<i>Roomies</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Roomies: Exclusive Excerpt Christina Lauren "Will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?" <i>A Duke in Shining Armor</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Duke in Shining Armor: Exclusive Excerpt Loretta Chase "So why does Olympia have to make it so deliciously difficult for him...?" <i>Deal Breaker</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Deal Breaker: Exclusive Excerpt Tara Leigh "Will their untamed emotions be a deal breaker?" <i>The Infamous Miss Ilsa</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Infamous Miss Ilsa: Exclusive Excerpt Laine Ferndale "Their dreams pull them in such different directions, can they truly make a future together?"
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Showing posts by: Stacey Agdern click to see Stacey Agdern's profile
Sep 30 2012 11:30am

Covering Icy Ground: Hockey Settings in Current Books

Offside by Juliana StoneWhen life gives you hockey lockouts—read books set on the rink! Two hockey-centric books releasing in October—Juliana Stone's Offside and G.B Joyce’s The Code—have on-ice feel to them.

Offside is a small-town hockey romance. Juliana Stone uses the hockey atmosphere and combines it with a slice of small town life in a story that will make any romance reader, hockey fan or no, a very happy person. It’s the story of a hometown heroine, BillieJo Barker, who comes home to the guy who she’s always been in love with. Yep. The hometown heroine, a hockey player who's been felled by injury, must now figure out what to do with her life. When she decides to play hockey in her hometown’s men's league, she comes into conflict with most of the town, including one of her sisters. Except of course the guy she’s always been in love with suddenly starts to be her own, personal, protector.

[How serendipitous...]

Sep 20 2012 12:30pm

Surviving the Hockey Lockout with Romantic Hockey Heroes

True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel GibsonA hockey lockout is awful. As every other sports fandom gets revved up, hockey fans are in for a long haul of…nothing. Hoping that there will be progress in the talks that there hadn’t been before. Hoping something miraculous might happen, but somehow aware that that’s about as likely as Mike Eruzione scoring a hat trick against Henrik Lundquist.

With that in mind, I’m bringing you a two-part series talking about books that might prepare you to weather the long wait.

First, the classics. Some of these books are tried and true, discussed by hockey fans and romance readers everywhere. Some of these books are by authors we love, who’ve made their first hockey book a must read. And one of these books was an author and hockey fan’s first on the road to hockey romance greatness.

1. True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson

Every single list of hockey romances must include a Rachel Gibson. It’s practically required. This one makes this list because it is memorable for both  on the ice action as well as off the ice. Gibson’s team, the Seattle Chinooks, actually joined the NHL in this book, and we had appearances from real players (I remember seeing Markus Nasulnd’s name in the pages of this book a short time after he retired).

[For the love of hockey...]

Jul 3 2012 4:30pm

First Look: Virginia Kantra’s Carolina Home (July 3, 2012)

Carolina Home by Virginia KantraVirginia Kantra
Carolina Home
Berkley / July 3, 2012 / $7.99 print & digital

Single dad and fishing boat captain Matt Fletcher deferred his own dreams to support his innkeeper parents and build a future for his sixteen-year-old son. Matt has learned to weather life’s storms by steering a steady emotional course...and keeping a commitment-free approach to love.

Newcomer Allison Carter came to Dare Island to escape the emotional demands of her wealthy family. The young teacher aims to build a life here, to make a lasting place for herself. She doesn’t want to be another Woman Who Once Dated Matt Fletcher. It’s both tempting and dangerous to believe she can be something more.

Then Matt’s brother Luke makes a sudden return home, with a child of his own—and a request that will change all their lives. With a child’s welfare at stake, Matt must turn to Allison to teach him to let go of the past, open his eyes...and follow his heart.

Expectations. Whether spoken or unspoken, they make people’s lives difficult. In Virginia Kantra’s Carolina Home, both the hero and heroine have to deal with sets of expectations that complicate their lives in difficult ways.

[Nothing worth having ever comes easy, though, right?...]

Jun 1 2012 12:00pm

First Look: Erin McCarthy’s Jacked Up (June 5, 2012)

Jacked Up By Erin McCarthyErin McCarthy
Jacked Up
Berkley / $7.99 / June 5, 2012
She’s holding tight. He’s hanging loose.

Eve Monroe is a stock-car PR pro who puts her career first—until an on-track wardrobe malfunction reveals more than the sexy smile of jackman Nolan Ford. The video’s become an internet sensation, and it’s Eve’s job to calm the sponsors and put a spin on the unexpected exposure.

And they both have the same drive.

It may be a public relations job, but now that Eve’s seen what’s under Nolan’s crew suit, it’s gotten personal. After a few dates she has Nolan pretty revved up. If only she’d learn to relax and enjoy it. Nolan’s sure that the spontaneous birthday bash he’s throwing for Eve in Las Vegas should loosen her up. Somewhere between cocktails and a smoking-hot motel-room derby, it does more than that. Now Eve’s wrestling with feelings she never expected, as everything about her personal jackman gets harder than she ever imagined.

Though sex is an important part of a relationship, anybody who’s in one realizes that the most important things are the intangibles, the things one can’t quantify or qualify. Jacked Up by Erin McCarthy shows this in spades. Spicy, hot, and funny though it may be, the book tells the story of the heroine’s self discovery, spurred on by the support and understanding of the man with whom she’s involved.

[Self-discovery! Sounds...naughty!]

Apr 22 2012 11:00am

First Look: Lynn Kurland’s All for You (April 24, 2012)

All for You by Lynn KurlandLynn Kurland
All for You
Jove / $7.99 / Apr. 24, 2012


Peaches Alexander is thrilled to receive an unexpected invitation to a weekend party given by the handsome, eligible Duke of Kenneworth. The only problem: Stephen de Piaget, a stuffy medieval studies scholar who seems determined to get in the way. Peaches has absolutely no desire to get involved with Stephen, until a quirk of Fate sends her hurtling through time…


Stephen de Piaget has been leading a double life: respectable professor by day, knight-in-training during holidays and summer terms. When Peaches goes missing, Stephen knows he’s the only one who can rescue her from medieval peril. Little do they know that the greatest danger they’ll face won’t be the business end of a sword, but their own unruly hearts….

A fairytale, usually speaking, is all about finding one’s very own handsome prince. But it’s easy for people to hide secret bits of themselves behind a façade. Sometimes it’s the truest heart, sometimes it’s the hole where a heart should be. And it’s hard to tell the difference; society often does its best at setting up what it deems the handsome prince.

[Handsome is as handsome does...]

Apr 11 2012 9:30am

Matzah For Thought: Judaism, Empathy and a Taste of the Passover Seder

Touched by an Alien by Gini KochOne of the things I love about the service/meal that serves as the spiritual center of Passover, the Seder, is the forum it provides for discussion. It’s very easy for Seder participants to get lost in a topic and continue discussing it, as it’s said one group of Rabbis did, until the early morning hours. In honor of those discussions, I give you some interesting Passover style food for thought.

“I am a Jew because in every place where suffering weeps, the Jew weeps.” —Edmund Fleg

This piece is taken from one of my family’s favorite readings from our Passover Haggaddah, called “I am a Jew.” And reading it got me thinking.

There have been some interesting examples in paranormal romance over the past few years, where a Jewish heroine is shown to have empathy for her paranormal hero’s struggle; whether it’s due to faith or the fact that by nature of their history, Jewish people are seen to understand the struggle of the oppressed. Here are two different examples of this idea.

[For your consideration...]

Mar 16 2012 9:30am

Fresh Meat: Suzanne Brockmann’s Born to Darkness (Mar. 20, 2012)

Born to Darkness by Suzanne BrockmannSuzanne Brockmann
Born to Darkness 
Random House/Mar. 20, 2012/
$26.00 HC, $12.99 digital

In the not-too-distant future, the Obermeyer Institute (OI) has made a revolutionary discovery: With special training, humans can tap into the brain’s hidden powers (telepathy, telekinetic powers, super strength, and more). The training is strenuous, though, and it works only for those with natural potential. Tough girl Mac has that potential, and she’s a devoted member of the OI. But there’s one rule she can’t help but bend. Her boss thinks celibacy is key to their work. Mac’s learned differently—an active sexual life enhances her powers. And when she meets Shane, a sexy former Navy SEAL, the sparks are instant. But after the two spend an amazing night together, Mac finds out that Shane’s a new recruit at the institute. How can she mix business and pleasure? 

Suzanne Brockmann’s Born to Darkness is, on its surface, a story about a rather dangerous near future world where people with special mental abilities use their powers to make a difference. A phrase about power and responsibility sounds rather appropriate here. Except as much as I love that kind of story and that kind of concept, that isn’t all that’s going on here.

[What else can we expect? Do tell!...]

Feb 18 2012 5:30pm

The Thin Pink Line between Romance and Science Fiction: Linnea Sinclair and Jack Campbell

An Accidental Goddess by Linnea SinclairWhen two different authors take on the same central plot line, the results are never the same, and sometimes, it’s important to examine the similarities as well as the differences. So when I discovered that RITA-winning Science Fiction Romance author Linnea Sinclair and NYT best-selling author of Science Fiction Jack Campbell riffed on the same central plot idea, it was a chance too good to pass up. 

Linnea Sinclair’s entry is Accidental Goddess, the story of Captain Gillaine “Gillie” Davre, who inadvertently time traveled over 300 years into the future, only to discover that legend has turned her into a goddess. Jack Campbell’s entry is Dauntless, the first book in the Lost Fleet Series, the story of Captain John “Black Jack” Geary who is rescued 100 years after his “last stand” to discover that he has become a legendary hero.

[We can be heroes...]

Dec 13 2011 2:30pm

Fresh Meat: Maria V. Snyder’s Touch of Power (Dec. 20, 2011)

Touch of Power by Maria V. SnyderMaria V. Snyder
Touch of Power
Mira, $14.95/$10.99 digital, December 20, 2011

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life….

[No pressure or anything...]

Dec 6 2011 9:30am

The Eight Characters of Chanukah, from Lora Leigh, Jeaniene Frost, Megan Hart, and More!

Touched by an Alien by Gini KochI’d like to take the opportunity of this wonderful Chanukah holiday to honor those authors who have written about Jewish Characters in leading roles. Because despite pressure, market or otherwise, these brave, trailblazing authors have demonstrated that diversity shouldn’t be just skin deep.

1. Kitty Katt-Martini from Gini Koch’s Alien series

Yep. Kitty’s strength and Jewishness come into play in a large way throughout the course of this series. Her innate understanding of a people’s consistent quest for religious freedom helps her to understand the situation that the book’s A-C’s, including central hero Jeff, find themselves in.

2. Delilah Gould from Chasing Stanley by Deirdre Martin

Delilah is a wonderful character, and one thing Deirdre Martin does in this book is demonstrate the problems of stereotyping and contemporary Anti-Semitism through the actions of various characters in this book to and towards Delilah. She is a strong heroine, and her fabulous hockey-playing hero stands by her, no matter what.

[Mmm, and where does one find a hockey-playing hero?...]

Aug 23 2011 4:30pm

Bookstore Beat: September 2011

The end of summer is approaching, which means the new releases for September will be at Posman Books.

This September, Maya Banks will spread her wings a little bit more and release her first historical, In Bed with a Highlander. Historical readers will also be happy to find a brand-new Cynster novel by Stephanie Laurens, Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue, the first in a new trilogy. A Night to Surrender begins Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series. And Lynsay Sands has a new historical release The Deed.

[So many exciting new releases to covet, so little time...]

Aug 8 2011 4:30pm

Bookstore Beat: Mid-August 2011 Report

Confessions of an Improper Bride by Jennifer HaymoreSo what’s bringing people down to New York City’s Posman books in the midst of this crazy August heat? Plenty of cool things to read:

Miranda Neville’s Amorous Education of Celia Seton and new-to-us author Jennifer Haymore’s Confessions of an Improper Bride are making historical readers across the board very happy. Liz Carlyle’s newest, The Bride Wore Scarlet, is fueling sales of Carlyle’s backlist titles, including No True Gentleman, Two Little Lies and the first in this new series, One Touch of Scandal.

Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Retribution and Thea Harrison’s Storm’s Heart are topping paranormal readers’ lists. Readers are also looking to catch up with Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series and titles they’d missed by Jessa Slade and Molly Harper.

[But wait, there are more!...]

Jul 22 2011 5:00pm

Bookstore Beat: August 2011

August 2011 Bookstore BeatWhat can we say about August reads that we also hear on the weather every day? Hot, steamy and exciting. But at least when books make you sweat, it’s in a good way.

Romantic Suspense veteran Stephanie Tyler leads off the contemporaries with In the Air Tonight. Fans of small town series will adore Sophie Gunn’s Sweet Kiss of Summer. August also marks the return of contemporary favorite Louisa Edwards with the first book in her new series, Too Hot To Touch.

[You may also like...]

Jul 9 2011 11:37am

The Bookstore Beat: Mid-July Report

Bookstore Beat Mid-July ReportPeople have been asking questions about what readers are looking for, but after taking a peek at what’s been selling in early July at Posman Books, the answer is not as clear as people might like.

There is constant debate between whether readers prefer darker or lighter historical romances, but after seeing how well both Loretta Chase’s Silk is for Seduction and Meredith Duran’s A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal are doing, it’s rather clear that readers enjoy both. And of course, the beautiful writing contained in Grace Burrowes’s The Soldier is definitely worth a look.

[And also worth a look...]

Jun 22 2011 4:20pm

The Bookstore Beat: July 2011

July Bookstore BeatJuly’s new releases are unexpected, exciting and in some ways, bittersweet. But most of them are all about the series.

Contemporary readers get the unexpected this month, a reissue of one of J.R. Ward’s early contemporaries, An Irresistible Bachelor. They also get series conclusions from both Christie Ridgway with Can’t Hurry Love and Linda Lael Miller with The Creed Legacy, as well as highly anticipated continuations in the form of Cindy Gerard’s With No Remorse and Susan Sey’s Money Shot. Rounding out July’s new contemporary releases is Jane Graves’s Black Ties and Lullabies.

[Is there anything quite like adding to your TBR pile?...]

Jun 7 2011 11:21am

Bookstore Beat: Mid-June 2011 Report

Mid-June Bookstore BeatSummer is here, and Posman customers are coming in to pick up not only the new releases, but also older titles that they might have missed during the course of a busy year. So here are some recommendations for new titles titles—and some you might have missed.

In contemporary, it’s small-town or beach books, like Robyn Carr’s Harvest Moon, or Lisa Dale’s Slow Dancing on Price’s Pier. Customers who enjoy these books might want to pick up Stephanie Bond’s newest series, which started with Baby Drive South. Robin Wells’s RITA nominated title Still The One might also be a good fit in this category.

[And then there’s what’s hot in historical and paranormal...]

May 24 2011 1:41pm

The Bookstore Beat: June 2011

Bookstore BeatJune’s new releases see the return of old favorites mixed with some exciting debuts. Historical in June means the release of the first book in Julia Quinn’s long anticipated Smythe-Smith quartet, Just Like Heaven. Historical readers can also look forward to new titles from Elizabeth Boyle (Lord Langley’s Back in Town), Laurel McKee (Lady of Seduction), Tiffany Clare (Secret Desires of a Governess), and debut author Stefanie Sloane (Devil in Disguise).

For the reader who just can’t decide whether they want historical or contemporary, there’s the sparkling Courtesan’s Guide to Getting Your Man, by Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan, which has both elements.

[Click for more big releases...]

May 10 2011 11:16am

The Bookstore Beat: May 2011

Bookstore BeatMay might be unpredictable in terms of weather this year, but it's always the season for reading; here's what's selling in Romance in New York City's Posman Books:

Old favorites are reigning in contemporary sales; it’s the Stanley Cup playoffs, which means Rachel Gibson’s latest hockey related title, Any Man of Mine is on top. Sports fans who aren’t interested in hockey are looking towards Erin McCarthy’s lastest NASCAR themed title, The Chase.

Brenda Jackson’s Madaris series will always bring customers to the bookstore, as brand new title Inseparable shows through consistent sales. Jill Shalvis’s backlist has benefitted from Simply Irresistible’s inclusion in the in-store display of RITA award nominees. It’s also helped sales of the second book in the series, The Sweetest Thing. And you can’t count out the third in Roxanne St. Claire’s Guardian Angelino’s series, Face of Danger, for readers who want a little bit of thrill in their romance.

[Take the plunge...]

Apr 5 2011 9:00am

The Bookstore Beat: April 2011

Bookstore BeatSo they say that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. In terms of book sales, that strangely translates to “March comes in like a comedy and out like a . . . western?”

Yep. Demand for titles like Linda Lael Miller’s Creed in Stone Creek and Tyler by C.H. Admirand eclipsed most everything contemporary through the month of March. But how can we blame readers for wanting visions of western perfection (and not just the cowboys) when the climate which surrounds them is anything but?

Thankfully, contemporary readers will be able to escape the weird weather this month with titles like Roxanne St. Claire’s Shiver of Fear, Robyn Carr’s Harvest Moon, Jill Sorenson’s Edge of Night, Emily March’s Hummingbird’s Rest, and Jill Shalvis’s The Sweetest Thing.

[More April releases...]

Mar 8 2011 9:00am

The Bookstore Beat: March 2011

Bookstore BeatWhen customers start asking, “Where are my books?” a bookseller knows there’s a problem. Unfortunately, it’s usually because publishers have decided to stop publishing the kinds of books these customers like to read. This happens when certain types of stories seem to go out of favor (at least in the publishers’ view). But this kind of decision-making leaves many customers out in the cold. A smart bookseller will end up searching through backlist titles and authors their customers might have missed to fill the gap.

But every once in a while, a month like March comes along. The biggest seller in March so far has been A Lot Like Love by Julie James. Julie James is a master at writing smart, sexy, contemporary romances. These are the kinds of books that are perennial sellers, but sometimes get extremely hard to find because publishers suddenly decide they’re unmarketable.

Even one of the paranormals that’s selling well this month has a sexy contemporary feel: Molly Harper’s How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf. In fact, it’s selling so well that it’s fueling interest in her women’s fiction title, And One Last Thing.

[Plus J.R. Ward, Rachel Gibson, Nicole Jordan, and more—oh, happy day! . . .]