Blog - Contemporary

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GOING AGAINST TYPE By Sharon Black

Blog Diva - Monday, October 20, 2014

BLURB

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

Going Home By Stacy Finz

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

Starling By Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae

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

One Night With The Best Man By Amanda Berry

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

NEVER FORGET by Heather Ashby

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?


 Read More

Amber Light By Virginia McCullough

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

Cherish Me, Cowboy By Alissa Callen

Blog Diva - Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cowboy Up

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

Love on the Lido Deck: A Nautical Romantic Comedy by Barbara Oliverio

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.

"Romantic Comedy."

"Oh."

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

Under Texas Blue Skies By Debra Holt

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

Falling Like A Rock By Bonnie McCune

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

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