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Monthly Archives: September 2016

This quick interview includes info about the author, and introduces the story.

About the Author

Milou Koenings is an award-winning USA Today bestselling author who writes romance because, like chocolate, stories with happy endings bring joy to the world and so make it a better place.
She’s lived all over the world, working as a freelance travel and technology writer, but loves to stay home with her family more than anything.

Interview with Milou Koenings

Why did you write this book?
This is a collaborative effort by 17 authors from Sweet Romance Reads. We banded together to create a boxed set of holiday novellas. It was a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit as early as possible.
My novella, The Kampala Peppermint Twist, is another installment in my Green Pines Romance series. It comes from growing up in Africa and is partly a reflection on how we create our own holiday spirit when we’re not surrounded by all the commercial reminders. But of course, bottom line, it’s a romance!
What is your favorite genre to read?
Romance and more romance, please. With an occasional spy thriller in there to shake things up. The older I get, the more I want a guaranteed happy ending when I pick up a book.
Who is your favorite character from fiction (not including your own)?
I’ve got so many favorites! But I just love Juliet Ashton, from the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I reread that book every year (along with all the Harry Potters in a row). She’s strong, funny, bright, hopeful in the face of adversity; kind, with such a big heart — and hopelessly befuddled when it comes to her own romance.
What are you working on at the moment, and will see from you in coming months?
I’m working on another Green Pines Romance, and developing another series.
Please tell us about your latest book.
Sweet Christmas Kisses 3 is a bundle of 17 wholesome holiday romances, all-new, stand-alone stories from New York Times, USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors. Sweet Christmas Kisses 3 takes you around the globe from small-town USA, to London, England, and even to Africa. Don’t miss out on this sweet romance boxed set that’s sure to touch your heart, make you smile, and put you in the mood for Christmas.

About the Book

Title Sweet Christmas Kisses 3
Genre Sweet Romance
Author Mona Risk, Christine Bush, Lyn Cote, Denise Devine, Shanna Hatfield, Ciara Knight, Milou Koenings, Magdalena Scott, Roxanne Rustand, Alicia Street, Kristin Wallace, Merrillee Whren, Cindy Flores Martinez, Victoria Pinder, Josie Riviera, Pat Simmons
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): G/PG

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Publisher IndieWrites, Inc.

Author Social Media

Today’s featured book is In Her Element by Laurel Richards.

About the Book

Title In Her Element (Elementals #1)
Genre Paranormal Romance
Author Laurel Richards
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG13
Darya Drake is a Water Elemental who has lived a difficult life. She’s raising her younger brother, Matthew, who is mentally ill, and she has had to fight off Phages—Elementals who kill and cannibalize other Elementals to steal their powers. It isn’t until she meets Ethan Zale, a Water Elemental with stormy blue eyes and a body to die for, that she dares to hope for a better future. Ethan is everything she has ever wanted, but trouble looms when a Phage begins stalking her. Can Ethan find out who is after her and keep her safe? Will her brother accept another man in her life? Darya discovers true love in the midst of strife, but for a girl who has lost almost everyone she has ever cared about, it’s hard to believe in happy endings.

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About the Author

Laurel Richards is a fiction author with a passion for shifters, space travelers, and other memorable characters. She has gathered inspiration from lots of different sources throughout her life and is here to share her imagination through storytelling. Laurel writes sci-fi/fantasy, paranormal, and funny mysteries, with various degrees of romance mixed in. You can find Laurel at http://www.author-laurelrichards.com.

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Today’s featured book is Her First Knight by Livia Quinn.

About the Book

Title Her First Knight (Storm Lake: East) Under-Cover Knights
Genre Contemporary Romance (Military)
Author Livia Quinn
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG-13
Ridge Romano was a genius inventor, child prodigy, military
contractor and CEO of two multi-billion dollar companies; and he was on a
mission. With a background like that, fun was not a word in his vocabulary
until recently, and he gave a five year old credit for that. So with such
attention to his priorities, how had he wound up on a stage between two cover
models playing strip bingo, in front of a hundred women crying “Tucker, take it
off”? He’d paid for this… somehow.
Buffy Calloway’s face and body were recognizable worldwide
but the face she was looking for was the face of her franchise. She’d come to
the romance conference to find that face, interviewing cover models from around
the world, and she’d found her man. Tucker – the late arrival who that je ne
sais quoi that would put her studio on the map, make her talent agency and
photography studio an immediate success.
She had to have him. There was just one problem. He wasn’t a
cover model, and ‘said’ he had more important priorities – veterans. Who was
she to argue with such a noble cause? The trouble was the Calloways always knew
what they wanted, and Buffy wanted Tucker. Could this be the first time a
Calloway was wrong?

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Publisher Campbell Hill Publishing
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/1N3sy0d
CreateSpace (Print) http://bit.ly/22VRMt8
Amazon Author page http://amzn.to/1OLwtUX

About the Author

Hi, I’m Livia Quinn, A DC native living on the bayou. With a
life long fascination (read that: phobia) of storms, and living in Louisiana
where severe weather is a part of life, it was only natural that it would play
a big part in my world. Visit Storm Lake…where anything can happen! My former
jobs as a mail lady, computer trainer, plant manager, professional singer,
business owner and salesperson have stocked my brain full of quirky characters
I can’t wait to share with my readers.
Author Social Media
Amazon Author Page http://amzn.to/1OLwtUX
Meet Sir Talon Quereste from The Herald’s Heart. 

Author Bio

Historical romance author Rue Allyn lives in southeast Michigan with the love of her life and one tyrannical cat, where she works daily on making Happy Ever After come true.

About the Book

Title The Herald’s Heart
Genre Medieval Romance
Book heat level (based on movie ratings G, PG, PG13, R): R
Royal herald, Sir Talon Quereste could never love an overly adventurous, impulsive, argumentative woman of dubious background who threatens everything he values. Lady Larkin Roshan can only despise a man who would deny her identity and steal her heritage. So why has fate thrown them together to solve the mysteries of the heart?

Introducing Sir Talon Quereste

Welcome to Romance Lives Forever! We’re happy to have you here today.
Name: Sir Talon Querest
Age:  Twenty six
Gender:  Male
Birthplace:  Hawksedge Keep, on the coast of Northumbria near the Scottish border
Profession:  Royal Herald
Ethnicity/Species (if not human):
Describe your body and build, skin tone, height and weight. Include any unique features such as dimples, freckles, or scars. I have, according to most women, guinea gold hair and pansy purple eyes. (Snickers) As if any knight would admit to something so effeminate as eyes the color of pansies. My chin is square and my mouth firm-lipped. I’m proud that there’s nothing weak about me, physically or otherwise. I consider myself taller than the average man. Some say I’m too tall. I work hard, so my shoulders are broad, my hips lean, and my legs strong enough to sit a horse from sun up to well past sundown. I’m outside a great deal of the time, so I’m definitely not fair skinned. Is there anything else you’d like to know.
Who is the significant other in your life?
No one until I met Lady Larkin Rosham. She’s overly adventurous, impulsive, argumentative and not at all the sort of woman I imagined I would love.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a complicated man. My origins are not as straightforward as I always believed them to be, but Larkin helped me accept the truth. I get great satisfaction from solving puzzles, as most heralds do, Our service to the king requires that we be able to easily discern truth from lie and make decisions that may affect noble families and the kingdom for years, perhaps centuries, to come.
If we could only hear your voice (but not see you) what characteristic would identify you?
Smoke, definitely smoke. My voice is deep as a man’s ought to be. However, I often spend weeks in the saddle alone so I’ve developed a very soft rasp.
Do you get by, live comfortably, live extravagantly? 
My service to the king allows me to indulge in pleasures and comforts whenever I have time. Sadly that is not as often as I would like. I have hopes that the king will reward me with a significant holding for the singular service I provided him recently
What inner doubt causes you the most difficulty?
That I might not be as good and honorable as I believe myself to be. My father unjustly repudiated me when I was six just after my mother died. Despite the fact that I have little respect or liking for the man, his rejection has always been the source of self-doubt. I have learned to thank him, because his repudiation spurred me to excel. I might not be quite the same man I am today had it not been for his unjust actions.
What is your breaking point?
Larkin nearly died once. I bargained with God for her life and caused us no end of trouble as a result.
What would you like to tell your writer?
You should have made Larkin more cooperative, less stubborn, and less impulsive. Honestly what were you thinking to have her as the love of my life?

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Meet Abby Bentley from Puffy andPrecious by Mary E. Thompson.

Author Bio

Mary E. Thompson grew up loving to read, like a good little girl. Many nights she would fall asleep with the flashlight still turned on as she hid under the covers trying to finish the last few pages of a book. As an adult, the light from her ereader means she doesn’t need a flashlight, but she still stays up way too late to finish a book. 
When Mary’s not reading she’s playing with her two kids or living out her own romance novel with her hubby. She has a weakness for chocolate, especially when it’s paired with peanut butter, and has been known to have a bad day just because there’s no chocolate in the house. 
Mary grew up in Buffalo, New York and swears she’s the only local to never ski or snowboard. Soccer was always her sport, with a couple adventures white water rafting and skydiving to keep things interesting. Mary moved to South Carolina for college but missed Buffalo every day. Yeah she thinks she’s crazy, too. She somehow convinced her South Carolina born and bred hubby to return to Buffalo to raise the kids and live out their lives. He’s still not sure what he was thinking.

About the Book

Title Puffy and Precious
Genre Contemporary Romance
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R
He came for the puffy treats and stayed for the precious woman.
Abby is moving on with her life. After she caught her husband cheating, live and in person, she divorces him and starts living for herself instead of doing everything for him. Abby opens her own bakery, changes her look, and moves out on her own for the first time ever. The only thing she isn’t ready to do is date.
Graham helped Abby get her bakery up and running. As a carpenter he loved the challenge of turning the blank space into a bakery. Even more than that, he loved getting to know the beautiful new tenant.
When Abby’s ex learns she’s moving on with her life and doesn’t need him, he isn’t happy. Abby always did everything for him, and he’s not willing to let go of that dedication.
Now Abby is stuck between the man who made her feel needed, but never wanted, and a man who makes her feel wanted but doesn’t need her. Abby needs to figure out what she wants – the man from her past, the one who promises her a future, or the present she’s fallen in love with, alone.

Introducing Abby Bentley

Welcome to Romance Lives Forever! We’re happy to have you here today.
Name: Abby
Age: 27
Gender: Female
Birthplace: Winterville, NY
Profession: Baker
Ethnicity/Species (if not human): Caucasian
Describe your body and build, skin tone, height and weight. Include any unique features such as dimples, freckles, or scars.
I carry more than a little extra weight for someone who’s only 5’4” tall. My friends say I’m not that big, but size 16 feels huge, especially since I wear a 38DD bra. My green eyes are nice though, and I think I have an okay smile. I’m in love with my hair now. I just dyed it blonde and am growing it out. It really is true. Blondes do have more fun. Or maybe that’s just because I’m divorced now!
Who is the significant other in your life?
Ha! Next question. Seriously, one ex-husband is one too many. I’m not looking to make that mistake again. I’ll keep the others insignificant… maybe one day.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve found a new freedom since I got divorced. Of course, being divorced at 27 kind of sucks, almost as much as catching my ex cheating, but at least I found out what was going on before we had kids. I’m still young enough that I can adopt one day because I’m definitely not getting married ever again.
Since I can do whatever I want now, I’ve opened my own bakery. It’s been fun, but more stressful than I expected. I never could have done it without my brother, Max, and Graham. Graham was amazing. He took my dream and made it a reality. I owe him. He’s so talented. Sexy too.
Are you book-smart, self-taught, widely-experienced?
Definitely self-taught. Or maybe Grams-taught would be more accurate. Yeah, I have a degree, but it doesn’t do much good for me. Learning to bake is something I’ve had to do over time with lots of practice.
On what special skills do you rely?
My creativity. I have to say I’ve become a very crafty baker. I’m not afraid to try different things and see if they’re any good. If something sucks, I lose a few hours. If it’s awesome though, I could easily gain some new customers. It’s also helped make my bakery into exactly what I hoped it would be.
Are you close to family?
I am. My brother was always my support growing up. Even now he’s there for me. Heck, I’m living in his apartment even though he’s married and moved out. My mom and grandmother are amazing, too. Without the three of them I don’t know where I’d be. I only wish my dad were still alive.
How do others perceive you based upon looks, and is this assumption accurate?
When people come into SkinnyCakes, my bakery, I know they’re shocked to find me behind the counter. A lot of them give me a nasty once over that makes me feel like I’m not good enough. I’ve thought about changing the name of my bakery, but I’m not going to. Just because I’m not skinny doesn’t mean what I bake isn’t. And just because I’m not skinny doesn’t mean I can’t bake healthy and make something people will love.
Do you care about what others assume about you?
That’s a tough question. It’s hard to say I can ignore it even though I’d love to be able to. Being vulnerable is part of what makes us human, right? I guess I care the most what my friends and family think of me. If strangers who’ve never taken the time to get to know me are going to judge me, I’ll do my best to ignore it.
Can you keep a secret? Why or why not?
Yes, but I’d rather not. Secrets destroyed my marriage. I don’t think secrets are a good thing. Unless there’s a surprise party at the end of the secret. Then it’s okay.
What are your biggest hopes and dreams?
I’d love to have kids one day, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I pretty much gave up that dream when I walked away from my marriage. Of course having kids in that situation wouldn’t have been good either. I’m just trying to convince myself I’m okay with it.
If you could make any one thing happen, what would it be?
I’d give babies to all my friends who want to get pregnant. Maybe one for me too, but my happily married friends who are trying for kids… They should have them first.

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Publisher BluEyed Press

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The Turkish Affair by J. Arlene Culiner.

About the Author

Born in New York, raised in Toronto, J. Arlene Culiner has spent most of her life in England, Germany, Turkey, Greece, Hungary and the Sahara. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest and, much to public dismay, protects all creatures, especially spiders and snakes. She works as an actress, a photographer, a contemporary artist, a musician, writes mysteries, history books and perfectly believable romances. Her heroines are funny and gutsy; her heroes, dashingly lovable; and all are (proudly) over the age of forty.

Interview with J. Arlene Culiner

Why did you write this book?
I know that many readers expect a romantic suspense to resemble what they see on television: danger, stalkers, a serial killers or two, violence, car chases, shoot outs and terror. But I dislike television, and I’ve always preferred realistic stories, even in the romance genre. It seems to me that if I were being threatened by a madman, I’d be so wrought up, I wouldn’t have time to fall in love — and for me that means, getting to know the other person, finding common interests, feeling those first gentle feelings of soft magic. None of that is possible in dangerous situations; and besides, in real life, there’s very rarely, a gorgeous, sexy interested secret agent on hand ready to rescue you.
I did however, want to write a love story as well as a suspense, and I came up with The Turkish Affair, a mystery where there is certainly menace, but it’s more psychological. Yes, there has been a murder, but it’s off stage : no description, no chases, no screaming sirens. I wanted a strong-willed but warm and brave heroine, a gorgeous hero who is both intelligent and tender. I also wanted an exotic setting — the archaeological site of Karakuyu in central Turkey, once home to the long-vanished Hittites. I added true stories as well, and real places, and a few strange characters I met while living in Turkey.
What is your favorite genre to read?
I read everything, switching back and forth constantly: contemporary romance, biography, mysteries, mainstream literature, history — particularly that of eastern Europe — classics. Every book has its right moment.
Who is your favorite character from fiction (not including your own)?
Saul Bellow’s Moses E. Herzog? Stella Gibbons’ Flora Post? Salinger’s Holden Caulfield? No, there are far too many others. Impossible to choose one. And besides, all great characters have terrible flaws.
What are you working on at the moment, and will see from you in coming months?
I’m presently working on 1) a creative non-fiction work about a small village in eastern Hungary, 2) a contemporary romance that takes place in Blake’s Folly, the same Nevada community I used in  my previous romance, All About Charming Alice, and 3) a series of portraits.
All three projects are so different from each other, I’ll have to wait and see which one pulls the strongest. They’ll all get finished eventually, I think, but none will be completed in the coming months. I need years to write a book, perfect the story and refine the language.
Please tell us about your latest book.
A top notch Washington journalist before a liaison with the wrong man implicated her in scandal, Anne Pierson has been hiding in backwoods Turkey and working as a translator. She’s determined to keep her past a secret, to avoid personal relationships. But after meeting Renaud Townsend, her discrete little world is turned upside down.
Archaeologist Renaud Townsend is troubled by Anne Pierson’s refusal to talk about her past, but instinct tells him he can rely on her. Or is it only desire speaking? A lusty love affair for the duration of the summer dig is a very appealing idea.
When Anne’s bad reputation links her to stolen artefacts and murder, the budding romance with Renaud comes to a halt. If they learn to trust one another, her name can be cleared. But is there still enough intensity to give love a second chance?
About the Book
Title: The Turkish Affair
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
Author: J. Arlene Culiner
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R
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