Megan's 5 star rated Contemporary Romance

Friday, 26 April 2013

Barbara Longley

A Warm Welcome to Barbara
As a child, Barbara Longley moved frequently, learning early on how to entertain herself with stories. Adulthood didn’t tame her peripatetic ways: she has lived on an Appalachian commune, taught on an Indian reservation, and traveled the country from coast to coast. After having children of her own, she decided to try staying put, choosing Minnesota as her home. By day, she puts her master’s degree in special education to use teaching elementary school. By night, she explores all things mythical, paranormal, and newsworthy, channeling what she learns into her writing. 
                                                  By  Barbara Longley
Ryan Malloy has lost it all. After his fiancée dies in a tragic accident, he enlists in the army, only to lose his best friend in a roadside bombing. Wracked with guilt and grief, Ryan finds life unbearable—until a job offer from his former commander gives him a glimmer of hope. And in the tiny town of Perfect, Indiana, the man who thought he had nothing left to live for meets the only woman who can tempt him into risking his battered heart one last time...

Paige Langford has it all: wealth, beauty, and ambition. But when her boyfriend’s betrayal leads to the loss of her job and her reputation, she retreats to her brother’s rural Indiana home to regroup. There she meets Ryan Malloy, a gruff, hard-drinking loner whose surly temper can’t hide the haunted misery in his eyes. He is everything Paige never wanted, yet he may be exactly what she needs—if only they can overcome their personal demons to forge a love strong enough to save them both.

Now A Taste of Barbara:
Throwing her shoulders back, Paige knocked on Mr. Weil’s door.
“Come in,” he barked from inside.

Smoothing her face into a professional mien, she opened the door and strode in. One look at his expression, and she faltered. He looked serious. Seriously unhappy. What the hell?

“Have a seat, Langford.” He moved a pile of folders aside.
She took one of the chairs in front of his huge, imposing desk. “You wanted to see me?”

“Hmmm.” He scowled her way. “Meyer Construction needed our bid five business days ago. They never got it. They’ve gone with another supplier.”

An adrenaline shock hit her system, and her heart leaped to her throat. She gripped the arms of the chair. “That’s impossible! I sent that bid with a same-day courier two days before it was due.”
“Like I said—they never got it.” He leaned back in his expensive leather chair and fixed her with a baleful scowl. “I’ve also had two other accounts you handled complain that their bids were late, holding them up and delaying their contractors. If it weren’t for Anthony Rutger’s intervention, we would’ve lost those accounts as well.”

“Anthony’s…intervention?” Her mind spun with the implications. Anthony?

Her mind flew back to the day the courier had come to the lobby for the Meyer bid. She’d been in the middle of a phone call, and Anthony had offered to take the envelope down to the lobby for her. At the time, she’d thought it was sweet. Come to think of it, he’d also offered to put a few of her bids into the office’s outgoing mail bin for her. No, he wouldn’t purposefully sabotage her. Would he? They were a couple.
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Heat filled her face. “I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”

“Damn straight it won’t. You’re fired.”

“Oh, no. There’s been a mistake. I had somebody else put the bids in the mail for me. They must’ve forgotten, or…” Shit. Shit. Shit. She glanced around the office as the reality of Anthony’s betrayal sank in. “I won’t let it happen again, Mr. Weil. I’ll get the Meyer account back somehow.” She sucked in a breath. “From now on, I will personally put things in the out bin myself, and—”

“Miss Langford, you’re done here.”

Great to meet you, Barbara!
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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Amber Easton

A Warm Welcome to Amber
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published fiction and nonfiction author. For twenty years, she's worked in the fields of journalism and advertising with a brief detour into the financial industry.

        Although she holds a BA in Communications & Journalism, she is a perpetual student of life who enjoys taking classes on a wide variety of subjects when time allows.

       Smart is sexy, according to Easton, which is why she writes about strong female characters who have their flaws and challenges but ultimately persevere.  She currently has two romantic suspense novels out in the world, Kiss Me Slowly and Riptide, with four more slated for publication in 2013.

         In addition to fiction writing, Easton also edits and freelances via Moxie Girl Writing & Editing.  She also speaks on subjects ranging from writing to widowhood.  Some of her videos on romance writing have appeared on the international Writers & Authors television network.  Current radio appearances are linked via this site and her blog Kisses, Caresses & Whispers in the Night.

      Easton currently lives with her two teenagers in the Colorado Rocky Mountains where she gives thanks daily for the gorgeous view outside her window. She finds inspiration from traveling, the people she meets, nature and life’s twists and turns. At the end of the day, as long as she's writing, she considers herself to be simply "a lucky lady liv'n the dream."

Here's the blurb for Amber's latest release Reckless Endangerment :

Colonel Michael Cedars is a wounded marine returning home from Afghanistan.  He’s partially paralyzed with his left leg, unsure how to fit into civilian life again after being career military and questions whether or not he  still wants to be married to his wife, Hope.


Hope Shane is a natural wild child.  She met the Colonel while working as a war correspondent, watched him get blown up and returned to Denver, Colorado to bring him home.  She’s an investigative reporter who becomes tangled up in a human trafficking story.  As far as Michael wanting a divorce and giving up on life, she’s not one to surrender the fight. That goes for the helpless victims in the story she’s chasing...nothing will stop her until she has truth and justice. 


As the danger of Hope’s story intensifies, Michael is tested more than he ever imagined.  Is he capable of being the husband she needs?  Will he hold her back or, worse yet, get her killed?  Is Hope and her penchant for finding trouble a liability he can’t risk? Or is he still the hero sh e claims him to be? 


Heroes come in many forms--soldiers who fall and rise, women who battle for their marriage, reporters who fight for truth and justice, and men who would put it all on the line for the women they love.

Now A Taste of Amber:

“Maybe I need to stop trying to hold on.  Maybe you’re right.”  Sighing, her shoulders

slumped.  “We were this close,” she held her fingers an inch apart, “to having a life together when everything blew up in our faces.  Literally.  What else do I have to lose, right?  I already lost my dignity when I begged those damn bureaucrats to let me see you in Germany.  And when I say begged, I mean I begged, pleaded, bartered, whatever I could possibly say or do to get in and then they told me that you,” she pointed at him, “said no, you told them I lied about being married to you.  And McGee backed you up.  I looked like a fool and a liar.”

“I’m sorry,” he whispered. 

“And now you’re doing it again.  Denying me.  You’d rather sit in this place alone than admit to the world that I’m your wife. It’s true.”  She nodded at that, eyes gluing him in place. “I gave up my everything for you, soldier boy.  My life.  My pride.  My dignity.  I gave it all up for you.”

“Why?” he choked out the question. “I did everything to get you to let me go. I didn’t want you to give up your life for me, can’t you see that?  You were born to be in the spotlight, dodging bullets, charming your way into and out of trouble.  I’m an anchor to you now, you know it, too, but refuse to admit it.  I want you to forget me.  Why won’t you let me go?” 

She closed her eyes, head tilted toward the ceiling. “Because maybe I went crazy over there. Maybe we weren’t this close,” again with the fingers, “to having a life together.  Maybe we were already there.  Maybe it wasn’t conventional but it was real, it was us.  Maybe I misunderstood sex for more.  Maybe I thought that our wedding meant as much to you as it did me.  Maybe I’m the biggest fool to walk planet earth.”

“But now I’m broken so…” He hated himself for the words coming from his own mouth.  

“Yeah, that’s right.”  Nodding, she looked away from him and brushed the back of her hand over her eyes.  “And I’m too shallow to be the person you need, right? Too superficial?  I know the truth.  I know you should be capable of limited mobility, that you are not trapped in that chair, that you have sensations in your right leg and have even managed to stand for a brief period of time here and there.  Didn’t you think I’d do some research on your injuries?  I may have kept my distance, but I have a knack for getting people to talk to me, remember that?  Yes, you’re in a wheelchair, but your situation isn’t hopeless. You’re the one who gave up, but for the life of me I don’t know why.  It’s not like you.  You’re a goddamn Colonel in the Marine Corps.  You don’t surrender, so what’s going on with you?”  

Her words stung.  He had heard them for months now.  And he didn’t know the answer.  He simply couldn’t explain anything to anyone, not even himself.  

“You need to be in New York or in the middle of the action. You’re the It Girl, right?  Headed for a network anchor job one day?  Maybe your own show?  Watch out Manhattan, here comes Shane. You’ll have them eating from your hands within months.”

“Maybe you don’t know me as well as I thought,” she said with a bitter twist of her mouth.  “I’ve been waiting…don’t you see?  I could care less about a network job and you know it.” She finished stuffing the spilled contents into her bag before standing.  “I love you.  I thought you loved me, too.  Until you can look me in the eye and tell me you don’t, that you never did, I’ll keep coming back.”

         He grabbed the frames from the cushion of the sofa where she’d tossed them and looked at the broken glass.  Guilt and confusion ate away at his brain. 

         “Do you have any idea what it’s like for me not to know what to do?  I was a decorated officer.  I made decisions minute by minute that affected the lives of my unit, yet I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t know what to do about this,” he smacked the chair, “I don’t know what to do about you and I definitely don’t know what to do about Dalton.  I’m fucked up.  I hate not knowing what to do.  You’re’s not like me.  Don’t you think I know that?”

        With a muttered curse, she sat on the edge of the sofa and blinked at the ceiling.  For the first time, he noticed that her hands trembled as they gripped the strap of her bag.  The room seemed abnormally quiet without her storming around and threatening him.  He didn’t like her docile and threw him off.  

         “I’m sure it’s hell.  You were always in command. For months now, you’ve had one surgery after another, been under constant care with zero privacy, me pestering you with my endless notes and your family hauling you across the country without anyone asking what you want.  No one is respecting the officer in the room,” she said after a long pause.  

          He squinted at her.  “Exactly.  People talk about me rather than to me.”

        “Yet expect you to snap out of your funk and get on with your life.”

          “But I don’t know what that means.”  It bothered him that she understood him so well.  Her understanding shook his resolve, weakened his resistance.

          “And you haven’t tried because you’ve been mourning your old life and don’t know what the new life is yet.”

         “Everyone thinks I’m a rotten, self-pitying bastard.”

          “Because that’s what you want us to think so we leave you alone.”  She shoved both hands through her hair and sighed.  “You’re exhausting.”

        “I know.”  He smiled for the first time in months.  “I exhaust myself, too.  I’m really sick of my crap.”

       “Well, that’s something.”  She grinned, eyes dark with defeat.  “I haven’t respected the officer in the room, have I?”  She skimmed her thumb across the scar on his forehead.  “I love you, if that means anything to you at all.”

       “It means something to me.” He snagged her hand but she yanked it away as she stood.  

        “My business card is on the table near the sofa if you need me, w ant to talk or whatever. My cell phone number is on the back.”  She hesitated at the door before looking at him over her shoulder.  “I want my husband back.”

Pleasure to host you, Amber!
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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Rachel Brimble

A Warm Welcome to Rachel
Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK.  After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. In 2012, she sold two books to Harlequin Superromance. She also writes Victorian romance for Kensington--her debut was released in April 2013.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family and beloved black Lab, Max. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England…although she hopes a dream visit to Canada might just change her mind!

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

The Seduction of Emily by Rachel Brimble
 Seduction is a wicked game, and no one plays it better than the devilish Will Samson in
Rachel Brimble's captivating new novel. . .

Since girlhood, Emily Darson has accepted that she will marry Nicholas, the son of her father's trusted business partner. The marriage contract safeguards her family legacy, Emily's fortune, and everything she values--except her independence. Only when a sinfully handsome scoundrel enters her life does Emily realize quite how much a loveless match will cost her.

Will Samson has advanced from expert pickpocket to confidence trickster of the highest caliber. Now he has come to Bath to exact vengeance on the man who destroyed his mother--the man Emily will soon marry. But from his first glimpse of the enemy's bewitching, spirited fiancée, Will's plan changes.

Amid the ballrooms and salons of elegant society, heated glances explode into scandalous kisses. Revenge is sweet, but surrender will be irresistible. . .

Before treating us to an excerpt, Rachel Reveals:

From where do you get inspiration and what inspired you to write The Seduction of Emily?
It’s was the hero, Will Samson, who spoke to me first with this book – I live very close the Bath, England and on a visit there, I treated my mom to a walk around the famous Assembly Rooms. While I was gazing around the anteroom, my imagination took over and it became an auction room. Will was there and carefully watching the proceedings. I knew he was out of place, had an agenda and more than anything was out for revenge. The rest was up to me to figure out. Which I did…eventually!

Who controls the story – you or your characters?
It starts out with me controlling the story but by the time I reach 20,000 words the characters have usually taken over. This is great when we agree on the way forward, not so much when we don’t! My characters tend to lead me in a certain direction around this point and then when they hit 40,000 words, toss the book back at me and say, “Okay, we’ve done our bit….what’s next?” Then I panic because I’ve got absolutely no idea how I got there in the first place, lol!

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your books?
I hope they feel happier – that is my main goal when I write. I want readers to feel happier, more positive and uplifted than they were before they read my book. I don’t write to change the world or make a huge political statement, I write to investigate universal feelings and problems. Ultimately, if I can make a single person feel better or figure out a way forward with something in their life, I’m done J

What do you most enjoy about writing romance?
I love the relationship journey through a romantic novel, especially watching the hero and heroine grow as individuals and together – the thrill of their first meeting, first kiss, first argument, first cry, first laugh, first sex…it’s a game of ‘firsts’ and I really get a kick out of it with every story. Relationships run through every genre from horror to western to action to thriller, but it’s only in romance that the relationship is allowed center-stage and I love that!

What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
To allow yourself to write a ‘crappy’ first draft – the first time I heard this it was like a slap up the side of the head. Now I just write the first draft as I, (or the characters) want, from beginning to end. Plot problems, character development, intricate setting details etc can be tweaked, added and deleted in later drafts. It’s getting the story down and not losing momentum that’s important at the beginning stages.

What can we look forward to from you in the near future?
My next release is something completely different – “16 Marsden Place” is a contemporary romantic comedy available June 4th from Omnific Publishing. Here’s the blurb:

There isn't a situation that can't be fixed by a coat of chocolate body paint or a liberal smear of Champagne Lick, right? Wrong!
Ever since her father was murdered by a gang of youths, Sienna Lloyd has named herself Potterford’s protector—her sexy lingerie shop is a place where the town’s women can visit and feel safe. But when that shop is in danger of closing, Sienna needs a solution that will keep her in Potterford, where she can always look out for her mother, friends, and clients.
The answer? Move the shop to her home at 16 Marsden Place. The problem? Her new neighbor, the delicious but seriously uptight Jack Beaton. Oh, and his four-year-old twin girls.
Jack has just moved to the tiny town of Potterford in a bid to start over. To build a new life that keeps his children safe from their violent and sex-crazed mother. So when he discovers his neighbor intends to open a sex shop right next door, Jack will do anything to ensure it doesn’t happen…including fighting every ounce of his attraction to the shop’s owner and his innate need to trust again.

What would you most like to accomplish this year?
I am VERY happy with the way things are going right now with my writing and hope it continues in the same way – I would love to sign another two book contract with Kensington as well another book with Harlequin Superromance. I adore the contemporary series I am writing for them and pray they continue wanting new stories!

What was your favourite book as a child/teen/adult? Are you currently reading anything?
My favorite book as a pre-teen was “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” by Judy Blume. After devouring it in a single day, I went on to read her entire backlist and future books.

Right now, I’m reading The White Queen by Philippa Gregory and Witness in Death by J D Robb (SO far behind on this series!)
Now A Taste of Rachel:

His caught breath released in a low whistle. Attraction twitched his groin. “My God, tell me
you’re not his.”

His gaze languidly travelled from the tip of the feather in the woman’s hat, to the glossy black hair curled and twisted beneath it. Her eyes were big and dark, her skin as smooth as glass over sweet apple cheeks. The vivid royal blue dress she wore was pulled in at a waist small enough to fit in his splayed hands, her stature poised and proud. She was exquisite.

Will smiled. Although her ample bosom was decently covered, the soft white netting revealed the faintest hue of her flesh. What he wouldn’t give . . . He forced his gaze upward and stiffened. She stared straight at him—and her mouth twitched with amusement. He pulled back his shoulders and flashed her a smile.

She didn’t lower her eyes as he expected.

Intrigued, he tipped her a wink.

A moment passed before she surprised him again. She did not turn away in disgust or demand Milne punch him to the ground; instead the minx winked straight back. Desire hit Will hard in the gut as a bubble of laughter tickled the back of his throat.

Who was she? He revelled in the tinge of pink staining her cheeks and suspected inside, she laughed right along with him.

Their secretly shared moment came to an abrupt end when her companion took her hand and placed it possessively in the crook of his arm. He led her in Will’s direction and Will bowed as they passed.

Rachel's Links:
Many thanks for regaling us today, Rachel. Great to meet you!

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