Exclusive Interview with Isabel Cooper + Giveaway
Giveaway , Interviews / May 25, 2015

  During the day, Isabel Cooper maintains her guise as a mild-mannered project manager in legal publishing. In her spare time, she enjoys video games, ballroom dancing, various geeky hobbies, and figuring out what wine goes best with leftover egg rolls. Cooper lives with two thriving houseplants in Boston, Massachusetts.   Welcome to Reading Romances, Isabel! Let us start with a basic question, when did you first start reading romance? Around eight years old, actually. I read early and the local library was well-stocked with Harlequin paperbacks—this was the very early nineties, too, so most of them were completely awesome in their eightiestasticness. I remember one featuring emerald earrings, an abused-but-spunky-but-abused heroine named some variety of Mistyque, and a hero named, I believe, Luc. I’ve never been able to find that one again, sadly. My parents, once they found out, were not completely pleased, sod. Around twelve or thirteen, Mom figured my mind was as warped as it was going to be and settled for warning me that, you know, actual relationships are nothing like that. I was like “Yeah, don’t care, pretty much in this for the dirty parts,” but didn’t tell her as much. How do you like…

Desire Me Now by Tiffany Clare + Giveaway
Excerpt , Giveaway / May 23, 2015

When Amelia Grant’s past catches up with her and threatens to destroy the life she’s built, Nick Riley doesn’t hesitate to protect her. With just one look Nick completely undoes her. He wanted her surrender and she all but threw it at his feet. She’s revealed her darkest secrets . . . let him into her heart as he drew her deeper into forbidden games of desire . . . But what happens when Nick’s secrets can destroy the very foundation they’ve build between each other? Will he let Amelia through the barriers of his past? Or will the truth tear them apart? Desire Me Now Desire Me # 1 By Tiffany Clare She didn’t miss the note of intimacy in his comment. And while his admission and the underlying innuendo should have her running from the house, she found herself intrigued. What in the world was wrong with her? Her imaginings from last night were what was wrong with her. She’d sketched a picture of this man in her mind that was too perfect and without flaws. Everyone had flaws. She decided right then and there that she couldn’t trust herself in his presence. Her imagination had run wild…

Interview with Darcy Burke + Giveaway
Giveaway , Interviews / May 21, 2015

  Darcy Burke is the USA Today bestselling author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily-ever-after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids-who each seem to have inherited the writing gene in some form-and two Bengal cats. In her “spare” time Darcy is a serial volunteer enrolled in a 12-step program where one learns to say “no,” but she keeps having to start over. Her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge.   Welcome to Reading Romances, Darcy! Hi! Thanks for having me here today! Let us start with a basic  question, when did you first start reading romance? I was probably about thirteen (yikes, that’s younger than my daughter is now!). I read my mom’s books. I remember a lot of Kathleen Woodiwiss, Bertrice Small, and Rosemary Rogers. She says I also read Harlequins, but I don’t remember that! The historicals always stuck with me. Who are your favorite romance writers and their book…

Pacing the Story or Setting the Scene + GC Giveaway
Giveaway , Guest Post / May 18, 2015

    Blair McDowell wrote her first short story when she was eleven and has never ceased writing since, although only recently has she been able to return to her first love, writing fiction. During her early years, she taught in universities in the United States, Canada and Australia, and wrote several highly successful books in her field.   Pacing the Story or Setting the Scene by Blair McDowell As writers we’re frequently reminded that we must pay attention to pacing in our stories, that we must “keep the story moving”. I like a fast-paced tale as well as the next reader, and as a writer, I know I should be getting on with the story. But I love setting a scene. I like painting verbal pictures. In Romantic Road my settings include the vibrant city of New York, a rustic lodge on a lake in Quebec, the old Roman road the Romantische Strasse in Germany, the cities of Salzburg and Vienna in Austria, and Budapest and Lake Balaton in Hungary. How could I not describe these places in all their splendor? The smell of old-growth forest and shimmer of a Quebec lake, the dark and forbidding medieval stone walls…

Review: Viking for Hire by Jo Grafford + GC Giveaway
Giveaway , Reviews / May 15, 2015

    Branwyn O’Tyre’s estranged brother summons her for a healing ritual. Fearing he actually plans to arrest her for witchcraft, she drinks a protection potion before he arrives. Eirik, a Viking sea captain pretending slumber in the tavern corner, witnesses Branwyn’s magic and offers her safe passage from Exeter if she will reverse a curse that plagues him. Alas, every woman who touches him falls madly but falsely in love with him. There’s only one hitch: If she fails, Branwyn’s heart will fall prey to the same madness…forever!   Viking for Hire by Jo Grafford   A magic story to be entertained! Viking for Hire is a light fun read that you finish in one seating. This page turner has witches, mermaids, curses, potions, wands and all that is magic! Branwyn, or protagonist, really plays a heroine to this storyline, confident and clever. I really enjoyed the atmosphere the author has created and how she chose to keep it real even tough fantasy is there. Here’s an example, it’s how our heroine describes the men she encounters: ‘They were a jolly bunch, quick to swap jests and break into song and even quicker to tip up the bottle to lighten the…