Guest Author: Zoe Archer & Giveaway!

I’m really pleased to have fellow Kensington author Zoe Archer return to the blog.  From historical paranormal adventure, to steampunk, to sci-fi, to historical romance, Zoe’s award-winning books feature confident heroines and sexy heroes in waistcoats and tall boots.  Like many authors, Zoe also is moving into the indie publishing realm, with a rewrite and re-release of her historical romance, Lady X’s Cowboy.

Let’s turn things over to Zoe to find out about her latest book.

When Worlds Collide

Some of the best stories happen when worlds collide.  What happens when people from vastly different circumstances find themselves thrown together?  Think of the educated, wealthy Professor Henry Higgins and the Cockney flower seller Eliza Doolittle.  Or member of Alderaan royalty and member of the Imperial Senate, Princess Leia and scoundrel smuggler Han Solo (yum!).

There might be tension between these disparate characters, but one thing’s for certain: sparks are going to fly!

In my historical romance, LADY X’S COWBOY, the heroine is a London Society widow.  Lady Olivia Xavier’s late husband may have purchased his title, but she’s still part of the social elite.  She goes to dinner parties, social teas, and has been trained since birth to be a proper lady.  However, Olivia isn’t exactly the model of high society perfection.  When her husband died, he left her a brewery, with the intent that the managers would run the business and she’d simply collect the profits.  But Olivia isn’t content with this arrangement.  She actually involves herself in the running of the brewery, making suggestions for improvements, and increasing profits.  Society’s stunned by her unconventional behavior, but she’s still accepted among their ranks because of her wealth and title.

Who could be more opposite from a titled London lady?  Why, a Colorado cowboy, of course!  Will Coffin was orphaned as a small child, and grew up in the rough and tumble towns of the Rocky Mountains.  The only family he’s ever known was the Jewish miner who raised him.  Will’s more familiar with life on the back of a saddle than he is with hearth and home.  He’s not even a farmer who’s put down roots, but a cattle puncher who’s lived his life on the trail.

Will comes to London in search of his long lost family, and that’s where he and Olivia meet.  He agrees to defend her brewery from someone who wants to take it over, and in exchange, she’ll help him find his family.  A Society widow and a Colorado cowboy couldn’t be more dissimilar—yet they’re both unique people, and that uniqueness draws them together.  I don’t want to spoil any of the surprises, but suffice it to say that there’s a lot more to Will than meets the eye.  And he sees a vivid, powerful strength and energy in Olivia—something no one else from her world recognizes.

Two extremely disparate people.  Two different worlds.  But sometimes the heart doesn’t pay attention to difference—it knows what it wants, rules and expectations be damned.

So, what are some of your favorite “worlds collide” stories?  It could be from books, television, or films.  Leave a comment, and I’ll pick one winner to receive a digital copy of LADY X’S COWBOY.  Open internationally.


Constrained by her life as a Society widow, Lady Olivia Xavier finds escape in two unusual ways: as the owner of a successful brewery, and as a secret reader of penny dreadful Western novels. But Olivia’s beloved brewery is being threatened, and she has no ally in her fight. Until a mysterious cowboy steps out from the London fog, saving her from a terrifying brawl. Suddenly, Olivia isn’t just reading about the Wild West, she’s living it.

Colorado cowboy Will Coffin has made the long journey from his Rocky Mountain home to discover his birthright. While searching for his family, he encounters the beguiling Olivia. Will’s never met a real English lady before—certainly not one as lovely and courageous as Olivia—and he can’t resist coming to her rescue.

Olivia is powerfully drawn to the rough but honorable cowboy. She proposes a most scandalous arrangement: in exchange for helping protect her brewery, she’ll help Will find his family. Even more scandalous is that he’ll be sleeping under her roof. The entire arrangement sets Society’s tongues wagging. Meanwhile, the danger to the brewery, and Olivia herself, keeps escalating. But nothing’s as dangerous, or seductive, as the growing desire between the lady and the cowboy…

Lady X’s Cowboy was originally published by Dorchester in 2006 and is newly revised by the author.

Zoë Archer is an award-winning romance author who thinks there’s nothing sexier than a man in tall boots and a waistcoat. As a child, she never dreamed about being the rescued princess, but wanted to kick butt right beside the hero. She now applies her master’s degrees in Literature and Fiction to creating butt-kicking heroines and heroes in tall boots. She is the author of the acclaimed BLADES OF THE ROSE series and the paranormal historical romance series, THE HELLRAISERS. She and her husband, fellow romance author Nico Rosso, created the steampunk world of THE ETHER CHRONICLES together.  Her steampunk romance, SKIES OF FIRE, is now available from Avon Impulse, and Nico’s steampunk Western, NIGHT OF FIRE, is also available now. Zoë and Nico live in Los Angeles.


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To buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, All Romance Ebooks

Guest Author: Kate Douglas & Giveaway!

One of my favorite people is in the house – Kate Douglas, the acclaimed paranormal erotica author who writes for Kensington.  Kate is justly famous for her groundbreaking Wolf Tales series, which you can read about on her website.  And here’s something really cool:  she’s starting a new series.  Let’s turn the blog over to her for all the details.

Neurotics R Us…

My thanks to Vanessa for the invite to blog with her today, and thanks to you for putting up with me…and yep, I don’t say that figuratively. When I’ve got a new book releasing, I tend to show up all over the place blogging my fingers to the bone, but with so many books to choose from, how will you know that you absolutely have to read mine if I don’t say something? (and yes, I am ducking and hiding behind the couch right now…) Actually for those of you who have read Dream Catcher in the NightShift anthology, I hope you’ve been waiting for the continuation of Mac and Zianne’s story. As with all my stories, it turned out totally different than I’d expected, but I’m really pleased with both this one and the final book in this short series, Dream Unchained, which comes out in November. (And if you missed Dream Catcher, you’ll still know what’s going on with Dream Bound. It’s not as dependent upon the novella as my Wolf Tales books are to the Chanku novellas)

Anyway, since I don’t want to write the same stuff in every blog, I’ve decided to veer away from my usual shtick about my book and get into something that authors area always joking about—and that’s just how neurotic we are. It seems apropos because, to be quite honest, I’m having one of THOSE weeks. I was talking to some writer friends the other day, and we were all cracking up about our personal writing neuroses. Big joke. Ha. Ha. Except, it’s not so funny this weekend, and I’m actually laughing at just what a neurotic dip I can be.

Yep, without even trying.

Here’s the deal—it’s a busy time—I’ve got a new book, DREAM BOUND from Kensington’s Aphrodisia line, coming out on Tuesday, June 26, which is really cool and something I’ve been looking forward to. Of course, galley proofs for the next in the series, DREAM UNCHAINED, are due to show up on my doorstep Wednesday, which means life as I know it will come to a complete stop while I work on those, but instead of celebrating the release of the new book, and another step in production of another, I’m in an absolute funk.

Why? It’s a really stupid reason, but it’s all because I finished writing the first book in a totally new series called SPIRIT WILD. That book, TO LOVE A DARK WOLF, is the first in my second generation stories about the children of the Chanku, my sexy shapeshifters who starred in Wolf Tales and the Chanku novellas in the Sexy Beast anthologies. (All that sex, you’re gonna get a LOT of babies…) Most writers celebrate the completion of a book. Me? I get depressed.  I’ve been dragging around since sending the manuscript to my editor on Friday, and it’s all because I miss Sebastian Xenakis and Lily Cheval, Alex Aragat and Annie McClintock, my main characters in the story.

Yep…I get way too attached to my imaginary friends, but it was so exciting to have the chance to write Anton Cheval, my Chanku über-alpha and touch base with so many members of the pack, that when I finished the story, I spent three days rereading it, looking for errors (which is another way of not letting go) and when I finally sent it off, I wanted to grab a blankie and stick my thumb in my mouth!

I’ll get over it—I always do, but in the meantime, when you hear people making jokes about how neurotic authors can be, you’ll know our secret. It’s true. We are. At least I am. And I really need a soft blankie about now…

But I’ll shortly be starting the next in the series and then I’ll be fine again. In the meantime, I get to agonize over whether or not anyone is buying Dream Bound and if they do, are they enjoying the story? I hope you do—it’s sexy and exciting and takes place in a part of California I absolutely love—the rugged northeastern corner of the state, which is all high desert and ancient volcanic rocks and caves. My husband and I spent some time up there, researching the setting for the Dream Catchers series. It’s such a beautiful, wild part of the state. Not at all civilized!

If you’d like to see an excerpt, I have the first chapter of Dream Bound posted on my website, but please, only if you’re an adult. Because I do write REALLY hot stuff!   And if you’d like a chance to win a copy of Dream Bound, leave a comment, or just say hi and you’ll be entered.

Vanessa, here.  I just know you’re going to love Kate’s new series.  And Dream Bound is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.  Run, don’t walk to get your copy.  I know I will!


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 Feature: Karen Whiddon & Giveaway!

I’m so pleased to feature a multi-talented author on the blog today.  She’s Karen Whiddon, who writes exciting paranormal tales for Harlequin Nocturne and suspense stories for Silhouette Romantic Suspense.  Karen’s had quite the writing career.  With over twenty-five books to her name, she’s been published by Harlequin, Kensington, and Dorchester Publishing.

Karen’s latest suspense book is The CEO’s Secret Baby, which features a secret baby (love that plotline!), a nasty drug cartel, and enough betrayal and danger to keep every suspense-loving reader happy.

And then there’s Karen’s popular Pack Series, with books like The Lone Wolf, featuring sexy shape-shifters willing to risk everything for love.

Karen also wrote the highly acclaimed Magic Series, paranormal romances originally published by Dorchester Publishing.  Here’s what Romance Reviews Today had to say about Soul Magic, the third book in the series:

“SOUL MAGIC is a passionate tale of hope and despair, and of love’s rebirth in the midst of devastation. As good battles evil, the reader is taken on a magical ride that simultaneously thrills and terrifies.”

Luckily for us, these out-of-print books are now available in digital format.  The first in the series is Powerful Magic, which received wonderful reviews, including this one from The Romance Journal:

“Ms. Whiddon has created a romantic tale about a battered woman’s return to self-worth and her journey towards love.”

Here’s the blurb for Powerful Magic:

Kenric of Blackstone is tormented. Not entirely human, he cannot live with his past or with that he truly is. When he is needed to help in a battle that could destroy the earth, it is Megan who gives him strength, Megan whose kisses heal him…

In a strange land and time, it became clear to Megan Potter why she’d been summoned. This wasn’t about Faerie prophecies or wizardry, or even a desperate struggle to find her way home. This was a quest to save a man’s heart. And for the first time ever, she felt destined to prevail, because with her help she knew this handsome prince could discover the most powerful magic of all—Love.

Doesn’t that sound great?  I love that combination of fantasy and romance, with strong, tormented heroes who need the love of a good woman to be saved.  Karen’s entire Magic Series is now available in e-book, and you can find the details and buy links on her website.

For my readers, Karen will be giving away a digital copy of Powerful Magic.  Let’s ask a different kind of question today.  If you were a character in a paranormal book or series, what kind of creature would you like to be?  A vampire or shapeshifter, a fae princess or a kick-ass witch?  Enquiring minds want to know!  One person who comments will win a copy of Powerful Magic.


Guest Author: Karen Rose Smith & Giveaway!

We have a very special guest author on the blog today.  It’s Karen Rose Smith, the USA Today bestselling writer of warm and heartfelt contemporary romance.  Unbelievably, Karen has published 75 books since 1991, with publishers like Silhouette, Harlequin, and Kensington.  She’s won several awards, including the Golden Leaf and the Golden Quill, and she’s made the Borders Group Bestseller list for Series Romance and the Amazon Romance Bestseller list.

Whew!  What a career!

Karen loves writing books with a lot of emotion.  She was an only child who dreamed of having lots of brothers and sisters, although she did grow up in a big extended family.  She brings that love of family into her books, with plotlines that include small towns and strong personal and family relationships.  Critics and readers alike love her stories.  Here’s what Romance Reviews Today had to say about her books:

“Karen Rose Smith’s storeyworlds are complete and realistic and lovely places to visit and revisit. She excels at stories that feature couples brought together by infants and children, and she handles her plots and characters with sublime sensitivity.”

Fortunately for her readers, Karen has lots of good stuff out this year.  In August, her Montana Mavericks release, His Country Cinderella, came out from Harlequin Special Edition.

The hero of this book is a country music singer—I love that idea!  Here’s the blurb:

Zane Gunther once entertained fans with his down-home, heartfelt songs. But a tragedy at one of his concerts has turned him into a hermit. The gift of music has left him.

Can a resilient single mom give him back that gift along with her love?

Who doesn’t love a good Cinderella story?

Karen continues the Cinderella theme with her next book, coming out in late September.  This story is part of her Reunion Brides series, set in the fictional town of Miner’s Bluff, Arizona and featuring couples who attend their high school reunion.  Fun!

Here’s the blurb for Once Upon A Groom:

Zack and Jenny fell in love in high school. But Zack intended to escape the Rocky D while Jenny craved the roots she’d found on his parents’ ranch. With resentment and bitterness toward his father, blaming him for his mother’s death, Zack found a life as a movie director with wealth, fame and privilege. Now when he returns to Miners Bluff, his father isn’t the man he once was. And Jenny has a secret she has never divulged.

Old fires reignite as Zack and Jenny fall in love all over again. Will their differences push them apart once more? Or can love truly conquer all?

I love both fairy tale themes and reunion plots, so this book sounds great!  You can check out the details for both Once Upon A Groom and His Country Cinderella on Karen’s website

While you’re there, you might want to check out her short story collections, which also continue her Cinderella theme.  There’s Everyday Prince Charming and Everyday Cinderellas, both of which sound like lovely collections.  She also has some new e-books and number of backlist books re-released in digital format.  You can get all the details on her Dear Reader page.

And Karen has a lovely blog too, called Cats, Roses…And BooksTrust me—you’ll want to stop by and check out her Cranberry-Orange-Pecan scone recipe!

For my readers, Karen has graciously donated a copy of His Country CinderellaLet’s talk contemporary romance.  Do you read contemporary romance?  If so, which authors do you really enjoy?  One person who comments will win a copy of Karen’s book.