Essential Beginnings Kennedy Layne
Guest Post

Erin McCarthy’s 80s Influences | Silence of the Ghost

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Hello, and thanks for having me at Ever After! When asked the question, “What romance movies and books influenced you?” I immediately three of three in particular from the late eighties.

  1. Nora Roberts’ HOT ICE. I read this book around sixteen years old and I loved the witty dialogue between Doug and Whitney. It had action and adventure and lots of sexual tension interspersed with snarky comments. For me it was a huge and refreshing departure from the gushy-gush.
  2. Moonlighting. This TV show was something I actually watched with my mom and we giggled our way through the whole series back in the day. Watching the byplay between the two leads was amazing. Such great comedic chemistry.
  3. Romancing the Stone. Are you seeing a theme here? I LOVE when a hero and heroine can meet each other on an intellectual level and out-wit each other.

While I love a good romance that features tons of angst, my first love is actually a good mystery paired with a dynamic duo who is working to solve the case, or escape the bad guys, or rescue a friend.  

My new release SILENCE OF THE GHOST is book two in my Murder By Design series, and Bailey Burke is both a home stager and a spiritual medium. Yep, she sees dead people. In this book her relationship with sexy cop Marner heats up as they try to solve a new series of murders based on the infamous 1930s Torso Murders.

I hope you’ll enjoy the banter!

Cheers,

Erin

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Portland ME Freya Barker sale July
Guest Post, Uncategorized

What I Like to Find in Novels | Nate Jenkins

When the Brass Ring Grabs You AMAZON
I’ve read many novels over my lifetime and found one common trait among the ones that I liked.  I can see the story in my mind.  I don’t like to be bogged down with too many details.  I like just enough detail so that I can see what the writer or what I want to see in the character or in the scene described.  When I can see the book like it’s a movie.  That’s also how I like to write.  I want the reader to be able to see what they want as well as what I want them to.  I give them just enough detail so they can make their own pictures.  I’ve had several people tell me my books read like a movie.  A lot of them wanted to direct that movie too or at least get an executive producer credit.

It has to be a good story too.  It needs to move, have some suspense to it.  I like it to be a page turner, make me want to read the next page.  I also want to have romance.  There needs to be a hero and a heroine who somehow manage to save each other.  James Cameron’s “Titanic” had suspense and romance and both hero and heroine.  As the old woman narrating the story said about Jack, “He saved me in every way a person can be saved.”  There also needs to be a villain, one everyone can see and knows about. Then maybe one behind the scenes who is pushing all the buttons.  No one knows of this villain until later in the book.  If it has those characteristics, then I consider it a good read.

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Sisters in Love Melissa Foster
Guest Post

How To Travel Back in Time | Heather McCollum

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Hello everyone! I’m Heather McCollum, historical romance writer, ovarian cancer survivor, kid-mom of three, dog-mom of one rescued golden retriever, guinea pig-mom of three, sugar glider-mom of two, Highlander-wife of one and lover of chai latte tea.

Sometimes, in my very hectic life, I wish I could slip back in time to visit one of my favorite time periods: Tudor, Elizabethan, anytime pre-1800’s Scotland. Despite the disease, lack of central heating and toilets, and tainted water, there is something alluring about the simplicity of life and the focused efforts to survive and find joy at a time when people typically only lived into their mid-forties. The need to survive can light a fire under people, which is so different from today’s more pampered, on-line, often apathetic environment we live in today (yes, I have teenagers in the house).

Perhaps you too wish to traverse the centuries to glimpse such passion. Since the time machine has not yet been invented, these are my top five ways of “time traveling” back to my favorite eras and locales. I’d love for you to join me!

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Exclusive Excerpt

EXCLUSIVE CHAPTER EXCERPT: The Lavender House by Hilary Boyd

9781784294144
Nancy de Freitas is the glue that holds her family together. Caught between her ageing, ailing mother Frances, and her struggling daughter Louise, frequent user of Nancy’s babysitting services, it seems Nancy’s fate is to quietly go on shouldering the burden of responsibility for all four generations. Her divorce four years ago put paid to any thoughts of a partner to share her later years with. Now it looks like her family is all she has.

Then she meets Jim. Smoker, drinker, unsuccessful country singer and wearer of cowboy boots, he should be completely unsuited to the very together Nancy. And yet, there is a real spark.

But Nancy’s family don’t trust Jim one bit. They’re convinced he’ll break her heart, maybe run off with her money – he certainly distracts her from her family responsibilities.

Can she be brave enough to follow her heart? Or will she remain glued to her family’s side and walk away from one last chance for love?

Check out our exclusive excerpt below!


Prologue

Nancy was in the kitchen preparing supper, listening to The Archers on the radio, drizzling olive oil over some summer vegetables for roasting, when her husband, Christopher, walked in and told her he was leaving. The July evening was breezy and cool, but the doors to the garden were open, the tortoiseshell cat from next door prowling around the tubs on the flagstone patio, rubbing his body luxuriously along the smooth earthenware sides of a pot of lavender.

Christopher stood across the room, the island worktop between them. He was dressed in jeans and his navy sweater, the high zip-neck brushing his chin, although the zip was partially undone. Thin, small and tidy, tanned from his endless walks in the Suffolk wetlands, his gray hair short, almost monk-like, he seemed determined, almost fierce, as he clutched his brown leather holdall in his left hand.

“Where are you going?” Nancy asked, holding up her oily hands, like a surgeon ready to operate, as she paused in her task of tossing the onions, zucchinis, peppers and baby tomatoes. “It’s nearly supper time.” She reached across to turn the radio off, using her elbow to press the green knob: Christopher hated The Archers.

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Guest Post

The Absolute Best Summer Drive-In Movies

Breakaway - Crush
Oh Oh The Summer Nights!

Yeah, I know, I’m a novelist, not a screenwriter or a movie expert. But there’s something universal about movies, isn’t there? You put ten people in a room and refer to a scene from a novel, you’ll get blank looks from at least half of them, even if it’s a huge book. But refer to a movie? Or, don’t even refer to it, just say a single buzzword – “Inconceivable” or “Yippie-kay-yay” or “Stella” or, shiver, “Redrum” and everyone’s on the same page. So I want to step away from novels for a second and talk about movies.

Specifically, summer movies. More specifically, summer drive-in movies.

Do you still have a drive-in close to your house? I live in a tourist area, and maybe that summer influx of visitors is what allows our local drive-in to stay in business. Maybe it’s their reliable, steady marketing – they’ve been having Dusk-to-Dawn four-movies-in-one-night specials every summer holiday weekend since I was a kid, and they’re still going strong. Still keeping the tradition alive.

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Guest Post

Top 5 Fake Relationship Stories | Amity Hope

Rules of Persuasion_alt Crush
In my new release, The Rules of Persuasion, Luke catches Meg vandalizing the high school. He decides to use her misfortune to his advantage and offers her a deal: His silence, if she’ll pretend to be his girlfriend. Meg resents being blackmailed—what girl wouldn’t?—but spending time with Luke isn’t nearly as bad as she thought it would be.

I adore these types of stories with the forced emotional proximity. I’ve compiled a list of a few of my favorites!

My Fake Fiancé—I stumbled across this movie while looking for something to watch on Netflix one rainy summer day. Admittedly, I adore Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence so I was hooked before the movie even started. In this cute rom-com Jennifer loses all of her belongings when a thief drives off with her moving truck. While sitting in her nice, new, and extremely empty home she hatches a plan. She contacts Vince, a guy she recently met at a wedding when both were seated at the singles table. Vince owes money to a loan shark and is desperate for some cash. He immediately agrees to the genius of her plan. A wedding would mean an abundance of gifts, allowing Jennifer to fill up her house again, and a stash of cash for Vince to pay off his loan. The whirlwind engagement is sweet with several laugh out loud moments.

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Guest Post

Favorite Action Movies | Layla Reyne

Barrel Proof, the third and final installment of the Agents Irish and Whiskey series, opens with Aidan, Jamie and Danny speed-boating into Cuba under cover of night, raiding the Cruz family compound, and nearly dying in a fiery blaze. All in the first chapter. Needless to say, I like action—of both sorts—in my romance. How’d that happen? Grandma sat me down in front of soap operas in the afternoons, while I watched Airwolf, McGyver and Hill Street Blues with my parents at night. The mix stayed with me into adulthood, and I definitely leaned on some of these action-packed favorites when it came to crafting scenes like that first one in Barrel Proof.

 

Top Gun

No fighter jets in Agents Irish and Whiskey, but for every fighter pilot movie I watched growing up (and I watched them all), Top Gun is still my favorite. From that first scene on deck, with “Danger Zone” building in the background and planes taking off, to the very last dog fight, this movie is a non-stop adrenaline rush. And, despite my general loathing of Tom Cruise, the romance is pretty swoon worthy too.

 

Gone in 60 Seconds

I know the Italian Job and the Ocean’s movies are technically better heist flicks, but I have a serious soft spot for Gone in 60 Seconds. Maybe it’s the cars, maybe it’s “Low Rider” and the awesome soundtrack, maybe it’s the hodgepodge cast that somehow works, but if this movie is on, I can’t turn it off. Okay, let’s be honest, it’s 95% the cars, especially “Eleanor.”

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Guest Post

Pros and Cons of Falling for the Guy Next Door

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I’ve always been a sucker for a Guy Next Door romance, so it’s no surprise my young adult paranormal romance, The Third Kiss turned out to be one. Mind you, I’ve never fallen for a neighbor myself, but the concept is hugely appealing. It’s a trope that must appeal to others as well if the success of books such as Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout, and Slammed by Colleen Hoover are anything to go by. But I’m a realist, and as romantic as the idea sounds, having that one person you daydream about living so close can’t possibly be all unicorns and sunshine. So, in the interest of objectivity, and assuming your neighborly crush returns your feelings, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of falling for the guy or girl next door.

 

Pro: It’s convenient

Let’s face it: having the one that sets off your drool reflex live next door is super convenient. You can hop on over anytime to hang out, make out, or veg out. Your next hug, smooch, or conversation is only two minutes away. Excellent! Lead me down the garden path!

 

Con: It can be suffocating

They can hop on over anytime, too, and want to hang out, make out, and just…well tire you out. If you’re anything like me, you need some head space every now and then. Having your boyfriend or girlfriend show up unannounced all the time can become suffocating after a while.

 

Pro: Space is only one letterbox away

On the other hand, if you’ve had a fight, or you just can’t handle his offer of pizza for dinner for the third night in a row, your place is only a short walk away. See ya!

 

Con: It can lead to stalkerish behavior

Where’s he going? Who’s that girl he’s with? Didn’t he say he had to study?  If you’re on the suspicious or possessive side, it can be tempting to resort to stalkerish behavior, and most relationship experts will tell you that any kind of covert surveillance on your main squeeze is not exactly healthy for the relationship.

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Guest Post

Best Beachy Reads Hands Down

I absolutely love the beach. My dream holiday is white silky sands, crystal clear waters, a comfortable sun lounger and a book. And maybe a cold cocktail glass in hand. And a hot guy regularly refilling said cocktail glass. Oh, and Wi-Fi.

Unfortunately, holidays come and go faster than we can imagine, and before we know it we’re back at home, our jobs and commitments lurking around the corner. To beat the holiday blues I usually go for a sexy, summer read, preferably set on a beach somewhere in the world.

I’ve recently read and loved quite a few holiday books, so here are some of them:

  • The God of Jazz: Fugue, Concord by Varian Krylov.

I adore Varian’s books. She’s such an incredibly talented writer! If you haven’t read anything by her yet, you’re missing out. The God of Jazz is not strictly a holiday beach read, but it’s set in Barcelona and there’re plenty of sexy, beachy scenes. Varian currently lives in Barcelona and she’s managed to capture the very essence of the beautiful city. Be careful though – once you read it you’d be tempted to book the first flight to Barcelona.

  • Beyond the Sea by Keira Andrews.

Beyond the Sea is set on a desert island. The two MCs are the only survivors of a plane crash and are trying to stay alive with the limited supplies and survival abilities they have, hoping rescue is on the way. I loved this book and I can safely say I’m better equipped to survive on a desert island now that I’ve read it.

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Guest Post, Uncategorized

Things I Would Like To See More Of in Romance | Alexis Abbott

Cover Bound for Life
A lot of authors start writing because there’s something they want to read that isn’t already available. I know that when I started writing bad boy romances, the bad boys were BAD BOYS. All in caps, bad to the bone, cruel, rough talking, rough acting bad boys.

And I love those bad boys. But I wanted something a little softer, and a little more delicate. Bad Boys not all in caps.

So that’s the type of bad boy I write. I write the bad boys that aren’t bad to the bone. I write redeemable bad boys who are doing bad things for the right reason. Bad boys that are inspired by beauty and passion and love as much as they’re shaped by the darkness that surrounds them.

I wanted to write about stories of finding light, even in the middle of a moonless night. Stories of romance that perseveres, and love that changes the hero and the heroine for the better.

I fully believe in the power of love and romance, and I love seeing characters who hit rock bottom, and who desperately need that softness in their life.

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