ROBYN ROZE

Promotional Opportunity for Authors

We are all on a budget and looking for ways to promote our books.  Well, here’s one from Mallory Rock.  She’s a graphic artist, interior formatter and so much more.  I’ve worked with her on my last two book covers and cannot speak highly enough of her.  So, check out this link and enter for a chance to be The Featured Book of the Week.  It won’t cost you a dime, but could earn you a few. :)

http://www.malloryrock.com/index-5.html

 

Review of Stuck in Between

Stuck in Between (Bound by Your Love, #1)Stuck in Between by Blakely Bennett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What’s a girl to do when she finds herself in love with two men? How about a threesome? That sounds like a great way to work it out to me! :D

Poor Jacqs finds herself Stuck in Between two hot alphas. Oh, the nightmare!! ;) One, Bond, a man she’s loved and dated for years, all while he’s continued to break her heart. However, he has no intention of keeping ‘it’ in his pants. He wants her to be exclusive with him, but doesn’t want her with anyone else. Yeah, that sounds like a man. ;)

And then there is Red. He’s Bond’s best friend and, for years now, Jacqs has had the impression that Red could not stand her. She couldn’t have been more wrong. He’s been in love with her for a long time, keeping her at a distance and waiting in the wings certain that at some point she would end it for good with his two-timing best friend.

There’s drama, discussion, and lots of emotion all around. I’ve come to expect this in Blakely Bennett’s books. She deals with her characters relationship choices, in this book and her others, with honesty and integrity. There were numerous times that I wanted to slap Jacqs because of her feelings for Bond, the way she still felt drawn to him, loved him. But you know what? I’ve seen this same thing happen in real life. We can’t help who we love, but we can decide not to let them hurt us anymore.

Jacqs, through dialogue with both men, works out a solution that makes HER happy. She finally puts herself ahead of Bond. I can’t help but wonder if it’s only a short-term solution to aid them all in letting go of the past they’ve been mired in together for so long. Who knows, maybe it will work out for the long-term. And maybe Blakely Bennett will revisit this trio at some point to let us know. *hint, hint* ;)

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Writing Process Blog Hop Tour

pizap.com10.395710184238851071394319330155[1]First of all, a big thank you to Blakely Bennett for inviting me to participate in this Writing Process Blog Hop.  I’ve read all of her books and am anxiously awaiting the release of Stuck In Between.  Which by the way, is today, March 24th!  If you enjoy stories that take an in-depth, honest look at different relationship choices and styles, I highly recommend her My Body Trilogy and also The Demarcation of Jack, co-authored with her husband, Dana Bennett.

So, let’s get this blog hop started with my answers to four questions:

1.)     What am I working on?

I am currently working on HellKat.  A contemporary romantic suspense novel.  It may also end up with some elements of a thriller, too, as my last novel did.  The story is about Kat James, a New York entrepreneur, and Tucker Williams a Montana horse rancher.  They certainly seem at odds, if not polar opposites, at the beginning of the story; but they find out they are more alike than different.

Kat is an independent woman with some control issues that are exacerbated by a well-to-do family that has always been at odds with her free-spirited, free-thinking ways.  She committed a cardinal sin years earlier by turning her back on the family business and her trust fund so she could start her own company, free of family entanglements and control.

Tucker Williams seems like a laid back kind of guy but don’t be fooled.  Life dealt him a tough hand and he’s played his cards better than anybody would’ve expected.  He has people in his past and present who would love to see him fail, but he’s never been a man to walk away from anything without a fight.  And the fight that’s brewing, could be his biggest challenge yet.

I’m having a blast writing HellKat and already know that saying goodbye to Kat and Tucker is going to be difficult for me to do.  I find it hard to let go of the characters after I’ve spent so much time writing their story and getting to know them.  It’s hard for me to wave them off and commit to new ones.  I always require some time, almost like after a break up, before I can move on and seriously entertain new characters.  I can only write one story at a time.  I know other authors who can work on several stories in a parallel fashion, but, so far, my brain doesn’t work that way.

2.)      How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I always feel a bit challenged when categorizing my stories.  I’ve had readers tell me they like my books because they aren’t the typical romance style.  So far, there’s no option for that category on Amazon when I upload my books. ;)  My stories are a blend of women’s fiction, romance, suspense and some thriller elements, too.

Even though romance is certainly an element of the stories I’ve written, and am currently writing, I enjoy creating female protagonists who are facing struggles that go beyond the relationship with the men in their lives.  It could be family, career, divorce, or any combination of external events.  The heroines that I write about are on some kind of journey to self-discovery.  The romance and suspense are merely vehicles that help them along the journey to their final destination in the story.

I also like to keep my dialogue as realistic as possible.  And this is especially true of the romantic scenes.  If I can’t read it, in my head or out loud, without rolling my eyes and snickering, then I rework it.

3.)      Why do I write what I do?

I came late to the romance reading party.  Maybe that’s one reason my books don’t fit an easily identifiable category.  I’ve always loved reading suspense and thriller novels.  One of my favorites is The Sigma Force Series by James Rollins.  As much as I love his writing and those stories, I don’t see myself writing those particular kind.  However, I enjoy reading romance that borrows from a variety of genres and blends them into one cohesive storyline.

However, that blending of genres is the source of my frustration when it comes to picking a category and also makes marketing a bit more difficult.  It’s already hard work to find my readers, my target audience, and I’ve managed to add to my workload.  But I don’t plan on changing anything, because I’m writing the kind of stories I want to read.

And that’s the real reason I write what I do.

4.)      How does my writing process work?

My writing process is completely organic.  I usually hear some dialogue in my head with a nebulous image of the characters and a loose outline of a general story.  Often that dialogue I hear, that starts the whole writing process, doesn’t even make it into the final draft.  It’s simply the spark that wakes up my imagination.

I really go with the flow of the characters I develop, what they tell me to do, what’s authentic to their lives and the world around them.  I never know the ending when I start or even most of the way through while I’m writing.  I truly let it unfold naturally; that’s my favorite part about the entire writing process.

Readers don’t know what’s going to happen until they read it.

I don’t know what’s going to happen until I write it.  I LOVE THAT!

Now I have the pleasure of introducing you to three more authors that will continue this blog hop tour.

Fi Phillips, a literature graduate, spent many years toiling in an office to support her habit – writing.  In 1997, she penned her first murder mystery play for a fundraising evening and Murdering The Text was born.  She also blogs and is working on a children’s fantasy novel.  You can find out more about her here.

Her blog is http://fionajphillips.blogspot.co.uk which is titled Fi’s Magical Writing Haven.

Georgie Summer, jokes that she is the accidental author of the 5-star reviewed Steps series, Flip-Flops in France and Man On!  In just over nine months she has released eight erotic romance novels and, considering she never intended to publish at all, she says it’s been quite a journey.

You can find more information about Georgie at http://georgiesummer.com/MY_BLOG.php

Sharon Kay, writes adult paranormal romance and lives near Chicago with her husband and son. Wicked Wind and the Solsti series formed in her head one weekend and refused to stay quiet until she put pen to paper.  Her characters tend to keep her up at night, as they banter, fall in love, and slay endless varieties of power-hungry demons.

You can find out more about Sharon on her Goodreads blog at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7114860.Sharon_Kay/blog

 

Review of Sex at Dawn

Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern SexualitySex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality by Christopher Ryan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Marriage is on the decline worldwide. Divorce is on the rise worldwide. Why? Are we forcing men AND women into an inflexible monogamous mold that is simply unnatural? The answer is: YES. And there is a mountain of science to back it up. Humans (men AND women) are not naturally monogamous, never have been, and our bodies prove it.

Ten thousand years ago humans changed from living in nomadic groups to becoming farmers that settled in one area, owned land, owned material goods, and owned people, too. Agriculture changed EVERYTHING and our species is still trying to catch up to this head-spinning change even to this day. We can only thwart Mother Nature for so long and then there are always consequences and pushback. The decline in marriage and the rise in divorce are that pushback.

Our ancestors not only had more diverse nutrient rich diets than we do TODAY, but they also had parallel sexual relationships with several people at a time in their egalitarian groups of 100 – 150 people. Children were raised by the group, paternity was not an issue and sex was as natural as breathing, viewed as important to group cohesiveness and stability. There are still nomadic communal groups that exist to this day that have not been influenced by modernity.

Am I, or the authors, suggesting that our ancestors were nobler and that we need to revert back to the nomadic lifestyle? No. But we might want to give some thought to the fact that polyamory comes more natural to our species than monogamy.

So, what do we do? Run into to the streets naked copulating at will? Of course not. But we do need to start cutting each other, and ourselves, some slack. We need to stop insisting on sexual ideals and ‘appropriate’ relationship configurations that are simply outmoded and proven not to be suitable for the vast majority of humans. We have to give each other the freedom to figure out what works best in our lives and our communities. We need to establish our own boundaries rather than thoughtlessly conforming to monolithic standards. And above all, we need to respect the boundaries chosen by others even when those choices leave us scratching our heads.

Sex at Dawn doesn’t pretend to give answers to the question of what’s next for our species with regard to traditional marriage and sex. The authors simply, concisely, and with humor, lay out why monogamy is such a struggle for so many people. They leave the answers to us, because there is no one-size-fits-all answer. That’s the bottom line that we all need to accept at some point.

We live in an ever-changing world where relationships and family are already being redefined. What works for one person, or one couple, or one family, doesn’t work for others. There is no magic pill and life is far too short to pretend that there is.

We all have to bend to the one constant in life: change.

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Review of Parallax View

Parallax ViewParallax View by Allan Leverone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Parallax View is a fast paced thriller with a romantic twist that I absolutely loved. Let me start with Tracie Tanner. She is a CIA field operative that is tough, smart and can crack a joke. One minute she can seem like the girl-next-door and the next–she’s holding a hot iron against the jowls of a KGB spook. She’s back on US soil after what seems, to her, like a simple mission that turns into all kinds of bad–a plotted presidential assassination, the KGB trying to incite World War III and a grievous personal betrayal.

Enter Shane Rowley–a Maine air traffic controller who has received devastating news prior in the day before pulling Tracie from a fiery plane crash later that night. Over the course of the next three days, he does everything in his power to help Tracie complete her dangerous mission–deliver a sealed letter from Mikhail Gorbachev to President Ronald Reagan. Shane is the best kind of hero: kind-hearted, smart, modest and a sense of humor. Oh, I wanted the ending to be so different…even though I knew from the outset that it couldn’t be.

Parallax View is a thriller, and a very good one, but my favorite aspect of the story was the unexpected romance, the humanity, between Tracie and Shane that develops during the high adrenaline mission they are on together. It’s one of those crossroads in life that comes upon them and they just act on it, because there really is no time to think, to be cautious, to take things slow–it could end badly for both of them at any minute and they are under no delusions otherwise. Tracie and Shane are truly living in the moment and living more in those three days than most people live in a lifetime. We should all be so lucky.

Thank you Allan Leverone for not only investing my mind in Tracie and Shane’s story, but also my heart. Tracie Tanner wasn’t the only one that fell in love with Shane Rowley.

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Review of Veil of Civility

Veil of Civility: a Black Shuck thrillerVeil of Civility: a Black Shuck thriller by Ian Graham

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love reading a fictional story that sweeps me up in its drama and manages to teach me about periods of history or scientific breakthroughs without making me feel like I’m in a sterile classroom. Veil of Civility did just that. Heretofore, I can’t say I recall hearing much about the period in Northern Ireland’s history known as The Troubles, but now I feel a bit more educated about another part of the world. Ian Graham does a wonderful job with the pace and voice in this story, not to mention the seamless way he crafts the intertwining, tumultuous paths of history, religion, politics, and terrorism.

And who do we have at the center of this storm? Declan McIver. A former Black Shuck operative now residing in the US, running his own successful business and also married. He just wants to live the dream and continue moving forward with his new life. Declan is a complex character that is far from squeaky clean, but I quite like that. It makes him feel all the more human. He is a well developed, multi-layered character that takes us along for quite a bumpy ride when his past collides with his present. I also have to say, the author does a terrific job of making the other players in this thriller leap off the pages. It’s quite intense.

Well done, Ian Graham. I look forward to more of you and Declan McIver.

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Review of Suicide Ride: The Fix

Suicide Ride: The FixSuicide Ride: The Fix by E. Llewellyn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m always a bit nervous to read a next-in-series book when the first one stripped me bare and left me panting for more. My reluctance stems from the fact that I don’t want my love for the first book, and the characters in it, to be diminished or tainted by a book that doesn’t measure up, isn’t worthy of the one that initiated me. Well, I had no need for concern and realized that only a few chapters into THE FIX.

Let me cut to the chase: Elizabeth Llewellyn paints with words. I can feel the texture of each stroke as she creates the three-dimensional world of Johnny Gellis, Norman Dimond and the other players lucky enough to be anywhere near their orbits. THE FIX delves deeper into the multi-faceted humanity of Johnny and Norman, answering questions from TPM, unearthing new ones and clearly demonstrating that the complexity of these two men cannot be unraveled in just one book.

doubts, the emergence of the alpha, and the turn of events at the conclusion of THE FIX.  I will give nothing away here other than to say: the tables–they have been turned.

Apparently, Norman is unfamiliar with Ambrose Pierce’s quote: “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”

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Majors Not the Minors

I really enjoy Chuck Wendig’s take-no-prisoner blog style.  His delivery can be quite entertaining and educational.  My favorite way to learn anything!

I particularly enjoyed today’s rant; I mean perspective, about the self-publishing industry and the stigma that still surrounds it to varying degrees.  As an author-publisher, I don’t waste time worrying about it.  I am doing exactly what I want to do and I’m quite happy about it.   Furthermore, some of my favorite reads from 2013 were from other indie authors.  When I’m looking for a new read, I never scout traditionally published books versus self-published books.  I simply don’t think about it or use it as any kind of criteria.  Frankly, I’ve read good and bad in both camps and see no reason to limit myself.

Anyway, even if you already have a horse in the race or are on the fence when it comes to indie authors versus our traditionally published colleagues, take a few minutes to read Chuck’s article.  If nothing else, it’s good for a laugh or two…especially if you like baseball metaphors.

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/01/27/self-publishing-is-not-the-minor-leagues/

 

 

Review of Suicide Ride: The Platinum Man

The next book in the SUICIDE RIDE Series, THE FIX, is set to release this week on January 29th. I read the first book, THE PLATINUM MAN, back in November and it was different from anything I’d read. It was also my first M/M erotic book. The author did a fantastic job of pulling me in and bringing to life the LA rock and roll scene and what someone will do to make his dreams come true–even while running from a tortured past that could end in sirens and handcuffs.

Read my review and consider one-clicking SUICIDE RIDE: The Platinum Man so that you’ll be ready to get ‘your fix’ on January 29th when THE FIX is released.

Suicide Ride: The Platinum Man (Suicide Ride, #1)Suicide Ride: The Platinum Man by E. Llewellyn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have absolutely hit the jackpot lately with five-star reads. Suicide Ride: The Platinum Man…what to say, where to start. How about–PHENOMENAL. LIKE NOTHING I’VE READ BEFORE. GRITTY, RAW, CRUDE, CRASS AND IN YOUR FACE. I liked this story and the writing style (third person, which is my favorite), but will admit that the sometimes lengthy, unusual descriptions the author used felt a bit overwhelming at times, even distracting–but what an imagination! There was also a bit of head hopping that sometimes threw me out of the story for a moment until I could reroute my circuitry. But it was all good. :)

In the beginning, you get a flavor for twenty-nine-year-old Johnny Gellis, a highly-educated, supreme hetero stud, who has come to LA and wants nothing more than to sing and make it big. You also have a sense that he’s running from something back in Atlanta–something BIG. Then, Norman Dimond enters the mix and the story just skyrockets from there. Norman is a late fifties, sexy, masculine bisexual, who owns a big time record label in LA. He’s powerful, well-connected, and used to getting what he wants. Although, as of late, he’s become a bit bored with his life and has lost his mojo.

I felt as if I couldn’t read fast enough. I’ve never read a story about M/M love or sex, so I wasn’t sure what I would think. What it comes down to: when it comes to lust, love and infatuation, the emotions are the same. And it’s also no different when you’re on the receiving end of someone’s love or desire and cannot reciprocate–someone’s bound to get hurt. I found myself vacillating between feeling compassion and dislike for Norman, because he knows Johnny is straight, and yet, he expects Johnny to ‘trade’ for what he wants. Whereas, I swung between pity and concern for Johnny, who clearly has some BIG problems (mental included) about to erupt that could ruin any chance of a music career. And ruin Norman’s desire to keep Johnny as his one and only. Although, Norman already knows he needs to handle Johnny differently. You see, they’re both rabid breeders, pitchers, tops, as Norman describes himself and Johnny, and neither is willing to play bottom. So, that makes navigating a potential relationship more difficult.

By the end of Suicide Ride it becomes painfully clear that Johnny is a confused, messed up man. And that is why Norman has hired a PI to dig up everything possible about Johnny–because he’s not talking. Norman wants to know for personal and professional reasons what Johnny is hiding so that he can fix whatever is wrong with his object of obsession, AND he wants to protect his investment. See, he knows Johnny will be the Platinum Man in the music industry, and he wants to shutdown in advance anything and anyone that could destroy that. Johnny’s talent will catapult them BOTH to the front pages and bring Norman out of an early retirement and give him something to live for again.

I get the feeling that Norman wants to help him for the right reasons, not JUST the selfish ones, but in the end I don’t know if Norman is what’s best for Johnny. And if it doesn’t work out between them, I get the feeling that Norman will crash and burn–maybe they both will.

We shall see. I am really looking forward to the sequel: The Fix…the sooner the better! :)

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Review of The Eye of God

The Eye of God (Sigma Force #9)The Eye of God by James Rollins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you have an interest in Genghis Khan, St. Thomas, Dark Energy, Multiverses and a story that spans the globe, then The Eye of God should be on your list to read next. It epitomizes why James Rollins is one of my all-time favorite authors, and why his Sigma Force Series is a must read for me–and should be for others. The way this author melds history, science, action and adventure all while keeping the pacing of a thriller, is absolutely unparalleled. And, my favorite part of this series is the ‘Truth and Fact’ section at the end of each novel. I am always astonished, and unnerved at times, by what is true.

I have devoured each book in order in the Sigma Force Series and have become quite attached to the characters, as they’ve developed and grown in my minds eye. Each of the characters have their quirks, hang ups and well-defined personalities that make them seem all the more real to me.  For that reason, this story caused an ache in my heart, but I won’t give any spoilers here.

The Sigma Force is comprised of badass, former military personnel that displayed proficiency in some branch of science that has now been leveraged, through specialized training and education, for the benefit of DARPA. They are ‘killer scientists’ working to save the world, one potential catastrophe at a time. My favorites are Gray Pierce and Seichan–a rogue. I can’t get enough of those two, but I love the entire cast.

I often think that this series would make for some great movies, but I know in the end I would be disappointed. Between James Rollins’ gift for simultaneously entertaining AND teaching me, coupled with my own vivid imagination, I know that no movie, no directors or producers interpretation, could ever live up to the expectations the author has created in my mind.

Thank you, James Rollins, for a fantastic read. I don’t like to play favorites, but The Eye of God IS my favorite to date in the Sigma Force Series and, in my opinion, your best yet! Keep them coming!

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