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Saturday, March 31, 2018

SPOTLIGHT ON May McGoldrick and It Happened in the Highlands


Please Welcome the Writing Team of Jim and Nikoo McGoldrick to Romance Books 4 Us!
Together, they write under a number of pen names. Historical romance readers know them as May McGoldrick, but they also write contemporary romantic suspense under the name Jan Coffey.
  
Tell us a little about the kinds of romance you write. How did your writing career begin?

We began to think of writing as a career when our infant son was diagnosed with a heart problem that would require surgery. Before he was born, we had both been working long hours, and Nikoo was already dreading the fact that she’d be going back to work. When the medical issue arose, she realized she needed to find a career that would allow her to be home more. That was how it all began.

We actually started to write together when Jim wanted to submit a story he’d written to a writing contest posted in a glossy writer’s magazine. Nikoo suggested that he shouldn’t bother, since the story was all action and no heart. After a conversation, we decided to sit side-by-side and rewrite the story. At the end of the weekend, we had a completely new story we were very proud of, and it went on to win a prize in that competition.

Immediately after sending the story off in the mail, we thought we should do more writing together. Nikoo suggested that we write a novel and that we use the historical research Jim had done for his doctoral dissertation as a starting point. About two weeks later, we were sending off a proposal for a novel we had not yet written to a handful of agents and publishers. When an agent called us and told us to “write fast,” that was all the encouragement we needed, and The Thistle and the Rose was born.

Since then, we’ve written forty-three novels and novellas: historical romance, young adult historical, contemporary suspense, techno-thrillers, romantic suspense, young adult romance, and nonfiction.

Are you indie, traditional or hybrid?

We started off as traditional, writing for PenguinPutnam, MIRA, HarperCollins/Avon, and Heinemann. Over the past few years we became somewhere between indie and hybrid, and now we’re back to traditional, writing for the wonderful people at St. Martin’s/Macmillan. It’s a constantly changing world in publishing, that’s for sure. There are pluses and minuses to all of those approaches, but we love the sense of empowerment that writers now have with the rise of indie publishing.

Philosophies or epiphanies on writing or reading you’d like to share with readers or new writers?

Tough question. We’re constantly learning and relearning important elements of storytelling and the writing craft, so perhaps that’s the philosophy that has guided us. Stay humble about what you do, or the process will humble you. Stay open and receptive to critical guidance. Believe that your efforts and your vision and your love for what you are doing all have value.

And try to limit your chocolate chip cookie intake during all periods of extensive reading and writing.

Favorite snack while writing?

Tea, dates, and cashews for Nikoo. Water, carrots and celery sticks for Jim (This is a total lie. He eats cookies and chocolate and graham crackers nonstop!)

What is your superpower?

Nikoo’s superpower is that she can read minds. For example, she knows that Jim is thinking of going to the kitchen for some cookies.

Jim’s superpower is that he can also read minds. For example, he knows that Nikoo knows he is about to go for cookies, and therefore is thinking about golf.

What is your spirit animal?

Nikoo’s spirit animal is the snake. At least, that’s what the online test we took told us. The description works: “You often play the role of a guide and emotional healer. The spirit of the snake represents positive, spiritual transformation. You are the sought-out friend when advice is needed. The snake facilitates life events to go smoothly – a connector of dots who reveals the big picture.”

Jim’s spirit animal is the whale. The test answer description seems pretty good: “Your spirit animal is the whale because you have a strong inner voice, and always follow your own truth. Because you are so in touch with reality, you are self-aware and don’t get involved in drama. You have strong bonds and emotional ties with those you love. (He’s unhappy, though, because he thinks his ‘whale’ characterization is actually a comment on his eating habits. He loves taking online tests, though!)

What color is your aura?

Nikoo is blue, blue, blue to the bone.

Jim says he is silverish (interesting that the word keeps auto-correcting to ‘silverfish’, which is a “small, wingless insect in the order Zygentoma,” according to Wikipedia. He is rethinking his spirit animal right now.

Tell us about your latest release!

Three things we really love to read are family sagas, Regency-era stories, and novels set in the Highlands. Our March release, IT HAPPENED IN THE HIGHLANDS, has all three. The Pennington family is back, and this Regency novel will take our readers deep into the Highlands. It has so many fun things to offer. A jilted bride. A duel at dawn. A long-hidden secret. A second chance at love…

Lady Josephine Pennington was jilted by her fiancé when rumors spread about her questionable origins. Her adoptive parents have always provided her with the love and protection she’s needed to feel secure, and over the last sixteen years she’s molded herself to meet the expectations of others. When she receives a package from the Highlands containing sketches where the subject is eerily familiar, Jo believes she might have found a clue to the identity of her birth mother.

When Captain Wynne Melfort ended his engagement to Jo Pennington sixteen years ago, he never imagined he would see her again. But after he uncovers information that could reveal the truth about Jo’s parentage, Wynne feels bound by duty to right an old wrong and inform her of his find. He didn’t expect for feelings long thought dead to resurface, for in his mind a love departed was gone forever.

As they strive to unravel the mystery of her birth, Jo must learn how to trust the man who’d once rejected her, and Wynne must reconcile his head with his heart. But as secrets of the past begin to surface, evil forces will stop at nothing to keep Jo from uncovering the truth and reclaiming her legacy. Together, Jo and Wynne must fight the deadly menace lurking deep in the Highland mists.

Author bio

USA Today Bestselling Authors Nikoo and Jim wrote their first May McGoldrick romance using historical figures that Jim researched while earning a PhD in sixteenth-century Scottish and English literature. Nikoo, a mechanical engineer, is a born storyteller. She is all about characters and feeling. Jim is about action and sense of place. Together, they have crafted over forty fast-paced, conflict-filled historical and contemporary novels and two works of nonfiction.

Their stories have touched the hearts and minds of millions of readers all over the world. Their work has been translated into over a dozen languages, and counting. Because of their success, they have been frequent guests on local and national radio and television. They travel regularly, speaking at writers’ conferences, libraries, classrooms, and book group gatherings.

These popular and prolific authors are three-time Rita Finalists and the winners of numerous awards for their writing, including the Romantic Times Magazine Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Daphne DeMaurier Award, three NJRW Golden Leaf Awards, two Holt Medallions, and the Connecticut Press Club Award for Best Fiction, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. Their work is included in the Popular Culture Library collection of the National Museum of Scotland. 

Nikoo & Jim now reside in Southern California where Nikoo writes and Jim gazes out at the Pacific. 

Social Media links

Web: www.MayMcGoldrick.com
Facebook: @MayMcGoldrick
Twitter: @MayMcGoldrick
Instagram: jimandnikoo_jancoffey  &  nikooandjim_maymcgoldrick 
Pinterest:  www.pinterest.com/nikoomcgoldrick

Giveaways?   

We often run giveaways from the ‘Giveaway’ page on our website, especially just before new releases are due to come out. Readers should check the page regularly; the odds of winning are a lot better than the lottery!


Friday, March 30, 2018

HOT NEW RELEASE! What a Highlander's Got to Do by Sabrina York



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What a Highlander's Got to Do
Coming March 6th from Sabrina York and St. Martin's Press

Isobel Dounreay Lochlannach is a fierce and independent Scots lass. She has no intention to marry—to submit to a man—especially not an Englishman.

But when she meets a devilish stable lad on the way to London, she can’t help but sneak a kiss with the handsome stranger, sure to never see him again.

Nick Wyeth is not a stable lad. He’s Viscount Stirling, and heir to one of the most powerful dukes in the realm. If their indiscretion is discovered, Isobel will be forced to marry him, to succumb to a fate she has always spurned. Nick wants nothing but to call this wild Scottish lass his own, and is determined to show her how an English Viscount can make her swoon, and be his forever in What a Highlander’s Got To Do by New York Times bestselling author Sabrina York.

READ AN EXCERPT!

“Milady . . . are you s-sure?” the groom sputtered, even as Isobel launched herself into the saddle. He was a sweet boy, only slightly spotted, and she’d found him delightfully manageable.
She smiled down at him in a manner that caused his Adam’s apple to bobble precariously. “I’m verra sure,” she said. “I can handle him. I promise.”
“But the mare is much gentler,” he said with a hint of panic in his voice.
“I’m certain she is,” Isobel responded with a wink. And then she set her heels to the stallion’s sides and they launched from the stable yard.
She leaned over his neck, encouraging him on. “Och, you want this, don’t you, boy?” she whispered into his ear, and he nickered his delight. “Faster then. Faster. Let’s fly!”
And oh. They did. And it was glorious.
The ride, of course, but also leaving those horrible women behind.
Newcastle lacked the exhilarating rocky terrain of the Highlands, but in turn, it had long languid country roads that curved gently through apple orchards, along golden fields, and through fallow land spotted with bright-yellow flowers. There was a babbling brook to her right and the broad blue line of the horizon before her. She had, in that moment, the flight of fancy that she could ride forever.
The air was cool and clear, with a hint of lingering loam. And the sun, when she hit it in gentle splashes wandering through the leaves, was a kiss of warmth. They made their own breeze, she and Lord Willouby’s stallion. It caressed her face and tangled in her hair and it was magnificent.
Much better than tea with the local ladies.
It was, in fact, perfection.
Until a thundering sound disrupted her peace.
Hoofbeats from behind, intruding on the splendid rhythm she and the stallion had created.
She glanced over her shoulder and frowned. Another stallion pounded after them, with a dark-haired stranger urging him on. She’d heard about highwaymen in these parts, veterans from the war and such, who had turned to crime. And while she’d thought the prospect of such a thing wildly romantic when reading it in a novel, she did not, in truth, care to be robbed or manhandled by such a man.
She tapped her mount’s side with her heels and urged him to go faster, even as a thrill of excitement sizzled through her. She was certain she could outride her pursuer, but how delicious would it be to confront an actual highwayman and have a story to tell Catriona?
Not that the two of them tried to outdo each other in their tales, but they did.
Isobel caught her breath and focused on the road ahead. It curved out of sight behind a large hill. Not knowing the terrain, she knew she had to slow, lest she injure her horse, and that was her downfall.
He caught her then, as she rounded the curve and, to her shock and dismay, wrapped a strong arm around her waist and lifted her bodily from her saddle and onto his lap.
She had one stunning impression of hard hot man.
He was slick with sweat from the mad ride, as was she, but on his skin, it rose in a thick musk that teased her nostrils and made her belly lurch.
Surely it was not an attractive scent.
She refused to believe this to be so.
At the same time, she screeched her outrage and wiggled to be free, which had a disturbing result.
He tightened his hold on her.
Dear God, he was strong, this beastly highwayman.
“Hold still,” he snapped. “You’ll fall.”
Of course she wanted to fall. She wanted to hit the ground before he did so she had time to retrieve her blade from the scabbard on her thigh before he caught her again.
What a pity he didn’t let her fall. He held her even tighter—she could barely breathe—and pulled on the reins to slow his mount.
Before she had time to react, he’d slipped off and was helping her down.
Helping her down.
No one had ever helped her down. She’d never allowed it.
The man was, in a word, infuriating.
Once her feet hit the ground she elbowed him in the stomach and whirled away. She glared at him, though he was unaware of this, doubled over and wheezing as he was. This gave her time to free her blade and point it in his general direction, so when he recovered himself, when he stood and stared at her, it was, indeed, a fearsome sight he saw.
She had no earthly idea why he laughed.
No earthly idea why her first glimpse of him—this bandit who had just impugned her person—made her heart stop.
Oh, he was handsome, for sure, with dark eyes and rampant black curls. There was a birthmark just above his lip that gave him a rakish air, and the hint of a scar bisected his left eyebrow. But his smile was white and broad and caused an irksome raft of dimples to erupt on his cheek.
He wore the stained, frayed clothes of a workingman, with boots caked in mud.
And good lord, he was tall. Tall and muscled and exquisitely formed.
She wasn’t sure which of his perfections annoyed her more.
And then he spoke, and she knew for certain. It was his voice, a mellifluous tenor, crisp with British superiority and the hint of a laugh.
She abhorred being laughed at.
“Well,” he said, nodding at her knife—which, in retrospect, seemed far too small. “Aren’t you the fierce one?”
It took a moment to stifle her growl. No doubt it would give him even more to mock. “What do you expect? You chased me. Grabbed me from behind. Manhandled me.”
His eyes widened and he stared at her for a moment, then his grin widened. “You’re a Scot.” Not a question.
“You’re bluidy right I am, so don’t try anything. You’ll not be the first man I’ve skewered.”
A laugh. “I don’t doubt it for a moment.” He continued studying her, though, in a way that made her skin prickle.
“What?” she said, breaking the silence against her will.
He shrugged, some lazy careless gesture that made her want to smack his supercilious face. “I just thought all Scottish lasses had red hair, is all.”
“Did you now?” Did he want to see red? Well, it danced before her eyes.
He must have realized his comment incensed her, because he laughed again. “Doona skewer me, lass,” he said in a perfect brogue. For some reason, that made her even angrier.
“Why no’? Are you no’ a highwayman, come to rob me?”
“A highwayman?” His beautiful perfect brows lifted in mock surprise. He had the audacity to bow before her. “My lady, I’ve just saved your life.”
She gaped at him. She was aware she was gaping, like a landed cod, but could not manage to form words.
He chuckled and tucked two long fingers under her chin and gently closed it. Then he hooked her arm in his and led her farther along the track, where Lord Willouby’s stallion stood alongside the road ripping out tufts of grass. “There,” he said, waving at a stone bridge just beyond the hill, arching over the river.
Isobel yanked her arm away. “There, what?”
“Go look.”
He followed her as she made her way to the bridge and then stood next to her, rocking back on his heels, as she studied the structure. Or what remained of it.
The stone pilings were all in place, as were the abutments on either end, but as for the rest of it . . .
“The flood last month took out all the timbers,” he said in a far-too-smug tone.
She crossed her arms and studied the distance from one bank to the other. “No doubt we could have made the jump.”
He turned to stare at her for a long moment, and then he laughed again.
She was becoming quite tired of his laugh, and at the same time craving it. That was probably why—though she would deny it until the day she died—her lips quirked. Just a tad, but it was enough encouragement for him, apparently.
“I believe you owe me,” he said with a wicked smile.
“I owe you?” She turned and tipped up her chin and stared into his eyes—really stared into them—for the first time. They were a lovely warm brown with flecks of gold, and they were amused. There was something else in there, a certain heat, that she preferred to ignore.
“I did save your life.”
“I believe I made it clear, I could have made the jump.”
“I don’t doubt that for a moment, but your stallion?” He glanced at the steed, who was trying to lip an apple from the tree. “That is questionable.”
“Perhaps.” She sighed. “So what reward would you ask?”
“First, that you put away your blade.”
“First? How many rewards are you asking for?” Was she enjoying this . . . sparring? Why yes. She was.
He was terribly handsome, and not a highwayman after all. Probably, judging from his clothes, a stable lad. Or a farmer’s son.
He shrugged. “How much do you value your life?”
“What kind of question is that?”
“Just as it is. I would like to ask for a kiss . . .” Her heart skipped. “But to be frank, I prefer not to kiss lasses with knives in their fists. You know, just in case.”
She straightened up and peered down her nose at him—no easy feat, as he was much taller than she. “I doona kiss just anyone.”
He splayed his hand over his heart. “I am gratified to hear it.”
“Certainly not . . .” She waved at his person. “Stable hands.”
He grinned. “Is that what I am then?”
She pointed to his boots. “Do tell me that is mud.”
“What else could it be?” His playful tone made clear it might well be something else one might find in a stable.
“And look at your hands.”
He did. She did, too. They were large, well made, with long fingers. There was mud there, too, beneath his fingernails. One would hope.
“I can wash them in the river, if you like.” Again, that charming smile.
She smiled back, but with a hint of restraint. It was an odd feeling cloaking her shoulders. Restraint was hardly her forte. “Please do.”
He nodded and she tried to ignore the curl that flopped onto his forehead as he turned and trotted down the bank.
With a sigh of regret, she took the reins of Lord Willouby’s stallion and mounted. Best be gone before he returned or she might be tempted to give him what he wanted.
She wanted it, too, which was stupid.
She was here for a few weeks while she waited for the various arms of her family to collect here, and then they would make the long trip down to London for a miserable Season. There was no time for a romance, and certainly not one with a farm boy. Not even one as handsome as he.
Though she had to admit, she was tempted.
She kicked the stallion into motion and began riding back the way she’d come.
What a pity.
She would have liked a kiss. Just one. She would have liked to know if he tasted as delicious as she imagined. She would have liked to have a story to tell Catriona, one that didn’t end with her plunging to her death into the River of the Broken Bridge.
She should have known he would follow.
She heard the hoofbeats behind her and urged her stallion on, bending low on his neck and whispering encouragement.
Her heart pounded.
She knew he would catch her.
He had before.
But still, she persevered.
She had no idea why she smiled. No idea why her soul sang.
No idea why, when he caught her, swooping her up into his arms and onto his lap, she laughed.
No idea why she smiled as he cupped her face with his still-damp hands and stared at her lips like a starving man.
No idea why, when his lips touched hers, fragrant and soft and oh-so-sweet, she sank into the kiss with all she had.
Or perhaps she did have an idea after all.




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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Meet Payton Winters...


After the sudden death of her parents, the daunting task of keeping the Winters Corporation afloat fell squarely on the shoulders of Payton. While Payton’s sister, Victory left the family business to forge her own scientific breakthroughs and Willow found unending excuses to stay at the Winters company in London, Payton was the anchor that kept their family corporation together. Now, with the return of her sisters, the discovery of Victory’s enhanced psychic abilities, and a Special Ops team assigned as security, life on the Winters campus is anything but business as usual. Follow Payton’s journey in her story, Payton’s Pursuit.



Excerpt:

     As she reached the first bungalow, she experienced a searing hot stab to her temple. She rubbed a hand across it to try and ease the pain. “Now what?” she muttered.
     She parked the cart and started to the area where the builders worked.
     “Collin, knock it off,” a booming male voice sounded.
     She looked to her right and saw the lights in Morgan’s bungalow flash on and off. Payton headed for the disruption. She would not have these men destroy the bungalow before it was even a month old. She stormed up to the door and knocked, and was rewarded with a crash.
     “Collin, I’m serious man. If you don’t pull yourself together, you are really going to piss me off,” Morgan said.
     Payton stepped inside. Before she could confront the two men, a hockey skate whizzed past, missed her head by scant inches, and crashed through the bay window. Morgan ducked and bobbed to stay out of the trajectory of flying objects. Collin stood in the middle of the room, sweat pouring down his body and danger and destruction radiating off him. Payton’s mouth fell open as she struggled to process the scene. She yelped and ducked as the twin to the first hockey skate hurtled straight toward her, causing the banging inside her skull to rise to a fevered pitch.
     Both men turned in the direction of the sound. The remainder of the objects in play dropped to the floor. Collin, wild-eyed and panting, glared at her for a heartbeat and then turned and propelled himself out of the broken bay window. Morgan rushed over to Payton and scooped her up from the floor. Using his foot, he kicked a chair right side up and gently placed her down. He hurried to the kitchen and grabbed a towel and glass. He filled the glass with water and soaked the towel. He returned to Payton and placed the towel across her forehead as he handed her the glass.
     “Are you okay?” Morgan asked. “You weren’t hit, were you?”
     She struggled to regain her equilibrium and sit upright. “I’m fine—really,” Payton said. “What in the world were you two fighting about?”
     “We weren’t fighting. Collin had a bad day and was telling me about it. I was distracted, trying to get myself ready to go running, and I guess I didn’t realize he was getting upset. Something triggered and he flipped out. Regrettably, you walked in on him almost in full wolf mode.”
     “Almost—” Payton said.
     “Believe me, it gets a lot worse. If you are really okay, I should head out to find him. Victory will have a cow if she finds out Collin is running amuck.” Morgan rubbed absently at his eyebrow. “You aren’t going to tell her, are you?”
     “No, but I think she will figure it out when she sees this place.”
     Payton caught the worry as it flashed across Morgan’s face.
     “Don’t worry, Morgan. Go and find Collin. I’ll get the builders to replace the windows tonight. I expect the two of you to clean this place up and behave yourselves for the rest of the evening.”
     “You have my word,” Morgan said as he started for the door. “As soon as I can locate him, I’ll drag his sorry ass back here.”


I hope you enjoy Payton's story. 
Until next month...

#GuestBlogger WELCOME to Dee S. Knight #RB4U #romance


In Defense of Romance Books

To paraphrase the New York Sun from years ago, Yes, Virginia, there is a need for romance books!

If there is one thing I tire of when I tell someone I write, it's that look on their faces when I say I write romance. The expression is a cross between surprise and disappointment. You can just see that they thought they were going to meet a writer, a writer of books. Real books, not fluffy, silly romances, which everyone knows are all formulaic and anyone with half a brain can write.

Do tell.

When I first started writing, I sort of lowered my voice and changed the topic when people asked me first what I did and then what I wrote. That didn't last long, however, and now I defend my chosen genre vigorously. I love reading romances and definitely love writing them. So, for all of my friends—old and new—who wonder why, here's the answer.


When we read our favorite romance authors, we’re carried away to a place where anything is possible. In them, we envision ourselves as the beautiful heroine who always has an interesting job and dreams we know will come to fruition by the end of the book.

The hero is handsome, rakish, alluring. He might not understand women any better than our own SOs understand us, but he’s always stalwart and dependable and willing to pledge true, undying love by the conclusion of the story. *sigh*

Instead of bludgeoning us with the contrast between real life and fiction, romance novels spark a deep sense of comfort, and release us for a time from the worries found in normal life. Distilled to its base, a romance novel is positive emotion. Even the most pragmatic among us longs for a happy ending. Yes, despite a plot everyone knows rationally could never truly exist, and even when the reality of the daily grind remains to be handled, reading about two lovers who come together and find happiness makes us feel better about ourselves and our lives. It lowers the blood pressure and reduces tension. For a while—sometimes for days, weeks, months—we smile more.

What's better than losing yourself in a story of forever love? Nothing that I know. Especially in this day, when everywhere we look there's doom and gloom. Lord knows I need a little escapism, and I love finding it reading about love.

So I don’t feel guilty when I choose to read a hot and spicy erotic romance, or a sweet Regency, or even an old-fashioned bodice ripper. I certainly don't feel embarrassment about writing them. I'm only answering the undeniable need to counteract what I'm thrust into every day in the “real” world. Resist? Heck no. I give in and enjoy!

What's the last book you read that made you feel exquisite? I just finished Christmas at Tiffany's by Karen Swan. I loved it. For a day it took me away from bills, deadlines and an unfinished manuscript, and made me smile and feel all tingly. What a great thing to say about anything!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Naval Maneuvers

Men and women of the armed forces experience love and desire pretty much like everyone else. Except, well, there is that uniform. And the hard-to-resist attraction of "duty, honor, service" as a man might apply them to a woman's pleasure. All things considered, romance among the military is a pretty sexy, compelling force for which you'd better be armed, whether weighing anchor and moving forward into desire, dropping anchor and staying put for passion, or setting a course for renewed love with anchor home.

Weighing Anchor (allowing a ship to move forward by retrieving the anchor): A professional woman sworn to avoiding all things military finds herself in love with a lieutenant commander in the Navy. Love won't conquer all if she allows her childhood memories to eclipse future happiness.
Dropping Anchor (securing movement by dropping the anchor): Two people find (surprisingly) that they are both in the Navy and love their chosen professions—until one turns out to be an officer but not a gentleman and the other is a gentleman but not an officer.
Anchor Home (safe, smooth sailing): When two former lovers find each other after more than a decade, will a long-hidden secret threaten the course of a rekindled romance or be the cause of it?

Buy links:  Amazon   B&N    Kobo

Goodreads

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Dee S. Knight and Francis Drake are husband/wife erotic romance writers. They have been married for nearly fifty years and know all about the stress of real life and how to alleviate the worst of it. Visit them at their website for sweet romance (Ann Krist), historical romance (Amber Carlton), ménage and shifters (Jenna Stewart), erotic romance (Dee) and beyond erotic (Francis). 


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Avoid Filter words by Janice Seagraves

Hi, I'm Janice Seagraves and I posting about filter words.

Filter words get between you and your reader.

Words like: 

Thought
Realized
Desided
Felt
Touched
Wondered
Noticed
Sounded
Knew
Seemed

Allow the unfiltered words to carry the weight of the scene.

Example: He seemed like a large, ungangly man. She felt that he wasn't refined enough for a true romantic relationship.

Without filter words: He was a large, ungangly man. He wasn't refined enough for a true romantic relationship. 

But here he was with a fist full of flowers.

_________________________________



MatrixCrystalRebels
Excerpt:
“Mom.” Rain waved at Maya. “Someone is here to see you.”
“Oh?” With one last swat at her clothes, Maya marched over.
“He says he’s a merchant.” Rain gestured at Steen.
Maya scanned his attire and snorted. “Tell your commander, nice try.”
His stomach dropped. “Huh? What did I do wrong?”
“Whoever coached you was misguided. For one thing, your clothes are the wrong type. Merchants don’t wear rough weave.” Maya rubbed the fabric of his sleeve between her thumb and forefinger. “That’s for peasants. Too fine a weave would be clan, so you’d have to find something in-between.” She stared at his eyes a moment. “Are those contacts?”
He rubbed his eyelids. “Implants. I can tolerate the bright sun with them.”
She gave a nod. “You’ll need it here. Nice touch with the hair, by the way.”
He fingered a braid. “At least I did something right.”
“It’s a little long for so many braids. And the skin tone… Is that a skin dye?” She stared at his face.
“DNA treatments.”
“How about the Zeeman dual belly buttons?”
Steen pulled up his shirt.
“Wow. Which is fake?”
“The top.” He handed her his tote. “I brought a gift for you.”
She cocked her head to the side and sighed. Taking the tote, she nodded toward the house. “Will you come in for some tea?”
“Yes, thank you.” He bowed low, hiding a smile.
Maya led the way up on the porch. He did what she did, removing his shoes, washing his feet in the basin then pulling on a pair of house slippers she handed him.
“Nice. You invoked guest privilege,” Rain said in his ear. “Mother is human but practices the ways of the Zeeman.”
“I know.” He smirked at her.
With a reluctant expression, Maya held the door open for him. “Tea won’t be but a moment.”
“Goddess tea.” He bowed again.
“Of course.” Maya disappeared into the kitchen.
Rain showed him the dining table. “My father and brother probably won’t be as nice as my mom.”
He sat on the richly carved black ironwood chair next to Rain. “You’re an attractive young female. Maybe I should have said I came here to woo you?”
Interest lit her gaze. “And then you’d have to answer a lot of questions from both my parents. We take wooing very seriously here in Zama.”
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Matrix Crystal Rebels: https://www.amazon.com/Matrix-Crystal-Rebels-Book-Four-ebook/dp/B078HL6113/
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Find Janice Seagraves’s on:
Her website: https://janice-seagraves.org/
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Janice-Seagraves-Author-117551164948239/
And on Twitter: https://twitter.com/janiceseagraves
Janice’s Amazon page, where you can see all her books: https://www.amazon.com/Janice-Seagraves/e/B0056D223Y/
Janice’s Smashwords page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Ladyjanice

Monday, March 26, 2018

Special Guest @KatyEeten with her newest release, Blast From Her Past - Christian Romance #authorinterview #RB4U #guest




Welcome to Romance Books 4 Us, a place for all romance and all genres. We’re very happy to have you here with us today. First, tell us a little bit about yourself…

I’m new to the publishing scene, so thanks for having me! I’ve lived most of my life in southeast Wisconsin, despite my dislike of cold weather. I’ve been married to my husband Jason for almost 16 years, and we have two sons (ages 9 and 7). I majored in economics in college, so naturally I write Christian romance novels (ha!). I love chocolate, pizza, and taking walks when it’s nice outside. I work full-time in the business world and consider writing to be my “release” from the stress of the day.



What or who initially inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, and even at a young age I would enter writing contests and fill up notebooks and binders with poems and short stories. I can’t say there was any one person who inspired me, it was more of an innate desire tucked inside that I chose to pursue on my own. I have had some encouragement along the way though, so am thankful to those who make a point to support and encourage people in their talents.


What kind of research do you do for a novel and how extensive do you get?
I only have one published book at the moment, and my research for that was pretty minor. Everything I needed to know I could find on the internet. For example, what could cause a car to suddenly break down while driving? What is the distance between various midwestern cities? Do people in North Dakota call it “soda” or “pop”?


Do real life events find their way into your stories?
Somewhat. The majority of what I write is pure fiction, but in Blast from Her Past, there are a few elements based on real life. For example, the main character works from home but has to go into her office from time to time (so do I), and the flower sale concept is straight out of my own high school experience. When I can use truthful elements as fillers in my story, it gives it a more realistic feel, which is typically what I’m aiming for.


Do you ever mimic family members or people you know when you choose characters?
I try not to, as I don’t want to cause tension with anyone. But sometimes a certain quirk, personality trait or expression exhibited by someone in my life may be the perfect fit for a character. I try to keep it innocent though.




When do you write?  Early morning? During the day sometime or all day?  After the kids go to bed?
I have off work Fridays, so that’s often my most productive time to write. Otherwise, I write on weekends or after the kids have gone to bed.
  


Do you ever see yourself as the heroine/hero or find yourself relating to them when you write a story?
I don’t consciously consider myself the heroine, physically or emotionally, but it’s hard not to interject some of my own feelings or reactions, likes and dislikes, into the mix. Interestingly, when I first saw the cover art for Blast from Her Past, I was a little jolted at how the main character was depicted. Only then did I realize that I was expecting more of a resemblance to myself, which is silly because she really was nothing like me!



What is your favorite method of writing...as in laptop, desktop, iPad or the old-fashioned pencil and paper?  And do you plot out your story or go with the flow of your muse?
I use a laptop to write. I type over 100 words per minute, so this is by far more efficient than a pen and paper. I typically have an outline, whether typed out or just in my head, but my stories take on a life of their own after I get going. I’ve found you have to be adaptable when it comes to writing, and let the story take you where it leads!


Is there anything about yourself nobody knows that you would like to share with our readers?
I love Wheel of Fortune and want to be a contestant on the show so bad! :)


Where can our readers find you? 

Is there an upcoming or current release you would like to share with us today and where can we find it? 



My current release, Blast from Her Past, is a Christian Romance published by Anaiah Press. Below is the blurb followed by where it can be purchased.

After a disastrous failed engagement, Sydney Hampson is leaving her past—and her faith—behind to focus on her career instead. Following through with her new, albeit misguided, resolution proves easier said than done when former classmate, and reformed bully, Grant Williams signs on with her company, and they must work closely together.

Grant Williams gave up his teenage antics years ago, and now he’s looking forward to a future that includes a strong relationship with God. When he realizes he’ll be working with none other than Sydney Hampson—the girl he had a secret crush on throughout high school—he couldn’t be more thrilled. Until he discovers she’s not the same caring, compassionate woman she used to be.

When a business trip gone awry leaves the pair stranded in the middle of a snowstorm, Grant sees his chance to make things right and put their past wrongs behind them…if only Sydney can get over her distrust of men. And with a conniving coworker intent on destroying Sydney’s happiness, can she put her faith back in God and learn to trust in Grant before she loses her chance at love?

Now Available via Kindle Unlimited !!




Saturday, March 24, 2018

Thirty-three Best Romantic Comedies of All Time




I thought I’d do something fun this month. I got this list of the thirty-three best romantic comedies of all time from the digital site, Thrillist. As a romance author and reader, I love romantic comedies.
Thrillist said their criteria in compiling this list was that it had to be a comedy and romance had to be central to the story. I don’t know that I agree with all on this list.

I love Hallmark movies, as do many of us. I would love one of my books to be made into a movie. What author wouldn’t? Did you know authors can submit their books to Hallmark for consideration? I include the link to Hallmark below. Although many of my books are similar to Hallmark movies, or so I believe, they don’t qualify for a movie. Hallmark wants lengths of between 65,000-80,000 words, and the stories must have NO sex. I can write sweet, but I struggle to write anything over 50,000 words.

I happen to be a film buff for old black and white rom-coms. My favorite rom-com of all time isn’t on this list. It’s The More the Merrier, 1943, with two of my favorite actors, Jean Arthur, and a hunky Joel McCrea.

Here’s the list with some notes from me.

33. How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) (Seen this a few times. Lots of fun. Marilyn Monroe is one of the stars)

32. Boomerang (1992)

31. Earth Girls Are Easy (1988)

30. My Best Friend's Wedding (1997) (Like this one)

29.  Hitch (2005)

28. 27 Dresses (2008)

27. The Holiday (2006) (Love this one, as does my husband)

26. My Man Godfrey (1936) (An old black and white that I love)

25. Imagine Me & You (2005) (Never heard of this)

24. Strictly Ballroom (1992) (Never heard of this)

23. Desk Set (1957) (Another good one I’ve seen several times. It’s got Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. How could it not be good?)

22. 13 Going on 30 (2004)

21. Obvious Child (2014) (Never heard of this one)

20. Brown Sugar (2002) (Never heard of this one)

19. Love Actually (2003) (Good movie but I can’t watch it any more due to that one story with Laura Linney. Absolutely upset me. There was no reason why she couldn’t be with the man she loved and still take care of her disabled brother. Heartbreaking and made no sense.)

18. Coming to America (1988) (Enjoyed this one)

17. Moonstruck (1987) (Good but overrated)

16. Pretty Woman (1990) (Love this. Seen it many times.)

15. Down with Love (2003)

14. Bride and Prejudice (2004) (Never heard of this)

13. Splash (1984) (Love this. Tom Hanks was so young)

12. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

11. While You Were Sleeping (1995) (One of my favorites)

10. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) (Another favorite)

9. Sabrina (1954) (Love Audrey Hepburn. Intensely dislike Humphrey Bogart, and won’t watch anything he’s in. Also, Hepburn is so young and fresh and he looks worn and old)

8. Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

7. You've Got Mail (1998) (Love it)

6. The Princess Bride (1987) (Love it)

5. Notting Hill (1999) (Love it)

4. Roman Holiday (1953) (Another with Audrey Hepburn. This time she’s with Gregory Peck whom I like much better than Bogart, but again he’s too darn old for her)

3. Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) (Love it. Read the book)

2. Clueless (1995) (Love it)

1. When Harry Met Sally (1989) (Love it)

 

That’s the list. Agree? Disagree? What ones would you put on this list? Which would you take off?


New release!! Spring Fling: A Limited Edition Collection of Romance.
Many stories in this set would make good movies, although some would be too steamy for Hallmark.


My contribution is a fun fantasy romance, Love Potion.




For uptight veterinarian Nicole Caruso, a fortuneteller's prediction, a vial of gold liquid, a handsome man with secrets and some very strange happenings prove there's no escaping the magic of love.”

Get your copy of Spring Fling now. Just released on Amazon. Available for pre-order on other sites with an April 20 release date. It won’t be available for long. Only 99 cents.

Universal buy link: http://books2read.com/u/b5MnjO



As promised, here’s the link to the Hallmark site that will tell you how to submit your book for their consideration as a movie:



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