17 December 2014

Kindleholic or not, cancel cable and grab yourself Fire TV

I'm a reader, truly I am. That's why when I moved out here to the sticks several years ago and my former satellite company couldn't find a clear signal, I ditched traditional viewing and set up streaming options. (Yes, this was seven plus years ago, before streaming to television became common and easy.)

I bought a cheapish hard drive and set it up with my "big" and I mean old-fashioned big tv (the ones they don't sell anymore). Then I was seduced a year or two later by a super sale on a 24 inch HDTV at Sam's Club (I know, in the grand scheme of things that's small - but to me, it's still big). Between my Roku box (yes, the original Roku) and my tiny hard drive, I was able to watch all that I wanted.

But then I stopped watching. Between the demands of my job (I practically lived there) and other things, television and movies were a luxury I lost track of. This was highly ironic as part of my job was working on behalf of a theatre company that featured - yes, you guessed it - television actors and writers.

I was clueless about who they were and what their shows were, so I became an expert listening real well to water cooler conversations about what was hot. I was always glad that there were meet & greets at the beginning of the rehearsal process as I never recognize anyone. Really. I. Don't. It's highly embarrassing. Although, in some ways it worked in my favor as everyone was "just folks" to me. I'd see their bios, but it took "meeting them" to really get me to IMDB and YouTube them, and I'd find the person I had been casually joking with had just received an Emmy, or had had a Tony nod. It probably was better I hadn't put those pieces together first or I would have been super intimidated - 'cause I truly am a simple country girl.

Now that I no longer am in that world - and have more time on my hands - I decided (after turning on the television for the first time in years and finding the Roku box had expired) to add to my Amazon Kindle family of devices and purchase an Amazon Fire TV.

03 December 2014

First Impressions: Amazon's Fire Phone - unlocked and on sale

It seems like Christmas came a bit early to my house with the post-Thanksgiving select sales by Amazon. What did I fall for? (Oh, excuse me...) What was I tempted by? The amazing deal on the Amazon Fire Phone, 32GB (Unlocked GSM) (and the Fire TV - more on that later). Yep, I've just added two new Amazon devices to my household, much like I used to do with Apple.

How about them apples? This devoted Mac girl hasn't used her iPad in ages - instead using the 8.7 Kindle HDX that was my splurge from last year. But I wan't about to plunk down beaucoup bucks to purchase the Fire Phone ($650 without contract or $0-$199 with contract from AT&T), but I paid attention to it. Sort of lusted for it with the camera specs and the size (think eReader on the go) - and it would be linked to all that I have already in Amazon's cloud. But I wasn't going to purchase a phone that locked me into a pricey contract - no way, now how. 

So what did Amazon do but put that darn Fire Phone on a special sale last week (through 3 December 2014). Yes, the Fire Phone, plus one year of Amazon Prime (value $99) is just $199. Since I have to renew my Prime membership at the end of December, I looked on the price of the Fire Phone as $100. A bit of a splurge, but not a huge one. So one of my concerns (the pricey part) was addressed.

23 November 2014

Thanksgiving Giveaway: Win Rick Rodgers' & Hearst's T-day cookbooks. Entry open through 11/25.

Thanksgiving Giveaway

Looking for inspiration for the holiday table?

Here's your chance to win not one, but two fabulous holiday cookbooks. Yes, if you enter now through 25 November at 1:00pm EST, you could receive a Kindle edition of Rick Rodgers' Thanksgiving 101 and Hearst's Let's Talk Turkey ... and all the trimmings. 

Black Friday Celebration at Harlequin.com! Save 40% storewide on all titles, 28 November!!!

If you love romance, you must love Harlequin. I know I do.

Yes, I admit to having a vintage Harlequin collection of books scoured from book sales, auctions lots, and used book stores as a teen. All given away . . . but my Harlequin library is growing digitally between all the new offerings and the reissues of favorite titles (including many that I gave away).

When Lisa Wray emailed information about a special Black Friday sale, I knew I'd be looking for more titles to add to my collection - and though you might want to as well. Here's the information on the different sale offerings.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Reading!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving Week!


Yes, this is my favorite holiday. Why? It provides a chance to reflect on all the blessings that we are given throughout the preceding year or years and to take stock on where we are in life. 

08 September 2014

Guest Post, Book Excerpts, Giveaway: Claudia Connor, author of Worth the Fall, discusses a writer's mind

Today Fab Fantasy Fiction welcome author Claudia Connor who'll be discussing the mind of a writer. In addition, there's some information about WORTH THE FALL, her new book (releasing tomorrow, 9/9), some excepts, a giveaway, and other fun stuff.

The publisher has asked for reviews not to be posted until the release day, but I will let you all know this is a fabulous love story. Matt McKinney is a hero to swoon over and Abby, plus her four engaging children, steal your heart too. I pulled out my Kleenex box with this story and want to tell all of you to get your one-click fingers ready to add it to your library!

So, welcome Claudia and congratulations on WORTH THE FALL!

03 September 2014

Wicked Wednesday Cover Reveal: Holding Out for a Superhero!

If you love your romance with super SUPER alpha heroes - you'll want to add this collection - HOLDING OUT FOR A SUPERHERO - to your must-read list!


Superheroes do it better.

From USA Today Bestselling Authors, Nana Malone and V.J. Chambers, and Bestselling Authors June Gray and Joni Hahn, four scintillating full-length romance novels featuring sexy superheroes and the strong women that prove to be their weakness.

Protector by Nana Malone
Vigil by V.J. Chambers
The Origin by June Gray
Agent M4: Riordan by Joni Hahn

Release Date: September 15, 2014


02 September 2014

Tasty Tuesday Review: Brassicas by Laura B. Russell

It's hard to think of leafy greens as sexy or romantic and broccoli and cauliflower - forget it! But you'll quickly change your opinion of these vegetables when you begin to read Laura B. Russell's amazing cookbook, Brassicas. Now, I cheated a bit with that statement as how could le petit chou - or Brussels Sprouts not seem a bit sexy when given its French name (also an affectionate appellation). But in truth, this family of vegetables, the Brassicas, has had a bum rap. Jokes are made about Presidents who don't like broccoli, smelly cabbage, and, in truth, when these vegetables are not prepared well, they can be less than appealing.

However the subtitle of Russell's book, "Cooking the world's healthiest vegetables," says it all. Yes. there is nothing sexier or more romantic than preparing foods for your loved ones that help fight cancer. Yes, they're "rich in phytochemicals that act as anticarcinogenics, anti-inflammitories, and promote liver detoxification." (p. vii, from the foreward by Rebecca Katz.)

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: /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.

Release Day Interview: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff discusses her Accidentally Yours series and what's next

Mimi Jean Pamfiloff is swinging by the blog today to help celebrate the release of her fifth - and final - Accidentally Yours title, Accidentally ... Over?

OMG I can't believe this is the final title in the fun and fantabulous paranormal series that has more hot gods and vampires than any girl could dream of. If you haven't read it yet, this is the perfect time as you'll be able to read all the titles - without having to wait for publication dates. Happy dance!!! If, like me, you've been reading these from the beginning, today's a bit bittersweet. But I think, perhaps, we haven't seen the last of the gods and goddesses - just sayin'.

So without further ado, let's give a warm Fab Fantasy Fiction welcome to Mimi Jean Pamfiloff!

Review: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff's Accidentally ... Over? is a fun romp

I won't say I've been counting the days for the release of Mimi Jean Pamfiloff's ACCIDENTALLY ... OVER?, because that might mean I was looking forward to the final book in her Accidentally Yours series.

However, I was really looking forward to Máax's story. Yes, I really dig the idea of an invisible Mayan god of truth. I. Do. Especially when he's seven feet tall and built. Proportional in all things. Really.

If you're not familiar with this series, it's about Mayan gods, vampires, and assorted otherworldly beings who tend to stave off wars and famines and help out humanity - and seemingly bicker endlessly among themselves. They also have a tendency to fall in love with humans - finding their soul mates. There's one or two wicked (or wickedly good) deities. Topping the list is Cimil (see Accidentally Cimil for hers and Roberto's story).

Máax was well worth the wait. The other gods think of him as the bad boy as he's constantly breaking the rules. Hopping back and forth in time - no Tardis needed. It seems like he may have good reason for coloring outside the lines, but he's still being punished by not being visible. Now that isn't quite the handicap you might think as when I read his words I kept imagining the most amazingly sexy deep voice speaking. Yep, a voice is sometimes all you need for chills and thrills.

Launch Day Blitz: Celebrating the release of Jill Shalvis' 10th Lucky Harbor title, It's In His Kiss

Join the release day celebration of Jill Shalvis' TENTH Lucky Harbor title, IT'S IN HIS KISS

Read or listen to an excerpt from the first chapter. 
Warning it's addictive, so get your one-click finger ready to party! 
Enter the giveaway for the first Lucky Harbor book, Simply Irresistible.
Learn a little more about Jill. 

Have fun! It's always a celebration day when we can visit Lucky Harbor!!!

25 August 2014

Review: Jill Shalvis' It's In His Kiss is the perfect read. Really. It. Is.

I know if I tell you that there are some authors that just resonate with me you'll know what I'm talking about, because you have the same experience. That's why we love to read. Confession time. I'd never read a Jill Shalvis book till a year ago. I know. I must have been living in a cave.

Knowing that I love to read romance, have a slightly quirky (strange) sense of humor, and love books set on the coast - any coast - a friend recommended a series to me last summer that they thought I'd love. The series? Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor and from her first book Simply Irresistible to the then just released It Had to Be You, I just went on a reading binge. I was tempted to pack my bags and search out the closest thing to Lucky Harbor that I could find in Washington State. Don't laugh. I really was tempted. Who wouldn't be with an elder stateswoman/social media maven like Lucille. And how about the Lucky Harbor hunkathon (I made that up, but OMG talk about alpha heroes to love). Yes, Lucky Harbor has my vote as the place I want to live in my next incarnation.

So, when I had word that Jill would be winding up the Lucky Harbor series this year I had a bit of a cry. I. Did. But I put all sadness away when I began receiving galleys from the publisher of the yet-to-be-published titles. Yes, this fall we have three new Lucky Harbor books to look forward to. So, I decided not to be sad, but to celebrate because a fabulous author is continuing to share her quirky and fun vision of a small town with all of us.

The first of the three new books is released tomorrow, 26 August, and let me say: ONE-CLICK IT'S IN HIS KISS NOW. Yes, the tenth Lucky Harbor book is a must-read for me and all other fans of contemporary romance. So, just stop reading and click. Okay? K!

Feeding Your eReader with GREAT FREE & almost free ($0.99) eBooks

Looking for some great reads for the last week in August? Check out these FREE & almost free ($0.99) eBooks. I'll vouch for these titles as I've read most of them and loved them. So, get ready to stuff your eReader with some bargains today. One-click it away!

Please leave a rating and/or review on the book's page at Amazon & Goodreads. Not only will you be helping out the author, but fellow book buyers too. Yes, we look at these reviews and your opinions help us decide what to one-click.

If you'd like to visit the archives and see previous week's selections or access this post directly, go to: /p/feeding-your-ereader-fridays.html

Happy Reading!

24 August 2014

Review: Diana Palmer's recent titles feature down-home romance, suspense, and a great deal of faith

Diana Palmer's Long, Tall Texans series is a secret addiction. I got hooked on these books a while ago and did a crazy happy dance in June when the last of these titles was reissued digitally by Harlequin. I'll be rereading the series soon - this time entirely on my Kindle - but first I needed to catch up with some of her new titles.

I received a galley copy of Invincible from the publisher and read it a week ago. But, I'll be frank, even though this is a stand-alone title there were so many references to what happened in a previous title - Wyoming Bold - that it only made sense to read that one as well (actually all three of her Wyoming Men titles - Wyoming Tough, Wyoming Fierce, and Wyoming Bold). 

One of the reasons I really enjoy this series is that Diana Palmer threads well-known and loved characters throughout her stories. Going by a list from a fan on her website, in the world of Long, Tall Texans, Invincible is about book 85. Yes, I'm beginning to feel the need of a flow chart to keep track of who's who, but since most of her characters imprint on my memory, I haven't pulled the whiteboard out yet. 

Now, does this mean that you too need to read each and every book?

No, but they're fun, although in this age of 50 Shades of Gray quite old fashioned, that's actually why I enjoy them. Her heroes tend to be tough on the outside, harsh, sometimes with comments that are downright cruel, but they always turn out to be pretty marshmallow soft inside. That's if you resist slamming the cover closed over some of their actions. (I never toss an eReader, but the magnetic cover does give nice click.) As to her heroines, they tend to be quite moral, upright, usually virginal if single, or quite innocent even if widowed. How do these heroes and heroines interact? It's usually like worlds colliding and that's where the cruelty - as self-protection - usually comes in. 

So, what about her two most recent books?

23 August 2014

Book Spotlight: Ashlyn Macnamara's WHAT A LADY CRAVES

I need to make a horrible confession. This post was supposed to appear on 14 August, but I had it marked as "information to come" - and never made it live. My apologies to the wonderful author, Ashlyn Macnamara, and to the great Loveswept team. Mea culpa.

As the giveaway sponsored by Loveswept is already closed, I've purchased an AmazonKindle Gift Certificate for one lucky person to win their own copy of WHAT A lADY CRAVES. You can enter through midnight on Monday, August 23. Just follow the instructions below.

So without further ado, here's the information on a HOT and fascinating new historical that you all should be adding to your To Be Read pile.

21 August 2014

Throwback Thursday: ISO Harlequin authors Violet Winspear, Mary Wibberley, Katrina Britt, and Rebecca Stratton

I'll admit that reading old Harlequin romances was one of my favorite pastimes as a tween. Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and Cherry Ames books still captured my interest, but, oh my goodness, those old Harlequins I'd find at yard sales, book sales, and even auctions were like magical carpet rides to the exotic. I'll confess that I probably was as interested in their settings as in the romance. (Though I quickly did get hooked on the romance aspect too.)

These weren't books I'd purchase new, but rather well-thumbed and loved paperbacks. The covers were a draw too with their painterly impressions of the hero and heroine of the story. Among the authors I'd search out (in addition to Mary Burchell) were Violet Winspear, Mary Wibberley, Katrina Britt, and Rebecca Stratton. Sometimes these would be Harlequin Presents titles, but for the most part they were from the romance line.

20 August 2014

Wicked Wednesday: Salutes Authors & Publishers that are Wickedly Good and help your purchase do more!

One-click purchases are no-brainers for most of us. We see an author we admire, new book in a genre we follow, or are drawn in by a cover that is enticing - and we click and buy. Our eReaders are happy - and we're doing a good thing, right. Supporting authors and publishers who in turn share books with us that we love to read.

Recently I've been noticing a growing trend that makes that one-click happen at the speed of light. What's that? Well, some favorite authors and publishers have been donating percentages and even total proceeds of book sales to selected charities. Perhaps for an initial week or two of sales - or for the span of the book. Plus, I'm not even wet and shivering after I join in for this donation, though I may be reading one of these books while watching Misha Collins' & Anthony Carbajal's ALS Ice Bucket challenge. Just saying that there are many fun ways that we all can join in to donate to worthy causes.

19 August 2014

Review: Melissa Cutler's Risky Business is a must-read!

Confession time from this reviewer. I was so blown away by Melissa Cutler's Risky Business, the first book in her new Bomb Squad series, that I read her backlist. Yes, this book wowed me to the extent that Melissa Cutler is now on my must-read list. Why? Because she writes about people that we all can relate to. They're not uber wealthy, but they're our neighbors and friends who are trying the best they can to hold things together.

In the first scene of Risky Business, Allison Whitely is about to deliver her child while her soon-to-be-ex-husband is taken in handcuffs from a strip joint. To complicate things even further, she was there to warn him about picketers led by her sister's church. What's a girl to do? Particularly when there doesn't seem to be any property or income after his sentence.

Well, if she's Allison, she'll pack up and move to Destiny Falls where her husband had a tour boat operation. But all is not as she expected as her husband was actually visiting a mistress there and the person who ran the business, alpha hunk Theo Lacroix, expected that the business would be his.

Tasty Tuesday Review: The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther

It's the rare cookbook that reads like a life's journey, but The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther reflects the farm-to-table approach to cooking that many of us adhere to.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I requested this book for review. Would the recipes be ones I'd read, reflect on, try, and adopt or would this be more of a fad-type cookbook. I was thrown, frankly, by the fact that it was a best-seller in the Raw Food category. Yes, I was a vegetarian for many years, a vegan for some of those, and did try out a raw food diet, but found those strictures not as health as I had anticipated. So, I opened this gorgeous cover with a bit of trepidation, but my reservations were washed away by Jennifer McGruther's beautiful introduction and explanation of the philosophy behind the Nourished Kitchen - the traditional foods movement.

Review: Laura Kaye's HARD TO HOLD ON TO pulls the reader in with passion and power - and doesn't let go

As I'm writing this review, I'm still brushing away some tears. First of all, Laura Kaye's novella, HARD TO HOLD ON TO, is amazing. I'm saying that upfront, so if you want to stop reading this now and just hop over to whatever eRetailer you prefer - do. Simply said: Buy this book and read it.

The third title in Kaye's Hard Ink series about a now-disbanded Special Forces team is an unbelievably powerful read. The story picks up immediately following the events of Hard As You Can and the rescue of Sara (aka Crystal) Dean's sister, Jenna. If you haven't read Hard As It Gets (book 1) or Hard As You Can (book 2) - do. You could read each of these as stand-alone titles, because Kaye fills in just enough back story to let you know what's going on. But why on earth wouldn't you want to read these books. Kaye is a writer whose ability to share empathy and understanding of her characters flattens me. Guts me. Reminds me why I love to read.

Release Day Launch: Laura Kaye's HARD TO HOLD ON TO


Congratulations to LAURA KAYE on the release of  HARD TO HOLD ON TO, the new novella from her rocking' HARD INK series!!!

I'm so excited to be part of the Release Day Launch for this great new title!

Why? Well, Laura Kaye is one of my absolutely favorite authors and her HARD INK series is one of the best new series around. It's got everything super alpha heroes, gutsy heroines, suspense like you wouldn't believe. Laura just ROCKS these stories! 

So I'm just thrilled to be participating in this launch by InkSlingerPR that offers an excerpt as well as a special giveaway to celebrate the release of this third title. 'Nuff said. 

Get your one-click finger going because as soon as you see that cover, you'll be clicking through. Yes. You. Will. BONUS is that for every book sold in the first two weeks, Laura will be donating the proceeds to a charity that supports veterans (read below for more details). 

Review: Vonnie Davis' A Highlander's Obsession features men in kilts, shifters, and animal communicators

A Highland shape shifter, an American animal communicator, an eccentric grandmother - all add up to one of the most enjoyable reads I've had in a very long time. 

Vonnie Davis' A Highlander's Obsession, the first book in her new A Highlander's Beloved series, is just one of the most perfect stories. It doesn't hurt that the bear shifters have brogues and wear kilts, that there's a bit of mystery and suspense, some steamy love scenes, a great deal of laughter. Yes, this is a book that I highly recommend for anyone who's looking for that perfect alpha hero and a heroine with spunk.

From the moment when Paisley Munroe arrives at the airport in Scotland with her gram, I began chuckling. Yes, gram is the one who wants to lift the kilts and see what's underneath. I adore this pink haired, pink pelican slipper-wearing, iconoclast. She's a wonderful contrast to Paisley who seems to have to live life a bit more seriously, but at the same time adoring her gram, Effie Iverson Munro.

When the two kilt-wearing hunks turn out to be the welcoming committee, I was sold. Then we find that they're bear shifters. Well, burly guys who get a bit hairy. Quite fine with me. Once we meet Creighton Matheson, the eldest son and laird, well, I found a new book boyfriend for sure!

18 August 2014

Monday Musings: A look back to the beginnings of Fab Fantasy Fiction

In just about two months, Fab Fantasy Fiction will be celebrating it's first official blogoversary. When I say official, while I may have been inspired to start the blog back in January 2011, but that's all it really was - an inspiration - a gleam in my eye.

WOW! I guess, that this blog had an even longer gestation period than an elephant (their average is 645 days) and this was two years and a few months!

Review: Laura Simcox's Various States of Undress: Carolina is a fun, flirty, and touching read!

Each week I troll the Amazon lists to find books that are free or almost free for the Friday Feeding Your eReader post. I don't highlight every book I stumble across. Far from it. These are books I've actually read and loved, are by authors I follow and/or have had recommended to me by people I trust. This week, I included Various States of Undress: Carolina by Laura Simcox. No, I hadn't read any of her books before, but I had heard fun things about this book and, as it was on sale, included it. Then I read it Friday night.

I. Loved. It.

Various States of Undress: Carolina is a fun and flirty read - plus it also points out how some of us may become frozen in our lives - living out dreams of others instead of our own. Oh, that sounds a bit serious, right? Well, yes, there are serious bits to this story of a President's daughter on the run from the paparazzi with her very own Secret Service bodyguard. (And who wouldn't want this agent guarding their body!)

I totally "got" Carolina. From the moment she went in search of her wayward fiancé, because she needed support - or a public glad-hander - to get through a party filled with perfectly coiffed and elegantly dressed DC denizens. I knew who she was. She was me. Well, sort of me. In the best way. So for a little over an hour, I settled in to her and Jake's - and just enjoyed the heck out of it.

17 August 2014

Review: Shiloh Walker’s Secrets & Shadows is a must-read suspense series

Shiloh Walker’s new romantic suspense series, Secrets & Shadows, is an amazingly powerful read. With an invitation to read and review the second book, Sweeter Than Sin (to be released Sept 30, 2014), I had to, of course, gather the three introductory novellas and first book to read first. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I certainly didn’t anticipate disappearing into Burn For Me and not surfacing until I completed Sweeter Than Sin.

I know I’m hooked on Shiloh Walker’s FBI Psychic series. If there’s a new title, I remind everyone not to bother me until I’ve read it. Really, forget phone calls, Facebooking, or dinner parties - I’ll be hunkered down with her book until the last page is turned. So why should I be surprised that she knocked me off my proverbial reader feet with Secrets & Shadows? Perhaps it’s because these are books that sneak up on you with characters that are so damaged that you spend a bit of time pondering how to put the puzzle pieces of their lives and souls together again. Plus there are mysteries and dark secrets threaded throughout the novellas and the novels.

15 August 2014

Feeding Your eReader Friday with FREE & almost free ($0.99) ebooks

Feeding Your eReader Friday is a weekly feature that offers a selection of carefully curated FREE and almost free eBooks from the Amazon Kindle store. Yes, I promise either to have read the books on this list or to recommend them as I've heard great things about them or read (and loved) other titles by the authors.

Once you've one-clicked and read the eBooks, please go back to the Amazon book page and leave a review there for the author - and on Goodreads too. It really helps authors to receive your feedback and fellow readers to decide if they want to one-click.

If you'd like to see previous issues of Feeding Your eReader, go to: /p/feeding-your-ereader-fridays.html

Remember these sale prices may not last long, so one-click your selections right away!

Happy Reading!

12 August 2014

Tasty Tuesday Review: David Lebovitz's My Paris Kitchen transports you to France without the plane ride!

My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz arrived on my doorstep yesterday and transported me, virtually, to Paris. As much as I was looking forward to discovering the recipes, Lebovitz's stories about Paris, the markets, the fast food craze, the olive vendor, the search for the perfect kitchen sink mesmerized me. I couldn't stop reading, and, funnily enough, began translating what I read into French.

Well, it's been a while since I dreamed in French, but hadn't backward translated a book in a much longer time. But the sense that Lebovitz provides of actually experiencing Paris and France through is truly remarkable. The photographs by Ed Anderson are gorgeous and seamlessly flow throughout the book.

If you want every dish photographed, this isn't the book for you. These aren't recipes to slavishly follow, but should be created, as Lebovitz notes in his forward, "au pif" or "by the nose." With that explanation, Lebovitz gained a fan for life, as that's how I remember learning to cook in France. Watching, chopping, stirring, tasting, throwing in dashes of this or that, but it was the entire process that was important, and was never broken down detail by detail as we tend to do.

Tasty Tuesday Giveaway: Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor cookbook, Heating Up the Kitchen

I know many of you are counting the days till the release of Jill Shalvis' tenth Lucky Harbor novel, It's In His Kiss, on 26 August 2014. I know I am. 

I've been waiting for Sam Brody's story for a while (well since the first Lucky Harbor novel) and even though I'm in the fortunate position to be reading (and LOVING) a review copy from the publisher, I know I'll be adding this title to my permanent library on August 26th.

So, I figured for the next 14 days, you all might need a little extra love. And what says love more than some delicious food. That's right, this is your chance to win a copy of Jill's Heating Up the Kitchen: Recipes with Love from Lucky Harbor!

Yes, all the recipes you enjoyed reading about in the first few Lucky Harbor novels are included here. I love this cookbook as the Jill's instructions are super easy to follow and, well, FUN!


Here's a little more information on this fun cookbook from The Sweetest Thing's heroine, chef Tara Daniels:

11 August 2014

Review: Ava Miles' Dare River series offers a down-home country embrace

Ava Miles' Dare River series, a spinoff of her Dare Valley books, offers a slightly more down-home style of romance. Centered around country sensation and good ol' boy, Rye Crenshaw, who's best friends with Mac Maven and Rhett Butler Blaylock from the Dare Valley series, Dare River gives Miles a chance to add a Southern flair to her stories.

Southern is a good fit for Miles' feel-good romances. At the heart of her stories is the sense of family, faith, and forever - values that somehow seem to resonate a bit more loudly in our Southern states. It's interesting to switch between books of either series and go from a crisper diction in her Colorado-based stories to the more laid-back drawl of her Crenshaw family novels.

Beyond family ties, Miles has also used a small mystery to tie the series together with the subplot of searching for a tabloid leak. Miles has just published, The Chocolate Garden, book two in the Dare River series, and I'm already looking forward to reading the next story, where I'm guessing more will be known and explored about that leak - among other things.

Monday Musings: Cover art whiplash

When looking at books, does the cover draw your eye first?

If so, you're like me and many other readers out there. Not that we're judging the book (i.e. content) by the cover, but if that art is appealing, we're probably going to check it out.

With the explosion of eBooks, a lot more covers are being produced. Whether the digital title is Indie or traditionally published, the chosen cover image is important to help that book stand out from all the rest.

Coming from the time of the pre-digital revolution, I remember when covers were unique. Photoshoots arranged, artists commissioned, graphic artists charged with creating truly unique designs.

10 August 2014

Review: Ava Miles' The Dare Valley series is a heart-warming, inspiring, sexy romance must-read

When I look at my virtual bookshelf there are quite a few authors on my must-read favorite list. Here are just a few: Jill Shalvis, Donna Kauffman, Beth Ciotta, Kristan Higgins, Laura Florand, Deborah Smith, Laura Kaye, Molly O'Keefe, Adrianne Lee, Pamela Claire, Jessica Scott, Rachel Grant, Lora Leigh, Lara Adrian, Laurann Dohner, Maya Banks, Mariah Stewart, Susan Mallery, the grand dame herself, Nora Roberts, and Ava Miles.

I’d never heard of Ava Miles before last year. Why? Because the first book she published was released on 2 July 2013. Yes, just a little over a year ago.

If you haven’t heard of Ava Miles yet, I’m going to tell you to go out and pick up one of her books. Yes, books. Since last July she’s published six books in her Dare Valley series and, as of Tuesday next week, two books in her spinoff Dare River series (I’m not counting the cookbook or songbook here). Yes, in just a little over a year, she has published eight titles that all should be on your must-read shelf.

09 August 2014

Happy Book Lovers Day: What Are You Reading Today?

Here are some fun images of people enjoying a good read to celebrate Book Lovers Day.

Right now, I'm reading a galley of Ava Miles' The Chocolate Garden (book two in her Dare River series).

What are YOU reading today?


Are you on a boat?

At the beach?


In a hammock?