Monday, November 30, 2015

Falling For The Freemans By Kate Hewitt

I’m so excited to share my new series, Falling For The Freemans, with readers. The idea for this series actually came to me about ten years ago, when my husband and I was driving through Upstate New York on the way to my parents’ house in Canada. We unfortunately had engine trouble, and went off the highway in search of a garage. We drove through a town that looked as if it had once been a tourist destination, with beautiful old Victorian houses and a lovely village green and bandstand, but with a forgotten, dilapidated air over everything that made me curious. What had happened to this town, and why wasn’t it still a popular tourist destination, like other towns in the Thousand Islands region? I answer that question in my series, set in the fictional town of Creighton Falls, and the first novella in it, Falling For Christmas, came out  on November 9.

Falling for Christmas is Hannah Ford and Sam Taylor’s story. Hannah is a New Yorker running away from a Christmas house party where her snide ex unexpectedly showed up. Sam is the strong, silent type who has no idea what to do with a glamorous city girl. Fortunately they figure something out over a very special Christmas! And during her stay in Creighton Falls Hannah learns about the Freeman family, who once ran the town as well as the huge hotel on the village green, empty and abandoned for twenty years, ever since Peter Freeman fell through the ice and drowned in a fishing accident.

The next three books in the series, Falling Hard, Falling Fast, and Falling Forever, have a Freeman brother as the hero of each story. Each brother has had a different experience of and reaction to his father’s death, and what happened on that awful day. Each one will have to return to Creighton Falls and face his past and deal with his secrets. And meanwhile Creighton Falls will finally get the facelift it deserves.

I hope you enjoy Falling For The Freemans. I’m giving away one e-copy of Falling For Christmas—just leave a comment below, telling me what you think of small town series.

Happy Reading,


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Eve Gaddy: Happy Thanksgiving!

I don't expect many people will read my blog today. So I thought I'd give you something you can look at and use later. I'm going to do something I rarely do. I'm going to post a recipe.

My family and I have a cookie recipe that we make around Thanksgiving and Christmas. They're called Cinnamon Sugar Crisps and they are wonderful. (And addicting) This recipe came to me from my mother-in-law, who got it from a friend's grandmother. (or great-grandmother) It's one of those that's been passed down for generations.

Thank heavens for electric mixers. When I first began making these we had no such thing as dough hooks and my mother-in-law was insistent that you had to do it all by hand. I always made a double recipe, and usually two or three because I gave them out as gifts. I also drafted my husband to help--have you ever tried to stir in 4 cups of flour to a recipe, by hand? Besides, my husband loves them and will do almost anything if I'll make them.

Thank heavens for daughters, too. My own daughter is now in charge of the Cinnamon Sugar Crisps, and she rocks this recipe. Measurements are for the double recipe.

Eve's Cinnamon Sugar Crisps
Oven 350 for 10-12 minutes

1 Cup brown sugar
1 Cup white sugar
2 sticks margarine or butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
6 tsp baking powder
4 Cups flour

Mix the first five ingredients together with an electric mixer. Very slowly add in the flour and baking powder. I use dough hooks for this part of the recipe. Note: Be aware that you might have to adjust the quantity of flour. Sometimes 4 cups is too much, other times, it's just right. You want it to be of a consistency that you can roll into small balls of dough easily. If the dough is too sticky, add a little flour.

Roll dough into small balls, place on a cookie sheet and flatten with a fork dusted in flour. The thinner the dough the crispier the cookie. Bake at 350-375 for ten to twelve minutes. Upon taking them out of the oven, sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar and allow to cool. Enoy!

Do you have a cookie tradition in your family?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Gratitude is the attitude!

Hey, Y'all!

Every day I post a good morning status on my Tonya Kappes Author page. I love to share my morning coffee with readers and friends. It starts my day off to a great and happy start. During the month of November I change my morning coffee posts to a month long of gratitude status's. It's a great way to lift your thankful spirit.

It's the first thing in the morning I see the entire month when I get on Facebook. Reading what everyone is grateful and thankful for really makes my happy juices flow, which make me very happy and motivated to get work done.

It's so contagious to read everyone's happy. How about you? When you hear how someone is thankful and grateful, does it turn your day or attitude around? Leave a comment to be eligible to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

I hope you join me!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Romance and Rays of Hope by Joanne Walsh

A week ago, the world was stunned and saddened when Paris was viciously attacked by extremist terrorists, and so many citizens lost their lives or were seriously injured. It seemed inconceivable that this city—an eternal, global symbol of love and romance—should be targeted in this way.  As the waves of shock and sorrow continue to ripple, I’ve been talking with my fellow romance writers and editors about what our response should be—do we have anything useful or meaningful to offer when something terrible like this happens?

We all agree that, during the darkest days, what better way is there to leave behind the madness than to lose oneself in a good romance? Romance equals pure escapism: it can ease our shock and calm our minds, be relied upon to bring us light and laughter and lift our spirits—and remind us that love is everything. Which is maybe something that those misguided souls who were so cruel and vengeful lost sight of.

At tough times like these, I salute my fellow romance writers for what they contribute. It helps to know that there are many wonderful romance novels to curl up with, to seek comfort in and reaffirmation of people and relationships, when the world seems so uncertain and humans unpredictable.

I know that you, like me, will wish Parisians healing, peace and strength.

Taming the Italian Bad Boy and A Wife in Every Sense by Joanne Walsh are available on all good digital platforms now.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Grateful....for the Big and the Small Things!

     I think this is the usual time of year to be thinking about gratitude -- only a week until Thanksgiving and a month until Christmas.  It's the time when family and friendship are on the mind and, as the year ends, we look both backward and forward.  So, I decided to share with you some of the things for which I am grateful this year.

First, of course, I am grateful for my wonderful family and especially for the safe arrival of our newest grandbaby, Sydney Grace! Now, the Brisbins have TWO princesses to celebrate this year, a wonderful thing!

Second, I am so grateful for my readers. The whole purpose of writing is to share my stories with others and it is so gratifying to hear from readers (via email, social media, signings and events). To talk to others who know my characters as well, or better than, I do is so much fun!  And it makes me want to continue writing to share.

Next, I am thankful that Stephen Colbert is back on tv and that Sullivan Stapleton is, too! I'm grateful that Trevor Noah is stepping well into Jon Stewart's shoes on The Daily Show. I'm grateful for all the new romances from all my favorite authors.

Finally, I am so very grateful for two groups of women who are writing colleagues and who have been instrumental in keeping me sane and writing over these last years. First, The Hussies - a group of highly-talented, wonderful writers and women who have or currently write Harlequin Historical romances. No question is barred and support flows easily and often.  The other are the Hermits of Isle of Palms - a yearly writing retreat filled with incredible women who share their knowledge and experience and skills and talents and generosity of time and heart! Both of these groups have helped me keep joy in my heart when I need it most!

Looking forward, I am so excited about watching the princesses growing so quickly over the next year. I am thrilled to be writing more romances in the coming months. I'm looking forward to attending LoveLetters convention and meeting romance readers from Germany!  And so much more in 2016!

So, how about you? Are you in the grateful-frame-of-mind this week? Looking forward to something in the weeks or months to come?  Something special? Something usual?

Terri  is busy working on her next book - The Highland Rogue - for Harlequin Historicals and celebrating her current release - Raging Sea - from the NAL Signet Novels of the Stone Circles series! Visit her website or friend her on FB or 'like' her on FB or follow her on Twitter for lots more news and info!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Merci Beaucoup-Grazie Mille-Danke Schoen-Muchas Gracias by Jenny Gardiner

You guys totally rock!

There are so many ways to say thank you, but it's not easy to truly express how appreciative writers are that we have readers who can't wait for our next book to release, and who happily immerse themselves in the worlds we create as if they truly exist. I know that happens because it does to me as a reader too, and there are many times I've reached out to fellow writers just to thank them for giving me a great place to escape to for a little while. As a writer I know how much it means for a reader to let me know that my book has touched them somehow. And when bad things happen in the world and times get particularly uncertain, even scary, what an amazing thing it is to be able to retreat to your favorite stories, to a place of comfort and good cheer.

So I'm particularly thankful, as a reader, for the many writers whose words have entertained and informed me over the years, but even more so as a writer, for all of those readers who have enjoyed my books and better still reached out to let me know. It keeps me focused on writing more books, so I hope you'll keep those emails and social network comments and great reviews coming, and I thank you for joining my crazy world for a little while!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the States!

So great news! You can get a free book of mine here when you sign up for my monthly newsletter and you'll be first to hear about steals and deals...and I've got a fabulous freebie I'm going to be announcing in December, so you'll know first!

And I've got all sorts of new books out! Check them out at
Oh and guess what? I just re-released my #1 Kindle bestseller Slim to None and it's doing gangbusters at iBooks!

I also just re-released Anywhere But Here, with a brand spanking new cover. It's a book I've always enjoyed, and if you've not read it, feel free to mosey on over to see what you think!
Lastly, book 5 of the It's Reigning Men series, Shame of Thrones, which comes out December 16, is available for pre-order!
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Living in The Moment by Michelle Monkou

Living in the moment sounds easy. It's a mantra that's repeated so much on social media that you think who doesn't live in the moment. Or what's so hard about living in the moment?

Really I don't have the answers. But I find myself doling out that advice to my kids. Maybe it's knowing that I've walked some of their paths in life, or I've faced some of the indecision and questions in life that suddenly makes me the quasi-expert to say live in the moment.

My daughter headed for a year in South Korea as a study abroad student. It was a big decision--financially, culturally, and geographically. Changing the mind was an option, but couldn't be blindly indulged, either.

As the day of her departure grew closer, I could see the nervous spike of indecision close to the surface. So I did a preemptive strike to have my daughter focus on the wonderful adventure that she was about to embark.

She's a history major. She enjoys Asian studies. What a great way to see what so many can only read in text books or see in movies.

She's learning the language, too. She will have the opportunity to learn not only the language, but the culture and etiquette that go hand-in-hand with attention to hierarchy.

She loves to travel. While I have introduced her to several countries through our travels, there is wide breath of places still to see, visit and even revisit. Our world is vast and yet, in the whole scheme of things, it is small.

She writes fan fiction. Already as a creative and highly imaginative endeavor, now she can actually see places and sites that will further enhance her creative outlet.

She's shy, but not painfully so--otherwise, a trip around the world would have been a massive undertaking. Here she is meeting students from all over the world. Her confidence is boosted as she communicates and learns from her fellow student-friends. They have a chance to bond and share in a relaxed environment where their differences aren't a wedged between them.

I don't know what the future holds for her. But she is in this wonderful space of time and location to enjoy it for what it is. Treat it as an adventure. Treasure the memories. Be bold and live fearlessly.  The rest of life awaits her (knock on wood).

As we video chat, I take away what I've learned from her. The feeling of optimism and hope. The wonderment of what's out there, but also the realization that we have more similarities than differences. And time doesn't sit still or wait on anyone. Soon she will hit the midpoint of her stay and then the roller coaster ride will feel like it raced to the end, when she'll return home.

So my continued advice to her and all of you out there: Be curious about life. Treasure its miracle. Live in the moment.

Michelle Monkou

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

New Releases and a quick Hello from Susan Stephens

Hello again,

It's so good to be back here chatting to you :) 

And thank you all for your wonderful response to my last two stories about the sexy gaucho polo players from Brazil. I'll be really sorry to leave these hot men and feisty women behind, and I’m so glad you enjoyed reading the series. Just in case you didn't catch the last two books in my Hot Brazilian Nights! series, here they are, and they’re on sale now!

Carrying her Brazilian boss’s baby!
Chambermaid Emma Fane is looking for the perfect distraction – and her best friend’s wedding promises to be just that. Until, heart racing, she spies Lucas Marcelos – infamous bad boy and father to her unborn child!
Lucas might have lost his head over innocent, spirited Emma for one glorious night, but he won’t lose his heir! He lures her back to Brazil, but Emma is no man’s mistress. She demands her independence and then takes a job in Lucas’s hotel – much to his annoyance!
It only took one night to change their lives…now they have nine months to face the consequences… 
Back in the Brazilian’s Bed a December 2015 release, is the last book in the series. I loved writing it—in fact, I put my heart and soul into this story to make it a fitting finale to the series.

He’s back in her life…
Events-planner Karina Marcelos has risen to the top of her field, while trying to forget Lothario polo-player Dante Barracca. Ten years ago he took her innocence – but that wasn’t all she lost after that fateful night…
She’s back in his bed!
With the Gaucho Cup to organise, Dante knows Karina is the best person for the job. But the buttoned-up woman he hires is a shadow of the vivacious girl he once knew. No one can hide under the glare of the Brazilian sun, and Dante plans to lift the lid on Karina’s secret before he lifts the champion’s cup! 
And then I went somewhere entirely different to set my next story...

After a wonderful research tip to Tuscany, I got this idea for a sophisticated Tuscan billionaire, and an absolutely unsophisticated gardener, up to her elbows in mud! I had such fun writing it, and if you enjoy Cass and Marco's story half as much as I enjoyed writing it, I think you’re going to have a blast. 

Happy reading everyone!


Nine months to claim what's his!

For gardener Cassandra Rich, working in the foothills of Tuscany is the perfect way to escape her past. Until the man of the manor graces the villa with his presence and Cassandra with his attention.

Marco di Fivizzano can't take his eyes off the delectable Cass. So when he requires a plus one for a gala, Marco will uncover who this fiery blonde is-- over dinner, or in his bed!

In Marco's arms, Cass blossoms, finding the freedom she's always craved... until she discovers she's pregnant and bound to the billionaire forever!

And that's it for now from me. So good to have this chance to chat with you!
I'll be back soon, and in the meantime, I wish you a wonderful November, full of romance, and friendship, and love.

Your friend and author,

Monday, November 16, 2015

Bundle Up!

We had our first snow the other day. I didn't take a photo. It was slushy and not very pretty and disappeared right away, but it was a reminder that winter is a-coming. When I went for my daily walk, I wore a proper jacket with a scarf and gloves and a toque. (In Canada we call these toques.)

This is my husband, who ran outside last winter to do a couple of quick chores and grabbed the first one that came to hand. Wouldn't you know that my sister and brother-in-law arrived at precisely that moment to catch him not only wearing the goofiest toque in Canada, but wearing it backwards.

Here I am wearing the one I usually wear for my walks, unless it's super cold. This photo is also from last winter, when my daughter was home from uni and we took a walk down to the beach.

It's not all cold days here in the Canadian winter.
In fact, I grew up near Vancouver, which is Pacific Northwest rain for most of the winter (year.) At least it was while I was growing up! All bets seem to be off, these days.

When we moved into the interior of BC, and had snow that accumulated all winter, I finally felt like a real Canadian. The truth is, however, our winters are very mild compared to the rest of the country. We're hideously spoiled. Shhh.

But we wouldn't appreciate fine weather without the blustery stuff, would we? So even though the last few days have been damp and gloomy (we needed the rain!) I'm embracing it. Besides, is there any better weather for curling up with a book?

Given that reading days are upon us, I wanted to let you know about these fabulous deals on boxed sets.  How better to stock up for the rain and snow and no-place-to-go season?

My anthology, A Year Of Love In Marietta, is 99c until Nov 22. This is a bundle of my four Montana Born novellas (Hometown Hero, Blame The Mistletoe, The Bachelor's Baby & His Blushing Bride.) I wrote some bonus scenes just for this collection, so if you've read some (or all) of these, you'll definitely want to grab this while it's 99c!

The Montana Homecoming boxed set is also 99c through November. This is a fabulous collection of sweet and sexy stories about coming home. This was my first series with Montana Born so it really is a kind of homecoming for me to see it released. This was my first group of Tule author friends! Hi gals!

Finally, the Montana Born Christmas boxed set is 1.99 as I write this, but will be going up soon so act fast. You cannot go wrong with this USA Today Bestselling bundle!

You can find all of these on all the major digital platforms (Amazon, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, GooglePlay, Smashwords.) I guarantee they'll keep you warm this winter!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Michelle Styles: Harlequin celebrating 10 years of digital with a 10k book sale

It is hard to believe but Harlequin's ebook revolution has been with us for ten years. Harlequin is busy celebrating with its biggest discount ever (10,000 ebooks priced at $1.99) of series ebooks.
 The ebook sale is taking place across a wide variety of platforms -- Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Nook, Google, Apple ibooks and of course its own site. This is limited to US only. The promotion runs from 10 November to 17 November.
You can look at the full list of books here and it reflects books out in the last decade. It is searchable. Authors' names  are done in last name, first name. I  found it easiest to search by last name.  There are 21 of my books available on the list -- basically everything except the books that were out this year.
Harlequin was the first major publisher to put all of its front list on to ebook. It was always endeavored to make its ebooks available across all of the platforms. It currently publishes ebooks in 16 different languages including English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German and Japanese.
romance is one of the most popular genres in the digital world.
So if you have a fave Harlequin author and have missed a book or three, this could be an excellent time to pick up a bargain.

Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romance in a wide range of time periods. Her latest Summer of the Viking was published in  June 2015. You can learn more about Michelle and her books on

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Christina Hollis—A Giveaway, And A Very Early Christmas Present...
I'm running a Goodreads Giveaway this week over at, so I hope you'll all join in! There's a free copy of my book His Majesty's Secret Passion on offer, which is the first novel in my Princes of Kharova series for The Wild Rose Press. 

King Leo's romance with career girl Sara in His Majesty's Secret Passion really set the ball rolling. Her Royal Risk followed. It was the linked story of King Leo's personal assistant, Krisia, who was "promoted" into a job with career soldier Prince Athan. Sparks flew, and led to a third book, Heart Of A Hostage, which is going to be launched on 4th December.  Visit my blog at Writing A Series to find out more, and read this teaser for my Giveaway...

The sea was so calm, Sara felt a wonderful sense of release. The Neroli swept across the surface like a swallow. She loved it. “You handle this boat like you were born to it, Leo.”
He seemed to find this funny. Seeing him look so happy made her heart do a little dance in her chest. The tousled man who kicked off his shoes and commanded his vessel barefoot and windblown was a world away from the sleek seducer of the night before...
Sara had a sudden crisis of conscience. She hadn’t texted her PA since the night before. Digging in her bag for her mobile, she switched it on. “Why do I get the funniest feeling I’m being watched?” she said without looking up from the keypad. 
“Because you are. And there are two good reasons for that.”
 “You’re going to moan at me for checking mail when I should be taking a break.”
“That was one of the reasons.”
She guessed the other before he put it into words. “Blushing suits you, Sara.”
“It’ll look a whole lot better when my skin’s lost this pasty white colour.”
Leo clicked his tongue. “A woman like you should be sophisticated enough to accept compliments with better grace.”
“Sorry, but I don’t take orders from a guy who looks like a pirate.” She lolled back against the rail. It felt good to let the sun pour over her body. “Stop laughing, Leo.”
“If I’m a pirate, then the sea should be my only mistress. Is that what you want?”

...and while you're in the mood for reading, here's a sneaky peek ahead of the release of Heart Of A Hostage....
Your early Christmas present!
When Maia's car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, a handsome stranger comes to her rescue. But Mihail is a rebel leader, and Maia's brother is the king. Mihail takes her hostage, but instead of the meek little mouse he expects, he finds he's snagged the houseguest from hell...

"We’re stuck with each other now, aren’t we? For my part, I’m not bothered," he said with a shrug, "I stopped caring what people thought about me years ago. But you…”
Maia watched, transfixed, as he lifted his hand. He traced the curve of her cheek with his fingers, gently kissing her skin with his touch. She couldn’t pull back. He was crossing more lines than she could count, and his deadly smile was a reminder of exactly how much trouble she was in...

If you live in the US, you can order a paperback copy of Heart Of A Hostage in advance of its release date here. If you'd rather have an ebook, or live outside the US, then click here.

When she isn't cooking, gardening or beekeeping, Christina Hollis writes contemporary fiction starring complex men and independent women.  Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and she’s sold over two million books worldwide. You can catch up with her at, on TwitterFacebookand see a full list of her published books on her website


Friday, November 13, 2015


This summer I was at a conference and a friend attended a workshop where they asked the authors, "What is at the core of all your stories?"  We sat around the table discussing it and when it came to my turn, I answered without

I find the idea of what makes a family fascinating...there are endless variations.  In my Whedon, PA series, the family came together because of adoption.  In my Valley Ridge series, family was formed through friendship and happenstance. In August's Her Second-Chance Family, my heroine is a foster parent.

But April's award winning book was a bit different.  Carry Her Heart isn't about a family that's formed, but rather the family that's left behind...specifically the birth mother who gave a child up.  And even though her child went on to be raised by another family, ultimately the story still is about family.  It's about a mother's love for her child.  And it's that love, more than blood that makes her that child's family.  Like so many of my books, that book is built around the idea that a family is formed...not necessarily born.

And in my newest two releases, there are no children involved, but they both deal with family.  In 13 Weeks: A Novella, the hero is losing his grandmother...the last of his family.  He learns that those who pass on aren't truly lost...not if we have our love and memories to keep them alive in our hearts.  And in These Three Words (which is out in 11 days...but who's counting??) my hero and heroine are a couple who's been torn apart.  I came up with my tagline for the book early on and I held onto it as I wrote:  Sometimes the greatest loves aren't discovered...they're rediscovered.


For me, it's everything.  When I started writing I decided that for me, family came first and writing came second.  Everything else just squeezed in where I could manage.  All these years later, I think that was one of the best decisions I ever made.  I've watched my kids grow into such amazing human beings.  And I'm thrilled to confess, they've grown into my best friends.

So as we sit down to Thanksgiving soon, I'll be thankful for many things.  My writing is right up there.  But at the top of my list—at the very top—I'm thankful for my family.  They're my inspiration.  To be honest, they're at the heart of everything I do.

Happy Thanksgiving!!


PS last year's holiday book, A Valley Ridge Christmas, and Carry Her Heart are both on sale this week for $1.99.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

That C Word (Christmas that is!) with Kate Walker

OK I'm going to admit to thinking about it already - Christmas that is!  Every year I watch to see
when the first Christmas products arrive in the stores. Or the decorations/tree goes up in the shops.  The Christmas adverts are always a tradition in the UK  with firms vying to be original/magical/sentimental  with this year's event. Some of them are  real stories in their own right -  the rabbit and his friend the bear  who hibernated through the winter and so missed Christmas. Or the little boy who wanted a friend for his toy penguin . . . this year we have a little girl who sends a  telescope to the lonely old Man in the Moon. 

It's all started happening  now, everywhere I go I see  red and green and gold displays (or silver and white ones)  and I'll admit I've started 'making a list and checking it twice'.  Next week my DH and I are going on a long weekend trip to York where hopefully the buying of gifts and little extras will be a pleasure rather than a chore when we  try to cross  presents  off our lists while shopping in this beautiful mediaeval city.

One of my favourite parts of this Christmas shopping is to plan  for  Christmas Stockings for my family.   Yes, my son is grown-up with a fiancée  and a home of his own, but be honest which of us is so grown up that they don't love the  thrill of a stocking stuffed with silly little treats and jokes gifts. Every year I know my grown up son will look at something I've bought and say 'Mother - how old am I?' but I also know he wouldn't want it any other way.  So I can buy  a whoopee cushion, or  a bubble shooting gun  or some  sill Star Wars socks and know that he'll love them. The cats will love chasing the bubbles too -  and they'll have a small stocking each with little extra treats   and some cat nip to drive them crazy.

One of my favourite stocking fillers is always a  much wanted, brand new paperback book - in the old days  this book was a yearly annual - Dr Who or something similar and the idea was that the Offspring could stay in bed and read that and so save us from having to wake up ant 6am when he was bubbling with excitement on Christmas morning.

So this year it's an extra thrill that the books I can pop in the stocking  for my son's fiancée or for my sisters is one of my own  romance.  They're just the right size  to slip into the stockings we have (ones I made years ago when my son was small) and there's a special delight in sharing  this special gift with everyone.  So this year  copies of Destined For The Desert King will  be in several family stockings - and it has a really lovely  red and gold, Christmassy looking cover that fits right in.

What about you? Do you have someone special who you'd like to give  a stocking filler  of one of my backlist books to?    I can't give away Destined to The Desert King just yet as it's not actually published until the end of this month.  But if you tell me in the comments about someone you'd like to give a backlist title too then I'll get Charlie the Maine Coon  to pick a name and you can have a gift for a friend  - or a  sister - or your mother . . .  

Just let me know and I'll get Charlie to play Santa Paws

 . Coming on November 17th   Destined For The Desert King  

A queen of convenience? 

There's no doubt that their marriage is one of convenience and political maneuvering. But shy beauty Aziza El Afarim secretly hopes that her husband—the boy she once idolized—remembers something of the closeness they shared as children.

Except Sheikh Nabil Al Sharifa is far from the boy he used to be. The weight of loss and power has changed him beyond recognition. Where once there was warmth and generosity, now only a ruthless passion burns. He'll give Aziza everything…except his love.

But as pressure to produce an heir mounts, could there be more than duty in the marriage bed?

Then there's the  12 Point Guide to Writing Romance, the newest edition of which is available on Kindle or a revised and updated paperback edition now available on and

Kate Walker's web site is here   and the up-to-date news can be found on her blog or her Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Duke's Mistress by Carole Mortimer

Do you already have Christmas decorations and presents for sale in your area? We do, and I’m one of those people who love seeing them. I love everything about Christmas, in fact. Even the shopping for those difficult presents! One year we left the decorated tree up past 12th night because my editor belatedly asked me to write a Christmas story and I wanted the right ‘atmosphere’ in which to write it. My husband and I liked the tree so much we left it up all year—probably bad luck or something, but we enjoyed it. But goodness knows what June visitors thought about seeing that decorated Christmas tree in our lounge, because they were all too polite to say anything, and we had totally forgotten it shouldn’t be there.

In keeping with Christmas, November 4th is publication day for The Duke’s Mistress, the first book in my bestselling Regency series, Regency Unlaced. Hot and steamy love stories, set in the Regency period, with an added dash of danger.

The Duke’s Mistress
The young widow Lady Dorothea Fitzroy is bored with her life. Most especially so with her role as mistress of her older brother’s household, and the endless round of society engagements this forces her to endure.
Thea decides she wishes to become a mistress of another kind entirely, that she needs a secret and passion lover to add excitement and spice to her humdrum life.
Enter Julian Remington, the arrogant and haughty Duke of Blackmoor, who has no interest in taking a mistress, for his bedroom or his home. The duke is jaded, cynical, and most of all distrustful when it comes to women. With good reason. One woman in particular has caused him too much grief for him to ever trust another.
But Thea and Julian are about to be caught up in a passion for each other that blazes so fiercely, so out of control, that they’re both blind to the danger stalking them through the foggy London streets. A woman from Julian’s past who wishes to see Blackmoor suffer as she has suffered, and now sees Thea Fitzroy as the means by which she might achieve that revenge.

The second book in the Regency Unlaced series, Claimed by the Marquis, is now available for pre-order and will be published on January 29th. The stories in this Regency romantic suspense series will be published alternate months through 2016 with my contemporary Alpha series.

The 7th book in the Alpha series, Rogue Alpha, will be released December 4th, and is now available for pre-order.

Have a great November!

Buy links for The Duke’s Mistress (Regency Unlaced 1):
Also available on Kobo, ibooks, Smashwords.

Pre-Order buy links to Rogue Alpha (Alpha 7):
Also available on Kobo, ibooks, Smashwords.
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Carole Mortimer has written over 200 books in the contemporary and Regency genres, most recently the bestselling contemporary Alpha, and Regency Unlaced series.
Carole is Recipient of the 2015 Romance Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award, a USA Today Bestselling Author, Entertainment Weekly Top 10 Romance Author, 2014 Romantic Times Pioneer or Romance, and in 2012 was recognized by Queen Elizabeth II for her ‘outstanding service to literature’.
She is very happily married to Peter, they have 6 sons, and live on the beautiful Isle of Man.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Littlest Hero : : Anne McAllister

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. We're used to dealing with the tall, dark, handsome ones with rock-hard abs, a killer grin or a fierce, brooding stare. And a little hint of stubble on the jaw doesn't hurt.  I spend plenty of days with men like that -- and I love them all.

But many evenings and some holidays and vacations I spend with another hero. His name is Mac.  He is, to misquote Julie Cohen, Not Even Our Dog  (Julie has Not Even Our Cat in her life).  We have Mac in ours.

He came to our friend Nancy's home as a 3 year old after he was rescued by a diligent neighbor from a less than wonderful situation. He was, to put it mildly, a mess.  When we met him he had been shaved to within an inch of his life. He looked awful, but apparently he had looked much worse -- matted and filthy -- before the neighbor stepped in.  She, however, had several dogs of her own, and needed a good home for Mac.

Nancy's home fit the bill.  Nancy is the perfect mother for Mac.  He has always had a mind of his own -- and plans to go with it -- and she has simply learned to deal.

Mac believes in being well-fed.  Nancy thinks he should be fit.  Most of the time they manage both. But when Mac feels short-changed, he is, er, enterprising.  When she came home from church one Sunday, she rang me to say, "He's eaten a whole tray of chocolate-covered macaroons!"  I had trouble believing that.  Not without leaving a crumb. Mac is not that fastidious. Besides, a whole tray of macaroons, particularly chocolate-covered ones, ought to make anyone sick, especially a 25 lb. dog.

I said, "When he stayed with us, and I gave him a rawhide, he didn't eat it. He took it upstairs and buried it in one of the beds." (savaging a sheet in the process).  "Maybe he did that with the macaroons. Check the beds."

Well, only put one in a bed, underneath her daughter's pillow.  H had, very diligently, distributed the rest of them all over her house. She found a macaroon behind the sofa, another behind the chair. There was one tucked under the piano, one down in the basement next to the washing machine.  He was appalled to watch her find them -- and pretty quickly he tried damage control by running ahead of her to rescue them before she could pick them up.

I have found myself wishing ever since that she had security cameras in her house that would have captured his original treks here and there, hiding them all for future consumption! I think it would have made YouTube's top ten!

He has done plenty of other amazing and occasionally heroic (but mostly funny) things in his life.  But his most amazing accomplishment is that he's still with us.

When she got him, the vet told her he had an enlarged heart.  For several years it didn't seem to have any effect on him. But a year ago last August he got a terrible cough.  For such a small dog, his cough sounded like a mastiff imitating a fog horn.  Daunting -- and scary -- to say the least.

It was his heart, the vet said.  He was well into congestive heart failure.  He was only seven.  It was a wrenching thought to consider she might lose him so young.  He coughed on.  And he went on long walks.  He rummaged in the recycled paper looking for wrappers that might be tasty. He coughed. He carried sticks around.  He sat on the back of the sofa and monitored traffic. He coughed.  He walked even longer walks.  He chased his favorite blue ball. And still he coughed.

He survived her trip to Jamestown (he stayed with us), and her trip to Costa Rica (he stayed with us) and visits to her grandkids (he went -- and happily came back to cough some more and go for walks). He began to suffer from edema.  His normally fit body began to sag under the weight of the fluid he was retaining. But still he walked. And rummaged. And ate. The chasing of Blue Ball receded somewhat.  That was difficult.

He soldiered on.  A month ago, he had three pounds of fluid drained. He ran up the steps. He walked.  He considered Blue Ball, but didn't get too much of a thrill out of chasing it.  He dreamed of macaroons.  And the edema continued to plague him.

Yesterday he went back to the vet. This time she drained 8 pounds of fluid -- that's 1/4 of his body weight! -- a gallon.  And he ran up the steps when he came to visit last night.  He continues to have great joy in life.

We know he's not going to have many more weeks, months, years left.  We're astonished he has had as much as he has (so is the vet).  But we are all grateful for his presence.  He is a hero, dealing with the not very nice hand that he's been dealt, and doing so with aplomb and a joie de vivre that I personally hope that I can emulate.

I've celebrated dogs and cats in many blog pieces in various places over the years -- often in remembrance of a life well lived and deeply loved.  In this case it seems fitting to celebrate Mac whose life is still a Work In Progress.

He just may have a hero named after him before long.  That hero will have a lot to live up to.

Anne's latest, The Return of Antonides, Lukas's story, was out last month from Harlequin Presents and Harlequin Mills & Boon Modern.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Dressing the bride - Kandy Shepherd

 My twenty-two-year old daughter looked over my shoulder at my computer screen. “Why are you looking up all these wedding dresses?” she asked. “That’s a long way ahead for me.”

“They’re not for you, darling,” I replied. “They’re for the heroine of my latest book. She’s going to look so beautiful on her wedding day.” (Okay, so maybe I’ve imagined my daughter in some of those dresses too. Sigh…)

I just love planning fictional weddings! I love organizing the dress, the veil, the shoes, the flowers, the bridesmaid dresses, the venue. Ah, the hours of pleasant research (some might say procrastination!) on Pinterest. I have a board just for wedding ideas: Wedding inspiration. So many gorgeous images!

It’s not giving away any spoilers to say there’s a wedding in my November release for Harlequin Romance as there’s a bride on the cover and the title is Gift-Wrapped in Her Wedding Dress. Andie, the bride, dresses in a slightly “boho” style—a touch vintage, a touch seventies. The dress on the cover of the book isn’t quite the same but it’s gorgeous too, and so is the veil. I’ve started Pinterest boards for all of my novels and Andie and Dominic have one of their own.

It’s important the dress suits the personality of the bride and the venue. Andie is married to Dominic in a lovely garden. Her friend and business partner in their party planning business Party Queens, Gemma Harper, also gets married on the page. Again, I’m not giving any spoilers as her book is called Crown Prince’s Chosen Bride and is out in March of 2016. I don’t have a cover yet to share with you. But as you can imagine the marriage of a Crown Prince involves more than a touch of formality!

My first wedding cover was my December 2014 A Diamond in Her Stocking. I planned a gorgeous wedding on the beach for Lizzie and Jesse in that one.

A Diamond in Her Stocking is the third book in my trilogy of linked but stand-alone set in the beachside town of Dolphin Bay. Harlequin is having a sale for U.S readers, and all three of the e-books are on sale for a limited time from November 10 for just $1.99 each, starting with The Summer They Never Forgot and The Tycoon and the Wedding Planner (a beach wedding there too!) Look out for them at the usual e-retailers.

Have you ever planned a wedding? Your own or someone else’s? Were there any memorable moments? Disasters? I’d love to hear about it! Make a comment if you'd like to be in the draw for a mass market paperback copy of Gift-Wrapped in Her Wedding Dress. Please include your email address.

Kandy Shepherd is an award-winning author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She lives on a small farm in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her family and a menagerie of four-legged friends.

Visit Kandy at her website

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