It’s here – release day for Surrender, Violetta Rand’s (author of the best-selling Viking romance, The Blind Series) first contemporary with LoveSwept.  Here’s a little blurb and an excerpt.  And I’ll throw in a free Kindle copy to one lucky commenter!

The Devil's Den

Welcome to the Devil’s Den, a Texas strip club where the air is heavy with desire . . . and sometimes dreams come true.

Ever since her mother kicked her out, twenty-year-old Robyn Gonzalez has been working the poles at the Devil’s Den, saving up to finish college and travel the world. With only her wits and her gorgeous body to rely on, Robyn has learned to be independent—fiercely independent. She’s never been tempted to let a man distract her from her dreams . . . until she meets the dead-sexy Garrick Dempsey.
The club’s new head of security, Garrick had walked away from a career as a mechanical engineer to return to his roots in Corpus Christi. He hadn’t planned on getting to know someone like Robyn, with her sinfully sweet combination of vulnerability and strength, at the Devil’s Den. She acts tough, but only because she’s been hurt. Soon Garrick knows he will do anything to win Robyn’s trust. And if that means surrendering to the red-hot chemistry between them, all the better.


A customer summons me from the corner and I dance for him. He’s a happy drunk and does a shot of tequila between tips. He offers me a shooter, but I say no. I’m underage. If I do drink, it’s usually not at work. That Corona I had with Garrick was an excuse to stay with him a few minutes longer. I felt safe with him nearby.

“Hey . . .” I hear someone call.

I look up, not sure if it’s meant for me. Standing a few feet away is Garrick. Oh. My. God. He’s dressed in a tight black T-shirt and black slacks. My gaze drops lower. He’s wearing dark Lucchese boots.

“Up here,” he says, pointing to his eyes.

I giggle uncontrollably, stupidly, almost losing my cool. I’d sooner run away than let him see me naked. The song ends and I cover my breasts before I speak.

“What are you doing here?” I ask, sidling up to him.

“Is that the way to greet an old friend?” There’s that lopsided smile again.

“I’m sorry,” I say, giving him my best pout. “Can I buy you a drink?”

“You can buy me anything you want.”

My heart somersaults. This guy makes my head spin.

“Robyn . . .” It’s Adriana’s whiny voice.

I’m supposed to scoot down a slot. “Follow me.” I motion downstage.

Garrick nods and finds an empty chair. The DJ mumbles something over the microphone and then the music starts again. I’m kneeling in front of Garrick, doing my best to hide my exposed skin from his wandering gaze. I think he’s surveying my body on purpose to make me squirm. Payback for jumping out of his truck after we kissed. It’s working. I’m officially a schoolgirl again who can’t control herself in front of a hot guy.

“Are you shy, Robyn?” he asks.

What the hell? Those dark eyes pierce me like an arrow. I’m shocked and disappointed he’s here. I’m not proud of what I do for a living, but I’ve never been ashamed until now. “N-no.” I catch myself stuttering. “How did you find me?”

He leans back in his chair and plops a boot down on the stage railing. I roll my eyes and slap his foot away. “Keep your feet off the stage. Be nice,” I reprimand, wagging a finger at him.

He laughs and digs in his front pocket. His eyes grow darker, his gaze more intense as he stares at me again. He slaps a hundred-dollar bill on the ledge. “Dance for me, Robyn.”

I shake my head. Absolutely not. “No.”

“What’s wrong with you?”

I draw in a shaky breath. That’s a question I’d like to know the answer to. “Nothing,” I fib. Everything.

The song ends, and a couple of rowdy customers start complaining that I’m spending too much time with Garrick.

“Find another dancer.” I turn them away.

They stomp off.

“That’s not very businesslike,” he says mildly.

“What are you doing here, Garrick?” I’m determined to resist this guy. Maybe a string of Hail Mary’s would do the trick.


“Come again?” What’s he talking about?

“I accepted a job here two weeks ago. I’m the new head of security.”

It’s a one-in-a-million coincidence. One I don’t appreciate. I wanted to remember this guy the way I saw him in his pickup truck—staring at me after I kissed him, his blood running as hot as mine. Not here. Not as a customer. It changes everything.

Barnes and Noble





About the Author:

Raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, Violetta Rand spent her childhood reading, writing, and playing soccer. After meeting her husband in New England, they moved to Alaska where she studied environmental science and policy as an undergraduate before attending graduate school. Violetta then spent nearly a decade working as an environmental scientist, specializing in soil and water contamination and environmental assessments.

Violetta still lives in Anchorage, Alaska and spends her days writing evocative New Adult romance and historical romance. When she’s not reading, writing, or editing, she enjoys time with her husband, pets, and friends. In her free time, she loves to hike, fish, and ride motorcycles and 4-wheelers.

Visit her on her website (click here) or at the blog site Embracing Romance (click here)!


On the 12th day of Christmas…RAFFLECOPTER WINNERS!


Day #12On the Twelfth Day of Christmas,

My true love said “It’s Here!

The tree is full of presents, so you

Must have been a good girl or boy all year!”

The time has come to announce this year’s 12 Days of Christmas winners. I’m so glad you were able to join us and I hope you enjoyed our posts about the holidays and how we love to celebrate. I also hope you found a book or two you were able to relax with as you sat by the fire in the twinkle of the tree lights and sipped a cup of hot cocoa.

Click HERE to go to the Rafflecopter where the 16 winners are listed. If you are a winner, please click HERE and leave your home address for author Cynthia Gail to send out your prize!  Congratulations and Happy Holidays!


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On the 11th Day of Christmas…Cocktails and author Jennifer Faye


We’re getting closer to Christmas.  There’s only one day left, which means you have only 24 hours to wrap the rest of the gifts, assemble the kid’s train table, find the last Elsa doll on earth, and your mother-in-law just arrived.

You may need a drink.

I’m a fan of the Moscow mule.  Pier One has great copper mugs, because you can’t do a Moscow mule without a copper cup.  Half vodka, half ginger beer, and crushed ice.  Delish!

Now that you’ve poured yourself a drink, you need to grab a good book.  Something fanciful that you can really escape with…

Princess by ChristmasA royal kiss under the mistletoe…

Prince Alexandro Castanovo arrives in snowy New York intent on protecting his royal family from scandal. And when Reese Harding—down-to-earth and heart-stoppingly beautiful—finds room for him at her inn, it seems like the perfect twist of fate. 

 Not long ago Reese’s world came crumbling down, shaking her foundations. But this enigmatic stranger intrigues her! She’s learned to be wary of secrets…but when she discovers Alex’s true identity, might there be enough magic in the air to make this regular American girl a princess by Christmas…?

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Meet Jennifer Faye!

Hearts & Scribbles ~

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On the 10th Day of Christmas…Christmas memories and author Meggan Connors


I got engaged on Christmas Eve.

My husband and I had plenty of opportunities to meet prior to actually meeting. Both my husband and I had come home from the same college and transferred to the same school closer to our parent’s homes.  Our classes had been next door to each other.  Still, we’d never met, despite having some of the same friends and living within fairly close proximity to each other.  I’m sure we had to have seen each other at a party, or at a  game, or simply walking down the street, but I can’t remember ever actually seeing him before.  Despite all these opportunities, it took the internet to finally bring us together.  I met him online amongst the millions of other people out there in the world.  Not on or anything like that, just a fluke meeting in a chat room discussing our school.  What are the odds?

We were good friends first.  We did finally meet in person – it was impossible not to after we learned just who the other person was.  Our classes were right there next to each other and we knew many of the same people.  Months later, we finally made it official and became a couple.

Later that year, we moved into a small house in a working class neighborhood.  We were poor college students with minimum wage paying jobs, but somehow we made it work.  We didn’t know what we didn’t have – we were happy just being together.  I saved what little money I could to buy him a couple Christmas presents.  He loved Fannie Mae fudge, so I bought a pound of it.

That Christmas Eve he proposed.  He wrote me a letter, got down on one knee, and presented a beautiful, modest, diamond ring.  While he was proposing, our fairly large rescue dog had gotten into the fudge.  We managed to get it out of the dog’s mouth, but it was beyond saving.  At the time, I was devastated.  He’d gotten me a ring, and I’d given him uneatable fudge.  But he didn’t care – he was happy just going out and looking at Christmas lights with me.

That is one of my favorite Christmas memories.  It was before we cared about things like fancy cars or vacations.  We didn’t have that much, but it didn’t matter.  It was really one of those Lifetime movie of Christmases, where all that matters is being in love and spending time with your friends and family.

I love a good romance, and author Meggan Connors knows how to write good romances.  This is one of my favorite books…

Highland deceptionWhen Kenneth Mackay, long-banished rogue and thief, returns to the Mackay holding at the request of his brother, he has no idea what he might find. He certainly doesn’t expect to be confronted with his twin’s imminent death, or with the plan his brother has concocted.  Ten years before, Malcolm made a tragic mistake, and, to preserve the family name—and his own skin—he allowed Kenneth to take the fall. Now that he is dying without an heir, Malcolm plans to atone for his mistake: by giving Kenneth his life back. All Kenneth has to do is assume his brother’s identity. But complicating matters is the unexpected return of Lady Isobel Mackay, the daughter of an English marquess and the wife Malcolm didn’t want. 

Isobel barely knows the husband who abandoned her even before their marriage, and she’d long since given up on having a real marriage with him. Yet when she returns to the Mackay holding far earlier than expected, she finds her husband a changed man. Despite the hurt between them, Isobel’s heart responds to this man who cares for his entire clan as if they were family. Who, for the first time, cares for her as if she is, too. 

Falling in love with her husband had never been part of Isobel’s plan. But when their future is suddenly in peril, Isobel must find a way to save him—from himself and from the deception threatening to tear them apart. 



web address for my blog:

Twitter: @MegganConnors




On the 9th Day of Christmas…Dessert recipe and author Kim Hotzon


So, it’s that time of year that we’re inundated with cookies and candies.  I love sweets as much as the next person, but I don’t have the type of metabolism that allows me to indulge my every confectionary whim.  So, unless I want to end up doing double time on the treadmill, I have to find ways to satisfy my sweet tooth without adding to my waistline.

Fruit smoothies.  I know, not really a dessert, but they can be a sweet escape without the guilt.  I like to take a half cup of fruit – frozen works great, and combine it in a blender with a half cup of low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt.  Then add almond milk until you’ve reached a consistency you can live with.

Dessert?  Possibly.  But always deceptively delicious.

Speaking of deception…

HandsFullofAshes400Kim Hotzon’s new release, Hands Full of Ashes, is due to come out January 14th, 2015.

Olivia promises to fulfill her dying husband’s wish – to scatter his ashes around the world. Wading through grief and depression, she journeys to a remote orphanage in Uganda. Living amongst the children in their threadbare surroundings, she vows to fight for the children’s lives as she begins to fight for her own. While Olivia develops a passion for humanitarian work, the lonely director of the orphanage develops a simmering passion for her.

Just as time begins to heal the wounds of Olivia’s fragile heart, her world is shattered when she is involved in a violent encounter with an armed rebel group in the picturesque mountains of Uganda. Olivia flees to the safety of Rwanda, where she learns the truth of her husband’s unimaginable betrayal.

As Olivia hovers on the brink of an emotional collapse, her broken soul is reawakened with a startling new love – but her life is about to take another dramatic turn as she struggles to survive in a region left torn apart by civil war. It will take every ounce of Olivia’s courage to hang on to those she loves the most but it may come at a great cost to all of them.

Meet Kim!


Twitter: @KimHotzon


On the 8th Day of Christmas…My favorite holiday song and author Jeanne Hardt



I’m a singer.  Not a good one by any means, but I sing all the time.  This time of year, it’s none stop Christmas carols. I sing them in the car, in the shower, while cooking dinner…

Needless to say, my kids are about sick of it.  But every so often, the older one will put aside her preteen ego and join me in one of my favorite tunes – I’ll Be Home for Christmas.  We use our best Bing Crosby voices and go to town.  I love those moments of family bonding – you just know you’re making a memory.

Memories are an important part of Jeanne Hardt’s book, From the Ashes of Atlanta.

ashes-of-atlanta-coverAfter losing his Atlanta home and family to the war, Confederate soldier, Jeb Carter, somehow wakes up in a Boston hospital. Alone, desperate, and with a badly broken leg, he pretends to be mute to save himself from those he hates—Yankees.

Gwen Abbott, a student at Boston Women’s Medical College, is elated when she’s allowed to study under the guidance of a prominent doctor at Massachusetts General. While forced into a courtship with a man she can scarcely tolerate, her thoughts are consumed with their mysterious new patient. If only he could talk.

Two strangers from different worlds, joined by fate. Perhaps love can speak without words and win a war without a single shot being fired.

Buy link on Amazon.


Meet Jeanne!

Website address (blog) :



Twitter: @jeannehardt

Heat level – 1


On the 7th Day of Christmas…Finger food and author Darcy Flynn!




On the 7th day of Christmas, I’m going to give you a super-simple recipe for a great appetizer that is portable, has no need for silverware, and doesn’t require any heating.

I was at a party the other day and the hostess whipped out a tray of honeydew melon, wrapped in prosciutto, stuck on a tooth-pick with a piece of mozzarella on the top.  It was simple and delicious.

Who would have thought such a pairing would work out so well?  I love unconventional couples – in my food and in my romance.  Darcy Flynn’s novel, Rogue’s Son introduces us to just such a couple.

Rogue's SonTough, driven Kit Kendall has replaced her frills and dresses with no nonsense haircuts and wranglers, years ago. As owner of Sage Brush, the once thriving west Texas bed and breakfast ranch, she now struggles daily to keep her business afloat. Since McCabe Resort Lodge reopened next door as a multi-million dollar hotel, her financial difficulties compound, as she suffers one cancellation after another.

Just when she thought things couldn’t get any worse, Kit’s childhood sweetheart turned nemesis returns as the new owner of the resort that’s now putting her out of business, resurrecting memories she thought she’d buried long ago.

Cowboy, entrepreneur Sam Dawson has returned to Sugar Creek, Texas after six years of exile with a secret that could destroy Kit’s happiness. He left town because of it and for the past two years has secretly tried to make it right. Having failed, he now returns to make one last attempt to undo the tangled web created by his father.

Set in motion by his father’s Last Will and Testament and with the clock ticking, Sam has only weeks to convince Kit to sell him her ranch or reveal the truth that will break her heart.

Buy Link:

Rogue’s Son:

Meet Darcy Flynn:

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On the 6th day of Christmas…Christmas trees and author Rachel Lacey!


favorite things my book treeI have a Christmas tree addiction.  I have nine that I will admit to, only my husband and children know the truth.  This year I made my new favorite – the book tree.  I made copies of my favorite book covers, laminated them, and hung them with twine on a 4 foot accent tree. Of course it had to have my two covers, but I was humble enough to hang those on the back.  Okay, maybe the side.  It turned out super cute…

And speaking of super cute, today we have author Rachel Lacey and her super cute, and super sexy book Unleashed.

Cara Medlen has a serious case of animal attraction. And it’s not because of all the foster dogs she’s rescued. She’s got it bad for her incredibly sexy neighbor. Her one rule: Don’t get attached. It’s served her well with the dogs she’s given to good homes and the children she’s nannied. Yet the temptation of Matt’s sexy smile might just convince her that some rules are made to be broken. Matt Dumont doesn’t need his skills as a private investigator to detect disaster on the horizon. Cara is everything he thought he’d never find—gorgeous, funny, and caring. But there’s no way he can start a relationship just as he’s about to move to another state. Talk about bad timing. As their attraction sizzles too hot to deny, they’ll have to make a decision: forget the consequences and let loose, or forget each other and let go…









Twitter: @rachelslacey




On the 5th day of Christmas…Appetizers and Author Cynthia Gail!



Appetizers – one of my favorite things!  I love anything I can dip!  It’s the best part of any party.  Really, forget the turkey – it’s the spinach dip I’m after!

So, here’s a great recipe that’s fast, easy, and guaranteed to be liked by most everyone…because it has bacon.

Bacon Things!

1 can of crescent rolls

1 – tub of chive and onion cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

1 lb of microwave bacon

2 tbsp. 2%milk

Cook the bacon.  And by cook, I mean throw it in the microwave according to the package.  When it’s done, cut it up in small pieces (think quarter inch pieces – the more crumbly the better).  Mix it up with the cream cheese and parm and add the milk.  Unroll crescent rolls and cut each one down the middle (so it makes two triangles instead of one).  Spoon up the mixture and put about one tablespoon on each of the triangles and roll it up then turn in the corners.  Bake in a 350 degree oven till golden.  Once they’re cooled, you can enjoy! 

Now for what you’ve really been looking forward to – author Cynthia Gail.  She writes sexy contemporary romance – southern sass and class!



Owner of La Bella Vita, a five-star day spa nestled in the affluent suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, Beth Sergeant knows her elite clientele first hand. She attended their private schools. She was even engaged, although briefly, to one of their most recognized bachelors. But she never fit in to their social-elite world.

 After losing his parents to a car accident at a young age, Nick Chester was raised by his grandfather, the wealthiest man in Nashville. When he chooses to socialize, he has a never-ending list of exclusive events and beautiful women vying for his attention. Yet he never lets himself forget that everyone has an agenda.

Beth can’t resist Nick’s charm and accepts an invitation to dinner, despite her deep-seated insecurities. She proves she’s nothing like other women Nick’s dated and learns to trust him in return. But just as the last of their resistance crumbles and true love is within reach, challenges from Nick’s past threaten to destroy everything and force Beth to reveal her most guarded secret.

Learn more about Cynthia and her books –







On the 4th Day of Christmas…Gifts under ten bucks and author Maureen Bonatch!


It’s the fourth day of Christmas already!  Today I’m talking cheap but chic gifts and featuring author Maureen Bonatch.

favorite things candlesI recently featured the writer’s version of My Favorite Things on my other blog – Embracing  What stood out to me was how easy it was to find great gifts on a budget.   One of my favorite gifts to give and receive are candle warmers or flameless candles.  These are sold almost everywhere and are perfect for anyone who has children and loves the smell of candles, but not the fire hazard.

While we’re talking about hot things – this is Maureen Bonatch’s newest…


Hope only wants to find out if her ability to infuse euphoria or despair with her touch makes her the devil’s spawn, or his exterminator. But when the woman who raised her is murdered by something not human, she loses the only family she knew and discovers one she might wish she hadn’t. Drawn back to the home town she vowed never to return to, her ability is seen as an asset to everyone but Hope, and she doesn’t know who to trust. Her family wants her to help them overcome an enemy oppressing the human population, while the man of her dreams is courting her for the Underworld.


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The Wild Rose Press:

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