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Madison Michael: Romance!
Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Thank you, Delilah, for this opportunity to be a guest on your blog. It’s exciting for me to be here because I am a fan.

Romance novels – they are the lead story in this week’s New York Times Book Review section. Titled “In the Mood for Love”, the story is not the usual review of a single book. Rather, writer Robert Gottlieb synthesizes a dozen romance novels. His review is a little tongue in cheek initially, denigrating each of the books and the genre as a whole. Ultimately, Gottlieb gives romance readers his permission to read romance. “…it’s a healthy genre, not trapped in its inflexibility. Its readership is vast, its satisfaction apparently limitless, its profitability incontestable. And its effect? Harmless.”

Despite the attitudes of people like Mr. Gottlieb, romance continues to be the top selling genre in the world. One in three books sold on Amazon last year was a romance. Often considered frivolous, romances continue to provide escape when that is what you need. Perhaps this accounts for the success of my own series, where slightly flawed but incredibly sexy heroes among the top .001% of America’s society happen to live with wealth and connections beyond Mr. Darcy’s dreams.

Contemporary romance doesn’t skirt life’s tough realities. It often addresses difficulties with work, finances, raising children, or managing family issues, to say nothing of the frustration brought about by the many things the characters cannot change – illness or family circumstance for example. These heroines don’t just survive, they thrive. That is now part of the happily ever after – good sex, great career opportunities, self-actualization.

Romance has grown as opportunities for women have grown. I have read novels with women wielding guns, snapping whips, using their brains and waving their pocketbooks – all brandishing their version of power. Plus, unlike the days of Barbara Cartland novels, women over 30, 40 or 50 can now find love.

My female characters are armed with their educations, their confidence and their talents as well as their independence – from Keeli, a struggling jewelry designer, to Sloane who holds a place at the boardroom table, to Charlotte, Director of Finance for a female CEO. These strong and smart characters are often based on women I know and love in real life. These women still want love, they still want the fantasy and – in my novels – they get it.

OODLES OF ROMANCE FOR 99 CENTS

For a limited time, you can get a taste of my Beguiling Bachelors series for just 99 cents. For less than a cup of coffee you can get my full length novel, Bedeviled, along with works from 21 other talented authors in Sultry Nights, a romance collection.

Here’s a brief description of Bedeviled:

 

Can a love be built on lies?

Charlotte Roche is escaping a menacing threat in Boston when she moves to Chicago for a new job and a new man. Alex is smart, sexy and quickly getting under Charlotte’s skin. A shared love of running gives the sassy beauty an excuse to be near her heart’s desire, but can Charlotte run Alex from the track to the bedroom without divulging her past and risking everything?

Alex Gaines, wealthy banker and philanthropist, has held women at arm’s length all his life to protect long-held secrets of his own. Now he is torn between loving the alluring Charlotte and protecting his dual lives. Can Alex trust Charlotte with the truth or is risking his fortune and family to pursue her? Can the two fall in love when they are bedeviled by lies and half-truths?

When danger follows Charlotte to Chicago threatening her safety and their futures, Charlotte and Alex a forced to make a hard decision – choose the secrets of their past or a future together.

Bedeviled is the third novel in the Beguiling Bachelor series, a trio of steamy contemporary romances set amidst the luxury of Chicago’s elite society.

BUY LINKS: For a limited time, Bedeviled is available in Sultry Nights. Grab a copy of Sultry Nights here or Bedeviled on Amazon standalone here or in Sultry Nights here.

About the Author

Madison Michael is the author of the Beguiling Bachelor Series, smart, sexy novels with complex characters set against the backdrop of Chicago’s elite society. Maddy loves exploring her native Chicago to discover new sites, new restaurants and new elegant events for future stories. Follow Maddy on Facebook or learn more about her and her friends by subscribing to her blog.

Website www.madisonmichael.net
Blog www.madisonmichael.net/category/maddys-blog
Twitter www.twitter.com/madisonmichael
Facebook www.facebook.com/madisonmichaelromance
Pinterest www.pinterest.com/madisonmichaelromance
Goodreads www.goodreads.com/author/show/15221601.Madison_Michael
Amazon Author Page www.amazon.com/Madison-Michael/e/B01EVUGG6G

Yippee-ki-yay, motherf@#%er!
Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Seize the day. Put no trust in tomorrow. ~ Horace

Did you know there was a second part to the phrase Carpe diem? The whole phrase is:  Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero. Try fitting that on a coffee cup!

I do love Carpe diem. It’s something you have to say with a raised fist. Every schoolteacher entering a classroom, every commuter entering the train, every mother entering the kitchen to start breakfast—shake that fist! Carpe diem! Say it like Bruce Willis in Die Hard, “Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker!”

Okay, so maybe you guessed it. I need a little motivation today, and I’m going a little overboard. Shouldn’t be though. I actually got a great night’s sleep. I woke up 5 minutes before my alarm. As soon as my feet hit the floor, I shuffled to my office, cleared a spot on my desk for my phone (Lordy, you should see the stack of shit sitting in the center. Before too long I will have to raise my desk chair to see over it!), and brought my computer to life with a righteous right click.

And that quickly, I saw today’s To Do and sighed. I have a lot of words to write. A shit-ton. I’m cussing a lot today, aren’t I? You can say carpe diem without saying quam minimum credula postero, but you can’t say yippee-ki-yay without saying motherfucker. And frankly, I need to cuss to “gird my loins” before I settle down to the task at hand.

Are you with me? Want to raise that fist and shake it? Got any words of inspiration? I don’t mind if you cuss. :)

F*R*E*E READ!
Monday, October 2nd, 2017

I have tons of short stories, and every now and then I like to offer one to readers who haven’t yet developed a taste for a more concise, raw read. Do you remember when a short story of mine was featured in Penthouse? Yeah, mine’s the “Raunchy Road Trip.” :)

Anyway, if you’d like a free copy of the story, all you have to do is sign up for my newsletter. If you’ve already signed up, you can still claim a copy. As a favor to me, will you share this with your friends? This is the story and the link to your free copy!

FREE READ!

The Long Ride Home

Tell Me A Story Contest!
Sunday, October 1st, 2017

UPDATE: The winner is ButtonsMom!

* * * * *

I bought a little brainstorming tool years ago at some writers’ conference. I’ve used it only twice—here, on my blog! “Story Cubes” is (that looks wrong, but I promise it’s not) a brainstorming game. You roll the dice and whatever pictures appear face up are the ones you use to riff off a story.

Here’s the roll…

Do any of these symbols tell you anything? You can pick some or use all of them. Tell me a story, or even just a glimmer of an idea, for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

What You Might Have Missed in September!
Saturday, September 30th, 2017

Wow! Can you believe September’s gone? I’m pretty happy today. My dd is coming back from two weeks in Virginia, which means tonight I get to sleep in my own bed! Whee! And I get to go back to job #1. WRITING!

Do I sound too gleeful? :)

Oh well, sorry, dd. Your kids are great, but 7 dogs, 4 cats, and 2 guinea pigs were also pretty demanding!

Anyways—just to remind you that I have been busy this month, and you do have plenty to keep you busy in your downtime—here’s what released in September!

September’s Releases

 

While hiding her true identity, Maddie must seduce the mysterious Lord Garon to cement their marriage contract and ensure she won’t be returned into her lecherous stepfather’s care.

Fresh from Crusade in Palestine, Lord Garon has a secret he must hide, a hunger that must be fed, and a dark and uncertain future. Having shed himself of a fiancée he’d never met, he’s home to lick his wounds. The only thing he wants is a warm-blooded meal–but the new housekeeper is strangely insistent on giving him so much more.

Maddie’s seduction doesn’t progress without complications, but one secret from her own past might put an end to the love she nurtures for her dark, tempestuous lover.

Get your copy here!

 

In Jefferson Parish, deep in the bayou, is a place called Bonne Nuit. Off the beaten path, isolated by swamp and connected to the sea, there the Beaux Rêve Coven thrives. Five witches… Too many demons to count…

Bryn Cavanaugh and her coven like that the community they live in is isolated thanks to a storm that destroyed the bridge between them and the outside world. Now the state wants the bridge rebuilt. When the construction crew checks into the inn, Bryn begins to suspect something about the crew’s boss isn’t quite…human.

Bridges are Ethan Thorne’s thing–after all, he’s a troll–so building a simple span over a remote canal in backwater Louisiana shouldn’t be this much of a problem. When he follows the pretty little innkeeper to a midnight rendezvous, he discovers why his crew keeps running in to trouble. Bryn and her coven are casting spells in the moonlight.

As a troll, Ethan feels the sting of his low place in demon hierarchy. But finding an unprotected coven of witches in the middle of the bayou could lead to all sorts of adventure. And it’s better to keep your enemies close…

Get your copy here!

 

When former SEAL, now Charter Group operator, “Snake” McPherson, is assigned to guard a social media star, he’s not pleased. Edgy from back-to-back tours in the sandbox, the last thing he wants it to tail some “selfie-princess.” Worse, the spoiled little rich girl doesn’t want anyone to know that’s his purpose. No, Cat Mikkelson insists he pretend to be her boyfriend for the weekend, a paid escort for a party at some billionaire’s private island. Worse, the woman dresses him like a Ken doll and insists they share the same room at the billionaire’s mansion.

Cat Mikkelson has a secret. Despite her carefree, online persona, she’s frightened. She’s been a prisoner inside her Manhattan apartment since she broke it off with her prizefighter boyfriend. She knows all too well what he’s capable of, so when she’s invited for a weekend getaway, she’s relieved for a chance to escape her prison while her lawyers gear up to serve him a restraining order. Her handsome bodyguard turns out to be a blessing in more ways than one. With him, she feels safe, and for the first time in a long time, she’s ready to play. The more she pushes his boundaries, the hotter their exchanges get.

As things heat up between Snake and Cat, her past pays a visit…

Get your copy here!


 

After bucking her trainer’s orders during a take-down, a female bounty hunter proves she’s more than ready for the job…

Get your copy here!

Must love bounty hunters! Excerpt from The Bounty!
Friday, September 29th, 2017

As an author, I get asked all the time where I get my ideas. Truth is, I get ideas everywhere—the news, TV, a dream, a snippet of overheard conversation…

A few months ago, I was pushing up against two deadlines. I needed a story for Elle James’s Brotherhood Protectors Kindle World launch, and I needed an idea for a short story for the Blue Collar anthology. I had covers for both and kept looking at them, hoping for inspiration.

 

Both have to-die-for covers, but nothing came to mind. Then one day, I was babysitting the 4-year-old across the road. When she went down for a nap, I began surfing the TV for something to watch. I paused on a show in progress—Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters. Now, I never watch reality TV. I find it annoying. But the show caught me. Within ten minutes, I was reaching for my notebook and scribbling like mad. I spent the rest of the afternoon researching bounty hunting.

One reality TV show gave me the inspiration I needed for both books. In Big Sky SEAL, my heroine’s a bounty hunter with a tracking dog. For Blue Collar, I wrote a story about a bounty hunting duo who become “involved”. I had so much fun with those stories, I am now planning an entire Montana Bounty Hunters series! The first book releases in November.

Pre-Order your copy!

Today’s release, The Bounty, is the story I wrote for Blue Collar. I’ve also included pages from Reaper, just to give you a little taste of my hero. I hope you love bounty hunters as much as I do! And if you want more installments featuring Buttercup and Bulldog, just let me know…

Read an excerpt…

After we’d dropped Lenny at the jail, Bulldog remained silent as we drove.

My arm stung like hell, so I was fine with the quiet for the first while.

His expression was so dark, I didn’t dare try to make small talk. When he missed the turnoff to the agency, I straightened and darted a glance his way. His narrowed gaze swung toward me, daring me to say a word. I sat back, my heart thudding hard inside my chest. Just how pissed was he?

Twenty minutes later, we pulled onto a gravel road. Once we passed the first curve, I saw a single-story house ahead. Gray stone and wood. A metal roof. He reached up to hit a button above his windshield, and a garage door rose.

So, this was his house. He’d brought me home. But would he cut me into tiny pieces and feed me to the Rottweiler jumping against the fence, or was he planning to read me the riot act in private, because he intended to yell and didn’t want the world to hear?

I hoped for a third option. One where he pushed me face-down over the first piece of furniture we met and delivered his frustration in the sexiest way possible.

He pulled the SUV into the garage, hit the button to lower the door, and then turned to give me another glare. “Get the fuck inside.”

I was tempted to chide him about his tone. Not his words. I wanted to be the fuck inside…fucking.

Without a word, I slipped out of the truck and headed to the wooden stairs leading into the house. I stepped inside a mud room then through another door and into the kitchen.

Bulldog entered behind me and closed the door.

His hands grasped my shoulders and turned me toward the table.

My heart stuttered—was this the bending over part? No, he pushed downward, forcing me into a chair.

“Unwrap your arm.”

Disappointment turned the corners of my mouth downward. Slowly, because the shirt stuck to the bloody stripes, I peeled away the shirt while he headed toward the sink.

He ran water then pulled a washcloth from a drawer and wet it. Next, he strode back to the table, pulling out a chair to sit beside me. He laid the washcloth over my arm.

It was hot, and I winced.

“Got to soak the blood to loosen it,” he said.

His voice was softer but no less growly, and my pulse raced.

When he wiped away the smears of blood, he shook his head. “Should have let him go, Buttercup. These’ll leave scars.”

I raised my chin. “Would you have?”

He grunted and completed his task, then stood, opened a cabinet above the stove, and pulled down a first aid kit. After he’d rubbed antiseptic gel over my wounds, he wrapped clean gauze around my arm and secured it with surgical tape.

“Thanks.” I kept my eyes cast downward. “But I could have managed on my own.”

“I know.”

I lifted my head and found him studying me.

His mouth tightened. “You handled yourself well. I just didn’t like you anywhere near that shithead.”

“Oh.” And because I was feeling off-kilter, his change in demeanor sending my insides swirling, I did what I always do when I feel a little afraid. I brazened it out, giving him a slow, seductive smile and a wink.

Instead of putting him back in his bad mood, his reaction to my taunt was a narrowing of his green eyes. He glanced at my mouth then shot out a hand and wrapped his fingers around the back of my neck to pull me toward him.

When his mouth slammed over mine, I gasped, giving him entry.

Bulldog might have been a big guy, but there was nothing lumbering or bearlike about his reactions. They were lightning fast. His tongue invaded my mouth, pushing past my teeth to stroke my tongue.

I gave a kitten-like mew, very un-me, and melted against him, my hand landing on his broad, bare chest, and my fingers tangling in his hair. Then he gripped my waist and slid me right off my chair onto his lap. Shock blasted through me at how much I liked the quick way he took charge.

He bent me backward, an arm around my shoulders. His free hand slipped between my legs and pushed against the damp denim, cupping me then squeezing my sex. “You’re fucking wet, Buttercup,” he rasped when he raised his head to let me breathe. Then slowly, daring me with his steady stare, he removed his hand from my crotch and cupped my breast through my clothing. “This okay with you?”

I managed a nod, and before I drew another breath, he went to his feet, with me in his arms, and strode through the house, past a living room filled with deep leather seating, down a hallway, and into a bedroom. His bed was enormous, an Alaska or a Wyoming-size King. He crawled onto the mattress on his knees and stepped toward the center before he set me down. Then he began stripping away my holster, my belt…my tee and bra…my shoes and pants. When the only thing I wore was a pair of bikini panties, he halted, backed off the bed, and began stripping off his own clothing, flinging each piece to the side while he kept his hungry stare on me.

But I wasn’t any woman waiting on a man to decide what happened next. I lifted my bottom, scraped down my panties, and threw them at his face.

Magnificently nude, he leapt toward the bed, diving toward the middle.

I rolled away, and just had my feet on the floor, when his arms wrapped around my waist, and he pulled me back against his body. He sat on the edge of the mattress and bracketed my legs with his thick thighs, then smoothed his rough palms over my skin, starting at my breasts then moving down my belly to my pussy. I squirmed in his arms trying to turn, but he kept me faced away as he felt me up, sending tingles through me.

Again, he cupped my breasts, and I felt his tongue slide from the center of my back upward, following my spine. Goose bumps prickled on my skin. My breaths grew short. Fuck, oh fuck. I wanted him. “Bulldog,” I said, shivering hard inside his embrace.

“Don’t fight me, Buttercup. Don’t move. Let me do you the way I have to.”

He turned me until I faced him.

I stood with my arms at my sides as he raked my body with his gaze. His for the taking, because I wanted to be taken.

I couldn’t resist dropping my gaze to his cock, so thick and straight, jerking against his belly to the beat of his heart.

“Fuck, oh fuck,” I whispered and shivered hard again.

He reached to the side, slid open a drawer in the nightstand, and pulled out a condom. With his lips pulling back from his teeth, he cloaked himself, then scooted backward on the bed and patted the mattress beside him.

I crawled toward him then lay on my belly beside him, hiding my face against the coverlet, because I knew my expression would give away just how badly I wanted this. I rubbed on the mattress, because my skin burned and my nipples ached.

He kissed my shoulder and climbed over me, his weight pressing me deep into the mattress as he fisted his hand in my hair and held me down, then slipped his legs, one at a time between mine, waiting for me to open to him.

When he rooted his cock between my legs, my breath shuddered out. His lower body scooped against me, rubbing against my ass as he teased me with the tip of his cock sliding between my slick folds.

His teeth dragged on my earlobe, and he whispered, “I’m gonna fuck you up, babe. Fuck hard and deep. You ready, Buttercup?”

I made a sound—half-laugh, half-sob. Ready? Never. But I quivered underneath him and strained to lift my ass, needing him to take me now.

With one hand still lodged in my hair, he lifted his hips and slid his free arm beneath my waist to raise my hips.

I braced on my knees, my belly barely off the bed, because that’s all the room he gave me, and then he was rutting against me, pushing between my folds, quick in and out slides, penetrating only a couple of inches.

“Don’t tease,” I said, hissing when he tightened his fingers on my hair. My scalp stung, but the pain only made the tension winding inside my core tighten more. Already, my lips were clenching, releasing, trying to capture his cockhead as he wet it in the fluid drenching my sex.

“You want this,” he whispered, pushing a little deeper then withdrawing.

Way past worrying about my pride, I whimpered. “Yes. Yes, please.”

“One thing, babe. One thing before I give it to you. Promise me.”

My pulse pounded in my ears. “Anything, just please, Bulldog…”

He nuzzled into the hair beside my ear. “Don’t ever scare me like that again.”

Jana Richards: My Favorite Romance Series
Thursday, September 28th, 2017

I love books in series. I enjoy spending time in a story world with characters I’ve come to know and care about over multiple books. It’s satisfying to discover that a character I’ve liked since book one finally gets his own happy ending in book six. And it’s also satisfying to get a peek into the lives of the couple from book one in subsequent books to find they are still living happily ever after.

I have many favorite romance series, so it’s difficult to choose. I loved Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower series, the FBI/US Attorney series from Julie James, and Suzanne Brockmann’s Navy Seals. All wonderful books. But if I have to choose just two favorite series, I’m going with Nora Roberts Chesapeake Bay series, and Mary Balogh’s Huxtable series. Both of these authors have so many great series that it’s difficult to pick just one from each, but I’ve got my reasons for choosing these two.

The Chesapeake Bay series from Nora Roberts consists of Sea Swept, Rising Tides, and Inner Harbor. And, I just discovered as I was writing this, that there is also a fourth book called Chesapeake Blue. Can’t believe I missed Seth’s story, but I will certainly be checking it out. When their adoptive father dies, the Quinn brothers, Cam, Ethan and Phil, return to Maryland’s Eastern shore to honor his last request, and to look after the boy Seth, a boy who looks a lot like their father Ray. But if Seth is their father’s biological son, it means he cheated on their deceased mother, something the brothers never thought possible. Ray and Stella Quinn took in the three troubled boys when no one else would, forging a strong and loving family for them. In return, the brothers had always been devoted to Ray and Stella, and it’s hurtful to suspect their father wasn’t the man they believed him to be. Through the events of the first three stories, the brothers find love and discover the truth about their parents.

One of the reasons I love this series is because there’s an overarching mystery running through the first three books. I used a similar technique in the series I’m currently writing and editing. My Love at Solace Lake series is the story of the Lindquist sisters, Harper, Scarlet and Maggie, who inherit their grandfather’s crumbling fishing lodge in north-central Minnesota. Like the Quinn brothers who are trying to make a go of their boat building business, the Lindquist sisters are trying to resurrect the Solace Lake Lodge and save the legacy handed down to them. Like the Quinn brothers, they are also faced with the consequences of family secrets. Since childhood, the Lindquist sisters have lived with the belief that their father killed their mother. But they discover their grandparents kept many secrets from them. Deciphering the truth from the lies is nearly impossible.

I adore Mary Balogh’s writing and I particularly adored the Huxtable series because each of the Huxtables falls in love with someone totally unsuitable. Each match creates a scandal that threatens to ruin them. But rather than walk away and give in to society’s expectations, they fight for love. Having to go through so much adversity makes the resulting relationship that much sweeter. I hope I’ve made my characters path to love just as sweet.

Do you have a favorite series? I hope you enjoy the blurb from HER BEST MAN, the first book in my Left at the Altar series. Happy reading!

HER BEST MAN

Sarah Stevens experiences a bride’s worst nightmare; being dumped at the altar. When she goes on the Caribbean cruise meant to be her honeymoon in order to lick her wounds, she discovers her ex-fiancé has sent his brother, Will Marshall, the former best man, on the cruise as well. Everyone on board thinks they’re newlyweds, and Sarah is too embarrassed to set them straight. How is she supposed to share a tiny cabin with a man she barely knows? How is she supposed to pretend that she and Will are on their honeymoon? Even worse, how can she keep from falling in love with him? Sarah discovers the best man for her really is the best man.

Buy Links:

 Uncial Press | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
B & N | Google Play | Kobo | Untreed Reads | iBooks | Chapters/Indigo

BUY in Print: Create Space