Friday, September 5, 2014

Favorite Hero Friday with M.J. Schiller--Meet Michael McKee, from Damage Done #romance

Who’s your all-time favorite hero (one you’ve read)? Why is he your favorite. What makes him special?

I think my favorite hero is going to always be the last hero I read, which in this case is Jason Ryker, NHL star from Brenda Rothert’s BOUND. I think he has what I like to see in a lot of heroes, tough, sexy, in command, but also sweet and sensitive. Ryke, as his teammates call him, had a troubled first marriage but tried to understand his wife and make sacrifices to make her happy. Despite her demanding ways Ryke grieves when his wife is killed by a drunk driver. When he meets Kate, and she comes with her own set of emotional baggage, the big, hunky hockey player is patient in overcoming her fears. And the sex scenes are ultra steamy, so that doesn’t hurt either.

Now tell us about a hero from one of your books. What makes him who he is? And where can we find this sexy beast?

Like Ryke, Michael McKee from DAMAGE DONE has had some sorrow in life. He hides behind his music and an aimless life until he meets Tess. Michael is a real sweetheart, who’d do anything for Tess, including take a murder rap for her. He’s got the natural born charm of an Irish man and will win you over with just a wink and a smile. You can find this sexy beast between the covers of DAMAGE DONE, sold here:


When an unhappy youth leaves him damaged, will Teddy Mckee be able to find love?

“Teddy Passmore McKee was born in Cork, Ireland, with a limp and a chip on his shoulder that threw his balance off all the more.” When he falls in love with the dark haired beauty born of an Irish father and a Spanish mother, will Gabrielle Quinn be able to restore his balance? And what about the charming Sean Hennessey? When Gabby catches his eye, too, will Teddy’s playboy best friend cause his own damage?

Fourteen years later, will Teddy and Gabrielle’s son be able to overcome the damage done to him in his childhood?

“Even through bloodshot eyes he could see she was different.”  But can Michael leave behind the bottle, and his womanizing ways, to win over the lovely Tess Flanagan? Tess has sustained some damage of her own. Can she and Michael overcome the terrors of the past and learn how to love each other?

And if they do, will they be able to elude those after them who want to create their own damage?

On the run after an altercation leaves their boss in a pool of blood, will Michael and Tess be able to stay one step ahead of their pursuers? Or is it simply too late to correct the damage that has been done?


“Tessie…” He offered again. “We have to get out of here.”

She remained frozen in her spot, staring blindly over the cliff. He moved a step closer and gently grasped her elbow. “Tess—”

She whirled around and his heart caught in his chest as he stared into her wild green eyes. Tears shone on her damp cheeks, glimmering in the moonlight like trails of scattered diamonds. “Nay, Michael,” she said, her words coming out choked. “I have to tell them the truth. It’s my fault. …I k-killed him.” She sobbed.

He looked at her sadly, begging her, “Let me help you.”

The back door creaked open and light spilled out from the bar across the grass, startling them. He saw Jimmy Flynn’s outline in the doorway. “They’re out here!” he yelled.

Without waiting for a response, Michael took Tess’s arm and steered her along the cliff’s edge. He stepped over the railing and helped her to the other side as well. They stood on a narrow ledge. To the left a trail dropped off toward the sea. He led her skittering down the path, loose rock pebbling the beach far below. He had taken the pathway many a night when he was drunk and feeling particularly reckless. Tonight he hurried over it with only self-preservation and Tess’s safety in mind.

They heard voices above them, coming from every direction as searchers fanned out along the top of the cliff. Their eyes met. They hardly dared to breathe. A flashlight beam ventured over the railing and along the cliff face. She clutched his hand, squeezing it until he lost feeling in his fingers. He tried to flatten himself even more tightly against the rock face, wishing it would somehow melt and absorb them. Several seconds passed and the beam of light was joined by another, and another, each swinging away, and then toward them again.

He grabbed a quick look at the churning sea below then closed his eyes for a second, and his stomach dropped. He took a deep breath before turning his head to look at Tess. Her eyes were closed and her lips were moving fervently, but she emitted no sound. He swallowed, wondering again why the sight of her affected him so. After several minutes a voice called out, “You won’t get away with this, Mikey.” Had someone seen them? He heard Jimmy Flynn mutter, “Wherever they are, we won’t find them tonight.” One by one the lights disappeared until only a solitary beam shone.

MJ is a lunch lady in the heart of Central Illinois. My gosh! Can you get more folksy than that? She met her husband at the University of Missouri-Columbia and now she has a nineteen-year-old (how did that happen?) and seventeen year old triplets! She loves to read, karaoke (where she can pretend she is a rock star) and spends WAY too much time on Facebook. She grew up in St. Louis and still has family there.

You can find M.J. at:

Friday, August 29, 2014

Favorite Hero Friday with Marlow Kelly--Meet Duncan Campbell #historical #romance #Highlanders

Hey guys!

I’ve got fellow Wild Rose Press author Marlow Kelly with me today. Marlow and I did an exchange on each other’s blogs, each of us sharing our favorite heroes. My personal favorite is what I call the “balpha” hero (I think I stole this term from fellow agency author AJ Nuest, but I can’t recall). But essentially, he's an alpha with a soft side, he's a little beta. Marlow is sharing her love of the alpha.

So glad to have you, Marlow!

First I’d like to say thank you to Joanne for having me on her blog, it’s a pleasure to be here. We’ve have been discussing heroes and the type of hero we look for when we choose a romance novel. Joanne prefers the balpha hero. If you’re wondering about balpha heroes you can read about them on my blog. Personally, I have always been partial to alpha males. I like a man’s man, who means what he says, and says what he means, and that’s what gets him into a heap of trouble, especially with the heroine because she’s a strong woman who can resist his charm.

There are a lot of alphas out there, but one of my favorites is Ben Lewis from Hearts of Fire by Linda Howard. Ben is an Amazon riverboat guide and Jillian Sherwood is an archeologist who knows where a lost city and a secret treasure are located. Women are interchangeable for Ben until he meets Jillian. He demands to know the location of the lost city, when she refuses to confide in him they clash. She stands up to him, and defies him, which is something new.

And of course, she’s attracted to him because like all alpha males he’s tall, muscled, and can hack his way through the Amazon Jungle all day and still have enough energy left to try and seduce her. You gotta love it. But when things take a turn for the worse Ben is there to protect her even though she still doesn’t trust him. He knows she’s special, knows that he loves her, but there’s still a flaw in his reasoning that sees money as the answer. Jillian sees her discovery as cultural and intellectual treasure and until Ben can change his thinking he will never be able to make her happy. It’s a fundamental difference between them. One that is resolved in the end, because an alpha male always gets his girl. 

Duncan Campbell, my hero in “A Woman of Honour” is an alpha male. He’s a giant of a man, and although I don’t say so in the book, I picture him to be at least 6ft 8in tall, and over 2ft wide at the shoulders. But that’s perfect because my heroine, Isabel, is about 6ft 2in in height.

They meet in a pitch-black dungeon and her first reaction upon meeting him is to punch him on the nose, being a man’s man this doesn’t deter him at all. He gets a kick out of her primness and enjoys provoking her. But from the beginning he knows he wants Isabel and works to erode her resistance. He warms her when she’s cold, feeds her when she’s hungry and in the end puts himself between her and death. Sigh. What’s not to love about an alpha male?

A Woman of Honour by Marlow Kelly
Worldwide Release Date: 27th August 2014

Duncan Campbell wakes to discover he is imprisoned with a woman in his enemy's dungeon in the Highlands of Scotland. The disenchanted warrior hopes his last few moments on earth will be spent in the arms of the sweet-voiced Isabel. If only she will cooperate.

Isabel Douglas has no intention of obliging the crude captive. The penniless noblewoman considers herself too tall and thin to be desirable. She intends to become a nun. But first, disguised as a boy, she must deliver an important letter to Scotland's hero in hiding, King Robert the Bruce.

Together, the pair make a daring escape that plunges them into the bleak countryside in the middle of winter. In the struggle to survive, they learn the true strength of their feelings for each other. But when Duncan's animosity towards the king becomes evident, Isabel must decide between her heart and her country.

 Duncan Campbell drifted into consciousness and opened his eyes to absolute blackness. He lay perfectly still on the cold, dirt floor listening. A small rustle of fabric echoed in the darkness. He cocked his head, getting a sense of the sound’s location, then rose to his feet.

“Tell me who you are before I tear you apart,” he roared, seizing his opponent. Whoever it was didn’t answer, just silence. A fist punched him on the nose. Pain ricocheted through him, and he grabbed his face. In the dark, he lost his balance and fell in the dirt, cradling his head in his hands.

“Oh my, are you all right?” asked a small voice.

“No, I’m not.”

“You threatened me, and I wanted to give you fair warning I will fight back if you touch me.”

The lyrical voice stunned him. A woman? She spoke Gaelic with a strong, lowland accent. He shook off the pain and asked, “Where am I?”

“Dunstaffnage Castle. Don’t you remember your capture? I’ve heard of people getting a bump on the head and not remembering their own name. Is that what happened to you? Did you bump your head?”

Lord, she was talkative.

“Is it?”

“I remember I was hit from behind scouting the bast….Are we in the dungeon?” He rose to his feet.


He grunted. On the bright side he hadn’t gone blind. On the other hand they were in a dank, windowless cell with no hope of escape. There wasn’t even a sliver of light coming through the door.

Marlow Kelly Bio
After being thrown out of England for refusing to drink tea, Marlow Kelly made her way to Canada where she found love, a home and a pug named Max. She also discovered her love of storytelling. Encouraged by her husband, children and let’s not forget Max, she started putting her ideas to paper. Her need to write about strong women in crisis drives her stories and her curiosity regarding the lives and loves of historical figures are the inspiration for her characters. You can visit Marlow at, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest   

Marlow and I were critique partners for a bit. I actually remember this book. And I loved it. Duncan is a great hero. He really is an alpha, but he's one I found myself drawn to. If you like historicals and you like alphas, pick up this one. It's a fantastic book. 

Have you read either of these books? What did you think? 

If not, who's your favorite alpha?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Blitz: The Marriage Agenda PG by Sarah Ballance

The Marriage Agenda by Sarah Ballance
Contemporary Romance
Date Published: August 18, 2014

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There's a scandal brewing in Washington... 

Knox Hamilton wants his father’s recently vacated Senate seat, but the only way his conservative constituents are going to vote for Knox is if he loses his playboy reputation. Which means Knox needs a wife. There’s only one woman with whom he's willing to share his life, but after the way he broke things off with her, will she give him another chance?

Chloe Lochlan's job is on the line. If she doesn't grab a big headline, she'll be ousted from her gig at the major newspaper where she works as a reporter. Knox's offer of marriage chills her to the bone. He already crushed her heart once and she has no intention of letting it happen again. But being with him gives her the kind of access to top tier social events rarely granted to media, access that could land her the story of a lifetime. When the truth she uncovers threatens to destroy the man she still loves, will she bury the story...or his career?


As she stood alone in the bar, second thoughts closed in. No one had approached claiming to be her date. Had he taken one look at her and left? Patience—and nerve—waning, Chloe scoured the room, hoping for a sign she should leave. And she found one. A big one.

Watching her intently from a corner table was her ex-everything. And in spite of a strict never-again policy for all things Knox Hamilton, her body melted in traitorous anticipation. His trademark bedroom-tousled hair, the same luscious brown hue as those smoldering eyes, did little to kill the energy coursing through her at the speed of orgasm. Her knees weakened, further threatening her unsteady perch on the stilts a salesclerk had tried to pass off as a wardrobe staple.

Chloe stared at Knox, an uneasy feeling crawling through her chest.

All her synapses fired “flee,” but her GPS was off. Her attempt at escape landed her at the corner of his table, where she nearly collided with a waiter setting something in front of Knox that was suspiciously akin to Chloe’s favorite drink, a strawberry daiquiri. Though the beverage seemed to confirm her suspicions, she eyed the glass with a touch of misplaced jealousy. It wouldn’t surprise her if he had a date. Well-known and filthy rich, up-and-coming politico Knox Hamilton had everything, including his pick of eligible women.

“Chloe.” He drawled her name, adding a seductive syllable or two. “You look amazing.”

Her mouth watered at the sound of his voice. “Hi.” Her voice squeaked with a less-than-dexterous reply.

He grinned. “It’s been too long. Have a seat.”

She eyed the daiquiri. “Actually, I have a date. As do you, it seems.”

His gaze met hers over the deep amber mouth of his beer bottle. “I ordered that drink for you.” The words simmered with the husky promise of the bedroom, slipping from his lips with an odd amount of reckless, deliberate ease.

Entranced, she caught herself staring at his mouth.

He leaned back in his chair, giving her a good, long look at the way his torso shaped his neatly buttoned and pressed shirt. “Will you join me?”

He had no right to look so good. She swallowed, getting a full taste of memories she’d sooner forget. “My date—”

“—is one unlucky bastard tonight. That is, of course, if you’ll sit.”

If she was smart, she’d give Knox a view of her amazing legs and phenomenal ass as she teetered out of the bar on those damned stripper heels. But curiosity would make a dead cat out of her yet.

About the Author

Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids.) When not buried under piles of laundry, she may be found adrift in the Atlantic (preferably on a boat) or in search of that ever-elusive perfect writing spot where not even the kids can find her.  To learn more about her work in contemporary, historical, and supernatural romance and romantic suspense, please stalk accordingly.

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$25 Amazon/ BN gift card tour wide via Rafflecopter to one reader (winner’s choice)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Favorite Hero Friday with Linda Trout -- Meet Sam Tarkington, hero from Last Hope Alaska #romance #heroes

Morning everybody! I've got fellow Wild Rose Press author, Linda Trout with me today, sharing her favorite heroes! Welcome, Linda!

Who’s your all-time favorite hero?

From the millions of hero’s in books (there are millions, aren’t there, because it sure seems like that many to me), I’m choosing Sam from Lord of the Rings. What? But he’s a secondary character you say. Yes and no. Yes, he wasn’t the main focus of the book, Frodo was the keeper of the ring. Only Sam was more heroic.

Even when Frodo basically told Sam to get lost (my interpretation), he still followed Frodo, saving his bacon time and time again. Sam didn’t lose sight of the main goal (well, almost never) and encouraged Frodo to destroy the ring. AND, in the end, it was Sam who got the girl and lived happily ever after. See? The hero. J

Now tell us about a hero from one of your books. What makes him who he is? 

My favorite hero from one of my books would have to be Sam (hmm, I’m seeing a pattern here) from Last Hope Alaska. He has been dealt one hard knock after another most of his life, yet didn’t lose his decent inner core. Sam could be described as a big teddy bear. He doesn’t “want” to help the damsel in distress, but can’t turn his back on someone down on their luck. However, as big and tough as he is, he meets his match in Emily.


When Emily glanced at the bar, the taller of the two bartenders stared back at her, unblinking. He said something to the other man and slipped under the pass through. Deliberately, he made his way toward her, stopping only when he reached her table. She told herself not to stare, but she couldn’t take her gaze off him.

The white shirt emphasized his wide shoulders. His blond hair hung to the collar of his shirt, reminding her of a mountain man, totally at home in the Alaskan wilderness, knowing where he belonged.

He towered over her a moment as she craned her neck. Quickly he pulled a chair from the table opposite her, turned it around and straddled it, bracing his arms across the back. Emily expected him to smell of alcohol, but instead the only odor she could detect was earthy—as if he truly were from the woods. His square jaw spoke of a quiet strength.

“Whiskey.” He barely breathed the word. The formation of the word caused his full sensuous lips to draw her gaze.

“I beg your pardon?”

It took a heartbeat or two for him to answer. “Your eyes. They remind me of rich, amber whiskey.” He held her gaze for a long time.

“Um, thank you. I think.” The longer he sat there, the closer he leaned toward her. It startled her to realize she didn’t mind. He seemed so down to earth So totally opposite of Dominic and his kind.

“I’m Sam. Sam Tarkington. Best bartender in town.” He winked, then grinned. The movement caused his steel gray eyes to soften.

Her shoulders relaxed as she truly smiled this time. His comment sounded like a smarmy come-on, but she liked it anyway.


Emily Redfern's ex-fiancĂ© learned to kill on the back streets of New York.  Now, she is his target.  Broke, exhausted, and a step ahead of the man she once loved, she clings to one last hope: the wilds of Alaska.  The quiet safety of her hide-a-way becomes addictive as she grows to care for the man who offers her refuge.

Released from prison after a wrongful conviction, native Alaskan Sam Tarkington is determined to regain his business, repair his reputation, and rebuild his life.  But when he meets a desperate and vulnerable woman, guarding secrets of her own, she tugs at his heart.  She's a distraction he can't afford. Sam must choose Emily or achieving his dreams.

Like Emily's life, the peacefulness of the wilderness is an illusion as danger lurks in the distance.  Does Sam hold the key to her survival or will her past cost them everything?

About Linda:
A retired accountant, Linda Trout is a true romantic at heart, living with her real life hero and various dogs and cats in northeastern Oklahoma. They own ten acres of semi-wooded land, where the “wild” keeps creeping forward at a pace faster than they can keep up with. Getting lost in a good book is one of her favorite pastimes as well as riding alongside her hubby on their Harley’s.
Twitter: @LindaTrout2

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Book Blast: Traitor's Legacy by Beth Trissel @GoddessFish #HistoricalFiction #romance

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Beth will be awarding a $35 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post.

1781. On opposite sides of the War of Independence, British Captain Jacob Vaughan and Claire Monroe find themselves thrust together by chance and expediency.

Captain Vaughan comes to a stately North Carolina manor to catch a spy. Instead, he finds himself in bedlam: the head of the household is an old man ravaged by madness, the one sane male of the family is the very man he is hunting, and the household is overseen by his beguiling sister Claire.

Torn between duty, love, and allegiances, yearning desperately for peace, will Captain Vaughan and Claire Monroe forge a peace of their own against the vagaries of war and the betrayal of false friends?
Now enjoy an excerpt:

She fixed those wonderful eyes on him, more lethal than a backwoods rifleman. “Shall I lead the way, Captain?”

“Certainly.” He’d be tempted to follow her anywhere. A most unsettling thought.

Nothing about this fetching young lady struck Vaughan as calculating, but for the sake of her adored brother and sacred revolution he strongly suspected she’d try to deceive him. He’d hate to have to make her arrest. In fact, he should loathe it to his core. And he’d only just met her.

Why did she have such a potent effect on him, and why did it seem his fate to encounter beguiling females on the wrong side of this infernal conflict? If they weren’t Rebels to begin with, they inevitably adopted the cause. 

Could he persuade Miss Monroe of her duty to the king, to him, and win her allegiance? Perhaps. She’d conducted herself splendidly thus far, and for such a prize he was willing to give his all. 

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles, and nonfiction about gardening, herbal lore, and country life.


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