Saturday, July 26, 2014

Would You Marry A Stranger?

Has anyone seen the new FYI Channel's new series, Married At First Sight? Three couples who have never met are matched up and legally married. At first, I thought it was a hokey concept designed for ratings (naturally!) but it is actually an addicting, enjoyable show. I couldn't understand what made it so appealing to me until I realized that 4 of my novels involve marriages of convenience. Granted, the show is about arranged marriage, but the idea that two people who wouldn't normally consider marrying the other is the story behind a marriage of convenience.

In TAME THE WILD WIND, Jed proposes to Cassie as a business deal: marrying him will let her stay at the ranch without her uncle's interference. Their attraction to each other grows daily, made stronger with the fact they are legally married and can give in to their desires, but Jed's past prevents him from fully committing to his new bride.

The central plot in my newest book, HOW TO MARRY A ROGUE, is another marriage of convenience story, but the plot twist has the heroine proposing to the hero. The obstacle to their happiness is Georgiana's desire to remain independent while Jack believes he can keep his bachelor's existence. Neither of them expect true love to thwart their plans.

Lastly, my "free read" at www.thewildrosepress.com, SPECIAL DELIVERY: A BRIDE centers on an unsuspecting widower going to the prairie post office and picking up the bride his daughters arranged for him.

I'm currently writing another historical romance where the hero needs to marry a woman with a son because he is unable to father a child. Fortunately, the intelligent, beautiful bookworm down the road is in a family way!

What is your take on an arranged marriage? Would it work for certain people or is the whole idea out-of-date in a modern world? Leave a comment and receive a FREE e-book of How To Marry A Rogue!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I would like to share a wonderful review with you of HOW TO MARRY A ROGUE. I'm so proud of this story and am happy the reviewer, My Book Addiction and More, liked it as well! She gave it 4.5 stars (out of 5!).  Here's the gist of it....

This book is simply a delight to read. It’s comical, serious, and sensual all rolled into one. There is just so much depth in the plot, the characters, and the situations they find themselves in, that it will keep you entertained from start to finish. I really enjoyed the way that both characters learn to change and adapt in order to make their marriage work, and in the end, find the happiness they both have secretly longed for, despite harsh and tragic childhoods. I loved how sweet and loving Georgiana was, especially to Jack’s grandfather. I thought her interactions with him were very special and enjoyed that added relationship bond. Overall, this is a book that I would highly recommend to anyone who loves historical fiction set in the Regency Era!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Win a FREE Paperback of How to Marry A Rogue!

I'm back from a well-deserved and much appreciated cruise with the family, and am ready to jump back into the writing world again! My new book is being promoted on Goodreads.com, so go over there if you haven't signed up already (it's free) and you may win a free, signed copy of my new book.

Here's the giveaway link:  Goodreads contest

I'm currently working on a brand new historical romance for my publisher, The Wild Rose Press. It's for their new, upcoming series called Lobster Cove! Be prepared for hot contemporaries, sweet inspirationals, scary paranormals and thrillers, as well as historicals by yours truly! My story is set during the original British invasion of America's shores during the War of 1812. With shorter novellas, you will be able to read a variety of books by my fellow "Roses" in a shorter time.

My story involves a young widow living in the past who finds a half-drowned man on the beach who may or may not be the enemy. Set against the backdrop of war and suffering, can Abigail and William find a future together?


Want a sneak peak? I thought you would....



“Can you hear me?” Abigail leaned close to the man, half alive, yet closer to death by the feel of his cold skin and weak pulse. “Squeeze my hand if you can hear me.”
The broad fingers remained lifeless in her palm. She gently chafed his hand between hers, careful of the skin, made delicate from exposure. She returned it beneath the quilt to rub his other hand. It was impossible he could have survived overnight on the beach. Being in the sea as long as he obviously had was bad enough, but the exposure he'd suffered during the night was nearly unbearable to think about. The idea he was a spy crossed her mind again, but she forced the thought away. Spy or not, enemy or not, she had a responsibility to help him. Was it not her beach the sea had thrown him upon?

His eyelids flickered. He had not spoken since collapsing on her floor. She squeezed a few drops of water from a rag onto his lips. They twitched, but he remained nearly lifeless, as before.

If only she could go to someone for help. Her sister-in-law was a respected healer, and Mrs. Cross knew some remedies, but she couldn’t risk exposing him. His plight was in her hands.

More to come later!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Got Fangs? My Interview With Paranormal Romance Author, Dylan Newton



I’m thrilled to have a fellow Wild Rose Press author with us today. Dylan Newton writes sexy paranormal romance with alpha heroines! Not only is Dylan the mother of two, she is also the new president of our RWA chapter, the Sunshine State Romance Authors. Her new release, Despite the Fangs, tells the story of a foul-mouthed, werewolf heroine with overactive follicles!  Be sure to read the excerpt below, and leave a comment to win a free e-book.


 Anna: Dylan, thank you so much for joining us. I’ve enjoyed the workshops you’ve given at writers’ groups and your ideas and suggestions have inspired me.  You haven’t been writing toward publication for very long, yet your success feels like it was overnight. With three books now in print, what do you consider the most important writing strategy that helps you?

Dylan: A kitchen timer! Seriously, I can only sit if I have a definitive length of time (mine is usually 45 minutes at a stretch), so I use a kitchen timer app on my phone and I literally do NOT move from my chair until that time is up. Oh, and make sure you close out of social media during that time, too!

Anna: Your books feature strong, sexy heroines who are equal to any hero you throw their way. From where do you draw your inspiration?

Dylan: I was raised largely by a single mother and taught from an early age that a woman does not need a man to survive. We can hold our own, thank you very much! But I think that’s why my heroines always strive for independence, even in a relationship. And Aribella Lupari, the werewolf heroine of my new book, DESPITE THE FANGS, is by far the strongest heroine I’ve written to date. And she’s my favorite! J 

Anna: What do you love about this book?

Dylan: Typically, when you read a paranormal romance, it involves an Alpha wolf that’s male. In DESPITE THE FANGS, my Alpha is female, and I love her bad *ss, take-no-prisoners attitude…and I love the man I wrote for her—one that is so confident of his masculinity that he can be with a female Alpha and not be threatened by her strength. I think Aribella and Mason are my hottest couple yet!

Anna: Do you identify with any of your characters? Which ones?

Dylan: As writers, I think we put a little of ourselves into ALL of our characters, and I find a little of me in each of my heroines. My first book is about a psychic, and while I’m no spirit medium, I often have the same gullibility (and clumsiness) of Nola from DESPITE THE GHOSTS. In my New Adult novella, ANY WITCH WAY, my heroine, Lily, struggles with what she should do in her life, and finds herself at an early-life crisis—very similar to one I went through in college! And sometimes my attitude (and my language!) can be markedly similar to my tough heroine, Aribella, in DESPITE THE FANGS!

Anna: I know you just returned from a fabulous trip to Ireland. Did you glean any new stories from your experiences there?

Dylan: I did! I am contracted to write a story for the 12 Days of Christmas for my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, and I chose to set the piece in Ireland. One of the pivotal scenes takes place on the beautiful Cliffs of Moher.

Anna: Wow! So that new book will keep you busy. Have you considered writing in other genres, or is paranormal your thing?

Dylan: I’d like to branch out to other genres…eventually! But for now, I love writing paranormals and those spooky themes are what comes to me when I sit down to write every day.

Anna: Thank you for sharing with us. Here’s a peek at Dylan’s new book!

Excerpt from Despite the Fangs:
 “Aren’t you curious to know what I’ve decided to do with you?”
Mason turned his bronze gaze on her, and Ari’s pulse doubled even as she scoffed.
“Let’s see…either more dart gun practice with me as your target, or you’ve got some misguided fantasy that if I bite you, you’ll become a werewolf like me—”
Ari stopped speaking, but it was too late. Now her plan to protect Mason from knowing too much was shot to hell. She might as well parade around shouting, ‘I’m here. I’m were’. Get used to it!’
Mason grinned. “Two options I hadn’t considered. I don’t need target practice. However, a little biting might be nice.”
His words rolled over her like a pheromone-scented wave. Ari opened her mouth to reply, yet produced only an airy squeak. Mason’s eyes were doing that intense, dark glittering thing again—the look that made it difficult to concentrate. Or breathe.
With a gasp and a shudder, Ari managed a shaky laugh.
“Watch out. I’m not up to date on my shots.”
Mason voice danced along her spine as he leaned in.
“I like to live dangerously.”

Anna: Great chemistry with those two! I can’t wait to read it. Thanks again, Dylan, for stopping by. As for you, dear readers, do yourselves a favor and stop by Dylan’s website, where you can join her Newton Nation for free giveaways, sneak peeks, and other goodies!

Comment below for a chance to win an e-book version of Dylan’s latest book, DESPITE THE FANGS!
 
The lovely Dylan:


Get your book now!
Visit The Wild Rose Press for Dylan's page with links to buy all her books. Or, you can stop by Amazon and get your copy today! 

About Dylan: 

Dylan Newton was born and raised in a small town in Upstate New York where the local library was her favorite hang-out. Despite earning a degree in English Literature, Dylan spent more than a decade sidetracked by an executive position in corporate America where she swears she contracted testosterone poisoning. After leaving, she dedicated herself to more estrogen-rich passions, like motherhood, writing romance novels and her never-ending quest for the perfect date night. 

Dylan married her high-school sweetheart and they are busy living out their own happily ever after in sunny Florida with their two incredible daughters and a snoring Shih Tzu.  

Visit Dylan at www.DylanNewton.com or on Facebook for her author's page.
 



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

HOW TO MARRY A ROGUE has arrived!

Take out your dancing cards, brush off your silken slippers and call for your barouche - my new Regency-set historical romance is here!

Amazon has it now available in paperback and e-book and it's still on pre-order with Wild Rose Press until Friday, when it will be for sale. It's going for a special price of $2.99 for a month.

As a special celebration, I will send an AUTOGRAPHED PAPERBACK of the book to a random commenter - USA and Canada only, please. So, if you've always wanted to leave a response, but were too shy, now's your chance.

Here's one of my favorite excerpts from the book, with a little hook at the end to further entice you! The scene is at Jack's French chateau, where he has brought Georgiana after a mishap at the ball earlier that evening. She sneaked into his room like she used to when she was little, and cried on him while he was asleep. Her sniffling awakens him, and then....

 “To what do I owe the pleasure of your company this evening?” He patted his shirt. “And why is my shirt wet?”

“I couldn’t sleep. This house is so big and empty.” She never realized before what true quiet was, having lived at Fairwood Hall with more than fifty servants always present.
“It does feel like one rattles around the walls a bit.” He rose from the bed and replaced the bottle on the table. “But you cannot sleep in here, much as I don’t mind the company.” He winked. “It will be just my luck you’ll inform your brother I compromised you, and he’ll lure me into the marriage trap. Perhaps that was his idea all along, and you’re part of his conniving, scheming mind.”
His teasing tone stirred something in her. She drew the quilt up to her neck and backed further against the headboard. “Oh, please, let me stay. I’ll sleep on the settee, or the floor. I don’t want to be alone.” She purposely swiped a stray tear from her cheek and sniffled loudly.
He heaved a sigh. “If you were not so tall, I would throw you over my shoulder and carry you back to your own chamber.” He indicated the settee. “Throw me a pillow, will you? I suppose I’ve had worse beds than this.”
 “It’s only for one night.” She tossed him a pillow. He blew out the candle.
“It had better be. I did not sign up for this journey as a nursemaid, much as I would love taking you across my knee and giving you a well-deserved spanking for all the trouble you cost me this evening.”
“Nursemaid Jack,” she sang softly. He snorted, and she laughed quietly. “Was she very beautiful?” She’d spoken before she’d given it a thought. His personal life was none of her business.
“Who?”
“The paramour you had to leave tonight on my account.”
He snorted. “There is no paramour.” He punched his pillow in the darkness.
“You came to the ball alone?”
“Yes. I often attend balls unaccompanied. One has a damnably difficult time meeting strange ladies if one is attached to another. Why the interest in my activities, she who ventures to balls in a foreign country with no chaperone?”
“I assumed there must be some reason to have kept you from visiting Aunt Adele and me.” She bit her lip, scolding herself for sounding petulant.
“I apologize for not coming to see you. My grandfather will accept nothing but absolute perfection. And if there was a paramour, Miss Lockewood, this is less than suitable talk from one as young and innocent as you.”
“When I am one and eighty, will you still consider me a little girl, I wonder?”
“You will always be my friend’s little sister, dear Pudding Face.”
His voice held a barely perceptible warning. She lay back on the pillows and snuggled beneath the quilt. “I should tell Jonathan you compromised me. That will be fine revenge for all the times you called me Pudding Face. He would be forced to call you out, and you will feel so guilty you’ll allow him to kill you.”
He harrumphed loudly. “I can imagine that duel. He would talk me to death before I could get in the first blow.”
“If you promise to take me somewhere tomorrow, I promise not to mention what happened tonight to my brother.”
“That’s called blackmail.”
She echoed his snort. “Call it what you will. I want to enjoy myself while I’m away from home. It’s my last chance.”
“You’ve seen what trouble you’ve found in having so much fun, haven’t you?”
“I will not be in trouble as long as you’re with me.”

  Ready to find out what happens? Then buy the book! Or, leave a comment to win your own autographed copy. I will send a free e-book to the second random commenter.

Thanks for stopping by! Your support is what keeps me going.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Never-Before-Seen Excerpt From My New Historical Romance!

I hope you enjoyed the two interviews with the lead characters of How To Marry A Rogue. Journey with Jack and Georgiana as they venture abroad to France's beautiful wine country and find out that what they've always run from is what they truly want. Along the way, you'll meet a colorful cast of locals, including a saucy maid and her lover, two fuddy-duddy matrons who want nothing more than to sip a quiet cup of tea in the countryside while dreaming of more exciting adventures, and several more people who will surprise, delight, and - gasp! - astound you.

Here's a never-before released excerpt of Jack and Georgiana once they are in France and she has started causing all sorts of trouble for him. Enjoy!



     “Have you been shut up in here all day with the ghosts of old composers?” Jack announced from the drawing room door. He crossed the room to where she sat, and leafed through the music on top of the case. She snatched the papers from him.
     “Some of us are not carousing all day and night.” She played blindly, not caring what tune emerged from her fingers.
     “Some of us are not doing that, either.” He picked up a stray sheet and held it to her. “What is this? Doesn’t look like Mozart to me.”
     She glanced carelessly at the paper and gasped in dismay. At the bottom, she’d drawn their entwined initials, complete with tiny hearts and an attempt at a rosebud. She snatched the paper from him and crumpled it up.
     “I was bored.”
     “Hmm.” He went to the cabinet against the wall and removed a violin case. “I’ll wager you don’t know this about me.”
     “Which of the myriad fascinating things about you do I not know?”
     She bit her lip in feigned concentration, picking out the tune almost effortlessly. Normally, her excellent playing was a source of pride, but since coming to France, she took no pleasure in it. All she’d done since his absence was daydream and draw silly pictures. She was grateful she’d burned the last one before he came home–a little sketch of his lips she’d spent an hour drawing.
     He unlatched the case and carefully removed a violin and bow. He held it up to her, almost reverently. “This.”
     “Was it left behind by one of your grandfather’s guests? The one with the smelly gowns, perhaps?”
     He frowned comically, but she sensed a touch of bashfulness. “It was my father’s, if you must know. I did learn other accomplishments besides drinking and chasing skirts while at university.”
     As she watched in semi-amused silence, he placed the violin under his chin, took a breath, and closed his eyes as he drew the bow across the strings. The familiar strains of Boccherini’s Violin Sonata poured forth from the instrument, as effortless as her own playing had been.
     She snapped out of her dazed confusion and accompanied him on the pianoforte. As he played, he walked slowly toward her, his gaze locked with hers. Their playing was harmonious. Neither of them missed a note, and he increased his speed, but she kept up.
     With a flicker of his gaze, he indicated she should move over on the bench, and she did, without losing her place on the keyboard. He sat on the edge, his back against her shoulder as they continued to play. His hair brushed her face a few times, and she inhaled deeply, her breath catching as her pulse sped up. Sensual memories of the night before threatened to disrupt her concentration, and she had to will her hands to hit the right keys. When the piece ended, he rested the violin and bow on top of the pianoforte and faced her.
     “I had no idea you could play! Why did you not say something before? We could have played duets when you and Jonathan were home at Christmas.”
     He grinned. “That is precisely why I did not say anything. Besides–I would much rather sit in the audience and listen to you. You always played for me, Georgie.”
     She turned toward the keyboard again, fiddling with a loose d sharp key. “How you will flatter yourself.” Her heart pounded so hard she feared he could hear it. Perspiration broke out under her arms and she shifted on the bench, wishing he would get up and move away from her so he wouldn’t detect the effect he had on her.
     He chuckled. “I am speaking the truth. The last time I was home with Lockewood, you were–what, fifteen? You found out my favorite piece and learned it for a week. At the Christmas party, you played it, and stared at me the entire time. I still remember you wore a white dress with a pink bow tied in the back.”
     She sniffed. “I was probably watching you in the corner, drinking wine punch and fawning over Lady Ellenton’s daughter.”
     “Ah, yes. I’d forgotten all about Clementine Ellenton, until you mentioned her. I wonder whatever happened to her?”
     His hand rested on the keys. She dropped the lid, banging his fingers. He drew them back with a sharp yelp, and looked into her eyes. She tried to return his grin but failed. Surely, he could see the helpless jealousy and naked emotion on her face. It was useless to pretend anymore. The feelings she’d had as a lovesick girl–unsated by even Edward’s flattering attention–were unabated where Jack was concerned.
     She started to rise from the bench, but he caught her wrist, turning her body as he placed her hand around his neck. Her fingers curled into his hair of their own accord. The desire she’d experienced the night before–the yearning ache as she’d clasped him in her arms–rushed back in a torrent. She pushed at his shoulders but it was more for show.
     “If you want to find out about Miss Ellenton, perhaps you should write her. I’m sure she would love to hear from you. You should visit her and let her nibble on your neck with her little rabbit teeth.”
     He shook his head. “I have no wish to see her. It’s your teeth I want nibbling on me.” He pulled her into his arms.
     “You ignored me the last time you saw me. You refused to dance with me, leaving me to…to Edward’s devious plans.” The accusations tumbled from her and she thumped his chest, but he caught her hand in a strong grip. “You always used to spend time with me, but that Christmas you avoided me as if I were leprous.”
     The teasing grin faded rapidly. His gaze burned into hers and she forgot to struggle. After an interminable moment when she’d nearly given up on him saying anything, he spoke.
     “I didn’t want to see you all grown up. You were so…uncomplicated then.”
     She gulped to moisten her dry throat. “Am I so complicated now?”