Guest Author: Mardi Ballou & Giveaway!

Please join me in welcoming Mardi Ballou to the blog!  Mardi writes fun and very sizzling sensual romance.  She’s published with a number of publishers, including Samhain and Ellora’s Cave, and she’s also indie published.  You can check out all her books–she’s got a lot of them–on her website.

I’m turning to blog over to Mardi, so she can tell us what’s going on in her writing world.

Love’s Lessons Learned

 In homage to Maeve Binchy, a beautiful writer, R.I.P.

Just back from the RWA National conference in Anaheim and my head is still spinning. Talk about ground-breaking, earth-shaking changes! It’s actually a great time to be a writer, with opportunities in both traditional and independent publishing opening up. Having been traditionally pubbed for several years, I’m glad to have the indie option now too. Of course this new world is full of new challenges. I feel as if I’m joining my peers at the entry point of a steep learning curve. Being a long-time student and teacher, having something to learn is familiar turf.

Like me, the heroes in my hot contemporary series Teach Him Tonight also have lessons to learn. Unlike me, they need to have their awareness raised on that score. Luckily for them, each finds a determined lady willing to provide vital lessons in love.

Photo Finish, the first book in the series, tells the story of two San Francisco lawyers who start out on opposite sides professionally and privately:

Ambitious attorney Cassandra Harrell is primed to battle her hot, hunky opposing counsel Alex DeLuca—a.k.a. Alexander the Great—in the courtroom. Though she fantasizes about getting him into her bedroom, she’s determined to avoid this bad boy distraction and focus on her career.

Alex spots the author photo on the back cover of a steamy romance and recognizes Cassandra. Who knew the desirable but icy lawyer had such a fascinating sensuous side? When he teases her about the book at a deposition, she furiously denies any connection.

Her sister K.C. wrote the book and, for a prank, used Cassandra’s photo. Outraged at Alex for embarrassing her in front of clients, Cassandra plots a revenge lesson. This teacher comes out on top until her student raises the stakes—and the heat.

Though Cassandra is a lawyer, she also becomes a very effective teacher. Alex shows up with more than an apple for teacher. In the best of all possible outcomes, both teacher and student learn their lessons very well.

Businesswoman Brenda has a huge challenge teaching Keith, her long-time love, in Emergency Ex, the second book in the Teach Him Tonight series:

“Love is the emotional chocolate of the universe.” Actually, successful chocolatier Brenda Lockheart deals with the sweet brown confection lots better than she does with love. For years she’s been in love with Keith Tarrant, her best friend with benefits. As her thirtieth birthday approaches, hot lovemaking and intense friendship no longer satisfy her. It’s time to make a commitment or say good-bye. Keith goes along at first, and she’s hopeful. But as her birthday gets closer, her relationship with Keith hits snags.

Keith loves Brenda and can’t bear to lose her, but he’s got lots of unresolved baggage and a history of being less than she deserves. Though he’ll try to get over his issues in time to make her birthday special, when a new roadblock arises, he’s out of his depth. Can Keith man up and commit to Brenda in time? Or will their relationship crumble and turn her into one more of his many exes?

For a while it seems Brenda’s thirtieth birthday celebration will coincide with her final farewell to Keith. Just when all appears to be lost, an important light bulb turns on for Keith.

K.C., who’s Cassandra’s sister and an enthusiastic customer for Brenda’s chocolates, gets her own story in my current work-in-progress, After Class. K.C., a best-selling author, actually starts off being the student:

K.C. Corrigan’s latest book hits all the major best-seller lists. Victory feels especially sweet when she gets a congratulatory call from Todd Marek, the hot teacher whose writing class she flunked.

Todd considered K.C. a sexy, talented writer—except she put too much romance in her writing. He gave her a failing grade and refused to send her work on to the agent who sponsors the writing program. Now that she’s a huge success, Todd has to convince K.C. to sign with the agent or he’ll lose his job. Todd is not big on eating crow.

Being a best seller, K.C. has lots of new “friends.” She doesn’t need any more aggro from the teacher who flunked her yet keeps showing up in her romantic fantasies. Much as she’d love to teach the teacher lessons in romance, Todd’s the slowest of learners—at first. Luckily K.C. is the queen of persistence—and love.

I’d love reader feedback and reviews on the Teach Him Tonight books. Photo Finish  and Emergency Ex are currently available at Amazon and soon to be available at other sites. After Class will be released in early autumn. Please check my website, www.MardiBallou.com for updates.

I hope all your lessons are happy ones!

–Mardi

Thanks so much, Mardi!  I love that your stories revolve around lessons learned.  Readers, Mardi is graciously giving away one of her books today.  For my readers in the U.S., you can win a copy of either Ripe and Ready or Better with Age, both Ellora’s Cave anthologies.

For my readers outside the U.S., you can win a copy of one of Mardi’s e-books, which you can check out on her website.

So, let’s talk about heroes and lessons learned.  What lesson do you like your heroes to learn from their heroines, and how painful should it be?  One person who comments will win either the anthology or one of the Mardi’s digital books.

 

 


Guest Author: Lisa Renee Jones & Giveaway!

My guest today is award-winning author Lisa Renee Jones.  Lisa has published more than fifteen novels in several different languages, spanning multiple genres of romance – contemporary, romantic suspense, dark paranormal and erotic fiction.   Her debuts for both Nocturne and Blaze debuted on the Bookscan bestseller list.

Lisa now writes for Sourcebooks, and she has a new series called The Zodius, featuring some very bad-boy heroes.  The first book in the series is The Legend of Michael, which has both a great cover and great reviews.


Check out Lisa’s website for all the details.

Lisa has a new book out in The Zodius Series, called The Storm That Is Sterling.  I’ll turn the blog over to Lisa now, so she can fill you in on her new book.

Hello everyone! It’ s almost Christmas and I love, love, love the holidays. The holidays are about family, and celebration, and love and life. Love and life is about the good and the bad and the way we come together as we encounter those things.

Another reason to be happy this year is that THE STORM THAT IS STERLING is out! Sterling is one of those tormented Dean Winchester characters who says crazy stuff all the time.  He loves M & M’s and Dr. Pepper, and some other things, as you can see from the short excerpt below.

The Storm That Is Sterling

He was created, molded, formed from life, love, and misery…

Lethally daring. Ruthlessly passionate. He invites death to his door. Welcomes it with each breath he draws, each step he takes. And thus he is danger. A volatile storm that will sweep across the calm realms of humanity and shake it to the depths of its core. And that storm is…Sterling.

Sterling Jeter has remarkable powers and has shown himself to be just about indestructible. But beautiful, brilliant RebeccaBurns knows that even a Super Soldier needs comfort, and so much more… 

But she can see that deep down, he’s just a man…

Sterling and Rebecca’s teenage romance was interrupted, but years later the heat between them flares back to life. Even though it endangers everything they’re fighting for, it’s impossible to resist picking up right where they left off…

EXCERPT:

Erotic images rushed through Sterling’s mind as Becca walked toward him, anticipation for the moment this gorgeous, sweet, yet incredibly sexy woman would touch him. She stopped in front of him, her gaze lift­ing to his, simmering heat expanding between them. He swayed slightly, then silently reprimanded himself, despite the very male, very caveman-like desire to reach for her and say “mine.” He knew that wasn’t the right move. Just as he had known what to order for her at that restaurant, she didn’t feel she had choices, like she was spinning out of control. Well, she was going to have them with him. Whatever she wanted, she needed—he wanted and needed.

Slowly, her lashes lowered as she pressed her palm to his chest. It was soft, cool—a contrast to the fire licking at his limbs, spiraling between them. She splayed her fingers, flexing them against his skin before trailing one finger downward to his lower abdomen, and then flat­tened her hand on his skin again with the promise she wasn’t going to stop there…

Well, that’s tantalizing little snippet, isn’t it?  You can read a longer excerpt on Lisa’s website.

For my readers, Lisa will give away a PDF copy of either Michael or Sterling’s book, or her Vampire Wardens collection trilogy – all three stories in one.  To be entered to win, just give me the title of at least one book you’re hoping will appear in your stocking this holiday season.


We Have A Winner!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The winner of Trish Jensen’s lovely Christmas anthology is Sharyn.  Congratulations!  I’ll be in touch.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by the blog.  My featured author tomorrow is historical and contemporary romance author, Phoebe Conn.


Guest Feature: Trish Jensen & Giveaway!

My featured author today is the talented, best-selling writer Trish Jensen.  Back in the 90’s Trish escaped from the corporate world to begin her career writing fun, high-energy contemporary romances that both readers and reviewers raved about.  She’s written for a number of publishers, including Harlequin, Berkley, Dorchester, and KensingtonRT Book Reviews calls her work “charming and delightfully humorous,” and The Romance Reader said that Trish has “a great comic touch and an ear for dialogue.”

I don’t know about you, but with all the stresses that come with this time of year, charming and humorous sounds just about right!

Like many authors with an established career, Trish has some wonderful books that are not as easy to find as they used to be.  Fortunately for her readers, those books will soon be re-released by Bell Bridge Books, starting in January with Stuck With You.

 

Here’s the blurb for Stuck With You:

As lawyers on opposing sides of a messy divorce case, Paige Hart and Ross Bennett ought to have kept matters purely professional, yet Paige and Ross came to loathe each other with an intensity that was strictly personal. The bad blood between them takes on an unexpected new dimension when the infuriated pair is forced to share a hospital room, when they’re quarantined after being exposed to the rare and highly contagious Tibetan Concupiscence Virus that’s reputed to shift sensual desire into high gear.

When symptoms (which a nonmedical person might mistake for pure and simple lust) start showing up way ahead of schedule, the lawyers’ objections to each other are overruled — and they enjoy every minute of it. But, after the doctors declare that the disease has run its course, Paige and Ross are still feverish with a longing for one another that they hope will never be cured. When the verdict comes in, will they be sentenced to life — in love?

OMG!  That sounds like so much fun!  RT Book Reviews called this book “a fun-filled romantic comedy that will definitely tickle your fancy.”  Readers obviously agreed, because this book hit the USA Today bestseller list.  Be sure to check Trish’s website for the books that are currently available, and to find out when her other books will be available in digital format.

While you’re there, check out Trish’s holiday round robin novel that she wrote with acclaimed romance authors Sandra Hill and Kate Holmes.  It’s called ‘Twas The Night, and it’s funny, poignant, and uplifting—everything a Christmas story should be!


Here’s the blurb for‘Twas The Night:

The three bad-boy bachelors of Snowdon, Maine, have to make it to the church on time, or die trying. Due at a friend’s wedding on Christmas Eve, the Fearsome Threesome find themselves dashing through the snow in the goofiest bus on Earth — a bright red vehicle filled with a bunch of senior citizens known as The Santa Brigade. Ho, ho, ho!  

Decked out in red and serving up holiday cheer to the masses, a Blue Angels pilot, a bounty hunter, and a former pro football player discover ’tis the season for folly as each trips over his heart to capture the love of the one special woman for him. And who is to say what they’ll find nestled in their beds as the stockings are stuffed and the gifts placed under the tree.

RT Book Reviews called it “a delightfully funny, charming, and humorous holiday tale,” so you know you’ll want to read this one.  Check out Trish’s website for details.

For my readers today, Trish is donating a lovely trade paperback copy of ‘Twas The Night, signed by all three authors.  Wow!  Since we’re talking about comedic romance, let’s go with a similar topic.  What’s your favorite romantic comedy movie, and why?  One person who comments will win a copy of Trish’s holiday book.

 


Guest Author: Angela Benson & Giveaway!

My guest author today is an incredibly interesting, talented, and accomplished woman.  She’s Angela Benson, and she’s an award winning author of both contemporary romance and faith-inspired fiction.  Angela has published twelve novels, two novellas, and a nonfiction writing book, all for top-notch publishers.  Her books have appeared on national and regional bestseller lists, and she’s won a number of awards, including the Romantic Times Award for Best Multicultural Romance, and she was also a finalist for the Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award in Multicultural Romance.  On top of that, she was also nominated for the prestigious RITA Award, sponsored by the Romance Writers of America.

Wow!  That is one heck of a writing pedigree, isn’t it?

Angela’s writing creds are certainly distinguished, but the other parts of her life are equally impressive.  She majored in both math and industrial engineering, and holds two Masters Degrees AND a Ph.D. in instructional technology from the University of Georgia.  Angela is currently an associate professor of educational technology at the University of Alabama.  My goodness—when does the woman even find time to write books?!

Like many romance writers with established careers, Angela is moving into digital publishing.  Three of her previously published, out of print books are now available as e-books.  The Way Home and The Nicest Guy in America were originally published with Pinnacle Arabesque, both to great reviews.


The Way Home was an RT Reviewers Choice winner, and was also a finalist for the prestigious Holt Medallion.  Here’s what the Literary Times had to say about it:

“A realistic, romantic tale of regaining lost love! Ms. Benson writes from the heart and it is reflected in her characters. Readers will be thrilled with Angela Benson’s newest love story!”

Here’s the blurb for The Way Home:

Marlena Rhodes returns to her hometown of Gaines for a visit only to discover that the past she left behind is still fresh in her memory. As a successful attorney in Washington, D.C., Marlena has made a name for herself and the wealthy black society people of Gaines are clamoring to meet her. They may be dazzled by her name and her reputation, but deep down Marlena is still Josie Rhodes’ daughter and Josie hadn’t been accepted by most of the people in Gaines. When she comes face-to-face with her ex-love, Marlena remembers why she loved Winston Taylor so much and why she’d said goodbye . . .

Doesn’t that sound like a great read?  To check out an excerpt of The Way Home, take a hop to Angela’s website.  While you’re there, you can also read the blurb, excerpt, and reviews for her other book, The Nicest Guy in America.

And just in time for Christmas, Angela has a holiday novella called Friend and Lover.


Here’s the review for the novella from RT Book Reviews:

Angela Benson’s “Friend and Lover” is a hilarious, sensual romp of friends turning into lovers. Reed Lewis has loved his best friend, Paige Taylor, for years. In a determined effort to make his New Year’s dreams come true, Reed pulls out all the stops. Paige tries to fight her attraction to Reed, but when he brings in his secret weapon-his 80-year-old, 5-foot-nothing, 80-pound grandmother named Big Momma-she loses her heart to the incorrigible grandmother/grandson duo.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  Stop by Angela’s website to get all the details and to read an excerpt of Friend and Lover.

For my readers today, Angela is donating a copy of The Way Home.  Since Angela’s just released a Christmas novella, let’s talk about the holidays.  What’s your favorite thing about the holiday season—family, food, or all those fabulous books you’re going to get as presents!  One person who comments will win a copy of Angela’s book.


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