Plucky Heroines and Stubborn Heroes

Today’s guest is Lecia Cornwall, author of the Once Upon A Highland Series.

Once Upon a Highland Christmas book bannerOh, the terrible trials of being a writer! You’d think it would be an easy thing, telling the story of two people who meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after, especially when there’s magic, and snow, and Christmas in the glorious Scottish Highlands involved.

But it’s not.

Good characters—the kind who satisfy a writer’s need to create someone real as well as magical, can be incredibly stubborn. The simply refuse to lie down on the page and do as they’re told.

Take the Heroine of Once Upon A Highland Christmas, for example. Lady Alanna McNabb is the middle sibling of three willful sisters. She’s used to hand-me-downs, being the peacekeeper in the family, and staying quietly in the shadows as her older and younger sisters get all the attention. She even prevents a potential scandal by agreeing to marry the insistent suitor her older sister rejected. Alanna uses her head, not her heart. She will do her duty, please her family, and marry Lord Merridew, even if she doesn’t love him—or even know him.

But Alanna has just as much pluck as the rest of her family—she is a McNabb, after all—and after two books, we know that the McNabbs never settle for anything less than true love, and mayhem will always swirl around them like a snowstorm until the final I do’s are said.

Secretly, in her heart of hearts, Alanna wants a man who loves her for herself, not because her brother is an earl and her dowry is huge, or her sisters are the prettiest lasses in the Highlands. She decides a wee walk in the hills on the eve of her wedding will surely sweep such foolish notions away. The day is fine when she sets out, but the weather in the Highlands can be as unpredictable as love—or magic— and she suddenly finds herself lost in a blizzard, and freezing.

It isn’t every day a man finds a beautiful lass in the snow, half frozen, and in need of rescue. Laird Iain MacGillivray saves Alanna’s life, spending a night in an abandoned cottage, holding her body close to his to warm her. He tells himself it’s the right thing to do, and love and desire don’t enter into it for a minute. Iain believes there are two kinds of men—those who put honor and duty and responsibility above their own feelings, and those who live for pleasure. He’s the first kind of man, thank you very much. Throwing lovely, half-frozen lasses in front of him appears to be a waste of time.

But everyone at Craigleith Castle knows Iain has met his perfect match the moment they see him carrying Alanna, wrapped in his plaid—everyone except Iain himself, of course. His kin suggest that he claim her and keep her in the old Highland way, but Iain is a modern man, not a reiver. His head tells him his cousin Penelope will make the perfect bride. She has the right upbringing and the training to be a suitable countess. Love doesn’t enter into it. Why should it? The needs of his people come well before his own desires, and that’s that.

Were there ever two people who needed a healthy dose of magic more? Continue reading

A Woman’s Guide to Watching Football

Today’s guest post is by Avon Impulse author, Julie Brannagh. Enjoy!

Author of Holding HollyI write football romances. It’s not necessary to know a thing about football to read my books, though. I hope they’re enjoyable for football fans, and for women who prefer to find something else to do while her boyfriend or husband is losing his mind over sudden death overtime for the third time this week. At the same time, why let the men have all the fun every Sunday, Monday, Thursday and some Saturdays from September until February each year?

I refuse to relinquish my love for a sport I’ll never play to the guys. I don’t need to wear a pink jersey or to have my husband pat me on the head and send me to the kitchen to get him another beer instead of enjoying the game.  It’s not just short pants and big sweaty guys. It’s strategy and struggle. It’s a game of inches. It’s endless discussions over rules and officiating decisions, and huge community celebrations when your favorite team wins it all. Give it a try, and you might love it, too!

  1. Football: The two teams form a line facing each other on the field. Offense (guys with the ball): Trying to score. Defense: Trying to stop the guys with the ball from advancing it. The guys with the ball have four chances (otherwise known as “downs”) to advance the ball ten yards to get another four chances to advance the ball. They’re headed to the end zone, where they will score six points if they get there by running or passing. The guy who scores may do an elaborate dance or spike the ball. There it is.
  2. A simple overview of football can be had at http://www.nfl.com/rulebook/beginnersguidetofootball. If you grasp the basics, you can ask the people watching with you questions, but it’s always a good policy to wait for the commercial.
  3. The NFL rules book is gigantic. I have been watching football for quite some time now. I don’t know all the rules, especially when the rules are constantly changing as well. Neither do most of the guys you’re watching with. Don’t worry if you don’t know everything.
  4. It doesn’t matter what you wear. Well, let me amend that: If your significant other is a football fan and loves the 49ers, it might be advisable to wear something other than a Seahawks t-shirt. Same goes for Jets/Giants, Cowboys and anyone else, Patriots and anyone else. The safest to wear: Green Bay. Everyone loves Green Bay. Well, everyone that’s not the Colts or the Bears. Or the Seahawks.
  5. Food is important, but you are not the only person capable of making sure it’s present or prepared. Order a pizza or send the football fan to the grocery store for ready-made stuff. If you’re having a Super Bowl party, ask people to bring stuff. Being stuck in the kitchen all day is not fun. Being in the midst of the excitement – fun!
  6. If you’re really, really uninterested in the game, there are compelling (and fascinating) human interest stories on every team. I’m a little biased, but my Seattle Seahawks are full of them. Check out guys like Russell Wilson, Michael Robinson, Derrick Coleman, and Kam Chancellor. You might find yourself rooting for them to succeed, just like I do.

Holy, the heroine of Holding Holly, loves football almost as much as her NFL Player Husband, Derrick.  Did you ever date a football nut? How did you handle it? Continue reading

10Q’s With Joanna Penn

Today I am truly honored to welcome the fantastic Joanna Penn! Joanna is very well known in the world of book marketing. Her website The Creative Penn pointed me in the direction of what to do to market my book when I just started out.  It is my go to site on all things book marketing and I frequently direct authors to that site. She has tons of free stuff to guide you. I even bought her book How To Market A Book which is my bible for marketing. I am a religious listener to her podcast. Seriously I cannot sing enough praises about her. Joanna is a straight-forward, honest gal that tells you like it is.

She has been featured on 

I became aware of Joanna in the book marketing world, but there is also another side to her. As J.F. Penn, she is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of one of my favorite book series The Arkane Series: Pentecost | Prophecy | Exodus | One Day in Budapest | Day of The Vikings and the soon to be released Gates of Hell.

The London Psychic Series: Desecration | Diliarium 

A Thousand Fiendish Angels | Day of the Viking (free for a limited time)

Joanna has spent over 5 years carving a name for herself, she puts out a weekly podcast, travels to exotic locations to research facts for her novels, writes, markets, consults, speaks and yet she still made time to stop by my blog, so again I am honored.

I got to ask Joanna aka J.F. Penn a 10 questions regarding her series. Here goes!

How did the ARKANE series come about?

I have a Masters degree in Theology from Oxford University and have always been interested in the supernatural and religious side of things. I wanted to be able to write about the things which fascinate me personally. ARKANE is a secret agency that investigates supernatural mysteries, and I wanted to be able to have a series of stand-alone adventures that were loosely tied together, so the books were born mainly from my own needs as a reader, I suppose! The books I love all have this supernatural element to them – I keep a list here if other such readers are interested: http://www.jfpenn.com/books-i-love/

How do you invent your characters?

Morgan Sierra is my kick-ass alter-ego! She is ex-Israeli military with Krav Maga skills which is not like me at all, but many of her travels and reactions are my own. I cast my characters from the movies and Angelina Jolie in Mr & Mrs Smith and the Lara Croft films was always going to be Morgan. Jake Timber is Hugh Jackman. Jamie Brooke is Jennifer Connolly and Blake Daniel, from the London Psychic series, is based on Jesse Williams from ER, a mixed race character with darker skin and blue eyes. My women are always strong, independent characters, whether heroines or villains like Natasha El-Behery. My writing is my fun escape so again, I write what I love to read! My characters emerge from how I want to experience the adventure. Continue reading

Christmas Bliss by A.S. Fenichel

Christmas Bliss book coverChristmas Bliss by A.S. Fenichel

Release date: November 29, 2014

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave

Synopsis

Emma is running from a tyrannous uncle bent on killing her young brother, just to gain his fortune. John, the Earl of Compton, is looking for something to change his unfulfilling life. When they meet on a dark street, nothing can change their fate.

John is so instantly smitten and socially inept, he proposes in less than twenty-four hours. Emma’s plight to save her brother has her so shaken, she agrees to the hasty Christmas wedding.

The threats to Emma’s life, and John’s fierce defense of her, demonstrate to both that the match might be more than just a convenient arrangement. If only they can thwart her uncle’s devious assault and live to enjoy each other.

Blush sensuality level: This is a sweet romance (kisses only, no sexual content).

A Blush® romance from Ellora’s Cave

Add Christmas Bliss to your Goodreads Shelf.

Purchase Christmas Bliss on AmazonBarnes | Kobo | Ellora’s Cave

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About the Author

Photo of A.S Fenichel Author

A.S. Fenichel gave up a successful career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back.

A.S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.

Multi-published in erotic paranormal, contemporary and historical romance, A.S. is the author of the Mayan Destiny series, Christmas Bliss and many more. With several books currently contracted to multiple publishers, A.S. will be bringing you her brand of romance for many years to come.

Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in the East Texas with her real life hero, her wonderful husband. When not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history, and puttering in her garden.

Connect with A.S: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter to win $10.00 Amazon or Barnes eGift Card. Continue reading

Wolf’s Salvation – A Paranormal Military Romance

Wolf's Salvation book coverTitle: Wolf’s Salvation by Cam Cassidy and Ruelle Channing

Genre: Paranormal Military Romance

Synopsis:

JT Howard’s heart had hardened over the years as he struggled with the demons of his past.  Once he became the Alpha of Wolfpack Delta, he gave it up for a life of quiet solitude.  JT’s solitude is shattered as he finds his pack embroiled in a war.  When he dives into active duty, he will do whatever it takes to protect what is his.

Lou Piacella life has been filled with struggles, each one overcome, but leaving behind a scar that she’s hid behind a smart mouth and cocky attitude.  A tech at MedVision Genetics lab, she finds herself an unwilling ally to the Wolfpack Delta.  Finally released, she thought her life could return to normal.  How could she have been so wrong?

Thrown together by circumstances beyond their control, JT and Lou will be forced to face the demons of their pasts as they struggle to stay one step ahead of MedVision.  Can two people broken over time come together and find salvation one another?

Purchase Wolf’s Salvation (Wolfpack Delta) (Volume 2) on Amazon  Continue reading

Perfect Escape Launch Kickoff

Welcome to the launch of my new book Perfect Escape (Family Portrait Book 4).  For a limited time you can purchase Perfect Escape (Family Portrait Book 4) on Amazon for $0.99.

Synopsis:

One person’s perfect escape is another’s perfect hell.

In this coming-of-age story, teen singing sensation Leighann DaCosta tries to find out who she is without her music career. A career that has been part of her life since before the age of ten. When Leighann’s estranged father enters her life, she is caught up in a tug-of-war between both parents. Does she trust the man who abandoned her as a baby, or a mother who is losing her mind?

When heartthrob Zax Banovic is assigned to tutor Leighann, he provides her with the perfect escape from the madness in her life. Enter Kristin Newman, Zax’s super-hot, sickeningly perfect, tennis-pro girlfriend, who dampens any chance Leighann has with him.

After the unthinkable happens, Leighann’s world is shattered, causing her to shut everyone out. Unable to cope, Leighann accepts help from her frenemy, but will the help she accept come with a hefty price?

Read an excerpt http://familyportrait.plaintalkbm.com/excerpt-perfect-escape/

Newsletter: https://tinyletter.com/GillianFx

Giveaway

To celebrate I am giving away pair of Gumy headset from JVC, a friend women’s wallet (US only), Digital copies of Perfect Escape (International). Enter below.

Gumy headset JVC

True Friendship wallet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Learn more about the series on the Family Portrait Media page http://familyportrait.plaintalkbm.com/

The Tour

Want to join the tour? Fill out the form below. You can sign up for a free review copy.

A Newport Christmas Wedding (A Breakwater Bay Novella)

A Newport Christmas Wedding coverTitle: A Newport Christmas Wedding (A Breakwater Bay Novella) by Shelley Noble
Releasing: December 2nd, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse

Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Shelley Noble returns to Newport with this lovely Christmas tale featuring all the characters you fell in love with in BREAKWATER BAY.

It’s Christmas in Newport. The mansions are decorated and the streets are filled with excitement. Across the bay, preparations are in full swing for the wedding of Meri Hollis and Alden Corrigan. A year ago, Meri never imagined that she would marry her best friend, Alden, or become step mother to his two teenaged children, Nora and Lucas.

But as the wedding day draws near, tension and emotions run high and Meri’s happiness turns to uncertainty. Nora is suddenly acting sullen and withdrawn, Alden is preoccupied, and Meri wonders if marrying Alden will bring the family closer together or tear them apart.

It seems like this wedding might be doomed before it begins until a special Christmas surprise brings home the meaning of family and the joy of the holidays.

Add A Newport Christmas Wedding to your Goodreads shelf.

Purchase A Newport Christmas Wedding: A Novella on Amazon | Barnes | iTunes |Publisher

About the Author

Author of Breakwater Bay

Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer. She most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Other books by ShelleyFamily Secrets & Breakwater Bay

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Giveaway:

Ten EBook Copies of A Newport Christmas Wedding.

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