Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, New Release, Reviews

#Review of The Mistress of Pennington’s & Interview of Rachel Brimble w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @RachelBrimble #HistoricalRomance

The Mistress of Pennington’s

by Rachel Brimble

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GENRE: Saga/Romance

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BLURB:

Elizabeth Pennington should be the rightful heir of Bath’s premier department store through her enterprising schemes and dogged hard work. Her father, Edward Pennington, believes his daughter lacks the business acumen to run his empire and is resolute a man will succeed him.

Determined to break from her father’s iron-clad hold and prove she is worthy of inheriting the store, Elizabeth forms an unlikely alliance with ambitious and charismatic master glove-maker Joseph Carter. United they forge forward to bring Pennington’s into a new decade, embracing woman’s equality and progression whilst trying not to mix business and pleasure.

Can this dream team thwart Edward Pennington’s plans for the store? Or will Edward prove himself an unshakeable force who will ultimately ruin both Elizabeth and Joseph?

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Excerpt Two:

He moved to walk away, and she reached for his arm before she could think just how dangerous such contact could be. He halted, and even when he looked at her fingers clutched on his forearm, she did not remove them. It suddenly felt important she touch him; that he understood she had care for what he said or asked her.

Even though the physical contact set her heart racing, she held her grasp. ‘Why do you ask me about your family?’

He closed his eyes and dropped his chin to his chest.

Disquiet whispered through her. What had caused such uncharacteristic hesitation in him?

‘Joseph…’ She slid her hand from his arm, ignoring the pang of loss that the break of contact brought. ‘If there’s something bothering you, please, share it with me.’

He slowly raised his head, his blue eyes full of irritation once more. ‘I will, but not here. Not on the street. I’d prefer to come to your office tomorrow.’

How was she supposed to wait until tomorrow? Her curiosity was rife. It was clear something had changed between them. Something, it seemed, of which she was the cause.

She nodded. ‘I’ll send a message to you first thing in the morning.’

‘Thank you. Until then, I bid you good day.’

He walked away, leaving Elizabeth with questions and words flailing on her tongue. She stared after him, fearful of the pull deep in her chest that Joseph’s concerns had somehow become hers. No good could come of such caring. Her only goal should be proving her worth and capability in Pennington’s and beyond. She could not allow one man, any man, to have such an effect on her.

She inhaled a long breath and walked towards Pennington’s doors.

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

 

I’ve been married to the fabulous ‘Mr B’ for twenty years and we have two beautiful teenage daughters as well as my baby, a chocolate Labrador called Tyler. I have been published since 2007 and have since had twenty-one novels published by small presses as well as Harlequin and eKensington.

 

Just recently I signed a 4-book contract with Aria Fiction in the UK and I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with such a wonderful, enthusiastic team. When I’m not writing, I like to read, knit, walk the English countryside and watch far too much TV.


Is The Mistress of Pennington’s a single title, or part of a series?

 

It’s book 1 in a brand-new Edwardian series, but I promise all the books will read well as stand-alone, too.

Please share your setting for The Mistress of Pennington’s. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?

 

The book is set in the city of Bath, England which is just a short thirty-minute drive from where I live. I adore Bath! It’s steeped in Georgian and Regency history and the architecture is astounding. If your visitors have never been to this historical city, I strongly them to do so. For me, the must-sees are the Bath Museum, Royal Crescent (including No1 which is open to the public), the Roman Baths and the Theatre Royal.

 

As for the department store where the majority of the action in The Mistress of Pennington’s takes place, that’s inspired by Le Bon Marche in Paris.

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

 

Ooh, great question! It would have to be Nora Roberts, Philippa Gregory, Margaret Mitchell, Jodi Picoult and Alex Grecian.

 

I am a huge fan of these authors and would love for them to share all their tips and plotting skills, so I can finally understand this writing thing!


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

 

My second obsession to writing is knitting – I absolutely love it! Nothing is more relaxing to me than sitting in front of the TV with my knitting. I literally can’t watch TV without a pair of needles in my hands – it feels so strange and, no matter how good the show, boring, lol! Every now and then, I consider if I could start a business selling my creations but, deep down, I know I’m nowhere good enough!


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

 

I’ve shared this advice a LOT over the course of my career, but it was truly the best advice I was ever given – ‘Give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft’.

If you can get rid of your internal editor and that little voice in your head saying, ‘you can’t do this’ ‘you’re not good enough’ or ‘every word is rubbish’, your output will quadruple, and you’ll get to the all-important END. A filled page can be polished, a blank page can’t. Simple!

What can I say?  I’ve been reading Ms. Brimble since she started and this is her best book to date.  She just nails with the first book in the series.  I will admit though, that this time period is a mystery to me.  I’ve read enough all of the “other” historical time periods, including hers to know what I’m reading.  But this?  Fascinating.  I don’t watch Downtown Abbey, so I’m clueless to the time.  It’s the woman’s movement and men are still stuck in the Regency period.  Heck, they have evolved into the Victorian Age yet.

To me, Ms. Brimble brings her vast knowledge of the area, the time period but most importantly her characters.  Ms. Brimble’s characters never cease to amaze me.  Elizabeth and Joseph have got to be some of my favorites that she has written.  It’s a clean, sweet romance between them and honestly, I’m grateful for that.  Elizabeth has been belittled, badgered and put down by her father for the longest time and she has decided that she doesn’t need a man.  Her father is just awful.  I’ve never read such a vile, cruel character in all my years.  It is no wonder that his wife…oops.  Almost gave away a plot point.  But when she meets Joseph and realizes that he has the same goals as her, what’s a gal to do?

Joseph is the enlightened character in the book.  He actually understands Elizabeth and what she wants to accomplish.  Plus, come on gloves?  No one wears them anymore but I do remember my grandmother’s and my mom wearing them.  Or at least having them.  Again, Ms. Brimble takes us into a world that is elegant, interesting and above all…not boring.  Reminder:  Harlie hates when an author gives too much detail in a historical romance and not enough about the characters.  Ms. Brimble never does that.  Her books are more character driven but she surprised me with the depth of detail in the relationship between the characters and the department store itself.  I actually pictured the scene in Wonder Woman where she is trying on clothes and went from there.

I wish I could write a novel about this book but I would bore you to tears.  Again, this is Ms. Brimble’s best book to date and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book at Pennington’s.

 

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.

 

In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a brand new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s, will release in July 2018.

 

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

 

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

Links:

 

http://rachelbrimble.com/

http://rachelbrimble.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/RachelBrimble

https://www.facebook.com/rachelbrimbleauthor/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RachelsReaders/?fref=ts

 

Amazon Author Page:

https://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Brimble/e/B007829ZRM/

 

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1806411.Rachel_Brimble

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

Rachel Brimble will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Category Thursday, Excerpt, Giveaways, Meme, New Release, Reviews

#Review of Mischief and Mayhem (a Whiskey Sisters novel #2) by L.E. Rico w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #contemporaryromance @RadioRico @entangledpub

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. L.E. Rico will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to Mayhem, Minnesota, home of the Knitty Kitty, The Little Slice of Heaven Pie Shop, and O’Halloran’s Pub—owned by the four young women known as The Whiskey Sisters.

In the wake of her divorce, Jameson O’Halloran has gone man-vegan. And this is one diet she’s determined to stick with. Even when her long-lost ex-brother-in-law shows up looking like two scoops of double dutch dipped in chocolate… She’s not giving in. Been there and still wearing the messy T-shirt.

It’s been a decade since Scott Clarke left his family and his hometown, never to return. But when tragedy strikes, he finds himself dragged back to the land of gossip, judgment, and the one woman he absolutely, positively, without a doubt can never have. His brother’s ex is off-limits. He just needs to keep repeating that to himself until it sinks in.

Read an Excerpt:

The shelf is a little too high for my short self, and I’m only able to brush the dishes with my fingertips.

“Oh, here, let me help you with that…”

Before I can object, he’s standing behind me, reaching over me to get the dishes. For a brief second, his front is pressed against my back. His broad, muscled, perfectly sculpted front. I feel a wave of unwelcome warmth beginning under my collar and creeping up my neck.

“Thanks…” I murmur awkwardly, keeping my back to him for a moment longer in an attempt to quash my blush.

“Okay. I’m just going to grab a shower before my brother gets here, if you don’t mind.”

“Nope. Not at all,” I say quickly. “You go right ahead.”

Once he disappears around the corner, I silently smack my palm to my forehead.
What was that, Jameson? Why the blush? He’s just your ex-husband’s brother, that’s all. This is insane. I’ve got to stop this childish behavior. No. More. Men. Remember? No thinking about men. No looking at men. No fantasizing about men.

Especially not that man!

I’m still shaking my head and silently berating myself when I hear him behind me.

“Hey, Jameson, do you happen to know if my dad keeps an extra toothbrush around? I dropped mine in the toilet and…”

I don’t hear the end of his sentence because, when I turn to face him, I suddenly can’t hear anything. I’m too entranced by the sight of him wearing nothing but a towel around his waist.

Oh, crap, oh crap, oh crap… I am in so much trouble here. No men. No men. No men… I repeat the mantra over and over again in my head, but clearly the rest of my body isn’t getting the memo.

Where do I start?  I mean really.  It’s like I waited FOREVER for this book in the series.  If you want a recap of my review of Henny’s story here you go: Hennessey’s Review.  So I won’t go into the sisters again in my review but let’s just say that they all play a very big part of this book and it is wonderful how Ms. Rico is able to use them in nonintrusive ways.  Bailey and Jameson’s side plot is brilliantly played out, even if my heart broke a bit.  Very realistically written and heartfelt.  Remember that Jameson is the oldest and Bailey the youngest.

Anyways, I’m here to tell you how much I just ADORED this book.  In some ways, it supersedes the first one and I’ll tell you why:

  1.  Jameson is the oldest sibling and feels like a failure.  In her marriage, in helping her sisters and at times her son, Jackson.  Jackson is hilarious in this book.  Unca Scott and beddy-bye are just two of his sayings.  Jameson carries some guilt when it comes to her mother’s death and still misses her. But what was great about that is she was finally able to “see” her mother when it came to the butterfly exhibit at the fair.  Trust me, I had a tear.  She fights for what she wants and doesn’t let her douche bag of an ex-husband take it from her.  Also, she cares deeply for her father in law and the feeling is mutual.
  2.  Scott.  I swooned.  Yes, swooned and pictured Josh Lucas as my Scott.  Just think Sweet Home Alabama and you’ll understand.  Anyway, I loved him from the start and when we finally understand why he left and then the fallout later in the book, my heart literally broke.  How could someone be that cruel to another human being?  I know, there are plenty of people out there but in the end, they don’t get their way.  Just the last scene in the bar spoke volumes to me in the sense that a certain douchebag will never get his way.
  3. The Pie Lady is back and spookier than ever.  She scares me.  Seriously.  Ms. Rico has written a secondary character that is funny, fun but reminds me somewhat of a fairy godmother.  In a spooky way.
  4. The celebrity cat scenes.  Laugh out loud funny.
  5. The mystery in regards to Win and Scott.  I really liked that plot point.  It showed me that the Clarkes were made of a certain character and didn’t back down.  Too bad Win didn’t get the same message.  Ungrateful little snot.
  6.  With this story, we didn’t have an outsider trying to take over something.  I love Brynn but this one was more about two childhood friends that made a pact that they both forgot about.  It’s about finding that true love when you think that you will never get it.  For finding that someone that makes you feel alive when you don’t think you deserve it.  For finding the peace in the reasons why you leave and but then find reasons for never leaving again.

Ms. Rico has written that rare second book in a series that really makes you think.  I’m not sure if I could have coped with what Scott went through all those years ago.  Jameson had to finally get her backbone when it came to Win and his ways.  Douchebag.  Yes, I will continue to say it.  It’s still a story about sisters but in the end, it’s about being true to yourself and fighting for what you truly want in life.

About the Author:

L.E. Rico didn’t set out to be an author. In fact she’s made a name for herself as a classical music radio host—doing her best to make the music and the composers relevant by putting them into a modern context. It was just a few years ago that she discovered a passion for writing that blossomed into an entire novel. And then another. And another. And, while she still spends plenty of time on the radio, telling the stories of the great composers, she spends even more time composing her own great stories.

https://www.laurenrico.com/
https://www.facebook.com/LaurenRicoAuthor
https://twitter.com/RadioRico
https://entangledpublishing.com/author/l-e-rico


Name the Nanny Contest

In addition to the tour wide Rafflecopter, the author is offering an additional special contest: “Name the Nanny!”

Create a quirky character and they could be featured in Lauren’s next book!
Contest page link: http://www.LaurenRico.com/Name-The-Nanny-Contest

A Note From the Author:

Name Mayhem, Minnesota’s newest resident!
Welcome to Mayhem, MN where the cats wear sweaters, the priest gives love advice, and you can find your fortune under a slice of pie.

Mayhem is filled with all kinds of quirky characters and I’m looking for one more!

In honor of the release of Mischief and Mayhem, book two of the Whiskey Sisters series, I’m in the market for a brand new character—a nanny who will fit in with the wacky bunch who live there.

Can you help?

Fill out this form and tell me about the nanny YOU think should become Mayhem’s latest resident! Name, physical features, and, most importantly, what makes them so quirky? Bonus points for snippets in the character’s voice and dialogue with existing characters from book one, Blame it on the Bet.

If your character is selected, he/she will be featured in an upcoming Whiskey Sisters storyline and you’ll get a shout-out in the acknowledgements!

All entries will be evaluated by myself in consultation with Entangled Publishing, LLC.

In the event that there are an insufficient number of viable entries, as determined by me, then I’ll create an assortment of characters—one to be chosen by popular vote with all voters entered in a random drawing. In this event, the winner will help select the character’s name & physical description and will receive a mention in the acknowledgments.

Haven’t read Blame it on the Bet yet? What are you waiting for?  Start getting acquainted with the Mayhem of Mayhem, Minnesota!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Trailer, Excerpt, New Release, Reviews, Teaser Excerpts

Happy Book Birthday & ARC #Review to Flip the Beat by Roxanne D. Howard! @RoxanneDHoward #contemporaryromance #NewAdult @BoroughsPubGrp

Flip the Beat

Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group

Release Date: July 10th, 2017

Genre(s): Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Modern-Day Fairy Tale, Romantic Comedy

Buy Link: http://boroughspublishinggroup.com/books/flip-beat

Description:

Molly Ivers thinks she is falling for the opposite of Prince Charming, and she knows she should give him up, but, oh, the temptation.

WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR

Molly Ivers thought she found Prince Charming, but without a devilishly sexy accent, and six months ago she gave into their undeniable attraction. But the swarm of ever-present groupies was so not part of the fairy tale. As much as it hurt her heart, she shut out rocker Evan Castle.

Now, on the verge of finishing her graduate degree and moving to Paris—she even hires a French life coach—Molly begins to realize Evan, who hasn’t given up on her, might be the man of her dreams after all.

Excerpt:

Molly laughed while she told her what had happened last night, though at the moment, she wasn’t sure it was a joke. She sighed and left the computer to go make scrambled eggs. Nell followed her to the kitchen.

“So, should I call you ‘Number One’ now?”

She could never keep a straight face with Nell. Molly speared a peach slice with a fork and nibbled the end of it. Sweetness filled her mouth. “‘Make it so.’ No, nerd. He seems pretty cool. I mean, if I check it out, this may turn out to be a positive change. At the least, he’ll get me in shape for Paris. His bio says he’s from Giverny, and he’s a retired civil-rights attorney. His website says that when he retired, he decided to change his objective to improving people’s lives, which is why he’s a life coach. Pretty impressive.”

“So, you’re going through with it?”

“Going through with what?” They both looked into the living room, where a bemused Evan stood half naked and barefoot in a pair of black pajama bottoms. Molly licked nectar off the peach on the end of her fork to save it from dropping to the floor. Evan’s jaw tightened, and his eyes gleamed as he zeroed in on her. He cleared his throat and lifted an empty half gallon of milk. “Sorry, you left the door cracked open. I came to borrow milk.”

“Jesus, Evan! Knock next time, or at least text. I’m in my panties.” Nell smacked him on the arm and tugged down her nightshirt as she ran past him into her bedroom.

“Sorry,” he said, but he seemed distracted as he strode toward Molly, eyes glued to her lips. She sucked the rest of her peach slice into her mouth and wiped at a little of the nectar at the corner of her lips. Her cheeks blazed at the hungry longing in his eyes. She turned away to open the fridge to get the milk. It wasn’t uncommon for them to borrow food from one another, and he always watched out for them. He had a comforting, protective nature she’d gotten used to.

She grew painfully aware of her night shorts, which had a tendency to ride up her butt and cut off at mid-thigh, and her thin white tank top. Could he see her nipples? And jeez, Louise, why did they have to harden every time he came near her?

She pushed hair out of her face and poured the milk into his empty half gallon. “Help yourself to the fruit in the bowl there. Nell had leftovers. How much milk do you want?”

“Enough for a bowl of cereal, please. I’ll get some at the store later.” His voice only dropped that low and husky during sex. She stopped after she poured enough milk, then gave him extra.

Evan reached over her to open a nearby drawer. He took out a fork, inserted it into the flesh of a peach slice, and brought it to his lips.

“Forbidden fruit, hmm?”

He teased the fruit around his lips with a wicked smirk. He winked at her and sank his teeth into half the peach as he watched her, licking it. Her mouth went dry. Oh, he knew what he was doing.

 

Every read a debut author and thought, the second book won’t be as good?  *raises hand*  All the time.  I know, I have no shame.  So I read Ms. Howard’s first book, Sonnet Coupled and was completely blown away by it.  So I signed up to read her second book, Flip the Beat and this is no sophomore slump.  Granted this book is way hotter than her first, this one had a depth to it that I wasn’t expecting.  Plus, it is much shorter, so I really didn’t know what to think.

Let me assure you, that while shorter, Ms. Howard reveals the plot very slowly.  Yes, slowly.  Sure Molly and Evan are hot and heavy in the book but when you peel an onion, you get a whole lot of layers.  And this story has more layers than an onion.  Slowly, bits and pieces of Evan are revealed and he is NOT what he seems.  Molly’s character is much more straightforward but I will have to say, I was disappointed in not having some closure on her stepmother.  I know, I’m weird but this being a fairytale, I wanted it.  Even if it was just a slap in the face or a sentence or two in the epilogue.

This story is based on Cinderella but with a great twist.  In fact, since Ms. Howard told the story with some many layers, I didn’t figure anything out at all.  I was totally surprised with how everything unfolded.  Ms. Howard is one of those rare authors that doesn’t show her hand in her writing until its necessary.  I love that about her.  Her secondary characters are top notch, too.  Nell and Jorge were hilarious, as was her life coach.  *wink*

I absolutely adored Molly and Evan.  It is a very well balanced book with plenty of hot smexy times, great character growth and a very plausible plot that is also realistic.  Trust me, the blurb doesn’t even tell you 1/4 of the story.  Again, layers people.  Layers…

 

Check out the Official Book Trailer on YouTube!

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F91975X/

Boroughs Publishing Group: http://boroughspublishinggroup.com/books/flip-beat

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40649672-flip-the-beat 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/flip-the-beat

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/flip-the-beat-roxanne-d-howard/1129032378?ean=2940155322672

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/874148

Follow Roxanne’s book releases over the next six months. Be sure to add the books to your TBR pile!

About the Author:

Roxanne D. Howard writes sizzling erotic romance with Boroughs Publishing Group and The Wild Rose Press. She is a U.S. Army veteran, and a Columbia College alumni. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. Also, she is an avid Star Wars fan, musical theater nut, and marine biology geek. Roxanne resides in the western U.S., and when she’s not writing, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband, children, and furry companions. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media.

Other Books by This Author

Sonnet Coupled

Social Media Links (for Roxanne):

Website: www.roxannedhoward.com

Newsletter: http://roxannedhoward.com/subscribe/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RoxanneDHoward

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roxanned.howard/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15019190.Roxanne_D_Howard