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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.

Pacific Northwest Summer Gardening Tips

Pots of Pelargoniums Until Frost  Nothing says “summer” like a pot of scarlet pelargoniums on the porch. These old-fashioned plants with their scalloped, pungent leaves sport flowers that look like bright lollipops on thin stems. They can be grown in containers or set in garden beds and their distinctive upright form plays well off soft mounds of companion plants. Pelargonium is the scientific name for what gardeners generally called geraniums; they have been popular in America since the late eighteenth century when Thomas Jefferson had plants shipped from France for his gardens at Monticello. In formal parks and gardens they are used in “bedding out” schemes, with blocks of red geraniums bordered by royal blue lobelia, and perhaps a tall [...]

You-Never-Know Day Also Known As National Waffle Iron Day

I’m a big fan of unique holidays, especially if they can be celebrated with cupcakes. Then again, any holiday is a call for cupcakes, right? Unfortunately for my hips, any day can also BE a holiday. June alone has National Doughnut Day (the 6th), National Splurge Day (the 18th), and Blame Someone Else Day (the 13th). I think I might have to celebrate all of them.

My favorite holiday of all time, though, is one I don’t see on any official list. It was invented by Hank Phillippi Ryan (yes, she of Emmy, Agatha, and Macavity fame), and is so sweet it might give you a cavity. . . . .

Pirating: It’s Not Gender Specific & Here’s Why

Female pirates are not a new thing to sailing. They’ve been around since, well, since sailing began, I daresay. There was Teuta of Illyria who, back in 231 BC, went up against the Roman Empire and won. In 1485 Sayyida al Hurra attacked Christian ships after her entire family was forced from their homes by Christians. After Jeanne-Louise de Belleville’s husband was captured and executed by the French government in 1343, a furious Jeanne-Louise sold her body and her land to purchase three warships. She painted the ships black and dyed the sails red and wreaked havoc on the king of France’s ships. Britain’s navy quailed in the face of Ching Shih, a female Chinese pirate who was in charge [...]

Happy Book Birthday ~ DREAMWEAVER TRAIL by Emily March is Here

Happy Book Birthday to Emily March and her next book in the Eternity Springs series. Over the Memorial Day weekend we drove through many a small town on our way to our destination and the thing I love about small towns is that there is always something quaint and new and in Emily’s new book, Dreamweaver Trail, this also holds true. This is Emily’s 9th book in her Eternity Springs series and the question we asked her to answer for us today, on her book’s birthday, is what does she like most about being a writer . . . . . enjoy!! Emily: Readers often ask me what I like best about being a writer. Going to work in my [...]

Some Of My Favorite Quotes . . . OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon

Happy Memorial Day everyone! In honor of our heroes everywhere, past and present, I hope you enjoy your day and remember the importance of freedom and all that have and will sacrifice the ultimate to keep our country safe. Fortunately, the weather is gorgeous here and I’m enjoying a fun day with family — BBQ on the ready For some reason, I started thinking about past historical heroes and because of my anxious anticipation of Outlander, Diana Gabaldon’s time travel phenomena, Jamie Fraser popped into my mind and his funny quote — one of many — when Claire admitted having come from the future, and Jamie said, “It would ha’ been a good deal easier, if ye’d only been a [...]

Northeastern Summer Gardening Tips

Gardener cooks would do well to remember this twist on an old saying – keep your vegetables close and your herbs closer. At the end of the day, dinner preparations can be had in only a few steps when you keep the ingredients on the patio or near to the back door – along with ornamental flowers and shrubs. Summer may not be a vacation for everyone, but fresh and handy edibles and herbs can make cooking a delight instead of drudgery. The star of the show when it comes to combining edibles with flowers is Tuscan kale (‘Nero di Tuscana’). The leaves – up to 10 inches long and about 3 inches wide – are almost black and a [...]

Winner Announced – Interview: C.C. Hunter, New York Times Bestselling Young Adult author + $25 EGC Giveaway

Thanks for joining C.C. and I today! C.C. is giving away a $25 Amazon card to anyone who answers the question: What piece of advice would you give your teen self? Answer below and a winner will be randomly chosen – good luck! ****Our Winner is . . .pamwright2913 — she has been contacted to claim her prize – thanks all for blogging!! Me: I’ve heard you were asked to write a young adult series and you weren’t actually writing or reading in that genre at the time. How did you pull it off? CC: It was like cramming for finals. In about three weeks, I read twenty YA books. Then, I took a long trip down memory lane to [...]

I Cannot Believe It Is Finally On Sale ~ SHATTERED

Life throws you curve balls and only the strong survive. Ash is one of those guys and Tansy is one of those girls. . .

Wild, fun, and impulsive, Tansy is a cancer survivor who spent the past several years waiting to die — now, cancer-free, Tansy has a fresh perspective on life and that means making the most of her time while she still can.

When the story starts their chemistry is intense. Both characters deal with trauma no adult should have to deal with at such a young age —- Tansy has already picked up the pieces of her shattered life, can she help Ash do the same?

Romantic, emotional, life-changing — yes, this story makes you appreciate the simple things and cheer for the strongest couple ever!!

Don’t miss this fantastic story – the second book in the Extreme Risk series, on sale now -

Midwestern Summer Gardening Tips

A Bit Of Shade  Shade from a tree helps cool the house in summer, offering a cool respite on a hote day, but not every property has room for a stately elm or spreading oak. Where space is limited by the size of the property or other obstacles, seek out a tree that suits the space – perhaps one that grows up more than out or, in contrast, a tree that is wider than tall. Here are a few examples. Round tree canopies throw an even shade – watch the circle throughout the day as it moves across the grass or patio – and suit a garden with as much vertical space as horizontal. The hedge maple (Acer campestre) grows [...]

WINNERS ANNOUNCED – WILD WAYS: The Top 5 Things I Love About Navy SEALS + Giveaway!!

Have you met the J-Men yet? Get the intro in WILD HEARTS, a quick way to meet all the guys and find out what they’re all about; WILD ON YOU gives you the skinny on Risk *sigh*; and now WILD WAYS, Julian’s story! Read about his search for a missing woman amongst motorcycle chaos and criminals testing Julian’s mega-SEAL qualities *hot*!

Southern Summer Gardening Tips

Both the garden and the gardener can begin to look a bit limp in the heat of summer. Late winter has its burst of snapdragons and in early spring the Lady Banks roses perfume the air. But come the warmer days, what’s the garden to do? Include plants that keep up appearances no matter what the temperature and then take your iced tea out to the veranda and relax. Heat tolerant roses mean that their lush look and enticing fragrance can be had over many months. ‘Julia Child’, a repeat-flowering floribunda named after the famous chef, blooms with full golden flowers that carry scents of licorice. Floribundas produce many flowers per stem and can create a mountain of bloom – [...]