Thursday, April 22, 2010

Feature Review: "Hot Southern Nights," By Dianne Castell

By Becke Davis, RBTB Contributing Editor

Dianne's giving 3 lucky, randomly chosen commenters win copies of her sexy, funny new read, "Hot Southern Nights!" Please have your email addy in your comment or blogger profile to enter.

“Mayhem and Magnolias”

Take it from me, it takes more than being born below the Mason-Dixon Line to make you a Southerner. I was born where the local speech is slow as molasses, but I grew up a fast-talking Yank. What I know of the South, I’ve mainly learned from books. Some authors bring the South to life so clearly I can taste the salt spray from the ocean, smell the magnolias and feel the sweat on my brow. After reading a couple of Dianne Castell’s books, like her I find myself wanting to say, “Butter my butt and call me a biscuit," and "Y’all can call me 'Miss Becke,'” too.

In Castell's new "Hot Southern Nights," Librarian Churchill McKenzie is Southern as sweet tea, but she’s no Scarlett O’Hara; she’s a good girl, or she tries to be. Is it her fault things go wrong whenever she tries to do right? Taking on the New Jersey mob was the right thing to do, because it led her back home to Savannah. And it was right to label Cal Davis a thief after she caught him running from the church where thousands of dollars were missing. But sending Cal to prison for three years was all wrong, and she intends to put that right once and for all. If only Cal weren’t so blamed stubborn, insisting she leave it alone now that he’s free.

Ex-con Cal Davis knows he’ll never be good enough for Churchill McKenzie, who’s smart as a whip and Savannah’s sweetheart to boot. It was pure luck he’d had one amazing night with her, burning up the backseat of his ’67 Mustang with their bare behinds. He tries to leave Churchill alone, but the woman is a magnet for trouble – she might have sent him to jail, but now she’s intent on proving his innocence. If she succeeds, she’ll put herself in danger and the three years he served will all be for nothing.

Dianne Castell’s “Hot Summer Nights” will make you crave moon pies and martinis, two olives, as she spins a honeyed tale of a mismatched couple whose road to romance is paved with mystery, mayhem and a mutual attraction that just won’t quit. A secondary romance offers a riotous primer on How to Be Southern and features a bathroom scene that will make you cry – with laughter. She surrounds Cal and Churchill with a cast of lovably quirky friends and family, a sort of Walton’s Mountain-comes-to-Savannah. “Hot Summer Nights” comes out in early May, but you can read Dianne’s “Hot and Irresistible” while you’re waiting for it. I’m not just whistling “Dixie” when I say you should --

Buy the Book!

Just what is it that makes the South sizzle? Is it the heat that makes roses smell so sweet? The slow, sultry way the natives speak? What about you – are you a Southern belle at heart?
Make sure you jump on board the RBTB NEWs so you don't miss out on any of the upcoming new stuff happening. You'll only get the advance deets if you take part. So please join here, won't you?!


Dianne Castell said...

Hi, Becke.

Thanks for the wonderful review of HSN!!!!! I love Savannah and a mystery and this has both along with my fav characters...the Jersey gangster, the genius brother, the librarian, the dancer and the race car driver. So much fun.

I’d love to know from the readers who is their fav character? The cop, soldier, doctor, spy...don’t you just love spy stores!

I'll give away three copies of HSN from the responder list today.

Hugs, Dianne

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas, and Hi Dianne! Can I tell you that Becke raves about this book and I'm dying to read it! I so wish i had a copy right now, cause i'm headed out the door for a 3-day, house-hunting trip. no kids and plenty of reading time. And now i'm feeling kind of giddy -- could be the lack of sleep over the past weeks and the amt of coffee I've had this a.m. -- but I want you to know you're one of my FAVorite people. you're a total bundle of energy, always with good things to say. Last year, i remember a particularly decadent pair of desserts shared over irish cofees with you and janice maynard before the Foster/Castell get-together started. lots of talk of romance and boys i think. giggling like teens ensued.

And funny you should mention spies, because i was just thinking yesterday how much i love spy heroes...

Becke Davis said...

Michelle - best of luck with your house-hunting! I hope the weather gods cooperate while you are traveling. It's exciting to think your future home is just waiting for you to discover it!

Dianne - I so enjoyed this book, and readers get a lot for their money with not one, not two, but THREE romances and some fabulous, quirky and original characters.

I usually don't mention much about the secondary characters when I write a blog, but I had to mention them this time. This was really a fun run, and the title is absolutely perfect!

The Reading Frenzy said...

Wow, I haven't had the pleasure of reading Dianne (yet) thanks Becke, my straining pile, TBR pile that is.

I love novels based on Southerners, they seem like they live a different life than the rest of us and so many different sects of southerners too. Lowcountry, New Orleans, the Carolinas they all have their different attitudes and traditions. I guess that what really brings me to a southern novel the traditions that seem embedded in all the residents. How they treat people immigrating into their various cities. There also seems to be a deeper sense of history in southern novels that you don't see in others.
Dianne can't wait to read this book.
Becke, thanks for the article.
Michelle, it's good to have you back bella.

Becke Davis said...

Debbie - I hadn't realized how drawn I am to Southern-style books until I looked at my "keeper" shelf. LOTS of them there.

Dianne Castell said...

Hi, Debbie!
Sounds like you're a closet Belle too. :-) I even have pearls and I know how to twirll a baton!! And I do a great fry chicken.

Send me your address at with Buy The Book in the subj line and I'll send you a copy of Hot Southern Nights.

Enjoy and thanks for chatting.



Becke Davis said...

Dianne - Debbie is a rock star over at B&N; she reviews a lot of books. She has made my TBR pile grow a lot!

Michelle Santiago said...

I too haven't read dianne's books yet. But I do love a good steamy romantic read! I also haven't read a book set in the South for a while so I'm doubly interested. Thanks for the wonderful review! :)

Becke Davis said...

Hi Chelly - Dianne's book makes me want to go to Savannah (I've never been there), but not in the heat of summer! I want to go in spring, when everything is in bloom.

The Reading Frenzy said...

Wow, thanks Dianne, ,my addy is on it's way to you out in the ether some where.
I can't wait to read it.
Um Becke pot, kettle, yeah you know.
yeah maybe we could talk Dianne in to joining us over at B&N she'd be a hit.
Thanks again Dianne

Karyn Gerrard said...

Hi Becke, I love being introduced to new authors, thanks for the great review!

And the south? Love they way they drawl, but the south in the summer, whoa. Last year Hubby and I drove through Tennesee. etc, I drank a gallon of iced tea.

Becke Davis said...

I go to Florida a lot and it's a killer in summer. Do you count Florida as the South, though? There are so many Northerners down there, I never think of it as Southern. Atlanta's kind of the same way.

You're lucky you drove through Tennessee in heat. Twice, my husband and I have been caught in major blizzards there.

runner10 said...

There is nothing like exploring the many layers of a Southern Belle!!
Sounds like a great read!

Dianne Castell said...

Him Karyn and Runner 10!!

Wonderful chatting with you.
If you both send me your address I'll send you copies of Hot Southen Nights. The only thing I as that you post a short review at your fav site.

Send your snail addresses to and put Buy the Book in the subj line.


The Reading Frenzy said...

Dianne, don't worry about me reviewing the novel. I love to review and do about 1 a day. Yes I'm a book addict and my blog reflects that it's and when the review of Hot Southern Nights is done I'll send you a link

Becke Davis said...

Wow - free books! It's your lucky day!

Anne B said...

Hi Becke - Great review! It sounds like another book for the TBR pile & another author to fall in love with. As for the South - maybe it is something in the water!! For me it's a thing about being treated like a lady - Southern men a soooooo good at it! Happy Reading


Becke Davis said...

I honestly haven't met many Southern men - not true Southern. Except in books. Maybe that's a good thing, because they come across VERY well in the books I've read. I'd hate to be disillusioned!

Becke Davis said...

Anne-My goal is to increase the size of TBR piles across the country. Thank you for doing your part!

Karyn Gerrard said...

Excellent, thanks Dianne, I do review books at my own blog, I will be sure and review yours!

And Oh yes Becke, I have been to Florida in summer, now that is humidity!

Anonymous said...

I like all around the country, though I do prefer the winter of up here. LOL But I know I like books with humor, and I haven't tried yours just yet, so would love to after reading about this one! :)


mariska said...

Oh i love to read A book from A new for me Author :) i've been following Dianne around to get my chance to win it :)

uniquas at ymail dot com

Becke Davis said...

Hi Mariska and Lois, thanks for joining us!

s7anna said...

I love stories set in the South...there seems to be an overall aura of mystery and sexiness with stories in that's always fun to discover new books in that setting.


Becke Davis said...

Hi Anna - love your profile picture!

Pat L. said...

Am going away and would love to find out I won when I return.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Becke Davis said...

Hi Pat - have a good trip!

Jane said...

I'm not a Southern belle, but I do love sweet tea. I also find the drawl very sexy.

janie1215 AT excite DOT com

Becke Davis said...

My husband loves sweet tea. Um, I hate to admit this but I don't think I've ever tried it!

Anonymous said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

I love reading about the cool drinks and yummy desserts in the southern novels.

Rosie G.

Becke Davis said...

Hi Rosie! What's your favorite southern drink? I always think of things like bourbon slushes, mint juleps, and of course sweet tea.

Tiona said...

Hey, Bellas! Love the premise of this book. Actually, my book club had this posted on it's sight and, yes, there's something about the good-girl and bad-boy that gets me every time, so it immediately went on my TBB list!
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Becke Davis said...

I think you're going to like it, Princess!

mrsshukra said...

Never been to the south but I enjoy reading stories set in the south... it's the attitude, the accent, the people!

Pat L. said...

I see carrot cake! Yum! Nice pix etirv! Makes me hungry.

Unknown said...

Dianne I LUV your books!! You do a great job writing about the South!! I can't wait to read this book too!! I think the South is special for Northerners, like myself, because for us it's so different. I LUV all hero types, military, cowboys, fireman, and police. I have noticed I don't care for medical settings in my reads. Good luck on your new release!! Thanks, Sue

Pat L. said...

Thanks Becky, will surely try to have fun.

Good weekend to all.

Becke Davis said...

Etriv, I think Pat and I have been blinded by your lovely carrot cake (resist temptation . . . resist temptation . . .)

So glad you stopped by, Sue!

Soft Fuzzy Sweater said...

As a New York girl, born and bred, Southerners are exotic to me. They live in a world where the temp and humidity make you take it sloooow!

Air conditioning took out all the romance of the South. No more men taking off their shirts by shuttered windows as the ceiling fan gently purrs and the cicadas chirp. No more scenes of panting and sweat!

I want to read this book since I am a librarian and romance literature has just discovered that behind the glasses and sensible shoes, there's a wanton sexpot dying to be free!

Becke Davis said...

Oh, I love librarians! It worries me that so many librarians I know are out of work. I hope your job is secure!

Anonymous said...

Would love to read this book.

Karen T.

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