Tag Archives: Contemporary romance

Guest Interview—Nicole Fitton

Tell us a bit about you and your background

Hi Linda, thank you so much for making me so welcome and hosting me on your blog today. I live in a truly beautiful part of the UK – Devon. I grew up in London and have lived in New York. Devon is as far away from those 2 cities as you can get, all green fields, farms and beaches. We often times would dream about living here when on holiday with our 3 boys. We were fortunate enough to make it happen so here we are! My career has seen most of my time spent within PR and marketing in the music industry, although over the last decade or so I’ve been working within healthcare. A real mixed bag which has afforded me some amazing experiences and great ideas for writing!

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Contemporary romantic suspense. Chicklit with a twist is how it has also been described.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

I have an 18-month-old Springer Spaniel called Poppy who I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time training!  When not running through fields full pelt chasing her, I like to crochet and bake (not at the same time although that could be interesting). Oh and reading, of course. I try to read at least one book a week, sometimes it happens other times not!

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

The simple answer is both. For me it seems to be that wherever the catalyst for the story starts that’s how it then develops. With my debut novel All Tomorrow’s Parties, I had a strong powerful image of the lead main character Laine Marshall first, the plot then evolved from her. However with my current WIP, it’s the other way around. I had a light bulb moment where the plot unfolded to me, the characters are developing through the storyline as we speak. For me this works well as it’s the inspiration that keeps me passionate about my writing.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

Most definitely freestyle. Most days I feel as if I’m a time thief. I’m constantly grabbing 10 minutes here, stealing an hour there. I often travel with my job so I’m becoming quite skilled at blocking out the noise of the train station or airport lounge and quietly sitting and writing a few pages (I carry a notebook everywhere these days).Interestingly in my day job, I have to be incredibly well organized and plan out everything emmm… maybe that’s why my writing is so freestyle….

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

Yes I have. All Tomorrow’s Parties is set in London and Venice, places I’m fortunate to know well. I would urge anyone who has never been to Venice (or Italy in general for that matter) to go, it really is magical. My second novel (planned for release in May) has three main locations – the West Country of England (about 100 miles away from where I live), a small town called Monflanquin in France where I spent last summer and New York where I once lived. I like to draw on locations I know. I use them as stages in which to place the characters. It really helps me to visualize the characters sitting in a café or catching the subway. Hopefully it drives the descriptive side of my writing.

AllTomorrow'sParties

TAGLINE

Can you really have a happy ever after?

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Set in the music industry of 1980’s London, All Tomorrows Parties is a journey through life and love. Laine Marshall isn’t a product of the 1980’s she is the epitome of it. 18 years of age and working for one of the hippest labels around Vestal records. She takes the day to day hedonism of working for Vestal in her stride and experiences every emotion under the sun except the one she craves the most – love.
She has a DJ boyfriend Danny she ‘likes’ and a music editor lover Tony ‘she could love’, but no smack bang between the eyes kind of love. That is until a chance encounter in Italy sets her pulse racing and her heart in pieces. With her life turned upside down, she tries to navigate towards love with tragic consequences. Someone is trying to derail her happiness but who and why? Can her heart be broken and rebuilt?
BUY LINK

Amazon

EXCERPT

“Let’s find a café somewhere, grab some lunch and plan our day, agreed?” said Andy as they finally stood on the quayside.

They made their way to Café Pietro just off St Mark’s Square. After a quick lunch and glass of wine, they all decided to go their separate ways and explore elements of the city that appealed. They agreed to meet back at the quayside to catch the vaporetti at 6pm.

Andy, Pete, Mary and Ella went straight to St Mark’s Basilica whilst John whispered to Laine he had a surprise to show her and they headed off towards the waterfront. “You’re being quite secretive John, what’s this about?” asked Laine.

“Ah you’ll see”, he said, grabbing her hand and moving towards a small ferry.

The boat took them to the small island of San Lozarro degli Armeni. The island was home to the order of Mekhitarist Monks, originally from Armenia. John explained that the island had been a place of love for the poet Byron. He knew from their conversations that Byron held a special place in Laine’s life. It was also fortuitous that San Lozarro deli Armeni was also home to some of the world’s rarest roses – a favourite for them both. Walking along the beach that first night, they had both been surprised by the other’s love of roses. It had sparked a debate on the origins of the rose and a discussion around why both the UK and the US had adopted it as their national flower. It had been the first of many coincidences.

As they approached the island they were struck by its beauty. The monastery tower framed picture perfect against the powder blue sky, the jade blue sea contrasting against the backdrop of the soft coral stonework of the island. The island itself seemed to be perfectly square with the monastery centrally placed.

Laine had heard of the island when she had read about Byron’s life and his love of Armenian culture but had never expected she would be able to visit it. “This is amazing John – how did you know about this place?” she said, taking hold of his hand. “One of the guys at the base mentioned it a while back, it’s not that well-known, but really worth the trip. When you mentioned you loved Byron, well, it all kinda fitted together”, he said, squeezing her hand just a little.

They walked hand in hand through the cloisters of San Lorrazo del Armeni. The air was heavy with hints of musk and tea rose. Their olfactory senses at first overwhelmed as the subtle changes in scent presented itself, ebbing and flowing like the tide. The roses in the gardens were nurtured like much loved children, now resplendent in a wild spectrum of colours. A monk knelt, a trug by his side. His secateurs delicately dead heading the myriad of rose bushes. He turned and nodded as they passed.

These roses had seen lovers come and go. The memory of their scent imprinted, able to trigger emotions of either love or sorrow. Petals fell as the breeze drifted through and scattered them onto the cobbled path. A carpet of resplendent blooms in multiple colours lay ahead of them. They walked slowly along the path; petals appeared to drop from the sky as if heralding their arrival. Instinctively, Laine took off her sandals. A mix of smooth velvety gloss and heat from the cobbles tickled the soles of her feet. John smiled. The more time he spent with Laine the more he realised how similar they were –both cherished simple beauty where they found it.

NFitton

Nicole Fitton is a freelance writer who lives in Devon with her children, husband, 10 old hens, 1 very old rabbit, an even older cat and a very young springy springer. Her career to date has spanned 3 decades working in PR and marketing within Europe and the USA. She currently works within healthcare management in the UK. When not ‘doing the day job’ and apart from writing, she enjoys field trialing her spaniel (who is very trialing!), playing golf (badly) and drinking copious amounts of coffee. She likes all things shiny and really really likes fast cars.

She is a member of the group Authors Helping Authors. Her second novel is due for release in 2016.

WEB CONTACTS

Blog: https://nicolefittonauthor.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MisoMiss

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alltomorrowsparties2015/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/fitton3818/

Guest Release–Say Yes by Katie O’Sullivan

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Blurb: (A Candy Hearts Romance)

Darby Malone has trouble saying no. Hosting a children’s Valentine party at her recently renovated gallery is the last straw, and the last time she intends to say yes to anything. That is, until she meets Ben, a well-known Cape Cod artist with eyes as deep and blue as the ocean. He stirs feelings in her that have been dormant for too long. Can she afford to say yes to him?

Ben Phillips needs this gallery show. His life has been empty since his wife died four years ago, his paintings the only thing giving him solace. But his style has changed, his art completely different than the breezy shore paintings he staked his reputation on. Can he convince Darby to give him a chance – and to consider him for more than just a place on her gallery walls? Will she give him a place in her heart as well?

BUY LINKS

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

EXCERPT

Every muscle in her body tensed at his proximity. Her mouth went dry and her brain clicked into hyperdrive, suddenly aware of every last detail of the six-foot god standing far too close. The shadow of scruff along his chiseled jawline, the salty ocean smell wafting off his leather jacket, the weathered tan along his cheeks and nose giving him the look of someone who spent all his time outdoors wearing sunglasses. His dark blond hair, tossed every which way by the February wind, looked like he’d just rolled out of bed. Darby wondered what it would be like to be in that bed with him, tousling the unruly mop with her hands, tugging him closer to taste those sculpted lips…

She blinked hard, reining in her fantasy. This was strictly business. Ben Phillips was kind of a big deal in the Cape Cod art community; it would be a coup for her little gallery to handle some of his paintings. She’d been surprised when he responded to her mass mailing with a request for this meeting.

He cleared his throat, looking hesitant, maybe even a little unsure of himself. “Maybe this is a bad time. I should come back in the morning as originally scheduled.”

“No, no,” she said, regaining control of her voice. “You just caught me by surprise. I guess I expected you to be…different.”

Katie_OSullivan

Katie O’Sullivan lives on Cape Cod, drinking way too much coffee and inventing new excuses not to dust. Living next to the Atlantic influences everything she writes, from her YA series about mermaids to her contemporary romances for The Wild Rose Press.

Contact Information:

Website: www.katie-osullivan.com

Blog: http://katieosullivan.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKatieOSullivan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OkatieO

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3326303.Katie_O_Sullivan

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/katieosullivan

Romancing The 8–Voting Round for Readers’ Choice Award

On this month’s post for the Romancing the 8 blog hop with other TransCanada Romance Authors, I’m announcing my entry in a contest.

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My Halloween-set novella, Unlocked Treasure, passed the nomination round for the Readers’ Choice Award sponsored by The Romance Reviews. From now until October 31st, voting continues and I’d love to have a good showing. Click here to be taken to the listing which appears in the Contemporary Romance category. A simple sign-in must be done.

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Aleen MacRae blames the lure of the sea for breaking apart first her family then her engagement. When her interest is caught by a man she sees both in person and in a dream, she resists—afraid to believe in her aunt’s prediction that her future is tied to the sea.

Braden Williams is on the hunt for treasure buried centuries earlier by Rhode Island pirates. His search brings him to the property where Aleen lives. Collaboration on genealogy research draws them closer, and Braden steers her toward his true passion–sailing.

Attending a party with Braden’s family lets her glimpse what she’s been missing. An unexpected discovery before her date with Braden forces a decision. Will Aleen play things safe or accept what this free-spirited man offers?

QUESTION

My research revealed an unique event that takes place  at Brown University in Providence, RI at midnight on Halloween night.  Attendees enter a darkened Sayles Hall with flashlights and get comfortable. A spotlight highlights the balcony and an organ recital begins. Does your city have a one-of-a-kind event to celebrate the holiday?

BUY LINKS

All Romance ebooks

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

KOBO Books

The Wild Rose Press

Other participating authors

Gini Rifkin

Character Interview from First Impressions by Peggy Jaeger

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

My name is Padric Cleary, but everyone just calls me Pat. I’m a veterinarian in the town of Carvan Ct. and I’m in practice with my dad Seamus, my best friend Quentin Stapleton ( who’s also my bro-in-law) and Q’s father David.

Where were you raised?

Born and bred here in Carvan.

Family members?

My twin sister, Moira, who’s 4 minutes older than me and never lets me forget it. Next is Dennis, or Denny as we all call him, who’s 21 and last but not least, Alastair who’s 17. Everyone in my family calls him “Steps.” Long story – and he’s not fond of the nickname at all.

Did you always want to be a (a veterinarian)?

Yup. Even though it’s the family business, I really can’t see myself doing anything else. When we were kids, Moira and I always accompanied my dad on his farm visits and when we were old enough, we each took turns working in the clinic caring for the boarded animals, cleaning up, stuff like that.  I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. My sister accuses me of being a vet just so I can play with animals all day long, but if you know anything about veterinary medicine, we don’t get to play too often with our charges.

What do you like most about (your profession)?

Animals are natures’ purest-hearted creatures. They will never harm you unless they perceive a threat and their love is unconditional. Who wouldn’t love being a veterinarian knowing that? And really, is there anything more enjoyable than seeing a new litter of puppies romping around?

Are you a pet person?

The answer to that one better be yes, don’t you think? Ha ha.

Do you have any hobbies?

I guess you can all it a hobby, but to me it’s really the best way for me to unwind and relax, and that’s horseback riding. We all rode as kids and had our own horses. I still have mine and whenever I can grab an hour or more I set off on a long, thoughtful ride. I let my horse have his head and he knows exactly where to take me. Being atop such a magnificent animal is one of life’s true pleasures.

What attracts you first to a woman?

Well, if I’m being shallow, looks are always the first thing I see. But what really makes me want to be with a woman after I get over her looks is her sense of self and self-worth. Confidence is very big on my list of attributes for the perfect woman.  You can spot a confident woman from a mile away, but you can also get a sense of her self-assurance in the way she treats you, responds to you, and to others. Kindness goes hand in hand with that. I could never be with a sarcastic or cutting girl or a mean one.

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Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers’ first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town. Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can’t pledge himself to her forever.

Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for “The One.” When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent’s marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way.

Can Pat convince everyone – including Clarissa – she’s the only woman for him?

BUY LINKS

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Print

Barnes & Noble

The Wild Rose Press

EXCERPT

“Have you ever been friends with a girl before?” she finally asked. “Friends?”

“Yes. Friends.”

“Have a beer and shoot some pool friends? Or the kind with benefits?”

She laughed out loud, shook her head and grinned. “Have you ever been friends with a girl without having sex mixed into the equation?”

“Not since I was sixteen,” he admitted and then felt his neck heat. “Why?”

She cocked her head again. “It’s no secret I’m attracted to you, too. I think my reaction to the way you kissed me proves it.”

“Why am I hearing a ‘but’?”

Her lips twitched at the corners. “But I don’t jump into bed with a man because I’m attracted to him.”

“I never thought you did.”

“Good to know.”
He cocked his head. “So, what’s being friends gotto do with anything?”

Clarissa sighed and settled back against the doorframe. “Can I be honest?”

“I would hope so.”

“I’ve been hearing about your reputation with women since I moved here, and I’m not looking to be the flavor of the week.”

He stared at her for a second as hurt washed through him. “When you say honest, you don’t pull any punches.”

P Jaeger
Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance. A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Her current titles, available now, include SKATER’S WALTZ and THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, and FIRST IMPRESSIONS books 1 through 3 in her 6-book The MacQuire Women Series, published by The Wild Rose Press. Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law, also a Peggy Jaeger!

WEB CONTACTS

Visit her at: http://peggyjaeger.com/

Tweet her at: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger

Friend her at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072?ref=bookmarks

Pin her at: https://www.pinterest.com/peggyjaeger/

Instagram her at: mmj122687  ( peggy jaeger

Read her at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger

Guest Release–Asylum Harbor by Isla Grey

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Trouble is the last thing Devon Brown needs when she heads to Shell Island.  As the Salty Dog’s new bartender, she finds herself drawn to Kerr, the Shell Island harbormaster.  But happily-ever-after is fleeting when dealing with an obnoxious bootlegger and a jealous coworker.

A standoffish loner with damaged emotions, Kerr avoids relationships like the plague.  Things change when Devon arrives.  When a simple flirtation grows serious, the coworker and bootlegger become obstacles to any future Kerr and Devon may have together.  As the situation worsens, Devon realizes the still waters of Asylum Harbor are no refuge during a storm.

BUY LINKS for Book 1 of The Salty Dog series

Amazon

The Wild Rose Press

islagrey

Isla Grey is from Central Virginia and still lives in the same small town she grew up in. She developed a love of writing at an early age and over the years has tried her hand at penning poetry (some good, some not so good), screenwriting, newspaper articles and historical stories. She’s “old school” when it comes to writing and is a hoarder of more pens, post-it notes and writing journals than she’ll ever need. Isla likes to write different types of stories from romance to mystery and anything in between and loves a “happy for now but there could be some bad things coming” feel.

WEB CONTACTS

Website
Goodreads
Twitter

Character Interview–Blackout by M.J. Schiller

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How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Hi, I’m Eli Batronis. So, you mean basics like single, white male, from those personal ads? Well, I guess I’m all of those things. I’ve worked construction for most of my life in New York City, but I recently moved to Chicago, where I bartend and attend school. I enjoyed working construction. Good, hard, physical work that clears your mind. You really shouldn’t be thinking of much from twenty stories up, other than your work, and not falling off the girder you’re standing on. I like being in the outdoors, too, and being able to physically see the progress of your work and leave a part of yourself behind at each job.

Where were you raised?

I’m from Beacon, New York, but we left there when I was seven. When my father died. I’ve lived in New York City until just recently, so I guess I’d call that home. I moved to Chicago. I had to leave because of Faith. So that I could make myself a better man.

Family members?

Just me and my mom. And I guess you could include her new husband, Al. He’s a great guy, actually.

Did you attend college?

Not until I was the oldster in the classroom. I went back to school to study architecture. So I could be the guy designing the buildings instead of just the one doing all of the grunt work.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?

Geez! That’d be a tie. I met the woman that I love in a blackout when our elevator crashed. I guess you’d call that pretty crazy. And I saved a guy once from doing a headfirst dive off one of our construction sites, several stories up. That was definitely crazy. Faith would say certifiable.

Talk about your favorite setting for a date. (or favorite way to court a woman)

Okay, this is going to sound totally corny, and I understand that a lot of women wouldn’t like this, but Faith did, and that’s all that mattered. I liked to take her to all those lousy touristy places in New York. You know, Times Square, Central Park, Rockefeller Center… She’d always dreamed of seeing them. But work and a lack of funds got in her way, so I wanted to be the one to show them to her.

What attracts you first to a woman?

Well, you know…I’m a guy, so…*clears throat*  I’d have to say her body, her looks. And then, I hate to say it, but I’d look for a shallowness about her. The sense that she was only into me for the physical nature of the relationship, too. But that was all before I met Faith. Faith is beautiful inside and out, and I knew it right from the start. Right from the moment I first laid eyes on her. Meeting her was a total game changer.

Welding Steel Structure on Structure In Workshop

Howdy! I’m Max Theobald and I’m the hero of BLACKOUT so I thought I’d just sort of hijack this here interview and let you know a few things about myself. I used to work with Eli in construction while I was finishing up med school, but now I’m an intern.

Where were you raised?

Albany, New York. My parents are both doctors there. That’s why I went into the profession. That, and the fact that, although I like to kid around a lot, I really do like helping people, as unoriginal as that sounds.

Are you athletic?

Doesn’t it show? Nah. There I go again, joking with ya. I wouldn’t call myself an athlete, but I do enjoy running.

Are you a pet person?

I wouldn’t mind having a pooch. Or a cat, if Faith wanted one. But apartment living isn’t very conducive to having pets.

What are your reading tastes?

Somewhat eclectic. I like the classics. Yes, even Shakespeare. I love a good spy book, Tom Clancy or the like. Any kind of thriller. I think I own every Stephen King book ever written, including his biography! I’ve even read a romance or two. When stuck on a late shift without reading material.

Where did you go for your most recent vacation?

I traveled extensively with my folks, but my favorite trip was my most recent one to Hawaii with Faith. It was incredible. Seeing things again through her eyes gives them a sort of magical quality.

Talk about your favorite setting for a date.

Well, unlike Eli I like to wine and dine my women. Take them to the best places. But honestly, the best times I’ve had with Faith have been doing everyday stuff. Like washing the dishes. That woman can do some mean things with a dishtowel, let me tell you!

What attracts you first to a woman?

Well, like Eli I used to go in for just the physical. The prettier the better. Faith, of course, is gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. But not in that polished, made-up kind of way. Damn! I never thought I’d be the sap heartsick over some woman. Just goes to show you—you just never know what life has in store for you. Even when you think you do.

BUY LINK

Amazon

AUTHOR BLOG

M.J. Schiller profile pic (picmonkeyed)

 

Cover Reveal–Summer’s Sweet Embrace

 

Summer's Sweet Embrace

Summer’s Sweet Embrace, a Romance Anthology
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: August 19, 2015

Truly Paradise – Michelle Ziegler
Description: Waiting for the right one can be torture.
Too bad for Hailey, impatience got the best of her. Finding Mr. Right in time for a destination wedding couldn’t happen fast enough. Instead of listening to reason, or rather her friends, she’s stuck in paradise alone, again. Nothing ruins a tropical paradise faster than catching your date with another woman.
Justin’s ready for a change. He’s been caught up in his own success for too long and is looking to finally settle down. Timing is everything and his cousins wedding is the perfect start of his new life. His luck is changing with the captivating mystery woman on the beach.  Now all he has to do is find her, before he agrees to his family’s match making plot.

Ocean Dust – Laurie Treacy
Carly Dawson, 18, is facing her last summer before leaving for college, all alone. Still nursing a broken heart over the loss of her boyfriend, Chase Montgomery, she wants the next two months to be different. A shocking unexpected visitor one night just may offer Carly the excitement she seeks. Her only decision is whether or not to choose what this visitor offers her.

The Beach Rose – Christa MacDonald
Description: Annie Thomas can’t believe her good luck when she inherits the family’s beach house in Oceanside Maine.  It’s one of the few places she was truly happy so she sells everything she owns, quits her job, and moves in hoping that her new business, The Beach Rose, will bring in enough money in its first season to let her live up there year round.  But on her first day things aren’t as easy or as simple as she’d hoped.  To cap it off she discovers that her best new client is actually the boy she had a huge teenage crush on.  So much for rekindling a summer romance.
For Craig, Annie was everything he wanted when he was a geeky seventeen year-old.  Now that he’s pushing forty and the owner of half the real estate in town, he wants another shot at convincing her that he’s everything she needs.  He didn’t count on her owning the business he just signed a contract with though.  Craig has to find a way to help Annie’s struggling business without her knowing it since anything else would push her further away and that’s the last thing he wants.
Together they may get a second chance for a summer romance.

When the Sea Swallows the Sun – Kim Strattford
Description: A trip to Clearwater Beach was supposed to be a fun escape from the D.C. rat race for Emma and her boyfriend Sam.  Until Sam dumped her, leaving her with a ticket she was too cheap not to use and a resolution to enjoy her time in the sun and get over him.  A plan that sputters when Sam’s good friend Rick shows up.  Rick, who’s never seemed to approve of her for reasons she’s never understood.  Rick, who seems to think he has license to bug her just because he bought Sam’s ticket.  Rick, who may be a much nicer guy than she ever realized, and who might have a very good reason for not thinking much of her.  Can they make peace in the beautiful Florida sun and surf?  Peace—or maybe more?

Love’s Nectar – Jaylee Austin
Description: What if fate pushed you to make a choice between keeping a promise and revealing a truth? After her grandmother’s death, she opens an unexpected letter containing an unwanted request. Isabel feels obligated to honor her grams final wish. In the process she risks losing the man of her dreams.
Six months before their marriage Isabel reveals a time bomb that will forever change their lives. He loves her but the betrayal of not trusting him weighs heavy on his heart. Trust means everything to Seth.
One ring, journal, box, spirit, and flower will teach everyone the power of commitment and the importance of honesty.  Secrets left buried will always haunt the living, a life lived truthfully leads to happily ever after. Will Isabel and Seth realize this before they are doomed to replay the mistakes of the past?

Love’s High Tide – Niki Mitchell
Description: Tired of the vacationers hitting on her, surf shop owner, Skye Taylor quits dating. In walks the cocky, Harley Nicholson from Idaho. She’s not open for another summer fling. Can he convinces her to give love a chance?

Harley sees Skye shooting through the Huntington Beach Pier on her surfboard. Mesmerized by the woman’s connection with the wave, he sets out to meet the brazen surfer. He bets his cousin that before he leaves in three weeks, she’ll be his.

Skye’s life is kept busy running the Epic Surf Shop and training for annual surfing contest. The handsome, buff Idahoan interests her, but she doesn’t want another disastrous summer fling. Harley charms her into giving him a surfing lesson, woos her with moonlight strolls, and coaxes her with sweet gestures. Skye discovers Harley’s betrayal. She refuses to see him or hear his explanation.

Miserable, Harley must do something monumental to win her back. Will Skye ever forgive Harley?

Linger – Melissa J. Crispin

Description: Tracey Thompson isn’t like most twenty-year-olds. She’s looking forward to settling down and marrying her soul mate, Noah Martin. Even though their love bloomed when they were just little kids, they never doubted it and never looked back.
When a tragic accident separates Tracey from Noah, she struggles to go on without him. As the days wear on, she becomes aware of a chance for them to be together once again. All she needs to do is understand what tore them apart in the first place. But, overcoming this is harder than it seems. Will she be strong enough to find her way back to him?

Above Reproach – Sheryl Winters

Description: Executive Secretary Margaret Simms should have had it all. An apartment on the beach and a job at Reynolds Ad Agency, working for her best friend and business mogul Garrett Reynolds.
A one night stand leads to a pregnancy and a re-evaluation of her life goals. In reality, Margaret’s always hated her office job and culinary school is her life dream. But that too is ripped away from her when Garrett, her best friend and father of her child, develops cancer.
Obligation forces her back to the work she hates. When office espionage threatens her life, Margaret finds she must make a choice. Stand up for what she truly believes in or lose all she’s ever wanted.

Character Interview of hero from Twist Of Faith

Today I’m hosting an interview with the leading man from a recently released story titled Twist Of Faith by Darlene Fredette.

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Thank you for inviting me for coffee and a chat. I’m Nick Porter, architect and contractor, living in Montreal. I work from sun-up to sun-down, so personal time is limited. Someone once told me I’m stubborn and that I resemble Johnny Depp.

What do you like most about your profession?

I love designing a client’s dream on paper then building a masterpiece beyond their dream.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?

Meeting Faith Witherspoon. The older woman befriended my parents, sent them on the cruise of their dreams, and put a roof over my brother’s head. She then offered to remove my financial debt, but when I didn’t comply, she sent her granddaughter to influence me.

Is there a place you’d always wanted to visit?

I hear Paris is beautiful and has a great chain of cafés.

Talk about your favorite setting for a date.

I came across a beautiful spot while driving around one day. Soaring skyscrapers, the downtown area, the river, and the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York are all visible on this hilltop lookout with panoramic views of Montreal. A great spot for a picnic with someone special.

What attracts you first to a woman?

Long brown hair, a beautiful smile, chocolate brown eyes, confidence, independence, and an alluring French accent.

Are you talking about a particular woman?

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I recently met Katrina Witherspoon, who happens to have those irresistible qualities, and so much more.

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Tagline:

One twist of Faith can change everything.

Blurb:

Katrina has one goal—follow through on her late-grandmother’s last request, to oversee the renovation of Katrina’s childhood home. The handsome contractor is distracting, but she refuses to be swayed by his deep brown eyes and broad shoulders. A summer romance is not part of the plan. When the truth is discovered about her family’s past, Katrina fears her own future is in jeopardy. She doesn’t have faith, but the twists that lie ahead may just change her mind.

Nick refuses to accept help from anyone, until Katrina gives him an ultimatum—one he can’t refuse. Her renovation project will save his business, but puts his heart on the line. Can he convince Katrina to stay or will a promise to her late-grandmother pull her away? With a little twist of Faith, the odds may be in his favor.

BUY LINKS

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

The Wild Rose Press

Excerpt:

The man shifted his weight.

Suddenly, the air cooled around her. For the first time since she spied him in her home, Katrina stared face-to-face at her intruder. Past the pain, she saw a strong jaw line and a chin framed by the shadow of a goatee, or as they say in Paris, a French beard. A perfect set of lips held a thin moustache and his brown layered hair fell just above his chin. Dark brown eyes kept her gaze captivated. Johnny Depp has broken into my house.

His face didn’t belong to someone who made a living from breaking-and-entering. This face belonged to a refined and hard-working man. She could tell there was more to the story behind those eyes, but the instant she stared at his lips, her thoughts turned to mush.

He stumbled to stand, leaning on the wall for support. Johnny Depp kicked the wood, sending it rolling to the other side of the room.

Katrina, now believing he meant no harm, accepted the hand he offered to help her from the floor. She ignored the tingling sensation running up her arm, knowing the fuss couldn’t be from the strong hand holding hers.

He inhaled a deep breath and opened his mouth to speak, but shook his head instead. Frowning, he pointed a finger toward the card on the floor and limped to the exit, slamming the door behind him.

She bent to pick up the card, which read, Donaldson and Porter, Architecture and Contracting, Nick Porter. Her shoulders dropped. “Damn!”

Katrina now had less than twenty-four hours to master the art of groveling.

Bio:

An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loved to put a pencil to paper and plot out stories of her own. She writes heartwarming contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. When Darlene isn’t writing, editing, or reading, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and Yellow Lab.

Contact links:

Web Blog: http://findingthewritewords.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarleneLF

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DarleneLF

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/DarleneLF

Author Interview–Denyse Bridger

Today I’m interviewing a chapter buddy from the TransCanada Romance Writers, Denyse Bridger. Be sure to read through to the end for the details on the giveaway being offered.

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I’m from East Coast Canada, and one of these days I just might set a book in this part of the world. I’ve been writing pretty much since I was able to put words on page, and been involved in professional writing for the past 11 years. I can’t think of anything I love more than creating a story that makes people smile.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Romance and Fantasy for the discerning reader…

 What are your hobbies away from the computer?

Walking in the park, research, baking, reading… depends on the season which one gets the most time. J

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

Most often it’s the plot that emerges first, and then the people who populate the new world introduce themselves and tell me how they’re related–or  not–to each other within the story. Sometimes it’s simply a somewhat vague idea that begins to nag at me and slowly take shape. It is rarely a character who jumps out first.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

I have to plan and plot, I’ve tried writing on the fly and it doesn’t work for me, it ends up just meandering all over the place and I feel like there’s no sense of direction or purpose. I usually end up scrapping stories that start out that way, even if I’ve gotten as high as 20K written. I have friends who gasp when I dump that many words, but to me they’re useless so it’s no loss.

Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?

I write in many genres, contemporary seems to be the one I’m in at the moment, but that can change the moment a new plot presents itself in another genre. I’ve got a new Romantic Suspense series in the works, but also a paranormal world story I’m building, and an historical Western. I also want desperately to write a cozy mystery, and that’s developing, too, so I’m all over the place. I am pretty much leaving erotic romance behind entirely and going back to sensual and mainstream books.

What’s your dream vacation destination?

Italy and Romania – it’s a toss up because I love both countries and would LOVE to see them!

Do you use visual aids (storyboards, Pintrest, collages) when plotting or writing?

I have three boards on my Pinterest that are the visual boards for works in progress, Grande Amore is for my Italian romance, The BlackHawk Agency is for my Romantic Suspense series, and New Beginnings is for a novel featuring an older couple finding love just a little bit later in their lives.

In what genre do you read?

At the moment, I’m reading a lot of romantic suspense books, and cozy mysteries. I love to read Fantasy, as well.

What resources do you use for picking character names?

Mostly I use the Character Sourcebook for Naming Characters, because it’s a great way to keep flipping around and jotting things down, seeing meanings for names, etc. I love the fact that you can select the names offered by origin/nationality, because sometimes you want specifically an Irish name, or an Italian one, and this makes it easy to find them immediately.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I’ve always said that writing is an entertainment art, and while it can and does educate, for me personally it’s about crafting a story that makes people smile and feel good, or gets them thinking and feeling on a gut level. If you affect your reader, you’ve done your job well, I believe.

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Set in Rome, Bella Signorina is a sweet, romantic story of two people who meet in a trendy caffè, and through the magic of dance and music discover they have many things in common. Bianca comes to Caffè Rosati every week, and for many weeks she’s been watching a special man, a handsome, charming stranger who dances, flirts, and leaves alone each week. Bianca is a woman who enjoys her freedom, and has been hurt before, so she’s not anxious to fall in love again. Something about the enigmatic Stefano has captivated her heart, though, and she is drawn to him in spite of herself. When she finally gathers her courage to approach him, and ask him to dance, little does she know that her entire world is about to change.

Stefano Esposito is a man whose past relationships have not left him much in the way of ideals about women. Many have claimed to love him, none have understood him. Stefano is a rare breed in today’s world of fast-paced life and love. He is a gentleman, a man who many consider a little out of step with the times. For Stefano, falling in love is the completion of a soul, not the consummation of a sexual itch. He wants the woman in his life to respect, understand, and adore him, as he will her. When he meets Bianca, he wonders if he’s finally found the one he’s waited a lifetime for? She understands his internal conflicts, his desires, and his dreams, after only hours together.

When their attraction to each other flares too quickly and too intently, Stefano pulls back. Confused and uncertain, Bianca flees his beautiful home and business, and goes back to her busy life. But, once the dance has begun, is there a way to go back to what you knew before, or is it just a matter of time before the music lures you back to your dreams and, perhaps, makes them reality?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Amazon AUDIO

Audible

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

EXCERPT

Stefano kept a close eye on the pretty dancer even as he walked to the small caffè. She was lovely, and he’d seen her many times, always enchanted by her presence, but never inclined to find out if the outward beauty was all there was to her. If she was another vain and brainless girl, he didn’t want his illusion shattered. The romanticism of the thought made him smile. He wasn’t as jaded as he pretended to be if he was still protecting his heart with illusions.

Less than fifteen minutes after he’d left her, he rejoined her and handed her a steaming cup of coffee.

“It’s so different here at night,” Bianca noted, her eyes scanning the area. In a matter of hours, thousands of people would begin their daily movements, passing over the steps, not noticing anything but the need to be wherever they were headed. “There’s peace here now.”

“Is that why you dance, to find peace?”

She sipped her coffee and considered an answer. When it came, it surprised him.

“The music is freedom, and the motion is passion. Sometimes the only passion that matters.”

“All passion matters, bella,” he commented. “It’s what gives us life.”

“Or burns it out of us.”

He turned on the steps, faced her fully. Then he touched her chin and made her look at him.

“Who abused your love so fully that you can believe that?”

“People destroy each other for love,” she replied after a lengthy pause.

Stefano shook his head. “Love is the only gift there is worth having, Signorina. It’s what men live and die for.”

“Who are you, Signor?”

He was startled again, twice in less than five minutes.

“Would you like to walk?”

She laughed in the growing darkness, and Stefano felt it ripple the length of his spine, as though cool, flawless silk had glided over him.

“Where are we to go, Stefano?”

“I think you’ll like the place,” he observed, with a hint of irony texturing the subtle undertone of his voice.

She eyed him for a few timeless moments, then nodded and rose.

He smiled when she offered her hand, and he curled his fingers around hers in a loose, but firm grip.

“So, is there a wife hidden somewhere?”

He laughed. “No. What about you? A husband who will come looking for me before dawn?”

She shook her head and sipped her coffee. “How does a man with so much passion not have the woman of his dreams in his arms every night?”

“I could ask you the same question,” he pointed out. “Why are you alone?”

Her laughter washed over him again and she stopped walking to look up at him. “No one I’ve met has inspired the things I need to feel.” She shrugged. “I’ve been too honest with too many, and it scares them away.”

For a moment he said nothing, weighing her surprising confession. “What do you need?”

“To be respected for who I am, what makes me unique.” She tilted her head to one side and held his level gaze. “I need to be given all the things I’m expected to provide, and that seems to be something quite beyond many men. Real men, who understand the value of a smart woman, also see that her beauty is in her wisdom, and her spirit.”

“And her ability to be all things without effort, because she is all things naturally,” he concluded, genuinely pleased at the startled flicker of surprise his words lit in her eyes. “We’re here,” he announced, indicating the building they’d reached.

She looked up, and her smile was radiant in the soft glow of the nearby streetlight. “La Galleria d’arte di Idillio,” she murmured. “I love this place.”

“It’s mine,” he told her as he dug out the key that would unlock the doors to the small gallery.

“Yours?”

There was enough real shock in her voice to make him stop as he held the door for her to go inside. “Why does that surprise you so much?”

“I’ve come here a number of times, and I’ve never seen you,” she replied, once he’d locked the doors and turned on the lights.

“I’ve never seen you,” he noted. “Except at the caffè.”

“I’ve always felt this place was a tribute to love, and romance.”

“It is. My father began the collection for my mother.”

“Your father was a romantic?”

“My father was a gentleman, in the truest sense of that word,” Stefano said with a familiar sense of loneliness and pride combined. “He lived la dolce vita,” he smiled, “with the passion of a man who loved all life had to offer him, good and bad.”

“He’s gone?”

A curt nod was all he could offer without revealing how deeply the loss still affected him. He set his coffee on the reception desk, hung his jacket on a rack then did the same with Bianca’s things. Then he took her arm and led her to a small area that had been his work for the past year.

“This is my latest addition to the collection.”

Bianca wandered the area, studying the beautiful collection of photographs. Each one was in a different area of Italy, and the women smiling and lovely, but each one as unique as her surroundings.

“What do you see?”

“Beauty. Romance.” Bianca stared at the photographs for a few moments longer, considering them with serious thought, then turned to face him. “In every photograph, they are not looking at you, but at the camera. They’re seeing the opportunity, but not your reason for wanting them.”

Something fluttered against Stefano’s chest from the inside, an excitement he hadn’t felt in a very long time. He let his gaze drift, cataloguing the woman in front of him. Standing next to him the top her head was at his chin. She had long, waving hair, dark brown with a distinct tint that caught the glow from the lights and turned her thick mane into a mass of warm, burnished auburn. She had eyes that resembled Chinese jade, and a wide, full mouth that curved upward, as though a secret hid behind her smile. She was curvaceous and feminine, effortlessly graceful, and with minimal makeup, appeared very much without artifice of any kind.

“What is my reason for wanting them?” He forced his tone to calm and curious, sincerely interested in her reply, but also caught in the spell she was exerting. Part of his mind was still watching her, measuring the emotion and internal workings of her mind as she analyzed his photographs with real interest. Her teal-colored dress was simple in design, flared skirt unevenly cut at the hem, swirling around her shapely legs as she walked, pausing often to peer intently at the images on the walls. The upper half of the dress clung to luscious contours, and the silver crucifix, her only jewelry, drew his eyes to the shadow between her breasts. He wanted very much to touch her, and instead stuffed his hands into his pockets and went to join her as she stopped at one of the last photos, then looked at him over her shoulder.

“She loved you.”

“So she said.”

“You didn’t love her?”

“Not the way she thought I should.”

“You wanted love from every woman here, yet not one of them saw who you really are,” she observed softly, sadness evident in her tone.

His eyebrow rose. “Who do you think I am, bella?”

“How honest do you think I should be?”

“I admire honesty, Signorina,” he told her. “I respect the courage it takes to offer it to anyone.”

“But do you respect it if the object of discussion is you?”

“Now you’re beginning to worry me,” he teased with a smile. He was fascinated by her intelligence and her insight. She looked past his appearance and his presence to probe his secrets, and whatever she was seeing made her even more alluring to him.

Want to know more? The dance is only beginning for Bianca and Stefano, drop by Eirelander Publishing and indulge the fantasy more…

GIVEAWAY

Densye is giving away an audio copy of Bella Signorina to a person leaving a comment on this blog by Monday, May 4, chosen at random.

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Canadian born and bred, and a lifelong dreamer, I began writing at an early age and can’t recall a time when I wasn’t creating in some artistic form. My life has had several on-going love affairs that shape much of what I write.  In the past half dozen years, I’ve released books in all lengths and genres, and it’s something I hope to continue to do for many more years. A visit to my websites will show the diversity of what is currently available, as well as other surprises and extras!

 

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Guest Promotion–Jarillo Sunset by Constance Bretes

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When two strangers meet on a lonely road is it mere coincidence or fate?
Real estate agent Char Johnson is on her way to meet a client when she gets a flat tire. It’s a meeting she can’t afford to miss since she’s just been told she may be out of a job if she doesn’t beat out a co-worker in sales over the next few months. When Vincent Carter stops and helps her, she’s grateful beyond words and is determined to pay him back for his kindness, which is how she ends up agreeing to be his date to a wedding.
Ever since his divorce Vincent has been on a hiatus from relationships, and he’s perfectly happy with that. He’s not looking to get involved with anyone, but he does need a date for a wedding.
Although the two discover they enjoy each other’s company, and there is definitely an attraction, with their schedules it would be difficult to find time to pursue anything. Vincent works two jobs, and Char is working extra hours to save her own job. Then there’s the conniving ex who seems determined to win Vincent back, a whole slew of family drama for both of them, and the list goes on. The obstacles in their way seem to grow by the minute.
And even if they could overcome those, Char may not be able to overcome her own insecurities, not to mention her intense dislike for Vincent’s profession. Her father’s gambling addiction destroyed their family, so for her to now get involved with someone who works at a casino…
Will Char be destined to be alone forever? Or can the handsome Native American she met by chance break through her walls and ease the loneliness in her life?
Content Warning: contains some sexual content

BUY LINK: $1.99 for a limited time

Amazon

EXCERPT:

Char Johnson slammed her fist into the steering wheel. “Well, that’s just great. I don’t know why the hell I get stuck with this company car.” Char looked around her surroundings. She was in the middle of nowhere, with a flat tire and a dead cellphone.
Her week had already started out badly. She had been told earlier by her boss that she had three months to beat Mike Ventura in sales. She and Mike were the last two real estate agents hired at Stillwater Realty and they were low on the seniority list. Since the housing market bottomed out, sales had plummeted and one of them would be losing their job. The competition was stiff enough without increasing the competition among employees. She had been on her way to meet a potential seller, but now it looked like she wouldn’t make it.
She stepped out of the car then kicked the flat tire. “Ouch!”
She surveyed the area around her. Based on the information she had, she figured she was about two miles from her destination. The sun was beating down, and the temperature was already a sweltering ninety-five degrees and it was supposed to get hotter. The surrounding area was flat, and almost barren, reminding her of the Sahara desert.
She looked down at what she had on—a blue pinstripe business suit with a white blouse that had lace around the neckline and down the front where the buttons were. She had on a pair of expensive Jimmy Choo high heels. At six hundred dollars a pair they would not be good for walking on a dirt road. I’m not dressed for a hiking expedition!
She was short—five foot three—and she wore heels because it put her at eye level with most of her clients and with the staff at Stillwater Realty. She was glad that she’d had the sense to pull her long hair pulled back into a French braid so it was off her neck and not making a hot day hotter. She had thought about getting her hair cut a million times, and a million times, she’d chickened out.
She had worked up the gumption to start walking toward the subdivision when she turned around one last time and thought she saw a car coming way off in the distance. The car looked like a ghostly silhouette with the hot sun beating down from the sky. She decided she would wait a few minutes to see if the car would stop to help her.
* * * *
On his way home from work at the Apache White Eagle Casino, Vincent Carter turned onto Pueblo Lane, heading down the lone dirt road to his house at the Sunnyside subdivision, south of Jarillo. The county road commission had just leveled the dirt road, making it easier to drive the posted speed. His eyes burned from exhaustion, and he wanted to catch a catnap before going to Jake’s tonight. Jake was having a steak dinner cookout with the band. After the band, White Sands, finished their gig at the casino last night, they were taking a break for the next two weeks. Next Saturday Jake was getting married and would be gone for one week on his honeymoon. The band rarely took any time off to relax or take a vacation.
It had been a particularly busy morning at the Apache White Eagle Casino in Hobbs, New Mexico. It seemed the retirees that came in the night before never left the casino to go to bed and he was serving cheap beer and drinks constantly from the time he got there at 4:00 AM until 10:00 AM.
Vincent was feeling agitated and particularly moody this morning. He was happy for his friends Jake and Jennifer. It took them five years to decide they couldn’t live without each other. He found that his own self-imposed avoidance of getting involved with someone else meant he would be only one of two guys at the wedding without a date. Hell, the whole damn town of Jarillo was going to be there, so he knew he couldn’t miss it.
Vincent saw a movement up the road and lifted his shades up from his nose as he squinted. What the hell was that? As he drew closer, he could see there was a car parked on the side of the road, and a woman stood next to it, waving her hand.That’s all I need now, to have to stop to help someone with car problems. He slowed down, pulled up behind the car, and rolled his window down.
The woman walked quickly toward his SUV, her heels stinking into the dirt road as she approached. “Oh, you don’t know how happy I am to see you.”
“What seems to be the problem?” he asked.
“I have a flat tire, and I don’t know how to change it. I’m on my way to meet someone at the Sunnyside subdivision and my cellphone is dead.”
Vincent slipped his SUV into park and opened the door and got out. As he walked over to take a look at the tire he saw artwork on the car that indicated it belonged to Stillwater Realty.
After he’d checked out the tire Vincent turned back toward her and he was immediately taken in by her beauty. She had clear green eyes, a lovely face that had little makeup, and auburn-colored hair pulled back in a braid. His eyes dropped to her neck, and then to her chest. She had on a blue pinstripe suit with a white blouse. He couldn’t tell for sure, but it looked like she had a pretty spectacular pair of breasts. His eyes went lower, to her waist and then her nicely-shaped hips. The skirt was short, about two inches above her knees, and she had a good looking pair of legs. His gaze drifted a little further, to her feet, and he cringed inwardly when he saw the thick high heels that brought her height up to about five feet five. He couldn’t imagine someone walking in those high heels and not tripping or falling. Vincent brought his gaze immediately back up to hers.
“Do you have a spare tire in the car?” he asked.
“Um, I don’t know. Let me look.” She walked to the back of the car and clicked the little button on the key pad and popped the trunk open. “Oh, I guess I do,” she said with a smile that was genuine and lit up her face.

Connie Bretes

Constance Bretes is an author of contemporary romance and suspense. Her romance books are often set in different parts of the country, but her favorite site is Montana. She’s married to her best friend and resides in Michigan with him and a houseful of cats. When she’s not at her regular 8-to-5 job, she can be found writing, researching, and spending time with her husband.
You can learn more about Connie and her books at her website.  You can also follow her on Facebook  or Twitter.