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)

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.

Buy: One Mad Night

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Scarlett Legacy by Shelli Rosewarne

Hi all.

It’s wonderful to be here today with my new release, Scarlett Legacy. It’s a paranormal romance, inspired by the fairytale of Little Red Riding Hood – but this one is definitely not for children! Now, my Big Bad Wolf is bad in a whole different way, so I thought I would share a few mini excerpts, as well as my top ten reasons why the poor wolf is just misunderstood, and is actually much more fun than Prince Charming any day!

  1. Wolves can play the hero too. Well, sort of!

She was lost, he realized. Well, that was just perfect. His teeth bared in a wicked smile, he could go and “rescue” her. She would think he was Prince Charming when actually he was the big bad wolf.

  1. You can still get the honest-to-goodness castle (come on, be honest, wasn’t that half the Prince Charming appeal?). This Big Bad Wolf has obviously moved up in the world!

Grey stone rose up from the thick trees, topped with actual turrets and what looked like a round tower on one side. The tower and roofs were a reddish slate and the only windows she could see on the upper levels were narrow slits. It was incredible, like something out of a fairytale, or a gothic novel, and for a long moment Natalia simply gaped at in surprise and amazement. Wow.

  1. If you’ve ever loved wolves, you get to go up-close-and-personal with your own one. Cool, if a little scary? Besides, it’s like getting a two in one deal – who doesn’t love a bargain?

Eventually she had to shift, her cramped muscles protesting at her, and he shook himself like a dog and jumped to his feet. Natalia couldn’t stop staring at him in wonder. It was just so unreal. She had always adored wolves at the zoo and on television, so in one way it was crazy to be so close to one, and then even crazier to think it was actually a person. She shook her head. This had to be one of the oddest nights of her life.

  1. No one messes with his woman. Who doesn’t go gooey for a bit of alpha male?

Damian slowly crouched down next to the man, aware that the village street had gone eerily still. Any number of wolves would back him in an instant but it wasn’t needed. Kevin’s crisp shirt was muddied, his immaculate hair mussed, and the man looked ridiculously pathetic as he sat gasping in the dirt. Damian calmly let the wolf rise, let the other man see the animal lurking behind his eyes, and when Kevin cringed back in fear, Damian spoke, “That was for cheating on Natalia. If you ever hurt her again, I will kill you. Do you understand?”

  1. He can still be a big softie at times (just don’t tell anyone!).

“You’re actually here,” she whispered, complete disbelief in her voice. “You came.”

“I said I would,” he replied and, because he couldn’t stop himself from touching her, ran his finger down the petal soft skin of her cheek. Lightly tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear, he looked down at her. Her eyes closed a moment, and when she opened them again, they were watery.

“Why would you do that?”

He was surprised she’d asked why rather than how, but he answered her as honestly as he could. “Because I couldn’t not do.”

  1. What a deep voice you have! The better to greet you with.

His voice was deep, rich, with a slight accent running through it. She could feel it rubbing down her spine like velvet.

I am a total sucker for a deep voice, throw in the accent too and I’m a puddle on the floor.

  1. What big eyes you have. The better to see you with.

He was tall, taller than her, which was a rarity. Kevin had always complained that she towered over him when she wore heels, but this man had a good foot on her! He obviously worked out; camouflage combat pants encased long legs and a knitted sweater clung to broad shoulders and what she could tell was a defined chest even through the layers. Jet black hair hung in surprisingly shaggy locks to his shoulders, but it suited him, framing a rugged face with chiseled features and the strangest eyes she’d ever seen—a deep amber color that seemed to hold her mesmerized.

Hmm, yes please! Now, what was I saying?

  1. What big hands you have! The better to grab you with.

Now, even putting aside the theory about big hands, who doesn’t want to be grabbed by a rather yummy wolf.

            He returned her kiss with equal fervor and lifted her out of the folds of her dress and flipped her onto her stomach over a nearby tree trunk. For a moment, she squeaked in protest and then he pushed down on her back with one large hand, while with the other he slid two fingers deep inside her slick center.

  1. What a big mouth/teeth you have! The better to eat you with.

*ahem* yeah, I’m not going there! Use your imagination.

Now, you may have noticed I’ve only got to number nine there – so help me out! What do you think would be the best thing about the Big Bad Wolf. Bonus points if you can sneak a bad pun in there J Or if you can’t think of one, just share with me your favourite fairytale and what you like about it.

Thanks loads for having me today – and I really hope I’ve converted you a little to the benefits of my wolves! If you want to catch up with me elsewhere, I’m on:

Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shelli-Rosewarne/364962230246715

Twitter – @shellirosewarne

Blog – http://shellirosewarne.wordpress.com

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ScarlettLegacy_200x300Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

When Natalia rents a holiday cottage she is looking for peace and quiet. A place to reassess her life and recover from her failed relationship. Instead, she finds a man who turns her world upside down.

However, people and things are not as they seem, and Natalia begins to discover that legends are real and fairy tales have a basis in reality. As she grows closer to the enigmatic Damian, she finds herself tested as danger and passion go in hand in hand, and everything she thought she knew about the world will be questioned.

After years of waiting Damian had given up hope that he would ever meet his destined mate, and he certainly never expected her to be a sassy American who had no idea that his world even existed. Can he convince Natalia to believe in the impossible, and more importantly, can he protect her from those who seek to destroy his people?

Find Shelli Rosewarne on Amazon

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Excerpt

Natalia eyed the shining water with fresh appreciation. She had to admit it would be nice to do something to take her mind away from all the crap.

“I didn’t bring a suit,” she murmured, a bit regretfully.

His grin turned wicked. “You don’t need one. There’s no one around.”

She glared at him. “You’re around!”

“I won’t look.” His eyes were teasing.

Yeah, right! She snorted. “I don’t believe you!”

“Okay, how about this. I may look, but I promise I won’t touch. Unless you ask me to, of course.”

Natalia burst out laughing, surprising herself. Ten minutes ago, she’d been sobbing her eyes out.

His gaze softened. “Come on, you could do with it.”

The water did look calm, she thought as she eyed it up. “You’re sure it’s safe for swimming?”

“Sure, I used to come here as a kid.”

She shot him a quick glance at that. It was hard to imagine him as an innocent child. He grinned back at her as though he knew exactly what she thinking—which, quite frankly, shouldn’t surprise her after today, but she wasn’t going to go there right now.

“Look, if you’re that bothered leave your underwear on. It’s such a warm day you’ll dry out afterward.”

Really, it wasn’t much different than a bikini, was it? She found herself nodding before she thought better of it and he reached a hand down to tug her to her feet. A half smile tugged at her lips. It might be a bit old-fashioned, but she liked the little gestures he made like that. Then he pulled his shirt over his head and she stopped breathing.

His body was like something out of a magazine, or like the Greek statues at the museums she’d been to for tedious fundraisers. Bronzed skin covered sculpted muscles with a dusting of hair leading down into his pants—which, oh Christ, were coming off as well! She closed her eyes a moment, and then couldn’t help herself and had to peek. So much for wondering whether he was going to keep on his underwear as he wasn’t wearing any. He seemed completely comfortable in his nakedness, and when he bent over to neatly place his clothes on the rock she had to clench her hands to restrain from reaching out to that tight ass. Jeez, you could market that! He turned back to meet her gaze and her cheeks flamed at the knowing amusement in his eyes. Before her fuddled brain could even start to think of something to say, he leaned forward and brushed a quick, hard kiss across her lips.

“Don’t worry. You have the exact same effect on me,” he whispered to her and then stepped back. “See you in there,” he told her with a grin, before turning and jumping off the rock straight into the shining water.

Find Shelli Rosewarne on Amazon

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:

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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

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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.

Find A.J. Llewellyn on Amazon

How to find/friend A.J.

website: www.ajllewellyn.com

www.facebook.com/aj.llewellyn

www.twitter.com/ajllewellyn

Newsletter sign-up: ajllewellynnewsletter@gmail.com

I’m an app! Download my FREE A.J. Llewellyn App for Android here: http://tinyurl.com/lkbc4wm

Get into Bed with Leigh Greenwood (Author Interview)

to love and to cherishKeira: Laurie Spencer, the heroine of To Love and to Cherish, feels trapped by her life and particularly by her family. If you were her best friend, what would you tell her?  

Leigh Greenwood: My first impulse would be to tell her to leave her husband, but women on the frontier had few rights and fewer chances for legal support.  Since her parents wouldn’t support her, she would need the support of other family members.  Still, she was a young and beautiful woman.  I would say her chances of finding a caring husband were very good.

Keira: What advice would you give to Jared Smith, the hero of the story, if you were his best friend?  

Leigh: Figure out the money as best he could, but don’t take a chance on losing Laurie.

Keira: What’s your perception of the genre as a male author writing romance? How did you come to write in this genre?

Leigh: I think it’s a wonderful genre and don’t see why so many people look down on it.  That we have excellent writers is proved by their presence on the bestsellers lists.  They can write anything from character-driven stories to action/adventure and science fiction/futuristic.  I think many people are too afraid of their emotions to be able to appreciate romance.  I write romance because I enjoy the interaction between characters that leads to a happy ending.  I also like cowboys and children so it all works together to create a story that, regardless of the setting, can be pertinent to modern situations.

Keira: What’s your favorite part about writing about cowboys and cowgirls and the West?

Leigh: I like the chance to include the kind of action and adventure that you can’t put in most present-day settings.

Keira: How do you define love? How can someone recognize their soul mate / true love?  

Leigh: There really is no answer to that question because it’s different for every couple.  It even changes when a person finds a new partner because no two people are the same.  What they bring to the relationship and what they need from it will be different.  The best I can offer is that being with that one person makes you happy, fulfilled, content, so much so you’re willing to work your butt of to keep it.

Keira: If you could travel anywhere and in any time period, where would you go and why?  

Leigh: It would be hard to choose between ancient Greece and ancient Rome.  I’ve always been fascinated by ancient civilizations.  These two made enormous contributions to our modern world.

Keira: What can we expect from you next?  

Leigh: I have two more books in the Cactus Creek series that will disclose the secret that caused the town to pick up and move west.

To Love and to Cherish by Leigh Greenwood

Torn Between a Desire to be Free…

When Laurie Spencer said “I do”, she never realized she’d be trading one pair of shackles for another—until her husband’s unexpected death leaves her with an opportunity to escape her controlling family for good. Determined to be independent, Laurie approaches sexy rancher Jared Smith with an offer she hopes he can’t refuse…

And a Longing to be His…

Jared’s determined to make it in Texas, but with the local banker turned against him, it looks like his dream may be slipping through his fingers. When unconsciously sensual Laurie offers a partnership, his luck may be changing…but when she throws herself in as part of the deal, Jared’s not sure he’ll be able to respect the terms of their agreement and keep his eyes—and his hands—to himself.

There’s something about Laurie that awakens every protective instinct Jared has…and when all hell breaks loose, there’s nothing and no one who’ll be able to keep this cowboy from her side.

Buy: To Love and to Cherish (Cactus Creek Cowboys Book 2)

Leigh Greenwood is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Seven Brides, Cowboys, and Night Riders series. The proud father of three grown children, Leigh resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. He never intended to be a writer, but he found it hard to ignore the people in his head, and the only way to get them out was to write. Visit him at www.leigh-greenwood.com.

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Get into Bed with Paige Tyler (Author Interview)

her lone wolfKeira: What’s your favorite part about writing romantic suspense? Reading it?

Paige Tyler: I love the intensity between the hero and heroine that comes when they get thrown into a tension-filled, life-and-death drama. It drives emotional responses and actions that force them to confront each other, need each other, and ultimately, depend on each other, in order to survive. All that just makes the romance pop.

Beyond the interactions between the hero and heroine being driven by the romantic suspense plot, there’s also that “Oh my God, what’s going to happen next?” feel to a romantic suspense that keeps the reader—and me as the writer—flipping the pages as fast as they can to find out how the characters can possibly made it out of their current predicament.

Keira: What makes for a perfect romance novel hero?

Paige: Everybody has their own take on what makes a perfect hero. That’s part of the fun of reading romance books—you get to see everyone else’s definition of that perfect guy. In my world, a hero has to be strong and confident, without being arrogant or being a jerk about it (alpha-holes need not apply). The reader has to believe this guy could take charge in a crisis or in the bedroom, while at the same time knowing he’s not going to try to steamroll the heroine’s objections or concerns. The hero can come with his issues (nobody’s perfect), but somewhere in there, the heroine has to be able to see the caring, noble person underneath those issues.

All my heroes typically have a sense of humor—even if it might be a little dark sometimes—because that helps them deal with a lot of the dangerous, stressful situations in which they tend to find themselves.

By definition, the hero must be ready to risk his life for the heroine, even if she doesn’t want him to. But he also has to be willing to set aside his own happiness if that’s what the heroine needs, even if she doesn’t agree. And of course, the hero has to be hunky!

In HER LONE WOLF, the hero, Clayne Buchanan, has some anger management issues and more than his fair share of baggage. But when it comes to protecting his woman, none of that matters. He’s going to do anything to protect her.

Keira: How about in a heroine?

Paige: Regardless of the genre I’m writing in, my heroines are always kick-butt. I don’t mean they have to run around with handguns and chain saws, but they have to be willing to face danger alongside their hero. They may find themselves in distress frequently, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re “damsels in distress.” I expect them to do their part to get themselves out of the trouble they’re in. And if their man is in trouble, I expect them to stick that nose right in there, even if it only causes more trouble in the long run.

That’s Danica Beckett, the heroine in HER LONE WOLF. She’s in the FBI and can seriously handle herself. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t need Clayne’s help now and then, but it does mean that when the stuff hits the fan, she’s right in there with him dealing with it.

Keira: How do you define love? What makes people stick together for the long haul?

Paige: For me, love is a commitment between two people to put the other person’s needs, wants, and happiness ahead of their own. People who are able to spend their days less worried about themselves and more worried about their partner are the ones who can hang together for the long haul.

Keira: What surprised you while writing HER LONE WOLF?

Paige: I discovered that Clayne has a sensitive side! After working with him in Book One of the series (Her Perfect Mate), I kind of had this picture of Clayne as the perpetual rough-around-the-edges type. But he told me after the first book came out that he was a bit concerned people had gotten the wrong idea about him. He even pulled me aside at one point and asked if maybe the publisher would be willing to tweak a few scenes in Book One to let his nicer side show. Of course I told him it was way too late for that—the book was already on the street! He growled a lot, but after I agreed to give him final say on each of his scenes in HER LONE WOLF, he calmed down some. There was a time when he didn’t even want to read any of the reviews. He was worried about what people were saying about him. But I shown him a few reader comments where it was obvious they realized he had some issues in his past. For a guy with his size and temperament, it’s funny seeing him worry about what people will think of him.

Keira: If you could be a shapeshifter, what type of animal would you wish to shift into?

Paige: Instead of taking the easy way out and going for the really sexy picks like wolves or one of the big cats, I’m going to give you a realistic answer to this question, based on the kind of shifter I would probably be based on the real me.

You ready? If Paige Tyler were a shifter, she’d most likely be a bunny shifter! Yeah, not so heroic, huh? But to be truthful, when real drama happens, I either freeze or run like hell. So, I’ve come to accept that I’m way more bunny than wolf or big cat.

Keira: What’s next on your plate?

Paige: Right now I am one busy little bunny.

Besides all the promo I’m doing for HER LONE WOLF, but I’m also getting ready to do the promo for a special free novella from X-OPS called HER SECRET AGENT. It gives the readers a peak behind the scenes of the very beginnings of the DCO. You get to see a younger John Loughlin, the Director of the DCO, getting to know a certain foxy shifter extremely well. It’ll be available on the 2nd of December from Sourcebooks. Oh, and did I mention it’s FREE?!

I’m also putting the finishing touches on Book 2 of my Special Wolf Alpha Team Series (SWAT…as in a pack of werewolves secreting working in Dallas on the SWAT team…cool, right?). At the same time, I’m working the first draft for Book 3 in that series so I can turn it in to my editor sometime in January. Plus, I’m starting the outlining phase for Book Four of X-OPS…or is it Book Four of SWAT??? I get a little confused sometimes. :)

Oh yeah, BTW, I’m also putting out a military ménage book set for Veteran’s Day with a tribute to each of the uniformed services. It’s your basic old-fashioned girl meets two guys and decides that anything two people can do…three can do better!

*hugs*
Paige

HER LONE WOLF

Leaving him was Impossible…

It took everything she had for FBI Special Agent Danica Beckett to walk away from the man she loved. But if she wants to save his life, she has to keep her distance. Now, with a killer on the loose and the stakes higher than ever before, the Department of Covert Ops is forcing these former lovers into an uneasy alliance…whether they like it or not.

Seeing her again is even worse…

The last thing Clayne Buchanan wants is to be shackled to the woman who broke his heart. She gets under his skin in a way no one ever has and makes him want things he has no right to anymore. All he has to do is suffer through this case and he can be free of her for good. But when Clayne finds out why Danica left in the first place, everything he’s tried to bury comes roaring back-and there’s no way this wolf shifter is going to let her get away this time.

Buy: HER LONE WOLF

Excerpt:

Clayne looked at her, his eyes wet with tears. The sight of them almost tore Danica’s heart out. In all the time she’d known him, she’d never seen him cry.

“We’ve just lost so much time,” he said, his voice rough with emotion.

She wanted to tell him it didn’t matter, that they would more than make up for it, but all that came out was a muffled sob. She closed the distance between them and kissed him—hard.

Clayne gripped her shoulders in both hands and pulled her against him. She thrust her fingers in his hair and opened her mouth to his, giving him an all-access pass. This was what she’d given up—being in the arms of the man she was meant to be with. She had left him for the very best reason, but now she realized it wasn’t a solution that could have ever worked long-term. She needed Clayne like she needed oxygen. How had she survived the last two years without him?

Danica pulled away and rested her forehead against his. “We have lost a lot of time, and for that, I am so, so sorry,” she said softly. “But we’re together now, and more than going to make up for it. Starting right now.”

Clayne pressed her up against the wall and kissed her so hard she couldn’t breathe. She threaded her fingers in his hair and gave as good as she got. Dear Lord, the hair on her arms was standing up. She’d never experienced anything so intense—not even the first time they’d made love.

Their weapon holsters hit the table by the door with a thud, but she barely heard it over the impatient growl Clayne let out as he shoved her suit jacket off her shoulders. This first time wasn’t going to be slow and sensual. It was going to be raw and animalistic. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Nonstop action and hair-raising storytelling done well. This series gets better and better.”
– 4.5 Stars from RT

“This story was an action packed thrill ride from start to finish!”
– Reviewer Top Pick, Night Owl Romance

“Paige Tyler gets an A+ for Her Lone Wolf and the X-Ops series. Her Lone Wolf’s murder mystery is first rate but it’s the emotion that Tyler weaves into the story that makes it unforgettable.”
– Joyfully Recommended, Joyfully Reviewed

Read Another Excerpt Here!
http://paigetylertheauthor.com/BooksHerLoneWolf.html 

Buy: HER LONE WOLF

Get into Bed with Leesa Bow (Author Interview)

41.CharmingtheOutback_coverKeira: In the past couple of months, I’ve heard a lot about “new adult” romances. How do they differ from young adult romances or contemporary romances? Is there blending of genres?

Leesa Bow: New Adult is where the characters are usually 18-25 years of age. We know this can be a sensitive time with many changes happening in the individual’s life, and so the struggle of becoming an adult is generally central to the New Adult story.

I consider Young Adult characters to be 17 years and under so that is a major difference. In New Adult the characters are often experiencing monumental firsts: first time leaving home, first time at college, first job, and first real love. Falling in love at this age is intense and emotional, so the romance is considered spicier than Young Adult.

You could say New Adult bridges the gap between Young Adult and contemporary romance.

Keira : Tell us about your new release Charming the Outback? How is this different to other Australian rural romances?

Leesa: Charming the Outback is the second book in my Player series and is Maddy’s story. We are first introduced to Maddy in my first book, Winning the Player, as Aubree’s BF and Hunter’s cousin. Maddy is feisty and refuses to settle down, until she meets Luke. We learn Luke returns to his family’s station to work on the sheep property. Six months later Maddy accepts a teaching position at a nearby country town hoping for a second chance at love.

Charming the Outback combines rural romance with New Adult. It has the flavor of rural romance along with the outback scenery while adding the emotional turmoil of younger characters stumbling to find true love.

Keira: Your novel Winning the Player focuses on football. Do you love football yourself? What drew you to write romances around sports?

Leesa: The football I describe in Winning the Player is Australian Rules Football, which differs to soccer, rugby and American football. I love all forms of football but was drawn to Aussie Rules as my husband played for many years.

Keira: Are there any particular challenges or pluses to writing new adult or sport romances?

Leesa: I find getting game facts, terminology or catch phrases correct to be challenging. Thankfully I have a number of sporting male friends I can quiz.

Writing New Adult can be emotionally draining since the characters themselves are at an emotional age experiencing extreme highs and lows. It’s a great ride and a journey I love.

Keira: What are you working on next?

Leesa: Currently I am working on another sport series (cricket). Jardine is book 1 and will be released December 15 in a box set with seven other New Adult authors. During November I intend to write Caught Out, book 2 in the series.

Over Christmas I will complete Embracing the Player, book 3 in my Player series.

Early 2015 I hope to publish my NA fantasy series, Ulara. This book is close to my heart as I first wrote the story from an oncology ward while my daughter was receiving chemotherapy.

My daughter is now in remission and doing well.

ABOUT LEESA

Website: www.leesabow.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Leesabowromance

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeesaBow

Book CoverWINNING THE PLAYER

When injury destroyed her dream of playing college basketball, Aubree Taylor fled overseas. Now she’s finally home again and ready to move on with her life. Until she runs into Hunter Stone on her first night out, the only guy who’s ever meant anything to her – and the last person she wants to see.

Since she ran out on him two years ago, Hunter hasn’t been able to get Aubree off his mind. The sexy football star has had girls all over him for years, but Aubree is the only one to have ever seen behind the cocky persona he puts on for the crowd.

Despite her attempts to keep her distance, Aubree is unable to resist the strong attraction between them and it isn’t long before they fall into a passionate relationship. She has never been afraid of a challenge, but Hunter’s arrogance and inablity to trust are testing her to her limits. Aubree must decide whether to follow her heart and lower her guard…or risk losing the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

Buy: Winning the Player

luke and Maddy sunset copy 2

CHARMING THE OUTBACK

When jaded city girl Maddy McIntyre packs up and leaves Adelaide for a new job in the country, it’s not only a chance at a fresh start. Six months ago, the first guy she’d ever loved shattered her heart before moving home to Broken Hill. Deep down inside, Maddy is hoping that living in the same town will give her an opportunity to prove to Luke that she’s one temptation he can’t resist.

But when she arrives in Broken Hill, Luke White is not the same guy she knew in the city. And it soon seems very clear that he doesn’t want her there. Although Maddy settles in quickly, excelling at work and partying with her new friends, she can’t understand why Luke is remaining so distant. Particularly when all her instincts are telling her that they’re meant to be together – and that he feels the same burning attraction.

As Maddy learns more about Luke’s family and background, she begins to understand that his mixed messages are caused by balancing what’s expected of him with what he really wants. Maddy gave Luke her heart long ago and, despite their differences, she knows she’ll only ever be happy with her hot country boy. But how can she convince him that she’s the risk he needs to take?

Buy: Charming the Outback

Get into Bed with Elisabeth Naughton (Author Interview 2)

Elisabeth NaughtonKeira: The Eternal Guardians are seven warriors descended from the seven greatest heroes in all of Ancient Greece who protect the mortal realm from threats of the Underworld. Which one does Nick descend from?

Elisabeth Naughton: Nick is a special case. Technically, he’s not a guardian. Though he has the marking of the guardians and he’s Demetrius’s half brother, he isn’t one of them. He’s the leader of the half-breeds, the exiled half-Argolean, half-human population that resides in the human world. From book one, MARKED, Nick has been a mystery. Though he and Demetrius are brother’s, they don’t hail from the same hero. In fact, he doesn’t hail from any hero. Nick and Demetrius share the same mother mother—the once mortal-turned goddess-now dead Atalanta. However, Nick’s true father was revealed in BOUND, book six. He is the son of Krónos, the most malicious of all the gods. And in an attempt to free himself of his prison in Tartarus, Krónos has hidden special powers inside Nick which are now coming to the forefront.

Keira: How does he end up in the son of Hades’ clutches? Why must his will be broken?

Elisabeth: Nick and Demetrius share the same soul mate – Isadora, the queen of Argolea – and Isadora chose Demetrius. In the end of Bound, Hades arrived to claim Isadora’s soul because of a deal she made with him earlier in the series. In an attempt to save her, Nick made a deal with Hades…his life for Isadora’s. But Hades took one look at him and realized he was Krónos’s bastard son and could sense the powers hidden inside him. Hades wants those powers for himself, so he’s handed Nick off to his son Zagreus—the Prince of Darkness—to break him and unleash those powers. And when that happens, Hades will swoop in and claim them and become the strongest of all the gods.

Keira: Cynna is not a typical heroine. She’s had to do some pretty bad things (especially to our hero). Does this make her a damaged heroine?

Elisabeth: Yes, definitely. Very damaged. She comes from a very dark place, made some bad choices, made a deal she can’t change, and she’s had to live with that ever since. In Nick she sees a glimmer of the person she could be. The question is whether or not she’s willing to stand against the god she’s indebted to and take the chance to become something more.

Keira: We know the appeal of damaged heroes – was there any differences (pitfalls/pluses) to writing about a damaged heroine?

Elisabeth: Emotionally closed off heroines are very hard to write because authors have to walk a fine line between being true to the character and making her likeable. In romance, it’s a lot easier to get away with a jerk hero than it is with a jerky heroine. Tough females—especially ones like Cynna who are so very damaged—often come across bitchy. The struggle with Cynna was making her tough, but allowing readers a glimpse inside her head so they could see why she was doing the things she was doing and how she felt about them.

Keira: How does Nick reconcile the differences between her outward actions and inner beliefs?

Elisabeth: At the beginning of TWISTED, Nick has been imprisoned for six months. Six months of torture, all at the hands of the heroine. He’s had plenty of time to watch her. And watching her has given him something to think about other than his pain. And in watching her, he’s observed several interesting things. The most important of which is that he’s not so sure she’s the captor like she wants him to believe. He’s starting to wonder if she’s just as much a captive as him.

Keira: How do you define love? What makes it last for the long haul? And will Nick and Cynna have what it takes?

Elisabeth: True love, to me, is sacrifice. When you’re willing to give up everything you love and the one thing you want most in the world for someone else, that’s love. Do Nick and Cynna have what it takes? I guess readers will have to decide for themselves when they read TWISTED.

Buy: TWISTED (Eternal Guardians Book 7)

About Elisabeth:

Before topping multiple bestseller lists—including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal—Elisabeth Naughton taught middle school science. A rabid reader, she soon discovered she had a knack for creating stories with a chemistry of their own. The spark turned into a flame, and Naughton now writes full-time. Besides topping bestseller lists, her books have been nominated for some of the industry’s most prestigious awards, such as the RITA® and Golden Heart Awards from Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, and the Golden Leaf Award. When not dreaming up new stories, Naughton can be found spending time with her husband and three children in their western Oregon home. Visit her website atwww.ElisabethNaughton.com to learn more about her books.

Connect with Elisabeth:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elisabeth.naughton1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElisNaughton
Newsletter: http://www.elisabethnaughton.com/lists/?p=subscribe&id=1

Tempted.inddAbout TWISTED:

Series: Eternal Guardians, Book #7
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Release Date: September 29, 2014
Publisher: Elisabeth Naughton Publishing, LLC

NICK – Leader of the half-breeds and the last true hero. He’s spent his life fighting a dark pull toward the gods. A pull he now knows is linked to his father Krónos and the Titan’s plan to escape from the Underworld.

But Nick’s hidden powers are coveted by more than just his father. Imprisoned by Hades, Nick battles every form of torture imaginable as the sadistic god schemes to break him. Only one thing is keeping him sane. One woman who gives him the strength to fight the relentless darkness. She has a dangerous plan of her own, though, and as Nick’s powers grow stronger, even she might not be enough to alter his destiny.

As the fate of the world hangs in the balance, Nick’s allegiances are tested. And no one knows whether he will choose to fight for good or succumb to the sinister lure of evil. Not even him.

Buy: TWISTED (Eternal Guardians Book 7)

Other Books in Series:
Marked (Eternal Guardians Book 1)
Entwined (Eternal Guardians Book 2)
Tempted (Eternal Guardians Book 3)
Enraptured (Eternal Guardians Book 4)
Enslaved (Eternal Guardians Book 5)
Bound (Eternal Guardians Book 6)

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Giveaway Details:
Elisabeth is giving away a bag of goodies – books, lotions, chocolates, jewelry, etc.

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