Spotlight on Lion Dancing for Love

I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Laura Boon. Today, Laura shares her book besties and latest release, Lion Dancing for Love.

Previously on this tour, I talked about my favourite book boyfriends. In Romancelandia, authors and readers spend a lot of time talking about (and drooling over) heroes. However, we don’t talk about heroines nearly as much. We’re hard on heroines. Historical romance author Anne Gracie said once that a romance reader is a bit like a mother-in-law; she’ll forgive her son (the hero) just about anything, but the smallest defect can sink the girlfriend (heroine) in her eyes.

Outside the romance genre, heroine not a word that’s used much. Like actress it has fallen into disuse. We talk about men and women as actors and heroes. Is this an advancement, the creation of a level playing field? I’m not convinced. It seems to me that changing the language and dropping the feminine words from the lexicon elevates the masculine qualities of hero and actor above those of heroine and actress. And that annoys me.

Heroes are admired for doing – ‘acting’ if you like – for being great warriors and leaders on the battlefield, in the boardroom, on the sports field and in the bedroom. Heroines in real life and on the page have shown themselves perfectly capable of leading and kicking ass; think Joan of Arc, Boadicea, Wonder Woman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serena Williams, and Katniss. However, the real power of women lies in their emotional and mental strength. In their resilience and ability to endure. In their capacity to laugh in the face of adversity, find joy in everyday tasks, give birth and protect their brood. To smile when they would rather stamp their feet and scream like banshees. You underestimate the actress at your peril.

So, in honour of heroines quiet and loud, kickass and diplomatic, here in alphabetical order are fifteen of my besties from Romancelandia, none of them perfect, all of them great dinner companions.

1. Annabel Peyton, Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas – the sharks are circling but Annabel holds on to her dreams even as she alters clothes she can’t afford to replace.

2. Annique Villiers, The SpyMaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne – brave, funny, honorable and a spy who gets herself into trouble because she can’t bring herself to kill.

3. Chase/ Lady Georgiana, Never Judge a Lady by her Cover by Sarah MacLean – ruined by a scoundrel, she remakes herself as the most powerful man in London.

4. Finley Cartwright, One Night Wife by Ainslie Paton – she’s feisty and stood on a bar top and did a karaoke impersonation of Marilyn to raise money.

5. Jane Chance, The Spring Bride by Anne Gracie – Jane is the bratty younger sister who grew up to be courageous and empathetic.

6. Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – a creative and imaginative girl branded ‘sullen’. She was never very obedient and I always loved her rebelliousness.

7. Janie Morris, Neanderthal Meets Human by Penny Reid – shy, forthright, witty and not above ‘stalking’ the object of her desire.

8. Lily Chadwick, Three Nights With A Scoundrel by Tessa Dare – a good girl who gets creative and daring to get the man of her dreams and solve her brother’s murder.

9. Lily Lamprey, Pretty Face by Lucy Parker – a lovely woman who looks like a goddess, she won’t let other people’s opinions of her intelligence and talent (based on her looks) dictate her future.

10. Lydia Green, Dirty by Kylie Scott – she ran out on her wedding to face the unknown when she realised her husband-to-be was not what he seemed.

11. Lydia Grenville, The Last Hellion by Loretta Chase – commanding, tall, a scribbler and an advocate for social justice. I want to be Lydia Grenville. I really want her height!

12. Mary Challoner, Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer – she shot Vidal when he kidnapped and threatened her. Go Mary!

13. Roberta (Bertie) Fraser, Rules for a Proper Governess by Jennifer Ashley – kind and compassionate despite her circumstances, using her wits to keep herself and others alive.

14. Sal Kennedy, Ask Me Nicely by Amy Andrews – kind, compassionate and resilient, she survived a tragedy that would turn most people into bitter cynics.

15. Sophie Ross, Moonshadow by Thea Harrison – an LAPD Witch Consultant who can stand up to a warrior and rushes headlong into danger in defence of others.

What about you? Do you have a book bestie?

Blurb

Licking her wounds after a bad relationship, San Diego accountant Caitlyn Summers travels to Willow Springs to help her friend gear up for the annual Maple Sugar Ball. She isn’t planning on staying long, but one encounter with the delicious Corey Duncan has her re-evaluating her plans.

Corey swore off love when his wife Annie died from breast cancer. Caitlyn is too young, too citified, and vibrates with a passion and energy that will upend the safe, comfortable rhythm of his life. Corey has to choose between playing it safe and taking a risk on love. Caitlyn needs to find the patience to let Corey lead. If not, the Maple Sugar Ball might end in a sticky mess, instead of a slow dance with the man who has captured her heart.

Will their fire burn hot enough to erase doubts and past hurts?

Excerpt

“You don’t have to be good at it. You have to be able to follow and count to three.”

She put her hands on her hips. It was his turn to raise a brow. “I can follow—if I choose to.”

He chuckled. “Such sass. Prove it.”

He held out his left hand, and she moved forward and placed her right inside it. He twined their fingers and pulled her into position. A heady combination of scents rose from her, vanilla and pheromones and something uniquely Caitlin. Her skin was slick against his. “Rest your head against my chest,” he murmured.

“I don’t recall that as an official position.”

“It’s the one I favor. Stand on my feet. That’s it.” He adjusted her arm, so she had a good hold around his neck and drew her even closer. “Step with your right foot first…back across, together. Forward, across, together. Back, across, together. Forward, across, together.”

Halfway through the song, he let her feet slip to the ground. At the end he kept a firm grip on her waist while he hit replay, then led her through a series of fast twirls, their bodies so close they were almost one. When the song ended, they collapsed in a heap against the wall. She was giggling.

“What?”

“I get why it was considered scandalous when it was first introduced.”

He smiled and tipped her chin toward him with a finger. “It’s only scandalous if you do it properly.”

He brushed his lips softly across hers, then claimed her mouth as she breathed into him.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | The Wild Rose Press | iTunes | Kobo | Google

Author Bio

Laura Boon stole her first romance from her father’s bookshelves as a teenager, The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss, and was immediately captivated. After holding a variety of positions in publishing, from bookseller to sales rep and publicist, she eventually found the courage to write her own stories. She was born in Zambia, grew up in South Africa, and went to university in America. She now lives in Australia with her husband and their adorable dogs Beau and Arro. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys sleuthing for artisan chocolate and beautiful stationery, watching tennis, and walking alongside Sydney’s beautiful harbor.

Where to find Laura…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | BookBub

Giveaway

Laura Boon will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Enter here.

Follow Laura on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.


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Top 10 Favorite Movies

I’m happy to welcome Soul Mate author Barbara Nolan. Today, Barbara shares her favorite movies and debut novel, Beyond Paradise.

Here’s Barbara!

Here are my top 10 favorite movies and why they are my favorites:



Father of the Bride

Father of the Bride 2—Watch both of these with my daughters and we laugh in the same places—every time.

The Holiday—Definitely a movie about second acts.

White Christmas—Watched this holiday classic every year with my mother until she passed in 2018.

Miracle on 42nd Street—Another holiday classic that is so sweet and nostalgic.

The Great Escape—Had a huge crush on Steve McQueen. Even had his poster in my room as a teen.

West Side Story—The first play I ever saw on Broadway and of course loved the movie.

Jurassic Park—Love Jeff Goldblum’s understated humor.

Sand Pebbles—Again Steve McQueen.

Airport—Still remember seeing it for the first time on the big screen at Radio City in New York.

Blurb

Jonny Vallone, the dark, brooding owner of Manhattan nightclub, Beyond Paradise, doesn’t need any more complications in his life, or women. Then savvy con artist Cheryl Benson, barges into his office and spits out a confession that would make most men run for cover.

Cheryl’s fast-paced, out-of-control life is closing in, and her only hope against a ruthless crime boss is bad boy Jonny and his powerful connections. Her knight in black Brioni has a body made for sin with enough baggage to fill a 747, but when a near-fatal attack throws the two together, they implode in a night of steamy, sheet-gripping passion.

Jonny can’t resist the beautiful blonde with the pleading green eyes plus he has his own agenda with the underworld thug who owns a piece of his soul.

Their wild ride whisks them from the high-powered glitz of Manhattan to the sultry beaches of Miami in a desperate attempt to break free of their shady pasts while trying to tame their fiery passion and the dangerous deceptions swirling around them.

Excerpt

“I’ve got you.” He pushed a stray hair away from her face and kissed her, wanting to taste more of her, be part of her, sink into her sweetness and make all her fears go away.

His eager hands roamed up her back. A decent man would’ve paced himself, given her space, but he’d never been a decent man when desire overwhelmed him. He nipped his way down her slender neck, loving the feel of her skin against his lips. He knew what he wanted. He’d wanted it ever since he’d seen her at the Oasis.

He fumbled with the hem of her T-shirt, and she covered his hand with hers.

“You want me to stop?” His words caught between a sigh and a gasp.

She pushed his hands away, tugged her shirt over her head and flung it onto the couch.

For one tantalizing second her eyes dared him with desires as overpowering and primal as his. Standing, he snatched her hand, jerked her up, and pulled her toward the bedroom, nudged the door open with his foot, then kicked it closed.

A heat boiled in the pit of his stomach and shot through his veins, melting him from the inside out. One part of him wanted to take time and explore every inch of her, while the part that controlled him wanted to tumble her to the bed.

“This isn’t a game.” He meant it as a warning, but the lust in his voice made it sound more like a challenge.

“I know.” She gasped as he snaked his hands around her waist. “‘Cause games have rules.”

buynow

Bio

Barbara Nolan has enjoyed writing most of her life. She became serious about her craft over the last five years.

Coming a bit late to the game, Barbara made up for lost time by acquiring her Certificate in Creative Writing from NYU and devouring any and all webinars and online courses available.

She’s also had the help and influence of many talented professors and editors along the way.

Her passion for reading and words, in general, make this a journey of love. There is nothing she would rather be doing than reading or sitting at the computer writing and editing.

She considers reading a luxury and writing a necessity.

Where to find Barbara…

Website | Amazon | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | BookBub | Facebook

The Right Opening

Have you ever experienced the tyranny of the blank page?

If you’re nodding in agreement, you are in good company. In fact, I believe every author—from beginner to published—has experienced those feelings of doubt and apprehension, especially at the start of a new manuscript. That’s when the gremlin thoughts are most powerful.

In this post, I will offer several suggestions on how to squash those gremlins and start writing the first page of your next manuscript.

Continue reading on the Just Romantic Suspense blog.


No Angels for Christmas Tour and #Giveaway

I’m happy to welcome Soul Mate author Petie McCarty. Today, Petie shares her latest release, No Angels for Christmas.

No Angels for Christmas. . . a cozy romantic mystery with suspense from The Mystery Angel Romances series. An angel hidden in every book waiting for you to figure out the angel’s identity . . .

Child psychologist Rachel Kelly isn’t quite sure how to handle the situation with her newest client—a six-year-old boy who says he can talk to angels and one is coming to help Rachel. She already has her hands full of trouble this Christmas season, and things quickly take a turn for the worse when a stalker crashes Rachel’s Christmas party and takes her young clients hostage.

Police negotiator, Lt. Jake Dillon, walked away from his fiancée Rachel when she suddenly balked at having kids. His kids. Yet when the hostage crisis erupts, Rachel calls Jake first. Now he has a choice to make—stand back and wait for the cavalry to save Rachel or step in and try to save her himself. Time is running out, and Jake may be their only chance for rescue.

Unless Rachel’s little angel-spying client is telling the truth…

Jake whipped his BMW into the Azalea Center parking lot and switched off his headlights in one smooth motion. Guided by the light from the few streetlamps, he coasted to a silent stop next to Wally’s Jeep, though his emotions had urged him to come screeching around the corner like the cavalry. Common sense and the need for stealth won out. He couldn’t risk driving the trespasser underground only to have him surface later after Jake had gone.

Clicking off his interior lights, he drew his Sig Sauer from the glove compartment, then climbed out and pushed the car door in until the latch quietly held. He waited several seconds to let his eyes and ears take in the entire scene. Damn. All the landscaping crowded around the Center provided a multitude of places for a trespasser to hide.

He put a hand on the hood of Wally’s Jeep. Still warm, even in the cold night air. A brief stab of guilt hit him for dumping his team so abruptly in the Beef n’ Barrel. Couldn’t be helped.

He scanned the closest landscape beds for some sign of Wally. A stiff north breeze whipped across the parking area, stirring up leaves and debris. Barely visible through the treetops, the almost-full moon blazed bright.

He made his way past the large perimeter oaks to the interior sidewalk and began a slow circle of the building, checking sections of garden as he paced. All the offices on the west side of the building were unoccupied, and all windows were dark, a few with vestiges of their interior visible due to adjacent emergency lighting.

Rachel’s office just around the corner faced the back of the property. At this time of night, her office interior would be entirely visible with her lights on. Jake knew this because he’d snuck over here enough times in the last few months to observe her office from the garden. He was pathetic and every few weeks had needed a glimpse of her to get by. A wry smile twitched the edges of his mouth. He could’ve been called in as a trespasser on any one of those nights should someone have spotted him and cared enough to make the call.

Careful to remain off the sidewalk, he silently paced toward the back garden. If the trespasser was a stalker, then the perp probably knew the Center had no security guard and no security system. A fact that had always bothered Jake.

At the back corner of the property, he crossed the sidewalk to inspect the landscape areas adjacent to the building. With quick steps, he shifted from one landscape bed to another. Crouching as he left the larger camellias, he moved through the shorter azaleas and Indian hawthorn.

Clearing the corner, his position even with the back of the building, he paused to reconnoiter and stared at the faint pool of light cast by an overhead office. Rachel’s office.

As his gaze rose to the second-floor office, his eyes searched for the all-too-familiar figure. Without thinking, he straightened to his full height, clearly visible to anyone glancing out the window. Yet no one searched for a figure in the garden. All eyes in the office were busy.

Rachel stood with Olivia and her children on one side of the conference room. On the other side of the room, a man in a worn red jacket and baseball cap faced them—pointing a gun.

This was Jake’s horrible nightmare.

Goodreads | Amazon

Petie spent a large part of her career working at Walt Disney World — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” — where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night, including her new series, The Cinderella Romances. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job to write her stories full-time. These days Petie spends her time writing sequels to her regency time travel series, Lords in Time, and her cozy-mystery-with-a-dash-of-romantic-suspense series, the Mystery Angel Romances.

Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Amazon | Goodreads

Petie McCarty will be awarding a $15 Amazon gift card to one winner and five ebooks of No Cowboys No Angels to five winners via Rafflecopter during the tour. Enter here.


Spotlight on Saving John Lennon by AJ Gallant

I’m happy to welcome author AJ Gallant. Today, AJ shares his latest release, Saving John Lennon.

A tale of love, time travel, humor, and healing hearts. The adventure of a lifetime. (Think you know how it ends? You don’t.)

In 2018, two friends discover an open door in the summer forest in Maine. It’s winter inside and they’ve never seen anything like it. When they realize that it’s 1980 on the other they hatch a plan to go to New York and save John Lennon.

In 1980, a stranger invades Sarah’s dreams on a nightly basis. He’s handsome and funny, but when she bumps into him in real life she can’t believe her eyes. But his story of time travel is preposterous and it’s difficult to decipher his motives for acting so weird. He claims to be from 2018.

Can love bloom under such circumstances? Will Richard be trapped thirty-eight-years in the past?

Payton is from a thousand years in the future; he’s trying to stop Burton from time jumping because it can cause changes that could have serious repercussions. Burton has arranged for Taft and Richard to save John Lennon, but will it all go terribly wrong?

Goodreads | Amazon

A. J. Gallant is the best selling author of several books, including Knights of the Dragon (of Knights and Wizards series) and Dracula Hearts series, the first book in the series is Dracula: Hearts of Stone.

Detective Olivia Brown Mysteries is also gaining in popularity. (Anita’s vacation in New York City ends tragically when she’s killed in Central Park, but instead of the end, it’s only the beginning. Her soul remains at the scene trying hard to process what happened. There are other ghosts that don’t seem to be much help. And,of course, the new reality of being a ghost does not sit well with Anita. What is she supposed to do now?)

The author has two cats that make him rise at 5 each morning to keep him on his toes.

Website | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

AJ Gallant will be awarding a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Enter here.

Follow AJ on the rest of his Silver Dagger tour. You can find out more here.


Cover Reveal: Hunt of the Gods

I’m happy to welcome Canadian author Amy Braun. Today, Amy reveals the cover for her upcoming release, Hunt of the Gods.

Two months have passed since Derek Areios—war-scion and heir of Ares—and the band of rogue scions he’s aligned with recovered both the Thunderbolt of Zeus and the Heart of the Devourer and returned them to the Gods. During the battle, Derek discovered he could control not only the element of fire, as all war-scions can, but also the dark element “aether,” making him the only scion alive to wield two types of elemental magic.

Commanded by Zeus to retrieve the Trinity Weapons and the Shards of Cronus, Derek and the rogue scions are thwarted in their goal by a gang of water-scions with a grudge against one of the rogues—Thea, heir of Poseidon. Both groups travel to an uninhabited island to recover one of the Shards––the Eye that belonged to Cronus, King of the Titans. But what they encounter will lead them down a path of brutal betrayals, hard truths, painful memories, and desperate actions.

With angry and impatient gods breathing down his neck, a curse that allows Ares to control him, a prophecy he’s desperate to avoid, a magic spear corrupting his thoughts, and two forms of elemental magic, Derek has a lot of baggage—and a lot of power. Will the price of using that power to satisfy the Gods be too much for him to pay?

Mythological monsters, explosive magic, and devastating truths take center stage in the second novel of the action-packed AREIOS BROTHERS series from Amy Braun.

Add to Goodreads

Book 1, Storm of the GodsGoodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action. She is an active member of the Weekend Writing Warrior community.

When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction, and diving headfirst into danger in Dungeons & Dragons campaigns.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon | Goodreads

Amy Braun will be awarding a $5 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Enter here.

Follow Amy on the rest of her Silver Dagger tour. You can find out more here.


Listen to Your Inner Critic

I realize this is contrary to all the advice that’s out there. But there is something to be gained by analyzing the selected thoughts of our inner critic and taking action.

How can you distinguish those selected thoughts?



Very simply, take note of all sentences that start with “Someone should…”

Continue reading on the Sisterhood of Suspense blog.