Interview: Laurie Olerich, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Author on her new release, KOIVU

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I write urban fantasy and paranormal romance. I love creating the world and the lore that goes with it. The little details of setting, culture, history and creatures are so much fun to write! My stories are meant to be an escape for readers. What better way to forget your problems than to lose yourself in a world that may or may not exist alongside our distressing one? Each book builds on the lore and the backstory so it unfolds in real time as you read. I love giving my characters unique psychic abilities that give them an edge on the bad guys and in the bedroom too–telepathy, telekinesis, energy exchange, teleporting… Imagine the possibilities! My paranormal world includes Primani (immortal soldiers), psychics, angels, and demons (both good and bad). Oh, and just because this is PNR, there’s no reason to leave out the occasional kinky character, is there? These guys have needs too! Now, isn’t that more fun than cowboys and bikers? Wink, wink!

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

I’ve loved reading since I was a little girl. My mother read to me often and I devoured every book I could get my hands on. I remember reading “Reader’s Digest” and the encyclopedias when there were no new books. I memorized all of the Nancy Drew books by the time I was 11. When I was about 14, I discovered Piers Anthony. There’s just something about escaping into another world that appeals to me. I can’t tell you how many Nancy Drew mysteries I invented in my neighborhood!

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

I describe my writing style as action oriented, fast paced, and conversational. My characters tell the story from the prologue to the epilogue. Sure, I have to guide them along and fill in the details, but the story comes from them. I love the twists and turns this brings to the plot. The romance is as important to me as the plot and action scenes so I let it flow as the characters want. I believe romance has to flow organically so I don’t try to rush it. Same thing for sex. Each couple has their own personalities so their romance and sex scenes will be as true to that as I can make it. For example, my crazier couples will have sex in public or indulge in hot, wild monkey sex. My more spiritual, sensual couples are more likely to make love in a steamy lagoon or an elegant hotel room.

In a nutshell, I write stories to sweep readers into my world. I prefer to sprinkle clues and Easter eggs across the book and weave the backstories along the way to create that delicious feeling of anticipation that my readers really want.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m having a blast writing the stories in my new Demons After Dark series. These poor demons have been exiled into human bodies and they are in constant trouble. Between their love lives and the ongoing conspiracy to overthrow Lucifer, I’ve got a lot to write. I’m in the middle of book four now. “Derick (Demons After Dark Book Four) should be released between Dec-Jan. I’m also working on another novella in my Primani series. This one will also be released between Dec-Jan.

What do your plans for future projects include?

I’ve got a full plate! In 2018, I’m planning an additional two books in the Demons After Dark series and another novel and a novella in the Primani series. I’ve got a contemporary romance series planned for 2019.

FUN STUFF

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?  

Hmmm. I do my best thinking out loud, so I usually run my plots by my Dalmatian, Rambo. He’s the genius behind my secret society in Hell series arc. Is that strange?

How many donuts are you capable of eating in one sitting?

I can eat about eight. Seriously. Nine, if I’m starving. They’re nothing but sugar and air! I have no willpower over donuts so I rarely buy them.

What is your go-to method for getting rid of hiccups?

I never get the hiccups. Seriously. Like never.

If I gave you a pencil and piece of paper and told you to draw something funny, what would you draw?

Silly puppy faces with lolling tongues, or perhaps, sad penises. Those are always funny!

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

Yes! Those chocolate-coconut-caramel thingies.

How many times does it take for you to listen to a song that you love before you actually hate it instead?

8,321.5 times. I’m very patient.

This or That?

Dogs or Cats?  

Dogs! Dalmatians most of all! I love my spotted furbabies.

Marvel or DC Comics?  

Marvel—I’m a big Thor fan! And Agent Coulson! And Iron Man! But not Captain America. He’s too goody-goody.

Winter or Summer?  

Winter for sure. I hate to sweat!

TexMex or Italian?

TexMex all the way. I make awesome chicken enchiladas.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Vanilla, but I wouldn’t kick chocolate out of bed.

Fun Facts about the author:

I’m a zombie apocalypse junkie–totally a guilty pleasure! I’m fascinated with the way the world’s embraced the idea—books, movies, games, TV shows, chat rooms, blogs…it’s crazy how fast the phenomena has spread. Completely normal people sit around and talk about what they’d do if the world suddenly was overrun with zombies. If I had more money, I’d probably be a doomsday prepper. My son’s officially in charge of all things apocalyptic in our house. So we have two hatchets–unsharpened–in the garage and a combat shotgun in the upstairs bedroom. Yep, that’s his plan.

Over the years, I’ve rescued and rehabilitated 26 Dalmatians. There are so many abandoned and unwanted animals out there and I’m glad I was able to find new homes for these beautiful dogs. At any given time, we usually have two or three Dals in the house. Although now we’re down to only one since my favorite girl died last year. Princess Domino was 15. She may be gone, but I immortalized her in my Primani books in the years before she died. Yes, she really did play hacky-sack with us! Luckily, we’ve still got Rambo. He’s my writing buddy now. We rescued him from an abandoned crack house. Once we got him cleaned up and healed from terrible injuries, he’s been a wonderful, loving member of the family. I recommend adopting a rescued animal to anyone looking for a new furbaby!

abouttheauthor

Laurie Image 8 cropped final.jpg

Laurie Olerich is a Texas girl with an unhealthy love of hockey, a taste for expensive bourbon, and an obsession with all things supernatural. She writes taut, action-packed, and wickedly sexy urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Creating a world filled with immortal soldiers, micromanaging archangels, and unforgettable demons is her one true passion. Give her angel juice and demon mojo any day of the week! She loves taking psychic abilities and twisting them around in new and exciting ways. Add in a ton of high-octane action, shocking subplots, funny characters who nag at her in her sleep, and explosive sex and she calls that a book! Her PNR elements tend to be demons, angels, and psychics not shifters, vamps, or fae. And she’s got a thing for flawed, muscle-y smartasses who carry weapons. She just can’t help herself. She likes sharp & pointies and things that go BOOM!

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Aboutthebook

Koivu

Team Lucifer?

This Band of Brothers Will Steal Your Heart!

Introducing the Demons after Dark series! It’s hot paranormal romance featuring unlikely alpha heroes who will make you laugh, cry, and swoon. Known as Trinity demons, this band of brothers was stripped of their powers and violently exiled from Hell. Forced to live as humans, they’re left with no power and no weapons while a secret society quietly plots Lucifer’s demise. For these big, bad demons, adjusting to life as a human is, well, harder than Hell!

Former Hell’s Fury champion, Koivu, is desperate to return to Hell to reclaim his title and stolen life. As an extreme athlete, he had fame, glory, and more pleasure than he probably deserved. He was a freakin’ rock star! Being exiled in a broken human body is his worst nightmare. Stripped of his powers and unable to fight, he’s consumed by frustration, counting the seconds until he can go home. His future looks bleak until he meets a sexy, soft-hearted physical therapist who heals much more than his shoulder.

Physical therapist Micki Glass knows something about damaged people. She’s been struggling to get over her ex for three long years when this crazy man crashes into her life. He’s crude and intense but irresistibly charming. With his feral eyes and sexy smile, Koivu takes her on a sensual joyride that makes her feel like a woman again. As their affair heats up, she craves him like oxygen until she discovers what he really is. With more than her heart on the line, can she accept his past and love him for who he is now?

The day of reckoning is looming closer and the sacrifices have begun. Can Koivu stop the murders, find the rest of the Trinity, and convince the woman he loves to give him another chance before it’s too late?

Warning: This story contains intensely hot sex, an irresistibly-damaged hero, and a damsel with a steel backbone. Have a box of tissues handy. The author takes no responsibility for missed work or grouchiness from lack of sleep.

Note: This title can be read as a stand-alone story, but for the full backstory, start with “Vanek.”

Books in the Series:

Vanek

Benn

Koivu

˃˃˃ Introducing Demons After Dark!

This Primani World crossover series is hot paranormal romance featuring unlikely heroes who will make you laugh, cry, and swoon. Dubbed as Trinity demons, this band of brothers was branded as traitors and tossed out of Hell while an ancient evil patiently plots Lucifer’s demise. Waking up with no memories and no powers, the Trinity are horrified to learn they’re now human and the conspiracy goes much deeper than they thought. An uneasy alliance with the archangel Raphael is their only hope of clearing their names and stopping a civil war in Hell from destroying humanity.

All is not lost though. Between some heavenly interference and the love of a few good women, the Trinity just might solve the mystery before all Hell breaks loose. Each book features one of my heroes and his lady love plus extends the overarching conspiracy. These are action-packed stories filled with humor and smokin’ hot sex.

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Interview with Dawn Ryder, Romance Author

What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?

This is becoming a lost art. There is too much tech in the hands of children now. They aren’t learning how to use their imaginations. Books make you use that brain to envision the setting. This might be in fiction but when a child grows up, the adult will remember how to think outside the box and that’s how the next generation of new things and ideas will be born.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Realism. I want there to be a foundation of , it really could happen. Twists and turns are important to me. I want the reader to stick with the pages, knowing they will miss something if they skim.

How was writing this book different than your other books?

In the Unbroken Heroes, I’ve introduced my Shadow ops. They are an elite unit that works off grid. This book, Take it to the Limit, is where I illuminate what I’ve only talked about in the other books….the reality of one of their cases following them home. It’s why they live off grid. I didn’t want to just talk about it, I wanted to write one story where the reader sees it first hand as it unfolds.

What makes this book stand out from your other work?

Each Unbroken Heroes book is a challenge for me. I’ve been writing historical romance for a few years and this set of books just begged for a slot on my calendar.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Not killing my main villain…he really needs killing…

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Okay, the Grandpa. He was a hoot to write and weave into the story line.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

I’ve always been a story girl. Back when my Mom was telling me only one hour of television a day, she was a good mom for saying that, well, that wasn’t enough story time for me. My first real love of a book set was the ‘Little House’ books and it wasn’t too long after that I discovered romance. It was an era of no iPods and if you were lucky you had the radio to listen to. Books were my mental playground. It was also the way we entertained ourselves on camping trips. I’d tell stories to my younger siblings, we’d make up stories together…

A mom who had a firm one hour a night television rule….so if you wanted more entertainment, better crack a book. I did.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

Historical romance and Contemporary. I’ve dabbled in paranormal too. In fact, my first published book was a paranormal.

What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was least useful or most destructive?

Most useful was my mom taking me to the library. It wasn’t a choice. We went and stayed for hours. Like any kid, I thought books were boring but the truth was, my reading scores were low, so my mom made me read and I got those scores up to grade level. I used this same approach with my own boys.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

Names are very important and I like them to reflect the culture I’m writing in. I’ve taken some hard comments over it in the past but I try to find unique names that fit what era I’m setting the story in….Sorry but Petunia was a very popular name at one time.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?

Full time writer…weekends…holidays….

What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

Marital arts Instructor/ Master. training in this art has helped tremendously with fight scenes. It’s also really funny when my sons and I are at the movies, we are all advanced black belts, and we watch the fight scenes…..lol.

What do you like to read in your free time?

A little of everything. Last year I was re-reading the classics and discovering why I love Romance so much.

What projects are you working on at the present?

This week I am finishing up a Highlander romance that will release under my Mary Wine name and then I am going to head straight into the challenge of writing the last book in my Unbroken Heroes. It will be about Thais Sinclair.

What do your plans for future projects include?

After that, I will be submitting a new project to my editor in the hopes it is contracted. It’s a scary and exciting time for an author as a contact ends and you hope to gain a new one.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

Yes. When I’m stuck, I will work on quilt blocks. Just piece them and for some reason this works. I can’t sew a costume piece, because I’m thinking about the construction of the garment. No, just piecing quilt squares. It results in boxes of half made quilts that drive my husband batty.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Complex story lines. I like there to be twists and turns and real reasons for my characters to be where they are.

FUN STUFF

What would your tombstone say?

No tombstone…no grave…. scatter my ashes at sea and I will be on to the next adventure. Leave the Earth for the next generation.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Healing. I’d love to be able to kill cancer and regrow healthy cells….

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Stonehenge.

If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?

A Harpy Eagle. They are huge.

What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

Hit the New York Times list.

If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

British.

How many donuts are you capable of eating in one sitting?

I’ve been on a no carbs diet for a month now….I’m giving this question the stink eye look…..

How violently do you have to fight the urge to scream when you hear the ice cream truck coming?

That truck hasn’t come back since the day I had the Bankside sword group over and they charged after him with their rapiers and long swords….It was an honest mistake.

Say there’s like a whole box of your favorite snack in a room all by themselves. Say I left them there and told you not to eat any until I got back. How long would it take you to disobey my wishes?

Right now, I will run you down…enjoy seeing my step count increase and make you take them with you!

Finally, and this one is important, so please pay attention What do you think cats dream about?

Training humans. And that they will probably kill us in the morning.

———————–

This or That?

Dogs or Cats?

Parrot.

Tea or Coffee?

Tea….iced.

Winter or Summer?

Winter in the Caribbean and summer in Alaska!

TexMex or Italian?

Italian…

Vintage or New?

Both…but in clothing, Vintage wins.

FUN FACTS FROM THE AUTHOR

I am a fourth degree black belt in Taekwondo. It’s the first rank where you are called ‘Master’. I started classes with my boys, to set a good example by not being a ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ sort of person and I was there with them at the studio…I never thought I’d stick with it this long or break bricks!

 

Aboutthebook

 

Take to the Limit cover.jpg

A hardened military machine, Bram Magnus is a tough, combat-ready, all-American hero who never surrenders. But the one thing he can’t fight? His smoldering, intense attraction to his girlfriend’s younger sister… He’s always kept his feelings locked deeply down but when his girlfriend betrays him the night before he ships off to Afghanistan, Bram has one chance to show the woman he’s resisted for years that he wants her as fiercely as the first day he saw her.

Ever since her older sister first brought home the soldier with steely hard muscles and piercing eyes, Jaelyn has wanted Bram, and when her sister casts him aside the night before he leaves, Jaelyn can’t resist one steamy hot kiss with him. But danger is not far behind, and even as a deadly enemy hunts them, their relationship only grows more explosive. It’s all Bram can do to keep Jaelyn safe, but with a threat this powerful, will they pay the ultimate price for their passion?

 

 

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abouttheauthor

Dawn Ryder

Dawn Ryder is the contemporary romance pen name of a bestselling author of historical romances. Her official naughty inner child. She is commercially published in mass market and trade paper, and digi-first published with trade paper releases. She is hugely committed to her career as an author, as well as to other authors and to her readership. She resides in Southern California. Dawn’s Unbroken Heroes novels include Dangerous to Know and Dare You to Run.

 

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Guest Post: Five Tips for Taming Your Muse by Kat Colmer

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Five Tips for Taming Your Muse

One question frequently asked of authors is “Where do you get your inspiration?” For me, that spark of “what if?” can come at any time and from anywhere: an overheard conversation in a café, a news headline, an image on a billboard, a line in a book. Getting inspiration is the easy part. The hard part is kicking your muse into gear to do something with that initial kernel of inspiration, and if your muse is anything like mine, you’re tearing your—and possibly her—hair out almost every day to get her to cooperate.

My muse is called Mildred. Don’t let the mild mannered name fool you; she is an obstinate, fickle, and self-serving creature who, more often than not, deserts me at the drop of a hat. So I’ve come up with five strategies to keep her in line.

  • Exercise

Our characters might be rushing around in their story worlds, fighting monsters, slaying demons, or just running for a cab, but a writer’s job involves a lot of bums on seats. Well, at least your own bum on your own seat. Our work is very sedentary and Mildred is one of those twitchy, flighty, can’t sit still kind of muses. Taking her for a walk, jog, or a gym session, is a good way to help her regain focus. Even a twenty-minute stroll around the block can be enough to help her sit still and focus on the story.

  • Music

Once you’ve got your muse in her chair, a good way to channel her thoughts into a creative direction is to play her some music. Choosing something that reflects the mood of the scene you’re writing is best, otherwise you might end up with a too soppy fight scene or too aggressive dialogue during what was meant to be a romantic exchange. I listened to Two Steps From Hell—a movie trailer music production duo—while writing my debut YA paranormal romance, as it gave me a nice mix between epic, fast paced pieces and reflective, romantic tracks. Check out their music here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TwoStepsFromTheMusic

  • Reading

This is a crucial point. To keep your muse at the top of her game, she needs to see what other muses are helping their authors create. An innately proud animal, this will have her sitting up straight and pointing to the keyboard, urging you to put words on the page, so that she can show off the awesome stories she’s helped create.

  • Time with other muses

Just like it’s crucial to read other writing that inspires, it’s also good to get together with other like-minded authors. This way your muses can hang out together at the bar and bounce ideas off one another while sipping away at something bubbly. Mildred would never admit it, but she has my critique partners’ muses to thank for many of the ideas she claims as her own.

  • Chocolate

Chocolate is an excellent muse incentive! Mildred will happily help me dig myself out of a plot hole or provide an idea for a story twist if I dangle the prospect of some chocolate in front of her. Note: it’s a good idea to combine point five with point one, for obvious reasons.

If none of the above work and your muse still refuses to cooperate, tie the little blighter to a chair and force her to inspire words onto the page. After all, she lives in your head—so no one will hear her furious complaining but you!

 

Aboutthebook

9781640631540

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Love curses don’t exist. At least that’s what Jonas, master of the meaningless hookup, tells himself when a letter warns him he’s an Eros Guardian cursed to endure a test of true love or forever be alone. His levelheaded longtime friend Cora figures it’s a revenge prank by an ex. The way Jonas stamps each girlfriend with a weeklong use-by date, it serves him right.

But when an impulsive kiss between the two friends reveals potential for more, Cora becomes the target of the Groth Maar: demons sent to wipe out the Eros Guardian line. And suddenly the curse becomes dangerously real.

Breaking the curse means Jonas’s biggest challenge yet. Failure guarantees Cora’s death. But success may cost him his own life…and the loss of his carefully guarded heart to the one girl far too sensible to fall for him.

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abouttheauthor

kat-colmer

Kat Colmer is a Sydney-based Young and New Adult author who writes coming-of-age stories with humor and heart. The recipient of several writing awards, she has won the Romance Writers of Australia First Kiss contest, as well as the Romance Writers of America On the Far Side contest for her debut Young Adult Paranormal Romance.

Kat has a Master of Education in Teacher Librarianship and loves working with teens and young adults. When not writing, teaching, or reading the latest in YA fiction, Kat spends time with her husband and two children.

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Guest Post: Jus Accardo, YA Author

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There’s a saying…write what you know. Obviously I don’t have much experience with demons, extraordinary abilities, or multiverse travel, but I do know a thing or two about being a person. Specifically, a…less than graceful person.

Have you ever wiped out so spectacularly that people have considered erecting a monument in honor of your…uniqueness?

I have. Multiple times.

In most of my books, there’s at least one character who will inevitably trip over the cracks in the sidewalk. There could be a pebble in their path and it’s going to cause them to face plant in the most epic way. That character is me.

Today I’m going to share my three biggest public wipeouts.What about you? Share yours in the comments below!

  1.  The car incident. l think I was 25ish when it happened. My husband had stopped at a red light, in the middle or rush hour traffic. My cousin was in the car behind us, and had left her bag in my back seat. My brilliant idea was to just quickly run it back to her before the light changed. There was plenty of time. Well, I opened the door and tried to get out, but my foot snagged on a plastic bag. The end result was me on my ass in the middle of the road, climbing to my feet to a musical symphony of car horn salutes. In case you’re wondering, yes. I did take a bow.  😉
  2.  That one time, at the bank… I used to work in a Waldenbooks inside the mall. Fridays during lunch, I’d run down to the bank at the other end to cash my check—just like everyone else.One day I decided to take a shortcut by stepping over the divider rope instead of going around it. I didn’t raise my foot high enough, and ended up pulling a gravity defying flip that left me on the ground. Did I mention this was the one and only day I wore a skirt? Everyone saw London and France…. You could have heard an ant fart as the entire population of mall workersstared down at me.
  3.  BEA. So you know that book conference? Book Expo America? Yeah. My grace and poise struck there, too. Picture this. My very first time attending. Hundreds of people milling around. A set of impossibly long stairs heading down to the registration area. Two steps and a single comment from my friend. Careful, you don’t want to fall down all these stairs! The universe has a nasty sense of humor. I put my foot down and missed the third step. I ended up on the landing right before the bottom, bouncing down nearly the entire flight of stairs…. The rest of the day, people kept passing, asking if I was okay. That’s me. Memorable for all the wrong reasons!

The single most important thing I’ve learned living as an incurable klutz? I mean, besides the importance of a good shoelace knot and a pocketful of Advil…. Learn to laugh at yourself. Don’t take people, situations—and most importantly, yourself—too serious.

 

abouttheauthor

jus-accardo

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. But at the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

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Aboutthebook

9781633758254

OMEGA (Infinity Division Series, Book 2) by Jus Accardo

Audience/Genre: Young Adult/Sci-Fi, Romance Element

Published by Entangled Teen, Entangled Publishing LLC.

 

One mistake can change everything. Ashlyn Calvert finds that out the hard way when a bad decision leads to the death of her best friend, Noah Anderson.

Only Noah isn’t really gone. Thanks to his parents’ company, the Infinity Division, there is a version of him skipping from one dimension to another, set on revenge for the death of his sister, Kori. When a chance encounter brings him face-to-face with Ash, he’s determined to resist the magnetic pull he’s felt for her time and time again. Because falling for Ash puts his mission in danger.

But there’s more going on in Ash’s alternate universe than either of them knows: a mysterious project called Omega. A conspiracy spanning multiple Earths and revolving around none other than Ash. Its creators would do anything to keep Omega secret…

Anything.

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Guest Post: PULLING OFF A POLARIZING CHARACTER by Melissa Chambers

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Writers want our heroes and heroines to be likable so our readers will attach to them and root for them. We can give them all sorts of characters quirks like type-A personalities, neuroticism, perpetual clumsiness, etc., all treated in a lovable and forgivable way. But every once in a while, it’s fun to challenge ourselves with a heroine who may be tougher to like.

One of my favorite examples of an unlikable character carrying a book is Darcy in Emily Giffin’s Something Blue. We met Darcy in book one, Something Borrowed. (Remember the movie? Kate Hudson played Darcy.) Darcy is the obnoxious best friend in book one who always gets everything she wants, including the guy who Rachel (our lovable heroine) has feelings for. Book one ends with Darcy losing everything she held dear, so book two starts us out with Darcy pissed off, resentful, and downtrodden. She’s not at all the kind of girl I would ever typically see myself connecting with, but I did right from page one. It probably didn’t hurt that I’d read a couple of Ms. Giffin’s books and knew that I was in good hands with this author.

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When I set out to write book one in my Before Forever series, I went with a heroine who was shy and awkward. We learn right in the first chapter that Chloe has been through a serious situation that is easy to sympathize with. She has a best friend who outshines her in every way possible, and a tense, almost cringe-worthy situation with her father. She’s sweet and polite, but not overthetop precious. So out the gate, I set myself up for a likable and endearing heroine that the reader would hopefully want to root for. My job from that point was to not screw it up.

However, in book two, my challenge was much greater. Jenna Quigley, Chloe’s best friend, couldn’t be more opposite. Extrovert doesn’t begin to cover it. She’s confident, talented…just placed eighth on the fictional show America’s Newest Sensation (think The Voice or America’s Got Talent), and is ready to take on the world. She’s also a little self-absorbed, but fiercely loyal and encouraging to Chloe. I heard mixed reviews of what readers from book one thought about Jenna. Some loved her to pieces while she rubbed others the wrong way, which honestly, was the job of her character in that book. Chloe needed to break out of her shell, and I wanted to pair her with a best friend who would make her life uncomfortable to help her do that.

So my challenge with making Jenna a likable, relatable heroine of her own story was quite large. I had to show the reader that what Jenna portrays on the outside may not always reflect what’s going on in her head. Additionally, I wanted readers to see that life at home wasn’t always hearts and flowers for her, as one may think when they saw how close she was with her dad. I also needed to pair her with a hero who was going to constantly call her out on her crap and set her firmly in her place, helping her gain perspective and learn some things about herself by the time the book came to an end.

I had so much fun writing Jenna. She’s so opposite from me, so I was able to sort of try on a different personality in writing her. I would keep on writing her if someone would let me! But alas, there are different characters banging away at my brain, begging for their stories to come out.

Characters need flaws, because none of us are perfect. Seriously flawed characters need high arcs and plenty of time for redemption (which may be why this book ended up a little on the long side!). Sometimes the job of a polarizing character may be to get us out of our comfort zones. I know Jenna got me out of mine!

 

 

Aboutthebook

9781640631342

The second Jenna Quigley turns eighteen, she’s headed to L.A. to extend the timer on her fifteen minutes of fame. Too bad her dad made her promise to graduate high school first. Silver lining? Her new school has a serious talent competition with a $25,000 cash prize, which would go a long way in L.A. Jenna’s got plenty of talent—she didn’t almost win America’s Newest Sensation for nothing. But it’ll take everything she’s got to bring down the music nerd with a stick up his butt…no matter how cute he is in those glasses.

Miles Cleveland needs to win that talent contest. When some hot girl stole his audition spot on America’s Newest Sensation, his chance to study music flounced off to New York with her. Now, not only can he win enough money to pay for his education, he can get revenge on that very same girl. He can’t start to question his plan, though…no matter how deep Jenna buries into his heart.

 

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abouttheauthor

 

melissa-chambers

Melissa Chambers writes contemporary novels for young, new, and actual adults. A Nashville native, she spends her days working in the music industry and her nights tapping away at her keyboard. While she’s slightly obsessed with alt rock, she leaves the guitar playing to her husband and kid. She never misses a chance to play a tennis match, listen to an audiobook, or eat a bowl of ice cream. (Rocky road, please!) She’s a member of RWA and serves as the president elect for the Music City Romance Writers. She is the author of The Summer Before Forever and Falling for Forever (Entangled Teen).

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THE SUMMER BEFORE FOREVER

 

 

Guest Post: Karen Witemeyer, author of Heart on the Line

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HEART ON THE LINE
Ladies of Harper’s Station #2
by
Karen Witemeyer
  Genre: Christian / Historical / Frontier Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Date of Publication: June 6, 2017
Number of Pages: 336
Scroll down for Giveaway!
 

Grace Mallory is tired of hiding. She hungers for a normal life, perhaps even a suitor like two of her friends in Harper’s Station have found. But when the man she believes responsible for her father’s death discovers her whereabouts, survival takes priority.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His fellow telegrapher, the mysterious Miss G, has been the ideal companion. For months, their friendship—dare he believe, courtship?—over the wire has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intends for him. However, when he intercepts an ominous message and discovers her life is in peril, Amos must shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

PRAISE FOR HEART ON THE LINE:
“Witemeyer blends history, suspense, and romance with touches of humor. Women will enjoy this story that proves heroes come in unexpected shapes and sizes and not always on a white charger.”Christian Market

“Online dating meets 1890s Texas in this charming, spiritually deep, laugh-out-loud funny romance!”—reader review on Goodreads
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Ten Fun Facts about Karen Witemeyer
  1. I live next door to my in-laws . . . and LOVE it! From built-in day care for the kids when they were smaller to easy family meals together, to shared grills and shared newspaper subscriptions, having my husband’s family move in next door a decade ago was an unexpected blessing.
  2. I once lost the diamond out of my wedding ring only to find it a week later (after searching everywhere at home and at work) when I pulled a tissue out of my bathroom tissue box. Somehow the stone had fallen into the box and when I pulled out a new tissue, I heard a tinkling sound and found the diamond on the Guest Post 2 Image 1counter. Never have I thanked God more for a runny nose!
  3. My oldest child (my only daughter) graduated from high school last year on my 45th birthday. No, I didn’t feel old or anything (OK, maybe a little). I was too proud listening to her valedictorian speech. Smart and sassy, just the way I like my heroines.
  4. I have a black thumb. Well, not literally. In respect to plants. I have a tendency to kill the majority of plants that have had the misfortune to come home with me. A few hearty ones have survived, like the aloe vera plant in the kitchen window that continues to survive despite my best efforts to do it in. And the roses on the side of the house have managed to pull through despite a run in with some sort of blight last year. I should post a sign on my back door that says, “If you contain chlorophyll, enter at your own risk.”
  5. My favorite animal is the hippopotamus. When I was in junior high, one of my friends and I decided we were going to have unique favorite animals. No cats or dogs for us. She selected the armadillo and I selected the hippo. When I was 16, I took a mission trip to Kenya, and was so excited to see my favorite animal in his natural habitat. I’ve been hooked ever since. This year for Christmas, my hubby got me a hippopotamus shirt and socks. Fun new outfit!Guest Post 2 Image 2
  6. I’ve ridden a mule in Bryce Canyon, swum with sea turtles in Maui, and when I was young and stupid, held a 13 pound boa constrictor around my neck. I recommend the first two but not the third.
  7. I was a band nerd all through junior high and high school but switched to choir in college because of the boy I was dating. Ended up marrying that fella, and now we have our own harmonizing quintet on the church pew every Sunday. Love it! (Though, I’m raising band nerds at the same time. My daughter plays my old flute, my older son plays the French horn, and my youngest plays the trumpet.)
  8. I don’t drink coffee. Ever. I know, I know. It’s shameful. Coffee’s supposed to be the elixir of life, right? Especially for writers. But I never developed a taste for it. I prefer a simple cup of Lipton hot tea sweetened with honey. Mmmmm.
  9. Whenever I have free time (a very RARE commodity), I love to cross stitch. Here’s a set of simple cameo silhouettes I made for my editors a couple years ago for Christmas.Guest Post 2 Image 3
  10. Even though I write historical romance, I hated history classes in school. Math was more my style. Maybe it was because my teachers always seemed to be coaches that got stuck in the history classroom, or maybe it was because all the textbooks emphasized wars and politics. Boring. Yet I loved historical novels. Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, THAT was the history I fell in love with. So when you read one of my novels today, you won’t find a plot that centers around war or political intrigue or even key historical events. No, my books are focused on people and the lesser known, yet meaningful aspects of life in 19th century that shaped their lives and their loves.
 
Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children. 

 





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June 23-July 2, 2017
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6/24
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6/25
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6/26
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6/27
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6/28
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6/29
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6/30
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7/01
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7/02
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Interview with Brenda Jackson on the release of SEIZED BY SEDUCTION

Interview

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I believe in romance and love stories with happy endings.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?  

From writing stories to entertain my classmates in junior high school.

How long have you been writing?

Since I was 13.  First got published 21 years ago.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

Romance and women fiction

What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?

My characters are Black Americans so I share Black love to other cultures.  

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Stories of true love

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Exploring the world of psychic investigators who assist law enforcement and accepting it is real in a lot cases.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 

Reuniting with characters I had written about in the past.  Namely the heroine’s parents’ story was written 15 years ago.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

Nora Roberts and Linda Howard.  From them I got my love of writing connecting books about families.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?  To write. 

Most useful is my ability to type. I graduated from high school typing close to 80 wmp.  It helped when I made the transition from writing long-hand to typing my manuscript.  What I find least useful at times is spellcheck.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

I’m a full-time writer. Doesn’t affect my writing since writing relaxes me.

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, share an example. 

I worked in management for a major insurance company.  Didn’t impact my writing.  I found a lot of the skills I learned in the business world transferrable to my business of writing full-time. Such as time management and customer service.

What do you like to read in your free time?

Historical romances.

What projects are you working on at the present? 

Currently, I am working on a hero who belongs to the first family I’ve written about in four years

What do your plans for future projects include?

Making another movie from one of my books and moving forward to writing my 125th novel.

WOW!  125? You rock! 

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? 

I dictate into recording app on phone while driving.

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Judith McNaught and Julie Garwood.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

I take pride in naming my hero and heroine.  The name doesn’t have to be unique but I have to get the feel of it fitting the character.  I mostly use baby names books.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

She finally gets to Rest in Peace

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Reading people’s minds

If you were a superhero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?

Super Woman.  A Super Woman outfit with her lasso.

About the Book

 

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Title: Seized by Seduction

Author: Brenda Jackson

Genre: Contemporary romantic suspense

Series: Protectors, #2

Imprint: HQN

On-sale date: April 25, 2017

From the moment his eyes meet hers across the crime-scene tape, ex-con turned bodyguard Quasar Patterson knows he has to see the mysterious Dr. Randi Fuller again. She’s a renowned psychic investigator who can foresee danger for others, but not for herself. That makes Quasar doubly determined to watch over her—the closer, the better—as she’s drawn into a dangerous gang rivalry.

Both her psychic gift and their blinding chemistry tell Randi that she and Quasar are fated to be entwined. Even as they surrender to the heat between them, there’s no guarantee of a happily-ever-after now that an enemy has her in his sights. And claiming a future will take more than Quasar’s strength and skill. If he can’t risk the heart he’s always held in check, they’ll both lose for good…

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About the Author

Brenda Jackson is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over 100 novels and novellas, including two that have been turned into films—One Special Moment and Truly Everlasting. Brenda is a recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award and an NAACP Image Award nominee for Outstanding Literary Fiction for her book, A Silken Thread. Jackson is an advocate for diversity in romance and was the first African American author to make both the USA TODAY and New York Times bestseller lists in series/category romance genre.

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Interview with Maisey Yates on her new release, SLOW BURN COWBOY

Interview

How long have you been writing?

I’ve always made up stories in my head, and the minute I learned how to write them down, I started doing it. I began writing seriously for publication in 2007, and sold my first book in 2009.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

I think my books are powered by dialogue. So I’d have to say the conversations between the people in the book. And also, a lot of talk of food and small mammals.

What projects are you working on at the present?

Right now I’m working on the last book about the Donnelly brothers, in the Copper Ridge series, Christmastime Cowboy.

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

I think good books always inspire me to write. In the beginning it was Miranda Lee, Sharon Kendrick, Penny Jordan, Lynne Graham, those great Harlequin Presents authors who make me fall in love with the line, and made me want to write the books so badly. I think reading books by Elizabeth Hoyt and Lisa Kleypas always make me feel inspired. I’m in awe of what they do with language and character. Nicole Helm writes the most wonderful family dynamics, Megan Crane is a master of world building and Jackie Ashenden is the queen of the deep, internal conflict. Reading those books always inspires me to reach for more in my own writing.

What do you like to read in your free time?

The above mentioned authors! LOL. I’m a huge Historical Romance reader. Lisa Kleypas, Elizabeth Hoyt and Julie Anne Long are my favorites. In contemporary Nicole Helm, Jackie Ashenden and Megan Crane (who also writes dystopian romances I love!)

FUN STUFF

How many donuts are you capable of eating in one sitting?

I have a lot of follow up questions. How many can I eat comfortably? How many can I eat without regard for my well being? Is this a competition? Because if it’s a competition…the most.

What is your go-to method for getting rid of hiccups?

Taking a mouthful of water and turning upside down to swallow it. It works every time!

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

Samoas. Which I guess are a very divisive cookie. It’s a love or hate thing. I am in the love camp.

This or That?

Winter or Summer? Winter. Summer and I have a limited tolerance for each other.

TexMex or Italian? Italian. Though I’d choose Mexican food over Italian food. Just not TexMex.

Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate.

Fried or Scrambled? Scrambled. With ketchup and cheese.

About the Author

Maisey Yates Author Photo.jpg

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit.

In 2009, at the age of twenty-three Maisey sold her first book. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of sexy alpha males and happily ever afters, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Maisey divides her writing time between dark, passionate category romances set just about everywhere on earth and light sexy contemporary romances set practically in her back yard. She believes that she clearly has the best job in the world.

Find out more about Maisey and her books, as. well as all of her social media links, at her website: http://www.maiseyyates.com.

About the Book

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Title: Slow Burn Cowboy    Author: Maisey Yates

Genre: Western contemporary romance

Imprint: HQN          On-sale date: April 18, 2017

In Copper Ridge, Oregon, a cowboy’s best friend might turn out to be the woman of his dreams…

If Finn Donnelly makes a plan, he sticks to it. After his brothers left Copper Ridge, Finn stayed behind, determined to keep their ranch going by himself. And when he realized his feelings for Lane Jensen were more than platonic, he shoved that inconvenient desire away. It was easy…until it wasn’t. Suddenly his brothers are coming home to claim their share of the property. And Lane is no longer just in his fantasies. She’s in his arms, and their friendship is on the line…

He’s been her buddy, her handyman, her rock. But until that one breathtaking kiss, Lane somehow overlooked the most important thing about Finn Donnelly—he’s all man. They’re right together, no matter how much his volatile past has bruised him. Finn wants to hold Lane’s body, but he doesn’t want to hold her heart. But Lane is falling fast and now she’s got a plan of her own…to show Finn there’s nothing hotter than friendship turned to slow-burning love.

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Interview with Candace Havens on the release of ALL I WANT IS YOU

Interview

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

My whole family reads, sometimes five or six books a week. My dad, probably more than that. I can’t remember not loving books. They’ve always been a big part of my life, as has storytelling. When I was little, they called them lies. Now I get paid to make stuff up. It’s awesome.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

This is a tough one for writers to see in themselves. My books always have a sense of humor. I feel like no matter what’s going on in life you have to laugh as much as possible.

What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was least useful or most destructive?

Letting go of my internal editor is the most useful tool in my arsenal. That internal editor is the voice in your head telling you it’s probably not very good. The truth is, during the first draft there is no room for editing. So I send that internal editor on vacation and just sit down and write.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’ve got another sexy romance I just turned into my editor and I’m also working on a YA. As soon as I finish the YA, I’m working on a new contemporary romance. It’s a wonderful busy time for me.

 

Fun Stuff

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

LOL I’ve had to teach myself to write anywhere. I do like to have snacks. Usually, these days, sunflower seeds or fruit. It used to be chocolate. I also have to have my headphones on when I’m writing. Even if there is no sound they block distractions. And if I’m home, I usually light a candle or have the aroma therapy thingy (professional term) going. Vanilla and Cinnamon make my brain work better.

How many donuts are you capable of eating in one sitting?

All of them. Doesn’t’ matter how many, which is why I’m trying to change all those old eating habits.

What is your go-to method for getting rid of hiccups?

Holding my breath and drinking water upside down. BUT I’ve discovered that some of the breathing exercises from Kundalini Yoga are really helpful for hiccups.

If I gave you a pencil and piece of paper and told you to draw something funny, what would you draw?

A stick figure. I can’t draw. But I’m trying to learn. Right now I’m taking a how to draw comic figures class on Craftsy.com.

How many friendships have you ruined because you refused to play a game of Monopoly mercifully?

I’m horrifically competitive. Even when I tell myself it’s just a game. It’s just a game. I always want to win.

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

You were really hungry when you were writing these questions weren’t you? YES

How many times does it take for you to listen to a song that you love before you actually hate it instead?

Never. Not with songs I really love. I have some albums that I always listen to when writing or editing, and I’ve listened to them hundreds of times.

 

This or That?

Dogs or Cats? Dogs 100 percent. I’m allergic to cats.

Tea or Coffee? I’m addicted to BOTH.

Marvel or DC Comics? I love me some Thor and some Batman so I’m not picking.

Winter or Summer? Winter.

TexMex or Italian? These are really hard, probably Texmex.

Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate.

Vintage or New? Vintage.

Bond or Bourne? Why would you make someone choose? That’s like picking a favorite child.

Roller Coaster or Ferris Wheel? Roller coaster. I live in the fast lane.

About the Author

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Bestselling author Candace Havens has published more than 25 books. Her novels have received nominations for the RITA’s, Holt Medallion, Write Touch Reader Awards and National Readers Choice Awards. She is a Barbara Wilson Award winner. She is the author of the biography “Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy” and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation’s leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities from George Clooney to Chris Pratt. Her entertainment columns are syndicated by FYI Television, Inc. She is the Executive Editor, and Editorial Director for the Embrace and Indulgence lines at Entangled Publishing. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 2000 writers, and teaches comprehensive writing classes. She does film reviews with Hawkeye in the Morning on 96.3 KSCS, and is a former President of the Television Critics Association.

ConnectOnline

Website:  www.candacehavens.com

Twitter:  @candacehavens

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/candacehavensbooks/

Instagram: Candace_Havens

Goodreads: Candace Havens

About the Book

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Hawke Vance will do whatever it takes to protect the family business, even if it means protecting it from his own father, a man who’s just gotten hitched in Vegas to wife number nine.

Growing up seeing how much chaos wedded bliss creates, Hawke’s sworn never to fall into the matrimony trap. But to get the all-important controlling shares of the company, he does need a wife.

Being caught skinny dipping is not the way ballerina Amy Powell planned to start her vacation. When the hot biker who catches her turns out to be the owner of the house she’s staying in, she’s mortified. But embarrassment soon turns to confusion and a good dose of lust when Mr. Sex on a Stick offers her the money she needs to save her brother if she’ll agree to marry him and play pretend for two months.

Only this game of make-believe quickly starts feeling too real…

Visit the Entangled website for more info and buy links: https://entangledpublishing.com/all-i-want-is-you.html

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Interview with Anna Bennett, on the release of…I DARED THE DUKE

Interview

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

When I was fourteen, I read Pride and Prejudice, and it was the book that made me fall in love with reading. Before that, I’d enjoyed reading Greek myths, Grimm’s fairy tales and fantasy novels like A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but I always wished for something more.

Then I read Jane Austen for a literature class, and she delivered everything I craved in one book—romance, wit, and poignancy. My mother was (and still is) an avid reader and gave me a few historical romances to try. I was hooked!

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?

You know the line from John Green’s A Fault in Our Stars, “My third best friend was an author who didn’t know I existed”? That’s how I feel about Lisa Kleypas! I adore her books for their characters, emotion, passion, and humor. And she once gave an amazing, incredibly inspiring speech at a Romance Writers of America conference that I listened to a half a dozen times–before my first book was ever published. Her stories perfectly capture that glorious, heady feeling of falling in love.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m working on the next Wayward Wallflower book, The Rogue is Back in Town. It’s the story of the youngest Lacey sister, Julie, who’s trying to protect her eccentric uncle from the rogue who tries to evict them from their house. It has lots of the tropes I love: a wallflower, a bad boy, enemies-to-lovers, and a love triangle. It’s been fun to write!

Fun Stuff!

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

I track my daily word count on a paper calendar, and I swear it’s good luck when the number is a palindrome.

How many donuts are you capable of eating in one sitting?

One, but I could eat three in the course of a day—I like to pace myself. There’s this new donut shop near me that makes the donuts to order and serves them warm. Sugar and cinnamon with vanilla icing please!

What is your go-to method for getting rid of hiccups?

Why fight them? Let them run their course. 🙂

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

Trefoils

Finally, and this one is important, so please pay attention. What do you think cats dream about?

World domination

This or That?

Dogs or Cats? Cats

Tea or Coffee? Iced tea, hot coffee

Winter or Summer? Summer and flip flops

TexMex or Italian? Love both, but will say Italian for mom’s eggplant parm

Vintage or New? Vintage

About the Book

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I Dared the Duke

April 4, 2017

Wayward Wallflowers Series, Book 2

DARE TO FALL IN LOVE

Alexander Savage, the Duke of Blackshire, is known throughout the ton for three things: the burn scars on his neck, his ornery disposition, and the trail of broken hearts behind him. None of which would concern Miss Elizabeth Lacey in the least—if she weren’t living under his roof. As his grandmother’s companion, Beth is all too concerned with the moody and compelling duke. Incensed by his plans to banish the sweet dowager duchess to the country, Beth refuses to do his bidding. If Alex wants her help, he’s going to have to take her dare…and grant her three wishes.

Alex adores his grandmother, which is precisely why she must leave. A string of unfortunate incidents has him worried for the safety of everyone around him—including the dowager’s loyal and lovely companion, Beth. But the notorious wallflower isn’t as meek as she appears, and as their battle of wills heats up, so does Alex’s desire. He’s dangerously close to falling in love with her…and revealing secrets he’d rather keep hidden. How can he convince her that his darkest days are behind him—and that, for the first time in forever, his heart is true?

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About the Author

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Anna Bennett started swiping romances from her mom’s bookshelf as a teenager and decided historicals (with their balls, dukes, and gowns) were the best. She dreamed of writing romance, but somehow ended up a software analyst instead.

Fortunately, a few years and a few careers later, Anna found her way back to writing the stories she loves and won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart®. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three children, who try valiantly not to roll their eyes whenever she quotes Jane Austen. Her weaknesses include reality TV, cute shoes, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

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Anna spends a lot of time procrastinating on Twitter and Facebook, and she’d love to see you there! You can also keep up with her book news by signing up for her newsletter.

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