Tag Archives: romance

Tips from an Industry Insider

My most recent column for the RWA is available on their blog today. I’m discussing the bane of every writer’s life, everyday marketing.

Yes, I can hear the groans across the interwebs. For most authors, marketing is a grudge job, as bad, or worse, than having to mop the floor (my personal bugbear). And what is it about dishes and laundry that ensure the sink and the clothes basket are never empty? You finish one round and have to start on the next. It’s the same with Instagram, newsletters and other forms of everyday marketing. 

Are you reaching for the wine yet?

Comparing everyday marketing to household chores might seem like a bad idea, dropping it into the hated I-don’t-have-time-for-this jobs’ jar. But it is realistic in that it is SOMETHING THAT HAS TO BE DONE, regularly if not every day. Even if you are lucky enough to have an assistant to pass it off to, it still has to be done.

You can read the rest of the article here:

Wordsmith Wednesday

Highlighting wonderful women writers 

Today I’m talking to Leisl Leighton, author of paranormal and romantic suspense novels. Her eighth book, Climbing Fear, a romantic suspense, is out now.

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

The most significant one was Anne of Green Gables. I’d read many books before this that I loved – Nancy Drew, Black Beauty, The Hobbit, Little Women, Milly Molly Mandy and so on – but Anne was the first person like me that I ever saw in a book. There’d been elements of other characters in other books I read that were like me, but Anne almost seemed like she was me. Her story felt real and personal and I’ve read it – and all the other books in the series – over and over again. It was also super special because my Nanna gave these books to me because she’d read them when she was the same age as me and loved them because they spoke to her little red-headed heart as well.

What’s your favourite place to write?

Anywhere. I don’t have a favourite place because I write wherever I can. I do have a lovely desk set up at home with a view of the elm tree in our front yard, but it’s too cold in there at this time of the year. I write in my armchair with the dogs and cats lying around me, which is lovely.

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

Keep going. Don’t think all advice is the advice for you, but still listen and think about it and every book is a new beginning – enjoy the ride.

What do you do when you feel stuck?

I talk with my writing friends and workshop the problems. They always help – and not because they necessarily come up with the answers, but because they help me to rethink it and figure out what the problem is and come up with a solution. Normally I knew what it was, but just need to say it out loud and have their affirmation and confirmation to help me take that step.

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

I love the Emily Larkin Baleful Godmother series. Also, anything by Nalini Singh – I just love her paranormal books.

What was the inspiration behind Climbing Fear?

My love of horses, my experiences on horse riding camps when I was younger, my husband proposing to me on horseback, and a trip to Walhalla years ago all came together in my head and created the story that became Climbing Fear. I’m not sure why the suspense element, other than the mountains and hills always seem so mysterious and ripe to be the setting for a suspense story.

Tell us about your Climbing Fear.

A Coalcliff Stud novel—His beloved home is under threat, and with it the beautiful, haunted woman he’s never been able to forget …

X-Treme TV sports star Reid Stratton has everything—until his best friend falls to his death on a climb while shooting their show. In the fierce media fallout, Reid begins to question everything about himself. Crippled by a new fear of climbing, Reid returns to CoalCliff Stud, his family’s horse farm, to recover.

Single mother Natalia Robinson is determined to start afresh, away from the shadow of her past. A job at CoalCliff Stud where she lived as a child is the perfect opportunity to live the quiet life she always wanted. But she is unprepared to see Reid, and is even more unprepared for the passion that still burns between them.

But after a series of menacing events threaten the new home she is trying to build, Nat realises that Reid is the only person she can rely on to keep her and her daughter safe. Together, Reid and Nat must face the pasts that haunt them if they are to survive the present and forge a future of hope.

Do you have an extract you can share with us?

‘Right. Here goes nothing.’ Or something. Reid really hoped it was something.

He dipped his hands into his chalk bag, wiping the chalk over them, shaking off the excess then stepped up to the rock face and took a deep breath. His lungs filled with the scent of dirt and lichen and the sharp scents of the eucalypts that gave the Blue Mountains their moniker. In the distance a bird cawed, the sound echoing and lonely. He couldn’t take any notice, must concentrate on the wall of rock before him.

Heart pounding, he rolled his shoulders and tried to ignore the perspiration trickling down his forehead, his back. His palms itched. This was the moment of truth. His moment of truth.

He should probably have got Steve and the production crew involved in this climb, to capture his big comeback for posterity—and the ratings it would undoubtedly bring—but he’d wanted to do this in private. It seemed right somehow that his first climb after the accident wasn’t in front of the cameras. The first time ever he hadn’t wanted to show off for the world. He could just imagine what Luke would have said about that.

But then, Luke couldn’t say anything. He was dead.

He shuddered, a cold sweat prickling his skin. Don’t think of that. Think of the climb. Only the climb.

Only the climb. It had been their mantra and had served him well through championships and their TV show, but now the words hung empty.

Race you to the top. The echo of Luke’s voice rang in his ears. He shook his head and looked up at the wall of rock in front of him. He’d done this climb at Echo Point many times before, the view from the top of the famous sandstone plateau one you could breathe into your soul and keep with you forever.

The line he’d chosen wasn’t a difficult climb—bloody easy compared to what he’d done before—but a good solid one to cut his teeth on. What he and Luke had become famous for. And if he was to get their TV show up and going again, do the charity climb in Luke’s name that he and Steve planned on the soaring pristine lines of the Gorge at Mt Buffalo—Luke’s favourite place to climb and the first place they’d ever filmed themselves climbing to post online—he needed to do this.

‘Right.’ He clapped his hands together, chalk blooming up, making his nose twitch. ‘One grip at a time.’ He stepped to the rock face, reached, took the first hold, fingers gripping over the small ridge of rock and pulled up. He settled his feet into grooves in the striations of the sandstone—only five reach holds, none of them difficult, before he would position the first cam to clip the lead rope to. He would normally free climb this section, but nerves had him needing to anchor the rope. It was a bit of a stupid thing to do without a partner, but given what happened the last time he climbed with one …

He swallowed hard. He’d checked his rope, the cams and carabiners a hundred times before getting here and again once here. They were safe. Nothing would break. He was good. He needed this. He reached for the next hold, gripped, found a foot hold, pushed up grabbed the next grip. Easy. There was no reason for his heart to be a thunder of hooves in his chest. For his breath to be coming in short-sharp gasps, razoring his throat, as if he’d just run the London Marathon. No reason for sweat to be dripping off him. Or for the ghost pain to be driving through his shoulder like an ice spike. His shoulder was healed and aside from the pull of the scar tissue, it shouldn’t be hurting. It was strong. He’d worked hard to make it strong again. Why else had he done that if not to get back to this?

Push through, Stratton. Eye on the prize. Think of the climb. We can do this.

He blinked the sweat out of his eyes, rubbing his face against his shoulder before he pushed up for the next grip. Two more and he’d reach the fissure he could push the cam into and create his anchor.

He settled his toes firmly in the thin ridge of rock, feeling the dig of the sharp stone through his thin, flexible rock climbing shoes, before reaching up again. His fingers found purchase on a little jut of weathered stone. He pulled up.

Rock crumbled through his fingers. He began to slip. He made a desperate grab for a nearby small ridge in the rock, but his foot slipped. For a moment, he hung, scrabbling at the rock, trying to find the holds he’d found before, but it was as if the rock face had become a sheet of marble, slippery and smooth. He could find nothing. Nothing. His shoulder was screaming, the pain spiking through him. His fingers were slipping. He couldn’t hold on. He was going to fall. Going to fall.

Buy links

iTunes

Amazon Aus

Amazon US

Kobo

Google Play

Where can readers find you online?

If you’d like to know more about me, my books, or to connect with me online, you can visit my webpage www.leislleighton.com, follow me on twitter @LeislLeighton https://twitter.com/LeislLeighton, or like my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Leisl-Leighton-Author-367381126695193.

Leisl Leighton Author Bio

Leisl is a tall red head with an overly large imagination. As a child, she identified strongly with Anne of Green Gables. A voracious reader and a born performer, it came as no surprise to anyone when she did a double major in English Literature and Drama for her BA, then went on to a career as an actor, singer and dancer, as well as script writer, stage manager and musical director for cabaret and theatre restaurants (one of which she co-owned and ran for six years).

After starting a family Leisl stopped performing and instead, began writing the stories that had been plaguing her dreams. Leisl’s stories have won and placed in many competitions in Australia and the US, including the STALI, Golden Opportunities, Heart of the West, Linda Howard Award of Excellence, Touch of Magic and many others.

Leisl lives in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne with her two beautiful boys, lovely hubby, overly spunky dogs, Buffy and Skye, and likes to spend time with family and friends. She is addicted to the Syfy channel, and her shelves are full of fantasy and paranormal books and scifi DVDs. She sometimes sings in a choir, has worked as a swim teacher, loves to ski, can talk the hind leg off a donkey and has been President of Romance Writers of Australia from 2014-2017.

My other books are: Dangerous Echoes: Book 1 of the Echo Springs Series. Or if you like your suspense mixed with the paranormal, then you should try my four book Pack Bound series: Pack Bound, Moon Bound, Shifter Bound and Wolf Bound—available now.

Buy Links for Dangerous Echoes:

iBooks, Google Play, Kobo, Amazon AU

Or you can buy the four book series, Echo Springs, in paperback at Big W, Kmart and online at Angus&Robertson, Booktopia, The Nile, Boomerang Books, Dymocks

Buy Links for the Pack Bound Series:

Amazon Here, iBooks Here, Google Play Here, Kobo Here

 

Deerbourne Inn Dates: Peggy Chambers

Today I’m talking to Peggy Chambers, author of 2 YA Fantasy Novels, 3 Adult Suspense Novels, 1 Adult Fantasy Novella, and 1 Adult Pulp Fiction novel. She is a contributing author to the Deerbourne Inn series and her book Witches’ Cliff  is out now.

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

I remember the Dick and Jane books from grade school when I first started reading. I loved taking the newspaper my dad always read and picking out words I’d learned at school. My favourite books to read later in grade school were the Nancy Drew series.

What’s your favourite place to write?

I have an over-sized red leather recliner in the guest bedroom that used to belong to my father-in-law. It is too big for me, but immensely comfortable. In the room I am surrounded by family objects: my grandmother’s bed, a small table that belonged to my dad, pictures from my aunt, and a muse in the form of a drawn print from a friend I used to work with. All these things are comforting and inspiring.

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

Keep learning. You can never learn all there is about writing. I love to learn what other writers do and try it in my own writing.

What do you do when you feel stuck?

Like most writers, I get stuck in the middle of the story. I always know how it starts and where it is going. The middle of the story is more difficult. When I get stuck, I write a different section of the story, leave it at the bottom of the manuscript and eventually it will go in the right place.

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

I love the Outlander series by Diana Gabledon, but I recently read three romance novellas in the Deerbourne Inn series, Hope’s Dream by Peggy Jaeger, Soul of the Storm by Jean M. Grant, and Lyrical Embrace by Amber Daulton. I highly recommend them – a short read with a powerful story.

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

I love a quaint inn. I’ve never been to Vermont, though it is on my bucket list, but the setting at the inn on Halloween made me think of witches and then the Salem Witch Trials that took place near the area. It made for the perfect backdrop for a story. Also, the Wild Rose Press has some impressive authors in their stable. I wanted to get to know them and be associated with them as people and authors.

What was the inspiration behind Witches’ Cliff?

WitchesCliff_w13159_750I chose the holiday of Halloween because I thought most of the stories would be set at Christmas. As I said, Halloween made me think of witches and I started to research the Salem Witch Trails. The story took off from there.  I don’t write historical novels, so I set it in the present and included a visit from a ghost who knew about the witch trials of Willow Springs.

Tell us about Witches’ Cliff  in 150 words or less.

In 1692 Salem, Massachusetts held the witch trials and many innocent women died. During that same dark time the tiny town of Willow Springs, Vermont had their own slaughter at a local cliff. Penny Winter’s ancestor was one of those witches.

Years later Penny’s mother moved to Salem with her new baby to avoid the long memories of her neighbors. Penny learned the wiccan ways from her mother and became a professor of history at a local university. And then she met Jeff.

With no relatives to depend upon, Penny returns to the town where her grandmother died to seek her opinion of the man who has asked her to marry him. She once again encounters a Willow Springs witch. It’s Halloween and Penny desperately needs to talk to her ancestor before she marries, and it has to be at the cliff where grandma died. But she is not alone.

Do you have an extract you can share with us?

Appearing from nowhere, the elderly woman, in a tattered dark dress stood in the middle of the road.  Her wild hair strung with branches like she had fallen in the forest before stumbling onto the highway.

Swerving to a stop on the side of the road, Penny threw open the door. Jumping from the car she raced back where the woman had been – and stood in the middle of the road turning around.

No one was there.

She spun in a circle three times, searching the woods beside the road for the woman. Where could she have disappeared? The woman was there – Penny saw her. But no one could be found in the area, now.

A horn blasted behind her making Penny jump and twist around.  The semi barrelled down the highway and she leapt out of the way, running for her car.  That was real, and much too close.

“Go home.” The voice whispered in her ear. And once again Penny spun around.

Buy link: https://tinyurl.com/y3fktu44

Where can readers find you online? 

My website is located at http://peggylchambers.wordpress.com/ where I write a weekly blog. You can like me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BraWars, connect with me on Twitter at @ChambersPeggy, or on Instagram at champeggy.

Thanks for stopping by Peggy. I’m intrigued to read Witches’ Cliff and I LOVE your cover.

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

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.

 

Cheers to Caitlin and Cory

Happy publication day to Caitlin and Corey, whose story Lion Dancing for Love is out in the wild today. I really fell in love with these two characters. It’s a case of opposites attract – or is it? On the outside, they look very different. Caitlin is a sassy city gal from a multicultural background in her 30s. Corey is a third generation small town Vermont store owner in his 40s and a man of few words. On the inside they’re both hurting, Caitlin from rejection and Corey from the death of his first wife. Fate and their friends seem to think they’re destined to heal each other, but will they listen?

Buy links:LionDancingforLove

Amazon US

Amazon Australia

Amazon UK

iTunes

Kobo

Google Play

If you’d like to read more about the goings-on in Willow Springs, you can check out the Deerbourne Inn series here. There are seven books to date, across multiple genres, covering Deerbourne Inn’s past, its present and its paranormal inhabitants.

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