Wednesday, October 19, 2016

EskieMama Reads Midweek Spotlight w/Giveaway: Wicked Rivals by Lauren Smith

Welcome to EskieMama Reads Midweek Spotlight!
Today we are spotlighting Lauren Smith's 
Wicked Rivals!

Enter below to win a chance at the 1st 3 books in print Wicked Designs, His Wicked Seduction, Her Wicked Proposal (winner's choice paperback or digital) from Lauren Smith!

Book 4 in The League of Rogues Series
Wicke Rivals!

Merciless and powerful, Ashton Lennox is a wealthy man because he puts business before everything else, especially love. As a member of the infamous League of Rogues, he’s no stranger to scandal. His bedroom conquests are as legendary as his fortune. As he searches for a way to bring down an old enemy bent on destroying the lives of his friends, the last thing he needs is a Scottish widow getting in his way.

The daughter of a Scottish lord with a dark and treacherous past, Rosalind Melbourne has spent years distancing from her past. After escaping her tyrannical father and marrying an aging English lord, she has become a powerful widow with a business empire at her command. Her business dealings are everything to her, leaving her no time for love. Especially not with her business rival Ashton, a man with a scandalous reputation as striking as his blue eyes.


Ashton is fascinated by the strong-willed, intelligent and sensual lady who, up until now, had outsmarted him at every turn. Rosalind wishes she could deny she is falling for the brooding, handsome baron. How can she possibly trust him when doing so could cost her what she values most—her freedom? When Ashton discovers Rosalind might hold the key to saving the League of Rogues, he knows he will do anything to woo his wicked lass. As their pasts return to haunt them and dark forces rise to keep them from exposing a deadly spymaster, their game of love turns to a game of survival…

Warning: This book includes a brooding baron who’s wild in bed, a crafty Scottish lass who never knows when to quit, a wicked game of strip chess, and a merry band of rogues whose first instinct is to run they hear wedding bells ring.


Q & A with Lauren Smith about Wicked Rivals!

Tell us about Wicked Rivals.
Wicked Rivals is a tale of Rosalind, a female Scottish banker, and Ashton, an English baron, who vie against each other in business but fall in love along the way.

What initially inspired you to write Wicked Rivals?

Well the story originally came as part of my six book League of Rogues series which features a different hero from the League for each book. Ashton was always the one in the League that was focused on business and from the start of the series, he slowly began to get entangled with Lady Rosalind Melbourne who is a feisty Scottish lady that simply won’t let him win in business. I was researching the history of female bankers (yes there were female bankers back then!) and was fascinated to discover how much women were involved in businesses during the Regency era and since I love strong powerful female leads in my stories, I knew that Rosalind would have to be just as smart and cunning as Ashton to be his perfect romantic match.

Tell us little about the characters in Wicked Rivals
Ashton is a cool, controlled and sensual man who isn’t afraid to use his seductive talents to get ahead in business. He believes that he will likely never be lucky enough to fall in love and frankly doesn’t trust his heart to anyone. Rosalind comes from an abusive father and a crumbling castle in Scotland. Even though she had three older brothers to look out for her, she flees her country and marries an older, kind, Englishman who before he dies, instructs her how to run his banks and businesses. By the time she’s a widow, she is standing on her own and is quite powerful. She is drawn to Ashton just as he is drawn to her and they can’t help but fall in love as they challenge each other.

What was the hardest part of writing Wicked Rivals?

The hardest part was the subplots that thread through the entire series. Each book in the League of Rogues series has a villain named Hugo Waverly and he causes a bit of trouble for the league in an increasingly dangerous way and I have to balance a lot of story threads to pull it together.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? 

The infamous game of Strip Chess!! In order to convince Rosalind to marry him, Ashton challenges her to a game of strip chess where if she loses she must marry him. The chess match is a metaphor for their relationship, the cunning battles, the planning, all of it. And to play it out in a physical game was fun and sexy!

What are your future project(s)?
I’m currently writing three Russian dragonshifter books which I hope will come out in 2018. I have 3 really fun, Edwardian novellas coming out in fall of 2017 which are a lot o like Downton Abbey.

Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers about this book/series?
All of the books in the series can be read as standalones, but it’s a lot of fun to read them in order because you see all of the heroes grow. And one of the most unique things about the series is that the men in the previous books still show up on the pages of the later books in every single book because the six men are close friends, almost like brothers, and the story is about that intense bond of friendship in addition to the wild steamy romances.

Now an exciting excerpt from Wicked Rivals!

Rosalind couldn’t believe the mess she was in. Marry Ashton? Was he serious? She wasn’t repulsed at the thought of pretending—truth be told, a part of her secretly enjoyed it—but now he was asking her why she wouldn’t actually marry him.
She shivered, even though the dressing gown she wore was warm against her. Her wet hair still lay thick and heavy on her shoulders. She felt vulnerable, too exposed physically and emotionally. Given the intense gleam in Ashton’s eyes, she knew he was aware of this vulnerability, and no doubt planned to use it to his advantage.
Yet she sensed in him a practiced restraint that always amazed her. She’d never met a man with so much control. Any other man would be pressing his advantage to slake his lust, but not Ashton. If it hadn’t been for that moment in the theater, she’d wonder if he even desired her. Was it all a game to him, even his passions?
“Is the thought of marrying me so dreadful to contemplate that it turns your stomach? What do you find distasteful about me?”
Rosalind’s eyes narrowed.
“Business practices aside, of course.” Ashton stepped closer. Only a few inches separated them now, but she held her ground. She raised her head and met him stare for stare.
“Let me think…” She tapped her chin with a finger as she compiled her list. “You’re too tall, for one thing. You’re arrogant, more so than most men. You think you can possess anything or anyone, and your actions are always justified if it gets you what you want. And frankly, I do not care for the way you kiss.”
She swore she saw a ghost of a smile. He raised one dark-gold brow and slowly lifted a hand to her cheek, brushing his knuckles over her skin. His touch felt wonderful, and she hated that it did.
“As to the first, it can’t be helped. The second I would call confidence, not arrogance. I readily admit to the third, and I believe you’re lying through your teeth about the last. Still, I see no reason why we shouldn’t go forward with this scheme to deceive my mother. Not if you believe it is to our mutual advantage. Should we see to settling the matter with our solicitors?”
She bristled. “That is perhaps what I despise the most. Everything is business with you. Details, facts, figures. All of it so cold and emotionless,” she growled in frustration.
“It usually is, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. I am a masterful lover.”
“There is that arrogance again.”
“Confidence,” Ashton corrected. His warm breath fanned across her face. She tried not to think about how good it felt to be so close to a large, warm, masculine body. She never asked anyone for help when she could avoid it, but sometimes she could still be tempted by the strength of a man like Ashton. Someone she could imagine would protect her, care for her.
It doesn’t make me weak; it’s simply that he’s too hard to resist.
“I’m not interested in being your lover,” she said. Yet she couldn’t stop staring at his lips. Full, sensual, kissable
“You don’t have to be. But a few kisses at the right time would at least convince my mother we are courting. And it should seem to her as if we have kissed before.”
“We have kissed before.”
“Practice does make perfect…” His head dipped a few inches toward hers, but his lips did not touch hers. Her body was nearly exploding with tension at being so close to him. She was angry, yet full of desire and utterly confused, but she knew she did want to kiss him…because he was right about her lying before. She liked how he kissed far too much.
She wasn’t sure who moved first. When their mouths met it was like setting a torch to a keg of gunpowder. All that she’d endured the last two days exploded out from her through her kiss, equal parts anger and passion.
She gripped Ashton’s shirt by his neck, clinging to him, meshing her lips against his. Suddenly she was lifted up in the air, and she wrapped her legs around his waist.
Hard wood slammed against her back as he pressed her against the wall and kissed her ruthlessly.
Even in this we compete. The thought had her smiling, and then a chuckle escaped between their breathless kisses. When he paused to look at her, she couldn’t help her silly grin.
“What?” he asked, his tone playful. “What is so amusing?” He nuzzled her cheek.
She almost didn’t tell him, but the fire in the room and his hot body flush against hers felt divine. She couldn’t think past the delightful haze sweeping through her.
“We compete, even in kissing.”
His laughter at that was dark and delightful.
“We are rivals, darling. Perhaps we ought to compete in bed as well?”
His suggestion flooded her with images of their bodies entwined, fighting to be the best at pleasuring the other to the point where neither of them would recover for days.
“Don’t you want to best me in that, future wife?” he asked huskily. “Put me in my place?”
Future wife. That brought her dire situation crashing back down upon her.
This is only a game.” It was as much to remind herself as it was him.
He pulled away, but only a few inches. “I know, but why are you so frightened of the idea?”
She wrinkled her nose. “Because I cannot give a husband what he would want.” She could never let him know just how terrified she was to lose the sense of identity she’d managed to build for herself.
He kissed the corner of her mouth, gently fisting one hand in her hair. The gentle but possessive hold made her body burn with heat.
“Why…not?” Ashton asked again, licking the shell of her ear now.
“Because I don’t…” Her mind was too fuzzy, her body too hot to think clearly.
One of his hands stroked up her outer thigh, his grip hard but not hurting. Just right…
“Come now, sweetheart, what has you so frightened?”
Damn, the man knew how to hold her, to touch her… “I cannot let any man control me ever again.” Memories of long, cold, frightening nights in Scotland when her father’s temper ran high had left scars on her heart.

Lauren Smith is an Oklahoma attorney by day, author by night for Grand Central Publishing, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She knew she was destined to be a romance writer when she attempted to re-write the entire Titanic movie just to save Jack from drowning. Connecting with readers by writing emotionally moving, realistic and sexy romances no matter what time period is her passion. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including: New England Reader’s Choice Awards, Greater Detroit BookSeller’s Best Awards, Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award. To connect with Lauren, visit her at or twitter at @LSmithAuthor.

Social Links:

Wicked Rivals Spotlight

#FosterAnAuthor2 w/Giveaway: Day 3 Dangerous Dalliances by Dawn Ibanez

Welcome to DAY 3 of 
sponsored by Jo & Isa Love Books
& to Dawn Ibanez's
"foster home"!

Today Dawn is spotlighting book three in her 
Maxwell Investigations
Dangerous Dalliances

Enter below for chance to win signed copies (US only) digital copies (INT)
of Maxwell Investigations series from Dawn!

Book three of the Maxwell Investigations series
Dangerous Dalliances

Months ago, Barry Maxwell had a taste of forbidden fruit. Now, Lily wants nothing to do with him.

For years, Lilavanti Dallas hid behind a quiet and meek nature. No one would have suspected she was really a Succubus under all of her wraps and saris... until Barry.

Prophesies and secrets collide while Barry tries to carve a place in Lily's life. And when sinister plans threaten to bring about Armageddon, Barry and Lily must figure out if their attraction will be the start of something good, or if it will destroy everything.

Grab YOUR copy TODAY!

Q & A with Dawn about Dangerous Dalliances!

Tell us about Dangerous Dalliances.
Dangerous Dalliances is Barry and Lily’s book. Again, we got to see more of them in the last book, but this is their story. We find out about the danger that surrounded the Maxwell Family and in turn learn that everyone stands stronger together than apart.

What initially inspired you to write Dangerous Dalliances?
After Precarious Possessions, I lost my day job. I was pretty lost and decided to try babysitting to make ends meet. I falling into a pretty dark place and knew that this was the perfect time to expand on Lily. I wanted to find my feet again, and figured what better way to do that than have a heroine that’s feeling pretty lost herself. As for Barry… have you seen how many shirtless pictures Shemar Moore has on the internet? He is the only choice for Barry in my mind. 

After that, I couldn’t tell you. Honestly, DD was the first book that I had, where it wrote itself 90% of the time.

Tell us little about the characters in Dangerous Dalliances.
Well, Lily is a Succubus, a creature long thought to be extinct. She is in hiding while her twin brother is running around killing people. She feels like she is responsible, but for a good while she is torn between doing what’s right, and standing by family. 

Barry is a Mage. Unlike his siblings, instead of focusing on one type of Magic, he can dip into pretty much everyone’s pool. His heart is always in the right place, even if he screws up (see Precarious Possessions LOL). And he screws up… a lot. 

What was the hardest part of writing Dangerous Dalliances?
The hardest part for this was finding the little strings from Tangled Temptations and Precarious Possessions and making sure they were tied. There are just enough things hanging out there to know that yes, the series is continuing, but this story-arc is done.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? 
*Insert big smile here LOL* It’s just something about me (chalk it up to writing style, I don’t know) but just about everything that I’ve written has this big battle towards the end. I think Tangled Temptations is the only book to NOT have a battle at the end; and that could be because it’s more in the middle who knows. I think I marathoned ALL of the Underworld movies, I had been playing Castlevainia: Lord of Shadows, and when I write, I don’t have characters speaking to ME per se. I see an anime playing in my head. So I get up to this battle, the Apocalypse is here, everyone is fighting… I just loved every second of it. 

Is there a message in Dangerous Dalliances that you hope readers will grasp? 
Family, love, balance, normalcy have all been heavy themes in this series. Doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, or even doing the right thing for the wrong reasons can usually end with disastrous results. 

Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers about this book/series?
For now, Dangerous Dalliances is the last story in the Maxwell Investigations Series. I will come back to the world eventually. There’s enough going on that you know it continues, but it’s starting to branch off into different areas. So don’t be upset, we’ll see the others again.

Now an exciting excerpt from Dangerous Dalliances!

He had to be more than just a Mage. Lily was sure of it. Even fully clothed, watching Barry move heavy boxes from one room to another was slow torture. She could see the way his muscles flexed under the cloth. If she didn’t know any better, she would swear he was teasing her.
Barry grunted as he put the final box on the floor. “These boxes are way too heavy for just books,” he announced as he dusted his hands off.
A single drop of sweat eased out from behind his ear. Lily’s eyes were riveted as the single bead slowly trailed down his neck and into his shirt. She blinked rapidly as he cleared his throat. The knowing smirk on his face made her blush. “What?” she challenged.
His smirk grew into a full smile as he sat on the sofa. “Nothing,” he said innocently. “You just look a little peckish, that’s all.”
Lily’s face felt like it was on fire. “I’m fine,” she countered. “There’s another few weeks before I should feed again, so no. I’m not hungry or peckish.
Barry reached over and grabbed her hand. He frowned when he saw how badly she was trembling. “What’s going on Lily?” he asked seriously.
She allowed him to pull her forward and sat next to him. As she gazed into his deep brown eyes, she chewed nervously on her lip. “I don’t know what’s happening,” she confessed. She ran her fingers through her hair and took a restless breath. “For whatever reason, all I want to do is sit back and watch you move. Then when that isn’t enough, I want to get close to you.”
He fought a smile as he reached forward and played with a lock of her hair. “Are you trying to tell me you’re attracted to me?” he asked. When her eyes narrowed, he laughed. “Come on Lily. I think we’ve been attracted to each other since the day we met. At least I was. This isn’t anything new.”
“That’s just it. It is new to me.” She jumped to her feet and started to pace across the living room. Lily’s eyes stayed focused on the floor as she moved back and forth. She didn’t think she could deal with seeing the shock in his eyes. “I’m a Succubus. Sex is nothing new to me. But I have to have it. When I get hungry, I see a guy, or girl, we get together and that’s it. Usually, I don’t see them again. I never wanted to spend time with them.” She ran her hands through her hair and let out another restless breath. “I shouldn’t want to spend time with you either. But I do. I want to know if you and I can be more than bed partners.”
Barry stood and put his hands on her shoulders. When she looked at him, he gave her a playful smile. “You have to admit, we were really hot bed partners,” he joked. When she frowned, his shoulders fell. “Lily, it was a joke.”
She broke away from his hold with a growl. “I barely remember what happened that night and I feel like I was cheated,” she admitted. Before he could say anything else that would embarrass her, she reached up and kissed him. A soft moan left her as his arms came around her and pulled her close.
He smiled as she slid her arms around his neck. With ease, he lifted her against his body, only to groan when her legs came up and wrapped around his waist.
Lily couldn’t help herself. For the first time she knew what girls meant when they talked of butterflies and magic when they kissed someone. She was nearly giddy when he fell back onto the sofa. She wanted to have him again, and this time her hunger wouldn’t get in her way.
Just as she started to reach for his belt, Barry’s phone started to ring. Lily stiffened as she pulled away from Barry’s kiss. Stunned green eyes turned to his as she bit her bottom lip. Reality started to crash down on her again. Barry saw the look in her eyes and grabbed her hand. “We’re okay.

Dawn's Social Links:
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Giveaway: (Another chance to win copies of Maxwell Investigation over at our Facebook Page)

Dawn Ibanez #FosterAnAuthor2

#FosterAnAuthor2 w/Givaway: Day 3 Candy Series by Debra Doxer

Welcome to DAY 2 of 
sponsored by Jo & Isa Love Books
& to Debra Doxer's
"foster home"!

Today Debra is spotlighting her young adult series
Candy Series
& EskieMama Reads is so excited we get the exclusive
on the Candy Series NEW COVERS!

Enter below for chance to win signed copy of Breaking Skin
from Debra & hop over to our Facebook Page for a chance to 
win a signed copy of Play of Light!

Book One in the Candy Series (NEW COVERS)
Like Candy

Revenge is sweet, just like candy.

Candy Seaborne knows she’s badass. She takes after her father, an assassin and possibly a spy, although he won’t admit to either. She idolizes him. Her dream is to follow in his footsteps. But first, she has to finish high school.

Biding her time, waiting for real life to begin, Candy craves drama and isn’t above manufacturing some. If you’re a classmate who wronged her or a boyfriend who cheated, watch your back. She’s no pushover, and revenge may be her favorite pastime.

Jonah Bryson is the senior class heartthrob who breaks all the stereotypes. He’s a jock, but he isn’t the typical player. He’s moody and antisocial. No girl has gotten anywhere with him since his last girlfriend broke his heart.

Candy sees Jonah as a challenge and the perfect distraction. But she may be in over her head because unlike everyone else, Jonah isn’t buying her tough act. He sees the lost, lonely girl inside. He sees too much. When he looks at her that way, she wants to let her guard down and be vulnerable. But that’s the last thing she should do because her father’s world is spilling over into hers, and life is about to get real much sooner than Candy expected.

This story is told over two full-length books.
Sweet Liar (The Candy Series, Book 2) will be available this fall.


Book Two in the Candy Series (NEW COVER)
Sweet Liar

Sometimes lies are sweeter than the truth.

Beauty is alluring; it can disguise the ugliness beneath. But scarred beauty is even more potent to a girl who vowed never to let her heart be broken again. It was an easy vow for Candy to keep until she met Jonah, an arrogant boy with a face that would be too perfect if not for the scar that marred the skin beside his eye.

That imperfect boy earned her trust and won her heart, but the ties that bind people together are fragile, especially when lies are told. Trust is also fragile, and once broken, doesn’t heal like a heart. Trust has to be earned again, and Jonah desperately wants Candy’s trust back.

But Candy has more than Jonah to worry about. Her father is in trouble, and she intends to help him whether he likes it or not. People tell her he’s a bad man, and that may be true, but he’s not all bad. Deep down, she understands his brand of badness because she’s so much like him.

When Candy finally learns the truth, she’ll have to grow up fast, let go of old grievances, and realize that being vulnerable doesn’t make her weak. In fact, opening herself up may be the very thing that makes her whole again.

Grab YOUR copy TODAY!

Q & A with Debra about the Candy Series!

What initially inspired you to write The Candy Series?
I wanted to write a character who was different from any character I’d ever written before, someone completely opposite from me, a female antihero.

.Tell us little about the characters in The Candy Series.The main character is named Candy Seaborne. She’s a high school student and there isn’t very much that’s redeeming about her in the beginning. She takes no crap and has no problem seeing revenge on those she believes wronged her. But she’s this way for a reason. She learned it from her secret agent father.

What was the hardest part of writing The Candy Series?
The character of Candy was the hardest part, making her tough and hard-edged, but sympathetic at the same time.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? Every scene between Candy and her friend Theo was so fun to write. Their banter is quick and snarky and I loved coming up with it.

Is there a message in The Candy Series the that you hope readers will grasp?
I’m not sure there’s a message here. It was pure fun for me, a complete departure, and I hope readers have just as much fun when they enter Candy’s world.

Now an exciting excerpt from Book 1 Like Candy in the Candy Series!

“So, how do you two know each other?” Heather asked.
Rather than answer, I waited for whatever comment Theo had brewing since I was sure he had one.
“We met in group therapy for sex addicts.” He said it casually, without a hint of a smile.
Jonah arched an eyebrow and Heather’s eyes widened. “Oh,” she said quietly.
Crossing his arms, Theo leaned back in the booth. “Yeah, it’s nice to finally be with someone who understands my needs, if you know what I mean.”
“Your need for bullshit.” I bumped my shoulder into his. “We used to go to school together before I moved here. And the only group therapy he needs is one for compulsive liars.”
“So you’re not a sex addict?” Jonah asked dryly.
“She’s more like the opposite,” Theo said.
My mouth fell open before I turned and glared at him.
“What? That time I wasn’t lying.” He shrugged innocently before turning to Jonah. “Did she tell you she’s sworn off guys? Not that she needed to. After what she did to her ex, I’m sure dates aren’t exactly coming her way.”
“Oh my God.” My glare heated. Theo obviously intended to ignore everything I’d told him in the car about not embarrassing me. And for what reason? Talking about my ex wasn’t going to make Jonah want to date me, more like run in the other direction.
Heather’s interest was piqued, though. She leaned forward. “What did you do to your ex?”
Jonah seemed interested too. “I heard the no-dating thing was her choice, and that she’d pulled some pranks before she moved here.”
I pursed my lips, knowing he was remembering our chat from before we put the lockbox in Parker’s locker.
Beside me, Theo’s smile grew. “Well, those are Candy’s stories to tell, not mine.”
When they all looked at me, I shrugged. “I can’t talk about it. There’s still an ongoing investigation.”
Heather’s eyes rounded, but Jonah chuckled quietly, not appearing to believe me.
“I’m kidding,” I told her.
“Oh.” She snorted out a laugh.
I cleared my throat. The police weren’t involved in that situation; not that I knew of, at least.

Debra's Social Links

Giveaway: (Also chance to win a signcopy of Play of Light over at our Facebook Page)