Labor Day Hop!

Starting 9/1 through 9/15, Romance at Random, & the participating sites below, are hosting a blog hop with FREE books! Enter your name into the Rafflecopter & you could be chosen to win:

  • A Free Romance book! (10 winners in all)
  • Be one of 5 winners to win a prize pack from author Elisabeth Barrett (check out her new release, BLAZE OF WINTER, below)
  • Grand Prize is a $25 eGC
  • First-prize winner gets a $15 gift card to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes and a copy of either About Last Night or a preorder copy of my next release, a Christmas novella called Room at the Inn that will be coming out as part of an anthology in December — winner’s choice.
  •  Second-  and third-prize winners also get a copy of either About Last Night or Room at the Inn — winner’s choice.
  • BLAZE OF WINTER by Elisabeth Barrett a Rafflecopter giveaway//

    Surprise Giveaway with Cristal Ryder!

    While putting this Sweet, Sexy, Scorching Giveaway Hop together, it opened my eyes to new authors. There were many I had never heard of and now I cannot wait to read their books. I just wish I could read all these new books at the same time! *sigh* If only that could happen.

    One author I came across is Cristal Ryder. Not only do her books look sinfully delicious, but she is an extremely sweet woman. I was blind sided by how easy (and willing!) she was to talk to! It was delightful surprise. They way she took the time to answer each question thoroughly makes me want to read her books even more. But it wasn’t just the blog hop stuff, it was the genuine kindness in her words that I liked so much.  Below is a guess who snippet from one of her male heroes and an excerpt to her new book Rock-Hard Heat, out today. Enjoy!

    Can you figure out who I am? Let’s see if I can stump you. Okay, I’ll give you the first hint, an easy one.  A gimmie for you, I’m a guy that loves women. But I’ve been burned and I’m a little cautious of you gals. You can be so soft and sweet and warm one minute, and then like a spitting cat the next. Totally confusin’. Now to be a bit cryptic – make you think a little *evil smile* I have two items of clothin’ that I wear every day and they do help with what I do. Ride. Oh and one can get slung onto the bedpost. Think about it.
    I make my home in the wild and remote west where Mother Nature can be kind or cruel. It tests me and my lovely heroine at one point. There is a little bit of family intrigue that dates way back when and has to do with that fine precious metal – gold. We have to ride into the mountains to see these places my ancestors prospected.
    I’m not a fan of talking about how I look, but I’ve been asked. So, all I’ll give ya is I’m tall, fairly athletic and would have no problem lifting my darlin’ into my arms. What I do for a living keeps me fit and muscles toned.
    Front of a roarin’ fire or a blanket in the snow. Take your pick. I’ll have no trouble keepin’ ya warm.
    Do you know me yet?

    Sounds scrumptious, doesn’t he? If you want to know more about this hero, check out the  Who Am I ? link. 

    An Excerpt From: ROCK-HARD HEAT
    Copyright © CRISTAL RYDER, 2012
    All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

    It had been a glorious couple of days before Chet had to head down and get back to real life. She smiled and enjoyed the heat that bloomed in her belly, remembering their first lovemaking session after being apart for so many months. Desire for her cowboy never failed to heat her blood and she longed for him now. She wanted him with her in the soft mountain water, which caressed her skin so seductively.

    The grime and dust of her prospecting activities at Chet’s great-great-uncle Chester’s old claim sluiced off in the creek’s current and left her skin pink and tingly. She wasn’t ready to get out yet and closed her eyes, drifting lazily.

    Chet couldn’t confirm when he’d be back and Jenna had gotten used to staying here on her own when he wasn’t with her. At first, he’d been hesitant to leave her, but she insisted and he’d learned a while ago how stubborn she could be. So they compromised. He made sure she was checked on daily by a ranch hand, had taught her to shoot and left the rifle by the door. The radio was primed in case she needed immediate help and his dog Belle stayed with her. All was good with the world.

    Letting her legs drop, Jenna curled her toes into the creek bed and stood. The water was deep, just covering her breasts. They bobbed at the surface, buffeted by little eddies of current. She tipped back, ducked her head in the water and swept her long red tresses out of her face. When she stood, it hung to her shoulders and fanned out on the surface of the water like a halo.

    A sense of wellbeing filled her and her heart swelled with happiness. Never had such a strong sensation of belonging, being home, been so sharply etched within her. She knew she had been born on the wrong side of the continent. It was here she should have grown up and experienced life, not back east. Jenna inhaled the crisp mountain air and gazed at the bush around her. It was just as beautiful in the summer as in the winter. Her love for this land grew daily and it truly pained her to think of leaving it. And Chet.

    She brushed the disturbing thought aside. It was a while before she’d be packing her bags. Jenna’s gaze took in the brand new sluice box. Chet had replaced the broken-down one with a much more modern setup here at the creek and farther up-river where the tree came down. Chester’s old one was being restored and eventually would be donated to a local history museum. She was determined to find his secret claim and Chet had humored her all the way. Jenna smiled and excitement bubbled inside her at the news she had to tell him.

    The gurgle of water over the dam of rocks mixed delightfully with the birds singing in the trees. Jenna was at peace. She sighed and shivered with a slight chill from the cool mountain water. Goose bumps rose along her flesh and her nipples hardened, aching with the cold. She cupped her breasts in her palms, the hard nubs pressing against her flesh. This time the shiver that rippled through her wasn’t from being chilled.

    “Chet, when are you going to get here?” she whispered to the silence of the surrounding trees.

    “What’s the matter, darlin’? Miss me?”

    Jenna spun around, sending a splash of water in a sparkling arc. The wonderful, sexy drawl of Chet’s voice slipped around her like hot honey and she warmed under his gaze. He stood on the little rocky beach where they had made love on the bank of chilly snow last winter. She couldn’t help the smile that broke wide on her face when their eyes met.

    “Chet.” His name fell from her lips in a breathy sigh.

    He had one booted foot propped on a large rock, his elbow rested on his knee. The faded, worn jeans tightened over his muscular thighs and Jenna’s breath snagged in her chest. She let her gaze roam over the typical plaid cowboy shirt which also strained across his powerful chest and shoulders. He poked his cowboy hat back with a finger and winked at her. She knew what lay beneath those clothes and she hungered for him. He was a feast for her eyes and she needed feeding.

    “Now then, this sure is a sight to behold. It’s a damn good thing I decided to come myself and not send Blake to check on you.”

    “I’d say I have to agree with that, cowboy.”

    “Last time I checked we didn’t have mermaids in these parts. Just goes to show you can learn somethin’ new every day.” He straightened and started to unbutton his shirt. “Want some company?”

    “I thought you’d never ask.”

    Since Rock-Hard Heat was released today, I will being giving away a copy of it from Ellora’s Cave! Please fill out the Rafflecopter form. It makes my like much easier when choosing a winner.  The contest will run one week. Thank you and good luck!  a Rafflecopter giveaway//

    Sweet, Sexy, Scorching Giveaway Hop- RG Alexander




    Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for us today.
    *I have noticed you have a few new covers on your coming soon page. Can you tell us a little about them?
    Sure! Wicked Release is book three in the Wicked3 series that a lot of readers have been asking for. It will be coming out within the first two weeks of September (so really soon now).
    My Vampire Idol is book three in the Shifting Reality series, and that’s coming out in early October.
    *Do you prefer to write series? Why?
    I do love a series. Reading them and writing them. It’s rare for me to write a stand-alone. I always find a side character that I wonder about. That I’m drawn to. I always find that there is more of a story to tell.
    In Wicked Release, we’ve kind of left a Magian brother hanging *G* so we have to fix that.
    And My Vampire Idol, same situation. Left him hanging. But it was worth the wait. That broody vampire is not going to know what hit him.
    * I haven’t read this series yet but by the looks and sounds of it I sure need to. If there was one thing you could tell me about these books (series) that isn’t in the blurbs to get me to read it, what would it be?

     I would say for the Shifting Reality series: My Shifter Showmance, My Demon Saint and now My Vampire Idol…imagine if you will a world where shifters, vampires and demons exist, and some of them are sick and tired of hiding in the shadows. They want to vlog reality shows and create RPGs and let the world know they really do exist, consequences be damned. I loved mingling the world of the paranormal with modern tech and reality entertainment. Oddly, it just seemed to fit.

    The Wicked series is about a species of genetic witches known as Magians, one family in particular, and their quest for the perfect triad (yes, that means ménage) that will enhance their powers and fulfill their hearts. Wicked Sexy, the first story, started a bit of a sensation…and Wicked Release offers tantalizing glimpses into past books, as well as potentials for the future.

    It’s a fun, magical world living right in line with ours. And I’m really happy I’ve had a chance to return.
    * Two books with in a month of each other wow that’s a big accomplishment! How do you do it? Do you keep a writing schedule? what else is in the works for us?
    I’ve actually been delayed quite a bit, life being the complex and wonderfully chaotic thing it is-And I’ve had a few other books for publishers (the Veil series etc) to complete-but I wanted to fulfill some promises I made to my readers. That is my strongest incentive to crack the whip. 
    And yes, more is on the way.
    * I noticed that theses are self published, why self publishing?
    Well, for these two particular books, it is ALL about…as I said before…the readers. I don’t want to make them wait any longer than they have to for the next installment. But I have to admit, I really enjoy the process too. Making the covers myself, handling all the little details etc.
    * Did you do these covers as well? WOW they are beautiful! 
    *blush* Yes, I did. Thank you! I’ve done a few covers for TJ Michaels and Eden Bradley as well as some graphics for The Smutketeers. (For someone who is NOT technically minded, I’m kind of addicted to Photoshop) I hope people like them.
    * Now this is my favorite question, If you could come with a warning label… what would it say?
    A warning label for myself? I suppose it would say “Warning: Innocent packaging hides a warped and wicked mind. Unwrap at your own risk. Also, keep breakable objects out of reach.”
    Is there anything that you would like your readers to know? Any special events or activities that you are planning?
    Yes! The Smutketeers, my group blog with several other amazing authors, are putting together a few fantastic contests for the fall and holiday seasons. At the end of September, we’re planning on having another palooza party-this one focusing on paranormal romance authors. Look for shifters, vampires, the undead, faeries and some of your favorite authors joining in! Also…well the Smutketeers have a VERY special Xmas planned in December. (oh and also most of us will have a holiday release sometime in November *wink*)
    Now for a quickie-
    *Sandals or pumps? Barefoot unless I’m forced into shoes…then sandals. I would hurt someone in heels lol

    *Jeans or pearls? Jeans all the way.

    *Cowboys or CEOs? The body/endurance of a cowboy and the brain of a CEO could work. Wait…is this cowboy a shifter? Details are important. (and yes, I’m kind of picky)

    *Up against a wall or soft and sensual? *blush* The wall. Definitely the wall.
    *Flirty girl drink or beer? Flirty girl drink. I’m a total lightweight.
    *Tattoos or piercing? Tattoos!!
    RG will be giving away a $10.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway// document.write(”);

    Spotlight: Loving Lady Marcia

    Here’s a little snippet from a random page—I’m leaving out the guy’s name, though, so you won’t know who he is:
    His eyes gleamed with something that sent shivers of awareness through her. “I’ll leave you here.” He lingered over the kiss on her knuckles, and her fingers clutched in response to the heat of his mouth. “I’m glad you paid me a visit.”
    She was appalled that she felt so reluctant to leave him. “I’m stopping by again,” she blurted out, “to meet Joe.”
    There was a great silence between them.
    “You can’t do that.” His voice was quiet. “For many reasons, not the least of which is protecting your good reputation.”
    “I know.” She swallowed. “But I’m going to do it anyway. So don’t try to stop me.”
    He lifted her chin, the gleam in his eyes becoming more pronounced. “You’re both headmistress andtroublemaker. Do you know what that combination does to a man?”
    “No,” she said, feeling rather breathless.
    “It makes him unable to think of anyone but you. In the morning. At the noon hour. And at night.”
    At night? Her face grew hot. “_____________, you shouldn’t—“
    “Go home,” he said abruptly. “Before I pull you into another alleyway.”
    And so she fled. Once she was at a safe distance, she glanced over her shoulder to catch a glimpse of him walking away. But he hadn’t. He was still there in his black cape, his gaze dark and steady upon her beneath the rim of his hat.
    She couldn’t help herself. She turned and faced him, walking slowly backwards a few steps, her eyes locked on his, drinking in the sight of him. The wind blew a lock of hair in her eyes, and she pulled it aside.
    She saw the corner of his mouth tip up once more, and her heart surged.
    She spun forward again, and somehow at that moment—when she could feel him still watching her—she was able to forget the reality of her hopeless situation.
    And for a brief, shining moment, it was like walking beneath an invisible rainbow into a bigger and brighter life. 

    USA Today best-selling author and double-Rita finalist Kieran Kramer writes Regency historical romances for St. Martin’s Press. IF YOU GIVE A GIRL A VISCOUNT, the fourth and last book in her Impossible Bachelors series, is on sale now. Her new series, House of Brady, premiers in August 2012 with LOVING LADY MARCIA. A former CIA employee, journalist, and English teacher, Kieran’s also a game show veteran, karaoke enthusiast, and general adventurer. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and at

    Stay connected to Kieran on-the-go with her FREE mobile app available for iPhone and Android devices!
    Search ‘Kieran Kramer’ in the iTunes App Store or Google Play to download her app.

    Kieran Kramer Online: Author Site: Facebook: Twitter: Goodreads: Pinterest: Street Team: Group blog of writer moms: Free Droid app: Free iPhone app:

    Sweet, Sexy, Scorching Giveaway Hop- Lucy Felthouse



    When Jed and Annette spend a weekend in a luxury hotel, they’re planning to take full advantage of the hot tub and large bed – preferably with a third party. Annette’s never been with another woman before, but she’s eager to experience some Sapphic delight. When the couple meets waitress Tamara at the restaurant they’re lunching at, they agree she’s perfect in many ways; but is she on the menu?

    When Meg spots a young woman alone in the Pigalle district of Paris at night, she’s intrigued. She has to know her story and find out why she looks so sad and alone. After introducing herself, Meg realizes that she and Grace have a lot in common. But when they decide to go and grab a drink together, they discover a mutual love that could bond them forever.

    When Alison meets Andrew (“call me Drew”), she instantly pegs him as a moron. He’s a total bad boy and does nothing but chain smoke and brag about his stream of past conquests. Yet, much to her confusion, Alison still finds herself attracted to him. She’s not had sex in a while, so Alison figures there’s no harm in going home with him to get herself a bit of rough.


     Lucy will be giving away a $5.00 gift card to ARe to one winner.
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    Review: The Mighty Storm by Samantha Towle

    To sum it up: It’s been twelve years since Tru Bennett last saw Jake Wethers, her former best friend and boy she once loved.

    Jake Wethers, sexy, tattooed and deliciously bad lead singer, and brains behind The Mighty Storm, one of biggest bands in the world, left Tru with a broken heart when he moved from England to America with his family when they were both fourteen.

    Sent to interview Jake for her music column by the magazine she works for, they are both unprepared for the sparks that fly the instant they reconnect. Only, there’s a complication to their instant feelings for one another – Will, Tru’s boyfriend of two years. 

    Then Jake makes Tru a job offer she can’t refuse – travelling the world with him and his band. But taking the job means leaving Will behind, and being on the road with the band means spending an inordinate amount of time with Jake. 

    Is Tru strong enough to resist the delectable bad boy who once held her heart so completely, or will she willingly risk it all for one night with the worlds most notorious womanizer?

    ★★★Rating? A solid 3 ½ stars!★★★

    One reason I originally bought this book, is because of the cover- because let’s face it: it’s smoking hot! Now I know that you should never judge a book by its cover, so I took a look at the synopsis to further my evaluation… and to my surprise, it sounded like my type of book! DING! DING! DING! We have a winner… granted, it wasn’t five star worthy… but I’d say 3 ½ stars definitely isn’t a bad rating! 

    I’ll be blunt with you guys- if you’re not into books that involve cheating, then this isn’t the book for you. I for one, don’t mind cheating in my books, because let’s face it: I’m a sucker for drama. So the whole cheating concept works for me. I will say this though: It had some similarities to Thoughtless that I just couldn’t help but compare some aspects of this book with, and The Mighty Storm paled in comparison. But with all that aside, I still found the book to be enjoyable.

    Let me just go ahead and get some negative issues I had with the book, out of the way first. For one, this book was pretty long- not that I’m complaining about a long book… but I really felt like there was a lot in this story that could have been omitted- for example: the endless doubting that the heroine Tru constantly dealt with in the beginning. 

    “Oh… Jake doesn’t see me like that.”
    “Oh… Jake only seems to be feeling brotherly protection towards me.”
    “Oh… Jake thinks every other woman is sexy, but not me.”

    Okay, we get it girl- you have some insecurities when it comes to this man. Understandable. After-all, he’s basically God’s gift to women in a nutshell. But c’mon… it’s pretty obvious throughout the first half of the book, that the guy is totally hot for you- so get over the endless back and forth “He doesn’t see me like that” crap, and move on already! I swear, if I had to read another page of her doubting Jake ever feeling attraction towards her, I was going to throw my kindle.

    I could also be being a bit too picky here, but don’t even get me started on the way the heroine dresses. Pant suits and kitten heels? You’ve got to be kidding me. That’swhat you’re going to wear to impress the sexy rock star God? No wonder you have such insecurity issues. Not only that, but most of the characters in this story are from the UK, so they use cheesy expressions such as “darling” or “bugger.”  …Am I reading a story about a hot and sexy tattooed rocker who falls in love while on tour, or am I reading a Cinderella romance where the hero and heroine are about to sit down for tea and crumpets? Hear me out- I’m not bashing the English accent in any way, shape or form. I actually find it sweet and endearing at times… but it just didn’t work with this story. …And did I mention the cheesy names? An actual rock band in today’s day and age, with band members by the name of Stuart, Tom, and Smith?


    I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with these names or the cheesy expressions… okay… Yes. Yes I am. Because it just didn’t work for me. Call me picky or overly dramatic, but it is what it is: and it Just. Wasn’t. Working. For. Me. But enough about the little things that made what I was reading a bit awkward at times… let’s get on with the part of my review about the book as a whole:

    The Mighty Storm didn’t really take off for me, until the tour. The beginning was slow to start in my opinion, which took some absolute patience and strength for me to get through without giving up. (Hence, the status updates I’ve posted stating that I wasn’t all that impressed with the book at the time.)

    Now, I’m not going to go into this entire review with you thinking that I didn’t enjoy the book- because trust me… I wouldn’t have stuck with a book over four hundred pages long, if I didn’t like it. And aside from everything I mentioned earlier, this book did have its good qualities. For starters, I liked that Jake and Tru didn’t jump straight into a relationship/affair/whatever you want to call it. They really seemed to become “best friends” again before their relationship progressed into something more. Nothing irks me more than a rushed relationship between the hero/heroine, so I was really happy to see that it had a chance to develop into something more, and at a great pace. It really gave the readers a chance to experience and enjoy every forbidden touch and kiss, as well as really feel that sexual tension we all live for in our romance novels. And let me just go ahead and get this out there: Tru and Jake definitely had to go through a butt-load of bad to finally get that happily-ever-after we all crave. Do I feel that some things could have been left out in order to reach that happy ending? Sure I do. But it definitely helped to avoid that rushed ending that some books tend to have these days.

    Over-all though, I think Samantha Towle did a good job with this story. Was it great? Ehhh, not for me. Do I think others will enjoy this book? Sure I do. I think that some of you will find this book to be a five-star read that you absolutely couldn’t put down. Especially if you have a love for Rock Stars… and let’s face it: who doesn’t? But for me, this book just lacked that special it factor that it needed to get that full five star rating.

    Sweet, Sexy, Scorching Giveaway Hop- Crystal Jordan



    Book Summary for Wild

    Marra’s body burned with desire. It was Wild time, the first week of spring, when Lynx from all over North America gathered in the Sierra Nevada foothills to mate. The time when every Lynx female went into heat.


    But Wild is bittersweet for Marra. She’s past the age when most Lynx find their mate. She only comes to Wild for sex and always leaves as she came: alone.
    Yet this year is different. A new male Lynx has come to Wild, a foreigner who will claim her in ways she only imagined…
    Book Summary for Wicked
    Lynx shifter Farah has never been interested in limiting herself to a single mate, though she’s instinctively drawn to the unrestrained lust of The Wild, her people’s mating time. She’s particularly aroused by the sight of two men pleasuring a female together. But as she gives in to her desire with Ryan and Eric, Farah begins to suspect the impossible: that both men could be her mates…
    Book Summary for Wanton
    Two years after her lover died, Lynx Jenise finally feels ready to indulge the consuming urge to mate at the shifter gathering known as the Wild. Though her very human heart was broken, her animal instincts can no longer be suppressed.
    But even as she finds the rough pleasure she craves with other Lynxes, another instinct haunts Jenise—the feeling that another mate is near….
    Crystal is giving away one lucky winner both On the Prowl and Prowl the Night books in either print or pdf.

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    Sweet, Sexy, Scorching Giveaway Hop- Liz Crowe



    Caught Offside – Published by Decadent Publishing – 1 Night Stand Story

    Ramon Castillo, world famous soccer player and international playboy has been brought low by a career-ending injury. After the humiliation of a shattered leg at the World Cup final, he has spent a year enduring surgeries and painful therapies, the last three months of which are at the Castillo resort in Las Vegas under the watchful eye of his cousin, Jackson Castillo and owner of the Castillo hotel chain. But Ramon’s lack of interest in soccer, women, or in anything besides the blackjack tables has Jackson worried.

    Gillian Winter, catering and banquet manager for the MGM Grand Hotel is nurturing her own deep wounds. Her beloved husband has died unexpectedly, leaving her with a young son whose one dream is to meet his hero: Number 17 on the American National Soccer team, Ramon Castillo. When an apparent chance encounter in the lobby of the MGM reveals Ramon’s presence in their midst, everyone’s lives are changed forever.
    Can Madame Eve work her magic and bring true healing to Ramon and Gillian? Or is it too late?
    Leaning over, elbows on knees, he fought with every ounce of his being not to run back out the door. His knee and shin started throbbing in sympathy. He clenched his eyes shut and tried to still the mantra: I can’t do this…I can’t do this…I can’t go back here…it’s too much work…it’s….
    A hand on his knee broke his concentration. He jerked his head up and stared straight into a set of deep green, worried eyes. The sudden urge to stand, take her with him and kiss her overwhelmed him until he had to grit his teeth against it. She smiled. The understanding in her gaze helped. His heart kept pounding, but he smiled back as he glimpsed Harrison’s bright hair and freckled face peeking around his mother’s long legs. They were both dressed to play.
    “Mom,” Harrison tugged at her shorts. “Is that really….” He pointed, his smile huge and infectious.
    “Ramon Castillo. I’m pleased to meet you.” The woman guided the boy from behind her and pushed him forward. The kid introduced himself, his face bright with awe. Ramon couldn’t help but grin at his enthusiasm. “Do me a favor, Harry.” Harrison looked up at his mom and she nodded. “Don’t make a big deal about it because I came here today to play with you.”
    The boy nodded and reached for his mother’s arm.
    “Oh, and with my mom. She’s a killer goalie, you know.”
    Ramon got to his feet, only somewhat confident his legs would hold him and he wouldn’t throw up.
    “Yeah, I’ve heard.” He extended a hand to her. She took it, and his entire body zinged at the connection. She gasped and stepped back, covering the awkward moment by kneeling down and talking to her son. Ramon froze in place, words caught in his throat, watching her strong body move under a tight T-shirt and soccer shorts. She finally stood back up and faced him.
    “So, no gloves?” He pointed at her hands, devoid of the protection goalkeepers usually wore.
    She gave him a challenging look. “You counting on me needing them?”
    He put a hand on her back, dying to touch her again, and using the excuse of getting them out of a growing crowd of gawkers to do so.
    “You might be surprised.” Some of his old confidence returned. The combination leather-sweat-turf odors of the place no longer made him nauseous, but became familiar and energizing. He hadn’t so much as passed a soccer ball since his accident. Something about the moment made him want that, if for no other reason than to divert the raging lust for the woman he followed onto the field.
    Liz is giving away a $30.00 gift card to one lucky winner!

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