Kathleen Bittner Roth | Scotland

I write in the Victorian period, usually somewhere around the mid-1850s. In book three of Those Magnificent Malverns series, Ridley Malvern, the second son, became Lord Caulfield after rescuing the queen’s favorite son from an icy pond. Although the queen bestowed the title of baron upon him as his reward, nothing else of substance went with it, so Ridley went about building a fortune on his own, only to lose it in a series of financial downturns. Desperate to refill his coffers before his feisty siblings learned of his plight, he wed a rebellious, high-spirited Highland lass sight unseen. His bride brought to the marriage both an immense dowry, and a dark secret that would bind them together or destroy their lives.

Thus, begins the story of Ridley Malvern, Lord Caulfield, and Lainie MacGregor, who meet at the altar on their wedding day. Marriage between an Englishman and a Highland lass was considered quite unusual even during Victorian times because Scots were still long on memory as to the misery the British had heaped upon them throughout history.

I love writing character-driven stories in which people are forced to draw upon inner strengths they didn’t know they possessed. However, I do love a good bit of humor, as well. Mum, the Malvern siblings’ eccentric grandmother (they call her Mum because she claims to be the Queen mother to the Malvern siblings’ mother) showed up out of nowhere in book one of the series, and continues to lend her brand of quirky humor throughout all the stories. In His Lordship’s Wild Highland Bride, Mum is delighted to meet her match not only with Lainie MacGregor, but also with Lainie’s raucous siblings.

I had the best time writing this story of an Englishman and a wild Highland lass, for more reasons than one. I am Scottish by birth on my mother’s side. Mom’s father, my grandfather, was Alexander McGillivray, named after the eighth Scottish laird who died at the battle of Culloden in 1745. Laird McGillivray was nicknamed the Yellow-haired Laird for his long mane of blond hair. Considered to be the most handsome man in all of Scotland, he was broad of shoulder and stood over six feet tall. If you have traveled—or were to travel—to the battle site, you’d find his name etched in stone as a commemorative to his bravery.

Also, adding to my Scottish heritage was my great-grandfather, John McGillivray, of the McGillivray clan who founded the Great Northwest Trading Company in Canada. My great grandmother was Mary Jane Hudson, heir to the Hudson Bay Company. Their families were rivals in business, and the relationship between John and Mary Jane was frowned upon by both sides. Nonetheless, the two fell in love. Rebelling against patriarchal rule and the threat of being disinherited, they married and ran off to Minnesota. While Mary Jane did end up receiving an inheritance along with a grand home in Tacoma, Washington, they chose to live out their lives in a small town in Minnesota where, generations later, I was born.

Finally, my attachment to Scotland goes yet another layer deeper—I was married in a private castle in the Highlands. As I dressed for my wedding, the lady of the castle stationed a piper beneath my window. When he began to play Mairi’s Wedding, a traditional tune, it was all I could do not to weep from the joy bubbling up inside of me. And what a surprise when I descended the grand staircase to the sounds of the piper playing Ode to Joy, and waiting for me stood guests I had yet to meet. The men wore full-dress kilts, their plaids depicting their various clans while the women wore tartan shawls draped over a shoulder and pinned with a clan symbol. One look at the assemblage, and especially the vicar dressed in his ministerial frock, the design of which hadn’t changed in over a hundred years, and I felt as though I had stepped back in time. We dined on fresh salmon caught in the crystal-clear river that ran along the front of the property, toasted with fine Scotch whisky, and spent the next day touring the countryside. I hope HIS LORDSHIP’S WILD HIGHLAND BRIDE conveys my deep affection for Scotland, its friendly people and its hauntingly beautiful land.

About Kathleen Bittner Roth

Kathleen Bittner Roth

Kathleen Bittner Roth creates passionate stories featuring characters faced with difficult choices, and who are forced to draw on their strength of spirit to overcome adversity and find unending love. Her own fairy tale wedding in a Scottish castle led her to her current residence in Budapest, Hungary, considered one of Europe’s most romantic cities. However, she still keeps one boot firmly in Texas and the other in her home state of Minnesota. A PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, she was a 2012 Golden Heart® finalist.

When Hearts Dare | Those Magnificent Malverns

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HIS LORDSHIP’S WILD HIGHLAND BRIDE by Kathleen Bittner Roth

Those Magnificent Malverns #3

His Lordship's Wild Highland Bride

“I’ve no intention of mating with this poor excuse of a man,” Lainie MacGregor declares after reciting her wedding vows. But it’s too late. Far from her beloved Highlands, her fate is sealed.

Ridley Malvern, Lord Caulfield, desperate for her dowry, agrees to marry a wealthy Scot’s daughter sight unseen. He is unaware his tantalizing bride is running from the law. Despite their sizzling attraction, all Lainie desires is to return to her clan. Attempting to make things right, Caulfield takes his wife back to the Highlands only to discover why her father sought the marriage—Lainie is wanted for murder. For her safekeeping, they must remain in England. Now Ridley needs to win her affections and prove that a wild Highland lass and an English lord, can find a love match, after all.

Romance Historical [Entangled Scandalous, On Sale: December 12, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781633757783 / eISBN: 9781633757783]

Anita DeVito | Laughter: The Ties that Bind

Writing suspense is all about the tension, red herrings and zig-zags. Think you know where the story is going? WHAM. A house just fell on the apparent bad guy. You know that hot guy/girl you liked? GONE. Eaten by a bear. How about that old gnarly guy you trusted with your life? SUCKA. Now whatcha gonna do? Back flip, karate chop, blazing weapons and….stick the landing. Wow. Hero and Heroine can now ride into the sunset, matching cowboy hats and all.

But what happens next? With romantic suspense, it matters because readers need to believe that the characters will stay together after the drama ends. It’s what makes the end of the story so satisfying. This challenges the author to give the characters something in common beyond the bad guy. Enter laughter. When we think about our friends and partners in real life, these are the people that make our lives lighter. They remind us to smile and give us a reason to laugh. We feel happy around them. Our characters need this happy to stay together, making laughter the ties that bind.

Today is the release date of my newest book, LOST IN SHADOWS, from Entangled Publishing. The hero, Jeb McCormick, is ex-military and struggling quietly with PTSD. He doesn’t expect to see his fortieth birthday. Our heroine, Carolina Walker, has become reclusive to avoid a stalker that her family doesn’t believe exists. On a daily basis, these characters have little to laugh about…and that’s before the danger really kicks in. Left to their own devices, I predict they would break up within two months after the story ends.

Fortunately for them, physical attraction (an obvious gotta have in romantic suspense) opens a door where the characters see the other’s pain and want to ease it. Through that door enters laughter. In one of my favorite scenes, Jeb tells Carolina a grown-up bed-time story that still makes me laugh out loud. It’s a sweet, silly, expected moment that makes Carolina’s heart swell to three times its size. The characters grow closer when a slip of the tongue turns Carolina’s attempt at witty repartee into one of those slightly awkward moments. Jeb is charmed and tries everything he can think of to tongue-tie his brilliant beauty. Add in a little tickle torture and the recipe for a happily-ever-after-the-bad-guy-dies is complete.

Laughter is important in fiction because it reminds us how important it is in real world. Life can be so busy—with school, with work, with family—that some days are just about making it to the next. When we see a (yes, fictional) character take time out of a dangerous situation to make another laugh, what excuse do we have to not pause, take a breath and bring a smile to another’s face. Because laughter is not only the best medicine, it’s the ties that bind. Live. Love. Laugh, today and everyday. ~Anita.

About Anita Devito

Anita Devito

Anita’s rapid paced storytelling style pulls readers into a parallel universe where mystery, mayhem, murder are the order of the day. Her stories are an addictive diversion, trading the heavy, gray world of real life for a fantastically colorful world where bad is good, and cool is smoking hot.

Raised on America’s Rock Coast in Cleveland, Ohio, Anita was born while the river burned. Music, food and family shaped Anita’s life and provide much of the fodder for her stories. Her love of mysteries and puzzle solving came from her Grandpa John, who introduced Anita to her first detective hero – Nero Wolfe. Food was as central a character in Anita’s life as it was in Nero’s, where Sunday dinner at Nonna’s table was a command performance.

Anita has been writing scorching suspense since 2006 with stories ranging on the heat index from a “nice spicy little pepper” to “pass a mop for my forehead, please.” Check out tastes of Anita’s stories and like her on Facebook. Anita is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Lost series

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LOST IN SHADOWS by Anita Devito

Lost #2

Lost In Shadows

Private security entrepreneur Jeb McCormick is in over his head with his latest client. Not only is the painfully shy woman he’s meant to be protecting a total knock-out, she’s also his former Army buddy’s sister. Helping her find the reason why anyone would ransack her house is demanding enough, but keeping his hands off her is proving to be the real challenge.

Carolina Walker wants a quiet life, thank you very much. She left intrigue and deception behind in Washington D.C., never expecting it to follow her home to Bowling Green, Kentucky. When events happen that can’t be explained away, help arrives in the form of the very attractive and muscular Jebediah McCormick. But as the tension escalates between Jeb and Carolina, so does the danger facing them…

Romance Suspense [Entangled Suspense, On Sale: December 12, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781633757899 / eISBN: 9781633757899]

Storytime by Jane Kirkpatrick

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” Shannon Alder.

Tabitha Moffat Brown was a grandmother when she headed west to Oregon Territory in 1846. Her story and that of her daughter and granddaughter is a part of the novel I wrote called THIS ROAD WE TRAVELED (Revell). On that journey, Tabby (as I called her) decided to write her memoir telling stories of her greatest challenges, a legacy gift she planned to leave her children.

I used that fictional device as a way of sharing Tabby’s history as the family dealt with trials during a fateful trek on the Oregon Trail. I’ve long thought that stories are the sparks that light our ancestor’s lives; they’re the embers we blow on to illuminate our own lives. Tabby did actually write letters about her life that became the basis for my novel. I had her use the occasion of a life-changing journey to share some of her stories. But I think any time of the year is a good time to write down memories and experiences, not in any great order, but as they come to us. They can be sparks for our own families to illuminate their lives.

The Christmas when my older sister got her first horse, a red and white paint named Bonnie comes to mind for me. I was only eight years old at the time but I remember the intrigue of my parent’s efforts to surprise my sister who at twelve had always longed to have a horse. My sister died 19 years ago, but I still see her with her cowboy hat perched on her black hair riding in the Wisconsin snow on that chubby red and white horse. She will always be alive to me in that image, a gift I give myself. Maybe it’s a birthday story that you remember and want to share. You don’t have to have a great insight about the meaning of the story, only that it’s something you remember and would love someone else in your life to have it in their memory too.

Someone once wrote that the purpose of a novel is to move people. Sometimes that means moving their hearts and sometimes it means moving them off their couch to go visit a place mentioned in a novel; or to call a friend because something in the story spoke to friendship. Maybe the story moves a reader to write a letter or perhaps like Tabby, to write a story down. Nothing pleases me more as a novelist as when someone tells me how a story moved them to do something they’d been putting off like beginning their own memoir.

At a bookfair last week, a woman said she didn’t usually “waste her time” on novels but she read mine because they were based on real people and incidents. I didn’t disagree with her — the reader is always right! — but I did wish for a longer time to explore with her how fiction always grows from “real life,” from our imaginations, from all those stories we were told as children and from the incidents we live out day to day and later weave through memory into story. There is truth to be found in fiction just as there is in biography and non-fiction works of all kinds. William Faulkner noted when he accepted the Pulitzer Prize in 1954, that “the only stories worth a writer’s blood and sweat and tears are stories of the human heart in conflict with itself.” We all have stories like that inside of us and telling them — even short ones like parables — can bring joy and wisdom to others and ourselves.

All of us are story-tellers because stories are the most powerful ways we have of organizing human experience. Tabby organized her stories around her life’s challenges but you can organize your stories –whether you’re a writer like Faulkner or a gramma or a dad or a student — around any stories that you’ve kept in the pocket of your soul.

Give your stories as a gift to others and in the meantime you may well discover as Tabby did in THIS ROAD WE TRAVELED things about yourself you otherwise might never have known. Write your legacy this season on “hearts not tombstones.” It might inspire fresh fiction in your life or that of someone you love.

About Jane Kirkpatrick

Jane Kirkpatrick

Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling author of more than twenty-nine books, including A Light in the Wilderness and A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the coveted Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. THE MEMORY WEAVER earned the Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award for best western inspirational novel, 2016. Her works have been finalists for the Christy Award, Spur Award, Oregon Book Award, and Reader’s Choice awards, and have won the WILLA Literary Award and Carol Award for Historical Fiction. Jane lives in Central Oregon.

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THIS ROAD WE TRAVELED by Jane Kirkpatrick

This Road We Traveled

Drama, Adventure, and Family Struggles Abound as Three Generations Head West on the Oregon Trail

When Tabitha Brown’s son makes the fateful decision to leave Missouri and strike out for Oregon, she refuses to be left behind. Despite her son’s concerns, Tabitha hires her own wagon to join the party. Along with her reluctant daughter and her ever-hopeful granddaughter, the intrepid Tabitha has her misgivings. But family ties are stronger than fear.

The trials they face along the way will severely test Tabitha’s faith, courage, and ability to hope. With her family’s survival on the line, she must make the ultimate sacrifice, plunging deeper into the wilderness to seek aid. What she couldn’t know was how this frightening journey would impact how she understood her own life–and the greater part she had to play in history.

With her signature attention to detail and epic style, New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick invites readers to travel the deadly and enticing Oregon Trail. Based on actual events, This Road We Traveled will inspire the pioneer in all of us.

Inspirational Historical [Revell, On Sale: September 6, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780800722333 / eISBN: 9781493405138]

An inspirational story of strength and determination

Jennifer Shirk | 5 Fun Holiday Facts

Hi, all! Jennifer here!

With Christmas only a few weeks away, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on the subject. And found some surprising things on the Internet.

So I thought I’d share FIVE FUN FACTS about the holidays that you probably don’t know. Like…

  1. To deliver his gifts in one night, Santa would have to make 822.6 visits per second, sleighing at 3,000 times the speed of sound. At that speed, Santa and his reindeer would burst into flame instantaneously.

Wow. It’s a good thing they don’t teach Physics until high school!

  1. December is the most popular month for nose jobs.

I found this puzzling. Do people treat themselves to their own Christmas gift? Or is it because people have more time off this month?

  1. Coca-cola came up with the red suit for Santa.
    coca-cola-santa

I had heard this before, but am still amazed at the power of advertising!

  1. Rudolph was almost named Reginald.

Huh? Well, apparently, a copywriter named Robert L. May first invented the reindeer in 1939 as a marketing gimmick for Montgomery Ward’s holiday coloring books. (Again with the advertising!!) In fact, he didn’t even want his nose to be red, since it was associated as a sign of chronic alcohol drinking. (He obviously didn’t win either battle)

  1. As of last year, the highest-grossing Christmas movie of all time is How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey.
    Grinch Stole Christmas

Wow! Believe it or not, I’ve never seen it. (Only the cartoon version)

Hope this prompts some sparkling conversation for you around the holiday table, and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and a Merry Christmas!

Did any of these Holiday trivia surprise you? Do you have any other fun trivia to share?

WRONG BROTHER, RIGHT MATCH by Jennifer Shirk

Anyone but You #3

Wrong Brother, Right Match

Matchmaking guru Kennedy Pepperdine’s life is perfect. Perfect job. Perfect friends. Perfect boyfriend. Except…when she gets trapped in an elevator with a handsome stranger, she accidentally confesses a secret: maybe her perfect boyfriend, Justin, isn’t so perfect for her after all. But a matchmaker should be able to successfully match herself, right? Thankfully, she’ll never see the handsome stranger again. Until she heads home with Justin for the holidays and learns that the sexy stranger is none other than Justin’s older brother, Matt.

Matt Ellis is trying to be on his best behavior for his mother-it is Christmas, after all. But when he recognizes the beautiful woman from the elevator-the one he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about for months-his best behavior is being held by a thread. Matt’s always sacrificed for his family, and nothing is more important than their happiness, but the more time he spends around Kennedy, the more he wonders if her supposed “right match” might just be the wrong brother.

Romance Contemporary [Entangled Bliss, On Sale: December 5, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781682813553 / eISBN: 9781682813553]

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy-which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.

She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Avalon Books/Montlake Romance and now Entangled Publishing. Her novel SUNNY DAYS FOR SAM won the 2013 Golden Quill Published Authors Contest for Best Traditional Romance and recently, her novel WEDDING DATE FOR HIRE was a 2016 Golden Leaf finalist for best short contemporary romance.

Lately she’s been on a serious exercise kick. But don’t hold that against her.

Feel free to join her newsletter! Monthly giveaways!

Anyone But You

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Lisa Burstein | Top 5 Bad Boys from Television and Movies

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a Bad Boy. I think it’s because I’ve been taught to avoid them, which of course just makes me want them more, enough to write about them in MIA AND THE BAD BOY, book #2 in Backstage Pass: The Complete Series.

Their allure is undeniable and they usually have the reputation to back it up. They are cocky, arrogant, inconsiderate, closed off and as fans we can’t get enough. We want to break their hard exterior. We want to be the one girl to get through to the bad boy.

Here are a few of my favorites – in no particular order:

  1. John Bender The Breakfast Club
    judge hirsh
  2. Dylan McKay Beverly Hills 90210
    dylan
  3. Chuck Bass Gossip Girl
    chuck bass
  4. Jordan Catalano My So Called Life
    socalled life
  5. J.D. Heathers
    slater


Who are some of your favorite bad boys?

About Lisa Burstein

Lisa Burstein

Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University. She is the author of Pretty Amy, The Next Forever, Dear Cassie, Sneaking Candy and The Possibility of Us. As well as a contributor to the essay collection, Break These Rules: 35 YA Authors On Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats.

Backstage Pass

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MIA AND THE BAD BOY by Lisa Burstein

Backstage Pass #2

Mia and the Bad Boy

This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, underage drinking, sexual situations, and lots of swoons. It may convince even the good-est of good girls to go bad.

This good girl’s about to meet her match…

Ryder Brooks is living the dream-he’s famous, loved by millions of girls, and miserable. All he really wants is to write his own music, not Seconds to Juliet’s sugary sweet pop. In order to do that, though, the “bad boy” of the band will have to play by the rules. And that includes behaving with his new-and super cute-über-good-girl tutor.

Mia Reyes is in fangirl heaven. Tutoring her favorite member of her favorite band? It’s a dream come true…until it turns into a complete nightmare. Ryder is nothing like she thought. He’s crude, arrogant, and pretty much a total jerk. And the worst part? She’s roped into pretending to be his girlfriend so that no one finds out he’s being tutored. Fake kisses, plenty of PDA, and even sharing his hotel room…

But sometimes even the baddest of bad boys needs a little redemption.

Romance Contemporary [Entangled Crush, On Sale: May 19, 2015, e-Book, ISBN: 9781943336180 / eISBN: 9781633752665]

Elizabeth Heiter | Famous Criminal Profilers in Fact and Fiction

Criminal profiling is a fascinating process, a mix of psychology and criminology
that tends to create divided reactions: people seem to think it’s either magic
or complete BS. The reality is that it’s neither. Profiling takes a crime and
predicts the type of person most likely to have committed it – profiles can be
as vague as a “white male in his twenties” (which has become a bit of a joke
about profiling serial killers) or as specific as “a man in his forties who
works a blue-collar job during the second shift, is divorced, has at least one
child, and drives a dark-colored sedan.” Narrowing down type of person helps
law enforcement center their search and the FBI has an entire unit devoted to
the job. Now called the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), it’s been
memorialized in both fiction and non-fiction:

CRIMINAL MINDS: Although some of the details of the show are just literary license for the sake of fast-moving plot (the BAU’s own private jet, all the profilers flying to consult on each big case, the active “door-kicking” roles the agents take in most of the cases), the profiles themselves are pretty solid. And they should be – the show works with a retired FBI profiler.

SILENCE OF THE LAMBS: The book may have been written more than twenty years ago, but it still stands as one of the most well-known books involving profiling. And it’s ironic, because in a great twist, it’s not actually the FBI doing the profiling. Most of that is done by another incarcerated felon (Hannibal
Lecter). And the villain they’re chasing is actually a consolidation of three real serial killers.

LISA GARDNER’S QUINCY PIERCE: Bestselling author Lisa Gardner created a series of books revolving around FBI profiler Quincy Pierce, introduced back in 1997. He’s been so popular he’s returning in her upcoming 2017 book, RIGHT BEHIND YOU. Gardner takes the research seriously, having visited Quantico and spoken to a number of law enforcement officials to create her books.

My Profiler series: Fascinated by the idea of an FBI agent who approached crime scenes in a completely different way than what you usually see – by looking at the behavioral evidence instead of the physical evidence – I spent years researching the FBI, profiling and the psychology of crime. Then, I created FBI
profiler Evelyn Baine, who chose the profession at twelve years old after her
best friend went missing and was never found. Evelyn returns in STALKED at the end of the month, trying to figure out what happened to a missing teenager who left behind a note foretelling her own death.

MINDHUNTER:
This book by retired FBI profiler John Douglas isn’t fiction. It’s the real
story encompassing his twenty-five years at the FBI, including many of the
well-known serial criminals he profiled. Some of the specifics are now out of
date (the profiling unit is no longer the BSU, and a lot of how the FBI works –
and what profilers are likely to work – has changed), but the nitty-gritty
details of profiling are all in here. Warning: Real profiling involves
analyzing crime scenes to determine the sort of person most likely to have
committed the crime, and that means delving into some gruesome details.

About Elizabeth
Heiter

Elizabeth Heiter

Elizabeth Heiter likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range.

Elizabeth graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English Literature. She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America. Fresh Fiction called her debut suspense
HUNTED a “fast paced and thrilling start to a new series,” Affaire de
Coeur
gave it 5 stars, calling it “very well done with a fantastic ending,”
and Bookreporter said HUNTED was “a thriller that grabs readers from the
first page…Heiter has hit a high note right at the start of her writing
career!”

The Profiler | Lawmen

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Excerpt from WOLF UNLEASHED

Lacey browsed the selection of Blu-ray discs that Alex had set out on the coffee table, trying to imagine him picking them out at a Redbox kiosk. Romantic comedies and chick flicks predominated. To say they seemed like movies a man like Alex wouldn’t be caught dead watching, much less paying for, was an understatement.

She glanced at him. “You chose these yourself?”

“I admit, I had to get help, but yeah. I talked to Everly, Jayna, Mac, and Khaki for some suggestions.” “And they suggested these?”

He gave her a sheepish look. “Actually, they suggested I ask you what movie you wanted to watch. But that would have ruined the surprise, so I went with their best guesses as to what you might like. Anything here catch your fancy?”

She almost picked one at random just to be nice, but then decided against it. After this evening, she had the feeling she didn’t have to play games with Alex.

It was her turn to look a little embarrassed. “Truthfully, I’m not much for rom- coms and chick flicks. Do you have any action or horror movies? They’re more my thing.”

Alex looked surprised but chuckled. “I guess I should have just asked you. I have a lot of those kind of movies.”

He led her over to the big entertainment unit underneath the TV and pulled out the two top drawers. They were filled to the brim with DVDs and Blu-rays, and all of them were action movies, thrillers, and horror flicks. In fact, he had one whole drawer filled with werewolf movies.

She slanted him a look. “Have a thing for werewolves, do we?”

“You noticed that, huh?” His mouth twitched. “I kind of collect them. For whatever reason, I find stories about werewolves intriguing.”

Lacey ran her fingers over the spines, picking up a few and reading the blurbs on the back. In the end, she picked out one of the werewolf titles she recognized—An American Werewolf in London—without even checking to see what it was about.

She turned to Alex. “Is this one any good?”

“It’s a classic,” he said. “A little scary, though.”

She handed it to him, deciding she liked the sound of that. Nothing better than cuddling on the couch with a hot guy and burying her face against his shoulder at all the scary parts.

Alex refilled their wine and grabbed a big bag of Hershey’s Kisses from the kitchen, then turned down the lights and got the movie started before joining her on the couch.

“I’ve seen this movie about twenty times,” he said as the first scene opened up with two guys walking across a fog- shrouded landscape. “If you have any questions—or just feel the need to blurt out a random meaningless observation about the feasibility of a werewolf running around the streets of London without being seen—feel free.”

Lacey laughed and wiggled closer to Alex. She was glad he wasn’t one of those guys who demanded total silence during a movie, because that wasn’t the way she rolled.

Alex put his bare feet up on the coffee table, dropped a big pile of Hershey’s Kisses on his T-shirt-covered abs, then wrapped his arm around her shoulders to pull her even closer. Now this was the way to watch a scary movie.

Lacey tried to pay attention to the film—at first anyway. The action started right from the beginning, and there were people screaming and blood flying within the first ten minutes. It also helped that the acting was way better than she’d expected for a monster movie. She could see why Alex liked this one.

But lying in the dark, with her body pressed close to Alex, eating chocolates off his rock-hard abs was a bit distracting. By the time the hero’s dead friend showed up on screen attempting to convince the hero that he was a monster and should kill himself, Lacey was far more interested in tracing the lines of Alex’s abs through his T-shirt than in watching the movie. It felt like he had a seriously nice six-pack under the thin material, and her imagination filled in all the details her curious fingers couldn’t provide. Alex certainly didn’t seem to mind her playful roaming. In fact, if the bulge growing in his jeans was any indication, he was definitely enjoying himself.

Lacey had never been very aggressive with guys, but there was something about Alex that made the idea of being shy around him seem silly. A moment later, she decided there wasn’t any good reason to resist the temptation any longer. Knocking aside the remaining chocolates, she tugged the bottom of his shirt up until it came out of the waist of his jeans. That gave her a perfect view of all the lean muscles of his stomach, his yummy- looking belly button, and a faint, happy trail of hair that made her groan with delight. Yup, this was exactly the six-pack she’d been seeing in her mind.

Without a word, she traced her fingers over the hills and valleys of his abs, enjoying the way Alex’s muscles flexed and twitched under her touch, especially when she ventured close to his belt. It almost felt like there were sparks dancing along her skin when she touched him.

She was having so much fun exploring, she didn’t even realize Alex was watching her until his hand suddenly came down on her hers, stopping her cold. Had she been wrong about how much he’d liked her teasing?

She tipped her head back to look at him, but when she saw the fire in his eyes, she knew he hadn’t stopped her because he didn’t like what she was doing. No, definitely not that.

Gaze locked with hers, he got a firm grip on her hip and dragged her astride his lap like she was as light as a feather. The bulge in his jeans pressed nicely against the juncture of her thighs, and she wiggled so that he was hitting the perfect spot.

“What about the movie?” she teased.

“What about it?” he growled, his mouth possessing hers and taking her breath away.

WOLF UNLEASHED by Paige Tyler

SWAT #5

Wolf Unleashed

SHE BRINGS OUT THE WOLF IN HIM

Lacey Barton can’t deny her crazy attraction to Alex Trevino, but that doesn’t mean she has time for the gorgeous SWAT officer. She’s hell-bent on discovering who’s behind the brutal dogfights sending countless mauled animals to her veterinarian office. The trail leads Lacey to a ring of vicious drug dealers and suddenly she’s in way over her head—right smack in the middle of a SWAT stakeout.

With Lacey in danger, Alex’s wolf side is unleashed. But when she witnesses Alex shift, she’s even more terrified… Now it’s up to Alex to crack the case—and earn back Lacey’s trust and, ultimately, her heart.

Romance Paranormal [Sourcebooks Casablanca, On Sale: December 6, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781492625988 / eISBN: 9781492625995]

Who could be better for a veterinarian than a werewolf?

About Paige Tyler

Paige Tyler

Paige Tyler is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. Paige writes books about hunky alpha males and the kick-butt heroines they fall in love with. She lives with her very own military hero (a.k.a. her husband) and their adorable dog on the beautiful Florida coast.

X-Ops | SWAT | SEALs of Coronado

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THE ROYAL NANNY by Karen Harper

My historical novels so far (seven and counting) have featured the lives of real historical British women, usually royal. Several featured Queen Elizabeth I; I also wrote about an Irish princess and the Plantagenet royals. But when I came across a footnote mentioning Charlotte Bill, a mere lower class nanny who lived in a much later era, I knew I had to know more about her amazing life. And so was born years of research to set the story in the Victorian and Edwardian eras and to learn about a servant class woman with great power, because she reared two kings of England.

Charlotte Bill was a Cockney girl who was first hired as an under nursemaid by the royal family of the future King George V and Queen Mary, the current queen’s grandparents, while Queen Victoria was still on the throne. Upon arriving at their Norfolk estate of Sandringham, Charlotte discovered the current nanny was abusing both David (later Kind Edward VIII and Duke of Windsor) and Bertie (later King George VI.) If you recall the movie The King’s Speech, you may remember this terrible incident which hurt both boys for the rest of their lives: David gravitated to abusive women, and Bertie stuttered.

Prince_John_with_nannyCharlotte, or Lala as the six royal children called her, became their nanny and mother figure in an age in which upper class parents were very hands off. The family was a real challenge—besides the strict parents, the cousins were a danger too. Cousin Willie was the Kaiser of Germany, later Kaiser Wilhelm who instigated World War I. Cousin Nickie was Czar Nicholas of Russia, later assassinated with his family whom Lala had spent time with. Caught between ‘upstairs and downstairs, Lala knew them all.

If you enjoyed Downton Abbey, you’ll recognize the era and its strict rules and ornate trappings Lala had to deal with at rural Sandringham and “Buck House,” the palace in London. Her great struggle was not only to protect her charges (which included her dear Johnnie, an autistic and epileptic child the family tried to hide) but to find some time for her own friends and a romance with a local man she loved until the end.

I tried to stay as true to this admirable woman and the people around her as much as research (and another trip to England) would allow. The novel is what Alex Hailey, the author of ROOTS, dubbed ‘faction,’ a blend of fact and fiction. I’m thrilled to say that THE ROYAL NANNY has found a home in many reader’s hearts and is currently in its fourth printing. Lala was an amazing woman coping with ‘the lifestyles of the rich and famous.’ Photos of her and her ‘children’ are on my website, www.KarenHarperAuthor.com or under the name Charlotte Bill on line.

Have a ‘cuppa tea’ and enjoy!

You can also visit Karen on www.facebook.com/KarenHarperAuthor

THE ROYAL NANNY by Karen Harper

The Royal Nanny

Based on a seldom-told true story, this novel is perfect for everyone who is fascinated by Britain’s royal family—a behind the scenes look into the nurseries of little princes and the foibles of big princes.

April, 1897: A young nanny arrives at Sandringham, ancestral estate of the Duke and Duchess of York. She is excited, exhausted—and about to meet royalty. . . .

So begins the unforgettable story of Charlotte Bill, who would care for a generation of royals as their parents never could. Neither Charlotte—LaLa, as her charges dub her—nor anyone else can predict that eldest sons David and Bertie will each one day be king. LaLa knows only that these children, and the four who swiftly follow, need her steadfast loyalty and unconditional affection.

But the greatest impact on Charlotte’s life is made by a mere bud on the family tree: a misunderstood soul who will one day be known as the Lost Prince. Young Prince John needs all of Lala’s love—the kind of love his parents won’t…or can’t…show him.

From Britain’s old wealth to the glittering excesses of Tsarist Russia; from country cottages to royal yachts, and from nursery to ballroom, Charlotte Bill witnesses history. The Royal Nanny is a seamless blend of fact and fiction—an intensely intimate, yet epic tale spanning decades, continents, and divides that only love can cross.

Romance Historical | Historical [William Morrow, On Sale: June 21, 2016, Trade Size / e-Book, ISBN: 9780062420633 / eISBN: 9780062420640]

The pride of princes creates conflict for a nursemaid

Royal Brood through the eyes of the Nanny

About Karen Harper

Karen Harper

Karen Harper taught both college level (at Ohio State University) and high school English (in Columbus, Ohio) before leaving teaching to write full-time. She is the author of 70 novels, including historical romance, contemporary suspense (for MIRA), and a historical mystery series, Queen Elizabeth I Mystery Series. Karen and her husband, Don, divide their time between Columbus and Naples, Florida, where they have wintered for 20 years. It’s so beautiful there, the author says, that it’s hard to find the discipline to sit inside and write. Though she is now a full-time writer, Karen still love to teach by giving talks about writing and getting published.

Cowboys of Cold Creek

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Tempest in the Highlands by May McGoldrick excerpt

One moment, Miranda was gasping for more air. The next, her very existence depended on how close she could get to him. The touch of his lips freed her mind and made her body soar. The tension gripping her limbs and her lungs melted away in an instant. She shivered involuntarily and her arms tightened around his neck.

Hawk’s mouth moved back and forth over her burning lips, urging them to open. Surrendering to his silent demand, she parted her lips. She heard the groan deep in his throat as he took a fistful of her hair and his tongue plunged deep into the soft recesses of her mouth.

A silent thrill of desire raced through her. She’d never been kissed by a man before. But right now, all fears were forgotten. The trap in which they found themselves became trivial. Miranda allowed the rising hunger she had for him to erupt within her.

Lost in the seductive play of his tongue, the heat of his embrace, and his roaming hand, she responded with passion.

He lifted her higher in his arms and pulled her legs around his hips.

Her body ached for his touch, her heart pounded, and her mind whirled in the closeness of his embrace. Miranda gave another low moan of surrender as he deepened the kiss.

She didn’t know for how long they were lost in the kiss, but when he tore his mouth away, he was as breathless as she had been.

“This is a dangerous game we’ve started,” he said.

She understood what he was saying. It was impossible to not feel his erection pressing against her. Unwrapping her legs from his waist, she tried to float away, but his arm around her waist kept her close.

“I don’t mean to scare you off,” he said. “But you’re too beautiful, too tempting, and I’m a man.” Hawk released his hold on the wall, and they floated together. His gaze never left her face. “But I want you to know you can trust me.”

TEMPEST IN THE HIGHLANDS by May McGoldrick

Scottish Relic #3

Tempest in the Highlands

Miranda MacDonnell is on the run. When she inherited a mysterious relic from her mother, she had no idea the dangers it would bring. Now hunted by a relentless foe who will stop at nothing to find her, she has one choice: stow away on the ship of the notorious privateer, Black Hawk.

Rob Hawkins, the half-English privateer known as Black Hawk, has a mission from the Tudor king to find and kill the rogue commander, Sir Ralph Evers. To complete his quest, Hawk must find Miranda, a young woman Evers is pursuing. Caught in a tempest, he is shipwrecked with a “boy” who demonstrates an uncanny ability for saving him. Cast away on the mysterious Isle of the Dead, Hawk realizes that the “boy” traveling with him is actually Miranda MacDonnell and having her means that Evers will come to him. What begins as a ploy —using her as bait—soon changes, however, as he falls in love with her.

Ancient forces are at work, drawing the four possessors of the relic’s power to the Isle of the Dead in the Outer Hebrides for a final battle where good must overcome the forces of evil in this spectacular finale to the Scottish Relic Trilogy.

Romance Historical [Swerve, On Sale: December 6, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781250106582 / eISBN: 9781250106582]

About May McGoldrick

View More: http://loghanrosephotography.pass.us/nikooandjim

Authors Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick (writing as May McGoldrick) weave emotionally satisfying tales of love and danger. Publishing under the names of May McGoldrick and Jan Coffey, these authors have written thirty-five novels and works of nonfiction for Penguin Putnam, Mira, HarperCollins, Entangled, and Heinemann. Nikoo, an engineer, also conducts frequent workshops on writing and publishing and serves as a Resident Author. Jim holds a Ph.D. in Medieval and Renaissance literature and teaches English in northwestern Connecticut..

Scottish Relic

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Anna Schmidt | A Life’s Journey

LAST CHANCE COWBOYS: THE LAWMAN the second in my Where the Trail Ends series. Readers of book one (The Drifter) will remember the character of Addie Wilcox, a feisty young woman determined to focus on her career as a frontier doctor and forget all about Jess Porterfield, who chose a life in the city over staying in Arizona with her. She’s doing just fine until Jess decides city life is not for him, returns, pins on a badge and becomes the local marshal. These two, hot-blooded (and hot-tempered), set off fireworks in more ways than one on their way to figuring out what the whole town has always known: they were meant for each other.

Which character from LAST CHANCE COWBOYS: THE LAWMAN do I most relate to? ADDIE!! Because? Oh, come on—this woman is the epitome of what women have been fighting for lo, these last several centuries. And believe me, I did not write Addie—Addie told me how to write her character starting back in book one, THE DRIFTER, where she showed up as a secondary character and was so loved that she had to have her own story. She is Everywoman—intelligent, outspoken, feisty, a dreamer, a fighter, a woman who stands for something, who works to make life better today and one who has big ideas for the way the world might look in the future.

As a woman of the south who grew up in a small mountain town in the hillbilly country of southwest Virginia, then met and married a fabulous guy from Milwaukee, I have known my share of challenges. Always a big dreamer, it wasn’t so much that I longed to escape those hills and that small town as it was that I early on began to question and wonder about that bigger world. So I moved on (but never away—that town and its people are my roots and I never forget that!)

Between my junior and senior years in college, an anonymous donor made it possible for me to attend a summer theater workshop in NYC. It was my first time there and I was going to be there for six whole weeks!!! We lived in a dorm at NYU in Greenwich Village; the theater was then located in the village (it has since moved ‘uptown’ to Broadway). That summer changed my life—while I was there my father had a major heart attack back in Virginia. My parents insisted I stay and see the experience through. My roommate’s boyfriend stole every dime I wasn’t carrying with me (fortunately I had no credit card, just cash and my air ticket for going home). I ate a lot of Italian ices and slices of pizza that summer. It was my first encounter with people (including my roommate – a wealthy young woman from CT) who experimented with hallucinogenic drugs and the first test of my own moral standards in terms of drugs and sex. It was a life-defining summer for me and one, despite the trauma, that I cherish as the time when I defined who I was and who I would be.

Years later I moved to Milwaukee and married that fabulous guy—and faced a whole new set of challenges. My husband and most of our friends were Jewish and I had to learn a new culture, new traditions, new ways of looking at personal history. Our friends started having families—we learned we could not have children. We tried adoption at a time when agencies frowned on mixed-religious couples taking in a child…so no adoption. We found other paths for our lives—paths that taught me much about aging and caring and how to survive the physical challenges of life. I became the long-distance caregiver to my parents and then helped see my husband’s mother through her final days. We breathed and thought—at last—and then I was diagnosed with cancer and once we got through that—my husband was diagnosed with two incurable lung diseases. In Dec. 2011, we were told there was no more to be done—it might be weeks or months but certainly not even a year before he would be gone. Another challenge—how to spend that time wisely and in such a way there would be no regrets.

I am proud to say we did it our way—he died at home with me beside him. He had been prepared for this moment for months, taking it in stride as he did all the challenges of his life—“It is what it is,” he would tell me with a smile and then turn the conversation to something else. I truly believe he must have originated that catch phrase! It took me longer to come to a moment of acceptance—I wanted to fight even when I understood on an intellectual level, that continuing to put him through such attempts was selfish. Eventually I came to accept that this was his life, his choice. Do not misunderstand: he did everything he could, continued to take his meds, continued to exercise his mind and body; continued to socialize with friends and family—continued to LIVE!

Now it’s been nearly five years since we got that death sentence and I look back at the road I have traveled without him physically here. And what I know for sure (as Oprah would say) is that the experiences that shaped me before I met him and those that shaped our lives together continue to sustain me.

And it is that incredible experience that I brought to the writing of Addie’s story.

LAST CHANCE COWBOYS: THE LAWMAN by Anna Schmidt

Where The Trail Ends #2

Last Chance Cowboys: The Lawman

From acclaimed author Anna Schmidt comes a sweeping historical Western romance about the unbreakable bonds of family, second chances, and a whole lot of heart in the Wild West.

“This is me, Addie,” Jess murmured. “You and me, the way we always were.”

But it wasn’t, no matter how much she wished it were true. They were different now. She would always love him…

But can she trust him not to break her heart?

Jess Porterfield fled to the big city after his father’s sudden death, leaving behind his family ranch-and his childhood sweetheart. Now Jess has returned as the local lawman, determined to prove his worth…and win back the one woman he could never live without.

Young frontier doctor Addie Wilcox was devastated when Jess left her behind. Now he’s back and it’s difficult to remember why she should keep her distance. But with the town’s richest man set to see her hang for a crime she didn’t commit, Addie must put her faith in the lawman who broke her heart-and trust that together they’ll find their second chance at love.

Romance Western | Romance Historical [Sourcebooks Casablanca, On Sale: December 1, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781492612995 / eISBN: 9781492613008]

About Anna Schmidt

Anna Schmidt

Award-winning author Anna Schmidt delights in creating stories where her characters must wrestle with the challenges of their times. Critics have consistently praised Schmidt for her ability to seamlessly integrate actual events with her fictional characters to produce strong tales of hope and love in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. She resides in Wisconsin.

Where the Trail Ends

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