Category Archives: Contest

Friday Feature, Guest Post & Giveaway: Count the Shells by Charlie Cochrane

“What piece of research that made you really happy didn’t make it into the story?”

I recently had a bit of a brain freeze about blogging, so put an appeal out to pals along the lines of, “What should I blog about?” I got several really good suggestions which I’ve squirreled away, but this one – from my old pal Elin Gregory – seemed perfect for the Count the Shells tour.  She asked, “What piece of research that made you really happy didn’t make it into the story?”

Where do I start? I do a load of research about the early twentieth century. Okay, in the interests of absolute honesty, I don’t actually do much research (I tend to restrict that to checking specific facts), but I do enjoy an awful lot of things that might count as research. I read no end of stories written in that era, pore over biographies of people who lived then, visit sites of significance from the time, etc. I also really enjoy reading non-fiction that takes a particular slant on that bit of the historical timeline; almost anything that combines rugby and WWI is a must-buy for me, as are quirky books like “Weird World War One”. There was plenty in that book that would never get into one of my novels because it would beggar the readers’ belief. Truth is indeed so often odder than fiction.

So, in no particular order, here are some favourite things I’ve turned up and not used:

  • The first floodlit rugby match was in 1878. Doesn’t seem possible to have been that long ago.
  • JM Barrie had his own cricket team, which was full of well known authors. Incidentally, EW Horning’s famous character Raffles, whose relationship with his fictional pal Bunny is slashy in the extreme, was probably based on a fellow player in that team, one who was himself – what a surprise – gay.
  • Arthur Conan Doyle took one first class wicket, that of the great WG Grace. (That won’t mean a lot unless you love both Sherlock Holmes and cricket, and then you’ll go ‘Wow!’.) Grace’s death was possibly brought on by fright at Zeppelin raids over London.

But perhaps the most poignant thing I’ve come across is in “The Greater Game” by Clive Harris and Julian Whippy, and it’s a quote from an army chaplain, Dick Dugdale, about the rugby player Ronnie Poulton Palmer, who died in action in 1915. “You know I loved him more than anyone else…each year passing merely means one year less to wait for Ronald.” Those quotes make me really happy and I shall never use them, even if they inspire me to write more novels like Count the Shells.


Count the Shells is the story which completely astounded its author in the telling. I had no idea when I sat down to write it that the straightforward historical romance I’d envisaged would turn out to have a plot twist which transformed the story into possibly the best tale I’ve ever crafted.


Title: Count the Shells by Charlie Cochrane
Porthkennack Universe Book Six
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Historical, Gay, Romance
Length: 246 pages/Word Count: 66,000

Summary:

Michael Gray returned from World War One injured, but at least he returned. Others were not so fortunate, including his first and greatest love, Thomas Carter-Clemence, with whom Michael had parted bitterly before the conflict began.

Broch, the Carter-Clemence home in Porthkennack, was an integral part of pre-war holidays for the Grays, the two families drawn together in the wake of their sons’ friendship. Returning to the once-beloved Cornish coast for a break with his sister and her family, Michael has to find the courage to face old memories . . . and dare new relationships.

When Thomas’s brother Harry makes an unexpected appearance, Michael is surprised to find himself deeply attracted to Harry for his own sake. But as their relationship heats up, it unearths startling revelations and bitter truths. Michael must decide whether Harry is the answer to his prayers or the last straw to break an old soldier’s back.

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Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing


About Porthkennack

Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur’s Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex BeecroftJoanna ChambersCharlie CochraneGarrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.

Check out Porthkennack! http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/porthkennack


Author Bio

As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.

Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.

Author Links: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Count the Shells, one lucky winner will receive a goodie bag from Charlie Cochrane, including postcards (new and vintage), a recipe book, bookmark, pencils, a fridge magnet and various other doodahs! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 21, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Most of All You by Mia Sheridan

Title: Most of All You by Mia Sheridan
A Love Story
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 353 pages

Summary:

A broken woman . . .

Crystal learned long ago that love brings only pain. Feeling nothing at all is far better than being hurt again. She guards her wounded heart behind a hard exterior and carries within her a deep mistrust of men, who, in her experience, have only ever used and taken.

A man in need of help . . .

Then Gabriel Dalton walks into her life. Despite the terrible darkness of his past, there’s an undeniable goodness in him. And even though she knows the cost, Crystal finds herself drawn to Gabriel. His quiet strength is wearing down her defenses and his gentle patience is causing her to question everything she thought she knew.

Only love can mend a shattered heart . . .

Crystal and Gabriel never imagined that the world, which had stolen everything from them, would bring them a deep love like this. Except fate will only take them so far, and now the choice is theirs: Harden their hearts once again or find the courage to shed their painful pasts.

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Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * Google Play * iTunes * Kobo * IndieBound * BAM!


Author Bio

Mia Sheridan is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her passion is weaving true love stories about people destined to be together. Mia lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband. They have four children here on earth and one in heaven.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * BookBub * Amazon Author Page


Giveaway

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eBook Contest October 18

Here are the eBooks for this week’s Winning Wednesday contest:

Title: Once a Charmer by Sharla Lovelace
Charmed in Texas Series Book Three
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 206 pages

Summary:

Charmed, Texas, is a close-knit small town where people’s dreams of love can come true. That’s not to say that some people aren’t still waiting, and dreaming . . .

By day, Allie Greene stays busy with her family diner, and keeping tabs on her teenage daughter. What’s really exhausting Allie, however, are the nights. Not that she minds Bash Anderson unbuttoning her naughty desires—if only in her dreams. But what was he doing there at all? He’s her best friend, and a father figure to her girl. Talk about awkward. Talk about OMG-heat-and-fireworks that are flipping fifteen years of normal upside down. And now, when Allie needs him as a friend more than ever, logic doesn’t stand a chance against his lips and irresistible deep-blue eyes . . .

Sure, Bash has fantasized about Allie, but there’s no way he’d act on it. She and her daughter are the closest thing to family he’s ever known. With the exception of one drunken moment fifteen years ago, he and Allie have stayed on this side of the line—until that impulsive kiss of hers knocked him on his butt. That’s just one hurdle. Not only does Allie need Bash’s help to save her diner, but his apiary is in trouble, too. To stir the pot further, they’ve been roped into vying for the town’s Honey King and Queen contest—a sweet event that’s making them closer than ever. Something’s bound to come undone. Bash just hopes it’s not the friendship he’s worked so hard to hold on to.


Title: Cowgirl, Unexpectedly by Vicki Tharp
Lazy S Ranch Series Book One
Publisher: Lyrical Embrace
Genre: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Length: 248 pages

Summary:

A Harley and a highway are all an Iraqi war veteran needs to soothe her restless spirit—until a pit stop puts her on the front lines of love . . .

Settling down is not an option for Mackenzie Parish. Since the end of her tour of duty, the former Marine has been on the road, doing what she can to ease the pain of her wounded shoulder and mind. But when her money runs out, she takes a job on a Wyoming ranch—and finds herself in unfamiliar territory once more . . .

Mackenzie’s lesson number one: a horse is definitely nothing like a motorcycle. But even knee deep in manure, and saddle sores aside, Mac finds comfort in the daily routine of hard work and the great outdoors. Only her bunkmate, Hank Nash, provides an unsettling distraction. The former champion bull rider has returned home to reconnect with his estranged daughter. Yet despite his own struggles, he has the patience to show Mac the ropes, and the sweet touch to draw her out of herself—and her painful past.

But when the ranch becomes the target of violent threats, Mac will have to choose between the call of the road—and the man who has helped her feel whole again .


Title: Where Do I Start? by Chase Taylor Hackett
Why Me? Series Book One
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Romance
Length: 266 pages

Summary:

The ex best thing . . .

Fletcher Andrews never believed in promises. Or monogamy. Or love. When you’re tall and gorgeous, New York City is one big all-you-can-eat buffet of hot young actors, models, and baristas. Even when living happily with Roger, his sweet, sexy violinist boyfriend, Fletch can’t resist an occasional taste. Too bad you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s thrown you out for cheating with half the cast of Disney on Ice.

Two years and a chance meeting later, Fletch desperately wants Roger back. Roger’s new boyfriend, Jeff, will do anything to stop that from happening. But Fletch has a plan to make amends. And with a little help from friends, colleagues—even Roger’s Scottish terrier, Haggis—they might find that the love you don’t believe in can sweep you right off your feet . . .


Wednesday is contest day on Book Reviews and More by Kathy. Three lucky winners will win the eBook of their choice! Here’s how to enter:

You must Do TWO of the Following:

1. Sign up for e-mail updates (upper left corner). One email daily with the day’s posts.

OR:

2. Be or become a fan of Book Reviews & More by Kathy Facebook page

OR:

3. Follow me on Twitter (@BookReviewsMore)

Make sure you have filled out the contest entry form:

4. To be eligible to enter contests on Book Reviews and More by Kathy you MUST fill out the contest entry form (found HERE). This form only needs to be filled out ONCE. Your privacy is important to me, and I will not share your information.

And don’t forget to:

5. Fill out the form below by 5 PM Mountain Time Friday afternoon:

Please Note: I am currently attending GayRomLit (if you’re also attending, please let me know and we can meet up!) so the winner will not be selected until later in the evening. Thank you for your understanding.

*I am the only person who will have access to info that is submitted to me UNLESS a publisher or author has donated an eBook for the giveaway. For a prize donated by an author or publisher, I will forward your e-mail and format selection to the person responsible for distributing the eBook. In the event the contest form is not working, please leave your book selection in the comments below.*

It’s that easy! The winners will be selected using random.org. I will e-mail the winners the eBook of their choice in their preferred format. The winners will be posted HERE on Saturday.

***The eBooks in this giveaway have been purchased by Book Reviews & More by Kathy.***

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Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Title: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt
Maiden Lane Series Book Twelve
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: 353 pages

Summary:

A LADY OF LIGHT

Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him . . . only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.

A DUKE IN DEEPEST DARKNESS

Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.

CAUGHT IN A WEB OF DANGER . . . AND DESIRE

Much to Raphael’s irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involves herself in his life-and bed. Soon he’s drawn both to her quick wit and her fiery passion. But when Iris discovers that Raphael’s past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters. Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael’s own demons?

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Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * Google Play * iTunes * Kobo * IndieBound


Excerpt

Desperately she flung herself at the opposite seat and tugged it up. Thrust her hand in.

A pistol.

She cocked it, desperately praying that it was loaded.

She turned and aimed it at the door to the carriage just as the door swung open.

The Wolf loomed in the doorway—still nude—a lantern in one hand. She saw the eyes behind the mask flick to the pistol she held between her bound hands. He turned his head and said something in an incomprehensible language to someone outside.

Iris felt her breath sawing in and out of her chest.

He climbed into the carriage and closed the door, completely ignoring her and the pistol pointed at him.
The Wolf hung the lantern on a hook and sat on the seat across from her.

Finally he glanced at her. “Put that down.”

His voice was calm. Quiet.

With just a hint of menace.

She backed into the opposite corner, as far away from him as possible, holding the pistol up. Level with his chest. Her heart was pounding so hard it nearly deafened her. “No.”

The carriage jolted into motion, making her stumble before she caught herself.

“T-tell them to stop the carriage,” she said, stuttering with terror despite her resolve. “Let me go now.”

“So that they can rape you to death out there?” He tilted his head to indicate the Lords. “No.”

“At the next village, then.”

“I think not.”

He reached for her and she knew she had no choice.

She shot him.

The blast blew him into the seat and threw her hands up and back, the pistol narrowly missing her nose.
Iris scrambled to her feet. The bullet was gone, but she could still use the pistol as a bludgeon.
The Wolf was sprawled across the seat, blood streaming from a gaping hole in his right shoulder. His mask had been knocked askew on his face.

She reached forward and snatched it off.

And then gasped.

The face that was revealed had once been as beautiful as an angel’s but was now horribly mutilated. A livid red scar ran from just below his hairline on the right side of his face, bisecting the eyebrow, somehow missing the eye itself but gouging a furrow into the lean cheek and catching the edge of his upper lip, making it twist. The scar ended in a missing divot of flesh in the line of the man’s severe jaw. He had inky black hair and, though they were closed now, Iris knew he had emotionless crystal-gray eyes.

She knew because she recognized him.

He was Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, and when she’d danced with him—once—three months ago at a ball, she’d thought he’d looked like Hades.

God of the underworld.

God of the dead.

She had no reason to change her opinion now.

Then he gasped, those frozen crystal eyes opened, and he glared at her. “You idiot woman. I’m trying to save you.”


Author Bio

Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Amazon Author Page * BookBub


Giveaway

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Tour Stop, Excerpt & Giveaway: André by Sybil Bartel

Title: André by Sybil Bartel
Uncompromising Series Book Three
Publisher: Sybil Bartel
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Suspense
Length: 304 pages

Summary:

André

The Marines trained me to set my sights and wait for the shot. For eight years, I guarded my brothers and defended my country. Now I protect my clients. My personal security firm is the best in the business because I leave nothing to chance… until a dark-haired, hazel-eyed spitfire crosses my path.

She and her sexy-as-hell striptease were supposed to be a one-night distraction. But too late I noticed the branding on her back and my blood ran cold. This woman wasn’t a distraction–she was a death sentence.

Knowing who she was left me no choice. I took her on as my client. But running from her past wasn’t an option.

The Marines didn’t train me to retreat. They taught me to engage.

One shot. One kill.

*ANDRE is a full length standalone book in the Uncompromising Series. It does not need to be read in order.*

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Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * iTunes * Kobo


Excerpt

“Kendall,” I whispered, half in disbelief, half in fucking horror.

“You can’t save me.” No intonation in her voice, her statement was pure resignation.

I asked the only question that seemed relevant. “Who else knows?”

“Candle.”

“No handler?”

She shook her head. “No. No witness protection. I refused.”

It was probably the only thing that’d kept her alive. Anyone knowing where or who she was would’ve been a target. Adrenaline pumping, my pulse Mach one, I stared at her in complete fucking shock. This woman had just signed my death warrant.

My nostrils flared with an inhale. “Chica—”

“Walk away, André.”

I opened my mouth to say something I’d regret, but she beat me to it.

“You can’t stop this,” she warned. “Go back to work. Pretend you never met me. Deny everything.” She picked up her dress. “I’ll be gone before you get home.”

I ran a hand over my face. “I don’t even know what to call you.”

“If you say my real name, you’ll be dead before you utter the last syllable.”


Author Bio

Sybil Bartel grew up in Northern California with her head in a book and her feet in the sand. She dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew her into the world of storytelling. She loves the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes her swoon.

Sybil now resides in Southern Florida and while she doesn’t get to read as much as she likes, she still buries her toes in the sand. If she isn’t writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in her backyard, you can find her spending time with her handsomely tattooed husband, her brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…

But Seriously?

Here are ten things you probably really want to know about Sybil.

She grew up a faculty brat. She can swear like a sailor. She loves men in uniform. She hates being told what to do. She can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks her out. Her favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—she can’t decide. She has a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on her for driving directions, ever. And she has a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell her husband.

To find out more about Sybil Bartel, be sure to follow her on Twitter (she loves to hear about your favorite book boyfriend!), visit her website, like her on Facebook or join her Facebook group Book Boyfriend Heroes for exclusive excerpts and giveaways.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


Giveaway #1

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #2

I am giving away one (1) ebook copy of Talon (gifted via Amazon after November 6th) courtesy of Ms. Bartel. Contest is open internationally. To enter today’s giveaway, please fill out the form below by 5 PM Mountain Time Friday October 20th:

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Saturday Series Spotlight & Giveaway: LuAnn McLane’s Heartthrob

Title: All I Ever Wanted by LuAnn McLane
Heartthrob Series Book One
Publisher: Pocket Star
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 250 pages

Summary:

From USA TODAY bestselling author LuAnn McLane comes the first in a brand new series featuring the sexy Heart brothers: formerly the members of the cult-phenomenon boy band Heartbeat, they’re all grown up and back together for one last reunion tour….

When Grady Heart, former lead singer of the cult-phenomenon boy band Heartbeat and eldest of the brothers, decides to bring the group back together for a highly anticipated reunion concert, he doesn’t expect to be met with so much resistance from his brothers. He also doesn’t expect them to hire his ex-girlfriend and ex-Heartbeat choreographer Arabella York to help the band rock some new dance moves.

Back in Heartbeat’s glory days the brooding bad boy fell hard for Arabella; the studious, stable dance teacher tamed Grady’s wild side but her lack of trust in him eventually drove them apart. Although their chemistry burns hotter than ever, Grady tries to keep his relationship with Arabella strictly professional this time around but in his heart, he might just still long to find out what could have been.


Title: It’s Gotta Be You by LuAnn McLane
Heartthrob Series Book Two
Publisher: Pocket Star
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 250 pages

Summary:

In this second novel in USA TODAY bestselling author LuAnn McLane’s fun, flirty, and fiery Heartthrob Series, Oliver Heart, the youngest of the Heartbeat brothers, has his sights set on going solo but when following his dreams comes with faking a romance with a female pop star, he finds that playing pretend isn’t quite as simple as it seems.

Meet the Heart Brothers: formerly the members of the cult-phenomenon boy band Heartbeat, now they’re all grown up and back together for one last reunion tour. Trends may come and go, but a group of sexy brothers with a penchant for song and dance never goes out of style…

After the success of the Heartbeat reunion, Oliver Heart wants a shot at a solo singing career. But you don’t get famous without publicity so he decides to agree to fake a romance with former pop sensation Belinda Beal, who is desperate to revive her career or face financial ruin. Oliver and Belinda are already experts at playing this silly game with the paparazzi back in their glory days and definitely hate the public displays of fake affection. But it isn’t long before pretend romance begins to lead to more in this rollicking romance featuring LuAnn McLane’s “lovely, sweetly sexy, terrifically enjoyable” (Booklist) prose.


Giveaway

I am giving away one eBook from the Heartthrob series-WINNER’S CHOICE. Here’s how to enter the Saturday Series Spotlight contest:

You must Do TWO of the Following:

1. Sign up for e-mail updates (upper left corner). One email daily with the day’s posts.

OR:

2. Be or become a fan of Book Reviews & More by Kathy Facebook page

OR:

3. Follow me on Twitter (@BookReviewsMore)

Make sure you have filled out the contest entry form:

4. To be eligible to enter contests on Book Reviews and More by Kathy you MUST fill out the contest entry form (found HERE). This form only needs to be filled out ONCE. Your privacy is important to me, and I will not share your information.

And don’t forget to:

5. Fill out the form below by 5 PM Mountain Time Monday afternoon.

CONTEST OVER

*I am the only person who will have access to info that is submitted to me UNLESS a publisher or author has donated an eBook for the giveaway. For a prize donated by an author or publisher, I will forward your e-mail and format selection to the person responsible for distributing the eBook. In the event the contest form is not working, please leave your book selection in the comments below.*

It’s that easy! The winner will be selected using random.org. I will e-mail one lucky winner the eBook of their choice in their preferred format. The winner will be posted HERE on Tuesday.

***The eBooks in this giveaway have been purchased by Book Reviews & More by Kathy.***

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