Friday, November 29, 2013

Fire & Ice Book Tour: Crazy in Paradise by Deborah Brown

Link back to the Tour: 

Crazy in Paradise by Deborah Brown Media Kit

Virtual Book Tour Dates: 11/20/13 – 12/4/13

Genres: Adventure, Mystery, Humor


When Madison Westin, the main character, inherits her aunt's beachfront motel in the Florida Keys, or so she thinks. Tarpon Cove is not your typical sleepy beach town: Seduction, drunks, ex-cons and fugitives are not the usual fare for someone looking to start a new chapter in their life. Wrestling control of the property from both the lawyer and the conniving motel manager will be no easy feat. But Madison likes living on the edge so she feels right at home. Bullets fly, a dead body turns up, a kidnapping and blackmail. Madison really has to learn not to leave home without her Glock or it could get her killed.



When I looked at this cover I had no idea what to expect from this book. The genre said mystery but the cover seemed like a vacation. So I was hopeful that this at least would be a good distraction from the every day thing called life.  The main character Madison Weston was easy to relate to, at least for me. I enjoyed her personality and the way she had to overcome her little obstacles. The book was full of easy reading that flowed well and kept me reading on.

The reason I'm giving it a 3.5 Star review is because the 'mystery' element wasn't very hard to figure out. The twists didn't shock me and the story line was mostly believable with one or two exceptions. I would have liked to see a bit more intensity.

That being said - it was an easy read, a light enjoyment and something that I don't mind telling people to consider picking up if they like light and easy mysteries. And if you are looking for a book to read while lying in the sand at the beach or on a bench pool side, consider this one.



Tarpon Cove is an unsophisticated beach town situated at the top of the Keys off the Overseas Highway, which begins just north of Key Largo and ends in Key West. Tropical Slumber Funeral Home is located on the main street that runs through town. In a previous life, the building had obviously been a drive-thru fast food restaurant, the kind where you drove through the center of the building to place your order for a hot dog and fries. The new owners hadn’t even bothered to take down the concrete picnic tables that were on the side of the building. But they had replaced the old metal umbrellas with tropical thatched-style ones. A red carpet ran from the parking lot to the front door and continued to the door of the hearse parked behind the building.

We’d taken our seats on the rock-hard old church pews. I turned to look at my mother. “People are going to hear you laughing,” I whispered. “What’s wrong with you?”

My mother, Madeline Westin, had aged well; she looked younger than her sixty years, her short blonde hair framing her face. She wore a colorful sundress that showed off her long tanned legs.
She put her head on my shoulder. “I think Elizabeth is staring at me,” she whispered back.
Mother was right about one thing: it did appear as though Elizabeth was staring at everyone. They’d propped her up in the casket, and positioned her to sit straight up. She was dressed in a tent-style dress that was bright yellow and flowery, with a wilted corsage pinned to the front; a dress she never would’ve chosen for herself. Yellow was her least favorite color, and here she was surrounded by all white and yellow daisies and carnations, when she loved bold color and exotic blooms.

I tried to speak to Dickie about the arrangements when I first arrived in town. He told me firmly that he only took instructions from Tucker Davis and he wasn’t allowed to discuss any of the final details. I wondered why the secrecy, but he was so nervous I didn’t ask any more questions. He told me not to worry; he had worked hard to make everything memorable.

I appealed to him, “Don’t family members usually participate in the planning?”

But he was very clear; Tucker Davis’ approval was the most important thing to him.
I took a deep breath. Later, our family would create a lasting tribute to Elizabeth showing how much we had loved and respected her, and how we would deeply miss her. But for now, this would have to do, I guess.




Author Bio:

Crazy in Paradise, is Deborah Brown’s debut novel, a Florida Keys mystery, which makes the reader laugh, cry and cheer...

My personal ad would read:

Since all great journeys start with a single step, I’ll have on a cute pair of shoes.

Crazy. Redhead. 5’2”, long legs. As an avid exerciser, I get to the gym every five years or so. I hate being tricked by that stinking raisin in the oatmeal cookie when my heart is set on chocolate. And it’s totally acceptable for me to be mildly annoying when it makes me laugh. South Florida is my home, with my ungrateful rescue animals, where Mother Nature takes out her bad attitude in the form of hurricanes.

Author Links:  Twitter Facebook

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving - 2013

Happy Turkey Day!

What are you and yours doing on this traditional American holiday? My hubby and I are off to his parents house for a 'traditional' feast. We will bring our dogs and his cousin and aunt/uncle will be in town. It's going to be quite a blast, or at least, that's what's planned. But you know what they say about best laid plans....

So, I thought today instead of talking about what I am thankful for, (because this is something I think should be a random day post not a Thanksgiving Day 'cause I'm thankful every day for something) I would give you a tiny bit of history to go along with your turkey and stuffing.

Here we go ... Thanksgiving Fun Fact you might not know.

Inside the city of El Paso, Texas there is a place that 'claims' to have hosted the very first Thanksgiving in 'American' history. This claim takes place in 1598 on the 30th of April. There is a giant statue in the El Paso airport celebrating this event. The immigrants were stuck in Mexico and unable to cross the river. The local priest and native Indians found them and assisted them in crossing the river. The 'Thanksgiving' feast was the immigrants celebration of them surviving the river and entering our country.

As if this claim wasn't enough to throw all of New England into an uproar claiming they had the first Thanksgiving there are still other claims that a date that preceded this one (inside Texas) had the first Thanksgiving. Apparently the Library of Congress has a 'Thanksgiving Timeline' that shows the actual Plymouth celebration was number five, not number one that so many have come to learn inside school. To be exactly Texas (1541), Florida (1546), Maine (1607) and Virginia (1610) all have claims to a Thanksgiving that took place before Plymouth (1621).

There we have it - a little bit of Thanksgiving history for you on this chilly day in Texas. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. I was shocked to find out all of this information. And there was a lot, far more than I had time to write about inside of a blog post.

But this just goes to prove my Momma was always right - Question Everything!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Winning NaNoWriMo

Another first for this Author! 

You all know how I love recording the 'firsts' that happen along this journey I am conquering. This one was a self imposed challenge. I had attempted NaNoWriMo in 2011 and totally crapped out. I deleted the story I was working on and can't even remember what it was about. In 2012 I got sick and ended up taking seven weeks instead of four weeks to complete Maverick Touch: The Cat. 

This year, come hell or high water I was determined to win, NaNoWriMo 2013! And win it I did!

This book took me on an emotional journey I didn't expect coming, not one bit. The entire time my 'Ashley' personality was fighting with my characters through the whole story. They didn't do but maybe 10% of the things I wanted done.

So now when it's all said and done, I'm glad that I listened to the characters and let them tell their own story. I am now completely psyched for Maverick Touch: #3 that I'll write during the next NaNoWriMo of 2014. It completely excites me to see an actual vision of this series. When I started it I had no idea how I would end up writing more books for the same characters that had story lines starting and stopping in one book. I also didn't see how I could use two main characters and find spin offs for them.

Thankfully my characters knew what needed to be done and they accomplished that. I think every time i start to write any story that is organic in nature I am always surprised by the ending and how I got from point A to point Z.

When I think about this journey I'm taking I look back on the course of my life and always come back to my Taekwondo training. Some of you might not understand that, and that's okay. But any one who studied Martial Arts, or another form of 'training' required constant practice of the same activity over and over will. The constant dedication, repetitive behavior, devotion to the craft. All of that has helped me through this struggle. Especially the perseverance.

So this is my ramble for the night. After 50,000 words, you'd think I'd be out of things to type but I guess I had one last bit left inside.

March 24, 2013 - Maverick Touch: The Highway will hit the stands!

Monday, November 25, 2013

New Release!! Bud's Christmas Miracle

The day is here!!! Bud and Lucy finally have their wedding!!!! Those of you that experienced the first adventure with these two love birds know that no one, not even strong willed women, can escape fate.

This series, as most of you might know, is very near and dear to my heart. My grandfather asked me as his last request, to write an Irish love story based on our family to mirror the Blood Series that I wrote for my father's family. So that's what I did.

The first book, Bud's Christmas Wish was dedicated to my four grandparents because I looked at the four of them, now just three, and saw what true love was all about. A love so powerful that it could withstand time and space to keep these two couples united against all odds they faced together.

Now we travel to their wedding that picks up just a couple months later. Lucy's grandfather set into motion a series of events that would forever change her life. He, even in his death, brought her Bud.

Now Bud and Lucy are married and life isn't as predictable as the happy couple thought.

So please join me in the final chapter of Bud and Lucy's love. Pick up your ereader and turn the pages with me as we see just how special a timeless love can be.

If you join my blog and leave a comment stating how you joined with your email address (or if you are a current member and just give me your email address) on December 1st I will randomly select one winner to receive the print combination book of Bud and Lucy.

Do you ever wonder what happens once Happily Ever After kicks in? Bud and Lucy started their life together in search of love, adventure and fun. Join them along with Hannah, as they trace Lucy's family roots back to Stafford Castle in hopes of bonding with her granddad one more time.

Bud's Christmas Miracle now located on:


There were birds signing outside and children laughing in the streets. Spring was starting, and nothing would stop the magic of Ireland when it came to Bud and Lucy’s wedding. She would never forget how her granddad, Alastar, had orchestrated this whole thing before he died. There had to be magic here, otherwise they never would have found each other.

The aisles were laced, the flowers were displayed, and the parish was ready. The church bells rang loudly, alerting the town to the ceremony. Many parishioners piled into the tiny chapel to witness their union. 

“Grandmum, is my veil on right? Is it straight?” Lucy looked herself over in the mirror nearly one hundred times before she felt she looked perfect.

“Aye, lass, come on. You’re beautiful. Now let’s get ye married off.” Hannah pulled on Lucy’s arm, lined them up at the edge of the hallway, and signaled to the organist to begin the music. Lucy’s heart was racing as she opened her eyes and saw Bud standing there.

The two women walked in unison down the aisle. Lucy looked around at all the familiar faces that had been a part of her life for two years now. Her heart was heavy with grief, with her parents and granddad missing, but the woman who held her up walking down the aisle beside her was all she needed.

“Who presents this woman for marriage?” The priest asked. 

Lucy felt the warm touch of her grandmum just before she responded, “I give Lucy away.”

Most of the ceremony went by in a daze; Lucy couldn’t take her eyes off of Bud. Dressed in a perfectly pressed suit, black jacket, baby blue shirt, and pinstripe pants, he made the most handsome groom she had ever seen. As gorgeous as he was, the one thing that stood out was his smile. It melted her heart to see him looking back at her. She loved that he had loved her even before she’d known he was interested, all because of her granddad and his dying wish for his clainne.

The minister jarred Lucy’s attention when he told them to stand and face each other.

“Do you Bud Doran, take Lucy O’Toole to have and hold, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?” the minister asked. 

Bud looked at Lucy, his heart beating fast, overwhelmed with happiness. His body warmed with the smile she gave him when she looked up into his eyes. “I do.” It was the easiest thing he’d ever said.

The minister turned to Lucy and began repeating the same words. Bud’s attention never left Lucy’s perfect face as her words, “I do,” rang through his ears. The sounds of the parishioners in the church murmuring and rejoicing at their declarations filled both Lucy and Bud’s hearts.

“I now pronounce you man and wife. Bud, you may kiss your bride!” The priest proclaimed.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Review: Captain's Paradise (Hagen Series #9) by Kay Hooper

Title:  Captain's Paradise (Hagen Series #9)

Author: Kay Hooper

Genre: Suspenseful Romance

Published: December 1, 1988

Source: Purchased this book on Amazon

Purchase the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo,

When Robin Stuart was plucked, drenched and shivering, from the stormy seas, she clung desperately to the arms that had reached for her - but had she escaped from one terror into another? She'd been too close to danger not to recognize it again in the savagely beautiful man who'd pulled her from the water. Michael Siran was tough, fearless, confident - and an expert at playing dangerous games, but from the moment the terrified siren with bewitching eyes grabbed him and held on tight, he was captured by something he could never let go. Michael trusted no one, but Robin insisted on sharing his mission, determined to prove herself by facing the demons that had always pursued her. Michael knew the odds were against them, but when the heat of Robin's need fed his own fire, a passion born in turmoil and fueled by peril made hedging his bets impossible...Could he make her understand that heroes are human, that her courage ran as deep as his love?

Kay Hooper has always been one of my favorite authors. She usually snags my attention in the first chapter and this book was no exception. When I started this series I didn't know what to expect. I had picked up book nine of the series and haven't read any of the others in a while. So it was like diving into the series brand new.

Once again, I instantly fell in love with her writing. I always forget how much I enjoy the way she paints pictures and draws you into the story.

I was slightly disappointed with the last portion of the book. I realize when you walk into a book about romance you pick it up knowing that there is going to be 'love' inside of the book. The first part of the novel was so detailed and well laid out that this last portion was a bit disappointing. The 'love' between Michael and Robin seemed to flourish to quickly making it unbelievable in my eyes. I know there is the love at first sight or first weekend or in this case first traumatic event ... but I would have preferred them taking a moment, a week, hell even three days, to fall in love.

That being said, I still loved this book. It was a great read and one that I didn't want to stop once I picked it up. I read it during lunch, I listened to it on my way to and from work, I devoured it in all the free time I had. 

If you love Kay Hooper then you will like this book, because as always, she delivers the goods!

I rate this book 4.5 stars

Friday, November 22, 2013

Movie Review: Hunger Games - Catching Fire

Title: Hunger Games - Catching Fire
Creator: Marvel
Genre: Movie – Action, Book Adaptation
Released: November 22, 2013
Woody Harrelson, Josh Hutcherson, Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz and more...

Source: Date Night With The Hubby – Purchased Tickets
 Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.

When I go into a movie I want one thing - memorable.This movie was deff memorable and a really good adaptation from the books. I know I haven't read them in a long time but I can't think of any 'significant' event that was left out. There of course were things that needed to be cut, I would have liked to have had more back story from the other tributes. When I read the book I envisioned something gore filled. This didn't have the gore I pictured. The violence, while it depicted what was done in the books quite well, could have been more bloody. 

The movie did fly by. At over two and a half hours long it felt like I sat down and then only an hour later I was standing up and leaving. It flew by, full of quick action. I loved that.

 I am really looking forward to the third movie. This one was better than the first and I have high expectations for the third.

Overall I give it a 4 star review. I wasn't blown away but I deff will consider purchasing this DVD to watch again.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fire and Ice Book Tour: A Jelaous God by Dee Wilbur 

A Jealous God by Dee Wilbur
Virtual Book Tour Dates: 11/1/13 to 11/29/13
Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Medical Mystery, Beach Read



Compellingly told from multiple points of view, A Jealous God follows Emma on her labyrinthine journey in search of the truth at all costs.  A brilliant attorney with unflappable focus, she becomes consumed with learning who is responsible for several similar birth defects originating in her hometown.  Her quest introduces her to a number of colorful characters.  One of these is Jon, the local attorney whose largest client—Hays Chemical—is the target of Emma’s investigation.  Jon embarks in pursuit of answers of his own, only to come to the realization that the suffering heaped upon these children dates back far further than he, Emma, or Hays Chemical could have ever imagined.  It was, in fact, foretold in the oldest book of all.

“A Jealous God … dishes up a fast-paced mix of mystery and intrigue.”
New York Times best selling author Ellen Tanner Marsh

“A thought provoking formula that will haunt your daydreams.”
Herman W. Brune, national award winning author



An Interview with Maureen

Dee Wilbur: Maureen, it’s nice to see you.  Thank you for stopping by.  Let’s help our audience get to know you a bit.  What is your official title in Jon Miller’s office?
Maureen: I prefer Majordomo, but Queen of the Office works just as well.
Dee Wilbur: How long have you worked for Jon?
Maureen: Since he first came to Richmond from Victoria, about eight years. I was legal secretary for Mr. Smithers. Jon purchased the practice and the office from him. I guess you could say that I’ve worked in Jon’s office longer than he has.  (Maureen smiled at her own wit.)
Dee Wilbur: Seriously, what are your duties?
Maureen: I am a legal secretary and office manager. I keep all our records, do the billing, keep the office calendar, accompany Mr. Miller to court, and make the coffee in the morning.
Dee Wilbur: What are your unofficial duties?
Maureen: I am the source of all information concerning “old Richmond.” Whenever Mr. Miller needs information about anything involving the history of Richmond or the old families that live here, I’m the one who supplies it. I’ve tried to educate him about Richmond and things that he ought to do that will help him fit in with the established Richmond families.
Dee Wilbur: Give me some examples of how you’ve helped him fit in.
Maureen: I’ve told him to join a church. One of the mainline churches, Episcopal, Catholic, Methodist, or Baptist, would be best, but join a church. I’ve often had him deliver documents to the courthouse so that he would know and be known by the office staff. I’ve suggested which animals he should buy at the county fair. Just the little things which will make him seem more like a member of the community.
Dee Wilbur: Do you enjoy your job?
Maureen: Yes, Jon is a great boss. He’s smart as a whip, probably the smartest lawyer I’ve ever seen. I think he’s starting to get serious about his girlfriend Sandy.  Getting married would really help he fit in event better.  I think he’s figuring out he’s getting too old to be running around in the Rent a Date role. 
Dee Wilbur: Sounds like an ideal situation. Are there any problems?
Maureen: Well, I don’t like to complain, but Jon’s dog Cato is very big, and I’m not comfortable with him.  Jon brings him into the office occasionally and . . . But I guess if that’s the closest thing I have to a problem, I’ve got it pretty good. 
Dee Wilbur: I understand that you’ve had some health problems. Would you like to tell us about them?
Maureen: Well, I’ve had cancer of the thyroid. I had surgery to remove the thyroid. That was followed by radiation using I131. My only problem now is when I have to go off my thyroid medication to get follow-up scans. Then the temperature wars begin. I want it warmer while everyone else wants it cold enough to hang meat in here. I’ve finally yielded and bought a very fashionable, heavy wool jacket.
Dee Wilbur: Do you have family?
Maureen: I’ve been married to my husband Gus for more years than I can count. He’s the love of my life. We’ve never been able to have children.
Dee Wilbur: How about the other people in the office, Mr. Villarreal?
Maureen: Diego Villarreal is a real love. He’s always getting into “deals” trying to make a fast buck, and he fancies himself a real ladies man. But underneath the fa├žade is a genuine, caring gentleman. Now his mother, that’s a different story. 
Dee Wilbur: If you could do one thing to improve your office situation, what would it be?
Maureen: I wish we could get a new refrigerator for the lunchroom, one that had an icemaker.
Dee Wilbur: Thank you for your time, Maureen. See you again soon.
Maureen (never one to not have the last word): Yes, I’ll see you at Miracle on Morton Street.  It’s on Saturday, December 7th.  I’ll be to visit with you at the Italian Maid right when it starts at 10 AM.  And, I think that Gus and I will come by for dinner that night right at 7 and see how your day went. 


After a few minutes, Emma re-entered the room. She was wearing a blue negligee of the thinnest silk Jon had ever seen. Jon looked at her perfectly formed breasts through the silk. All Jon could think was Ol’ Doc Coleman certainly got his money’s worth.  The negligee stopped short, leaving her long graceful legs uncovered.  It was all that Jon could manage to set his beer down without dropping the bottle. He hoped that he wasn’t actually drooling.  He stared and tried to remember that she was a woman with a mission, not a table dancer. 

       Emma whispered softly as she sat next to him on the couch, “I’ll do anything to get that information, anything!  You don’t have to show me the files, just tell me.  Talk to me, Jon.”  She ran a beautifully manicured finger up and down his thigh.  Jon’s pulse doubled, then kicked up again.  He closed his eyes briefly and then turned to face her, putting his hand over hers to still it. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

When Characters Take Over

Man - Tonight was a crazy beast. Can I just say, WTF! I really have to stop being surprised when my characters take over my fingers and just type away. I always wonder if the shock I feel when the words come out of my fingers is the same emotion that my readers will feel when they read it.

I know sometimes when I am reading I think, "This is so out of character." When an author writes something off the wall. Now sometimes I worry that people will think this about my characters. Because, let me tell you, Carlisle Ali is crazy awesome this time around. The things coming out of his mouth are just jaw dropping.

Then there is Anabella who is coming out of this secondary character shell. I am already picturing a sequel for her. Maybe a Maverick #3 is out there.

Now I'm at the point that I'm going to bring Kane, Leon and Daman back into the fold and Gabe and Kevin. I'm nervous and excited about this massive group dynamic.  The final scene of the book that I'm picturing is going to have everyone in it. Nadia, Carlisle Anabella, Carter (New character) Gabe, Kevin, Kane, Leon, Daman, Laura and William. WOW eleven character voices all in my head at one point in time. I have a headache already just thinking about this.

And to conclude this - I think tonight I wrote my favorite section of a scene I have ever written. And for those of you who know me you will envision something extremely bloody or extremely erotic. And you would be wrong. It is the sweetest most awe moment I have ever had in one of my writings. To make it official my sister agreed with me too.

Writing makes me so extremely complete. I can't imagine something else filling me like this. Between my many worlds I create and the characters I come to love, and my wonderful supportive husband - I just can't picture a better life.

Follow Along, MAVERICK TOUCH: THE HIGHWAY on Smashwords - Free download of the unedited manuscript while it's a work in progress!

Fire & Ice Book Tour: Madame's Double Life by Keegan Lace

Please welcome Keegan Lace to Memories in a Box!

Tour Dates: 11/4/13 - 11/18/13

Genre: Historical Romance


Lady Victoria was born into high society and high standards in the the English country side. The dictates of Victorian society do not provide a good fit for a 17 year old free spirit. Lady Victoria is as wild as the lavender growing on the white cliffs of Dover. She is a dreamer when her life is thrown into turmoil with the arranged marriage to the much older Lord Hawthorne.

He is the Duke of Wellington, a womanizer looking for his next conquest. Lady Victoria is just the type of woman the Duke can love and leave.

Will Lady Victoria give in to the dashing Duke of Wellington and risk causing a scandal to her husband’s name? Or will the Duke of Wellington discover love for the first time.



 Chapter One:
It was late morning and Victoria was deep in slumber beneath piles of linen sheets and goose down puffs. Heavy emerald velvet covered enormous windows to shield out the early spring sunshine. The sun was a tease at this time of year. Boots were beginning to dry from the winter rains and the lawn was ready to explode with fresh sprouts. The staff at the Markham Estate was busy preparing the equipment for spring sports. The moment before the bloom, the deluge reared its head again. This Saturday was a bonus day. A peak at the summer that all of Dover would welcome.

“Good morning my Lady. There you are love. Come. It is time to reveal yourself. Tea, before we prepare for repast with the man and your brother and sisters? Your Mother is half-way to London by now. She will be with her sister at Persimmon house. She is already preparing for June social season. Your father is about and out on horse. You will want to be ready upon his return.”'

Lady Victoria was in her seventeenth year. She was hopeful. Her world was getting larger as time passed and she had dreams of finding love like all girls of her age. She was sandwiched between an older brother and two younger sisters. Peter was 19, his military plans delayed due to sickness. Elaine was the baby at 15 and Mary was 16 years of age. Her mother was quick to have her children but for unknown reasons she stopped producing after Elaine. It left The Countess with time on her hands at an early age.

Countess Tompkins travelled to London in the springtime to assist her sister. Lady Sterling was preparing Persimmon House for the social season beginning in June. Peter met an appropriate girl in London the year prior and the marriage between the two was to be officially finalized. They had shared a lengthy courtship. The Honorable Jane Marley was a worthy match for Peter. She was 18 years old and guaranteed a healthy virgin. Peter would eventually inherit the entire Markham Estate and Jane was well suited to fill it with children. Victoria noticed a change come over her cherished brother with the mention of Jane. A delicate love born of mutual respect had blossomed between them. It gave Victoria hope that a similar love would fill her world someday.

“Lady Victoria. I sense the daydream in which you are lost. Time does not allow for it at this moment. Rush, you father will be waiting.”

The Earl was a brutish sort to most who only briefly made his acquaintance. Victoria knew her father was a solitary man who loved his wife and children very much. He was actually a humorous gentleman, especially among his girls who were a constant source of amusement. He was like a cat in ways. Lady Victoria’s father retained a sense of mystery and aloofness, but when treated in distinct manner by those close to him he was embraceable.

“I will be ready Esther. I want to roam the grounds in comfort today. Presentable yes, but something which allows for free movement.”

Esther pulled out a light pink cotton dress with sky blue flowers and a velvet sash. It was high in the neck. She would go uncorseted. Her coltish figure did not require such impediments when not necessitated by custom. Victoria ran wild when allowed. With the Countess away in London and Father reading in his study, she would be free to do so. Esther had been with Lady Victoria since infancy. She was her maid, but so much more. Esther was a mother figure to Victoria, as her mother was busy with the younger girls. She shared and kept all of Victoria’s privacies as she bolted through adolescence into young womanhood. Esther knew that matters between Peter and Jane were to be finalized but she was also aware that Victoria’s betrothment was keen on her mother’s mind. There was certainly something at hand. Powerless, she hoped for the best.

Victoria emerged from the washroom ready to be dressed for the day. Her alabaster skin showed a natural peach glow. Her sapphire eyes showed a good night’s rest and a lack of years. She sat at the vanity to have her gossamer hair pulled back sensibly.

“My Lady, your golden locks look as though you have just emerged from a gale. I dare not imagine your dreams as you toss and turn so much. Your night cap is always discarded next to your bed by morning.” Esther tamed her hair with a pearl handled hairbrush.

“Esther. Please, gentle. My tender scalp.” Victoria fussed until Esther laid down the paddle. She stepped into her dress and fussed a bit more. A quick glance in the head to toe mirror tilted to welcome her presence and led to a nod. “Perfect as always Esther. I love you.”

Victoria ran down the long corridor, which led to the imposing mahogany staircase. Portraits of people who Victoria had never known frowned upon her through ornate frames. She vowed never to sit for such a depiction. What could cause such ominous scowls? She thought for a moment about slithering down the black bannister. It was something she did often as a young girl, but her 5’5” delicate frame was not suited for such folly.

“Good morning father.” Victoria gently bussed her father before taking her seat at the dining table. She sunk into the ivory upholstered chair, which had become accustomed to her form. Her place was designated between her two sisters who were first to arrive. Peter sat alone across the table and father took the head. Mother’s chair remained vacant due to her travels.

“Good Morning Victoria. You are late to arrive which has become the custom. Peter is about to lead prayer. You are just in time.”

Victoria smiled at young Elaine who was rarely at a loss for words. Elaine was at times a plaything to her older siblings but even Elaine herself knew it was heartfelt affection. She enjoyed the ribbing, as it gave her relevance among the Tompkins children.

“God bless all present and Dear Mother, may she be safe in her travels. Please make the food sustaining and palatable. Amen.”

“Clever Peter. You always have a way of getting to the significant part. Your brevity is appreciated, although the words are hardly prosaic.”

“Thank you Victoria.” Peter waited until Father and his sisters were served before he devoured his oysters and bacon.

“I am happy to see you all this morning. We have no callers today. With your Mother at Persimmon House, I thought it best we not receive today. I am certain you can all busy yourselves on a sunny day. I gave notice at the stables should any of you wish to ride the grounds. I may take a jaunt myself.

I would like to have tea with you Victoria, in my study at half past three”

“Yes father. I plan to stroll the hop gardens but I will plan tea. I promise to be timely. I will alert Esther of my engagements.”








Keegan Lace was born and raised in North Carolina, currently residing in the Charlotte area. She has always loved books, especially romance novels and wished that everyone would find love, romance and happiness.

When she is not writing, reading, or being a wonderful mother to her children; she can be found enjoying some of her favorite hobbies: yard sales, house hunting and traveling.



Bookista Profile!keegan-lace/c21gy
Bookista Publishing

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Review: Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

Title:  Bed of Roses: Book Two of the Bride Quartet

Author: Nora Roberts

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Published: October 27, 2009

Source: Purchased this book on Amazon

Purchase the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo,


As little girls MacKensie, Emma, Laurel, and Parker spent hours acting out their perfect make believe “I do” moments. Years later their fantasies become reality when they start their own wedding planning company to make every woman’s dream day come true. With perfect flowers, delicious desserts, and joyful moments captured on film, Nora Roberts’s Bride Quartet shares each woman’s emotionally magical journey to romance.

In Bed of Roses, florist Emma Grant is finding career success with her friends at Vows wedding planning company, and her love life appears to be thriving. Though men swarm around her, she still hasn’t found Mr. Right. And the last place she’s looking is right under her nose.

But that’s just where Jack Cooke is. He’s so close to the women of Vows that he’s practically family, but the architect has begun to admit to himself that his feelings for Emma have developed into much more than friendship. When Emma returns his passion—kiss for blistering kiss—they must trust in their history…and in their hearts.


Oh how I love Nora Roberts! This book was just such a refreshing read and very easy. I was looking for a break from the normal and wanted a book that would take me away into a fantasy land. This is exactly what Bed of Roses did for me.

I loved the dynamics that the characters had. Not just with Emma and Jack but all the secondary characters as well. They were clearly a family that worked well together.

Jack and Emma seemed like the perfect relationship. Until emotions and fears got in the way. I loved how Emma's fears were like every other woman's when it comes to friendship and relationships. How they so easily can consume you and can take you on tangents. The way Jack responded to her fears was classic male. I loved seeing how the two of them work through their internal struggles.

This book was a breath of fresh air in my chaotic life. I wish that all the romance books I read were as easy and delightful as this one.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fire and Ice Book Tour: Adina Falling by Melissa Brodsky

Please welcome Melissa Brodsky to Memories in a Box!

Virtual Tour Dates: 10/29/13 -11/12/13

Series: Threads of Fate, Book 1

Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance


This novella is intended for Mature audiences only. There are scenes not suitable for readers under the age of 18.

Thread One, Adina Falling, is the first novella in the Threads of Fate Series.

Best-selling erotica author, Adina LaCroix lives a fairly charmed, normal life. Born a Vampire , Adina is forever 21. She is successful, beautiful and wealthy, the envy of women and the object of desire for men. Her days are occupied with more human pursuits such as writing and avoiding unwanted phone calls from her publisher and her mother. With nightfall, however, her Vampire nature takes over and her hunt for blood and sex consume her.

Wanting to keep her conscience clean, she refuses to kill her prey, usually men with dark secrets. Instead, she uses the gift of mind control to implant permanent fears into her victim’s minds, ones so horrific that they will live in fear of death if they continue their evil ways. It was her way of doing the world a favor.

After her divorce from Michael Diamante, one of the most power-hungry and evil vampires in the world, Adina has remained single. Threats of permanent death from Michael have made her hesitant to find a mate. However, rumors have begun circulating around plans the Elders, the governing body of Vampires, have in store for her.

Plagued by a recurring nightmare, Adina begins a quest for answers. The only problem, instead of finding what she has been looking for; Adina is faced with more questions. Questions in the form of two men, Caleb Locke and Xander Stark.

One man holds promises of undying love and passion while the other holds the key to unlocking her secrets, and maybe even her heart.


This was the first book by Melissa Brodskey that I have read. The novella started out really good. I enjoyed learning about her vampire world and how Adina has a part that is obvious in the forward movement of it but hasn't yet been revealed.

Ms. Brodskey's writing style was an easy read and flowed well. It was a breeze to get through and presented in a way that made me want to see what happened throughout the story.

I was a little lost with the scene of Adina and Caleb. I felt this whole part of the story-line was rushed through and then when the Xander factor thrown in I just got a bit lost. The first half of the book was drawn out perfectly then to have this rushed was disappointing.

The way the story ended made me want to go out in search of the next book. I want to know how Michael is involved with the Elders and why he is trying to control Adina so much. I'd like to see more of the mother too. I think I would like that character a lot.
I also wanted to note that while this is a novella inside the erotic genre - I didn't think the sexual scenes were too consuming. They had a purpose and it moved something along in the story. I liked how it was presented and really enjoyed the way Adina sampled from both genders. It was presented very well.

All in all this is a 3.5 star read for me. Had the ending not been rushed and more drawn out like the first half it would have been an easy 4 star. I just wanted more.


Downtown Birmingham was the happening place tonight. Full of sex, desperation and alcohol. Not a good combination for mortals but a succulent feast for vampires. I could sense that I was the only vampire in the city, at the moment. Most of my friends were hanging out in Detroit. They didn’t want to venture into the “burbs” this evening. No reason to really. So, I was soloing it this evening.

I only preyed on men while many of my kind were indiscriminate.  I went after cheaters and criminals, it was the least I could do to aid society. Savory characters, in more ways than one. Men with hidden agendas and dirty secrets. Like the one I was stalking tonight.  These were the ideal quarry.

Walking a little further, I felt him. Stronger. His thoughts. His essence. I knew I was getting closer to him. I shuddered again, anticipation rolling down my spine.  I probed his mind and for a moment, I actually felt sorry for his wife.  He was a prick, without a doubt.  His character didn’t matter to me, I wouldn’t be with him for the long haul.  I was simply going to use him to meet my needs, however temporarily long that would take.

Without realizing it, I had stopped in my tracks. I had arrived. Looking up at the awning, I realized I was finally at my destination. Effortlessly pulling open the heavy door, I walked down the stairs propelled by the heavy masculine pheromones beckoning me. Taunting me. Teasing me by mixing itself with flowers and spices.  I felt a tugging in my sex, a desire I couldn’t wait to drown in. 

Buy Link:

About the Author:

Melissa used to tell everyone she was going to be a writer when she grew up. Well, she is suddenly a grown up and it looks like she was telling the truth.
Living in a modern-day "Yours, Mine and Ours" household, Melissa is the biological mother of 3 children and the full-time stepmother to her husbands 2 children. On some days, she may even be considered "evil"...and not just as the stepmother!
With a strange vampire fascination since she was young, it was only natural that Melissa began writing stories about the Paranormal.
When she isn't writing, Melissa hangs out on Facebook way too much. And on occasion, she's been known to throw out some semi-nonsensical tweets over at @rockdrool.

Melissa is giving away five copies of her book (ebooks), plus a $10 Amazon gift card and two $5 Amazon gift cards for a total of eight prizes! Enter through Rafflecopter. Starts 10/29/13 and runs through the tour.