Posts Tagged ‘blog hop’
Perhaps because I live in Canada where fall is already giving way to winter, the phrase “Hot Autumn Nights” conjures pictures of indoor activities for me. But before it reaches that point, I love walking in the outdoors. I’m lucky enough to live very close to a pine forest and open fields which I walk every night, although I’ll have to confess that after 30 years of marriage, my companion is usually my trusty dog, Chloe, not my husband. But I do love seeing people freshly in love out walking. It warms my heart, even if my fingers are cold.
Some other things that warm up a cool fall night for me:
Sipping the season’s first hot apple cider. Yum! It just feels so cozy.
Even cozier, sipping warm red wine in front of a fire with a special someone!
And of course, movie night with your significant other.
Speaking of watching TV on the couch, here’s a scene from Guarding Suzannah, Book 1 in my Serve and Protect series. Quigg and Suzannah aren’t as comfortable as the two pictured above. Far from it! Suzannah is attracted to Quigg, her self-appointed protector during a scary stalking situation, but she’s very skittish sexually. Quigg is a patient man and determined to show her it can be different. Let’s watch them get ready to get “cozy” on the couch:
She held up a hand to stop him. “I know what I’m talking about, John. It’s not like I tried it once and decided okay, I guess sex isn’t for me. I do feel stirrings from time to time. I am human. And when it seemed like the right thing to do, the natural progression in a relationship, I tried it.” She dropped her eyes, twisting the delicate stem of the now empty wine glass in her hand. “It never got any better.”
“I don’t believe that for a minute,” he said. “The way you kissed me –”
“That’s why I was so upset last night. For a few minutes, it felt like I could … like I might want to….”
Her voice trailed off and the room was silent for a moment. When he spoke, his voice was a disbelieving croak. “And you don’t think you can get that back? Is that the trouble?”
She colored. “You don’t understand.”
“No, sweetheart, you don’t understand.” He stood and held a hand out to her. “Come here.”
She took a step back. “That was last night. I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to go to bed with you anymore.”
God, she was beautiful. And so earnest. She really believed she was frigid. “Who said anything about bed?” he asked, advancing a step closer.
“Have sex, then.” Her voice was tight as she retreated another step.
“Who said anything about sex?” Something leapt in her eyes, and he didn’t think it was fear, though she did take another step backward. He smiled. “Don’t you want to know if you can recapture the feeling?”
The yearning and fear that chased across her face made his heart squeeze. This time when he reached for her hand, she didn’t retreat, possibly because she’d backed herself up against the antique buffet and had nowhere to go.
“Come on, Suzannah, trust me this once,” he said. “No pressure, no expectation, just some good old-fashioned necking on the couch.” He stroked the inside of her wrist, where her pulse pounded madly, though with fear or excitement, he couldn’t say. But she certainly wasn’t indifferent.
She chewed the inside of her lip. “I don’t know.”
“What have you got to lose? If it doesn’t work for you, you can tell me to take my hands off you. How’s that?”
He was gratified to see her breath come faster, but still she held out.
“I don’t get it. What’s in it for you?”
He laughed. “Baby, if you still have to ask that when we’re done, you can give me a failing grade.”
“Won’t it be … frustrating?”
“That’s a small price, and one I’ll happily pay.” Especially since he’d been fantasizing about kissing that prim mouth into a flushed, swollen bloom since the first moment he’d laid eyes on her in the courtroom two years ago.
Still she hesitated.
“I won’t let things get out of hand, if that’s what you’re worried about.” Even as he offered the assurance, he prayed for the strength and patience he was going to need to call upon to keep his promise.
With those two words and the trust implicit in them, any doubts about his self control fell away. He’d damned well die of sexual frustration before he betrayed that trust.
He stroked his thumb along the inside of her wrist again, felt the heat of her blood, the strength of her pulse. “So, what do you say?”
“Okay,” she said, her voice high and thin. He felt her fingers flex around his. “Okay, let’s do it.”
So, what’s you favorite way to heat up an autumn night? (Remember – keep it clean!) Post a comment below and you name will be entered in a draw to win one of two prizes:
- A signed copy of my newest romantic suspense from Montlake Romance, Every Breath She Takes (which is currently #1 in Romantic Suspense and #1 in Fantasy, Futuristic & Ghost!); or
- A USD $10 Gift Certificate from Amazon.com or another online bookstore of your choice that sells gift certificates.
Once you’ve commented, please continue on your way! There’s lots more fun to be had and prizes to be won, culminating with the main prize, the ginormous $155 Gift Certificate giveaway! If these links don’t work for you, please visit the bloghop host site, Bella Media Management, and pick up where you left off. Happy hopping!
- H.D. Thomson – Paranormal Romance Author (Int)
- Bella Media Management
- Caris Roane
- Wendy Ely
- Dominique Eastwick (Int)
- The Wiccan Haus (Int)
- Romance Author Vanessa North
- The Beautiful People: A Writer’s Journey
- Malia Mallory
- Jannifer Labelle (Labelle Books)
- Discovering Nya Rayne
- June Kramin
- Tmonique Stephens
- Ann Montclair “Love Triumphs Past and Present”
- Author Nancy Lee Badger
- Kharisma Rhayne
- Happily Ever After Thoughts
- Janna Shay
- Kenra Daniels
- Kathryn R. Blake – A Writer’s Naughty Thoughts
- Sarah Gilman: A Thing for Wings
- CS Maxwell – Where’s My Muse?
- Confessions of a Writer
- A Page in the Life – Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
- Kim Carmichael’s Blog
- Sandra Cox
- Dirty Details – Author Alyssa Turner
- Jezebel Jorge – Witch Lit
- Elizabeth Black
- Holly Adair (Int)
- Juliette Springs – The Darker Side of Romance
- Natalie-Nicole Bates
- Imagination Gone Wild
- Amber Kallyn (Int)
- Lawna Mackie – Romance, Wolves and Christmas
- Dianna Venetta
- Ami Blackwelder’s Novels
- Norah Wilson Writes (Int)
- Not Now…Mommy’s Reading
- Cassandra Dean (Int)
- Loni Flowers – Contemporary Romance
- L.J. Kentowski – Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
- Journeys with Jana – Jana Richards
- Susan Frances, Romance Author
- I Smell Sheep
- Booked & Loaded (US/CAN)
- Lexxx Christian: The Southern Belle from Hell
- Bloodthirsty Muses – Author H.A. Fowler
- Alt/Dark Romance by A. Sangrey Black
- Love is a Many Flavored Thing
- Sara Daniel Romance Author (Int)
- Annalynne Russo Vampire Scribe
- Cinsearae S., Dark Para Rom/Horror Author
- Taylor Michaels
- The Jeep Diva (US & Int)
Welcome to the Rock*It Reads Heating Up the Holidays Blog Hop. There are 15 stops on the blog tour. The more blogs you visit and comment on, the greater your chances of winning the grand prize, a $75 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble or Amazon, and a huge collection of books from the authors of Rock*It Reads. Smaller prizes will be available at each stop along the way.
Good luck, and have fun!
What better way to heat up your holidays than with the hot, sexy men of our romance novels?
I have to have a picture of my hero in my mind before I start. Sometimes that mental picture morphs a bit as I get deeper into the character, but sometimes the physical image of him holds for me through to the end. Here are two such cases.
The first hero I’ll tell you about is Tommy Godsoe, a police dog handler who has been sidelined by injury, from my book Protecting Paige (Serve and Protect, #3). It was important to the story that he be quite a bit younger than the heroine, Paige, a youthful-looking single mother. I also wanted him to be very attractive, with sensual features and a slightly dissolute look. He had to be very lean, with the body of a runner (K-9 handlers have to be extremely fit). As I searched my memory banks—and countless celebrity image sites—I found the perfect match: Jakob Dylan, of The Wallflowers. Here’s a YouTube clip of Jakob (it starts to close in on his face about 42 seconds in, if you want to advance it).
No doubt listening non-stop to Red Letter Days, my favorite CD by The Wallflowers, as I wrote the book contributed to Jakob’s image persisting throughout. But when it came to creating the book’s cover, unfortunately Jakob wasn’t available. ,-) I really like this cover, but it’s an example of the compromises you have to make. I’ve yet to land a cover where the hero truly looks the way I imagine him. That being the case, what I strive to do is capture something true about the story. I think this does that nicely.
Another character whose image I had firmly in my mind was Cal Taggart, the hero from Every Breath She Takes. He’s a former champion bull rider who has retired from the rodeo to run a cow-calf operation in the Alberta foothills. Most bull riders are very compact men. The tall, rangy ones tend to get whiplashed and battered. Cal’s not especially short, but he’s compact and wiry. I also didn’t want him to look like a stereotypical cowboy. I wanted him to have a sort of edgy cool factor where you could imagine him in a leather jacket astride a motorcycle as easily as on horseback. This time, I looked to television/film and found my model in a guy with a similar name—Callum Keith Rennie, affectionately known by fans as CKR. In fact, when I settled on my model, I decided that Cal would be short for Callum as a tribute to CKR. Here’s a Youtube homage appropriately titled “Callum Keith Rennie is Awesomeness”.
This cover was created for me by Montlake and I think they did a great job. You can’t really see a lot of detail of the hero in this picture, but they nailed the emotion.
Of course, the way I see the hero of my books might differ wildly from the way you see him, and that’s okay. That’s more than okay. And hey, if you’ve read either of those books, I’d love to know who you imagine as the model for either Tommy or Cal. Seriously!
Both of these guys are very lean, Tommy in a taller, rangier way, and Cal in a more compact, powerful way. But I’ve cast heroes who are as big and robust as Russell Crowe, as pretty as Jude Law, and as rugged and … well, craggy as Daniel Craig. It’s not really about body type for me. I appreciate a wide variety of men. What about you? Are you as eclectic as me, or do you have a particular look you favor? A guy who’s just your type? Let me know in your comment below. From the comments, I will draw three random winners, for the following prizes:
- $10 Gift Certificate
- Signed print copy of my Rock*It Reads book Guarding Suzannah, the first book in my Protect and Serve series; and
- Signed print copy of my newest release from Montlake Romance, Every Breath She Takes
Leave a comment below to enter for your chance to win!
Don’t forget to visit the other authors on the Blog Hop for more chances to win!
|Kris Kennedy||Bonnie Vanak||Erin Kellison|
|Sharon Page||Lila DiPasqua||Elisabeth Naughton|
|Norah Wilson||Jennifer Lyon||Monica Burns|
|Vanessa Kelly||Mia Marlowe||Joan Swan|
|Pamela Clare||Margo Maguire||Rock*It Reads|
Haven’t you heard? Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! Or so it seems, judging by that sea of green clothing as everyone gets into the act.
Here in my city (Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada), the preferred place to be on March 17 is the Lunar Rogue Pub. It has everything you could possibly want in a pub. Over 200 whiskies, an excellent selection of wines, and just about anything you could want on tap. And on St. Patrick’s Day, it has Celtic music and green beer! Yes, it’s the place to be. For everyone but me. LOL! It tends to be a little too busy (okay, jammed!) for my tastes on the big day.
But any day of the year, the Lunar Rogue is my absolute favorite pub in the world. They have the best nachos anywhere, and the peeps are great. Special shout out to Michelle and Marianne! You guys are the shiz!
Speaking of Fredericton, I’ve actually written a series of romantic suspense books – my Serve and Protect series - set right here. Here’s a blurb for the first book in that series, Guarding Suzannah:
Criminal defense attorney Suzannah Phelps is the bane of the Fredericton police department (they call her She-Rex for her habit of shredding cops in the witness box). She is currently being stalked, but is reluctant to report it to the police, whom she half suspects of being the perpetrators. But when Detective John (Quigg) Quigley learns of it, he’s determined to protect her, at considerable risk to his career. They’ve struck sparks off each other in the courtroom, and he’s burning to do the same in the bedroom. When the danger escalates, he has the perfect excuse to pose as her boyfriend, but the closer they get, the more the lines between pretense and reality blur.
In honor of this St. Patrick’s Day blog hop, I am giving away an electronic copy of Guarding Suzannah to a winner to be drawn from those who comment on this blog. In addition to the book (in the ebook format of the winner’s choice), the winner will also receive a $10-gift certificate to the online bookstore of their choice.
And here’s the best part — your comment on this blog (and every other stop on this blog hop) — gives you a crack at two grand prizes. One winner will receive his or her choice of a Kindle Fire or a Nook Color! A second winner will score a $90-gift certificate from his or her choice of Amazon or B&N. The more stops on the blog hop you make (leaving a comment at each, of course!), the more chances you have to win. Up to 120 of them!
So … have at it! Leave a comment. Tell me what you do on St. Patrick’s Day, or tell me about your favorite pub (Irish or otherwise), or just say, “Hey, I’d really love to win your book and snag that gift certificate!” On St. Patrick’s Day, it’s all good.
Last but not least, here is the list of other sites on the Blog Hop. Have fun and good luck!