Friday, December 8, 2017

Interview with Sandra Hill, Author of Cajun Crazy + Giveaway (US/Can)

I'd like to welcome Sandra Hill to the blog today to celebrate the exciting release of Cajun Crazy from Avon, a HarperCollins imprint!

Welcome to Books à la Mode, Sandra! Let's get this interview started.

Will you please share a brief introduction with us?

Sandra Hill is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than 10 years as a features writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Writing about serious issues taught her the merits of seeking the lighter side of even the darkest stories.

She is the wife of a stockbroker and the mother of four sons.

It's amazing to get to feature you today! Readers, here's a bit about the book, which just hit shelves last month:

Welcome back to New York Times bestseller Sandra Hill’s Cajun country, where love heats up the Louisiana bayou...

Former Chicago cop Simone LeDeux is back home in the bayou, sharing a double wide in the Pearly Gates trailer park to help her mama recover from surgery. Her one rule: no Cajun men. Loved and left by too many double-crossing Cajuns, Simone puts bad experience to good use by opening Legal Belles: an agency that uncovers cheating spouses.

Suddenly she’s confronting a two-timer about to swindle his wife out of millions and antagonizing New Orleans bigwigs over an illegal sex club. Adam Lanier learns of the dangerous game Simone is playing... and the sexy single dad comes to her aid. Known as a rogue in the courtroom and a player in the bedroom, the ragin’ Cajun has Simone triply on guard.

With their crazy chemistry, danger on their trail, and infamous LeDeux relative Tante Lulu working her magical matchmaking, the bayou has never been this steamy.

As a huge fan of first lines, I’d love to hear the first line of Cajun Crazy. Could you give us a brief commentary on it?

I'm usually a sucker for catchy first lines, too, but in the case of Cajun Crazy I prefer to quote the voicemail that my heroine, Simone LeDeux, gets from her mother in the opening scene:
"Hi, honey. I haven't heard from you since las' week. Did ya kick that no-good Jack Landry out on his cheatin' Cajun be-hind, lak I told you to?"
This excerpt is an important clue to what the book is about. Simone is a cop who decides to open a Cheaters-type detective agency. And she's decided, no more Cajun men in her life.

Tell us about your road to publication, such as how you first queried, unexpected challenges, and things you picked up along the way.

I like to say that I sold my first book by not winning a contest. One of the judges in a writing contest I entered was so appalled at my not winning or placing that she put me in touch with her agent who in turn sold my first book, The Reluctant Viking, as part of a three-book deal. Oddly, I started out writing straight historical romances, but about that time Constance O'Day Flannery wrote one of her first time-travels, and I thought, "I can do this!" Before that, I had no idea I had a voice for humor.

Are the characters from your book based off anyone you know in real life? How much else of your actual life gets written into your fiction?

Suffice it to say, someone asked me at a cocktail party one time (and, yes, people do ask questions like this), "Do you have the kind of sex life you describe in your books?"

My answer, "I wish!" Seriously, I don't know any humans who have that kind of sex life. Maybe some super virile Vikings, or Cajuns.

I do get many of the humor ideas from my husband and four sons who can be incredibly funny. In fact, I can't tell you how many times one of my sons has said or done something and then told me, "That better not end up in one of your books." My heroines are probably the kind of women I wish I could be; I would never dare do half of what they do. Stunt woman. Female Navy SEAL. Lawyer at Angola Prison. Treasure hunter. Enough said!

Out of all the fantastic books out there, what makes Cajun Crazy stand out from the rest?

It's one of the funniest books I've written, in my opinion. A heroine who's been married and divorced three times, who vows to stay clear of any more tempting Cajun men, but then runs into a rogue lawyer, who is the ultimate player in the courtroom as well as the bedroom and happens to be Cajun. Add to that a wacky mother who's discovered her inner Kardashian and a fondness for Spanx. Not to mention the outrageous Tante Lulu.

Blog babes, click "Read more" to find out Sandra's best personal and professional advice. We're also hosting a giveaway for a finished copy of Cajun Crazy, so you don't want to miss that either!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Exclusive Sneak Peek: The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger by Victoria Alexander + Giveaway (US

The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger (The Lady Travelers Society #2)
Victoria Alexander
from Harlequin

Join the Lady Travelers Society in their latest romantic misadventure, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander

She must secure her future

A lady should never be obliged to think of matters financial! But when Lady Wilhelmina Bascombe’s carefree, extravagant lifestyle vanishes with the demise of her husband, her only hope lies in retrieving a family treasure—a Renaissance masterpiece currently in the hands of a cunning art collector in Venice. Thankfully, the Lady Travelers Society has orchestrated a clever plan to get Willie to Europe, leading a tour of mothers and daughters…and one curiously attentive man.

He must reclaim his heritage

Dante Augustus Montague’s one passion has long been his family’s art collection. He’s finally tracked a long-lost painting to the enchanting Lady Bascombe. Convinced that the canvas had been stolen, he will use any means to reclaim his birthright—including deception. But how long before pretend infatuation gives way to genuine desire?

Now they’re rivals for a prize that will change everything

Willie and Dante know they’re playing with fire in the magical moonlit city. Their common quest could compromise them both... or lead them to happily-ever-after.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Exclusive Sneak Peek: Close Contact by Lori Foster + Body Armor Series Giveaway (US/Can)

Close Contact (Body Armor #3)
Lori Foster
from Harlequin

There’s no resisting a desire like this...

MMA fighter Miles Dartman’s casual arrangement with personal shopper Maxi Nevar would be many men’s fantasy. She seeks him out, they have mindblowing sex, she leaves. Rinse, repeat. Yet lately, Miles wants more. And when Maxi requests his services via the Body Armor security agency, he’s ready to finally break through her defenses—and protect her day and night.

Receiving a large inheritance has brought chaos and uncertainty into Maxi’s life. Her ex has resurfaced, along with lots of former “friends,” and someone is making mysterious threats. Then there’s Miles, who doesn’t ask for anything…except her trust. Pleasure is easy. Now Maxi has to give her heart as well as her body…or risk losing a man who could be everything she needs.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Top 5 Fun Facts About Christmastime Cowboy by Maisey Yates + Giveaway (US/Can)

Christmastime Cowboy (Copper Ridge #10)
Maisey Yates
from HQN Books // Harlequin

It's Christmas in Copper Ridge, and love is waiting to be unwrapped...

Falling for a bad boy once is forgivable. Twice would just be foolish. When Sabrina Leighton first offered her teenage innocence to gorgeous, tattooed Liam Donnelly, he humiliated her, then left town. The hurt still lingers. But so does that crazy spark. And if they have to work together to set up her family winery's new tasting room by Christmas, why not work him out of her system with a sizzling affair?

Thirteen years ago, Liam's boss at the winery offered him a bribe—leave his teenage daughter alone and get a full ride at college. Convinced he wasn't good enough for Sabrina, Liam took it. Now he's back, as wealthy as sin and with a heart as cold as the Oregon snow. Or so he keeps telling himself. Because the girl he vowed to stay away from has become the only woman he needs, and this Christmas could be just the beginning of a lifetime together...

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Top 10 Secrets About Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart + Giveaway (US only)

Little Broken Things
Nicole Baart
from Atria Books (Simon & Schuster)

An engrossing and suspenseful novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Amy Hatvany about an affluent suburban family whose carefully constructed facade starts to come apart with the unexpected arrival of an endangered young girl.

I have something for you. When Quinn Cruz receives that cryptic text message from her older sister Nora, she doesn’t think much of it. They haven’t seen each other in nearly a year and thanks to Nora’s fierce aloofness, their relationship consists mostly of infrequent phone calls and an occasional email or text. But when a haunted Nora shows up at the lake near Quinn's house just hours later, a chain reaction is set into motion that will change both of their lives forever.

Nora’s “something” is more shocking than Quinn could have ever imagined: a little girl, cowering, wide-eyed, and tight-lipped. Nora hands her over to Quinn with instructions to keep her safe, and not to utter a word about the child to anyone, especially not their buttoned-up mother who seems determined to pretend everything is perfect. But before Quinn can ask even one of the million questions swirling around her head, Nora disappears, and Quinn finds herself the unlikely caretaker of a girl introduced simply as Lucy.

While Quinn struggles to honor her sister’s desperate request and care for the lost, scared Lucy, she fears that Nora may have gotten involved in something way over her head—something that will threaten them all. But Quinn’s worries are nothing compared to the firestorm that Nora is facing. It’s a matter of life and death, of family and freedom, and ultimately, about the lengths a woman will go to protect the ones she loves.

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Season to Lie by Emily Littlejohn Giveaway (US/Can)

A Season to Lie (Detective Gemma Monroe #2)
Emily Littlejohn
Minotaur Books // St. Martin's Press

In Emily Littlejohn's follow-up to her acclaimed debut Inherit the Bones, a twisted killer stalks his prey in the dead of winter.

On a cold dark night in February, as a blizzard shrieks through Cedar Valley, police officer and new mother Gemma Monroe responds to an anonymous report of a prowler at the local private high school, The Valley Academy. In her idyllic Colorado small town, Gemma expects the call was just a prank by a bored teenager.

But there in the snow lies the savaged body of a man whose presence in town was meant to be a secret. And a disturbing message left by his killer promises more death to come.

This is only the beginning...

Nothing is as it seems in Cedar Valley and stories, both fact and fiction, ensnare Gemma as her investigation moves from the halls of an elite academy to the forests that surround Cedar Valley.

Against a backdrop of bleak winter weather, stymied by those who would lie to protect what is dearest to them, Gemma hunts a ruthless killer before he strikes again in A Season to Lie.


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of A Season to Lie—yay!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
What do you love most about winter?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Emily and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

I'm not a fan of cold weather, but I do enjoy the holiday festivities! The comfort food, Christmas lights, decorations, hot beverages, mmm :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publisher—a huge thank you to the lovely folks over at St. Martin's Press!
Giveaway ends December 1st at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada residents only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Exclusive Sneak Peek: Seeds of Revenge by Wendy Tyson + Giveaway (US/Can)

Seeds of Revenge (A Greenhouse Mystery #3)
Wendy Tyson
from Henery Press

It may be the holiday season, but the mood in Winsome is anything but jolly...

Megan Sawyer is determined to farm year-round. She’s braving a December snowstorm after pitching her greenhouse greens to Philadelphia chefs when she sees a stranger stranded on the side of the road. It’s Merry Chance’s niece Becca, who’s headed to Winsome to sell her “love potions” at holiday events—or so she thinks.

Merry has an ulterior motive in inviting her niece to Winsome, but Merry’s plan to reunite Becca with her estranged father goes awry when Becca’s father turns up dead. Megan soon realizes that Becca was not the only person in Winsome who despised her father. When Megan’s aunt, the famous mystery author, is implicated through her novels, things become personal. Megan must follow the literary clues while sifting through the victim’s sordid past, but can she uncover the truth before someone else in Winsome is murdered?