Christmas Awards 2011

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Red Rosas

Stacy Coverstone/Red Rosas/Eternal Press/24 pages

Thrown off the ranch for allegedly seducing her employer – Carlotta’s – son, Teresa has nowhere to go but the streets. However, Quentin rescues her from attempted rape and takes her to a friend’s house. What happens when they return to the range is violent and strange, and will haunt Carlotta for the rest of her life.

This was an enjoyable psychic story. Four red roses. Morna

Monday, 27 October 2008

Photo Op

Sloane Taylor/Photo Op/Aspen Mountain Press/ebook/51 pages
Emily Peters has had her share of being the intrepid traveller in the cause of getting those all-important photographs. Now she is in Paris and it is time to relax and spoil herself a little. She was forty years old, uninterested in either marriage or children, and she had promised herself the chance to take a cooking course from her favourite chef. However, the surprise invitation to the infamous S&G club was very exciting indeed!

Wonderful food wasn’t the only thing on offer that night. The rich and famous had come out to play and so had Nicholas Caine. He was intent on making beautiful music with the famous photographer he had wanted to know better for years – but who is going to get the biggest shock by the end of the night?

There is pathos and hurt uncovered and I am hoping these two will get together again in further books. Once again Sloane Taylor mixes humour and sex into a delicious blend of gourmet delight. Five red roses. Morna

Four brilliant new books from Robert Hale

The Paradise Will by Elizabeth Hanbury
Robert Hale
May 2008

Elizabeth Hanbury’s debut novel, The Paradise Will, is a gorgeous Regency romance that would make Georgette Heyer proud!

Miss Alyssa Paradise has inherited her late uncle’s property in Dorset – much to the chagrin of her foppish cousin! Although many doubt whether a mere unmarried lady could possibly manage such a large estate, Alyssa is determined to prove her doubters wrong – especially Sir Giles Maxton!

Giles Maxton was a good friend of her uncle’s who had been hoping to purchase her uncle’s land in order to expand his already impressive estate. Giles is furious that his plans have been thwarthed because of this mere chit of a girl. Such a grand estate needs a man like him in order to thrive and flourish and Giles is determined to obtain what is rightfully his.

As luck would have it, one of the provisos of the will stated that once a month Giles and Alyssa have to dine together. Giles is determined to use this as an opportunity to get his hands on the estate – despite Alyssa’s fury that she would have to spend time with this insufferable man! Alyssa was initially apalled as she couldn’t for one second think of anything which she might have in common with Giles. But when the two start spending more and more time together, Alyssa immediately realizes that beneath the brusque, taciturn and arrogant façade lurks a heart of gold.

But as they are both promised to other people, can they ever have a chance of spending their future together?

The Paradise Will is a joy to read! It’s hard to believe that this accomplished Regency novel is Elizabeth Hanbury’s first book! Funny, tender, evocative, atmospheric and brimming with plenty of charm, Elizabeth Hanbury is a name historical romance readers would do well to remember!

The Touchstone by Pamela Kavanagh
Robert Hale Publishers
May 2008

Pamela Kavanagh’s latest novel is a cross between Maeve Binchy and Barbara Erskine. A fascinating contemporary tale of romance, friendship, secrets, relationships and the paranormal, The Touchstone is the exciting second novel from this talented writer.

Rissa Birch got the shock of her life when on her deathbed her mother announced that the man she thought was her father was not her biological parent. Determined to find out the truth about her parentage, Rissa decided to head to a small town in West Wales, where she hopes to find enough evidence to substantiate the lead which she found in her mother’s personal belongings.

On her arrival, Rissa encounters Catrin Jenkins, a young woman who appears to have a charmed life: she has the job of her dreams, parents who love her, good friends and a gorgeous fiance. But as the two women become close friends, Rissa realizes that Catrin is not as happy as she is making out to be.
Catrin begins to wonder whether she is doing the right thing in marrying her fiance Will. As the years have progressed, Catrin’s feelings for Will have been more fraternal than romantic – and she’s finding herself unable to stop thinking about the gorgeous architect Ewan.

But the two girls are soon united by distrubing dreams which could put their lives in jeopardy. As their dreams escalate and their fears increase, Rissa and Catrin realize that they must unite in solving this mystery – or else risk losing everything!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Touchstone! Warm, spellbinding and captivating, I can’t wait to read more novels by this wonderful writer!

The Meticulous Messenger by Wendy Burdess
Robert Hale Publishers
Historical Romance
May 2008

The Meticulous Messenger is a fabulous romantic mystery from the author of The Unaccomplished Lady Eleanor!

When Wilhelmina Crump and her cousin Lavinia where sent off to France in order to find a suitable husband, little did they realize that danger was just around the corner. With the French Revolution in full swing and cries of revenge ringing in their ears, the girls realize that they must cut short their visit or else risk falling victim to the braying mob of angry peasants out for their blood!

But just before they leave France, Wilhelmina’s guardian hands her a letter addressed to someone mysteriously known as “The Stag”. Wilhelmina is suitably alarmed. Who is “The Stag”? Why has she been chosen to be the one to deliver this letter to him? And why do mysterious letters addressed to this person keeping coming into her possession?

Just when she thinks that things cannot possibly get any worse for her, Wilhelmina is shocked when she finds herself being pursued by the handsome Duke of Linthorpe and the enigmatic Earl of Thurlston. What is it that they want from her? Are they in any way connected to “The Stag”
As her cousin’s life is thrown into jeopardy, Wilhelmina realizes that she’d better find some answers – or else risk losing everything which she holds dear to her…

Imbued with plenty of intrigue, mystery and romance, The Meticulous Messenger is a beguiling historical romance you will find yourself unable to put down. Written with plenty of skill, flair and charm, The Meticulous Messenger is another triumph for Wendy Burdess!

Abigal’s Secret by Roberta Grieve
Robert Hale Publishers
May 2008

Abigail’s Secret is an engrossing and engaging wartime saga from a talented new writer: Roberta Grieve.

Abby Cookson’s life is one of constant pain, hardship and drudgery. She lives in a derelict house with her father, Wally, a violent drunkard who delights in frightening his daughter, who has never got over the cruel abandoment of her mother when she was a mere child. Abby dreams of leaving her father behind and of starting afresh elsewhere, but guilt keeps her a prisoner in her father’s house.

Respite for Abby comes when she meets a handsome sailor called Joe. The nephew of the local milkman, Abby soon begins to find herself drawn to the charismatic young man, who wastes no time in telling her how he feels about her.
For once in her life, Abby is truly happy and when she gets a job at a local department’s store, her happiness is complete. But when her respectable employer rapes her and leaves her pregnant, Abby realizes that she must leave Joe, her friends and everything that is familiar to her and start afresh somewhere else.

Joe is heartbroken when he finds out that Abby has left town. Having falling passionately in love with her, he’s determined to find her and show her how much she means to him. But with dark clouds of war gathering around them, will Joe and Abby ever find their way back to one another?

A heatwarming tale of passion, revenge, tragedy, survival and romance, Abigail’s Secret is a brilliant debut novel by a fantastic new writer of historical sagas.

All these lovely Regency Romances are awarded 4.5 red roses!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Colonel Brandon's Diary

ISBN 978-0-7090-8616-1.

This book, written in the form of a diary by Colonel James Brandon, a main character from the well loved book, ‘Sense and Sensibility’ by Jane Austin, gives an insight into his personal life from the age of eighteen years.

James Brandon, the younger of two sons, knows that he will have to make his way in the world after he finishes his studies at Oxford and intends to become a Lawyer.

His elder brother Harry is a drunkard and a womaniser but their father can see no wrong in him, in fact Harry’s behaviour seems to amuse their father, who will eventually inherit Delaford the family home and will also marry their father’s ward Eliza, who is a considerable heiress.

James and Eliza are secretly very much in love and plan to marry as soon as James can afford to take a wife. They are heartbroken when they learn that the engagement between Eliza and Harry is to be announced, against Eliza’s will, at a forthcoming ball their father is to hold for all of their neighbours. They are devastated with this terrible threat and so they plan to elope the very next day. Unfortunately, their plans are betrayed to James’s father, by a young maid and James is sent away at once by his father, to stay with his aunt and he is told that he may not return until Eliza and Harry are married.

A few days after he arrives at his aunt’s Castle James learns that Harry and Eliza are married and because of this his father allows him to go back to Delaford. James cannot bear to be at Delaford with the love of his life married to his brother. A marriage in which he is sure she will be miserable. He could not bear to be at his home where everything about him reminds him of his lost love. He leaves immediately for London on the way he stops for refreshments at The Black Swann Inn. There he meets an old friend who is travelling with his uncle, learning of James troubles the uncle advises him to become a soldier. The idea appeals to James and he eventually buys a commission and is sent to the Indies.

While in the Indies James’s Father dies and Harry inherits Delaford, he hopes that Eliza is happy and that Harry is taking care of her.

Two years later his sister Caroline writes to say that Eliza has left her husband and is now divorced and ruined. James longs to go to Eliza but it is not until the end of the year that he is able to go back to England to search for her. There are many trials before James finds Eliza. It is not the meeting he had hoped for, for she is desperately ill. James takes her from the debtor’s prison where she has been for some time and finds a home for her and waits for the inevitable, showing her love and kindness until the end. Believing that his life is also over he makes
arrangements for the welfare of Eliza’s daughter.
If you have read the original book you will know how the story progresses from here, the heart- aches and the pain, which he writes in his diary giving all of the details of his life over the next few years. Reading the diary we learn more of Brandon’s hopes and fears his pain and sometimes his joy. The ending we all know, but we live it with him through his writings in his diary, sharing his inner hopes and fears. This book is well worth reading and I award it .4 Red Roses.AS

French Kiss

Straight-laced children's author, Rachel Conklin, awakens on a deserted island wrapped in the arms of a sexy pirate. Convinced she's in a dream conjured from the pages of her breakout novel, Rachel casts her inhibitions to the wind and rides the waves of passion. Pediatrician Henri Bernier wasn't quite sure what to do with the sexy mermaid he'd pulled from the sea. Then she started kissing him and sent his libido soaring. Now the good doctor is ready for anything. (Published: 2008)
available from
This is the latest in Sloane Taylor's funny, sexy series of the Naughty Ladies Of Nice. We hope to have a review for Sloane's latest book here soon!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Interview With Kristin Battestella

Kristin Battestella
Questions for Red Roses For Authors/Reviews /Interview
Tell us a little about yourself
What do you write?
A writer is supposed to specialize, isn’t she? Niche, genre? I write whatever strikes me, although what strikes me tends to be horror, dark fantasy, science fiction, and a touch of mystery. I’m a non fic gal as well; newspaper work, reviews, essays. Truly if I have something to say, I write it generally before I say it!

Why do you write?
I write to express myself. I have something to say that I hope informs, inspires, and entertains others. It’s my way of sharing who I am, along with something special and fantastical. If I don’t write I feel strange. It’s like a phantom limb. Writing is always with me. When I drive, I think of good things, the shower. Writing and inspiration are everywhere.

What are you writing now?
I’m dabbling with another dark fantasy. I don’t want to say too much. It’s a bit experimental and out there for me. I’ve always been going back and forth with a horror short called The Haberdasher. I’ve collaborating with my fellow NJ author Leigh Wood, and I’m doing some more naughty material under a pen name.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
I don’t think I’m goth, but other people seem to think I am. I’m not a vampire but I wear a lot of black. I haven’t been well the past few months, so its comfortable black gear, as opposed to my usual button down shirts and dress pants and high boots. Jeans and jerseys are my weekend wear, and I adore days when I don’t have to get out of my pajamas.

Are you in love? Have you ever been?
Yes and Yes! I just got married actually. You must love someone to up and move your whole life somewhere else for someone. Meeting my husband has also affected my writing. I write with more emotion and romance and relationships and sex scenes than I did before. No wonder.
Do you have a dream lover – and what does he or she look like?
My husband would say it’s Sean Bean. He’d probably be right. ;0)

What kind of comfort food do you like best?
I don’t know that I have one particular comfort food. Sometimes I want to eat at 3 am and by golly I eat whatever’s available! I’ve been into pistachio recently. Pistachio pudding, ice cream. I love Spumoni.

What makes you laugh? Cry?
I tend to be a bit heartless and laugh at some of the stupid things my family does. I’ve been watching The Office recently. I think I prefer intelligent comedy over slapstick or teen romps. If I’m on an emotional kick, I’ll cry over the silliest thing. I think it takes a lot for me to flat out ball my eyes out, but my lips tremble over the sight of anything inspiration or pretty. I was quivering in the store picking out a birthday card for my dad.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
It’s still working a bit, good practice, but I love doing movie reviews and making screen captures. I enjoy analysis shows, often to the point that family won’t want to watch a show with me. I like to yell back at the TV some of the onscreen absurdities. Often I end up with the record player on, and I sing in the kitchen while I cook. No, I can’t sing!

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
Hmm…I like a man who is intelligent and confident in himself, able to protect manly man! Yet there must be comfort and compassion. Adorableness helps, of course. Can’t be more specific and be clean. I do think attraction is relative.

What do you hate about life?
I don’t like that good guys seem to get the shaft. We seem to be on a downslide where nobody is winning. I like it when things are good, opportunities can be made for the better.
What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
I’d like to see I won’t think of achievement and success until I’m on my deathbed appreciating things, but yes, I practice my Oscar speech in the mirror, who doesn’t? I’d like to be financially success enough to live freely of course, but I would like to think I can achieve that without stepping on the little guy, changing who I am, or losing my writing worth in the process. I want to be successfully honestly, can it be?
What are you going to write next?
I will finish The Haberdasher! I often plan which stories I will work on or go back to, like my space opera The Centaurians. The Vampire Family also calls for a sequel. You have to go where the writing takes you. Three years ago I never thought I’d be writing naughty scary bits and collaborating with an erotica author. It can happen!

Elemental Crossing

Elemental Crossing/Robert Appleton/Eternal Press/ebook/68pages
Marooned on Kratos with the man of her dreams, Kate isn’t always happy to go along with Jason’s wild schemes. Yet they have to find a place where they can survive in this hostile environment while they wait to see if a spaceship will come to rescue them.
Once again in this second book Kate and Jason are confronted by strange creatures. Some are friendly, some are dangerous, some are simply food – and some are poisonous to eat. How can they tell the difference? Kate falls ill and in a terrifying electric storm caused by an unidentified creature, Kate and Jason are separated. Each has to journey on alone to find a place to survive neither knowing if the other has survived. Will they survive and find happiness?
The second book in this fascinating sci-fi thriller series is as good as the first. Five red roses, Linda

Monday, 13 October 2008

The Cloisonne Locket

ISBN 978-0-7090-8462-4

Miss Rosemary Barton orphaned at the age of ten years has been raised since that time by her Father’s sister, Mrs Mary Fleming. Mrs Fleming having a daughter Eleanor, just two years older than Rosemary and a son Henry of twenty two. They had been raised as brother and sisters. But now it was time that the girls were looking for husbands and although the Fleming’s did not intend to give the girls a London season, they would be making their debut in their local society in Kent. They also intended to have a small ball for them, during their season.

Rosemary, whose mother was Spanish, had a rare beauty with deep blue eyes, luxurious black hair and a slightly darker complexion than her cousin. This exotic sensuous beauty would put Eleanor completely in the shade, LadyAgatha Williams who was an old friend of Mrs Flemming and was at the moment was visiting the family, pointed out. Mrs Fleming, who had never considered her niece a beauty because of her darker complexion and hair colouring, preferred the pale complexion, and fairer hair which her daughter had of a typical English rose. Having had this difference in the girls pointed out to her and also being told by her childhood friend that every man who came in contact with Rosemary could not take their eyes off of her, this included the Vicar. Mrs Fleming was horrified and began watching her niece carefully. She realised that the attraction, which men felt towards her niece, was not encouraged at all by Rosemary who was completely unaware of her beauty and obvious sensuality.

Lady Agatha Williams secretly thought it would be a terrible shame if Rosemary was not allowed to blossom, with a London season. She asked if there was no one who could take responsibility for Rosemary so that both girls could have their season, but apart. Mary Flemming thought hard and long about the difficulties ahead if Rosemary and Eleanor were brought out together and at last came up with what she hoped could be a solution. A distant cousin, who was a known recluse and had no children of her own, may be persuaded to take Rosemary on. Rosemary being a considerable heiress would not be a pull on her purse strings and she was a well-mannered biddable girl who would be no trouble to the cousin. Mary Flemming wrote at once to Lady Emily Cranston.

Rosemary travelled to London with Lady Agatha Williams and her maid. Lady Agatha, had formed an affection for Rosemary and had she not been about to leave the country with her Diplomat husband, she would herself have delighted in giving Rosemary her London season. However she decided that she would see the girl was well established in the ton, in the short time that she could be with her, before leaving England.

The shock that Rosemary felt when they stopped outside of the tall forbidding house, she was now to call home, was no less than Lady Agatha felt as she accompanied the young girl into the dark and unwelcoming town house in Berkley Square.

Lady Emily Cranston was not at all welcoming and spoke very little to either Rosemary or Lady Agatha and after a very short interview said abruptly that Rosemary would now be shown to her room and Lady Agatha the door. As she drove away Lady Agatha was very worried about Rosemary’s future and determined to help in any way she could to ensure a happy outcome for the beautiful orphan.

During her life in Berkley Square Rosemary was to be very unhappy and in some considerable danger. Why did the bad tempered Lady Emily agree to house Rosemary when she obviously disliked anyone’s company other than her dog Prinny, a great Bullmastiff, who was as unfriendly as his mistress. Why did she finger a cloisonné locket which she wore around her throat every day and why did Rosemary see a look of sheer hatred, when she unexpectedly one day, looked up at her hostess? And why did Lady Emily watch the house across the Square through a telescope? How can Rosemary possibly find the happiness she deserves in this situation and with only one friend in London, to watch over her?

This Historical Romance has a good story line and is told with flare, a book to enjoy, it will give much pleasure to lovers of this genre. I happily award this book five Red Roses and look forward to the next book from author Barbara Hazard. AS.
When you get a five red roses from this reviewer is means the book is Special! Linda

Sunday, 12 October 2008

One Ring to Rule

Title: ONE RING TO RULEAuthor: Charlotte McClainGenre: Romantic ComedyPublication Date: September 2008Book Length: Short storyPrice: $2.50E-bookPublisher:
Delightful Rating: four red rosesA formidable editor of her own publishing company, Lindsey Cartwright is bravely coping with life, coming to terms with the sudden abandonment she had suffered at the hands of Kent Farrington four years ago. Now that Kent Farrington has suddenly come crawling back into her life, Lindsey has the unwelcoming prospect of handling such a frustrating and emotional encounter during a busy convention. What does Kent Farrington want? Why has he returned? Lindsey will have to wait and see.McClain throws in all the necessary ingredients whipping up a delicious novel, making it a delectable read.Delightfully Reviewed by Delores Airey for Red Roses For Authors.

This book is also featured at Delores Airey's one blog. Lucky author!

Featured Author

Kristin Battestella writes for her hometown newspaper in New Jersey and has been writing science fiction, fantasy, non fiction, and horror for fifteen years. She enjoys being at home with her family, collecting records, and creating web pages in her spare time. Along with various sports articles, online reviews (Kristin's review of the film 300 earned 11,000 hits and crashed the Fire Fox News server!), and fiction work, Kristin's first eBook was published in 2005. She is a member of EPIC and is very active at the Kristin Battestella Yahoo Group. Kristin's first full length work The Vampire Family has been rereleased. In addition to numerous review, interview, chat, and blog appearances, Kristin recently attended the Philadelphia and Collingswood Book Festivals.

Kristin is our featured author this week. Her book Vampire Family has been selling well at Fictionwise and was favourably reviewed at this site.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Into the Lair

Into the Lair by Maya Banks

Samhain Publishing

287 pages

Ian and Braden have made a promise to their friend, Gabe. To protect his sister, Katie. Ian and Braden also know that Katie is their best chance at catching their enemy. What they haven’t counted on is the way she makes them feel. Dealing with their shape-shifting abilities isn’t helped at all by the way Katie makes their emotions feel so exposed.

Katie has been on the run for a very long time. Gabe always told her never to trust anyone, now she finds out that he has sent Ian and Braden to protect her. At first not sure if they are on her side or the side of her enemy, never realizing that there is now a new enemy, she runs from them. She is in hot water again and has to find a way out. Luckily for her Ian and Braden are determined to keep her safe and stand between her and the danger she is in.

For the first time in her life Katie is feeling safe and finding herself trusting Ian and Braden but is she making another mistake or has she finally found where she belongs. Only time is going to tell. Hopefully she can stay alive long enough to find out the truth.

Ian and Braden are offering her the home and safety she has always sought but does she have the strength to grab hold of it and trust them to keep her safe and loved? She is going to find out just how strong she really is. Ian and Braden are finding out that they can’t use Katie as the bait they had originally planned. To do so is destroying them and their concentration of their mission.

This is a great book. I loved the story line and didn’t want to put it down until the very last page. It has all the action and romance you could hope for. You fall for the main characters and have fun with the secondary characters. When reading this one your emotions run the gambit. I hated to see this one end but I really enjoyed the way it ended.

I give this one 5 red roses