Nov 30, 2015

Christmas Book Recommendations

So, we're a whisper away from the start of December and I'm in the mood for a Christmas story. I've already read and loved the stories in the LoveCats box set, Hot Christmas Nights, and now I need some recommendations!

In exchange, I offer two suggestions from me - an old favourite and a brand new story.

Jennifer Crusie's Hot Toy was originally in a print anthology with two other authors, but this year they've released an eBook version of just her story. It's fast paced, sexy, and laugh out loud funny.

From the back cover: Mayhem ensues under the mistletoe as a determined shopper grabs the very last hot toy action figure off the shelf, only to find herself plunged into the middle of a real-life spy game–in the arms of a sexy secret agent. . .

A new for me story this year will be Anna Campbell's A Pirate For Christmas and I can't wait for December to hit so I can dive into this one.

How much fun does this back cover sound?

There’s a pirate in the manor house!

What is vicar’s daughter Bess Farrar to do when the dashing new earl, the man gossip paints as a ruthless pirate, kisses her the day they meet? Why, kiss him right back, of course! Now Lord Channing vows to claim the lovely firebrand, despite interfering villagers, a snowstorm, scandal, and a rascally donkey. The gallant naval captain’s first landlocked Christmas promises mayhem – and a lifetime of breathtaking passion. 

So over to you. I'd love some recommendations for Christmas reading!

Nov 29, 2015

Sunday Smooch with Louisa George

Today we have a smooch from  Louisa George but first 

... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is  

Lynlinwill Williams!

Can you please contact  yvonne (at) yvonnelindsey (dot) com  to receive your copy of LONE STAR HOLIDAY PROPOSAL.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Louisa George! (Available for pre-order from Amazon)


When rugged cop Daniel Wade agrees to help organize his friend's Christmas wedding it brings him face-to-face with the bridesmaid, his estranged wife. Emma is determined that divorce is on the cards, but sometimes all it takes is another chance to get things right..

Kiss scene: Set up: After a very frosty start to their awkward reunion Daniel and Emma are leading a pre-wedding kayak trip for the wedding guests. An argument has led to Emma pushing Daniel into the sea...

Emma quickly steered into a deserted sheltered bay, jumped out of the kayak and dragged it up the shore, over tiny pebbles and shells that stung her feet. Then she took shelter in the far corner of the bay underneath an ancient gnarled pohutukawa tree -their tree- and stood on a carpet of tiny fallen crimson stamens. Shivering. Panicking. 
            But it was a delicious panic bubbling in her stomach, something she hadn't felt in a long time. She hadn't expected that. Or simple fun, straight after an argument. Just like the good old days; forgiving and forgetting; erasing the bad times with a laugh. And a kiss.
            Danny wasn't far behind, ripping up the waves, then standing shoulder deep, striding out of the sea like Poseidon, with a smile on his lips, a curse in his mouth. He had menace in his eyes.
            And sex was glittering there too.
            The air around her seemed to electrify at the thought. For them the sex had never been the problem. It was everything else.
            "Danny! Finally! Guess you worked it out, then?" Breathless. Bracing herself for his words. Shaking as the water dried on her skin leaving her cold on the outside. Inside, she was burning a fever.  "Good to see all that training put to some use."
            But he said nothing, only fixed her in his sights and strode towards her. Each step making her heart thunder in her chest. As he closed in he unzipped his lifejacket, flung it to the sand leaving his chest bare, his exquisite body rock hard and slick with water. His shorts sticking to his thighs, outlining the strength of his legs. And more.
            She remembered the countless times they'd paddled here at dusk and made love by the light of a campfire. How she'd clung to him and believed that what they had could never be broken, that it would last forever. She remembered the way they'd laugh at something, at everything, that goofing around had been their default. That serious was something they'd tried to hold back because being a doctor and a cop had enough serious without putting it between them. 
She remembered that they would kiss away each other's fears. That she couldn't imagine being anywhere else other than in his arms, held tight and safe and warm. A lifeline from the thrashing sea of life.
            And she wondered how that anchor had slipped so far away from their grasp and whether it was still there, bobbing just out of reach. Maybe some effort. A stretch. A leap of faith?
            When he reached her he was breathing hard and fast, his arm muscles pumped, water dripping from his eyelashes like diamonds. He stopped in front of her. Close. Close enough to touch. Which he did, reaching out a hand to her cheek. His thumb made slow strokes over her skin, stoking an unbearable heat in her gut.
            His gaze locked on to hers as he wiped the droplets from her face, ran a trail to her lip with his fingertips. In his dark mocha eyes a fire burnt, hot and hungry. And she didn't know whether to run or stay. 
            When she bit down on his thumb pad he leaned in and groaned in her ear, "Do that again and you'll be in big trouble, lady."
            "Promise or threat?" Another game they'd played so many, many times.
            But she didn't have time to find out his answer because his mouth slammed over hers, all promise, all threat. The taste of salt and elemental man swamped her. She wanted him. Had never stopped wanting him. Would never, ever stop wanting him.
            She wound her hands around his neck, angling her mouth against his, pulling him tight against her. His skin was cold as she moved her fingers over his shoulders, down his back- his muscles tightening in response. Slowly, she relearnt the feel of him, the taste. The empty, frigid two year gap bridged by sensation and searing heat, by need and touch.
            His hands cupped her cheeks, fingers spiking her hair, innocent almost. A new beginning, belied by his erection pressing hard against her. But when he groaned her name there was nothing innocent about the raw need winding through her, blurring her edges. Her breath stuttered, the ache in her core flared to life. So good to know how much she could still turn him on.
            "God, I've missed you," she managed between kisses, surprised at how much she meant it. But she had missed him. Missed this. Missed this Danny. She knew the other paddlers would be here soon and she didn't rightly care. Couldn't think about anything other than melting into him again. She pulled him to the ground, out of view from the shore, her hand sweeping across his sculpted chest. Beneath her fingers was the steady heartbeat of a man she'd known soul deep. A man she'd loved with every fibre of her being. 
            Her body was on fire anticipating his touch, heat swirled in her tummy, lower. Her nipples peaked as he crushed her ever tighter, deepening the kiss. His heat and his scent familiar, yet new. Powerful and strong, yielding and giving. And she responded the only way she knew how- by giving herself back to him. 
Baby, It's Hot Outside is one of the novellas from the Love Cats Boxset, Hot Christmas Nights available from 1st December or on pre-order NOW from Amazon

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced - and more smooches from the boxset will be posted!

Louisa is giving away an e-book copy of her book to one lucky commenter!  So her question to you is:

Who would you like to be stranded on a desert island with, and why?


Nov 27, 2015

Yikes! Only 27 sleeps!

Well wow, it's my turn to blog today and I'm sorry to say I'm a little late getting to it.

There was me thinking I was organised and up to date...apologies!

It seems as if there's no escape- everyone I meet is asking if I'm ready for, no.
I drove past a hairdresser's today and the sign proudly told me we only had 27 sleeps. I'm completely and utterly unprepared. Like...nothing.

Idling away an hour today (I had to be out of the house because we were having it sprayed for insects) in a book shop I saw some interesting books that I wanted to buy and that got me to thinking about some of the good books I've read recently...

Books are always very handy for Christmas presents so I hoped we could share some good ones-not necessarily romance- that we've read this year? Series are always good--get hooked on one book and you're sorted for your next few books too!

For anyone: I'm currently reading Career Of Evil by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) which is the 3rd in the Cormoran Strike detective series. I love the way Galbraith writes so fluidly and with a lot of description. These detective books are like old fashioned cosy, mysteries. They all feature an enigmatic detective (Cormoran) ands woman sidekick, Robin. Their relationship develops slowly through the three books as they work together to solve murder cases. the first one was about a famous actress who had been found, allegedly having fallen from a balcony. The second was about a crazed author and his publishing company/agent..and this third one taxes the intrepid two as they try to work out who has sent them a severed leg through the mail (ugh)...why, who it belongs to and who did the chopping!

For men: My husband is reading Book Four in the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series.  The Girl In The Spiders Web was 'ghost' written, as Stieg Larsson died having only completed half of it. The Doc reckons it's a little slow to star with (I seem to remember all the books from the series were like that)...but a quarter of the way through he's thoroughly enjoying it. All four of these books set out to solve murders with the girl with the dragon tattoo, Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomqvist.

For romance lovers: I've just finished reading Sarah Morgan's Puffin Island series which I absolutely adored... 3 best friends find love on an island in Maine. *Le sigh*... As always Morgan writes with heart and emotion and her stories are always fun. First Time In Forever is the first book in the series and features Emily who is hiding from the media as she takes her newly acquired charge, niece to Puffin Island so she can learn how to be a parent...falling in love with local Ryan is not part of the plan. 2nd book, Some Kind of Wonderful features a second chance romance between pilot Zach and archaeologist Brittany. 3rd book, Christmas Ever After features jewellery designer Skylar and TV documentary heart throb Alec--who hate each other on first sight.

For Writers: Word Menu is a fabulous book for any writer where word reference is organised by subject matter. This means if you're writing about a soldier- just look up the word soldier and every word associated with a soldier is all under one section. makes life a LOT easier.

May I also be so bold as to recommend two cheeky stocking fillers??  Both out on Dec 1st we have the Hot Christmas Nights boxset...7 amazing stories by your very own Love Cat authors...

Plus, Her Doctor's Secret Proposal which is part of the Midwives-On-Call at Christmas series... both by yours truly.

Any suggestions for Christmas gifts / books?

Nov 25, 2015

Welcome to my rose garden

Welcome to my rose garden

November is my favourite time in my farm garden because it’s when the roses are at their blooming brilliant best. Right now we have hundreds of glorious roses wherever we look. The scent wafts all around the garden and into the house. I thought I’d share a few photos with you.

This gorgeous David Austin rose is a favourite.

 The climate in our part of the Blue Mountains is very favourable to roses—lots of sun, not too humid, cold winter (cold by Australian standards, that is!)
Most of the roses were already in place when we bought the place, planted by the lovely previous owner, but we’ve added some favourites as well.

This is Zepherine Drouan and it has the most glorious scent

 When we moved in more than eleven years ago, my darling husband wasn’t all that interested in gardening. But he really fell for the roses. He does most of the work these days, pruning, weeding, feeding.  Roses are known as “gross feeders”, needing lots of fertilizer. That’s where our horses and little bulls contribute! I just pick the flowers and put them in the vase—lucky me! 

Pink roses are probably my favourite

My August release from Harlequin Romance, Hired by the Brooding Billionaire was set in a beautiful, neglected garden. It was one of my favourite books to write! 

My other favourite story (because it has a cat in it!) is my contribution, Millionaire Under the Mistletoe, to the LoveCats fabulous boxed set Hot Christmas Nights to be released on December 1. These stories are fabulous—each so different I couldn't pick a favourite. There's a lot of romantic Christmas reading there for just $0.99. It's up on Amazon for pre-order now!

All ready to take inside!

Are you a rose lover? Do you have a favourite flower? A green thumb or one that’s a tad brown around the edges?

Nov 23, 2015

Film Review - loving and hating on "The Dressmaker".

I want to talk to you about a film that I saw and loved, loved, loved recently. I loved it almost as much as I hated it and am torn between recommending it and warning people who have romance in their heart and soul to never ever ever see it because it will break you.

Sounds complicated right? Well, it is.

Firstly, here's the trailer -

So here are the pluses -
  1. A half naked Liam Hemsworth - an easy rec there, right? Check.
  2. A magnificent Judy Davis playing the role of hag. Check. 
  3. Kate Winslet doing a pretty good Aussie (IMHO). Check. 
  4. Amazing outback scenery that is so incredibly rich and incredibly accurate. Check.
  5. Fashion to make you swoon. Check.
  6. An Australian film that is delightfully understated and yet not. Check.
  7. Quirk central. Check.

BUT. And this is a very big but. A couple of things happen in quick succession about half way through (no spoliers, although one wasn't entirely unexpected) that left me so bloody outraged I almost walked out of the cinema. Seriously, I was soooo close.

"No, no, no! How can they do this?" I wailed to my movie companion. I was soooo angry. Furious! Incensed! I've never read the book but I figured it had stayed fairly true to the story here (a fact later confirmed) and if the author had been in the cinema I think I may just have......I dont know...slapped her? Certainly demanded she go back to her computer and make it right because if I'd been reading it this is the place I would have thrown the book against the wall!

But, here's the thing, the ending was so brilliantly, magnificently vengeful (I was cheering so hard) that, as a storyteller, I knew I couldn't have one without the other. If the awful stuff in the middle hadn't happened, the ending would have been very different and the movie would have been the poorer. And it wasn't until I got to the end that I realised how subtle the layering of the plot and the intertwining of the threads actually is. The author/scriptwriter weaved them altogether with such a goassamer hand I want to go back and see it again to pick up on all the gorgeous subtlety.

So yeh....complicated. I've never been so torn by a movie. Ever.

My overall thoughts? I laughed. I cried. Man did I cry. Buckets of tears. But I cheered also. Hands down one of the best endings ever. Should you go see it? The romance writer in me wants to say no but it was so damn good I find myself recommending it despite myself.  I know its only on a limited release outside Australia but if you're after something quirky and funny and different that's heart wrenching and delightfully, spitefully uplifting all in one I think it's worth a look.

Oh, and did I mention a half-naked Liam Hemsworth?

Have you seen The Dressmaker? Did you like it, love it, hate it? Would you recommend it? Ever seen a film where you wanted to walk out halfway through because it was just so damn crushing?

PS -  All my Outback Heat series is now out in the world. They can be purchased at Amazon for $2.99 each and should be across all digital platforms soon!

Nov 22, 2015

Sunday Smooch with Yvonne Lindsay

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from  Yvonne Lindsay but first 

... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is  


Can you please contact  stefanie (at) stefanie - london (dot) com  to receive your copy of A DANGEROUSLY SEXY CHRISTMAS.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Yvonne Lindsay! (Available for pre-order from Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Harlequin stockists online and near you!)

A sexy Texan has the holidays to decide: close the deal or open his heart? Only from USA TODAY bestselling author Yvonne Lindsay! 

Royal, Texas, native Nolan Dane's homecoming is bittersweet—he'd once lost everything here. But he's eager to finalize a key real estate deal for his mysterious boss by Christmas—even if making it happen means cozying up to local shop owner Raina Patterson. Falling for the beautiful single mom isn't part of the plan. But when Nolan's secrets catch up with him, he realizes his true feelings for Raina run deep. Now, can he prove he's worthy of her—before it's too late?

Single mother, Raina Patterson, doesn't want to make a mistake again, not like the last time. She's slow to trust and has resisted Nolan's efforts to take her out but one day she can resist him no longer...

Their drive back to her house was done in a companionable silence and once they got there, Nolan walked Raina up the path to her front door. Haloed by the porch light, she looked like a beautiful angel but his thoughts and intentions toward her were anything but angelic.

“Thank you for this evening,” Raina said. “I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed adult conversation and company.”

There was a smile on her face that was a wistful and it sent a pang to Nolan’s chest. He could imagine she had little enough time to herself, let alone to share with another person.

“It was absolutely my pleasure.”

Afterward he couldn’t be certain who had made the first move. But it didn’t matter one bit. His senses filled with her—her scent, her taste, the feel of her in his arms and above all else, the beauty of her kiss. A sense of rightness filled him as their lips met, as his hand lifted to thread through her hair and to cup the back of her head. Inside him a knot began to unravel and he knew, in that moment, that he wanted Raina in his life. That he could finally begin to let go of the pain of the past that had kept him in emotional isolation.

He traced the softness of her lips with his tongue as they parted beneath him. Desire unfurled through his body, doubling on itself until it consumed his thoughts. When Raina’s hands pushed through his hair and held him to her, he knew she felt the same. She pressed her body against his and heat flared between them.

Nolan deepened their kiss. His tongue probed her mouth and she responded in kind. A shudder of need pummeled him and he felt an echoing tremor from her.

Overhead the light flicked off and then on again.

He felt Raina pull away. Her lips were swollen and curved into a grin.

“I can’t believe this. My father is obviously letting me know it’s time for me to come inside.” She gave a half-embarrassed giggle before leaning forward to kiss Nolan sweetly, and all too swiftly, on his lips. “I’m sorry. I’d better go in before he comes out with a shot gun.”

“You’re kidding about the shot gun, right?”

“Of course I am, but he’s very protective. Thank you again, Nolan. For everything.”

“We’ll see each other again,” he stated firmly.

“Yes, I’d like that.”


She nodded and laughed, her breath leaving a misty cloud in the air between them. “Yes, soon. How about Monday night? Dinner here, with JJ and me.”

“I’d really like that,” Nolan said. Even though every minute he’d spent with JJ so far reminded him all too much of all the things he’d missed out on with his own son, he enjoyed the little guy’s company and his simple enthusiasm for life. It was a poignant reminder that he needed to inject some of that enthusiasm back into his own. And maybe, just maybe, he needed to consider telling Raina about the wife and son he’d lost, too. “Monday, then.”

“Is six o’clock okay with you?”

“Perfect. I’ll be there. Can I bring anything?”

“Just yourself is fine. See you then.”

She turned, put her key in the lock and opened the front door. Then, with a small wave, she was gone from sight. Nolan shoved his hands in his pockets and jogged down the path to his car. He drove back to the hotel, his mind only half on what he was doing while the other half raced ahead and churned over a million different thoughts.

Sleep would be a long time coming tonight. He hadn’t expected anything like this when he’d returned to Royal. Hadn’t wanted it. He’d been meticulous about his relationships in the past and particularly about avoiding any emotional entanglements. But somehow this attraction had found him and lodged itself within the gaping hole of loneliness he had come to accept as being as much a part of him as every breath he took.

And it felt good. In fact, it felt better than good—it had brought back to life something he hadn’t experienced in far too long, hope—which left him between a rock and a hard place when it came to the job he was really here to do. Did he compromise his integrity and this fledgling relationship or should he focus on the role he was here to complete and then walk away at the end of his time here in Royal knowing he could be walking away from the best thing that had happened to him in a very long time?

I have to admit, I'm a bit of a "Bah, humbug!" type when it comes to Christmas. I haven't always been like that and I live in hope that some of the joy of Christmas will return to me one day, LOL! Whether I'll reach Christmas Fairy levels of joy will remain to be seen, however, but I'm curious...which are you? Scrooge or the Christmas Fairy? All comments will go into a draw for one lucky winner to receive a signed copy of LONE STAR HOLIDAY PROPOSAL!

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a smooch from the ever-gorgeous and vivacious Louisa George will be posted!

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver