Tag Archives: contemporary romance

Deerbourne Inn Dates: Charlotte O’Shay

Today I’m talking to Charlotte O’Shay author of four contemporary romances. She is a contributing author to the Deerbourne Inn series, and her book Forever in a Moment is now available. Check Charlotte’s Events section on her website charlotteoshayauthor.com for all of the stops on her blog tour for this release and her upcoming May 29 release Their No-Strings Affair.

What’s the first book you remember reading on your own as a child?

I was raised on Dr. Seuss. One of my first as a new reader was Green Eggs and Ham which is actually mentioned by my heroine in Forever in a Moment, Samantha who is known as Sam. It was read to her by her father. Fiction and life collide in so many ways!

What is your favorite place to write?

At my desk which is in a cozy corner of the family room. I’ve never tried writing in a coffee shop type place since I need relative quiet.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned on your writing journey so far?

I’ve learned two things that are related:

  1. Strive to stretch, grow and improve as a writer with every
  2. Once the book is out in the world, people may love it or hate it and strangely some people will love the exact thing others hate. No matter. It’s out of your control. Move on to the next and write the best book you can write. Because no one else can write the book you will write.

What do you do when you feel stuck?

I walk, mediate, sometimes I read or reread a book about process. I try to listen and be aware of life around me because the answer is there just waiting for me to notice it.

Please recommend a romance you recently read and enjoyed.

I am working my way through the Deerbourne Inn series. I love them all yet they are all so varied.

I recently read The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker. Wow does she have a way with words.

What was it that appealed to you about the Deerbourne Inn series?

I saw the series as a challenge. Could I write a good book at novella length? Could I write first person POV well? (that was a personal challenge) Could I give life to characters from the series bible and have them realistically interact with my created characters? Could I write a book in a rural setting? I hope I answered all of those in the affirmative.

What was the inspiration behind Forever in a Moment?

We were asked to set our story around a holiday. I chose the days leading up to New Year because I have always found New Year’s Eve and its celebrations have a lot of potential for awkward encounters but maybe also romance. I immediately thought of a fish out of water city woman stuck in small town Vermont for a holiday.

Tell us about Forever in a Moment in 150 words or less.

Here is the blurb:ForeverinaMoment_w13125_300 (2)

A stormy encounter…

Samantha DeMartino’s Christmas wedding is two weeks away when her fiancé calls the whole thing off. Word on the street: his cold feet are being heated by an old flame.

With her well-ordered world in complete disarray, Sam’s friends convince her to go on her honeymoon—alone. A week away from the city and her demanding corporate career at a charming Vermont inn, could be just what she needs to figure out next steps.

Between his twenty-four seven work schedule on his family’s dairy farm and teaching tourists to ski, Jed Armstrong’s too busy to think about how lonely he is…until Sam sings her way into his life during a Christmas snowstorm. Now he has to figure out a way to convince her to stay.

Can a vivacious city girl find forever with a reclusive farmer? Will her secret keep her from trying?

Do you have an extract you can share with us?

“Samantha.”

If his voice were angry or commanding I’d have kept going. But his voice is low and there’s an anguished, guttural quality to the way he says my name. And I won’t have it. I can’t have him thinking anything negative about me after I go.

When I turn, he takes a step toward me and I raise a hand. “Stop…I can’t think when you get too close.” My face heats as those damning words spill out and he chuckles, a genuine laugh and it’s the only one between us today.

“Glad I still amuse you.” I fold my arms across my chest.

“I feel the same way, Sam.”

“Jed, don’t make this tougher,” I say but he keeps speaking in that same harsh voice.

“When I’m near you everything fades away except the need to be closer. Close enough to watch your eyes cloud up when I’m about to kiss you, close enough to hear your breathing get ragged when my hands are on you.”

“Jed, we agreed…”

He shakes his head. “No, I gave in. Because you asked me to. If I had my way, I’d see you all day, every day and… sleep with you every night. I…”

“Stop,” I say. “This, us, whatever this is—can’t happen. I go back to New York in a couple of days.” “Sam, I…”

“No.” I slash my hand through the air. “I don’t know what’s happening to me.” I’m on edge, close to tears at the way I can’t control my response to him. And all my precious logic is eluding me.

He plows a hand through his hair then captures my gaze with his and I can’t look away.

“What’s happening is us. We’re happening. This is our beginning. You and me together. I’d started to think it would never happen. But it did. When I saw you that first night…I knew. And you did too.”

“No.” My denial is swift. “No. I didn’t. It’s not that simple. We hardly know each other…” I lift my chin in spite of the flush I know covers my cheeks. But it’s true, isn’t it? We don’t know each other. I surprise myself when a tear trickles down my cheek and I swipe it fast.

Buy Links

Charlotte O’Shay Social Media Links

 

Our Five Favourite Summer Reads

I read many fabulous books this quarter, but my five favourites are:

 DILF by Amy Andrews (contemporary)

DILF‘Serious DILF alert.’ Those are the words that warn Stefanie that her younger brother’s best friend Owen has grown up and graduated as a doctor. He’s about to start work at St Bart’s General Hospital, and she had promised her brother he could stay with her until he found his own place. But… that was when she still thought he was a skinny teenager with acne rather than the hottest doctor in town. The chemistry between them is off the charts but there are a zillion reasons why having sex with Owen is a bad idea. For starters, there’s the age. Owen doesn’t see it as a problem. He’s always had a thing for Stefanie even if she didn’t notice him before. Stefanie is ready to settle down and have babies. She reckons Owen still has to date a thousand nurses. Can he change her mind and get her to give them a chance, first in the present and then in the future? Written with Amy Andrew’s trademark wit and wickedly sexy encounters, this is a delicious romp that will have you alternatively laughing out loud and fanning yourself.

Down and Dirty (Men of Haven) by Rhenna Morgan (contemporary)Men of Haven

I’ve been waiting a long time for Axel’s story, ever since I met him in book 1 of Men of
Haven alongside his brother by choice Jace. Rhenna Morgan doesn’t disappoint. His love interest, rock lead singer Elizabeth is his perfect foil, bringing out all of Axel’s protective instincts and allowing him to engage more fully with the music world he loves and turned his back on as a young man. Elizabeth is scared of being overwhelmed. She’s been down that path once before. Axel, with his dark desires and ferocious intelligence is surprising hesitant when it comes to pursuing Elizabeth, needing a good push from his family. I adored this series and hope to see all the characters pop up again in future series from Ms Morgan.

Devil’s Daughter (The Ravenels) by Lisa Kleypas (Victorian)

Devil's DaughterThe Ravenels and the second generation of wallflowers just can’t seem to keep their hands off each while declaring they just won’t suit. This leads Sebastian, former wicked Lord St Vincent and now meddling Duke of Kingston, to pull strings in order to ensure his beloved daughter Phoebe gets her happily ever after second time around. Phoebe doesn’t want to like West Ravenel. He’s the boy who bullied her poor dead husband at school. But, her father likes him, her son adores him, and even her brother thinks men can change. West doesn’t think he’s good enough for Phoebe. Will all Sebastian’s meddling come to naught or will passion overcome Phoebe’s scruples long enough to allow her to seduce West? Lisa Kleypas once again delivers a witty, intelligent romance with a cast of memorable characters.

On Bended Knee (The Wicked Worthingtons) by Celeste Bradley (Regency)On Bended Knee

I had the great good fortune to meet Celeste Bradley as part of the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA) book signing tour of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. She is charming with a dry sense of humour that resonates through her books. If you haven’t met the quirky Worthingtons, make a date in your diary to do so. You won’t regret it. Lysander Worthington is back from the war in Spain, carrying a terrible secret that haunts him day and night. In search of his brother, he accidentally takes on a fight with a male pig who is not to be outdone on his own territory, thus introducing himself as a patient to Gemma Oakes, doctor’s widow. Gemma feels responsible for her hamlet in Yorkshire and continues to provide medical services. She accompanied her husband to the war, knows the horrors that Lysander faced, and is determined to rescue him from himself. However, he couldn’t fall in love with a patient – that would be unethical. Except no one on her side or Lysander’s agrees. Can Lysander face the horrors of his past? Will his secrets drive Gemma away? Only by confessing, can he find out. Celeste Bradley writes with compassion, humour and an understanding of human foibles. This is a delightful, amusing and heart-warming romance.

Of Sunlight and Stardust by Christina Lee and Riley Hart (contemporary dual timeline gay romance)

Tanner Rowe is livinOf Sunlight and Stardustg in the house he bought for his dead wife because that is what she wanted of him. Cole Lachlan has been released from prison and is looking for work, finding out the hard way that no one wants to give an ex-con a chance. He’s camping on Tanner’s property when they meet. Tanner, realising Cole is down on his luck, asks him to help rebuild the burnt barn. Cole knows he is gay but makes no move on Tanner. Tanner is initially confused by his feelings for Cole but comes to understand and accept them for what they are. Their story is eerily similar to that of two boys who lived and worked on the property fifty years ago in less enlightened times that ended in tragedy with Tanner’s dead wife mirroring the role of the girl who tried to help them. As Tanner and Cole seek to uncover what happened to the boys, the relationship grows. The question is, has the town grown enough to appreciate the value Tanner and Cole can add to the community, or will prejudice and fear of Cole’s past isolate and endanger the men? Of Sunlight and Stardust is the most beautiful, sensitive and heart-warming romance I read this past year, demonstrating the range and fluidity of human sexuality that psychologists now acknowledge. Contemporary romance at its finest.

The above are all five star romance reads. If you’re looking for something different, why not see what the other members of The Writers’ Dozen have been reading?

Angella Whitton

Rae Cairns

Pamela Cook

Michelle Barraclough

Virtual Book Tour – Lion Dancing for Love

Fabulous roses Jean Grant and Peggy Jaeger helped me celebrate a publication day for Lion Dancing with Love, in Australian and America. If you’d like to read the posts, you can click on their names for the link. I’m now on tour for the month with Goddess Fish who have put together a fabulous lineup for me. I’d love to see you pop by and say hi if you have the time.

Please note the schedule is US Eastern Standard Time, starting very early in the morning! Thank you to all my hosts – I do hope you are all making use of your schedule buttons!

Here is my schedule:

April 1: Romance Novel Giveaways

April 2: Christine Young

April 3: Straight From the Library

April 4: Edgar’s Books

April 5: The Reading Addict

April 8: T’s Stuff

April 9: Romantic Reviews

April 10: Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters

April 11: Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!

April 12: Fabulous and Brunette

April 15: BooksChatter

April 16: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

April 17: Renee Wildes Weblog

April 18: All the Ups and Downs

April 19: Readeropolis

April 22: Joanne Guidoccio

April 22: Read Your Writes Book Reviews

April 23: Long and Short Reviews

April 24: Kimber Li

April 25: Locks, Hooks and Books

April 26: Viviana MacKade

I’ll update daily with the topic of discussion.

Deerbourne Inn Dates

Never ask a question you’re not prepared to answer. Right? In honor of the release of Lion Dancing for Love, my second contemporary romance, and a novella in the Deerbourne Inn series, here are my answers to the Deerbourne Inn author Q&A.

What’s the first book you remember reading on your own as a child, or your favorite childhood read?Dick&Jane

The first book I remember reading was a school reader about Dick and Jane and their dog Spot. Books have improved for first graders since then! The books whose titles I can actually remember were by Enid Blyton. The Magic Faraway Treewas a favorite, as was Five On A Treasure Island. I still have my copy of the latter on the top shelf of the bookcase.

What’s your favorite place to write?

I have a little red desk which is only big enough for my laptop. I like to sit downstairs in the TV room with my doggies and the family while I write.

What’s the most important lesson you have learned on your writing journey so far?

You can always do better. If you have time for one more revision, do it!

What do you do when you feel stuck?

I listen to my characters. They know what they want to do. Sometimes, they just want to sit and gossip over a really boring cup of coffee, and I have to cut the scene later, but it gets me going.

Writers are readers too. Please recommend a romance you recently read and enjoyed.

I just finished reading Down & Dirty, the final book in Rhenna Morgan’s Men of Haven series. I’ve been waiting for what seems like forever for Axel’s story and he didn’t disappoint.

What was it that appealed to you about the Deerbourne Inn series?

I liked the collaborative nature of the project. The idea of putting my characters into someone else’s world was intriguing and challenging.

What was the inspiration behind Lion Dancing for Love?

It’s partly a fish out of water story. I wanted to find out what would happen if I put a city girl into a small town. I also wanted to put together two people from different backgrounds and see what triumphed, the differences or the similarities.

Tell us about Lion Dancing for Lovein 100 words or less.

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

Corey swore off love when his wife Annie died from breast cancer. Caitlyn is too young, too citified, and vibrates with a passion and energy that will upend the safe, comfortable rhythm of his life.

Corey has to choose between playing it safe and taking a risk on love. Caitlyn needs to find the patience to let Corey lead. If not, the Maple Sugar Ball might end in a sticky mess, instead of a slow dance with the man who has captured her heart.

Do you have an extract you can share with us?

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

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

He chuckled. “Such sass. Prove it.”

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

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

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

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

“What?”

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

He smiled and tipped her chin toward him with a finger. “It’s only scandalous if you do it properly.” He brushed his lips softly across hers, then claimed her mouth as she breathed into him.

Buy links

DeerbourneInnSeries

You can find me online here on my blog or Facebook page and on TwitterInstagram,  GoodReadsBookbub and Amazon.

 

A Romantic Rendezvous 2019

On Sunday, I participated in the Sydney leg of the Australian Romance Readers Association’s (ARRA) Romantic Rendezvous 2019. They’ve arranged signings in Brisbane (23 March), Sydney (24 March), Melbourne (30 March) and Perth (31 March), headlined by international bestselling authors Celeste Bradley (historical romance) and Keri Arthur (urban fantasy/paranormal). I shared a table and a giveaway with witty Monique McDonell (chick lit/rom-com) which was heaps of fun. It was a wonderful day catching up with old friends and meeting new readers.

Left: with authors Michelle Montebello (romantic suspense/historical) and Monique McDonell. Right: with our giveaway winner, reader Tracey Anderson.

 

With two of my taller colleagues. Left: fabulous Regency Goddess Celeste Bradley. I will be eternally grateful to ARRA for introducing me to her witty, quirky, feel-good historical romances. Right: Shannon Curtis, author of romantic suspense and contemporary and paranormal romance.

Clockwise: Cathryn Hein (rural romance) and Jodi Perry (contemporary romance/ women’s fiction; with Bronwyn Parry (romantic suspense/historical); with rom-com author Penelope Janu; and with Jodi – she had the best banner!

If you’re in Melbourne or Sydney, you can still catch up with Celeste Bradley and Keri Arthur as well as a host of other fabulous Australian romance authors. Find out more here.

Wordsmith Wednesday

Today is the first in my 2019 interviews with women wordsmiths. Up first to reveal her secrets is MV Ellis, author of four contemporary romances. Her new novel, Finding MV headshotMarnie, was released earlier this month. MV will be attending the Australian Romance Readers Association Romantic Rendezvous ARR2019 author signing in Sydney on 24 March.

What’s the first book you remember reading on your own as a child, or your favourite childhood read?

One of the first books I really remember loving as a child was a beautifully illustrated Winnie the Pooh picture book. I was enthralled by the combination of words and pictures. I still have a soft spot for Pooh to this day. There were many favourites though—Where the Wild Things Are was another that stands out in my mind. I was a big reader from day one, so my first solo read was so far back I don’t remember it, but I do remember reading Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol at around nine or ten, which started my love for Dickens.

What’s your favourite place to write?

Hmmm…I write at my three-metre-long kitchen table. However, I do have an office (aka the spare room), but it’s currently serving as a bit of a junk room during our home renovations. When that’s all done, I’m planning on taking it back over and creating a beautiful writing haven. In the meantime, when I want a break from the dining table, I head to our local café, or even IKEA for a change of scene.

What’s the most important lesson you have learned on your writing journey so far?

It’s hard to pinpoint just one, as the past year as a published author has been a steep learning curve. However, one thing I’m currently living by is that you just have to keep on keeping on. It’s not always easy, but you’ve just got to get your eyes down, bum up and keep working and moving forward. I write every day, more often than not, into the small hours of the morning, but I know that’s what I need to do to achieve my not inconsiderable short and long term goals. My current motto is “You can sleep when you’re dead.”

What do you do when you feel stuck?

I’m fortunate enough to never have suffered from writer’s block, but on the few occasion when motivation wanes, I force myself to write, no matter how paltry an amount. Failing that, I watch TV. I’m a very visual person, and I find that consuming visual forms of storytelling helps keep my creative juices flowing, while not specifically trying to write.

Writers are readers too. Please recommend a romance you recently read and enjoyed.

I recently read LJ Shen’s Dirty Headlines, and as is always the case for me with her books, it didn’t disappoint.

What was the inspiration behind Finding Marnie?

finding  marnie_fprjpegs_frontcover.jpgBeing the fourth book in a series, Finding Marnie was somewhat inspired by the previous books, but also by reader requests to know more about some of the supporting characters from the first three books—Marnie and Luke in particular. It was a chance for us to learn more about the troubled pair, and see events portrayed in the other books from a whole new perspective, and in a very different light. Having said that, it’s a standalone novel, so great to read even if you haven’t read the other books.

Tell us about Finding Marnie in 100 words or less.

Finding Marnie: Rock Star Romance (Heartless Few Book 4), the highly anticipated fourth installment of the Heartless Few series, takes us back to the rock ‘n’ roll world of the Jones brothers, but now from a different point of view. “Quiet twin” Luke has preferred to live in his twin brother’s shadow, but when Marnie, his life-long crush, finds herself at rock bottom he’s desperate to save her, even if it means defying Arlo. In this book we see this sexy rock god finally step into the light and become the man he was meant to be, proving to both himself and Marnie that they are worth fighting for.

Do you have an extract you can share with us?

I’D LEARNED to make myself small from an early age—even before my parents had decided that I wasn’t worth living for. They’d always been all about them, and I’d always felt like an inconvenient by-product of their love, rather than a cherished part of it. The state-ordered psychologist I saw after they died had said that nothing and nobody could take away or diminish the way I felt, but it was unlikely that my parents hadn’t loved me. They may have lacked the parenting skills to adequately demonstrate it and been hampered by mental illness and addiction, but apparently, nothing in their treatment of me suggested I had been unloved.

 Try explaining that to a three-, four-, or five-year-old who was never a consideration. I was just there. Not living but existing. I quickly learned that the less space I took up, the less mental real estate I commanded from them, the happier they were with me. The smaller, the better. If I could have made myself invisible, that would have been ideal.

 I curled myself into a ball next to Luke, hugging my knees to my chest. Fuck, he made my heart hurt. In fact, he made all of me hurt. No, that wasn’t right. He made me ache. All of me ached for him. When I was feeling weak and being stupid, I allowed myself to imagine what it would be like if things were different. If I were different. If I were the kind of woman who deserved the love of a man like him. The kind of girl who could match his gentle nature and give him the love he deserved.

 I was clearly feeling more stupid and weak than normal, allowing myself to think that way when Luke was within arm’s reach. When I could just stretch out my hand and run it through his thick dark hair like I’d imagined myself doing ten thousand times before. When I could brush my hand across the stubble of his strong jaw. When I could kiss his ripe, shapely lips just once.

Buy linksMV Ellis.jpg

Where can readers find you online?

 

Australian Romance Readers Awards

I was honoured and thrilled over the weekend when I was awarded Favourite Debut ARRA 2018 AwardRomance Author 2018 by the members of the Australian Romance Readers Association members. It was unexpected, and I’m still floating on a happy cloud.

The dinner was a fun occasion, as it always is. Bestselling guest of honour Abbi Glines spoke about the importance of persistence and community support, helping other authors as we would like to be helped. She really embodied the spirit of this message as after the air flight from hell, she landed in Sydney from America a day late, worked her way through an all day signing and still made it to the dinner.

Full list of winners

Members’ Choice awards

  • Favourite 2018 romance that made me cry: Maggie’s Run by Kelly Hunter.
  • Favourite 2018 romance with laugh-out-loud moment:  Chaser by Kylie Scott.
  • Favourite Australian romance of 2018: Maggie’s Run by Kelly Hunter.
Abbi Glines

Guest speaker, bestselling author Abbi Glines.

Main Category award winners

  • The Favourite Paranormal Romance for 2018 is Ocean Light by Nalini Singh. This award was sponsored by Hachette Australia and was presented by Lousie McClean.
  • The Favourite Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance 2018 is Cursed by Keri Arthur. This award was presented by Cathleen Ross.
  • The Favourite Historical Romance 2018 is Marry in Scandal by Anne Gracie. This
    Penny and Joo

    With writers group members and fellow nominees Penelope Janu (left, On the Same Page) and Joanna Nel (right, The Single Ladies of the Jacaranda Retirement Village).

    award was sponsored by Hachette Australia and was presented by Louise McClean.

  • The Favourite Contemporary Romance 2018 is Chaser by Kylie Scott. This award was sponsored by Allen & Unwin and it was presented by Abbi Glines.
  • The Favourite Short or Category Romance 2018 is Maggie’s Run by Kelly Hunter. This award was presented by Helen Sibbritt.
  • The Favourite Romantic Suspense 2018 is Dark in Death by JD Robb. This award was presented by Alli Sinclair.
  • The Favourite Continuing Romance Series 2018 is Outback Brides by Kelly Hunter, Victoria Purman, Cathryn Hein and Fiona McArthur. This award was sponsored by Harlequin Australia and was presented by Kita Kemp.
  • The Favourite Debut Romance Author of 2018 is Laura Boon. This award was sponsored by Booktopia and was presented by Ben Hunt.
  • The Favourite Australian Romance Author 2018 is Kylie Scott. This award was sponsored by Booktopia and was presented by Ben Hunt.
Amy

With Amy Andrews, bestselling author of the Sydney Smoke series, nominee in multiple categories, and key support in bringing The Millionaire Mountain Climber up to scratch.