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Fiction: Tattooed Dedication

As early as I can remember, I have been obsessed with books and reading.  I give credit for my love of reading to my mother, who would sit up and read Dr. Seuss and Minnie Mouse books to me when I couldn’t sleep.  Evidently, I ended up memorizing some of the books and just flipping pages at random times trying to convince her that I could read! When I got to University I realized that reading and writing was all I wanted to do with my life.  This is when I discovered the song Fiction by the Lucksmiths (YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuTM2f1PgQc&list=PLAm8JOTdz76UavcPYJKiwAsEtQjzICXG2) The lyrics spoke to me immediately and I knew this was the perfect way for me to always remember [...]

#HunkDay: Stanley Cup

Happy Hunk Day! As you may know, we’re in the midst of the 2014 Stanley Cup and we’re celebrating with Hockey hunks! Whether you’re rooting for the LA Kings or the NY Rangers, everyone can enjoy the beauty of a gnarly hockey player. And don’t worry we’ve got representation from each side in our post today Check out the rest of the action on our Loveswept Pinterest page and our Romance at Random Facebook and Twitter. Who are you rooting for? Do you have a fave hockey player? 1. First up, NY Ranger Ryan Callahan. Swoon. He’s the East Coast hottie. *Editor’s note: As a commenter pointed out, Ryan Callahan has since been traded from the NY Rangers. But since [...]

An Interview with Author Shiloh Walker PLUS Giveaway!

Larissa Ione, EMT and meteorologist, is author of the New York Times bestselling Demonica series, and is half of the Sydney Croft writing duo. Larissa first met Shiloh Walker online. Then they met in person, possibly in a bar, which they won’t confirm or deny. They hit it off right away and enjoy their friendship—as long as they avoid talking about the medical field, where they both worked and have very definite and sometimes different opinions about the players in the profession. But that’s okay, because there’s plenty of other stuff to talk about, including a love of things spooky, things paranormal, and all things books—the edgier the better. Larissa’s latest book, Azagoth, is a June release. Larissa: Okay, so [...]

#HunkDay: Military Heroes

Happy #HunkDay! Monday was Memorial Day and this past week was Fleet Week in NYC, which means we’ve had military men on the brain. We can hardly resist breaking out of the office to see if we can find a lost sailor in Times Square and “help” them find their way. Part of their appeal is physical, but the other part has to do with the fact that they’ve sacrificed so much to keep our country safe. If that’s not a turn-on, I don’t know what is. Follow the rest of the HunkDay action on our Loveswept Pinterest page and our Romance at Random Facebook and Twitter pages. 1. I feel like this guy has Danger Zone playing around him [...]

Why Do We Love Billionaires? Let Me Count the Ways

There are lots of great tropes in romance, but there’s something extra fun about a story featuring a billionaire. Their wealth affords so many luxuries, and can drive so much conflict, they’re a great character archetype to read and write. So with that in mind, I thought this would be a great time to explore the… Top Five Reasons Romance Readers Love Billionaire Heroes 5. Billionaires Have All the Toys What good is being a billionaire if you don’t have a mansion, yacht, helipad and copter to go with it, along the latest sleek and sexy car? Being a billionaire means the world is your department store and the sticker price doesn’t matter. Want a race horse? Done. Need a [...]

California Dreamin’: My Cowboy Hero

Never mind that I was born and raised on the East Coast: cowboys are my weakness. When I was growing up, if you wanted to see a man who spent his days and nights in the saddle the way I longed to, then you watched western series and movies on TV. I fell in love repeatedly. My first cowboy love was Clint Eastwood in the show Rawhide, a love that was reinforced by the spaghetti westerns he made with director Sergio Leone (For a Fistful of Dollars, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly; For a Few Dollars More). Since I was a kid, my love took an interesting form: I didn’t just want to be the impossibly cool cowboy, [...]

FiveThings I Learned by Appearing On SAY YES TO THE DRESS

Last year was a year of several firsts for me but one that really stands out is my appearance on the reality TV show, Say Yes to the Dress, Atlanta. For the complete story of exactly how I came to be on the show, check out Barbara Vey’s Beyond Her Book Blog, here. Today, I’m sharing  the story of what I learned by agreeing to tape an episode of the show. 1.  When they cast you for the show, the producers send you a big list of dos and don’ts including what to expect. One was don’t wear white or houndstooth. Certain colors and prints aren’t great for the small screen and white and houndstooth are at the top of the [...]

#HunkDay: Wedding Season

This week we’ve been celebrating Wedding Season and we’re keeping the celebration going with a wedding-themed Hunk Day. We know it’s wrong to lust after a man just as he’s about to walk down the aisle, but we’re just looking! And we included some groomsmen pictures because they are totally within bounds! PS: Don’t forget to enter our Wedding Season Week Giveaway! We’re giving away four prizes of wedding planning books from The Knot! a Rafflecopter giveaway Check out the rest of the tuxedo-ed and suited up hunks on our Romance at Random Facebook and Twitter  pages and our Loveswept Pinterest. 1. We don’t care what he’s looking at if it’s making him smile like that!  Photo courtesy of elizabethannedesigns.com 2. That [...]

Inside #RT14 – Best T-shirt Shop – Fleurty Girl

We came across Fleurty Girl while exploring the French Quarter and had to come in when we saw their “Fifty Shades of Cray” t-shirt! In addition to their play off the E.L. James’ best seller, they have more creative NOLA inspired t-shirts. Check out their full collection at Fleurty Girl French Quarter (632 St. Peter Street New Orleans, LA 70116 504.304.5529) or visit them online at FleurtyGirl.net and use the following code to get $5 off any purchase of $25 or more! Code: LOUIS9143 Expires 6/30/14 *Online orders only. Not valid in-store. Not to be combined with any other offer.

Inside #RT14 – It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Falls in Love

Lucky readers at the It’s All Fun and Games until Someone Falls in Love panel got the chance to play a love trivia game side by side with Loveswept, Ballantine and Bantam authors. And who could possibly be better at love trivia than writers and readers who live, breathe, and eat romance–it was the ultimate battle of romance knowledge. If you didn’t get a chance to stop by the panel, we can still bring the game to you, so play along with these sample questions! Make your guesses and then highlight the brackets to see the answer. No cheating! 1. Which romantic television mystery show included this quote in it’s opening sequence “Try this for a deep, dark secret” (REMINGTON [...]

Inside #RT14 – Cover Model Karaoke

Cover models DeLonn Donovan, C.J. Hollenbach, Charles Paz (2009 Mr. Romance Winner), and Shane Rice followed dancing with karaoke! Check out this video of Charles Paz rocking out to Pink’s “So What” on our Facebook page. We promise you won’t want to miss this!

Inside #RT14 – Dancing with the Hunks

Dancing with the Stars meets RT! Hosts Jenni Dinh (Bitten By Love Reviews), Tina Wainscott (aka. Jamie Rush), and Julie Ann Walker invited cover models DeLonn Donovan, C.J. Hollenbach, Charles Paz (2009 Mr. Romance Winner), and Shane Rice to partner up with some very lucky RT attendees to show off their dance skills. Congrats to the first place winners Fleurette Benoit and DeLonn Donovan! Loveswept author/judge Tina Wainscott with cover models Shane Rice and C.J. Hollenbach. Group Practice The Judges The Winners Fleurette Benoit and DeLonn Donovan

Inside #RT14 – A Taste of New Orleans – Pralines Recipe

  We like our romances sweet, and our pralines sweeter! At Mardi Gras Carnivale Random House sponsored the pralines table, and we couldn’t have enough of the delicacy–they’re so delicious that we wanted to share the sweetness with our readers, courtesy of the New Orleans School of Cooking! If you’re in town for the convention and need a taste of New Orleans, you have to stop by–it’s one of the must-see foodie stops in the city, featuring cooking classes with hometown chefs and a general store chock-full of ingredients that are special to the area. For readers who can’t make it to NOLA, Gretchen Erickson of The New Orleans School of Cooking shared her knowledge of pralines and the perfect recipe [...]

Inside #RT14 – Get Your Palm Read

We couldn’t visit New Orleans with out stopping by the world famous Bottom Of The Cup Tea Room to get our palms read. There we caught up with Tom Mullen, the third generation owner of Bottom of the Cup, who filled us in on the history, gave us an overview of the services offered, and clued us in on how certain crystals can help improve a writer’s creative process. Bottom of the Cup (327 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130) Psychic Readings 10 A.M to 6 P.M Central Time. Phone Readings, Appointments or Information call:1-800-729-7148 How long has Bottom of the Cup Tea Room been around and what makes it world famous? Bottom of the Cup was opened in January [...]

Spring Clean Your Beauty Bag

Remember when you decided boysenberry lipstick was your true color? Then wore it once. There was also that time you declared turquoise to be the best eye shadow for summer—and never applied it past the 4th of July? It happens all the time. We try new shades, colors, and creams—some work, some don’t, and yet they all make a home in our beauty bag. Just like ridding your closet of old clothes, cleaning your makeup bag is necessary and therapeutic.   Quarterly Cleaning “Cleaning out your bag every season is the way to go,” says Emily Aznavourian, makeup artist and owner of Cheekadee Makeup Artists. “As far as purging specific products, it depends. The general rule is that if it [...]

Inside #RT14 – Romance Mardi Gras

RT brought the Mardi Gras spirit to convention goers last night with larger than life floats, a parade, and a dance party. Romance authors tossed coveted purple, gold and green beaded necklaces into the fan-filled crowds–and all the crowd had to do was cheer, scream, and show their… enthusiasm! (Yes, enthusiasm. Keeping it classy!) After the parade, the party-goers celebrated in the main events space, complete with amazing live music and local cuisine, with each dish sponsored by a different publisher. It was the perfect spot for convention goers to get the ultimate food tour in a single night–gumbo, jambalaya, beignets, rice and beans–everything your stomach needs to know about New Orleans! Here are some teaser pics–for the full gallery, [...]

#HunkDay: Hot Guys in Hot Cars

Welcome to another glorious Hunk Day! We know it’s wrong to judge people by material goods, but we just can’t help ourselves when it comes to men and their cars. There’s something so sexy about a hot guy with a cool car. And a sexy car could be anything from a shiny convertible to a muddy truck–we’re not discriminating!  We’re also not about to discriminate against the people who don’t ride in the cars, but instead, fix them. Because a dude with a little bit of oil on his hands, leaned over the hood of a car–now that’s hot! Find the rest of the hunks on our Romance at Random Facebook and Twitter and our Loveswept Pinterest page. Do you [...]

Catch us at the RT Booklovers Convention in New Orleans!

Sexy, sultry New Orleans is about to get even hotter! Romance lovers are converging on the city for one of the year’s biggest reader celebrations, the RT Booklovers Convention. Attendees get the inside scoop on hot books on the horizon, meet their favorite authors in person, and party New Orleans-style alongside other avid romance readers! Need some help navigating the show? Below is a full list of Random House author events so you can find your favorite writers, and check out the full convention agenda, too!  Can’t make it to the party this year? Follow our Inside RT updates here at Romance at Random, and on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll bring the party to you! Happy #RT14! Laissez les bons temps rouler!   Tuesday, [...]

Group Sex: The Art of the Erotic Romance Anthology

Writing is usually a solitary endeavor. Just you, your computer and those people in your head who won’t shut up. Some days, those people are good to you. Some days, you want to pull your hair out trying to get them to talk. And then when you send your finished baby out into the world, all that pressure for success rests squarely on your shoulders. But wait, there’s another option: Rope your friends into writing an anthology! Now, you have three other people to share the crazy with you. And that’s how ONE NIGHT ONLY… came to be. I have to say, the idea wasn’t really mine. In November 2012, Olivia Cunning invited me to an original anthology with her, [...]

THE TAILGATE by Elin Hilderbrand

The Tailgate is a short story set in the 1980s as a prequel to Hilderbrand’s upcoming present-day novel, The Matchmaker (June 24, Little, Brown). In the beginning, a few things slowed my enthusiasm: Hilderbrand is so skilled at capturing the nuances of marriage and adulthood, of playing with the complications that come with a mature life, it feels like her hands are tied writing such young characters. Dabney is incredibly fragile, and it’s irritating. But  just when I’m thinking this story doesn’t have any teeth – bam! It got me. Dabney Kimball and Clendenin Hughes have been inseparable since freshman year of high school “the same person in two different bodies.”  Now they are at Harvard and Yale respectively, and [...]

#HunkDay: Guys Working Out

There’s nothing I love more than taking a stroll around the park in the late spring and early fall. And it’s not because of the fresh air or sunshine. No, it’s because all the dudes have finally returned to working out in the open air. Which means (if I time it right) I can see the after-work cardio and ab routines of the hotties in my neighborhood Since it’s the middle of the day, and I’m at my desk instead of at the outdoor track in the park, I’ve collected a list of hunks working out for today’s wonderful Hunk Day. Enjoy! Follow the rest of the #HunkDay action on our Romance at Random Facebook and Twitter accounts and our [...]

Scandal, Society & Historical Romance

I was inspired to write my debut historical romance after a visit to the splendid Morris-Jumel Mansion, located in New York City’s Washington Heights. Imagine an estate from Alabama or Georgia, complete with solid white columns and lush gardens, dropped onto the island of Manhattan, and you’ll get a good idea of the place. Startling, to say the least. But even stranger than the existence of the house was the story of the woman who lived there through the 1800s. Eliza Jumel was born into poverty in Providence, Rhode Island as the daughter of a prostitute, and used her beauty and wit to become the richest woman in New York City by the time of her death in 1865, at [...]

How I Found My Perfect Hero

I love a suited-up billionaire as much as the next gal. But for my first New Adult novel, RUIN ME, I was inspired by the idea of a different type of hero. And he’s based on some real life men (and women)  who are doing thrilling things every night in the streets of cities around the world: street artists. About a year ago, I watched a documentary called Exit Through the Gift Shop about a mysterious British artist named Banksy. He became famous by painting the sides of buildings under the cover of night, producing beautiful art that was meant to provoke and inspire. He ultimately went on to create sculpture installations, and sneaking his artwork onto the walls of [...]

L. Marie Adeline Reveals her S.E.C.R.E.T.S

In anticipation of the release of the final book in the erotic SECRET series, author L. Marie Adeline has answered some of the questions we had about writing erotica, how to keep plots exciting and more. Find her SECRET series here.  Q. How does it feel to be publishing SECRET Revealed, the final book in the SECRET series? A. Exhilarating, satisfying, quite sad. I can hardly believe it’s over. I remember working on the first draft of book two, SECRET Shared, and thinking, I will never be able to do this. When I was almost done with that draft, there was talk of a final book three, and I was filled with self-doubt. And yet, I knew I’d need the time to tell the whole story [...]

Hockey Players ARE Sexy!

Okay, I admit… it’s true. When I was first introduced to the sport of hockey, I never saw the players as hot. Or sexy. Or as imminently lickable.

In fact, my first NHL game was when my dad took me to see his beloved (and now my beloved) Pittsburgh Penguins about twenty-five years ago. I had never seen a game before in my life and I remember being enthralled when one of the players took a puck to the chin. He bled all over the ice as he calmly skated over to his bench. I was most impressed when the refs started kicking at the frozen blood to get it off the ice. They made a big pile of frozen, blood slush and kicked it into the back of one of the nets. From that day forward, I was hooked on the sport.

7 Things To Say To The Man In Your Life

Whether your marriage still feels like the newlywed stage, or you’re feeling like college roommates these days, there’s always room for improvement in relationships. To help you ramp up your relationship, we talked to sex and relationship expert Reid Mihalko, Reidaboutsex.com, for his tips on what to say to your guy to strengthen your connection and ramp up the romance in your relationship. One of Mihalko’s relationship courses, the Romance Home Run course helps his clients identify their partner’s “love language” (from Dr. Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages) and how to show love in a way that resonates with their partner so they feel cared for.   1. Tell him he’s doing a good job in the relationship. Men [...]

#HunkDay: Firefighters

Happy #HunkDay: Firefighters edition. When these guys aren’t putting out fires, they’re fanning the flames of our passions…and it’s pretty obvious why. They’re strong, courageous and have dedicated their lives to saving other people’s lives. Not to mention they’re in great shape There’s nothing I love more than walking by a firehouse while they’re cleaning off the truck or tidying up in the evening. It’s like looking into a secret club. Choosing the pictures for the hunks below felt the same: a peek into the exclusive group of super sexy firefighters. Be still my heart! Check out the rest of the action on our Romance at Random Facebook and Twitter and Loveswept’s Pinterest page. 1.  Abs and arms and pecs, [...]

Of Monsters and Men

When I ended the Dark Warrior series after 14.5 books that included six books in the Dark Sword series, I still wasn’t ready to let go of the world I created. Luckily, my publisher asked me to spin off the DW series and the Dragon Kings were born! I wanted to call the series Dragon Kings, because, well, that’s what they are, but because it’s a spin off series, they wanted to stay with the “Dark” theme, which is where the Dark Kings series name came from. If you’ve read any of the Dark Sword or Dark Warrior books, you know I love Scotland. There’s just something about a guy in a kilt with that brogue that does it to [...]

Regency Romps and Valerie Bowman’s Odd Inspiration

I have a confession to make. My latest novel, The Unexpected Duchess, (which comes out today!) was inspired by my intense desire to break up with my friend’s boyfriend for her. Okay, okay. So it was actually more than one friend. The fact is that right around the time I was thinking up a brand new Regency romance series, I had two different friends whose boyfriends were acting like colossal jerks. On more than one occasion I’d say to either of my friends, “Just give me the phone and I’ll break up with him for you!” Of course, my friends never took me up on my offer. Hmm. Seems it was much easier for me, with no emotional involvement, to [...]

Guess What Day it Is? Kiss Your Mate Day – So This is How You Do It

Honestly – it would be terrible if we didn’t offer up some instruction to this special holiday — not that we all don’t know how to kiss – but it’s fun to see how the Hollywood ‘experts’ do it – – – – – Photo courtesy of weregonnaneedabiggerblog.com Remember Friends? Ross & Rachel had it down!  Photo courtesy of filmfoodie.blogspot.com And really, Rhett did not really give a damn.  I’m not sure who these people are but they seem to have the swing of it.  Photo courtesy of telegraph.com 1933: Grace Bradley prepares to kiss a reluctant Charles Farrell (1901-1988)  Photo courtesy of dailymail.com Selena Gomez Humiliated for Kissing Justin Bieber On Camera  That should do it – a few [...]