Saturday, March 28, 2015

Romantic Therapy


Giveaway Alert for 2 winners!

Thank you for hosting me at Just Contemporary Romance. 

Romance novels are more than entertainment to me, they are my chosen form of therapy. There’s a part of me that believes every woman wants some form of consuming love in her life. If I had the power to grant passion filled lives to all the wonderfully made women of the world, I would. Unfortunately, the real world is impervious to my brand of super powers, but in the fantasy world of romantic fiction my pen is magical. I pour all the angst, hurt and disappointments of life into my characters. Then I throw in the moments that take your breath away, all the small victories, and the life changing decisions, and I make them heroes and heroines that we all can love. 

The balance between love and hate is constantly tested in romance novels. The journey of taking an initially hard to love character and slowly revealing the complexity of their personality, and then moving toward empathy and acceptance is cathartic. The growth from selfishness to selflessness is thrilling every time for me. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone took the time to really know your uniqueness as a individual? And more importantly, celebrate and appreciate your value to the world. 

In Chasing Ava, Ava Walter’s is fighting for more than her dream, she’s fighting to regain her voice in a world that has left her scarred inside and out. 

CHASING AVA

Ava Walters is a pediatric nurse who doesn't do relationships. An abusive past has left her wounded, but she is determined to pursue her dream of becoming a Navy Nurse. Ava is in the midst of rebuilding her life when she is targeted by a sexual harasser who wields the power to destroy her dream before it sets sail. 

Logan Masters, is an ambitious specialty surgeon whose past is riddled with betrayal. His trust in women is conditional - no secrets and no boundaries. When he comes to Ava's rescue, there is no denying the spark of attraction. Things get complicated when Logan pursues Ava, rather than the arranged relationship that holds the key to his future. 

After years of being alone Ava starts to believe that love is possible under Logan’s skillful touch. But Ava is harboring a secret she doesn’t want exposed. Determined to guard her heart, Ava soon discovers Logan is as focused on winning her heart as she is at shielding it. 

When secrets and broken alliances threaten to torpedo both their futures, how will they learn to trust each other and chart a new course to lasting love? 

Amazon 

Giveaway:
Siera is giving away a digital copy of Chasing Ava, her debut contemporary interracial romance on March.31.2015 to two lucky people that leave a comment or email entry. 

About the Author:
Siera London knew she wanted to be a writer when she kept searching for interesting topics to write. She tried fiction writing first, but when the words of the page bored her to tears, she decided to write what she enjoyed reading. By day, she is a nurse practitioner at a private pediatric clinic. At night, she writes sizzling romances with emotion and humor.
A lover of all things culinary, Siera lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband, and a color patch tabby named Frie. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, teaching or volunteering in the local community. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America.

Connect with Siera London
Visit my website: http://www.sieralondon.com
Follow me on Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest
Subscribe to my mailing list
E-mail me at: sieralondonwrites@gmail.com

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST March 29th. 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.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

O captain, my captain


I’m a flute-toting band geek who grew up watching Star Wars, Star Trek and the original Battlestar Galactica. I loved Firefly and was sorely tempted to boycott FOX when the network canceled it after only a few episodes.

FOX canceled a lot of shows without giving them a chance — *cough* Pasadena — but that’s a blog post for another day.

Back to my point. Promise I have one.

Lately, when I’m not writing, I’ve been binge-watching The Big Bang Theory. It’s one of those shows I didn’t catch on first run because of my work schedule — weekdays from 3 p.m. to midnight doesn’t lend itself to much prime-time TV viewing.

Now that I’m catching up, I love the show, the characters and all the sci-fi talk. I recently saw an episode where Leonard questions the SyFy network’s name change. He said all the things I remember thinking at the time.

But one question Sheldon asked Leonard really got me thinking, especially with its tie in to
my new book, BREAKING ALL THE RULES.*

On the episode where Leonard tells Penny how he and Sheldon became roommates, he recounts the roommate questionnaire. It’s a long, convoluted process with one standout question: Kirk or Picard?
Great question, amIright?

Allow me to pause for just a moment to make a case for Jonathan Archer, the captain in Enterprise.
Sure, the show may not be as popular or well-loved as Star Trek or Star Trek: The Next Generation — and that answer would undoubtedly disqualify me to be Sheldon’s roomie. However, consider this: I’m a sucker for a prequel. Learning how Earthlings began winging through space, going where no man has gone before, was — and still is — fascinating.
Besides, Capt. Archer is played by Scott Bakula. Call me crazy, but I’ve had a thing for Bakula since Quantum Leap. The episode where he leaps back home and sings John Lennon’s “Imagine” to (I think) his sister brings a tear to my eye every time.

His Archer approaches space exploration with the wonder of a child and the wisdom of an elder. I had fun watching him try to make sense of new worlds ... and spar with his Vulcan science officer.

If forced to choose between Kirk and Picard, I’d have to say my choice depends on the REST of the question.

Who would I want to serve under if I were in Starfleet?

Picard. His grace under pressure never fails.

Who would I want to be romantically involved with?

While Picard has that regal bearing and sexy accent on his side, I’d go with Kirk — without a doubt. William Shatner or Chris Pine. Doesn’t matter. 

Who’s your captain? Kirk? Picard? Archer? Or are you more of a Kathryn Janeway or Benjamin Sisko fan?

P.S. Enjoy this YouTube clip from CNN, in which William Shatner reveals who would win in a fight, him or Picard.


BREAKING ALL THE RULES

Faced with compliance of a ridiculous new Arizona law, by-the-book mental health care facility administrator Allyson Cunningham must find an interpreter who speaks a made-for-TV language. Prime candidate Donovan Marshall has the language skills she so desperately needs, but shows a disturbing disregard for all rules and restrictions. While Allyson struggles to secure another perfect rating for her facility, convince Donovan to conform and control her inappropriate attraction to an employee, Donovan makes it his prime directive to persuade starchy Ally it doesn’t hurt to break a few rules.

Find BREAKING ALL THE RULES at Turquoise Morning Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords and All Romance eBooks.

About Arlene: 
Arlene Hittle is a Midwestern transplant who now makes her home in northern Arizona. She has her father to thank for her love of all things sci-fi. He took her to see Star Wars when she was six. She immediately fell in love with R2-D2, C3PO and Luke Skywalker. (Only with the Star Wars re-release in the ’90s did she succumb to the bad-boy appeal of Han Solo.) Find her at arlenehittle.com, on Twitter or on Facebook.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Contemporary versus Historical Westerns: An Author’s Perspective

With: Shirleen Davies

Giveaway of a $15 gift card!

Calling something a “western” tends to conjure up images of the old west, but plenty of western stories are contemporary as well, including my new release ALWAYS LOVE YOU. I enjoy writing both and want to shed some light on the appeal of each one, and also the challenges of writing one versus the other.

THE APPEAL AND BENEFITS OF…

Historical Westerns

The unfamiliar is automatically a little intriguing, and as readers, we tend to romanticize times and cultures we can’t fully access. Nobody living now has first-hand experience of life in the old west, so we are naturally curious about what it may have been like to live and love on the frontier.

The old west is a bona fide cultural phenomenon. Hundreds of films, TV shows, and books paved the way for authors like me to continue to contribute to the genre. The prevalence of old west themed media does quite a lot to boost our natural curiosity about the nation’s past. I write knowing many readers have a special place in their hearts for books like mine.

Why? One word: Escapism. Losing yourself in a book is never as powerful as when you’re losing yourself in a tale so different from your own reality.

We admire the rugged, independent values embraced by pioneers and cowboys, and are impressed (and wooed) by men and women who survived and thrived in difficult times

Contemporary Westerns

Where historical westerns are intriguing, modern western stories are relatable. Even if you’ve never been near a horse or ridden a motorcycle down Route 66, you can still put yourself in the shoes of a modern man or woman very different from yourself with relative ease. 

Where one reader is thrilled by learning about life in the past, some readers might be distracted by trying to imagine the setting of a historical western. This is just a matter of personal preference, but reaching a wider and more diverse audience is never a bad thing.

As a writer of contemporary romances, I am able to focus less time on establishing the time period. I wouldn’t write historical westerns if I didn’t love to do it, but the change of pace is nice.

In some ways, contemporary westerns carry less baggage than historical westerns. This allows me a little more freedom and creativity in how I interpret the idea of what constitutes a western story.

THE SPECIFIC CHALLENGES OF…

Historical Westerns

Research! Research is a major, key, time-consuming element when writing historical novels. I’m thankful that I’ve accumulated quite a bit of knowledge, and that many of my books are set in the same location and time period. Until you write an historical novel, you may not think of all the subject writers need to research. How was the landscape different then? What didn’t they have? How did they get X, Y, or Z done if they didn’t have A, B, or C? What would someone do for a living, or for fun? What was that part of the country called before it was named Arizona?

Making characters relatable when their lives are so different is challenging, but I’m not complaining. I like to include a lot of my characters’ inner lives and cover universal themes as relevant 200 years ago as they are now. The themes are permanent fixtures of the human condition, but the specific details vary over time.

I know I need to write books that stand out among the hundreds of western novels already in existence. I need to establish my own je ne sais quoi. It can be challenging to take an existing framework of what readers expect of an historical western romance and still add what I want to make it my own. 

Contemporary Westerns

There are many authors writing modern western romance novels, but I would still say that there’s less of a collective consciousness surrounding contemporary western stories. The whole “fewer expectations” thing is both a blessing and a pleasant challenge.

A western tale isn’t western just because it takes place in the west. The story still needs certain elements that mark it as being part of the western genre. I’d say two of the strongest elements that give a modern story a specific western flavor are a rugged, outdoor setting, and a protagonist defined by some combination of independence, integrity, and determination—the qualities we tend to associate with traditional cowboys.

And this is the bridge between historical and contemporary romances set in the west. The character of the heroes and heroines don’t change. It’s their strong set of ethics that helps to define them and keep readers wanting more.

“Romance, adventure, motorcycles, cowboys, suspense—everything you want in a contemporary western romance novel.”

Eric Sinclair loves his bachelor status. His work at MacLaren Enterprises leaves him with plenty of time to ride his horse as well as his Harley…and date beautiful women without a thought to commitment.

Amber Anderson is the new person at MacLaren Enterprises. Her passion for marketing landed her what she believes to be the perfect job—until she steps into her first meeting to find the man she left, but still loves, sitting at the management table—his disdain for her clear.

Eric won’t allow the past to taint his professional behavior, nor will he repeat his mistakes with Amber, even though love for her pulses through him as strong as ever.
As they strive to mold a working relationship, unexpected danger confronts those close to them, pitting the MacLarens and Sinclairs against an evil who stalks one member but threatens them all.

Eric can’t get the memories of their passionate past out of his mind, while Amber wrestles with feelings she thought long buried. Will they be able to put the past behind them to reclaim the love lost years before?

Read, Always Love You, book five in the MacLarens of Fire Mountain Contemporary Romance series.

Excerpt:

The trip to her apartment had been excruciating. Not so much because of where she sat, within arm’s reach of him. It had more to do with his acceptance he still loved Amber, wanted her back in his life and his bed—always. No other woman had been able to find a way into his heart the way she had, and there’d been many who’d tried.

He’d spent the drive trying to come up with the right words, something to make her understand he’d never stopped loving her. The fear she’d turn from him again began to fade as the need to find out if they could ever have a future took over. He’d seen the way she watched him when she thought he wasn’t looking. The regret he’d seen almost choked him.

It had taken all his willpower to unlock her door and step aside instead of taking her in his arms. Now he found his control falter as she stared up at him.

His chest squeezed as his breath caught. He reached for her hand, turning it over to press his mouth to her palm, never taking his gaze from hers. Her lips parted, her breathing quickened. The air around them pulsed as if they’d been enveloped in a magnetic force neither could escape.

“Amber…” He whispered her name a moment before lowering his head until his mouth came down on hers. The first touch seemed almost tentative before he wrapped his arms around her and tightened his hold. The kiss deepened, his mouth devouring hers, hot and moist.

He could feel her hands move up his arms to wrap around his neck, pulling him tight, melding her body to his. He groaned as her tongue traced his lips, sending a hot ache through him. Gathering her closer, he explored the recesses of her mouth until he pulled away on a ragged breath, letting his lips trace a path down her neck to the soft spot at the base. He sucked lightly before moving back up to reclaim her mouth.

Amber’s caution shattered at the first touch of his lips to hers. It had been so long and she wanted him so much. The feel of his mouth devouring hers sent waves of heat pulsing through her. She remembered how they used to be together and began to feel the same sense of urgency. Her hands moved under his jacket, splaying across his back.

“Ah, baby,” he groaned as fire roared through him. “God, I want you.”

Bio
 Shirleen Davies writes romance—historical, contemporary, and romantic suspense. She grew up in Southern California, attended Oregon State University, and has degrees from San Diego State University and the University of Maryland. During the day she provides consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses. But her real passion is writing emotionally charged stories of flawed people who find redemption through love and acceptance.  She now lives with her husband in a beautiful town in northern Arizona.

Author links

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

WHEN IT’S RIGHT


Congratulations to "Colleen C" and "Bn100", the winners in Jennifer's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

I am so happy to be here today to talk about my upcoming release, WHEN IT’S RIGHT.

With three series out (The Hunted, McBrides, and Montana Men) I’ve become known for writing strong female leads. Gillian is no exception. She’s got so much to overcome, surviving years of her parents’ drug use, neglect, and abuse. Sometimes all you need is one thing to help you survive, one reason that makes it all worth it. For Gillian, her younger brother Justin is the reason she endures the traumatic ordeal and picks herself up to start a new life.

EXCERPT:

I wish Justin and I were anywhere else. 

Inside, the pressure built. How good it would feel to open her mouth and unleash a string of curses, insults, and blame for what her father put her and Justin through day in and day out. She hated him for spending his life drowning in a bottle and doing drugs, his life going up in smoke. Her life went up with it. Justin’s too. She wanted it to end. One way or another, just end.

Her father swatted at some imaginary bird, or butterfly, or dragon for all she knew. Only he saw the tormenting hallucinations. If he was this far gone, he was even more volatile and dangerous than usual. 

“Dad, come on. I’ll make you a burger and get you a beer.”

“We have to go.” His words came out rushed. He swatted at the air again, this time spinning around to the right before he stopped and turned the other way again, tracking his imaginary flying devils, waving his arms over his head to swat them away.

She shook her head, frustrated and tired of dealing with him. This. Everything. She wanted to run away, but where would she go? It was all she could do now to keep a roof over Justin’s head and food in his belly with the diminishing help her father supplied. Out on the streets, or in a shelter, they’d be vulnerable to even more horrors. What kind of life would that be for Justin? Better than this one? Maybe. Maybe not. Still, she needed to find a way to give Justin better than she’d had growing up with a volatile drunk who could barely keep a bartending job and supplemented his income selling drugs to support his own habits.

“We have to go. We have to go. We have to go,” her father chanted, getting agitated, hitting the side of his head with one hand and scratching at his leg and the imaginary bugs crawling under his skin with the other. 

Fed up, she stepped toward him to grab his arm and lead him back to their place. He jumped out of her reach and laughed. The sound held no humor but a touch of hysteria in the odd shriek. Her father pointed at her, shaking his head side to side. “No. No. No. No. No.” Again, his ominous giggle sent a chill up her spine.

Her father grabbed Justin’s arm and yanked him off the couch. She stood her ground in front of him. No way her father left here with Justin.

“Let him go. He needs to finish his homework.” She made up the excuse, hoping her father released Justin and she got the boy out of there.

“He’s mine. He’ll keep them away. He’s got the light that turns them away.”

Paranoid, delusional asshole. 

She sighed, knowing just where this was going and not liking it one bit. Soon her father would spiral into a psychotic delusion no one could talk him out of. 

Please, just pass out already.

Not that lucky, she tensed and waited to see what would come next. Her father pulled Justin in front of him, held him by both arms, and turned him this way and that, a shield against an enemy only he could see.

“Ow!” Justin cried out when her father’s fingers dug into his thin arms. 

“Keep them back.” Her father tugged on Justin again. Hurt and scared, Justin planted his feet and pulled away, trying to get free. Her father held tighter and spun Justin around to face him. When Justin fell to the floor, tears spilling from his eyes, Gillian couldn't take the ache in her heart. Her anger exploded. 

“Keep them back.” Her father shook Justin again.

Gillian lost it. “I warned you, if you ever touched him...” She lunged for her father, striking him in the arm, breaking his hold on Justin. She shoved her father two steps back, and Justin ran for Mrs. Wicks in the kitchen. She rattled off the building address to the police on the phone. It wasn’t the first time someone called the cops on Gillian’s father, and it probably wouldn’t be the last. No way they got here in time to stop him now. Whatever happened next, Gillian would sure as hell make sure her father never got anywhere near Justin again.

Her father came after her in a drug-hazed rage that gave him strength and sent him into a mindless attack. All other thoughts disappeared behind the fury filling his mind. Her father only knew how to hurt. She’d been through this too many times to count and braced for the impact when his fist came at her, straight into her eye. Pain exploded in her head. She shoved him in the chest, but he came back with a slap to her jaw that stung something fierce. She kicked him in the shin and shoved him again. He fell back two steps, his hand coming up from behind his back. Momentarily stunned, she didn’t move as she stared down the gun's black barrel in disbelief that he’d actually pulled a weapon on her. She didn’t know where he’d gotten it, only that this added a whole other level to what had seemed like just another rotten night in her life. 

Her father held the gun steady, even when he swatted the imaginary devils pestering him. His eyes narrowed on her, and in that moment she joined him in the madness she saw swirling in his gaze. 

You or me? 

One of them wasn't leaving that room alive. 

Justin needs me.

You.

She rushed him, grabbed the gun, and spun her back into his chest, the gun in both their hands pointed to the window. He tried to wrench it free, punching her in the ribs with his free hand. She jerked on the gun again and again and scratched his hand to get him to release it, until he finally let go and the gun thumped onto the floor and skittered across the scarred hardwood. He shoved her from behind. She stumbled forward, scooped the gun off the floor, and turned to face him. 

Never turn your back on a psycho. 

He leaned forward and charged her like a wounded beast, with murder in his eyes and a guttural yell that made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. 

She swung the gun up and fired. Once. Twice. 

Mrs. Wicks screamed. 

Blood bloomed on his chest. Still he kept coming. His hands fisted in her T-shirt. He lifted her off her feet and shoved her backward into the window. Her back and head hit the glass with a crack a split second before it shattered. Glass tore and bit into her skin, but she didn’t feel the pain past the one thought in her head. It’s done.

Justin screamed, “Gillian, no!” 

I'm sorry.

She flew through the window. 

Her father’s dark form stood in the opening, highlighted by the lights behind him. He literally dropped to the floor out of her sight. 

Be safe, Justin. Be happy. 

Her body slammed into the roof of a car with a sickening thud. Everything went black.

GIVEAWAY
What is the one thing in your life that sees you through the tough times?
I’ll give away 3 signed paperbacks of WHEN IT’S RIGHT (US only). Leave a comment to enter to win. 

WHEN IT’S RIGHT – Available 3/31

Everything's bigger in Big Sky country, including the hearts of the Montana Men 

Wide open sky, rolling green hills . . . Gillian Tucker could get used to life in the country—one far from the violence she left behind in San Francisco. Warily accepting an invitation to the Montana ranch that belongs to her grandfather, a man she's never met, Gillian hopes this is the haven she seeks. A sexy, overbearing cowboy who shines a light on her well-hidden dreams is not at all part of her plans.

Blake Bowden's reckless past is far behind him, and as a newly named co-owner of Three Peaks Ranch, he's not taking any chances. Until a beautiful, haunted woman arrives, igniting a desire he shouldn't feel. His partner's granddaughter is strictly off limits. But the longer Gillian's there, the stronger the pull grows between them. And when a new danger surfaces, Blake will do anything to keep her safe…even if it means risking everything for her heart.

BUY
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

ABOUT
Jennifer Ryan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted and McBrides Series, writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances. 
Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home, and how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper. 

Please visit her website at www.jennifer-ryan.com for information about upcoming releases.
 
Follow her on:
Twitter: @JenRyan_author
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Ryan/520021168037391?ref=hl
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4693347.Jennifer_Ryan

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST March 24th. 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, March 23, 2015

Everything I know.


A few months ago, in an interview, a blogger asked me if there was anything autobiographical in my novel, A Veil of Glass and Rain. My answer was, and still is: No, there's nothing autobiographical, and yet there's everything I know.

There's my knowledge of Cinema. Brina, my female protagonist, is studying Cinema at the University of Rome; and often reviewers and readers have remarked on how much reading A Veil of Glass and Rain feels like watching a movie, because the story is told in a very “visual” way.

There's my love for the Arts. Eagan's (my male protagonist) and Brina's parents are photographers; and Eagan decides that he wants to become an Architect while standing before the Colosseum with Brina.

There's my passion for music. I used to play the piano and the saxophone when I was a kid, but I wasn't talented; even so, I had fun and I developed a fondness for classical, jazz and rock music. In my novel, Brina and her two best friends, are talented musicians and part of a very appreciated rock band.

Over the years I've had the chance to travel across Europe and beyond. As I mentioned before, Brina's and Eagan's parents are photographers and their work require them to travel a lot, and sometimes their kids follow them; so in the novel, through my protagonists' eyes we get to see Italy, France, Germany, Russia. 

Finally, in A Veil of Glass and Rain, there's my belief that friendship is very important; Eagan and Brina are first of all friends, then they become lovers.

Excerpt:


A stolen kiss...

[...]I was wearing a yellow sundress and clutching the handle of my guitar case. Eagan offered to carry it for me, but I shook my head, for he was already bearing the weight of his huge backpack.

A part of me was glad he hadn't been able to hear me play. The piece I had chosen was an acoustic cover of one of my favorite rock songs. The acoustic version was utterly sentimental; it expressed perfectly the way I felt about Eagan. After my performance, all my professors and fellow students admitted that they'd never heard me play with so much feeling. I wasn't certain I wanted Eagan to discover that part of my soul yet.

We embraced awkwardly. I noticed that his eyes were red and tired. I also remarked that he was tanned and that he smelled good, as always. Of course, I didn't reveal my sentiments.

It was a bright summer day. We went to a park, we sat, we didn't talk much. After a while, Eagan lay back and fell asleep. I watched him rest for a few moments, then I reclined alongside him. I placed my body very close to his, so that I could feel his heat through the thin cotton of my dress. His handsome face was turned toward me and his lips were slightly parted. Flecks of gold dotted his beard stubble and his dark blond hair.

I braced one of my hands on his arm and the other one on his muscled chest, then I leaned toward his face, keeping my eyes open. I let my mouth linger over his and breathed his breath then, finally, I whispered a kiss across the side of his mouth, then I licked his upper lip. I waited. He didn't stir. So I closed my eyes and brushed his lips with mine once more. I became greedy. My tongue pressed between his parted lips and stroked his tongue once, twice and then again until I moaned and an unbearable ache surged between my legs.
My fingers gripped his sweaty T-shirt. I kept kissing Eagan until he groaned softly in his sleep. 

“I love you,” I murmured against his lips.

I moved away from him. I forced myself to stand, I grabbed my guitar case and I left.

On the bus, I kept licking my lips; I tasted him, the salt of his sweat, and a hint of cinnamon. 

A Veil of Glass and Rain:Special Edition, 
Copyright © 2015 Petra March

Book Links:


About Petra March:
Petra March (aka Petra F. Bagnardi) studied Screenwriting and History of American Cinema at UCLA and NYU. Presently, Petra keeps traveling and dreaming through her novels. Her characters are deeply in love with Europe and the USA, just like Petra is. 

Connect with Petra:
authorpetramarch.weebly.com
www.facebook.com/AuthorPetraMarch 



Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sweet Little Things That Make You Swoon

With: Jane Peden


            Grand gestures are wonderful, but I’ve always found that it’s the sweet little things that make you swoon.  And make you fall in love.  Breakfast in bed. . . A sexy little note you slip into your guy’s pocket. . . The time when I was first dating my husband and he suddenly ran through traffic on a busy Philadelphia intersection to bring me back a single red rose from a street vendor.

In my debut book, The Millionaire Lawyer’s Unexpected Proposal, Sam already knows that Camilla is a sexy, confident woman.  He also thinks she’s a calculating gold digger who’s only interested in his money, and he’s not sure how much she really cares about the child she kept hidden from him for almost five years, or the younger sister who was left in her care. 

But when he steps into his kitchen to find her making pancakes in the shapes of letters in her son’s and her sister’s names, he feels a sudden tug at his heart.  No one ever did anything like that for him when he was a child.  And when she slides pancakes in the shape of S, A, and M onto his plate, not even Sam’s cynical heart can resist melting just a bit.
Has anyone ever melted your heart with a sweet little gesture that made you want to swoon?

THE MILLIONAIRE’S UNEXPECTED PROPOSAL

His marriage of inconvenience…

Camilla Winthrop is about to do something she's never done in her life—she's about to ask a man to marry her. Not just any man. She hasn't seen Sam Flanagan in almost five years, after he coldly walked away from a passionate and intense two-week affair. Now Camilla is widowed and desperate…and marrying Sam is the only way she can protect their son.

The son he never knew about. 

A hugely successful attorney in Miami, Sam certainly never expected to see the stunning Camilla come through his door again. Nor can he ignore the desire heating his blood. But after she tells him her situation, Sam is furious. He'll marry her, but under his terms. And he'll take everything, including Camilla in his bed…unless she can find a way to thaw the millionaire's icy heart once more.

Excerpt
Sam started toward the shower, then changed direction when he heard laughter downstairs. The closer he got to the kitchen, the stronger the tempting smells became. He walked in to see Camilla lifting what looked like oddly shaped pancakes off the griddle on the center island, onto plates. She was wearing a white chef’s apron, and the counter was cluttered with bowls and utensils and canisters of flour and sugar, and cartons of milk and eggs. He could smell vanilla and cinnamon and other flavors he couldn’t identify. His usually pristine kitchen looked like a disaster, but it smelled like heaven. His stomach rumbled again.

JD was perched on a stool enthusiastically dumping strawberry syrup on what appeared, on closer inspection, to be two pancakes shaped like the letters J and D.

“Sam!” JD shouted, as Camilla lifted a giant O pancake onto Olivia’s plate. JD bounced off the barstool and ran over to grab Sam’s arm with his small, sticky hands, pulling him farther into the kitchen. “Mommy makes the bestest pancakes in the whole world.”

Sam sat on a stool and watched little bubbles appear and pop on the oversize S, A, and M and Camilla expertly flip them over.

By the time he finished eating the third complete spelling of his name he decided it might be interesting to get home around dinnertime once in a while and find out what was going on in his own kitchen.
Camilla laughed at something JD said and reached up and brushed her hair back behind her ear, leaving a faint smudge of flour. She looked over at Sam.

“So what was your favorite breakfast when you were a kid?”

The question caught him off guard. “What? Why?”

“So I can make it for you, silly.” The look she gave him, just so natural and guileless, made something twist in Sam’s gut and for a moment he felt shaken and off-balance.

“I don’t know. Cereal.”

“Well, that’s boring. So what’s your favorite breakfast now?”

My name spelled in pancakes, he almost said. But that would be ridiculous. He wasn’t four years old.

Author Bio
Jane Peden is the pen name of a Florida trial attorney who writes sexy contemporary romances set in the exciting South Florida city of Miami, where millionaire lawyers live extravagant lifestyles and find love when they least expect it. When Jane isn’t in court, you can find her at the beach with her laptop, dreaming up stories about successful, confident men who know what they want and how to get it, and smart, sexy women who demand love on their own terms.  Jane lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida with her husband, two kids, two dogs, and a fish.  Jane writes for Entangled Publishing, and her debut novel, The Millionaires’ Unexpected Proposal, will be released through Entangled’s Indulgence line on March 31, 2015. 

Website: www.janepeden.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JanePedenauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JanePeden
Email: jane@janepeden.com


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Vanilla Erotic…How low can you go?


Okay let’s get this out in the open right now. I write sexy romances. Really sexy romances. No closing the bedroom door for me. I stick with the action from first kiss to murmured endearments to the big O.  I happen to think that’s part of the fun, not only the foreplay, verbal and physical, but the, ahem, consummation. I was ahead of my time as a reader on that front—I always wanted those Harlequins to go just a little bit further—and when I started to write I simply filled in the blanks myself in a lot of my favorite scenarios. Alpha CEO hooks up with uptight good girl for a night and shows her how to relax. Multi-talented computer genius takes sweet unsuspecting boss for the ride of her life and pushes all her buttons. 

These days, I’m technically classified as an erotic romance writer. But every once and a while, that label gets me into trouble.  Readers expect something that’s not there. Because though my love scenes are in my own humble opinion incredibly hot, they are also mostly what they call “vanilla sex.” When I first got that comment, a reviewer said the romantic scenes were so hot and well written that even though the sex was vanilla it felt “decadent and even a little kinky at times.” I appreciated the compliment, but was also a little mystified. That was vanilla? I mean, I’d included almost everything a man and a woman could do. I was even blushing writing it.

But it was what I didn’t include that made me vanilla. No trapezes or sex toys or public exhibitionism. Part of the problem is that when I envision leather collars and whips, I, er, laugh, so I don’t think I’m the one to write those kind of scenes. And as to third parties in the bedroom, another expectation for erotic romance sometimes, I tried a ménage a trois once—wait, quick correction!—I mean I tried writing one once. But it felt a little crowded. I don’t think my heroes like to share. 

So there you have it. I guess I am vanilla. Yet the romance in my books is way, way, way beyond Harlequin in its day. It’s hot and sexy and—as one nice reader put it of my most recent, Tempting the Corporate Spy—“panty-melting hot.” So does erotic mean only kinky or can vanilla sex be so hot it qualifies?  Take a look at my bedroom scenes and decide for yourself! 

TEMPTING THE CORPORATE SPY

He’s stealing more than her heart…

Whiz kid Liv Altman is working on Internet anti-piracy software that could be huge. It could also be dangerous. And someone wants it badly enough to blackmail only the very best hacker—the infamous and reclusive Jonathon Crestwell—into stealing it…

Liv usually has no trouble ignoring the computer geeks she works with every day, but her new corporate consultant is definitely not easy to ignore. He’s tall and dead hot, with deep blue eyes that make Liv think the naughtiest of HR-violating thoughts. When she finds him unexpectedly in her office one evening, things take a turn for the sexier. But come morning, Liv will discover the truth about her new employee…and what he reallywants.

Entangled
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Goodreads

Author Bio:
Angela Claire, like most writers, grew up loving to read, which led to a degree in English literature, which in turn led to unemployment. Not having been born to wealth, Angela developed a more practical plan for eating and paying her rent—hence the dreaded and expected descent into law school and inevitable career as a lawyer. Once she paid off her pesky yet massive student loans, Angela saved for an escape from the law profession one day. Now a multi-published author, she does what she loves, but with a little less leeway on the eating and paying rent thing. She is represented by Maureen Walters at Curtis Brown, LTD.

Author Website: www.angelaclaireromance.com
Author Twitter: @AngelaClaire51
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/angela.claire.94
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/4654683.Angela_Claire