Transitions: Going From Hot to Hotter !!!

Very few things surprise me when it comes to writing and publishing. I’ve been doing this for a number of years. Some successfully and some … uh … not so much. I never thought it would become difficult, or get stale. Yet, earlier this year I found myself feeling something I’d never imagined … boredom. Boredom with writing, boredom with reading. Perhaps it’s just old age setting in, perhaps not. My muse was calling for a change, a jump start to my creativity.

I’d always relied on my ability to write a steamy love scene. The other stuff … the emotions, the dialogue … took work. The hot and sexy came easily. *Nudge, nudge* my conscience prodded. Do more of what you do best! And so, my first truly erotic novella was born. The Muse, released by Decadent Publishing, is a trip to the 1920′s complete with all the decadence, frivolity and some downright HAWT menage scenes.

About the Book:

17 TheMuseDecadence, freedom and illegal activities…

Everything a sheltered debutante in the mid-1920s could want. When Hyde Park socialite Susan Leland meets up with Evan Forrester for the second time, she makes no excuses for their first meeting—an auto accident in which she broke the young artist’s wrist. She finds the handsome Evan both infuriating and intriguing, yet not quite as intriguing as sultry torch singer Holly Winters, a performer at Susan’s favorite supper club.

A chance to make amends…

By posing nude for Evan to paint. When Susan balks, Evan, not wanting to deal with an innocent, sends her away but not before the arrival of his next model, Holly Winters. As Susan’s preparing to leave, the beautiful and talented singer convinces her to come back the next day—so they can pose together.

Will Susan find happiness in the arms of Evan Forrester—or another?

An Excerpt:

She turned her attention toward the stage. The orchestra was preparing for the appearance of their latest singer, the music slower than the previous song, gearing down just enough to come to an about-face when the Temptress of Torch took the stage. Holly Winters, one of the most talented singers the club had ever featured, was due to perform at any moment. Susan loved the woman’s soulful voice, her total command of the stage and the audience every time she took the microphone into her elegant hands.

“Miss Leland, Mr. Carlson.”

Susan glanced up and met the gaze of the club’s owner, Randall Blankenship, purveyor of fine food and even better music, yet still one of the sleaziest characters she’d ever met. Reluctantly, she raised her hand for his attention. When he brushed her fingers with his long handlebar mustache, she pulled in a deep breath to keep from gagging.

“The music is the bees’ knees, as always,” she admitted. “I’m looking forward to hearing Miss Winters sing.”

“And so you shall,” Blankenship confirmed. “In the meantime, though, I’d like to introduce you to someone, a young artist whose work I’m thinking of hanging on the walls here at the Black Swan.”

Blankenship turned and motioned someone forward. “Miss Susan Leland, Mr. Steven Carlson, I’d like to introduce you to Evan Forrester.”

Susan glanced upward and met the artist’s dark brown gaze. Her throat closed tightly, nearly stealing her breath. Words failed her. “Ah…we….”

Evan Forrester nodded in her direction. A smile bent the corner of his well-shaped mouth. “Miss Leland. How delightful to see you again. Fortunately, for me, there’s not a car or a parking lot in sight.”

Steven shot her a questioning look. “I take it you two know each other.”

She swallowed and pushed past the dryness in her throat. As badly as she wanted to dismiss the handsome artist, she found herself admitting, “Yes, we’ve met.”

Quite dramatically, she thought, he held up his arm and wiggled his wrist for emphasis, drawing Steven’s attention and her chagrin. His wide grin taunted her, yet his gaze was dark, serious. “You might say our meeting was purely by accident.”

Susan shook her head in exasperation. “Oh, for heaven’s sake, don’t be so maudlin.” Wanting to escape his mocking smile, she turned back to her good friend. “Remember me mentioning the car accident I had last winter? It was Mr. Forrester I hit with Will’s Model A.”

The Buy Links:

Decadent Publishing: http://www.decadentpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=991&osCsid=i2tptpqngns0qei7d0hhfvhj63

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Muse-Nancy-Fraser-ebook/dp/B00O982PHU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412721728&sr=8-1&keywords=the+muse+nancy+fraser

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-muse/id926146147?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-muse-15

I had a great time writing this book. It did exactly what I’d wanted … it took away the boredom and replaced it with passion. While I’ll still continue to write in milder genres, I thoroughly intend to continue on with more erotica. It’s the most fun I’ve had in years!

Please check out my part in the Fiction Fanatics Feud in the previous post. There’s a Rafflecopter draw each month for great prizes.

Until next time, writers keep writing and readers keep reading. You are why we do what we do!

Nancy

 

Welcome to Fiction Fanatic’s Feud

Would you like to win a really great $50 Amazon gift card? Do you like winning free books (up to ten per month)? If so, you need to participate in our fun, new way to win …

fff-banner-2

“How do I play”, you ask?

First of all, join our page on Facebook: Fiction Fanatic’s Feud. While you’re there, be sure and check out the instructions for playing the game. I’ve listed a basic outline below as well. Next, to gain an entry from this blog, you can either like my Facebook author page  Nancy’s Author Page or you can follow me on Twitter @nfraserauthor.

Then, click on the Rafflecopter entry form below and go to the ‘Author Love for Nancy Fraser’ link and indicate which task you’ve completed. Also indicate on the Rafflecopter form that you have answered the Feud Questions for the current week. Please remember, you can answer the questions up to five times per week on the FB page and the notation on the Rafflecopter page can be done from any of the participating author sites. (Note: when completing the tasks, it’s best to do so from a new window on your browser so you can get back to the other links.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are the author links where you can learn about their books and earn additional entries:

Diane Burton

MJ Schiller

Alicia Dean

Connie Bretes

Leah St James

Kathy Wheeler

Patricia Kiyono

Diana Layne

Well, the fall is quickly looking like a few very busy months.

October 10th will bring the release of my feisty new novella, The Muse, from Decadent Publishing.

About the Book:

17 TheMuse

Decadence, freedom and illegal activities…

Everything a sheltered debutante in the mid-1920s could want. When Hyde Park socialite Susan Leland meets up with Evan Forrester for the second time, she makes no excuses for their first meeting—an auto accident in which she broke the young artist’s wrist. She finds the handsome Evan both infuriating and intriguing, yet not quite as intriguing as sultry torch singer Holly Winters, a performer at Susan’s favorite supper club.

A chance to make amends…

By posing nude for Evan to paint. When Susan balks, Evan, not wanting to deal with an innocent, sends her away but not before the arrival of his next model, Holly Winters. As Susan’s preparing to leave, the beautiful and talented singer convinces her to come back the next day—so they can pose together.

Will Susan find happiness in the arms of Evan Forrester—or another?

 

On October 22nd (my grandson’s 16th birthday), Soul Mate Publishing, will release Home is Where the Hunk is, a secret baby book with a wonderful twist.

16 HomeIsWhereTheHunkIsAbout the Book:

When globe-trotting photographer Allison Cain comes home to her family ranch in Montana it’s to get to know her nephew and to make amends with the widowed brother-in-law she’s left alone to raise his young son.

Evan Carver could never deny his late wife’s younger sister anything, despite the fact she’s been conspicuously absent over the past three years since her sister’s death. Now she’s home again on what she’s called an extended vacation. Evan’s first concern is for his son, Cody, and how his aunt’s visit will affect the five year old when she decides to return to her high profile career.

Allison has no intention of going back to work. In addition to getting to know Cody, she needs to confess her biggest secret to Evan. How do you tell the man you’ve always loved that you’re not just his son’s aunt, but also his mother?

Then, in late November, The Wild Rose Press will release the fifth novella in my Golden Decade of Rock and Roll series. Dream Lover has an exotic twist set in beautiful Paris.

About the Book:

15 Dream LoverHaley Parker lost her academic scholarship when she quit school to care for her dying mother. Now, eager to return to her studies, she must find the perfect job that will allow her the freedom to attend evening classes.

Her best friend Chloe teaches at one of Boston’s finest private schools, a job Haley had once hoped would be hers. When Chloe snags Haley a referral for a position as nanny to high-powered attorney, Eric Garrison’s, two young children, Haley looks forward to taking on the task.

Eric finds himself drawn to the intelligent and loving young woman who has bewitched his children. It’s not long before he’s re-thinking his plan to avoid romantic entanglements. On a family vacation to Paris, he finds it impossible to resist the lovely, yet innocent Haley.

Haley willingly gives up her innocence for a chance to make love with Eric, even though she realizes it will change their professional relationship forever.

 

Readers, now is the time to stock up on books for those cooler fall evenings. Please remember to leave a review on the books you purchase and read. The author truly appreciates it.

Nancy

 

Promoting the Author Vs Promoting the Book

This week, Notes From a Romantic’s Heart is wading into the debate regarding promotion. Should an author promote themselves? Or, should they lean toward promoting their books? Is there a happy medium? Different publishers have different ideas and so do authors. The big push seems to be in promoting yourself as a person, using that personal connection to build up readers. One of the most successful mid-list authors I know posts at least one to two dozen posts a day about her books on numerous social media sites. She posts everything from reviews, to book snippets, to rankings. Yet, you rarely see anything personal about this author. If I didn’t know her, I’d have no idea who she is. Still … it seems to be working for her as she continuously hits best seller lists.

Let’s take a look at the different methods of promotion.

Promoting the Author

My publisher swears this will work. Yet, just exactly WHAT should you tell the reader?

008For instance, do they need to know I was married for 27 years but am now divorced? I’m going to talk about my five wonderful grandchildren, whether they want me to or not … that’s a given. How about hobbies? Will your hobby be of interest to your readers? I, for one, collect antique wooden boxes and plan to use one specific box as a link between two novellas, one historical and one contemporary.

One of my best received blog articles was called “Out of the Shoebox and Into a Book” and it dealt with where to find inspiration. The main gist of the article  featured some items I’d found in a shoebox after my mother passed away. I also did a column right after my youngest son got married … another big winner!

However, some authors (like me) feel uncomfortable talking about themselves. How much is too much? Not enough? Personally, I don’t care to hear about someone’s recent surgery. And plleeeaase, no matter what genre you write in, don’t talk about your sex life. That said, it would interest me to know that one of my favored authors just became a grandparent. Or that a younger, up-and-coming author just got married or had a baby.

Family anecdotes, especially those about the hubby, are always fun and relatively safe. Pictures of your children, grandchildren and pets go over well. Personal promo is a fine line. Just adhere to the principle that what you say will be shared and repeated … so use common sense.

Promoting the Book

Definitely an area where I’m more comfortable. There’s still an art to it all though. Again, how much is too much? Is there such a thing as “overdone”? Definitely. I’ve had a number of friends and acquaintances say they’ve “unfollowed” authors because they were sick of seeing their promo for the same book over and over again. Yes, it’s great to promote a book but a good rule of thumb is one post per day per media site. And, if you’re lucky enough to have more than one book to promote, alternate between them.

lawman_500Any time you can post a cover you are going to attract more people to the promo. One of my historical novels (written with friend Patti Shenberger) won a cover award recently. I chose to gear my promo to the cover win, rather than the book itself and sales went up every day for the week afterward. If you have a blog, creating a preview day is a great way to attract new readers. Give them at least one entire chapter, if possible, so they’ll read enough that they have to know the ending. Just be careful when posting. Some publishers do not allow more than a certain number of words to be used in promos.

Link your promo to a theme, if possible. One of my Golden Decade of Rock and Roll novellas is based on a song title that turns 50 this year. You can bet, on the anniversary if the song’s release, I will be promoting the heck out of it. Also, my publisher is releasing my 2013 holiday novella from their Christmas anthology as a stand-alone for a Christmas in July promo. I plan to hold a Rafflecopter draw to give away handmade ornaments and other holiday goodies.

Blog tours were once the rage but, quite frankly, I think they’ve seen their heyday. There are some really great blog tour companies out there and also some real duds … and I’ve worked with both. I did one tour for my last R&R novella and noticed that one particular reader followed me to every site, entered the Rafflecopter draw each time and commented (which was usually part of the Rafflecopter requirement). I was excited. I thought I had a stalker! At the very last stop (there were 15), she commented that she really hoped she won something because she’d been furiously filling these things out to win the top prize of an Amazon gift card. She also said if she won the third place prize (a copy of the first 4 books in the series), to draw another name because she really didn’t read romance. Excuse me? I mentioned the post to a friend who informed me that it happens all the time on her tours … and rarely do the over-posters ever actually buy the book. After that, I swore I’d never pay for another blog tour out of my own pocket. It’s just not worth it.

No matter what your method of promoting your book, I think we’ve all become pretty adept at these two different approaches. It’s now a matter of making sure we’re not scaring readers away with overkill.

A Fresh Idea: Group Promotion

Group promotion is relatively new. A number of publishing houses are now doing Facebook parties and featuring all the books and authors from a specific line. The concept is great, as long as every book in the group gets a fair shake. It’s nice that readers will come to the party because of one author and meet a handful of new-to-them authors at the same time. Author groups are also a great way to self-promote. They tweet for you, post snippets to Facebook, and follow your blog. They’re also a great sounding board for questions, problems and offer a cyber-shoulder to cry on when you get a rejection.

Cookbook coverAn author from one such group recently recruited 30+ authors to take part in a cookbook. The prerequisite for submission was that the food item had to be mentioned in your book. Along with the recipe, we provided a 2-3 sentence blurb from the book that mentioned the food item. The story you were featuring was then linked to its Amazon page. The cookbook was then formatted and is now available from Amazon for the bargain price of 99 cents!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K08SI3S/

Whether you choose to go it alone, or to work as a group, any promo you get from another author is priceless. Reciprocation is a must, especially when it comes to media sharing and, if asked, book blurbs.

Until next time, writers keep writing and readers keep reading. You are why we do what we do!

Nancy

Searching For Discipline … One Downshift At a Time

I’ve been lax … unprepared … and it irks me.

I’m knee deep in edits on three different contracted books and it’s a struggle to find that extra scene, that tweak that my editor is requesting. I blame it on retirement. There are a number of other things I could blame it on, but I choose ‘retirement’.

Prior to December, I worked a 40 hour week, came home and plunked myself in the chair and wrote … producing six brand new novels/novellas last year, four of which were published in rapid succession in October, November and December.

ScandalousHoliday_500pxFirst, it was my novella, Erin’s Gift, part of Entangled’s “A Very Scandalous Holiday” anthology.

AprilLove_w8079_750Then, at the end of October, April Love, the fourth installment in my Golden Decade of Rock and Roll series from the Wild Rose Press was released.

lawman_500In November, writing partner Patti Shenberger and I released The Lawman’s Agreement, the second book of the McCade Legacy series from Entangled Scandalous.

12 Pushing the LimitsAnd, finally, at the end of December, my contemporary novella, Pushing Limits, was released from Entangled’s Flirt line.

I was riding on a cloud of sheer professional adrenaline. Then, I retired! And, all of sudden, I had time to write … just not the discipline. “You have all day,” my nasty muse would say. “Have another cup of coffee, organize your office, spend the morning with your grandchildren.

Mind you, I did have a few legitimate interruptions, e.g., two weeks with my handsome grandson William while mom recuperated from surgery; acting as executor for my late cousin’s estate; and … worst of all … struggling with the impending loss of a good friend. While all of these interruptions were time consuming, they didn’t take up any more than my previous job required, so why couldn’t I get motivated?

I recently saw a social media post about retirement and how the first few months are like driving a finely tuned sports car. Sure, you can go from zero to sixty in a few seconds, but when it’s time to slow down and readjust your course, you have to down shift. And then, it hit me … I’d not taken the time to decompress, to down-shift. I’d gone from working full time, to the holidays, to the death of my cousin/estate issues, to babysitting and to worrying about my friend.

Having finally realized what my problem was, I needed a way to fix it. So, I took a four-day weekend to unwind. I escaped from my computer, my edits, even my family. I returned home rested, my head semi-clear and began with a “to do” list. First, I made a calendar with those tasks that were a must (e.g., those edits). Then, I added luxury items (e.g., updating this long neglected blog, sending out tweets about my books). Finally, I tempted myself with a new project. I’ve set out certain hours during the day for writing, media, family, healthy pursuits (e.g., the gym), and downtime (e.g., vegging in front of the t.v.).

My quest for discipline is just beginning. I’m not accustom to having “free time” and it’s playing havoc with my head. Still, once I’ve got a steady rhythm going, I’m certain success and (hopefully) many more books will prevail.

I’d love to hear how other writers organize their day. If you have a handy tip for me, and for other writers, please share in the comments tab at the top of my blog. Until the next time “update blog” appears on my schedule, writers keep writing. Readers keep reading … you are why we write!

Nancy

 

 

What’s Old Is New Again … March 23rd

This Sunday, Notes From a Romantic’s Heart is featuring two guest authors and their “Oldies But Goodies”!

First up, is Alicia Dean’s Death Notice. Originally published in 2011, it was re-issued recently through Amazon Digital.

DeathNotice-800x1200A killer has something to say—and he’s using her obituary column to get his point across…

When columnist Monroe Donovan receives an obituary notice with a date of death two days in the future, she dismisses it as a typo. Then, a second incorrect obituary comes in, and a woman whose name matches the name of the deceased is murdered—on the date listed in the obituary. Now, Monroe realizes that something much more sinister is happening. A serial killer is trying to communicate with her.

She turns to Detective Lane Brody for help, but her attraction to him is complicating her already complicated life. And when the killer turns out to have a disturbing connection to Monroe, complications turn deadly.

(WARNING: Explicit language and graphic violence)

Fun Fact: In Death Notice, I mention an antique cowboy desk in my heroine’s house, and I state that she bought it from a man in Miami, Oklahoma who refurbishes antiques. it’s a nod to my brother-in-law, Tom Zimmerman, who actually lives in Miami and refurbishes antiques. :)

Buy Linkhttp://www.amazon.com/Death-Notice-Northland-Crime-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B0059VTKHE/

Next, is author Heather McCollum’s 2010 release, Prophecy (Book 1 of The Dragonfly Chronicles).

Prophecy_W3983Serena Faw must shut out the barrage of thoughts from everyone around her. Her telepathic powers reveal the darkness and true intentions behind every false smile. When her adopted brother is accused of murder, the only man who can help her is the one person she cannot read. Can she trust him with the life of her brother? Can she trust him with her heart? Keenan Maclean is the younger brother to the new chief of the Macleans. A dark prophecy shadows him. One brother will live wed to a witch and one will die. Keenan is raised to defend his clan and die. Serena and Keenan hunt a loyalist murderer before the Battle of Culloden and fall in love despite the prophecy’s warning that she heralds his death.

Fun Fact: In high school I lived in an old plantation house in Virginia that was built before the Civil War and was used as a hospital for soldiers during it. We realized pretty quickly after moving in that the place was haunted. For five years the ghosts played little jokes on us, moving objects when we were out of the room, winding up my music box, slamming doors in my boyfriend’s face (he deserved it!), and driving our five dogs crazy. Once we refurbished the house and I left for college, my dad said that they seemed to have moved on.
It was a wonderful experience for a young writer with a keen imagination. I do plan to write a haunted house book one day and my ghosts will star in it. They opened up the world of magic for me, and I will be forever thankful. If you’d like to see a picture of the house after it was refurbished, I used it as the first picture in the book trailer for my upcoming YA paranormal romance, Siren’s Song.SS Book Trailer

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Prophecy-Heather-McCollum/dp/1601547234/

Finally, since all good things come in threes … the second novella in my own Golden Decade of Rock and Roll series. Love Me Tender was originally published by The Wild Rose Press in 2010.

LoveMeTender_w3095_300Celebrated criminal attorney, Sydney Thomas, has her hands full with other people’s problems. The last thing she needs is to fall for another attorney at the law firm where she’s just been named partner. But she can’t help being attracted to the brilliant and handsome, albeit younger, Aaron Baker.

When the two are assigned to work together on a case involving a famous singer, the late night research and strategy sessions soon lead to romance. Can this be love? Or is it just a May/December fling?

Fun Fact: Because I’m “old” — a granny of five, I’ve had a number of life experiences. I actually keep a database of every job I’ve had, every weird occurrence, every embarrassing moment and even a list of stories from my family. Needless to say, I have an endless stream of material.

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Tender-Golden-Rock-Roll-ebook/dp/B003552TLA/

That’s it for this week. Please join us again on March 30th, for a look back as some other previously-published gems. Until then, happy writing. Or, better yet, happy reading!

Nancy

 

What’s Old Is New Again … March 9th

This week’s posting features books by authors, Cynthia D’Alba and Patricia Kiyono and, because I like to feature three older books, I’ve added one of my own.

First up is Cynthia’s sexy western, Texas Two Step, originally released in February, 2012 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.:

TexasTwoStep72webTheir love never died, but her secrets could break his trust beyond repair.Texas Montgomery Mavericks, Book 1

After six years and too much self-recrimination, rancher Mitch Landry is ready to admit he was wrong. He’d loved Olivia Montgomery but commitment wasn’t high on his list back then. That was his first mistake. He’s just divorced his second, and he’s set to do whatever it takes to convince Olivia to give him another try.
Through hard work, determination and more than a few tears, Olivia survived the break-up with Mitch. She’s rebuilt her life around her business and the son she loves more than life itself. She’s not proud of the mistakes she’s made–particularly the secrets she’s kept–but when life hands you manure, you use it to make something better of yourself…lest you get stuck in it.
At a hot, muggy Dallas wedding, they reconnect. Olivia’s first instinct is to play it cool, but after one devastating kiss things flare out of control, real fast. Maybe a quick roll in the hay will get him out of her system once and for all. Funny thing about hay though, once it’s tangled in your hair, getting it out risks revealing things that were never meant to see the light of day.
Fun Fact: Contains hot sex, a vindictive ex-wife, and hot chocolate chip cookies.
Next, Patricia’s very romantic, The Samurai’s Garden, a November 2012 release from Astraea Press:
IMG_2468Hiro Tanaka prepared for a life as a samurai warrior. But his world changed when Japan’s new emperor abolished the feudal system. Now, he must find a new vocation. He travels alone, going north to the island of Hokkaido, and becoming one of the masterless samurai known as ronin. Unfortunately, some ronin have forsaken their honorable way to prey on the less fortunate.

Hanako Shimizu experienced first-hand the devastation caused by these disreputable wanderers. The previous winter, they raided her farm and killed her husband. Now, she needs to rebuild but has no money and no prospects — except for the dubious intentions of the town merchant.

When Hiro encounters Hanako in the market, arguing with the merchant, he poses as her late husband’s cousin then offers to help her on the farm in exchange for a place to stay. Working on the land, he finally finds the peace he has been seeking. But the reappearance of the rogue ronin, led by an unscrupulous leader from Hiro’s past, forces him to take up his swords again. But now, the stakes are higher.

This time, he’s fighting from the heart.

Inspiration for the book: One day when my mother shared with my daughters and me the story of her courtship with my father, she mentioned that when they decided to get married, her family investigated his family history. Though Dad was an American citizen, his ancestors came from Japan. The investigators discovered he had descended from a family of a shogun! That got me thinking…what did these warriors do once the samurai age ended? How did they figure out what to do with their lives? And so I started writing.

Buy Linkhttp://www.amazon.com/Samurais-Garden-Patricia-Kiyono-ebook/dp/B00A2ZGHL4/

And, finally, the very beginning of my Golden Decade of Rock and Roll series, Love Is A Many Splendored Thing, released in 2008 from The Wild Rose Press:

LoveIsAManySplendoredThing_w1747_300At a friend’s wedding, Marnie Shelton encounters Air Force Major Edward Louden, a man she originally met three years earlier when he’d come to her door to tell her that her husband had been killed while serving in Korea.  Since that fateful day, Marnie has turned her life around by attending college and earning a business degree all while caring for her two young children.  The last thing on her busy agenda is to become involved with a man, especially one in the military.

Ed has other ideas.  Surely this beautiful, confident woman can’t be the same young girl he’d met just three years earlier.  Despite Marnie’s refusal to see him again, the persistent Major won’t take no for an answer and sets out to woo and win both mother and children.

Fun Fact: When I first saw the cover for the book the only thought that ran through my head (other than how much I loved the cover) was how much my hero looked like Larry Hagman during his “I Dream of Jeannie” days! That image has stayed with me since Day 1!

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Splendored-Thing-Nancy-Fraser-ebook/dp/B0056A2X6S/

Join us next week for three more “oldies but goodies”. Notes From a Romantic’s Heart is having a great time dusting off these previously released gems!

Nancy

 

What’s Old Is New Again … February 16, 2014

This Sunday’s edition of “What’s Old Is New Again” features three very talented authors and a sample of their previous titles.

First up is Holiday Affair by Annie Seaton, released in March 2012 from Entangled Publishing.

About the Book:

HolidayAffairSeatonStaid professor Lissy McIntyre believes that choosing a mate should be based on common sense, not runaway passion. And she would certainly never pick a rolling stone like Nick Richards for long-term love. But a red-hot, tropical romance? Oh, yeah. He’s got a body just made for sinning and his sizzling kisses leave her senseless. When Nick blows into town, he’s stunned to discover that his no-nonsense new neighbor and co-worker is the same sultry creature he seduced for one night of forbidden island pleasure. He’s unaccustomed to staying in one place for long, but he just can’t seem to keep his hands off this tempting woman. Will Nick break loyal Lissy’s heart or will she be the one woman he simply can’t walk away from?

Link for all online retailers and an excerpt: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/holiday-affair/

Fun Fact: Annie actually lived the  first few pages of this story in person the year before she wrote Holiday Affair…the snapping of the sails, the excited chatter of the backpackers in many languages and the magnificent sunset. All she had to do was create a sexy hot hero and put him in the setting and Holiday Affair was born!

 

The second book we’re featuring comes to us from the Roman Empire, courtesy of author Christine Elaine Black. Maximus was first published by The Wild Rose Press in November 2012.

About the Book:

Maximus_w5967_750Carissa and Maximus become entangled in each other’s lives from the beginning of the story. Both have secrets they don’t intend to share but soon realize fate draws them together. Maximus is destined for Rome and a confrontation with the Emperor. Carissa is in hiding from a betrothal gone awry and itches to find out the identity of Maximus and why he is living in exile. Will the consequences of past indiscretions tear apart the fragile trust growing between them? Secrets, betrayal, love and lies wait in MAXIMUS.

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Maximus-Christine-Elaine-Black-ebook/dp/B00AEFFXNK/

Fun Fact: Christine Elaine has always loved stories about ancient Rome and Egypt. It came as no surprise that she would eventually write romantic historical fiction but it was the ongoing interest she has with Roman characters that came as a complete surprise. Her other love is medieval royalty – especially the Plantagenets and early Tudors.

Our final offering for today is Stepping Out of Line by Linda Carroll-Bradd, published in March of 2010 as part of the Wayback Texas series from The Wild Rose Press.

About the Book:

SteppingoutofLine_medTwo years ago Roxie Starr left behind the life she’d had for ten years as a Vegas showgirl and returned to her hometown of Wayback, Texas to open a styling salon. She claims she’s there to help her mama with her rebellious younger sister. The plain truth is age was catching up to her body and the time had come to step out of the chorus line.

Fighting against a nagging injury inflicted by a bucking stallion, Dev Laredo is determined to finish one last rodeo. He won’t return to his Oklahoma ranch until he’s won enough to cover his brother’s college tuition. One dance with a sassy redhead sparks his interest, but her tender ministrations to his injury touch his lonely heart. Can two bruised souls put aside their differences and give love a fighting chance?

Buy Linkhttp://bit.ly/ZenHAx

Fun Fact: Linda and author-friend, MJ Frederick, were rodeo virgins when they attended a PRCA event at the San Antonio Rodeo to do first-hand research. An exciting and noisy way to spend an evening, they couldn’t believe how fast eight seconds really is.

Notes From A Romantic’s Heart looks forward to featuring more talented authors and books from their past in the coming months. I hope you will join us to dust off those book jackets and bring these great stories back to life!

Nancy

 

What’s Old Is New Again … Dusting Off Older Titles

Notes From A Romantic’s Heart is beginning a new bi-monthly feature: “What’s Old Is New Again“. The purpose of the feature will be to showcase some of my favorite authors’ earlier works. The only pre-requisite for inclusion will be the fact that the book must currently be available for order through an online retailer (whether it be directly from the publisher or through a third party).

Since I’ve not asked for submissions from my friends/fellow authors as yet, today I will feature three books of my own choosing. The first is probably my all-time favorite romance novel from the mega-talented Elizabeth Lowell (aka Ann Maxwell). Originally issued through Silhouette Intimate Moments, it has recently been re-released as an e-book. Chain Lightning is what I would consider the very best of romantic fiction and I’ve read it dozens of times. It is one of those books that is so perfect it makes you WANT to be a writer.

Chain LightingAbout the Book:

Because of a tragedy Mandy Blythe barely survived, she is terrified of flying and of water. When she is tricked into bidding on a man at a charity bachelor auction, she has no idea that she is about to confront her deepest fears.

Damon Sutter has been cornered into offering himself at his aunt’s charity auction. His reward would be his first vacation in years. Never guessing he would be spending three weeks with his aunt’s sexy assistant, he chose three weeks of diving on a distant, tiny coral island on the Great Barrier Reef.

It was Mandy’s worst nightmare come true. Yet Damon was also her secret dream. Now all she had to do was survive…and risk love.

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AP5YR18/

The second book I’d like to feature is an inspirational romance by my friend and former critique partner, Marianne Evans. Devotion has garnered numerous accolades, including the prestigious Bookseller’s Best Award in 2013.

Devotion2About the Book:

From This Day Forward. Christian Music agent Kellen Rossiter has everything he ever wanted: A-list clients from coast to coast, a loving wife who honors and respects him, and a faith life that’s never wavered—until now.

Juliet Rossiter has the perfect life: a rewarding schedule serving the underprivileged, a husband who loves her as Christ loved the church, and a blessed future as a mother—at least that’s what she thinks.

For Better or Worse. But what happens when their rock-solid marriage begins to crumble under the weight of an unexpected and powerful temptation? How does love survive when its foundation is shaken?

‘Til Death Do Us Part. When human frailty and the allure of sin deal a harsh blow to their relationship, it will take more than love to mend the shattered trust and heartbreak. It will take a lifetime of devotion.

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Devotion-Marianne-Evans-ebook/dp/B009M7TCLU/

And, finally, what kind of an author would I be if I didn’t include one of my own earlier titles. Time and Again, a futuristic time-travel,  is one of my personal favorites (although don’t tell any of my other books, please).

TimeAndAgain_WRP_1490_680About the Book: When reporter, Kate Brogan, and her ex-husband vice cop, Matthew Kelley, both end up investigating local psychic Olga Limas, Kate realizes the fluff piece of journalism she’d anticipated might just turn into something more.

Out to debunk the woman’s claim of being able to guide séance participants into the future, both Kate’s and Matt’s skepticism is put to the test when they find themselves transported to 2057.

Certain the only one they can truly trust is each other, they form an alliance that quickly stirs more intimate and loving memories. Just as they are about to be shown the way home, a presidential assassination puts their lives, and their chances for a “happily ever after,” in jeopardy.

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Time-Again-Nancy-Fraser-ebook/dp/B0028Y4OF8/

Please check back for more of these older gems from some of my (and no doubt your) favorite authors. Until then, writers please keep writing. Readers, please keep reading. You are the reason we tempt our sanity and work so hard to entertain!

Nancy

 

Diane Burton Guests Today

My guest today is author Diane Burton. Please join me in welcoming Diane to Notes From A Romantic’s Heart.

NFaRH: If we asked your best friend to list three of your most prevalent traits/habits, good or bad, what would they be?

Diane: Loyalty (I hope), OCD (I thought I was just a nit-picker), and Always on time (for lunch or deadlines)

NFaRH: If you could morph into one of the characters in your book, who would it be and why?

 Diane: Daria. I understand her desire to make a change in her life. I did it a few years earlier than she did. LOL But, as the hero says, sometimes she has more guts than sense. I’d like to think I would help a wounded man. Instead, I’d probably call 911 and beat it out of there.

NFaRH: If you could either time travel or possess supernatural powers, which would you choose? If you choose time travel, when and where would you go? If you choose a supernatural power which would it be and why?

Diane: Time Travel to the future, when space travel is commonplace. I would love to visit alien planets, but I’d hope the aliens looked like us instead of giants bugs or lizards.

NFaRH: What do you find to be the most challenging obstacle in writing a novel and how do you overcome it?

Diane: Getting stuck. I know where the story is supposed to go. It’s just how to get there is the obstacle. How do I overcome it? I procrastinate. LOL I play a lot of computer solitaire or mah jong. Somehow playing mindless games lets my imagination rest. Then I have to mentally kick myself to stop playing and return to writing.

NFaRH: What is the most important thing about your book that you want readers to take away from this interview?

Diane: That they’ve been on a fun adventure.

NFaRH: Tell us in fifty words or less why you wrote this book:

DianeOne Red Shoe started as a writing exercise at a Mid-Michigan RWA meeting. The facilitator threw out an idea (someone running toward you at a train station). First thought: the man running toward her wore one red shoe. The scene took place in a NYC subway and the red was blood.

NFaRH: What’s next on your writing horizon?

Diane: I’m finishing the second book in my sci-fi romance Outer Rim series, about a woman who is not what she seems. The Chameleon will be released in the spring.

perf5.000x8.000.inddWannabe writer rescues wounded spy while risking her heart.

Daria Mason’s life is too predictable. Nothing ever happens in her small Iowa town where everybody knows everybody else. But when she travels to New York City looking for a little excitement, she never expects to bring home a wounded spy.

From the moment agent Sam Jozwiak steals intel vital to US security from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist.

Sam and Daria flee cross country with the assassins right behind them. Sharing danger and excitement—and a few kisses—with Sam soon has Daria convinced he’s the man for her. He thinks she’ll be better off once he’s out of her life for good. With their lives on the line, can she convince him they belong together?

 

Excerpt from One Red Shoe:

For the second time in her life, Daria Mason came face-to-face with a man pointing a weapon at her. A pervert, with unzipped jeans, wielded a green box knife. Because she’d raced into the restroom without checking out the situation, he now stood between her and the exit.

She was at the end of the proverbial rope. After walking in circles, she finally found a restroom and nobody was stopping her from using it. Especially not someone playing copycat with that guy in the movie who wore one red shoe.

“I am having a really bad day,” she declared in the don’t cross me voice she used on her brothers. As soon as her words echoed off the hideous pink and black tiled walls and floor, she lowered her voice. “You are in the wrong place, mister. Now zip up and get out.” She pointed straight-armed toward the door.

The man shook his head and set the flimsy knife on the counter. “Lady, you have more guts than sense. You are in the wrong place, at the wrong time.” His voice was even softer as hers. He eyed her with a look so dark and intense it paralyzed her like a hawk froze its prey.

 Buy Links:

The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=1082

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00FDXRHZA

And wherever ebooks are sold.

About the author:

Diane BurtonDiane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched series, she is the author of The Pilot, the first book in a series about strong women on the frontier of space. One Red Shoe is her first romantic suspense. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

Connect with Diane Burton online

Blog:  http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/dmburton72

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/dianeburtonauthor

Goodreads: Diane Burton Author

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/dmburton72/

Rafflecopter Draw:

Diane Burton is giving away a $20 eGift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Just follow the Rafflecopter instructions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you, Diane, for being my guest today. I look forward to the next book in this series.

Nancy

 

Welcome 2014 … Writer Seeks Serenity !!!

God grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

~~~Reinhold Niebuhr

The beginning of Niebuhr’s serenity prayer is probably one of the most recognized and shared passages in all the world, and one of the most beautiful at that. As an author, I understand the power of the written word … the impact it can have, good and bad, on a reader. And, while I don’t liken the romances I write to something as profound as The Serenity Prayer, I do love to hear a reader say, “I got lost in the story”, “I put my feet up with a cup of coffee and just relaxed”, and “I loved this book!” – while neither accolade is life affirming by any means, they are still my contribution to an over-worked mother’s few moments of peace and quiet, or a reader’s search for a Happily Ever After! And, heaven knows, we need as many of those as we can get.

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted to my blog, not by intention but by necessity. I’d planned out a really nice Christmas Eve blog about giving and receiving presents (filled with a bit of shameless self-promo), a New Years Eve blog about setting goals. Then, when I least expected it, life intervened and altered my plans, encroached on my serenity. My elderly cousin passed away. He and I were the last two immediate family members on my mother’s side.

So, just five days short of the holiday, my two wonderful sons and I set out on a 1300 mile drive from Atlantic Canada to Dearborn Heights, Michigan, so that I could ‘accept that thing I couldn’t change’ … my responsibility to my family. The weather predictions should have slowed us down but, by some twist of fate, we stayed 100 miles ahead of the storms, made excellent time and arrived safe and sound. Following a small funeral (the numbers dwindle as we grow older), I attended to the business of being my cousin’s trustee … doing what I could just before the holiday and making plans to return to Michigan in a few weeks to complete other tasks required of me.

The evening of  the 23rd, we reversed course and set out for home, hopeful we’d make it in time for my sons to be with their families and me to be with my grandchildren for Christmas. Again, the weather stations warned of ice storms, blowing snow and bad roads. And, again, we managed to beat the odds. At ten-thirty on Christmas Eve, we arrived home. It was a bittersweet holiday, given where we’d just been, but a joyous one in the fact that we were all together.

When I turned on my computer the evening of the 25th, the first thing staring at me was a reminder that my project calendar needed updating … my carefully executed “writer’s guide to writing everything” as I like to call it! I’d missed two self-imposed deadlines and was sorely unprepared for the next one. As I sat there staring at the missed deadlines, the black hole in my per-day word count, I realized one very simple thing: the words will wait! The muse has accepted that serenity comes and goes and is willing to wait while life haphazardly throws obstacles in its way!

On December 30th, I saw the release of my first contemporary romance in a number of years. While I’ve not got a huge contemporary reader fan base (since my efforts for the past few years have all been historical), I’m hoping Pushing the Limits will garner me some new fans while I continue down the contemporary path for another four books during the coming year. Here’s a bit about the book:

12 Pushing the LimitsWhen a case of mistaken identity puts Cade Tucker in the wrong place at the right time, he can’t believe his luck. Drawn to the beautiful Julia McCormack, he flirts his way into her bed, and they welcome the New Year together.

 Though they agreed their time together was no-strings-attached, first name basis only, Julia’s having a hard time letting go of the best sex she ever had. She dives into work at her corporate law firm, hoping to get her mind off the man who rocked her world. Then, Julia finds out the senior partner has appointed a new attorney to work with her on her biggest case, and her co-counsel will be Cade Tucker. Her plans to make partner are in serious jeopardy when she and Cade disagree on the best legal strategy for their case, but what will happen when they can no longer fight their desire, and the company’s strict non-fraternization policy threatens both of their careers.

The first two chapters and all buy links can be found here: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/pushing-the-limits/

Oh, and did I mention … it’s on sale for 99 cents for a limited time!

I’m also in the middle of a blog tour for the book. The stops are as follows:

January 3 Spotlight: Ramblings of a Book Lunatic http://booklunaticramblings.blogspot.com

January 3 Spotlight: The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom www.creativelygreen.blogspot.com

January 7 Author Interview: Manga Maniac Café  http://www.mangamaniaccafe.com/

January 7 Spotlight: Sapphyria’s Steamy Books saphssteamybooks.blogspot.com

There is a Rafflecopter draw for an online book retailer gift card and you can enter at each stop for more chances to win!

I will be back next week with more news on upcoming releases. Until then, the writers out there should keep writing (and planning), and the readers … please keep reading! You are why we do what we do.

Nancy