Essential Beginnings Kennedy Layne
Q&A

Q&A with A.M. Rose! | Road to Eugenica

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

Romance movies are some of my favorites, and if I had to pick my top five they would have to be the ones I could watch over and over and never get tired of. While this isn’t a complete list here are a few of my favs:

Ever After

The Princess Bride

10 Things I Hate About You

She’s the Man

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

And not necessarily in that order.

What’s your favorite scene from each one?

This is almost as tough as picking out my favorite movies.

For Ever After it is a tie between this scene where Danielle has decided to go for a swim and Leonardo di Vinci nearly walks right into her because he’s wearing these shoes he invented that look like boats. She screams. He falls into the water. Which of course leads to her spending some time with the Prince. Their back and forth banter is charming and I get sucked in each time I watch it. “Why do you irritate me so?” “Why do you rise to the occasion?” – Love this!

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Guest Post

The First Romance Chris Cannon Ever Read | The Dating Debate

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The first romance I read, which is still one of my favorites, is Fast Women by Jennifer Crusie. Here is the opening paragraph.

The man behind the cluttered desk looked like the devil, and Nell Dysart figured that was par for her course since she’d been going to hell for a year and a half anyway. Meeting Gabriel McKenna just meant she’d arrived.

I love Jennifer Crusie’s snarky, smart heroines with their relatable problems and the heroes they square off against. The banter is always great, and the way the characters react seems realistic. There’s no insta-love. Usually it’s more insta-irritation because the characters get under each other’s skin.

I love writing my own snarky banter, and I aspire to create quirky characters like Jennifer Crusie’s. She always gives her characters some real life hobby or interest, which makes them seem more real. I was curious about the Clarice Cliff pottery mentioned in Fast Women and did a little investigating, which lead to several purchases of Clarice Cliff, The Art of the Bizarre reproductions on ebay.

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Sisters in Love Melissa Foster
Guest Post

By a Charm and a Curse | Jaime Questell

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Falling in Love at Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic Isn’t Easy

In my novel, By a Charm and a Curse, Emmaline King is suffering from a curse that has petrified her skin, rendering her unable to feel anything except a brutal cold. One of the conditions of the curse is that she’s now tied to the carnival, unable to stray too far from its confines.

Benjamin Singer has traveled with and worked for the carnival since he was five years old. And though he knows better than most the benefits of the magic that keeps the carnival performers and workers safe and happy, he’s tired. But he and his best friend have a plan – they’re going to leave the carnival behind and strike out on their own.

It is the absolute worst time to fall in love.

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Q&A

Q&A with Amber Hart | Wicked Charm

Amber Hart, author of WICKED CHARM, stops by the blog to answer our questions on all things romance! Let’s dive with in…

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

I adore Sweet Home Alabama. I’m a sucker for southern allure and this movie is full of it. The accents. The sweet tea.The sprawling plantation houses. I love the main character—her spunk and how she grows into herself. She ends up accepting where her heart is meant to be, but not without digging her heals in and fighting it first. Aren’t we all a little like that sometimes?

Blue Crush is all about the waves and sun and beach, but also the unbreakable friendship of three women, and the unyielding determination to pick oneself up after falling. Sure one of the characters finds a man, but I really respect that her real love is surfing, the passion that fuels her.   

Pride and Prejudice is an all time favorite of mine. The romance is swoon-worthy, and I can’t help but fall for a man with a rough exterior, but who’s really soft inside, and a woman with a fiery spirit.

I love that Twilight is all about firsts. First time at a new school. First time making lasting friends. First romance.

The Proposal is so incredibly funny. The characters, the unusual situation they get themselves into—needing to fake a marriage so that she can stay in the states—makes for a great real love story.


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

Sweet Home Alabama: “Well for starters, you can get your stubborn selfdown here and give me a divorce.” This part cracks me up. It shows her spunk and determination to head straight into her past with a will of lead.

Blue Crush: There’s a scene where she’s in the ocean, lying on a surfboard, facing a giant wave. Time seems to slow down. She knows this is it—the acumination of her fears and dreams. She has a choice. She can turn around…or face it. She jumps on her board and goes for it, not knowing what the outcome will be. Scared and hopeful. She risks it. To me, this is what it means to truly live. To head right into it bravely.

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Q&A

Q&A with Molly E. Lee! | Love Between Enemies

Zoey Handler is ready to put an end to her decade-long rivalry with Gordon Meyers. They’ve traded top spot between valedictorian and salutatorian for years, but all that’s over now. Right? But after a crazy graduation speech prank gets out of hand, suddenly their rivalry turns into all-out war. Time to make peace with a little friendly payback.

Step one? Make him believe they’re now friends.

Step two? Show him the time of his life at an epic graduation party.

Step three? Don’t fall for his tricks.

Step four? Absolutely, positively, do not kiss him again.

So what if he’s cute? (Okay, hot.) So what if he’s charming? (Heaven help her, tempting.) So what if he apologizes? (That has to be fake.) She knows the real Gordon. And no matter how much her heart begs her to stop, there’s no turning back.


Today we have Molly E. Lee, author of LOVE BETWEEN ENEMIES, on the blog to answer our burning romance questions! Let’s get started. Molly, what are your five favorite movies with romance or romantic elements? What’s your favorite scene from each one?


Deadpool


The love Wade has for Vanessa is amazing. This scene—this one look he gives her…I strive to write that look. He does this various times throughout the movie. He’s basically just being a total swoon-worthy anti-hero throughout it, and I have a weakness for sexy anti-heroes (I’m equally obsessed with Loki). Wade has one thing he values above all others (even immortality) and that is the woman he loves!

Last of the Mohicans

This is one of my favorite movies of all time (my adult series is Adventure Romance, so a lot of that can be related to movies like this). The relationship between these two characters is intense, undeniable, and totally sparking with chemistry! The added stakes of a volatile historical period only up the pace and flesh out the relationship! LOVE IT!

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows part 2

Seven years! It took seven years of friendship and fights and trails before Ron and Hermione finally succumbed to their love! LOL I love this scene! And they are a huge inspiration for any friends to lovers trope, much like book one in the Grad Night series—Love in the Friend Zone.

Wonder Woman

I’m in love with this movie, but one of my favorite things is the multiple times Steve steps aside so Diana can do her thing. He never falters to defer to her as the stronger of the two, and that is a huge step for a male lead. It makes his character totally endearing, and I absolutely try to convey that in my stories—writing male characters who are capable of handling strong, independent women. Zoey, in Love Between Enemies, is incredibly smart…so smart she intimidates most of her peers. Not Gordon. He is her match, even if they are always battling.

Crazy Stupid Love

I love this dynamic between these two characters. She puts him in his place, and he’s totally blown away by her. They make each other laugh and that is a quality I value in my books. The couple has to be able to laugh with each other and at each other!


FIVE BOOKS

If you could only read five books for the rest of your life, what five books would they be, and why?

Harry Potter (especially if they created one massive tome with all seven books within one binding), and that’s because every time I read this series, I learn something new about craft, storytelling, character development, pace, etc. Also, it’s just an incredible story. One I never get tired of.

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting. Derting is an instant click author for me—I don’t even need to see the blurb—but I’d pick The Body Finder because it was a book I picked up while my husband was deployed, and it offered me such a sense of escape and comfort in a high-stress time in my life.

House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday. I love the way he uses rich language and culture to breathe life into these pages.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sara J. Maas. Because I’m totally obsessed with this series right now, and I’ve already re-read this one twice. It’s just a great read and it offers an awesome escape.

On Writing by Stephen King. This is my absolute go-to when I need inspiration for writing or a brush-up on craft.


BOOK BOYFRIENDS

Who are your book boyfriends? What do you like about them? What characteristics do they share with the hero from your latest release?

Rhys from A Court of Thrones and Roses is my current Book Boyfriend. He’s confident, strong, compassionate, and challenging. I love male leads who are able to not only love their strong female counterparts, but push them when they need it. Gordon from Love Between Enemies is definitely not afraid to push Zoey when she needs a shove, and he’s also the first one to support her when she starts doubting herself.


FIRST ROMANCE (AKA My First Time):

What was the first romance novel you read?

Oh, this is so hard. I’m not 100% sure, but I do remember the first non-college assigned reading that got me back into the obsession of buying books like they were going out of style. All the heavy assignments killed that for me for a couple years because we were being tasked with reading nearly five to six books a week, plus the other class load. I loved it, but it ate away at my pleasure reading time. BUT—the first one I read once I had free time was Twilight.

What do you remember about it?

I remember reading it and thinking “wow, I’ve missed paranormal romance.” I’m pretty sure I read it in once sitting and was devastated I couldn’t immediately read the next one. It sent me to the bookstore, though, where I picked up three more young adult novels to devour.

What did you like most about it?

I liked the hot, broody immortal going after the totally awkward girl.

What did you like least about it?

That I had to wait so long for the next book 😉

Have you ever reread it? If you did, how do you feel about it now?

I have done a couple re-reads on the series. It’s always fun to go back and catch things you missed because you were trying to read it as fast as possible. I still feel the same way about it as I did then. I’m grateful that it got me back into focusing on reading just for me.


SNAPPY CHAT

Darcy or Wentworth?

Darcy

Christian or Gideon?

Gideon

Rochester or Heathcliff?

Rochester

Spock or Kirk?

Han Solo 😉

Sunrise or sunset?

Sunrise

Angst or humor?

Gah! Both! I NEED both! LOL

Tea or coffee?

Coffee

Wine or beer?

Wine

Cake or pie?

Cake

Scruff, beard, or clean-shaven?

Clean-shaven

Blue-collar or white collar?

Doesn’t matter as long as the person behind it is genuine

Jeans or a suit?

Jeans

Car or motorcycle?

Car

–––

Thank you so much for having me! It was so fun chatting with you!!


molly-leeAbout Molly E. Lee:

Molly E. Lee is an author best known for her debut novel EDGE OF CHAOS, and as a mentor at Pitch Wars – a program which connects promising writers to established authors in the community. Molly writes New Adult and Young Adult contemporary featuring strong female heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts, yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. In addition to being a military spouse and mother of two + one stubborn English Bulldog, Molly loves watching storms from her back porch at her Midwest home, and digging for treasures in antique stores.

Find Molly online! Website | Twitter | Facebook | Author Street Team/Facebook Group | Instagram | Pinterest | Snapchat:  mollyeleeauthor | Goodreads | Newsletter


Love Between Enemies - 500pxAbout Love Between Enemies:

Zoey Handler is ready to put an end to her decade-long rivalry with Gordon Meyers. They’ve traded top spot between valedictorian and salutatorian for years, but all that’s over now. Right? But after a crazy graduation speech prank gets out of hand, suddenly their rivalry turns into all-out war. Time to make peace with a little friendly payback.

Step one? Make him believe they’re now friends.

Step two? Show him the time of his life at an epic graduation party.

Step three? Don’t fall for his tricks.

Step four? Absolutely, positively, do not kiss him again.

So what if he’s cute? (Okay, hot.) So what if he’s charming? (Heaven help her, tempting.) So what if he apologizes? (That has to be fake.) She knows the real Gordon. And no matter how much her heart begs her to stop, there’s no turning back.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains one epic party, complete with every high-schoolers-gone-bad shenanigan, and two rivals who discover maybe they could be something much more…if only they’d stop fighting long enough to notice it.

 

Guest Post

Sara Baysinger’s Book Boyfriends! | The Vanishing Spark

I have. A. LOT. of book boyfriends. And it was hard to choose a favorite. But here they are, the top five, and I’m listing them from my fifth favorite to my absolute #1 favorite.

WARNING: I tried hard not to give away spoilers, but it was hard to say what I loved about my book boyfriends without doing so. Though I tried to be as vague as possible, read at your own risk!

 

Marcus from The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. Marcus was my book boyfriend all throughout high school and college. I’ve since progressed in my thinking, and looking back, he’s not really that great. I remember even while I was reading the series (all 10+ times I’ve read it!), there were some red flags in the way Marcus acted, but since my reading was limited in my Christian high school, I just thought that was the way men were, and had a right to be. Plus, this is a historical fiction, and the controlling way Marcus acts probably lines up with the way the culture was in Ancient Rome, where women didn’t have any rights. THAT said, apart from his controlling, condescending nature, Marcus is all shades of swoonworthy. Attractive, humorous, rich, and with a lot of power in society. And those four features are what I used to fashion Kalen Rydell with. Fun Fact: Kalen used to have the exact same characteristics as Marcus, but like I said, I’ve since progressed in my thinking and transformed him into what a real gentleman should look like. 😉  

 

Maxon from The Selection series by Kiera Cass. Who else likes the innocent boy who’s never touched a girl? I love Maxon’s innocence, and I love how he doesn’t expect the women to fall all over him, even though he’s the prince and they’re at the palace for him. Like Maxon, Kalen is in a high position in society, and women basically throw themselves at him, yet when Lark, a slave, enters his estate, he doesn’t expect her to act like that at all.

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Guest Post

My Love Affair with Paranormal Romance | Tawny Stokes

My love affair with paranormal romance started, as it always does, with a few talented women. To know when it all started, we’d have to go back… way back to 2005.  

Nope wait, I think we need to go back even further. To 2001 when a little-known Canadian author named Kelley Armstrong published her first Women of the Otherworld book called “Bitten,” which was turned into a TV show a few years ago. It was really my first introduction to an action-packed, paranormal-being populated world with a female lead and a really incredible hot male hero.  She had the best forum for writing on her website, and I visited often and got a lot of advice and information there.  Kelley even blurbed my first published book “Hell Kat,” which Kensington Publishing published in 2005 under my pen name Vivi Anna.  I think Kelley is one of the most underrated authors out there.  

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Q&A

Q&A with Monica Murphy! | Pretty Dead Girls

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About Pretty Dead Girls:

Beautiful. Perfect. Dead.

In the peaceful seaside town of Cape Bonita, wicked secrets and lies are hidden just beneath the surface. But all it takes is one tragedy for them to be exposed.

The most popular girls in school are turning up dead, and Penelope Malone is terrified she’s next. All the victims so far have been linked to Penelope—and to a boy from her physics class. The one she’s never really noticed before, with the rumored dark past and a brooding stare that cuts right through her.

There’s something he isn’t telling her. But there’s something she’s not telling him, either.

Everyone has secrets, and theirs might get them killed.

Now onto the Q&A with Pretty Dead Girls author, MONICA MURPHY!


FIRST ROMANCE (AKA My First Time):

What was the first romance novel you read?

A long time ago, Silhouette (now Harlequin) had a teen line, and it was called First Love from Silhouette. The book I absolutely 100% adored (I don’t know if it was my first romance, but it was the most memorable) was called LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT by Elaine Harper.

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Exclusive Excerpt

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Hard Landing by Becky McGraw

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When Maddie Carter comes back from the grave, will Hawk have a fresh start with the one who got away?

Deep Six pilot, former Army Nightstalker, Rhett Hawkins, knew the day would come, but he had hoped it wouldn’t be until after he was gone. Maddie Carter was destined to die young, because that is just how she lived. She flew by the seat of her pants and flying as all she cared about. He’d learned that the hard way, when he asked her to marry him and she shot him down.

But after her memorial service, Hawk just couldn’t get past the feeling that something was wrong with the recounting of the events that led to the crash and her supposed death. Neither the helo or her body had been found. It drove him insane until he decided to do some investigation of his own. After getting conflicting stories from two surviving special operators, he knew he had to go the full distance to settle his mind.

Once in Central America, Hawk realizes there is much more going on than the Army knows. Not only is the now blacked-out military helicopter back in service, Maddie is behind the stick making drug runs for a brutal cartel.

When he has to convince her she needs to be rescued, Hawk sees she is not the same. Captain Maddie Carter is scarred, hardened and has no memory of him or her former life at all.

Back home, when her memory starts to return and secrets are revealed, could it mean he’d only rescued her to lose her again? Would those secrets change his own life forever too?

Check out our exclusive excerpt below!


Hawk couldn’t breathe. As hard as he tried, his chest just would not expand as he stared down at Maddie Carter, a woman he no longer knew, and one who obviously no longer knew him.

What in the ever loving hell was going on with her? Had they brainwashed her? Changed her this much in only six months? Was she on drugs? And a fucking baby?

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Giveaway

GIVEAWAY: Miracle at Christmas by Debbie Mason

Charlotte Bailey needs a miracle. She came to this sleepy little Colorado town to keep the local hospital afloat, but now her scrooge of a boss is demanding she close it down. Charlotte is going to need all the help she can get, even from Dr. McSexy–er, Dr. Matt Trainer–if she’s to save Christmas before, well, Christmas!

All Matt wants for Christmas is for Charlotte to give it–and him–half a chance. But with the town looking to him to save the hospital and Charlotte itching to get back to New York in time to see the city decked out in lights, Matt doesn’t have much time to make things right. But he’s got faith–after all, miracles happen every day in Christmas.

ENTER THE CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY HERE FOR A CHANCE TO WIN ONE OF TEN E-COPIES OF MIRACLE AT CHRISTMAS! 


Copy of Mason_MiracleatChristmas_ebookABOUT THE AUTHOR

Debbie Mason is the USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series and the Harmony Harbor series. Her books have been praised for their “likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots” (RT Book Reviews). When she isn’t writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their three wonderful children and son-in-law, two adorable grandbabies, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella in Ontario, Canada.

Find Debbie online! Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | BookBub | Amazon

Find Forever online! Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

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