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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sex or no sex, this is the question...

With: Tess Thompson

For my first five books, the answer was yes. Tasteful, romantic sex but yes, they do the deed. But for my latest novel, I didn’t want to be as explicit. I wasn’t clear why until last week. The answer surprised me.

“Blue Midnight” is the first in “The Brannon Clan” series and features a main character in her mid-forties, Blythe Heywood. Newly divorced, she heads to Idaho from Seattle to search for a former love. She’s had two children and although in decent shape, her body is by no means perfect. As the story unfolds, she falls in love with a man in his late forties and they become intimate.

I struggled with how much to tell, how detailed to get with the intimacy scenes, perhaps because the character of Blythe in “Blue Midnight” is so similar to me. While writing, I couldn’t help but think of my own experiences dating post my divorce. I’ve felt raw and vulnerable and unsure if it was possible to let myself be seen again by any man after being married for so long. There are the bumps and sags and stretch marks. There are the extra five pounds and this red scar on my nose that can be seen after I take my make up off at night. Would I be able to do it again? Could I let myself be that vulnerable? I put all of my own feelings into my character in “Blue Midnight.” For example, my character hates her feet and her drooping breasts and the rolls around her middle. She wishes the lights were dimmed. You get the idea.

And through writing, I became clear that having sex at this age, whether you’re married or not, is really about vulnerability. It’s letting someone see and touch you with all the flaws that fifty decades on the earth brings. And my job as a writer was to describe what that feels like, how much courage it takes to ‘expose’ oneself, to let oneself be seen by a man you love and praying with all your might that he’ll still love you in the morning.

I posted about my decision about ‘sex or no sex’, along with the ‘love’ scene in my fan room on Facebook. The responses by these real women were both moving and affirming. They all mentioned body parts of their own they felt-conscious about. They thanked me for writing about people who aren’t physically perfect. 

And yes, they agreed, love-making at any age is really about vulnerability.

So here’s wishing you some vulnerability tonight, with the lights dimmed or not.

Tea and Primroses

Nothing is as it seemed in calm, quaint Legley Bay.

Famous novelist, Constance (last name) lived a seemingly straightforward – if private – and somewhat predictable life. Friends, beloved daughter Sutton, a beautiful home, and all the success an author could wish for. A perfect life….but was it?

When a hit and run accident suddenly takes her mother’s life, Sutton finds hidden secrets with her heartbreak. Emotional walls she assumed Constance had built to protect her privacy may have been to protect something – or someone – else entirely. Family and friends return home for support, including her own lost-love, Declan. He’s the first thing she craves to help her cope with her loss and the questions she’s left with, but he’s also the last person she wants to see. Will he be able to put down roots at last?

Can the loss of true love be the making of a life or is it destined to be the undoing of everything? When money, power and love combine across time, anything is possible.

Amazon

****

About Tess Thompson

Tess Thompson is a novelist and playwright with a BFA in Drama from the University of Southern California. In 2011 she released her first novel, Riversong, which subsequently became a best seller.

Like her main character in the River Valley collection, Tess is from a small town in Oregon. She currently lives in a suburb of Seattle, Washington with her two young daughters, Emerson and Ella, and their puppy Patches. She is inspired daily by the view of the Cascade Mountains from her home office window.

Tess is working on her next novel and regularly blogs about her journey as a mother, author and friend at www.tesswrites.com.

Links:

http://tesswrites.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTessThompson

https://twitter.com/TessWrites

Monday, April 21, 2014

MY BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN


One of my favorite type of stories to read is about twins, especially twins that can switch places and cover for each other. And I love the brooding hero that gets a major chip knocked off his shoulder by a loving heroine. Throw in a murder from the previous decade, a high school sweetheart that married your best friend and a kidnapping… then you have TEXAS FAMILY RECKONING.


My "boys" are John & Brian Sloane and their story begins much earlier than the beginning of NAVY SEAL SURRENDER. The Sloanes are identical twins, but couldn’t have been more different growing up. Brian: responsible, trustworthy, a protector. John: prankster, outgoing, an adventurer. Their high school graduation brought hope of leaving their small Texas town and fading horse ranch. They were about to begin two separate lives and discover their individual dreams when a fire changed them forever. Witnesses put one of the brothers at the scene. Each knows he's innocent and tries to cover for their brother. There's the rub…they both thought the other accidentally started the fire.

After their father suffers a stroke, estranged brothers are forced to set their differences aside in order to save their family ranch in north Texas--solving a kidnapping and a twelve-year-old murder in the process.


NAVY SEAL SURRENDER
Texas Family Reckoning, book one

JOHN SLOANE RETURNS TO TEXAS TO FIND HIS FAMILY IN TROUBLE AND HIS HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEART IMPOSSIBLE TO RESIST… 

Navy SEAL John Sloane thought he'd come home to Texas to save the family ranch and reconnect with his estranged twin brother. He never expected to reunite with the girl whose heart he broke. But when Alicia Adams's daughter is kidnapped, the fearless SEAL jumps into action. 

However, the off-book op poses unfamiliar dangers to John, none more risky than his feelings for Alicia. To regain her trust and protect her from the kidnappers, he'll risk his career and even his life. It all hinges on one daring scheme that could prove he's the hero she needs—or break her heart all over again….

"With Navy SEAL Surrender, Morgan launches a new small-town mystery series with strong characters and a richly developed plot with crosses and double crosses in every chapter."
 ~4 STARS Romantic Times Magazine

"This is an action packed story that takes some clever twists to make this one a very hard book to put down. The reader can really relate to the characters and sympathize with them as they deal with the nightmare their life has become. With every word the story comes to life and takes the reader there so they can feel what the characters are feeling. This is a nice second chance at love story that is sure to please readers. It will also leave the reader hoping for more books to see if the other characters get their own HEA."  
~5 STARS LH Amazon Reviews
~ ~ ~
ANGI MORGAN writes “Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love.” She combines actual Texas settings with characters who are in realistic and dangerous situations. Angi's work has been a finalist in the Bookseller’s Best Award, Romantic Times Best First Series, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the Daphne du Maurier. 

Website   Facebook   FB Fan Page   Twitter @AngiMorganAuthr
A Picture A Day   Goodreads   Pintrest  Book Trailers on YouTube
~ ~ ~ 
ENTER ANGI'S monthly giveaway contest: register at Rafflecopter through April 30th for a $10 gift card. 

Giveaway:
Speaking of giveaways for a Blog Commenter. LEAVE A BLOG COMMENT to be entered for book 2, Brian's story...THE RENEGADE RANCHER (north America only folks…sorry postage is just too high)

DO YOU LIKE IDENTICAL TWIN STORIES? Leave your opinion for a chance to win.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST April 22nd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

When it All Ends


Giveaway for 2 lucky winners!

Reckoning, the final book in my Degrees of Darkness series released this week. This has been a bittersweet ending for me as I say good-bye to two longtime characters of mine, Detective Remy LeBeau and cowgirl Cody Lewis. These two have walked around in my head for years, pushing me to write their stories. Now their stories are out there for all the world to read and it’s time for me to move on.

When I completed the final draft of Reckoning back in November, I’ll admit, I was sad to see it end. I had invested years—I’m not kidding on the years part—in this series and the characters. New characters popped up along the way as I wrote the books, but the main characters and their friends and family members had always been there. I loved meeting the new people, and delving deeper into Remy’s and Cody’s lives. Pulling out all the stops on how much danger and conflict I could create between the two. Oh, and the cast of antagonists that appeared still linger in my head. I wrote some truly awful bad guys and gals.

During the process of writing all four books in the Degrees of Darkness series I had the privilege of “meeting” some truly awesome professionals in the law enforcement world. Their knowledge helped me get a better understanding of how officers of the law would do their jobs. And how some of them can walk across the line and become crooks themselves. All of this showed me that those are the types of characters I enjoy writing and will continue to do so.

Is this it for some of the Degrees of Darkness secondary characters? I don’t know. One character, Detective Heath Anderson, sort of took over and became an integral part of Remy and Cody’s stories. Heath has proven to be an interesting character in his own right; good ole Texas boy, former Marine Recon sniper with a blank past, a man who Remy trusts, and a loyal friend to both Remy and Cody. In fact, some of my readers have asked to read a book about Heath. I would like to explore him more. He has intrigued me enough that I’d love to see where his story takes me, but right now a new set of characters have taken over in a different book. So, Heath Anderson waits.

For now, it’s time to move on. One day I hope to come back to this cast of characters and see what they’ve been up to since the end of Reckoning. They did worm their way into my heart. And I hope they did the same for you, the reader.

EXCERPT:
Anderson leaned on the front desk, talking with the receptionist. Or was he flirting? Since his brief fling with Cody’s best friend, Kimberly Anne Gregory now Slater, Anderson hadn’t quite bounced back to his old self. Kim called off the relationship because her life had been upended by the truth of her adoption and her parentage. And the suspicion of Anderson’s secret attraction to Cody. Which he never denied or admitted to anyone.

Yet Remy didn’t dare approach the subject. He’d endured the agony of believing Cody had cheated on him after witnessing the two of them dancing and hugging each other in New Orleans. He and Anderson had a good working relationship; no way in hell was Remy going to screw that up by calling out his friend as an attempted woman stealer.

When he joined Anderson at the desk, Remy scrawled his signature on the sign-in sheet. “Is my partner harassing you, Amanda?”

The flamboyant blonde grinned at Remy, revealing her deep dimples. “From the moment he walked in.”

Anderson made a pained noise. “I’m wounded, Amanda. All this time and here I thought you enjoyed my company.”

She rolled her eyes, in her typical sarcastic nature. “Sorry, Detective Anderson, but you don’t have your partner’s charm.”

Remy snorted, trying to suppress his laughter.

“You do realize he’s married, right?”

“It’s always the good ones who are taken.” Amanda gave them both a wink. “Doc Warner is waiting on you two down in the morgue.” She punched the lock release and it buzzed.

Together, Remy and Anderson walked through the double doors and strode down the corridor.

“You would throw me under the bus,” Anderson said.

“Admit it, you never stood a chance with her. Not when you’ve got another woman taking residence in your head.”

His partner grumbled and pushed through the next set of doors. Chilled air and the sickly odor of embalming fluids blasted Remy as he entered the room.

“It’s been nine months. I can take a hint. She doesn’t want me.”

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The honeymoon is over for Cody and Remy LeBeau. And Cody’s darkest secret haunts her, threatening to destroy their marriage.

The brutal murder of a former judge sets in motion a domino effect of killings that all point back to Cody and her father. She suspects her father is hiding something sinister from her and Remy. But the closer she tries to get to her husband, the more she feels Remy drifting away from her, taken by his job and his stubborn instance that she’s not trusting him enough. Then her ex-boyfriend sends her a warning note, and with her world spinning out of control, Cody turns to the only man she does trust to help her and protect Remy. Her actions produce a result she’s not prepared to handle.

Remy watches as his once happy marriage is pulled apart brick by brick. With threats closing in all sides, he’s forced to resort to his cold, secretive style that has kept him alive. If he’s to have any chance at succeeding, he must rely on the assistance of the last person on earth he wants to reach out to, even if the result continues to push Cody away.
Death will have a reckoning, and for Cody and Remy it could mean the end of everything they’ve loved.

Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors 


E-BOOK GIVEAWAY:
For the chance to win a digital copy (mobi or epub format) of Reckoning by Winter Austin, just leave a comment below.  Two winners will be drawn. Good Luck!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Winter Austin was once asked by her husband if he could meet some of the people who took residence in her head. She warned they weren’t all characters he wanted to meet, as killers walked among them. Needless to say, that conversation ended abruptly.

A lifelong Mid-West gal, Winter swears she should have been born in the South, Texas or Louisiana preferably. But then she’d miss the snowy winters.

Dividing her day between her four children and their various activities, a growing pet population, and her Beta-with-Alpha-tendencies Hero, Winter manages to find time to write chilling thrillers between loads of laundry.

Don’t worry. You won’t find any of her mouthwatering culinary dishes poisoned. Unless you’re one of her fictional creations.

Where to find Winter:

DEGREES OF DARKNESS SERIES IN ORDER: 
Relentless | Retribution | Revenge | Reckoning






Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST April 20th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@JustRomanticSuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

FAR GONE


Thanks for inviting me to Just Romantic Suspense!

I’m thrilled to be here during release week for my very first hardcover book, FAR GONE. Seeing this book in print is a dream come true for me!

FAR GONE is the story of Austin homicide detective Andrea Finch, who is on leave from her job following a shooting incident when she gets an urgent phone call from her brother in West Texas. Andrea is tempted to ignore his latest plea for money, but she thinks something is very wrong. She goes out to West Texas to investigate and soon meets FBI agent Jon North, who is working undercover to solve a murder that he believes may involve Andrea’s brother.  As more and more evidence comes to light, Andrea begins to think he’s right.

Throughout the story Andrea is torn between her loyalty to her family and her duty as a police officer. Her growing attraction to the FBI agent investigating her brother makes matters worse.

FAR GONE is a stand-alone book, a bit of a departure from the Tracers series that I have been writing. The story features new characters... but I couldn’t resist including a few of my favorite Tracers characters to help with the forensic aspects of the investigation.

I hope readers will enjoy the new book! I’m delighted to tell you it received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

Griffin delivers the goods with this perfectly gritty romantic thriller.” –Publishers Weekly starred review

Here is an excerpt from FAR GONE...

A pair of shiny black wingtips stepped into her field of view. Andrea jerked upright.
“Detective Finch.”

He wore a suit and tie. Jon something . . . who clearly wasn’t an ICE agent as he’d claimed. Her gaze dropped to the badge clipped to his belt.

FBI.

Water glistened on his dark hair. His broad shoulders were damp but not all of him, which meant he hadn’t been standing out here long. His eyes were shielded by silver aviators, so she couldn’t see his expression, just her own look of wariness reflected back at her.

“You have a minute, Detective?”

It was more of an order than a question. She glanced around the parking lot again but didn’t see any sign of the reporters who’d been hounding her for days.

She turned and faced him. “I knew you weren’t ICE.”

The side of his mouth curved slightly, but he didn’t smile.

“Is your name really Jon?”

“Special Agent Jon North. How about we find a place to talk?”

Andrea glanced at her apartment window. She didn’t like the idea of taking him up there—not because he was six-two and armed and a virtual stranger but because she assumed he was nosy.

But if she took him to a coffee shop, they might get approached by a reporter.

“Third floor, no elevator,” she said.

He gestured toward the stairs with a politeness that fit the suit. “After you.”
##
Copyright 2014 Laura Griffin

Buy It Now:

Author Bio:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author LAURA GRIFFIN started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of romantic suspense. She is a two-time RITA Award winner (for the books Scorched and Whisper of Warning) as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award (for Untraceable). Laura currently lives in Austin where she is working on her next book. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Modeling the Cover


The second of my three Misadventures of Maggie Mae novellas—You’re Mine, Maggie—releases today, April 15th! I had a clear vision from the start about what I wanted the covers of this series to look like. 

Finding just the right couple for a book cover is difficult work. When I saw the pictures from the photo shoot Taria Reid did with cover models Angelina Cavanaugh and Jorge Mojica, I knew right away that they were perfect for my Misadventures of Maggie Mae series. 
Jorge and Angelina captured the undeniable chemistry between my characters Maggie Mae Castro and Clive Poole. I’m lucky enough to have gotten to know Angelina through Facebook and so I asked her some questions about modeling and what it’s like to work with hot guys on nearly a daily basis. 

Beth: How long have you been a cover model? 
Angelina: I have been a cover model for about 6 months. 

Beth: Do you do any other modeling? 
Angelina: I do a little bit of everything when it comes to modeling—fashion, runway, editorial, pinup etc. I guess I don't want to shut any doors without trying to walk through them first. 

Beth: That’s very wise of you. You never know what could be your big break. How many covers have you been on? 
Angelina: I have been on about 50 book covers to date. 

Beth: You’re so photogenic. How do you prepare for a photo shoot? 
Angelina: This may sound really weird but I don't exactly prepare for a shoot... LOL. I kind of just wake up and wing it. I do however try not to eat anything fattening or that will make me bloated the night before. I also try to get a good night’s rest. Sometimes shoots go longer than expected so it’s always good to be well rested. 

Beth: What is your favorite thing about being a cover model? 
Angelina: I think my favorite thing about being a cover model is all of the people that I get to meet. The models I have met are amazing, the designers and authors I have spoken to, including yourself are lovely, and being a social person...it's very fulfilling. Hey... I'm not going to complain about working with hot dudes all day either and getting to see myself on books. I read a lot so I am very flattered. 

Beth: I chose the photos of you and Jorge because the two of you seemed to have such great chemistry on camera. How do you school your features/pretend you’re madly in love with the stranger you’re being photographed with? 
Angelina: Haha its funny you asked that question. We just spend a couple of minutes before the shoot trying to get to know each other and things become very easy. By the time we start taking photos we've gotten to see each other's personalities so it makes it easier to play off of one another. 

Beth: I had the cover artist add tattoos on your arms, chest and back to reflect the tattoos my character Maggie has. What were the most surprising changes made to your photo on a book cover?
Angelina: The most surprising changes on the cover we're definitely the tattoos! I'm such a sissy and won't get a real one. I was super excited to see that I was given them for your series! 

Beth: How can readers learn more about your work as a model?
Angelina: Please check me out on my site and fan page- www.angelina3186.wix.com/angelinamarie  
Or on Facebook- www.facebook.com/angelinamariecavanaugh
And show some love to thereedfiles.com for her awesome photography skills! 

My thanks to Angelina for taking the time to answer my questions and for bringing Maggie to life on my covers. You’re awesome! It takes a team to create great book covers. I’d also like to thank Jorge Mojica for being the perfect Clive. I’m also grateful for the immense talent and skill of photographer, Taria Reed, and cover designer, Angela Waters. 

Wake Up Maggie is out now.
You’re Mine, Maggie releases today, April 15th.
Find Me Maggie releases July 8th.

Which of the three Misadventures of Maggie Mae covers is your favorite?

Author Bio:
Best selling author, Beth Yarnall, writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and the occasional hilarious tweet. She lives deep in the heart of Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their rescue dog where she is hard at work on her next novel. For more information about Beth and her novels please visit her website-www.bethyarnall.com