You may or may not have noticed an absence of Romancing the Weekend last weekend – that’s because I was in Dallas at the RT Booklover’s Convention (and I don’t plan ahead). I went with my Sister-in-Law/BFF, Hannah, and we roomed with Sabrina (The Geeky Junkee), Jannelle (Jannelle Reads), and Michelle (Sporadic Liaiason).
(The view of the lobby from our room door)
There was so much going on, I don’t even know where to begin… I guess let me start with the trip to Dallas – I drove from NOLA to Houston to pick up my BFF, then from Houston to Dallas. So here I’ll address the beaver in the post title: HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE AWESOMENESS THAT IS BUC-EE’S? I’m talking to you, Texans. Seriously, it’s awesome – all that beef jerky, barbecue, “road food”, knick-knacks, and souvenirs. (I may have purchased a necklace but I’m not confirming or denying that.)
Okay, so, the convention… it was Amazeballs! I am a very shy person, so I can say I saw a lot of authors, like Grace Draven, Molly Harper, Chloe Neill, and Patricia Briggs, but I didn’t approach them. They weren’t in a panel setting so I was too nervous to say hi. I did meet Ilona and Gordon Andrews at a panel, and Jennifer Estep, Kresley Cole, Alice Clayton, Lauren Dane, Tiffany Reisz, Victoria Dahl, and Sophie Jordan at signings – where I stared a lot but didn’t say much 😉 At one point during the week, Patricia Briggs and her husband sat down and waited in line a few feet ahead of us! They were there for hours chatting with their group, just like the rest of us. *mind blown*
In addition to my favorite authors, though, I got to meet so many bloggers – I knew Lupe from Hot Listens last year, but I got to meet her co-blogger Melanie. Melanie and I share the same birthday so we had birthday shots at the hotel bar. I also got to meet Stephanie, who was so funny and nice. I met Mandi from Smexybooks at RT in New Orleans last year, but I ended up sitting next to Tori at dinner Friday night which was a pleasant surprise. I also have to mention Felicia the Geeky Blogger, whose room was across from ours – sorry we were so loud!
I also got to meet some of wonderful women who work at Berkley and Harlequin. It was nice to put a face with the e-mails and they were so gracious and friendly.
I didn’t attend many panels this year – mostly I did the fun stuff: Gay Cards Against Humanity, Books Booze and More, Cover Model Karaoke, and of course, Entangled‘s Candy and Spoons -Last year I was the first one out at our table. This year? I won! I was so surprised, I didn’t even realize I had won It was a fierce competition; we’d been trash-talking each other all year. Someone may have left the table with a bruise…
One thing they don’t tell you about RT is that there are a lot of lines. If you want to get in to the popular events, you’ve got to get there early:
(This is the line for Saturday’s Book Fair. We were at the very front of the line, but we got there very early.)
You know what, though? I had fun doing that too. Hanging with my roomies, sending someone on “booze runs” so we could drink while we were waiting, chatting and having fun:
While we were waiting for one event, we were interviewed by Buzzfeed, and Michelle and Jannelle made the articles!!! Check it here (#9 and #15) and here (#2; #7 was my answer but I didn’t want my picture taken – shy, remember?). Now they’re #internetfamous
The books – oh the books! There were so many books, people were worried about how to get them home. And many times you had the opportunity to have the authors sign them, which was great.
The award for Best Swag goes to Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick – The Last Kiss Eos were fabulous. My kids wanted to fight me for mine when I got home I also love the pretty pink nail polish from Romance at Random.
I need to give a shout-out to one of the volunteers at the convention – Jane L. – she was EVERYWHERE! She was friendly and helpful and never seemed to be tired or grumpy. I honestly don’t know how she did it.
I have to say it was so much fun, we’re already planning for next year – in Las Vegas!! This time the husbands want to come along…
I want to end on this note: One thing I was surprised about was that I walked away from the convention with not only a sense of community, but of body-positivity and self-confidence. When I sit at home and blog or tweet, I feel like a big old ugly lump while imagining all these other bloggers/authors/readers are beautiful and perfect. Guess what? They’re not. They’re just like you and me and they come in all shapes and sizes. You’re not perfect? No one cares as long as you’re not an asshole. And it felt good to be a part of it.
I came home from RT with a bunch of books to give away. Unfortunately, I do not get paid to blog, nor am I independently wealthy, which means I’m going to space the giveaways out over the next couple of weeks so that the postage isn’t too painful for my wallet I have two giveaways today for readers with a US address (sorry international peeps), enter via rafflecopters below:
Print copies of:
Rules of Entanglement by Gina L. Maxwell;
Cat’s Lair by Christine Feehan;
An American Duchess by Sharon Page; and
Last Kiss by Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick.
I’ll also throw in a shot glass, a silly highlighter, a cup koozie, and a cup.
Bonus – an ashtray made by inmates out of a licence plate (not RT related but I’m including it anyway).
a Rafflecopter giveaway
A thumb drive from Carina Press with 18 e-books on it (epub format), including:
Radio Silence by Alyssa Cole;
Ripped by Edie Harris;
Heat Exchange by Shannon Stacey;
and Game Play by Lynda Aicher.
I’ll also throw in some lip gloss, a pair of margarita earrings, and some dog tags.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Hey hey hey! Patti here with a Sunday treat – we are pleased to be on the blog tour for Julia London’s latest book, The Scoundrel and the Debutante! This is the third book in her popular Cabot Sisters trilogy and it looks good – a heroine who’s ruined in the eyes of the ton and an American hero? Sign me up please!
I have one copy of The Scoundrel and the Debutante by Julia London courtesy of the publisher. Enter via rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The dust of the Cabot sisters' shocking plans to rescue their family from certain ruin may have settled, but Prudence Cabot is left standing in the rubble of scandal. Now regarded as an unsuitable bride, she's tainted among the ton. Yet this unwilling wallflower is ripe for her own adventure. And when an irresistibly sexy American stranger on a desperate mission enlists her help, she simply can't deny the temptation. Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of more than thirty romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular Cabot Sisters historical series, including The Trouble with Honor, The Devil Takes a Bride, and The Scoundrel and the Debutante. She is also the author of several contemporary romances, including Homecoming Ranch, Return to Homecoming Ranch and The Perfect Homecoming. Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction. She lives in Austin, Texas. Facebook Twitter Website
The fate of Roan Matheson's family depends on how quickly he can find his runaway sister and persuade her to return to her betrothed. Scouring the rustic English countryside with the sensually wicked Prudence at his side—and in his bed—he's out of his element. But once Roan has a taste of the sizzling passion that can lead to forever, he must choose between his heart's obligations and its forbidden desires.
PJV Quickie: Once again the writing team of Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick has wowed me! You wouldn’t think that a heroine with Autism and a hero who’s a cold-blooded killer would work together, but take my word for it, it works. Sexy, sensual, funny, and dramatic, Last Kiss held me captive until the end.
Vasily is an enforcer for the Russian Bratva. Life in the Petrovich Bratva has made him ruthless and hard. After the death of the current leader, Vasily has designs on the top spot and has been given a task to prove his loyalty – he must find a rare painting that was once owned by the Petrovich family but has disappeared over time. If he can obtain it, the Petrovich Bratva is his to lead. Vasily knows exactly who can help him find it – the computer hacker known as the Emperor. There is nothing the Emperor can’t find online, and Vasily will give him whatever he wants to find the painting.
Naomi Hays has been held captive for the past 18 months by a Colombian drug cartel. In order to survive captivity she made herself useful by funneling money into untraceable accounts for her captors. She likes computers – they’re logical and methodical and comforting. When she’s the Emperor she feels safe and calm. But now she’s been kidnapped again, this time by a severe Russian who wants her to find a painting for him.
Thrown together by fate, or necessity, these two unconventional characters find something special in each other as they travel across Europe searching for the painting. But their time together is running out… Vasily knows Naomi must go back to her family, and Naomi knows Vasily won’t want her anymore once he has the painting.
Having read and loved the previous books in Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick’s Hitman series, I had very high hopes for Last Kiss. We met Vasily in the previous book, Last Breath, and I was looking forward to knowing more about him. I was also curious about the heroine, Naomi, because her brother spent the last book looking for her. Can you read Last Kiss without reading the previous books in the series? Yes, but I would advise you to read them because it does give you more back story about the characters.
Last Kiss started out fast with Vasily trying to figure out how to take over the Bratva, and carrying out Naomi’s “rescue” from the cartel. Naomi has Asperger’s, and is a computer genius, but she needs calm and familiar things, like her baseball cap. She’s thrown into chaos and Vasily must work around her “quirks” to convince her to help him. Their attraction grows, but it’s the most unusual romance I think I’ve read. Her germophobia and her tendency to become fixated on an idea made for some intense reading – sometimes funny and sometimes sad, often introspective, and always interesting.
We get both Naomi and Vasily’s point of view in Last Kiss, and I think it brought a lot to the story as both characters have a lot of internal stuff going on. Because of that, I didn’t really ‘feel’ their relationship at first, but as I read it suddenly clicked and made sense. And then I loved it. The second half of the book sped along and dragged me with it, wanting happiness for these two with all my heart.
There’s a lot of action, some suspense, an unforgettable trip to an exclusive sex club, and one of the most swoonworthy lines whispered by a hero, ever.
If you’re looking for something different or like unusual heroes or heroines, you will probably enjoy Last Kiss. Fans of Kresley Cole’s Game Maker series will definitely enjoy Last Kiss.
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.
Naomi: When I was kidnapped I thought only of survival. I don’t thrive well in chaos. That’s why I gave my captors exactly what they wanted: my skill with computers. Making millions for a crime lord who kept me imprisoned in his basement compound kept my family safe. When he was taken out, I thought my ticket to freedom had arrived. Wrong. I traded one keeper for another. This time I’m in the hands of a scarred, dark, demanding Russian who happens to be the head of the Bratva, a Russian crime organization. He wants my brain and my body. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued, but I can’t be a prisoner forever...no matter how good he makes me feel.
Vasily: At a young age, I was taught that a man without power is a puppet for all. I’ve clawed—and killed—my way to the top so that it is my heel on their necks. But to unify the fractured organization into an undefeatable machine, I need a technological genius to help me steal one particular artifact. That she is breathtaking, determined, and vulnerable is making her more dangerous than all of my enemies combined. But only I can keep her safe from the world that she now inhabits. Soon, I must choose between Naomi and Bratva law. But with every day that passes, this becomes a more impossible choice.
Hi all, Patti here! If you follow my reviews at all, you’ll know how much I love New Adult, and Brighton Walsh’s Caged in Winter series
looks pretty darn good. I haven’t read this series yet but it is on my wishlist; Tessa Ever After is the 2nd book in the series.
Parajunkee’s View is pleased to be on the Tessa Ever After blog tour -Berkley Romance is sponsoring a giveaway of Tessa Ever After; enter via rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
In this grippingly emotional New Adult novel from the author of Caged in Winter, what you want isn’t always what you need… Brighton Walsh spent nearly a decade as a professional photographer before deciding to take her storytelling in a different direction and reconnect with her first love: writing. When she’s not pounding away at the keyboard, she’s probably either reading or shopping—maybe even both at once. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children, and, yes, she considers forty degrees to be hoodie weather. Her home is the setting for frequent dance parties, Lego battles, and more laughter than she thought possible. Her debut novel, Caged in Winter, is available now from Berkley/Penguin. She is represented by Mandy Hubbard of D4EO Literary Agency. Facebook Twitter Website
Jason’s been living (and loving) the rich playboy lifestyle for five years, but now his parents are pressuring him to get involved in the family business. The last thing he wants is another obligation, but when his best friend moves out of state and asks Jason to look after his sister, he can’t just say no.
Tessa had to grow up way too soon. After dealing with the aftermath of her parents’ deaths, then becoming a teenage mom, she knows the meaning of responsibility. Which is why, at twenty-two, she’s looking for so much more than a party boy. She’s looking for someone who can stand by her and her daughter…forever.
A relationship between them is doomed from the start, but who says they can’t have a little fun? But as Jason gets closer to Tessa—and her daughter—fun starts to turn into something else… Something Jason’s not sure he’s ready for.
PJV Quickie: Funny, sexy, and full of “did she just say that?”, Pucked is a quirky comedy of nerdy proportions. While I laughed many, many times, there were a few instances where wish the author would have toned it down a bit. Overall, though, I’ll be reading more by Helena Hunting.
Violet Hall has a “no more hockey players” dating rule. This rule is non-negotiable, even though she’s surrounded by them on any given day: she’s an accountant who works for a PR firm specializing in sports financial management and her step-father scouts for the NHL. Her step-brother Buck has recently been traded to the her local team, and when her mother forces her to go see one of Buck’s games as a show of support, Violet plans to ditch the party early. She doesn’t expect to meet the sexy team captain, Alex Waters, and is pleasantly surprised to find that he’s also smart and funny…too bad he’s a player- the hockey kind and the manwhore kind.
Alex Waters loves hockey – there’s nothing he wants to do more than play hockey. He’s on the cusp of finally scoring major sports endorsements that have eluded him for years, and all seems right in his world. Then he meets Buck’s step-sister, and she’s funny and sexy and their chemistry together is undeniable. He wants to spend more time together, but she’s put off by his playboy reputation, one he didn’t actually earn.
An accidental one-night stand turns into something much more, and while Violet’s heart is all in, her head doesn’t know if she should believe Alex’s words, or his reputation.
I read and enjoyed The Librarian Principle, so when Pucked came up for review I was thrilled. Ms. Hunting writes funny, quirky, sexy characters, and to throw hockey into the mix makes this girl a happy, happy reader.
Right from the first chapter Pucked is funny: Violet’s lack of brain-to-mouth filter makes for some hysterical observations. Her quirky banter with Alex was cringeworthy at times, which made me really like her character. And I liked Alex – I really liked Alex. You never expect a sports hero to be nerdy and awkward and I loved that he was so unsure of himself around Violet, not a testosterone-fueled caveman at all. The sexy stuff between these two was palpable and I probably could have cooked a meal over the heat coming off the pages.
BUT… but, while the characters are fun and the sex is plentiful, (and I can’t believe I’m actually saying this) I would have liked to see maybe a little less sex and little more character development. The story was relationship-driven, so we didn’t get a real feel for what these two were like when they weren’t together. Also, there were times when the writing was hysterically funny and times when it felt a bit forced- there are only so many times I can read monster cocks, beaver jokes and “jilling off” before it starts to feel a bit repetitive.
That being said, Pucked was a fun read and I am hoping that this isn’t a stand-alone and that there might be more stories to follow.
If you like hockey romance and quirky, funny stories, I’d say give this one a go. Fans of Alice Clayton and Penny Reid will appreciate the humorous aspects of this story.
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.
With a famous NHL player for a step-brother, Violet Hall is well acquainted with the playboy reputation many hockey stars come with. She’s smart enough to steer clear of those hot, well-built boys with unparalleled stamina. That is until she meets the legendary team captain—Alex Waters.
Violet isn’t interested in his pretty, beat-up face, or his rock-hard six-pack abs. But when Alex inadvertently obliterates Violet’s previous misapprehension regarding the inferior intellect of hockey players, he becomes more than just a hot body with a face to match.
In what can only be considered a complete lapse in judgment, Violet finds out just how good Alex is with the hockey stick in his pants. But what starts out as a one-night stand, quickly turns into something more. Post-night of orgasmic magic, Alex starts to call, and text, and e-mail and send extravagant—and quirky—gifts, making him difficult to ignore, and even more difficult not to like.
The problem is, the media portrays Alex as a total player, and Violet doesn’t want to be part of the game.
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