August 30, 2013

Cover Love: My Mr Manny @itlnbrt #RLFblog #malenanny

My Mr Manny 
Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a book and includes a cover, blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the author. Today's featured book is My Mr Manny by Jennifer Garcia.

Mia Balducci misses her childhood days and yearns for the big, Italian family that she left behind in small town Massachusetts. At the tender age of sixteen, Mia moves with her bachelor father to Los Angeles, but no matter how many years pass, it never becomes home to her. The years spent living with her father aren't easy, especially since she can't stop thinking about what she once had. Her enrollment in the University of Southern California promises to bring exciting changes to her life, but Mia winds up with big problems instead. When she runs into an old friend from her old hometown of Winthrop, she gets swept up in nostalgia, and she soon loses herself in a quickly-progressing romance. When the fantasy falls apart, she is left to raise her precious little girl, Lucia, on her own. The demands of Mia's work schedule and Lucia's needs increase, and their lives become increasingly hectic. It is soon clear to Mia that she needs help. Luckily, her life-saving cousin saves the day and brings the mother and daughter a male nanny – their new "manny."
After losing his high-pressure job on Wall Street, Dominic Roberts wants to follow his dreams to have a family. He's already one fiancée down, and there are no likely prospects for another. In order to find the family he so desperately wants, he finds himself getting into the manny business. Since he is fully qualified to provide child care and is eager to leave New York City behind, his sister-in-law is able to land him a job in California working for his first client – the beautiful and intriguing Mia Balducci.
Will Lucia like the new man in her mother's life? Will Mia? And will this new trio discover the happily ever after they all so desperately seek?

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August 29, 2013

Stripped Naked (Naked Cowboys Series) @desireeholt #RLFblog #erotic

Stripped Naked 
Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a book and includes a cover, blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the author. Today's featured book is Stripped Naked from the Naked Cowboys series by Desiree Holt.

She didn’t shoot the sheriff…but she’d sure like to strip him down.
Taking over as publisher of The Hill Country Herald was supposed to help Jinx Malone put her personal and professional disasters in New York behind her. Instead, she’s barely settled at her desk when news of a murder hits the police scanner.
Who knew Rowan County could be this exciting? And who knew her first story would bring her into head-butting, hormone-pumping contact with something that’s an even bigger pain in her ass than a cheating ex—a know-it-all cop?
Sheriff Dillon Cross thought retreating to Rowan Country would help him get over a bad case of burnout. But only a few weeks into his job, he’s standing over a dead body in a ditch, arguing with his least favorite thing: a sexy, in-your-face reporter.
Before they’re through buzzing around each other like angry hornets, the last thing either expected happens. They’re in bed, burning up the sheets. But is it a new beginning, or just a bad rerun of past mistakes?
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August 27, 2013

Cover Love: Reluctant Duke @cmdonovan #RLFblog #historical

The Reluctant Duke 
Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a book and includes a cover, blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the author. Today's featured book is The Reluctant Duke by Christine Donovan.

Thomas Seabrook, the penniless Duke of Wentworth, walks into White's for night cap. He leaves no longer in need of coin. In fact, he has become a wealthy man and owner of Hamilton Whaling Industries of New Bedford, Massachusetts and guardian of a seventeen-year-old girl. Thomas travels to Boston intent of bring his ward back and marrying her off to the first eligible gentleman who requests her hand. Except the first gentleman to ask for her, is his own brother Sebastian. Thomas refuses, because bloody hell, he wants her for himself.
Emma Hamilton is not happy with her new situation. Her papa brought her up to be independent and assertive. How dare this stranger, this moody noble, dictate what she can do and not do? When she finds herself thrown into a London season, being introduced from one gentleman to another, looking for a husband, she realizes only the duke will do. How can she break through the duke's hard exterior and find the loving, caring gentleman she knows he hides from everyone.

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August 25, 2013

Regency: The Temptation of Lady Serena @ellaquinnauthor #RLFblog

Temptation of Lady Serena
Ella Quinn, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, The Temptation of Lady Serena.
Genre: Regency
Publisher: Kensington
Cover artist: Kensington
Length: 105,800 Words
Heat rating: Sensual
Blurb:
Ella Quinn's bachelors in The Marriage Game series are charming and cunning when it comes to the ways of love—until the right woman captures their unsuspecting hearts…
Custom-made gowns…nights at the theater…and a host of eligible bachelors. Accustomed to living a quiet life in the Scottish Borderlands, Lady Serena Weir has never had any of these luxuries. But when Serena's brother demands she finally have a Season in London, she's thrust into a glamorous world she's only dreamed of…
Robert, Viscount Beaumont remembers all too well what it feels like to be in love. That is why he must keep his distance from Serena. He's only felt his pulse stir the way it does now when he made the mistake of loving the wrong woman once before. Yet the more he strives to resist his feelings, the nearer he is to falling under Serena's seductive spell…
"Supported by a wonderful cast of characters, Quinn's thoughtfully drawn lovers teach each other the value of love in this delicious Regency treat." ~ New York Times Bestselling author Eileen Dreyer
Buy links:
Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/13OW4Fn
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Lady Serena Weir is age 26, and making her first come out. She is the daughter of the deceased Earl of Vere and sister of the current earl.
Robert, Viscount Beaumont, is 30 years old. He is a major landowner and rake.
Excerpt:
Phoebe greeted Lord and Lady Rutherford as they were announced.
Anna kissed her cheek. "You look as if you have some plan afoot. What's this about?"
Phoebe told her about Serena and her debut. "I've invited Serena to accompany us to the theater. Robert Beaumont will also be coming."
Rutherford raised a brow. "How did you manage to convince Beaumont to be introduced to her? Hardly his type of lady."
"Well," Phoebe said, a little guiltily, "Robert doesn't exactly know he'll be meeting her, and she doesn't know she will be meeting him."
Rutherford's expression became severe. "You're playing a deep game using Beaumont."
"The very reason I have not told Serena. I would not for the world see her hurt. They will either be attracted to each other or they will not. We shall see."
Anna perched on a chair. "Phoebe, I like Robert very well as a friend, but his reputation, my dear. He reminds one of a butterfly taking a taste of each flower before moving on."
Rutherford held a decanter of brandy suspended over a glass. "And how would you know?"
Waving her hand, Anna replied. "Gentlemen are not the only ones to know about certain reputations. I also know he is a favorite with many of the ton's matrons."
Her husband scowled. "Matrons whose husbands don't know enough to keep them busy at home."
Marcus handed Anna a glass of sherry. "Anna, if Serena were a widow, I'd join in your concern. But Robert's conquests don't run to gently bred, unmarried females."
Anna looked unconvinced. "I hope you're correct."
Serena was announced and Phoebe moved to greet her and introduced Anna and Rutherford.
Marcus asked, "Serena, would you like a glass of sherry? It's quite good. Or would you prefer a glass of wine?"
"A sherry, please."
The ladies drew Serena into conversation about the upcoming Season. Marcus and Rutherford spoke in low voices several feet away.
"Phoebe is to be congratulated on her protégée," Rutherford said. "She's a beautiful girl. What's her portion?"
"Substantial."
Rutherford glanced at Serena. "Yes, I'm quite impressed. You'll not have any problems marrying her off. If Beaumont doesn't take the bait, someone else will."
When the butler announced Robert, he stepped into the room and languidly surveyed the company. He smiled at the Rutherfords, but his attention was arrested by the lady he'd seen walking and on horseback. He had trouble catching his breath and even greater difficulty maintaining his countenance. He cast an experienced eye over her.
The lady wasn't a young miss. Perhaps she was a widow. She was far lovelier than he'd thought she'd be. Her hair was dressed high, curls dropped and bounced around her shoulders from the loose top knot. One curl caressed her breast. He itched to twist that curl around his finger. Her rosy lips tilted up at the corners. What would it be like to kiss those lips? He intended to find out.
Phoebe took his arm and led him to the woman. "Lady Serena, may I present Robert, Viscount Beaumont."
Lady Serena? Perhaps she'd been married to an untitled gentleman. He brought his attention back to Phoebe.
"Robert, Lady Serena is my cousin. Her brother is the Earl of Vere. This is Lady Serena's first time in the metropolis. We're introducing her to our particular friends as well as all the entertainments London has to offer."
Brother? Not married or a widow and Phoebe's cousin. Of all the bad luck, this was the worst. She was unavailable, and his senses refused to believe it.
Beaumont bowed over Serena's hand and held it. "I am enchanted, Lady Serena. I believe I saw you riding in the Park this morning. On a large roan?"
Serena curtseyed. The movement so graceful it was like a dance. "It is my pleasure to meet you, my lord. You are referring to Shamir. Did I not see you riding in Yorkshire? You have a large black gelding, I believe."
"Yes. His name is Démon." Robert could scarcely tear his eyes away from her. If he'd had a dream, she was the embodiment of it. Her eyes were an unusual shade of amber fringed by lashes a little darker than her hair.
He frowned slightly, it finally dawned on him what she'd said. "How did you know he was a gelding?"
Robert fought to keep his gaze from dropping to her lips. He wondered how she'd taste and shook himself. He was unlikely to ever find out.
Serena smiled. "I know a great deal about horses, my lord. A gelding is hard to miss."
Robert's frown lightened to a humorous smile. "No, not if you know what you're looking at." Belatedly, he remembered he'd taken her hand, and brought it to his lips, grazing them across her knuckles.
She blinked slowly. "No, not then."
Serena had focused on Lord Beaumont the moment he'd entered. He was tall. She only came to the middle of his broad chest. On horseback, he'd reminded her of Ares, the Greek god of war. But that was an illusion. His manner was too refined and his dress too fashionable to hide the soul of a warrior. He bowed so elegantly. A provocative smile played on his well-molded lips, and his voice was deep and silky when he greeted her. Her chest tightened as his eyes, the color of bright moss, caressed her. Her heart skipped as she fought to regain control of her traitorous senses.
She'd been inured in the country for much too long. Even through their gloves, his fingers heated hers, and when his lips touched them, she'd had to remember to breathe. Was this how she would react to every gentleman she met? Or only him?

Interview

Tell us about your story's world. What is it like in this period or place?
The story is a Regency. It begins during the main Season in London, from there we move to Paris, then Yorkshire, England. 1816 is known as the year without summer.
What inspired you to write this book?
This is the 3d book in my series The Marriage Game, however it was the second one I wrote. Robert kept badgering me until I had his story down. As anyone who has read the book can tell you, he is a very difficult man.
Which character in your current book do you think readers will like the most? Why?
Well I hope they like Serena and Robert. They've both had difficult but different experiences they've had to overcome. Robert is used to getting what he wants, but Serena won't be bullied. Getting to their HEA was, at times, a struggle. One of my favorite secondary characters is the Dowager Lady Beaumont, Robert's grandmother.
Why do you write?
Because I love it. It's the best job I've ever had.
Who has helped you the most in your career as an author?
That's a hard question. My mother-in-law has been my biggest cheerleader, but for actual help, it is other authors. My critique groups played a big part. I had a great mentor in Delilah Marvelle, and my agent's assistant, Claire Cavanaugh, who taught me how to edit and polish my books.
When you're not writing, what would we find you doing?
Social media, supporting other authors on Facebook and Twitter. I blog three times a week. Almost every morning I walk the beach and on the weekends I paddleboard.
Are you a plotter, or do you prefer to make it up on the spur of the moment?
It's more spur of the moment, but I will plot a scene in my head.
Any advice for new authors?
Learn about the business, and know that this is a huge business. Join a supportive critique group, and professional organizations, such as RWA and its chapters. Develop your voice. Don't give up.
What other jobs have you held besides writing?
Boat cleaner, sales clerk, musician, soldier, college professor and lawyer.
What are you currently reading for fun?
I'm reading Jo Beverly's Malloren Series, but I've got new releases from Grace Burrowes, Shana Galen and several others on my Kindle waiting for me.
If you could time travel what era would be your first stop?
LOL, Regency England.
Do you believe in luck?
I do believe in luck. I also believe in hard work.
What kind of music do you listen to while driving? Same question for Writing
I don't. I listen to NPR. I have to have silence when I write.
Do you play any musical instruments?
I play piano, but not as well as I used to.

Please complete the sentence

I love pizza with Gorgonzola cheese.
I'm always ready for snuggling with my husband.
When I'm alone, I write and read.

Previous Books

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe
The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh

Books Coming Soon

The first book in the Marriage Game, The Seduction of Lady Phoebe release on September 19, 2013

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August 22, 2013

Cover Love: One Hundred Strokes @LexxxChristian #RLFblog #erom

One Hundred Strokes
Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a book and includes a cover, blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the author. Today's featured book is One Hundred Strokes by Alexandra Christian.

Selene and Julian need to get away from it all and rekindle the excitement that has been sorely lacking of late. Heading to the mountains for a romantic getaway, Selene packs the one thing she knows will make her weekend enjoyable. However, when Julian discovers her little secret, he'll make her pay for her deviance. With the help of a forbidden text and an antique hairbrush, their passion will ignite in a way that neither expected.
A Romantica® BDSM erotic romance from Ellora's Cave

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August 21, 2013

Character Interview: Zach Kelly from When Love Takes Over @JacobZFlores #RLFblog

When Love Takes Over 
Jacob Z. Flores, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We're excited to interview your character, Zach Kelly from the book, When Love Takes Over.
Genre: Contemporary gay romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Cover artist: Michael Breyette
Length: 270 pages
Heat rating: Steamy to hot
Tagline: Will broken hearts keep a porn star and author apart or will love take over?
Blurb:
Zach Kelly's life is a shambles. His boyfriend of three years dumped him, and his writing career is going nowhere. On a whim, he heads to Provincetown, Massachusetts, to nurse his broken heart and figure out his next step. He's expecting to find rest and relaxation on the sandy beaches of Cape Cod. Instead, Zach meets a hunky porn star during a chance encounter at a leather shop he mistakes as a place to buy a belt that is definitely not for whipping.
Van Pierce is smitten when shy and inexperienced Zach crashes through a shelf of fetish gear. Though Van's got an insatiable appetite for men on and off the set, his porn persona, Hart Throb, hides a broken heart. He's struggling to find the reality the porno set doesn't offer, and Zach is fighting to find the fantasy that will set his writing on fire. The odd goofball and the suave beefcake may either find love amid Provincetown's colorful pageantry where summer never seems to end--or more heartbreak than either can imagine.
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Zach Kelly is 32. He is a college English professor as well as a struggling author. Van Pierce is 28, and he is a porn star for Nasty Boy Studios. His porn name is Hart Throb.
Excerpt:
"Just let me know if you need anything," the guy said before disappearing back into the dressing room he'd previously stepped out of.
Zach nodded and then realized he'd been left alone in the store with Mr. Tanned Body, who still stood silently staring at him. The realization urged his feet to move toward the back part of the store.
As he worked his way around the gas masks, he tried to forget about the fact that he was being watched. Maybe the guy worked security and had somehow pegged Zach as a potential shoplifter.
There couldn't be any other reason that Zach could fathom, so he gave the guy his back and inspected the leather harnesses along the far left wall. They were obviously different styles, but he had no clue what the smaller ones that looked like holsters were called. He entertained the idea of trying one on just for show, but that would mean taking off his shirt. He definitely didn't want to do that.
People typically poked fun at how white he was.
Instead, he worked his way past the harnesses and approached the back wall, where the dressing room was located. There, he found a cardboard display spotlighting a tub jam-packed with lube of assorted varieties he'd never even heard of—Boy Butter, Elbow Grease, Spunk, and FIST Powder.
The last brand name made him shudder. The thought of someone shoving an entire fist up his ass caused Zach's hole to clench tightly shut. No matter how much being here excited him sexually, fisting had never turned him on, and the unpleasant image of some guy elbow-deep up another man's ass calmed the raging waters that had churned so vigorously inside.
In fact, he was certain his asshole wouldn't relax until he left this place that sold objects whose sole purpose seemed to be destroying the elasticity of a part of the body he preferred to remain tight.
He made his way around the tub of lube and stood studying the latex wrestling suits and leather aprons that covered the far wall. He could understand the fascination with the wrestling singlets. Muscled guys rolling around in skimpy gear turned him on too.
However, why would anyone purchase a leather apron?
It resembled something a sadistic butcher might wear in a horror movie.
As he pondered what the aprons were used for sexually, the door to the dressing room fell open, and Zach gasped.
The store employee struggled to help a rather obese man shove himself inside a full-body rubber suit. Talcum powder spotted the interior of the room and the outside of the outfit. It had also gotten on their faces. There was so much powder everywhere that Zach figured this must be what a coke den looked like. At least one that had imploded.
Turning around seemed the politest response, but the spectacle proved too much of a train wreck.
The large man, who resembled Jabba the Hutt trying to squeeze inside a Hefty bag, cursed as he attempted to force every roll of fat inside. His constant struggle caused sweat to drench his body, turning the powder that caked his pregnant, hairy belly into paste.
The poor employee, who knelt before the sweating crotch from which hung a tiny Vienna sausage, attempted to hike the suit farther up the man's meaty thighs. When that failed, he stood and yanked with all his might as the rotund fellow lifted his left leg in a vain attempt at assistance. The slick material, made even slicker by the man's perspiration, caused the employee to lose his grip.
The rubber snapped back quite unexpectedly for the big guy who already teetered precariously on one bulky limb. Unbalanced, he toppled backward onto the dressing room floor, causing the layer of powder to explode upward and resulting in a momentary whiteout in the small room.
Before he could help himself, Zach broke out into laughter.
The customer didn't appreciate Zach's sense of humor and called him a fuckwad.
"I'm sorry," he said as he backed up.
Zach needed to get out of there before he embarrassed himself further, so he turned around and bolted forward, completely forgetting about the display behind him. He struck the lube bin, which began a rather horrifying chain of events.
The display fell over, causing bottles of lube to roll throughout the store, some of which he squashed open with his large, blundering feet. When Zach backed up in surprise, he collided with the wall, which contained the aprons and rubber wrestling suits. The force of the impact caused the top row of hanging garments to fall from their perch and rain upon his head.
"Need some help?"
Zach looked up from amongst the aprons and crushed bottles of lube to find Mr. Tanned Body standing before him with a humorous twinkle in his steely eyes.
The roiling passion within Zach reluctantly surged forward once again.
When Love Takes Over Tour

Interview with Zach Kelly
Tell us about yourself.
Oh, boy. It's not a pretty story but here goes. My boyfriend of three years, Ben, recently dumped me. He gave me no explanation other than it was over. He was done, and he wanted me out of our apartment. I wanted to fix things, like I always try to do, but there was no fixing us. According to Ben. He was so cold and cruel that I had to leave, or I was going to lose it. It was the last thing I needed. You see, I work as a college English professor, but it's not what I want to do. I really want to be a full time author, but my writing career, well, that's going nowhere fast. I didn't know what else to do, so I boarded a plane for Provincetown, Massachusetts. I needed to get away and find out why my relationship failed and why my writing sucks.
Tell us about Van.
Van? Wow! Where do I begin? He's quite possibly the most attractive man I've ever met. He's perfectly tanned and his smile, well, it's a killer. It's one of those smiles that hitches up to the left, the kind that reveals he's both an angel and a devil merged into one. When I first saw him, I wanted to take him in my arms, but I just couldn't. I'm far too shy for that. Plus, he's a porn star. What could he possibly see in someone like me? I'm too awkward and imperfect for someone like Van.
What do you think is your strongest point?
Hmm. My devotion perhaps. When I make a commitment to someone, I see it through to the end. That's why I wanted to work things out with Ben. We'd been together for three years. We owed it to each other to try and work things out, but Ben wanted no part of it. What could I do?
But that's how I've always lived me life. For good or bad. I don't give up. I keep trying until no reason to try exists. I think that's a strong quality. Although others might call it a weakness.
What would Van say is your strongest point?
That's a good question. I don't know. Maybe my shy and clumsy nature. It's what attracted Van to me in the first place. According to him, I was very different from all the other men he'd met in Provincetown. Most guys come to town dressed in the same short shorts and muscle shirts. Not me! I arrived wearing baggy ass camouflaged shorts and an ill fitting blue and white T-shirt. I didn't think I looked that bad, but everyone else sure did. Well, except Van. He liked my mismatched look. He also found it endearing when I crashed through a rack of fetish gear and stumbled my way into his life. Who knew being such a klutz would get the attention of someone like Van?
What would Van say is your biggest weakness?
That's an easy one because we've talked about it a lot. He doesn't like that I've lived for other people for most of my life. It started with my father. He had this image of perfection that I felt I had to meet, and when I didn't meet his expectations, I felt like a failure. When I met Ben, I did the same thing. I did what he wanted and never really questioned it. I told you I was a hot mess, didn't I? But I'm working on it. Van's been helping me with that and so have my new friends Gary, Quinn, and Tara. They've been the best medicine for me.
What was it like where you grew up?
I grew up in a small town called Victoria, Texas. There, everyone knows your business, and being the son of a prominent doctor in town only made me more visible. It was hard living in my dad's shadow, especially once his indiscretions came to light. I don't like to talk about them though. It was pretty tough on me. Well, on my entire family really. I'm still trying to deal with everything, so needless to say, my childhood wasn't the best.
What do you wish was different about your life?
I wish I had more confidence in myself. I used to as a child. I challenged everything—my father, life, school, the world, but that only seemed to get me in trouble. I learned that it was just easier to go with the flow. But that hasn't worked out so well for me, has it? But I'm working on it. That's part of the reason I came to Provincetown. To find myself and the person I once was.
If you were given your fondest wish, what would it be?
To quit my day job and work full time as an author. It's really what I love to do. But I'm not quite there yet. And I need to figure out why. Reviews for the books I've published myself haven't exactly been stellar. They say my characters are two dimensional and that my plots are contrived and over-the-top. Maybe it's because I haven't really lived my life yet, which makes it difficult to create a fictional world. You have to live and have a life to be able to write believable stories. At least that's what I believe.
Describe a place of perfect refuge.
Right now, it's Provincetown. When I first got here, I was stressed and unsure. But now, well, let's just say being here has been good for me. The people here are great, and they are willing to take in a stranger and treat him like family. It's like my troubles in Texas didn't follow me to the Cape. I think that makes P-town a perfect refuge for most anyone.
As a child, who was your best friend? Tell us about him/her.
My best friend was Tommy Martinez. We've been friends since the second grade. We don't talk as much as we used to. Which is sad. But when I was a kid, we were inseparable. It was also kind of tough being his best friend. Tommy wasn't your average kid. He always had his shit together. Like he was an adult or something. Sometimes, I felt as if my dad preferred him to me because Tommy knew what he wanted out of his life and just went for it. Things were never that easy for me.
What do you wish I had asked you? Please ask and answer it now.
How about this: where do I see things going with Van? Truthfully, I don't know. I like him. A lot. Probably more than I should. But he lives in Provincetown, and I live in Texas. Plus, he's a porn star. What kind of future could the two of us possibly have?
About the Author
Jacob Z. Flores lives a double life. During the day, he is a respected college English professor and mid-level administrator. At night and during his summer vacation, he loosens the tie and tosses aside the trendy sports coat to write man on man fiction, where the hard ass assessor of freshmen level composition turns his attention to the firm posteriors and other rigid appendages of the characters in his fictional world.
Summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, provide Jacob with inspiration for his fiction. The abundance of barely clothed man flesh and daily debauchery stimulates his personal muse. When he isn't stroking the keyboard, Jacob spends time with his husband, Bruce, their three children, and two dogs, who represent a bright blue blip in an otherwise predominantly red swath in south Texas.

Previous Books

Books Coming Soon

Jacob Z Flores
Chasing the Sun--(spin-off of When Love Takes Over) Oct./Nov. 2013
When Love Gets Hairy--(the next book in the Provincetown Series) Jan./Feb. 2014
When Love Comes to Town--(the final book of the Provincetown Series) Apr./May 2014

Contest

Before I go, I want to thank everyone who stopped by today for my character interview. It's been fun. I also want to thank Romance Lives Forever for allowing me to visit. Hopefully, we can do this again for the next book.
For those interested, I'm holding a contest. All you have to do is leave a comment to this post, and your name is entered to win a free copy of When Love Takes Over. If a reader happens to follow all my blog stops, then she or he can leave a comment at the other sites a well. At the end of the tour, a winner will be chosen and announced.
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August 20, 2013

Character Interview: Ellie MacKyrie from Highland Seer @willablair #RLFblog

Highland Seer 
Willa Blair, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We're excited to interview your character, Ellie MacKyrie from the book, Highland Seer.
Genre: Scottish Historical Paranormal Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cover artist: Tina Lynn Stout
Length: 324 pages
Heat rating: Spicy
Tagline: The Seer believes he'll save her clan, but Donal MacNabb will be no one's pawn.
Blurb:
Donal MacNabb is loyal to his adopted Lathan clan, yet he resents being a pawn in their treaty negotiations with the struggling MacKyries. The MacKyrie clan needs his skills as an arms master, but its Laird is bartering for more than Donal is prepared to give.
Ellie MacKyrie knows the Lathan treaty will help protect her clan from the neighbor determined to seize her holdings any way he can—including forcing her into marriage. But she has another reason to want the Lathan alliance. She has Seen the stubborn Donal MacNabb reaching for her in her dreams.
While Donal fights to save a clan in trouble, his desire for the MacKyrie Seer wars with his obligation to his Laird. Before she is forced into a marriage that will destroy her clan, Ellie must find the heart behind Donal's gruff exterior and convince him he is the man of her dreams.

Buy links:

Excerpt:

She swallowed and licked her lips. "Ye are the man I need, Donal."
He didn't flinch, but his eyes narrowed again.
"Do ye, now? Has yer Sight shown ye this?" Quick as a viper, he uncrossed his arms and grabbed hers, lifting her onto her toes. His lips waited a whisper away from her mouth, taunting her. "Are ye certain that's all ye need me for, Ellie? Is that why ye came to my chamber?"
Startled, she shoved against his chest. She had as much success as pushing against a fire-warmed granite wall. He didn't resist, didn't shake her, merely stood, as if waiting for her to decide what she would do. As if he held all his power leashed, under tight control. His breath on her lips fanned the flames in Ellie's face. Her heart thudded as his chest muscles flexed beneath her fingers.
"Nay. Aye." She pushed again with one fist, torn between making him release her and making him listen. "Nay!"
He let go of her suddenly. Ellie nearly fell as she lost the support of his grip. He steadied her, then released her again and moved toward the door.
"I'm sorry, lass. I shouldna done that." He spread his fingers, then clenched them into a fist. "Yer touch...ye make me forget my place."

Interview with Ellie MacKyrie

Tell us about yourself.
I am the laird of clan MacKyrie. Female lairds are rare in Scotland's history, but not unheard of.
Tell us about Donal MacNabb:
Donal is...was...the arms master to Clan Lathan, his adopted home. He rarely smiles, so he can be intimidating. He's a master swordsman. A teacher. My rock. He...a man...appeared in several dreams. The man I Saw might have been someone else, aye, but the more time I spent around Donal, the more certain I became. He had the skills my clan needed most, and he...appealed...to me as no other.
What do you think is your greatest strength?
I will do what is necessary for the good of my people.
What would Donal MacNabb say is your greatest strength?
I go after what I want and dinna take 'nay' for an answer. As he has learned.
What would Donal say is your biggest weakness?
That I'm too soft-hearted. It's hard for me to make some of the decisions a laird must make. Then again, I suppose some decisions are hard for anyone to make.
What do you wish was different about your life?
Had ye asked me before I met Donal, I wouldha wished that Flodden never happened. That my clan remained as it was before all those deaths, my father and brothers still alive. I would still wish for that, but I would also wish for Donal to be at my side. We were decimated by the loss of our fighting men at Flodden in 1513. MacKyrie consists of women, children, and a few old men and lads. Few would know of our existence, except for the whisky we make, but our neighbors have had their eyes on the clan's holdings - and me - since Flodden. The Lathans brought a treaty promising assistance from nearby clans, but also committing MacKyrie to provide the same, which we were in no position to do. I saw the Lathan treaty as a two-edged sword that could work for us or very much against us. Donal's presence, and the men from the treaty clans he has brought to us, help to even the odds.
What is it like for a woman to be laird?
I canna speak for women who lead other clans, only for MacKyrie. It has been...difficult...challenging...since our men left to fight with the King. Our clan's only survivor, actually a fosterling from anther clan, brought us the awful news, then disappeared a few months after his return, consumed by his shock and grief. I doubt he still lives. The few warriors my father left behind have been lost in skirmishes with the neighbors. The main thing that has saved us thus far is that the neighboring lairds are wary of each other. Should one invade MacKyrie, the others wouldna be far behind, and they'd fight like dogs over the scraps of our home. But it isna all bad. My people are my treasure, and have supported me in every way. We've made much progress, more so since the Lathans arrived, but there's still much to do.
Some men claim that a woman can not be a successful laird.
A woman canna be a laird, ye say? Of course she can. She can even lead her warriors in battle, if she's trained for it. And Queens have ruled Scotland. But a woman must maintain her authority through craft, wit, and respect more than strength. She must have allies.
How does your Sight work?
I dream, rarely clearly. I may See only a brief glimpse. Or the dream may last a while, but as dreams do, make little sense when I awake. Some dreams come to me more than once. Those, especially, I must heed.
What advice would you offer other women thrust into positions of responsibility and power?
As I said, a woman must have allies. No matter how secure her position within her clan, she will be beset by outsiders, and possibly from within her own clan. Some men will pursue advantage by any means, fair or foul. Most women cannot defeat a man in a physical battle unless she is very skilled or very lucky, so she must have champions who will fight for her. She must be able to command respect. But a woman walks a fine line between being perceived as a strong leader and a shrew. So she must also nurture her people and protect whatever it is that comprises the wealth of her clan. Many men believe that marriage conveys the lairdship upon them. That isna the case, but If she is very lucky, she will find a man to stand beside her, to be her strong arm, her rock and her comfort. As Donal is for me.
Willa Blair

About the Author

Willa Blair is the best-selling and award-winning author of Scottish romance with a paranormal twist, set in the 16th century Highlands, when the old ways, and old talents, still shaped events.
She always wished she had several psi talents, such as reading her husband's mind, cleaning house by simply thinking about it, and flying. But alas, no. So she endows her historical romance characters with special talents and lives vicariously through them. She loves reading and writing romance novels set in the past, present and future.
She realized her life-long dream of becoming an author after retiring from her day job to write, travel, and enjoy life. Married to her own military hero golf fanatic, she lives in the Texas Hill Country north of San Antonio where she writes, feeds hummingbirds year-round and has too many hobbies to count.

Previous Books

Highland Healer (Highland Talents #1)

Books Coming Soon

The Healer's Gift (A Highland Talents Novella) And Highland Troth (Highland Talents #3)

Contest:

One lucky commenter will be chosen at random to win a copy of Highland Seer from Willa Blair, so please provide your email address.

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August 19, 2013

Cover Love Risk Factors @CalisaRhose #RLFblog #contemporary

Risk Factors 
Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a book and includes a cover, blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the author. Today's featured book is Risk Factors by Calisa Rhose.

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Love, like life, is not without risk. Veterinarian Vivian Dane has purchased her uncle’s practice in the tiny town of Wales, Missouri, where most residents still doubt her ability to treat their pets. But Viv is used to being considered less-worthy than her predecessors. After all, her parents are world-renowned wildlife vets, and most everyone is unimpressed she’s chosen to not follow directly in their footsteps. Now Connor, a patient’s owner, and is hot for Viv, but clearly doesn’t think she’s dating material because he has a daughter…who he believes no woman is good enough for.
Being a perfect dad is EMT paramedic Connor’s life focus. He can’t seem to stay away from sexy Doctor Viv, but attraction is as far as he’ll ever let it go. His mother abandoned him, leaving him to be raised in the foster system, and then his wife abandoned both him and their daughter. He absolutely will not risk bringing another woman into his little girl’s life and having her feel the hurt of being left...again.
Forfeiting is easier than attempting and failing. So why does Viv feel compelled to prove she’s a sure bet for Connor and his daughter? Can Connor trust Viv--and himself--enough to play the possibilities?

Buy links:

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August 17, 2013

Cover Love: Excite Me @authortbrooks #RLFblog #LGBT

Excite Me  
Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a book and includes a cover, blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the author. Today's featured book is Excite Me by Taylor Brooks.

Phillip Archer spent the past ten years playing as a starting defensive end in the NFL. After a career-ending injury he was forced to rethink his life, and his future. Stepping down from the hustle and bustle of the limelight and taking a job as the offensive coordinator of a small Pac-10 school seemed like the perfect remedy to get things back on track and kick-start this new chapter in his life.
Richard Olson was single, independent, and loving life in Southern California. He had his career that he loved as a veteran lifestyle reporter for the local news, and that was all he needed to keep him happy and warm at night. Or so he thought. The day he ran into his old college crush Phillip, all bets were off.
The only question that remains is who will win, or if perhaps they both end up playing for keeps in a game of winner-take-all.

Buy links

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August 16, 2013

Contemporary: Things Good Girls Don't Do | Interview @CodiGary #RLFblog

Things Good Girls Don't Do  
Codi Gary, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Things Good Girls Don't Do.
Genre: Contemporary Romance.
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Length: 112 pages
Heat rating: Seven
Tagline: Good girls don't steal. Good girls don't visit sex shops. Good girls don't have one-night stands.
Blurb:
For Katie Conners, being a good girl just isn't worth it anymore. It used to mean getting the life she always wanted. But that was before she got dumped and her ex got engaged to his rebound. So, after a bad day and one too many mojitos, Katie starts making a list of things a girl like her would never do, not in a million years …
As a tattoo artist with a monster motorcycle, Chase Trepasso isn't the kind of guy you bring home to mom and dad. And when he finds Katie's list in a bar, he's more than happy to help her check off a few items. Especially the ones on the naughtier side …
Katie's more than tempted by Chase's offer, as long as they keep things uncomplicated. But as they spend more time together, she may just wind up breaking the most important rule of all: Good girls don't fall in love with bad boys.
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Katie Connors: 30 year old hairdresser.
Chase Trepasso: 33 year old tattoo artist.

Excerpt:

It's important to always be a nice girl, Katie. Otherwise, people won't want to let their kids play with you.
Katie tried to remember her mother's childhood advice while organizing the Rock Canyon Independence Day Extravaganza, the annual parade, fair, and fireworks show celebrating the Fourth of July. The only drawback was that she had to work with Mrs. Marcie Andrews. And Mrs. Andrews was trying her patience in a big way.
"I just don't understand why the tattoo booth is set up next to the kissing booth. Those drill noises are going to be distracting."
Katie took a breath. Sometimes Mrs. Andrews acted like she was in her eighties instead of her early fifties. She was a dairy farmer's wife, had four kids, and attended church every Sunday, but even Katie's mother had called her a "gossiping windbag," and her mother had rarely spoken ill of anyone. Katie, taking a calming breath and channeling her mother's patience-is-a-virtue mentality, said, "There won't actually be any real tattoos being done, Mrs. Andrews. It's going to be henna tattoos. Mr. Trepasso is just handing out his cards and giving people samples of his work."
Mrs. Andrews harrumphed. "Why Merve rented that space to a tattoo parlor, I'll never know. It always just seems to draw the wrong element."
And the two bars in town don't? Katie didn't say that, though. She just smiled and said, "I'm sure it will be fine."
Mrs. Andrews seemed to realize that Katie wasn't going to agree with her and dropped the subject. "Now Katie, I know that the town council appointed you for this job, but I am co-head of this committee and I have more experience with this event since I'm a bit older than you. I just want to make sure you appreciate my advice, and don't disregard it out of turn. I know how you young people like to think you know everything."
"Of course, Mrs. Andrews, I completely value and appreciate your help. I am so honored that they picked me to help run things, but I am sure there is a lot I can learn from you."
That seemed to pacify the older woman, and she preened. "All right, then, so your shift for the kissing booth is from three to three thirty, and we'll start the fireworks after the Canyon Queen Pageant. I really don't know about doing a big fireworks display. It's a waste of money and so very dangerous."
Katie wrote some notes in her binder, ignoring the fireworks subject for the sixteenth time, and closed it with a forced smile. "Okay, I think that's it! We should be set for Thursday."
Mrs. Andrews frowned a little and worried aloud, "Are you sure there's nothing else? You have your dress for the Canyon Queen float?"
Of course she had her dress. In a small town like Rock Canyon, everyone knew everyone else's business and you didn't mess with town festivities and traditions. At least six people a day asked her stupid questions like "Are you ready to retire your crown?", "Are you excited about riding the float again?", "What's your dress look like?", and "How's Jimmy doing?"
That last question was enough to make her throw everything her mother ever taught her out the window and unleash the fury on someone. Jimmy Lawrence, her boyfriend of seven years, had broken up with her eight months ago. Actually, broken up was too mild a term. The dirty, lily-livered jerk had dumped her for a girl six years younger and twice her bra size. She'd tried to just smile and act like it didn't bother her by participating in the Valentine's Day singles auction—where she'd ended up spending the Sweethearts Dance with Carl Anderson, a nice enough guy when he didn't think his rotten-egg farts were hilarious. After that, she'd gone out with a few men from church, but the men of Rock Canyon were just so . . .
She couldn't come up with the perfect adjective to sum up the disgusting, irritating, and even boring antics of the six dates she'd had.
So Katie threw herself into one project after another, and this parade was only the latest. She tried to keep busy at the salon, and it helped that Jimmy and his new girlfriend had moved to Twin Falls, so she didn't have to see them walking around looking happy and in love. If she had to suffer through that torture on a daily basis, she might drive her car into the canyon—after running the cheating bastard and his little tart over with her 4Runner first.
Was she bitter? Well, no one could blame her. She had put her heart and soul into a relationship that had gone nowhere. All the years she'd spent grooming Jimmy, supporting him, and now someone else got to enjoy the benefits.
Which left her here, listening to Mrs. Andrews go on and on about the marching band, when a deep voice interrupted, "Excuse me, ladies, I just wanted to hand over my check for my rental booth."
Katie's gaze snapped up to meet a pair of steel-gray eyes. She could hear the disapproval in Mrs. Andrews's voice as she drawled, "Mr. Trepasso, we were just talking about you."
Those amazing eyes didn't stray from hers as he replied, "Please call me Chase, Mrs. Andrews. I hope you ladies were saying good things about me?"
Katie's gaze shifted away from him to Mrs. Andrews, who looked like she'd smelled something vile. Katie, afraid the older woman would open her mouth and tell him exactly what she'd said, smiled, took his check, and quickly said, "Thanks, Chase, and of course it was good. I was just telling Mrs. Andrews what a wonderful job you did on my friend Stephanie's rose tattoo. It's lovely."
Chase's handsome face, with his slim nose, sensual mouth, and dimpled chin, lit up with a wicked grin. His brown hair was short, spiky, and a pair of studs adorned both of his ears. "Then why haven't you been down to see me, Katie?" He lowered his voice and leaned closer. "I can do something really small and feminine, where no one would ever see it."
Katie fought the urge to fan herself as she heard Mrs. Andrews's gasp. She remembered the first time she'd seen Chase after he moved to Rock Canyon five months ago. He'd been moving through the crowd at Buck's Shot Bar, handing out business cards for his parlor. He'd stopped in front of Steph and she, holding out a card to each of them, and when Chase's hand had touched Katie's it had been electric. Too bad he hadn't seemed as affected by it as her; he'd moved on to the next group without so much as a backward glance. She'd been a little disappointed at his dismissal, and when she'd seen him in the crowd at the Valentine's Day singles auction, she had secretly hoped he might bid on her. It was an idiotic hope, though. She went off with Carl, and Chase got into a bidding war with Gregg Phillips over Ryan Ashton. He'd lost out, and since then she'd seen him out with several women, but never the same one twice. It seemed Chase had a type of woman and none of them had a reputation for being a "good" girl, unlike Katie, who couldn't even seem to return a library book late.
It was just as well that he had never looked at her like that. Chase was a heartbreaker, the kind of guy everyone in town disapproved of, but that didn't mean he didn't get her blood pumping anytime he came near her. Only last week he'd joined her best friend Stephanie, her husband Jared, and Katie for a friendly game of pool. When she kept missing shot after shot, he'd taken her aside, bent her over the table, and whispered, "Now, what you want to do is . . ."
She honestly couldn't remember what else he'd said as he'd folded that tall, muscular frame over hers and she'd felt every breath of his words against her hair, cheek, and neck. Her butt had been cradled perfectly against his jean-clad crotch and instinct had screamed at her to wiggle against him, but good girls didn't do that. It would have been vulgar, and nice girls were never vulgar.
He'd finally backed away from her and she'd told everyone she needed to leave, that she'd forgotten to feed her cat. She'd figured her crazy attraction to him was just a side effect of her stagnant sex life and she just needed to put some distance between them, but the memory of his body flush against hers was something that gave her ideas. Naughty, naked, sweaty ideas.

Interview

How did you get your start in the industry?
Avon Impulse put out a "Call for New Authors" last September for Valentine's Day novellas and I submitted, The Trouble with Sexy, which was picked up and published as a part of Kiss Me: An Avon Valentines Day Anthology.
What websites do you visit daily?
Ha! I'm a bit of a social media junkie! I start with Facebook, then move counter clockwise on my phone aps to Pinterest, Twitter, Goodreads and Tumblr….oh, and my email.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
"You knew you wanted to write since you were eleven! Get a move on, girlie!"
How do you cope with stress as an author?
I watch my favorite shows, play with my kids, and put what I'm feeling into my work. It also helps to have an awesome brainstorming bud to vent frustrations too. I call mine Fluffy.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I worked at a grocery chain for five years, a Veterinary Assistant for six, and have been a stay at home mom for four.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
All genres of romance, some young adult, it just depends on my mood. Lately I've read Cynthia Sax, Cheryl Harper, Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Connie Brockway, and Candis Terry.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Oh man, favorite? No, no it's a tie between Christmas (because of the light hearted, happy feelings it brings out in me) and Halloween (because who doesn't love dressing up, watching scary movies and eating candy?)
What do you like to do when you're bored?
Watch Supernatural, Glee, or New Girl, and Drool, Sing, and Snort Laugh in that order.
If your life became a movie, who would you want to play you?
Ohhhh…Anne Hathaway…adore her!
Please underline 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."

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with pepperoni and cheese.
I'm always ready for a shopping trip!
When I'm alone, I like to curl up with coffee and the Winchesters.
You'd never be able to tell, but I used to be a cheerleader in high school.
If I had a halo it would be a bit crooked and dented.
If I could only duplicate myself I'd get so much more done.
I can never be a sky diving instructor because heights freak me out!

Previous Books

Kiss Me: An Avon Valentines Day Anthology

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August 15, 2013

Cover Love: Stolen Rapture @denysebridger #RLFblog #vampire

Stolen Rapture. 
Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a book and includes a cover, blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the author. Today's featured book is Stolen Rapture by Denysé Bridger.
Genres: Erotic, vampire, ménage, D/s
Publisher: New Dawning International Book Fair
Cover Art: Kayden McLeod

Blurb:
When work brings Deluna Jordan face to face with a man who knows her better than she knows herself, she soon discovers he shares everything with his boss, including lovers…and a thirst for blood…and she is about to become the lucky recipient of all their desires…

Buy links:

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August 14, 2013

Cover Love: My Mother's Footsteps @itlnbrt #RLFblog

In My Mother's Footsteps 
Cover Love at Romance Lives Forever is a short intro to a book and includes a cover, blurb, buy links, and social media contacts for the author. Today's featured book is In My Mother's Footsteps by Forbes Arnone.

Anela Alborn’s life is a lie. After growing up without the love of a father, her mother reveals his identity. Tragedy strikes and she sets off on an adventure that leads to more than she could ever imagine. Bumping into Christian Sivers distracts her from the real man of her dreams, her father. Will he live up to her dreams? And does she follow in her mother’s footsteps?
Goodreads link:

About the Author

Forbes Arnone’s love of travel began when she traveled to the West Coast to visit her father at the age of three. Her home until she was sixteen was a small coastal town near Boston. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons, and two dogs.

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