Spotlight on Jill Shalvis FOREVER AND A DAY available now!
Author Spotlight / July 31, 2012

“Was it her imagination or was the spider giving her a “bring it” gesture with two of its spindly legs?” Love can happen in a day Grace never thought she’d be starting her life over from scratch. Losing everything has landed her in Lucky Harbor, working as a dog walker for overwhelmed ER doctor Josh Scott. But the day his nanny fails to show up, Grace goes from caring for Josh’s lovable mutt to caring for his rambunctious son. Soon Grace is playing house with the sexy single dad . . . With so many people depending on him, Josh has no time for anything outside of his clinic and family-until Grace arrives in town. Now this brainy blonde is turning his life inside out and giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “good bedside manner.” Josh and Grace don’t know if what they have can last. But in a town like Lucky Harbor, a lifetime of love starts with just one day . . . Spend the summer in Lucky Harbor Lucky In Love Lucky Harbor #4 June 2012 At Last Lucky Harbor #5 July 2012 Forever And A Day Lucky Harbor #6 August 2012 From FOREVER AND…

Mary Balogh | The Appeal Of The Beta Male Hero
Author Guest / July 31, 2012

Everyone loves the alpha male heroes with which romance novels abound, those men with perfect physiques, perfect good looks, sex appeal to spare, and the aggressive swagger that makes them such a challenge to any woman hoping to persuade them to settle down and fall in love. They are fun to read about, fun to write about, and great to dream about. And of course, they always do fall in love and settle into a monogamous relationship with the heroine. Happily-ever-after is always safe in their hands at the end, and we can all sigh with satisfaction. But what about the poor betas? Is any man without swagger or perfect looks or charisma doomed to the secondary roles in our romances and to the secondary female characters? Can they never be heroes the heroine and an army or readers can sigh over and pull for and–yes–fall in love with? Can they be fun to read about and fun to create and convincing as heroes? Can they be memorable? I think they can, and I have created my fair share of them in my almost 100 books. There is Hartley Wade, Marquess of Carew, for example, of LORD CAREW’S BRIDE, who…

Kris Kennedy | Why I Am Not A Romance Heroine
Author Guest / July 30, 2012

It’s sad, yes, but I have to admit it: I am not a romance heroine. “Why not?” cry those who know me, shocked to the core. Well, let’s be honest, there are traits that appear to be common to most romance heroines, traits and talents that I, unfortunately, do not share. In the interests of brutal honesty, I will reveal them here. First, and probably last, I look absolutely terrible in the morning. And often again by mid-day. Putting on my husband’s largest shirt and padding around in my bare feet and undies will not improve the view, for reals. Nothing on my body ‘sparkles’ or ‘glistens’, no, not even in moonlight. Not my hair, not my eyes, not unless they’re watering because my contacts got something in them. I have hair, not tresses. It does not ‘cascade’ nor ‘flow’ down my back or over my shoulders. On humid days, it tends to frizz; that’s as good as it gets. You can describe every shade of color on my person with a non-descript adverb or adjective. You know the kind: brown, white, hazel, short. I’m simple that way. My best lines always come later. If witty banter is a time-sensitive…

Shobhan Bantwal | Short Heroine, Tall Hero – Will the twain meet?
Author Guest / July 10, 2012

As a very short woman who is contentedly married to a compatibly short man, I have often wondered what it would be like for a petite woman to fall in love with an unusually tall man. My daughter, who is dainty like me, is married to a taller man. Theirs is a happy marriage and they are raising two kids. The difference in their heights is about ten inches. No big deal, right? But what if the hero were a foot and a half taller than the woman who is in love with him? Would it be possible for the two to have a satisfying physical relationship? In the first place, would a tiny woman be able to grab a remarkably tall man’s attention? Common wisdom says “like seeks like,” and that most people are attracted to persons with similar physical characteristics as their own. But what if two seemingly incompatible individuals develop strong feelings for each other? This question ultimately became the theme of my new book, THE RELUCTANT MATCHMAKER. My latest tale is a vivid blend of contemporary Indian-American culture with an unconventional romance—the conflict between two people who are attracted to each other and yet they can’t…

Patricia Rice | Why Regency Nobles
Author Guest / July 8, 2012

When I first started writing, I was told to write what I know, and what I knew was American history. But ever since reading Austen in grade school, the books I loved to read were Regency romances. So when my editor told me she desperately needed more material for the Signet Regency imprint, I helpfully provided her with a few. That’s how the Regency Nobles started—as three small related category Regencies (they’re still available as e-books online, published by RegencyReads.com. Two characters appeared in the last of those stories who absolutely begged for their own books—the American marquess who inherits a dilapidated manor, and his mysterious “brother” Michael, who doesn’t seem to have a name of his own. My editor agreed that the American marquess deserved a bigger book, and Signet published THE MARQUESS in 1997. After a bidding war, I sold THE ENGLISH HEIRESS, Michael’s story and another sequel, to a new publisher. Except the publishing world was in turmoil then, as it is today, so THE ENGLISH HEIRESS and the sequel never made it to print. I kept the advance and walked away with two manuscripts years later, when I was contracted for too many other books to…

Elisabeth Barrett | Moving Outside your Comfort Zone
Author Guest / July 6, 2012

There are many things I’m not super comfortable doing. Topping that list would have to be exercising. I know I’m supposed to do it, that it’s good for me, that it’ll keep me healthy and improve (and potentially prolong) my life. After a gestational diabetes scare with my last kid, exercise is pretty much essential. Sadly, I do everything else on my list before exercising. It has never been a huge priority, and I’ll be honest: gyms scare me. Recently, I got my rear in gear, and attempted to overcome my fear by going to an exercise class – one of those popular barre classes – near my home. It was completely intimidating. All those beautiful women sculpting their already-perfectly toned bodies freaked me out. So what did I do? I signed up for five more classes, just to prove to myself that I could keep up with the big girls. Did I get thinner? No. Did I get toned? A little bit. Did I change? Definitely. It motivated me to ditch the classes and start power walking with a friend. A friend who’s a great conversationalist, who keeps me honest, and who has similar motivations for exercising. In my…

Interview with Mia Marlowe
Author Guest / July 5, 2012

Welcome to Mia Marlowe and her latest release LORD OF FIRE AND ICE. Mia’s work has been featured in PEOPLE magazine and one of her books is on display at the Museum of London Docklands next to Johnny Depp memorabilia. Her previous release TOUCH OF A ROGUE was tapped for Publishers Weekly’s Top Ten Romances for Spring 2012.  Want to learn more? Pour yourself a cup of coffee and listen in to Mia’s recent conversation with FreshFiction! Q: Most of the historical romance world is fixated on Regency England. Why did you decide to write about Vikings? A: I love the Regency time period. In fact, right now I’m collaborating with New York Times bestseller Connie Mason for a trio of Regency stories due out in 2013. (Check out my Coming Next page for more about the “Royal Rakes” Series!) But I’ve always been fascinated by Norse culture.  Could be because I’m married to a guy of Norwegian descent. Unlike my hero Brandr, who’s a blond god-like fellow like Thor, my DH is a “black viking,” which means he has dark hair and eyes instead of the usual fair Scandinavian coloring. My DH says it’s because the Vikings used to…

Eileen Dreyer | The Road to Last Chance Academy
Author Guest / July 3, 2012

When I started Drake’s Rakes, it was meant to be a trilogy. And then I realized there were nine rakes. Well, ten actually, but one of the rakes emphatically refused to have his own book (his does get his own girl, though. I couldn’t leave Chuffy love-starved and alone). Now, I love long series. But I don’t like having to wait to see how they turned out. I didn’t read the Harry Potters until that last book was out (and a good thing I waited. If I’d gotten to the end of that second last book and had to wait a year for the outcome, I would have strangled somebody). So how do I fix that? Easy. Nine divided by three is three. I’m dividing the series up by heroines into trilogies. Which means it’s just about time for Trilogy #2. Last Chance Academy, the nickname given to the school that our heroines attended. At first that was all I knew about them. Well, except that they had to meet three (okay, four) Rakes and turn their lives upside down while the Rakes attempt to save the Empire from nefarious evildoers (come on. You didn’t think I’d write a book…

Alexis Morgan | The Warriors of the Mist—a labor of love
Author Guest / July 2, 2012

Years ago, when I first started writing, my very first completed manuscript was a fantasy romance, a story about a band of heroes charged with ending an evil that had traveled from their world to ours.  After several rewrites, it ended up being set in the American West, but with aliens.  Yes, aliens.  That book never sold and is safely tucked away somewhere in my office, but even after all these years I still remember how much fun I had creating the world they lived in. Ever since then, I’ve dreamed of writing another fantasy someday, and I’m happy to say at long last, that day is here.  The first book in my Warriors of the Mist trilogy, MY LADY MAGE, will be out this week from Signet Eclipse. I’ve had such a great time creating my warriors and the world they live in. Captain Gideon and his men serve as the avatars for their gods, and when they are not needed, they sleep beneath the River of the Damned. Each time they are called to do battle, they strive to restore their honor and ultimately to find peace in death. To get to know them, to understand the differences…

Leanne Banks | Insider Secrets About The Princess And The Outlaw ~ Amazon Gift Card Drawing!
Author Guest / July 1, 2012

Confession: I put secret things in my books to make them more fun for me.  In my current book, THE PRINCESS AND THE OUTLAW, the heroine Princess Pippa has bad hair. This idea stemmed from how I suffered from bad hair last summer.  It came to me that if I was going to have bad hair, why should my heroine have long, lustrous locks that behaved well even in humid weather?  Pippa doesn’t go the keratin route to fix her hair.  She just usually sticks it on top of her head in a bun.  After all, she has more important things to do, such as help Nic Lafitte with his dying mother’s wish. That said, I seriously think the artist airbrushed Pippa’s hair for the book cover.  Don’t you? Which brings me to my next fun thing about this book.  Nic Lafitte.  Have you heard of Jean Lafitte?  He was a famous pirate in the Gulf of Mexico.  In my story, Nic’s father stole the heart of Nic’s mother, Amelie from the former ruling Prince of the island country of Chantaine.  There’s still a huge grudge between the families.  I’m fascinated by old-style pirates, not the new ones today and…