Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Guest Post: NY Times and USA Today Bestseller Jennifer Ryan

Today, NY Times and USA Today bestseller Jennifer Ryan is talking to me about starting a new series. She has a new novel, The Return of Brody McBride, that just released this month. It's on sale for $2.99 and you should definitely give it a read (especially if you like hot cowboys and great plots!) Welcome, Jennifer, and thanks for being here! Take it away...

Starting a New Series...What Comes First? 

After the success of The Hunted Series, I took a quick breath, stared at my blank page and asked myself, what comes next? Though many fans asked for additional books in The Hunted Series, after four books, I needed a break. I love those characters, but I needed something fresh and new to get my creative juices flowing again. 

So, what comes first? The plot. What is the story going to be about? If you're writing a series, that's three books, three different plots. How will you tie it all together? In my case, I like to intertwine family and friends for the series. Fans of The Hunted Series loved seeing the characters show up in each book, even though certain characters took center stage. The same is true for The McBride series.

In The Return of Brody McBride, Brody comes home after leaving in disgrace eight years ago. Owen moved back to town and opened his own law practice to help his brother's ex-girlfriend, Rain, raise Brody's two daughters. When Brody runs into trouble with Roxy, the woman who sold Rain his daughter and helped ruin his life, Dylan steps in to make the arrest.

In Falling for Owen, one of Owen's clients is out for revenge, but a case of mistaken identity puts a target on his beautiful neighbor's back. He'll need Brody to help protect Claire, and Dylan to hunt down the man trying to hurt her to get to him.

Brody and Owen can't wait to celebrate Jessie's return with Dylan, but Dylan has to face his past and his lying mother in Dylan's Redemption. Family is everything, but sometimes the people closest to you hurt you the most. His mother lied to him about Jessie's murdered and his child, but that won't stop him from getting the woman he loves back, because sometimes all you need is a second chance at first love to have the family you really want.     

My least favorite part of writing a new book - naming all the characters. It's like naming a child. You want the perfect name. It's going to live forever and it has to be right. The names need to be strong and fit your character's personality. It sometimes takes me longer to name everyone than to write the opening scene. 

My favorite part about writing a series - when all the books are done and that thread of family and friends ties everything together. I try to make the reader a part of their lives and when that happens and people connect with the characters, well, it's the best feeling. 


The black sheep of Fallbrook is back … and he's in for the surprise of his life. 

Former bad boy, now-decorated Army Ranger Brody McBride is home and on a mission: Find the woman he never should have left behind and right the wrong he did eight years ago. 

When the man she loved broke her heart and skipped town, Rain Evans picked up the pieces. But along with heartbreak, Brody left her something infinitely better than she could have imagined: two beautiful daughters. One she gave birth to, and the other she rescued from the woman who helped destroy her relationship with Brody. 

Brody is shocked to discover he's a father, and he's more determined than ever to win back Rain and protect his girls. Can they rekindle the love they once shared and become the family they were always meant to be? Or will a danger from their past return and ruin everything? 

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted Series, Jennifer writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances. 

Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often  revealed in the state of her home and how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.

Find Jennifer at:
Twitter: @JenRyan_author


You can purchase THE RETURN OF BRODY MCBRIDE at Barnes and NobleAmazon, and iTunes. Thanks for joining us today, Jennifer!


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Friday, March 14, 2014

Book Review: READY TO FALL by Daisy Prescott

Title: Ready to Fall
Author: Daisy Prescott
Release Date: December 14, 2013
Where to Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble | iTunes
Rating: 5 stars

From the book:

When you fall, you fall hard... 

Tall, dark, and handsome is an understatement when it comes to John Day. With rugged good looks, his ever present plaid shirt, and a dog named Babe, John is a modern alpha male lumberjack in more ways than one. 

Lurking beneath the flannel and beard could be the heart of a romantic. Or is John a wolf in flannel clothing? 

After his favorite neighbor rents out her cabin for the winter, John finds himself playing fireman and tour guide to Diane Watson, a beautiful brunette with her own messy past and recent battle scars. 

Will he be ready to fall in love? Or will he fall back into his old, flirty ways? 

Hold onto your heart... and get ready to fall with John Day as he tells his story in this contemporary adult romance/romantic comedy told in male POV.

This is a spin-off from Geoducks Are for Lovers. It isn't necessary to read that novel first.

My review:

Daisy Prescott's debut novel, Geoducks are for Lovers, was so good that there was an element of skepticism from me about this book. Could she really do that again? Write a book that was so heartfelt, so real, that I couldn't put it down?

Oh, yes. Yes, yes, yes.

Prescott once again takes us outside the boundaries of the romance genre - she tells this story from John's point of view, which I found fascinating. Watching his transformation made me love him so much; he's a regular guy with regular thoughts. Perhaps that's what's so refreshing about this book. The characters are people who have real-life flaws. They're not thrown into extraordinary experiences. It's just life - told beautifully, hopefully, and, most of all, wonderfully.

Ready to Fall is real, grown-up sexy. John Day is a new kind of romance hero - he's compelling, down-to-earth, rugged and kind. He makes mistakes, figures out how to fix them, and learns from them. His gradual fall into love isn't something that happens across a room or in a heartbeat. It happens as it does to most people lucky enough to find someone special...

I strongly suggest you add Daisy Prescott to your list of trusted authors. Ready to Fall was just as well-written as Geoducks are for Lovers, and I have confidence that her next novel will not disappoint. She is now in my very select group of automatic pre-order authors.

All in all, I enjoyed this book. I read it straight through in a day, and I think it's a good use of your book money. It's on sale for less than $5 at all retailers, so go get yours. I don't think you'll regret it!

About the Author

Daisy Prescott

Before writing funny contemporary romances about adults, I dreamed of being an author while doing a lot of other things. Antiques dealer, baker, blue ribbon pie-maker, fangirl, freelance writer, gardener, pet mom and wife are a few of the titles I’ve acquired along the way.
Born and raised in San Diego, my husband and I currently live in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with our dog, Hubbell, and an imaginary house goat who remains nameless.
Ready to Fall, my second novel, features John Day, the hot, sexy neighbor in my debut novel Geoducks Are for Lovers. Both can be read as stand-alones. I’m busy writing my next novel, which will not feature any bivalves.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Book Review: MOONLIGHT ON MY MIND by Jennifer McQuiston

Title: Moonlight on My Mind
Author: Jennifer McQuiston
Publisher: Avon (HarperCollins)
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Where to Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble | iTunes
Rating: 4 stars

From the book:

To ruin a man's life once takes a regrettable mistake. To do so twice takes a woman like Julianne Baxter.

Eleven months ago, Julianne's statement to the authorities wrongly implicated Patrick, the new Earl of Haversham, in his older brother's death. The chit is as much trouble as her red hair suggests, and just as captivating. Now she has impetuously tracked him to the wilds of Scotland, insisting that he return home to face a murder charge and save his family from ruin. A clandestine wedding may be the only way to save her reputation—and his neck from the hangman's noose.

Julianne has no objection to the match. More and more she's convinced of Patrick's innocence, though when it comes to igniting her passions, the man is all too guilty. And if they can only clear his name, a marriage made in haste could bring about the most extraordinary pleasure . . .

My review:

This refreshing historical romance is a fantastic blend of traditional historical romance with unexpected plot twists and characters. 

Despite his nobility, Patrick, the hero, is a veterinarian (swoon). He was the spare heir, and when his brother dies in an apparent murder (of which Patrick is suspected of), he becomes the heir apparent. A good deal of politics of the time is inserted into this book, but rather than boring the reader with details, McQuiston cleverly drops the pertinent information in, drip-feeding us what we need to know (and leaving out a good deal that we don't, of which I was very appreciative!). 

Julianne is a different kind of heroine. When we're in her point of view, she's a very typical English miss. She's been prepped to take on a household, marry a title, she's clever...all the things you'd expect in a plucky Regency heroine....but then we see her from Patrick's point of view: She's spoiled, big-mouthed, fickle, unreliable, and a general pain to deal with. I loved this!! It gave me a fresh perspective on the genre which I needed, as I was getting a bit tired of the stories set in this time period. I'm still not sure how McQuiston did this so flawlessly; she really made me love/hate understand/scratch my head at Julianne. Kudos - that's never happened to me in an historical. (*happy dance*)

Patrick was fantastic from the start. His explanations of the day his brother died are so realistic and wonderfully written that I felt for him. I wished his brother was still alive, that his family wasn't so broken, that he was able to practice closer to his family - I just wanted his life to be perfect! 

I also had NO idea who the killer in this novel was. It seemed pretty obvious, then I was given pause. Then I thought the next obvious, and again...given pause. When the killer was finally revealed, I had to scrape my jaw off my Kindle so I could finish reading. I didn't see it coming, but when I look back, there's a couple of extremely subtle hints McQuiston placed in there that I didn't miss, per say, but I certainly overlooked them in favor of the obvious choice. Again - well written!

My only complaint was the acceptance Patrick's mother had of his and Julianne's marriage, and her immediate takeover of the Countess role. I understand it was part and parcel of a marriage, but with their history, I really expected a little more hostility or perhaps motherly concern. I didn't find her to be a plausible character. For someone in her position, the Dowager Countess (Patrick's mother) had no problem handing over the reigns of the entire household to a nineteen-year-old girl who, for all intents and purposes, accused her now-husband of murdering his brother. It just didn't ring true.

All in all, I enjoyed this book. I read it straight through in a day, and I think it's a good use of your book money. It's on sale for less than $5 at all retailers, so go get yours. I don't think you'll regret it!

About the Author

Jennifer McQuiston is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Victoria-era historical romance, including  What Happens in Scotland and Summer is for Lovers. The third book in the series, Moonlight on My Mind, will be released March 25, 2014.

A veterinarian and infectious disease researcher by training, Jennifer has always preferred reading romance to scientific textbooks. She grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, but now lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, two daughters (who got a pony out of mom’s book deal!), and a house full of  pets.

Jennifer was a 2011 and a 2012 Golden Heart® finalist with two previous novels. Jennifer is signed with literary agent Kevan Lyon, and works with Tessa Woodward and the amazing team at Avon.

(Disclaimer: I was provided a digital Advanced Reader Copy (e-ARC) from the publisher for an honest and unbiased review.)