Blackthorne

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
granny series

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
SecondChancehero

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
smoldered

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
allmessedup

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
chardonnay

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
loveing you

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
Lady Jane_Feat

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
dollbaby

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
scratchcover

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
longing

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
    CarlyPhillips_DareToSubmit_HR

    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
    Ruptured - Ebook

    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
    Control Small

    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
    DarkRedemption

    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
    Arrow Monica McCarty

    Hot Scots and the Five Reasons Monica McCarty Loves Them

    Monica McCarty is no stranger to hot Scottish Men: her Highland Guard series, feature scorching hot Highland warriors who are as deadly with their looks as there are with their fighting skills. Part of Robert the Bruce’s elite secret army in the fight to reclaim his crown, these Highland Guards are prepared for every battle—except for falling in love.   Hot Scots! Five reasons we love those Scottish heroes . . .  There’s no doubt about it, Scotsmen are hot right now. Whether it’s on the pages of a favorite novel or on the TV screen with the recent Outlander craze, we American lasses can’t seem to get enough of those strapping lads in plaid. Sure they are brave, tough, strong (I did say strapping, right?), proud, honorable, and endearingly protective, but here… Continue
    Mill River Redemption

    The Romance of a Small-Town Getaway

    It’s a frequent scene in books and films: a big-city couple throw their overnight bags into a car late on a Friday afternoon. They leave the city and drive to a smaller, quieter, more intimate place, one where the air is scented not by auto exhaust but by grass and wildflowers and perhaps the inviting aroma of fresh coffee from a cafe on the corner. Instead of department stores and streets of swanky places to dine, there are unique, family-run shops and a handful of mom-and-pop restaurants. Cell phone service might be spotty at best, and that’s just fine, because our couple has come to a small town to disconnect from their harried workweek routines and reconnect with each other. The little villages and towns that are sprinkled throughout our country might be the last… Continue
    SlowSatis

    Cecilia Tan’s Top Five List for SLOW SATISFACTION

    This week brings the third book in Cecilia Tan’s Struck by Lightening series. In SLOW SATISFACTION, James has finally pushed Karina beyond her limit—not her limit for kinky sex play, but for his extreme secrecy. She has had enough and breaks things off. But James won’t give up on Karina and will do whatever it takes to get her back. He’s ready to share his deepest, darkest secrets, but is Karina ready to hear them? James offers Karina not only the truth but a place at his side… onstage. He wants Karina to star in his final musical production and enter his life and his world fully and completely. As the two work together, they rekindle the trust and love they’d lost. But James’s world is full of deceit. When he is blackmailed by an unscrupulous… Continue
    Harbor Island

    Author Exclusive: Allison Brennan talks with Carla Neggers

    One of the fun things about being an author is the friendships formed with other writers. Take Carla Neggers and Allison Brennan, for example. The two met years ago at a writers’ conference and have been friends ever since. They’re both prolific, award-winning, New York Times bestselling authors of romantic suspense/romantic thrillers featuring FBI agents as lead characters, write two different series and share a friendship with Mariah Stewart. But that’s where the similarities end. Carla has two grown children and two grandchildren; Allison is still raising her five offspring. Carla lives in Vermont; Allison, in California. Carla has a journalistic background; Allison served as a legislative consultant for the California State Assembly before launching her author career. But both enjoy sharing the challenges—and the fun—of being an author and look forward to chatting over… Continue
    NancyGoodmancover

    Why I Write Gay Romance

    There is no one perfect answer to why I write gay romance novels. Strangely enough, I began writing Regency romance. I loved the glamour of the ballgowns and the whole English aristocracy. After all, who doesn’t like a Duke in a pair of tight buckskins? But last year I read my first male/male romance. I picked up a book by Abigail Roux called Cut and Run. It looked interesting and was a series, which I loved. I began reading it. And when I next looked up it was three hours later and I couldn’t believe how enthralled I was with the story. I bought the entire backlist and more. I went searching for more authors and read Mary Calmes A Matter of Time series and Amy Lane’s Promise Rock. I was hooked. Since I… Continue
    Romance

    Why I Write BDSM

    Chances are, if you ever meet me, you’ll find out pretty quickly that I’m an open book. I also don’t hide what I write. Well, unless I’m talking to people I went to seminary with and then—do you blame me? So, pretty much everyone in my life knows that I write BDSM fiction. Yes, my parents and grandmother are aware of it. They just don’t want to talk about it. I often joke and tell people in my day-to-day life they aren’t old enough to read my books yet, which gets a few laughs. Every now and then, someone is curious enough to ask me the real question. Why do you write kink? To be honest, at first I did it just because I was curious. I wanted to know if I could write what… Continue
    Destinys Surrender

    Outside the Ballroom: Unusual Historicals

    I was editing something at my day job on the American Revolution recently and discovered it was riddled with little factual errors. They were the sort of mistakes that probably read as facts to most Americans who gleaned their knowledge of our nation’s founding from textbooks in elementary school. When I mentioned this to my boss, I added, “I only know this is inaccurate because I just read a book on the American Revolution.” (I recently read Washington’s Spies by Alexander Rose, on which the AMC show Turn is based. My brother, a Revolutionary War scholar, and I were the only people who watched Turn and it was on against Game of Thrones so you’re forgiven for not knowing about it. The book is fantastic, though; very engagingly written.)  Anyway, my boss made a face… Continue
    strikeback

    My Top Five Summer TV Hotties

    I’m old enough at forty-five years old to remember when my little sister was my TV remote control (“Hey. I bet you can’t go change the channel really fast.” Sucker) and we had three network channels and PBS.  I also remember when the summer was the absolute lull in TV viewing, with only re-runs and old movies playing every night since the big shows were on hiatus. But now – thanks to the genius humans who created cable TV, DVR’s and DVD’s – I don’t have to drool over the TV Guide and wish for fall to arrive. I have sexy new heroes to bring those summer nights to the boiling point while I wait for my beloved Winchester brothers (Supernatural) to return to me. This is my short-list of the shows… Continue
    Hillbilly

    Talking Blacktop Cowboys with Lorelei James

    What inspired you to write the Blacktop Cowboys series and this particular installment? LJ: I loved the idea of taking the bodyguard trope and flipping it on its head—having a tough woman with a military background protecting a male celebrity.  Obviously a tough Wyoming cowboy has an issue with that, so it was really fun with the back and forth between them as they learned to rely on and trust each other. What is your favorite Devin and Liberty “moment”? LJ: I only get to pick one? Their first kiss and first intimate encounter have to win out. But I also love the small moments when they bolster each other when they’re alone on the tour bus. Who is your rock star crush? LJ: In country music? I’m a huge Dierks Bentley fan, and… Continue
    Between the Sheets_O'Keefe

    BETWEEN THE SHEETS Playlist

    The next book in Molly O’Keefe’s Boys of Bishop setting, BETWEEN THE SHEETS is the tale of Ty and Shelby, two people, trying to redeem themselves from their pasts to find a new life, together. This is the playlist for Ty, my hero in BETWEEN THE SHEETS. Ty’s got a lot on his plate dealing with his son and a new life, but he is at heart – utterly a good guy. And his love affair with Shelby baffles him in so many ways, but when he falls, he falls hard. And this playlist is sort of the progression of his feelings.   Songs for Ty 1.  Do I Wanna Know? -The Arctic Monkeys After they get over their initial animosity towards each other, he’s impossibly intrigued by her, but she does not give him… Continue
    OnlywithYou

    The Writer’s Muse Meets Carrie Bradshaw

    I’ve never really considered myself a shoe girl. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not above ogling a darling pair of Jimmy Choo peep-toes while walking through Nordstrom. But when it comes to splurging … Give me a Kate Spade handbag any day. Preferably one that’s big enough to fit my 11-inch MacBook Air so I can look oh-so-glam when I need to write “on the road.” Which is why I was surprised to find a startling discovery about my newest romance series, The Best Mistake: both books open with a scene about shoes. In Only With You, a decision over shoes is literally the catalyst for the story (hint: hooker boots are involved!) Which totally wouldn’t be a big deal, except I just recently finished up line-edits for the sequel, Made Continue
    Scott_BacktoYou

    Real-Life Military Inspiration

    It’s been a long time since my first novel Because of You published. I know a lot of times, the thing that inspired that first book changes and morphs as the writer grows but it’s funny, that thing hasn’t really changed for me. I started writing back in 2007. My husband was deployed on his second tour for what was going to turn into an eighteen-month separation for us. I was at Fort Benning in Officer Candidate School and I started glomming onto Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooter series. I remember thinking someone should write about regular soldiers and their families and everything that’s changing with the wars. Well duh, why couldn’t I write those stories. It’s funny because you get the idea of hey, I could write this book and then you sit down to write… Continue