Readers Wanted to Read Free Books

The Carolyn Readers Choice award logo

Great opportunity to get pdfs of this past year's books . . . for free.

Be a reader judge for The Carolyn Readers Choice Awards 2014. All you got to do is sign up, read the first 30 pages of 3 books, and send in a short little score sheet. Choose any heat level you prefer from very sweet to very hot. You get to keep the entire book and finish reading at your leisure.

Sign up to get the pdfs to judge for the Readers Choice Awards here.

Easy peasy . . . plus your voice gets heard in what kind of books Readers are looking for. Plus-plus, they are free. Did I mention they are free? All you gotta do is read. Yay for reading. Fill out a judging form. And let your reading tastes count for the next up-and-comers in what's popular in books.

This is a Readers judging only contest. Sorry, writers, I know you are huge readers too, but anyone in the writing industry in any form, please restrain from signing up.

However, writers, if you have a book published in 2013, enter it here at the Carolyn Readers Choice entry.
(Before Valentine's Day.) Let readers be the new gatekeepers of what's hot.

Because Reader Choices is where it's at. Reader approval is what we want. Readers are who we love to connect with!!!
North Texas Romance Writers of America logo

Real Romance, Written Romance

So I'm the President this year for the North Texas Romance Writers of America. Believe me, I'm still trying to figure out how that happened. Fortunately, I have a very savvy group of women on the Board who won't let me run the chapter into the ground. One of the perks is that I get to write a President's Letter for the newsletter each month and as I'm always trying to think of content for my blog, I thought I'd go ahead and post them here as well. Lucky you. *grinning ear-to-ear as I think I'm so very clever*

NTRWA January President's Letter

Alannah Autrey vintage bridal photograph
I spent the last weeks of December in a whirlwind as my only daughter got married. She made a beautiful bride, going for a vintage Great Gatsby vibe that carried us all into another realm.

And as I caught Andrew and Alannah always wanting to sit by each other with their heads together to whisper and laugh at things only they were privy to, or holding hands, or just those little glances that conveyed so much feeling between them, it reminded me of what young love, first love, even older reaffirmed love can be and how I, as a writer of romance, should be better at capturing those feelings in words and passing it on to my readers.

Do I show that in the small things? Do my hero and heroine constantly gravitate toward each other? Do they watch each other from across the room? Do they touch one another in little ways? Do fingers slide along the arm? Do hands interlock? Do knuckles caress a cheek as a stray lock of hair is tucked behind an ear?

It’s an exciting time. An exciting new year ahead. I loved watching the union of a new couple, and managed to only cry just a little. It’s a new beginning for them. And a new beginning for us as writers. Move forward with confidence in yourselves and your abilities. Take chances. Celebrate with each other and for each other. Get back up again when you fall.

As for me, I’m going to focus on the small things. The hand holding. The caresses. And see if I can’t pull deeper emotion from my characters. The kind of emotion I felt from my daughter and new son-in-law.

It’s going to be a great year!

My Little Girl's Vintage Wedding

December Twenty-first, my only daughter became Mrs. Andrew Birkinsha. As any mother would, I wanted all her dreams of a beautiful wedding to come true. What we lacked in cash, we more than made up for in resources. I have nine sisters and each of them are full of talents. Oh, and my mom has become an expert at putting on weddings (Did I mention I have nine sisters? That she created spectacular weddings for.)

So coordinating a wedding long distance became a breeze with the support team we have in one another. And Pinterest. We simply had to pin/show my sibs what Alannah wanted and they went to work. One sister (Kim) took a class long ago in cake decorating, so she made a stunning cake. Another (Alysha) made the most beautiful vintage bouquet. Another sister (Mac) went above and beyond to replicate the most gorgeous veil I've ever seen. And not just one, but two, so Alannah could have her pick. Yet another (Heather) created a beautiful guest book. And they all pitched in with getting the gym cleaned out, lit, and ready for a reception, bringing soups and other entrees to feed the guests. And my mom altered the dress, made the flowers, and basically worked her magic to bring order out of what could have been chaos.

I'm truly truly blessed with a wonderful family. All I had to do was show-up. Which come to think of it, is what I did 25 years ago for my own wedding. Hmm. I kind of think I'm the least helpful in my family, yet gain the most benefit. Score! (Shhh, I didn't really say that.)

To be honest, I knew it would turn out beautiful because I trusted my family. My main concern was getting through the ceremony. You see, since my son passed away 3 years ago, I have a difficult time keeping the weeping to a minimum. Seriously, I get going and the waterworks will not stop. And it's not the lovely one lone tear sliding down the cheek Demi Moore style of crying. It's full blown gushing, snotty, red eyes, ugly and gross. I avoid sentimental events like the plague and I'm sure all those who don't want to witness a blubbering spectacle appreciate it even if they don't know what they have missed. I'm not exaggerating. And I sure didn't want to become the center stage mother of the bride weeper.

So believe it or not, the past couple of months I've fasted and prayed about that. Please, please don't let me blubber through the wedding. And you know what. I caught a cold. I was so concerned about not having a coughing fit and keeping my mouth dry and how I could sneak a cough drop while everyone was watching that the tears were kept to a minimum. Not exactly how I would have answered my own prayers, but it worked.

Enough of that, enjoy some pictures...

Alannah Autrey vintage bridal photographs
Alannah Autrey~Vintage Gown
Alannah and I are very close, have always been. I don't know how I got so lucky to have a daughter who shares everything with me. Okay, she didn't share when she snuck out of the house when she was 16 until a few years later, but mostly everything. She's a good kid and an amazing person. She's always known what she's wanted and gone after her dreams. When she told me she had met the right guy, there wasn't any doubt that Andrew had to be someone pretty special because Alannah would never settle for just anybody.

She also knew what she wanted in a wedding dress. Something elegant, vintage, and extremely unique. When I flew out to help her find it, I was seriously having some doubts that such a unicorn of a dress existed. That's where prayer came in again. The second morning of our search, we prayed this time, had a thought to go to a store that we weren't considering because the dresses were way out of budget, walked in and Spencer, our wonderful helper listened to what we wanted, bypassed the typical gowns and pulled this off the rack. I knew it was the right one by the look on Alannah's face. 
Alannah and Andrew's vintage wedding announcement
The Wedding Announcement (Which I actually made~hey, I did contribute something!)
Alannah's table setting for wedding reception
Table Settings

Bridal gown hanger with message
This is a hanger Alannah made in her Young Women's Youth Group years ago. The little plague talks about how they'll remain pure until their wedding day and can will keep this as a reminder to hang their Temple dress upon it. 

Guest book for vintage wedding reception
Guest Book (ended up with a few extra guests written in like Thor and Wonder Woman~My family are all nuts.)

Vintage wedding bouquet
The Bouquet
Alannah and Andrew kissing and showing engagement ring
The Ring

Wedding snow boots
The boots

Bride and groom table setting
Table Setting
Draper Utah Temple
The Place~Draper Utah Temple
secret message wedding cake
The Cake
Kim wrote secret messages into the scrollwork on the bottom layer, such as Happy Birthday to my sister JJ, and other "love messages between Alannah and Andrew."
Alannah and Andrew outside temple
The Groom ~ Andrew Carl Birkinsha
(pronounced Bir-kin-shay)
Couldn't ask for a sweeter son-in-law

Birkinsha family
The Birkinsha Family.
Was nervous meeting them, but they turned out to be lovely, down-to-earth, funny, kind, chill, intelligent people. I'm so happy Alannah has some great in-laws.

Alannah and Andrew outside Draper Temple doors

Thanks for sharing in our Joy and hope to see all our Texan friends and family for the reception in January! 

The Offering

offeringThe Offering by Kimberly Derting

True love—and world war—is at stake in the conclusion to The Pledge trilogy, a dark and romantic blend of dystopia and fantasy.

Charlie, otherwise known as Queen Charlaina of Ludania, has become comfortable as a leader and a ruler. She’s done admirable work to restore Ludania’s broken communications systems with other Queendoms, and she’s mastered the art of ignoring Sabara, the evil former queen whose Essence is alive within Charlie. Or so she thinks.

When the negotiation of a peace agreement with the Queendom of Astonia goes awry, Charlie receives a brutal message that threatens Ludania, and it seems her only option is to sacrifice herself in exchange for Ludanian freedom.

But things aren’t always as they seem. Charlie is walking into a trap—one set by Sabara, who is determined to reclaim the Queendoms at any cost.

Barnes and Nobleamazon blogBook Depository blog

Praise for The Offering

"This was a truly epic ending to the series." --Crystal Perkins, Goodreads Review

"The final book in Kimberly Derting’s Pledge trilogy is a thrilling conclusion. I was immediately swept up into it and powered right through. It was pretty much what I wanted with a few surprises along the way." --Krys at Bibliopunkk Reads

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Pledge Trilogy


kimberly dertingAuthor Kimberly Derting

Kimberly Derting is the author of the BODY FINDER series, THE PLEDGE trilogy, and THE TAKING (coming April 2014 from HarperTeen). She lives in the Seattle area, with her husband and three children, who often find the outrageous things they say either in the pages of her books or posted on Twitter or Facebook for the entire world to see.


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Offering Tour Tour Schedule

BookBlast $50 Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 1/18/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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A Highland Sorcery Christmas book cover
First, a very happy 11-12-13 to you. I imagine there will be lots of weddings today to get this date!!!

With Christmas and Thanksgiving around the corner, I wanted to have a tie-in holiday tale to my Highland Sorcery novels and this made the perfect segue, giving each couple from the first four books a chance to come back to the same time period and reunite and celebrate just being alive.

The only problem? I don't write fluffy holiday features. Be warned: A Highland Sorcery Christmas isn't your normal holiday fare.

It takes place in two time periods, where the twenty-something son of Toren and Charity (from book one) is now the leader of humanity's survivors. Alexander is so close to weakening the monsters who have replaced humans at the top of the food chain. But when he gets near one of the beasts to test his formula, the monster takes a bite out of him and mentally downloads everything Alexander knows.

Now it’s up to his family to fight for his life in the past and the future if they are to save him and spare the world.

Not exactly your usual holiday get together. There be monsters this season.


The stormy wedge of dirty sky rocked sideways. Tight between Ethan and Dez, Alexander’s shoulders rubbed along their stomachs. His legs bounced, knees bent over their arms as they carried him over the rough terrain.
“It won’t stop. I need another pressure package. Now.” That was Bekah. The hard tension against his stomach released, but just as suddenly came again with more sharpness as a fresh gauze package was shoved against his wound. Somehow Bekah had tucked herself behind Dez and was keeping up with their pace so she could keep pressure on the bleeding gash.
Alexander shuddered, the sweat on his cheek mixed with the dampness along Bekah’s arm, reaching over his torso. The Sift had taken a chunk out of him.  
“You’re going to be okay.” Her voice rasped near his head. “We’re getting you to help. Just a little ways more. You keep on breathing, you hear me?”
Breathe. Right. That was important, wasn’t it? Everything narrowed down to pulling oxygen into his struggling lungs, but it hurt. 
An iceberg had somehow wedged inside his chest, blocking the air passages and with any attempt to expand his lungs, the icy shards bit into his flesh from the inside out.
The graying world tilted, his head lolling back, falling between the canyons of Ethan’s and Dez’s shoulders as they carried him uphill.
“Richards, run ahead for Lenore.” That was Bekah barking orders again, though she didn’t seem to be talking to him this time. Out of all his aunts, she was the bossiest.
The dusky sky disappeared, replaced by a smudge of gray cement ceiling of the parking garage his Holdout forces used out in the field. His forces. Alexander grinned at that even as metallic tasting blood trickled between his lips. Dez and Ethan had been among the first to believe he had a way to fight the overpowering Sifts, well, after he’d proved himself by saving Ethan’s neck with a shot of sorcerer’s flame. Some days it was good to be the last sorcerer on earth. He should have used it on the Sift today. He just hadn’t seen it before it dropped on him.
“What’s happened?” He heard Lenore a moment before her worried face moved above his. Her voice tightened. “Put him over here.”
Alexander felt himself being swung up into the bed of an abandoned pickup. His head swung with the movement too. Hissing, he curled in around his stomach, but was immediately pulled flat by several hands.
The saturated pressure package was yanked from his side and the pain of it made him blind, his scream caught in stolen heaving breaths.
“What happened?” Lenore’s knees jabbed into his hip where she knelt in the truck bed. Her pixie features strained. “Is this a bite?”
Nausea filled Alexander’s throat. Serrated teeth clamped into him, tearing a chunk of flesh away in a flash of scorching shock and pain. He struggled to get up, get away from all the bodies pressed around him, all the hands holding him down, locked on his arms and shoulders and legs, held fast and vulnerable for the monster to get him.
“Sift got to him.” The slim hands pressing onto his shoulders flexed. “We couldn’t…it was so fast.”
Lenore’s head snapped up, dragging the strands of her hair along his saturated shirt. The ends of her pale hair lifted, tipped in shiny wet red. “But you killed it. Right? You killed it.”
The vibration of collected fear flowed between the group of fighters surrounding him. Being crunched on by a monster carried its own particular horror, one you wouldn’t think could be topped, but when a Sift sank its teeth in you, the nasty beast captured your memories.
“Tell me you didn’t let it get away.”
“It escaped through a hole it tore out of the air,” Dez snarled it fast and hard, the staccato bark of a fired rifle. “Col jumped in after it.”
Lenore jerked back. The press of her knees lifted, preparing to flee. Alexander floated after her, trying to follow all the movement, keep his focus.
The weight on Alexander’s shoulders lifted as Bekah reached across him and latched onto Lenore’s wrists, keeping her in place.
“There’s nothing you can do for Col. He’s out of our reach. But Alexander needs you now.”
The women stared at each other, faces close above Alexander, swaying in and out of his waning focus. It was hard to latch onto anything. He just wanted to get away.
“Can you heal him?” Bekah gritted out and Lenore recoiled like someone waking from a nightmare.
       “I don’t…” She flinched again. “Yes. I won’t let him die.” Lips set, Lenore’s hands moved over the cavity that was his wound and Alexander bucked. All the hands holding him pressed down harder.

                                                     nook                  kindle                 itunes

Also out now and on sale through the month of November, the first 4 Highland Sorcery novels all together for the price of one. See where the adventure begins...

nook                          kindle