Thursday, February 25, 2016

STILL MOMENTS MAGAZINE REVIEW OF "ADORE ME" (Written by Darlene Fredette)


Darlene Fredette and Still Moments Magazine gave me this great review of "Adore Me," and I can't thank them enough for it. This is the first time I've ever requested a review from Still Moments. They were prompt in answering and accepting my request, gracious in notifying me that they were indeed going to review the story and would do their best to have the review posted by Valentine's Day at the latest, and just plain wonderful in emailing me that the review was finally ready. All in all, it was a terrific experience. 


Below is Darlene's lovely review:

 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Adore Me

Adore Me (A Candy Hearts Romance)
Darcy Lundeen
January 2016

A hacker is targeting Meredith Crismis’s struggling new dessert company. But when the tech firm she depends on sends hunky computer expert Vlad Wiznitsky to fix the problem, things begin improving for Meredith, both personally and professionally. 

First, her relationship with Vlad heats up to the sizzling point, then Meredith’s given the chance to snag a wealthy customer who could put her company’s bottom line permanently into the black. It seems like a dream come true, until the persistent hacker turns her “Divine Desserts” website into an X-rated marketplace, the wealthy customer demands a discontinued decorative item or else no sale, and her relationship with Vlad begins to unravel under the pressure of her obsession with professional success. 

For a woman who deals with creating intricate wedding cakes and luscious muffins, life has suddenly become the ultimate recipe for disaster. 

Between The Pages 
 
Strong characters, smooth dialogue, and a sweet plot fill the pages of this short story. Meredith focuses too much on one particular cake order which puts her relationship with Vlad on the line, but thankfully she has the perfect hero who looks past her obsession. A cute Valentine story perfect for reading any time of the year. This one-sitting read will have your sweet-tooth craving for a handful of candy hearts.

Rating 
4 Stars

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

ALL MINE by Tamrie Foxtail

Candy Hearts – ALL MINE by Tamrie Foxtail


All Mine

Blurb:

For nearly a decade, Maggie has put the needs of her younger siblings ahead of her own. Now she’s willing to accept a marriage without passion in order to protect her brother, but fate has a wicked sense of humor. On the eve of her wedding, Maggie meets the man of her dreams.

When Shamus loses a bet, the penalty is a blind date. Shamus is prepared to endure a long, boring night; the last thing he expects is to find the woman who can bring his heart back to life.

But Maggie is keeping secrets–and her engagement is only one of them.

Excerpt:

“And we are thirty seconds from the New Year,” the TV announced.

Shamus stood in front of Maggie, drawing her to her feet.

“Twenty seconds!”

His dark blue eyes appeared almost indigo in the soft light of the bar.

“Ten seconds!”

“Nine…eight…”

He cupped her face in his hands.

“Five…four…”

I can’t kiss him. I’m engaged.

As the old year closed and the new one began, Shamus touched his lips to hers. The noise surrounding them faded.

The warmth of his callused hands framed her face. His rum and coke flavored kiss began with a tenderness that stole the breath from her lungs. As his kiss grew in intensity, the warm swirls that had danced in her blood all night grew as well, reaching a lava hot stage within seconds.

When Maggie was fifteen, her mother told her about the first time she kissed Maggie’s father. “Once in your life,” her mother said, “there’s a kiss that shatters everything you thought you knew and changes the direction of your life.”

She understood now. Maggie pressed her fingers to her lips in a fruitless attempt to hold onto the sweetest kiss of her life. Tears strangled her heart at the realization that it was also the most bitter, since it could only mean farewell.

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I'M SURE by Beverly Breton

Candy Hearts – I’M SURE by Beverly Breton

 

perf5.000x8.000.indd

Blurb

During the day, Megan surrounds herself with water lilies and goldfish in the ponds she creates. At night, memories of her lying ex-boyfriend are a reminder she can never again trust a man.
Jason embraces his career as paramedic firefighter, even though ugly experience declares his profession a greedy mistress. During quiet nights at the station, he wonders if this bachelor existence is all he’ll ever know.

Then Jason meets Megan and sparks fly, chased by flashes of anger when Jason, battling a raging apartment fire, stands up Megan on their first date. Is St. Valentine powerful enough to bring these two strong-willed people together?

Excerpt

Jason reaches over the table and takes my hand in his.

Much as I try scrubbing at the dirt, my nails are almost never 100% clean, and I’ve got a long scratch across my knuckles. And anyhow, in the middle of a work day, that’s part of who I am.

He turns my hand palm up and runs his finger across the calluses.

My heart skitters a beat at the feel of his hands cradling mine. His touch exudes caring. Imagining him tending a person in distress is easy.

Need I say it? I like the feel of him touching me. The world is charmingly in order right here, right
 now. But what is he doing? “Is something wrong with my hand?”

“Every time I see you, you’re in the water. And you’re the odd duck. I was just seeing”—he turns his head to examine my palm, his carved cheeks in profile, “if there’s a web between your fingers…”

Bemusement laces his tone. “Like a Labrador retriever?” I retort, stifling the urge to flex my fingers; I don’t want him to let my hand go.

He laughs and releases my hand. “My favorite animal. But a dog? No. That’s not what you bring to mind.”

His grin is so open, so easy, I decide to divulge something I’ve never told anyone. “I did wish for scales when I was younger. I thought it would be cool to be a mermaid.” He takes me in for a beat, his gaze deep.

“I can see that.”

His voice is low and velvety. I draw in a ragged breath.

Buy Links:

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THE WILD ROSE PRESS

About the Author:

Beverly Breton is an eternal fan of the happy ending, and a sucker for any book that grabs the reader through characterization and emotion. A career non-fiction writer and editor, Beverly has written articles and personal essays for newspapers and magazines across the country, and has taught college writing at the undergraduate and graduate level. She now writes romantic short stories, and has garnered such awards as Night Owl Reviews Top Pick and You Gotta Read Reviews highest rating You Gotta ReadFive Stars. She is also a professional floral designer, and her garden nursery experience and love of plants is fondly woven into her latest short story I’m Sure featuring a pond garden designer and the emergency responder who falls for this fiery-haired near-mermaid when he discovers her up to her thighs in water one February morning.

Beverly B

http://www.beverlybreton.com

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FOR KEEPS by Veronica Lynch

Candy Hearts – FOR KEEPS by Veronica Lynch

 
 
For Keeps

Blurb:

Meghan Muldoon is at a crossroads: struggling to balance the demands of a high stress vocation as an advocate for victims of violence and her feelings for Keenan Rossi, a man who wants to make their relationship permanent.

On Valentine’s Day, a series of routine crises force Meg to question staying in a profession which fulfills her both professionally and spiritually–or devoting the rest of her life to the one person who completes her.

Which one is For Keeps?

Excerpt:

He quirked one heavy brow and grinned. “There’s a half bottle of wine left from dinner the other night. Would you like a glass?”

Meg loved the cool sensation of crisp sheets against her skin as much as the feel of him naked and ready between her thighs. “Better not. I’m on first call tonight.”

That response cast an unfortunate pall over the festivities.

“You take call too damn often,” he muttered. “If you’d quit that job and marry me, like I’ve asked at least a million times, we could—”

Here we go again. She resisted the urge to yawn as he recited from the first chapter of the book Whose Job is More Important, a title they’d revisited more than once after taking the next step in their once strictly professional relationship.

Ignoring the thorny topic of holy wedlock, again, Meg focused on one of the lesser conflicts that too often reared its ugly head. “I’ve told you before, Keenan. Call is taken on a rotating basis among the staff. Tonight is my turn.”

He rose up on one elbow to glower at her, using what she termed his bad cop persona. “Let me remind you of your position at that zoo known as Crime Victim Services. You are the boss. And bosses shouldn’t take call on any night of the week.”

Per usual, her significant other of little over a year insisted on having the last word. As much as she wanted an end to the discussion—so that they could get on with the entertainment portion of the evening—she wasn’t about to give in and have him think he’d won.

“You take call. On a fairly regular basis.”

“Not as regularly as you.”

That put her neck up enough to snipe back. “Two nights ago, that wasn’t me sitting alone in a darkened movie theater while Tom Cruise felt his need for speed?”

“Now, Meghan…”

Buy Link:



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HOT STUFF by CJ Fosdick

Candy Hearts – HOT STUFF by CJ Fosdick

Hot Stuff


BLURB:

Hot Stuff takes on double meaning when klutzy Kate is faced with rookie cop Dallas looking for a stolen lawn statue. In her quiet, crime-free Wisconsin village, Kate has her hands full writing slogans for candy hearts and keeping her kleptomaniac brother with Asperger’s Syndrome inside the law. Even her grandmother’s famous Snickerdoodle cookies can’t ameliorate the crime when a stolen lawn statue turns out to be a drug dispenser. Will Kate rise above her concern of what Dallas’s uniform represents and admit the charming Texas rookie is the man of her dreams?

EXCERPT:

“Over the years, we’ve learned some lawn d├ęcor Evan brought home belonged to that category you call a 10-99…er…some might call it this.” He finally smiled when I pulled a handful of candy hearts from my pocket and singled out the one that read Hot Stuff.

“Billington knows about all this?”

“Certainly. Our neighbors are aware of this, too. When something goes missing, they usually show up here first to see if it’s planted in his garden. If they can identify it, we simply have a custody exchange, then mollify my brother with a trip to a local garden shop for some kind of a replacement.” I popped a candy heart into my mouth and offered him one after flicking a strand of cat fur off the KissMe heart.

He screwed up his face, clearing his throat. “Valentine candy in July?”

“I won a six-month supply after writing new imprints for the company. The candy has a long shelf life,” I added.

He declined my offer.

“Bite Me.”

“Ma’am?”

“That was one of my slogans. The candy boss wanted something modern. You Know was another one. Kids today can’t get through a sentence without sprinkling it with ‘you know’.”

He studied me with a lopsided grin. “Why didn’t Billington tell me all this?”

“I don’t think he knows I write slogans and ads.”

He pulled on his ear. “I mean about your brother stealing yard ornaments.”

“Oh well, I suspect Evan’s fancy may be an inside joke at the precinct.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, CJ Fosdick has freelanced for over 30 years, writing stories and articles for local and national publications. She has stories published in three anthologies, including Minnesota’s Blossoms & Blizzards. Her debut novel, The Accidental Wife published in 2015, evolved from an award-winning short story. She pursues her novel dreams on a wooded country hilltop in Rochester, MN, with husband, family, and a menagerie of wild and domestic animals. Follow her on…

CJ Fosdick

Website: http://cjfosdick.com
Twitter: Falorac13

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NOT2NITE by Barbara Burke

Candy Hearts – NOT2NITE by Barbara Burke

Not2Nite

Blurb:
When ARP warden Molly sees a light shining through the darkness of London on a cold winter’s night in the middle of the blitz she’s infuriated with the careless American who struck it. Doesn’t he know there’s a war on?

Guy’s just trying to find his way through a maze of unlit streets. He’s very sorry and Molly reluctantly forgives him. When he accompanies her on her nightly rounds the two learn about each other, themselves and whether it’s really possible to fall in love in only one night – especially when there’s no guarantee of tomorrow.

Excerpt:

They stood silently. Slowly her hand came out of her pocket to rest on the top of his arm. The other one reached up to gently touch his cheek. He could see the glint of her eyes, those impossible brown eyes, as she gazed up at him gravely.

“Are you going to kiss me?” Her cool British voice gave him no inclination of how she felt.

“Is that what you want?” Guy wasn’t sure what he would do if the answer was no.

She didn’t reply, and he took that for her answer. Quickly he undid the clasp on her helmet and pulled it away, letting it drop to the ground without a thought. Free of its weight, she tilted her face up, her lips dark and full in the black night, and settled more deeply into his grasp.

It was invitation enough.

He bent his head toward her.

Her lips were soft and cold. Willing, but tentative. Her arms circled his neck, and he pulled her to him more tightly, body to body despite the thick winter clothing they both wore.

The night suddenly got a lot warmer.

The kiss didn’t last long. It was too sweet to be sustained, and they were too new to the sensation to change it into something more. As soon as Guy sensed Molly withdrawing, he broke it off.

But he didn’t release her. And she made no move to pull away.

“Was that a mistake?” he asked.

“No.” Molly sounded quite sure, and Guy’s heart soared. But then she continued, “However, repeating it might be.”

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About the Author:

Barbara Burke’s peripatetic life means she’s lived everywhere from a suburban house in a small town to a funky apartment in a big city, and from an architecturally designed estate deep in the forest to a cedar shack on the edge of the ocean. Everywhere she’s gone she’s been accompanied by her husband, her animals and her books. For the last fifteen years she’s worked as a freelance journalist and has won several awards. She was a fan of Jane Austen long before that lady was discovered by revisionists and zombie lovers and thinks Georgette Heyer was one of the great writers of the twentieth century. She lives by the philosophy that one should never turn down the opportunity to get on a plane no matter where it’s going, but deep down inside wishes she could travel everywhere by train.

Where to find Barbara:

barbaraburke@nl.rogers.com
https://www.facebook.com/Barbara-Burke-162847103814669/

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OOH LA LA by Doreen Alsen

Candy Hearts – OOH LA LA by Doreen Alsen

Oh La La

BLURB:

Aspiring choreographer and dance teacher, Simon West is walking along the hall in the college where he teaches when he gets knocked over by klutzy, two left feet, accounting professor Veronica Cooke. Simon wants to get to know the beautiful woman who ran him down, but how will she react when she finds out his alter-ego is a super sexy cowboy at an upscale exotic dancing male revue and that he makes ends meet by taking off his clothes?

EXCERPT:

Her eyes were a dreamy shade of blue, the greenish blue of a calm sea. Her nose was small and straight in the middle of an oval face. Pretty. Very pretty.

“Yes,” she said. “I came to apologize for running you over. Unfortunately I’m Queen of the Klutzes.”

“Okay.” He held out a hand for her to shake.“Simon West. How did you know where to find me?”

She smiled and nodded at the Barrett University Dance T-shirt he wore. “I went to the Dance Department office and asked. I’m Veronica Cooke. I hope I didn’t hurt you.”

“You didn’t. Hurt me, that is.”

Since when did he babble? Since now, he guessed. He had a hard time thinking around her. He wanted to reach out and touch her cheek to see if her skin was as soft and smooth as it looked.

“Well, good. You’re a wonderful dancer. I wish I had that talent.” She glanced at her watch. “I’ve got to get to my office hours. It was nice to meet you.”

She turned to leave.

He didn’t want her to. He found he very much wanted her to stay. Here. With him. “Um, do you have time to get coffee later?” He wasn’t dancing at Hardbody that night.

“I might. When?”

“Around four?”

“Four sounds great. Where?”

“Sammy’s?”
“Okay. I’ll see you then.” She gave him one last smile and left.

He indulged himself and watched her trundle down the hall. “I think I need to get to know you better, Veronica Cooke.”

BUY LINK:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Doreen has wanted to be a writer her whole life but took a detour into being an opera singer and choral conductor. She realized that maybe she should spend more time writing when creating the back stories was more fun than actually singing them. Plus her romance lovin’ heart couldn’t take all the dead bodies littering the stage at the end of the performance. She is still an active conductor and is regularly found waving her arms around in front of singers.

Doreen Alsen

Where to find Doreen:

http://www.doreenalsen.com
http://www.doreenalsen.blogspot.com
http://www.goodreads.com/DoreenAlsen

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