The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pick Me Up Monday - Meet the Next Hero

Happy Monday all!
Hope you had a wonderful weekend and are gearing up for Labor Day. I had to look at the calendar because I've been so busy lately It didn't register there was a three day weekend coming up.
Why, you ask? Me and my three other colleagues at Hot Mojave Knights- A Reader Event, have been up to a little something extra, coming mid-September there is going to be a very special release. I'm not going to give everything away, I thought I would just give you a little teaser to wet you appetite. 
Meet Rory. Your sexy bad boy next door. All of us fantasized having someone like him as our neighbor.
I'm not getting into much more because I'll be holding a contest for the new release and giving you questions about my characters. If you answer correctly you win and advance copy of the eBook. Sound good? Hope so, keep checking with my blog and watch for the announcement.
In other news, I'm busy with several WIP's and getting all the last minute touches done for Hot Mojave Knights. Things are really jumping as we passed the two month mark and narrowing down the last month before the event and let me just say it's been one hell of a ride. Getting this up and running has been a team effort and I couldn't have done it without the help of Johanna Melaragno, R.M. Sotera and Siobhan Muir.
Thank you ladies and let's get it done!
As for all of you, my dear friends. I'll catch up with you next Monday. Keep safe and have a wonderful week.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Pick Me Up Monday - Countdown to a Special Reveal

Happy Monday!
I thought I'd start the week with a splash. I love the contours and play of shadows you get with black-and-white  pictures. I can look at this one for hours and never get tired of it. For me, it's the male form at its most powerful and alluring.
Now, to pull myself back to what I've got going on this week. I've been hinting for weeks about a special project I've been working on. I'm in the first round of edits, and it will be released mid September. What I will tell you is it is a group effort and for some of us, it is our first foray into the world of self-publishing, but not my last.
Speaking about publishing, I'm back hard at work on Zeke's book Dark Desire for Evernight and look to be done with the rough in September. It's neck to neck with my first self-published  series Soul Fire, which is my historical paranormal. Fall promises to be a hectic season with several releases on the table, including Hot Mojave Knights reader event coming only two months away in October.
 Already we are making plans for Hot Mojave Knights 2014 and what books I will be releasing for next year, both self-published  and small published. I am also going to be actively seeking an agent to further my career and look forward to the next year with great expectations.
Well, it's back to work for me. See you next Monday and have a wonderful week.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Author Spotlights Debut Author Alexandra Forry

I am very pleased to bring you a new voice in romance. Alexandra Forry is an up-and-coming  author from my neck of the woods, Las Vegas.
Grab your coffee and snuggle in and meet Alexandra Forry.
Do you do anything to get you into the zone to write?
How do I get into the zone of writing, simple, I put on my music and I image the scene that I am writing out to the music, and the words flow out as I type. When I was writing the scenes that was set in the 1970’s I listen to 70’s music all the time, still do.
Which authors inspire your writing?
I have to say that LaVyrle Spencer had to play a part in my writing. I love the way she writes, when you read one of her books it’s so easy to lose track of time. I remember reading “Home Song” by her and I read half of the book in one sitting.  
What is your favorite book character and why?
This is tough one, I have to say that I enjoy writing Victor Torino from my book “Omerta Affair” By not giving too much away, you see a lot of traits to Victor as the story unfolds.
Do you prefer to write erotic or sweet?
I like writing sweet, but passionate love stories. I write true-to-life romance that might not have a happy ending. I love to add the everyday drama to my stories. In my book “Omerta Affair” The lovers have their ups and downs together along the way through the whole book.     
Which famous person, living or dead, are you drawn to?
That’s a hard one, let me think… I have to say that I’m drawn to a lot of famous people.  I admirer Queen Elizabeth the first and Dian Fossey, two very powerful women who didn’t let no one stop them. I love Tony Spilotro, the mobster, I found that there was more to him than people might think about him. But the famous person that I’m drawn to is Helen Keller because as a little girl with Cerebral Palsy, I looked up to her, wanting to be like her when I grew up someday.   
Where do you see yourself in five years?
 Hopefully a famous New York Time best seller for Romance, with some of my books out.
Finish this sentence: I know I’ve made it when:
one of my book has turn into a movie?
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
To follow their dreams no matter who they are and don’t let anything or anyone stop you from writing their book!
What do you see yourself writing in the future?
I love writing, I’ve been writing stories since I could remember and will continue to write as long as I live. As long I have my laptop I can write anywhere I want.
If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
To type real fast so I could get a lot of books out.  I bet people always say that, although time travel would be a great way to research a story, but nope. The superpower that I really want to have, is the power to heal, because no one can ever have a disability, Cancer, or AIDS again. 
What time of the day are you at your best to write?
Believe it or not I can write anytime of the day, I just have to be in the right mood.
And now for something completely different…
What do you look at first with an attractive man or woman, face, body or smile?
This question made me blush. I find men bodies very attractive to say the least!  
Explain your perfect day.
My perfect day, is to spend the day with my family on the beach. 
What is the most decadent desert you can’t say no to?
I’m not really a desert woman. I like candy like starburst and airheads.
Do you have a favorite holiday what is it and what makes it special to you?
 I just love Easter, because it’s spring and to me, everything is all new and fresh from the winter. Also my birthday happens to be around Easter!
What key words describe you best?
Outgoing, funny and strong willed!
This has been great, thank you for having me on Author Spotlight Thursday,  I’ll will be at the Las Vegas Mob-Con September 7 & 8 signing copies of my book “Omerta Affair” also you want to be a part of my fundraise go to   You can get a prize if you donate to it! 
Sounds like a lot of fun to me. Here is more on her new release.
Victor Torino gazed at Adriane Rosenberg, inquisitively. "Don’t you ever wonder if we know the whole story between my dad and your mom?" he asked as they packed up her late father's house. Charlie “Gus” Rosenberg, Adriane’s father, was a top Chicago mobster and the only survivor of a turbulent love triangle that shook the very foundations of the Mafia’s Las Vegas Empire. Much to their surprise, among her father’s belongings Victor and Adriane discover her mother’s carefully preserved diary dating from the late 1970s and purposely left behind by her father for her to find.
In the cutthroat world of Mafia kingpins, and friendships and betrayals, "The Omerta Affair" is the story of two sets of star-crossed lovers, who against all odds find true love in two very different generations. It is a tale of honor, lust, envy, greed, revenge, family loyalty, and moments of exceptional tenderness.
Tony Torino, with strong ties to the Chicago Mafia, claws his way to a position of power in the evolving world of the Mob's most promising Las Vegas underworld. He crosses paths with Evelyn, a retired showgirl and wife of a fellow mobster, who’s entangled in an abusive relationship. Evelyn and Tony embark on a true affair of the heart, deep, and undeniable. And they pay the ultimate price for letting their love exceed Mafia boundaries. A generation later, Tony's son, Victor, and Evelyn's daughter, Adriane, childhood friends who have both renounced their parents' involvement with the Mob, find themselves swept up in Victor’s father's Mafia legacy. With every page turned, they find themselves falling in love, in the footprints of their parents
Author’s Bio
Alexandra Forry was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has Cerebral Palsy but that doesn't stop her from doing what she wants! Omerta Affair is her first novel and she is currently working on her second. She enjoys being a member of the Las Vegas Romance Writers as well as Romance Writers of America.
Follow me on, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
Omerta Affair is now available to buy only on amazon.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pick Me Up Monday-Countdown to Hot Mojave Knights and More!

Happy Monday!
Looks like he needs some help getting that shirt off. Any takers?
  Wow, what a week, the next two months are going to be insane, but in a very good way. As President of Hot Mojave Knights, a reader event taking place in Las Vegas October 18-20th there are about a million little details needing to be done. This week my committee and I sent out the schedule for all the Authors of the Kingdom with their panels and workshops we will be having and checking on the number of attendees who will be going to Hunk Mansion on Friday night, where they will experience VIP treatment. It will be a night for them to remember.
 We have so many wonderful things planned for our attendees it is going to be a thrill to see it all come together. We are still open for bloggers, readers and authors who wish to attend. If you with to be one of our Authors of the
Kingdom we have a list already filling up for 2014!
 Between all of this, I'm still working on both Dark Desire and my historical paranormal Soul Fire, both of which will be finished and ready for publication this fall. I also have a very special treat I've been working on which should release in September so stay tuned for the unveiling. I think you will really enjoy it.
Well, time to get back at it. Have a wonderful week and I'll touch base with you next Monday.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Author Spotlight on Nicky Penttila- Contest of your choice of books!

I'm happy to have Nicky Penttila with me here today. Historical or contemporary, she is sure to please with her fresh voice and delightful writing style. Plus she is having a give away! Yep and she is giving you your choice!

Welcome to the dark side Nicky it's good to have you. Now, why don't you tell us more about your giveaway.

What is your prize? A paperback copy of A Note of Scandal –OR-- e-copies of Scandal plus my two contemporary novellas, Babysitting the Billionaire and Out of Her Comfort Zone.

How do they enter to win? Leave a comment and tell me what city doesn’t get enough love in romance novels. I set Babysitting the Billionaire in Washington, DC, and Out of Her Comfort Zone in San Francisco (its original title was Stays in SF). Where should I set my next story?

When will you be announcing the winner? Monday
Wow, that sound exciting!
Now, to the questions, We all want to know more about you.

Do you do anything to get you into the zone to write?  
Drink coffee! I write first thing in the morning.

 Which authors inspire your writing?
Bernard Cornwell, for combining action and history. Carla Kelly, for combining social issues with romance. Jane Austen, and the idea that to her, the stories she wrote were contemporaries. I want my stories to be as fresh as hers.

What is your favorite book, character and why?
Alice, from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I read it many times as a kid, and loved how she remains clear-sighted and practical in worlds that seem to be steeped in chaos.

Do you prefer to write erotic or sweet?
Both. It seems easier to write erotic in my present-day stories, while the historical ones come out sweeter.

Which famous person, living or dead, are you drawn to?
Helen Keller

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Still writing, still reading, still wondering

Finish this sentence: I know I’ve made it when:
 I’m known well enough that more people I meet pronounce my name correctly than don’t (it’s PEN-ti-la, like Baltimore)

What advice would you give aspiring writers?
It’s never too late to start.

What do you see yourself writing in the future?
 I have more ideas for historicals and short contemporaries, plus an idea for a futuristic story (not sure if it’s SF or fantasy) bubbled up this summer, too.

If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
Mind-reading (or heart-reading), so I could understand why people do the things they do and how I could help them get what they really want.

What time of the day are you at your best to write? 
Writing, first thing in the morning. Editing, afternoon and evening.

And now for something completely different…

What do you look at first with an attractive man or woman, face, body or smile?
Body—I like to see how they move, what gestures they use.

Explain your perfect day.
Wake up on time, rested. Write for 2-3 hours. Do my day job (reporting about brain science), with a break for lunch with my fabulous husband. Chat online with friends and readers. Make plans for where we will travel next—I love to plan. Walk to a local restaurant for dinner. Come home to read or watch TV or edit (if on deadline). 

What is the most decadent desert you can’t say no to?
I’m not that much into sweets, but I never said no to grandma’s strawberry-rhubarb pie.

Do you have a favorite holiday what is it and what makes it special to you?
Easter. It’s a sign of spring and not as stressful/commercialized as some of the “bigger” holidays.

What key words describe you best?
 Curious, relentless, happy.

Reviewers say: “Combine Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe novels with Jane Austen, add a touch of Dickens and a modern sex scene, then you’ll have the flavor of Nicky Penttila’s Note of Scandal.”--Goodreads

The story: A desperate composer tricks a principled newspaper publisher into printing a false story, and then falls for him. How can she prove that she’s worth a second chance?

Excerpt: Olivia’s face mirrored her surprise. She had lost track of him for only a moment, and yet he had snuck all the way up on her. Had he caught her surreptitiously watching him?

“The music does not inspire you?” He gestured at Rosa, but his gaze remained on her.

“It does,” she said, trying to pull on her familiar careless-girl mask. “I must ask after her tailor.”

“That sentiment isn’t worthy of you.” He whispered, but he could have spoken aloud, as little attention as anyone was paying them in the midst of Rosa’s aggressive arpeggios. “Jealous?”

Her mask faltered. “I did not mean it so.”

“Then how?” He slipped to her other side, effectively cutting her off from Mr. Mellon, who did not seem to notice. Too close. She took a step to the side, turning to face her interlocutor.

“She is part of our family now.” Her voice sounded breathy, unsure.

“I heard you arranged this performance.” He stepped closer. “That shows a spirit of generosity, despite your words.”

“She deserves the opportunity. And it is right to salute Spain.”

“Our esteemed ally.” He nodded, leaning in. “But perhaps it is difficult, to see a woman who is allowed the freedom to perform, to create? Who can let her hair down in mixed company?”

He looked away from her a moment, gazing at Rosa. Olivia did not dare look away from him. She let out the breath she didn’t realize she had been holding. Her mind was addled; she was reacting too strongly to this man, to his words. To his smell, deep and rich. Sandlewood, but hints of the flesh within.

The corner of his mouth turned up. He teased her? The thought cast out her breath again. Her ears had a buzzing in them, unrelated to the passionate rhythm of the guitar.

He could read her. He saw far too much. She reached out to touch him, no, to push him away. He turned at her movement, stepping into the path of her hand.

A thrill of power coursed through her arm. It filled her center with energy of an unfamiliar sort. Unable to stop herself, she jumped. Then quickly looked around to see if anyone saw.

She could never make a scene. Not here in public. She took another step back, pulling her hands tightly behind her, as if they were tied.

Step by step, they sidled to the side of the great room. Toward the shadows.

“Are you disappointed your fiancĂ© found someone else?”

“It isn’t that.” She was not quite sure she could call up a vision of Richard at the moment. Her awareness was centered on the man in front of her.

They passed the seven-foot-high sterling candelabra and into the shadows, far from the crowd. Olivia would not have believed she could feel so alone in the midst of a gala. Alone, but for one other.


Available Now at Amazon and Evernight (all formats) | Paperback at Createspace | Audiobook at Amazon/Audible (and via iTunes)

Find more: Nicky is chattiest on Twitter, @sunshinyday, and can also be found at

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pick Me Up Monday - What's in store for you this week?

Happy Monday!
I may be stuck behind a computer eighteen hours a day, but this gives my mind a chance to travel the highways with this god of masculine perfection. I live vicariously through my imagination lol!
Hope everyone had a great week and are geared up for another one. I have author Nicky Penttila with me on Thursday talking about her historical release. I got a chance to hook up with her (finally) at RomCon. We have been Facebook friends for quite a long time so it was great to get face time with this talented lady.
I also have a Q & A going on at Author Island today so stop by and check it out. I'm running full throttle with the time ticking by. I have a Christmas Anthology deadline of Aug. 30th, working hard on my historical paranormal (dragon shifters are so damn hot! - just saying.) In addition, Dark Desire is getting closer to being finished. (Whoot)The way things are working I will more than likely be finishing the rough draft of Dark Desire, Zeke's book and Soul Fire around the same time, which is freaking cool!
The muse is humming happily in my ear and I'm in an excellent space these days for writing. What more can I ask for? Well, I could quit my day job, and some day that will be a reality, just not right at the moment. So I multi-task and work for that day.
As soon as I put Dark Desire to bed I start work on Cody's story, I know after you read Dark Desire you will be screaming for his story. *Serious shit comes down in Dark Desire* That's all you'll get from me on this.
In other news, Hot Mojave Knights is getting close, only a little over two months to go and will be working nonstop until the 21st. On that day, I am turning off my cell phone, unplugging my laptop and plan to do something totally mindless for the entire day. I'll need the recharge desperately by then.
Well, back to work, have a great one and we will talk next Monday.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Promotion and Building your Readership

I love this banner Jenika Snow made for me. She is a very talented writer who I'm happy to have in my writing circle. I use her graphics to help promote my work. It can be a great aid in helping you get your name out there and sales for your books.

Releasing a book is just as hard as writing it. With blog posts from supportive authors, promoting sites like Author Island, and a prayer you may get some sales. It can be exhausting exercise, and sometimes it seems futile.

There is no sure fire fix out there that can make you a sudden success. It takes work, keep publishing your work, use what you can to keep a  steady flow of attention on your books and look at all avenues open to you for promoting your work.

There are a lot of times when you feel invisible to everyone. You go to conventions and no one knows who the heck you are or what you write. It can be discouraging, but if you love truly love what you do, you need to make sure everyone remembers who the heck you are.

The old saying never say die is very apt in the publishing world. Building a following takes time and dedication, not only to your writing, but to those readers you do pick up along the way. If you are thinking you will write a book and it will be suddenly the next hot thing, don't fool yourself. That type of lightening happens very rarely.

I'm not saying you can't make a living at writing, you can. It just takes time, perseverance and a tough hide. Not everyone is going to like your work and many times your work will be totally ignored by readers. 

It happens to all of us and if you can work with that you have a shot at making writing work for you. I'm working on my fourth book in the Dark Breed Enforcers and am now getting a good following. Or I should say my name is getting more familiar to the readers out there. I reach out to authors and readers at conventions every year. I found going to reader conventions are a huge help in getting your work to the right readers.

Every day you have to get out on some social media site be it Facebook, Twitter or any of the many other sites offered and get your name known. Be reachable.

I'm not an expert, hell I'm still building my fan base as we speak, but what I'm finding out is very simple. If you believe in your work and yourself then things will turn around for you. Don't stop believing, keep strong and reach out to your core group of wonderful supportive friends and authors to keep you focused and strong. Try everything to get your name out there, give it a little time before making any determination if this will work for you or not. If it's not a good fit move on knowing you tried.

Don't be afraid to reach out and try different avenues but, watch your bottom line. Can you afford this advertising? If so see what you can get out of it.

There is no sure fire way to get noticed, a lot of it is being in the right place at the right time. Can it happen for you? Sure, maybe not a multi-million dollar movie deal, but a comfortable living is not too much of a stretch. Keep focused and positive, enjoy what you do and above all have patience.

I'm not well known yet, but I have every intention to make my name familiar and my books loved. How? By using everything at my disposal to get the job done. This is the time for writers to publish. There are so many options available now for a writer. Use it wisely and learn the business.