Debra Salonen: When BFFs Are Guys

ds3I’m in Hawaii enjoying a few fun days of summer with my crew before the boys head back to California and I get on a plane to Australia next week for a conference.  It’s been fun to unwind and relax a little bit and I’ve also managed to get some time to catch up on reading some really good books by some great authors.

I’m especially excited about Debra Salonen‘s newest addition to her Big Sky Mavericks series.  Montana Hero is out now and already getting some great reviews.  I have enjoyed this series a lot and invited Debra to tell us more about her books.

Take it away, Debra!

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Are men capable of close friendships that go beyond the commercial and over-the-top bromances of buddy movies like The Hangover?

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Can one hope a deep emotional bond exists for men who not dwarves, wizards or burglers?

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Perhaps trying to compare a man’s idea of friendship to a woman’s is a hopeless task. After all, both sexes are hard-wired differently, right? Some suggest men aren’t as in touch with their emotions as women, which, in light of this video, might be a good thing. 😉

I’m kidding, of course. The real question is: Are men capable of deep, long-term friendships that share a familial-like bond? When called upon for advice and help–the icky, sticky love and romance kind–will they have each other’s back?

I think the answer is yes. And I hope my readers agree because that’s the premise behind my three new Big Sky Mavericks books. This “series within a series” introduces three new heroes to Marietta, Montana. Fearless, kick butt, front line wildfire hot shots who consider themselves brothers-in-arms and best friends. But they’ve each reached a turning point in his life (although for different reasons). When one moves, they all move. No questions asked.

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Flynn Bensen (MONTANA HERO) is the responsible one–the rock. A “hero” haunted by a mistake that cost a woman her life and gave Flynn a serious case of PTSD. When opportunity knocks, opening the door to a new, less hands-on–or so he thinks–job as head of Crawford County Search and Rescue, Flynn jumps at the chance to make a fresh start in the same town where his brother, Ryker, has fallen in love and made a new life himself. Flynn hopes to make Montana his forever home, too. He doesn’t expect to meet the woman of his dreams on the first day at his new job. Kat Robinson is wrong for him on too many levels to count, but that doesn’t make him want her any less.

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Bold, brash and brazen Tucker “The Full Mountie” Montgomery (MONTANA ROGUE) has gambled everything on his new Marietta, Montana, enterprise: Mountie’s Marvelous Zip Line and Enduro Course. Screwing up his ankle before the first pole is in the ground was not part of the plan. Neither was meeting Amanda Heller, NYC society girl with problems of her own–demanding parents and a feisty grandmother who has no intention of handing over the reins of her life to Amanda’s mother. Tucker grew up on the Bayou. He learned the fine art of bartering from the grandparents who raised him. He’s willing to scratch his beautiful roommate’s back if she’ll help him with an itch of his own. But can roommates-with-benefits survive a summer fling without falling in love?

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Justin “The Goat” Oberman climbs. Any mountain. Anywhere. People call his passion a death wish. He figures maybe he just hasn’t found something–someone–worth living for. When his best friends move to Montana, he’s right behind them, accepting a dream job that turns into a nightmare when the CFO turns out to be Nicole Richards, the one woman he’s never been able to forget. The one who blames him for the accident that left her paralyzed. Is this second-chance love affair doomed from day one? Justin says, “Yes.” But his friends–newly in love and looking at life through rose-colored blinders–disagree. “Nikki’s in your life again for a reason, Goat. Remember what you always tell new climbers: Don’t look down and never give up.”

Do you know any men–father, brother, husband, friend–who can claim a long-lasting friendship that has survived marriages, moves, divorces and distance? I’d love to hear your stories. Maybe one of them will show up in Justin’s book, which is still in the conceptual stage of production.

Thanks for reading and thanks so much to Jane for hosting me! Safe travels, my friend!

Deb

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For more info on Deb and her books, please drop by her Website. Her current bio and links to her books are available on her author page here: Amazon. And Deb loves to connect with readers on Facebook & Twitter and through her weekly FIRST KISS: TUESDAY  Blog.

Thanks for sharing, Debra!  Readers, look for Montana Hero next time you’re treating your kindle to goodies.  This is a wonderful series to lose yourself in!  I’m also giving away a special prize in honor of Debra’s new release to one lucky winner.  Have you read any books in Debra Salonen’s Big Sky Mavericks series already?  Is there one mentioned in this blog that you’re particularly looking forward to?  Share your thoughts in a comment and you’ll be entered for a chance to win!  Contest ends on Tuesday with winner announced Wednesday.

 

Carole Mortimer’s Alpha Series

71bGj40QD8L._UX250_It is no secret I’ve been a long time fan of Carole Mortimer and it pleases me so much to have her as a guest on my blog again to tell us about the latest book in her Alpha series.  Carole has written over 200 books in contemporary romance, Regency, and her own hot romantic suspense series, Alpha.

She is Recipient of the 2015 Romance Writers of America Nora Robert’s Lifetime Achievement Award, 2014 Romantic Times Pioneer or Romance, and in 2012 was recognized by Queen Elizabeth II for her ‘outstanding service to literature’.

She is very happily married to Peter, they have 6 sons, and live on the beautiful Isle of Man.

Here she is to tell us about Shadow Alpha.  Welcome, Carole!

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This summer is such an exciting time for me!

On July 15th Shadow Alpha, my 200th book, became available in trade paperback as well as ebook. It’s for those readers who don’t own an ereader, or so many other who have asked me to publish a physical copy of my 200th book for their ‘keeper shelf’.

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July 24th sees the release of Renegade Alpha, the 5th book in my bestselling ALPHA series. I have been overwhelmed by readers’ response to this romantic suspense series. All five books, so far released in the series, are currently all in Kindle Top 100 Bestseller lists. I absolutely love writing the ALPHA books, and Lijah Smith, the hero of Renegade Alpha, is a particular favourite of mine. He’s really hot!

The pre-order for Warrior Alpha, the 6th book in the series, to be released October 4th, will also be available on July 20th.

I am currently in New York at the Romance Writers of America conference, and tomorrow evening the RWA are very kindly presenting me with the Nora Roberts’ Lifetime Achievement Award. This is such an honor for me, the pinnacle of my 37 years as an author.

Even more exciting, my whole family are joining me in New York tomorrow, and they arrive in time to be able to attend the RWA awards ceremony. Then we’re all going to have a wonderful week’s holiday together in New York, one of my favorite cities in the world. We’re also going to celebrate my birthday while we’re there. It isn’t till August 5th, but who can resist celebrating in New York, so wonderful they named it twice? I certainly can’t!

Also this month my cover design lady and I have been putting our heads together and coming up with some spectacular designs for the covers for my new Regency novella series. The pre-order for the first novella will be available early September this year, with a release date of November 4th. I am so excited about this new Regency series. It will be published alternate months with my Alpha series during 2016.

August 27th sees the publication of Pursued by the Devil, by Bad Boy book for Tule Publishing. What fun I had writing this novella! Mikhael is exactly the sort of dark and brooding hero I love to write about, and Lindsay is every bit a match for this “bad boy”.

Hope you all have a great summer!
Carole

Website: www.carolemortimer.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CaroleMortimerAuthor
Email: contact@carolemortimer.co.uk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/@carole_mortimer

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Thank you, Carole, for your time and for sharing with us.  Readers, be sure to add Carole’s Alpha series to your to-read list if you haven’t already.  You’ll be hooked!

To help Carole celebrate her upcoming releases, I’m giving away a very special Carole Mortimer prize consisting of books, gift cards and awesome reader goodies to one lucky reader.  For a chance to win, just leave a comment and you’ll be entered!  Contest ends Tuesday with winner announced on Wednesday.

Liz and Lisa on The Status Of All Things

liz and lisa 2014 photo credit debbie friedrichI want to share a great author duo with you all today.  They are new standouts in women’s fiction.  Long time BFFs, they now write together, too, and their new release is getting fantastic reviews and lots of love from readers.  Liz and Lisa have also been so supportive of my fiction career, featuring me on their blog, hosting me for Q&A’s and giveaways, and I’m absolutely delighted to return the favor and shine some light on their wonderful new novel, The Status of All Things!

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In our latest release, The Status of All Things, we ask the question—what would you do if you could literally rewrite your fate on Facebook?

Facebook fascinates us—it is amazing how we each build our own online communities and frame our lives around them. We came up with the concept for our novel after realizing we each had a Facebook nemesis—that person someone whose life always looked so damn perfect online (Photogenic kids! Amazing and thoughtful husband! Beautiful house!), that it made us feel, well, inadequate. Even though common sense told us that this person had bad days just like we did, that she also spilled coffee on herself whenever she dared to wear white, it still drove us crazy! So, we knew we had tapped into something people could relate to and decided it would be fun to explore a Facebook-themed book.

In The Status Of All Things, Kate is a thirty-five-year-old woman who is obsessed with social media. So when her fiancé, Max, breaks things off at their rehearsal dinner—to be with Kate’s close friend and coworker, no less—she goes straight to Facebook to share it with the world. But something’s changed. Suddenly, Kate’s real life starts to mirror whatever she writes in her Facebook status. With all the power at her fingertips, and heartbroken and confused over why Max left her, Kate goes back in time to rewrite their history.

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Kate’s two best friends, Jules and Liam, are the only ones who know the truth. In order to convince them she’s really time traveled, Kate offers to use her Facebook status to help improve their lives. But her attempts to help them don’t go exactly as planned, and every effort to get Max back seems to only backfire, causing Kate to wonder if it’s really possible to change her fate.

And in honor of TSOAT, we have a great recipe that is Facebook-picture worthy!

FIGS WITH GOAT CHEESE AND BACON

  • 4 to 6 regular smoked bacon slices (2 1/4 to 3 1/2 ounces uncooked)
  • 12 small fresh ripe figs, such as white or Calimyrna, halved lengthwise
  • About 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) crumbled mild herbed goat cheese

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a medium heavy skillet, place the bacon slices in a single layer and cook over low to medium-low heat, turning as needed until just beginning to brown. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Cut each bacon slice into 4 or 6 pieces.

Arrange the figs on a baking sheet, cut sides up. Brush the cut surfaces with balsamic vinegar. Place a piece of bacon on each cut side. Top with a small crumble of cheese. Bake until the figs are warmed, about 8 minutes. The cheese will not melt but may toast a bit. Serve immediately.

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Thank you for sharing with us, Liz and Lisa.  Readers, please put The Status of All Things on your tbr pile soon.  To help them celebrate Liz and Lisa’s new release, I’ve got a women’s fiction surprise giveaway filled with great reads, gift cards and lots of reader treats!  For a chance to win, leave a comment below and you’ll be entered to win.  You can just say hello to Liz and Lisa or share your thoughts on what sort of impact social media has had in your life!  Contest ends Tuesday with winner announced Wednesday.

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk

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I’ve been friends with Kelli Estes for over ten years, knowing her as both a writer and an amazing woman who is always so supportive of other authors.  I am delighted that her debut novel, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk is garnering high praise as no one deserves this success more than Kelli.

I wanted to be sure and introduce this wonderful author to you and invited Kelli to come and tell us about The Girl Who Wrote in Silk.  Please join me in welcoming Kelli Estes!

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I am so honored to be here on Jane’s blog! I first met Jane right around the time when her first book was about to be released. She and I were both members of the same local RWA chapter and I saw right away that she was someone from whom I would learn a lot. As her career grew I watched and learned everything I could. I think the biggest lesson I learned from Jane was to write from your heart. Don’t write what you think will sell, don’t write what others are having success writing. Write the story that you feel deep down.

I took Jane’s advice to heart, though it took several years before I fully realized how to put it into practice. Actually, it took ten years and five manuscripts (with time off in there to have two kids) before I learned that I needed to stop thinking about what I could write that was popular at the time, or what plot twist would capture an editor’s notice. When starting my sixth manuscript I had just emerged from a dark place of “will I ever be good enough” and decided that writing was the only thing that I wanted to do, and I would keep writing until I was good enough for publication, no matter how long it took. I went into a sort of cave where I wrote not even knowing where this book might be shelved at a bookstore. I took a break from writing workshops and conferences and I completely turned off every voice I’d ever heard offering great advice. I listened only to my story. What emerged was the book now titled, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk. It is the story of a young Chinese girl, Mei Lien, who is driven from the only home she’s ever known in Seattle and the horrific event from which she is the sole survivor. She tells the truth of what happened that night through her embroidery. Over a hundred years later that embroidery is found by a recent college grad, Inara, who subsequently uncovers not only the truth, but what it means to her own family. She is then forced to make an impossible choice.

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This story took me by surprise and, in fact, I resisted writing it for several months because I wasn’t sure I was up to the task. I wondered who was I to write about the Chinese experience during a time of intense hatred and violence against the Chinese people in America. I am not Chinese, nor do I have any Chinese family members. I thought surely there was someone with more knowledge of the culture more qualified to write than I. But then I realized that I was the one with the burning drive to see this story written and there is no better qualification than that. I never once, however, took lightly the responsibility I had to present the history and related heartbreak with respect and honesty. Mei Lien became my favorite character in the book and the easiest to write.

I hope you enjoy The Girl Who Wrote in Silk and I’d love to hear from you. You can find me at my website, on my personal Facebook page, as well as my author Facebook page. Or even better, I’d love to meet you in person at one of the events I have planned this month in Washington State. Information on those can be found here.

You know what? There was another lesson I learned from Jane that I can’t wait to put into practice. If you’ve met Jane at one of her book signings, you’ll know what I’m talking about. When Jane meets a reader, she has a way of making that person feel like the most important person in the room. She takes the time to stop and truly connect with each person and I don’t know if she knows how special that makes her. We writers tend to be an introverted bunch and meeting people isn’t always comfortable. Some writers do it better than others. No one does it as well as Jane. As I go to my bookstore events this month, you can bet I’ll be trying my hardest to be like Jane!

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk is available at a bookstore near you or at one of these online retailers:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Blackstone Audio | IndieBound

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Thanks for coming to visit, Kelli!  Readers please pick up a copy (or download) of Kelli’s book next time you’re shopping.  And if you do, be sure to leave / share feedback if you have time.  I know Kelli will appreciate it!  To help Kelli celebrate her debut release, I’ve also got an awesome mystery prize, chock full of books, giftcards and fun reader goodies for one of you!  For a chance to win, leave a comment below and you’ll be entered to win.  Contest ends Friday with winner announced Saturday.

Again, Alabama with Susan Sands

8E3A3724Debut author Susan Sands recently sold to Tule Publishing and I’m very excited to host her on my blog as I’ve read her novel, Again, Alabama and loved it.  I couldn’t wait to introduce Susan to my readers and friends.

Please help me  welcome Susan Sands to JaneBlog! ~

I’m honored to be here, Jane. Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog today!

I started writing when I turned forty. It was better than finding a boyfriend, according to my husband. My kids were growing up and finding their own interests, and I’d always been a lover of romance and women’s fiction novels, especially ones set in the South. I grew up in small town Louisiana, far from anything resembling a city, and spent my days reading Nancy Drew books, then Harlequin romances as a child, then a teen. But really, what else was there to do?

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My novel, AGAIN, ALABAMA, is set in a fictitious historic town not far from Birmingham. Why Alabama? I’ve been asked many times. Being a Georgia resident with Louisiana roots, the question makes sense. Well, have your ever heard a native Alabaman say the word, Alabama? It kind of rolls off the tongue, like honey, like Tom Hanks’ version in Forrest Gump.  Al-uh-bohmuh. It sounds immensely sweet. I pass through several small towns in Alabama every year both on my way home to Louisiana and on my annual trek to the Florida Gulf Coast for our family beach vacation during the summer. (Yes, you do pass through Alabama from Georgia to get to Florida) I’m always inspired to stop and make my way onto some stranger’s lovely porch in Eufaula and drink sweet tea. It’s almost a compulsion at this point.

Here’s more about the book –

Cammie Laroux is back in Alabama—again.

Dragged back to her small town to help her mother recover from surgery while rescuing the family event planning business should be a cinch. Even for a disgraced television chef, right? Wrong.

Among the many secrets Cammie’s family’s been hiding is the fact that their historic home is falling down. Oh, and the man hired to restore the house, Grey Harrison, is the same high school and college love of her life who thrashed her heart and dreams ten years ago. Yeah, that guy.

Grey, a widower with a young daughter, has never stopped loving Cammie, and when they are face to face once again, the chemistry is off the charts. Cammie may be in full-blown denial, but letting go is no longer in Grey’s vocabulary, even when winning Cammie’s forgiveness and renovating their love may seem like an impossible build even for a master architect and carpenter.

As Cammie finds herself forgetting all the reasons she can’t trust Grey or love again, he finds himself remembering all the reasons he wants her to stay with him in Alabama… forever.

In the story, Cammie enters the local Pecan Pie cook off against some pretty stiff competition. Here is her winning recipe:

Cammie’s White Chocolate Pecan Pie
Serves 10-12
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (9-inch) pie crust, homemade or bought
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3 large eggs
• 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Whipped cream or ice cream for serving (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Layer the pecans and white chocolate chips on the bottom of your pie shell.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, and flour until thoroughly combined. Carefully pour the mixture over the nuts and white chips, trying not to dislodge them.

Cover edges of piecrust before baking to prevent over browning. Bake the pie until the crust is golden brown and the filling is set in the center, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer pie to a wire rack and let cool for a couple of hours.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Cammie would be proud!

Anyway, folks, I do hope you will give my small town and it’s fun, crazy characters a try. Cammie and Grey are a couple we want to root for no matter what awfulness has befallen them in the past. It’s a second chance story not to miss.

I love connecting with readers! Please find me at:

Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/susannsandsauthor
Twitter:  @SusanNoelSands
Blog:  Sweet Home Alpharetta at susansands.com

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Again Alabama sounds absolutely wonderful, Susan!  Thank you for sharing with us.

Readers, there you are.  Another wonderful author and a great story recommendation! I hope you’ll download a copy of Again, Alabama soon.  As it happens, I just saw Susan last night! She and inspirational author Lindi Peterson, both attended my book event in Marietta, GA.

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Meanwhile, what’s even more fun than a good book to read?  The promise of more good books and goodies!  For a chance to win a fun mystery prize, leave a comment for Susan and tell us what you love most about stories based in the South.  Contest ends Friday with winner announced on Saturday.

 

What’s Next for the Sheenans?

Readers have been asking me what’s next for the Sheenans?  The good news is that there is quite a bit!

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I love this family.  I am really attached to them and not at all eager for their stories to end.  The good news is that there are still 2 more Sheenan stories to come, with Cormac and Whitney’s out in time for Christmas.  I’ve been rewriting his story after I was on a flight to Seattle and sat next to—no.  Can’t tell you.  It’ll ruin the surprise.  But let’s just say I’ve re-imagined Cormac’s story and changed it almost completely…making it well, magical, and perfect for Christmas.  The title is changing, too.  It’s now called A Christmas Miracle for Daisy as it’s become a holiday story that will be out in November.

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After Cormac in November, we will have one more Sheenan story in early 2016 as there is a mystery in the Sheenan family which has contributed to the mother’s unhappiness and it’s time that family knew the whole truth.  That mystery story, and mystery Sheenan, will conclude my Taming of the Sheenan series.

It’s going to be hard to let this family go, so the good news is that the mystery Sheenan has an intriguing story that ties in with the ranch invasion on the Douglas property, that took the lives of McKenna’s family.  So as I conclude the Sheenans, I’ll be launching the first of the Douglas Ranch stories.

If you’ve been reading my Sheenan series, you briefly ‘met’ Quinn and Rory Douglas in Trey and McKenna’s story, The Kidnapped Christmas Bride.  Quinn and Rory are fascinating men and I know my readers will love their stories, too, especially as it allows us all to spend more time in Marietta, Montana.

Are you sick of my Montana stories, or still looking forward to more?  Let me know and one of you will win a very special Montana prize package that includes a print copy of The Taming of the Sheenans anthology along with Montana treats, reads and more!

A Week at the Lake with Wendy Wax

I’m off this morning to spend a few days with my good friend CJ Carmichael at her Flathead Lake, Montana cabin.  This is where Montana Born Books was founded back in May 2013 as we brainstormed our four rodeo novellas which launched the line, and the first books by Tule Publishing.  That week with CJ, Megan Crane and Lilian Darcy changed my life and every time I go to Montana I recharge and find new stories and I can’t wait to brainstorm new stories with CJ this week.

From Montana I head to Atlanta for two book events.  I’ll be staying with my friend, novelist Wendy Wax while I’m in Georgia and doing a book event with her at Cat Blanco’s The Book Exchange Monday, June 29th.  Do come see me, and get Wendy’s brand new book.

Speaking of Wendy’s brand new book, A Week at the Lake, it’s out TODAY!

A Week at the Lake is getting rave reviews and they are all well deserved.  I hope you’ll pick up (or download!) a copy as well – and if you enjoy it, do get on social media and give Wendy a shout out or post a review.

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“Wax really knows how to make a cast of characters come alive.  Readers will love and fuss at the characters as if they’ve been friends with them all along….Wax infuses each chapter with enough drama, laughter, family angst and friendship to keep readers greedily turning pages until the end.” –RT Book Reviews

To read an excerpt: http://bit.ly/1GvjCOc
To buy:  http://amzn.to/1ftoVrW

Are you a Wendy Wax fan?  Do you have a favorite book she’s written?  Tell me and one of you will win a Wendy Wax prize package filled with Wendy’s novels and some of my bestselling stories, too.  Contest ends Friday with winner announced on Saturday.

 

Be a part of my website!

I have been with the same web studio, Waxcreative Design, since before my very first book came out over 15 years ago. Four sites (three of my own, and Tule, too!) and over 100 promo projects later, I can’t say enough about how great they are to work with — I’m sure they are just as great to work for. They are adding to their team, and with the hope of hitting the jackpot and getting both a talented web developer and a reader, I offered to help spread the word:

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Click on the image above, or go to waxcreative.com/jobs.

It’s not just my site — among their dozens of clients (including Sylvia Day, Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Susan Andersen, and more), Wax is the team behind the sites of some of my best writer buddies: cjcarmichael.com (since 2001!) and megancrane.com (launched just last month!). Make sure to check out Megan’s newest feature: sortable romantic themes! I can’t wait to put it on my site, too — the Waxcreative team is already on it!

If you know of anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area who loves code, web design, and BOOKS, please share this post. The faster Emily gets another designer on board the quicker I get my sortable romantic themes.

p.s. I get no kickback for this. I just really like my web team.

Another Sexy Sheenan!

Last week in between book events for my new women’s fiction release, It’s You, I was also thrilled that my newest romance was out, too.

Book 4 in my Taming of the Sheenans series, The Taming of the Bachelor, is available everywhere for those of you with e-readers, and will be a print book in early July.  I’m so excited to take you back to Marietta to meet another smart, sexy Sheenan brother.  Have you met the youngest Sheenan yet?

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Dillon Sheenan refuses to be tamed…

After three years running the family ranch, sexy thirty-year-old Dillon Sheenan has a one way plane ticket out of Montana. He’s eager to put small town life, with its emphasis on brides, babies, and families, behind him as he’s certainly not interested in being a dad, or even ready to settle down.

Beautiful single mom, Paige Joffe, juggles a lot, between running Main Street Diner and coping with her money-pit of a Victorian on Bramble Lane.  She doesn’t have time for anything but taking care of the loves of her life, Addison and Tyler, and working to pay down bills. But one date–and an incredibly hot kiss–with Dillon Sheenan wakes her up and makes her dream again.

Until she finds out Dillon’s already bought his ticket out of town…

Is Dillon about to break the heart of the only woman he’s ever loved?

The Taming of the Bachelor is available now at – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iBOOKS

I loved writing this book and can’t wait to hear what you think!  It’s got a bit of everything that made me fall in love with the Sheenan brothers – plenty of emotion, sexual tension, angst and humor too.  You can read an excerpt on my website.  Drop me a line if you read it and reviews are always very welcome too!

In upcoming news, Cormac’s story will be out close to Christmas so keep an eye out for that.  Meanwhile, I’m staying busy writing another Harlequin for my Presents fans and also looking forward to meeting some of you on my book tour for It’s You.  Check my website for upcoming events.  If you’re close of any of the venues I’ll be visiting, come say hello.  I’d love to see you!

And what’s a new Taming of the Sheenan release without a fun Montana Born giveaway?

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Contest ends Wednesday with winner announced on Thursday.  Let me know if you’ve read Dillon’s story yet and if he’s your favorite Sheenan, or if you prefer one of his older brothers?

 

Kat Latham: Wedding Memories

61AEMLpftVL._UX250_Wedding season is not over in Marietta yet and my guest today is another wonderful Tule author who has contributed so much to our wedding fun this year.  Please help me welcome the lovely Kat Latham to JaneBlog!

Here’s Kat to talk about Wedding Memories and her new release, Two Nights With His Bride!

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For a romance author, I’m surprisingly pragmatic about weddings. I didn’t grow up dreaming about my wedding day. I don’t think I ever looked at bridal magazines till I started writing Two Nights with His Bride.

When I got engaged in 2005, I picked out my wedding dress within about an hour of shopping with my mom. I think I tried on only four dresses.  I bought the shoes a few months later at Accessorize at Stansted Airport in London; there was no tax and they were on sale—they cost £6 (less than $10). I think they were actually house shoes, but they were comfy, pretty and matched my dress perfectly.

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For the venue, my husband (who goes by Dr. Smarty Pants, PhD. on my blog) and I found a beautiful historic house in La Jolla, San Diego: the Darlington House. All the profits fund the home for senior citizens next door, and we were thrilled that our wedding could support such a lovely organization.

In some ways our wedding was very traditional. I had a cream-colored dress and a veil. Smarty Pants wore a traditional British morning suit. And we had lots of autumnal flowers, designed by my childhood next-door-neighbor—a nurse who’s been doing floral arrangements for weddings for decades.

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But in other ways, we ditched tradition and made our own. We had a delicious Mexican buffet and a chocolate fountain instead of a cake, since most of the wedding cakes we’d eaten were beautiful but not very tasty. And instead of being married by a professional, we paid the state of California 20 bucks and they certified my mom to perform the ceremony. We wanted the ceremony to be personal, so all four of our parents stood up with us as my mom declared us married and told us we could kiss.

There were a couple of reasons I was especially practical about my wedding. For one, throughout our engagement Smarty Pants and I lived in London—thousands of miles from San Diego—and I was doing my Master’s degree in Human Rights. My mom did all of the legwork for planning the wedding, which took a lot of pressure off me. My studies also helped me shake off any pre-wedding stress; it’s hard to get too upset about wedding details going wrong when you spend months and months reading detailed reports about torture.

The second reason is that, when I first started going out with my husband, several of my closest friends stopped speaking to me. You see, Smarty Pants and I have different religious beliefs, something that has never bothered either of us because we deeply respect each other. But many of my friends had a huge problem with it. I received letters and emails telling me I was turning my back on God’s plan for my life by falling in love with the wrong man. Because of that, I didn’t take it for granted that everyone would consider our marriage the blessing that I knew it to be.

 

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By the time we got married, I had a very clear idea of what our wedding meant to me. I’d always known our relationship was for life, but our wedding was a way to make that declaration public, to say, “We are together and no one will tear us apart.” And it was a chance to celebrate and thank all the many, many people who had supported and loved us throughout the years.

This October, we’ll celebrate our ninth anniversary, but I have so many memories that are as strong as if we got married yesterday. I remember watching guests arrive as I was getting ready, and I suddenly felt overwhelmed that so many people had given up their Saturday to celebrate with us. It washed away all the pain of being rejected by other friends.

I remember peeking around a corner with my dad, trying to see my flower girls as they panicked and had to be coaxed down the aisle by their mom.

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I remember walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing the look of overwhelming joy on Smarty Pants’ face as he watched me.

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I remember our kiss.

I remember sitting on a sofa after the ceremony and looking at his wedding ring.

I remember that I didn’t get a single bite from the chocolate fountain.

I remember our best man, my brother-in-law, giving us a card signed by several Irish rugby players, including Brian O’Driscoll (be still my beating heart).

I remember my dad’s voice breaking as he gave a speech about how much his new son-in-law meant to him. And I remember him pulling out of his tux jacket the tiny pink dress he bought right after I was born. He told our guests, “I spent more on that baby dress than I had on any item of clothing for myself in my whole life. I knew then that having a daughter was going to be expensive. I hope you all enjoy your meals tonight.”

I remember leaving the reception wearing a sign I’d handmade and walking a mile to our hotel, where my bridesmaids had decorated our room with rose petals and left us champagne (my mom’s idea) and whipped cream (my best friend’s idea).

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And I remember my brother showing up at our hotel room a few hours later, so drunk he could hardly stand up, asking for money for a taxi home. But I promised him I’d retire that story, so that’s all you’ll hear about it from me.

KatLatham-MEDIUM

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What beautiful memories of your wedding, Kat!  Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

Readers, if you haven’t already picked up a copy of Kat Latham‘s Two Nights With His Bride, do it soon!  I’ve also got a fabulously fun giveaway for you.  Leave a comment below for Kat and you’ll be entered to win a totebag full of books, goodies and more!  Contest ends Monday with winner announced on Tuesday.