Get into Bed with Kelsey Browning (Author Interview)

Kelsey Browning - HeadshotKeira: What’s the best way to keep a secret… secret?

Kelsey Browning: Hmm…this is a hard one for me because I’m pretty much an unfiltered, open book. LOL. But I think the best way to keep a secret is to realize what’s at stake for the person who has the secret. And the other way would be never to tell another single person. A secret is hard to contain once even one other person knows. :)

Keira: What would make you break a promise to keep a secret?

Kelsey: If the secret could hurt either the person keeping the secret or hurt someone very close to me.

Keira: Eden Durant, your heroine in Problems in Paradise (Texas Nights), also has secrets, that have her starting over. What does she feel are the best and worst things about starting over?

Kelsey: The best and worst for Eden is probably the same thing—that no one really knows the real her. It keeps her “safe,” but it also keeps her from getting too close to anyone. Keeps her from having the relationship that—deep down—she craves.

Keira: Have you ever started over in your life? What did you find the best and worst about starting fresh?

Kelsey: Oh boy, have I. My family “started over” when we left Texas to move overseas to Doha, Qatar (a small country just off Saudi Arabia). The best was experiencing a new adventure and leaving behind so many of the expectations about the way we were supposed to live our life. The worst was being without family and friends from home. It was tough being half a world away from so many of the people we love.

Keira: Name three not-so-secret-secrets she might only tell the hero, Beck.

Kelsey: All the restaurants where she worked between California and Texas. Why she dresses like a color-blind toddler. :) How she really feels about sex.

Keira: Ladies love a man in uniform – how did Beck get his?

Kelsey: Deputies (including the Chief Deputy, Beck Childress) serve at the pleasure of the sheriff. Beck was hired by the current Crockett County sheriff when he moved home to Shelbyville after leaving a career on Wall Street.

Keira: Beck is also running for election. When and why did he decide to do that?

Kelsey: Let’s just say if you read the first scene in Problems in Paradise (Texas Nights), you’ll know the answer to that. ;)

Keira: How do you define love? What makes it real and work?

Kelsey: You like to ask the easy questions, huh? LOL I think love—at least romantic love—is a combination of attraction, respect, and trust. Other than that, it’s a mystery. As far as making it work for the long term, I think the trust and respect are critical. And learning how to be a good listener—something I’m still learning after 20 years of marriage—is a biggie.

Keira: Is it ever okay to keep a secret from a spouse or loved one?

Kelsey: Yow – you’re on a roll today! A big, ugly secret? No. A surprise party? Yes.

Keira: Now for the hardest question. ;) What are you working on next?

Kelsey: I’m working on a new Texas-set contemporary series and book two in The Granny Series!

Problems In Paradise Cover - FinalBook Summary:

Eden Durant hasn’t always been Eden Durant. She’s made a fresh start in Shelbyville, Texas, far from her mother’s notoriety. Running the Paradise Garden Café is as much excitement as Eden wants—or it was, until she meets Beck Childress. Although he’s the one man who could expose her past, she’s willing to open up enough to see if he might be her future.

Chief Deputy Childress is determined to get to know the real Eden, when he isn’t busy cleaning up after the sheriff and running in the election to replace him. When several men fall sick after eating in Eden’s café, he investigates even as her mysterious past raises both his suspicions and his protective instincts.

As their relationship heats up, so do the pressures of Beck’s campaign. When Eden’s secrets are revealed, jeopardizing his dream of becoming sheriff, he’ll need to choose: serve and protect the town he loves or the woman who makes it home.

Buy: Problems in Paradise (Texas Nights)

Author Bio: Kelsey Browning writes sass kickin’ love stories and cozy Southern mysteries. Originally from a Texas town smaller than the ones she writes about, Kelsey has also lived in the Middle East and Los Angeles, proving she’s either adventurous or downright nuts. These days, she hangs out in northeast Georgia with Tech Guy, Smarty Boy, and Bad Dog. She’s currently at work on the next book in her Texas Nights series and The Granny Series.

Connect with Kelsey: Email / Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

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Review: His Most Exquisite Conquest by Emma Darcy

His Most Exquisite Conquest by Emma DarcyReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Lucy Flippance has gone through life with a bad opinion of men. Whenever she has dated them in the past, they have started out as princes, with charm and handsome looks, then several months into the relationship, their love had waned and he had turned into a frog. It didn’t help that Lucy’s mother had gone through hell with her husband when he had got her pregnant, then left her when it came to light she had cancer. That made her adamant that she would be very cautious around men, no matter how promising or handsome they were.

Michael Finn is a man used to getting what he wants in the boardroom and out of it. Where women are concerned, he can have his pick and choose of them. He, like Lucy has split up from his ex girlfriend, Fiona Redman who was into female power games and was intent to rule his head, heart – and possibly his entire life if he let her. He said he would never let another woman do that to him after he had split up with her. Not when he had made Finn’s Franchises a top business when he took over from his late father. Michael seeks to enjoy the romance of any female encounter, but sooner or late, he tires of the woman no matter the beauty, the abilities as he always finds a floor in their make-up and it puts him off them for life.

Good bits:

  • Lucy trying to keep her secret hidden.
  • Harry’s relationship with her sister.
  • Michael in two minds as to continue his relationship with Lucy when one of her conquests dishes the dirt on her to him.

Bad bits:

  • Michael’s cheesy chat up-lines about what she was doing as a cemetery admin when she could be a model.
  • Michael’s insistence at not using a condom on their first night together – what a cad!

Review: The chemistry is there between the two of them, but Lucy doesn’t want him to turn from prince to frog, while Michael hopes that his interest in her will last the distance. Her only problem is her awful secret as it’s one that could put him off her if he ever discovers it. Lucy brings out the good in him, the needy part also, and he sometimes feels uncomfortable about a recent revelation that happened when they were in a crowded restaurant. He wants to enjoy his time with her, but at the same time he hopes she could be the one woman he has been looking for all his life. Harry and Michael are two brothers, the Finns while Lucy and Ellie are sisters and are both dating each other, making things more complicated than they should be.

Summary: The story is enjoyable, and the characters feel right for the situations they are all put in. If it’s raining outside, pick this book up, it won’t disappoint you – you won’t want to put it down!

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: His Most Exquisite Conquest (The Legendary Finn Brothers)

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My Writing Process

Guest blog by Kristin Miller, author of Gone with the Wolf

First, I have to say thank you for having me on your lovely blog today! I get asked a lot what my writing process is like and where I write, so I thought I’d take some time to break that down.

As for my process, it’s pretty simple. Usually a scenario or scene strikes me first, and I stew for a bit on how to mold that scene into a book. It’s like looking at a piece of wall art, deciding that you love it and want to buy it, then trying to imagine where you’d hang it in your house. You’ve had that happen before, right? Yup, it feels exactly like that. After a few days a character takes shape, and for me, it’s usually the hero. I keep a notebook for each book I write, and as the scenes and characters grow, I write them down. Within a week or so, I have the hero and heroine mapped out (their physical description, emotional baggage, former relationships and how they changed them, etc.), a few key scenes that need to happen in the book for the characters to grow, and the big black moment that’ll tear the hero and heroine apart.

Easy, right? ;)

As for where I write, take a look:

Kristin Millers desk

The notes for my current work sit to my left, my cup of coffee to my right, and a box of general writing stuff (contracts, notes from previous books, etc.) behind the laptop. I wish I could get rid of that gigantic printer, scanner, fax machine to my far right, but the cord that came with the machine is too short to allow it to be at my feet. (Had I known, I would’ve invested my cash elsewhere.) The desk sits in my living room so that I can write while my kids play. It’s difficult to get work done when I’m constantly breaking up fights and getting snacks from the pantry, but I’d rather know what my munchkins are doing than be locked away in an office where they’re left to their own devices. :shudder: I also have a tiny canvas hanging on the wall in front of me that reads: your story matters…tell it. When something in the writing process becomes difficult, I glance up remind myself that I have to keep plugging along.

Every now and again I take my laptop and run to my nearest Starbucks to write. I order a Grande Zebra Mocha, sit in the corner, and type away. :) Those writing days usually turn out to be the best (though they’re few and far between) with clean words and pages written quickly.

Gone with the Wolf was mostly written at my desk. Drake Wilder, the CEO Alpha werewolf hero, came to me first and Emelia Hudson, his carefree secretary came to me second. I knew I wanted to create an ememies-to-lovers relationship, and I knew they were going to be perfect for one another, even though they’d fight me on that idea to the very end.

gone with the wolf

Gone with the Wolf

By Kristin Miller

Entangled Publishing – April 2013

CEO and alpha werewolf Drake Wilder has given up the search for his one true love. When he discovers that she’s a secretary in his company, Drake’s primal instincts kick into overdrive.

What he wouldn’t give to have her fingers rake over his body instead of the keyboard…

Free-spirited bartender Emelia Hudson wants nothing more than to make her Seattle-based bar succeed. But when profits decline, she slips into a dress suit and secures a nine-to-five. After learning that her bar has become property of Wilder Financial, Emelia is determined to get some answers.

Two can play the ruthless business game. If only her attraction to the boss wasn’t so intense…

When Drake’s twin brother senses that Drake has found his match—and now inherits their father’s billion dollar estate—he hatches a plan to take Emelia out. Drake vows to protect her at all costs, but he might have to pay with his own life.

Title: Gone with the Wolf
Author: Kristin Miller
Publisher: Entangled
Imprint: Covet
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 207 pages
Release Date: April 23, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-62266-144-2

Buy: Gone with the Wolf

kristin millerAuthor Information

Kristin Miller has had a passion for language and literature her whole life. Born and raised in northern California, she often made up stories about faraway places and edge-of-your-seat adventures. After graduating from Humboldt State University, Kristin taught high school and middle school English, married her college sweetheart, and had two beautiful munchkins. In 2008, she took time off from teaching to raise her children, and started writing while they napped.

Her first novel was published in 2011, and since then she has had seven other novels published (mostly paranormal romances). She is the author of Gone with the Wolf with Entangled Publishing, the dark and gritty Vampires of Crimson Bay series with Avon, and the short-but-steamy Isle of Feralon novellas with Harlequin Nocturne Cravings.

Author Website:www.kristinmiller.net

Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristinMiller

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/KM_Miller

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/kristinmiller

Buy: Gone with the Wolf

Tour Giveaway

Kristin is giving away a Gone with the Wolf themed prize pack to one lucky winner! Prize pack includes:

  • Gone with the Wolf swag including a custom made beaded bookmark
  • Seattle’s Best coffee & Starbucks travel mug
  • Ghiradelli chocolates
  • Too Much of a Good Thing is… Wonderful! wine bottle charm

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Buy: Gone with the Wolf

Review: Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins

Heroine: (Cordelia) Posey Osterhagen might be the plain adopted daughter, but she’s well-loved both at work, at home, and by her Little Sister (from the youth mentoring organization). If only that translated into her love life, but the boyfriend she’s got doesn’t want to go to the next level, preferring to have sex dates instead of real dates.

Hero: Widower Liam Murphy is back in town raising his teenage daughter so she can be close to her mother’s parents. The wealthy grandparents never liked him, seeing him a philanderer and leech. He can’t stand the women coming up to him looking to get reacquainted with the object in his pants… his safe haven is Posey… but there’s something about her that appeals to him despite her tomboyish figure.

High School Drama: Back in high school, Liam worked for Posey’s family’s restaurant. She had a huge crush on him, but he only saw the girl (Emma Tate) who ended up becoming his wife.  As high school drama goes, something was said, someone was dumped, a prom was ruined, and there were tears. (Prom always has somebody crying, doesn’t it? Sad.)

Review: I liked Posey’s background and self image and how that changed in the story. You could really empathize with her. Liam Murphy was suffering from OCD and I don’t think he ever got over it during the storyline (unlike most romances which show how flaws disappear under the influence of love) – which I kind of missed seeing. I would have like that or at least have him not fret so much about washing his hands. What I really liked was his portrayal as a father – responsible, loving, attentive, if a bit overly disciplinarian to begin with (Hey! He knows teenage boys and what’s on their minds!) concerning dating. I even liked Posey’s cousin Gretchen toward the end of the story (though she will tempt you to strangle her beforehand). Overall, charming, with a wonderful Disney-ish prom happily ever after.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Until There Was You

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Review: To Marry for Duty (The Husband Fund, Book 3) by Rebecca Winters

This is the last book in the The Husband Fund trilogy.

Heroine: Piper Duchess is the last remaining single Duchess triplet and she’s feeling it. At the advice of her shrink she bucks up and firmly places her feelings of abandonment and loneliness behind her and dives headlong into her commercial art business. She gets a partner and expands it globally, proving once and for all that she didn’t need a man and she especially did not need Italian aristocrat Nic de Pastrana.

Hero: Nic de Pastrana has wanted Piper from the first time he saw her, but circumstances made it so he could not and he had to be cruel to get the message across. Now free of his year long formal mourning for his late fiance, Nic is determined to win back her trust and love and prove to her that she does need a man — him! Like his cousins, he plans to trick her with partial truths to get her to come to him. And a little marriage of convenience wouldn’t hurt his chances either.

Review: The story was too wrapped up in details from previous books of the series and I felt a lot of good to know background for Piper and Nic was missing. Readers were suppose to recognize and have knowledge of conversations/scenes the two shared previously and while they were briefly elaborated on it was dismissively instead of extensively. The excuse for the MOC was just that an excuse and overall the story was pretty flat. There was little chemistry between hero and heroine.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Buy: To Marry for Duty: The Husband Fund (Harlequin Romance)

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Review: Just for the Night by Tawny Weber

Heroine: Larissa Zahn has been busy since she broke up with Jason Cantrell two years ago. From the growth of a romance novel blog she’s become an authority on romance with a column about the Rules of Romance. Her dream is to open Isn’t it Romantic a store for romance in the Cartwright Hotel specialty Mall. The promo package with the vendor is worth its weight in gold and the location perfect. There’s just one problem…

Hero: Jason Cantrell is also going for the same space. He’s pitching Can-Do Adventure, a travel agency he started with his brother, geared toward adventure seekers. To make their company fit the specialty mall they’re putting together couple packages at steep discounts. It’s a shoe-in… until he realizes he’s not meeting Daniel Cartwright but Connor, the guy Larissa cheated on him with.

Review: Tawny Weber delivers a tight story which takes place over 24 hours. It works because the two characters had a previous relationship with each other. They delve into their past while trying to figure out their present. Neither can run away from the other when a convenient lock down of the mall during a power blackout give the two time in close proximity that they need to do this.

There was some repetitive dialogue that kept circling old issues instead of solving them but the sexual tension was right on, and the sex was hot. In the end, Cartwright Hotels is lucky Larissa and Jason didn’t pull out and leave them in a rut for contriving to force them together. Which company do you think was a better fit for the mall?

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Just for the Night

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Review: Corporate Seduction by Bridget Midway

Corporate Seduction is a highly erotic interracial romance set in the workplace with a white male boss and a black female secretary.

Winston Biggers is a jerk. He’s rude, mean, unfeeling and Maybelline, his secretary, is certain he’s keeping her from advancing. He won’t even give her a raise after all she’s put up with over the years. To cover the gap in her salary, May takes a second job at the Oh Club, a exclusive club that caters to a BDSM clientele, as a Dominatrix.

When a masked Winston wanders inside he’s immediately drawn to Mistress Mayai (pronounced “May I/Eye”) as she reminds him of his secretary, a woman he’s been attracted to from the beginning of their working relationship, but was unable to do anything about do to company policy.

When they learn of their real identities the game changes. Win will get to be the Dom during the day at work and have May submit to him. At night, May will continue to be Dom. This setup lets them remain in lust with each other while also allowing them to take full control.

Winston and Maybelline are not perfect characters. They each do things that aren’t very likeable. For instance, Maybelline does something incredibly cruel and stupid in the beginning to Winston in retaliation to ill treatment. She sends his current girlfriend a very mushy note with an overly sentimental and romantic bouquet when he requested something very benign as he was leaning toward breaking up with the woman. I felt so bad for the soon-to-be-ex.  On the other hand, Winston is a true cad. He knows Maybelline deserves the raise she requested and to be promoted but he keeps her where she is because it suits him. It’s hard to like a story when you don’t like the main characters.

Some other things that bugged me – May never interacting with her grandmother for whom she was taking the moonlight job for and Princess/Mistress Payne the sadist side character.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Buy: Corporate Seduction

Review: A Moment on the Lips by Phyllis Bourne Williams

guestreview

By: Cara Lynn, guest reviewer

A Moment on the Lips by Phyllis Bourne Williams is a sweet love story. I picked it up from the library because the cover was different. It is an artist’s rendering of a lovely black woman about to eat a strawberry. It is a Leisure Book, and I will certainly look for more.

Grant Price is a wealthy, high powered executive who is used to getting his way in business, but his life is ruled by how busy he is. He and his father wish to recruit Melody Mason, but she has more or less disappeared from business life, after being at the head of her game. Grant goes to find her, determined to bring her back for the company. They had been in college together where the two of them were rivals, spurring each other on to bigger heights.

Melody has left the business world, originally for health reasons, but also because she no longer loved it. (There isn’t an emphasis on the problems.) Being responsible for other people’s money, even though she is very good at it, was also stressful. She cared enough that those invested with her were more than a number, even if she didn’t know their names.

When Grant comes to offer his business proposal in person, she counters his proposal with one of her own. If he will stay in her small town in Tennessee for one week, without a cell phone, laptop, fax machine or contacting the office, she will go with him for one week and present a seminar. She doesn’t think he will stick to it. He feels she will come to work for more than a week.

Melody’s reason is that she doesn’t want him to have the health problem she had because of his Type A personality. Grant has his own misgivings because he wished to pursue another career, only his father overrode him in his youth.

Melody is in process of opening a knit shop. Grant doesn’t realize how far along the plans are.

Her small town has the usual cast of characters — a town gossip, a homeless man, many long time friends, the intertwining of lives.

Melody suspects Grant is only using her to get her to make money for the firm. She has had two engagements fall through when she realized both men only wanted her for the money she could make them. She also isn’t the typical heroine — she is nearly 40, mature in her body and her thinking — so she is skeptical of his involvement in her life and has been hurt enough that trust doesn’t come easily for her.

Of course, they fall in love. There is humor and realism; possible marital problems with a friend whose marriage had always been happy; enough romance to be satisfying; and grown ups living lives not too far out of the realm of reality. The various threads in the story are cleared up nicely, but not in ways that seem contrived.

If you are interested in a black romance, this is well done. However, the book is not particularly black. Other than the descriptions of the two main characters and a small bit mentioned about hair weaves vs. natural curls, the other characters could be black — or not. There is no colloquial language.

Rating: 4 Stars

It was a happy read for a hot summer day.

Buy: A Moment on the Lips

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