Seven steps to the Darcy Act – Guest post by Ines Johnson

I interacted with Ines Johnson through Marketing For Romance Writers, a very active and giving group. When she pitched her article about The Darcy Arc I was seriously intrigued and asked to host it. So, here’s Ines’ 7 steps to The Darcy Arc. Make sure you scroll down for more on Ines and her current release, The Pleasure Hound, Part 1. And don’t skip on reading Ines’ author bio. One of the best, I’ve recently read.

ThePleasureHoundPart1

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON LINK

http://www.amazon.com/Pleasure-Hound-Part-One-ebook/dp/B00OYU2CYO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415638043&sr=8-1&keywords=pleasure+hound

THE DARCY ACT by Ines Johnson

In Jane Austen’s timeless classic, Pride and Prejudice, we all detest the dashingly handsome, but stuck up, Mr. Darcy in the beginning. After a poorly-contrived declaration of love at Rosings Park and a secret act of kindness, we all realize we’ve misjudged Mr. Darcy and fall madly in love with the sensitive, lovestruck gentleman. This is what I affectionately call The Darcy Arc. It has worked in The Twilight Saga with Edward and Bella, The Hunger Games with Peeta and Katniss, and even Sex in the City with Mr. Big and Carrie.

A successful Darcy Arc can be accomplished in seven steps.

  1. First, have your Darcy-hero enter the scene with a bad attitude.

When we meet Fitzwilliam Darcy its clear he doesn’t like Austen’s heroine, Lizzie, Lizzie’s family, or the whole town, for that matter.

In Twilight, the whole Cullen clan keeps to themselves, including Edward. Edward literally puts his nose in the air when he meets Bella.

In The Hunger Games, Peeta’s family owns a bakery and is considered well-to-do. Katniss’s memories of Peeta show him tossing burnt bread at her as though she’s a beggar.

After trying to get along to no avail, both our heroines decide that these guys are jerks and they move along. But not so quick!

2  Next, our hero and heroine are thrown together for some reason.

Darcy and Lizzie dance at a ball. Edward and Bella are lab partners in school. Peeta and Katniss are selected as tributes in the games.

While spending time with one another our Darcy-hero begins making statements or moves that suggest he may be interested in our lovely lady. She begins to question her original opinion of him, but not for long. After a moment, his walls go back up and his bad attitude returns.

3   Then some danger befalls her that only he is aware of.

In Pride and Prejudice, Darcy’s old nemesis, Wickham, takes an interest in Lizzie. In Twilight, Edward saves Bella from street thugs. And in The Hunger Games, Peeta tries to help Katniss win allies in the training arena.

4.   After this danger, he confesses his love, in an unromantic or suspicious way, but she rejects him.

At Rosings, Darcy delivers that gawd-awful proposal. Edward can’t decide if he wants to kill or kiss our girl Bella. Katniss isn’t sure that Peeta’s overtures or genuine or gameplay.

5.  Its not until they all have time to process a bit more that they come to see that they were indeed wrong about these prickly men.

While visiting Pemberley, Lizzie sees a different side of Darcy. Edward keeps his fangs to himself and watches her sleep. After he saves her life in the games, Katniss is now certain of Peeta’s affections.

6.   As our heroine’s hearts are softening, the hero comes to her aide again, expecting nothing in return.

Lizzie finds out that Darcy saved his sister in secret. Edwards sucks the poisonous blood out of Bella’s wrist without killing her. Peeta proves his love when he’s ready to swallow those poisonous berries for Katniss.

Each of our heroines realizes she definitely was wrong about her hero. She misunderstood this prince among men.

7.  Finally, our Darcy-hero sees a glimmer of a chance in her eyes. When he confesses his love again, she accepts him.

This time when Darcy proposes, Lizzie accepts. Edward pledges his love forever, which is a long time in vampire speak. And Katniss accepts Peeta’s love…eventually.

I followed this seven part plan when I crafted my hero, Khial, in my Pleasure Hound serial. Khial doesn’t hide his distaste for my heroine, Chanyn, when he first meets her. After many ups and downs in the plot, will Khial follow the Darcy Arc and admit his true feelings? And if he does, will Chanyn come to see Khial for the prince he is?

BOOK BLURB

A young monk is given the chance to redeem himself from scandal when he is called upon to train a young woman and her two bonded mates in the orgasmic arts. But what starts as a simple ritual soon turns carnal when the monk’s heart begins to yearn for the woman, and hers for his.

AUTHOR BIO

Ines writes books for strong women who suck at love. If you rocked out to the twisted triangle of Jem, Jericha, and Rio as a girl; if you were slayed by vampires with souls alongside Buffy; if you need your scandalous fix from Olivia Pope each week, then you’ll love her books!

Aside from being a writer, professional reader, and teacher, Ines is a very bad Buddhist. She sits in sangha each week, and while others are meditating and getting their zen on, she’s contemplating how to use the teachings to strengthen her plots and character motivations.

Ines lives outside Washington, DC with her two little sidekicks who are growing up way too fast.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

GOOD READS LINK

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23480179-the-pleasure-hound?from_search=true

FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/ineswrites

TWITTER

https://twitter.com/ineswrites

BOOK TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbU9r0ArEkY

WEBSITE

https://inesjohnson.wordpress.com/

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The Viscount Who Lived Down The Lane by Elizabeth Boyle (Review)

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A charming take on The Beauty and The Beast, this historical romance, the fourth in New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Boyle’s “Rhymes with Love” series, will leave fans of the genre truly satisfied. Make sure you enter the rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to win one of ten print copies of the book, courtesy of the author. Also, scroll down for a sample of Ms Boyle’s excellent writing.

The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane

Rhymes with Love # 4
By: Elizabeth Doyle
Releasing October 28th, 2014
Avon Romance

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Barnes | iTunes | Kobo

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My Review

Laura Tempest is a disaster magnet. And Lavinia, her identical twin, is even worse! But when they are offered a sponsored Season in London full of social life among the best of the ton, Lavinia drags Louisa with her. While Lavinia is set on finding a respectable husband, Louisa’s practical mind knows that their family’s tarnish won’t be covered with pretty frocks and intricate hairdos. She’s not the marriage sort, anyway. So she brings Hannibal, her devilish one-eyed tomcat with her. With him at hand, no one will bother her.

All Viscount Wakefield wants is his thick drapes shut and his bottle of Madeira full. After the retreat to Corunna, amidst the Peninsular War, that shattered his leg and his heart, he resents still being among the living. But when a cat from hell wreaks havoc in his household and his tempestuous mistress (Miss Tempest, indeed!) decided she wants to put everything to rights, including his life, he bans both cat and lady from his house. So she starts working on his garden. And suddenly that demmed drape insists on letting sunshine creep in even when he’s sure he left it hermetically shut. Just like his heart.

This historical romance was a delight! The language was as authentic as it gets, the plot, although not highly original, delicious, but what made the difference for me were the characters. True to themselves down to the bone, they never falter, and that’s including pets! From the elderly butler and the impertinent new cook to the two kids that are hired as extra help, and Hannibal the cat (unforgettable Hannibal) they all get memorable, fast-paced scenes that often made me think that I’m watching a farse on stage.

The dialogues are witty, the settings well-rendered (although maybe a bit underdescribed) and the main characters set so many obstacles along the way, I really wondered how the HEA would come about. If I must complain about something that would be that the final reconciliation scene was too easy, and there are loose ends concerning other characters, but Ms Boyle has promised that everything will be sorted out in the next installment where we’ll learn what Lavinia is up to. I’m surely picking that one up!

All in all, I truly enjoyed this delightful historical romance. In terms of character development, I would say that Ms Boyle is among the best. This new version of The Beauty and The Beast put a smile on my face–not an easy task with a swollen cheek after a wisdom tooth extraction. 🙂

Excerpt

London, Hanover Square

November 1810

“What is it, Haley?” Lord Charleton asked, sparing a glance at the door of the breakfast room where his secretary stood, hovering about like a nervous sparrow. “Is it Rowland? Tell me he hasn’t landed in the suds yet again.”

“No, my lord.”

The man’s brow furrowed a bit. “Couldn’t be Wakefield.”

“Certainly not, my lord.”

The baron glanced up. “Wouldn’t mind if it was. Demmed waste having him mope about, locked up in that house of his.”

“Indeed,” the secretary replied, and if Charleton wasn’t mistaken, there was a note of irony to the man’s declaration—one he chose to ignore, instead pinning a glance on the impudent fellow.

Under the scrutiny, Haley’s jaw worked back and forth as if the words were stuck there in his craw.

“Well?” Lord Charleton prodded. “Out with it. Before my kippers grow cold.” As it was, the baron shoved his plate forward and set down the paper he’d been reading.

Mr. Haley cleared his throat and held out a letter. “I’ve come across a small debt your wife owed—”

There it was. That cold stillness that came every time someone had the nerve to mention Isobel’s name.  How  Lord  Charleton  wished  he  could forget her passing so this wrenching pain would fade from his heart. Yet, still, even a year after her loss, it was a sharp ache he woke up with, one that haunted him even after he closed his eyes at night.

Now here was his secretary bringing her up when he’d quite forbidden the matter.

“Pay it,” he ordered in a tone that said he wanted nothing further to do with any reminders of her.

“But, my lord—” Haley shuffled about.

Lord Charleton removed his glasses and slowly cleaned them. Then once they were perched back up on his nose he stared coldly at the fellow. He was a good man, Haley. An excellent secretary, but why the man continued to bring up Lady Charleton, the baron could not understand. Speaking slowly and deliberately, so there was no mistaking the matter, he said, “You know what to do. Take care of the matter and leave me be.”

“If you insist, my lord . . .” Haley’s voice trailed off tentatively. It wasn’t so much a reply as one last prod.

Truly? He was going to ask yet again? If he wasn’t the most thorough and honest fellow the baron had ever hired—well, actually Lady Charleton had found him and insisted he be hired, but that wasn’t the point. Haley had become rather cheeky of late and Charleton wanted nothing more than to fire him on the spot.

But Isobel wouldn’t have approved, and so Charlton inclined his head, reined back his ire and said with a final note, “Just see to it as Her Lady- ship would have wanted.” Then he went back to his paper and ignored Haley, who stood for a few more moments in the doorway.

And if the baron had looked up, he might have seen the wry, wily smile that had led Lady Char- leton to hire Mr. Haley in the first place.

CHAPTER 1

London

Six months later

Areowwwwww!  The unholy complaint filled the

carriage.

“You should have left that foul creature back in Kempton,  Miss  Tempest,”  Mrs.  Bagley-Butterton complained for about the hundredth time.

Which equaled the number of times Hannibal had let out that ear-piercing yowl from the basket in which he was trapped.

“He  doesn’t  like  being  penned  up  so,”  Miss Louisa Tempest said in defense of her cat. “And I couldn’t leave him behind.”

There  was  a  sigh  of  resignation  from  beside Louisa. Miss Lavinia Tempest, Louisa’s twin, made a very deliberate show of looking out the window. She wasn’t about to rise to Hannibal’s defense.

Never would.

Louisa suspected her sister shared Mrs. Bagley- Butterton’s exasperation and wished poor Hannibal back in Kempton as well.

“I only hope your godmother is an understanding sort,” the matron continued, shifting in her seat in the carriage and eyeing the large basket on Louisa’s lap with an air of disdain and suspicion. She had protested vehemently against the cat being brought along, but she could hardly prevent the matter when the carriage conveying them to London belonged to the girls’ father, Sir Ambrose Tempest. “I know I wouldn’t have that cat in my house.” She sniffed loudly.

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Elizabeth BoyleAuthor Info

Elizabeth Boyle was an antipiracy paralegal for Microsoft before settling down to write full-time. Her first novel, Brazen Angel, which won Dell’s Diamond Debut Award in 1996, also won the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award for Best First Book, and was a finalist for Best Long Historical Romance. She lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington. She is also the author of Brazen Heiress.

Author Links

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Believing in Bigfoot by JC Miller (Review)

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A never-too-late romance was this week’s read ‘n’ review. Believing in Bigfoot by JC Miller is a heartwarming story of a man and a woman who could have given up/fallen back to old ways and patterns, but they give love a chance. The tour is brought to you by Book Enthusiast Promotions.

My review

An art professor, Ruth has lost the drive both for her art and teaching. Just like her 28-year-old son who drifts in and out of her life, fun and thirst for new things also seem out of reach. Playing along her best friend’s whim to go trekking on the mountains, she has an acutely embarrassing encounter with “Bigfoot” turned rescuer. Shockingly, his fleeting presence becomes creative inspiration.

Isaac has fled his high profile life and his demons. Living like a hermit on the mountain, brings lucidity he never experienced while living on the fast track. But the woman whose friend he is forced to help out, affects him in ways he cannot explain, and she unwillingly forces him to re-enter the world. The catch is that his disappearance didn’t erase his problems and they instantly flood him to the point of choking him. How can he be what Ruth needs when he himself doesn’t know who he is?

Believing in Bigfoot is a lesson in believing in life and love regardless of the stage of life you’re in. Written with surprising attention to detail both in settings and emotions, this novel flows with naturalness as much as it flirts with nature. The author’s loving attention to the minutiae of every day life is charming, and her flexibility and ease in handling complex emotions of characters with huge emotional baggage (remember: this is the opposite of a YA romance) is amazing.

The story is well-paced, and the characters full-fleshed and totally relatable. I was drawn in the story from page one, and that was because the settings were rendered so vividly, I could picture them in amazing clarity! If I have to comment on one thing that would be the lack of a distinct point of reference. A center of gravity, if you may. It wasn’t the romance so much, as Ruth and Isaac share but a few scenes, or the challenges of friendship and motherhood, as the need to re-invent oneself, re-calibrate one’s life at an older age, or maybe the need to let go of excess baggage even when it’s become second skin. I’m having some trouble defining the true essence of the story.

Other than that, this was a book I enjoyed reading and finished in one (and a half) sitting. If you enjoy sweet romances about second chances, Believing in Bigfoot should be your next read.

Scroll down for more details on the book, purchase links and a chance to win two $5 Gift Cards.

Synopsis

Reeling from his failed comeback and ruined marriage, washed-out actor Ian James (née Isaac Janowitz) flees Los Angeles for a two-week respite in Northern California’s remote Marble Mountains—Bigfoot country. His time alone in the wilderness begins to peel away the layers of his Hollywood persona. After a fateful meeting with a beguiling woman, Ian begins to question his heart. In a moment of clarity, Isaac ditches his publicist and finds himself in Redding, living with invisibility at the Vagabond Motel.

Professor Ruth Hill is burnt out teaching photography at Redding’s Shasta College, eager for her upcoming retirement. But for unexplained reasons, despite weekly therapy sessions, her panic attacks have escalated. Her artistic slump persists. Looking back, she regrets a life without risk; looking forward, she dreads a meaningless future. Going over her proof sheets one morning, she stumbles upon a series of striking thumbnails, reigniting her passion and creativity.

Readers will root for Isaac and Ruth as they grapple with their chance encounter on the mountain and search for meaning in their repellent, yet intense attraction. Their paths do cross again, but when confronted with the possibility of enduring love, Ruth’s cynicism creeps in; Isaac’s self-defeating beliefs take hold. For these two damaged souls, it just may be too late.

Meet the Author

JC (Jeanne) Miller, M.A., is an educator and founding member of JAM, an editorial-consultation team. An avid reader, aspiring traveler and table tennis enthusiast, she resides in Northern California.

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A rough road to love: His Road Home by Anna Richland (Review)

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His Road Home is an original love story, both heart-warming and heart-rending, that brings together an unlikely couple. Read on for my review and an excerpt from the book.  If you’re US-based, make sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway, as the author will make a $50 DONATION to The Fisher House Foundation in honor of a veteran of the winner’s choice. The virtual tour is organized by Tasty Book Tours.

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His Road Home
By: Anna Richland
Released October 13th, 2014
Carina Press

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His Road Home final cover

My Review

A marine biologist, Grace Kim, is more into her whale expeditions than into complex people relationships. Yet she finds herself engaged—with all the unwanted family hoopla over her finally settling down—when she doesn’t even know the guy! The fact that he’s just returned from Afghanistan seriously injured after a heroic effort complicates the situation even more. Demanding answers from a speech challenged double amputee, when everyone expected her to play the part of the fiancee, took Kim on a guilt trip on top of her frustration when all she wanted was to go back to her single, quiet life.

But after sweet texting each other while Ray was on a tough rehabilitation program, and she’s deployed to Alaska, Kim starts feeling a lot more toward him than guilt. And when she accompanies him on his cross-country drive back home, their faltering friendship turns sizzling hot. But can Kim be strong enough to support Ray, or is she again stereotyping?

His Road Home is a jolting read. So much for the heroine to deal with here until she settles for unconditional love: prejudices, guilt, objective practical difficulties, social demands … that’s one hell of a tough road to take. And Kim is by nature untrained to be that kind of tough. But Ray is such a sweetheart—on top of being dark and handsome—he makes everything fall into place without exerting any emotional pressure.

There are amazing heart-warming moments in this book as there are painful, heart-wrenching images. From Afghan war-zones and the Gulf of Alaska to a cross-country road trip, this one is quite a ride. The writing is no-nonsense, fitting the bill perfectly. The character development is expertly done, and the HEA while bumpy is right there; uplifting and empowering. What I felt, though, was that this was a story that needed more space to naturally evolve. It seemed that it was squeezed into a small book, giving some scenes a rushed, choppy feel. There were aspects that I’d like to see more of. Like get to know Kim’s traditional Korean parents and their ways more. Or have a better feel of Grace’s role on the Alaska expedition.

That aside, I enjoyed this original and thought-provoking story. It blows many cliches into smithereens, but what’s left standing—proud and tall—is true love. ‘Cause love is all you need, right?

EXCERPT: Grace Arrives at the Hospital

Chapter 2

The rose-tinted stone buildings and immaculate landscaping of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, reminded Grace of a university campus more than a military hospital. On the parking shuttle route, signs pointed to the Warrior Center and celebrated Warrior Pride, and she half expected men in blue paint and kilts to swarm the bus.

The massed display of flags inside the main lobby pressed home the weight of her false pretenses. The closer she drew to reception, the harder the fictions she hadn’t created but had been too obedient or timid to unravel squeezed her stomach. Five feet from the front desk, her charade bit more uncomfortably than the airplane seatbelt she’d worn all night.

“May I help you, ma’am?”

No one else was behind her. She was the ma’am.

The man on the other side of the desk smiled at her. “Are you here to see someone?”

Although she’d read his name in dozens of news articles, she hadn’t said it aloud. Her first attempt was a whisper. “Reynaldo Cruz.”

The keyboard clicked as he asked, “Are you Sergeant Cruz’s next of kin?”

“No.” Her stomach somersaulted as another lie rose to the surface to join so many others.

“Whoa, ma’am.” He reached across the desk as if to catch her. “Sergeant Cruz arrived yesterday from Landstuhl, but we have to ask because sometimes people pretend to know soldiers who’ve been in the news.”

That was her, a pretender. She clutched her jacket over her chest, chilled even inside the building, and hoped the airplane bagel didn’t revisit the scene.

“Name and photo identification, please.”

“Grace Kim.” Her driver’s license shook until she dropped it on the counter.

More clicking and peering before he said, “I don’t have you listed.”

If she couldn’t find out why Reynaldo Cruz had turned her life upside down, she’d never put it back together. Her chest expanded with bottled frustration.

“Hold on, I’ll call the ward to get permission.”

While the receptionist muttered into the phone, she willed the hot ball in her throat to dissolve. If she had to leave, this farce would end without an explanation to share with her family, her boss, her co-workers. The reporters calling her parents would change their tone, and people in Pateros would stop eating at the restaurant.

“Duty nurse confirmed you’re Sergeant Cruz’s fiancée.”

Relief snapped through her, even as the label made her squirm.

“Petty Officer Boichek will escort you. Visiting hours until twenty-hundred.” He clarified, “That’s eight tonight. I’ll add you as a permitted visitor. Here’s your temporary badge.”

Her escort was a woman, younger than her. “Morning, ma’am. This way to the elevators.”

As they left the lobby, Grace’s clogs clomped on the gleaming bare floor. At least her escort wouldn’t hear her thudding heart.

“No matter what, when you see your warrior, smile.”

Anna RichlandAuthor Info

Anna lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. Like the heroine of her debut paranormal romantic suspense novel, First to Burn, Anna joined the army to pay tuition, a decision that led to a career on four continents.

She donates a portion of her book proceeds to two charities: the Fisher House Foundation, which provides free accommodations near military hospitals for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide.

To sign up for Anna’s newsletter and find out about her next release, The Second Lie (The Immortal Vikings, Book Two), visit her website at www.annarichland.com

Author Links

Website: http://www.annarichland.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AnnaRichlandAuthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7440825.Anna_Richland

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Classically beautiful: Beneath the Scars by Melanie Moreland (Review)

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An ocean retreat in Main where the beauty meets the beast and makes him love her. But where love comes easily, trust seems as elusive as a handful of sand…

This review tour is brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win the following goodies (ends Oct 27):

  • 4 ebooks of Beneath the Scars (INTL)
  • 2 signed Paperbacks of Beneath the Scars (US/Canada only) with book marks
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Beneath the Scars
by Melanie Moreland
Publication date: October 14th 2014

Beneath

My Review

Megan’s life has turned into a nightmare. Having her boyfriend humiliate her in such a destructively public way—the person she trusted implicitly—makes her flee Boston. Her friend’s ocean house on Cliff’s Edge in Main is just the place for her to regroup and maybe even start writing again. She is certain she will be left in peace what with her only neighbor being a renowned recluse. Soon, she discovers he’s also a misanthrope. So why is she drawn to him so much?

Zachary’s only companion is his art. And his shaggy golden retriever; the only being he touches anymore. Until the stupid girl next door needs his rescuing. So he is forced not only to touch her but to also hold her, feel her against him. And now all these buried needs rush forward.

With the only currency he was used to dealing in—his face—partially destroyed along with his faith in people and their motives, is there a chance for him and Megan to work out? And when her ex’s deceit spins out of control, and the first thing thing that crashes is their fragile trust, will Megan have the strength to give Zachary a second chance?

This novel starts out in a quiet, lulling manner in sync with the soft waves breaking on the shore—the main setting of the story. The soft, sweet, well-rounded writing reminded me of older romances, and having read lots of choppy, vibrant New Adult stories recently, I was worried my interest might wane. But the plot is surprisingly strong. When the main conflict comes about, I was stunned at the ferocity of the situation and left wondering of how this mess will be resolved.

Zachary’s backstory is well presented, making his disposition plausible and his reaction to events more or less predictable. The good kind of predictable. I also appreciated how Melanie Moreland builds up her story gradually; two thirds into the book and the reader still doesn’t have vital info on both the main characters’ past. Another positive aspect was the slow road to the book’s HEA. The way things turned out, a rushed embrace with the ocean’s horizon as a backdrop would have been eye-roll inducing. But this one takes its time, so the beautiful epilogue is worth the wait.

The only thing that slightly got to me was that Megan is too sweet—bordering on naive. She’s an angel-like character; a somewhat old-fashioned romance heroine. Of course, Zachary makes up for any excess sweetness, so things are nicely balanced. Also, while used to crass language in romances, the F-bombs here seemed a bit forced.

If you enjoy classically romantic stories in an idyllic seascape setting with a strong plot Beneath the Scars is just right for you.

Official synopsis

The sound of the ocean, the crash of the waves as they kick up against the sand and rocks—these are the only sounds Megan Greene wants to hear. She wants to leave the rest of the world behind, and find some peace.

The offer of a private house on the beach, set in a small town in Maine, is perfect. Time to think—to be by herself. It’s all she wants. It’s the escape she needs.

Until she stumbles across the painting that seems to echo her own chaotic mindset.

Until she meets the unfriendly artist behind the stormy painting and discovers his secrets.

All Zachary Adams wants is to be left alone. His canvases, and the unending scope of the ocean and sand, are his life. They direct him—fill his hours. Bring him focus.

Until she enters his life.

She dredges up memories of the past—the haunting images he has hidden for years; the fears he has never shared.

A story he keeps buried below the surface.

Can she make him see what he is missing? Can he trust her enough to believe?

Together they embark on a journey where their pasts collide and threaten to tear them apart.

Will their fragile bond hold or wash away with the ebbing tide?

MelanieAuthorPicAUTHOR BIO

Melanie Moreland lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her husband and fur children. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

Known as the quiet one with the big laugh, Melanie works for the sporting teams of a local university. Her (box) office job, while demanding, is rewarding as she cheers on her team to victory.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and somewhat challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties and socialize, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie delights in writing a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines, to her even more inspired tales, for all to enjoy.

Author links:
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Skating On Thin Ice (Book Blast)

 

Professional hockey in Seattle by a bestselling sports romance author? Plus a hot giveaway? Game on! This Book Blast is brought to you by Tasty Book Tours.

 

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$20 Amazon Gift Card, Swag Pack &
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Jami Davenport presents Game on in Seattle, a new series featuring Seattle sports teams, hot men, and strong women.

He trusts his gut, she trusts her numbers, and neither trusts the other, as a billionaire’s mission to bring hockey to Seattle clashes with his passion for the woman who holds his heart.

Ethan Parker, a billionaire determined to bring a professional hockey to Seattle, will stop at nothing to realize his dream. After signing an agreement to purchase another city’s team, Ethan is anxious to make the move to Seattle, but a gag order by the League forces him to keep the sale a secret until the season ends, leaving him no choice but to go undercover as a consultant to study his team during the playoffs.

Lauren Schneider, Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the Giants hockey team, gets no respect from the team’s testosterone-loaded staff. When Ethan bursts onto the scene, full of charm and genuinely interested in her opinions, she shares the team’s weaknesses and discovers a weakness of her own–for Ethan. But when his true identity is revealed, and he starts cleaning house based on her unwitting input, his betrayal cuts deeply on both a professional and personal level.

Bound by an employment contract, Lauren reluctantly moves to Seattle to work for the newly christened Seattle Sockeyes and her sexy, infuriating boss. Lauren and Ethan must come to terms with their passions–for the team, for hockey, and for each other.

Will their situation build a frozen wall between them, or will their love burn hot enough to melt the ice shielding their hearts?

 

 

 

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An advocate of happy endings, Jami Davenport writes sexy contemporary and sports romances, including her two new indie endeavors: the Game On in Seattle Series and the Madrona Island Series. Jami lives on a small farm near Puget Sound with her Green Beret-turned-plumber husband, a Newfoundland cross with a tennis ball fetish, a prince disguised as an orange tabby cat, and an opinionated Hanoverian mare. She works in computer support in her day job and juggles too many balls, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.


 
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Karli Rush – WIP Interview

Karli Rush Author picThis week, I have the pleasure to present to you paranormal romance author, Karli Rush. Karli’s life is as lush as the vegetation surrounding her, so I’ll let her introduce herself.

Hi all! I’m a card carrying member of the Cherokee Nation and live in its capital. Although my Native American heritage is a shadow of who I am, it holds sway more than I want to admit sometimes. Crazy how subtle influences shape the world. I have the patience of a brain surgeon operating under fire in a war zone. You can chalk that one up to being the mom of an autistic kiddo. With the passion of a starving artist, I write. The obsession to tell my tales have led to self-publishing the Crescent Bound series plus the beginnings of two additional series. The Veil Realm series is dystopian based, and the No Death for the Wicked is an alternative vampire romance series. Both currently have book one published.

Karli, thank you so much for being here. Before we talk about your WIP, can you clue us in some more about your life? It sounds toughly exotic if you allow the oxymoron.

I’ve traveled the US from Florida to California and always wind up back in Oklahoma. I’ve worked in Hospice, been an EMT and a dental assistant. I’m an advocate for autism. I love mountain biking, traveling, and experiencing new things. I’ve been as up as the stars and as down as a grave. I’m content and challenged as an author. It’s more therapeutic than I want to admit.

What are you working on right now?

The fifth and final book in the Crescent Bound series is Ice Bound. We get the chance in Ice Bound to experience book one (Crescent Bound) from Marc’s point of view. This is much more than an alternate version of book one. It delves into Marc’s world which holds so much discovery that wasn’t seen in the first book. It really allows me to bring out more of Marc and Alyssa from a different point of view.

Great name choices for your main protagonists! Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?

I like to feel the accomplishment of pumping out several thousand words, but then I ultimately want the best story I can have and therefore kind of throw word count out the window. I’ve written several books that have no ending until they do.

Plotter, pantser or both?

I couldn’t plot my way out of a wet paper bag. I feel the vibe and let it flow out of me.

I’m totally with you on that one. What’s your worst enemy in getting that first draft finished?

We have a fairly chaotic daily existence. Autism tends to create priorities that puts my writing on the shelf several times a day. So, my enemy is the juggling act that comes with being a mother of an autistic child. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and find the challenge fun and rewardingly exhausting.

(Un)fortunately, I empathize. Have you ever experienced lack of inspiration or drive to write? If so, how do you motivate yourself?

If I don’t feel the vibe then I start looking for a way to get inspired. In most cases several hours of good music and a bottle of pinot noir tends to set things straight when I need. I also will take a long mountain bike ride or trail hiking through the forest.

Could we take a look at your workspace? Is there a particular place you find inspiring for writing?

Writer's Cave

 

Sweet! Now your pic is pinned on my Featured Writers’ Workspace board on Pinterest. Apart from Word and Google, do you use any other writing or research tools and apps?

Not really. Youtube provides my music while I write and that is a must.

How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?

Champagne, chocolate, and a romantic dinner.

That’s refreshing! Most authors reply with a “by starting the next book!” Which book publishing processes are you going to outsource and which are you confident enough to undertake yourself?

I’m not sure that it’s the confidence in me that drives me or is it more of a control issue, but I handle all aspects of publishing (outside of editing). I write, format, revise, design and create the book covers. I handle the uploading, pricing, marketing, print publishing, and social networking. I haven’t seen a publishing house or independent that will give me what I want yet. Although I am considering outsourcing the print formatting, but that’s it so far.

You’re a one-woman-show! Amazing! Do you have any marketing tips or favorite promotional sites you’d like to share?

Marketing? Oh my, this one is my weakest points, I think. I use facebook, twitter, amazon, my blog, your blog to simply give myself the opportunity to be seen. I have an online street team that is very beneficial, you girls rock!!! I also believe that word of mouth is still by far the best form of advertising you can ever get. I also like the 80-20 philosophy, meaning, I love promoting others and sharing about 80% and direct marketing my books about 20%.

Your blog is rushbound.blogspot.com. Do you follow a specific branding pattern with your posts or is it a free writing platform?

My blog is a free platform that I try out new things on. I have done several character interviews with a fictional host and that was fun. I’ve run promotion, interviews, general updates on my work. It is my Pandora’s box of stuff. You’ll never know what I may try on there. Last fall, I wrote an entire story chapter by chapter on there. Then I published it for free on Barnes and Noble. It’s a ghostly novella. Here’s the link  The House .

Thanks! Is paranormal romance the genre you will stick to or do you see yourself branching out in the future? I love paranormal romance, but I already have a contemporary romance brewing in my head along with more sci-fi and futuristic adventure romance stories as well.

Fun stuff now: Let’s do a rapid fire round.

  • Flavored sorbet or chocolate ice cream? Definitely the flavored sorbet.
  • Pizza or sushi? Sushi, sushi, sushi!
  • Twilight or The Hunger Games? The Hunger Games, I love Jennifer Lawrence. I think she’s a badass.
  • Ryan Gosling or Benedict Cumberbatch? Absolutely Ryan Gosling but my husband is a big fan of Sherlock Holmes.
  • Trek in the Andes or snorkeling in Tahiti? I would much rather trek than swim, so the Andes it is.
  • Ugg boots or red-soled designer stilettos? Stilettos, and now you know one of my fetishes.

Finally, please share with us links where we can find you and your work.

Web  http://www.wix.com/crescentbound/karli-rush#!home|mainPage

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/karli.rush1

Twitter https://twitter.com/KarliRush

Blog http://rushboundblog.wordpress.com/

Blog http://rushbound.blogspot.com/

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Karli-Rush/e/B007DJNOMW

Thank you, Karli, and best of luck with your future projects!

If you enjoyed this interview, read what Whitney G, author of the wildly popular Reasonable Doubt erotic romance series has to say on Starbucks, post-it notes, and how writer’s block made her a best-selling author. Click here.

A heart-warming tale of healing wounds: Leaving Liberty by Virginia Carmichael

LeavingLibertyTourBanner
Book & Author details:
Leaving Liberty by Virginia Carmichael
Publication date: July 1st 2013
Genres: Adult, Romance
Purchase link: Amazon

My review

Don’t you just love libraries? You might own a Kindle like me to fix your need for read, but don’t you get that fuzzy, warm feeling blooming in you when you immerse yourself in the dim glow of a true library? The quiet rustling of paper, the smell of leather and old paper? And won’t you get a sense of loss if your favorite library had to close down? Now, imagine this to have been your shelter from an abusive parent, the only place where you’d find peace and a sense of purpose. Wouldn’t you want to defend its existence with everything you’ve got?

That’s the story of Daisy. She returns to her small town and her childhood nightmares to attend the funeral of the elderly librarian: the only person who saw her potential. It’s supposed to be a one-day trip, but the mayor’s plan to demolish the almost condemned library due to lack of restoration funds, makes her reconsider fleeing. The frustratingly calm and handsome Lane, the police officer with the hero complex, messes with her resolution even more, but nothing good can come of their attraction. His heart has already been broken by an out-of-town girl, and she just can’t imagine reliving the terror of being branded as the town drunk’s daughter. He needs her to stay forever, she needs to go for good. Will their pull heal their wounds?

The story has all the nostalgic, heart-warming elements you’d expect to find in a small-town community; beautiful locations, genuine, fleshed-out characters, but its strongest aspect is the writing. Ms Carmichael can really add bold strokes of poignant emotion to a rather sweet, pastel-colored story of pure love, pure characters and reliance on faith. This is a faith-based clean romance, but the writing compensates with spurts of interesting banter and subtle but effective humor. Although too clean for my own taste—slow-building with frequent references to the small-town self-righteousness you either love or hate—it was a story that I enjoyed reading mainly because the writing was solid and surprisingly evocative.

If you enjoy reading sweet romances with a strong religious streak, you won’t want to leave Leaving Liberty.

Make sure you enter the awesome giveaway to grab the goodies listed below (the links will take you to the products in their respective Etsy stores)

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Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
Awesome swag pack with the following (will be customized with the winner’s preferred name)

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Official Synopsis:

At eighteen, Daisy McConnell left Liberty, Colorado and never looked back. The only bright spot in a childhood of neglect and loneliness was the town librarian, Marie. Now settled as a teacher in sunny Fresno, Daisy does her best to forget everything about Liberty including her drunk father, her MIA mother, and the town she hated with every beat of her heart.
 
Lane Bennett’s life as a small town cop is pretty close to perfect. He’s got his dog, a pretty date when he needs one, and plenty of time to fish on the weekends. No other place can compare to his hometown and he’s happy to devote his life to keeping the folks of Liberty safe. When Marie passes away, Lane knows one of the best parts about living in Liberty is gone, along with the old Carnegie library. It needs repairs the city can’t afford and the city managers won’t pay the new flood insurance. It’s too bad, but safety comes first.

When Daisy comes home for Marie’s funeral and hears the only safe place she knew as a child is going to close, she refuses to let it happen. She hatches a plan to save the old library, run the summer reading program, and keep Marie’s legacy alive.

She once vowed never to come home and he’s vowed never to leave. Daisy and Lane discover together that true love happens when you least expect it and you should never say never in Liberty.
 

AUTHOR BIO

Virginia was born near the Rocky Mountains and although she has traveled around the world, the wilds of Colorado run in her veins. A big fan of the wide open sky and all four seasons, she believes in embracing the small moments of everyday life. A home schooling mom of six young children who rarely wear shoes, those moments usually involve a lot of noise, a lot of mess, or a whole bunch of warm cookies. Virginia holds degrees in Linguistics and Religious Studies from the University of Oregon. She lives with her habanero-eating husband, Crusberto, who is her polar opposite in all things except faith. They’ve learned to speak in short-hand code and look forward to the day they can actually finish a sentence. In the meantime, Virginia thanks God for the laughter and abundance of hugs that fill her day as she plots her next book.
 

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The Mariner’s Gift by Kaylie Newell (Tasty Book Blast)

Brought to you by Tasty Book Tours, Kaylie Newell’s, the Mariner’s Gift, is a summer read guaranteed to please. Zola seems confident and composed on the outside, but seeing her high school crush, Oliver, still gorgeous and sought after, brings all her teen insecurities to the surface. Yet a single kiss blasts sparks brighter than the fireworks lighting up the night sky…

If I’ve sparked your interest, read on to sample the book through an excerpt and…

Enter Below to Win
$10.00 Amazon eGift Card

 

 

Sometimes the best gifts are the ones you least expect.

When LA Times journalist Zola Mitchell decides to head home to San Francisco in December, it’s to write a piece on the legendary Alcatraz prison. It has nothing to do with her high school crush Oliver Tworek, who’s recently moved back to start up a tour boat business to The Rock. At least, that’s what she keeps telling herself.

But when Oliver asks her to dinner, Zola can’t refuse. And when he kisses her under a display of Christmas fireworks from aboard his boat, she can barely remember her own name.

After twenty years, nothing seems to have changed. Oliver’s still popular and gorgeous, and Zola’s still…well, Zola. Behind the successful job, and underneath her shiny, new grown-up exterior, Zola still feels like the skinny girl from junior year English class. Will she ever be able to conquer those insecurities? And more importantly, will she ever get to know the real Oliver—the one who might just have a few secrets of his own?

 

Excerpt

“Zo?”

She smiled, feeling the blood rush to her cheeks. She hadn’t told him she was coming and hoped he wouldn’t be irritated. The thought of surprising him had seemed romantic and fun earlier. Now, with him actually standing there, wearing nothing but a pair of loose-fitting jeans and a sexy white t-shirt that left little to the imagination, she wondered if she should have given him some notice.

“Oliver! Hey.” She took his hand and let him help her over the side of the boat. “I hope I’m not interrupting anything. I know you’re working.”

His skin felt delicious on hers. He held on just a second longer than he needed to before stepping back to take her in.

“Don’t be ridiculous. You know I wanted to see you.”

He looked fantastic. And very much in shape. The old Coast Guard t-shirt fit just right across his chest, and was snug enough that his nipples, hard from the cold night air, could be seen under the fabric.

Zola caught herself looking and shoved the cookies at him, flustered. “Hope you like chocolate chip. They’re kind of a Mitchell tradition.”

“Thank you.”

A string of white lights hung behind him in the window, illuminating him like some kind of angel. But unlike any angel she’d ever imagined before. This angel made her want to discard her undergarments in the bay and tackle him headfirst.

Touching her elbow, he guided her toward the cabin. “You must be cold.”

“I really shouldn’t stay. I just wanted to say hello.”

He grinned. “I think you can probably come inside for five minutes, can’t you? I won’t bite.”

Really? At this point all she could think about was when he’d end up biting and where that might be.

She took the first step down, careful not to twist her ankle in the heels. They were too much for a casual visit, but who was she kidding anyway? She could feel him behind her and something about stepping into the cabin of the boat, which was so secluded and sexy, made her ovaries twitch. She had to bend slightly so as not to bump her head through the doorframe, then straightened to look around.

The small area was bathed in warm, yellow light from a miniature lamp in the corner. A table top tree under one of the circular windows smelled of pine and boasted shining glass balls of green, red, and blue. Dark, cherry wood cabinets rose from floor to ceiling on either side of her. There was a small bed and a tiny kitchen area, and next to that a workspace where a pile of papers was spread out. The boat was beautiful. It rocked seductively on the water, and even that didn’t bother Zola, thanks to the magic of Dramamine.

Something else was working its magic on her too. Maybe it was the temperature inside the cabin, warm and cozy enough that she felt the need to start unbuttoning her jacket. Or maybe it was the way Oliver stood leaning against the doorway looking at her. Like he wanted to be the one to work the buttons loose. His short, blond hair was messy and soft looking. His eyes not holding much back.

Zola laid her jacket on the bunk, trying her best to look composed and confident. When in reality, big, clumsy butterflies were bumping around in her belly. The air between them was charged. She knew he wanted more than just the kiss they’d shared the last time they saw each other. And she did too.

 

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Kaylie Newell lives at the base of the mountains in Southern Oregon with her husband, two little girls, two cats, and a mutt named Pedro who goes everywhere with her. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually watching a Channing Tatum movie or eating frozen waffles, or both.
 
 
 
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Game Changer by Collette West (NA Romance) Cover Reveal

A cover reveal of an exciting, fresh and sporty New Adult romance brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours. Check the cover out. Perfect branding! I also loved the Author Bio. Original and very readable!

BOOK & AUTHOR INFO

Game Changer by Collette West
Publication date: July 25th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
Young, rich, and unaware of how seriously hot he is, Brooks Davison is tearing it up as the latest shortstop for the New York Kings, despite his tendency to blush whenever girls scream his name.

When a health scare forces his best friend, Kyle Roberts, off the team, no one can stomach the thought of replacing him, especially so close to the playoffs.

Until Kyle’s sister, Sasha, steps in, convincing management to let her take his place. The idea of signing the first female player in Major League history proves too tempting for the Kings to resist.

Nevertheless, Brooks doesn’t want any part of it. Sasha is Kyle’s little sister, not some sideshow.

Yet when Kyle takes a turn for the worse, Brooks promises to do everything in his power to help Sasha win a championship for him. Because there’s no way he’s letting either of them down. Not now, not ever.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22464513-game-changer

AUTHOR BIO

Collette West grew up as somewhat of a jock-nerd hybrid. Entering the world three weeks premature, her dad nearly missed her birth because he had seats behind the dugout for a sold-out, highly-anticipated match-up between two of baseball’s biggest rivals. Not to be outdone, her book-loving mom taught her how to read by the time she was three. A love of the game coupled with an appreciation for the written word were instilled in Collette’s impressionable brain from a young age. No wonder her characters believe in the philosophy: sports + romance = a little slice of heaven.

Splitting her time between the Pocono Mountains and Manhattan, Collette indulges her inner fangirl by going to as many games as she can from hockey to baseball and downloading every sports romance novel in existence onto her iPad. When she’s not clicking away on her laptop, she enjoys walking her dog in Central Park, satisfying her caffeine craving at the Starbucks on Broadway and keeping an eye out for Mr. Right. But above all, she loves dishing with her readers. Email her at collette_west@yahoo.com.

Author links:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7539982.Collette_West
https://twitter.com/Collette_West