Favorite Reads From the Last Two Quarters, Coming Soon to a Kindle Near You, and On Sale Now!

Swoony and Angsty

36206591Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren. I’ve never read Christina Lauren before because I’m not really into alpha males or romcoms, but I heard this one was different so I gave it a shot. I loved every heart-melting second of it. My review.

Until it Fades by K.A. Tucker. I’m not usually into sports romance either, but for some reason ice hockey seems to be the exception! My review.

Waking Olivia by Elizabeth O’Roark. I picked up Waking Olivia after being asked to participate in a takeover for the author and couldn’t put it down. My review.

Noteworthy Debuts

40097744Ride by Harper Dallas. Remember what I said about not being into sports romance? Scratch that. Apparently I’m good with snowboarding too. Hmm… there seems to be a pretty cool theme here. My review.

Beneath Your Beautiful by Emery Rose. I love finding new debut authors to stalk support and began stalking supporting Ms. Rose as soon as I came across this book. So far I’ve learned: she’s a former New Yorker living in London who loves Netflix and sunshine and whose swoony AF hero garners a fairly high rating on Goodreads. My review.

All the Feels

36893907Bring Down the Stars by Emma Scott. I’m not even going to bother telling you how amazing this book is. Here’s my review if you’re interested. What I will tell you is how crazy excited I am for you to read book two, Long Live the Beautiful Hearts, because OMFG people, she goes ALL IN! (← see what I did there?). I’ve read 70% of it and whoa. You. Just. Wait.

Hydraulic Level 5 and Skygods by Sarah Latchaw. It hasn’t been since The Fish Tales that I truly felt like I was inside a book hanging out with the characters. Thanks Carla for the rec! My review.

What the Ever Loving F*ck

The New Camelot Trilogy by Sierra Simone. On paper, this should be everything I hate. OTT (over the top) plot, BDSM themes, super explicit sex… and something else too spoilery to mention. So why did I read it? Quite simply, the writing; I’d heard amazing things. But once I started it, I COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN. Honestly, I don’t think I took a single breath in the two weeks it took me to get through it. I felt EVERY EMOTION and then some. This series is MMF (male/male/female) and won’t be for everyone. If you decide to give it a go, expect the unexpected and stick with it because you’ll think you know what’s happening, but you don’t. These books will own you. My review.

Coming Soon to a Kindle Near You

42611708_673856702997346_3374315552586596352_nOctober 23rd: Chasing the Sunrise by H.A. Robinson. This is Tom’s story, a spinoff of The Pebble Jar (my review) which I loved! ❤ Can’t wait to read!

Sometime this month: Long Live the Beautiful Hearts by Emma Scott. Let me reiterate… YOU. JUST. WAIT.

November 1st: Beyond the Truth by Nicky F. Grant. I’m currently reading this for a second time and I can’t say enough about it. Nicky hit it out of the park. The characters are deeply flawed but endearing, the writing is clever, and the sex is off the charts hotttt! The story gave me Unrequited and (to some extent) New Camelot Trilogy feels. Beyond the Truth is book two in the Beyond Surrender series. Click HERE for my review of book one, Beyond the Masks.

Sometime next month: Tell Me You Love Me by S. Ann Cole: Cole weaves a tale like no other. This is the third book of hers I’ve read and it’s as quirky and eclectic as I’ve come to expect from her. If you want something refreshing and new, check her out. I also highly recommend Yes, Mr. Van Der Wells (my review) and Free Hostage (my review).

On Sale Now

Pennies by Pepper Winters #FREENSF

Sweet Addiction by J. Daniels #FREE

Baby Daddy by Kendall Ryan #FREE

Never Stop Falling by Ashley Drew 99¢

Binding 13 by Chloe Walsh 99¢

The Upside of Falling by Meghan Quinn 99¢

Holding You by Jewel E. Ann 99¢

Wolfsong by T.J. Klune $1.99

The Birthday List by Devney Perry $1.99

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty $3.99


This was only a small part of my 4th quarter newsletter! For the rest, including Hot Guys Over Forty and Margarita Mania, click HERE and subscribe! Then join us in The BBB (Robin Hill’s Books, Boys, & Booze) where I’ll be busy gathering fodder for next quarter’s newsletter…

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SXSW 2018 Blog Tour Giveaway!

Did you confirm your room? Maybe you shouldn’t… 

What happens when you get stranded at one of the world’s largest music festivals without a hotel room? You get rescued by a broody stranger of course!

SXSW starts next week and I’m celebrating with a blog tour and signed paperback giveaway! Click HERE to enter!

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A Charm of Finches is LIVE!

Congrats to Suanne Laqueur on her latest release, A Charm of Finches, #2 in the Venery Series! It’s LIVE… and there’s a GIVEAWAY! (see below)

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Here are all the deets!

A Charm of Finches

Release Date: November 1, 2017

Synopsis

From the author of An Exaltation of Larks comes the long-awaited second book in the Venery series.

“I swear. Give me one more chance, and I will make the most of it.”

Ex-escort Javier Landes is asking for his third chance at love. The third time proves to be the charm when he meets an art therapist named Steffen Finch. What starts as casual deepens into a passionate relationship—everything Jav has ever wanted, and everything he fears losing.

Stef’s business card reads Curator & Sailor. His creativity and insightful nature have made him into a talented therapist, the one to call for tough cases. His professional success can’t conceal a deep need to connect with someone, but Javier Landes is the last person Stef expected.

Geronimo “Geno” Caan is Stef’s most challenging case. To cope with his ordeal, he’s allowed an alter-ego called Mos to make decisions, and now lives a double life within a web of lies. Under Stef’s navigation, Geno uses art to express what he can’t yet speak aloud. But as Geno’s attachment to Stef gradually extends to Jav, the boundaries between professional and personal begin to blur.

Over the course of a year, Jav, Stef and Geno form an unexpected and unconventional triangle, revealing how men make love in times of war and how love is a great wisdom made up of small understandings. A Charm of Finches is an epic tale of survival and secrets guaranteed to make you think and feel and remember.

Add on Goodreads

Pre-Order Links: Kindle | Print | iTunes | Nook | Kobo | Smashwords

Signed Copies Available (To be shipped after the November 1st release date) Order Here

Author Bio

Suanne Laqueur

A former professional dancer and teacher, Suanne Laqueur has gone from choreographing music to choreographing words. Her goal is to create a new kind of emotionally-intelligent romance that appeals to the passions of all readers, crossing gender, age and genre.

Suanne Laqueur’s An Exaltation of Larks won the Grand Prize in the 2017 Writer’s Digest Book Awards. Her debut novel The Man I Love and its follow-up, Give Me Your Answer True, won gold medals in the 2015 and 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. Both were finalists in the 2015 and 2016 Kindle Book Awards, and Laqueur was named a gold medal Debut Author with Feathered Quill Book Reviews.

Laqueur graduated from Alfred University with a double major in dance and theater, and taught at the Carol Bierman School of Ballet Arts in Croton-on-Hudson for ten years. An avid reader, cook and gardener, she started her blog EatsReadsThinks in 2010. She lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two children. Visit her at http://suannelaqueurwrites.com . All feels welcome. And she always has coffee.

Author Links

Email | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon

Join Suanne’s newsletter: Join Here

And don’t forget this awesome GIVEAWAY! Click Here

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That one time…at book camp…

Kick up your feet and get comfy because here’s my super detailed and lengthy play-by-play of RT Atlanta:

Arrived. Took classes. Ate at Sway. Bought books. Fangirled. Ate at Sway again. Fangirled again. Took more classes. Refused to eat at Sway again. Ate at Sway again. Flew home. Cried.

Seriously though, RT Atlanta was one of the best experiences of my book loving life. And while I’d like to give you a super detailed and lengthy play-by-play, I’m going to spare you—and myself—because…deadline.

But I will say this: If you love books, if you write books, want to write books, read books, or have ever seen a book in your life, go to RT Reno.

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And now that I’ve convinced you, here are the top 5 things you need to know before your trip:

1.) Packing light is for boys and backpackers, so don’t bother. Spend your pre-con days lifting weights and dragging rolling bags of bricks around your house for practice.

2.) Be prepared for heartache. Checking in books at the airport is harder than sending kids off to college.

3.) People who drive tend to have full bars in their rooms. Make friends.

4.) If you want people to think you’re a writer, dye your hair blue. I swear, if you have blue hair, no one will even notice the color of your badge.

5.) Think you’re too cool for a selfie stick? You’re not. Bring one.

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The truth is, it doesn’t matter what you pack or if you decide to dye your hair pink instead of blue or if you cry at the airport.

It’s the people you meet that makes an experience like RT special, and I made some seriously stalkable new friends. The romance community is a warm and welcoming place, and I’m so happy to be a part of it, as a reader, as a fangirl, and as an “aspiring writer” with an orange badge and normal colored hair.

And is it just me, or is anybody else jonesing for a Sway grilled cheese about now?

For more of my ramblings on boys, books, and booze, plus a chance to win some awesome prizes, signup for my newsletter!

Fictional Condoms and The Condom Effect. A Rant.

There is nothing cute/romantic/sexy about condoms. They’re kind of gross. And they smell (a fact I really don’t need to be reminded of while reading, thank you very much).

Condom Character with question markI don’t want to wait for the hot, strapping hero to tear into a foil packet and roll it on his swollen manhood any more than his heroine does. But, by God, if he doesn’t stop to put one on, I wonder about him. Not to mention the heroine beneath him, legs spread and morals TBD. For a reader, it’s a total catch 22. And for a romance writer, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

This is further complicated by the book’s tense. If it’s past tense, it doesn’t bother me so much. In my zany brain, past tense equates to a retelling of sorts, and such details aren’t necessarily, well…necessary. But I read present tense as real time (even if it really isn’t), and if a condom isn’t used, it sticks out to me like a sore, throbbing, burgeoning…thumb.

Condom Character with hand standing poseIn the first five chapters of my book, condoms play a big enough roll to necessitate their own Wiki page. I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours I’ve spent debating the damn things. With my betas. With my friends. Even with my husband, who at this point reads the word “condom” and is ready to set my manuscript ablaze. His exact words while reading my latest edits were, “Enough with the condoms already!” Dude. I’m trying. I swear.

It should be simple, right? Just stash one in my hero’s pocket and be done with it.

Condom Character is standing with folding handExcept…it’s my heroine who first instigates sex, so shouldn’t she be the one with a condom?

AND THERE IT IS. I give my heroine her very own box of Trojans and the next five scenes topple over like falling dominoes. One little change and Frankie and Darian’s sexual future is altered, thus The Condom Effect.

Suddenly my days become less about writing and more about condom logistics. I worry about who has them and how many they have. Where they’re located at any given time. Is water going to be involved?

Oy vey. Am I overthinking this? Probably. I overthink my breakfast.

In a perfect world, Darian would have a Red Room of Pain and a file cabinet full of lab results at his disposal to offer Anastasia Frankie, who I should have written as a twenty-something “virgin” on birth control. But alas, it’s not a perfect world. It’s a safe sex world. And we’re all just reading in it.

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Peace, Love, and SXSW

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It’s March, and locally, as well as in the far-reaching grasp of the music industry worldwide, it’s time for South by Southwest (SXSW).

In a nutshell, SXSW is a collection of MUSIC, FILM, and INTERACTIVE festivals and conferences. If you’re in one of these industries, it’s a great way to be discovered, and if you’re a fan, it’s a great way to discover.

SXSW is held annually in Austin, Texas and lasts ten days. Today I’m focusing on the music festival which lasts seven, and myself, which lasts three.

I don’t want to bore you with the details, but if you’re unfamiliar, click here and scroll down for a short synopsis. Basically, what you need to know is that thousands of unknown bands seeking representation perform at parties (or showcases) in every nook and cranny of the downtown area. Some parties require a badge and some don’t. Some offer free drinks and some don’t. I suggest saying NO to the badge and YES to the free drinks.

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SXSW and I go back to my mid twenties when I was working for a CD manufacturer in Austin. My husband and I had a condo downtown (prime SXSW real estate which I’d later learn is rent-able for over a thousand dollars per night during the festival!). One of my company’s clients, a band out of Jacksonville, managed to book a showcase but not a hotel. They slept on our living room floor.

It was late afternoon on a Thursday. The guys were in the living room tuning their guitars, strumming a few chords, and singing a few versus. I’d just gotten out of the shower. Wrapped in a terrycloth robe with my hair in a turban, I sat at my vanity while the music picked up outside my bedroom door. Then came the voices, lots of them, and a chorus of instruments at full volume. I managed to get one eye sufficiently lined and shadowed before a full-on concert erupted on the other side of the wall. Without giving my appearance a second thought, I sprung from my chair and threw open the door. My living room was full of people. Standing room only. What began as lazy downtime had shifted into an impromptu showcase for a major record producer. In my living room.

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Several years later, my husband and I drank our weight in free Mai Tias and chased Glen Hansard from party to party until our efforts were halted at a badge only showcase at Antone’s. The line stretched for blocks, and there was no way I was going to wait hours just to be told my badge-less ass couldn’t get in. Still, I wasn’t about to give up, and I had just enough rum swimming in my veins to forge ahead. I grabbed my husband’s hand and dragged him around the side of the building to the stage door where two gate keepers (at the time, I was sure I’d seen four) were in the middle of a heated argument. My husband was mortified because I was convinced I could talk my way in.

“I’m his biggest fan. I know every song. Did you know he has a hole in his guitar like Willie Nelson? Have you seen the movie, Once?”

It happened in a blur, but before I knew it we were being shoved through the door and ushered to the stairs. The two (possibly four) gatekeepers resumed fighting, their voices fading as we climbed.

“I can’t believe you did that! What the hell were you thinking?”

“Are you kidding? That was a true fan. That’s what SXSW is all about.”

“Uh no, dipshit. It’s about bands getting…”

That’s the last thing I remember.
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Over the years, we’ve encountered some changes, but some things remain. Like Frankie, we continue to favor restaurants to food trucks. We always plan to end the night at a wristband only showcase, but our feet carry us to Pete’s Piano Bar instead. We still spend weeks researching bands, parties, and freebies for our annual SXSW spreadsheet. And we always, ALWAYS carry our tried and true Justin Bieber backpack.

South by Southwest has been a part of my life for decades, but as the opening setting of my book, it has become a part of my heart. Something happens to me when we make that left onto Caesar Chavez. I’m not just there to catch live shows and hunt free drinks anymore. I’m there to visit old friends, imaginary friends. Friends I can’t wait for you to meet.

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All Hail the Book Boyfriend

titleFebruary is the month of love, and in that spirit, I’d like to pay tribute to one of the things I love the most: BOOK BOYFRIENDS.

If you’re a romance enthusiast like myself, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Those impeccably penned heroes who keep you glued to the page, reading late into the night, ooh-ing and ahh-ing and ohmygod-ing.

Everyone has their tropes of choice. Most of my friends go gaga over the alpha male (Travis), and if he’s a billionaire (Gideon), bonus. Some are suckers for the dangerous anti-hero (Caleb), or the womanizing rock star (Kellan). I prefer the boy next door (Nick), broken if possible (Gabriel), with a side of single dad (Cory).

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What propels an average book hero to BOOK BOYFRIEND status? That depends on the swoonreader, and what makes her swoon. BOOK BOYFRIENDS are designed to be perfect (or perfectly imperfect) and perfection in romance is subjective. Take Kellan Kyle for example (the womanizing rock star mentioned above). Everyone loves him…except me. He’s hot; I can’t argue that, but he’s also hot for his best friend’s girl, and the second he acted on it, my swoon-o-meter reset to zero. I don’t get him at all. But you know who I do get? Caleb (the dangerous anti-hero mentioned above). For whatever reason, I fell hard for Caleb. Sweet, kidnapping, abusive, sex slave trafficking Caleb. See what I mean? Subjective.

9991076-177826928_20-s1-v1.pngFor the most part (sweet, kidnapping, abusive, sex slave traffickers excluded) BOOK BOYFRIENDS never cheat. They would never even consider it, and if you happen to find one in bed with a naked woman, you best believe there’s an explanation (Reed).

BOOK BOYFRIENDS are always gorgeous. Even with messy hair and ill-fitting clothes (Jacob). Even when they haven’t taken a proper shower in three years (TJ).

BOOK BOYFRIENDS always say the perfect thing. They may say a lot of bullshit first, but eventually, they get there (Colton).

BOOK BOYFRIENDS have magical morning breath and lickable sweat. They never fart or belch. They tend to come fully accessorized with cars, houses, jobs, defined abs, and certain desirable…ahem…talents. They’re great with kids, they love to cuddle, and they always smell amazing. Always.

And best of all, the sun rises and sets with their heroine. She can be an awkward, clumsy, scarred, flawed, wary, cynical, needy, jealous, slightly neurotic, penniless Plain Jane and she’s still perfect (or perfectly imperfect) to him.

To Nick, Cory, Erik, Gabriel, Jesse, Sam, Henry, Will, Elliot, Caleb, Alex, Jonah, Theo, Noah, Ben, Ryan, Angelo, Matt, Trent, Nate, Conner, Evan, Francis, Anders, Chris, Brett, Damien, Brooks, Beckett, Cole, Colton, Miles, TJ, Jacob, and especially Darian… I HEART YOU.

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