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1,001 Dark Nights 2015 Year in Review & Collection Giveaway

 

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Hi everyone!

As some of you may know, I am the social media manager for the super awesome 1,001 Dark Nights Series. I am also the lucky gal who gets to interview all of the 1,001 Dark Nights authors for their newsletters.  It’s one of the most amazing and fun things I’ve ever been asked to do.  I mean to get a chance to ask some of the biggest authors out there questions is so flipping cool to a huge fangirl reader like myself.  To add to that, recently I was asked to contribute to these newsletters with a fun column called “A Note From Jillian”, which usually involves some sort of funny story that happened or a random real life connection that occurs while reading one of these novellas.

As the end of 2015 approaches, I wanted to take a look back at all that 2015 held and thought it would be great to share my fave questions from each interview and the notes with all of  you!

And, to make it even more exciting, I have the entire 2015 e-book collection of 1,001 Dark Nights novellas to give away to one lucky winner!  Yahoo! (enter in the rafflecopter below)

Interview with Carrie Ann Ryan: 

Do you have any writing quirks that you can share? A fave food you like to munch on? A special chair you sit in to write?

I have spreadsheets. Many, many spreadsheets. I actually have a color coded spreadsheet for each character, each world, and then each week/month/year to track how much I write so I can keep on target. Yes, I’m a bit weird but math soothes me. I know some of my friends just cringed reading that. Sorry!

Let’s talk ink! You have a few series related tattoos so far, any plans on more? Have any fans gotten your series tattoos?

Well, Jillian, YOU were with me for some of my ink! LOL I have nine tattoos and I can count each of them as research for my Montgomery Ink series—plus Quinn has sexy ink in Wicked Wolf cough. I have a Redwood Pack tattoo and a Montgomery Ink tattoo. PLUS I have a book tattoo with paw prints that I got with a few readers. I even have the 1001 Dark Nights inked on my skin because this book and these people mean so much to me.

As for what’s next? I DO have plans for more series tattoos, but as you remember, I MIGHT have wanted to cry with the last one on my back so I’m taking my time. That one hurt a bit! LOL. Also, I know of SEVEN readers who have Redwood Pack tattoos, which blows me away. I am so freaking honored. I also know two of them who have book tattoos with my name on them. I’m floored!

Read the full interview HERE

 Interview with Heather Graham:

I, for one, always enjoy your supernatural tales because they have a sense of beauty rather than a sense of fright. Do you ever find it hard to write things that go bump in the night without being too scary?

I’m not sure—I’m not a fan of “slasher” movies. I remember joking with my daughter when I left her in California for college; I told her not to go parking with boys in the woods to drink or have sex—that’s where we all know a slasher will strike. She told me not to worry—she’d do her drinking and have sex in the dorm. But . . . well, it’s all kind of true. Cliché. I think about what scares me. I’m not afraid of giant alien bugs (watch an invasion make a fool of me!) or situations in which I just wouldn’t be caught. I am afraid of what we can’t really control and the things that sneak up on us when we’re unaware. I try to use that—and it depends on what I’m writing just how scared I want someone to be. Then, I do my best to reach that level.

Are there any locations that you’ve written about and haven’t visited but would like to?

I had a few chapters take place in Transylvania in a vampire book years ago—and I’ve never been, but would love to go. It’s a funny world, too. Transylvania to me has an incredible mystique—my daughter-in-law was twelve before she came to the U.S. from the Ukraine. To her, Transylvania was just where you went for vacation!

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Kristen Proby:

What has been one of your most memorable moments since becoming an author?

There have been some great moments. I think the biggest so far was signing books with Nora Roberts.

Ok, you’re a self admitted handbag junkie…what is your all time favorite bag and what is a bag you are looking forward to treating yourself with?

I do love me a gorgeous handbag! Let’s see… I recently purchased a gorgeous lambskin Louis Vuitton bag that is to die for. I’m not sure what’s to come, but I’m sure I won’t have a problem finding something lovely.

If you had to choose a kid’s cereal to represent you, which one would it be and why?

Trix… because I’m a kid at heart, and I might have a trick or two up my sleeve. ?

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Cherise Sinclair:

One of the elements I enjoyed tremendously was Gin’s job in the prison and what she went through day to day. Did you have to do any research to make sure it was authentic?

I have an awesome friend who is a prison social worker. To my surprise, she chose the job after working in safer settings. She simply loves the challenge…and the stories she tells would curl your hair. Her job was the perfect one for this book.

For research, she’s been incredibly generous and patient in answering my numerous questions.

“How does a body alarm work?”

“What do you mean they don’t restrain the prisoner when you have a session? Eeeks!” “ What do you wear every day?” (The recommended attire is “dowdy.” It was pitiful.)

“A counselor got fired for what???!!! Seriously?”

I can only hope I managed to give Gin a fragment of my friend’s courage and compassion.

On a side note, I have an acquaintance—a Corrections Officer—who works for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He was all excited about helping out with research…until I said I wanted help planning a prison escape. He never answered another email.

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Julie Kenner:

I just saw you were at a book signing, and with the signing season kicking off, I’m curious to know what has been either the most interesting or most unique item you’ve ever been asked to sign?

OMG, my mind is completely blank. I can’t actually think of anything weird that people asked me to sign (perhaps I have blocked it?). Once, though, I was at a signing with Dee Davis, my bff and critique partner, and this guy chatted with us for an insanely long time (and blocked the table for readers). Kept going on and on about how his aunt would love these books, and we figured that surely he was going to buy a couple from each of us. Then he looked at his watch and asked us if we had any books by Kurt Vonnegut. Then he left to pick up his car from the mechanic at Sears. It was, in a word, surreal.

Speaking of signings, do you have any piece of advice for new authors on surviving their first signing?

Know where the restroom is! You will be asked!

And don’t be shy.

And don’t be disappointed if you don’t have Nora Roberts’ line. The books will sell after you’ve gone, too!

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Lexi Blake: 

I truly admire your ability as a writer to show the reader how beautiful and filled with emotion the D/s relationship can be. What was the most emotional scene you’ve written?

I would say the most emotional D/s scene I’ve ever written was Jesse and Phoebe’s scene in You Only Love Twice. It’s her first time playing and she’s afraid to be tied down so Jesse offers to be her St. Andrew’s Cross. She holds on to him while being gently flogged and it’s really the first moment she realizes how much she can trust this man. It’s intimate. He can feel her and she can hold on to him. It’s a moment of pure intimacy that has nothing at all to do with sex.

What do you love most about writing BDSM?

BDSM in my books is really about the metaphor. It’s a way to talk about communication between people who love each other and it’s a way to make sex important. Because one of the cornerstones of the lifestyle is communication it forces my characters to open up about what they need sexually and, in the end, what they need emotionally. It’s much harder to do than it sounds. Women often subdue their own needs, believing their sexuality isn’t important. I like to talk about that. There’s power in saying “this is what pleases me,” in discovering your own sexuality through a loving partner. BDSM gives me an easy way to tackle those issues.

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Larissa Ione: 

If you could have dinner with any of the characters you’ve written thus far, whom would you choose?

Ooh, that’s a tough one. I think I’d have to go either with someone with boundless knowledge, like Metatron or Reaver, or with a lot of medical knowledge, like Eidolon. Any of those characters would be fascinating to listen to. Scary, maybe, but fascinating.

I really admire your love of animals and all think it’s so great you share stories and pictures of your pup, Hexe, with us. Have any of your fans named pets after your characters?

Thank you so much! Animals are so important to me, so I do have a tendency to share, and they definitely appear prominently in my books. And yes, I’ve heard from several readers who have named their pets after my characters! I love that!!!! It’s the best compliment ever.

Quick! What would we find on your desk right this very second?

My LEGO Movie double-decker couch Lego set! Everything is AWESOME!!!! (You’re welcome for the ear worm.)

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Elisabeth Naughton: 

Speaking of which, how do you keep all of the relationships and family lines straight? DO you have a “bible” as some authors do?

I have a very detailed spreadsheet that lists every character in the series, who they’re related to, what they look like, what their powers are, and major historical moments in their lives. I used to be able to keep it all straight in my head, but the older I get and the longer this series goes on, the harder it is for me to remember the minute details. (Don’’ even get me started on who has what eye color.) So yes, it is a “story bible” in a way, just not as pretty as some story bibles I’ve seen.

Now, I have read, and also love, your romantic suspense series. Do you ever find it difficult to switch gears when going from writing one to the other?

Not really. In fact, sometimes it’s a relief to switch gears. The Eternal Guardian books are pretty dark. Each character lives with some pretty heavy emotional baggage, and the overarching storyline can get very intensive. I love writing these books but need a break now and then to keep the content fresh. I think if I were to write only the dark, twisted storylines I might not be able to keep coming up with new and different threads.

Interestingly, I find writing romantic suspense a real challenge. In my Eternal Guardian world, my characters can use magic and lightning fingers to get out of bad situations. In the real world, they can’t. I love being able to switch back and forth between the real world and the mythological one because the different series force me to look at writing differently.

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Jennifer L. Armentrout: 

Now, I know you’re as big a fan of paranormal ghost hunting shows as I am and I’m dying to know…if you could go ghost hunting in one location in the world, where would it be?

In the world? Probably Edinburgh’s legendary underground city.

Some of the 1,001 Dark Nights authors have admitted to having a story or two they’ve written early in their careers that will never see the light of day….do you have any?

Yes. It is called either The Forbidden Ones or The Forgotten Ones, and I wrote it when I was 14. It’s bad. Really bad.

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Lorelei James:

Both Wyn and Melissa are kindred spirits when it comes to their love life and I loved that about them. How fun was it writing their banter?

One of the coolest things about writing is when characters just sort of take over. Wyn and Mel’s senses of humor meshed, but even I laughed out loud at some of the things that came out of their mouths. I definitely didn’t plan for that, I just went along with it and it made my job in telling their love story much easier!

Another thing I simply loved was seeing London and Sutton! I know you recently had a wedding in your family and I’m curious if any of that real life experience went into London and Sutton’s wedding?

Well, if there were hookups in the ready room I didn’t hear about it! But I was pretty busy with all of the fun mother-of-the-bride duties, and luckily we didn’t have any major or minor trauma that day. In fact, things couldn’t have turned out more perfectly, thankfully!

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Alexandra Ivy and Laura Wright:

What’s the most gratifying and difficult thing about working together?

Laura: Sharing the successes and failures. And we grew an incredible friendship out of this experience. I really value her. I’m so thankful to Bayou Heat for many reasons, but most importantly it brought me Alex.

Alexandra: Ditto! Writing is such a lonely business most of the time. It’s been a rare and wonderful experience to be able to work with Laura. And like she said, it’s not a business relationship, it’s a true friendship that I deeply value!! The only difficult thing is trying to get our schedules to match up. We both have a lot of books we write each year so it’s never easy.

What is one of your favorite characters of Laura’s?

Alexandra: Oh man, do I have to pick one?? Séverin has to be my fav book boyfriend. He was so raw and sensual…yummy! Plus Laura did such a magnificent job in showing him through his animal eyes. You truly understood this character was a shifter down to his soul, not just another male who could turn into a puma.

What is one of your favorite characters of Alexandra’s?

Laura: This is so hard, but I have to go with Raphael. He started this whole series. I remember lying in bed reading his story—that scene in the hotel with Ashe when he learns she’s pregnant—and mentally swooning. He’s so strong, intelligent and masculine. And I love how he straddles both worlds as leader of the Pantera.

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Donna Grant:

Arian and Grace together are just amazing. There is humor, emotion, and a ton of heat. Do you ever find it hard to incorporate all of those elements?

I write dark, so I know my books are going to have that element – as well as a pretty high heat level. I’m always shocked when people say there are humorous parts to my story, because I don’t feel I can write humor to save my life. ? I think if I tried to add in certain elements it wouldn’t work. I trust my brain/imagination and let the story flow.

I love the dragon element in this series and think it’s so different and fascinating to read. What gave you the inspiration to write dragons?

Dragons. Aren’t they great? I mean, what’s better than dragons? ? For years I’d tried to sell a dragon series. I even added them into one of my original series I first published, but nothing ever took off. Then my publisher came to me and asked me to spin off the Dark Sword/Dark Warrior series. I immediately said dragons, and they replied with a really loud “Yes!” I was beyond thrilled to finally get to write them – and in a world set in Scotland I wasn’t ready to leave. I’m beyond excited to be able to write about my Dragon Kings.

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Shayla Black: 

I totally cried when I read the song Jesse wrote and I have to wonder how hard it is to come up with lyrics. Did the words come easily?

Actually, I wrote those lyrics in about 15 minutes with the TV on in the background. I had trouble writing the first line and figuring how to get started, but once I had a few bars down, I somewhat knew what Jesse wanted to say and the rest just flowed.

On the same note, were you humming along to any familiar melody when you wrote it?

Not a familiar tune, just something vaguely country in my head. It came with the lyrics, like they all just popped in together. I’d never tried anything like this before and I actually really enjoyed writing the song. It may not win any musical awards but it came from Jesse’s heart.

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Laura Kaye:

The heat between them was off the charts and I vote it’s your hottest book yet. Is it ever difficult writing and editing sex scenes?

Oooh I love that vote! *grins* I knew these two were going to be hot together, and they definitely were! I really enjoy writing sex scenes, which I know isn’t true for all authors. But I think they’re key moments for growth in the romantic arc, and I like trying to wring everything from them I can! The biggest challenge is layering in the emotional and mental reactions alongside the physical. I never want to write sex just for sex’s sake, by which I mean a sex scene that doesn’t serve a bigger purpose in the story…

Tattoos play a big part of these books and I know you’ve gotten your own new tattoos recently. Do you have plans for any more?

Tattoos do play a big part in the Hard Ink series, and I just love them in general. I love the art, the meaning behind them, how personal they are, and the stories they tell. I have five tattoos now and definitely want more. I think my next one will be an angel for my mom who died in 2005.

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Lara Adrian:

Having been to Morocco myself, I loved all of the detail you put into this story. Have you visited? Is there anywhere you have written that you’re dying to go to?

Oh, I’m jealous that you’ve been there! Unfortunately, I’ve only visited Morocco via Google and photographs online. As for places I’ve set books and wish I could travel to, I’d love to see the Czech Republic’s mountain park that was part of the setting in Midnight Rising (Book 4). And I’d also love to see Mont St Michel, which I used in one of my historical romances, Heart of the Hunter. One of these days!

The Breed world is so large and contains so many characters…do you have a series bible or flowchart up in your office?

I have a series bible (which I later published as The Midnight Breed Series Companion) and I also have an evolving set of notes, since the Companion only carried the series through Darker after Midnight (Book 10). No flowcharts or family trees in my office, though. Maybe I should do that!

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Heather Graham:

Are there any secondary characters in the Krewe of Hunters series you’re just dying to write a story for? 

Right now, I’m working on my Mira Krewe books for next summer—they all take place on particular historic cruise ships, the first heading out to the Caribbean, the second, Alaska, and the third, the Mississippi River. The three female protagonists met while working on a show in New Orleans and they’re friends—I’d love to bring them all back in a story.

Because it’s actually almost Halloween right now, I have to know: are there any horror films you just love watching?

Oh, dozens! Lost Boys, Warm Bodies, Zombieland (yes, funny and scary,) old Hammer films (The Raven, Fall of the House of Usher, etc.—so many based on Poe,) The Shining, A Nightmare on Elm Street (the first!) The Exorcist, Halloween (the first,) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre . . . I am a junkie. I love many. Also love spooky old gothic stories, and on TV, Penny Dreadful!

There’s also a haunted house attraction in this story that I loved. Have you ever visited a similar one?

If you’re in New Orleans, head to the Haunted Mortuary. Scary and great—the real history of the house is fascinating and happens to be right next to a Jewish cemetery. (On Canal Street!)

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Christopher Rice:

There were more than a few lines in this story that had me crying because they were so profound. Have you ever typed something out and stopped to think, “whoa, that’s pretty amazing”?

You’re so kind! Well, sometimes lines and phrases that sneak into your writing are inspired by people who have touched your life in a good way. Teachers and mentors and lovers. My best friend Eric Shaw Quinn is also a great advisor on matters of the heart (and the brain) and his wise words often creep into my writing. But for me, the opportunities for the best lines of dialogue or prose come right when a character takes off their mask or lets their guard down. Sometimes that’s the more erotic moment in an erotic romance; when someone decides to make themselves emotionally vulnerable and speaks a clear but powerful truth for the first time.

What are some of your favorite things that have happened since jumping into the romance/erotic genre?

The community, by far. I love the conferences. I love the other writers. I love the enthusiasm, passion and loyalty of the readers. I love the strides indie romance writers have made in helping self publishing itself to grow and evolve and I love their generous spirit and the willingness with which they share their trade secrets with up-and-comers and colleagues. But on a more personal level, I love writing erotic romance. I love creating a world where characters are safe to follow and explore their heart’s true desires. Romance is about characters being rewarded for their vulnerability instead of punished for it.

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Melissa Foster:

I devoured this novella and LOVED Kat and Eric. How did you choose them for this story?

I’m delighted to hear you loved them as much as I did! I had so much fun writing about Kat as Brianna’s best friend in HEARTS AT PLAY (The Bradens), that I have been chomping at the bit to write her story!

Their chemistry was off the charts smoking hot and I loved it! Do you blush writing such delicious scenes?

Oh my gosh! Blush, sweat, drooled…YES! Eric and Kat were super sexy together, and it was fun to get down and dirty with them.

You wrote an amazing driving scene with Eric that was incredibly descriptive. Have you ever been racing personally?

Um… That depends. Are there any policemen reading this? No comment… Kidding! I was a bit rebellious as a kid and might have done a bit of street racing, but no real racetrack racing. That’s what research is for.

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Rebecca Zanetti:

For as much action and danger as there was, there was also a good amount of humor in Olivia’s comments. Is it ever hard to write the funny moments into a tense scene?

I think the funny moments are really my voice, because those come pretty naturally. All of a sudden, they appear in a scene, and they make sense to me.

I’ve gotta to give major kudos for Chalton loving Olivia’s not-model-type figure and I think a lot of readers will be able to relate to her as a character (I know I did!). What inspired you to write Olivia in that regard?

I don’t know a woman who doesn’t have body issues, so it seemed natural for Olivia to have a few. Plus, she’s a journalist, and writers spend a lot of time sitting and writing, so it’s easy to fill out a little. Most guys I know don’t like stick figures for women, and Chalton is a very secure badass, so I can see him liking a curve or two.

I love all of your paranormal worlds. What inspired you to first dive into writing that genre?

Awww-thanks! I like the ‘what if’ aspect of paranormal worlds, and that frees an author to really let loose. Plus, when you’re writing an alpha male, you can get away with a bit more in those darker worlds.

Read the full interview HERE

Interview with Liliana Hart:

I adore the setting of Surrender, Montana. Is there anywhere you’ve visited that inspired it?

Not really. I love small town settings. It’s what I grew up in and what I’m familiar with. Surrender is a town purely created from my imagination.

Who would you cast as Zeke and Mia in a movie?

Tom Hardy as Zeke. All those muscles and tattoos…sigh… (Hold on and let me take a moment to regroup). As for Mia, that was a little tougher because she appeared a certain way in my head instead of an actor or actress coming to mind. But I think she’s closest in appearance to MMA fighter Gina Carano. They have very athletic sex.

It’s holiday season and that means gifts! What do you think Zeke and Mia would get each other this year? 

I think they’d give each other the gift of travel. He’s a workaholic and she’s been dedicated to her shop for several years. They need the time away together without work. Maybe Hawaii. They’ll probably have very athletic beach sex if they go to Hawaii.

Read the full interview HERE

A Note From Jillian:

 

Pure Wicked by Shayla Black –  Note From Jillian:

PURE WICKED by Shayla Black was delicious from start to finish.  Sexy rock star?  Sign me up!  Can he sing? Yep.  Is he sexy? Yep.  Does he know how to sizzle between the sheets? Oh yes.  But when did this sexy rock God win me over?  When he cleaned Bristol’s kitchen. MMMhmmm! Bristol owns a little bakery of sorts and if you’ve ever baked anything from scratch you have to know how messy everything gets! Am I right? I love to bake but, sheesh, I swear I’m cleaning up flour for days after.  The fact that Jesse cleaned up for a tired Bristol was like the heavens opened up and angels sang.  I would love for my husband to surprise me with a clean kitchen after slaving away baking for hours upon hours (again, if you’ve ever baked from scratch I know you’re saying “Amen!”).  Of course, if I’m being honest, I would probably launch into my patented “ok, what’s up. Is this where you sit me down like a Lifetime Movie and tell me you have some secret life?” when he does something out of the ordinary like that!  Luckily, Bristol wasn’t quite as dramatic as assuming secret identities and I hope you enjoy this fabulous book as I did!

 

Hard As Steel by Laura Kaye – Note From Jillian:

I loved Hard As Steel.  Not only was it super hot and suspenseful with two awesome characters, it also incorporates one of my fave things: tattoos! I have many of them.  Most are book related and I’ve even gone with a few of the 1,001 Dark Nights authors and one of the co-creators to get some of my ink.  Now, I usually stick with one tattoo artist who in a way reminds me of Ike.  He’s quiet, a big gruff, and covered in his own ink.  So when I was reading this book, I kept comparing the two men and inwardly groaning…because as quiet and gruff as Ike and my real life tattoo artist are, I tend to get all sorts of blabbery, overly animated, and chatty when I get tattoos done.  I mean I can image that tattoo artists get all types of people. That even tends to be one of the topics I blab about when getting ink: what do other people do when they get tattooed? Anyone ever pass out?  Not be able to finish?  I also sweat.  I lot.  My mascara runs and I look like a raccoon when I’m done.  Great mental pic, right?  A chatty, sweaty raccoon.  I could die just thinking about it! Of course, I totally want to get more tattoos now and I even have a topic I can chat about when I’m sweaty and blabbing: this book! I hope you guys enjoy Hard As Steel as much as I did!

 

Stroke of Midnight by Lara Adrian – Note From Jillian:

Oh, how I loved Stroke of Midnight!  It was hot and sexy and even had a dash of suspense and I loved all of it!

One of things I will admit I had to laugh about was that a lot of it was set in Morocco.  You see my family and I have been to Morocco.  It’s an amazing place and has some of the most interesting places I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing.  We went for a wedding actually and to say that was incredible would be a huge understatement! It was stunning and a once in a lifetime thing for sure! So why am I laughing?  Well, my son was in Kindergarten at the time and like most Kindergarteners was a bit of a picky eater.  Chicken fingers, hot dogs, and French fires…am I right? So I’m sure you can imagine how much of a feat it was to get him to eat anything there.  We had lovely hosts who even tried to make the child pizza.  MOROCCAN PIZZA!  How cool is THAT?! Needless to say, he was less than impressed and I had to bribe him with $20 to eat it and not be rude.  Of course he liked it…and still took my twenty bucks! Anyway, I hope you enjoy Stroke of Midnight as much as I did and get a good chuckle about the twenty dollar Moroccan pizza!

 

All Hallows Eve by Heather Graham – Note From Jillian

Oh, I just adored this story!  It takes place in Salem during Halloween and for a horror and Halloween junkie like me it was heaven!

I also found a new motto while reading:  “Blame it on the boo-hag!”

There’s a legend told that when you slept eight hours and woke up exhausted, you might have been visited by a boo-hag.  I mean, isn’t that almost every day? Now I know that we have a name for it, I’m totally going to run with it!  Forgot to pack you child’s favorite snack and gave them carrot sticks instead? Blame it on the boo-hag. Didn’t make your mother-in-law’s recipe just quite right for a holiday and people are eating it with a less than stellar reaction? Blame it on the boo-hag.  Went out of the house wearing brown boots with a black outfit? Blame it on the boo-hag.  Truly, you can blame so much on the boo-hag and being tired enough to make some sort of silly mistake.  Hmmm….wonder how it would look on a t-shirt? Anyway, I hope you enjoy All Hallows Eve as much as I did and remember…..Blame it on the boo-hag!

 

Kiss the Flame by Christopher Rice – Note From Jillian:

Let me just start with saying I LOVED THIS STORY!  It was just so many things and just so darn good!

Ok, now that I’ve got that out of the way, here comes my confession:  I am a candle hoarder.  This confession was brought on with author Rice’s description of how Professor Brouchard smells like vanilla and a campfire.  Immediately upon reading that scent description I went into panic mode.  But then I remembered, a month earlier I had placed my ridiculous candle order from Bath & Body Works for my Pumpkin Pecan Waffle scented candles.  Now, if you’ve never smelled those candles, at this very moment, I implore you to get your nose to the mall and bask in the scent of desserty smelling goodness. This is not a drill! It’s so delicious that as soon as I saw them on the website, I sent no less than six texts to my poor husband at work asking how many were too many to order at one time.  I mean candles trump work when it comes to that delicious scented goodness! Needless to say, they were delivered and I am now thoroughly content…wait, what’s this?  My neighbor’s sons are having a Yankee Candle fundraiser?  Well…..come on, it’s for the children! *runs off to order Marshmallow Campfire Haven*

 

Daring Her Love by Melissa Foster – Note From Jillian:

Ok, this was my first Melissa Foster book and I can assure you that by the time you’re reading this, I have now bought the entire Bradens series because I loved it!

I also loved the racing side of this story.  My husband races, you see.  But before you get all impressed, I am here to tell you about a fun little amateur race series called the 24 Hours of Lemons.  No, no.  Not the fancy LeMons series.  Lemons, as in cheap and crappy cars.  It’s actually a blast and you really do have to know how to race since they go to real tracks like Daytona, but you also have to know how to have fun and be a goof.  Clearly, I fit right in at these races.  Teams have some of the goofiest cars out there, like one made from an old RV and another with a boat body on the car.  It’s a real hoot.  And anything goes.  One time, our team decided to see if you could cook a whole chicken by the time the race finished 16 hours later.  I know what you’re thinking: “Jillian, of course you can cook a chicken in 16 hours!”, and you’re right….but this was being cooked on the engine of the car.  While they drove.  That thing was NASTY when they finished….and it was neither cooked nor eaten.  RIP Lemons chicken.  Anyway, hopefully I’ll see a Braden at the next race and hopefully you enjoy Daring Her Love as much as I did!

 

Teased by Rebecca Zanetti – Note From Jillian:

Ok, so I totally loved Teased by Rebecca Zanetti.  There were so many reasons, too, but I’ve gotta list my favorite reason right now.  Here it is….Olivia, the heroine, is a normal sized woman.  She’s not model figured or a size two.  She’s like me! *and let the Angels and heavens sing*

When the story began and the hero fell in love with her normal body, I died.  I honest to goodness put my e-reader down, closed my eyes, and said, “YESSSSSS!”…probably louder than necessary but I mean, come on! The non-perfect body type deserves a high five with the universe! Possibly even a “good game” slap on the behind! Ok, I will admit that this moment may be coming off of me trying on my American Eagle jeans and having a “while-I can-indeed-button-them-doesn’t-mean-they-fit” experience.  Which of course led to the “let’s-be-honest-I-am-way-too-old-to-be-wearing-teen-sized-clothing-anyway” moment but, STILL!  It was beyond refreshing to read a gal who has the same thoughts I do at times when looking in the mirror! So, I embraced my no-more-American-Eagle-jeans mentality, thanks to Olivia, and proudly announced it at dinner tonight to my husband and child…which gained some curious looks, that I am done with American Eagle jeans (it’s a safe bet they are still just as confused now as they were when I announced it since the whole Olivia empowerment thing happened in my own mind).  Here’s to women and to enjoying Teased as much as I did!

 

The Promise of Surrender by Liliana Hart – Note From Jillian:

Every time I read a Liliana Hart book I’m reminded of just how much Liliana Hart books I haven’t read and how much I really need to fix that problem because she is an amazing writer.  One of the things I loved most about this book were the off the charts smoking hot smexy scenes.  Which brings me to the topic of this note…

Do you read in front of people?  I’m sure you do because if you’re like me, you’ll read any time and any place and there’s usually people around.  So, I was reading this novella while sitting on the couch with my 12 year old son.  As I had mentioned, Liliana writes some insanely hot scenes in this book…and that had me saying a few “mmmHMMMMMM”s, “holy hell”s, and “oh my”s out loud.  I guess I’m an animated reader, which shouldn’t come as a surprise because I am pretty animated about almost all things.  Why I thought I’d be sitting, unmoving for hours while reading, I’ll never know.  Anyway, here I am, making all sorts of comments while reading and here is the conversation that took place:

Son: “*looking slightly horrified* Mom, what the heck are you reading?!”

Me: “What? Oh, it’s a really great story about two people who used to, uh, date and broke up and are now, um, reconnecting.  Yeah, that’s it, reconnecting *blushing*….don’t you have some kind of homework to do?”

Son: “Mom, it’s Sunday…”

Yep. So, let this be a warning that you will love this book and are bound to make some “oohs and ahhs” of your own…have your explanations ready!

 

 

I hope you all enjoyed sharing in the fun 2015 was and I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for all of us!  Thanks for stopping by! ~Jillian

 

Enter to win the ENTIRE 2015 1,001 Dark Nights ebook collection which includes:

Wicked Wolf by Carrie Ann Ryan  |  When Irish Eyes Are Haunting by Heather Graham  |  Easy With You by Kristen Proby  |  Master of Freedom by Cherise Sinclair  |  Caress of Pleasure by Julie Kenner  |  Adored by Lexi Blake  |           Hades by Larissa Ione  |  Ravaged by Elisabeth Naughton  |  Dream of You by Jennifer L. Armentrout  |  Stripped Down by Lorelei James  |  Rage/Killian by Alexandra Ivy & Laura Wright  |  Dragon King by Donna Grant  |  Pure Wicked by Shayla Black  |  Hard As Steel by Laura Kaye  |  Stroke Of Midnight by Lara Adrian  |  All Hallows Eve by Heather Graham  |  Kiss The Flame by Christopher Rice  |  Daring Her Love by Melissa Foster  |  Teased by Rebecca Zanetti  |  The Promise Of Surrender by Liliana Hart

 

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