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Series by the Numbers

"When I started my series Drake's Rakes, it was meant to be a trilogy following three women who meet in the Brussels medical tents during the Battle of Waterloo. It was to be called The Three Graces, since each was in her own way known as Grace. And then I realized that they were each falling in love with one of gentleman spies Drake's Rakes, and that there nine rakes. Nine rakes who each demanded a story."
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My Heroes: Writing What I Know

As a romance reader, I love all kinds of heroes—from totally caveman alpha to sweet, geeky beta. I fall for them all. As a writer, I tend to write a slight mixture of heroes, except for the extreme alpha. I don’t think I’ve done one of those yet. What has inspired me as an author when I develop my heroes is looking at guys I know.
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Our Love Affair with Regency

Sheri Cobb Smith dives into the reasons why readers and writers continue turning to Regency romances for their historical fix.
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Weird Girls Exclusive Scene

Cecy Robson, author of the Weird Girls series, shared this exclusive scene of a Weird Girls slumber party with us in anticipation of the 11/18 release of the latest in the Weird Girls series, A Cursed Bloodline. See what happens when all of the ladies get together for a sleepover and a little bit of truth or dare...
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Historical Inspiration

Linsey Hall, author of sexy paranormal romance series, the Mythean Arcana, talks about how she finds inspiration in history.
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Military vs. Civilian Romance

Military romance gets its own subcategory on Amazon, but are military romances really that different from civilian romances?
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Tina Wainscott’s Top Five Military Romances

In honor of Veteran’s Day, we have author Tina Wainscott (Justiss Alliances series) sharing her favorite military romances. Her list includes unforgettable stories of love, loss, and redemption. How many of these have made your own list, and which ones are you adding to your TBR?
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Holidays Can Be Murder

Halloween is over, and now the real holiday hijinks may commence! Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Probably because it’s all about the food. And feeling grateful for what we have. (Especially the food.) So it didn’t surprise anyone when I announced my third mystery, If The Shoe Kills, takes place the days leading up to Thanksgiving...
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Front Row at the Highland Games

Nancy Lee Badger shares her notes from the front lines of the Highland Games in New Hampshire. Find out about kilted athletes and get a look at an excerpt of her new novel, My Dark Highlander.
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The Power of What If?

How far would you go to save one life? Ten lives? A million? What if you knew the future? Would you change things? This is a complex question. If you’d known about the latest outbreak of Ebola, would you have tried to stop it if it meant risking death yourself? What about a war? An assassination? What if the only way to change these events was to travel to the past, where one small change might mean you would never be born?
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The Return of the Epic American-set Historical Romance

We’ve all had this happen at one time or another—an urging or longing for a certain something or other that sneaks up on us and lingers until it settles in our bones. Before long, another person mentions the very thing we’ve been deliberating. Soon, we begin seeing or hearing about that certain something everywhere until a groundswell of popularity emerges. That’s what seems to be happening with American-set historical romances. Remember those lush, sweeping, sagas full of romance, drama, sexual tension, excitement, family struggles, and plenty of twists and turns that spans time and geographic locations? Stories that kept us turning pages well into the night? With my yearning running bone-deep, I contracted with Kensington Books for my American-set When Hearts Dare series. Celine, book one in the series, spans time, cultures and locations,… Continue
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Raine Miller on Hot Fictional Men and THE MUSE

 You cannot mention the name Raine Miller without thinking of Ethan Blackstone, the gorgeous, ultra-successful London businessman with a filthy mouth who is not the type to take ‘no’ for an answer. In the age of Fifty Shades of Grey, the hot, dominant, and obsessively protective Blackstone quickly rose to the head of the class as one of the iconic alphas of contemporary erotic romance as the hero in Miller’s bestselling series, The Blackstone Affair. Not bad for a former grade school teacher who began her own journey as a romance reader after picking up her first Barbara Cartland novel, at age 13. Miller admits that her own stories are “edgy enough to turn Ms. Cartland in her grave.” Luckily for her legion of fans, Miller has new hot hero for us… Continue
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The Five Real-Life Rockers Who Make Me Swoon

I never intended to write an eight book series about rock stars, fame and the life of the celebrity. It all started with a novella called Tropical Sin, which starred the world’s greatest rock star, Nick Blackthorne, going through an existential crisis and the two people he helps bring together. But once Nick came to be, he wouldn’t shut up…and then his world consumed me and the Heart of Fame series was born. The series started with Love’s Rhythm, which released back in April 2012, and ends with Blackthorne (available now). In between those two books are six stories that all look at the life of the celebrity, and in four cases, the world of the rock stars. And when you’re writing books about rock stars, you have to turn to the sexiest… Continue
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Halloween Party Scene

It’s almost that time. Have you bought and consumed your first bags of Halloween candy yet? Uh-huh…thought so. Don’t worry. I’m in the same boat. I’m certain it’s all a big evil plot. Stores stock up on those treats extra early so that those of us with fond trick-or-treat memories will buy lots of our favorite candy: Buy. Eat. Repeat.   This year we’ll have trick-or-treaters, and I’m so excited. You see, for the past twenty years I’d lived on a farm in Virginia. No one was going to hike down those lonely dark country roads, even for the mac-daddy-sized chocolate bars. That would just be too darned scary! This year, I’m in a neighborhood filled with children in beautiful Winston-Salem. I’m so excited to see the princesses, super heroes, ghosts and goblins. I’ve already… Continue
Exposed to Passion

Five Things That Inspire Me

I’ve heard authors talk about how devastating it can be when inspiration fails them. How there is nothing more soul sucking than staring at a blank document on the computer screen, or a blank page in a notebook. I won’t lie and tell you that I’ve never experienced the feeling. But whenever it has, I turn to some foolproof options to find my focus. In no particular order, they are: Nature: I love watching the vast assortment of birds, foxes, deer, the occasional bobcat, turkeys (no, not my husband) and yes, even snakes in my backyard. Decorating for the season: My family thinks I go overboard to make my home festive for whichever holiday I’m celebrating. Personally, I could go for more stuff both inside and outside. I used to work at a shopping mall… Continue
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For Love and Money: The Wealthy Hero

My grandma raised her family during The Great Depression, and even though fortunes were lost in the Crash of 1929, the family did okay.  There was money saved (in mattresses, I think) and a solid business, so no one went hungry or went without shoes.  But still, my grandmother used to say, “It’s just as easy to love a rich man as a poor man.”  Her advice was all about self-preservation, of course; a practical consideration for a woman of her era. Through history, money and power have made men more desirable as mates.  It has made them sought after. Made them sexy. So, is the bank book at the root of the popularity of the millionaire/billionaire hero? I guess the glitzy lifestyle has its appeal–the promise of luxury is always tempting. But in truth,… Continue
Soulfire

Hardcore Alpha vs. Sensual Seducer

My romance-loving friends and I debate all the time over which kind of leading man is more alluring. While I tend to veer toward the alpha just about every time, I do love the teasing sensual seducer as well. Let’s do a little compare/contrast, shall we? First, our seducer has patience. Our alpha clearly doesn’t even know the definition of the word. The alpha has one goal—her—and he wants her now. No bed required—a good, sturdy wall will do (or desk, pool table, whatever). On the other hand, the seducer is a master of the art of seduction, savoring the slow, tantalizing love-play. For he knows that her surrender will make the reward even more sweet. Another trait our seducer has is charm. Within the seducer’s arsenal of charm is his bone-melting,… Continue
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Strip Club Confessions

Today novelist Rachel Blaufeld joins us to talk candidly about how going to strip clubs inspired her novels Electrified and Smoldered.   The question I’m asked the most is, “Did you go to strip clubs before, during, or after writing this? Are you going today? Now? Tomorrow?” Friends ask my husband, extended family members question my mother, readers are extremely curious if I have friends who are strippers, and most of my husband’s gang has offered join me in doing research. Okay, are you ready? Cue Drumroll. Yes. The answer is yes. I have in fact been to a number of strip clubs before writing Electrified. While the Electric Tunnel doesn’t really exist and all the characters that work there are fictitious, I don’t think it would be wise to write a book… Continue
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Flight of Fancy: Inspiration for ALL MESSED UP

I’ve been travelling a lot the last few years, to conventions and writing retreats, and on vacations. When I’m travelling alone I spend a lot of time in airports people watching and eavesdropping and of course, as a writer, wondering “what if….?” Well, my latest release All Messed up is that story of what if…? Who is that attractive stranger? What if he was attracted to you? What if your flight got cancelled and you had to spend the night in a strange city? What if that stranger seemed to be the one person who understood you better than anyone else? And what happens when your flight leaves the next morning? I had the idea for a story about two strangers who meet in an airport and form a connection a long time ago, but… Continue
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A Toast to a New Series: The Napa Wine Heiresses

Join author Heather Heyford as she uncorks a sparkling new series following the St. Pierre sisters, heiresses to a Napa wine fortune who are toasting the good life and are thirsty for love: Chardonnay St. Pierre’s father is as infamous for his scandals as he is for his wine, and it’s up to Char to restore the family name. The Challenge, an elite charity competition held in Napa, seems like the perfect opportunity for the socialite to cement her image as a philanthropist. But all eyes—including Char’s—are on the Hollywood heartthrob who’s also entered the race…
Long before his face was splashed across the gossip magazines, Ryder McBride grew up in a working-class family in Napa. He knows all about the St. Pierre sisters and their notorious father, and when he learns he’ll be up Continue
Going Home

Small Town Touch

I grew up in a small town. My parents were hippies who decided to bring me and my siblings west and try farming. The neighbors found the fact that we’d come from New York City hilarious, especially when my mother milked the goats in a maxi dress and work boots. We were not the Waltons by any stretch. But the townsfolk took us in anyway, taught us when the almonds were ready for harvesting, the proper way to build a functional barn and how to make cheese with our leftover milk. Eventually, we got some horses and I spent a good portion of my childhood in a saddle, riding through the hills for hours on end. But when I graduated high school, I went off to a big-city college and wound up working in other… Continue
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Book Groups 2.0 + Giveaway

It used to be that you’d find a local book club; a group of folks you could meet and chat with over coffee about the book you’re reading. Now, Facebook has become the new living room, and your book club might sprawl from New York to Texas to the Philippines. Bonding over books is so hot right now, and some of the best books are being discussed and dissected in group reads hosted by virtual book clubs and blogs everywhere. I spoke to a few of these “virtual” book clubs, and these are some of the titles bringing them together: “Reading is now what the cool kids do and is at an all-time high,” said Alexis Durbin of Three Girls And A Book Obsession Book Blog. “People love to read with their friends and to… Continue
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Lady Jane’s Salon Author Roundtable

When Romance at Random invited me to blog on Lady Jane’s Salon®, the New York City romance reading series I co-founded nearly six years ago, I leapt at the chance. An opportunity to spread the word about our passion project in a forum founded by and for romance lovers from all areas of the industry—talk about win-win! Each month, I’ll be interviewing our Salon guest authors, asking them my same five questions—plus a few totally random fun facts—and posting their responses exclusively here at Romance at Random. Recently I caught up with our October 6th readers: Alyssa Cole, Sara Jane Stone, and my Lady Jane’s Salon Co-founder, Maya Rodale. Here’s what they had to say.   1.     At what age did you read your first romance novel? Was stealth required e.g., flashlight Continue
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The More Things Change,The More Things Stay the Same

When I wrote my novel DOLLBABY, which starts in New Orleans the summer of 1964, I never imagined a novel set in my lifetime would be considered historical fiction. I suppose a lot has changed in the last fifty years—there were no computers, no Internet, no answering machines. Heck, there wasn’t even color television. Many houses had only one phone (a land line), one bathroom, and in many cases, no air conditioning. Perma-press, fast food, and iTunes were things of the future. Yet no matter how much things change, certain aspects of life will forever remain the same. Take human nature for example. From the dawn of time, man has had the same wants and desires. Granted they may be expressed a little differently these days, but we still ask the same questions of ourselves.… Continue
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Music and Emotion: The Magic of Playlists

Today Rhonda Helms is here to talk about the relationship between music and emotional connection – between characters, and between writers and their work, and readers and the books they read. Her new novel, SCRATCH, features a DJ heroine. The SCRATCH playlist has multiple layers; it shows pieces of Casey’s DJing job (like the upbeat electronic or dubstep songs she might play at the club). It shows her own personal playlist (more emotional pieces that reflect her feelings during particular spots in the story, when she has her earbuds in between classes, etc). It also shows some of Daniel too, the songs that make him think of her. A true “mix tape” that reflects many different pieces of the whole book, and also a little bit about the author. My editor Peter and I scoured… Continue
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Club Hopping: Jamie K. Schmidt’s Favorite Clubs

Summer is over and it’s back to the routine of school and autumn days.  I can look back fondly at all the beach parties and cook outs with friends and family.  Thankfully, there will always be night clubs that let us have some rowdy fun indoors once the weather turns chilly.  Here are some of my favorite bars and clubs:
  • The Adventurer’s Club – Downtown Disney, Orlando FL.
  • Unfortunately, this club closed in 2008 and lives on only in my memory.  But I remember with glee sitting on the bar stool that veeeeery slowly lowered and raised and drinking rum punch from a plastic monkey’s head.  Congaloosh! 2.  Minus 5° Ice Bar – Las Vegas, NV The temperature is set at a balmy negative five degrees Fahrenheit.  You have to wear gloves, a fur… Continue
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    From Contemporary to Erotic Romance: One Writer’s Journey

    Hi. I’m Carly Phillips and I’m best known for writing small town romance. Hot small town romance with emotional connections between the characters and a connected journey to the hero and heroine’s happily ever after. Now I also write erotic romance.  There. I said it. I’ve been skirting the actual line in interviews and descriptions of my work but with DARE TO SUBMIT, there’s no doubt. I went there. For many people (I think my own mother included), the question is why. Why change things? What people don’t realize is that this was not an overnight change. I started out in publishing in 1999 with Brazen, my first Harlequin Temptation BLAZE, their hottest line. I went on to write a total of 8 Harlequin Blaze books, including a launch for the new longer Blaze line.… Continue
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    In Love With Superheroes

    I admit it. I am a huge geek. One could argue that I am totally, head-over-heels, madly-in- love with superheroes. What woman could resist Captain America, as played by Chris Evans, in the latest movie installment, The Winter Soldier? He’s an indestructible, super-soldier with the manners of a true gentleman. I can feel a swoon coming on just thinking about him. Or better yet, Arrow, as played by Stephen Amell on the CW. A man who survived a horrible five years on a desolate island returns home to save his city. He’s emotionally scarred, a bit of a bad boy in his green leather, and makes you desire, above all else, to be the one woman who will heal him. In both the books, and the films, what women did not want… Continue
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    Obsessed with Plots

    What happens when you think you can do it better—a cautionary tale! My Grandma Lucille was one of the smartest women I’ve ever known. She was a University of Chicago graduate and her idea of reading for pleasure was devouring the diaries of Samuel Peyps. Never heard of him? Me, neither! LOL!! Turns out the diary he wrote from 1660-1669 is one of the most important historical documents of the English Restoration period. But I digress . . . The takeaway here is that if I wasn’t reading the classics, as far as Grandma was concerned, I might as well have been perusing a cereal box! Grandma and Grandpa were the same age as the whole classic Brat Pack-era, and as such, they opted to retire to Palm Springs, California, where all the Hollywood A-listers… Continue
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    My Romance with the Outdoors

    I’ve always been an outdoorsy person. My mom called me a tomboy. I hated dresses (still do). And I spent more time roaming the woods catching frogs than playing inside with Barbie dolls. One of the benefits of being a military brat is it afforded me the opportunity to explore a variety places from the woods on the Air Force base in Maryland, to the tropical jungle on Guam. My favorite outing was going fishing with my father when we lived in in Louisiana. Not only because of the quality time we shared, but because of how magical the swamp seemed to me as a child. It captivated me with a heady blend of danger and beauty. And I learned fairly quickly to abide by the posted “Don’t feed the alligators” signs by not swimming… Continue