Guest Author: Monica Burns & Giveaway!!

One of my favorite people on the planet – yes, the planet – is visiting with us today.  She’s  Monica Burns, and she writes award-winning, bestselling historical and paranormal romance.  Monica has won the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.  In addition to writing great – and spicy! – romance, she’s also a wonderful person.

I’m going to turn things over to Monica, who has a lovely blog about friendship and the romance community.

Do you have any idea how many times I’ve started this blog post now? Seven. Seven different openings and now that I’m on the eighth effort, I’m feeling desperate. Well that resonates, because as an author I *am* desperate. You might ask why? Well, like all creative types, we just want to be loved. Seriously, we want people to love our books and love us for writing those books. Any author who disagrees with me, well I’m not gonna believe them.

Whether you’re a fan of Star Trek, Star Wars, NASCAR, football,  or whatever, you’re going to meet people you connect with because you both like the same thing. The romance community is the same, and yet I firmly believe we have a fundamental difference. We love to read about love, and we all know that love is the most powerful emotion of all. As a result of that binding love, friendships develop among readers who might have met only one time in person, but communicate almost daily with online.

For instance, I consider Vanessa a close friend even though our friendship is a long distance one. I honestly don’t know why she chose me to be her friend, but she did (Vanessa, here.  Because Monica has a huge heart and she’s funny!). She listens to me whine, gives advice, offers emotional support, and makes me laugh. All of the things a friend is supposed to do. I reciprocate when she needs me, although that’s hardly ever.

Vanessa rarely rants, but I’m always there to support her when she does. Vanessa is one of four people in my most intimate inner circle of friends. You know the kind; they’re the friends who will call you on something you know better than to say. The friends who empathize, are ready to storm the castle with you and have your back.

Friendship is one of the strongest threads running through the romance reading community. A few years back, on a now defunct blog, I talked about the friendships I’ve built over the years. Friendships I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the Internet and the romance community. I can tell you right now that I would never have met Vanessa, Becke, Keri or Rosie if it weren’t for the romance community and the Internet.

So, have you met another lover of romance books via the Internet? Have you met in person? Do you chat daily? Weekly?

Vanessa, here.  Thank you so much for that wonderful post, my friend!  And you know what else is wonderful?  Monica’s new historical, Love’s Revenge.  Take a look at this awesome cover!

Love’s Revenge

All her life, Sophie’s tried to earn her father’s love to no avail. Even her one chance for happiness was crushed beneath his tyrannical thumb, leaving her firmly on the shelf at forty-one. Sophie accepts her fate until she impulsively uses her father’s criminal activities to escape a life of servitude and right a wrong at the same time. She never really expected the Devil of Devlyn to actually accept her rash proposal, and she certainly hadn’t planned on falling in love with a younger man.

When Quentin Blackwell, Earl of Devlyn, discovered the woman he loved was carrying another man’s child, he refused to marry her. In retaliation, her father ruined Devlyn. When Sophie Hamilton, the man’s eldest daughter, comes to him with an unexpected offer, Devlyn seizes the chance for vengeance. What he doesn’t bargain on is how revenge could cost him the one thing he wants the most. Sophie’s love.

Sounds enticing, doesn’t it?  For my readers today, Monica is giving away a copy of the book.  And I’m giving away a copy of one of my historical romances, too.  Just answer Monica’s question about friendship for a chance to win Love’s Revenge and my first book, Mastering The Marquess!

Love’s Revenge:

Amazon      Kobo     Smashwords    Barnes & Noble

Twitter — @MonicaBurns

Pinterest — https://pinterest.com/monicaburns/

Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMonicaBurns

Website – http://www.monicaburns.com

 

Guest Author: Kathryn Shay & Giveaway!

I’m very pleased to feature author Kathryn Shay on the blog today.  Kathryn has an outstanding romance writing pedigree, having penned twenty-five books for Harlequin and nine mainstream contemporary romances for Berkley.  She also has a number of on-line novellas, some of which were subsequently published in print by Berkley.

Kathryn writes very emotional books with powerful, heart-wrenching characterizations.  And she’s won tons of accolades, too, including five RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Awards, four prestigious Holt Medallions, a Booksellers Best Award, and many more.

And here’s an even more impressive statistic – Kathryn has 40 books all told, with five million copies in print.  Wow!

Even better, Kathryn now has 16 formerly out-of-print backlist titles available as e-books.  For instance, if you haven’t read her well-loved Hidden Cove firefighter’s trilogy, here’s your chance.  Originally published by Berkley, here’s what Booklist had to say about the first book in the series, After The Fire:

“Powerful and compelling, this novel reinforces Shay’s well earned reputation as a first rate storyteller.”


And then there’s the popular O’Neil Family series, which garnered a ton of great reviews including this one from Fresh Fiction:

“Shay’s writing trademark is taking seemingly impossible relationships and developing them into classic tales of true love, which is what she does here.”

You can find all of Kathryn’s backlist on her website.

I’m also thrilled to report that Kathryn has a new book out – an indie published, woman’s fiction novel called A Price Worth Paying


Here’s the blurb:

Nick and Callie Muscato have been lovers since high school. They married at eighteen and Callie gave up Vassar to go on the road with Nick as he builds his major league baseball career. Once he becomes a superstar, their perfect life is marred by their inability to have children. And then a miracle happens and they adopt twin boys.

Both are happy until Nick gets hurt and is demoted to the minors. Instead of going with him, Callie takes the twins and returns to their home town to teach at the high school they both attended.

Eventually Nick is forced to give up his baseball career, gets his college degree and when the story opens, both he and Callie are teaching at their Alma Mater. Then tragedy strikes them with two major blows: Callie confesses she’s pregnant with another man’s child and, only an hour later, Nick is accused of sexual misconduct with a female student; he is suspended from teaching until hearings can be held.

Though this stress might split up a lesser couple, Nick and Callie fight the accusation and try to keep their marriage together.

I have to say, this sounds like a compelling and intense read.  I love novels that deal with married couples and the challenges life can throw in the path of a loving relationship.  Kathryn has already been receiving wonderful reviews for this book, so I can’t wait to read it!

You can check out Kathryn’s books, read excerpts, and find her buy links on her website.

Kathryn has graciously donated a copy of  A Price Worth Paying for my readers today.  Just tell me what kind of book you most like to read on a rainy day – historical romance, women’s fiction, a juicy mystery…enquiring minds want to know!  One person who comments will win a copy of this wonderful book!

 

Guest Feature: Mia Marlowe & Giveaway!

I’m really excited to be featuring historical romance author Mia Marlowe on my blog today.  Mia is such an interesting and talented person it’s hard to know where to start when talking about her work.  In addition to being a fantastic writer, she’s a classically trained soprano who won the District Metropolitan Opera Auditions and even shared a stage with Placido Domingo.  Wow!  I wonder how many romance authors can boast that kind of claim to fame!  BTW, the picture at the top of the post is of Mia, appearing as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus.

Mia is now an award-winning author, who writes historical romance for several publishing houses.  Some of you may already be familiar with Mia’s work from her earlier historical romances penned under the name of Emily Bryan.  One of those books, Distracting the Duchess, was featured in the Best of 2010 issue of People Magazine.  By the way, Distracting the Duchess is now available in reprint, which is really terrific.


Emily’s other books are Pleasuring the Pirate (awesome title!), Vexing the Viscount, and Stroke of Genius.

After writing these books, Emily switched publishers.  In doing so, she added a few paranormal elements to her writing and, thus, Mia Marlowe was born.

Mia’s writing receives rave reviews.  Library Journal named it “worthy of Shakespeare.” Publishers Weekly called her stories “charming, colorful and fast-paced.” Booklist says she writes “wickedly witty historical romance.”  Her books have also received multiple awards, including the RomCon Reader’s Crown and RT BookReviews Reviewer’s Choice Award.

And here’s something that’s really cool!  Mia will be writing a couple of books with New York Times bestselling author, Connie Mason.  Their first book together will be Sins of the Highlander, set during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots.  Be on the lookout for this sure-to-be fab collaboration between two wonderful authors in January, 2012.

Mia’s latest book is Touch of a Thief.  It has received wonderful critical acclaim, including this starred review from Publishers Weekly:  “Marlowe weaves a gentle paranormal element into this delightful 19th-century romance. Both historical and paranormal readers will love this crossover tale.”

Here’s the blurb for Touch of a Thief:

London’s most talented criminal
is about to be fingered…

Lady Viola Preston can relieve a gentleman of the studs at his wrists without his being any the wiser and pick any lock devised by man in less than a minute. But she’s careful to wear gloves when she steals jewels. Because when Viola touches a gemstone, it “speaks” to her, sending disturbing visions–visions almost as unsettling as the sight of the cool-eyed stranger who catches her red handed.

Now Viola will only be stealing at Greydon Quinn’s behest. And even more daunting than the violent history of the red diamond he’s after is the prospect of a night in the devastatingly handsome lieutenant’s arms. Touch has always been Viola’s weakness and the full body-to-body contact Quinn has in mind is about to shatter her defenses and set her senses reeling.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

Touch of a Thief is available at Amazon, in bookstores, and at other on-line retailers.

And in July, Mia will also have a novella coming out in the anthology, Improper Gentleman, with authors Diane Whiteside and Maggie Robinson.

Mia has very graciously donated a copy of Touch of a Thief to give away to one commenter today on the blog.  Just tell me what you do with your old paperbacks—keep them forever, give them away to friends, or donate them to the library?

There’s more!  In a nice bit of synchronicity I’m appearing today on Mia’s blog.  Stop on by for a chance to win a copy of My Favorite Countess!