Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Meet Alyssa Cole and The Reluctant Royals. # Giveaway.

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 1 comment
 Alyssa Cole's Reluctant Royals series begins with A Princess in Theory. I fell in instant love with the story. Her writing enchants me. 
I am giving away a Kindle copy of A Princess in Theory because I love introducing my readers to my favorite authors.
From acclaimed author Alyssa Cole comes the tale of a city Cinderella and her Prince Charming in disguise . . .
Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.
Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.
The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?
Selected as one of the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2018!

Alyssa Cole is an award-winning author of historical, contemporary, and sci-fi romance. Her Civil War-set espionage romance An Extraordinary Union was the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award’s Best Book of 2017 and the American Library Association’s RUSA Best Romance for 2018, and A Princess in Theory was one of the New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2018. She’s contributed to publications including Bustle, Shondaland, The Toast, Vulture, RT Book Reviews, and Heroes and Heartbreakers, and her books have received critical acclaim from The New York Times, Library Journal, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, Booklist, Jezebel, Vulture, Book Riot, Entertainment Weekly, and various other outlets. When she’s not working, she can usually be found watching anime or wrangling her pets.
When I finished The Reluctant Royals I went on to read An Extraordinary Union, Book one in her Loyal League series.

As the Civil War rages between the states, a courageous pair of spies plunge fearlessly into a maelstrom of ignorance, deceit, and danger, combining their unique skills to alter the course of history and break the chains of the past . . .
Elle Burns is a former slave with a passion for justice and an eidetic memory. Trading in her life of freedom in Massachusetts, she returns to the indignity of slavery in the South—to spy for the Union Army.
Malcolm McCall is a detective for Pinkerton's Secret Service. Subterfuge is his calling, but he’s facing his deadliest mission yet—risking his life to infiltrate a Rebel enclave in Virginia.
Two undercover agents who share a common cause—and an undeniable attraction—Malcolm and Elle join forces when they discover a plot that could turn the tide of the war in the Confederacy's favor. Caught in a tightening web of wartime intrigue, and fighting a fiery and forbidden love, Malcolm and Elle must make their boldest move to preserve the Union at any cost—even if it means losing each other.
I finished An Extraordinary Union two days ago. And I plan to read the rest of the series. I like princess better than historical romance, but this woman's writing has me hooked.
and now . . .Alyssa just released an audiobook only and look who's narrating! 
I prefer words to audio, but I want this one
The A.I. Who Loved Me 

Monday, February 17, 2020

Beverly Jenkins writes independent women in African American Historical & Seasoned Romance. #Giveaway

Posted by Susan B James on 6:04:00 PM with 1 comment
"Love is love. We all love. And the industry should reflect everyone." 
Beverly Jenkins
The romance genre has come a long way since bestselling author Beverly Jenkins published her first novel, "Night Song," in 1994 — and it's fair to say that she is, at least in part, to thank for its advances

Beverly Jenkins is one of my seven favorite romance authors. If you haven't yet read her, you are missing so much great romance. Beverly's historicals always enlighten me about little known historical personages and events. The knowledge serves as a wonderful background for her strong feisty heroines. Independent women for whom romance is the icing on the cake. They are already complete.
And then there's her seasoned romance series, The Blessings.
It's listed on Amazon under Contemporary Women's Fiction, Women's Domestic Life Fiction and Women's Romance Fiction. They haven't caught up to the term Seasoned Romance. Which is a shame since both my time travel romances are seasoned.

The Blessings series is Pure wonderful wish fulfilment as far as I'm concerned. I just finished book ten  - On the Corner of Hope and Main. (No spoilers. It isn't out yet. I won a copy on Goodreads.)
Because I love this series so much I am giving away a Kindle copy of book one of the series, Bring on the Blessings.
If you don't know her work, you are missing so much good stuff. Right now I am reading Vivid - about the first female African American doctor in Michigan. I started it last night and I can't wait to get back to it.
Beverly Jenkins’ first romance, Night Song was published in 1994, Since then, she has been leading the charge for inclusive romance. She was featured in the documentary about the romance industry, Love Between the Covers (My sister Kelly and I rewatched this Saturday on Amazon Prime. Wonderful.) 
Her forty-plus books have made her a constant darling of reviewers, fans, and her peers alike, garnering accolades for her work from the likes of The Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, and NPR. And now she has a romance movie, Deadly Sexy which you can rent on Amazon. 
From Wikipedia Jenkins calls herself a "kitchen table historian." She likens American history to a quilt with some pieces ripped out—the pieces belonging to minority history. Jenkins uses her books to weave the quilt back together by revealing patches of black history that are rarely taught in school.[6] Slavery and the Civil Rights Movement are important pieces of African American history, but they aren't the only pieces. For example, her first three novels, Night Song, Vivid and Indigo, feature characters such as a schoolteacher, a cavalry officer, a female doctor and Underground Railroad heroes. They were all inspired by true history.

I messaged Beverly to see if she would be willing to be on my blog. She replied that she was on deadline but would be happy to allow me to post. After she posted that she'd sent off her book, I asked her my favorite question. The other answer came from an interview I read online.
ME: I love firsts. Can you share what it felt like to get "the Call" from your agent? From what I have been able to find online you got an agent before you got your publisher. 
BJ: My first agent was Vivian Stephens founder of RWA. Having her call me at my job to say she wanted to rep my book was an incredible experience. I will always be grateful to her.
What do you hope readers take away from your work?
Romance is such a broad genre that you can do so much with it.

BJ: I call it “edutainment”: entertainment and education. Romance is such a broad genre that you can do so much with it. I mean, basically we’re writing about people and their feelings and people having second chances and people taking chances. I think it’s one of the best genres out there. So, if you can put that history along with these great women that we write about, and show that female empowerment, and show women making decisions that changed not only their lives, but maybe their families’ lives — the history becomes a lot more palatable. There’s no test on Friday, so [the readers just] drink up the history. They just inhale it.

When you educate a woman, you educate a race. So these African American women and white women and women of Chinese extraction and Asian extraction, who are reading these books, are able to share [these stories] with their children and with their grandchildren. And it changes their lives, because kids can’t be what they can’t see. To see that history, it gives them a pride that maybe they didn’t have before, because they were more than just the people that laid the railroads, or they were more than just slaves, or they were more than whatever back room that history has relegated people of color. I call it inclusion. Give me a seat at the table and let me show you what I can do.
One of my other seven favorite authors, Alyssa Cole says Beverly Jenkins was her inspiration. She's mine too. Thank you for your books and for answering my question.

So, my loves, about my giveaway, Bring on the Blessings:
On Bernadine Brown's fifty-second birthday she received an unexpected gift—she caught her husband, Leo, cheating with his secretary. She was hurt—angry, too—but she didn't cry woe is me. Nope, she hired herself a top-notch lawyer and ended up with a cool $275 million. Having been raised in the church, she knew that when much is given much is expected, so she asked God to send her a purpose.
The purpose turned out to be a town: Henry Adams, Kansas, one of the last surviving townships founded by freed slaves after the Civil War. The failing town had put itself up for sale on the Internet, so Bernadine bought it.
Trent July is the mayor, and watching the town of his birth slide into debt and foreclosure is about the hardest thing he's ever done. When the buyer comes to town, he's impressed by her vision, strength, and the hope she wants to offer not only to the town and its few remaining residents, but to a handful of kids in desperate need of a second chance.
Not everyone in town wants to get on board though; they don't want change. But Bernadine and Trent, along with his first love, Lily Fontaine, are determined to preserve the town's legacy while ushering in a new era with ties to its unique past and its promising future.
Enter below to win a Kindle copy.
Beverly's books are available at your local library in eBook, Audiobook, and paperback on Amazon, B&N, and Indie bookstores everywhere. Happy Reading.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 10, 2020

Remember Spencer Tracy? # Giveaway

Posted by Susan B James on 9:00:00 PM with 1 comment
In Irish Magic, I make reference to two film stars I thought would last forever.
Spencer Tracy and John Wayne.
Last week I was sitting at the Macbeth rehearsal table at Warner Brothers listening to Denzel Washington talk with some of the younger actors in the cast. He was talking about how Spencer Tracy used to listen better than anyone in motion pictures. He stopped talking and looked at them. "You don't know who that is, do you?"
They shook their heads.
Denzel looked at me. "They don't know who Spencer Tracy is."
The sadness in his eyes was reflected in mine. "I know," I said."They probably don't know who John Wayne is either."

Cultural references fade from generation to generation. I knew this, but I thought some had built-in lastingness. Spencer Tracy and John Wayne for two. If you are under forty you, too, may be saying, "Who?
It never occurred to be those names would become lost. Despite my reference gaffes, I believe Irish Magic is a fun read. Do you need a little escapism?

I wrote it after I visited Ireland's famous matchmaking festival. It was charming, but I wanted a wee bit more magic. 
What if there was a matchmaker who inherited the power to know your true love? 
What if there was such a thing as leprechauns or half leprechauns - a bit more human-sized - who were under geas to fulfil wishes. 

Irish Magic has 58 customer ratings on Amazon with a 4.5 average and 35 ratings and 27 reviews with a 4.23 average on Goodreads.

Quotes from reviews.
“A quirky tale of love where and when you least expect it, but exactly when you need it most.”
TomeTender Book Blog

“A lovely cross of contemporary with a touch of fantasy. I’d definitely pick up more books like this one from Ms. James.” Trish on Goodreads

Reviewed in the United States on August 14, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition
Light and funny, Irish Magic is a feel good romance sprinkled with a bit of magic. The story follows Kate, a romance novelist whose muse (and boyfriend) turned out to be a dud. She’s feeling a little jaded about love and now finds herself struggling to finish her latest book. Michael is a sexy and newly single doctor whose girlfriend cheated. Neither one is in a good place emotionally, but as they travel to Ireland separately and continue bumping into each other, they have to question whether there is more than luck on their side. Throw in a part-leprechaun and some good old Irish magic, and this couple finds themselves fated to be together.
What do you get when to take a doctor, an author, a leprechaun/human and put them in Ireland? What first caught my attention was simply the title. I am part Irish. I believe that the idea of magic (to some degree) appeals to a lot of people.

I was hooked by the end of the first chapter. First of all, any book that mentions a possibility of a character going to Ireland already earns a star. When Kate makes a wish it’s just a question of how literal that wish will be taken. I was able to complete the book in two days.
Irish Magic is available now on Kindle for 3.99  and in March in paperback 14.99. 
The audiobook is currently available on Kobo  Google Play Apple Books Scribed and a few other places for 8.95. I lowered the price hoping to give a break to readers. It should be available soon on Audible.
I Hope you will check it out. 
I wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day.
I have a free audio codes for anyone who can name their favorite Spencer Tracy or John Wayne Movie.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Janis Lane's Adam and Abby adventures - Sandpiper Affair and Snapshot Suspicions

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 1 comment
Guest post by Janis Lane

Who knew trespassing in the restrictive area of a Florida State Park to get the perfect shot of the sand hill crane family would wind up with Abby Naycomb, wildlife photographer extraordinaire, meeting the most handsome park ranger in the world?

Mating/nesting birds were the subject of her quest but finding those intense blue eyes in the lens of her camera was distracting and hormone inciting. Adam Rawlings, millionaire park ranger, was as shocked as Abby when she accidentally discovered a murdered man buried in a shallow grave in the sand.

Janis:I make a big pretense of writing for the amusement of my readers. It’s only part true.
Here in this story, I delight in following Abby and Adam around as they interact (romance) with the exotic environment of Middle Florida, one of my favorite places to be. I’m not much of a beach lover. I’m usually found prowling the paths of the parks in search of the latest perching bird or gazing at the sky to spot an eagle or two. Abby, wildlife photographer is not me, but she and I share a love for many of the same things.
 Also we are annoyed similarly. Adam is nothing like my hubby, but I did pose him for my sister, who has a thing for blond giants. I made him an amiable millionaire for all the rest of us. My niece loves to work with dogs and surely would have had our unruly Buster up to snuff in short time and ready for the AKC trials.
I once saw a sad Florida panther (exquisite animal) caged in a small town zoo. A visitor was throwing paper at him to annoy and make him roar; I wondered then what would happen, if for some reason, the door of the cage were to spring open. And so my story was born.
SANDPIPER AFFAIR is the first of the Adam and Abby Adventures;

Snapshot Suspicions the second. There might be a third in the works. Nature is a never-ending fascination for me although I rarely stop long enough for snapshots.  Get out your insect spray and join Abby, Adam, and me as we traverse the lovely flora and fauna of Middle Florida and enjoy a dip or two in the Artemesian Springs along the way. I’ll pick a sprig of honeysuckle to ride in my blouse’s buttonhole for the exotic fragrance.  You may pick one too.  


Snapshot Suspicions is another adventure with Abby, beautiful, vagabond wildlife photographer, and Adam, ruggedly handsome, millionaire protector of the environment. A dangerous wildlife mystery requires the close attention of Adam and the local sheriff as Abby deals with two hired goons stalking her with a grudge. Basking in the rosy contentment of their love, Abby and Adam must trust each other as they encounter the first rift in their relationship. An engaging puppy presents a conundrum and a terrifying incident.

Abby discovers she can enjoy photographing subjects (AKC) other than wildlife and delights in setting up her own office, while Adam breathes a sign of relief when Abby makes a permanent commitment. Could she finally be thinking of a lifetime pledge to him?

Excerpt: As she entered the room, a long arm snaked out and pulled her swiftly toward a broad chest. Her face was again covered with kisses that trailed down her face, sidetracked to explore a curled ear with a sip on a tiny lobe, and continued a path of kisses until it landed against her lips, which were blossoming into a reluctant smile.
The sandy-haired giant lifted his head from the places he had been attending and settled his piercing blue eyes on her green ones with a satisfied sigh.
He sat down in a kitchen chair and pulled her onto his lap, wrapping her in a warm embrace and tucking her head on his shoulder. She snuggled contentedly against him. What a wonderful way to greet the day, she thought. Everyone should have a handsome blond giant to cuddle with . . . She could feel herself drifting off.
“Good morning, Abby, my tree sprite. Did you sleep well? I thought you might stay snuggled in bed this morning after such a late night.”
“Adam.” She took a deep breath inhaling the familiar fragrance that she loved. It was all Adam who was so dear to her. She rubbed her face into his shoulder and allowed him to cuddle her for a minute more. Her body relaxed against him, her hand half encircled his rock hard forearm, but her mind struggled with her problem. She knew she had to nip this in the bud if she were ever to have peace. This was exactly what she had feared when she resisted moving in with him, even though she knew she loved him.
“Adam.” She turned her head to stare into his intensely blue eyes, and then shut hers. There was always the danger of falling into those loving pools of blue if a girl were not careful. She knew from experience how mesmerizing they could be.
“You’ve got to control that dog. I know he’s young and means no harm, but you promised to train him. I can’t keep buying new sneakers every single day.” She felt Adam’s deep chuckle before she heard it. His chest erupted in those sounds that brought a smile to her face in spite of her annoyance with the situation.

If you liked the excerpt you can buy the book for 3.99 at Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Snapshot-Suspicions-Adam-Abby-Adventure-ebook/dp/B083JFR2VW
Happy Reading, friends. See you next week.