"Sarah Faire" on Kickstarter

Hi, everyone! I just wanted to take a few minutes to spread the word about an awesome children's book project on Kickstarter! "Sarah Faire and the House at the End of the World" by Alex Giannini and illustrated by Abigail Larson. My wonderful fiance backed this project because he thought I would love the book! He's right, the illustrations are so beautiful and the story sounds delightfully spooky! With 62 hours to go, this project is 97% funded! I hope it gets funded so I can read this beautiful book!  

*I was not compensated for this post or contacted by the author. I just wanted to spread the word!!

Excerpt and Giveaway: "A Match for Marcus Cynster"

 As part of the excerpt tour for "A Match for Marcus Cynster", I have excerpt #4 along with a tour-wide giveaway!

"A Match for Marcus Cynster"
by Stephanie Laurens
Publisher: Mira
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Source: n/a

Excerpt #4:

It took several hours to bring both bodies up from the depths of the crevasse and transport the remains to Carrick Manor. Despite the depredations of small animals and the passage of time, Nigel’s body was easily identified. His remains were garbed in the clothes he’d worn to the wedding of their cousin, Thomas Carrick, and Lucilla Cynster—the last time anyone other than Nolan had set eyes on him.
Niniver spent the rest of that day closeted in the library with the clan council. Norris was present, too. Although he was several years younger than she and therefore had fewer memories of Nigel and Nolan as children, his assessments of their older brothers matched and supported her own.
Fact by fact, she and the council assembled the true sequence of events. Recalling a statement Nolan had made at the inquest into the Burns sisters’ deaths—an inquest that had reached no final conclusion but had left the suspicion of murder hanging over Nigel’s head—Niniver sent Sean to Ayr to pose what were now clearly pertinent questions to certain people there.
It was the following morning before Sean returned. The clan council reconvened to hear his report. Once they’d digested the no-longer-unexpected news, Ferguson turned to Niniver. “What now? Do we summon the authorities, or what?”
Seated behind the desk her father had used throughout his long reign as laird, Niniver met Ferguson’s gaze, then looked at Mrs. Kennedy, the housekeeper, seated alongside him, then at Canning, Phelps, Bradshaw, Sean, and the others on the council. All regarded her levelly, expectation in their eyes.
The vow she’d uttered over her father’s grave resonated in her mind. I will do whatever’s necessary to ensure that all mistakes made by your children are put right and that the clan is made whole, strong, and prosperous again. I will do all I can, and whatever I must, to preserve your legacy and to steer the clan as you would have wished.
It had been all she’d had to offer in reparation for her father losing his life; she hadn’t known enough to save him from being poisoned by one of his sons.
The least she could do now was to ensure the blame fell on the son who deserved it, thus clearing the name of the son who had been another victim. That way, Nigel—Manachan’s firstborn and best-loved child, the one who, despite his weaknesses, had been groomed to take the lairdship—could be buried next to Manachan in the family plot.
Yet her vow demanded she put the clan first. “We need to inform the authorities of Nolan’s death, and of all we’ve now realized. But if at all possible, I think we should endeavor to keep the matter quiet. I see no reason for the news sheets in Ayr and Dumfries, much less Glasgow and Edinburgh, to be encouraged to revisit the clan’s difficulties.”
Everyone was nodding. Phelps glanced around. “Clearly, you’ll get no argument from us on that score. The clan have suffered enough—we don’t need our dirty linen hanging out for the rest of the county to gossip about.”
Seeing agreement writ large in every face, Niniver nodded. “We’ll summon the doctor to examine the bodies—he’ll confirm what we already know. Meanwhile, I’ll send notes conveying the bare facts to…” She paused, considering, then went on, “Sir Godfrey Riddle, Lord Richard, and Thomas, and ask them to meet here this afternoon. Let’s see if we can manage things with just those three—they know the clan’s situation and will most likely be willing to help us arrange matters with the minimum of fuss.”
No one argued. Half an hour later, Sean took the notes Niniver had written and rode out to deliver them.

Follow along with the rest of the tour:

 A lucky winner from the entire excerpt tour will win:

·        1 copy of By Winter’s Light
·        1 copy of The Tempting of Thomas Carrick
·        1 copy of A Match for Marcus Cynster
·        1 tartan-pattern infinity scarf
·        1 Fabulous Scotland candle in tin (made in Scotland!)
·        1 Harrison Tweed bag (made in Scotland!)

 OMG! I want that Harrison Tweed bag!!!!! Good luck, everyone!!

This contest and Rafflecopter widget is run by the publicist, not In the Hammock, the info you submit, prizing and emails will be handled and administrated by the publicist.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received this promotional information from the publisher and was not compensated for this post.

"The Shell Seekers" New Trade Paperback

"The Shell Seekers"
by Rosamunde Pilcher
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Source: n/a

Summary from the publisher:
 An instant bestseller when it was first published in 1987, The Shell Seekers is an enduring classic which has touched the hearts of millions of readers worldwide. A novel of connection, it is the story of one family, and of the passions and heartbreak that have held them together for three generations. It is filled with real people--mothers and daughters, husband and lovers--and inspired with real values. Now for the first time in trade paperback, this magical novel—the kind of reading experience that comes along only once in a long while—is the perfect summer read, whether you are returning to it again, or opening the cover for the first time.

At the end of a long and useful life, Penelope Keeling's prized possession is The Shell Seekers, painted by her father, and symbolizing her unconventional life, from bohemian childhood to wartime romance. When her grown children learn their grandfather's work is now worth a fortune, each has an idea as to what Penelope should do. But as she recalls the passions, tragedies, and secrets of her life, she knows there is only one answer...and it lies in her heart.

Author Info: ROSAMUNDE PILCHER has had a long and distinguished career as a novelist and short-story writer, but it was her phenomenally successful novel The Shell Seekers that captured the hearts of all who read it and won her international recognition as one of the most-loved storytellers of our time. The Shell Seekers was followed by September and then by Coming Home and Winter Solstice, which also became worldwide bestsellers. She lives in Perthshire, Scotland.

For the first time since the original printing in 1987, the #1 bestselling "The Shell Seekers" will be released in a trade paperback edition. Trade paperbacks of "September" will be released in September, and "The Winter Solstice" will release in December.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Shell-Seekers-Rosamunde-Pilcher/dp/1250063787/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1429027311

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shell-seekers-rosamunde-pilcher/1102933748?ean=9781250063786

Indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781250063786

Disclosure: I received this promotional information from the publisher and was not compensated for this post.

"The Scoundrel and the Debutante" Q&A with Julia London

Today, I'm happy to welcome Julia London to In the Hammock for a Q and A. Let's celebrate the release of "The Scoundrel and the Debutante" the third book in the Cabot Sisters series.

by Julia London
Harlequin; May 1, 2015

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.

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.


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.

Q and A with Julia London: 

1.      If you could live during any time period from the past, when would it be and why?
I guess it’s obvious that I would have to try living in the Regency era. But I would have to be among the wealthy. I wouldn’t want to be crammed into any tight living quarters with a lot of people and maybe even some animals. I would need one of those big Georgian mansions, a butler, a ladies’ maid, and a very handsome and rich husband. Oh, and the gowns. I would need a lot of those beautiful gowns. I have always been a student and fan of history, but, in the end, knowing what I know, I like the creature comforts of the twenty-first century.

2.      How much research goes into writing historical romance?
That depends on the period. I have written so many historical romances set in a very confined time period (the Regency era spanned about twenty years), and have collected so many research books, that I have become a bit of a mini-expert in that time period. I know what was going on, and if I have any questions, I know exactly where to look to find the answer. However, I am starting a new historical series and setting it about one hundred years earlier, when Scotland and England united. I’m reading a couple of different books to get up to speed. But, unlike historical fiction, where the actual history is often a character in the story, in historical romance the history is always part of the background and not the main feature—the love story is—so a writer needs to know enough to set the tone, the milieu and the place, but doesn’t need to memorize any acts of Parliament or know the names of the king’s children.

3.      You’ve written over thirty historical romances and you’ve also published several contemporary romances. What is it like to switch back and forth from one type of romance to the other?
First, I don’t think of them as different subgenres although, technically, they are. I just think of them as another story. No matter what the setting, these books are about people and falling in love, and that is timeless. The inherent conflicts between men and women are timeless. So if a man is wearing pantaloons or jeans, when he falls in love, he feels the same way. From a technical standpoint, I like switching between time period settings—I think it keeps me fresh. The cadence of the language changes slightly, and sometimes I am so relieved I can just put people in a car and move them somewhere as opposed to readying a coach and a team of four and having to deal with a coachman and the butler just to get out the door. But those are minor details. Historical or contemporary, women’s fiction or whatever I am writing, it’s all about the story to me.

Buy the book here: http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=58878

Disclosure: I received copies of the books from the publicist in exchange for this post. Questions in the Q and A were provided by the publicist.

Giveaway: "The Italian's Deal for I Do" Autographed Copy!

Today, I have an autographed copy of Jennifer Hayward's "The Italian's Deal for I Do" up for grabs!! Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form below!

"The Italian's Deal for I Do"
by Jennifer Hayward
(synopsis from publicist)
He's conquered global markets and immeasurable hearts, but to regain control of the fashion empire that's rightfully his, Rocco Mondelli must prove his playboy days are over. His secret weapon? Supermodel-in-hiding Olivia Fitzgerald and the power to ruin her if she refuses to play his loving fiancée!

GIVEAWAY RULES: The publicist has generously provided a paperback copy of "From Fake to Forever" for a lucky reader of my blog!
All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
  • US only
  • Books will be mailed out by the publicist
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends May 12
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received copies of the books from the publicist in exchange for this post.

Sunday Shout Out 61

Recently, I introduced a new feature here at In the Hammock on Sundays. It's called "Sunday Shout Out" and it's a place where I can give a special shout out to those publishers and authors who have sent me books over the week, as well as those bloggers who have hosted contests that I've won! I'll also be giving shout outs to any other cool books, blogs or bookish news that I've spotted during the week.

For Review
I'm playing a bit of catch up this week, I didn't receive ALL of these books in one week! There's more catching up to come next week as well!

 "The Devilish Mr. Danvers" by Vivienne Lorret

"Need Me" by Tessa Bailey

"All's Fair in Love and Scandal" by Caroline Linden

"Sew Cute and Collectible Sock Monkeys" by Dee Linder

"Dark Sparkler" by Amber Tamblyn

"The Highlander Takes a Bride" by Lynsay Sands

"All of Me" by Jennifer Bernard

"The Lady's Maid" by Dilly Court

"Put Up Your Duke" by Megan Frampton

"Little Beach Street Bakery" by Jenny Colgan

"True North " by Liora Blake

"Material Girls " by Elaine Dimopoulos

"Boywatching " by Chloe Bennet

"The Haunting of Sunshine Girl " by Paige McKenzie

"Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton" by Don Tate
 (I loved this one! Can't wait to write a review :))    


What books did you receive this week?

"From Fake to Forever" Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Today, I'm happy to welcome Kat Cantrell to In the Hammock to celebrate the release of her book, "From Fake to Forever"! Kat will share with us a delicious recipe to enjoy while reading her book, and tips for aspiring writers! Don't miss the giveaway of one copy of "From Fake to Forever" at the bottom of this post!

By Kat Cantrell
Harlequin Desire; April 7, 2015
$5.25 US; 192 pages

(Synopsis from the publicist)
After one night of tequila and sex, their impromptu Vegas wedding shouldn't be valid. But Meredith just discovered she's still tied to businessman Jason Lynhurst. She needs out of their marriage, but if he's to become his company's new CEO, he needs her as a bride. Meredith can have her divorce, but only after he gets what he wants—which is more than merely a promotion. Let the newlywed games begin.

Bon Appetit and a Book 
"From Fake to Forever" 
by Kat Cantrell

Bon Appétit and a Book: A delicious recipe to enjoy alongside the book
Hummus and Pita Chips
This is my recipe for hummus, which I love to make fresh because store-bought generally has a high sodium content, as well as preservatives and other yucky stuff. This is easy to make and doesn't call for tahini which can be expensive.

Ingredients (4 servings)

1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 drops sesame oil, or to taste (optional)

5 mins
5 mins

Blend garbanzo beans, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, salt, and sesame oil in a food processor; stream reserved bean liquid into the mixture as it blends until desired consistency is achieved. Spoon into a serving bowl. You can let the flavors blend several hours or overnight before serving this.

To make fresh pita chips:
Cut two-three pitas into wedges (like a pizza)
Arrange on a pan and brush with olive oil
Grind or sprinkle salt and pepper to taste
Cook for 15 minutes at 375.

This is such an easy snack. I love to make it with my two boys and there are things even the little one can do. He likes to use the basting brush to "paint" the chips with oil. My older son likes to use the food processor--probably because I don't make him clean it!

Thanks for the recipe, Kat!! Sounds delicious!! 

How-To-Tips for Aspiring Writers: Advice on how to break into the series-writing business from Kat Cantrell
If you love romance novels and have always dreamed of writing one, you’re in good company. You’d be hard-pressed to find a romance writer working today who didn’t start out as a reader first. Guess what? If you’re a reader, you’ve already completed the all-important first step toward the goal of becoming an author! Reading is critical to understanding a bunch of important things like voice, structure, plot and character. Now you should target your reading to the specific type of story you want to write. If you’d like to write for Harlequin Desire, read as many as you can get your hands on. Study them and learn from them. Each line has a particular “feel” to it and always includes certain elements. Harlequin posts writing guidelines on its website so you don’t have to guess, but it’s always better to see it in action, so to speak.
Then the next steps are:
  1. Sit down and write.
  2. No, really. Set a goal and write.
  3. Not sure what goal to set? Start out with 500 words a day. Then write 500 tomorrow. And the next day. I work on my books every day. Yes. EVERY day, even Christmas.
  4. Read some craft books. I like Goal, Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon. But there are many, many great ones. If you already know you have a particular weakness, like you have no idea what I meant above by “voice”, find a book on that.
  5. If you don’t know your weaknesses, join a writer’s group. Romance Writers of America is one a lot of us belong to. Harlequin.com has a community forum with a particular area for writers. Talk to other writers. Find people to read your writing who can help you get better. I still have a friend read my stuff even though I’ve written fifteen books (Hi, Jen!).
  6. Be prepared to work hard and be realistic. Most authors will tell you it takes two years and at least two manuscripts to sell to a publisher like Harlequin. It took me two years and five manuscripts. Your mileage may vary.
  7. Go back to #1 and do that. You’d be surprised how many people get bogged down in craft books and writer’s forums and forget to actually, you know, write the book. You can’t sell a manuscript to any publisher if it doesn’t exist.

Wow, thanks for the great advice, Kat!!!

Buy the book here: http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=58842

T:\Harlequin 2015\APRIL - WEDDING\Kat Cantrell\Images\katcantrell_photo.jpgKAT CANTRELL read her first Harlequin novel in third grade and has been scribbling in notebooks since she learned to spell. What else would she write but romance? She majored in Literature, officially with the intent to teach, but somehow ended up buried in middle management at Corporate America, Inc. After three years and many thousands of words, her dream of publication finally came true. When she's not writing about characters on the journey to happily-ever-after, she can be found at a soccer game, watching Friends or dancing with her kids to Duran Duran and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Check out the other two featured Harlequin Series Romance books this month!

"The Billionaire's Bridal Bargain"
by Lynne Graham
(synopsis from publicist)
To get his hands on her Mediterranean island inheritance, Cesare Sabatino must wed innocent Lizzie and ensure she's carrying his heir! Luckily the formidable Italian is legendary for his powers of persuasion. With Lizzie desperate to save her family's farm, it's only a matter of time before she gives in and discovers the many pleasurable benefits of wearing this tycoon's ring.

Buy here:  http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=58800

"The Italian's Deal for I Do"
by Jennifer Hayward
(synopsis from publicist)
He's conquered global markets and immeasurable hearts, but to regain control of the fashion empire that's rightfully his, Rocco Mondelli must prove his playboy days are over. His secret weapon? Supermodel-in-hiding Olivia Fitzgerald and the power to ruin her if she refuses to play his loving fiancée!

GIVEAWAY RULES: The publicist has generously provided a paperback copy of "From Fake to Forever" for a lucky reader of my blog!
All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
  • US only
  • Books will be mailed out by the publicist
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends April 21
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received copies of the books from the publicist in exchange for this post.
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