Essential Beginnings Kennedy Layne
Reviews, Books, Reviews


The Vampire Hunter`s Daughter books 1-6, and The Arcadia Falls Chronicles books 1-6, is a two part book series. It is an immaculate series that holds your attention from beginning to end. The constant action and the love triangle leave you begging for the next book.

The story begins with the tragic death of Chloe’s mother. Chloe will learn quickly that life as she knew it, is not like she knew it at all, and it would soon change forever. Her mother was killed by vampires who were sent by Chloe`s father. Before the vampires could kidnap Chloe, a team full of vampire hunters intervenes. She runs right into the arms of Drew. Drew, and the team of vampire hunters, takes Chloe to her new forever home.

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Fitness Fridays

Fitness Fridays: The 5 Stages of the Triathlon

We’ve got a real treat this week. We’ve dug up Sally Kilpatrick’s very first triathlon, straight from the (really really clever) archives! Check out her site for more!

A few weeks ago, I completed my first triathlon. I wasn’t feeling as though I did a very good job until Ryan pointed out that about 10% of the entrants didn’t finish. So. Finishing is pretty awesome. The triathlon was far more grueling than the 2 half marathons I’ve done so far. This could be due to the extreme humidity. It could be that I didn’t get all the training in that I should have. It could be any number of things. It could be because it was a mother loving triathlon. Either way, forget about the stages of grief, here are the 5 stages of completing a triathlon. (Words have been changed for the good of people reading this article. I wish I could tell you my vocabulary the day of wasn’t as spicy, but….)

1. You start with the swim. No matter how much you practice, there’s something about that murky lake water that induces a certain kind of panic. So, my first thought was “Spoon! I hate this forking swim!” as I gasped my way through the first 500 meters using the…sidestroke. *Sigh*


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Sisters in Love Melissa Foster

Swoon-Worthy Heroes: Grayson from Drop Dead Diva

I admit that sometimes, you just have to binge watch a show you used to watch on air and several weeks ago, I was searching for something to help me get out of my own head and I stopped on Drop Dead Diva. Have you ever watched it? Drop Dead DivaIt is about an aspiring model who dies in a car crash, but when she gets to Heaven, she hits the return button, and she ends up coming back to life in Jane’s body. return Deb isn’t happy about going from tall, thin, and blonde to a short, size sixteen brunette, but the biggest adjustment is losing her fiancé, Grayson, who happens to work with Jane at the Harrison and Parker law firm. 

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Guest Post

Guest Post: “The Wounds That Shape Us” by Toni J Strawn

Not For a Moment Toni J. Strawn

We all carry wounds. The internal flaws that mark our character are created by events in our lives which form us…cause us to create shields or barriers to prevent getting hurt in the same way again. That is what a great hero or heroine is built of—their character arc sweeps them along from flawed and injured, through the story to find true love.

But what if a wound is more obvious that that? The external scars and flaws from injury and disease that confront our hero or heroine. A scarred face or noticeable limp, wasted limbs or ill-health that can often define our characters. There is something about the struggle to battle both a physical and physiological injury that grabs at our hearts and has us rooting for our hero to succeed against seemingly insurmountable odds to find love.

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Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: SWEET ABANDON by Wendy Lozano

Sweet Abandon Wendy Lozano

This one’s for the evening crowd! How could we resist this stunning little snippet of drama from the amazing Wendy Lozano’s Sweet Abandon? We have literally never felt this much tension in a scene taking place in a beautiful orchard in our lives. The juxtaposition is to die for! But don’t. Have a read:

He did not appear in the orchard the next morning. Chastity was struck anew with guilt and remorse. He thought her a harlot, she thought with fear. And no wonder; she had acted like one. She would never see him again. She would carry the knowledge of her lust through her lonely life and into her grave.

Chastity gave up waiting and went to the shed to put away the gardening tools. Here the air was heady with the perfume of rose, sweet clover, and wildflower petals stored with salt in a large basket for sachets. When she had gathered enough of the frail blossoms, she would add cinnamon, cloves, and rosemary and sew the mixture into small packets that would keep linens and clothing smelling fresh for months. Usually she loved the fragrance in the shed, but today she found it cloying and oppressive. A sigh escaped her as she stirred the pungent mixture. A shadow fell across the basket, and she looked up to see Edmund in the door.

“You came!” She threw herself into his open arms and pressed her cheek hard against his muscular chest. “I was afraid you would not.”

“Nothing could keep me from my Dancing Fox,” he teased her lovingly. “I saw a young man who looked something like you poking around the orchard. Knowing your desire for secrecy, I decided to meet you here, where no one would see us.” He pushed her gently away and stationed himself where he could see outside and still remain unseen.

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To Jo Beverley, With Love

IMG_2333It is with heavy hearts that we lift our cups (filled with cold coffee, but we’re drinking it anyway. Don’t judge.)  to the memory of beloved author and literary legend, Jo Beverley, who has passed on today.

For many, Jo’s books were our very first contact with the Romance world, and because of her incredible writing and stunning historical detail, it became a world we were happy to get lost in time and time again. And we’re not alone. With over twenty years of writing and thousands of fans, Jo Beverley has not just touched the lives of Romance fans, but shaped the history of Romance itself. We could get nerdy about Jo’s prolific reach (or the catalogue of historical knowledge that was her mind), but we’ll spare you. Besides, nothing quite encompasses Jo as an author and as a person like this touching tribute from Word Wenches (and the whole thing is worth a read. Bring tissues):

In a sense, she was the quintessential Romance writer: stories flowed freely through her, heroes and heroines were strong and unforgettable, themes had substance, her language had clarity and richness, her books were masterful, one after another. The connections among her stories were intricately mapped out in brilliant ways, and her sense of history was impeccable–and on top of that powerful combination of elements, she was elegantly English and very, very smart and far-seeing.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “The Romance of Tea” by Jamie K. Schmidt


Nothing beats a tea party. Whether you’re sitting down with a bunch of Teddy bears or attending high tea at a fancy restaurant, there’s something sweet and romantic about tea. Hanging out at a bar for a few drinks is great, as is going to the coffee house and killing time. But making tea, real tea is a chance to show someone how special they are to you.

In my Emerging Queens series, all the dragon shifters have a hoard—something they obsess and collect. In the first book, The Queen’s Wings, Carolyn hoards books. Viola in the second book, The Queen’s Flight, has a hoard of yarn. However, in my latest release, The Queen’s Dance, dragon Queen Margery’s hoard is tea. There’s a scene in the book where she explains what makes a good cup of tea.

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Swoon-Worthy Heroes

Swoon-Worthy Heroes: Prince Alex D’Lysnal from SUDDENLY ROYAL

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have always dreamed of handsome princes, first when I was a child, and then as I grew up. dreaming The Princess Diary books and historical romances featuring sexy, regal princes in disguise were always fantastic. books  ew kissing

Which is why Alex from Suddenly Royal got added to my swoon-worthy pile of sexy princes. Shall I tell you about this awesome book?

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Guest Post

Guest Post + Trailer: Wendy Lozano’s Journey to Romance

Sweet Abandon Wendy Lozano

When I was in my late teens, I left college and went to live in Greenwich Village. I had dreams of being an actress, and the Village was where all the actors and artists hung out. I did a little acting, but made a living for a short time writing beat poetry. I wrote it but looked far too young to read it at the coffee houses that were springing up. So my boyfriend read it and, after throwing a few swear words into the poems, we pretended it was his. As far as anyone knew, I just passed the hat. There is an LP somewhere of my poetry recorded at the Café Bizarre. He is reciting.

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