Thursday, February 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday Book Club Pick....

Welcome to our second Throwback Thursday Book Club! Today’s selection is for those who love historical romance, particularly those of the Regency variety….
 


Author: Christine Wells

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Originally Published: 2009 (from Berkley Sensation)

Back Cover Blurb: The Marquis of Vane hungers for Lady Sarah from afar as she braves a disastrous marriage. That is until Sarah's husband makes him an indecent offer: one night with Sarah for ten thousand pounds. Passions explode and lead to a deadly twist of fate that could spell a lifetime of regret-or love.

Why I Recommend It: While this title is unfortunately hard to find these days, I must admit that I came across it years ago by accident. It also led to my obsession with Regency romance. In fact, all I read for a period of almost two years was Regency romance. Also…this book desperately made me want to write a Regency romance novel, a feat I’m still trying to conjure to this day…. If you’re looking for a bit of an unconventional or a modern Regency, this book’s for you!

Amazon Average Rating: 4 Stars (It’s on my keeper shelf; definitely 5/5 in my book!)
 
This wintry weather is making me long for spring…and, I’ll admit it, even summer—because summer reminds me of lake days like these. Last month, my husband, son, sister, and I met my father at our family lake house. The water was down about fifty feet from the seawall. My husband had the wonderful idea of encapsulating some of the sandy/grainy lake bottom in glass jars so that we could seal them and keep them forever. We wound up taking two bottles home to the coast to have with us even on days like today when summer and lake vacations seem very far away. It also serves to remind me of days like the one on which this photo was taken at a place fondly referred to by our family as “Three Pines,” a teensy weensy island in the middle of the lake where we picnicked as kids. It no longer has three pine trees, as the name would entail. I think most of the island has been lost to erosion. There's hardly room to tie up your boat and camp anymore. But two summers ago, we returned to Three Pines by boat to take a host of nostalgic pictures. My sister and I even went so far as to recreate a sentimental pose from our early childhood. Whenever I need a little dose of sunshine to brighten my winter days, I go back to this album. Mm, yes. I can just feel the lake sand squishing between my toes….
 
Warm thoughts to you and yours, Cozies -- and, as always, happy reading!
 
 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Winner Announcement....


Happy Valentine’s Day! Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Valentine’s Day Book Bundle Giveaway! Now it’s time to announce the winners….

The following names were chosen by the True Random Number Generator at Random.org….
 

Grand Prize Winner: Mindy

1st Runner Up: Julie

2nd Runner Up: Mary Preston

 
Congratulations, ladies! Please send a confirmation email with your name and shipping address to amber@amberleighwilliams.com. Also, if you are the grand prize winner please specify which book bundle you would like to receive….

I hope everyone has a special holiday weekend! Happy President’s Day to my American followers and a Happy Family Day to my Canadian friends! Thanks again for a great Valentine’s Day contest this year!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Throwback Thursday....

I’ve been saying for a week or two now that Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday of the year. There’s a reason for this beyond the fact that I write romance novels for a living. I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day. Nothing was better growing up than decorating my own little white paper bag so classmates could drop their valentines inside. Even as I matured into adolescence, the awkwardness of youth couldn’t thwart my enthusiasm whenever Valentine’s Day rolled around. You never knew when a secret admirer would reveal himself. In the latter years of high school, I looked forward to the first class of the day when carnations would be delivered to those who had real valentines, hoping it would be my year….


It wasn’t until I graduated that I found my true valentine. He was well worth waiting for. And when our first Valentine’s Day together rolled around eight months into our relationship and he got down on one knee and proposed, it’s safe to say that he redeemed my lifelong love of February 14th and everything that comes with it…

So here’s to St. Valentine, Cupid, my beloved husband, and everybody else who makes Valentine’s Day worth waiting for every year!
 
(The Valentine's Day Book Bundle Giveaway is still open for entries, but only until midnight EST tomorrow. Get your entry in, if you haven't already by scrolling down to the giveaway post for rules and more details....)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Valentine's Day Book Bundle Giveaway....

Laissez les bon temps rouler to everybody celebrating Mardi Gras along the coast! We missed our favorite parade last night. Our minion’s back teeth are cutting through and it makes for some difficult evenings. However, the Mardi Gras spirit is very much alive everywhere we go around these parts. Here’s to Fat Tuesday….

I promised the year’s first book bundle giveaway this month and I’m here to deliver! In honor of my favorite holiday, Valentine’s Day, I’ve got some exciting prize packages lined up. PLEASE READ ALL THE RULES AND OTHER DETAILS THAT FOLLOW SO YOU DON'T MISS OUT ON ANYTHING....

On Valentine’s Day next Saturday, I will be drawing three names – a grand prize winner, the first runner-up and a second runner-up. The grand prize winner will have their choice of one of three great book bundles—one contemporary, one paranormal, and one historical (pictured and listed by title and author below). The first runner-up will then be able to choose one of the remaining two bundles and the second runner-up will receive the final bundle. Each bundle contains eight books. Here they are broken down by title and author….  
 
 
CONTEMPORARY BUNDLE

Quentins by Maeve Binchy (mass market paperback)
Crown Jewel by Fern Michaels (large print hardcover)
Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts (hardcover)
Genuine Lies by Nora Roberts (mass market paperback)
High Noon by Nora Roberts (hardcover)
Winner Takes All by Nora Roberts (mass market paperback)
H.R.H. by Danielle Steel (mass market paperback)
Fireworks by Elizabeth White (trade paperback)

 


HISTORICAL BUNDLE

The Viscount’s Scandalous Return by Anne Ashley (mass market paperback)Castles by Julie Garwood (mass market paperback)
Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange (trade paperback)
The Substitute Bride by Elizabeth Lane (mass market paperback)
Rhett Butler’s People by Donald McCaig (hardcover)
Poison by Sara Poole (trade paperback)
The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn (mass market paperback)
The Border Vixen by Bertrice Small (trade paperback)

 


PARANORMAL/URBAN FANTASY BUNDLE

Witch Fire by Anya Bast (mass market paperback)
Atlantis Rising by Alyssa Day (mass market paperback)
Immortal Danger by Cynthia Eden (trade paperback)
Game Over by Taylor Keating (mass market paperback)
Phantom in the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon with Dianna Love (mass market paperback)
Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward (hardcover)
Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward (mass market paperback)
Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward (hardcover)

 
Okay, now for the RULES! Remember to read all the following very carefully. If you have any questions, feel free to ask....

1.     To enter, you must comment to this blog post before the end of Friday, February 13th (midnight EST), naming your favorite romance novel or love-themed book and why you love it. (This is your chance to recommend Valentine’s-Day-themed reads to fellow readers!)

2.   For additional entries, you have the option of adding any or all of the following. PLEASE NOTE IF YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO USE ANY OF THESE THREE OPTIONS WHILE COMMENTING TO THIS POST:

          +2 entries counted for tweeting this contest (must link back to @ALeighWilliams)

          +2 entries counted for posting this contest to Facebook (must link back to @amberleighwilliams)

          +5 entries counted for joining my official mailing list using the pink button on the sidebar of this blog

Some additional rules….

1.     By entering this contest and commenting to this blog, you automatically verify that you are 18 years or older.

2.   If entering, be sure to check back on Saturday morning, February 14th to see if your name is drawn.

3.   The grand prize winner, first runner-up, and second runner-up will all be chosen by the Random Number Generator at Random.org.

That’s all for now, folks! Remember, it’s important to check back in on Valentine’s Day to see if you are one of the three lucky winners. Bonne chance!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Blog Hoppin'....

Just a quick note on my whereabouts on this busy Friday! Today I’m in two places at once. First, I’m at the official blog of the Harlequin Superromance imprint, Super Authors, talking about wild and crazy cooking disasters and how they’re influencing my next novel....

Second, I’m having a grand ol’ time at my monthly stop by Roses of Prose. This one’s really special – I’m revealing a “slice of life” from some characters who might be familiar to you. It’s Cole and Briar’s wedding day (from A Place With Briar). Come by for a peek at the festivities and read up on this “after-HEA” snippet….

Oh, and sneak back to The Cozy Page on Sunday for that Mardi Gras recap (if the weather holds for the parades; here’s hoping!) and details on my first book bundle giveaway of the year!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Throwback Thrusday Book Club Picks....

Howdy, readers! Welcome to the first Throwback Thursday Book Club. In case you missed my explanation last week, here’s how it works: every other Thursday, I’ll be recommending a “throwback” read—and by “throwback” I mean something published more than five years ago. There are all kinds of great titles out there waiting for readers to discover them and they aren’t all new. Some of my favorite reads definitely qualify for “throwback” status. I hope you find something you like, Cozies! Because today is the first Thursday book club post, I’ve chosen three “oldies.” Trust me, they’re goodies ;)




Author: Nora Roberts

Genre: Contemporary Romance (from Silhouette Intimate Moments)

Originally Published: 1996

Back Cover Blurb: Devin MacKade knew it was his destiny to serve and protect the small town of Antietam, Maryland. And he always suspected his future should have little Cassie Connor in it. After Cassie married the wrong man, Devin tried to convince himself there would be other women, other loves. Now, after Cassie's divorce, Devin can finally follow his heart. But can Cassie follow hers?

Why I Recommend It: I love the MacKade brothers. This book is third in a series of four, but it’s classic Nora. A great romance and, although not a novella, a quick read. I always love going back and cracking this one back open for a quick, satisfying fix. Devin is a memorable hero and his and Cassie’s story is both sweet and sexy!

Amazon Average Rating: 4.7 Stars (I personally give it a solid 5!)

 


Author: Sandra Hill

Genre: Contemporary Romance (from Grand Central Publishing’s Forever line)

Originally Published: 2003

Back Cover Blurb: Rachel Fortier, a thirty-something home design consultant, has had it with her fiancé. It's bad enough that he gave her a Thighmaster for Valentine's Day and a Butt Buster for her birthday, and that their seven-year engagement has no end in sight. But she just learned that he's had a vasectomy! Rachel packs up and heads south to meet her great-aunt Gizelle for the first time and take a few days to regroup. She imagines a Grandma Walton living in a picturesque house surrounded by wondrous nature. What she finds is a cabin on stilts deep in the bayous, with alligators and snakes the size of telephone poles. As for Aunt Gizelle, she's a former taxidermist who can outcreep Hannibal Lechter any day of the week.

And if that isn't enough to make a girl turn around and head right back to her ex, Gizelle is feuding with a Cajun bad boy -Remy LeDeux, a helicopter pilot and Air Force vet whose face is scarred from battle. Rene wants to buy a piece of property from Gizelle, but the feisty senior makes it clear she wants nothing to do with any LeDeux. But the moment Remy sees Rachel getting out of a red truck, it's love at first sight for the long-time bachelor, despite all the turmoil she brings into his life, with her ideas of Feng Shui-ing his houseboat and her ex chasing after her, not to mention her great-aunt threatening to shoot his heinie. But getting Rachel to say "I do" is worth it. After all, he's never met a woman before who looks at him like he's a Whitmans Sampler box and she's a chocoholic.

Why I Recommend It: I recently discovered Sandra Hill and her rip-roarin’ Cajun series. I’m sorry it took me this long. This happens to be the second book in Hill's Cajun set. The downhome, Louisiana bayou backdrop and Cajun culture is one of my favorite things about the story. However, it’s Hill’s voice and seam-splitting humor as well as the pace of the story that won me over. I was little more than midway through the book before I went out and bought the first book in the series and ear-marked other Sandra Hill titles on my auto-buy list. If you need a pick-me-up, this book’s for you!

Amazon Average Rating: 4.5 Stars (I give it 4)

 


Author: Jillian Hart

Genre: Historical Inspirational Romance (from Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historicals)

Originally Published: 2008

Back Cover Blurb: Montana Territory in 1883 was a dangerous place—especially for a blind woman struggling to make her way through an early winter snowstorm. Undaunted, Noelle Kramer fought to remain independent. But then a runaway horse nearly plunged her into a rushing, ice-choked river, before a stranger's strong, sure hand saved her from certain death.

And yet this was no stranger. Though she could not know it, her rescuer was rancher Thad McKaslin, the man who had once loved her more than life itself. Losing her had shaken all his most deeply held beliefs. Now he wondered if the return of this strong woman was a sign that somehow he could find his way home.

Why I Recommend It: I don’t read a lot of inspirationals and, even you aren’t a fan, trust me, this one is a memorable read. I’ve always been a sucker for a handicapped protagonist. Add in the western setting and, needless to say, a rancher hero.... It’s no wonder I bought this one in the first place. However, this is a stand-out title is a treat for those who enjoy the occasional sweet romance as well as those who love inspirational romance against the historical backdrop of the American West.  

Amazon Average Rating: 4 Stars (I give it 5)

 
So that’s it for this week’s Throwback Thursday Book Club picks! Come back two weeks from now for another great throwback recommendation. Oh, and don’t forget to tune in on Sunday to get a Mardi Gras recap as well as details for the first book bundle giveaway of the year to celebrate Valentine’s week!

I’d like to extend an invitation to readers who have throwback recommendations of their own. If you have a “throwback” book in mind that you would like others to know about, feel free to message me via email at amber@amberleighwilliams.com and I’ll be happy to include it and your name in the next Throwback Thursday post!
I'll leave you with one last treat in honor of Throwback Thursday. This one's from the '80's. Without a doubt, an oldie. This was long before my family moved to the Gulf Coast or the Mobile Bay, but here I am on a visit to the hometown of my heart as well as quite a few of my characters, Fairhope....
 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Upcoming Features & Events....

Howdy, readers! I’m excited to talk about a few fun new features coming here to my cozy corner of the web, starting next month….

Throwback Thursday Book Club

So often I’ve discovered great reads that happen to be five or more years old. I never would have found reading gems like Christine Wells’ Regency romance novel, Wicked Little Game and The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons if I hadn’t started reading titles that aren’t exactly fresh off the presses. So to celebrate titles like these, I’ve decided to open up a new feature on here at The Cozy Page every other Thursday called the Throwback Thursday Book Club. Every other week, readers can find a new recommended read published prior to 2010. You can also comment and recommend your own “throwback” title, which I’ll be happy to include in the following Throwback Thursday Book Club pick….
 

Book Bundle Giveaways

Yes, that’s right! I had so much fun giving away book bundles last year in honor of my Harlequin Superromance debut, A Place With Briar, that I’m bringing back book bundles giveaways to Cozy. I have three of these giveaways planned so far this year, starting with a special Valentine’s Day bundle next month. Be sure to check back in next month for more about our first giveaway of the year and others to follow….
 

Adopt a (Used) Book Reader Service

This is more for readers who have subscribed to my official mailing list, but I wanted to go ahead and mention it anyway. While sorting through my book collection, I realized 1) how little room I have for books on my shelves and 2) how difficult it is to part with these books. There’s little I can do in the first case. However, giving away these books would be buckets easier if I knew that they could somehow find their way into loving homes. (Yes, for me, bringing books home is much like adopting a pet). To that end, I’ve been tossing around the idea of opening up a used book adoption service for readers. Every month in my official author newsletter, I will list titles by genre of used books that are still in good to fair condition. From there, readers will then be able to enter in the drawing for 1-3 listed titles of their choice. There’s something for everyone – romance, sci-fi/fantasy, even a little erotica and non-fiction. A winner will be chosen at the first of every month, except for the months that include a book bundle giveaway here at my blog. All that I ask of winners in return is that they add the titles to their own keeper shelves if they are so inclined or (if a title isn’t to their liking) to keep the used book service going by donating them to their local library, book group, or Salvation Army. So what do you think? Does this sound like a service you’d be interested in? I’d love some feedback on it as I toss around ideas for it throughout the next couple of weeks….

 
Speaking of February, I’ll be blogging both at Roses of Prose and Super Authors on Friday, February 6th. At Super Authors, I’ll be sharing my latest cooking catastrophe. And on Roses of Prose, I’ll be sharing a special “slice of life” from the hero and heroine of A Place With Briar.


Throwback Thursdays will begin here at Cozy on February 5th so be sure to check in next week for this exciting new feature as well as details on the Valentine’s book bundle giveaway which begins on Sunday, February 8th.
 
As a bonus, the third book of my hometown series for Harlequin Superromance not only has its own title and release date. His Rebel Heart isn’t due on shelves until July of this year; it has it’s own Goodreads page already. Add it to your To Read list today. C’mon, you know you want to!

 
Oh, and there might be a Mardi Gras-themed update within the next week!