Tag Archives: Contemporary romance

Guest Release–A Taste of Tragedy by Kim McMahill

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Morgan Hunter sacrificed everything for her career. She had yet to encounter anything she wasn’t willing to do to succeed…until now. When she uncovers evidence that the healthy foods she’s been hired to promote may be dangerous, she must reevaluate her priorities. As questions mount and the body count rises, she finds herself caught in the crosshairs of an organization that will stop at nothing to hide its secrets and protect its profits. With no one else to trust, Morgan is forced to seek help from the man she drove away, but whom she never stopped loving.

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EXCERPT

Morgan woke to pitch black. Not only were her hands and ankles bound, and her mouth taped shut, but she was also cocooned in a thick wool blanket. The bouncing told her she was in a vehicle, but she was clearly no longer in the back of her car.

Fear coursed through her veins as she struggled to understand where she was and what had happened. She wanted to take a deep breath to help calm her nerves, but with one nostril filled with dried blood and her mouth taped, it was difficult to breathe at all.

Forcing herself not to panic, she sucked in tiny bursts of air through her one open nostril until she was confident she wouldn’t suffocate. She wiggled her toes and fingers to try and get the blood flowing and the tingling to subside.

As the fog slowly cleared from her mind, she wondered how long she had been out. The last thing she remembered was trying to stand and keep her balance, so that she wouldn’t fall on the floor of that filthy warehouse. Now, she was here, but where was here?

Morgan tried to unroll herself from the constricting blanket, but soon bumped into a cardboard box. Despite the aches and pains emanating throughout her body, she bounced her body back toward her starting place, trying not to rewrap herself in the blanket, which would negate any progress. She unrolled herself again and repeated the process until she was free from the blanket.

Her body throbbed nearly everywhere, but being free of the wrap felt liberating. She wasn’t sure what to do next. She didn’t know if the driver of the vehicle was working with the woman who abducted her, or if he or she would be surprised to find her in his or her truck.

Morgan wasn’t sure how long she lay there in the dark when the truck finally slowed. She listened to the loud staccato noise of its Jake brake, and eventually the rig came to a stop. It was now or never. When the truck got back on the road, the driver would not be able to hear her.

She scooted around until her back was braced solidly against a large cardboard box. Once the truck motor silenced and she heard the door slam shut, Morgan kicked at the back door with all her might.

After several moments, she heard the lock and then the latch being opened. Light flooded the interior, blinding her. As her eyes adjusted, she found herself staring into the startled eyes of a man in a faded t-shirt.

KimMcMahill

Kim started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival, and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense. Along with writing adventure novels, Kim has also published over eighty travel and geographic articles, and contributed to a travel anthology and cookbook.

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Guest Release–Everything About You by Lisa Lickel

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She needs a movie set miracle, he needs cash…can a farmer morph into a movie star in five days?

If Shelly has her way, Danny will become America’s next heartthrob and she’ll get her own promotions company. He’s already gorgeous, a little naive, and needs to work on that accent. To Danny, Shelly is on the pompous side, but holds the key to his real dreams…if he can figure out all the rules, say the right things for the daily vlog session, keep his heart strings in place, dodge Shelly’s vicious former boyfriend and the movie star diva. Shelly’s about to lose a lot more than her heart if she can’t get a handle on her wounded pride and learn who to trust.

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EXCERPT

By the time Fred corralled Shelly for her final vlog entry, it was dark on the outdoor set, mosquitoes overcame the aerial spray, and Shelly had not eaten since mid-morning. Winston was safely ensconced in Roma’s quarters, a canvas tent she insisted on so vocal distortion was kept to a minimum.

“You got Winston on film today, right?” Shelly twisted her neck to loosen up and swung her shoulders.

“Oh, yeah, I did that, sweetheart.”

“How’d he do? Sound okay?”

“He’ll need some work with Roma, but he handled himself well.”

Fred wore a strange grin.

“What? He have good angles? He looks all right?”

“That he does. Okay, I’m going to run film, so pretend I’m not here and talk like the camera is your best friend. Spill your guts, doll, and mean it.”

Shelly swallowed a few times and put the long, long, long day to the back of her mind. The light kept her from seeing Fred. She blinked at the red light and…

“Tommy set me up for this. I am a good publicist and he knows it. Tommy Lord became what he is because of me. Wait. I take that back. He’s a rat fink, but I didn’t make him that way.

You hear me?” Shelly laughed from the back of her throat. “For dropping me, I’m going ride tracks all down your back on the way to taking Jovian Productions to number one. You don’t deserve to be second in the industry, either. Everything about you and your joke of a distribution company is second-rate.”

Cripes, now she was repeating herself. Shelly stared at her hands, trying to think of stuff to say that sounded good. People loved at that juicy dirt talk. Even if she was over Tommy. She had her pride, after all, and none of the gossip in the tabloids was true. Talk about her day. Yeah.

“Since the moment Mr. Pettibone kicked Seth Taylor off the set and Winston Daniels stepped into the spotlight, I knew I could do something with him. Such great bones and good physique to work with. I guarantee you that within five days, I make every woman in the world drool over him and every man admire him. With his naturally thick hair, romantic build, and dreamy eyes, we’ll create a publicity campaign that puts his picture on billboards in every city, ads in all major publications, and do an online drive in everyone’s face and ear. The world will fall in love with him, the new lead in Everything About You, a movie that will make Love Story look like a postcard.”

Lisa Lickel A (3) 105 KB

Lisa Lickel lives in the rolling hills of western Wisconsin. Surrounded by books and dragons, she writes inspiring fiction. Her novels include the Buried Treasure mystery series (The Last Bequest, The Map Quilt and The Newspaper Code) and the award-winning romance, Meander ScarA Summer in Oakville, co-authored with best-selling author Shellie Neumeier, Healing Grace, The Last Detail and a series of historical early reader books, First Children of Farmington among others. She also writes short stories, feature articles, and radio theater. She is a member of Wisconsin Writers Association and the Chicago Writer’s Association. Lisa loves to encourage new authors through mentoring, speaking, and leading workshops. Lisa also is an avid book reviewer and blogger, and a freelance editor. She is married to a high school biology teacher, and they have two sons and daughters in law, grandchildren and a grand-kitty.

WEB CONTACTS

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Guest Interview—Mia Kay

Tell us a bit about you and your background.
I’m a small-town, southern girl who always wanted to be a writer. One day I finally got the nerve to try.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?
Love that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?
I’m addicted to movies, and I love to read.

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?
Characters, generally. I need to have their conflicts in place before I address the larger plot.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?
I tend to make a loose outline to keep me on track, but it’s a guidebook rather than turn-by-turn directions.

If you use music while writing, name your favorite types.
I listen to everything but country music.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?
Yes. I traveled to Los Angeles, but it was years ago. I went for business – it’s where I first met the woman who is now my closest friend.

Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in creating a story?
I go back and read what I’ve written or plotted, because chances are I’ve written myself into a corner. (In one story, I got stuck because I’d written the end in the middle of the manuscript.)

What was your biggest surprise in the editing/revision process?
How often I repeat specific words.

Describe a normal writing day (or period, if you have other employment obligations).
I have a full-time day job, so my main writing days are on the weekends (my husband works each Saturday and Sunday and we don’t have children). On those days, I’ll get up early, fix breakfast, and dive into a manuscript.

Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?
This release is contemporary romance. I also write romantic suspense.

What’s your dream vacation destination?
London.

Do you use visual aids (storyboards, Pinterest, collages) when plotting or writing?
I love Pinterest for plotting and writing tools. Polyvore helps me get a feel for characters’ clothing – it’s like playing virtual paper dolls.

In what genre do you read?
I’ll read just about anything except horror. I spend way too much time on my own, and my imagination is much too active, to scare myself on purpose.

What resources do you use for picking character names?
I have all sorts of websites saved on Pinterest to help with names for major characters.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?
I love to entertain people, so I hope they can close the book and feel like it was time well spent. And I hope they like my characters long after they’ve finished reading.

Souvenirs

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A reclusive writer . . . 

Grace Donnelley’s successful sci-fi novel is about to become a movie. She wants a vacation with her mother before filming starts, but fears her name will cause a geek riot. So she creates Grace Ward, sometimes schoolteacher and doting daughter of Sunny.

A hounded actor . . . 

Bennett Oliver escapes London for a vacation with his mother. He wants to hide from the paparazzi and his brooding reputation. He takes the role of Ben Brady, successful businessman and overprotective son of Camille.

But they never counted on each other . . . 

An immediate attraction, aided by their matchmaking mothers, gives Ben and Grace a vacation they never expected—and one they don’t want to lose. Upon returning to their everyday lives, they work to maintain a relationship while trying to find a way to say, “By the way, I’m famous.”

When the secrets and lies catch up with them, Ben and Grace struggle to open their lives and re-open their hearts to see if love can be their most treasured souvenir.

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EXCERPT

Their fellow passengers pushed past Grace in a rush to board. One businessman practically knocked her into her mother’s lap in his hurry to get to a window seat.

Hoisting the bulky bag overhead, Grace gasped as her elbows buckled. It listed backward, skewing her balance and threatening to topple onto the passenger across the aisle.

“May I help?” A deep, warm voice rumbled over her shoulder. Before she could answer, the weight of the bag disappeared and she fell against a solid chest. She gazed from large hands, up strong arms, to broad shoulders. Tilting further back, she saw a wide smile. When his hand covered hers, she jerked upright and surrendered the bag.

“Thank you,” she squeaked.

“My pleasure,” he said as he boosted the second bag overhead.

Grace sidestepped to her seat and her volunteer valet walked to the back of the plane, for all intent disappearing since Grace refused to turn and stare. Closing her eyes, she willed her blush to subside and waited for the announcements signaling takeoff for the last leg of their flight to Vienna.

***

The jolt of landing jerked Grace alert. As they taxied to the gate, her mother unfastened her seat belt and perched on the edge of her chair. Her purse jiggled in time to her tapping feet.

“Relax, Mom. Vienna won’t disappear.”

The aisle filled, resembling a blocked conveyor belt as passengers pushed and pressed, children fussed, and bags shifted and fell. Finally everyone moved. The last person in the line was her gentleman valet—tall, well-dressed, dark hair, narrow waist, and long legs. His back was as nice as his front.

Grace’s feet were leaden and her arms felt like rubber, but she managed to reach the carryon bags, walk off the plane, and trudge to baggage claim.

The buzzer rang as the carousel jerked into motion, and Grace recited her ritual, silent “find my luggage” prayer. When both large bags arrived side by side, her relief gave her the extra adrenaline necessary to lift them clear. With that hurdle cleared, she hurried to catch up as her mother reached the revolving door.

After twelve hours of artificial darkness and recycled air in planes and airports, the sunshine and light breeze was a welcome reward. However, in minutes exhaust fumes were overwhelming, perspiration trickled down her back, and weariness set in. Grace groaned in relief as a shuttle van came into view.

“Mother, why don’t you sit while I get a taxi?”

She recognized the voice from the plane. As the heat doubled under her skin, she turned toward the only other recognizable face in Vienna.

“We meet again.” She smiled as she shrugged the heavy bag onto her aching shoulder. She’d probably walk like Quasimodo for the rest of the trip.

“We do. Hello.” His response was wary. He’s probably worried I’ll end up in his lap—again.

“Which hotel, ladies?” The driver asked as he reached for their luggage.

“Hotel Ananas, please.”

“Sir?”

“Same, please.”

“Are you traveling together?” the driver asked.

“No.” The answer was issued in harmonic tandem, the man’s British bass and her Southern alto.

“So, two taxis?”

There wasn’t another vehicle waiting, and the heat was just the other side of warm.

“Why don’t we share?” Grace offered.

“How kind. Thank you.” His mother accepted the invitation.

Her stylish clothes were unwrinkled, and her sleek salt and pepper bob stopped at her jaw. She had a lovely smile, and the crinkles around her eyes suggested she used it a lot. “I’m Camille Brady and this is my son, Ben.”

At his name, he offered his hand with a silent nod. His clothing was as fresh as his mother’s. Grace felt more and more like an unmade bed, and she was sure her ponytail was crooked.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Her mother stepped into the conversation gap. “I’m Charlotte Ward, but please call me Sunny. This is my daughter, Grace.”

She held her breath, worried her mother would slip. It was silly. The chance anyone would recognize her, even using her proper last name, was almost nonexistent. But after the incident last week, she wasn’t taking any chances.

“Ms. Ward?” Ben’s voice rumbled into her thoughts. He was standing by the open taxi, with his hand outstretched and a silent question in his lopsided grin and arched eyebrow. She put her fingers in his.

“Grace, please . . . Ben.”

He sat across from her, and she tucked her feet under the seat to leave room for his long legs. The door slid closed with a muted thunk.

“You wouldn’t happen to be going on a two-week train tour, would you?” her mother asked.

“Austria, Italy, and France?” Camille countered. “What a wonderful coincidence.”

“Isn’t it? It will be nice to know a few people when we get started.”

As the women overran each other in giddy conversation, Grace almost felt guilty for not looking out the window to enjoy the sights zipping by. Almost. They’d have two days in Vienna. It wouldn’t hurt to close her eyes for a minute. Behind sunglasses, no one would notice.

“You’ve come over from the States, then?” Ben asked in a measured, quiet tone.

Lifting lids that were now almost as heavy as her luggage, Grace saw him waiting on an answer. At least he was facing her while his sunglasses shielded his eyes, so she assumed he’d directed the question at her. “Yes. We left Chicago yesterday.”

Ben’s grin stretched his face. “But you’re not from there. I’ve traveled in the U.S. so I recognize the accent.”

Grace relaxed and returned the smile. She’d worked for years to rid herself of her telltale drawl, but it returned when she was with her mother. Sunny embraced her Southernness as if it were a near relation.

“You’ve found us out.” She forced her spine straight. “Where have you been in the States?”

His grin faded. “Mostly New York and Los Angeles.”

“Were you there for pleasure or for business?”

“Business.”

The simple question was on the tip of her tongue. What do you do? It always led to the parenthetical what about you? And it went downhill from there. People couldn’t help their curiosity, but she could help hers. “And you were in Chicago?”

“Umm . . . yes. I spent an extra night there during an unscheduled layover.”

“I hope you made it to the Field Museum.”

“I did, and to the lake shore. It’s odd to stand on a beach and have the skyline that close.”

“For me it’s standing on the beach and being cold,” she agreed. “After years of flying through Chicago, I finally planned a long layover so I could sightsee.”

“The museum is your favorite?”

“The T-Rex is incredible. Can you imagine being on a hunting trip and running into that?” Her imagination hijacked her tongue. “What would you do?”

His lips twitched. “Am I hungry?”

“You live on roots and berries and the monster is between you and a prehistoric bunny,” she used her hands to gauge the size of the creature, “this big. Fight or flight?”

“Fight.” He smiled. “Definitely.”

Mia Kay

Mia Kay spent years writing legal documents and keeping people out of trouble. Now she spends her days looking for ways to get her characters into trouble. She lives in Arkansas with her husband, who doesn’t mind discussing (and sometimes causing) mayhem over breakfast.

My links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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

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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?
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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.

FirstImpressions_w9816_2_85 copy

BLURB

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

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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

AsylumHarbor

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

Blackout_CVR_MED

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.