Contemporary

His Work of Art by Shannyn Schroeder

Michele Callahan - Tuesday, November 03, 2015

His Work of Art by Shannyn Schroeder

Excerpt:

“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?”
“Yeah.”
“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.”
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Horseracing and Romance by Melissa West

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. 


Book description:
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

One True Heart By Jodi Thomas

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

Escape To Paradise By Robyn Rychards

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

Need Me By Shelly K Wall

Blog Diva - Thursday, March 12, 2015

Links:
Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Need-Me-Shelley-K-Wall-ebook/dp/B00TIXT5VU/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1425583509&sr=1-3&keywords=need+me

Website:
http://shelleykwall.com
Blurb:

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

LEFT TO FOREVER by Roe Valentine

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

LEFT TO FOREVER by Roe Valentine

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

Snowed In By Sarah Title

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

Barbecue and Bad News By Nancy Naigle

Blog Diva - Thursday, February 12, 2015

JUST DESSERTS
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

Life After By Kathryn Freeman

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