Love is a powerful and curious thing, and it is […]
- Denny & Izzie (Grey’s Anatomy) because even though it was doomed, their love was strong and heartbreakingly beautiful.
Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds (The Proposal) because they’re totally unsuitable for each other and yet end up falling in love.
Claire and Jamie (Outlander). They’re the definition of star-crossed lovers and yet continue to defy the odds. What more can I say?
Carrie and Mr. Big (Sex In The City). Because…Mr. Big!
Zara Cox has been writing since she was thirteen years old, but it wasn’t until seven years ago that she decided to share her love of writing sexy, gritty stories with anyone besides her close family (the over 18s anyway!). Her best-selling Indigo Lounge Series is Zara’s first step in her erotic romance-writing journey. In 2017, she hopes to bring her readers even more sizzling-hot stories featuring panty-melting alpha heroes and the women who rock their world. Visit her on Twitter, Facebook, or her website.
For every author, they have a list of individuals they don’t want reading their book. Their reasons will vary, but their list exists. If you don’t believe me, ask an author. Here is my list of the top five individuals I don’t want reading my books.
The Top 5 People Who Should Not Read The Attraction of Adeline
- My 80-year-old mother-in-law. Bless her heart. She insists on buying all of my books and reading all of my books even though I know the shock from each sex scene she has read is why she no longer has to go to her beautician to get her hair permed. It’s gone from naturally straight to down-right curly.
I live in New Zealand where us lucky folk can have sun, surf and snow within the day. I’m not a huge snow person -it’s pretty and all but it’s cold! I love the beach – why be cold when you can be hot! Living on an island, the coast is never very far away, and so I’ve grown up in and around the ocean (and my boys are following in my footsteps). I’ve also done a whole heap of traveling, so when I was asked to write a destination romantic comedy, one of the fun parts was choosing where to set it. I settled on Thailand for Her Scottish Mistake, because it’s a veritable melting pot of sights, sounds and tastes. Temples, wildlife, beaches, island, and ah-mazing food, you can get it all there, along with a hefty dose of sunshine.
It got me thinking what would the ABC’s of my holiday planning be. You know, A for Amazing sunsets, B for beaches and C for cocktails. I’m running a poll on my street team at the moment, and while there are definitely a few in my sunshine cocktail camp, there are plenty in the more urban end of the scale. A for Absinth, B for Bars and C for Christian Louboutins? I’d love to know what you think.
Read an excerpt from Her Scottish Mistake below.
She put a finger over his lips. “Putting words to it will break the spell. It’s a golden thing right now. Try to name it and it will run away.”
And in my books, why settle for just one? I prefer they work together on a team of hunky, competence.
Here’s a scene from my newest novel, WASP, as Gage Hamilton, an elite Marine Ranger, is meeting some of his future teammates on Panther Force after they just saved Zoe from the bad guys:
Gage growled. He was eye to eye with the man who tried to shoot his way into the house to get to Zoe. Gage was palpably seething with violence, and she thought he was having a hard time stoppering it.
Titus patted him on the shoulder. “Stand down, Marine. Get Zoe into the car.”
Margot McCleery could have lived her whole life without seeing Bentley Wellington again—her ex-best friend and the poster boy for Hot, Rich Man-Whores everywhere. But Margot’s whiskey-augmented grandmother “buys” Bentley at a charity bachelor auction, and now suddenly he’s at her door. Impossibly charming. Impossibly sexy. And still a complete and utter jackass.
Bentley’s just been coerced by his grandfather to spend the next thirty days charming and romancing the reclusive red-haired beauty who hates him. The woman he abandoned when she needed him the most. Bentley knows just as much about romance as he knows about love—nothing. But the more time he spends with Margot, the more he realizes that “just friends” will never be enough. Now all he has to do is convince her to trust him with her heart . . .
Read an exclusive excerpt below!
“I’m writing a kissing scene!” she blurted, mentally kicking herself for screaming it in his face. “And the guy’s a complete jackass. Since my only experience with jackasses is you…” Her voice was shaky, just like her body. Could he tell how much she wanted him? How much she hated that her response was this—raw. “I-I figured you were the only one who could show me what it’s like.” Good one, Margot. Do you really have to sound so…desperate?
“What what’s like?”
“A kiss. From a jackass.”
“Got the jackass part.” He treaded water and then grabbed her by the arm and pulled her deeper into the pool until they were on the opposite end, his body pressed against hers. At least his eyes were still locked on her face. “And you’ve never been kissed?”
It’s funny because I’ve come to learn that readers really want a big HEA, not just a happily ever after for now, which is what I’ve done in some of my books—I like to leave that door open a little bit, sometimes. But for my new book, Never Be Tamed, it wraps up in a big, red swoon-y bow, I promise!
Some of my favorite Happily Ever Afters include:
Harry Potter—Yeah, I know this is controversial but I like Harry and Ginny together.Twilight—doesn’t get much better than this.
I’ve Been A Romance Reader Since I was THREE! (A true story.)
I’m a romance author. Which means, I’m a romance reader. Since I was about three years old. Too young, you say? I beg to differ. I distinctly remember sitting on my mother’s lap as she read stories to me, stories that made me believe in Happily-Ever-After and the power of true love to conquer evil.
Three. Years. Old. I read other things later. High Fantasy with dragons and knights and sorcerers. Thrillers, with spies and detectives and murder. I read how-to’s and self-help and biographies of famous people I admired. I read history books and literary fiction because I had to. I read a few classics just to see what all the fuss was about – and must admit I hated most of them. I read Mark Twain and Shakespeare (who I actually rather enjoy, once I get used to the way his words work.) But nothing held my attention, not for long. Nothing but romance.
I keep coming back. Different genres. Different time periods. Sweet stories. Sexy stories. Any kind of story as long as I got my Happily-Ever-After at the end of the journey. Why? Was it because they were the first stories I heard? Did they somehow shape my psyche for the rest of my life?
- A Room With A View– LOVE this movie. It’s set pre-WWI England and getting kissed is serious business. So a stolen kiss is life changing. And the ending… God, I want to go to Florence and have a room with a view with the hero.
- Romancing The Stone– Cheesy 80’s, but the plot is quintessential romance novel. It follows the W plot outline and is perfect to use as a guide to write from.
- Sixteen Candles– Yes, I’m of the age where Jake Ryan was the BOMB. The hair, the plaid shirt, the Porsche. Again, the ending? I was 13 at the time and I dreamed of a guy doing that for me for my 16th birthday. I still am!!
- Dirty Dancing– Again, I’m showing my age, but in high school, this was hot stuff. I related to Baby because I couldn’t dance to save my life (I still can’t), but she won Patrick Swayze. Oh yeah.
I’m seeing my trend is all set in the 80’s. Yikes! But they’re classics and as I watched them as a teenager, set my path toward romance. What are your favorite romance movies?
Vanessa Vale is the USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books, sexy romance novels, including her popular Bridgewater historical romance series and hot contemporary romances featuring unapologetic bad boys who don’t just fall in love, they fall hard. When she’s not writing, Vanessa savors the insanity of raising two boys, is figuring out how many meals she can make with a pressure cooker, and teaches a pretty mean karate class. While she’s not as skilled at social media as her kids, she loves to interact with readers.
So, like me, you’re a romance fan? It’s my one undeniable weakness. Show me a sappy movie, a heart-melting book or let me hear an emotional song about love and I’m a goner. Sold. Sign me UP.
Which means, over the last…ummm…few years, I’ve read, watched, seen and heard a LOT of stories about love, falling in love, losing love, finding love, making love. Love is in the air, isn’t it? Isn’t it always?
Now, I combine my two favorite loves, science fiction and romance, in the Interstellar Brides series. In Mating Fever, our sassy, smart, little-bit-crazy heroine gets a bit more than she bargained for when her assigned mate is a Beast suffering from Mating Fever. Beauty and the Beast? Yep, you guessed it, one of my favorites.
But make Beast a hot, protective, sexy-as-hell alpha male in outer space? Yes. I DID do that. Sorry. (Not Sorry!)
But I digress. Top 5 BEST HEA’s ever? Here’s my personal list. What’s on yours?
1 – Beauty and the Beast (Yes, I saw the new movie. LOVED it.)
2 – Blay and Qhuinn in Lover At Last by JR Ward – I cried for an hour… (*warning – it’s a gay vampire romance, and one of the best love stories I’ve ever read…especially if you know their history in the previous books. Explicit scenes – including a M/M/M/M/F scene may be a bit much for some readers.)
I know! I know! Paranormal romance isn’t all about reality, but when you’re creating a paranormal world—you think of weird things. You have…concerns.
The first quandary I have when I start a new world is how I will deal with their clothes. Seriously. That’s my very first detail to work out. Do the clothes shift with them? Do they bust out of their clothing and go through a wardrobe of clothes? If they do destroy the clothing they have on, will they wind up somewhere naked? It takes something out of the sexy momentum when your tux-wearing hero shifter ends up hiding in bushes at a party after he wolfed out. And, sure, maybe they’ll undress some of the time, but in an emergency—you’ve hit the climax—and clothing is a casualty because all hell has broken loose. But, that’s not the only thing jiggling loose, if you know what I mean. The awkward could be high. Sure, some heroes and heroines could pull it off with panache, but they’d still be starkers.
Then, there’s the shift itself. No matter how many times I write shifters, I always think, “How would it really work?” There’s the Hollywood shift where the hair grows in slow-mo as the bones twist and enlarge. There are stages as one or the other form recedes. Human to hairy human and then to upright human-wolf followed by some mixture of wolf and human. How far does it go? To full creature? Full-wolf or bear or whatever? Would it be loud or quiet? Fast or slow? I vary it up in different worlds, but I figure I might as well embrace the magic and assume the definition of paranormal invites interpretation of what’s possible. I get a little contrary with my inner voice and yell, “Don’t blind me with your science!”