28 August 2014

Throwback Thursday: ISO Mary Stewart - again

Reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips' Heroes Are My Weakness I'm jonesing to read some classic Mary Stewart gothic romances. Yes, she's a weakness of mine. One of my all time fave authors - ever. I wrote about searching for digital versions of her titles in one of my first Throwback Thursday posts (see: http://www.fabfantasyfiction.com/2014/01/throwback-thursday-iso-some-old.html) and wanted to double check now to see if any of her titles had become available in the six-plus months since that post appeared. They haven't - at least on Amazon in the United States.

What? Yes, this is one of those times that I'm tempted to purchase a round-trip (or maybe a one-way) ticket to the UK. Go in search of that perfect North Wales cottage and hunker down and write - and read Mary Stewart books on my Kindle that I could then purchase from the Amazon UK website.

Forget the Hachette Amazon squabble, I want to know why digital books aren't available in every country. I've seen authors post about this - apologizing to readers for delayed publication dates - but I never thought we'd have an entire author's work embargoed. Really. I. Didn't.

Review: Susan Elizabeth Phillips' HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS is a must-read, modern day gothic page turner!

I've really enjoyed Susan Elizabeth Phillips' novels for a long time. My favorite of her books are in her Chicago Stars series (also the first series of hers that I read). To be absolutely honest, I haven't *loved* every book she's written, but most of them. She's one of those writers that even if I find some of the storyline hard going, that I'll continue reading the title.

To say I was intrigued by her most recent book, Heroes Are My Weakness, is an understatement. My first glance at the cover, a jean clad, red parka wearing view of a woman, I thought it would be another humorous contemporary. Instead, I found myself swept away by this updated gothic romance set on a remote island off the Maine Coast, that harkens back to my favorite authors growing up - Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, Daphne DuMaurier, and Charlotte Bronte. I can be that specific, because Phillips dedicated this novel to them.

Believe me when I say that she nailed this novel, using their stories as inspiration, and these authors would only be proud and honored by her work. It's a keep-you-up-all-night, page turner, complete with brooding villain or hero (quite hard to tell), and a heroine who's a bit too curious sometimes for her own health.

Labor Day Giveaway - Win three books that give back

27 August 2014

Wicked Wednesday Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Lynn Raye Harris' HOT ICE

I really, really love Lynn Raye Harris' Hostile Operations Team (HOT) series. Yes, these are HOT military men (and women) who really rock. The stories are suspenseful and sexy and if you're a fan of military romance, you're going to love these. 

So, I'm absolutely SQUEEING here with this cover reveal for her sixth HOT title, HOT ICE. It's gorgeous! 

Make sure to add HOT ICE to your Goodreads shelf. It will be released on December 29, 2014

So without further ado, here's a preview of HOT ICE.

26 August 2014

Tasty Tuesday Review: Donald Link Down South with Paula Disbrowe

If I were a gulf shrimp, I'd want to wind up in Donald Link's kitchen. The mouth-watering Southern recipes he shares in Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything are just too enticing. The photographs by Chris Granger are gorgeous. But it's recipes like his Blue Crab Beignets that make me wish I could click my heals to New Orleans to visit one of his restaurants. But they're not impossible to replicate at home - that's truly the magic that Link and his collaborator Paula Disbrowe have achieved in this cookbook.

Yes, I loaded the Kings of Leon onto my Amazon Cloud Player and rocked out reading Link's seductive text. Why do I call it seductive? I'll share the first paragraph of his introduction, so you'll understand:

"'I'm going back down South now.' It's a line from my favorite band, the Kings of Leon. For me the lyrics, especially cued to a guitar, stir up strong feelings, a yearning for a very specific place and our way of life here. My life in the South - the birthplace of Elvis, the blues, jazz, rock and roll, and country music - is cued to a soundtrack that includes everything from "Freebird," the anthem at our high school parties (where we'd meet up in the country and drink beer), to the song "Whipping Post," the background music for shooting pool and wearing my favorite cowboy boots at the Gator Bar (a classic backwoods dive) in Baton Rouge. There aren't words to describe what it's like staring out at the stars from the back of a pickup, on a warm summer night, while "Seven Bridges Road" by the eagles pals on the radio." (page 9)

Review: Donna Kauffman's Sandpiper Island is a must-read romance of the heart and spirit

Don't be surprised to hear that I'm moving to Maine. Once again Donna Kauffman has written a siren song about a small coastal Maine town that has me jonesing not just for a vacation, but a life-changing move.

If you're looking to lose yourself in a romance for a few hours, pick up the third book in Donna Kauffman's The Bachelors of Blueberry Cove series, Sandpiper Island. The only problem with this book is that after the last page is turned, I don't want to leave Blueberry Cove. I. Don't. My one wish is that Sea Glass Sunrise, the first book in Kauffman's new Brides of Blueberry Cove would be published before June 2015!

Oh, does that sound like I love Sandpiper Island? If that was a resounding yes, you're right. I've been longing for the story of the reclusive Ford Maddox and hoped for some happiness in diner owner Delia O'Reilly's life.

From hints in the previous two titles, I had guessed that Ford and Delia had a history that might extend a bit beyond friendship. Well, it does. And this is one sexy read.

Review: Sandra Hill's Snow on the Bayou is a HOT, fun, and fabulous read!

Tante Lulu is back and with St. Jude's help is looking to do some more matchmaking - Cajun style. Who's the lucky girl and guy? If you're a Sandra Hill fan like I am, you've been waiting for the lightning bolt of love to hit Justin "Cage" LeBlanc for a very long time. Yes, the lothario of the Navy SEAL team may finally be experiencing true love. (Yes, he's the SEAL that's probably had the most notches on his belt - not from kills, but from bed time wrestling.)

Who's the girl who's won his heart? Well, perhaps it's not his heart that's engaged. You'll see when you read Snow on the Bayou - a second-chance at love story. Yes, with the prodding of Tante Lulu, Justin returns to the Bayou after an almost twenty year absence. His maw maw (grandmother) has terminal lung cancer and needs him. One of the first people he meets on his return is his first love, Emelie Guadet, who creates museum-quality Carnival masks.

But it's certainly not smooth sailing as each of them harbors deep resentment and hurt. Justin was driven out of town by Emelie's father, but she didn't know that at first. Just that he left and never contacted her again. Yes, they're a pair of star-crossed lovers who might never find their happily-ever-after ending - at least until the snow flies on the Bayou.