Sunday, August 31, 2008

Two More New Reviews--5 Flags and an Outstanding Read

I'm happy to announce two more excellent reviews for The Dance. Plus The Dance is Book of The Week at Whipped Cream Reviews and Outstanding Read at Simply Romance Reviews

Euro-Reviews--5 Flags

The Dance by Jami Davenport is the story of a man and a woman who have been deeply wounded by loss and betrayal. They've each handled their pain very differently but still end up in the same place - hiding behind thick walls to keep out anyone who could hurt them again.

Mariah has been alone for as long as she can remember. She clings to material things because they don't run away. But still she keeps the hope alive that one day she'll find real love and have the whole fantasy. But in the meantime she'd rather by like Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind, and not think about it until tomorrow.

Rico has his own skeletons in his past and in his present his freeloading family is milking him dry. A has-been rock star who was addicted to drugs, Rico has thrown himself into his import business to keep everything else out of his life. But still his family is making him nuts so he goes into "hiding" in the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington State. When he sees Mariah on her horse she puts the first chink in his wall in years, but is he ready to let her in, and will she want to cross that threshold?

The two can't resist each other and eventually give in to their feelings and their walls come tumbling down. But all too soon it is time for Rico to head back to his "real" life and that coupled with the truths that Mariah learns brings their happiness crashing against the rocks.

The Dance is a great book! It pulls on your heartstrings and caused me to tear up a time or two. I really felt for Mariah and all the hurts she had to work through. Her growth throughout the story was inspiring. Rico, of course, had my heart from the beginning. And when the two are together it is beyond scorching! Through all of this The Dance is still more than just a love story, there are some ups and downs which keep you guessing and causes plenty of hand wringing as we wait to see if they will get their happily ever after. I definitely recommend this book, its a great read filled to the brim with real emotions and plenty of heat.


Simply Romance Reviews--"A" Rating and Outstanding Read

Mariah Baker doesn’t want to nurse her wounds – not the kind on the outside but the inside ones, that are deep and painful. She’d rather put it off like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind, but in The Dance she’ll learn that isn’t the best way to heal.

Rico is hiding from a family which is milking him dry. A music star that was betrayed and then shunned, he went into the import business and still supports his freeloading family. But he’s bored in his “hideout” until the day he sees a vision on a horse and can’t stay away.
Mariah and Rico are instantly attracted to each other and work hard to keep it controlled – at least for a while. Mariah knows Rico will leave at the end of the month and she doesn’t even know his true identity, he pushes all of her buttons and she can’t resist.

But nothing is as it seems and when Mariah finds out the truth and Rico goes back to his “real” life it is almost too much for her to bare. Coupled with the underhanded plotting by her unscrupulous ex, Mariah doesn’t have much of a chance though she puts up a good fight.

I really enjoyed Jami Davenport’s The Dance. It is a beautiful love story and so much more. There is a lot of plot weaving and twists here that you wouldn’t expect in this kind of story but it all works, especially the love scenes – can you say “smokin’?” If you’re looking for a read which will bring tears to your eyes and joy to your heart then pick up The Dance you won’t be disappointed.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Vote for The Dance for Book of the Week

The Dance is a finalist for Book of the Week at Long and Short Romance Reviews based on the best review. Please, please, please take a moment to drop in and vote for The Dance at Whipped Cream. The reviewer truly did a very thorough and thoughtful job on my review and deserves to win the award. So drop in, it'll just take a few seconds of your time. Voting ends on Sunday.

New Review for The Dance

I had to share this wonderful review with all of you. It is truly incredible, and I'm blown away by it.

Whipped Cream Reviews--5 Cherries
The Dance by Jami Davenport
Siren PublishingContemporary

Full length, M/F
Review by Xeranth

♥ ♥ ♥
Right from the get-go, The Dance embraced humor, warmth, very human characters and a wealth of possibilities. It’s a well told tale about two people who make choices with the best of intentions and get the worst results. However, until they face their demons, and for one of them, it ends up being formidable, they will have an incomplete future.

You might wonder about my word choice, ‘incomplete future’. Think of a scale – you put two items to weigh and they don’t match. Of course you are going to add something to or subtract from the one that needs to be balanced. Thing is, sometimes the item we believe to be perfect ends up being not enough. That is how I see the relationship between Rico and Mariah. It’s a delicate dance to make a relationship work and Ms. Davenport explores this from a very human perspective. Our hero and heroine each end up giving, but the scales remain unbalanced. They have to come to terms with what each is willing to do, to go that extra mile, if they want that balanced future, a complete future.

The back drop totally fascinated me. Oh sure, this occurs in a delightful and romantic location but what hooked me were the horses, especially Mariah’s horse, SueƱo. The riding discipline that Mariah practices is called dressage. I had no clue what that was; couldn’t wrap my mind around what that would look like. I found a co-worker who knew exactly what it was because she herself practices it with her horse so I was able to pick her brain. How cool was that? Think of the Lipizzaner stallions and you’ll get the picture. Once I figured it out, I had a new appreciation for Mariah’s character and enjoyed the story on a whole other (new) level. Now I am fascinated with Ms. Davenport’s choice of profession for her character. I wonder, what was her inspiration?

The only blip in reading this story came very early on within the first few pages. There is an editing glitch where the same line is repeated twice. I can assure you that it is the only one you will find. The rest is perfect.

The conflict of the story is meaty and emotional. Ms. Davenport resists, though I have no idea how she did it, the easy way out for her characters. I really wanted Rico to save the day. I wanted the conflict to end as happily as Mariah and Rico eventually become. The author stuck to realism and endeared her characters to me even more. They are not perfect, they are not cardboard and neither are they capable of super human acts. Rico and Mariah are just a man and a woman stumbling through the pile of yuck life has thrown at them, to come out on the other side with bumps and bruises but whole.

The passion they share is sweet and hot. The happily ever after is well earned and emotional. And through it all, Ms. Davenport keeps it optimistic with humor, love of family and hope. Which is a good thing because there are some tense moments which for me, were jarring and emotional. You can’t come away from reading The Dance untouched. I certainly didn’t and I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a well told romance.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Are You Ready for Some Football?

I have a huge stack of books waiting to be read and another folder full of ebooks. I picked this book up and RWA Nationals and read it on the way home on the plane. I thoroughly enjoyed it. You can bet I'll be picking up the next in her football series.

Game for Anything Game for Anything by Bella Andre

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I love a football hero and have written several of them myself. As a major football fan, nothing is hotter than a man in shoulder pads and those tight pants. Bella writes a good, entertaining story. Great fun to read.

View all my reviews.

Friday, August 22, 2008

New Review for The Dance

I was happy to find this new review yesterday:

Dance, The
Jami Davenport
Siren Publishing, 2008
ISBN: 1606010875
4 Stars
Reviewed by B. Lamar for

Just as Mariah swore off men, she met Rodrigo--handsome, sexy, and oh-so-tempting. The down-on-his-luck former rock star had been watching the beautiful woman ride her horse. Mariah’s bills were piling up. The old horse farm’s upkeep took an amazing amount of money. Plus, she had expensive taste. Everyone seemed to want a piece of Rodrigo. They seemed to think he was still making money, even though his bank account dwindled as his fame dwindled. Can this couple survive through the distrust?

Jami Davenport has created an entertaining look at the lives of has-been rock stars. The Dance is about maturing, learning to trust, and learning to love. The characters are well-developed and have depth. Fans of romantica will enjoy The Dance.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I SOLD--Two More Books!!!

I sold two more books last week.

My equestrian romance, The Gift Horse, is book two of the Reynolds family saga. If you read Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?, you might remember Carson the tight-ass brother. This is his story. Truthfully, my favorite book I've written to date. It stars an opinionated Hanoverian mare named Gabbie, who behaves suspiciously like my Hanoverian mare, Gailey. You can read a blurb about that book on my website.

My other book which I sold to Siren is still in the planning stages--more about it later.

I am also planning to work on another book this fall, hopefully, one of my football series books, so stay tuned. I love football and have been writing football related books for years. Now, it appears that there is finally a market for them.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Romance Novels and RWA

One of my RWA (Romance Writers of America) chaptermates brought my attento to this MSNBC clip from the Today Show about romance novels and the recent RWA conference in San Francisco.

Take a moment to watch. I know a lot of people thumb their noses at romance novels and romance writers. As a newly published author, I'm asked, "What kinds of books do you write?" I'll answer with, "Romance, a combination of romantic comedy and suspense." Quite often their response is, "I don't read those kinds of books."

Well, somebody does. Most likely, the very person that thumbed their noses at romance reads romance, they just don't realize it. Romance sells more books than any other fiction category. Yup, it's true, more than mysteries, more than SciFi, etc. Last year romance novels generated 1.375 billion in sales according to statistics on RWA's website.

Why are romance novels so popular? Part of the reason is what authors call the HEA--happily ever after. If you're like me and hate bad endings, you know that romance novels guarantee a good ending. With all of the stress and bad news in our lives, it's rewarding to escape into a fantasy world if even for a few minutes.

Another reason is diversity. There are romance novels for every taste. You can read steamy or sweet, paranormals, suspense, historicals, contemporaries, futuristics, science fiction. You name it, you can find it in romance.

Romance continues to grow and meet the needs of a young audience. The romance novel of today is very different from the one of twenty years ago. It'll be interesting to see where we are in the next twenty years.

So keep reading, and we'll keep writing.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hi from RWA Nationals

Hi, everyone, Jami Davenport from the Romance Writers of America's National Conference in San Francisco, California. I'm rooming with fellow Siren authors, Wendi Darlin and Allie K. Adams. We all arrived within an hour of each other on Tuesday afternoon only to find that our suite was "downgraded" to a small room with two small beds. Well, needless to say, there was no other room at the inn, so we're making do quite nicely actually.

Allie took us on a whirlwind tour of SF yesterday, complete with a packed trolley ride, in which Wendi and I were hanging on for dear life; and a rollercoaster ride by an accommodating taxi driver down SF's steepest hills. I think we left our stomachs somewhere on the 2nd block down the hill.

Wednesday night, we attended the literacy booksigning. I'd promised Nora autographs for some friends so I stood in Nora's line for 45 minutes just to get them. I'm happy to report that fellow Siren author, Lara Santiago, sold out of all her books at her first RWA booksigning. Later, we met Lara, Morgan Ashbury, and Morgan's husband for a lovely dinner in the hotel.

Then this morning I drug myself out of bed and went to a breakfast hosted by Debbie Macomber, who is the founder of my local RWA chapter. Debbie was hosting several Aussies and New Zealanders who were a hoot. After that, we met Lara and Morgan at the luncheon. Are you getting the theme of this so far? We're eating our way through San Francisco!
Victoria Alexander gave an entertaining talk at the luncheon on nuggets of wisdom. One of which was: If literary fiction is like wine then popular fiction is like water--and everybody drinks water.This afternoon we'll attend workshops and parties this evening. Needless to say, we're have a wonderful time connecting with old friends and making new ones.