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The Latest in RomCon® Blogs & Reviews

Get the latest in romance from the best of the business. Read great interviews and excerpts pulled from the RomCon Reader. This is just a taste of what the magazine has to offer. Be sure to get the bi-monthly magazine in your inbox for even more great articles!

Angel Dreams - An Angel Falls, #2 By Jody A. Kessler

Blog Diva - Monday, August 31, 2015

The melting butter sensation had made its way to my back and is creeping north and south simultaneously. In another minute I’m going to be a warm puddle. “An Irish Dullahan is a being that comes at night, he’s headless, and forewarns of death.”
“Ah, maybe that is what I used to be, but definitely not anymore.”

His velvet rich voice caresses me from the inside out. I can feel his strength pulsing through his fingertips as he strokes my palm. His clean scent lingers in the air and I let myself drift away with the symphony of sensation.

“Sweet vixen, are you all right?”

“Hmmm?”

“Are you falling asleep?”

“No, why?”

“Your eyes are closed, love.”

“It’s fine. Please don’t stop, Nathaniel.” There it is again, a part of my brain notes, speaking without my permission. Read More

Reconstructing Roman By Sandra Kerns

Blog Diva - Saturday, August 22, 2015

Gruesome murders and feuding families overshadow a small town near the Colorado Rockies.

Roman Smirnosky returns home after his parents murder expecting trouble. That’s all he ever knew in the small town. The last thing he expects is the interest of a woman, or worse, his attraction to her. He doesn’t have time because he has to prove his brother’s innocence and find a killer. Keeping his distance is a problem when he realizes the killer is interested in Kaia too.

Kaia Beecher leaves her legal career behind to start fresh by moving halfway across the country to the farmhouse she inherited. Unfortunately, people think she’s her grandmother’s ghost. Soon after her arrival, she receives threatening phone calls telling her to leave or pay the price. The sense of being watched has her constantly looking over her shoulder. The only bright spot is the handsome brooding man helping her with repairs, that is until he confesses his past. Read More

Ransom Canyon By Jodi Thomas

Blog Diva - Friday, August 14, 2015

Following the deaths of his wife and only child, wealthy and prominent rancher Staten Kirkland swore he would never love again. All that keeps him going are his ranch and the grief he shares with his deceased wife’s best friend, Quinn O’Grady—his rainy-day woman. But after years of shared misery, something suddenly changes with the reclusive Quinn. Wallowing in the past is no longer enough. Now Staten—a man who thought his life was over—must decide if a future exists for him with a woman he’s long known but, until now, never really seen.

To everyone at his high school, Lucas Reyes seems like a regular kid who likes to keep to himself. But after one harrowing night together, his classmate Lauren Brigman realizes there’s much more to the brave, unassuming ranch hand’s son than anyone suspects. For instance, the quiet and mature Lucas has big plans for his future. But when danger threatens the town from nearby Ransom Canyon, the bright future Lucas envisioned with the girl of his dreams is suddenly very much in doubt.

After five long years in prison and with nothing left to lose, ex-convict Yancy Grey has come to Crossroads, Texas, looking to take whatever he can by any means necessary. While scoping the community, Yancy takes a job, hoping to blend in with the locals. But before he knows it, he suddenly finds himself caring about the same folks he was planning to rob. So, when Yancy’s crooked past suddenly catches up and presents him with the score of a lifetime, he knows he has a difficult choice to make—between the crook he’s been in order to survive and the man he strives to be in order to truly live…

Against a landscape as deadly as it is beautiful, the lives of these people are about to intersect in a way that none of them ever imagined. And like their ancestors who settled the land long before them—nothing about Ransom Canyon has changed—they must survive together or die alone…the decision is theirs. Read More

AGENT N6: Dylan - Excerpt By Joni Hahn

Blog Diva - Sunday, August 09, 2015

With your looks, it’s a good thing God gave you brains.

Teague Hamilton willed away Mrs. Burnett’s words, the winds lashing at her upswept hair like her former guardian’s razor-sharp tongue. As the boat drew closer to the private island off of Oahu, even she questioned her intelligence. What was sold to her as an island paradise looked more like World War II France after the Germans trampled through it. One corner of a grand, Modernist mansion was gone, the grounds surrounding it covered in rubble.

This was Cyrus Matheson’s idea of paradise? Sure, she’d wanted to escape the doldrums of Dr. Capri’s lab, but this looked more like a war zone than a tropical utopia.
Shading her eyes over glasses sprinkled with saltwater, Teague braced her high heels against the ridged floor of the boat. Her stomach turned like a pig on an open fire. Stickiness covered her face and bare legs, the smell of tobacco wafting back to her from the driver’s spit can on the dash.

“You need to turn around, T.”

Her former co-worker and best friend, Amy Garland, could make a living as a professional worrier. She’d worked at the lab almost as long as Teague, and never waivered from her routine.

“Forget about that job offer.” Read More

Writing Modern Women: A Moving Target By Sarah Hegger

Blog Diva - Saturday, August 01, 2015

When I wrote the Willow Park Romance series, I no longer needed to know how many miles a bullock cart could travel in one day or who occupied the English throne. Having written mainly medieval historical before this, contemporary romance brought a whole new set of challenges. The settings and everyday details of contemporary were familiar. The challenge lay in writing stories modern women could relate to. For the reader to feel as if they knew the heroine.

I joined that boisterous male chorus chanting: “Who can understand women?”

It took me back to when I was still at university. A very good friend of mine wrote her thesis for her Italian Literature honors degree on the romance novel. These were the days when we used to drive down to the second-hand bookstore, load up on romance novels by the grocery bag, then hide them under our beds from our literary snob mothers. Secret night binge reading with ice cream and cheap wine commenced.
Back to the thesis. Phlée (a nickname, don’t ask) shocked and intrigued her literary professors with her subject matter. Writing the entire thing in Italian, Phlée used the romance novel as a mirror for the emancipation of women. Her argument was that as women’s role in society changed, this was reflected in romance novels. The idea has stuck with me, and some twenty-something years later, it made me want to reflect the lives of the women I knew in the books I wrote.

When I first got hooked on the novels of the late Dame Barbara Cartland, the heroines were all shy, definitely virginal, much younger than the hero, and if they worked, it was ‘gentle’ occupation—nanny, companion, housekeeper. The hero was often ‘greying’ at the temples, very wealthy, domineering and would swoop in and rescue her from her ‘fate’.

So, let’s jump forward to where we are now. As women have entered all parts of the workplace, so have their heroines. As women have demanded to be treated as equals, so have their heroines. We have heroines earning more money than their hero, women competing and often winning in contests of strength, skill, and will. And gasp women taking control of their sexuality.

The heroes have had a similar metamorphosis from rigid, controlling cartoon cutouts, to heroes with real flaws, wicked senses of humor, and despite all their alpha blustering, a warm gooey center that draws the reader in. Read More

Dangerous By Sylvia McDaniel

Blog Diva - Monday, July 27, 2015

Slap her silly, but she was done! Annabelle McKenzie strode down the wooden sidewalk on her way to the bank. Done with raising chickens, feeding cows and goats, and shoveling manure. She wanted to go with her sisters to hunt for bad men. She wanted to be a bounty hunter.

Deep in thought about how she would explain to her sisters how she craved adventure and longed for excitement, she rounded the corner to enter the bank and slammed into the hard chest muscles of a large dark-haired man. The scent of soap and campfire spiraled straight to her center.

This was a manly man, and Lord knew, they were scarce in Zenith, Texas. Where had this specimen come from?

His hat was pulled low over his face, and he grabbed her by the arms, halting her progress. Her head fit just below his chin. She looked up at his strong, rugged jaw and serious face.

Long black lashes blinked over emerald eyes as he gripped her arms. “Slow down,” he said in a deep husky drawl. He kept his head down, barely looking at her. “There’s still plenty of cash left in the bank.”

What a condescending, egotistical, handsome renegade. Not an “I’m sorry” or “Excuse me”, but rather a crass remark about the money in the bank. “Maybe you should watch where you’re going.”

She tilted her head and stared into his handsome rugged features. There was something about him that seemed familiar, yet she couldn’t place him. Somewhere she’d seen his face. She gazed at him. “You’re tall enough you should be able to see a woman coming.”
He nodded, and she gawked at the way his shirt fit his strong shoulders and muscled arms. His lips were full and tempting, made for kissing.

“You’re right, ma’am. I should see a small package like you, barreling around a blind corner. Maybe I need to replace my spectacles with a pair that can see through walls,” he said, releasing her arms.  Read More

A Q&A with Becky Wade about A Love Like Ours

Blog Diva - Monday, July 20, 2015

Q: What is the overarching theme of A Love Like Ours?
Finding hope. The hero of the novel, Jake Porter, is a former Marine who now works as a Thoroughbred racehorse trainer. It’s been eight years since Jake returned home from his final tour in Iraq, and he’s still struggling with PTSD. A Love Like Ours is about rediscovering hope that once was lost.

Q: What motivated you to write about a hero who’s a military veteran?
I’m extremely grateful to our veterans for their service. I cast Jake as my hero because I was moved by news stories I’ve seen and read throughout the years about service men and women who were injured overseas and returned to the States with physical injuries and/or disorders like PTSD.

I’m particularly excited about the release of A Love Like Ours because I’ll be giving a portion of my earnings on the novel’s first two weeks of sales to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a wonderful organization that provides therapy for both physical and mental health conditions.

Q: It sounds like the book deals with some serious topics. How would you describe its overall tone?
While A Love Like Ours does deal with some serious topics, I’d describe the story’s tone as optimistic, heartwarming, humorous, modern, and romantic. Jake’s a brooding hero, so I made sure to match him with a spunky, upbeat heroine.  Read More

Behind the Scenes Story – 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake by Jade Lee

Blog Diva - Monday, July 13, 2015

A long while ago, I was stuck in a creative black hole. Writing sucked, I had no new ideas, my career was over, I was fat and pimply and blah blah blah. In a fit of despair, I decided that I would go back to physical exercise to help myself out. Guess what I did.

A. Bought a treaddesk (desk perched over a walking treadmill) and walked the equivalent of three times around the earth.
B. Bought an elliptical machine (halfway between a treadmill and a stair stepper. You step in an ellipse.) Then I ate a cheesecake because I couldn’t handle walking in an ellipse.
C. Started jogging and set myself on fire from my thighs rubbing together.
D. Went back to racquetball and signed up for the US Open.

Answer: D. Yes, I play a lot of racquetball and I’m pretty good at it. In fact, a long time ago I was a pro racquetball player. I thought I’d reclaim my old glory by competing again in my age division. But for those who guessed one of the others, I do have a treaddesk. In fact, I’m walking and writing on it now. And I’m only a little bloody from falling off it. My husband bought the elliptical which he uses while watching the news. I eat cheesecake while watching him. And jogging? That’s just crazy talk!

How did it go?

A. I won, got onto the US Racquetball team, and am now buried in gold medals!
B. I was laughed off the court and had to hide in shame.
C. I watched a man have a heart attack on the court and decided some things aren’t worth the risk. Even racquetball glory.
D. I was doing fine until my knees blew in my second-to-last match.

Answer: D. I won a few matches (yeah), but each day was harder and harder as my knees started locking up. Good thing there were two Ace cold packs given to every player in the welcome bag. Sadly, no amount of ibuprofen or ice could have saved me by day 4. My knees had swollen up too much. I did not watch a man have a heart attack. Gah! Hopefully this has never, ever happened on the court. Read More

Balancing “reader” and “writer" With CA Szarek

Blog Diva - Saturday, July 11, 2015

I have always been a reader AND a writer. I started writing when I was about 8, but I didn’t finish a book until I was 17.

I tend to “binge” anything I like to do. So I will go through long periods of JUST writing, where I don’t even think about any books but my own.

Or get frustrated with myself because I “missed out” reading a new release from one of my fave authors because I just had to finish the book I was writing. (Which in most cases, I really DID have to finish writing that book.)

Reading has always been the same for me. When I am having a streak, I can read 4-5 books a week. If I like an author, I often get all their books and read them back to back. I need to catch up. Of course, that means I usually have a huge book hangover, especially if I’m reading series. Because there’s no helping “the wait” for the next book in the series.
It’s harder for me to read AND write at the same time, but I find it makes me happier when I do. When I do one and not the other, I MISS the other. And I find when I don’t write it’s worse than when I don’t read. I get grumpy.

So what works best for me is writing daily, then making myself see the reading as a “reward” for the work I got done. Sometimes it works fabulously.  Read More

Wild Heat By Lucy Monroe

Blog Diva - Monday, July 06, 2015

He teased at the seam of her mouth with the tip of his tongue and she brazenly parted her lips to give him entrance. He swept inside, taking possession and teasing her with the need for more at the same time.

He kept the caress of his tongue light, barely there.

She pressed up against him, wanting more contact, but he dropped one hand to her hip and held her in place.

Frustration overrode pleasure and she pulled away from the kiss. “Why are you teasing me?”

“You want more, wildcat?”

“Yes.”

He dropped both hands away from her and stepped back, his expression firm. “Eat the lunch I make you.”

“You want me to eat?” She didn’t understand.

“That’s the deal, Kitty. You eat and I’ll rock your world.” Read More

 

 

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