Magnolia Smith | Wine Country Vacations…for an Alpha Male!

When you think of wine country vacations, lazy days of wine tastings, Michelin-starred meals and gatherings at art bars might come to mind. This is what my U.S. Marine husband thought and why he distinctly did not want to go – at first.

After I promised to create an itinerary designed to please his Alpha male temperament, he relented and decided to look forward to a vacation sans children. And I eagerly went about researching the various ways a man, who does not like wine, loves comfort food, has a fetish for log cabins, and would rather join a pickup game of basketball than rub shoulders with elegantly dressed aficionados of the grape, could have a good time.

Check out my findings below!

About Magnolia Smith

Magnolia Smith

With a father who was a former member of the Vietnam-era 82nd Airborne, a cousin who was a Green Beret in the eighties and nineties, another cousin who currently works for the CIA (albeit in an administrative role) and a brother who is currently in law enforcement, is it any wonder that Magnolia grew up to marry a US Marine and write romantic suspense? With a great respect for the U.S. Armed Forces and American law enforcement, Magnolia finds they make awesome characters for her stories.

The Black Orchid

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About TELL ME NO LIES

Tell Me No Lies

That was then

While hunting down his target in Jamaica, Kael Bradford fell hard for a beautiful, unsuspecting tourist. He thought the only thing he needed to protect her from was him. Until the line between personal and professional blurred in a cloud of deadly danger.

This is now

Rain Howard thought she’d met the perfect guy. But after two romantic weeks in Jamaica, he disappeared. Two years of trying to forget him, and she’s finally found the courage to quit her job and open a beignets and coffee café. Then he appears out of the blue, wanting to pick up where they left off.

And there is only one truth

Kael never wanted to leave her, but it wasn’t safe for him to stay. He had to put space between them before the bad guys figured out there was someone he loved. Besides, if she discovered all his secrets she wouldn’t want to be with him anyway.

Now, the coast is clear. And he’s returned, finally, to reclaim what’s his.

Warning: Could inspire erotic new beignet-eating techniques that’ll get you thrown out of the Café du Monde. Also includes: spanking, dirty secrets, dirtier desires, political assassinations, and jealous best friends.

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Tina Ann Forkner | Saddling Up Anyway: A Romantic Twist on Women’s Fiction

A few years back I was writing a women’s fiction novel with a strong romantic twist. My only problem was that the guy my protagonist loved was boring. He was dependable, handsome, and said all the right things, but he lacked charisma. I was brainstorming with an author friend about my lackluster story when she asked me something like, “What if he is this totally hot guy that exudes masculinity?” I laughed. The man she was describing was straight out of a romance novel, and I didn’t write straight romance.

My women’s fiction always has a romantic thread, but I admit that I’m a pretty straight-laced girl. My books have never been considered hot or steamy. Writing about anything hot would make me blush, so at first I didn’t think I’d be able to write the kind of man into my novel that my author friend was talking about. I didn’t even know if a man like that would interest readers of women’s fiction, even they do tend to like romantic threads in their stories.

Around the same time that I was trying to enliven that novel with a stronger love interest, my husband and I attended a Professional Bull Rider event at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. We attend the rodeo every year, but because my book was on my mind I instantly saw everything differently. Before we ever even found our seats, I sensed the excitement in a way I hadn’t before. How could I have not paid attention to all this in the past? I mean, who could be immune to such a powerful display of beast versus man? Certainly not all of the young women in the audience.

The writer in me couldn’t help but take note of the actions of the women around me who were obviously smitten with the cowboys being introduced. I didn’t really blame them. Those cowboys were heroes complete with boots and chaps, all lined up before them. Holy Cow! I thought some of these girls were going to faint. And the rest of the ladies who weren’t about to pass out in their boots and hats were like me, sitting beside their own cowboys waiting for the show to start. I glanced over at my husband, dressed in Wranglers, boots, and a hat that he had owned forever. He wasn’t a tourist, and he was mine. I had my own hot cowboy!

It turns out that even straight-laced women like their men to be, well, hot. I can say it now. I like my husband’s business attire, but I love to see him wearing boots and hat. I like his strong, masculine qualities. I went home and completely rewrote my story, making the guy a cowboy hero complete with all the masculine appeal of the American cowboy. In the end, it enlivened the whole story line and the novel became a brand new, and I think better, story.

My protagonist, Manda Marshall, suddenly became a rodeo wife and her new hot husband, Keith Black, became a professional saddle bronc rider who on his way to retirement, but not at all ready to give up being on the back of a bucking horse. Out of nowhere it seemed, there was an instant attraction that turned up the heat not only on the romance side of the story, but also in the couples interactions and misunderstandings as deeper secrets and difficulties in their life together are encountered.

I think it was John Wayne who said, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” That’s what I did with this story. I wrote a hero that was completely out of my comfort zone because I didn’t think it would fit the kind of story a lady like me would write. Well, I was wrong. Ladies like me love romance, and we all want a hero, even if we don’t need him to save us.

I can’t wait for readers to get their hands on THE REAL THING, which releases on April 7th, 2016.

Giveaway

Who is your hero? Tell us below and one commenter will win a copy of WAKING UP JOY!

About Tina Ann Forkner

Tina Ann Forkner

Tina Ann Forkner is a substitute teacher and award-winning novelist. Her books include Waking Up Joy, Rose House, and Ruby Among Us. Her latest, The Real Thing, releases April 7th. She grew up in Oklahoma and currently lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

La Rosaleda

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About THE REAL THING

The Real Thing

Sometimes you have to don a pair of cowgirl boots…

Manda Marshall is ready to leave heartache behind when she marries Keith Black, a champion saddle bronc cowboy and man of her dreams. But going from the serenity of small town Tennessee to the exhilaration of the rodeo, nothing can prepare her for being a cowboy’s wife. Becoming the new stepmom to Keith’s little boy and teenaged daughter has Manda relying on her deep sense of longing for a family and budding love for her stepchildren to strengthen their bond.

Manda’s desire of being a rodeo cowboy’s wife begins to take second place as she works to reinvent a life for herself and new family, but when mysterious phone calls from Keith’s missing ex-wife dredge up the past, Manda finds her marriage and family in an unusual and heart wrenching dilemma. The life she had worked so hard to build is suddenly redefined and her commitment to her husband and family is tested.

What Manda discovers has the power to heal or break her family in this emotional tale of cowboys, rodeo queens, and what it really means to ride beside a cowboy and his family, no matter the risk.

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Mesu Andrews | The Eighty-Six-Year-Old Dancer

You know those interviews on blogs, where the author reveals something about themselves you probably didn’t know? I’m about to do that. (Deep breath, clearing my throat.)

I was on a dance team during my senior year of high school. This may not seem like a major revelation to some, but if you knew how utterly uncoordinated I am, you’d gasp. I have two left feet and ten big toes. It’s tragic, really.

The team’s director had only one reason for allowing me within fifty yards of her national-championship dance team: I could twirl a rifle—you know the color guard fiberglass rifle-looking thing? Yep. I could spin it, toss it, catch it, hoist it, and set nice crisp angles on call. And Ms. D. wanted her dance team to incorporate rifles into their routine for that year. She and I struck a deal. I would teach her petite, graceful beauties to twirl those fiberglass sticks. In exchange, her best dancers would teach me to move in some sort of rhythm without falling on my face. Her dance instructors got the raw end of that deal.

Why am I telling you this? Because in MIRIAM, my new release, the title character dances. She’s eighty-six-year-old, and she dances! Seriously?

Do you know the story—Moses, the Ten Commandments, Charlton Heston, Disney’s Prince of Egypt? My story begins with Miriam believing her life is nearing the end despite her family history of long lives (her parents are still living at 137 and 110 years old). She’s understandably disheartened, having lived her whole life as a Hebrew slave in Egypt, and she’s ready to leave this cruel world. Her bones creak, and she has to rock back-and-forth a few times to get to her feet. Does this sound like much of a heroine?

Enter Moses, her brother. Remember him from the Ten Commandments or maybe you Disney’s Prince of Egypt. Whether you’ve watched the movies or read the biblical account in Exodus 3-15, they all record the epic battle between Pharaoh and the Hebrew God, the plagues, and the parting of the Red Sea. But none of them considered the story from Miriam’s point-of-view. Or from the perspective of other Hebrew slaves—a harem maid banished from the palace or a soldier slave who serves the firstborn prince?

When I read the Bible story, I wanted to know how Pharaoh’s stubborn refusal to “Let Yahweh’s people go!” affected the folks who didn’t have Moses’s intimate knowledge of God’s next move. Can you imagine how terrifying those plagues would have been to “normal” people like you and me? Most of them had no warning the Nile would turn to blood or the locusts would destroy their crops.

While writing MIRIAM, I found it challenging to imagine the Egyptian plague scenes while sitting in my suburban two-story home. The miraculous parting of the Red (Reed) Sea also stretched my imagination even when I visited the nearby Columbia River and tried to envision it. But I was completely fascinated by the eighty-six-year-old dancer who stood on the opposite shore after crossing the Red Sea on dry ground…

“Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing.” (Exodus 15:21 NIV)

Why make such a big deal of Miriam’s dancing? Because I know how difficult it was for me as a teenager. I couldn’t appreciate golf until I tried to play eighteen holes. The most powerful impact of historical and biblical fiction comes when we climb into the character’s skin, remembering that they were real people who lived with real limitations, flaws, and yearnings. Think of an eighty-six-year-old that you know, and try to imagine her doing a jig with a tambourine.

Stories like Miriam’s are told and retold for generations—even millennia—because they inspire. Let’s face it. No one cares that I felt like a tortoise in tennis shoes when I danced, but when an elderly lady runs across a dry sea bed and leads a nation of women in dancing…now someone should write a book about that. So I did.

Do you know a Miriam? A mother, an aunt, a senior saint in your church, who defies her aging body and leads with spunk and determination? Share a little about her if you’d like.

Giveaway

Tell us if you know or are a Miriam. One commenter will win a copy of MIRIAM and a Bath & Body Works gift card worth 10.00.

About Mesu Andrews

Mesu Andrews

Mesu Andrews’ deep understanding of and love for God’s Word brings the biblical world alive through her highly-acclaimed historical/biblical novels. Her sixth book, Miriam: A Treasures of the Nile Novel, released March 15, 2016.

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About MIRIAM

Miriam

The Hebrews call me prophetess, the Egyptians a seer.
But I am neither. I am simply a watcher of Israel
and the messenger of El Shaddai.
When He speaks to me in dreams, I interpret. When He whispers a melody, I sing.

At eighty-six, Miriam had devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messenger. Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message. God has a new name – Yahweh – and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.

Miriam and her beloved family face an impossible choice: cling to familiar bondage or embrace uncharted freedom at an unimaginable cost. Even if the Hebrews survive the plagues set to turn the Nile to blood and unleash a maelstrom of frogs and locusts, can they weather the resulting fury of the Pharaoh?

Enter an exotic land where a cruel Pharaoh reigns, pagan priests wield black arts, and the Israelites cry out to a God they only think they know.

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Jessica Arnold | The Unexpected Sequel

When I started writing THE LOOKING GLASS, a sequel was the furthest thing from my mind. Then I signed a two-book deal with Month9Books, and the yet unwritten book two suddenly became a concern.

I’d always thought of THE LOOKING GLASS as a stand-alone story. And here’s the thing about stand-alone stories—they end. Isn’t it nice when a story just ends instead of dragging on forever and ever and on and on …. and making you think about things like consequences and whether the people who were happy at the end of Book 1 could actuallystay happy forever after?

Happily ever afters don’t happen if the story doesn’t end.

Into the Woods is one of my favorite musicals ever created. You’ve probably seen it or heard of it and if you haven’t seen it or heard of it you should go forth to Google and fix that right now. It’s a fairy-tale mash-up in which all the characters get their happy endings at the end of Act I. Then, in Act II, the characters have to deal with the consequences of getting what they want. They have to deal with uncertainty. They have to venture out into real life, where things don’t always end well.

This is the somber duty of a sequel—to march in on the triumphant resolution of the first book and say “Hey, that’s nice, but life goes on! Tomorrow might still suck.”

Needless to say, sequels are not often invited to sit at the “cool books” table.

So how does a girl approach the unexpected sequel? Without giving away too many spoilers, I’ll say that at the end of THE LOOKING GLASS,Alice learns that she is more valuable and more valued than she thought. But what happens when she gets thrown back into a world where people don’t always value themselves—or others—the way they should? What happens to someone who has gone through a traumatic experience when she is asked to return to humdrum daily life? An unexpected sequel starts with questions. An unexpected sequel starts with a conquering hero waking up the next morning and asking “What next?”

Writing THE LINGERING GRACE was a lot more satisfying than I expected it to be. Happily ever after is a beautiful idea, but we live our lives in a world where things don’t always tie up so neatly. We live in a world of sequels, some expected, some unexpected. And, somehow, we learn to embrace them.

I hope that readers enjoy The Lingering Grace not as a continuation of The Looking Glass, but as a continuation of Alice’s story—and as an exploration of the questions that happy endings don’t answer.

About Jessica:

About Jessica Arnold

Jessica Arnold

Jessica Arnold lives (in an apartment) and works (in a cubicle) in Boston, Massachusetts. She has a master‘s degree in publishing and writing from Emerson College.

The Looking Glass

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About THE LINGERING GRACE

The Lingering Grace

The new school year brings with it a welcome return to normalcy after Alice’s narrow escape from a cursed hotel while on summer vacation. But when a young girl drowns in a freak accident that seems eerily similar to her own near-death experience, Alice suspects there might be something going on that not even the police can uncover.

The girl’s older sister, Eva attends Alice’s school and Alice immediately befriends her. But things change when Alice learns that Eva is determined to use magic to bring her sister back. She must decide whether to help Eva work the highly dangerous magic or stop her at all costs. After all, no one knows better than Alice the true price of magic.

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Nicole Luiken | Not Your Everyday Supernatural Creature

I read a lot. Like, really a lot, over 200 books a year. The majority of my reading is paranormal, fantasy or SF. Which means I have read a LOT of books about werewolves and vampires. I still love both of those tropes, but every so often it’s fun to leave behind the comfortable tried-and-true in favor of something a little more unique. So when it came time to design my fantasy worlds I deliberately chose some more exotic supernatural beings.

Like dragons, sirens and gargoyles. And phantoms.

Why those ones?

My Otherselves series is one of mirrors and magic and parallel worlds. Each Mirror World has its own elemental magic—Air, Fire, Water and Stone—as well as the mirror magic that joins them. The Mirror Worlds are imperfect copies of each other. Rare people, known as Callers, have otherselves—mirror twins—on each of the Mirror Worlds.

The villain of the series is a sorceress named Qeturah who was exiled from the True World to the Fire World for killing her Fire otherself. Qeturah seeks power and uses a magic ritual to bear the child of a fire elemental. Her child is dragon shifter.

But because Qeturah has otherselves, they also conceived the children of the elementals on their Mirror Worlds. So the child of the Water Elemental is a merman/siren, the Stone Elemental’s child is a gargoyle and the Air Elemental’s is a phantom.

Part of the joy of writing a book with a supernatural element is keeping the parts of mythology that you like and throwing away the rest.

My dragon has the standard fire breath and ability to fly, but he can also communicate with volcanoes and shift into a boy.

My merman/siren has a white dolphin tail and neither had gills nor rides around on a mutant sea horse. His siren voice can persuade people to do what he wants, even forget things, rather than lure people to their deaths.

My gargoyles are seven feet tall, not short and squat. They have fangs and claws, but no wings, and each gargoyle is made from a different type of stone. They live below the earth in caverns, not on rooftops.

My phantom is not a ghost who can walk through walls, but rather are boy with the ability to turn invisible at will and who can also Call the wind to fly him around.

I had a lot of fun creating my Mirror Worlds and supernatural creatures, and I’m delighted to be sharing them with readers!

About Nicole Luiken

Nicole Luiken

Nicole Luiken wrote her first book at age thirteen and was published while still in high school.

She is the author of numerous YA books, including the popular Violet Eyes series.

She lives in Edmonton, AB. It is physically impossible for her to go more than three days in a row without writing.

Otherselves

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About AMID WIND AND STONE

Amid Wind and Stone

Behind the mirror lies your otherself…

There is one True World, and then there are the four Mirror Worlds: Fire, Water, Air, and Stone.

Audrey and Dorotea are “ otherselves”—twin copies of each other who live on different Mirror Worlds.

On Air, Audrey has the ability to communicate with wind spirits. As war looms, she’s torn between loyalty to her country and her feelings for a roguish phantom who may be a dangerous spy.

Blackouts and earthquakes threaten the few remaining humans on Stone, who have been forced to live underground. To save her injured sister, Dorotea breaks taboo and releases an imprisoned gargoyle. Brooding, sensitive Jasper makes her wonder if gargoyles are truly traitors, as she’s always been told.

Unbeknownst to them, they both face the same enemy—an evil sorceress bent on shattering all the Mirror Worlds.

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Nina Crespo | Top 5 Office Must-Haves

We all have those items we can’t do without during the work day. In some cases, we’re attached to them more than we care to admit. I know it would have been torture to complete my latest book without them. Small comforts can make the difference. I’m up for sharing so I’ll confess to the top 5 on my list.

  1. Vanilla or pumpkin flavored protein shake in my coffee. I enjoy my caffeine fix. I don’t always get around to making breakfast, but I will grab a protein shake to support my workouts. This way, I take care of both and get the morning rolling.
  2. A spin bike in my office. My workouts keep me sane, but on my non-gym days or when my schedule is full (okay, when I’m too lazy to dress in decent workout clothes), I hop on the bike. It’s also great stress relief in between pages of hard edits.
  3. My iMac and iPad in proximity. Music, movies, games, video chats, checking email and social media, and yes, writing, all must happen at some point during the day. I’m usually using both devices at the same time. I have been known to experience withdrawal-like symptoms if they’re not in easy reach.
  4. Bean bag chair. Other than the floor or the bike, this is the only extra chair in my office. It’s also a great place to take a nap during long stretches of writing or scream into when I’m frustrated. Come on. We’ve all been there!
  5. Jumbo, plastic green crayon. It serves multiple purposes. Sword fighting, entertaining cat toy, knocking things out from under the desk, forehead or butt smacking instrument. Seriously? You DON’T have one?

About Nina Crespo

Nina Crespo

Nina Crespo lives in Florida where she indulges in her favorite passions — the beach, kick boxing, a good glass of wine, date night with her own real-life hero and dancing.

Her lifelong addiction to romance began in her teens while on a “borrowing spree” in her older sister’s bedroom where she discovered her first romance novel and became lost in the world of happily ever after.

Curiosity about people and places, including what’s beyond the stars, fuels her writer’s imagination. This wellspring of inspiration allows Nina to create sensual contemporary and paranormal stories, which she hopes will feed your own addiction for true love and romance.

The Song

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About REID’S DELIVERANCE

Reid's Deliverance

Can their bond withstand the test of time?

Lauren isn’t looking for love when she spends a scintillating night with Reid, the sexy keyboardist of Thane’s Redemption. While their passion may be off the charts, her trust issues–and Reid’s secret life as a time-traveling covert agent–makes any chance for a relationship impossible.

When operatives involved in a mysterious project begin dying, Reid defies orders and travels alone into the future to find the cause. But when things go dangerously awry, it takes all of his strength to get himself back to safety–and directly onto Lauren’s doorstep. While neither of them remembers their night of passion, their intense connection leads Lauren to help him. But as Reid’s memories reignite, will he be forced to sacrifice everything to finish his mission–including the woman he loves?

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Sharon Hamilton | It’s a People Thing

Romancing The Vines was a wonderful book signing event with fellow authors: Marina Adair, Catherine Bybee, Susan Stoker, Tiffany Snow, Carolyn Jewel, Kathryn LeVeque, Diana Orgain, Lori Ryan, Chris Keniston, Kate Douglas, Pamela Gibson, Lisa Hughey and myself. We hosted this book signing the week after Valentine’s Day at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville, California. You can get more information and some awesome pictures about the location and all the movie sets resident in their tasting room by checking it out HERE. Mark your calendars for next year’s event: March 4, 2017. Our site will host prizes and notices as well as ticket sales later this summer. If you are interested as an author, there will still be only 13 slots available, and I’m looking for good promoters with a good fan base!

I also was in Tucson for the Tucson Festival of Books. Over 1500 vendors and over 150,000 people attended this event, which gets larger every year. This was my 4th year attending. Got to sit next to Randall Dale, my new cowboy friend, and former Navy SEAL Chris Heben.

People ask me all the time if it’s worth it to attend so many events in so many places. I look at book promotion as a people thing. The more people who know about me, the better the sales. Not everyone can come see me. So I go to them. And readers love it. I have to admit, being treated a little like a rock star is kind of nice too!!

Look for books Fallen SEAL Legacy, SEAL Under Covers and SEAL The Deal to come out in wide distribution tomorrow (out from Kindle Unlimited). Nashville SEAL is available now wide on all devices. True Blue SEALs: Zak is out in paperback, ebook on all devices and now AUDIO! My next release is another Band of Bachelor SEAL book: Alex, which will release in June. Boy is this guy in for some adventure!!!

SharonHamilton_Alex_HR

About ALEX

Adrenaline junkie and Navy SEAL Alex Kowicki is one of four bachelor SEALs trying to navigate his successful military career while achieving his goals as a first class connoisseur of beautiful women. He isn’t ready to jump back into anything but his free falls, HALO drops or his missions overseas. He trusts his buddies to fix him up with another blind date that won’t be as dangerous as his last ones.

But Sydney Robinson has other plans. A beach volleyball player who can spike better than most men, she knows how to execute a series of events that include stalking the handsome SEAL all the way to Sonoma County, capturing him in a winery and delivering his carcass to her bed for keeps. Along the way, the two of them fight a home-grown terrorist cell in a duel that might cost one of them their lives.

Band of Bachelors: Alex is available for pre-order on iBooks.

Marie Harte | Paranormal is Back

Marie Harte_Fresh Fiction Topic Post-EnemyRed_16 March_2016 (1)

Paranormal is back! Not that it ever really went away, but like everything else in romance-land, trends glut the market. For a while, vampires were everywhere. You couldn’t open a romance without bumping into a demon, a dragon, or a ghost. It became difficult to find regular contemporary romances, and only the historicals had just humans in the mix.

Then the tides changed. Contemporary began sweeping back in. Hello Fifty Shades of popularity! Erotic and mainstream contemporary were back. In 2014 in particular, this was good news to me as I had a brand new series I’d released. It was a lot of fun, but I had to adhere to rules. Just because my hero wanted to be right next to the heroine didn’t mean he could teleport there or dematerialize into a bat and fly there. But the challenges involved in sticking to the rules were exciting. So I’ve been writing contemporary a lot lately.

Then the opportunity to revisit a favorite group of shapeshifters came my way. Paranormal romance is once again building steam, and I couldn’t be happier. The Mark of Lycos series features shapeshifters who exist on the fringe of everyday society. I didn’t want them mingling with regular people in the city. They live in the Great Forest in Alaska. They deal with sorcery, demons who aren’t (as a species) evil, and other shapeshifters. The spirits in their world shape how the characters interact.

The books have added content now, and they’ve been re-edited and given some stand-out covers. Take a look…

Now for an insight into book one, ENEMY RED.

ENEMY RED releases March 15th 2016. With shows like Teen Wolf, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Ghost Hunters, and now Lucifer on television, I think it’s obvious that viewers are interested in things that go bump in the night. So what better time than to bring my shapeshifters and demons back out to play?

In Enemy Red, an alpha wolf and enemy wolf butt heads while trying to figure out how to confront an evil bent on destroying the alpha and all she holds dear. But the enemy wolf isn’t just any wolf—Fenris wears the Mark of Lycos, a symbol of great power. Fenris is unique, a creature of imbued power and the strength of spirit, mind and body only found in a werewolf. The Wolf in the Forest, the great spirit over all shapeshifting wolves, has granted Fenris the ability to do great things. But he must have the courage to take on the responsibility that is his destiny.

Gotta love that destiny stuff, hmm? *big grin* Enjoy your paranormal, and check out ENEMY RED, coming March 15th from Totally Bound Publishing.

About Marie Harte

Marie Harte

Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, USA Today bestselling author Marie Harte has over 100 books published with more constantly on the way. Writing romance, and in particular erotic romance, across the genres, she’s created stories set on other worlds, among paranormal creatures, and between normal men and women seeking true love.

Marie is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. Visit her website and fall in love.

NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

Good To Go | McCauley Brothers | Wicked Warrens | The Works | Ethereal Foes | Best Revenge | Mark of Lycos

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About ENEMY RED

Enemy Red

The magic of love lies in the arms of his fiery enemy.

No one likes an arranged marriage, and Fenris, a golden wolf in the Silver Clan, plans to avoid it as long as he can. But the Wolf in the Forest has heard the prayers of another and grants the female her wish.

Unfortunately for Fenris, his destined mate is an alpha in her own right, and an enemy who plans on taking the Silver Clan, and Fenris, apart one bite at a time.

Until Fenris bites back.

Publisher’s Note: This book has been previously released by Totally Bound Publishing. It has been revised and re-edited for re-release.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of F/F intimacy and ménage.

Buy ENEMY RED: Kindle| Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

Jennie Marts | Music to your ears…or your fingertips

Music is a powerful thing. It can bring up deep emotions, make you feel happy, or sad, or instantly bring back a memory of another time. But it can also help you write. And I’ve found that the music that I listen to makes a difference in the way that I write.

I know a lot of writers that listen to particular music for certain books, whether it be love songs or rock ballads, some even creating whole soundtracks for their books. I can’t do that. I can listen to certain sounds when I’m plotting, sounds that set the tone or the feel for the story. But when I’m actually writing, I like it to either be quiet or to have music that is only instrumental, otherwise I get caught up listening to the lyrics instead of my own internal flow of words.

The last year, I have changed my writing routine. In order to increase my production, I have plotted more heavily, and I participate in writing sprints with a few other authors. We set a timer for 30 or 40 minutes, then commit to write with no distractions for that time, then report our word count numbers. We often meet at Panera to sprint, and on those days, I wear noise cancelling headphones and play music. And I’ve noticed an interesting dynamic. The slower the music, the fewer words that I write.

I originally used a Pandora list of guitar instrumental or piano instrumental, but when I changed my playlist to a more upbeat tempo, my word count almost doubled. What is this secret speedy music that I write to? Instrumental bluegrass. That’s right! When the banjo’s are a pickin’ and a grinnin’, my fingers are flying. The upbeat sounds of the fiddle, banjo, and guitar create a rhythm that my fingers automatically try to keep up with.

So, if you’re trying to write faster, and you already have the story in your head, try a little bluegrass and see if it doesn’t get your fingers moving and your word count higher.

In my latest book, ROMANCING THE RANGER, Reese Hudson is a city girl that finds herself in a bit of pickle when she accidentally burns down the outhouse in a state park, and a judge sentences her to rebuild it under the supervision of hunky park ranger, Wade Baker. Reese and Wade make their own kind of music, but it’s too bad they don’t get along outside of the bedroom as well as they do in it.

ROMANCING THE RANGER releases March 14 and I’m so thankful for Fresh Fiction’s support of my release. To keep on top of all my news, including sales and new releases, please visit www.jenniemarts.com to sign up for my newsletter and I would love to invite you to join my street team, Jennie’s Page Turners

I would love to hear how you think music changes your productivity, whether it’s writing or cleaning house, or working out.

Thanks again and I hope you love the new book. Happy Reading!

Jennie

About Jennie Marts

Jennie Marts

USA TODAY Best-selling author Jennie Marts loves to make readers laugh as she weaves stories filled with love, friendship and intrigue. She writes for Entangled Publishing and reviewers call her books “laugh out loud” funny and full of great characters that are “endearing and relatable.”

She is living her own happily ever after in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two sons, two dogs and a parakeet that loves to tweet to the oldies. She’s addicted to Diet Coke, adores Cheetos, and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes, or friends.

Her books include the contemporary western romance Hearts of Montana series, the romantic comedy/ cozy mysteries of The Page Turners series, the hunky men in the Bannister family in the Bannister Brothers Books, and the small town romantic comedies in her upcoming Lovestruck series of Cotton Creek Romances.

Page Turners | Hearts of Montana | Cotton Creek

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About ROMANCING THE RANGER

Romancing the Ranger

She’s getting out of the city and into his heart

Reese Hudson meant to destroy mementos from her last failed relationship, not burn down an outhouse and incur the wrath of a sexy park ranger. When the judge rejects her offer to pay for the structure and sentences her to rebuild it—with the hot ranger supervising—she embraces the challenge to take control of her life.

Park ranger Wade Baker wants nothing to do with the rich city girl, no matter how tempting he finds her lush curves. She’s too much like his ex-fiancée, and if he’s learned anything, it’s that women like Reese don’t fit into his world. And he sure as hell wants no part of her big city life.

Reese may not know a hammer from a screwdriver, but she’s working hard to prove she’s not just some pampered princess to be toyed with. And damn it if Wade doesn’t admire her tenacious spirit. If only they got along half as well outside the bedroom as they do in it, there might be a chance for them after all…

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Emily Greenwood | Tips on Surviving a London Season

Thanks so much for having me back on Fresh Fiction to celebrate the release of HOW TO HANDLE A SCANDAL, the second book in my Scandalous Sisters series. It’s the story of Miss Elizabeth Tarryton, whom readers first met when she was a gorgeous, rebellious teenager in THE BEAUTIFUL ONE.

Elizabeth is a little too beautiful for her own good, and she definitely likes to make a splash. When she goes to London for her first season, she’s in girls-just-want-to-have-fun mode and, well, she’s a bit of a scandal. So she’s the perfect person to offer some tips on How to Survive a London Season:

  1. Don’t go swimming in fountains in the presence of gentlemen and wearing an evening gown. Or at least, don’t get caught in the Regency version of a wet t-shirt.
    Eliza’s beloved guardian, Viscount Grandville, has warned her about the damage she might cause her reputation if she doesn’t tone down her behavior, but she’s having the time of her life, and she just can’t seem to resist fun, which in Eliza’s case is usually spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e.
  2. Don’t kiss gentlemen in public, stand on the streets of London serenading a man through his window, or sneak out your own window to meet gentlemen at night.
    Eliza’s outrageousness is one of the things her friend Tommy Halifax likes about her, though he’s not too happy about the way it attracts the attention of other men. Tommy is a handsome, adventurous guy as well as being the viscount’s brother, and when HOW TO HANDLE A SCANDAL starts, he’s in love with Eliza, but she doesn’t know it.
  3. Don’t be in a rush to get married (unless you have to).
    With a generous dowry assured her from the viscount and a difficult year behind her, Eliza sees her first London Season as her first chance in a long time to do exactly as she likes. Unlike most debutantes, in London that year, she has no interest in marrying any time soon—why put an end to all the fun?
  4. Do expect the unexpected and keep your composure at all times.
    When Tommy proposes to Eliza in front of a packed ballroom, she’s shocked, and she makes a terrible mistake: she laughs at him. He’s furious and heartbroken, and she’s terribly remorseful. He promptly leaves England for India, and six years will pass before they meet again.
  5. Do keep your friends and family close.
    Since Eliza was orphaned at fifteen, Viscount Grandville and his family have become her only family. She adores them, and she’d never want to disappoint them—but she fears that the disaster of Tommy’s proposal will make them reject her.
  6. Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself. Hoping to make up for causing Tommy to leave the country, Eliza decides to make herself over into a respectable, virtuous woman. Does it work? When Tommy comes home after six years away, he doesn’t believe she’s changed. And maybe he’s not entirely wrong, because after one absolutely scandalous night at a very surprising place, they have to get married. Neither one of them is happy about this.
  7. Be ready for adventure.
    Hoping to avoid the prying eyes of society, the acrimonious newlyweds leave town for Tommy’s newly purchased but extremely disreputable estate by the sea. There, they intend to play out the clock until Tommy returns to India. But the close quarters are making them remember how much they once liked each other…and making them wonder how much more they might want to discover.

About Emily Greenwood

Emily Greenwood

Emily Greenwood worked for a number of years as a writer, crafting newsletters and fundraising brochures, but she far prefers writing playful love stories set in Regency England, and she thinks romance novels are the chocolate of literature. A Golden Heart finalist, she lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

Scandalous Sisters

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About HOW TO HANDLE A SCANDAL

How to Handle a Scandal

They thought the debutante was scandalous
Miss Elizabeth Tarryton was the toast of the London Season the year she was seventeen and spurned young Tommy Halifax. A careless flirt who didn’t know what she wanted, she was startled into laughter by his public proposal of marriage. Furious and heartbroken, Tommy promptly left home for a life of adventure in India.

If they only knew about the widow
Seven years later, Elizabeth has much to make up for, but the methods she chooses for doing good are as shocking as her earlier wanton behavior—should the ton ever find out. Tommy returns to England a hero, with no intention of allowing himself to be hurt by a woman ever again, but he’s fascinated nonetheless by Elizabeth, now widowed and more alluring than ever.

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