Romance x 11 + Prizes = Fun Day!

Romance Super Bundle II: Second Chances is available now! We’re having a Facebook party to celebrate, and we lowered the price from $5.99 to .99.

This is my second book with the same authors. The first was Romance Super Bundle, and it worked out so well that we wanted to do it again. NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Stacey Joy Netzel has joined us for the second box set, and it will be even more fabulous. :)

We’re giving away prizes to lucky commenters! I hope you’ll stop by. The party starts at 8am EST. We’re posting every hour, up to 5 p.m., and some of us will continue to post until 10 p.m. Comments will be open on all posts until 10 p.m. EST.

Here’s more about the box set:

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Eleven romances from New York Times, USA Today and bestselling, award-winning authors.

The blockbuster box set with more than 100,000 copies sold is back for more! We’ve got a lonesome cowboy, a spurned bride-to-be, a heartbroken widower and an unexpected pregnancy, along with a tasty smattering of intrigue, murder and suspense. Almost half a million words and two thousand pages of strong heroes and daring heroines who’ll do anything for a second chance at love.

Second Chances—Dale Mayer
Go ahead. Take Charge of your life. Move forward…if you can…
Changing her future means letting go of her past. Karina heads to a weekend seminar and comes face to face with the man she can’t forget. But she soon realizes bigger issues are facing her… And one of them is deadly…

The Perfect Blend—Donna Marie Rogers
Carrie is on the verge of bankruptcy when Matt walks in and offers her unwanted business advice. The rich playboy fled L.A. for the anonymity of small town life and quickly falls for the local coffee shop owner—who’s as infuriating as she is beautiful.

The Heart of the Matter—Stacey Joy Netzel
Heartbroken she can’t have kids, Allie keeps her distance when Rick moves home with an adorable four year-old son who’s as hard to resist as his father. Does she dare take a chance on an impossible dream, or will his desire for more kids devastate their future?

Meghan’s Wish—Amy Gamet
Meghan O’Connor returns to the family she ran away from as a teenager, afraid they won’t forgive her for leaving town with Liam Wheaton, the boy they tried so hard to keep her away from and the father of her baby. She never expected to find Liam living there, looking sexier than ever and mad as all hell.

Mo’s Heart—Edie Ramer
Mo Vincent did the right thing in New Jersey, and it cost him his son, his wife, his restaurant. Now he’s found a home in Miracle, Wisconsin. He should be content…but his heart wants what he can’t have…

Hooking Mr. Right—Lois Winston
A failure at relationships, Thea Chandler is secretly a bestselling romance advice guru. Luke Bennett, New York’s most eligible bachelor, thinks he’s finally found an honest woman, but Thea’s got more secrets than the CIA. Can a butt-ugly cat named Cupid play matchmaker?

The Lost Finder—Pamela Fryer
The first halfway decent guy to come along in eons…and he’s from another planet. Private Investigator Brooke Weaver hopes she can slip into her Oregon hometown, find her client’s missing teenage daughter, and be on her way again before anyone notices. Not likely.

Cape of Secrets—Georgina Lee
Marika Host lands a dream summer job helping renowned archeologist Sir William write his memoirs, exposing years of secrets. His son Derrick adds romance to her summer, but when Sir William is murdered, Marika realizes some secrets are best kept buried.

Shattered—Kate Kelly
Failing to save his sister’s life, Jay Rawlings insists he be left alone to live the lonesome cowboy life. But when the woman he once loved returns to his ranch with a killer and the police in hot pursuit, Jay has to face the demons from his past.

In His Embrace—Wendy Ely
When life’s glow threatens to die, love guides the way. Tori expected an ordinary Friday. It wasn’t. Ben’s hand rested on her hip a little longer during their goodbye. Then her tests came back abnormal. Scared and alone, she wishes for Ben’s hand to hold. Can he make it back to her in time?

How To Woo…A Reluctant Bride—Lyndi Lamont
A marriage of convenience, nothing more…until darkly handsome Evan Channing and demure Lydia Blatchford meet. The rules are simple for such an arrangement. No expectations, no illusions of anything more. But the rules are about to change…

Amazon | iBooksB&N Nook Books | Google Play Books | Kobo

 Be sure to come to the Facebook party to chat with authors and win prizes!

Posted in Edie's Posts | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Paranormal elements and more!

Hi everyone,

I’m busy collecting notes and pulling together tidbits for my next major project (after I get the three currently in the final stages completed). And that major project is book 7 of my Psychic Vision series and will be Stefan’s story. Now Stefan is a character that has been in each of the first six books – a major secondary character. He’s elusive, enigmatic, talented…and tortured by his talents. He’s a powerful psychic with a murky background that not even he knows all the details of.

My problem is creating the plot and the partner that matches this so very interesting
character. I’ve fallen in love with him myself! :) And that demands that I do the best that I can for his book. I’m looking into various paranormal abilities and some that we don’t consider paranormal but certainly border that edge.

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Synesthesia is one of these. People who see music in colors. For me that would be an incredible gift as I’m always stunned by the colors around me. As my heroine is a musician, I’m thinking I might have to fit this in somehow.

Chromesthesia – Is another common form of synesthesia is the association of sounds with colors. So an almost backward variation.

Mirror touch synesthesiaThis is a rare form of synesthesia where people feel the same sensation that another person feels. Such as when a person taps another on the shoulder, the person doing the tapping feels the same sense of being tapped. 

Like how cool is that! My mind continually spins with this type of research and because my mind is going in circles my muse kicks in and automatically pulls out one idea after another. At this rate, I’ll be able to write another half dozen Psychic Vision books!

Do you know any interesting paranormal/super interesting human talents? I’m always on the lookout for more!

 

Posted in Dale's Posts | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Shh…It’s a secret by guest author Diana Orgain

Recently, I had the chance to work with mystery author Diana Orgain. We were brainstorming about a series she wanted to write, and since I don’t know much about writing mysteries (versus romantic suspense), she was kind enough to give me primer…and share a big secret. I asked her to share it with you today. Take it away, Diana!

What element does every character need in a good mystery?

You guessed it – a secret. All of us have a public persona along with a private one. So do your characters! Especially in a mystery it’s essential that your characters keep some things private – even secret.

It could be a small secret such as a tough as nails gal is scared of heights or it could be a bigger secret like she was having an affair with the victim.

Character secrets are essential for a mystery to work. Everyone should be hiding something because it makes them look and act suspicious. The secrets that characters keep help build the twists in your plot. It’s even better, for example, if each character has a secret motive for murder.

Some ideas to get you brainstorming on your characters’ hidden motives:

  • What is their relationship to the victim? Was it a relationship that everyone knows about – such as husband and wife – or was their relationship a secret?
  • What are they afraid of?
  • What do they stand to lose if their secret is revealed?
  • Where were they when the crime happened? Are they trying to cover their whereabouts even if they didn’t commit murder (perhaps they were simply interviewing for a new job but don’t want their boss to know!)
  • What lengths will they go to keep their secrets, secret?

Readers…what are you favorite types of juicy secrets for a character to be hiding? A secret affair? A secret baby? Does having a secret make the character more realistic?

About Diana:

diana_hdht_crpdDiana Orgain is the bestselling author of the Maternal Instincts Mystery Series: Bundle of Trouble, Motherhood is Murder, Formula for Murder, and Nursing a Grudge.  She is the co-author with NY Times Bestselling author Laura Childs of GILT TRIP published by Penguin USA.  Diana’s new Reality TV Mystery series will be published by Penguin in Spring 2015. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and three children. Visit her at www.dianaorgain.com.

Posted in Guest Posts, Misty's Posts | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Re-watching Saved by the Bell

Every summer, I pick out a TV show to watch. Sometimes, it’s a new show that I’ve heard folks buzzing about. But more often than not, I chose an old TV show — either something that I remember watching as a kid or something that I always wanted to watch and just never had time to.

In previous summers, I’ve re-watched The A-Team, which was my absolute favorite show as a kid. And yeah, probably as an adult too. LOL. I’ve also watched all eight seasons of Magnum P.I., which was escapist fun, and I’ve checked out the first season of Miami Vice, which was way darker and more depressing than I thought it would be.

Saved by the BellThis summer, I decided to re-watch Saved by the Bell.

As a kid, I loved Saved by the Bell, especially Mr. Zack Morris. I was totally Team Zack from day one. Seriously, Kelly, why did you spend so much time dating Slater? Zack was always so much cooler.

I have fond memories of Zack and the gang and all their hijinks, and I remember a lot of the episodes. Seriously, a lot of them. I don’t know if my memory is that good, or I just watched the episodes that many times as a kid. Probably a little of both.

But it’s interesting going back and watching the show now. I’ll admit that some of it makes me cringe — the bad fashions, the cheesy jokes, how mean everyone was to Screech.

But you know what? I still really like the show. If nothing else, it’s a chance to look back fondly on something fun and goofy from my childhood. And I think we could all use a little more fun and goofy in our lives, don’t you?

What about you guys? Are there any shows you want to check out or re-watch this summer?

The first season of Saved by the Bell is about $10 on Amazon. So, in honor of that, I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card, so you can check out the series for yourself.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Jennifer's Posts | Tagged , , | 44 Comments

Who Are The New Bad Guys?

I’m really finding it interesting what authors and Hollywood are using for the new round of villains. Let’s see, it used to be Hitler and the Nazis during the forties and the fifties. Then during the sixties, it was the Russians and communism. The seventies continued with secret cells of communists and the cold war. Can’t recall what the eighties used, other than your typical undercover spy or mad scientist. The nineties seem to bring in aliens while the twenty-first centers introduced a whole slew of new villains.

You now have terrorists, zombies, demons, vampires (except for the good ones). And just for fun, let’s throw in the insurance companies. :wink:

TangledIt’s fascinating how authors are coming up with using old fairy tales and myths and breathing new life into them. Hollywood has taken a number of fairy tales and created movies that can be both fun and frightening. Just take a look at Red Riding Hood and the wolf. Animated stories of flying dragons and the old tale of Rupunzal in “Tangled”. Making vampires the good guy in the Twilight series. And television making a hit out of hordes of zombies in “The Walking Dead”. I’ve read of a few authors who managed to make zombies into the heroes … something I have yet to figure out and understand. Pardon to fans of that particular genre, but … ewwww.

Seems that aliens will always continue to be a favorite villain. Just take a look at the “Falling Skies” series that the Syfy channel has and the numerous movies in the last few years. I suppose aliens make a wonderful bad guy. After all, you can create what you want, in any shape or form your imagination can dream up.

ThorI’m also seeing a whole influx of superhero movies. Those old comic books provide ready made bad guys. You have Loki to torment Thor. The Green Goblin/Spiderman. Lex Luthor/Superman. A whole slew of villains to make Batman’s life miserable.

Oh, and let’s not forget the ultimate villain. Cancer, and other terminal health issues. Just saw “Fault in the Stars” a week or so ago and have come to the conclusion that cancer patients really shouldn’t watch this movie. It was a terrific story and very well done, but hit a bit close to home.

So, which villains and bad guys have I missed? I’m sure there are a good number of them that I hadn’t even mentioned, but who certainly deserve a mention.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Review: A Matchless Romance by Christi Barth

amrBook info:

Title: A Matchless Romance (Aisle Bound, #4)
Author: Christi Barth
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: February 17, 2014
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Source: ARC received from Author

Book Summary:

Tabitha Bell is the face of Chicago’s premiere matchmaking service. At least, she hopes it will be someday, once business really takes off. What she needs is more clients, so when she meets an sexy gamer in need of help, it’s the perfect opportunity.

His discomfort with talking to women almost cost Drew Watson his job. He’d be happy holed up in his office, designing blockbuster video games, but his boss considers talking to investors a non-negotiable requirement. Who better than a matchmaker to teach him how to be comfortable around the opposite sex? Trouble is, Drew wants to get more than comfortable with Tabitha, while she’s determined to keep their relationship all business.

But soon Tabitha learns that beneath the geek-chic hoodie lies six feet of sexy physique—and the more time she spends with Drew, the more she appreciates his brainy brand of charm. Will she succumb to his sweet-but-nerdy charm offensive or will it be game-over before he can win her heart?

My Thoughts:

Why? Why have I waited this long to read a book in the Aisle Bound Series by Christi Barth? I love sexy, sassy contemporary romance books and A Matchless Romance is the definition of that. Sassy heroine, a geeky hero and a happy ever after (several in fact). A Matchless Romance is the fourth book in the Aisle Bound Series, but the first one I have read. It can easily be read as a standalone, but I so badly want to go back and read all the other books now to get to know the other characters. I love it when a book in a series does that!

In this story Tabitha is running a matchmaking business and Drew is a video game designer looking for some help interacting with women, since he royally offended his female boss and needs to be able to nail some upcoming marketing interviews. From their first encounter, Tabitha and Drew hit it off. Their friendly demeanor and chemistry was so fun to watch. Christi brings such humor to both of these characters in very different ways. Drew takes everything very literal and Tabitha gets such a kick out of it.

Since this series is new to me, I did not know the other characters very well. However, they all seemed like one big happy family and I can’t wait to go back and read other books in the series to get to know them. I like contemporary romance novels where you can’t put the book down because you are having too much fun and this book did that for me. The story moves along at a great pace and I couldn’t wait to see how Drew was going to win Tabitha’s heart.

A Matchless Romance is a fun, sassy romance with well developed characters and great dialogue. It will have you laughing but also tug on your heartstrings at times. If you like contemporary romance, I suggest you give A Matchless Romance a try.

Reviewed by: Amy R.

Four and a half stars

Posted in Contemporary Romance, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Independence Day Food

It’s Independence Day in the USA!  I hope all of you in the States are celebrating with good food, good friends / family and some fireworks today. Some of you celebrated Canada Day earlier this week much the same way I presume. I live in the US, and as a fan of Pinterest, I love looking up all the 4th of July themed food creations that I probably won’t make but would love to consume (like the treats in the photo below). Although, the cupcakes look like something I could tackle…

Originally found on http://mimisdollhouse.com/4th-of-july-food-ideas/

Photos taken from http://mimisdollhouse.com

What are your favorite treats to make when celebrating your country’s national holiday?

Posted in Amy R's Posts | 6 Comments

When Life Imitates Fiction

Please join me in welcoming Romantic Suspense authors Chris Almeida and Cecilia Aubrey to the blog! While reading their books for the first time, I would send them messages during the times I experienced emotional highs or lows with the story, usually trying to get spoilers out of them. No such luck on the spoilers, but it did start a great friendship!

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When Life Imitates Fiction

10382531_834182046610280_5507404277748554476_oDetails can make or break a story. As Romantic Suspense authors, there is a limit on how far we can color outside the lines. Our stories are set in the here and now and, most times, deal with true to life possibilities. As a result, when we embark on a story, we like to be sure that our ducks are in a row that our facts line up. Granted, most who pick up our stories may not research it or know the topic in depth, but we would rather be as accurate as possible in our descriptions and story-telling.

Take our series Countermeasure for example. Countermeasure, Book 1, dives into the cut throat world of the pharmaceutical industry and the methods companies will take to obtain an up and coming drug. As part of our research, we reached out to a scientist within the industry to validate our understanding of the mechanics of that industry and how the development of a new drug progressed through the process.

We did the same when we embarked on the next adventure in our series, To Russia with Love. We researched the Russian Mafia and its rise to a contender in the criminal arena of data systems hacking. Little did we know that several months after To Russia’s release, a similar event to what we had written in our story would take place in in Saint Petersburg.

In our current, work in progress, Alternate Connection we are diving into the volatile environment of the Middle East. To deliver a compelling story, we are ensuring we understand what is happening in that part of the world both from a religious and political perspective and its impact on the mission our characters are undertaking.

10344253_834182053276946_9122104639887628243_oFor us, research is a key ingredient in how we draw a picture of our story in our and the readers’ minds. Creating suspension of disbelief requires life-like characters and situations. Although we may blur the lines a bit to fit the purpose of our stories and our characters’ drives, we prefer to keep it real enough that we’re always prepared for when life imitates fiction.

Do you like to see accuracy in the stories you read? Are you ever curious enough to search something an author mentioned to see if they had gotten it right?

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Thanks for hanging out with us on the blog today, Chris and Cecilia! Readers, you can learn more about Chris and Cecilia and their books by visiting their Website or connecting with them on Facebook or Twitter.

Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments

Historical Photos

St Paul's Cathedral 1896

St Paul’s Cathedral 1896

I recently entered the wonderful world of historical archive site retronaut.com. They have an amazing archive of historical photos beautifully sorted into time periods, and as a historical author, I am getting so much inspiration from them.

I’ve started sharing some of them on Facebook and twitter, and I am also loving the responses I’m getting.

I can’t share the photos directly, because of copyright issues, but I can share the links, so photos like this one of two construction workers eating their lunch and reading a newspaper at 70 feet above London, really show you real life is sometimes stranger than fiction. :)

Or how about this one of Russian Princess Anastasia smoking a pipe with her father, Tsar Nicholas II in 1916? What an amazing photo, and all the more poignant when you think what happened to both them and the rest of their family not long afterward.

And while there are plenty astonishing photos on the site to see, it’s the ordinary ones, like this one, of a toaster made in the 1920s, one the characters in my current project set in 1927 might actually have used, delights me just as much.

Do you get a kick out of seeing old photos, and taking a trip down memory lane?

Posted in Michelle's Posts | 6 Comments

Why we love strong heroines by Misty Evans

imagesLast month, I read Divergent, the hit Young Adult novel that was recently turned into a film (which one isn’t these days?) I enjoyed it, and am now reading the sequel, Insurgent.

Like so many strong female characters, young and old, the heroine, Tris, embodies many characteristics I love to read about. She’s ingenious, determined, and courageous. She’s also only sixteen.

So far, she’s been beat-up, dangled over a cliff and nearly plunged to her death, shot more than once, witnessed both parents being killed, had to shoot a dear friend, and has been poked, prodded, and experimented on by the enemy.

She’s one tough cookie.

While my sons and I were having coffee on the porch yesterday morning, I brought up the fact that over the years, I’ve read a lot of similar characters, many your average, everyday girl (or woman) thrown into unusual and very challenging circumstances. Some of the characters were completely unbelievable, because they had no experiences, training, or life circumstances that prepared them for all the physical, mental, and emotional trials they went through.

I don’t need them to be trained operatives like the heroines in most of my romantic suspense novels, but I do appreciate it when a character who digs deep for that precious combination of ingenuity, determinedness, and courage, finds it because they went through some trial or tribulation in their past that prepared them for what they’re going through now.

And then my son Sam said, “But Mom, as an author you know why most stories take an average character and make them superhuman, believable or not.”

I do?

“Why?” I asked.

“Because we all want to believe that we—the nobodies of the world with absolutely no skills—could get beat up, take a bullet, and keep going in order to save the world.”

“Besides,” he added. “It’s fiction.”

He’s right. On both counts. Many of us read so we can temporarily become the hero or heroine and save the world. And it IS fiction.

Yet, if the heroine is your average girl-next-door type, I’d like to know that the reason she fights back and nails the bad guy in the kidney with her elbow is because she had three older brothers who teased her and taught her how to fight. Or she took a self-defense class after she was mugged. Or, like Tris in Divergent, she picked the badass Dauntless faction and went through an initiation that taught her how to fight, shoot a gun, and wield a knife. The Dauntless taught her how to think like a fighter and act like one.

Bianca, the heroine in my work in progress (DEADLY FORCE) is an analyst for the NSA. She’s not an undercover operative or a field agent with tactical skills, so when an assassin comes after her, she doesn’t have a lot of choice but to seek help from someone who does have those skills and knows the art of evasion and survival.

But she’s no meek damsel in distress. She has a near-perfect memory, and while that would be a blessing for many of us and it helps her be an excellent analyst, it’s also a burden. She’s never been normal and had a tough childhood that taught her to be clever and resourceful when it came to survival. And even though she’s more likely to hit you with her laptop than shoot you, she does know how to use a gun and she’s determined to bring the bad guys to justice.

This month, Adrienne Giordano and I are releasing the second book in our Justice Team series, CHEATING JUSTICE. The heroine in this story is a trained sniper for the FBI. As you can imagine, she has some skills. While she does get beat up and shot at in the story, her biggest problem isn’t the bad guy, actually. It’s the hero. If you’d like to know more about Caroline and Mitch, hop over to the Justice Team Series FB page for the cover reveal today.

So tell me, readers, what do YOU like in a strong heroine? What qualities must she possess? What experiences from her past make her current drive to overcome her situation believable?

Or is it JUST FICTION and you don’t really care?

Posted in Misty's Posts | Tagged , , | 7 Comments