Tag Archives: Lauren Layne

#L&SR #SaturdaySeven #TBRlist

Today is an easy topic for me: My TBR list. One look at my Goodreads account and you know I like to read. I mean, really read. My Goodreads Reading Challenge goal in 2018 is 175 books.

Yeah, I’m a little crazy.

Here’s the top 7 I’m looking forward to reading this year:

Tami Hoag THE BOY

A panic-stricken woman runs in the dead of night, battered and bloodied, desperate to find help…

When Detective Nick Fourcade enters the home of Genevieve Gauthier outside the sleepy town of Bayou Breaux, Louisiana, the bloody crime scene that awaits him is both the most brutal and the most confusing he’s ever seen. Genevieve’s seven-year-old son, P.J., has been murdered by an alleged intruder, yet Genevieve is alive and well, a witness inexplicably left behind to tell the tale. There is no evidence of forced entry, not a clue that points to a motive. Meanwhile, Nick’s wife, Detective Annie Broussard, sits in the emergency room with the grieving Genevieve. A mother herself, Annie understands the emotional devastation this woman is going through, but as a detective she’s troubled by a story that makes little sense. Who would murder a child and leave the only witness behind?

When the very next day P.J.’s sometimes babysitter, thirteen-year-old Nora Florette, is reported missing, the town is up in arms, fearing a maniac is preying on their children. With pressure mounting from a tough, no-nonsense new sheriff, the media, and the parents of Bayou Breaux, Nick and Annie dig deep into the dual mysteries. But sifting through Genevieve Gauthier’s tangled web of lovers and sorting through a cast of local lowlifes brings more questions than answers. Is someone from Genevieve’s past or present responsible for the death of her son? Is the missing teenager, Nora, a victim, or something worse? Then fingerprints at the scene change everything when they come back to a convicted criminal: Genevieve herself.

The spotlight falls heavily on the grieving mother who is both victim and accused. Could she have killed her own child to free herself of the burden of motherhood, or is the loss of her beloved boy pushing her to the edge of insanity? Could she have something to do with the disappearance of Nora Florette, or is the troubled teenager the key to the murder? How far will Nick and Annie have to go to uncover the dark truth of the boy?

Nora Roberts SHELTER IN PLACE

It was a typical evening at a mall outside Portland, Maine. Three teenage friends waited for the movie to start. A boy flirted with the girl selling sunglasses. Mothers and children shopped together, and the manager at video game store tended to customers. Then the shooters arrived.

The chaos and carnage lasted only eight minutes before the killers were taken down. But for those who lived through it, the effects would last forever. In the years that followed, one would dedicate himself to a law enforcement career. Another would close herself off, trying to bury the memory of huddling in a ladies’ room, helplessly clutching her cell phone–until she finally found a way to pour her emotions into her art.

But one person wasn’t satisfied with the shockingly high death toll at the DownEast Mall. And as the survivors slowly heal, find shelter, and rebuild, they will discover that another conspirator is lying in wait–and this time, there might be nowhere safe to hide.

Lisa Kleypas HELLO STRANGER

A woman who defies her timeDr. Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man—why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair, until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again.

A man who breaks every rule As a Ravenel by-blow spurned by his father, Ethan has little interest in polite society, yet he is captivated by the bold and beautiful Garrett. Despite their vow to resist each other after that sublime night, she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet. When the mission goes wrong, it will take all of Garrett’s skill and courage to save him. As they face the menace of a treacherous government plot, Ethan is willing to take any risk for the love of the most extraordinary woman he’s ever known.

 

 

Linda Howard THE WOMAN LEFT BEHIND

Jina Modell works in Communications for a paramilitary organization, and she really likes it. She likes the money, she likes the coolness factor—and it was very cool, even for Washington, DC. She liked being able to kick terrorist butts without ever leaving the climate-controlled comfort of the control room.

But when Jina displays a really high aptitude for spatial awareness and action, she’s reassigned to work as an on-site drone operator in the field with one of the GO-teams, an elite paramilitary unit. The only problem is she isn’t particularly athletic, to put it mildly, and in order to be fit for the field, she has to learn how to run and swim for miles, jump out of a plane, shoot a gun…or else be out of a job.

Team leader Levi, call sign Ace, doesn’t have much confidence in Jina–who he dubbed Babe as soon as he heard her raspy, sexy voice–making it through the rigors of training. The last thing he needs is some tech geek holding them back from completing a dangerous, covert operation. In the following months, however, no one is more surprised than he when Babe, who hates to sweat, begins to thrive in her new environment, displaying a grit and courage that wins her the admiration of her hardened, battle-worn teammates. What’s even more surprising is that the usually very disciplined GO-team leader can’t stop thinking about kissing her smart, stubborn mouth…or the building chemistry and tension between them.

Meanwhile, a powerful Congresswoman is working behind the scenes to destroy the GO-teams, and a trap is set to ambush Levi’s squad in Syria. While the rest of the operatives set off on their mission, Jina remains at the base to control the surveillance drone, when the base is suddenly attacked with explosives. Thought dead by her comrades, Jina escapes to the desert where, brutally tested beyond measure, she has to figure out how to stay undetected by the enemy and make it to her crew in time before they’re exfiltrated out of the country.

But Levi never leaves a soldier behind, especially the brave woman he’s fallen for. He’s bringing back the woman they left behind, dead or alive.

Amanda Quick THE OTHER LADY VANISHES

After escaping from a private sanitarium, Adelaide Blake arrives in Burning Cove, California, desperate to start over.
Working at an herbal tea shop puts her on the radar of those who frequent the seaside resort town: Hollywood movers and shakers always in need of hangover cures and tonics. One such customer is Jake Truett, a recently widowed businessman in town for a therapeutic rest. But unbeknownst to Adelaide, his exhaustion is just a cover.

In Burning Cove, no one is who they seem. Behind facades of glamour and power hide drug dealers, gangsters, and grifters. Into this make-believe world comes psychic to the stars Madame Zolanda. Adelaide and Jake know better than to fall for her kind of con. But when the medium becomes a victim of her own dire prediction and is killed, they’re drawn into a murky world of duplicity and misdirection.

Neither Adelaide nor Jake can predict that in the shadowy underground they’ll find connections to the woman Adelaide used to be–and uncover the specter of a killer who’s been real all along…

Jennifer Probst THE MARRIAGE ARRANGEMENT

She had run from her demons…

Caterina Victoria Windsor fled her family vineyard after a humiliating broken engagement, and spent the past year in Italy rebuilding her world. But when Ripley Savage shows up with a plan to bring her back home, and an outrageous demand for her to marry him, she has no choice but to return to face her past. But when simple attraction begins to run deeper, Cat has to decide if she’s strong enough to trust again…and strong enough to stay…

He vowed to bring her back home to be his wife…

Rip Savage saved Windsor Vineyards, but the only way to make it truly his is to marry into the family. He’s not about to walk away from the only thing he’s ever wanted, even if he has to tame the spoiled brat who left her legacy and her father behind without a care. When he convinces her to agree to a marriage arrangement to get what they both want, he never counted on the fierce sexual attraction between them to distract either of them from their goals. But when deeper emotions emerge, Rip has to make a decision that can affect the future of the vineyard, and his shielded heart…

Lauren Layne HOT ASSET

Ian Bradley is the definition of a Wall Street hotshot: seven-figure salary, designer suits, and a corner office. His drive off the floor is just as potent. Every woman who knows him has felt the rush. But now he’s met his match in Lara McKenzie—a woman with the power to bring Ian to hisknees.

An ambitious, whip-smart daughter of FBI agents, Lara is a rising star in fighting white-collar crime. Her latest case—the investigation of Ian Bradley for insider trading—could make her career. She knows a scoundrel when she sees one. Ian fits the bill: a cocky, ridiculously handsome bad boy with a slick swagger.

She’ll do anything to prove he’s guilty. He’ll do anything to prove he’s not. But it’s only a matter of time before their fierce battle of wits gets oh so hot and personal. Now, taking down Ian has become more than business for Lara. It’s become a pleasure—and there’s more at risk than she ever dreamed.

Three words to describe my TBR books here: CAN. NOT. WAIT!!!

When I’m not reading you can find me here;Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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#L&SR Saturday Seven

 

Another week, another list of 7 things! Today, I’m writing about 7 book series that I love! And by love, I mean LOVELOVELOVE!

In no order, here they are:

JD Robb, InDeath SeriesFrom the very first page of the very first book in this series, I was hooked and hooked solid! Lt. Eve Dallas and Roarke are a love affair for the ages. In each book, they have grown as people, in their marriage, in their jobs, even in how they navigate through their tortuous pasts. JD Robb is a master plotter and every single story is a masterclass for authors who want to learn how to write witty and spot-on dialogue and banter, plus be guided in how to weave a story to a perfect ending. Start at the very first book, Naked in Death. Guaranteed, you will be hooked just like me. The InDeath books are on “auto-buy” for me at Amazon.

Janet Evanovich. Stephanie Plum Series

If I was ever going to write myself a best friend, it would be Stephanie Plum. In her thirties, with one disastrous marriage behind her and a crazy family by her side, Stephanie is a bail-bondswoman -and not a very good one, at that. But what she is, is hysterically funny. The cast of regulars in the books from her work BFF Lula, a retired “Ho” to Stephanie’s grandma Mazur, a gun toting, funeral-gawking octogenarian with the body of a 100 year old and the dirty mind of a teenaged boy, and even to the two men in Steph’s life, Pete the detective, and Ranger the security expert, you will always find something to laugh at. Evanovich has created a heroine anyone could see as their very own book BFF.

Jill Shalvis. Lucky Harbor Series

I first became a Jill Shalvis groupie when I read the first book in this series, Simply Irresistible. Witty banter, great secondary characters, sex(!) This book had it all. So did the upteen more that came after it, all revolving around the residents of Lucky Harbor. Do yourself a favor: if you’ve never read a Shalvis book, start with this one, Simply Irresistible. That’s what the series will be to you: Irresistible!

 

Lauren Layne. The Wedding Belles

I discovered my first Lauren Layne book, TO have and to Hold, on Netgalley. Liking the blurb I decided to request a copy and give it a shot. I devoured the entire book in one sitting and then went straight to Amazon and bought the rest in the series, plus her entire backlist. Set mostly in Manhattan, the characters and setting were as familiar to me as if Layne was writing about my friends. With an engaging writing style and dialogue that I read out loud because it is so spot-on, she is another one of my auto-buy authors. Start with To Have and to Hold, sit back, and prepare to fall in love with her characters and with Lauren Layne herself!

 

Nora Roberts. The Bride Quartet

There’s something about a wedding, a bride, and a romance book that just pulls at my heart! Nora’s The Bride Quartet tells the story of 4 girlfriends since the womb who support one another, lift each other up and would give up all they have and are for the other. The men they let into their inner circle must be strong and know they can never come between the friends. Each story builds on the one before it until the very last, where all the girls find their own HEA, Each journey is rife with emotion, conflict, and some hot loving!

Marianne Rice: The Rocky Harbor Series

I met Marianne at a writing conference and from the moment we started talking I knew I needed to read her books. This girl truly is my sister from another mister!! Her Rocky Harbor Series, set in Maine, revolves around a family of adopted, troubled kids who all grew into wonderful human beings due to the loving influence of their adoptive parents. Each book could be a stand-alone, but when read in succession, you feel as if you’ve become a member of the family, too! The emotions are raw, the conflicts are real, and the love is everalsting.

Kari Lemor: Love on the Line Series.

I love me a good romantic suspense book, especially one where the characters on the page are real and the stories are so true to life you feel like you’re watching a movie unfold instead of reading words on pages. Kari Lemor’s Love on the Line books are my idea of a perfect romantic suspense series. Each is a separate story and you don’t have to read the one before it to be “caught up.” But my adice? You should! Read the first, WILD CARD UNDERCOVER and then move on to the next. You will not be disappointed!!

 

When I’m not reading my favorite authors, you can find me here, writing :Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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#L&SR Saturday Seven. My “auto buy” authors

Saturday Seven

There are some authors I will put on my Amazon buy list without ever reading the blurb of the newest book they are releasing. It doesn’t matter what the book is about, I just know that it will be an enjoyable read no matter what the plotline. Truly. These women could re-write the phone book and I’d buy it.

So, this is the list of my “auto buy” authors, and why.

1.Jill Shalvis – because she always makes me laugh, and we need more laughter and love in the world.

2.Jayne Ann Krentz – (Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle, too!) I read all her books in whatever name she writes in because she is simply a wonderful writer and I’ve never read one of her books that didn’t give me a reading rush of pleasure.

3.Kristan Higgins – because her heroines are people I’d like to be BFFs with.

4.Lauren Layne – her writing style is so comfortable and easy to read and her characters are always spot-on.

5.Catherine Bybee – she’s a (former) nurse and so am I! But really, it’s because she writes such believable, relatable characters and weaves them into really good stories.

6.Nora Roberts – read any of her books and you’ll know why she’s considered The Queen of romantic fiction. ‘Nuff said.

7. JD Robb ( Okay, a little bit of a cheat here!) because Roarke. That says it all.

When I’m not reading the above authors, you can usually find me hanging out here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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#RWA17…the reason I go every year

So, of course, the one thing I haven’t mentioned yet, are the Workshops I took at RWA 17. Between coloring, fangirling, attending the book giveaway signings, I did – actually – sit in on a f ew lectures and learn some things.

IF you have never had the opportunity to hear Damon Suede speak, I pity you. First, his voice is like a warm blanket thrown over your body on a cold day. Warm, rich, soothing. Second, he is a wealth of amazeballs information about character development, what makes people-characters tick, and what their motivations/conflicts/individual characteristics should be. Damon comes from a theater ( and life!) background and really helps you get into your character’s mind set, feelings, and persona just as if you were portraying them on a stage. I’ve already listened to his 2 hour workshop twice since I’ve been home because I purchased the flash drive of the conference classes. Each time I’ve heard something new and fresh I will be using in my next books!

Three uber talented and mega published romance authors, RaeAnne Thayne, Jill Shalvis, and Sarah Morgan gave a workshop on Contemporary romance in today’s marketplace.

They each have very different writing styles and ways of telling a story, but they also know their market. Thier stories are character and situational driven, and they bring into each one a perfect little snapshot of the contemporary age, without isolating themselves to this moment in time. Case in point: you can read one of their books from five years ago and even though things have changed in the tech world and the world in general, the stories told are still relevant and topical to today. That was my takeaway from this talk. Write the here and now, since I write contemp/romance, but make it relevant for the future as well. It’s all in the characters and how they are motivated towards their HEA. Love these three authors!

 

Another workshop with a trio of amazeballs and prolific writers, was one titled Fifty Shade of Funny with writes Jennifer Probst, Lauren Layne and Rachel Van Dyken. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture while I was in this workshop because I was fangirling like a two year old over Jennifer and Lauren and forgot!!!! I di remember their takes on what constitutes “funny” in a romance novel was very insightful, though, so that’s something ( heehee).

My absolute favorite workshop was the last one of the conference: The Neuroscience of high-impact Love scenes, presented by the amazingly brilliant, funny, and speedy-talker, Emily Foster. I wasn’t able to hear her speak when I was at the NECRW conference earlier this year because she was presenting at the same time I was, so when I saw her name listed on the RWA17 conference sheet for presenters, I knew I just had to attend her lecture. And, yowza, am I glad I did.

  

As a nurse I figure I have a pretty good idea of how the human body and the mind work. Yeah…not so much in reality. Emily gave me a completely different spin – a neuroscientific one – about how the body responds to desire and arousal, and how the mind is the major player in the difference, not the body’s reactions. Blew. My. Mind!!! Again, I played this lecture back once so far – but plan on listening to it, again and again, to make sure I get the character’s reactions to all things sex, correct!

These weren’t the only lectures I attended, but they were the highlights. There was sososososo much to do, sear, and hear at the conference I had to pick and choose wisely. Another reason I am so glad I purchased the conference recordings. I missed a bunch of really fabulous workshops and presentations because I needed to be elsewhere at the same time. Best $$$$ I’ve spent in a while, too.

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, Contemporary Romance, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Literary characters, love, Lyrical Author, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

#RWA17, Fan girling….it’s a thing

At 57 years old, you’d think I’d be beyond hyperventilating when I see a “celebrity.” Yeah…not so much.

My very first RWA in 2014 I actually burst into tears when I met and spoke with Nora Roberts. Not one of my finest, adult moments, but there was truly so much emotion stored up in me concerning her that when I actually got the chance to speak to her, I lost it. Like a two year old. She was gracious, lovely, and held my hand. I don’t think I washed it for 2 whole days!!!, but that might not be true because I blacked out after meeting her! and have no memory of the rest of the day!!

You can just make out the tears still wet on my cheeks in this picture her lovely assistant, Laura, took.

Anyway.

Fan girling. Yeah, it’s a thing.  A real thing. Even though I’ve been to 4 RWA conferences and 1 RT, I still get a little queasy butterfly feeling in my tummy when I see my writing idols casually walking around a hotel as if they were, well, normal people, not romance icons. Here are just a few of my absolute meet-favorites from this year. And I’ll tell you honestly, I really struggled not to cry when I met each of them.

First, one of my newest favs, Lauren Layne.

 

If you haven’t read any of her Wedding Belles series, or any of the Stiletto books, get yourself over to Amazon and get a bunch. You will not be disappointed.

 

Next, the amazeballs, uber-talented Jennifer Probst. I actually carted her book WRITE NAKED with me to Orlando because I knew she was going to be there and I simply had to meet her to autograph it.

I sat in on one of her workshops as well, but don’t ask me what she said. I was too busy pinching myself because I was sitting in the same room with her!

And look what she wrote to me!!!!!!

 

Okay, this next picture makes me giggle every time I see it! The incredible, sweet, absolutely lovely and funny Jill Shalvis was sososososos gracious when I basically interrupted her from eating at the Rita’s and begged – yes begged – for a picture.

 Can you see how giddy I am??!!!

And at the Literacy signing I bothered, er, spoke, to her again when she was with another of my favs, and Jill’s BFF, RaeAnne Thayne. Honestly, these two women are graciousness incarnate!!

 

last but certainly not least, I was able to “hang” with another of my favorite authors, Marianne Rice, who was attending her first RWA. We were having a good natured contest between us to see how many “big names” we could get to take selfies with us. Marianne WON, hands down!!! She got the fabulous Rachel Gibson!!!!  And Susan Elizabeth Phillips!!! Le sigh….maybe next year.

So, don’t ever be upset or embarrassed if you’re a fan girl, because we’ve all been there!! Some of us still are, despite our —ahem--senior ages!

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