Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on December 14, 2017

 

 

Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen

Ariella was only looking for a distraction, something to break up the monotony of palace life. What she found was a young man willing to overlook her title and show her a new and vibrant way of life. But when her growing feelings for Gavin spiral out of control and clash with the expectations of her station, she will discover that the consequences of her curiosity are far more severe than she’d imagined.

“I watched in helpless horror as two guards hauled Gavin to his feet and dragged him from the room. My voice was frozen, unable to protest as another guard took hold of my arm, leading me upstairs. From the confines of my room, I stared into the darkness beyond my window, hoping to catch one more glimpse of Gavin. He was gone, and I wondered if he would have been better off if he had never met me.”

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

Praise for Just Ella

“This book is so well written it felt just perfect. Honest. I loved it from beginning to end.” -Aimee Brown, Getting Your Read On

“Full of those tender moments you want to go back and read again, plus exciting moments, clever humor, and some suspense as well.” -Jana, The Writer’s Assistant

“Loved every second of this book. It was engaging, eventful, beautifully written and hard to put down. It’s wonderful for all ages!” -Jen, Goodreads

 

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

 

He gave me a sad smile and shrugged. “I apologize if my bluntness offends you. I figured you would leave if you were upset by me.”
“That would be very rude of me.”
“It’s what I’d expect.”
“Why? Because that’s what a noble would do?”
“Well.” The confusion was back, forcing him to make a slight concession. “Any other noble.” It was somewhat gratifying that he no longer felt compelled to lump me with the nobles he despised. However, the fact remained—I wasn’t a noble. And I knew he would think even less of me when he knew what I was.
I wouldn’t lie. “I told you, I’m not—”
“Come now, Ella. Your tree climbing hasn’t got me fooled.” He used an almost paternal tone, his eyes laughing. “You are nobility, aren’t you?”
I buried my hurt. “No, I’m something worse.”
“Oh, come now, I don’t think that badly of people. The only thing that might be worse is royalty.” How charming he was, even when insulting me.
I stood silent for a moment, wondering if he would catch on. When he continued to gaze at me, I simply said, “Exactly.”
A look of horror crossed his face and I gave him a sad smile before turning to leave.
“Oh,” I heard him stuttering behind me, sounding utterly mortified. “No, I…my apologies, miss—Your Highness,” he corrected himself sharply. “Princess, I’m so very sorry, I…”
I shook my head as I turned to face him again. He looked so different: the confidence, the grin, the amusement were all gone, replaced with a look akin to physical pain. “It’s all right,” I said quietly. “You’re not wrong.” I should have inclined my head, waiting for him to bow before I left. Instead I lifted my hand in farewell.

 

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

About the Author

I was born in Utah, but migrated to Arizona, Missouri, and Virginia before settling in Idaho.

Though I dabbled in writing throughout school, being an author seemed like an unattainable dream. It took me seven years to write my first book, Just Ella. During that time, I taught myself how to write a novel. Not the most time effective method, but it gave me an education I wouldn’t have received from a class or a how-to book. Something about the struggle of writing without a formula or rules worked for me.

I write clean romance because I love it. Jane Eyre is the hero of my youth and taught me that clinging to your convictions will be hard, but will bring you more genuine happiness than giving in ever can.

I love chocolate, Into the Woods, ocean waves, my husband, and my five littles. And I love books that leave me with a sigh of contentment.

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

Also by Annette K. Larsen

 

 

Keeping Kinley is on Sale for just 99 cents!

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 12/28/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Giveaway, Novella, romance on December 13, 2017

 

The Falling Series

Contemporary Romance Novellas from USA Today bestselling author Heather B. Moore

 

Falling for Sydney

Sydney has been the perfect friend, the perfect daughter, and Rian checks off on her perfect fiancé list. But when Sydney notices a strange truck parked in her fiancé’s parking spot, she’s in for the surprise of her life. Not only is Rian not who she thought he was, but his brother Jake is about to turn her life upside down.

 

 

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

 

Falling for Maria

At twenty-six, Maria is holding out for the perfect man to share the rest of her life with. Josh seems to be that man, but after months of dating, their relationship is at a stand-still. Maria plans to nudge Josh forward, but when the company she works for is bought out, her new boss Walker seems determined to change Maria’s idea of the perfect man.

 

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

Falling for June

Once a year, June Dawson goes on vacation with her best friends from high school. When she arrives in Maui, she realizes she’s the odd-woman out. With Sydney engaged, and Maria nearly so, June wonders if anyone will ever fall for her. Then June meets Lance, their gorgeous next door bungalow neighbor at the Maui resort, and she’s definitely charmed. But after her recent breakup, June refuses to fall for gorgeous, or charming, again.

 

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

About the Author

Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen historical novels and thrillers, written under pen name H.B. Moore. She writes women’s fiction, romance and inspirational non-fiction under Heather B. Moore. This can all be confusing, so her kids just call her Mom. Heather attended Cairo American College in Egypt, the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in Utah. Heather is represented by Jane Dystel of Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

Also by Heather B. Moore

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 12/27/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on December 12, 2017

 

Pimpernel: Royal Ball by Sheralyn Pratt

Sequel to the award-winning novel, Pimpernel

One man, one night, one dance, and one question…none of which Claire Ramsey sees coming.

She thinks the night is a test—a call to rise above her insecurities and step more fully into her skills. It’s been a year since she learned about the Pimpernel and fell in love with the man of so many masks. Jack’s world is full of high stakes and big players, and Claire wants in.

To her frustration, Jack is dragging his feet on letting her all the way into both his heart and his work. The risk is too high, he says. But Claire is ready to prove him wrong. She’s ready to go all-in.

What Claire doesn’t know is that Jack is no lone wolf, and the world he is shielding her from is much bigger than she has ever imagined.

But one man, one night, one dance, and one question will change all of that in a way Claire never saw coming.

 

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

Claire was not alone.

There was a man in the room—a dark-haired man with unreal green eyes and a suit that looked ready for a fashion shoot. The intruder was fit and tall, with a trimmed beard that looked like it had been shaped with laser precision.

Do. Not. Scream. (Again.) Do not freak. Coherency is your only bargaining chip, and only one of you works here.

For the first time that day, Claire wasn’t arguing with her instincts.

“How did you get in here?” she accused.

“Someone left the door open.”

Oh. Yeah. That would be her. She opened the floor. And left it open.

Whoops.

But that still didn’t explain what this man was doing in Margot’s office wearing the most refined suit she’d ever seen. Part of Claire felt reassured that if this man was an assassin, it would be a tidy affair. He wouldn’t want to get blood on his clothes.

“Who are you?” she asked, trying to get a sense for exactly how much trouble she was in.

“I’m the boss’s son.”

That made no sense. “Margot is the boss.”

He seemed to weigh her answer. “Depends on how you look at it. If you’re talking about the business, yes. That’s Margot’s. But if we’re talking about what brought you here tonight, then Jack works for my father. His line has served ours faithfully for many years. We like Jack.”

Wait. What? Claire knew Ren’s family had served Margot’s for generations, but she’d always thought that more as a bodyguard thing. Jack wasn’t a bodyguard. He was a problem-solver for the elite. When people growing into their power started doing things that threatened the safety of civilians, Jack was brought in to—

Something clicked in Claire’s brain.

It wasn’t like her to be the last one to catch on to something, but everything Claire had seen in the past year fit very nicely into this man’s claim. When a job came in, Jack and Margot did it. They didn’t argue over its merit or vet the client. They solved the problem.

Because someone asked—allegedly, this guy’s father.

So either this man was an assassin sent to kill her, or the boss’s son had just caught her red-handed. Whatever the case, running away and pretending this never happened didn’t seem to be an option.
Stand your ground, instinct whispered.

“You need to make a choice before you speak again, Claire,” the green-eyed man said. “You must decide if you’ve just been caught where you ought not to be, or if you’re exactly where you want to be.”
Um, both felt like traps the way he said them.

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

Pimpernel by Sheralyn Pratt

For centuries, the elite of the world have sought the Pimpernel everywhere. Some want to kill him, others want to hire him, but Jack Cavanaugh knows that the love/hate relationship comes with the job title.

At present, Jack is trying to dismantle an investment scheme centered in Las Vegas, but “trying” is the operative word. It’s been a month since he put the face of the scheme behind bars, yet the scam is still going strong. As Jack tries to uncover who has stepped in as the new head, what miniscule evidence there is all seems to point him back to Claire Ramsey, an introverted PhD student studying at UNLV.

If ever there as an unlikely head of an investment scheme, Claire’s it. She has a genius IQ, but from all Jack has seen, Claire’s intelligence is as much a blessing as a curse when paired up with her acute OCD. Claire can barely make conversation with the cute guy down the hall, which makes it hard to believe she could be the charismatic salesperson who is getting international businessmen to invest $5—50 million a pop.

So what is Jack missing? What is the real story behind Claire Ramsey? And once Jack learns it, will he be able to walk away?

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

Praise for Pimpernel

“My go-to book that has it all–action-adventure, mystery. and intrigue, all wrapped up in a sweet (but not overdone) romance.”

“Leverage. Mission Impossible. Pimpernel… If you like those first two, you’re going to love Pimpernel!…Secret identities, twists and turns, cons within cons, with just a bit of romance.”

“Intrigue, romance, and that vague something that sticks with you.”

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

About the Author

Sheralyn was born at an early age, with 10 fingers and 10 toes. She is proud to report that she currently retains all 20 digits. Described by one reviewer as “the bomb dot com” (url already claimed… bummer), Sheralyn has been a karate instructor, musical theater performer, a beach bum, freelance writer, nomadic traveler, and, yes, a private investigator. At the moment she enjoys working with and training her dog to give the poor thing breaks from sitting and Sheralyn’s feet with the unbearable task of watching someone write a book.

Really, and you thought your job was bad!

Sheralyn currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, although as people who know her can attest to, that is subject to change at any time 😉

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

Also by Sheralyn Pratt

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 12/26/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on December 11, 2017

 

 

 

The Sound of Silence Series is a three book series.

Book One: Stone Silence, Spencer’s Story
Release date: Nov. 1, 2017

Book Two: Jailbird, Mia’s Story
Release date: Dec. 1, 2017

Book Three: Hothouse Flower, Shay’s Story
Release date: Jan. 1, 2018

Each book has a happy ending and there are no cliffhangers. They are not standalones and should be read in order.

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

Praise for Stone Silence

Oh. My. Gosh! I absolutely LOVE Stone Silence! Talk about swoony! This book is AMAZING! I was sucked in from the very beginning and found myself lost in the journey of Spencer and Stony. I laughed out loud, got teary eyed, let out little dreamy sighs and refused to put this book down until I finished it! I devoured it!
-KJ’s Book Nook

Oh man. I will always read everything Taylor Dean writes with no hesitation. I LOVE Taylor Dean books. If you have never read anything by her, you really must.
-Aimee, Getting Your Read On

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

From Jailbird

SHOWTIME, MIA. AND you know what they say about a show that’s about to start—it must go on.
Of course, they also tell the actors to break a leg and I’d much prefer that to what I’m about to do.
I turn down the paved road and see a large fenced-in property in the distance. My GPS tells me I’ve reached my destination.
It’s a beautiful and sunny September day with hardly a cloud in the sky. The weather certainly doesn’t match my emotions. If it did, it would be stormy. A raging storm, to include crazy lightning and booming thunder.
I don’t want to do this. I’d rather go to the dentist and have five teeth pulled. While I’m awake. Heck, I’d rather have my toenails removed. All of them. Without anesthesia.
But this is something I have to do, something I need to do. Not just for Stony. I need to do it for me.
Especially for me.
I can’t move forward with my life until I gain closure from the past. I’d like to place my past in a box, tie a pretty little bow on it, and place it on a shelf and forget about it.
Instead it sits on my kitchen counter begging to be put away every time I see it.
It’s time to put it away.
There’s only one way to do that.
Face Stony.
The last time I saw him was a little over a year ago, the moment I arrived home and stepped out of my brother’s car after being released from jail. He was there. Waiting for me.
Stony smiled at me. He smiled! Not just a little smile either. Stony never smiles and I mean never. Ever.
I thought it meant all was forgiven between us. I thought it meant we were starting over. I thought it meant so many things.
I was wrong. So very wrong.
I was told he’d had a girl with him that day, a pretty blond California girl. I didn’t notice her, but then, I was preoccupied. I was told they’d been seeing each other for a while.
I’d been kept in the dark about their relationship.
“Mia,” my mom had said, “You and Stony gave it your best shot. It didn’t work out. It’s for the best.”
Mom had her heart set on Stony and me getting married. If Stony had a fan club, she’d be president. Her change of tune threw me for a loop.

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

About the Author

Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense—you’ll find all sub-genres of clean romance in her line-up.

 

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

Also by Taylor Dean

 

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 12/23/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in 5 paws, christmas, Giveaway, Historical, Holiday, Review, romance on December 10, 2017

CHRISTMAS IN A COWBOY’S ARMS

with stories by

ROSANNE BITTNER, LINDA BRODAY, MARGARET BROWNLEY,

LEIGH GREENWOOD, ANNA SCHMIDT, AMY SANDAS

  Genre: Romance Anthology / Western / Historical

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Date of Publication: October 3, 2017

Number of Pages: 512

Scroll down for the giveaway!

The Beating Heart of Christmas

In the wild and untamed West, it takes a cowboy’s embrace to see you through a long winter’s night. Stay toasty this holiday season with heart-warming tales from these bestselling authors.

Whether it’s a lonely spinster finding passion at last…an infamous outlaw-turned-lawman reaffirming the love that keeps him whole…a lost and broken drifter discovering family in unlikely places…a Texas Ranger risking it all for one remarkable woman…two lovers bringing together a family ripped apart by prejudice…or reunited lovers given a second chance to correct past mistakes…a Christmas spent in a cowboy’s arms is full of hope, laughter, and―most of all―love.

*Chick-a-Dee Christmas by Rosanne Bittner * The Christmas Stranger by Linda Broday * A Texas Ranger for Christmas by Margaret Brownley * Father Christmas by Leigh Greenwood * A Christmas Baby by Anna Schmidt * A Christmas Reunion by Amy Sandas*

Praise

“An emotional powerhouse! This classic historical western is destined for the “keeper” shelf.” RT Book Reviews, Top Pick for Rosanne Bittner

“Fun and sensual…great for fans of history, romance, and some good old Texas grit.” Kirkus for Linda Broday

“A great story by a wonderful author.” ― #1 New York Times bestselling author DEBBIE MACOMBER for Margaret Brownley

“Greenwood is a master at westerns.” RT Book Reviews for Leigh Greenwood

“The perfect read.” RT Book Reviews for Anna Schmidt

“A genuine page-turner…electric and absorbing.” Kirkus for Amy Sandas

 

If you love Cowboys, Christmas and the Wild West – then you need to read this book!

The six authors bring us back to the late 1800’s when the west was wild and life was nothing like what we know today.  But more than just a look into the past – these stories are of love, whether it be lost love, new found love or a love that has endured for decades.  In each story the main characters have some sort of issue to resolve, and each author weaves that tale into a succinct story that leaves us with a happy ending.

I don’t know if I can choose a favorite because they are all good!  I do think I liked the stories that included a dog a bit more, but that is the dog lover in me.  Animals always have their own personality that adds to the story.

Each story warmed my heart despite the difficulties that the characters faced in the beginning.  There are situations that probably everyone could relate to whether it was family issues, secrets or wanting more from life.

We give this book and all six novellas 5 paws up.  Perfect to read during this holiday season and since each story is about 100 pages, it won’t take long to enjoy each of the novellas.

Rosanne Bittner

Website * Facebook

Twitter * Goodreads

 

 

Linda Broday

Website * Facebook

Twitter * Goodreads

 

 

Margaret Brownley

Website * Facebook

Twitter * Goodreads

 

 

 

Anna Schmidt

Website * Pinterest

GoodreadsTwitter

 

 

 

Amy Sandas

Website * Facebook

Twitter * Goodreads

 

 

Leigh Greenwood

Website * Goodreads

 

 

————————————-

GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

December 1-December 10, 2017

Four Winners will each get a prize pack which includes Christmas in a Cowboy’s Arms + another book(s) by one of the authors.  Three of the packs will also include a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

(U.S. Only)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other blogs on this tour

12/1/17 Christmas Memories Hall Ways Blog
12/2/17 Review Books in the Garden
12/3/17 Spotlight on Amy Syd Savvy
12/4/17 Review Bibliotica
12/5/17 Spotlight on Anna Missus Gonzo
12/6/17 Spotlight on Linda Margie’s Must Reads
12/7/17 Review Reading by Moonlight
12/8/17 Spotlight on Margaret The Librarian Talks
12/9/17 Spotlight on Rosanne Tangled in Text
12/10/17 Review StoreyBook Reviews

blog tour services provided by

Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on December 9, 2017

 

My Fair Aussie by Jennifer Griffith

There’s more to this Aussie cowboy than meets the eye.

Former grad student Eliza works as a nanny for a self-absorbed trophy wife looking to trade up for a new husband and ditch her child. Eliza will do anything to protect the little girl and open her boss’s eyes. Even if it requires an elaborate hoax.

Then fate hits Eliza with Henry, a bewildered, dirty guy at the bus station. He’s got amazing teeth, cowboy swagger, and an accent to swoon for. Everything is falling into place for a rags-to-riches-style bait and switch. But will it deliver a slice of humble pie to Eliza’s boss—or get Eliza fired?

Worse, refining him might mean losing her heart.

 

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

Praise for My Fair Aussie

My Fair Aussie is the perfect retelling of a classic tale with a delicious twist—and an Australian cowboy to boot. It’s the ideal combination of humor and romance. Totally swoon-worthy. Highly recommended! – CJ Anaya, USA Today bestselling author

“How does she do it? Griffith once again makes me laugh out loud and thoroughly enjoy a good book. Love her cute characters.” Amazon Reviewer ‘grimm

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

Excerpt

“Are you okay, sir?” I couldn’t help asking. He looked so forlorn.
“Actually, an international phone. That’s what I really need.” As he said the word need, I caught a glimpse of his teeth.
Okay, I might have a thing about teeth. An obsession, Polly calls it. A very good set of teeth can completely blind me to myriad other characteristics that would make a person otherwise unappealing.
And these teeth happened to be the best, most dazzling teeth I’d ever seen. My heart may have skipped a beat.
Maybe it was because they contrasted so starkly against his sunburnt face, or played so nicely off his extremely messy blond hair, but suddenly, I was entranced and ignoring everything else that I should be paying attention to—like the fact he was a homeless man who lived at the bus station and was asking to borrow, or possibly steal, my phone.
“I’ve got to get an international phone.” He said it again, and this time I picked apart the accent more. My mind was like one of those police phone traces when a hostage-taker called. Keep ’em on the line just a few more seconds—we’re pinpointing. He had to talk more for me to place it. Not American, not quite British. South African, maybe? Kiwi?

Polly took him by the shoulders and spun him around. “Nice build. That, plus the teeth. You’ll do.”

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

Also by Jennifer Griffith

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

About the Author

Jennifer Griffith writes light, sweet romances she calls Cotton Candy for the Soul. Her Legally in Love Collection stems from the fact she fell in love with a handsome law school student who now serves as a judge—as well as her muse. She also writes the Billionaire Makeover Romances, billionaires and makeovers being some things with which she has less experience.

Jennifer loves old cars, landscape paintings, fresh bread with raspberry jam, and reading. She lived in Japan during college, where she once ate a cricket on a dare. She also traveled through Europe, where she slept a night in a castle on the Rhine. Jennifer worked summers in a cookie factory, and she spent a few years working for the U.S. Congress before becoming a wife, a mom and an author.

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

More great books by Jennifer Griffith

 

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

 

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 12/22/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on December 8, 2017

 

 

How I Met Your Brother by Janette Rallison

The best day of his life, the worst day of hers.

Back in college, Marco Dawson never thought of Belle as anything more than a friend. If she had crossed his mind on his wedding day, it was probably only to wonder why she hadn’t shown up to be a bridesmaid. After all, his new wife was her old roommate. Seven years have passed since then, and Belle just found out that Marco is divorced and vacationing with his family in an elegant Cancun resort. She’s not about to let the right man get away twice. She heads to the resort where she plans to casually bump into Marco and ignite some romantic flames.

But Belle hadn’t planned on one thing: Flynn Dawson, Marco’s handsome, charming, and determined twin brother. He thinks Marco and his ex-wife can make amends and he’s not about to let Belle stand in the way.

Part Sabrina, part While You Were Sleeping, romantic comedy readers will eat this book up!

 

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

Praise for How I Met Your Brother

“This is a romantic comedy in one of it’s finest hours.”

“In true Janette Rallison form, this novel does not disappoint!”

“Love, love, love this book!”

 

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

“Dawson,” she called in feigned surprise. “Is that you?”
He looked up from the map and his blue eyes wandered over her. “Yes.” He must have liked what he saw because a smile appeared on his lips. Not a smile of recognition, just a smile of approval.
She sauntered over, taking slow nonchalant steps. “Don’t tell me you don’t remember me. I haven’t changed that much, have I?”
“I’m not sure,” he said. “Tell me who you are, and I’ll tell you how much you’ve changed.”
His lack of recognition should have bothered her a little, but it felt like victory. Proof the mousy unnoticeable girl she’d been was gone. “Perhaps you recall a study group we were in at WSU? Or the fact that I proofread a lot of your papers? You obviously don’t remember telling me that you’d never forget me.”
“Ah,” he said, with understanding. At least now he knew she wasn’t a stranger with a creative pickup line.
“Perhaps you remember me introducing you to Daisy?”
His eyes widened and his expression changed. She couldn’t quite read it. Was it astonishment? Disbelief? Regret? “Isabelle,” he uttered.
She smiled at the way her name sounded on his lips. “I go by Belle now.”
His gaze went over her a second time, stopping on her ring finger—absent of the symbols of marriage. “What a surprise. I don’t know what to say.”
“Most people say something along the lines of ‘It’s good to see you.’ But I’ll settle for a belated, ‘Thanks for all those papers you helped with.’”

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

About the Author

Janette Rallison is old. Don’t ask how old, because it isn’t polite. Let’s just say she’s older than she’d like to be and leave it at that.

Janette lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, five children and enough cats to classify her as “an eccentric cat lady.” She did not do this on purpose. (The cats, that is; she had the children on purpose.) Every single one of the felines showed up on its own and refuses to leave. Not even the family’s fearless little Westie dog can drive them off.

Since Janette has five children and deadlines to write books, she doesn’t have much time left over for hobbies. But since this is the internet and you can’t actually check up to see if anything on this site is true, let’s just say she enjoys dancing, scuba diving, horse back riding and long talks with Orlando Bloom. (Well, I never said he answers back.)

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

Also by Janette Rallison


 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 12/21/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance on December 7, 2017

 

All That Makes Life Bright: The Life and Love of Harriet Beecher Stowe by Josi S. Kilpack

When Harriet Beecher marries Calvin Stowe on January 6, 1836, she is sure her future will be filled romance, eventually a family, and continued opportunities to develop as a writer. Her husband Calvin is completely supportive and said she must be a literary woman. Harriet’s sister, Catharine, worries she will lose her identity in marriage, but she is determined to preserve her independent spirit. Deeply religious, she strongly believes God has called her to fulfill the roles of wife and writer and will help her accomplish everything she was born to do.

Two months after her wedding Harriet discovers she is pregnant just as Calvin prepares to leave for a European business trip. Alone, Harriet is overwhelmed—being a wife has been harder than she thought and being an expectant mother feels like living another woman’s life. Knowing that part of Calvin still cherishes the memory of his first wife, Harriet begins to question her place in her husband’s heart and yearns for his return; his letters are no substitute for having him home. When Calvin returns, however, nothing seems to have turned out as planned.

Struggling to balance the demands of motherhood with her passion for writing and her desire to be a part of the social change in Ohio, Harriet works to build a life with her beloved Calvin despite differing temperaments and expectations.

Can their love endure, especially after “I do”? Can she recapture the first blush of new love and find the true beauty in her marriage?

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

Praise for All That Makes Life Bright

“Passionate–and entertaining.” Publisher’s Weekly, Sept 2017

“Kilpack writes with great insight and superb sensitivity.” Booklist, Starred Review Sept 2017

“All That Makes Life Bright is about making marriage work in the face of challenges like a desire for personal freedom. It is a romance with broad appeal.” Foreword, November 2017

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 


Eliza. Thoughts of her dear friend and Calvin’s first wife brought an array of emotions. What would Eliza think of Hattie carrying Calvin’s child? A child Eliza had wanted so much and never had. Hattie usually told herself Eliza would be happy that she and Calvin found comfort together, but there were days when Hattie’s awareness that Calvin still held affection for Eliza rose like a specter. Prayer, studying the Bible, and remembering the assurance she’d felt of God’s approval would usually silence her guilt, but today the fears roiled inside her like the churning wheels of an undertaker’s carriage.

Had Eliza lived, Hattie would be teaching, writing—unmarried and unpregnant. Had Eliza lived, Calvin would only be the husband of Hattie’s friend, and he would enjoy dinner on the table every night, and pressed pants and clean shirts in the closet every morning. Perhaps Eliza would have given him a child by now. When headaches laid him low, Eliza would tend to him without a thought for herself.

Would Calvin be happier if Eliza had been the only Mrs. Calvin Stowe? Would Hattie? Was Catharine right? Had Hattie entered a phase that would lead to the demise of being her own person? Anxiety wrapped around her until she found herself sobbing at the splintery kitchen table.

Eliza. Eliza. Eliza.

Calvin. Calvin. Calvin.

Was she living the wrong woman’s life?

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

About the Author

Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and has written twenty-five novels, one cookbook, and been part of multiple collaborations since then. She is a four-time Whitney Award winner and Best of State winner in Fiction. Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her husband and children.

When Kensington Press picked up her first national women’s fiction novel, As Wide as the Sky, Josi was in need of a pen name to differentiate between her other genres. For years, Josi has been called Jessica Pack by people who hear her name but don’t know her, it made her new pen name easy to choose. As Wide as the Sky will be released in paperback sometime in 2018.

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

Also by Josi S. Kilpack

 

Coming in 2018

  • Miss Wilton’s Waltz, Regency Romance, coming May 2018
  • As Wide As the Sky, Women’s Fiction, coming June 2018
  • Promises & Primroses, Book One in the Mayfield Family Series, Regency Romance, coming fall 2018

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 12/20/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance on December 6, 2017


TANGLEWOOD SERIES by Rachael Anderson

Three charming tales of tangled deception and love.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave
When first we practise to deceive!
—Sir Walter Scott, Marmion

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

THE FALL OF LORD DRAYSON – When handsome and arrogant Lord Drayson awakens from a fall with no recollection of who he is or whence he came, the fiery and headstrong Miss Lucy Beresford takes it upon herself to humble him.

EXCERPT

He stared at her incredulously, as though she had escaped Bedlam. “Are you in your right mind, woman?”
Lucy leaned forward and planted her palms on his bed so that her eyes were level with his. “My name is Lucy Beresford. I have lived in Askern all my life. I’m the sole daughter of a vicar and a seamstress who lived most happily despite their differences in station. When my father passed away, I came here, to this dower house. So yes, I am in my right mind. It is you who are not.”
The earl’s jaw clenched, and Lucy took some pleasure at the sight. Perhaps he would come down off his high horse and show at least a small amount of kindness or respect.
“I may not know who I am or where I came from,” he finally said, “but at least I do not feel the need to tell tales.”
“Tell tales?” Lucy gaped at him. Was he accusing her of telling untruths? Her, of all people?What untruths? How dare he!
Lord Drayson glanced down at his fingers, frowning when he spotted grime under his nails. He began to scrape it out as he spoke. “Claiming to be the daughter of a vicar and seamstress is all very romantic, but it cannot possibly be the truth.”
“And why not?” she asked.
His gaze returned to hers. “In my experience, the daughter of a vicar would behave with more decorum, would know how to make a palatable broth, and would never allow herself to be alone in a room with a man who is not her relative. If there is one thing I know with absolute certainty, it is that you are no relation of mine.”
Lucy’s jaw clenched as she fought to control the rage building inside her. Ever so slowly, she pushed herself up to standing and glared down at the earl. “You are correct in thinking I am no ordinary vicar’s daughter. I do not love unconditionally. I show decorum only when I wish to. And I despise those who care for no one but themselves. But I do not tell tales.”
He actually chuckled, but it was more of a scoff than a show of humor. “Did you learn those traits from your father?”
“Do not speak of my father.”
“I would prefer to speak of myself, but you do not seem to share that preference, so perhaps we should speak of your father instead.Where is he, by the by? I would very much like to meet him.”
Lucy’s fingers became fists while her conscience became a battleground between all that was good and evil inside her. It was a short battle, with evil making a quick triumph.
Ever so slowly, her body still trembling with anger, she lifted her chin. If he was going to accuse her of telling tales, then tell them she would. “Very well, Collins. If you must know, I am your employer. And though you may not remember me, or this house, or your position in it, or the fact that you are perfectly susceptible to coming off a horse, just like any other human, I still expect some kindness and respect from you.”
“What on earth are you talking about? What position?”
There was not a hint of hesitation in her voice when she answered. “You are a servant in this house.”

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

THE RISE OF MISS NOTLEY – To escape an unwanted marriage, Miss Coralynn Notley must give up her riches for rags and become a servant in the household of the daunting and mysterious Mr. Jonathan Ludlow.

 

 

EXCERPT

Cora nodded and followed Mr. Ludlow into the parlor. He closed the doors and stood in front of them with his arms folded, looking far more intimidating than he had during their last meeting. He said nothing, merely lifted an inquiring eyebrow and waited.
Caught unprepared, Cora stared at him, trying to organize her thoughts into words.After a few moments of awkward silence, he lost patience. “What is it you wished to speak with me about, Mrs. Notley? Or are we to stand here staring at each other all afternoon?”
Not knowing how else to begin, Cora blurted, “Why have you hired me, sir?”
He blinked a few times before frowning. “I believe I have made that perfectly clear. You are to be the housekeeper, are you not?”
This was going to be more difficult than she had imagined. “Yes, of course, but there has been some talk about, or rather concerns expressed . . .” How did one put this delicately?
“About . . .?” he prodded, obviously not thrilled that his morning regime had been waylaid.
“About the reasons I have been offered the position,” she quickly said, hoping that would be enough to make him understand her meaning.
Unfortunately, his brows drew together in confusion. “What are you saying, Mrs. Notley? I have hired you to do certain duties that will hopefully make my household run more smoothly. What other reason could I possibly have for offering you the position?”
“You have hired me to do a job I am untrained to do,” she said. “While I am grateful for the opportunity, I also find it necessary to clarify that I have come here to be a housekeeper and only a housekeeper. Even though I am young and . . .” Her voice drifted off. Had she almost referred to herself as pretty? Goodness, this was proving to be very awkward indeed.
“Beautiful?” he finally guessed, not looking at all pleased with the direction the conversation was taking.
“I was going to say not repulsive,” she fibbed.
“Very well,” he said. “Even though you are young and not repulsive . . .” He moved his hand in a circular gesture, urging her to finish her thought.
Cora straightened her shoulders and forced herself to continue. “I am not the sort of girl who would ever . . . fraternize with her employer.” Her face infused with heat, but she forced her gaze to remain steady.
“I see.” He walked slowly towards her, rubbing his chin with his hand. A few steps away,he stopped and eyed her quizzically. “Have I made any improper advances towards you?”
“No, sir.”
“Have I spoken to you in an unprofessional manner?”
“No.”
“Have I looked at you in a way that has made you feel uncomfortable?”
“No.” Cora suddenly wished she had not felt the need to clarify anything. He made her feel as though she had put the cart before the horse when what she had been trying to do was see that the cart and horse simply stayed in their proper places. Was that so wrong?
“Might I ask who, exactly, has led you to believe that I am the sort of man capable of–how did you put it? Fraternizing with my help?”
“I, er, would rather not say, sir.” Though Cora felt no loyalty towards Sally, she refused to bring Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd’s names into the conversation. “I did not mean to besmirch your name or cause any offense, Mr. Ludlow. I merely wanted to make my feelings on the matter clear.”
“And you have.”
“Good.” Cora dropped into a quick curtsy, anxious to get away. “I shall go and find Watts now.”
She was almost to the door when his voice stopped her. “Once again, you are attempting to scuttle away before we have completed our conversation.”
Slowly, she turned around and lifted her eyes to his. “I never scuttle, sir.”
“What would you call that rapid walk of yours?”
“A rapid walk.”

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

THE PURSUIT OF LADY HARRIETT – Lieutenant Jamison is arrogant, ungentlemanly, and irritating. When Lady Harriett Cavendish sets out to put him in his place once and for all, she discovers there is more to him than meets the eye, and when it comes to matters of the heart, she has no control whatsoever.

 

EXCERPT

The corners of the man’s eyes crinkled in a mild show of amusement. “Lady Harriett, I presume?” Rather than look at her with appreciation as most men did, he appeared amused.
At her nod, he tucked his hands behind his back, remaining a few steps above her. “I am Lieutenant Christopher Jamison, an old friend of Jonathan’s.”
“I was expecting you days ago,” she answered. “Lord Jonathan charged me with the unhappy task of informing you he and his new bride are currently away on their wedding trip. He is sorry he cannot be here to meet with you and has asked that I relay his apologies.”
“May I inquire as to how long they will be away?” he asked.
No, you may not, she wanted to say. Her neck was beginning to ache from looking up at him, but she forced her gaze to remain steady. “They expected to be gone a fortnight, sir.”
“And they have been gone how long, exactly?”
She felt an unaccountable hesitancy to tell him. “A week.”
“Ah.” He sounded disappointed but seemed to take the news in stride, glancing at Charlie as though wondering whether he ought to retrieve his horse or not. Harriett prayed that he would.
When his gaze strayed back to her, he took the unwelcome, and ungentlemanly, liberty of perusing her figure. When his eyes met hers again, his lips twitched into a slight smile. “Forgive me, my lady, but you appear to have had a run-in with a mud puddle and lost.”
How kind of him to point that out. Harriett kept her hands at her side rather than attempt to brush the dirt from her face and pelisse yet again. The damage was done, and no amount of brushing or shaking would remove the muck. What she needed was a hot bath and a change of clothes.
“Actually, sir, I was merely an innocent bystander.”
“Indeed?”
She picked up her skirts and ascended the steps, stopping on the stair above him so that she was eye level with him. “Are you always such a reckless rider, sir? Do you not pay heed to your surroundings?”
“Of course I do.”
“If you had, you would have seen me standing at the side of the road and, I would hope, thought to slow your animal down so as to not splash mud all over my pelisse.” Her chilly set down did not have the desired effect. He did not appear the least bit repentant. Rather, he looked ready to burst into laughter.
“And your face, apparently.” He leaned forward and squinted. “If I’m not mistaken, there is a splash or two of mud on your bonnet as well.”
Harriett glared at him. “How observant you are, Lieutenant Jamison. One can only wonder why you didn’t put that skill to good use earlier. If you had, perhaps my pelisse, face, and bonnet would still be clean.”
“I am always observant, my lady,” he said. “But might I suggest that if you would like to be noticed at the side of the road, you should wear a color that does not blend so perfectly with your surroundings. That particular shade of green looks quite lovely on you, but only someone with the eyes of an eagle would have spotted you in front of a landscape of evergreens.”
Harriett opened her mouth to respond, but no words were forthcoming. The man did not even attempt to behave like a gentleman. How could he be so . . . so . . .
“Have you no apology to offer, sir?” she finally spluttered.
“Oh, did I not apologize? Forgive me.”
“For what? Forgetting to apologize or for not doing so in the first place?”

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

Praise for the Tanglewood Series

“Thoroughly enjoyed this series. The dialogue between characters is delightfully witty and the stories are rich with color and depth.” (M. Michelle Condie, Amazon.com)

“I loved . . . the entire Tanglewood series! Every time I started reading, I escaped to a different time and place. I laughed a lot and even cried a little.” (Emily R., Amazon.com)

“Five stars for this author and the Tanglewood series! This series were the first books I’ve read by this author and I was not disappointed. Her characters come alive in her books and you can’t help but be drawn into their world. I’m always sad to see a good series like this one end.” (Simply Me, Amazon.com)

“Rachael Anderson has a unique ability to keep the reader intrigued with her characters. She writes with a sense of humor,knowledge of period she’s writing,about ,and sprinkles with Christian values.” Carolynn D., Amazon.com)

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

Coming Spring 2018

My Sister’s Intended by Rachael Anderson

For as long as Prudence can remember, it has been understood that her sister will one day wed the eldest son of their nearest neighbor. Such an alliance will benefit both families and bring a great deal of joy to all parents involved.

Unfortunately, Prudence has never been able to feel as joyful. She believes her sister is mad to consider marrying a man she hardly knows, even if he will one day make her a countess. Titles and wealth shouldn’t factor into matters of the heart, and as an aspiring romance novelist, Prudence cannot fathom how anyone could even think of settling for less than love. She certainly wouldn’t, and she doesn’t want her sister to either.

Unable to stand by and do nothing, Prudence sets out to help the awkward couple discover the best in each other with the hope that they will eventually find love. What she neglected to foresee, however, was that she might fall in love with Lord Knave herself.

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

About the Author

A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

 

 

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

Also by Rachael Anderson

 

 

* – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – * – *

 

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 12/19/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance on December 5, 2017

Title: The Lord Meets His Lady

Author: Gina Conkle

Series: Midnight Meetings #3

Pub Date: December 5, 2017

ISBN: 9781492651901

Synopsis

Lord Marcus Bowles has stained his family’s reputation for the last time. Only after spending a scandal-free year restoring some far-flung property can this second son return in good graces. But Marcus isn’t one to abandon a lone damsel on a dark country lane.

One stolen kiss and Genevieve Turner’s handsome midnight savior disappears. Typical. No matter, Gen is finally on the way to her new post, and hopefully to finding her grandmother as well. Instead she finds her mischievous hero is her new employer. Surely a few more kisses won’t hurt…

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters | iBooks | Indiebound

How to Create Page Turning Dialogue by Gina Conkle

Dialogue is a much-debated topic in romance. One day you’re at a conference and a bestselling author spouts rules of dialogue. The next day, you’re reading another bestselling author’s book, and she’s broken every one of those rules.

How do you navigate writing with mixed signals?

It’s maddening…like driving in Italy. My one trip to Florence highlights this point. Our car had the green light. We started to go when another car zoomed through a red light. My husband’s Italian colleague slammed the brakes and shrugged it off with, “Red lights. They’re suggestions.”

The same phrase was said in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun. Maybe it’s an Italian thing, but the spirit of those words stayed with me. In writing, it’s good to learn the rules. Then you can break them. After all, your job is to woo your reader, draw them into the world you created.

This is why one rule guides me: Don’t get in the way of your story.

But every traveler needs a roadmap. Here are five suggestions:

  1. To Tag or Not to Tag

You may have heard the only dialogue tags you need are said and ask. It’s true. You can get by with said and ask. But where’s the fun in that? I use whisper, coax, call, cry, murmur, or nothing at all. You know when dialogue sounds clunky. It can happen as easily with said and ask as yell or whimper.

The point is, tell your story. If an offbeat dialogue tag does the trick, be judicious, but go with it. It’s your voice. Don’t be afraid to drive outside the lines.

  1. Nonverbal cues speak louder than words

Less than 10% of our communication comes from what we say. The next tier (more than 30%) comes from vocal elements such as tone, pitch, and rate of speech. The final tier (more than 50%) is pure body language with hands and eyes top contenders.

Here’s a challenge. Grab some paper and create columns for nonverbal cues: tone, pitch, rate of speech, breathing, eyes, eyebrows, mouth, nose, hands, fingers, chin, etc. Then, go through a current manuscript and put a hash in each nonverbal cue column. Did you discover certain writer habits? I once had a reviewer nab me for too much “head snapping” and you know what? She was right!

Mix up your nonverbal cues—like the boob shoulder. Marilyn Monroe made this pose famous: a woman’s coy glance past her shoulder (bare is better). Men view it as sexual. Women generally view it as favorable and friendly.

Actions speak louder than words in life and on the page. From page one to “The End” vary the body language.

  1. Be aware of gender differences in speech patterns and behavior

Men tend to be less profuse with their facial expressions. They will tease or use more vocal cues such as sarcasm in dealing with sensitive topics, while women are more stream of conscious talkers. Men give less eye contact during conversation and frown or squint more. It means they’re mulling over what’s being said. They prefer being shoulder to shoulder in conversation while women prefer being face to face. Women tolerate interruptions more than men.

Don’t be afraid to turn gender norms upside down. While the above is scientifically proven, consider the outliers. There are blunt women and effusively verbal men. Consistency is the key to character authenticity.

  1. It’s in the voice

Do all your characters speak like east coast college grads? If they are east coast college grads, fine. Now dig deeper. Look at their verb choices. Do they have pet phrases? A manner of speaking which reveals personality?

If number three above was the how of character speech, number four is the what. In one of my books, the hero was a well-educated man while the heroine was self-educated. She is fighting tooth and nail for every bit of progress. I made sure her voice reflected that on the page.

Men use commands more often than woman, and in a problematic situation, women ask more questions (to the chagrin of the males in the room). And that brings us to the next interesting point.

  1. Dyads are it

Do you feel overwhelmed when writing a scene with three or more people? It’s a lot to juggle. Intimacy can get lost in the shuffle of setting and action. And what do you do when you’re writing, say a band of brothers series? Secondary characters need to shine for your readers to fall in love with them but not take over the book.

Dyads foster intimacy. In interpersonal communication theory, this means communication really is between two people and two people only. Person A speaks with person B and vice versa. They are both aware Person C is with them, but communication is always between two people. Person A can shift to Person C (thus creating a new dyad and Person B is out of the connection). This is why small group scenes can overwhelm. Ever had feedback like “There was too much going on” or “It was too much of XYZ characters”?

How does this translate to say a boardroom or ballroom scene?

Be aware of the dyads you create. More than ever, each word matters in an ensemble scene. You’ve heard the wisdom, if you show the reader a bat in chapter one, it better come back at later in the story (i.e. foreshadowing). Likewise, with your secondary characters and their dialogue, make it count.

Ask yourself, if their words reveal character? Move the story forward? Or feed the conflict?

If you find you’re writing group scenes, and the heroine and heroine’s arc is drifting, shift gears. Bring them together. Focus on a private moment in a crowd before returning to the ensemble cast. Your reader will feel the connection.

And that’s what dialogue in romance is all about.

Thanks for hosting me here on StoreyBook Reviews and a lesson in Romance University ~ Gina

Excerpt

She yanked the door wide open, blinking at bright sunlight and an even brighter man.

Her breath caught. “Lord Bowles.”

“Miss Turner, how nice to see you again.” His greeting alone could be a proposition the way his voice caressed her name.

She stood mutely, the floor uncertain beneath her feet. Behind him the Beckworth geese waddled through the yard, their orange beaks poking the ground. The rogue followed her?

Her mind spinning, she blurted, “What are you doing?”

Hazel eyes glinted beneath his black tricorn hat. “I’m standing on your doorstep. Will you let me in?”

“No.” She stuffed the crumpled letter in her pocket. “Mr. Beckworth and his brothers aren’t here. They have business in Learmouth Village.”

Creases deepened at the corners of his friendly eyes. Lord Bowles wasn’t put off. There had to be a social nicety for this, but where she came from, if you didn’t want someone at your door, you told them.

“I know they aren’t.” His voice dropped lower. “I came early to see you.”

What was she supposed to do about this? A polite refusal formed, but his lordship’s vision snagged on her cleavage before popping back up to her face.

A scoundrel always showed his true colors.

She crossed her arms and leaned against the doorjamb, all pretense of a proper servant gone. “And who’d be calling? The honorable vicar?”

Lord Bowles chuckled. “I apologize for the surprise. Mr. Beckworth and I are longtime friends. I started to tell you about the connection when we repaired the coach brace.” He paused and took a measured tone. “But our road side conversation went in a new direction before I had the chance.”

She smarted when he said a new direction, a stinging reminder she’d pleaded with him to hide her true identity…from his friend no less. What a neat bit of trouble this was. Did his lordship think she was here to steal the family silver? A laughable thing since the humble Beckworth cottage had none.

“Then you would be the old army friend coming to dinner,” she said flatly.

“I am. Worse for the wear but not…so old.”

She shoved off the doorjamb, her mind assembling all the pieces. His lordship’s gentle humor was a balm in this clumsy moment. Lord Bowles was tonight’s honored guest and the reason for the small feast she was preparing in the kitchen. She wanted to tell him to come back later, but Mr. Beckworth might take offense if she did. What would a proper housekeeper do? There was also the matter of her character, such as it was. She didn’t want Lord Bowles thinking ill of her.

Mildly chastened, she clasped dough-flecked hands together. “I am not a thief, milord. If that’s your concern, please know I’d never cause harm to Mr. Beckworth or his family.”

“I believe you.”

Never had three words sounded so lovely. They’d rolled off his tongue without a second’s hesitation. She hesitated. Shutting the door on Lord Bowles wouldn’t be wise. Letting him in didn’t work either.

“I knew there was a possibility our paths might cross,” she said, stalling in hopes wisdom would strike.

“And you thought I’d pretend we’d met for the first time should we be introduced in the village.”

“Yes.”

Lord Bowles nodded, hands clasped behind his back. “While I don’t believe you’re out to harm Mr. Beckworth, this still makes me complicit in your deception…against my friend.”

Her status hung in the balance. Did he have concerns about her circumstances? Or was he in search of a dalliance? Power was his.

“Does that mean you’ll not mention my real name or The Golden Goose to Mr. Beckworth?”

“I already gave my word.” He flashed a disarming smile. “Now will you let me in?”

She was doomed. Lord Bowles was trouble on two legs. He knew how to open doors with his smile alone. A sculpted lower lip balanced his thinner upper lip, a scale of sensuality and wit. Her solitude and better judgement were about to be breached by a consummate flirt wielding his version of honor. Men were by no means a novelty. She was skilled at brushing them off or being unnoticed when the mood struck, but she’d have to face facts.

London allowed obscurity. Cornhill-on-Tweed would not.

“No harm in showing you to the parlor. Mr. Beckworth and his brothers should return within an hour.”

He stepped inside and passed his hat to her, sunshine crowning his chestnut-colored hair. “Any chance you’ll sit with me awhile?” He stretched free of his black redingote, the collar brushing curls at his nape.

“None. I clean the parlor, milord I don’t sit in it.”

He laughed at her bald rejection, and a single lock slipped free of his queue’s black ribbon. The curl hid behind his ear, the strands a sun-kissed contrast to the rest of his brown hair. The vulnerable lock of hair begged to be neatened. She hung his hat and coat on pegs, glad for her hands to have something to do. Lord Bowles stood less than an arm’s length from her at the cross roads of proper and intimate, a winsome smile on his face.

And her wish to be a respectable domestic slipped a notch.

About the Author

Gina Conkle writes sensual Georgian romance and lush Viking romance. Her books offer a fresh, addictive spin on the genre, with the witty banter and sexual tension that readers crave. She grew up in southern California and despite all that sunshine, Gina loves books over beaches and stone castles over sand castles. Now she lives in Michigan with her favorite alpha male, Brian, and their two sons where she’s known to occasionally garden and cook.

Website * Twitter * Pinterest * Facebook * Goodreads

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway