Friday, September 30, 2011

Welcome Guest Author Cate Lord & Enter to Win Lucky Girl!

I'm pleased to welcome author Cate Lord to Cheeky Reads today! Cate recently released Lucky Girl, a Chick-Lit story with loads of romance and is stopping by to tell us more about it and chat with readers. Don't forget to leave a comment or question for Cate and you'll be entered to win an eBook copy of Lucky Girl - open internationally!

Here's the lowdown on the story:

Jessica Devlin isn’t looking for love. Heartbroken after being dumped by her unfaithful ex-fiancĂ©, she’s determined to have a fabulous time during her vacation in England where she’ll be maid-of-honor at her cousin’s wedding. After working overtime as beauty editor of Orlando’s O Tart magazine, avoiding dating, and putting on ten pounds, Jess is ready to toss her past like an empty lipstick tube and party like a single gal.

But when she steps into the church on her cousin’s wedding day, she sees the one man who could sabotage her plan—James-Bond-gorgeous Nick Mondinello. She’s never forgotten the London marketing exec who held her in his arms after her beloved grandfather’s funeral two years ago. Ambitious, and lusted after by women everywhere, Nick is completely wrong for guarded, Plain Jane Jess.

Could Spy Man Nick ever fall for her? Nope. Not unless Jess is one lucky girl.

Welcome Cate!

This is your first Chick-Lit book, but it still has a strong romance storyline. Did you find it difficult to change genres or was it fun to blend the two? It was a lot of fun, actually! J I saw Lucky Girl as a healthy creative challenge. While the book is written in first person like most Chick Lit novels, and has a Chick Lit tone, I wanted the story to be a romance. The tricky part was to make the hero, Nick, multi-dimensional, when all we know about him is revealed through Jess and thus is highly subjective. Hopefully readers will get a good idea of Nick’s swoon-worthy character and will love the book as much as I adored writing it.
Characters really make the story for me. What 3 words would best describe your heroine & what about her called out to you to write her story?

I’d describe Jess as insecure, quirky, and loyal. She represents all of the issues modern women deal with: weight, appearance, finances, dating, workplace politics, fashion disasters, family conflicts, and more. I love to write stories about wounded characters who are “healed” through love. Jess is one such character. The issues she confronts—usually in a funny, self-deprecating way—are part of her journey to overcoming heartbreak, regaining her self-worth, and finding true love. By the end of the book, she’s “whole” again.

Part of this story takes place in Orlando, FL and part takes place in England. Did you get to travel to England for research? Was it fun to write a contemporary story not totally set in the US?

I didn’t travel to England specifically to do research for Lucky Girl. I lived and studied in the UK for a year (when I met my husband), and I drew upon some of my personal experiences to write about Jess. Since my husband is British, and he and I have relatives in England, we travel there every year or two. I always thoroughly immerse myself in the local culture (it’s a great excuse to stuff my face with Cadbury chocolate, clotted cream and scones! Yum!)

Yes, it was fun to write a contemporary novel that was mostly set outside the US. That helped to provide humor for the story.
What else do you have in store for readers and where can they find you next? I’m mulling over the possibility of a follow-on book to Lucky Girl. Jess’s cousins were fun secondary characters, and I’d love them to be heroines in their own books. I’m also working on two paranormal novels—one contemporary and one historical. I encourage readers to visit my website for updates on my books and appearances: http://www.catelord.com

I think authors are the best people to ask this question - What have you read and loved lately? Any newbie authors or books you would recommend?
I haven’t done much reading lately; my schedule’s been too full. I have several books by friends published by Entangled Publishing, though, in my to-be-read pile, and can’t wait to have some free time to start reading them.

 
Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers about you, your books or even where to connect with you online?
I love interacting with readers. I really appreciate when they leave comments on my blog posts and I have a chance to connect with them. Readers, after all, are very special people to us authors. J Readers can also connect with me via
Facebook and Goodreads.

Thanks so much for the interview! I enjoyed the questions.
Thank you Cate!
Ok readers - what questions do you have for Cate? Leave a question or comment below and you'll be entered to win an ebook copy of Lucky Girl!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Morning Cuteness!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and here's to a great week!  *Lifts Coffee Cup In Salute*

funny pictures - TO THE IKEA AND BEYOND !!!
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

4 Heart Book Review: One Night In Boston By Allie Boniface

Book Review: One Night in Boston
By: Allie Boniface
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 Hearts

Book Blurb:
Can anything really change in 24 hours? Can everything? Maggie Doyle is about to lose her home, her business, and her last grip on sanity unless she comes up with fifteen thousand dollars to pay off the bank. Her only option? Forget the pain of one life-altering night, find the stepbrother she hasn't spoken to in years and ask him for help. Everything in Jack Major's life ...moreCan anything really change in 24 hours? Can everything? Maggie Doyle is about to lose her home, her business, and her last grip on sanity unless she comes up with fifteen thousand dollars to pay off the bank. Her only option? Forget the pain of one life-altering night, find the stepbrother she hasn't spoken to in years and ask him for help. Everything in Jack Major's life is going according to plan. He's rich, powerful, and about to marry Boston's most successful attorney. There's just one problem: he can't seem to forget his first love, the one who left him in college after a whirlwind trip to Vegas with a secret she couldn't trust him to keep.

When Maggie and Jack meet up at a high-profile charity ball, past collides with present and the sparks fly. But is it too late for a first love to ignite again? And if Maggie reveals the reason she left Jack all those years ago, will he be able to forgive her?

A single night in Boston takes Maggie and Jack from the glittering lights of the ballroom to the windswept city streets and back through the years to relive old memories. Will morning light bring new hope for their future together? Or are some secrets too deep to ever truly overcome?
I was a little dubious about whether I would enjoy a story set over 24 hours as I’ve never read anything like it before but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Maggie is a very confused and desperate person who has one last chance to contact her step brother to see if he is willing to help her so she doesn’t lose everything. She has had a complicated life that never seems to go right for her.

Jack lost the love of his life when Maggie left him but he picked up the pieces and carried on, burying the heartache and concentrating on his career. He has done well for himself and has convinced himself that he is happy. But when he begins to remember the past he has buried he starts to question his current situation.

Maggie attends the ball in a last ditch effort to try to find her step brother who she hasn’t spoken to for years. When she unexpectedly bumps in to Jack it brings the past and the memories that have been plaguing her to the surface.
The relationship between Maggie and Jack is a complicated one but made me hope that they would find a way to work through their past problems and have their happily ever after.

Maggie used to have a great relationship with her step brother, Dillon. But after one fateful night when they were younger their relationship became strained and eventually Maggie severed all contact.

The anger and pain that Maggie felt made her seem more real to me although I did question the depth and the reasons for this on occasion. I liked the strong friends that surrounded Maggie and provided her the support she so obviously needed. Eden and Neve were fantastic characters and seemed like true friends to Maggie.

I did struggle a bit with all the flashbacks from the different perspectives throughout the story but it did help develop an understanding of how and why the situation that the characters found themselves in at the present had been affected by the past.

Ms Boniface did a fantastic job of keeping this a fast paced story, with all the twists and turns to keep it interesting but still developed the characters so it felt like grew to know them.
I enjoyed this story and felt all the highs and lows right along with the characters. The twists kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next and I couldn’t put the book down. I was kept me guessing all the way through whether Maggie and Jack would get their HEA and also if there was a chance for Maggie to reconcile her relationship with Dillon.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a complicated, angst filled love story.
Happy Reading!
Cheeky Girl Vicky

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

5 Heart Book Review: Dangerous Desires by Dee Davis

Book Review: Dangerous Desires
By: Dee Davis
Romantic Suspense
Grand Central Publishing
5 Heart Review

As the extractions expert for A-Tac, and elite CIA black ops unit masquerading as faculty at an Ivy League college, Drake Flynn knows how to survive behind enemy lines.  But he’s about to meet one adversary he can’t subdue…or resist.

Stranded in the Colombian jungle after a mission goes bad, Drake has only one objective: evade the mercenaries hot on his trail and deliver “the package” to US officials.  But “the package” has a mind of her own, and she has no intention of trading one set of captors for another.  Madeline Reynard is beautiful, headstrong, and hell-bent on escape after years as a crime lord’s pawn.  She’ll risk everything for freedom, even if it means deceiving the dark, handsome operative who now holds her life in his hands.
Drake has been burned too many times to let a woman manipulate him, especially a secretive one like Madeline.  Even so, they cannot deny the attraction between them.  Now as enemy forces close in, Drake and Madeline must trust each other with their lives – or face certain death.

It was immediately obvious to me that this book is part of a series, one of which I haven’t read.  That being said – I was surprised that I didn’t get lost or feel like I didn’t get to know the characters.  Sometimes with a series, the author relies on previous books to do the character building and doesn’t give enough in the current book for the story to really click with a reader who hasn’t read the previous book…kudos to Dee Davis for keeping this one a stand-alone within a series.
I loved Madeline and Drake…and I especially loved them together.  There is nothing that draws me in more than two very strong characters.  Madeline is one tough cookie.  She doesn’t give in to anything that has happened in her life – and let’s just say she hasn’t exactly gotten it easy.  She is a true survivor, doing whatever it takes and dealing with the emotional backfire later. 

Strong women need strong men – and Drake is all that and more.  His attitude towards women is a bit suspicious at first, but the man has his reasons and he’s about to get a reality check on the integrity of the opposite sex.  For such a tough guy, Drake has a sensitive side that is endearing and adds to the complexity of his character.  He isn’t perfect, but neither is Madeline.
As for the rest of the A-Tac team, the term “adrenaline junkie” comes up a lot, and I have a feeling this is a recurring theme throughout the books.  Dee doesn’t delve into each character as thoroughly as I would expect from a stand-alone book, but since this is a series, the glimpses of each character’s personality makes me want to read more about each one.  I haven’t yet looked up the first book in the series (this is the second), but I don’t think it would take you long to figure out which characters were the main ones.  But that’s what I love about series, you get to visit the characters you fell in love with after their “happy ending” and see the continuation of their lives. 

The “bad guys” in this book are cunning, ruthless, and surprising.  While Madeline and Drake are battling their own enemies, there is a much larger villain that appears to operate throughout the books.   I’m a sucker for undercover operatives – give me a SEAL, or in this case CIA agent, any day and I’m a happy reader. 
If you’re looking for a hot romance with lots of action and intrigue, don’t hesitate to grab Dangerous Desires.  If you can’t wait to read this one, but like to start from the beginning, go ahead and do what I’m about to do – check out Dark Deceptions for the first book of the series.  Either way, you won’t be disappointed with this Dee Davis book.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of this series has to offer.

Happy Reading!
Cheeky Girl L.A.

Friday, September 16, 2011

BBAW: Blogging Tools & Tips


It's the last day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week and I hope you've enjoyed the posts and hopefully found some new blogs to follow!

Today’s Topic:The world of blogging is continually changing. Share 3 things you are essential tried and true practices for every blogger and 1-3 new trends or tools you’ve adapted recently or would like to in the future.

Out of all the topics this week, I find this one to be the hardest because I think that different tools and tips work differently for each blog and each book niche. I'll share what works for me and you can give it a try to see if it works for you too!

3 Essential Tried & True Practices:

1. Post Regularly - Yes, I'm horrible at this! BUT, when I do post regularly I see my traffic go up and my readers engage with my posts more.

2. Leave Em With A Question To Answer - Give readers a reason to respond to your post or review. Reviews get some of the lowest comments and it's usually because readers haven't read the book yet to comment on! Instead, come up with questions about the trope, what they like about X storyline or plot point, etc. Give them something that they can actually engage with.

3. Respond to Comments - Again, I'm not always the best with this and we are all busy bloggers, but when I do respond to comments I find that those readers are the ones who typically stop by more often and comment again.

My 3 Tips All Have 1 Thing In Common: ENGAGE YOUR READERS!

Now, for the 3 tools or trends I've found recently:

1. Klout - I'm still learning how to use this little bad boy, and it certainly give me credit for knowing about things I've never discussed, but so far I've been impressed with it's twitter tracking stats. What your true reach is with a tweet, how much you engage others on Twitter, etc.

2. TweetChat - I've known about this one for quite some time, but it's seriously awesome for following a #hashtag  on twitter during an event or conversation. Plus, you'll see everyone in real time who's using that hashtag so you can connect with more people who are into the same topics as you are. Likewise, follow certain hashtags on twitter! I can't tell you how much I learn and how many readers and authors I connect with by doing this.

3. Good Old Fashioned Excel - Seriously, recently creating an organizational system for logging print books, ebooks and audiobooks is completely changing my blogging experience. It always me to not only keep track of what I have and haven't read, but what I've posted, if I've emailed the author/publicist, have I asked for an interview/guest post, etc. I'm still getting this all situated, but I can't stress enough how having a system that treats this like a real business is going to do wonders for your sanity.

Again, my best advice - ENGAGE, ENGAGE, ENGAGE.

What's yours? If you're a reader, what things do you think are most effective for bloggers to do to engage with you and keep you coming back and commenting?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

BBAW: Book Blogging Community: Tips & Concerns


Welcome to day 3 of Book Blogger Appreciation Week! Today's topic is a continuation of talking about the blogging community:

The world of book blogging has grown enormously and sometimes it can be hard to find a place. Share your tips for finding and keeping community in book blogging despite the hectic demands made on your time and the overwhelming number of blogs out there. If you’re struggling with finding a community, share your concerns and explain what you’re looking for–this is the week to connect!

My best tips (and they aren't earth-shattering and are sometimes hard for me to follow!) are:

Twitter - Seriously get thee to Twitter and you will be amazed at how much goes on there and how easily it is to chat with other book bloggers in your book niche.

Follow & Comment On Other Blogs - This one is hard when we are all so busy. So, my tip is to pick your top ten that you check out and comment on maybe 1x a week or so. Then, check out new to you blogs say 1x a month and revise your top ten occassionally.

Start A Meme or Host A Blogger Event - This is something I haven't done yet, but I've seen how well it seems to work for other bloggers on creating a sense of personalization and community. I'm brainstorming ideas now!

Mind Your Manners - Seriously the book blogging community itself might be large, but your blogging niche is a place where if you act like an ass on twitter or constantly complain, etc about blogging, not getting books, etc. other bloggers take notice. And won't be as open to helping you or welcoming you to the community. This is a personal one for me - we should be here to help each other in the name of the love of books, not get catty and create drama. I've unfollowed some blogs and on twitter for feeling like everything that happened was something to rage about. Make sure if you do have a legitimate complaint that you are balancing those posts and tweets with other positive things. No one wants to sit next to negative Nancy.

Now for a few concerns (even those that last tip was also a disguised concern):

Not Every Review Needs To Feature The BIG Releases - Yes, I know this gets more traffic but if you are in it for the love of books then sing the praises of that unknown author or mid-list author who really could use the push. Stretch your reading out to more than just the best-seller list. Otherwise, all the blogs seem to be cookie cutter ads for the same books.

Don't Compete, Be Unique - There are so many books out there that there really is room for all of us and we should showcase each other year-round! I'd love to see bloggers hosting guest posts from other bloggers and Q&A's more than just 1x per year.

FOR PETE'S SAKE DON'T SELL ARCS - Seriously book lover. This is a no. Never. Give these away if you don't want to keep them, but respect what they are: a very special gift you shouldn't try to profit from.

So, if you're a blogger what are your favorite tips or concerns? Readers, what do you wish you saw more of on blogs and in the book blog community?

Monday, September 12, 2011

BBAW: Why I Adore Other Romance Book Bloggers

Hi there and welcome to Cheeky Reads if this is your first time stopping by! It's kick-off day for Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW)! Cheeky Reads is a book blog that focuses on all romance genres with a few cozy mysteries thrown in for good measure. But I have to say, Cheeky Reads wouldn't exist if it wasn't for other book blogs.

A few years ago I stumbled across an awesome blog called Smart Bitches Trashy Books and I fell in love. Here was a community of people talking about romance! Romance, the genre that the world likes to ignore and pretend it's helping to keep book publishers in business.

None of my friends were reading romance and I'd finally found *someone* to talk to about the books I loved. It helped that the reviews were written with such a fun and distinctive voice. :)

The only thing that Smart Bitches was missing was well...the books I was reading around that time. To be honest, I wasn't reading the latest releases or the same authors. So I would search for other blogs that had read and reviewed those books. I found some, but no where near the number of romance blogs that are out there today.

You can guess what happened right? I started Cheeky Reads so that I could talk about the books I was reading. Like my own personal community of friends to tell "Holy cow you will love this hero!" or "That heroine got on my last nerve."

After creating Cheeky Reads I was amazed at how welcoming all the other bloggers were, especially on Twitter. I follow and frequently RT other romance book bloggers that I admire all the time. They are a fantastic group and it's always so interesting to see if we agree/disagree on a book.

So, I thought I would share some of their Twitter names with you so you can follow them and check them out for yourself! In no particular order here are some awesome book bloggers on Twitter I highly recommend:

@SmartBitches

@Jane_L

@SmexyBooks

@FictionVxn

@Leotine1976

@Season4Romance

@Janga724

@booksmugglers

@JoyfullyReviewed

@BooksandWine

@Lynette2Cents

@booksilove

I hope you find some amazing new book blogs to follow and will stop back by again to talk romance books with me!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kick Start Me: A Guest Post From Author Terry Kate

The Sanction Chronicles YA Series on KickstarterGet Involved Before the Book is Written?

It has always been hard being a starving artist. Finding the time and money to make your masterpiece. When it comes to film, which was my area of study, money to start was a must. Film is NOT cheap. So there were patrons of the arts. But come on, who can afford to be a patron now?

Actually...

I was clued into a magical things by a filmmaker - KICKSTARTER - and not only do they do films, music, art, they also cover BOOKS. So now starting at $1 you can be patrons of the arts? The answer is yes.
The Sanction Chronicles YA Series on Kickstarter
It works like PBS and you pledge money to a project you believe in and get rewards - prizes - cool items and one of a kind things like acknowledgements in the books. So I said, "I have a project let's give it a go. Lets see what people think huh?"

So I put up The Sanction Chronicles on Kickstarter yesterday. What do you Cheeky readers think? Is this the way to go for artists? Are authors allowed, to ask for you to almost pay for the book before they write it? What do you think?

Why are we up there for the Sanction Chronicles? Well I go big when I do things so we are doing an entirely interactive project with our book series and creating a "real" town where our characters are online blogging and posting to talk about the daily actions of the series. So we post multiple times everyday and it takes a lot of people to make a town seem like it is more than 3 people. We follow the students of Wind Haven High School from September to June - 10 months - so we need a little help and are giving Kickstarter a try.

I am excited to talk about this as an option for readers and writers to get involved with the my project and discover other works in progress to help.

So what is the story readers?

Terry Kate

and the

Sanction Authors

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Welcome Guest Author Rhys Bowen!

Mystery Author Rhys Bowen's New Release Naughty in NiceToday I'm pleased to welcome the author of The Royal Spyness Cozy Mystery , Rhys Bowen! In honor of her newest release, Rhys thorugh she would share some insight into the wonderful world of French food.

But first, here's a little information about her new book:

Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen
Royal Spyness Series #5

Lady Georgiana Rannoch has once again been called into service by Her Majesty the Queen. This time she's sent to Nice on a secret assignment that's nothing to sneeze at-recover the Queen's stolen snuff box.

As much of an honor as it is to be trusted by Her Majesty, an even greater honor awaits Georgie in Nice-as Coco Chanel herself asks Georgie to model her latest fashion. But when a necklace belonging to the Queen is stolen on the catwalk, Georgie has to find two priceless items-and solve a murder. How's a girl to find any time to go to the casino?

In Praise of French Food
One of my favorite things about the French is the food. I have been indulging in flaky pastry stuffed with scallops, great pots of mussels with tiny slim French fries, duck breast in lemon and ginger. We have been buying various pates and cheeses to eat at the apartment with crusty bread. I've been walking to the bakery every morning to get my baguette, and maybe a raisin snail to go with it. And the pastries: strawberry tarts, cream puffs, eclairs, ah, sigh.

Some things are horribly expensive, some strangely cheap. We've bought duck pate for around a dollar, a huge thing of cooked shrimp for four dollars. And yet fish and meat are about the same price as gold. Still, any country where I can buy a perfectly aged camembert cheese for two Euros has to be pretty good.

Even though French food is rich, you don't see many fat people. That's because they walk a lot, they buy their ingredients fresh every day and they eat small portions. You may see them drinking red wine at midday, but only one glass. Everything in moderation. They take hours over a meal. Nobody will bring the check unless you ask for it, even if you sit there all evening. Food and good conversation are to be savored.

I rather suspect this is about to change as the diet is changing with the advent and concept of fast food. Pizza parlors are everywhere, so are hamburger joints. Cheap restaurants are serving up the same huge plates that have made us fat in America. I would hate to see a France in which duck breast of the future comes with "all the fixin's" and an unlimited salad bar.

* * * * *
Rhys Bowen


Order Naughty in Nice from - Amazon Hard Cover - Kindle, Barnes and Noble Hard Cover - Nook Book
Find the entire Royal Spyness Series at Amazon - Barnes and Noble

Friday, September 2, 2011

Book Review: The Hambledown Dream by Dean Mayers

Book Review: THE HAMBLEDOWN DREAM
By: Dean  Mayers
Paranormal Romance
5 Hearts

Story Blurb:
Australian Denny Banister had it all; a successful career, a passion for the guitar, and Sonya - the love of his life. Tragically, Denny is struck down with inoperable cancer.
Andy DeVries has almost nothing; alienated from his family, moving through a dangerous Chicago underworld dealing in drugs, battling addiction; all while keeping a wavering hold on the only thing that matters to him: a place at a prestigious conservatory for classical guitar in Chicago.

As Andy recovers from a near fatal overdose, he is plagued by dreams - memories of a love he has never felt, and a life he's never lived. Driven by the need for redemption and by the love for a woman he's never met, he begins a quest to find her, knowing her only by the memories of a stranger and the dreams of a place called Hambledown...

This book is one of the best I've read in a long time.

It was  one sitting book!  I rarely care for romance books by men, but this story is sweet,  poignant and very well written. The way he brings Andy and Denny together is very well done. I was afraid that one personality would become lost in the other but Dean manages to keep the best of both.


The author creates such wonderful word pictures that you feel like you are living it too.
 My favorite part is the music, I've never had the emotions of music described in words that were so powerful, it is very stirring.
Dean depicts the Chicago underworld graphically and has some pretty raw sex and language at the beginning. Please don't let this stop you from reading the rest. You will be glad you did! This is a great book.

Happy Reading!
Cheeky Girl Sharon

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails