Ruth West - Monday, August 21, 2017
From New York Times Bestseller Kendall Ryan comes a sexy new stand-alone novel in her Roommates series.
The smoking-hot one-night stand I was never supposed to see again?
Yeah, well, I might be pregnant, and he’s my OB-GYN.
Get ready to fall head over heels madly in love with the hottest OBGYN doctor you have ever met! This full-length standalone contains the most hilariously awkward lady-doctor visit, lots of playful banter and some good ol' fashioned baby-makin'! One-click now for this summer's swooniest read.
Available on Amazon
Ruth West - Saturday, August 19, 2017
In the sixth book in the Waldorf Manor series, perhaps it's time to choose whether or not to
Identity can make or break a person, and no one knows that better than Damian Fowler or Alice James. Two people from contrasting backgrounds in the same circle, still fighting the demons that lurk in the space between them and the people they love.
Being a Fowler has never felt like a privilege, but a burden. The spotlight shines on Damian when an unexpected offer puts him in a familiar position – with his brogues heading for the door.
And what of Waldorf? Even before Alice can savour the new and idyllic situation whereby her father has married, that joy is robbed. Fear supersedes confidence. Uncertainty replaces content. Co-parenting and the reality of life in a domestic discipline dynamic requires major adjustments to expectation, for all three of them.
Laugh, cry and page-turn with the cast through another partition of a much bigger story that is the Waldorf Manor series.
Available for preorder on Amazon
Ruth West - Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Some summers will stay with you forever...
Callie Weaver and best friend Olivia Dixon have finally done it: put their life savings into the beach house they admired through childhood summers, on the dazzling white sand of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. They’re going to buff the salt from its windows, paint its sun-bleached sidings, and open it as a bed and breakfast.
Callie’s too busy to think about her love life, but when she catches the attention of local heartthrob Luke Sullivan, his blue eyes and easy smile make it hard to say no. He’s heir to his father’s property empire, and the papers say he’s just another playboy, but as they laugh in the ocean waves, Callie realizes there’s more to this man than money and good looks.
Just when true happiness seems within reach, Callie and Olivia find a diary full of secrets... secrets that stretch across the island, and have the power to turn lives upside down. As Callie reads, she unravels a mystery that makes her heart drop through the floor.
Will Callie and Luke be pulled apart by the storm it unleashes, or can true love save them?
The Summer House is an absolutely gorgeous, heart-warming summer romance, about the importance of family, not keeping secrets, and learning how to open your heart.
Available on Amazon
Ruth West - Monday, August 14, 2017
The strong and sexy Blake Bennett is downright irresistible. And Clara Abernathy is doing everything she can to resist his charm. After spending her life in group homes, Clara yearns for the love and warmth of a true family. With the Bennetts treating her like their own, she can't possibly fall for Blake. That would be crossing a line...
But when Clara needs a temporary place to live, and she accepts Blake’s offer to move next door to him, things escalate. Suddenly, she’s not only supposed to resist the man who’s hell-bent on having her, but the TV station she works for is determined to dig up some dirt on the Bennett family.
Blake knows family friends are off-limits, and Clara is more off-limits than anyone. But Clara’s sweetness and sass fill a hole in him he wasn’t even aware of. Soon, he finds himself gravitating toward her, willing to do anything to make her happy.
Blake enjoys bending the rules—much more than following them, but will bending this one be taking it too far?
Available on Amazon
Ruth West - Monday, August 07, 2017
From Marc Levy, the most-read French author alive today, comes a modern-day love story between a famous actress hiding in Paris and a bestselling writer lying to himself. They knew their friendship was going to be complicated, but love—and the City of Lights—just might find a way.
On the big screen, Mia plays a woman in love. But in real life, she’s an actress in need of a break from her real-life philandering husband—the megastar who plays her romantic interest in the movies. So she heads across the English Channel to hide in Paris behind a new haircut, fake eyeglasses, and a waitressing job at her best friend’s restaurant.
Paul is an American author hoping to recapture the fame of his first novel. When his best friend surreptitiously sets him up with Mia through a dating website, Paul and Mia’s relationship status is “complicated.”
Even though everything about Paris seems to be nudging them together, the two lonely ex-pats resist, concocting increasingly far-fetched strategies to stay “just friends.” A feat easier said than done, as fate has other plans in store. Is true love waiting for them in a postscript?
Available on Amazon
Ruth West - Thursday, August 03, 2017
From the New York Times bestselling author of It Happened One Wedding comes a novel about a man and a woman whose summer is about to get very, very hot...
Divorce lawyer Victoria Slade has seen enough unhappy endings to swear off marriage forever. That doesn't mean she's opposed to casual dating—just not with her cocky new neighbor, who is as gorgeous and tempting as he is off-limits. But once she agrees to take on his sister's case, she's as determined to win as ever—even if that means teaming up with Ford...
Investigative journalist Ford Dixon is bent on finding the man who got his sister pregnant and left her high and dry. He's willing to partner with Victoria, despite the fact that the beautiful brunette gets under his skin like no other woman. He might not be looking to settle down, but there's no denying the scorching attraction between them. Still, the more time he spends with Victoria, the more he realizes that the one woman as skeptical about love as he is might be the only woman he could really fall for...
“If you need a great read to throw in your beach bag, make sure Suddenly One Summer is one of your choices.”—USA Today
Available on Amazon
Ruth West - Tuesday, August 01, 2017
The first time I met Caine West was in a bar.
He noticed me looking his way and mistakenly read my scowling as checking him out.
When he attempted to talk to me, I set him straight―telling him what I thought of his lying, cheating, egomaniacal ass.
You see, the gorgeous jerk had wined and dined my best friend-smooth talking her into his bed, all along failing to mention that he was married.
He deserved every bit of my tongue-lashing and more for what he'd done.
Especially when that lazy smile graced his perfect face in response to my rant.
Only it turned out, the man I'd just told off wasn't the right guy.
Oops. My mistake.
Embarrassed, I slunk out without an apology.
I was never going to see the handsome stranger again anyway, right?
That's what I thought...until I walked into class the next morning.
Well, hello Professor West, I'm your new teaching assistant.
I'll be working under you...figuratively speaking.
Although the literal interpretation might not be such a bad thing―working under Professor West.
This was going to be interesting...
Available on Amazon
Ruth West - Monday, July 31, 2017
Available August 1st
Beth is an absolute wreck. She is certain that she has some kind of disease — a fatal one, most likely. She is also very single and quite keen on her (boss) colleague, Dr Brendan Roberts. He seems to fancy her, too — well, until The Morning After. Beth knows it’s time to sort out her messy life, but she has no idea where to start.
Enter Shane — a slightly disheveled forklift driver. He may not be suave or wealthy, but he does laugh at Beth’s jokes and remember how she likes her coffee. Plus, the more they hang out, the healthier she feels.
But when Shane suddenly cuts off all communication, Beth starts to think there’s no such thing as The One, and she decides to stop being slapdash and move on. Only life is never that simple, and Beth must take a chance if she hopes to find the cure to her ills.
Lovesick is a big-hearted romance about getting sick, getting better and taking risks.
Ruth West - Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania (population three thousand outside of tourist season).
And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed date, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has rescued: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.
Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works. For a time.
But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. There’s an immediate connection, and it’s more electric than the bond of two people who endured a traumatic event. It’s something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something she is afraid to trust.
Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine...before the spark fades?
Available on Amazon
Ruth West - Monday, July 24, 2017
There are three little words most guys don't want to hear on the first date. Not those...I mean these... "knock me up."
This single gal has had enough of the games, the BS and the endless chase. I know what I want most, and it's not true love. It's a bun in the oven, and I'm not afraid to hit up my sex-on-a-stick co-worker to do the job. Ryder is gorgeous, witty and charming -- and he's also a notorious commitment-phobe. That makes him the perfect candidate to make a deposit in the bank of me.
I won't fall for him, he won't fall for me, and there's no way baby will make three.
There are four words every guy wants to hear on the first date -- "your place or mine?"
When my hot-as-sin co-worker makes me a no-strings-attached offer that involves her place, my place, any place -- as well as any position -- I can't refuse. Besides, I've got my own reasons to take her up on her deal even with her one BIG condition.
There's no way I'll want more from one woman than any position, any where, any night? Except . . . what if I do?
Be prepared to swoon and fan yourself from the heat! This full-length standalone contains lots of hot baby-making s-e-x, happy tears, playful jokes and a hot, swoonworthy hero you will fall madly in love with. One-click now for pure reading enjoyment!
Available on Amazon
Ruth West - Sunday, July 23, 2017
- A fake relationship? √
- Lovers to enemies to lovers? √
- A steamy one-night stand turned into a wild publicity stunt? √
A hot & cocky Hollywood actor meets his match when he falls for the sassy girl next door in AFTER ALL. Light, fun and sexy as sin, it's the PERFECT SUMMER READ. From the NYT and USA Today bestselling author of The Pact and Before I Ever Met You.
Emmett Hill is the perfect gentleman.
At least that's what his PR team wants the world to think.
Tall, handsome, and wickedly charming, Emmett is in the midst of a career comeback, having landed the role of a villain in a popular TV show. The only problem is, Emmett has come a long way from the "nice guy" characters he used to play and his old squeaky clean image is quickly being tarnished by bar fights, womanizing and bad boy behaviour. Considering he's two years shy of forty, it's an act he needs to drop. And fast.
Enter Alyssa Martin.
At twenty-eight, Alyssa is tired and ready for a change. Her job as office manager has grown stagnant and unfulfilling, while she's become continuously frustrated with Vancouver's lackluster dating scene, always searching for Mr. Right in a city of Mr. Wrongs.
When Emmett and Alyssa's paths cross at a mutual friend's wedding, their chemistry is off-the-charts hot, culminating in a steamy one-night stand.
What neither expected was for the media catch wind of their coupling - and run with it.
Now Emmett has to convince Alyssa to date him for the sake of his image. Her curvy, cute and "normal" persona is just the ticket to smoothing out his reputation, while Emmett provides Alyssa with the excitement and change her life has been lacking.
The only problem is, the two fight like cats and dogs outside of the bedroom.
And considering their arrangement is just for show, they shouldn't be in the bedroom with each other anyway.
Try telling them that.
Available on Amazon
Ruth West - Wednesday, July 19, 2017
From WSJ bestselling romance author Winter Renshaw comes an angsty small town romance with a twist you won't see coming...
When some pretty little thing shows up at my doorstep with a suitcase, claiming she rented my house for the summer, I waste no time informing her that my house isn't for rent. Some Internet jack@ss scammed her out of all her money, but that's not my problem.
Only when I find her sleeping in her car a couple days later, I can't turn my back. I make her an offer: room and board in exchange for working on my ranch.
She agrees--not like she has a choice--and I open my doors to a girl who sings too loud, sticks her nose where it doesn't belong, and distracts me with her tight jeans and those full, f*ckable lips.
I keep her at an arm's length, and for good reason. I don't deserve happiness. And I don't deserve her.
But when those hot summer days melt into long country nights, I find it hard to keep my hands off of her, even when I know they don't belong there. My mouth on hers, her body on mine, that glimmer in her big brown eyes when she looks at me like I've hung the moon ...
For the first time in years, my frozen heart beats again. And when I look at her, I'm reminded that I'm still alive, that maybe all isn't lost. And when I kiss her, I'm not thinking about the past anymore, I'm picturing the two of us. A future.
But people around here like to talk and rumors are alive and well, and some folks are out to convince her I'm a monster with a sordid past.
And maybe I am ...
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a full-length, standalone romance. If you're not into cowboys, don't worry. This isn't your grandmother's paperback western--far from it. Promise! Also, for a limited time, I've included a copy of my second chance romance, NEVER IS A PROMISE! Both books are full-length, with COUNTRY NIGHTS being slightly longer.
Available on Amazon
Ruth West - Thursday, July 13, 2017
“That same ache I had been feeling for weeks now blossomed inside of me, bruised, bleeding, and broken. Only now did I realize it was my heart.”
After a season in London, Charlotte Lyons is still regrettably unattached. With her family’s finances in peril, she is sent away with her sister to a bleak coastal town where she is expected to pursue a wealthy earl. She is beautiful and talented, how can she possibly fail? But when her heart is captured by someone entirely unexpected, Charlotte finds herself caught up in a web of lies and intrigue. Between hardship and sorrow, she finds more than she bargained for, forced to choose between the life she once wanted and a new love she never imagined.
“A delightful and engaging story with plenty of humor, tender moments, and the kind of character growth that will go straight to your heart.”
-Rachael Anderson, USA Today best-selling romance author
“I was drawn into this novel and didn’t want to come out again! A captivating story with unexpected twists.”
-Paula Kremser, author of Sophia and To Suit a Suitor
Available on Amazon
Ruth West - Friday, July 07, 2017
On Sale for just 99 cents! Regularly priced $6.99
A fan-favorite from #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller
Up-and-coming TV personality Vanessa Lawrence has learned the hard way that jocks are bad news. Her cheating ex-husband is a prime example—and now he won’t stop demanding permission to write lies about her in his tell-all memoir. So when sexy, confident athlete Nick strides into her life, she should have known he’d be nothing but trouble…
Former football star Nick DeAngelo knows all about cutting through defenses—and he’s not prepared to let Vanessa’s demons come between them. Instead, he tackles her stubborn pride, her obnoxious ex and the gossip columns head-on. Because the day he saw Vanessa, he knew he'd found his destiny….
Available on: Amazon
Michele Callahan - Tuesday, November 03, 2015
His Work of Art by Shannyn Schroeder
“Tell me about your superhero guy. The one I saw last week,” Reese said.
“What do you want to know?”
“What’s his story?”
“I’m an artist, not a writer. He doesn’t have a story.”
“Everyone has a story. You have one. I have one. It colors everything we do and see and say. There’s a piece of us in everything we create.” She handed him the pad back and began to clean up their dinner mess. “Tell me something about him.”
“He’s not white.” Adam hated that the first comment he made was about race.
Reese turned and leaned against the table she’d just cleared of their dinner. She pursed her lips before speaking. “So race is important.”
“Yeah. There aren’t enough people of color in comics.” The statement was true, but not the reason.
“Not enough, no. But we have Green Lantern and Cyborg.”
This was solid footing for them, arguing the merits of comics. “Marvel has Black Panther. And let’s not forget the new Ms. Marvel, who is a double whammy as a woman and a person of color.”
“If you think you’re going to convince me Marvel is better based on this argument, you’re out of luck. I get the importance of full representation. I am a woman. That’s why the portrayal of Lyrid is so important. So your guy, he’s black?”
“I guess what I’m really asking is if he’s black just because that’s how you envision him or if you made him black because it’s part of your character building.”
And there went the footing. “You can’t take race away from character. It’s part of who you are.”
Michele Callahan - Thursday, October 29, 2015
Hi there! My name is Melissa West, and I am the author of RACING HEARTS, book 1 in the Hamilton Stables series, featuring horseracing. When I set out to write my first contemporary romance, I knew I wanted to focus on a topic outside the norm. Cowboys had been done, and even horse racing had been done, but I didn’t know of any stories that focused on a horse racing family that was all but royalty in that world.
But to create a realistic world, I had to really do my homework. I started by picking up books at the library, reading until my eyes burned, and then reading some more, all the while feeling like I wasn’t getting a clear picture into the racing world. That was when I decided to reach out to horse trainers, and I was fortunate to hear back from legend, Todd Pletcher. Before long, I had a clearer look into what it really took to train a horse. The long hours, the dedication, the community-feel of a farm, and how every person on staff worked themselves to the bone.
Somewhere along the way of researching this amazing sport, watching more Youtube videos than I could count, and asking questions that were all too often idiotic, I found myself loving it. I loved the passion and drive, and I knew I had my story.
A female jockey, daughter to a legendary racehorse trainer, gets hurt and has no one else to turn to than the boy her father had once trained, who was no longer a boy at all. RACING HEARTS captures that thrill of the race, the tension of two towns that both claim to be the best in racing, and the sureness of a first love that never really died.
In the lush heart of Kentucky, the Hamiltons are horse racing royalty, born to produce champions. To win takes heart and soul—and to love takes the wild spirit of the land itself…
The oldest of three headstrong brothers, Trip Hamilton is considered the best horse trainer in the world. But he learned long ago to keep his focus on the horses and away
from the riders. He’s seen the way heartbreak can waylay a career, and he’s determined not to risk it—until a stubborn, sexy rider thunders into his life, breaks his resolve, along with several of his rules, and takes his heart right out of the gate… Read More
Blog Diva - Wednesday, April 01, 2015
When I began ONE TRUE HEART I knew I wanted to write a story about a man, Drew Cunningham, who was afraid to live because he believed a terrible tragedy was he fault. One night in the Amarillo airport he meets a woman, Millanie McAllen, who has never been afraid of anything in her life. She’s crippled up and broken and thinks the last person who can help her is a shy man who looks like he might be a professor. Millanie has taken care of herself all her life and is touched that this guy thinks he can help her. She decides to play the helpless role if only long enough to catch a ride to her home town, Harmony, Texas.
Though they are attracted to each other, neither believes in love. And, like most of us in our real lives, Drew and Millanie are surrounded by friends and relatives who complicate their lives.
As books often do, this story didn’t come to me as a thread; it came to me as a ball of multi-color yarn. All of us live lives that are intertwined with those we love or fear or even hate. All of us are looking for one true heart. Some of us settle for less or even give up on finding what we’re looking for, but the people we meet and love all add a depth to us. In ONE TRUE HEART I wanted to show that sometimes loving can win out. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, March 19, 2015
Tropical Island Getaways
It seems to me, when someone says the word, ‘paradise’, we immediately think of a tropical island. Lush vegetation, the perfect weather, sunshine, ocean, gorgeous scenery. It always sounds like the perfect place to escape to when our lives get to be overwhelming. It’s what my hero does in my latest contemporary romance, Escape to Paradise. To get away from his life, he goes to St. Barthelemy in the West Indies. When I started doing research on island getaways, looking for a setting for my story idea, I was overwhelmed with the desire to escape to one myself. And the more I researched St. Barth, the more I wanted to go there. A few years later, after the initial search was over, I came into a windfall. Suddenly I had the funds for a pricey vacation. Did I choose St. Barth, or some other paradise? Hawaii, Tahiti, Bermuda, Fiji? The possibilities are endless and the choice can be overwhelming and difficult. In the end, I chose none of these lovely spots, even though I’m dying to see such places in real life. Instead, I’m going to London, Paris and the French Riviera, which does involve a beach! And when I return, I’ll most likely write a story that’s set in one of the places I visit. I’m longing to, and I haven’t even been there yet!
In Escape to Paradise, the heroine, Andrée Bancroft, has grown up on an island, it’s the only place she’s known, so her exotic venture is to the United States. The hero, Maximillian Chanteur, on the other hand, has travelled extensively, as he’s a famous rock star, and wants nothing more than to get away from everything in a secluded spot like St. Barthelemy. Here’s a little excerpt from it I hope you enjoy: Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, March 12, 2015
Aspiring journalist Caroline Sanders doesn’t have time for frat parties and college keggers—not even when the gorgeous Roger Freeman climbs into her car unexpectedly one night on campus. The two are inexplicably drawn together but when Caroline’s offered a prestigious internship that could lead to a job at The New York Times, she leaves Roger behind for more serious prospects.
Six years later, back home and starting a new career as a florist, she’s shocked to run into Roger again. He’s never forgotten the girl who left him to find herself, though he’s certainly tried. As the two begin seeing each other and grow closer, he finds it impossible to resist falling for her once more. What he doesn’t know is that Caroline’s life over the last few years has been filled with tragedy, and the adventurous and exciting woman he remembers is all but gone.
Is Roger ready to risk his heart again, and is Caroline ready to trust him with her story? Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, February 26, 2015
Realist Dr. Carla Harris believes that people create their own fate through hard work and careful planning. She believes in playing things safe. But, while preparing for her upcoming nuptials, she’s forced to confront the most reckless thing she’s ever done…her estranged husband, Jacob.
Idealist Jacob Moreau believes in soul mates as much as he believes in saving endangered companies. When his long lost wife reenters his life seeking a divorce, he is convinced more than ever they are meant to be together. And he will do—and lose—anything to have her again.
She thought she had her life planned to perfection. He thought they made perfect sense together.
Would marrying Jacob be the craziest thing she’s ever done, or divorcing him? Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, February 26, 2015
Realist Dr. Carla Harris believes that people create their own fate through hard work and careful planning. She believes in playing things safe. But, while preparing for her upcoming nuptials, she’s forced to confront the most reckless thing she’s ever done…her estranged husband, Jacob.
Idealist Jacob Moreau believes in soul mates as much as he believes in saving endangered companies. When his long lost wife reenters his life seeking a divorce, he is convinced more than ever they are meant to be together. And he will do—and lose—anything to have her again.
She thought she had her life planned to perfection. He thought they made perfect sense together.
Would marrying Jacob be the craziest thing she’s ever done, or divorcing him? Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, February 19, 2015
Winter can really be a bummer.
But do you know what can help with those cold, snowy winter blues? A nice guy. A nice guy with nice shoulders.
Maureen only agrees to go out with Gavin Fraser because a strange woman in the grocery store told her she should rebound with a stranger. So why not? She wasn’t going to get back together with her boyfriend, not after he dumped her so completely unceremoniously. And Gavin is handsome, and kind, and strong, and really, really hot.
Besides, it’s just one date.
But one date turns into one blizzard, and they’re stranded together for two whole nights. What on earth will they do to pass the time? Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, February 12, 2015
Welcome back to Adams Grove…where more than the barbecue is sizzling.
In the latest book in the Adams Grove series, Barbecue and Bad News, advice columnist Savannah Dey could use some guidance of her own, especially when it comes to the feelings stirred up by the handsome sheriff of Adams Grove…and the secrets of her tragic past.
And although the handsome sheriff knows from experience that city girls are a recipe for disaster, he can’t get the gal he pulled over for speeding off of his mind.
Scott’s barbecuing, Savannah’s got the bad news and together let’s hope they get their just desserts…and by that I, of course, mean their happy ever after ;) Read More
Blog Diva - Tuesday, February 10, 2015
What is so special about three?
Three seems to be a magical number. It is often said that good things come in threes (umm, and bad things, too). In the literary world many famous stories have included the number three; The Three Musketeers, The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Three Blind Mice. In maths three is the first odd prime number, and, if you round it up, it’s pi (which I remember from school was pretty important). Buses are said to come in threes. There are three primary colours. When you blow out a candle you make three wishes…and you give three cheers.
Three is special to me, too, because I now have three books published. Two years ago I would have been over the moon to have just one out there and yet here I am, the proud writer of three. My first, Too Charming, wasn’t the first book I wrote. Funnily enough, it was the third. After that came Do Opposites Attract and now my third book, Life After. The thrill of seeing that go live is just as great as the thrill of seeing my first. If you’re surprised at that, just think about books as children. They have a longer gestation period, true (mine are more akin to baby elephants) but the time up to birth is filled with just as much excitement (and exhaustion and pain – I’m thinking editing here!). And when it comes to the actual birth, to that book going live for the first time, is it any less wonderful to see the second or third child born than it was the first? I don’t think so. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, January 26, 2015
While the majority Love in Los Angeles, our LGBTQ+ romance series from Torquere Press, takes place in, well, Los Angeles, some pretty crucial action happens in various locations outside of that city.
One of those places is Marion, South Carolina, the town Paul, one of our heroes, grew up in. At the beginning of Doves, book two in the series, Paul and his boyfriend Alex travel to South Carolina to visit Paul’s family. It’s both a vacation for them, away from the stress and schedules of their lives in L.A. -- Alex is an actor, and Paul runs his own TV show -- and a chance for Paul to show Alex some of his own history. It’s a way for both of them to step outside of their daily lives, and learn a little more about each other.
When our characters are in Los Angeles, or New York, or Washington, D.C., or any of the many other cities their jobs take them to, the prose of the Love in Los Angeles books trips along like a script. The language is spare, and precise, and we do our best to not direct from the page too much -- that is, we like to leave room for interpretation for our readers to fill in as they will. Also, silence and space can often be much more eloquent that sound and forms. Read More
Blog Diva - Tuesday, January 20, 2015
True love can change the course of your life
by Cate Masters
Love makes people do crazy things, doesn’t it? Especially when they’re in love with the wrong person.
Buck Wright was miserable trying to hang onto the wrong someone. When she left him, it wrecked him. Then he made his first decision for himself—to became a dog sled guide in Sweden, unaware how much he’d love it, or that it would lead him to true love with someone who brought out the best in him.
Do you love reading stories about finding real love the second time around?
“Photos never do them justice.” Buck’s upturned face reflected the soft glow.
Such a handsome face. Why did a good-looking guy choose to live such a solitary existence? “Don’t you get lonely?” Gah, I said it out loud. A rookie mistake. Luckily, no one had followed her with a camera. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, January 08, 2015
New Release as of January 2, 2015
Steam up your snowy nights with Jennie Marts’ latest novella, Melted.
Painful memories from long ago resurface when Emily Wells travels to Colorado to clean out her family's vacation cabin for its new owner. Strongest among them? Her recollections of Logan Chase, Emily's first love, to whom she gave her heart one magical summer, only to have it broken when she never heard from him again. Logan had never forgotten that summer romance and can't believe it when he finds Emily packing up the little cabin that he has recently purchased for renovation. Despite the passage of years and their stormy history, Emily and Logan can't deny the fierce attraction that still sizzles between them...Will one snowy night together be enough to melt her frozen heart and give them both a second chance at love? Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, January 05, 2015
Sometimes We All Need to Be…RESCUED.
Alexandra Ramsey has been rescuing strays since she was abandoned by her mother at the age of seven. She's a Southern girl with a chip on her shoulder. Her day job is waitressing in her uncle’s grill. But Alex’s true passion is poured into Harley’s Haven, the no-kill animal shelter she built from scratch in Cade's Point, Mississippi.
Evan Whiting rode the crest of the wave of success as a top chef in Manhattan until 26 people were sickened by bad crab meat. He lost his restaurant, his savings, his reputation and his wife. His life could be written into a country song. Evan retreats to the home he inherited in the Mississippi Delta to start over.
Both Alex and Evan need to be RESCUED. And, then, there's Walter.... Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, December 29, 2014
(Author’s note: A young man, Matthew, has just brought a breakfast tray to Maggie, the adult daughter of The protagonist of The Brothers’ Keepers. They’re in the library, working to try to prevent disaster on an epic scale. She’s a hydrologist and he’s a Mossad associate. Both have neglected personal lives for careers, a condition that’s apparent in the awkward exchange that follows.)
“A headache, probably from lack of sleep. I don’t know how everyone keeps this pace. And I’m the nut who willingly got up early, instead of enjoying that marvelous bed,” Maggie said. “That’s the fluffiest down comforter ever.”
“Many geese gave their feathers for you, Ms. Madison. They were honored.” Matthew bowed, and reached for her hand. “Give me your left hand.”
She stiffened. “Why?” Failure.
Blog Diva - Monday, December 22, 2014
One Riot, One Ranger…
That’s the Texas Ranger motto, but when Chad Foster’s rebellious brother goes missing, it’s time to put his elite training to use investigating a crime that strikes much closer to home. Turning Los Angeles inside out to retrieve Trey and save their ranch from a ruthless land grab is a no brainer, even if it puts his badge at risk. His only lead is a heart-stoppingly sensuous exotic dancer with a very tempting butterfly tattoo, the woman who helped scam his brother out of their ranch. But staying on top of this redhead's every suggestive word and sensual move means putting his case—and his heart—right in the line of fire . . .
A Texas Ranger, complete with quarter horse, is as out of place in downtown L.A. as a lawman is in the bed of a suspect, but with both their lives at risk, Chad has to put his trust in the one woman who could bring him down for good, and pray that somehow hard evidence is really just a pack of lies. . .
Kensington: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/30547 Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, December 11, 2014
The Warriors take to the ice again in Charlene Groome's sensational series about hockey players and the women who love them. But the team's new addition may have to work for a warm welcome...
Defenseman Devin Miller has bounced from team to team and city to city, but he's finally ready to settle down-professionally and personally. The Warriors seems like the perfect fit. Now all he needs is the right woman to start a family with-and he's willing to put in the practice to find her.
Sports anchor Carla Sinclair already doesn't like Vancouver's hot new acquisition. So when she's persuaded to interview him, she's not prepared for the chemistry between them. But though Devin seems eager to show Carla his moves-on and off the ice-he keeps his personal life off-limits. Frustrated by him in more ways than one, Carla decides to track down Devin's secrets on her own-and soon must decide if their attraction is worth the hit to her fragile heart... Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, December 08, 2014
Her Mistletoe Cowboy is the second in my Wildflower Ranch series and follows on from my rodeo story Cherish Me, Cowboy. The third book, Her Big Sky Cowboy, will be out in January 2015.
Her Mistletoe Cowboy is a story about hope, redemption and the magic of Christmas. It also features plenty of festive food. Just like my character, Ivy Bishop, it is a family tradition to cook and this Christmas my kids can’t wait to try some of the new recipes I found while researching Her Mistletoe Cowboy.
I’d love to hear what your own favorite Christmas recipe may be. I will be giving away a kindle eBook copy of Her Mistletoe Cowboy to one lucky commentator who will be chosen at random.
Corporate analyst, Ivy Bishop, intends spending Christmas holed up in an isolated Montana ranch house with only an abandoned puppy for company. When the festive season ends her broken heart might just have had just enough time to heal. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, December 01, 2014
Jackson was good at pushing Amanda’s buttons – making her do things her sensible mind abhorred—but was cheating on a friend part of the agenda? Would he go that far? When his best friend has the girl he’s always wanted, how far will Jackson go to tempt her away?
Jackson Holstenar owes his childhood to his best friend Carter, the closest thing he’d had to a brother. Amanda Gillespie’s in serious need of adventure—according to her friend Darlene. After losing her job a year earlier then hiring on with another law office, she hasn’t taken her eyes off work in months. Until the man behind her job loss shows up at the adventure club meeting Darlene dared her to attend—Jackson Holstenar.
When Jackson’s father suffers a stroke, he has to drop his carefree attitude and take over the family company’s helm. He turns to Amanda to help unravel a contract problem at work and fixes her up with his best friend who’s ready to start a relationship. Can Jackson work alongside her again without losing her? Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, December 01, 2014
Spring break was supposed to be a last blast of fun for three friends before the reality of adulthood set in. But for the trio’s science whiz, it’s an education in instant attraction…
Chemistry major Felicity Stone can tell you everything about the way chemicals interact, but when it comes to social interaction, she needs schooling. Abandoned by her friends, Felicity is faced with spending spring break alone—unless she accepts a gorgeous stranger’s invitation to pose as his girlfriend at a family wedding. Not one to turn down a research opportunity, Felicity never expected it to produce such breathtaking results…
Teacher and baseball coach Lucas Tanner is fascinated by Felicity’s potent mix of spirit and scientist, not to mention her delicious curves. When Felicity asks him to return the favor by teaching her how to pick up guys, he can’t refuse—but he’s not at all happy with the idea of her using a formula for flirting on anyone but him. Can he convince her that together they have the perfect chemistry? Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, November 24, 2014
COWBOY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE is the fourth book in my The Scott Brothers series for Montana Born books. Each of the brothers is markedly different especially Trey. He’s the middle brother smack between two older cowboys and too younger warriors. He’s a photo journalist who lives life safely behind his camera and views the world through his lens until one snowy December evening when he arrives in Marietta to find his brother’s house empty except for the very tempting Lucy DeMarco.
This is a Christmas story that brings together two wandering souls. Lucy’s not really excited about the holiday season this year, but as she and Trey embark on a holiday affair they both find the true meaning of the spirit of Christmas.
For me the holiday is all about food and music. I love gifts—don’t get me wrong, but my most cherished holiday memories involve sitting around a large table with my family. I included a scene in the story that kind of reminds of them. Here’s a little snippet:
Evan and J.T. told jokes that were corny but made everyone laugh. It was the kind of dinner she’d always wanted to have in her home. She was surrounded by family, and a part of her felt like the Little Match Girl looking in the window at something that she couldn’t have.
But she knew that she’d made Marietta her home and this could be her reality. All she had to do was reach out and take it.
Just be. Read More
Blog Diva - Wednesday, November 19, 2014
“It appears we have only one room vacant tonight on account of the fine weather bringing all the anglers to the coast for a last bit of fishing ere the winter sets in,” the innkeeper informed Pickett. “That being the case, I’ve taken the liberty of having your valise sent up to your wife’s room. I hope that’s agreeable.”
“My—my wife, you say?”
“Aye—Mrs. Pickett. You did say that was your name?” the innkeeper asked in some consternation.
“Yes, that’s it.” Pickett darted a quick, bewildered glance up the staircase.
“You’ll think me a regular noddy for not connecting the pair of you at once. Truth to tell, I had the impression Mrs. Pickett was a widowed lady.”
“No, that’s quite—quite all right,” Pickett assured him, wanting only to be rid of the man so that he might resolve the situation with the woman whom the innkeeper imagined to be his wife. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, November 17, 2014
Mallory put the pan of lasagna into the oven and set the timer. Tate wouldn’t be at her house for at least an hour. She went back to the couch and resumed her research on Peshawar.
Ismail couldn’t have been any more transparent. Her boss knew she wanted to save a life, and he was clearly planting the idea in her head. She couldn’t blame him for wanting to help his niece. Abdul had told her the same thing as Ismail—that the media only showed the ugly parts of the country, that where he lived was very safe and beautiful. But as she scoured the Internet, she found photos to validate both the beauty of Pakistan and the fact that it was a war-torn country.
She’d been thinking about her cousin Kelsey all day. Would bringing Majida to the United States guarantee Mallory a place in heaven—or paradise, as Ismail called it? Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. She knew it was in the Bible, but she couldn’t recall who said it. She wished her parents had raised her and Vicky in the church. She should have at least been properly introduced to God when she was young. At the very least, would helping Majida ease her guilt over not being able to save Kelsey? Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, November 13, 2014
I recently responded to a Facebook thread titled “Why do you write?”
My answer was truthful.
“I write because I love creating emotionally tortuous and heart wrenchingly devastating stories with damaged characters I can fix and make all better with a few strokes on my keyboard. That is, after I’ve had a multitude of panic attacks over plot twists, the kind only lots of wine can quell.”
Also…and this bit wasn’t part of my answer…as a full-time working mom of three young children, the creative outlet helps preserve my sanity. I channel angst into my work to add dimensionality and depth. So when I say my kids inspire me, I’m not exaggerating.
Simply put, it’s FUN to create seemingly insurmountable circumstances, characters you want to fall in love with and spicy relationships that make your insides sizzle. I’m rooting for the good guys, against the bad guys and the exciting part is, once I finally have the story in my head, I never really know how everything will unravel. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, November 10, 2014
The tourist town of South Cove, California, is a lovely place to spend the holidays. But this year, shop owner Jill Gardner discovers there’s no place like home for homicide. . .
As owner of Coffee, Books, and More, Jill Gardner looks forward to the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers. But when the mayor ropes her into being liaison for a new work program, 'tis the season to be wary. Local businesses are afraid the interns will be delinquents, punks, or worse. For Jill, nothing’s worse than Ted Hendricks--the jerk who runs the program. After a few run-ins, Jill’s ready to kill the guy. That, however, turns out to be unnecessary when she finds Ted in his car--dead as a doornail. Officer Greg assumes it’s a suicide. Jill thinks it’s murder. And if the holidays weren’t stressful enough, a spoiled blonde wants to sue the city for breaking her heel. Jill has to act fast to solve this mess--before the other shoe drops. . .
"Murder, dirty politics, pirate lore, and a hot police detective: Guidebook to Murder has it all! A cozy lover’s dream come true." --Susan McBride, author of The Debutante Dropout Mysteries Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, November 06, 2014
Wade raked his hand through his sandy hair with a curse. “Damned vegan tree-huggers will destroy our entire state economy.”
Iris rolled her eyes as if anticipating a full-blown tirade. “Be back in a jiffy.” She winked at Nikki as she slipped out the door.
Nikki grinned. “I take it you’re not a card-carrying member of the Green Party?”
“No.” His gaze narrowed and brows pulled into a frown. “You’re not one of them I hope.”
“Who me?” Nikki shook her head. “No, sir-ee, I’m a live-and-let-live Libertarian and a longtime omnivore. My grandparents had a chicken farm in Lavonia. I betcha didn’t know Georgia is the country’s biggest chicken producer.” Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, November 03, 2014
A Newbie Author Selfie by C.C. Koen
A strange thing happened while…driving to work one day. A lusty fantasy seized my brain, taking over as co-pilot. Before I knew it, a parking lot and my intended destination appeared. Scary, right? Imagine how I felt? My common sense had just taken an unannounced vacation. I thanked the high heavens no one had been hurt and I’d arrived safe and somewhat sound.
After three days of manic preoccupation, I surrendered to the surging ideas, picked up my laptop and typed, and typed, and typed. The frantic-forming romance story continued steadily for three months. At that point, feedback became a necessity and the great race for an editor began.
Connections made, feedback gathered—multiple times, and mega-money spent, I entered a zone often termed as, “hitting a wall.” As a newbie writer, the “wall” related to: 1) my writing style and 2) the genre. I discovered, being an avid romance reader did not equate to writing it. Almost simultaneously, I did two things: enrolled in writing workshops and joined an online writing group. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, October 30, 2014
LOVE ME LATER
Book One in the Second Chances Series
Can they love right on the redo?
Scarlet Leore enjoys a glittering existence among New York society’s elite. Ethan Blake is a prizefighter knocking his way through school, counting on his winnings to bankroll the dreams that won’t fit in a boxing ring. When the two meet, neither can deny the instant attraction that wells between the hulking fighter and the heiress who is miles and millions out of his league. But a vicious attack leaves Scarlet physically and emotionally battered, and for Ethan, the allure crumbles along with the rest of his life after Scarlet accuses him of wielding the knife.
Years later, Scarlet has abandoned the high life for that of a hard-working lawyer, while Ethan has clawed his way to the pinnacle of a business empire. Drawn into his world of high-stakes tech mergers, they dance to a tune of revenge, desire, and finally, redemption. But theirs is a world that won’t tolerate an attorney falling for her client. They’ll need more than lust and forgiveness. They must bridge the chasm of a tormented past to understand who they are today. Only then can they forge a future in the face of the resurging enemy who once tore them apart. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, October 23, 2014
These are not your momma’s grannies. These gals are more like DIRTY HARRY…only over 50, female and from the south. IN FOR A PENNY ranked #1 in the Humorous Fiction genre, and we’re so excited to now bring you:
FIT TO BE TIED
Book Two ~ The Granny Series
Maggie glared down at her feet, currently sinking into greenish muck in Summer Haven’s front yard. She wiggled her toes, but her bright orange toenail polish was barely visible beneath the brackish water tickling them. Worse, the unusually warm fall day was already beginning to make it smell.
Why she’d started wearing these dollar store flip-flips Sera loved so doggoned much, she didn’t know. Back in her day, they’d called them thongs. Now that term was used for something that would leave her hind parts looking as pudgy as her toes. Today her winter galoshes would’ve been a much better choice. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, October 20, 2014
Some would say Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Regan has it all. Beautiful, smart, athletic and a great job working as a journalist – in the almost exclusively male sports department. But Charlotte is not quite as sure as she seems. Recently split from her overbearing boyfriend, she escapes for weekends, surfing in the Atlantic, and spends her free nights watching sports, roaring at the TV.
Derry Cullinane is a fashion writer, gossip columnist and sophisticated man-about-town. The go-to guy for any woman seeking expert advice on what fabulous outfit to wear for any given occasion. He’s also tall, dark, good looking – and straight! So what’s the snag? He has a track record of dating glamorous, vain and shallow women.
Charlie gets an opportunity to write a new column under the pen name Side Swipe, but soon is drawn into a war of words and wit with a rival paper’s columnist The Squire – and their verbal fireworks get readers and editors talking. Yet neither Charlie nor Derry knows just who the opponent is... Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, October 13, 2014
The place was modest to say the least. Maddy had to walk through the bedroom to get to the kitchen, and the bathroom was in the back of the house.
But with a little imagination, she could probably make it habitable. Maybe even cute. Since deciding on her move to Nugget she’d put off house hunting until the last minute. At least this little duplex apartment would only be temporary. As soon as the contractors spiffed up quarters in the soon-to-be-renovated Lumber Baron Inn, she’d move in there so she could supervise the entire overhaul. In the meantime, she could walk to the inn from here.
“So you taking the place?” The guy who’d introduced himself as Rhys Shepard, the duplex owner’s son, leaned against the doorjamb.
“Maybe,” she said, noticing the way his shoulders filled the doorway. Maddy suddenly wished she’d put on makeup, maybe even wore her hair down instead of piling it up on top of her head like a mop.
She gave the apartment one last walk-through, staring out the windows at the breathtaking views. She could see the river, snow-covered mountains, and the town, which from here looked almost quaint. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, September 25, 2014
When my co-author and I first started writing contemporary romance, we thought on some level we had it easy. We didn’t have to build magic systems, theorize about future technology, or research historical accuracy in excruciating detail.
But when we realized we were writing a six-book series (Starling, book 1, was released on September 10; Doves, book 2 is due out January 21, 2015; and the title of book 3, Phoenix, has just been announced) we also realized that writing contemporary romance also means writing historical romance as well as sci-fi romance and, maybe, even a little bit of paranormal romance.
Love in Los Angeles is a m/m romance series; it’s also a multigenerational queer family story. While we start in what is, more or less, the present day -- the 2010s -- by the end of the series we’ll have followed our family decades into the future.
Which means that, 20 years from now, when the events of the later books are actually supposed to be taking place, the events of the earlier books will already have become historical fiction. The specificity that can make our contemporary romances feel current and real today, is the specificity that will date it later. As writers, we can try to be vague and hope this doesn't happen. We can even update our text in future editions to work in the new versions of all those specifics. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, September 22, 2014
A glass of wine appeared over her shoulder and Luke’s breath teased the hairs on the back of her neck. “I had to turn down a lot of eligible ladies to get back here.”
Glancing over at the bar, she took the wineglass and felt him sit in the chair behind hers. All of her cells were attuned to whatever frequency Luke gave off. At the bar stood a gathering of white-haired women all giving Luke come-hither looks and finger waves.
Penny choked back a laugh. She tried her hardest to look serious when she turned to Luke. “I hope you let them down easy. It’s just as hard to find a man at their age as mine.”
Leaning in so he could speak in her ear and be heard over the music, Luke’s cheek rubbed against hers, sending a wave of heat through her. “I always try to be gentle.”
“I’m sure you do.” She could feel his cheek lift in a grin. A shiver rippled down her back.
He moved back until they were eye to eye. “They were actually encouraging me to hit on the wedding coordinator.”
Penny glanced over at Rebecca in her peach suit. She was a few years younger than
Penny and looked as if the pressure of this wedding was about to make her explode. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, September 18, 2014
Special Sneak Peek:
With 7.5 tons of World Trade Center steel melted into her bow,
what if there are more souls aboard the USS New York
than the Sailors and Marines stationed there?
And what if those souls can help the troops defeat al-Qaeda this time?
Blog Diva - Monday, September 15, 2014
Second Chances? You Bet
But oh, how our characters earn them.
Several years ago, I came across the following quote from Emily Dickenson: Luck is not chance, it’s toil; fortune’s expensive smile is earned.
In that simple statement, I saw a perfect summation of Sarah Whitmore’s journey in Amber Light, my most recent novel. Sarah, naïve as she may be, believes in lucky breaks; and even at age eighteen, and pregnant as a result of an assault, she’s pretty good at spotting opportunities. Each time she accepts an offer of something that could be valuable or advantageous in her life, she’s acting on a second chance. Put another way, she’s taking a risk to believe in herself or resolving to go after something she wanted anyway.
Sarah instinctively acts to rescue a woman she believes is drowning, but then is fired over her actions. In her young mind, she’s failed, because she’s lost the job that came by way of a lucky break in the first place. Other characters see what happened differently, though, and Sarah’s willingness to help a person in danger has long-term consequences. Her “toil” in this case plays a critical role in an important lucky break—really, a second chance—that resets the course of her life. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, September 11, 2014
I blame Louis L’Amour and growing up in the country for my cowboy addiction. Whether my characters are riding the range in Montana or working cattle in the red dust of the Australian Outback, my books all feature a hero (or heroine in the case of Cherish Me, Cowboy) who embodies the cowboy code.
Life on the land can be challenging and it takes a certain set of timeless values to survive. A cowboy needs to be resilient, courageous and honourable. He needs to finish what he starts and to do what needs to be done. His word needs to be his bond and his loyalty unquestionable. A cowboy also needs respect for himself as well as those around him.
A cowboy’s body is honed by hard work out in the sun, rain or snow. His work ethic and commitment ensures that when he rides for a brand he won’t deviate. His toughness is always tempered by tenderness. And last but not least, a cowboy looks good in dust, boots and denim.
Books, film and television offer up a raft of cowboy heroes/heroines and I’d love to hear who your favourite may be. I will be giving away a kindle eBook copy of Cherish Me, Cowboy to one lucky commentator who will be chosen at random. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, September 08, 2014
When I tell people that I'm an author, they inevitably ask the next question with a brightened eye and a catch in voice.
“What do you write?”
I'm not exactly sure what the "correct" expected answer is, but I sense that the one I give them must not be the one they want to hear.
I have disappointed them, but I don't know why.
Have I indicated that the genre I have chosen is on par with writing detailed instructions on how to set fire to an orphanage? On Christmas? What would be the correct answer? Mystery? Biographies of saints? Multi-part serials of wizarding teenagers? I really throw a lot of people for a loop when I add the fact that my books are all PG-rated. (It's ok...you can scratch your head at that one too if you want.) Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, August 04, 2014
J.D. Sterling’s heartbeats were thumping loud as a bass drum at the sight of the red sedan as it pulled into the circular driveway, stopping just behind the other realtor’s Hummer. He had purposely seated himself in a corner of the wide porch, away from the glare of the noonday sun, where climbing vines and shade would enable him to be concealed from the woman’s line of sight. He didn’t want her to know he was there, at least not right away. J.D. needed to see her first, to get his feet under him. At least, that’s the excuse he'd given himself. For someone who always planted his feet solidly in the middle of any situation, this was one time the spotlight was not what he sought. His pulses were racing as he saw the driver’s door swing open, and two slender ankles encased in gray high heels became visible as they touched the ground.
The woman stood up, one hand pushed her sunglasses further up on the bridge of her nose, and then she closed the car door behind her. She slung the straps of her leather bag over her shoulder and moved around the hood of the car, her heels making soft crunching sounds on the pea gravel along the drive. In the early afternoon stillness of the ranch, those sounds seemed to be amplified.
The eyes in the shadows drank in the features of the woman as she moved toward the house. Nowhere in sight was the country girl he had last seen. The vision that approached was confident in her stride, her head up and shoulders resolute. The girl he used to know was just short of being painfully shy and always hesitant to stand out of any crowd. Sunglasses concealed her eyes from view so he couldn’t see if they were still the amazingly vivid blue he remembered and had even immortalized in song once. They had filled his dreams on many a night and gotten him through some really hard times. It was those eyes he would see when he closed his own as he sang across the bright lights into the dark recesses of some huge arena, packed with screaming fans and loud music. He would sing to the girl in his dreams… the one he had left behind but never left out of his heart. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, July 31, 2014
THE COMFORT AND DISCOMFORT OF BOOKS
Comfort books remind me of comfort food. They’re tried and true volumes I consume when I’m (1) bored, (2) depressed, (3) lazy, (4) ill, (5) sick of humanity in its violent/evil guises, (6) sweltering in hot weather.
Since five of the previous six applied to me in the last several weeks, I plunged into a favorite space opera series. Lolling on the bed nearly all day, maintaining consciousness primarily through slurping coffee, I revisited a fantasy world in which good guys win. What could be more fantastic than that?
The triumph of good guys is also a hallmark of romances—they end happily. Whether crammed full of overt sex, or, like the variety I write, content with passionate kisses coupled with emotion, romances are favorite comfort books. Comfort books, like comfort food, meet expectations, frequently are indulged in with regularity, and create a nostalgic or warm sentiment in the person devouring them.
I thought I’d created the term “comfort books” until I went hunting online. I found a number of writers boast familiarity with this approach to reading. So much for originality. Still it’s reassuring to find cronies, to know I’m not the odd one out. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, July 28, 2014
I saw a study once that said the three things that give people the most joy are:
3. Live theater
And my new book A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S FLING has 2 out of the 3! What a deal!
But seriously, folks, live theater has an energizing quality to it because anything might happen. I've seen productions where props broke, skirts ripped, even one where a light bulb exploded over an audience member's head. I've been in productions where one of our actors fell asleep backstage and missed his cue, where the lead actress leaned against gum right before her cue and ruined her costume. (OK, that last one happened to me…seriously, who puts gum on something at shoulder height??)
But it's not just the bad stuff that makes theater magic, of course; a big part of the wonder is simply sharing the same space as the people performing. You aren't just watching dead performances on an electronic screen--you're breathing the same air as these people, feeling the same heat or chill. And that's what makes theater magic so contagious. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, July 07, 2014
“That’s him. Over there.” Hunter Collins recognized her new left fielder by the body language, posture, and raw physical power of a professional athlete.
“The guy in the plaid shirt?” The limo driver shook his head in doubt. “Are you sure? He doesn’t look like no baseball player. He’s too tall.”
Marco Santiago was indeed tall. And dark. And—she hated to admit, even to herself—incredibly handsome. The expert tailoring of his shirt emphasized his broad shoulders, long, strong arms, and slender waist. Dark denim hugged slim hips, clung to muscular thighs, and she’d put good money on what they did to his taut backside.
His tattered duffel bag was slung carelessly over his left shoulder. A small leather case lay at his feet. The casual observer might interpret his relaxed pose as lazy, bored, or perhaps a little worse for the wear. But she’d watched him on the field enough to know he could spring into action with panther-like reflexes at the crack of the bat. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, June 30, 2014
New Married Life and Publishing New Genre all at the same time.
To say this month or the past few months have been a whirlwind of activity is putting it mildly. No one explains how brides get wedding brain before the wedding. Small details became important. Writing took a back seat for a few months. I was getting married.
If you asked me before I met my now husband, I was known for quotes like this ‘I live in Miami and I’m not from here. I moved here and I’m not for the dating lifestyle. I guess I’ll be single forever and have my romance novels to keep on dreaming.’ Then I met my now husband, and my cynicism about marriage changed entirely.
Then I changed jobs, met my husband, and life sped up. I always said 2014 was my year after signing the first contract, and the truth is I’m looking forward to 2015 a lot too. 2014 has been amazing and I hope your year is going fast and it’s exciting too. I had signed contracts for books to be released this year, and I’m thrilled.
I call contemporary new. My first novel I ever wrote was a contemporary, but it was bad. To make the characters more believable, I just turned them into gods and called it a paranormal. Clearly I had a lot to learn. No wonder I had lots of rejections. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, June 12, 2014
How many hours are in your day? A measly 24? Do you ever wish there could be one or two extra squeezed in so that when the words are coming fast and furious you wouldn’t have to stop? Or that there would always be an extra minute to prepare a healthy, homemade dinner or shine the sink?
Even though I can’t give you more hours, I have a few suggestions to make the most of the ones you’ve got – both for you and your family.
A lot of times we want things to be perfect – both the words on the page, day jobs or what we do to support our family. Last week I had a bad night and couldn’t even pull it together to order carry out. We had a dinner of chicken nuggets, leftover pizza, carrot sticks and apple slices. And my kids and husband were so happy – nothing gourmet or fancy but we were all together and that’s what counts. It’s the same with writing – sometimes it’s just about putting the time in and getting the words down on the page. And even though you may not feel inspired, be happy and proud that you made it happen! Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, June 02, 2014
DATE NIGHT: From broad concept to sustainable conflict!
BOOK BLURB: Jordan Billette faces the greatest challenge of her life - find her soul mate and get married before cancer takes Grannie away forever. Not dating? No problem. A dating service will turn up a soul mate. JT Murphy has been best friends with Jordan's brother for years. When he agrees to protect Jordan from unworthy dates at the restaurant where he waits tables, he gets more than he bargained for!
How to build sustainable conflict: As an avid reader growing up, I often wondered where authors got the ideas for their books. Once I became a writer myself, I realized it wasn’t the broad concept for a book that was difficult to develop, but rather how to take the concept and build a sustainable conflict between the hero and heroine.
The broad concept for Date Night was simple – I wanted to write a book about a woman who went on a series of hilarious dates. Why? Because in my mid thirties I used a dating service for one year and, as a result, had first hand experience with many outrageously funny dates. My friends and family often found my dating stories entertaining. And so the idea for a book was born. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, May 29, 2014
Here I am again to tell you about my latest book in the “HOW TO …” series of books –
‘How to Have an Amicable Divorce – a novel’.
It is the second in the series following ‘How to Have an Affair’ (released Feb 2014) but it can be read as a stand-alone title. I grew so attached to the characters in the first book that I knew I had to carry them on. ‘How to Have an Amicable Divorce’ contains the same five main characters but this time the story concentrates on Denizon Cartwright who had a much smaller role in the first book. Without giving too much away here is the
How to Have an Amicable Divorce Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, May 19, 2014
Here is a sneak peek from BUSHWHACKED releasing today May 19th! In celebration, I'll be giving away a digital copy of BUSHWHACKED to a lucky commenter.
“Corkscrew?” she asked. Systematically she started opening one drawer after another.
“Give me that.” He took the bottle from her and pointed at the table with it. “Sit.”
“Fine.” She moved to the table and pulled out one of the chairs and sat where she could watch him. He quickly located a corkscrew and twisted it into the top of the bottle, his forearms flexing with the action. Who knew that the simple action of opening a bottle of wine could make her mouth go dry? It had nothing to do with thirst, either.
He grabbed two mugs, filled them with wine, and set one in front of her, before gulping deep from his. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, May 15, 2014
Thanks for inviting me to guest blog today and I’m so excited to be telling you about my new book “How to Have an Affair.”
The book was originally going to be called ‘The Greatest Gift’ but one day when I was out walking my dogs the new title came to me and from then on it was called “How to Have an Affair” – which you have to agree catches your eye. I had to add novel after the title as some people thought it was a workbook giving you tips on how to be unfaithful to your partner (which it isn’t!)
I’ll let the blurb tell you what the book is about.
How to Have an Affair
Have you ever been attracted to someone you shouldn’t?
Were you prepared to risk everything?
Robyn Fisher is a frustrated, busy, working mum and wife who feels that life is passing her by – that is until she meets charismatic psychologist, Jay Trethedick, at a weekend seminar. Despite the instant attraction, Robyn resists Jay’s advances only to surrender to temptation a week later and they begin an intense and passionate love affair. But when the lovers start taking increasingly dangerous risks, Robyn’s husband discovers the truth and walks out, destroying Robyn’s world. Read More
Blog Diva - Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Chasing Love’s Wings – Press Kit
Title: Chasing Love’s Wings
Series: Love’s Wings 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance /Contemporary Erotica
Age: Mature Audiences over the age of 18 who enjoy Tattoos and piercings.
Release Date: May 27th, 2014
Pre-Order available on:
Add to your TBR on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18324044-chasing-love-s-wings
in Cameron Enders' life feels like a dream since she took a trip to a
remote island where she met Tristan Michaels, Hollywood's hottest man.
Tristan never imagined that his get-away vacation would change his life
and his heart. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, April 14, 2014
©2014 Zondervan – Excerpt used with permission
Reggie exploded out the door and into the pack of waiting press. The chilled air reached for her, and she longed for Tallahassee’s late September heat.
“Princess, over here.”
“What do you think of Hessenberg?”
“Are you really the great-granddaughter of Princess Alice?”
“Are you going to sign the entail?”
Cameras clicked and buzzed in her ears and her forward motion stopped when she sank into the mud of media. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, April 10, 2014
Justice For Abby is on sale now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes!
Nowhere to hide…
Fashion designer Abigail Harris has been rescued, but her nightmare is far from over. Determined to put her harrowing ordeal behind her and move on, she struggles to pick up the pieces of her life while eluding the men who want her dead.
The Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring is in ruins after Abby’s interviews with the police. The organization is eager to exact their revenge before her testimony dismantles the multi-million dollar operation for good.
Abby’s safety rests in the hands of former US Marshal, Jerrod Quinn. Serious-minded and obsessed with protocol, Ethan Cooke Security’s newest agent finds himself dealing with more than he bargains for when he agrees to take on his beautiful, free-spirited client. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, April 07, 2014
A Post Hijack by The Emerald Springs Underbelly Blog
Hello, fellow snoops! Holley Trent was supposed to provide a post, but I think you’ll like what I have to say even more. I’ve got gossip! Who doesn’t love gossip?
As you know, every spring, the folks here in Emerald Springs, Washington pitch in for a massive town potluck. This year, Sam Whitman of Emerald Tea Farm thought the gathering would be a great venue to test out his new blog feature. His experiment with video didn’t go so well, but our crafty snoops at The ES Underbelly Blog were able to download his video before he pulled it. We’ve transcribed these awkward exchanges for your reading pleasure.
(Camera activates revealing Sam seated at a table in the community center. Alan Prevost walks past, carrying a plate and a bottle of beer.)
Sam Whitman: Alan! Alan Prevost, come talk to me.
(Alan looks around, sighs, and pulls out a chair next to Sam.) Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, April 03, 2014
The idea for my newest Harmony book BETTING THE RAINBOW came from the question, “If you had a chance to change your life, what would you be willing to risk?”
My character Dusti Delaney and her sister were stuck on a small farm , on a little lake, near Harmony, Texas. They made enough to live but nothing more. Both had dreams of what could have been if one had been able to finish nursing school and the other had followed her dream of being a professional photographer.
On their once-a-month night out Dusti learns of a charity poker game and sees her one chance to change. Though she has her goals too, she wants to see her sister follow her dream first.
One man knows enough about poker to teach her to win. Only problem is, if she makes it to the final table, she’ll be playing against him. As he teaches her about Texas Hold’em and love, she sees the possibility of her dream coming true.
I think I loved this story so much because I once pushed all my chips in on a dream. I wanted to write but with teaching, going to grad school and raising two boys, there was never any time. Finally, with the help of my husband, I quit, drew out my retirement and lived on it while I wrote. Forty books later I’d say the gamble paid off. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, March 31, 2014
Writers Retreats to Beat Writers Block
By Jennie Marts
Being stuck on your current WIP is no fun! Especially if you are on a deadline. It’s even worse if you are a ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-your-Pantser’ and you’re waiting for the story to come to you and your characters voices are deafeningly silent in your ears.
A favorite trick of mine is to set up my own mini-writing-retreat. For me, all a writing retreat needs is a notebook, a purple pen, a Snickers bar, a bag a Cheetos, two Diet Cokes and a quiet place to write. Sometimes I bring my laptop, but that makes it hard because then I get Cheetos-dust on the keyboard.
Changing the place you write and your writing medium are great ways to change-up and often ‘charge-up’ your writing energy. Take a break from your laptop and your desk and change your surroundings. Get a new perspective with a new landscape. Take a blanket and go to a park. Enjoy the breeze as you sit in the grass and write a description of the town where your story is. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, February 27, 2014
Where’s Your Home Sweet Home?
Some say that home is where the heart is. My home sweet home is where ever I’m at with my honey. Married at an early age, we’ve grown up together. The house is empty when he’s not here and he feels the same when I’m away. It’s a blessing to be loved and appreciated. That’s what we all want. Jenna Myers has to solve a mystery, a murder and catch an arsonist before she can find her home sweet home. Where is your home sweet home?
Home Sweet Home
Jenna Myers inherits an apartment complex in Denver, Colorado after her father dies in a car crash. Even though there is evidence of foul play, the crime goes unsolved. She breaks off her engagement, sells her bookstore in Cedar Falls, and moves to Denver to manage her real estate investments. A few months later, a friend and tenant is murdered in her apartment complex. Jenna suspects the murder is related to her father’s death but it’s a case of mistaken identity. The killer is after her. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, February 20, 2014
Wine and Romance
I’m A.L. Parks, and I have published two books, and working on a third to be released this summer (fingers crossed). The first two are contemporary romances, and the third will be my first foray into romantic suspense. So, since I am a new author, and many of you may not have heard of me, let alone my books, I was trying to come up with a more creative way to introduce you to them…and this is what I came up with. I love to read…and I love wine.
Wine that goes best with my books:
Bereaved bride Abby Clark is tortured by visions of the fatal crash that took her fiancé on their wedding day. She succumbs to a dark existence where loneliness, sadness and nightmares dwell; until handsome, brooding Bryce Holden walks through the door of her favorite coffee shop, wearing the same cloak of despair and grief. Abby discovers in Bryce someone who understands love and loss, and soon their close friendship grows into a deep love. But ghosts make strange bedfellows, and Abby is forced to battle the tormenting images that continue to haunt her, and confront the ethereal presence of a beloved wife to protect her future with Bryce. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, February 17, 2014
Transferring from her old position had been one of the hardest to decisions Brooke Justice had faced. Those farmers back in Virginia Beach had taught her as much as she had them in the beginning. College hadn’t prepared her for the real-life problems farmers faced, but she’d been a quick study and they’d taken her under their wing. She loved that job, but her separation from Keith had gotten out of control and putting some miles between them seemed like the right thing to do when the opportunity arose.
Brooke gathered a stack of soil sample kits and a notebook with the list of her appointments for the day, then grabbed the keys to the truck the county provided for their use. She headed out the back door of the Main Street office where the truck was parked.
The little white four-wheel drive pickup was much more suitable to the roads than her own car. Many of the roads were still unpaved in this county. In Virginia Beach they'd provided her with a vehicle, too, only it was a big twelve-seater passenger van. It was a bear to maneuver and forget about parking it. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, February 13, 2014
So, hi there! I’m Ava Miles, the new contemporary romance writer who burst onto the scene with her book NORA ROBERTS LAND, which kicked off my acclaimed Dare Valley series. Now, I’m delighted to announce the first book in a connected series called Dare River, set in the deep South, titled COUNTRY HEAVEN. It’s about a down-on-her luck cook who uses food’s magical properties to tame a beastly country singer after he hires her under false pretenses to restore his image.
And I’ve chosen the juiciest excerpt:
“I’m trying to talk Tory here into giving the bull a ride.”
Lola gave her another haughty glance, making Tory feel like she was back in high school, being insulted by the popular girls. “This pathetic little thing, Rye? Why, I bet she couldn’t grip the bull for two seconds with those chicken legs.”
“Shut up, Lola.” His hand stopped her exploration of his skin. “She’s a friend of mine.”
And somehow, hearing him say that was all the incentive she needed. The woman’s insult to her legs was not going to be ignored. “Okay, let’s give this a go then.”
She strode forward, weaving around the women who surrounded the bull, wrinkling her nose as it was assaulted by a cloud of different perfumes. Read More
Blog Diva - Friday, February 07, 2014
Today I'd like to share the blurb and cover for my new novel, Mr. Right Now, a fun, contemporary romance with a mistaken identity twist! As with most of my books, music played a part throughout the writing – some songs were representative of the hero, some of the heroine and a couple just had that vacation feel that I wanted for the book.
Here are the top four songs that helped me write Mr. Right Now.
4. Never Wanted Nothing More by Kenny Chesney – Both Mason and Casey in Mr. Right Now are looking for something…and they don't really know what until they meet one another. And from there things get a little hairy, but they both know they've never wanted anything more than each other…
3. Vacation by the GoGos – this one is an oldie but a goodie. Any time I'm feeling like winter is too long (which is OFTEN this winter) or work is too stressful or I just need a break for laundry and cooking and homework and puppy wrangling, this song makes me feel like I can get it all done. In Mr. Right Now Casey needs a vacation in the worst way because her issues come with paparazzi stalkers and nasty headlines… Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, February 06, 2014
Excerpt from I SEE LONDON by Chanel Cleeton
New Adult contemporary romance available now from Harlequin HQN
I peered out the taxi window, watching as the city passed me by.
The ride from the airport took a little under an hour. As we drove, we crossed into more urban areas where the landscape of little houses disappeared, replaced by large blocks of multistory apartment buildings and small shops on street corners. Little by little the traffic increased, the driver laying on the horn several times and shouting out the window. BBC Radio blared through the car speakers. The announcers spoke of things like “cricket” and I felt the weight of being in a foreign land. At least I understood the language—for the most part.
The sidewalks were filled with people, their strides long and confident. Everyone looked as if they were in a hurry, as though wherever they were going was the most important place in the world. And it was noisy. Even over the radio, I heard the sounds of the city, so different from anything I’d ever experienced. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, February 03, 2014
The Courage to Leave Home
Do you remember when you left home for the first time, moving into your first apartment, going off to college, or getting married? Were you happy or sad? What was your leaving home experience? For most of us it was bitter sweet. We were happy to start on our life’s journey but deep down, maybe we were a little scared or reluctant to leave behind the comforts of home and friends we’d known all our lives. Would you be strong enough, have enough faith to pack up and walk away from everything you’ve ever known? Cindy Dawson must leave behind all her friends and her hometown to give herself a chance to find true love.
Fly Away Home
After being betrayed by her cheating ex-husband, Cindy Dawson makes a major decision to go after what she wants--a family of her own. Being the last single woman in her group of friends in Cedar Falls, Colorado, Cindy decides she needs to leave town—their happiness is killing her. She takes a job in Denver and joins a singles group to find her soul mate. For love and to realize her dream she’ll take the chance of rejection. She learns she has to date a lot of frogs to get to the prince. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, January 27, 2014
I've always loved cowboys. Ever since I visited a grade school friend in Texas over spring break one year and rediscovered country music. I say rediscovered because growing up it was my parents' music genre of choice. Of course back then, I didn't want to have anything to do with it. In high school I was more into the 80s hair bands (Bon Jovi, Skid Row, etc.) It was my dream to date a guy with hair longer than mine.
Luckily that one trip to the Lone Star State right after college changed all that. The new wave of country music spurred on by Garth Brooks spoke to me. Became a part of me. So much, that I convinced another friend to join me for some line dancing lessons at a local country bar here at home.
The rest as they say, is history. There at the bar I met a plethora of friends, one of whom eventually became my wonderful hubby. Another introduced me to the local RWA chapter she belonged to, and my dream of writing a romance novel was one step closer to coming true. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, January 20, 2014
On my very first of some ten trips to Scotland researching both historical novels and contemporary tales in the land of my ancestors, I had an extraordinary experience that has haunted my thoughts for years.
I was working in those days as an on-air broadcaster for both KABC Radio & TV and got the dream assignment to cover the “International Gathering of the Scottish Clans”—a rather clever public relations ploy to urge those of Scottish descent from around the world to “come home” to the land of the Celts and the Gaels…and bring their country’s currencies with them!
On the day when a hundred pipers queued up to march into Meadowbank Stadium just outside Edinburgh on a cloudless afternoon, I stood holding a microphone among some ten thousand of the “Scottish Diaspora” that hailed not only from the US, but Canada, Australia, New Zealand and places all over the world. Next to me was the, then, Mayor of New York, John Lindsay attired in his full Scottish regalia: a Lindsay tartan kilt, Prince Charlie Coatee, knee socks, brogues, and proudly displaying the “men’s purse” known as the sporran, strapped around his waist. Read More
Blog Diva - Friday, January 17, 2014
I'm not a big professional sports fan. I'm the first to admit it. I watch the last 2 minutes of the final game of the Final 4, the last game of the World Series, the Super Bowl (if there's good food being served), the final game of the Stanley Cup. This isn't an in-depth post on sports stats, who's been traded or why the Super Bowl is being hosted in colder climes. This blog post is about professional sports players from the not-so-sporty perspective. It's geared to lots of women--and some men--who aren't into 'all that.' Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, January 16, 2014
You Know You’re An Author When…
You know you’re an author when you’re in dire circumstances and all you can think about is, “I must remember everything so I can use it in a book.” Have you ever felt this way?
Less than a year ago I went in the hospital for a mylogram. The test was supposed to take four hours. I ended up staying four days. During the mylogram I had a stroke caused by the contrast dye. This strange numbing sensation engulfed the left side of my body just like someone had cut me in half. Strange, because it didn’t hurt. And the crazy part was all the while I was scared, yet in the back of my mind I was mentally filing it away to use later in a book. When it was over they told me I had a stroke in the Thalamus part of my brain. I had nerve damage on my left foot and leg and partial blindness in my right eye.
That was a turning point for me. Right then and there I decided I wasn’t going to die with my books under the bed. I’ve worked hard with speech, neuro, and physical therapy. I’m pleased to say that most people can’t tell what happened to me. I’m blessed to have survived the stroke as well as I have and I’m grateful. I’ve been writing for years and have several books completed and have won numerous awards and gotten contracts with the majors only to fall through. I learned just how short life can be and decided it was time to follow my dreams. So today I want to share with you an excerpt from Book One from my Sweet Home Colorado Series, No Direction Home. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, December 30, 2013
New Year, New Beginnings!
Amber Lea Easton
Have you ever wanted to hit the reset button and get a do-over on life? As far as I'm concerned, we can do this at any time of the year, but it's universally acceptable to reflect and "reset" on New Years' Eve.
Although I like to reevaluate, I don't necessarily make resolutions anymore. I find they're too easy to reject come January 31. I've started making broad assessments instead, sort of like a pro and con list about what worked during the past year and what I'd like to improve on for the next.
I'd like more free time next year because this past year was spent in overdrive 24/7. All work and no play definitely makes Amber boring...and grumpy. So as I go into 2014 I'm looking at how I can achieve more balance in life rather than making a resolution like "join a club" or "learn tennis" or anything specific. Perhaps I'm too rebellious for resolutions, I don't know. I've learned that setting a broader goal helps me stick to it. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, December 26, 2013
SPECIAL SNEAK PEEK - Coming February 2014:
A Debt Paid In Passion
A beautiful thief…?
Raoul Zesiger has everything a man could want—including Sirena Abbott, the perfect PA who keeps his life in order. Or so it seems, until their professional relationship gives way to one hot, impassioned night…and then he has her arrested for embezzlement!
She may have escaped a prison sentence, but Sirena knows she'll be shackled to Zesiger by more than just the past. With Raoul determined to recover the debt she owes him, Sirena is torn between guilt and an impossible attraction. But what will happen when Raoul uncovers the truth behind her theft?
Look at me, Raoul Zesiger willed Sirena Abbott.
He had to lean back in his chair to see her past the three men between them. He should have been looking at the judge, but he couldn’t take his eyes off Sirena. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, December 23, 2013
Christmas on pause
Most of December seems to fly by on fast forward. November is fine. Shops put out their decorations but I refuse to even think about Christmas. It’s far too early. But then December swoops in and suddenly everything is a mad rush. Where to start? With me it’s usually presents. Buying is easy if you do your shopping on-line, though you have to be careful not to miss those shipping dates. But thinking about what to buy – that’s the tricky part. I try to be clever and pick up things throughout the year. Being a sucker for a bargain I can often be found rummaging through the sale bins, plucking out huge reductions and squirreling them away in a big trunk so when Christmas comes, hey presto. Job done. Of course if doesn’t happen like that. Nieces I’ve bought for then announce actually they’d like something else. Worse, I forget what I’ve got in the trunk, panic, and buy more presents. I have supposed bargains that have been in that trunk for a very long time… Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, December 16, 2013
It’s a pleasure to be here on RomCon® today sharing a little about my holiday romance The Christmas Cowboy, the first book in the new Rodeo Romance series.
Tate Morgan is a good-looking, dimple-cheeked saddle bronc rider chasing his dream of earning a World Champion title.
Frequenting the small airport near his ranch in southeast Washington on his way to rodeos, he keeps seeing the same beautiful brunette. He finally works up the courage to sit down next to her one morning and strikes up a conversation as they wait for a flight to Denver. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, December 12, 2013
Are You Game?
7 Minutes In heaven
By Rhian Cahill
It’s all fun and games until their hearts are on the line.
Are You Game? Book 1
Cassandra Moreland’s hard work to build her party-planning business is starting to pay off. There’s only one thorn in her side—a six-foot-five wall of testosterone throwing his weight around while she supervises her friend Lil’s first party. Butting heads doesn’t work. Ignoring him really doesn’t work. Not when he makes her pulse race and her palms sweat. But no way will she give in to his demand to shut the rowdy party down.
Lucas Wilhelm, head of McDermott Security, can’t believe the pint-sized brunette has the balls to go toe-to-toe with him. Strangely enough, that sassy mouth of hers isn’t ticking him off. It’s tightening his groin and stirring something much hotter than anger. Read More
Blog Diva - Sunday, December 08, 2013
My grandmother used to say, “It’s just as easy to love a rich man as a poor man.” Her advice was all about preservation, of course; a practical consideration for a woman of her era. My grandma raised her family during The Great Depression, and even thought fortunes of the rich were lost in droves in 1929, their family did okay. There was family money and a sound business and no one went hungry or went without shoes.
All through history money has made a man desirable. Made him sought after. Made him sexy.
I suppose this is still true, but I like to think we fall in love with billionaire heroes because of the qualities that don’t cost anything.
But buckets of cash certainly get them noticed and from the Harlequin category romances filled with tycoons and sheiks, to the surge in the billionaire sub-genre, being rich isn’t a bad thing in a romance. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, December 05, 2013
Special Sneak Peak: FORGET ME NOT by Heather Ashby
Forget Me Not is Book 2 the “Love in the Fleet” series
Suffering from Peter Pan Syndrome and survivor guilt, Navy helicopter pilot and renowned playboy, Brian “Skylark” Crawford, swears he’ll never marry, uncertain he deserves happiness—besides there are too many hot chicks to choose from. War widow and veterinarian, Daisy Schneider, swears to love only animals after her Marine pilot husband is killed in Afghanistan—but work fails to ease her loneliness or the guilt that she might have saved him. Between one stray, matchmaking cat and a fiery battle with drug runners at sea, the fur flies as Sky and Daisy learn valuable lessons about life, love, and second chances.
Heather Ashby is a Navy veteran who taught school and raised a family while accompanying her Navy husband around the U.S., Japan, and the Middle East. In gratitude for her Army son’s safe return from Afghanistan and Iraq, she now writes military romance novels, donating half her royalties to causes that support wounded warriors and their families. Her debut novel, Forgive & Forget was voted “Best of 2013” by Suspense Magazine. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, December 02, 2013
Why Write about Fruitcake, Vicki?
I've heard it all from the naysayers who think fruitcake is terrible. I (said imperiously) know what you guys/gals are missing.
According to Wikipedia, here's where fruitcake came from: The earliest recipe from ancient Rome lists pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins that were mixed into barley mash. In the Middle Ages, honey, spices, and preserved fruits were added.
Fruit cakes soon proliferated all over Europe. Recipes varied greatly in different countries throughout the ages, depending on the available ingredients as well as (in some instances) church regulations forbidding the use of butter, regarding the observance of fast. Pope Innocent VIII (1432–1492) finally granted the use of butter, in a written permission known as the 'Butter Letter' or Butterbrief in 1490, giving permission to Saxony to use milk and butter in the North German Stollen fruit cakes.
Starting in the 16th century, sugar from the American Colonies (and the discovery that high concentrations of sugar could preserve fruits) created an excess of candied fruit, thus making fruit cakes more affordable and popular.
For more information, go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_cake Read More
Blog Diva - Wednesday, November 27, 2013
RomCon® is having a huge sale on admission to RomCon® University and RomCon® 2014, free entries for Reader Ratings and discounts on RomCon®'s web advertising. Don't wait! This sale is only good from Black Friday to Cyber Monday (11/29-12/2/13). Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, November 25, 2013
Thank you for hosting me on RomCon® today!
First, a blurb:
Can forgiveness survive lies and the unspoken truth?
Until Brenda McAllister’s husband committed suicide, she appeared to have the ideal life: a thriving psychology practice, success as a self-help author, and a model family. But her guilt over her affair with Jack’s best friend prevents her from moving on. Did Jack learn of her infidelity? Was she the cause of his death?
The release of Brenda’s second book forces her into an unexpected assignment with arrogant celebrity author CJ Morrison, whose irritating and edgy exterior hides the torment of his own mistakes. But as she grows closer to CJ, Brenda learns she wasn’t the only one with secrets—Jack had secrets of his own, unsavory ones that may have led to his death. While CJ helps Brenda uncover the truth about her husband, she finds the path to forgiveness isn’t always on the map. Read More
Blog Diva - Friday, November 22, 2013
I love just about everything about Christmas. I love decorating, love Christmas songs, love giving gifts, love the shows and the movies. My TiVo fills up with all the Hallmark movies for me to watch while I’m baking, or eating what I’ve baked. Starting Thanksgiving Day, I turn on that channel and make my husband and son run for the hills (since we have only one TV, see).
I particularly like the ones that have bridesmaids or soldiers. Did you see the one called The Christmas Card? Check out the schedule--it’s on quite a bit. I also love the ones with one of the characters traveling home for Christmas, ESPECIALLY if home is a small town and the character thinks he/she is above the town, only to be humbled by the wonderfulness of the traditions.
Then there are the Debbie Macomber ones, with Mrs. Miracle. LOVE! Usually I’m not as drawn to the movies with kids, though I know having kids around makes Christmas more magical. But I love this series. Read More
Blog Diva - Friday, November 22, 2013
It's that time of year again! Does it seem to come earlier and earlier each year? I swear I saw an entire Christmas section up in Michael's back in August. The Kohl's down the street had garlands on top of their racks before Halloween. Holiday commercials are already on TV. Even Hanukkah starts right around Thanksgiving (not that the Jewish calendar decided to make it early because of the consumer-driven community we live in).
So I'm joining the flock. I'm promoting my holiday short story, Mischief Under The Mistletoe in November. This book is a 'between the books' short story that has some familiar faces from previous books that are set in Bozeman, Montana. Gnome On The Range introduces us to Goldie, the adult store owner who loves to meddle in everyone's love life. There's no exception in Mischief. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, November 18, 2013
Thanks so much for having me here today!! I’m thrilled to be celebrating the release of Accidental Cowgirl, a sweet contemporary romance featuring two seriously-broken people finding their way to true love. Today I thought I’d share a little snippet of the book – a scene where the hero and heroine first meet. Kyla’s alone, has a flat tire, and a pseudo-cop is in the midst of treating her to a battery of sobriety tests. Luckily, a knight in shining … denim … comes along to save the day!
As she got to forty jumping jacks, Kyla heard a low hum in between her labored breaths. Could it be? She strained her ears toward the sound. Oh, thank God! There was another vehicle coming. She kept one eye on the road behind her car, and was elated when a black pickup came into view. When it pulled to a stop on the shoulder and a man slid out of the driver’s seat, she gulped and stopped jumping. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, November 11, 2013
Thank you to the RomCon Contemporary blog for hosting me and Ninety Eight today. Ninety Eight is my second contemporary romance, and I took a real chance on this story knowing that it was not a ‘typical’ romance. I knew that in writing it, I was exploring a theme that was, at best, touchy and readers would either love it or hate it. Let me tell you, it was a nerve wracking thing to put the book out, to take that chance.
Bet you didn’t expect me to say that, did you? Here’s the thing, I’m not the kind of writer who’s going to tell you how great my book is and EVERYONE will love it. I know that isn’t the case, especially when the subject is more controversial than most.
So why would I write a book knowing all that? I think that readers are getting bored of the same old, same old (okay, at least I was getting bored of it) and I wanted to push the envelope, to see if I could break through that boredom for people. (As well as for myself). That is what I hope to do with all my books, to push the envelope and try and show a different side to love stories that maybe hasn’t been done before. (I think. LOL) Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, November 07, 2013
Texas Tango – Book 2, Texas Montgomery Mavericks Series
Hi All! Cynthia D’Alba here. Happy to be back here at the RomCon Contemporary blog to talk about the second book in my Texas Montgomery Mavericks series. TEXAS TANGO is the story of Travis Montgomery (oldest brother of the heroine from Texas Two Step) and Caroline Graham. And, for my Texas Two Step fans, we revisit Olivia Montgomery and Mitch Landry and catch up on their lives. And of course Adam makes a return visit.
I’m not sure where my fascination with cowboys comes from but no matter what traits I give my heroes, I find them in cowboys. Strong, sexy, caring, protective, dedicated…it’s all there. I thought I’d share a short scene from TEXAS TANGO…
“Great. I’m hoping you’ve given some thought to selling the Fitzgerald property.” Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, October 31, 2013
Catch That Santa (Novelette)
When widow, Sara Marks, hears her Grams has gone on the lam from Happy Acres Residence on Christmas Eve – on Santa’s arm, no less – she teams up with sexy stranger, Francisco de la Vega, to chase the couple down with one thing in mind. Keep her Grams from becoming Mrs. Claus. Of course, Francisco's grandfather is not really Santa Claus, but Grams did run off to Vegas to marry him and she's obviously not in her right mind.
Will they catch Santa and his crazy Mrs. Claus before it's too late? Or will love stop them in their tracks?
“An octogenarian escaping her retirement home to elope with the visiting Santa? And the grandkids are left to be the responsible ones? How can you resist?” ~ KarmaBites Read More
Blog Diva - Friday, October 25, 2013
Series Info: Contemporary Romance
Wait for Me (Montgomery Brothers Series, #1)
Trust in Me (Montgomery Brothers Series, #2)
Stay with Me (Montgomery Brothers Series, #3)
More of Me (Montgomery Brothers Series, Bonus Novella)
Author: Samantha Chase
Blog Diva - Thursday, October 24, 2013
Holiday Date Night: Magical. Or Is It?
Hi, all. I’m Ava Miles, a contemporary romance writer with a unique obsession for Gone With The Wind—rather like my hero’s mother in my new Christmas story called THE HOLIDAY SERENADE, part of my Dare Valley series. I’d like to thank RomCon for giving me the opportunity to share the fun behind my newest release.
I don’t know what it is about the holidays, but I think it has more fun dating venues than any other time of year. There are things to do like going ice skating.
And that’s what my hero, professional poker player Rhett Butler Blaylock cooks up for the woman he’s in love with. They live in the small town of Dare Valley, Colorado, which has a picturesque ice skating rink in the middle of their Norman Rockwell-like town square. Read More
Blog Diva - Friday, October 04, 2013
You met them in Forget Me Not. Now, hear Jack’s story.
Plagued by a dark past, Jack sees college as a way out. Desperate to escape the area where he grew up, the people who know his secrets, and his own family, he deals with his problems through alcohol and sex.
When he first sees Lily, she’s the epitome of everything he hates. Yet something about her makes Jack rethink everything he knows and assumes about other people. Now, with the help of his best friend and lover, Jack has to decide if he wants to pursue something that he knows will only end badly.
Can Lily be one of the few people who can see Jack for who he really is – or will his darkness be too much for her to handle?
Blog Diva - Thursday, October 03, 2013
I’m thrilled RomCon® asked me to talk about my debut novel, Command Performance, a red-hot entry in Harlequin Blaze’s Uniformly Hot! series! I recently asked my Facebook fans and the lovely audience at the Blaze Authors’ blog if they were interviewing a debut author, what would they want to know? Drawing from their questions, I’ve put together a little interview for you.
Blog Diva - Thursday, September 26, 2013
Small Town Heroes
So, hi, I’m Ava Miles, and I was born in a small Midwest town, so it’s no surprise that I’m writing a small-town contemporary romance series called Dare Valley. I value the community spirit, the whole knowing-your-neighbors thing, and especially being able to drop by someone’s house for a visit and have a piece of pie. My favorite is lemon meringue, by the way.
In my new release, THE GRAND OPENING, I tell the story of the tough-as-nails single mom cop, Peggy McBride, whom readers first met in NORA ROBERTS LAND. Peggy has moved to Dare Valley, Colorado to be closer to her brother and to give her young son, Keith, a more family-oriented community since he has a dead-beat dad. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, September 23, 2013
Hi! Thanks for having me today!
So recently, I've learned that I LOVE series! I enjoy reading them...and I'm loving writing them! I just published my second book in the Love and Music in Texas series, and I'm already excited about book 3, which I'm not writing yet since I'm working on a Christmas book. Which, while it's not a series, it IS connected with my debut Christmas story.
Anyhow...jumping the shark a little :)
Never did I imagine how much I'd enjoy a series. But there's something about making new friends and visiting with some old ones that appeals to me. When I started the first in the series, I honestly had no idea who book 2 was going to be about yet. Yeah, total panster on my part. It wasn't until partway through Baby Stetson (Book one) that I knew who I was writing book two about. Well, at least, I had part of that. I knew I wanted more of Jameson and his story. I just didn't know who I'd pair him with yet.
I looked through my old files and story notes and found a perfect match for Jameson. I had Melody's story in mind for awhile, especially the beginning, and thought...”Hey, why not?” Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, September 09, 2013
What is in a kiss?
Today I’m going to share first kiss excerpts from two books in my small-town contemporary series about a town called Wardham. In both cases, it’s not the first time the characters have kissed each other, but it is the first time in front of the reader.
Do you remember your first kiss? How about your first kiss with your current partner? In the second full-length novel in The Wardham Series, Where Their Hearts Collide, coming out in October, the readers will get to experience Karen and Paul’s first kiss right along with them. It’s interesting to reflect back on these two kisses, and see how different they are when loaded with history. Of course, a first kiss ever isn’t without weight, either: hope, promise, fear. A not insignificant amount of concern that the hottie might not know what to do with their tongue! But if they do, watch out. Because a kiss is just the start of something special.
Carrie and Ian, Between Then and Now Read More
Blog Diva - Tuesday, August 27, 2013
RomCon® is offering the annual Labor Day sale once again. 50% off all tickets for RomCon® 2014 and RomCon® University for ONE DAY ONLY! This will be the ONLY time RomCon® has a 50% off sale for 2014 events. Don't miss out! Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, August 26, 2013
SEX & THE SINGLE WRITER
Middle school sex-ed never said there’d be days like this….
Cut-and-dried facts about birds and bees, what goes where, and how to protect yourself before it gets there, was just not enough for me. I had questions, ladies and gentlemen. I asked the tough ones that adults brushed off with flippant “You’ll figure it out when you’re older” type answers. Questions about consequences, emotions and expectations—oh, my! Unsatisfied but still determined, I sought out romance fiction, gym class gossip, even the Kama Sutra, because why the hell not? Anything that might prepare me to know what I wanted and how to get it. But you see, there’s something to be said about the best-laid plans. As a teenager I happened to fall—and when I say “fall,” I mean I fell hard—for the wrong guy. Not the school badass who smoked and wrote poems about orgasms. No, I had to lust after a man who was devoted to the church. (Okay, in attention-seeking frustration, I did an about-face right into the arms of the badass. But that’s a story for another time.) They were heaven and hell—making a spectacle of myself with “the badass” was heaven compared to the hell of wanting a man I could never have. I couldn’t change the truth that I wanted wild, crazy, dirty, ridiculous passion. I wanted him to belong with me. I came so close, but in the end I had to let go. Not because of the relentless The Scarlet Letter and The Thorn Birds jokes (still not funny, by the way), but because I wasn’t ready for all that I’d learned about—you guessed it—consequences, emotions and expectations to come into play. I could never be what he really wanted. He could never be what I wanted. So I moved on. “Dating” has since been more about advance and retreat, the thrill of the chase—nothing serious. I discovered that I don’t want serious, and I shouldn’t feel bad because of this. I learned through many bumps and bruises that it’s okay to be twenty-something and single. I know that when I’m thirty, forty, fifty, it’ll still be okay to be single. It’ll still be okay to be me. I’m simply not ready for the incredible kind of forever love, the kind of love I read and write about. I am not Valerie Jordan, the heroine in my debut, TEXAS REDEEMED, who bravely takes on the consequences of love and sex with Peyton Turner, the guy she’s wanted since childhood. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, August 22, 2013
Before I began writing fiction, I spent more than twenty years as a working reporter (mostly at the ABC television and radio affiliate in Los Angeles) and as a magazine journalist. As a result, my first instinct when I get an idea for an historical or contemporary novel is to go where the book is set.
With That Summer in Cornwall, a stand-alone contemporary sequel to my “time-slip” novel A Cottage by the Sea, the action takes place a good decade after the ending of the contemporary part of the novel. To my mind, there was no choice: I had to return to the area because the premise of the new book was: “What ever happened to that babe in arms in the first book…and what’s Cornwall, England like some ten years, plus, later?” Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, August 19, 2013
Chihuahua Momma – A dog show romance:
Several people have asked what inspired me to write a romance with a dog show theme. I’ve given a myriad of witty answers—besides who doesn’t love dogs? But the honest truth is, after winning the State 4H championship, my daughter begged me to buy our first show quality Chihuahua. I did my research, drove to Michigan and bought the best dog I could afford…but then my daughter got her driver’s license, a job and a boyfriend. I ended up in showmanship classes and took the little guy into the ring myself. I earned AKC championships with him and a female, and thus emerged this story.
Back cover copy of Chihuahua Momma: Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, August 15, 2013
I am so glad RomCon let me come by and talk about my recent contemporary romance and my upcoming release!
1. What is your working title/title of your book?
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
It is a follow up book from Isabel’s Awakening. I couldn’t resist writing about Isabel’s younger sister and what would become of her.
3. What genre does your book fall under? Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, August 12, 2013
Is life about accomplishing plans . . . or wishes coming true . . . or something more?
Dr. Kendall Hayne’s plans to have it all—a career, a husband, a family—are eluding her. Now that she’s thirty-six, she needs to stop wishing upon a star and face reality: Some dreams just never come true.
Air Force pilot Griffin Walker prefers flying solo in the air and on the ground—until a dangerous choice ejects him from the cockpit.
When their lives collide during a near tragedy, Kendall and Griffin must decide if they can embrace the unexpected changes God has waiting for them. Read More
Blog Diva - Friday, July 26, 2013
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a teen. Over the years, I filled random notebooks with books started but never finished and outlined tons of story ideas and characters…but I didn’t find the courage to hit publish until January 2013. Now I can’t stop myself, by the end of the year I will have published four books!
Is your first book the USA Today bestseller?
Belong to You is the second book I published. It went live in April and did well on its own, climbing its way to number eight on the Amazon Erotica Best Seller list. But it was when the second book in the series (it’s a two part story) hit, that they both took off. Belong to You hit number one in Erotica and number thirty-one overall on Amazon, reaching the USA Today, Amazon and Barnes & Noble Best Seller lists. It’s beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, July 15, 2013
Today, in celebration of Bachelor’s Special—my latest release from the Indulgence line at Entangled Publishing—I’d like to share my top ten list of favorite snippets.
So let’s get started…
Christine’s TOP TEN snippets from Bachelor’s Special
1. Jill stared him steadily in the eyes, then licked her lips. “Can I think about it and get back to you?”
He laughed. “Nope, this offer is one-time only.” He glanced at his watch. “You have sixty seconds.” Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, July 04, 2013
What if you had to make a heartbreaking choice? What if you learned that the child you were about to adopt—the only child you would ever have--was heir to a vast South American fortune? Could you choose between giving him up or raising him, not as his mother, but as a servant on the lush Peruvian estate?
And what if the boy’s handsome but ruthless uncle stole your heart—but in a culture where family and bloodlines were everything, you knew that, although he might take you as his mistress, he would never marry a woman who couldn’t give him children? Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, July 01, 2013
Twelve Months Later…
By Tracy Brogan
On July 1st, 2012, I was pretty happy. For one thing, it was the middle of summer. It’s far easier to be happy in Michigan in the middle of summer than it is in the middle of winter! Trust me on that, you southerners, with all your fancy-shmancy, year-round sunshine.
I had some other lovely reasons to be happy, too. Soon, I’d be heading off to Anaheim, California, to attend the Romance Writers of America® conference. I’d be sporting my second Golden Heart Finalist ribbon, this time for my historical novel, HIGHLAND SURRENDER. (The year before that, I’d been nominated in the Novel with Romantic Elements category for my contemporary romance, CRAZY LITTLE THING.) Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, June 17, 2013
What If You Can’t Be What Your Man Wants and Deserves?
My husband Chris is a musician. Before your mind jumps to long hair and groupies, let me clarify: he’s a classical musician. He makes his living playing the clarinet in orchestras, operas and chamber groups.
I am not a musician. Despite the best efforts of my Asian mother, I never mastered an instrument. My sister and I took piano lessons for twelve years. Toward the end, our progress was so painfully lacking that our teacher refused to take our mother’s money. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, June 06, 2013
Probably the most asked question of writers is “Where do your ideas come from?” For me, they come in bits and pieces often written on note cards all over my house. I picked up a few today as I walked toward my study: “Ice storm in Harmony---someone falls.” –was on the landing. “If he had double the horse sense, he’d still be too dumb to make change.”-was on by my bed. “Your eyes are so blood shot they look like a map of Georgia.”-was written in my notes where I’d copied a line from an old song. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, June 03, 2013
Every little girl dreams of being a princess. Every woman longs to be treated like royalty. We’re all just a little bit fascinated by royal weddings and the princess that lives in every woman. That’s why I hope readers will fall in love with Once Upon a Prince, the first release in my Royal Wedding Series.
I hope you enjoy this sneak peek into a very special scene!
She wore the only white gown in a sea of color. She tried not to notice she’d missed the dress code as she turned about the floor—on gold Louboutin tip toe—in Nathaniel’s arms. And everyone watched. Gawked. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, May 27, 2013
Getting Hot In the Kitchen with Jason Morgan
To detective Jason Morgan, being a police detective isn’t everything—it’s the only thing.
So when he’s tasked with keeping a local restaurant owner safe as part of a huge case, he knows he’s the man for the job. But Serenity Gallagher isn’t any ordinary witness, and as the danger twists and the stakes get higher, the heat between them extends far outside of the kitchen… Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, May 23, 2013
Why I Put The Love Of My Life In My Book
The year before my daughter was born, I got a puppy. Though my family had an awesome dog when I was growing up, this was my first dog as an adult. Kind of kid training with four legs and fur. A coworker’s black lab had knocked up a stray mutt, so she was giving away the little fur balls for free. I don’t remember the moment I picked my boy out, but I know it was love at first sight.
Because he was always either barreling through something, or passed out in a heap, I named him Dozer. He quickly became the love of my life. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, May 20, 2013
Rise of the Rom-SitCom
I’m a romance writer with a humor writer’s heart. I’m George Carlin with a sprinkling of Jerry Seinfeld…and maybe a bit of Sarah Silverman thrown in for estrogen.
Most of my humor is observational. It relies on me creating a conspiratorial bond with my readers. I like to imagine me sidling close, covering my hand with my mouth, and whispering, “Did you see what she just did? Can you believe it?” I really do want readers to put down my books, go pop some popcorn, then return ready to read the sitcom unfolding. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, May 13, 2013
Brooke has only loved one man, her late husband. Owen’s rebuilding after a painful divorce. Can a mysterious house bring them together for a second chance at love?
In the charming town of Smithville, Texas, Brooke Holloway is raising two young children on her own, supporting them by running the family hardware store. The last thing on her mind is falling in love. But she’s intrigued when a stranger moves to town and buys the old Hadley mansion. She’s always heard that house holds a secret—maybe even a treasure—and she can’t wait to see inside. When she meets the new owner and they spend time together, she can’t deny the attraction. Could God be giving her another chance at happiness? Or is she betraying her late husband’s love by even thinking that way? Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, May 09, 2013
Meet the Bolton Brothers!
I’m thrilled to introduce the Bolton Brothers—Ben, Billy and Bobby—the heroes of my newest Harlequin Desire series! Ben’s story, Straddling the Line, just released on May 7. He’ll be followed by Billy’s story, Bringing Home the Bachelor, on September 2. Bobby will wrap up the series with Expecting the Bolton Baby on November 5. They live fast, ride hard and love fiercely!
So who are the Bolton Brothers? Let’s ask them!
Sarah: Hi, guys. Tell us about yourself.
Bobby: Well, as the name implies, we’re the Bolton Brothers and we run the Crazy Horse Choppers, a custom-built motorcycle shop based in Rapid City, South Dakota Read More
Blog Diva - Sunday, May 05, 2013
My Unexpected Love for Beta Heroes
Thank you so much for letting me join you today to talk about my recent release, More Than This, and my love for beta heroes.
Like many readers, I love a great alpha hero. There’s so much to fall for when it comes to alphas. They’re strong and powerful and they take charge of every situation. I believe that part of the draw with alphas is their need to redeem themselves because so often their need to protect and possess makes them come across as an alpha-hole. As readers, we love to watch that transformation take place. Plus, if you add in a good grovel scene, we’re putty in the author’s hands. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, April 25, 2013
Techy Women are Sexy too
Broken Build: Silicon Valley Romantic Suspense features a photogenic build engineer who has the technical savvy of a CEO. Even though she ruined Dave Jewell’s life, Jennifer Cruz Jones is determined to fix what’s broken. Here she lets Dave know she’s the right woman for him by talking tech in his ear.
Here’s the excerpt from Chapter 26:
Jen came up behind him and put her arms around his waist, rubbing her face into his back. “I knew it would work. When we replace the data center, we should get Lystra bladeservers and switches. They integrate the storage, network and server fabric into a single management entity. It’s a scalable, unified, policy-driven computing environment for applications, automated provisioning of compute power with the privacy of VLANs, VSANs, Virtual firewalls, combined with the benefits of Lystra network services, QOS, load balancing and SSL tunneling.” Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, April 22, 2013
I’m here with the sexy, sophisticated and, may I say, very talented man about London town, Bennett Saville, the hero from my Starlight trilogy. Evening, Bennett, how are you?
Bennett (grins slightly at my intro): I’m fine, Sue. You can tone down the adjectives, though. I know you’re a writer and it’s in your nature but you’re making me blush.
Sue (spluttering with laughter): You’ve never blushed in your life, Bennett, so can the modesty. What’s on your mind?
Bennett (uncrosses his immaculately clad legs and leans forward): It’s a little strange for me talking about this. It’s the whole ghost thing going on in my theatre.
Sue (sighs): Bennett, we’ve talked about this- Read More
Michele Callahan - Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Special Sneak Peak of Alejandro: The Santiago Brothers Book Two
They began a staring match, neither one breaking line of sight. Audrey couldn’t understand the man’s antipathy to children. He had two younger brothers, and they were all close — or so they’d seemed to be while in school. Alejandro Santiago was an enigma. At times he was gentle, brushing tears from her cheeks — planting a body-melting kiss to her lips — and at other times he was brash, cold, unfeeling. Audrey continued her silent assessment of the man’s personality. He was more than overbearing, he was… distant.
"What does Angel have to do with any of this? Is it because he’s Penny’s son?” Her breath hitched at the unthinkable. Ale had convinced Penny to help him in his investigation. “Penny agreed to go undercover for you. Did you force her to use Angel too?"
He jerked forward so fast, she squeaked, convinced he was lunging for her. Yet, he was still in the chair, his massive hands gripping the leather armrests, the sounds of the crumpling material causing her to cringe as if she were hearing nails drawn across a chalkboard. “I would never. I didn’t even know Penny had a son, remember?” Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, April 15, 2013
Kiss: Show and Feel - No Tell
One of the best things about romance is unquestionably The Kiss.
Ah, we all remember our first one, right? Not the experimenting, bumbling-around one after our hormones first kicked in. But the one where the anticipation of it made our skin tingle. We couldn’t sleep, barely ate, and we waited for the moment to happen, often holding our breath.
When the moment finally bloomed...we were never the same afterward. Somewhere in that press of lips together, we took a leap across the universe and landed in enchantment. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, April 11, 2013
I started my novel ‘The Devil Has Dimples’ at a funeral. Why? I overhead a comment about preparing for a funeral, by freezing a small pig for a pig roast after the burial. I truly was at a loss of words when I heard that. In Louisiana people will have a pig roast…but after a funeral? My ‘what if’ brain started to work and this is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy!
Excerpt from The Devil Has Dimples
“Mackie, you ever been to a funeral on Halloween?”
He thought for a moment, most likely turning the decades over in his mind searching for an answer.
“Nope. This is the first night funeral I’ve ever been at. Makes me think it might be a good idea when my time comes.”
“Never for me either, although I did attend a Halloween wedding once. It was a bit over the top,” said Grant.
Maudie’s casket was perched on a roller parked next to the grave hole. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, April 08, 2013
When you think of the Caribbean, you can’t help but think of the white beaches and turquoise waters, sunny, tropical weather, coconut trees and rum punches.
One more tribute to the Caribbean is its Carnival, an annual celebration that most times coincides with the pre-Lenten calendar or with its celebration after the historical crop harvest. It’s not unusual, however, for islands to plan their carnivals off the religious calendar and to capitalize on tourist seasons. Nevertheless, each island has its unique style to mark the festivities that embraces all to participate in the revelry.
By the 18th century, Carnival had evolved in Trinidad and Tobago to resemble more of the modern celebration. Carnival’s history spans the French and Spanish occupation, along with an evolution of their customs, traditions, and Catholic religion.
“Farewell To The Flesh,” as some may call it, can be interpreted with religious overtones, as abstaining from red meat during the Lenten season or with more secular leanings to experience with wild abandon sin-laden fun before the solemn. With the latter interpretation providing a wonderful landscape for writer’s license, I wrote Carnival Temptress, the first of several digital-only novellas, under the Revelers series. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, April 04, 2013
Scars tell the story: We survived
Many years ago, I had a surgery that devastated my self-esteem. I was young and vibrant and owned a closet full of crop tops, hip huggers and belly button rings. College was good times. When I learned I needed a surgery that would “ruin” the figure I worked diligently to maintain, I was devastated. If that girl could see what three C-sections and 2 dozen years would do to her figure, she’d stop worrying about a little scar, but that’s the thing about hindsight, she couldn’t possibly know. It took years for me to see the scar objectively. That scar was proof I lived. I survived. And I was tougher than what had ahold of me.
In the years prior to the and following the surgery, I’d accumulated lots of scars no one saw. Being young can be like that. It wasn’t until I met my husband that I realized how much I hurt and because of that, how much I hid. I was a peppy paper doll without depth because to reveal myself was to reveal my pain and I wasn’t ready. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, April 01, 2013
Who says a book on heavy subjects can’t be humorous?
Hidden Under Her Heart tackles some pretty heavy and controversial subjects. But underneath it all is a couple, a man with a quirky sense of humor who loves to pull pranks, and a compassionate woman who is a on the gullible side.
The story starts and ends with a prank, but in between Maryanne is taken on a tour of a haunted mansion completed with animatronic beings.
Here’s the excerpt from Chapter 29:
Maryanne looked in her e-mail for Melissa Bowers’ address. Her husband owned the largest gossip network on the Internet. The phone rang. It was Mrs. Bowers.
“Hi,” Maryanne answered. “I’m on my way.” Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, March 28, 2013
On my Facebook page, we've been talking about book reviews. Some people love to leave them, others feel intimidated by them. But unless you're a professional reviewer, leaving a book review
should be as easy as talking to a friend.
Book reviews are vitally important to authors. Reviews help other potential readers make that final decision on whether or not to purchase. Without reviews, the chances of a book selling more than a handful of copies are minimal. The more reviews, especially positive ones, the more copies the author will sell. And if you want an author to keep writing stories you enjoy, he/she needs to sell the ones already out there.
Some basics on writing an engaging review are below. But first--the what not to dos. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, March 25, 2013
A Fish out of Water or, Meet My Heroine
I’m so happy to be here today at RomCon and talking to you about my new release, Once Tempted, a contemporary western set in California on a three thousand acre working guest ranch. There are sheep, cattle, and horses galore on Silver Creek Ranch. There’s even a tribe of goats. Among all these four-legged creatures, there’s one sole fish, one that’s most definitely out of water.
Which brings me to the title of my blog...catchy, isn’t it?
Generally, unless we’re talking about the movie Splash or Disney’s The Little Mermaid, the words ‘fish’ and ‘heroine’ don’t mix especially well. But the idea for my latest heroine, Tess Casari, came to me in a radiant flash one summer afternoon and I knew immediately that this savvy, smart urbanite would have to give up everything she’d loved and known in order to be the fish out of water in my story. We writers can be so cruel. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, March 18, 2013
Put A Little Heat In The Kitchen: Love and Lasagna Rolls
Kimberly: I’m here with moody, broody Noah Blackwell, the detective hero from my latest novella release, Love On The Line. Hey, Noah! How’s it going?
Noah (crossing his arms over his chest): I’d like to state for the record that I’m mostly moody with you only because you shot me at the beginning of the story, Kincaid.
Kimberly: Are you still mad about that? Come on, Blackwell. You got the girl.
Noah: Yeah, speaking of which, I need your help. See, it’s Violet’s birthday, and I, um, promised I’d make dinner. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, March 11, 2013
Two True Shoe Stories and a Single Idea.
As you might have surmised, given the fancy high heel with flowers on the cover of Afterglow, shoes figure as an important part of the story. Five thousand outdated singleton shoes are donated to the hero, Mitch, by an eccentric retired shoe manufacturing mogul because Mitch had saved his life.
Readers often wonder where a writer’s ideas come from. The shoe idea had two sources. I read in the paper where a woman had had bought five thousand pairs of shoes at next to nothing on Craig’s List. She hoped to sell the shoes for a profit. And the shoes would have sold like cold water in the desert had it been 1967. They were, in other words, very outdated. Which explained why they were being sold at such a ridiculously low price in the first place. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, March 07, 2013
My new contemporary romance, Entry-Level Mistress, begins as a classic revenge story. Exhibit A: the back cover blurb:
Daniel Hartmann and Emily Anderson have every reason to hate each other. Her father destroyed the lives of his parents and he in turn sent her father to jail. Now Daniel’s a successful billionaire and artsy Emily is his newest employee. Both of them intend to make the other pay for the sins of the past, but revenge has never been so sweet.
A romance reader for over 28 years, I’ve read a variety of revenge stories, from the medieval, your brother hurt my best friend’s cousin’s daughter so now I will storm the castle, hold you prisoner and seduce you, to the contemporary landscape of corporate espionage. This is the lineage that inspired Entry-Level Mistress and so it has some of those awesome, crazy elements. At the same time, it has a heroine that is intensely analytical and modern. I loved writing Emily because, at 21, she’s both naïve and self-aware, and her intelligence quickly conflicts with the outrageous plan she’s concocted. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, February 25, 2013
EX ON THE BEACH, and what is a serial…
Ex on the Beach - Andie Shayne is getting ready to host the wedding of the summer at her resort on Turtle Island. As the guests arrive she’s taken aback to learn that her ex--who left her at the altar--is the best man. What he did was unforgivable, and now he’s back with an agenda for her affection. – Only $1.99 at http://amzn.to/XTcxRd
There’s a new way to read a book these days, which is not only fun, but also cheap! What I’m talking about are Kindle Serials. They are full length books, for (usually) half the price you would normally pay for the electronic version of the book, only they get released by episodes. Kind of like those favorite TV shows you might be on the edge of your seat waiting for each week!
Each episode is 2-3 chapters, and new episodes arrive automatically (for free) every two weeks. And even if you don’t own a Kindle, you can read them with Amazon’s free Kindle apps. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, February 18, 2013
Standing in the downpour that inundated the coast, Dorothea Jai-Li Franklin watched another piece of her garden crash into the Pacific. A yew swayed at an angle over the cliff before it, too, descended in a mudslide to the roaring surf.
Once the house followed the yard, all trace of her mother would be gone. Until his helicopter disappeared, she'd had her brother to remind her of their heritage, but now Bo, too was lost to her. She wiped her tears with her sleeve and bit back a sob before carrying the last of her mother’s prized porcelains to the car.
She tucked the vases in with a few books, her laptop, and Toto, her aging cairn terrier, all she’d been able to rescue before the yard had begun crumbling. With every trace of her mother gone, she would be entirely her father's daughter. Perhaps the Universe was speaking to her. Perhaps it was time to submerge the dangerous gift she'd inherited from her mother and pretend she was the rational, businesslike daughter her father wanted. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, February 11, 2013
of the Inspirations for my Novel THE DECEPTION
fascinates me where ideas for my stories can come from. They can
come from virtually anywhere. The genesis for my novel, The
Deception, actually occurred back in 2006, when I was blog
surfing one night and I happened upon a psychic’s blog. She
worked on one of those on-line psychic websites, and her post was
about the questions she was most often asked by her callers. One
of the questions was, “When will he leave his wife for me?”
Blog Diva - Thursday, February 07, 2013
After a near fatal car crash, a mother of four is trapped in a dream world, fighting to discover which life is her reality.
Kailey Jacobs wakes to find she is still married to the controlling man she thought she divorced. Memories of a fiancée in another life beckon to her. Confused and scared, Kailey is determined to discover whether the man she feels she belongs with truly exists, or is just a figment of her imagination. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, February 04, 2013
Have you ever seen or met a couple you just HAD to know their love story? You've seen them walking along the beach, or in the mall and they're holding hands and their love is very obvious to anyone who sees them. That's how Ryan and Morgan appeared to me.
I saw them at the end of their love story as they danced in the moonlight on the beach wrapped in each other.
I had to know their story. It wasn't an easy rode to learn their story either. For a while I had Morgan with the wrong person (can't say who yet as that would ruin the surprise in the book), then I had to get Ryan to talk to me. He was not a happy camper with me for quite a long time let me tell you. I'm still not sure why he was so mad at me.
Morgan was more willing to tell me her side of the story, but I think it's because she used me as a counselor as she sorted through her feelings for Ryan, and being a single mom. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, January 31, 2013
Evolution of a Reader
First off, thank you so much to RomCon® for having me!!
I started reading the romance genre when I was 15. Up until that time, my reading tastes ran along the lines of Sci-Fi classics by Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. Being the daughter of a scientist and a nurse, this was the genre I was introduced to first. Then one of my best friends gave me a Nora Roberts book to read and I discovered a whole other genre that I didn't know really existed. As I started reading more and more of the romance genre, I began to think of the stories as the adult version of Disney's One-Day-My-Prince-Will-Come and I loved them.
I’ve always been drawn to stories I could relate to on some level. A history geek, I quickly discovered historical romance and devoured nearly every book I could get my hands on in that sub-genre. Historical aspects aside, I loved historicals that featured heroines close to my age at the time (older teenagers).
Older now and having been with the same man for going on 11 years , I find myself more and more interested in stories involving estranged spouses and couples that had been broken up and thrust back together by circumstances. So when it came to writing my next story, I couldn't help going with an idea I had for a married couple possibly facing divorce. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, January 28, 2013
EVIE UNDERCOVER is a
romantic comedy, set partly in London and partly in Umbria, Italy.
This isn't the first
novel that I've set in Umbria, and I'm sure that it won't be the
last. I go regularly to the area and love it. It lies just north of
the middle of Italy. I’m afraid geographical co-ordinates are not
my strong point! I’ve changed some of the place names, but not the
names of Perugia or of Todi. A few years ago, a US magazine voted
Todi to be the most perfectly placed medieval hilltop town in Italy,
and it well deserves that accolade. There are a number of small Roman
towns in the area around Todi, and the fictional Massa Piccola is
based on them. Massa
means mountain, and piccola
Blog Diva - Thursday, January 24, 2013
New Year’s Life Goals
I use the term “Life Goal” instead of resolution. Life goal sounds more permanent and instinctively makes a person analyze areas in which they want to make concrete life changes. There are four areas I want to make life changes in; travel, diet, writing and exercise. So here it goes….
Travel: When I was in my 20’s I traveled a lot. Every month I traveled to various cities.
Now that I’m in my 30’s my feet are beginning to itch again.
Exercise: Besides not working out consistently, I also need to find some sort of regimen I can stick too. Currently I’m digging Yoga. Its focus on eliminating darkness out of one’s light and yoga takes care of a person’s mind, body and soul is appealing. 2012 was hectic. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, January 21, 2013
Move Over Darling, my second contemporary novel published by Choc Lit, is influenced by where I live, on the far-flung coast of west Wales. The population here is small, with comparatively few people spread out over a large area. I started to wonder how couples ever found each other! It’s an exquisitely beautiful part of Wales, attractive to tourists and second-homers, but some of the lowest wages too mean that employment prospects are often brighter elsewhere. A trip to New York suggested the book’s premise: She’s escaped to the country. He’s escaped from the country. Who’s going to admit that home is where the heart is? From there, I met Coralie Casey and Gethin Lewis. Coralie doesn’t like the hand fate has dealt her so she’s taken charge of her own destiny. Gethin’s an artist living in New York who thinks he’s escaped his home village for good – until I came up with other plans for him. I also had fun with a cast of supporting characters to reflect the book’s theme which is about separation and reunion. Read More
Blog Diva - Friday, January 18, 2013
If nothing ever changed, they’d be no butterflies ~ Author Unknown
When I started writing Weighting for Mr. Right, I wanted to create a story where the heroine Megan offered something more than “fat girl got skinny and she lived happily ever after.” In fact, I wanted to make sure she didn’t become skinny, but instead focused on her health and wellness, like I had, but I’ll get to that in a minute.
When Megan discovers her awesomeness, then she finds her happily ever after with a very hot, sexy, hot, intelligent, (did I mention hot) hero who falls in love with her when she’s in the before stages.
Problem is, with any sort of change, even with fictitious characters, it causes conflict, chaos, and confusion.
It’s no different for Megan. Not only does she have to battle food cravings and the want to quit torturing herself on the treadmill, but she finds that some of those around her are having a very hard time understanding what she’s doing and why.
I had the same experiences as I’ve lost and gained pounds. My relationships with those around me have changed—some for the better and some, well, let’s just say they fizzled out. Change can be very difficult for some, but necessary for others and I had Megan in a situation that she had to change or stay her miserable self for the rest of her life.
Just like Megan, I found myself in the before stages of me regaining my health right about the time I was in the final edits of this book before I submitted it to Soul Mate Publishing. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, January 10, 2013
How contemporary should a contemporary romance be? (+ book and Amazon gift card giveaway)
Here’s the dilemma: You’ve written a smouldering, passionate romance novel. It’s set in 1970. Is it a historical romance novel, or is it too recent? Is it contemporary romance novel, or is it too much in the past? Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, January 07, 2013
Welcome to my town, Harmony, Texas. I thought readers might like to start the new year with a book set in a small town called CHANCE OF A LIFETIME. Once in a while everything comes together in a story that makes it fun to write. I think you’ll love the visit where secrets whisper of old love affairs and kindness to others warms your heart.
I wanted to write a deep love story about two people who had been friends in childhood and lost each other one night because of an attack. She was hurt and he felt guilty for not being there to help. When Emily Tomlinson sees Tannon Parker ten years later, they don’t know how to mend the fences to find one another again. I wanted to write a very tender love story about an attraction far deeper than physical, a love that went all the way to their hearts. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, December 31, 2012
For the Love of a Good Word
(And a chance to win a Free Book!)
The New Year is upon us and with it comes the dreaded New Year’s Resolutions! Last year, I took the advice of another favorite romance writer, Debbie Macomber. She suggested that instead of doing a bunch of resolutions that fizzle out after a month, to pick one meaningful word to sum up your year and try to live by that word throughout the year. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, December 24, 2012
As a child, Barbara J. Longley moved frequently, learning early on
how to entertain herself with stories. Adulthood didn’t tame her
peripatetic ways: she has lived on an Appalachian commune, taught on
an Indian reservation, and traveled the country from coast to coast.
After having children of her own, she decided to try staying put,
choosing Minnesota as her home. By day, she puts her master’s
degree in special education to use teaching elementary school. By
night, she explores all things mythical, paranormal, and newsworthy,
channeling what she learns into her writing. She currently writes
contemporary and paranormal romance for Montlake Romance.
Blog Diva - Thursday, December 20, 2012
have a new book releasing this week, my second in a planned trilogy
about sisters in Texas. As I was going on to my husband about the
process and the fun of editing (yes, the fun. Seriously.) a series
and his eyes started to glaze over I realized that while I love
writing and books and all things author-geek...he doesn't.
I don't kill the remaining 2 brain cells he has that are willing to
listen to me, I'm sharing with y'all why I love what I do so much.
And why I'm hoping you'll let me keep doing it for a long, long time.
Blog Diva - Monday, December 17, 2012
Hi, RomCon fans! I’m Holley Trent. I
write sassy contemporary romances set in my home state of North
Carolina. Today, Karen from my 11/26 Crimson Romance release My
Nora is visiting with me. She’s agreed to answer some questions
about her brother Matt (a.k.a. big hunky hero) and his sweetheart
Manora (a.k.a. the reclusive artist). Stick around to the end for a
chance to win a copy of the ebook!
Holley Trent: Hi, Karen. Thanks
for playing along. I know you’re busy and would rather be doing
Blog Diva - Thursday, December 13, 2012
Did you ever wonder if you had what
it takes to write a novel?
I never doubted for a moment that I
could write one until the day that I sat down to put pen to paper.
Yep, it was so long ago, that I didn't actually have a computer! I
wrote one chapter about people I'd never met, living in places I'd
never been. Then writer's block set in. A week later, I couldn't even
remember why I'd wanted to write about them in the first place. I
walked away for 20 years, laboring under the assumption that I just
couldn't do it.
Blog Diva - Monday, December 10, 2012
Every bride wants her wedding day to be
perfect. It's a showcase for her dreams of true love and a
But sometimes the perfect day has a few
Many years ago I was the maid of honor
in a wedding with a beautiful outdoor setting, and absolutely perfect
weather. Just as the bride handed me her bouquet, so she could hold
her groom's hands while repeating her vows, a bee flew up the back of
her waist-length veil. Fortunately it didn't sting her! But it buzzed
at the top of her veil throughout the rest of the ceremony. I tried
to subtly lift the back of her veil to show the bee the only way out,
but it wouldn't cooperate. I couldn't be more forceful about
extracting it since the wedding was being videotaped, and I didn't
want a permanent recording of their perfect day marred by me whipping
her veil up and down to dislodge the bee.
Blog Diva - Friday, December 07, 2012
longest drought and hottest summer on record influenced the story of
As I developed Catherine
McCoy, the heroine in The
Green Eyed Doll, Texas was having a record
breaking year. Little did I know when the plot started taking shape
that summer would be exactly as I was describing in the book.
The weather and setting
can provide an additional external conflict to heighten the tension
and danger. Catherine had to survive the hottest summer and the
longest drought on record. Almost broke, she took what work was
available and still didn't have enough money to fix her car's
air-conditioner when it went on the fritz!
To test her determination,
tenacity, and will to live, I created a serial killer who intended
her to become his next doll. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, December 03, 2012
IT FEELS SO GOOD…
can’t help but think of that Peaches and Herb song from the
seventies when I write about my contemporary romance novella,
Originally written for an anthology called Love
explores the second chance at love. The hero of the story, Brett, has
carried a love letter he wrote to the heroine, Kathryn, in his wallet
for the last twenty years.
Blog Diva - Monday, November 26, 2012
Halls with Stress Balls: How to Bring Inner
Peace and Joy to Your Holidays (& Giveaway!)
The following advice
column is brought to you courtesy of Monica Jackson, the heroine in
my debut romantic comedy, Under Her Spell.
When you punch out an
innocent snowman on the way home from work, it’s time to get a
grip, especially if you have a history of panic attacks. I suffered
my first attack several months ago when Reed, a divorce lawyer,
opened his practice next door to my new romantic event planning
company, Enhance Your Romance. Reed eventually ended up being good
for my stress and panic attacks. Then today, my soon-to-be divorced
cousin and roomie Hope informed me that she’s spending Christmas on
a two-week cruise. Who was going to play domestic elf--baking
cookies, decorating, making Christmas dinner, etc.? Surprisingly, the
holidays are a busier time for my company than Valentine’s Day.
Everyone who has been naughty all year wants to play nice (or maybe a
bit naughty) and romance their significant other. Unlike Hope, I
don’t want to avoid the holidays. I love the holidays. So here are
a few stress reducers I’ve come up with.
Blog Diva - Friday, November 23, 2012
Marked by the Mob (Virginia Justice
FBI Agent Sara Deckker returns to the
home she abandoned more than ten years ago, at the request of her
father -- a man she loathes. Dying of cancer, Jim Deckker is on the
run from a criminal family who wants his testimony silenced. Knowing
he has little time left, he wants to reconcile with the daughter he
failed to protect, in hopes of being forgiven. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, November 19, 2012
Pumpkin Pie, Apple Crisp…and Hunky
Growing up in a small rural community,
one of my greatest memories of fall were sales and bazaars that the
various women’s groups held as fundraisers. Most times it would be
at the community hall or at the church. There were always
handicrafts, homemade gifts, and oh, the food. I remember my mom
baking for the church bazaar and making bread, cakes, cookies,
squares….we’re talking BOXES of baking. It was EPIC.
Blog Diva - Friday, November 16, 2012
great to be here talking about books! For those who don't know me,
I've been writing for publication since about 2006, and I just
celebrated my 25th
book release. I write mainly mystery/romance, but I also have a
reincarnation/time travel series, and a futuristic series. And I'm
working on a mult-book futuristic series that I hope to release in 3
volumes, with 3 books per volume.
Blog Diva - Friday, November 09, 2012
an Action Adventure? Why Not!
don’t write the traditional Romantic Suspense. My books are action
adventure with romance tossed in to make it interesting. Think
There are bad people, good people, and different cultures mixed into
a tale that is fast-paced, action-packed, and sizzles with romantic
Blog Diva - Monday, November 05, 2012
Who Inspires You?
In today’s world
there are many women that we could look up to and try to emulate.
But I find that the women that most inspire me are women that I know
personally. Their stories have a way of connecting to my life in
ways that a stranger’s can not.
For instance, I
look at my female relatives. All these women are part of my family.
Each worked hard to make a difference in the lives of their children.
Blog Diva - Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Jack Donovan, the hero of Burning Up, smoke jumping is a way
of life. He lives for the adrenaline rush of flying over the burning
California wildlands and diving straight into the inferno. There’s
no room in his life for love—until an emergency call from his
hometown of Strong brings him face to face with the one woman he
can’t forget… Lily Cortez never got over the handsome rogue who
once kissed her senseless—and then left. She vowed she was done
with love ‘em-and-leave ‘em men and small town life. Until
a series of malicious fires set by a stalker has her running home to
hide. Now, their summer is heating up as Jack fights to save her from
the stalker’s fiery threats and to convince her to give the passion
between them a second chance.
Blog Diva - Wednesday, October 24, 2012
CRAZY LITTLE THING is a fun and breezy story about Sadie Turner, a charmingly neurotic perfectionist who packs up her two kids and escapes to her eccentric aunt’s lake house after leaving her cheating husband. She thinks time away from men is what she needs to recharge and reboot what’s left of her life. But Aunt Dody has plans of her own and believes Sadie needs fun. Fun in the shape of sexy next-door neighbor Desmond. Desmond is Sadie’s worst nightmare: tall, tan, muscular, and worst of all – He’s great with her kids. As summer blazes on, the life that Sadie is trying so hard to simplify only gets more complicated. Job opportunities come up, ex-spouses reveal secret agendas, and casual affections deepen into something wickedly delicious, and suddenly Sadie wonders if maybe a little chaos is just what a girl needs to get her life back in order. Read More
Blog Diva - Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Meg Lacey, and I have a new series Million
Dollar Men, with the first
book, Million Dollar Mistake,
coming October 23, 2012 from Samhain Publishing. I’m so excited to
join the Samhain Family. I’ve previously written for
Harlequin/Silhouette, and I also have a new paranormal romance
release out, The Sparrow and
The Hawk from Imajinn Books.
Also, I’ve just signed a contract with Entangled Publishing. So I’m
kind of busy. Not that being busy is anything new to any of us. Is
it? I love being busy, because I just get in trouble when I’m
bored. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, October 22, 2012
completed a virtual book tour for my contemporary romance, The
Hungry Heart. Almost every day for the past four weeks a
blogger has either interviewed me and/or posted a review. I’m very
pleased that the reviews were overwhelmingly positive. (Reviews
really are a gamble, aren’t they?) Certainly there were some
bloggers who had thoughtful, constructive criticisms, and I’m
grateful for those because they will make my writing better. A
couple had trouble relating to the heroine, and that’s fine, too.
It would be a dull world if we all liked the same things. There was
one review, however, that had me scratching my head. Her problem
wasn’t with the plot or characters, it was with the formula of girl
meets boy, girl loses boy, girl and boy end up together.
Blog Diva - Friday, October 19, 2012
not just the secret to writing a good romance story; it’s also the
key to writing a thrilling suspense novel—which is where I’ve
found my home over the last couple years.
its core, every story is about a character who wants something but
can’t get it. As soon as she gets it, the story is over. My
specialty is penning crime and psychological suspense novels
(although each of them has a strong romantic element as well!). Both
romance and suspense stories deal with this unmet desire, and when
they meet in the same novel, it can be very satisfying. Read More
Blog Diva - Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Cowboys and Soldiers
Melissa Cutler here, and lately I've
been thinking about what makes a man a Real Man. I know, as
opposed to what…an Old Navy mannequin? The thing is, when you live
and breathe romance novels, you spend a lot of time pondering
rippling abs, cocky confidence, and that low-down rumbling laugh that
turns me melty. You know what else a real man needs, at least a hero
in my books? Tools.
Blog Diva - Tuesday, October 16, 2012
would I be without my readers?
have the urge, passion or vocation to write. But if no one reads our
work, what would that mean? Would we still have the incentive to
write the romance, the mystery, the fantasy plot?
I sold my first book in 1991, I didn't know much about marketing and
sales. But I had been involved in retail in a department store, in a
jewelry store, in Home Interiors and Gifts. Basically, I knew you
built a customer base by one satisfied customer at a time. That's
how I approached selling books. My first intention was to write an
emotional book readers would want to put on their keeper shelves.
But then what?
Blog Diva - Tuesday, October 16, 2012
When I began Dream a Little Dream
I had no idea that it was going to be so fascinating.
We use the word ‘dream’ to
describe either sleeping dreams or our desires, and both drive my
Dreams can be affected by moods,
which is why we get anxiety dreams, the kind where you find yourself
half dressed on a train, and comfort dreams, when we dream our loved
ones have come back from heaven to tell us they’re having a great
time. Read More
Blog Diva - Thursday, October 11, 2012
many years I was a historical writer. I loved to read contemporaries,
but I was drawn to the past and well, I didn't want to live in the
here and now. But eventually, I decided to try my chances with a
short contemporary. Parent Trap was always one of my favorite movies
so I decided I would write about a set of twins, and what would
happen when one sister pretended to be the other.
Blog Diva - Tuesday, October 09, 2012
this is hell? Very scenic.” Claire shivered and slouched over a
steaming mug of coffee, wishing it were a bathtub she could crawl
into. The lobby of the Evergreen Lodge was polished ski-lodge
elegance and pretty much guaranteed to give the budget overlords
coronaries. A huge stone fireplace in the middle radiated a welcoming
heat from all four sides. Overstuffed chairs were intermixed with
coffee tables and potted plants. Tiny white lights decorated the
rafters and looked like diminutive stars against the dark oak. The
dining room took up half the lobby, and dozens of windows let the
wild mountain view in while keeping the cold out.
Blog Diva - Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Melissa Cutler here, and I'm so excited to be on RomCon® celebrating
today's release of my debut book, The Trouble with Cowboys. The culinary
world meets ranch country in this steamy contemporary when disgraced
chef Amy returns to her hometown roots and butts heads with her new
restaurant's key supplier, cattle rancher Kellan Reed.
I love reality TV shows that feature experts in their field doing
what they do best, such as So You Think You Can Dance, Top Chef, and
Project Runway, and tapped those as inspiration for chef Amy and her
Blog Diva - Wednesday, September 26, 2012
The Kitchen Sink Hero
I’m Holley Trent. I write contemporary
romances set in rural Eastern North Carolina. They’re usually a little
offbeat because, well…I am, too. My characters tend to have a lot of
layers. Sometimes to excess, I think. I’m always finding “one more
thing!” to complicate their personalities.
I swear, I try not to
throw everything (including the kitchen sink) into my character
outlines. I don’t want a heroes and heroines who are caricatures even if
they are appearing in a comedic work. Whenever I read a book and see a
character who is just too…well, too much, I roll my eyes and scoff.You
know the type: the international man of mystery who was once a famed
opera singer, decathlete, super-spy, and slayer of hearts. Read More
Blog Diva - Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Seasons of the Heart Book 2
Lord, if this rain’s gonna cause another flood like ya sent Noah,
I hope You’ll give me a sign to get to higher ground. Can’t have my
bakery blowin’ off the face of the earth in this wind, either, as we’re
countin’ on these pies and cakes for the big party tomorrow!
Miriam Lantz slammed the whistling window shut. When was the last
time they’d seen such a fierce wind? Rain pelted the roof of the Sweet
Seasons Bakery Café, not quite drowning out the troubling thoughts that
had wakened her in the wee hours. Too often these past weeks she’d
dwelled upon Bishop Knepp’s vow to somehow get her out of this business
and into his home. Ordinarily it wasn’t her way to fret so, but Hiram
Knepp could stir up more trouble than a nest of ornery hornets, if he
had a mind to. It hadn’t made him one bit happy, when an English fellow
had outbid him to buy this building a month ago.
Blog Diva - Monday, September 24, 2012
My goal in life was to become a topnotch journalist. I loved
writing. Always had. Ever since I can remember that’s all I ever wanted
to be. Suddenly, the goal was at hand. Within reach. I got it. My first
big byline! I beat out all the other reporters at the scene and the
paper printed my story. MINE!
So… there I was drinking coffee and reading my story. My headline!
GEORGIE PORGIE PUDDING AND DIE by me, Susan Weston. Word for word just
the way I’d written it. I’d been first on the murder scene the night
before, even before the coppretty good look at the body.
Turned out to be a guy I knew from the neighborhood. Not a sight I’m
likely to forget.
It made me feel good that my story got printed. This was my big
chance. Things were going to change now. No more fluff pieces for me.
And then s, so I got a everything went haywire.
The phone rang. Of course I answered. The voice on the other end sent
goosebumps up my arm, down my spine, and chills down to my toes. Read More
Blog Diva - Wednesday, September 19, 2012
No Sale is Ever Final
A few years ago, my husband and I went to the British Isles with
our travel buddies. On our last day, in Scotland, my husband and I
sat on a bench in a large, shady, treed park, a perfect place for
gazing up at mighty Edinburgh Castle.
As our thoughts turned to going home, we shifted into souvenir and
“thank you” gift mode. Jenners is the oldest department
store in Edinburgh and is short walk from the park. My husband
and I decided to explore the store and separated to look on our own.
Blog Diva - Tuesday, September 18, 2012
I’m thrilled to be here at RomCon® today to chat about my debut novel, Lowcountry Boil! I love introducing Liz Talbot to new folks, though bless her heart, she’s had her hands full lately. In Lowcountry Boil,
Liz has to come to terms with the one who got away—her obsession with
Michael Devlin, her True Love. Regrettably, Michael married Liz’s
cousin, Marci the Schemer. Now, of course, there were extenuating
circumstances, you understand—like Marci’s made-up pregnancy—but still,
most folks in Stella Maris, Liz’s home town, will tell you that she
should have gotten over all of that years ago.
Blog Diva - Sunday, September 16, 2012
Turnbull knew better than to wish for a pony for Christmas this year.
Besides receiving the upsetting news that Santa Claus was only
make-believe (Tommy Farley had popped that beloved bubble several weeks
ago), Lucy had been assured by Mama in no uncertain terms that she was
not getting a pony—and furthermore, Lucy had no business asking for such
nonsense. “You might as well ask me to buy you the moon,” Mama firmly
told her at the dinner table.“ Read More
Blog Diva - Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Everyone has a story. I have a
story about a neighbor and a shotgun and another neighbor’s dog – and
soon after that, the neighbor with the shotgun tried to get elected to
the town board. Now, that was scary.
I could tell you about other
neighbors. Stories that are sad, scary, happy and funny. And family
members... My family has STORIES! I won’t tell these stories here for
obvious reasons (such as not wanting to be sued and not wanting my
relatives to stop talking to me). Instead I’m telling stories of
residents of a tiny Wisconsin village in my new Miracle Interrupted
series. Read More
Blog Diva - Monday, September 10, 2012
It’s like coming home…Why series are so great! by Elisabeth Barrett
grew up in a small town in Connecticut. I don’t get back there as often
as I’d like, but every time I do return, it’s as if time has stood
still. No matter how long I’ve been away, the town never changes.
ride through the center of town to check out which stores are the same
and which are different. Although some shops close and are replaced by
new ones, they all still have a similar feel. The bagger at the village
market still gives me a wink at checkout, and the library still has that
stone hippopotamus out front that all the kids love to climb on. Read More
Blog Diva - Wednesday, September 05, 2012
I was recently in a discussion about desires and goals. The question
was asked: Are desires and goals one in the same? I don’t think they
are. I desired to be a published author. I dreamed of it,
wished for it, worked for it. That desire was out there just at the tip
of my fingers. In order to capture my desire, I had to actively move
toward it. Create a plan. That’s where my goals came in. Goals are what I used to reach my desire. I set a
word count for each day, or a page count. I planned to have the book
done in X number of weeks so my critique partners could review it. My
book contract states I have to have my manuscript in on a certain day.
Blog Diva - Tuesday, September 04, 2012
books THE TYCOON’S SECRET DAUGHTER and NANNY FOR THE MILLIONAIRE’S
TWINS have stirred up a lot of discussion among my readers. For the
first forty-five of my books I stayed on point. I write category
romance, so I stuck with category romance hooks…or rich guy, cowboy,
millionaire, doctor, baby, nanny, rancher, secretary, secret baby, etc.
The same was true for books 46 and 47, a duet about brothers who reunite
after fifteen years apart. THE TYCOON’S SECRET DAUGHTER, obviously has a