Monday, October 22, 2018

A Game Of Chance


Mathematicians use numbers to explain the world around us. They spend their time constructing equations that pull together horribly complex concepts into simple lines of code. I’ve always been fascinated by the work they do, the way a bunch of numbers and symbols can explain the movement of the stars, or the number of petals on a plant, or even the way a nautilus creates its shell.

The power of maths will one day explain everything…that’s what they tell us…there will be an equation that sums up the entire universe. And maybe that’s true, maybe everything we are, everything we are ever going to be, will be encapsulated in a line of code.
But will that all-encompassing equation, those strings of numbers and symbols, ever be able to convey the beauty of literature, which is just as powerful as maths but in a completely different way?

A book is an almost magical thing which gives a completely different experience to every reader. We imagine the characters differently, the tone of voice in the lines of dialogue, even the scenery that the author has worked so hard to build. And the emotions…every reader will experience different emotions based on a zillion different things in their own lives. What happened yesterday, what happened the week before, the year before, the decade before…almost an infinite number of events and chance occurrences that influence our experience of the story.

Authors try hard to ensure that we get an emotional reaction from our readers, it’s our job. But we can never be quite sure what emotions we’re going to inspire. I remember a reader emailing me to tell me she had started crying at a certain point in one of my books. I had spent weeks building to that point, hoping the reader did cry there…it felt like a huge triumph that she had! But, equally, I am sure there were other readers who shrugged and tossed the book aside at that point. 

Different experiences, different emotions, the idea that we’ll ever get to a point where that can be summed up by symbols and numbers seems both amazing and ridiculous to me.
But then, there is no stopping the maths, and that concept was central to my characters in my new novel, A Game of Chance. I’m super excited to share it with you, and awed by the idea that you’ll all see something different when you read it, that’ll you’ll hear different voices, experience different emotions…and yes…there is a point where I am hoping you will cry, but also points where I hope that you smile, that you’re happy, that my words have made you happy.

An author and her reader…maybe the equation really is as simple as that.



Jack Richards made his first million when he was a nerdy teen. Now, he stays out of the limelight by using an alias, Jack Chance. As CEO of a billion-dollar tech company, Jack thought he had everything he wanted. Until she came storming into his office. With her electric blue hair and voluptuous curves, Meg Marlowe’s a video game fantasy come to life.
Computer genius Meg is convinced that X-Tech has stolen her work and she breaks into its headquarters to confront her idol, billionaire Jack Richards. Who she finds instead, is Jack Chance—all bulging muscles and hard planes, he couldn’t be further from the nerd CEO she expected. A misconception that Jack is happy to go along with.
Their attraction is instant, sizzling, electric…and Meg feels like she knows this guy, though she’s only just met him. But all is not what it seems at X-Tech and that, coupled with Jack’s lie, sends their red-hot relationship, and possibly his company, into a wormhole of doom. But in the game of love, he plays to win.


About the Author:
As a kid Emma wanted to be an astronaut, or maybe Captain Janeway. Because she didn’t really think her career choices through very well she ended up in an everyday geek job, crunching numbers and sighing over syntax. It seemed a long way from the stars and in an effort to remain sane Emma decided to get serious about her other passion. Writing.

Several years later and Emma has yet to walk on the moon or sit in the Captain’s chair, but she is still writing. She scribbles stories in all sorts of genres, contemporary, paranormal, post-apocalyptic, historical, sci-fi…if she hasn’t tried it yet she will before long. The only common theme is the romance. A hopeless romantic everything Emma writes has a love story in there somewhere.

She lives on the west coast of England with her awesome family and her many cats. Apart from all things geek reading is her main hobby and she likes nothing better than getting home from a hard day at work and curling up with a book, though sometimes she gets home and writes one instead.

www.authoremmashortt.com
Twitter @emmashortt





Thursday, October 18, 2018

Good Girl’s Bad Lessons


Congratulations to "Rachel B.", the winner in Carmen's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!


Hi, Just Contemporary Romance peeps! I’m sharing the excerpt of Good Girl’s Bad Lessons. In this scene, delicious Italian billionaire Nico Giordano went to his best friend’s home, when he was out of town. Nico wants to check on Emma, his buddy’s sister, who just had a crappy break-up. What Emma doesn’t know is Nico has been crushing on her for a long time…

(Keep reading and scroll down to enter the Amazon $10 GC Giveaway!)

When they entered the living area, Emma turned on two lamps and turned down the TV’s volume. She reached for the bottle of red wine and gestured it to him. “Want?”
Nico grabbed it from her hand. “Doesn’t it seem like you’ve had enough?”
She shook her head and took it back from him. “Please. I was dumped today. I’m entitled.”
He cleared his throat. “Your fiancé broke up with you?”
“Yeah. Said I suck in the bedroom,” she said, then chugged down the glass. “That’s a complaint I bet you never had.”
“Can’t say that I have.” He went to the kitchen, opened a few cupboards until he found wine glasses, and took one. When he returned, he poured himself some. What the hell could he say to make her feel better? He didn’t get this whole male/female friendship thing, which was why he never wasted time befriending the opposite sex. Still. A flicker of sadness gleamed in her pretty eyes, and he wanted it gone. “Listen, it has nothing to do with you. He’s the loser.”
She rolled her eyes at him, unfazed. “Whatever. It has everything to do with me. Simon’s perfect for me. And I’m perfect for him, if he’s willing to look past his stupid fantasies.”
He glanced down at the red contents in his glass. “He doesn’t know how to stoke that fire in you.”
“It’s not him. Like, I never had an orgasm before. I’m good at faking it. So it can’t be him.”
Poor girl. “Never?”
“Never. But it’s not like I slept with the entire city.”
Like I have. Hmmm… “You don’t need the entire city. You just need one person to make you come.”
“I guess. Sex isn’t really that important for me.”
“How can it not be? Relationships start with sex and end with sex,” he said matter-of-factly. Hell, it probably had been that way between his folks, too. If they’d stuck with sex and not foolish emotions, they wouldn’t have had a f**ked-up marriage and produced f**ked-up children. Not that he’d ever have to worry about making the same mistake. He’d gotten a vasectomy for that exact reason.
“Thanks.”
“I don’t mean to hurt you, but—”
She waved him off, impatient. “Listen, I know you’re the sex king. I get it. But all I want is someone to share my life with. Have kids. Someone who will be there through thick and thin, like my parents’ marriage.”
“I’m sorry Simon wasn’t that guy,” he said, even though he didn’t feel sorry at all.
“That’s where you’re wrong. He is that guy.
“I wish I wasn’t such a bad lay.”
He gritted his teeth. Her low self-esteem about her performance bugged him, and he didn’t even know why. “Dio, you can’t be.”
She shook her head. “Let’s face it. I never even came. Well, it’s not as easy for girls.”
“Not if your man knows what he’s doing. It wasn’t your fault.”
She sighed. “How can you be sure? You weren’t there.”
Enough talking. A mix of frustration and challenge worked its way into his bloodstream, pumping his veins so hard, they were about to pop. He shouldn’t be doing this, but hell, it was too f**king late. “But I’m here now…and I’m about to show you that you can come. Take off your robe, get on the sofa, and I’ll teach you a thing or two about orgasms.”

Want more? READ Good Girl’s Bad Lessons TODAY!

Giveaway:
Leave a comment and enter to win a $10 Amazon GC. Good luck! 

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Oct. 20th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Sheriff's Little Matchmaker


Congratulations to "Jonetta", the winner in Carrie's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!


When teacher Sasha Honeycutt kisses a handsome cowboy in a bar on a dare, she never expects to see him again. To her surprise, though, he walks through the door of her classroom for a parent-teacher conference. Sheriff Remy Fontenot might be sexy as sin, but Sasha has no interest in falling for another police officer. Rose Creek, Texas is her fresh start after being “that poor widow.” Only, Remy’s precocious daughter has big plans for the two of them…
After their stolen kiss, Remy knows there's a sexy woman hiding under that school marm charm. When fate—aka his seven-year-old—keeps putting her in his path, he decides to take it as a sign. His daughter needs a mom, and the intriguing, beautiful Sasha is perfect for the role. Not to mention their chemistry is off the charts. Unfortunately, he's set his sights on the one woman in town who has no interest in falling for another man with a badge.



Excerpt:
“I thought maybe you’d tracked me down.” He tilted his head and studied her, his dark-eyed gaze roaming over her.
“Absolutely not. Why would you think that?” Great. Squeaking was not the way to sound indifferent to his looks or charm. Nor did it say she was the one in charge. And she was, dammit, this was her meeting.
“You have to ask?” His gaze landed on her mouth.
Hands at your side. Do not touch your mouth. “That kiss was…was…”
“Electric?”
“I was going to say an aberration.” There. That would put him in his place, and they could get back to the matter at hand.
“Aberration? Oh, I’m hoping that means what I think it does.” He winked.
Is he for real? “Of course not. It means—”
His wicked laugh interrupted her and confirmed he was teasing. And relishing every minute of her discomfort. She fisted her hands. When had she lost control of her meeting? Honestly, Sasha, how about the moment he walked into the room? “Look, we really shouldn’t be talking about that kiss. We need to forget it.”
He gave her a side-eye look. “And how’s that working for you, cher?”
It’s not. “It’s working great. I’d had too much to drink and my behavior was…was…”
He cocked his head. “An aberration?”
The man was impossible. Too handsome for his own good. And if he thought calling her cher in that low sexy tone was— Oh, who the heck am I kidding? Her panties combusted a little each time he said it.
Determined to regain control of the situation, she stepped back, turned on her heel, grabbed the folder off her desk, and marched to the other side of the table she’d set up for this meeting. Taking her seat, she pointed to the child-sized chair on the other side of the table.
He looked from her to the chair and back to her, quirking an eyebrow. She gave him the look she used on unruly students, the look she’d perfected her first year in the classroom.
With a sigh, he settled his large frame—he had to be at least two or three inches over six feet—into the pint-size chair. Look at that, it worked. She straightened the folder so it was parallel to the edge of the table, then made sure the pencils and ruler resting next to it were straight. Now she could conduct her meeting…as long as she didn’t look at his mouth. Or think about that kiss. Or…

Giveaway:
Carrie will be giving away a digital copy of THE SHERRIF'S LITTLE MATCHMAKER to one person leaving a comment or email entry!

Bio:
Carrie Nichols won the 2016 Golden Heart® award sponsored by Romance Writers of America® for her short contemporary which became The Marine’s Secret Daughter, a February 2018 Harlequin Special Edition. The Sheriff’s Little Matchmaker won the 2015 Maggie Award of Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers and is the first in her Rose Creek, Texas series. Carrie was a hardy New Englander but traded snow for central AC when she moved to the Deep South. She loves to travel, is addicted to British crime dramas and knows a Seinfeld quote appropriate for every occasion. Carrie has one tolerant husband, two grown sons and an opinionated cat. To her dismay, Carrie's characters, much like her family, often ignore the wisdom and guidance she lovingly offers. She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Oct. 17th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

What is it about taboo books...


Congratulations to "Carito L.", the winner in Naima's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize.

What is it about taboo books that are just so…delicious? I don’t know about you, but when I see forbidden romance, my “Gotta Have” book nerd glands just start working overtime. I think it’s the illicit, “It’s so wrong, it has to be right” nature of it. The sense of urgency because we know they’re going to be found out and the ish is going to hit the fan. And in the ashes, how in the world are they going to find their happily ever after?

It’s all of those things that had me write SIN AND INK. Ex-MMA champion turned tattoo shop owner, Knox Gordon has been secretly in love with Eden Gordon for years. Even while she was married to his brother. But now his brother is dead, and Knox bears the guilt of his death, and Eden is still off limits to him. Because having her could cost him everything.

In the scene below, Eden goes out on a blind date with a man, and Knox is jealous seeing her with another man. The heat between them has already exploded a time or two, but he’s trying to maintain his distance. Good luck with that. :)

Aaand scene!

*******
“What’re you mad about?” I demand. “That I didn’t get permission before going out with a man? Maybe I would’ve considered telling you my plans if you hadn’t been avoiding me like the effin’ clap the last two weeks.” Like by going out of state with another woman. “But this is the thing. Last time I checked, I’m a grown-ass woman, and I don’t need your okay.”

Knox’s eyes narrow, and his mouth firms into a flat, grim line.

“What? No denial about avoiding me?” All the hurt, confusion, and anger seething inside me bubbles up my chest and into the brittle, cracked sound that some optimistic soul could label a laugh. “Screw this.”

I push past him, but a large hand wraps around my bicep in a gentle but implacable grip that stops me short. In the next second, the solid wall of his chest presses against my back, his thighs columns of marble behind mine.

“No, I’m not going to deny it,” he rumbles in my ear. “I left the f**king state twice to get away from you. It was either put as much distance between us as possible or slam you up against the nearest wall, table, chair, or goddamn floor and f**k you until your voice gave out from the screaming.”

His hand releases my arm and slides over my shoulder and cups my breast through my dress. I whimper, arrows of sharp pleasure darting from the tip to my clenching core.

“But I might as well as have saved the money and the gas. It was just geography. Didn’t stop me from lying there in that bed, imagining your mouth on me. Didn’t prevent me from believing I could still taste you on my lips.” He shifts forward, moving across the room, and I have no choice but to go with him, his huge body moving me like a marionette, and his frame, his hot words, the strings guiding me. “Didn’t keep me from wanting you and despising myself for it.”

I try to smother the caustic sting the last bit of his serrated confession sends blistering through me. He loathes himself for desiring me. Probably resents me, too, although he didn’t admit that.
Before I can reply, my spine aligns with the wall, and he plants his fist on either side of my head, his body looming over me. I’m surrounded by his heady scent, his warrior frame.

“I’m tired, Eden.” The hushed words are so at odds with the gritty language that preceded them that I’m taken aback. Can only stare up at him, struck speechless by the weariness that throbs in his voice and etches his taut expression. Eyes closed, he leans forward and presses his forehead to mine. I have to fight the urge not to brush my fingertips over the sensual curves of his mouth…over the light purple smudges under his eyes that telegraph his battle with sleep. “I’m so f**king tired of fighting.” His lashes lift, and I swallow a moan at the shadows darkening them. But not so dark I miss the sadness in their depths. Or the lust. The burning, glittering lust. “Give me the strength, baby,” he whispers. “Be my strength to walk away.”

That would be the right thing to do—the virtuous, moral thing. But the need blazing through me like an out-of-control wildfire razes morals and virtue to the ground, leaving the ashes scattered in the wind.

Instead, I choose to be his weakness.

Our downfall.

****

SIN AND INK



There's sin, and then there's literally going-straight-to-hell sin...
Being in lust with my dead brother's wife pretty much guarantees that one day I'll be the devil's bitch. But Eden Gordon works with me, so it's getting harder and harder to stay away. I promised my family—and him—I would, though.

My days as an MMA champion are behind me. But whenever I see her, with those wicked curves and soft mouth created for dirty deeds, it's a knock-down fight to just maintain my distance. "Hard Knox" becomes more than just the name of my tattoo shop. However, surrendering to the forbidden might be worth losing everything...


Giveaway:
To win a $5 Amazon gift card, tell me your fave taboo/forbidden romance book!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Oct. 16th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Hard And Fast


Congratulations to "Bn100", the winner in Kathy's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize.

Hot Bobcat catcher Connor had a family crisis at the All Star Game and had to skip on the interviews that team publicist Gia Kubic set up for him. The problem is over now (he thinks) and so he’s ready to get back to work and focus on winning the pennant race. At least that’s his plan until Gia tells him he’s got something he has to do first… (Make sure to check in at the end of the blog for a way to win a Locker Room Dairies Café mug!)

Chapter 3

            Back home.
            I inhaled the peculiar scent of male sweat and deodorized carpet that was the Bobcat home stadium. It was three days after the All Star Game. We’d won, by the way, and my knees weren’t any worse for wear.  Which meant now the team could get serious about the sport we all loved without the media distraction. The only thing looming was the trading deadline distraction, but that was a couple weeks away. Plenty of time for me to get the Bobcats focused on winning the pennant, and I was eager to get to it.
            I needed a pennant before my knees completely crapped out on me.
            But just before I made it to the privacy of the locker room, a perky brunette stepped in front of me--Gia Kubic looking fierce, which on her tiny frame looked adorable.
            “Connor, you’re looking happy this morning.” It was the opening salvo in her perky war, and I wasn’t having any of it.
            “Because I was about to go bond with my team. Practice is in thirty minutes.” I started to go around her, but she slipped right in front of me again. Impressive how she did that, while teetering in those heels.
            “I’m part of your team,” she said, smiling. “Come bond with me for a few minutes.”
            Not a chance. Not with her ginger spice scent teasing my nostrils. Little Connor was joining her in the perky department, and I had no desire to go down that road. “Sorry. Baseball stuff to do.” I was going to throw the ball around a bit before the practice started. That was my plan, in any case.
            Then she set her hand on my arm. “Sounds good to me,” she said, her ever-present smile in place.
            I glared at her hand because it was making my muscles clench. There was nothing lovelier than a woman’s hand. It heated just the right amount. It gave just enough pressure without being firm. And I could throw it off, whenever I wanted. Apparently, I didn’t want to, so I just glared at it until she pulled it back. And I—stupid ass that I was—regretted the loss. And then she kept talking.
            “I’ve been on the phone with your agent all morning.”
            “Charlie? Why?”
            “Because he wants me to do more to promote you.” She rolled her eyes, as if that was something she had to deal with every day.
            “I’m sorry I skipped out on those interviews. Thank you for covering for me. Rob did a good job with the extra attention.”
            She blinked in surprise, and then flashed a mega-watt smile. “Thank you. It helped that he won the Home Run Derby.” Apparently she hadn’t expected anyone to appreciate how well she’d managed to come up with damage control after I’d bailed. But I’d noticed, and I’d been very grateful to be able to get back early enough to spend time with my younger sister, Cassie, before the regular season games started up again. Seeing that she was okay had allowed me to come back to work today, ready to focus.
            “Don’t worry about Charlie.”
            “He wants me to make you into a media darling,” she huffed, the first sign that the perkiness was slipping.
            “I’ll talk to him—” I offered, but she waved it off.
            “And Joe DeLuce agrees. He’d like publicity to spend some time focusing on the Bobcat’s more stable, mature players.”
            Jesus, I was only twenty-seven! Hardly old enough to be talked about in those terms. “What happened to Jake and Ellie?”
            Her jaw tightened, and I saw that there was trouble in that fake paradise.
I grimaced. “I’ll talk to Jake.”
            Her eyes widened. No doubt she remembered the last time I’d “talked” to Jake—I’d nearly put him through a wall.
            “No, no! Whatever is going on with them is their business. We don’t need it in the media.”
            Which is exactly what I thought about my life. Damn it, I just wanted to play baseball. I had enough balls in the air. I didn’t need the complication of publicity, but she just kept talking.
            “So here’s your choice. I could pick the promotion I want you to do and get Joe to sign off on it.”
            “In which case, I’d have no say in the matter.”
            She grinned, as if I were an especially perceptive student. “Or you can be part of the discussion. Right now. With me.”
            I stared at her. I think I might have growled low in my throat. She just met my displeasure with determined cheer.
            “The more time we stand in the hall trying to stare each other down, the less input you’ll have into your own future.”
            “I pick my future,” I said. “Joe can’t force me to do any bullshit I don’t like.”
            She wrinkled her nose and looked up at the ceiling, as if she was trying to remember something. “Very true. But as I recall, your contract requires you to participate in all reasonable promotion.”
            She was right. “I think our definitions of reasonable are vastly different.”
            “Probably true,” she said with a laugh. The sound teased through my chest. “You won’t know unless you join me in my office,” she quipped, then she stepped around me and walked down the hall.

**GIVEAWAY** 
Kathy will be giving away a Series Café Mug to one lucky person leaving a comment or email entry.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Oct. 15th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Tunes

With: K. C. Enders

Congratulations to "Hefley1269", the winner in K.C.'s giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!


Hey! Hi! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here for the release of my third book.
Sure, it’s the second in my Beekman Hills series, but I snuck a little novella in there, so there’s
that. And while Tunes is every bit a rock star, second-chance romance, Gavin is anything but
your typical rock star. Maybe, just maybe, the second-chance is not quite what you’d expect.

They say that you write what you know. I know the town of Beekman Hills, New York.
I am well acquainted with the Irish pub at the center of this world, and the people and
relationships they have. ‘Gavin’ is a good friend of mine and I had the amazing opportunity to
chat with him the other day about Tunes, about how the character of Gavin is portrayed, his
personal traits, his heart. That was a wild  conversation to say the least! I hope you enjoy
Tunes and all things Beekman Hills and McBride’s Public House.


What’s more cliché than falling for a guy in a band or pinning for the one who got away?

Find out in TUNES by KC Enders, a Beekman Hills novel where a no-strings spring
break fling turns into something more for Gracyn George and rocker Gavin Keller.
Fans of A.L. Jackson’s STAY, DRUMLINE by Stacy Kestwick, and authors
Jiffy Kate & Winter Renshaw will love this spicy and angsty second-chance romance.


Title:  Tunes
Author: KC Enders
Release Date: October 1, 2018
Publisher: Self-published
Series: Beekman Hills #2
Genres: New Adult Romance
Word Count: 73K
Format: Paperback & digital

What’s more cliché than falling for a guy in a band?
A no-strings fling is all it was meant to be for Gracyn George. Sun, sand, sex, and then move
on. That was before he strummed his way into her life. Each note leaving a tingle in her spine,
their lasting melodies burned into her memory.

What’s more cliché than pining for the one who got away?

Gavin Keller has sacrificed far too much to chase after the girl who snuck out in the middle of
the night and left him wondering, What if …


No matter how high his star rises or how many sold-out shows he plays, he ends each concert
scanning the audience for her.


What was supposed to be temporary becomes a longing neither is willing to let go.
After months of trying to move on, can they sync the tunes in their hearts?
Available on Amazon and FREE in Kindle Unlimited!


Add to Goodreads → http://bit.ly/2oBSoX9


Check out these other titles in the Beekman Hill series!
TROUBLES (Book #1)
A chance at true happiness.


TWIST (Book #1.5)
A twist that no one can imagine.

Giveaway:
KC is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card and a Kindle copy of the first book in the series, TROUBLES


About KC Enders:

Karin is a New York Girl living in a Midwest world. A connoisseur of great words, fine bourbon,
and strong coffee, she’s married to the love of her life who is also her best friend.
The mother of two grown men, she is proud to say that they can cook, open car doors for the
ladies, and clean up after themselves (you’re welcome, world). Even though her boys no
longer live at home, the three dogs she’s rescued have taken up their empty space.


Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Oct. 14th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 

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