Book Spotlight, New Release, Romance, Scifi

Scifi Romance Spotlight: Blue Vision (Marie Lavender)


Had enough of current affairs? Run away on a romantic winter vacation with your brand-new book boyfriend of another color! One-click Blue Vision, the new scifi romance by Marie Lavender and step into the snowy woods of Montana – and the extraordinary eyes of Colin Fielding. You’re welcome.

Brooke Sanders just wants to get away from her life for awhile. A remote cabin in Montana fits the bill. She doesn’t expect to encounter a mysterious stranger with unusual blue eyes, or events that cannot be explained…


Colin Fielding is on a mission – scout a planet and return home to Endhivar. Simple really. What he doesn’t anticipate is that fate has a pretty twisted sense of humor. Suddenly, this human calls to him, every part of him, like the call of a true mate, and he can’t deny the connection as he gets closer to her.


Little do they know, someone is out to do them harm, as well as the world Brooke holds so dear. Can they stop what’s coming before it’s too late? Or will the universe lose a perfect gem?


Genre:  Science Fiction Romance

Goodreads link:


Author Bio

Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title – winner of the “Broken Heart” themed contest and the “I Love You” themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers’ Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers’ Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Code of Endhivar Series and The Blood at First Sight Series.

Author Links
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Cover Art, LGBT, Romance

Cover Reveal: Gaga for the Geek (Belinda Y. Hughes)



I am pleased to reveal the cover for Gaga for the Geek, a lesbian romance. The cover artist is Marie Lavender of Ambrosia Innovations.


Back in June, I had the idea to do a geek romance and polled my readers. The title Gaga for the Geek was the winner. At the time, Marie was launching Ambrosia Innovations and offered to do the cover. Being a successful romance author herself, I knew she understood my needs, so I agreed to give her a try.


She sent me several stock images until we found two that worked. At every stage of the process, Marie was professional and customer service oriented. She listened carefully to my requests and did her best to fulfill them. Once we agreed on the couple images, she added the background and titles. The results speak for themselves.


And she surprised me with the red velvet stage drapes and spotlight effects, which I absolutely adore!


Click here to check out Marie Lavender’s gallery of gorgeous stock covers and learn more about her custom covers at Ambrosia Innovations.


So tell us in the comments below – what do you think of this cover?

Book Reviews, magic, Paranormal, Romance

Paranormal Romance Review: Magick and Moonlight (Marie Lavender)

If you liked Practical Magic with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, one-click Magick & Moonlight by Marie Lavender. Both Jessie and Ethan are hiding in small-town Oregon from something in the past. Can they resolve their mutual reservations about magick and learn to live – and love – again?

Small businesswoman Jessie was taught the ways of Wicca by her beloved late grandmother. While privately practicing the rituals of her faith in the forest, she is interrupted by a strange man. Is he worth the risk of her heart, her career and her life?

Ethan is a former cop laying low in a secluded cabin while seeking new direction in his life. Romance is the furthest thing from his mind when he chances upon a woman in the woods. Is their love real or is he simply spellbound?

View the Magick & Moonlight trailer: Click here.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

“A spell?”  His eyes flew to the black cauldron.  He remembered the strange chanting he’d heard before.  “You’re practicing witchcraft?  That’s a new one.”

“Wicca, actually, is a religion based on the elements of nature.  It’s a way to harmonize with our environment.”

“Is that right?”


Unnerved again by her naked body as well as her suggestion, he shrugged out of his barn coat and approached her.  He draped it around her shoulders and buttoned it over her, aware that he might as well be caressing her, he was so close to her.  He realized that his coat was touching her luscious, naked body, her most secret spots.  The thought made him clench his fists.  “Can I give you a ride back home?  My truck is nearby.”

A long silence fell.  Her gaze on his, it seemed to take her awhile to decide if she could trust him.  “All right.” She dropped the knife she held.

Inwardly relieved, he sighed.  “We need to put the

fire out,” he pointed out.

He took a stick and nudged the cauldron enough so that it spilled its contents onto the fire.  A puff of smoke filled the air, causing them both to cough at the whiff of herbs and something else that smelled burnt.  He began to doubt if she was really a witch after all.  It was likely she was dabbling in the arts because she was bored.  When she gasped, he turned, alarmed.  “What is it?”

She pointed to the mess he’d created with the broth and the campfire.  “I wouldn’t have done that if I were you.”

“Oh?  Why not?”

She opened her mouth as if to explain, then suddenly closed it.  “Never mind.”

“Fine, then.  Let’s get out of here.”  With a hand against the small of her back, he nudged her gently toward the path he’d taken to find her campfire.  “So, how long have you been dabbling in—”

“In what?  Magick?”

He wondered if her contrariness was borne out of the urge to make him more uncomfortable about the subject than he already was.  “Yes.”

“All of my life.”

He raised his eyebrows.  This woman was getting more interesting by the moment.  And for all he knew, she might be crazy.  “I see.”

“I doubt it.”

Not only was she sexy as hell, she was feisty.  He fought down the response of his libido to that deadly combination.  Perhaps she was a witch.  She would be nearly impossible to forget now that he’d met her.  “Maybe you could tell me your name?”

“You can call me Jessie.”

He grinned.  At least now he could put a name with a face.  Or a body.  “Well, nice to meet you, Jessie.  I’m Ethan Hamilton.”

“Good to meet you too.  What are you doing out here though?”

“I have a cabin not too far from here.  I was by the shore when I saw the light from the campfire.”

“Oh.  Sorry for disturbing your peace.”

“Believe me.  It was no bother.”  At least not if he didn’t want to sleep tonight.  His body was as hard as a rock, clenched in anticipation of what he could share with this woman if she let him.  And that wasn’t likely, considering her reception of him.  “We’ll reach the truck soon, I promise.  You’ll be home in no time.”


“No problem.”  He cleared his throat.  “Is there a reason I found you naked out there?  I mean, you lost your clothes somehow, right?”

The secret smile she gave him made his throat feel dry.  “Do you want me to lie?”

“Of course not.”

“The ritual was best practiced in the nude.  Skyclad rituals are very common, you know.  The Goddess tells us, ‘You shall be free from all slavery, and as a sign that you be truly free, you shall be naked in your rights.’”

He lifted a brow.  “Even if that were the case, you didn’t walk there naked, did you?”

“Didn’t I?”

Maybe she was crazy after all.

“I didn’t walk at all.”

He thought she might be saying that she was transported by magic.  Yep, she was batty as hell.  He was so not touching that one.  He cleared his throat again.

A sharp cry startled him and instinctively, he reached forward and grabbed her when she started to fall. Unfortunately, she ended up right in his arms.

Or maybe it was fortunate after all.  With her luscious lips so close, he could almost taste her.  And her scent…dear God, she was intoxicating, like a mixture of night air and jasmine.  “You all right?” he managed.

She nodded.  “My foot caught on a rock, I think.”

“Is it bleeding?”

“My foot or the rock?”  Her cheek dimpled.

He laughed.  “Your foot, of course.”

“No, I don’t think so.  It’s all right.”

“Good.”  He realized his mistake immediately.  Some strange instinct caused him to keep her close.  Stepping back would be a crime and she was seductive.  Knowing she was naked underneath his coat didn’t help anything.  She was way too accessible.  Heedless of the costs, he plunged a hand into the soft waves of her dark hair and lowered his mouth to hers.

She tasted like wine, potent and sweet.  He explored her mouth slowly, allowing her the chance to pull away or slap him.  He knew he’d deserve it.  He’d never stolen a kiss before, and he couldn’t think why he’d done it now.  But, she tasted delicious.  And her body felt so good against his.  He groaned and drew her closer.  When she moaned in return, he kissed her deeply and moved a hand down her back.  His hands wanted to roam further, but he held himself in check.  If he was a real gentleman, he’d pull away now.  Reluctantly, he did.

He drew back and tried to get his libido back under control.  “Ah…sorry.  I wasn’t thinking.”  He swept a hand through his hair.

He thought she looked just as shaken.  But she smiled a little.  “It’s okay.  No harm done, right?”

This is my first read of Magick & Moonlight. It’s the third book I’ve read by Marie Lavender, the others being Second Chance Heart and Blue Vision, which I also enjoyed. Lavender takes a hapless couple in a rural setting, stirs in some well-researched and rich details and sprinkles them with her gifts for romance, storytelling and language. The result is a delicious love story that will leave you satisfied, yet coming back for more of Marie Lavender’s works.

Buy Magick & Moonlight by Marie Lavender at Amazon or Solstice:

Universal Amazon:


Reviewer Bio

Belinda Y. Hughes is an author, blogger, editor, proofreader, reviewer and unit study developer. Her vegetarian cookbook, Confessions of a Red Hot Veggie Lover 2, and lesbian romance, Blues in the Night, are available on Amazon. Her latest project, Unit Study: DERELICT by LJ Cohen, is available at Apple (iBooks), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Inktera and Kobo.

DISCLOSURE: I paid for this book out of my own pocket.

Billiionaire, Book Reviews, Romance

Book Review: She’s Got Dibs (AJ Nuest)



If you savored every moment of Sex and the City and the Wedding Planner, be sure you one-click She’s Got Dibs. Can men and women be just friends? Does love always end in heartache? Or — dare we even think it? — can two broken hearts mend one another and find their happily ever after in each other’s arms? These are the questions author AJ Nuest seeks to answer in this contemporary billionaire romance novel.


Tessa is an event planning entrepreneur in the Windy City, protecting herself from the heartbreak of the farce called love via one-night stands filtered through five categories she invented out of necessity. After the biggest presentation of her career, a fateful blizzard traps her in New York City. With no luggage beyond her briefcase and purse, she joins forces with the guy in the next chair at the airport to snag everything from hotel rooms to seats for dinner at the hotel bar. From the moment he catches her eye, her well-laid plans are doomed.


Dibs is a Chicago-based, hands-on international philanthropist – and the hottest, most eligible bachelor in America. He can’t move a muscle in major U.S. cities and the usual getaway spots without being recognized by the public – and harassed by his family, who prefer to mix high-end corporate mergers with matrimony. Dibs is like Diogenes, looking for an honest, real woman to share true love with, money and mergers be damned – and look, there she is in the next chair! Now, if he can just convince the apple of his eye to let him into her world.


“Dibs.” He extended his hand.

Frowning, she accepted his greeting. “Dibs on what?

“No.” He chuckled. “That’s my name. Or well, actually, my nickname. Either way, it’s what everyone calls me.”

“O-o-okay…” The guy definitely had the smolder covered…and those incredible ice-blue eyes. Yikes!

“And you are?”

“Oh, Tessa Adams.” She laughed.

“And everyone calls you…?”

Her frown returned. “Tessa.”

“Oh.” He scanned her face. “No nickname, huh?”

“Not that I recall at the moment.”

He pressed his full lips together as if restraining a smile, eyes twinkling with merriment, and handed her the notepad. “Here’s your confirmation number. The room’s at the Waldorf Towers over on Park.”

Two suites at the Waldorf? In this mess? What was he, a wizard? “Wow, great. Thanks so much for the help.”

“Glad to be of service.” He retrieved his briefcase and started down the corridor, abruptly stopped, and peered at her over the perfect slant of his shoulder. “And don’t worry, Tessa, I’ll think of a good nickname for you.”

She offered him a blank stare. “Hey, knock yourself out.”

Mischief danced along his lips before a grin broke free and he continued down the hallway.

“What a whack job,” she muttered.


I have probably read She’s Got Dibs at least five times now. It’s a comforting old friend when you just want to snuggle in – or have to – for a few days. The sensory details are absolutely scrumptious! There are hot showers, steaming tubs of bubbles, blankets and fireplaces to counter the cold outside. AJ Nuest treats her characters to rustic home cooking, gourmet banquets and junk food on movie nights – just don’t fall asleep during the chick flick or you WILL suffer the consequences. And oh, the flowers! AJ Nuest also knows her way around the bedroom and boardroom arenas of romantic drama and comedy, as well as good, solid storytelling that carries you away. Whether you’ve had a good day or a bad day, She’s Got Dibs will work out the kinks and leave you satisfied. I’ve heard a next in series may be in the works, and it can’t get in my Kindle soon enough!

Buy SHE’S GOT DIBS on Amazon


DISCLAIMER: I am a member of AJ Nuest’s street team. I bought this book with my own money. Opinions are my own.

Reviewer Bio

Belinda Y. Hughes is the author of Blues 2: The Colonel, Blues in the Night, Confessions of a Red Hot Veggie Lover 1 and 2 and Living Proof. She enjoys cozy mysteries, hot romances, aromatherapy bubble baths and hiking in the woods. Upcoming books include Blues 3: The Twins, a Louisiana lesbian military romance, in which Sam and Ace will take advantage of newly expanded MOS opportunities to further their military careers while trying to maintain their love lives. A new spa mystery series will begin soon.

Buy SHE’S GOT DIBS on Amazon.

adventure, Book Reviews, magic, NA, Occult, Paranormal, Romance, Time Travel, YA



If you like Harry Potter, Dr. Who, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, Xena and Wonder Woman, you will absolutely love Mayan Blood! A band of teen superheroes, mentored by their leader’s uncle, travel in and out of time to Central America, Europe and more to battle the dark side for priceless artifacts and the fate of the world.


His breath hitched when she rested her hand on his chest. She shifted closer, her eyes searching his. “This isn’t a good idea.” She traced the curves of his muscles.

His heart raced under her touch. “I know.”

“Someone’s going to get hurt.” Her gaze landed on his mouth.

“Maybe.” He wound his arm around her waist and pulled her closer. Time wasn’t like the butterfly field. Rather than pushing him away, she curled her fingers around his shirt, her body temperature rising. He could smell the adrenaline coursing through her. The hairs on his arms stood on edge. “It won’t be you.”

She smiled softly, as if teasing him to kiss her. “It’s always me.”

He tucked strands of hair behind her ear, his hand lingering over her jaw. “It won’t be you.”


Mayan Blood fits several genres: young adult (YA), New Adult (NA), paranormal, romance, magic, time travel, adventure and then some. To me, time travel seems the most challenging to write, with cultural, legal, financial and personal preservation issues and shifting sub-missions between time-place combinations; methods, risks and rewards of time travel and the whole timey-wimey thing, but Dalayne proves herself worthy with this first book in the Stone Legacy series. She deftly weaves characters’ superpowers, personal agendas, relationships, roles in the missions, voices, wardrobes and weapons across time, place and situations, while remaining true to their unique identities throughout. And the villains! They’re in cahoots with each other, have grievances against one another, make deals and time travel with the teen superheroes to various ends. In addition, Dalayne intuitively drips information at just the right flow rate. I never knew who would do what to whom around the next page corner and was frequently surprised, especially at the fight scenes.


“The stone is not simply a rock. It is a miracle. A one of a kind gesture bestowed upon all Riyata by the heavens. Once you bond with the stone and become its guardian, it will be your soul mate. It will feel your pain, and you will feel its pain. When you are sorrowful, it will show compassion. When you are joyful, it will celebrate your happiness. It becomes a part of you, since you are, in fact, a part of it.” – Eleuia


Ohio author Dalayne has a knack for creating and solving problems for her characters. Not having a blue police box or flying DeLorean, the team addresses the issue of breathing during time travel by acquiring a primitive, yet highly effective and flexible, biological apparatus. If I told you what it was now, you’d never believe me. Sleeping arrangements are a constant question, between the teens’ attractions to one another, the need for protection against the villains, who strike in dream time as well as any other, cultural mores and seasonal considerations. Elsewhere, a girl warrior must deal with the ban against selling weapons to women in Victorian London using nonviolent means. There are also the questions of which two of the teens should go to the ball, how to get in and what to wear.


In honor of the engagement of Princess of Helena Augusta Victoria, Her Majesty the Queen Alexandrina Victoria requests your presence at the celebration ball. Mesdames and Messieurs holding invitations are invited to join. This event will be held at the Grosvenor Hotel, on the day of Our Lord, the 12th of December, year 1865.


Mayan Blood addresses sex, feminism and mental health in YA literature with a kickass young female team captain, chemistry between the teen characters, the boys battling the charms of a sensuous Russian witch and the main character Zanya’s humble Harry Potterish beginnings in the loneliness of an asylum orphanage, where she is misdiagnosed, misunderstood and truly does not belong, but was secreted there in hopes of keeping her safe from the dark side. Fortunately, it is there that she meets her best friend forever. Then, like dear Harry, the team finds her and the ride of her life begins. By the end of this adventure, you’ll feel satisfied, yet beg for the next installment, which is Interlude, already available at Amazon. Mayan Blood is a truly unique story fit for mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and YA lovers to read alone or together.


“My destiny? You want to help me fulfill my destiny…with a rock?”

“You are a natural-born leader, Zanya. You have a great responsibility, one that you must first understand, and then accept.”

Zanya laughed, mostly from nerves. Renato’s expression didn’t waver. She blinked and her smile vanished. “Oh, you’re serious.”


(DISCLOSURE: I am a member of Theresa Dalayne’s Street Team. Opinions are my own.)

Reviewer Bio

Belinda Y. Hughes is the author of Blues 2: The Colonel, Blues in the Night, Confessions of a Red Hot Veggie Lover 1 and 2 and Living Proof. She enjoys cozy mysteries, hot romances, aromatherapy bubble baths and hiking in the woods. Upcoming books include Blues 3: The Twins, a Louisiana lesbian military romance, in which Sam and Ace will take advantage of newly expanded MOS opportunities to further their military careers while trying to maintain their love lives. A new spa mystery series will begin soon.



Book Trailer:


Amazon Kindle edition:

Amazon Print edition:





LGBT, Military, New Releases, Romance



Colonel Marty is back and under the gun. The church elder from Blues in the Night returns to rescue bullet-riddled lovers from the frontlines in the Korean War and back home in Louisiana. Can the retired Army nurse make it through the fire to her wedding day? Read on for a free excerpt from Blues 2: The Colonel.

Add Blues 2: The Colonel to your Goodreads TBR list: The Colonel (Blues #2)

Dear Readers,

I’m pleased to announce the release of my fifth book, Blues 2: The Colonel, a lesbian military romance with cover art by S.A. Hunt, available excusively at Payhip. The first in series, Blues in the Night, will soon be available at Payhip, free of charge for a limited time. Follow me on Twitter for notification.

Some of you are shaking your heads and asking, Why is she skipping Amazon altogether? You’ll find the answer here. Thanks to Guy Kawasaki, I’ve decided to explore alternative indie publishing venues. I hope you’ll support me in this choice and buy a copy.

As an author, I appreciate Payhip’s secure setup, easy editing, simplified sharing and new developments. They even pay the VAT (Value Added Tax), so Blues 2 can be had everywhere. As a reader, I hope you’ll take advantage of the blue Preview button in the top right corner of the cover, three available formats (epub, mobi and pdf) and the convenience and comfort of Paypal.

What about ratings and reviews? you ask. See the Blues 2: The Colonel page, the Blues series page and my author page on Goodreads. Need an editorial e-copy? Contact me here .

Now, how about that excerpt?

Blessed be,



I’m gettin’ too old for this, thought Marty as she threw her eighty-five-year-old frame to the pavement and low-crawled from the gas pumps to the glass-walled convenience store. From her vantage point behind the ice cooler, she peered around and assessed the situation. The shooter’s back was to her, good.  No sign of the cashier or Martha, not good. The shooter probably had them down on the floor, with at least one bleeding from a bullet wound to God-knows-where. Not Martha.

Marty was bird Colonel Dr. Marty G. LaFleur, U.S. Army, RN, Retired. She’d served in Korea and Vietnam then rotated through Stateside base hospitals. She’d retired to her family’s farm in Livingston, LA and gotten her master’s and doctorate at LSU, then taught at McNeese State University, whose nursing school and partner hospital’s Regional Cardiac and Trauma Center were as respected as she was. It wasn’t Boston, Chicago or New York, but it was home, and a lot more comfortable for her old bones in winter. She’d only had to contend with a couple Category Five hurricanes, but she’d just tucked her citations and uniform into her rolling duffle, packed a few flats of food and water from her pantry, saddled up with her animals and their gear in her Jeep Cherokee and holed up with the skeleton crew and local media at St. Patrick’s Hospital. Once the winds passed and EMS, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Marine Division and the high-wheeled Louisiana National Guard vehicles began their operations, Marty swung into action, evaluating and assisting with trauma cases and anything else that presented itself. Just another day at the office.

Due to the incredibly stormy night, there wasn’t much traffic on the knee-deep street or at the store on its elevated pad, just her Jeep and the cashier and shooter’s cars. At least that minimized additional casualties. Although she was in a great position to tag the shooter should he run to his car, she couldn’t see inside for the counter and merchandise. No sooner had she eased around and gotten a half decent view, thanks to the corner mirrors by the drink coolers, then she heard the tap of the handgun’s muzzle against the store’s glass door and looked into the eyes of the idiot. Slowly raising both hands out and over her head, her cane dangling from the right, she limped inside, the shooter keeping the gun on her as he indicated that she should join the other two women on the floor by the reach-in coolers.

As she passed him, Marty pretended to stumble and tased the shooter with the custom cap on the tip of her cane. Then she punched him in the face, knocking his head back against the hard tile floor. Tucking his gun into the waistband of her jeans, she turned to check on the victims. She found Martha lying in an expanding pool of blood, her face pale, clothes soaked and a hole in her chest. And barely there, but definitely a pulse. The cashier was out cold with an ugly lump on her head and a slightly stronger pulse. Marty grabbed some hand sanitizer and a couple boxes of tampons off the shelf, ripped off the packaging and packed Martha’s wound open, then pulled out her phone and dialed one while she applied pressure.

Buy Blues 2: The Colonel.

About the Author

Belinda Y. Hughes is the author of Blues 2: The Colonel, Blues in the Night, Confessions of a Red Hot Veggie Lover 1 and 2 and Living Proof. She enjoys cozy mysteries, hot romances, aromatherapy bubble baths, beading, baking and hiking in the woods. Upcoming books include Blues 3: The Twins, another lesbian military romance, in which Sam and Ace will take advantage of newly expanded MOS opportunities to further their military careers while trying to maintain their love lives. A new series involving natural health-themed cozy mysteries will begin and there might be some poetry and erotica. Follow Belinda on Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest and Twitter to stay abreast.