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Feature book: Winter’s Kiss

21 June 2017

Winter’s Kiss by Darlene Fredette

Winter’s Kiss is a sweet contemporary romance that is part of the Redford Falls series, but it can be read as a standalone.

Twenty-nine-year-old Danielle Lerato has been putting off moving to Redford Falls in Atlantic Canada as part of her job’s relocation for the past year. She doesn’t want to move to a small town with bad weather. Her boss finally convinces her to move for a couple of weeks to train the new assistant who will take over her position. Danielle decides she’ll get the job done and dusted and leave as soon as possible.

On her way from the airport to Redford Falls, she crashes her car in the middle of a blizzard. Danielle is trapped, covered in snow, the car won’t start, and she has no phone reception. How will she get out?

Restaurant owner, Andrew Haley, comes to her rescue even though their first encounter a couple of years ago was very unfriendly, and this encounter isn’t much better. Andrew takes her to her boss at the new resort, but due to the snow storm there are no rooms available. Danielle’s only option is to stay with the town’s most eligible bachelor, Andrew! Under these circumstances, the small town’s community believes there is something between the two of them. With all the gossip floating around about them it seems like some of the town are intent on matchmaking. However, not all of the town is as keen on this, especially the young ladies who have an eye on Andrew already.

I loved the names of the town’s residents; Frost, Cane, Eve, Kringle, Bishop, Clarence, Potter. Perfect for a Christmas setting and it doesn’t come across as cheesy.

During Danielle’s short stay at Andrew’s place, we learn they have both suffered extreme grief in the past couple of years. This brings them a bit closer together and more understanding of each other.

Danielle intends to leave Redford Falls as soon as she can get the new assistant trained, but the assistant is nowhere to be found. Danielle soon finds herself falling in love with the charm of the quaint town, and Andrew. She is still hesitant to move, even though they both have feelings for each other, as haunting memories of her past make her unable to embrace the cold weather and the town’s setting.

Just as it seems like Andrew and Danielle will get their act together and admit they can’t live without each other, a misunderstanding regarding Andrew’s sister comes between them. Will they be able to get over this and find true love? Will Danielle stay in Redford Falls? Will Andrew do everything possible to convince her to stay?

This story was a beautiful, quick read that will have you falling in love with Redford Falls and the town’s inhabitants. I wish the story was longer so I could read about Andrew and Danielle’s story in more depth, but it was still a fantastic book!

If you like this book, I definitely recommend reading ‘One Sweet Christmas’ which covers Candice Cane and Jackson Frost’s story! See I told you the names are brilliant!

Reviewed by Juliette

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Release day: Anthem of the Sea

20 June 2017

Today is the official release of Anthem of the Sea by Thom Collins (book 1, Anthem trilogy) (ebook and paperback, Pride Publishing). Here’s the blurb:

An ocean of possibility. For love, revenge and murder.

Daniel Blake, a handsome young singer, boards the Atlantic Anthem in Portugal for the final voyage of her maiden season. The state-of-the-art ship is the jewel in the Royal Atlantic cruise fleet. For Daniel, a one-time boy band member and TV talent show winner, it’s an honor to perform aboard such a vessel. Daniel loves the freedom and adventure of the sea. He began his solo career as a cruise ship entertainer and returning to the ocean as a headline act brings him full circle. He isn’t looking for love.

Neither is comedian Elijah Mann. Working at sea has given Elijah’s career the boost it desperately needed. Often considered too good-looking and sexy to be funny, work has been hard to come by since his TV show was canceled. With a potential new career opening up, he must remain focused. But when Elijah meets Daniel the attraction is mutual and instant. As the ship sets sail for England they have three days to get to know each other. Elijah can’t let that opportunity pass.

The voyage home is far from smooth. Also on board is a figure from Daniel’s past. A man who’s been holding a grudge for years, waiting for his moment. As a storm builds in the North Atlantic, Daniel and Elijah discover that the trip of a lifetime could be their last.

Thom dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:

Anthem of the Sea is the first novel in the Anthem trilogy. A contemporary romantic thriller, filled with intrigue, passion and danger, who could ask for anything more? Certainly not me. This is a book I wanted to write for years and had an absolute blast doing so. Daniel and Elijah meet while working on board a luxury cruise ship. Daniel is a singer, Elijah’s a comedian and it’s instant attraction for both of them. Also on board is a figure from Daniel’s past. Someone who’s held a grudge against him for years. As Daniel and Elijah fall in love, old rivalries and bitterness resurface with fatal results. Anthem of the Sea is just the beginning of Daniel and Elijah’s story. While we all love a HEA, I wanted to go beyond that, to explore their relationship further down the line and see how they cope with the aftermath. In book one the guys meet and fall in love. I recently completed the second novel, which picks up their story eleven months later, and am now writing the third and final book, which opens a year after book two. I love these characters and can’t wait for readers to discover them.

You can find out more about this book at Thom’s blog or buy it from Pride Publishing.

Release day: Her Outback Cowboy

19 June 2017

Today is the official release of Her Outback Cowboy by Annie Seaton (book 1, Prickle Creek) (ebook, Entangled Bliss). Here’s the blurb:

The last thing advertising art director Lucy Bellamy wants is to go home to the Outback, but duty to family calls. At least there’s one bonus—her first love, sexy cowboy neighbour, Garth Mackenzie, is there and the attraction between them is still explosive. But Lucy has no intention of getting stuck in this two-bit town and she counts down the days until she can go back to her real life.

After an engineering degree and working in the mines of Western Australia, Garth has returned to the Outback and is home to stay. His goal is to settle down, start a family, and work his beloved land with the girl he’s always loved. But if it comes to Lucy choosing between the glamour of the city or making a home with him in the Outback—he’d lose, hands down.

Annie dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:

I’ve always loved heading off into the outback and absorbing the quiet and the beauty. A couple of years ago we went back to the Pilliga Scrub to camp, and it was, shall we say, an interesting trip. We were camped in a canvas camper trailer, the flies were everywhere, the red dust was blowing, and every time I stepped outside I stood on prickles that wound their way into my shoes and socks! On the same visit, we called into see the friends who owned this property. Their story was one of pure romance, and as I listened to them and saw how much they were in love, thirty years after she had moved from London to be with her Aussie outback cowboy, the story was born. When I wrote the story, I mixed the red dust, flies and prickles into Lucy’s experience! Will love overcome the trials of living in the outback? You’ll have to read the story to find out!

You can find out more about this book at Annie’s website or buy it from Amazon.


Release day: Taken by the Desert Sheikh

19 June 2017

Today is the official release of Taken by the Desert Sheikh by Cathleen Ross, Mel Teshco and Christina Phillips (ebook, self-published). Here’s the blurb:

Three Sheikh brothers, three virgin brides …

The Grand Vizier has a plan to save Qutum …

To prevent a war … three royal brothers must wed

Stolen by the Sheikh by Cathleen Ross

The Sheikh’s Rebel by Mel Teshco

The Sheikh’s Reluctant Princess by Christina Phillips

Cathleen dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:

Christina Phillips, Mel Teshco and I love writing Sheikh books because we get to write about the ultimate alpha male and the woman who can bring him to his knees. There is always something incredibly appealing about a tall, dark, mysterious sheikh. Making them do what they don’t want to do and watching them twist and turn before falling in love. I don’t think we’ll ever get sick of writing them. The boxed set went straight to the Amazon erotic romance bestseller list, which makes me think that readers can’t get enough of them either.

You can find out more about this book at Cathleen’s website or buy it from Amazon.

Guest blogger: Liz Harris

18 June 2017

Curiosity—a writer’s friend

A writer without curiosity is like a lock without a key.

Our curiosity about the world around us, the people we encounter, those we know and those we don’t know, the possibilities that lie beneath the surface of what we’re told, what we read, what we can see for ourselves—this is the fuel for our novels. It will lead us to the central plot and characters, and in the name of research, will provide the flesh that covers our skeletal ideas.

My curiosity came into play in New York, from where I’ve just returned. I went there to research a story line in the first of a multi-generational saga that I’m writing. On my final Sunday afternoon, having seen everything I’d planned to see, my friend asked if I’d like to go to the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art or the Frick Collection.

Hmm, I said. I’d like to go to Trump Tower.

I realise that I’ve just slid to the bottom of the cultural scale, but I was curious to see the outside of the New York residence of a man whose taste ranges from gaudiness to bling. I’m assuming that some of you will be curious about it, too, so I’m going to share my photos with you.

I wasn’t the only person who wanted a photo taken in front of the entrance. Many had friends, as I did, standing behind the railing, snapping away.

To my amazement, we were able to go inside and up to the first floor, so in I went.

Having had a problem getting wifi where I was staying, I’d frequented many a New York Starbucks in order to access the internet, so was very familiar with its sign. I had expected tight security when I stepped across the threshold, but there was none. I had not expected the word STARBUCKS to be the first thing I saw when I entered the building, but it was.

Starbucks was accessed by going up an elevator, which overlooked tables in a large cafeteria, backed by a gold-coloured back wall down which ribbons of water ran.

Looking down at the entrance from my cramped seat in the worst Starbucks I’d been in during my visit, owing to its limited seating and lack of any charm or character, I saw that the security guards were in place.

Lest you think Trump was showing an unexpected modesty in allowing the name of Starbucks to dominate the lower part of Trump Tower, not so. Everywhere I turned, there was another name in prominence. See if you can spot the common denominator in the following three photos.

Before leaving the building, I decided to indulge my curiosity in one last area—the ladies’ loos. Having seen some amazing loos during my travels over the years, I thought that the Trump ladies’ loos were bound to be something golden, flower-bedecked and very special. But was I disappointed!

How boring, I thought, and left the building. Curiosity quenched, minutes later I was indulging in a non-Trump ice cream.

I’m giving away an ecopy of The Art of Deception, a light contemporary novel set in Umbria. All ARRA members who leave a comment on this post will go into the draw to win the book.

You can find Liz here: Website | Facebook | Twitter

The Art of Deception

Jenny O’Connor can hardly believe her luck when she’s hired to teach summer art classes in Italy. Whilst the prospect of sun, sightseeing and Italian food is hard to resist, Jenny’s far more interested in her soon-to-be boss, Max Castanien. She’s blamed him for a family tragedy for as long as she can remember and now she wants answers.

But as the summer draws on and she spends more time with Max, she starts to learn first hand that there’s a fine line between love and hate.


Release day: The Hidden Duchess

17 June 2017

Today is the official release of The Hidden Duchess by Bree Verity (ebook, Passion in Print Press). Here’s the blurb:

Celeste, Duchesse de Saint Tours, is forced into hiding when she is falsely accused of the murder of her husband. She flees to the south of France, where her distant cousin, Marcel Daunou reluctantly agrees to hide her in plain sight on his farm. However, she must learn to live as a peasant farmer in order to complete the deception, a feat which appears next to impossible to the haughty Duchess. Especially knowing that the unsettling Marcel is watching over her at every turn. She can’t wait to return to her beloved Paris, and the exquisite, hedonistic lifestyle she has left behind.

Marcel knows that he places his loved ones in danger when he agrees to hide Celeste. However, his committee has agreed to hide her in exchange for a large sum of money that will assist their gravely poor community, and since she is his family, he takes responsibility for her. But Republican fervor is running high and Marcel knows if the Duchess is found out, she will be marched back to Paris, and to the guillotine. And his family will face harsh retribution from the agitating revolutionaries for hiding a member of the despised nobility.

Forced to work together, Celeste and Marcel discover a passion that they cannot resist. And Celeste discovers a feeling of belonging and acceptance from the people of the village that she has never felt before. She begins to dream about a future with Marcel.

When her well-meaning lawyer appears in the village and gives her identity away, it isn’t only Marcel that Celeste stands to lose – it’s her life as well.

How can a noble Duchess and a peasant farmer find their happily ever after?

Bree dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:

Celeste and Marcel have had a very interesting history—I started writing their story a little over twenty years ago, after having devoured every Georgette Heyer and Victoria Holt novel I could get my hands on. With a romanticised notion of the French Revolution brought to me via the telemovie version of The Scarlet Pimpernel, I thought revolutionary France the perfect setting for a novel. But the more I researched, the more I realised I knew just about nothing about the Revolution, and certainly nothing about the peasant classes or rural France! So Celeste and Marcel bided their time in a cardboard box under my bed for many years, every now and then getting a breath of air as I revisited the story, re-read what I’d already written, and checked out a few more facts for the story. Then, about eighteen months ago, I’d finished writing my first contemporary novel and decided to dip my toes back into historical romance. I’m so glad I did! Celeste and Marcel became living, breathing, complex people and all that research paid off. I hope you enjoy reading their story.

You can find out more about this book at Bree’s website.

All ARRA members who leave a comment on this post will go in the draw to win a copy of the ebook. The giveaway will close on 1 July 2017.

A Romantic High Tea in Perth

16 June 2017

Later this year our Romantic High Tea series is heading to Perth. Why not join us on Saturday 9 September on the banks of the Swan River for a leisurely afternoon spent with other romance readers?

Our hosts at this event will be internationally bestselling rural romance author Rachael Johns and contemporary/paranormal romance author Christina Phillips.

The High Tea will run from 1.00 to 4.00 pm at The Point Bar & Grill; they will be serving finger sandwiches, savoury pies and pastries, opera cake, scones with jam and cream, lemon meringue tarts and honeycomb

Tickets are on sale today—they’re just $52 for members, and $55 for non-members. Book your ticket here. But don’t delay, there are only 20 spots available.