Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Turkish Affair (and some armchair travel)


            Armchair travel? Nothing like it. No last-minute panic while getting out to the airport; no check-in or security check lines; no obnoxious seat partner on the plane; no screaming babies; no lost baggage; no lousy exchange rate; no pickpockets; no struggle, fuss or stress.
            But, snuggled into your favorite chair or propped against your pillows, you open your book (or reader) and are immediately transported into another world. Not only that: unlike a real tourist, you get to see what’s happening behind the scenes.
            In my latest romance, The Turkish Affair, the setting is an archaeological site in Turkey. My heroine, Anne, is a former American journalist who, after a scandalous affair with the wrong man, lost her job and her reputation. For the last ten years, she’s been living in backwoods Turkey, working as a translator. She’s not interested in romance, an affair, or a partner: falling in love is just too painful. Besides, in any relationship, you have to reveal who you are — and that’s something she’ll never do.
            My hero, Renaud Townsend is an archaeologist. He’s passionate about his work, about ancient history, about discovery, and about keeping his independence. The last thing he’s ever wanted is a permanent relationship: after the first excitement and immediate desire, he knows that any love story becomes humdrum, and that’s what he’s determined to avoid.
            But what happens when there’s instant attraction? When caring slips into the picture? When trust becomes important? Throw in some artifact theft, a difficult climate, corrupt police, an empty beige plain surrounded by dark mountains, and your journey to another world has begun.

THE TURKISH AFFAIR

Danger at the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu

A top notch Washington journalist before a liaison with the wrong man implicated her in scandal, Anne Pierson has been hiding in backwoods Turkey and working as a translator. She’s determined to keep her past a secret, to avoid personal relationships. But after meeting Renaud Townsend, her discrete little world is turned upside down.

Archaeologist Renaud Townsend is troubled by Anne Pierson’s refusal to talk about her past, but instinct tells him he can rely on her. Or is it only desire speaking? A lusty love affair for the duration of the summer dig is a very appealing idea.

When Anne’s bad reputation links her to stolen artefacts and murder, the budding romance with Renaud comes to a halt. If they learn to trust one another, her name can be cleared. But is there still enough intensity to give love a second chance?


Excerpt

            Anne and Asim led their group along the outer city’s ramparts. When the crowds were far behind, they turned down an arched passage, arrived in a broad space of tumbled pillars and cool, dry air.
            “We’re now in the inner city, Karakuyu’s real heart.” Anne couldn’t keep the enthusiasm out of her voice. Enthusiasm? Love. Guiding might sometimes be stressful, but the surroundings were magnificent. Her eyes swept over the shattered stone, the vestiges of past glory. “And this was a bustling main square.”
            “Rocks,” stocky Mr. Topp muttered. “All I can see is rocks and more rocks.”
            Anne smiled. “Now, yes. But, three thousand years ago, Karakuyu was the most
important city in the Hittite Empire, so just close your eyes and try to picture the chariots, the costumed traders, the warriors who once thronged here.”
            Near-perfect silence seemed to mock her words.
            “What happened to them?”
            “No superpower lasts forever. The Hittites were attacked by Assyrians who took over
some of their lands, by Aegean Sea Peoples who cut off trade routes. In the second century BC, written records ceased, and Hittites became ghosts on the historical scene. They were forgotten for thousands of years.”
            Anne took a deep breath of the dry air. There weren’t many places left on earth as tranquil as this. Karakuyu was a paradise of sorts. One that knocked life’s tedious banalities right back into proportion and—
            “You shouldn’t be in this area.”
            The voice—clipped, imperative—came from somewhere on the left. She saw a figure detach itself from the shade of a vaulted doorway. A man. Skirting the strewn rocks and smashed pillars, he approached languidly, as if all the time in the world was his for the taking. Did she know him? No, she’d never seen him before—if she had, she wouldn’t have forgotten him so easily. Tall, broad-shouldered, with long, muscular legs encased in faded jeans. A blue T-shirt stretched, pinch tight, over his strong chest. Yet, despite his unhurried advance, he carried himself with authority. He stopped when he was directly in front of her.
            Anne curved her mouth into a polite smile, an attempt at courtesy that collapsed in the face of the man’s unrelenting expression. He looked like he was about to make trouble. She needed trouble as much as a pair of furry hands.
            “What are you doing here?”
            “I beg your pardon?” she asked slowly, almost insolently. Then noticed his golden, sun-bleached hair, bronzed skin, unwavering blue eyes, chiseled explorer’s face.

About the author
Born in New York, raised in Toronto, J. Arlene Culiner has spent most of her life in England, Germany, Turkey, Greece, Hungary and the Sahara. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest and, much to public dismay, protects all creatures, especially spiders and snakes. She works as an actress, a photographer, a contemporary artist, a musician, writes mysteries, history books and perfectly believable romances. Her heroines are funny and gutsy; her heroes, dashingly lovable; and all are (proudly) over the age of forty. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

SOMEWHERE TO BEGIN

With: Mika Jolie

Can two souls with fractured parts be the best cure for each other’s wounds?

Title: Somewhere to Begin
Author: Mika Jolie
Genre: Contemporary, Military Romance
Series: Poison & Wine #1

SOMEWHERE TO BEGIN 

There are wounds that never show on the body.

For twenty-nine years, Colbie Bennington does as expected with an eternal smile stained on her lips. The biggest chances she’s ever taken can be counted on one hand, three fingers to be exact—her battered red chucks, painting her toenails a vibrant blue, and her wedding dress. Always the dutiful daughter and a Stepford fiancée, she has never acted on impulse, never been in love.
She’s never lived.

On her wedding day, Colbie ends a toxic relationship, drops the fake smile, and says, “I can’t do this anymore.”

Navy SEAL Zander Serrano returns home broken and burdened with a volcano of remorse. Too trapped in a mental war to be at peace and too damaged to be at war, he shuts the world out. The last thing he expects is to feel, especially for a runaway bride with her own baggage.

Two empty hearts marred in different spots find themselves drawn to one another. Each with their own scars.  Some, the world can see. Others, unseen to the naked eye.

They say two broken people should not be together. But for Colbie and Zander, their attraction is undeniable, unexpected.

Can two souls with fractured parts be the best cure for each other’s wounds?

Starting over is never easy, but sometimes in life, everyone needs somewhere to begin.

Available at:
Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | International Options | Goodreads

About Mika Jolie:
Mika Jolie is the bestselling author of the Martha’s Way series. She lives in New Jersey with her Happy Chaos—her husband and their energizer bunnies. A sports fanatic and a wine aficionado, she’s determined to balance it all and still write about life experiences and matters of the heart. Let’s face it, people are complicated and love can be messy. When she’s not weaving life and romance into evocative tales, you can find her on a hiking adventure, apple picking, or whatever her three men can conjure up.
     She loves to hear from readers.


Connect with Mika:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Seducing the Tycoon

With: MK Meredith

Giveaway Alert!

I’m thrilled to be a guest on Just Contemporary Romance for the release of the first book in my International Temptation series, Seducing the Tycoon. I can’t think of anything more decadent than a hot, sex-on-a-stick Italian who knows how to handle his biscotti. Except maybe one who has the impeccable taste to fall in love with a work-from-the-heart, business savvy American who is a visitor in his home town.

In celebration of how much I loved writing this book, I’m giving away a signed, print copy!

Excerpt:
Closing her eyes for a moment, Chase pressed her lips together and pulled a breath in through her nose. She opened her eyes, directing the happiness shining there right at him. “Thank you so much. An introduction from you was all it took. Lucinda’s beautiful, and her store’s amazing. We’ve made plans for some wonderful projects that’ll benefit both her boutique and the hotel.”

Chase’s enthusiasm went straight to his gut. He couldn’t help the smile that pulled at his mouth, even as dread weighed heavy in his chest. He’d have to cross Lucinda off his list of allies.

“She’s so warm and inviting. We hit it off as if we’ve known each other for years. That rarely happens for me.” She took a couple steps down the sidewalk, then spun back to him and grabbed the lapel of his shirt. “Grazie.”

In a flash, all his fantasies hit him at once as she pressed her hot mouth against his. The scent of mango and cocoa butter surrounded him like the Mediterranean itself. Without realizing it, he’d pulled her in high against his chest. She angled her head and sucked his lower lip into her mouth with a firm tug. Gesù, minchia. It was all he could do to keep standing. With one arm banded around her waist, he slid the other up into her hair and gripped it tight. Her moan almost sent him over the edge of decorum, and all he wanted was to press her up against the side of the centuries-old building and make history. It might be the kind that landed him in jail, but in that moment he couldn’t have cared less.

She slid her tongue along his lower lip and dove in to take more. But confusion didn’t even begin to describe his feelings as she pulled back and placed three quick kisses on his lips, then pushed at his shoulders to be put down.

“No.” His voice was sharp and low.

Laughing, she pushed at him again. “Drago, put me down. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have kissed you like that, but I was so relieved.”

He went cold. “Relieved?”

SEDUCING THE TYCOON

International tycoon Drago De Luca has the world at his feet and he knows it. But back home in Italy, his beloved grandmother's family inn is on the verge of closing down for good, thanks to hotshot American heiress, Chase Huntington, and her new hotel. Drago has to protect Nonna's inn, even if it means getting close enough to Chase to convince her she needs to leave. But the more time he spends with Chase, the more he's drawn to her passion, her love of his culture, and the way she looks in those Louis Vuitton heels.

Chase Huntington would give anything to enjoy her time with charming, sexy-as-hell Drago in the style capital of the world, but she has to make sure the new Huntington hotel opens successfully. How else can she prove she's not just fashionista with a fortune—she’s an heiress savvy enough to take over the family’s biggest hotel back in California? But somewhere between boutiques and business plans, she falls head over Louboutins for Drago. But when Drago's true motive for spending so much time with her comes to light, it could destroy everything Chase built and everything she thought she found in Italy.

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Goodreads

Giveaway:
MK will be giving away a signed print copy of SEDUCING THE TYCOON to one lucky person leaving a comment or email entry.

Bio:
MK Meredith writes single title contemporary romance promising an emotional ride on heated sheets. She believes the best route to success is to never stop learning.
Her lifelong love affair with peanut butter continues. Only two things come close in the battle for her affections: gorgeous heels and maybe Gerard Butler…or was it David Gandy? Who is she kidding? Her true loves are her husband and two children who have survived her SEA's (spontaneous explosions of affection) and live to tell the tale. The Meredith's live in the D.C. area with their two large fur babies...until the next adventure calls.


Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Sept. 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. US residents only.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Love Me, Master Me


Giveaway Alert!

LOVE ME, MASTER ME (Dungeon Fantasy Club, Book 6)

Delilah Gregory is an opera superstar, enchanting the world with her soaring voice and voluptuous form. When her long-time friend, Declan, asks her to perform at his wedding, she can't refuse, and heads to Mullardoch Manor in Scotland. She's looking forward to finding a Dom to play with while she's there, although with the demands of her career, and still recovering from her ex's betrayal, the last thing on earth she's looking for is an actual relationship.

Bastian Dean is a rock star, playing to sold-out stadiums worldwide. His bedroom tastes have always been on the wild side, and the only way he can find satisfaction is when he has a bound submissive begging for his touch. Unlike most rock stars, he keeps his dalliances to bona fide members of the Dungeon Fantasy Club – and as far away from the tabloids as possible. When he meets the ethereal beauty Delilah at the manor, Bastian is determined to enjoy the beautiful, submissive woman's bounty.

Delilah is stunned by the ecstasy she finds within Bastian's arms. She doesn't even like the man much – aside from what he can make her feel even as he disciplines her bare bottom. But despite her misgivings about him, what starts out as a bit of fun and play in the dungeon soon turns into a relationship, where Delilah finds herself healing under Bastian's passionate touch.

When the demands of her career and a threat from her past intervene, Bastian must use every note in his arsenal to convince Delilah that theirs is a duet worth singing. But can she be convinced to trust him with her heart?

Publisher's Note: While this is the sixth book in the Dungeon Fantasy Club series, it – like all the others – can be enjoyed as a standalone. This story contains explicit erotic and BDSM scenes, so if such material is likely to offend you, please do not read it.

Available at: www.blushingbooks.com
Amazon  https://goo.gl/QlTE9u
Blushing Books  https://goo.gl/xJEsov

All Romance Ebooks https://goo.gl/MVM4xo

Excerpt

Shaking off her malaise, Delilah set her purse on the floor a few steps away, and then took up her stance. Singing and music, for Delilah, was the one place she could escape reality—or it had been until recently. It was her heart, the better parts of her soul and, for her, was where her internal peace resided. She hoped she could eventually retrieve the parts of it she'd allowed Ethan to tarnish.
She rolled her shoulders, working out a few of the kinks from her travels, expanded her chest, filling her diaphragm up with oxygen, and slid into her rendition of Ave Maria. As the notes and her voice permeated the space, workers who hadn't laid down their tools stopped mid stroke. Everyone's eyes shifted to her as her voice rose with the cadence, trilling over a high note. She blocked out their stares. She always did, turning inward until there was nothing but the melody inside her veins. The room and its inhabitants dimmed as her voice soared.
This was the one space where everything made sense to her, where Delilah felt at home. She didn't get stage fright; not really, she'd always just focused on the way the music made her feel and where it took her when she was on stage.
After Delilah's voice hit the final note, ending the song, the room was deadly silent. There were tears in Zoey's eyes as the workers began to clap and hoot their appreciation.
"Not to interrupt, but where would you like the band to set up?" A deep bass male voice reminding her of molasses boomed over the applause.
There was an audible gasp. And was that a 'squee' from the bride-to-be as she turned toward that male voice? Delilah's gaze shot to the rude interloper, only to spy mega-watt rock star Bastian Dean of the band The Harbingers, with his hands shoved in his ripped jean pockets, replete with a bad boy half smirk and devil may care confident vibe rolling off his hot rod body. He had managed with a few choice words to remove the focus off her and redirect it toward himself.
Her hands clenched. Either that or she'd do the man bodily harm. It wasn't that she craved the spotlight, but dammit, Ethan had done the same thing, using her voice to pretend he was the star of the show. It had been a way to erode her personal power and confidence in herself.
"I can't believe you are really here!" Zoey said with an audible girlish sigh, her voice filled with a tone of reverence.
"In the flesh, love. Where would you like the real band to set up? No offense, just never been one for music that's as old as dirt." He directed the last of his words to Delilah as he sauntered into the room toward Zoey, his long strides eating up the distance between them.
Delilah straightened her spine and headed toward the group. She'd graced the stage with icons that spanned multiple generations, withstood arrogant directors and fellow cast members, and even a manager and ex-boyfriend who acted like he owned her, so she would not bow before this arrogant jerk.
"That's all right; most pop stars don't understand what it means to make music with staying power," she said.
At her intentional dig, Bastian briefly scowled in her direction before he brought Zoey's hand up and kissed the back of it; all gentlemanly like. She didn't buy it for a second. Delilah knew his type all too well.

Anya Summers

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.
Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.
Visit her website here:
Visit her on social media here:
Twitter: @AnyaBSummers

Don’t miss these exciting titles by Anya Summers and Blushing Books!

Dungeon Fantasy Club Series
Love Me, Master Me, Book 6, September 16, 2016
Submit To Me, Book 7, October 15, 2016
Her Wired Dom, Book 8, November 14, 2016


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Facebook Link: http://gvwy.io/gpeoorq 



Monday, September 19, 2016

SOUTHERN NIGHTS AND SECRETS

With: Robin Covington

SOUTHERN NIGHTS AND SECRETS

A Boys Are Back In Town Novel

Being a doctor is everything to me, but I’m not going to let bureaucrats tell me how to practice medicine. It’s about saving lives no matter what, screw them and their paperwork.

When the one woman I could never forget, Ginger Crawford, shows up as my boss all bets are off. The heat between us is tough to ignore but I have to if I want a future at this hospital. It isn’t easy. Every time we argue, I want her even more.

But I’ve got secrets she can never know, and she’s always going to be way too good for me. So it’s best if she hates me…at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes

Excerpt:
Chapter One
Beck was going to f**king kill somebody.

Yes, as a doctor he’d taken an oath to “do no harm,” but whoever had taken a boot to a little boy and sent him to this Level One Trauma Center deserved to get a fast track to hell. Beck would be happy to help get him there, but first he had to make sure this kid didn’t get there first.

“Come on, buddy. Work with me here.” He flicked a glance up at the monitors, noting the stats and tracking the kid’s vitals while he figured out what exactly had happened to him.
Although, he had a pretty good idea.

The kid’s caramel-colored skin was covered in old bruises—mostly where they wouldn’t show under regular clothing—with evidence of fresh ones festering under his clammy flesh. The boy had finally settled down with the morphine, but he moaned when Beck hit a tender spot. It was a damn sight better than the pitiful crying and screaming he’d done when they first rolled him into the ER of the Shenandoah Regional Medical Center.

“What’s his name?” Beck asked Tricia, the nurse beside him as he continued to assess his injuries.

“Marcus. He’s ten years old,” she answered with a tight edge to her tone. They saw a lot in this job, but kids were the worst.

“Okay Marcus. I’m gonna feel around your tummy and see what’s going on.” Beck palpated the bloated area knowing he’d feel the telltale signs of internal bleeding and winced when the boy lurched a little under the restraints and cried out for his mama. Beck wasted no time turning to the other nurse hovering just over his shoulder. “Keep pushing the IV fluids, normal saline ‘wide open’ and O neg blood until we get back his type. Call for a trauma surgeon, open an OR, and type and cross for four to six units packed red blood cells.”

The nurse acknowledged his order and scurried off to get the OR ready for Marcus. Beck glanced at the monitor, disliking how his blood pressure wasn’t holding steady. Not surprising when a patient was losing a lot of blood, but not something to f**k around with, either.

“Dose him with dopamine to counteract the BP issues and call to get the sheriff here as soon as possible,” Beck barked out, too tired after a full shift to even try to be charming. When no one moved he glared at another nurse standing by as if waiting for an invitation to do her job. “Wake up and get moving. Now.”

Trish glanced over her shoulder as her colleague scurried off before giving Beck a sour look from the other side of the table. “Dr. Sutherland. Didn’t your mama ever tell you that you get more flies with honey than vinegar?”

“My mama didn’t stick around long enough to teach me shit, and you know my tongue can be mighty sweet when I want it to be.” And she did. He’d spent a few nights in her bed keeping her up way past curfew and then making her late for work in the morning. He checked the monitor again. The numbers weren’t getting any better. “Help me get him intubated. I’m worried about his breathing.”

“Yes.” Trish worked efficiently as she talked, gathering the necessary equipment and moving alongside Beck at the head of Marcus’s stretcher. “You know hospital policy is to inform administration before we call law enforcement except in the case of emergent circumstances.”

“I’ll let the people in the adminisphere know as soon as I save this kid’s life and make sure the asshole who brought him gets a hard look from the cops.” He pointed to a couple of fresh bruises, the abrasion on the skin perfectly matching the tread of a boot, before getting in position to put the breathing tube into his young patient. “I got a look at the guy who came in with Marcus’s mother. Angry and swinging his big dick around like he was daring somebody to question the dumbass story he gave about this kid falling off a swing set. I don’t want him to disappear.”

Tricia sighed, her hands moving swiftly to switch out the bag of fluids connected to the IV drip. “You don’t know he was the one who did this.”

“Yes. I do.” He knew firsthand what an abuser looked like when he was worried about getting caught. Over the years his sixth sense when it came to the shittier side of humanity had been honed to the accuracy of a GPS—more a curse than a gift—but he knew what he knew. Marcus’s monitors suddenly started going off. Not in a good way. “F**k. He’s crashing.”

The sound of the Code Blue signal over the PA system was barely audible over the rush of blood in his veins and the roar in his ears as his own blood pressure rose while Marcus’s plummeted. Beck cleared the rolling carts away from the bedside as he got in position to start chest compressions just as the shrill alarm from the monitor sang out the flat notes that beckoned all the nearby angels to come and get the boy with a dimple in his right cheek and a “Phineas and Ferb” T-shirt.

“Marcus. I’m not letting you do this today, buddy.” Beck kept talking as he continued the chest compressions, stopping at each required interval to see if his patient had taken over the breathing part of getting through this ordeal. Beck watched the monitor. Nothing. He began a new set after Trish used the bag covering his mouth to give Marcus oxygen. “I’ve got a date with a sweet BASE jump and then this blonde I met at a dog park. I don’t have a dog because I work too many hours but I borrowed my buddy Teague’s new puppy and that dog brought all the pretty women over to me.”

Beck kept talking, convinced that Marcus was still nearby just waiting for a pull back to this life. Many patients had told him that they heard people talking to them as they hovered between life and death for him to doubt it.

The monitor blipped and stuttered for a few breathtaking seconds before the computerized mimic of the sweetest little heartbeat filled the space, and Beck eased back a little. He barely got a deep breath before the monitor went crazy again and all hell broke loose around him. Again.

“Is that OR ready?” he shouted, continuing the chest compressions as he hopped onto the gurney and straddled the stretcher, leaning over his young patient. It had been a couple of years since he’d “code surfed” but he wasn’t letting up on this kid until they got him to the OR. He’d learned the hard way that patients didn’t always make it if he didn’t stay with them.

Biography:

Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her sexy, bestselling books. When she’s not writing sexy, sizzling romance she’s collecting tasty man candy pics, hoarding red nail polish, indulging in a little comic book geek love, and obsessing over Dean Winchester. Don't send chocolate . . . send eye candy!

Robin’s bestselling books have finaled in the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, the Book Seller’s Best and the National Reader’s Choice Awards.

She lives in Maryland with her handsome husband, her two brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!), and her beloved furbabies.

Drop her a line at robin@robincovingtonromance.com - she always writes back.
  
Social Media Links:
Facebook Profile: http://on.fb.me/YSW9n3
Facebook Page: http://on.fb.me/1fCyWuQ
Twitter: @RobinCovington
Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/wEqer
  

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Why contemporary romance?


I love all romance and have written the entire gamut from historical to contemporary to futuristic.  But there are some things I especially enjoy about contemporary.  To celebrate the release of my new book from Entangled Lovestruck, Just one Week, let me outline some of the best things about contemporary romance.

First, today’s woman has so much more freedom and opportunity than women did even in our recent past.  She’s likely to have a career and her own identity independent of the man in her life.  She’s not Mrs. Someone else.  She’s Ms. and retains her own name, thank you.  She can walk away from a suitor or stay…her choice.

In previous eras, a woman’s virginity defined her value as a human being.  If she wasn’t “unsullied,” she wasn’t worth anything.  Think about the word “sullied.”  It suggests that if a woman has had sex, she’s dirty…broken beyond repair.  What a narrow-minded, hateful way to think of a human being.  Today’s woman would laugh at such a proposition.

Today’s woman is also freer to express her sexuality.  We now have effective means of contraception.  A woman needn’t worry that each sexual encounter might result in a pregnancy, and this fact allows her to truly enjoy herself.  Furthermore, society’s values about female sexuality have changed.  Today we expect women to enjoy sex at least as much as their partners.  A woman expects to have orgasms.  This makes the love scenes especially fulfilling because they’re free of the guilt and shame heaped on women in the past.

Which brings us to the question of condoms.  People have had condoms for much longer than we imagine—going back into the 19th Century—but we don’t normally read about them in historical romances.  In contemporaries we always have to grapple with the problem of to wear one or not to wear one.  Wearing a condom shows the people are responsible concerning STD’s.  On the other hand, they’re not particularly romantic, and some people don’t want the fantasy ruined.  I see the merits of both sides of the argument and usually defer to the publisher on this subject.  (BTW, there are condoms in Just One Week.)

Aside from the issue of women’s freedom, sexual and otherwise, there are practical advantages to writing in the present day.  Telephones, for example.  These days we carry them with us wherever we go.  We also have airplanes.  Our characters can be in New York one day and Paris the next.  It’s easier to cook with modern appliances, and even the boy next door can whip up a gourmet delight for the heroine on the spur of the moment.  There are also massages, spas and hot tubs, and oversized beds.  Yum!

But if I had to choose the single best thing about living in the present day, I’d say without question “indoor plumbing.”  I don’t know how people in earlier time periods used the toilet.  Blissfully, we leave those details out of historical romances because they might well be fairly disgusting.

And baths.  In a historical romance, servants had to haul hot water in buckets to a bathtub set in the center of milady’s bedroom.  You’ll occasionally read that in a romance, but I’ve never read how the servants got all the water back out.  Did they scoop up as much as they could and carry it down stairs and then haul a nearly-empty tub down after?  Who wants to make their employees do all that?  Not I.  Nor do I want to live without my bath.
When it comes to ball gowns and carriages, historical romance is fun, but when you look at the reality of life, I’d rather spend it in the present day.

Alice Gaines loves to hear from readers at authoralicegaines@gmail.com.  Her blog is http://www.alicegaines.blogspot.com.  You can sign up for her newsletter there and enter to win one of her hand knitted projects.

JUST ONE WEEK

Alice Gaines will tantalize your romance taste buds with a book you can’t put down until the very last page.” NYT bestselling author Jasmine Haynes

Her brother’s best friend is not only the hottest man Michelle Dennis has ever seen, he’s the one man she hopes to avoid after leaving town eight years ago. Of course he’s the one waiting at the airport. Worse, he made sure they’re staying in the same house.

Pro football player Alex Stafford is expecting to pick up his friend’s kid sister, not a full-fledged bombshell. He was planning to apologize for their past, but the feelings he had years ago come roaring back…and this time, there’s no denying them.

Keeping his hands off is a test he’s bound to fail—especially when they’re stuck in close quarters. But falling in love with Michelle, living in her world, isn’t an option for a guy like him. And remembering that will save them both a lot of heartache…

Links:  Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Goodreads



Author bio: 
Alice Gaines loves her romance hot. She’s been writing since forever and has no plans to give it up.

Alice lives in the San Francisco Bay Area in a fixer-upper she never fixed up. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her knitting, crocheting, cooking, or vegetable gardening. Her main companions are her pet corn snake, Casper, and a collection of neglected orchids.

She loves to hear from readers at authoralicegaines@gmail.com. You can join her newsletter at http://alicegaines.blogspot.com/. She periodically gives out her handmade items to people on her mailing list.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Top Five Pop-Culture Romances of the 1980s


Giveaway Alert!

In honor of my New Wave Newsroom series, which takes place in the 1980s, I took a little trip down memory lane and came up with my personal top five TV and movie romances of the 1980s.

Breakfast Club (1985) 
There had to be a John Hughes movie on this list, right? Interestingly, this is his least overtly romantic. I mean, Sixteen Candles ends with Sam and Jake sitting on the table kissing over a birthday cake, and Pretty in Pink ends with Andie and Blaine making out in the parking lot outside the prom. (But don’t even get me started about that. That movie ended incorrectly: ANDIE + DUCKIE 4EVER.) But there’s something about the Breakfast Club, more specifically about the vibe between Molly Ringwald’s Claire Standish and Judd Nelson’s John Bender, aka “the princess” and “the criminal.” They kiss in the closet! Is there anything more 1980s than that? And, oh, when she gives him the single diamond earring (which he accepts with his fingerless glove-clad hand naturally) and kisses him at the end…swoon. I think the dominant interpretation of the end of that movie was that they all went back to their separate social niches and that nothing was going to really change in the school’s social ecosystem. But I reject the dominant interpretation! I think Samantha and Jake continued to date, much to the chagrin of their respective social groups, and lived happily ever after, bickering all the way.

Moonlighting (1985-1989)
I date myself, here, but how much did I love watching private detectives David Addison (Bruce Willis before he was Bruce Willis) and Maddie Hayes (the always-lovely-and-smart Cybil Shepherd) swing between bickering and making out on a TV show that was technically past my bedtime? (In retrospect, the way she was constantly punching him was probably not super cool…but, hey, it was a more innocent era.) I think of this series as a precursor to Gilmore Girls in the sense that the leads are ALWAYS TALKING. Over each other, under each other, around each other. It’s banter with a capital-B. (And oh my goodness, Maddie’s glorious 1980s shoulder-padded silk suits!)

Better Off Dead (1985)
My all-time, hands-down favorite rom-com from any decade. This lesser-known gem tends to live in the John Hughes shadow. But it’s both more romantic and more absurd than most of the movies of the decade. The central romance between the just-dumped loser Lane Meyer (John Cusack) and French exchange student Monique Junet (Diane Franklin, who I never saw before or since!) is a perfect little bon-bon. They come together because he’s the only one who knows she actually speaks English. She fixes his car! He serenades her with a saxophone! They ski in choreographed formation! But I’m warning you, this movie is odd. Surrounding the romance is a bizarrely surreal version of suburbia, where food has consciousness and paper boys are feral. It’s an absurd delight.

Scarecrow and Mrs. King (1983-1987)
A little-known TV show about a fictional CIA-like agency at the height of the Cold War. Debonair Agent Lee Stetson (Bruce Boxleitner), though a series of accidents, ends up partnering with normal housewife Amanda King (Kate Jackson) to defeat the Russians. (Hey, could totally happen.) She drives him crazy until…she doesn’t. Pretty he’s skulking in her garden, waiting for her kids to go to bed so they can so they can make out though her kitchen window—as you do. Also, somehow, a staggeringly high proportion of episodes ended with them having to diffuse a bomb and guessing which color wire to cut. Guess what? They always got it right!

Say Anything (1989)
It’s a cliché, but for good reason. Lloyd Dobler! He doesn’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything. He doesn’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought or processed. And the image of Lloyd standing outside Diane’s room holding the boom box over his head? That pretty much IS the ’80s.


THE FIXER
Series: New Wave Newsroom #1
Author: Jenny Holiday
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Length: 35k words
Format: Digital/Paperback
Digital ISBN: 978-0-9950927-1-6
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9950927-0-9

Jenny Fields is a crusader. The editor of her college newspaper, she never met a cause she couldn’t get behind. So when the administration announces it’s tearing down the historic art building, she’s on the case All she needs to do is get Matthew Townsend, the art department’s boy wonder, on board. They say he his talent is unbounded. It turns out so is his ego.


Matthew Townsend cares about art. And that’s pretty much it. If he has a reputation for being moody and aloof, that suits him just fine. He doesn’t have a family worth speaking of, and as a scholarship student, he can’t afford to goof off like the preppy rich kids at his school. He certainly doesn’t care about the art building. Or about the relentlessly perky Jenny, who looks like she was barfed up by Rainbow Brite. What will it take to the preternaturally cheerful girl with the massive savior complex to leave him alone?

Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | KoboiBooks 
More books from the New Wave Newsroom coming this fall!
The Gossip: coming Oct 4, 2016:
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

The Pacifist: coming Oct 25, 2015:
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Author Bio:

Jenny Holiday started writing at age nine when her awesome fourth grade teacher gave her a notebook and told her to start writing some stories. That first batch featured mass murderers on the loose, alien invasions, and hauntings. (Looking back, she’s amazed no one sent her to a kid-shrink.) She’s been writing ever since. After a brief detour to get a PhD in geography, she worked as a professional writer, producing everything from speeches to magazine articles. More recently, her tastes having evolved from alien invasions to happily-ever-afters, she tried her hand at romance. A lifelong city-lover, she lives in Toronto, Canada, with her family. She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Greenburger Associates.

You can visit her online at the following places: Website Facebook | Twitter Goodreads | Amazon


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