Best Romance Books of 2011 - RITA Winners

So if you're like me, there's not enough time in your schedule to read every single book you'd like to. It's also impossible to keep up with new to new to me authors while also getting my "Oh my god I love her" author's books in. That normally means that for some books that earned so many reader's love, I'm behind on getting them worked into my reading schedule. 

For those of you looking for a great read, the following book officially won the RITA award for best romance books published in 2011. I hope you find a few you haven't read and can enjoy! 

Do you agree with the winners below? Which one didn't you read the 1st time around and can't wait to read now? 

Winner for Paranormal Romance: 
Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison 

Winner for Romance Novella: 
I Love The Earl by Caroline Linden 

Winner for Best Novel With Strong Romantic Elements:
How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O'Neal

Winner for Best First Book: 
First Grave on The Right by Darynda Jones 

Winner for Best Historical Romance 
The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne 
Winner for Inspirational Romance: 
The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena Miller 
Winner for Contemporary Series Romance Suspense/Adventure: 
Solider's Last Stand by Cindy Dees
Contemporary Single Title Romance: 
Boomerang Bride by Fiona Lowe

Winner for Regency Historical Romance 
A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare

Winner for Young Adult Romance: 
Enclave by Ann Aguirre 

Winner for Contemporary Series Romance: 
Doukakis' Apprentice by Sarah Morgan 

Winner for Romantic Suspense: 
New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb

Monday Morning Cuteness - AWESOME BULLDOG PUPPIES!

Monday Morning Cuteness!

funny cat pictures - Lolcats: Catablanca
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Win an e-Reader! Pimp My Read Contest Details

The Pimp My Read Contest:
Pimp My Read is your chance to win one of four fantastic e-readers, as well as best-selling,  super-sexy, fun contemporary romances by authors Ruthie Knox, Sarah Mayberry, Shannon Stacey, and Molly O’Keefe. This week, we four authors bedeck ourselves in (virtual) feathers and gold chains, climb on top of our Pimp Caddies, and sing the praises of e-readers and digital books at four fantastic romance review sites: Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, Smexybooks, Dear Author, and The Season for Romance

At every site, one of us is giving away an e-reader, as well as prizes for runners-up. If you’ve been on the fence about which e-reader to get, or even why you would get one—or if you love your e-reader to bits and are dying to convert a friend or family member to the digital side—this is the contest you’ve been waiting for!

The Prizes

The winner of each e-reader and two runners-up at each site will also receive Exclusively Yours, Undeniably Yours, and Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey, Her Best Worst Mistake and Within Reach by Sarah Mayberry, About Last Night and Ride With Me by Ruthie Knox, and Can’t Buy Me Love by Molly O’Keefe.

How To Enter
To enter, visit one or all of the four host sites and leave a comment explaining either (a) why you want to win this e-reader for yourself or (b) why you want to win it for someone else. Please include your e-mail address in the appropriate comment field so we have a way of contacting you if you win. Your e-mail address will not be visible to the general commenting public.

The Fine Print
1. Feel free to increase your chances of winning by entering once at each of the four sites! But please, only one entry per site. Deliberate multiple comments on any individual e-reader giveaway post will get you disqualified.
2. The contest opens on each site when the post goes live and closes at 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, July 20.
3. Ruthie, Sarah, Shannon, and Molly will choose the winners from among the comments on the site where each posts. Feel free to entertain us or tug at our heartstrings — we’ll pick the winners whose comments most effectively sway us!
4. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
5. This contest is open internationally. The e-readers on offer will work in many, but not all, countries. Please be aware that geographical restrictions may affect your ability to use/enjoy your prize.

Monday Morning Cuteness!

This cute little guy was too cute to pass up this morning. Hope this is the start of a great week for you!

funny dog pictures - I Has A Hotdog: Walkies Plz
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Meg Cabot's Size 12 And Ready To Rock Book Trailer

This book trailer totally cracked me up. Enjoy!

Are you a Meg Cabot fan? Read the other books in the Heather Wells mystery Series? This new one is in stores July 10th. Happy Reading! 

Summer Sale on Cheeky Reads Ads!

Cheeky Reads is having a Summer Sale on site ads! 

Ads start as low as $8 and include additional promo extras like sponsor spotlights and featured tweets. 

Email for details on what's available, pricing and additional promo ideas. 

Review: Tempest in the Tea Leaves By Kari Lee Townsend

Tempest in the Tea Leaves (A Fortune Teller Mystery)
By Kari Lee Townsend 
Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
3 Heart Review

Leaving the Big Apple for the quaint town of Divinity, New York, Sunny is determined to make it on her own as a psychic. With an ancient Victorian house as her place of business, Sunny uses various psychic methods to aid the town's residents. But when she uses tea leaves to give a reading for a frazzled librarian, what she finds at the bottom of the cup is anything but helpful.

Sunny informs the police of her deadly vision, but her warning is too late. And with hard-nosed, ruggedly handsome Detective Mitch Stone denying her abilities and name her prime suspect, the situation is dire. Now Sunny has to use her visions to clear her name, before the killer can put an end to the psychic's future...

I picked this book up at the library because I'm always up for a cozy mystery - especially one that hints at a romance - and this one plainly stated on it's cover that it was the first book in a new series. Win! I wish more publishers would play that up on covers since I like trying out a new series before there are 5 books more to read...

I really enjoyed the author's voice and that this was a cozy with a slightly younger - 29 years old - heroine. As much as I want to shout that there should be older characters in romance, cozies can sometimes take the age thing in the other direction too much. Beyond the age, the heroine Sunny Meadows is also unique and refreshing for a cozy. She still has that "outsider who never really fit in" thing going for her that most cozy heroines do, but she feels fresher. My issues with the book didn't have anything to do with Sunny.

I did have slight problems with the hero Mitch Stone because I found him to be a little wooden and not necessarily because his character is supposed to be guarded and stoic. He just doesn't feel entirely fleshed out and his dialog seems slightly off. He has potential though and I hope that Mrs. Townsend will develop him further in the next book.

The biggest issue I had was with a plot point in the book. From the back cover blurb you know that Sunny has to work to clear her name and I can't go into too many details or I'll be spoiling part of the plot, but how she gets involved in the investigation was really not believe. It took a giant leap of faith for a reader to believe and unfortunately I didn't think it was done in a way that allowed me to take that leap.

Tempest in the Tea Leaves is a solid and fun cozy mystery and I liked the premise and the characters enough that I'll be picking up the next in the series to see if some of my issues get worked out. I do think Kari Lee Townsend has a fresh, sweet voice I really found pleasing to read. I'll be looking for more books by her in the future.