Cover Reveal: Geek Groom

geekgod

Sometimes I need a swift kick in the pants to get something finished. Such is the case with Geek Groom. It's nearly finished. So what better way to ensure that I get it done than to show off the cover, and promise you that it will be available before the end of the month. 

I know. I"m nothing if not silly.

I wish I had a blurb to share with you, but alas, I'm too busy writing the book to write about the book. Instead, I thought I'd share a few of my favourite quotes with you.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, this is the continuation of Jillian and Evan's story that I started with Geek God. 

Finally, a huge thanks to my bestie, Crystal McLellan, for not only designing yet another amazing cover for me, but for letting me hang out with her in her studio while she did the photoshoot. The rings are hers. The dice are mine.

I hope you enjoy!

When I was a little girl there were a lot of things I imagined I’d be doing in the months leading up to my wedding. Going for a mani-pedi. Check. Trying on a million gowns. Check. Choosing a china pattern. Check. Groping the hairy legs of what I hope are men while trying to determine which one is my clearly up-for-anything groom. Nope. That was most certainly not on the list.
— Jillian Carew, Geek Groom
My love, your family would have to be pretty bad to stop me from wanting to spend the rest of my life with you. Like, lich-king bad. Demon-spawn bad. And even then, I could be swayed to the dark side because you’re a pretty fine temptress.
— Evan Sharp, Geek Groom
I know, girls. I know all too well that feeling that hits you in the stomach the first time you lay eyes on him. It doesn’t go away. Sometimes he’ll be putting milk in the fridge and I’ll look at the way his shirt pulls taut across his back. It’s swoon-worthy. But nothing, not his arms, his face, his hair—not even his ass—is as remarkable as the man he is inside. And he’s all mine.
— Jillian, Geek Groom


Passionate Kisses: Sydney Holmes

Ugh. I hate it when the world conspires to set you back a bit. My apologies to the wonderful Sydney Holmes, who I know has been looking forward to seeing her post live in the world today. Better late than never, right? So without further mumble, let's get busy and check out some of the awesome images Sydney shared with me when talking about her contribution to the Passionate Kisses boxed set. (4 DAYS AWAY!!!)

Book?  Awakening

Inspiration? Two people so entwined nothing else matters

Ryan? Dark, handsome, mysterious

Nora? Standing on a precipice

Boundaries? Searching

Romance? Laughing, loving, tender with enough sparks to feed an inferno

Next? Awake

Sydney? There is nothing better than that first jolt of adrenaline one gets when soul mates touch for the first time. 

Click here to learn more about the elusive Sydney Holmes. 

Passionate Kisses: Allie Boniface

When I was approached about joining this awesome group of romance authors for the Passionate Kisses boxed set, I really had no idea just how many wonderful authors I was going to be working with.

 

Today I'm excited to have Allie Boniface here sharing some of the images that she thinks best sum of her work. And just like I have a bit of a fascination with icebergs, Allie loves lighthouses. That speaks to my Newfoundland heart. 

Book? Beacon of Love

Inspiration? Every lighthouse I've ever visited

Lindsey Point? Small coastal town with plenty of secrets...

Lucas? Hunky handyman

Sophie? Precocious news reporter 

Romance? Sensual to steamy

Next? Inferno of Love, book 2 in the series! 

Allie? Teacher, writer, music-lover, workout devotee and chocoholic 

Click on Allie's boots to learn more about her!

Click on Allie's boots to learn more about her!

Where's my happily-ever-after? - Blog Hop (Soap Opera edition)

Many thanks to the lovely Deb Nam-Krane for inviting me to be a part of her delicious Soap Opera blog hop. 

I have to confess that these days I don't watch much TV. But growing up, the stories (what we called soaps) were always a part of life.

My best friend adored Santa Barbara, especially Cruz and Eden. She was obsessed, and we both longed for the long golden hair and California tan of Eden and her sister, Kelly. (I just blew my own mind right there by remembering Robyn Wright's character name) I found it hard to get excited over the romance though, because to my 15 year old self, Cruz was too old for me to get excited over. 

I think my first soap hero crush might have been Frankie on Days of Our Lives. Or maybe it was Joey on One Life to Live. It's hard to remember. Both shows held my attention. My grandmother is responsible for bring One Life to Live, and All My Children, into my life. Just as she introduced me to romance novels, she was also my gateway into ABC soaps. It was amazing to watch how much she loved bad-boy Todd on OLTL, while also cheering for Max (they were both involved with Blair). But her truly favourite show was All My Children. Tad, Adam, Noah (sigh), Mateo, she loved them all. No matter where she went, she made sure she taped her story. I can still recall the day she decided she was done. I think she was about seventy-six at the time. They'd gotten too silly for her. 

My other grandmother still follows what I call the Young and the Useless. My dad calls it the Young and the Hopeless. But my mother and her mother are addicted to Y&R. If I got in the car right now and popped down to Mom's, I bet I'd find her and Dad watching it. They might not realize it, but it's their after supper ritual. My father pretends that he's not watching, but for someone who doesn't watch, he sure knows all the characters and what's happening. 

I've never had the addiction the way others have. And yet, perhaps mine is the most inexplicable. I'm not addicted to a show as much as I'm addicted to a couple. And not just any couple. For me, they are the most romantic, most tortured, most compelling couple of any soap. I'm talking about Sonny and Brenda on General Hospital. I'm not even sure how I became enamoured. I do remember an aunt of mine coming to my parent's house when she'd get off work to watch GH after work. That was my only exposure to the show. And yet, the moment I first saw the sparks fly between Sonny and Brenda, I was hooked. I didn't care about anything else that happened on that show. But put either of them on the screen, and I was spellbound. 

Confession time. From time to time, I'll go on youtube and watch random Sonny and Brenda scenes. In case you don't follow GH, there are times when Vanessa Marcil, who plays Brenda, quits the show, or gets fired, or whatever. I stop watching. And then, I'll hear a rumour that she's coming back, and like the addict I am, I'm tuning in. 

Why? Because I'm still waiting for my darn happy ending. The romance writer in me craves it. And those producers know it. What soap couple has ever gotten a real happily ever after? It drives me nuts, and yet, it's what pulls me back every time I hear that there might be a chance for Sonny and Brenda to finally grow old together. I know. It'll never happen. But a girl can hope, right? 

So here's a question. What soap couple draws you into the story over and over and over again? Who do you wish the writers would just stop torturing us with and let them grow old happy and content without dying, possession, amnesia, the mob, bombs, psycho twins, and witchcraft tearing them apart? 

I'm going to give away an ebook to one random commenter. :) 

And now, a little Sonny and Brenda. Just to make me sigh. 


Sarah Hegger: The Bride Gift

The lovely Sarah Hegger

The lovely Sarah Hegger

A huge welcome to Sarah Hegger today. Sarah is one of the awesome authors responsible for the Romance Weekly blog I do each week, and she's just released her debut novel, The Bride Gift. 

I had a chance to sit down with Sarah this week and ask her about her awesome historical romance. Why not take a look at our conversation!

Click on this cover to go to Amazon.com 

Click on this cover to go to Amazon.com 

Welcome Sarah! Can you tell us about “The Bride Gift” in two or three sentences? (I love this question because it forces us to get to the heart of the story.)

The Bride Gift is essentially about a woman trying to control her destiny in impossible circumstances. She finds her champion in just the sort of man she swore she would never marry. She learns that life does not always give you what you want, but with a bit of courage, you can get what you need.

Tell us a bit about your hero, Guy. Is there anyone you could compare him to?

Guy of Helston was a great character to write. Totally non-verbal, he’s big and bad and a total warrior on the surface. Beneath that is a man of honor and integrity who will do anything for those he loves. I suppose he is most like Wolverine from The X-Men.

Who would you cast to play him in the movie version?

It’s a bit predictable, but Hugh Jackman comes the closest.

Yum! Although I think your hero on the cover looks like Jake Gyllenhaal. What is it about him that stirs Helena, your heroine?

His sheer alpha maleness gets to her at first. And then she discovers the gentle man beneath that and she’s a goner.

What do you like best about your heroine?

I like the contrasts. Demure on the outside, but she has a mouth on her like a soldier. She looks like a damsel in distress, but has the heart of a true warrior. 

Who would you cast to play her?

Kate Hudson, only with long, long, long hair.

Was there anything in this book that surprised you when you were writing it?

I’m such a planner that I don’t often get surprised by my books as I write them. But the ending, and I’m not going to give away too much. I had an entirely different idea planned, but Helena wouldn’t go there.

This is your first novel. Can you tell us a bit about how it came to life?

It started years ago as a novel called Forgotten Bride. I never managed to finish it and last year, I was clearing through old files and discovered it again. It has changed a lot from that first draft. In Forgotten Bride, Helena was just that. She was married at a young age to a man who put her in a castle and went on with his life. When he decided it was time to discover her again, Helena was not happy and barred him from his own castle. That was the seed and the rest of it germinated from there.

This is how it ended up:

It’s 1153 in the period dubbed ‘The Anarchy’, King Stephen and Empress Maud are not the only ones embroiled in a fierce battle of the sexes.

Determined to control her own destiny, willful Helena of Lystanwold has chosen just the husband to suit her purposes. But, when her banished guardian uncle attempts to secure her future and climbs through her bedroom window with a new husband by a proxy marriage, she understandably balks. Notorious warrior Guy of Helston is everything Helena swore she would never marry; a man who lives by the sword, like the man who murdered her sister.

This marriage finally brings Guy close to his lifetime dream of gaining lands and a title. He is not about to let his feisty bride stand in his way. A master strategist, Guy sets out to woo and conquer his lady.

Against a backdrop of vengeance, war and betrayal, Guy and Helena must learn to forge a united front or risk losing everything.

What’s the allure of the early 12th century for you?

I write both historical and contemporary. What I like about the historical writing is that fantasy element. There is something unashamedly romantic about knights and ladies. The reality was very different, but that’s why I write romance. I get to build the fantasy.

Who is Sarah Hegger and what can we expect next from you?

I have another medieval coming out in September this year called Sweet Bea. It’s the first in the Sir Arthur’s Legacy Series. Next year, my three contemporary novels, The Willow Park Romances, will hit the shelves. There is more detail on all of these on my website.

This is the official bio and it’s pretty much who I am.

Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.

Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.

She currently lives in Draper, Utah with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.

She is always delighted to hear from you. Sarah can be reached at any and all of the following places:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

 

 

I’m a big fan of dialogue. Can you share a quick snippet of one of your favourite dialogue passages with us?

This passage is right in the first chapter and is how Helena discovers she is married.

Her shoulders slumped suddenly, as if the weight became too much to bear. All the fight seemed to rush out of her on a sigh. “I have been so worried about you. I thought you might be dead.”

Her voice quavered on that last sentence, and Guy’s guts tightened. Sweet Jesu. Please, no tears. He couldn’t abide the tears.

“There now, sweet Nell.” Roger lowered himself onto the bed beside her. He gathered the girl into his arms. “Whist now, Nell. All is not lost and I came as fast as I could. Hush now, sweeting.”

Guy shifted his weight, uncomfortable at witnessing such a private scene.

Her eyes flew to him. Her mouth dropped open. “Who are you?”

Guy would as lief be strung up by his toes than answer her question. This was Roger’s idea, not his.

“Er, Nell.” Roger drew back from her gently. “May I present Guy of Helston?”

“The ‘Scourge of Faringdon?’”

Guy clenched his fists. The name was like a curse he never escaped.

“Nell,” Roger admonished, “he does not like to be called such.”

“Then he should not have earned it,” the lady snapped. “What is he doing in my bedchamber?”

“He is your . . . husband.”

 Where can we buy The Bride Gift?

The Bride Gift is available now on Amazon.

 

Thanks so much Sarah for stopping by! I can't wait to see your next book out in the world!

 

Great Scot! Bound to the Highlander is one hot read.

Author Kate Robbins

Author Kate Robbins

In case you don't know, there's more than one romance writer here in Newfoundland. My pal, and awesome author, Kate Robbins, recently released her debut novel, Bound to the Highlander. It's the first in her planned Highland Chiefs Series, and let me tell you, if you like your highland romances with a good dose of political intrigue, historical realism, and a smokin' hot hero, then Bound to the Highlander is for you. 

Bound to the Highlander, or BTTH as we like to call it, delves into the heart of James MacIntosh, head of his clan and ally with the new Scottish King. Aileana Chattan discovers she’d bound to this Laird, and it’s not a bond she’s looking forward to since she is not a fan of the new King, or of James’ politics. Still, there’s a smoldering bond between them that can’t be denied. 

Click here to go to Amazon and get your copy of Bound to the Highlander

Click here to go to Amazon and get your copy of Bound to the Highlander

James is a highland hero you won’t soon forget. And Aileana is as modern a woman as she can be for her period. When you put them together, you get a larger-than-life story that’s as big on conflict as it is on love.

Kate Robbins is on a whirl-wind blog tour and I'm so happy that she agreed to pop on to my little old blog here for a quick chat. So let's get to it. 

Tell me how you first conceived the idea of BTTH.

I was listening to two friends talk about Gerry Butler and Hilary Swank's meeting on a lovely country road in Ireland [in the movie PS I Love You] and just started writing James and Aileana's first meeting.

What five words would you use to describe James?

Arrogant. Cocky. Driven. Holyhellahot. Strategic.

Holyhellahot. I concur! What five words would you use to describe Alieana?

Headstrong. Loyal. Intelligent. Passionate. Honourable.

This novel is very much what some might call an old school Highland Romance. How do you think BTTH differs from a lot of new highland romances out there?

Hmmmm. In the sense of time frame it's different, but I think most Highlander Romances strive to weave in the political/social/religious climate which is what I've worked hard to achieve. So readers of Scottish romance might see a new century to learn about, but I hope I've delivered on all the essentials.

I write about Newfoundland because I write what I know. Does that addage "Write what you know" come into play in your work? And if so, how?

Yes, very much so. I've always been fascinated with Scotland, right from my teenage years and the first Highland Romance I read by Johanna Lindsay, A Gentle Feuding. I've acquired so much material on Scotland and have now visited twice to see the places I've set my stories in up close and personal so to speak. I'd love to spend more time there in the future.

If you had to cast someone to play James, who would it be? 

My vision for James MacIntosh is the late Andy Whitfield. He looked and sounded exactly how James is in my head. Imagine my surprise on my return flight from the UK in September when I ended up sitting beside Andy Whitfield's doppleganger! I'm certain he must has thought there was something wrong with me. And I'm certain I did not actually drool. o_O

Side note: I had no idea who Andy Whitfield was so I had to google it. When I saw him, I had to share him with you! You're welcome. :)

Andy Whitfield

Andy Whitfield

What's it like being a romance author in Newfoundland?

Well, as you know there's not too many of us here so it's been an interesting experience so far. I've had to virtually leave the province to find romance writer associations like Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the chapter closest to me, Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada (RWAC).

I'd love to meet more romance authors here and maybe expand knowledge of the genre in this province. I'm fairly certain there are others here just as there are many romance readers here. Would be wonderful to bring more Newfoundland romance authors and readers together.

When can we get our hands on the next book?  

I'm currently editing book two, Promised to the Highlander, and hoping to have it all pretty and polished to send off to my publisher by the end of October. I work full time so I am in a constant state of juggling my time. Hopefully I'll have some good news to share sooner rather than later.

 


So there you have it. A little insight into Kate's mind when she was writing BTTH. It's currently available as an e-book at Amazon.  

And finally, if you love that brooch on the cover of the novel, Kate is giving one away at the end of her blog tour. All you have to do to enter is comment on my post, or over on her website: Into The Highland Mist

  

Let the writing begin

Now that Against Her Rules is out in the world, it's time to get back to work. I have several projects in the pot, as they say, and now just need to get cracking.  

First up, of course, is the second book in the Heart's Ease series. Daphne meets her match in this book, although I'm still trying to figure out who that might be. Aunt Ida will be front and centre again, and we'll get to see what happens when she finally takes her trip to Scotland.  

My second project is one that long-time blog followers know all about. I haven't given up on the regency romance. I'm contemplating giving it a read this week, and seeing if I'm inspired to move on. Part of me would love to have a draft of it complete before I head off to Georgia next month for the Romance Writer's of America national convention. 

And thirdly, I've recently pulled out an old manuscript that I'd submitted to Harlequin many many years ago... 2002 to be exact. I've given it a read through and think that with some modernization, it could be ready to go out pretty quickly. My big question with this one is if I should self-publish it like I did with Against Her Rules, or shop it around to some publishers. In today's market, it's hard to know what to do.  

The upside of self-publishing is that I'm in control of everything. The edits, the story, the cover, the marketing. My success or failure is all up to me. The downside of self-publishing is also that I'm in control of everything. It leaves a lot less time to just sit back and devote all my time to writing. Ah, the double-edged sword.  

Anyway, if you have any suggestions on which project you think I should be devoting the lion's share of my time to, feel free to comment. One thing I know I need to do is set myself a deadline. I accomplish nothing without a firm goal. I'd like to have book 2 in the Heart's Ease series out by October, but if one of the other two projects rises to the top, then you might see one of those instead. 

Don't you just love a vague future? I do!  

 

I'm going on tour—a Blog tour!

You know how in the movies about a writer they go on a whirlwind tour, hitting up lots of cities and visiting bookstores across the continent? Yea, well, that's not quite the life of a self-published author with an ebook. :) These days authors, whether they are traditionally published or have gone the independent route like me, tend to do what's known as a blog tour. 

Here's how it works. Other authors, reviewers, or people generally interested in reading that have a blog of their own host the author. Sometimes they interview them, other times they might invite the author to guest post, and sometimes they'll just review the book. Over the next month or so I'm lucky enough to have some great bloggers doing just that for me.  

The tour kicks off tomorrow when I'm interviewed by historical romance author Kate Robbins! I can't wait to see it, and I can't wait for you to check it out. Don't worry, I'll post a link for you.  

Let the tour begin!  

 

Oh my goodness...I'm a published author!

Less than 24 hours ago, my first novel went out into the world for all to see. It was much faster than I thought. When I uploaded it on Tuesday evening I thought it would be at least a week or so before I would get notification. And yet, yesterday afternoon I received notice of my first sale. (Great for me, not so great for my Mom, who wanted to buy the first copy.) 

I have so many emotions running through me right now. Excitement, of course, to have something I've worked so hard on be out there for you all to read. Then there's nervousness, especially about people like my parents and relatives reading the sexy bits! And one of my biggest emotions of the day is plain old-fashioned giddiness. I honestly don't know if I'm coming or going today. My brain is all-a-whirl. The lack of sleep isn't helping either. Even if I was able to sleep through the countless thoughts running through my head, we also have a dog living with us for the next few weeks. Between the dog, the baby, and the book, the last couple of nights have been rather draining.  

But let me say that I am so happy. If you've been reading my blog since the beginning you know what a journey this has been for me. I still can't wrap my head around the idea that my first novel is not my regency romance, as I'd planned so long ago, but rather a contemporary romance that I wrote in 11 days!  

I am so thankful for those of you who have already bought a copy of Against Her Rules. I hope you enjoy it. And I would love it if you shared your thoughts on the book.  

In the next couple of weeks some amazing writers and reviewers will be hosting me on their blogs, asking me questions about the novel. I hope you follow along with my blog tour.  

Now, I'm off to have a celebratory glass of wine with my biggest supporter, my dear husband Reg. It's a big week in our house! 

 

Cover reveal for Against Her Rules

AHR FINAL COVER.JPG

I received a lot of really fantastic feedback from a lot of you when I asked you to help me choose my cover. In a democracy the cover with the highest number of votes would win. I guess I'm more of a despot, since I choose to incorporate the feedback from some of you that suggested I keep the title large, but change up the bottom image to be bolder, and thus more eye catching. After having my wonderful designer pal Crystal McLelland make that change, we both thought the result was fantastic. And so I present to you the official cover of Against Her Rules.

In other book news, I'm hoping to receive what I hope is the final edit from my good friend and editor Anne Cummings in the next day or so, and once I make her suggested edits, it should only be a matter of uploading the book and it will be ready for your reading pleasure... at least I hope pleasure it what you get from it! It would be terrible if it gave you reading hives or something! 

In the next week or so I plan on blogging a bit more to share with you the publishing journey of Against Her Rules, and I'm hoping by early to mid-June to have the great joy of telling you how you can read this little contemporary romance of mine. Who knew when I set myself to the challenge of writing a novel in 11 days that this would be the end result? Exciting times ahead! 

PS: Can anyone tell me where the photo from the bottom of the cover came from? Here's a hint: I took it.

And the winner is...

Thanks so much to everyone who voted and gave feedback on my cover. I can't believe that 77 people were willing to give their input. Thanks so much. It was greatly appreciated. I also found all the comments to be very helpful. In the next few days I'll reveal the cover for Against Her Rules. 

And now I'm pleased to announce the winner of the contest for the free book. I used a very scientific and non-biased method of making this draw. For those of you that don't know, I play a lot of games with fancy multi-sided dice. I rolled for the winner!  

Congrats to Deanne Morgan. While this book will be coming out as an e-book at first, I do hope to have a paperback version available through Amazon. Deanne wants to wait for the paperback version. I'll have a post soon about why the e-book first. 

Once again, thanks so much for helping me out. Stay tuned in the next couple of days for the winning cover reveal!