We Have Winners & Another Great Contest!!

We have two winners today.  The winner of Ashley March’s latest historical, Romancing The Countess, is Kendra.  And the winner of Tina Gabrielle’s fabulous romance, Lady Of Scandal, is Maggie Jagger.  Congratulations, ladies!  I’ll be in touch soon.

Thanks to all the readers who stopped by to visit with Tina and Ashley.  My guests next week include Susan Lyons and Cynthia Eden.

And check out the great contest I’m running with several other romance authors–it’s a really awesome one.  All the details are below.

Recent visitors to my blog might not realize that I’m running a FABULOUS contest with some of my writing pals – all talented authors.  We’re giving away the entire signed backlists of some of your favorite romance writers, including Lisa Kleypas and Julia Quinn.  Amazing, right?  Just keep reading to get all the details on how you can be entered in this contest.

There comes a time in a romance reader’s life when something amazing happens. Something awesome. Something really, really cool that makes you emit a high-pitched shrieking sound which then causes everyone around you to gape and stare. That shriek often sounds something like SQUEEEEEEEEE.

Dear friends and fellow romance readers, you might have a SQUEE moment ahead in your future.

Five huge romance fans who just happen to be romance authors as well have decided that we want to give you the opportunity to receive complete, SIGNED backlists of one of your very favorite authors (and yes, that means EVERYTHING they’ve ever written).

The romance fans/authors who are participating are: Ashley March, Shana Galen, Lila DiPasqua, Heather Snow, and moi, Vanessa Kelly.

The complete, SIGNED backlists they’re giving away are books from the following authors (henceforth known as “The Amazing Authors”):

Lisa Kleypas

Julia Quinn

Elizabeth Hoyt

Cynthia Eden

Julie Garwood

Before we can give these awesome prizes away, though, we need you to show how fanatical of fans you are. Since we know that you’re already following The Amazing Authors on Facebook (you are, aren’t you??), all you need to do is follow the authors who want to give away these complete, signed backlists to you. We all have to reach a certain number of followers; once that happens, then we will run a Facebook giveaway on our individual pages where you can enter to win the complete, signed backlists from the Amazing Authors.

(Please note, you must follow and enter on each of the five Facebook pages to be eligible to win each backlist. The giveaway won’t happen until AFTER the goals are met for ALL of us, and the giveaways will be open to US and international residents! All books will be in English as print books; if any books in the Amazing Authors’ backlists are currently our of print, used books will be purchased for those titles so that the backlist will be complete.)

Ashley March (must reach 2500 total “Likes” in order to give away Lisa Kleypas backlist)

Shana Galen (must reach 2000 total “Likes” in order to give away Julia Quinn backlist)

Lila DiPasqua (must reach 3500 total “Likes” in order to give away Elizabeth Hoyt backlist)

Vanessa Kelly (must reach 2000 total “Likes” in order to give away Cynthia Eden backlist)

Heather Snow (must reach 2500 total “Likes” in order to give away Julie Garwood backlist)

Those are the rules! Tell your friends, tell your family, tell any fellow romance fan you know. Soon, 5 lucky winners will win a complete, signed backlist from a favorite author that will make you SQUEEEEE!

Now get out there and start liking those pages!


Hanging Out With My Pal

Hubby and I will be doing something fun this weekend.  We’ll be in Atlanta, hanging out with some pals and spending time at the fabulous Moonlight & Magnolias Conference, sponsored by the Georgia Romance Writers (GRW).  My second book, Sex And The Single Earl, has been nominated for Best Historical Romance in the GRW’s prestigious contest, The Maggies.  Naturally, I was THRILLED to be one of the finalists, but the best reason for finaling was that it gave me an excuse to visit with all my friends in the Atlanta area!

Along with putting on a dynamite conferenece, the ladies of the GRW sponsor a fantastic book fair and autographing session, which is open to the public.  I’ll be signing along with some phenomenal authors, including Sherrilyn Kenyon, Eloisa James, Karen White, Shiloh Walker, and Haywood Smith.  Zounds!  What a line-up!  The signing will take place on Oct. 1, from 4 to 5:30 pm in the ballroom of the Decatur Hotel and Conference Center.  If you live in the Atlanta area, you really should stop by.  The session is free, and I know it’s going to be a lot of fun.  Details are available on the GRW website.

I’d also like to announce the winner of Marie Force’s latest book, Georgia On My Mind.  It’s Gail S.  Congratulations!  I’ll be in touch.  My next guest on the blog is New York Times best-selling historical romance novelist, Sophie Jordan.  She’ll be here this Friday, so be sure to stop on by!


Guest Author: Marie Force & Giveaway!

This is a bit of a squee day for me on the blog, because I’m featuring my good friend, the very talented Marie Force.  Marie writes both contemporary romance and romantic suspense, and if you haven’t yet heard about her…well, you will!  In just a few short years her career has gone into orbit.

Like most authors, though, Marie started off on another career path.  She majored in journalism and political science in university, worked as a journalist for a community paper, and still works as a communications director for a non-profit agency in Virginia.  Marie also married a Navy guy, spending part of her married life in Spain and then in Jacksonville Florida, where her husband was stationed.  During those years, her hubby spent quite a lot of time at sea, so Marie raised two little kids and continued to work, all while her muse was kicking her in the butt and telling her to pay attention.

Finally, Marie got down to it and her first published book, Line of Scrimmage, was released by Sourcebooks  in 2008.


Line of Scrimmage, a contemporary romance, got great reviews, as did Marie’s subsequent books like Love at First Flight, which received a Reviewer Top Pick from Night Owl Reviews, and was nominated for the LASR Best Book of 2009.  Here’s what Book Binge had to say about Love at First Flight:

“Marie Force really has a knack for getting the reader emotionally involved with her characters. I felt the same way when I read Line of Scrimmage and Love at First Flight is no exception. I have to give kudos to her for writing such an unconventional romance so well. The fact that she could engage my emotions throughout the whole book really is a testament to her skillfulness of storytelling.”

Well, the accolades have kept on coming, both for Marie’s contemporary romances and for her romantic suspense novels put out by Carina Press, Harlequin Publishing’s digital imprint.  Her romantic suspense books are part of the Fatal Series, starring Nick and Sam, and set amongst the political intrigues of Washington D.C.  Here’s what New York Times bestselling author, Christy Reece, had to say about the first book in the series, Fatal Affair:

Sizzle, mystery and suspense…Fatal Affair has it all! Nick and Sam are a perfect pair and Marie Force is definitely an author to watch!

You can read all about this fantastic romantic suspense series on Marie’s website.

Not content with resting on her laurels (the scamp!), Marie decided to branch out into the world of indie publishing.  No surprise to anyone who knows her, she’s been phenomenally successful with these new books published in digital format.  In fact, Marie has a new one just out this week.  It’s another contemporary romance, and it’s called Georgia On My Mind.


Here’s the blurb for Georgia On My Mind:

Since Georgie Quinn’s mother died after a brief battle with breast cancer, the highlight of her life has become “jogger stalking” every morning with her roommates Tess and Cat. Stuck running the senior center her mother founded in Newport, RI, until a replacement director is found, Georgie dreams of returning to her glamorous life in Atlanta. As that life begins to unravel, she discovers a whole new one in Newport where the jogger turns out to be sexy detective and tree hugger Nathan Caldwell. Determined to get her mind off her many problems—including a possible threat to her own health—Georgie indulges in what she intends to be a no-holds-barred one-night stand with Nathan. Unfortunately, Nathan has other ideas and sets out to have a relationship with her. Tess, on the run from an abusive husband, and Cat, who raised her younger brother and sister, hook up with Nathan’s brothers, Ben, an injured Iraqi war veteran, and Ian, a single-father and talented musician. Add a zany cast of seniors who seem determined to drive Georgie slowly mad with their never-ending needs and comparisons to her sainted mother, and you’ve got the ingredients for a fast-paced, often comical, emotional journey that leads Georgie straight to the home of her heart.

Sounds great, doesn’t it!  You can get all the details about Georgia On My Mind on Marie’s website.  While you’re there, you can also have a look at her McCarthy’s of Gansett Island Series and find out more about her upcoming contemporary trilogy.  The first book in that series, Treading Water, will be out in October.

For my readers today, Marie is giving away a copy of her new book, Georgia On My Mind.  Let’s talk contemporary romance.  Who are some of your favorite contemporary romance authors and why?  Do you like warm, heartfelt contemporaries, or something a little zanier and fast-paced, like chick lit or the fabulously funny books of Jennifer Crusie?  One person who comments will win a copy of Marie’s fabulous book!

 


#SampleSunday: HARDBALL by V.K. Sykes

For #Sample Sunday, here’s an excerpt from Hardball, the sexy contemporary romance I wrote with my husband under the pen name of VK Sykes.  Nate, a superstar baseball player, and Holly, a serious and rather shy pediatric surgeon, meet for the first time.  When making a visit to the local children’s hospital to visit with the kids, Nate runs into Holly.

Nate entered the room.  Two steps inside, he stopped short, brushing up against a woman in a white lab coat.  She must have been standing at the foot of the bed, fully hidden by the door.

The woman took a small step backward, clearly startled by the brief physical contact.  As their eyes met, Nate felt all the air sucked from his lungs in one whoosh.

Sweet Mother of God.

He had to pull in a deep breath.  What a babe.

The woman’s brow creased.  “I’m Dr. Bell.  Can I help you?”

He couldn’t stop his gaze from quickly traveling the full length of her body, from her face to her ankles and all the way back again.  Though not nearly as tall as he was, this doctor was one seriously long drink of a woman.  Close to six feet, he reckoned.  Her unbuttoned lab coat revealed a lean but curvy figure, and long, elegant legs.  She had a naturally beautiful face, too, with big, hazel eyes, a full, sexy mouth, and a peaches and cream complexion.  Still, he suspected she tended to hide her light under a bushel.  She wore no makeup that he could see, and her auburn hair was pulled back into a ponytail.  Glasses were perched on the end of her nose, secured by a fine gold chain around her neck.  They added to her unadorned, resolutely professional look.

The doctor extended a slender hand.  Her fine eyebrows arched as she waited for him to find his voice.

Her outstretched hand finally registered in his brain and jolted him into action. “I’m sorry,” he apologized, “I was a little surprised for a moment.  You were hidden by the door.”

He took her hand and held it a few seconds.  It was long and fine-boned, but her firm grip told him it was strong, too.  The kind of hand he’d like to have doing surgery on him.  In fact, he mused, he wouldn’t mind that hand doing all sorts of things to his body.

He introduced himself.  “I’m Nate Carter.  I come around whenever I can to visit with the kids.”

She still looked puzzled.  It dawned on him that she had absolutely no idea who he was.  It didn’t bother him, though.  Actually, it felt like a nice change of pace from the constant fan recognition.

“I’m a pitcher with the Patriots,” he said.  “You know.  Baseball.”

Her mouth relaxed into a half-smile. “Oh, I see,” she replied.  “You’re one of our celebrity visitors.”  Her crisp tone told him she was far from awed by his presence.  Looking down at the little girl, she said, “Mr. Carter, this is Morgan McDaniel.”

Morgan shyly put her little hand in his big one.

“Dr. Holly, I know who Nate Carter is,” she said in a whispery voice.  “He’s the Patriots’ best pitcher.  Everybody knows that.”

Dr. Bell seemed to hold back a smile as Morgan skewered her.  “I don’t think I’ve told you yet how new I am to the city, Morgan,” she said, her serious voice at odds with the amusement in her eyes.  “If I’d been here for more than just a few weeks, I’m sure I would have recognized a man as famous as Mr. Carter.”

Nate smothered a chuckle.  What a perfect response.  She validated what the little girl had said, and made him feel good at the same time.

“That’s why I didn’t recognize you, either,” he said.  “I’ve met most of the doctors here over the past few years, and I know I would have remembered if I’d ever seen you before.”  He made no attempt to keep the appreciation out of his voice.

“Well, then, I suppose we might run into each other again.”  Her smile was hesitant but intriguing.  “Since you’re a regular visitor here.”

“You bet,” he said.

As if he didn’t already have enough motivation to keep doing this“Doctor Bell,” he continued, wanting to keep the conversation going, “do you mind my asking where you’re from?  I detect a bit of a southern accent.”

She sighed, her expression conveying rueful resignation.  “You’re probably hearing the north Florida in my voice.  I grew up in Jacksonville.  But for the last nine years I’ve been studying and working at the University of Virginia.”

“You’re from Jacksonville?  No kidding?  I’ve got a condo in Ponte Vedra Beach, and I’m in Jax all the time when I’m down there.”  He looked over at Morgan, staring at the adults with big, round eyes, and winked.  The little girl giggled.

Nate glanced back at the doctor.  “That’s got to be some kind of karma, right?”

Dr. Bell registered his flirtation, and her eyes widened in surprise.  A slight blush colored her smooth cheeks.  He could feel his smile broaden as she somewhat defiantly returned his look, and it occurred to him that perhaps the good doctor was issuing a challenge.

Well, he’d be more than happy to oblige her.  He knew without a shadow of a doubt he was going to find out just what this lovely doctor was all about.

Hardball is available on the Nook, Amazon and at Smashwords for $2.99.  You can read all about it, including a longer excerpt, on my VK Sykes website.

Have a great Sunday!


We Have Winners!

The winners of Shana Galen’s new book, Lord And Lady Spy, are Emily Tardy and Emily.  How about that for synchronicity?  Two winners with the same first name!

Thanks to everyone for stopping by the blog – it was a really fun discussion!  I have some more great guests coming up, including paranormal and romantic suspense author Karen Whiddon and my good pal, Marie Force, who writes both contemporary romance and romantic suspense.  Make sure you drop on by!


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