Excerpt & Giveaway: Caught in the Act by Kim Law

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BIO:

As a child, award-winning author Kim Law cultivated a love for chocolate, anything purple, and creative writing. She penned her debut work, “The Gigantic Talking Raisin,” in the sixth grade and got hooked on the delights of creating stories. Before settling into the writing life, however, she earned a college degree in mathematics and then worked as a computer programmer. Now she’s living out her lifelong dream of writing romance novels. She’s won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award, has been a finalist for the prestigious RWA RITA Award, and has served in varied positions for her local RWA chapter. A native of Kentucky, Kim lives with her husband and an assortment of animals in Middle Tennessee.

CONTACT LINKS:

www.kimlaw.com

twitter.com/kim_law

facebook.com/kimlawauthor

pinterest.com/kimlawauthor/

LawKim-CaughtInTheAct-CoverArtCAUGHT IN THE ACT

The Davenports, Book Two

Montlake Romance, Contemporary

January 27, 2015

Paperback & Kindle

Catherine Davenport Carlton needs a break. After dedicating her life to her political-minded family, shocking scandals from the past have shaken her to her core. Summer in the quiet town of Dyersport, Maine, is just what she needs, especially with a super-hot neighbor right next door…who’s none other than Brody Hollister, the boy she fell in love with as a teen. Cat wants nothing more than to pick up right where they left off eighteen years ago, but she’s still haunted by a terrible secret that could devastate Brody.

Brody Hollister spent years pining over Cat Davenport. They met young and loved passionately—until she disappeared from his life. Now she’s back, as spirited and beautiful as ever. But while Brody is determined to help Cat free herself from her family’s drama, his own family may be hiding something that could ruin their rekindled romance for good.

In Book Two of the Davenports romance series, sex and politics collide…with passionate results.

Buy: Caught in the Act (The Davenports Book 2)

EXCERPT:

“I . . . uh . . .” Louisa’s stumbling words caught his attention. She was looking back and forth between them, confusion marring her face. “I guess you two know each other?” she finally asked.

Brody’s gaze met Cat’s. They nodded simultaneously.

“We know each other,” he said. “Though it’s been a long time.”

Cat nodded again, the anger he’d seen flash across her face softening back into surprise. “Long time,” she muttered.

And then her gaze skittered away.

Her lack of eye contact intrigued him, and he took the moment to study her appearance. Her makeup was just right: applied with a light hand but enough to come across as professional. Her hair, with its wide band perfectly matching her top and shoes, didn’t have a single flyaway strand.

And her stance screamed that she was important—only not so much as to not fit in with the locals. She wore her Davenport air, and from everything he’d seen over the last two decades, she should be standing there with a high level of confidence.

However, she was still focusing on anything other than him.

And then he got it. She hadn’t been spying on him for the last five days. She’d been ogling.

Him.

This brought a broad grin to his face. It had been nineteen years since he’d seen her. And yeah, he knew that people checked him out. He took care of himself. According to gossip at the college, he was a “hottie.” But to have Cat think so. After all this time. The very idea sent a rush of hot pleasure through his body.

And he could see it on her face when she peeked up at him once more. Her chin tilted stubbornly in the air. Catherine Davenport had just figured out that the guy she had the hots for was the very boy who’d once fumbled his way into her panties.

And she lived right next door to him.

The summer suddenly looked a whole lot brighter.

“Mr. Hollister,” a high-pitched voice said at his side. A small hand yanked on his belt loop, and in the next instant, multiple hands yanked on multiple belt loops, with additional “Mr. Hollisters” thrown in.

Brody looked down. He was surrounded by every kid who’d been sitting perfectly quiet only two minutes earlier. Not that he couldn’t handle them when they weren’t sitting quietly, they’d just caught him off guard. It would be only a matter of getting everyone calmed back down, and things would be fine.

He pried Amy’s tiny hand off his jeans while ignoring Cat still standing in the doorway. “What can I do for you, Amy?”

“Can the woman stay?” the girl asked.

“Yeah!” Fourteen other kids shouted the word in unison and began bouncing up and down, almost as one entity. “Let the woman stay,” they chanted. “Let the woman stay.”

A soft chime sounded overhead, and Louisa mumbled something about the front door. She was gone before Brody could ask for help.

Amy tugged on his belt loop again. “Mr. Hollister.”

“Yes, Amy?” Once again, he pried small fingers from the denim.

“I need to pee.”

Oh geez.

Brody looked around, panicked, feeling suddenly out of control. He did not want to ask Cat for help. There was a certainty in him that if he let her in, even a millimeter, she would quickly become more than a pretty neighbor to secretly fixate on.

He shoved the thought from his mind. She may be next door, and he may still want her—no matter how they’d ended—but it didn’t mean he had to act on it. Even if one glance at her in close proximity had him thinking that he wanted to peel that innocent-looking white skirt from her body and see what she looked like in a teeny-tiny pair of bikinis.

It had nothing to do with her personally. It had simply been a while.

And men had needs.

“How about we all make a bathroom run?” he suggested. He stood tall and swept his gaze over the children. “Line up.” He motioned with his arms, each drawing out a line the kids should step to. “Boys on one side, girls on the other.”

Cat entered the room.

She reached out a hand for Amy’s. “I’ll take the girls.”

“There’s no need,” Brody started. He grabbed Amy’s hand before Cat could. “I can handle it.”

Sculpted blonde eyebrows rose before him. “So can I.”

She stared at him, and it was as if nineteen years slipped away into nothing.

Something had happened that summer that he’d never been able to replicate with another woman. Not even the one he’d been engaged to.

And it seemed to be happening again whether he liked it or not.

All of a sudden, he felt like the geeky teenager he’d once been. She’d been so out of his league. A Davenport. A year older. She’d had a license, for Christ’s sake.

Yet she’d been drawn to him, too. She’d become his best friend during those weeks. He would have followed her anywhere.

Fine. He silently relented. He narrowed his eyes at her as he released Amy’s hand. But I didn’t ask for your help.

Shocker.

He’d been proud even then. No father, a single, struggling mother. He’d needed to be on top of his game for the scholarships he sought.

Cat had needed to be pristine for her family’s reputation.

All of that had disappeared on their last day together.

Cat pasted on her fake, public smile now and proceeded to ignore him. She glowed down at the line of waiting girls. Each of them tittered in front of her as if in the presence of a princess. “Let’s make it a game,” she suggested in a secretive voice. “I’ll be the mama duck, and each of you are my ducklings. That means you have to hold on to your duckling sister in front of you.” She showed them how with one arm outstretched toward Amy’s shoulder. “And stay in a single-file line.”

The girls solemnly nodded and then assembled behind their leader, each with one hand on the girl in front of her. As they filed out of the room, the occasional soft quack could be heard coming from the hallway. Brody couldn’t help but smile.

When the last one disappeared out the door, he realized that he stood in the middle of five silent boys. All of them—including him—had fallen under Cat’s spell and were now staring awestruck in the direction she’d gone, tongues practically lolling out of their mouths.

Terrific. Nothing had changed. She had a way about her.

He looked down at Dylan, the oldest of the boys, who had lifted his head and was studying Brody intently. A quizzical expression was etched on the boy’s face.

“She’s pretty,” Dylan said innocently.

Brody nodded. “Yes, she is.” She had only gotten prettier since he’d last seen her.

“I like her,” the boy stated.

It didn’t take long to figure that out about Cat. Everyone liked her. Dread settled in Brody’s gut. He may have been only fifteen before, but she’d broken his heart in two.

I like her, too.

Buy: Caught in the Act (The Davenports Book 2)

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Review: Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion

grand centralReviewed by Karin

Blurb

A war bride awaits the arrival of her GI husband at the platform…

A Holocaust survivor works at the Oyster Bar, where a customer reminds him of his late mother…

A Hollywood hopeful anticipates her first screen test and a chance at stardom in the Kissing Room…

On any particular day, thousands upon thousands of people pass through New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, through the whispering gallery, beneath the ceiling of stars, and past the information booth and its beckoning four-faced clock, to whatever destination is calling them. It is a place where people come to say hello and good-bye. And each person has a story to tell.

Now, ten bestselling authors inspired by this iconic landmark have created their own stories, set on the same day, just after the end of World War II, in a time of hope, uncertainty, change, and renewal….

Very touching and evocative. This book features original stories by best selling authors. Much of it has to do with Jewish refugees — and also Jews who had left Europe for America, at least one had been in concentration camps. It gives a glimpse into what it must have been like to live those early years post war.

My father served in the air force in Europe, so it holds a special poignancy for me.

While there are possibilities — and even love — it is not an easy life or an easy read. It is a world very far removed from where we are now, but not far enough to be in the way distant past. It holds too many memories.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion

Top 10 Reasons I Love Medieval Romances

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  1. Castles are very cool. I’ve been fortunate to visit assorted castles in England and Wales, including the castle where my AT HIS COMMAND heroine lives (Castle Rising). You can tell from the ruins how vast some of them were. Climbing spiral staircases in a tower or walking on narrow castle walls with amazing views of the surrounding area helped me imagine what living there hundreds of years ago was like. I even had the opportunity to stay in two castles (Thornbury and Amberley). Both were amazing in different ways.
  2. Real kings, queens and dukes figure into the plot, which happen to be more interesting to me than, say, books featuring presidents or first ladies. I’m fascinated by the historical events and lifestyles of late medieval England, from fashions to food. My interest sparked when I was in a production of Richard III in college and wondered how much of what Shakespeare wrote was true.
  3. The opportunity to figure out what happened when there are gaps in actual history. When, in a reliable source or sources, I see something like, “No one knows what happened in this meeting,” or “Scholars disagree on this or that,” I get to play, “What if?” and make up what will best enhance my characters and/or plot. When I learned about King Henry IV’s strange illness (scholars still debate what he suffered from), ideas started popping into my head, such as how the different people in his life would handle the situation on a day to day basis.
  4. So many interesting character options. Characters can be nobles, peasants, soldiers or merchants. They can live in castles, towns or cities. Heros can be knights in shining or cobbled together armor. Heroines can take on more roles in medieval times than many assume, or they can face societal restrictions most women today do not.
  5. Research and non-fiction books. And more non-fiction books. I’ve written a couple of contemporaries set in my hometown of Chicago. While it was definitely easier to, say, have the characters go for dinner at a Chinese restaurant similar to one in my neighborhood or walk downtown streets I already know well, I had more fun planning medieval meals and learning about who might eat what when, and figuring out how long it would take to travel from one place to another. One of my favorite books is English Medieval Industries, because it gives so many details most of which aren’t available on the Internet) about a variety of occupations.
  6. They say, “Write what you love to read,” vs. writing to market trends. My favorites when I started reading romance novels included Kathleen Woodiwiss’s THE WOLF AND THE DOVE, Roberta Gellis’s Roselynde series, and Julie Garwood’s and Madeline Hunter’s medievals. So when I decided to write, I wanted to write medievals.
  7. Life or death plots. From the plague to battles, from medical knowledge at the time to weapons and armor, from schemes to overthrow the king to arranged marriages, the medieval period yields high stakes plots. It’s easier for me to make the most of the available technology, or lack thereof, during the Battle of Castillon (featured in AT HIS COMMAND) than if I chose to place my characters, say, in a current war. Also, TV shows such as Homeland and Scandal do such a great job portraying modern warfare and politics. I don’t know if I could do as well or better.
  8. Escape and/or fantasy. Many of us read romance novels to experience times, lives and places different from our own. Immersing ourselves in the characters’ world can be more interesting if we’re not as familiar with it. For example, I have a law degree and spent 13 years working with attorneys. I’d rather spend my time off reading about other professions than the law.  If I do read a novel about a lawyer, it’s easier for me to get pulled out of the story if something a character does doesn’t resonate with my knowledge.
  9. Upending readers’ assumptions. Many readers lump the medieval era in with the dark ages, aren’t aware of how long the medieval period actually was or what was invented when, or how much life changed over the course of several hundred years. (Don’t get me started on the scholarly debate about correct terminology and the beginning and end of eras, such as “middle ages,” “early medieval,” etc.) That’d be like assuming very little changed in the 19th and 20th centuries, when we know each decade brought many changes.
  10. Gowns, veiled headdresses and armor. My favorite costume book, John Peacocks Costume 1066-1990s, does a wonderful job of depicting clothing worn during each monarch’s reign. The headdresses popular in mid-15th century England don’t look very comfortable, but are interesting and so different from even the stunning Edwardian chapeaus on this season of Downton Abbey I can’t help but wonder what it was like to wear them.  And who doesn’t love a knight in shining armor? Or chain mail, even. Toss in a manly sword, and you’ve got a swoon worthy hero.

Why do you love medievals? If you don’t, why not?

RKaufman_AtHisCommand_HistoricalRomance_285kbBlurb:Could she defy her king for love?

England 1453: King Henry VI sends Sir Nicholas Gray to protect the recently widowed Lady Amice Winfield from undesirable suitors. Though Nicholas intrigues her, she yearns to run Castle Rising without a man’s control.

Nicholas has no interest in marriage, but can’t deny he’s attracted to Amice. He’s surprised to finally find in Castle Rising a place he feels at home. A kiss sparks desire neither can ignore, yet serving opposing factions seeking to govern England threatens to pull them apart.

At court, the king and queen reject Amice’s pleas and choose a new husband for her, a highly-ranked lord who’ll provide connections and coin for the king’s depleted coffers that Nicholas cannot. How can she follow the king’s command when she’s a scribe for his rival? How can she marry another man when she’s falling in love with Nicholas?

Praise for AT HIS COMMAND-Historical Romance Version: A wonderful debut sure to please lovers of romance!
—NYT & USA Today bestselling author Madeline Hunter

With a bold knight and a strong-willed lady, Kaufman’s story is positively medieval.
— NYT & USA Today bestselling author Tracy Anne Warren

Buy: At His Command-Historical Romance Version, At His Command-Inspirational Version

Ruth Kaufman is a Chicago author, speaker and on-camera and voiceover talent with a J.D. and a Master’s in Radio/TV.  Her writing accolades include Romance Writers of America® 2011 Golden Heart® winner and RT Book Reviews’ national American Title II contest runner up. Her true, short story, “The Scrinch” is in the St. Martin’s Press anthology The Spirit of Christmas, foreword by Debbie Macomber. Learn more at www.ruthkaufman.com and www.ruthtalks.com.

Website: www.ruthkaufman.com

Blog: www.rjkaufman.blogspot.com

The Setting of My Next Book

Carolyn LaRoche Author pictureCarolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband, their two boys, two finicky cats and one old dog. When she is not at the little league field cheering on big hits and home runs, she is busy teaching science to unwilling teenagers. She is also excited to announce the print release of Witness Protection this month!

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Thank you for the invitation to visit with you and your readers today. The last six weeks or so have been pretty crazy so it is nice to have a chance to relax and talk about the thing I love most- writing- with people who love to read. I am so happy to have the opportunity to share the print release Witness Protection on January 20th with all of you.

For Christmas 2014 I had the goal of doing as much of my gift shopping through local vendors, home-based and small businesses as I could manage. Through my son’s little league team I met a woman who had a previous life as a laboratory chemist, much like myself. She took her skills, training and desire to do something good for her family and the community and channeled them into a home business of making organic and locally supplied soaps, balms and lotions. In keeping with my shopping goal, I placed a large order for several items to use as Christmas gifts. Imagine my excitement when I went to her home to pick up my order and discovered she lived in a three hundred year old farmhouse.

I love old homes. They reek of history and mystery. Joy, sorrow, memories of births, marriages and deaths seem to become a very part of the beams that formed the structure. Walking into her home brought on an instant rush of inspiration. The hand carved woodwork, the secret little cubbies and the sprawling land that once used to be a part of pre-civil war plantation had my mind racing. Think Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind. Even the front door was original, complete with a skeleton key lock. Anxious to see more, I imposed myself on her graciousness and asked for a tour. The hand wrought exposed beams and the wide planked floors with square hewn nails had me shaking with excitement. I could quite literally visualize women having tea in front of the large stone fireplace and men stomping the dirt of the fields off their boots on the back porch. I decided on the way home that property begged to be in a book.

I emailed the owner a day later and shared my thoughts with her. She responded with some history of the home and invited me back to walk the property and view historical documents. You can bet I’ll take her up on it! Roses Ridge Farm has become the setting of my next work in progress, the third book in the Defenders of Love series where Keegan James, cousin to Logan James in Witness Protection will find his new home, a pre-civil war plantation full of mystery, intrigue… and romance.

My mother has had a long time desire to see Savannah, Georgia.We recently booked a trip for the whole family to the historic district of Savannah for this spring. I am anxious to let the history there inspire me. Do you have a favorite historical place? What about it speaks to you and why? I’m always looking for new inspiration so leave a comment here or visit me on my Facebook page or blog (links below).

Social Links

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynLaRoche?ref=hl

www.carolynlarocheauthor.blogspot.com

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23632956-witness-protection?from_search=true

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WitnessProtection_200x300Someone wants Angelina dead…again. Will following her heart put her in danger or in the arms of the man she’s meant to be with?

As far as the world knows, NYPD detective Angelina Ferrara died in a violent firefight on Chelsea Piers over a year ago. Living in the witness protection program as history teacher Lucy Taylor was supposed to save her life, but being alive and living were two very different things. Until she meets detective Logan James when he goes undercover in the same private school where she works.

Something about the handsome man with the gorgeous blue eyes piques her interest. There’s no doubt he has secrets… but then so does she. When the Ricci crime family discovers she’s still alive, she finds herself on the run with Logan. Her heart led her astray before. Can she trust it to let Logan help her survive?

Buy: Witness Protection (Defenders of Love, Book 1)

Review: Love Bites: A Collection of Short Stories by Valeria Kogan

love bitesReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: This is Valeria Kogan’s debut collection of short stories which all centre on love, from heartbreak to redemption, this is what love is all about whether the people in the stories love each other at all, or start out that way and grow apart later on. There are many elements to love and these stories deal with them; secrets, guilt, jealousy, deception and mistrust. As the stories are written in a no nonsense way, this is a collection of shorts for a real modern woman.

Review: In all there are eleven stories where no one knows how a love affair will end. Valeria was born in Russia and has since moved to the UK where she learned to appreciate art and literature. Other than Love Bites, she is working on her new novel, ‘Bi-Pole-Ar’ which is a semi-biographical look at mental health issues and how other people see us. Valeria thinks that by writing a series of short works, she was also writing her first novel and she would be right. Every author has created small tasters to get potential readers use to their style of writing, and Valeria’s style can easily be seen here. Valeria saw the need to create several different narratives with outcomes that could never be predictable. She wanted do see what would happen if she had no pre conceive idea of how the stories would evolve. Love means different things to different people. In Silent, Carla has a husband, evolving around him as a full grown woman who bears children, but calamity strikes the family causing the silence she has come to expect. Nip & Tuck has a man telling his story of how he wanted to change his wife’s looks, her body by using cosmetic surgery as a beautifying tool, eventually coming to regret his decision. Mute is about a woman who was struck dumb when she first met a man and her intoxication with him that urges her to get his name tattooed on her skin. Tonight has a woman who decides that tonight will be the last time she will act as a prostitute, but the fact that she is dreading it tells you something about the person. Matrimony has Tessa wondering what sort of wedding she wants with the man in her life. Each story is matter-of-fact, and honest showing these diverse women and men of what they think love is and the trouble they have getting into the stereotypical woman/man role in society and the result of it.

Good Bits:

  • Silent is beauty stricken with tragedy.
  • Nip & Tuck is a case of never gilding a lily.
  • Mute is part prose, part poetry and all heart!

Summary: Love Bites: A Collection of Short Stories is an interesting look at the lives of eleven people who are each as different as the rest. They all appreciate men and women in their own way, or have been spurned by them in the past. The stories tell of their partners and lovers with me thing that the best ones were Nip & Tuck, Mute, Tonight and Matrimony. The cover art is of a beautiful woman, bound and with her eyes covered ready to cut the red thread of time with her latex gloved hands. It is a deceptive cover in that it looks like the sort that would grace a slipstream horror novel, and there is nothing horrific about the stories in here.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Love Bites: A Collection of Short Stories

Review: One Mad Night Anthology by Julia London

one mad night

One Mad Night

Chelsea Crawford and Ian Rafferty are high profile ad execs in cutthroat competition for a client. When a major winter storm puts New York City on lockdown, the two rivals have to make it through the night together-oh, the many ways in which opposites attract…

Review: Julia London is an author I love to read. In this book, I really enjoyed Chelsea and Ian as a couple. They were competitive, and tried to one-up each other all the time, but they weren’t nasty about it. They played fair which was sexy. Even when the outcomes weren’t what one or the other wanted they would use the defeat to push forward and do better next time. Their chemistry sparkled and as I read I wanted them to hurry up and kiss already! Good thing they get snowed-in because it gave them both the push they needed to succeed at love.

The two leads were very likable. Ian had a very strong sense of right and wrong. He likes to win but he doesn’t like to win by default or get handed things. Chelsea wasn’t whiny. She had a lot of dignity and high standards.

Rating: ★★★★★

The Bridesmaid – Bonus Novella

Kate Preston has just moved to New York. Joe Firretti is contemplating a move to Seattle. When the weather wreaks havoc with transportation systems, Kate and Joe meet as they are both trying to rent the last car available… As Kate races to make her best friend’s wedding, and Joe races to a life-altering job interview, it looks like together is the only way they’ll make it at all

Review: This book was not in the digital ARC I received.

Buy: One Mad Night: A Novella

Get into bed with Julia London (a delicious author interview) to learn more about the author and this book in particular!

Get into Bed with Julia London (Author Interview)

one mad nightKeira: One of the things I liked best about your rivals romance One Mad Night was that the hero and heroine played fair and it was still fun! Was fair play important to you and why was it important to the romance?

Julia London: To a point, yes.  The novella is short, so if the hero did something unfair (and it would be the hero, right?), there is not really enough time to redeem him.  And honestly, I think rivals can play fair.  It’s healthy competition that makes for healthy relationship.  I sound like a psychologist.

Keira: What made you decide they were competing over a car ad?

Julia: I thought that sort of ad would be a good and natural tension, because car ads seem to slanted toward men or women.  I noticed minivan ads are all about mom and the kids, and then the luxury cars are all about hip, handsome men. Figures!

Keira: What is your favorite part about snowed-in / isolated / desert / intimate (this subgenre goes by a lot of names!) romances?

Julia: That no one can escape.  The characters have to deal.  No one can run away and talk to friends or think, or pull any of that.  They are stuck.  Delicious!

Keira: What do you love best about writing historical/contemporary romances? 

Julia: Well, I love to read good love stories.  I love to watch them on the big screen.  So I guess I am naturally drawn to them.  I love establishing the male and female leads and their first real notice of each other.  It’s always fun to see where it will go after that.

Keira: Your characters always have such lovely chemistry with each other. What to you makes two characters rub along and create sparks?

Julia: Thank you!  That’s a wonderful compliment.  In high school, we did this play about a couple on a train.  I can’t remember the name of it, but what I remember is that it was my first conscious comprehension of the emotional differences between men and women.  Men want everything to be uncomplicated and unemotional, and women are incapable of leaving everything black and white.  It’s fun to push and pull those two dynamics.

Keira: How do you define love? How do you recognize your true love? What makes it last in the long run and not fizzle out?

Julia: In books or in real life?  Mutual respect and admiration is love.  What makes it last in the long run is appreciation and listening.  I think men and women can put up with a lot if they feel they are heard and appreciated by the ones they love.

Keira: What makes a steamy and sexy sex scene?

Julia: For me, the anticipation and sexual tension is steamier than the actual sex scene.  It’s a problem for me as a writer.  Some readers really like graphic sex.  I really like the build up to the actual depiction.  I have to straddle those and find a happy medium.

Keira: If not for writing, what would be your dream job? “Big business” job?

Julia: Writing is my dream job!  I’ve had the big business jobs before.  I would love to learn how to write screen plays, but there is only so much time, you know?

Keira: What is the hardest part and the most fun part of writing?

Julia: The hardest part of writing is actually writing.  I want each book to be better than the last, so I keep raising the bar for myself.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  But I have to challenge myself to try new things and execute them well.  The most fun part of writing is meeting fans.  I work alone and I don’t know how my books may or may not speak to a reader.  So when I meet them in person and they are so complimentary and sometimes even moved my meeting me, it makes every moment spent alone with a stinky dog, tossing out everything I wrote the day before and trying again very much worth it!

Keira: What are you working on for us next?

Julia: I have the next two books in my historical Cabot Sisters series (The Devil Takes a Bride and The Scoundrel and the Debutante) coming out in late January and late April, respectively.  The Perfect Homecoming, the third book in my contemporary Pine River series, is coming out in February.  I am currently writing a book about rich summer people and the inevitable conflicts with the year round residents at a lake resort.  I just started it, but you know some worlds are going to collide!

One Mad Night Anthology
By Julia London

Two Romantic Adventures…One Mad Night

Two delightful contemporary romance novellas in one book from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia London.

One winter’s night a blizzard sweeps across the country, demonstrating that fate can change the course of lives in an instant…and fate has got a sense of humor.

One Mad Night

Chelsea Crawford and Ian Rafferty are high profile ad execs in cutthroat competition for a client. When a major winter storm puts New York City on lockdown, the two rivals have to make it through the night together—oh, the many ways in which opposites attract…

The Bridesmaid – Bonus Novella

RITA Award Nominee for Best Romance Novella of 2013

Kate Preston has just moved to New York. Joe Firretti is contemplating a move to Seattle. When the weather wreaks havoc with transportation systems, Kate and Joe meet as they are both trying to rent the last car available… As Kate races to make her best friend’s wedding, and Joe races to a life-altering job interview, it looks like together is the only way they’ll make it at all.

Praise for Julia London:

“London knows how to keep pages turning…winningly fresh and funny.” —Publishers Weekly, on RITA Award nominee The Bridesmaid

Buy: One Mad Night

About the Author

Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the Homecoming Ranch contemporary series, the Secrets of Hadley Green historical romance series, and numerous other works. She is a four-time finalist for the prestigious RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction, and RT Bookclub award recipient for Best Historical Romance.  She lives in Austin, Texas.

Connect with Julia London:

www.julialondon.com  | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Excerpt from One Mad Night by Julia London

It took a moment for Chelsea to notice him, which gave Ian a moment to admire her. He was going to crush her tomorrow, but that didn’t stop him from appreciating a figure that guys like him dreamed about. Chelsea was wearing a skirt today. It hit about mid-thigh and was tight enough to show off all her curves. She looked a bit taller today too. He glanced at her feet and noticed the shoes. Chelsea was walking on stilts, and her legs, good God, her legs. She was smoking hot in that dress and those shoes.

“Hey!” she said sharply, her voice full of accusation.

Ian’s head snapped up. “Hey,” he said con-genially. “Practicing your pitch?” He settled one hip onto the conference table.

“Do you mind?” She gestured to the door in a be-­off-­with-­you way.

“If you want, I could listen and give you some feedback.”

Chelsea’s mouth dropped open. And then her green eyes narrowed into little slits. “You have got to be the most arrogant man I’ve ever met.”

Ian smiled and shrugged.

“You can go, Ian,” she said, marching around the conference table to usher him out. “I think I’ve got it.”

“Suit yourself.”

“I will.”

“So hostile,” he said with a wink as he stood up. “I’m just trying to help. It never hurts for someone to hear the pitch, right? You’ve had someone listen to you go through it, right?”

“Yes, I’ve had—­Hey, hey,” she said, poking him in the chest. “Are you trying to play me?” she demanded. “Because it won’t work. I’m not some junior account person, you know. You can’t intimidate me.”

“Well, obviously,” Ian said and poked her back. “You wouldn’t be pitching at all if you were a junior account person. I know I can’t intimidate you. It wasn’t a declaration of war, you know; it was an offer to help.”

“It wasn’t a let-­me-­help, best-­friends-­forever offer, either. I’m not playing games with you. This account means a lot to me—­”

“Me too.”

“Oh yeah?” she said, shifting closer. “Well, don’t get too attached to the idea. I’ve got seniority, you know.”

“So why are you so afraid to show me what you’ve got?”

“Because it’s none of your business.”

“On the eve of the championship, it’s okay to go out and shoot some hoops with your competitor. It’s not going to affect tomorrow’s big game. It’s not like I can go out and change weeks of work overnight if I see you’ve got something better.”

She laughed. “Good try, Rafferty, but I think maybe the reason you want to see my pitch is because you’re worried about the strength of your pitch. Is it a little rough? Maybe I should listen to you.” She winked, and her green eyes shone with pleasure at her comeback.

“I’m definitely not worried about my pitch.”

“No? Seems to me if you’re presenting three,” she said, holding up three fingers and wiggling them at him, “then you must be uncertain which one is the winner.” Her smile broadened into sheer triumph, as if she thought she’d really zinged him.

She hadn’t zinged him, but Ian did wonder how she knew what he had…Zach. Of course. That rat bastard. “Have you been talking to Zimmerman?” he asked accusingly.

She shrugged and studied her manicure. “Maybe. Does it matter? I thought we were doing the let’s-­help-­each-­other thing. But if we’re not, would you mind toddling off? I have a lot of work I need to do before tomorrow. I plan to hit the ground running with this account on Monday.”

She was amazingly and annoyingly confident. Ian was generally a confident guy, but she was making him a teensy bit nervous. “You really think you’re going to get this, don’t you?”

“I don’t think, I know,” she said, looking up.

He tilted his head to one side to study her. “Isn’t it obvious to you why they brought me in?”

“I don’t know—­I haven’t given it the slightest bit of thought.” She lifted her chin, and Ian realized she lied about as well as she engaged in verbal volleyball. “I’ve been promised that this account is as good as mine. Didn’t they tell you that when they brought you in?”

A bit more of Ian’s confidence leaked out of him. He’d been in New York advertising long enough to know that the industry was full of snakes. He wouldn’t put it past anyone to feed him a bunch of half-­baked promises to get him to commit. “Who told you?”

She grinned. “None of your beeswax.”

“Come on, tell me—­” His phone rang, distracting him momentarily. He fished it out of his pocket and noticed the number was the Grabber-­Paulson main number. That was weird. “Listen, I’ll just say this,” he said, clicking off the phone. “Don’t be so sure of things. People say things they don’t mean, especially in this industry.” He started for the door.

“Uh-­huh, I know. And I would offer you the same advice, Mr. Rafferty,” she said in a singsong voice, and she flashed a dazzling smile, full of straight white teeth.

“Cocky too. I like that about you,” he said. “I’ll keep it in mind when I make partner.” He winked at her, smiled as if he was completely unbothered, and went out of the conference room.

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New Year Resolutions that go Horribly Wrong

Hi everyone! I’m back again! This time I’m talking about my book Makahiki, the third and final chapter in my M/M urban fantasy/paranormal series, The Last Warrior.

It’s apt that I am here so early in the New Year since Makahiki is the Hawaiian word for a special festival celebrated each New Year in the islands. These lavish feasts often went on for a week, so maybe it’s not so surprising they are no longer celebrated.

For my character, Lio and his alter-ego, ‘Ailani, life has come full circle with endings and beginnings. Life is wonderful for Lio, but also frightening. Somebody very close to him is trying to kill him. But when he has dreams about the future, the killer looks like…him.

With this being the first week of 2015, I’m still thinking about fresh new beginnings, and resolutions. And how they can go horribly wrong. Mine usually do, but then I do tend to set myself lofty goals that doom me to failure. I’ve also seen people around me set good intentions for themselves, with often appalling results.

I once had the worst New Year’s Eve on record. I get breathless just thinking about it, but this is what happened. A guy I liked asked me out for New Year’s Eve and I was thrilled. I have always been taught that how you usher in a new year is a harbinger of how the other 364 days will go. And so I have strived to do something fun that doesn’t involve leaving my house. Yes, I’m a bit of a hermit, really.

But many years ago I was single and caved in to temptation. This guy asked me out and his sister and best friend called me and said we’d all been invited to a toga party. God! It sounded awful, but I was trying to be congenial. I was trying to be, well, happy. So two of my friends came over and sewed me into a bed sheet since I had no idea where to rent a toga, and they sewed fruit along the one shoulder holding the whole thing up, and I looked pretty good.

Until the others arrived and nobody was dressed up.

Nope. Not a single one. It was impossible to get out of that tight-fitting outfit. It was awful. They all made fun of me. When I asked the girls why they hadn’t dressed up, or why nobody had mentioned it to me they said, “We all had bets that you’d come dressed up.”

Well!

I had to walk all the way down to the taxi stand, on the street, in my bed sheet. My companions picked at the grapes dangling over my right breast and I wanted to go home, unpick the stitches in my sheet and crawl into bed. For the rest of my life.

But that was just the beginning. My date and his best friend had never mentioned to any of us that the party was at a sex club. As in, sex orgy.

I went mad. I didn’t want to be at an orgy!

I was the only one who ended up having a good night because I left and headed home, eating the rest of the fruit on my toga and nabbing the last free cab in town. I have never forgotten that night. Those girls sat there miserable all night. I guess I got the last laugh but it wasn’t fun. Going home, cutting myself out of that sheet and hanging out with my pets was super fun.

But, what happens if the New Year brings you more joy, more happiness, yet more weirdness than you could ever imagine?

That’s what happens in Makahiki: The Last Warrior. What was your worst New Year’s Eve ever? Please post a comment to qualify for the draw to win an ebook copy.

And in the meantime, please feel free to check out my details:

***

MAKAHIKI_200x300On the anniversary of the ancient Makahiki festival, reincarnated Hawaiian warrior, Lio Paiaki, goes back in time to face a deadly enemy: himself. In the final chapter of the exciting Last Warrior series, Lio Paikai rushes to the hospital with his lover, Kord, for the birth of his baby brother, Lono. They’re soon waylaid, however, by traffic on the Pali Highway. 

Not by cars, but foot traffic. He and Kord, who once were warriors for the last king of Oahu, have intercepted an ancient procession of devotees marching down the old Pali for the Makahiki. They’re stunned to learn dark kahuna forces plan to provide a blood sacrifice for the New Year festival. 

The sacrifice they have inadvertently crossed paths with is Lio’s. He must right past wrongs—or there won’t be any future for him or the man he loves.

Find A.J. Llewellyn on Amazon

***

A.J. Llewellyn lives in California, but dreams of living in Hawaii. Frequent trips to all the islands, bags of Kona coffee in the fridge and a healthy collection of Hawaiian records keep this writer refueled.

A.J’s passion for the islands have led to writing a play about the last ruling monarch of Hawaii, Queen Lili’uokalani, plus a non-erotic novel about the overthrow of her kingdom written in diary form from her maid’s point of view.

AJ never lacks inspiration for male/male erotic romances and on the rare occasions this happens, pursue other passions such as collecting books on Hawaiiana, surfing and spending time with friends and animal companions.

A.J. Llewellyn believes that love is a song best sung out loud.

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