Friday, February 16, 2018

#FREEBIE #FRIDAY Excerpt from Battle for Love by Valerie Bowes #Historical #Romance


Today's excerpt is from Battle for Love by Valerie Bowes.
We hope you enjoy today's tease!

~~~oOo~~~


Normally a place of bustle, full of horses and ostlers and boys who darted about on errands, the yard was eerily quiet. She could see lantern-light shining through a stall door where the grooms had taken refuge from the chill in one of the stables, and hear the muffled shouts as they indulged in a game of cards, but no-one came out to challenge her as she took a few deep breaths of the cold air.
A spatter of raindrops brought goose-bumps to her arms, and she turned to go back indoors. Before she could reach the doorway, there was a flicker of movement on the dark stair, and Boult stepped out in front of her.
“It is only I, Miss Worth,” he said, seeing her start at his abrupt appearance. She could see his satirical smile in the faint light that filtered down from the windows above,  and the suspicion struck her that he had seen her leave the room and followed her.
“The attractions of the inn-yard would appear to have visited us both at the same time,” he added smoothly, and she was sure of it. Perhaps he thought she had done it deliberately, to entice him? The idea brought the hot blood of anger rushing to her cheeks.
 “Indeed, I was so heated that I felt the need of some coolness, but it is far too chilly to remain out here,” she said. “Please to let me pass, sir. I wish to go upstairs again.”
He stood back, but the doorway was narrow and she had no intention of squeezing past so close to him. The memory of what had happened the last time stirred in her stomach. The hard maleness of him brought thoughts to her mind that she was ashamed of. She stood still and directed a pointed stare that held no more warmth than the yard behind her.
“I most humbly beg your pardon.” He moved aside, but she could hear the laugh in his voice and her temper rose. With her nose in the air, she marched past him but, as she set her foot on the first stair, he stayed her with a hand on her arm.
“I have to admit to a certain subterfuge, Miss Worth. You are quite right. I did come in search of you. You see, the second waltz is yet to come and I was hoping that you would reconsider my request and grant it to me. I assure you that, unlike your previous partner, I’m accounted a dancer of some accomplishment.”
Thoughts tumbled through her head. Why shouldn’t I? It will show everyone I’m not an old maid yet. Anyway, what harm could he do, in a room full of people? It’s only one dance, and he’s easily the most good-looking man in the room. He said I have kissable lips. And Will is not here.
“Very well, Mr Boult,” she said.
She came face to face with Will Carlton the moment she walked through the door into the bright ballroom.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Cover Reveal: MUST HAVE FAITH by Deborah Garland #Romance


Must Have Faith
A Darling Cove Novel
by Deborah Garland
Release Date: June 4, 2018
Publisher: Roane Publishing

Keywords: Contemporary Romance, Novel, Series, Small Town, Family Drama, Runaway Bride, Reunion, Second Chance, Police, London


It’s easy to think the jilted groom is probably a jerk. But what if he’s not? What if he’s the good guy?

Faith Copeland has moved back home to the North Fork, where she has to live with stares and whispers behind her back. In Darling Cove, she’ll only ever be Greg Mallory’s runaway bride.

Darling Cove Police Officer, Gregory Mallory has been living with the scars and shame of being left at the altar. Since Faith took off, he’s not wanted to settle down, putting the Mallory name in jeopardy.

When his runaway bride returns, Greg’s tough fa├žade begins to wear away.

Can Greg and Faith deny the attraction still burning inside them after so long? Will they survive this time around if it doesn’t work out?

~~~oOo~~~


Must Have Faith Release Blitz sign ups are now open!
If you're interested in hosting, please click on the image or fill out the form below.
Thank you!



Friday, February 9, 2018

#FREEBIE #FRIDAY Excerpt from A Symphony of Heartstrings by T.E. Hodden #PNR



Today's excerpt is from A Symphony of Heart Strings by T.E. Hodden.
We hope you enjoy today's tease!

~~~oOo~~~


My next stop is University College. I make my way down into their science labs and find the student pigeon holes. There are two girls taking classes here who have been stubbornly refusing my best efforts to have their paths cross for over a week. They brushed past each other at three different Rag Week events, finding a thousand different distractions when their eyes only had to meet for a moment.
Today however, I feel lucky.
I take the results from their latest tests from their pigeon holes and swap them over. Then I take some DVDs of “Little Shop of Mysteries” from my pocket and leave them in the two piles of internal mail
Both Ceri—nineteen, pansexual, and Muslim—and Bennytwenty-two, cute as a button, and eternally cheeky—loved the show as kids. I tuck cards in the slip cases of the DVDs inviting them to consider the college's Retro Culture Group that meets on Tuesdays in a local pub to discuss such important topics as cartoons, science fiction, and collectibles. If the girls don't track each other down to hand over the exam results, they can meet at the pub.
I duck out of view and lurk at the bottom of some stairs.
The girls arrive at the pigeon holes at the same time as they do every day. They nod politely, same as always, without noticing each other. Today, though, they pause. Ceri is the first to give a polite laugh. She turns the DVD over in her hands with a nostalgic grin.
Benny catches her eye and hands her the results envelope. They exchange letters and a few words. They get chatting about the DVD. Both have enthusiastic smiles on their lips. Benny does not notice that she is playing with her hair more. Ceri is stumbling over her words.
Their eyes meet, and there is a bolt of lightning between them. They shake hands, and there is a cautious enquiry if one might like to have a coffee with the other? They make a tentative agreement.
I leave them to sort it out amongst themselves. It is not a set thing, but I can come back in a few days if they need a bit of a nudge in the right direction. I don't linger to see how they get on. I have a busy afternoon ahead of me.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

#GuestPost When Research for a Story turns Questionable by Melissa Crispin #WritersLife


GUEST POST:

When Research for a Story turns Questionable
by Melissa J. Crispin

A fun fact about me: I love the idea of putting a spin on fairy tales and legends.

To prove this, I have written a Beauty and the Beast retelling called The Crimson Curse that was released with Roane Publishing last year. My twist on the classic story was to make Beast a woman.

Just the other day, I began a new tale that will be a Robin Hood retelling. Without giving too much away, I will divulge that one of the characters is going to die a suspicious death. I wanted to make sure that whatever I wrote into the story would be believable, and so I turned to Google and began searching for information. Some of my searches were mundane. They were related to things like…

-          Drinkware and attire in medieval times
-          Common Old English phrases
-          Daily life of noble men in the middle ages

These helped to shape the era in my mind and gather various traits and physical descriptions for characters. But then, my later searches morphed into topics of a more questionable nature. Those touched on subjects such as…

-          Poisonous plants
-          Followed by several searches of… [poisonous plant name] overview, symptoms, effects, etc
-          Tasteless, colorless, odorless lethal poisons

It occurred to me that my recent browsing history could potentially be unsettling to someone who didn’t know me. Also, in the event that someone died from food poisoning in my area, I’d be a prime suspect! I could just imagine myself trying to explain to authorities that all of my research was only for a story.

I’m sure that other writers have found themselves researching strange, unusual, and at times, morbid themes for the sake of a compelling story. Have you ever searched for information and hoped no one ever found out about it?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melissa J. Crispin lives in Connecticut with her husband, two kids, and an adorable Siberian Husky. She spends her days in the corporate world, and pursues her passion for writing in the late nights and early mornings.

From micro-fiction to novels, Melissa loves to write stories in varying lengths. But, no matter the story, it's almost always about the romance.


LINKS:





Monday, February 5, 2018

New Release: SECOND GUESSING #Contemporary #Romance @RoanePublishing #Giveaway


HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO
SECOND GUESSING!


Second Guessing
A Contemporary Romance
by Gail Ward Olmsted
Release Date: February 5, 2018

Jill Griffin & Ben Fein are meant to be together…said no one ever!

Jill has built a successful career writing romantic ballads for many of today’s top performers. Since the tragic end of her marriage a couple years back, the 40-something single mom has all but abandoned hope for a love story of her own.

Ben is a brash, young boy-band singer seeking a solo career who hires Jill to write for him. He’s got a dark secret from his past that he wants to keep hidden.

The attraction between the two is red-hot and when Ben falls hard for Jill, he doesn’t care who knows it. Jill’s been burned before and wants to take things slow, keeping their relationship out of the glare of the media. After a gossip columnist exposes their affair, she’s forced to decide if she can risk letting go of her past in order to build a life with Ben.

When Ben’s past makes headlines, Jill begins to wonder how well she really knows him. But as Ben climbs to the top of the pop charts, he’s determined to succeed… at convincing Jill to take a second chance on love.

Second Guessing is the love story of Jill and Ben, who are so wrong for each other that they may actually be right!



Print

Digital


EXCERPT:

Ben popped a dumpling into his mouth and chewed and they grinned at each other happily. They managed to make short work of the appetizers and Jill moaned with pleasure as, after removing the empty plates, their server replaced them with huge bowls of pork fried rice, shrimp lo mein and chicken in a garlicky sauce. Their dinner was served family style, and Jill helped herself to large portions of everything. They ate in companionable silence, punctuated by Jill’s moans of delight as she sampled each dish. After she had eaten most of the food she had taken, she drank some water, and then sat back with a satisfied sigh.

“Carly says I could have a food baby and no one would even notice.” God, where had that come from?

“No one, huh?” he said with a smirk. When he saw Jill blush, he sat back and smiled. “I’m dying to know more about you, Jill Griffin.”

Jill shrugged her shoulders. Always shy and intensely private, she had grown increasingly wary over the years and disliked talking about herself. She had been burned a few times by those claiming to be interested in her, when all the while they only wanted to learn something about James, as if she would relay some juicy bit of gossip about him, posthumously or not.

She knew that since Ben was well on his way to the level of celebrity James had enjoyed, it was highly unlikely Ben had any kind of ulterior motive. He was probably sincere in wanting to get better acquainted with her. But even though she felt comfortable with Ben, she was out of practice with any sort of personal narrative.

“Not much to tell. I was married to James and we had Carly and then James died.”

Ben frowned at her and his brown eyes looked sad. “I’m not asking about Jill the wife or Jill the mother.”

“Well, that’s all there is to me, I’m afraid.” Jill laughed nervously.

Ben was shaking his head at her. “I think you’re wrong. I see so much more than that. I see a beautiful woman. A talented woman. A woman I want to get to know much, much better.” Jill put down the cloth napkin she had been folding and unfolding underneath the table. She had regained some of her self-confidence and she watched him closely as she spoke.

“A mature woman. Ben, I’m 42 years old. I have an 18-year old daughter. I don’t know what you want from me. I’m not a ‘Mrs. Robinson’ okay? You’re so…young,” she ended weakly.

But Ben was not to be put off. “I like you Jill. Yeah, I’m a little younger than you, but so what? Just a number, am I right? I want to know what makes you tick. How you come up with all those amazing song lyrics. What you love, what you wish for. And more than anything, I want to know how it will feel to hold you in my arms. What it will be like to kiss those lips. What you taste like…” He stopped as he noticed Jill was staring at him, open-mouthed. He pushed his chair back and slipped over next to her in the banquette.

Jill needed to say something, before she started kissing him like she had been dreaming about all day.

“I just want to keep this private, okay? I haven’t been with anyone since, well, you know. Carly says she’s ready for me to start dating again, but I’m not at all sure I believe her. You and I kind of work together, and I have to keep it professional. And there’s going to be a big tribute concert for James this fall and there will be a ton of press. I can’t have this, whatever it is, taking center stage. So this is just between us, okay?”

Ben was watching her closely and at his nod of agreement, she continued.

"And just for the record,” she whispered, “I imagine I taste like Whoppers and garlic sauce.”

Ben took her in his arms and just before he started kissing her, he assured her, “That’s my favorite.”

~~~oOo~~~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


My first visit to Sedona, AZ prompted me to start writing JEEP TOUR, my first novel. I fell in love with the red rocks and blue skies and I couldn’t imagine a better place for a do-over. Second Guessing is my fourth novel and the theme of second chances and fresh starts has stayed with me. A hopeless romantic, I am married to the love of my life. I am mom to two young adults and two crazy cats, and I enjoy reading, boating, music and travel.I am a professor of marketing in the School of Business & Information Technology at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, MA. I was the recipient of the Deliso Endowed Chair Award and was recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s Department of Higher Education as one of “29 Who Shine”.



~~~oOo~~~

GIVEAWAY!
A $10 Roane Publishing Gift Card!



Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use a RoanePublishing.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing's marketing department.

#GuestPost What Would I Do if I Weren't a Writer? by Gail Olmsted #WritersLife #NewRelease

Guest Post:

What Would I Do if I Weren’t a Writer?
by Gail Olmsted


I became a writer relatively late in life. Although I always knew that I had at least one book in me that would need to be written at some point, it wasn’t until five or six years ago that I got serious about writing. It was a story that I had been thinking about for years. A family trip to Sedona, AZ led me to ponder what a perfect place it would be for anyone looking for a do-over, a second chance at a happy ever after. I finally decided that I would sit down and put it on paper. Once I got into it, JEEP TOUR just about wrote itself. Since then, I have written three more books: Guessing at Normal exposed my life-long fascination with rock stars, Driving on the Left, a sequel of sorts to JEEP TOUR, allowed me to explore the all important mother-daughter dynamic while vacationing in Ireland, and most recently, Second Guessing. This time I was able to combine my two favorite topics: rock stars and mother-daughter relationships into a ‘second chance’ contemporary romance. Next up is a possible foray into historical fiction. I am clearly hooked. This ‘writing thing’ isn’t going away anytime soon.

Since I began my writing career, I have spent countless hours writing, editing, publishing and marketing my works. As a college professor, I have summers off and depending on my course load each semester, frequently have a few extra hours each day to devote to my literary career. It’s become a huge part of who I am.

I recently got to thinking…how would I spend my time if it weren’t for writing? What would I do? I decided to ask my friends and family and here are some of their suggestions.

1) Get in Shape

Ouch, this one hurt, but it was the number one suggestion overall. I actually think I’m in pretty good shape, but if I’m being honest, I have to admit that if I dedicated even a portion of the time I spend on my writing to physical fitness, I would probably live longer and feel better. Hours spent slumped over my MacBook while slugging coffee isn’t the healthiest of pursuits, I will grant you that. I will have to look into getting one of those standing desks or a treadmill with a large work surface. Or I can walk to the post office to mail books to contest winners and then jog back home. Okay, that’s a definite maybe.

2) Travel

Hmmm… this suggestion has some merit. I do enjoy traveling but since writing is very portable (all I need is my MacBook, a notebook and a pen) I can’t honestly say that I turn down opportunities to travel very often, at least not because of writing. So, no to travel in lieu of writing. I can do both.

3) Learn to Cook

Again, ouch! I can cook and I’m pretty good at it, but unless I’m preparing a holiday meal or throwing a dinner party, most of the food I make is pretty uninspired. But if I cooked more, wouldn’t I eat more and therefore defeat my efforts for getting into shape? No, I predict more bowls of cereal in my future.

4) Volunteer

Do more for others? Give of my time, talents and treasure? Well, I teach at a community college and advise and mentor countless students each year. It’s my job, but shouldn’t that count for something? I also donate to various charities, participate in book drives and am putting together a free event this spring for aspiring writers… Okay, I get it. Seek out more volunteer opportunities.

5) Relax

This was actually a combination of suggestions that I spend more time with my friends and family, hang out, sleep in, shop, read, watch movies, go for coffee, etc. But seriously? I already do all of those things quite a bit, except maybe sleep in. I’m way too wired for that, perhaps because I spend so much time going out for coffee. But I’ll commit to more quality time with my loved ones. Be careful of what you wish for!!

So in conclusion, I appreciate the feedback and I plan to take some of these suggestions to heart. Next time you see me, I’ll no doubt be walking briskly to the post office and picking up trash along the way, while monitoring my heart rate and chatting on my phone, catching up with loved ones. But seriously? I really enjoy the time I spend writing. I have made new friends and connected with old ones and I have learned so much about my craft and myself. I wake up raring to go and eager to see what each new day brings.

And isn’t that what it’s all about anyway?


Check out Gail's newest release!


Second Guessing
A Contemporary Romance 
by Gail Ward Olmsted
Release Date: February 5, 2018

Jill Griffin & Ben Fein are meant to be together… said no one ever!

Jill has built a successful career writing romantic ballads for many of today’s top performers. Since the tragic end of her marriage a couple years back, the 40-something single mom has all but abandoned hope for a love story of her own.

Ben is a brash, young boy-band singer seeking a solo career who hires Jill to write for him. He’s got a dark secret from his past that he wants to keep hidden.

The attraction between the two is red-hot and when Ben falls hard for Jill, he doesn’t care who knows it. Jill’s been burned before and wants to take things slow, keeping their relationship out of the glare of the media. After a gossip columnist exposes their affair, she’s forced to decide if she can risk letting go of her past in order to build a life with Ben.

When Ben’s past makes headlines, Jill begins to wonder how well she really knows him. But as Ben climbs to the top of the pop charts, he’s determined to succeed…  at convincing Jill to take a second chance on love.

Second Guessing is the love story of Jill and Ben, who are so wrong for each other that they may actually be right!


Friday, February 2, 2018

#FREEBIE #FRIDAY Excerpt from Show No Weakness by Joyce Holmes #Contemporary #Romance


Today's excerpt is from Show no Weakness by Joyce M. Holmes.
We hope you enjoy today's tease!

~~~oOo~~~


“You’re upset. I didn’t mean to do that,” he apologized. “I wanted to make you feel better.”

“Oh no, hey, I’m not upset with you. I actually appreciate your effort. I can’t remember the last time I had a conversation with a man who cared how I felt about myself. Men are usually much more concerned about how I feel about them.”

“You already told me you didn’t like me.” He smiled brilliantly, his eyes crinkling. “Whaddaya say to giving me a chance to change your mind?”

For just a moment, Joely saw beneath the laughing, self-confident grin to the flicker of loneliness in his eyes. He was new to the area, she remembered. He probably didn’t know many people, and here she was monopolizing the conversation. She ignored his question and posed one of her own.

“Why did you choose law enforcement for your career?”

His gaze unexpectedly turned cold. His features revealed no emotion, nothing to indicate why he suddenly shut down. The pause grew a little too long, giving Joely the impression he preferred not to answer.

“I take a lot of satisfaction out of my job, especially working with the kids,” he eventually replied, his voice back to that aggravatingly polite, neutral tone. “But it wasn’t a matter of choice so much as of doing what was expected.”

“Your parents said you had to become a cop?” Joely wanted to keep her mouth shut and let him do the talking, but stunned disbelief made her blurt it out before she could stop herself.

Cole smiled tightly. “My grandfather was a cop, same with my father. As far as they were concerned, there was no other suitable job for a Dennison, and they presumed I’d follow their lead. My mom didn’t get a say; she died when I was five.”

Joely let out an involuntary gasp of sympathy. “Oh, I’m sorry. How sad for you to grow up without a mother.” Not having a father had left a gaping hole in her childhood and even though her mom would’ve never won mother-of-the-year, she’d always given freely of her hugs and kisses. She was important to Joely, and Joely couldn’t imagine growing up without her.

Cole lifted a shoulder casually. “I survived. You don’t miss what you never really had.”

“Yes, you do,” she replied fiercely. “You miss it and you want it terribly. At least I did. I wanted a father more than I wanted anything else. It was the defining reality of my childhood. How can you say you didn’t miss your mother?”

Something hard and acrid flashed in his eyes, and he didn’t acknowledge her words. He pushed out of his chair abruptly. “We should get back to the detachment. Your son’s waited long enough.”