Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Taking Heart Cover Reveal & More!

Taking Heart
Healing Harts (#2)
Anticipated Date of Release: June 2, 2015
Pre-Order on Amazon

Why this cover?
Taking Heart was a book that has been ruminating in my mind for quite some time. It was a very special story for me to write, not just the subject matter but both of the characters were incredible. It wasn’t easy to tackle serious subjects like PTSD and the after-effects of trauma, so the characters were extremely important and Julia and Dylan are a perfect couple to tackle this.
Julia Hart has used the trauma of her ex-boyfriend’s attack to benefit others by training therapy dogs for PTSD. When Dylan Granger arrives at her facility, at his brother’s request, he doubts that a dog is going to help change the nightmare his life has become. The last thing either of them expected was the connection they share. But, when they are both required to face their pasts, they find it’s possible when they rely on one another.
With the Healing Harts series, the covers were specifically chosen to convey the romance of the relationship but also the emotional connection of the characters. Since animals play a very special part in this series, it was integral that they be included in the covers. I also wanted to let the readers form their own picture of Julia in their minds, without relying on a cover model. In the end, I think this cover was a great choice and conveys a touching, emotional story.

An Excerpt

"You okay?" Gage glanced his way. Dylan hated the constant worry he could read in his brother's eyes.
He couldn't keep doing this to his brother. He'd become nothing more than a burden, the way their alcoholic father had been. Dylan had been the one who had stepped up from a young age, far too young for the responsibility of taking care of his mother and younger brother. To know that Gage might one day resent him, the way he did his father he couldn't let that happen. As much as he didn't think a dog would help him, it might at least do enough good that he could give his brother back the freedom he'd lost when Dylan returned from Afghanistan.
He shifted in the seat of the Camaro his brother had rented. The old Dylan would have been itching to open the car on the long stretch of highway, to press his foot to the floor and let the powerful beast fly over the asphalt, like Icarus soaring toward the sun. But that man had become mortal, died the day a bullet grazed his temple and a grenade exploded beside him. He fisted his hands, trying to control the anger that rose to the surface whenever he thought of what he'd lost.
"Yeah. Where is this place? B.F.E.? How much farther?"
Gage checked the GPS navigation. "About five miles. Just off the next exit."
Dylan's brows drooped. "Not much around here, is there?"
Gage shrugged as he turned off the highway. "Maybe that's a good thing."
"I don't like it. There's a lot of trees and ground cover. Too many hills."
He knew it might not make sense to anyone else but the hills and wooded areas made it harder for Dylan to see anyone approaching. He might not be in combat any longer, but that didn't stop him from scanning the woods for enemies. The doctors claimed it was just part of the PTSD, but he hadn't met a soldier yet who didn't continue to watch his back, even at home.
It was the same reason he'd done Internet searches on this training facility while his brother was sleeping. He not only wanted to get a lay of the place, but he wanted to know what he should expect. He was surprised to find out it was run by a woman. He'd even watched a few of the videos posted on her website. As much as it looked like she knew what she was doing, he wasn't sure how much a dog trainer could understand about a PTSD case like his without having been in combat. The woman in the videos looked more like a cheerleader than someone who knew anything about fear, trauma, or death.
Dylan crossed his arms over his chest as they approached the entrance and a sign welcoming them to Heart Fire Training Facility. As they pulled up to the main house, Dylan saw his brother's eyes widen. The house was a sprawling two story ranch style with a wraparound porch but what really caught his attention was the beautiful woman seated on the steps waiting for them.
Dylan chuckled at his brother's response. He couldn't help but agree. She was much prettier in person than she'd been in her videos, and that was saying a lot. He turned to say something and found his brother staring at him. "What?"
"You laughed."
Gage stopped the car and turned it off. "That's the first time I've heard you laugh since you came home."
Dylan clenched his jaw, reaching for the door handle. His brother was right, and it had actually felt good, until he realized that he was the only one in his unit still able to laugh. Guilt washed over him as he thought about the families who had lost loved ones because of his failure. He climbed out of the car, refusing to respond.
"Hi, I'm Julia. You must be Dylan?"
The woman moved down the stairs, a broad smile on her face as she extended her hand. Immediately a monster sized dog bounded down the stairs and sat at her feet, staring up at Dylan. He tucked his hands into his pockets, his mouth turning down as his brows bunched in a frown. He wasn't about to put out a hand where this beast could bite. The dog cocked his head to one side, studying Dylan, then opened his mouth in what looked like a grin, his huge pink tongue lolling to the side.
She laughed. "It's okay. Tango is a big teddy bear." She seemed to catch herself. "Unless he's on alert and working."
He wondered at her hesitation and looked back at the dog, and the teeth he could see inside the sloppy grin. "Teddy bear, huh?"
His brother moved around the car and reached for her hand. "Hi, I'm Gage. We spoke on the phone. This is Dylan."
Dylan nodded at her, not moving to approach as he looked around at the facility. He assumed from the barks, yips and howls that the solitary outbuilding was a kennel or training area. The rest of the property was open with pine trees surrounding the back of the property into the hills. She had landscaped the front with wildflowers and grasses that looked native yet too orderly to be natural.
"If you want to grab your bags, I'll show you to your rooms," she offered as she turned back to the house.
Dylan didn't miss the fact that the dog rose and followed behind her. He met his brother at the truck of the car. "That dog is a monster," he muttered. "If you think I'm taking something like that home, you're the crazy one.""You're not crazy and just give it a chance, will you?" Gage looked around the side of the car, making sure Julia couldn't hear the criticism. "What's the worst case scenario? That you get to stare ather for three weeks?"
Dylan glared at his brother. The last thing he needed was any sort of romantic entanglement. He couldn't even take care of himself right now. "You go right ahead."
"You can't be serious. Are you blind?"
Dylan shrugged. He hadn't missed anything - not her curves, not her smile, not the white scar at her temple, and certainly not the way her dark brown eyes seemed to dance as she spoke. But he had nothing to offer and he wasn't selfish enough to sentence anyone else to the hell that was his life now. It was just easier to avoid any emotion, even the good ones. Hurt followed too closely at every turn.
"Are you two coming?" she called from the doorway. Dylan shut the trunk as his brother headed toward the house.
That smile was on her lips again as she opened the door and he felt stab of jealousy at the opportunity he'd just passed up for his brother. He didn't fault Gage; under different circumstances, he would have taken a shot at her. Dylan had always assumed he'd hoped to be married by now, maybe with a kid or two, but now, with a different sort of future ahead of him, he was glad he'd never taken the plunge. He had enough guilt on his shoulders without a wife and kids to disappoint. Gage held open the door for him and followed Julia inside.

Now let's show TINA some Healing Harts LOVE! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bad For Me

Callie Jacobsen isn't about to open her heart to just anyone. Not so very long ago, trusting someone changed her life forever—and not in a fun way. Now she's better off focusing on her career, her friends, and her dog. So when former Marine Everett Silverton takes an interest in her, Callie's more than a little wary. No matter how charming he is, men are a bad idea. In fact, she's got the scars to prove it.

But Everett isn't convinced Callie should shut everyone out—especially not him. He may be a hero to the people of Rock Canyon, but he's got his own demons, and he bets they're not that different from Callie's. Still, he knows it's going to take more than chemistry to get her to let her guard down. Everett will do whatever it takes to show her she's safe with him. All she has to do is take a chance, take a step … and take his hand

***I received this book in exchange for an honest review***
***Expected Date of Release: April 7th, 2015***

Rock Canyon, Idaho may be a small town with a nosy Miss Know It All who has advanced to blogging - but there is still so much love left to be had. Especially when it is for the voice behind the early morning radio show on Kat Country that he calls into everyday like clockwork. Who is he, you ask? None other than Rock Canyon's very own, Everett Silverton. Silverton you say? Yes - we have recently met the handful that is his brother, Justin. Everett, known to his family as 'Rhett', finds himself oddly at ease when talking to Callie Jay. 
It was a hell of a reaction to have to a woman he'd never actually met. 
After years of living in the same town without even a bump into at their local Hall's Market. The bumps in they faced now seemed inevitable since she would be DJ'ing his brother's wedding and the other small fact - Rhett was smitten. (And, me as a reader was beyond smitten with him!) Living in a small town like Rock Canyon, their worlds are sure to intertwine. Perhaps not to the extent that these two do, but surely they will have friends and acquaintances that run in the same circles. While both might prefer the comfort of their jobs behind the phone/microphone - their loved ones are determined to bring them back to the land of the living and crazy in Callie's case. The ladies of RC are a riot, to say the least. And Caroline is my favorite of the crazy bunch. 
"What's wrong with being picky or discreet?" Callie said, her voice rising. "Just because I don't advertise my conquests, doesn't mean I'm not getting any. I am conquering all kinds of ass."
"Fine, I'll just call you Callie, the ass conqueror," Caroline said as she parked in front of Jensen's. 
Friends like the ones that Callie has found herself adopted by are the kind of sitcoms. (Which is appropriate for our Big Bang Theory loving author!) This brings me to Dalton. I hope to see more of Dalton (and maybe a younger Andrews girl?) in a future book or short story. It is obvious to everyone but Callie that this kid has it bad for her, and it offers some serious teasing material. 
"Um, do you not see the look in his eyes? It says, 'Oh please, older and more experienced hot woman, I need you to show me the ropes and teach me a few new tricks."
"Will you shut up?"
"Ride it, my pony."
"I am going to take out your windpipe."
Codi Gary loves her characters. You can see that with most authors, but the love she writes into her characters is breathtaking. Your hero will never be perfect, but she loves all his imperfections.  Your heroine may focus on her flaws, but the strength that shines through shows the love that has flown through the pen of the author onto the page you are reading. (And re-reading because it's THAT GOOD!) The time taken to watch the relationship blossom shows unconditional love from the author like that of a mother and her child. You can't help but fall in love with even the most sinister of people in the story. Usually in a romance, I dread the bumps. I am so eager for the HEA, that the awkward attempts of showing interest are read quickly, but Everett... Geez. 
"Maybe it's about time you let someone else take the wheel." And with that piece of advice, he placed the flowers in her lap and shut the door on her surprise. 
And then Callie. Callie is my book BFF. Has only happened a few times in my life before that I find a female character I like so much that I am dying to be friends with them. Callie is in my gang now. Straight up dork. Coffee addicted. Great taste in men. Awkward homebody. We are homies for life! 
"I take it back; she is my mortal enemy. Initiate Mortal Kombat fighting stance." She punched the air above her in some kind of crazy fighting style. 
Back to the way the author handles the stories she writes. (Yes, I know I am scatter-brained when it comes to writing this review!... I am a reader, NOT a writer!) I am obsessed with the way she ties music into every book. Each book has a clear soundtrack to the love story. My favorite mention of music in this installment was a more subtle one. The nod to Blake Shelton's 'Austin.' 
"Hey, it's Everett. Leave your message at the beep...and Whiskey?" - Callie's breath and heart stopped - "I'm still waiting." 
Ummm...SWOON! Ok, so before I become a book pirate for quoting the ENTIRE book, I am going to let you go with this one piece of advice that I am sure even Miss Know-It-All herself would back me up on: 
READ THIS SERIES! Geez. The town is lovable. The characters are so approachable and real. The love is that of EPIC 'Say Anything' size grand gestures. And the author is one talented doll. With each book, the story gets deeper, the writing gets better and the love is even grander. (Is that a word?!?) FIVE STARS from this lover of books. Now, let's give Codi Gary some LOVE! 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Wild With You: Book Four: Independence Falls series

Dr. Katherine "Kat" Arnolds left Oregon and never looked back at the town that failed her as a child. But when a new patient from Independence Falls joins her clinical trial, she returns determined to show everyone in her hometown how she has thrived—including her high school crush.

Brody Summers saves people. For years, he looked out for his younger siblings and ran the family business. Now he works search and rescue. After a failed mission, Brody plans to take an evening off. When a blonde city girl knocks him off his feet, he refuses to walk away from desire. But it doesn't take long for Brody to realize the past is returning to haunt him—and it goes back farther than one wild night.

The last thing Kat wants is a reason to extend her stay in Independence Falls. But she can't escape the memory of Brody's wicked touch. As their passion heats up, Brody wonders if he's falling for the one woman who doesn't need rescuing.

***Anticipated Date of Release: April, 14th 2015***
***I received this book in exchange for an honest review*** 
I devoured the first 3 books in this series, and was eager with the release of this one. If you didn't catch my review of the first 3, CLICK HERE! - the first two were incredibly strong 4's, and Sara stuck gold with the 3rd installment. When I received an ARC of Wild With You - I quickly finished the book I was reading and dove right in. 
Picking up where Chad and Lena's story left off, I was quickly transported back to my new favorite town. Well, almost. Brody was in Portland pick up the Dr. Westbury, who was their last resort to help their brother who had been severely injured on the job. When Brody is literally knocked on his ass by a pair of gorgeous long legs, he has trouble remaining focused on the task at hand; and is more concerned with..."What would she look like bound to his bed?" Not picking up on her identity as quickly as Kat did, she opted to leave that tidbit out of their conversations.  
Determined to keep his mind on the task at hand, he declined her initial offer for a drink. Fate had different plans, and Kat was determined. To say that Brody's discovery of Kat's actual identity was awkward is an understatement. 
Some long, tedious sessions in the kitchen (and possibly some help from a topless waitress/nursing student) brought Josh back to the land of those with a semi-functioning memory. Were there moments in which he had to leave himself a post-it of what he did the night before? Sure! But, his memory was returning. Thanks to Kat and the trial? Maybe, but she has an inkling that this was happening before she arrived, and he was scared to accept it for fear of losing it again. 
Sara wraps this story together so effortlessly with the previous 3, that it really felt like you were reading one REALLY LONG, AMAZING book. 
Watching Brody try to court his lady friend was sweet beyond words. His teasing drove me bananas, and I wasn't the one receiving it. One of my all-time favorite scenes from the book was this one: 
"I have two words for you."Her voice hit a sultry note that drove him damn near crazy. "Whip cream."
The best two words he'd heard all day.
"I was thinking pizza," he said. "And while you might win points for creativity, my idea gets us both fed while you tell me about your day."
"My day?" She raised an eyebrow. "I spent the last hour sitting at a table you made wondering if you'd ever thought about bending me over it and binding my ankles to the table legs."
If I had to choose ONE word to describe this story, I would select "Fantasy." Brody was the fantasy for Kat growing up in Independence Falls as an unwanted foster child. Kat helped Brody explore his fantasies, even though nobody knew that side of him. "Independence Falls, the people there, they don't have a clue about your wild, dirty mouth, do they?" and Kat created a fantasy about the child she was mentoring. While, Kat tried to keep things fantasy related, Brody quickly realized... "I didn't fall for the fantasy, Kat," he said. "I fell for you." 
My heart went through the entire spectrum of emotions in this one, and when it was all said and done - I was a happy lady. I give this book a BIG 4 stars. If I could have hoped for one thing... and don't die when I say this, since you know how I feel about these - it needed an Epilogue. I am sure she will cover the afters in the next book - but I wanted more! :) Greedy, I know! But, a GREAT GREAT job by the talented Sara Jane Stone. 

Let's show Sara Jane Stone some LOVE!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Hunted Series by Jennifer Ryan

THE Jennifer Ryan! 
Meet "Jennifer Ryan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted and McBrides Series, writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances.

Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home, and how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper. 

Please visit her website at for information about upcoming releases." (Bio from Goodreads)

I first fell in love with Jennifer Ryan's books when I met Brody McBride in her Meet the McBride's series. Jennifer has this magical way of filling her romance with these intense suspense-filled plots that fit perfectly with the budding romances that we all desire when picking up a book with a handsome man on the cover. :) Ms. Ryan does not disappoint with her Hunted series. I can't sum these books up easily, so I have decided to do a list of what you might find, my favorite quotes and lines, and anything else I can think of. After that you will find a short summary of each book in the series. :)
  • In 'Saved by the Rancher' you meet Jenna. Jenna left her husband after she couldn't take the abuse any more. Being the well-known man he was, this was not something she could do lightly. She had to plan her escape.  Again and again. Her ex-husband made it a game to find her and hurt her.
  • No doubt Jenna was on the run again. Good. He so enjoyed finding her. 
  • Something about the connection they share brings to light this playful banter that neither of them are used to sharing with someone. The first time it happened, I had to read it two...three times. It was so simple, so sweet - so unlike Jack or Jenna. 
    "Do you have to replace the front door every day?"
    Smiling at him, not a big smile, but a smile nonetheless. It warmed Jack from the inside out.
    "What are you talking about? I told you, you're safe here."
    "Are you safe here?"
    "What?" He didn't understand what she meant, but he liked her sweet smile. 
    "Women. They must beat down that door every day to get to you."
    He cracked up with laughter. "You think so, huh?"
    "Oh, yeah."
    "I think you're pretty damn beautiful yourself."

    "Yeah, right. I hear bandages and bruises are in this year."
  • In 'Saved by the Rancher' you get acquainted with a ton of characters you want to know more about: Sam, Ben, Summer, Cameron and more! 
  • FUN NOTE: Of all the women you meet, I think Sam has seen them ALL naked! And he makes sure all the guys don't forget that fun fact. 
  • Much of Sam & Elizabeth's story is told from their thoughts. She is in and out of a coma quite a bit. The connection is deep and the baking is monumental portions. 
  • You hear Cameron speak of Decadence in the 1st book, well Elizabeth is the owner of the bakery/cafe. (Sidenote: I think Jennifer needs to publish some of her recipes!)
  • Cameron is more than meets the eye. Nothing is sexier than a GREAT DAD, and that is what Cameron is to Emma. 
  • Cameron wants a family with a mother for Emma, and he isn't so concerned with the passionate love that he felt with Emma's mother, Caroline. He doesn't see it for his future. Enter Shelly. 
  • This story is full of pregnancies of all kinds, fake and real. 
  • Marti has been a pirate for the last year, and catches the eye of one Cameron and his daughter, Emma. 
  • Emma loves her Aunt Elizabeth and they also have  a standing reservation at Decadance. 
  • Marti quickly becomes a part of the "Hunted" family, as they try to kick Cameron out when he continues to be an ass. 
  • A man who is so determined to be a present father, since his was non-existent - only to find out TOO late his father was there all along. 
  • My favorite line from 'The Right Bride' is : "I live in that moment every minute of every day. Never forget that, my love." I sobbed like a friggin baby at this point. A baby watching a SAD, SAD movie. 
  • Sam saw Marti naked too! 
  • And finally, we get Tyler's book! Ekkk - Morgan! 
  • One of the best lines, "Quit wiggling, or I'll forget to be a gentleman." and her response, "Restraint, huh? What's pressed up against my backside isn't any indication of restraint." 
  • Sam saw Morgan naked too! Hehe
  • This story is full of mystery, physics, deeper connections then we can explain and supernatural elements. It had me on pins and needles. 
  • Every book in this series has been FIVE romantic, suspense-filled stars! I cannot wait for Ben's story. He was one of my favorite supporting characters, and I think he deserves a woman who thinks he hung the moon! 

Originally appeared in the e-book anthology All I Want for Christmas Is a Cowboy.
Jennifer Ryan, author of the New York Times bestselling The Hunted Series and the upcoming Montana Men Series, takes us to the very beginning in this Christmas prequel about two people who finally receive the one thing they've always wanted … each other.
Though she is the woman of his dreams, Caleb Bowden knows his best friend's sister, Summer Turner, is off-limits. He won't cross that line. Summer shares a connection with Caleb she's never felt with anyone else, but the stubborn man refuses to turn their flirtatious friendship into something more. Summer will have to take matters into her own hands if she wants her cowboy for Christmas.
Can't say much without giving the story away,  so I will say this: This novella ties your favorite McBrides with the Turners and all those favorites you will meet in the Hunted series. 

From the moment rancher Jack Turner rescues Jenna Caldwell Merrick, he is determined to help her. Soon, he is doing more than tend her wounds; he is mending her heart. Jenna is a woman on the run - hunted down by her ex-husband, David Merrick, from the day she left him, taking part of his company with her, to the second she finds herself in the safety of Jack's ranch. More than just a haven, Jack's offering the love, family, and home she thought were out of reach.

Jack's support will give Jenna the strength she needs to reclaim her life. The hunted will become the hunter, while David gets what he deserves, when they have an explosive confrontation in the boardroom of Merrick International. But not before Jack and Jenna enter into a fight... for their lives.
The Hunted series continues as Special Agent Sam Turner discovers that protecting the FBI's star witness is more difficult than he thought!

Bakery owner Elizabeth Hamilton's quiet life is filled with sweet treats, good friends, and a loving family. But all of that is about to turn sour when an odd sound draws her outside. There's a man lying unconscious in the street, a car speeding toward him. Without hesitation, she gets the man out of harm's way before they're run down.

Unwittingly, Elizabeth has put herself in the path of a serial murderer, and as the only one who can identify the FBI's Silver Fox Killer, she's ended up in the hospital with a target on her back.

All that stands between her and death is Special Agent Sam Turner. Against his better judgment, Sam gets emotionally involved, determined to take down the double threat against Elizabeth—an ex desperate to get her back, despite a restraining order, and a psychopath bent on silencing her before she can identify him.

They set a trap to catch the killer—putting Elizabeth in his hands, with Sam desperate to save her. If he's lucky, he'll get his man … and the girl.

High-powered businessman Cameron Shaw doesn't believe in love—until he falls head over heels for beautiful, passionate, and intensely private Martina. She's perfect in so many ways, immediately bonding with his little girl. Martina could be his future bride and a delightful stepmother … if only Cameron weren't blinded by his belief that Shelly, the gold-digging woman he's promised to marry, is pregnant with his child.

No matter how much his friends protest his upcoming marriage to Shelly, Cameron knows he has a duty to his children, so he's determined to see it through.

Will he find out in time that Shelly's lying and Marti's the one who's actually carrying his child? It'll come down to the day of his wedding. After choosing Shelly over Marti at every turn, will he convince Marti she's his world and the only woman he wants?

FBI agent Tyler Reed trusts only facts and evidence, until the day a beautiful blonde delivers a life-saving warning ... based on nothing more than a vision.

Five years later, the mysterious Morgan Standish has used her talents to help Tyler and the FBI bring down countless criminals. Still, Tyler knows next to nothing about her. She contacts him by phone—and by some sort of psychic connection he's not prepared to admit exists—but has not shown herself once. Until now.

Morgan's gift may let her see things others can't, but it comes at a price. Getting too close to anyone is dangerous, especially the gorgeous, moody Special Agent Reed. For she's seen the future: if they meet again too soon, an innocent could be lost.

But when Tyler's latest case forces Morgan out of hiding, she is the one thrust into the path of a serial killer, the Psychic Slayer, who will stop at nothing to protect the secrets only Morgan can see.