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Monday, June 29, 2015

Dances Under the Harvest Moon - Cover Reveal

My apologies for not posting on the 27th- my official blogging day at Tote Bags. But I have a good excuse as I was attending my son's high school graduation. I'm submitting a rare family photo for evidence. How cute are my boys?

The Rocks
But I had something fun to blog about, so I thought I'd swoop in today since there wasn't an other author scheduled. Because, you see, I got a new cover for an upcoming book in my email and I couldn't wait to share.

There are few days more fun in writer's professional life than receiving a new cover. Meeting readers and fellow writers ranks high up there. And hearing heartfelt responses to our books is top of the list. But seeing a book come to life with artwork that will represent the story is another day we love.
I got the cover for my October Harlequin Superromance, Dances Under the Harvest Moon. This is the third book in my Heartache, TN series for Superromance, but this cover is the first time that the series is announced on the cover. You see, when I began the series, I wasn't sure it would be a series, so Harlequin couldn't very well advertise it. but the population of Heartache grew on me and the town became a new home. I have enjoyed my time there and plan another visit in 2016. 

But for now, let me share my new cover!

My October Superromance cover art
My characters are just right for my story. And while I would have loved a big harvest moon hanging low on the horizon, I'm very happy with this lovely new cover to share with you. If you haven't read my Superromances, the books certainly stand alone, but the series begins with Promises Under the Peach Tree and continues with April's Nights Under the Tennessee Stars

I've always dreamed of making a big cover collage to hang on the wall of my office one day. Once upon a time I tried laying out all the covers to figure out how to sort them, but with seventy-some book covers, this was a bigger task than I'd imagined!! I need a snapfish collage maybe. But ideally, I'd put the historicals altogether. Or sort them by series, colors or theme. I could put all the iconic images together in one collage and all the clinch covers in another. I could have a collage of male chests!

But for right now, I'm just going to admire this newest cover and the way it helps my idea come to life. I'm also going to eat a slice of graduation cake to help me celebrate! Happy Monday, my friends!

**Do you decorate your home with personal photos? How and where to you arrange them? I just made a snapfish collage of for my cute son's graduation and I had fun choosing twenty three pictures for the project. Chat with me this week and the boards and I have a brand new "Catch the Runaway Brides" t-shirt to offer one random poster!!!***

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Lori Wilde: Beach Reads



As people head out for vacation, I thought it might be fun to let you guys see what new books are my summer reading list, and why I chose them.

1)     Unexpected Reunions by Carolyn White Greene (Inspirational) Bought it because it’s written by one of my best friends, and because it won two Holt medallion awards. I knew she was a brilliant writer, but now everyone else knows it too!

2)     First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen (Magic Realism) I love Sarah’s lyrical style and romantic storytelling.

3)     Me Before You by JoJo Moyes (Romance) Because I’ve heard so much about Moyes‘ books, I have to see what all the fuss is about.

4)     The Yoga Miracle by Sanjay Patel (Nonfiction) Yoga has completely changed my life. The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know anything.

5)     Suddenly One Summer by Julie James (Romance) She’s one of my favorite new-to-me author. Love her hip urban settings and characters.

6)     Swag by Elmore Leonard. (Mystery) Love the way this man writes dialogue. After binge watching Justified, I’ve started glomming in Leonard’s books.


7)     Carolina Man by Virginia Kantra (Romance) Virginia is up against me in the RITAs’ this year, and I want to know just how screwed I am. She’s so great with character emotions.

8)     Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Mystery) I’ve already read it, and seen the movie, but now I want to dissect the book line by line as a writer, just to see how she pulled off such brilliance.

9)     Once in a Million by Jill Shalvis. (Romance) Same reason for reading Kantra. Plus Jill’s books are just so fun.

10) Surrendering to the Sheriff by Delores Fossen (Romantic Suspense) Delores is another friend of mine who is about to hit BIG. Be on the lookout for her upcoming single titles from HQN.


How about you? What’s on your summer reading list and why did you pick the books you picked?


Friday, June 26, 2015

Eve Gaddy: Research Fun

Researching for all the Whiskey River books has been a lot of fun. Trey Kelly's book, One Night With the Cowboy, has been really interesting. I learned about a lot of things I knew nothing, or very little, about.

First, I had to look through pictures of good-looking guys. I found a couple I really liked. (Okay, more than a couple, but what's a girl to do? I had to narrow it down.)
I had two men I couldn't decide between, so I put their pictures on my Facebook author page and asked which one I should pick for my cowboy. It was really close! And they looked alike. Which gave me a brilliant idea for my next book in the series. One of them could be Trey and the other Xander!

Ryan Paevy from General Hospital is the one I decided looked like Trey Kelly. Here's one of my faves.

Here's David Gandy. He's my idea of Xander Blue.


You can see lots of pictures on our Whiskey River website- www.whiskeyrivertexas.net and on several of my Pinterest boards.  www.pinterest.com/EveGaddy . Not only pictures of guys but all sorts of other pictures relating to books. Among things I just like to pin, of course.:)

Another fun thing to research was the horses. You see, Trey is the owner of Kelly's Champs, the champion cutting horses he breeds, trains, and sells. Now the best picture of his first stallion is here:

His real name is Rocky Steeldust, 2007 AQHA smoky grullo Foundation Stallion. His color is called smoky grullo. I confess, I fell in love. I found all sorts of fun pictures of horses. Here's another horse, who I decided is Trey's second stallion:


I couldn't find his real name. I love him too.

I researched pool tables, houses, and lavender. I wanted the flashiest pool table I could find. I think I succeeded, don't you?:) I also had fun looking at houses. It's really fun coming up with a ranch house/mansion. Aside from pictures of lavender I also researched a little about the process of making lavender based products. I am not an expert, alas.


 Photo credit: Leslie Veen / Foter / CC BY-SA

   Photo credit: Martin Pettitt / Foter / CC BY


I researched stables. That was great fun. I found an absolutely perfect one until my friend Kathy Cowan said, "That's not a western barn, it's an English barn." Hmph. Reality intrudes.

I researched all kinds of things, which means I now have lots of beautiful pictures and a lot of information about pool tables, lavender, distilling lavender oil, how one breeds for a smoky grullo . . . You get the idea. The Internet, including Pinterest, of course, is both a blessing and a curse. Pictures really do help me visualize people and things in my books, but sometimes I find I'm looking for pictures when I really need to be writing. Which is what I'm off to do right now. Promise.:)


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Kate Hewitt: The Forbidden Series

What could be better than one sexy, tough billionaire? How about three? The last few weeks have seen the releases of The Forbidden Series, three steamy, intense romances written by me, Maisey Yates, and Caitlin Crews. Each book is released in four parts, with the first part free so you can get a taste and decide whether you want to keep reading. I imagine you will, though!

Here is the description of my contribution to the series, The Billionaire’s Fantasy:

For Logan Black, Jaiven Rodriguez and Zair al Ruyi, New York is spread out before them like the Garden of Eden…and no one knows the sweet taste of forbidden fruit better than America's most ruthless billionaires!

Jaded, cynical, with a darkness that threatens to consume them whole, they think they've seen it all. But temptation has something new in store for each of them…

When Louise Jensen spent one wicked night with the devastatingly handsome Jaiven Rodriguez, she thought it would be enough. But now that Jaiven has had a taste of his greatest fantasy, he wants more. Louise is about to be taken on a sensual journey by this billionaire bad boy!

Collect all three novels in The Forbidden Series:
THE BILLIONAIRE'S INTERN by USA TODAY bestselling author Maisey YatesTHE BILLIONAIRE'S FANTASY by USA TODAY bestselling author Kate HewittTHE BILLIONAIRE'S INNOCENT by USA TODAY bestselling author Caitlin Crews

And here is an excerpt from The Billionaire’s Fantasy to whet your appetite!

‘Party over?’ Jaiven asked, and Louise heard that rich, velvety note of laughter in his voice. She was staring, she realized belatedly. Again.
‘Not quite. But I was ready for bed.’
Her whole body tensed in mortification as Jaiven gave her one of his toe-curling smiles. ‘Good. So am I.’
‘You know I didn’t mean it like that.’
He arched one dark eyebrow. ‘Didn’t you?’
Hell, maybe she had. Maybe her body was staging a coup over her brain. Resistance was futile.
Still her brain attempted one last feeble attack. ‘I told you that caveman thing was not attractive, right?’
‘Do you see me dragging you onto this bike?’


The Billionaire’s Fantasy was a little different than my usual Presents, a bit ediger and sexier, and I enjoyed the challenge! Let me know what you think about the series, and remember you can read the first three chapters of any of the Forbidden Series for free. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Susan Sands: What Makes a Villain?


I’m sitting at the beach contemplating my next villain. What makes a villain? Are they mostly evil, mentally damaged, or just want what they can’t have? How badly must they behave to be villainous enough? Can they change?

In my debut novel, AGAIN, ALABAMA, my hero and heroine were kept apart for ten or so years by many factors, not the least of which was a traitorous best friend, who is referred to as “crazy” several time throughout the book. I’d like to think there’s a fine line when writing that delineates our nutty characters from our mentally unbalanced ones. My gal was crazy mean and ended up going off the deep end, which got her killed eventually. I treated her as a villain, but also as a person who’d lost control. After her death, it dawned on the affected characters that she’d been sick, and they, in turn, demonstrated compassion and understanding for her because they finally realized that what she’d lived with had really been mental illness—even though her actions had destroyed lives, especially her own.

I tried to be careful how I portrayed my villainess. She became a mother, whose out-of-control emotions had negative lasting effects on her daughter, husband and everyone around her.

Believe it or not, my story would be considered a fun, Southern summer read!

Thanks to Lee for hosting me on her wonderful blog today! I love to connect with readers!!


She’s back in Alabama—again.

Scorned television chef, Cammie Laroux, is dragged back to small-town Alabama to help her mom recover from surgery, sort through family drama and rescue her family’s event planning business after a humiliating, very public career debacle. Her sneaky siblings have failed to mention that Grey Harrison, the love of her life and the reason she left town, is also back home. Now a widower with a young daughter, he is currently renovating her childhood home.

Grey has spent ten years dreaming of a reunion with Cammie, whom he’s never stopped loving even though he annihilated her heart in an unforgivable way with her best friend.  When they are finally face to face, the sparks and emotions are off the charts, but even a master architect and carpenter like Grey faces a near impossible challenge to rebuild his relationship with Cammie.

 As Cammie finds herself forgetting all the reasons she can’t trust Grey or love again, Grey is determined to use all his skills to persuade Cammie to stay with him in Alabama forever.


Susan Sands grew up in a real life Southern Footloose town in Northwest Louisiana, complete with her senior class hosting the first ever prom in the history of their tiny public school with half the town chaperoning. Is it any wonder she writes Southern small town stories full of porch swings, fun and romance?

Susan lives in Alpharetta, Georgia surrounded by her husband, three young adult kiddos and lots of material for her next book.

Find me at:
Twitter:  @SusanNoelSands
Blog:  Sweet Home Alpharetta at susansands.com


Susan Sands

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Vineyards of Monte Calanetti!




Last year, when HQ asked me to be a part of the Vineyards of Monte Calanetti continuity series for Harlequin Romance, I had to juggle my schedule to make it happen. Who wouldn’t want to be involved in a series of books that take place in the beautiful vineyards of Tuscany, Italy?

 

My book, the first in the series, A BRIDE FOR THE ITALIAN BOSS releases July 1. It’s the story of temperamental chef Rafe Mancini and Dani Tate, a teacher who falls in love with Tuscany as well as Rafe and must choose between the life she knows and the life she wants…if only Rafe wanted her the same way she wants him.



 
 
Since you have to wait a looonnnng month for A BRIDE FOR THE ITALIAN BOSS, you’ll be pleased to know HQ invited me to write a prequel to this series which they are putting up, one chapter at a time, as a FREE online read at Harlequin.com. 

This is the story of Mic, Rafe’s protégé, and his former love Liliana. These two lovers never lost their feelings for each other in eight years…but can they forgive the past?

As I tell the story as Mic and Liliana, you’ll meet charming (but gruff) Chef Rafe and see the inside of Mancini’s a few weeks before Dani Tate arrives.

A MARRIAGE MADE IN MONTE CALANETTI is a fun story, but the entire VINEYARDS OF CALANETTI mini-series is full of fun and emotional romances that will have you on the edge of your seat until you sigh with satisfaction.

Here’s the link for A MARRIAGE MADE IN MONTE CALANETTI
 

Harlequin

 

Join us five days a week for a new chapter each day, and while you’re at Harlequin.com, skip over to the message boards to chat about the story and even ask a question or two!

Until next time, happy reading…

 

Susan

 

PS Here’s the link to the excerpt for A BRIDE FOR THE ITALIAN BOSS
 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

La Bella Vita by Jenny Gardiner

We were blogging on a group blog recently about locations: writing locations, settings in books, etc. As luck would have it I'd just returned from an amazing month away on a working vacation in Italy and Morocco. 
Below is my post about working vacations. Keep scrolling for some fun pictures of my work venues for that month, and even further down, squeee!!!, you get a first peek at my latest book cover for book 4 in my IT'S REIGNING MEN series, LOVE IS IN THE HEIR, available for pre-order and set to release in late September.
Oh! And book three, BAD TO THE THRONE, releases on June 29. It is my favorite so far in this series, complete with a Harry-esque bad boy prince who I think you'll fall for...
 And lastly, don't forget to sign up for my newsletter--which will be going out next week. There'll be a little special something in there for your efforts ;-) .

I recently returned from a lovely working vacation in Italy and Morocco. And the hard part of a working vacation is the work part.

I departed for our trip with a deadline pending for the third book in my It's Reigning Men series. I had a lot of fun writing this book--the hero in it is a rakish Prince Harry-esque black sheep, and I just loved his attitude. So I didn't want to rush to end the book, plus I was scrambling to get ready to leave, so I left the final third of the book dangling...

Which meant I had a few days during my trip in which I had to just hunker down, abandon the idea of being a tourist, and focus on writing. Of course this was a bit of a bummer, because I would have far rather wandered the streets of ancient Italian cities and settled in for a leisurely lunch of pappardelle al sugo di anatra (fat strips of homemade pasta with amazingly delicious duck confit cooked in a red sauce) and a glass of Chianti. Which would have led to the need for a nap which would have meant no writing.

So instead, I savored my "rooms" with a view, and hunkered down to finish my novel with some of the most spectacular scenery going.

We writers are so blessed that we can do our work pretty much anywhere. And over the years I have, by default, done that: in pick-up line at the kids' schools, on the sidelines at soccer practices, with ear plugs in while the kids watched the television that is mere feet from my "desk" which is in the kitchen and basically means hardly a quiet zone.

So my designated work stations while away this time were pretty much unbeatable: at our B&B with a spectacular view of the Duomo di Siena, which is a breathtaking work of architecture; while sitting on the ponte di Santa Trinita in Florence, with a view of the famed Ponte Vecchio in front of me and the world's most amazing gelato just steps away (Gelateria Santa Trinita---if you're in Florence, go there and try the sesamo nero, which sounds weird, black sesame seed gelato, but is incredible).

I wrote at an outdoor bar in the delightfully colorful Piazza Santo Spirito (full of great people-watching, which sort of causes problems when trying to focus on writing!), in the Oltrarno, the section of Florence across the Arno River that is more residential and relatively less touristy.

Not for the first time I enjoyed writing in the Giardino di Boboli, the spectacular gardens that are part of the imposing Palazzo Pitti (hoarding headquarters for the Medici family), with a splendid view of all of Florence.

I regretted missing a fascinating tour of the city of Matera in the Basilicata region of Italy, down by the boot heel. My husband got to take that tour while I hunkered down on the deadline-iest of deadline days: I absolutely had to get my book to my editor on that day or it would screw up my publication date, which would make me an enemy of Amazon ;-) . Far be it from me to get on the bad side of Amazon...

Anyhow, the "Sassi" in Matera are a United Nations World Heritage site---originally a prehistoric troglodyte settlement, considered to be among the first human settlements in what is now Italy. The Sassi are caves dug into the rocks, from which an ancient town sprung, one cave atop the other, until a warren of many thousands of caves piled atop and next to one another existed. Until the mid-20th century these caves were inhabited by the poorest of the poor, who were ultimately relocated to housing with plumbing and other modern comforts. Since then the area has been rebuilt to house apartments, hotels, restaurants and shops. It's an amazing place, extraordinarily beautiful at night when lit up, too.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have had such an phenomenal opportunity to travel and experience the world and various cultures and incorporate it into my writing (and am grateful that my husband has afforded me these opportunities because trust me, writing isn't paying these bills). On this trip also, we visited Morocco, and immersed ourselves in an entirely different culture there (and, um, learned the hard way that the closest place to the Sahara desert in which to find a tampon would be a rugged 10-hour drive through the High Atlas Mountains to Marrakech...)

Along the way I also worked on my book while waiting for a grocery store to open in Siena as I needed to buy laundry detergent and was in a hurry to get it done before we traveled to Florence.

I love to incorporate things I experience while traveling into my books, and have used quite a bit of my extensive Italian travels in my current series, the It's Reigning Men series, especially with the third book of the series, Bad to the Throne, which is available for pre-order now here and will be released June 29.

I hope you can enjoy a little bit of my journeys as you read my books! And please, do enjoy the view!
working on deadline with Duomo di Siena as my view
working on deadline with Duomo di Siena as my view
I had a solid 30 minutes to write while at the entrance to a grocery store. Catch as catch can!
I had a solid 30 minutes to write while at the entrance to a grocery store. Catch as catch can!
I was waiting for my husband and daughter so parked it on the Duomo steps and wrote for 20 minutes
I was waiting for my husband and daughter so parked it on the Duomo steps and wrote for 20 minutes
enjoyed writing in the serenity of the Boboli Gardens (until I fell asleep...)
enjoyed writing in the serenity of the Boboli Gardens (until I fell asleep...)
and this is the view from the Boboli Gardens--not too shabby...
and this is the view from the Boboli Gardens--not too shabby...
Yes, I did sit on the edge of a bridge and write with another famous bridge as my view
Yes, I did sit on the edge of a bridge and write with another famous bridge as my view
while enjoying an Aperol spritz I wrote outdoors in the Piazza Santo Spirito while a very drunk man screamed at strangers in the background...local color
while enjoying an Aperol spritz I wrote outdoors in the Piazza Santo Spirito while a very drunk man screamed at strangers in the background...local color
my final "deadline" deadline, where I gave up a great tour to write a really character and finish my book, in the Sassi in Matera, Italy
my final "deadline" deadline, where I gave up a great tour to write a really fun character and finish my book, in the Sassi in Matera, Italy
And I'm sure this fellow is going to somehow find his way into one of my books ;-). In the Sahara desert with my camel, who we named Ralph.
And I'm sure this fellow is going to somehow find his way into one of my books ;-). In the Sahara desert with my camel, who we named Ralph, and our nomad guide who offered up six camels for my daughter's hand in marriage ;-)
JennyGardiner_SomethingintheHeir200  JennyGardiner_HeirTodayGoneTommorrow200
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Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Zone Authors Crave....

As I begin to compose this post, I realized -- and really for the first time since I started posting here -- that my scheduled day IS the beginning day of all four seasons. I never noticed that before! Uh-DUH!!  Worse, I just checked my last post and it was on the Spring Equinox - in MARCH! 

So -- apologies for once again falling off the face of the earth! Since March, I've written another book -- my next Harlequin Historical - Scotland, Highlanders, brave and brawny men and the women who bring them to their knees! All good!  Since March, I suffered the first and second-worst asthma attack of my life -- spring allergies killed me. And since March, I spent 17 days in. . . this place. . . 

Standing Stones at Drombeg

Cliffs of Moher

Poulnabrone Passage tomb

Waterford Castle

Kilmalkedar Church

View from Slea Head

 I spent 17 wonderful days in Ireland -- mostly to see places I need to use in an upcoming book, but also to see Ireland. I spent the first 5 days on my own - driving my little Irish car on LITTLE Irish roads, visiting standing stones, burial cairns and any megalithic site I could find in the north-west coast. Poulnabroune, Knocknarea, Carrowmore and more -- all magical! 

Then I joined up with writer friends to see the south-eastern and central areas - and then we headed for a writers' week on the Dingle peninsula. It was simply incredible - the views were unmatched and I watched some of the most beautiful sunsets ever. We visited neolithic and medieval sites and ruins AND, in a serendipitous twist, spent several hours interviewing the leading archeologist of the area! My thanks to Eileen Dreyer, author and tourguide extraordinaire!, for arranging the "50 Shades of Green" trip....it was everything I could have wanted on my first trip to Ireland. 

But the zone authors crave is not really visiting the location of the next book - though that IS wonderful. It is finding that place in our creative brain where and when the story magic happens. It's the place where the voices stop screaming and begin to tell the story and reveal their secrets. It's the place, for me, where the book writes itself. 

And whether brought on by the magical trip to Ireland and/or the deadline pressure, I came back from my trip and wrote half the book in 2 weeks! The characters spoke to me. The scenes unfolded before my eyes. And best, I reached a place in the story when I had to stuff tissues in the neckline of my pjs because I was crying so much while writing the scenes! I love that place! Writing friends have asked me to take a selfie of it, but that won't happen...! LOL! 

So, my question to you as Summer 2015 begins is - do you have a 'zone'? It could be while doing something you enjoy - reading, a craft, your work? It could be a place you go to 'zone-out' - the beach, the mountains, vacation. It could be any place or space when you lose yourself and just live in that zone.  Post a comment and tell me about it and I'll pick a couple of people who will receive a book and a souvenir from Ireland....! 


 Terri is home now and writing her next book - Blazing Earth - the third in her Stone Circle series for NAL. BTW - the 4th and final book will end at Drombeg Stone Circle in a cataclysmic battle between good and evil for the future of humanity! Visit her website or her FB page or profile for lots more info! 

Happy Summer Solstice to you all! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Rachael Johns: It’s Always Time For Ice-Cream


I’m an organic writer (aka I don’t plot) and occasionally things appear in my writing and they become much bigger than I ever imagined they would be. In one of my rural romances, MAN DROUGHT – this was a vibrator, given to the heroine by a friend of hers. What I thought would only be a bit of fun in one scene, kept cropping up throughout the whole book and eventually caused for a very embarrassing moment for the hero and heroine right near the end. 

In my most recent release, KISS THE BRIDE, ice-cream became an unexpected feature – and a bit of an in-joke between the hero, the heroine and her daughter. Jake, the hero is an ice-cream connoisseur and he believes the way to a woman’s heart is through her sweet teeth. He woos Magdalena with an impressive ice-cream sundae and then later gets her daughter onside the same way.

There’s more than one scene involving ice-cream in the book and it even creeps into the epilogue, although I won’t tell you how as I don’t want to give the happy ever after away.

Anyway, needless to say I craved a lot of ice-cream during the writing of KISS THE BRIDE and I may have visited my favourite ice-creamy a few times in the name of research. This is The Junction Ice-creamery (http://junctionicecreamery.com.au), which has been in business for as long as I can remember. I have fond memories of my mum and grandparents taking me here on hot days when I was a child and I now frequently drop in with my own children.


The Junction has a HUGE range of homemade ice-cream flavors, but not all of them are always there. I must admit to being HUGELY disappointed if my favourite flavor PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE isn’t available. Nothing else quite does the trick, although in the name of being a good sport I always try something else.

So I’m curious… do you have a favorite ice-cream shop you like to visit with your family and friends? And what is your MUST-HAVE flavor of ice-cream?

Extract:


                “This is a big kitchen,” Magdalena commented as he scooped three different flavors of ice-cream into the bowls. “If fact, it’s a big house… for one person.”
                He glanced up and raised an eyebrow. “You think I might be hiding a family in the basement or something?”
                She laughed. “No. I just wondered…” Again her voice drifted off and pink flushed in her cheeks.
                Man, she looked hot when she blushed. And he had nothing to hide. “It is a big a house. As I mentioned before, I never had a home and I wanted somewhere special. One day, I hope to fill these rooms with a family of my own. I’m just waiting for Miss Right to happen along.”
                He didn’t want to scare her but he reckoned he might have just found her. Magdalena loved music as much as he did; she was gorgeous, funny, and obviously smart. Just looking at her made his jeans shrink three sizes.
“I’m sure there’s plenty of ladies in waiting for that position.”
                “Maybe.” He shrugged and looked right into her eyes. “But I’m a very fussy guy.”
                “I’m glad to hear it.”
He gestured to the toppings on the counter. “Chocolate, salted caramel, or strawberry? No, let me guess, you’re a blueberry kind of girl?”
                “You have blueberry topping?” She sounded skeptical.
                “Sweetheart, when I said I was an ice cream expert, I wasn’t over exaggerating.” He turned and opened a cupboard to reveal a whole row of different ice cream toppings. If his muse didn’t return and he never wrote another song, maybe he’d buy the local ice cream parlor.
                Her beautiful, blue eyes widened. “Okay. I’m impressed. Don’t let my daughter see this. She’s already got enough of a crush on you.”
                He laughed. Bella was a good kid but it wasn’t her he wanted, and he planned on making sure Magdalena knew this before she left today. “Well?” he asked, again gesturing to his not-so-secret topping stash.
                “Surprise me.” She took another sip of her soda.
                He grabbed a bottle of choc-mint sauce and made an elaborate show of squeezing it on top of her ice cream. It was sweet with a bit of bite, exactly how he imagined she’d taste. And then he sprinkled his creation with tiny choc drops, chopped cashew nuts, and little marshmallows, before pushing the sundae across the counter towards her.
                She smiled. “You are full of surprises. I’d have pegged you more as a beer man than an ice cream connoisseur.”
                “Hey, I love my beer as much as the next guy but ice cream is good for my soul. Of course, it’s not that great for the throat so I have to abstain at least twenty-four hours before a performance. Sometimes this makes me a little cranky.”
                In reply, she lifted her spoon and dug it into her dessert, her lips crinkling upwards at the edges. He watched, mesmerized as she lifted the spoon to her mouth and slid it inside. She moaned her approval, her eyelashes fluttering as she swallowed. Jake’s jeans grew tight again and heat rose within him, so he shoved his own spoon into his ice cream and relished the coolness as it hit his tongue.

Rachael Johns – www.rachaeljohns.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RachaelJohnsRomance


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Reading At The Beach

We were lucky enough to have a hot spell last week. It was perfect timing as I had just received a notice from Mills & Boon that they were starting their #SummerSizzler campaign. They were inviting authors to contribute.

Any excuse to go to the beach, right?

Here I am at 'my' beach. (It's not really mine. I drove there, but it was only two minutes. We can see the lake from my kitchen window, but we're not 'on' the lake.)

video

I have to say, as work assignments go, this one was about the best I've ever had. Here's another photo I staged while I was there.

I *love* the beach, especially reading (and napping) there.

For years, when I was still waiting to publish, I would take my kids to the beach and write on my alpha-smart or in a notebook while they swam. Nowadays, the beach is literally my vacation time, when I'm allowed to relax, unplug, and read my fellow authors.

In the summer, I run down to the beach so often, I keep a tote ready with all the usual supplies (sunscreen, lip balm, a few dollars for ice cream) and I always have a couple of books in there.

You're probably wondering who I like to read? Presents/Modern authors, of course! These were my favourite books long before I published and now it's even more fun because I know so many of the authors! And, even though in some ways it's 'homework,' it never feels like work.

The life of a romance author really is an amazing blessing!

How about I share some of this luxury by sending one lucky commenter some beach reading?

Seduced Into The Greek's World is on the shelves now, but the first three in the series are harder to find. Comment below with your favourite beach or favourite author to read on the beach and I'll pick a winner on June 22nd to receive autographed print copies of No Longer Forbidden?, More Than A Convenient Marriage?, and An Heir To Bind Them.

Here's the blurb for Seduced Into The Greek's World:

"I want you, Natalie. Not after five o'clock. Now." 

Every woman has a fantasy she only dares dream about in the dead of night. But for single mom Natalie Adams, the reality of an affair in Paris with infamous billionaire Demitri Makricosta surpasses even her wildest dreams!

Demitri is astounded by fiery Natalie. One night isn't enough, so to quench his lust he insists she become his mistress.

The closer Natalie gets to emotions Demitri has kept locked away, the more he distracts her with dazzling gifts and luxury holidays to ensure that seduction remains the only thing between them…

Here are the quick links for Seduced Into The Greek's World:

Chapters | Nook | Kobo | ARe | BooksaMillion | GooglePlay | iBooks

If you'd like more information on the first three books in the series, please visit my books page.
Have a great summer!

~ Dani