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Archive for the ‘July 2010’ Category

What happens when a woman who’s realized her dreams wakes up to a shocking truth? Shobhan Bantwal’s poignant new novel weaves a captivating tale of one woman’s return to India: the place where she lost everything—and now has everything to gain…

It is a morning like any other in suburban New Jersey when Vinita Patil opens the battered envelope postmarked “Mumbai.” But the letter inside turns her comfortable world upside down. It tells Vinita an impossible story: she has a grown son in India whose life may depend on her…

Once upon a time, a naïve young college girl fell for a wealthy boy whose primary interests were cricket and womanizing. Vinita knew, even then, that a secret affair with a man whose language and values were different from her own was a mistake. He finished with her soon enough—leaving her to birth a baby that was stillborn. Or so Vinita was told…

Now, that child is a grown man in desperate need. To help her son, to know him, Vinita must revisit her darkest hours by returning to her battle-scarred homeland—and pray for the faith of the family she leaves behind…

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Why am I considered a romance writer when my novels are not precisely romance? Why do I belong to the Romance Writers of America and its New Jersey chapter when my books are not always about boy meets girl, and despite two hundred pages of difficulties to surmount and odds to beat, they still manage to live happily ever after? Because my stories are about women—women who experience romantic love, at some point in their lives.

My heroines find love and romance, and at times end up losing it. Nonetheless love plays a significant role in their journey toward growth and fulfillment.

Women are unique creatures who thrive on that strong yet elusive emotion called love. It is hard to describe, hard to find, and even harder to give freely with no expectations of it being returned in full measure. I believe it is this emotion that rules women’s lives from birth until death.

A teenage girl’s first crush is often fraught with more emotions than a boy’s. A woman’s love fully engages the heart and soul along with the body. Many a woman will surrender a great deal to have at least some moments of sublime love in her life.

It is this softer side of a woman that makes a great romance novel. This is what we romance writers try so hard to capture in our stories—the depth of the relationship between a woman and a man. If it is peppered with hot sexual encounters, it adds that many more wonderful, sensual layers to a beautiful story.

When deep emotions are portrayed skillfully to capture readers’ hearts, then any tale can become a romance. In the end, it is all about women’s quest for love, the delicate balancing of their hearts and minds. Even if there is no fairytale “happily ever after,” there is hope.

My latest book, The Unexpected Son, is all about a teenager’s first poignant love for a rogue, then her enduring love for her arranged-marriage husband, and finally a mother’s love that transcends every other kind. My heroine is willing to sacrifice everything to save the grown son she never knew.

One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of The Unexpected Son, so post your comments and encourage your friends to do so.

Go to my website for excerpts, video trailers, contests, photos, recipes, and contact information at www.shobhanbantwal.com. Find me on Facebook.

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Thank you for visiting with us at Novel Thoughts, Ms Bantwal!

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Hell hath no fury like Alex Finley…

For as long as Alex could remember, life had taken everything from her. Her father had abandoned her and her dying mother, only to return upon her death to reclaim the family’s Wyoming ranch—with a new wife. Alex’s rage drove her away to Los Angeles to live with a man who could never satisfy her.

Only after ten years does she come home—and she hits the town with a vengeance, unleashing her pent-up lust on willing cowpoke Connor Matthews. But she’s in for several shocks. It turns out that the ranch is now a resort, that her late father split the estate between Alex and her young step-brother, and that Connor—the bucking bronco she wants in her bed—is running the place.

Now, Alex is torn between accepting a new family, and a lover who can give her everything she needs—or selling out to a smooth-talking neighbor and leaving the past behind her. But only when her life is on the line does she realize what she desires most of all…

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July marked the release of my very first full length contemporary romance – it’s a hot one too. I’ve written contemporary erotic romance before, novellas and short stories only though. Unbridled was a test for me, making me switch gears. I’ve received mixed reviews, but it’s all good because it means people are reading my book.

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Tomorrow on bookstores shelves near you:

A mysterious death begins a dangerous chain of events, forcing choices that mean no turning back as Max’s past catches up to him.  But as the unexpected discovery of a family thought lost to him threatens the existence of Max’s paranormal world, his awakening senses strain the bond he shares with Detective Charlotte Caissie.

Driven by instincts he can’t control, Max fights the need to claim his human mate. How can he protect her when she’s not safe with him? She’s strong enough to keep his secrets, but can she survive the test of his love?

Separating business from pleasure just got more difficult. To have Max, Cee Cee must face her greatest fears by accepting who and what he is . . . someone deadly, unnatural and outside the law she serves. Loving Max Savoie isn’t easy, but holding onto him could prove fatal.

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When I was little, I didn’t want to be a princess or a ballerina, I wanted to be a Storyteller. I remember countless nights, lying in the dark in the bedroom I shared with one of my sisters, making up tales about friends and family and heroes from TV (in black and white with three channels back then so it took some imagination!).  When I saw my name in print under a fractured fairytale published in my elementary school newspaper, that dream had a new focus.  I wanted to be a Writer.

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Six years ago, eighteen-year-old Lady Isabella Scranton scandalized all of London by eloping the night of her come-out ball with the notorious rake, Lord Mac Mackenzie. After three turbulent years of marriage, she scandalized London once again–this time by leaving him.

Now the reformed Mac has returned, and he wants one thing: Isabella back in his life, his house, his bed. He’ll do anything he has to, play any game, as long as he gets her back. Isabella resists, but when she agrees to pose for erotic paintings he’s been working on, she realizes her body has never stopped craving her husband’s very skilled touch. Mac is determined to show Isabella that he’s a changed man, but three years without her has only increased his hunger for her.

When an ingenious forger with designs on Mac’s paintings, and Isabella herself, comes dangerously near, Mac sets himself up as Isabella’s protector and vows to never leave her side, whether his independent and proud lady likes it or not.

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Thank you so much for inviting back to Novel Thoughts! I always like guest blogging here.

A couple weeks ago saw the release of Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage, Book 2 of the series featuring the Mackenzies (go here for blurbs, excerpts, character bios, etc.). I’ve gotten terrific feedback on it, and especially on Mac, the hero. Thanks to everyone who’s written to tell me you enjoyed it!

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A fierce Highland laird ready to kill for king and country…

When Torin McLeren discovers his neighbor’s plot against his king, he takes their daughter as his prisoner, thereby stopping her father’s plot from going forward. But that leaves him with a woman under his roof whom he can’t ignore, and not just because she’s his enemy’s daughter…

A woman who’s as much trouble as she is temptation…

Shannon McBoyd decides to use her captor to experience passion for the first time, and then to destroy him. But her plan goes awry because once she has lured Torin into her bed, she no longer wants to hurt the one man who seems to value and understand her…

Even if her father will kill him—and her—when he discovers what they’ve done…

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Well, I think it isn’t so much what they wear as who they are. Those Celts are tough people, Scotland itself isn’t the easiest place to survive. The soil is thin in many places and it rains…a lot! But these northern lands have been home to people that flourish where I fear I might raise my white flag of surrender.

The kilt itself is a garment that comes from practicality. First of all, it’s wool. For centuries, this was one of the only textile fibers being produced in the area. It is the easiest one to cultivate because sheep can graze freely. Wool maintains ninety percent of its insulting factor when wet when cotton keeps only ten. Something very important if you are talking about surviving in a time when there is no central heating. The kilt was a length of wool, which might be sheered off a sheep, carded by hand and spun into yarn which could be woven by even the most rural family.

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My Way to Hell, by Dakota Cassidy

The second title in Ms Cassidy’s hilarious Demonic romances, My Way to Hell follows former demon-turned quasi ghost Marcella Acosta as she butts heads with Kellen Markham, bane of her previous existence and brother of her best friend ever.

Readers should be aware that there’s quite a bit of cussing in the novel, and that the Lord’s name is used in vain—rather frequently and in pretty creative ways—throughout. There is also a bit of graphic sex (well into the novel, I may add—like, two thirds or more of the way in), so anyone with objections to either of these, should avoid reading this book.

Also, while there is a tiny bit of info dumping in the first couple of chapters, quite likely to bring new readers up to speed on the events of Kiss and Hell (review here), and to introduce both the cast of characters and the dynamics of Ms Cassidy’s unique take on the supernatural, I definitely recommend reading the series in order. Honestly, these are characters that no amount of info-dumping would prepare you for: you need to get to know them little by little.

Here is the back cover blurb:

She never thought he’d be the one.

After defying Lucifer to save her best friend Delaney, ex-demon Marcella Acosta has been banished to exist in the plane between heaven and hell—and there isn’t a shopping mall in sight. After numerous failed attempts to contact Delaney through a bunch of hack mediums, Marcella’s at her wits end. But there’s one medium she’s hasn’t tried yet, and he just happens to be Delaney’s scorching hot brother—the one guy who never gave Marcella the time of day…

But her heart has other ideas.

Thanks to his recently inherited psychic abilities, Kellen Markham has had spirits haunting him day and night—and not only are they just plain annoying, somehow they’re able to touch him. To try and escape, Kellen moves into his sister’s old apartment. But when he finds a box full of stuff that belonged to Marcella—the demon he spent years fighting his fierce attraction to-his not-so-pure thoughts drag her back to Earth. Now that Marcella’s free from Plane Drab, there’s no way in hell she’s going back. Especially since there’s a certain sexy medium she just can’t seem to keep her hands off of…

As My Way to Hell starts we find a very dejected Marcella hanging out with other ghosts in a plane that definitely lacks a certain something—and not just fashion. Luckily for her, there is a ghost around who is not willing to let her spend the rest of her undead and unalive eternity moping. (more…)

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WHEN A LAWMAKER…

FBI Agent Elizabeth Brynn has dedicated her life to her job, having earned her position through hard work and a firm belief in law and order. She played strictly by the book until she recruited a notorious jewel thief as an informant-a professional criminal who used his wicked ways to tempt her into something more personal…

BETS ON A HEARTBREAKER…

Patrick O’Connor assisted the Feds for three years before going legit. Now a successful crime novelist, he wheels and deals his way around Hollywood, getting anything and everything he desires-except a certain federal agent who remained immune to his charms…

THERE’S MORE AT STAKE THAN JUST THE MONEY, HONEY.

Cop and robber are unexpectedly reunited when Patrick agrees to go undercover to help bust a counterfeiter-but his true motive is to get Liz under the covers, and she’s not sure she can keep her hands to herself this time….

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Welcome to the Money, Honey Blog tour, in which author Susan Sey celebrates the July 6 release of her debut novel by counting down the Top Ten Most Common Reactions an ill-groomed stay at home mom receives when confessing her secret career as a romance novelist.

Hello, Novel Thoughts!  And thanks, Fatin, for inviting me here today!  I’m thrilled to be here, as I’ve been dying to dig into Response #4 from my Top Ten list:  “Romance, huh?  Well, whatever it takes to make a living, right?”

(If you have any interest in the other nine responses, feel free to check out the tour page for the details of the blog tour in its entirety.)

Now this one burns me, it really does.  And why?  Because the underlying assumption is that smart, skilled people don’t read romance.  And the only reason they’d stoop to writing it is if the money were really, really good.

Okay, I won’t deny that it’s gratifying when people assume I’m one of the ‘smart people.’  My parents paid a lot of money for this vocabulary.   I think the University of Michigan still sends them thank you notes.  And while my father loves to give me crap for using a twenty-five cent word when a penny word will do, I know he’s secretly proud of me when I do.   You give somebody, say, a cashmere sweater, it’s nice to see them wearing it, you know? (more…)

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Desire is the most dangerous sensation of all.

With tensions between the Federation and Imperial ‘Verses rising, one woman may hold the key to victory. The dangerous mission to smuggle her out of Imperial Territory falls to Daniel Haws and his team, the ultra secret Phantom Corps. This elite squad of the Federation Military is the only one trusted and skilled enough to remove her from under the watchful eye of her father, the Supreme Commander of the Imperial ‘Verses.

Carina is used to wearing a mask. Her father and his men think her little more than a pretty prize to be won by a man more ruthless than the rest. When he announces his intention to marry her to one of his henchmen, a man known for his cruelty, Carina knows she has to move as soon as possible to get out. But getting secret information to the Federation has served her well for years and she appeals to them for help.

She expected rescue from a man who’d been her enemy. But she wasn’t prepared for just how intense her attraction to Daniel Haws would be. Born as adversaries into different ranks, and on the run for their lives, they now need each other to survive–by holding on to the only thing they have in common: a growing desire that is dangerous, irresistible, and insatiable…

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Last week, my third Federation Chronicles novel, Insatiable, released from Berkley Heat. It marks the start of a three book mini-series called Phantom Corps, which is, you guessed it, about the men and women who are part of a shadowy special ops military team called –wait for it—Phantom Corps.

Guest blogs are always fun, but sometimes it’s hard to know what to write about and not sound like a dork. So here’s my effort, though I am sure I’ll still sound like a dork 😉 (more…)

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Drawn to a force he can’t resist…

Former police officer Kevin Hennessey is running from his past—choosing to battle smugglers instead of dealing with his personal demons. When a desperate, rain-drenched American woman appears on his doorstep with wild tales of danger, Kevin is drawn to helping her, despite his reservations…

She never saw him coming…

Amber O’Neill knew without a doubt that her brother was in mortal danger. Rushing heedlessly to the rocky shores of Ireland, Amber was stunned to find her rescue mission derailed by a gorgeous, but deeply flawed Irishman…

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The tumultuous sea, the intertwined fates of the coastal villagers, and unearthly tales of a hidden selkie prince bring Kevin and Amber together in a connection of mind, body, and soul that neither can deny…

Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog today. I’m very excited about the release of my third novel, The Wild Irish Sea. As with my two previous books, this one is a romantic suspense with paranormal elements. Plus, just like my other books, it features an Irish hero. This last element seems to be the thing my readers love most, and I don’t blame them. I happen to LURVE all my heroes too. How could I not? (more…)

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Looking forward to…

For many of us, summer conjures up images of free time spent by the pool or the beach, enjoying some well deserved and hard earned rest and recovery from the reality of our busy lives.

It’s a great image, is it not?

However, for me this year, summer means only one thing:

RWA National Conference!

Many of you probably know that after the floods in Nashville the conference was moved to Orlando, very close to where I live in Central Florida. My beloved, seeing this, floored me by registering me to attend again this year (last year’s, in D.C., was my first time).

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