Posts in the Women's Fiction genre

Q&A

Q&A: Susan Mallery of DAUGHTERS OF THE BRIDE

Daughters of the Bride Susan Mallery

We get to pick the brain of a Women’s Fiction legend and author of some of our favorite books to curl up with after a hard day, Susan Mallery! Check out our Q&A (and, by the way, we have never agreed more wholeheartedly to anything than her stance on jeans) for some really fun answers! Susan’s latest book, Daughters of the Bride, is out right now!


 FAVORITE MOVIES:

 

What are your five favorite movies with romance or romantic elements?

 

I’m going to change this question to “five of your favorites,” because I don’t really have five specific favorites. These are a few of the movies I’ve watched recently that made my heart sigh.

 

  • Love, Actually
  • Terminator (not kidding)
  • 16 Candles
  • Crazy, Stupid Love
  • Juno

 

Describe your favorite scene from each one (you can include a Youtube clip if you want as well).

 

Love, Actually

My husband and I watch Love, Actually every year during the Christmas season, and it gets me every time. Like with my latest book, Daughters of the Bride, it has several intertwining storylines that all come together to one beautiful, happy ending.

One scene that immediately springs to mind is when Colin Firth, a writer, sees his Portuguese housekeeper in a romantic light for the first time. They don’t speak the same language, but in this scene, they have a conversation that transcends the language barrier. He’s writing outside, the old-fashioned way, with a typewriter and a stack of pages, and when she brings him coffee, half of his pages blow into the lake. (A reminder to every writer: back up, back up, back up!) They both jump into the water, and what ensues is one of the funniest, most touching scenes of the movie.

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Essential Beginnings Kennedy Layne
Steals & Deals

Deal Alert: Leslie Wells, Nicola Italia, and Michaela Greene

We are so close to Friday we can taste it, so how about a celebratory Deal Alert? Don’t miss these amazing titles from Leslie Wells, Nicola Italia, and Michaela Greene!


Come Dancing by Leslie Wells

It’s 1981. Albums play on turntables, people read print books, and no one has to stop what they’re doing to answer a cell phone. Twenty-four-year-old Julia Nash has recently arrived in enticing but edgy Manhattan, where rent is cheap and being young and gifted is enough to get ahead. Witty, hard-working and intelligent, Julia strives at her job as a publisher’s assistant. As she learns to navigate the big city, she is also determined to make her mark. She dreams of being an editor with her own stable of authors—but it is hard to get promoted in the competitive book biz. Her greatest fear is not making it and having to return, tail between her legs, to her small hometown where her mother is waiting to say “I told you so”.

Julia likes to blow off steam by going dancing downtown with her best friend, Vicky. One night, a renowned and dissipated British guitarist invites them into his VIP section. Despite an entourage of models and groupies, Jack seems to pursue Julia—but she isn’t interested in a one-night-stand with an arrogant rock star. Intrigued by her resistance, Jack persists, and a tentative friendship forms based on their mutual love of the blues. When the two finally do come together, the built-up heat is sizzling.

Jack exposes Julia to the trappings of fame and fortune, from mind-bending recording sessions to mind-wasting backstage parties; from gritty SoHo punk-rock clubs, to luxurious hotel rooms barraged by screaming fans. Yet Julia is afraid to lose her heart to someone with such a decadent past. As she fends off her grabby boss and tries to move up the corporate ladder, Julia’s tempestuous relationship with Jack takes her to heights she’s never known—and plunges her into depths she’s never dreamed of.

Sensual and captivating, Come Dancing recalls the vibrant fashion and music milieu in a time of leather skirts, rubber bracelets, punk Mohawks, and funky street earrings. With a fascinating inside look at publishing, this entertaining story of a bookish young woman’s adventures with a rock superstar is hilarious, moving, and toe-curlingly steamy.


The Sheik's Son Nicola Italia
The Sheik’s Son by Nicola Italia

Mysterious Sebastian Fairfax lives a life of ease as secretary to the British Ambassador in France. Living in Paris before the revolution, the handsome foreigner cuts a dashing figure and is respected by men, admired by women.

One evening, he becomes intrigued with an intelligent young woman named Sophie Gauvreau, whom he meets at a celebrated salonist’s home. Though the auburn-haired beauty attracts his attention, she is not what she seems. Educated and privileged Sophie has secretly started writing revolutionary pamphlets under a pseudonym as France teeters on the brink of disaster.

When Sebastian discovers her true identity, he tries to warn Sophie of the danger she has embarked on, as an Inspector has been dispatched to discover the writer’s true identity. Sebastian agrees to marry the reckless beauty to keep her safe from harm.

Though Sebastian desires the redhead in his bed, the saucy Sophie accepts his help but places one condition on their marriage…it will be one of convenience.

As the two intelligent and strong willed people come to terms with their feelings for each other, France slides into a revolution. As the firstborn son of a great Arabian Sheik, Sebastian will do what he must to keep his wife safe and in his arms.


Love For Scale by Michaela Greene
Love For Scale by Michaela Greene

Twenty-seven-year-old Rachel Stern is in a rut. Despite her mother’s best efforts, she is still single. At two-hundred and forty-two pounds, she still lives at home, the victim of a constantly-cooking Jewish mother whose force-feeding techniques have become legendary.

As if that isn’t bad enough, Rachel’s Friday and Saturday evenings are spent with her parents and her Saturday mornings consist of wedding gown shopping with her also single best friend. She is clearly going nowhere. But at least she’s not alone. Until her best friend snags a boyfriend.

Finally, unable to stand herself and her weight problem anymore, Rachel signs up for Weight Watchers.

Finnegan Schwartz, a young man who has already been successful at the Weight Watchers program, having lost a hundred pounds, champions Rachel and becomes her impromptu weight loss coach and newest friend. Rachel soon learns there’s so much more to this funny and shy guy who she’d overlooked before.

Amid her mother’s overzealous attempts to fix her up, bizarre family dinners and crises that threaten to unravel the entire Stern family, will Rachel be able to find something she’s never thought was hers for the taking: self-acceptance?

Portland ME Freya Barker sale July
Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: Nacho Figueras Presents HIGH SEASON by Jessica Whitman

High Season by Jessica Whitman

Confession: We’re a little bit like an overbearing mom that taste tests all your food when you’re at a restaurant, but with books. And trust us, this one? This is so good! We’ve got a taste of Nacho Figueras Presents: High Season by Jessica Whitman that you’ll want entirely for yourself! And lucky you, it’s out today!


Alejandro glanced across the room at the sound of his brother laughing and tried to see whoever he was talking to. He got a glimpse of a pretty face, animated by conversation, before Rory moved to loom over her and obscure the view.

He realized his audience were waiting for a reaction and smiled and nodded at the ring of people around him, trying to concentrate on the story that the socialite in the tight turquoise dress was telling and hoping he was hiding how claustrophobic he felt.

He hated these press events. Every which way he turned, someone waited to talk to him, touch him, demanding his attention. He knew it was part of the job – and he tried his best to satisfy – but the longer he stood, grinning like a fool and saying the same polite and predictable things over and over, the more horrifically restless he became.  The mandatory mingling was bad enough when his team had won; but forced jollity after a loss like today’s added serious insult to injury.

Sebastian laughed even louder, and Alejandro turned his head again. He saw Sebastian break away to get a refill on his drink.  Fantastic – just what he needed – Sebastian on the rampage.

Alejandro took that as his cue, quickly excusing himself before he was caught up in another round of unbearably inane conversation.

He wound his way through the crowd, past women sporting spray-on dresses and customer service smiles and sought out his teammates.

He strode over toward his brother, laid one hand on his shoulder, and took the champagne from his hand. He spoke to him in quick, low Spanish. “Che, hermano, I thought we agreed not to drink during the season?”

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Sisters in Love Melissa Foster
Steals & Deals

Deal Alert: Jennifer Coburn, Susan Ee, and Collette Cameron

Having a hard time surviving hump day? Here’s a goodie bag of survival treats just for you! We’ve brought you titles you’ll love from Jennifer Coburn, Susan Ee, and Collette Cameron!


Reinventing Mona by Jennifer Coburn
Reinventing Mona by Jennifer Coburn

What’s new? Me, for starters… It all began when my job offered me a buyout package. That’s when the realization hit: I’m young, I’m rich (thanks to a hefty inheritance), and I’m boring. Things are gonna change-starting now… Building a better man trap… First things first: Exercise. Carrot juice. Straight hair. Whiter teeth. Clothes that fit. But wait-there’s more. I’m finally ready to take a chance on love with the perfect guy. He’s handsome. He’s smart. He’s reliable. He’s my CPA. Problem is, I’m clueless about winning him over. It’s time to call in an expert. It’s time to call in The Dog. Down, boy. Mike “The Dog” Dougherty is a man’s man. A guy’s guy. Okay, he’s a chauvinist pig, and his sty is “The Dog House,” a testosterone-charged column in Maximum for Him magazine. On one hand, I abhor all he stands for. On the other hand, who better to coach me? So here I am. Learning the complex unspoken language of the American male (Talk, bad. Sex, good.); trying exciting new things (Stripping lessons are empowering. Really.); falling for Mike. Uh oh. But the Mike I’m getting to know is different from The Dog. And the Mona I’m becoming isn’t quite who I expected, either. This whole makeover scheme is getting crazier by the minute. But “crazy” beats “boring”…right?


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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Guest Post

Guest Post: “The Allure of the Billionaire” by Jeanette Grey

Eight Ways To Ecstasy Jeanette Grey

For as long as people have been writing romances, the obscenely wealthy hero has been a staple. Christian Grey may have been the most recent tycoon to take the world by storm, but he’s not the only one, and he’s certainly not the last. Put him in modern times, and Mr. Darcy himself is a gruff billionaire who needs a plucky, resourceful heroine to make his boring rich guy existence come to life.

So what makes the billionaire romance so enduringly popular?

It’s an appealing fantasy for sure. Who wouldn’t love to have a wealthy mogul drop into their life and fall madly in love with them? This kind of hero can offer more than just a forever love. He offers a true escape from all the worst parts of daily life. Ready to ditch that nine to five or kiss your smelly roommates—or worse, your father’s house—goodbye? Money helps. Cinderella may not have gone looking for a prince, but when he whisked her away from a life of misery, it couldn’t have hurt that he replaced it with gorgeous gowns and a castle.

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Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: MUST LOVE COWBOYS by Cheryl Brooks

Must Love Cowboys Cheryl Brooks

We’re thrilled to bring you this little taste of Must Love Cowboys by Cheryl Brooks! This modern western Romance is out April 5th, 2016!


 

“Sure glad you talked us into getting that AED for the bunkhouse,” Bull said to Wyatt. Only then did I realize the only part of Bull that was adequately covered was his upper lip.

Too late, I glanced away.

What has been seen cannot be unseen.

“Calvin’s the reason I wanted it,” Wyatt said. “I knew we’d have to use it on him someday.”

“You okay?” Dean’s voice in my ear nearly had me jumping out of my skin.

“Yeah. I heard him…tapping on the wall, moaning.”

“Good thing you were here,” Dean said. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t have found him until morning.”

Shivering, I turned in his embrace, making no protest as he held me against his bare chest, my arms folded over my breasts. Considering how scantily clad the rest of the men were, I was afraid to look down.

Wyatt sat back on his heels and pulled his shirt up to wipe the sweat from his face. “He’s not out of the woods yet, and we’re a long damn way from a hospital.” He glanced at Sonny. “Better check his medicine cabinet and see what he’s on.”

“If he’s anything like my grandfather,” I said, “he has plenty of meds he doesn’t take.”

Wyatt nodded. “Wouldn’t surprise me a bit. He’s a stubborn old cuss.”

Sonny returned a few moments later, an assortment of pill bottles stashed in a sling made from the front of his T-shirt. “He’s got lots of them.”

Wyatt examined the bottles, one by one. “Judging from the dates on these, he hasn’t taken them in months.”

There it was again—that fatalistic I’m already dead, so why bother attitude. Calvin obviously subscribed to it, but that didn’t mean the rest of us had to like it. I could sense Wyatt’s frustration—the expression in his eyes, the tautness of his stance. Oh, yes. I knew that feeling quite well. The utter futility of trying to save someone who didn’t want to be saved.

Nevertheless, they had saved Calvin—at least for the moment. When he regained consciousness, he might thank them or he might hate them for interfering. Grandpa had threatened to come back and haunt us if we ever resuscitated him. I wondered if Calvin had voiced his opposition to having an AED in the building. Obviously it was there to be used on anyone who might need it. Bull and Joe both appeared to be in their forties, and though they seemed healthy enough, Bull was also a smoker, and it wouldn’t be the first time a man their age had heart trouble. Calvin, however, was still the most likely recipient.

One glance at Wyatt proved he was itching to do more. Although firefighters had first responder training, Wyatt didn’t seem satisfied even with that skill level. I could see the need in his eyes—even the way he breathed—he wanted to start an IV, whip out a scalpel, and perform open heart surgery right there on the bunkhouse floor.

And this man was a cowboy?

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “Love is a Funny Thing” by Stacy Wise

Beyond The Stars Stacy Wise

Love is a funny thing. Everyone wants it. Sometime we chase it, but it can be elusive, like a will-o’-the-wisp flitting through the fog.

And then when we’re busy and preoccupied and a little frazzled, it can strike. I certainly wasn’t expecting to fall in love again. I’m married with four children for God’s sake.

But a forty-pound ball of fur named Bentley came bounding into my life and I fell hard.

PUPPY

 

 

Friends of ours had asked if we would puppy sit for a week or so—just until they could get him to his new home. They had moved to a tiny apartment and weren’t able to keep him.

Of course we’ll do it, I said. As long as he’s potty trained.

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Steals & Deals

Deal Alert: Savannah Page, Meg Donohue, Candace Knoebel and Sonya Loveday

Our second Deal Alert of the day features great titles by Savannah Page, Meg DonohueCandace Knoebel and Sonya Loveday!


A Sister's Place Savannah Page
A Sister’s Place by Savannah Page

Sisters Gracie and Juliette Bennett, once the best of friends, have grown apart over the years, each following her own life’s path. But with the passing of their beloved grandmother Mimi their paths intertwine in the most unexpected and peculiar way.

Gracie and Juliette are set to inherit Mimi’s house—the charming Santa Barbara Craftsman, a family heirloom three generations old. But there’s a catch. In order to inherit their home away from home the sisters must live at 1402 Laguna Lane for one year…together.

Now under one roof, Gracie and Juliette have a chance to reexamine their relationship and confront their pasts. Over the course of the trying year ahead they will learn that Mimi’s clever plan is about more than preserving a piece of family history.

But will they overcome their differences, perhaps even become the kinds of friends only sisters can be? Loyalties will be tested and secrets revealed. And in their darkest hours Gracie and Juliette will have to decide if a sister’s love is what they need to get through the year. If a unique friendship between sisters is what they’ve needed all along.


All The Summer Girls by Meg Donohue

In Philadelphia, good girl Kate is dumped by her fiancé the day she learns she is pregnant with his child. In New York City, beautiful stay-at-home mom Vanessa finds herself obsessively searching the Internet for news of an old flame. And in San Francisco, Dani, an aspiring writer who can’t seem to put down a book—or a cocktail—long enough to open her laptop, has just been fired . . . again.

In an effort to regroup, Kate, Vanessa, and Dani retreat to the New Jersey beach town where they once spent their summers. Emboldened by the seductive cadences of the shore, the women begin to realize just how much their lives, and friendships, have been shaped by the choices they made one fateful night on the beach eight years earlier—and the secrets that now threaten to surface.


love-always-by-candace-knoebel-and-sonya-loveday
Love Always by Candace Knoebel and Sonya Loveday

I’ve met boys like him before. Rich. Bored. Always wearing a silver-spooned smile. But there is something different about him that piques my curiosity. The way he looks at me, like he is staring through the bars of a gilded cage he’s never left. Like he is one breath away from suffocating beneath a mound of responsibilities. He is different from the rest because he doesn’t wear his money… his money wears him. I just don’t think he knows it yet.
She’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. She’s everything I’ve never been able to be. Carefree. Whimsical. A dreamer. Her laugh is infectious. She is irresistible. I can’t help but be drawn to her with an intensity that steals my breath and muddles my senses. I want to know her, need to know her, but how can I allow myself that liberty when I don’t have the freedom to make my own choices?
Phillip and Maggie think they have it all. Even though they come from opposite backgrounds, they each have bright futures paved out, with no distractions holding them back.
Until the fateful day they meet each other.
After a brief, adventurous time together in The Hamptons, Maggie and Phillip find themselves saying goodbye just as the spark of love flashes intensely between them. Can their budding connection be enough to survive the pulling tides of change, or will they drift apart before they even have a chance to explore what could have been?

 

 

 

Guest Post

Guest Post: Sofie Baston’s Fashion Week Survival Kit

Until I'm Yours Kennedy Ryan

We’re pleased to welcome Sofie Baston as our guest fashion editor for February. So fitting since NY Fashion Week is just around the corner. Sofie’s graced runways and covers for the last fifteen years as one of fashion’s “it” girls. She has more than lived up to her moniker “The Goddess” throughout her career. She’s now the brain and eye behind the new lifestyle website Haven. Sofie took a few minutes from her busy schedule to chat with us!

EAR: Sofie, welcome! We’re so used to seeing you in front of the camera, but your latest venture takes you behind the scenes. Tell us about Haven.

Sofie Baston: Thanks for having me! I’m in love with my lifestyle website Haven. It is along the lines of Blake Lively’s Preserve, which I really admired and hated to see shut down last fall. That mission of tying lifestyle to making a difference greatly inspired me. Haven works with artisans to develop site-exclusive products – clothing,  jewelry and a few other specialized items. A significant percentage of all proceeds goes to my hand-picked charitable partners.

EAR: You’ve been the celebrity ambassador for the Walsh Foundation for many years. Is the foundation one of those partners?

SB: Yes! Certainly. I first tasted the influence celebrities could leverage for good with the Walsh Foundation, and am pleased to count them friends in this new endeavor, too.

EAR:  That’s awesome! Now let’s get to some fun stuff.

SB: Yes, let’s!

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Steals & Deals

Deal Alert: Dorothea Benton Frank, Anna Lefler, and Wendy Guerra

Today’s second Deal Alert offers titles by Dorothea Benton Frank, Anna Lefler, and Wendy Guerra! Grab these deals before it’s too late!


The Last Original Wife: A Novel by Dorothea Benton Frank

Experience the sultry Southern atmosphere of Atlanta and the magic of the Carolina Lowcountry in this funny and poignant tale of one audacious woman’s quest to find the love she deserves, from New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank.

Leslie Anne Greene Carter is The Last Original Wife among her husband Wesley’s wildly successful Atlanta social set. His cronies have all traded in the mothers of their children they promised to love and cherish—’til death did them part—for tanned and toned young Barbie brides.

If losing the social life and close friends she adored wasn’t painful enough, a series of setbacks shake Les’s world and push her to the edge. She’s had enough of playing the good wife to a husband who thinks he’s doing her a favor by keeping her around. She’s not going to waste another minute on people she doesn’t care to know. Now, she’s going to take some time for herself—in the familiar comforts and stunning beauty of Charleston, her beloved hometown. In her brother’s stately historic home, she’s going to reclaim the carefree girl who spent lazy summers sharing steamy kisses with her first love on Sullivans Island. Along Charleston’s live oak- and palmetto-lined cobblestone streets, under the Lowcountry’s dazzling blue sky, Les will indulge herself with icy cocktails, warm laughter, divine temptation and bittersweet memories. Daring to listen to her inner voice, she will realize what she wants . . . and find the life of which she’s always dreamed.

Told in the alternating voices of Les and Wes, The Last Original Wife is classic Dorothea Benton Frank: an intoxicating tale of family, friendship, self-discovery, and love, that is as salty as a Lowcountry breeze and as invigorating as a dip in Carolina waters on a sizzling summer day.

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