Posts in the Contemporary genre

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “Give Me Heart With The Heat” by Sherilee Gray

Breaking Him Sherilee Gray

When I first started writing, the idea of writing a sex scene was terrifying. OMG! Someone might read it. I blushed just thinking about it. Even though the books I read and loved had sex scenes, that to me, felt integral to the character development in those stories—I didn’t know if I could pull it off. Then the time finally came, my characters needed to get busy. I’d like to say it was easy, that my hero and heroine didn’t come across like horny, multi-limbed, octopus-people, and that I’d managed to successfully add emotion and character growth like a champ—unfortunately, I can’t tell you that. There were arms and legs everywhere, euphemisms being thrown about willy-nilly, and purple prose that was so darn purple it would make your eyes water.

It was just as hard as I imagined it would be.

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Q&A: THE PROTECTOR by Jodi Ellen Malpas

The Protector Jodi Ellen Malpas

So what do you get when you sit down with an author known for fun and totally engrossing Romance? You get a fun and totally engrossing interview! Check out our interview with the amazing Jodi Ellen Malpas below and don’t miss The Protector, out now!

Can’t get to a bookstore somehow? Well, guess what! Pleasant surprise number #2: You can enter for a chance to win a signed copy below!


What are your five favorite movies with romance or romantic elements? I’m always drawn to romantic movies that are about love that’s off limits or forbidden.

It ramps up the angst, which I love in movies and books. Movies like Endless LoveMet Joe BlackDirty DancingBrokeback MountainTwilight, Titanic…to name just a few!


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

I’ll be here a long time if I describe a scene from each one! But if anyone hasn’t watched all of these movies, then they definitely should. Immediately.


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

All of my stories are based around the men being off limits in one way or another. Say it all, doesn’t it?! One scene from The Protector that jumps out at me is the moment Jake and Cami give into their attraction and desire for each other. It’s intense, frantic, and eventually full of acceptance. I love that scene!


Everyone has a favorite couple (an “OTP” in ‘shipping terms) in romance, whether in a romance book, movie, or television series. Who is your favorite couple, and why? 

Oh, this is easy. Mr and Mrs Smith. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. I could watch that film over and over. I just love how she handles herself and how crazy she sends him. Brilliant!

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