Novel Reaction is excited to take part in the Blog Blitz for Laura Kaye’s Hard as You Can. First let’s learn a little more about Laura,
New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller Laura Kaye is the author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Laura grew up amidst family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.
Laura is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Maryland Romance Writers.
Laura is represented by Kevan Lyon of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
Laura was kind enough to answer some questions about Hard as You Can and the Hard Ink series:
Readers can look forward to tons of sexy alpha male goodness, awesome bromance between the Hard Ink men, more antics from the Hard Ink puppy, and another great love story between Shane and Crystal. But readers should also be ready for a book that is darker, more intense, and more emotional. This book pushed me to emotional places that were tough as a writer, and might be tough for readers, too. But I think that just makes the payoff at the end so much sweeter!
Describe Shane and Crystal. What are their best traits? What are their weaknesses?
Shane and Crystal are such an amazing couple to me. They’re each exactly what the other needs. Shane’s best traits are his protectiveness, his fundamental kindness, and his soul-deep loyalty (his southern accent and humor are also right up there!). His biggest weakness for sure is a tragedy from the past for which he blames himself—and it’s something that continues to motivate him in Hard As You Can. Crystal’s best traits are her courage, protectiveness, and selflessness—she’s willing to do anything to keep her younger sister safe. Her biggest weakness is also that selflessness, because the sacrifices she’s required to make are getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
If you could describe your book in a 140 character tweet, what would it be?
When a woman in trouble assists an ex-soldier’s covert mission to regain his team’s stolen honor, he finds a new mission to save her, too
What are you most excited about with this second book release?
I’m really excited to take readers deeper into these awesome characters and into the mystery behind the Hard Ink team’s ambush and discharge!
I’m almost done with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander (yes, I’m very late to the party but OMG JAMIE FRASER!!!). And I’ve recently devoured and loved Juliana Stone’s Offsides and Shelly Thacker’s time-travel historical romance, Forever His.
What can fans of your “Hard Ink” series look forward to next?
There will be two more Hard Ink books in 2014!
Hard to Hold on To – August 2014
Hard to Come By – November 2014
About HARD AS YOU CAN:
Five dishonored soldiers.
Former Special Forces.
One last mission.
These are the men of Hard Ink.
Ever since hard-bodied, drop-dead-charming Shane McCallan strolled into the dance club where Crystal Dean works, he’s shown a knack for getting beneath her defenses. For her little sister’s sake, Crystal can’t get too close. Until her job and Shane’s mission intersect, and he reveals talents that go deeper than she could have guessed.
Shane would never turn his back on a friend in need, especially a former Special Forces teammate running a dangerous, off-the-books operation. Nor can he walk away from Crystal. The gorgeous waitress is hiding secrets she doesn’t want him to uncover. Too bad. He’s exactly the man she needs to protect her sister, her life, and her heart. All he has to do is convince her that when something feels this good, you hold on as hard as you can–and never let go.
Read an Extended Excerpt of Book 1, Hard As It Gets
Thank you Laura, you can read my review of Hard as It Gets here.
Novel Reaction is excited to welcome Elizabeth Boyle as part of her blog tour for If Wishes Were Earls (you can read my review here) telling us a bit more about the necklace that plays such a key role in the novel. First though, a little bit more about Elizabeth:
Elizabeth Boyle is the author of 22 Regency set historical romances. Her love of the Georgian period is woven into her stories, setting lovers amongst the battlefields of Spain, the treachery of the French Revolution and the world of spies and con artists. Read more about her novels and various series at her website, ElizabethBoyle.com.
The real challenge of writing If Wishes Were Earls wasn’t the fact that the two characters were madly in love from page one (which believe me—is truly a challenge) but it turned out to be finding the right sub-plot to explain the villainy being perpetuated against the Earl of Roxley. It had to be something he’d had no hand in and no knowledge of so the discovery of it would take both time and leave him gobsmacked.
It was sort of one of those pace-the-floor and dig-around-in-my-research-books problems. I threw away over 100 pages of one idea. Another 50 of yet another. Nothing seemed to work. That is until I turned to Roxley’s gadabout parents and their penchant for gambling.
If they had been on the Continent when Roxley was young . . . I asked myself. Which led me to Paris, which led me to the scandal of that year: The Affair of the Diamond Necklace.
For those not familiar with the story, The Queen’s Necklace was originally a grand diamond necklace commissioned by the previous French king for his mistress—but before he could give it to his paramour, he died of smallpox and his mistress sent packing. For the jewelers this was a nightmare—because they hadn’t been paid—and no one other than royalty could afford such a costly piece. For years, they sought buyers to this necklace but to no avail. No queens wanted it because it had been designed for a courtesan. They even offered it to Marie Antoinette at a bargain, but she refused.
That was when the Comtessa de la Motte entered the picture. A con artist with very sketchy aristocratic connections she managed to convince the Cardinal Rohan—who had gained the Queen’s disfavor—that a necklace such as that might win back the Queen’s good graces. Further, the kindly comtessa graciously offered to act as the middleman for the cardinal. Of course, once she had the necklace, she and her husband broke it up, her husband taking the bulk of the stones to sell in London.
And that was where I saw my opportunity. What if the Comte de la Motte, like the earl’s parents was a gambler at heart, and what if while trying to lay low as he fled to London, he came upon what looked like an easy game of cards with an Englishman . . . and what if de la Motte lost?
Yes, I had my sub-plot—because a cache of diamonds could be easily hidden, lusted after, and most importantly, be of intense interest for some really deviously evil people who were willing to wait to get their hands on a treasure hoarde.
But it isn’t always easy weaving an actual historical event into a fictional novel. The timeline of events must be to the letter perfect. The fictional story must weave into the actual facts, filling up where there are openings in the historical accounts and allowing the real facts to remain untouched. And since there is no account how de la Motte got to London, there was one hole. What happened to the diamonds once they reached London is yet another. They were sold—but there were speculations and rumors about how many were sold and to whom.
Like my villains, I couldn’t resist the lure of such a literal story gem. And I had to wonder what the Earl of Roxley and his dear Harriet would do once they found these perfect diamonds. I know what I would do…..
Thanks Elizabeth for sharing with us a little more about the mysterious diamond necklace at the center of If Wishes Were Earls. It has always fascinated me that such a cold looking stone (diamonds) have the ability to inspire such passion and desire in the hearts of men (and women), not that I am one to speak because goodness knows I love me some bling. If Wishes Were Earls is the third book in the Rhymes With Love series.
Rhymes with Love Reading Order:
Harriet Hathaway has only ever wanted one man: the Earl of Roxley. After a passionate interlude at a house party, Harriet is convinced Roxley will do the right thing and propose. But when she returns to London, she finds the roguish earl on the verge of proposing to another.
Yet Harriet refuses to believe that her hopes of a happily ever after are completely lost—for she can see the desire still flickering in the earl’s eyes when he looks at her from across the dance floor. And when they are alone…there is one wish neither can deny.
The most extraordinary things can happen.
The Earl of Roxley is in a dangerous fix—and to keep Harriet safe, he must hold her at arm’s length. He won’t entangle her in the murderous mystery that is threatening to destroy his family and his future. But keeping Harriet Hathaway out of his troubles proves as impossible as it was to keep the determined beauty from stealing his heart.
Novel Reaction is excited to be a part of The Long Way Home by Mariah Stewart Blog Tour! It has been a while since Novel Reaction has participated in one of these and The Long Way Home was a fabulous novel to back into the blog tour grove!
Ellie Chapman has led life in the fast lane, jet setting with her father and fiance, Ellie split her time between working in New York for her dad’s company and traveling to “the” places to be. But all that comes to a crashing halt in The Long Way Home by Mariah Stewart when it turns out her father and fiance were running a ponzi scheme. Without any money, all of her belongs confiscated by the feds and no job nor anyone willing to hire her, Ellie is elated to find out that her mother has left her a house in St. Dennis. But the inheritance comes with a condition, Ellie has to stay in the house for six months or she loses it. Intending to fix up the house during the six months and then sell it before leaving to start her life over somewhere else, Ellie is surprised by the contentment she starts to discover in the quiet little town her mother loved so much.
Cameron O’Connor loves St. Dennis but he especially loves one particular house, when he sees someone new move in Cameron is upset to realize that the house was sold without him being offered the chance to purchase it. But as the truth starts to come out, Cameron finds himself helping Ellie take on remodeling and repair jobs she has no experience doing and no idea how to go about them. As Cameron and Ellie start to get closer, Cameron starts to wonder if he can convince Ellie to make St. Dennis her home or will secrets from the past tear apart the fragile relationship they have just started?
The Long Way Home is the sixth book the Chesapeake Diaries series and is a great addition to this heartwarming series. The Long Way Home is a stand alone novel, so you don’t need to read the prior books to enjoy this one but you do get some of the other character’s back stories if you read the series in order. I loved reading about Ellie’s journey from a woman determined to be alone after being abandoned by the people who she thought were her friends to a strong woman determined to make the right decisions about her life and about not letting love pass her by. Ellie moved to St. Dennis with the intention of keeping herself isolated from everyone else but the residents of St. Dennis (which if you have read the rest of the series you know aren’t the kind to sit back and allow anyone to feel like a stranger) aren’t willing to accept that from Ellie. Just when you think you can see where Mariah Stewart is going with the story (straight to the happy ending) she throws in an unexpected twist (totally didn’t see it coming and well done Mariah!). The twist had me in equally measures cheering on Ellie for her choices and at the same time wanting to slap her upside the head for not doing what I thought she should be doing from the beginning. I am not going to share anything more about that because I don’t want to ruin it for you readers but it is a good moment and in the end I was proud of Ellie for the tough decision she had to make. I highly recommend the entire series but The Long Way Home is a great read by itself, a lovely story about the journey of woman from isolation and betrayal to finding acceptance within herself and others.
You can read an excerpt here.
Chesapeake Diaries Reading Order:
At the River’s Edge (August 2013)
Title: The Long Way Home
Author: Mariah Stewart
Format: Paperback, eBook
Page Nos.: 432
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Available for purchase: Amazon
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.
Novel Reaction is excited to bring you the first two books from author Gary Grossman as part of his virtual book tour. This exciting trilogy should be read:
Executive Reading Order:
The Presidential Race has begun, and it looks like Terry Lodge isn’t going to be the one running for President in Executive Actions by Gary Grossman. As Terry gives a tear jerking speech, his wife is assassinated before him and the crowd. Who could do such a gruesome thing, and was the shooter really aiming for Terry Lodge?
Current President, Morgan Taylor, is wondering why this happened and puts his own personal CIA guy on the job. Scott Roarke has a history with President Taylor, and even has his own personal line, so when Taylor comes to him and asks him to get behind all of this, Roarke jumps right in. What Roarke doesn’t know, is that this assassin attempt has been a long time in the making and he is just at the beginning.
Author, Gary Grossman, pulls you right into this intense thriller and keeps you there until you finish the book! I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed reading Executive Actions! Be prepared to not want to put the book down! I read the first few chapters, like I normally do, and then the last few. I was still trying to figure out who was going to make it out alive, and if I was correct as to who the bad guy was! I have already recommended this book to a few people and will continue to do so. I will let people know that it does use the f*word quite a bit, there is some violence (but that is what you get with a thriller), and there is some sex. The sex isn’t too detailed, but it does give some detail, but it didn’t make me uncomfortable. Executive Actions has an amazing plot behind it. I don’t want to give it away, so I wont go into detail. It did make me look at our own issues going on right now and it puts a lot into thought. I hope you take the time to read this amazing thriller, and if you loved it as much as I did, you’ll be happy to know that book number 2 is out and it is called Executive Treason.
Title: Executive Actions
Author: Gary Grossman
Page Nos.: 384
Publisher: Diversion Books
Release Date: January 2012
As the second book in the trilogy, Executive Treason by Gary Grossman comes back with a bang! Scott Roarke is sent to investigate the murder and possible rape of a White House staffer. He soon finds himself looking for the same assassin that killed some very important people in Executive Actions. He realizes this assassin is far better then he expected and is determined to find him and capture him. All the while, the terrorists are planning some major plots to cleanse the world. Can the President find out what is going to happen before they hit? Read and find out!
This book was a little harder for me to get into then Executive Actions. I enjoyed the book and the plot. It was quite intense trying to find out what is going to happen and why. It again brings a lot out to think about as far as our Country goes. It is a book I would recommend and I sure hope they ask me to review book three (Executive Command) for them! This book does have the use of the f*word quite a bit and there is some sex. The violence is there, of course (it is a thriller). I didn’t feel the violence was too gruesome, but wouldn’t recommend it to any tweens. I am excited for Executive Command to be coming out and can’t wait to read it!
Title: Executive Treason
Author: Gary Grossman
Page Nos.: 384
Publisher: Diversion Books
Release Date: January 2011
**I received a copy of this book from Partners In Crime Blog Tours but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.