My Favorite Books of 2014

I didn’t have a lot of time to read this year (something I hope to fix next year!) but I still managed to read some amazing books. Some of them were by longtime favorite authors of mine, and a couple of them were by authors I hadn’t read before. In no particular order, here they are:

Christmas At Twilight

Lori Wilde’s Christmas at Twilight. This book was heart-wrenching and beautiful. It touches on some dark issues, and it will leave you crying happy tears by the end. Reading it during the Christmas season makes it all the more special, so if you get a chance to read it this month, you really should! :) Lori is my teacher and mentor, and I’m always a big fan of her books, but just read the other reviews if you think I’m biased. This book is fabulous.

Carolina Man

Virginia Kantra’s Carolina Man. This was my first book of Virginia’s, and she had me tearing up on page two when the hero rescues a homeless dog while serving overseas. I was hooked, and she never let me go. This book was everything I look for in a romance: heartfelt, emotional, a vibrant small town setting (of course I’m partial to books set in NC!) and the furry sidekicks didn’t hurt either. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

ItHappenedOneWedding

It Happened One Wedding by Julie James. Julie is an auto-buy author for me. She served up more of the witty, fast-paced banter I’ve come to expect from her in this one, but it was also a really heartwarming story with characters I adored. Her glossy Chicago-set books are a nice departure from the small town southern contemporaries I usually read, and this one is one of my favorites she’s written!

ItsInHisKiss

It’s in His Kiss by Jill Shalvis. It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Jill Shalvis, and her Lucky Harbor series is hands-down my favorite contemporary romance series. This is the 10th book in the series, and one of my favorites, which is saying a lot, as she had already set the bar high in Lucky Harbor. I adored Sam and Becca. Their story was so heartfelt and touching. I loved everything about this book!

Shelter Me

Shelter Me by Catherine Mann. Catherine was another new author for me. A friend recommended her, and as soon as I saw the cover, I knew I had to read this book. As you might have guessed based on my own books, I’m a huge sucker for a book involving animal rescue, and this one, well…Catherine delves even deeper into the gritty realities of animal rescue than I do in Unleashed. I cried several times reading it. It’s definitely a heavy book, but ultimately so heartwarming. I highly recommend it!

Head over to my Facebook page, because I’ll be giving away copies of these books, and Unleashed, all week! Don’t miss it! :)

Lots of fun things coming!

I have a lot of exciting things coming up in the next few weeks (namely lots of fun giveaways and other holiday goodies!). So here’s a quick rundown:

The week of December 8th, I’m celebrating some of my favorite books I’ve read so far this year with five days of giveaways. Every day next week, I’ll be giving away one of these books, as well as a copy of Unleashed. This is going to be a Facebook giveaway, so if you haven’t “liked” my author page yet, now is a good time! :)

GIVEAWAY (2)

Then on Friday December 12th, I’ll be joining 20 other contemporary romance authors for a 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop. We’ll be sharing holiday favorites and giving away lots of fun goodies. Stay tuned right here on my blog starting on the 12th!

12 Days of Chrismtas Blog Hop Buttons

And if that isn’t enough, I’ve got a cover reveal for Love to the Rescue book 3, Ever After, coming up soon. Might I remind you of the hotness of Deputy Pete Sampson? My editor was thoughtful enough to ask the cover model to pose for a shirtless picture for our enjoyment :)

photo (2)

Wow, right? I can’t wait to share the finished product with you! Ever After will be out on August 25th.

Oh! And don’t forget, For Keeps (book 2) will be out NEXT MONTH! Yes, January 27th. I hope you’ll love Merry and TJ’s story as much as I loved writing it. Have you pre-ordered your copy yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Make this new author’s day and order your copy today! (PS, if you didn’t hear the news, my Amazon pre-order buttons are back! Merry and TJ can be yours on your Kindle – woohoo!)

For Keeps cover_lo res

That’s all for now. Happy almost-Friday, everyone! :)

Unleashed is out today!

It’s finally here! Unleashed is out today in e-book and paperback, and I am pretty much freaking out!! :) In a good way! Like, I’ve just achieved a lifelong dream, the #1 item on my bucket list, etc, etc. Eeeeek! And then…friends, family, and total strangers will now be reading this book I worked so hard on, and…that’s a different kind of freaking out! :)

So have you bought your copy yet?

Unleashed cover_low resPaperback:
Amazon.com *
Walmart
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indie Bound
Powell’s

Ebook:
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
iBooks
Google Play
Kobo
Books-a-Million

 

In other news, my blog tour starts today! You’ll find me all over the place for the next week. Click on the graphic below for a complete rundown:

Unleashed-Blog-Tour

Today is also the release day for two other lovely authors I have the pleasure of knowing:

ChristmasAtTwilightLori is my teacher and mentor, and she is FABULOUS. I adore her Twilight, Texas, series and can’t wait to read this one!

 

 

 

 

FullContact

Sidney is a friend of mine. Her Worth the Fight series is hot and pure enjoyment to read!

 

 

 

 

* Amazon is delaying shipment of paperbacks from my publisher as part of an ongoing contract dispute, so I might recommend that you order it elsewhere if you want it in paperback unless you are willing to be patient! :)

RWA Conference – San Antonio

Me with my teacher and mentor, Lori Wilde

Me with my teacher and mentor, Lori Wilde

Remember when I went to that huge, awesome writers conference last year? I thought that would be hard to top – meeting my agent, editor, and all of my favorite authors in person for the first time. But I have to say, this year’s conference was even more amazing! We were in San Antonio, TX, right on the Riverwalk. It was a beautiful location.

I met so many amazing people, attended some great workshops, had a little conversation with Nora Roberts, and basically packed my brain full of as much information and inspiration as I could absorb. The conference is such an amazing opportunity to meet and network with fellow authors, and this year I came out of my shell and talked to a lot more people.

rwa14_19Oh, and this one other little thing happened…I signed books! My publisher arranged to have advanced copies of Unleashed for me to sign at the Grand Central signing on Saturday. It was totally surreal! My hands were shaking so badly I could hardly write. But once we got started, it went great. Only three more months until I will officially be a published author! :)

Click here to see the rest of my photos from San Antonio.

With Love for Cowboys

CowboySo I must confess: I am a recent convert to cowboy romance. It’s true. Until recently, I had never even read a cowboy romance. The shame, right? Well, I’ve finally realized what I’ve been missing!

Earlier this year, I read Lori Wilde’s The Cowboy Takes a Bride, and I was hooked. What’s not to love about a cowboy? They’re sexy, strong, and they love horses. I’m reading A Cowboy for Christmas right now and loving it. I’ve even just finished writing my first cowboy hero (although you’ll have to wait another year to read it!). I hope you’ll love him as much as I do. He’s a large animal vet who loves his family, his horses, and maybe, just maybe, the girly-girl dog trainer helping out at his summer camp too. :)

I’m still fairly new to cowboys though, so tell me, what should I read next? What’s your favorite cowboy romance?

RWA Annual Conference

Every year, the Romance Writer’s of America has this huge, annual conference where literally thousands of romance writers, agents and editors gather in one hotel for several days of workshops, book signings, parties, and awards. And this year, I went! It was a little bit terrifying, and a whole lot amazing.

rwa03

Me, Lori Wilde, and Annie Rains

My first night in Atlanta was the RWA Literacy Signing, where over 400 published authors gathered to sign books to benefit literacy. I met most of my favorite authors, and they were all SO nice, so friendly and approachable. It was really amazing.

I met my teacher and mentor, Lori Wilde, and she is even more fabulous in person! Three years ago, she kicked my butt and showed me how much I still needed to learn. I am so honored to have had her guidance along the way. Lori is amazing!

rwa07a

Rachel Kall, Shannon Richard, our lovely agent Sarah Younger, and me.

I also met my agent and my editor, attended too many great workshops to name, and even a few parties.

The highlight of the week was Saturday night’s Golden Heart and Rita Awards Ceremony. This is the “Oscars” of romance writing, and it was amazing to be there, watching the awards being given out.

 

rwa12a

My critique partner and conference-roomie Annie Rains and me before the awards ceremony.

This conference was epic for me. Not only for all the amazing people I met and all the new information I learned, but also for the overall shift in my attitude toward actually seeing myself as a soon-to-be-published romance author, and not just a shy girl writing stories at home on her laptop :)

See the rest of my pictures from RWA13 here.