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Genevive Chamblee: Names Are Everything (Contest)
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

What’s in a name? Well, a lot actually—for most people anyway. A name is what helps identify a person on many levels. It can show placement in a family or generation (e.g., Sr., Jr., III, etc.) or indicate one’s culture or heritage. A name can create a sense of self, individuality, connection, and/or belonging. Names can connect a person to his/her family, religion/creed, nationality, and/or background.

Many writers go through great pains in naming their characters. I know that I do. Not only do I sort through lists of names, but it’s also not unusual for me to change a character’s name multiple times before completing the book. So much effort and emphasis frequently are placed on this undertaking because naming a character is similar to naming a child. After all, the authors create the stories, poems, novels, etc. Thus, these creations are his/her “baby.” Like Frankenstein’s monster, “It lives!” Furthermore, the right name can greatly affect and influence a story. Take, for example, the Harry Potter characters. Many of their names provide insight into their personalities, skills, and/or physical appearance.

On 02/02/23, the fifth novel (Future Goals) in my Locker Room Love sports romance series releases. Although this is a series, each book can be read as a stand-alone. I’m excited and want to celebrate with everyone. For the past month, I’ve been posting daily on my blog about a subject/topic that in some way relates to some aspect of the story. As I was brainstorming fun activities to do, I began to reflect on how long this journey has been and how it began. I thought about the numerous steps required, how I had nurtured “my baby,” and the abundance of details that I have agonized and mulled over for hours, days, and weeks. That’s when an idea struck me. Why not have a “guess the baby’s name” contest similar to the ones played at baby showers? I mean, this is sort of a book shower.

RULES

I’m a person who enjoys solving puzzles and figuring things out. Now, since there are literally thousands of possibilities to guess, I’ll provide some clues to narrow that number. The person who guesses the correct name in the comment section below will win a free paperback of Future Goals to be mailed after the book goes live. I’ll close the contest at midnight CST on Saturday, February 11, 2023. In the event that there are multiple correct answers, I will select the first two correct responses in the comments as winners. To play, answer the following question:

There are two main characters in Future Goals. One is Corrigan, and the other is Sacha. In the book, only one of these characters is addressed by his full legal name (not a nickname). What is the middle name of this character?

CLUES

  1. Corrigan isn’t referred to by his full name.
  2. The character is born and raised in South Louisiana.
  3. The character’s middle name is between three to seven letters in length.
  4. The name is “earthy” in nature.
  5. No other character in this book or the Locker Room Love series shares this name.
  6. The character’s middle name does not begin with a “Q” or “X”.
  7. This name can have multiple spellings. (Alternative spellings of this name will be considered a correct response, but priority will be given to answers with the correct spelling if there are multiple correct responses.)
  8. A famous fashion designer shares this name.
  9. The character’s middle name does not begin with the same letter as the character’s last name.
  10. This name did not make the list of the top 100 popular baby names for 2022 on babynames.com.
  11. The character’s name can be associated with the character’s profession.
  12. The meaning of the name can be associated with a sport.
  13. Have fun.

Oh, and one more thing. If you enjoy contests/giveaways, I’m hosting several more this week on my Creole Bayou blog, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Visit me on my other platforms to continue the fun and for more chances to win.

If you like this post, please click the like button and share it. Your feedback allows me to know the content that you want to read. And if you’re not following me on Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou.

Get ready. It’s almost time to hit the ice again. Future Goals. Coming soon.

When a college hockey player needs the help of an attractive older attorney, he gets more than he bargained for when trying to sort out the troubles in his career. Falling in love was never part of either man’s plan, especially as Corrigan’s and Sacha’s lives should never have collided. Now they’re left questioning if they’re standing in the way of the other’s future goals, or if there’s room for redirection.

Preorder your copy at:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3RjPYb9

Other booksellers: https://bit.ly/3CI8d5W

Missed the first four books in my hockey romance series? No frets.

Out of the Penalty Box (book #1), where it is one minute in the box or a lifetime out, is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links on where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Defending the Net (book #2) can be ordered at https://amzn.to/2N7fj8q or www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Ice Gladiators (book #3) is the third book in my Locker Room Love series. When the gloves come off, the games begin. Available at https://amzn.to/2TGFsyD or www.books2read.com/icegladiators.

Penalty Kill (book #4) retakes the ice. Get a copy at https://amzn.to/3ex0N9p or https://amzn.to/3ex0N9p and let the pucker begin.

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or for search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors or BookBub or TikTok.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click https://genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com/newsletter/ and signup today.

Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Laissez le bon temps rouler.

Author Bio

Genevive Chamblee resides in the bayou country where sweet tea and SEC football reign supreme. She is known for being witty (or so she thinks), getting lost anywhere beyond her front yard (the back is pushing it as she’s very geographically challenged), falling in love with shelter animals (and she adopts them), asking off-the-beaten-path questions that make one go “hmm”, and preparing home-cooked Creole meals that are as spicy as her writing. Genevive specializes in spinning steamy, romantic tales with humorous flair, diverse characters, and quirky views of love and human behavior. She also is not afraid to delve into darker romances as well.

Leah Braemel: Where do I get my ideas? (Excerpt)
Monday, January 30th, 2023

People always ask me “where do you get your ideas?” For my newest release, Texas Hook-Up? It all started with a meme about a guy who had a cat who shared his name.

I have a dog named Seamus, and a cat named Turtle, so when I have to pick up the prescription food Turtle requires from the vet’s office, the label on the package is for Turtle Braemel. Or Seamus Braemel. So, I understand why someone who isn’t familiar with my pets might get confused. Well, not with Turtle – though they might think I’m talking about an actual turtle not a cat.

That’s when the plot bunnies hit me, and I imagined a guy overhearing his friend’s girlfriend talking about having to get home to Jeff. Except his friend’s name is Brody. And only learning much later that Jeff is not another guy. Jeff is a cat. That’s how I ended up writing Texas Hook-Up, a novella about a grumpy EMT having to apologize to a female tow-truck driver he’s judged wrongly for the last few years.

Bonus! Once I was finished writing Texas Hook-Up, I wasn’t done with those characters. I ended up writing a free Bonus Epilogue called Getting Hitched about how Quinn’s attempts to propose to Mia go askew thanks to the now infamous Jeff. You can find the link to that novella at the back of Texas Hook-Up.

Texas Hook-Up

MIA

I am a woman in a male trucker’s world, which means I’ve developed a thick skin and a potty mouth over the years. When an EMT that I sorta kinda like decides he doesn’t like me, no skin off my nose. I can take Quinn’s snark and dish it right back at him. Until he finally realizes he’s in the wrong about me, and he goes and does something decent, like apologizing. Now what do I do with him?

QUINN

I come from a screwed-up family that I admit affects how I judge people. When I overheard Mia talking about living with someone named Jeff while she was dating my buddy Brody, I jumped to the wrong conclusion and I’ve been giving her grief ever since. I’ve finally realized I screwed up. Big time. So I’m trying to prove how sorry I am but she’s making me jump through hoops. Rightfully so.

Being around Mia, away from her truck, has let me see the soft squishy parts behind the thick armour she’s donned. But going from hating someone to trusting them is a long swing. Now I have to convince her—and myself—I’m worth the effort.

Amazon: https://mybook.to/TexasHook-Up

Excerpt of Texas Hook-Up

Without saying anything more, Mia gulps down her coffee, and scrambles from the table, stopping at the counter to pay her ticket. I’m wondering if I should go after her when she heads for the door, just as Gonzalez is coming in. He holds open the door and they say something to each other, politely, from their body language. I can’t miss how Gonzalez’s gaze lingers on Mia as she walks down the street. Guess there is still some attraction.

When he finally pulls his gaze back to the diner, he spots me, heads over, and takes Mia’s spot. He eyes the coffee cup with its telltale lipstick stain until Shannon, efficient as always, removes it and fills a fresh cup for him.

“You were talking with Mia?” He keeps his tone even, though his curiosity is evident.

“She’s pissed off at me.” What else is new?

Gonzalez tilts his head, as if he doesn’t believe me or figures I have some hidden agenda.

“I’m not interested in her, if you’re thinking of trying to get back together with her,” I assure him.

“Oh, I’ve tried, but…” He shrugs and gives me an I have no idea, look.

“Why?” The word slips out of my mouth before I can stop it. “Why would you want to hook back up with her?”

“There’s something about her. I can’t put my finger on it, but we were doing good.” He shrugs again. “At least, I thought we were. We were even talking about moving in together, and then all of a sudden, she dumps me. No reason, just, she doesn’t think we’re headed in the same direction. She doesn’t think we suit.” His tone betrays his I thought we suited belief. “Basically, she told me to not let the door hit my ass on the way out.”

“Maybe it was something Jeff or Brian said to her. Did you do something to piss them off?”

Some strange expression lights his eyes. Not confusion, something I can’t read, before he drops his gaze to focus on his coffee. “Jeff and Brian? I liked them. I mean, Brian’s a biter, but if you know how to handle him, he’s okay. Jeff’s a real softie. Mia knew I loved them and would never have hurt them.”

Dafuq? Brian’s a biter? Talk about TMI. I’ve always thought of Gonzalez as being pretty straitlaced. Always looking for a girl he could bring home to momma type of guy. It’s always the quiet ones. “I never pictured you being into that scene.”

“What scene?” Danny spreads his hands palms up. There’s that weird expression on his face again. Like he has some private joke.

“Sharing a woman.” Aware of the people in the next booth, no doubt straining to hear, I lower my voice. “Orgies, having sex with multiple partners. Do you do guys, too? I mean, don’t get me wrong, if that’s what you’re in to, fine.” Okay, I’d better shut up before I earn a fist to my jaw. Except I can’t help but ask, “Is that what broke Dickinson and her up, too?”

His jaw drops momentarily, and then he’s whooping with laughter and every head in the joint turns to look at us. “Orgies? Seriously? Is that what you still think? That Jeff and Brian are guys? Peterson, for a smart guy, sometimes you’re as sharp as a marble.”

Eyebrows all around us arch at his very audible mention of orgies, enough that I want to slide under the table. “What are you talking about?”

Still laughing so hard tears are gathering in the corners of his eyes, he shakes his head. “Bro! I thought Brody told you. Jeff and Brian are Mia’s cats.”

About the Author

Leah Braemel is the only woman in a houseful of males that includes her college-sweetheart husband, two sons, a Shih Tzu named Seamus who behaves like a cat and Turtle the cat who thinks he’s a dog. She loves escaping the ever-multiplying dust bunnies by opening up her laptop to write about sexy heroes and the women who challenge them.

Links
Website: https://leahbraemel.com
Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/leahbraemel/
Facebook Author https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLeahBraemel
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/leah-braemel
Books2Read Author page https://books2read.com/ap/n0GB1R/Leah-Braemel
Newsletter Signup  https://tinyurl.com/9uypp4v9

National Compliment Day! (Contest)
Tuesday, January 24th, 2023

Well, I’m back with another obscure holiday! I love this one! And I’ve already paid two compliments today. Do I have you beat?

Yes, this holiday is a thing. NCD promotes—civility! That’s not a bad word, folks. It’s a way to brighten those around you and make you feel good knowing you made someone happy. A win-win! How did I accomplish mine? The two younger girls, 14 and 9-years-old, took time with their appearance this morning. The 9-year-old dressed up like a little old lady for a school dress-up day, and I told her she was the cutest little old lady I’d ever seen “The pearls really nailed it!” The 14-year-old dressed in all black like she normally does, but she’d taken time to straighten her hair, and I really do love her Sublime band T-shirt, so I told her she looked awesome. “Love that shirt!”

Actually, I have four compliments so far. My daughter worked on memes to advertise events at our art center, and I told her the memes were terrific. Pitch-perfect.

See how easy it is to work compliments in? If you’re going to work, compliment something about someone’s appearance. “I love your earrings.” Compliment their work. “Great work on that…” Easy. Going to grocery store? Compliment the cashier. “I know your feet must hurt, but you have a very nice smile. Thank you.” Yes, I do this anyway. (Yes, I’m that annoying person!) Can’t help myself. It’s a habit I don’t want to break. Do you think you could make complimenting folks around you a habit?

For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, tell me how you plan to work compliments into your day!

Genevive Chamblee: The Season of Mardi Gras
Monday, January 23rd, 2023

Some things we take for granted. For example, it wasn’t until approximately a year ago that I realized that white perch wasn’t sold in grocery stores or fish markets—at least, not legally. And it wasn’t until a friend made a passing comment that alerted me to the fact. It wasn’t anything new, though. I simply had never taken the time to pay attention. Why? Because, whenever I wanted perch, we just fished it out of the bayou. I’d never attempted to purchase it, and never gave thought to it not being sold. After all, it’s not like there’s a shortage of white perch. Since I always had access to the fish, I assumed (and we all know what is said about assuming anything) that everyone had the same access. Wrong!

“Assuming” is the reason for this post. Yeah, I know white perch has nothing to do with Mardi Gras, but in the tangled convolutions of that thing I call a brain, I connected the two. See, growing up in South Louisiana, I assumed (once again) that everyone knew about Mardi Gras… That is, until I started hearing some strangeness that caused me to raise an eyebrow. I mean, South Louisiana isn’t the only place to celebrate Mardi Gras (which, by the way, most refer to as carnival). Yet, I’ve come to discover that there are many misconceptions about what Mardi Gras is and why it’s celebrated.

Now, I’ve tackled this subject before on my Creole Bayou blog, but since Mardi Gras season just kicked off on January 6, I thought it would be appropriate to do a brief refresher for those interested. If you’re interested in the importance of January 6, please visit my post, Is It Mardi Gras Yet? for a deep dive into it. This post will focus on an overview of the basics of Carnival. Let’s jump-start this with answer the question: What is Mardi Gras? To answer this question, I must explain the translation of the term Mardi Gras and define Carnival. Read the rest of this entry »

N.J. Walters: Brand New Year, Brand New Book — Hunter Avenged! (Excerpt)
Friday, January 20th, 2023

The start of a new year is always exciting. The possibilities are limitless. It’s a time for introspection, for deciding what you want to accomplish in the coming year.

I don’t make resolutions, as such, but I do set some achievable goals. Professionally, I want to write at least three or four books, maybe more. Personally, I want to try my hand at a new hobby or two. If I decide it’s not for me, that’s all good. The goal is to push myself to try something different.

The new year is starting out on a high note with the release of HUNTER AVENGED, book 6 of my Forgotten Brotherhood series. I LOVE these immortal assassins. They aren’t the monsters lurking under the bed. They’re the ones that kill them. It takes one very special woman to win their heart.

So, what happens when Rivka, an angelic librarian on the run from Heavenly forces, is tracked by Sven—immortal Viking, deadly assassin, and one of the Forgotten Brotherhood? It’s not only their lives that are in danger but their hearts.

Hunter Avenged
Forgotten Brotherhood Book 6

It’s taken Viking hunter Sven Knutson six frustrating months to find her. To track down the angel responsible for compromising the Forgotten Brotherhood and waking the drakon. She may be clever. Resourceful. But no one ever gets away from Sven. Ever.

All Rivka longed for as an angel was a chance to serve on Earth and help humans. Instead, it all went impossibly, horribly wrong, and she still doesn’t understand how or even why. All she knows is that she’s on the run—not only from Heaven’s dangerous elite guard, but also from the Brotherhood, who want answers.

She might just have to trust the immortal Viking whose icy blue eyes make her feel almost wickedly human. Because someone wants Rivka dead and the Brotherhood eliminated. Someone powerful enough to take on the most dangerous assassins who have ever lived. Someone who could unleash the fury of both Heaven and Hell…and Rivka is the key.

Excerpt from Hunter Avenged

His jaw and cheekbones were chiseled, his forehead high. The short cut of his hair added to the austerity of his features. There was no gentleness to be found. The leather coat he wore added to the rough image, made him seem even more imposing. A chill raced down her spine. This man would be a relentless opponent. He also wasn’t human, but she couldn’t tell what he was.

Time to leave.

Face tight, she tried to smile, knew it must appear fake, but it was the best she could manage. “If there’s nothing else, I have to get back to my tables.”

Her legs were shaky, her heart racing. This must be what a rabbit felt like when faced with a wolf. Running would be a mistake. He hadn’t moved a muscle, but the sense of being hunted was overwhelming.

Hunted.

You got this. You’ve gotten yourself out of tighter situations.

The reassurance did nothing to calm her. Sweat rolled down her spine even as a chill raised goose bumps on her arms. Spinning around, she’d taken a single step when he wrapped his hand around her wrist, chaining her in place. Heat spread out from where he held her, sliding up her arm.

“There is something else.” His deep voice slid inside her like hot fudge over ice cream, melting all resistance. It was startling to realize it was the first words he’d spoken. She’d done all the talking up until now.

Just take his order and leave. “What do you want?” It was a point of pride that her voice was level. Inside she was trembling like a leaf; not all of it was due to fear. Her attraction to him was unwanted but undeniable. It rather took her by surprise.

He rubbed his thumb over the pounding pulse in her wrist. The gentle action was at odds with the tension in his jaw.

“Your name. I want your name.”

*~*~*

Want to read more? Find Hunter Avenged here:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BMYKZQ2T/
Entangled Publishing: https://entangledpublishing.com/books/hunter-avenged
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hunter-avenged-n-j-walters/1142718008
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/hunter-avenged-2
iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/hunter-avenged/id6444414711
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/N_J_Walters_Hunter_Avenged?id=zPqcEAAAQBAJ

About the Author

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, assassins, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

Visit her at:
Website: http://www.njwalters.com
Blog: http://www.njwalters.blogspot.com
Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/gdblg5
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/N.J.WaltersAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/njwaltersauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/NJWalters
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/njwalters
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-j-walters

Gabbi Black: When You Flip a Trop on its Head (Contest)
Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Adisen!
*~*~*

Hello Delilah!

Thank you for hosting me again. I’m thrilled to drop by and talk about my latest charity anthology — The Billionaire Fling.  I love doing these because I don’t get out much, so volunteering is off the table, for the most part.  And I make charitable donations, but I often feel disconnected from those.  Actually sitting down and writing a story makes everything more connected.  More really. The bonus is I get to work with a fantastic team and 19 amazing other authors in support of a cause I believe in.  Most people have been touched by breast cancer.  As we age, there’s an inevitability to this.  For me, my dear aunt Heather had it.  She fought — and won — but I’d love to see a day where we can prevent this devastating illness. Or where the treatments aren’t nearly as toxic and debilitating.  Anyway, my aunt’s going strong, ten years into remission.  I hope she’s with us for a long time to come.

Okay, great, Gabbi…but you said something about tropes?

Fair enough.

I’ve only written one billionaire story — Beautiful Eyes — and I didn’t market it as such.  Sure, the hero has earned over a billion dollars.  But he says it casually.  And, he doesn’t throw money around to impress other people.  He uses his money for good.  He doesn’t live flamboyantly, and he’s humbled when facing true poverty and deprivation.  In that book, the BDSM and relationship between the hero and heroine are far more central to the story.

When I sat down to write my new story, Grant’s Gambit, I took a similar approach — the money is truly secondary in the story.  My hero and heroine have just partaken in an intense cathartic BDSM scene (off page).  This story is their journey of discovery into what it means when all the barriers have been brought down.  About how learning to trust after such a powerful scene can have a lasting impact.  Oh, and one of the characters happens to be rich.  Lisa’s family recently sold their media empire and she’s got a billion or two in the bank.

That’s where the trope flipping happens.  I wanted my story to be different. I wanted a female billionaire.  Lisa’s a character I’ve used before (she’s also a Domme — another bit of a flip).  She wields a whip and flogger with finesse.  She can also bring grown men to their knees — literally and figuratively.  With Grant’s permission, she does this with him. What’s left is the beginning of a long-term relationship (okay, they’re totally together forever).  Yes, this is sort of instalove.  Or not.  They’ve circled each other for a year at Club Kink, the BDSM club.  Each knows what they’re getting.  Or so they believe.  Grant’s an electrician.  Lisa’s a professional Domme.  Grant makes it clear he’s got no issues with her continuing with that work.  Her little bombshell of the newly inherited money means nothing to him.  He plans to go to work on Monday.  The only change he foresees in his life is that he’s finally found the courage to tell Lisa how he really feels about her.

Oh, and there’s a cat and a surprise behind a locked door.

All that — crammed into five thousand words.

My fellow authors have all written stories meant to entertain.  And we’ve all done it with the hope of raising money for a worthy cause. (And I’m thrilled to say my heroine isn’t the only woman billionaire!)

I hope your readers will take a chance and pick up The Billionaire Fling.

And, as a thank you for hosting me, I’m happy to give away a $5 Amazon Gift Card.  To the readers — what’s your favorite trope?  Even better, which would you like to see an author flip on its head? (Hint — I might just take your suggestion for my next charity story…)  Finally, I’ve got a new book coming out in March — so I’ll be back! (More trope flipping to come…)

The Billionaire Fling

Champagne, sports cars, private jets: these powerful billionaires can buy everything but love.

With the world at their command, how will they cope with the one person who wants their heart, not their money?

Strap on your red sole stilettos, pop open the champagne, and dive into our billionaires’ glittering happily ever afters.

Twenty titillating stories from USA Today best-selling and award-winning romance authors in a spicy billionaire collection curated by The New Romance Cafe, with ALL proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Authors:
Celia J. Lisbeth
DL Gallie
Emmy Dee
Gabbi Black
Heather Scarlett
JA Lafrance
Jackie Paxson
Janie Grey
Kat Parrish
Kathleen Ryder
Keighley Bradford
Kenna Shaw Reed
Kristine Charles
Molly Lachaussee
Nikita Bloom
Stacy-Deanne
Susan Horsnell
TL Hamilton
Toni Denise
Whimsy Nimsy

Grant’s Gambit by Gabbi Black

Mistress Miranda, after one of her most magnificent BDSM scenes, plans to relax and unwind in the safety of her luxury condo, high above her beloved city of Vancouver. She has rules about how intimate she’ll be with a submissive, and she plans to stick to those edicts.

Grant Adkins willingly submitted to the formidable Domme tonight. And she’d topped him in a fantastic cathartic scene. But he’s not ready to call it a night just yet. He’s breaking the rules by following her home, but he wants to have just one more encounter. Then he’ll let her go.

But when things heat up, his walking away in the morning feels far more difficult than either planned.

Grant’s Gambit is an erotic 5k short story with elements of BDSM, a cathartic scene, and a surprise pile of money.

Links:
Universal link:  https://books2read.com/u/3n5Nro
Amazon US:  https://www.amazon.com/Billionaire-Fling-Contemporary-Romance-Collection-ebook/dp/B0B1Z7QX2M
Add it to GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61161998-the-billionaire-fling

About the Author

Even though Gabbi Black is a firm believer in happy endings, she makes her characters work for it in every romance she writes, no matter what the genre. From contemporary to BDSM, they are penned early in the morning in her home in beautiful British Columbia while her trusty ChinPoo dog keeps her company. She also writes gay romances as Gabbi Grey and contemporary small-town romances as Gabbi Powell.

Personal links:
Website:   http://gabbiblack.com/
Newsletter sign-up:  https://sendfox.com/gabbi
Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/2763198834
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/authorgabbiblack/
Facebook (page): https://www.facebook.com/Author-Gabbi-Black-106666354460589/
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.ca/authorgabbiblack/boards/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/GabbiAuthor

Meg Benjamin: The Romantic Cozy
Monday, January 16th, 2023

My new book, The Pepper Peach Murder (from Wild Rose Press), is a cozy mystery—the first I’ve tried. My other books have all been romances, contemporary and paranormal. But to me, cozy mysteries are also romantic mysteries. Or anyway, they should be, as far as I’m concerned.

When I told friends and family that I was working on a cozy mystery, a lot of them asked me what a cozy was exactly. Some things about cozies are easy to explain. Most of them are written from the heroine’s point of view, and a lot them are written in first person. The heroine usually has some kind of interesting occupation: there are lots of bakers, for example, and caterers and crafters and owners of bookstores or country inns. But the image a lot of readers have of the cozy heroine is Jessica Fletcher, a decidedly unromantic lady who wrote mysteries in Cabot Cove, Maine. Jessica did occasionally have a date or two, but she was much more into solving mysteries than dancing in the moonlight.

As a romance writer, I didn’t want to limit my heroine that way. I wanted her to have a love life along with her jam making and murder solving because that was the kind of book I wanted to read myself. Donna Andrews’ Meg has her Michael; Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna has her Daniel. And my Roxy has her Nate.

Now since this is a mystery rather than a romance, Roxy also has a murder to solve. But since it’s a romantic mystery, solving the mystery will involve solving Roxy’s love life. She had a bad experience as a line cook in Denver and has come back to her hometown of Shavano, Colorado, to restart. But Roxy has concentrated on getting her jam business off the ground rather than her relationships with men until she meets chef Nate Robicheaux at the local farmers market. The two hit it off immediately. There’s just one problem (other than Roxy’s nervousness about getting back on her feet romantically): another local chef, Brett Holmes, wants Roxy on his arm and in his bed, and he won’t take no for an answer.

When someone kills Brett in his restaurant kitchen, Roxy’s the logical suspect since she and Brett had a shouting match in front of the farmers market vendors. Now, she’s got to clear her name and keep her business afloat while she and Nate discover just how much she’s back on her game again romantically.

There’s a lot on her plate, but Roxy can handle it. After all, she’s the Jam Queen of Shavano County, and she wants her romance to be like her jam: sweet, hot, and very tasty.

~MB