Saturday, April 21, 2018

This Week on Books Direct - 21 April 2018

This Week on Books Direct -
21 April 2018

This Week on Books Direct - 21 April 2018

Here's a list of some great articles you may have missed this week. Enjoy!

There’s never a bad time to tidy up writing that’s messy or overly cluttered, but the best time may be right now—which is to say, spring. In fact, that last sentence could use some polish, so let’s rework it: Now’s a fine time to spring clean your writing. There, isn’t that better?

Everything You Should Know About Cleaning Your Writing: Tips, Tools, And More by Daniel Potter for Grammarly Blog

The Vending Machine That Spits Out Short Stories by Laura M. Holson for The New York Times

A French community publisher of short-form literature has installed more than 30 story dispensers in the United States in the past year.

The Vending Machine That Spits Out Short Stories by Laura M. Holson for The New York Times

Type a question into “Talk to Books,” and AI-powered tool will scan every sentence in 100,000 volumes in Google Books and generate a list of likely responses with the pertinent passage bolded.

Google’s Astounding New Search Tool Will Answer Any Question By Reading Thousands Of Books by Anne Quito for Quartz Media

2018 Pulitzer Prizes Announced by The Pulitzer Prizes

The 2018 winners of the Pulitzer Prize were announced, including six books in the categories of Fiction, Drama, History, Biography, Poetry, and General Nonfiction. Andrew Sean Greer won the Fiction Pulitzer for his novel Less, and James Forman Jr. took the General Nonfiction prize for Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.

The 24-year-old poet, with a background in biochemistry, wants young people in the capital ‘to see poetry as part of their every day’.

Somali-British Poet Momtaza Mehri Named Young People's Laureate For London by Alison Flood for The Guardian

New suit claims Aaron Sorkin adaptation may have to be scrapped over alleged differences between the play and novel, as producers offer to stage disputed work at federal court.

Broadway Producers Of To Kill A Mockingbird Countersue Harper Lee's Estate by Sian Cain for The Guardian

How do you feel after submitting a manuscript?

Growing Comfortable With Your Creative Vacuum by Hans M. Hirschi

Cecilia Tan would like to hear more from both authors and folks who give solicited feedback: critique partners, writers groups, beta readers, and sensitivity readers.

Seeking Stories From Authors & Beta Readers About Incorporating Feedback, Critique by Cecilia Tan

Merging Feedback by Anna Simpson for emaginette

Anna explains how she collates feedback from beta readers.

Merging Feedback by Anna Simpson for emaginette

A new study by Pew Research, Americans are actually reading, they're just doing it in different ways than the traditional hardcover or paperback format.

How Many Books Did The Average American Read In The Last Year? This New Study May Surprise You by Keri Jarema for Bustle

If you enjoyed this blog post, please visit the other This Week posts for links to more great articles.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Love in Bloom featuring Donna Hatch

Rogue Hearts Series
by Donna Hatch

Love in Bloom featuring Donna Hatch

Throughout the month of April, we will be featuring 10 fabulous authors who write clean romance. Today we feature Donna Hatch with her Rogue Hearts Series.
This book blast and giveaway is brought to you by I Am A Reader.

The Stranger She Married
(Rogue Hearts Series Book 1)
by Donna Hatch

When her parents and twin brother die within weeks of each other, Alicia and her younger sister are left in the hands of an uncle who has brought them all to financial and social ruin. Desperate to save her family from debtor's prison, Alicia vows to marry the first wealthy man to propose. She meets the dashing Lord Amesbury, and her heart whispers that this is the man she is destined to love, but his tainted past may forever stand in their way. Her choices in potential husbands narrow to either a scarred cripple with the heart of a poet, or a handsome rake with a deadly secret.
Cole Amesbury is tormented by his own ghosts, and believes he is beyond redemption, yet he cannot deny his attraction for the girl whose genuine goodness touches the heart he'd thought long dead. He fears the scars in his soul cut so deeply that he may never be able to offer Alicia a love that is true. When yet another bizarre mishap threatens her life, Alicia suspects the seemingly unrelated accidents that have plagued her loved ones are actually a killer's attempt to exterminate every member of her family. Despite the threat looming over her, learning to love the stranger she married may pose the greatest danger to her heart. And Cole must protect Alicia from the killer who has been exterminating her family before she is the next target.

Book Video

As Cole looked down into Alicia Palmer’s face, he knew of a surety she was worth any risk. She touched him in a place he’d thought long dead.
A younger man wearing a saucy grin approached Miss Palmer. “Did you save me a dance, Lissie?”
Cole’s initial irritation for the man’s cheekiness faded to puzzlement. He knew him from somewhere. A vague unease arose.
When the young man’s gaze moved to Cole, he paled visibly. “You!”
Miss Palmer gasped. “Robert Palmer, where are your manners?”
Of course. Robert Palmer. From London. Cold dread trickled across his heart as he considered the ramifications.
Palmer pinned him with a dangerous glare. “Stay away from my cousin.”
“Your cousin?” Cole looked from him to the lovely Miss Palmer and understanding dawned. He cursed under his breath. He hadn’t been aware Armand Palmer had a sister. Not that he’d bothered to find out. The possible ramifications took a more serious turn.
Miss Palmer sent Cole a look of apology and turned to her cousin. “Robert, explain yourself.”
In a cold sweat, Cole waited for her condemning stare.
Palmer trembled in rage. He spoke quietly, but each word shot through Cole like bullets fired at close range. “He’s the scoundrel who shot your twin.”

Book Links

The Guise of a Gentleman
(Rogue Hearts Series Book 2)
by Donna Hatch

The widowed Elise is a perfect English lady living within the confines of society for the sake of her impressionable young son. Her quiet world is shattered when she meets the impulsive and scandalous Jared Amesbury. His roguish charm awakens her yearning for adventure. But his irrepressible grin and sea-green eyes hide a secret.
A gentleman by day, a pirate by night, Jared must complete one last assignment from the Secret Service before he can be truly free. Elise gives him hope that he, too, can find love and belonging. His hopes are crushed when his best laid plans go awry and Elise is dragged into his world of violence and deceit. She may not survive the revelation of Jared's past ... or still love him when the truth is revealed.

Book Video

“You are a woman of great courage to face those cutthroats alone.”
His fingers closed around hers as if she were a lifeline. Her late husband’s hands had always been smooth and soft, the hands of a gentleman, so unlike this man’s calluses which bespoke hard work. She marveled at the strength in those hands, not to mention the tingles that traveled up her arm.
A flush crept over her face and she struggled to retain her composure. “I saw a cruel act and felt compelled to intervene. I could do nothing less.”
His eyes darted over her face and he said in a stronger voice, “Those men might have turned on you.”
“I’m an excellent shot.”
“And did you not consider that you may have been in danger from me?”
She suspected many women found him a very great danger, but not for the reason he spoke.
Swallowing against a dry mouth, she lifted her chin. “You hardly looked dangerous at the time. And I daresay you lack the strength to offer any threat now.”
The barest hint of a smile twitched his lips and a wicked light glinted in his sea-green eyes.

Book Links

A Perfect Secret
(Rogue Hearts Series Book 3)
by Donna Hatch

Desperate to protect her father from trial and death, Genevieve breaks off her engagement with Christian Amesbury and marries a blackmailer. After a year of marriage, she flees her husband's violent domination only to have fate bring her back to Christian. Just when she thinks she's started a new life of safety and solitude, her husband tracks her down, stalks her, and threatens everyone she loves.
Still brokenhearted over Genevieve's betrayal a year ago, Christian can't believe she's come back into his life--and worse, that she's done it on the anniversary of his brother's death, a death that haunts him. Though tempted to throw her back into the river where he found her, he can't leave her at the mercy of the terrifying man she married.
When her husband torments Genevieve and puts his family in danger, Christian will do anything to protect those he loves ... anything except give Genevieve another chance to break his heart.

Book Video

“I’ll be right there with you,” he said huskily into her hair.
She buried her face into his shirtfront. “I know you will. I’m not afraid.”
Heaven help him, he loved this woman so much that it physically hurt. He drew back and held her at arm’s length. “Do you have your gun?”
She nodded. “It’s in my pocket.” She patted the front of her pelisse.
“And the dagger?”
She lifted her skirts to show her riding boots with the hilt peeping out from inside.
“If anything goes wrong, run.”
She nodded.
He gripped her shoulders. “I mean, it, Genevieve; don’t stay and play heroine.”

Book Links

The Suspect’s Daughter
(Rogue Hearts Series Book 4)
by Donna Hatch

Determined to help her father with his political career, Jocelyn sets aside dreams of love. When she meets the handsome and mysterious Grant Amesbury, her dreams of true love reawaken. But his secrets put her family in peril.
Grant goes undercover to capture conspirators avowed to murder the prime minister, but his only suspect is the father of a courageous lady who is growing increasingly hard to ignore. He can’t allow Jocelyn to distract him from the case, nor will he taint her with his war-darkened soul. She seems to see past the barriers surrounding his heart, which makes her all the more dangerous to his vow of remaining forever alone.
Jocelyn will do anything to clear her father’s name, even if that means working with Grant. Time is running out. The future of England hangs in the balance ... and so does their love.

Book Video

She smiled, that persistent sunshine returning like a ray spearing the clouds. He’d seen her frightened and sad, but always quickly recovering to a state of joy.
Grant bowed. “Good night, Miss Fairley.”
He turned to go, but she touched his arm, a light touch, no more than the feathering brush of a butterfly. Still, he stiffened at the contact and withdrew. She blinked down at the thwarted contact as if searching for the source of his abruptness.
“Yes?” he prompted.
She faltered but seemed to draw from that endless well of happiness, and managed a sincere smile. “I look forward to seeing you at our house party.”
If Miss Fairley knew her father was his prime suspect, she wouldn’t be treating him with such kindness and familiarity. Her devotion to her father was clear. She’d be devastated when he brought her father to justice for conspiring to murder and treason. That Grant might play a part in dimming that ray of sun felt a tragedy. But better that than allowing a group of radicals commit murder.

Book Links

Unmasking the Duke
(Rogue Hearts Series Book 5)
by Donna Hatch

The last thing Hannah Palmer wants to do is flirt with men in a crowded ballroom, but when her sister, the Countess of Tarrington, throws a Masquerade Ball, Hannah can’t say no to the invitation. Taking comfort behind her disguise, she dances with a charming masked gentleman, matching him wit for wit. When the glorious evening culminates in a kiss, and the two remove their masks, Hannah is horrified to discover the man she’s been flirting with all night is her most despised neighbor, the Duke of Suttenberg. No matter how charming the duke was at the ball, and how wonderful the kiss, he is the last man she could ever love.

Book Links

Praise for the Author
“Written with heart and depth, Donna Hatch’s books are absolute must-reads for any fan of swoon-worthy historical romance.” ~ Sarah M. Eden, USA Today best-selling historical romance author
“Donna Hatch is one of the masters of clean romance with electric tension and smokin’ hot kisses.” ~ Reading is My Super Power Reviews
“The intrigue held me spellbound until the very end and it was an unexpected ending. I will definitely be looking for more…” ~ Night Owl Romance

About the Author
Donna Hatch
Best-selling author, Donna Hatch, is a hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, the force that drove her to write and publish more than twenty historical romance titles, including the award-winning “Rogue Hearts Series.” She is a multi-award winner, a sought-after workshop presenter, and juggles multiple volunteer positions as well as her six (yes, that is 6) children. Also a music lover, she sings and plays the harp, and loves to ballroom dance. Donna and her family recently transplanted from her native Arizona to the Pacific Northwest where she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

"Better With You" by Rachel John

Better With You
(A Change in Plans Book 2)
by Rachel John

Better With You (A Change in Plans Book 2) by Rachel John

Better With You is the second book in the A Change in Plans series by Rachel John. Also available: The Start of Us.

The Start of Us by Rachel John

Better With You is currently on tour with I Am A Reader. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Paige Parker has no time for romance. She’s too busy building up her house-flipping business. But when a charming guy comes between her and the house she wants, Paige is a little more torn than she expected. For a girl who’s always gone with her firm business sense, she’s not sure how to trust her heart.
When it comes to dating, Shaun Randall is not about to get serious with anyone. He has his mother to take care of and enough family secrets to keep him running from any girl who gets too close. Spending time with Paige starts out as a means to get the house he wants, but every time he thinks it’s time to bail, he finds himself drawn in a little more.
When is it worth taking a chance on love?

A shuffling noise signaled his entrance, and he came up behind her, his breath tickling the back of her neck. She put a hand up to her ponytail and rubbed it against her neck, suddenly feeling nervous. “Quit reading my notes, Shane.”
“It’s Shaun.”
Crap. She turned around, hugging her notes to her chest. “Sorry.”
He shrugged. “Doesn’t bother me. I’m not the one kissing people and not remembering their name two days later.”
Her mouth dropped open and she quickly shut it, hating how well she’d fallen right into that. “I apologize for kissing you. I hope we can still be professional.”
He took a step toward her and she swallowed, willing her face to appear calm. His eyes were the most beautiful shade of blue.
“I thoroughly enjoyed your kisses. I just wish they were magical enough to make you less determined to buy this place. So, you’re a realtor? Are you here for a client?” He snuck a peek at her notebook, and she pulled it out of his reach.
“Yes, technically I’m a realtor. But mostly I’m a house flipper, and this place is a gold mine.” She ducked around him, sorry that she’d let him goad her into saying that. She was supposed to be talking him out of putting in a bid, not encouraging him. She jogged out the front door, eager to get away from him and put her bid in before the owner had time to consider a second one. With Mr. Charm breathing down her neck, quite literally, she’d have to go somewhere else to crunch the numbers.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“I have to say this story was freaking awesome! I breezed through it in an afternoon.” ~ Evenstar
“I loved this sweet romance story. The characters were believable and there were some funny moments. I’ve also read (and loved) the first book in the series, but you could easily read this as a standalone.” ~ Jaz
“The book is funny and sweet, and I definitely found myself rooting for Shaun and Paige. Great weekend read.” ~ Kelly Garcia
“I really enjoyed the interactions between these two more than many other books I've read. I like humor and people.that feel real, and this story gives us both. Definitely recommend. Clean romance, worth reading.” ~ atvtnv-mom of many
“I really wish it was longer. Dysfunctional families, controlling men and making love work. Great story. You should read it. Clean.” ~ ErinElizabeth

About the Author
Rachel John
Rachel John is the author of books filled with awkward humor and sigh-inducing romance. When not burning dinner or chasing kids, Rachel can be found working on family history, writing, reading, or putting off writing by staring at Facebook. She lives in Arizona with her understanding husband, four crazy kids, and a desert tortoise.

Also by the author:

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.