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Archive for the ‘April 2013’ Category

9781101623152_medium_TrueWhen Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.
 
Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…
 

Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…

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Erin McCarthy, author of the New Adult novel True, shares her top 5 Rom-Coms of all time and why they make the cut.

 

1. My Big Fat Greek Wedding because the romance feels genuine and the insane family familiar.

 

2. Mamma Mia!  Who doesn’t want to be Meryl Streep being wooed by three guys? Because I do. The secondary romances are also sweet and amusing.

 

3. The Proposal.  Ryan Reynolds = foxy. Sandra Bullock = awesome chick we feel like we’re friends with.  I’m in.

 

4. 50 First Dates.  I thought I would HATE this movie because of the horrible premise, but Drew and Adam just charmed me into forgetting the tragic amnesia angle.  Um, a guy who spends every day making you fall in love with him??  Sold.  Plus the cover of The Cure’s “Love Song” makes me feel 18 again.

 

5. There’s Something About Mary.  It’s a classic because it turned the whole genre on its ear and made us laugh in true LOL fashion.

 

6. And this is six, but Moonstruck.  Cher is amazing and Nicholas Cage so angsty and dramatic that you can’t help but fall for it.  “Snap out of it!” Awesome line.

 

 

 

Erin McCarthyErin McCarthy is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 40 novels and novellas in the paranormal, contemporary romance, and young adult genres.  The author is a RITA award finalist and an American Library Association winner of the Reluctant Young Reader award.  She lives with her family in Ohio.

Website: www.erinmccarthy.net/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/authorerin

Facebook: www.facebook.com/erinmccarthybooks

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7941.Erin_McCarthy

 

 

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For a chance to win a digital copy of TRUE, just leave a comment below. US/Canada only

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sherry gladden

wins a digital copy of A Matter of Fate by Ellie Heller and a $10 Amazon GC.

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Congrats! To claim your prize, please email mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces). You have 48 hours to email before a new name is chosen.

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9781440566790Someone is setting death-spells targeting mortals and elf blood alike. With her mentor out of commission, it’s up to half-trained Warder Mona Lisa Kubrek to stop the magic. Despite being told repeatedly her job is to nullify spells and not go after the source, too many people are at risk for her to not track the spell-caster down. Even meeting a sexy half-elf shifter won’t distract her from her goal.

 

Except Cart Dupree is fully trained and has the team to search for the evildoer, so she’d be stupid to not use his expertise. Stupid is something she can’t afford to be, not with her enemy’s henchmen after her. Later she’ll deal with Cart and his questions about her special abilities and the non-standard training her mentor has given her. Right now, they need to unravel where the magician is, and who he is, before he builds enough power to decimate them all.

 

First, though, they need to stay alive.

 

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Thank you so much for having me visit today. My paranormal romance novel A Matter of Fate was released by Crimson Romance on Monday and I’m excited to talk about the heroine, Mona Lisa Kubreck and her upbringing in upstate New York.

 

Mona is full elf, but unlike most elves was not brought up around other elves. Her mother, fully embracing a sixties-hippie-antiestablishment outlook, refused to have anything to do with elf society which is highly structured and very hierarchical. In fact full elves are supposed to register their children in the books at elfhaven, but Mona’s mother refused to do this. While not being registered doesn’t affect her life too much, it does mean that she’s off the radar so her picking up on Warder Smythe’s need for an assistant is surprising to everyone.

 

Mostly to Mona. It wasn’t until she was in college and her mortal best friend, Raine, who knew about elves having gone to high school with many people who were part elf asked about her heritage that Mona realized there were other people around who had elf blood. Raine told her that Folk, those who were part elf, mortal and sometimes other entities, pretty much were the norm in the area she grew up in which is why she knew about them. After she graduated, Mona hung around the enclave in Lackawanna as much as she could. In an effort to learn more and hopefully become part of the community she took various jobs in the area from bicycle messenger to delivery driver to cook. The latter one was easy as she’d been accepted into a culinary institute only to drop out when she realizes her love of cooking didn’t equate to passion to deal with food all day, every day.

 

At the start of the story she’s been training with Warder Smythe for several months and has gotten a call from Raine, whom is still her BFF even if they haven’t kept in contact. Raine is the friend mentioned in the twitter pitch I used to catch Crimson Romance’s eye:

Mona’s life is complicated enough, with a bespelled friend & goons chasing after her. Meeting her mate? Really bad timing.

 

Mona has her share of issues, and wanting to fit in is a big one! But you’ll have to read the book if you want to find out how that’s resolved.

 

About the Author:

After living in several cities east of the Mississippi, but never quite out of the snow belt, I’ve settled down in SW Ohio with my three kids, two dogs (one of whom thinks he’s a cat) and one cat (who thinks he’s a dog).

I write paranormal romance and contemporary fantasy, all with a suspenseful edge. A MATTER OF FATE, a ‘traditional’ paranormal romance, will be available this spring from Crimson Romance. My first published short (GLBT sensual), “Ginny’s Capture” is available now.

I’m also an acquisitions editor (i.e. slush reader 🙂 ) for Curiosity Quills Press using my full first name, Alison.

 

www.elliewrites2.com

 

@EllieWrites2

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ellie-Heller-Author/279665692092672

 

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5762572.Ellie_Heller

 

http://pinterest.com/ellieheller/a-matter-of-fate/

 

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For a chance to win a digital copy of A Matter of Fate and a $10 Amazon gift card, just leave a message below. Good luck!

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RealMenSerial bachelor. Celebrity author. Her perfect forever?

 

When famous author Luke Maguire decides to write his next novel in the small town of Burronga, Australia, he’s sure he can ignore the fiery redhead next door. Not only has he just been burned from a high-profile breakup, but he’s never been one to set down roots. No, he’ll finish his novel and leave Burronga. And soon.

 

Tyler Jones just wants to run her business with her best friend, Ally, and take care of her three-year-old daughter, Chloe. She’s never needed help from anyone, especially not a man, and the brooding, rugged writer next door can’t tempt her. Not in the least.

 

Only Tyler and Luke can’t stay away from each other. So they set rules. No staying overnight, no future plans, no sappy good-byes when Luke inevitably quits town. But the chemistry between them is too strong to contain in a rulebook. Are Luke and Tyler ready to risk their lives of independence for something more?

 

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In my new book, Real Men Don’t Quit, the hero, Luke Maguire, is a famous author who is suffering a severe case of writer’s block. He’s months behind his deadline to hand in his much anticipated sequel and can’t find inspiration anywhere. To make matters worse, he secretly isn’t proud of his highly acclaimed bestseller and dislikes the main character he has created and must write about.

 

As a writer I found it interesting to explore the subject of writer’s block. I have had periods where everything I wrote seemed terrible to me, and I felt I was going nowhere in a hurry. On one occasion I spent weeks writing a 50K word story only to get to the final chapter and realise that it was weak and boring, and nothing could be salvaged. I reluctantly scrapped that story and had to start all over again. It felt like I was swimming upstream against a powerful current and getting nowhere for all my efforts.

 

When I feel myself losing focus (and spending too much time surfing the web!) I often find that simply changing location helps. I move my laptop from the quiet of my bedroom into the noise and bustle of the kitchen, and often that’s enough to unlock fresh ideas. Luke Maguire also tries shifting location away from his mother’s house (his mother has recently passed away) where he is constantly reminded of her pride in his achievements. Luke moves town to his agent’s weekend house, hoping the change of scenery will overcome his writer’s block, but almost straight away he runs into his sassy new neighbour, Tyler Jones.

 

Tyler’s never met an author before. She imagines “…writers to be older, with beards and leather elbow patches, and either boring everyone in their uppity voices or swearing and getting roaring drunk on whiskey.”  Luke definitely doesn’t conform to her ideas about authors! Despite their initial prickly confrontation, there’s an almost instant attraction between these two. Desperate to finish his novel, Luke knows he shouldn’t get involved with the spirited and sexy Tyler. But as his writer’s block grinds on, it’s too easy to get distracted with her and her cute little three year old daughter, Chloe.

 

Luke does eventually overcome his writer’s block, but it’s a difficult and risky journey, and along the way he discovers what’s really important to him.

 

I never suffered any mental blocks writing Real Men Don’t Quit. In fact, I had a hard time cutting back on my word count because I got a real kick writing about Luke and Tyler finding love and happiness together. I hope you’ll also enjoy their story.

 

Thanks Fatin for having me on your blog!

 

Coleen Kwan

 

About the Author

CKColeen Kwan has been a bookworm all her life. At school English was her favorite subject, but for some reason she decided on a career in IT. After many years of programming, she wondered what else there was in life — and discovered writing. She loves writing contemporary romance and steampunk romance.

Coleen lives in Sydney, Australia with her partner and two children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate, and watching The Office.

 

Author Website: http://www.coleenkwan.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/coleenkwan.authorpage

Twitter: https://twitter.com/coleenkwan

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5210210.Coleen_Kwan

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GIVEAWAY!

 

Coleen will be giving away 3 – $10 gift cards at the close of the tour. Gift cards will be good for Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Kobo (winner’s choice). For the chance to win, enter the Rafflecopter HERE.

 

 

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ExtremeLove

Blurb

New body. New clothes. New men.

Used to the average Joe, Caitlyn Moore is overwhelmed when the supremely masculine Dante Jones walks into her life and expresses an interest in her. At first she pushes him away, refusing to encourage the attention of a cage fighter. Then she learns Dante has a love ‘em and leave ‘em reputation. What better way to fine-tune her non-existent flirting skills than with a male who won’t stick around? But Dante has no intention of being a practice dummy; he’s out for all or nothing. Now Caitlyn must accept Dante—violent career and all—or let him go.

Dante “Inferno” Jones has one goal: win the Welterweight Championship. At a time when focus is crucial, the last thing he needs is a distraction. Yet Caitlyn Moore becomes a challenge he can’t resist. When the light-hearted pursuit shifts to a battle to win her heart, his focus is shot. Faced with losing the biggest match of his career, Dante must decide if his extreme life also has room for Extreme Love.

Caitlyn has spent most of her life battling obesity and the social stigma that can go with it.  She never expected a ripped MMA fighter like Dante to be attracted to her. Even though she’s lost 10 dress sizes, she still sees herself as fat when she looks in the mirror and doesn’t understand why Dante wants to be with her. Add in that she hates violence, Dante has a rough road ahead with convincing Caitlyn to give him a chance. Luckily, Dante is used to fighting for everything he wants and he’s never wanted anything more than Caitlyn.

I liked this one. Caitlyn is a heroine with believable flaws. Her insecurities and inexperience with men led to many mistakes on her part but I liked watching her grow stronger throughout the book. And I just plain loved Dante. A hot, sweet, considerate hero that can flip to hot, protective, possessive hero with the right motivation? YUM!

I’ve seen a few references by other readers to some “fat shaming” that occurs in the book but I didn’t see it that way. Most of the weight issues addressed are from Caitlyn and the way she sees herself. The two villain-type characters do use her insecurities to cut her down and, once again (and unfortunately), I found this believable. There are people in the world who are cruel and will attack whatever someone is most sensitive about.

The villainous characters were my one real problem with this book but not for the reason mentioned above. They came across as very one dimensional and almost a caricature of a villain. There was no real depth with any characters outside of Caitlyn. Everyone was either really good and always right or really bad and always wrong. It kept me from investing in the story as a whole.

3.5 stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Format: Digital

Preorder:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

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The Best ManBeth Chase is too busy planning perfect weddings to worry about the lack of action in her own love life. But if she was looking for a man, she wouldn’t be looking at Colin Pratt. Her boss swears that Best Man Colin is a quiet scholar and science fiction writer who couldn’t possibly cause a fuss at his own brother’s wedding. He’s clearly never met the man in question. Snarky, sexy and more than a little inebriated, Colin is the final obstacle between Beth and the last perfect wedding she needs to make partner. Of course, when she helps him into a taxi at the end of the night she has no idea that he’s only just begun to poke holes in her professional exterior. Colin might have the skills to seduce a romance professional, but can he convince her that he’s the best man to share her happy ever after?

 

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There’s a lot to love about weddings. I mean basically we’re talking about giant parties filled with friends and family celebrating love. Sure, sometimes the food is cold, the groomsmen are too rowdy, someone decided against an open bar or you’re stuck at a table with strangers, but when it comes right down to it—weddings rock.

 

WFlowersMen in Tuxes. (Or suits or that super adorable thing where they wear jeans and vests.)I just love seeing guys all dressed up. I’m not a particularly fancy woman. For every day, give me a man in jeans, but once in a while it’s nice to them all cleaned up.

Flowers. There’s just something about flowers. For me, they mean life, love and new beginnings—everything a wedding should be.

Dancing. I love dancing. My husband…does not. But we have a deal. He has to dance with me under a few select circumstances and weddings are one of them.  I also love to watch the bride and groom have their first dance, the bride dance with her father and the groom dance with his mother. And I’m a total sucker for the silly and elaborately choreographed wedding party routines.

Wedding dresses.  I wish I could have a dozen weddings-there are so many beautiful dresses. I adore the simple ones and stare in wonder at the bejeweled bodices and cathedral length trains of the more complex designs.

The Kiss. That first kiss after two people have promised to stand by each other, to fall in love with only each other each and every day for the rest of their lives. That kiss always makes me cry.

Honorable mentions: Flower girls dancing with ring bearers. Almost too-pretty-to-eat cakes. Grooms reacting to seeing their brides (or grooms) for the first time.

As a wedding planner, Beth has seen the best and worst that can happen while two people are trying to tie the knot, but there’s nothing she would rather spend her life doing.

So what do you love about weddings? Tell me in the comment section.

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About the Author

 

Ana BlazeAna lives just outside Washington DC with her very supportive husband and three rather demanding cats. She loves the ocean, Indian food, IKEA, and cooking. Ana admits to watching too much television and she swears that someday she’s going to learn how to play the guitar resting on the bookshelf in her office.

Website: www.anablaze.blogspot.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AnaBlazeLove

Twitter: @ana_blaze

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Blog Tour Giveaway

BTG

One lucky reader will win The Best Man ebook and a goodie pack to share with the best man or woman in their life. The pack contains candles, Godiva chocolate, Tuscan lavender soap, Sensual Massage Oil from The Body Shop and two lip treatments from The Body Shop. It will come packaged in a pretty photo box.

Click HERE to enter

*Giveaway sponsored by the author. Open to U.S. residents only

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Winners!

Maggie B

wins a $10 Amazon gift card from Christine S. Feldman

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Melissa B, Alexandra Preis, and Pennie M

wins a digital copy of Play With Me by Alisha Rai

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Julie

wins a digital copy of Back On Track by Donna Cummings

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Congrats! To claim your prize, please email mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces). You have 48 hours to email before a new name is chosen.

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playwithmeWeb

Playing for a night…or for keeps? 

Jewelry designer Tatiana Belikov may have matured enough to curb her impulsive nature, but wickedness is still her best accessory. When family troubles bring her to Las Vegas and face-to-face with the man who knows all her darkest desires, resisting temptation is futile. A night of no-holds-barred sin? Jackpot.

Once Wyatt Caine had nothing to offer Tatiana except his heart, but time has changed his fortunes. Now he’s the king of vice, and the king always gets what he wants. Especially when all he wants is her, all grown up and ready to play every dirty game he can devise.

They ignite like fireworks on the Strip, blazing hot enough to melt the best intentions. But their roll in the sheets turns into a roll of the dice, and when morning comes, Wyatt and Tatiana are left wondering whether to walk away…or go all in.

alisharai.net

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I loved this story (review here) and I’m so excited that we have the chance to give away three digital copies! For a chance to win, just leave a comment below. Winners will be drawn on Sunday. Good luck!

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ComingHomeCoverNo woman ever really forgets her first love. Callie Sorenson is no exception. Hers was tall, tanned, and—as her older brother’s best friend—completely off limits.

Danny McCutcheon.

It’s a name that Callie hasn’t spoken in years, even if the man to whom it belongs has never really been all that far from her thoughts. Or her heart. But now a twist of fate will bring her back to the childhood home she left behind years ago, and to the hometown boy for whom she secretly longed.

When her mother takes a bad fall and breaks her hip, Callie leaves the bright lights of New York City to fly back west and help with the rehabilitation. It’s a tense homecoming due to a long time estrangement between mother and daughter, and it drives Callie to confront both a painful personal loss and her unanswered questions about the father who abandoned her when she was just a child.

It also brings her face to face with Danny again, and Callie quickly realizes that old feelings die hard.

But for Danny, it’s new feelings that are a problem. Callie is not the young girl he remembers but a woman now, and a very desirable one. They both have reasons to fight the growing attraction between them, but the temptation may just prove to be too much to resist, despite some very real risk to their hearts. The past casts a long shadow over the future, though, and Callie will have to overcome it or else face losing the one man who means the most to her.

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There’s an aura of glamour around the writing industry, isn’t there?  Especially the romance writing industry.  One tends to picture bon-bons and champagne.  And for all we know, maybe things like that really are staples in the lives of the top names in the business.  For the vast majority of writers, though…

 

Meh.  Not so much.

 

Most of the writers I know have to keep their day jobs to pay those pesky bills.  Man, creditors can be such sticklers, can’t they?  My day job involves runny noses, lots of Clorox wipes, and the occasional lack of control over bodily functions.

 

Hmm, you wonder…triage nurse perhaps?

 

Nope.  Kindergarten teacher.  And by the way, it’s the kids who occasionally experience a loss of control over their bodily functions, not me.  Not yet, at least.

 

Now I know what you’re thinking:   Awww!  Kindergarteners are cute!  And it’s true, they are.  Without even trying to be.  But it’s also true that life in a kindergarten classroom is the polar opposite of “glamour.” Here are some examples of what I mean:

 

Glamour:  expensive lacy undergarments handmade in Italy

Kindergarten:  small boy dangling soiled Spiderman underwear and saying, “I pooped my pants.”

 

Glamour:  the graceful swipe of an elegant fountain pen and the beauty of calligraphy combining to create a love note that is then sealed with a kiss

Kindergarten:  the removal of yet another crayon from up a nose

 

Glamour:  strawberries dipped in chocolate

Kindergarten:  gummy bears and animal crackers

 

Glamour:  glittering diamonds and ropes of pearls

Kindergarten:  “Look, teacher, I found a marble in the toilet!”

 

(It’s funny how many of my interactions with students seem to end with the sentence, “Okay, now please go wash your hands.”)

 

So this writer’s life, at least, is not all that glamorous.  Maybe that’s why I prefer to write stories about regular, everyday sorts of people instead of jetsetters and high society folks—not because they’re better but because I can identify with them more.  Coming Home is a story about two people just like that:  Callie Sorenson, who made a bold choice to strike out on her own when she was just eighteen and pursue her dreams…but still struggles with a deep, personal loss; and Danny McCutcheon, the best friend of Callie’s older brother and the man for whom she’s carried a secret torch since she was a teenager.  They both have issues in their pasts to overcome, issues that may not drip with glamour but do feel very much real-world and leave you rooting for a happy ending.

 

And in the end, maybe glamour is overrated anyway.  Because no matter how dazzling two dozen red roses might be from the local florist’s shop, they don’t hold a candle to a single wildflower offered to you by a shy, little lisping kindergartener.

 

Know what I mean?

 

Excerpt

It was clear that she didn’t want to be here. She sat stiffly in her seat and looked everywhere else around the sports bar but at him.

“You can pretend to watch that baseball game if you want to,” he said dryly, opening up his menu and looking it over, “but don’t think for a minute that I’m buying it.”

“What?” she returned. “Maybe I like baseball now. For all you know, I could be the Yankees’ biggest fan.”

“Fine,” he said without looking up. “Then tell me what a ground rule double is.”

She mulled it over. “Oh, shut up,” she muttered finally.

He grinned at her then, unable to help himself, and she reddened.  But she smiled a little, too.  He felt a sweet stab of pleasure at the sight and told himself not to ruin things by saying anything else.

Their waitress stopped by their table and turned her attention immediately to Danny. “Ready to order?”

“Steak,” Danny said. “Medium rare.”

“The same,” Callie echoed. “And a side order of onion rings.”

“Anything to drink?”

“A beer.” He glanced at Callie.

“Make that two.”

The waitress upped the wattage of her smile, and Danny returned it politely but only for a moment, and she left.  “Quite the appetite,” he observed.  “I remember you as more of a soup and salad kind of person.”

“There’s a lot you don’t know about me anymore.”

“I suppose so. It’s a little unnerving.”

“Really?”

“Don’t look so pleased.”

She smiled again, and he felt a little more of the tension between them melt away.

“So tell me,” he asked, careful to keep his voice casual, “what else don’t I know about you now?”

Their waitress delivered their beers and the onion rings, smiling coyly at Danny again. “Anything else I can get you?”

“Thanks,” Callie said with a pointed stare.  “We’re good now.”  She waited until the other woman left before answering Danny’s question.  “Hmm. Let me think…I’m unemployed now.”

He nearly choked on his first swallow of beer.  “What?”

She shrugged in an apparent lack of concern and sampled an onion ring.  “My choice.  I’ll find something else when I’m ready.”

“When you’re ready?”  He thought he felt his blood pressure rise on the spot.  Did she not have a practical bone in her body?  “Callie, jobs aren’t just—”

“Have an onion ring,” she interrupted, thrusting one into his open mouth.

“Callie—”

“And don’t talk with your mouth full. It’s rude.”

How could she make him want to shake her and laugh with her at the same time?  He considered himself to be a laid-back sort of person, but she brought out tension in him that he hadn’t even known existed.  No one else made him worry quite like she did.

She took a drink and leaned back in her chair.  “What else…I’m addicted to salsa.”

“The condiment?”

“The dance. Oh, and I’ve been mugged a couple of times.”

“You were mugged?  Why didn’t you tell anybody?”

“Oh, come on.  You haven’t truly experienced New York City until you’ve been mugged,” she said.  “And I’ve got a tattoo, a pimp, and a coke habit, too.”

“What?”  He watched as a wicked grin spread across her face, and his eyes narrowed.  “You little sadist.  Was any of that true, or was it all BS?”

“The tattoo part was true.”

Picking up his beer, he put it to his lips to stop himself from asking where the tattoo was. Bad enough that images were already popping into his mind of inked artwork in intimate places…

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For more information, visit christinesfeldman.com. And for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

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CoverWithdrawn and with a reputation for her strange, eccentric ways, young Lady Moira Rochmond is old to be unwed. Rumors say she has been seen barefoot in the orchard, is awake all night in moon-struck rambles, and sleeps all day. Some even claim her ghostly pallor and aloof manner are signs of illness, a curse, or insanity.

 

The hopes of the peaceful succession to her father’s fief lie in an advantageous marriage. Moira, however, has a hard time attracting suitors. When one does show interest, her family pushes for a decision.

 

Almost resigned to the fact that she has no choice but to play the part she has been given in life, Moira is faced with Owain, a member of the mysterious Blaidyn creatures and a new guard in her father’s castle, specifically tasked to keep her safe. He is different from other people she knows and when one night under the full moon she makes the acquaintance of the wolf who shares Owain’s soul, she starts to trust him and seek his presence. As he becomes one of the few individuals who doesn’t make her want to hide and retreat, she wants to learn more about him and they grow closer until they share a kiss one night under the moon.

 

Faced with feelings and desires that overthrow everything she thought she knew about herself, Moira knows non-the-less that they have to be kept utterly secret. However much they try, they continue to be drawn to each other until one night, Owain discovers something about Moira that shakes him to his core.

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NT: Hi Laila! Thank you for being our guest today.

Laila: Thank you so much for having me, I’m really excited to be here!

 

NT: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How long did it take for you to make your first sale?

Laila: I always wanted to be a writer. That sounds terribly cheesy but I really can’t remember ever seriously wanting to be anything else. There was a brief phase in high school where I thought I’d go to med school but that was mostly because I was terribly in love with my first aid instructor and I’d read a few really good murder mysteries written by doctors and I thought that would be a great career – doctor/writer! Of course then I did an internship and realized I was far more suited for the writing world than the world of sick people.

I have worked as a translator and a teacher but it never felt like a career – I wanted to be a writer and everything else is something I earn money with until I can live off writing one day.

As for my first sale – in a way it took me about 20 years but that is not really true because for so many reasons I never really tried. I have submitted short-stories before but I wouldn’t really go so far as calling that actually trying. I first had to conquer my self-doubts and all that mental stuff that just builds up. And after that, everything went surprisingly fast.

My friend calls me her adorable tropical fish (from what Leslie calls Anne Perkins in Parks and Rec because she’s so unfamiliar with rejection). I started to shop By the Light of the Moon around in December and in February I had found not only my publisher but also an editor who wanted to include an erotic short-story of mine in her anthology. I am incredibly grateful and humbled by this and I just hope I will continue to be worthy of the trust these wonderful people placed in me.

 

NT: You have a debut release this month, BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON. Can you tell us about it?

Laila: Of course, thank you for asking. BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON came out earlier this week with Crimson Romance. It’s a mixture of paranormal and fantasy romance – the world is more reminiscent of fantasy but it is populated with creatures you’d expect in paranormal, such as fae and a kind of were-wolf race I dubbed the Blaidyn.

I don’t want to bore you and just repeat the blurb – but it’s a forbidden love-story, and it’s about mental health and alienation, about prejudice and about family. I tried to create a world that supported my story and some of the motifs I wanted to include. It is also designed to sustain more than just one book. BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON is the first book in a series I am currently writing and which will uncover even more.

 

NT: Do you have a writing routine? What is your average writing day like?

I have a somewhat irregular work schedule so it very much depends. On my days off, I try to start in the morning – I’m not a morning person but I really like starting my day writing and have about a 1000 words done before noon. Then I usually do other things, take care of my website, of social media and cook food, hang out with my cat and my friends via IM and all that and then go back to writing in the afternoon or evening. When I work, I try to write 500 words at the very least, then in the evening.

 

NT: Is there anyone you use as a sounding board when you’re stuck on a scene?

Sometimes, yeah. My best friend L.C. Spoering with whom I have also collaborated on a novel we’ll start shopping around soon, tends to be that person. At the same time, I can be weirdly secretive about what I am working on, wanting her to read the finished product without so many previous impressions of it.

When I’m stuck on a scene, I usually take a walk – and hope desperately that it’s nice and cold out. I usually just need a good gust of wind to blow away all the bullshit that assembles in your brain day by day and then I tend to figure it out.

 

NT: What was the most interesting thing you had to research and what was the hardest thing to research?

I have to admit that I am not the most incredible researcher out there. Shame on me. I do it when I have to, obviously, but I don’t go out of my way to include topics that require a lot of research. For BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON for example, I researched castle terminology, dresses and things like that but mostly I just made it up – as you can in fantasy. I did a lot of research about PTSD but I also had a jump start there because I know people who suffer from it. Also, the way it connects in the story, it isn’t exactly like the human condition because of several other cofactors that play a role – but which to mention might be spoiling it too much.

But I am currently working on a post apoc piece with a friend and I have to say, I love researching ways to live without modern amenities. I think I have some kind of hippie soul, and I adore reading about gardening and building houses out natural materials and creating communities. It’s really fascinating!

 

NT: When not busy writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? (If there is such a thing *G*)

Haha, at the moment, it feels a bit like you hit the nail right on the head there. Between writing and promoting my release, it does often feel like there is little actual free time. I skype with my writing buddy a lot, keeping each other on track – but also just hanging out. I nurse a few obsessions with tv shows like Game of Thrones or Parks and Rec, and Singer-song-writers and that kind of stuff. With actually free time (as in not just relaxing time) I like to play guitar or take my camera out for a spin.

NT: What are the latest additions to your TBR? What are you most eager to read?

I recently bought a self-published book called “Exactly Where They’d Fall” by Laura Rae Amos – so that that is the latest addition and actually also what I am really looking forward to reading! Also the last part of Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84, incredibly excited about that.

 

NT: Any advice to aspiring authors? What craft books helped you that you would recommend to aspiring writers?

I haven’t actually read all that many. I believe that reading really good books and the canon of literature and then thinking about them, maybe writing reviews and really coming to understand why you like certain aspects and not others helps you more than craft books. I read the James N. Frey books “How to write a damn good novel” I and II and they were good – but again, I think contact with other writers, writing forums or discussion groups bring you further than reading craft books.

I’d also advise anyone who wants to be a writer to understand the market from the very beginning. We can’t just be writers anymore, write a manuscript and then sit back and let everything be handled by others. We have to be social media experts and our own promoters, we have we have to know about marketing and the market itself. Follow people on twitter and really read what they have to say, read blogs by editors and agents and writers and educate yourself on these aspects.

Other than that? I honestly don’t know. Write and don’t stop, write every day and write for writing’s sake – because that’s what you want to do with the rest of your life. Writing for money and fame is like picking up a lottery ticket with the expectation of being a millionaire in the next few weeks. Writing as a career is really hard work and it doesn’t pay off for a very long time – if ever. Be aware of that and if it that doesn’t scare you off, what else do you have to fear really? Just go for it, go for it hard and don’t stop.

 

NT: What can your fans look forward to from you in the near future? What are you working on now?

I’m currently finishing up the last two chapters in the Lakeside sequel, so that will definitely the next thing that’s coming out in a couple of months. As I mentioned above, I am also working on some collaborative projects with L.C. Spoering in which we hope we interest a publisher.

Apart from that, I have several erotic short-stories in anthologies that will come out later in the year and early in 2014 and once finished with the Lakeside sequel, I want to take some time writing one or two shorter novellas and take a break from fantasy until I plunge back into the third and final book in the series.

NT: How can readers contact you?

I love to hear from my readers! I am also thinking about starting some youtube videos or a podcast where I could answer questions. For now, they can always email me at Laila@lailablake.com or leave comments on my blog, add me on twitter or facebook or friend me on goodreads. I’m very approachable, I promise! 🙂

 

NT: Thanks for being our guest today!

 

 To be entered in Laila’s giveaway, follow the rafflecopter link below. Good luck! 😀

 http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/OWE0YzkzYWJmMzE3OGE4N2RkZmZjNDQ2MzMwOTNlOjA=/

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