Monday, September 30, 2013

Christine Presents: Weak at the Knees

Please welcome Jo Kessel author of Weak At the Knees.

$50 Amazon or gift card. Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win.

This book is on sale for $ 0.99 from December 22 through January 6.

Author Jo Kessel


“We got so busy living life that we forgot to live our dreams.”

Danni Lewis has been playing it safe for twenty-six years, but her sheltered existence is making her feel old ahead of time. When a sudden death plunges her into a spiral of grief, she throws caution to the wind and runs away to France in search of a new beginning.

The moment ski instructor Olivier du Pape enters her shattered world she falls hard, in more ways than one.

Their mutual desire is as powerful and seductive as the mountains around them. His dark gypsy looks and piercing blue eyes are irresistible.

Only she must resist, because he has a wife – and she’d made a pact to never get involved with a married man.

But how do you choose between keeping your word and being true to your soul?

Weak at the Knees is Jo’s debut novel in the new adult, contemporary romance genre – a story about love, loss and relationships, set between London and the heart of the French Alps.

Olivier sits next to me on the piano stool. We’re even closer than that day up the mountain and it’s even more intoxicating. His body is so close to mine that the slightest adjustment would have us touching. I can feel his heat, an electrical charge which makes the side of my leg that’s almost brushing his tingle all the way down. He pulls up his woolly, navy sleeves. “Shall we?” I note the gold wedding band on his dark, manly hands as his fingers hover above the keyboard. I nod, not trusting myself to speak, thinking the sooner he starts playing piano the better, to distract me from this powerful attraction. He crashes both hands down with flair and starts playing his version of the Boogie Woogie. It’s slightly jazzier and more sophisticated than mine. I let him play by himself for a while, enjoying watching him, surprised by how good he is.

The rhythm gets to me, my upper torso unconsciously pulsing forward, toes tapping in my shoes. I put my mug down on top of the piano and start trying to improvise a Gerswhin-esque melody line, fluttering my right hand up and down the keyboard in syncopation to Olivier’s beat. For about ten minutes we thump away, cheesy grins on our faces, occasionally catching each others’ eye. We play whatever comes into our heads, changing the mood and key from time to time. Sometimes it works and sometimes it’s a discordant mess, but it doesn’t matter. By the time Olivier eventually tires and crashes a final chord, our bodies are touching all the way from our shoulders to our knees. I don’t want to move, which is exactly why I do. I stand up, to recover my senses and my drink.

When Jo was ten years old she wrote a short story about losing a loved one. Her mother and big sister were so moved by the tale that it made them cry. Having reduced them to tears she vowed that the next time she wrote a story it would make them smile instead. Happily she succeeded and with this success grew an addiction for wanting to reach out and touch people with words. Jo lives in London with her husband and three children where she works as a TV and print journalist. She tells life stories and can often be found travelling the globe researching the next big holiday hotspots for readers to enjoy. Since becoming a mother anything even remotely sad makes her cry. She’s a sucker for a good romance and tear-jerker movies are the worst. She’s that woman in the cinema, struggling to muffle audible wails as everyone else turns round to stare.

P.S Jo’s pretty certain one of her daughters has inherited this gene.          

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Christine Presents: The Storms Keep Rolling In

Bobble Head Babes
& The Continuing Saga

Driving home from the Authorama in Salem yesterday my husband and I were struck with the same thoughts. Rain poured and wind whirled. About two years ago we flew into Philadelphia just as Hurricane Irene was approaching from the south. The forecast: stay inside don't go anywhere. We couldn't really figure out the fear or the warnings. The wind and the rain were pretty similar to what we see in the Pacific Northwest from time to time and no one calls it a hurricane. 

That evening the weather wasn't too intense so we went out to eat. We love Hard Rock Cafes so we found the one in Philly, ordered our food along with a Hurricane. It's a great memory sipping Hurricanes while Hurricane Irene moved up the coast. The wind was not that bad but unfortunately those living in low lying areas close to the river were flooded.

Both the Beavers and the Ducks played their games in horrible weather. But both were victorious. I don't see how they played and Manning for the Beavs set a new passing record. He passed for six touchdowns in almost hurricane like weather. Good grief!Forecast for the day, more sideways rain and wind. Hope our power doesn't go out.
Highland Miracle is at my editor. Finally. The third book in the Twelve Dancing Princess is due to be released December 10, 2013. 

He Made Her An Offer...

Life has thrown Christel McClellan some experiences that could have devastated a less determined woman. Beautiful, self-assured and fiercely independent, she is trying to forget the loss of her stillborn child. But is the child alive?

She Couldn’t Deny...

Life is carefree for Ryder MacLaren who loves to see what is on the other side of the sunrise. Laird of Clan MacLaren, he is wealthy, handsome and happily unencumbered...until stunning Christel McClellan enters his life. When he hears her story, he believes the child she thought dead has been sold to a wealthy buyer.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Christine Presents: Friday's Featured Title

Rekindled Love
Rosemary Indra
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 3

He saw no one as he made his way up the incline to the dilapidated storage shed. Situated on the edge of an older residential area, the structure he’d picked was perfect. The weathered building appeared vacant, and a large empty lot separated the shack from the nearest house. He pushed opened the unlocked wooden door and removed the backpack full of supplies from his shoulders.

After wiping his sweaty palms on his pant legs, he opened two small containers and sloshed the liquid on the wooden floor. Soon the pungent aroma of gasoline filled the room. He placed the igniter in a bed of steel wool then attached the wires to the small batteries and the timer. After picking up his backpack, he hurried from the shed closing the door behind him.

He glanced in both directions. Confident no one was in the area, he walked up the dead end street. His heart hammered in his chest. Ignoring his trembling hands, he removed a pack of cigarettes from his coat pocket. After he flicked his lighter, he stared at the bluish-yellow flame. Excitement raced through his veins.

A foggy mist hugged the ground and darkness shrouded the sleepy little town. Despite the wetness from the damp, January air, he crouched at the edge of the trees across from his target and waited.

He pulled a long drag on his cigarette then checked his watch. Two minutes before the hour. He’d completed his work on schedule. He had everything under control. Nothing would stop him. With the heel of his shoe, he ground out the butt.

The ignition flared to life. Shattering glass and splintering sounds of wood interrupted the stillness. Debris shot in every direction. "Damn," he muttered as he covered his ears with his hands, blocking the pressure from the explosion. The detonation was more powerful than he’d anticipated. The flames were clearly visible through the gaping hole in the side wall. No alarms, no security, and no advance warning. Everything had gone according to his plan. His gaze locked on the growing flames.

"Fire! Fire!" A man pounding on a neighboring house drew his attention down the street. "There’s a fire over there. Call 911," the Good Samaritan shouted as he pointed up the street.

He didn’t plan for anyone to discover the fire until it was too late. He needed more time. The firefighters would destroy his masterpiece.

In the distance, the fire alarm clanged to life at the station. Within minutes, he tuned into the sound of sirens growing louder with the approaching trucks.

Anxiously, he looked at the shed. A smile formed on his lips when he noticed the flames reach the top of the window frame. Hopefully, the fire would finish the building before the crew arrived. He drummed his fingertips against his forehead.

Red lights from the approaching trucks flashed, brightening the pre-dawn darkness. He didn't intend to stay once the crew disembarked. On second thought, he'd enjoy watching their futile efforts to extinguish his creation.

Definitely not your normal run of the mill romance novel. On the whole a very good book and well worth reading.
Orchid for Long and Short Reviews

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Christine Presents: Allura

Christine Young
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4

Buy at:

Eddington, Scotland 1815

"You can’t plan to wed me to that--that man down there!" Allura McClellan’s heart thundered and lodged in her throat. Balled into fists her hands trembled. "You promised I could marry for love. I thought when the last man failed to discover this imaginary secret you think I have, you would stop this craziness. I thought you would take the ad out of the Times and the other papers."

From the boxing ring below, fist met flesh, the sound echoing throughout. Hunter Gray whirled and ducked. He guarded his face to block the stinging blows his opponent rained down upon him. He spun and ducked again. The man he fought countered the attack, but he did not move fast enough. Hunter’s next jab was so fast and so hard the other man didn’t block the punch. The man staggered backwards, blood running from his eye. Men yelled and cheered for the two combatants. Hunter paused and spoke to the man he practiced with before the match continued once more.

Allura saw her life as she had planned it slip away as if it was grains of sand in an hour glass. She stopped pacing and watched the men below. She turned on her father. "The ad in the Times--giving me away to any man--you have gone too far. A marriage of convenience is barbaric. You promised." For a moment, she closed her eyes. She did not want to acknowledge anything that went on here. It was not her fault she could not find a man she loved. What horrific bit of bad luck had found her?

The laird cleared his throat. "Perhaps I have not gone far enough or soon enough. And the ad did not promise you to just any man. He must be strong enough and smart enough to win your hand."

It was not Allura’s nature to allow others to rule her fate. “These men,” she waved her hand in the air, frustration sweeping recklessly within. "They don’t want me. They come for one reason only. They are greedy and hungry for power. You have taught me everything I need to know. I can run your estate and all of your holdings. I’ve studied endless hours. I know the men who work for you. I swear I’ll defy your wishes. At the altar I will say no."

The McClellan’s grin faded as quickly as it had appeared and without further thought, he said, "Perhaps not, you are beautiful lass--one with rare promise. And," he stroked his chin, "no matter how much book learning a woman has she cannot dictate her own life. It is up to the men in her life to make sure she is happy and provided for."

A strained silence followed. She sagged against the stone wall. As if sensing her vulnerable position, she stiffened. Outraged and furious she looked upon her father. "They are money grubbers and want your land--our land. They have no right to any of your estate."

The McClellan held back for a moment, seemingly aware there was more than just a little truth in what Allura said. "How indeed?" he questioned her. Yet his smile was tight, forced. "I grow old. I only want this land secured and my daughters happy before I die. You are twenty-two. I have given you ample opportunity to fall in love. I thought it time to bring new blood to this land, a new man. I thought perhaps one would take your fancy."

"That man," she began. Her hand shook when she pointed at the man who danced and whirled avoiding each blow as if he dallied in child's play. She trembled so violently she could not speak. “Is an Englishman.”