Thursday, April 29, 2010

Harlequin’s More Than Words Program & Giveaway

I was excited to be contacted and asked if I would be interested in speaking about and giving away a copy of the new More Than Words anthology from Harlequin. Of course I said yes!

The More Than Words program is nothing short of amazing. With the mission of “enhancing the well-being of women,” Harlequin uses the More Than Words program to:

  • Raise awareness about worthy causes that are of concern to women
  • Provide financial assistance to these important charities
  • Engage employees, authors and readers and the general public in worthy causes and provide opportunities for them to make a difference
  • To this end, they select (from your nominations) 5 kick-ass women who are contributing amazing things to our community. Please, check out this year’s winners and see what you can do to help empower women everywhere!

    2009 Recipients:

    Katherine Chon: Polaris Project
    Rhonda Clemons: Zoë Institute
    Barbara Huston: Partners In Care Maryland
    Roni Lomeli: Shoes That Fit
    Lara Tavares: Sky’s the Limit Youth Organization

    Another awesome part of the program is the annual anthology that is inspired by these recipients. I’m excited to be able to offer one book to a lucky commenter, but please also consider buying the book here. Proceeds from the book go to the More Than Words Charity Program!

    More Than Words Little by little, one person at a time, we can make our world a better place. The five dedicated women selected as this year's recipients of Harlequin's More Than Words award have done just that, by discovering a seed of compassion, and nurturing it to effect real change in their communities. To celebrate their accomplishments, five bestselling authors have honored the winners by writing short stories inspired by these real-life heroines.

    We hope More Than Words inspires you to look into your heart and find the heroine who lives within.

    Who has most inspired you in life? Let me know and you’ll be entered to win a copy of More Than Words Volume 6!

    The contest will go through May 2nd, with the winner announced May 3rd. Open to US and Canada residents only.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    Romance Book Review: A Touch of Scandal by Jennifer Haymore – 4 Heart Review

    Touch of Scandal Romance Book Review: A Touch of Scandal
    By: Jennifer Haymore
    4 Heart Review
    Grand Central Publishing
    Historical Romance

    The last thing Garrett, Duke of Calton, expects to find while tracking his sworn enemy is the delectable, mysterious Kate. This beautiful servant girl rouses a longing the battle-scarred ex-solider had never hoped to feel again. But when she turns out to be the sister of the man he seeks, he's convinced he's been betrayed.

    Kate knows her duty is to her family, yet how can she ignore Garrett's powerful pull on her heart? Or the heady temptation of his stolen – and sizzling -- kisses? Scandal has followed the duke since the war. Now the greatest shock of all is on its way – the one that can separate Garrett and Kate Forever.

    From the opening paragraphs, I immediately knew I was in for a treat with A Touch of Scandal. Who wouldn't be excited about a Historical Romance with this as the second paragraph...?

    Taking a deep breath, she forcefully slowed her step, squared her shoulders, and lowered her eyes. She was simply a servant, finished with her duties for the day, ready to take the 3 mile walk home. Not a flustered woman rushing out to a secret secluded spot to watch a strange man – no a god, more like – bathe in the nude.

    Loving the role reversal of the heroine watching the hero bathe in the nude and being the first to harbor lust was a pleasant surprise and a fun way to start this book. What follows is a well-plotted and lushly written romance I can honestly highly recommend.

    As the reader, I felt equally pulled into the story from both the hero and heroine's perspective and understood their motivations and conflicts. It's not every book that I want to equally follow both the main characters and didn't have any issues with either of them. In fact, I thought Kate and Garrett were pitch perfect and the story made it so you never waivered in believing them to be made for each other.

    The one part of the book that I couldn't get behind was the character of Kate's mother. You find out very early in the story that Kate's mother does not show love toward her and that I didn't have an issue with. It worked perfectly with the story. The issue I had was with the character of the mother at the end of the story. I'm very against spoilers of any kind – even small ones – so I won't say much here except that the ending did not match what this reader had hoped would happen with the mother's part of the story.

    I wasn't alone in this thinking. A friend who also read the book felt the same way and we spent some time discussing the mother figure. It just didn't seem to fulfill what the reader would have wanted or expected at the end of this story for the mother. It almost felt like this was not the way Jennifer originally intended for the mother, but was somehow changed along the editing process. Now, I don't know that for sure but it felt slightly disjointed to me. It was the only thing I found out of place in the entire book. 

    Besides the mother and her part of the ending, this was an absolutely perfect historical romance for me. You'll find no clichéd masque balls or members of the ton. What you will find is a story full of heart, expertly plotted, and with a hero and heroine you'll find equally lovable. 

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    A Few More New Releases…

    Here are a few more awesome new releases I totally overlooked in my first post this morning!

    Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery (1st in new series!)

    9780373773848_SMP.indd Welcome to Fool’s Gold, California, a charming community in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. There’s lots to do and plenty of people to meet, especially women. Because there’s just one tiny problem in Fool’s Gold: the men don’t seem to stick around. Maybe it’s the lure of big-city life, or maybe it’s plain old bad luck, but regardless of the reason, the problem has to be fixed, fast. And Charity Jones may be just the city planner to do it.
    Charity’s nomadic childhood has left her itching to settle down, and she immediately falls in love with all the storybook town has to offer — everything, that is, except its sexiest and most famous resident, former world-class cyclist Josh Golden. With her long list of romantic disasters, she’s not about to take a chance on another bad boy, even if everyone else thinks he’s perfect just the way he is. But maybe that’s just what he needs — someone who knows the value of his flaws. Someone who knows that he’s just chasing perfect.

    Susan’s Website.

    The Wish List by Gabi Stevens

    _wsb_179x286_Wish-List-MMKristin Montgomery is more than a little shocked when her aunts inform her they’re fairy godmothers. Worse, after dropping that bombshell they hand her a wand and head off on a world cruise. Now Kristin’s uncomplicated life as a CPA in San Diego has disappeared like magic and she not only has to deal with her burgeoning magical powers, but also a reluctant—and distractingly sexy—magical arbiter.

    Tennyson Ritter is a historian. A scholar by choice, he is yanked from his studies to act as arbiter for the newly chosen fairy godmother. He doesn’t want to waste his time with a woman who doesn’t know anything about magic or the magical world, but soon the beguiling Kristin draws him away from his books and into her life.

    But before Kristin can hone her skills and pass the tests necessary to fully claim her powers, she and Tennyson must work together to defend the world – both magical and human – against those that would claim her powers for their own

    Tor Website for The Wish List

    Hannah’s List by Debbie Macomber

    0510-9780778327806-bigw My darling Michael, I know this letter will come as a shock to you….

    On the anniversary of his beloved wife's death, Dr. Michael Everett receives a letter Hannah had written him.

    In it she reminds him of her love and makes one final request. An impossible request—I want you to marry again. She tells him he shouldn't spend the years he has left grieving her. And to that end she's chosen three women she asks him to consider.
    First on Hannah's list is her cousin, Winter Adams, a trained chef who owns a café on Seattle's Blossom Street. The second is Leanne Lancaster, Hannah's oncology nurse. Michael knows them both. But the third name is one he's not familiar with—Macy Roth.

    Each of these three women has her own heartache, her own private grief. More than a year earlier, Winter broke off her relationship with another chef. Leanne is divorced from a man who defrauded the hospital for which she works. And Macy lacks family of her own, the family she craves, but she's a rescuer of strays, human and animal. Macy is energetic, artistic, eccentric—and couldn't be more different from Michael.

    During the months that follow, he spends time with Winter, Leanne and Macy, learning more about each of them…and about himself. Learning what Hannah already knew. He's a man who needs the completeness only love can offer. And Hannah's list leads him to the woman who can help him find it.

    The special Hannah’s List Website.

    New Release Tuesday

    Today I thought I would cut down a little bit on listing all the new releases, and instead highlight a few of those books that I’ve heard great things about - or read and loved with reviews to come. Hmm…I seem to have a lot of Historicals on this list…lol. Happy Reading!

    Mistress by Mistake by Maggie Robinsonmistressbymistake_200x300 

    Scandal is only the beginning…

    Charlotte Fallon let her guarded virtue fall once—and she’s paid dearly for it ever since. She swore she’d never succumb to men’s desires again. But even a village spinster’s life miles from temptation can’t save her from a sister with no shame whatsoever. Or a heart that longs for more, whatever the cost…

    Sir Michael Bayard found more than he expected in his bed when he finally joined his new mistress. He’d fantasized about her dewy skin and luscious curves, assured her understanding that what passed between them was mere dalliance. But he didn’t expect the innocence and heat of her response in his arms. Nor her surprisingly sharp tongue once she was out of them…

    A few days of abandon cannot undo the hard-learned lessons of a lifetime. Nor can an honest passion burn away the restraints of society’s judgments. Unless, of course, one believes in nonsense like true love…

    Check out Maggie Robinson’s Website here for an excerpt.

    Nothing But Trouble by Rachel Gibson

    nothingbuttrouble Chelsea Ross’s acting career has been a total bust. The closest she ever came to stardom was her brilliant performance as “Pretty Dead Girl #1.” But leaving Hollywood to become the personal assistant to a famous hockey player could be her stupidest career move ever.

    Injured superstar Mark Bressler’s glory days are over. The bad-boy ex-jock could at least be civil to the pint-sized, pink-haired bombshell who the Seattle Chinooks hired to be his P.A. If Chelsea didn’t need the money, she’d be running from the world’s biggest jerk as fast as her feet could carry her.

    Chelsea can deal with Mark’s rotten attitude and dark moods. The problem is those biceps and that red-hot bod! And when the bad boy starts to put the moves on her, Chelsea knows it’s time she banished him to the penalty box . . . if only she could resist the kind of trouble he has in mind!

    Rachel Gibson’s Website.

    Wicked Becomes You by Meredith Duran

    51KD3JWyjgL__SL500_AA300_ Gwen Maudsley is pretty enough to be popular, and plenty wealthy, too. But what she’s best loved for is being so very, very nice. When a cad jilts her at the altar—again—an outraged London bays for blood. Only Gwen has a different plan. If nice no longer works for her, then it’s time to learn to be naughty. Happily, she knows the perfect tutor—Alexander Ramsey, her late brother’s best friend and a notorious rogue. So why won't the scoundrel let her be as bad as she wants to be...?

    Meredith Duran’s Website.

    The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber

    thedarkly_150 With radiant, snow white skin and hair, Percy Parker was a beacon for Fate. True love had found her, in the tempestuous form of Professor Alexi Rychman. But her mythic destiny was not complete. Accompanying the ghosts with which she alone could converse, new and terrifying omens loomed. A war was coming, a desperate ploy of a spectral host. Victorian London would be overrun.  Yet, Percy kept faith. Within the mighty bastion of Athens Academy, alongside The Guard whose magic shielded mortals from the agents of the Underworld, she counted herself among friends. Wreathed in hallowed fire, they would stand together, no matter what dreams or nightmares—may come.

    Leanna’s Website.

    Monday, April 26, 2010

    Interview Questions for Melissa Marr

    melissamar Terry Kate from Romance in the Backseat is interviewing author Melissa Marr at 1:30 EST today on Blog Talk Radio and wants your input on what questions to ask her.

    Head over to Romance in the Backseat and let Terry know what questions you want her to ask.

    Then, listen in on the interview live here at 1:30 EST.

    Monday Morning Cuteness!

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    I’ve decided today is Tuesday – so no Monday worries here. It’s totally Tuesday. All Day. Tomorrow…well we’ll do a repeat of Tuesday – All Groundhog Day/Bill Murray style. :)

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    A Little Honesty

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    So if you are a regular visitor to Cheeky Reads you might have noticed that I haven't posted any reviews in the past week or so and that most of my posts have been giveaways or guest posts. There's a reason for that and I thought it only fair to be honest with my readers. I've been kinda down in the dumps lately. It didn't feel right to write reviews for books when I knew my dumpy attitude might have a negative impact on what I would say. I also stopped reading review books during this time. Again, I didn't want my mood to creep into my feelings about a book.

    Now, I think there is an interesting side point in this. That is, that it's important to remember that every reader brings their mood, experiences, attitude, etc to the reading of a book. So no matter when I read something, it will always be regarded through the lens of all those things. These are things every reviewer and reader brings to a book. But, this time I knew that my circumstances would affect my reading and reviewing more so than ever before and wanted to be fair to those books and authors.

    I'm still not feeling as cheerful as my normal self, which I have to say is usually pretty darn chipper. I do suddenly sense the black cloud lifting and can feel the need to find something awesome to read. That lets me know I can do a book justice again. So, I'm happy to say I'm back to reading and you'll start seeing reviews here again very soon along with great giveaways and guest authors.

    Thanks for sticking with me and for allowing me a place to express my love of books. My followers kick ass and I always love to hear from you.

    So, what do you do when you are feeling a little blah? Is there something that always cheers you up or helps chase away sadness? I could use the help!

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    New: Hand Over the Books Giveaway Newsletter!

    handtall Terry Kate from Romance in the Backseat is asking readers what they really want from blog giveaways. Head over and let her know – I’ll be keeping my eyes on that post to help with giveaways here as well!
    Here’s the link.

    AWESOME NEW E-NEWSLETTER!

    Also, I’m super excited to announce that I’m joining with a group of fellow book bloggers to create a special e-newsletter for readers called “Hand Over the Books.” It’s about all the awesome giveaways out there in blogland. Each blog will be listing their giveaways in the newsletter so you’ll have advance notice of where to go to win big!

    To sign up for the HAND OVER THE BOOKS e-newsletter, click here.

    Monday Morning Cuteness!

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    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Giveaway Winner!!! EMBERS by Laura Bickle


    As selected by Random.org, the winner of a copy of EMBERS by Laura Bickle is...

    Kimberly B.

    Email me your address at cheekyreads @ gmail.com (no spaces) and I'll give Laura your contact info.

    Happy Reading!

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Welcome Guest Author Laura Bickle – EMBERS: A VERY New Take on the Goddess of Love Myth

    embers-250 I’ve heard so many great things about EMBERS, the new release from Laura Bickle, that I couldn’t believe I got the opportunity to host her here at Cheeky Reads. Look for an upcoming review of EMBERS and be sure to enter the giveaway below!

    Take it away Laura!

    I've always loved reading about powerful heroines, women who are in charge of their own story. I grew up reading Robin McKinley's heroines, like Aerin in THE HERO AND THE CROWN, who slew their own dragons. I was even sympathetic to the legend of Medusa - in my eyes, she was a tragic figure who turned all her lovers to stone. Myths are rich in stories of women who have attempted to balance power and love. I quickly learned that writing a powerful heroine is a whole different kettle of fish than reading about one.

    One of the myths I was drawn to was the myth of Ishtar. Ishtar is the Babylonian goddess of love, war, and sex. Her love was known to be fatal. In the Epic of Giglamesh, Giglamesh tells her:

    “Listen to me while I tell the tale of your lovers. There was Tammuz, the lover of your youth, for him you decreed wailing, year after year. You loved the many-coloured roller, but still you struck and broke his wing… You have loved the lion tremendous in strength: seven pits you dug for him, and seven. You have loved the stallion magnificent in battle, and for him you decreed the whip and spur and a thong... You have loved the shepherd of the flock; he made meal-cake for you day after day, he killed kids for your sake. You struck and turned him into a wolf; now his own herd-boys chase him away, his own hounds worry his flanks."

    One of the most famous myths about Ishtar involves her descent to the Underworld, in pursuit of the soul a lost lover. She descends through the gates of hell, shedding her weapons and clothing as offerings, until she reaches Ereshkigel, Queen of the Underworld. Ereshkigel poisons Ishtar, dooming her to the Underworld. She can only be freed if someone will take her place.

    Ishtar returns to the surface of the earth, in the company of demons, to find someone to take her place. She finds that her husband, Tammuz, has not mourned her. In a fit of rage, she sends him back to the underworld in her place, with the demons.

    The myth fascinated me, the idea of a mythic heroine who was a love goddess, who could also be so ruthless. She wasn't like any of the other love goddesses I'd studied. Ishtar didn't recline prettily on a fainting couch, twirling her hair and awaiting her destiny; she picked up her sword and fought for who and what she wanted. I was eager to recast a bit of her in a modern image.

    “You have the eyes of Ishtar.”

    This is what the heroine, Anya, of EMBERS, is told. She doesn’t want to believe it. She’s got enough on her plate: by day, she’s an arson investigator on the trail of a serial firebug. By night, she works with a group of ghost hunters as a Lantern, a medium capable of seeing and devouring spirits. Anya’s responsible for keeping her fire salamander familiar, Sparky, from chewing on electrical cords. And she’s confused by her feelings for a fellow ghost-hunter, Brian, attempting to keep her distance.

    A serial arsonist, Drake, tells Anya that she has the Babylonian goddess’s terrible gaze. He should know -- he’s a fellow Lantern, the only other one she’s encountered. And he tells her that she has much more than Ishtar’s gaze…

    A character patterned after the Ishtar archetype was a challenging one to write. She’s not the usual heroine who always makes the morally-correct choices. She has a dark side, and she must struggle with it. She’s somber, angry, and is confused about her feelings. Though she’s emotionally armored, she’s very human. She loves, and aches to be a part of something larger than herself. But she’s an outsider: she’s apart from the world of humans, and even the ghost-hunters don’t fully trust her powers. Like many of us, she wants to be understood. And the only person who fully knows what she is, what she’s capable of, is another Lantern: Drake, the man determined to burn a city to the ground.

    As Ishtar did long ago, Anya finds herself in the company of demons. While attempting an exorcism, Anya absorbs an ancient Babylonian demon, who works to possess Anya. The demon manages to gain a toehold in Anya’s own darker impulses, driving her into the arms of evil.

    Like Ishtar, Anya must surface from the Underworld victorious, rescuing the souls she’s descended to rescue. And she must decide which sacrifices to make, who will remain in the Underworld behind her.

    Anya is more human than Ishtar. She's reluctant to use her power, and tangled in her own feelings of guilt. But, still, she has some of the imprint of Ishtar upon her, the desire and the power to act on it. I think that there's something inherently interesting about how people deal with power and love that gives them a story, something to struggle against.

    Check out more about Laura and EMBERS at these links:

    laura-bickle Website: www.salamanderstales.com
    Blog: www.salamanderstales.blogspot.com
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/laurabickle
    Link to the first chapter of EMBERS : http://www.juno-books.com/embers-excerpt.html

    Laura has graciously offered a copy of EMBERS to one of our U.S. readers today! Tell us, Do you like your heroines powerful? Love the characters who struggle with the the underworld? Is there another myth you love seeing rewritten into modern stories? Tell us and enter to win!

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    Whispered Lies Winner!

    9781439169940 As picked by random.org, the winner of Whispered Lies by Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love is…
    Comment # 3 – Stacey Stew!
    Email me your address at cheekyreads @ gmail.com (no spaces) and I’ll send your information to the publisher.
    518VUFLBGaL__SL500_AA300_
    If you didn’t win, be sure to check out Silent Truth, the latest BAD Agency release from Kenyon & Love next week!

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Casting BAD: Who should play your fav BAD men? Tell us & Win a copy of Whispered Lies!

    9781439169940 Sherrilyn Kenyon and Diana Love write the much loved BAD Agency series (The Bureau of American Defense) and we thought it would be fun to see which men you would cast in a BAD movie!

    Now, over on Sherrilyn’s website, she has character profiles and photos of the BAD characters. Did her hero pics do it for you, or did you picture those heroes a little differently? Who would you like to see instead? Tell us your dream BAD Men or share a photo and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Whispered Lies!

    *Sorry, contest open to US residents only. Winner will be selected 4/14/10 by 5pm.

    Not familiar with the BAD Agency yet? Here’s a snippet about Whispered Lies…

    In the suspenseful thriller from New York Times bestselling coauthors Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love, a Bureau of American Defense agent and an irresistible informant join forces to thwart a deadly global conspiracy. . . .

    Gabrielle Saxe has hidden from a killer for the past decade, sending anonymous tips on international criminals to intelligence agencies around the world. When a postcard arrives from a friend who is supposed to be dead, she takes a risk that catapults her into the midst of dangerous operatives on a treacherous mission—and into the arms of Bureau of American Defense operative Carlos Delgado. Dutybound to surrender her to Interpol as an international felon, Carlos is the last person Gabrielle should trust and the only one standing between her and death. But little does she know, she holds the key to his survival as well. . . .

    To learn more about the Authors and to Watch the Trailer click on the link (http://books.simonandschuster.com/Whispered-Lies/Sherrilyn-Kenyon/9781439169940) or visit SimonandSchuster.com!

    Make sure you catch up with Whispered Lies before the latest BAD Agency release, Silent Truth , comes out next week!

    Monday Morning Cuteness!

    Happy Monday! I had a fantastic birthday weekend and am now trying to recuperate. :)

    I have some fun stuff coming up this week – tomorrow we have a special surprise giveaway, and on Thursday we have author Laura Bickle guest posting about her latest release EMBERS and she’s hosting a giveaway!

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    Friday, April 9, 2010

    Birthday Weekend

    It's my birthday today and I'm traveling to NYC for the weekend, so I don't have a post ready for you. Hoping to have some cool news when I get back and will work on some reviews for you while I'm traveling.

    Have a great weekend and happy reading!

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    Dee Tenorio Winner!

    As chosen by random.org, the winner of their choice of a backlist ebook from Dee Tenorio is...

    Comment #10 - Armenia

    Congrats! Head over to Dee's website here, and chose one of her backlist titles. Sorry, that doens't include All of You, but does include other kick-ass titles. Then email me your choice at cheekyreads @ gmail.com (no spaces) and Dee will get your ebook out to you.

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010

    Welcome Guest Author Dee Tenorio & GIVEAWAY

    Cheeky Reads is excited to welcome author Dee Tenorio. Today, Dee is celebrating the release of her latest book All of You from Samhain Publishing. All of You features a set of twin brothers, so what better topic for Dee to talk to us about today. Make sure you enter to win the contest at the bottom of the post for a chance to win an ebook from Dee's backlist of titles!

    Welcome Dee!

    They Call Me...The Twin Whisperer

    Actually, no one calls me that, but really, I wish they would. I'm getting tired of yelling, whispering once in a while would be nice.

    Now, if you haven't met me before, my name is Dee. I'm a writer. I married a twin. I gave birth to twins. And I am now beginning my second series about twins, The Lonnigans. In fact, the first book, "All Of You", is out today from Samhain Publishing! Which is why I'm here today. Because if you've never known a twin...you might not realize what you could be getting into when you pick up this series. These Lonnigans aren't your regular Romance twins. But I'll get to that...

    See, in my many years of twin experience, I've learned quite a few things about these unique sets of people, and I like to try to set the stereotypes back a little in my writing--thus those amazing Lonnigan differences--but I thought, hey, why not share a little of the knowledge? Help people do a little twin-whispering of their own.

    So here it is, Dee's Five Facts About Twins Most People Get Wrong:

    1) They are two separate people. I know, it's kind of obvious, but you'd be surprised how often folks think twins are interchangeable. They might often have moments of startling similarity in motion, tone and tastes, but believe me, they have such individual quirks and personality differences that if they had a different face, you'd never mistake them for members of a collective. So, if you know someone who's married to a twin, don't ask her if she ever gets confused. She doesn't. In fact, just the thought probably makes her gag. (I know it does me...no offense, BIL)

    2) Not all twins are polar opposites. I see this a lot in romance and it kind of cracks me up. I'm sure there are night & day twins, but honestly, most siblings will share at least some common interests. Take my husband, for example. All of his siblings--including the twin--love Japanese animation and a deep love of movies. Blending likes and not-likes is a big miss when it comes to representing twins realistically.

    3) Fraternal Twins are still twins. Honest, my next set of fictional twins are going to be fraternal, lol. Just to mess with people. My own twins are identical, but due to a really difficult birth, I had one baby natural and one baby c-section. (Yes, the suckage of that is epic). As a result, "Natural" baby has a different head and face shape from C-Section baby, giving people the idea they're fraternal. (Nope, they're not--they still confuse me from time to time, I rely on that slight difference to tell them apart) So, I hear a lot, "Oh, then they're not real twins." Ask their mother, they're twins. And they have a great many of the same similarities as Identicals. In fact, I may come up with a story just to explore that further. It's not the faces that make them twins. It's the togetherness.

    4) Not all twins are psychic. You know, unless they're actually psychic. Granted, some kooky alikeness things happen (hubby and his twin tended to wear the same colors, though they woke and dressed in different places and times), but they're not open ended walkie-talkies. (Though, that would really come in handy.) The same can be said of very close regular siblings.

    5) Raising twins isn't the same as having two kids, one right after another. It's not. Twin babies are on the run about 20 hours a day and they are at the same level of understanding and needs. If you've ever met a nine month old, you'll know he's already trying to walk and is sitting up and is on some kind of schedule. Not saying it's easy, but believe me, a kid who can sit and hold a bottle while the other gets nursed is a godsend in comparison to two--often smaller and premie, to boot--babies who need 24 hour care. So, if you ever get the urge to tell a twin parent that you know how they feel--which is run over and trampled and probably cranky--step away from the thought. Just offer the poor parent something to wake them up. They need it.

    So what is it that makes these two romance heroes so unique? Well, I like to think they're a bit more real. They're close, but they also show a bit of the frustration that comes from knowing someone since conception. (You know, you love him, but you'd also like to choke him a little) The twin bond is a real thing, but for most twins, it's a love bond. A friend bond. And while there is something magical and mystical about that kind of connection, for most twin folks, it's just part of every day. And I wanted to bring you into that every day world as best I could.

    Oh, and if I didn't mention, Lucas--the twin in the second Lonnigan novel, "All Or Nothing" (out in July!)--has his story running at exactly the same time! (Okay, so I got a little twinny there. Can you forgive me?)

    So, just to make this fun, how about you all take part in my giveaway for today?

    Head on over to my Website and check out the upcoming books section. See if you can find the names of both heroines for the Lonnigan series from the book blurbs and excerpts. Post the names here in the comments and you're entered to win a free ebook of your choice from any of my backlist! (Sorry, All Of You doesn't count. :) )

    Dee

    Monday, April 5, 2010

    More Triple Threat: Team Jacob Contest @ Romance In the Backseat

    If you weren't lucky enough to win my Triple Threat Giveaway from Friday, here's another Triple Threat Contest for you. Head over to the Romance In The Backseat Blog and enter to win!

    Calling Team Jacob and Twilight fans. Pick your favorite pic of Taylor and enter to win a free book from Romance in the Backseat. http://ritbs.blogspot.com/2010/04/sexy-sunday-team-jacob-

    Guest Book Review: Beautiful People by Wendy Holden - 1 Heart Review

    Book Review: Beautiful People
    By: Wendy Holden
    Sourcebooks Landmark
    1 Heart Review from Guest Reviewer Lisa
    Darcy’s a struggling English rose actress when The Call comes from L.A. An Oscar-tastic director. A movie to make her famous. The hunkiest costar in Hollywood. So why doesn’t she want to go?
    Belle’s a size-zero film star but she’s in big, fat trouble. Hotter than earth’s core a year ago, she’s now Tinseltown toast after her last film bombed. Can she get back to the big time?
    Emma’s a down-to-earth, down-on-her-luck nanny trying to weather London’s cutthroat childcare scene and celebrity mom whirlwinds. What will it take for her to get back in control of her own life?
    Jet to London, Hollywood and Italy; toss in a passionate star chef, a kind-hearted, disillusioned paparazzo, and a reluctant male supermodel and find [author] Wendy Holden at her best.

    This back-cover description pretty much covers it all. The story doesn’t go much deeper than this and you can probably guess the answers to those questions.

    Holden weaves a story in which each of her many characters cross-paths and get unexpectedly involved in each others lives’. The problem is there is nothing unexpected about the plot for the reader. It’s highly clichéd and full of stereotyped characters.

    There is Orlando, the teenager who was once awkward and pimply, but almost overnight turns into the hottest guy at his school. The popular girls want to get at him, but so does a talent scout for a modeling agency who thinks she’s found the next big “face”. Along with Emma and Darcy, he is one of the “pure” souls who get sucked into the lives of the beautiful people.

    In contrast, we meet Belle, the silicone-enhanced Hollywood starlet, and Christian, the actor trying to climb to the top one bed at a time. These two will do anything in their pursuit of fame and fortune. Predictably (to the fictional world in which she lives and to the reader), Belle even finds herself adopting an African orphan to get back in the headlines.

    There are too many other characters to introduce in this review. I got the feeling that even the author had trouble managing her cast. The character we meet in the first chapter disappears almost entirely until the middle of the book. That’s about where I stopped reading. Up to that point the characters and plot were so empty I didn’t care to find out what happens to them next. Don’t waste your time with this one.

    I had a blast reading all the comments from Friday’s Triple Threat post. Thanks to everyone who entered!  A big thanks to our guest authors, Jo Lynne Valerie and Pembroke Sinclair for starting the conversation and offering their insight.

    HUGE thanks to Terry at Romance In The Backseat who created The Triple Threat.

    Now, for the most important part ~ the winner of a paranormal gift basket as selected by random.org is…

    Comment #14 – HELLION!

    Drop me an email at cheekyreads @ gmail.com (without the spaces) with your mailing address so I can send you your goodies! Congrats!

    Monday Morning Cuteness!

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    Friday, April 2, 2010

    Discussion & Giveaway: What is it about Twilight that Grown Women Love?

    I'm excited to be part of The Triple Threat Giveaway this week and hope you'll join me in a conversation about why women seem to love the Twilight books and movies even though they are intended for Young Adults.

    Two authors have joined me today to give their take on the subject, and I can't wait to hear what you think about thier opinions. Do you agree or not, and are you a lover or a hater of the Twilight phenom?

    Share your thoughts and enter to win a surprise book basket!

    Guest Author Jo Lynne Valerie's Take:  
    Twilight, the first novel in the YA series by Stephenie Meyer, was an immediate hit with tweens and teens. There are cute guys, vampires, werewolves, pretty girls and there is angst. A winning recipe! But the book proved its marketability to a broad audience when adults and parents of all ages, fell in love with Twilight, too.

    I think I know why. There are powerful themes in Twilight. Edward, the hero, is a vampire with a heart. Bella, the heroine, is an opinionated if slightly awkward teen. The pair fall in love. Due to Edward's vampire nature, that love is forbidden. But forbidden love only scratches the surface of what develops between Edward and Bella. As a whole, Twilight is infused with big, booming life-themes. (Let's get this out of the way: Edward is dreamy. That said, eyes on the themes here, people, eyes on the themes!)

    Edward belongs to the Cullen family, a group of vampires living together as vegetarians, by choice. This is a big deal; it means they feed off of animals, not humans. The Cullens also strongly appreciate the arts: cooking, music, reading, the masters. These choices help the Cullens maintain their humanity. Come to think of it, who doesn't struggle to stay in touch with who we are? We all work hard not to lose sight of ourselves and what we love.

    Last, we come to Edward and Bella, the characters readers and viewers fell in love with. Or did we fall in love with the passion they share? Edward loves Bella completely. He can literally feel Bella's needs and he responds to them with urgency. Bella aches for Edward so much that she is willing to change her entire world and risk her life just to be with him. We all want that. We all want that crazy, can't sleep, over-the-top, I have to be with you, can't keep my hands off of you, kind of love.

    All of these elements and themes combined form a heady mix. No wonder we love Twilight!

    Check out Jo Lynne's website at www.JoLynneValerie.com and her author blog at www.JoLynneValerie.blogspot.com

    Guest Author Pembroke Sinclair's Take:
    Adult women are so drawn to Twilight because, like romance, it represents escape. When they read or watch this story, they don’t have to worry about the kids or bills or husbands or jobs or day to day routines; they can get lost in the moment. Women are traditionally viewed as caregivers. Society expects them to take care of their friends, kids, families, etc., but Twilight and romance novels give them the chance to be taken care of. It is alluring and flattering that Edward makes it his mission to ensure Bella’s safety.

    The looks of the leading men in the movie might have something to do with the attraction, but since I don’t really find them attractive, I don’t know how major a role that plays. Really, I think it has to do with an ideal. Most women were probably awkward and gawky in high school with low self esteem and a poor body image (remember I said MOST, not all), and Edward represents the unattainable male: the popular, mysterious, rich guy everyone wanted. In real life, he would probably date the head cheerleader, but in this world, he falls for the geek. It’s every woman’s fantasy. 


    Visit Pembroke's blog at http://pembrokesinclair.blogspot.com/.


    So readers, do you agree or disagree? Why do adult women love these books and movies so much? Is it all about the boys? Are you a women who has no interest in Twilight at all? Let's Discuss!

    Leave us a comment and you'll be entered in a random drawing to win a paranormal themed book basket!

    Sorry, but this giveway is limited to US residents only. I know that sucks, but hopefully soon I'll be able to open my contests up internationally.

    The Friday Blog Hop!

    It's Friday, so that means a great weekend ahead and the Friday Blog Hop!

    The Blog Hop is a great place to go to find new book review blogs. Hosted by Crazy-For-Books, it happens every Friday and I always find some exciting new blog there. Head over to check it out!

    Happy Reading!

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