Monday, May 29, 2017

A Different Kind of Lottery Winner

With: Joanne Guidoccio

Giveaway Alert!

We don’t hear too many happily-ever-after stories about lottery winners. Often, they are portrayed as impulsive people who manage to squander all their money. And then there are the horror stories about long-lost relatives and friends who appear out of nowhere, asking for handouts. So, it’s not too surprising when lottery winners decide to take physical and emotional distance from their previous lives.

Gilda Greco, the protagonist of A Season for Killing Blondes and Too Many Women in the Room, took a different approach. After graciously accepting her $19 million lottery win, she returned to her hometown of Sudbury, Ontario. Here’s an excerpt from a recent interview Gilda gave prior to finding herself in the middle of another murder investigation.

What was the first thing you did when you found out you were a winner?

I couldn’t believe it, so I called the lottery commission and asked them to read the correct numbers over the telephone. I waited three days and then drove to Toronto to pick up my check. I was totally unprepared for the publicity and had to rush home and phone everyone before the evening news.

Did you quit your job right away?

Thankfully, we were in the middle of exams and a week before the end of the semester. I scrambled to get everything done and left as soon as the last report card was submitted. It took me almost two weeks to organize my financial affairs. As soon as everything was in place, I booked a flight to Hawaii and spent the rest of the winter there.

I’ve heard about all your travels. Is it true you actually traveled to Antarctica?

When I found out about the Antarctica 12-day cruise, I couldn’t resist booking. I would have to say it’s my most memorable trip. I have vivid memories of the amazing wildlife, especially the penguins. I would love to return.

You could have settled anywhere. Why did you come back to Sudbury?

My family and close friends still live here. It didn’t make too much sense to put thousands of miles between us. I can still travel, but it’s nice to come home.

From what I hear, you haven’t done too much traveling lately. Why is that?

I’ve visited almost every place on my bucket list. I plan to go to Africa next spring. Right now, I’m working on growing ReCareering.

Tell me about ReCareering.

When I got tired of traveling...I know, I know...I should be grateful and not complain. I needed a new direction and decided to enroll in the Career Development Practitioner program at Conestoga College.   I toyed with the idea of counseling young adults and then decided to help another segment of the population—boomers who were struggling with life after retirement.

What about your other business?

It’s hard to keep secrets in this city! Xenia isn’t really my business. I’m a silent (maybe not so silent) partner with Chef David Korba and his wife Susan. Tonight is our rehearsal dinner and I’m running late...


When Gilda Greco invites her closest friends to a VIP dinner, she plans to share David Korba’s signature dishes and launch their joint venture— Xenia, an innovative Greek restaurant near Sudbury, Ontario. Unknown to Gilda, David has also invited Michael Taylor, a lecherous photographer who has throughout the past three decades managed to annoy all the women in the room. One woman follows Michael to a deserted field for his midnight run and stabs him in the jugular.

Gilda’s life is awash with complications as she wrestles with a certain detective’s commitment issues and growing doubts about her risky investment in Xenia. Frustrated, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers decades-old secrets and resentments that have festered until they explode into untimely death. Can Gilda outwit a killer bent on killing again?

“I’m a nobody here,” David said, glancing down at his plate. “And with my credit rating, none of the banks would endorse a loan. I’m screwed.”

“What if I backed you?” I couldn’t believe I was speaking so casually, all the while my heart beat at an alarming rate. 

David rubbed a hand over his chin and flashed a grin at me. “Gilda, darling, you’re sweet to offer, but I don’t think you know what’s involved here.”

Susan nodded in agreement.

Were they playing me, I wondered. Since winning nineteen million dollars in Lotto649, I had encountered many sharks who hoped to prey on my easy-going nature. A quick Google search would have revealed my three-year-old lottery win. Old news, but still there on the second and third pages.

“Would one hundred thousand dollars be enough?” I asked. “In case you don’t know, I won a major lottery several years ago.” Since winning, I had received many proposals from across the province and had backed three local ventures. In each case, I had chosen to remain a silent partner.

David’s right hand trembled as he poured himself another glass of wine. Susan’s mouth dropped open, and she gave a little gasp.

“I take it that’s a yes,” I said.

More mild protests followed, and another bottle of wine disappeared. We were all a bit tipsy when we shook on the agreement. And so Xenia was born.

Buy links:
Amazon (US):
Amazon (Canada):
The Wild Rose Press:
Barnes and Noble:

Click on the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

In 2008, Joanne took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Social media links:

Friday, May 26, 2017

Career Achievement Award!

With: Carole Mortimer
Hi, Everyone,

I mentioned last month that I was off to attend the Romantic Times Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, and my husband was coming with me, which was lovely. I’ve returned to the UK clutching a much-appreciated Career Achievement Award in my hand from RT! It’s such an honor to be given this award by them, “in recognition of the whole body of my work to date”.

This doesn’t, of course, mean that I’m going to stop writing more books—far from it. Today is publication day of the last book in the Amazon #1 Knight Security romantic suspense series. It’s Ethan’s story, which so many of you have asked for, so I hope you enjoy it.

Coming up next in contemporary is a paranormal romantic suspense series featuring dragons. Yes, I did say dragons. I am really excited about writing this new series. The first book, Nathaniel (Dragon Hearts 1), is now available for pre-order from all ebook retail sites. Hope you’ll decide to come along on this new adventure with me!

Next month sees publication of Wicked Surrender (Regency Sinners 2), the 2nd book in my hot Regency, Amazon #1 romantic suspense series. I have just sent the finished manuscript to my editor in the US, but I’m really pleased with this story and hope you will be too.

I almost forgot—Taken by the Earl (Regency Unlaced 3) is currently on sale for 99c on all ebook retail sites, but only until the end of May. 

As always, the books in all these series are super-hot. So enjoy!

 Carole xx

Amazon link for Seducing Ethan (Knight Security 6)
Also available on Barnes and Noble, ibooks, Kobo and Smashwords

Amazon link for Wicked Surrender (Regency Sinners 2)
Also available on Barnes and Noble, ibooks, Kobo and Smashwords

Amazon link for Taken by the Earl (Regency Unlaced 3)

Also available on Barnes and Noble, ibooks, Kobo and Smashwords

About Carole:
Carole Mortimer has written over 215 books in the contemporary and Regency genres. Carole is Recipient of the 2015 Romance Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award, a USA Today Bestselling Author, Entertainment Weekly Top 10 Romance Author, 2014 Romantic Times Pioneer of Romance, and in 2012 was recognized by Queen Elizabeth II for her ‘outstanding service to literature’.

She is very happily married to Peter, they have 6 sons, and live on the beautiful Isle of Man.

Newsletter: www.epurl/2rfzz

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

On the Run with a Romance Heroine

Congratulations to "Joan V.", the winner in Elizabeth's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

What if you overheard someone take a bribe and when you confronted him about it, he warned you that if you told anyone, you’d be dead?

What if that person was your husband?

And what if he was also a cop?

In Bodyguard with a Badge, the first book in my new Lawmen: Bullets and Brawn miniseries, that’s exactly what happened to Juliette Lawson.  Still, she tried to do the right thing and turn him in, but her husband had set the stage so no one believed her.  He was not happy when he’d found out what she’d done…

Fast forward three years and Juliette is still on the run, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of her ex-husband.  He’s caught up to her too many times before, causing her to run again in the middle of the night.  Now, she’s been in Virginia long enough that she’s really started to feel at home.  Until gunmen barge into her office and take her out into the woods...

And she knows exactly who sent them.

She thinks her life is over when FBI Hostage Rescue Team agent Andre Diaz appears out of nowhere, a blur of soft brown eyes, intense stare, and bulging muscles, taking down the gunman.  But back at Quantico, agents want Juliette to answer questions that she knows will bring her ex-husband straight to her location.  And history tells her they’ll hand her right over to the decorated police officer.  So instead, she takes Andre hostage!

It’s supposed to be a temporary solution, a way to get herself away from Quantico and out of town, but when Andre offers to help her, it’s too tempting to refuse.  Problem is, Andre may also be too tempting, and even if Juliette could trust herself enough to open up her heart again, loving anyone is way too dangerous.

You can learn more about Bodyguard with a Badge at my website:

And you can be entered to win a signed copy right here!  Just comment and share some of your favorite characteristics of a heroine.

Bodyguard with a Badge Excerpt:
He stared directly into her eyes, intense and sincere. “I believe you.”

She stamped down the hope she felt at his words, tried to be logical. “Why?”

“My gut is telling me you’re innocent.” His gaze went to the gun and then back to her face.  “Relatively innocent.”

A smile twitched her lips, and she felt the sudden, ridiculous urge to laugh at the predicament she’d gotten herself into. She’d never so much as gotten a parking ticket her whole life and in one day, she’d stolen a gun off one federal agent and taken another one hostage.

“Just level with me, Juliette,” Andre said, his deep brown eyes imploring, almost hypnotizing in their intensity.

A shiver worked its way up her body that had nothing to do with fear. Letting her attraction for this man lull her into trusting him was a bad idea. Whether or not he believed her story, he was still a federal agent.

Bodyguard with a Badge

Take the shot - or take a chance?

FBI sniper Andre Diaz is used to rescuing civilians, but after he saves a woman from armed gunmen, she takes him hostage. Nothing about Juliette Lawson or the hostage situation adds up, and Andre's determined to figure out the truth. Going into hiding with the mysterious woman seems like a good idea at first, but he soon discovers her secrets could get them both killed.

Juliette Lawson has been on the run for three years when her luck ends. Grabbing Andre seemed like a temporary solution to get out of FBI questioning – and stay off her dirty cop ex-husband's radar. But it's too late, because now it's not just her ex after her, but a dangerous criminal desperate to tie up loose ends. With each day in hiding, she falls harder for Andre. But as her ex-husband and a killer close in, the only way to keep Andre safe may be to sacrifice her own life.

About Elizabeth Heiter
Critically acclaimed and award-winning author ELIZABETH HEITER likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range. Her novels have been published in more than a dozen countries and translated into eight languages; they've also been shortlisted for the Daphne Du Maurier award, the National Readers' Choice award and the Booksellers' Best award and won the RT Reviewers' Choice award.

Connect with Elizabeth

Buy Links for Bodyguard with a Badge

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST May 25th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

3 Romance (Book) Pet Peeves

I love reading romance books. I prefer contemporary, erotic, romantic suspense, historical and sci-fi. But, regardless of the subgenre, we all have pet peeves, right? Here’s a list of mine:

  1.     When the hero and heroine take too long to meet each other on the page. This one really bugs me—no, I don’t want to read fifty pages before the hero meets the heroine. I’m anxious to see how they interact together.
  2.     Too much introspection. If a book has pages and pages of mainly internal dialogue, after a while it starts to lose me as a reader. Of course sometimes we need to be deeply inside their minds to understand them better. But I love when authors are pros at mixing dialogue, action and introspection.
  3.     Closed-door sex scenes. Okay, so maybe I lied. Some subgenres CAN get away with some of my pet peeves. Sweet romance is wonderful, and I’ve read some excellent ones. Generally though, I prefer romance books with sex scenes that convey the characters and their feelings. When they make love in the beginning of the book, for instance, is different than the last time before THE END. I do think the best sex scenes I’ve read also show us something about the characters, or the story. They aren’t just gratuitous. They’re passionate, hot, and even playful.

So, as you must know by now, I’m the ADHD reader—I want it quick, dirty, and addictive. Turns out as a writer I’m not that different. My books tend to be fast-paced and sexy. My latest release, Brazilian Capture, is about a hot Brazilian activist who kidnaps the daughter of his enemy to help the needy. Yep. He’s an activist with a heart of gold, but our socialite heroine doesn’t trust him (would you?) and sees him as the dangerous man who captured her and who’s telling her lies about her dad. What’s a girl to do? That’s for you to find out J Check out the book readers are calling, “Hotter than hell.”
Thanks for reading :)

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Financier turned activist Emanuel Duarte has promised he would find the one witness who can testify against real estate developer Silas Lancaster. Sick of having every attempt at exposing Silas shut down, Emanuel wants to honor a promise he made, and takes from his opponent what matters most--his beautiful daughter Erika. Only he gets more than he bargained for with the tempting--and frustrating--woman. 

Fundraiser and socialite Erika Lancaster can't believe she's been kidnapped. Her sexy captor is feeding her lies about her father that she refuses to swallow. Emanuel's plans will hurt her and ruin her mother's legacy--and that she can't allow. Desperate to find a way out of the lush Brazilian jungle, she decides there's only way to disarm the enemy--seduce him. 
But her plan backfires and soon she realizes that seducing the enemy comes with a hefty price...loving the enemy simply isn't an option.

Each book in the Brazilians series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.

Buy links:

About the author:
Carmen Falcone loves to spend her time writing about hot Alpha males and the quirky, smart and sassy heroines who turn their world upside down. 

Brazilian by birth and traveler by nature, she moved to Central Texas after college and met her broody Swiss husband--living proof that opposites attract. She found in writing the best excuse to avoid the healthy lifestyle everyone keeps talking about. When she’s not lost in the world of romance, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, being walked by her three crazy pugs, reading, catching up with friends, and chatting with random people in the checkout line. 

She now has more than a dozen of books published. She writes category contemporary, erotic romance and romantic suspense. 

For more about Carmen, please visit her website:


Monday, May 22, 2017

The Undaunted Debutantes Series - Historical Romantic Suspense

Giveaway Alert!

Series: The Undaunted Debutantes Series
Title: The Disappearance of Lady Edith, The Misfortune of Lady Lucianna, The Misadventures of Lady Ophelia
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England
Release Date: May 23, 2017, June 13, 2017, July 11, 2017
Word Count: 135,000 total
Cover Artist: The Midnight Muse

Three innocent debutantes must work to solve the mysterious death of their childhood friend. With undaunted determination they pledge to not only expose the man responsible for their friend’s tragic death on her wedding night, but to also uncover other unscrupulous men of the ton who would jeopardize the future of other young women.

The Disappearance of Lady Edith, The Undaunted Debutantes (Book One)

One tragic night changed sensible, proper Lady Edith Pelton’s life: when her best friend fell to her death, pushed down a flight of stairs by a nefarious lord.  Now, Edith dedicates her time to watching the man she thinks is responsible, while gathering information to expose other scoundrels posing as gentlemen of honor about London. When her spying is noticed by a perfect stranger, Edith finds herself with two mysteries—what happened to her friend, and how to win the heart of this brilliantly handsome lord.

Triston Neville, Viscount Torrington, has been tasked with two duties for the upcoming Season: see that his sisters make the most of their debut, and avoid embroiling himself in another scandal. What he does not expect is the captivating, fair-haired beauty that literally falls into his path. When the mysterious Lady Edith suddenly disappears without a trace, Triston fears his past misdeeds may have returned to destroy his life once more.

Can Triston piece together the puzzle in time to save Edith and prove that his love is nothing less than honorable?

The Misfortune of Lady Lucianna, The Undaunted Debutantes (Book Two)

Quick-witted hellion Lucianna Constantine has no doubt who was responsible for the death of her dear friend. And she will stop at nothing to expose his transgressions—and those of every despicable man in London. Lucianna has witnessed the cruelty of London’s beau monde her entire life…starting with her own father. So she is more than willing to singlehandedly take down every vile man that crosses her path.

Roderick Crofton, the Duke of Montrose, had his entire family fortune stolen when his father trusted the wrong men. After a scandalous article surfaces in the London Daily Gazette, written by the notorious Mayfair Confidential columnist, Roderick finds himself financially destitute, without a betrothed, and lacking the means to find the lords responsible for duping his sire. With little option left, Roderick has only one choice: find another wealthy heiress to wed. His quest brings him to Lady Lucianna Constantine, and soon, he can’t deny that he wants her for more than just her dowry.

However, Luci has secrets that could change everything. And when Roderick uncovers what those confidences entail, it could mean misfortune for all involved.

The Misadventures of Lady Ophelia, The Undaunted Debutantes (Book Three)

Quiet, reserved, Lady Ophelia Fletcher always has her nose stuck in a book; hence why she didn’t witness the death of her friend the fateful night of her passing. Now, she writes the Mayfair Confidential column to expose unsavory men as a way of making amends for not backing her other friend’s claims of murder. When a handsome stranger arrives to meet with her father, Ophelia is helpless to keep from investigating the dashing lord.

Colin Parnell, Lord Hawke, has a promise to uphold: find the book that proves his grandpapa worked as a spy for King George II and did not die as a no-good smuggler off the coast of Kent. Shrouded in mystery and scandal, the Parnell family has been at war with one another for decades, and Colin is determined to put a stop to it all by discovering proof of the family’s honorable past. Unfortunately, the book he seeks is in the hands of a fiery-haired beauty, and he’ll need to enlist Ophelia’s help to uncover the truth.

Ophelia is more than happy to use her skills to help Lord Hawke. But will their search for answers lead to misadventure, or will they get something greater than they bargained for: the truth and each other?

About the Author:
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Christina McKnight writes emotional and intricate Regency Romance with strong women and maverick heroes. 

Her books combine romance and mystery, exploring themes of redemption and forgiveness. When not writing she enjoys coffee, wine, traveling the world, and watching television.

Follow her on Twitter: @CMcKnightWriter
Keep up to date on her releases:
                                      Like Christina’s FB Author page: ChristinaMcKnightWriter

I cannot be caught, I cannot be caught, I cannot be caught, she chanted, placing her booted feet on another branch before dipping low to take hold of it and swing down to the ground below.

Almost there. Edith’s hands were mere inches from grasping the thick limb to lower herself…only six feet from escape.

“You, there!” a deep voice sounded behind her. “What are you doing up there?”

“Eeep!” The sudden exclamation took her mind off the limb she reached for, and Edith’s boot caught on her skirt, causing her to miss the branch completely. She stiffened her body as she fell, bracing for the impact she knew was to come as the air rushed by her.

The seconds slowed.

Giving her ample time to contemplate what she’d done in her life to end up falling from a tree in the fashionable St. James area of London, her arms pinwheeling as she hoped to ease her landing.


Everything went dark, and Edith feared she’d landed on her head, doing irreparable damage.

She blinked several times and willed her mind to command her fingers to wiggle and her toes to curl in her boots.

Everything worked.

She said a silent prayer to whoever was looking out for her.

“I asked what you are doing on my property!” the man huffed.

Edith blinked again—still complete darkness. Maybe she had hit her head on the way down, but would it not ache?

“Do stop this ridiculousness and remove your garments from your head.”

She moved silently, rolling to her side, a resounding pain in her backside cluing her in to exactly how she’d landed.

Lifting her hands, Edith pushed at whatever covered her sight, only to see a pair of Hessians solidly placed beside her. Lowering the material farther, she noted thick, muscular calves leading to tree trunk-sized thighs clad in tightly tailored breeches.

Edith cringed, allowing the material to fall back into place, blocking out all view of the man once more.

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