Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z is for... Rebecca Zanetti

ounds!  It's the last day of the A to Z challenge!  Is it just me, or did this month pass by really quickly?

This challenge has been so much fun, and I want to take a moment to thank everyone for reading, and an extra-big thank you to those of you who took the time to comment.  I love, love, LOVE comments, and I always enjoying reading your thoughts.  Please, keep it up!

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For my last post, I want to spotlight Rebecca Zanetti.  I read and enjoyed her book, Under the Covers, which is a steamy romantic suspense.  She also writes a paranormal vampire series, and she has quite a few books in her backlist, which is always a treat!

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I hope you've enjoyed my theme for this year's challenge, and I hope you've discovered some new-to-you authors.  Please come back and let me know if you wind up reading any of the authors I featured--I'd love to know what you think!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to get some sleep! :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y is for... Yasmine Galenorn

es, we're almost to the end!  One more day--you can do it!

Today's author is Yasmine Galenorn.  She has an ongoing paranormal series called The Otherworld, and it's about 3 sisters--one witch, one vampire, and one shape-shifter.  It's an interesting world, and what's cool about the series is that each book is told from the POV of a different sister.  After three books, you return to the POV of the first sister, then move on to the second, then the third.  It's a good way to keep a series fresh!
Book 1 in the series

Yasmine has several series out right now, but I've only read The Otherworld books.  Have any of you read her work?  What are your thoughts?

Monday, April 28, 2014

X is for... X-rated romance

-rated.  For most people, this rating denotes graphic sexual content in a film.  Romance doesn't have a ratings system like movies, but anyone looking for steamier fare knows to check out erotica or erotic romance (they are different!  Erotica has a lot of graphic sex scenes, but the emphasis is not on the relationship between the characters, and there may or may not be a happily ever after ending.  Erotic romance focuses on the relationship between the characters with lots of graphic sex scenes, and because it is a romance, we get a happily ever after.)

For this letter, I thought I'd spotlight a few erotic romance authors.  I don't normally read much in this sub-genre, but there are a few people I really like, and who write this type of story very well indeed.

First up is Cara McKenna.  Her book, Willing Victim, should be required reading for anyone trying out this genre.  It does a nice job of showing the journey of Laurel, and how her life turns around after meeting Flynn.  For his part, Flynn has a lot of emotional growth once he gets involved with Laurel.  A good read all around!

Next is Megan Hart.  I picked up her book, Switch, because the back cover blurb was intriguing.  A woman mistakenly receives notes meant for the apartment upstairs.  They contain instructions--some innocent, some not--and she starts to follow them, just to see what it would be like.  The story really gets interesting when she meets the intended recipient of the notes, and finds herself very attracted to him.

Finally, I want to mention T.L. Watson.  Her first book, Hands-On Therapy, is out now, and it's really good.  I hope she writes faster, because I really want to read her next book!

That's all from me for today.  Do you read erotica or erotic romance?  Did I leave out your favorite author?  Tell me about it in the comments!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

W is for... J.R. Ward

ell, better late than never, right?  Apologies for posting late--my Mom called me last night, and the family cat, Belle, was having trouble walking.  We took her to the emergency vet, and I didn't get home until almost midnight.  Belle had to stay the night, which made her even grumpier than usual.  She's home now, sprawled out on the bed and resting up after her overnight adventure.  I wish I could say she's fine, but she's an 18 year old kitty who is having some age-related problems.  I just hope that whatever time she has left with us is happy.

Moving on, today's author is one that tends to be rather polarizing.  Not because of her subject matter, but because of her writing style.  Readers either love her or they hate her--I haven't really found anyone who is indifferent or middle-of-the-road when it comes to their impressions.

J.R. Ward writes the wildly popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series (BDB, for those 'in the know') and more recently, the Fallen Angels series.  Both are paranormal, and both are quite steamy.  I've enjoyed both, but as for the BDB series, I prefer the earlier books to the more recent ones.

J.R. didn't always write paranormal romance.  A few of her earlier titles have been re-released, when she was writing as Jessica Bird.  I've read one of the contemporary romances, and enjoyed it.  The style was nothing like her vampire books, so if you're one of those readers who doesn't enjoy the Brothers, perhaps try one of the Jessica Bird books?

What about you?  Have you read any of her novels? What did you think?

Friday, April 25, 2014

V is for... Rachel Vincent

ery close to the end--can you feel it?

Today's author is Rachel Vincent.  Rachel writes both YA and urban fantasy series, so if you're in the mood for a paranormal setting that's lighter on the romance, give her a try!

Do you like urban fantasy, or do you prefer more of an emphasis on the romance?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

U is for... Amanda Usen

h-oh was my first thought when I got to this letter.  I quickly scanned my bookshelves, and my fears were confirmed--I don't have any 'U' authors in my collection!  So I visited the RWA website, and lo and behold, there is one 'U' author.  I haven't read her yet, but now I feel like I have to, since she's so special!

Amanda Usen writes steamy romances, and she has two series right now: Sexy Chefs and Hot Nights.  I'm a fan of cooking/food themed romances, so I'll probably start with her debut, Scrumptious.

Has anyone read Amanda?  What did you think?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T is for... Jodi Thomas

oday, I'm happy to spotlight an author I've had the pleasure of meeting several times. Jodi Thomas spoke at a conference I attended a few years ago, and I found her to be quite inspiring.  She's since spoken at my local RWA chapter's meetings, and she was one of our conference speakers.  She's a genuinely nice person, who goes out of her way to encourage other writers.

Jodi writes both contemporary small-town romances, and Western historicals.  She also has an extensive back-list, so you're sure to find something you'll enjoy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S is for... Kerrelyn Sparks and Shannon Stacey

o how's your week going?  I know it's only Tuesday, but hopefully you're having a good week!

Today, I have two more authors for you.  First up is Kerrelyn Sparks, who writes fun vampire romances.  The titles alone should tip you off--these aren't angsty, angry vampires, but rather fun, enjoyable characters.  Her books are peppered with humor, and I always find myself smiling as I read.

Next is Shannon Stacey.  I read the first book in her Kowalski Family series, and just loved it.  It's a great series about a large family, and each sibling is so well-drawn and interesting, you really feel like you get to know them as you read the books.  If you're looking for a good contemporary series, give her a try!

Good luck to my fellow A to Z'ers--we're on the home stretch of the challenge!

Monday, April 21, 2014

R is for... Kimberly Raye and Nora Roberts

eady to meet some new authors?  Let's get started on this last full week of the A to Z Challenge!

Today, I want to spotlight two authors--a superstar and a relative unknown.

The first is Nora Roberts.  She's a rockstar in the romance genre, and she's so big that even people who don't read romance have heard of her. She was one of the first authors I binged on, so I have some very fond memories of her books.  Believe it or not, I've never read her J.D. Robb books, but I'll get around to them someday...

Just hanging with my BFF, La Nora.  That's how I roll :)
Next up is Kimberly Raye.  I read her Dead End Dating books, about a vampire matchmaker, and really enjoyed them.  There was a delay in the publication of the latest book in the series, but I've just downloaded it and am excited to start reading!

Have you read any Nora Roberts or Kimberly Raye?  What did you think?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for... Julia Quinn

uestion for you: what's the first romance novel you remember reading?  Mine was from today's author, Julia Quinn.  I picked up a copy of What Happens in London and absolutely loved it, but Serious Readers don't read romance, and so it took several more years before I developed the confidence to stop caring about what other people thought of my reading choices. Once I embraced romance, I never looked back! :)

Julia writes historical romances, and she's written one of my favorite books, The Lost Duke of Wyndham.  If you haven't read it yet, go straight to the library or bookstore and pick up a copy--it's delightful!

How do you feel about historical romance?  Is it one of your favorite genres, or do you prefer something else?

Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for... Carly Phillips

erusing my bookshelves has been one of the best parts of this challenge--sometimes I forget how many books I have, and I've rediscovered some old favorites!

Today's author is Carly Phillips.  She's another contemporary author, and her books are always fun with great characters and snappy dialogue.  I've really enjoyed her Bachelor Blog series, and her Serendipity books are also great.
Book 1 in the
Serendipity series
Book 1 in the Bachelor
Blog series

Have you read any of Carly's books?  What did you think?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for... Julie Ortolon

h my goodness, we're already halfway through this challenge!  It's been both simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating--there are so many good blogs out there!

Today, I'm spotlighting a fellow Texas author. Julie Ortolon writes sweet contemporary romance, and many of her books are set in or near Galveston, Texas.  I always enjoy reading books set in places I know well, and she does a nice job describing island life.  If you're looking for a breezy, light read, give her a try!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for... Elisabeth Naughton and Chloe Neill

ow that we're well into the challenge, how's everyone doing?  Still going strong, or starting to fade?  I know it's hard keeping up with everything, but it sure has been fun so far!

Today, I have two authors to spotlight. Elisabeth Naughton writes both romantic suspense and paranormal romance.  I really enjoyed her Stolen series, and while I haven't kept up with her Eternal Guardians series, I did enjoy the books I read.  Might be time for me to pick those books up again!

Next is Chloe Neill.  I really like her Chicagoland Vampires books.  Merit is a great character, and the series has had several twists and turns that will keep you guessing.  If you're in the mood for a good vampire series, check her out!  The first book in the series was just released as a mass market paperback, which means a lower price.

Have you read either of these authors?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for... Monica McCarty, Deirdre Martin, and Sarah McCarty

y, my, my.  Today has been one of the hardest posts, not because I couldn't think of anyone, but because there are so many great 'M' authors out there that I had to narrow things down to make this post manageable!  If you don't see your favorite, it's because I simply didn't have the space!

First up is Monica McCarty.  If you like Highlanders (and who doesn't?) this is the author for you.  She has a great series called The Highland Guard, which is about a group of men who protect Robert the Bruce. Very good stuff, and the covers aren't bad, either!

Next is Deirdre Martin.  I have a real soft spot for hockey romances, and she's one of the best.  Her New York Blades series is great fun!

Finally, if you're in the mood for steamier fare, check out Sarah McCarty.  She writes historical westerns, and they're hot, hot, hot!  She also has a paranormal series that I haven't read yet, but I've heard good things.

What about you?  Who are your favorite 'M' authors?

Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for... Katie Lane, Kathy Love, and Yours Truly! :)

et's kick off the week with three new romance authors!

First up is Katie Lane.  Katie writes contemporary romances featuring cowboys.  What more could you ask for?  I discovered her through one of her holiday stories, but after finishing the book, I quickly went out and bought the books in her Deep in the Heart of Texas series.  I mean, who doesn't love a sexy cowboy?

Next up is Kathy Love.  Not to belabor the point, but I love her books! She writes both contemporary romance and paranormal romance, and I haven't found a book of hers that I don't enjoy.  Check out her Stepp Sisters trilogy, and then move on to her Bourbon Street Vampires books.

And finally, there's me!  I hope you'll forgive me for mentioning myself during this challenge, but I do enjoy my books, so it only seemed fair :) My books feature heroines who have science-themed jobs--Kelly, the heroine in DEADLY CONTACT is a microbiologist.  Claire, the heroine in FATAL FALLOUT (coming this August) is a nuclear physicist.  And Jillian from LETHAL LIES (coming this December) is an ER physician.  All my books have a scientific twist, but don't worry--the science isn't over the top, and it helps to ratchet up the suspense.  If you haven't yet, I hope you'll give me a try!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for... Lisa Kleypas

eeping up with these posts is a daunting task.  Am I the only one who's tired? :)

Today's author is Lisa Kleypas, and she's another one of my favorites. Her book, Sugar Daddy, was recommended to me by a friend, and after I finished it, I was totally hooked.  One of the best things about Lisa is that she writes in several genres, including contemporary, historical, and contemporary with magical realism elements.  No matter what your mood, I'm sure one of her books will appeal to you!

P.S. One of her books, Christmas Eve in Friday Harbor, was made into a TV movie.  Did you see it?

The book
The movie

Friday, April 11, 2014

Photo Friday - Cuteness overload edition

***** Scroll down for A to Z post ***** 

This might be the cutest thing I've seen all week.  Maybe all month!

J is for... Julie James

ust in time for Friday, let's celebrate the letter J!

I discovered Julie James a few years ago, and she quickly went on my auto-buy list.  Her legal-themed romances are filled with vivid, smart characters and snappy dialogue.  If this sounds like something you'd enjoy, be sure to pick up one of her books!