Saturday, September 14, 2013

Hot Ticket Book Review


He needs her to mask his pain…

When Jace walked through the doors of Aggie's dungeon, the last thing he expected was to find self-forgiveness and the love of a remarkable woman. But when a terrible accident sidelines Jace during the band's tour, the burdensome chains of his past wrap ferociously around his heart.

She needs him to forgive himself…

Determined to crack through Jace's armored shell, Aggie must go beyond her usual methods to mend his heart to love again.

My Review:

Sinners On Tour is a series of books about a rock band - 5 sexy guys in a bus on the road having the time of their life...A different city & a different girl/s every night.  While I loved books 1 & 2, Brian & Sed's stories, I fell in love with Jace - bass player extraordinaire in Hot Ticket.

Jace is the newest member of The Sinners, having replaced Jon who was let go from the group for repeatedly abusing drugs.  He is not sure of his place in the band so he keeps his head down, his thoughts & ideas to himself, and tries to go unnoticed - both on stage and off.  He doesn't talk about himself or share his painful past with anyone.  Jace is deeply scarred & emotionally insecure.  He doesn't believe himself worthy of anyone or anything good.  His story is heartbreaking as it is revealed, and the reader begins to learn why the only thing Jace gets off on is pain.  He desires it, seeks it, relishes it, and truly believes he deserves it.  Enter Aggie - on a strip stage in a club snapping her whip in Jace's face while wearing a corset and thigh high boots.  Jace is so turned on that he can't wait to get his hands on her.  Aggie loves giving pain and making men beg on their knees, and she does so frequently but she does not have sex with them.  Little does she know - when she agrees to take Jace on as one of her private customers - that she has met her match and things are getting ready to change.  Jace turns her on like she's never been before.  Aggie steps up to the plate and accepts the challenge.  We'll see who's begging now!  As their discovery of each other begins, a bad accident makes Jace question everything as he believes his world is crashing down.  Can Aggie make him see what's staring him in the face everyday?

Olivia Cunning has a way of drawing readers in and making them care about each one of these sexy bad guys.  I loved the banter between band members as it revealed how much they really care about each other and had each other's back.  Each of the band members is flawed in some way and acts out in an effort to hide their personal pain but you can't help falling in love with them.  There is a lot of action and sex in these books but - make no mistake about it - this is a love story, as is each of the Sinners On Tour books.  Jace's story is particularly harsh as he seeks redemption from what he perceives as his guilt and sins.  He's a very lost soul in desperate need of love and security.  I am a bit haunted by Jace's story and could not put this book down until I finished it.  A Must Read!  Loved it!

Rating:  4 Beautiful ♥♥♥♥'s...And that's the truth!

Cross My



Monday, September 2, 2013

September's Featured Author

Author's Showcase with Nancy Gideon

Welcome to the September Author Showcase at Cross My Heart Writings and Reviews.   I feel very fortunate today to be chatting with author Nancy Gideon as well as Max Savoie and Charlotte Caissie of By Moonlight fame.  Nancy's By Moonlight and Midnight series are both a personal favorite of mine, and I highly recommend them to fans of paranormal romance.  Be sure to see the posts below for my reviews of Chased by Moonlight & Midnight Kiss.   Enter our giveaway for a Signed & Personalized copy of Chased By Moonlight at the end of this interview!  Let's jump right in and get the answers to some questions that we've all been dying to ask.

What inspired you to write books? What led you to write PNR?

I’ve always been a storyteller. I knew I wanted to be a writer the first time I saw my name in print in our elementary school 
newspaper under a fractured fairytale I wrote in 5th grade. I loved second-guessing books and TV shows by asking “What if?” and that curiosity got me re-writing plots in my own way because I always liked the bad boy instead of the nice guy hero because I thought he was more interesting. Rushing home from school to watch “Dark Shadows” got me hooked on PNR. Nothing says “What if?” like making the unbelievable seem possible.

Why did you choose to use a pen name on some of your earlier books?

There was no choice involved. In the ‘80s when I started out, publishers wanted to contractually own your writing name so you couldn’t take it elsewhere. Since they couldn’t ‘own’ the right to your legal name, they required pen names. You had to take a new one if you moved to a different publisher or wrote for a different genre. So I ended up with three writing names in addition to my own.

When you begin a new novel, do you start with an idea for characters, plot, or setting?

It depends on what sparks the idea. Sometimes the book grows organically from a particular setting. Sometimes it’s a character conflict. Then it’s a matter of tumbling all the elements around until they gel together. I have more book ideas than I’ll ever have hours to write them.

How important are character names & how do you choose them? What strategies do you utilize to make your characters authentic and bring them to life?

I can’t start a book without the right character names. It’s an agonizing process, because a name reflects on who that character is and ultimately becomes. I’ll look at ethnic background, meaning, and how it sounds – hard, soft, whimpy, cruel. I don’t care for names that are trendy or unpronounceable. That name is the first step to creating a ‘real’ fictional character. Giving them goals, flaws, dreams, baggage and quirks are what gives them dimension. I try never to write the same character twice.

Do you have a writing routine or ritual?

Working around babies, deadlines and later, a full time job, makes this ADD/OCD girl very routine oriented. I work around the path of least resistance to find the best slots of time to get in the work I need to do. Early morning, right after coffee, is when I’m at my prime, so I’ll get up at 5:00 am and put in several hours before I have to leave for the day job. My goal is a full chapter during the weekdays and two chapters on the weekend. That’s been a pretty comfortable pace. But I have been known to write with video games blasting in the other room and on receipts at while waiting in line.

When you curl up with a good book, who is the author most likely to be?

I love to read and will read anything but my go to authors are Dean Koontz, J.D. Robb, Justin Cronin, Suzanne Brown, Lisa Gardner and Kresley Cole. I’m really digging Cassandra Clare books, too.

Tell us 3 things you take with you wherever you go.

Umbrella, Motrin, tape measure. When I travel, add in my laptop.

What are you most proud of in your life?

My sons. And my ankles. I have great ankles.

Let's talk about the By Moonlight series...

When can fans expect to get more of Max & Cee Cee's story? Will there be another By Moonlight book? What does the future hold for this couple?

Though the hero and heroine from the first four Moonlight books in my “By Moonlight” dark paranormal shape-shifter series appear prominently in the four Shadows books featuring new H/Hs that follow, readers have repeatedly begged for more Max and Cee Cee. Okay, I cave under pressure! I’m currently writing Remembered by Moonlight which is a return to Max and Cee Cee in the spotlight. At the present, this book isn’t contracted so I’ll have to keep you posted on when and where it’ll be available. The future for them, of course, is a Happily-Ever-After. But the road to every HEA is paved with adventure!

What/Who was your inspiration for these books and the characters of Max & Cee Cee? What made you decide that their story needed to be told?

I LOVE kick @ss characters that you care about who continue on from story to story. While this is typical in Urban Fantasy and Suspense, not so much in romance which prefers a new couple for each story. That was my intention when I started Masked by Moonlight at the request of a series contemporary editor. But you know what they say about the best intentions . . . There was no deciding on my part. The minute Cee Cee and Max met on the porch of a mobster’s New Orleans plantation fortress, it was all over. They wouldn’t stop pushing until I was hip deep in book four! And then there was STILL more to story to tell. My original inspiration for them was Dwight and Gayle from the movie Sin City.

Why did you choose New Orleans as the setting for this series?

Where else? It’s one of my favorite cities to visit. The atmosphere becomes its own character!

Are you planning more of the Shadows books? Who else might get their story told?

I’d love to do more, and have a host of plots spinning. Picking which characters get the next story is the hard part. Let me see . . . Philo, Alain, Mary Kate, any one of those hot Terriot princes . . .

Questions for Max & Cee Cee:

Heya Max,

Why did you fall in love with a New Orleans police detective who could put you away for life? Why Cee Cee? What is it about her that you can't live without? What would make you give her up?

Oh sha, you can’t control such things. The first time I saw Charlotte with her eyes flashing fire and teeth gritted against odds she couldn’t best I knew in the soul of me that she was the one. She had the courage to accept what I was and strength to defy those who would keep us apart. Alone, we’re lost and broken. Together we make a powerful whole. I’d a soon lose a piece of me than let her go.

Why do you wear red converse sneakers paired with an Armani suit? Why do you think Nancy chose them for you?

My author watches too many movies. (see answer to #2 above). The red shoes are symbolic of something from my past, something I didn’t remember until she made me remember. Having to hide so much of what I am, it’s one way to remind myself of what makes me different . . . and stronger. A survivor.

What song best defines Charlotte as you see her?

Feels Like Rain” by John Hiatt. Take a listen and you’ll know why. 

 Hi Charlotte,
  Why did you - a police detective - fall in love with the most feared man/mobster/shifter in New Orleans? Why Max? What is it about him that you can't live without? What could make you give him up?

Not by choice! And if I was looking for a relationship, it wouldn’t have been with someone on the wrong side of everything I believe in. There’s just something about Max . . . I didn’t know what it was at first, just that I couldn’t seem to resist him and it pissed me off royal! I guess you could say I fell in love with him because he’s NOT a man. I’d never leave him. Not even death could keep me away.

Why do you dress suggestively – like a hooker? You're a detective fighting crime on the streets of New Orleans. Why does Nancy encourage this style of dress for you?

It wasn’t her idea. No one tells me how to dress. I don’t do it to suggest anything, and anyone who gets that idea is discouraged right quick, and often with a right hook. The leather, the heels, the makeup – it’s not about sex, it’s about strength and aggressive power. In the parts of N’Awlins I work, you can’t look soft or feminine and get the job done. Think of it as my super hero costume - with a badge.

What song best defines Max as you see him?

Norah Jones’s “Turn Me On” and not just because I enjoy dancing to it in his arms. It had me at “My poor heart, it’s been so dark . . .”

(This youtube video has since been can hear a preview of this song at the link below.)

Nancy Gideon is the author of over 54 novels ranging from historical and contemporary suspense to dark paranormal, with a couple of horror screenplays thrown into the mix. When not at the keyboard or working full time as a legal assistant, she can be found feeding her addictions for Netflix and all things fur, feather and fin, enjoying Grammy time (usually watching The Avengers) and meeting new friends and readers through her GoodReads “Nancy Gideon by Moonlight” group.

Visit Nancy at any of the following places!

Thank you, Nancy, Max, & Charlotte, for visiting with us today and answering questions.  We are anxiously awaiting Remembered by Moonlight!  Please make it soon!!

Enter below for a chance to win a signed, personalized copy of Chased by Moonlight!
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Chased By Moonlight Book Review


She's sleeping with the enemy.  Mixing business with pleasure gets more complicated for Detective Charlotte Caissie when her preternatural lover, Max Savoie, is accused of a high-profile murder.  To prove him innocent she must distance herself, but her tangled emotions don't make it easy for her to stay away.  And neither does Max.
He's desperate to uncover his past.
Left in charge of a criminal empire and protector of a clan of shadowy shape-shifters, Max walks a precarious line.  Can he believe the cunning stranger who claims he can teach Max what he needs to know to stay alive?  A conman who would betray anyone to make a profit, who may be a ruthless killer?
Together, they're tempting fate.
The harder Cee Cee fights to clear Max's name, the more he pushes her away.  He's protecting a dark truth that could blow the top off her investigation.  And that means hiding his motives and lying to a woman who values truth above all.  The woman who can save him . . . if he'll let her!

My Review
Max Savoie is now the head of Legere's Crime Organization, and Charlotte Caissie is still a New Orleans Police Detective in charge of two murder investigations that hit way too close to home for her.  One - they are a revolting reminder of the nightmare she endured at the hands of Legere's goons as an innocent teenager and two - the man she is sleeping with is the number one suspect...again!  Cee Cee's career is on the line.  Her priorities are being questioned.  How can she clear Max Savoie without compromising her job and everything she believes in?  There's only one way.  She must leave him and stay away from him until she finds the real murderer.  But will leaving him be the very thing that tears them apart for good?

Max finds himself leader of the biggest crime organization in the city with little idea of how to run it and hold on to the woman he has loved as long as he can remember.  He finally has a chance to have Charlotte but someone is framing him for horrific murders.  Murders that could only be committed by one of his own kind - a shapeshifter.  Max has also discovered he is not alone - there is a underworld of shifters living in New Orleans and they are looking to Max to lead and protect them.  There is also an ominous stranger lurking around who may hold the key to Max's past and future, but he will sell anything for a dollar...including Max.  As Max learns of the danger that is close to engulfing him and the city, he vows to do whatever it takes to keep Cee Cee safe - even if it means pushing her away from him. 

Forces are at work that threaten to tear Max & Cee Cee's fragile relationship apart forever.  They are in a battle for their lives, their relationship, their love...Do they trust each other enough?  Is love enough?  Book 2 of the By Moonlight series is even better than the first!  Readers are drawn deeper into the shifter world of Max Savoie and the woman he loves.  I could not put Chased By Moonlight down.  It is a book that will keep you turning the pages late into the night.  A must read!  Loved it!

Rating:  5 Gorgeous ♥♥♥♥♥'s  And that's the truth!

Cross My


 "You mean right now?"  His voice rumbled like the take off of a 747.  More than his interest began to rise, and his smile spread slow and sure.  "It won't be a dry heat, sha."
Her smile was a naughty little curve of promise.  "Hot, wet, and all night was what I had in mind.  How's that sound to you, Savoie?"
"I love you, Charlotte."
♥      ♥      ♥      ♥     ♥      ♥      ♥
"Don't make this harder than it has to be," she warned shakily.
His eyes crinkled with wicked amusement.  "It can't be much harder than it already is."
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"Max, Max, hold me.  Don't let go."
"I won't, sha.  I won't ever let you go!"
♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥       ♥      ♥   
"I already have all the woman I want."
LaRoche shrugged.  "But she's not of us.  What she doesn't know won't hurt her.  A shame to waste such a delightful perk of being what you are."
"What I'd be is dead meat."
"She keeps you on a short chain, my friend."
Max admitted the truth without shame.  "It's one I have no desire to escape."
♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥
"I need you, Charlotte.  I need you like air, like light.  Without you there's only darkness.  There's just emptiness.  Tell me what you want me to do.  I'd wait forever for you.  Just don't tell me you don't want me back."
♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥
"Would I step in front of a bullet for you?  Yes.  Would I stand off a room full of angry were-creatures to protect you?  Been there, done that.  Would I tear down the walls of this city with my bare hands to keep you safe?  Without blinking an eye.  Does that frighten you, Savoie?  To know you mean that much to me?"
♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥      ♥
"Then don't.  Shut up and put out, Savoie."
"You are so romantic, detective."  She chained rough kisses about his neck.  "What if I can't perform under this unexpected pressure?"
Her hand dropped below his belt for an assessing fondle.  "Just my luck.  Appears to be high performance all the way."

"Another dynamic shape-shifter thriller in this series filled with exciting drama and erotic romance. This book will keep your senses alert and the blood pounding."
Fresh Fiction

"Suspenseful! An enjoyable paranormal with many sub plots that made it a fascinating read. Max and Charlotte have a wonderful rapport. This book does an excellent job of building upon the relationship.A fantastic, sexy paranormal series."
Bookaholics Romance Book Club

"Nancy Gideon provides a taut paranormal whodunit that captures the full attention of readers who will look forward to more investigations starring Beauty and the Beast.  Five Star!"
The Romantic Post

"In the second release in her compelling Moonlight series, Gideon does a terrific  job with her world-building as her characters and readers discover dark and hidden secrets."
RT Book Reviews

"Nancy Gideon has created a believable magical world where supernatural beings live and love amongst unsuspecting humans. An original approach, cleverly imaginative and entirely conceivable. An outstanding romance overflowing with emotional issues and innovative supernatural elements. 4.5 Stars!"
Single Titles

"We've fallen back in love with Nancy Gideon!  We're hooked."
Rendezvous, The Romance Bookstore

"A very unique series. The characters are strong, the story dark and twisty. Cee and Max are the sort of couple one wants to read about more than once. One can see them really grow and their relationship deepen. It was a pleasant change. Max's search for information about his background combined with the murder investigation plot, make for a very action-packed novel."
All About Romance

Midnight Kiss Book Review

Re-released July 2015
Original Cover

Title:  Midnight Kiss
Series:  Touched By Midnight
Author:  Nancy Gideon
My Rating:  5 Seductive 's

I first read Midnight Kiss several years ago and reviewed it here in Sept. 2013.  I fell in love with the characters - the tortured hero & the innocent, yet determined heroine.  The series, Touched By Midnight, is being updated & re-released with gorgeous, mood setting new covers.  It's a Must Read!


A mysterious blood malady brought Louis Radman to Arabella Howland’s father.  The celebrated doctor was his last hope—the only man alive who could break the spell that had tormented the nobleman for three centuries.  Demons from the past and the uncertain success of the experiment that brings Louis from everlasting darkness to the light of day threaten the bliss of Louis and Bella’s union in the first book of the “Midnight” vampire romance series The Talisman claimed was “Destined to become a classic!”

“Better than Anne Rice!  When I want to escape reality, I pick up one of Nancy’s vampire books…her Midnight series is the best I’ve ever read!"—Amanda Ashley aka Madeline Baker
Sink your teeth into the award-winning “Midnight” vampire romance series.  Nominated by Romantic Times Magazine for “Career Achievement in Historical New Reality,” “Best Historical Romance Fantasy,” and “Best Vampire Romance.”
“One of the best supernatural writers on the market today, Ms. Gideon knows what readers want and gives it to them!”—Midwest Book Review

 My Original Review:

Midnight Kiss is a hauntingly beautiful romance that aims straight for the heart.  This book has all the elements of a historical romance with one big added plus - the hero, Louis Radman, is a vampire and the heroine, Arabella Howland, is a very enticing mortal that Louis desires.

Louis Radman is a tormented, lonely shell of a man who has roamed the earth for 300 years as a vampire.  He is desperate to regain the life that was cruelly taken from him so many years ago.  Louis seeks the help of a physician, Stuart Howland, to cure his blood malady in hopes of reclaiming his mortal life and a shot at claiming the heart of the good doctor's daughter, Arabella.  When a blood transfusion seems to work, Louis takes Arabella as his wife, and they begin living the dream of a long, blissful life together.  But Louis's secrets, nightmares from his past, surface to reclaim Louis and threaten the life of his new mortal bride.  Louis finds himself in a battle for everything he holds dear, including his wife.  

Arabella Howland works as her father's physician assistant.  She is smart, curious, outspoken, pretty, and in love with her father's strange but gorgeous patient.  She can't solve the mystery of Louis's ailment or learn the reason her father is treating him, but she knows he is hypnotic, and she is drawn to him like a moth to a flame as he stirs before unknown desires in her.  Her greatest wish is realized when Louis asks her to marry him.  Little does she know that her dream will soon turn into a devastating, endless nightmare that doesn't disappear when the sun rises.  Arabella's life, as well as the lives of everyone she loves, is in mortal danger as she learns the horrifying truth about the man she has married.  Will she stand beside him to help him fight the past he can't escape?  Or will she run for her life?

I was quickly drawn into the plot of Midnight Kiss and the lives of Louis & Arabella as they battle the ultimate evil for a chance at eternal love.  The supporting cast of secondary characters is strong, adding intrigue and intensity to the story.  I'm especially intrigued by Gerard & am looking forward to more of his story.  Midnight Kiss is mesmerizing, hauntingly addictive, and beautifully written.  The historical setting sets the mood & atmosphere to the point that it almost becomes another character in this book.  Fans of paranormal and historical romance should give this book a read.  It comes in as one of my all time favorites.  A great start to the series!  A must read!

Rating:  5 Gorgeous ♥♥♥♥♥'s  And that's the truth!...

Cross My



She laughed softly.  "There is no logic in love, Louis.  Love is like the beauty of the heavens.  It needs no reason to exist.  Do not deny me the glimpse of paradise we've made between us.
♥    ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥
"Yes, Little One?"
"Promise me I will have you forever and always."
When she was met with silence, Arabella looked up to him.  The somber set of her features demanding a reply.  "Promise me."
He cupped her face with a gentle touch, his gaze delving into hers with a soul-snatching intensity.  "I promise that I will never leave you unless it's best for you that I be gone."
♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥
"All I know is the name of what you are and some superstitious folly that's supposed to protect me from you.  I do not know what to believe, Louis."
"Believe that I love you, Little One."
♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥
"All love is madness.  But I will suffer it gladly."