Until We Touch by Susan Mallery – Excerpt, Q&A, + Giveaway!

25th Jun 2014 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2014, Blog Tours, Giveaways

Until We Touch by Susan Mallery – Excerpt, Q&A, + Giveaway!Until We Touch by Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #15
Published by HQN
Pub Date: June 24th 2014
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback | Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads

From New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery comes the story of secret desires finally fulfilled…

After a family tragedy, former football hero Jack McGarry keeps the world at arm's length—a challenge now that his PR firm has moved to neighborly Fool's Gold, California.

Larissa Owens knows where she stands—Jack sees her as just another one of the guys. No matter what her heart wishes, Jack's her boss, not her boyfriend. But then Larissa's big secret is revealed…by her mother!

When Jack discovers the truth about Larissa's feelings, her touch suddenly becomes tantalizing, and he's not sure he wants to resist. But if he gives in to desire, heartache is sure to follow. Friendship or true love—will Jack go for the ultimate play?

Excerpt

Jack hadn’t known how Larissa was going to react when he told her what her mom said, but he’d guessed it would be a show. She didn’t disappoint. Her face went from red to white and back to red. Her mouth opened and closed. With her jaw tightly clenched, she muttered something like, “I’m going to kill her,” but he couldn’t be sure.

Nancy Owens’ words had hit him like a linebacker. Larissa in love with him? Impossible. For one thing, she knew him better than anyone except Taryn and to know him was to understand he was all flash and no substance. For another, he needed her. Love meant a relationship and having a relationship meant she would eventually leave. No. There was no way Larissa could be in love with him.

But he’d been unable to shake the words and had realized he had to get the truth from the only person who actually knew.

Larissa drew in a breath. “I don’t love you. We’re friends. I like working for you and the charity work is terrific and I know you have my back, but I’m not in love with you.”

Relief eased the tension in Jack’s always aching right shoulder. He kept his expression neutral.

“You sure?” he asked.

“Yes. Positive.”

He shook his head. “I don’t know. I’m pretty hot. I could understand you having a thing for me. You’ve seen me naked. Now that I think about it, your reaction is inevitable.” He sighed. “You love me. Admit it.”

Larissa’s mouth twitched. “Jack, you’re not all that.”

“But I am. Remember that fan who had my face tattooed on her breast? And the one who begged me to father her child? And the woman in Pittsburgh who wanted me to lick her—”

Larissa rested her arms on the desk and dropped her head to her arms. “Stop. You have to stop.”

“Stronger women than you have been unable to resist my charms.”

“In your dreams.”

“No. Apparently in yours.”

She looked at him then, her blue eyes wide, her mouth smiling. “I give.”

“In the end, they all do.”

The smile faded. “I’m sorry about my mother. She shouldn’t have said that. I swear, I am not, nor will I ever be in love with you. I love my job and you’re a big part of that. But we’re friends, right? That’s better. Besides, you have terrible taste in your ‘let’s end this now’ gifts.”

“Which is why I let you buy them.” He hesitated a second. “We’re good?”

“The best.” Her smile returned.

The last of his worry faded. This was the Larissa he knew. All funny and earnest. Hair pulled back in a ponytail and not a speck of make-up on her face. She wore yoga pants and T-shirts and always had some cause to discuss with him. She believed the world was worth saving and he didn’t mind if she used his money to try. They made a good team. He didn’t want to have to do without her and having her love him… Well, that would have changed everything.

 

Excerpted from the book UNTIL WE TOUCH by Susan Mallery.  Copyright © 2014 by Susan Macias Redmond.  Reprinted with permission of Harlequin.  All rights reserved. 

Q&A

1. In what ways do you think every woman can relate to Larissa Owens?

Larissa is a sweetie. She’s not rich; she’s working as a personal assistant and personal masseuse for Jack. She gets to go to work in yoga pants and touch sexy guys all over. (Dream job!) UNTIL WE TOUCH is my nod to the boss/secretary story, one of my favorite kinds of romance.

Larissa has a pure heart, and when she sees someone hurting, she doesn’t just think about helping. She does help, with whatever resources are available to her. Fortunately for her, since she’s been working for Jack, he has allowed her to use his wealth and connections in service to her causes. In fact, he likes it. With Larissa using his money to try to save the world, he can feel like a part of something without actually putting himself out there. It’s a very comfortable arrangement for them both… until Larissa’s mom tells Jack that Larissa is in love with him, and everything changes.

2. What about Jack McGarry makes him like no leading man we’ve ever seen before in Fool’s Gold?

I think what makes people relatable—both in fiction and in life—are our imperfections and our vulnerabilities. From the outside, Jack’s life appears perfect. He’s rich, handsome, famous. He was a pro quarterback who retired on top and is now experiencing the same phenomenal success in the private sector with Score, the PR firm he co-owns.

But Jack has a secret pain that makes him protect himself from feeling too deeply, from caring too much. He lost someone dear to him when he was young, and he felt responsible. The lesson he took from that loss was that it’s safer on the surface.

Larissa works for him, so she knows he’s not a good bet when it comes to relationships. She has watched a string of temporary girlfriends come and go. She even bought the parting gifts. Despite that, despite her better judgment, she likes the man. He’s a good guy, a great friend, and he’s the sexiest man she’s ever met.

3. If UNTIL WE TOUCH were made into a movie, who would you envision playing Jack and Larissa?

I’m going to go with Chris Pine with black hair and Amy Adams as a blonde. (We must keep the Hollywood hairstylists employed!) Both could handle the funny scenes and the moments of honest emotion.

Of course, one of the funniest scenes in the book would probably have to be cut in order to keep the R rating. No spoilers, but I will say that Larissa is a massage therapist, and as their feelings for each other change, new situations—ahem—arise.

4. Larissa keeps her romantic attraction to Jack a secret at first, before her mother spills the beans. Do you think you should ever keep that secret from a friend you’re falling for, or is it better to confess your love?

In the case of Larissa, she didn’t realize she was keeping a secret… she kept her feelings a secret even from herself. Until her mother’s assertion, Larissa didn’t think she was in love with Jack. Just by saying those words, Larissa’s mom changed everything. These two friends and colleagues are suddenly thinking of each other in a whole new way. Which is inconvenient, to say the least.

As for whether someone in real life should keep her feelings for a friend secret or confess all, I’d have to say it really depends on the situation. Friendship is the best foundation for lifelong love, but not all friends-to-lovers stories end happily. I think you’d need to examine your heart and ask yourself, honestly, what is the best action for you to take.

5. You have written well over 100 books. How do you keep developing such unique storylines and characters that keep your fans coming back for more?

It’s a challenge! The truth is, every love story is unique. We all know dozens of couples who met, fell in love, and married. The framework may be similar—first glance, first kiss, deepening feelings, declaration of love—but the nuances are different. Which means that as a writer, I need to start with the nuances and build from there. What makes these two individuals unique and uniquely suited for each other? What events in their past color their actions and emotions today? As I develop their characters, I look for aspects that put them in conflict with each other, but also for aspects that will make them a couple you can believe will make it for the long haul. The conflict has to last nearly the length of the book, but the things they have in common have to take them through the rest of their lives.

6. What do you think is the recipe for a perfect romance novel?

A perfect romance should carry you away from your everyday world and fill you with emotions as you read. When you put down the book before you’re finished, it should call to you. Chores can wait, dinner can wait. It should be a challenge for you to turn off the light to go to sleep, even when it’s way past your bedtime. You should want to read just one more chapter, and then just one more after that, and then just one more until you’re done because you can’t bear to put it down until you know the characters are happy and in love. And when you do finish this perfect romance, you should feel happy, with a renewed feeling of faith in the power of love to overcome all obstacles.

7. What’s next for Fool’s Gold?

Next up, Kenny and Bailey will fall in love in YOURS FOR CHRISTMAS. Readers are in love with Kenny already, started asking for his story right away. He was introduced in WHEN WE MET, and readers could immediately sense that there are hidden depths beneath his happy-go-lucky façade. Kenny is one of Jack’s partners at Score PR. What he wants more than anything is a family, but he was burned badly by an ex. The one thing he won’t do, no matter what, is fall in love with a single mom. And then he meets Bailey…

YOURS FOR CHRISTMAS was originally slated to be an ebook exclusive novella. However, Harlequin has decided to release it simultaneously in print on October 28. It will be printed at the back of the mass market paperback reissue of CHRISTMAS ON 4TH STREET. Both YOURS FOR CHRISTMAS (ebook) and CHRISTMAS ON 4TH STREET combined with YOURS FOR CHRISTMAS (print and ebook) are available for pre-order now.

8. Any fun summer plans?

I’m going to soak in as much of this rare and precious Seattle sunshine as I can before the rainclouds descend again! Seattle in the summertime has to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I swear, there are a million shades of green, and every single one of them is on display as we walk the dog around the city.

 

Giveaway

giveaway_zpsc9e7d03f

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About Susan Mallery

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

When We Met by Susan Mallery – Excerpt, Q&A, & Giveaway!

5th May 2014 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2014, Blog Tours, Giveaways

When We Met by Susan Mallery – Excerpt, Q&A, & Giveaway!When We Met by Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #13
Published by HQN
Pub Date: April 29th 2014
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback | Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery invites you back to Fool's Gold, where a newcomer to town might finally meet the man she never knew she needed… 

Angel Whittaker earned his scars the hard way, but the scars that can't be seen are the ones that haunt him the most. Since he moved to Fool's Gold, California, he's cobbled together a life for himself as a bodyguard trainer. If he's not exactly happy, at least his heart is safe. 

Working with pro-football superstars taught tough-talking PR woman Taryn Crawford one thing—she can go toe to toe with any man. But then dark, dangerous former Special Ops Angel targets her for seduction…and challenges her to resist his tempting kisses. 

Even in four-inch heels, Taryn never backs down. Unless, somehow, Angel can convince her that surrender might feel even better than victory.

Excerpt

Chapter One

“We both know where this is going.”

Taryn Crawford glanced up at the man standing by her table and ignored the rush of anticipation when she saw who he was. He was tall, with broad shoulders and gray eyes. But the most compelling feature—the one she would guess people pretended didn’t exist—was the scar on his neck. As if someone had once tried to slit his throat. Taryn idly wondered what had happened to the person who failed.

She supposed there were plenty of women who would be intimidated by the man in front of her. The sheer volume of muscle he had might make someone apprehensive. Not her, of course. When in doubt she put on a power suit and killer heels. If those failed her, she would simply work harder than anyone else. Whatever it took to win. Sure, there was a price, but she was okay with that.

Which was why she was able to stare coolly back and ask, “Do we?”

One former of his mouth curved slightly in a sort of half smile.

“Sure, but if you’re more comfortable pretending we don’t, I can make that work, too.”

“A challenge. Intriguing. You don’t expect that to be enough to make me defensive so I start saying more than I had planned, do you?” She made sure she was plenty relaxed in her chair. She would guess the man was paying as much attention to her body language as her words. Maybe more. She hoped he wouldn’t make things easy.  She was tired of easy.

“I would hate for you to be disappointed,” she murmured.

The smile turned genuine.  “I’d hate that, too.” He pulled out the chair opposite hers. “May I?”

She nodded. He sat.

It was barely after ten on a Tuesday morning. Brew-haha, the local coffee place she’d escaped to for a few minutes of solitude before she returned to the current chaos at her office, was relatively quiet. She’d ordered a latte and had pulled out her tablet to catch up on the latest financial news. Until she’d been interrupted. Nice to know this was going to be a good day.

She studied the man across from her. He was older than the boys, she thought. The three men she worked with—Jack, Sam and Kenny, aka “the boys” –were all in their early to mid-thirties. Her guest was nearer to forty. Just old enough to have the experience to make things intriguing, she thought.

“We’ve never been introduced,” she said.

“You know who I am.”

A statement, not a question. “Do I?”

One dark eyebrow rose. “Angel Whittaker. I work at CDS.”

Otherwise known as the bodyguard school, she reminded herself.

For a small town, Fool’s Gold had its share of unusual businesses.

“Taryn Crawford.”

She waited, but he didn’t make a move.

“We’re not shaking hands?” she asked, then picked up her latte with both hers. Just to be difficult, because being difficult would make things more fun.

“I figured we’d save the touching for later. I find it’s better when that sort of thing happens in private.”

Taryn had opened Score, her PR firm, eight years ago. She’d had to deal with unwelcome passes, assumptions she was an idiot, being asked who the boss was, pats on her butt and people presuming that if she worked with three ex-football players, she must have gotten her job by sleeping with them. She was used to staying calm, keeping her opinions to herself and gaining victory through the unanticipated side run.

This time Angel had been the one to put the first points on the board. He was good, she thought, intrigued and only slightly miffed.

“Are you coming on to me, Mr. Whittaker? Because it’s still a little early in the morning for that sort of thing.”

“You’ll know when I’m making my move,” he informed her. “Right now I’m simply telling you how things are.”

“Which takes us back to your comment that we both know where this is going. I’ll admit to being confused. Perhaps you have me mixed up with someone else.”

She uncrossed, then recrossed her long legs. She wasn’t trying to be provocative, but if Angel got distracted, it was hardly her fault.

For a second she allowed herself to wonder how she would have been different if she’d been able to grow up in a more traditional home. One with the requisite 2.5 children and somewhat normal parents. She certainly wouldn’t be as driven. Or as tough. Sometimes she wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not.

He leaned toward her. “I hadn’t taken you for the type to play games.”

“We all play games,” she told him.

“Fair enough. Then I’ll be blunt.”

She sipped her coffee, then swallowed. “Please.”

“I saw you last fall.”

“How nice,” she murmured.

When she’d been scouting locations. Moving a company required time and effort. They’d only truly settled in Fool’s Gold a couple of months ago. But she had been in town the previous fall, and yes, she’d seen Angel, as well. Found out who he was and had wondered about…possibilities. Not that she was going to admit that to him.

“I watched you,” he continued.

“Should I be concerned you’re a stalker?”

“Not when you were watching me right back.”

He’d noticed? Damn. She’d tried to be subtle. She thought about lying but decided to simply stay silent. After a second, he continued.

“So we’ve finished sizing each other up,” he said. “Now it’s time to move on to the next phase of the game.”

Q&A

1. WHEN WE MET’s hero Angel Whittaker appeared in your 2005 book Living on the Edge. What made you decide to bring him back?

I never forgot about Angel, and I always knew I’d write a book for him when I found the perfect woman for him. When I started brainstorming this year’s Fool’s Gold romances, Taryn Crawford came to me. She’s a very powerful, confident, self-made woman. She started her PR firm from nothing, and she is the clear leader over her three NFL-star partners. She needed a man who was equally strong, someone who would stand up to her when need be, and someone who would cherish and protect her when she wasn’t feeling all that strong. Angel, who’d been hovering in my subconscious for years, stepped forward and claimed her.

The idea was a little disconcerting, to be honest, because Living on the Edge is a romantic suspense, and Fool’s Gold is sooooo not a suspense-y series. Which meant Angel, this very serious, hard-core sniper type was going to have to move to a quirky small town in California. I paired him up with buddies from the military who opened a bodyguard academy in Fool’s Gold last year.

Angel grew up in a small town, so in some ways, Fool’s Gold felt very familiar to him right away. After a few months of living there, he decides that he wants to give something back, to contribute, because that’s what people do in small towns. A decision he lives to regret… the project assigned to him by the all-knowing Mayor Marsha isn’t exactly what he has in mind. I think readers are going to really laugh when they see what he’s gotten himself into. Fortunately, Taryn will help him over the rough spots.

 

2. What book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?

I’d love to spend a weekend on Debbie Macomber’s Blossom Street. I wouldn’t even have to travel far—I live in Seattle, where that series is set. I’m hopeless at knitting, but since this is fantasy, let’s pretend that I’d whip up a gorgeous sweater during my weekend visit.

 

3. With the release of WHEN WE MET, as you look back, what was the biggest surprise that occurred while you were writing the story?

I was a little surprised by how hot things got between Angel and Taryn. I tend to write sexy, but Angel and Taryn are a little older than my typical hero and heroine—40 and 34, respectively—and significantly more experienced. They know what they want, and they’re not afraid to ask for it. There were times when these two were so in-your-face with their sexy repartee that I was sort of gasping and laughing as I wrote.

 

4. What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to face or as a writer? How did you overcome it?

The hardest part of what I do is making sure each book is better than the one before. In the beginning, when I was still learning, it was pretty easy to improve. But now, after over 100 books, it’s challenging. But that’s always the goal. That the characters are more real, the dialogue funnier, that the story draws you in even faster. There’s not a single day that I sit down to write without thinking about how to do it better than I did yesterday.

 

5. You wrote in a recent Facebook post that you started writing a new Fool’s Gold book for 2015 and rewrote the beginning a few times because you didn’t know the heroine well enough yet. Can you explain this process and how you are able to finally get to “know” the character you’re writing?

I first start thinking about a book somewhere around 18 months to two years before it’s released. This is particularly true with a series like Fool’s Gold. I need to know what’s coming so that I can set up the stories in advance, so the characters feel naturally integrated into the town.

When I’m ready to really get started, I write until the characters click for me, usually about a chapter. I have to know who they are so that I can know how they will react to whatever might happen in the book. Once I know them, I stop writing and thoroughly plot the story.

Because of all the prep work, once I get to the actual writing of the book, I can write pretty fast. But it’s kind of like when you ask an artist how long it took them to create a beautiful painting—a few hours… plus years of practice and study.

 

6. You often turn to your fans to help you come up with names for your characters. What makes you decide to do this and how do you pick?

Oh, I loooooove asking my friends at facebook.com/susanmallery to help me brainstorm, whether it be character names, business names, or even country music song titles for a heroine who will be coming to Fool’s Gold next year! Sometimes a character comes to me complete with a name, but mostly, they come with heart and soul, and I have to think of a name. I could easily look at naming websites for ideas, but I think my Facebook friends love being involved, and it’s fun for me to see what they come up with. I choose the name that I think best suits the heart and soul of the character in my head. Whenever possible, I give that character the last name of the reader who suggested the first name I selected.

 

7. If WHEN WE MET were made into a movie, who would you have play Angel Whittaker and Taryn Crawford?

Have you heard of an actor named Sullivan Stapleton? He’s British, but with an American accent, he’d be perfect as Angel. Tall and dark, with a dangerous edge. His pale gray eyes are almost hypnotizing, like the cobra in Jungle Book. Except, you know, sexy guy, not at all a snake.

For Taryn, I’ll go with Sandra Bullock. Taryn’s a high-powered fashion plate. She likes what she likes, she wants what she wants, and she makes no apologies for it. Everything she has, she has earned. She’s not just smart, she’s street-smart.

 

8. What makes Taryn stand out from the other heroines you’ve written?

Contradiction is what makes any character come alive, and Taryn is full of them. On the surface, she has it all together. She runs a very successful PR firm. She has a wardrobe that couture fashion models would envy. Your first impression of Taryn is that she wants for nothing… but she went through a lot of pain to get where she is today. She’s a survivor. She has pulled herself up from very tough circumstances, and to do that, she has had to guard her heart. But there’s a softness, a vulnerability inside her that no one but Angel can see. He will treasure her forever.

 

9. What’s next for the town of Fools Gold?

Up next are BEFORE WE KISS and UNTIL WE TOUCH, featuring two of Taryn’s partners at Score PR. In BEFORE WE KISS, Sam Ridge, a former NFL kicker, has to hire Dellina to help him plan a major company bash. He’s very reluctant to work with her because a few months ago, they had a little fling that went terribly (and comically) wrong. Dellina’s going to make him pay a little bit before she forgives him. So much fun to watch a strong man grovel!

At the start of UNTIL WE TOUCH, former quarterback Jack McGarry is shocked when the mother of his personal assistant and best friend Larissa Owens tells him to fire Larissa because the big-hearted beauty is in love with him. That’s news to Jack… and when he tells Larissa what her mom said, it’s news to Larissa, too! She’s not in love with Jack. Except, just by saying the words, her mom has opened both their eyes, and things between them suddenly get very hot.

 

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Susan Mallery

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

Giveaway: The Susan Mallery Foolproof Bridal Kit – Three Little Words Blog Tour

16th Aug 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Blog Tours

Three Little Words (Fool’s Gold #12) by Susan Mallery
Publication Date: July 30th 2013 by Harlequin HQN

Can first love turn into the real deal in a sizzling new Fool’s Gold story from New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery? Isabel Carlisle thinks she’s cursed in the romance department. Her teenage crush, Ford Hendrix, ignored all her letters. Her husband left her for another…man. So Isabel has come home to dust off her passion for fashion and run the family bridal shop until her parents are ready to sell it. Then she’ll pursue her real dreams. At least, that’s the plan, until sexy, charming Ford returns and leaves her feeling fourteen all over again….

Seeing Isabel all grown up hits bodyguard trainer Ford like a sucker punch. Back when heartbreak made him join the military, her sweet letters kept him sane. Now he can’t take his eyes-or his lips-off her. The man who gave up on love has a reason to stay in Fool’s Gold forever-if three little words can convince Isabel to do the same….

I have THE MOST AWESOME giveaway for you guys!! A complete kit full of bridal must-haves!

The Susan Mallery Foolproof Bridal Kit includes:

  • A wedding-themed bottle of OPI nail polish
  • Not Your Mother’s® Rise & Shine™ Silky Smooth Shine Mist
  • Manicure set (includes emery board, small and large nail clippers, tweezers, cuticle stick and nail polish remover pad)
  • Heart-shaped compact mirror
  • 12-piece E.L.F. eye shadow kit
  • Travel makeup brush set
  • Makeup remover wipes
  • Lip gloss
  • Travel sewing kit
  • Kleenex®
  • Secret® deodorant
  • Razor and Gillette® Shave Gel
  • Nivea Creme
  • Wisps toothbrushes
  • TRESemmé® hairspray

Check out the rest of the THREE LITTLE WORDS Blog Tour for reviews, special content, and more chances to win this kit!

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

Review: Three Sisters by Susan Mallery + Q & A

25th Mar 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Guest Posts, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Three Sisters by Susan Mallery + Q & AThree Sisters by Susan Mallery
Series: Blackberry Island #2
Published by Mira
Pub Date: February 26th 2013
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback | Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Women's Fiction
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

After Andi Gordon is jilted at the altar, she makes the most impetuous decision of her life – buying one of the famed Three Sisters Queen Anne houses on Blackberry Island. Now the proud-ish owner of the ugly duckling of the trio, she plans to open her own pediatric office on the first floor, just as soon as her hunky contractor completes the work. Andi's new future may be coming together, but the truth is she's just as badly in need of a major renovation as her house.

When Deanna Phillips confronts her husband about a suspected affair, she opens up a Pandora's Box of unhappiness. And he claims that she is the problem. The terrible thing is, he's right. In her quest to be the perfect woman, she's lost herself, and she's in danger of losing her entire family if things don't change.

Next door, artist Boston King thought she and her college sweetheart would be married forever. Their passion for one other has always seemed indestructible. But after tragedy tears them apart, she's not so sure. Now it's time for them to move forward, with or without one another.

Thrown together by fate and geography, and bound by the strongest of friendships, these three women will discover what they're really made of: laughter, tears, love and all.

As the synopsis says, Three Sisters had laughter, tears, love and all. I was incredibly happy to jump back to Blackberry Island. It sounds like a place I want to visit, though I don’t know how I’d do living an island life. I actually applaud Andi for taking the plunge and moving there on her own after being left at the altar. That takes serious guts. The setting this time around was at the highest point of Blackberry Island, where three historical houses sit. They are the Three Sisters. I loved that by being up there on their own, the three residents are kind of destined to be like their own little family and that their kids can all grow up together.

Each of the ladies in Three Sisters has their own issues to deal with. I loved that they were able to bond over talking about them to each other and drinking lots of wine helped too. I think the easiest to like is Andi because she’s so caring. And I enjoyed Boston’s eccentricities. But I think I empathized the most with Deanna because she’s the mom of the group, so all the problems she has with motherhood really made me care for her. She was the only to make me cry a few tears! lol

While the ladies take the spotlight in this book, I really enjoyed the men too, even if at times I wanted to yell at some of them. They were definitely not without flaws, which I appreciated because it made the relationships more real. And you know I love all those smexy moments! :D

I think people will be able to find something or someone in this book to relate to. Three Sisters really is book that has it all. Amazing characters, beautiful setting, and touching stories…what more could you ask for? I look forward to more books from Susan Mallery set in this wonderful island.

Q&A with Susan Mallery, Author of Three Sisters

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com and www.facebook.com/susanmallery.

1) What are some writing quirks or rituals that you have in order to keep you focused?

I’m not sure I’d call it a quirk or a ritual, but looking at my mortgage statement helps me focus. Writing is a joy – I love it – but it’s also my job, and I have a lot of people depending on me to meet my deadlines. A good work ethic is something I admire in others, and it’s something I require of myself.

2) clip_image002What does your writing space look like?

I work at a big wooden desk in my home office. One of the biggest luxuries of working at home is that my dog Nikki comes with me to the office every day. She snoozes while I write, but still, she’s good company. When the characters make me laugh, Nikki will run over to join the fun. She’s very wiggly when she’s excited.

By the time I reach the end of a book, the desk surface is littered with sticky notes, reminding me of something that needs to happen. Then I clear it all away and start the next book.

3) The Three Sisters Queen Anne houses and Andi Gordon’s home restoration play a large role in your new book. How are architecture and home renovation a part of your real life?

I’ve moved so many times that my friends stopped writing my address in pen. (Not as much of an issue now as it was before we saved all our addresses digitally.) Which means I’ve spent many a happy hour staring at paint swatches, trying to decide between shades of taupe. I never had a contractor as sexy as Wade, though, I’m sorry to say.

I’m addicted to HGTV. My new favorite show is the Property Brothers. You can’t go wrong with two cute brothers. I’m especially fond of the one who knows his way around power tools.

However, I’m not sure I’d have the patience to take on a renovation project as extensive as Andi’s. She was in a bad state when she bought the house on Blackberry Island. She had just been left at the altar by a man she’d dated for ten years. He wasn’t ready, he said. After ten years. So when she saw this beautiful old Queen Anne house in need of love, it called to her.

4) What do you love about writing romance novels?

I love the happy endings. As a reader, I get angry when I’ve invested my emotions into a book and then it ends badly for the characters. I have been known to throw a book against the wall. I don’t think an unhappy resolution makes a book deeper or more realistic. When readers pick up my books, they can relax into the experience because they’ll know that no matter what pain the characters might feel, they will find their way to a happy ending. I can’t even imagine writing a book that doesn’t end happily. The characters would haunt me for the rest of my life!

5) If you could choose one romantic character from literature to jump off the pages and become real, who would you pick?

Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy – oh wait, he did come to life. He goes by Colin Firth now.

About Susan Mallery

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

Review: Summer Nights by Susan Mallery

28th Jun 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Summer Nights by Susan MallerySummer Nights by Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #8
Published by HQN
Pub Date: June 26th 2012
Pages: 378
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4.5 Stars

Horse whisperer Shane Stryker is done with passion. This time around, he's determined to meet someone who will be content with the quiet life of a rancher's wife. And the fiery, pint-size redhead who dazzles him at the local bar definitely does not fit the bill.

Small-town librarian Annabelle Weiss has always seen herself as more of a sweetheart than a siren, so she can't understand why Shane keeps pushing her away. Shane has formed the totally wrong impression of her but only he can help her with a special event for the next Fool's Gold festival. And maybe while he's at it, she can convince him to teach her a few things about kissing on hot summer nights, too—some lessons, a girl shouldn't learn from reading a book!

Summer Nights has got to be Susan Mallery’s steamiest book in the Fool’s Gold series to date! I found it completely fun, flirty, and sexy.

Shane Stryker was a breath of fresh air. He started off this book by falling completely in lust with our heroine, Annabelle. We don’t get to read many books where the guy completely loses it over the girl right off the bat! It was satisfying reading about him stumbling for words in her presence. And oh, my lord, was Shane Stryker a sexy character once you got him alone in a bedroom!! Wowza! He did have a few hang-ups over his evil ex-wife that he needed to get over, but I understood that Annabelle being the first person he’s been serious about since the ex, he would have some reservations. But if anyone would get through that wall it would be Annabelle.

Annabelle is the type of woman a lot of us want to be. She’s smart, and funny, and sexy in a low-key way. She cares about making a difference in peoples lives, she’s kind and thoughtful, and can make her man go crazy in the bedroom. That’s what we all want to be like, isn’t it?! Well, maybe not everyone, but a lot of us, yes. I loved her chemistry with Shane and the way she kept things light and fun in their relationship, but she also stood her ground when it came to what she wanted and what she didn’t need.

The town is still as charming as ever, and there were a few hints of possible new businesses and also the status of the casino! I wonder if we’ll know by the next book in the series what and who the next three books after All Summer Long will be about. I’m definitely very intrigued to see how All Summer Long will play out, actually. It will most certainly be entertaining, and I suspect very touching as well. I look forward to it!

 

About Susan Mallery

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

Guest Post: Susan Mallery Speaks to Us about the Appeal of Romance

27th Jun 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Guest Posts

Guest Post: Susan Mallery Speaks to Us about the Appeal of RomanceSummer Nights by Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #8
Published by HQN
Pub Date: June 26th 2012
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Horse whisperer Shane Stryker is done with passion. This time around, he's determined to meet someone who will be content with the quiet life of a rancher's wife. And the fiery, pint-size redhead who dazzles him at the local bar definitely does not fit the bill.

Small-town librarian Annabelle Weiss has always seen herself as more of a sweetheart than a siren, so she can't understand why Shane keeps pushing her away. Shane has formed the totally wrong impression of her but only he can help her with a special event for the next Fool's Gold festival. And maybe while he's at it, she can convince him to teach her a few things about kissing on hot summer nights, too—some lessons, a girl shouldn't learn from reading a book!

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery was asked to speak this summer at the American Library Association national conference in Anaheim, California, on a panel called “Isn’t It Romantic?” Mallery’s latest book, SUMMER NIGHTS (Fool’s Gold book 8 – Available now!) is dedicated to librarians who have done so much to introduce readers to her books. This is the speech she prepared, which I’m happy to be sharing with all of you today. :)


The appeal in romance is that our books offer readers a celebration of community. Romances are all about connecting. Sure the boy-meets-girl part is fun and exciting, but often what really brings a reader back again and again are the connections made within the novel.

Most romances happen in a larger context of relationships. Families and friends play an important role. We want to experience falling in love with a hunky guy, but we also want a sense of belonging. The most popular books feature a cast of usually likeable, sometimes annoying, generally realistic characters who are amazingly like people we know. Or people we get on an emotional level.

These other characters, sometimes seemingly unimportant, can be the glue that holds our books together. Our hero and heroine are revealed through their relationships with secondary characters. The gruff solitary man who unexpectedly cares for a wounded puppy wins our heart forever. The exhausted single mother staying up until midnight to frost cupcakes for her son’s first grade class reminds us of ourselves. While the romance is central to the story and the reason we think we read “those kind of books” I believe the real truth is we love the sense of community a romance brings to the table. The sexy guy on the cover draws us in, but the heroine’s relationship with her sarcastic best friend turns out to be just as satisfying and meaningful.

young attractive woman relaxing and talking on telephone at homeThe majority of romance readers are women. Women are usually the keepers of relationships in their lives and the lives of those around them. We are the ones who maintain the friendships, remember birthdays, make sure each of our children has a moment to feel special. We can spend a weekend with our girlfriends and when we get home, still think of something we could have told them. When I travel to a writers’ conference and hang out with my writer friends for days, then return home and get a call from one of them, my husband can’t believe there’s anything left to say. I’ve tried to explain there’s always more to talk about but he just shakes his head.

In our lives we want friends and family. We want connection. Romances offer that in our fiction. We can meet women we want to have lunch with and men we want to fall in love with. Romance isn’t man against nature or man against himself. It’s man and woman falling in love in a much bigger context. One or both of them have a family, there are friends, coworkers, pets. It’s a real world populated by the funny and the strange and if done well, it’s a world we want to return to again and again.

For years now, romances have been written in groups. Trilogies, sisters, brothers, a band of warriors. Sherrilyn Kenyon gives us her immortal warriors. Debbie Macomber gives us Cedar Cove. In between lie stories only limited by the imaginations of the writers who create them. It is the combination of the familiar and the unknown that draws us back.

I started writing in category romance. I wrote about 80 books for Silhouette. I wrote about sisters and cousins and brothers and even neighboring sheik kingdoms. The longer a series went on, the more readers responded. When I moved into writing single title, I continued with families. One day a very successful writer friend sat me down and said, “Write about a town. It’s limitless.”

parade-routeFrom that very intelligent advice, my Fool’s Gold series was born. www.foolsgoldca.com It’s a small town set in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. I started with the idea of a town suffering a man shortage, which gave me the chance to put women in non-traditional jobs. I decided to write the books in trilogies, with the idea each trilogy would stand on its own, allowing readers to join at any point. By the second Fool’s Gold trilogy I’d realized the man shortage wasn’t that interesting, but the non-traditional jobs were, so modifications were made.

Reader response has been terrific. They love the town. Mayor Marsha, California’s longest serving mayor, is a fan favorite. I keep track of previous heroes and heroines using a data base and often feature births in subsequent books. I use social media to increase the level of connection with my readers. We have the usual interactions, but there is another level on my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/susanmallery. Readers help me name characters, pick careers and suggest new businesses for the towns. When a former heroine is due to give birth, readers usually vote on the gender of the baby and offer name suggestions. Next year three new businesses will open in Fool’s Gold and each one of them is the result of something a reader said to me.

A romance can take place nearly anywhere, in any time. We have smart ass heroines who rescue themselves, timid virgins and librarians who dance on bars in our books. Every romance writer has a specific vision for what she wants to write, but what we all have in common is connection. Sisters who are drawn together because of a dying parent. Vampires fighting enemies while protecting the women they love. Handsome dukes who marry the most unlikely of spinsters, drawn to her against all odds, in part because she takes care of her younger siblings.

In romances we find the relationships that matter most to us personally. Those who adore babies in books can be endless entertained by the antics of newborns. If you prefer sexy, sassy heroines, there are dozens of writers to give you exactly that. The appeal of romance is how the stories speak to us so personally. They show us women who are brave, who overcome odds, who always have a snappy comeback and in the end find not just love, but also a place to belong. Romances celebrate the very best of us, and that ideal state is often illustrated in the connections our characters make with each other.

Romances are a reading escape that also touches the heart. Romances affirm what is most important to each of us—the people we love, who love us back.


I love Susan, and this speech only makes me love her more. I just felt like yelling “PREACH!!” with my hand raised. Thank you, Susan and Jenel, for letting me share this with my readers. :)

 

About Susan Mallery

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

Review: Summer Days by Susan Mallery

31st May 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Summer Days by Susan MallerySummer Days by Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #7
Published by HQN
Pub Date: May 29th 2012
Pages: 378
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery returns with a new Fool's Gold trilogy featuring three rugged cowboys who will find love in the unlikeliest of places....

Locked in an unexpected land dispute, Rafe Stryker is trapped in the one place he vowed never to return to-the Castle Ranch in Fool's Gold, California. He made millions facing ruthless adversaries in the boardroom, but nothing could've prepared him to go head-to-head against stubborn, beautiful Heidi Simpson. No one is more surprised than Rafe to discover that he's finding Heidi-and life as a cowboy-much more compelling than he wants to admit.

For Heidi, the Castle Ranch is the home she's always wanted. After a life on the road, the vivacious blonde has finally put down roots. She won't give that up without a fight, not even for a man whose late-night kisses make her yearn to be a little less...wholesome.

As the two turn from passionate adversaries to passionate, period, they'll discover that summer love can last a lifetime.

The town of Fool’s Gold has gotten itself some cowboys, y’all!

Rafe Stryker is one of those men who are so much more than meets the eye. I mean, sure, the eyes see this tall, dark, and handsome man, but he also comes off as grumpy and cold. Discovering the many layers to Rafe was a delight. He surprised me and I didn’t think I’d love him as much as I did. I liked that he was determined to show everyone that he was not what he seemed to portray. Maybe he just wanted to prove us wrong, which would be prove he always has to come out on top.

Now Heidi I already liked. The girl with the goats who lives on a mountain with her grandpa had already been introduced to us in previous Fool’s Gold books, so liking her was not a problem. If I lived in Fool’s Gold though, I’d probably be wearing my Team Rafe button. Sorry, Heidi! But Rafe was totally in the right in this situation. Her grandpa did swindle money from his mom and all. I anything, I felt Heidi should’ve been a lot more angry at her grandfather!

With that being said, I did enjoy Summer Days overall. It had that same Fool’s Gold quirk and charm. I’m really intrigued to see what the other Stryker brothers have in store for us. While this book is part of the Fool’s Gold series, and some characters we love do make appearances, you could completely jump into it and not be lost or feel like it’s missing something. So, if you’ve been thinking of trying out this series but don’t want to read the first six (which I suggest you do because I love them), here’s your chance!

 

About Susan Mallery

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

Review: Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery

22nd Mar 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Barefoot Season by Susan MalleryBarefoot Season by Susan Mallery
Series: Blackberry Island #1
Published by Mira
Pub Date: March 27th 2012
Pages: 368
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4.5 Stars

Michelle Sanderson may appear to be a strong, independent woman, but on the inside, she’s still the wounded girl who fled home years ago. A young army vet, Michelle returns to the quaint Blackberry Island Inn to claim her inheritance and recover from the perils of war. Instead, she finds the owner’s suite occupied by the last person she wants to see.

Carly Williams and Michelle were once inseparable, until a shocking betrayal destroyed their friendship. And now Carly is implicated in the financial disaster lurking behind the inn’s cheerful veneer.

Single mother Carly has weathered rumors, lies and secrets for a lifetime, and is finally starting to move forward with love and life. But if the Blackberry Island Inn goes under, Carly and her daughter will go with it.

To save their livelihoods, Carly and Michelle will undertake a turbulent truce. It’ll take more than a successful season to move beyond their devastating past, but with a little luck and a beautiful summer, they may just rediscover the friendship of a lifetime.

When I was first approached to review this book, I turned it down. I didn’t think “Women’s Fiction” would be for me. I love Susan Mallery, but I just didn’t think I’d enjoy the genre. After thinking about it some more, I decided to give the genre a try after all. And if I was going to try, it would have to be this book, because I love Susan.

So I am here to tell you today that I am so absolutely happy I gave it a chance. Susan Mallery creates characters I love time and time again. Why did I ever doubt you, Susan?

Barefoot Season is a story about friendships and hardships, about letting go and moving forward. It’s about overcoming obstacles that seem unimaginable. And guess what? It even had some romance in it after all. :) It turned out to be more contemporary romance than I expected, which I was kind of really happy about.

I could see a lot of myself in Carly and Michelle, so it was easy to relate to them. I loved how funny and sassy Carly was, and how quick her retorts were anytime Michelle insulted her. I empathized with Michelle’s cynicism and was happy to see her get past so much of it and go back to living a happy life. Both Carly and Michelle carried so much guilt over things that weren’t their fault, all I really wanted to do was hug them and make them be friends again.

Susan Mallery always gives us the most realistic, yet sexy, guys. I could just picture Sam in his Sheriff’s uniform, and oh, man…that was a HOT image! And Jared! So intense and caring, yet laid-back. They were definitely the perfect match for Carly and Michelle.

And as with Fool’s Gold, Susan Mallery creates a picturesque place in Blackberry Island. I want to vacation there and stay at the Inn and eat everything with blackberries!

Barefoot Season touched my heart so completely. Once started, I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to see what else Susan Mallery has in store for us in Blackberry Island.

 

About Susan Mallery

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

Waiting on Wednesday: Summer Days

7th Mar 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday: Summer Days

Waiting on Wednesday: Summer DaysSummer Days by Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #7
Published by HQN
Pub Date: May 29th 2012
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Locked in an unexpected land dispute, Rafe Stryker is trapped in the one place he vowed never to return to—the Castle Ranch in Fool's Gold, California. He made millions facing ruthless adversaries in the boardroom, but nothing could've prepared him to go head-to-head against stubborn, beautiful Heidi Simpson. No one is more surprised than Rafe to discover that he's finding Heidi—and life as a cowboy—much more compelling than he wants to admit.

For Heidi, the Castle Ranch is the home she's always wanted. After a life on the road, the vivacious blonde has finally put down roots. She won't give that up without a fight, not even for a man whose late-night kisses make her yearn to be a little less…wholesome.

As the two turn from passionate adversaries to passionate, period, they'll discover that summer love can last a lifetime.

 

I LOVE THIS SERIES SO. MUCH!!! Definitely my favorite by Susan Mallery. Summer Days is going to be just as amazing as the other Fool’s Gold books. I cannot wait to read it. :)

 

About Susan Mallery

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

“I want Barefoot Season” Video Contest!

15th Feb 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Press Releases

barefoot-video-contestHow would you like to win an advanced reading copy of BAREFOOT SEASON… PLUS a $300 Amazon gift card?

BAREFOOT SEASON(April 2011) is the emotional story of former best friends who must reunite in order to save the inn they both love. It’s witty, emotional, deeply personal, and has a no-easy-win conflict that readers can dig their teeth into. Plus, of course, a happy ending that will leave you feeling good about the world.

Here’s how to enter:

· Post a video to YouTube no later than February 28 titled “Susan Mallery, I Want Barefoot Season.” (That must be the title!)

· Email the video link to jenel (at) susanmallery (dot) com

The video should be no longer than one minute long and must be set to be viewable by the public. Susan may share the videos on her Facebook page, in the Susan Mallery app for iPhone and Android, and/or on her website. What she’s looking for is a heartfelt message. Why should she send an autographed copy of Barefoot Season to you? (The winner will also receive a $300 Amazon gift card.)

 

Don’t know what to say? Here are a few prompts to get you started. You don’t have to use any of these, though. Feel free to be creative.

“Susan Mallery, I want to read BAREFOOT SEASON because I loved [your favorite Susan Mallery title or series]…”

“Susan Mallery, I hope you’ll pick me to win an advanced copy of BAREFOOT SEASON because I belong to a book club, and we love books that…”

“I’m really excited to read BAREFOOT SEASON by Susan Mallery because…”

“It’s been a tough year for me, and I need the pick-me-up of a feel-good book like BAREFOOT SEASON by Susan Mallery…”

A team of soft-hearted book bloggers (including yours truly) will select the most heartfelt video on March 1, and the winner will be notified by email and at www.facebook.com/susanmallery. The contest is open internationally.

 

About Susan Mallery

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

Review: Only His by Susan Mallery

12th Nov 2011 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2011, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Only His by Susan MalleryOnly His by Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #6
Published by HQN
Pub Date: September 27th 2011
Pages: 344
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Wedding bells are ringing in Fool's Gold, but not for Nevada Hendrix. Her triplet sisters are engaged, and even her mother has a more active love life than she does. Determined to make a fresh start, she applies for her dream job, only to discover that her new boss is her first love. Maybe she could overlook the fact that they've seen each other naked, but she'll never forget the way he broke her heart.

Tucker Janack agrees to Nevada's "business only" ground rules. After all, love is a trap that the construction millionaire has avoided his whole life. But when great business partners turn out to be so much more, every rule gets broken. Will either of them be willing to try again…or will their past get in the way?

I was really eager to find out what the story was with Nevada and Tucker. All we knew was that something happened between them…something that involved them seeing each other naked and him breaking her heart. When we get the story, we find out that Tucker really screwed up. But the worse part is that he doesn’t really know the extent of how badly because he was so wasted that night. All I know is that I would’ve held on to that heartbreak just as long as Nevada. Tucker has grown up and learned from his mistakes, and he really does feels badly about what happened with Nevada. The main problem is that he learned the wrong lesson from all of it.

For me, Only His was the funniest book in the Fool’s Gold series so far. A lot of it was Nevada and Tucker, but it was also because of a certain sculptor entering into her “feminine period.” Some of the things that happened to Nevada or that she stumbled upon were just so unfortunate that I couldn’t help but laugh. She did have bad luck in that respect. Though, I was happy Denise finally got a…er, happy ending. :)

In this book, we get to know the next three protagonists of the next Fool’s Gold books a little better. I’m really intrigued by the librarian most of all. I bet her book will be very interesting indeed. ;) Now I can’t wait to meet the men, which Susan Mallery has said are cowboys! Oh yes…I like cowboys.

I loved the wedding at the end of this book. I loved seeing the different styles of the Hendrix sisters all in one place. It was really the most beautiful, perfect ending for each of them. My love for this town and it’s residents grows with each book and I will eagerly anticipate the next ones.

 

About Susan Mallery

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

Someone Like You Winner!!

7th Nov 2011 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2011, Giveaways

Someone Like You Winner!!

 

Congratulations, Amanda of On a Book Bender!! I hope you enjoy it. :)

 

About Susan Mallery

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

Review: Only Yours by Susan Mallery

27th Aug 2011 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2011, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Only Yours by Susan MalleryOnly Yours by Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #5
Published by HQN
Pub Date: August 30th 2011
Pages: 378
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Montana Hendrix has found her calling—working with therapy dogs. With a career she loves in a hometown she adores, she's finally ready to look for her own happily ever after. Could one of her dogs help her find Mr. Right...or maybe Dr. Right?

Surgeon Simon Bradley prefers the sterility of the hospital to the messiness of real life, especially when real life includes an accident-prone mutt and a woman whose kisses make him want what he knows he can't have. Scarred since childhood, he avoids emotional entanglement by moving from place to place to heal children who need his skillful touch. Can his growing feelings for Montana lead him to find a home in Fool's Gold, or will he walk away, taking her broken heart with him?

I knew when I sat down to read Only Yours, I would love it from the start. After all, it stars my favorite triplet.

Montana has been my favorite Hendrix triple from the first moment she was introduced in the series. She has this endearing, innocent way she cares about everyone around her. She really is pure of heart, and for that, you can’t help but want to care for her and protect her…much like Simon does in this book. Simon was…complicated. He is guarded and quiet and closed off. He has his reasons. He suffered a very severe trauma at the hands of his mother when he was only a boy, which has made him close himself off emotionally. He isn’t cold, however. In fact, when he’s around his patients, he is funny, caring, and gentle. He also can’t help being this way toward Montana. She seems to bring out things about him that mostly just embarrass him. I thought their relationship was very sweet, but also very sexy. After everything Simon went through in his young life, I was really happy that everyone in the Hendrix family and in Fool’s Gold welcomed him with open, loving arms.

Speaking of the Hendrix family…can we give it up for Mama Hendrix or what?! I was so happy Denise was out there, trying to date. Trying being the operative word since a lot of these dates have been disasters, lol. The mystery Max is revealed in this book, though, and I cannot wait to see how that unravels. There are a couple of more Hendrixes in town right now that also need happy endings, too: Nevada and Kent. I really can’t wait to see what happens with them.

There are new people moving to Fool’s Gold all the time now. And not just men! We were introduced to Heidi…who raises goats…and lives with her grandfather. No joke. LOL I love Susan Mallery for that. She’s hilarious. We also met the new, cute veterinarian: Cameron.

The introduction of these characters and other new businesses going up around town leaves me to wonder if the series will continue on beyond book six, which is due out at the end of September. It would be awesome if there are plans for more! I just love this series, this town and the people that reside in it! Only Yours proved that just when I think I’ve read my favorite in the series, the new one comes out and tops it.

 

About Susan Mallery

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

Review: Only Mine by Susan Mallery

23rd Jul 2011 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2011, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Only Mine by Susan MalleryOnly Mine by Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #4
Published by HQN
Pub Date: July 26th 2011
Pages: 379
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

You can’t win if you don’t play...

Her town’s lack of men may make headlines, but it isn’t news to Dakota Hendrix. The beautiful blonde has bigger problems to deal with, such as overseeing the romance reality competition filming in Fool’s Gold. Screening eligible bachelors is a difficult enough task, but Dakota hits an unexpected snag when a sexy stranger comes to town.

Finn Anderssen will do anything to keep his twin brothers—the perfect contestants—off the show. Despite Dakota’s better judgment, she finds herself drawn to the mysterious outsider. Like her, Finn knows about heartbreak and how a family can fall apart, so she doesn’t dare to hope for anything more than a fling. After all, even in the Land of Happy Endings, finding true love is never as easy as it looks on TV.

I was so incredibly happy to jump right back into the town of Fool’s Gold in Only Mine. I’m really in love with this series. The town is amazing and has so much character. Then there’s the characters themselves, who are always so unbelievably real and I always connect with on such an emotional level. Although, I have to say, Fool’s Gold has more than just a male shortage problem… View Spoiler »

Dakota and Finn were delightful to read. They were probably the most compatible couple as far as personalities go. Kind of like a ying and yang. He would get really upset, then Dakota would talk him down. She would tease him and he would take the serve in stride. I loved their little back and forth word play. And who doesn’t love a man who looks sexy holding a baby?! Also, something about him being a pilot was really appealing, even though I’d never really considered pilots as sexy before. I’m sure it’s just a Finn thing, and I’m positive he would’ve loved to have heard that he made pilots sexy. His ego is like that. :)

A cool thing about Only Mine was that it had a couple of different point of views other than the main characters. Finn’s twin brothers, who are there filming the reality tv show, and one of the women who gets paired with one of the twins. Seeing their relationship blossom along with Dakota and Finn’s was like getting a two-for-one deal! It was really sweet and I totally loved it.

As I said before, I love this series. These are books that I will no doubt read again and again. Susan Mallery has made me a contemporary romance believer!

 

About Susan Mallery

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post

Review: Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery

9th Jul 2011 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2011, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Almost Perfect by Susan MalleryAlmost Perfect by Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #2
Published by HQN
Pub Date: June 29th 2010
Pages: 379
Format: Paperback | Source: Author
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Back in high school, Liz Sutton was the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Then she’d stolen the heart of the most popular boy in town, and their secret romance helped her through the worst of times. Until Ethan Hendrix betrayed her and everything they’d ever meant to each other. Devastated and pregnant, Liz left Fool’s Gold, California forever, she thought…

Now Liz must return to town and face the man who doesn’t know of their son’s existence. And this time she won’t have the option of making a quick getaway. Ethan and Liz can’t deny their passionate attraction, even after all these years. But will their desire be enough to spark a second chance at love?

Almost Perfect had me Almost Crying throughout the whole book! This was such an emotional roller coaster for me! It made laugh, get angry, get sad…it literally had me on the verge of tears the whole time…until the end, when I finally cried happy tears.

To keep this review from getting too personal, lets just say that I’m mom and that may have led to this book resonating with me on so many levels. I agree that Liz should’ve tried harder to bring Ethan and Tyler together, but it was hard for me to get angry with her because I sympathized with her so much. I thought she was a GREAT mom to Tyler and I really loved her character.

Ethan, you idiot. This was a constant thought while I read this book. I loved him and thought he was sexy and funny, but he just couldn’t get it right! It was so hard to remain angry with him, though, because he never really realized just how much of an idiot he was being until the end. I thought that last (unintended) grand gesture was incredibly over due, but despite that, I LOVED it.

The town and its residents completely won me over once again. The Fool’s Gold books are great if you’re looking to get into a romantic Romance series with just the perfect amount of steaminess.

 

About Susan Mallery

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

View Post