RT Convention 2018 Reno, Nevada

Rosé, anyone?

For decades, I have wanted to attend an RT Convention. There were always reasons why I couldn’t go. When I saw the convention would be in Reno, Nevada, just a ten-hour drive from my home, I had to attend.  Happily, my friend, Meridith Allen Conners was willing to accompany me on the trip.

The convention was amazing. It was held at the Peppermill Resort. When we arrived Tuesday morning, our room wasn’t ready.  Of course, just as I got out of the car in Reno, I spilled tea all over my capris. But soon I was having too much fun to care. While waiting for our room, we registered and received our bag of books and fun items. There was a social gathering held by Brenda Novak. There were roulette table and other games. After receiving more free books (this will be a recurring theme), Meredith and I wondered over to the Frazzle table. Frazzle is a dice game. The lovely Patricia joined us and was able to educate us all on the rules. Soon we were groaning and cheering each other on. Apparently, we were having too much fun. Others gathered, including two handsome cover models (This will be a recurring theme, these two gentlemen were everywhere I went. They may have been stalking me.) As others gathered, we urged them to join the fun. Newbie, Cyndee Martin of Lehi, Utah won the game! I mean that literally, she won the physical game.

After this gathering, our room was ready. Meredith and I went to our palatial room.  The Peppermill Resort was an incredible bargain. We had a refrigerator in our room, which we stuffed with snacks. Our bathroom had a whirlpool tub, two sinks, a separate shower, and granite. We took time to change and then we were off to the Indie Soiree.

At the soiree, we met indie authors. The authors would give us raffle tickets to win various prizes. Meredith was insistent that we go up to a gorgeous man and ask about his book. Stuart Reardon is a beautiful man. He is a former Rugby player, who now works as a cover model and author. Since Meredith was rendered speechless by his masculine beauty, I did all the talking. Sadly, I understood only a little of his responses. It was noisy, and he has a delicious accent. Also, at the Soiree, I ran into a fellow member of the Old School Romance Book Club, Eva Moore. I also ran into soon to be a good friend, Cyndee Martin, also a member of the OSRBC. Eva invited me to her hotel room for a wine tasting later that night. The soiree ended with the winning raffle tickets being drawn. I won Kathern LeVegue’s basket. (Winning things will be a recurring theme.) It contained books, chocolates, bath bombs, wine glasses, wine, and a kindle. Oh yes, there was a tiara.

I had just enough time to stash my basket in the hotel room. It was time for Cinema Craptastique. Hosted by Cherry Adair and Damon Suede, Tere Michaels and Paige Tyler, it was a blast. Cherry Adair is a gorgeous, vivacious redhead, who should be the heroine in a romance novel. Damon is energetic and fun. He is so much fun. The movie was Wolves starring Jason Momoa and Lucas Till. The movie was wonderfully awful, and Damon kept us in stitches with his commentary. Then the worst happened. The film stopped and would not start again. No fear. Damon Suede came to the rescue. He acted out the rest of the movie. There is no doubt his version was far superior. Laughing out loud, the audience ate cracker jacks and movie candy. Meredith won her first prize during the movie. We are on a roll.

The evening ended with a wine tasting party in Eva Morgan’s hotel room. Eva is the hostess with the mostess. (Partying in Eva’s room will be a recurring theme.) We all sampled a variety of Rosé. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

I did not take enough pictures. Below are the beautiful Stuart Reardon and myself, the funny and talented Damon Suede, and Meridith Allen Conners and myself.

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Bane by L.J. Shen

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Fans of L.J. Shen have been demanding this story about the surfer bad boy, who liked to ride the waves naked. He first appeared in Scandalous as the sometimes high school boyfriend of Edie.  He was sexy, wicked, and yet caring. He was protective of Edie, his former girlfriend. Bane is a beautiful, Russian American demi-god. What was there not to love about him?

Yet the title is almost a tease. Yes, the hero is Bane. Bane is still wicked, he runs several criminal and legitimate enterprises. He is a gigolo, who provides sex for money and favors. In exchange for a large sum of money, he is willing to befriend and take under his wing the damaged stepdaughter of a wealthy man.

However, it is the heroine, Jessica Carter, who dominates the story. After a horrific gang rape,  she has become a recluse. She only leaves her home to see her therapist and the elderly lady living next door. Haunted by nightmares, she tries to run from her demons.

As he earns the trust of the wary Jessica,  Bane is torn by conflicting emotions.  He feels guilt for his deception.  Bane is protective of Jessica. He feels strongly about Jessica and feelings are not a comfortable fit for Bane. Jessica is not torn. Despite the horrors of her past, Jessica’s friendship with Bane awakens her lust for life. As Jessica comes to life, she must face her nightmares.

Without giving away too much, Bane and Jessica are transfigured by the end of the story. While the prince is willing to slay dragons for her, the princess saves herself. Isn’t that the best story?

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveal-Bane by L.J. Shen

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Bane, the highly-anticipated next standalone in the Sinners of Saint Series by L.J. Shen is coming May 10th!

Bane by L.J. Shen
Release Date: May 10th
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Letitia Hasser at RBA Design
Photographer: Pavel Lepikhin
Model: Vadim Ivanov

Bane
Naked surfer. Habitual pothead. A con, a liar, a thief and a fraud.
Last I heard, he was extorting the rich and screwing their wives for a living.
Which is why I’m more than a little surprised to find him at my threshold, looking for my friendship, my services, and most puzzling of all—looking humbled.
Thing is, I’m on a boycott. Literally—I cut boys from my life. Permanently.
Problem is, Bane is not a boy, he is all man, and I’m falling, crashing, drowning in his sweet, perfect lies.
Jesse Carter
Hot as hell, cold as ice.
I wasn’t aware of her existence until a fat, juicy deal landed in my lap.
She’s a part of it, a little plaything to kill some time.
She is collateral, a means to an end, and a side-bonus for striking a deal with her oil tycoon stepdad.
More than anything, Jesse Carter is a tough nut to crack.
Little does she know, I have the f****** teeth for it.

 

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2BVlUPy

 

Start the Series of Standalones Today!
Vicious
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2xdCsQ6
Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/ViciousLJShen
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2hUo31f

Ironbound by Mel Sterling

It is hard for me to resist any story involving the fae. The first book in this series, Trueblood was good. This book was superlative.  It had everything I could want in a  fantasy book. The author creates a colorful world in the fae live in hiding in Portland.  In addition to a rousing, good adventure story, there  is a sexy, satisfying romance.

As with any good story involving the fae, there is a power struggle. The dark, foreboding Hunter has rebelled against the queen of fairies. He has to lead a pack of followers out of the queen’s domain. But he must find shelter and food for his followers.

Hunter finds help from an unexpected source. Dove, a human,  was captured by one of the Unseelie following the Hunter. While Hunter saved her from rape and murder, he still keeps her prisoner. But Dove’s skills as a blacksmith might enable her to win her freedom.

But negotiating with the fae takes skill. Humans seldom succeed.  This was amply demonstrated in the first book in this series, Trueheart. The heroine of Trueheart appears in this story.  Tess is now birch girl. She is in danger of becoming a tree and going into dormancy for the winter. Trying to cling to her humanity, she and her lover, Thomas, also must negotiate with Hunter for a chance to regain their humanity. Hunter plans to use Dove, Thomas, and Tess in his fight against the Unseelie Queen.

But the Unseelie Queen is already hunting them. Her reach is much longer than any of them know. And the queen is not hesitant to attack the most vulnerable, the humans first.

Loved this book. I highly recommend the series.

Ironbound

 

The End Zone Review and Giveaway

TEZ-AN-IG

This is a smoking hot friends to lovers novella. Unlike far too many romance novellas, this story packs a polished, complete romance in the novella format. The reader will be thoroughly satisfied. Jolie Louis and Sage Poirer are lifelong friends, who continue their friendship in college. They are even roommates.

Sage’s handsome, chiseled body and status as the star quarterback has made it easy for him to manwhore through a never-ending supply of eager females. But despite her deep feelings for her friend, Jolie is not interested in joining his harem.

Sage has never been threatened by Jolie’s boyfriends. They were all wrong for Jolie. But when a fellow teammate and the perfect guy expresses an interest in Jolie, Sage gets angry. Then he realizes that he wants Jolie for himself.

As stated, this book is hot, hot, hot. The sexual attraction is palpable. The sex scenes are blazing. But the reader becomes aware that Sage has a secret, which might just end this romance.

I would highly recommend this novella. L.J. Shen remains one of my guilty pleasure writers. I just can’t get enough of her writing. To celebrate this new release, I am going to give away a free e-book of any L.J. Shen novel to one commentator to this post. Just post a comment on your favorite book read in 2018. I will pick randomly one winner on April 15, 2018.

 

 

Tarnished City by Vic James

Tarnished City

Last year, the first book in this series, The Gilded Cage, was my favorite book of the year. In a world where all the power and wealth is held by persons with magic and those persons lacking magic were condemned to ten years of slavery, it was a throat-clutching, emotionally gripping thriller of a fantasy novel.  Moreover, it challenged the reader to think about the abuse of power and enslavement.

This second book begins in despair. Luke, one of the heroes of the first novel, is imprisoned by a sadistic torturer for a crime Luke did not knowingly commit. Things do not improve. As in the real world, idealism, nobility, and courage aren’t always enough to fight cruelty, evil, and vast power.  Yet, Abi, Luke, Dina, and others do not surrender. They continue to strive.  They find allies. Sadly, they also see betrayal.

The novel reaches a boiling point. A savage, horrifying public execution of the rebels at the hands of a mob is staged when the author reminds us that heroes can be found in the unlikeliest persons.

This book kept me up late in the night. It was impossible to put down. Unlike The Gilded Cage, this novel reminded me of The Game of Thrones. Like the Game of Thrones, the reader becomes deeply immersed in the survival of the rebellious siblings, Abi and Luke, and their allies. Likewise, the reader keeps hoping for the punishment of evil. So far this hope has been unmet. Then there are the most complex characters, Silyen, Gavar, and the murderous Dog.  Assuredly not good people, but they evoke sympathy. Also, like The Game of Thrones, nothing can be taken for granted. The author is taking the reader on a journey, and the destination is uncertain. Like The Gilded Cage, this will be one of my favorite reads of the year. I highly recommend Tarnished City.

 

Popsugar Reading Challenge

For fun, I am doing the Ultitmate Popsugar Reading Challenge. Now I am not following the rules strictly. I did not read a Nordic noir in January. But I will read one this year. But I have read several books on the list. In February, I read a figure skating romance, from lukov with love by Mariana Zapata. I have also read several novels published in 2018. Next, on the list, I will read a book involving twins. I love twin stories. Below is the challenge.

January-Nordic Noir
February– A Book About or Involving Sport (Winter Olympics)
March-A Book About Feminism (Women’s History Month)
April-A Book that Involves a Bookstore or Library (National Library Month)
May-A Book About Mental Health (Mental Health Awareness Month)
June-A Book with an LGBTQ+ Protagonist (2018 Pride Month)
July-A Book Set at Sea
August-A Book with Characters who are Twins (National Twins Day is August 3rd)
September-A Book that is also a Stage Play or Musical
October-A Book About or Set on Halloween
November-A Book About Death or Grief
December-A Book that’s Published in 2018

Join the Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge on Goodreads. Here is the link,  https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/152458-ultimate-popsugar-reading-challenge

 

lukov