Saturday, August 30, 2014

My Sexy Saturday -- Trust Me

It's been a while since I've participated in My Sexy Saturday, but what the heck, this a fun blog and a great way to share some of my work with you!

The guidance says to post 7 paragraphs, 7 sentences, or 7 lines from a published or unpublished work. Sci-fi is the theme for this week.

Now, generally I write contemporary or paranormal romance, but I happen to have this work-in-progress titled Trust Me, that I think fits the bill.

Here's the set-up:

The year is 2095, in a post-revolution time. The story opens "somewhere east of the Mississippi." The heroine, Cyan, is running. The man she is running with, is her protector, but only days prior, he was a bounty hunter, searching for her. Her hunter has now become her protector.

The 7 paragraphs, from Chapter Eight:

The scream woke him; her bolt off the bed scared the hell out of him. In seconds he’d assessed the room. Just the two of them. And before he could come to his senses, he’d flipped himself off the bed and had tackled her back to the mattress. She was out of control. Had to rein her in. Keep her from making a lot of noise. She was the only danger tonight. To him. To them. It was her soft sobs that undid him, as she lay gasping for air. “Dammit, Cyan. What is it?”

The small shaft of light from the bathroom flickered across her face, illuminated a trail of tears. He didn’t want to be tender. Didn’t need to be tender. But every muscle in his body screamed for him to be compassionate, caring, and yes, tender. Unlike him. Didn’t need that now. Not now. Tenderness would throw him off his edge. He needed his edge.

“Dream,” she said finally, looking up into his face. “Vision.”

He nodded. Understood. Slowly, he reached up to her cheek and smeared away one of those tear-tracks. “I’m sorry. But good. Info we need. Things to avoid. Or be prepared for.”

She nodded, not breaking the connection with his gaze. “I couldn’t find you. You left me.”

He shook his head. Impossible. “I won’t do that, Cyan. I’ll never leave you behind. I promise.” I promised your father.

Her chin jutted out slightly. “You did. You will.”
***
So there you go! Thoughts?

Be sure to visit all of the other My Sexy Saturday blog posts by visiting the official My Sexy Saturday blog page, or through the linky list below. Have a sexy one, folks! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Janet Eaves shares her Sweet, But Sexy story!

Today is the last author in our 8 authors, 8 book Sweet, But Sexy boxed set features! Welcome, Janet Eaves!

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your blog! I’m very excited to be a part of the SWEET, but SEXY Boxed Set, published through Turquoise Morning Press.

It is always thrilling to work with other authors on a project, so I am so delighted to team up with Maddie James, Jennifer Johnson, Constance Phillips, Jennifer Anderson, Amie Denman, Magdalena Scott, and Jan Scarbrough to be a part of his sweet collection of romance novels.

My contribution, CROSSROADS, (a Ladies of Legend series novella) is about a young woman who faced many trials and tribulations in her young life. Raised by the town whore, Sharon Clark made some pretty bad choices of her own, but, by example, a mentor gave her hope for a better life outside of the quaint little town of Legend, Tennessee.

Unfortunately, Sharon went from the frying pan into the fire by quickly marrying a man who had his own agenda in taking her and her unborn child in. Even after giving it her best, she now finds herself once again in need of a change. Destitute and at a crossroads, Sharon reluctantly accepts the inheritance gift of a home from the now deceased mentor, and returns to Legend to search for a job to sustain her and her son until she can figure out what to do next. But once there, she must once again face the realities of her past, and decide if the wonderful man who hired her, is worth risking her heart… all over again.

A single mother returns to a small Tennessee town in this Ladies of Legend novella. Despite the length constraints, Eaves crafts believable settings and characters. Not only is this a quick read, but it works successfully as a stand-alone story.”    Karen Sweeny-Justice,  RT Book Reviews (September 2014 edition)

Excerpt:
8:00 a.m. Courtroom 204, Memphis Municipal Court
“As to the matter of spousal support, the petitioner’s request is denied. Ms. Gilbert, given your statement that you have been the one to maintain the family income without expectation of support from Mr. Gilbert during the course of the marriage, it is the determination of this court that spousal support is unwarranted.
“As to the matter of child support, the petitioner’s request is warranted and therefore granted. Even though you state, Mr. Gilbert, that the minor, Kyle Gilbert, is not your biological child, he was born while you and Mrs. Gilbert were legally married and you have represented yourself as his father since. Therefore it is the determination of this court that you will pay child support at the standard percentage rate until midnight the date before the child turns eighteen years of age. Have proof of your income to my clerk this afternoon at the latest.”
The judge turned to his bailiff. ”Who’s next?”
****
10:30 a.m. The Cock and Crow Sports Bar and Grill
“I’m sorry, Sharon, you’ve been great, and dependable, and I’ll be happy to write you a letter of recommendation, but I have no choice. We aren’t making enough to stay open. I’m really sorry but you’re out of a job just like the rest of us.”
****
2:10 p.m. 2120 Pricilla Street, Apartment 310
“Look, I’m sorry, but your husband signed the letter of Intent to Vacate a month ago. I’ve already rented the apartment. You have to be out by the end of the month. I know that’s only a couple of days away and I’m sorry about that too, but it’s done. I assumed you knew Mr. Gilbert released the apartment.”
****
"What's that?"
Sharon looked at the envelope she still held out in front of her and shrugged. "I'm not sure. It's from a lady I knew a long time ago."
For the first time since entering the apartment he actually looked at her. "Are you going to open it?"
Sharon stared at him helplessly before she nodded and quickly slid her finger under the sealed flap then winced when it sliced her fingertip. She stuck it between her lips for only a second before opening the flap.
"It's a letter," she said, shaking out the single page with one hand while returning the burning finger to her mouth.
"Duh!"
Sharon silently counted to ten then focused on the letter with the staple in the upper left hand corner that held a business card against the letter’s back. Ms. Addie's large script had always made her think the woman sang songs in her head while writing.
"What's it say?"
Sharon glanced up without moving her head. Given his attitude she wanted to tell him it wasn't addressed to him, but since he rarely if ever expressed interest in anything she decided to read it out loud.
“My Dearest Sharon,
It has been such a long time since I last laid eyes on you, but I am sure you are as beautiful now as you were all those years ago. I, on the other hand, have dwindled with age and heart illness these last few years."
Sharon's eyes filled, remembering how robust and healthy Ms. Addie was the last time she'd seen her. She cleared her throat and continued, "But God has blessed me with a very long and fruitful life and blessed me with more than I deserved by the people He brought into my life. You were most definitely one of His greatest blessings, as well as mine."
Warmth surrounded Sharon as if Ms. Addie's arms were encircling her. Hugs were something Ms. Addie had always had in abundance, and she was the only person in Sharon's young life who ever bothered to make her feel worthy.
She sniffed and continued reading. "I'm writing you this letter today because I may not be able to tomorrow. I grow weaker by the day and know the Good Lord is about to call me home. I'm ready. Although many of the children who came to live with me for a period of time thought I lived in a mansion, I know the one waiting for me will make this place look like a shack in comparison.
My poor grand-nephew will inherit this monstrosity as long as he's willing to take care of my cats, (He'll be so mad to learn that! Ha!) but I have other properties to disperse as well, and I have a special one just for you."
Sharon was torn between amusement at Ms. Addie's wicked sense of humor and the heart thumping anticipation of what was to come. She glanced up at Kyle, seeing he too was intrigued with the missive. She cleared her throat again, more loudly this time.
"There is a little cabin up on the mountain overlooking Legend Lake my husband took me to the night we were married. At the time it was owned by someone else, and we just rented it for that one night. But years later my love bought it for me as an anniversary present, and though it has stood empty all these many years, I made sure it was well tended and properly maintained. The appliances are old but functional. The plumbing recently updated. But it is yours, dear. Free and clear. To do with as you will.
I know you couldn't get away from Legend fast enough all those years ago, and understandably so, but I also know the heart sometimes leads us back home. If you don't want it, sell it. But if you do, you know you will always have a home to come back to. You can contact my lawyer at your convenience. His card is attached.
I know you are going to wonder why so many years have passed between my getting to meet my Maker and you receiving this gift. That, my dear, is because I know you. And I know you are not yet ready to consider coming back to Legend.
I'm tired now, and my hand grows weak, but I want to tell you one more thing. Whatever life brings, grab the good stuff and let the other stuff go. Even as many years as I have been given, it really was all over in just a blink of the eye.
Be well, my lovely. Be well.
Addie"
Sharon didn't realize she was crying until Kyle's arms were suddenly around her. She inhaled the scent of him and, for the first time in a very long time, remembered she was loved.
 ***

THE SWEET, BUT SEXY BOXED SET -- still available for $0.99!
Get yours now at Amazon and these online retailers~



Amazon Best Selling Author of the Ladies of Legend series and Unforgettable Heroes boxed set, Janet Eaves is a wife of more than three and a half decades, a mother of two, a grandmother of one (unless you count her grand-pup – then two). She lives in the beautiful Tennessee countryside where she watches deer, rabbits, and other wildlife from her gazebo office while spinning tales. Currently, Janet has seven Ladies of Legend stories out, and is sure more will come in the future, as well as other books she’s written off and on over the years. CROSSROADS is her newest release, and she was happy to include it in this boxed set.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Jennifer Johnson and her Sweet, But Sexy story, DOUBLE DOG DARE

I'm pleased to have Jennifer Johnson on my blog today and doubly pleased to feature her book, Double Dog Dare! (which I have to say is one of my favorite all time books!) Hello, Jennifer!

Hello, I’m Jennifer Johnson, and I’m excited my book DoubleDog Dare is part of the Sweet, But Sexy boxed set.

Double Dog Dare came about from a game I like to play called “What If.” I’d heard a song about a woman who wakes up next to a man she doesn’t know because she drank too much the night before. Although it was a catchy tune, good girl me, thought, Wow! That’s something I’d never do. But then I thought what if a good girl like me did wake up in a hotel room next to some guy she didn’t know? How could that possibly happen?

Hence the story of Double Dog Dare.

Each chapter begins with a quotation from a famous children’s book. And Cheris, the heroine, spouts lines from old movies when she gets nervous. Geoff, the hero, grew up a child prodigy and now spends most of his nights stargazing, that is, until he meets Cheris.
This is a story about the healing redemption of love, even love at first sight.

Romancing the Book rated it 5 stars: “Double Dog Dare is a charming read filled with memorable characters, lots of laughs, and tons of fun.”

Romancing the Books says, “Double Dog Dare is a sweet and funny contemporary story. I enjoyed it very much and had many opportunities to smile and laugh. If you love a heartwarming story about falling in love, Then I dare you — double dog dare you even, to get yourself a copy of this great book.”
  
Who is Jennifer Johnson?

I am a writer.

I write contemporary romantic fiction.

I aspire to be Wonder Woman with the awesome leotard and the criminal-fighting boots on some days.

On other days, I am Wonder Woman with my lasso of Truth and my no-nonsense-pursuit of justice.

I live in the South across the river from the Mid-west. I'm married to Super Man with a Tony Stark mind. We have Wonder/Super children and a bionic dog. All in all, it's a comic book kind of life.

https://twitter.com/BooksbyJennifer


***
Remember, you can get Double Dog Dare at Amazon and other online book retailers. But if you want to get a really special deal, pick it up in the Sweet, But Sexy boxed set. It's a steal at only 99 cents and you get to sample 7 other authors (including me!)

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | IBOOKSALL ROMANCE EBOOKS SMASHWORDS | TURQUOISE MORNING PRESS

Did you know also that there is a giveaway? Look!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 11, 2014

Jan Scarbrough's SECRETS is part of the Sweet, But Sexy Boxed Set!

How was she going to keep her secret? It had been with her like a living thing for twenty-one years.

I’m glad Secrets is included in the Turquoise Morning Press Sweet But Sexy boxed set along with stories from other fine TMP authors. The book was special to me, because as I wrote it, I reflected on my teen and young adult relationship with my mother. We were friends at her passing, but not without changes on both our parts.

A “sweet” romance, Secrets is a book my mother would have liked. In fact, she told all her blue-haired lady friends that the “editor” wrote the love scene in my first romance. And it was really tame!

Secrets Blurb
With her daughter all grown up and married, single mom Kelly Baron can start her new life in North Carolina, responsible only for herself. But first she must help her mother by returning to the small Indiana town she fled years ago.

Newly divorced lawyer, Rob Scott, seeks solace in his small-town roots. The last thing he’s looking for is a relationship—until he runs into Kelly, and the secret she’s been keeping from him for twenty-one years.

Review
The Romance Studio’s 2011 CAPA Award Nominee for excellence in romantic fiction

“In a nutshell, this sweet romance speaks to those who fear, those who hide truths, and those who have lost hope and yet somehow hope to find it. Jan Scarbrough rewards with romance and redemption and her next endeavor is eagerly awaited.” The Romance Reviews

An excerpt:

Chapter One 
Seneca Park
Louisville, Kentucky

 “Kelly, will you marry me?”

Heat swept Kelly Baron’s face, and it had nothing to do with the warm June day. Choking back dismay, she stared at the kneeling man at her feet. “For goodness sakes, Thomas, stand up.”

Thomas struggled to his feet and sat down beside her on the park bench. His normally flushed face was peppered with sweat, and he had an expectant look in his eyes. “I’m serious,” he said, fumbling in his pocket and withdrawing a small, black velvet box. “Dead serious.” He lifted the lid.

Secured inside the box was a spectacular princess-cut diamond solitaire set in a white gold, cathedral setting. Kelly was somewhat of an expert about diamond engagement rings because of her daughter’s recent wedding, but she never expected Thomas Dunlap to offer her one, let alone one that looked to be the size of a carat.

Kelly focused on the beautiful ring, avoiding the conflicting emotions whirling in her head and the warning bells ringing in her ears.

Her usually reticent suitor became assertive and removed the ring from its box. “Here. Try it on.”

Before Kelly could demur, Thomas grabbed her left hand and slipped the ring on the third finger.

“It’s too big,” were the only words she could force from her dry lips.

“That’s no problem,” Thomas said, bending over her hand. She could see the thinning spot of hair at the top of his head. He slid the ring up and down on her finger, and then raised his eyes. “We can get it sized to fit. What do you think?”

“It’s lovely.”

“No, about marrying me.”

That again. Panic set in. It’s not that Kelly didn’t like Thomas. They had been dating since his divorce. He was an elementary school principal in Jefferson County, and she taught fifth grade in a local Catholic school. They liked to walk for exercise, go to Broadway Series plays, and eat Italian. They had a lot in common. But she had never, ever considered marrying anybody, not even when she’d been pregnant with C.B. and needed to get married in the worst way.

“I’m not sure it’s the right time,” Kelly mumbled, looking at the way a thin strand of salt and pepper hair fell across his forehead.
….

Time for a forced smile. Did she want to spend the rest of her life with Thomas Dunlap? Become Mrs. Thomas Dunlap? No. For one thing, if she ever married, she would keep her maiden name. She would never succumb to an out-of-date tradition. And besides, she was too self-reliant, too used to doing what she pleased with only her daughter and her aunt to put her life in the hands of another.

But Aunt Bess was dead and C.B. was married. Thomas was right. She was free.

“This is such a surprise. Will you let me think about it?” She hated the timid note that crept into her voice. Slowly, Kelly disengaged her hands and withdrew the sparkling ring from her finger. It was too much bling. It was too much pressure. She handed it back to him. “You know I don’t do change well.”

Thomas slid the ring back into its protective velvet box. He had the look of a man receiving a death sentence. I hate to hurt his feelings. She hadn’t quite told him “no,” but she hadn’t said “yes.” If the situation were reversed, she’d feel like shit.

“You have a habit of avoiding things,” he said with a sharp shake of his finger, reprimanding her as if she was a six-year-old caught hitting another child on the playground. “It’s a character flaw you need to work on.”

Kelly shifted on the park bench. Thomas was always too blunt. That was his character flaw. She pressed her right hand hard against the bench and fought down her annoyance.

Yet could Thomas be right?

Twenty-one years ago she had avoided telling C.B.’s father she was pregnant, but that was because his mother had found out they were secretly dating and warned her away from him. She made it perfectly clear her son had a future that didn’t include a small town girl from the wrong side of the tracks. It was evident she went behind her son’s back because he never said anything about his mother’s interference. Probably her husband didn’t even know about her scare tactics.

But his mother was right. When they talked about life after high school, he made it clear he didn’t intend to end up in a small town like his father. He intended to go places, be important. Kelly was never part of that future he painted for himself.

When she found out she was pregnant, Kelly couldn’t tell him. He didn’t love her. He would reject her and their child.

And so once Kelly started keeping the secret, she had never revealed the truth to anyone, especially not her own father, who had threatened to beat it out of her and confront the boy and his parents. It was just as easy to avoid telling her mother, who could be bullied by her husband, and later C.B., who accepted life without a father. Leaving her hometown and moving to Louisville put distance between her and the problem.

Thomas cleared his throat. “I won’t wait forever,” he told her.

“Of course not.” Kelly shook off the memories and touched his sleeve. How did she soften her response? “I just need time to process this. Please?”

He kissed her then—a typical Thomas kiss with lips pressed firmly shut and eyes closed. Kelly responded, as always, timidly, tepidly—trying to deny the longing in her heart for the love of her life—someone who cherished her, didn’t want to change her and loved her just the way she was.

Someone she was too afraid to find.

Jan Scarbrough Bio
Jan Scarbrough is the author of the popular Bluegrass Reunion series, writing heartwarming contemporary romances about home and family, single moms and children, and if the plot allows, about another passion--horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books, and the excitement of a horse race or a big-time, competitive horse show.

Jan also contributes to the Ladies of Legend series, collaborating with writers Maddie James, Janet Eaves and Magdalena Scott. Set in fictitious Legend, Tennessee, these romances bring together the small town family atmosphere so many readers enjoy.

Leaving her contemporary voice behind, Jan wrote a medieval called MY LORD RAVEN. Her first paranormal Gothic romance, TANGLED MEMORIES, was a RWA Golden Heart finalist, and she’s recently released a second romance with paranormal elements called TIMELESS.

A member of Novelist, Inc. and the Romance Writers of America, Jan has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press. She has recently self-published another romance set in the Bluegrass called BETTING ON LOVE.

Jan lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with three rescued dogs, two rescued cats, and a husband she rescued fourteen years ago. You can visit her at www.janscarbrough.com
***
You can get your copy of the Sweet, But Sexy Boxed Set at Amazon and other online book retailers.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Hard Candy Kisses makes an appearance in the Sweet, But Sexy Boxed Set!



It's a rare opportunity for me to participate in a sweet boxed set, but I’m thrilled to be able to share my story Hard Candy Kisses in the Sweet, But Sexy Boxed Set! I have very few stories that are written without sex, but this one just seemed like what Patti Jo and Jim would want – all of their hard candy kisses to happen behind closed doors!

Hard Candy Kisses is the last book in the Matchmaking Chef series. I like for my Legend characters to make appearances in all of my books, if possible, and I realized that Kate and Mike, and Patti Jo Baker and Jim Hamilton, had not appeared in any other books besides Murder on the Mountain. This meant that I had to hook Jim and Patti Jo up, and I hope that I did their story justice!

I love writing quirky and fun characters like Patti Jo and pairing them with unlikely subjects.

Hard Candy Kisses was a fun write for me, and I really hope you enjoyed their story—and the series! If you have only visited Legend through the Matchmaking Chef series, be sure to look for my other books set in Legend, Tennessee, along with books by my friends and fellow authors who write about Legend—Janet Eaves, Jan Scarbrough, and Magdalena Scott. Suzie is likely going to retire from matchmaking soon, after all, there are only so many single people in the town of Legend, but be on the lookout for a cozy mystery featuring Suzie. Deadly Scoop will be available in 2015. Who knew that a simple scoop of ice cream could be a murder weapon?


Here’s the book description for Hard Candy Kisses:

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and Legend Elementary teacher Patti Jo Baker has tried every trick in the book to land a date for the annual New Year’s Eve Bash at The Lodge. This includes setting up a kissing booth at the Legend Elementary Winter Carnival—a booth which Principal Jim Hamilton promptly shuts down. Because if Patty Jo Baker is passing out kisses, any kind of kisses, he wants to be both first, and last, in line—and he definitely doesn’t want to sample them in front of the student body.

And here’s the opening!

“I need a man.”
Patti Jo Baker watched her best friend, Kate, turn her way and roll her eyes. “Patti,” she began, shifting her teacher’s bag full of papers on her shoulder, “You’ve been saying that for years.
If you need a man so darned bad, why don’t you go out and get you one?”
Feeling a little defensive, Patti shot up off her teacher desk chair and, hands on hips, glared at Kate. “It’s not like I haven’t been trying!”
Kate waved her off. “Oh, posh. Get serious. What have you really been doing besides draping yourself in tinsel and hanging out at Hooters in Pigeon Forge? I tell you, Patti, the men at Hooters are not there to find a date. At least not one to take home to Mama.”
“I know, they go for the wings.”
“And the breasts.” She grasped her arm. “Face it. They are just there to ogle. That’s not where you find a man.”
“So where do I find one then? You tell me. Because I’ve tried every online.com matchmaking service there is, and I’ve done them for years. You know, matched.com, singlemingle.com, marryarichguy.com, cuddleup.com and even that ebliss.com which costs big money. I splurged. And guess what? They hooked me up with a little Republican Jewish guy with small hands. I clearly stated that I was liberal and Baptist. What were they thinking? Besides, those places don’t work, and the same guys are on all of them, and they’ve been there for years.”
“Small hands? What does that have to do with anything?”
“I like a man who can handle me.”
“Patti!”
“I mean, shoot. Small hands are dainty. Who the hell wants a man with small hands or, for that matter, feet? I can’t believe they matched me with that guy. My perfect-for-you match. Geez.”
Kate arched a brow. “That should tell you something.”
“What do you mean?”
“Those things don’t work.”
“But have you seen the commercials? And the testimonials?”
“How many years have you been on all of those sites?”
She shrugged. “I dunno. Five? Six?”
“I rest my case.”
Patti thought about that for a moment, glancing off over her empty classroom. How else was one supposed to meet a man in Legend, Tennessee? She knew every single man in town and there were no prospects here. None. She was forced to go out of her boundaries. She needed a man bigger than what Legend could offer—larger than life, worldly—one that would worship the ground she walked on and love her quirkiness unconditionally. But how far would she go? She’d heard of a woman once who found a husband by placing an ad in the magazine Mother Earth.
Maybe she should try something like that. Not Mother Earth, perhaps, but maybe something like A Man’s Cave or Alaskan Wilderness.
But not now. It was the end of the day, and she was tired. The classroom Christmas party was over, and the kids just left for their winter break. She had a mess to clean up in here, but she wasn’t in the mood.
Sighing, she looked back to Kate. “I guess I would settle for a date for New Year’s Eve.”
“Hire Suzie.”
“Who?”
“Suzie Matthews. You know, The Matchmaking Chef.”
***
Whether writing traditional contemporary romance or building paranormal worlds, bestselling romance author, Maddie James, pens stories that frequently cross a variety of romantic sub-genres. Sweet or spicy, suspense or comedy, western or time-travel, her heroes and heroines always chase one thing—the happily-ever-after—whether they realize it or not! Visit Maddie's website: www.maddiejames.com
 Get your copy of the Sweet, But Sexy Boxed Set at the following retailers: 



Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Don’t rent a Moped in Key West: The inspiration behind Blue Bottle Beach by Amie Denman

Have you ever taken a vacation that didn’t turn out exactly as you planned? Uh…I’m not the only one, right? Here’s a story taken right from my own honeymoon in Key West. And I swear it’s all true.

When we got married, my new husband was a physically adventurous kind of guy. Motorcyles. Jetskis. Scuba diving. Roller coasters. As a new wife, I was determined to play right along. So we planned a semi-adventurous trip to Key West, Florida. I’m pretty sure any trip to Key West is an adventure, but we planned to add moped riding and scuba diving. Keep in mind, I had never been on a motorcycle or moped of any kind in my life. Bicycle, yes. I thought that qualified me to ride a moped.

It did not.

Did you know you have to pass a “Moped Test” in order to rent one in Key West? I was under the impression there were NO RULES there. I was wrong. The teenager in charge of rentals set up a little course with orange cones in the parking lot, gave me fifteen seconds of instruction on operating the machine and wished me good luck. After two false starts and two crushed cones, the test was over. I failed. Failed! The teenager (who did not look sad or apologetic at all) said, “Lady, I can’t rent you a moped.”

My new husband, whom I had hoped to impress, watched from the sidelines. He consoled me by suggesting I could ride on the back of his moped after he sailed right through the obstacle course like a pro. Seeing Key West on the back of a moped with a confident and somewhat reckless driver was not as much fun as you might think.

The next day, we were signed up for a scuba diving course. My new husband was already a certified diver. I knew how to swim and hold my breath, so I thought this qualified me to sail right through the scuba course at the hotel.

It did not.

After a day of pool instruction in which I didn’t embarrass myself much, our crew of divers went out on a boat. Into the OCEAN. The ocean is very large, salty, and wavy. There were nine-foot waves that day. NINE FEET!! This is too tall. I know this now. Before our boat got out to the reef where we planned to dive, I had already barfed over the side of the boat thrice. I was not alone. Still, I was determined to gut it out and prove to myself and my new man that I was an adventurous gal.

We got in the water with the assurance from the dive instructor that it would be less wavy underneath. Our seasickness would abate.

It did not.

Did you know that you can puke under water? Did you also know that if you puke under water, pretty colorful fish will swim over and eat it?

I tell this story not to impress you with my glamour and talent, but instead to make a point. When I write about flawed and goofy heroines who end up in situations they never would have expected, I know what I’m talking about.

They say you should write what you know. I do.

***
Blue Bottle Beach is a contemporary romance that will take you to the hot sands of Key West.

There’s no better place for a bachelorette party than Key West, Florida. Jackie and her accountant friends call in sick and escape wintry Chicago to celebrate in the sunshine, but an unexpected twist breaks up the party. On her own for a weekend in America’s least inhibited city, Jackie meets a man who makes her heart do a tropical dance. Mitchell is handsome, charming, and knows just where to touch her. If he looks a little familiar, the thought is quickly lost on the hot sands.

Mitchell finds Jackie equally irresistible as he romances her on Blue Bottle Beach, but he has no idea she should be in her cubicle in Chicago balancing the books for one of his many companies. Opening his heart to any woman after an ugly divorce is tough for Mitchell, but something about Jackie makes him want to forget everything.

When they both return to reality and wintry Chicago at Christmastime, they have to face who they really are without the sparkling sunshine and sands of Key West blinding them. 
***
Blue Bottle Beach is one of the eight sweet romance stories in the Sweet, But Sexy Boxed Set. 

SWEET, BUT SEXY BOXED SET
Sweet can still be sexy!


Turquoise Morning Press presents eight sweet contemporary romance stories that will convince you that sweet, can still be sexy! We've selected sweet and "sweeter" stories from some of our most popular romance authors to showcase in this set--stories that will take you from the beach to Christmas, from small town to big city, from keeping secrets to building dreams. After all, sweet and sexy romance, comes in all shapes and sizes, right? The stories in this collection include:

Blue Bottle Beach
 by Amie Denman
--Mitchell finds Jackie irresistible as he romances her on Blue Bottle Beach, but he has no idea she should be in her cubicle in Chicago balancing the sheets for one of his many companies. Amie is an Amazon bestselling author (Unforgettable Heroes).

All That's Unspoken 
by Constance Phillips
--The only thing standing in Nate's way is Hailey, the woman who left him eight years ago without even saying goodbye. Constance is a TMP 2013 Reader's Choice Award nominee (All That's Unspoken).

Crossroads 
by Janet Eaves
--Desperation has a way of changing everything.... Janet is an Amazon bestselling author (Love in a Small Town, Unforgettable Heroes).

Secrets
 by Jan Scarbrough
--How was she going to keep her secret? It had been with her like a living thing for twenty-one years. Jan is an Amazon bestselling author (Love in a Small Town)

My Brother's Wedding
 by Jennifer Anderson
--Allison Daughtry is catapulted into a past life when she returns to her childhood home to attend her brother's wedding. My Brother's Wedding received a StoryFinds.com cover award.

Double Dog Dare
 by Jennifer Johnson
--When Cheris McDowell wakes up in a hotel room next to the husband she doesn't remember meeting, she decides the only practical solution is a quiet divorce. Jennifer is an Amazon bestselling author (Unforgettable Heroes).

Hard Candy Kisses
 by Maddie James
--New Year's Eve is just around the corner and Patti Jo Baker has tried every trick in the book to land a date for the annual New Year's Eve Bash at The Lodge. Maddie James is an Amazon bestselling author (Love in a Small Town, Falling for Grace, The Heartbreaker, and more).

Building a Dream
 by Magdalena Scott
--Chloe McClain is an artist, so she's used to creating something from nothing. This time, though, the project is bigger than her usual canvas. Magdalena is an Amazon bestselling author (Love in a Small Town).


Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Meet Jennifer Anderson, author of My Brother's Wedding in the Sweet, But Sexy boxed set

My Brother’s Wedding wasn’t a story I was dying to write. In fact, I didn’t have a clue it lingered in my head until I was attending a TMP meeting. Our boss was describing changes with our new category romance lines and she explained how all the books within each line would have similar covers. For example, Next Door covers would be a blue wavy design with the title at the top and the author’s name at the bottom but the middle pictures were customized for each book. She shared mock-ups and used me for one of them. And she titled this fictitious book My Brother’s Wedding.
The more I stared at the cover and enjoyed seeing my name and title on the cover, the more I hashed out a story in my head. As you might know from my Honey Creek stories, I’m a huge fan of the boy next door type of stories. High school loves. People who share a past. Maybe it stems from my own relationship with my high school sweetheart or maybe I’m just a romantic who likes to keep it close to home! Who knows. But as I began writing the story, I knew I wanted to feature St. Louis. In fact, the coffee house, MoKaBe’s, Ryan and Allison share lunch at is one of my favorite places in St. Louis. And the bridal shop is the very location I purchased my own wedding gown many years ago.
Originally, the story evolved into more of a women’s fiction book, which never felt complete to me. I want romance. I want my characters to have a HEA ending. So with some cutting and deleting, I finally arrived at the sweet story we have today.

It’s funny where we find inspiration. For My Brother’s Wedding, it all started with a cover!
***
My Brother’s Wedding blurb:

Allison Daughtry is catapulted into a past life when she returns to her childhood home to attend her brother’s wedding. Bombarded with memories of a night she’d shared with Ryan Johnson, her reason for leaving and forever crush, she attempts to navigate her feelings while maintaining a fake romantic relationship with her best friend. Complicated emotions surface and Allison struggles to remember what’s real.

Excerpt:

“Adam, this is George Fitzepatrick. He’s my…”
 “Boyfriend.” George stepped forward and thrust his hand in Adam’s direction.
Adam looked back at Allison’s guilty smile. “A boyfriend? I didn’t know you were seeing anyone.”
“Yeah,” Allison replied, fighting to find better words. She stepped back from her brother’s hold, feeling his arm fall from her shoulders. “Surprise. Your sister is dating someone.” She shrugged hoping he’d interrogate her later.
“Since we work together, we’ve kept our relationship a secret. Although, now that we’ve both taken off at the same time, I’m sure everyone will know,” George offered.
Allison was grateful for George’s quick words. She hadn’t rehearsed her part well. In fact, she arrived in St. Louis unprepared for any sort of questioning about her relationship with George. Rooky move on her part. Her mother listed off questions when she called a few weeks prior to announce her plus one. Then, Allison offered simple, short answers not giving up many details. She’d hoped her mother relayed her answers to Adam. Obviously not.
Adam released George’s hand and looked back over his shoulder at his sister. Allison swore his eyes reflected hurt. She couldn’t risk telling Adam the truth. She needed to get through the week and George, her pretend boyfriend, was the only way. Once she was safely sitting in her lonely apartment in Chicago, she’d confess to her brother. She’d tell him how George was her only friend in Chicago. That her long hours at work kept her out of the dating scene and the highlight of her day was sharing lunch with a hot guy who couldn’t careless how she looked naked. She’d also add how George preferred, rather insisted, on dating men.
Mrs. Daughtry shook her towel at the small group forming in her kitchen. “You three go sit down and I will make you a plate.” Her mother moved to the stove and stopped. “Where’s Sarah? I’m sure she’s hungry, too.”
“She got dragged into the dining room by Crazy Aunt Phyliss. Something about wedding hair or I don’t know. Girl stuff.”
“You just left her alone with those people.” Allison stared at her brother in disbelief and concern.
“Excuse me,” their mother interrupted. “Those people are family.”
“Yes, Mom, but they’re crazy.” Allison turned back to her brother. “You have to save her.”
Adam waived at his sister. “Nah. She’s tough. Plus, she likes them all, for some reason.”
Allison gagged. “Maybe you should get her checked out. She’s sounds like she’s getting a little nutty. You don’t want to have babies with a nut job.”
“That’s enough you two. Now,” Mrs. Daughtry grabbed her son’s arm and pulled him toward the small kitchen table. “Sit, eat and I’ll bring Sarah a plate.” Their mom slid plates in front of Allison and George loaded with steaming beef, potatoes and carrots. “There’s plenty on the stove.”
“Yes mom,” they both offered. Adam hunched over his plate with both elbows rested at his side. Allison snuck a peek at George and watched him push the food around with his fork. His usual lunch consisted of a diet soda, salad or a piece of fruit. In fact, her lunch had consisted of mainly the same due to the limited funds and lack of time to eat. George caught her watching, smiled and shoved a piece of roast in his mouth.
After fifteen minutes of being hunched over a plate, Adam sat back, rubbed his belly and grunted in approval. “Mmm. Good.”
“What’s good?” A new voice asked from the kitchen door.
Almost in slow motion, Allison turned her head, sending her ponytail flying. Her eyes began their feast. Dark jeans sat low on a slim waste followed by a pale blue button-up shirt with a v of a white T-shirt winking at her. His teeth almost shined like a prince in a cartoon with a sparkle from the track lighting fixture dancing in his dark eyes. A hand ran through the slight curl in his brown hair, tousling the locks before they fell against his temples.
A gasp escaped her lips.
Ryan Johnson.
***

My Brother's Wedding, is now available in the Sweet, But Sexy boxed set -- only 99 cents for a limited time at all ebook retailers! Get yours now at Amazon!

Constance Phillips talks about her book, ALL THAT'S UNSPOKEN in the Sweet, But Sexy Boxed Set

All That’s Unspoken in the Sweet, but Sexy Boxed Set

For me, writing sweet romance was something new, but it seemed appropriate to the tale that needed to be told in All That’s Unspoken. I am so pleased that it was chosen to be part of the Sweet, but Sexy Boxed Set.

I’d always heard that writers put a little bit of themselves into their characters, and would have to say I have done that with every character of every book I’ve written. When it came to All That’s Unspoken, however, I felt myself digging a little deeper into my own psyche while building the heroine, Hailey.

I can bottle up my emotions and hold on to things that—if I would only say them aloud—wouldn’t be as bad as they felt internally. In All That’s Unspoken, Hailey has spent eight years trying to forget what she did--or rather the things she didn’t—say to Nate before leaving town early for college.

From the time I conceived this story, I knew it was a small-town tale. Caseville, Michigan, wasn’t my first choice, but as I began telling the story and digging into those personal emotions, I knew it needed a personal connection, like being set in the community where I grew up.

While there are pieces of the author dispersed through this story, I hope that you will enjoy Hailey’s and Nate’s special story of letting go of the past and facing the future…together.


All That’s Unspoken

Hailey Lambert came home for the holidays to help her father. Instead, eight years later, she is forced to face all that was left unspoken between her and high school crush, Nate.

After eight years, Hailey is back in Caseville, Michigan. Just months after her mother’s death, her siblings want to put their father in a nursing home and rent out the family farm. If that wasn’t enough, the prospective tenant is Nate, the high school crush she left behind the day after they acted on their mutual attraction.

After high school, Nate Jenkins planned to leave small town behind, but life dealt him a different hand of cards. He’s now back in Caseville, raising his daughter and running his family’s diner. His daughter’s speech disorder has been improved by therapeutic horse riding and if he can lease the old Lambert farm, he can get her a horse of her own. The only thing standing in the way is Hailey, the same woman who left him eight years ago without even saying goodbye.

Can they get over all that’s unspoken between them?



About the Author
Constance Phillips lives in Ohio with her husband, daughter, and four canine kids. Her son, now on his own, is planning a wedding, reconfirming that romance still lives and breathes. When not writing stories of finding and rediscovering love, Constance and her husband spend the hours planning a cross-country motorcycle trip for the not-so-distant future…if they can find a sidecar big enough for the pups.

You can friend, follow, or find out more about Constance at the following sites: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest