Tuesday, July 30, 2013

When Words Collide and More!

Look at all these pretty print copies of
Devin's Second Chance!  :)
I'm getting ready for the When Words Collide Conference

Last night, I worked on the Writing Sexual Tension workshop that I'm co-teaching with Sarah Kades on August 9th from 9-12.  Sarah was interviewed yesterday about the workshop yesterday on CBC. (Click here to hear the podcast.)  You still have time to sign up for the workshop!  Deadline is tomorrow!!!

And, I have print copies of Devin's Second Chance

Some of these print copies are earmarked for my Goodreads giveaway that is currently underway (the ebook giveaway on LibraryThing is also still going), but the rest will be going with me to the conference, where I'll be signing and selling copies at the ARWA table. (My signing time is still TBD.)

Then, on Saturday, August 10th, at noon, I'll be on a panel talking about "For the Love of Romance" with my wonderful fellow ARWAnians: Sarah Kades, Jessica Jackson and Roxy Boroughs

This is going to be a fabulous and fun weekend! 

I can't wait!  And, I hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

J.M. Stewart - What to Read Thursday!

What will you be reading next?  Do you need a recommendation?

Welcome to What to Read Thursday!

"What to Read Thursday" is posted every other Thursday (for previous posts, click here.) The focus of these Thursdays is on romance novels. Sub-genres of romance are welcome, but Happily-Ever-Afters (or Happy-For-Now) endings are mandatory! :-)  The authors are given approximately twelve questions, from which they choose five to answer.

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This week, I'm thrilled to welcome J.M. Stewart to my blog!  I first met J.M. through the now defunct Six Sentence Sunday blog hop, where she posted wonderful excerpts from her books.  Today, she is talking about her latest release, Her Knight in Black Leather--how sexy is that title?--and I can't wait to learn all about it!  You'll be happy you stopped by--her blurb and excerpt are...well...tantalizing!

Okay, let's get this party started!

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What was your inspiration for this story?
Love this sexy cover! *swoon*

Believe it or not, Her Knight in Black Leather began as the sequel to The Playboy's Baby. The hero, Michael Brant, originally started as Logan James. But I got to the end of the story and it didn’t feel right, it didn’t feel complete somehow. So, I went in and I started fleshing him out, but again, I got to the end and it still didn’t feel right. So, on an odd hunch, I changed his name. That’s when he really came to life.

So, really, the inspiration was Logan, who is Dillon’s big brother in The Playboy’s Baby. He wasn’t all that well fleshed out in TPB, which I think is half the problem. But I started out with the vague knowledge that Michael had a past that haunted him, something dark. The rest just…ended up on the page.

Lorraine: I love that he just kept nagging you until you listened!  Isn't it amazing how important a name is?  I have a heroine who I thought was named Vivian, but who came to convince me her name was actually Chloe.  LOL

Where / when did you set your story and why?
When I changed the setting of this story, I decided to base it on a small seaside town our family visited one summer a few years ago. Tired of the endless clouds we get in Seattle, we hopped in our RV one day and headed for the beach, hoping to find some sun. We made camp at an RV park in Astoria, Oregon. The beach was about a half hour’s drive, but you could see the ocean from the center of town. Driving through that town as we searched for the RV park, I fell in love with the place. I remembering thinking to myself, “Someday, I’m going to set a book here.” So, when I needed a new setting, I knew exactly where I wanted to set it.

By the way, when Her Knight first came out, I wrote an article on the setting for Crimson’s editor blog. If you’d like read it and see a couple of pictures, it’s here: http://www.crimsonromance.com/featured/the-beach-the-american-northwest-and-the-setting-for-her-knight-in-black-leather/

Lorraine: Oh!  That sounds wonderful!  We keep talking about doing a trip along the Oregon coast! I've just purchased your book and when I read it, that might just seal the deal!  ;)  We are heading north in our RV this year, but maybe next year...

What was the last romance novel you added to your “keeper” pile or list?
Saving Gideon, by Amy Lillard. It’s an Amish romance. I see Amy in my romance groups a lot. She was at one time a fellow Wild Rose Press author, and her taglines about Amish romance always drew me. I’ve always found different cultures fascinating and when I looked up the book on Amazon, I was hooked. It’s a keeper for me, mostly because it has all the elements I love in a book—realistic characters that draw me in and make me love them. It’s a sweet romance, so no sex, and the entire book revolves around the developing romance.

The hero, Gideon, is my kind of hero—he’s soft around the edges, a really good man with a good heart, and I fell in love with him along with the heroine. He’s a wounded hero, and his story really tugged on my heartstrings. In the end, Amy made me cry. She broke my heart, got me invested in her characters, in their lives. I haven’t started the next book yet, but I plan to.

Lorraine: I haven't read an Amish romance yet, but, like you, I've been drawn to some taglines... I'll have to check this one out! 

What’s next?  Do you have another story on your desk you’d like to tease us with?
Oh geez, I have so many projects up in the air right now, so, I’ll just tell you about the next two. I just signed a two book contract with Berkley’s digital first line, Intermix. They’re re-printing a previously published book. My first book, actually. I’ve revised it and it’s about to re-edited. Along with the sequel (which has never been published). So, if anybody read my debut novel, Staking His Claim, it’s gotten (well, getting) a new title and being reprinted, along with the sequel.

They’re not scheduled to be out for a while yet, though. We haven’t started editing yet, but they’re tentatively scheduled to release in September and December (respectively) of 2014. But…these are set in the state of Washington, around where I live actually, and the books revolve around a family. Book 1 is Kyle and Ceci’s book. It’s a best-friends romance. Kyle and Ceci grew up together. She was literally the girl next door. Kyle’s in love with her, but he’s keeping a secret from her that jeopardizes their lifelong friendship.

Book 2 is Kyle’s baby sister, Becca. Hers is a second-chances story. She and the hero Jackson have just finalized their divorce when Becca’s rental house burns down, forcing her to stay with Jackson, for the sake of their six year old daughter. Jackson sees it as the opportunity to do what he should have done all along—make his wife fall in love with him all over again and convince her to give him a second chance. And he’s only got a month to do it. ;)

The heroine of the second book is unique for me. She’s my first kick-ass heroine (if you’ll excuse my language). Literally. Becca is a 4th degree black belt and owns her own dojo. It was quite a fun book to write. Becca’s feisty and Jackson is just the man to flip it back at her.

Anyway, we haven’t even started the editing yet, but I’ll be updating my website with news (titles, blurbs, covers, etc) as soon as I get any!

Lorraine: You are busy!  :) Congratulations on your upcoming books!  I love your premises!  I can't wait until they are released!

Earth, Air, Water, Fire or Metal?
Water. I am most definitely a water element girl. Completely emotional. Put me on the beach beside the ocean and I’m completely at home. Call me strange, but some day, when I’m old and gray, I want to live in an RV on the beach. I think that would just be heaven.

Lorraine: That sounds perfect.  It isn't the ocean, but I drive over a lake every day, and it is certainly one of the best things about my commute!  Just looking at it for that short stretch is a peaceful interlude each day.

~~~~~

The lovely J.M. Stewart!
ABOUT J.M. STEWART:
J.M. Stewart writes sweet and heartwarming contemporary romance with a touch of passion. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the Great Rainy Northwest with her husband of sixteen years and their two sons. She’s a hopeless romantic who believe everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her passion.



WHERE TO FIND J.M. STEWART:
Website /Blog /Twitter /Facebook /Pinterest

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BOOK BLURB

Cat Edwards has spent her life playing the wallflower in an effort to escape the repressive weight of her mother’s tarnished name. Dragged to a bar by her best friend in an effort to forget a broken heart, the shy bookworm is determined to be someone else for the night, but quickly gets in over her head. She discovers chivalry isn’t dead after all when a mysterious stranger comes to her rescue. He’s wearing black leather and a mischievous smile that promises to be exactly what she needs.

When his terminally ill father suffers a setback, Michael Brant returns to the town he swore ten years ago he’d never return to. He’s come home this time determined to make peace with the past, but being home brings up memories he doesn’t want to remember anymore. His first night in town, he’s captured by a damsel in distress. Cat’s beauty is made all the more alluring when he realizes she has no idea who he is. He can’t resist spending a single night in her arms. With her, he’s only a man, disconnected from his family’s name and the past that haunts him here. 

As the town erupts with the news of his return, Michael’s dark past comes back to haunt him, putting Cat in danger. Someone is threatening her life and the life of her family. Desperate to keep history from repeating itself, Michael offers her his family’s name in order to keep her safe. When the lie spirals beyond their control, can they stop their hearts from becoming entangled as well?

~~~~~

BUY LINKS FOR Her Knight in Black Leather
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
iTunes
Kobo
All Romance eBooks

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EXCERPT (5-15 Sentences):

“Forgive me.” As he bent down to her eye level, his eyes burned into hers, a hidden meaning in the dark depths she couldn’t quite grasp. She couldn’t concentrate much past the fact his face was now a scant inch from hers. His soft, warm breath fanned her lips, and her gaze zeroed in on the mouth that had sent delicious sensations thrumming through her body barely a minute ago.

Before she could ponder what on earth he meant or come up with a proper response, he took their charade a step further.

He kissed her.

~~~~~

Have you ever fallen in love with a place after just driving through?  Are you drawn to the water too? 

Monday, July 22, 2013

GIVEAWAYS! You could win!!!

If you are a member of LibraryThing or Goodreads, you are in luck!

You can enter to WIN a copy of Devin's Second Chance!
 
There are TWO giveaways running right now!

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(1) You can enter to win an eBook copy at www.librarything.com
(Enter to win before August 17, 2013)
 
OR
 
(2) You can enter to win a signed paperback copy at www.goodreads.com
(Enter to win before September 7, 2013)

~~~~~
 
Good luck!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Today I'm being interviewed by Donna Cummings!

Today I'm off visiting exotic blogging locales!
(Photo from my trip to Bermuda)

Woo hoo!

Today Donna Cummings is interviewing me on her blog!  I'm so excited about this! I had Donna on my blog in June, and we had a great time so I'm looking forward to being over at her place today for her Friday Friends Feature!

I can already smell the coffee brewing, can't you?

See you at Donna's! Click here to go there.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

12 TV Couples with the Best Sexual Tension

Sexual Tension: When you are dying for the couple to
have their first kiss!
I have been working on my Writing Sexual Tension Workshop for When Words Collide Conference,
which will be held in Calgary on August 9th, and having so much fun with the topic! 

My part of the ARWA sponsored workshop looks at story structure and more of the "big picture" end of things, and Sarah Kades, who is teaching the workshop with me, will be addressing the detail-oriented aspects of writing sexual tension.  The workshop will be held August 9th from 9 am to noon.  It is only $10 and you don't have to be signed up for the When Words Collide conference to attend our workshop!  (Although you should sign up for the conference too, because it'll be great!)

As I work through my presentation, I keep thinking about couples from television shows. 

Which couple do you think has (or had) the best sexual tension? Here are a few couples I came up with, in no particular order:

  1. Maddie and David (Moonlighting)
  2. Ross and Rachel (Friends)
  3. Tony and Ziva (NCIS)
  4. Castle and Beckett (Castle)
  5. House and Cuddy (House)
  6. Booth and Bones (Bones)
  7. Daphne and Niles (Frasier)
  8. Mulder and Scully (X-Files)
  9. Remington Steele and Laura Holt (Remington Steele)
  10. Sam and Diane (Cheers)
  11. Luke and Lorelai (Gilmore Girls)
  12. Detective Murdoch and Doctor Ogden (Murdoch Mysteries)

My favorite is probably... oh, hell, I don't know.  I was aching for each of those couples to have their first touch, their first kiss...

Which TV couple do you think has (had) the best sexual tension?  (Doesn't have to be listed above.)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Paula Martin - What to Read Thursday!

What will you be reading next?  Do you need a recommendation? 

Welcome to What to Read Thursday! 

“What to Read Thursday” is posted every other Thursday (For previous posts, click here.)  The focus of these Thursdays will be on romance novels.  Sub-genres of romance are welcome, but Happily-Ever-After (or Happy-For-Now) endings are mandatory.  :)  The authors are given approximately twelve questions, from which they choose five to answer. 

~~~~~

This week, I'm thrilled to welcome Paula Martin to my blog!  I first met Paula through the now defunct Six Sentence Sunday blog hop, where she posted wonderful excerpts from her books.  Today, Paula is talking about her latest release, Dream of Paris, and I can't wait to learn all about it!


What a beautiful cover!
Blurb for Dream of Paris: 

Anna Richards has a dream of going to live and study in Paris, but when Matthew Carlton comes into her life, her dream changes direction. Attraction sparks between them, but Matt’s behaviour is strangely inconsistent. Anna is shocked when she discovers the reason and is sure there is no future for them. Can Paris work its magic and make her dream come true?

You can find all of Paula's books on Amazon through her Author Profile: Paula Martin

BUY LINKS FOR DREAM OF PARIS: Amazon eBook | Print Book

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Lorraine: Thank you, Paula, for joining me on my blog today. Okay, let's get started...
  
Question 1: Is there a particular song you associate with this story?  If so, what is it and why?

Paula: There are actually two songs, both linked with Paris and France 'Under the Bridges of Paris' (which actually sounds much more romantic when sung in French!) and the emotional 'J'Attendrai' (I will wait) which the hero give to the heroine when she is about to go to Paris for a year.  It's a beautiful song son, needless to say, it brings tears to my heroine's eyes.

Lorraine: Doesn't everything sound romantic when sung in French? ;)  I'm not familiar with either of those songs... I'll have to track them down!

Question 2: What was your inspiration for this story?

Paula: The beautiful city of Paris. I first went there when I was in my teens, and have been back more times than I can count, but it’s still as magical as the first time I saw it. The Ile de la Cite with the beautiful Gothic cathedral of Notre Dame is my favourite part of the city, and so that plays a significant part in the story.

Lorraine: It has been a long, long time since I visited Paris, but Notre Dame is still so clear in my mind. What an awe-inspiring cathedral - I can understand why you'd choose to have it play a significant part in the story.

Question 3: What did you enjoy the most about writing this story?

Paula: I enjoyed 're-visiting' Paris in my mind.  Although it's several years since I was last there, I could picture all the places I wrote about as clearly as if I'd been there yesterday.  I hope the readers will get a flavour of Paris as they read the story.  Writing it definitely made me long to go back there again.

Lorraine: That's wonderful!  I can't wait to re-live Paris through your characters' experiences! 

Question 4: Where did you set your story and why?

Paula: As I've said, Paris plays an important part in the story, but part of it is also set in a school in England where both the hero and heroine are teachers.  As I used to be a teacher, I felt I would be familiar with the background setting.  However, it's nearly twenty years since I took early retirement from teaching (and schools have changed a lot since then), so I had to check out a few things with my daughter who is now a teacher.  She gave me some ideas about current initiatives and problems in schools, and also checked that what I had written was realistic!

Lorraine: I'm sure there have been a few changes in twenty years, but some things have probably stayed the same too, right?  It is great that your daughter could help with your research!

Question 5: What's next?  Do you have another story on your desk you'd like to tease us with?

Paula: I've just finished the first draft of a new story called 'Irish Inheritance' - set mainly in Ireland, of course, as that is another of my favourite places.  Here's the 'blurb' English actress Jenna Sutton and American artist Guy Sinclair first meet when they jointly inherit a house on the west coast of Ireland. Curious about their unknown benefactress and why they are both considered as 'family', they gradually work out their links to the original owners of the house. While they gradually uncover a nineteenth century love story, they struggle against their mutual attraction to each other. The two lovers in the past were destined not to have a happy ending, and it seems the same will happen to their two descendants - or will it?

Lorraine: Oh! That sounds intriguing!  What a great premise!  I can't wait to read it!  And, I've never been to Ireland, so I'd love to read about your characters' experiences there too!
~~~~~

Excerpt for Dream of Paris:

After crossing the main road that skirted the Seine, they descended the stone staircase to the walkway along the river, and slowed to a standstill as they drew level with the south transept of the cathedral, with its huge rose window. The streetlights reflected like silver pools in the river and, under the floodlights, the towers, spires, and flying buttresses of the cathedral stood in sharp relief to the dark sky.

Anna gazed across the river. “It simply defies description, doesn’t it? All that stonework and carving, and all done by hand, too."

Matt's hand tightened around hers, but when he didn’t reply, she turned to him. The soft heat that simmered in his eyes depths made the hairs on her skin stand on end. Everything inside her did a double somersault, but she stayed motionless, mesmerised as he leant towards her.

Slowly, almost hesitantly, his lips brushed hers, in a brief and tender connection that sent warm pulses of pleasure dancing through her. When he moved fractionally away, she brought her hand up to grasp his arm. He let out a quiet groan and his mouth returned to hers, now intense and hungry.

Stunned for a split second, she clutched his shoulders as her whole body weakened. He wrapped one arm around her while the other slid into the hair at the back of her head, pulling her closer to him. The tip of his tongue explored her lips and ignited every nerve in her body. Closing her eyes, she returned his kiss, relaxing her mouth and letting her tongue meet his in a sensual union.

Tendrils of desire sprawled down into her depths, and she melted against him, gripping his arms as she slipped into some kind of oblivion where nothing else existed except him. This kiss she’d dreamed about was a million times more arousing than anything in her dreams, and time stood still.

~~~~~

About the Author:

Paula Martin had some early publishing success in her twenties with short stories and four contemporary romance novels, but then had a break from writing while she brought up a young 
The lovely Paula Martin
family and also pursued her career as a history teacher for twenty-five years.


She has recently returned to writing fiction, after retiring from teaching, and has had five romance novels published since June 2011.

She lives near Manchester in North-West England, and has two daughters and two grandsons. Apart from writing, she enjoys visiting new places and has travelled extensively in Britain, mainland Europe, the Middle East, America and Canada. Her favourite places are the English Lake District and Ireland. She’s also interested in musical theatre and tracing her family history.

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You can find Paula at:

Website: http://paulamartinromances.webs.com
Blog: http://paulamartinpotpourri.blogspot.com
Group Blog (with 3 other writers): http://heroineswithhearts.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomancesbyPaulaMartin

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Thank you for checking out What to Read Thursday this week!  And, thank you again to Paula for stopping by to talk about her book, Dream of Paris!

~~~~~

Dream of Paris is set in Paris, Paula's upcoming book Irish Inheritance is set in Ireland, and some of her other books have been set in Egypt, England's Lake District and London's Theatrical West End... all of which are great holiday destinations!
 

So, I want to know - what exotic destinations do you love to read about?