Friday, January 31, 2014

Blurb Blitz Tour & Giveaway for Ever Hopeful by Lori Ryan

Join author Lori Ryan on her Blurb Blitz Tour for Ever Hopeful, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, from January 27 – February 7, 2014.  Please leave a comment or question for Lori to let her know you stopped by.  Lori will be awarding one Kindle Paperwhite (US/CANADA) or a gift card of an equivalent amount (International giveaway) to a randomly drawn winner during the tour.  To enter her giveaway please fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can follow the rest of Lori’s tour here.  Tune in for my review later today.

Ever Hopeful
By Lori Ryan
Evers, Texas, Book 1

Publisher:  Lori Ryan
Release Date: January 23, 2014
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 179 Pages
ISBN:  978-1-941149-08-9

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About the book: 

Combining heart-soaring contemporary romance with heart-pounding suspense is a trademark of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lori Ryan—and in her novel Ever Hopeful she delivers spectacularly on both counts. 

Two-months pregnant and trapped in a violent marriage, Laura Kensington realizes that her ruthless and powerful in-laws will never let her go, even after the strange sudden death of her abusive husband.  Fleeing far away to the Texas ranch of Cade Bishop, a strong yet tender man who believes in second chances, Laura finds herself irresistibly drawn to Cade’s gentle passion and giving heart. But there is no escaping the shadows of her past and soon danger re-enters her world, pulling Laura into a deadly web of lies, betrayals, and murder.  And only Cade Bishop’s quiet strength and unwavering love can set her free.


“You wanna know the first time he beat her so badly she couldn’t leave the house for a week?” Cade asked.

“No,” Shane managed to say but Cade wasn’t listening to him. He was staring at the wall like he was seeing the story he was telling and he was too trapped by the power of it to see what was around him or hear Shane’s voice.

“When her brother died. She wanted to go home to the funeral, but her husband had a business dinner she needed to be at. She had the nerve to ask him to postpone it so she could fly home for her brother’s funeral. The irony was, she couldn’t go to the dinner with him anyway. After the beating he gave her, she couldn’t be seen in public for over a week so she missed the flipping dinner anyway.”

The brothers sat together without speaking for a long time. There was nothing to say. Shane couldn’t imagine the fear Laura must have been living in every single day. The threat of having the person you thought you loved and could trust turn on you like that.

“I wish he wasn’t dead,” Cade said. Shane didn’t have to ask why. He was thinking the same thing himself. If her husband wasn’t dead they could hunt him down and have the satisfaction of teaching him what it was like to be hit by someone so much stronger than yourself, to live in constant fear.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lori is an award winning author and stay-at-home mom. Her second book, Penalty Clause, won first place in the romance category in Lcuky Cinda Publishing’s Annual Global Writer’s Contest in 2013.

Lori has had a number of careers before embarking on her newest adventure of writing novels. After graduating from the University of Connecticut School of Law, she practiced law for three years, working primarily in the areas of utilities law and intellectual property litigation.

More recently, Lori owned and operated a dog training business in Austin, Texas, where she specialized in aggression and became an expert in the field of dog bite analysis. Lori sold her dog training business in 2013 and is now a full time writer and mother of two.

Lori still lives in Austin with her husband -- who is endlessly supportive of her changing career paths -- and her two children, one cat, and three dogs.

How can your readers follow you?

To follow me on Facebook, visit:

To visit my website, visit:

Want to be a part of my online street team? Email me at and put the words ‘street team’ in the subject line. I’ll email you back with directions for joining my team.

To join my email list to receive updates and news, including sneak peeks and free giveaways or contest news, visit!join-my-mailing-list/cdpp.

To buy my books, visit my author page on Amazon:

Release: January 26th

I’ll be having events and contests January 26th through February 9th

Ever Hopeful will be priced at 99 cents for the first two weeks!

Price increases to 2.99 on February 10th
The first book in Lori Ryan’s new Ever, Texas series, Ever Hopeful is an emotionally charged second chance romance with suspense elements, well developed characters, and the reminder to never lose hope.  Taking both the reader and her characters on a journey beginning with a smoothly paced plot, Ms. Ryan takes us from Connecticut to Evers, Texas as pregnant heroine Laura Kensington attempts to flee her abusive deceased husband’s domineering, and at times frightening, mother for a new life.  Taken in by May Bishop, and her family, Laura begins the process of recovering from being an abused wife to a healthy, hopeful and happy adult woman. 

Tackling the subject of spousal abuse, with as much realism as an author can while writing a fictional novel, Ms. Ryan reminds us that while leaving an abusive partner behind is the first step in recovery, it’s just the first of many steps a victim has to undergo.  Fortunately for Laura, Cade Bishop, May’s son who lives on the family ranch, is just the kind of man an injured woman needs to be around.  A gentle man who has spent his lifetime helping rescue neglected animals, Cade slowly helps Laura get accustomed to life on a ranch, the realization that hope is something she’s entitled to and awakens a need for companionship on several levels.  Growing closer as they spend time together, Laura and Cade slowly begin to fall in love. 

Ms. Ryan does a very good job developing both Laura and Cade’s characters; we watch as Laura goes from being a fearful, traumatized victim to a woman who can stand on her own two feet.  Learning to trust and depend on others is a difficult lesson for Laura, but Ms. Ryan handles it in a believable way.  Ms. Ryan also gives us Cade’s back story and we learn that while he has grown up and lived a mostly “charmed” life (compared to Laura’s), he has some issues of hiw own.  Burned by an ex, Cade has to decide on whether or not he wants to let Laura into his heart and on just how deeply he wants to commit himself to a woman expecting another man’s child.  He also has to make sure that his tendency to rescue neglected animals doesn’t get in the way of Laura’s recovery – he can’t confuse his desire to help with giving her the room to learn to say no and to let her stand up for her own rights.

The secondary characters are also well developed and Ms. Ryan does a good job providing a suspenseful situation that will need to be resolved before Laura’s life is truly her own to live. I especially liked May and Shane Bishop, Cade’s mom and older brother, who accepted and helped Laura as she works to rebuild her life.  I also enjoyed getting to meet the people of Evers, Texas, a small town with plenty of personality and charm.  Ms. Ryan even does a good job developing the villains of the story, and resolving the issues which will get in the way of Laura being able to lead a new life. 

Will Laura and Cade realize the feelings they have for each other are more than enough to build a life on?  Will Laura want to stay in Evers for the rest of her life?  You’ll have to read Ever, Hopeful to find out.  I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next book in this series.

My rating:  4.5 out of 5 Crowns

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Spotlight & Giveaway for Sweet Southern Betrayal by Robin Covington

Title: Sweet Southern Betrayal
The Boys Are Back in Town, Book 3

Genre: Romance

Author: Robin Covington

Publisher: Entangled Indulgence
Pages: 161
Language: English
Format: Ebook

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About the book:

Privileged and ambitious attorney Teague Elliott is on the fast-track to getting everything he wants. All he has to do is stay on the straight and narrow and a high-profile political career is his for the taking. Until he wakes up naked with a Vegas showgirl…

Risa Clay has worked hard to put her showgirl past behind her and start fresh. But she owes ten grand to the wrong people, and to pay off her debt, she agrees to betray a stranger. . .but she ends up with a husband and guilty conscience.

Savvy and determined, she double-crosses the mob, goes on the run, and turns up on Teague’s doorstep armed with a dangerous secret, a marriage license, and the power to ruin his well-planed future. She thought using Teague again would be easy, but the passion that exploded between them in Vegas didn’t stay in Sin City and betrayal is the last thing on her mind.

Now Teague has to choose between the future he’s planned for all his life, or the one with Risa that he can’t turn away from.


She would never get used to the guns.

Risa pressed her body further back into the chair outside Big Tony’s office while she waited her turn with the man who had a stranglehold on her life. Everyone who worked for Big Tony was packing. They wore it like a badge of honor just daring someone to goad them into using it. A bunch of over-sized, testosterone-juiced, man-children strutting around bringing violence and chaos with them everywhere they went.


Not for the last time, she pushed her regrets over her life to the back of her mind and dealt with the reality of living and dying in Las Vegas. She’d grown up in this town and literally lived on the streets for a period of time, and knew that if you stayed you eventually got roped into the seedy underside of the glitter and glamour of the strip. She’d avoided it for a long time, side-stepping the interest that her C-cups, long legs, and red hair got her from the local thugs, but if you worked in a place like the Gold Coast Casino long enough, you got noticed.

She still remembered the day she caught the attention of Big Tony and her life changed— for the better and for the worse. It didn’t hurt to have a man like him interested in you because it kept the other losers away, and it really didn’t hurt to know him when you needed ten grand to put your best friend in rehab because her shithead boyfriend got her hooked on meth. But the knowledge of what she’d done to a man name Teague Elliott hurt like a bitch.

“Risa, what are you here to see Big Tony about?” asked Frank Gazarra as he stared at her chest.

“Eyes up, Frank. The girls are awesome, but the last time I checked they don’t talk.” She replied, unsurprised with Frank took his time lifting his eyes to her face. “I did a little work for Big Tony and I’m here to report in.”

“I’m surprised to hear that. You always stay away from the life.”

“Big Tony loaned me some cash when I needed it. I pay my debts.”

“Women usually do that on their backs with the big guy.” Frank smirked, his eyes straying back down to her breasts. She suppressed a sigh, wishing she could hurry up and get this over with. She’d waited over a week for Big Tony to call her in to hand over the goods, changing her mind a million times and feeling worse about what she’d done with each passing minute. “Well, I’m not.”

I would think your little sex toy business would be pulling in the cash.” He waggled his eyebrows and stuck out his tongue. “Sex sells, baby.”

Gross. She tamped down the urge to vomit. Tony had better hurry or he was going to have a “clean up on aisle nine” moment out here.

About Robin Covington
Robin Covington, who NYT Best Selling authors, Robyn Carr and Carly Phillips, said was their new “auto-buy author”, writes sizzling hot contemporary and paranormal romance.

A Night of Southern Comfort, her best-selling debut novel was nominated for the RT Book Reviewers Choice Awards for Small Press and was touted by RT Book Reviews as bringing a “fresh, modern feel to the genre while still sticking to the things that get our adrenaline pumping — sex and danger”. When she’s not exploring the theme of fooling around and falling in love, she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, and stalking Joe Manganiello.

Robin is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Washington and Maryland Romance Writers, a faculty member at Romance University, a member of The Naked Hero, and a contributor to the Happy Ever After blog at USA Today.

You can find Robin on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter (@RobinCovington).

Robin lives in Maryland with her hilarious husband, brilliant children, a ginormous German Shepherd and the world’s cutest Corgi.

Virtual Book Tour for The Lion's Embrace by Marie Laval

Join author Marie Laval on her Virtual Book Tour for The Lion’s Embrace, presented by Reading Addiction Book Tours from January 18 – January 31, 2014.  Please leave a comment or question below to let Marie know you stopped by.  You can follow the rest of Marie’s tour here. 

The Lion’s Embrace
By Marie Laval
Historical Romance
Date Published: 2/3/2013
ISBN: 978-1-771272-60-5

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Arrogant, selfish and dangerous, Lucas Saintclair is everything Harriet Montague dislikes in a man. He is also the best guide in the whole of the Barbary States, the only man who can rescue her archaeologist father from the gang of Tuareg fighters that has kidnapped him.  As Harriet embarks on a perilous journey across Algeria with Saintclair and Archibald Drake, her father’s most trusted friend, she discovers a bewitching but brutal land where nothing is what it seems.

Who are these men intent on stealing her father’s ransom? What was her father hoping to find in Tuareg queen Tin Hinan’s tomb? Is Lucas Saintclair really as callous as he claims—or is he a man haunted by a past he cannot forgive? Dangerous passions engulf Harriet’s heart in the heat of the Sahara. Secrets of lost treasures, rebel fighters, and a sinister criminal brotherhood threaten her life and the life of the man she loves.

Does forever lie in the lion’s embrace?

Buy Links:   Amazon UK     Kindle      MuseitUp

It was a narrow valley where the river curved into a bend, secluded by thick bushes and reeds. After a quick glance around to make sure she was alone, she stripped and walked naked into the water. It was so cold it took her breath away. She gritted her teeth, clutched her bar of soap, and walked into the river until the water reached her hips. Getting rid of the grime and sweat of the past few days was worth the torture…

          Holding her breath, she dipped into the water before standing and lathering soap over her body and her hair.

          The light was changing. A transparent gold dust touched the hillside, the top of the trees. The sunrise streaked the sky with red, orange, and pink hues, reflecting into the river. She was alone in the world, in a bubble hovering between sky and water.

          It was then she heard the growling. Stones tumbled down the hillside seconds before a male lion jumped onto the river bank, sleek and agile. It approached the river and started drinking. It hadn’t seen her. Yet.

          Her heart thumping with terror, she ducked under the water very slowly, careful not to make any ripples on the surface. How long would she have to hold her breath? How long did it take a lion to quench its thirst after a night spent hunting? What if it saw her and came after her? Did lions, like cats, hate water? Her lungs started to burn, she felt close to choking. When she couldn’t hold on any longer, she popped her head above the water and took a long, long breath.

          The lion had gone.

          “You are one lucky woman,” a voice called from the bank.

          Still breathless, she spun round. Saintclair crouched near the water, a knife in one hand, a pistol in the other.

          “How l-long have you be-been here?” she stuttered, her teeth chattering from cold and shock.

          “Long enough.”

          Had he watched her undress and get into the water?
 Actually, she’d rather not know.

          She moved her legs and arms, numb and stiff with cold.

          “Is it safe? Has the lion gone?” She looked toward the hillside.

          “You’re safe. From the lion, that is.” He narrowed his eyes. “I, on the other hand, might just want to throttle you for disregarding my orders. I knew taking you with us was a mistake. I knew you were stubborn. I didn’t realize just how reckless, how stupid you were. You could have been mauled to death just then.”

          “I handled the lion perfectly well on my own.” She tilted her chin. Her heart had almost stopped with fright, but there was no reason to tell him.

          He stood up, put his pistol in the holster on his hip, slid the knife in his boot, and walked toward the edge of the water. His face was so tense, his eyes so steely, that she recoiled. He was going to walk into the river, pull her out and…

          “Damn it, woman, you were told not to leave the camp alone. You were warned about lions roaming this area. There are all sorts of dangers here—wild animals, snakes, scorpions.” He looked up towards the hillside. “Raiders.”

          She swallowed hard, followed his gaze toward the top of the hills.

          He shook his head.

          “If that lion hadn’t been so old and half-blind, you wouldn’t be talking to me now.”

          “It seemed pretty sprightly to me,” she muttered.

          He snorted.

          “Get out. You’re freezing, and your lips are blue,” he said without a trace of sympathy in his voice.

          She shivered, nodded. “Only if you turn round.”

          “It’s a bit late to play the prude,” he muttered, but he obliged and faced the other way.

          So he had seen her naked. Well, he wouldn’t see her now. She covered her chest with her arms and walked to the shore. She threw a nervous glance in his direction before stepping out of the water, but he remained immobile, his back to her, as if he had been turned into rock.

          She gathered her clothes as fast as she could, stumbling on pebbles in her haste, and chose a large bush behind which to get dressed.

          Her fingers were too cold, too stiff to fasten her tunic’s tiny buttons. She had to leave it open for now. She put her boots on and ventured out of the bushes.      Saintclair took one look at her and snarled.

          “You can’t go back to camp half dressed.”

          She pulled her tunic across her chest to cover up, shifted uncomfortably on her feet.

          “I can’t do the buttons up,” she said, showing him her hands still red raw with cold.

          He tightened his lips but didn’t answer.

          The sun now peeped above the rugged hilltop, a huge orange ball setting the sky on fire. Dazzled, Harriet caught her breath.

          “This is…magnificent. We don’t have sunrises like that in England.”

          He gazed at her face, at her eyes filled with wonder.

          “No but you have rain, summer storms.”

          He stepped closer and looked down into her eyes. “I always wanted to stand outside in a thunderstorm.” Her eyes were a rain cloud right now, cool and soothing.

          She smiled. “You might get hit by lightning.”

          “Maybe, but what a beautiful way to die,” he said. His breathing was a little faster, his gaze heavier.

          She parted her lips but didn’t answer. The colour of her cheeks deepened. In the opening of her tunic, the gold pendant gleamed against her milky white skin. His fingers itched to toy with it and bring it to his lips, still hot and fragrant from her body.

About Marie Laval
I was born in France and grew up in the beautiful city of Lyon. I moved to England several years ago, and now live in the lovely Rossendale Valley in Lancashire where I am still trying to get used to the damp and cold weather. Writing was always my passion. I particularly enjoy writing historical fiction and romance. 'Angel Heart' is my first published novel. My second historical romance 'The Lion's Embrace' was released as an ebook in February 2013 by MuseitUp Publishing.