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Exclusive Excerpt: COMPROMISING POSITIONS by Jenna Bayley-Burke

Compromising Positions Jenna Bayley-Burke

Back-to-work blues got you down? We’ve got you covered. Get a taste of a delectable Contemporary Romance with this exclusive excerpt from Jenna Bayley-Burke‘s Compromising Positions, out right now!


David tried to remember the last time he’d been to a grocery store. College maybe? If there was anything at all in his fridge, his sister had put it there. Kelly was wonderful about leaving ice cream and chips in her wake.

“If we split the list, it will go faster.” Sophie smiled up at him.

“Okay.” He shrugged, taking the torn piece of notebook paper from her hand. He scanned the items. All produce.

“What’s on your list?” he asked, taking it from her hand. More produce. He knew it. Women ate weird. His sister was the only sane woman in the entire world.

“The joy of having a nutritionist for a brother-in-law. Craig’s using me to test his latest diet plan,” she explained.

He took a step back and looked at her again. Even in sweats, she looked fit. “Why?” She waved her hand.

“Who can keep track of Craig’s reasons? I indulge him. To a point.”

“You should do his Deliver-Ease. It actually has real food, not just vegetables.” And since the plan was run through Strong Gyms, utilizing it let him do a little quality control.

She raised a dark eyebrow. “You’re on his diet plan?”

“You’re not the only one who indulges Craig. Besides, it’s easy. Comes right to the office. I don’t even have to think about it.

She looked at him in disbelief. “But why are you on a diet?”

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Q&A

Q&A: Brenda Drake of CURSING FATE

Cursing Fate Brenda Drake

It’s nearly Thanksgiving and what are we thankful for over at EA? How amazing the authors who visit us are, of course! Which is why we’re thrilled to share this little visit from Brenda Drake, author of Cursing Fate and The Fated series!


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

Love Actually
The Notebook
Roman Holiday
Dirty Dancing
Never Been Kissed

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

My favorite scene in Love Actually is when Jamie proposes to Aurelia. Oh my gosh, swoon!

For The Notebook my favorite scene is when they get caught in the rain and Noah tells Ally that “it’s not over.”

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Guest Post

Guest Post: Holiday Cheer from Terry Spear, Nicole Helm, and Samantha Chase!

What’s better than one person giving us the warm holiday fuzzies? “Oh, like, 3? That’s better, right? Like, off the top of my head, that sounds like the better amount of people for spreading holiday cheer.”

Well, guess what? We’ve got that exact amount of people here to spread some mid-November happiness and they are all amazing romance authors. Samantha Chase, Nicole Helm, and Terry Spear are our guests today and we are overjoyed to have them.


Samantha Chase

Christmas is my all-time favorite holiday. I always enjoyed it while I was growing up, but it wasn’t until my husband and I moved away from our family that I truly started to LOVE it.  I loved being able to start our own traditions and we really found our groove on that right away. One of my favorite things to do is decorate the tree. I’m a lunatic with that. We get a live tree every year and we sort of make it a family competition to see who picks out the best tree on the lot. The very first year Frank and I were together, we had nothing for our tree except a box of hand-me-down ornaments my dad and stepmom gave us. Every year since then, we’ve added to our collection.

When the kids were little, we did a lot of the Hallmark Keepsake ornaments and then we did a Disney ornament-of-the-month thing for about two years. Now I tend to just add one a year and it’s almost to the point that we don’t have room on the tree for everything that we have! The tree has a Disney theme – and if you know me, that’s not surprising! – and whenever I go to Disney World, a Christmas ornament is my must-get souvenir.

We definitely have foods that we only have at Christmas. Our Christmas Eve tradition is that we have a traditional Italian fish sauce for dinner. Seven different kind of fish in a red sauce. I have to admit, it’s not my favorite, but my husband and sons LOVE it. It’s a lot of work and I’m totally fine with just having it once a year. LOL! They look forward to it to the point of talking about it non-stop for the entire month of December. On Christmas morning, we have pepperoni omelets for breakfast. I’ll admit, I cheat and make these at random throughout the year, but they’re a must-have on Christmas morning after we open our presents. And my husband has learned to bake his family’s Christmas bread. For years, he only had it when we saw his parents. After we moved away, it was something he really missed. So he got the recipe from his mom and now he bakes it himself.

And our final tradition that I absolutely LOVE is our Christmas Eve dessert open house. We live in a very transient area. There’s a Baptist Seminary up the road and so a lot of people who live here only come for school and then move. So we open our doors on Christmas Eve to everyone who doesn’t have family to spend it with. They bring a dessert to share and we all hang out and it’s a wonderful time of fun and fellowship.


Nicole Helm

Butter. My favorite thing about the holiday season is buying a million pounds of butter and making everything delicious out of it. I kid, I kid. Mostly.

Though I do love the baking (and all the butter) involved, my favorite thing about the holiday season is seeing a lot of people I only get to see once a year, and celebrating with things and food we usually only engage in once a year. In my family, we go to at least seven different houses, five different cities, two different states over the course of the week of Christmas to visit all the family we can.

It’s a ton of driving, but that’s part of the fun too. We listen to Christmas music in the car as we go here, there, and everywhere. The kids snooze in the back or play with their new toys. I sneak a cookie or two from my legion of treats to donate to the meal we’re going to. Bing Crosby croons White Christmas one too many times and my husband tries to put ‘normal’ music back on (he never wins, though sometimes I can be persuaded away from Bing).

When we reach our multitude of destinations, we see parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and their kids, nieces (a first for me this year!).I always make Kringla, plenty of cookies, and Swedish Rye Bread to take to different houses, and we get to sit and eat these once a year treats while catching up and enjoying each other’s company. I get to see my kids play with my cousin’s kids, just like my cousins and I used to play growing up. I love tradition, so seeing the same ornaments on everyone’s tree year after year, the same decorations and stockings, never fails to make me smile. Sharing memories of Christmas past and making new memories with my little guys is such a joy.

By the end, we’re always exhausted, maybe a little ready for some quality alone time, or some food without butter (for maybe one meal tops), but fulfilled and happy and full to the brim with holiday spirit (and butter, never forget the butter).


Terry Spear

Family time! This is the second year we’ll have Christmas with both my son, and my daughter and son-in-law. My son was serving in Afghanistan for two years with the Air Force and so that’s what’s most important to me—family time. My daughter just informed me she’s pregnant, so Christmas after next we’ll have a new little pack member to add to the mix of my two dogs, their two dogs and my son’s dog. One big, happy family for the holidays. Nothing could be better. Decorating, making turkey, and baked goods, watching Christmas movies, playing board games, and just visiting–that’s what it’s all about. Of course, the gifts are fun–both giving and receiving. But most of all, making Christmas memories and taking pictures to capture those memories is what’s so special. Just like with my wolves or jaguars. In all my stories, I try to show this because it’s so important to me. I had the same tradition with my parents, who I was close to and the memories continue to carry on long after they were gone.

Long after my dad died, a decade even, my mother didn’t want to bother with decorating for Christmas. She had always loved decorating for the holidays. And so after decorating my home, I ran over and helped her with hers. I didn’t want her to miss out enjoying the holidays because it was just too much work to put up the tree.

Even Everett, the jaguar shifter hero in A Very Jaguar Christmas, was glad he’d decorated for Christmas. Not only because it made him feel good when he came home from a day of work, but because he’s got a special guest coming to have dinner with him, and she’s someone he’s wanted to get to know forever.

Guest Post

Guest Post + Excerpt: Melissa Ohnoutka on Romantic Suspense!

Sinful Secrets Melissa Ohnoutka

Thanks for stopping by today. I’m so excited to be a guest on EverAfter Romance to share my newest release with you. For as long as I can remember, suspense has been my favorite genre—books, movies, music, you name it. I live for the adrenaline rush. Throw romance into the mix and it becomes the perfect combination to keep me on the edge of my seat and begging for more. Romancing the Stone will forever be my all-time favorite movie, and one of the reasons for my madness. I first saw the action-packed film on the big screen as a teenager, then again when it came out on video. I had two babies in diapers at the time and needed an escape to save my sanity. The rest is history.

Once I started writing that first romantic suspense, I knew there was no turning back. The thrill of watching the suspense and romance unfold in one of my own creations is a feeling like no other. I’m addicted for life.

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Guest Post, Uncategorized

Guest Post + Excerpt: Memories of Christmas Past from Cindy Scaggs

An Untouchable Christmas Cindy Skaggs

Memory is a tricky thing. Bad memories filter to the top while good memories settle to the bottom of a very deep well and we struggle to keep them alive. The key is to replace the bad memories with good—or drown the bad in that well, whichever works. I’m a violent sort, so I’ll be drowning those suckers. 🙂

Holidays in our house growing up were mostly good, but that means I have only this vague recollection and warm, fuzzy feelings for Christmas. Well, all but one. The year I turned five, my father was recovering from a major car accident. Money was tight and we ultimately lost the house and Dad’s business to medical expenses.

That was the year someone adopted us. Just for Christmas presents that is. We were the little angels on a Giving Tree. The night before Christmas, a group of men brought what seemed like a truckload of presents for four kids and two adults. They deposited them under the empty tree just like Santa. I bounced on my toes in sheer joy at the mass of goodies. Too young to read, I didn’t know which presents were mine, but my older brother pointed out a ginormous and awkwardly wrapped present labeled “girl, aged 5.” It was bigger than me and taller than my teenage brother. It was mine, mine, mine!

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Guest Post

Guest Post: Stefanie London’s Top Reasons For Loving Winter Stories

Millionaire Under The Mistletoe

Until recently Christmas books had always felt like a thing I couldn’t quite connect to. You see, I’m originally from the Southern Hemisphere. Melbourne, Australia to be exact. And Christmas for us was a strange mix of things that didn’t really belong together.

By the 25th of December the weather is warm. Some years it’s balmy and mild—perfect for barbeques and chilled wine. Other years it borders on ‘holy crap, did I suddenly teleport myself to the mouth of hell?’ But that’s Australia, for you.

The funny thing is, we persist with a lot of the cold weather traditions, despite the heat. Every year my family would roast a full turkey or chicken and hope the air conditioner would be able to keep up us cool despite the oven working at full force. We’ll burn candles scented with cinnamon and clove, wear (faux) fur-lined Christmas hats and give out presents wrapped in patterns of snow-capped pine trees and glittering snowflakes.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “Drawing from the Well of Soul” by Amy Lane

Summer Lessons Amy Lane

Once upon a time, I was seven years old. My parents had just split up, my dad didn’t get back from work for a couple of hours, and the rule was, I didn’t go out and play unless he was home and knew where I’d gone. Our television was black and white and back then, we got two hours of child friendly programming before the news came on and that was it. (Gilligan’s Island, I Love Lucy, The Brady Bunch—this is why everyone my age loves those shows.) I was lonely, bored, and probably hungry.

I wrote.

Not with a pen and paper, or, even better, a computer (God, what I could have done with a computer!) but by sitting my stuffed animals in a circle around me on the floor and telling them a story. They were a very good audience, except for the stuffed dog who kept falling over.

Didn’t matter. I wrote.

Several years later in a different time, I was a young-ish mother who had lost her job and had two children under two on a six-acre spread in a drafty house in the middle of nowhere. My son had a communication handicap, my husband worked and went to school eighty hours a week, and I had no car.

I wrote.

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Q&A

Wedding Q&A: Lynette Austin and Margaret Brownley

Today we welcome multi-published author Lynnette Austin and New York Times bestselling author Margaret Brownley. Brides and grooms are very much on their minds and for good reason; they both have new book releases featuring weddings. Here’s what they have to say about their favorite on-screen nuptials.


[The Proposal Wedding]

What is your favorite movie wedding and what makes it so special?

Lynnette: I love when two people who are so not right for each other find that happy-ever-after. I think that’s why I’ve watched The Proposal so many times I can lip-sync everyone’s lines. Uptight Margaret Tate and her assistant, Andrew Paxton, wouldn’t make the top of anyone’s list of perfect couples. Margaret practically blackmails Andrew into proposing to her and then calls off the wedding as they literally stand at the altar. And still, love prevails.

Margaret: The wedding that still stands out in my mind after all these years is the one in Shrek. Fiona transforms into an ogress every night because of a magic spell. By morning she reverts to her regular human form. But something goes haywire during her wedding and she is transformed back into an ogress. Wanting to look beautiful for Shrek, she’s naturally dismayed. He looks at her with loved-filled eyes and says, “You are beautiful.” The real magic is that every bride is beautiful to the man who loves her—even a green ogress.

If your new book was made into a movie, who would you like to play your bride and groom?

Lynnette: I’d hope that Dierks Bentley, an incredible country singer, would step up to the plate and enter the acting world to play Beck Elliot. He’d be perfect—and I’d owe him! For Tansy Calhoun Forbes, I’d choose Lyndsy Fonseca. Add some curly red hair, and she’s my Tansy!

Margaret: Meg Lockwood would have to be played by Jennifer Lawrence. Since Meg has two grooms (I know, I know) the first one must be played by an actor who’s a bit nerdy like Elijah Wood.   Australian actor Chris Hemsworth would be great in the role of groom number two, provided he can manage a Bostonian accent.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “My Most Meaningful Christmas Gifts” by Margaret Brownley

Left At The Altar by Margaret Brownley

At age 8, I received a most meaningful gift. It was a big beautiful doll with blond hair and eyes that opened and closed. In an effort to get on Santa’s “good” list, I cleaned my room and did my chores. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, I even did everyone else’s chores. When I opened the box Christmas morning and saw two big blue eyes staring back at me, I was elated. I felt as if I could make every dream come true if I wanted it bad enough and was willing to work for it.

At 11, I received a most meaningful gift. It was an angora sweater. A year earlier, I had received toys for Christmas, but that year I had “graduated” to clothes. Wearing that sweater made me feel so grown-up. More than that, the gift told me that others saw me as grown-up, too.

At 17, I received a most meaningful gift. It was a heart-shaped necklace from my boyfriend. I believed at that moment that love would last forever. The chain snapped less than a week later, and we broke up soon after, but I learned that some things are meant to last for only a short time and that we must enjoy them while we can.

In my twenties, I received a most meaningful gift. Our oldest son was born just before Christmas. It was a gift that both elated and humbled me. This baby—this beautiful gift from God—was solely dependent on me and I wanted so much to be the perfect mother. But as I walked the floor that Christmas day trying to comfort a colicky baby, I realized the futility of that goal. I soon learned that no child ever said that his or her mother was perfect, only that she was the best.

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Q&A

Q&A: Erin Fletcher of ALL LACED UP

All Laced Up Erin Fletcher

It’s election day, which means things are going to be tense for the next few hours. We’re unwinding with this awesome Q&A with the lovely Erin Fletcher, author of All Laced Up!


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

Love Actually, 17 Again, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Notebook, How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days

 

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

Love ActuallyThe signs / “to me you are perfect” scene gets me every time!

17 Again The “You’re the best decision I ever made, I just forgot” scene is my favorite. Plus, it has Zac Efron AND Matthew Perry in the same scene!

10 Things I Hate About YouThe poem! Always the poem.

The NotebookThe rowboat / kissing in the rain scene is my favorite for obvious reasons.

How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days I love the “that’s how it’s done” scene when they both think they’re playing the other. So adorably naïve!

 

Did you have any of these scenes in mind when writing scenes from your latest release?

Not really…while I love watching these scenes, I try not to borrow too much from them! The movie closest to All Laced Up is probably The Cutting Edge, but I intentionally did not watch that while writing the book. (It is a great movie, though…toe pick!)


FIVE BOOKS

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

That’s such a tough question, and the answer changes fairly often! But here are today’s five…

  1. Every Day by David Levithan – I love the premise, and it makes me think differently about people and the world, in a good way.
  2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – I’d choose this one because it just makes me happy.
  3. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver – Both the story and the writing style are fantastic. I could easily read this one over and over again.
  4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – It’s a classic for good reason.
  5. The Bible – It’s a book that’s important to me.

BOOK BOYFRIENDS

Who are your book boyfriends? (list a maximum of five) What do you like about them? What characteristics do they share with the hero from your latest release?

Since I read and write young adult novels, but am not a young adult myself, these would be my book boyfriends if I were still in high school: Etienne St. Clair (Anna and the French Kiss), Four (Divergent), and Wes (The Truth About Forever).

I like them all for different reasons – Etienne because he’s sweet and gorgeous, Four because he’s smart and strong, and Wes because he’s swoony and mysterious. These guys are similar to Pierce from All Laced Up, because he’s gorgeous, strong, a little bit mysterious, and a lot swoony!


FIRST ROMANCE (AKA My First Time):

What was the first romance novel you read?

I think the first “romance” I read was A Walk to Remember.

 

What do you remember about it?

I read it when the movie came out back in college (yeah, I’m old), so I remember reading it on my bunk bed in my dorm room while my roommate studied organic chemistry. I remember wanting guys like Landon to exist in real life.

 

What did you like most about it?

The thing I like most about reading it was escaping from the college world and into Jamie and Landon’s world. I liked pulling for the two of them to end up together.

 

What did you like least about it?

It was sappy and predictable, but still made me cry like a baby.

 

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

I don’t think I have reread it! It would definitely bring back a lot of memories from college.


SNAPPY CHAT

Darcy or Wentworth?

Darcy

 

Christian or Gideon?

I don’t know either of these!

 

Rochester or Heathcliff?

Team Rochester!

 

Spock or Kirk?

I’ve never seen an episode of Star Trek.

 

Sunrise or sunset?

Both! I’m a sucker for sunrises and sunsets. But if I had to choose one, I guess it would be sunrise, because I’m a morning person.

 

Angst or humor?

Depends on my mood, but probably humor most of the time.

 

Tea or coffee?

Both! But coffee more often than tea.

 

Wine or beer?

Neither. Liquor or water for me.

 

Cake or pie?

Cake!

 

Scruff, beard, or clean-shaven?

A little bit of scruff.

 

Blue-collar or white collar?

White Collar! (Probably only picking that one because I love the show…)

 

Jeans or a suit?

Jeans

 

Car or motorcycle?

Car