his small-town sweetheart

Character Interview: HIS SMALL-TOWN SWEETHEART’s Sam Ward

The hero in my book HIS SMALL-TOWN SWEETHEART is Sam Ward. He was in the previous two books of my Ward Brothers trilogy. In this book, Sam finds his match, but I wondered what it would be like for Sam to have gone on a date prior to his own story. So I went to eHarmony and found a post on 10 First Date Questions You Probably Haven’t Thought Of. Bear with me as this is my first and probably only character interview. (BTW I can’t guarantee much, Sam’s a hard nut to crack.)
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Five Weeks of Fifty: First Impressions of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY

One month from today, the movie we have all been waiting for hits theaters! In anticipation, we will countdown with Five weeks of Fifty, celebrating the phenomenon that is FIFTY SHADES OF GREY with weekly posts about how our love affair with the book began, what we’re most excited about with the movie, thoughts from writers on how it affected their careers, and more.
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What Makes a Great Small Town Romance Novel?

Growing up military, I always envied those people who lived in the same town all of their lives. I craved the continuity of knowing my neighbors and classmates from cradle to grave; or knowing every creak of the stairs and groan of the radiator in our home.
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Creating My Own Happy Endings

One of the many reasons I love romance is that I like happy endings. I always have. I remember, as a ten-year-old, being so upset by a Sweet Valley High book that ended with Elizabeth in a coma that I never picked up another Sweet Valley book again. (Extra funny because I found out many years later that that was just a lead-in to a story where Elizabeth awoke from the coma with Jessica's personality! But my library didn't own the follow-up.) Sometimes I'm so upset by an ending that I have to fix it...
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Two Truths and a Lie (about the hero!)

My newest historical romance, SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS HEIRESS, features a wily heroine pretending to be someone else: a mixed-race hero hunting his cousin’s blackmailer, and—of course!—a happily-ever-after once Joss and Augusta begin to help each other and reveal their true selves. I’m here to tell you a little about Joss Everett, the hero of SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS HEIRESS. But in the spirit of a historical romance full of so many secrets and scandals, I’ll fudge the truth a little. Two of these statements about Joss are true, and one is a lie. See if you can pick it out!
you'resofine

Beach Love

I grew up on the South Carolina coast. Since I was a little girl, I’ve been fascinated by the fact that the beach is both the end of the earth, so to speak, and the beginning of the vast, deep ocean. You look down at your bare toes and see where these two opposites meet—how their liquid-solid boundary is constantly changing, never static. And then you look up and see the horizon, far away, its bare curve uniting earth and sky, suggesting endless possibilities for those who dream. It’s exciting. You feel the pull and the push inside you, the clamoring of your spirit to move, to grow…. Yet when you pull back from this scene—leave in your car and come back next time, or imagine it from a soaring gull’s viewpoint—the place where sea… Continue
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What Makes an Irresistible Leading Man

They say you form your personality, likes and dislikes, and the rules you live by early in life. I think that’s true—even for what appeals when it comes to heroes.
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The Romance of Magical Realism

I find magical realism to be the most romantic of all the genres. The idea that there is magic hidden in the mundane, that there are little miracles everywhere in life, is one that seduced me long ago. I love romance. I love fairy tales. I love stories that end in happily ever after. And I also believe that the greatest and grandest love affair we can have is with life itself. As a little girl I investigated every wardrobe looking for Narnia. I hoped to find a rabbit hole that led to Wonderland. I searched my garden for fairies and goblins and gnomes. Everything in life seemed magical and full of infinite possibilities. Children believe that everything is possible. Sadly, adults too often believe that nothing is possible. For me, magical stories remind us… Continue
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True Romance “At Random”

"Thinking about writing for Romance at Random, I couldn’t help but think how random romance really is. I mean, did you end up with the person you thought you would? I most certainly didn’t."
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Texas Inspiration

Inspiration comes to writers in many forms. In the case of FOSTER JUSTICE, I returned to Texas (I was born in Austin) recently after living in the Los Angeles area for twelve years...
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Extra scene: SINFULLY EVER AFTER by Jayne Fresina

We’re pleased to share an extra scene from Jayne Fresina’s new release, Sinfully Ever After, the second novel in her Book Club Belles Society series. The following is an exclusive peek into a meeting of the Book Club Belles that does not appear in the book.
llove and reckoning

Love Among the Ruins

Gina Danna explores why Ancient Rome is the perfect setting for a sexy story.
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Indie Book Stores: Showing Some Love

Recently, I was invited to do a signing at Main Street Books in historic downtown St. Charles, Missouri. Since independent book stores are so important to authors and the future of books, I took some time to chat with the owner, Emily Hall about Main Street Books and book selling and the romance novels she is most looking forward to reading.
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Why I Write in the Medieval Era

People often ask me why I write and why in the medieval era. Before I was a writer, I was an avid reader. As a teenager, I remember reading two books a day, and becoming totally engrossed in each story. For me the stories offered an escape to where the good guys lost and life had happy endings.
triumphandtreasure

Why My Ladies Pack Guns and Wield Blades

I didn’t intend for all of my heroines to tote guns or knives, be trained in fencing, or be proficient at archery. Yet most of them do have the ability to use at least one weapon. Someone asked me recently if it’s because I own a couple of pistols myself, and as the daughter of a retired police officer and the wife of a hunter, I’m familiar and comfortable around guns. No, that wasn’t it at all.
holdingholly

Everything I Know About Writing

"After wanting to write a book my entire life, I finally finished my first novel with NaNoWriMo. I started another book, BLITZING EMILY, days afterward. It took me seven years to see my work in print. Here’s a few tips from my journey; hopefully, they’ll help you as well..."
love me tender

Love in Mind, Body, and Spirit

"For me, a romance novel is about challenge. It’s about meeting someone who, on the one hand, you’re powerfully attracted to, yet on the other hand brings significant challenges to your life. It’s never easy for the heroine and hero of a romance novel because the story is about character growth."
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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."
her winning formula

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?
Alanna

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
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