#TBT The Galvan Brides!

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The aristocratic Galváns of Argentina are a complicated family, their relationships with each other stretched and tangled as they struggled to come to grips with their troubled past and hopes for the future.

I wrote five books starring the Galván family that were reader favorites in 2002 + 2003 — an exciting couple of years filled with Latin lovers, dramatic stories, and lush, international settings.

Responsibility for the family problems rests squarely on the late Count Tino Galváns shoulders, a man blessed with stunning good looks and tremendous wealth, but a man lacking moral character. Married twice, Tino Galván indulged in numerous affairs, shamelessly flaunting his lovers before Buenos Aires society.

lazarosrevengeIn Dante’s Debt and Lazaro’s Revenge (Books 1 + 2) came out back-to-back first, and each was a RITA® finalist! (I was thrilled!) The Latin Lover’s Secret Child and The Spaniard’s Passion (Books 4 + 5) pairing up later that year. Book 3, Mistaken for a Mistress, originally an online serial, was published on its own a few years later as a special release).

The Galván children — from Tino’s marriages and affairs — grew up in a state of unremitting chaos. The only constant in Tino’s childrens lives was excess: too much money, too much alcohol, and too much unhappiness.

These books were hard to find until re-released in recent years in ebook and are now all available on Kindle, and beginning to make their way into other formats (The Spaniard’s Passion now has multiple order options). Excerpts that were not posted when this new site of mine launched last fall are now up for your reading enjoyment — just click on any title in this post for an excerpt, and any cover in this post for the Kindle link.

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Part of the great fun in writing the Galván series was the research! Oh, the travel! I documented so much for readers in my Book Extras. I invite you to revisit these wonderful books from early in my career with:

#Tell me, did any of you read these back when they were new? If so, which of these Latin lovers did you love the most? Isn’t it wonderful how ebooks bring these old favorites into new hands? Do you have an author you recently fell in love with and then you discovered a older title of her or his that you never knew about… Did you ever have a chance to read any of my books in the pink binding? How about the paperback blue?

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I’d love to hear if these books are brand new to you and if you downloaded one for your Kindle (that’s important, because if you win, I’ll know which book not to send you.) I’ll pull three commenters at random and send two of you a signed vintage hardback copy of either The Spaniard’s Passion or The Latin Lover’s Secret Child. They only ever printed a few of these UK library editions, and I have a couple I am looking forward to sending out. I also have one vintage UK paperback of Lazaro’s Revenge. I loved these vibrant UK blue covers — and I have one to share.

More Marietta Brides!

So very happy to have my friends Maisey Yates and Nicole Helm guesting on my blog.  You will know USA Today Bestseller Maisey Yates from her incredible bestselling Harlequin Presents and cowboy romances for Berkley and HQN and Nicole writes popular contemporary romances for Harlequin and Samhain and now both have written a story for Tule’s Married in Marietta brides series.

I can’t wait for you to get to know them better so take it away Nicole and Maisey!

Nicole Helm on Bride by Mistake:

Nicole: I’m so excited to be here talking about my very first Tule novella, Bride By Mistake. I loved learning about Marietta, and adding my characters into this amazing world. I’ve always written about small towns and love exploring what that can mean for a person’s reputation and identity.

I was so lucky to land smack dab in the middle of the now-infamous celebrity wedding that connects all of the Montana Born Brides novellas together. My heroine, one of the floral designers for the wedding, is none too pleased with the crazy demands, but mostly, she’s dealing with her own problems!

Not only was it so fun to be able to join the Tule ranks, but I also got to work with my good friend Maisey Yates. We decided that not only would her hero be my heroine’s older brother, but that our heroes would be best friends who’d had a falling out.

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It was never a question of would they punch each other, it was only a question of why, and the challenge of somehow making them both…kinda right and kinda wrong. Possibly we’re also just a little weird and enjoy writing characters who get into a physical fight.

And here’s a little peek at said fight!

 He was taken off guard by the fist to his face, though he couldn’t say he was surprised. He’d figured this thing with Luke would have to come to blows eventually. He just thought he’d have a little more warning to throw up a block.

He stumbled backward, pain radiating across his cheekbone, and then Luke’s hand was grasping his shirt, propelling him back toward the wall.

“Stop that! Stop that right now!” Kaitlin yelled, charging for them, but Beckett held up a hand and she stopped short.

“Let him get it out of his system,” he said, trying to keep any pain or reaction out of his words. She might not think she was fragile, but he knew the life just coming to being inside of her was.

Luke shoved him hard against the wall, and when Beckett rolled his eyes, Luke gave another sharp push, fingers twisting tighter in his shirt.

“Listen to me and listen to me good, Beckett Larson. You will keep your bad seed shit away from her.”

He had all the best intentions of being reasonable and level headed—for Kaitlin. He didn’t want to cause her any more pain or stress. Not right now, but that little quip erased all the good intentions from his brain and his fist was connecting with Luke’s face before Beckett even realized he’d reared back his arm.

It was Luke’s turn to stumble backward, and Beckett’s turn to advance on him. “Get out of my apartment.”

“Not without—”

“Get out. Right. Now. Your sister and I have things to discuss and none of those things involve you.”

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Maisey Yates on Finally His Bride:

Maisey: When I first got involved with doing this series for Tule, I said to Nicole over text: I know! I’ll write your heroine’s brother!

Which sounded like a lot of fun, but of course I forget that collaborations with other authors are always take more coordination and a lot more consensus. Writing is usually pretty solitary, but when you’re bringing someone else’s characters onto your pages you have to find a balance between your voice and their vision.

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Fortunately, Nicole and I have one mind. (Except when it comes to pie. She doesn’t like pie because she’s weird and might not have a soul)

There were a few times our book world’s crossed. Here’s a scene between Luke and his sister Kaitlin in my book Finally His Bride:

“Luke,” she said, her eyes round.

“Yeah, did you think that I left town?”

“I wondered.”

He scowled. “You wouldn’t have had to wonder if you would have answered any of my phone calls.”

“I’ve been a little bit busy dealing with the epic curveball that I was just thrown my life, nothing personal.”

“What’s going on with you and Beckett?”

Kaitlin’s brows locked together. “Beckett is currently making like a burrowing owl up in my apartment.”

“I have no idea what that means.”

“It means he moved into my house,” she said. “Without giving you a biology lesson.”

“What? So he sells his stake in the business, is currently unemployed, knocks you up, and then moves in with you?”

Kaitlin’s hands curled into fists. “It isn’t like that.”

“I have half a mind to go over and boot his ass out.”

Kaitlin growled and Luke took a step back. He wasn’t used to his sister being quite so pigheaded. “Beckett is my problem, not yours. I’ll decide what to do with him when I’m ready.”

“Or, maybe you make a decision when he isn’t in your space trying to force your hand.”

“I didn’t say he was in my space. I didn’t say that I wanted him gone.”

“Well, do you want him there?” She said nothing, she just stared straight ahead, her eyes glittering, her expression defiant. “I didn’t think so. You need to get rid of him, the sooner the better. You’re going to have mom and dad support. You know you have mine. That is going to be nothing but a drain on you. You don’t need him involved.”

“It’s not your decision to make, Luke.”

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Thank you, Nicole and Maisey for the little peeks into your stories!  Readers, if you didn’t already grab your downloads for Bride By Mistake and Finally His Bride, do it soon.  And as always, I have a fun giveaway for one of you, full of books, giftcards, and girly goodies too!  For a chance to win, leave a comment below.  Tell me what you love most about weddings and you’ll be entered.  Contest ends Monday night with winner announced on Tuesday.

Erika Marks’ Forget Me Not

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I don’t know what I’m more excited about—being here on Jane’s fabulous blog, or getting the chance to invite y’all back to Magnolia Bay for another romance!

I hope you’re ready for summer, friends, because from where I’m sitting, it has arrived! The breeze is heavy with honeysuckle, the sunset hangs on a little longer in the sky, and the mint is muddled for mojitos. I’m no meteorologist, but I call this falling-in-love weather.

Speaking of love…Who here is a sucker for second-chance love stories?

(*Erika waves wildly from her chair* “Oh, me! Pick me!!”)

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Now we all know the saga of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and the phenomenon it became. From all appearances, the author seems to have weathered the media storm quite well—but what if the author wasn’t looking for fame and fortune as an erotica writer, I wondered? What if she never imagined her family and friends would find out what she was writing? And what if they—or her ex-boyfriend—did?

From there FORGET ME NOT was born.

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As a writer myself, I am always aware of the effect of my words on my loved ones—all writers are, certainly. But for Mallory, her words belonged to someone else, an alias known only as Farrah Ivory. Until the day her identity is revealed to the world, and the media firestorm that ensues sends her back home to hide—where she finds herself face-to-face with the boyfriend she left behind, Josh Loveless.

Now if you’ve been to Magnolia Bay before, then you already know those irresistible Loveless boys—and Josh is cut from the same sexy Loveless cloth. Josh is my kind of alpha. Strong in body and soul. But he’s no player. To me, there is nothing sexier than a man who knows what—and who—he wants. And Josh wants Mallory. At least, he used to, before she left Magnolia Bay five years earlier to pursue her writing career in New York City. When she goes, he moves on with his life and opens the outdoor adventure store he’s always dreamed of. But what about his heart? Well, he believes he’s moved on with that part of himself too…until Mallory rolls back into town, looking to ride out her scandal, and suddenly everything Josh thought he wanted gets as tangled up as a set of climbing wall ropes.

It certainly doesn’t help matters that everyone in town thinks Josh was the inspiration for Mallory’s rock-climbing, billionaire bad-boy—and ribs him for it mercilessly. And while some men might be flattered by the attention, Josh likes to keep his love life—and his athletic bedroom prowess—private.

For her part, Mallory Reynolds is no shrinking violet. No, ma’am. Yes, she’s embarrassed at all the attention, but she knows her books are as well-written as anyone else’s and while she’s willing to tuck her tail between her legs at first, she’s not about to apologize for her success—especially not to Josh who should know she’s still every bit the same fun-loving, good-hearted woman he fell in love with in high school. Has she changed some? Of course. How could she not?

I loved, too, exploring the theme of personal growth—both as we see ourselves, and as others see us. For Josh and Mallory to find their way back to each other will take more than forgiveness—it will take acceptance of a fundamental truth: we grow and we change. It is our right and, one might even argue in this book, our duty. (Fortunately for Josh and Mallory, their attraction to one another is the one thing that hasn’t changed!)

I hope Josh and Mallory’s second chance at love grows on you, too, friends.

Have you ever found yourself going home again years later? Was it the place you remembered? Were you?

Website: http://www.erikamarksauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ErikaMarksAuthor
Facebook/Magnolia Bay: https://www.facebook.com/magnoliabaybooks

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Erika, thank you for sharing with us today!  Readers, be sure to download your copy of Forget Me Not soon.

To help celebrate the release of Forget Me Not, we have a great Erika Marks prize full of good books, gift cards and fun stuff!  For a chance to win, leave a response to Erika’s questions and you’ll be entered!  Contest ends Thursday with winner announced Friday!

Dani Collins: A Year in Marietta, Montana

daniMy friend, Dani Collins, is back!  I don’t think she needs an introduction.  So I’m handing things straight off to her!

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I’m so excited to be back here on Jane’s blog, visiting with all of you! Jane’s fans are The Best! (And I know a lot of you are Tule fans, too. You are extra wonderful and amazing!)

When I wrote my first novella for Tule’s Montana Born, I didn’t realize I would have four novellas written before I could blink. They’re Just. So. Fun. I love visiting Marietta and after writing a Homecoming (Fall), a Christmas (Winter), and a Bachelor (Spring) story, I knew I wanted to write a June Bride story to round out the year.

Wouldn’t you spend a year in Marietta if you could?

The best part is, of course, working with the other authors in the series. Rachael and I were back and forth a few times with continuity points since I introduce her heroine’s daughter, Bella. She later borrows Blake’s son, Ethan, from Blame The Mistletoe.

(I’ll tell you a secret. We got so caught up in the potential of Bella and Ethan’s teen romance, I tried to convince my daughter to write it. She politely declined. Like most authors, she didn’t want to be told what to write, lol!)

I think one of the reasons I love Marietta is that I’m a small town girl at heart. I currently live outside a rural town of about four thousand and lift a lot from our local community.

For instance, Piper, the heroine of His Blushing Bride, arrived in my imagination via my son’s Christmas concert at the local high school. Their long-suffering yet beloved music teacher retired and was replaced by a young woman. This gave me the idea of an attractive, moderately hip New Girl taking over from her father as the music teacher at Marietta High.

Originally I was going to pair Piper with a boy band star longing to be taken seriously. Then I remembered Liz in Blame The Mistletoe had a brother who once worked at her mother’s nail salon. Hello. I needed to know more about that.

I adore Bastian and hope you will too. He’s a bit of a player, but who doesn’t love a reformed rake story? He starts out like a shaggy ne’er-do-well and ends up… Well, I wont’ spoil anything. Suffice it to say that even though he’s more in tune with his feminine side than most men, he’s still a bit of a blockhead with lessons to learn.

To celebrate my year in Marietta, I’ve put together this fun prize pack. I’ll be signing that Homecoming print anthology which contains my first Marietta novella, Hometown Hero. To enter, just tell me some of your Marietta wants and wishes.

If you could visit Marietta, who would you want to meet? Where would you go? How long would you stay?

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Wedding fever has hit the little town of Marietta…

Piper Tierney is busy wrapping up the school year and planning the music for Marietta’s Wedding Of The Century. She does not need one of her parents’ backpacking hippies under foot. Except the guy they let stay in their house is so much more than the California couch-surfer he resembles. Before she knows it, she’s making time to make time, even though he’s only in town for a couple of weeks.

Taking a break from working on his doctorate in political science, Sebastian Bloom wants to reassure himself his sister isn’t making another mistake with her upcoming wedding to a Marietta rancher. He’s definitely not looking for a bride for himself. Marriage and family are a trap. But Piper is cute, funny, and wants to move on from her ex.

They agree to a no strings affair, but will they wind up tying the knot?

Dani’s Montana Born series
Book 1: Hometown Hero
Book 2: Blame The Mistletoe
Book 3: The Bachelor’s Baby
Book 4: His Blushing Bride

Here’s an excerpt from His Blushing Bride

Whoa. Who was that?

Pulling into the driveway of her parents’ house, Piper jammed the car into park and stared at the guy leaning on the veranda rail. He wore a white T-shirt, faded jeans, and sneakers. He was reading the romance novel she’d left on the table between the two lounge chairs where she’d sat for five minutes and five pages while eating a breakfast wrap, catching this morning’s sun.

He lifted his head and Piper heard her own breath come in on a sharp inhale.

Wow. Good-bye virginity.

He was thirty-ish, muscled and tanned, had dirty blond hair that was overlong and shaggy, making him look very devil-may-care. Dark golden stubble coated his square jaw beneath hollow cheeks. When did the burgling industry start recruiting through modeling agencies?

Not bothering to pull into the garage since she had to run out again right away, she opened her door and set one foot on the ground, but kept the car between herself and the stranger. Marietta was about the safest place in the world, but she’d picked up some habits of caution at college in Billings. Her parents weren’t home and their neighbor was elderly. Better safe than sorry.

“Hi,” she greeted.

Inside the house, Charlie barked, letting her know he’d heard her pull in.

The stranger lifted one corner of his mouth in a friendly grin. “You must be Piper. You look just like your mother.”

“Do I?” She cocked her head, still cautious. “How do you know her?”

A flicker of surprise crossed his expression before his grin widened fractionally, making her feel like he was laughing at her. “I met Arlene two weeks ago, in Panama. With your father, Henry. They said I could stay in their house if I walked and fed the dog.” He thumbed toward the house, then came down the steps with his hand extended. “I’m Bastian. They said they were going to email you to let you know.”

“They did. Half an hour ago. It read like you wouldn’t be here for at least a week.” She hid her irritation as she stepped out of the car to slam the door and come around the hood.

Wow and wow again. He was tall and such nice shoulders—her fatal weakness. The line of his collarbone was even with the top of her head, filling her vision with his well-defined chest under that layer of damp, white cotton.

All she could think was the universe had picked up her call on the first ring and sent Mr. Fantasy in response. Which only made her feel obvious and juvenile as she tried to catch her breath. Shut that down right now, she told herself, trying to keep her cool, but honestly. He dazzled.

“They would have sent it last week,” he said, amusement dancing in his blue-green eyes.

Seriously. Who in real-life had eyes the shade of Caribbean waters? She couldn’t look away, they were so gorgeous.

“We met in a little town where the internet was really sketchy,” he explained. “The email might not have actually sent until they moved on to a bigger center and they had a decent signal.”

Terrific, she silently muttered, watching his mouth twitch. He knew exactly what was going on with her. He probably hypnotized women all the time. He was probably bored by her reaction.

“They said Sebastian, but you said Bastian?” She tried to pretend she wasn’t buzzing with electrified energy as she shook his hand. The contact actually made her pulse jump. Good grief, this was embarrassing. Since when did her hormones swarm for couch-surfing backpackers?

“Sebastian Bloom, but call me whatever you want.” He had a strong grip and wasn’t shy about letting his blue eyes roam.

When his gaze hung up on the right side of her face, she lost her comeback and pulled away, shifting her gaze to the open door of the car so she wouldn’t see the What is that? question form behind his eyes.

“Welcome to Marietta.” She ignored the way his callused palm left a lingering impression on her hand and she moved back to the car to gather her things. “We’ll go in through the back—oh!”

He had followed and was really close behind her. He took her school bag from her shoulder as she straightened and she stumbled against the car in surprise, flooded with a fresh rush of excitement. “What are you doing?

The corners of his beautiful mouth deepened. “Helping.”

He took her insulated coffee mug from her lax grip and stepped back, leaving her with the car keys and enough room to swing the door shut before she led him to where the backyard was fenced in six-foot cedar planking. It was her father’s effort to keep the deer from jumping in to decimate her mother’s garden, but Charlie had turned out to be the better deterrent.

Her back and bottom tingled as she walked in front of Bastian. Her breasts felt heavy and achy, making her blush at how physically she was responding to just being in his vicinity. This was so weird.

“Don’t you have luggage?” she asked over her shoulder as she held the wooden gate, trying to act normal, but he came through her space in a faint cloud of masculine scent and stallion power. Her knees felt weak, for heavens’ sake!

“Stolen. In Dallas, if you can believe it. I made it six months across South America, but lost everything fifteen minutes after I hit American soil. I was holding my wallet and passport and was wearing these clothes, but I had just tucked my phone into a pocket on the backpack so I lost that, too. Everything was saved to the cloud, but still.”

“Bummer.” Awesome. She was regressing to twelve. Try again, Piper. “Marietta seems an odd destination from Panama,” she commented. “Do you have family here?” And therefore, why aren’t you staying with them instead of making me feel like an idiot?

“My sister is here. She’s getting married—”

“You are not related to NancyLynn Pruitt,” she charged, letting the wooden gate slam closed with a clank of its catch. She didn’t know all the Pruitts, but she would have remembered Sebastian Bloom if he’d grown up around here.

“Never heard of her. No, my sister is Liz Flowers. You might know my niece, Petra. You teach at the high school, don’t you?”

“Oh! Second flute and keyboard.” She had talked to Bella about how Petra would be a sort of mentor and was new to the area, too. It had seemed a good match.

Piper saw a vague resemblance in Bastian’s blond, blue-eyed California looks now. Darn it, why did he have to have such a nice family connection? Now she couldn’t help but warm to him on a more personal level.

“Your sister is marrying Blake Canon, isn’t she? I know who he is, but I’m friendlier with his sister, Meg.” Meg was yet another woman in town glowing with the joy of a fresh relationship.

“Yeah, she’s the reason I needed a place to stay. Moved back home, I guess, so there’s no room for me at the ranch. I’d rather be in town anyway. It was nice of your parents to offer their house.”

Piper couldn’t help pausing on the porch steps, not the least surprised her parents had done it and confident in their judgment. They wouldn’t have sent a creep to Marietta, let alone their own house where their daughter lived over the garage. Still, Piper thought it was curious. “How did they know you were coming here?”

He shrugged. “It was just one of those things where you hear an American accent in a cantina and get to chatting. They said they were from Marietta. I said, small world and that I was coming here for my sister’s wedding…”

She nodded and moved to set the key in the lock on the back door. “Brace yourself,” she warned and opened it.

Charlie came out in all his excited glory, never jumping, but he had to scramble a frantic, wiggling figure eight around both pairs of legs, bumping and nosing, tail whapping crazily against their legs while he moaned a prolonged greeting of whines and near-howls.

“Lab and spaniel?” Bastian guessed, bending to pat and make friends. Best friends. Charlie tried to lick Bastian’s fingers right off his hands.

“That’s our guess. He’s a rescue and so happy to have a home it’s ridiculous.” She gave Charlie a few jostles and rubs as he came over to her, scrubbing his ears and getting under his collar before she nudged him toward the stairs and the lawn. “Go, you goof. Work out your kinks. I’ve had to leave him inside the last few days. The neighbor is having some work done and he just stands at the fence and barks the whole time. But he should be fine until I get back in an hour or so?”

“Where are you going?”

That took her slightly aback. It must have shown. His mouth twitched again.

She was getting really tired of being laughed at. Especially by a guy who looked a little too old to be living like a broke student taking a gap year.

“I need some things,” he explained patiently. “Clothes. Groceries. Does it make sense to drop me off and I’ll shop while you run your errands? Your parents said I could use their car, but why waste the gas? Unless the store is close enough to walk?”

“Oh. Of course.” She supposed it was reassuring to know he planned to buy his own food, but she’d just been looking forward to time alone to pull herself together and quit acting like an infatuated teenager. “I mean, you could walk, but it’s a long walk back if you have a lot to carry. I can drop you. It’s on the way. Let me put my bag away and get changed.” And maybe stop babbling. Argh.

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Bastion watched—and grinned—as Piper headed up the outside stairs on the side of the detached garage. The backs of her knees flashed from the short slit in her navy blue skirt. A stripe of red on the back of her heels matched the narrow strip of red that belted her white shirt. She was definitely working the hot teacher angle.

It was definitely working on him.

Even if she looked a shade too young for him. Not young, actually. If she was teaching she had to be mid-twenties. No, she seemed innocent. Inexperienced. Her reaction had been something like when his niece’s girlfriends met him and fell into an instant crush. They tended to giggle and blush—which had been an exciting reaction when he’d been a teenager himself, but these days just made him shake his head at having ever been so young.

Not that Piper had acted quite that immature, but she definitely didn’t have a handle on her reaction. Women her age, with a track record and an interest, usually looked at him with invitation. That, he liked.

If she’d waved him in with something like that, he would be upstairs with her right now. She was cute. Her blond hair looked glossy and soft, her brown eyes warm and confident despite the air of jittery shyness she projected. The way she’d angled her face told him she was self-conscious about the birthmark on her cheek, which maybe accounted for some of her wariness. He wanted to say, Forget about it. I already have.

He wondered how she’d react if he told her he was feeling all the same sparks and runs of heat, just hiding it better.

He hadn’t expected that. He’d seen the twinkle of a set up in Piper’s mother’s eye as she’d offered their house, mentioning that Piper could use the help with the dog since she was so busy. There’d been a note of caution—protectiveness maybe—in Henry’s tone as he’d agreed that of course Bastian could use their house.

Bastian had read the undercurrents and figured he’d be facing a woman of marriageable age, but Piper was no desperate spinster who needed her mother to find her a husband. That was serious temptation living a short fumble in the dark away. Good thing he knew how to keep a lid on his libido, because he was really tempted.

But he wasn’t about to repay his hosts’ kindness by banging their daughter. The Tierneys were obviously solid folk and Piper struck him as equally conservative. Best to keep her on the no fly list. He was only here a few weeks then heading home to California anyway. An affair would be awesome, amazing, a huge relief, really. But wasn’t going to happen. Not here. Not with Piper. 

Stepping into the house, he glanced around the laundry room, then walked through to the living area. It was a standard American bungalow, very middle-class and modest, like its owners. At the same time, it was luxury compared to some of the places he’d been staying. In those one-room shacks, the kitchen had usually been a single hotplate burner, the pantry a box about the size of a milk crate. If it had a tap, the water was cold. Refrigeration had been non-existent.

Scratching the prickling stubble on his jaw, he decided it was probably a good thing he’d come here instead of going straight back to L.A. The electricity and television were going to be culture shock enough, he thought wryly.

The old-fashioned landline and phone book were quaintly familiar, though. He used them to let Liz know he was in town and made plans to drive out and see her tomorrow. He was beat from over thirty hours of non-stop travel and tempted to fall on his face, but he would power through to the end of the day and hope to adjust his body clock quickly.

Besides, he wanted to talk more with Piper. He wasn’t going to make any moves, but flirting was harmless.

He watched her through the window over the sink, as she descended the stairs and he drank a glass of water. She’d changed into a pair of blue shorts and a white and blue striped T-shirt, losing the heels for a pair of open-toed flat sandals. Her legs were really nice. Long and slender with enough muscle and curve to make them very appealing. She’d tidied her ponytail, but otherwise didn’t look like she’d dressed to impress.

Maybe she isn’t interested, Bloom. Maybe you’re seeing something that’s not there.

He wasn’t at his best that was for sure. But even scruffy and decidedly white in a Latino and indigenous landscape, he’d garnered more than his share of female attention. Girls liked him. They always had.

“Are you going to behave yourself?” he heard Piper ask.

She was talking to Charlie, but he mentally answered with a beleaguered, I’ll try.

Charlie was acting like he hadn’t seen her in days. She bent to pet him and her shorts snugged her backside, making Bastian itch to take his time fondling and getting to know those bare thighs and plump cheeks.

He swallowed another gulp of cold water.

“If you bark, Mrs. Clements will tell me. Don’t think I won’t find out. Hear me? Ready?” she asked Bastian as she straightened, cheeks flushed, gaze skittering away from his.

She might not be interested, but she was definitely feeling the chemistry.

He patted for his wallet and nodded, silently letting out a slow breath as he took in the way her shirt hugged her breasts. Not heavy, but very nice.

He came to the door, but she didn’t move.

“I’ll just, um,” she edged around him in the small laundry room, taking a key off the hook behind his shoulder, giving him a whiff of girly smells and toothpaste. “Wait a sec before you lock it.” She grabbed a handful of kibble and stepped outside to throw it into the lawn. One foot came up and so did her shorts as she leaned over the rail, exposing even more of the backs of her thighs.

Dear God. Was she trying to kill him?

Award winning author Dani Collins wrote for twenty-five years before selling to Harlequin Mills & Boon in May of 2012. Since then, she’s turned in more than a dozen titles to Harlequin Presents and written four sexy, small-town novellas to Tule’s Montana Born. She has even found homes for some of her previously rejected manuscripts, including indie-publishing her single title romantic comedy, Hustled To The Altar and signing with a small press for her medieval fantasy, The Healer.

Dani doesn’t have any hobbies. She’s too busy writing. Look for Seduced Into The Greek’s World where Harlequin Presents are shelved and His Blushing Bride from Montana Born, which releases as an ebook on all platforms May 11th, 2015.

Stay current with Dani’s new releases by joining her newsletter or visiting her here:
danicollins.com | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

PURCHASE LINKS – Amazon: US | Canada | UK 
Chapters | Nook | Kobo | ARe | BooksaMillion | GooglePlay | iBooks | Smashwords

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Thank you, Dani for sharing with us today!  Readers, grab your copy of His Blushing Bride soon!  I also have a Dani Collins Book Girl giveaway for one lucky winner!  For a chance to win this prize, leave a comment below and you’ll automatically be entered to win!  Contest ends on Thursday with winner announced on Friday.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope you’re having a wonderful day.  I’m enjoying a very lazy Sunday with my husband and sons before the five of us walk down to the pier for a special dinner together.

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Tule Publishing is also celebrating moms with a special collection of 13 sweet and sexy stories by award winning and best selling authors including my novella that won the Rita award this past summer, Take Me, Cowboy. Even better? This digital boxed set is just .99 through tonight, so if you haven’t downloaded it yet, do it today before the price goes up!

Download a copy here: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE KOBO iBOOKS | GOOGLE PLAY

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I’m home for another couple weeks and then I’m kicking off seven weeks of book events for my new women’s fiction release, It’s You.   Several of my events are sit down afternoon teas for a perfectly relaxed (and civilized!) book chat.  Please see if you can join me for any of the events listed below:

May 30th – San Jose, CA  1:30 pm
Afternoon Tea at Lisa Tea Treasure

June 7th –Seattle, WA 2 pm
Afternoon Tea at Salish Lodge

June 14th – Laguna Beach, CA 4 pm
Wine, Cheese & Book Chat at Laguna Beach Books

June 28th – Nashville, TN
Afternoon Tea – More details to come!

June 29th – Marietta, GA  6:30 pm
Author event with Wendy Wax at Book Exchange

July 26th – Maplewood, NJ  2:00 pm
Book Chat & Social at [words] bookstore

And lastly, what is Mother’s Day without a treat for one of you?  I have a special Mother’s Day giveaway and all you have to do to enter is tell me in the comments how you’re spending your day.  That’s it!  The winner will be drawn on Tuesday so do say hello now for a chance to win some Mother’s Day love!

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I hope your weekend will be wonderful.  Wishing you all the  best today, and every day.

Scarlet Wilson: The Fun of the Wedding Dress

scarlet_wilsonDear Readers,

One of my favorite authors and a truly talented one, Scarlet Wilson launched the 2015 Montana Born Brides series at Tule Publishing this week and I couldn’t be more excited.  I love bridal stories and Scarlet’s story, The Fairy Tale Bride makes it so easy to fall in love with the magic and fervor of a wedding.

I’ve invited Scarlet to share the fun of weddings with us on JaneBlog.  Thank you, Scarlet, for joining us!

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Don’t you just love to look at wedding dresses?

Wedding dresses play a big part in our new Montana Born Bride wedding series – after all every bride has to have one!  My heroine Lisa, owns the bridal salon in Marietta, so she gets the joy and sometimes pain of trying to help every bride find her dream dress.  But what would your dream dress look like?

Let’s have a look at some.  There have been a number of royal brides over the last few years.  How can forget Kate’s beautiful dress when she married Prince William?

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There’s also been Sweden’s royal wedding where Princess Madeline married her US banker Chris O’Neil.  She looked really stunning.

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One of my favourite dress was from a few years ago when Lady Sarah married Daniel Chatto.  I loved her dress!

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But what about dresses from the movies?  The latest Disney Cinderella movie has a spectacular dress that is now available via Alfred Angelo.  You can have your very own Disney Cinderella wedding dress! (photo credit Jonathan Olley/Disney).

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Finally, what do you think of the wedding dresses of all our brides in the series?  Do you have a favourite?  I might – but then again, I might be biased!

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Love,
Scarlet

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The reviews for The Fairy Tale Bride have been wonderful so far and I know some of you have enjoyed this story too.  For those of you who may not have read it yet, be sure to grab your copy soon.  You’ll love this cute and heartwarming story!

And speaking of cute, I’ve got a fun reader prize for one of you in celebration of this series!  Leave a comment, tell me what you thought of Scarlet‘s story if you’ve already read it or tell me what you love most about weddings and you’ll be entered for a chance to win!  Contest ends Sunday with winner announced on Monday.

Roxanne Snopek: Girlfriends, Rock Stars and Romance Novels

81gs8ZPvcNL._UY200_I am so very happy to have talented Canadian author, Roxanne Snopek, join us today as a guest on my blog.  I’ve been a fan of Roxanne’s for awhile and was thrilled when she agreed to write a story for Tule.  Readers were thrilled with Roxanne’s story, too, and the one story became an entire series for Tule Publishing.

Roxanne, thank you so much for taking time to join us today and talk about Cinderalla’s Cowboy, the fourth story in your popular This Old House series.

Roxanne Snopek:

So, full disclosure: my recent release, Cinderella’s Cowboy, isn’t a girlfriend story. Nor is it about rock stars. It’s about a shy hardworking graphic designer who falls for a wealthy but secretly insecure playboy rancher. She’s got a nervous stammer. He’s got a “toothpaste ad” grin. There are mustangs. And a lost kitten.

Those are the broad strokes.

But under the pesky plot points, the story is about letting other people in, letting yourself be the star of your own story, breaking free of past mistakes and embracing hope despite the chance of heartbreak. As for girlfriends, my heroine, Cynthia, doesn’t have a lot of time for socializing. Her main “girlfriends” are her two stepsisters and they’re a mixed bag of good and evil.

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I identify a little with all my characters, and I certainly identify with Cynthia. I don’t have stepsisters, but I do have my most beloved sister, mother and daughters, two treasured sisters-in-law and a precious but few real-life sisters-of-the-heart-girlfriends.

But in addition to those flesh-and-blood relationships, I have an ever-widening circle of virtual friends, a gift I’d never imagined a mere decade ago. Many of these on-line friends are other writers, mostly romance writers, and I will tell you now, these novelists are the rock stars of the book world.  Some I’ve never met in person, though I hope to one day. Others I’ve met once or twice, but consider them as dear as my “real life” friends.

And some of these friends are connected to my world of words in other ways: as readers, reviewers, bloggers, publicists, editors….

You’re in here somewhere and can I just give you a virtual hug? You mean more to me than you know.

We romance readers don’t shy away from reality, as we are sometimes criticized wrongly as doing. (What do these people know anyway?) We’re all about facing and overcoming the things that hold us back, finding the good around us and allowing ourselves to look past fear and find love. We’re all working towards being the the heroines of our own journeys and the stories we love affirm this ambition.

Girlfriends, you’re all rock stars who deserve the spotlight and I, for one, am cheering for you all the way.

As Cynthia says:

Take risks, reach for the stars!

 

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Roxanne, thanks so much for stopping by today!  Readers, Cinderella Cowboy is a must read so be sure to download your copy soon if you haven’t already done it.

To help Roxanne celebrate her new release, I’ve got a cute Canadian giveaway for one luck winner!  Leave a comment and you’ll automatically be entered to win!  Contest ends Thursday with winner announced on Friday.

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A Chat with Sally Kilpatrick

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADear Readers,

I met wonderful debut author Sally Kilpatrick in San Antonio at RWA and was charmed.  She’s fun and warm and easy to talk to and I knew you’d all enjoy hearing from her too.  Sally’s book, The Happy Hour Choir just hit shelves a few days ago and I had to invite her on JaneBlog for a quick chat!

Help me welcome Sally Kilpatrick! —

Please tell us about your new book.
In The Happy Hour Choir, a fallen from grace honky-tonk piano player falls for a minister, and two worlds collide. I like to think it’s a story about finding the best in people. I wrote it in the southern fiction tradition: sassy, quirky people who don’t always do the right thing.

What prompted or inspired you to tell this story?
I started this story as the answer to “What if you were named Beulah Land but you weren’t religious enough to please your parents?” It just so happened I was at a point in my writing where I wanted to write something for me. I was so tired to trying to figure out what other people wanted to read/buy, and this story was a way to find joy in the writing process again.

Where did you grow up?  Tell us something about your childhood.
I grew up in West Tennessee, spent my whole life in the same little place. I think I was finally drawn to writing about small southern towns because I miss home. I know I’m with the person I need to be with and living where I need to live, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss my parents, friends and family, and the country.

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Any writing rituals you simply must follow?
I really need to look into these rituals of which you speak. It often seems my kids’ schedules conspire against my having any sort of routine or ritual. When on road trips, I always say “Pee while you can.” In the course of any given week, I sigh, “Write while you can.”

What would you say are two of the most important things you’ve realized in your journey as a published writer?
You absolutely cannot compare yourself to other authors because that leads to professional jealousy, which is pure poison. When you can honestly be happy for the success of your fellow writers, you’ll know your head’s in the write place to be published yourself. Oh, and good things come to those who wait: work hard but don’t rush it. As Miracle Max says in The Princess Bride, “You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.”

Best piece of writing advice you’d want to share with writers just starting out?
You gotta finish the book. You’ll never learn how until you’ve done it at least once. Also, you can’t fix an unfinished book, and you sure as heck can’t sell it.

What are you working on next?
I’m working on another southern fiction—set in the same town—called The Baptist Wife Swap. What are the odds the publisher’s going to let me keep that title?

Name five items sitting on your desk right now.
Too many stacks of papers, Hermione Grainger’s wand, one of the tractors from the movie Cars, a Dammit doll, and an Evan Gattis bobblehead. *moment of silence for the loss of Gattis to the Astros*

Tell us something personal that not many readers know about you.
This is hard because I tend to share all the things on Twitter. Hmmm. I originally wanted to be an English Professor who specialized in the American Romantics? I have a minor in Women’s Studies? I once rustled some cattle accidentally? The first published author to read any of my work dismissed it out of hand? I was eighteen at the time and no clue what a big deal it was to even have Elizabeth Spencer looking at my work.

What is your life motto?
No experience is wasted if you learn something from it. I tell myself this a lot when I mess something up.

Title and author of the latest book you read?
Most recently finished would be The Habit of Being: The Letters of Flannery O’Connor. I’m usually reading at least four books at a time. At the moment, I’m finally reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, A Perfect Man by Cecilia Dominic, Good With His Hands by Tanya Michaels, and this book called Boundaries. Oh, and I just finished my first Mary Robinette Kowal, Shades of Milk and Honey.

What’s your astrological sign? 
I am such an Aquarius.

Rock or country music?

Dance/hip-hop. No, I’m kidding I listen to ALL OF THE MUSIC. I write while listening to movie soundtracks. We listen to lots of rock on road trips, and I’ve been progressively listening to more country even though I used to hate it back in the day. Lots of dance/hip-hop for running, and I have a Spotify playlist for The Happy Hour Choir that’s heavy on New Orleans jazz and bluegrass versions of hymns—well, that and country bar songs. Because those go together.

Cat person or dog person?
I like pretty much all animals except, say, snakes and vermin. I tend toward cats, though, because earning a cat’s affection is a real accomplishment.  I finally caved and have two indoor cats for the first time in my life. As a kid, all of my pets had to live outside—especially the cow.

Unable to decide between literature and writing, Sally Kilpatrick received an individualized B.A. in both from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. After eight years of teaching Spanish (because that’s what you do with an English major), she earned her MAPW from Kennesaw State University. She has since sold three books to Kensington. The first of these, The Happy Hour Choir, she began while a student at KSU. She serves as President of Georgia Romance Writers and lives with her husband and two kids in the figurative shadow of the Big Chicken in Marietta, GA. You can also find her at www.sallykilpatrick.com or on Twitter under the handle @SuperWriterMom.
Look for Sally’s new release here – Kensington | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Marietta Book Exchange

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Thanks for sharing with us, Sally!  Readers, do look for Sally’s book on the above links when you’re book shopping next! To help Sally celebrate, I’m also offering a fun Bookgirl giveaway worth $40 for one lucky winner.  For a chance to win books, goodies and cool new reader swag, leave a comment here and you’ll be entered! Winner announced Tuesday.

 

#TBT The Princess Brides!

In honor of the soon-to-be-born royal baby, here is a throwback to one of my series featuring princesses. This trio of dramatic royal romances from 2004 features three sisters: Princess Chantal (the oldest sister, The Greek’s Royal Mistress), Princess Nicollette (the middle sister, The Sultan’s Bought Bride), and Princess Joelle (the youngest sister, The Italian’s Virgin Princess).

These books were hard to find until re-released in recent years in ebook and are now all available on Kindle. Excerpts that were not posted when this new site of mine launched last fall are now up for your reading enjoyment — just click on any title above for an excerpt, and cover below for the Kindle link.

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Part of the great fun in writing the Princess Brides trilogy was the research! I love all things royal! I documented a bunch for readers in my Book Extras. I invite you to revisit these wonderful books from early in my career with:

#Celebrate favorites from yesteryear! Have you recently seen a title and thought, “I read that so long ago… and loved it!” Tell me about it in the comments. Maybe you discovered a title in an author’s backlist you never knew about… Or tell me about your travels to Greece or New Orleans. Or tell me if these books are brand new to you and if you downloaded one for your Kindle (that’s important, because if you win, I’ll know which book not to send you.) I’ll pull three commenters at random and send a signed vintage hardback copy of one of these books. They only ever printed a few of these UK library editions, and I have a princess for three lucky readers!  Winners announced on Monday.

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Mary McDonough’s New Release

whiteshirt+(2)My son has been so fortunate to work with an incredible acting and life coach, Mary McDonough.  She’s a wonderful woman and so very talented and I’m delighted to have her as a guest on my blog as we celebrate the launch of her new book, One Year.

If you loved Mary McDonough on the Waltons, and have followed her career since, you’ll want to pick up her newest release.

The Fitzgibbons–especially the women–have long been the backbone of Oliver’s Well, Virginia. Matriarch Mary Bernadette is still striking and tireless at seventy-five, with a generous heart that belies her sometimes sharp tongue. Her husband, Paddy, owns the local landscaping business, daughter Grace is a nun, and son Pat and his wife Megan are successful lawyers. Her grandson, PJ, and his new wife, Alexis, live in a charming cottage behind the main house. Church, family, tradition, and the local historical society–everything Mary Bernadette cherishes is in Oliver’s Well. But below the surface, there are fractures.

Megan sees the strained relationship between her husband and Mary Bernadette, who has never quite recovered from the painful loss of her first-born son. Megan too is torn between gaining her mother-in-law’s approval and living life on her own terms. Alexis loves PJ deeply yet chafes against his grandmother’s influence in their marriage. Then a looming scandal brings unexpected tragedy, compelling the Fitzgibbons to determine the depth of their loyalty, find their strength–and repair the bonds that have held a town, and a family, together for so long.

With warmth and an abundance of insight, Mary McDonough artfully captures the shifting dynamics of family life–and the revelations they may bear just in time.

“Mary McDonough played Erin on the beloved TV show, The Waltons.  Now in her debut novel, a heartfelt, charming story set in a picturesque small town in Virginia, she portrays three generations of women in a modern Irish-American family as they navigate marriage, motherhood and independence.”  Library Journal

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Mary McDonough is a born and raised “Valley girl.” Born into an Irish Catholic family, she attended Catholic school until she was cast as Erin on the award winning television series, The Waltons.
Lessons From the Mountain is Mary’s first book. In this strikingly honest book, McDonough shares the story of her overnight transformation from a normal kid in a working class family, to a Hollywood child star. She reveals intimate memories of life in and around that idyllic Virginia farmhouse. Touching, funny, sometimes heartbreaking, and always illuminating, Lessons from the Mountain is the story of everything Mary McDonough learned on her journey over–and beyond–that famous mountain.
A sought-after speaker and workshop leader she guides women and teens toward improving their body image through healthy lifestyle choices. Her workshops help individuals create personal change, life balance, and return to a sense of self. Mary’s workshop: BODY BRANDING, GETTING COMFORTABLE WITH THE SKIN YOU’RE IN explores how we choose to “Brand” ourselves and then project that personal branding to the world. “BODY BRANDING” examines how we can undo the negativity about ourselves and change the picture you offer of yourself to the world. Mary also teaches acting as a method of raising confidence and improving communication skills.
Mary left the “Valley” when she got engaged and moved to the OC. She lives there with Don and their blended family, including her lap dog Runtie who was instrumental in the writing of her book. For more on Mary visit MARYMCDONOUGH.COM

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Please help me welcome Mary to JaneBlog and do check out her new release.  And as always, I have a great prize for you.  Leave a comment for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card plus some awesome reader swag!  Contest ends Friday with the winner announced on Saturday.