Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Harlequin Free E-Book: Day 8

The free book of the day is Christmas Delivery by Patricia Rossmoor. Go here to download. This one is romantic suspense. Here's the blurb:

"Of all the eerie events in her hometown of Jenkins Cove, Lexie Thornton found none more pulse-pounding than the return of her lover, thought murdered long ago in the misty bogs on Christmas Eve. But the man who stepped out of the shadows was very much alive--and hell-bent on revenge.

Simon Shea had changed. The lanky teen had grown into a hardened man, one she barely recognized--but still desired. Lexie had a secret too--the daughter they'd made the night he disappeared. Lexie longed to resurrect their love, but someone wanted to make sure Simon never revealed his secret past."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

RT Interview with Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Author Susan Elizabeth Phillips on Writing Memorable Endings from Romantic Times BOOKreviews on Vimeo.

I have really enjoyed SEP's Natural Born Charmer, Match Me If You Can and Ain't She Sweet. She writes really good straight up contemporary romance. You can visit her author store on Amazon for a complete listing of her books.

Harlequin Free E-Book Day 7: The Mistletoe Wager

The free book of the day is The Mistletoe Wager by Christine Merrill. Download it here. Happy reading!

Finished this book last night. Now I remember why I don't care for historical novels. This one dragged big time and I skimmed over quite a bit of the boring sections. The ending was good but there wasn't quite enough to keep me interested or to recommend this book. I would pass on this one.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Harlequin Free E-Book: Day 6

Today's free ebook from Harlequin is The Italian's Bride: Bedded and Wedded for Revenge. Gotta love the cheesiness of the Harlequin Presents line. This book is by Melanie Milburne and is only free for today so go get it here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Harlequin Free E-Book: Days 2-5

The weather seems to be bad pretty much all over the country so it's a perfect day to stay snuggled up inside and read a book. Today's free ebook to get you in the Christmas mood from Harlequin is Mistletoe and Miracles by Marie Ferrarella. Click here to download the book. See the post below if you have difficulties downloading. This book is the free book through December 28th.

Hmm, I wonder if they have any Hanukkah themed books...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Gifts from Harlequin: Free Ebooks!

Last year those awesome people over at Harlequin gave out free ebooks for Christmas and they're doing it again this year! From December 23 to January 2 they will be giving away a different ebook each day. All you have to do is go to and download the free book of the day. You will need to create an account to get the free download.

Free ebook for December 23rd - Come Toy with Me by Cara Summers

Just a side note: the books come in your choice of three formats. The one I chose was Adobe eReader. If you choose this format be sure to download Adobe Digital Editions FIRST in addition to Adobe Reader (if you don't already have it). I had a really hard time downloading the file and finally figured it out that the only program that can open the ebx.etd file that you get is Adobe Digital Editions. Good luck!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

Need some help finishing that Christmas shopping list? Check out the Gift Guide from Etsy. All of the shops featured offer expedited shipping so that you can get your gifts on time and stay away from the malls. Happy Holidays!

Expedited Shipping Gift Guide

Friday, December 19, 2008

Free E-Book: Emissaries from the Dead

In celebration of Eos's 10 year anniversary they're offering a free e-book called Emissaries from the Dead by Adam-Troy Castro. Here's the book blurb:

Two murders have occurred on One One One, an artificial ecosystem created by the universe's dominant AIs to house several engineered species, including a violent, sentient race of sloth-like creatures. Under order from the Diplomatic Corps, Counselor Andrea Cort has come to this cylinder world where an indentured human community hangs suspended high above a poisoned, acid atmosphere. Her assignment is to choose a suitable homicide suspect from among those who have sold their futures to escape existences even worse than this one. And no matter where the trail leads her she must do nothing to implicate the hosts, who hold the power to obliterate humankind in an instant.

But Andrea Cort is not about to hold back in her hunt for a killer. For she has nothing to lose and harbors no love for her masters or fellow indentures. And she herself has felt the terrible exhilaration of taking life...

Go here to download the book but hurry, it will only be available until December 31, 2008.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Men of Romance part Deux

This morning I was reading my blog feeds and found a lovely post on Romancing the Blog called "Real Men Have Feelings Too". As I was reading it I thought it was really well written and it was exactly what I wanted to discuss when I did the giveaway for Jeff Rivera's book. Then I got to the end and discovered that Jeff was the author of the article. He had a lot of things to say that bring insight to what it's like being a guy that we don't really hear about. I think there is such societal pressure for men to be "manly" that it might be a bit of a challenge to be a male romance writer. In fact, one author I can think of uses a pseudonym (Jennifer Wilde) and another has a fairly gender neutral name (Leigh Greenwood).

Of course, men have feelings and I wish more of them wrote romance. I think it would add depth to a genre that at times can seem a little formulaic. It would be an interesting aspect for publisher's marketing plan as well. Something that would make one book stand out over another (and just think of what book signings would be like). So guys, don't let the woman hold you down. Write that romance novel, and who knows? You could be the next Nora Roberts, or should I say J.D. Robb.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pushing Daisies Cancelled!

Okay, totally off topic, but I'm officially devastated that Pushing Daisies has been canceled. I hate that TV has become so formulaic that quirky interesting shows don't have a chance. It's all either crime shows, medical shows or crappy reality shows. RIP Pushing Daisies, I will miss you and Chuck's gorgeous dresses. Some of my favorites below:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Forever My Lady by Jeff Rivera

Forever My Lady is not your traditional romance. I would actually call it more of a love story. Dio is a gang member, a child of the streets with an alcoholic mother and an absent father. His childhood sweetheart, Jennifer has had a life just as rough as his. After a violent incident, Dio finds himself in a work camp for juvenile offenders. As you would imagine, he's not happy to be there but finds himself growing and changing both physically and intellectually. Dio's journey from his gang past to trying to be a responsible adult is a slow journey filled with setbacks.

The relationship with Jennifer is revealed in a series of letters between the two. It becomes evident fairly early on that the desire is one-sided. Not surprising, considering the circumstances of their parting. Dio's path to maturity and forgiveness is challenging and heartbreaking at times. I think the happy ending is more of a personal accomplishment rather than the happily ever after delivered in your typical romance. I don't want to spoil the story too much but if you're looking for something that breaks the mold of the romance and features characters in a more urban setting, you might consider Forever My Lady.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Christmas Craft Show

If you happen to live in Southern California, come see me at the La Habra High School Christmas Craft Show December 13, 2008 from 8am to 3pm. I'll be there with tons of other vendors selling my Hide-a-Book covers and I would love to meet you. Support independent crafters and buy some unique gifts made with love for people on your holiday shopping list. There will be lots of other Etsy sellers there so you'll be sure to find some great stuff. Admission is free and there will be food, drink, raffles and most!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November Book Giveaway

Jeff Rivera has kindly offered up a copy of his new book Forever My Lady as a reader giveaway. To enter the giveaway, what I would like to know from you is how you feel about men writing romance. Simply leave a comment below by November 18th, 2008 and be sure to include your email address in the form (it won't show when posted). A review of Forever My Lady will follow soon. Good Luck!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk

Attractive young woman? - check, low rise jeans with back exposed? - check, tattoos? - check, city background? - check. Even though Magic to the Bonelooks like your cliched urban fantasy, this book deserves a deeper look. I typically don't pay much attention to cover quotes since they're usually BS. But this one has a quote by Patricia Briggs (who I really like) so I decided to give it a chance.

Allison (Allie) Beckstrom is the daughter of a prominent and ruthless business man. Her father has made a fortune harnessing the magic that flows like electricity through Portland. He's also pissed off quite a few people along the way (like his daughter). Allie has successfully managed to keep her controlling father out of her life completely. That is until one of her poorer clients calls her for help. A young boy has been the victim of a magical offload, the price that must be paid when magic is used. The magic has her father's signature on it forcing Allie back into his sphere of influence.

Allie is compelled to find out the truth even if it means bringing down her powerful dad. She has some unexpected help from a mysterious former employee of her father, Zayvion Jones. Zayvion is there when she needs someone the most but can she trust this mysterious man? Their feelings for each other combined with his secrets have the power to blow up in her face.

I liked this book more than most urban fantasies because Monk creates a new world without relying on the short hand of the paranormal that most fiction writers use. She starts from scratch with a world that has discovered magic as an element in a completely natural and scientific manner. I also liked that the relationship between Allie and Zayvion was not the primary focus of the story. The plot was well written and completely unpredictable. I will definitely be looking for Monk's next book. According to her website this book begins the series. If you're looking for a fresh, new urban fantasy you might try Magic to the Bone.

Release Date: November 4, 2008
ISBN: 9780451462404

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Men of Romance: Jeff Rivera

There aren't a lot of men out there writing romance, so it's pretty cool to see authors like Jeff Rivera getting into the genre. In this female dominated industry, I think it's great that there are guys with a different perspective to offer. Lord knows that some of the traditional romance tropes can get a bit tired.

Jeff Rivera is an author whose novel, Forever My Lady is being released by WarnerBooks/Grand Central at the end of the month. He took the time to answer some questions about his new book.

What does it feel like to see your book in bookstores after years of struggling?
I don't want to just say it's a dream come true because it's much more than that. To me it's a symbol that all those crazy books you read about visualizing and "The Secret" really do work. If you're willing to put in the effort, I believe anything is possible, corny as it may sound.

What was your writing process like in writing Forever My Lady?
Well, I was working a job I hated in the morning then I'd force myself to sit down and crank out as much as I could. There were times when I was wondering if I was doing it right, quite frankly. I wanted to give up half way through the book but something kept me going. (Probably the thought of being stuck in that God awful job for the rest of my life)

One thing about your characters is that when you first meet them you don't necessarily like them, then you get to know them. Why did you do this?
I think that's the way real life is. Do you have any friends that you didn't like when you first met them? Then you get to know them. It was also a message to people misjudged my little brother when the first met him and didn't give him a chance, not a chance to really get to know him.

Why did you create a character like Grossaint who was a racist in a love story?
I think he represented to me people who have so much hatred and fear in their hearts and yet when you get to know them they are really not that different from you or me. I tried to make sure Grossaint had more to him than just a flat stereotypical racist character.

Forever My Lady is available on your website?
Yes,, and wherever books are sold!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Got to Meet David Sedaris!

Picture of David SedarisFriday night my lovely sister came into town and took me to see David Sedaris in Long Beach. We got really lucky arriving early to the theater and discovered that he was signing his books. So we immediately bought a few and jumped into line. I told him that coming to see him was my birthday present and so he said "Wait, I've got something for you", then rummaged around in a plastic bag and handed me small bottle of lotion from his hotel. He later said that he likes to have a bag of hotel toiletries, packets of aspirin, and condoms to give out during signings. Very odd but funny.

Of course, David was just as funny and engaging in person and he read stories for a solid hour and a half. I would love to go see him again next time he's in town. He said his next book will be a collection of animal stories. Should be interesting...

Above is a picture I snuck while standing in line.

Some of his books:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Apart From the Crowd by Anna McPartlin

I have to admit that I do judge a book by it's cover. While browsing at Barnes & Noble I spotted Apart from the Crowd by Anna McPartlin. I guess because I don't have a dog and want one, I'm a sucker for books with adorable dogs on the cover. Also how cute is her shirt? So I picked it up and the book is set in the little Irish town of Kenmare. Sold! I'm totally buying it.

Apart from the Crowd definitely didn't disappoint. I love Irish melancholia; the whole "life is tough but we make do, have a pint" attitude. It's so different from American writing in a way that I find endearing. Here's the back cover blurb:
In a little Irish town like Kenmare, there's no need to worry whether people will discover your secrets. They already have. For Mary, that means being remembered for her tragic losses, even if she'd rather get on with her life. For her cousin Ivan, as close as a brother, the gossip is all about how his wife took the kids and ran off with her new lover. For Mary's friend Penny, it's an old romance that didn't work out quite right, and a current affair with a bottle of vodka.

Then Sam Sullivan rents the cottage next door to Mary, and within hours the whole town is talking about the film-star-handsome American. When Sam hurts his back while helping his new neighbor and spends the next week confined to a mattress on her floor, gossip runs rampant. But neither Kenmare nor Mary know about the secrets Sam is so successfully hiding....

For Mary's circle of friends, Sam's arrival marks more than one change. And Mary -- whose unlucky history has kept her apart from the crowd much of her life -- has finally found a man with whom she feels she might truly connect. But so long as both are captive to memories they dare not reveal, the past is a barrier that will keep them forever alone.

In this powerful novel, Anna McPartlin perfectly captures the drama, the emotion, and the laughter of a small Irish community, for those who fit in -- and those who don't. Apart from the Crowd mixes wit and insight to create an engrossing tale that will keep you reading to the very last page.
I loved this book so much. If you enjoy authors like Maeve Binchy and Marian Keyes you will really be into this one.

Save the Contemporary

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Handmade in California

I don't know about you, but I'm looking to scale back some on my spending and with the holidays coming up I want to choose unique gifts for my friends and family. The holiday gift guide from Handmade in California is a great source for interesting gifts and your purchase will help to support independent crafters and the economy. Also, if you sign up for the quarterly update, you will receive a coupon for $5 off a $20 purchase. Gotta love coupons! The gift guide is sponsored by the California Crafters Club of Etsy.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Handmade Gifts for Book Lovers Under $10

The RavenRed Thread Books sells lovely bound books of poetry that make great gifts. Perfect for October is Edgar Allen Poe's classic, The Raven. This book is printed on heavy paper, pamphlet-bound, cased in midnight-black Japanese silk and blue patterned Italian art paper. At only $8 this handmade book is a bargain. Click here to buy.

vintage ad bookplateThese gorgeous handmade bookplates by Nouveau Designs add style and sophistication to any library. They are lovely vintage advertisements for Hanes women's stockings. Each bookplate is printed on an adhesive sticker with rounded corners. There are 3 different images - you get 6 of each. A great deal: 18 bookplates for $6. Click here to buy.

stamped metal bookmarkThis beautiful metal bookmark from Giftswell was handcrafted by an artisan in the north Thailand style of Chiang Mai Province. The bookmark is less than $10 even after shipping from Thailand. Click here to buy.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Chosen Sin Missing Pages

So, I got a new vampire book for review called The Chosen Sin by Anya Bast. Nice cover huh? I started to read it and was really getting into the story when BAM, 50 pages are missing. I was completely bummed because I wanted to find out what happened next and it would just be too confusing to skip over the missing part. I went on over to Anya's website to see if she had anything posted about it. I was a little worried for her since the book's release date is in a few days (10/7/08) but there was nothing. I didn't want to freak her out so I emailed the publisher, Berkley, instead. Thankfully a nice PR person replied and said they would be sending out corrected books. It kind of made me wonder if all the bookstores had books with missing pages in them and how that whole process works. Anyway, if anyone else happens to get stuck with the messed up version be sure to return it to the bookstore where you bought it and see if they have corrected books. If not, contact Berkley.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bunnies & Books

Okay, I know bunnies don't have crap to do with books but I'm so pleased with myself right now that I had to share. One of my book covers has a super adorable bunny print on gorgeous Japanese paper. I managed to grab a Treasury (sort of a mini gallery) on Etsy to display my love of bunnies along with the great bunny stuff from other sellers. They're so hard to get as many people are vying for the few spots available. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Read "A Season For the Dead" for Free

It seems that more and more publishers are offering free ebooks as part of their marketing strategy. It certainly works on me as I've gotten free ebooks from Harlequin and subsequently purchased others. This week's freebie is A Season For the Dead by David Hewson. Bantam-Dell is offering a free pdf dowload of the book on Scribd through October 15th, 2008.

A Season For the Dead introduces Detective Nic Costa. In the heat of a Roman summer, Nic Costa, a young, optimistic detective is faced with a crime that reaches deep into the heart of the Vatican.

Click here to view the book or download the PDF:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fat is the New Black or I Love You Jen Lancaster

My sister sent me a book recommendation recently for Jen Lancaster's Bright Lights Big Ass. I'm paraphrasing slightly but the jist of her email was "this bitch is hilarious, you have to read her". I was immediately suckered in by her awesome book titles which have to be the longest on earth:

Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me?

Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office

Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist's Quest To Discover if Her Life Makes Her Ass LookBig, Or Why Pie is Not The Answer

I just finished Such a Pretty Fat and it's the first book in a long time that I've laughed out loud frequently and annoyed my husband with "you gotta hear this...". Jen is an overweight writer who *loves* herself the way she is. While trying to write her third book she decides to make it another memoir and write about her quest to lose weight and become healthy. Her life in Chicago with her husband Fletch and their pack of dogs and cats is funny and entertaining. Jen's charm comes from laying everything out there on the line; nothing seems to embarrass her which is something I could really learn from. If you want a laugh out loud funny read check out one of these books. I'm off to Amazon to get the other two!

If you want a little taste of Jen's humor check out her blog Jennsylvania.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Gifts For Booklovers, or Just Yourself!

Here's my latest awesome finds from Etsy. Perfect for your book lover friends or a little treat for yourself.

Copper Book Pendant - $45

Book Ring, you choose the cover - $4

Dictionary Necklace - $10

Book Vampire Bookmark - $6.50

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Free E-Books from Harlequin

I'm so happy with my new iPhone as an e-book reader and even more so after downloading Fictionwise's eReader. It's an free application you can download for the iPhone that allows you to read e-books and to download them easily from Fictionwise. To celebrate their version 1.2 release of the software, Harlequin is offering three free e-books through the site. You need to create an account or already have a credit card on file to get the free download. The offer expires 9/12/08. The three free books are: Risque Business by Tawny Weber, The Tycoon's Very Personal Assistant by Heidi Rice and His Expectant Ex by Catherine Mann.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Free Online Books from Avon

Avon started something really cool this month called Love Gives Back. They are giving sneak previews of new books up to two weeks prior to their release date. In addition featured authors will be selecting books that will available entirely free online. Right now there are 10 books that I'll definitely be checking out. The best part is that Avon will be donating books to charity based on the number of pages you read online. For every 100,000 pages browsed Avon is going to donate 100 books to ProLiteracy Worldwide. Each month, now through December 23rd, they will donate up to 1,000 books. Click here to get started reading now!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Book Covers

I have some pretty new designs for my Hide-a-Book covers. For a limited time I'm also offering free shipping on all US and Canada orders. If you mention this blog when you make a purchase in the "memo to seller" section I'll send you a free gift. Check out some of the designs below and visit my online shop for many more choices.

Buy Handmade

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Free Kindle E-Book from Samhain

Samhain Publishing announced that they are giving away an Amazon Kindle e-book. The title is Unbreakable from Sydney Somers. The free download period begins on Monday, August 18th through Sunday, August 24th. This title is the first in the Shadow Destroyers series from Somers.

They will be doing another Kindle giveaway in September of The Dragon’s Demon from Marie Harte. So stay tuned Kindlers...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Book Shopping

On Friday I went shopping for books at a mall near work and I stumbled across this large kiosk ad for Gena Showalter's latest release, The Darkest Pleasure. I think this has to be the biggest ad I've seen for a romance novel. Does this mean romance advertising is becoming more mainstream? I'd like to think so since romance is the biggest selling segment of the fiction paperback market. Notice the strategic beam of sunlight across the cover?

Back to shopping, I picked up Sherrilyn Kenyon's Acheron. It's quite possible thicker than any other book I've purchase before topping out at 728 pages. Once I'm finished (this could take a while) I'll be posting a review over at Vampire Genre.