Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, Reviews, TWRP

#Review of Second Chance in Laguna (Finding Forever in Laguna series #1) by Claire Marti w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @clairepmarti

Second Chance in Laguna

by Claire Marti

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Contemporary Romance

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

When Sophie Barnes’s fiancé jilts her at the altar, her carefully planned life implodes. Considering her ex’s betrayal to be a rude wake-up call, she leaves everything she knows in San Diego and flees to Laguna Beach. She vows to transform her life by avoiding men for a year and by fulfilling her dream of writing a wildly successful novel.  

Sophie’s new landlord, Nicholas Morgan, is a gorgeous, successful architect with a player reputation. He makes it tough for Sophie to remember that she’s sworn to be single. Nick’s avoided the intimacy of a long-term relationship–until Sophie’s independence, courage, and beauty touch his guarded heart. Both Sophie and Nick are terrified of being hurt again, but can they resist the pull of true love?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt One:

Nick arrived right on time, looking gorgeous in faded jeans and a plain white t-shirt. How did he always manage to start the butterflies fluttering in her stomach? Just by standing there with the setting sun framing him? She was in trouble.

“Hi beautiful, ready to go?” He clasped her face in his hands and planted a soft kiss on her lips.

Returning his kiss, Sophie wound her arms around his neck and deepened it. She couldn’t resist. His strong arms wrapped around her waist, hugging her close to his broad chest.

“Mmmm, feel free to greet me like that every time I come over,” he said, lips curved up into a sweet smile.

Heat washed her cheeks and she returned his smile. “Let’s go. Prepare to be blown away by the movie snack of the century.”

Determined to keep things light and enjoy the movie before “the talk,” Sophie thrust down the lick of panic bubbling in her gut. She’d accomplished next to nothing all afternoon, instead wrestling with whether she needed to tell him about Doug.

The angel on her shoulder whispered to tell him because if they were going to have any kind of relationship, even a friends-with-benefits one, honesty and trust were vital. The devil urged her to zip it. They’d only known each other a few weeks. What if he lived up to his “Player of Laguna” reputation and expected only a fun fling? Even though he seemed deeper than that. What if she scared him off with a premature talk?

Welcome Claire Marti! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.

 

My name is Claire Marti and I live in Encinitas, California, a sleepy beach town about twenty-five miles north of San Diego. I’ve been writing stories since I was a child. I majored in English at the University of Virginia, practiced law briefly, and transitioned into teaching yoga and writing full-time over the last few years.

My debut novel, Second Chance in Laguna, launched on March 31, 2017. The story grew from themes of starting over, carpe diem, and of living life to the fullest.

Is Second Chance in Laguna a single title, or part of a series?

Second Chance in Laguna is the first in the Finding Forever in Laguna series. It’s a contemporary romance set in, surprise, Laguna Beach, California. At Last in Laguna, the second book in the series will release later in 2017, and Sunset in Laguna, the third book should launch in early 2018.

What were your inspirations for the story?

Taking a negative experience like learning that the person you love is a serial cheater and turning it into an opportunity to transform your entire life. I love the idea of a new door opening when another one closes. Life is a cycle of growth—we’re always changing and learning. My heroine in Second Chance in Laguna, Sophie Barnes, is jilted at the altar and it’s a wake-up call for her. She realizes she isn’t living her most authentic life and takes a risk to follow her dreams.

Please share your setting for (book title). Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?

As you might guess from the title, the setting is Laguna Beach, California. I chose the setting because of its romantic atmosphere. With its gorgeous green hills, charming architecture, breathtaking beaches, and proliferation of art galleries, Laguna feels like a sanctuary. The first time I visited the tiny beach enclave, I felt transported to a magical new world.

On a personal note, Laguna holds a special place in my heart: I got engaged on the beach there. My passion for Laguna fuels my writing and hopefully sparks the same enthusiasm in readers.

When did the writing bug first bite?

I was a voracious reader at a young age. Writing came naturally for me and I started writing stories in elementary school. We rescued a baby squirrel and I fell in love with Squeaky. Naturally, he deserved a book. My cat Tom and my brother’s boa constrictor, Napoleon Bonaparte, each also starred in a book. Second Chance in Laguna features a rescue dog named Bailey and cat named Zack.

Who are you favorite authors, book/series?

Nora Roberts: Gallagher’s of Ardmore trilogy, Irish Born trilogy, Key trilogy, Three Sisters trilogy—did I mention I love her trilogies?

Kerrigan Byrne: Victorian Rebels series,

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast and The Sun Also Rises,

Jane Austen, Ayn Rand, Julie James, Lisa Kleypas, Sarah Maclean

If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

Nora Roberts, Ernest Hemingway, Oscar Wilde, Kerrigan Byrne, J.R. Ward, Sarah MacLean, and Anne Rice.

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?

I love walking on the beach every day, reading, listening to live music, traveling every chance I get, practicing and teaching yoga, and spending time with my husband and friends. I love delicious food, as long as someone else prepares it!

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?

A few years ago, we visited The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. It’s the place that inspired Stephen King’s terrifying story, The Shining. You can feel otherworldly energy in the hotel and I have the shadows of nightmares to prove it.

What is the one thing that you would tell an aspiring writer to do?

Never give up. Keep writing. Trust your voice. Here’s one of my favorite quotes: Don’t forget-no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell. Charles de Lint
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

First of all, congratulations on your debut.  I remember when my one an only book came out.  I was over the moon and also in disbelief that someone took a chance on me.  But enough about me; on with the review.

This book starts off fast and doesn’t let up.  I like that when reading a new/debut author.  Ms. Marti doesn’t bog down the story with unnecessary details and since this is the first book of a series, I feel that we will get more of the Morgans, including Nick’s sister, Alyssa.  In fact, I feel like she has only scratched the surface with Alyssa and Brandt, Nick’s BFF.  I mean like, WTH?  Denial, denial, denial with those two.  I loved it but I’m sure there is much more going on.  That’s what I truly liked about this story.  It has a sense of family surrounding Nick and Sophie.  Sophie’s mom is a piece but she does love her daughter.  Sophie has Kelly, her BFF.  Nick has Brandt and Alyssa.  The turn to each other through the tough times but also through the fun.

Sophie’s ex, Doug…OMG!  What a douche and it didn’t help that Heather, Nick’s office manager, just acerbated the romance between Nick and Sophie.  I don’t think that Heather is through with her quest but we will have to see.  Too bad that Doug and Heather didn’t realize that Sophie and Nick’s love for each other is stronger than what those two tried to do.  Ugh!  But that makes for good drama in a romance book and Ms. Marti nailed it.

Zack, the cat, and Bailey, the dog were great, too.  Ms. Marti makes good use of all the characters that she has created in this book and also in the series.  I believe in love at first sight and while some might think that the book is full of instalove, I don’t think so.  Nick had to figure out why he could never settle down and Sophie had to realize that men like her dad and Doug were just stupid.  She is lovable and finding Nick made her finally stand up for herself to everyone around her and to fight for what she and Nick had.  I won’t give you exactly what Nick finally figured out with his lack of commitment but I will say…AWWWWW!  He’s such a sweetie.

Overall, I really liked Ms. Marti’s writing, her characterization, and the plotting of the book.  It’s fast with no filler.  I can’t wait to read the rest of the series later this year.  Bring on Alyssa, Brandt, and Kelly.

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. Her debut releases from The Wild Rose Press on March 31, 2017 and is the first in the Finding Forever in Laguna series.

Website:  www.clairemarti.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ClaireMartiAuthor/

Twitter:  @clairepmarti

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8203678.Claire_Marti

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2kafVLW

The Wild Rose Press, Inc.: http://bit.ly/2jk8iQY

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2mpGgq9

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/second-chance-in-laguna

iBooks:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/second-chance-in-laguna/id1196981760?mt=11

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Claire Marti will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, Spotlight

Author Interview featuring Sick Like That by Norman Green w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

Sick Like That

by Norman Green

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE:  Mystery (Detective)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

PI Marty Stiles was shot and paralyzed and is now in rehab, trying to decide whether to fight to recover. Meanwhile, his agency is being run by two women: the street-smart and savvy Alessandra Martillo, who’s the muscle, and Sarah Waters, a naïve, single mom, new to the job but who quickly becomes the brains. Though the two women grew up only a few miles from each other in Brooklyn, it might as well have been worlds apart. Now they’re partners, and for all their differences, are committed to their joint venture. When Sarah’s deadbeat ex-husband gets into trouble, Al would rather let him suffer, but she agrees to help Sarah figure out where he is and why another man has ended up dead.

This follow-up to The Last Gig features a tough and edgy, one-of-a-kind heroine—an entirely fresh take on the hardboiled women private investigators who dominate so many crime fiction classics.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt Three:

Sarah Waters climbed the subway steps out onto the street and headed for home. She lived in the basement of her mother’s house in Bensonhurst, a largely Italian neighborhood down on the southern end of Brooklyn. She always found herself dragging when she got this close, the four blocks from the train station to the house always seemed the hardest part of the trip. You’re always so happy to get out of there in the morning, she told herself, and so bummed when you have to come back. Is the basement really that bad? But it wasn’t her mother’s basement she minded, not really, it was her mother, right upstairs, and all too often, downstairs and in her face. “Frank is a good man.” Her mother never got tired of saying it. “I don’t know why you two couldn’t work things out. Your father and I had our differences . . .”

Last night Sarah had finally had enough. “Frankie is only good for one thing, Ma.” She slapped her left hand into the crook of her right arm and pumped her right fist.

“AAAAGH!” Her mother squeezed her eyes shut and crossed herself. “Don’t talk like that in my house!”

“It’s the truth, Ma.” She glanced over her shoulder, but her son, Frankie Junior, was in his room with the door closed.

She could just hear the sounds of his television. “Frankie could be fun sometimes, but you can only be doing that for about an hour a day, am I right? What am I supposed to do with him the rest of the time? When you have a family, you’re supposed to grow up, bring home a paycheck, you’re supposed to quit hanging out in the bar drinking beers and chasing the waitresses. Besides, he’s outa work two years now. I get back together with him, you’re gonna have him in your basement, too. You want that? He’s like a stray cat, you give him food, a soft bed, and a nice place to shit, you’ll never get rid of him.”

“Would that be so bad? Your father and I . . .”

“I don’t wanna hear it.” You can eat shit for forty years if that’s what you want, but not me . . . But she couldn’t tell her mother that, since his death, her father had completely reformed his character and was now a saint.

Welcome, Norman Green! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.

I’m a hardhat, aristocrat, spent half my life in the inner city, come with me and I’ll show you things you’ve never seen…

Is a single title, or part of a series?

It’s a sequel to ‘The Last Gig,’ and there might be one or two more out there somewhere. I thought I was done but I keep hearing voices…

What were your inspirations for the story?

The fine Borough of Brooklyn, and the unmatchable breadth of humanity you can find there.

Please share your setting. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?

NYC, Brooklyn in particular. Yeah, I’ve been. The people are always the best and most interesting part of any place.

When did the writing bug first bite?

I always loved reading, and one day I finally decided to try writing, if nothing else, just to get it out of my system.

Who are you favorite authors, book/series?

Larry Niven, Lawrence Block, JD MacDonald, Ross McDonald, Joseph Conrad, about a thousand more.

If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

Mark Twain, Malcolm Gladwell, Christopher Hitchins, Carlo Rovelli, Dan John, Stephen King, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, how many chairs we got at this table?

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?

I wrote ‘Way Past Legal,’ which is about a birdwatcher, and I’ve been intrigued by birds ever since.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?

Saw a fat, naked, entirely hairless Chinese guy walking down the sidewalk on Union Street in Queens. Cop pulls over, doesn’t even get out of the cruiser. Rolls his window down, says, ‘hey, you. Get over here.’ Naked guy walks up to the cruiser. Cop says, ‘What’s your story?’ I didn’t stay for the story, I made up my own, which turned into ‘Shadow of a Thief,’ coming out this fall.

What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

Get out, man, get your hands dirty, make some friends, and above all, learn how to listen.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Norman Green is the author of six crime novels, most recently Sick Like That. Born in Massachusetts, he now lives in New Jersey with his wife.

 

www.normgreenwriter.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Norman will be awarding an digital copy of Sick Like That to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, New Release, Reviews

#Review of Reckless Need (Hearts Temptation #3) & Author Interview w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @scarscoromance

Reckless Need

by Scarlett Scott

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Historical Romance

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

A staid duke

Heath, the Duke of Devonshire, has been living a passionless life of penance after losing the woman he loved. Determined to do his duty, he’s in search of an innocent bride with a sterling reputation. A bride who’s nothing at all like Tia, Lady Stokey.

A bold lady

The Duke of Devonshire may be handsome, but he’s as boring as a bowl of porridge. Or so Tia thinks until he carries her to her chamber and undoes half her buttons while kissing her senseless.

A decadent desire

The moment he scoops the delectable Tia into his arms, Heath wants her in his bed, and he’ll stop at nothing to have her there. When they unleash the scandal of the century, they must face consequences that are deeper and far more dangerous to their hearts than either of them imagined. Will they find love, or was the reckless need between them doomed from the start?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt Three:

He opened the door and froze on the threshold.

She was within, all right. And she was bloody well half-naked, standing before a crackling fire in nothing but her corset and chemise. Her lovely hair was unbound, hanging to her waist, her delicious curves on full display from nipped waist to lush hips and bosom.

Her gaze caught his. “Heath,” she said softly. “I should have expected it would be you.”

He wasn’t certain if she meant that in a good sense or in a bad sense. Belatedly becoming aware of the wind and rain at his back, he stepped all the way into the cabin and closed the door behind him.

“Are you injured?” he demanded, closing the distance between them easily.

Relief coursed through him, banishing the very real fear that had taken up residence within him ever since learning of her disappearance. He wanted to take her in his arms, but after their last discussion, he hardly knew where they stood.

She caught her lower lip between her teeth in that way she had that he already found mesmerizing. “Once again, I landed with an appalling lack of grace. I’m afraid my bad ankle rather bore the brunt of it.”

She convulsed with a violent shiver then, her teeth chattering. To hell with the walls she wanted to build between them. “You’re cold.” He shucked his wet coat and wrapped his arms around her, drawing her into the warmth of his body. She didn’t protest, snuggling against him like a little kitten. He tucked her head beneath his chin, the sweet perfume of violets wafting up to tease him. “Better?”

“I suppose it depends upon one’s definition of the word,” she quipped.

He was grateful that she didn’t seem at all rattled. She was herself, with a rapier-sharp tongue always at the ready. He’d never met a woman quite like her, and he was increasingly drawn to her despite his every good intention. “Are you warmer?” he clarified.

“A bit.” Her teeth chattered again. “How did you find me?”

“Luck.”Or perhaps a lack thereof, because surely the fates were laughing at him now.



Welcome Scarlett! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.

 

Thank you so much for having me here! I’m a Pennsylvania girl, born and raised, and I have a wonderful Canadian husband who I lured here as well. We have adorable twin two-year-olds, which means our house is filled with chaos, laughter, and toys.

Is Reckless Need a single title, or part of a series?

It’s Book Three in the Heart’s Temptation series.

What were your inspirations for the story?

The work of British artist Edward Burne-Jones inspired me a great deal when I was researching for this book. His paintings are so lush and beautiful! The hero in Reckless Need, Heath, is an artist as well.

Please share your setting for Reckless Need. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?

This book is set in Victorian England, and a great deal of it unfolds in the country. Sadly, I’ve never visited England yet though I do have it on my list of places to go!

When did the writing bug first bite?

I wrote my first “story” in first grade, complete with illustrations. Something about a princess and her castle, I think. And I never really stopped—just kept writing until I finished my first book at 14. Naturally, that book was awful, but I still have it!

Who are you favorite authors, book/series?

I love Lisa Kleypas books! I have some of her old paperbacks on my Forever Shelf, but I also love her Ravenels and Wallflowers series.


If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

I’d invite my fellow indie published historical romance authors—so many of them are doing amazing things.

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?

I like reading when I can sneak it in, but I also enjoy cooking, gardening, camping, and singing karaoke whenever I have the time.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?

I had to think about this one for a while. This might sound gruesome, but the strangest thing I’ve ever seen is a shrunken human head on exhibit in a museum. It’s frightening and surreal all at the same time.  

What is the one thing that you would tell an aspiring writer to do?

I think the most important thing an aspiring writer can do is to do her homework and learn everything there is to know about writing from the craft to the publishing end of things. There’s no such thing as learning and knowing too much, and researching before you jump is going to prevent you from making decisions you later regret. Also, don’t forget to be kind and supportive to your fellow writers!

My, my.  It’s been a while since I’ve read a really spicy historical romance.  And I’m glad that it was this one.  I’m really beginning to enjoy reading historicals again.  Especially the ones that I have picked up later.  I don’t have to read about parties, the ton, and endless other things that I couldn’t care a fig about.  😉

What sets this apart from the pack are the characters and the pasts that both of them have to overcome to get the HEA.  Heath is dealing with the death of his betrothed from years ago and Tia is dealing with finally falling in love.  Their back stories are interesting and I’m glad that Heath’s included art.  The scenes surrounding his art were emotional and hot.  I know, right?  I won’t go into in the review, but painting for Heath is a big part of who he was and who Tia wishes he still was, in a sense.  The way she defies him but it is totally done out of her love for him.  *swoon*  Too bad, it takes it badly.

Throughout the book, we see the growth that they need to have to finally admit that they truly love each other.  Now, the beginning of the book is beyond hot, sensual, and the banter between them is some of the best that I have read in a historical romance.  Yes, it’s that good.  Plus, the cabin scene is arguably one of the best scenes written, contemporary or historical.  The emotions, dialogue, and setting are just pure perfection.

Ms. Scott has written a sensual tale of two people that on paper shouldn’t be together but can’t fight the love that they have for each other.  Of course, now that I have had a taste of Helen’s story, I have to read it.  I realize that the review is a bit short but I don’t want to ruin the book for you.  It’s just that good.  You must go and read this book.  If you like it on the spicier side, its for you.  If you want true character growth and depth, this book is for you.  If you want to see two stubborn people fall in love…then yes, the book is for you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Award-winning author Scarlett Scott writes historical and contemporary romance with heat, heart, and happily ever afters. Since publishing her first book in 2010, she has become a wife, mother to adorable identical twins and one TV-loving dog, and a killer karaoke singer. Well, maybe not the last part, but that’s what she’d like to think.

A self-professed literary junkie and nerd, she loves reading anything but especially romance novels, poetry, and Middle English verse. When she’s not reading, writing, wrangling toddlers, or camping, you can catch up with her on her website www.scarsco.com. Hearing from readers never fails to make her day.

Scarlett’s complete book list and information about upcoming releases can be found on her website, www.scarsco.com.

Buy link for Reckless Need: https://www.amazon.com/Reckless-Need-Hearts-Temptation-Book-ebook/dp/B01GQO5E7M/

 

Follow Scarlett on social media:

www.twitter.com/scarscoromance

www.pinterest.com/scarlettscott

www.facebook.com/AuthorScarlettScott

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

Scarlett Scott will be awarding a Kindle or paperback copy of Books 1 & 2 in this series to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway