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Obsessed with Plots

What happens when you think you can do it better—a cautionary tale! My Grandma Lucille was one of the smartest women I’ve ever known. She was a University of Chicago graduate and her idea of reading for pleasure was devouring the diaries of Samuel Peyps. Never heard of him? Me, neither! LOL!! Turns out the diary he wrote from 1660-1669 is one of the most important historical documents of the English Restoration period. But I digress . . . The takeaway here is that if I wasn’t reading the classics, as far as Grandma was concerned, I might as well have been perusing a cereal box! Grandma and Grandpa were the same age as the whole classic Brat Pack-era, and [...]

My Romance with the Outdoors

I’ve always been an outdoorsy person. My mom called me a tomboy. I hated dresses (still do). And I spent more time roaming the woods catching frogs than playing inside with Barbie dolls. One of the benefits of being a military brat is it afforded me the opportunity to explore a variety places from the woods on the Air Force base in Maryland, to the tropical jungle on Guam. My favorite outing was going fishing with my father when we lived in in Louisiana. Not only because of the quality time we shared, but because of how magical the swamp seemed to me as a child. It captivated me with a heady blend of danger and beauty. And I learned [...]

Hot Scots and the Five Reasons Monica McCarty Loves Them

Monica McCarty is no stranger to hot Scottish Men: her Highland Guard series, feature scorching hot Highland warriors who are as deadly with their looks as there are with their fighting skills. Part of Robert the Bruce’s elite secret army in the fight to reclaim his crown, these Highland Guards are prepared for every battle—except for falling in love.   Hot Scots! Five reasons we love those Scottish heroes . . .  There’s no doubt about it, Scotsmen are hot right now. Whether it’s on the pages of a favorite novel or on the TV screen with the recent Outlander craze, we American lasses can’t seem to get enough of those strapping lads in plaid. Sure they are brave, tough, [...]

The Romance of a Small-Town Getaway

It’s a frequent scene in books and films: a big-city couple throw their overnight bags into a car late on a Friday afternoon. They leave the city and drive to a smaller, quieter, more intimate place, one where the air is scented not by auto exhaust but by grass and wildflowers and perhaps the inviting aroma of fresh coffee from a cafe on the corner. Instead of department stores and streets of swanky places to dine, there are unique, family-run shops and a handful of mom-and-pop restaurants. Cell phone service might be spotty at best, and that’s just fine, because our couple has come to a small town to disconnect from their harried workweek routines and reconnect with each other. [...]

Cecilia Tan’s Top Five List for SLOW SATISFACTION

This week brings the third book in Cecilia Tan’s Struck by Lightening series. In SLOW SATISFACTION, James has finally pushed Karina beyond her limit—not her limit for kinky sex play, but for his extreme secrecy. She has had enough and breaks things off. But James won’t give up on Karina and will do whatever it takes to get her back. He’s ready to share his deepest, darkest secrets, but is Karina ready to hear them? James offers Karina not only the truth but a place at his side… onstage. He wants Karina to star in his final musical production and enter his life and his world fully and completely. As the two work together, they rekindle the trust and love [...]

Author Exclusive: Allison Brennan talks with Carla Neggers

One of the fun things about being an author is the friendships formed with other writers. Take Carla Neggers and Allison Brennan, for example. The two met years ago at a writers’ conference and have been friends ever since. They’re both prolific, award-winning, New York Times bestselling authors of romantic suspense/romantic thrillers featuring FBI agents as lead characters, write two different series and share a friendship with Mariah Stewart. But that’s where the similarities end. Carla has two grown children and two grandchildren; Allison is still raising her five offspring. Carla lives in Vermont; Allison, in California. Carla has a journalistic background; Allison served as a legislative consultant for the California State Assembly before launching her author career. But both [...]

Why I Write Gay Romance

There is no one perfect answer to why I write gay romance novels. Strangely enough, I began writing Regency romance. I loved the glamour of the ballgowns and the whole English aristocracy. After all, who doesn’t like a Duke in a pair of tight buckskins? But last year I read my first male/male romance. I picked up a book by Abigail Roux called Cut and Run. It looked interesting and was a series, which I loved. I began reading it. And when I next looked up it was three hours later and I couldn’t believe how enthralled I was with the story. I bought the entire backlist and more. I went searching for more authors and read Mary Calmes A [...]

Why I Write BDSM

Chances are, if you ever meet me, you’ll find out pretty quickly that I’m an open book. I also don’t hide what I write. Well, unless I’m talking to people I went to seminary with and then—do you blame me? So, pretty much everyone in my life knows that I write BDSM fiction. Yes, my parents and grandmother are aware of it. They just don’t want to talk about it. I often joke and tell people in my day-to-day life they aren’t old enough to read my books yet, which gets a few laughs. Every now and then, someone is curious enough to ask me the real question. Why do you write kink? To be honest, at first I did [...]

Outside the Ballroom: Unusual Historicals

I was editing something at my day job on the American Revolution recently and discovered it was riddled with little factual errors. They were the sort of mistakes that probably read as facts to most Americans who gleaned their knowledge of our nation’s founding from textbooks in elementary school. When I mentioned this to my boss, I added, “I only know this is inaccurate because I just read a book on the American Revolution.” (I recently read Washington’s Spies by Alexander Rose, on which the AMC show Turn is based. My brother, a Revolutionary War scholar, and I were the only people who watched Turn and it was on against Game of Thrones so you’re forgiven for not knowing about [...]

My Top Five Summer TV Hotties

I’m old enough at forty-five years old to remember when my little sister was my TV remote control (“Hey. I bet you can’t go change the channel really fast.” Sucker) and we had three network channels and PBS.  I also remember when the summer was the absolute lull in TV viewing, with only re-runs and old movies playing every night since the big shows were on hiatus. But now – thanks to the genius humans who created cable TV, DVR’s and DVD’s – I don’t have to drool over the TV Guide and wish for fall to arrive. I have sexy new heroes to bring those summer nights to the boiling point while I wait for my beloved Winchester brothers [...]

Talking Blacktop Cowboys with Lorelei James

What inspired you to write the Blacktop Cowboys series and this particular installment? LJ: I loved the idea of taking the bodyguard trope and flipping it on its head—having a tough woman with a military background protecting a male celebrity.  Obviously a tough Wyoming cowboy has an issue with that, so it was really fun with the back and forth between them as they learned to rely on and trust each other. What is your favorite Devin and Liberty “moment”? LJ: I only get to pick one? Their first kiss and first intimate encounter have to win out. But I also love the small moments when they bolster each other when they’re alone on the tour bus. Who is your [...]

BETWEEN THE SHEETS Playlist

The next book in Molly O’Keefe’s Boys of Bishop setting, BETWEEN THE SHEETS is the tale of Ty and Shelby, two people, trying to redeem themselves from their pasts to find a new life, together. This is the playlist for Ty, my hero in BETWEEN THE SHEETS. Ty’s got a lot on his plate dealing with his son and a new life, but he is at heart – utterly a good guy. And his love affair with Shelby baffles him in so many ways, but when he falls, he falls hard. And this playlist is sort of the progression of his feelings.   Songs for Ty 1.  Do I Wanna Know? -The Arctic Monkeys After they get over their initial [...]

The Writer’s Muse Meets Carrie Bradshaw

I’ve never really considered myself a shoe girl. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not above ogling a darling pair of Jimmy Choo peep-toes while walking through Nordstrom. But when it comes to splurging … Give me a Kate Spade handbag any day. Preferably one that’s big enough to fit my 11-inch MacBook Air so I can look oh-so-glam when I need to write “on the road.” Which is why I was surprised to find a startling discovery about my newest romance series, The Best Mistake: both books open with a scene about shoes. In Only With You, a decision over shoes is literally the catalyst for the story (hint: hooker boots are involved!) Which totally wouldn’t be a [...]

Real-Life Military Inspiration

It’s been a long time since my first novel Because of You published. I know a lot of times, the thing that inspired that first book changes and morphs as the writer grows but it’s funny, that thing hasn’t really changed for me. I started writing back in 2007. My husband was deployed on his second tour for what was going to turn into an eighteen-month separation for us. I was at Fort Benning in Officer Candidate School and I started glomming onto Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooter series. I remember thinking someone should write about regular soldiers and their families and everything that’s changing with the wars. Well duh, why couldn’t I write those stories. It’s funny because you get the [...]

So Many Books, So Little Time

I have books by my top three authors gathering dust on my bed side table.  I so hate that! It used to be that I would average at least one book every two days.  The books were fiction, non-fiction, biographies, histories, and more. I also love to read good romance (of course!).  I look forward to new releases from Linda Warren, Rae Ann Thayne, and more. Now that I am very much into my writing and getting two books edited for my publishers, I have very little time to read for enjoyment or leisure…thus the books are still on the table waiting for me. Patricia Cornwall’s two books, Dust and Bone Bed, plus John Sanford’s Silken Prey are awaiting my [...]

Not Your Mother’s Lumberjack

There are certain iconic images that just stick with us. They become the norm, the traditional, the standard and everything that comes later is the ‘new.” If someone says the word lumberjack, what comes to mind? Most people think gruff manly men with beards, suspenders and flannel shirts. Many think hard drinkers, maple syrup, and a big blue ox. (This iconic image was twisted by Monty Python and his skit of “I’m a Lumberjack and I’m Okay” which began by embracing those stereotypes before morphing into cross-dressing. It was shocking and hilarious at the time.) That was then. This is now. So how has the lumberjack changed over time? Beards are more a thing of fashion now, not the weather [...]

Hooked On Romance

It’s pretty hard to remember exactly when I got hooked on romance novels, although the first one I read is easy to recall.  Back in the Dark Ages (when I was a teenager) I remember loving the classic romances Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre (strangely I didn’t read Pride and Prejudice until grad school!) and they were required reading in tenth grade.  I’ve always been a voracious reader, and I remember reading all the Mary Stewart romantic suspense novels and loving them. But the book that sold me completely on romance novels during those teenage years was Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Wolf and the Dove.  I’m sure I picked up the book originally because it was set in the medieval period, [...]

What Makes a Man Sexy?

WHAT MAKES A MAN SEXY? HE’S FUNNY, HE LIKES BABIES, HE PUTS THE TOILET SEAT DOWN I’m a sucker for stories starring heroines who encounter a string of Mr. Wrongs before stumbling over Mr. Right — who’s been there all along. Maybe it’s because I’ve had more than my own share of disastrous dates. Let’s see—there was the guy who nearly bit my hand off when I stole one of his French fries. The fellow who ended up in the emergency room after kissing me—allergic  reaction to my lipstick. The film blogger who took me to a movie, went out for popcorn, and never came back . . . Humiliating as they are at the time,  bad dates make for [...]

Author Chat: TBR List and Giveaway

Kristina Mathews, author of the More Than a Game series, talks to us about what’s on her TBR (to be read) pile.  I don’t remember not knowing how to read. My mom tells stories of how I would impress friends and family by reading my favorite book at age three. I probably had it memorized, but it was a step toward learning how to read. And once I started school, I often had my own reading group, because I was a grade-level or two above the rest of the class. I am still a voracious reader. I read for pleasure almost every night. I read the seventh Harry Potter book in two days. It usually takes me less than a [...]

Awakened ~ Book Two in the Belladonna Agency by Virna DePaul: BookTrailer & Interview!

Perfect for fans of J. R. Ward, Nalini Singh, and Lara Adrian, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Virna DePaul’s thrilling series of paranormal romances invites readers into a seductive and dangerous world where vampires secretly exist among the general population, while the FBI tries to keep the Rogues among them from preying on humans—for killing, for turning, for pleasure.

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July! I know it’s a little early but I always get so excited by the fireworks and parades and the food and the good times that, to me, epitomize summer. Fourth of July always reminds me of when I was a kid. My Grandma owned a house on a lake and every weekend in the summer my mom and dad would pack up the car, hook up the boat and away we would go the lake house. We boated, we ate, we lazed in the sun. It was perfect. Even at the time I knew it was perfect. What I especially remember was July 4, 1976. Yes, that probably dates me but its one of the single [...]

You Can’t Choose Your Family

Weddings are all about the bride and groom, sure. But I have to say, I’m way more intrigued by the families that molded them, guided them, surrounded or wounded them on their way to this monumental step, and that’s why I like my own books to be filled with those big, messy families – the good ones, the not-so-good ones, and sometimes, the ones you would never invite TO the wedding.

A Wicked Fascination – The Truth About History

Hi Romance at Random! Thanks for having me. As a historical romance author, I run across several interesting facts about the era I’m writing in. A historian by profession, I love researching into the topics and find the true depth of that era or person or war or whatever I’m on a mission to discover. It is that drive to find the truth, to portray and interpret the past correctly, to be able to take the reader back there, which makes my stories rich in the past. In my research for my stories, let me give you a hint of what I’ve come across that is fascinating.

A Romance Lover’s Guide to Nantucket

For romance on Nantucket, go in September, when the weather’s warm and the island’s not crowded.  Take the slow ferry. There are six over and back during the day. They take an hour longer than the one-hour fast ferries, but they cost much less, and why hurry when you can lounge out on the upper deck in the sun, watching sailboats, fishing boats, and yachts glide by while sea birds swoop overhead? When you arrive at Nantucket, the first thing you should do is head to the Sunken Ship on Broad Street. Buy yourself a straw hat with a ribbon or flowers to shade your face and provide you with a keepsake to take home. Now walk around the town. [...]

Meet My Book Family – HOLD ON TIGHT (With Sneak Peek!)

Today is release day for Hold on Tight, the story of Jake, a wounded soldier, and Mira, a mother learning to stand on her own two feet. Not quite a year ago, a single sentence changed my life—my agent’s voice on the phone asking, “How would you feel about writing a secret baby book?” Within a day, I knew exactly who my characters were, and just how Mira would feel when Jake showed up in her life—and her son’s—after eight years of fighting in Afghanistan. It took me a little longer to explore what it would be like for Jake, coming home from a hard war, physically altered and deeply affected by what he’d seen and done. Soon, though, I [...]

Throwback Thursday with Loveswept

Throwback Thursday is here and how timely too as Loveswept relaunches Connie Lane’s fun sexy romance books with sexy hot new looks!

Plus – a little note from the author too – here’s Connie:

I don’t know any author who doesn’t await the arrival of their latest cover with a mixture of anticipation and a case of good ol’ fashioned jitters.
Will my characters look the way I picture them? Will the artist catch the tone, the feel of romance, the nuances that make each book different and special?
Thankfully, when “Reinventing Romeo,” “Romancing Riley,” “Guilty Little Secrets” and “Dirty Little Lies” were first published, I was thrilled with the finished products. The covers convey a sense of the mystery that fills the pages as well as the fun, too, in the light-hearted cartoonish drawings.

Diana Gabaldon Fan Retreat Livestream

Saturday, June 7th is the Diana Gabladon Fan Retreat in Seattle, WA. Tickets sold out in 6 minutes! SIX MINUTES! If you didn’t manage to beat out the other rabid fans with your mouse clicking skills, we’ve got you covered. June 7th at 12:30pm EST/9:30am PST, there will be a livestream of Diana’s keynote speech where she will be giving readers a look into the making of WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD (no spoil- ers!) and answering fan questions. Check the RH Youtube Channel for the livestream here.

Jamie and Claire…Oh my! + Giveaway

I remember the first time I heard about Outlander, which was just a few years ago. I must have been the only person on the planet who hadn’t heard of Diana Gabaldon. My critique partner was so excited about this book she’d read. I trust her judgment so I picked up the book. Usually, I don’t care to read about the time period Outlander begins with, but I kept reading, and when I’d finished the entire book, I was hooked.

The Ultimate Book Boyfriend

Those are six of my book boyfriends that I would gladly give up an evening to spend with. It’s a good thing there’s a lot of these guys to go around otherwise I’d probably have to fight a few people off for someone them. And I’d fight dirty too. Hands off the 998th Lord Commander of the Night Watch, yo’.

The ultimate book boyfriend has doesn’t have to be the Alpha Male, but the majority of them are. The best book boyfriends, at least for me, also have to have a code and live by it—even when it’s not convenient or easy for them to do so. I like a hero to have a weakness for the heroine, that bumps up against the lines he has drawn for himself. And that weakness, which we all know is really strength, allows him to become more—better.

My Favorite Historical Fashion – It’s the Shoes

Anyone who knows me at all knows I’m a shoe person. I love shoes. Not impractical five-inch heels, but give me something frou frou or lace trimmed, and I adore them.

With all the glorious historical clothing and accessories, why are shoes my favorite? Have you seen any historical shoes? I’m not talking just vintage, but shoes dating back a few hundred years. Just do a quick search on Pinterest for historical shoes and start drooling.