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Peggy Jaeger: Big Families, Big Laughs
Friday, February 12th, 2016

My parents divorced before I can claim any memories and both remarried quickly thereafter.  In both remarriages, I remained an only child, hated it every single day, and wished for siblings my entire childhood.  And even for some of my adulthood!

I used to day dream what having older brothers who would protect me from school bullies, and older sisters who would share the secrets of the sisterhood with me, would be like. My imagination ran rampant with how we would play, and learn from one another. How we would take care of each other, no matter what. How we would never allow anyone to hurt us, and would always be protective of one another, no matter what, or who, tried to come between us. I envisioned us all as adults, still emotionally and geographically close to one another, and with our own spouses and children as close as close could be.

As a child I wrote stories about families where the siblings were supportive, loving and protective – just what I wanted. When I grew to a writing adult, I wrote families exactly the same way, but began to add layers to the dynamics of the family structure. Now, as a writer of romantic fiction, the families I construct are part of the framework I feel make for the best storylines: loud, loyal, and hilarious. Their individual personalities feed off of, and nourish, one another.

The San Valentino family in my new release 3 WISHES ( A Candy Hearts Romance) has all of those characteristics, plus several more. This is a large, raucous, fighting and loving Italian family whom, my main character Chloe, describes this way: “Drama sticks to my family like fleas to feral cats.”

Truth.

Three generations live under the same roof, from 93-year-old matriarch Nonna Constanza, to her daughter Francesa and husband Joey, and their youngest child, who is one of 6. Weekly family dinners with all six children, their spouses and their own children are the norm in the San Valentino household. The dinner conversation is boisterous and opinionated, the food home cooked and delicious. Even though they all argue with one another, each member of this family would gladly and willingly lay down their life for another member. And they all know it.

If I could have wished a family for myself growing up, it would be this one. The San Valentino’s fight hard, work even harder, and love unconditionally. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a family such as this?

3 Wishes

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Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

Buy links: Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

Excerpt from 3 Wishes

At about five minutes of ten I was almost ready to turn the Closed sign on the door when it opened. I heard Janie’s breath hitch and turned from where I was sweeping up. Staying open late is always a risk, with the thought thieves will invade at the end of the day.

If the guy standing at the door glancing around the shop was a thief, then Dio mio, I wanted to be robbed.

About six foot, his hair was the color of a deer’s pelt, with autumnal golds and browns shot together in a glorious patchwork that grazed the collar of his jacket and curled a little at the ends. He wore a faded brown bomber jacket over a shirt I couldn’t see, but he had shoulders almost as wide as my doorway. A pair of well-worn jeans covered his mile long legs, and the fabric on the stress points at his knees was practically white.

“We’re about to close,” I heard myself say. “Can I help you?”

It was at that moment he looked over at me.

His face could have been sculpted by Da Vinci or Michelangelo. A broad, smooth, forehead housed naturally arched eyebrows I knew some of my gay guy friends would have paid a fortune to have on their own faces. His cheeks were carved from marble, high, smooth and deep. And his mouth, mother-of-God, his mouth. Full, thick beautiful lips sat perfectly over a chin with a dent you could shove a button into and have it stay put.

“Sorry,” he said, those fabulous lips pulling up a little shyly at the corners. “I got stuck at work and couldn’t get here until now. I’ll be quick. Promise.”

So here’s the thing: the guy was gorgeous. But even if he’d looked like a frog with raw antipasto smothering his face, I would have dropped to my knees when he opened his mouth. Warm honey, a shot of raw whiskey, and a little hot puff of smoke wafted from his mouth like a fine and rare brandy being decanted.

About the Author

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Her current titles, available now, include SKATER’S WALTZ, THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, FIRST IMPRESSIONS, and THE VOICES OF ANGELS books 1 through 4 in her 6-book The MacQuire Women Series, published by The Wild Rose Press.

Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Website/Blog: http://peggyjaeger.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072?ref=bookmarks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/peggyjaeger/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger
Instagram: https://instagram.com/mmj122687/

Snails and me…
Thursday, February 11th, 2016

“By perseverance, the snail reached the ark.”
~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

I have an affinity for snails. Not because I love escargot, although that dish is delicious! (I know that’s an automatic ew for some of you!) My family thinks it’s because the only joke I can remember involves a snail. They think that’s hysterically funny—not the joke, because it really is kind of lame—but the fact it really is the only joke I’ve ever told. They give me snail gifts because they make me smile. Here are a few…

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Spurgeon’s quote really does sum up why I love the snail. He’s kind of gross with his slick, wet body and as slow as molasses pouring. But he gets there. Ever keep an aquarium and watch snails slide along the glass? They are constantly moving.

Sometimes, I’m the snail. I plod along, but manage to get tons done, because I’m constantly in motion. Last week, I wrapped up a short story and published it. Finished a novella and shipped it to my editor. This week, I expanded another short story (you should see it tomorrow!), and now, I’m working my way through revisions of a story I wrote a long time ago, so I can publish it next week (Love space pirates?!). To mangle a “W” quote, I get ‘er done.

Some writers are flashy and quick. I admire their speed. Envy it. Sometimes, I wish I could tack a turbo drive to my butt to get it into gear. But I am what I am—a snail…

So, are you flashy or a snail?

And here’s my lame snail joke…

What does the snail say as it rides the turtle’s back?

Whee!

Teresa Noelle Roberts: Cougars and Cubs — The Allure of a Younger Man
Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

I’m what the French tactfully call a woman of a certain age. I like to think of it as old enough to know better, but devil-may-care enough to do it anyway, while wearing a little black dress too sophisticated for twenty-somethings. (Realistically my life is more “wearing pajamas and petting a cat as I write about women who have adventures that involve little black dresses and sexy lapses of common sense.” Occupational hazard of being a writer. But you get the idea.)

In my real life, the same one in which I rock those fur-covered fleece PJs, I’m married to a wonderful man a few years my senior. We’re happy, romantic, and still passionate after all these years. I wouldn’t trade my silver fox for the world.

But I read a lot of books with heroes young enough to be my son, and I’m not ashamed of it. Younger men are pretty.

This is what the hero of Drive looks like. See what I mean?

tnrNeil Callahan

Our favorite romance heroes have broad shoulders, abs of steel and a full head of hair, unless a particular hero’s head is shaved in a sexy tough-guy way because he’s a mercenary or an MMA fighter. We want a hero who’s young enough to have all the passion and erotic energy of youth, but mature enough to know what to do with it. A hero who can still get away with being wild. One who can sweep us off our feet, not just metaphorically but literally. (Full disclosure: my husband can still do this. I am a lucky, lucky romance writer.)

The only problem with these hunky young heroes, in my opinion, is they’re almost always paired up with women their age or even younger. Is this fair for some of us who’d enjoy a good cougar fantasy? Obviously not!

You could argue this is a touch of realism. It’s easier to find common ground with someone close to your age. You share experiences, pop culture references, in-jokes that someone much younger or older might not catch. It’s more likely you’ll agree on whether special occasions should be spent out dancing until dawn or having a lovely gourmet dinner, whether Friday drinks means savoring a high-end cocktail or splitting a couple of sixes of inexpensive beer, whether your winter vacation is back-country skiing or a resort on St. Thomas.

That’s all true, but the common romance trope of the slightly or even much older hero owes more to the societal rule that says it’s all right for men to date much younger women, but a little suspect for middle-aged women to go for younger guys. Older guys have power. Older women just have wrinkles. Right? (Insert disgusted snort here.) Luckily, women are slowly grasping more power and more control over their own destinies—and expanding their dating options as a result. If this meme is to be believed (I didn’t fact-check it), some well-known female stars are cougars, involved with significantly younger men.

tnrcougar and cub meme

It’s easier to be unconventional when you’re rich, famous, powerful in your field and not worried if the PTA, your boss or the ex-husband with whom you share custody is going to freak out. But if Madonna can do it, the rest of us can at least enjoy the fantasy of a hot younger hero to rock our worlds and shake us out of our middle-aged ruts.

That’s why I wrote Drive, the start of the Cougars, Cars and Kink series: to acknowledge that while we may savor powerful billionaires and worldly dukes as book boyfriends, we also enjoy delicious boy-toys who turn out to be something more. In my rich fantasy world, younger men are eager to learn what turns you on and what fun you can have together. They’re not so set in their ways they can’t adjust to yours with grace. Even a Dominant younger man may admit you know more than he does … outside the bedroom, where it’s a kick to let his gorgeous young body and dirty mind take charge. And if you fancy the submissive sort in the bedroom, think what fun you’ll have showing him the benefit of your greater experience and wisdom!

If you’re forty-five and just reentering the dating world, like my heroine Suzanne, you might want someone adventurous, someone who’ll help you make up for lost time, someone who doesn’t have quite as many emotional scars as a single guy your own age is likely to sport. And if you’re just starting to explore your own long-stifled kinky fantasies, you might want someone who came of age in a time when information and BDSM groups were just a few clicks away on the Internet, someone who knows what they’re doing and looks good in the leather pants. Neil, Suzanne’s hero, is thirty to her forty-five. He’s a Boston cop, not a naïve man-boy, but someone who knows just how rough the world can be. Still he has a young man’s energy, idealism and willingness to go for what he wants.

And what he wants is a woman who’s not sure she should be quite this interested in a younger man.

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He’s a kinky dream come true—and her only protection from danger.

Eight months after her (cheating, almost-ex) husband’s death, Suzanne Mayhew has a plan to move on with her life. First step: sell off Frank’s classic cars, starting with the red vintage Mustang convertible he never let her drive. Second step: get her unexplored kink on with a delicious younger man.

Preferably the one an old friend sends around, ostensibly to check out the Mustang. Neil Callahan—Boston cop, Dom, fifteen years her junior.

Neil feels the mutual sizzle, but if the blush staining her cheeks is any indication, her flirting skills are a little rusty. Though his instinct tells him to take things slow with the recent widow, he can’t resist inviting her along for a test drive—for the whole weekend.

Throwing caution to the wind, Suzanne takes him up on it. But they’re barely out of the driveway when Neil’s cop instincts kick in. They’ve got a tail…and it looks dangerously like her ex’s secrets looming large—and deadly—in their rear-view mirror.

Warning: Spies, lies and vile bad guys. A meddling BFF. Inappropriate use of kitchen tools. Completely appropriate use of rope and floggers. Your mileage may vary, depending on battery life.

Samhain / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble /Kobo / iTunes/iBooks /Google Play /All Romance Ebooks

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Elizabeth Andrews: Reading for Fun (Contest!)
Monday, February 8th, 2016

Hi, all!  I’m happy to be back and want to thank Delilah for letting me come play in her space again.  It’s always fun when I visit here.

I’ve been a romance reader since I was in my early teens, thanks to my mom’s stash, and a reader since I was little.  My mom would cart us to the public library once a week, and I would spend ages hunting for just the right book to check out—we were only allowed one a week, and a week is a long time to only have one book to read, isn’t it?  In elementary school, I read everything the librarian had deemed appropriate for our class, and my mother told her to let me read whatever I wanted, no matter what grade.  When I hit junior high, I started working in the school library one period a week, and I would go home on Fridays with a humongous stack of books—most of which would go back to the library by Monday, as I would have devoured them over the weekend.

I didn’t stick just to romance, but read anything and everything.  When the librarian ordered new books for the library, I got first dibs.  The weekend I took Gone With the Wind home, I read it twice.  I fed my reading habit later with a spot reviewing romance novels for years, and I worked at Waldenbooks and Borders for seven years.  Good-bye, paychecks!  Hello, overflowing bookshelves!  I’m sure a lot of you have similar stories.

It’s harder finding as much reading time as I would like some weeks, and I wish I could take a vacation to read.  I have more than enough books to fill a week’s reading time. When my husband pokes his head into my book room and asks if I have enough yet, I tell him I’m saving for retirement; he knows I’m not joking.  By the time this post is live, I will have added more to my cache from my trip to Maryland with friends to the Nora Roberts booksigning with a few other authors whose books I enjoy.  And on Valentine’s Day weekend, I’m taking part in a multi-author signing, so I’m sure I’ll be taking some books home from that as well.

Now to make the time to read all these gorgeous new books…

Sometimes when I do have the time to read, I find it hard to turn off the writer in my brain and enjoy the story.  I have read Linda Howard’s Death Angel more times than I can remember at this point.  At least seven, maybe more.  The first time I read it, I loved it so much, I went right back and read it again.  Anyone who knows me knows I never reread.  I can’t even keep up with my new books, so going back is not a thing for me.  So to reread right away?  That was a Really Big Deal.  And I read it again.  Then a few more times when the paperback was released.

I read it again last year, but this time, Writer Brain wouldn’t shut off and let Reader Brain enjoy the story.  No, WB was too busy studying and analyzing.  I hardly ever have that problem, and never with a book I love as much as this one.  Has this ever happened to you?  Not necessarily having a noisy Writer Brain, but just having trouble getting into a story you love, or by an author you love?

What do you do when you can’t get into a book?  Do you give up altogether?  Put it aside for another day?  Keep going anyway?  I’d love to know.  Everyone who chimes in on this within 48 hours of the post going live gets entered into a drawing (via RandomResult.com) for a free ebook copy of Hunting Medusa

About the Author

Almost as long as she’s been enjoying great books, Elizabeth Andrews has been attempting to write her own.  She found her mother’s romance stash as a teenager and was hooked.  She loves a variety of genres, mostly hot.  You can find out more about her at www.ElizabethAndrewsWrites.com

Hunting Medusa

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One murderous mission. One killer case of PMS. Who said “the curse” was a myth?

The Medusa Trilogy, Book 1

Ever since the original Medusa ticked off Athena by bragging about her beauty, her cursed daughters have been paying for that mistake. To this day, successive Medusas play cat and mouse with the descendants of Perseus, known as the Harvesters.

When Kallan Tassos tracks down the current Medusa, he expects to find a monster. Instead he finds a wary, beautiful woman, shielded by a complicated web of spells that foils his plans for a quick kill and retrieval of her protective amulet.

Andrea Rosakis expects the handsome Harvester to go for the kill. Instead, his attempt to take the amulet imprinted on her skin without harming her takes her completely by surprise. And ends with the two of them in a magical bind—together.

Though their attraction is combustible, her impending PMS (Pre Magical-Curse Syndrome) puts a real damper on any chance of a relationship. But Kallan isn’t the only Harvester tracking Andi, and they must cooperate to stay at least one step ahead of a ruthless killer before they can have any future, together or apart.

Warning: A hunter who’s fallen for the woman he’s bound to kill, a Medusa who must trust him with her life, and a magical curse only love can break.

Kelly Washington: Does Anyone Have a Penis?
Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Does anyone have a penis?

kwIMG_0037I don’t. And, as I wrote one particular book, not owning a penis was, well, sort of a problem. Owning is, of course, the operative word here. I have a husband, ergo, I “own” a penis, so it’s safe to say that I had a place to start, but it wasn’t the same thing.

But first, an explanation.

The book, untitled at the time, was a body swapping romance, aka, “Freaky Friday,” but instead of a mom and daughter swapping, it was two roommates, Keira and Dillan.

With a few caveats, I felt somewhat qualified to describe Dillan’s actions as he woke up in Keira’s body, because, after all, I wake up 100% of every morning in a woman’s body. The opposite, however, was less certain. What might go through Keira’s mind when she discovered her new anatomy?

And this was when the penis-owning men of my acquaintance got to know me a lot better.

And I got to know them a hell of a lot more than I ever anticipated.

Let’s do a roll call

My confession is this: I’ve always wanted to know what it’s like to be a man. Even for just one day — maybe one week, tops. Sure, for the most part, I’m curious about the sexual aspect of it all, and in this fantasy-filled wish of mine, I’d naturally swap into the body of a super hot guy who dripped sexual charisma. You know the type — that guy who doesn’t have to work too hard to get a girl.

I mean, let’s face it, I have zero illusions I could actually seduce a woman in the 24 hours allotted for my wish. Granted, I’ve never tried, so I don’t want to sell myself short. But still.

So, for the sake of research (for the novel, of course), the next best thing I could do was ask a lot of uncomfortable questions. And by uncomfortable, I mean where the respondent has to pause and replay the question in their head to ensure they heard you correctly. If you’re married, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

To get started, I didn’t even have to leave the house.

My first resource was Mark, my husband. It was a Saturday morning, I’m brewing coffee and getting ready to write The Scene, when I ambush him.

“Do you always wake up with a hard-on?” I asked as I poured cream into my cup. I’ll swear to you right now that I did not have an evil grin. I played this one with a straight face.

He dropped his empty cup, a guilty look on his face. “This is for the book, isn’t it?”

On any given weekend, I’m writing something, so with most of my questions, his response is generally that one, or something close.

“That, and I’ve been looking up plastic surgeons in the area. Also, just how thin is the skin of your testicles?”

He nearly choked on his tongue, muttering a, “You’re killing me, Kelly. Most mornings, yes.”

But he struggled to describe the skin of his testicles as he searched for a new coffee cup, which, ironically ended up being a Mother’s Day mug, with the word Momnicient on the side. I thought about pointing this out, but I didn’t want to push my luck.

“I’m gonna write, ‘Paper thin’ for the time being. Now, let’s discuss the roll call.”

His face was a blank stare. “The roll call?”

“Yeah, where you scratch the hell out of your genitals. It must hurt like hell, the way you get all up in there. That’s the roll call. You’re double-checking to make sure you still own all your parts.”

“Like maybe I accidentally left them at work?” he asked, a weird smirk tugging at his lips. “You just made that up, didn’t you?”

“You’re married to an author. I make up stuff all day long.” At this point, Mark left the kitchen and went into the bathroom. “You can’t duck out of this conversation,” I told him through the closed door, laughing.

“I can’t hear you. I’m too busy conducting roll call.”

Cashing in favors

I have a lot of guy friends. Growing up with brothers, and dealing with their friends, and then joining the military right out of high school, I was always a tom girl and, incidentally, felt more comfortable around men.

Sarcasm is a source of pride, and I’m rarely thinking clean thoughts, so it was a natural progression to ask a few of my closest male friends similar questions.

At work, I approached my friend Chris, who happens to be a Navy Lieutenant Commander with a wicked sense of humor.

“Wanna get coffee today?” I asked. This in itself wasn’t odd, but I wanted to use the time to ask questions. I already wrote Dillan’s scene waking up as a woman, but I wanted more authenticity with Keira waking up as a man.

It was nagging me like something fierce.

“I’ve had, like, four cups,” he said, lifting the coffee from behind his monitor to prove his point.

“Darn. I wanted to ask you about sex.”

Chris looked up sharply, one eyebrow arched suspiciously. “I’m free at two.”

At the appointed time, and with coffee between us, I spilled the beans about The Scene, and he was rather amused by this “problem” of mine.

“Okay, this is not how I imagined our conversation,” Chris said, laughing, but looking around to see if we were being overheard. “Yeah, I usually wake up with an erection, but for the most part, I have to piss like a horse, and sometimes it takes a long time.”

“Why?”

“Can’t pee with a hard-on.” For some reason, he said this like he was a sensei imparting wisdom. “What else you got?”

“What about running? Can you feel your bits jangling?”

Not everything was about the wake-up part, but I’ve always wondered about it, and in the book, Keira is an active runner. She’d instantly feel the difference if she ran while in Dillan’s body.

“Bits? You make it sound like computer parts. Maybe if I was naked,” he said with a gleam in his eye. “There’s this thing called a jock strap, Kelly. Look it up.”

Not at work, I wasn’t, but I laughed.

“Let me ask you this,” I said before we had to go back to the office, “if you woke up one morning as a woman, what’s the first thing you might notice?”

Chris seemed to think seriously about this, which worried me, but sometimes he can surprise me.

He looked between us, like maybe he was comparing our figures to help visualize his answer, and said, “I’d probably notice I was shorter and weighed less. Like, getting out of bed would look and feel different.”

That night, after work, I modified Dillan’s scene. Chris’ observation was spot on.

But it also helped me with the reverse. If Dillan felt lighter, then Keira might feel heavier and clumsy.

Confident that I had what I needed, I wrote The Scene a week later, which you will get to read in the excerpt below.

In the heat of the moment

My husband was happy to know I was reserving all sexy-time questions for him. As a woman, there are a few things, well, maybe many things, that I take for granted during sex.

One of which is thrusting.

“Doesn’t it hurt your hips?” I asked Mark as I neared the end of the book, when Keira and Dillan finally do The Deed. “I feel like my entire body might cramp up.” Of course, I’m thinking like a woman who’s given birth to a ten-pound baby. My hips have never stopped hurting.

By this point, Mark had grown used to these sort of questions. He didn’t even bat an eye.

“It’s not the hips, but my lower back, but I know better than to stop.”

He winked.

It was my turn to choke. I think I might have been brushing my teeth during this particular conversation. I won’t go as far as saying that these questions made me smarter, but it certainly opened my eyes to things I didn’t regularly think about before writing a gender swap romance.

“Good to know,” I replied.

I’ve always found it difficult to imagine what men felt during sex. The physical act of it, aka, penetration, but when I asked my husband, he didn’t have a simple answer. But I found his response to be pithy, and romantic.

“If I could give it one word, I’d call it heat. I feel the heat all over. The pelvic region radiates with it.” He looked up and noticed I was taking notes.

“Heat, got it. Pelvic region radiation. I like it. Go on, babe.”

“But it’s more than that for me. It’s because I’m with you.” He kissed me on the nose. “That’s what makes it wonderful.”

As I finished the novel and sent it to my editor, I felt that Keira’s scenes navigating as a man ended up as authentic as I could make them with the knowledge I’d gained. That, and an active imagination.

Collide Into You is, arguably, one of my favorite books and I think back fondly during the time of its writing. But, more than anything, I had a grand time asking questions. Mark and I had additional conversations, but I can’t reveal those (sorry!).

My confession still stands: I want to know what it really feels like to be a man, but I think I’ll have to save the imagination for the characters in future novels.

So now that you know my confession, what’s yours?

Kelly Washington
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Kellywashington.com

Collide Into You

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Kayelle Allen: What Color Is Your Hero? (Giveaway)
Friday, February 5th, 2016

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I read a quote by Nora Ephron that encouraged me. “Above all, be the heroine in your life. Not the victim.” I agree with that. I believe that means I should take responsibility not just for what I do to others, but for how I react to what others do to me. I can decide to become a victim and have a “poor me” attitude, or I can decide to stand up for myself. I further believe if I am to stand up for myself, I must be willing to stand up for others.

In 2004, my first book (At the Mercy of Her Pleasure) featured a half-human hero. Senth Antonello was part feline Kin, and part human — and while Senth’s human parent was caucasian Senth also had an adoptive father who was black, and gay. Luc Saint-Cyr was not a good guy, but he wasn’t all bad either. I wrote Luc to be an enigma. When I first created him, I had no idea how popular he would become. My critique group continually asked for his story while I was writing Senth’s. By the end of the book, I had one planned for him.

Someone asked me why I, as a straight white woman, would write not only a black hero but also a black gay hero. She wanted to know why I didn’t “write what you know.” I don’t think it’s an author’s duty to write only what we know. I think it’s our duty to create an imaginary world that’s realistic and unique, different from our own. I doubt I could choose a more polar opposite character from myself than Luc. Other than the fact that I consider us both “good people” he is as different from me as he can get.

He’s immortal, and he is thousands of years old. Far from being jaded like most of his kind, Luc is fascinated by humans. He seeks them out and wants to know them. He falls in love every “lifetime.”

Luc has dark chocolate skin, black hair, and eyes that he hides behind solid black lenses that cover his entire eye area. (He has a good reason for that.) In romance novels, the average hero isn’t in his sixties and paired with a twenty-something alien hero. Luc has many diverse attributes. Yet he remains my most asked-for character. A few years ago, I decided to make birthday cards that would be sent “from” each of my heroes. (Really me, of course, but it was fun to play along.) When readers signed up to get a card, they had a choice among a host of characters. About three-fourths of them chose Luc.

Could I have made Luc white, human, and straight? I don’t think so.Those who know him refer to Luc as the “Man” with a capital letter you can hear. What Luc wants, he gets. Perhaps he chose me to write about him, rather than me choosing him. I will say that as I’ve written him into multiple books, I’ve always tried to stay true to Luc’s nature rather than being true to my own. Is having a diverse hero a challenge? Insomuch as I must always be mindful that I am writing about a person who is not me — yes. But as a writer, isn’t that what we do? Who wants to read a book where all the characters are the same? Who wants to write a book like that? Not me.

Luc is a background character in the Antonello Brothers series, including At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, For Women Only, and Bro, the Story Behind the Antonello Brothers. He’s a vital character. Much of the action hinges on what Luc does. I hope when you read one of the stories, you find him as fascinating as I do.

Get a free copy of Bro by joining the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group. https://kayelleallen.com/bro You’ll get a second book the next day. You can unsubcribe any time.

At the Mercy of Her Pleasure

Antonello Brothers 1: a Scifi Romance

Hired to steal back a prototype taken by the imperial armada, Senth Antonello retrieves it, but his brother is kidnapped to force Senth to surrender the device.

Now he has to rescue his brother, outsmart the armada, and keep the item out of imperial hands. All doable, except for one small problem. He must do it in the company of NarrAy Jorlan, a genetically altered woman whose pheromones could enhance the mission or crumble it into dust with a single siren kiss.

He’s a thief. She’s a soldier. Do opposites attract? Oh, mercy!

Buy Links

Amazon http://amzn.to/1f7FQ2h
ARe http://bit.ly/bro-mercy-are
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/bro-mercy-bnn
CreateSpace (Print) http://bit.ly/bro-mercy-csp
Goodreads http://bit.ly/bro-mercy-good
iBooks http://bit.ly/bro-mercy-ibk
Inktera http://bit.ly/bro-mercy-ink
Kobo http://bit.ly/bro-mercy-kobo
Scribd http://bit.ly/bro-mercy-scr
Smashwords http://bit.ly/bro-mercy-smw

About the Author

Author Kayelle Allen’s unstoppable heroes and heroines include role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr.
Homeworld https://kayelleallen.com
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Lizzie Ashworth: Jarrod’s Valentine
Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Hi Delilah fans! Thanks for joining me today.

February is a special month for romance fans. To celebrate love, we give gifts and cook special meals, indulge in chocolate and sexy lingerie. I’m here to share a sexy little story with you, something that might start your engines running so you’re ready for your hot Valentine’s Day moments.

This story is an offshoot of Jarrod Bancroft: The Novel, which will be half price all day Valentine’s Day at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/535279.

But first—this month in my free monthly newsletter Liz’s Hot News, I outline five FREE ways to show your love to your significant other. I’d love to share my newsletter with you, and if you sign up by February 14, you’ll be in the drawing for a $20 gift certificate.

For more details on entering this drawing and other goodies, check the links at the end of this story.

dcfeb blog

Jarrod’s Valentine

Macie’s face reflected the subdued outdoor light that filtered in through the restaurant window. Ignoring the clench in his chest, Jarrod studied her from across the noisy room. She looked like a work of art, the planes and lines of her face cast in shadow, her delicate skin framed by luxurious lengths of dark hair. One of those exquisite images painted by some long-dead artist where the woman’s pensive expression signaled vague internal conflict. His impulse was to rush over to the table, take her hands, and slip to his knees to ask what he could do to brighten her day. His mouth twisted and he turned back to his newspaper.

Whatever appetites Macie Fitzgerald provoked, today the situation at Bancroft Investments demanded his full attention. The stock report only reiterated what he already knew—their standing had slipped again. Somehow rumors had leaked. It was a matter of time before this blew wide open.

He quietly folded the paper, signaled the waiter and paid his check before slipping out the side door. Much as he wanted Macie right now, the ugly responsibilities in his real life could not wait.

The door to his dad’s office was slightly ajar. His father stood at the windows in the far corner, his back turned as he stared out into the city. The older man’s shoulders triggered Jarrod’s memory, all the times those same shoulders had loomed over him, an impenetrable wall of dark against dim light. An immovable object. Jarrod swallowed an ugly taste in his mouth. And it had nothing to do with his lunch.

So the bastard already knew.

“Took your time,” the old man said. He didn’t bother to turn. “You’ve never appreciated the value of a full day’s work.”

“Fuck you, Preston,” Jarrod said. He slipped off his overcoat and dropped it on the chair. He stood beside the desk and folded his arms, facing his father’s back.

“What do you plan to do?” Preston said. “Are you riding your white horse, ready to save the world?”

“Anything to sidestep the facts,” Jarrod said. “That’s been your strategy all along. I remember my first weeks here, when I went through the files for that mutual fund and asked you, and you shifted blame to Evers. Always somebody else’s fault. Always something I made up or misinterpreted.”

“So you’re going to bring the house down around our ears, is that the plan?”

“You assigned me the dirty work thinking I wouldn’t put it together.” Jarrod spun the desk chair around and gripped the thick leather back. “I’ve dug all the way down. I’m not buying any more of your bullshit.”

Preston whirled to face him. The flesh around his nose had turned white. “Whine, you little fuck. You have no idea. I’ve worked my ass off, dedicated my life to giving you and your mother the very best. I don’t answer to you.”

Jarrod swallowed his rage, sinking his fingers into the chair upholstery to keep from planting a fist in that smug face. The man might be a despicable cheat, but he was his father. “You’ll answer to the prosecutor. Evers won’t take this sitting down.”

“Evers is as big a baby as you are. Suck it up, boy. This is how things get done.”

Jarrod closed his eyes then slammed out of the room. Nothing he could say would change Preston Bancroft. Why had it taken him twenty-eight years to accept that fact?

Odd how familiar this all felt. As if he’d seen it in a dream. As if he’d wished it a thousand times and only now realized what he wished. He strode to his office and slid open his desk drawers looking for anything that might hold value, but after a few minutes, he grabbed his overcoat and stalked out. Read the rest of this entry »