Crystal Jordan | Top 5 Foods I Found While Traveling

The whole theme behind my Destination: Desire series is falling in love while traveling far from home. In some of the books, that meant a work trip, a vacation, and even foreign exchange. Most of the places mentioned in this series, I’ve been to myself, which meant I got to experience all the wonderful (and sometimes strange) sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of these exotic locales.

Probably the most fun thing I do while I’m away from home is try new foods and restaurants, so I wanted to share with you some of the most entertaining dishes I’ve tasted while trotting around the globe. If you ever go to these places, you have to try these!

  1. Aussie Pizza. I tried this dish in Sydney, Australia. At first, it looks like an all-meat pizza, with pepperoni, Canadian bacon, and prosciutto. But then you look a bit closer, and you see that there’s a scrambled egg cooked in with the cheese. Finally, you bite into it, and you realize there’s tangy BBQ sauce mixed into the marinara. It sounds funky, but it tastes fabulous.
  2. Navette. This little gem was delight from Marseille, France. It’s shaped like a little boat (navette), and it seems like a pretty simple cookie at first. Flour, eggs, butter, sugar…ah, but then you get to the secret ingredient. Orange blossom water. This one extra component gives these morsels a light, sweet citrusy taste that blew my socks off.
  3. Mandazi (or Mahamri). Sticking to my desserts, this is one I tasted in Kampala, Uganda. It was a triangular donut that was less sweet than the kind of donuts I’m used to in the States, but I still loved it. Instead of the usual sugar-explosion, this was sweetened with coconut milk, spiced with cardamom, and came with a fruit dipping sauce. It was served with a hot cup of masala chai, which was the perfect complement (especially for a tea-lover like me).
  4. Currywurst. Back over to the savory dishes, this is one I tried in Frankfurt, Germany. It was a simple bratwurst that had been kicked up a notch by adding a curry ketchup sauce sprinkled with curry powder. I know what you’re thinking—curry ketchup? Ew!—but this didn’t have quite the sweet-tangy aftertaste you get from ketchup in the US. It was more a tomato-curry sauce, but they call it “curry ketchup” there. It was delicious, and that’s all I cared about.
  5. Berliner. Here’s a second dish I found in Frankfurt (despite being named after Berlin). This is another donut dessert (can you tell I love a good donut?), which is fluffy and round and doesn’t have a hole in the middle. Instead, it’s filled with some kind of yummy jam. I tried one with an apple jam that made it taste a whole lot like an apple pie donut, and another with a spiced plum butter called Pflaumenmus. I couldn’t decide which flavor I liked better, so I had another set the next morning with breakfast. Not exactly healthy, I know, but totally worth it!

About Crystal Jordan

Crystal Jordan

Crystal Jordan began writing romance after she finished graduate school and needed something to fill the hours that used to be eaten away by coursework. She spent far too many years in school and now has degrees in History and Library Science…but swears that both of them help enormously with her writing and research.

Her family sprawls from Texas to Illinois and from California to the United Kingdom. She has three brothers, several rather adorable nieces and nephews, a quirky grandmother who pushed her into writing in the first place, an indispensable best friend codenamed the Mad Madam M, and her very own hero, the Professor Moriarty (who codenamed himself after Sherlock Holmes’s arch-nemesis. Who wouldn’t love a man who loves a good villain?).

Never one to stay in one place very long, Crystal has lived and worked all over the United States. Currently, she serves as a librarian at a university in her home state of California.

Destination: Desire

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GATLINBURG GETAWAY by Crystal Jordan

Destination: Desire #7

Gatlinburg Getaway

Clearly they’ve lost their minds. Or their hearts. Or both.

When Camille Kirby breaks her glasses—and forgets her spare pair—while out of town at an engineering conference, it’s a major disaster. She’s half-blind without her specs. She needs an optometrist fast.

Though the office is technically closed for a holiday weekend, Dr. Dalton Wakefield can’t resist a damsel in distress. Especially one with freckles, an unruly mop of red hair, and a mind as sharp as a tack. He quickly realizes theirs is more than just instant attraction. Of course, just his luck, she’s only in Gatlinburg for a week.

Camille’s first impression is a blur of tall and nicely shaped, with a melted-chocolate Southern drawl. When her new contacts go in? Oh, my. Jackpot.

Coffee turns into multiple dates, then spending every free second together. But soon the tough, no-nonsense Camille, who was all for a quick, no-strings affair, has to admit she’s falling for him. And Dalton is groping for a way to keep Camille from walking out of his life at the end of the week.

Warning: Outdoor adventures that lead to major allergy attacks. A near-sighted heroine who stumbles into the hero’s line of sight, and an optometrist who’s got a prescription for her every need. Whether it’s glasses, massages, or really naughty mattress mambos.

Romance Contemporary [Samhain Publishing, On Sale: July 19, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781619230316 / eISBN: 9781619230316]

Excerpt from Gatlinburg Getaway (Destination: Desire, Book 7)

Half Moon Bay, California

The nerve of those bastards.

Her business partners were ganging up on her, trying to kick her out of the office.

Feng Liu, Levi Eisenberger, and Camille Kirby were about as opposite as any three people could get, but they’d been friends since college. That didn’t mean she was averse to killing them, especially when they were trying to manage her life.

“I thought Levi was the one who was supposed to speak at this conference,” she groused, giving both men the stink eye.

Levi heaved a long-suffering sigh. “My niece’s bat mitzvah got rescheduled because she had the stomach flu. My older sister decided we shouldn’t be puked on for attending, and I can’t fault her logic on that, can you?” He waved a dismissive hand. “Why the date was moved doesn’t really matter—what matters is I can’t miss this party. Bubbe Rose would never, ever let me live it down. Ever.”

“You’re going to have a great time, Camille. Gatlinburg is beautiful.” Feng fluttered his long, glittery false eyelashes at her. He’d decided since they were already too casual to have a casual Friday, he was making it cross-dressing Friday.

Whatever. She figured it meant he didn’t have to go home to get primped for the drive up to whichever San Francisco dance club his boyfriend was taking him to that night.

She was just jealous Feng had a boyfriend and she didn’t. But it wasn’t his fault her love life was pathetic. Nope, that one was on her for never making time to, you know, date.

“It’ll be good for you,” Levi chimed in, rearranging the Star Wars action figures on his desk.

Camille rolled her eyes at his enthusiasm, patently false for her dour, pessimistic, caffeine-addicted colleague. “You shouldn’t put a Sith Lord next to Luke Skywalker. You’re going to open up a black hole in a galaxy far, far away.”

He scowled. Ah, there was the gloomy expression she knew so well.

“Quit antagonizing him. He’s right about it being good for you. Plus, your workaholic ass needs to get out of the office.” Feng blew her a kiss. “We just wrapped up a major project, Levi’s going home for the bat mitzvah, and I can definitely hold down the fort for a slow week on my own, so now’s the perfect time.”

“You could go.” She poked a finger at him.

“Besides Levi, you were the one who worked most closely on that project, so you get to go in his place.” He gave her a pitying look. “Are you afraid to leave the office?”

She didn’t even dignify that with a response. She was just grateful he didn’t mention that she hadn’t taken a single vacation day since they’d gone into business together. It had been a necessary sacrifice, in her opinion, which let them take their little company from making pennies to a lucrative firm creating innovative products in the software engineering market. They’d carved a niche for themselves in under two years, and they’d done it on their own terms. Walking away from incredibly high-paying jobs in the Silicon Valley hadn’t been easy, but they’d been bored out of their minds. Camille had convinced her friends to move to her tiny seaside hometown and set up shop.

Thank God, she’d been right about that. She’d have felt guilty forever if her scheme had bankrupted them all.

That didn’t mean she was pleased about this forced quasi-vacation.

Levi broke in, “Look, it might be in a resort town but it’s a professional conference, so it counts as a business expense, which I know your Scroogey self likes to consider. Go, have fun. That’s an order.”

Scrooge? “I was raised with three older sisters in a single-parent household, so resources were always stretched thin. You’d be money-conscious too, in my place. Also? You’re not the boss of me.”

Feng waved a hand to encompass the office. “It’s an equal partnership, two against one. You’re out voted. Get out of town and relax, for God’s sake.”

She peered over the tops of her glasses at him like a displeased librarian. “You realize it’s Memorial Day weekend, right?”

“Yep, and we know you don’t have plans.” He smirked. “Your sisters are all going to be out of town, which means you were planning to work. So go work in a resort over Memorial Day and the whole week after.”

“Only engineering nerds would think scheduling a conference over a holiday was a good idea,” she muttered, because she couldn’t deny what he’d said. She reached out to tidy her already pristine desk, which was a marked contrast to Levi’s clutter and Feng’s unsanitary mess. She tried not to look at his workspace too often or her anal retentive tendencies might kick in. She wasn’t the maid or the mommy, but damn
the disarray bugged her.

“We already confirmed that you’ll be speaking about the project we partnered with Stanford’s Computer Science department on. They’re sending a couple of grad students to talk about their part. Go make us look good—we might get a few more research institutions on board with our products.” Levi reached out a long arm and snagged a sheaf of papers from his printer. “Here are the talking points I prepped for the presentation, plus your plane ticket, car rental info, conference registration confirmation, and hotel reservation. I called to make sure you get a suite with a hot tub, so you can soak your knee if needed.”

“Thanks.” The word came out far more grudging than it should have.

Five years ago, Camille had been in a catastrophic automobile accident. The memory of it still had the power to give her nightmares and wake her up in a cold sweat, screaming because she thought she was still trapped in a burning car. The guy who’d swerved into oncoming traffic and hit her head-on going eighty miles an hour had died on impact. To this day, she still didn’t know if she was grateful or not that she’d been spared ever having to confront him for what his irresponsibility had wrought. Life as she’d known it had been over in a split second—her body had been broken in ways that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put back together again. Collarbone, six ribs, both arms. Plus, her left leg had been so damaged they’d had to perform a total knee replacement.

If there was one nightmare worse than the burning car, it was the sick, helpless horror of being completely immobilized, mummified in plaster, and held together with metal pins. Camille hated being helpless more than anything else in the world. She’d been raised to stand on her own two feet.

For a while, it had been unclear if she’d have two feet left to stand on.

She’d kept the foot, but not the knee, and she’d been damn glad that was the only body part she’d lost. The scar formed a pinkish-white lattice from her lower thigh to her shin where they’d stapled her shut after surgery.

“How’s your leg been doing lately?” Levi asked, eying her as she subconsciously ran her thumb along the top of her scar.

“Fine, actually.” Which was true. She crossed her legs as if to prove it. “I’m used to it by now, so it rarely bothers me. It might if I were trying to run marathons or something, but I have a desk job and I take yoga and Pilates classes.”

If it weren’t for the accident, she might still be a gym rat sprinting on a treadmill, but now she needed lower-impact sports. Swimming had been a godsend at first—something one of her older sisters, Nora, had suggested. Nora was a nurse and had come to stay with Camille for a couple of months after the crash, helping her get her life back together.

Thank God for Nora. There were no words to express how appreciative Camille was for all her sister had done for her. In total, it had taken six surgeries and fourteen months of physical therapy to regain full mobility, and most people would never guess by looking at her now that she’d been through such a traumatic experience.

Except for her knee, the scars were all on the inside.

She lived within walking distance of work so she didn’t have to drive unless the weather was bad, which it rarely was in California. Not climbing behind the wheel did a lot to keep her stress level down every morning. She did just fine on short stints, but the unpredictable Silicon Valley traffic had sucked ass, and a long road trip was like a hazing ritual. She was much, much happier in HMB.

Taking the papers from Levi, she sighed. “Thanks for thinking of the hot tub though. Sitting on a plane makes everyone stiff, whether they have bionic parts or not.”

“Hey.” Feng grinned. “If the leg is doing well, I think you should share the tub with a gorgeous man and have wild and crazy sex with him.”

She pushed up her glasses and cocked an eyebrow. “I’m going to find a gorgeous man at an engineering conference?”

An exaggerated look of dismay crossed his face. “Good point. Maybe you can pick up a local.”

“Hey, there are nice guys at engineering conferences.” Levi’s chin jutted pugnaciously as they hit a sore point for him. He was the quintessential nice guy who never managed to score a second date. He wasn’t bad looking, but when he was around women he found attractive, he tended to overcompensate and turn into a spastic dork with verbal diarrhea.

Camille could only be glad there was exactly zero chemistry between them, and they’d been like brother and sister since the day they’d met. With Feng, that had never been a concern, for obvious reasons.

“Nice and gorgeous are not the same thing. No, no, no. It’s not even close.” Feng’s hands moved in flourishes as he spoke. “You have gorgeous men bend you over and do bad, bad things to you that you never tell anyone else about but enjoy a lot. Nice guys you marry and take home to Mama.”

“Feng is wise.” Camille nodded sagely.

Levi harrumphed, flicking his fingers against the top of her paperwork. “Go home and pack. Your sister is coming to pick you up and take you to the airport in ninety minutes.”

“Which sister?” she asked sweetly, knowing he was terrible with names and wanting to needle him for kicking her out of the office.

“The redheaded one,” he retorted.

“Ha. Ha. So funny.” All of the Kirby sisters were redheads. Anne and Nora, the two oldest, had bright, flame-red hair. Hazel and Camille had slightly darker shades, but still undeniably red.

“You need a break, darling.” Feng grabbed an elastic band and clubbed his long locks into a ponytail. “Have fun. Do your presentation and then sit by the pool and work on your tan.”

“I freckle, darling, I don’t tan.” After pushing out of her desk chair, she tucked her laptop into her oversized purse and slipped the strap over her shoulder. “I’m out of here, but don’t think for a moment I’ll forget this. Or that I’m not already plotting my revenge.”

Appearing unimpressed by the threat, Feng drawled, “I’m quivering with fear, I promise.”

“You should be.” Levi straightened in his seat, his already pasty skin going paler. “Remember that time junior year when our TA tried to flunk her because she wouldn’t fuck him?”

“Jesus, yeah.” Feng’s sparkly lashes fluttered as he flinched. “I doubt that guy has recovered from the psychological trauma.”

“He’s certainly never going to father children.”

Both men crossed their legs and gave her wary looks. She returned a sunny smile. “Bye, boys. Have a good time without me, thinking about all the terrible ideas I’m coming up with for how to get back at you.”

She wiggled her fingers in farewell and sailed out the door, barely holding in a laugh. That should teach them not to mess with her again.

Jillian Neal | How ‘Bout Them Cowboys

I’ve been asked a fair number of times why I jumped from my typical fare of hardcore police officers on elite squadrons and hot sexy beach dwellers to… cowboys. I often blink confusedly when asked this question. Why did I want to write about gritty, tough-as-nails, cowboys that know what they want and are not afraid to get dirty? That seems obvious to me, but I certainly do not mind elaborating.

So, here are my top five reasons for writing the Camden Ranch erotic romance series in no particular order-

  1. Cowboy boots and Wrangler butt – they do something to a girl. Something very good.
  2. I love the hardworking grit of cowboys. They aren’t afraid to do whatever is necessary to get the job done. They’re up before the sun and don’t mind any extra work in the bed that night.
  3. The juxtaposition between their rope-roughened hands and the might of their muscles as compared to the gentleness they so easily tap into when, say, they’re cradling the loves of their lives in their arms.
  4. I adore their natural honesty. The Camden cowboys will tell you precisely what they’re thinking and they won’t hold back. They see no reason to lie or even attempt to cover up anything. They aren’t interested in being anything they aren’t. That confidence is very appealing. If it comes into their minds, it’s probably going to come out of their mouths, but they’re also likely to end the sentence with, ‘ma’am,’ or ‘darlin’’, which I also love.
  5. They are ultimately aware that they can’t do it all on their own and they genuinely appreciate good help. Whether it’s running a massive cattle ranch or climbing into a chute to bull ride they know they need a team of people to aid them in their quest. They aren’t afraid to ask for help when they need it. That humility couples with their natural athleticism and confidence in a highly addictive way.

About Jillian Neal

Jillian Neal

Jillian Neal is a New Adult author with a passion for passion. She writes strong character driven novels, told from the male perspective. Her guys aren’t afraid to let us inside their minds or inside their bedrooms. Young love comes to life inside the author’s Realm, along with sinister crime fighting, mixed in with a hearty dose of family. The engaging adventures will stretch your mind and keep you coming back for more.

Jillian lives outside of Atlanta with her husband and children.

Gypsy Beach | Camden Ranch

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RODEO SUMMER by Jillian Neal

Camden Rance #1

Rodeo Summer

Summer Sanchez has a plan
Get full custody of her little boy from his good-for-nothing father and get as far away from the rodeo circuit as possible. Keeping her son safe is her only priority. She’ll figure out the rest later.

Until Austin Camden takes her to his bed
Champion bull rider, Austin Camden, shows her just how much she’s been missing. His rugged good looks, whisky-smooth voice and very capable hands set her on fire. He has more bedroom skill than she ever believed could be housed in one man. If she isn’t careful, she may never recover.

If he plays his cards right
Austin will go home with the PBR buckle and Summer, the sexy little spitfire that’s his every fantasy come to life.

He’ll risk it all
To keep her and her son safe when their lives together are threatened. Keeping her sated and making her his forever is just a bonus.

Can he convince her Camden Ranch is where she belongs before it’s too late?

He’s spent the last ten years chasing that championship buckle.

He’s about to discover that the ride of his life will have nothing to do with a bull.

It’s a no holds barred fight to the finish to prove to Summer that their scorching hot relationship is better than winning any buckle.

Warning- The Camden cowboys may be salt of the earth kind of men in the daylight, but once the lights go down they know precisely how to turn up the heat. This book contains one sexy as sin bull rider and the cowgirl that proves to him she knows how to ride hot and dirty, just the way he prefers. She’ll tie up his heart. He’ll tie her to the bed. All’s fair in love and lust, after all.

Romance | Romance Contemporary [Author Self-Published, On Sale: April 10, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 2940157837907 / eISBN: 9781940174334]

Sara Humphreys | My Top 5 Summer Beach Reads

I’m heading out to our family beach house for a week of fun in the sun and toes in the sand. Life has been crazy stressful over the past few months and I’m really looking forward to getting away. Working from home has a number of benefits but one of the downsides is that you never really turn off your job. I’m constantly plugged in and it’s beginning to grate on me. In fact, at my physical earlier this summer, my doctor told me that I need a vacation. He literally wrote it on his prescription pad and handed it to me with direct orders to take some time off.

I am ready to follow his orders! Part of my vacation will include some much needed reading for pure enjoyment. Not for research or to keep up with trends. Nope. Nope. Nope. Part of my escape this week will involve slipping inside some well written worlds.

Here are the the 5 books that are going in my beach bag.

  1. THE RIDGE by Michael Koryta: This looks like a scary suspenseful read with a hint of romance thrown into the mix. I’ve never read one his books before but the blurb on the back captured my interest and I love finding new-to-me authors!
  2. FULL THROTTLE by Julie Ann Walker: Hot baddass guys on motorcycles? Yes, please.
  3. EXIT ZERO by Neil A. Cohen: This is a zombie book and another new-to-me author. I met Neil at Walker Stalker in New Jersey and he hooked me with his pitch. To top it off, there’s a cover quote from Snooki, of Jersey Shore fame. Come ON! I had to get it. My curiosity got the better of me.
  4. HEART STRIKE by M.L. Buchman: This super hot romantic suspense looks fabulous! Not only is the hero a badass soldier but so is the heroine. I adore reading strong female characters. Can’t wait to dive in!
  5. DARK CAROUSEL by Christine Feehan: Christine Feehan is my all-time favorite author and the Queen of paranormal romance. I will read anything and everything she writes. Period.

How about you? What’s in your beach bag or on your kindle?

Answer to be entered to win the previous book in the series, BRAVE THE HEAT

About Sara Humphreys

Sara Humphreys

Sara is a graduate of Marist College, with a B.A. Degree in English Literature & Theater. Her initial career path after college was as a professional actress. Some of her television credits include, A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me.
In 2013 Sara’s novel UNTAMED won two PRISM awards–Dark Paranormal and Best of the Best. Sara has been a lover of both the paranormal and romance novels for years. Her sci-fi/fantasy/romance obsession began years ago with the TV Series STAR TREK and an enormous crush on Captain Kirk. That sci-fi obsession soon evolved into the love of all types of fantasy/paranormal; vampires, ghosts, werewolves, and of course shape shifters.

She also writes spicier contemporary romance under the name Willow James, so that her mother won’t be totally mortified by her choice of career.

Sara is married to her college sweetheart, Will. They live in New York with their 4 boys. For a full list of Sara’s books and reading order, please visit her website.

Amoveo Legend | Dead in the City | McGuire Brothers

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TROUBLE WALKS IN by Sara Humphreys

McGuire Brothers #2

Trouble Walks In

He could be the man to rescue her
Big city K-9 cop Ronan McGuire loves women, loves his dog, loves his job-but when old flame Maddy Morgan moves into his jurisdiction, he can’t think about anyone else. Ronan knows she’s way out of his league, but he’s determined to help Maddy live life to the fullest.

In more ways than one
With tragedy in her past, Maddy has immersed herself in work and swiftly made a name for herself in the hot New York City real estate market. She’s looking for safety, not love, but Ronan McGuire is as persistent as he is sexy, and his crooked smile is hard to resist. But all other concerns are wiped away when Maddy goes missing and Ronan and his bloodhound K-9 partner are tasked with finding her and bringing her home.

Romance Contemporary [Sourcebooks, On Sale: August 1, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781402293702 / eISBN: 9781402293719]

beth.sochacki@sourcebooks.com

Kerry Adrienne | 5 Reasons Griff Loves Amy

Top five things Griff loves the most besides Amy (in no order):

  1. Evenings by the fire in the fall. He’s just beginning to get sleepy for his semi-hibernation, and he loves just sitting in the cabin in the warm glow of a fire, preferably with Amy at his side.
  2. Griff loves Italian food, especially takeout from the Italian restaurant in Oakwood. Amy isn’t the best cook, but she’s learning and can make spaghetti now without all the noodles clumped together in a sticky mess.
  3. His Jeep. Not only is it his mode of transportation when he isn’t running as a bear, but he can take off the roof panels and feel the forest air around him. It’s almost as freeing as being a bear.
  4. Griff drinks a lot of it and he doesn’t care what brand as long as it isn’t Hazelnut or some weird flavor. He likes it hot with honey and sometimes a touch of cream.
  5. His clan. He loves his surrogate father, Elijah, and his clan-mates. Derek is as close as a brother to him. Derek even loves Powell, who can be pretty annoying at times.

WAKING THE BEAR by Kerry Adrienne

Shifter Wars #1

Waking the Bear

Sexy shifter passion is awakened when two unlikely lovers are challenged by secrets, danger and an unstoppable need to claim one’s mate…

For human Amy Francis, the secluded cabin in Deep Creek is the haven she needs to map out a fresh new start. She never expected her heart to be reawakened by a distraction like Griff Martin, commanding yet gentle, too ferociously sensual to ignore. It’s clear that patrolling the forest is more than a job to Griff—it’s a means of survival. But what Amy doesn’t realize is she’s reawakened the beast within him.

Griff’s dormant hunger is stirred by this intoxicating woman…and threatened by the secret she must never learn. Duty-bound to defend his bear clan against an avenging pride of lion shifters, Griff’s entire world is upended when he meets Amy. His animal need to claim his mate has taken hold, but that very desire could seal her fate as an unwitting pawn in battle.

Now, as a shifter war looms, Griff must decide between letting Amy go or following his most carnal instincts. To have her would change his life…but risk everything he knows and was born to protect.

Romance Paranormal [Carina Press, On Sale: August 1, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781460397442 / eISBN: 9781460397442]

About Kerry Adrienne

Kerry Adrienne

Kerry loves history and spends large amounts of time wondering about people who lived and walked on Earth in the past. She’s a mom to three daughters, six cats, and various small animals. Her husband says she’s a marketer’s dream, as she often believes everything she hears—at least initially. Her shoe horde will attest to her fine shopping skills.

In addition to writing, Kerry loves to sew (costumes and cosplay, especially), draw, paint, make chainmail, and play guitar.

Her new love is her Mini Cooper Convertible, Sheldon, and they have already gone on many adventures. They travel to as many concerts as they can–especially Green Day and Marilyn Manson.

Wicked Tale | Shifter Wars

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Gaby Triana | Top 5 Reasons Why The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is Still Relevant in 2016

In 1820, author Washington Irving published a short story called “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” which is still an American classic to this very day.

If you do the math, you’ll see that this story is almost two hundred years old. So, why do some stories continue to be popular generation after generation? Well, aside from Irving being one of the first authors to make it BIG in 19th Century America, so big, in fact, he paved the way for other famous writers, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and even beloved goth man, Edgar Allan Poe, Irving’s story tells some universal, timeless themes, and here they are in no particular order:

  1. GHOST STORIES WILL ALWAYS BE COOL – As long as humans have lived on Earth, ghost stories have been around to scare off our knickers. Our fascination with death and what lies beyond is bred from our fear of the unknown, so stories of darkness, things that go bump in the night, and wispy wraiths moaning about unfinished business will always be popular. In “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the old wives of the town insist that the valley is filled with seen and unseen things, and trust me, you don’t want to mess with the old wives of Sleepy Hollow.
  1. LOVE TRIANGLES WILL ALWAYS BE COOL – There’s just something about throwing that third wheel into the mix to complicate matters of the heart, and in LOSH, the fair maiden, Katrina Van Tassel, is the center of two hearts’ desires. On one hand, her boyfriend, Brom Bones, is tough, strong, and a big guy on campus, but he still hasn’t asked Katrina to marry him. On the other, a charming schoolmaster named Ichabod Crane has just moved to town and has eyes for her, so this could be her big chance to rile up Brom’s jealousy by flirting with Ichabod, spurring Brom into marital action. Though Irving wants you to believe that LOSH is about the unfortunate Ichabod who loses Katrina’s hand to Brom, any woman will tell you that it’s really about one woman’s tricky plan to get her boyfriend to finally propose. Well played, Katrina. Well played.
  1. THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN WILL ALWAYS BE COOL – He rides a massive black horse named Daredevil, he rises from the ground at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in search of his head after it was shot off by a cannon in the Revolutionary War, and he laughs like a maniac. Admit it, the Headless Horseman is one badass ghost. Too bad LOSH isn’t really about the fallen Hessian trooper. It’s about three characters embroiled in their comical love battle, but the appearance of the Headless Horseman at the end calls forth the open-ended portion of our story. Was it really the legendary ghost who haunted the region? Or was it Brom Bones trying to scare away superstitious Ichabod so he can finally take the fair Katrina to the wedding chapel? Things that make you go hmmmm….
  1. NERDS VS. TOUGH GUY STORIES WILL ALWAYS BE COOL – Who doesn’t love to watch an underdog geek go up against a brawny athlete? Something about meek vs. mighty reminds us all about being in high school. And middle school. And elementary school. Fine, all throughout life, wits have battled muscle. But spoiler alert: the underdog doesn’t get the girl in this one. That’s right, brains, a fine taste for the arts, and worldly experience aren’t enough to win over the daughter of Sleepy Hollow’s richest farmer, which is a bummer after we’ve rooted for Ichabod. Then again, Mr. Crane wasn’t exactly marrying Katrina for her brains either. No, his eyeballs reflected dollar signs, so this, my friends, ends up being a cautionary tale—never look at another man’s girlfriend, especially if you want her for her money.
  1. And finally…HALLOWEEN WILL ALWAYS BE COOL – This is no-brainer. Pumpkins, ghosts, spiders, black and orange, classic tales of monsters, vampires, and all things creepy on the wicked eve before All Saints Day will always be awesome! And the holiday was just as fun in the 18th Century!

So, there you have it, folks. What did we learn here today? If you put a nerd up against a tough guy, make three people fall in love when there can only be two, throw in a headless soldier and a few ghosts into the mix, set the story on All Hallow’s Eve, and you’ve got yourself an instant classic for generations to come. Happy Fall Season!

WAKE THE HOLLOW by Gaby Triana

Wake the Hollow

Tragedy has brought Micaela Burgos back to her hometown of Sleepy Hollow. It’s been six years since she chose to live with her affluent father in Miami instead of her history-obsessed eccentric mother. And now her mother is dead.

But while Sleepy Hollow was made immortal by literature, the town is real. So are its prejudices and hatred, targeting Mica’s Cuban family and the secrets of their heritage that her mother obsessed over. But ghostly voices whisper in the wind, questioning whether her mother’s death might not have been an accident after all, and Mica knows there’s a reason she’s here.

With the help of two very different guys—who pull at her heart in very different ways—Micaela must uncover the hidden secret of Sleepy Hollow before she meets her mother’s fate.

Young Adult Paranormal [Entangled Teen, On Sale: August 2, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781633753518 / ]

Ashlee Mallory | From Ugly Duckling to Swan…an evolving trope

It seems that every romance reader has their own personal favorite tropes that they’re drawn to when they select a romance to read. You know, those little hooks like secret baby, enemies to lovers, brother’s best friend stories that they just can’t get enough of? One of my longest standing favorite tropes is the Ugly Duckling to Swan/Makeover trope. You know, when the girl, for whatever reason, is never really “seen” by the man of her dreams until some miraculous makeover?

Fortunately, my idea of a swoony-worthy ugly duckling retelling has changed from when I was thirteen to now. Back then, it seemed the idea was that WE had to be the ones to change, like poor Sandy did for Danny in Grease. Today I’m glad that we can recognize that if our heroine ended up with a guy who only saw her AFTER the big makeover, she’d be stuck with a superficial twit who never really loved her for her inner beauty and character.

When I set out to write this ugly duckling story, I wanted the woman to be funny and spirited and already attractive in her own personal way—but lacking the confidence to see herself in the role of beauty to anyone. Benny Sorensen, I knew, would fit that bill, and the only man for her would be playboy and ad man Henry Ellison, her own personal Henry Higgins if you will.

Can I just say how much I loved and adored writing about Benny and had so much fun experiencing her coming into her own, despite her own misgivings and insecurities? She was so witty and charming and funny that Henry Ellison was bound to fall in love with her, and—I don’t think I’m giving any spoilers when I say—he does fall for her. Hard.

Here’s a quick peek at one such tutelage session:

“Get him talking about something he likes. Check. Nod and smile, look as if I’m hanging on his every word. Check. Giggle and laugh at everything he says because my brain is too soft and empty to have anything more to do than engage him. Check.”

He smiled at the annoyance in Benny’s voice. The disgruntled look on her face. “Oh, and don’t forget to lean forward as much as you can, preferably in a low-neckline top with a lacy bra underneath.”

“Should I baby talk, too? Maybe ask him if I can massage his feet?”

“If you think it might help.” Her brows drew together in vexation again, and he chuckled. “Okay, I’m not saying you have to do all this. But—I’m not proud to admit this—all men, even the best of us, are still little boys underneath. We want to be assured that a woman likes us. Finds us irresistible. But it’s a fine line. You want to be interested but not an easy conquest.”

“I’ve lost half my brain cells just listening to all of this.” She set her plate down.

“Just give it a try. Also, lick your lips a lot. You have great lips. You want to draw his attention to them. Make him want to kiss you.”

“All those years in medical school, and now I’m resigned to licking my lips to elicit his interest. Great.”

“You’re forgetting the bigger picture. These are just little tricks, small steps you can take to initially capture his interest. His attention. Once Luke’s looking at you with more than clinical interest and more actual bona fide sexual interest, then it’s up to you to keep his attention. Engage him in any debate or whatever burning medical question you two might want. Just be sure that when it’s all over he still wants to slip his tongue down your throat.”

She wadded up her napkin and threw it at him. “You’re disgusting.”

He grinned. “But I know what I’m talking about.”

For fun, I came up with a list of some of the most memorable makeover movies that I grew up with and loved.

  1. Teen Witch (1989) ~ Watch
  1. She’s Out of Control (1989) ~Watch
  1. She’s All That (1999) ~ Watch
  1. Never Been Kissed (1999) ~ Watch
  1. Miss Congeniality (2000) ~ Watch
  1. The Princess Diaries (2001) ~ Watch
  1. The Devil Wears Prada (2006) ~ Watch

And last, for an awesome montage of the best makeovers in movie history, take a look at this: Watch

Do you have a favorite book or movie that features the Ugly Duckling Trope that I haven’t mentioned? If so, I would LOVE to hear about it in the comments!

About Ashlee Mallory

Ashlee Mallory

Ashlee Mallory is a USA Today Bestselling author of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, and Thrillers. A recovering attorney, she currently resides in Utah with her husband and two kids. She aspires to one day include running, hiking and traveling to exotic destinations in her list of things she enjoys, but currently settles for enjoying a good book and a glass of wine from the comfort of her couch.

Sorensen Family

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THE PLAYBOY’S PROPOSAL by Ashlee Mallory

Sorensen Family (Book 3)

The Playboy’s Proposal

Doctor Benny Sorensen has had it up to here with her party-throwing playboy neighbor. She’s declaring war. She doesn’t care how gorgeous or charming he is, he’s going down. That is until he proposes something she’s not sure she can say no to…

Wealthy ad man Henry Ellison lives an uncomplicated life that revolves around work, women, and partying. In that order. Until Benny storms into his life. To placate his attractive but hotheaded neighbor, Henry offers to help her land a date with the man of her dreams. Only as Henry makes her over and coaches her on the fine art of flirting, he realizes that the idea of this woman in any other man’s arms but his own is unacceptable. But Benny’s a forever kind of girl and forever might just be the one commitment he can’t make.

Romance Contemporary [Entangled Bliss, On Sale: July 25, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781633757202 / eISBN: 9781633757202]

Lisa Brown Roberts | Real Life Heroes Stand Up to Jerks

In my most recent two books – RESISTING THE REBEL and THE REPLACEMENT CRUSH – the heroes save the heroines from creepy guys. Both books are definitely rom-coms, but deal with an important issue facing girls and women – jerk guys who intimidate and bully girls to try to get what they want.

While I consider myself a strong feminist and completely support girls standing up for themselves in every way possible, there are times when it’s not enough- when someone else needs to step in. Standing around as a disapproving spectator doesn’t cut it – good guys need to step in.

In RESISTING THE REBEL, the hero Caleb has the school “bad boy” reputation, while the real bad guy Gus puts on a phony act to try to win over Mandy, the heroine. However, as the story progresses Caleb realizes what Gus is up to, so he sets out to 1) prove to Mandy that he’s the better guy, 2) protect her from Gus, and 3) demonstrate his superior kissing skills, because this is a rom-com, after all.

In THE REPLACEMENT CRUSH, Jake the Snake is a more serious threat. He intimidates the heroine Vivian and threatens her, after they’ve had a brief relationship. Hero and all-around great guy Dallas is the counterpoint to Jake – funny, sweet, and thoughtful. And even though he’s more of a beta hero…well, who says betas can’t be badasses, too?

I wanted to write about realistic heroes who stand up for girls because I think it’s so important to acknowledge the many good guys who do this. And I really, really want girls to know there are great guys out there who won’t try to force them into sexual intimacy if they’re not ready, guys who will value them as friends and girlfriends, and who will stand up for them against assholes if push comes to shove – literally.

I met my own hero in college when I was dealing with a creepy stalker, so I have very strong feelings and opinions about what true heroes are like, and the need for someone to step in and help when things go sideways.

Here’s to our real-life heroes: the ones we can count on every day to love us, make us laugh, and stand up to the jerks when we need backup.

About Lisa Brown Roberts

Lisa Brown Roberts

Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write YA books about navigating life’s painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way.

Her almost forever home is Colorado, though she occasionally pines for the days when she lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Her house is full of books, boys, several four-legged prima donnas, and lots of laughter.

WEBSITE | PINTEREST | GOODREADS | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | BLOG

RESISTING THE REBEL by Lisa Brown Roberts

Resisting the Rebel

Disclaimer: This book contains a villain pretending to be a hero, a hero pretending to be a villain, a disco-dancing heroine, two overprotective sidekicks, a little bit of bad language, and a whole lot of swoony kissing.

Spirit committee leader Mandy Pennington is secretly in love with her best friend, Gus, but when he hooks up with her archenemy at a party, she decides to win him over once and for all. She just doesn’t know how. But who better to help than hot loner Caleb Torrs?

Caleb’s got his own problems, but when he sees Mandy pining over Gus at a party, he thinks she’s finally smoked the spirit stick and lost her mind. Maybe he has, too, because he just asked Mandy to be his fake girlfriend. She’ll get her loser friend’s attention, and he’ll get his stalker ex off his back. It’s a win-win.

But soon one fake date blends into the next and before he knows it, he actually wants to kiss Mandy. For real. Too bad their plan is working, and Gus is finally noticing the one girl Caleb just might be falling for…

Young Adult [Entangled Teen, On Sale: July 25, 2016, Paperback, ISBN: 9781682812549 / ]

THE REPLACEMENT CRUSH by Lisa Brown Roberts

The Replacement Crush

True love can’t be strategized.

After book blogger Vivian Galdi’s longtime crush pretends their secret summer kissing sessions never happened, Vivian creates a list of safe crushes, determined to protect her heart.

But nerd-hot Dallas, the sweet new guy in town, sends the mission and Vivian’s zing meter into chaos. While designing software for the bookstore where Vivian works, Dallas wages a counter-mission.

Operation Replacement Crush is in full effect. And Dallas is determined to take her heart off the shelf.

Young Adult Romance [Entangled Teen, On Sale: September 6, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781633755048 / eISBN: 9781633755055]

Mira Lyn Kelly | Five Things: May The Best Man Win

About MAY THE BEST MAN WIN

  1. Opening five lines:

On the upside, the prelude had already begun, and chances were good that Mozart’s Sonata in E-flat Major pumping through all those organ pipes would cover any sounds of distress emanating from St. A’s sacristy.

Jase Foster crouched in front of Dean Skolnic, groom du jour, and cursed. This had to stop happening.

“You think she’s gonna notice?” Dean asked, wincing as Jase pulled one strip of duct tape after another off the garbage bag of ice currently secured to Dean’s shoulder.

“The arm?” Jase clarified, because while he wasn’t an every-Sunday kind of guy, they were in a church so he couldn’t flat-out lie.

  1. Theme: Enemies-to-lovers, second-chances
  2. Inspired by: An intense discussion over the myriad flavors of “HOT” guys came in…and the subsequent dive into Pinterest’s man-candy files that left me with a handful of “tuxedo-fine” morsels, and a story idea about a group of best men I just couldn’t ignore.
  3. Order: First in the Best Men Series
  4. MAY THE BEST MAN WIN Scrap book: https://www.pinterest.com/miralynkelly/may-the-best-man-win/

About Emily Klein…

  1. Emily’s first thoughts about Jase:

Best man her butt.

Seriously, how did Jase Foster keep getting this gig?

Obviously, the guys loved him. Couldn’t get enough of the whole bromance business Jase had perfected back before it was even a thing. But the women? Come on, like they hadn’t heard about the time Jase got Neil Wallace to the altar a mere two hours late—because the boat they took out that morning on a whim ran out of gas.

  1. Most distinguishing physical trait: Tall. Coming in at 5’11” she’s usually the tallest woman in the room…and in weddings, universally paired up with the tallest man. Which is only a problem when Jase Foster happens to be in the party too.
  2. Celebrity casting: Rachel McAdams
  3. Career and hobbies: Public Relations. Enjoys running, cooking and quality time with her girls.
  4. Biggest pet peeve: Jase Foster.

About Jase Foster…

1.Jase’s first thoughts about Emily:

The sacristy door swung open again and that old familiar tension knuckled down Jase’s spine. He took her in with one sweeping glance and then—just to piss her off—went back for a second, slower pass. She should have looked like Natasha Fatale from those old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. She had the height, all right, but instead of the severe black hair, wickedly arched brows, bombshell body, and calculating scowl, Emily was every kind of soft. Soft strawberry-blond hair spiraling in loose curls over her shoulders. Big, soft-brown eyes. And a soft, shy smile that hid her poison-dart tongue. Even her body, tall and athletically lean, had a softness to its modest curves—curves that had distracted the hell out of Jase in high school but that he’d become immune to in the passing years.

Since he’d finally seen through her soft snow job to the cold, hard ice queen beneath.

“Jackass,” she greeted, with a soft smile just for him.

  1. Most distinguishing physical trait: Even taller. Coming in at 6’5” Jase really tries not to speculate about what kind of perfect fit he and Emily might make.
  2. Celebrity casting: Henry Cavil
  3. Career and hobbies: Banker. Enjoys ‘Guys’ nights, shooting hoops and watching the games with his friends.
  4. Biggest pet-peeve: Emily Klein

About THE BEST MEN SERIES

  1. Nutshell: The Best Men series centers around a tight knit group of crazy hot, relationship challenged bachelors with a knack for scoring all the top best man gigs.
  2. Setting: The Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago—because back when I was young and cool (read: before I had a zillion kids) (side note: I use the term “cool” loosely) it was one of my favorite places to hang out!
  3. Books: There are four books in the series: MAY THE BEST MAN WIN, BEST MAN FOR THE JOB, BEST MAN WITH BENEFITS, and STAND IN BEST MAN.
  4. Connected Stand Alones: Each book in the series follows a different hero to their HEA and promises plentiful fun, flirt, and sizzle. (Read: Mira doesn’t skimp on shirtless hero time.)
  5. Last word: These guys have been such a blast to write and I hope you’ll give them a read.

About Mira Lyn Kelly

  1. Nutshell: I’m a write-at-home mom to four kids, an overgrown puppy beast, and one perpetually young-at-heart husband.
  2. Career: I write contemporary romance…the sexy, flirty, fun kind.
  3. Quirk: I’m a chronic stress-baker. And I’m always on deadline…so my house smells like warm chocolate most of the time!!
  4. Passion: More than anything, I love to laugh.
  5. Where you can find me:

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | Facebook (Chatty)

MAY THE BEST MAN WIN by Mira Lyn Kelly

Best Men

May the Best Man Win

Four friends
Each a Best Man at a wedding
One chance to get it right

Jase Foster can’t believe his bad luck. He’s been paired with the she-devil herself for his best friend’s wedding: Emily Klein of the miles-long legs and killer smile. She may be sin in a bridesmaid dress, but there’s no way he’s falling for her again.

They can barely stand each other, but given how many of their friends are getting married, they’ll just have to play nice-at least when they’re in company. Once they’re alone, more than just gloves come off as Jase and Emily discover their chemistry is combustible, and there may be something to this enemies to lovers thing after all…

Romance Contemporary [Sourcebooks Casablanca, On Sale: August 1, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781492630739 / eISBN: 9781492630746]

Katie Ruggle | Top Five Reasons I love George (the Hero of Gone Too Deep)

 

  1. He’s quiet.

My other characters made things (relatively) easy for me. They let me use their voices to establish personalities and explain things and move the plot forward and all that good—and necessary—stuff. George, though…George is not a talker. He made me work for it. Instead of words, I had to use body language and facial expressions and grunts to define him. Despite this, it was surprisingly fun to write George. Once he did start speaking to Ellie, everything he said had extra importance. He’s like that quiet person we all know in real life. When that person finally says something, we all go quiet and listen.

  1. He’s willing to change.

There’s something so special about his conversations with Ellie. He doesn’t talk to anyone else, but he’s willing to push himself out of his comfort zone because there are things he wants to say to her. This shows how very important Ellie is to him. It was late in final edits (really, really late) before my editor realized that George never told Ellie he loved her. We hadn’t noticed that scene was missing because it was so obvious that he did. After all, he talked to her. Of course he loved her.

  1. He’s a mountain.

He’s big…like, really big. I like that.

  1. He’s a virgin.

As with his voice, George gives Ellie something that he’s never given anyone before. Everything, from his first kiss on, is only Ellie’s.

  1. He loves the mountains, but he loves Ellie more.

The man leaves his home, everything he’s ever known, to follow Ellie to Chicago. Even though he hates cities, hates crowds, hates traffic, he loves Ellie more than he hates anything.

And that makes me love George.

Giveaway

What do you think of Katie’s reasons to love George? One reader will get a copy of the first book in the Search and Rescue series: HOLD YOUR BREATH.

About Katie Ruggle

Katie Ruggle

When she’s not writing, Katie Ruggle rides horses, shoots guns, and travels to warm places where she can scuba dive. A graduate of the police academy, Katie received her ice-rescue certification and can attest that the reservoirs in the Colorado mountains really are that cold. While she still misses her off-grid, solar- and wind-powered house in the Rocky Mountains, she now lives in Rochester, Minnesota, near her family.

Search and Rescue

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GONE TOO DEEP by Katie Ruggle

Rocky Mountain Search and Rescue #3

Gone Too Deep

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…

George Holloway has spent his life alone, exploring the treacherous beauty of the Colorado Rockies. He’s the best survival expert Search and Rescue has, which makes him the obvious choice to lead Ellie Price through deadly terrain to find her missing father. There’s just one problem-Ellie’s everything George isn’t. She’s a city girl, charming, gregarious, delicate, small. And when she looks up at him with those big, dark eyes, he swears he would tear the world apart to keep her safe.

With a killer on the loose, he may have no choice.

Ellie’s determined to find her father no matter the cost. But as she and her gorgeous mountain of a guide fight their way through an unforgiving wilderness, they find themselves in the crosshairs of a dangerous man in search of revenge. And they are now his prey…

Romance Contemporary [Sourcebooks, On Sale: August 1, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781492628231 / eISBN: 9781492628248]

beth.sochacki@sourcebooks.com

Lillian Marek | What’s your ideal way to spend a Saturday?

My idea way to spend a Saturday? Is that a trick question? You’re asking a writer who works at home and whose kids are grown up and aren’t going to school any more. If I don’t look at the date up at the top of my computer screen, I rarely know what day of the week it is. And I only look at the date to see how much time I have before the next deadline.

Even so, there is something special about Saturdays that goes back to childhood. When I think about Saturdays, memory transports me back to a time then I was about twelve years old.

Saturdays were magical back then. School was over for the week, you could wear blue jeans instead of school clothes, and Sunday stood there as a buffer between Now and Monday. I don’t know if my Saturdays all had a sameness about them then, but I remember them all following the same pattern.

My friends and I went to the movies.

First we gathered at somebody’s house to decide which movie to go to. There were three movie theaters in our neighborhood, the Earle on 74th Street, the Colony on 82nd Street, and the Boulevard on Northern Boulevard. Each one had a kids’ matinee on Saturday with a double feature, cartoons and newsreel.

Once we’d decided on our destination, we headed out to buy our lunch. This was generally a kosher hot dog with sauerkraut and an orange drink. We would take our food with us to eat on line while we waited to get into the theater.

To this day, I think a hot dog with an orange drink is a delectable combination.

Once inside it was important to grab your seats. The more of you there were, the harder it was to get seats all in a row, so sometimes we had to break up into smaller groups.

The important thing was to make sure you weren’t right under the edge of the balcony, because the balcony was boy territory and the boys liked to drop stuff on the people below. In fact you didn’t want to sit up to a dozen rows forward of that line because some of them were pretty good at throwing stuff, not just dropping it.

The best place to sit was just under the balcony and in the middle of the theater so you had a good, safe view.

Once you had your seats, you took turns going for your candy before the show started. If you didn’t have time before the lights went down, you could always go during the newsreel, which interested us not at all.

I know lots of people associate popcorn with movies, but we never went for popcorn. We went for candy. It was always a difficult decision. My favorite candy bar was a Baby Ruth, caramel and nuts covered with chocolate. Its drawback was that it didn’t last very long. The alternative was either Jujyfruits or Jujubes. These took a long time to eat because they would get stuck on your teeth and you sometimes had to pry them loose.

Then there were the movies. They were never first-run movies and some of them were quite elderly. We never cared. They were magic, and we were in another world.

Our favorites were swashbucklers, preferably with pirates. (To this day, the sight of a ship with billowing sails up there on the screen has my heart going pitter-patter.) Next came cowboy movies, in which there were clearly good guys and bad guys and absolutely no realistic gore. Then there were musicals. We all loved musicals and often walked home singing bits of the songs. And in all of them, there was romance.

Romance and adventure—what more could anyone want?

Giveaway

What is your favorite adventure? One reader will get a copy of A SCANDALOUS ADVENTURE, just tell us your thoughts below!

A SCANDALOUS ADVENTURE by Lillian Marek

Victorian Adventures #3

A Scandalous Adventure

They’re hiding a scandalous secret

When his monarch’s flighty fiancée disappears, Count Maximillian von Staufer is dispatched to find her. His search leads Max to discover not the princess, but a look-alike who could be her double. Desperate to avoid an international crisis, he conceives a plan that will buy some time—and allow him to get to know a beautiful Englishwoman.

And time is running out

Lady Susannah Tremaine and her young friend Olivia are staying at the Grand Hotel in Baden, where so far the most exciting part of the visit has been the pastries. But when a devastatingly handsome royal Germanic officer asks Olivia to impersonate a missing princess, Susannah finds herself drawn into a dangerous world of international intrigue as she tries to protect her friend—and her heart.

Lillian Marek was born and raised in New York City. At one time or another she has had most of the interesting but underpaid jobs available to English majors. After a few too many years in journalism, she decided she prefers fiction, where the good guys win and the bad guys get what they deserve. The first book in her Victorian Adventure series, Lady Elinor’s Wicked Adventures, won first prize in both the Launching A Star and the Windy City Four Seasons contests. She was also a first prize winner in the Beau Monde’s Royal Ascot contest.

Romance Historical [Sourcebooks Casablanca, On Sale: August 1, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781492602231 / eISBN: 9781492602248]