They put the MAN in RoMANce #SpringFlingHop


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Spring has sprung and love is in the air! The Herd Presents set forth the task of sharing the most romantic reads. Let’s skip the small talk and get down to the nitty gritty. (BTW, in most any other situation that would be very unromantic to do to your partner.)


1. Talon by Carian Cole

Ashes and Embers #4 ** can be read as a stand-alone! **

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL PARTNER:
Caring. Hard-working. A devoted family man, loves kids.
Clean cut, funny, smart, quiet, but a good communicator.

~ Asia Jenson

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL PARTNER:
Independent. Tall, blonde, sexy. Outgoing. Intelligent,
neat. Unslutty. Confident. Loves to travel. Committed.

~ Talon Valentine

A SOCIAL EXPERIMENT.
The concept was scary but exciting…
Marry a total stranger. Live together for six months. Journal everything. (Feelings. Fights. All of it.) After six months, we each get $50K in trade for our journals, whether we stay married or not. But the goal is to commit to the experience and see if the relationship experts could put together the perfect matches. I have never been lucky in love. This was my chance to find my soulmate. I couldn’t wait to meet the man the experts felt was perfect for me. My hopes were immediately dashed when I saw him at the altar. Shit. I married my worst nightmare. Right?!

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Why I chose it.

Who you think is your ideal match isn’t always that person. Asia and Talon make sooooo many mistakes, but watching them learn about love and marriage together was wonderful. Talon at the end of the book was AMAZING.

2. Last Day of my Life by Lani Lynn Vale

Freebirds #4

Her

She’s the definition of lost. Doesn’t know her name? Check. Cruelly beaten within an inch of her life? Check. No memory of anything that’s happened since she woke up from that beating? Check. Losing a child she doesn’t remember conceiving? Check. She hasn’t felt anything but lost in a very long time. Then an old biker tells her danger is on the horizon. He sends her to a man that she instantly feels a connection with. A bone deep connection.

Him

He’s the definition of despair. After the death of his young wife while on a tour of duty in Afghanistan, he hasn’t seen the appeal of participating in the world around him. He’s lost the only thing he ever loved. He’s been a shell of the man he once was. His only escape from reality is feeling the wind in his hair, going as fast as he can get his old Harley to take him. That’s the only time he can push his demons back far enough to feel peace. That is until she screams his name.

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Why I chose it. 

Devotion, loyalty, and patience; I think those are the most romantic things you can give to the one you love.

3.Thunderstruck by Bijou Hunter (Contemporary Romance)

Escaping a madman…
My name is Darla, but he calls me Rose. I thought running would keep me safe. Instead, the monster hunts me, certain I will be his again.
Shattered and waiting for death…
Nine months in hell has left my mind ruined. My heart claims I’m no more than a burden. My soul only wants to embrace the darkness.
A retired assassin…
Troy brings the security skills of a former killer. I am his first legit job. He has no reason to make this assignment personal, but our connection can’t be denied.
Thunderstruck…
Troy awakens the part of me that still feels… hopes… loves.

***Thunderstruck is a standalone romance with adult language, violence, and sexual situations.

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Why I chose it

Romance can be raw and rough. Being what the other person needs is romantic. Not a cuddly book but I love Darla and Troy. Bijou Hunter is a great author of damaged heroes and heroines finding a HEA.

Giveaway

Want to win all three ebooks? Enter the rafflecopter giveaway and you could walk away with Talon, BLANK, and Thunderstruck. Share your favorite romantic reads in the comments, too!

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Science sided brain has the dumb. #mondayblogs

Have you seen any of the millions of YouTube videos where they mess with molten or red hot materials?  You can watch molten copper poured into a coconut, molten aluminium dumped in a swimming pool, molten glass/tar/lava onto an iPhone. Destroying iPhones looks like a popular one. There is also a whole channel dedicated to a red hot nickel ball. Viewers send in whatever they want the host to put the RHNB on. I watched floral foam, styrofoam, and gak (remember that stuff?). As I am watching I am reminded of a personal defect; I touch things I know I shouldn’t.

Four year old me laid a hand on the hot stove burner because Mom said it’s hot, don’t touch. So I touched it.

At eight I grabbed the end of metal sparkler after it burned out. Still hot, quite painful. Don’t recommend it.

On the lake when I was fifteen I was done in by a fishing hook in the finger. I’d like to say it was an accident because I grabbed the fish wrong but no. There wasn’t even a fish. Found the hook, touched the sharp part.

There is a voice in my head and it is science/common sense dumb. Hot stuff can’t really be that hot if it isn’t on fire, right? Facepalm with me, dear readers. Since I know I cannot be trusted and there isn’t enough supervision in the world to save me, I avoid certain things. Pretty much any scenario I think could devolve into an episode of World’s Dumbest starring yours truly is off the books for me.

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Leaving the science to Neil. 

My children think I am nuts when I tell them not to grab certain things.

“We know. We’re not gonna touch it. Seriously, who would?”

Me. I would.

Now, if you will excuse me I think it is time I watched this video again. It’s for preschoolers, because they have it together better than the science sided part of my brain.

Reality? What reality? #mondayblogs

For this week’s edition of #mondayblogs, let’s examine my full immersion into the fictional world. Maybe you can relate.

I have a small issue with reality. Events and characters from fiction are real to me. Not in the sense I need therapy to help me differentiate flesh and blood people from actors playing roles/CGI/’people’ in books. My problem is I take the experiences to heart. This is a 50/50 deal because the emotional payoff can be GLORIOUS or it can turn me into a shuddering mess of snot and tears.

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Being selective and spoiler friendly minimizes the risk of a nervous breakdown. The Fault in out Stars is probably a great book. I will never read it because I need to be able to function as a human being afterwards. Minimal exaggeration here. I can’t cry it out and move one. No, the trauma will bury itself in my soul and cause be to burst into tears at random times until the day I die. A few times I have managed to escape by refusing to believe the fake reality. For example, I refuse to believe any Alien movie after James Cameron’s film exist. So, two movies and then the rest are just a non canon fever dream. Why? Because Hicks and Newt. You want to tell me I’m wrong because there is just no way Ripley could have gone on to live a happy life with Hicks and Newt? Prove it.

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Bioware is a company known for producing the Mass Effect and Dragon Age franchises. They are also synonymous with ripping your heart out of your chest and laughing while you bleed out on the ground. The stories of Bioware heartbreak are many. For some, it helps us to cope by sharing our pain with others who understand. Beware of spoilers in the video below.

With every choice, even in previous games, effecting future events you gamble with your chances of a happy ending. I don’t know anyone who played through one time and got it all ‘right’. Maybe you don’t care about that kind of thing but for me it is personally vital to my sanity. Yes, I’m striving for the fluffy bunny and magical unicorns of joy conclusion. If you think it makes me a loser, you can bite my magical unicorn ass.

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Love is never going to the grocery store alone. #mondayblogs

Love is being married to the same man for 40 years and he still enjoys giving me goosebumps from kissing the back of my neck, every year he remembers to buy me Cadbury eggs at Easter time, and he always whistles when I walk out of the shower. – Pamela

When I married Mr. B he was unemployed after his company folded up shop. He spent months looking for a job but no luck. He was either overqualified because of his IT work history  or under qualified without a college education. My retail job kept our heads barely above water as bills piled up. Mr. B’s self esteem took a huge hit. Since the age of sixteen he had a job and now he had a wife he couldn’t provide for. He decided to join the United States Air Force. Insurance, paychecks, and a chance to go to college came with the job once he signed on the dotted line. He went to basic training in San Antonio and I prepared for seven weeks apart. My dad told me to write him a letter everyday. “It’s rough in basic. Those letters from home have a way of making the worst day feel bearable.”

I sent forty-nine letters, one for each day we were apart. Not many letters came back from him, but when they did it was wonderful. He kept a running journal of each day, just a few sentences. My first letter from him came with the three page journal. I recently re-read the letters and feeling his stress/anxiety through them was sobering. His flight was the F-Troop, so bad they got one instructor reassigned for his failure to train them.

At twenty-three, Mr. B was used to freedoms his eighteen year old counterpart were not. Home sickness was his biggest issue along with the fear of being ‘washed back’. This is when you have to start over in basic. He was so worried about it he kept an injury hidden and performed minor self surgery to avoid the Med clinic. (I was not happy about that one, at all!)

Looking back over his letters one sentence sticks out in my mind. “My first letter from Bridget came today and I cried when I read it.”

Mr. B is a strong, silent type. Very stoic. I can count his tears over the last  seventeen years on one hand and still have fingers left over. Knowing a letter from me hit him so hard told me a lot. A little gesture that spoke volumes. I started thinking about other times one of us has done something small in scale but meant the world to the other gestures are beautiful but I really think it is the smaller gestures I enjoy most.

Love is when he rubs your back and massages your aching hands while you talk at night. Love is when he brings you your favorite chocolate because you’re feeling stressed. Love is when you stroke your child’s hair and sing her to sleep every night at bedtime. Love is being there for someone when they need you, love is listening without judgment, love is accepting someone as they are, love is giving of yourself, love–real love, comes without any expectations or conditions – Liana

On facebook I asked people to define love in small gestures. They had to finish the sentence “Love is…”

 

 

Love is…

not complaining about my cold feet in the bed – Jasmyn

34 years together and my man stills makes me giddy when he smiles at me! – Angela

morning cuddles – Sara K.

having that 1 person that can make you smile even on the worst days – Sara D.

still getting butterflies whenever he takes me on a date – Alexis

knowing to be there when needed even if you’ve not been invited – Lavern

Finding out your husband of 11 years listens to Kelly Clarkson at work because her songs make him think of you – Bonnie

Cutting 3 inches off crutches and piecing them back together for your short wife with fractured foot. – Robin

buying ice cream for your girlfriend when shes feeling down – Amanda

giving you the last bite – Stephanie

The door handle on my truck broke and my husband refuses to fix it. He said he likes to open the door for me – Jody

Peeling the pistachios for me because I don’t like to mess with the shells. – Amber

being treated with respect – Linda

when I’ve had a really bad day and her arms are there to wrap around me.- Amy

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Sara Feiss Art – shop her Etsy store here

Love is not having an appetite for days because an old hag’s comment made your self esteem go down but going into your bag to get your laptop to find he placed a baggy of your favorite snacks and a note that says “For my beautiful wife. I need you alive” – Lisa Marie

Life throws up for a loop and suddenly your day turns to night. Hopefully, it only lasts a day.

Love is being selfless, being kind, loving beyond fault, putting your children, your spouse, and God first before yourself. Love is staying by your sick child’s beside day and night, day after day, month after month, in a horrid Cancer battle and holding said child in your arms as he died. – Mary

Sometimes love is painful. I once heard it said that the opposite of love is not hate, for hate is the absence of love. No, the opposite of love is grief. When the mortal vessel love lives inside has reached it’s end, grief in others is the proof it existed. For this reason, grief is a beautiful celebration of love. Don’t fear grief, though it is painful, because without it you can’t know the joy of real love.

Life is hard, when you really have someone who loves you that makes the load easier. I hear a lot of people say that love should be easy, where did that idea come from, you have to work at the things you want, why would you do less for the love of your life, it requires maintenance and work, you have to tend it everyday. – Linda

We live in a day when relationships don’t stand the test of time, according to statistics. We’re told true love is a magical experience that just happens.

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We work for everything in life, why wouldn’t we work for love? Work doesn’t have to mean back breaking endeavors. Little things count big time. Don’t waste a day without showing your loved ones why they matter; family, friends, spouses/significant others, etc.

If you’re unsure how to go about doing this I think Christy W. summed it up well when she answered my post with “Love is everything.”

I don’t get the hype. Please don’t kill me.

You can’t please everyone. It’s a global truth. When something comes along that every person on the planet seems to like but you, suddenly you find yourself on the outside of the trend. When it happens to me ask myself, “What am I missing? What don’t I get that everyone else does?”

I asked my readers to give me an example of a book or movie they didn’t understand the draw of. The most popular were…

  • Fifty Shades of Grey (book and movie)
  • Game of Thrones (book and movie)
  • The Walking Dead
  • Outlander

Walking Dead and I are very close. I’m a horror fan but it is the character development over the seasons I’m invested in. In the event of a zombie apocalypse, I’m looking for a Daryl.

Game of Thrones. #TeamDany all the way. I enjoy several story lines in the series but I won’t lie. They could rename it Mother of Dragons and have nothing but Emilia Clarke’s character and I’d be stoked.

I am 50/50 on Fifty Shades of Grey. Outlander I get in theory. The story sounds great when others talk about it. I’ve tried to read it several times and watched the first season of the show. Beautiful story of enduring love but so painful. My heart doesn’t like tragic love. I will dwell on it fo’eva.

My name is Bridget Blackwood and I am a Outlander quitter.

Sorry Jaime.

 

Hear ye, hear ye!

Hello, Kitties!

The weather is crazy in my neck of the ‘burbs. One day is warm and the next is frigid. Summer will be here before I know it. *sob* I am a winter person, but I’ll deal. Heading into a very busy season and I have so much to share with you. Strap in, because here we go!giphy

Facebook Events where you can chat with me and other authors plus WIN PRIZES! 

3/19 Chic Fest 

3/19 Feel Like a Woman

4/1 There’s No Fooling Love

4/7 Werewolves, Witches, and Vampires, OH MY!

I will be at two conventions this year. 

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August 12th & 13th 2016. Once Upon a Book is being put on by the fabulous author Stacey Rourke at the Bavarian Lodge in Frankenmuth, Michigan. The list of attending authors is loooong. You can pre-order books from some authors at the same website you can purchase tickets.

Purchase tickets

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PennedCon STL 2016 is gearing up to celebrate our 3rd year in St. Louis. Join is September 23/24th for a two-day book signing event with over 130+ authors, learn from industry leaders about how to publish, market and grow your brand, join us for our keynote speakers, join in with games hosted by authors, panels, a luau awards ceremony any more! – Rick and Amy Miles

I’ll be sharing a table with my writing partner in crime, Astrid V. Tallaksen. We are ridiculously excited to be together.

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PennedCon raises money for a charity scholarship with Action for Autism

Purchase tickets

****LIMITED TIME OFFER****

Show love for World in Shadows by sporting a shirt from their favorite hangout.

April 26th is the re-release of Belong to the Night with Booktrope Publishing. This copy is revised from the original copy that is currently available.  There will be a party on facebook with ebooks, signed paperbacks, and swag up for grabs. Don’t miss out, I’m especially generous with gifts on release days ;0)

While you wait, watch the trailer for Belong to the Night and add it to your Goodreads.

Need something to listen to? How about giving the Belong to the Night YouTube playlist a try. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel!

Several birthdays, holidays, and visits from family are coming up for the Blackwoods. I’m busy working on Lost in Paradise and thinking about what I want to do with Made of Stone. So many little surprises for the following months that I can’t share yet and it is KILLING me. Secrets are not my forte. Keep an eye out for more because as soon as I see green lights I am telling the world!

Share the Love…of Blogs!

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It’s time for our annual Share the Love giveaway hop! This hop is a little different and all about sharing our favorite bloggers and authors with you! There’s a giveaway at every blog so visit them all and find out who all we just adore. #ShareTheLove

 

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Literary Misfit

 

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Bitten by Romance

 

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The Jeep Diva

 

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Wickedly Delicious

 

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Book Lovers 4 Ever (formerly Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My!)

 

Visit this page —–> a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a SIGNED PAPERBACK of A Scarlet Fury.

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It has been almost a year since mankind became aware of the world in shadows. Where peace prevails, prejudice still lurks among the masses. Madalaina Bonvillian believed nothing could harm her; she’s the daughter of the former alpha and the sister of the current one. She counted on her status to keep her safe. Little did she know how naive she was. After surviving a brutal attack, Madalaina must try to move forward, but where do you go when you feel like you’ve lost yourself?

Cleary Neil has kept his feelings for Madalaina to himself. He’s been nothing more than a friend to her, and now that’s what she needs more than anything. The only problem is he can’t shut off the part of himself that wants to protect his mate from the pain and confusion he sees in her.

Together they will go on an emotional journey to find out if love can heal all wounds. Time is of the essence, because enemies are gathering.