still keeping your feet planted firmly in the 21st century?

You visit historical sites that have been recreated. On a visit back east a few years ago, my Uncle invited me to take the train from Washington DC to Richmond. Since I planned to stay with him and my Aunt for a few days, I suggested a trip to Jamestown would be fun.

I’d actually visited Jamestown once before -- in 1968. Things had certainly changed. There was a celebration of 500 years of the founding of the colony in 2007, and many renovations were made to the site.

New buildings were constructed to show how the town would have looked a few years after settlement. Remember, Jamestown predates the Plymouth Bay Colony of Massachusets by thirteen years. And the Tidewater settlements were not populated by Puritans.

Jamestown and the surrounding environs were settled by many members of the aristocracy who were escaping from the rule of Cromwell. There were artisans, tradespeople and the gentry mixed together in the settlement. Religious persecution was not a key element of the Tidewater settlements. The search for land, wealth (including gold) escape from poverty and new opportunities were the main reasons that settlers came to the region.

In the Spotlight ~ Seeking with all Yur Heart

It Wednesday, so it is another addition of "In the Spotlight", where I invite a fellow blogger over to answer a few questions. Today we are being joined by Lisa from Seeking with all Yur Heart.  

I met Lisa from Book Blogs. Thanks so much for going us today!!

When and how did you decide to become a book blogger?
I decided to start a blog in May of 2011. I decided to become a book blogger for two reasons:
1)     I love reading books.
2)     I knew I would be home a lot with caretaking responsibilities.

What’s the hardest part of being a book blogger?
The hardest part is finding followers and learning the different nuances of building a blog. 

Tell us about your blog, Seeking with all Yur Heart.
This is born from a desire to encourage readers to read and to read good books.  I want to communicate with women and to especially be thinking about what they are reading.

The Reason is You Tour ~ Interview, Review and Giveaway ~Sharla Lovelace

Today, I am welcoming Sharla Lovelace, the author of The Reason is You,  a contemporary romance with a paranormal twist,  which releases today from Berkley Publishing. Sharla is touring blogs promoting her book, the tour will run from April 2 - 20, 2012.

Along with the interview and review, you will also have a chance to win  a $20 Amazon or BN gift certificate, see below for details.
FBL ♥:Tell us a little about what it means being a character driven author. How did you meet Dani and know she was the “one”.
All I knew about this story WAS Dani. My characters typically come to me, and she came and hung out with me for probably 6 months before I actually wrote a word about her. I knew her name was Dani Shane, and that she was tired. She was driving down an interstate in an old car with no air conditioning, trying to figure out what she was going to do next, and her teenage daughter wasn’t making it easier. Everything else came afterward.

FBL ♥: How did you find your originality in your writing?
I’m not sure. LOL. I’ve always been a little snarky, and I watch WAY TOO MUCH television. Maybe that’s where my style came from.

FBL ♥: What books are on your nightstand, waiting to be read?

Actually, they’re in my Nook, and I can’t even begin to name them all. When I’m writing, I don’t read much, so I try to cram them all in between. I read Karen White’s THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET and I still need to read the next two in the series. I started THE HELP, then saw the movie, so that kind of took my motivation away to finish it. I have Roni Loren’s debut CRASH INTO YOU in there and Jennifer Weiner’s BEST FRIENDS FOREVER and THEN CAME YOU that are calling to me. And Sophie Kinsella’s new one I’VE GOT YOUR NUMBER is a must.

FBL ♥: If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?

FBL ♥:I read you have a fear of tall bridges. Will you tell us more about how that came about.
My mom did it to me. LOL. Just kidding. I have no idea why I’m crazy like that. I can be the passenger and be okay. But if I’m driving…and one of those springs up…blood leaves my hands and feet…and head. Anxiety attack from hell. I’ll plan my routes around big bridges for that reason. Maybe I was thrown from one in a previous life….hmmm, there’s a thought.

FBL ♥: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? *Without giving SPOILERS* 
Probably the beginning, because of the rekindled flirting between Dani and Alex. Before things get heavy.

FBL ♥:How did you come up with the title?
It was a three-way email bounce among myself, my agent, and my editor. It was originally “Seeing Alex” as a working title, then my agent renamed it for submission, then my new editor wanted it renamed again. Took a week or so of bouncing ideas around, but then THE REASON IS YOU came from an actual line toward the end. We all jumped on it.

FBL ♥: Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you!!!! To everyone who takes the time and the money to buy my book and put themselves in a story with Dani, follow her around with all the crazy stuff going on in her life…thank you so much!!! I hope you enjoy it! And if you’d like a signed bookplate to go inside it, see my website contact info to request one!

Time Out by Jill Shalvis

Time Out
By Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Harlequin
Published February 21st 2012
ISBN: 0373796730 (ISBN13: 9780373796731)

Review courtesy of netGalley

Sign up for recreational adult programs now!

Class: How to Drive Him Crazy
Instructional program for women unexpectedly facing the totally dishy guy from their past. Everyone Welcome!

NHL coach Mark Diego’s plan to spend his off-season volunteering in his hometown goes awry when he learns that not only is he coaching teenage girls, but that the program is coordinated by energetic (and five feet two inches of trouble) coordinator Rainey Saunders, his childhood friend–and the woman he could never stand to see dating any other guy…

When their tempers flare, Mark and Rainey discover their fireworks don’t just burn angry–they burn very, very, hot! But that’ll just sweeten the victory. Because Mark always plays to win. And with Rainey, he’s planning on playing very dirty too…
My thoughts:

I needed to take a quick break from Regency romances. When I saw that my fav author Jill Shalvis had a new release and it being a Harlequin Blaze, I knew this was the book to read.

Our heroine, Rainey,has loved our hero, Mark, since her teens.  For the past twenty years, her love was put on the burner, simmering until a few chance encounters and then brought up to a boil when Mark shows up at her rec center. Has, the Alpha man finally met his match? Great storyline, terrific banter between characters and hot steamy sex scenes, this book had it all. This was a quick read and well worth it. Once again, Jill Shalvis proves to me why she is an awesome author and always on auto buy!! It is worth reading!!

 I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

New York Times and USA Today bestseller Jill Shalvis is the author of over four dozen romance novels, so you’d think she knew what she was doing. She doesn’t. But stick around and visit, she likes the company. Visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog.