Tag Archives: romance fiction

My love affair with romance by Lexie Craig (romantic suspense author)

41euEpRgebL._AC_UL320_SR208,320_silverangelHollywood-Wives-USI’m a romance reader from way back. Like back in middle school, I was sneaking my reading during homeroom. Harlequin Temptation (and later Blaze), Avon and Zebra Historicals (Cassie Edwards and Johanna Lindsey), Jackie Collins (Lucky, Chances, Hollywood Wives) you name it, back in the day I was eyeball deep in it. My parents were never restrictive of what I read, being voracious fiction consumers themselves.41mWqlMg0RL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

And then I read Cry Wolf, by Tami Hoag.

It was summer, I was in high school and this random book on the grocery store shelf caught my eye. Unassuming cover in blues and greens, the back blurb intrigued me, and then I read the first couple pages. It was set in a place I’d never been but wanted to, the characters were immediately relatable, and the hero . . . well, Jack Boudreaux will always be my first bona fide book boyfriend. I bought it and read it that day into the night. Then I read it all over again the next day. I was completely taken and immersed by this world she’d created. It was my gateway drug.

The first thought I had—as a young and definitely naïve high schooler—was ‘I could do this’, followed closely by ‘It’s putting words on a page, how hard could this be?’ Trust me when I say that the negative karma accrued by uttering those two statements alone has long since come and snatched me up. I finished my first romantic mystery the summer between my sophomore and junior years. It was 200 pages of ‘nope’.

70ecbd1f2d832db05aa670c909233839My next attempt at writing happened not long after that, and lasted for 700 pages of family saga from my junior year in high school to the middle of my freshman year of college (’93-’94). It was a brooding vampire/demons/undead pnr/family saga (with liberal doses of lgbt) thrown in as well. I still have it, though it, too, will never see the light of day again beyond my computer screen on occasional bouts of nostalgia.

In this time, around my schoolwork, I was still supremely devoted to contemporary romantic suspense. I have shelves and shelves of books from that period in my life and I discovered many other authors that I love to this day, but the whole time I kept writing. Mostly small fanfiction stuff (X-Philes and others), and in the meantime, I got a job working for the staple of the romantic suspense genre, the police.

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 4.40.30 PMI spent 11 years in communications, doing everything from 911 calls (for six months when I got there) to radio dispatch and control (the officer’s control room for whole sections of the city). I loved it and knew I had to find a way to write about the sublimely funny/smart/scary/crazy/brave/sexy officers and situations that I was privy to daily.

I started no less than four different novels, with four different approaches, and none of them were exactly what I wanted. Finding a way to encompass what I wanted was definitely a trial and error process. Finally I came to rest on Imminent Danger.

Because of the job, I have reasonably unfettered access to the minds of the guys who find the bodies, investigate the homicides, and eventually put people in jail. It’s a researcher’s dream. Plus, it certainly doesn’t hurt when you’re interviewing guys hot enough to be in the department calendar. Eye candy is the unspoken bonus.

I remain a devoted reader of crime fiction, romantic suspense, and romance in general.  When I’m not working, I’m usually catching up with my hubby of 18 years, playing with my heathen brood (4 dogs, 3 cats, all geriatric), or working on my next novel.

Give Me Shelter COVERLachesis Publishing author Alexis D. Craig writes sultry and funny romantic suspense (Give Me Shelter and Imminent Danger) featuring the brave men and women in law enforcement.  She also writes super hot erotica featuring sexy cops (Undercover Seduction). By day Alexis is a police dispatcher so she knows her cops!

You can get Alexis’s romantic suspense Give Me Shelter at Lachesis Publishing and on amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble and Kobo.

Connect with Alexis D. Craig on her website, and on facebook,  twitter and goodreads.

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Can a lie lead to love? An historical romance by DeAnn Smallwood

UnconquerableCallie_850 (1)(8)Tuesday’s REVOLVING BOOK is the historical romance UNCONQUERABLE CALLIE by DeANN SMALLWOOD.

Sometimes a lie can lead to love.

Publisher: SoulMate Publishing Offered through Kindle Direct Amazon.com


Callie Collins, a proud woman in the late 1800’s, is a liar and a darned good one, a master of the dubious art. She is also a dreamer. Her greatest hope is to reach a new life in South Pass City, Wyoming, where she can open a bakery and live an independent life. To be successful, she will need her greatest deception to date, a mythical fiancé who waits at the end of the line. As a woman alone, she has to prove to Seth McCallister, the wagon master, that she has the wherewithal and the stamina to survive months of drought, dust, hardships, and even the risk of death.

Seth McCallister is mystified by the audacity and determination of Callie Collins. His initial distrust and concern for Callie, a woman traveling alone, begins first as admiration, then friendship, then love, a love that he is forced to hold at bay. What he doesn’t realize is that there is no fiancé. To make matters worse, Callie develops feelings for Seth McCallister, too. Yet she feels certain that once he realizes her deception, he’ll turn away, ashamed of his love and trust in her.


Extremely well written. I found myself in the west, riding along on the wagon train with Callie struggling right along with her. Experiencing her every emotion, forging friendships,and falling in love I recommend this book to anyone with an adventurous spirit.

UNCONQUERABLE CALLIE is an enjoyable and entertaining love story. DeAnn Smallwood exhibits her talent for words with her tale of love, hardship, relationships, and determination. She does an excellent job of crafting a romance with the historical backdrop of a wagon train. Her depiction of the adventurous spirit of settlers, as well as the dangers and hardships they endured on their journey for a better life, was fascinating and excellent.

The heroine, Callie, a courageous woman determined to forge a life for herself, embarks on a treacherous excursion through Indian country, despite the obstacles or the dangers she must face. Along the way, her courage and giving nature wins the hearts of her fellow travelers, including the wagon master.

UNCONQUERABLE CALLIE is a sweet romance that will draw you in from the beginning to the end. It is resplendent with history, well-drawn characters, and vivid descriptions. The plot flows unfettered and solid with an engaging story line. This novel is for anyone who loves romance and history without sexual complications. A must read.

DeAnn Smallwood lives in Colorado with her husband, Marvin and two Yorkies, Eli and Stormy. She is a native of Colorado, but has lived in Montana and Wyoming. Historical romances are one of her favorite genres to write. Recently, she branched out into the suspense/thriller genre and wrote the first novel in her death series: Death Crosses The Finish line. This is written under her pen name of D. M. Woods. Her second book in this series: Death Is A Habit has just been completed. You can find her contemporary romance: Tears In The Wind, and two additional historical romances, Sapphire Blue and Montana Star at Amazon.com and SoulMate Publishing. Another historical romance: Wyoming Heather will be out in May. Her greatest pleasure next to writing is having her books read and enjoyed. Many more stories are just waiting to be written and shared.



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The Day I Met Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz and Christine Feehan by Christine Mazurk

Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts

Jayne Ann Krentz

Jayne Ann Krentz

Christine Feehan

Christine Feehan

The day I met Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, and Christine Feehan, all at the same time, marked a special moment for me.

I was at the RWA National Conference in Reno in 2005 and had just pitched one of my stories to an editor (I was unpublished at the time). My pitch made me a few minutes late getting to the ballroom for the luncheon, so I quietly slipped into the room, found a table with several empty chairs, and took a seat.

As I introduced myself to the few writers already seated, Nora, Jayne, and Christine walked in and sat down. Christine Feehan to my right, Jayne Ann Krentz next to her, and Nora Roberts next to her. My heart stopped for a second as I realized I would be eating lunch with these famous ladies.

Trying not to appear star-struck, I introduced myself and conversations began around the table. I chatted with Christine Feehan, learned why she started writing her dark tales, what inspired her work. She in turn asked me what I wrote and if I’d submitted any of my manuscripts?

I told her about a few of my stories and answered that, yes I had submitted and received many rejections.

Several minutes into the meal, Jayne Ann Krentz leaned forward and asked me if the rejections were form letters or if they contained specific comments?

I answered, “A few form letters, but most contained specific comments.”

She said, “You’re almost there. Keep knocking because they’ll either open the door or you’ll knock it down.”

After lunch, I ran back to my room and called my husband. “You’ll never guess who I just had lunch with…” Like a giddy schoolgirl, I told him what happened.

When I finished telling him the story, he laughed and said, “I wonder how many people in the room were sitting there asking themselves who that blonde was sitting with Nora, Jayne and Christine?”

Mmm, I hadn’t even thought about that. Smart man, my hubby!

Well, noticed or not, I carried Jayne’s words with me for many years as a reminder not to give up, and every year when I saw her at Nationals, she’d ask, “Well? Published yet?”

In 2013, the RWA National Conference was held in Atlanta. My son and daughter-in-law live there, so they met me for dinner the night of the Literacy Signing. They brought my then four-month-old granddaughter and after we ate, we strolled the room buying books and having them signed.

Jayne Ann Krentz waved me over to her table and again asked, “Well, are you published?”

I smiled broadly and held up three fingers. “Three published,” I said proudly. “I kept your encouraging words with me, never gave up, and signed with my agent in December of 2010.”

She jumped up and down, gave me a huge hug. “See, I told you it would happen, Christine.”

My daughter in law’s eyes widened and as we walked away, she whispered, “She knew your name. That is so cool!”

Meeting the ladies and the following yearly interactions with Jayne will remain magical moments in my memories.

Have you ever met anyone who is famous?


SISTERS-OF-SPIRIT-COVERChristine Mazurk, is the author of “Identity”, one of four novellas in the lovely and lyrical Sisters of Spirit Anthology (Lachesis Publishing). The anthology features four stories about four very special friends. Written by four real life friends: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Annette Blair, Lynn Jenssen, Christine Mazurk and Jeanine Duval Spikes (also known as J.D. Spikes Lachesis Publishing author of The Possession).

Check out “Identity” by Christine Mazurk in the Sisters of Spirit Anthology. You can purchase it at Lachesis Publishing and on Amazon.com, on Kobo, on Barnes and Noble and on itunes (iBooks).

Connect with Christine Mazurk on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

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Filed under Best-selling authors, Bestselling Authors, CHRISTINE MAZURK, getting published

What Inspires My Writing? by Lynn Jenssen (women’s fiction and contemporary romance author)

SISTERS-OF-SPIRIT-COVERToday’s guest blog is by Lynn Jenssen, author of the novella  New View  in the poignant Sisters of Spirit Anthology (Lachesis Publishing). The anthology features four stories about four very special friends.

What Inspires Me To Write?

I’ve been thinking about this question since it was first posed to us, and it’s a difficult one for me to answer. There are conditions that make my writing possible, conditions I need to make that writing productive.  But inspiration?  My muse delights in the wonders of nature — a walk in the fall colors, a stroll on the beach, a drive thru the mountains.  Even mowing the lawn gives my mind time to work through scenes, discover a character’s flaws and idiosyncrasies, and design new ways to torment the hero or heroine.

But inspiration?  I suppose it comes from the continuous flow of stories that come into my head, with an insistence that can’t be denied. And it comes from the ever-present support and encouragement I get from my family and friends. Their interest and caring help fuel the fire to keep going, work through the hard times, those ‘stuck’ moments. Friends listen, brainstorm, help me wonder “what if . . .”  And family — it’s the safety net, the fabric woven through my writing.

So I guess that’s my answer — my inspiration is nature, family and friends, and those noisy characters in my head!

Connect with Lynn Jenssen on her web site and on facebook.

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Filed under Lachesis Publishing, ROMANCE AUTHOR, romance authors, romance books, ROMANCE FICTION, ROMANCE NOVELS, ROMANTIC ELEMENTS, WOMEN'S FICTION

Sneak Peek Monday: More Than Charming by JoMarie DeGioia (Regency historical romance)

more-than-charming-500x724Today’s sneak peek is from the Regency historical romance More Than Charming by JoMarie DeGioia. Book 4 in the Dashing Nobles series. Get it now at 50% off (Lachesis Publishing 9th Anniversary Sale)

What it’s about:

James Bradford, Viscount Roberts, will never be a fool for love—falling in love only has disastrous results. James should know, since he almost lost his best friend Geoffrey Kane when he fell for Kane’s bride Rebecca. Looking back now, he can see clearly that it was just an infatuation but he vows he will never lose control of his emotions ever again. He’s quite satisfied charming all the ladies of London and sleeping with buxom barmaids.

Lady Catherine Talbot has always dreamed of having a loving marriage just like the one her dear brother Paul and his beautiful wife Michelle have, but she wonders if her chance at happiness may have passed her by. After all, she was jilted by her fiancé Lord Waltham, who left her and ran off with an heiress. A year has passed since that disaster. Catherine is older and wiser now, but a part of her still dreams.

When James sees Catherine at a society ball he is stunned by her beauty. Paul’s sweet little sister has become a breathtakingly beautiful woman. And Catherine is just as taken with the most charming bachelor in London.

But can a charming rogue and an innocent lady find their own loving truth in the face of jealousy and scandal-mongers threatening to tear them apart? And will it be too late when their very future is threatened by unspeakable danger?


James heard only half of what Elizabeth said to him, for over her shoulder he spied the most beautiful young woman he’d ever seen. Her glossy brown curls were upswept, several tendrils left free to fall about her shoulders and frame her face. She was dressed in a gown of deep blue, the color complementing her striking eyes. The cut of the gown accentuated her lovely figure; her full breasts and slender waist drew his appreciative glance. My God. Surely this beautiful creature couldn’t be Catherine Talbot!

James watched her approach, noting that she carried herself regally, her hips swaying gently. She no longer flitted about the room like her sister. He’d always thought her pretty, but the past year had matured her looks. She’d lost her girlish countenance, but it was replaced with breathtaking beauty. If Waltham’s betrayal had this effect on her, perhaps he should thank the man before he throttled him.

He glanced at Elizabeth, then back at Catherine. They were no longer twins.

Catherine came to a stop in front of him, a small smile on her face. “Lord Roberts,” she said softly, curtsying.

James blinked. Even her voice held a sultry note he’d never heard in it before.

He bowed to her. “Lady Catherine,” he said, using her formal address for the first time.

She cocked her head to the side and smiled widely, the effect startling him. The dimple in her cheek only added to her appeal.

James recovered himself and took her gloved hand in his. “You look very much the lady this evening, Catherine.”

She stared up at him for a moment, and when her pupils dilated, he felt it like a caress.

“Oh, Catherine,” Elizabeth gushed. “There you are.”

Catherine turned her head and smiled at her sister, and James released her hand with regret. Geoffrey and Becca soon joined them, and talk became quite animated. James returned his friends’ comments absently, his eyes continually settling on Catherine. What was the matter with him? She was his friend’s little sister, and he’d never thought of her in any other way. But she was a woman now. As desirable as any he’d ever known.

As they all took themselves into the supper room, he vowed to put her, and his troubling reaction to her, out of his mind.

Like what you’ve read? Get More Than Charming by JoMarie DeGioia.

JoMarie DeGioia is the author of the Dashing Nobles Series, which follows the love stories of four dashing gentlemen of the ton in Regency England.

Connect with JoMarie DeGioia online on her web site and on facebook and on twitter.

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How to Charm a Prince and Get Your Happily Ever After

TO-CHARM-A-PRINCEYou absolutely have to read PATRICIA GRASSO’S TO CHARM A PRINCE. It’s a sweetly, sensual tale set in Regency England, TO CHARM A PRINCE, will completely charm you with its magic.


amazon kindle: Priced at .90 cents http://www.amazon.com/Charm-Prince-Book-Douglas-ebook/dp/B00E49OGBM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409242501&sr=8-1&keywords=To+Charm+a+Prince

barnes and noble: Priced at .99 cents http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-charm-a-prince-patricia-grasso/1005645041?ean=9781927555187

kobo: priced at 1.00 http://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/books/To-Charm-a-Prince/Q6bIM2-t2EeSmRRCaTAVHA?MixID=Q6bIM2-t2EeSmRRCaTAVHA&PageNumber=1


Life taught her to fend for herself.

The second daughter of an impoverished, alcoholic earl, Samantha Douglas was forced to cope with a physical impairment caused by a childhood accident. Certain that her heart’s desire—a husband and children of her own—is forever out of reach, Samantha keeps bitterness at bay and manages to retain her optimism.

Life taught him to be bitter.

Prince Rudolf Kazanov has fled his homeland to protect his English mother and young daughter. Accustomed to society’s shallow beauties, Samantha’s spirit and courage draw the prince to her side from the moment they meet. Prince Rudolf recognizes Samantha’s rare beauty that emanates from the heart.

Fate throws them together, and passion brings them closer. Will these lovers heal each other’s pain? Or will the prince’s enemies keep them from fulfilling a love neither thought possible?


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Sneak Peek Monday: New View by Lynn Jenssen in the Sisters of Spirit Anthology (women’s fiction/romance)

SISTERS-OF-SPIRIT-COVER-300x466I had the pleasure of editing  the lovely and lyrical Sisters of Spirit Anthology (Lachesis Publishing). The anthology features four stories about four very special friends. Written by four real life friends: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Annette Blair, Lynn Jenssen, Christine Mazurk (Lachesis Publishing author of Passion’s Race) and Jeanine Duval Spikes (also known as J.D. Spikes Lachesis Publishing author of The Possession).

What It’s About:

Four life-long friends face the biggest changes of their lives.

Four sisters—not related by blood—but by spirit, each embark on a quest

Four women find out what they’re truly made of, and what love really means.

In “New View” by Lynn Jenssen, a couple’s vow of “for better or worse” is tested to the max under the threat of overwhelming work stress, and marital misunderstandings. But when a danger threatens to tear them apart for good, they face their biggest trial of all.

In “Identity” by Christine Mazurk, a young woman embarks on a complete life-change after losing more than 100 pounds, and through a twist of fate finds herself training for a marathon under the guidance of a super sexy coach. But when she starts falling for the hunky trainer, can she trust her new-found confidence to take her to the finish line?

In “Shaman’s Shell” by Jeanine Duval Spikes, a spunky young woman finds a mystical Native American artifact that could change the course of an archeologist’s career. He wants what she’s got. She doesn’t know if she can trust him. But as an attraction builds between them, the mysterious artifact propels them to discover what they both truly need.

In “Moving Pictures” by Annette Blair, a down-but-never-out woman lands a much-needed job working for one of the top advertising agencies in the country. Her boss is an award-winning exec whose focus has been solely on work for the past few years, to the exclusion of everything else. She doesn’t know why, and he isn’t prepared to tell her. The more reclusive he is, the more determined she is to draw him out, but how can she fight the haunting ghosts of his past?


SOS. Her Sisters of Spirit. Whenever they got together, they giggled, and shared, teased, and played. Good times with good friends.

Marina laughed as she put on her whimsical beachcombing find—a pair of red children’s sunglasses with heart-shaped eyepieces—and modeled them for her friends. “How’s this? It’s a new look for me.” She primped her hair and struck a pose.

“Stunning! Who’s the designer?” Bryce teased.

“Seein’ life through rose-colored glasses?” Clara threw out a line.

“What about ‘blinded by luv?’” Anastasia added her quip.

Marina laughed and followed her friends as they made their way to the car. But the good-natured chatter between the friends soon faded as her vision fogged over and a scene flashed in her mind. Cameron, her husband of seven years, as white as the sheets he lay on, unmoving, unconscious. Fear and panic sickened her stomach and stole her breath. The antiseptic smell of a hospital stung her nose. The emotion-laden picture burned itself into her memory, then faded, and the buzz of her friends’ banter returned.

She took a deep, shuddering breath. What happened? She dared not tell the girls. They’d ask questions. They’d guess the truth.

The vision clung to her psyche, though she hid the disquiet behind a smile to her friends who continued the quips back and forth. She flipped the glasses onto her head, holding her hair away from her face, and concentrated on navigating the dirt road to avoid the biggest of the potholes. She listened as the others talked about their finds, but remained distracted by more than the road conditions.

Once they returned from their outing, the friends separated. Clara and Anastasia walked to the small market in search of ingredients for an impromptu dessert while Marina and Bryce stayed home to start dinner. She suspected they contrived the dessert trip to leave her alone with Bryce, who poured them each a glass of wine.

“Mare, what’s going on? I’m getting turmoil from you. Are you the one who sent the SOS?”

She sipped her wine, taking time to choose her words carefully. “That’s the problem. I don’t know what’s going on. But Cam and I . . . we . . . it’s not the same.” So much for careful word choice. Come on, Marina, be specific. She took another sip. Bryce waited. “We’ve always shared stories about our day when we get home. We laughed together. We listened to each other as we went for a walk or got dinner started.” That’s how it had always been.

She covered the salad and put it in the refrigerator. With the steaks marinating and the salad made, they moved to the deck to enjoy the spring breeze. Bryce prodded, “It feels like there’s more to the story.”

Marina sat on the chaise lounge and curled her legs up under her. “Since Cam got his promotion, things have changed. He comes home later, so we miss our chance to walk together, and I’ve already fixed dinner, sometimes eaten mine without him. He’s quiet and tired. We don’t share our day’s happenings. When I ask or try to talk, his response is minimal, like I’m an effort to talk to. He travels more than ever, and that’s been a strain, too. It’s getting worse. We’d hoped this new promotion would give us the financial stability to do the things we want and be together more. Instead we’ve grown apart; everything feels distant.”

She hated that her voice wobbled—she took another sip of wine to collect herself, but the liquid burned her throat as the tears pricked in her eyes. “I miss the old Cam. The one who laughs at my silly jokes, who makes me smile with a simple wink, the one who sends tingles down my spine with a single look. What’s happened to us?”

“I felt something troubling you.” Bryce reached over and took her hand. “I understand. What are you going to do?”

“Keep talking to him. I don’t know what else to do.” Sadness sat in the pit of her stomach. Bryce squeezed her hand and nodded. But Marina wondered about the vision. Did it symbolize his love for her had died?

Laughter and chatter came from the walkway leading to the house, so they knew the others were back from their mission, ending the conversation.

She took a deep breath and pulled herself away from her friends and quickly texted Cam. Marital concerns aside, she needed to know he was okay. A quick response—‘All’s well.’

With her friends on the island, she planned to enjoy their company and get re-invigorated by her writing. Tough writing romance when your own lacked. She didn’t want to dampen the mood, so she tried to hide her worries by smiling and keeping the attention focused on the others.

It didn’t work with Clara, who cornered her in the kitchen after dinner while they were washing dishes. “Are you okay? You seem kind of quiet this weekend.”

“Things with school, Cam’s new job is hectic, and a little overwhelming. We’re still trying to find a balance.” All true statements, but not the whole truth . . . though she wasn’t even sure what that truth was.

“Have faith. It’ll work out. Remember why you fell in love in the beginning. Keep that first in your heart.”

Later on, Anastasia rubbed Marina’s back and shoulders. “You’re tense. If you want to talk, you know I’ll listen.” Each of her Sisters recognized her heart’s disquiet and each in her own way offered support without prying.

As she tidied the house after their weekend on the island, the red sunglasses she’d found fell out of her jacket pocket. She smiled. “Seeing life through rose colored glasses . . .” She put them on her writing desk in the office. Maybe they’d inspire a happy love story next time she came out to the island to write.

They rushed to close up the house and catch the evening ferry. Marina had one more look around before locking up. “Bye, Mom. I’ll be back soon.” A touch of melancholy hit her. Still home.

Connect with Lynn Jenssen on her web site and on facebook.
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