Monday, September 1, 2014

When One Night Changes Everything

With: Jennifer Hayward

Giveaway Alert!

I’m one of those people who could have gone to university forever! I took a journalism program which began with a ‘foundation year’ in which I studied the classics from the early philosophers right to modern day literary fiction. That was the entire year! I have to say I never really understood Plato, loved Nietzsche and ate up Dante like there was no tomorrow! Then, during the following three years of my degree, I gobbled up cool electives like Greek Mythology. Who needs to work?

I did manage to tear myself away from school to a career in journalism and PR. But, now with my books, I can indulge my passion for learning and research on the topics that fascinate me. I love interviewing interesting people for books like I did a former Las Vegas stripper for The Magnate’s Manifesto coming out in December. She was utterly fascinating and inspiring.

For my current book, Changing Constantinou’s Game, however, I went back to my roots. My heroine, Isabel, is a New York City broadcast reporter. During my journalism degree, I did an internship at a national sports broadcaster. What a rush it was. I loved the energy, but the competitiveness and pressure to stay on top made an impression on me. It takes a certain type of make-up to thrive in that profession.

Thus Izzie was born. A community reporter for a Manhattan television station, she’s on the verge of a career breakthrough. Having lost the fifteen pounds that have plagued her self-confidence since childhood, she’s on a roll, turning in great stories that have the network execs noticing. Then comes the shocking phone call from her boss while she’s on vacation with her girlfriends in Tuscany. An anchor job has opened up at NYC-TV and the network execs want her to compete. She should be over the moon. This is her chance to prove the brainy, less spectacular daughter of Hollywood actress, Dayla St. Peters, can shine in the spotlight just like her supermodel sister. But after spending her whole life trying to live up to her mother’s expectations, there’s no greater opportunity for Izzie  to crash and burn. She heads back to New York for the interview, diverting first to London to flush out an interview target for her boss. Simple enough? Until elevator-phobe Izzie gets stuck in an out-of-control lift -- with a man straight out of her fantasy playbook.

That man, of course, is Alexios Constantinou, who not only knocks Izzie’s brain sideways, but becomes the subject of the big story Izzie must land to earn the anchor job. Izzie might not regret her one-night-stand, but it’s making her life a big, fat mess.

Is what she’s dreamed of actually what’s going to make her happy?

I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Changing Constantinou’s Game. Thanks for having me here at Just Contemporary Romance! 

Changing Constantinou’s Game 

One kiss couldn't hurt, could it? 

Alexios Constantinou is notorious for his lethal charm, so when the exquisite Isabel Peters is—literally—dropped into his lap during a hellish elevator ride, he doesn't waste the opportunity! With tensions sky-high after their near-death experience, an insatiable desire ignites between them, and all bets are off. 

But when Alex discovers that reporter Isabel's next story is him, he's furious…yet determined to use it to his advantage. He's calling the shots, but the closer Isabel gets, the closer she comes to discovering his carefully concealed secret. Now, with everything at stake, he'll need a whole new game plan….

Changing Constantinou’s Game - Excerpt

Izzie focused on forking the small amount of food she thought she could consume into her mouth at the small candlelit table Alex had set on the terrace. The herbed pasta was delicious, but it was hard to eat when her heart was still pounding and her hands trembling so much negotiating a fork seemed like a new and highly complex activity. And why wouldn't it when she had literally jumped into the deep end and invited the most spectacularly good looking man she'd ever met to kiss her--and he had!  Not to mention the fact that the kiss had been the most incredible of her life and all she could think about was experiencing more of the bone-meltingly delicious heat that had coursed through her veins. It was like every nerve ending in her body had been switched on for the first time and she wasn't sure whether to revel in it or be completely terrified of what she was feeling.

She swallowed hard, forced down the food. The fact that she'd been right--that Alex was attracted to her--made her head feel like it was going to blow off.  Maybe Jo was right. Maybe it had been her defensive attitude that had turned men off in the past and not the fifteen extra pounds she'd been carrying. Which had always been her excuse.

She took another sip of the rich, full Cabernet that was going a long way to mellowing her out. But the wine didn't seem to be having the same effect on Alex who'd glowered at her throughout the entire meal-as if she'd committed a crime rather than simply kissed him.

She risked a quick glance at him.  He was still watching her with that same, implacable frown on his face, that penetrating blue gaze of his impossible to read. And it occurred to her she hadn't fully thought through her plan. She had the mind numbing confirmation he was attracted to her...the question now was what was she going to do about it?

Her heart pounding in her chest, she set her fork down with an abrupt movement, and the sound of metal clattering against fine china echoed in the still night air.

He gave her half-empty plate a narrowed glance. "That's all you're going to eat?"

"It was delicious, thank you. I think that's about all I can handle.'
"All right." He laid his fork down with a deliberate movement and pushed his plate away.  "Let's talk about what happened."

Gladly.  She took another sip of her wine to fortify herself and set the glass down.

"That kiss shouldn't have happened."

She was ready for that one.  "Why not?

"I'm much more experienced than you, Isabel. I'm not interested in relationships, in fact mine never last longer than a few months, and the women I date are well aware of that."

"So?"

He did a double take at the belligerent note in her voice. "You're also probably still in shock from what happened today."

"I'm absolutely fine," she countered.  "In fact I feel like I have more clarity right now than I've ever had in my life."

He sat back in his chair, his gaze on her face.  "What kind of clarity?"

She twisted the stem of her wine glass on the table, watching the blood red liquid shimmer in the candlelight. "That was my worst fear today. Facing it-getting through it-" she paused, looking up at him, "--it's made me realize how much of my life I've lived in fear...how many times I've not gone after what I wanted because I was afraid I wouldn't get it or it would explode in my face."

He gave a wary nod.  "That's a good realization."

She shook her head.  "I'm not looking for a relationship, Alex." A husky laugh escaped her.  "In fact, that's the last thing I need right now."

His eyes narrowed. "Then what are you looking for?"

"I don't want to live with any more regrets."

He shook his head, a wry smile curving his lips. "You're twenty-five, Isabel. How many regrets can you have?"

She took a deep breath, meeting his gaze head-on. "I will regret it if I walk away from tonight without exploring the attraction that's between us."

A muscle jumped in his jaw.  He sat there completely silent, staring at her.  "I'm not sure you know what you're doing."

She shook her head.  "I know exactly what I'm doing."

A long moment passed, it might have been four, five seconds, she wasn't sure. All she knew was that she was holding her breath, sure at one point he was going to reject her. The warm night air pressed so heavily against her lungs she thought they would burst.  And then something shifted, morphed on the air between them. And she got her answer in the darkening of his eyes.
***
Giveaway:
Jennifer will be giving away a print copy of Changing Constantinou’s Game to one lucky person leaving a comment or email entry.

Bio
JENNIFER HAYWARD has been a fan of romance since filching her sister’s novels to escape her teenaged angst.

Her career in journalism and PR, including years of working alongside powerful, charismatic CEOs and traveling the world, has provided perfect fodder for the fast-paced, sexy stories she likes to write, always with a touch of humour. You can find out more about Jennifer and her books and sign up for her newsletter at her website. Or you can find her on twitter and facebook.

Buy Links

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Sep. 2nd. 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 maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Rosa's Story


Rosa's Story is the first of two long-awaited sequels to Westridge, which was first published a little over three years ago. I never completed the planned trilogy because the publisher went under. I couldn't figure out the best way to get Westridge back out to readers (many publishers won't touch previously-published work), so I moved on to other projects for a while. 

However, I couldn't stay away from the fictional town or its residents for long. A few months ago, I republished Westridge, and this month I'm publishing Rosa's Story for the very first time.

If you haven't read Westridge yet, it's a contemporary romance novella that is free on Kindle this week only. It's a sweet and sensual story that focuses on the reunion of childhood sweethearts Gabby Jones and Jason Dawson. Rosa's Story focuses on Jason's ex-wife as she comes to terms with letting another woman into her daughter's life and finds love of her own. 

Rosa is a very different character from Gabby. She's a strong, confident, and passionate woman who knows exactly what she wants. As a single mother, she doesn't have time to play games. She finds everything she's looking for in a state construction worker named Dylan. He's kind and supportive, and their chemistry in the bedroom (and kitchen, etc.) is explosive. He's even great with her daughter, Penny. 

But there is plenty Rosa doesn't know about him and his past, and that may very well affect their future.

At the same time that Rosa is trying to cultivate a new relationship with Dylan, she is also struggling to become friends with Gabby for Penny's sake. It isn't an easy task for either woman, seeing as their rivalry dates back to high school. But when a near-tragedy strikes Rosa's family, they manage to find common ground. Rosa just needs to find common ground with Dylan, too.

Fans of Westridge will also be happy to see how Jason and Gabby's relationship develops in this brand new small-town love story.

ROSA'S STORY

Rosa has a beautiful daughter and a great relationship with her ex-husband, Jason. But when his childhood sweetheart returns to the small town of Westridge, she begins feeling left out and insecure. She just can't get used to the idea of sharing her daughter with another woman, and their picture perfect love story makes her lack of a love life feel like a glaring failure.

In the midst of her emotional upheaval, she meets Dylan, a burly, tattooed construction worker who soothes her wounded pride and aching heart. They enter into a fast-paced, passionate affair, and Rosa finds herself falling for him in just a matter of weeks.

Against his better judgement, Dylan falls for Rosa, too. But he's in no position to be in a relationship. He doesn't have a car, he doesn't have a place of his own, and he has the kind of past that matches his rough appearance. He's made mistakes Rosa couldn't possibly forgive, and he may never get up the courage to admit to them.

The result? A ticking time bomb of a romance that's sure to rock both their worlds and leave neither unscathed.


Exclusive Excerpt

  [Gabby] glanced toward the living room, and Rosa followed her gaze. Penny was setting up a tea party with four dolls and a pink plastic tea set. Rosa looked back at Gabby. The other woman’s eyes were a little dark, a little resentful, filled with longing.

  “You know, Gabby,” Rosa began, understanding warring with protective, maternal instincts. She’d seen that look before from the redhead, and she had to stop blaming her daughter for what happened. “If we’re going to make this work, you have to stop looking at Penny like that.”

Gabby’s gaze shot back to the blond, and her cheeks reddened again.

  “I know,” she murmured, taking a sip of coffee. “It’s just…difficult.”

  “This isn’t exactly a cake walk for me, either.”

  “I know that.” Gabby set her coffee down and met Rosa’s gaze. “And I love Penny. How can I not? She’s a part of Jason.”

“She's also a part of me. And you’ve always hated me.” Rosa tried to keep her voice gentle and took another sip of coffee.

“I never hated you.” Gabby’s tone lost its defensive edge. “I just didn’t have a lot of self-confidence in high school.”

“Well, you should have. I never matched up to you.”


Gabby was unapologetic. “That’s the thing about soul mates. There’s only one.”

“I guess you’re right.” 

Rosa continued sipping coffee and watching her daughter. Maybe this was a mistake. Everything had seemed so simple a few months ago. Gabby was back in town, Rosa was happy, Jason could be happy…She wanted him to be. But they still had to make this jumbled family work. And she wasn’t sure Gabby could let their old rivalry go. 

“That’s not the difficult part, anyway. We’re both adults. The past is the past.”

Rosa glanced at Gabby. “What is it then?”

“I’m actually surprised you haven’t heard. Once Mrs. Dawson found out, I expected everyone to know.” Gabby paused and toyed with her mug, avoiding Rosa’s gaze. “I left Westridge because I was pregnant.”

  Shock and something else coursed through Rosa’s veins. She was stunned. “Jason’s?” she whispered.





Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Gotta Be Me


Congratulations to "Irma J." the winner in Kate's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

What do you want to be when you grow up? Some people know the answer to that question like its engraved on their bones. Some struggle before finding the answer. Some never find out and languish in careers that are just the means to a paycheck. 

Becca Chen, the heroine of my latest hockey romance, Across the Line, is one of the lucky ones who knew what she wanted to do, but she still struggled because her parents were adamant that she become a doctor, like the rest of her family. Cooking was not an auspicious profession.

Calder Griffin, the hero, also knew from the time he was a boy that he wanted to play professional hockey, perhaps because his dad dreamed of his sons playing for the National Hockey League and even named them after NHL trophies. But unlike Becca, Calder wanted to play hockey. He ate, breathed, and slept hockey. Lucky for him, he had the talent and the drive to make it big.

Across the Line (In the Zone book 2) 
by Kate Willoughby



Calder Griffin needs to get back in shape. Sidelined last season by a knee injury, he's determined to return to the San Diego Barracudas and play the best hockey of his career. This might even be the year he gets out of his talented older brother's shadow.

For months, Becca Chen has poured her energy into Cups, the restaurant she owns, desperate to prove to her parents that she can succeed in the career of her choice, not theirs. But after she spends a five-hour plane ride flirting with charming, magic-on-the-ice Calder, she tells herself she needs a fling.

Becca and Calder can't keep their hands off each other, but they know the relationship can't last. They live on opposite coasts, and they're both too devoted to their careers. All they have to do is prevent their feelings from crossing the line from lust to love...

Amazon | Carina Press | iTunes | Barnes & Noble 

"With this second book in the series, this author just made my "auto-buy author" list!!" - 5 stars, Christi of Smitten With Reading

"As long as Kate Willoughby keeps writing, I will keep reading her wonderful books." -  4.5 stars, Steffi from Swept Away by Romance.

"I enjoyed the book so much that I have gone back and purchased the first book in the series..." -5 stars, Christine Mize, Goodreads

Giveaway:
Tell me about your passion—whatever it is that feeds your soul—and you could win a copy of either of my In the Zone hockey romances: On the Surface or Across the Line

Author Bio:
Kate Willoughby happily writes her hockey romances in Southern California. She is married and has two sons, a dog, and a betta fish. When she’s not writing, she’s watching hockey. When it’s not hockey season, she whines a lot.

If you’d like to keep up with Kate’s new releases, subscribe to her newsletter. You can also watch her succumb to her Twitter addiction, laugh while she flails around on Facebook, or ogle the man candy, among other things, on Pinterest.


Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Aug. 28th. 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 maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

Monday, August 25, 2014

In Praise of the Village People


There are as many ways to find success as an author as there are people in the world. But one thing every author has in common is access to a village. Everyone knows it takes a village to raise a child—but it also takes a village to write a novel. In my case, in fact, I sometimes think it takes a large metropolitan area. 

Think about the list of services and experts authors use throughout the writing process: brainstorming groups, critique groups, professionals for researching purposes, technology experts to make the computer work again when it goes kablooey in the middle of a chapter, beta readers, editors, copy-editors, formatters, cover designers, people with marketing ideas and expertise, Mark Zuckerberg (for all the new and inventive ways Facebook changes to make our writing lives easier, duh), and our families and friends for being our first book shills. 

Add to mine:  cheerleaders, hand-holders, drill sergeants (to crack the whip and make me write), and an agent. The list seems endless.  

But then come THE READERS. Wow, to the readers! The whole rest of the village, tribe, town, city, or megalopolis might just be superfluous without an audience.

It’s taken me a while to start building my group of readers—one that doesn’t include only the members of my big village. I didn’t start writing with a bang and a huge break into popularity. My audience has come to me in a trickle that is slowly becoming a stream—approaching a steady stream. And I’m like a kid at Christmas with every new message from someone who isn’t my mom. 

Now that I’ve finished four books and, as I’ve shown above, know what it took to get them published, I definitely feel a sense of obligation to all the friends and fans who’ve paid to take a chance on my stories, and an obligation to those who helped me get the books into the world. I want to do my best work for them. I want each book to be worth their time.  This is a rather subjective goal, of course, because not everyone will love every book no matter how much care I put into it. But with luck, good craftsmanship will carry me through. 

Which, however much I said it wasn’t necessary without readers, brings me back to my village. Without it, my craftsmanship definitely suffers. So maybe my village people aren’t superfluous at all. This might be a chicken-and-egg dilemma:  Which is more important, writing partners or a writer’s readers? I haven’t any idea. I don’t want to get along without either. I’m pretty sure my fellow authors feel the same. 

It just so happens that as I write this I’m at an annual retreat with my critique partners. Maybe that’s made me overly warm and fuzzy toward these women who are my mentors and friends, and is why I’m writing this tribute. All I know is, I’ve got a new series of books that need to be started. My excitement is huge, but even so I haven’t been able to write word one on them until this week when I’ve had this opportunity to gather my CPs’ wisdom and encouragement.

At the same, maybe I’m feeling all squishy inside about my readers because I have two already-written books coming out back-to-back in September and October. The first, BEAUTY AND THE BRIT, has just received its first pre-release reviews, and a brand new-to-me reader gave it wonderful praise. I’m humbled by the “other half” of my writing team coming through in such a positive way. 

See? It’s not possible to be an author without practically a whole East Coast of the U.S.-sized group helping you along!

So, this IS a tribute and a thank you—to everyone who is a part of my life and to ANY writer’s life. READERS:  you need to know how much we think of you as the rock stars. We love you.  CRIT PARTNERS (and everyone else mentioned above):  you need to know how indispensable you are. Because . . . you are!

Please tell me all about the person or people who is/are indispensable in your life. And, if you’re interested in those two new books of mine coming out soon you can check them out or pre-order them! 

Beauty and the Brit:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Good Guys Wear Black:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble


Sunday, August 24, 2014

TOP TEN BOOKS


Giveaway Alert!

Hey there. I’m Ophelia London, author of the shiny-new “Love Bites,” and I’m cray-cray about love stories. So I’ve decided to take this opportunity to talk about my favorites books with romantic hooks. *rubs hands together* Let’s get started!

“Pride & Prejudice” by Jane Austen
Two words: Mr. Darcy. We might as well get this out of the way: I love P&P. I read it as a teenager and never really got over it. Not only is the story timeless, but the traditions and manners and charm Austen’s paints of Regency England makes me sob for a time machine. 

“Jaws” by Peter Benchley
I know, I know but hold on. Yes, the blood-bath-of-a-movie is uber-famous, but it was taken from a 1974 novel. For the most part, the movie holds pretty true to the action of the book, except for one huge thing…the romance. Funny thing is it all takes place in one chapter and is barely touched on again. But can I tell you…it’s hot! Oh, and I love sharks, too. Heehee

 “Outlander” by Diane Gabalon
Speaking of time machines… Even if this wasn’t a “time travel” book—which turns a surprising number of people off before they’ve even met sexy Jamie Fraser—(swoon!), it’s adventurous, romantic and has all the feels. So excited it’s finally coming to TV.

“Anybody Out There?” by Marian Keyes
Marian Keyes is the master at taking tragic subjects and adding warm and wet-my-pants humor. Her talent never ceases to amaze me. And if you’re not following her on Twitter, start now!

“Austenland” by Shannon Hale
This book is about a woman who is obsessed with Pride & Prejudice; more specifically, the 1994 BBC version of P&P staring Colin Firth. I mean, hello?

“Losing It” by Cora Carmack
The last chapter and epilogue still make me giggle and stare off into space. I love tidy wrap-ups to swoony stories.

“Anna & the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins
Good golly, do I love a great YA. Maybe it was my own boring high school experience that made me live vicariously though this lucky high school senior who spends her senior year in Paris only to fall in love with a dreamy boy with an accent.

 “I’ve Got Your Number” by Sophie Kinsella
What I love: Who knew a page of “xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx” could make one so giggly? 

“Much Ado About Nothing” by William Shakespeare
Enemies-to-Lovers has always been my favorite type of storyline, and the Bard’s rom-com from circa 1599 hits it out of the park.
“I do love nothing in the world so well as you—is not that strange?” 

“Bridget Jones’s Diary” by Helen Fielding
Honestly, I can’t say enough about this book. It was my first proper P&P retell and done so perfectly. Who didn’t melt when dreamy Mark Darcy told a mortified Bridget that he likes her just as she is?

How do you like your romances? Perfect Matches or Enemies-to-Lovers? And don’t forget to enter my rafflecopter for a chance to win some pretty awesome prizes!

LOVE BITES

Falling in love is like swimming with sharks...

Sharona Blaire is only in Australia for a business audit, but she’s determined to make the most of her one free night. So when she spills her drink on a handsome stranger and they end up flirting, she does something completely out of character—she kisses him. But the prospect of taking it further totally freaks her out…almost as much as discovering the next morning that the man she’s auditing is the sexy, tanned stranger she left with zero explanation.

Amazon | Barnes and NobleEntangled Publishing

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Scene Stealing Secondary Character Actually Stole a Book!


Congratulations to "Marcy", the winner in Tracy's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Are you ready for some football?  Meet the Baltimore Blaze, the team behind my Out of Bounds series of sports romances.  My latest release is Risky Game, the story of Blaze tight end, Brody Janik.  I know I’m not supposed to admit it, but Brody is my favorite child among all the players on the fictitious Baltimore Blaze football team.  But if I’m telling the truth here, the book I was supposed to release today was never going to be Brody’s story.  As a matter of fact, my favorite child was actually *cough* an accident.  

You see, I never saw Brody on the horizon when I was plotting out the books I was contracted for.  He just appeared on page thirty three of Foolish Games, wearing his trademark neon sneakers and lounging on Will Connelly’s sofa.  Loose-limbed and carefree, the blue-eyed jock breezes through life with his charming smile and athletic grace.  I was immediately smitten.  But there’s more to Brody than just his cover boy good looks and all-pro ball handling skills.  He’s vulnerable on many fronts and he’s trying his best to hide it from the world.  

But as most superstars discover, their life is not always their own.  Brody’s being dogged by a blogger who could possibly bring down his career.  He’s used to women selling him out to the tabloids for their fifteen minutes of fame and some cash, but the health condition he’s keeping secret could change the course of his life.  That has Brody in a panic because he isn’t really sure what he wants to be when he’s forced to give up the game and “grow up”.

I had a lot of fun writing Risky Game.  He’s a sort like a modern day Peter Pan. The woman I put in Brody’s path—Shannon Everett—is smart, sassy and not blinded by his shine.  Finally, a woman who “gets” him.  Readers will also get to reconnect with Shane and Carly from Game On and Will and Julianne from Foolish Games, as well as many of the Blaze secondary characters.  Because Brody’s story takes place during the season, they’ll be some on the field action, too.

So tell me, are you a fan of sports romances?  If you are, do you like them to include scenes from the playing field?  Obviously, I’m a big fan of the genre.  Here are a few of my favorites:

   Body Check by Deidre Martin
   This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
   Slow Heat by Jill Shalvis
   See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson

Giveaway:
Leave a comment or share the title of your favorite sports romance books and I’ll select one reader to win a signed copy of Risky Game.  

Book Blurb:

Brody is at the top of his game… until Shannon changes the rules. 

Baltimore Blaze tight end Brody Janik is a natural-born football star. At twenty-seven, his record-breaking athletic performance and his cover-boy good looks have turned him into a household name. But Brody’s hiding a major secret behind his charming public persona: a health condition that may cut his career short.

PhD candidate Shannon “Shay” Everett works multiple jobs to put herself through school—including an unpaid internship with the Blaze training department. Strapped for cash, Shay answers the call of an NFL gossip blogger to uncover personal details about the Blaze players. Sneaking into the locker room one night, she gets entangled in Brody’s secret…and swept up by his charm.

Brody isn’t sure what to make of the gawky girl with the whiskey eyes, especially when he discovers she was snooping. His first instinct is to turn her in as a snitch, but she could destroy him by sharing his secret. Instead, he decides to keep her close…perhaps closer than either of them originally intended.

Buy Links:
Amazon; Barnes and Noble; Books A Million; iBooks; Indie Bound; Google Books; Powell’s Books
Available as an audio book August 27, 2014.

Where to find Tracy:
www.Tracysolhem.com 
Facebook: Tracy Solheim Books
Twitter: TracyKSolheim

Author Bio:
After years of writing reports and testimony for Congress, Tracy Solheim decided to put her fiction writing talents to better use.  In 2013, Berkley Publishing launched her Out of Bounds series, featuring the fictional Baltimore Blaze football team.  She lives in the heart of SEC country, also known as the suburbs of Atlanta, with her husband and their two works-in-progress.   When she’s not at the barn with her daughter or working out with friends (i.e. lifting heavy bottles of wine), she’s writing.  Except for when she’s reading, but according to her, that’s just necessary research.  

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Aug. 23rd. 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 maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Batter Up


Giveaway Alert!
Hi Everyone!

I’m so excited to be visiting Just Contemporary Romance with an excerpt from Batter Up, my super cute romantic comedy that has just a touch of magic. Check it out, and be sure to enter the giveaway below!

Batter Up

She mixes more than flour and sugar into her cake batter, and he’s about to find out if a little bit of magic is to his taste...

Bakeshop owner Emma Stevens has a secret — a delicious, slightly unorthodox secret. Each Monday, she mixes up a premonition to share with the bachelors of Buttermilk Falls, and sets one lucky man on the path to true love.

When reporter Jason Levine finds himself mixed up in a Las Vegas bachelorette party, he hears the strangest rumor: the marriage is happening thanks to magic cake batter. Seriously skeptical, and sick of frauds, Jason journeys to the backwater town of Buttermilk Falls to expose the baker and release the townspeople from her evil clutches.

But when Jason meets Emma, tempers flare and sparks fly. Will Jason cling to his logic at the expense of a future, or will he let himself fall under Emma’s spell?

Excerpt

‘Hey, ease up on the handle, will ya? What did that flour ever do to you?’ Abby had joined her in the kitchen.

Emma sighed. ‘Just trying to get this batch in the oven.’

‘Well, that might have to wait. You have a visitor out front.’

Emma flipped around. ‘Who?’ She reached behind her and started to untie her apron. ‘Michael?’

‘Your fling.’

‘Oh,’ she said flatly, retying the strings behind her. ‘What does he want?’

‘To see you, silly.’ Abby walked up behind her, swatting Emma’s hands away from her apron’s ties. ‘You’re not wearing this.’

Emma sighed and took off the apron. ‘Why won’t he go away?’

‘Um…because you bought him.’

‘Don’t remind me.’ Emma started to stir her mixture, flipping her recipe book with her free hand. She was trying a new vanilla bean cupcake concoction with exotic vanilla flavoring.

‘You need to go talk to him!’

‘Fine.’ Emma reluctantly set her wooden spoon down and rinsed her hands.

‘You know, dear cousin, there could be worse ways to spend your summer than hanging out with Mr. Tall, Dark, and Sexy.’ She shrugged her shoulders. ‘I’m just sayin’.’

Emma smoothed her hair. ‘I’ll sell him to you for five thousand.’ She peeked out the kitchen doors. ‘I wonder what he wants.’

Abby laughed. ‘Oh, I know what he wants.’ She swatted Emma on the butt.

‘Really, Abs?’ Emma rolled her eyes and pushed open the swinging doors. She took a deep breath. There at the counter sat Jason Levine - her summer fling - dressed casual in a royal V-neck T-shirt and jeans. He was hunched over reading the local newspaper she’d left on the counter for patrons. No laptop in sight.

‘Hi.’ She walked up, inhaling the delicious spicy scent that surrounded him. God, he smelled amazing. 

‘Good morning.’ He looked up and smiled, showing his sexy dimples.

‘Can’t you put those away?’

‘Put what away?’

‘Nothing.’ Emma, get a grip. They’re just dimples. She reached for a full coffee pot behind her and refreshed his cup. 

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Giveaway
In Batter Up, the Sugar Spoon bakery is the hot spot for match making every Monday night. The bachelors of Buttermilk Falls flock to the counter to watch Emma do her magic, whipping up the name of one lucky guy’s soul mate in her cake batter. Share your favorite bakery treat, and you’ll be entered to win an electronic copy of Batter Up. Thanks for stopping by!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Aug. 21st. 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 maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.