Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Rhys Bowen | Her Royal Spyness
Author Guest / August 9, 2018

It has taken twelve books but I think Georgie is finally learning to stand up for herself. When we first met her in HER ROYAL SPYNESS she was stuck in dreary Scottish Castle Rannoch, supposed to make a good match with one of those “half-lunatic, buck-toothed, chinless, spineless and utterly awful princes who still seem to litter Europe.” The family had singled out Prince Siegfried of Rumania as a potential spouse. It is this that pushes Georgie into her first real rebellion. She bolts from Castle Rannoch down to London to make her own way in life. There is no way she is going to marry a man she and her friends call Fish-face. And how lucky that decision was. At later meetings he makes it clear to her that if they marry she only has to produce the heir and he will never trouble her again. No thank you, Georgie says. And as the books progress it seems she has a chap of her own in mind. Not royal, not even English. An Irish rogue, living a shady life. But irresistibly handsome and oh so naughty. Then it turns out he is the son of a lord, and his…

Fake Romance Turns Into Real Love
Romance / August 7, 2018

One of my favorite romance tropes is the “fake romance-turned-real” trope. It is often called the “fake engagement” trope, but with contemporary romances it is more common to find characters who are in need of a fake boyfriend or girlfriend. A story with this classic trope can often incorporate other favorite tropes, such as “friends to lovers”, “enemies to lovers”, “marriage of convenience”, and others. I adore the farcical elements in romances that have a fake relationship that turns real. “Only the best for my fake boyfriend. Unless you’re fake breaking up with me, in which case I’ll be taking my gourmet takeout elsewhere.” – ONE OF THESE NIGHTS by Kendra Leigh Castle With traditional fake relationship stories, I put them into three basic categories: The first category typically involves a friends-to-lovers theme, or stories in which the two people involved are friendly and work together in a way that is peaceful and that they enjoy. Another category involves strangers who meet and decide to have a fake relationship out of convenience. Finally, you also have a situation in which two people have a somewhat contentious relationship but for whatever reason decide to put on a ruse of romance. In…

Interview with hero Gray Rogers from DEFENDING ALLYE by Author Susan Stoker
Author Guest , Interviews / August 6, 2018

So you are the infamous Gray Rogers — former Navy SEAL, current “Mountain Mercenary”. What can you tell us about this group you belong to and how is it different from when you were in the military? We don’t exactly advertise our services. For the most part the Mountain Mercenaries are kept on the “down low” but we are allowed to talk about our group on an as needed basis. We all have regular “day” jobs for anyone who decides to dig into our background. The men on our team are all retired Special Forces soldiers from all branches of the military. In many ways, being a part of the Mountain Mercenaries is better than being in the military because of the lack of bureaucracy, our handler, Rex, deals with all that, we are left alone to get the job done. And we always get the job done. Your last assignment was suppose to be an information seeking assignment to gather intel on a kidnapping ring. But it turned a bit different. Give us a rundown of your mission. Right. Black and I were to intercept a boat in the Pacific and get information about a well-known human trafficker. Imagine…

Author Match | Scarlett Cole and DEEP COVER
MatchMaker / August 6, 2018

Writes: Steamy contemporary romance and romantic suspense. You want to party all night (read stay awake reading until 3am) with tortured rock stars, I’ve got you covered. The Preload men can’t wait to meet you. Want to spend time with the cool kids at the tattoo studio? Let’s go to Miami and hang with the gang at Second Circle Tattoos. Or you fancy a little suspense with your steamy? Perfect! Let my Navy SEALs take you out for a ride in their hard-bottomed inflatable (that is not a euphemism!) as you dodge bullets. My latest release, DEEP COVER, even has a little Ocean’s Eleven flare to it, when the super-smart heroine, Amy Murry, finds herself undercover in a casino alongside ex-special ops expert Cabe Moss, a man she needs to keep her hands off. About: I am a Scorpio star-sign and A-Type personality author on a personal mission to fight aging, gravity, and an epic sour candy addiction. Some days it works, on others, not so much! If only I didn’t love gin quite so much! I’m fortunate enough to call both Toronto, Canada and Manchester, UK home and speak with an accent that is a mash-up of the two….

Scarlett Peckham | Reader Match
MatchMaker / August 1, 2018

Instead of trying to find your perfect match in a dating app, we bring you the “Reader Match” where we introduce you to authors as a reader you may fall in love with. It’s our great pleasure to present Scarlett Peckham, whose debut novel, THE DUKE I TEMPTED, just won the prestigious RWA Golden Heart® Award in historical romance. Writes: Steamy, lush, angsty romances set in the Georgian era. Think fierce heroines, brooding heroes and erotic secrets. About: Debut historical romance novelist specializing in steamy stories about feisty Alpha Heroines seeks readers looking for women who know what they want … and fascinating men all too eager rise to the challenge of giving it to them. Must be in the market for a romance about a spinster botanist, a marriage of convenience, and a submissive duke determined to hide his craving to spend his nights on his knees…and guard his broken heart. What I’m looking for in my ideal reader match: You look for a bit of edge in your historical romances. When I say femdom, you say meow You don’t mind a driven heroine who seethes at her limited place in the world and doesn’t feel the need to…

Catherine Hemmerling | The Books that Shaped Me
Author Guest / August 1, 2018

I am often asked who my favorite authors are, but I don’t know that anyone has asked me what my favorite books are and how they may have shaped who I am as an author. I’d like to talk about three books that have contributed to who I am today. THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, C.S. Lewis To be fair, I loved all of the Chronicles of Narnia, but this first book in the series really set me on the path to exploring my own imagination. A secret world only accessible by magic? Children heroes? Animals that can talk? Yes, it is fair to say, I loved Narnia from the get-go. I think what really set it apart from the fairy tales and children books I had previous read, was that it wasn’t always so “happily ever after”. Real problems were presented to the characters in the story. Characters died, got lost, and went over to the “dark side”. Despite a clearly fantastical setting, these stories felt more real to me. I was able to really immerse myself in the stories and by the end of the book, I felt as if the characters were my friends. I…

Maria Vale | Dear Reader:
Author Guest / August 1, 2018

To anyone who has read, would like to read, or has never heard of THE LAST WOLF, I will make this fast. Promise. My debut, THE LAST WOLF, introduced a pack of what would typically be called werewolves, though they would never say that about themselves. Pack, yes. Wolves, yes. Werewolves, no. These are not men who fight to keep their beast subdued. Their truest form is wolf. Their human form is used to protect this sacred wild. Silver Nilsdottir, the heroine and narrator of THE LAST WOLF is utterly untamed and unabashedly inhuman. She makes no secret of the fact that she is completely baffled by the world away from Homelands, the Great North’s territory in the Adirondacks. Or that she failed Introduction to Human Behaviors four times. Elijah Sorensson, the hero and narrator of A WOLF APART, is Silver’s opposite in most ways. Where she is at the bottom of the pack hierarchy, he is at the top. He is the Alpha of his age group but he is also an Offlander, a wolf who spends most of his time away from Homelands. He is a partner in the successful law firm established with money from the Great…

Exclusive Excerpt: Half Empty by Catherine Bybee
Excerpt / August 1, 2018

“You’re chasing me,” Trina said as she answered the phone. The thing rang at nearly the same time it had the night before. Wade’s name popped up and made her smile. She’d thought about calling him twice during the day, and then life distracted her to another closet, and in this case, another safe for the locksmith to crack open. “Guilty.” His voice was pure southern charm. “Why?” He paused. “That’s a complicated answer.” “Try.” She sat looking out the second story window at the rain falling in steady sheets. “Do you want the short answer or the long one?” She wasn’t looking for a compliment, and a long answer would seem as if she were. “The short one.” “Okay, then. You’re not chasing me.” Not the answer she had expected. “Oh.” “I have more reasons.” “No, no … I asked for the short version. I bet a lot of women chase you.” As in hundreds. “They do.” That might have sounded cocky, but Wade said it with an exhausted sigh. “That must make it hard on your girlfriends.” He chuckled. “Funny you should say that.” “Why is that amusing?” “What are you doing this weekend?” Trina stopped watching the…

Karen Rose Smith | Tea and a New Cozy Mystery Series
Cozy Corner / July 29, 2018

I’ve been drinking tea all my life. My mom served me tea with lemon in winter after I played in the snow. She added orange juice when I caught a cold. As I grew older, my dad might add a shot of whisky for a sore throat! My tea drinking days followed me through life as green tea and anti-oxidant information became more available. However, as I visited tea rooms over the years and began writing my Daisy’s Tea Garden cozy mystery series, I researched and tasted many more types of tea. Using tea bags for hot tea and brewing iced tea had been convenient. But exploring loose teas opened up another whole world of tea drinking. Loose teas are easy to brew and can provide a variety of flavors that are unique. For me tea is no longer about dipping a teabag into water heated in a microwave. It’s a calming process that involves aroma as well as taste, sharing and experimentation with mixing and combining to develop my own favorite taste sets. I have to admit I was mostly a tea bag connoisseur before the past few years. I would use tea pots to keep water warm for…

Lynne Marshall Reaches a Milestone!
News / July 27, 2018

At Romance Writers of America national conference in July, I received my twenty-five-book milestone from Harlequin. Before and at the annual party, I was treated like a VIP and given a darling Harlequin pin with a tiny ruby in it. I have already written twenty-seven books for Harlequin, with three more contracted, which will eventually bring me to thirty. As a late bloomer, I didn’t start writing until I had, what I call, a classic “late” midlife crisis. I suddenly had to write a book! I never dreamed I’d get published, and it took me five years to do so, and twelve more years to make it here, so this milestone was a big deal for me. Which book was my milestone book? Forever A Father, the first book in the Delaneys of Sandpiper Beach Trilogy for Harlequin Special Edition. Here’s a picture of me just before I went into the VIP lounge for some extra special pampering.