Author Interview: Liz Talley

So one of the reasons I haven’t been doing much with the blog of late is because I’ve spent the last month hanging out at the Winter Writing Festival put on by the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood.  I’ve been getting tons of writing and editing done, and it’s great fun to hang out in the chat room with other writers.

One of the writers I met there is Liz Talley. I won copies of the first two books in her Morning Glory series, and they are adorable! I did no work the day I picked up the first one since I couldn’t stop reading. Liz has a new novella in the series–Prince Not Quite Charming–which released on Valentine’s Day.

Welcome to the blog, Liz, and congratulations on your first indie publishing venture!

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

I live in North Louisiana and I’ve been writing for eleven years.

What inspired you to write this book?

I often listen to country music and one day when I was singing along to Blake Shelton’s “Boys Round Here” I felt convicted that I needed to write a good ol’ boy with a big truck and a slightly over-inflated ego. Then give him a sharp city-slicker to deal with.

What does your writing process look like? 

I’m a hybrid writer who is much more organic than relying on a spreadsheet. I like an outline and that’s about it.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Laundry and baseball games 🙂

What are you working on now?

I’m writing on a stand-alone novel set in South Carolina involving three friends and a past mistake. I also have the last book in the Morning Glory series on the back burner and I’m also contemplating a Christmas novella – A Charming Christmas.

Who is your favorite literary hero? Heroine? Villain?

I’ll have to go with Jamie Fraser from Outlander for hero. Heroine – Bridget Jones. I think. There are so many, but I relate to her and she amuses me. But only in the first book. Not a fan of the waffling second and third ones.

How many books do you have under the proverbial bed? Will they ever see the light of day?

Two full-length Regency romances, including my Golden Heart finaling manuscript. Probably won’t ever make an appearance but that’s okay. They are very dear to me because they gave birth to what I am today.

Other than “butt in chair,” what piece of advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Protect your story. It’s yours. No one else’s so you own that and don’t change it for anyone unless he or she is a trusted editor who knows more than you do.

About Liz’s latest book:

A city girl can survive…

Or at least that’s what New Yorker Frances Genovese hopes when she agrees to stay in Morning Glory, Mississippi for a few weeks after her brother’s wedding. Though she may not know much about small-town living, she does know a thing or two about the new restaurant her brother’s building. But she didn’t bargain for a big country boy naysaying her vision. And she darn sure didn’t expect to be so attracted to the infuriating contractor. 

Clem Aiken knows two things: what it means to be a country boy and the target market for the new eatery. When he and Frances clash on her ideas, he figures there’s one thing to do – teach the sophisticated beauty what it’s like to live in a southern small town. Frances reluctantly gives Clem three days to change her mind about the restaurant design. After all, how hard can it be to bait a hook, fry chicken or go honky tonkin’?

Excerpt:

Someone cleared his throat, and she glanced up to find the man who’d poured a pitcher of water over her head a few nights ago. “You.”

“Me,” he said with a knowing grin.

“You’re Clemson Aiken?”

“At your service.” He executed a slight bow. “But call me Clem. And you’re welcome for saving your life the other night.”

Frances frowned, tapping her pen against the notepad. “Saving my life or trying to drown me?”

“You were on fire.” His brown eyes twinkled. She’d never seen eyes twinkle, but this guy had that going on. He was also tall. Six three. Or maybe six four. Tall drink of water with linebacker shoulders and a chiseled jaw. Her girl parts should be tingling, but the fact that he was a bit too full of himself put a stop to that. She’d heard the rumors about him. He was a ladies’ man, tipping girls into the back of his truck, romancing them with cheap wine and overpracticed lines. That was enough to put her off any twitch, tingle, or blip.

You can find Prince Not Quite So Charming at Amazon.

More About Liz:

A finalist in both RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart and RITA contests, Liz Talley loves staying home in her jammies writing emotional contemporary romance. Her first book starred a spinster librarian – Vegas Two Step – and debuted in June 2010. Since that time, Liz has published twenty-one more books with Harlequin, Berkeley and Montlake, reaching number one in kindle romance with her latest series. Her stories are set in the South where the tea is sweet, the summers are hot and the men are hotter. Liz lives in Louisiana with her childhood sweetheart, two handsome children, three dogs and a mean kitty. You can visit Liz at www.liztalleybooks.com or follow her on Twitter or Facebook to learn more about her upcoming books.

 

Winter Blog Hop, Day 14 – Lynn Crain’s Holiday Magic

Hello all! Today’s guest is my friend Lynn Crain, who’s part of a new anthology of Christmas stories. Holiday Magic is the work of several members of the World Romance Writers.

wrwholidaymagic-3-d-resizedThe World Romance Writers wish you joy and love this holiday season with a collection of heartwarming romances filled with Holiday Magic. This anthology features stories, from far and wide, includes contemporary and historical romance, futuristic time travel romance, and romance touched with magic by Award-Winning and Multi-Published Authors: Rose Anderson, Lynn Crain, Gemma Juliana, Cara Marsi, and Jenny Twist.

Come enjoy the many flavors and flavours of our English language.

Holiday Magic is on sale now for 99 cents at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo, and features these stories:

The Angel of the West Side
By Madeline Archer*

During the Great Depression, newspaper reporter Jack Kennelly went to the streets of Chicago hoping to find proof that good still existed in the world. What he discovered was the West Side had its own angel, and her name was Ruthie.

*Rose Anderson writing as Madeline Archer
Genre: Period Romance

Her Magical Vienna Christmas
By Lynn Crain

Cryptographer Elizabeth “Lizzie” Camden is more in tune with numbers, cyphers and puzzles than she is with the real world. When her job takes her back in time to 1874 Vienna, she’s more than surprised to find Michael Sondervan there as well. She hadn’t seen him since college when he broke her heart. 

Michael has always regretted the way things turned out between him and Lizzie. When he needs someone to figure out the cryptic warning, he knows he needs the best. And Lizzie is the best. Giving her a magical Vienna Christmas in the bargain, he hopes will bring them together and prove his love to the only woman for him.

Genre: Time Travel Romance

To Kiss a Prince
By Gemma Juliana

Princess Isabelle de Lily knows no life beyond the seclusion of Chateau de Lily. The family castle was frozen in time, frosted over with ice and snow just before her birth. The witch who placed the 99 year curse on her family left only one loophole. The curse will fizzle and ‘melt’ if one from the royal enemy clan miraculously finds his way to her castle and professes his true love for her on Christmas Day. Citizens of Chateau de Lily hold little hope of that happening since everyone who tries to cross the ice floes dies. Only the resident, ever-loyal, royal wizard Zoltar, who has been in service to Isabelle’s family since long before the curse was cast, believes miracles of this magnitude are possible. Twenty-five years have passed, but as Zoltar continues experimenting in his dungeon laboratory, he believes this will be their final Christmas spent in icy isolation.

Genre: Fantasy-Time Travel Romance

A Very Vegas Christmas
By Cara Marsi

Can things get any worse for Las Vegas event planner Amanda Moreau? Her boyfriend dumped her for a stripper; she’s arranging a Christmas wedding for a Bridezilla; and her mother is playing matchmaker from 2000 miles away. When she meets hunky and ever-so-sweet Erik, who’s in town for a conference, she begins to hope her luck is changing. But Erik has a secret that threatens to split them apart. 

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Marion
By Jenny Twist

Jim Durrant, university don at Oxford, is trapped in the memory of his lost, beloved wife. When his family comes to stay with him for Christmas, he and his grandson write their letters to Santa Claus and Jim asks for the impossible – the return of his dead love.

Genre: Historical Romance

Thanks for joining me today, ladies! To read more about the authors, hop over to Lynn’s blog today at http://lynncrain.blogspot.com/ for bios and links.

 

 

 

Winter Blog Hop Day 10 – Lori Sizemore’s Cat-Butt Coasters!

Hello all! Today’s guest is one of my pals from Passionate Critters, Lori Sizemore. Lori’s debut novel, Infamous, releases from The Wild Rose Press on December 14. Happy almost book birthday, Lori!

Hop over to Lori’s blog today to learn about some of her favorite things at Christmas time, including Christmas music, handmade gifts (including cat-butt coasters), and giving to charity.

infamous-coverHere’s a bit more about Lori’s new book and Lori herself:

Justine Montgomery, daughter of a divorced beauty queen and TV magnate, is a tabloid disaster after her infamous sex tape. She’s so desperate to help save her family’s home she turns to her deal-making dad. Can she prove to him she’s cut out for a career in television or will she lose it all?

Sawyer has his own past and a successful career is his only goal. Seeing Justine fail would mean the promotion of a lifetime, but things get complicated when he develops feelings for her. Suddenly, the lines between work, life, sex, and love are blurry.

They will have to overcome the bitterness of a rejected ex, the controlling actions of her father, and the half-truths they’re telling one another to forge a lasting partnership both on the job and off the clock.

You can find Infamous at these retailers: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | All Romance | BookStrand | Goodreads

Lori Sizemore grew up in the mountains of West Virginia and never quite managed to escape them. Lori lives at home with her husband of twenty-plus years and two of her three daughters. She also lives with two dogs, a cat, and five hermit crabs. Yes, five of them. This menagerie and her family keep her busy.

She worked in mental health as a social worker for ten years before making the choice to write full-time.

You can find Lori online here: Website | FB Author Page | Twitter | Amazon |
Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

Winter Blog Hop, Day 9 – Jennifer Shirk and Fruitcake

meHappy 9th Day of the Winter Blog Hop, everyone! Today’s guest is my friend Jennifer Shirk.  Jennifer has a Bachelor’s degree in pharmacy-which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.

She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Avalon Books/Montlake Romance and now Entangled Publishing. Her novel Sunny Days for Sam won the 2013 Golden Quill Published Authors Contest for Best Traditional Romance and recently, her novel Wedding Date for Hire was a 2016 Golden Leaf finalist for best short contemporary romance.

Lately she’s been on a serious exercise kick. But don’t hold that against her. You can read more about her and her books, and subscribe to her newsletter on her website. Jennifer’s latest release from Entangled Publishing is Wrong Brother, Right Match, a sweet, contemporary romance.

wbrm_500Matchmaking guru Kennedy Pepperdine’s life is perfect. Perfect job. Perfect friends. Perfect boyfriend. Except…when she gets trapped in an elevator with a handsome stranger, she accidentally confesses a secret: maybe her perfect boyfriend, Justin, isn’t so perfect for her after all. But a matchmaker should be able to successfully match herself, right? Thankfully, she’ll never see the handsome stranger again. Until she heads home with Justin for the holidays and learns that the sexy stranger is none other than Justin’s older brother, Matt.

Matt Ellis is trying to be on his best behavior for his mother—it is Christmas, after all. But when he recognizes the beautiful woman from the elevator—the one he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about for months—his best behavior is being held by a thread. Matt’s always sacrificed for his family, and nothing is more important than their happiness, but the more time he spends around Kennedy, the more he wonders if her supposed “right match” might just be the wrong brother.

You can find an excerpt here, as well as buy links.  img_1763

And now, hop over to her blog where she’s discussing fruitcakes–the edible kind. (I confess to not realizing any of them were edible. 🙂 I am, it’s safe to say, not a fan of fruitcake–sorry, Jen!)

She’s also giving away this fun ornament to a random commenter, a perfect gift for your favorite book lover!

Winter Blog Hop, Day 8 – Miranda Liasson and a Giveaway!

miranda-liasson-2-2On deck today is my NEORWA sister, the all-around wonderful Miranda Liasson.

Hop on over to her blog for some thoughts on why we love Christmas movies, but first, take a look at her brand new release, Can’t Stop Loving You! And stop by Book Partners in Crime for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or a signed copy of the book.

liasson-cantstoplovingyou-21998-cv-ft-v5-3Can’t Stop Loving You

When it comes to her heart, Arabella D’Angelo has moved on—even though she still lives in Mirror Lake, Connecticut, a little tourist town with a long memory for mistakes. Ever the dutiful daughter of a cantankerous widower who holds grudges, Bella has spent the past twelve years raising her younger brother and making a name for herself as a successful psychologist. Now, when she isn’t counseling a lonely-hearts club for senior women, she’s humoring her matchmaking girlfriends. Bella resists the romancing of their blind dates, yet her friends hope she’ll fall for a local and scrap plans for a fresh start in Chicago.

Then, just before Bella’s thirtieth birthday, her first love, Roman Spikonos, returns to Mirror Lake. When he moves next door to her family’s garden-center business to run his grandparents’ orchard, it stirs up gossip—and a tempest of passions—just in time for pumpkin harvest. As Roman and Bella once again get caught up in a swirl of desire and heartache, not to mention her overprotective father’s fury, Mirror Lake will soon find out whether the Italian hometown beauty and her unforgettable Greek god can stand a second chance.

Excerpt:

There was a sudden loud thunk followed by the sounds of crumbling rock exploding into the room, along with a hefty male curse. A floury cloud of dust enveloped the wall adjoining the next building. When it settled, a sizeable hole in the wall gaped.

“Didn’t you just remodel, dear?” Aunt Francesca asked.

Bella stood up and ran to the area of damage, cautiously stepping around the debris until she could look through the hole to the other side. The walls of the old flower shop were stripped down to bare wood and a bright single-bulb work lamp hung from a cross beam by a thick orange cord. No person in sight.

“It’s a hit and run,” Effie said, right behind her. In fact, all the ladies were crowded around, eager to check out the excitement.

“I’ll be right back,” Bella said, heading for the door.

“Where are you going?” Aunt Fran asked. “Don’t go by yourself. He has a hammer, for God’s sakes.”

Bella threw open the outside office door to a lungful of cool September air and six feet two of annoying male perfection poised to knock. Roman Spikonos wore jeans and work boots and an untucked blue plaid flannel shirt rolled up at the sleeves. Bella sucked in a breath. This hot-construction-worker version of Roman was just as gorgeous as the naked-chest-in-the-lake version and the wearing-a-suit-and-tie version from the wedding. Let’s just say that if he were featured on a calendar, he’d have every month covered.

“You,” she said on an exhale.

“It’s a man,” someone said behind her.

“A hubba-hubba kind of man.” That had to be Effie. For sure.

“That’s Roman Spikonos,” Fran whispered—loudly.

“Lukas’s brother?” Alethea said, perking up. “Tell him to come in right now.”

“He’s too young for us,” Effie said.

“But not for Arabella,” Fran said. “They had a thing.”

“Fran!” Bella warned. It didn’t stop all the whispering and tittering, as if she were surrounded by a group of silly schoolgirls instead of mature women. Or deter the tall man in front of her, who stood with his arms crossed over his big chest surveying all the ladies with a little smirk on his face.

Bella ignored the flashing red lights and the dinging of warning bells inside her head, like there was a train coming and she’d better move off the tracks now. She was coming to realize that these were the usual sensations she felt when Roman Spikonos was anywhere nearby.

“Are you the person who just destroyed my wall?” she asked. In a very professional voice, she was proud to say. She was going to stay calm and not get mowed over by his sex appeal, thank you very much.

He looked unfazed. As if he had to think about the question, he tapped a finger on his chin, letting his gaze rake slowly up her—from her red heels, her legs, the length of her red sheath dress, and her little black sweater—lingering on her boobs before he looked at her face. Which she was sure had just turned as bright as her dress. He was barely suppressing a chuckle. The nerve!

She had to close her eyes to get a grip. He used to look at her with those smiley bedroom eyes, and she used to know exactly what he was thinking. It couldn’t be the same now, it just couldn’t. Please God, don’t let him kick my hormones into overdrive. Turn these chemical reactions off right now. She tried to imagine him with ear hairs. Or an unsightly wart. Or even a zit, but it was too late. Her body apparently didn’t care that being in sudden impending nuclear meltdown mode at the mere sight of him could only lead to disaster.

Dammit, next door times two. How did she get to be so cursed?

You can find Miranda’s new release at these retailers: Amazon ~ B & N ~ Books a Million

More about Miranda: Miranda Liasson loves to write stories about courageous but flawed characters who find love despite themselves, because there’s nothing like a great love story. And if there are a few laughs along the way, even better! She’s a former Golden Heart winner who writes contemporary romance for Montlake Romance, Entangled, and soon for Grand Central. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, three kids, and Posey, a rescue cat with attitude. You find her online on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. If you like what you see, sign up for Miranda’s newsletter here.

 

 

 

 

Winter Blog Hop, Day 7 – Love’s in the Cards with Becky Lower, & a Giveaway!

Becky Lower visits again today with a post about where she got the idea for her new Christmas novella, Love’s in the Cards, which releases today from The Wild Rose Press. Happy book birthday, Becky! Scroll down to the bottom for a special giveaway from me and Becky. 

perf5.000x8.000.inddPeople often ask writers where they get their story ideas. I can’t speak for all authors, but for me, it can be something as common as a billboard or as intimate as an overhead whispered conversation. In the case of my latest Christmas novella, it was definitely a memory that had been tugging at me for a while. Since kindergarten, in fact.

Who would have thought an obnoxious little boy who liked to use the soles of my shoes at nap time as a canvas would be the inspiration for Love’s in the Cards? His favorite crayon was purple and my mother would get so angry each time he’d go overboard and mess up my sparkling white shoes. That little boy went on to become a high school art teacher and inspired many of his students to be creative. So Delbert, wherever you are, thank you so much for the spark of creativity you’ve provided to me. But in order to incorporate Del’s childish shenanigans into a story, I needed the proper setting. Fortunately, I worked in a Hallmark store part-time for a year while living in Virginia. It was a sweet little card and gift shop and each Christmas season, the door was flanked by a pair of six-foot tall plastic nutcrackers. Later, when I moved to Ohio, I turned that retail experience into a job as a merchandiser for the biggest greeting card company in Ohio, where I learned all about lines of cards featuring famous people or artists. Love’s in the Cards combines Delbert’s story with my greeting card experiences.

Love’s in the Cards

Penny Beedle’s outlook on Christmas, as her favorite holiday, was destroyed by a messy breakup years earlier and a botched wedding last year—both on Christmas Eve. But since she and her sister now own a greeting card store, and the holidays are their crazy selling season, she has to put on a happy face.

Del Madison has loved Penny since kindergarten. Commissioned by a big greeting card company for a line of Christmas and Valentine’s cards, he has to emerge from behind his alter ego and unveil himself to the public. He chooses Penny Beedle’s shop for the big reveal. If he plays his cards right, he just might gain Penny as part of his life.

Excerpt:

Penny sighed softly. Abbey made sense. They had to do everything possible to compete with the other shops, all chasing the same tourist dollars. Even if doing so meant having six-foot-tall nutcrackers flanking the door for the next six weeks. Penny’s eyes smarted with sudden tears, but she blinked them away quickly, telling herself the moisture merely came from a reaction to the cold weather. “I think we need new names for these boys, especially after last year’s debacle. I now have two reasons to despise the season.”

As she wiggled her nutcracker to his final position on one side of the entrance to their shop, Abbey grunted. “This is our make-or-break season, so your attitude has to shape up, Penny. I had hoped a year would give you enough time to get over last Christmas’s aborted wedding.”

Penny jerked her big statue a bit too hard to the left before she squared him with the frame. She bit her lip at the chastisement as she glanced at Abbey. Anyone could tell they were from the same family, with their dark hair, blue eyes, and slender builds. Often, they were mistaken for twins, even though Abbey had been born two years earlier. The only noticeable difference was Penny could sing in key, but Abbey had a tin ear.

“Even though I’m over both Max and Ricky, their betrayals still hurt. And the fact they both screwed up my Christmases makes me hate the season.”

“Well, if getting your head back on straight this year means we rename Hans and Gunther, let’s do so. What’d you have in mind?”

Penny squinted up at the lifelike plastic statues towering over them. “I don’t mind Hans, but I’ll name mine Solo, since that’s what I am.”

Abbey grinned and wrapped an arm around Penny. “Well then, may the force be with us as we head into our peak season. The weather’s finally turned cold, perfect for putting folks into the holiday gift-buying mood. Let’s get inside. I’ve got something exciting to show you.”

You can find Love’s in the Cards at Amazon.

48988_1025007027_4423_nAbout Becky: Amazon best-selling author Becky Lower has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it on a covered wagon headed west or in present day small town America.  Historical and contemporary romances are her specialty. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and is a member of the Historic and Contemporary RWA chapters. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary. She loves to hear from her readers at beckylowerauthor@gmail.com. Visit her website at www.beckylowerauthor.com.

And finally, enter here for a chance to win a fabulous Maine-themed gift box Becky and put together to celebrate our new releases, both set in Maine. In addition to the items pictured, Becky is offering a copy of Love’s in the Cards!

fullsizerendera Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview: Beth Rhodes

Today on the blog I am delighted to welcome my friend and critique partner, Beth Rhodes. Beth’s newest book, Outside the Lines, is a wonderful contemporary romance which releases December 8. Thanks for joining me today, Beth!authorpic_Brhodes

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

I grew up in Michigan, where my sixth grade English teacher gave us a writing assignment. I wrote a story…and was rightfully admonished when I ended the story with, “…and then he woke up.” I dabbled in writing, but mostly read through my teens and twenties. And then in 2004, while pregnant with number 4, I had crazy insomnia. So, I wrote a book. …and the rest is history. I’ve been married to my husband for 16 years and we have 6 kids. Right now, we’re taking up space in Colorado but will soon be headed back to Georgia.

What inspired you to write Outside the Lines?

If I go way back to the very beginning, I would say this story came straight from my own life—minus the riches! I come from a Catholic family so when I was pregnant six months before getting married, there was some conflict involved. But after lots of years, I realized that it’s not really the start or finish that matter, but the journey. Love. I feel this story lots, but will say [for the sake of anyone who knows me]…it’s not mine.

What does your writing process look like? (Plotter, pantser, story boards, etc.)

I’m a plotter!! And I love it. Any time I try to start a story without doing some plotting, I fail miserably, getting to the end.

Me too. I wish I could fly by the seat of my pants, but it always ends badly. What do you do when you’re not writing?

I raise my 6 kids, for the most part, and love up on a good man. But I also like to read and hike and run and camp and watch television or movies.

I can see how raising six kids would take a lot of time! I only have one and I can barely manage. What are you working on now?

This question is complicated. I’ve been on the fence for a month or so and have started three different projects!! >:( All “nexts” in the series I have started. But, you’ll be happy to know, I settled on Book Three, Juan Rodriguez’s story. Which, btw, is going to be a little different. 1) it has an element of romantic suspense, and 2) the main characters have never met. When I started writing it, I realized that most of my MCs are familiar with each other already and that makes the transition to sensuous writing so much easier. LOL Anyhoo, look for it next year.

Many authors do detailed character sketches before writing, even if some of the details never appear in the book. Name one thing about either your hero, heroine (or both) that didn’t make it into your book, but is important to who s/he is.

My hero struggled a lot growing up [known!], and one time, he got into a fight with another kid at school who called his mom a dyke. Writing that scene was unbelievably emotional for me! Especially because he didn’t even know what that meant and had to ask his grandpa. David seems confident, but deep inside, he’s always been a little unsure about life.

Neat freak or not so much?

Not so much! My husband is the neat one. Which make his homecomings a little tricky.

LOL. I knew we were kindred spirits! Other than “butt in chair,” what piece of advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Keep writing and get into a [good] critique group!

Excellent advice! Thank goodness you guys let me into your critique group–you’ve all been lifesavers. 🙂 

Thanks so much for joining me today, Beth, and best of luck with your new release!

OutsidetheLines 200x300Outside the Lines
by Beth Rhodes

For the first time in her life, good-girl Maria Rodriguez throws aside caution for an all-consuming desire. She wants freedom from rules and her family looking over her shoulder. She wants the love she’s only ever dreamed of. But then that love walks away. Jaded bachelor David March doesn’t believe in love. His fling with the pretty Hispanic woman from California is as close to feeling as he wants to get. Now, he’s back home, burying himself in work and trying to forget.

Shortly after he leaves, Maria finds out she’s pregnant. Her first leap into freedom results in a life-changing consequence. She knows she has to find him. But what she finds is not what she expects. David is not the down-to-earth man he portrayed. And the love she remembers has been replaced by cold calculation and contracts. He lied to her once. Can she trust that a marriage agreement will bring back the love they once shared?

Excerpt:

He stopped short in the doorway.

Maria and Mrs. Kraus danced across the hardwood floor in front of him. Maria’s dress revealed well-toned calves with each turn. Her feet moved quick and sure under her, and the older woman’s barely kept up. The ache in his neck eased when he laughed. “Not bad, Mrs. Kraus.”

“It’s the salsa,” she answered as the two women did a little turn. Maria’s hips—holy mother, don’t even think about sex right now—moved to the rhythm and then her shoulders dipped and shook as she lead Mrs. Kraus into another twirly turny thing.

He rubbed a hand at the back of his neck with a smile.

Sex. Sex. Sex.

Stop thinking about sex!

“You try it!” Mrs. Kraus let go of Maria who did another twirl and landed in his arms.

“I’m not much of a dancer.”

Maria kissed him lightly, laughing. “Everyone can dance,” she said, taking both his hands and moving him over the floor.

He watched her feet, which happened to be bare. Toes painted a dark red.

Sex. Sex. Sex.

I’m not thinking about sex.

Liar. He lifted his gaze to her face, her pretty brown eyes, and found her grinning at him and wagging those eye brows. Like she knew what he was thinking—the little devil.

Fabulous excerpt! The book is available now from Kindle Direct, or for preorder at Amazon.

Read more from Beth and connect with her online:

Website: http://www.authorbethrhodes.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/author.beth.rhodes

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bethrhodes99

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/bethwrites

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/112600126301514245060/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Beth_Rhodes

Sign up for Beth’s newsletter!

Author Interview: Katie O’Sullivan

Katie_OSullivanWelcome to a special Wednesday edition of the blog, as I am joined by fellow Wild Rose Press author Katie O’Sullivan to the blog. Katie has one recent release and another coming out November 11. Welcome, Katie! 

Hi, Marin, and thanks for inviting me to visit!

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

I live on the shores of Cape Cod with my teens, husband and two big, demanding dogs who think they still fit in my lap. (Can a Saint Bernard really fit in anyone’s lap? I don’t think so.) I’ve wanted to be a “real author” since third grade when my aunt “published” my first novel, The Mystery of the Haunted House, in a limited run of 50 copies at the printer where she worked. I was hooked and earned my BA in English, determined to find a job in publishing, but ended up in advertising, public relations, and then journalism for years. When my youngest went to full-day kindergarten, a friend dragged me to his novel writing class and I finally started writing fiction.

I love Cape Cod. It’s so pretty up there! What inspires you to write your books?

Living so close to the Atlantic Ocean inspires almost everything I write, from my YA series about the mermaids who summer in Nantucket Sound, to the Cape Cod romances like Crazy About You that I’ve published with The Wild Rose Press. My newest book, Ghosts Don’t Lie (coming November 11!), is the only one so far that doesn’t take place on the Cape, but in the small New Jersey town where I grew up.

What does your writing process look like?

I’m a pantser, but I admit I do best when I have a rough outline to start from. For the novella I wrote for an upcoming Valentine series, I actually plotted out the whole thing and finished the first draft in two weeks. Which tells me I should do that more often!

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I used to be the typical soccer mom, but my soccer player is off in college, and my middle child drives so we finally ditched the mini-van. My high school students are more into the drama department than sports, so I see a lot of plays (both with them and with them on stage), walk on the beach with the dogs, bake with my daughter… and then there’s the day job as a technical writer. I keep busy.

What are you working on now?

I’m just finishing the first round of edits for my next YA mermaid book (Defiance, scheduled for a December release from Wicked Whale Publishing) and am ready to start on another Cape Cod romance. I’ve got the main characters figured out and am trying this new “outline” method that worked so well with the novella. I’m also kicking around ideas for a sequel to Ghosts Don’t Lie.

Sounds great! Neat freak or not so much?

Oh, I wish! I tend to forget about cleaning until it NEEDS to be done. When the kids were small (like, crawling size) I scrubbed floors and wiped things down more religiously, but living with a Saint Bernard has totally lowered my standards of what’s “clean.”

LOL. I know what you mean! What’s first on your bucket list?

I really want to visit the Fiji islands and stay in one of those guest huts that’s built over the water on stilts, where you have to walk out on a rickety boardwalk to reach the hut and there’s a patch of glass built into the floor to watch the sea life swim by and a porch to sit on aimed straight at the sunset. Maybe I’ll let my husband tag along for the trip. No phones, no work. Doesn’t that sound awesome? And totally do-able….except for the airfare. And the total cost, with college expenses looming. And finding the time to get away. Other than that, I’m there.

That does sound awesome! Tell us a little about your latest releases.

perf5.000x8.000.inddCrazy About You:

Climate scientist Chase Anderson races from one project to the next, unwilling to slow down in his quest to save the world’s oceans. He has no time for family or relationships until he crashes into an impetuous blonde with a quirky sense of humor. One sizzling kiss makes him seriously reevaluate his priorities. And his sanity.

Emma Maguire left her small Cape Cod hometown years ago, seeking the fast pace and anonymity of New York City. She’s not sure what she’s searching for, but when a family crisis brings her home to Provincetown she’s caught in a crazy tangle of half-truths and mistaken identity… and falls for the handsome stranger who broke her cell phone.

Will untangling the web of lies drive them crazy, or lead to something even crazier – like love?

perf5.000x8.000.inddGhosts Don’t Lie (coming November 11):

Jillian Rogers Greene worked hard to close the doors on the psychic abilities that defined her youth. For years she pretended to be normal, ignoring the ghosts who whisper to her. When a car crash sets her on a collision course with the past, ugly secrets about her family and marriage come to light. She’s forced to reevaluate what she thought she knew…and exactly what the future holds.

Connor Sanderson might be the key to unlocking that future. The grey-eyed artist knows ghosts aren’t real, but his attraction to the beautiful psychic makes him question those beliefs. With her husband plotting to kill her, can Jillian make Connor see the truth before it’s too late?

Here’s an excerpt:

In the corner of the mirror, she saw a glitter of light. She realized Jasper was sitting on the bed, watching. “What?” she asked him, not turning around.

“Is it fun being a grown-up?” The spirit swung his legs back and forth.

Jillian fished a hair elastic from the jar on the dresser. “Fun isn’t really the word for it.”

His legs stopped swinging. “So being a grown-up stinks?”

“It doesn’t stink either, Jasper. It’s complicated. As you get older there are more choices to make and a lot more to worry about.” She was still looking at his reflection in the mirror, not turning to face him. “Some parts are really great, but there are lots of times when you wonder if you’ve made the right decision.”

“I’m glad I don’t have to find out. It sounds hard.”

Jillian took a deep breath. “What happened to you?”

“Me?” Jasper laughed. “That’s easy, I died.”

Love it! You can find information about Katie and links to her books at:

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page

And join me today on Katie’s blog , where she has a great giveaway going on!

Author Interview: Lily Vega

Today’s guest is my good friend, Lily Vega. Lily writes *very* steamy paranormal & contemporary romance. Her latest, Devil in a Blue Dress, was released in May by Changeling Press. Welcome, Lily!

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing? I live in the Midwest. I’ve shuffled around several different states. I’ve been writing consistently for about 5 years.

LV_DevilBlueDress_largeWhat inspired you to write Devil in A Blue Dress? (I adore the cover!) I enjoy creating characters with a dark side. When I pitched the Devil May Care series, I didn’t know much more than the third installment would wrap up the series and either the hero or heroine would first appear in the second story. After book two, I had the heroine, heroes, and the theme – when you get what you want, things don’t always turn out like you’d expect. While I wrote the book, Ray’s struggle with addiction became key to the story.

What does your writing process look like? I write my short steamy books by the seat of my pants. At some point, I stop and determine which key events need to happen to complete the storyline and get to happy ever after. I note these and any other thoughts I want to incorporate into the story. I also keep a loose series bible to keep track of character attributes.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Drink.  Actually, I sometimes drink while I write. I love trying new craft beers, beer cocktails, and Guinness mixes (e.g. Guinness and Strongbow).

I’ve been known to drink wine while I write–keeps the creative juices flowing! What are you working on now? The Devil May Care series was planned as a trilogy. While the story was wrapped up at the end of book three, one of the minor characters, a fallen angel, needs his happy ever after, so I am working on his story, Falling for Her.

How many books do you have under the proverbial bed? Will they ever see the light of day? Too many to count! The triage process can be gut wrenching, but I plan to resurrect as many as possible. Going All In (1Night Stand), which was published in May by Decadent Publishing, was one of those under the bed books and I was thrilled with the end result. I’ve begun CPR on several other stories.

I tend to work through story ideas when I’m driving or in the shower, both of which are, of course, places I can’t write anything down. Do you have any strange writing habits? Post-It Notes. My workspace looks like an office supply store exploded. Cryptic notes like “Guy from set up = Guy #1” are scrawled on them. When the cats steal them, I usually find them under the couch or stuffed inside a shoe.

How do you come up with character names? First names just seem to come to me. Last names are harder. I’ve had to change names before too, Natalie was originally Anita, but the name was too similar to Arianna.

Name one thing about you that most people don’t know. I am crazy addicted to Plants versus Zombies. The main reason I bought an iPad was to play the game.

If you had a superpower, what would it be? I am in awe of exceptionally productive authors. My dream would be to consistently crank out large quantities of publishable prose. Heck, I’d be happy just to win NaNoWriMo.

Ah, wouldn’t that be nice? I won NaNoWriMo once–with a book that will probably never see the light of day–but never again. I do wish I could write faster! Other than “butt in chair,” what piece of advice would you give to an aspiring author? Share your knowledge with your writer friends. Find a great craft book, tool, or submission call? Let them know. They’ll reciprocate.

What book are you reading now? Open All Hours by Eden Royce. I’m a big fan of her Carnival Magic series. The heroine shifts into a black cat. How cool is that?

To find out more about Lily and her books, visit:
Website: http://lilyvega.com/
Facebook: Lily Vega
Twitter: @LV_Writer
Amazon Author Page: Lily Vega
Goodreads: LilyVegaWriter

Devil in a Blue Dress (Devil May Care #3) by Lily Vega

What’s a lust demon to do?

All of Xanthe’s heart’s desires are coming true. She’s a bridesmaid in her cousin’s wedding and in charge of the bachelorette party. Her boyfriend, True, is extra limber and up for sex whenever and wherever she wants. Everything is just too perfect — on the surface, anyway.

She suspects her sexual appetites are taking their toll on True. And the wedding festivities just aren’t as festive as she imagined. Enter Ray Perry, a bad boy with a dark past. He’s every bit as dominant as True is submissive, but an evil imp with a penchant for porn has a contract out on him.

When she discovers a vile plot to sabotage the wedding, Xanthe fights to save the day and her sexy men — one of whom holds her heart and the other her soul.

Excerpt:

True’s name suited his easygoing personality. Xanthe ran her gaze over his lithe body, starting with his long, shaggy, sun-highlighted blond hair to his sandals. Natalie referred to him as a crunchy-granola guy with a chocolate-candy heart. Xanthe couldn’t tell if it was a compliment or an insult.

He looked up then, seeming to feel Xanthe’s gaze, and his face lit up with a smile that made his light blue eyes sparkle. His warm touch ignited her libido. If she wasn’t hell bent on winning a damned bingo prize, she’d drag him under the table for a quick romp.

Available on Amazon.

 

Author Interview: Nina Croft

Apologies for my absence of late. June was crazy busy, and last week I was away for my anniversary–more on that in a future post!

My guest today is the very talented and prolific Nina Croft. Her latest book, The Spaniard’s Kiss, released this week. Welcome, Nina!

Portrait of writer Nicola Cleasby

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

My name is Nina Croft. I’m English but I live in southern Spain, in a beautiful area which lies between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea.

I first started writing a long time ago, when I was working as a volunteer in a remote village in Zambia on the banks of Lake Kariba. This was long before Kindles, and I ran out of books to read with alarming frequency (I had a book-a-day habit to feed!)  A tragedy of gargantuan proportions. My only recourse was to write my own and so I began. When I left Africa, I put writing aside for a while until I moved to Spain around ten years ago, when I started to seriously learn the craft, how to plot, write, edit. Now I’m totally hooked.

Wow! A tragedy indeed, but I’ll bet that was an amazing experience. What inspired you to write The Spaniard’s Kiss?

The opening scenes of my latest release, The Spaniard’s Kiss, take place in Spain, close to where I now live. It’s a remote area, far from any shops, and where the local shepherd still takes his goats out every day and the vineyards are ploughed by mules.  Some people love it, some people hate it. The reasons behind that fascinate me, and so I started The Spaniard’s Kiss. Rafe, the hero, has a grandfather who was a shepherd here, and he hates the place!

What does your writing process look like? 

I’m a total plotter, though I don’t stick to one method. I’ve tried both pantsing and plotting and everything in between but found that I’m happiest plotting out before I start writing, usually down to scene level. Two main reasons—the first is it gives me time to get to know my characters before I write. The other is that I like writing fast first drafts as I think the writing flows more naturally. I can only do that if I don’t have to keep stopping and deciding what happens next. It also means I can concentrate on character motivations and reactions to events while I’m writing, rather than on what those events actually are.

You have far more discipline than I do! What do you do when you’re not writing?

I don’t quite have a book-a-day habit anymore because I spend so much time writing, but I do still read a lot. Other things are: Horse riding, I have a beautiful mare called Gencianna. Walking, I have three dogs. Pig-grooming, I have a three-legged Vietnamese potbellied house pig. As you can see my spare time is pretty animal-orientated. Also this time of year, I swim and go to the beach when I can—I love the sea.

Sounds very bucolic. 🙂 What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on the first draft of a book for Entangled Publishing’s Brazen line—hot contemporary romance. It’s called, Her Fantasy Husband, and it’s book 2 in a new series, Things To Do Before You Die. I’m also working on edits for the first book, His Fantasy Girl, which releases this October.

How many books do you have under the proverbial bed? Will they ever see the light of day?

Sadly, the book I wrote while working as a volunteer in Zambia, The Best of Intentions, will never see the light of day, but it was my first. Neither will my second or third…

I tend to work through story ideas when I’m driving or in the shower, both of which are, of course, places I can’t write anything down. Do you have any strange writing habits?

I talk through plot problems with my mare, Gencianna, while I’m out riding, though strangely she never seems to offer advice in return. I can sometimes get so engrossed that I suddenly realize where I am, and it’s not where I intended to be.

Probably much safer to do that on a horse than in a car, which is what occasionally happens to me. Can we see a photo of your writing space?

This is my writing nook, where I write first drafts on my laptop (when I can nudge Grunt out of the way.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Aww. Grunt is adorable! Neat freak or not so much?

Not even vaguely!

I knew there was a reason we get along. Other than “butt in chair,” what piece of advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Write what you love—it’s the only thing that will keep you going when things get tough. Which they will.

Very good advice! Thanks so much for stopping by, Nina! Here’s more about Nina’s latest release:

One kisTHE-SPANIARD'S-KISS-1600x2400s will change their friendship forever…

Widow Isobel Sinclair knows it’s time to move on, and she believes the next chapter in her life involves a baby. All she needs is a man to help her with the finer details. Unfortunately, right now the only man in her life is her husband’s best friend, Rafael Sanchez. And an incredibly wealthy, super-hot player is not exactly family material.

That’s okay since she wants a baby sans the husband part.

Billionaire playboy Rafael has carefully hidden his longing for Isobel over the years. He’s wanted her from the moment they met. When desire sparks between them, Rafael faces a choice beyond imagining: give Isobel what she wants…or lose her forever. He has a good reason why a child can’t be in his future, but telling Isobel the truth could destroy everything.

Excerpt:

A dull ache throbbed behind his eyes, no doubt caused by lack of sleep and exacerbated by the onset of insanity. That was all it could be—Isobel Sinclair was driving him mad. It was two days since she’d made her preposterous proposition, and he hadn’t felt entirely sane since.

Every time he turned around she was there—talking to some man. He hadn’t realized there were so many men about, tall ones, short ones, fat ones, thin ones. Their appearance didn’t seem to matter to Bella. Perhaps he should give her a little lesson in genetics, point out that she should be a bit more discerning if she was looking for someone to father her children.

Available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0105VHBCS

Find Nina on Social Media:

Author Website: http://www.ninacroft.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nina_Croft
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NinaCroft.Writer
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/rZ5rz

 

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