Archive for 'Guest Blogger'
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?
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.
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.
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
About the Author
Teresa Noelle Roberts started writing stories in kindergarten and she hasn’t stopped yet. A prolific author of short erotica, she’s also a published poet and fantasy writer—but hot paranormals, sexy science fiction romances and BDSM-spiced contemporaries have become her favorites.
When she’s not writing, Teresa enjoys belly dance, yoga, cooking, hiking, playing in the ocean and growing more vegetables than she and her husband can possibly eat. She’d enjoy sleeping too. She thinks. But it takes so much time!
She shares her Massachusetts home with her husband, a Leo in law enforcement, and three cats. She and her husband often plan vacations around food, history and/or proximity to water.
Find out more about Teresa at http://www.teresanoelleroberts.com. Find her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/TeresNoeRoberts or become a Facebook fan at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTeresaNoelleRoberts. She also hangs out on Pinterest, sharing pictures of hot cars, hotter men and other inspirational imagery, at https://www.pinterest.com/teresanoellerob/.
Sunday, February 7th, 2016
Does anyone have a penis?
I 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.”
“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.”
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?
Collide Into You
Excerpt from Collide Into You Read the rest of this entry »
Friday, February 5th, 2016
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!
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/bro-mercy-bnn
CreateSpace (Print) http://bit.ly/bro-mercy-csp
About the Author
Author Kayelle Allen’s unstoppable heroes and heroines include role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr.
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.
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 »
Friday, January 29th, 2016
Thank you, Delilah, and thank you everyone for stopping by.
When Delilah agreed to host me back in December, I had something completely different in mind as my topic. However, on December 24th I received an early Christmas present…a positive biopsy result for breast cancer. What makes this suck even more (and yes, as a writer I should find a more eloquent word than ‘suck’…but simply put…it does suck!) is that this is my second time.
I’m not going to get into all the ugly and crappy (another under-used but perfectly descriptive word) things that surround this diagnosis, because that isn’t me. Fourteen years ago, I had to delay my first chemo appointment by a week because I was going through a divorce, moving out of my marital home, and celebrating my 36th birthday. But through this all, I stayed positive.
…And that is what I want to write about.
Yes, being diagnosed a second time with the dreaded “c” sucks and is crappy, but I’m not going to let it get me down or hold me back. I’ve had a few friends…which is a ‘few’ too many…that were diagnosed with breast cancer after my first experience. I told them all, I can’t guarantee that a positive attitude will help, but a negative one will certainly pull you down.
This time around, I have to say, I disagree. A positive attitude does help! I know my husband and many of my close friends were devastated to hear this news. My daughter didn’t know what to do…she was only 4 the first time through, and once this Christmas vacation was done she was heading back to university, a 2.5 hour flight away. And my mom, well this should never happen to your children—certainly not twice—and it doesn’t matter if they are 5, 15 or 50. But I am keeping a positive outlook that things will go as smoothly this time as last. I’m hoping to fly to Nova Scotia at the end of February, between what I believe will be my first two chemo appointments, to see my daughter play in her first university volleyball finals. And while I took time off from work last time, I have actually decided to work through my procedures this time (as long as my health or my doctor doesn’t say otherwise.) My point here? NONE of my friends have given me the weepy face that often occurs when you tell people you have cancer. How can they think or act negative when I refuse to be brought down by it?
So whether it’s an illness, writing a book, or just living your life…stay positive. Think about the good things that lie ahead, or what’s the point? And whether you believe in God or chocolate to help get you through, surround yourself with positive things and positive people….because negative will definitely pull you down.
p.s. My 3 inch tumor was bigger than expected but my nodes were clean which means no spread. I don’t get the final results until 02/05…when I also get my chemo schedule, but in the meantime I have signed another contract with Wild Rose Press for a fantasy short, Love Supernaturally, and am waiting on a 2nd contract from my YA publisher, Boroughs, for my Young Adult novella, California Blue. I continue to work, write, craft, dream and plan.
REAL LOVE (A Candy Hearts Story)
Her eyes and heart are open to new worlds and new possibilities.
As a young girl, Monda was placed into the tutelage of Mistress Teevac. Trained to use her empathic skills and educated in the ways to please a man, Monda is on her way to her new mate and master when her spaceship crashes. Rescued by a handsome space lieutenant, who literally makes her heart race, Monda’s eyes and heart are opened to new possibilities.
When Lieutenant Patrick Lancaster looks at the exotic Monda, he sees beautiful not alien. With an instinct to protect her and the desire to have her, he’d be honored to call her his own, but the starts have something else in mind. Or do they?
Her face more angular than most. Her lips, thick. A constant pout, like she waited to be kissed. When he looked at her big blue eyes and long blue eyelashes, he thought exotic, not alien.
“Monda.” He reached to wipe the tear. No, it was not his place. He shoved his hand into his pocket. “I didn’t mean you. I don’t think of you as alien. I meant other aliens, like the green guys from Salvador. Have you seen them? About a meter high with pointed teeth. You can’t tell the males from the females except when they have their armor off.” He wanted to pull her into a hug. To comfort her and show her how sorry he felt. But she was promised to another, and while he might be an idiot, his mother also raised him as a gentleman. “Really, Monda, I’m sorry.”
“I know,” she whispered.
“What I mean is you’re an alien but not an alien. You don’t look like an alien. Of course any guy would be honored to have a girlfriend like you.”
“Any guy, but you.”
Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=6593
About the Author:
Charlotte Copper lives in Stouffville, Ontario – that’s in Canada, eh. When she isn’t working at her full-time job, Charlotte likes to craft, read, go to movies, and, of course, write. Charlotte hopes to have all of her stories published some day because, as a romance writer, she believes in happy endings!
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/charlotte.copper.52
Twitter:: @charlottecopper https://twitter.com/CharlotteCopper
Thursday, January 28th, 2016
Lately, I’ve become a bit more analytical in my thinking about books. One of the things I’ve considered is what I like in a romance hero and who writes that hero best.
Linda Howard is the first author who comes to mind who writes the heroes I love. They are uber-alpha, supremely capable in every situation, and yet (often) completely befuddled by their attraction to and adoration of females who don’t necessarily make sense to their male minds.
My first Howard novel was Midnight Rainbow starring Grant Sullivan, secret operative extraordinaire, and a feisty rich woman. I don’t remember much about her, but I do remember that Sullivan was pretty darned swoon-worthy, especially considering I was a teenager when I read that book. But Sullivan’s not the only one. John Medina, who finally got his own woman in All the Queen’s Men after having cameo appearances in previous books, is another super spy who doesn’t break a sweat while the bullets are flying around him.
Howard’s heroes don’t have to be mercenaries or spies – though I’m certainly not complaining! – but they will be men who can maintain control of 99% of their environment. Ben Lewis, the Amazon guide in Heart of Fire, and James Diaz from Cry No More (one of my desert-isle keepers) are two men who may take questionable moral stances in some situation, yet they are 110% devoted to the safety of their women, even when they don’t understand what the women are planning or why.
She has also written two of my favorite cops (though I do adore Nelson deMille’s John Corey, but those aren’t romance, so we’ll save those for another day) in the hilarious Sam Donovan from Mr. Perfect and Dane Hollister in Dream Man. Honestly, who can resist a man who ends up with sympathy labor pains?
And speaking of Danes, or Dains as it were, I have to add Sebastian Ballister, the Marquess of Dain, from Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels to my list. Not only is Dain another uber-alpha male completely confounded and besotted by Jessica Trent, LoS is simply one of the best romance novels ever written. Ever. Seriously. I’m pretty sure there are scientific papers quantifying that.
And one more author whose heroes I love? Laura Florand. If you haven’t read her chocolate or perfume series, get on it! She creates these gorgeous French men (and gorgeous French settings!) who are tough and rugged on outside, but molten chocolate on the inside – sweet, dark and delicious. Dominique Richard from The Chocolate Touch is my favorite of Florand’s bad boy chefs, but Gabe and Patrick are chocolatey heartthrobs as well (The Chocolate Rose and The Chocolate Temptation respectively). Honestly, though, if you’re going to read Florand’s books, just start at the beginning of the series with The Chocolate Thief and know that the books get better and better the more you read. Full disclosure, the first book in the series is actually my least favorite…though I do love that hero as well, Monsieur Sylvain Marquis.
Tl;dr (too long;didn’t read)—I dig supremely capable alpha males who are drop-kicked by love!
Tell me who your favorite heroes are.
On Monday, February 1st, I’ll randomly choose one commenter to win a free digital copy of one of my novellas. Winner gets to choose between Three Little Words and One Night in Savannah. Very different heroes in those two stories, but I love them both!
About the Author
Taylor Reynolds writes hot, contemporary romance that often features active military or veteran characters. She is a native Californian who currently lives in Northern Virginia with a dog and a cat.
Wednesday, January 27th, 2016
Hello, I’m Melanie Jayne and I write romance with older characters. By saying that, I don’t mean women in their early thirties. Nooo, I am talking about women that have made more than a few laps around life’s track. I do this because I can barely remember my twenties and to be honest, my life didn’t get really interesting until many years had passed.
I find that too often in fiction, especially romance, the female characters top out in their early thirties or are into their sixties. The older women are portrayed as the meddling interloper or the crazy relative. Well I’m here to tell you that women can be so much more.
I love creating my female characters. They have had years to work through their issues with their families. Not that she can change things but she can anticipate, or won’t be surprised by actions and reactions. Hopefully, she is to the point where she has identified the negative influences in her circle and shed those “friends”. She may not completely know herself but she has a good idea what she doesn’t like and what she doesn’t want around her.
I usually find that she has just made or experienced a major change in her life. She can start over and do things her way, the better way. In my latest book, You Only, Hale Cameron has just returned to the small town where she grew up. Years before she left her fiancé and the town behind. Now she must find her place in the community that has kept the story of how she broke Finn Webber’s heart alive.
Hale has her share of baggage, she was abused by her mother and fears that she may share some of Lydia’s traits. She left a successful career to take over the reins of her family’s farming operation. After years of therapy, she believes that she lost her chance at love. Perhaps she isn’t really worthy of romantic love?
Her close friends have her back and help her navigate small town life. She must also deal with Finn. He is now the mayor and a popular bachelor. He never understood why Hale left and demands an explanation. Her reasons confuse him, almost as much as his attraction to her.
As couple addresses their past, Finn learns that he did not really know Hale at all. The new and improved Hale excites and entices him with her intelligence and forbearance. She is trying to fit in and become a leader as expected due to her family name.
In the book, Hale has doubts but continues working toward her goal. She was so much fun to write because she wants to move forward. I love that she knows her faults, but accepts that we all have them. She is unapologetically sexual and is not afraid to discuss her past and what she hopes will come to be. She is human and has worked very hard to be okay with that. I think that is what I love most about her. She knows that she isn’t perfect and isn’t surprised when those close to her screw up. She looks deeper than the what but more into the why.
Women are so much more than the number of years that they have graced the earth and I hope that one day, we will stop seeing them as their age but more for their wisdom.
About the Author
Melanie Jayne lives in on a grain farm in Central Indiana with her long suffering husband and Ginger the monster dog. When she isn’t writing, she’s dealing with repairs their old farmhouse and she loves to read.
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