Friday, October 24, 2014

Holiday at Magnolia Bay

Giveaway of a $15 Hallmark gift card!

The holiday season for me is all about home, friends and family.   I love decorating my house with items my family and I have collected throughout our travels.  The big family dinners and parties with friends make the season.  Growing up, I felt a little cheated out of the Hallmark Christmas because my dad was in the military and, more often than not, our holiday consisted of my family of five and whatever pets might be living with us.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved “growing up military” but I always felt sad those years—which were most of them—when we couldn’t get together and celebrate with extended family.

This is probably why I can relate to Jenna Huntley, my main character in Holiday at Magnolia Bay.  Jenna is a military brat herself, a woman looking for a place to call “home.”  She finds it in the small coastal town just south of Charleston, South Carolina.  Magnolia Bay is the one place that’s been a constant in her life, the summer vacation destination she and her family visited every year while Jenna was growing up.  Now a marine biologist, she works at the town’s Sea Turtle Rescue Center.

Just to make Jenna’s life a little more interesting, I threw in a love interest who’s actually a Navy SEAL.  Jenna has sworn off the military life—which means all military men—but the sexy Lieutenant Commander is very potent.   Of course she’s attracted to the one guy who she’s vowed to stay away from.  Yeah, I’m evil that way.  

Drew’s not interested in family, though.  In fact, he’s pretty much isolated himself from relationships with everyone in his life because he fears that if something happens to him, there will be collateral damage.  He’s set on being alone the rest of his life.  Or so he thinks.

But I couldn’t leave their HEA to fate—or sea turtles, as the case may be—someone had to do a little meddling.  I chose an octogenarian spinster for this.  The character of Evie Song is named after a fan named Evie who also happens to be a very lively senior citizen herself.  I try to name a minor character in each of my books after someone I know but Evie needed to have a bigger role.  I’ve never met Evie, but she treats me like she she’s known me all of my life.  She sends lovely fan letters and hand sells my books to everyone she meets.  If anyone deserves to be immortalized as a character in one of my books, it’s Evie.

You see, Evie, and the friends I’ve collected along my life’s journey, are as much my family as the people I’m actually related to.  All those holidays spent on military bases without family?  We celebrated with a tribe of friends around us instead.  And when we finally did get to celebrate with our relatives we enjoyed those times and savored the memories.  

I hope you enjoy Drew and Jenna’s story.  As a military brat myself, I love sharing with readers the complexity of life in the military, whether it’s serving in the armed forces or loving someone who’s served.  Times are a little crazy right now in our world and I ask that you keep those who serve and their loved ones waiting at home in your hearts.

Is there a special food you prepare for family or friends during the holiday season?  I’m giving away a $15 Hallmark gift card to one random person who comments on this post.  

Tule is giving away a $500 Visa gift card this week also.  Go to my facebook page and click the giveaway tab to enter.


After a mission goes terribly wrong, ending in the death of a teammate, Navy Seal, Drew Lanham, is forced to take a leave from active-duty. Retreating to his godmother’s beach house in coastal Magnolia Bay, Drew plans to spend the three weeks R&R licking his wounds and catching some rays while the nightmares from his failed op fade. The last thing he wants to do is mingle with the locals. What he doesn’t count on is an early morning encounter with a goddess rising from the sea. His interest is piqued and his body put on alert when he finds out that same woman may or may not be after his godmother’s money. 

Marine biologist, Jenna Huntley, has been searching her whole life for a place to call home and Magnolia Bay is that place. Unfortunately, she’s underutilizing her education giving tours at the town’s turtle rescue center. With the help of an octogenarian patroness, she maps out a proposal to develop a turtle hatchery on-site. Everything is going as planned until the older woman’s godson arrives. Suddenly, nothing is as it seems and Jenna’s future is hanging in the balance, with a sexy warrior pulling all the strings. Her natural tendency is to help the damaged hero, but she’s sworn off letting military men in her life ever again. 

Will Drew and Jenna be able to put their pasts behind them and learn to trust their hearts long enough to enjoy their Holiday at Magnolia Bay? 

Buy it here:  Holiday in Magnolia Bay 
Southern Born Christmas series 
Book 1: Holiday in Magnolia Bay by Tracy Solheim 
Book 2: Just in Time for Christmas by Kim Boykin 
Book 3: A Very Married Christmas by Erika Marks 
Book 4: The Trouble with Christmas by Kaira Rouda

Author Bio
Tracy Solheim is the international bestselling author of the Out of Bound Series for Penguin.  Her books feature members of the fictitious Baltimore Blaze football team and the women who love them.  In a previous life, Tracy wrote best sellers for Congress and was a freelance journalist for regional and national magazines.  She’s a military brat who now makes her home in Johns Creek, Georgia, with her husband, their two children, a pesky Labrador retriever puppy and a horse named after her first novel.  See what she’s up to at  Like her on Facebook at

Other books by Tracy Solheim
Game On
Foolish Games
A Numbers Game
Risky Game
Back to Before

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Oct. 25th. 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, October 22, 2014


One In A Million

By: Jill Shalvis

As the brains behind wedding site, Callie sees it all: from the ring to the dress, the smiles . . . to the tears. It’s that last part that keeps her single and not looking. Getting left at the altar will do that to a girl. But when Callie returns to her old hometown, she finds that her sweet high school crush is sexier than ever. And he makes it hard to remember why she’s sworn off love . . .

Tanner is a deep-sea diver with a wild, adrenaline-junkie past-and now his teenage son is back in his life. How can Tanner be a role model when he’s still paying for his own mistakes? It’s hard enough that gorgeous Callie has appeared in town like a beautiful dream, challenging his best-laid plans to keep his heart on lockdown. Though there’s something about being around her again that makes him feel like he can be the man she-and his son-deserve. Little Lucky Harbor holds their past; can it hold a beautiful new future?


“I’m off men, you know.”

“Yeah. I know.” Tanner pulled Callie in, hard against his body.

She took two handfuls of his shirt. For balance, she told herself. But the truth was, she wanted to put her hands on him. He looked down on her face for another second, his brown eyes soft but full of intent as he slowly lowered his head.


He paused, eyes on hers.

She had her hands over his heart and could feel the beating beneath her palms. Slow. Steady.

The opposite of hers, of course.

“I…can’t remember what I was going to say.”

His eyes were smiling into hers. “So I can continue?”

She cleared her throat and nodded. “Carry on,” she whispered.

He started with a brush of his lips against one corner of her mouth, a butterfly touch. And then the other corner.
She heard a soft sound, an almost whimper, and realized it was her. He slowly sank his fingers into her hair, and she melted. No other word for it, her bones just melted clean away. And then he proceeded to kiss the living daylights out of her…

About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple: First Daughter Style

Big cities exhaust me—or at least that’s what I told myself before I jumped into writing VARIOUS STATES OF UNDRESS: VIRGINIA. Because of this book, my love of cities has been renewed, and I’m no longer curling my lip and rolling my eyes—saying stuff like “Oh, I did my big city time when I was young. No more.” 

When I was in my early twenties, I lived in Chicago, attempting to do Theater for a living. It sounds exciting, but the reality of it wasn’t me skipping around the windy city with my fellow quirky artists. The reality was me trudging six blocks to the subway on icy sidewalks in a thrift-shopped man’s pea coat (the warmest thing I could find on a budget) at seven am, dreading a boring day answering phones at temp job. 

In retrospect, it wasn’t all bad, because my roommates and I were in it together, and we had great times—when we weren’t freezing. I’m also thankful for those temp jobs, because I did a lot more than arrange paperclips at a reception desk. I wrote stories to amuse myself, and though I didn’t realize it at the time—I was finding my voice as an author. 

Finding the rhythm of New York City, though, was a daunting task for me. I’ve been there several times, back when I actually DID do Theater for a living. But memories of those visits involve me in a huge van, navigating my way through Manhattan and lugging heavy costumes all over the place. I knew I needed an attitude adjustment, so naturally I smacked myself. Then I said, “Hey! Virginia is not you—she’s the daughter of the president of the United States. Her New York experience can be anything. ANYTHING.”

A world of possibility opened up to me—and I created for her all the fun I never had. Virginia chases through Manhattan, eluding the paparazzi. She goes to benefits, clubs and launch parties. She transforms a department store. She finds her true self. And best of all? She falls head over heels for her sexy new boss. She’s a wild, exciting woman, and New York is the perfect setting for her. Because of Virginia, I can’t wait to visit the Big Apple again—with a new outlook. 

VIRGINIA’s story is book #2 in my VARIOUS STATES OF UNDRESS series with Avon Impulse. Book #1 is the adventure of her sensitive, dreamy sister, CAROLINA, who falls for her Secret Service agent. The series will conclude Jan. 6 with the release of book #3, GEORGIA, the little sister and an intellectual journalism student who can’t fight her attraction to a sexy pro baseball player. The First Daughters of Romance: their dad may run the country, but he can’t run them! 

Various States of Undress: Virginia

When the president's daughter risks everything with her sexy new boss, they're bound to find themselves in Various States of Undress!

If she had it her way, Virginia Fulton—daughter of the President of the United States—would spend more time dancing in Manhattan's nightclubs than working in its skyscrapers. Tired of dodging paparazzi, she needs a change. And a real chance. So when she finds herself in the arms of sexy, persuasive Dexter Cameron, who presents her with the opportunity of a lifetime, Virginia sees it as a sign … but can she take it without losing her heart?

CEO-to-be Dexter Cameron knows he's taking a risk by hiring a stylish party girl to jumpstart his family's legacy department store. But the president's gorgeous daughter has her thumb on the pulse of Manhattan, and the partnership seems like a win-win … until Dex discovers that his goals now include more than securing the corner office—they include Virginia herself. Dex must decide: does he make a move up the ladder? Or on the girl of his dreams?

For more information and buy links visit:

Friday, October 17, 2014

Festivals – Let’s Party!

Giveaway Alert!

Festivals, you gotta love ‘em. No, really, who doesn’t love a festival? A select subset of the population indulging their passion or reveling in their ethnicity or history, can be an amazing event. Sometimes they’re educational, sometimes they’re wacky, they’re nearly always fun.

This summer, my family and I went to the Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival in Whistler, British Columbia. Watching people race down a steep hill after a wheel of cheese was hilarious. Some participants came in costume, some were serious contenders (the winner’s prize was amazing), and some were just there for a laugh. Of course the rugby players they had at the bottom of the hill to catch anyone who couldn’t stop were a bonus. We also visited a local Caribbean festival where I got to indulge my love of curry goat and rice ‘n peas and listen to some great music.

I spent most of my teenage years in a small town with a large Icelandic population. Every year at the beginning of August was Islendingadagurinn, or Icelandic Days for those not fluent with the language. Included, of course, were the requisite fair rides and parade where everyone who had a nice car or costume could participate. But the festival also had readings in Icelandic, and yes, although I’m not of Icelandic heritage, I did learn some of the language and participated one year. You can eat pönnukökur, which are Icelandic pancakes similar to crepes; vinarterta, a layer cake with prunes; and other delicacies, most of which I never developed a taste for. And once you’ve stuffed yourself, you can wander around and enjoy the crafts and artworks.

When I was looking for a first date venue for Jonathan and Olivia, the couple in my newly released romance, An Inconvenient Desire, I thought a festival might be an interesting option. The book starts in Italy and I had a plethora of options, seems Italians love their festivals. Finally, I settled on the medieval festival in Brisighella, a small town between San Marino and Bologna. I read a blog post written by a couple who were living in Italy for a year. The way they described the event was truly hilarious. With locals in costume, battle reenactments and pyrotechnic shows, and allegedly some of the best food in Italy, it was the ideal place for my couple to spend the day and start falling in love. 

Here’s a brief excerpt from their day in Brisighella:

“Wow,” she exclaimed as she made it to the top, slightly out of breath. From the fortress you could see miles in each direction. An odd clock on a tower caught her attention. “How do you tell the time when there are only six hours on the face of the clock? Do you think it makes the day go faster or slower?”

Jonathan glanced at his own watch. “Hopefully slower. It’s half past eleven. After we’ve taken some photos to show Sophia and Luca what they missed, why don’t we get lunch? It’s a bit early, but then we can beat the crowd and look around the market later.”

As if on cue, her stomach grumbled. She’d had only an apple that morning. “I guess that seconds your suggestion.” She lined up a picture with Jonathan and the odd clock. “No, don’t stand like that, you look like you’ve got a pole up your backside.” He made a face and she snapped the picture. “Now you look like you’ve sat in something wet and squidgy.” She took a few more shots while he displayed a huge range in what appeared to be a constipated repertoire. “I don’t know what you do for a living, but if you ever want to give up your day job you could get advertising work for a laxative company.” He then went on to portray looks of immense relief causing her to laugh too hard to hold the camera steady.

“All right,” he said. “Show me how it’s done then.”

They switched places and she struck some silly poses as he snapped away. A small crowd started to gather. Last thing she needed was for one of these ridiculous shots to show up on the Internet. Time to put an end to this impromptu photo-shoot. So she turned slightly away, then looked straight back at Jonathan with her signature come-ravage-me look. More than one camera clicked. Jonathan appeared shell-shocked. For the first time he seemed to notice the group behind him.

“I need to eat,” he said as he pocketed his phone.
Is there a festival in your area? Do you attend? I’d love to hear about it.

I’m giving away a digital copy of An Inconvenient Desire to a person who is either signed up for my newsletter or comments on this post. For double entry, comment and sign up for my newsletter on my website: I’ll draw a name on Sunday, October 19 at 9pm Eastern.

Thanks to Just Contemporary Romance for hosting me today.

About Alexia Adams:
Alexia once traveled the world, meeting new people, experiencing new sights and tastes. She’s lived in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, England, and France, as well as spent time in Panama and Russia. When life demanded that she stay rooted in one place, she took to vicarious voyages through the characters she created in her romance novels. Her stories reflect her love of travel and feature locations as diverse as the wind-swept prairies of Canada to hot and humid cities in Asia. To discover other books written by Alexia or read her blog on inspirational destinations, Journey to Love at and sign up for her newsletter to keep up-to-date with new books and adventures.

Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: 


An Inconvenient Love 
An Inconvenient Desire 
Miss Guided (a Guide to Love novella) 
Played by the Billionaire (a Guide to Love novel) 
Singapore Fling  
Sex In The City Box Set 

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Oct. 18th. 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, October 15, 2014

Have you ever been surprised by an old family secret revealed?

Congratulations to Tammy Y., the winner in Susie's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Have you ever been told a family secret or revelation that captured your imagination?

The idea for The Forgotten Heiress came from a conversation I had years ago with my beloved great Aunt, Agnes Valente. She recounted a memory of being a young girl when her parents fostered a baby through their church. The family had the child for almost four years when the church inexplicably sent the young girl to a boarding school abroad. My great aunt was never told the child’s real name or history but it was assumed that the biological parents were famous and unmarried. Even seventy years later, it was evident that there was a missing piece for my Aunt Agnes. She had always worried and wondered what had happened to the young girl.

From a writing perspective, this was a wonderful jumping off place. I decided to set the story in current times and began to imagine what circumstances may have created a scenario where a child couldn’t be raised by her biological parents. Ideally, I wanted a happy ending for the heroine.  So I invented a plot that supported the unique circumstances of the story while allowing the heroine, Olivia Grey, to meet her estranged family and fall in love with a worthy hero. I think my Aunt Agnes would have approved and loved the story.

The Forgotten Heiress

A forgotten heiress inherits a crumpling empire… as she struggles to protect herself from the ruthless billionaire who is seeking to salvage it.

Raised by a guardian in Ireland, Olivia Grey is shocked when the secret details of her birth are leaked to the media as she tries to come to terms with the unexpected death of her father.  Drawn into her estranged family, the shy and reclusive clothing designer finds her way through the media spotlight, an imploding empire and the expectations of the elite New York society.

Olivia is thrown together with Fionn Lynch a hot, obscenely wealthy math genius who seeks her out to squash the media speculation. Olivia is more of a challenge than he expected and he has to change his game plan to save the company he helped to build.    

Have you ever been surprised by an old family secret revealed? A lucky commenter will receive a paperback copy of The Forgotten Heiress.  

Available on Amazon 

“I can’t possibly help with any of this.” Olivia’s stiff words were meant to push him away. She knew from the news accounts that her father’s business was in trouble and Fionn Lynch was seen as the knight in shining armor. But the sooner he realized she would refuse to cooperate, the sooner he would find another way of saving his precious company.

He moved closer and looked down at her, a slight frown across his handsome face. “So you are content with the paparazzi documenting all of your movements and speculating on your strange upbringing?” His words were clipped and smooth and she could feel her panic rising. Without skipping a beat, he added, “I imagine your clients may not be quite so accommodating.” 

She lifted her chin. “You know nothing about my life or what I’m willing to accept.”

She saw the touch of anger in his gaze and watched in fascination as his stance became rigid. “I know you are looking for a place to escape the media speculation surrounding you, but you lack the financial resources or experience that would allow you to find a safe haven. While this plays out in the media, I guarantee your clothing design startup will cease to exist.” His eyes grazed hers and her body suddenly felt too hot. “I imagine you are feeling vulnerable and lost.”

He wasn’t even touching her, yet she felt an overwhelming physical response to him. Olivia forced a controlled breath into her lungs. “Why am I suddenly so important? I didn’t even know Oliver Bolles. The only thing I learned about him this morning is that he liked to live life on the edge. He drove fast cars, did extreme sports, and even flew his own plane.”
“Whereas, you prefer safety and routine?” His words sounded silky and smooth, but her instinct told her he was baiting a trap. “Do you expect to hide out indefinitely while your clients jump ship?” 

Olivia kept her facial expression neutral. “I intend to take some time off until the speculation dies down. My clients will stay loyal.” Her voice sounded unsure and hesitant and she tried to gather her resolve. She needed to get away from Fionn Lynch.

There were so many unanswered questions that her head began to throb. Why had her father let her grow up in the care of a guardian? Now that he died tragically, why would his family seek her out? What did they want from her?

Author Bio:
Susie Warren writes contemporary romance. Besides being an avid reader, she spends much of her free time crafting intense and complex stories about falling in love. When she is not writing, Susie works as an administrator in a small, independent school while caring for three teenagers and keeping tabs on her inventor husband. With the launching of her first book, The Forgotten Heiress, she has slowly begun to navigate the social media realm. 
Susie loves to hear from readers and responds to each email and Facebook post. Please reach out to her via Facebook at or Twitter @susiecwarren 

For more information on her upcoming releases, new excerpts and other related postings, or to sign up for free promotions, please visit

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Oct. 16th. 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.

Monday, October 13, 2014

“It’s Not Christmas If Family Isn’t Fighting.”

Free book and giveaway alert!

Hi Maureen, thanks for having me here today. 

Readers, I have an early Christmas present for you. Keep reading for information on how to get my first Montana Born book, Hometown Hero (it’s the prequel to Blame The Mistletoe) for free (on October 14th)!

Back to the title of my post. My heroine, Liz, makes the “It’s not Christmas if family isn’t fighting,” remark in Blame The Mistletoe. She’s being facetious, but Christmas can be very stressful, especially when blended families are trying to negotiate who goes where, and when.

Not everyone likes the cold, either. I’m in Canada and a lot of people here go south to escape our winter, often heading to Palm Springs or even Mexico for Christmas. I put this idea together with the blended family idea when I was writing Blame The Mistletoe and decided Liz’s ex-husband would be getting remarried over Christmas in Mexico. Liz really couldn’t say ‘No’ to her daughter attending. Liz already doesn’t care for the season, being alone makes it worse, and then I made it positively intolerable. 

I’ll tell you how, but first I have to tell you about the other (stolen) idea I had that I’d always wanted to write into a book. Someone close to me, who is divorced, has said on many occasions that she wishes she could have a ‘reunion of the exes’. Her ex-husband’s siblings wound up divorced and the ex-spouses were all people she liked. She always thought it would be the best party ever to get together with them.

I took a half-cup of that idea. Blake married Crystal Flowers and Liz married Crystal’s brother, Dean Flowers. They’re all divorced and Dean is getting remarried in Mexico with all the Flowers Family in attendance. Blake’s son and Liz’s daughter go, leaving Liz and Blake home alone for December, and then… the finishing touch. When Liz drops her daughter off for the big flight, it comes out that her ex-mother-in-law has lost her house sitter. Liz gets recruited to stay in Marietta to babysit a terror of a little dog. 

My daughter made that suggestion: “Mom, he has to be the cutest thing to look at, everyone loves him, and he’s just awful.” So Curly is awful (yet somewhat redeemed.)

So there Liz is, a California girl in a small Montana town where she doesn’t know anyone. She thinks she’s in for the worst Christmas ever. Then she gets invited to a cocktail party hosted by Skye and Chase (from Hometown Hero) and bumps into Blake. She hadn’t seen him since his wedding to Crystal and now… well, you’ll see what happens in the excerpt below.

And I don’t want to spoil anything, but while Liz is having her best Christmas ever, the Flowers, not so much. Family + humidity = secrets revealed. It’s definitely Christmas.

Do you see a lot of family over Christmas? Is it a challenge to get everyone together? 

In lieu of a giveaway draw, you can all download my first Montana Born book, Hometown Hero, for free (Oct 14th – 18th)! Hometown Hero is the third book in the Montana Born Homecoming series and my first Montana Born book. 

The free days are a celebration to launch my Christmas story, Blame The Mistletoe, which releases today (October 13th). The stories are linked, so you might want both.


Liz Flowers has never enjoyed Christmas, but this one is shaping up to be the worst by far. She let her ex take her daughter to Mexico while she stays behind in a strange town, sitting her former mother-in-law’s high strung little dog. It’s an opportunity to meet new people, but this California girl doesn’t have much in common with the ranchers in small town Marietta.

Blake Canon perks up with male interest when he sees a new face at his friend’s Christmas cocktail party. His son is away and a light affair would take his mind off his financial troubles. Then he realizes he knows Liz. She was once married to the brother of his ex-wife.

Their children might be cousins, but Blake and Liz do the kissing—under the mistletoe. It’s the beginning of a new view of Christmas for Liz, but when their children arrive home unexpectedly, and family secrets are revealed, Liz isn’t sure she’ll stay in Marietta for Christmas after all. 
~ * ~

“Uh oh, Liz. You have a decision to make,” Skye said, pointing above Liz’s head.

Liz looked up. Mistletoe. 

“The girls made me hang it,” Chase said from behind her, referring to Skye’s nieces who’d been running around with the rest of the children this evening. 

Liz’s gaze caught Blake’s on the way down from the little sprig and her heart skipped at the light in his eyes. Her brain grasped for a smart remark, but nothing came.

Blake stepped into her space. “I think we owe it to ourselves,” he said. “Don’t you?”

Swaying, she set her hands on the cold, brushed texture of his coat, feeling ridiculously small and girlish all of a sudden. “Because of our mutual experience with the Flowers?” she asked.

“Actually . . . ” His gaze narrowed as he stared at her mouth and started to lower his head. “Let’s not think of them at all.”

His mouth touched hers and wiped her brain clean. All she knew was the brush of cold lips that warmed against hers, pressing firmly enough to open her lips so the kiss was not nearly so chaste as it should or could have been. He lingered, waiting until temptation got the better of her and she kissed him back, letting her mouth cling to his, then he slowly drew back. Something satisfied flickered in his eyes.

That had been bad. Good in a way that was very, very bad. Liz could barely breathe or muster a smile.

Skye and Chase smirked at each other. Someone from the lounge whistled. Liz rolled her eyes, feeling herself blush. 

And Blake didn’t bother to hide the male smugness in his gaze as he took the leftovers from Skye and opened the door for Liz. 

~ * ~

I hope you’ll download Hometown Hero for free then want to pick up Blame The Mistletoe for a feel good Christmas story. And please look for my next Montana Born story in the spring, which will feature Blake’s sister, Meg.

Award winning author, Dani Collins writes Harlequin Presents, romantic comedy, medieval fantasy, erotic romance, and now small-town rancher novellas. Whatever the genre, Dani always delivers sexy alpha heroes, witty, spirited heroines, complex emotions and loads of passion.

Stay current with Dani’s new releases by joining her newsletter or visiting her here:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Amazon: US | Canada | UK  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Accidental Sequel

I came up with the idea for Love at High Tide sitting with my toes buried in the sand. Formulated the entire book because I love the week we spend at the beach every summer. And I gave the super smart heroine a ditzy BFF to chat with simply to amp up the comedy. To have exchanges like this:

“A seagull just pooped on my toe.”

Darcy’s eyes popped back open. Trina, her best friend since their matching-pigtail days, sat on a watermelon pink and green towel, surveying the toe in question with a glum look.

Darcy slid a little lower in her beach chair and sighed. “Trina, I’m having a moment here.”

“And you can go back to your magic moment once I rinse off my toe. Come with me.” 

Offbeat. Zany. Ditzy. All words I used to describe Trina. A woman who bases her decision to train as a private investigator almost solely on the fact that she’ll get to dress up in different disguises.  A woman who gets recognized and hit by the bad guy all because she kneels on her own wig and pulls it off. Great comedic fodder.

But then….it occurred to me that I had accidentally set up a sequel. My hero and heroine both had hot and interesting BFFs who’d flirted a ton. What sort of heartless author would deprive them of their HEA? Especially when contemporary romance readers adore sequels and series?

The problem with the accidental sequel, is that I now had an offbeat, zany, ditzy heroine.  A woman who gets excited, rather than scared, at meeting a mobster.

The gold pinkie ring and thick chain around his neck made Trina assume this was Pearl’s gentleman friend she was here to meet. There was enough of a stereotypical wiseguy about his look to give her a thrill. This wasn’t sitting in an office, scrolling through ancient paperwork (which Joe foisted on her all the time). She was mingling with the criminal element. Trina wanted to hop up and down with excitement. It felt like she’d stepped into a television show.

How could I take all the qualities that made her a fun secondary character and still have her be a believable heroine that readers wanted to root for instead of slap? A woman who is thrilled when a mobster says he owes her a favor (not that she’d ever take him up on it, of course)? Yeah, I’d pretty much screwed myself. I had to keep her impulsiveness and offbeat way of looking at the world. But I solved it (after a week straight of telling all my friends there was no way she could carry a book by herself) by making those qualities the very thing that both helped her solve a crime and nab her hot cop hero.

Will I ever, ever, write a book again without giving it a serious once-over in terms of sequel potential? Nope. Lesson learned. But I don’t regret my accidental sequel, as hard as it was to write, for a second. It is full of big laughs and a surprising amount of heart—the kind of wacky caper that Marilyn Monroe would’ve starred in back in the day. Totally worth the head banging on the desk!


Atlantic City is the perfect place for detective Bradley Hudson to nurse his broken heart. A week of beer and strippers is sure to erase his former fiancée from his memory for good. What he didn’t count on was running into a sassy redhead from his past. Maybe a rebound romp is an even better plan…

Trina Trimble, private eye in training, is thrilled to be reunited with the hottie she almost hooked up with last summer. She’s undercover on her first solo case, but there’s always time to lock lips with a sexy cop. Besides, a fun fling with Brad doesn’t have to last beyond his week in town.

Brad and Trina are supposed to be just flirting, not forging a new forever. Brad’s still healing, and although Trina changes careers the way other women change shoes, she has finally found her calling in her new life of disguises and stakeouts. But when an irresistible job offer threatens to lure her away, Brad will need to decide to let her go or bet it all on love and risk his heart again.

Purchase your copy at  AmazonBarnes & NobleCarina PressGoogle PlayiBooks       

Website | Blog | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page |Facebook

Author Bio
Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage.  A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning.  Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance.  Christi is President of the Maryland Romance Writers and lives in Maryland with her husband.