Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review and giveaway: Redeemed by a Rebel by Cynthia Woolf

Check Cynthia Woolf's new book:

Redeemed by a Rebel 
(Book 1 in "Destiny in Deadwood Series")

Release Date: January 30, 2014                  
Genre: historical western (set in 1876 Deadwood, Dakota Territory.)                                             
Formats to buy: Kindle and Paperback 


Jake Anderson killed a man defending his fiancée from a brutal attack, but lost her and his freedom in the process.  Now he's on the run, hunted by one of her murderers and tormented by the need for vengeance.

Becky Finnegan will do anything to escape her drunken father's fists, including slave away at their mine.  Her only hope is to strike gold and make a new life for herself somewhere far, far away from Deadwood.  But then Jake arrives and does the unthinkable...forces her to feel, to hope...and to love.

Jake would give his life to protect Becky, but all he can offer her is a broken heart, a criminal's life, and a past haunted by failure.  How can he save her when he's already lost himself?  When the devil catches up to him, will he destroy everything, or can the beautiful rebel redeem Jake's lost soul?



** I received an ARC of Redeemed by a Rebel from the author in exchange for an honest review**

I'm guilty. I fell for the sexy cover hehe. But also I decided to give this book a try because eventhough I'm not a fan of historical romance, I've read another book by Cynthia Woolf and really enjoyed it.

Redeemed by a Rebel didn't dissapoint. It is a really fast paced book and easy to get into. Very entertaining with a great setting. I loved the way the author described Deadwood, a town with no law and where people is only interested in gold and bars. 

Jake and Becky, the two main characters have had sad and hard lives before they find each other. 

I liked the way their paths crossed and how at the beginning they both try to avoid what they feel. Also the fact that Jake slowly wins her trust. It's like he is her knight in a shining armor.

Becky is fierce, as every heroine in Cynthia's books. So brave and utterly stubborn, that sometime I felt like slapping her!

Billy, Becky's dad, is a SOB! so cruel and always wasted. I hated him. 
On the other hand, the other supporting characters such as Liam and Zack (Jake's brothers) are amazing.

To sum up: I liked it very much! Nice setting, amazing characters, good pace and interesting storyline. 

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


February 1876

The man was dead. Deader than a doornail in a rotted-out door. Lily Sutter was not going to like this. She supposed she should call her the Widow Sutter now.
Becky looked at John Sutter’s body, splayed across the rocks like the annual  sacrifice to some unknown god. She should probably try and wrangle his body onto the back of her mule, but didn’t really think she could manage the task alone. She heaved a sigh. Time to check and see if Billy was home or if she would have to collect him from The Gem. She hadn’t given him enough gold for the Bella Union.
She’d lied to him once again, only given him part of their gold. If she gave him all the gold, like he wanted, nothing would be left to buy food or the pans and other equipment she needed to work their claim. And then there’d be no gold for him to go drown his sorrows. Sorrows that were her fault, according to him, for having killed her Ma getting born. And then he’d beat her and she wouldn’t be able to work so there’d be no gold and the cycle would start again. Better to lie to him.
Resigned, she grabbed the mule’s bridle. Buster snorted at the small jerk she gave the gear as she started walking downstream along the narrow path that followed the creek. She’d made this path, going back and forth to their claim on a daily basis. After collecting Billy from the Gem, after he’d spent another night of drowning his sorrows. Better there than at their campsite where he’d just complain and then beat her for the hell of it.
She and her father, Billy, originally came from the coal mines of West Virginia. But that was so long ago and there’d been many, many stops along the way. Every time she hoped this might be the place, the one they could put down roots. But it never was. Billy leached the good will from the townsfolk until there was none left and they had to move on. She’d gotten lucky with her education. One of the ladies she worked for took pity on her and taught her to read, write and talk so she was able to get better jobs as time went on.
As for Billy, the fresh air was good for him, made him feel better but him feeling better was a two-edged sword. He felt better so, rather than working the claim, he took their gold and spent it on booze and whores at the Gem in Deadwood. He was smart enough to know he got more booze and whores for his money at the Gem than the Bella Union where they were classier but much more expensive. He was at the Gem so often she had to go and collect him about three nights a week. He’d get so drunk he couldn’t find his way out of the saloon much less back to their claim.
She’d get Dan Dority to load Billy on the mule and then, when they got back to camp, she’d untie him and let him slip to the ground. She used to try holding him up, to slow his fall, but too many times, she’d ended up trapped beneath him until she could shove his heavy body off her. And him, totally ignorant of the whole situation, blissfully sleeping off the effects of his alcohol fueled stupor. 
There’d been just as many times she left him at the Gem and let them deal with his sorry ass. Now since she needed to tell someone about Sutter, she figured she’d go ahead and get Billy, too.
Becky got on the mule and headed back to Deadwood. She went to the Gem but rather than collecting her father, she told Dan about Sutter.
“I’ll see his body gets taken care of.  In the meantime you get your father and get out. I keep telling you, this ain’t no place for a girl like you to be seen.”
“Oh, I don’t know, Dan,” said Al Swearengen, owner of the Gem and procurer of flesh. “We could give her a job that’s a lot easier than working that claim.” 
 He leaned on the hand rail of the second floor walkway looking dapper in his black three piece pinstriped suit. He wore no tie and his shirt was open at the collar. Becky craned her neck to look upward at him. “Not today, Mr. Swearengen, but I’ll be sure and keep your offer in mind.”
Swearengen laughed. A great rumble from deep in his chest. “You do that. Dan, help load Billy on to her mule.”  He turned away and went back into his office. “See you tomorrow, Becky.” he called over his shoulder.
She nodded, then looked at the fancy women lounging around the room in varying states of undress and silently agreed with Dan. She should get out. She didn’t understand how they could do what they did. She’d rather work day and night in the creek than let a man touch her in that way.

The Author

Cynthia Woolf was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent  her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.
Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.
Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.
She worked her way through college and went to work full time straight after graduation and there was little time to write. Then in 1990 she and two friends started a round robin writing a story about pirates. She found that she missed the writing and kept on with other stories. In 1992 she joined Colorado Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America. Unfortunately, the loss of her job demanded she not renew her memberships and her writing stagnated for many years.
In 2001, she saw an ad in the paper for a writers conference being put on by CRW and decided she'd attend. One of her favorite authors, Catherine Coulter, was the keynote speaker. Cynthia was lucky enough to have a seat at Ms. Coulter's table at the luncheon and after talking with her, decided she needed to get back to her writing. She rejoined both CRW and RWA that day and hasn't looked back.
Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she's made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.

Find more about her at: 


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Keep an eye on every stop.
Don't miss the interviews, guest posts, top 10 lists, amazing reviews and the super giveaway with a $100 Amazon GC prize.

February 17: Bunny's Review: Review

February 18: Black Lion Blog: Top 10 List 

February 19: A Writer's Life: Guest Post

February 20: Mochas, Mysteries and More: Guest Post

February 21: Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews: Top 10 List
                      Lindsey Gray ~ Author and Reviewer: Review

February 22: Books à la Mode: Guest Post

February 23: Little Black Notebook: Interview

February 24: My Devotional Thoughts: Top 10 List

February 26: Deal Sharing Aunt: Review

February 27: I know that Book: Review

February 28: That Girl Reads: Review

Monday, February 24, 2014

Fire Country Bday Party!

Today, Fire Country by David Estes turns one year old. In the first year since Fire Country was born, so much has happened. David signed with an agent, sold more than 10,000 books, wrote five more books and published a further three). He knew he just had to celebrate and he'd love for you to be a part of it! David owes so much of his support to the blogger community, and he wants everyone to have the chance to be a part of the Fire Country Birthday Bash.
Everyone goes home a winner, simply follow the prompts below and swipe your eCopy of Fire Country from Smashwords. Read and leave a review on Amazon if you enjoyed it. Feel free to share the code with your friends, family, neighbours and literary inclined pets.

Coupon Code: WH62C
Expiration: March 1, 2014

FIRE COUNTRY (Country Saga #1)

In a changed world where the sky bleeds red, winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer's even hotter with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to survive, barely. 

Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low the only way the tribe can survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn sixteen and every three years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers.

Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called the Wild Ones. They are known to kidnap Youngling girls before the Call, the ceremony in which Bearers are given a husband with whom to bear children with. 

As the desert sands run out on her life's hourglass, Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild Ones while untangling the web of lies and deceit her father has masterfully spun.

What's a party without prizes? Yes, David is not only giving everyone a chance to download their own copy of Fire Country, book one in the Country Saga for free, but he's also giving you stuff too. You could win an Amazon giftcard open internationally, U.S residents can win a signed copy of the David Estes book of your choice, or a handful of David Estes eBooks of your choice. Awesome.

Visit David via his Blog  Facebook • Twitter and via Goodreads
Pay Perry the Prickler a visit on Twitter and Goodreads

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rain Trilogy: Guest Post

by Karen Anne Stewart


Raina has tried to forget her past, forget the pain, but when she finds herself staring straight into the fury blazing in her ex-boyfriend’s eyes, her dark past comes rushing back. Furious with herself for actually having chosen someone like her father, she uses that anger to her advantage and fights for her life…and for her future that she prays will involve the man she can’t seem to get out of her head. Kas is a natural leader, a fierce fighter, the type of man you send in when you need to get the job done. He is a courageous hero who is used to risking his own life to save others, but can he save the one who has captured his heart from her horrific past and the men who are hell-bent on destroying her? As Kas and Raina try to navigate through the twists and turns of a deviously intelligent human trafficking group, they find solace in each other’s arms. Can they infiltrate the trafficker’s tight ring, saving the innocent lives from imminent danger before it’s too late?
***Disclaimer: Due to sensitive issues of abuse, human trafficking, and adult scenes, The Rain Trilogy is intended for readers 18+. Although Saving Rain does not include ‘adult’ scenes, the final two novels do.

(click on the picture to go to Goodreads)



Karen-Anne Stewart has always adored reading and has now fallen in love with writing. Her written works are The Rain Trilogy: Saving Rain, Healing Rain, and After the Rain. Her debut novel, Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy, was a nominee for the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards and is a nominee for the 2013 RONE Awards.
When Karen-Anne isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and visiting new places. She fuels her addiction of creating new stories by her only other addiction, caffeine, and listening to a myriad of musical genres. Tucked away near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Karen-Anne lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and their cat. She plans on writing new adult romance as long as her fingers maintain dexterity.

Writing a trilogy without going unbelievable insane!

Thank you for having me on your amazing site today! 

First, I’m going to make sure that I express how I am so not an expert on how to write a trilogy without going insane because I did have more than a few of those crazy moments while writing The Rain Trilogy, especially with Saving Rain being my debut novel, but I did learn a few things along the way that I hope readers/writers can find valuable.  Saving Rain was originally intended on being a standalone novel but when I started the story about Kas and Raina, I just couldn’t stop writing and it quickly turned into a trilogy.  My personal style of writing is a bit all over the place; I find it very difficult to sit down and write from beginning to end.  With that said, my journey of writing a trilogy in sections and piecing them together later was a bit of a challenge at times.  I had parts of After the Rain, the final novel, written while I was still writing Saving Rain.  

   The best piece of advice that I feel is the most important about writing a series is to work at your own pace and don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself, trust me, it won’t end well if you do (there will be tears, cussing, ranting, a few head bangs, and lots of chocolate and wine).  Give yourself the time YOU need to write the story the best way you feel it will play out and allow yourself to deviate from the intended storyline in your head if you feel the characters are leading you a different way.  Your characters will grow with the story, so listen to them!  Don’t make unreasonable time lines that will only hinder your creativity, and allow time for social media interaction, booking blog tours, book signings (if applicable), and some de-stressing when things get too hectic.  Research on how to promote my books and learning social media took most of my time; writing took the least-by far!

   Your writing space can be anywhere…really, anywhere!  Never go without your laptop or at least without your pen and paper; ideas pop into your head at the weirdest times, quite often when you aren’t at a computer.  I work full time so I spent my lunch breaks writing in a myriad of places, my car, restaurants, the park, waiting rooms; I’ve even written in a hospital ER room, and, once, I placed my laptop on the trunk of my car and wrote while standing when I was waiting in line for a car inspection.  Everyday life can spark amazing ideas for your story, so be ready!  My preferred writing spot is at home, curled on my couch in the living room with my family.  When I had to write the emotional scenes, I tucked myself away in my office.  Most of my novels are written while I’m in my comfy pjs and have my iPod earplugs shoved in my ears.  

   This next bit of advice might seem to contradict what I just wrote above, but it’s extremely important.  For me, it’s incredibly easy to get lost in my story, completely immersed until I have no idea how much time has gone by!  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing but I didn’t want to get so lost in my novels that I lost precious time with my family and friends; balance is essential, so is food and sleep, which is easily forgotten when you are in that kickbutt, full-blown creative mojo mode and you just have to get all the amazing thoughts in your head on your computer before you explode and/or lose them!

  Making each novel interesting and adding different twists and turns so the story isn’t exactly the same as the first novel in the series is imperative.  Providing intriguing elements to the story not only keeps your readers interested, it keeps you all hyped up and itching to write more as well.  My first two novels in the series have cliffhangers, so readers beware; if you don’t like cliff hangers, either immediately jump to the next one when you’re done, or don’t read the trilogy.  I promise I wrapped the last book up nicely without those pesky endings that make readers want to throw their books or e-readers against the wall and leave death threats on the author’s Facebook page (NO death threats on my page, please – unless they are entertaining!).  

  Lastly, HAVE FUN!  Let your characters be free and fall in love with them, after all, they are part of who you are and consume your thoughts and dreams.  Enjoy the wild ride and hang on tight when those twists and turns leave you feeling off kilter and on the verge of insanity.  Vent your frustrations in your story; those stressful times make for some great fight scenes – if your novel needs one.  I love using my emotions in my novels…best therapy ever ;).  

  Thank you again for having me and a huge thanks to the readers!  I hope you fall in love with Kas and Raina!

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Time's Forbidden Flower by Diane Rinella

Time's Forbidden Flower 
by Diane Rinella
(Book 2 in the "Love's Forbidden Flower Series"

An eternity of passion cannot be quelled by society.  

Once upon a time Donovan assured Lily all of her dreams would come true. But how could he keep the promise of a fairy tale when her truest goals could not involve him, though her deepest desires did? Now, Lily has it all—love, passion, a family, and the career of her dreams—with Christopher. But something is lacking. She and Donovan have spent the last ten years living apart, and the soul mates are eager to reunite. Can Donovan keep his promise to give Lily all she desires, even with Christopher in the way?   

For Lily and Donovan, the past is a mirror to the future that cannot be shattered.   

Donovan is convinced Lily has been his love for all eternity. Determined to unravel the past, they embark on a journey to discover where it all began. For centuries Donovan has stolen Lily’s heart while forced to suffer for his love. How much can a soul endure before the breaking point is reached and a monster emerges? Can the demons of the past be combated to pave the way for happiness in the next life? Or has the abuse suffered in this life already turned Donovan hell bound? Time and again, one woman has destroyed their happiness. It’s time to silence her once and for all

Buy links:

Warning: This title contains graphic language and raunchy sexual situations. It is intended for those 18 years of age and older.

Love’s Forbidden Flower

Love’s Erotic Flower

Time’s Forbidden Flower

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery



The light of the alarm clock covers my face in a soft glow while its progressing numbers remind me that life is passing by. Finally, Christopher's breath deepens into a low snore. Like a paranoid ninja I slip out of bed and head down the stairs.
Is the frigidity of the knob on the library door brought about by the weather outside, or the betrayal I feel stepping through this portal, knowing a letter from a former lover awaits?
Grabbing the designated book off of the shelf, excitement and apprehension course through my nervous system. Hidden in the section on making gum paste lilies is a sheet of stationary that bares an uncanny resemblance to the stationary on which I once wrote letters to Donovan, sharing in the madness of an alternate reality.

To My Lovely Lady,
      You are, and will always be, the force that drives and inspires me. On my brightest days, you are the warmth that shines upon me. In the darkest nights, you provide the voice that soothes me. Because of you I face each day knowing who I am and the good I bring into the world. Because of you, I am whole.

Until the end of forever,

Placing the book back on the shelf, I head for the family room, unable to bring myself to return to Christopher. Curling up on the sofa I turn on the TV where the A Christmas Story marathon continues. Quickly I change the channel, only to return to it, and then flee again. Finally I settle on an infomercial, staring blankly, striving to force myself into panic over the details of the New Year’s Eve party to come. The diversion proves to be a terrible idea. This will be the first New Year’s Eve Donovan and I have spent together since we split. How do I move past the impending pain of the night while finding a way to heal?
“Cannoli,” I softly mutter aloud. “I’ll switch from cream puffs to cannoli. Maybe I should stuff the cream puffs with cannoli filling…”

Author Bio
Enjoying San Francisco as a backdrop, the ghosts in Diane’s 150-year old
Victorian home augment the chorus in her head. With insomnia as their catalyst, these voices have become multifarious characters that haunt her well into the sun’s crowning hours, refusing to let go until they have manipulated her into succumbing to their whims. Her experiences as an actress, business owner, artisan cake designer, software project manager, Internet radio disc jockey, vintage rock n’ roll journalist/fan girl, and lover of dark and quirky personalities influence her idiosyncratic writing.

Selling your controversial book and a conservative world

When I started writing Love’s Forbidden Flower, I knew it would be a hard sell. The up side is that though the subject of siblings in love is normally handled as erotica or the characters are made dysfunctional, mine are simply soul mates who are born into a world of cruel realities. The down side is, well, you saw that part about them being siblings, right? I spent a very long time polishing the query and gathered a lot of feedback. I was told it was beautiful crafted, as was my entire pitch for the story. Despite the black cloud over the subject matter, I went into the agent querying process with confidence.

It's pretty well known that the turnaround time for a query response is several weeks, sometimes months. For me, the turnaround time was so short it seemed like I hadn't even hit the send button. Two responses were common: “No, thank you.” and “Your writing is very eloquent, but we are unable to publish your story given the relationship of those involved. Feel free to submit again if changes are made.”

While I was certainly open to the possibility that Love’s Forbidden Flower could use some sprucing up, some things were sacred, like the part about Lily and Donovan being siblings. That was the biggest complaint, and without that key element, the story would not work. Meaning, in order to get published I’d easily have to change over half of the book.

No, thank you.

So, I self-published. Now I was left to face a big issue all by my lonesome: How do you market a book that agents and publishers don’t want to touch because of its subject matter?

I tried to get blogs to write about it, but it was really hard to get traction. I was very upfront about the subject matter and many people wouldn't respond to me. It was interesting to feel the push of discrimination.

Then I reached out to people at Goodreads who had read other books that contain the topic and asked them for honest reviews in exchange for free copies. The support was absolutely overwhelming. It was phenomenal how quickly my book took off within that community. Still, the bloggers wouldn’t bite.

I took a chance and signed up for blog tour. The problem here is that the book blurb for Love’s Forbidden Flower does not mention the relationship of the characters because I wanted to appeal to the reader’s emotions, not to fetishes.  Instead, a disclaimer was attached. Apparently quite a few people missed the disclaimer. Thus, the majority of the people who reviewed had absolutely no idea what they were getting themselves into. Of those, the vast majority absolutely loved the book! The common response was: Had I known what it was about, I never would have picked it up. I’m so glad that I didn’t miss out on an amazing journey.

So, how do you market a controversial novel? A great question. I’m still learning. It all comes down to finding your audience. I had to put a disclaimer on it stating it's not a work of erotica, because people commonly think any type of romance involving siblings would naturally be just about sex. However, in learning that, I found that audiences who enjoy erotica are much more likely to read Love’s Forbidden Flower.

The disclaimer seems to be the way to go. The blurb reflects the spirit of the story while the disclaimer lets the reader know what they are getting themselves into. I made the first chapter available on my website, and I post links to it on Twitter and Facebook often. By the end of that chapter, you fully know what you are in for. Sometimes I get flack for throwing the reader into the relationship so quickly, but you know what? I'd rather get a little bit of flack than mislead people into reading fifty pages before they see where everything is going and quickly decide they are done.

The final thing that helps is letting others know the mission—the whole reason why I wrote what I did: Love’s Forbidden Flower is a controversial, civil rights piece, about siblings that makes you ask the question, “Why do we make love laws?”

Buy links:
Warning: This title contains graphic language and raunchy sexual situations. It is intended for those 18 years of age and older.

Love’s Forbidden Flower

Love’s Erotic Flower

Time’s Forbidden Flower

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


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