Essential Beginnings Kennedy Layne
Guest Post, Uncategorized

Why Humor and Suspense Are Perfect Together

Anyone who knows me knows that my favorite thing to do is laugh. I’m much more apt to grab a comedy for movie night or if I want to curl up and read. Life is too damn short to be unhappy.  I need the outlet.

Because of my viewing/reading choices, it bleeds over into my writing. Even though I write romantic suspense, I add as much humor into my novels as I possibly can.  And then I crank it up another notch.  

I tossed a bunch of humor into my newest release, IN WALKED TROUBLE. The plot tackles a serious topic: drugs and gangs in schools, but I think I’ve managed to lighten the tone a bunch with flashes of comedy throughout.

Suspense and humor go really well together. Humor is the best way to break up the action and show the readers a glimpse of who the character really is. When your life is on the line and the proverbial shit hits the fan, how are you going to react? Well, the characters below didn’t wet their pants like I might have done if faced with their same situation. Instead, they handled it with grace and a ton of humor.

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Portland ME Freya Barker sale July

How to Seduce a Stubborn Man by Anita DeVito

Strong, hot men are a mainstay of my romantic suspense novels and these guys have the smarts to keep up with their bodies. After all, you can’t unravel a mystery, bob-and-weave through suspense, and escape with the grace of a Cirque du Soleil performer without a few brain cells firing at the same time. There’s another thing my guys have in common—they are stubborn. They are dedicated to their missions, their careers or their lifestyles. While there is plenty of room for sex, not so much for love. This creates a few problems for their partners. My ladies have to use some creativity to get their men to the great happily-ever-after. Here’s a little advice from my leading ladies on how to seduce a stubborn man. ~ADV


Peach Morales (Lost in Deception). Seducing a stubborn man isn’t hard but it does require technique. I found fishing works 8 out of 10 times. First, you need to know your man enough to pick the right bait. For mine, the classic little black dress and 3” heels is a sure thing. Next, dangle the bait just out of reach and every time he lunges forward, you pull it away. Not literally (where’s the fun in that), but metaphorically. Use what you have to keep him on the edge between hungry and aroused. Now a tame man will quickly give up but a stubborn man will keep coming and coming and (if you are really lucky) coming.


Carolina Walker (Lost in Shadows). Hey y’all. I don’t have much experience with men in general but my man definitely qualifies as stubborn. He had this great big hole in his heart and didn’t even know it. Stubborn men really do need to be handled with kid gloves. Oh, they think they’re all rough and tough but that’s nothing but a façade. Find the man beneath that thick skin and love him for who he is. The rest will fall into place. Good luck.

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Sisters in Love Melissa Foster
Exclusive Excerpt

The Billionaire’s Secret Kiss | Exclusive Excerpt

He walked away from me once. I won’t give him the chance to do it again.


I’m finally getting my life back on track…and then he shows up.
Noah Endicott.
The only man I’ve ever loved. The man who broke my heart.
He says he’s back for me, but I don’t believe him. I can’t.
Noah is all about business. He’s here to make a deal with my boss, and I’m just convenient. Again.
This time, I’m going to protect my body, even if I can’t protect my heart. 


Ella doesn’t trust me. I get it. I do.
The first time around, I f*cked it all up.
I lost her, and I’ve missed her every day since.
Now I’m back, and I’m not walking away.
Ella thinks I’m only in town on business. She’s wrong.
I’m here for her, and I’m not leaving until she’s mine. 

Check out the exclusive excerpt below!

I was late. I’m never late.

Twenty minutes to get to campus. I had a two o’clock appointment with my thesis advisor. Oliver was trying to see if he could get me put back on our project even though I wasn’t currently enrolled in the Master’s program.

It was a long shot, and I didn’t want to blow it bybeing late.

I hated to interrupt a meeting, but I’d told my bosses I needed a few hours off this afternoon, and I had to hand over my charge before I left. Cradling baby Rosie against my shoulder, I nudged the door to the office open with my hip, saying, “I’m so sorry to interrupt, but it’s one forty and—”

I looked up, and my breath froze in my lungs.

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Exclusive Excerpt

A SCANDALOUS excerpt | Kimberly Bell

A horse race in trousers on Rotten Row. Visiting a gaming hall in a dress that would make her mother faint. Sneaking an invitation to a masquerade ball attended by only the wickedest, most debauched members of society…

None of these things are scaring off bookish but strong-willed Amelia Bishop’s stuffy, egotistical fiancé.

The only thing left is to entice childhood friend Nicholas Wakefield into a truly engagement-ending scandal. The Wakefields are the height of propriety, and Nicholas’s parents have made it clear a wife from the neighboring Bishop family would be unacceptable…

But Nicholas would give up his family and his fortune if Amelia would ever see him as more than just a childhood friend. He’ll go along with her scheme, even if it means ruining them both, because he’s got a plan that will change her mind about him being merely the boy next door.

Check out the exclusive excerpt below! 

It was late afternoon when Nicholas left the study and he was exhausted. There was only one person who would understand all of the feelings he couldn’t quite find words for. He promised himself he was only going to talk to his friend. He wouldn’t do something foolish, like try to kiss her again. Not that Amelia would notice. She had a remarkable knack for attributing his romantic gestures to playful teasing.

He crossed his property onto the Bishop estate and let himself in. Today, it was a good thing the Bishop household treated him like a member of the family. The staff were rushing around in a frenzy cleaning and moving things in preparation for the engagement party. If he’d waited for someone to notice and announce him, he might have waited all day.

He found Julia first, in the upstairs library, leaning precariously over the back of an armchair with her head angled to an open window.

“The house is in a flurry. Do you know—”

“Shh!” She nearly tipped herself and the chair over in the process of shushing him. “They’ll hear you.”

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Guest Post


BLUE BALLS: When the universe gets in the way of your “follow through”
Get ready for this laugh-out-loud rom-com by RC Boldt!
Release Date: August 8th




Truth: A painful condition caused by a prolonged state of sexual arousal without release.

Myth: Only affects males.


I’m beyond frustrated with the man who’s left me high and very far from dry. Multiple times. But, somehow, even though I’m not interested in a relationship, Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Handsome keeps me coming back for more—one crazy, sexual debacle after the next.

Come hell or high water, the stars will align, and the release will be out of this world.


I’m captivated with the woman who’s left me sixty-nine shades of blue, and she’s only in this for one thing. The first time, I blew it—and not in the good way—but I’m going to ensure we finally see it through. I need to put an end to this “plague” of sexual calamities and prove to Sarah that we can have more.

It’s time to grab the universe by the balls and show it who’s boss.

Guest Post

Top Slow Burn Romances by Amalie Howard & Angie Morgan

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Sometimes, the best part of a romance story is the tension. The build-up to when the hero and heroine—whether they’re characters in a book or a movie—kiss for that first time gets our hearts melting all over the place. We have so many favorites, but since we can’t name them all, here are each of our top five favorite slow-burning romance stories!










Angie’s Top 5 Slow Burn Romance Stories:

image15.) Emma

Emma Woodhouse and Mr. Knightly have romantic sparks right off the bat, and there’s something about the slightly older and protective friend of the family trope that gets me every single time. That and the witty humor and banter between them as Emma attempts to play matchmaker and solve a romantic mystery. Oh, and I definitely prefer the BBC mini-series too!


image2 (1)4.) The Age of Innocence

I broke from my usual rule of reading the book first and saw the movie first instead. And even though Daniel Day Lewis makes my Top 5 list twice (see my #1 favorite!), it was Edith Wharton’s novel that hooked my heart. I don’t think anyone does the Slow Burn better than her!


image33.) You’ve Got Mail

While I enjoyed Sleepless in Seattle, this was the Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks romantic comedy that I could watch again and again. It could have something to do with the fact that it has a bookstore angle, and the slow building tension between two people who fall in love before they even meet in person—or at least, think they haven’t met before!

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Hilarious Q&A with Allison Gatta!

I’m shockingly bad at talking about myself. Not in a cute way, either—in a won’t-tell-my-boyfriend-of-two-years-how-to-pronounce-my-last-name kind of way (it’s “Gat” as in “Cat” and “ta” as in “ta-ta”).

Anyhow, to make up for my awful stage fright I’ve asked my bestest friend Christine Bell to ask me a couple questions so you can learn about me in a way that doesn’t take five years of slowly learning that I don’t eat mayonnaise and have only been eating your mom’s macaroni salad to be polite.

Ready, Christine? Take it away!


So happy to be here to grill ask Allison some questions today in celebration of her very first Entangled release! rubs hands together Standard disclosure: As always with these types of interviews, 100% honesty is expected, or the interviewee gets struck by lightning. By answering these questions, you also acknowledge that said questions might have side effects including but not limited to:




Leaky bowels


Rib Displacement Syndrome

And other not good things


SO, on that note, let’s get started, Allison!

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Guest Post

Why do we love British accents?

Why do we love British accents?

It’s no secret that a large number of Americans find a British accent pleasant and attractive. Don’t lie to yourself. When you turn on a news network and one of the anchors has some kind of British inflection to their voice, it grabs your attention more than an American accent would. So, why do we find this so appealing?

This was one of the questions whirling around in my mind as I was writing Casual Affair, whose hero—Zane Price—is British. Certainly in romance, we women particularly like a man with an accent. Any accent is great, but many of us find ourselves drawn to a British accent and all of its subdialects. Let’s be honest, it sounds sophisticated to our ears, and we typically find it charming. Subconsciously, we might equate an individual with this accent as intelligent and distinguished.

So, where did this mindset come from? Was it decades’ worth of Hollywood films starring classy and clever British actors that created these perceptions in our minds? Sure, I could bore you with the historical and psychological aspects of how Americans might have come to revere this accent. What events have occurred between America and Britain over time that have led to this attraction.

But I won’t do that.

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Guest Post

Forbidden Romance vs. Enemies to Lovers

If you’re a lover of romance novels, then you’re familiar with all the typical tropes. Friends to Lovers, Mistaken Identity, Love Triangle, Best Friend’s Brother, and so many more. For book one in the BEFORE FOREVER series, I went for Forbidden Romance. I didn’t really start writing the book that way. My original intention was to write a YA novel about an awkward girl who was unlucky in love and found an unlikely bond with her obnoxious stepbrother. But, as so often happens in writing, my course changed.

Writing Forbidden Romance was really intriguing to me. The idea of a stepbrother was completely foreign in my world and so much fun to play with. I had a sister growing up, no brothers, and my parents are still together, so no step anything for me. I was able to envision this hot guy who comes into a girl’s life her seventeenth summer and becomes the first sibling she’s ever had. What a strange thing to adjust to? Then she starts getting these rumblings in her belly when he’s around. And did I mention he’s hot? And his bedroom is right there. And he has a candle on his nightstand.

I just imagined myself at that age and how I was so freaking boy crazy. How I’d lay on my stomach on the plush carpet and listen to music and stare at my Garfield phone hoping it would ring and the caller would be the boy I’d been daydreaming about. Then I imagined if that boy was on the other side of my wall lying in his bed. Pile on the fact that our parents would be at the other end of the hallway and could walk in at any moment. The butterflies were on high alert in my belly the whole time I was writing!

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Guest Post

Top 5 Favorite Real Historical Couples

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William Wallace and Marion Braidfute:

Not much is known about this couple, nor can historical records confirm that Wallace married Marion. Some say they were lovers, some say they married, and some say they had a daughter together, though there is no concrete evidence. But that is why the idea of this couple is so inspiring to me. Wallace is said by some to have been deeply in love with her, and when the English killed her as punishment for having helped Wallace elude and escape them, he was purportedly so distressed, he returned on a slaying rampage against the English. While warfare isn’t necessarily romantic, such passion for the woman he loved is!


Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal

The name “Mahal” should be familiar to many people. Mumtaz Mahal was the name Shah Jahan gave to his favorite wife, soul-mate, and inseparable companion, meaning “jewel of the palace.” Though he had more than one wife, it is recorded by scribes that the others were mainly political marriages that afforded the women status but not much more. Almost all of his children were born to Mumtaz, with the exception of his first daughter, born to his first wife before he and Mumtaz were allowed to marry. They not only shared a deep love, but he valued her opinions and advice, and when she died giving birth to their fourteenth child together, he was described as falling into such grief and mourning, that he had the famous Taj Mahal built in her honor as a burial place, requesting to be buried with her when he died. 


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