November 30, 2012

Trying to Behave @junekramin #bookbuzz


I'll Try to Behave Myself

June Kramin, welcome back to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book called I’ll Try to Behave Myself.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy links:
Publisher: Writer's AMuse Me
Cover artist: Valerie Kramin
Length: 300 pages
Heat rating: 4
Tagline: Trying to leave an affair that happened on vacation would be easier if it hadn’t happened with your business partner.
Blurb: When Char receives the news that she has been promoted to partner, she should be ecstatic. Instead, she is in Puerto Rico, having fled there after finding her husband in bed with another woman, her dreams of starting a family shattered.
Andy, her boss, unaware of what has happened, tracks her down to bring her back home. Encouraged by the tropical heat, the peaceful surroundings and the unending allure of water, they are soon drawn to each other in a way they had never experienced before. Char knows that her marriage is over. She also knows that an office romance is not what she wants. Her heart and his actions, tell her otherwise.
Char consistently pushes Andy away, trying to keep some semblance of order in her now-crazy life. Getting through one last major account becomes her focus; then she can concentrate on her future and her independence. Her plans are on track, until she discovers an unexpected souvenir from Puerto Rico: she is carrying Andy’s baby.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Andy owns the advertising agency that Charlene works for. She is made partner early on in the book -- not for her extracurricular activities. ;) Char is 26 – Andy is 31.

Excerpt:

After the door slammed, Andy dialed Payton’s number.
“It’s about time you answer your phone! Where the hell is my wife?”
“I’m doing great; thanks for asking. How are you, Payton?”
“Cut the crap, Banker. Where’s Charlie?”
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean ‘you don’t know’? Why the hell haven’t you been answering your phone? You with her?”
“She took off, jackass. I don’t know where she’s at, but I do know she’s okay. At least, she was last time I talked to her.”
“You talked to her?” He sounded desperate to know anything he could.
“A few days ago, yes. My guess is she’s cooling off. Just let her.”
“Don’t tell me how to handle my wife!”
“Fair enough. You want pointers on your tart?”
“I figured she’d bawl to you about that. Look—”
“Suck it, Payton. I’m not getting in a pissing match with you.
I’m not avoiding your calls; I just got my phone replaced and I saw that you called. Letting you know she was okay last I talked to her is as far as I’m going with you and trust me, that’s more than you deserve in my book.” Andy hit end.
Double Mocha
“And what do I deserve?” Andy found Char standing at the doorway; she had been listening.
“Not his line of bull.”
“Really? Am I any better than he is? Look at us.” Her lip began to tremble as she walked towards the bed then sat down.
Andy sat next to her, wrapping his arm around her. “It’s not the same, Char.”
“The hell it isn’t.” Harshly, she wiped away a tear.
“Under any other circumstances, this would not have happened between us. We’ve been away on short trips before. Nothing has ever happened. I didn’t think you could even stand to be around me half the time.” He stood, picked up a box of tissues from the dresser then sat back down. She accepted a few and blew her nose.
She let herself laugh a little. “I couldn’t.”
“See?” he said with another one of his grins.
“So what now?”
“Water skiing,” he replied, matter-of-factly.

Interview

How did you get your start in the industry?
Every time I completed a novel, I would send them to my aunt & best friend. When they read my fifth one they both said, “OK – you have to get this one published!” Agents wouldn’t give me the time of day with my lack of publishing credits but I got an acceptance on my second publisher. The first one told me it was publishable, but not “sci-fi” enough for them. It was my time travel novel. Ten published books later, I’m amazed how hard it is to still get an agent’s attention. I work with three small presses now and am pretty happy.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Step away from the keyboard! LOL. I love writing but getting published is the hardest job you’ll ever have. Maybe I would make myself go back to school. My job is perfect now as far as my writing schedule, but I really miss little things like… my attention span…squirrel!!! Stories just flow from my fingers and my memory for song lyrics will kick anyone’s, but I’ll be darned if I can remember simple details anymore. Maybe I need less writing & more brain puzzles! Nah. Sassy females & great guy banter is much more fun!
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Constantly! Look out around me for sure. There was a week there where it seemed everything made it into what I was working on. I steal names from my facebook list, too. My bad.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I am certainly a Jill-of-all-trades and added them to my books as well. I worked for vets for 4 years. My first published novel – Katie was a veterinarian. Come and Talk to Me, Regina worked for lumberyards, I was a waitress at several hotels and restaurants on Maui, worked for newspapers, photo labs, print companies… oh yeah. They’re all in books. I have yet to make one a drywall taper though. Yes, I did that too. (Kicked “bahooky” at it, if I do say so myself ;)
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
I think any one of my books could be given to anyone that says they don’t read “romance.” There is always the romantic element – usually a hot-headed female and a man that loves her unconditionally, but there is always something else going on to keep you guessing. I love it when men comment about loving one of my books. Hunter’s Find was a big break out for me with being heavier on the “thriller” aspect, but still enough heat to keep romance readers happy as well.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I read books by people I know personally or from my writing forum so I get to experience a lot of genres I wouldn’t have read otherwise. I even dip into YA & Middle grade because of my fantasy series. John Sandford is my all-time favorite, though. It pains me to finish what I’ve started when he has a new book out, but I’m a “one book at a time” kinda gal.
What good book have you read recently?
Saving Grace by Rhea Rhodan was really great! A fantastic find at Musa Publishing.
If your life became a movie, who would you want to play you?
Meg Ryan. I used to get that a lot. I think she has enough spunk and smart@ssery to play me.
Which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
The second one. You can’t keep me still – it drives my husband crazy. I accidently took Tylenol with codeine one night instead of regular Tylenol. I had to lie down. He was across from me the whole time with a big grin. “Ha. I have you captive. We have to talk and you not move around while we speak.” Yes, of course that made it into a book!

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with extra cheese.
I'm always ready for a story idea to kick me in the head.
When I'm alone, I watch fairy tales.
You'd never be able to tell, but who am I kidding. You can tell. I’m an open book.
If I had a halo it would burst into flames immediately.
If I could have my 67 Mustang Shelby I'd be in heaven!
I can never pass up the electric slide because (to quote a friend) I do it like it’s my job!

Previous Books

Dustin Time – Time Travel Romance
Dustin’s Turn – Dustin Time sequel
Double Mocha, Heavy on Your Phone Number - Romantic Suspense
Hunter’s Find – Thriller
June Kramin
Amanda’s Return – Hunter’s Find sequel
Come and Talk to Me – Romance

Books Coming Soon

Money Didn’t Buy Her Love – May 2013

Find Me Here

Middle Grade Series: http://beforehappilyeverafter.com/

November 28, 2012

Contemporary Romance: Winter Harvest @susan_jaymes #amreading


Winter Harvest.

Susan Jaymes, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Winter Harvest.
Genre: Contemporary
Buy links:
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Cover artist: Gwen Phifer
Length: 50000 words
Heat rating: Sensual
Tagline: There's no going back.
Blurb:
Victoria O'Connor came home to help run the family farm, not fall back in love with Traye Petersen, the hired hand. After her mother's death she takes it upon herself to heal her father and brother's hearts.
Traye Petersen is indebted to the O'Connor's for giving him a home in spite of his nasty past. He convinces himself he's part of the O'Connor family and does not intend to lose their respect. Once he gets a taste of Victoria at a weak moment, it awakens an unknown desire, testing his honor leaving him to prove to the O'Connor's he's worthy of their love.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Victoria O'Connor, twenties, oversees the family farm.
Traye Petersen, twenties, the hired hand.

Excerpt:

"You are part of my family. You're my best friend, and confidant. You got me through Mom's death, and you help with Dad, too."
"Thanks. You guys helped me through a lot of crap as well. I'll always be grateful to this family. Paying my respects is important for me."
"She was very special." Victoria lifted her head and looked at her mother's grave one more time. "This family will never be the same."
"Like you staying on here?"
She looked at him, and his slight smile tugged at her heart. She loved his smile, but she loved his grin even more. She could stare at this man forever and never get sick of him. He really had helped her through the last three years, and she'd fallen hopelessly in love with him. Oh, she'd loved him before, but now she knew he'd always be her first love. The man to whom she'd compare every guy, even if he never realized how she felt.
She'd never planned on staying on the farm after college. When Traye had said he'd never seen her as a woman, that he only thought of her as a friend, she'd decided to move on. Then right after graduation, her mother had fallen ill.
Now, more in love than ever and without a mother to guide her, Victoria decided she'd settled for friendship with Traye instead.
"I have no other choice and no regrets. After losing Mom, I don't want to waste any time away from Dad." Or you. She kept her gaze away from him. "Besides, Andrew needs me, even though he won't admit it. Haven't gotten that all figured out yet. I feel as if it's my job now to keep this family together. And you're part of this family, too."
"Yeah?" He smiled a slow, lazy grin. "Thanks."
"I wish you'd just believe it. Besides… lately, you're much easier to deal with than
Andrew."
He nodded. "No argument there." He turned back toward the grave. "Do you think the pain will ever get any easier to bear?"
"I doubt it. You didn't feel this way when your parents died, did you?"
"Hell, no." Traye grimaced. "Don't remember much about my mom at all, and all I
remember about Dad is that he was a mean drunk."
"You have to let it go."
"I don't think I can, and I don't want to discuss it in front of Tessie's grave. This is her time, and I'd much rather remember the great memories I have of her than the nightmares I had of my dad."
Guilty Hearts
"Well, there you go. Make it easier by remembering the good times with Mom. Remember how, on a cold day like today, she'd shove us outside to get fresh air -- and we hated it. Once we got outside, though, we'd lose ourselves in a snowball fight or building a fort. She always knew when we needed to burn off some energy. Then we'd come in to find her ready with hot chocolate and fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. She made the best cookies."
"Yeah, she did. That's something you haven't mastered yet."
She slugged him, and he laughed. With all his thick gear on, her punch had probably just felt like a tap. "If you don't like my cooking, then eat elsewhere."
"Not a chance. Just don't make cookies."
"You're terrible, but you did manage to make me feel better." Victoria pushed her
stocking hat higher on her head. "You want to go in and teach me how to make them?"
"No. I'm worse than you are. I'd love a hot cup of coffee and the leftover chocolate cake you got from town, though."
"Oh sure. You'll eat a store bought cake, but not my cookies."
"Yep." He rose and offered her his hand. "I know you want some cake, too."
She grabbed his hand and let him haul her up to her feet. "You're right. I do."
He pulled her in close, and she banged into his hard chest. Not sure what possessed her, she rose onto her tiptoes and kissed him hard on the lips. Although the air was cold, the contact sent a heat wave surging down to her toes. His tongue slipped out to lick her eager lips, turning her insides to hot lava. She opened her mouth, let him explore inside, and dueled with his brazen tongue. He pulled her closer and deepened the kiss.
A moan escaped from deep within her throat.
With an abrupt push, he stepped away.

Interview

How did you get your start in the industry?
I always dreamed of being a writer but once I found the right critique partner who knew the publishing industry, she guided me to publication.
If you could choose anyone to be your mentor who would it be?
I believe I already have her as my critique partner, Susan Palmquist.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Learn about the business, seriously commit yourself to learning it and never give up.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Yes. I use my kids a lot and my own childhood.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I'm still working full-time as a customer service representative for an insurance agency.
I've cleaned offices before and worked for Culligan.
What do you think is the future of epublishing?
I think it will be the major source for books for readers. I think there will still be books but more of a print on demand sort of thing except for the mega authors.
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new century started?
Nothing too exciting. Home in bed I'm afraid to say.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
Read, surf the net or watch a good TV show.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Purple

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with cheese.
I'm always ready for a great story.
When I'm alone, I read or watch TV.
You'd never be able to tell, but I'm very shy.
If I had a halo it would be crooked.
If I could retire from my day job I'd buy a beach house in Florida and write.
Susan Jaymes
I can never ride in an air balloon because I'm scared of heights.

Previous Books

Guilty Hearts

Books Coming Soon

Summer's Bloom-Book Two of Love in Surplus Series-June 21, 2013
Season's Bounty-Book Three of Love in Surplus Series-January 21, 2014

Find Me Here

November 26, 2012

Chick Lit: Finding a Man @MargaretLesh #amreading


Finding a Man for Sylvia.

Margaret Lesh, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Finding A Man For Sylvia.
Genre: Chick lit, romantic comedy
Finding A Man For Sylvia will also be available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords
Publisher: Musa Publishing, Terpsichore imprint
Cover artist: Kelly Shorten
Length: 60,000 words
Heat rating: Sweet
Tagline: A well-intentioned but clueless romantic is determined to find love for her lonely neighbor over her exasperated husband's objections.
Blurb:
Julia Hawthorne-Florez has the best of intentions, and everyone knows what the road to Hell is paved with. Her husband Javier accuses her of playing God with people's lives, but Julia is simply a fool for love. (Or maybe just a fool?)
When lonely Sylvia moves in across the street, Julia is determined to find her match. But, of course, there are obstacles. Javier, for one, who's forbidden any further matchmaking attempts on his well-intentioned wife’s part. And there’s the little matter of Sylvia being in love with a man who's taken a vow of celibacy.
Julia schemes; the hamster wheel in her head spins furiously. Handsome Ted is Julia’s first choice. Except shy Ted happens to be interested in Julia's best friend, certified dominatrix Lisa. And so it goes. Julia spins her web; Javier laughs at her. But Julia always gets the last laugh in this Latin-infused contemporary romantic comedy.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Julia Hawthorne-Florez is 36 years old. She's the office manager of Acme Medical Supply Company. It is the world's most boring job.
Javier Florez, Julia's husband, is 38 years old. He's an artist with a custom screenprinting business. He is a very patient man.
Sylvia Cruz is 36 years old. She's a bookkeeper at a Mexican bakery and lives with her parents and older brother Raul.
Ted Wilson is 32 years old. He's an accountant at Acme Medical Supply Company, is shy, sensitive, handsome, and very patient.
Lisa is 36 years old, Julia's best friend since childhood, and a dominatrix by trade. She is catnip to men.
Frank Florez is 54 years old, a biker, and Javier's father. He's handsome, and we don't quite know what he does for a living.

Excerpt:

Ted stood awkwardly before me, lamenting his poor dumb fat kitty, and I felt a sudden twinge of inspiration. What could be more perfect and beautiful than bringing two shadow people together? It was the exact right thing to do. Ted and Sylvia were both background players. Who could possibly be a better match for my love worn friend? I was practically picking out their china pattern, wondering what their children would look like. Good looking, of course; very shy.
"So, Ted, what are you doing for Thanksgiving?" I said, making conversation, trying to draw him out a little.
He began to fumble and stammer, "Oh, Thanksgiving. Um, wow. I hadn't — I — uh..."
Only Ted. He hadn't a clue, and it was the next day.
"We're eating at 3:00. Join us. Please. I insist."
"Oh, uh, my mother —"
"Is she trying to set you up again?" I said with a laugh, teasing him just a little. His parents lived back home in Salt Lake City, and it was just like Bitsy to have arranged a space for him at some eligible young lady's parents' dinner table for the holiday.
He was looking down at his shoes; I leaned over from my seat at the reception desk where I was temporarily filling in and looked down at them too. They were brown brogue oxfords, the type serious professionals and college professors wear. His coordinated blue-and-green argyle socks were hot, in an “I’m in love with my teacher” sort of way.
"Really, I insist. No one should be alone on Thanksgiving."
I immediately regretted saying that. Nobody wants to feel like they're unloved and unpopular. No one wants to feel like a lonely loser. I hoped he didn't feel that way from my offhand remark, but he looked at me, right in my eyes, and nodded.
"That sounds nice. I'll be there."
"Fabulous."
He took a few steps and then stopped, turned and asked, "Red or white wine?"
"Both," I answered, surprising him. I was only half joking.
As he walked back to his cubicle, I had to stop myself from rubbing my hands together like Snidely Whiplash, who I didn't resemble in this context at all. I was using my powers for good. This time.

Interview

What websites do you visit daily?
My daily routine consists of Absolute Write Water Cooler, which is a popular site for writers to hang out and socialize. It's a valuable resource in so many ways. I also spend way too much time on Facebook, usually spend time goofing off on Twitter, and a stop by my publisher Musa's blog to read their post of the day. Oh, and Goodreads is also part of my daily routine.
What do you enjoy most about life?
Spending time with my husband and son, whether it's taking our crazy Australian Shepherd Chance for a walk or just watching a movie at home with pizza. Spending time with family and friends would be at the top of my list.
If you could choose anyone to be your mentor who would it be?
As a writer, I'd pick Anne Lamott. I'm a big fan of her writing. I love her honesty and her fearlessness. She's been a great influence on me as a writer. She doesn't take herself too seriously, and I try to emulate that quality. She's also very funny.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?
Start writing at an earlier age! And try to be less self-conscious. When I was younger, I was too concerned with what people thought of me. I should have realized that they don't really care—not as much as I thought they did.
What does "balance" mean to you as a writer?
Balance means not spending all of my time with my computer on my lap. This is something many writers seem to need to remind themselves once in a while. We tend to get too absorbed in either writing or book promotion and let other things slide.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
I'd recommend my young adult novel Normalish because it's a coming-of-age story; it focuses on Stacy York's first year of high school, and her journey is something most of us can relate to. A comment I hear a lot from adult readers is that it took them back to their own teen years. It seems to be a cross-over book, not just for readers of young adult literature.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
A little bit of everything. I read chick-lit; romances; historical fiction; some biographies and auto-biographies; a little bit of science fiction. I read a real mix of stuff but not too much horror. I'm a scaredy-cat!
What do you think is the future of epublishing?
I wish I had a crystal ball and were able to make a really good forecast. Unfortunately, I don't have that ability to predict the future, but my guess is that more and more people will purchase e-book readers and more and more e-books will be sold. I'll always have my collection of traditional books, but e-books definitely have their pluses such as being easy to read, and they certainly take up less space, which is a bonus for so many of us space-challenged folks.
What good book have you read recently?
Sebastian's Poet by Kevin T. Craig. It's a beautifully-written coming-of-age story. Get your Kleenex ready for this one, though. I was crying by the second chapter.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
Spend too much time on social media while eating pretzels or chocolate.
Which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
I am a vacation spa, definitely. Although, I've always wanted to see multiple countries on a tour of Europe. I'd still like to do that some day, provided I have the money and the energy.

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with pepperoni.
I'm always ready for ice cream.
When I'm alone, I write, read or talk on the phone.
You'd never be able to tell, but I can swear like a sailor.
If I had a halo, it would be slightly crooked.
If I could travel anywhere, I'd go to Barcelona.
I can never jump out of an airplane because I'm a big chicken.

Previous Books

Normalish, a contemporary young adult coming-of-age story.

Books Coming Soon

Margaret Lesh
Right now I'm working on the continuing adventures of Julia Hawthorne-Florez, but I don't have a title yet. Let's see what kinds of trouble she gets into next!

Contest

I will give one copy of Finding A Man For Sylvia to one of the commenters on this blog post. It's available in all e-book formats.

Find Me Here

November 25, 2012

Save Room For Ice Cream #amreading @emlynley



Brand New Flavor.

EM Lynley, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Brand New Flavor.
Genre: Gay Romance, M/M, Contemporary
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover artist: LC Chase
Length: 150 pages/37,000 words
Heat rating: 4 on a scale of 1-5

From EM Lynley

I'm so excited to be here at Romance Lives Forever to talk about my upcoming release Brand New Flavor. For anyone who's read more than one of my books, you may have noticed a common thread: I love to write about food and cooking. Even if the character is wandering the streets of Bangkok, as in Rarer Than Rubies, you'll get a mouthwatering description of the most delectable duck dish that had dozens of readers heading to their local Thai restaurants. I love to cook (and eat) and I've taken food writing courses and spent seven years in the Northern California wine industry.
Brand New Flavor is all about Jericho "Jay" Brown, an artisan ice cream maker. He's passionate about his frozen treats and the secret recipe he spent more than a year perfecting. He's just as passionate about Cameron Clay, a food critic, but their romance hits a rocky road before they can find out whether they belong together or not.
Be prepared for plenty of mouthwatering descriptions of ice cream--and hot guys--without the calories or guilt. But I'll confess, my editors and beta readers all went running for ice cream while they were reading this story. It comes out the day before Thanksgiving, probably the biggest food fest in the United States, so it's a perfectly fitting date.
Research for Brand New Flavor was fun! I visited and sampled ice creams, gelatos, sorbets and other frozen desserts while I was deciding just what would make Jay's particular ice cream so spectacular. I actually created my own fantasy of what ice cream could be, though as far as I know no one makes anything quite like I've described. I even spent some time in the kitchen at Scream Sorbet, a local shop where I watched the staff at work and peppered the kitchen manager with dozens of questions, about their process, ingredients, sourcing, and how to grow a small business. I also spoke with chefs about flavor combinations to make sure the flavors I made up would really work, and taste as good as I think they sound.
Along the way I tasted:
Hopefully this will whet your appetite for Brand New Flavor (you can pre-order from Dreamspinner Press now and download on release day Nov 21). And if you like that, stay tuned. It's just the first book in my brand new series, Delectable, which features characters from the food and wine industry.

Excerpt

When artisan ice cream maker Jay Brown first meets food writer Cameron Clay at a charity tasting event, they get along like strawberries and chocolate sauce. Jay's unique flavors thrill more than Cameron's jaded palate, but after a delicious encounter in Jay’s delivery truck, where extra-creamy frozen treats are not the only delights sampled, Cameron loses Jay’s contact info--and any hope of a real date.
Desperate, Cameron convinces his editor to host an artisanal ice cream contest in hopes of drawing out the elusive genius. But more complications threaten to intervene. Will Jay even enter the contest? Or will the chance of a happily ever after melt away?
On Monday Jay descended the stairway from his apartment over Glace’s industrial kitchen, making sure he had his cell phone and that it was fully charged. He even brought the charger with him, just in case. He didn’t want to miss the call from Cameron Clay. Jay believed Cameron’s promise to call, and even if it didn’t turn out to be anything more than the one casual encounter for them, Cameron had enjoyed Jay's ice cream almost as much as he’d enjoyed Jay. Hadn’t he?
Jay never had very good judgment when it came to guys. He’d made the mistake of jumping right in with both feet before. Best to take it slow, and not get burned again. He still hadn’t recovered from the last time. One thing to want to get a guy’s clothes off, but it was never a good idea to fall in love too easily. Not that Jay had fallen in love with Cameron or anything. He hadn’t. How could he? Cameron had said “mmmm” and “oh yeah” and a few other things along those lines. Certainly flattering to Jay and his ice cream, but not enough to base a relationship on; even Jay understood that.
But Cameron Clay did know how to speak--or at least write--coherently and use words with multiple syllables. The guy even knew when to use semicolons, which impressed Jay. He’d Googled Cameron Clay as soon as he’d gotten home from his deliveries. He’d read a few of Cameron’s articles and columns and ordered two of his books from Amazon. Real paper and two-day delivery and everything--not just Kindle versions. Fuck, maybe I am in love already.
Ice cream and gelato
He certainly was in love with the way Cameron thought and wrote about food. Jay had never read anything quite like it and it practically gave him a hard-on just reading Cameron’s words. Okay, it actually had turned him on if he was going to be honest about it. Cameron was a mixture of James Beard, Julia Child, MFK Fisher and Ruth Reichl all in one extremely sexy package. A sexy gay package--even better.
For the next thirty minutes, Jay forced himself to concentrate on ice cream and not on Cameron. He went to the big walk-in cooler to see what fruit was ripe. He'd used up nearly everything on hand making the product for the tasting event. He'd use up what he had on hand and then call his suppliers and see what was ripe and when he should go to their farms to collect his orders.
He glanced around the cooler and selected several baskets of berries. He loaded them into a wide plastic tub, shut the cooler door, and strolled over to the ripening room to see what looked and smelled best. He picked up and sniffed a series of melons, choosing three varieties that were approaching perfection. The heady, sweet scent and just the right give under his thumb. He rinsed everything under warm water in the sink, and then brought his bounty over to the cutting boards. Within a few minutes, he had a pile of delicious chunks of three kinds of melon. He pureed each separately, pouring the thick sweet-smelling result into wide beakers. He did the same with the berries, sieving the ones with seeds, until he had a little rainbow of beakers. From the blue-black of blackberries to the celadon of Persian melon.
What were Cam’s favorite flavors? That did it. Jay's concentration broke, and he lost the battle to ignore the phone after only twenty minutes of work. He pulled his cell out of his pocket just to make sure he had a signal: four out of five bars. What the fuck am I doing?
“Whatcha working on this morning?” Maya’s voice shattered the silence and Jay nearly dropped his phone into a beaker of bright watermelon puree. He hadn’t heard her unlock the door. Had he locked up properly the night before? Probably too distracted with fantasies of Cameron Clay. Maybe he needed to increase security.
“Nothin’.”
Rarer Than Rubies
“Looks like something. Trying a new combo?”
“Yeah. Maybe some sweet melons contrasting with a tart berry. Or just layering the melons. I’m gonna play with the proportions for a while before I prepare a full batch.”
“I’ll help taste test once I’ve made the calls, okay?”
“Sure.” Jay pushed the phone into his apron pocket and grabbed a stack of small Pyrex dishes where he’d mix flavors, like an artist combining shades on his palette.
“Oh, do you want to start selling any of the flavors we handed out yesterday?”
“No. Not ready.”
“What do you mean ‘not ready’? We had people lining up three, four times to get samples. Our clients are always asking for new stuff.”
“Not ready.”
“Jay….” Maya let her voice drop into the lower register. “What’s wrong?”
Like he was going to admit Cameron Clay hadn’t called yet. “They’re not ready.”
“They why aren’t you working with them? Why are you playing with new stuff? Are you just giving up on those flavors?”
“They’ve gone public. I can’t risk it.”
“Come on, Jay. Don’t you think you’re carrying this stealth thing a bit too far? No one’s spying on you.”
“I won’t risk it. Not after….”
“Jay, that was almost two years ago. You can’t keep hiding in here like it’s some sort of Batcave because you think someone’s going to steal your flavors and your ideas. The way to avoid that is to actually start selling them, get them into the market so everyone knows you created them. The longer you wait, the more chance you do have of being scooped.” She clapped a hand over her mouth to suppress a giggle. “Sorry.” She dropped the hand and her expression turned serious again. “I mean it. You’re not helping yourself. You’re letting that asshole win if you keep this up.”
Going for Gold
Jay took a deep breath and pulled himself up to his full height. He exhaled and watched Maya’s face. His pulse skyrocketed and he heard the sound of glass shattering. He’d dropped the bowl he’d been holding. “Crap.” He bent to clean up the shards, nearly bumping his head against Maya’s.
“I’ll clean this up.” She knelt and pushed at his shoulder. “I shouldn’t have mentioned him. I’m sorry.”
Jay stood and watched as Maya swiped a damp towel across the floor, and fought to get his breath under control. Thinking about Paul Rhodes always did this to him. He went over to the sink and washed his hands, lathering up the anti-bacterial scrub and letting the hot water scald away the memories and distract him from the knot in his stomach.

Previous Books

Rarer Than Rubies (Precious Gems #1), Italian Ice (Precious Gems #2), A Christmas Bonus, Wicked Good: M/M Angels/Demons Anthology, Going for Gold: Gay Olympic Anthology, Disguises, Hostile Takeover, Bedknobs & Beanstalks Gay Fairy Tales Anthology
See more here: http://emlynley.com/books.html

Books Coming Soon

A Lesser Evil, gay angels/demons novella from Total E-Bound and Lighting the Way Home, Book 2 in the Delectable series, co-written with Shira Anthony, coming from Dreamspinner Press in March 2013.

Contest

EM Lynley
Comment to be entered to win a copy of Brand New Flavor in your choice of e-book formats. If more than 15 people enter I'll give away two copies. Contest ends at midnight on November 28. Check my blog for the winner's name or leave your email in the comment so I can find you again!

Find Me Here


image credit: Creative Commons License: Photo by Alessio Damata

November 23, 2012

Paranormal Christmas: Sticky Magic #amreading


Sticky Magic.

Raine Delight, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Sticky Magic (Devon Falls 1).
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance, Christmas
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Cover artist: Beth Walker
Length: 35 pages
Heat rating: three flames
Tagline: A chance meeting at a sweet shop...Can it be love?
Blurb: Jenna Stevens wasn’t looking for love nor did she believe it would walk into her life one holiday season. Marc du Bree needs to find his destined mate so he can take over the family duties from his father. Meeting Jenna, Marc finds the connection he has been searching for. Can he convince this gun shy woman that his love is indeed true?
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Jenna Stevens is co-owner of The Candy Kisses Sweet Shoppe. She is in her mid-30’s.
Marc du Bree is a Sex Mage and his magic renews itself through sexual energy. He works in the family business that has a variety of ventures, from private hotels to high-end boutiques. He lives in Europe and is 35 years old.

Excerpt:

Groaning, Marc couldn’t believe the erotic picture he saw with Jenna sliding her hands up around his cock. Closing his eyes in the ecstasy of her touch and talented tongue had him almost coming right then and there if not for sheer will power on his behalf.
“Please, sweetheart, enough, or I am going to come all over myself.” Marc huskily said as he pulled her up along himself.
Jenna leaned down and kissed him sweetly as she sat up and positioned herself over his straining cock. She tenderly slid down inch by inch, and his hardness was welcomed in the velvet wetness of her pussy, gripping him in anticipation only he could deliver. Groaning, Marc restrained himself from slamming into her as his eyes started to light up again.
Soon, he was encased in Jenna’s pussy and as she began to get her rhythm, Marc teased her nipples with light tugging and teasing, forcing a husky, desire-laden groan from her. “Let it go, mia cara. Let me feel you come over my cock.” Marc said as he heard, then felt, her orgasm scream through her. Feeling her pussy walls tighten and grip his cock had Marc thrusting faster until he moaned with desire as his orgasm literally overflowed Jenna’s pussy.
Panting softly, Jenna slumped over his body, exhausted and still trembling from the effects of their joining. She turned her head and kissed Marc’s shoulder as she tumbled into sleep.
“Ahhh, cara mia, you delight me.” Marc said as he ran a hand from the nape of her neck to her hip. Making sure she was comfortable, he tumbled off to sleep as well, content in knowing she was right there beside him forever.

Interview

On Valentine's Day
Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
Sticky Magic is my first book in the Devon Falls series and I am currently working simultaneously on books 6 & 7. It is a paranormal contemporary erotic Romance set around Christmas. I love this one the most since it was my ‘baby’ so to speak. It was this book that introduced readers to the town of Devon Falls and all who populate it.
How do you come up with ideas?
Anything inspires me, a song lyric, n article online, an event or personality quirk of a friend.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?
Actually I start from the book blurb and let it run from there. I have stories that had inspiration from a song lyric, an article online or a random thing that happened to me or someone I knew.
Would you consider self publishing?
Actually I ventured in self-publishing in June 2012 with about 9 other authors in an anthology. I knew I wasn’t going to get rich from it but it was so much fun. We are doing another anthology in end of January 2013 for Valentine’s Day. I also have an idea for a Christmas Western M/M I am going to polish and give it away as a free read too! I am actually eager to explore more of the Self-Publishing world.
How many hours a day to you spend writing?
It is a little hard right now as I try to carve out time from my three day jobs for family time and personal time for myself. I write when I can get a spare 30 minutes here and there.
Is your muse demanding?
My muse is a slave driver. *sighs* I am trying to finish three books I am deadline on and he gives me five more ideas. *grumbles* The man must think I can clone myself to get them all done.
Are your stories driven by plot or character?
I would like to think by the characters themselves. *smiles* I am not big on creating a huge plot though I love reading those stories, and concentrate on the characters. I let them tell me what I need to write and fill in all the holes later on.
How do you balance a life outside of writing with deadlines and writing muses?
With a heck a lot of coffee! I try to write when my kids are in school or after they are in bed. I try to give me two days off a week and let myself relax, recharge and read some of my favorite books or watch my favorite TV Shows on DVD.
What are some jobs you've done that would end up in a book?
*laughs* I used to work in two bakeries so that made it in Fiery Magic for Alicia’s CafĂ©/bakery shop called the Dew Drop. I also knew of a man who made his own chocolate in my hometown and that was the basis for Jenna’s shop in Sticky Magic.
If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
Depending on your interests, I got five books set in paranormal genre and one in M/M right now. If you like series books, I recommend Sticky Magic as it introduces you to Devon Falls, some of the people there and lets you fall in love with them.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
That romance is universal. I am a big romantic so my stories have Happily For Now or Happily Ever After endings. If I can’t help giving you a cliffhanger ending then be aware I do my best in finishing the storyline up in the next book.
List two authors we would find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
Oh man so many to choose from but right now I am immersed in Andrew Grey’s and Sue Brown’s books though I have many more to enjoy if the mood calls me to it.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
Either the wilds of Scotland or Ireland to Italy and the Meditterarian coast
What song would best describe your life?
It’s my Life by Bon Jovi *grins* I am at that age where people who disapprove of me and my choices are better off not being acknowledged anymore. My happiness lies in myself, my partner, and my two kids. No one else.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Give her the coffee and back away…slowly and you won’t be eaten.
Fantasies Unbound

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with mushrooms and pepperoni.
I'm always ready for guests as I always have cookies, homemade dessert bread or other items ready for guests to enjoy if they pop in.
When I'm alone, I enjoy curling up under a cozy blanket, with music playing softly and reading till the wee hours of the morning.
You'd never be able to tell, but I have scars on the side of my head from when I had cervical spine cancer and if you shaved my right side of my head you will find the road mark of scars there.
If I had a halo it would be tarnished as my devil horns tried to get through it.
If I could not gain an ounce I'd eat cheesecake from cheesecake factory forever.
I can never read just one more page because I have this impatience to see what happens next!

Previous Books

Devon Falls 2: Red Hot Magic (Paranormal Erotic Romance, light Bondage)
Devon Falls 3: Fiery Magic (Paranormal Romance, Shape-shifter (Dragon))
Devon Falls 4: Haunting Magic (Paranormal Erotic Romance, Shape-shifter (Wolf))
Devon Falls 5: Moonlight & Magic (Paranormal Erotic Romance, Shape-shifter (White Tiger))
Fantasies Unbound (Stand Alone Book)
Hot Summer Fun Anthology (Contemporary, Paranormal M/M)

Books Coming Soon

On Valentine’s Day-M/M Anthology, Late January 2013/Early 2013
Second Chance at Love-Western M/M Short Novella-Late December 2012
Devon Falls 6: Mistletoe Magic (Paranormal Erotic Romance, M/M, Fae)-late 2013

Contest

One lucky reader will win a $10 All Romance Gift Certificate.

Find Me Here

Other sites:
Please check out my book trailers for the following books:
Haunting Magic book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvmFxgLQtx4
Red Hot Magic Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLZcr8ubIr8
A Summer Night Fling Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxnlmfG6DjA
Sticky Magic (Devon Falls 1): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcxV4rFohBg

November 22, 2012

13 Things I'm Thankful For #thanksgiving



Blessings.

As the owner of Romance Lives Forever, I've had the opportunity to interview about two hundred authors this year. I've learned some fun things about them, their books, and their characters. As I thought about what to write for Thanksgiving Day on the blog, I couldn't help but be grateful for their friendship and the insights I've gained by knowing them. I decided that would be the best thing to share. There are more than thirteen things, but in the spirit of Thursday Thirteen, that's all I'm listing. Besides, that gives me a good thing to write about on another day!

13 Things I'm Thankful For

  1. I'm in good company. The authors who interview here are amazing men and and women. I'm privileged to make their acquaintance.
  2. My characters, with their idioms and quirks, are no stranger than anyone else's. I've met characters here in interviews, and I can say mine are normal. (Okay, that's a lie, but I'm still going to say it.)
  3. I appreciate the honest interviews that I get every week. They are a joy to read, and I love getting to know so many wonderful authors, characters, and books.
  4. I've discovered that no one else is balanced in their writing life either. Writers know the definition of balance, but seem to have no idea how to implement it. It's nice not to be alone. ;)
  5. I'm thankful that with rare exception, writers who interview here turn in their material on time. Thank you more than you know.
  6. I'm grateful for macros that let me format documents in a snap. No two people use the same formats, and despite a nicely pre-formatted interview, I usually get back text that's in a different font, size, or with indentions where I hadn't planned them, so the macros help. A lot.
  7. Having to change all those things has shown me that there are easier ways to do things. I would never have discovered that if everyone did things the same way.
  8. I'm thankful for the idea to share blog stats and show the top bloggers. It began in January of this year, and I've kept it up every month. Now I can track trends and see what works. Wish I'd thought of it sooner!
  9. This blog has helped me meet some incredible people I'd never have met otherwise. The Romance Lives Forever Paper.li ezine that comes out because of the blog has also helped me meet many cool new friends.
  10. Can't talk about things I'm thankful for related to this blog without mentioning Twitter and Triberr. That combination is powerful. I wouldn't want to be without either one.
  11. I'm thankful for a family that supports me in what I do. I couldn't help others if I had no help myself.
  12. Which brings me to friends again -- because I could not run this blog, help other authors, interview so many people, and post so much if not for them. Thank you.
  13. Finally -- and yet foremost -- I'm thankful for my health. I was in the hospital earlier this year. Thought I was having a heart attack. Although it wasn't, I did discover some issues with my heart that have made me be much more careful of my health. I joke about "balance" -- but I do try to rest more, eat well, and take better care of myself.
2012 has been the most successful year ever for Romance Lives Forever. It's because of the people who post here, share their books, their lives, and the people who come to read about them. I look forward to another wonderful year in 2013. I hope to be back here next year, sharing a list of good things I've learned. Maybe I'll even have figured out a little balance.

About the Author



Kayelle Allen is the owner of Marketing for Romance Writers, the Romance Lives Forever blog, and The Author's Secret. She's a writer of immortal role-playing gamers, warriors who purr, and agents who find the unfindable--or hide it forever.
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