Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Review and Author Interview: A Noble Pass Affaire Series with Jerrie Alexander and Kym Roberts

A Noble Passe Affaire
Series Collaboration by the Chick Swagger Chicks!
Release Date:  September 15, 2015

Flirting with Fate 
by Jerrie Alexander
Series:  Noble Pass Affaire #4
Pub. Date:  Sept. 15, 2015
Publisher:  Self-Pub
Pages:  89
Format:  eARC
Source:  Author

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

Elle Reagan isn't about to stand by and let a con-artist get away with stealing her grandmother’s life savings. While the legal system moves at a snail's pace, Elle promises to bring him to justice. She follows him to a ski resort in Colorado, where she hopes to get the evidence needed to put him away for good. But she didn't count on her roommate being a distraction, because he wasn't supposed to be her brother’s best friend.

Detective Logan Ford has denied his desire to take Elle into his arms since they were teenagers, but when his partner asks him to follow her to Castle Alainn to keep her out of trouble, Logan finds himself unable to refuse her. He agrees to help catch a thief instead of convincing her to pack her bags and go home. To make matters worse, he can’t seem to remember why he should keep his distance from the delectable, infuriating, independent Elle.

Elle and Logan surrender to their attraction, but as their passion ignites, her plot is discovered. A killer will do whatever it takes to silence her and destroy a love that was destined to last a lifetime.

This is the perfect romantic suspense to pick up on your lunch break or when you have some time to kill. Sometimes with novellas under 100 pages, its hard to build an attraction and relationship between our main characters. You don't have to worry about that here because Elle and Logan go way back. Although Elle has been in lust/love with Logan since she was a girl, they never got together over the years because she is the little sister of Logan's best friend... and Logan has been following whatever guy code that says little sisters are off limits. But now Elle is all grown up with a penchant for getting into sticky situations and Logan, a Texas law enforcement officer, has been sent by Elle's brother to keep her out of trouble.

Elle is determined to bring down the man who swindled her grandmother out of her life savings. However Elle's lack of investigative experience has her blundering into trouble, so Logan will have his hands full (both literally and figuratively). Throwing them into such close proximity without her brother's interference, plus the adrenaline-pumping mystery and suspense, allows sparks to fly between the couple. I love these stories where the sexual tension has been building for years and years because you know the final release is going to be explosive.

Flirting with Fate is part of a multi-author collaboration, all will be producing an installment of the Noble Pass Affaire. My understanding is that each novella can be read as a stand alone, but that they will all take place at the same ski lodge. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Flirting with the Devil 
by Kym Roberts
Series:  Noble Pass Affaire #5
Pub. Date:  Sept. 15, 2015
Publisher:  Self-Pub
Pages:  99
Format:  eARC
Source:  Author

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale: 

Sometimes the greatest sins...are born out of love.

Federal Prosecutor Samantha Bennett knows how to weed out the bad guys and put them in their place—behind bars and that’s exactly what she did to the mob boss of Vendetti la Cosa Nostra. But her dedication cost her what she values most, her marriage, because she didn’t see her husband’s betrayal coming—at all.

Wade Evans will do anything to get Sam back—and a plot that enlists the people she relies on the most is his best chance of winning her heart a second time. But suddenly Wade’s not sure he’s the right man for his soon to be ex-wife, because he wasn’t the one to save her from the violent mob hit. He failed and the man she trusts most, Ty Beckinsale, saved the day.

When Sam takes a vacation alone, both men arrive to keep her safe from a hitman determined to put her six feet under. And now Sam must decide if heaven on earth is possible, or if the devil who stole her heart will lead her straight to hell.

This is my first read by Kym Roberts, and I can say that I am now a fan.  This story may be one of the quickest connections that I have established with a character.  It could be that I have a similar occupation to our lead female, Samantha.  But it wasn't just that, Kym did a great job putting you into Samantha's shoes so you really felt the breaking apart of her marriage and all the stress she was under. Samantha is a tortured heroine, some terrible things happened in her childhood. Because this is a novella, you don't get a complete backstory, but you get enough to get your imagination going. Overall I liked Samantha and the way she was portrayed.

Our leading male is Samantha's husband, Wade. I liked Wade. I think he was a good guy and a good match for Samantha.  The story of how they met was one of those movie meet-cute situations... and wouldn't every girl like to trip and fall right into the arms of her future husband?!? I was rooting for the couple to work out their differences and save their marriage.  The relationship building was also helped a bit by throwing them together in the midst of the suspense plot, which was interesting in and of itself.

Unfortunately for me, as for as the men go, Wade was overshadowed by Ty (who was Samantha's security guy).  I want Ty for myself!  I just love a broken broody male that can kick butt.  I want to get my hands on him and fix him right up. So Ms. Roberts - please give Ty a book for himself!

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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About the Authors

Jerrie Alexander
A student of creative writing in her youth, Jerrie set aside my passion when life presented her with a John Wayne husband, and two wonderful children. A career in logistics offered her the opportunity to travel to many beautiful locations in America, and she revisits them in my romantic suspense novels. 

The characters went with Jerrie, talked to her, and insisted she share their dark, sexy stories with others. Jerrie writes alpha males and kick-ass women who weave their way through death and fear to emerge stronger because of, and on occasion in spite of, their love for each other. She likes to torture people, make them suffer, and if they’re strong enough, they live happily ever after. 

She currently lives in Texas, loves sunshine, children’s laughter, sugar (human and granulated), and researching for her heroes and heroines. 

Kym Roberts
Three career paths resonated for Kym during her early childhood, a detective, an investigative reporter, and a nun. Being a nun however, dropped by the wayside when she became aware of boys, they were a perk to life she couldn't deny. In high school her path was forged when she took her first job at a dry cleaners and met every cop in town, especially the lone female police officer in patrol. Following her dream led to a degree in Administration of Justice and the Kansas City Police Department. At 95 pound, however, she didn't meet the requirements, so with rolls of pennies duct taped to her stomach she tried again and tipped the scales at 107 pounds. Although she freely admits, that was several years ago :) Kym followed her dream and became a detective that fulfilled her desire to be an investigative reporter, with one extra perk--a badge. Promoted to sergeant, she returned to SVU a short time later. She retired from the job reluctantly--her husband drug her kicking and screaming to another state,but writing continued to call her name, at least in her head. Kym found the venue of her dreams...a place where the bad guy always lost...big time. At least on paper. 

Author Interview

Bambinas! Today I am very excited to welcome Jerrie Alexander and Kym Roberts to the blog.  I got to listen in on a romantic suspense panel at ARC Nola where Jerrie and Kym were speaking, and let me tell you... I was impressed!  Jerrie was hilarious and I knew I had to meet her... and Kym had a super interesting background in law enforcement!  I am so glad I went to the conference, I loved getting into the minds of these wonderful authors. I also came away with some great signed books (reviews coming soon) and now we get to fangirl with these witty women today.  So without further ado... help me welcome these lovely ladies to Bambi's Unbridled Universe!

Jerrie and Kym - Welcome!  Thanks for taking the time to share a little with your readers!

This series you are working on, A Noble Pass Affaire, is a collaboration with the Chick Swagger Chicks.  Tell us a little about this posse - who are they and how did you hook up with them?  And what is Chick Swagger?
Jerrie:  We’re a group of seven authors, of which five of us decided to take on the challenge of writing a series. (We may have been drinking during that decision) We met through our writing communities, groups, publishers, and FACEBOOK! I've never met most of the Chicks in person, but that's about to change at RomCon in Denver, (Mile High is in trouble) four of us are making the trip. (Can you say trouble with capital letters CS?) We have very different backgrounds, but we're all very strong independent women and aren't afraid to show it, hence the name Chick Swagger. Check out our site, at http://chickswagger.com/.
For those of us who have not read the rest of the series, can you tell us a little about what the Noble Pass Affaire is about and how the stories will connect or intersect?
Jerrie:  We wanted to embrace a setting and let our readers see it through various sets of eyes. If you ask five different women to describe their vacation at the same resort, you'll get five very different answers, each woman having a completely unique experience. That's what we wanted to capture. We decided upon a fictional location, Castle Alainn Resort in Noble Pass, Colorado, a contest that brought our couples to the resort, and the resort owners who brought it all together. Then we developed a Pinterest Page and from there we let our own stories take control of each novella. However, each one is a stand alone story, with the location and contest being the thread that ties them together.
Kym: Five members of Chick Swagger got together and decided to challenge ourselves to write a series that was connected, but had five stand-alone novellas. We wanted a captivating setting with history, where the winners of a contest would experience the same, yet very different resort setting. Where the owners of the resort played a key role in the romantic adventures of our heroes and heroines. What better way than to have a five different couples win a vacation to Castle Alainn in Noble Pass, Colorado. A resort that is run by an Irish couple who believes everyone deserved their own happily-ever-after...even if some of the participants don't want one!
What are the benefits and challenges of collaborating on a series when compared to your singular works?
Jerrie:  The benefits came from the challenges a project like this creates, we each had to push ourselves out of our own little world to create a bigger world. We had to compromise (5 strong women? There was a lot of tugging!) Every decision we were used to making for ourselves, had to be voted on. We each lost something we wanted, but in the end we all gained a series we're proud to put our name on.
Kym: I'm working with a team again! Since I started writing I've found it to be a very solitary profession. Sure you have critique partners, and agents and editors but when you're in the trenches--you're alone! YIKES! No backup when my heroine's down! But on a collaboration like the Noble Pass Affaire series, I can be 10-6 (busy) and the Chicks will have my back. The challenge? I'm a retired detective sergeant--in a group setting I have a tendency to take command of a scene. They have to Chick-slap me every now and then ;)
Do you have any interesting, funny or just plain weird writing quirks?
Jerrie:  Me? Weird? Since it’s just you and me chatting, here’s the truth. I write in absolute silence. (Hard to believe I’m ever silent, right?) Research is one of my favorite things, so before I begin, I’ll have lots of pages in the folder. Because Cold Day in Hell is set in the Columbian jungle, my research folder had over eighty pages of information before I wrote the first sentence. And I write slow, editing as I go. Sounds weird to me.
Kym:  When it comes to a violent scene, I write it, then act it out with my hubby--minus the weapons and injuries of course;) Then he critiques the hell out of it. Sometimes he wins, sometimes he loses--my characters decide who made the right call. 
What is the weirdest thing you have had to research for one of your books?
Jerrie:  Ah…you’re not referring to that sex scene in The Green-Eyed Doll are you??? No, of course not. ;) That’s a toss-up between drug trafficking in the Columbia jungle and human trafficking in the United States. Weirdest has to be the habits of some of the creatures that live in the jungle. There’s a poisonous but beautiful butterfly and a spider that spins, shooting out barbs that sting like crazy. That spider definitely made it into Cold Day in Hell.
Kym:  I don't know that I'd call it weird, (although some of the surf instructors I met thought I was weird!) but learning some of the surf lingo for my Malia Fern Mystery series is definitely challenging and fun.
If you were to write a book about yourself (fiction or non), what would the title be?
Jerrie:  Oh, that’s a tough one. I can tell you what the title won’t be…The Life of a Patient Person. I hate to admit it, but patience is not one of my endearing traits. I would hope it would be…How to Live, Love, and Laugh At Any Age.
Kym:  The Chick Won't Quit 
To date, what has been your favorite decade and why?
Jerrie:  Although I love the music of the 60s, I have to pick this one. It’s sounds mushy, but I’m doing great and my family is healthy. My husband’s doing well; my daughter and her family are outstanding, so I’m thinking life doesn’t get much better than it is today.
Kym:  I'd have to split my decades 1985-1995 I think those years introduced me to love, family, and my 1st career. (plus I perfected my goofy dancing style).
One of my embarrassing quirks is that I am a huge Golden Girls fan, I watch re-runs every weekend. Which Golden Girl (Sophia, Dorothy, Rose or Blanch) are you most like and why? 
Jerrie:  I loved that show! Those women were some of the funniest women ever. I think I’m a combo of all four, (well, maybe not a lot of Blanch) but if I have to pick one, it’s Dorothy. She’s a straight shooter who tells it like it is. There’s nothing false about her…it is what it is. (I’ll admit to a little of Sophia’s blunt talk)
Kym:  Dorothy- #1 she has my mom's name and every line that comes out of Bea Arthur's mouth, is my mom. #2 I'm becoming my mom despite my desire to be Betty White!
If you could be a character in any novel, who would you be and why?
Jerrie:  Now you’re going really going to think I’m crazy. I would be Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.  (But I want Gerard Butler to be my Mr. Darcy.) *sigh* 
Kym:  The bad girl. The woman who breaks all the rules and un-apologetically loves every minute of it. The exact opposite of me;) although, I do like to MAKE the rules.
Kym, your background is in law enforcement, do you ever finding writing more challenging than your work in the judicial system?  What do you miss most about wearing the badge?
Kym:  Absolutely. As a writer, I get to put every bad guy where he belongs,(that's the easy part) but like I said earlier, when I'm knee deep in deadlines and stuck on the scene that should be second nature to me, it's ultimately up to me, and me alone to get it done. There is no mic on my shoulder to turn to and say, "Send me back up!" or a partner to take this report because I'm already down two others. It's up to me to carry the load, and write the thin blue line after the words, 'The End.' 
As far as what I miss about police work, I miss the officers and the satisfaction of seeing a case through to the end. But what probably bothers me most, is not being able to make a difference in a victim's path to the justice they deserve.
For those of us who are new fangirls, can you tell us a little about your other works?
Jerrie:  You bet! I don’t write cliffhangers; all my books are written to stand alone, connected only by characters. And in the Lost and Found, Inc. series it’s four men who went their separate ways after college but come together when they learn one of their old loves is in danger. Each man has his own story to be told. I’m working on the last book in that series.
Till Justice is Served is book one in my newest series, Killer Affections.  Till Justice is Served sets four law enforcement officers on different paths. Each one will deal with an obsessive stalker who would rather kill than accept that their affection is unwanted by the heroine.  

Kym:  My books tend to revolve around the perseverance of the human spirit through pure grit, humor and love.

Handled BOfficer is a romantic suspense novel, based heavily on police procedures. Kiley Gibbons is a young police recruit in over her head, with the job and her academy instructor Walt Raynham. Walt wants nothing to do with commitment or a family, until honor forces him to propose to the one woman capable of getting under his skin. Now Kiley and Walt have everything they never wanted, and a killer willing to take it all away...unless they learn to lead with their heart and fight for more than justice.

Dead On Arrival fits in the women sleuth mystery genre. Malia Fern is female surf instructor who loves her carefree life, until she stumbles upon a dead body on the beach and thinks he's talking to her from his sandy grave. When two sexy men offer to help her in two totally different ways, she suddenly doesn't have enough hours in the day to just catch a wave--and her simple island life is suddenly more dangerous and more complicated than she ever imagined. 

Dead Man's Carve is a cozy mystery that pushes the boundaries of the genre. Rilee Dust is a young widow who has made her life all about her work, the wood carving shop she owns and operates in the town of Tickle Creek, Oregon. Content to hide in the past, Rilee is forced to live again when a dog knocks on her door and leads her to a trail of dead bodies. But it's the military vet who saves her from a dangerous mistake, that makes her realize she's capable of feeling passion once again. Together they must stop a killer from destroying everything she loves. (All proceeds go to wounded veterans.) 

 And finally, what are you working on now?
Jerrie:  No Greater Hell is book four, the final book, in the Lost and Found, Inc. series. It will be tough putting this series to bed. I’ve spent a lot of time with these four men and will miss them for sure!
Kym:  What am I not working on!  I've got three works in progress. The sequel to DOA--Dead Right There is a little over half-way done where Malia Fern embarks on a journey to clear a friend's name in a murder case while juggling those two sexy men she wishes she never met! My second project is another Noble Pass Affaire NovellaRed Lace where the character who was literally left out in the cold in Flirting with the Devil will receive his own happily-ever-after. And the third project is a new cozy mystery series I just signed with Kensington's E-publisher, Lyrical Press that will be released at the end of 2016. 
Thanks so much for hanging out with us today and letting us get to know you a little better. We wish the Chick Swagger Chicks the best of luck on the release of the Noble Pass Affaire, and can't wait to see what adventures you ladies present to us in the future!
Jerrie:  Jen! My pleasure! I’m so glad we met in New Orleans. Thank you for review Flirting with Fate. I’m thrilled you enjoyed the story. 
Kym:  Thank you for having me Bambi! It has been a challenging pleasure;) Until next time, I'll be 10-42.