Essential Beginnings Kennedy Layne
Guest Post

Why Charlee James Believes in Happily Ever After

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Writing has always been my passion, but my first career was a wedding planner. It was fun, and stressful, joyous and maddening all at the same time. My favorite part of every event was opening the doors to the ballroom as the wedding couple was announced. The elation on their faces would give me a dose of pure joy.

Each couple I worked with had a unique love story. Whether they met online or at the corner coffee shop, or if it was a first marriage or a third, their tales were romantic and inspiring. Some had crossed oceans and continents to be with their special someone, overcome deep family feuds, and blended cultural differences into a beautiful and bold exchange of vows. Each had been brave enough to take a chance at happily ever after.

My favorite love story though is my parents who have been married for over thirty-five years and still every morning my dad tells my mom she’s beautiful in some variation (my favorite is ‘you look wild’). My mother, a teacher, would walk through town on her way home and my father, a firefighter, would run outside to water the flowers so he could say hello to her. This continued on for months until they finally went on their first date.

Early on in their courtship, my dad agreed to go skiing with my mother. He’d never put on a pair of skis in his life, let alone go down a mountain in them. The date ended with my father whizzing right through the fence at the bottom of the trial (needless to say, my mom caught on that his skiing skills were slightly horrifying). Isn’t it crazy the things we’ll do in those early stages of a relationship?

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Portland ME Freya Barker sale July
Guest Post

Sweet vs. Sexy Romance with Annie Seaton!

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When I was at high school I always wanted to be the sweet girl. You know, a bit like Sandy in Grease … or like Samantha in Sixteen Candles. But that was not to be … I was always the academic one. While everyone else seemed to have all the fun, I was the serious one lost in my own world of making up stories all with happily ever afters.

I lived in a city but I always dreamed of living by the water. Being a Cancerian, water is my element and as I wrote my stories, water always inspired my creativity. I loved that scene in Grease where Sandy and Danny got together at the beach, just like From Here to Eternity. So I read sweet romances, dreamed of holidays by the ocean… and watched those boys.

On to university and sitting in lectures, my head was still full of sweet romance stories and not the heavy going stuff I was studying in English literature. I studied the period called the Romantic era which was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement. Was it this study that instilled a love of romance in me… to appear later in life in my published category romances…or was it the reading of my mother’s romance novels throughout my teenage years that inspired my desire to write of sweet romance?

Don’t get me wrong, I loved reading the classics and more literary works and I did write a brilliant thesis on stream of consciousness. But when I wasn’t studying I would read any sweet romance I could get my hands on.

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Sisters in Love Melissa Foster
Q&A

Q&A with Heidi R. Kling! | Where I Found You

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Heidi R. Kling comes over to the EA blog to answer our questions about romance and her new book WHERE I FOUND YOU. Now, on with the questions!


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

Titanic

Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare in Love

The Holiday

Love, Actually

(Scary how fast I typed those out)

 

Describe your favorite scene from each one:

Oooh!!! Titanic: I think it’s when Jack pulls Rose’s dress sleeve into the secret room and confesses how much he loves her.

R+J: kissing under the water in the pool. Come on!

Shakespeare in Love: when he’s so in love and inspired he can’t write fast enough

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Guest Post

Tara Kingston’s Top 5 Romantic Holiday Movies

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Since I was a teen, I’ve enjoyed holiday movies that offer a touch of romance in addition to festive good cheer. The Friday after Thanksgiving isn’t an official holiday, but it is the start of my personal holiday viewing season. The must-sees on my list blend a holiday theme with a romance that touches my heart. I’d like to share five of my favorites with you:

While You Were Sleeping – A sweet-natured romantic comedy with a subtle tenderness, this film features Sandra Bullock as Lucy, a lonely woman who is drawn to an ultra-hot nice guy played by Bill Pullman. There’s only one problem—his family thinks she’s his brother’s fiancée. Set during the Christmas season, I adore seeing Lucy and Jack weave their way toward a heartwarming happily-ever-after.

Love, Actually – I must confess, I cannot get through this movie without shedding a tear. The interconnected stories feature such diverse characters as a bachelor-in-love prime minister portrayed by Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson as a grieving widower with a young son, and Colin Firth as a swoon-worthy writer touch my heart with a blend of hope and love.

The Holiday – In this sweet-natured romantic comedy, an Englishwoman and an American swap houses for the holiday season, discovering unexpected love in the process. This film is both tender and funny, and the leads (Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black, and a dreamy Jude Law) bring great likeability to their characters in a light-hearted love story.

Scrooged – I adore this movie. Bill Murray brings a snarky sensibility to Frank Cross, a television executive who has the Scrooge-experience through a series of ghostly encounters, including one with a fairy-like apparition who likes “the rough stuff”. Through these encounters, he reconnects with the love of his life, and he learns that love is what is important as he makes his way to his own happily-ever-after.

Elf – The most whimsical film on this list, this movie is more comedy than romance, but the romantic elements and message of hope are a vital part of the film’s charm. Will Ferrell’s football-player-sized Buddy the Elf is hilariously naïve, but his tender heart and genuine caring for others leads him to love with a department store co-worker played by Zooey Deschanel and to form a heartwarming bond with the father he never knew as a boy. It’s a feel-good movie that never fails to make me smile.

What are some of your favorite holiday movies that have a touch of romance?

Thank you to EverAfter for hosting me today. Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season.


LadyEvelyn'sHighlandProtector_500X750_FinalAbout Lady Evelyn’s Highland Protector:

A Highlander’s vow…Scottish spy Gerard MacMasters never expected to be playing bodyguard in his mission to catch a killer. Stunning English beauty, Lady Evelyn Hunt, has witnessed a merciless assassin’s escape—now, she’s in danger, and it’s up to him to keep her alive. Yet, he is drawn to the tempting woman. Passion flares, but he knows better than to fall for her. He’s already lost one woman he loved—never again will he put his heart on the line.

She shields her heart…After a crushing betrayal at the altar, Lady Evelyn wants nothing to do with love. Kissing a gorgeous rogue is one thing, but surrendering her heart is another matter. When she stumbles upon a mysterious crime, nothing prepares her for the dashing Scot who charges into her life. The hot-blooded Highlander may be her hero—or her undoing.


About the Author:

Award-winning author Tara Kingston writes historical romance laced with romantic suspense and adventures of the heart. She lives her own happily-ever-after in a cozy Victorian with her real-life hero and a pair of deceptively innocent-looking cats. When she’s not writing, reading, or burning dinner, Tara enjoys movie nights, cycling, hiking, DIY projects, and cheering on her favorite football team.

You can connect with Tara on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at her webpage, www.tarakingston.com. If you’d like updates on new releases, historical romance, and contests, please sign-up for Tara’s newsletter.

Guest Post

How Reading Romance Shaped Mari Carr As a Writer

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I write because I read. It’s as simple as that. I grew up with my nose in a book and, as my mother would say, my head in the clouds. I truly believe reading enhances and builds imagination. In my case, it built it up to the point where I had a million stories inside my head fighting to get out on to the page. Looking back, I can almost chart my course from reader to romance writer by simply looking at the stories I’ve read.

I read my first romance book in middle school. I checked Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret out from the library no less than a dozen times in sixth grade. I was enthralled and scandalized by the kissing in the closet scene! Then, my mother gave me another book by Judy Blume. Forever.

My mother, ever the teacher, handed it to me the summer before tenth grade with the words, “We’ll talk about it when you’re finished.” I read it in one day. For those of you who haven’t read the book, it’s a great story about a teenage girl’s first time. After I finished the book, my mother asked, “What did you learn?” I said, “I learned that if you really love someone, it’s okay to have sex.” My mother said, “No, you learned you should wait until after marriage.” The fight that day was epic and in the end, my mother didn’t try to instruct me with books after that. Now, as adults, we still laugh whenever that story is told!

Of course, when I look back, I realize both my parents were instrumental in guiding my future career as a romance writer. My father was a HUGE fan of romance books (and shhh…even the erotic ones). I stealthily lifted his copies of Jackie Collins’ Lucky Santangelo books all the time. He caught me reading one once and after the initial shock wore off, he simply said, “Don’t let your mother catch you with that.”

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Guest Post

Why Maryann Jordan Writes HEAs

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Perhaps it was with my stories…first fairy tales, read to me by my mother as she tucked me in at night.  They always ended with, “and they lived happily ever after.”  I never imagined that the characters would never have any problems, but I knew it meant that they were going to be happy together.  When I first started reading romances, I adored the HEAs.  For me, when I read a book (and there were only a few) where the couple did not end up together, I always felt cheated.

I read for pleasure…I read to escape…I read to imagine.  And at the end of the story, I always wanted to know that the couple was together.  No matter what they had to face, they would be together.  When I began writing romances, it’s no surprise that, while each book is unique, they all end the same way…Happily Ever After!

Now I have readers who contact me to tell me that they enjoy my stories and love the way they end!


ABOUT THE BOOK: 

With the threat of terrorists developing means of biological warfare, retired Navy SEAL, Logan (Preacher) Bishop jumped at the chance to run a mission in Alaska, monitoring the activities of a newly established ISIS cell.  

Assigned to work with an agent on a cell in Alaska, biologist Vivian Sanders was stunned to find she was being paired with a security specialist and he knew nothing about their cover—living next door to the terrorists and pretending to be married.

Learning to work together, Logan and Viv discover opposites do attract. But the secret Logan carries is one he is afraid she won’t be able to accept. When the chemicals created by the terrorists next door are threatened to be tested on a small town in Alaska, they fight to save their lives…and hope their love survives the battle as well.


Thin Ice CoverABOUT MARYANN JORDAN:

As an Award Winning, Amazon International Bestselling and All-Star author, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble Best Selling Author, I have always been an avid reader. In 2013 I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers. In 2014, I finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created. When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap! I love to hear from readers, so please email me!

Connect with Maryann! Website  Newsletter  Goodreads  Amazon  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: HEART ON FIRE by Amanda Bouchet!

GODS. I’M AN IDIOT.

Without Griffin—and apparently a few meddling Gods—to push me along, I’d still be telling fortunes at the circus, lying about my past, ignoring my future, and living as far away from my tyrant mother as humanly possible.

True understanding thuds into place. Hope isn’t just an abstract concept; it’s me. Flesh and blood me. Griffin knew it all along. Probably everyone did. I’m an idea in human form._

I have the power of the Gods at my fingertips.

The only thing ever stopping me has been me.

The riveting conclusion to The Kingmaker Chronicles, HEART ON FIRE, releases January 2018! Check out our exclusive excerpt below!


Griffin’s hand tightens on my arm.

I roll my eyes. “I’m not going to fall in, you know. The cliff is all the way over there.”

He loosens his hold. Sort of.

I glance up at him, trying to tame my sudden smile. Domineering and overprotective doesn’t even begin to describe my husband. There’s also deliciously jealous, but that’s another subject all together. The black stubble framing his mouth makes his full lips look impossibly kissable. It’s been hours since they were last on mine. And I love to kiss the hawkish curve of his nose. So strong and masculine. I adore that nose. And the rest of him. His powerful body. Muscle. Sinew. Bone.

I gaze up at him, nearly sighing. “I love you.”

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Guest Post

Q&A with Mary Lindsey!

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“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere. He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

We had Mary Lindsey, author of HAVEN, on the blog for a round of questions and answers about everything romance and reading! 


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

10 Things I Hate About You – hands down the best serenade in movie history. Heath Ledger forever, baby.

via GIPHY

Ever After – Drew Barrymore is my perfect Cinderella. She’s got some spunk and she’s not afraid to fight for what’s right.

via GIPHY

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Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: SILENT KNIGHT by Becky McGraw

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Thomas Griffin never thought he’d be a homeless vet at forty-six years old. But when he was no longer useful to the government he’d spent his life serving, they turned their back on him when he needed them most, costing him everything he ever loved. After that, he really didn’t care. Living his life on the fringe was safe and he didn’t have to worry about anything except his next meal. That safety remains until a beautiful socialite decides to come slumming for Thanksgiving on the wrong side of town and gets herself into trouble.

Over her fifty-five years of life, Lou Ellen Wells had received many blessings. To pay them forward and honor the men in her life who served her country, both living and dead, she cooked Thanksgiving Dinner at the Dallas Veteran’s Services Center every year. It was located in a bad part of town, but she’d never had a problem, until this year when she’s brutally attacked and can’t get to her gun. A bedraggled man with piercing blue eyes jumps to her rescue and saves her with moves out of an action movie. She gives him her card and offers him help, but he tells her doesn’t need saving and takes off like his tail is on fire.

A couple of weeks later, Lou is surprised when the man calls her asking for help of a different kind. A teenage girl he cares about has gone missing in gang territory. He’s afraid she’ll get killed if he doesn’t find her soon. Lou calls in the team to help him, but her price for that help is finding out why her Silent Knight, who is obviously skilled and educated, chooses to be homeless.

But will satisfying her curiosity about Thomas Griffin put her in the crosshairs of a terrorist group even more dangerous than MS-13?

Check out our exclusive excerpt of SILENT KNIGHT below! 


Keep your head, Lou, she thought, as she squirmed and clawed at the thick arms around her chest. Her heels wouldn’t allow her to get her feet under her, so she kicked them off. It would be easier to run without them too. Her purse was trapped behind her, between her and her assailant, so Bruno would be of no help until he released her.

But he didn’t release her, he spun her and slammed her into the brick wall and put his forearm under her chin. Her head connected with the bricks and pain sliced through her skull as she fought to bring her knee up to kick him in the balls. This evidently wasn’t his first assault, though, because he stayed just far enough away to prevent it.

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Guest Post

Christina Mandelski’s Top 5 Romantic Movies

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As a romance author, I’m always reading books or watching movies that inspire me to write swoon-worthy scenes and plots. There are SO many good examples out there. For me, the big climactic moment where love is declared needs to have elements of desperation, determination, and the willingness to risk it ALL at a chance for love. In my new book, The First Kiss Hypothesis, the climactic love scene includes a heroine who thinks she’s lost everything and a determined hero, on crutches, trying to walk on a beach.

Today, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite go-to movies that always leave me feeling all the feels. They all include climactic scenes that are like the perfect storm of all the romantic elements that tug at our heartstrings and keep us coming back for more.

Say Anything. I vividly remember meeting Lloyd Dobler/John Cusack in a movie theater. I was nineteen years old, single, and oh, how I longed for someone who would hold up his boom box to my bedroom window, blasting “In Your Eyes.” I still don’t understand how Diane was able to resist.

Say what you will about Jon Cusack in Say Anything..., but the man knew how to incorporate music into his romantic gesture.

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