Brandy Ackerley has a new book out soon, and she’s sharing her absolutely gorgeous cover with me a little bit early so that we can drool and admire! Check out the blurb, below, and her links for more info.
Kuzunoha is running out of options. In just a month she’ll be an adult but as the illegitimate younger daughter of a rich noble she can only see two possible futures. Both leave her a pawn in her elder sister’s game as family matriarch, a future as unacceptable to Kuzunoha as it is unavoidable.
That changes when Kuzunoha saves the life of a stranger. In return for her help, the stranger offers her a way to have a future that doesn’t tie her to her family. He’s heard of a forgotten treasure nearby and needs a guide to help him search for it. Her family and friends don’t trust this dangerous man’s offer, but Kuzunoha accepts, knowing that she can’t live the life her sister wants for her anymore.
Will she succeed in proving she can have a life outside of her sister’s shadow? Or will it all fall to pieces around her?
M. Jane Colette has a steamy (very steamy) rom-com releasing just in time for the holidays! To celebrate, she’s sharing with us a short video, your choice of an NSFW (so dirty) or Cleanish (it is M. Jane Colette, so it’s as clean as she could manage–it was hard) excerpt, and a chance to win a PRINT copy of Text Me, Cupid. Check it out:
Text Me, Cupid
a (slightly) dirty love story for 21st century adults who don’t believe in true love… but want it anyway
MEET FLORENCE: I’ve done this before, looking for a partner or soul mate or someone-to-grow-to-love, and you know what? I’m done with that. Honestly. I’m just looking for some casual sex. All I’m interested in is a one-night stand, or several—not all of them with you. Just making it clear that I’m interested in playing with multiple partners. I don’t want to get attached and I don’t want you to get attached.
MEET WILL: I’m reeling from a recent divorce and incapable of having a meaningful relationship, possibly even a meaningful conversation. The only upside to my situation is that after fifteen years of monogamy I get to chase all the strange I want.
He’s freshly divorced and in denial. She’s twice-burnt and prickly. They’re a terrible idea. They know this. But every time their eyes meet, their clothes come off. Still—they’re not going to fall in love. They are not.
Not even if this one night stand has 365 days.
WANT A TASTE?
Here’s M. Jane Colette reading a semi-steamy (but still safe for YouTube and Facebook) excerpt from Text Me, Cupid:
M. Jane Colette writes tragedy for those who like to laugh, comedy for the melancholy, and erotica for people who like their fantasies real. She believes rules and hearts were made to be broken; ditto the constraints of genres. Her novels include Tell Me, Consequences (of defensive adultery), and the award-winning rom-com Cherry Pie Cure.
“I couldn’t stop reading this! The waiting, the need, the want, the desire… the story is a rollercoaster and I love it. Will and Florence are so vivid on the page, I was in agony with them from the start.” Alyssa Linn Palmer, author of Midnight at the Orpheus and Le Chat Rouge series
“No one does angst, family drama, hilarity, joy and eroticism better than M. Jane Colette!” DIANA SOBOLEWSKI, author of The Desire & Luxury Wine Series, (on Messy Christmas, Episode 1 of Text Me, Cupid)
“Text Me, Cupid was the first story I’d read by M. Jane Colette, and I love her fresh, taut style. Every word, every sentence counts. It’s smart and sexy. I can’t wait to read the rest!” Michelle Orloff, GoodReads + Amazon.com ARC Review of Delayed Valentine, Episode 2 of Text Me, Cupid
“M. Jane Colette writes complicated relationship dynamics into story lines that keep you off balance but leave you smiling in the end.” Amazon.ca Verified Purchase Review, Delayed Valentine, Episode 2 of Text Me, Cupid
“She spotlights those less than perfect relationships; often the source of hilarity in this author’s work. M. Jane Colette has a unique writing style. At least it’s unique to me. She believes in short sentences and sparse dialogue. Don’t worry, you will not be short changed in any respect. You’ll visualize and experience everything you’re meant to, including the angst, the joy, the funny bits and all of the eroticism. This author doesn’t succeed despite her minimalist approach. She succeeds because of it. M. Jane Colette has mastered doing more with less.” Amazon.ca Verified Purchase Review, (on Messy Christmas, Episode 1 of Text Me, Cupid)
“M. Jane Colette knows how to write characters.” Caught Between The Pages (on Consequences)
“I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a sexy, intelligent, complicated, and fascinating read about relationships that are as complex and difficult and wonderful and confusing as most relationships usually are.” Grey Matter (on Tell Me)
“This book is a cure for divorce, depression, loneliness, boredom, you name it. Laugh-out-loud funny from the first page!” Holly Owen, Alberta Romance Writers’ Association (on Cherry Pie Cure)
“Warning: You may breakout in spontaneous laughter, develop cravings for baked goods and become a life-long devotee of the author!” Carrie Austin Reviews (on Cherry Pie Cure)
WANT TO HEAT UP YOUR HOLIDAYS?
Price: $3.99 US (ebook), $14.99 US (paperback), $9.99-$19.99 (audiobook)
The tour is bringing romance readers and listeners the opportunity to listen to all 48 full, unabridged chapters of Consequences well in advance of the audiobook’s Christmas release.
Plus, there are fabulous prizes at every stop, and 48 chances throughout the tour to enter to win a COMPLETE set of M. Jane Colette’s paperbacks!
WHAT’S THIS BOOK ABOUT? An affair. Heartbreak. Consequences. Absolution, redemption, and love… in the most unexpected places–a steamy second chance romance unlike any you’ve ever experienced.
Elizabeth did not plan to break up his marriage when she had an affair with her law school professor. But she did. Fifteen years later, she’s still coming to terms with the consequences of her youthful infatuation: a stepdaughter who hates her, an ex-wife who will never forgive the betrayal, a sister-in-law who’s determined to make Elizabeth her confidante. Compelled to reveal the “tragedy of her life” to a nameless lover, Elizabeth finds herself forced to reconsider her definition of love, commitment, and responsibility—a process that finally releases her from the shackles of her past mistakes and shows her the way to her own happily-ever-after.
A NOTE ABOUT STRUCTURE: The story unfolds over the course of one night, as the narrator Elizabeth relates the “tragedy of her life” to her current lover as they, to quote a reviewer “do lover things.” The story Elizabeth tells spans 15 years. The scenes between Elizabeth and her lover are pure dialogue, and interrupt the “story proper.” There is no “he said/I said” in the dialogue between Elizabeth and her lover… a challenge the narrator solved masterfully, but which may give the first-time listener pause. To increase your enjoyment of the story, an opportunity to read, as well as listen to, the chapter, is provided.
Today, we bring you Chapter 5: THE WOMAN IN RED.
“Help! I can’t listen–I don’t have headphones handy, I’m at work, and when I get home, my children will be underfoot! Plus, I’m more of a reader than a listener, you know?”
PREFER TO READ? We’re on it. Here is a passworded-protected link to the written version of this chapter for tour participants’ eyes only. Your password is erotictragedy5, and your gateway is here: CHAPTER 5: THE WOMAN IN RED.
FIRST STOP: If this blog is your first stop on the tour, you might want to head back to stop number one, hosted by Tome Tender Blog: The Photograph, or to the Tour Home Page, and start from the beginning. There are chances to win prizes at every stop!
TODAY’S PRIZE: For a chance to win your very own copy of Consequences (of defensive adultery) by M. Jane Colette, enter here:
GRAND PRIZE TREASURE HUNT ENTRY, PART 5: For a chance to win one of two COMPLETE HARD COPY SETS of M. Jane Colette’s novels, send an email to TellMe@mjanecolette.com, and:
put #ConAudioTour Day 5 in the subject heading,
ask to be added to her Rough Draft Confessions newsletter (or tell Jane you’re already on her mailing list, and it’s awesome, when’s the next love letter coming?) and,
answer the question: “Who is the woman in red?”
Hint: The answer’s contained in today’s chapter.
(The small print: Each tour stop offers you one opportunity to enter the GRAND PRIZE TREASURE HUNT DRAW, for a total of 48 entries if you complete the tour. The books that comprise the GRAND PRIZE are the novels Tell Me, Cherry Pie Cure, and Consequences, and the non-fiction collection of essays Rough Draft Confessions, including its controversially titled, available-only-in-Canada, beta reader / limited edition predecessor.)
writes tragedy for people who like to laugh, comedy for the melancholy, and erotica for women and men who like their fantasies real. She believes rules and hearts were made to be broken; ditto the constraints of genres.
Historian Lia Carrer has finally returned to southern France, determined to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. But instead of finding solace in the region’s quiet hills and medieval ruins, she falls in love with Raoul, a man whose very existence challenges everything she knows about life–and about her husband’s death. As Raoul reveals the story of his past to Lia, she becomes entangled in the echoes of an ancient murder, resulting in a haunting and suspenseful journey that reminds Lia that the dead may not be as far from us as we think. Steeped in the rich history and romantic landscape of the Languedoc region, In Another Life is a story of love that conquers time and the lost loves that haunt us all.
This book kept me absolutely intrigued all the way through, wondering at what was real and what was not, and what was going to happen. I read a lot of books, and this one was fascinating. There’s something about the combination of historical fiction, with the touch of the supernatural, that I really enjoy. Rather like the classic Anya Seton novel “Green Darkness” (which also involves a sort of ‘time travel’ in history, and past lives).
Lia’s grief was very well portrayed, and I felt bad for her, and already from the first paragraphs, wanting for things to go well. Of course, they don’t, and the ensuing tangles kept me reading late into the night, wanting to know what happened next.
I’m trying to think of what I could say about the book without giving too much away. The history goes back to Templar times, so it’s quite a range, and I learned a lot about history as well as being entertained by the book. I think readers of books like Outlander, and the aforementioned Green Darkness, would really like this one. I’m already planning to recommend it to several people.
Julie Christine Johnson
is the author of the novels In Another Life
(February 2016, Sourcebooks Landmark)
and The Crows of Beara (September 2017, Ashland Creek Press).
Her short stories and essays have appeared in several journals,
including Emerge Literary Journal, Mud Season Review;
Cirque: A Literary Journal of the North Pacific Rim;
Cobalt, the anthologies Stories for Sendai;
Up, Do: Flash Fiction by Women Writers;
and Three Minus One: Stories of Love and Loss
and featured on the flash fiction podcast, No Extra Words.
She holds undergraduate degrees in French and Psychology
and a Masterís in International Affairs.
A runner, hiker, and wine geek,
Julie makes her home on the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington state
with her husband.
In Another Life is her first novel.
(Historical Fiction/Contemporary Women’s Fiction/
Release date: February 2, 2016 at Sourcebooks 368 pages
ISBN: 978–2954168197 Website | Goodreads
Divine Sparks By Julie Christine Johnson
“Certain bodies… become luminous when heated. Their luminosity disappears after some time, but the capacity of becoming luminous afresh through heat is restored to them by the action of a spark, and also by the action of radium.” ~ Marie Curie
I’d been warned by authors who’ve launched many a book before me that the muse would flee in the weeks and months leading up to and following the release of In Another Life; all my energy would be taken up by the demands of supporting my book virtually and in person. It would need to be nudged along, out of the nest, set free to soar on its own, but I’d need to remain close by, watching, guiding, occasionally letting the book draft behind my lead.
And to be sure, these past weeks have been filled with a busyness bordering on frantic. There’s a sense that no matter what I do, it, it isn’t enough. And then there is a novel I’m on deadline to revise. So I carefully apportion my time and energy, reminding myself to focus, to breathe, not to skip yoga or a hike or making dinner or folding the laundry—the meditative, restorative, ya-ya releasing activities that take me out of mental chaos into the sweet comfort of routine.
One of the unintended consequences of writing/talking about my book’s subject matter, its themes, the research, characters, setting and inspiration, is to be enthralled again by the Cathars, Languedoc, the tangle of history and geography, the wonder of an afterlife that weaves reincarnation with redemption with angels with good and evil and all the layers in-between.
And somewhere in those layers, my imagination, my writer’s soul, continues to work, digging in, excavating, uncovering ideas and holding them in her hand, like tiny embers just waiting for the breath of words to burst into the flame of a story.
In this time, when my attention and energy is as far from the blank page as it’s been since I committed to a writer’s life, a torrent of sparks has burst into the air. A character has risen—a bit wobbly and unformed, a slip of clay that needs other elements to take solid form—but she is there, complex, a little feverish with her own possibility.
And then came a scribble on scrap paper, an opening line of humor for my upcoming author readings. I pulled my pen away and laughed for a different reason. I’d just released an idea that I may love. A story idea crazywonderfulsparklethisisnutsbutiloveityesyesyes
The Cathars regarded stars as divine sparks—angels if you will—created by one fallen angel from the crown of another who had dominion over the waters of the earth. From half the crown, the Fallen Angel made the light of the moon and from the other half he created starlight.
Somehow, that starlight-moonlight illuminated the parts of me gone dark in this rushed and anxious and excited time. Though I can’t pull away just yet to follow the tendrils of light, I no longer fear the luminosity will fade. I hold the divine spark in my hands.
CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ REVIEWS, EXCERPT, INTERVIEW, GUEST-POST
For the giveaway, skip to the widget below. Enter to win a paperback copy of CROSSING THE LINE (US residents only) or an ebook copy (international). And don’t miss Ms. Molay’s guest post, and my review of the book, the latest translated in the Nico Sirsky novels, known as the Paris Homicide Series, from Le French Book.
About CROSSING THE LINE
It’s Christmas in Paris and Chief of Police Nico Sirsky has an uneasy feeling that something is very wrong with the case he’s investigating. He and his team of crack homicide detectives follow the clues from an apparent suicide, to an apparent accident, to an all-out murder as an intricate machination starts breaking down. Just how far can despair push a man? How clear is the line between good and evil?
The Funny Thing About Mysteries Frédérique Molay
Award-winning novelist Frédérique Molay brings us another mystery in her Paris Homicide series—Crossing the Line, which hits bookstores on September 23. Chief of Police Nico Sirsky returns to work after recovering from a gunshot wound. He’s in love and raring to go. His first day back has him overseeing a jewel heist sting and taking on an odd investigation. Just how far can despair push a man? How clear is the line between good and evil? Here she talks about the mystery genre.
The funny think about mysteries is that although some misguided souls still sometimes consider the genre to be marginal as far as “literature” goes, mystery novels very actively feed all the other art forms from movies, television, graphic novels and plays to painting and so much more. They touch us in many way, have a long history and a bright future.
Traditionally, the genre’s paternity is attributed to Edgar Allan Poe, with his short stories written in 1841, Murders in the Rue Morgue. Some people, particularly the French, like to remind readers that Honoré de Balzac wrote Murky Business the same year. Bets are still open on Balzac vs. Poe, and academics still quarrel over it. What counts though is that the genre has been booming since the nineteenth century and today, authors around the world are inventing their own heroes based on their country’s history, social realities, culture and own literary genius.
Like the genre, heroes in detective fiction have evolved as well, mostly because the world around them has changed. There are more heroines. Macho, die-hard heroes are a thing of the past. Femmes fatales and docile wives are also long gone, and female characters are independent and determined.
Of course, crime novels have changed because crime too has changed. The transformation of heroes is on par with that of the villains. A new kind of criminal has arisen—they are as unpredictable and hard to grasp as the world they reflect. These psycho-killers choose their victims randomly, following their urges. Add to that the wide-spread growth of organized crime to the most unsuspecting places and benefiting from considerable protection and immunity, and there is a lot of inspiration. I could go on. Clearly, the mystery genre has a bright future ahead of it.
To take a line from Frédérique Molay’s post above, a new kind of criminal has arisen, unpredictable and hard to grasp. The villain in her first book fit this description, as does the one in this novel. But I don’t want to say too much about the villain, in fear of giving something away, so I will leave them be, and talk more about the book itself.
It begins with an anatomy lab and a class of dental students, learning how to do surgery upon cadavers (just the heads). Grotesque, but intriguing, becoming more so when a student finds a head with a very poorly done filling, and brings it to the attention of the prof and the anatomy lab. A closer examination reveals a piece of plastic embedded in the tooth; it reads ‘I was murdered.’ Now, if that doesn’t get your attention, I don’t know what would. 😉
Having been in an anatomy lab, and smelled that smell, the scene was quite vivid for me (though I had been there for an anatomical drawing class, and did not draw heads), and it reminded me partly of the anatomy lesson scenes in Lars von Trier’s ‘Riget’. Crinkling my nose remembering that smell, I read on, and found that I couldn’t put the book down.
The connections between characters and to the finale were artfully done, subtle enough that it kept me guessing. I love mystery novels where it isn’t obvious who the villain is, or how/why they’ve done what they’ve done. Slowly the pieces came together as Sirsky and his team investigated, and though I did guess a couple of chapters ahead of the big reveal, I was still quite satisfied.
I’m looking forward to the next in the series, and hope that Le French Book will continue to put out these fantastic translations.
Crossing The Line [police procedural / thriller]
(translated by Anne TRAGER)
France Book Tours is celebrating its first anniversary on April 18!
France Book Tours has been thrilled to present amazing books related to France for a year.
To thank the authors who submitted their books and the bloggers who read and reviewed them, France Book Tours organizes a mega giveaway from April 18-25!
Depending on the number of entries in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this page, they may give away up to 10 books, so spread the word!
The winners will be chosen on April 26.
Here are all the books available to win! Click on each cover to know more about it.
Please note what format the book is available in.
Note also that some books are only available for US/Canada residents. If nothing is specified, it means you can receive the ebook or the print copy where ever you live.
Spirit of Angels = print + ecopy Wolfsangel = print + ecopy Becoming Josephine = print for US/Canada only
Unravelled = print The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte = print for US/Canada only
The Paris Lawyer = print for US/Canada only + ecopy The Mona Lisa Speaks = print for US/Canada only + ecopy
I See London I See France = print for US/Canada only Paris, Rue Des Martyrs = ecopy
The Paris Game = ebook Moonlight & Love Songs = ebook City of Jasmine = signed print copy for US/Canada only
The Promise of Provence = ecopy
Nonfiction – memoir
Confessions of a Paris Party Girl = ecopy
AND THERE WILL BE 4 EXTRA BOOKS OFFERED
DURING OUR TWITTER PARTY!
April 23 at 5pm Central Time
Spread the word!
AND NOW PLEASE ENTER THE GIVEAWAY BY CLICKING ON THE RAFFLECOPTER LINK:
Having found out that the most excellent Jenny Lyn has a new book out (River Reckoning: Trouble in Trespass), I was delighted to be able to read it, and write a review. Plus, Jenny was happy to come by and talk about the setting of the story, which I found rather interesting. Mind you, I have no experience of swamps or alligators!
I finished this book in an evening. It’s not short, but I couldn’t put it down. It didn’t take long for me to get into the book, the author had me from the moment Bond reveals that her name is because of a film (and no, not James Bond). Add in the swampy South, and I was set. (I’d read a couple of Intrigues by Jana de Leon set in the South as well, and this book reminded me a bit of them, though those were set in Louisiana, I think.) Mix this in with corruption, bribery, stalker-ex boyfriends, and a couple of delectable US Marshals, and it’s just about perfect.
It’s apparently first in a series, but for those of you worried about cliffhanger endings — don’t be. Unlike a lot of romance novels these days, this one has a good solid ending, satisfying my needs perfectly.
And here is Jenny:
Alyssa mentioned in her review of River Reckoning that she liked that the story wasn’t set in NYC or some other big city. I’ve always known a good portion of my books would be set in small southern towns. After all, it’s what I know. The town of Trespass is fictional, but it’s a mash-up of several places I’m very familiar with since I live in Florida. Plus, the Suwannee River is not far from my house, so I know how beautiful it is because I’ve experienced it firsthand. My dad and I used to fish on the Suwannee. I’ve spent what felt like entire summers water skiing and swimming in it. I’ve been to its headwaters in the Okefenokee Swamp in South Georgia. I’ve also seen the alligators and the snakes Bond teases Nathan about. They really do grow to be monsters. Unfortunately, there are families like the Kyles, too, but that’s the case anywhere you go.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with setting a story in a big city, but small towns just hold more charm and appeal for me as a setting. There’s more to work with when everyone knows their neighbors, both good and bad. Being intimately familiar with the backdrop of my story helps me keep things authentic. Sure, I could bluff my way through a book set in Chicago or New York, but I can guarantee you I won’t get the tiny details right. It’s impossible if you haven’t spent a great deal of time there. I’d rather set it somewhere that I’m comfortable with, that I honestly love and know well, and maybe make you want to come for a visit. If you read the book (and I hope you will), let me know what you thought!
About RIVER RECKONING:
Bond Mason’s roots run deep in the backwoods hamlet of Trespass, Florida. Nestled against the banks of the Suwannee River, the only home she’s ever known holds bittersweet memories of a family long gone. Except one of her ghosts isn’t dead and possessive ex-lover James Kyle wants her back.
U.S. Deputy Marshal Nathan Gates sights are set on capturing fugitive Robert Kyle. Wanted for the cold-blooded murder of a DEA agent, Robert is suspected of being hidden away with his moonshine-brewing, marijuana-growing family of fellow lawbreakers, one of which is his brother, James.
Nathan expected high temperatures when he arrived in Trespass. What he hadn’t counted on is his searing attraction to southern beauty Bond Mason. She winds him around her finger like a tendril of Spanish moss, but his lawman’s intuition tells him she’s hiding secrets too. When he finally convinces her to talk, he’s not prepared for the dark truths she reveals about her hometown.
The Suwannee is deep, but Trespass’s sins run much deeper. For once, Nathan might be in over his head.
About Jenny Lyn:
I started reading when I was four, thanks to a babysitter who found out the only way to get me to sit still was to put a book in my hand. By the time I entered kindergarten, I’d blown through just about every Little Golden Book ever printed. Ten years later, much to my mother’s dismay, I found her stash of paperback romance novels. She tried to divert me back to something more chaste by buying me Harlequins, but I still snuck copies of her Kathleen Woodiwiss’s and Johanna Lindsey’s when she wasn’t looking. Shanna, The Flame and the Flower, and Fires of Winter will always hold special places in my heart because they introduced me to roguish heroes, headstrong heroines, and the trouble they could get into together.
I live in a swampy little corner of north-central Florida with my family, both the two-legged and four-legged variety. I love to read, run hot and cold in regards to cooking, and I never miss an episode of Justified, Longmire, or Dexter. I guess I like justice in all its various forms.