Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cooking Up Romance

With: Jennifer Faye

Giveaway Alert!

One thing that I like to do is cook. And if time allows I like to try different recipes. As such, I like to include food in my books whenever possible. In my latest release, THE PLAYBOY OF ROME (The DeFiore Brothers, book 1) my characters are both chefs, who end up working on a reality television show. So they are always cooking up something yummy.
The research for this book was totally delicious. I reviewed authentic Italian recipes from ravioli to mushroom risotto and a bunch of mouthwatering recipes in between. Who knew writing a book about two chefs could be such an adventure. ;-)

Here’s a variation of a recipe that shows up in THE PLAYBOY OF ROME:

     Pasta alla Carbonara
     •      ½ cup Percorcino Romana cheese, grated
     •       ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
     •      2 garlic cloves, minced
     •       lb dry spaghetti
     •      4 eggs, extra large
     •      8 oz, Pancetta, cubed
     •       Cracked black pepper
     •      Sea salt

     1. Put large pot of water on to boil.
     2. Grate cheese.
     3. Peel 2 cloves of garlic, leaving them whole.
     4. When water is boiling, add salt and pasta, cook al dente as instructed on packaging.
     5. Cook the cubed pancetta in a pan.
     6. Add garlic. Heat for a minute to soften. Set aside.
     7. In mixing bowl, whisk eggs. Add the cheese, pancetta and black pepper to taste.
     8. Drain pasta and return to pot. 
     9. Pour egg mixture a little bit at a time over hot pasta. The mixture should create a creamy sauce. If it’s too liquid, turn the heat back on for a minute or two. Keep tossing the pasta so it doesn’t clump.
    10. Serve and enjoy!

In my current release, the hero and heroine don’t exactly get off to the best start. Dante’s grandfather has had a stroke and is no longer running the restaurant in Rome, Italy when Lizzie arrives for her internship and the reality show segment. Now she’s working on Dante to keep his grandfather’s promise and take her under his wing. She wants him to teach her what he knows about heating things up in the kitchen. ;-)

FYI, Pasta all Gricia is the same recipe as above without the eggs.

How dare she question his prowess in the kitchen? 

Dante stared down at a plate of pasta alla gricia, one of his favorite dishes. The fine balance of cured pork and pecorino romano gave the pasta a unique, tangy flavor. It was a dish he never grew tired of eating. 

He proceeded to divvy the food between two plates. After all, he didn’t need that much to eat at this late hour. As he arranged the plates, he wondered why he was going to such bother. What was so special about this golden-haired beauty? And why did he feel a compulsion to prove himself where she was concerned? 

It wasn’t as if he was ever going to see Lizzie again. Without his grandfather around to hold up his end of the agreement, she’d be catching the next plane back to New York. Still, before she left, he needed to prove his point. He’d taken some of his grandfather’s recipes and put his own twist on them. And the patrons loved them. This meal was sure not to disappoint the most discerning palate.

He strode back into the dining room and placed a plate in front of Lizzie. She gazed up at him with a wide-eyed blue gaze. Her mouth gaped as though she were about to say something, but no words came out. 

He stared at her lush lips, painted with a shimmery pink frost. They looked perfectly ripe for a kiss. The urge grew stronger with each passing second. The breath hitched in his throat. 

“This looks delicious.” She was staring at him, not the food. And she was smiling. 

Sometimes it’s the simple gestures, such as sharing your dinner, can overcome the largest of obstacles. Dante and Lizzie take a bit to catch on, but eventually they figure it out. ;-)


Taming the Italian playboy… 

Lizzie Addler's dream of working in Italy is about to come true—that is if she can convince passionate Italian chef Dante DeFiore to keep his side of their bargain. Dante might be hotter than the Italian sun, but he's as cool as ice toward Lizzie… 

Dante hasn't the time to pander to Lizzie's dreams of culinary fame—he has a restaurant to run! But as Lizzie proves herself to be a spectacular addition to his kitchen—and to his life—Dante wonders…can he keep her forever?

Amazon   |   Amazon - UK   |  Barnes & Noble   |  Harlequin  |  Kobo  |  iTunes

Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming romances. Step into the pages of exciting destinations with rugged cowboys, sexy tycoons & enchanting royalty. Jennifer has won the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous awards. Now living her dream, she resides with her patient husband, amazing daughter (the other remarkable daughter is off chasing her own dreams) and two spoiled cats. 

Jennifer loves to hear from readers—you can contact her via her website

Facebook | Twitter  | Goodreads  | Google+ | Tsu

And this is just the beginning, the second book in the DeFiore Brothers series is out next month.

How about you? What’s one of your favorite recipes? 
One commenter will win an autographed copy of my newest release, THE PLAYBOY OF ROME + swag.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST March 6th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Forever In My Heart

Giveaway Alert!

Welcome to Decadent DeLites, the hot new place to get “homemade treats that remind you of your grandma’s kitchen”. That’s the sign that welcomes the hero in the opening scene from Forever in My Heart. In this new Contemporary Romance, you’ll meet a sassy Italian-American café owner and a smokin’ hot tortured Italian-Irish American retired army sergeant. When Jamie DiSilva returns from the army to start a home improvement business, he’s unprepared for the cold shoulder he receives from the town. Add to it the sparks that fly from his ex-girlfriend and her meddling family, and he’s not making friends anytime soon.

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but the way to Vicky DiFrancesco’s is through her café. Now all Jamie has to do is convince Vicky to allow him to renovate her less-than-modern place of business while he searches for something that may have been left behind by his late brother. Something that three deadbeat thugs are willing to injure, kidnap and possibly kill to get their hands on.

You’ll find a little comedy, a little suspense, Italian traditions, and decadent sweets in this romance where love, family, and friendship unite.

It’s now available at e-retailers and print!

Forever in My Heart by Maria K. Alexander

Vicky DiFrancesco is ready to put the past behind her. After a humiliating divorce, she’s determined to make her new café a success. The last thing she needs is her first love around, reminding her of what they’d lost. But when her life is threatened, could he be the very man she needs?

Jamie DiSilva’s homecoming after retiring from the army isn’t the one he’d been hoping for. Now, he’s trying to start a home improvement business in a town settled on holding him accountable for the sins of his late brothers. Redeeming himself to the girl he never stopped loving and her family is difficult when his brothers’ secrets come back to haunt him.

Untangling themselves from the past means righting several wrongs and deciding if their love is meant to last forever.

Excerpt from Forever in My Heart

“What happened today between us can never happen again.”

“Because of your sister?”

“Because of my entire family. Kate isn’t the only member with a grudge against the DiSilva family.”

Just his bad luck.

“My parents and I have never done anything to warrant being shunned by them. Our parents were best friends.”

“That doesn’t change what your brothers did or how it’s impacted my family. It’s one thing to deal with you living in the same town. It’s another for them to accept what just happened between us.”

“What happens between us has nothing to do with your family,” he snapped. He was tired of being judged. It wasn’t like she didn’t feel something for him. He lowered his voice and cupped her cheek. “Things can be good between us, Vick. You know it.”

She held his gaze, and he felt her tremble. He leaned forward, determined to convince her to give them a chance.

Her hand shot out and stopped him from doing more than graze her lips. “Stop. Nothing good will come of this.” She rolled off the bed and kept her back to him.

“You’re choosing them over your own happiness?”

She wiped at her face before turning to him.

Despite the tears that dampened her eyes, her answer was clear from the stubborn set of her chin. “What choice do I have?”

“There’s always a choice.”

“And a price to pay. They’re my family. I pick them. I’ll always pick them.”

You can buy Forever in My Heart at:

About Maria K. Alexander

Maria K. Alexander is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. When not writing, Maria loves to read, bake, downhill ski, visit the beach, and watch romantic comedies. Maria lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, and writes in her “spare” time between juggling a full-time job and her kids’ busy schedules. You can keep in touch with Maria at


From February 20th through March 8th Maria is having a release giveaway. Stop by for a chance to win a digital copy of Untangle My Heart, the first book in her award-winning Tangled Hearts series or a $5 Amazon GC.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Five Reasons Novellas are the Perfect Way to Escape with a Book

With:  Nina Crespo

It seems like everyone I talk to is constantly complaining about how busy they are. There are so many demands on our time, energy and attention. Taking time to relax and de-stress is important for our mental and physical wellness, but even that can feel like a burden sometimes. Reading is one of my favorite ways to unwind after a hectic day, but sometimes I look at that 250-page novel and think, “No way to do I have time for that.” 

For me, the perfection solution is a novella. Here are five reasons novellas are the perfect way to escape into a book when you don’t have a lot of time.

1. Novellas, on average, range between 20,000 and 40,000 words. Avid readers are often able to read a complete entire novella in a couple of hours. 

2. Novellas allow you to experience more for your money since they are usually less expensive than full-length novels. 

3. The pacing in novellas is often quicker and tighter due to the shorter word count than in full-length books. This is great for readers who like fast-paced action.

4. Novellas mean you can read more stories from more authors.

5. Many series include novellas, so they are a nice way to check out a new author or get an added adventure with your favorite characters.


The one night she’ll want to remember, she’ll be forced to forget.

It’s been almost a year since Celine’s fiancé’s death, and she’s still struggling to move on. But when she meets Thane, the super hot lead singer of Thane’s Redemption, she finds her desire reawakening, and her heart opening. Soon one kiss leads them straight into a night of heated passion...

Thane’s unexpected connection with Celine only leaves him wanting more of her—but his life makes it impossible. For Thane's Redemption is just a cover for a deeper secret: A former Army Ranger presumed dead, Thane is really a time-traveling, covert operative charged with saving the world from disaster. Each jump through time forces those around him to forget he ever existed—and Celine would be no exception. But can time work in their favor to give them a second chance at love? Or will a choice Thane makes in the future put Celine in mortal danger?...


“Let’s go.”

Flutters swirled in her stomach as she hurried down the main corridor with him. No way was she escaping now.

He drew her close, and a weightless feeling, as if she sped down the hill of a giant roller coaster, rushed through her. Surprised, she stumbled into his chest.

“You’re all right. I’ve got you.” He kissed her temple.

She caught her breath as the light golden haze clouding her vision cleared. Moving out of his embrace, she stared at the main floor of the lounge. Either she’d lost her tolerance for the good stuff, or the bartenders were generous with the rum. How had they gotten there so fast? 

Why didn’t she remember walking past those women in the hallway?

He squeezed her hand. “The song’s about to end. Come on.”

Channeling Lauren, she held her head high and kept her eyes trained on his back. As they moved closer to the stage, the keyboardist signaled the band. The tempo picked up. Sound vibrated over her skin, and her heartbeat matched the timing of the music.

Lauren spotted them and nudged Ari. The dark haired woman did a double take and her mouth fell open.

After what felt like the longest walk of her life, they reached the table. Celine sat down, and Thane stole a kiss.

As he moved away, he gave her a wink and panty-dropping smile. “Enjoy the show.”

Thankfully, somebody had ordered her another mangotini. Celine sipped and acknowledged Lauren and Ari’s questioning looks with a shrug. Good thing the loud music kept them from asking questions. She couldn’t explain what had happened if she tried.

Thane jumped on stage and grabbed a microphone. He blended into a song driven by the keyboards and a fierce drumbeat. By the end of the song, worries about what their encounter did or didn’t mean slipped into the music. The eye candy on stage and the raw, lyrical power of his voice pulled her into the moment. Letting go of her inhibitions, she cheered and chair danced with her friends to the rock and blues-inspired tracks.

An hour into the set, he conferred with the band, and the bassist handed him an acoustic guitar. He put a stool center stage behind one of the microphones and sat down. “What I’m going to perform now is a song I wrote a few months ago. No one’s heard it yet, but because you’re such a special audience, I’d like to play it for you.” His gaze found hers. “I hope you like it.”

He strummed the first chords, and the flamenco, rumba-styled rhythm brought up images of slow breezes and sultry nights. His voice flowed smoothly into the melody, and her heart

Stay with me…lay your troubles down…let me set you free…

His singing inspired an erotic fantasy of her legs intertwined with his. Of gliding her hands over the hard ripples and valleys of muscle she’d felt holding onto him. Of her kissing him, and Thane devouring those kisses right back. The invisible touch of his words whispered over her skin. Every pulse beat, including the one between her thighs, magnified. She shifted in her seat, trying to quiet the steady throb as liquid heat spread low in her middle.

Ari playfully shoved her arm.

With a backdrop of thundering applause, she met Thane’s gaze. His desire matched her own. The band started to play another song, and he looked away. She exhaled a shaky breath and downed the rest of her drink.

A server stopped by their table and placed an envelope next to her arm. “Lucky girl, these are for you.”

About Nina Crespo

Nina Crespo lives in Florida where she indulges in her favorite passions—the beach, kickboxing, a good glass of wine, and dancing with her own real-life hero. Her lifelong addiction to romance began in her teens while on a “borrowing spree” in her older sister’s bedroom where she discovered her first romance novel. Curiosity about people and places, including what’s beyond the stars, fuels her writer’s imagination. Indulge in her sensual contemporary stories and steamy paranormal tales to feed your own addiction for love, romance, and happily ever after. Her Birthday Dare series novellas, TAKE ME IF YOU DARE and NAUGHTY LITTLE WISHES, are available from Entangled Publishing. Her debut romance, fantasy novella, THANE’S REDEMPTION, is available through Kensington Publishing-Lyrical Press.

Author Links:


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Perks of Being a Romance Author: Looking at Hot Guys!

Okay, okay, give me a break. I’m a romance writer. I write about heroes, and they happen to be hot by default.  So, you can say I have the best job ever. I mean, who else gets to Google “hot guys” for research purposes and then create desirable characters that—hopefully—readers can fall in love with? 

It’s about having a visual image. It’s about matching the character to a face and body. I’ve actually spent hours trying to get the right match. I know, poor me! When I created Jacob Moreau for Left to Forever, I sat staring off into space trying to visualize what he would look like. I knew certain things: he was tall, had the body of a soccer player (particularly his bum), had dynamic eyes that were sometimes brown and sometimes green, had golden bed-head hair perfect for running fingers through, and had a face that was so handsome you had to look away. Jensen Ackles was the most perfect match as a visual for Jacob Moreau. 

Sometimes it takes longer to find the perfect image than it takes for others. But it turns out that I don’t mind the harder matches! So sue me! After all the long hours put into bringing a story to life, I think we romance authors deserve a few perks. And we’re happy to share the fruits of our labor.


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?

Author bio: 
Roe Valentine was born into the right family. Not only does the name Valentine suit her, but her grandmother, unknowingly, introduced the young Ms. Valentine to her first romance novel. She hasn’t read anything else since. She calls herself a romantic at heart and believes that love conquerors all.

The San Antonio native, who now lives in Houston, attempted to write her first contemporary romance novel when she was nineteen years old. That attempt didn’t take, but her story has a happy ending. She kept pursuing the dream until she landed her first publishing contract in 2013.

When not busy writing or reading love stories, Roe can often be found in a yoga class or chatting with friends at her favorite coffee shop. Enjoying margaritas with some girl-talk isn’t unusual for her either. For a night in, she watches reruns of her favorite TV shows and, of course, romantic comedies on her Roku, usually with a glass of wine. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Five reasons my billionaire book fails the billionaire book test

Congratulations to "32Flavors", the winner in Jenny's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

When my last book came out, a lot of people told me it wasn’t a typical billionaire book. Now, I think some of those people meant it as a compliment, but some of them did not! (For the record, I don’t mind. I love all reviews! Keep ‘em  coming! I’m just glad anyone is reading!) Since my new book is a continuation in that series, I decided to take a light-hearted look at the trope of the billionaire hero as it relates to Dax Harris, the software CEO hero of Sleeping With Her Enemy.

1. He’s a billionaire.

Actually, Dax is only a millionaire. I don’t specify how many millions we’re talking about, but come on. There are only so many billionaires in the world, and I’m pretty sure they’re all used up. Also, this is Canada. We like taxes.

2. Islands. 
I have one! Oh, but wait. It’s supposed to be private island, right? Preferably of the Caribbean variety. Oops. Dax does live on an island, but it’s only in the Toronto Harbor. And he has lots of neighbors. Some of them are crazy.

3. He commutes by boat.
Well, kind of. Dax takes a municipal ferry to and from the mainland, where he works. Or he canoes. But he looks very commanding while doing so.

4. He’s been damaged by his family.
Nope. Not even a little. He loves his family. They’re a bunch of nutbars, and they annoy the heck out of him much of the time, but he adores them. In his manly, understated way. But don’t worry: he is a little damaged. Just not by his relatives.

5. He’s dominant in bed.
Well, he can be. But not always. Let’s just say he appreciates variety.

6. He’s a high-powered financier.
He’s high-powered now. But he helms a software company, one that began as a longshot start-up. Basically, he’s a geek.

I was going to stop there, but I realized that Dax does have a few traits that totally fit the bill of the romance billionaire. 

1. He’s really, really smart.
Yes! Score! I go one right!

2. He’s really, really good-looking, if a little bit scowly.
Yes! Dark good looks! Doesn’t smile very much! (Unless he’s around his adored family, but we’ll keep that between ourselves.)

3. He just hasn’t met the right woman.
True. Totally, totally true. And it was so much fun introducing him to her.

I’ll be giving away a copy of Sleeping With Her Enemy to one commenter or email entrant.

He was looking at her kind of strangely, head cocked slightly. Probably he was about to say something insulting, so she lobbed her own question out before he could talk.

“What about your family?”

“They’re great.” Then he narrowed his eyes at her.


She must look as bewildered as she felt. It was just hard to imagine the arrogant, womanizing Dax coming from a nice, normal family. He seemed like the kind of person who had been raised by wolves. In a mansion.

“What?” he protested again. “They are. They’re kind of insane, mind you, but I love them.”

Huh. The easy, casual way he said he loved his family surprised her. “They must be really proud of you.”

He nodded. “Ridiculously so. It’s actually a little embarrassing—you should see my mother’s Christmas letter.” He stole a fry from her. “I just wish they would let
me help them.”

“What do you mean?”

“They still live in the tiny house I grew up in, in a not-great area of Scarborough.”

That surprised her. He was such a force, so confident and capable—and rich—that she just assumed he’d come from money.

“It’s fine,” he continued. “It’s just that they could be so much more comfortable. And they’re getting old. It would great to have them somewhere they don’t have to shovel or
take care of the lawn. But they won’t move.”

“They sound great.” She meant it, even if she was simultaneously a little jealous. What would it be like to be surrounded with people who loved and supported you, people you didn’t have to constantly be managing? People who thought you were enough?


He'll complicate all her plans...

Amy Morrison is supposed to be at her wedding. But when her husband-to-be jilts her at the altar, a distraught Amy runs to the only place she feels safe—her office. Besides, everyone who works on her floor is at her wedding...except him. Dax Harris. Playboy, executive, and Amy's official office enemy.

While he and Amy don't see eye-to-eye on the best of days, Dax can't help but feel badly when he sees Amy mid-meltdown. Next thing he knows, he's gotten her good and drunk, and they're making out like two  teenagers. And since neither of them want anything serious, why shouldn't they be frenemies-with-benefits? Because there is no possible way they could ever fall for each other...

Jenny Holiday started writing in fourth grade, when her awesome hippie teacher, between sessions of Pete Seeger singing and anti-nuclear power plant letter writing, gave the kids notebooks and told them to write stories. Most of Jenny’s featured poltergeist, alien invasions, or serial killers who managed to murder everyone except her and her mom. She showed early promise as a romance writer, though, because nearly every story had a happy ending: fictional Jenny woke up to find that the story had been a dream, and that her best friend, father, and sister had not, in fact, been axe-murdered.

From then on, she was always writing, often in her diary, where she liked to decorate her declarations of existential angst with nail polish teardrops. Eventually she channelled her penchant for scribbling into a more useful format. After picking up a PhD in urban geography, she became a professional writer, spending many years promoting research at a major university, which allowed her to become an armchair astronomer/historian/particle physicist, depending on the day. Eventually, she decided to try her hand again at happy endings—minus the bloodbaths. You can follow her on twitter at @jennyholi and @TropeHeroine or visit her on the web at

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Feb. 27th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


My debut contemporary romance, KNOW WHEN TO HOLD HIM, is a sexy, fun, enemies-to-lovers tale of two ultra-competitive people who can’t decide whether to kick each other’s butt or kiss each other senseless.  Spencer Hightower, the heroine, is a tough, take-no-prisoners, win-at-all-costs woman, but I felt it was important to show that she wasn’t a maneating caricature.  She has her soft side, too, as we all do. And of course, she only shows it to people she feels she can trust – like a steady, super-sexy, tough hero like Liam Connelly.


Spencer Hightower's job is cleaning up other people's messes. And she is damn good at it. Unfortunately, being a supremely organized workaholic, it is isn't always easy to meet guys—until Liam Connelly shows up, all gorgeous and really, really sexy. Sure, he makes Spencer's pulse thump...but he's also the biggest pain in her professional life.

Liam can't believe his lousy luck when he learns that Spencer is his opposition in a high-profile scandal. She’s the best at what she does and the worst possible opponent. Of course, a little professional animosity can't hurt a guy's chances for a date, can it? Even as Spencer tries to keep her distance, their attraction grows stronger...and hotter. But once they cross all kinds of professional—and personal—boundaries, the situation snow-balls into a disaster that even the great Spencer Hightower can't fix...

Entangled | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads


"I like to be ready for

"I see that. Like the zombie apocalypse."

"Don't make jokes, please." Her voice trailed off, tired.

"Sorry. I'm actually scared of a lot of things, too."

Her face was doubtful.

"Like spiders."

Spencer scoffed. "You could smoosh them with a shoe."

"I don't care for snakes."

Another dismissive noise. "Chop their head off with a garden hoe."


"That's what a flame thrower's for."

Liam drew his head back an inch. "Did anyone ever tell you you're a little

Spencer raised a brow. “Guess so.”

Her breathing troubles had eased. Maybe it was the water or maybe it was
the talking. Liam went for the latter and kept talking.

"I bet all your boyfriends love this, when they can come over and snuggle
during a storm."

Spencer's brows scrunched together. "What? Don't tell me..."

A dark expression was on her face. "No one's ever been there for you, have
they?" He purposefully kept his voice gentle and low. She didn't need
anything else upsetting her.

"I don't..." She faltered. "I'm fine. I didn’t ask you to come over." She
lifted her chin and gestured toward the mini food pantry under the sink. "I
take care of myself."

Spencer tried pulling away from him but could only go so far. Her shoulder
muscles were hard as a rock and he absentmindedly rubbed them. "With a shoe
or a flame thrower."

"Whatever works," she said, smothering a contented moan, enjoying his
massaging fingers.

"I won't tell anyone," he promised.


"Your secret."

Spencer turned towards him then, her face partially hidden in shadow, but
the question plain as day.

“What secret?”

"That you're not superwoman."

Author Bio:
As a Texan and recovering sorority girl, Lindsay Emory has strong opinions on college football, nachos, and wearing white after Labor Day. Lindsay started writing when her first grade teacher put her in a closet and told her to write stories, instead of teaching her math. When she’s not writing, she’s raising two daughters, watching movies with her husband, and reading as many books as possible. She is an active member of the Dallas Area Romance Authors chapter of RWA and a semi-active member of the PTA, which is a whole lot less fun.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Do you prefer books set in small town?

Congratulations to "Kim M.", the winner in Wendy's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Do you prefer books set in small town where everybody knows everybody else’s business? Or big cities where there’s a sense of anonymity but also the disconnect that goes along with it? Or are you more about exotic places where you’ve never been to? Or does it have nothing to do with the setting, but all about the character?

Sometimes the setting is an integral part of the story. Who could forget about the richness of Tara pre-civil war in Gone with the Wind? Margaret Mitchell did an amazing job of bringing to life Scarlet’s Tara—both pre and post-Civil War. I don’t know about you, but I could nearly feel the richness of the land, the gaiety at the parties, along with that sense of the unknown of what lie ahead. And who could forget the falling of Atlanta? The setting drove Scarlet into yet another predicament when Melanie goes into labor. For that book, it was as much about the setting as the characters themselves. 

Sometimes the setting is superfluous to the story. It’s more about weaving a story and it doesn’t really matter where it’s at. The characters are the real star of the show. In Bridget Jones Diary, it didn’t really matter where she was living. The story was about her evolving as she negotiated her way through relationships.

In my book, The Millionaire’s Deception, it was mostly about the character’s growth, but being a fish out of water in a small town added to Rafe’s discomfort. Here’s a short snippet showing Rafe’s not-so-great adjustment to small town life: 

Before he could skulk into anonymity, back to his hidey-hole upstairs, and figure out where he’d made a wrong turn, the book club ladies surrounded him. “Looks like you two had a bit of a tiff after your make-out session.” Louisa yanked at his arm to pull him from his thoughts.

“It was just a kiss. That’s it.” What the hell was wrong with this town? A kiss and the whole place went nuts. It was like they hadn’t seen anybody kiss before. Although he had to admit it was a pretty damn good kiss. Still…these folks had a few screws loose. 

The sooner Frankie got out of this place, the better off she’d be. 

“I don’t know about that. I practically saw sparks flying between the two of you,” Bette added none too quietly. 

“There were no sparks flying.” He clenched his jaw. Where was a good psychiatrist when you needed one? This whole place needed to be committed.


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