UnCover Mondays on The Ranch!!!
Hey-Ho cover oglers! Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? I am! Here’s February’s lovely cover art and the awesome authors, publishers and artists who made them possible for you to gaze at today. It would be great if you leave a comment letting everyone know what you like (or don’t like) about them and maybe even check out a few author links to meet those behind the books. Or just say hi.
UnCover Mondays on The Ranch!!! This feature is only to highlight authors–not to sell books (though if you see one you want to buy I’m sure the authors won’t mind 😆 ). Enjoy this weeks’ covers to ogle and explore. If there is one provided, you can follow the artist links by clicking on the name, or if there’s an artist link provided, to learn more about the amazing creators of these beautiful covers. I think they deserve fair mention since they helped create the book! As always, click the covers for author websites to find out more. I wish everyone a fabulous new year in 2014!
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Author: Dakota Madison
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Short on Time Books
Cover Artist: Tony Bryson
Release date: November 20, 2013
As Maggie Mitchell enters her final semester of college, the last thing she wants is a guy in her life, let alone two of them.
Her new lab partner, Sawyer Reed, is still the overconfident and sexy jock that made fun of her in high school. The only thing that has changed is that he now uses a wheelchair, the result of a skiing accident.
Jude Marino is a hot actor who all the girls want and would do anything to get. He works at a local theater where Maggie has been assigned to complete community services hours after rear-ending a police car.
Both Sawyer and Jude want Maggie but only one of them will be able to capture her heart.
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Author: Nicole Hurley-Moore
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Escape Publishing (Harlequin)
Cover Artist: Harlequin
Release date: November 1, 2013
Cinderella meets Swan Lake in a cross-class, Victorian novel about a ballerina, an aristocrat, and the space in between them.
Lisette yearns for freedom, security and love, but none are offered on the run-down stage of The Imperial Theatre. Instead she has hard work, a tyrannical aunt, and the hope of one day becoming a prima ballerina. Dancing on the stage she catches the attention of two powerful men: Lord Gainswith and Lord De Vale.
Lord Evander Gainswith never expected to fall in love, let alone with a woman so wholly unacceptable to his family and his peers. The sinister Lord De Vale covets Lisette’s youth and strength, and is willing to pay well for it. Lisette may dance roles in fairy tales and fantasies, but the real world is about to intrude, bringing with it the harsh realities of life for a young girl with dreams of rising above the demimonde.
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Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Terry Odell
Cover Artist: Dave Fymbo
Release date: October 21, 2013
The Blackthorne, Inc. covert ops team is back with another action-adventure. This time, it’s Computer Nerd meets Cartel Lord.
For Jinx, interacting with people is highly overrated. Computers are his life. On the job, he’s an intel gathering expert for Blackthorne, Inc. Off duty, he’s a shooter in computer role playing games. But what happens when he’s sent into the field to face real enemies with real guns?
Josiah Ignatius Nix—Jinx to all who know him—is the glue holding the Blackthorne, Inc. covert ops teams together when they’re on a mission. In the comfort of his basement office, with his favorite companions—his computers— a click of the mouse provides him with up-to-the-minute intel, which keeps the team alive.
Until the intel fails and a hostage rescue mission goes south. Both the hostage and team are captured, and the boss sends Jinx to the jungles of Mexico as an undercover field agent. The cartels have been kidnapping American engineers to build and maintain their private cell phone networks. Jinx’s skills make him a prime target for capture, a way to infiltrate the cartel and rescue not only the company’s client, but also the missing team of operatives.
Soon, he finds himself paired with Elle Sheridan, a cop whose missing sister is in the middle of a human trafficking ring. Will Elle be able to convince Jinx that Blackthorne’s mission needs to be expanded to include rescuing her sister? And if she does, will the two of them be able to stay ahead of rival cartel leaders and get out alive to make some private connections of their own?
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Author: R.T. Wolfe
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: ePublishing Works
Cover Artist: U/K
Release date: August 27, 2013
Detective Nickie Savage is pursuing a paroled arsonist who’s at it again. Worse, she’s plagued by the most recent victim’s nephew, Duncan Reed, the person she distrusts the most.
Duncan won’t stop until the deadly arsonist targeting his Aunt is back behind bars. But the smart and sassy Nickie Savage is in his way and getting far too close to a 30-year-old secret he’s fought to protect.
When the arsonist strikes again with perfectly timed twin explosions, Duncan and Nickie must re-think everything they once believed about the arsonist and each other.
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Author(s): Nancy Fraser & Patti Shenberger
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Cover Artist: Heidi Stryker
Release date: November 11, 2013
Post-Civil War Mississippi
U.S. Marshal, Zack McCade takes pride in protecting the good folks of Greenville—especially the beautiful Dr. Suzanne Martindale. He doesn’t always understand her need for independence, but he sure does like getting under her skin. It’s not like he’s looking to settle down—his job is too dangerous to risk taking a wife and family.
In an era when women aren’t readily accepted in the male dominated world of medicine, Suzanne doesn’t have time for courting—especially a charming Cajun rogue like Zack. When he proposes a fake betrothal to keep the matchmaking town out of their hair, she’s sure it’s a bad idea, but can’t deny her longing for a respite from the over-zealous bachelors in town.
Their ruse starts a fire in their hearts that neither expected, but will the re-emergence of Suzanne’s real fiancé douse the flames?
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Author: Helena Fairfax
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Cover Artist: Charlotte Volnek
Release date: May 24, 2013
Sophie Challoner is sensible, hard-working, and a devoted carer of her father. One night her grandmother throws a ball for her in Paris…and Sophie does something reckless that she can never forget.
Jean-Luc Olivier is not a man to treat lightly. And so when fate takes a hand years after the ball and reunites him with Sophie in Lyon, he is determined not to let her go a second time.
But it seems the fates are conspiring against their happiness. Jean-Luc has secrets of his own. And when disaster strikes at home in London, Sophie is faced with a choice—stay in this glamorous world with the man she loves, or return to her family to keep a sacred promise she made her mother.
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Author: Victoria Pinder
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Release date: December 30, 2013
A hundred years from now, Earth has trading partners with alien beings, mostly humanoid. However, going into space brought forth an unknown enemy who attacks Earth at will.
The Zoastra is part of the Earthseekers, an organization originally designed to go into space. Its new mission is to find Earth’s enemies.
Ariel is stuck on a Victorian planet and steals Grace’s body and life to get off the planet. Grace must get her body back before Ariel bonds with Grace’s husband, Peter. Then there is Cross, the man on a mission to find those who killed his family. Ariel is attracted to Cross, but she’s stolen someone’s life.
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Genre: Time Travel Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor
Release Date: November 25, 2013
WW Release Date: March 7, 2014
Alexandra Turner will do anything to save her twin sister. Even when she’s transported back in time to Regency England. Rescuing her sister and finding her way back to her own time will take all her concentration. Falling in love is not an option.
With the death of his brother, Nicholas Somerville became the ninth Marquess of Oakleigh and must return to England to take his place in society. Part of his responsibility will be to find a wife. It never occurs to him he might actually discover a woman he could love—until he meets Alex on his voyage home.
Can Alex and Nicholas find a way to bridge the gap of time and circumstance? Can they overcome their fears to realize that true love transcends time? Or will a dark secret from Alex’s past rear up to separate them forever?
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Author: J.J. DiBenedetto
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Suspense
Publisher: J.J. DiBenedetto
Artist – Ami Low
Release date: August 22, 2013
“Oh, God! We can hurt each other. Whatever we do to each other in the dream, we’ll do it to ourselves for real…”
When her own dreams are visited by a mysterious woman in a red dress, Sara realizes she has something she never expected: a counterpart, someone outside her family who shares her talent to see other people’s dreams.
When the woman in red keeps showing up in other dreams as well, leaving ruined lives in her wake, Sara knows she has something she never imagined: a nemesis.
Now, Sara must track the woman in red down in the waking world, before she’s forced to fight for her life in her dreams…
“Waking Dream” is the exciting fifth novel in the “Dreams” series.
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Publisher: Kissmet Publishing
Cover artist’s name: Steven Novak
Release date: May 5, 2013
Taken by Storm begins as the darkly bitter Grand Vizier, Lord Boltar, is about to claim what he believes belongs to him, the rule of Avistad. The King of Avistad’s son, Prince Tahj, has just returned from a trip and senses the unrest even before his best friend and captain, Radeem, warns him. Radeem heard rumors and suspects the King’s advisor is planning to overthrow the crown. Just as Tahj discovers a “gift” from Lord Boltar, a young girl bound and gagged on the prince’s bedroom floor, fighting erupts. Tahj, Radeem, and the captive girl, Bashea, escape the castle in a hail of arrows.
Born from the fire of a coup, Tahj and Bashea’s relationship burns with a passion that neither of them quite understands. The pair is drawn closer together as they face various perils, Boltar’s soldiers, a screaming panther, even the scathing winds of a desert storm. But after what she went through at the hands of Boltar’s men, Bashea is afraid to trust. Yet it is her fiery nature that both appeals to Tahj, and drives him crazy. In fact, when Bashea’s brother, Bagrat, informs Tahj that Bashea means “lips of the gods,” he retorts, “Are you sure you don’t mean tongue of the devil?” It takes a long separation to bring them back to each other, but when Tahj does return, it is once again during a battle with Lord Boltar. But now the overlord, who has been forced beyond reason by Tahj’s success in retaking the throne, is an even more dangerous threat than before. Reunited, will Tahj and Bashea be strong enough to defeat their twisted and powerful enemy?
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I want to thank all the authors who submit and make this a special place to share their work!
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To see YOUR cover here visit my UnCover Monday page for detailed instructions:
Due to lack of submissions I no longer promote banners and videos.
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I have a special guest today who has wrangled a 2-fer! Yep. Stacey Coverstone has two releases and I talked her into bringing them both to the Round Pen for us to drool over! Woot!!
Hi Stacey. Let’s get this show going, shall we?
TRAIL OF GOLDEN DREAMS (An Historical Western Romance):
In my novel, Trail of Golden Dreams (formerly published as Outlaw Trail), heroine Josie Hart is half-Tewa Indian, as her deceased mother was born and raised at the Nambe Pueblo in New Mexico. In the Tewa language, the word Nambe means “People of the Round Earth.” Prior to the arrival of Spanish explorers, Nambe Pueblo served as the primary cultural and religious center for the northern New Mexican pueblo communities. Today, the pueblo is a registered National Historic Landmark and is a major tourist attraction. It sits at the base of the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Sixteen miles north of the state capitol of Santa Fe, it encompasses 19,000 acres of land surrounded by national forest. Its terrain is scenic and striking, featuring waterfalls, lakes, and mountainous areas.
Josie and the hero of my story, Grey Paladin, ride 200 miles of dangerous New Mexico trail following a cryptic map in order to find gold nuggets hidden somewhere near the Nambe Falls by Josie’s outlaw father. To do research for this adventure/romance novel, I traveled to New Mexico and spent time in Santa Fe, where some of my story takes place. I also drove to the Nambe Pueblo and with my friend, Linda, who bravely climbed the side of the rugged canyon with me to the top, where we gazed upon the same magnificent view of the Nambe waterfalls and the valley below that Josie and Grey see in my novel. In addition, we spent time at the river and hiking the surrounding area. The entire region is central to my story and the culmination of Josie and Grey’s journey, so I wanted to be able to describe historic Santa Fe, the Nambe Pueblo, and the canyon, the waterfalls, and the river with accuracy. Sometimes it’s not possible for an author to travel to a destination for research. But I was glad I had the opportunity to do so for this book, where I was able to put myself into Josie and Grey’s shoes, literally.
At nineteen, Josie Hart has lived a hard and lonely life on her New Mexican farm. A cryptic map from her father gives her a chance to change all that and guides her on a perilous journey toward freedom and a fresh start. But there are others who want what she’s after and will stop at nothing to get it.
Grey Paladin seeks justice after having had his fortune stolen from him by Leroy Hart. He’ll do whatever it takes to retrieve what’s rightfully his and reunite with the only family he has left. That is, until a feisty girl stands in his way and makes his life more complicated.
When Josie and Grey form an uncertain partnership, they must battle outlaws, nature, and each other while riding two hundred miles of dangerous trail to reach their destination and the gold nuggets that will make both their dreams come true. What they discover at the end of the trail is something that’s been sorely lacking on both their lives, leading them each to rethink what the future could hold.
The tall, dark stranger looked down into Josie’s eyes. A muscle ticked along his jaw. After several long moments, she felt the release of pressure from the gun held at her temple. “Toss your gun on the ground,” she commanded, while keeping her derringer pointed at his ribcage.
“I’ll toss mine when you toss yours,” he said.
Josie searched his face. “Are you crazy, or just stupid? You think I’m going to throw down my gun? Why should I trust you?”
“Because I’ve never killed a woman before, and I don’t intend to start now.”
After considering his words carefully, Josie removed the gun from his rib. “On the count of three, we’ll both throw our guns onto the ground. Do I have your word as a gentleman?”
The man in black threw his head back and laughed. “Whatever gave you the idea I’m a gentleman?”
She rammed the derringer into his gut again and narrowed her eyes into pinpoints. The gun pressed into taut, rigid muscle. She had too much to lose to let him scare her out of a future she’d only dreamed about before now. “I’ll kill you right now, mister, and take my map, and it won’t bother me none.”
The man grinned. “You’re a tough little half-breed, aren’t you?”
“Half-breed!” she shrieked, lunging. Josie pounded on his chest with her fists and clawed at his shirt. He grabbed her wrists, and both the revolver and the derringer flew out of their hands and clattered to the ground. The stranger pulled her close. She struggled under his grasp. “Let me go, you big ignorant brute!” She kicked at his shins, but he lifted her off the ground before her boots could do any real damage.
“Calm down, missy,” he hollered. Keeping a firm grip around her waist, he danced the two of them around the cave, trying to avoid her bruising kicks. “I’m not ignorant. It was just a stupid joke. That’s what Leroy always called you. His little half-breed.”
Josie abruptly stopped fighting and glowered up at him. His arms still held her tight, squeezing her shoulders together. “What did you say?” she asked. “You knew my pa?” For the first time, she took a hard look at the cowboy. He was good looking for an outlaw. His mouth drew into a tight line, but his sun-soaked face was unshaven, his jaw was square like a chiseled piece of granite, and his brown eyes were so mesmerizing, she felt like climbing into them. She changed her mind about the mesmerizing eyes when he spit out his hateful answer.
“I knew your pa, all right,” he growled. “He was a no-good, low-down, common thief who got what he deserved when they hung him.”
BETWEEN TWO WORLDS (A Time Travel Romance)
I have no idea where the storyline for Between Two Worlds (formerly published as Delaney’s Crossing) came from. One day the entire plot unfolded in front of my eyes, and despite never having written anything close to time travel or fantasy before, I embraced the challenge and ended up writing about a modern career woman who time travels back to the Old West with the help of a magical Irishman, who might or might not be a leprechaun, in order to find her soul mate. Sound strange? I thought so too, until I started writing and convinced myself that it was okay to write this kind of fantastical story, because anything goes in fiction. I wanted to create a tale that allows the reader to completely suspend reality for a little while, because all of us need to “check out” from real life sometimes, which is the main reason most of us read fiction.
Irish blood runs through my veins on my maternal side, and I’ve always been fascinated by Irish myths and legends. Since I was a teenager, I’ve been intrigued by the idea of time travel and enjoyed many books with that theme. Also, since I grew up watching westerns on prime time TV (okay, I’m giving away my age here), I’ve always held a special place in my heart for the historical American West. When this plot for Between Two Worlds came to mind, I thought those three aspects of my own life would make a great combination for a novel that will let someone’s imagination take flight and still get the happily ever after ending romance readers crave. I hope I’ve accomplished that.
A 300-year old Celtic curse unites a career woman from the present with a western doctor from the past.
Delaney Marshall is disappointed with the dating scene and making costly mistakes in her career. On a day when everything goes wrong, a rainbow appears and a strange Irish cab driver urges her to cross a bridge she’s never seen before—causing her to question her sanity after realizing she’s stepped into the Wild West 124 years in the past.
Gabriel Whitman, a handsome bachelor with a secret, is the town doctor in 1888 Phoenix. When a runaway wagon threatens the life of a pretty blonde in a short skirt and mismatched shoes, he pushes her out of harm’s way, and more than sparks from the wagon wheels start to fly.
Somehow Delaney’s traveled into another world and found the man of her dreams. But can true love transcend the separation of time?
Delaney turned in a circle. The thick scent of jasmine perfume clung to the air. The sweet tang of sweat and the sickening odor of ripe horse manure filled her nostrils. She heard the rumble of wagon wheels, the clink of the distant piano, and the laughter of children playing in the schoolyard. The hot sun seared the nape of her neck. Stumbling back into the street, she knelt and scooped up a handful of dirt. As she crumbled it between her fingers, dust spiraled into the air and tickled her nose. Her heart pounded with an insane rhythm. I can’t be imagining all of this. These smells. These sounds. If I’m dreaming, this is the most realistic dream I’ve ever had. If it’s not a dream, God help me, because that means I’ve…I’ve…I don’t know what it means!
She looked up and saw a ball roll into the street. A towheaded young boy chased after it. The loud pop of a revolver went off nearby, followed by the whinnies of horses. A freight wagon pulled by a team of four horses stampeded straight for the child. The frantic driver yanked on the reins, but there was nowhere for him to turn. Terrified screams of women from somewhere behind Delaney exploded in her ears. The boy stopped, whirled, and froze in the middle of the street. His eyes fearfully fastened on the wild horses galloping toward him.
Delaney kicked off her shoes, threw her purse to the ground, and bolted into the road. She lunged and shoved the child hard, pushing him out of harm’s way. The slipperiness of her nylon-clad feet caused her to lose traction in the gravel road, and she fell flat. Sprawled face-first in the dirt, more shrieks pierced her ears. The wagon! As she desperately tried to scramble to her feet in the tight pencil skirt and slick pantyhose, her head turned, and she stared straight into the crazed eyes of the beasts bearing down on her. Her whole world moved in slow motion. She squeezed her eyes shut. If there ever was a good time to wake up from this ridiculous dream, now would be the time!
She opened her eyes and BAM! All the air was knocked out of her lungs as she was tackled from behind. She lay trying to catch her breath. Her head throbbed, and there was a ringing in her ears. She gasped for air. Suddenly, she realized why it was hard to breathe. A heavy body crushed her, and two hands were on her neck. Was some fool trying to suffocate her? Summoning every ounce of strength she had, she kicked her feet and managed to shout, “Get…off…me!” Feeling the weight immediately lift, she rolled onto her back and gulped precious air back into her lungs.
“Are you all right ma’am?” The male hovering over her had a voice as smooth as yogurt, but he didn’t sound particularly concerned that he’d probably just broken every bone in her body. In fact, a small smile quirked his mouth. Stunned, spitting out dirt and with hair in her eyes, she brushed the flyaway hair behind her ears and gazed at him. A black cowboy hat tipped over hazel eyes, and stubble covered his chin, cheeks and above his lip. Obviously, he’d just saved her life, but he’d nearly killed her and humiliated her in the process. She felt her skirt bunched up around her thighs. She tried, but couldn’t wiggle it back into place. A roar of laughter erupted. She turned her head from side to side and saw what must have been the whole town gathered round.
Thanks for having me today, Calisa. Happy Reading, everyone!
Thanks for visiting the Ranch, Stacey!