Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Tour for Assumed Calling by Lila Munro (REVIEW & GIVEAWAY)


What a wonderful way to start the week!  We have the amazing, and hard working, Lila Munro visiting with her latest release, Assumed Calling, a BDSM story featuring a couple full of emotional baggage and an age difference to boot.  Learn more about this story by reading my interview with Lila, along with a sneak peek. Don't forget your chance to win a girl's best friend, chocolate, just for commenting.  Let's welcome, Lila Munro......

TSP:  How did you get where you are today with your writing career and what do you wish you'dknown before starting out?
LM:  By the school of hard knocks. When I started out I didn’t have an advisor, didn’t know a single soul in the industry, and learned everything by scraping my literary knees repeatedly, crying, picking myself up, dusting off, and trying again. Then I started to learn and the rest has been by the sweat of my brow. Writing is not for sissies and takes a lot of hard work and determination. It takes a strong will, a thick skin, and mental toughness because people more than the industry itself can be brutal. The one thing I’d wish I’d known…that marketing would take up so much time and how exactly to do that and do it well.  It wouldn’t have deterred me, but I think I’d have been much more successful from the get-go had I known at least the basics of that aspect.

TSP:  Can you describe your writing space to us and do you have any inspirational items surrounding you while writing?
LM:  I have my own office just off the family living space. I did at one time have my office set up upstairs, but felt isolated from the world and hated that feeling, so downstairs I moved and now I feel more connected. The space I have now has windows which I love. I love being able to see outside, no matter what the weather. J I have plants in here, pictures of family and friends, mylate dog Rags’ ashes, paperbacks of my own work, and a stuffed rhino to remind me to be tough every day.

TSP:  Beyond its synopsis, what do you want us to know about Assumed Calling?
LM:  That’s it’s a life lesson. No matter how old you get, love is possible and you can have your do-over. At any point you can redefine your life and change your path.

TSP:  You've written in many genres, are there any you haven't tried yet that you want to?
LM:  I dearly love to read historical romance—all eras, all scenarios from pirates to Regency to Highlanders. I love, love, love it. It truly is an escape for me. And while I’d love to write this genre someday, someday is far away. Historical takes a special kind of care to write. It requires a lot of research and attention to detail as this genre normally has a very specific audience and they are very tuned into what is real and not real for their favorite time period. Being anal to a fault about details and facts, I’d want to get it completely right or not do it at all.

TSP:  Which book of yours do you get the most reader comments regarding and why do you think that is?
LM:  So far it’s by far been Assumed Master, book four Identity series. I started getting reader feedback the first day and even though it’s been out for months now, it’s still coming. My best guess as to why has to be the controversial story line coupled with the wide variety of character sexuality. Dante is of course a practicing bisexual which should provide enough story in and of itself, but toss in the fact he’s inherited Julie and people really begin to stop, think, and analyze.It’s also been one of those stories either the reader loved it or hated it, there seems to be no middle ground.

TSP:  How has the digital revolution affected your career and how you market yourself? Do you have an eReader yourself?
LM:  My career began well into the digital age, so I don’t actually know what it would be without that. I’ve also written, published, and marketed accordingly. And yes, I own a Kindle and love it. I’ve used it so much at this point, holding a real book feels odd.

TSP:  My blog is all about favorite things, what are some of your favorite things/the things you can't live without?
LM:  Corny answer, there is no material thing I couldn’t live without. People are much, much more important to me, my husband topping that list followed by a few very special people in my life. You see, out of the last nine years, my husband has spent a total of six deployed. He’s the one thing I’ve been forced to live without basically and once he’s home for good—he is the number one thing I can’t/won’t live without again. The people following hot on his heels include family and my best friend. Most of my family lives in the mid-west as does my best friend. I’d pick any or all of them over any material thing any day.

Like the beat of a primal drum whispering the rhythm of an ancient dance, the lifestyle calls…

At the seasoned age of fifty-six, Allen Bourke has resigned himself to the fact he’ll probably never find someone to top he can also love. While he’s had wives and lovers, none of them endured and he’s come to the conclusion the clock’s ticking and age is working against him. Then a very intriguing Nicki Cartwright pings on his radar at what Allen determines will be his last house party. He can’t help but notice while he and his friends are getting older, the players emerging on the scene are forever getting younger. Nicki's no exception. Determined to resist the vibes humming between them, he only agrees to service her after his old friend, Kyle Montgomery, convinces him it's entirely feasible. Then it’s brought to Allen’s attention who Nicki really is. Knowing their pasts are forever intertwined, as hard as he tries to ignore his heart, he finds himself yielding to the tides of fate.
Born to senatorial royalty, Nicki Cartwright has spent her entire life trying to shield her mother from her father’s wrath while drifting further and further into a world where panic is normal and anxiety is always on the edge of her reality. Tired of burning the candle at both ends and forever trying to live up to the picture of All-American perfection her father James Cartwright touts as his ace in the hole during election cycles, Nicki finds herself on the path of self-discovery in search of relief from the stressors continually swamping her mind. What she doesn’t expect is to find who she thought she was is truly just a shadow of the person she really is. And what scares her most is the fact Allen, the only person she thought she could trust, has been holding a secret since before she was born which could destroy her entire family.

EXCERPT:

When the urge to kiss Nicki had become unbearable, Allen had showed her where she could take a shower, provided her a pair of his old lounge pants and a t-shirt he knew would be three sizes too big, and slipped downstairs to get her a cup of hot chocolate. She seemed like the type of woman who would drink black coffee so stiff you could stand a spoon in it in public, sip tea while with other proper ladies, and needed a good cup of chocolate when in distress and in  complete privacy, perhaps with a healthy dose of something stronger than toilet cleaner splashed in it.
As he steamed some whole cream on the stove, he mentally ran through his list of reliable young Doms who were either looking for an available sub or were willing to train and service one until she could find a good match. One thing he knew for certain, he was too old to play this dangerous game with her feelings and he had to find someone else to help her through the initial fog of figuring out if she was cut out for this lifestyle or not. If he was being honest, and right now all he wanted to do was lie to himself, he already knew she was cut out for it and nothing would please him more than to be the service Dom she needed, but he wasn’t in the market for any more disasters and to take her on would be setting them both up for one of catastrophic proportions.

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THE STORY:

With a somewhat confusing start, due to this book being part of a series, this story soon goes into overdrive as the story of two people damaged by the past try to overcome their hurts in each other's arms. Allen is sick of the circuit and how meaningless the BDSM parties have become.  He's still handsome and charismatic but knows time's getting away from him.  After three unpleasant divorces he's also lonely, but unsure of wanting to put his heart on the line again. After meeting Nicki he knows she's got emotional baggage but she's the first woman to stir his heart in a long time.  She's much younger than him with a father who enjoys destroying others but he can't help wanting to be her hero....for perhaps longer than they originally planned.

Nicki's life has been one full of emotional pain courtesy of her father.  It's left her with moments of child-like behavior that show a woman still carrying scars that no amount of therapy or pills can help.  She soon finds solace in Allen's strength if she can just let herself trust him.  Things don't automatically turn around though as her father rears his ugly head and the story takes a darker turn into cloak and dagger revenge that leads to a powerful ending.

Throughout the story are many steamy scenes taking place in the BDSM world.  These scenes are tastefully done but don't shy away from the intensity of BDSM-play.  The age difference might be a problem for some but I felt the deep connection between these two and the healing power of their love for each other.  I've only read Ms. Munro's historical books before this but after reading this heartwrenching story I'll be sure to read the rest of this exciting series from the start.

My rating for this is a B+

*I received this book from he author in exchange for my honest opinion.


AUTHOR INFO:

Lila Munro currently resides on the coast of North Carolina with her husband and their two four-legged kids. She’s a military wife with an empty nest and takes much of her inspiration for her heroes from the marines she’s lived around for the past fifteen years. Coining the term realmantica, she strives to produce quality romance in a realistic setting. Her genre of choice is contemporary romance that spans everything from the sensual to BDSM and ménage. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, trips to the museum and aquarium, taking field research trips, and soaking up the sun on the nearby beaches. Her works include The Executive Officer’s Wife, Bound By Trust, Destiny’s Fire, Salvation, Three for Keeps, the Force Recon series, the Slower Lower series, and the Identity series. She’s a member in good standing of RWA and Passionate Ink. Currently she’s working on sequels to several series to be released throughout 2012-2013 and has a brand new line scheduled for winter 2012-13. 


You can contact her via email at lilasromance@gmail.com.

You can find her at:  REALMANTIC MOMENTS  |  FACEBOOK  |  GOODREADS  |  TWITTER

You can also find all her works at:   AMAZON  |  ARe  |  NOOK  |  BOOKSTRAND

**********GIVEAWAY**********

Lila will be awarding a Godiva Chocolates gift basket worth at least $35.00 to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

-To be entered, leave a comment, along with your email addy.
-A winner will be chosen randomly from all comments made throughout the tour, so the more you comment the greater your chances of winning.  A list of all participating blogs can be found here.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 2/18.

13 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting me today and thank you for reviewing me!

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  2. Thanks for the excerpt. sounds like a story I would like.

    miztik_rose@yahoo.com

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  3. Interesting blurb with the hero being older, lonely and having had three divorces.

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

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  4. Not blurb, I meant review of the book.

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

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  5. Sounds like a really good read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

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  6. I already have this book on my must have list. While I am not really near the heroes age, I can totally understand the thought of everyone seeming so young these days. Since my nieces grew up (one is turning 18 at the end of this month, the other will be 19 about 2 weeks later), I feel so much older than I did just a few years ago.
    Thanks so much for the giveaway. Chocolate & books go so well together, lol.
    manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

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  7. Everything you write is great regardless of genre. and u are so right, love can come at any age, seniors that are madly in love are living proof of it and I dont mind at all reading BDSM, as soon as it is tastful and there is story not just sex, and that goes for any book for me. We also live on the coast of NC and have my entire life, actually I am very proud to say our town is the worlds best base, CLNC. We love our military, where would we be without them.

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  8. Great summary and review! :) Will look for it next time I am in a book store!

    maybe31 at yahoo.com

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  9. Very nice review.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  10. Adding to my TBR pile.....I definitely don't need tv :)


    Tiggbabe(at) aol.com

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  11. Sounds like a great story, thanks for the review!

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  12. Adding to my "to read" list. Thanks for the giveaway! lcminer at windstream dot net

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