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I am delighted to welcome VIOLETTA RAND to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview. Violetta writes hot New Adult romance, historical romance and steamy Viking romance.

Thank you, Carol! You know how much I enjoy spending time with you.

~~~~~~

R&R:
Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Violetta:
I was born in Pennsylvania, but spent seventy-five percent of my childhood in Corpus Christi, Texas. I consider myself a Texan at heart, but carry a passion for the Philadelphia Eagles (NFL team), soft pretzels, Tastykakes (a PA thing for sure), and reverting to a Rocky Balboa-like accent whenever I get angry.


R&R:

How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Violetta:
Easy-going, but very intolerant of drama.

R&R:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Violetta:
With a former chef in the house (husband), probably both. I love Sushi and Thai food, but won’t turn down an occasional Ribeye and mashed potatoes. As for strawberry shortcake, would probably take a bath in it if I could. 🙂

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Violetta:
As a little girl my mother collected some beautiful books. One really stood out in memory, Lion and Blue by Robert Vavra. Before my mom died a couple years ago, I requested the book. She sent it to me with the following inscription…

To my daughter, my beautiful girl, talented author, spirited and strong woman, and my special memory keeper. I will always love you and be proud of you. Enjoy this book and keep the spirit of it alive.

 

Violetta Rand Interview - Mom and me one
Mom and me

Violetta Rand Interview - Lion and Blue
Lion and Blue by Robert Vavra

 

R&R:
If you were able to afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Violetta:
I’m forever torn between two places, Israel and Norway. The sumptuous visuals of both locations and ancient histories amaze me.


R&R:

Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Violetta:
I’ve had many of these, Carol. However, some stay with you forever. My first time on the motorcycle racetrack outside Denver I crashed hard. So hard the EMTs transported me off the track and into the shed they used to assess patients in private. Both men asked me where I hurt. I said my chest (I forgot to wear my chest protector). They cut my shirt open, took one look, and happily announced everything looked perfect to them (big smiles on their faces).

Men will always be men.

~~~~~~

Thank you for taking time out to be here today, Violetta and sharing these interesting facts about yourself.

Thank you again, Carol. I love your blog and value your continued support of writers.

If you would like to find out more about Violetta and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

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I don’t think Julia Quinn will ever surpass her Bridgerton series but I am enjoying this spin off series about the members of the infamous Smythe-Smith Quartet. I have added this to my bookshelves.

(Smythe-Smith Quartet, #4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Sir Richard Kenworthy has less than a month to find a bride. He knows he can’t be too picky, but when he sees Iris Smythe-Smith hiding behind her cello at her family’s infamous musicale, he thinks he might have struck gold. She’s the type of girl you don’t notice until the second—or third—look, but there’s something about her, something simmering under the surface, and he knows she’s the one.

Iris Smythe–Smith is used to being underestimated. With her pale hair and quiet, sly wit she tends to blend into the background, and she likes it that way. So when Richard Kenworthy demands an introduction, she is suspicious. He flirts, he charms, he gives every impression of a man falling in love, but she can’t quite believe it’s all true. When his proposal of marriage turns into a compromising position that forces the issue, she can’t help thinking that he’s hiding something . . . even as her heart tells her to say yes.

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Violetta Rand,  best known for her exciting Viking Blind series, has now ventured into the world of hot contemporary romance with her Devil’s Den series.

(Devil’s Den, #1)

Genre: Contemporary New Adult

Cover Blurb:

Welcome to the Devil’s Den, a Texas strip club where the air is heavy with desire—and sometimes dreams come true.

Ever since her mother kicked her out, twenty-year-old Robyn Gonzalez has been working the poles at the Devil’s Den, saving up to finish college and travel the world. With only her wits and her gorgeous body to rely on, Robyn has learned to be independent—fiercely independent. She’s never been tempted to let a man distract her from her dreams . . . until she meets the dead-sexy Garrick Dempsey.

The club’s new head of security, Garrick had walked away from a career as a mechanical engineer to return to his roots in Corpus Christi. He hadn’t planned on getting to know someone like Robyn, with her sinfully sweet combination of vulnerability and strength, at the Devil’s Den. She acts tough, but only because she’s been hurt. Soon Garrick knows he will do anything to win Robyn’s trust. And if that means surrendering to the red-hot chemistry between them, all the better.

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I  am a great fan of Laura Lee Guhrke’s books. They are set during the late 19th or early 20th century, a time of far-reaching social and economic changes when the role of women in society is evolving and the balance of power is moving away from the landed aristocracy to the nouveau riche industrialists.

(An American Heiress in London, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

She’s an American heiress. He’s a devilish earl. When these two collide, the sparks ignite a shocking scandal in USA Today bestselling author Laura Lee Guhrke’s unforgettable Victorian-era romance.

Linnet Holland wants nothing to do with fortune hunters. No, she’s determined to marry a man who loves her. But just as she’s about to accept the perfect marriage proposal from the man she wants, the rakish Earl of Featherstone interrupts and ruins everything, including her reputation, with his smoldering kiss.

Jack Featherstone knows all about Linnet’s “intended”, and he’s determined she won’t fall prey to that villain as other women have in the past. But when his attempt to save Linnet ruins her instead, he knows he has to make things right. So he sets out to win this golden beauty . . . and prove to her that being ruined by him was the best thing that could have happened to her

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The eye-catching cover for the fourth book in Violetta Rand’s exciting Viking series.

(Blind, #4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Viking – 11th century)

Cover Blurb:

Betrayed by the woman he loved, Captain Marteinn can’t think of a better way to escape his misery than to win the summer games in Lagenheim. The victor is entitled to ask one favor from the jarl. And Marteinn knows exactly what he wants—his freedom from duty.

Taken to Norway after the Normans invade England, Mercia works hard to prove her loyalty to the Vikings. However, she fears she’ll never find true love. Until she meets Marteinn, a brooding warrior who never smiles, but still makes her legs quiver.

Is it just lust that makes their hearts spark, or is Marteinn being given a second chance at love?

 

Expected date of publication: 30th December 2014

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This is the first book in Violetta Rand’s hot contemporary Devil’s Den series.

VIOLETTA RAND: A Splash of Romance

I’m thrilled to share the cover and blurb for my first book in the Devil’s Den series (New Adult/Contemporary Romance) available for preorder (release date January 27, 2015 Random House). And a sneak peak…

9781101882672

Welcome to the Devil’s Den, a Texas strip club where the air is heavy with desire—and sometimes dreams come true.

Ever since her mother kicked her out, twenty-year-old Robyn Gonzalez has been working the poles at the Devil’s Den, saving up to finish college and travel the world. With only her wits and her gorgeous body to rely on, Robyn has learned to be independent—fiercely independent. She’s never been tempted to let a man distract her from her dreams . . . until she meets the dead-sexy Garrick Dempsey.

The club’s new head of security, Garrick had walked away from a career as a mechanical engineer to return to his roots in Corpus Christi. He hadn’t planned…

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LOURAINE MILLINGTON AND MEI

Congratulations to you both! I have passed your email addresses to Violetta so that she can arrange for your copy of Blind Redemption to be sent.

Happy reading, ladies!

 

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I am spotlighting BLIND REDEMPTION, the third book in Violetta’s Rand’s exciting Viking Blind series, which is released today.


ABOUT THE BOOK

 (Blind series, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Viking – 11th Century)

Cover Blurb…

The past is something he’d sooner forget…

Aaron McNally hates his past. Banished for betrayal, he trades his tartan for a Norwegian title and sword to win back his honor.

She has a warrior’s heart…

It’s difficult for Kara Dalgaard to act like a lady, even when her father demands it. After the handsome Jarl Aaron McNally arrives at her home recruiting for the king’s army, she’s forced to participate in a cruel deception to humiliate him. She quickly regrets what she’s done.

However, duty comes before happiness.

Aaron wants a second chance at life—and Kara is everything he’s dreamed of. But the past always has a way of catching up.

Will Kara trust or condemn him to a life of loneliness?

Buy Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

 

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 EXCERPT

 No voice had ever sounded so enchanting, so potent. Could this be a walking dream? The spirit-woman turned. Christ’s blood … the last person he wished to see again … Erik’s daughter. Bright blue eyes pierced him the same way they had in the hall.

Here in the moonlight, dressed in little more than a shift, she resembled a goddess. Their gazes met. Fire fueled fire. Although he wanted to touch her, he feared what would happen. He’d never be able to stop.

“Why are you here?” she asked.

Her words pulled him out of his dark thoughts. “I have no answer,” he admitted. “Something tempted me to swim across that lake. Or someone…” For a moment the world spun slowly around Aaron. Everything he wanted stared him in the face. The peace of nightfall, trees, water, and a fiery temptress who didn’t know when to shut up.

“Tempted?” she scoffed. “Perhaps my father outwitted you again and you came here to lick your wounds in private.”

What he’d give to be able to crawl back into that lake and swim out of Kara’s life forever. There was a better chance of Odin splitting his skull in half. “Who have you been talking to, lass? The tides have turned—your father no longer opposes me. And this chance meeting has nothing to do with your sire.”

“Oh?” She looked sharply at him. “Do you think I’ve been waiting for you?”

He shook his head. “The thought never crossed my mind,” he said. “Were you?”

“No. I come here to pray.”

“It’s a beautiful spot.”

“Aye,” she agreed. “Frequented by my mother, and now me.”

“You weren’t praying when I arrived.”

“No,” she said. “I enjoy the stars almost as much as the gods.”

“Odin’s universe is vast.”

“Odin’s?” she asked. “Don’t you mean God’s?”

“Whoever created the heavens,” he quickly corrected himself. “I often find myself mystified by its beauty.”

“What else interests you, milord? War? Politics?”

“Peace.”

She cocked her head. “Are you a negotiator for the king or a soldier?”

“My responsibilities require many skills.”

“Including intimidating my father?”

He scooted closer. “Unfortunately, milady, your father threatened me first. I am a principled man, slow to temper, but protective of my honor.”

“Why does my sire mistrust you?”

“Who am I to know your father’s mind?” She asked too many questions. Questions he wasn’t ready to answer. Maybe someday.

 “Why does your father dress you in armor and train you to fight?”

She laughed. “For the same reason you held a dagger to my brother’s throat last night. For the sake of honor.”

He looked at her more closely. Endless beauty met his gaze, but there was something different about her. A quiet confidence. And her eyes…

Warm excitement flowed through him. He gazed heavenward again. “Look.”

“A shooting star,” she said excitedly.

“An omen.”

“From your prophets or Allfather?”

Aaron rested his right hand on her arm. “Why credit anyone?”

“You prefer mystery?”

“I prefer you,” he said.

She closed her eyes and placed her tiny hand over his. “I can’t stop thinking about you.”

 It took a moment for her words to sink in. By Odin, she’d declared her feelings. Only he wished she hadn’t. Every inch of his body screamed to get closer. “I’m trying very hard to control myself.”

A smile lifted the corners of her mouth, she opened her eyes. “What if I don’t want you to?”

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Violetta Rand holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy and a master’s degree in Environmental Management. Serving as an environmental scientist in the state of Alaska for over seven years, she enjoys the privilege of traveling to remote places few people have the opportunity to see.

Violetta has been “in love” with writing since childhood. Struck with an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, at five, she wrote short stories illustrated by her best friend and sold them in her neighborhood. The only thing she loves more than writing is her wonderful relationship with her husband, Jeff. She enjoys outdoor activities, reading whatever she can get her hands on, music, and losing herself in the ancient worlds she enjoys bringing to life in the pages of her stories.

You can connect with Violetta on:

Facebook

Goodreads

Twitter

 

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THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

 

Violetta is kindly giving away TWO Kindle copies of BLIND REDEMPTION and you will need to have an Amazon account.  To be eligible for the Giveaway just leave a comment together with your email address.

The Giveaway will run from June 25 – July 2.

 

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MY REVIEW

This is the third book in Violetta Rand’s Blind series and Aaron McNally’s story. I admit that when I started reading this book, I had serious doubts that Ms Rand could adequately redeem Aaron in my eyes. I don’t want to spoil Blind Mercy for those who haven’t read it, but I’ll just say that Aaron’s acts of betrayal did seem unforgivable. Well, it’s confession time, because by the end of the book, Ms Rand not only redeemed Aaron but he became my favourite hero of the series.

Believe only in those things that draw you to his breast: strength, ferocity, magnitude, bravery, loyalty, victory, honesty, passion, and love.”

Aaron’s decision to renounce Christianity and follow Odin’s laws seems to symbolise a cleansing of his soul enabling him to turn his life around.  I began to see many redemptive qualities in him…his loyalty to King Olaf; his firm but fair treatment of his men; the way he rushes to aid Kara regardless of the danger; working on the improvements to his home; wanting to honour tradition and present himself to Kara’s father as a formal suitor. Aaron fears he will always be judged by his past sins when he faces the hostility and distrust of Kara’s father, Eric the Bold.

Erik’s eyes flashed. “I’ve worked side-by-side with just about every sort of man, Jarl McNally. Criminals and saints. Pagans and Christians. Do you know what kind of man I have no tolerance for? An outcast who betrays his kinsman out of jealously and hate. Do you understand?”

Kara has the strength, determination and heart of a true Viking warrior. I could just see her wielding that sword. It’s easy to see why she resents her lack of freedom and the need to conform to her father’s expectations. Her desire for independence and adventure sometimes causes her to act recklessly…

Tomorrow? What if Erling killed her today? Kara stared heavenward. Where was the man she truly wanted? Please Odin. Send Aaron McNally to rescue me…

I enjoyed how the romance develops allowing for some heated exchanges, a moonlight kiss, a touch of jealousy, a woodland tryst, bitter condemnations, a declaration of love, a romantic poem and a special wedding.

Tyr and Rachelle (Blind Mercy) play an important role in this story and I was pleased to see the rift between Aaron and his cousin, Tyr, finally healed.  The idea of a fierce warrior like Tyr playing matchmaker made me smile and the friendship between Kara and Rachelle was a nice touch too.

Once again, Ms Rand provides fascinating glimpses of the Viking world. I loved the reference to the Norse names for the constellations and the story of how earth was created. I was also fascinated by the details of the Norse wedding.

The plot had enough intrigue and action to keep my interest…kidnapping, betrayal, a dramatic rescue, a merciless villain and a revelation about one of the characters that I definitely didn’t see coming.

BLIND REDEMPTION is another worthy and enjoyable addition to this exciting series.


REVIEW RATING: 4.5 /5 Stars

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT
The Blind series so far (click on book covers for more details):

Blind Allegiance by Violetta Rand Blind Mercy (Blind, #2) by Violetta Rand Blind Redemption (Blind Series Book 3) by Violetta Rand


I would like to thank Violetta Rand for kindly providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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The striking cover for the third book in Violetta Rand’s exciting Viking series.

Image
(Blind Series, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Viking)

Cover Blurb

The past is something he’d sooner forget…

Aaron McNally hates his past. Banished for betrayal, he trades his tartan for a Norwegian title and sword to win back his honor.

She has a warrior’s heart…

It’s difficult for Kara Dalgaard to act like a lady, even when her father demands it. After the handsome Jarl Aaron McNally arrives at her home recruiting for the king’s army, she’s forced to participate in a cruel deception to humiliate him. She quickly regrets what she’s done.

However, duty comes before happiness.

Aaron wants a second chance at life—and Kara is everything he’s dreamed of. But the past always has a way of catching up.

Will Kara trust or condemn him to a life of loneliness?

(Release date: 25th June 2014 -Soul Mate Publishing)

 

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