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Archive for the ‘C – D Authors’ Category

Whenever the subject of my book comes up, whether I’m with friends, family members, or someone I’ve just met, I invariably get asked why I chose to set my debut novel Siege of the Heart in medieval times. There’s an easy answer: the story required it. But that rarely satisfies since what the person is really asking is what is the appeal of medievals.

 

Let’s face it. Medievals often get a bad rap. Set during the Middle Ages (affectionately called the Dark Ages due to the cultural and economic decline throughout Europe), they usually feature members of nobility (while technically classist, everyone else was too busy toiling to have adventures) and your traditional alpha-male hero (which can be problematic for modern readers given the gender equality issues of the time). To top it off, let’s just say some of the historically accurate details of the time are less than…palatable. (A good rundown is here.)

 

And yet… I and many other readers love them. Why is that?

 

Escapism plays a big role, for me at least. There was a time when I wanted my very own knight in shining armor to whisk me away on a grand quest. Clearly, I consumed too many fables and fairy tales growing up. But these fantasies are linked to history, a brutal past to which the remains of any castle will attest. I’ve found medieval times come the closest to evoking the world of fairy tales. The historical details not only provide a link to that storied past, but also reinforce the distance between that time and now. This results in a safe space to escape to again and again.

 

Another reason I enjoy medievals is how high the personal stakes can be for lovers of the time period. The concept of marriage in medieval times was essentially a business transaction. Love was not an emotion regular people could afford to have when so much of their day was focused on survival. So any love match of the period was really something special, since too often they went against the wishes of their families and their liege lords when they chose love over duty.

 

Still not convinced? Consider this: Knights were the soldiers of the day. Training started early for boys, creating lethal men (so long as they lived to see adulthood). In addition to knowing how to wield a sword, they were usually trained in another weapon (ax, bow, spear), taught how to control a warhorse, and had to wear thirty to fifty pounds of chain mail. Such a regimen would result in a fine physical specimen, don’t you think?

 

Thanks again to RR@H for hosting me!

 

 

About Siege of the Heart:

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He fought for king and country, but that battle was nothing compared to the one he’ll wage for a woman’s heart.

Still reeling from the news of her father’s death during the Norman Conquest, Isabel Dumont is unprepared when trouble arrives at the castle gates. Alexandre d’Évreux, a Norman knight with close ties to England’s new king, has arrived to secure the land and the loyalties of the Dumont family. Desperate to protect her people, Isabel strives to keep the confounding knight at arm’s length and hide the truth about her father’s death.

For Alexandre, the spoils of war come with more than just a generous gift of land. They come with Isabel Dumont. Vowing to marry only for love, Alexandre finds himself in a difficult situation as a conqueror granted dominion over the land and its people. Isabel is the one person capable of helping him win the regard of those living in the war-torn country…if he chooses to accept her.

Just when Alexandre finds a spark of hope that he and Isabel have a chance at love, she vanishes. His quest to find her plunges him deeper into the conquest’s fallout. Was she taken? Or did she leave?

CONTENT WARNING: Entering into this novel may cause extreme affection toward knights of old, admiration for strong-willed women, and the overwhelming belief that love really can conquer all.

 

About Elise Cyr:

 

I’ve always loved adventure, romance, and happy endings. I write primarily in the medieval period. Because there’s still so much we don’t know about that time in history, the writer’s imagination is essential for fleshing out the research and making it come to life on the page. Plus swords and castles are just plain fun.

 

I live in New Mexico with my husband and the sweetest dog ever. When I’m not writing, I hike, bike, cook, and (of course) read. Siege of the Heart is my debut medieval romance. You can follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, or check out my blog.

 

Ready to go medieval? One random commenter will win an ebook of Siege of the Heart (epub or mobi).

 

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HelenKay Dimon has a new series coming from Berkley Heat soon that is pure awesomeness. Former-criminal-turned-legit hero, spies, revenge, BFF’s little sister, sexy hero with glasses, plenty of smoking hot sexy times, and so much more! And the covers are a perfect fit.

 

Mecry

After she infiltrated his business and betrayed his trust, a disavowed CIA agent must seek sanctuary in the bedroom of a man who will either help her, kill her, or bring her to her knees…

Becca Ford is on her own. Eight months after she headed up a sting operation to take down millionaire club owner Jarrett Holt, the other agents in her special ops team have been eliminated under odd circumstances, and she needs a place to hide.

Jarrett is a man who prefers darkness to light. He deals in the only truly valuable currency—information—and his supper club caters to an exclusive clientele. It was an uncharacteristic moment of weakness when he let a woman into his life. But it’s not luck that the criminal charges disappeared . . . as did the evidence.

When Becca returns to the club seeking his help, Jarrett doesn’t want to hear her story. But he does want her body, and demands that she give it to him. He’ll keep her safe—for now—but it’ll be in his bed and on his terms, until he says they’re done.

Available May 2014

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He’s a man who fixes difficult situations. She’s the one thing he can’t handle—and the one thing he can’t resist…

Sebastian Jameson negotiates for high-end clients who need problems taken care of quickly and discreetly. Accustomed to being in control, he’s still reeling from his ex-wife’s decision to write a tell-all about their private life, one that highlighted their bedroom activities. The fallout left Bast’s love life in chaos, making him a magnet for women who thrive on risky fantasies, and a pariah to all others.

Kyra Royer knows all about Bast’s reputation—and is intrigued enough to try to change him into a one-woman guy. But getting him into her bed will be a challenge. He’s known her brother for years, and her brother, with his rough past and sniper abilities, is not a man you cross. Kyra knows Bast thinks she’s off-limits, so she’ll have to get creative to make him hers.

As Kyra turns up the heat, Bast struggles to resist the sexy young woman’s considerable charms. But when Bast’s job turns from tricky to deadly, keeping Kyra nearby might be the only way to keep her alive—even if it means getting closer than he ever intended…

Available October 2014

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For more information, including a Mercy excerpt and pre-order links, visit www.helenkaydimon.com.

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It’s release day! Catch’n’Kiss is finally here. It feels like forever that I’ve waited for this book to come out and now the wait is over.

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Blurb –

 

In this game of chase, a kiss isn’t the only reward.

 

Are You Game? Book 2

 

Divorced with two teenage daughters, Jody Walsh doesn’t need any more complications in her life, and Dan O’Conner is proving to be a big one. His pursuit may give her bruised ego a much-needed boost, but Jody’s learned to guard her heart and trust is something she isn’t willing to give another man no matter how well he kisses.

 

One kiss and Dan knows what he wants. He isn’t about to walk away from the kind of chemistry he and Jody have. Unfortunately, the more he chases the more she runs. If only he could get her running in his direction.

 

When a night of passion doesn’t convince her they’re meant to be, Dan is left with no choice but to prove he’s worth taking a risk on, no matter how much he complicates her life.

 

Warning: Story contains a woman not willing to put her heart at risk and a man determined to persuade her otherwise—and he’s willing to use his washing machine to show her why he’s worth it.

 

Excerpt –

 

Jody let out a deep breath as she slipped into her room. Damn, it had been a long, long day. Six hours had seemed like sixty, and she was looking forward to the next four hours off to recharge. This was her first corporate event and she had to admit they were more strenuous than the usual adult’s and kid’s parties she dealt with. She’d coped with the program fine. There was never a point where she’d thought otherwise. It was being the centre of attention that she found draining. Usually she stayed behind the scenes and let the parties unfold. Today required constant input from her. Not to mention a couple of the men had been a little too friendly and attentive.

She’d soon nipped that in the bud, and Dan’s scowl at morning tea had proven a major deterrent that had them backing right off. Unfortunately, she’d still had to deal with Keith Mooney’s unrelenting interest. His pursuit had been anything but flattering towards the end, and she’d had to pull him aside and lie about being involved with someone so that he’d leave her alone. The fact he’d immediately jumped to the conclusion that it was Dan she was seeing had her troubled. Jody had no idea what would happen if word got back to Cassie.

She slipped off her shoes and kicked them aside before making her way to the mini-bar and a cold drink. She’d popped the top and had just collapsed into one of the chairs on the terrace when she heard Dan come through the door. Twisting around, she leaned over and peered through the doorway back into the room. He walked towards her, his stride purposeful as he stalked over and yanked her out of her seat. Barely a protest left her throat when his mouth slammed down on hers.

There was nothing gentle in his kiss. He took. Conquered every inch of her mouth without remorse. She couldn’t catch her breath. Couldn’t think beyond the man holding her so close the name badge on his shirt dug into her chest. Just when she thought she had a handle on it, when she sought to meet his demands, he pulled away. Ripping their mouths apart, he pushed her to arm’s length. His chest heaved with each ragged breath and his eyes—greener than she’d ever seen them—studied her with such intensity her heart skipped.

“Do you have any idea how badly I want to smash Mooney’s face in?” Dan’s words were spoken through clenched teeth and razor sharp.

Jody shook her head. She wasn’t following the conversation. Not when her mind was still lost in the darkness of that carnal kiss.

“I saw him put his hands on you and I wanted to break every one of his fingers. Slowly. One. By. One.”

She swallowed. The violence vibrating in his words sent a quiver through her belly. She should be appalled by his confession—should be disgusted with the brutality of it. Instead, a thrill of excitement shot straight to her core. She’d never inspired such intense emotions in anyone.

He loosened his grip then slid his hands up and down her arms. “Sorry.”

Jody shook her head, confused by his apology. “For what?”

Dan smiled, although it wasn’t a happy one, more a twist of his lips. “I was rough with you.”

Funny. She hadn’t thought so. “Were you? I didn’t notice.” Jody stepped closer and brushed the backs of her fingers along his jaw. “Want to talk about it?”

“That depends.”

“On what?”

“Whether you’re into the whole alpha man thing.” He let her go and moved away to retrieve a can of drink from the fridge. “Basically, some guy put his hands on the woman I think of as mine.”

She nodded. “I get that.”

His gaze met hers. “You get that you’re my woman?”

Laughing, she said, “No, I get that you think of me as yours.”

“Ah, I can think it but it doesn’t mean it’s true, is that it?” He popped the top on the can and liquid sprayed the front of his shirt as the drink fizzed and bubbled out. “Shit!”

He brought the can to his mouth and sucked the overflowing soda. Her gaze was drawn to the splash of brown covering the front of his white shirt and she immediately thought about the stain that would be impossible to remove if he didn’t do something about it now. “You’ve got it all over your shirt. Take it off and I’ll soak it in cold water so the stain doesn’t set.”

Dan arched one eyebrow. “You’re telling me to take my clothes off now?”

 

 

 

Available from

Samhain Publishing ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iTunes ~ Kobo

 

Rhian Cahill

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

 

To be in the running for a chance to win a digital copy of book 1 in the Are You Game? series, 7 Minutes In Heaven just leave a comment and tell me what games you played as a kid that you’re still playing as an adult. Easy-peasy. 🙂

 

 

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MARKED: Three stories of passion, possession, and ink

Stories can take us from our everyday world into the future, or to places in the current here and now that we’ve never before been. They can show us heat, and passion, and in the case of an anthology, provide more than one trip to a fabulous happily-ever-after.

Kit Rocha, Lauren Dane and Vivian Arend welcome you to MARKED. Three brand new stories we’re thrilled to share with you.

We’re stopping off at some our favorite blogs with some steamy excerpts. Each of us has pulled a snippet from our novella following a chosen theme, to give you a taste of what you’ll find in MARKED. The theme for this post?

~~~First Glimpse of HER~~~

 

Beyond Temptation

Kit Rocha returns to Sector Four in BEYOND TEMPTATION. A promise to a dying friend backfires when Noah Lennox finds that the girl he was supposed to rescue is all grown upand wearing OKane ink. He wants to protect her from the secrets of their past, but she wants him. And an OKane woman always gets what she wants.

~*~

Music washed over Noah as he slipped through the door, a rough bass line that pounded in time with his heart as

Emma gripped the hilts of the knives strapped to her sleek thighs and circled her hips with a raw, knowing sexuality that had Noah’s dick half-hard already.

Emma was stripping at the most infamous bar in all eight sectors, a fact that would have been crazy enough all on its own. But tattoos curled around her wrists, cuffs that stretched from the tops of her hands halfway to her elbows, a sight only slightly less infamous than the bar. Members of Dallas’s gang wore those cuffs, inescapable proof that she really had joined up with the O’Kanes.

Appreciative noises rose from the crowd as Emma slipped the sharp end of one blade under her shirt, slicing the tight black cotton right down the middle. It pulled away, baring her breasts–and the taut pink tips of her nipples.

~~~***~~~

Rocky Ride

Take a ROCKY RIDE with New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Vivian Arend as she leads you back to the Six Pack Ranch. Anna Coleman might be the law around Rocky Mountain House, but bad boy Mitch Thompson knows that under the stiff RCMP uniform is a woman with a passion for speed and pleasure that matches his own, and hes not giving up until shes his.

~*~

Mitch grinned harder, pushing her against the car before she could run away and clean up the signs of their wild debauchery. He pinned her in place, his hands pushing her wrists to the roof as he slid one leg between her thighs and held her bare ass to the car door. Her dark brown hair was a mess tumbled about her shoulders, her pupils still full and dark against her pale blue irises. The flush on her cheeks from the wild sex, not some maidenly blush. “I like you dirty,” he admitted.

Her eyes flashed brightly for a second before she pulled on her cop uniform. Not the navy slacks and powder-blue shirt, but the mental shield she wore. As real as a tangible piece of fabric, Anna transformed before his eyes from his sexy, uninhibited lover to the woman who wrote up tickets and toed the line.

All the lines. All the time.

~~~***~~~

All That Remains

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lauren Dane takes you into a brand new world in ALL THAT REMAINS. Summer Killian falls fast and hard when Charlie arrives in Paradise Village. But the heat turns all the way up when she learns Charlie is also with Hatch the man she loved three years before. While shes not sure shes cut out for a triad, neither man is going to give her up.

~*~

“I met someone. She’ll be at the social tonight.”

Hatch already had his cap tucked in his back pocket but he smiled as he took some bread and cheese as they headed out the door. “You work fast.”

“This one is different . I think. Strawberry blonde. Big blue eyes. Freckles. Flirts just right. Her mouth, Christ, baby, she’s got a mouth on her that may be as lush as yours. It’s the woman from the path last night. I didn’t see all of her in the dark, but in the full morning sun she’s beautiful.”

“You know I love redheads, but I have a deep weakness for those pale strawberry blondes.” Hatch slid his sunglasses up his nose and it felt to Charlie like he was changing the subject. “You’re antsy now, aren’t you?”

“Not antsy really. I just… she’s different. I don’t know if I can say why. Made me think about roots and a woman to fit in that space in our life.” He shrugged. Of the two, Charlie knew who was the more sentimental one.

~~~***~~~

Enjoy the sneak peeks? Check out MARKED, available now in digital and print.

Introductory price: $2.99!

Barnes & Noble | Amazon | ARe | iTunes | Smashwords | Google Play

Price rises to $4.99 on March 1st

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Last year, my family suffered two big losses – my sister-in-law lost her battle to cancer, and our 15-year old Lab’s body finally gave out.  We had been prepping for grief in both cases.  We’d been told by friends that they found comfort in associating “found” dimes and pennies with lost loved ones.

Immediately after each loss I noticed two things – dimes and pennies were everywhere.  On my morning jogs.  In the parking lot where I was running errands.  Once at the foot of my bed.  My husband, who collects wheat pennies, also started finding coins.  He was thinking about his sister as he drove through Taco Bell.  One of the coins he received in change was a wheat penny.  And then a few months later, when the grief wasn’t so sharp, the coins tapered off.

I was driving to the airport and thinking about my sister-in-law and how I hadn’t “heard from her” via coin in some time.  When I landed in Denver, I saw a penny on the carpet.  I picked it up (part of the healing process is you pick up the coin) and thanked Carrie in my mind, then told her if she would have left a dime in the airport bathroom I wouldn’t have picked it up.  When I landed in SFO a few days later, I stopped at the restroom and wouldn’t you know it? I found a dime at the base of a toilet. Much as I love Carrie, I didn’t pick it up.

Coins have a prominent role in my latest book, Summer Kisses.  Two widows from different generations find solace in their dimes and pennies.  And as with Carrie, there is humor in healing and the story of the coins.  It’s not by any means a religious story, but there’s a little bit of Carrie there that brought me joy in the writing and, I hope, warms readers’ hearts as well.

 

BIO

Melinda Curtis writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet romances for the Harlequin Heartwarming line. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”.  Melinda also writes independently published, hotter romances as Mel Curtis. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: “Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood’s Golden Age except a lot hotter.”  Melinda is married to her college sweetheart, and has three kids in college.  She follows the NFL because one young quarterback is from her hometown, and follows Duke basketball because Mr. Curtis has a man crush on Coach K.  Her latest release, Summer Kisses, is part of the Harmony Valley series and set in a small town winery.  You can learn more about her books at http://www.MelindaCurtis.net.

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Rebecca MacKenzie’s career as a caregiver for the elderly suited her perfectly. Ease their suffering, hop back in the motor home and move on. Caring without commitment. It was ideal for someone trying to outrun her memories…and mistakes. Someone determined to stay detached. Flynn Harris, her new patient’s grandson, is weakening her resolve in every way. His scrutiny, his suspicion—and worst of all, his kisses—are more than distracting. They’re dangerous. Because she’s teetering on the edge of caring. And revealing her secrets. And…staying.

***

EXCERPT

The truth pressed at Becca’s throat.

She swallowed it back.

Took a breath.

Risked looking toward Flynn.

Beneath his black ball cap, his reddish-brown hair glinted in the afternoon sunlight, almost as blinding as the rippling river. His jaw was a hard line. She couldn’t look him in the eye.

The truth pressed on her once more.

Becca swallowed it again.

She and the truth had an odd track record. Like the time her father walked out after learning Becca’s mother had Stage Four cancer. Or the first time Terry asked her to marry him. He’d walked out when she said she was scared and needed time to think.

“You have two choices if you want the job.” Flynn’s voice was as unflappable as his jaw line. “You can tell me what you’re hiding, or I can do a background check.”

Tell him the truth? Which version? No one ever really wanted to hear the unvarnished truth. They wanted a massaged answer tailored to their expectations. Telling Flynn about the lawsuit placed her odds of landing the job near zero. But it was a definite zero if she walked away without saying anything.

“I want this job.” She swallowed and rephrased. “I need this job.” To repair her reputation before it fell from somewhere near barely employable to no-way-in-Hades employable.

 

LINKS:

www.MelindaCurtis.net

Twitter: MelCurtisAuthor

Facebook: MelindaCurtisAuthor

Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00EFPVDYS/melicurt-20

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Giveaway

For the chance to win a digital or signed print copy of Summer Kisses by Melinda Curtis, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

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Valentine Rules copy (414x640)What started out as an innocent assignment for work –accompanying a popular actress fresh out of rehab on shopping trips – has gained Gemma Kent regular makeovers by said actress and a sidebar photo on People magazine’s cover!  All the attention would be flattering, except she’s become famous as a mystery woman with the Twitter handle: GlitterfrostGem.  Everyone, even the local gossip column, is speculating about her identity.  In real life, Gemma wears combat boots, poindexter glasses, and a prickly attitude.  Now Randy Farrell, the man she can’t get out of her head, wants a date with Glitterfrost Gem!  Which would be great if he realized that invisible Gemma Kent and Glitterfrost Gem were one and the same.

Valentine Rules can be found in the Love, Valentine Style collection or be purchased independently.

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Every writer is asked where they get their ideas.  I hate that question, because the answer is wishy-washy: It depends.

I usually start with an idea that interests me – like someone who never expected to be a life coach or a man trying to make positive changes in a small town filled with determined-never-to-change retirees.  Then I add a romantic element (usually the worst person they could fall in love with).  Then there is character construction – goals, motivations, conflict.  And then my sense of humor…such as it is.

Another thing I consider when constructing my stories is the audience or publishing house.  My sexier stories target readers who love alpha males.  These guys aren’t always politically correct and might even be competitive with the heroine.  My sweet romances for Harlequin Heartwarming feature heroes who are less alpha, per their request.

LVSnr300I take all my ideas, my must-haves, my intuitive feelings about characters and start writing.  Story construction for me is very much a Mr. Potato Head process.  There are multiple combinations – some that I think may work in the beginning and don’t mesh well by one-third of the way through the book.  I move story elements around and revise until I’m happy, my critique group is happy, and my editor is happy.  Sometimes we aren’t all happy until the last revision.  I once told my husband that I’d revised a chapter at least 20 times.  During those revisions, stories evolve in ways I can’t predict or plan.

I got the idea for my latest release – Valentine Rules, a mini-novella for my Hollywood Rules series – because of a news story about a very public romance between Andre Drummand (NBA star) and Jennette McCurdy (Nickelodeon star). What started as an innocent Twitter crush on #WCW (Women Crush Wednesday) turned into a sweet romance.  And I used that as a story thread in both Cora Rules and Valentine Rules.

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Melinda Curtis writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet romances for the Harlequin Heartwarming line. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”.  Melinda also writes independently published, hotter romances as Mel Curtis. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: “Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood’s Golden Age except a lot hotter.”  Melinda is married to her college sweetheart, and has three kids in college.  She follows the NFL because one young quarterback is from her hometown, and follows Duke basketball because Mr. Curtis has a man crush on Coach K.  Her latest release, Valentine Rules, can be found in the Love, Valentine Style collection or be purchased independently.

Buy Links (Amazon only)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00HJELWXE/melicurt-20

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00HK4RQFQ/melicurt-20

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For more information visit www.melindacurtis.net. And for a chance to win a digital copy of one Hollywood Rules book (winner’s choice) just leave a comment below. Good luck!

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kissing-her-scrooge-coverEvery Christmas, Hannah Jones makes it her mission to give her hometown the perfect pageant. Even malfunctioning inflatable Santas and lost students can’t stop the self-proclaimed Miss Holiday. But the teacher may have met her mismatch in sexy but antisocial tree farmer Griff Green. Hannah’s been lusting after her new neighbor for months—and she’s determined to melt his heart by being naughty as well as nice…

He may sell trees, but Griff doesn’t do Christmas. He’s known as the town humbug—and he likes it that way. Which is why he’s been avoiding Hannah, despite the sexy visions of her that have been dancing through his head. When a surprise visit leads to a passionate kiss, he can’t deny the attraction any longer.

When Hannah discovers Griff isn’t the Scrooge he pretends to be—and she exposes his secret to the whole town—it may take a holiday miracle for their budding relationship to survive into the new year.

~~~*~~~*~~~

When the holidays are hilarious

 

I finished holiday shopping for my husband and my parents and I probably went about it wrong. Mostly because I giggled the whole time. And there might have been the occasional cackle.

 

It started out innocently enough, but it quickly went downhill. I started by searching for something simple, but then it would show an example of other things I might want and it was totally me looking at the picture and thinking, YES! That is much better.

 

That’s hilarious and I have to get it! *insert cackle*

 

My husband basically watched me the whole time I was doing this because he was at his desk and we were in the same room.

 

He would just give me that look. He has this look he gives me that goes beyond the realm of words. He doesn’t need to say anything. He just needs to look. It perfectly summarizes his feelings which are basically, You’re crazy/How did I end up here?/Why is this happening to me?

 

With love, of course. Don’t forget the love.

 

I really wish I could share how I managed to take something completely appropriate and make it full of innuendo, but on the off chance my husband reads this blog, I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

 

He honestly is ridiculous when it comes to guessing presents. I’ll make one offhand comment and he’ll be like, “Seahawks’ pool cue.” I will be like… how did you even…?

 

I mean that is a very specific guess. Maybe I’m super obvious. That wouldn’t surprise me. But if you want to know what I got after the holiday season, there’s no way I won’t be blogging about it at http://kinleybaker.wordpress.com.

 

Then my husband had the sobering reminder that went something like, “Your mom better be as amused as you by these presents.”

 

And I got to thinking… They won’t possibly be as amused as I am. Maybe I did this whole gift buying thing wrong.

 

But I do think they will like their presents! They’re just going to have a little patience and remember that they chose me.
Well, my parents, bless their hearts, didn’t choose me but I constantly have to remind my husband he chose to be here experiencing this moment which is inspiring the look.

 

Relationships are so strange to me and the dynamics have always intrigued me. You basically choose someone who you will be with (in theory) everyday of your life. It’s kind of like forcing two people who don’t know each other to share a room in college.

 

If you really thinking about it, it’s bizarre. But that’s why I love romance and exploring just why two people could possibly want to be together.

 

I’m a romantic and happy endings are a necessity. Writing contemporary romance has really given me an appreciation of the power of a relationship.

 

Even if at the end of the day, all you’re left with is the look. I admit I am amused by the look.

 

Don’t tell him though. It will be our secret.

 

Have you ever bought a gift for someone else that amused you? It worked out well, right…?

 

BIO

 

Kinley Cade has a terminally tender heart and an inconvenient sense of humor. She loves puppies and cries at celebrity weddings. Kinley believes “happy ever after” isn’t only for the normal. Kinley Cade’s contemporaries are known for their sexy heroes, resilient heroines and memorable characters, however, she also writes sexy paranormal heroes, resilient heroines and memorable characters as Kinley Baker. To learn more about her contemporary romances please feel free to peruse http://www.kinleycade.com. To check out her paranormal romances visit www.kinleybaker.com. And for just Kinley you can visit her at her blog kinleybaker.wordpress.com or on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/kinleycade. Find out more about her latest release, Kissing Her Scrooge, on her website.

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For a chance to win Kissing Her Scrooge, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

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I’ve always loved reading series books. There’s just something about getting to go back and visit with favorite characters while on the journey with a new set. I guess that’s why I seem to end up writing series stories. My latest is a spin-off of another series I wrote and revolves around a company called Are You Game? They’ve got a game for every occasion. 😉

Today marks the release of the first book in the series, 7 Minutes In Heaven, and I’m so excited to finally see Cassie and Luc step out in the big wide world. 🙂 And to help celebrate I’m sharing an exclusive snippet and one lucky reader who comments will win a digital copy of 7 Minutes In Heaven.

 

7MinutesInHeaven

 

Excerpt –

 

He flattened his hands on the wall beside her head so he wouldn’t give in to the temptation of grabbing her and dragging her into the bed she’d offered him. He’d be a fool to rush her. She’d never let him get closer if he used their sexual chemistry to win her over. How he knew that he wasn’t sure, but he did. If he wanted to get to know Cassie, spend time with her, he’d have to tread carefully—needed to produce some of his legendary control and back away.

Only that wasn’t so easy when her mouth ate at his like she couldn’t get enough. When she gripped the back of his shirt like it was a lifeline. Or when she came up on her toes, arched into him and rubbed against his straining flesh. With a growl, he tore his lips from hers.

“Fuck.” Luc laid his forehead on Cassie’s and tried to catch his breath. Pleased to note her breathing came in ragged gasps as well. “Damn, you’re potent.”

“Me?” She fisted her hands in his shirt and he couldn’t recall when she’d moved them from his back to his chest.

“Yeah, you.” He raised his head a few inches and met her gaze. “You scramble my brains without trying.”

Cassie laughed and pushed him away. “Pot, meet Kettle.”

Luc grinned. He liked that she wasn’t playing coy or using his reactions to her against him. She was a breath of fresh air and Luc couldn’t wait to saturate his blood with her. But not yet. Tonight they needed to get their balance, regain some sanity and think about where this was leading. Well, at least he did. “So, is there anything you want me to do? Unpack the van?”

Her smile faltered. “Ah, no. We’ll do that in the morning when we get to the warehouse.” She ducked her head, but before she could sneak under his outstretched arm and escape, he slid his hands lower down the wall, effectively trapping her.

“Look at me, Cass.” He waited long seconds for her to comply. When she finally did, he could see the uncertainty swirling her eyes. “Make no mistake that I want you in that bed.” Luc tipped his head to indicate the room beside them. “But I want far more than a quick tumble, and if you’re honest I think you’ll admit you do too.”

She started to shake her head, but he stopped her by gripping her chin in his hand.

“You can lie to me, but don’t lie to yourself, Cass.” He brushed his thumb over her bottom lip and watched it tremble under his touch.

“I don’t have time to get involved. Don’t want to,” she whispered.

Luc could understand her hesitancy, but he wasn’t about to ignore the intense attraction between them. And it was between them, her body told him she was as equally affected even if her mouth didn’t. “I’m not sure what exactly it is between us but it’s far more than one night of pleasure, and I’m willing to wait because I know we’ll end up in that bed eventually.”

A burst of air fanned over his thumb when she gasped, and a shudder rolled through him as he thought about how her warm breath might feel on other more sensitive parts of his body. Leaning forward, he planted a quick, hard kiss on her lips before he stepped back and broke all contact.

It was the hardest thing he’d done in recent memory, but Luc smiled and said, “See you in the morning.” He strode into the bedroom and closed the door behind him before he could change his mind and take her against the wall.

 

Available from

Samhain Publishing ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iTunes ~ Kobo

 

Rhian Cahill

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

 

To be in the running for a chance to win a digital copy of 7 Minutes In Heaven just tell me in the comments what’s a childhood game you remember playing. Easy-peasy. 🙂

 

 

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Consumed

Mira Avalon is a witch without power, burning silently for her handsome and mysterious colleague, Sol Ribero Santos.

When Mira happens upon an ancient amulet, her powers come to life, and things between her and Sol start to heat up. With her new powers come new dangers, however, and the force that brought her and Sol together now threatens to consume them both… unless Mira can tame the fire within herself.

~~~*~~~*~~~

I never set out to write a romance novel.

Or an erotic novel.

Or any type of novel at all, really.

After all, I’m a cellist! (A semi-retired one now.) I went to music school! The last time I had to write anything over five pages was… a long, long time ago.

But my love affair with reading started when I was four, and discovered picture books about mermaids. As a child, I was amazed at the plethora of worlds I could just jump into. Picture books about mermaids led me to chapter books about spunky girls, which led me to series about teenage wizards, which led me to… well…. everything else. When I was sad, when I was lonely, when I was deliriously happy, when I didn’t want to practice my cello… I always had a book with me. Sometimes, the experiences of certain characters seemed more real — or more important — than the actual events unfolding before me. Always, books were a source of entertainment, of pleasure, of delight.

I’ve read everything from high fantasy to pulpy thrillers to YA dystopias to non-fiction. Always, there is a common theme in the books I most treasure. The characters feel alive, the setting is arresting, and the heroine — and there is always a heroine — isn’t completely brainless. If there is ethnic or religious diversity, so much the better — we don’t live in a monochromatic world! And, of course, there is romance — always, always, romance. A novel without a hint of romance is like bread without yeast — flat and heavy and just not as good. (I’m a novice baker. It’s been a good year for acquiring hobbies.)

I was recovering from an unpleasant Life Surprise earlier this year — the kind that comes out of nowhere and tries its damndest to make you angry and sad — and found myself with a lot more time on my hands than I had had before. Time to think critically about the things I loved and the things that made me happy. I took stock of my life and the choices I had made, and somehow, what started as me sitting down to write a list of Things I Would Like to Change suddenly turned into Me Scribbling Into the Night As My Husband Tried Fruitlessly to Get Me to Go to Bed. I was haunted by this question — what do we do when everything around us, everything in our lives, turns sour and dark and miserable? How do we deal? How do we move on?

Through this process, I was was haunted by an image of a girl — dark-haired, like me; a little unsure of her place in the world, like me — who found herself at a sudden crossroads, who had to make a choice.

Thus Mira Avalon was born.

The characters in Consumed are flawed. My heroine, Mira, is in way over her head. She discovers an ancient amulet that unleashes powers she didn’t realize she had, and her attempts to tame her new magic are often dangerous, foolhardy, and self-destructive. She’s mostly alone, scarred by trauma and isolation, and must relearn how to trust, how to navigate a world that has shifted around her overnight.

And on top of that, she must renegotiate a relationship with the man she’s desired for years.

On her journey, she encounters dark magic, dangerous characters, and self- destructive situations. She learns how to be a friend. How to be a lover. How to be her own person. (And, perhaps most importantly, how to rock a super-tacky amulet that clashes with everything.)

Mira’s problems aren’t my problems, and Mira isn’t me. (For one, I am a lot less… uh… uninhibited.) I made her journey both completely fantastical and exceptionally erotic, partially for my own amusement and partially because so often, fantasy books are total sausage-fests. I wanted to inject the fantasy genre with a little sass, a little pizzaz… a little sex appeal.

Consumed was my first novel. It isn’t perfect, but it represents the first step in a journey of discovery — for me as well as for Mira Avalon.

I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you find a little of yourself within its pages.

Love,

Gretchen

I am always happy to continue the conversation on Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, or my blog. (I have a Facebook, but I rarely use it.) And I love comments and reviews — honest, constructive feedback helps me produce better work.

 

~~~*~~~*~~~

For a chance to win Gretchen’s four short stories plus Consumed, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

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Hero's Homecoming cover smallSix months ago, being snowed in at Christmas with the amazing woman he met on R & R at Fort Riley would have been a dream come true, yet now, as a blizzard swirls outside Beth Tate’s house, Captain Chris Walker knows he shouldn’t be there. Blinded in combat and emotionally scarred, he never wanted Beth to know the man he’s become–but stranded by the storm, he had no one else to call.

Hurt and bewildered when Chris abruptly ended his faithful contact from Afghanistan, Beth tried to put him and their whirlwind romance out of her mind and prepared for a quiet holiday alone–until the phone rang. Now that he’s here, she’s more confused than ever, torn between love for the man she once knew and anger at the one who broke her heart.

A life with Beth was everything Chris wanted, but the wounds of battle are nothing compared to the agony of heartbreak. It will take more than mistletoe, but perhaps this holiday season Chris will find his way home.

 

~~~*~~~*~~~

The first time I wasn’t home with my family for Thanksgiving was when I was 20 and studying abroad at Oxford. I took a bus down to London to meet up with some college friends who were also away from home and we had a mid-afternoon Thanksgiving dinner hosted by an alumna. It was incredibly generous of her to open her home to us, but she had a real family to feed, and gently ushered us out around five o’clock. We drifted around the city for a while, had a subdued pizza dinner in Soho, and then I made the hour-long bus trip back to Oxford.

 

At that point, breaking two decades of Thanksgiving tradition felt like an irreparable sacrilege, and if you’d told me at the time that I only had one more hometown Thanksgiving to look forward to I would’ve been horrified. Yet sure enough, we grow and change and our traditions have to adapt. After college I worked in New York City and decided to hoard my vacation days for a longer break over Christmas, and then I moved to London, where trekking all the way home to Kansas was out of the question.

 

My holiday novella, Hero’s Homecoming, released yesterday from Carina Press as half of the Gifts of Honor military holiday duology. The heroine, Beth, is planning to spend Christmas on her own as her parents have retired and are on a Caribbean cruise, and her sister is stationed in Korea with her air force-officer husband. She has let go of old Christmas traditions and created new ones to suit her changing life – but they fly out the window when she gets a call from Chris, the infantry officer with whom she had a whirlwind romance six months prior, and who broke it off with barely a word.

 

Chris is heading home for a traditional family Christmas on his parents’ ranch in northern Kansas, and although the festivities will be the same, this year something is very different – two months earlier he was severely wounded in combat, and lost his eyesight as a result. When a blizzard strands him at the regional airport he has no choice but to contact the woman who meant everything, and whom he has to protect from the burden of his disability at all costs.

 

Neither Chris nor Beth end up having the Christmas they expect – but they both get the homecoming they need.

 

I had two major milestones this year that will shape my holiday season: I moved to South Africa, and I got married! So this will be my first Christmas away from Kansas, my first one with my husband, and my first one in the southern hemisphere – which means palm trees and 80-degree temperatures on Christmas morning! Of course I’m nostalgic for old traditions, but I’m excited about forming new ones. How have your holiday traditions evolved as you’ve grown older? Are there any you wish you could recapture – or any you’re so glad you created? One commenter will win a free copy of Gifts of Honor!

 

Hero’s Homecoming is available individually: Carina Press * Amazon * Amazon UK * Barnes & Noble * ARe

 

And as half of Gifts of Honor: Carina Press * Amazon * Amazon UK * Barnes & Noble * ARe

 

Rebecca Crowley inherited her love of romance from her mom, who taught her to at least partially judge a book by the steaminess of its cover. She writes contemporary romance with smart heroines and swoon-worthy heroes, and never tires of the happily-ever-after. Having pulled up her Kansas roots to live in New York City and London, Rebecca recently relocated to Johannesburg, South Africa.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

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