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Saturday, November 22, 2014

It's not to early to get a taste of Christmas

This story is part of The 12 Brides of Christmas from The Wild Rose Press.

Bang the Drummer – a new way to celebrate Christmas

With Christmas practically right around the corner, I wanted to share a taste of my newest Christmas story. Bang the Drummer is part of

From The 12 Brides of Christmas from The Wild Rose Press
Spicy version of 12 drummers drumming!
A Recommended Read from All Romance eBooks



Jill Kennedy has plans for a Christmas wedding. She's put down deposits for the flowers, photos, and venue. Now all she needs is a groom. A drummer who'll keep her life as steady as he keeps the beat to his music. With her good friend Charlie Costello as her wingman, she'll interview percussionists, one per month until she finds the right tempo. But with Christmas approaching and no groom in sight, she's starting to wonder if she'll ever bang the drummer of her dreams.


Excerpt:
Jill Kennedy curled up on her couch studying her iPad, frowning. Her Christmas tree still twinkled in the corner although the holiday was long past. Coldplay’s latest CD bumped its tunes out from her iPod docking station. The last of her Christmas candles flicked in glass holders on the coffee table, filling the room with the scent of pine and cranberry. She should be feeling mellow, but instead her nerves were jumping and a headache was creeping slowly up from the nape of her neck.
Charlie Costello lounged next to her, sock feet resting on her coffee table, his hands tapping a steady rhythm on his thighs in time to the song.
Jill tucked a strand of her shoulder-length sable-colored hair behind her ear as she studied the information on the iPad screen.
“I think I’ve got everything taken care of. Booked the Creekside Winery. Ordered the decorations. Set up a tasting for the food and Stella’s designing the wedding cake.” She glanced up at Charlie. “Why are you looking at me in that strange way?”
He gave her his familiar lop-sided grin. “You are the only woman I know who plans and pays for her wedding without knowing who the groom is.”
She flipped a hand at him. “I’ll have one by then. It’s in the plan. You know.”
He threw back his head and laughed. “Yeah, I love your interview process. You aren’t even dating anyone right now.”
“Because look how poor my choices were in that arena, right?”
He snorted. “So this is better? Tell me how?”
Jill pulled up another memo on her iPad. “Okay. I have a list.”
“A list? This I gotta hear. Lay it on me.”
 If she didn’t need his help so badly, she would have smacked him. “It’s very specific. I asked around about different drummers in different bands and narrowed it down to the twelve most likely prospects. You know. Twelve drummers drumming, for Christmas.”
“Like a grocery list,” he teased.
“No, Charlie.” Damn him! “Like an interview process for a job.”
“Is that what this is, kitten? A job?”
“It’s a lifetime commitment,” she sniffed. She wished he’d just let her get on with this. All these questions were making her have tiny doubts about the wisdom of her decision. She gave herself a mental shake. “I’ll do one a month until I hit on the right one. The exact right one. First I check out their musical talent and their band history.”
Charlie gave a roar of laughter. “Because that’s such a requirement for stability?”
“Because it has to be a drummer so I need his performance history,” she snapped.
“Maybe it’s a different kind of performance you should be worrying about.”
“That comes later. After the phone calls and the coffee dates to see how he is in person and match our likes and dislikes.”
“Coffee dates?” He cocked an eyebrow. “Not even a romantic dinner?”
She wanted to sling the iPad at him. “I’ve been that route, remember? The whole nine yards, and what did I get? A bunch of losers. No, I’m doing this like a project for work. As a systems analyst, she knew the importance of things being able to mesh on a practical basis. ”
So you’re going to interview these bozos and then—what?”
Drummers,” she told him. “Interviewing drummers.”
He cocked his head. “And that’s why?”
“I told you.” She blew out a breath of exasperation. “Drummers have the best beat. The best tempo. They’re the heart of the band.” She grinned. “And have the best rhythm in bed.”




Friday, November 21, 2014

Meet InkHeart Authors Lauren Hawkeye and Cathryn Fox, featuring their hot new releases!

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lauren Hawkeye never imagined that she’d wind up telling stories for a living… though when she looks back, it’s easy to see that she’s the only one who is surprised. Always “the kid who read all the time”, Lauren made up stories about her favorite characters once she’d finished a book… and once spent an entire year narrating her own life internally. No, really. But where she was just plain odd before publication, now she can at least claim to have an artistic temperament.

Lauren lives in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada with her husband, toddler, pit bull and idiot cat, though they do not live in an igloo, nor do they drive a dogsled. In her nonexistent spare time Lauren can be found knitting, reading anything she can get her hands on, or sweating her way through spin class. She loves to hear from her readers!

Find Lauren Hawekeye at:



Master of Pleasure
(Invitation to Eden)

You met the Master in Eden's free prequel... now read the rest of his story!

Billionaire Theodosius Vardalos has lived on the island of Eden for over ten years. Though his horrific scars have made him a recluse, he has turned Eden into a resort where the lines between fantasy and reality blur… A place where he sees noone face to face, not even his staff, who have dubbed him “Master of the Island”. Even as Theo helps fulfill the fantasies of his guests, he waits… Waits for the mysterious woman who was shown to him when he first arrived on Eden. He recognizes Noelle Davis the second the nosy reporter steps foot in his castle… But the dream woman is nothing like he anticipated.

He yearns for her submission. But he wonders… can a woman as beautiful as Noelle truly be happy with a beast?

Available at:
Amazon | B&N | iBooks

__________________________________________________________________


Cathryn Fox
I've been reading romance novels for as long as I can remember. I just never thought I'd be writing them. In fact, I graduated from university with a business degree and started working in the Finance Department of Environment Canada...shiver. A few years into my career, my hubby, who's a meteorologist, got posted up north, population 800. I quit my job and went with him. At first all the spare time was great, then I got bored so I started to read. Day and night. When I ran out of books to read I decided to try writing one. After all, how hard could it be. Ha!! Well, you guessed it. It was hard!

Many years later I discovered Romance Writers of America and have learned a great deal since joining my local chapter. My journey to publication hasn't been smooth sailing, but with the support and guidance from the wonderful writers at RWAC, it's been a lot easier. And a lot more fun!

I'm very fortunate to have a husband and two children who have been supportive in every possible way. On those frustrating days when I'm banging my head against my desk I look up to see a heart shaped sticky note on my computer that says I love you because you naver give up. Yes, it says Naver. That wasn't a typo. A few years back, when my daughter was eight, she stuck that note to my computer. I told her she spelled never wrong so she scribbled it out. So technically the note now says, I love you because you give up!! LOL!!! But I love it so much I won't let her take it down to change it.

Find Cathryn Fox at:



His Taste of Temptation
In the Line of Duty, Book 3

One affair, thirty days.

Since his last relationship blew up in his face, bomb expert Brad Crosby has lost his appetite for “permanent”. But his kid brother’s best friend? Now there’s a curvy morsel he could wrap his lips around.

For years Brad has been the star of Madison Graham’s fantasies. If only she were the kind of put-together girl he prefers, not a pastry chef whose makeup consists of a dusting of powdered sugar on her nose. A belief that’s confirmed when her apartment floods and he offers to let her sleep in his bed—alone.

Wrapped in Brad’s sheets, she dreams of his touches, his kisses, the feel of his body on hers. Except her dreams feel like reality—and come morning, she realizes it wasn’t a dream at all.

Soon the two are burning up the nights. But as Madison’s sweet love grows on him, Brad can’t help but think of extending their time together.

Too bad Madison keeps reminding him their affair has an expiration date.

Warning: May contain heat, explosive sex, and Fourth of July fireworks that pale in comparison to the sparks between a sworn bachelor and a tempting pastry chef.

Available at:


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Check out our November InkHeart Authors newsletter and what it features this month: 
  • so many new releases, free, and pre-order books from USA Today and New York Times bestselling authors
  • enter Melissa Foster and Brenda Novak's awesome giveaway
  • find out how you can get 3 autographed print books for only $10 - just in time for the holiday season
  • see Renee Vincent's brand new covers for her Jamett & Joseph series
  • get the details for the InkHeart Authors Winter Wonderland Facebook Party coming December 9th - 20th!



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Guest Blog: Lynda Bailey: Happy Birthday - to ME!

Yes, today is my birthday… First I want to thank Romancebooks4us for hosting me on the anniversary of the day I was born. To celebrate I’m giving away presents! *** Leave a comment for the chance to win one of my digital titles plus a $5 gift card. (I’m also running a month-long giveaway over on my website, www.lyndabailey.net, for a $100 GC. All you have to do is sign up to be on my mailing list before Nov. 30th!)

Okay. Birthdays. More specifically…my birthday. While I’m not going to a reveal just how old I am, I will tell you that I remember (barely) where I was when President Kennedy was shot, when the Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show – hell I remember Ed Sullivan, the (first) Hula Hoop craze and watching news feeds from the war in Vietnam. In other words, I’m part of the 80,000,000 who make up the *Baby Boom* generation; those individuals born between the years 1946 and 1964. Everyone from Madonna to Oprah and Bruce *the Boss* Springsteen to Barack *the President* Obama.

What does all this mean you ask? Truthfully, I’m not exactly sure. But I think it has something to do with me not having an accurate perception of age – or at least not having an accurate perception of MY age. I find myself doing things today that I did twenty years ago when I was…well…twenty years younger. Things like sitting cross-legged in my easy chair. (I don’t think I ever saw my mother sitting cross-legged, not even on a picnic…) Things like giggling. Not laughing…giggling. Things like running through leaves in the fall just to hear the whishy, crunchy sound. Things like wanting to buy a Jeep. Not a Jeep Cherokee mind you, but a circa mid-1970’s Jeep Wrangler, complete with a badass stick shift between the bucket seats.

What’s causing my age misperception? I believe that answer comes in the 80,000,000 number I quoted above. Companies understand they can’t afford to alienate such a large number of customers. They know it’s in their best interest to cater to this huge – and aging – demographic. That’s why Diane Keaton and Andie MacDowell (two more famous Boomers) are major spokeswomen for L’Oreal makeup and hair products.

But probably the real reason I don’t have a good grasp on my age is because I don’t want to have a good grasp on my age. It was the same when I was younger; I never wanted to “act my age.” Why change now? Things are just getting interesting…

So what *generation* do you come from? Are you a Boomer like me, or from the X-generation? Are you a thirty or forty something? What’s YOUR perception of age? Remember to leave a comment for the chance to win your choice of my titles + a $5 gift card. And pop over to my website and sign up for my mailing list for the chance at a $100 GC.

Now here’s a sneak peek at my newest release, GRACE, the third novella in my Heartache and Hopeful series, coming soon!

BLURB:
On the Corner of Heartache and Hopeful…

Revenge is a dish best served cold—and according to Grace Harrington, while wearing three inch stilettos and wielding a flogger. No longer the bullied, nerdy kid she was in high school, Grace is now a take-charge corporate lawyer in Omaha, Nebraska. She’s also a take-charge Top in the bedroom. The last thing she wants to do is go back to the small town of Tatum, but to save a treasured landmark from destruction while exacting retribution on the guy who ground her heart to dust? Hell yes!

Seth Reisner never wanted to leave Tatum. He thought being a country lawyer slash gentleman farmer would be the perfect life. But his agricultural kingpin uncle had other ideas. And when dear uncle foots the bill for law school plus signs your paycheck, you suck it up, alter your plans and move to Dallas, Texas. Now Seth divides his time between litigating on behalf of his uncle’s company and trying to find his “Mrs. Right.” When the opportunity to return to Tatum comes up, he’s grateful for the chance to go home.

Grace and Seth end up on opposite sides both in and out of the courtroom. Grace is determined to get her vengeance while Seth only wants to make up for his unintended past transgressions. When the verdict is read, who will win—and at what cost?

BIO:
I’ve always loved stories, especially romances. For me the only thing better than reading a romance is writing one. That and drinking red wine while eating dark chocolate.

My romances are full of passion, with heat levels that range from hot to sizzling! I’m proud to have been a 2010 finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart®. I hope you’ll join me for laughter and love, and where the good guys always win in the end.

I live in Reno with my husband of thirty+ years and our two pampered pooches.

Stalker Links:
Website: https://www.lyndabailey.net/
Blog: http://www.lyndabailey.net/category/blog/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/LyndaBaileyRomanceAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorlyndab
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/baileylynda/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6472849.Lynda_Bailey
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Lynda-Bailey/e/B007UQHW9E/

Thanks again to Romancebooks4us for letting me hang out on my birthday!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

CAN WE TALK ABOUT NAVY SEALS?

Can we sit down and have a chat about writing Navy SEALs?


Think it's time to talk a bit. We've seen things in the news concerning reveals about Navy SEALs and their tactics, their mental capabilities and their planned missions. There is a lot of controversy about this, and I am not clear on which side of the fence I stand, except to say that I want our bravest and best-trained warriors protected, at all costs. There's a mystique to being a SEAL because much of what they do has to be kept secret. And we all know there is temptation not to keep those secrets.

So, as a writer, I walk a fine line between accuracy and storytelling, all the time worrying about protecting the fine men and women who put themselves in harm's way so we can write the crazy books we do, and go run around and do unmentionable things with our lives. Our SEALs signed on for this. They are our warriors and they want us to have a normal life.

There are details in my books I've written on purpose incorrectly. There are probably details in my books I've written incorrectly by accident. I don't think I've gotten wrong the community or the character of the men who serve as SEALs. The how of what they do might vary, but the why and the way they are I believe is as accurate as I can make it. I love the smack talk and the sense of humor these usually soft-spoken warriors have.

Now we have hundreds of writers thinking they can write Navy SEAL romances. I love reading the blurbs where SEALs perform jobs real SEALs would never do, or serve in capacities they would never serve under. Reviewers don't pick these up, and I think that's fine. The bottom line is that it's good all this misinformation is out there. I hope our enemies are reading all the Navy SEAL romances, because they'll get pretty confused when they do. If they read my SEAL stories they'll get a lot of sex education too. Some of our enemies I think might need a little of this.

And that would probably make a SEAL chuckle to himself. He'd never tell you that you are an idiot writer getting facts and figures wrong, well, maybe if you knew him well enough he would. Have I been an idiot? You bet. Proudly. Will I continue to be? Hey, the more newbie SEAL writers there are out there the better I look. LOL. Seriously. We're talking about FICTION. We aren't writing Tom Clancy or WEB Griffin or Dick Couch.

As one SEAL told me, "Just make it up. If you can imagine it, it probably happened."

And so I have.

You can watch my Chapter One Live read of SEAL's Promise here. Some adult content language some of my fans think is funny seeing me say.

SEAL's Promise Excerpt (TJ Talbot and his best friend are talking about dating and other unmentionable things - strong language here). Hear the buttery, romantic voice of my Warrior Storyteller, JD Hart, as he breathes life into my words. The audio book will be out any day now.

SEAL's Promise is available on Kindle, and iTunes, Nook and Kobo.


Sharon Hamilton
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Guest Blog: Melodie Campbell: MY CHARACTERS HATE GOING TO BED aka Why We Write Romance

(As usual, this post will sit on the wacky side. But there is a serious message behind it all.Why?Why do we spend hours and hours alone in our garrets, piecing together romance stories that may never earn us a living wage, or even see the light of day? Are we insane? Or, as I pose, does writing keep us sane?)

Rowena is arguing with Thane. Cedric meets Soren the demon for the first time. Kendra can’t choose between Richard and Logan…or is it that young cousin of the Viking Warlord, what’s his name?

Gina and Nico are planning an art gallery heist. Uncle Seb is about to kick the bucket, and he didn’t die ‘cleaning his gun.’ Pete is caught with counterfeit moolah, and slips through the portal to Land’s End…

No, wait a minute. Wrong book. Wrong series. Even wrong genre! Plots, you’re getting yourselves mixed up.

It’s 3:15 AM, and all is not well in my head.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my characters hate going to bed.

Like little children, they race around in my head, determined to have yet another adventure. Problem is, they stumble over each other in their bid for freedom. Series start mixing in decidedly zany ways.

(Okay, back to the point of this blog.)

WHY AUTHORS WRITE:
We authors control what our characters do during the day. It’s one of the things I love about writing: the ability to control the world in a way we can’t do in real life.

I can’t control the real world. Sometimes the script being directed from above is pretty painful. In my case, it contains an autistic brother and heartbreaking care-giver burdens I can do nothing about.

But I can control the world I create in words.

In my romance fiction, I control my characters, put them where I want them, alter their lives, change the time, the year, the setting, give them astonishing adventures and dramatic endings– it’s glorious, unfettered control.

But at night, even they go wild.

In the wee hours of the morning, my head is a playground for creative creatures, both human and fantastical. They have adventures even I haven’t thought of yet.

So here’s a job for you scientists out there. Figure out a way to capture the nocturnal plotlines that create havoc for us authors as we struggle to give our brains some needed snooze-time.

And in the meantime, can you guys please keep it down in there?

BIO:
Melodie Campbell. Billed as Canada’s “Queen of Comedy" by the Toronto Sun (Jan. 5, 2014), Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best when Library Digest compared her to Janet Evanovich.

Winner of 9 awards, including the 2014 Derringer and the 2014 Arthur Ellis (Canada) for the screwball comedy, The Goddaughter’s Revenge (Orca Books), Melodie has over 200 publications, including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories, and seven novels. She is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada.

BLURB:
Top 100 Amazon Bestseller)

“Is that a broadsword on your belt, or are you just glad to see me?”
When Rowena falls through her classroom wall into a medieval world, she doesn’t count on being kidnapped – not once, but twice, dammit. Unwanted husbands keep piling up; not only that, she has eighteen-year-old Kendra to look out for, and a war to prevent.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Coming Very Soon!!

Coming very soon, in fact that first week in December.
And yes, we are that near to Xmas. Fortunately I love all the fuss and my kids take over the cooking so it's win-win for me.

The Marquis is an arrogant seducer who can't even imagine settling down to one woman. He has no idea he's about to turn about and still not get even a smile from the girl he truly wants. And on a houseparty, things go further to hell when a guest kidnaps Abigail.

Here's an excerpt from the houseparty, when Jason lets loose a little of his true feeling and Abigail (almost) responds.



Abigail called after them. “Galoshes are by the back door. Gloves and scarves also. You don’t want to wear your best clothes on an expedition like this, gentlemen”
She leaned back in her chair and watched them go. Startled, but pleased, she hurried to her own rooms to change into riding clothes and tall boots.  She adored tramping in the woods and how could she not join in the search for the perfect Yule log?   After scarcely a thought she pulled on the breeches she wore when she was riding at home with no one caring what she did. She pulled on her riding boots, although she picked her second-best pair. Who knew what such wonderful snow would do to good boots?
She ran lightly down the steps to the back door. A small screech escaped her when the felt herself hauled against a strong chest, and looked up in astonishment at a livid Jason glaring down at her. Maybe not Jason, right now. No, definitely the Marquis.  An irate Marquis, giving her a good swat on her rear and glaring at her.
“Don’t you even think of trying to escape me, you little fool. You’re not at your country home. You’re at mine, with some of the most licentious noblemen in London who’d be delighted to see you so scantily clothed. Do you want them to line up at your door tonight, you vexatious idiot?”
Abigail simply stared at him for a moment, her temper ready to boil over, when he suddenly softened, ran his hands over her hips and around her waist and pulled her against him.  His kiss was hot and blazing, lingering at her lips with his tongue pushing into her mouth in a dizzying display of passion that had her clinging to his coat lapels.
“My god, Abigail, how am I going to stay away from you?”
He lay his forehead softly against her hair and softly caressed her well rounded bottom.
Stunned, she couldn’t think of a thing to say. She wrenched herself away and fled back to her room. She’d simply not thought of anything but her own comfort and that wonderful snow. Of course a woman didn’t appear in breeches at a house party for London aristocrats! Not unless there was a hunt scheduled or good riding was available.
She was an idiot.
How could she face Jason, and indeed her grandmother? And she herself was supposed to be chaperoning Bettina?
Burying her face in her hands, she tried to shut out her regretful thoughts. The fact that her every thought centered on Jason and his reactions didn’t even occur to her.
       She didn’t see the lascivious face of Lord Wilcombe, earl of Wilmington, watching them from a corner of the hallway. 

This will be my first release from MuseItUp, where I am transferring all my books and have five more scheduled at three weeks intervals throughout the new year. I'm very happy with my new home. 
Do comment, or send me an e-mail at jswriter@earthlink.net. LOVE to talk to readers...

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