A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Monday, July 28, 2014


“Chasing Sunrise (The Darkmore Saga: Book One)” By Lex Chase Release Day Blitz July 25, 2014

Hey everybody- This is an update to a previous post. The blurb and been updated with the last information . So, even you have seen this post, please read it again. Thanks!

Chasing Sunrise
(The Darkmore Saga, Bk 1)
by Lex Chase

On the Coastal Bend of Texas, a hidden kingdom called Darkmore lies in ruins, and King Sevon Maraté is trapped. Using Sevon as a mouthpiece and a scapegoat, Lord Dominic rules from the shadows. Sevon copes with the unrelenting abuse by dressing in women's finery and casting an image of graceful nobility. Born of royal verkolai blood and as beautiful as he is lethal, he possesses the ability to part the Veil separating his world from hundreds of others. His gift is his chance to escape, but Dominic refuses to relinquish his tool for power. Dominic forges an ambitious plan to invade the prosperous land of Priagust. Only a select few know the mythic kingdom of shifters exists. Sevon is out of options for his people’s survival, and cooperating with Dominic is his only chance.

On their foray into Priagust, Dominic's men kidnap and interrogate a shifter named Jack. Even under torture, Jack's loyalty to his kind never wavers. But as Jack’s knowledge about Darkmore’s king and its history unsettles Sevon, a curious bond begins to form. Despite Sevon’s mistrust, Jack is determined to tame Sevon’s wild heart and perhaps earn his freedom. As invasion looms, Sevon wonders if trusting Jack will lead him into another trap or if he should forget about chasing the sunrise and remain Dominic's compliant prisoner.

Available for purchase at 



Jack shuddered against the cold bite of his shackles. The iron cuffs held him upright, and his arms were stretched tight over his head. Gravity pulled him sloping forward painfully against his bonds. His umber hair swayed in sweat-slicked strands and clung to his face. The humidity hung like milky fog visible against the gray stones. He could smell the herbal traces of algae glazing the walls. No moans, no cries for release, not even a rattled chain sounded throughout the dungeon. He deduced he was the only prisoner—or the only one currently living.

It had happened so fast. He was at the shoreline of the lake when two figures shot from the water. Shrouded in black, the demonic men yanked him into the lake. Jack had expected his end. But he didn’t expect a dungeon, and not just any, but Darkmore’s dungeon. He knew it as well as any ghost story. He had teased Sevon mercilessly for crossing his fingers and turning in a circle three times as he walked by the entrance.

Jack’s heart softened. Sevon, sweet Sevon. It had been exciting for Jack when he was a cub to have a special friend outside of Priagust. One who was not a shifter at all, but something different. He was Jack’s treasure, and he would guard their memory.

But the men had taken him and tossed him in this dank cell. It had to be a mistake. Darkmore was Priagust’s sworn protector. King Louis would never wrongfully imprison a shifter. Jack spit a speck of grit. Was Louis alive? Did he survive the storm? What of Anna Maria? Surely she’d know.

But Jack wasn’t sure. He had been just a child when he saw Louis die, and all childhood memories were fallible. He could only hope it was a misunderstanding. He squinted with the painful pull in his shoulders, and the realization sank in. This was far more than a mere misunderstanding.

Jack’s pupils flexed into pinpricks when the sound of distant footsteps announced someone’s approach. He jerked his chin toward the sound to get the first look at his host.

An ethereal, earthbound spirit drifted into the dungeon. Pale as Winter Mother’s snow and with a brilliant bloom of golden curls to rival Father Sun’s rays, the woman captivated him. Dressed in layers of the midnight sky and coal, her skirts swirled in a trail of goldfish fins behind her. The unusual ladybird settled at the cell door, tossing a lock of spun gold over her shoulder. She waited.

“What do they call you?” she coldly demanded.

A peculiar tenor tone in her voice made Jack choke on his breath. A man. The strange, colorful bird was a man.

By the way he glared at Jack as if he were of no consequence, Jack decided that whatever the case, he had to be on guard. Jack sniffed and mentally discerned a more masculine scent under the perfumed oils. But there were two masculine scents, this beautiful man’s and someone else’s. He licked the salt on his lip and smirked. He had nothing left to lose.

Jack lifted his head, and he panted against the searing pain in his back. He focused on the curious little meadowlark shrouded in flimsy frippery. He had never seen such an unusual hue of hair before, but he knew one thing for certain.

“You’re not the king,” Jack said.

Something came over the strange man as he quirked his thin brow in irritation. “Yes, I am the king,” he growled in warning. “Your name, creature.”

Jack evaded the question and changed the subject. “The king of Darkmore would never show a shifter such hostility,” he spat. “Go, little meadowlark. Fetch him, now. You are of no concern.”

The supposed king recoiled on his booted heel as if he had been burned.

“Excuse me, you maggot?” he growled and his temper flared.

Jack squinted at him. He looked so much like Anna Maria, as Jack remembered her. Perhaps her son? Perhaps Sevon? Jack swallowed. He had to keep it to himself. He had to find out what he was dealing with first, if he survived that long. He thought of his brother, Kaltag, back in Priagust, probably wondering where he was and if Jack was still staring over the lake, waiting for the day Sevon would appear.

Jack’s heart thumped.

“Louis is gone. I am the king now, and you will answer to me. My sources tell me you’re a spy from the shifter land of Priagust,” he said. The accusation did not bode well for Jack.

Jack took his stand against his captor. He strained against his shackles and grinned through the searing pain in his shoulder blades. “Your sources are clearly mistaken. I was only fishing when your men emerged from the lake and tried to drown me. Which—” He glanced around, and his shackles rattled. “This is some level of hell, correct?” Jack watched him, still puzzling his way through recollections. It wasn’t possible he was Sevon. Why would Sevon become this? He hissed a laugh and kept up a brave face. Jack turned his gaze up. He smirked when the king leaned away from the hammered iron bars of Jack’s cell in disgusted horror. “You are a very fussy bird. You’re no more than a chick, peeping for nourishment.”

“You will answer my questions, shifter…. Or you will be forced to answer them.”

“What kind of king do you think you are?” Jack asked. “Do you understand the scope of what you are doing by holding me like a criminal?”

“Pardon me for not rolling out the red carpet and most lovely courtesans,” he said sarcastically.

“A little bird that pecks. I like that.” Jack chuckled.

Crossing his willowy arms in irritation, the king nodded to the stocky dungeon guard.

The guard loped forward on his gnarled legs and slipped the heavy key in the iron padlock. With a protesting shrill, the bolt popped from its moorings with a loud echoing clank. The cell door swung open with an antiquated creak, and colorful bird of a man slipped into the cell.

Jack’s heart thumped, and his face heated. It was Sevon. His Sevon. He had never been so sure. In the twenty-two years between then and now, the boy Jack had so longed for no longer existed. Confusion swirled through him, but Jack had to keep it within. More parts of the puzzle would fall into place if he just gave it time.

His heart wouldn’t stop racing; all the while he maintained his arrogant grin.

“I’d curtsey, but as you can see, I’m a little tied up,” Jack apologized.

This new Sevon cocked his hip in irritation and snorted. “For a vicious animal, you don’t look like much.”

The term hit Jack hard, but he wouldn’t cower.

“Funny.” Jack chuckled. “For a king, you present yourself quite a bit like a whore.”

Before he could blink, Sevon was upon him. He yanked Jack by the scruff of his hair, tilting his neck painfully backward on its stalk to meet him eye to eye. Jack’s eyes rolled wildly to focus on the glacier blue of Sevon’s. His scent stabbed into Jack’s nose, jabbing cruelly into his brain. The delicate floral became an unrelenting assault on his mind and body. The damning confirmation sank into Jack’s stomach. It was a matter of survival not to show fascination or fear.

“Listen to me, you worthless shit-eating maggot!” Sevon snarled in his face. “You don’t get to call me a whore! Do you understand? I will leave you here to rot in this dank cell until even the rats find you too foul and putrescent. You will be thankful we don’t outright kill you. You will be appreciative of your accommodations.”

Sevon relaxed his grip and his harsh tone eased. “You will be eager to answer our questions. You will make yourself very helpful. Or I will have you skinned alive and your flesh made into jerky.” Sevon snorted a breath through his nose, and Jack’s hair fluttered. The beautiful blond man smiled like a content feline. “Now, do we have an understanding?”

Channeling the bravest parts of himself, and locking away the heartbreak, Jack laughed with a crooked, toothy grin. If this was the game, then he would play it until he was the last one standing. Finally, he had sorted the second male scent, and his thoughts sparked with devious delight. “Did I ruffle your feathers, meadowlark? Does the man whose scent you’re slathered in get to ruffle more than your feathers?”

Sevon shoved him away with a wail of disgust. Jack’s head bounced against his chest, and his manacles creaked at the added pressure. Sevon’s offended squeal was the only warning as a hard, echoing slap cracked across Jack’s cheek so forcefully that his vision blew out into whiteness for a moment.

With several flustered breaths, Sevon sharply pivoted and then stormed out of the cell. He nodded to the stocky guard. “Have him questioned about the nature of his people and land. I don’t care how you do it, or to what ends. Use any means necessary to milk him dry.”

The guard bobbed his head and bowed.

Turning back, Sevon regarded Jack one final time.

Jack noted the confusion mingled with a semblance of fascination. He forced a smile through his blood-tinged teeth. “See you soon, Your Majesty,” he purred.

Jack clung to a scrap of hope, and listened to the whispers of Sevon’s skirts as he left Jack in the darkness.

The rats chittered.

About the Author
Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” She knew then she wanted to make the world a little more interesting too.
Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure and epic love—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes if you’re going to going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love. 

Lex is a pop culture diva and her DVR is constantly backlogged. She wouldn't last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind. She is incredibly sentimental, to the point that she gets choked up at holiday commercials. But like the lovers driven to extreme measures to get home for the holidays, Lex believes everyone deserves a happy ending.
Lex also has a knack for sarcasm, never takes herself seriously, and has been nicknamed “The Next Alan Moore” by her friends for all the pain and suffering she inflicts on her characters. She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine now residing in the burbs of Northwest Florida, where it could be 80F and she’d still be a popsicle. 

She is grateful for and humbled by all the readers. She knows very well she wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them and welcomes feedback.

You can find Lex at


Signed Paperback of Chasing Sunrise

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Sunday, July 27, 2014


My Name Is TamsinMy Name Is Tamsin by J.R. Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My Name is Tasmin by JR Smith is a 2014 Penrose pub release. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a thought provoking novel that is very fast paced , has suspense, romance and some very emotional aspects as well.

Thomas and Tamsin were found abandoned, placed in homes and loved very much. However, they both have an illness that has doctors baffled. The families of these special children are drawn together because as far as anyone can tell these two children are the only ones suffering from this strange malady. .
This is not the most ideal way to meet someone but Alex and Amber begin to bond over their love for Thomas and Tamsin respectively. However, they don't have long to explore any feelings between them when they discover they are being watched and followed. But why?

In the first part of the book we are clued in on where the children come from and why they have become the object of so much interest.
The second part of the book deals with their time on the run. There is a lot of emotional twist and turns and serious suspense as well as jaw dropping revelations.
Part three is about the price that must be paid. Freedom came at a cost, but things will be much better in the future.... we hope.

This is a very absorbing read. I don't think it's a spoiler if I say there have been some experiments performed that a group of very evil people are counting on to take control of everything. Although we guessed this from the beginning there were subtle hints along the way that some really whopping reveals were coming. So, buckle up for a thrill ride.
Now a good book has many elements and this one managed to pull off a really great human story and even gives us a romance. The underlying moral of the story is about family, no matter how diverse we are family is the most important thing we can have. Humans are capable of great evil, but are also capable of great love and compassion. So, although this book has a science fiction element , I think the story will appeal to mainstream readers and romance readers as well. Well done. 4.5 rounded to 5.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


The Dark Seduction of Miss Jane by Amanda McIntyre Blog Tour HTML CODE

The Dark Seduction Of Miss Jane
By Amanda McIntyre

A scandalous betrayal sets Miss Jane Goodwin on an unexpected journey to London to pursue her dream of being the first female investigative journalist, but she soon finds herself in a hotbed of murder and controversy. Seduced by the passions of a mysterious lover and stalked by a madman, tensions mount as Jane falls prey to her desires, only to discover a deadly secret that threatens more than just her trust in men.

Inspector Randolph Mansfield is one of Scotland Yard’s elite, battling the dark secrets of his past while trying to solve a rash of grisly murders threatening to mar Queen Victoria's Jubilee. His respite is the anonymity he finds in the decadence of a private gentleman’s club, until a determined American journalist goes undercover in search of her stalker and he finds the lines between protection and passion blurred. But as tensions heat and her life is threatened, he must choose whether to reveal his true identity at the risk of losing her trust and his career.

Available for purchase at 



My parents believed that women should be independent and capable. What is your thinking along those lines, Mr. Hampton?” she asked, purposely goading him.

He emitted a long-suffering sigh. “I do find a capable woman refreshing, Miss Goodwin. I have no qualms with a woman who wishes to be independent and, moreover, isn't afraid to speak her mind.”

She slid him a glance. “Indeed, I think your aunt is correct. You are a charmer.”

He shrugged. “A woman can profess to be independent in many things, but there are still times when a man’s involvement is necessary.”

“That is quite enough, Wesley Hampton,” his aunt spoke.

“Name one,” Jane fired back as she crossed her arms.

“Jane!” Isabella turned in her chair and pinned Jane with a shocked expression.

Wesley’s mouth curled into a wicked smile. He lifted his brow and set down his cup. “A conversation left to another day

About The Author

Amanda McIntyre grew up the daughter of a father who was a distributor for a New York magazine publishing firm, and usually had her nose stuck in the latest issue of Vampirella magazine or a Hitchcock Mystery paperback. She has been called  "a true artist in the writing realm' and her zest for life inspires her "character-driven" stories. Her passion is to take ordinary people and place them in extraordinary situations. She is a best-selling, multi-genre hybrid author and has received numerous awards and nominations for her work. Amanda is published internationally, in audio, e-book and in print. She currently writes sizzling contemporary cowboy romance and is about to release her first historical erotic thriller.

You can find Amanda here:

Author Links:

Website/Blog: http://www.amandamcintyresbooks.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmandaMcIntyre1

FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AmandaMcIntyreAuthorFanPage
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/519786.Amanda_McIntyre

$100 Gift Card to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble

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The Dark Seduction Of Miss JaneThe Dark Seduction Of Miss Jane by Amanda McIntyre
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Dark Seduction of Lady Jane by Amanda McIntyre is a July 2014 publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Well, the title sums it all up I think. The story is certainly dark with a sadistic killer on the loose and Jane is a certainly on his radar. The story is also seductive. I was seduced right along with Jane.

The set up is like this:

Jane catches her fiance in the act of infidelity and in order to let the scandal die down she travels to London to stay with an aunt. Jane wants to be an investigative reporter, not a journalist that reports on the latest Paris fashions. This is really unheard of for a woman, so Jane joins her aunt’s club which is a group of mostly women who take their writing seriously and are more enlightened about women’s rights, although Jane has stronger feminist leanings. Once Jane understand there is a serial killer out there she is ready to jump right into the investigation. But, a certain Inspector Mansfield is not all that thrilled about her sticking her nose into a dangerous situation. Not only that Jane seems to have offended one of her aunt’s friends- a man named Wesley who has made it clear he was attracted to Jane. Jane has also managed to attract the attention of a local magician who is having a little fun by seducing Jane through mind games. In order to find out more about the killer, Jane will have to join a strange club that dabbles in sexual experimentation. She is shocked to learn who some of the members are!!!

To put the icing on the cake, Jane begins to receive a series of troubling notes.

Jane may be innocent in certain matters, but she is no shrinking violet. She gives the tormented and damaged Inspector Randolph Mansfield fits. But, she also touches something buried deep inside of him, something that frightens him almost as much as this killer and Jane being in danger. Jane is caught in a trap there is no hope for. The investigation could take weeks, months, years, or could never be solved. Until the killer is caught Randolph can not pursue the feelings he has for Jane or come to terms with his horrible past.

This is a really good book. I love dark and sexy combined in a book and this one really delivers. Erotic, but presented in a tantalizing way that isn’t overly explicit and that makes it even more alluring. The suspects and the murder investigation is edge of your seat suspense. I thought I knew who the killer was a time or two, but I could never be sure. Well, I will tell you I didn’t even come close to figuring it out. Wow!! What a story. I really loved this one. Everything comes together perfectly in the end, but your heart will be in your throat for awhile. Very well done.
Five stars!!

Buy Links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Seduction-Miss-Jane-ebook/dp/B00LP0X2MM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1405082759&sr=1-1&keywords=the+dark+seduction+of+miss+jane



Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Victorian Scoundrel

by Stephanie Burkhart



It's 2011 and compressed natural gas has taken over from the coal producing steam machines of the Victorian Age. Alice Windsor, Princess of York, follows her mischief-making cousin, Edmund of Wales, back to 1851 where Prince Albert is hosting Britain's Great Exhibition.

Alice soon finds herself over her head in trouble. Edmund is determined to help Prince Albert build a dirigible and the prime minister appears intent in preventing her from stopping Edmund. Alice knows it's too early for the massive flying machine to take to the air. Complicating matters is the passionate Grayson Kentfield, Earl of Swinton. Alice can't stop her pulse from pounding when she's near him.

Can Alice give her heart to a man from the past while working to stop Edmund from changing history?



Grayson escorted her to a door on the right, threw it open, and put his hand on her waist, guiding her inside. A gas lamp burned on a nearby table, throwing stark, deep shadows into the room.

Her determined man shut the door and pinned her against it. He plucked her glasses from her face and threw them onto the table with the gas lamp. Then he pinned her against the door, placing his hands on the door next to her arms. His breathing was erratic. The light from the lamp cast dark shadows over his chiseled features.


He stepped closer and lowered his hands, placing one on her waist. Heat spiked within her and settled low in her abdomen. His hazel eyes burned with desire. He drew in a deep breath and raised his forefinger, tracing her lips. Alice closed her eyes, but only briefly, savoring the gentle touch of his finger.

"You do wild things to my heart, sweet Alice," he finally whispered. His finger traced her cheeks, then her jaw.

She grew hot, yearning for more. Her senses spun from his sensual touch. She could hardly breathe. "Me?"

"Yes, you."

"What do I do to your heart?"

"You make it beat hard -- fast." He ran his finger down the side of her neck and traced the 'v' in her throat.

Alice met the raging inferno in his eyes and nipped at her lower lip with her teeth. "Is that all I do?"

He issued a low, deep groan from his throat and leaned forward.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. After serving 11 years in the US Army she currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate, is addicted to coffee and enjoys early morning walks. She's also an assistant den leader for her son's Cub Scout den and is a Boy Scout mom. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children's books published with 4RV Publishing.















AMAZON KINDLE: http://www.amazon.com/Windsor-Diaries-Book-One-ebook/dp/B0058UG9Q6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1316808713&sr=1-1









Victorian Scoundrel (Windsor Diaries, #1)Victorian Scoundrel by Stephanie Burkhart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Victorian Scoundrel by Stephanie Burkhart is a 2011 Desert Breeze publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is book one in the Windsor Diaries Series.

It is 2011 and Alice and Edmund Windsor are time tripping all the way back to 1851. It's a slippery slope and Alice is well aware of the dangers they could possibly create by causing a ripple effect if they do anything at all to disrupt history. No sooner do they “land” at Buckingham Palace, Alice's necklace ends up being taken from her which has her stranded in the past. She has her hands full trying to keep Edmund from doing something stupid and trying to get that necklace back. She also finds herself really attracted to Grayson Kentfield. Despite the obvious trouble a relationship with someone from the past would cause, Alice can't seem to help herself.
Meanwhile Edmund is having his own flirtation with Kiera Russell.
Alice is beside herself with worry when Edmund strikes up a friendship with their great grandfather, Prince Albert. Edmund is determined to show off things to Albert he really shouldn't be sharing. It's only a matter of time before some folks start putting two and two together. Grayson being one of them.
So, the dilemma Alice wanted to avoid becomes unavoidable and a hard choice must be made. The past or the future, or a leave behind the man she has fallen in love with. But what if he turned out be a Victorian Scoundrel?

Stephanie Burkhart is fast becoming one my favorites. Anytime I have a chance to read one of her novels I do not hesitate. The Windsor Diaries is a unique series falling into the Steampunk Science fiction genre as well as the historical romance genre. All the characters are whimsical and fun and had me thinking about a flying time machine and where I would go if I could and how fun it might be to rub elbows with my ancestors. However, I do think we would all find the temptation to give them a sneak peak into the future would be irresistible and we would not know what effect that might have. Also, we could find ourselves in Alice's predicament by falling in love with someone not of our own time period. What a heart wrenching choice that could turn into. However, in this instance the tampering with history will cause some problems for Edmond, Alice, Grayson and Kiera and their time traveling days are not yet behind them.

This series promises wonderful adventure and colorful characters, intrigue and suspense. Overall this is a great start to the series and since I'm a clod and read these books out of order, I can tell you that the next book in the series is just as good, maybe even a little better as danger lurks in the shadows for this foursome. Stay tuned! 4.5 rounded to five a Rafflecopter giveaway



Smart Blondes

by Sonia Koso



Austin socialite Carrie Pryce has no clue her criminally charming husband is carrying on with another woman until she returns home unexpectedly, mistakes the sounds of passion for a home-invasion robbery and accidently shoots him in the backside. Stunned, Carrie drives all night to her quirky hometown and collapses in a near-catatonic state.

A crew of ladies spanning three generations realize it’s up to them to help Carrie get her life out of the ditch. Known as the “Presbyterian Mafia,” these are not sweet old gals. They have a book club that never reads, a garden club that doesn’t garden, and a bible study class that gossips about the Methodists. They’re known around town for antics including catfights, car chases and Voodoo rituals. The women enlist Carrie’s former childhood best friend Portia (now a lawyer) and her flamboyant cousin Eric (recently returned from New York) in their effort.

While dealing with the after-effects of her imprudent gunplay and managing a hair color disaster, Carrie meets Rhett Richards. He’s an attractive oil field worker who can make women think un-Christian thoughts by the mere act of wearing a pair of tight wranglers. Carrie soon learns that hometowns can be the perfect places to bury old scandals and create new ones.



 Back to Austin

The Texas Chili Parlor was two blocks from Deane’s condo. On the short walk over, she explained that when the legislature was in session, it was very popular with politicians.

Many laws have been drafted and many alliances forged chili and beer at the Parlor,” Deane said. “It’s also a haven for locals who don’t jive with all the skinny jean wearing hipsters moving to town.”

Deane walked them past a couple of motorcycles parked out front and opened the door to the mostly neon-lit establishment. She was immediately met by a man sitting on a stool at the end of the bar. He was wearing a Rolling Stones t-shirt Famous bar in Cozumel and frayed cargo shorts and had a head of coarse hair the color of hay.

Deane!” He said, standing up to hug her. Deane kissed him on the cheek. “Oh no,” he said. “I want the real thing,” and proceeded to kiss her square on the lips.

Now James, I’m here with home folks. You don’t want to ruin my reputation.”

The man smiled and vacated his seat, offering it to Deane.

James, this is Carrie and Eric,” Deane said. “Carrie, Eric, my friend James Roberts.”

Pep, the bartender, who was sporting a long salt-and pepper goatee, came over. He had a pink drink ready and handed it to Deane.

What can I get you folks?” he asked.

Pep,” Deane purred. “These two need Drew drinks. Badly”

Rough day?” he asked, eyeing Carrie’s still slightly red eyes.

All work and no play,” Deane said, taking a sip of the drink.

What is that?” Eric asked, eyeing the slightly pink concoction.

It’s vodka, cranberry, soda, a little lime and more vodka,” Pep responded as his deft hands assembled the mixture.

Good starter,” James said. “But Deane needs a shot.”

Eric and Carrie stared at each other. Who knew Deane Linley did shots?

James, you know that shooting liquor leads to shooting pool,” Deane said with a wink. “And I’d feel bad about taking all your money again.”

That’s a good point. I’m still smarting from our last game.”

Carrie and Eric looked at each other again. Who knew Deane could play pool? And who would’ve guessed she might be good at it? Was the Chili Parlor the portal to an alternate universe?

So what brings you to town?” James asked Carrie and Eric.

Well,” Carrie drawled as she took a sip of the Drew drink. “I live here and….” Her mind derailed for a moment. What was she going to tell people about her and Jake? She said the first thing that came to mind: “Bad marriage stuff.”

I’m sorry to hear that,” James said. “I was married once. Never again. Ever.”

What about you?” James asked Eric. “Married? Divorced?”

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride,” Eric replied. He pretended to flip non-existent long hair from his shoulder.

James seemed completely comfortable with Eric’s flamboyance but he was the kind of man born and bred in Austin who goes with the flow and likes everyone. Gay, straight, black, white, brown; none of it mattered if you were good-natured.

After a round, James kissed Deane on the cheek and told her it was time he headed home.

Is that your motorcycle outside?” Deane asked. “The black and white one?”

Why, yes it is,” James responded.

Ride like you stole it,” she said, putting one hand on her hip.

With that, James and his inviting smile were out the door and off with the throaty roar of a Harley.

Eric stared at Deane widening his eyes and pursing his mouth. “Look who has a boyfriend.”

Hush,” Deane said.

Awful young for you,” Eric teased. “Who knew you were a cougar?”

At my age, I’d be a saber-tooth tiger.”



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Sonia Koso grew up in the eccentricity-filled piney woods of North East Texas. She has been writing since an early age and considers it her first love. After receiving a B.A. in English Writing, her life took a drastic turn and she went to law school. Sonia practiced law for over a decade but was drawn back to writing in 2012. Sonia's stories feature strong women, good-looking guys, legal dilemmas and a dose of humor. Smart Blondes borrows many characters from her childhood as well as her legal career.

Sonia does most of her writing at her condo in Austin’s hip SOCO district. It’s in walking distance from landmarks including Lady Bird Lake, the Continental Club, and the Congress Avenue Bat Bridge. When not writing, Sonia divides her time between the live music of Austin and the sunshine of Boca Raton. She loves Tex-Mex food, blue water, cocktails and good friends. Sonia often dreams of a man who can do his own laundry and a walk-in closet with a chandelier…but not necessarily in that order.





a Rafflecopter giveaway Smart BlondesSmart Blondes by Sonia Koso
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Smart Blondes by Sonia Koso is a July 2014 publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Austin, Texas is a thriving community of the Avant Garde and the affluent mixing and mingling seamlessly. Into this area, two girls grew up together, one a beautiful outgoing blonde who commanded attention from everyone easily, while the other was always in the background being the studious cheerleader for her friend. After growing up they took different paths in life and lost touch... until one of them gets herself into a bit of jam and heads home.

As it turns out Carrie's charmed life has come to a crashing halt. Her husband, Jake is having an affair with the french maid and Carrie catches them in the act. Her reaction was priceless. She returns home and moves back in with her mother and seeks the advice of her childhood friend, Portia who is now a successful attorney. While Carrie has been living the socialite lifestyle, Portia has been working her tail off. But, she has a good marriage and her only wish is that someday she and Travis will be able to have a child, which is something they are having trouble with.
With Carrie's return, some of Portia's resentments return as well. However, Portia is a professional and an adult so she works at putting all that in the background. Meanwhile, we are introduced to a really eccentric and hilarious cast of characters that are friends and relatives of Carrie and Portia's. Eric is a gay cousin , and Deane is really an old family friend but was like a grandmother to the two girls. The marriage of Jake and Carrie is for all intents and purposes over with, Jake being the initiator . Jake's mother who never liked Carrie attempts to control Jake and her granddaughter and all the ensuing divorce issues.
The characters are either very solid with good moral principles or they are shallow and self absorbed and immature. Carrie is sort of milling around in the middle of all that trying to discover her true self. Portia learns a lot about her childhood friend while working on her case and learns that things were not always the way they appeared to be. She ends up gaining a lot of respect for Carrie by the time all things are said and done. When it looks as though Carrie will have to start her life over not only as single mother , but all the bells and whistles she has become comfortable with will no longer be supplied to her by her soon to be ex-husband. But, Portia has refused to just let things go and is working furiously to find a way for Carrie to get what she deserves.
I really enjoyed this book. It would fall into the women's fiction or chick lit genre and is really screwball at times . Each character is well defined and you will love them, hate them, feel bad for them, care about them and root for them. As a Texan I could sort of relate some of these people and could recognize the type of character the author described. Sometimes though the characters were eccentric enough that they could have been from areas much further south and would have fit right it. ( No offense, I was born in the deep south and am a transplanted Texan) . You will love the way things turn out for everyone in the end. Everything all comes together in the most hilarious way and even though it's not the Happy Ever After of fairy tales , it's really a lot better. I'm going to rate this one 4 stars.


We are so excited about the Release Day Launch for FALLING FOR HER HUSBAND by Karen Erickson! FALLING FOR HER HUSBAND is the third novel in Erickson's romantic suspense The Renaldis Series published by Samhain Publishing!!   Falling for Her Husband

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Excerpt: She traced his lips with her fingertip, her touch so light it sent a shiver stealing through him. He parted his lips and she dropped her hand, brushed his mouth with hers again, softer this time. Lingering. As if she wanted more. God knew he wanted more. Needed more. He’d missed his wife so damn much. Reaching up, he cupped her uninjured cheek, holding her to him as he took over the kiss, parting her lips with his delving tongue. She welcomed him, the soft sound of pleasure making his skin tight, and he slid his fingers into her thick, silky hair, holding her to him. When was the last time they kissed like this? He couldn’t remember. All he knew was he could devour her. Kiss her for hours. Touch her everywhere. Slowly strip off her clothes… “Sorry.” He broke away from her still seeking lips, feeling like an ass. “We’ve gone too far.” “What? Are you serious?” The teasing smile curving her lips would be the death of him. He knew it. “We aren’t teenagers with curfews, Vince. You’re my husband. You can do with me what you wish.” If that wasn’t a bold invitation… “You’re still in recovery, Amber. I can’t push too hard. I don’t want to hurt you.” “I’m not dead.” She slid closer to him, pressing her cheek to his so her lips rested just beside his ear. “I want you. It’s been too long since I’ve felt you inside me.” If she only knew the truth to that statement. They hadn’t been together in months. And her words of promise, the way she moved against him, the honey sweet taste of her still on his lips…it was taking everything within him not to jump her. Take her back to their new bedroom and christen that giant king-sized bed properly. “Amber,” he said warningly, but it was no use. His persistent wife was now nibbling on his ear. And she knew how much he loved that. What it did to him. Such a dirty trick. “If you’re afraid you’ll hurt me, don’t be.” She nipped his earlobe, and a low hum that he couldn’t hold back escaped him. “I know you’ll be gentle this time. We can take it slow. Can’t we?” He wanted to. God knew how badly he missed having her beneath him, naked and willing. But it would kill him if he hurt her. He’d never forgive himself. And what if he couldn’t control himself? Her body, the way she responded to his every touch and kiss had always been his weakness. The first time they met she’d flashed that wicked smile at him and he’d been done. Dead. They’d moved fast. One minute they were flirting, the next, they were kissing. And then…he got her into his bed. He never let her out of his life after that. Sexually, they were combustible. Could he hold himself back if he had her naked in his bed? He wasn’t sure. FFHH RDL banner ABOUT FALLING FOR HER HUSBAND: She’s desperate to remember…and he’s desperate to forget. The Renaldis, Book 3 As one of the heads of his family’s well-respected fashion house, Vincenzo Renaldi is used to living life at light speed. His relationship with Amber, a successful model, was the definition of “jet-set”, from whirlwind romance to quickie wedding. Now, at the rate these two workaholics are going, they may as well live in two different worlds. Determined to recapture the magic that drew them together, Vince flies to New York to confront his wife. And only succeeds in chasing her away—straight into the path of a moving car. When Amber awakens in the hospital, she’s overjoyed to see her husband by her side. Yet there’s something behind the relief in his tired eyes. And something behind his determination to treat her like a queen. Something that lurks just beyond the shadows of her missing memories. And when the truth re-emerges, the pain could be a sign of healing…or the final straw that tears them apart once and for all. Warning: The last of the Renaldi brothers finally gets his story. Which means a hot and possessive Italian man is on the menu, determined to show his beautiful wife just how much he loves her. In every sizzling, sexy way he can. Author photoAbout Karen Erickson: USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson writes what she loves to read - sexy contemporary romance. Digitally published since 2006, she's a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with her husband and three children.    

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