Monday, July 31, 2017

Christmas in July? What?

    I know that, for many people, it's almost painful to even think about Christmas in July. I confess - I'm usually one of the last-minute-louies who don't think about it until it's breathing down my neck in early December. I also know that many people are already planning and shopping for the holiday that won't arrive for 5 more months.

   Down at the Jersey shore (the REAL Jersey shore, not the one on the show), many families who hail from different parts of Philly celebrate Christmas in July because they won't be together at holiday time. In Wildwood, several blocks decorate their houses, turn on Christmas music and exchange gifts during July.

For most of us, though, it's hard to even think about winter, snow and Christmas.And when summer is here and temps and humidity are high and heavy, it's even more difficult to get into the Christmas spirit.

But, authors must be able to shift their seasons when they write. Sometimes, we have little control over the way our stories are scheduled to be written and released and we find ourselves writing Christmas stories in the heat of the summer and summer stories in the freezing temps and snow of winter.

Like I have just done.

Last year, I was asked to write a Highland holiday novella by a publisher and snapped at the chance to write for them. Though completed some time ago, I've just been working on revisions and have been writing scenes of swirling snow, Christmas (Christ's Mass at that time) and Hogmanay. Each chapter into the story brought winter more fully on the lands and, though I was sweating through a heat wave here in NJ, my characters were trudging through FEET of snow and making their way through their daily lives in the Highlands of Scotland. The funny part is that I found myself dressing for their weather instead of my own!

Now that the story is in and done, I can settle back firmly into summer....and enjoy my 4+ months until I have to deal with Christmas.... Not really - the Christmas stories, books, collections, etc. will begin to 'hit the shelves' in early October so my focus will be on it by then!

So - do you begin thinking of Christmas early? Or are you a procrastinator like me? More important, do you like to read Christmas romance stories, novellas, collections? I tend to read the anthologies of novellas or short stories during the busy holiday season - I can finish one story in a sitting amidst the crazy schedule.  Let me know and I'll choose a person at random to receive a copy of my upcoming holiday story and a little goodie or two, too!

   Terri's Christmas story - which could be described as 'The Highland Harlot's Happy Holidays'! is titled A HIGHLANDER'S HOPE and part of CHRISTMAS IN KILTS, from SMP Swerve. The collection will be released on 10/31/2017. Terri's story is part of her MacKendimen Clan series and features one of the characters in ONCE FORBIDDEN, Book 2. A LOVE THROUGH TIME, Book 1, is currently available only in Lords of the Highlands, a special Amazon exclusive boxed set. Visit her website for lots more info. 

(and Merry July!)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Looking In The Rear View Mirror of 2017

by Michelle Monkou

The schedule planner business is in full swing with the academic calendars on sale from July 2017 to June 2018. To dive down that road of planning, it will mean that I need to make the necessary adjustments to my current plan for 2017 and then turn a proactive eye to the first half of 2018.

Sounds proactive and the right thing to do, but I'm still in baby steps mode. I do have a general timeline for 2018, but let's not go hog-wild and hold me hostage for the details. Anyway, I have a (pricey) January-December calendar, so I'm reluctant to leave half of it blank and then switch over to a brand new book. But with the marketing buzz of calendar shopping in my email inbox and Facebook planning groups in full glee, the hypnotic cloud has reached me to at least look at my progress.

And wow, what an arc 2017 has been and I think that I'm still at the midpoint, which is a good thing. It means that I'm still hopeful and going along with a plan.

So looking in that rear view mirror:
  • At the beginning of the year, I knew that I wanted to diminish my writing direction with one genre and pick up the pace in another direction.
  • I knew that I would take on a variation of my name or a complete name change for the new works.
  • I knew that I was on the verge of burn out after 15 years in the business with three publishers, a boatload of editors, 20+ titles, and stress-related symptoms.
  • I knew that I had to weigh my options and decide if I was going to continue with just dipping the edge of my toe in indie publishing, hit the manuscript proposal submission circuit for an agent, or quietly turn off the light to my career.
  • I knew that I was sick of social media. Like blood-pressure-raising sick of social media.
  • I knew that I wasn't at rock bottom, but I could see the rocks.

And then a friend sent me a snazzy calendar, along with daily phone texts of encouragement. Every morning my phone buzzed with her good cheer and tips. I figured that I had nothing to lose, so I took the time to write in the calendar, make priority lists, set deadlines, put goals down on paper.

Occasionally she'd send me podcasts of non-writing encouragement. It was about fine-tuning the mindset, getting ego out of the way, rebuilding confidence to go after what I wanted. It wasn't a quick process and there were many missteps or no forward steps at all, but I can say that by end of July, and by my birthday yesterday that puts me on the other side of 50 yo, I'm pushing upstream from rock bottom.

Ryan Holiday's Ego Is The Enemy

I'm more settled and quieter about my plan in motion. I don't share with too many people what I'm doing. Don't need their validation or opinion.

I have logged off social media platforms (Instagram and Tumblr still get a little love). And since I can't be bothered to log on, I truly don't miss it.  For right now, mental health is more important than any marketing plan that forces me to endure FB and Twitter.

And I'm writing again with passion.

Wish me luck and I'll let you know by year-end if I'm still smiling.


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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Eve Gaddy: Writing Yourself into a Corner

I’m sure you’ve heard of painting yourself into a corner. I write myself into a corner. What do I mean by that? Well, it happens especially when I’m writing a series.

Brian Kincaid’s job as a security system troubleshooter is perfect for a single guy who loves women and world travel.  But his carefree lifestyle comes to a screeching halt when he discovers he’s an instant father--the only parent of a ten-month-old son he never knew he had.

Hiring single mom Faith McLain as his son’s live-in nanny seems like the perfect solution to regaining his free-roaming life.  Except that he begins to discover the time he spends with her and the babies is more enjoyable than he’d have believed possible. Soon, he realizes he wants much more from Faith than a working relationship.

Faith knows better than to fall for a committed bachelor—especially one who happens to be her very hot boss. But how long can she resist the whispers of her heart—or the powerful desire he awakens?

The first time I did this was with my book The Christmas Baby. This book is the sixth in a seven book series. It’s about Brian Kincaid, the youngest Kincaid brother. I’d already written books about the other brothers, along with other characters in the series. And I knew it was time to write Brian’s story. Only problem was, I had no idea what his story was.

            I have this habit with characters whose books I know I’ll write but I don’t want to think about their story just yet, so I just…send them off. I made Brian a world traveler single guy with his computer troubleshooting/consulting business. That’s all I knew about him. But it was mentioned in several books so that was set in stone.

            Great. What reason could this guy have to come to a tiny town like Redfish, Texas? To visit his family, sure. But why would he live there? I had to come up with a good reason. I thought about what would be the biggest life-altering event that could happen to this guy. Brian found out he had a child he’d never known about. An orphaned child who he had to take care of. And what better place to live with a ten-month-old baby than in the town with his brothers, sister and their families?

            The next book I had this problem with, I really outdid myself.

He knows who she is...but she doesn't

PI Mitch Hardeman is an expert at finding people, so when Glenna Gallagher disappears from the ranch where she works, her brothers hire Mitch to find her. He thinks his job is done after he tracks her down, but Glenna doesn't know him, and she doesn't remember her brothers or even her real name. Mitch must earn the beautiful cowgirl's trust so he can bring her back home.
She doesn’t know who she is… but she knows who she wants

With traumatic amnesia caused by a bus accident, Glenna Gallagher knows nothing of her life before that day. She only knows she's in danger, and that Mitch offers protection and the truth about her identity. But once home in Marietta, her memories are still missing. Can she convince Mitch that she doesn’t need to remember her past to know he’s the only man she wants? And will she regain her memory in time to save herself and the man she loves from the danger that follows her?

            The Gallaghers of Montana are a family of four brothers and a sister. I didn’t know what to do with Glenna Gallagher so I did my usual. I sent her away. But did I send her off to travel the world? And know nothing else? Why no, that would have been too easy. I sent her to Argentina to manage a cattle ranch.

Why Argentina, you ask? That was my friend Julia Justiss’s fault. I was trying to figure out what this cowgirl could be doing some place other than in Montana and Julia said, “Send her to Argentina. There are lots of ranches there.”

            Argentina? Right, sounds good. So I did. But that wasn’t all. When I wrote each of the other four books, I added things about Glenna. When it came time to write Glenna’s story, I had all sorts of complexities about her and her situation in already published books. Trying to figure out her story given all the things I’d already mentioned was…difficult. Just ask my friends who endured my frantic calls and emails. And yes, Julia is one of them. Serves her right for sending Glenna to Argentina in the first place!

            Glenna disappeared from the ranch where she worked in Argentina in the second book of the series. I dribbled in bits and pieces of her story in the rest of the books too. You’d think I’ve have had a good idea by then of what Glenna’s story was.

            Not so much. By the time I wrote Glenna’s book, I had to include all sorts of things because they’d been in previous books. You’d think I’d have learned from other situations, but no. In fact, figuring out Glenna’s book was even harder. But I did think of the PI her brothers sent to track her down, and he wound up being the hero of her story. Thank goodness I’d said very little about him, at least.:) Not that he was easy…

            Return of the Cowgirl is up for pre-order at most outlets. It’s due to come out August 17, 2017. All the books in the Gallagher series can be read as stand-alone, but I think you’ll enjoy reading about the whole family and their friends.

Happy Reading!


Visit me at my website:
Twitter: @evegaddy

Monday, July 24, 2017

My Top 5 Holiday Essentials

Seeing as it's Summer holiday season, and as you read this I will be somewhere hot by a swimming pool, I thought I'd share with you the essential items I pack in my suitcase.

1.    Teabags- Although I adore travelling and am an intrepid and inquisitive tourist, you cannot beat proper British tea. The impersonators sold in every other country never come close to a decent cup of Twinings, so I always pack a box in my suitcase and carry a few in my handbag for emergencies! Especially in America. American tea is the absolute worst.

2.    Double the underwear- I’ll grant you this is a weird quirk, but the thought of running out of clean knickers terrifies me. And I always buy new for a holiday- just in case the baggage rips open and my undies are displayed to the world.

3.    Kindle- I’ve never been particularly fond of watching films on planes. The screens are so small, there is so much engine noise and the other passengers and crew distract me from the action by wandering backwards and forwards down the gangway. Yet with a book, all that nonsense evaporates as I lose myself in the story.

4.    A decent pen- I can’t be doing with filling out landing cards or other documents with those cheap and nasty biros they give out. I like a fat gel pen. In blue.

5.    The TripAdvisor app- Choosing the right restaurant can be a perilous business at the best of times, abroad it can be catastrophic. I always pick eateries offering the local cuisine, with at least 40 reviews on them. That way I assume that all the reviews are not just from friends and family. No matter how good they are, any review that tells me tells me a restaurant offers a great selection of British or American dishes they are avoided like the plague. I want my food to be an adventure too. If I wanted to eat Shepherd’s Pie, I’d stay at home.
Why not take one of Virginia's books with you to the beach?

Friday, July 21, 2017

Lara Temple: Why do I love Romance? The Women!

Why do I love romance? It’s simple – the women! Ever since I became a published Harlequin M&B historical romance author a little over a year ago I’ve been surrounded by women – my editors, my fellow authors, and almost all my readers (well, aside from my ever supportive husband). Just this weekend I was at the annual Romance Novelists Association’s annual conference. From the moment I arrived to the moment I left I was laughing, talking, listening, learning – totally engaged. Sounds like love to me. The women are amazing – intelligent, funny, deep, and endlessly fascinating. After a full day of lectures and workshops we gathered in the shared kitchens and descended from the sublime to the ridiculous over tea, wine, and chocolate. We talked about everything – family, work (many of us do have other jobs), writing, publishing, our past and our future. The kind of discussions you usually have with your best friends after a glass of wine (yes, wine is heavily featured at romance conferences).

5 of the 9 Unlaced Book Club ladies at the RNA 2017 conference last week
Wearing my author hat I spend most of my time alone, happily transferring tales from my head into my laptop, agonizing over my character’s conflicts and needs and delighting in their transition from pain to love (and sometimes back again a few times). My main points of interaction with the world in this new profession come from contact with readers and other authors on social media, my amazingly prescient editor, and perhaps twice a year at events like the RNA conference.
I’ve been to umpteen business conferences but this is different – this is pure, unadulterated fun. It feeds back in to my writing – I can feel it filling out, gaining color and warmth, thanks to the women who are constantly amazing me with their intelligence and generosity. This isn’t just theoretical – we are putting it into practice all the time – imagine the kind of collaboration required for nine women to write a short story together simply by passing it from one to the next, each on adding her twist – this is precisely what I have recently done with eight of my wonderful fellow Harlequin Historical authors (members of the Unlaced Book Club on Facebook – check out our ‘Captive at Cragdale Hall’ on the Blossom Twins blog at

The Unlaced Book Club ladies - my alternative family of mad, bad, glad and stunning gals
This sense of wellbeing at being surrounded by women isn’t just my gut feeling, apparently – it’s also science. A Stanford University professor was discussing longevity and he noted the usual point about married men statistically living longer than unmarried men. When a woman from the audience asked for the comparable statistics about women he said with perfect seriousness – women who spend time with other women tend to live longer. In other words – being around women, interacting with women, tends to release those feel-good and intimacy hormones serotonin and oxytocin. This is precisely what I feel after this marvelous weekend – even squashed on the train to London with not a spare seat in sight and finally tucking myself onto a corner of the corridor between trains, I was still full of the pleasure of having spent a weekend with that not just women but that most wonderful breed of women – lovers of Romance.
I hope my romance affair with romance never ends.

Check out the Unlaced Book Club on Facebook at:

Sneak peek at my Wild Lords book #1: Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Bride (November 2017)

‘I think I might actually enjoy this,’ Nell whispered, and Hunter was surprised to see her eyes brimming with laughter
‘Enjoy what?’ He asked, fascinated by the way her lips warmed to peach.
‘Flirting. I think I’m starting to understand how it works.’
A slap might have been more painful, but no more sobering. For a moment he had actually forgotten why he was doing this.
‘That is good. Feel free to experiment. Despite my name, I don’t mind being hunted.’
‘I’m not sure how. I don’t think I could ever do what Lady Melkinson does.’
He caught the hopelessness in her voice.
‘You won’t know until you try,’
Her silver irises glimmering through her lashes as they sank to half-mast.
‘Like this?’ Her voice husky, she leaned towards him, the tips of her fingers just brushing his sleeve. Then her lips parted and the tip of her tongue touched her lower lip, drawing it in gently and letting it go. As far as seductions went it was very mild, as hesitant as a girl dressing in her mother’s finery. There was no reason it should feel like the blood was reversing course in his veins.

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Author Contact Links
Twitter: @laratemple1
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Summertime and the Reading is Easy by Jenny Gardiner

Hey all!

I'm just back from sitting in a dark hospital room for a couple of days with our son, who got a nasty infection in his elbow joint a week after cutting his arm. Thank goodness he's fine, but had to spend a couple of days on IV antibiotics to try to knock out the infection so it didn't go septic, which is why we dropped everything to go up to DC to be with our boy! Hospitals are not the place you want to be, that's for sure.

Happy my baby is on the mend and we're back home. I'm now quite behind prepping for the release of my upcoming novel, Blue-Blooded Romeo, the latest in the Royal Romeo contemporary rom-com series, and trying to write Big O Romeo, which is due with my editor in two weeks.

So since I'm in the weeds and it's summertime and everyone loves book suggestions for those lazy, hot summer days, I'm going to just list a bunch of books I've enjoyed in the past several months. I always love to get book recs from friends, so hope this helps if you're in the market for some new reads! (and while you're at it feel free to check out the 25+ books I've read here!)

I'm currently reading American Fire: Love, Arson and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse. I'd read a piece in the Washington Post about this crazy arsonist couple on the Eastern Shore of Virginia a few years back--one of those "you can't make it up" stories. The reporter has since written this book and it's a really compelling account of what happened, complete with all of the nutty local color you'll get with books like this. If you listened to the Serial podcast and liked it, you'll enjoy this.

My friend Karen Dionne has a fabulous suspense thriller out to rave reviews this summer: The Marsh King's Daughter. Highly recommend it. It'll keep you on the edge of your seat.

I LOVED Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny. I have such metaphor envy after reading this novel. The author is extraordinarily insightful into the tiny nuances of the mundanities of life, and conveys them so wonderfully.

The Season by Jonah Lisa Dyer was great fun. The authors are a husband/wife screenwriting team, and the book reads like a well-crafted TV show or movie. About a tomboy young woman who plays college soccer and her mother forces her and her twin sister to be girly-girl debutantes. Good beach read.

The Assistants by Camille Perri was a fun beach read.

I LOVED The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Great beach read.

Oh, The Nix is amazing. Fabulously talented writer, crazy ride of a novel--it goes down so many rabbit holes, you cannot imagine how they all connect, but they do!

A few books I've started but have to get back to (but was enjoying!): Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney. The Heirs by Susan Rieger. This is Your Life, Harriet Chance by Jonathan Evison. The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder.

I just heard about Those Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero and can't wait to read it. It's a dark take on the Scooby Doo-type kid detectives who survive a harrowing episode that involves ghosts and dead bodies but when they grow up they're psychologically scarred from the experience. When one of them commits suicide, the rest team together to face the demons of their past. Brilliant premise for a novel, right?

I hope you'll have a chance to check out my Royal Romeos series, which is a spin-off of my wildly popular It's Reigning Men series--please do check them out!

Happy reading!



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Getting Those Juices Flowing...

No, not those juices! Geesh, where's your mind at?

I'm talking about those creative juices. You know, the inspiration, the ideas, the stuff needed to breathe life into stories.

Writing is a pretty solitary job. I mean, think about it—we sit in front of a computer all day, putting those snippets of scenes that flash through our minds onto our version of paper. We'll stare off into space, watching our own imaginary world unfold—while anyone who sees us doing that is thinking we're probably having some kind of break from reality. And okay, maybe we are. Not necessarily a bad thing, right?

We create characters, real live people (to us and—if done right—to the readers) with their own hopes and dreams and fears and interactions.

But when it comes to interacting in real life? Hmm…maybe not so much. When your job involves living in a make-believe world, shut away from the real one while you create your own, you don't always have time to "hang out". Then throw in the fact that quite a few writers also happen to be introverts and…well, you get the picture.

Creative juices are flowing in Nashville!

That's why writers love hanging around other writers. Have you ever been to a conference or booksigning, near the beginning during set-up? It's a huge hug-fest, with lots of smiles and laughter and talking. That's because writers get writers. It's normal to stare off into space (sometimes in the middle of a conversation). It's normal to talk about a character and her problems and issues and goals as if she was a real live person (because, you know, she is). Other writers get that, in a way nobody else can.

And that's why writers' retreats are the next best thing to falling into a vat of chocolate. You can sit down, discuss ideas, talk about those real characters. Plan and vent and rant and bounce ideas off each other. Get a group of writers together and that plot bump you've been struggling with suddenly disappears. Get a group of writers together and the inspiration and motivation takes off like that proverbial runaway train.

I just got back from a writers' retreat—this one in Nashville, with four fantastic ladies who kick some serious butt when it comes to inspiration and motivation. We're all at different stages in our careers but that doesn't matter—because we're writers.

Enjoying some downtime in Nashville--all in the name of research, of course!

And no, it wasn't all business. I mean, we were in Nashville—of course we're going to go out and play. And we did—from eating popcorn and watching Beauty and the Beast in our pj's, to hitting Opry Mills Mall and eating German food, to seeing the Grand Ole Opry and hitting up a honky tonk or three on lower Broadway (alcohol may or may not have been involved). It was a week of bonding, of writing, of bouncing around ideas and creating grand business plans. Of motivation. Of accountability.

Of friendship.

That's the other great thing about writers. Because of our jobs, we don't get a chance to see each other in person very often. But the distance—in both physical location and in time apart—doesn't matter. Months can go by until we see each other again and it doesn't matter. We'll hug and scream and laugh and carry on as if only a day has gone by. Then we'll get right down to business and talk about our characters and problems and inspire one another. Motivate one another.

Kicking it up at the Nashville Palace.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

But for now, I need to get back to my characters and their world. I have a schedule to keep to, and four wonderful ladies who will be kicking my butt if I don't stick to it!


Lisa B. Kamps is currently juggling three series about real characters with real lives and real problems living in her head: The Baltimore Banners, The York Bombers, and Firehouse Fourteen. Her latest title, Second Alarm, is scheduled for release July 26 and can be ordered by clicking here.

To learn more about Lisa, please visit her website or follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Susan Stephens: July & the Yorkshire Moors

July, and we have blazing sunshine on the Yorkshire moors...

The UK generally gets a bad press for weather, and the Yorkshire moors are most commonly thought of as being bleak, but we are enjoying the most beautiful summer here on the backbone of England, as the Pennine hills are known. 

You can just catch a glimpse of my faithful friend Betty in the second picture. It’s almost too hot for dogs, and Betty prefers to shelter in my office underneath my desk. By coincidence, I’m sure, ho-hum, my office is also where I keep Betty’s treat tin!

It may not seem credible to set a sultry romance on the Yorkshire moors where Wuthering Heights was conceived, but my August 11th release, Seducing the Princess is set in a small city not too dissimilar to York.
I love a bodyguard romance, and hope you do too J

I’m thrilled to share the news that I am about to sign a new, multi-book contract with my publisher Harlequin Mills & Boon, and I can promise lots of high octane stories coming your way from SS, starting with a brand new series. Look out for more news coming soon. 

It does seem that things will be ROYAL all the way for me for the rest of the year. This exciting ebook collection is a September release. These are all re-issues of previous stories, but anthologies are the best way to catch up with those books you might have missed.

And how about this for a cover?? Do you think it’s the red dress that makes this cover so compelling? I’d love to know what you think. The heroine looks so wistful to me. My story, His Forbidden Diamond, is from my Ice and Fire Skavanga series. 

I’m aching to see the cover for my ‘Royal’ Christmas release, ‘A Night of Royal Consequences’.  The art department deserves huge thanks for creating such stunning images.

Here are another couple of stunning images of Yorkshire, just because...  
The weather has been so outstanding that we have even had rare Lapwings breeding close by our home, and I saw not one, but two breeding pairs, which is beyond thrilling!

I hope the month of July is full of joy and wonderful surprises for you.

And if you are feeling chilly in spite of the weather, I have the answer ;) 

Red-hot polo players just for you. Enjoy!

With my love to everyone,
Susan xx


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Salazar's One Night Heir by Jennifer Hayward

The Secret Billionaires - Book Three

On the 16th of May, June, and July, look for interviews with the authors of each book in this fun trilogy about tycoons who go undercover to win a bet and lose their hearts along the way...

How does your hero go under cover?

Alejandro Salazar poses as horse groom, Colt Banyon in the stables of his family's enemy.

What does he think when he finds out exactly what the bet entails? (Share a couple of lines if you like)

Alejandro’s thrilled when he discovers what his assignment is. He’s been searching for time in his insanely busy billionaire schedule to avenge a decade’s old feud between his family, the Salazars, and the legendary Hargrove dynasty of Kentucky. Here’s a few lines:  

      Alejandro’s mouth twisted as he switched to Bacchus’ other side, toweling the sweat from the gelding’s dark coat. No doubt the idea of him breaking his back shoveling horse manure for two weeks with a name torn from the pages of a Hollywood script had provided an endless source of amusement for his mentor. But if Sebastien had been here, he would have told him this chance to provide his grandmother with the justice she was seeking would indeed provide him with the closure he’d been looking for. He should be thanking his mentor for the opportunity.

      The feud between the Salazars and Hargroves had been going on for decades—ever since Quinton Hargrove had illegally bred his mare Demeter to his grandmother, Adriana Salazar’s, prize stallion Diablo while the horse had been on loan to an American breeder. The Hargroves had gone on to build an entire show jumping legacy around Diablo’s bloodline, one Adriana had never been able to match.

      Heartbroken, his grandmother had been unable to attain proof as to what the Hargroves had done, watching as her fortunes plummeted and the Hargroves star had risen

Who is your heroine? What does she think of Alejandro when she first meets him?

My heroine is the Hargrove’s beautiful heiress, Cecily. She’s a world cup calibre equestrian, scarred by a recent fall in competition on her favourite horse, Bacchus. Alejandro, undercover as a Hargrove groom, is a master with horses because he’s grown up working summers on the Salazar’s Belgian horse farm.

In the opening scene, Cecily, who’s trying to make it back to international competition after her and her horse’s injury, is frustrated and scared as she attempts a practice course. When gorgeous, sexy 'Colt' tries to tell her how to handle her horse, she’s incensed. And sparks fly!

What situations or challenges does Alejandro face that risk exposing him?

The spark between Cecily and Alejandro is undeniable. Cecily’s intent on exploring it, Alejandro’s determined to ignore it. But when Cecily draws Alejandro away from the Hargrove’s annual summer barn party and the man her father wants her to marry, they share an illicit dance and an even more illicit night together. 

Alejandro’s identity, however, is almost blown as Cecily’s suitor stumbles upon them during their dance and picks a jealous fight with Alejandro. Suddenly he’s in danger of blowing his cover with his unintended entanglement with Cecily.    

What does Cecily think when she realizes who he really is? (Share a few lines of her reaction.)

She’s just a bit furious. I’ll let the excerpt speak for itself!

            Clad in a cream dress made of some soft material that hugged every memorable curve, a sky high pair of stilettos, her honey blonde hair a smooth silk curtain that fell over her shoulders, Cecily looked every bit New York chic. Gorgeous. But it was the icy glitter in her beautiful blue eyes that commanded his attention.
            Ai por Deus. She knew. Dust in his throat, gravel in his mouth. What the hell was she doing here?
            Deseree stared at them both with unabashed fascination. He snapped his stunned brain back into working order. He needed to defuse this…fast.
            “Tell my father to start the meeting without me.”
            Deseree’s jaw dropped. Salazar board meetings were sacrilegious. His father, Estevao Salazar, the Chairman of the Board, was known for his legendary temper tantrums over the tardiness of its members to his strictly laid out quarterly meetings. A true professional, however, Deseree didn’t miss a beat, simply picked up the phone and started dialing.
            Alejandro gestured toward his office. “After you.”
            Cecily turned on her heel and stalked inside. Her back a band of pure iron, fire sparking from every inch of her tiny frame, her amazing backside set off to perfection in the form fitting dress, she sent a wave of lust coursing through him that defied rationality. Now was not the time.
            He closed the door with a soft click. Faced the firebrand in front of him. Hands clenched by her sides, a flush staining her cheeks, she was clearly furious. He thought he might start with an apology.
            Eu sinto muito, Cecily,” he murmured, holding her gaze. I’m sorry. “I never intended to hurt you. I tried to take a step back, you know I did.”
            Eyes darkening, she lifted her hand and slapped him across the face. Hard.
            “I deserved that,” he said evenly, jaw reverberating with the force of it. “I deserve your anger. Now let’s sit down and be rational about this. Let me explain.”
            “Rational?” She planted her hands on her hips. “You would like me to be rational? You came to work for my family under false pretenses. You lied to me and everyone else who trusted you, cared about you. You’re lucky I haven’t gone to the police.”

Salazar's One Night Heir is on shelves now or you can buy it at your favourite online retailer. 

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JENNIFER HAYWARD has been a fan of romance since filching her sister’s novels to escape her teenaged angst.

Her career in journalism and PR, including years of working alongside powerful, charismatic CEOs and traveling the world, has provided perfect fodder for the fast-paced, sexy stories she likes to write, always with a touch of humour