Posts Tagged ‘romantic suspense’


Q&A: Anne Calhoun of UNDER THE SURFACE

Under The Surface Anne Calhoun

Today we take a peek into the mind of Anne Calhoun, author of the ever-so-steamy Alpha Ops series! Her latest installment, Under the Surface, is out now!


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


Pride and Prejudice (1995)

Bridget Jones’ Diary

Sense and Sensibility

Bright Star (a romance with a very unhappy ending, but gorgeously filmed)

Describe your favorite scene from each one.

Persuasion: The scene where Wentworth hands Anne up into the carriage when he sees she’s tired. So thoughtful, and he can’t bear to look at her afterwards.

Pride and Prejudice: The scene where Darcy scurries to catch up with Elizabeth after the wet shirt scene. We see how far he’s come, that he’s willing to be caught in such an undignified situation but then go after her.

Bridget Jones’ Diary: the fight scene between Daniel Cleaver and Mark Darcy. It’s ridiculous to watch these two Cambridge-educated men scrabble around in an attempt to hurt each other. So funny.

Sense and Sensibility: When Colonel Brandon staggers in, soaked to his skin, carrying Marianne, then collapses to his knees with exhaustion. “Give me an occupation, Miss Dashwood, or I shall run mad.” So controlled. So in love.

Bright Star: the scene where Keats and Fanny Brawne are sitting together, touching each other’s hands.

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

Not a one!

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Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: Paige Tyler on her Favorite Scene from TO LOVE A WOLF

To Love a Wolf Paige Tyler

What was your favorite scene to write for To Love a Wolf and why?

This is a seriously tough question since every scene in the book tells a critical part of the story, and without any of them the book would fall apart. But all that being said, if pressed, I’d have to say that it’s the opening scene of the book—the entire prologue really—which has a special place in my heart.

To understand why, you need to know two things.

One, my hubby and I write together. When you read those intense action sequences—or the parts where the SWAT team is bonding over a moment that most women would consider pure insanity—you need to understand that those scenes are his influence into the joint work.

Two, you need to know that my husband spent twenty-one years in Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), better known as the bomb squad. Before I even go one step further, he wants me to point out that he’d never been asked to do anything even close to what occurs in the beginning of To Love a Wolf—thank God! But he did know many men and woman who were asked to take The Long Walk—manually approaching a suspect package known as an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). And some of them never came back from that Walk.

Because of this and his connection to these people that he knew so well, he refused to even consider putting an EOD guy in any of the books we wrote for nearly ten years. It just never seemed right to him, and he couldn’t bring himself to even start the story.

But with Cooper’s story I think he finally got to a place where he felt it was okay to go back and think about people whose names are now listed on a memorial wall at the Joint Service EOD School.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “Sit in the Chair and Write” by M.L. Buchman

Flash of Fire M.L. Buchman

Writing is a curious profession.

We humans are social animals. We work better in groups: whether hunting on African plains (something I’ve never done) or brainstorming in a corporate meeting (something I’ve done far too much of). We are more effective when we work together.

Yet writing drives us into a corner and says, “Sit alone and write.”

They say it is the profession of introverts.

I’m beginning to think that it is rather a profession that creates introverts.

I was a much more social animal in the past. I’m not the wildly out-going sort, but I did enjoy dinner parties, going to movies or a party with friends, spending a day out on a sailboat with a merry group. Over the last few decades of writing, I’ve found myself more and more comfortable being alone and by myself. I no longer am energized by the crowd and the feeling of intense activity.

I’m not becoming curmudgeonly.

I’m becoming a writer.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: Katee Robert on Marriages of Convenience in Romance

The Wedding Pact Katee Robert

The arranged marriage tropes is, hands down, one of my favorites. I found the romance genre with historicals, because one of my favorite suspense authors had started there. So I picked up one of her Scottish Highlander historical romances about a highlander who was being forced to marry someone not of his choosing. My twelve-year-old mind was blown. I proceeded to devour every historical romance I could get my hands on, and that love of romance hasn’t changed as the years have gone by.

But I’m not going to lie—the marriage of convenience trope is still my favorite.

It’s got elements that are just catnip for me. Two people, often who either hate each other or don’t know each other at all, forced into what is arguably one of the most intimate relationships in existence. They had to deal with living with this near-stranger, and all the sexy good times that usually result!

I wasn’t sure it could get better than that. But then I started finding marriage of convenience tropes popping up in contemporary romance novels. The reasoning behind the marriages themselves changed with the times—less because they were found in compromising positions and more for things like business mergers—but the things I love about the trope are still present and accounted for.

A favorite of mine is The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst. Both hero and heroine get something from marrying each other that has nothing to do with love, but then you have this cold and distant hero who’s having to deal with a woman who has the habit of sneaking animals into his house without warning in an effort to save them from being put down. I’m sure you can imagine the hilarity that ensues.

And that’s not even getting into the sheer sexual tension that arises from the forced proximity of having this other person in their house, sharing their space, popping up when they least expect it. Something that used to be as simple as having late night ice cream in the kitchen is suddenly rife with the possibilities of running into each other and for one thing to lead to another.

As I’ve said—catnip.

What about you? Which book with a marriage of convenience is your favorite?

Katee RobertKatee Robert learned to tell stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her favorites then were the rather epic adventures of The Three Bears, but at age twelve she discovered romance novels and never looked back.

Though she dabbled in writing, life got in the way—as it often does—and she spent a few years traveling, living in both Philadelphia and Germany. In between traveling and raising her two wee ones, she had the crazy idea that she’d like to write a book and try to get published.

Her first novel was an epic fantasy that, God willing, will never see the light of day. From there, she dabbled in YA and horror, before finally finding speculative romance. Because, really, who wouldn’t want to write entire books about the smoking-hot relationships between two people?

She now spends her time—when not lost in Far Reach worlds—playing imaginary games with her wee ones, writing, ogling men, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Steals & Deals

Deal Alert: Susan Kearney, Katie Cross, and Addison Moore

We bring you this Deal Alert with a satisfied sigh. Not to brag, but our sales sniffing prowess goes from the clothing rack straight to the bookshelf! We’ve found some amazing FREE and almost FREE titles from Susan Kearney, Katie Cross, and Addison Moore just for you. Enjoy!

The Challenge by Susan Kearney

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “The Dreaded Cliffy…” by J.L. Berg

Forgetting August JL Berg

When I sat down to write my first novel, I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt that it would be a standalone. Every detail of my hero and heroine’s journey would be tied up in a nice neat bow by the last page.

Who wanted the hassle of a cliffhanger?

Not me.

Too messy.

I continued with this philosophy well into my contemporary series, always wrapping up each book nicely as I sent the hero and heroine into their happily every after.

Right around the publication of my fifth book, I had an idea.

A horrible, brilliant idea. It nagged at me for days until finally I typed up a brief synopsis and sent it to my agent.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: Katie Ruggle on Forensics, Nerdery, and HOLD YOUR BREATH

Hold Your Breath by Katie Ruggle

When I started working on a police Crime Scene Team, I discovered something: I’m a forensics nerd. On the first day of training, a whole world opened up, one overflowing with the possibility of evidence. No fingerprints? Then check for shoe prints. No? Let’s try DNA. Or maybe fibers or gun powder residue or bullet casings or anything else that could have been left behind at the scene.

The processes available fascinated me. At one burglary scene, we found a pair of used latex gloves. The burglar’s fingerprints could be on the inside of the gloves, but how could they be retrieved? After (very carefully) turning each finger inside out, we hung them in a Plexiglas container with a small amount of superglue and secured the airtight lid. When we heated the superglue, a fog-like vapor filled the space.

The superglue vapor attached to what the person wearing the gloves had left behind (amino acids, fatty acids and proteins), leaving a white residue that followed the lines of the latent prints. In this way, the invisible became visible and told us who’d been wearing the gloves (in this case, the home owner. It turned out that he’d faked the burglary to get insurance money).

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Swoon-Worthy Heroes

Swoon-Worthy Heroes: Sawyer Hayes from Shelly Bell’s BLACK LISTED

The hero I will be introducing you to puts the sex in sexy, that’s for sure. If you haven’t pre-ordered Black Listed, it is the fourth novel in Shelly Bell’s Benediction series. Black Listed by Shelly Bell It is Erotic Romantic Suspense and it is definitely H-A-W-T! And so is our hero, Sawyer Hayes; billionaire, CEO, tech genius, alpha/dominant… drool

Don’t know what Benediction is? Well, it is a BDSM club and all of the books (from the White Collared serials to Black Listed) have several scenes take place in the club and all of the heroes and heroines meet and fall in love because they share a common interest; kink.

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Giveaway, Guest Post

Guest Post: “The Heart of the Matter” by Anise Eden

All The Broken Places Anise Eden

With due apology to all of the writers who have labored over the books I’ve read, I have been known to flip past beautifully written passages about very important things just to find out what happens next in the romantic subplot. Even as a child, before I was reading about romantic love, what I cared about in stories were the relationships—between friends, siblings, parents and children, characters and their pets—anything that made a heart-to-heart connection.

When I wrote my first novel, All the Broken Places, I didn’t set out to write a romance, but I suppose it should come as no surprise that I did. The heart has always been where I live, and it is also where the wellspring of my inspiration lies.

One of the best things about writing romance is that the subject of love is so rich. It includes many of our most compelling human experiences—loyalty, sacrifice, intimacy, generosity, humor, forgiveness, persistence, empathy, and sympathy, among other things. Love is a dazzling kaleidoscope of our existence. Perhaps that is the reason why it has been the driving force behind so much of our behavior, including so many of our creative endeavors.

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Cover Reveals

Cover Reveal: IRRESISTIBLY YOURS by Lark Brennan

Today we have the cover reveal of Lark Brennan’s new book, Irresistibly Yourswhich will be out June 21st, 2016! It is the second in The Durand Chronicles series and we’re so thrilled to see it! Here’s a bit about the book from Lark herself: 

It’s so exciting to see finished covers for the first time, and this one for Irresistibly Yours captures the glamour, intensity, and Parisian setting of the second book of the Durand Chronicles so beautifully!

Each book in the Durand series is set in one of my favorite places. The first, Dangerously Yours, takes place in the Virgin Islands where I spent several years diving and sailing. Lex Durand’s world was further inspired by the Cousteau teams who studied marine life in the islands, but with a twist—she’s an animal telepath who can communicate with the whales and dolphins she encounters. When one of her whales vanishes, she blackmails the reclusive Bodie Flynn into helping her solve the mystery, and together they wrestle with the dark side of the beautiful Caribbean.

Where Dangerously Yours celebrates the natural world, Irresistibly Yours is set in my favorite city—Paris. The City of Lights is the ancestral home of the Durand family and the place that gives them their psychic abilities. In Paris readers are introduced to new family members and further drawn in to the tricky dynamics within the ultra-wealthy, multinational and multi-talented Durands. Readers can also see Paris for the first time through the eyes of Tate, a young American who finds herself in a world that’s not just foreign but also mysterious and extremely dangerous – much like the tall dark stranger she meets by something more than chance – Adrien Durand.

In many ways, the idea for the whole series started with Adrien, head of the Durand family and one of the most powerful psychics in the world. On a rainy January day in Paris, my husband and I were strolling down the rue du Bac when a window display of framed insect specimens caught his eye. We went into the charming little garden shop, browsed for a few minutes, and were about to leave when the woman behind the counter told us we absolutely must go upstairs. We weren’t expecting much, but it was raining and cold outside so we climbed the worn stairs and emerged among Deyrolle’s incredible collection of taxidermy animals—featuring every species from elephants and giraffes to donkeys, wolves, rabbits, and even mice–all posed as though they are having a jolly time in the elegant townhouse. Then and there I fell in love with the place and every creature in it.

Now whenever I visit Paris I pop into Deyrolle at some point, and I’ve often taken friends with me to introduce them to my favorite place in the city. Knowing how much I love the place, people began sending me magazine and newspaper articles about it. The New York Times called Deyrolle “The Shop of Wild Dreams.” A French pop star filmed a music video in the animal galleries. Woody Allen shot a scene of Midnight in Paris there. It seemed that Deyrolle was the most famous obscure place in Paris. One day I joked to my husband, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the man who owned Deyrolle could bring the animals to life when no one was around?” That imaginary man later became Adrien Durand, and Irresistibly Yours is his story.

Of course, Adrien’s Maison d’Ermonie is a much different place than the real-life Deyrolle, and his world more dangerous and magical than life on the rue du Bac. And his story is totally the product of my imagination. Still, whenever I climb those wooden stairs to the upstairs galleries, I like to pretend the animals are happy to see me again.

And now for that cover reveal! Drum roll please:

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