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Archive for the ‘Debut Author’ Category

CARINA_1213_9781426897566_ChristmasCurveballWhen newly-single Rachel Tanner finds out that pro pitcher Kevin Ganlin has come home to recover from an injury, her heart skips a beat. She’s loved him from afar since her preteen years, never bold enough to let him know.

Kevin is less than thrilled when Rachel shows up at his doorstep. She’s his best friend’s little sister and officially off limits. Besides, he’s staring early retirement in the face, a one-man pity-party with no interest in anything more serious than quick flings on the road. Until an icy mishap lands Rachel cozied up on his sofa, irresistible in his practice sweats.

A little game of Truth or Truth reveals much more than Rachel had ever dared to hope and leads to a midnight make-out session that leaves them both panting. But can she trust that he’s truly changed his ways? This Christmas, Kevin will do whatever it takes to make Rachel understand she’s the only one for him.

 

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Fatin was my very first book friend and the first person I got to meet in person from the book world, so getting to write my first blog post for my debut book for her just seems right. Since I’ve never done this before, I asked her if there was a particular topic she wanted me to write on and she asked me to answer the question: How did I come up with the story idea for Christmas Curveball?

Oh, sure. Dive right into the convoluted workings of my brain, why don’t you, Fatin?

I first came up with a particular scene, and not even a scene. More like a picture, or a moment, as part of a scene. And the funny thing is, that scene didn’t make it in this book. I tried writing that scene several different ways, but it just wasn’t right for this particular story. And no, I’m not going to tell you what that particular scene is because I hope to still include it in a book down the road someday.

But right after I had that scene in my head, I had the idea for the hero’s job and why he was in a cabin by himself—he was a professional baseball player recovering from a career-ending injury. At first I saw him on crutches, but trying to orchestrate the kind of set-up that would be needed to create such a devastating injury was a little much for a holiday novella. Which meant he had to be a pitcher. That was all there was to it. My next problem, though, was then figuring out exactly what kind of injury he’d need to suffer to truly end his career.

For that, I turned to Sierra Dean. If you don’t follow her on twitter or only know her through her Secret McQueen books, you might not realize just how much of a baseball fan Sierra is. I wouldn’t call her obsessed…well, maybe I would. She definitely knows her baseball facts and she reassured me that I didn’t need anything elaborate to take out poor Kevin.

Baseball pitches are fast. Like 90 mph fast. That means return hits are fast. By the time the pitcher has thrown the ball, the ball has traveled 60 feet to home plate, and the batter has hit the ball back toward the pitcher, only two seconds has passed. There’s always a chance the ball could come straight back at the pitcher (line drive), and if the ball hits the pitcher’s arm, causing a bone bruise or shatters his elbow—which is what happened to our hero—his career is done.

For a couple months after Angela James’s holiday anthology submission call, I struggled to make the story that wanted to be written fit with the original picture in my mind and they just wouldn’t gel. There were several reasons for this. One was the tone. The original idea wasn’t as easy-going and probably not as natural to my voice as I’ve since learned. Another was the actual sub-genre. My original idea would’ve had me submitting to a different anthology, but the story that wanted to be written was solidly contemporary, so that’s what I wrote.

The original idea for my heroine, Rachel, wasn’t anywhere close to how she ended up. She’s a completely different person and was born from a twitter conversation based on a blog post about favorite tropes used in romances. I enjoy so many different ones and in love with my best friend’s little sister is one of my favorites. Since my heroine needed to be a completely different person and I was writing the story, I decided I could write one of my personal favorites and hope it goes over well with readers.

Even though this isn’t a true sports story, I did find out that there is such a thing as groupies for professional baseball players, and depending on the position of the player, the better chance he has of getting some after any and every game. Pitchers rank very high on the ladder for being able to have a woman in their bed every night.

So I married a little bit of a sports theme with a guy who has the reputation for being a manwhore with the in love with the best friend’s little sister trope. Favorite tropes are talked about all the time, but for this giveaway, I want you to tell me: if an author were going to write a book for you, what theme would you want married to which trope?

 

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For more information and buy links, visit www.sharimikels.com.  And for the chance to win a digital copy of Christmas Curveball, just leave a comment below answering Shari’s question. Good luck! 😀

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The F-Word: or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Romance

 

I’m a feminist. There, I said it – no apologies, no caveats, no justifications. I’m equally unapologetic about my lifelong love of romance fiction and wholeheartedly believe the two can sit comfortably side-by-side – thanks largely to awesome, true-to-life heroines.

 

My mother (an attorney) is also a fervent romance reader, and thanks to her habit of grabbing used Harlequins from the free shelf at the Post Office I began reading romance at around the same time I was working my way through Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. I cut my teeth on all those classic ’80s tropes: angry billionaires and virginal supermodels, cold-hearted bosses and frumpy secretaries, and the ubiquitous, troubling sexual encounter wherein her consent is just ambiguous enough for him to apologize afterward. I still love a good vintage read now and again but I think it’s a testament to the genre that today’s romances have come so far in the portrayal of complicated, nuanced, self-possessed heroines.

 

If you pick up a contemporary romance today, you’re more likely to find a heroine who’s a business owner rather than a secretary, a self-sufficient single mother rather than a pregnant lost soul, and happy with her too-big, too-small, or otherwise imperfect body rather than resigned to singlehood because she wears glasses. It makes me so proud to see romance constantly evolving in the heroines it produces, and I’m hopeful that the heroine in my debut, The Striker’s Chance (which released from Carina Press yesterday) will live up to her kick-ass peers.

 

The Striker's Chance small Holly Taylor is a sports publicist, and landing the PR contract for North Carolina’s new soccer team could take her career to the next level. Her task? Make Kepler “Killer” de Klerk, an athlete with a party-hard reputation, a star. But revamping the sexy footballer’s image while battling her unwanted attraction to him is easier said than done. She finds herself falling for the real man behind the tabloid persona, but when she’s offered her dream job for a price, she’s torn between the career she’s spent years building and the man she doesn’t want to give up.

 

Holly’s an ambitious, success-oriented woman who loves her job and hates the dating circuit. But what I hope makes her truly three-dimensional is that beneath her take-no-prisoners exterior her confidence sometimes falters, her approach to life is somewhat jaded, and she doesn’t always understand her own emotions or actions. At her core she’s complex and conflicted and a little bit of a mess and that, more than her job title or her attitude, is what I hope makes her a great, progressive heroine.

 

What are some of your favorite heroines? What characteristics do you think makes a heroine more relatable, more three-dimensional, or just generally awesome?

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 and romantic suspense with smart heroines and swoon-worthy heroes, and never tires of the happilyever-after. Having pulled up her Kansas roots to live in New York City and London, Rebecca recently relocated to Johannesburg, South Africa.

 

Her debut contemporary sports romance, The Striker’s Chance, is available now from Carina Press.

 

Buy links:

 

Carina Press: http://ebooks.carinapress.com/6C5329E4-8BAD-4EBA-A41F-3BC67FE0B8D8/10/134/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=75CD480F-2BDD-46F0-A8BC-DBAE1ECDC030

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CV30XDS

 

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00CV30XDS

 

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thestriker039schance-1244329-149.html

 

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-strikers-chance-rebecca-crowley/1115375476?ean=9781426896255

 

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For the chance to win a digital copy of The Striker’s Chance by Rebecca Crowley, just leave a comment below. Good luck! 🙂

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A youthful indiscretion has cost Lizzie Poole more than just her honor. After five years living in exile, she’s finally returning home, but she’s still living a secret life. Her best friend Ria’s dying wish was for Lizzie to assume her identity, return to London, and make amends that Ria herself would never live to make. Bearing a striking resemblance to her friend, and harboring more secrets than ever before, Lizzie embarks on a journey that tempts her reckless heart once again . . .

A committed clergyman, Geoffrey Somerville’s world is upended when he suddenly inherits the title of Lord Somerville. Now he’s invited to every ball and sought after by the matchmaking mothers of London society. Yet the only woman to capture his heart is the one he cannot have: his brother’s young widow, Ria. Duty demands he deny his feelings, but his heart longs for the mysterious beauty. With both their futures at stake, will Lizzie be able to keep up her façade? Or will she find the strength to share her secret and put her faith in true love?

 

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Have you ever read about a time in the past that sounded so fascinating that you wished you could have experienced it for yourself? I enjoy reading books about history, and so this happens to me a lot!

 

That’s why I love writing historical fiction—it’s a way for me to immerse myself in the details of a time and place and imagine myself there—to step into that world, so to speak.

 

I chose 1851 London for the setting of An Heiress at Heart because during that year an event took place that was one of the high points for England in the nineteenth century. That event was the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, now generally referred to as the Great Exhibition of 1851. Sometimes it is also described as the very first world’s fair.

 

Imagine taking a summertime stroll through Hyde Park, one of the largest parks in London. You are walking along a path by a long and narrow lake known as the Serpentine, enjoying the sight of ducks swimming at the water’s edge. You come around a bend in the path and see something truly startling in the distance: it is a giant building made of glass! It is the length of six football fields, and yet the park is so large that there are still open stretches of green all around it—plenty of room for the many people who are coming and going from the building. Its roof is three stories high and trimmed with colorful flags, and one section is arched to accommodate the 90-ft elm trees inside.

 

When you walk inside, sunlight pours through the glass onto plants, statuary, and bright banners. Birds twitter in the live trees. The building is filled with engineering marvels of all kinds, from steam engines and cotton spinning machines to the “latest” invention: photography! You can also find displays of fine art and gaze at the Hope Diamond. You can spend a whole day here and still not see all of the thousands of items brought in from around the world. It’s no wonder it captured the imagination of the people of the time. Charlotte Bronte visited the Exhibition and later wrote, “It seems as if only magic could have gathered this mass of wealth from all the ends of the earth.” It captured my imagination too, which is why several scenes in An Heiress at Heart are set at the Great Exhibition. I hope you will enjoy visiting 1851 London as much as I enjoyed writing about it.

 

How about you? Is there some time or place in history that you would love to see for yourself if you could? Would you want to stay there permanently, or simply visit?

 

Jennifer Delamere

http://www.jenniferdelmere.com

Twitter: @JenDelamere

http://www.facebook.com/Jennifer.Delamere

 

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For a chance to win HEIRESS AT HEART by Jennifer Delamere, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

 

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Katie McCabe’s life is going nowhere fast when FBI Special Agent Lucas Vasco jumps into her car at an intersection. Luc, his undercover guise blown, is on the run from the Mafia and expects to be killed at any moment. What he doesn’t plan on is finding himself attracted to the firecracker beside him. He feels compelled to protect her when her life is threatened, and insists she stay with him for her own safety.

After learning she has become the target of a psychotic hit man, Katie is whisked off to Luc’s house to hide. Once there, she’s shocked to discover that she and Luc have an unexpected connection—a connection Luc already knew existed, but withheld. Will their intense attraction reach flashpoint despite their misunderstandings and the pain of the past?

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Why I Love Romantic Suspense

First of all, thank you, Fatin, for inviting me to be a guest blogger today. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here!!

Here is a typical day in my life. I wake; stunned by the fact that it is already morning. I tend to various hygiene and animal husbandry duties. I go to work. At work, I sit in a cubicle, tippy-tapping on a computer keyboard. At the end of the day I go home, manage my social media empire, maybe write a little bit, and go to bed. Then I get up and do it all over again.

Now do you want to read a romance novel (heck, ANY novel) about that? Yeah. Me neither. I might consider my cubicle a land of enchantment, but reading about a person schlubbing through the day working in one would be enough to make me poke my eyes out. That is why I love to write and read romantic suspense. Stuff happens in romantic suspense!

That’s not to say stuff doesn’t happen in other romance novels. Of course it does. In erotic romance, the stuff that happens is sexy sex sex. In contemporary romance what happens is often a comedy of manners or some drama. In paranormal romance the drama or comedy involves vampires or werewolves. And, yes, I love all of these subgenres too.

But in romantic suspense, the stuff that happens has a tendency to, well, blow up. It’s exciting. There are car chases! (Zip – Zap – POW) There are fight scenes! (Biff – Bap – POW) There are bad guys and good guys and people in trouble and life and death decisions being made. At the same time there is usually sexy sex sex and drama and comedy and in some books (not mine) maybe even a vampire or two. Romantic suspense has it all, baby.

Plus, we watch the hero and heroine strive to overcome huge obstacles. We watch them fight for their lives (literally), while they struggle towards an understanding of and love for each other. Everything is heightened. The suspense winds us up and the payoff of the Happy Ever After at the end is bigger because of it. We love the main characters….we’re rooting for them…we want them to make it….but will they? WILL THEY????

What about you? What genres or subgenres do you love? Romantic suspense? Contemporaries? Erotic Historical Paranormals? Something else? Let us know! One random commenter will be chosen to win a digital copy of my new romantic suspense novel, HOLD ME, releasing TODAY, 9/5/11 from Carina Press.

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Huge thanks to Debut author Betsy Horvath for joining us today. You can find out more about her and HOLD ME by visiting her website here. You can follow her on Twitter here and find her Facebook page here. Remember to leave a comment for the chance to win a download of HOLD ME. Good luck!

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Debut author Stefanie Sloane has a trilogy coming out later this year and the covers are just beautiful. 🙂

The Regency Rogues: Book 1 — THE DEVIL IN DISGUISE
Release Date: May 24, 2011

“Smart, sensuous, and sparkling with wit… spectacular!” –Julia Quinn

“Captivating… With her fresh, original voice, Stefanie Sloane will charm her way into readers’ hearts.” –Susan Wiggs

Lord William Randall, the Duke of Clairemont, is a wicked rake with little regard for society—a most unlikely suitor for the prim and proper Lady Lucinda Gray. But his latest assignment for the Young Corinthians, an elite spy organization, involves protecting her from a kidnapping plot and to do this, the notorious “Iron Will” must get close to Lucinda, and convince her that he’s a man worthy of her attention. It is a simple enough task to use his devilish charm to seduce her, but William never would have guessed that he’d become enthralled by the lovely Lady Grey—or that he’d lose his own heart in the bargain.

Beautiful and fiercely intelligent, Lucinda has managed to gracefully sidestep even the most persistent suitors. Until the Duke of Clairemont, that is. His rugged features, sinfully sensuous mouth, and piercing eyes are as alluring as the champion thoroughbred he tantalizingly offers in exchange for the honor of courting her, and she finds it hard to resist either temptation. The feelings he stirs in her both excite and arouse, urging her on despite the very real danger he represents. But when the truth is revealed, will Lucinda risk her heart and her life for a chance at everlasting love?

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The Regency Rogues: Book 2 — THE ANGEL IN MY ARMS
Release Date: June 28, 2011

“Fabulous… everything readers of Regency romance crave.” –Amanda Quick

Injured in the line of duty, Young Corinthian agent Marcus Maxwell, the Earl of Weston, travels to his country estate to recover—or so he believes. His superior’s request that he investigate a smuggling ring run by Napoleon sympathizers seems ridiculous at first, but then becomes all-too threatening as pieces of a treacherous puzzle begin to fall into place. And the most troubling piece of all is Miss Sarah Tisdale, an unconventional beauty whose lust for life is rivaled only by her ability to drive Marcus to distraction. When her family comes under suspicion, Marcus must watch her very, very closely…even if her touch ignites the deep, fiery desire burning just beneath his cool façade.

When it comes to suitors, Sarah’s lush curves and perfectly kissable lips aren’t enough to compensate for her outspoken and willful nature. Sarah’s tasted disappointment before, and she long ago decided that she’s better off without an overbearing husband. Still, flirting with the sinfully handsome Marcus is a pastime worth savoring—even when it leads to wicked pleasures. But when Sarah’s life is in jeopardy, Marcus discovers that the fire between them can no longer be denied—and that he’ll do anything to keep her in his arms.

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The Regency Rogues: Book 3 — THE SINNER WHO SEDUCED ME
Release Date: July 26, 2011

“An engaging, refreshingly original storyteller.” –Stephanie Laurens

“Stefanie Sloane writes utterly delectable and seductive Regency romance!” – Teresa Medeiros

A dedicated Young Corinthian agent, James Marlowe accepts the riskiest of missions—go undercover as a traitor and infiltrate a deadly French crime organization. As he heads to Paris, he is prepared for all matters of intrigue —everything but a surprise encounter with the only woman he ever has loved. Five years ago, the exquisitely stunning Clarissa Collins spurned his love, breaking his heart in the process. Now, the accomplished painter is in peril up to her lovely neck and only he can protect her.

Blackmailed by a mysterious man who threatens to destroy her world, Lady Clarissa cannot imagine a crueler fate. Until she is reunited with James Marlowe, the enthralling man who seduced Clarissa body and soul, then betrayed her. Despite the hurt and misunderstanding that still simmers between them, their enduring passion ignites anew, leaving the two breathless with desire and need. With their lives and England’s safety hanging in the balance, they have little choice but to put the past behind them and work together to save everything they hold dear. As they attempt to escape the clutches of the malicious forces holding them, can Clarissa and James find their way back to each other hearts…this time forever?

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Debut author, Kate Brady. Comes out July 1, 2009.

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Killer Chevy Bankes is a master of disguise, and just paroled, he’s coming after the woman who sent him to jail, the beautiful antiques expert Beth Denison. A set of antique dolls brings Beth into his sight, and inspire Chevy’s disturbing crimes as he draws closer to Beth and her young daughter. Chevy sends the dolls to Beth one-by-one and she soon realizes that these antiques carry the same marks as his victims, signaling that the final piece in his collection will be for her.

Neil Sheridan gave up his FBI shield five years ago, but his best friend Rick, a cop, pulls him in as a consultant on a case involving a serial killer who is eerily similar to a murderer Neil encountered in the past. The investigation leads Neil to Beth’s doorstep, and he is certain she isn’t telling him the truth. Neil is the only one who can get through Beth’s defenses and, as they grow closer, discover the secrets that Beth is hiding about her fateful night with Chevy.

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