Posts in the Contemporary genre

Cover Reveals

Cover Reveal: RECKLESS HEARTS by Heather Van Fleet

We are honored to turn the mic over to the amazing Heather Van Fleet for the cover reveal to her latest book, Reckless Hearts! Take a look at the inspiration behind some amazing characters and a stunning cover below! Reckless Hearts debuts February 7th, 2017!

A little over a year ago, I met a man named Collin. He was tall, blessed with the definition of a six pack, and had these clear, blue eyes that would sparkle my way every time I closed my own eyes.

Collin was a little broody, didn’t talk much, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why this was. So I did what every author does when bombarded with an unexpected face, voice, and figure in their head:

I started writing him into a book.

Soon after I began this new literary adventure, Collin’s voice flew out of me like the wind. Not a light breeze, mind you, but hurricane gusts which I couldn’t seem to stop no matter how many times I tried to pull my fingers away from the keyboard. Collin was angry at the world, angry at life, and he wanted me to know it. He also seemed to want me to fix it too, but I didn’t quite know how. I did know one thing about Collin: he loved his family, he loved his best friends like brothers, and most of all he loved his nine-month-old daughter, Chloe, like she was all he’d ever need to live for again.

A little over a year ago, I also met a woman named Addison. She was short, her skin tanned year-round like my oldest daughter, and she also had the very same smile as Shay Mitchell from Pretty Little Liars.

Addie was kind and generous, with an incredibly deep soul and a heart of pure gold that made me feel like I was on top of the world whenever I thought of her. She loved hard, she fought little, yet she had problems…the kind that were a bit too deep to flesh out in my head. So, like Collin, I included Addie in this story, and her voice unfolded in a way that was as natural to me as breathing.

Combining Collin and Addie was either the smartest thing I ever did, or the stupidest. At least that’s how I thought at first. Soon after, there was conflict to be had, incredibly steamy sex that I didn’t know I could write, and pages upon pages of bunting heads, banter, and stolen kisses. Collin and Addie were the most frustrating couple I’d ever written, yet at the same time, they gave me the best ride of my life with their overwhelming and all-consuming, love story.

My hope now is that you will all fall in love with them like I did. ♥  

Read More

Steals & Deals

Deal Alert: Elizabeth A. Reeves, Genevieve Turner, and Ashlee Mallory

It’s Fall! Right now! We’re right at the cusp of jacket weather and unnecessary trips to coffee shops. We’re gathering books to read like they’re a cozy little pile of leaves. So come jump in? (Nailed it. Nailed that visual.) Get these steals from Elizabeth A. Reeves, Genevieve Turner, and Ashlee Mallory while they last!

How (Not) To Kiss a Toad Elizabeth A. Reeves
How (Not) To Kiss a Toad by Elizabeth A. Reeves

Cindy Eller is a witch with a gift for creating decadent desserts highlighting the exotic and spicy flavors of her native Southwest. However, life isn’t always sweet for this magical baker. All her life she’s been cursed– every man she’s ever kissed has turned into a toad. Love isn’t likely to come her way, she knows.

If that weren’t a big enough problem, her ‘curse’ has come to the attention of the Council of Magic and she may never be able to use her powers.

Enter the perfect man– handsome, sweet, and loves food just as much as Cindy does. It would seem to be a match made in Heaven, or is it?

Cindy isn’t the only one keeping secrets.

With toads, cupcakes, romance, magic and ice cream, life never has time to get dull!

Read More

Deadly Rising Ad Gif
Guest Post

Guest Post: Jennie Marts on Writing and Music

Stolen Away Jennie Marts

Music is a powerful thing. It can bring up deep emotions, make you feel happy, or sad, or instantly bring back a memory of another time. But it can also help you write. And I’ve found that the music that I listen to makes a difference in the way that I write.

I know a lot of writers that listen to particular music for certain books, whether it be love songs or rock ballads, some even creating whole soundtracks for their books. I can’t do that. I can listen to certain songs when I’m plotting, songs that set the tone or the feel for the story. But when I’m actually writing, I like it to either be quiet or to have music that is only instrumental, otherwise I get caught up listening to the lyrics instead of my own internal flow of words.

The last year, I have changed my writing routine. In order to increase my production, I have plotted more heavily, and I participate in writing sprints with a few other authors. We set a timer for 30 or 40 minutes, then commit to write with no distractions for that time, then report our word count numbers. We often meet at Panera to sprint, and on those days, I wear noise cancelling headphones and play music. And I’ve noticed an interesting dynamic. The slower the music, the fewer words that I write.

Read More

Guest Post

Guest Post: Cindi Madsen on the Wonder of Friends-to-Lovers

12 Steps to Mr. Right Cindi Madsen

In 12 Steps to Mr. Right, Savannah Gamble, dating coach extraordinaire coaches clients and teaches a workshop to help women start going after the wrong guy, and find their way to Mr. Right. When the guy who inspired several of her rules (thanks to a one-night stand in college) crashes into her life again, she finds herself breaking all of her own rules. Part of the problem is they were friends before that one amazing night during spring break, and he knows things about her most people don’t.

Friends to lovers is one of my favorite tropes, so I thought I’d talk about why I love them so much.

Shared history- there’s something about shared inside jokes, how they know that you once skipped a college class to watch Jersey Shore, and how they remember that time you took beer up to the roof of the science building to look at the stars.

Read More

Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Guest Post, Uncategorized

Guest Post: “How My Hot Italian Fantasy Went Cold” by MK Meredith

Seducing The Tycoon MK Meredith

As many of my fellow romance writers and readers, I’m a sucker for a sultry, sex-on-a-stick Italian who knows how to handle his biscotti. Their dark, exotic good looks, the deep velvet of that damn accent, the promises of every Italian lover in history. Casanova anyone?

How are we supposed to resist?

Well, back in my early twenties, I was out at a club called Seville Quarter in Pensacola Florida. Pensacola had a naval air station in town that offered training to many of our ally military services, the Italian Airforce included.

One challenge for me with the Italian men was that I’m 5’9” who loves to where heels, so most places I go, I’m over six foot tall. Many of the Italian Navy Officers I met were much shorter than I. But, this one night, my three girlfriends and I were dancing on the dancefloor, Blue (Da Ba De) by Eiffel 65 blaring over the speakers, when a group of Italian Navy Officers came in. Sweet baby Jesus, there amongst them was a tall, dark, Italian drink of water.

It was as if the clouds had parted, and the sun had shone straight onto him—at 1 in the morning.

And all of a sudden, I was parched.

His name was Lorenzo. And he was everything my early twenty-something fantasies had imagined.

Read More

Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: SOUTHERN NIGHTS AND SECRETS by Robin Covington

Southern Nights and Secrets Robin Covington

There are plenty of things worse than a Tuesday: Taxes, cold showers, being devoured by snakes, just to name a few of your average hassles. Still, Monday’s boring little brother can get hard to slog through. You know what comforts us? Steamy excerpts from greats in Contemporary Romance! And you’ll never guess what we have up our sleeve: It’s an amazing excerpt from Robin Covington’s Southern Nights and Secrets, out now!

“What the fuck were you thinking? What were you doing?” She gritted out as he trapped her hands in his own tight grip, pulling her tight against him when she struggled even harder at the confinement. They shuffled backwards, her back slamming against the closed door, their exertions rustling the blinds closest to the door and joining the sound of the ER bustling just beyond the panel of wood.

“Damn it Ginger, stop it!” He hissed out trapping her hands between their bodies as he leaned into her, his face, his mouth less than a breath away from her own. She stared up at him, her lips opening to rail at him, to strip him down for scaring the shit out of her with a stunt like that but he spoke first. “I’m okay.”

His voice was a low, deep, reassuring balm against her frazzled nerves but she needed more. Needed more than words.

She kissed him. Soft and light. A quick brush once, twice, a third time enough to feel his warmth and taste his flesh. To know he was alive.

Read More

Steals & Deals

Deal Alert: Krystal Shannan, Pam McCutcheon, Janice Sims, & Siân O’Gorman

We’re going WILD this weekend! How? By adding an extra book to this week’s Deal Alert! (Okay, wild for us. Which is on the mild side. We’re working on it.) Get these steals from Krystal Shannan, Pam McCutcheon, Janice Sims, and Siân O’Gorman while they last!

Chasing Sam by Krystal Shannan

Love, Lust, & Fated Mates.
Werewolf royalty, Samantha Demakis is not ready for what lies ahead of her. At 25, according to decree, it is time for to her to marry, but there is so much more at stake. Her royal suitors, those chosen by her parents, must fight to the death for her hand in marriage. Sam’s obligations and inner wolf are at odds. But when, she meets a sexy stranger, Sam decides forever is just what she wants–with the right wolf.

Spending his life alone, Chase Michaels can’t believe the odds that his alpha wolf reacts so strongly to a chance encounter with a beautiful woman. Never experiencing such desire and need, Chase is bound and determined to make Sam his, despite the laws against it. Unprepared for the snobbery of the noble families, Chase prepares for battle. Can he fight the laws and ancient tradition to win the heart of the woman he’s destined to be with? Or will he die trying?

The Mesmerist by Pam McCutcheon

A woman fleeing her unfaithful fiancé. A cuddly ghost seeking the manner of his death. A magical matchmaker determined to bring the two together, even across time.

When dog trainer Gina Charles flees her unfaithful fiancé, she ends up at a hotel room with another occupant—a ghost with compelling dark eyes who cuddles up to her in the middle of the night.

Ghostly mesmerist Drake Manton doesn’t remember how he died, and insists Gina help him learn the manner of his death so he can move on or he’ll haunt her forever.

Gina’s investigation leads her to the burned-out Chesterfield hotel, where she finds a magical hope chest in the ruins. When she touches it, she and her faithful terrier hurtle back in time to 1883 where she comes face-to-face with the very alive, very sexy mesmerist.

Now all Gina has to do is prevent Drake’s fiery death so she can return to her own time. Or can she give up her life in the future for a lifetime of love in Drake’s arms?

Read More

Guest Post

Guest Post: “Girlfriends” by Cathryn Fox

Full Exposure Cathryn Fox

What is the first thing you think about when you hear Romance Novel? Let me guess, two people overcoming obstacles to find happily ever after. While that is true, in almost every one of my books you will find one other VERY important happily ever after relationship, and that is the relationship between girlfriends.

I almost always give my heroine a best friend, someone she can count on, someone to eat Chunky Monkey ice cream with when things aren’t going well, someone who will be there for the good times and bad. I love women relationships, and feel they are important in our real lives, which is why I always write them in to my stories.

While I want my main heroine to be likeable and relatable, I can make her best girlfriend the funny, outrageous one who guides the heroine and gives bad advice (you know, like go pick up that guy and do the nasty already, lol) Of course that advice really always turns out to be great for the heroine. I want the best friend to be honest, (she’s the one who is going to say yes, those pants DO make you look fat) loyal, and confident—in herself and in the heroine.  I often get emails from readers asking if the best friend is getting her own story. Most times I don’t, but in my most recent release, Hand On serial, the best friend cracks me up and is screaming for her own happily ever after.

Read More

Guest Post

Guest Post: Lauren Hawkeye on Strong Heroines in Romance

Claiming The Enemy Lauren Hawkeye

When I was in university, years before I ever started writing, I was still an avid romance reader. I had a friend, however, who commented on my romance novel habit every chance she got—and her comments were not positive. One that is still seared into my memory is the night that she came over, found me reading my newest Nora Roberts on the couch (I think it was Key of Valor!) and said “romance novels aren’t good for you—they’re only written to make women feel badly about themselves.” Turned out she didn’t like reading about female characters who, in a nutshell, were confident and had their shit together, because it made her feel less than.

If I’d been older and wiser then, I might have understood that this was her problem, not the problem of every woman out there. I did realize that that wasn’t how romance novels made ME feel. When I started writing myself, I looked back at this conversation and wondered which of us was right.

After nearly ten years of publication, I’ve come to this simple conclusion about that long-past conversation: not everyone is a romance reader. Those of us who are—the massive, alpha-loving herd of us? Romance novels don’t make us feel bad, because we start to read each one wanting to feel good. We want our heroines to be strong, because then we can see ourselves in them. We want our heroes even stronger, so that they can be the man our heroines need.  Attractive, successful characters don’t make us feel small—they let us be whoever we want to be while we’re in between the pages of our books.

Read More

Guest Post

“The Biggest Differences Between Romance in Romance Novels and Real Life” by Marie Harte

Roadside Assistance Marie Harte

I chose this topic to blog about because I find it very funny. I love romance novels. I love reading them, writing them, and keeping them to read again. I was accused once by an ex that I unfairly compared my relationship to the fictional ones I read about. But I’m an intelligent woman, and I sure as hell know the difference between reality and make-believe. As much as I love a good romance, I’ve often wondered how it would play out in real life.

So here are my top 5 differences between romance in reality and romance in a romance novel.

  • The alpha hero. Okay, in romance, this guy is swoon-worthy. He’s take-charge at work and in bed, but when he hurts the heroine’s feelings because he’s being too bossy, he immediately backs down.
    In real life, a guy this demanding and arrogant would find my foot up his butt in no time. A real alpha hero isn’t going to be an asshat in every occasion except with his lady love. Nope. This guy will be a real jerk all the time.
  • The romantic suspense where they take time out for some nookie.
    Um, if I’m being chased by the mob, the last thing I’m thinking about is going at it with a hunky detective in the closet. Because if his eyes are on my naked body, who’s watching the door to protect my fine tush?
  • Another point of contention in the romantic suspense genre—hygiene. I’ve read my share of stories set with characters on the run from smugglers and bad guys who, while camping out in the jungle after days spent running from danger, just go at it. Come on. If I’m just going on a date, I make sure not to sweat and roll around in dirt beforehand. Nothing like a man wanting to please you, except you’re too funked up with sweat and conscious of body odor. And seriously. Not brushing your teeth for days on end, then kissing? Gross.

    Read More