Friday, January 31, 2014

Putting Pen to Page: Giveaway

Putting Pen to Page: Giveaway: If you've followed my blog, or twitter, for a while you know that one of the causes I'm pretty passionate about is slavery and t...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Book Birthday: Forever by Karen Ann Hopkins & Guest Post: Courting Amish Style


Forever (Temptation #3) by Karen Ann Hopkins
YA Contemporary Romance
Published: 28th January 2014
"Description"

All I want is my happily-ever-after.

That's all I've wanted since meeting Noah Miller.

From the day we met, the world has tried to keep Noah and me from being together, but now that I'm carrying his child, no one will be able to tear us apart. Or so I hope. But Noah and I have made some mistakes along the way, and the consequences are impacting the people we love. Worse, there's a storm on the horizon, and it's sure to cause serious devastation.

If we can get through this, we'll finally be Rose and Noah; a family, forever.

But first we have to survive the road ahead. And happily-ever-after is a long way off.

"Guest Post"

Courting Amish Style

What Rose and Noah face when they begin courting.

Yes, there still is a place in the world where the process of a boy and a girl getting to know each other is called ‘courting.’  In Amish communities throughout the Midwest and stretching into other regions of the United States, dating is called courting and breaking up is referred to as ‘quitting’ each other.
Because of my years of contact with Amish teens coming to my farm to participate in horse-back riding activities, babysitting my children or hanging out with my own teenagers, I’ve come to understand their secretive world of courtship very well. 
First, Amish teens do get to pick their partner, contrary to popular belief.  But they must choose another Amish member or they’ll get into heaps of trouble as seen in TEMPTATION where Noah, an Amish teen, falls for Rose, an outsider.   The boys and girls of a community spend their entire lives together; meeting as toddlers, going through school together until the eighth grade and participating in church and weekly youth activities, such as singings and volleyball or softball games. 
By age sixteen, many of the Amish have already decided on their future spouse.  Courting is serious business for the Amish.  ‘Dating around’ is not acceptable behavior within the Amish society.  A person chooses carefully who they will commit to courting, because they know that they will be expected to stay in the relationship due to problems that can arise within the community when couples ‘quit’ each other.  Also, divorce is almost unheard in the Amish world, so teens tread lightly with the opposite sex until they decide on the right person.
The Amish youth are encouraged to begin romantic relationships, because it helps insure that they will remain Amish.  Since the teens aren’t allowed to court until they’ve officially gone through the ceremony to join their church, many young ones who might have reservations about living their lives the Amish way, will commit to it in order to be with the person they’re fond of.  With courting, comes the prospect of marriage and a jump into adulthood, which satisfies the hope of more freedom.
Each community has its own set of courting rules.  The community I live in for instance, has a-hands-off courting policy.  This basically means that a couple will get in HUGE trouble if they get caught holding hands, kissing or going any further physically within the relationship.  Punishment includes reciting their sins before their entire community on Sunday and possibly being ‘shunned’ for a length of time, usually lasting one to six weeks, depending on the conduct.  Shunning is especially painful to the couple, because it means they won’t be able to see each other until the time is up.  Other communities are a bit more relaxed on the matter, but Amish teens are always held to a high standard when courting.  This doesn’t mean that couples aren’t getting a kiss in here and there or even going much further into a physical relationship, but they are watched carefully and learn early on to either abstain or be extremely stealthy in their liaisons.
Although, the courtship rituals of the Amish society might sound harsh to those of us on the outside, there are many positives to their strict structure.  Most couples will begin courting at the age of sixteen and marry by the time they’re nineteen or twenty.  Because the teens have a deep sense of responsibility and meaning about entering a relationship, they don’t play games, and there is much less drama and heartbreak involved.  They enjoy support from their families and community and begin their lives together on solid ground. 
I’ve witnessed many teens go through the process of courting and each couple eventually married.In the end, they were in love and happy…and isn’t that what we all strive to achieve?
You can read firsthand about Rose and Noah’s courting experience in TEMPTATION, where they meet secretly and struggle to find a way to be together.  Their story continues in BELONGING, when they finally have the opportunity to court in the Amish way, but are torn apart again when Rose’s family puts a stop to it.  You will find out once and for all if Rose and Noah find their happily-ever-after in FOREVER.   
Learn about a fascinating culture while taking an emotional roller coaster ride in the TEMPTATION series! I love to hear from readers!  You can contact me on my FB page (Karen Ann Hopkins) or the Temptation FB page.
Happy reading!

Karen Ann Hopkins

About the author


A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.



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Monday, January 27, 2014

Cover Revealed

About THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING

Release Date: September 30, 2014
Author: Rachel Harris 

According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you're friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.

With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.

But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.

Find Rachel Harris Online:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Husband for Margaret (Nebraska Historicals) by Ruth Ann Nordin

Description
When Margaret Williams posted an ad for a husband, she expected Paul Connealy to arrive, but instead, his older brother, Joseph, came...and he brought four children with him. This light-hearted tender romance is the sequel to A Bride for Tom.

Review
It was another five star read from the author whose work I have come to like a lot. It was funny, light and entertaining. In this book we see that in response to Margaret's add for a husband a man with four children, all boys at that, came to town. It was a surprise Margaret didn't like at all but then she felt sorry for him and realised that there weren't any men lining up to propose her so this could work for both of them. Joseph needs a mother for his children and a wife to be his companion and he felt that Margaret could be that person. Hence they married. There are some twists and turns which make the story all the more enjoyable.
Although it was a fun read I would've liked it more if it weren't so short and there was more to the characters because I did have a little problem connecting with them. As I read A Bride for Tom first so I was introduced to Margaret but I would've loved to read a little more about Joseph as well. The children's involvement in the story was a good touch. All in all it was a great "quick" read but I will not recommend if you were looking for something substantial and with more insight into the characters' behaviour.

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Bride for Tom (Nebraska Historicals) by Ruth Ann Nordin


"Quotes"
"Marriage can seem long with a man attached to his mother's apron strings. Perhaps Peter isn't ready to marry yet."
---A Bride for Tom, Ruth Ann Nordin

"But if you like the one you're with, it makes it all the better."
---A Bride for Tom, Ruth Ann Nordin

"Review"
A funny and interesting story about a clumsy guy (Tom) looking for a bride and a beautiful and kind girl (Jessica) who tries to help him. There are a lot of laugh-out-loud scenes and the characters are just so "cute". Its beautifully written and a real treat for historical romance fans.
Their first encounter ended with her in tears but she knew it wasn't his fault and she was willing to over look his clumsiness and try to be friends. Tom on the other hand had no idea that she was engaged and mistook her friendship for something more. After initial shock and hurt he decided to distant himself from her because he couldn't be with her knowing that she wasn't his. Whereas, Jessica realised that her fiance was not right for her and she wanted to marry Tom.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Guardian For Hire (For Hire #2) by Christine Bell


"Description"
Psychologist Sarabeth Lucking’s life is turned upside down when the upscale couples’ retreat she works for winds up embroiled in the biggest scandal of the year. With her reputation in tatters, she can’t imagine things getting worse, until her former co-workers are murdered, one by one. A bad-ass, ex-Army Ranger might be able to keep her safe, but something tells her she’s getting more than she bargained for...

Gavin McClintock grew up on the streets of Edinburgh, and protecting prissy Dr. Stick-Up-Her-Rear isn’t high on his list of things to do. Still, a promise is a promise, and he’ll need a clear head if he’s going to keep her off the growing list of victims. He didn’t count on the fire in her, or how distracted he’d be by her. As the flames grow hotter, he starts to wonder if she’s the one who needs protecting.

Will Sarabeth and Gavin outrun a killer and give into the passion burning between them?

"My Favourite Quotes from the Book"
"..I say plan for the worst, hope for the best."
---Guardian For Hire, Christine Bell 

"I don't care what you were, I don't care what you think I am. I want you now. I want this.... Don't try to say I'm looking for my stupid freaking prince in the wrong castle."
---Guardian For Hire, Christine Bell 

"I've spent my whole life thinking I wasn't worth loving. Then I met you." ".... You made me want to be worthy of you."
---Guardian For Hire, Christine Bell 
"Review"
Another amazing book. Its one of those books which hold your interest right from the beginning and until the end. There is mystery and romance, a combination which rarely goes wrong but with Bell's way of writing its even better. I had enjoyed book one as well and although that made things clearer for me from the start, you don't have to read book one to enjoy it.
I read a lot and there is always something to love in every book but with Guardian for hire it wasn't something or anything, it was absolutely everything. The air of mystery (who was trying to kill Sarabeth or why?), the romance (instant attraction between Gavin and Sarabeth) and most of all the humour (a lot of laugh-out-loud scenes).
Sarabeth has become one of my most beloved heroines. I must say that recently that has been rare. Even though I have read some immensely good books I haven't felt this kind of connection with the characters in ages.
All in all it was a great read, very entertaining. Anyone looking for romantic comedy with a touch of mystery and action must read it. :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Some Urdu Books

These are some Urdu Novels and Books I have enjoyed reading. I'll be adding more as I read more so enjoy! :)
1. Tere Naam Ki Shohrat by Shazia Chaudhary
Its a romantic Urdu novel. It is available to read online using link below
http://adf.ly/YeJgP
You can download it for free using the following link
http://adf.ly/YgI8G

2. Peer-e-Kamil (The Perfect Mentor) by Umera Ahmed

Another good Urdu novel from my most favourite author. It has also been translated into English.
http://adf.ly/5443906/urdu-version

3. Aadhi Kahani by Razia Butt
http://adf.ly/5443906/aadhi-kahani

4. Mur aa key Mol na Jayen by Shagufta Bhati

5. Wrong Number by Razia Butt
http://adf.ly/YgUwo

6. Shaher E Yaraan by Riffat Siraj

Releasing January 13, 2014

Resisting the Hero by Cindi Madsen



Resisting her brother’s best friend is futile…

Faith Fitzpatrick isn’t looking for a hero. Burned one too many times in the past, she’s now sworn them off completely. And when her brother’s best friend, Connor, convinces him to join the dangerous SWAT team, Faith has never been more anti-hero. What’s wrong with having a safe job? There’s nothing safe about Connor. Confident, sexy, and sporting a six-pack that should be illegal, he’s everything she doesn’t want.

When his best friend’s sister moves to town, local cop Connor Maguire knows he’s in trouble. Faith is feisty, funny, and talks trash like nobody’s business. She’s also his partner’s sister—and so totally off limits. Working on the Fall Festival together, they agree to a truce and become friends. But the more time Connor spends with Faith, the more he’s willing to risk the wrath of her brother. If he could only convince her to take a risk on him, too.

Find Resisting the Hero Online:



Falling for her Soldier by Ophelia London



She fell for the nice guy, but will she fall for the real guy?

Ex-ballerina Ellie Bell has twenty-four days left until her self-imposed man-less year is up. No more falling for the wrong kind of guy—charming, sexy, bad. Why can’t she find someone sweet like Charlie Johansson, her soldier pen pal? His e-mails meant the world to her, and she can’t stop thinking about him…until she meets Hunter, whose muscles and cocky smile threaten to have her relapsing.

Before Charlie “Big Game Hunter” Johansson’s last tour of duty, he’d gone through women like crazy. But after connecting on a real, emotional level via letters with his best friend’s sister, Charlie’s ready for a relationship—with Ellie Bell. But then her brother introduces him as Hunter. Proving he’s no longer a player by becoming Ellie’s dance partner for an Army benefit seems like it could convince both siblings he’s changed, but the harder he falls for Ellie, the harder it is to come clean. Can he convince her to fall for the real him before it’s too late?


Love Songs for the Road by Farrah Taylor


A rock star. The nanny. A love that could rock their world.
The only thing rock star Marcus Troy loves more than making music is his kids. So finding just the right nanny to take on tour with them is important—as is proving to his ex he deserves joint custody. Falling for his employee wouldn’t just be fodder for the paparazzi: it could ruin everything.

Too bad the perfect nanny turns out to be beautiful, vibrant Ryan Evans. Ryan’s never left her small Montana town before, so she jumps at the chance to see the country. And as much as accidental fame doesn’t gel with shy Ryan, what does is her relationship with her capricious, smoking-hot, shockingly good dad of a boss. Marcus is nothing like what she expected. But when the whole world’s watching them, will life in the spotlight be too hot to handle?


New Year’s Bliss Bash January 14 8pm – 10pm EST



Join five, yes FIVE!, fantabulous Bliss authors at our New Year's Bliss Bash celebrating our December Bliss releases, our January Bliss releases and a whole lot of other fantabulous other happenings going on this new year.

Who will be here you ask? We will be welcoming:
Cindi Madsen Books
Ophelia London, Author
Farrah Taylor Romance
Annie Seaton
Barbara DeLeo

There will be plenty of virtual drinks, party hats, giveaways and fun to be had. So invite all of your friends to join the fun.

It’s all happening on the Bliss Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/582014125208993/

About Cindi

Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children. She is the author of YA novels All the Broken Pieces and Demons of the Sun, adult contemporary romances Falling for Her FiancĂ© and Act Like You love Me, and the women's fiction novel Cinderella Screwed Me Over.

Find Cindi Madsen Online:


About Ophelia London

Ophelia London was born and raised among the redwood trees in beautiful northern California. Once she was fully educated, she decided to settle in Florida, but her car broke down in Texas and she's lived in Dallas ever since. A cupcake and treadmill aficionado (obviously those things are connected), she spends her time watching arthouse movies and impossibly trashy TV, while living vicariously through the characters in the books she writes. Ophelia is the author of DEFINITELY, MAYBE IN LOVE, ABBY ROAD, and the Perfect Kisses series including: PLAYING AT LOVE, SPEAKING OF LOVE, and FALLING FOR HER SOLDIER (Jan 2014). Visit her at http://ophelialondon.com. But don't call when The Vampire Diaries is on.

Find Ophelia London Online:


About Farrah Taylor

A reading specialist with a masters degree in Early Childhood Education, Farrah Taylor has taught first grade in Northwest Montana for over a decade. She is thrilled to be publishing her first novel, Love Songs for the Road. Farrah, a lifelong music lover who has spent far too much of her savings on concert tickets, is glad to finally be seeing a return on the investment. She lives with her husband, Ty, and son, Latham, in Polson, Montana. 

Find Farrah Taylor Online:



On sale for $.99!

Falling For Her Fiancé by Cindi Madsen



What’s a little fake engagement between best friends?

Danielle and Wes have been best friends since college, so when Wes needs a date for his sister’s wedding and Dani needs a partner for her company’s retreat, they devise the perfect plan: a fake engagement to get through both events unscathed.

Adrenaline-junkie Wes can prove to both his ex and his family that he’s well and truly moved on, and serious-minded Dani can prove to her boss that she’s worthy of the promotion he seems to only want to give to a family-oriented employee.
But amid the fake swoons, fake kisses, and forced proximity, neither expects the very real feelings that develop. There’s nothing more dangerous than falling for your best friend…but what if the landing is worth the fall?

Find Falling For Her Fiance Online:


Playing at Love by Ophelia London


When it’s glee vs. gridiron, can love level the playing field?

Show choir teacher Tess Johansson loves three things: music, her job, and sharing that passion with her students. But when a school budget crisis forces funding to be pulled from either the sports or music programs, she finds herself going head to head with Jack, the gorgeous new football coach who broke her heart fifteen years ago.

Jack Marshall wants two things: to be closer to his young daughter and to make his mark as a football coach. Taking the new job, with the promise that he’d have time to build a solid team, gave him both. But now he must win the season with a group of boys who aren’t anywhere near ready or he’ll lose everything he’s worked so hard for. Being pitted against Tess, the summer love he never forgot, is like being fourth and long with only seconds on the clock.
On opposing sides of a fierce battle and with everything at stake, Tess and Jack find themselves torn between doing what it takes to win and doing what it takes to be together.

Find Playing at Love Online:

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Resisting the Hero (Accidentally In Love #3) by Cindi Madsen

"Description"
Faith Fitzpatrick isn’t looking for a hero. Burned one too many times in the past, she’s now sworn them off completely. And when her brother’s best friend, Connor, convinces him to join the dangerous SWAT team, Faith has never been more anti-hero. What’s wrong with having a safe job? There’s nothing safe about Connor. Confident, sexy, and sporting a six-pack that should be illegal, he’s everything she doesn’t want.

When his best friend’s sister moves to town, local cop Connor Maguire knows he’s in trouble. Faith is feisty, funny, and talks trash like nobody’s business. She’s also his partner’s sister—and so totally off limits. Working on the Fall Festival together, they agree to a truce and become friends. But the more time Connor spends with Faith, the more he’s willing to risk the wrath of her brother. If he could only convince her to take a risk on him, too.

"My Favourite Quotes from the Book"
"I'm saying, you're mine, babe. And this isn't like a relationship, it is one. So get used to it."
---Cindi Madsen, Resisting the Hero.

"You really are a hero. You're amazing."
---Cindi Madsen, Resisting the Hero.

"I'm afraid I'm kind of in love with you."
---Cindi Madsen, Resisting the Hero.

"Review"
What a lovely way to start new year, reading amazing books, and this one was definitely one of them.  It was interesting, funny and extremely enjoyable read. I loved it so much that didn't feel like putting it down once I started reading. Alas! I had to, a few time ;)
 Faith had still not gotten over the way her father died, a hero who sacrificed his own life to protect others and now her brother was on the same road. He was cop and she just couldn't stop worrying. When her fiance cheated on her and she had to move back to her small home town she had no idea that she would fall for a hero as well. That was not supposed to happen but it did. And she didn't know what to do.
Connor was her brother's best friend and he was a player but since the day he had met Faith something was different. He knew he was falling for her and just couldn't help it.
I have always loved small town stories and this one was the best yet. Beautifully written with well developed characters you will feel a connection with them and won't help but getting excited, sad, angry and be in love along with Faith and Connor.

"I received a free copy in exchanged for an honest review, it in no way influenced my review."

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Thursday, January 02, 2014

The Right Wrong Number by Barbara Delinsky


"Description and Review"
Its a short story revolving around Carly. She owns a small store called Plant People and she is given an opportunity of a life time by a big furniture store down the street. She has four days to make her decision and now she is looking at all the pros and cons and getting very nervous about the whole situation.
She makes a call to cancel her weekend trip but somehow manages to get connected to someone named Charlie. In her hurry she doesn't give the guy to speak much and blabs about her worries but when she takes a breather and the other person speaks up she realises her mistake. Still she finds it easy and even fun talking to this stranger.
The story was a quick fun read and its free on amazon if you are looking for something short and entertaining to read between books. :)
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