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If Only for the Moment by Ella Sheridan

He can tie up all her objections, but what about her heart?

Kennedy O’Connell’s life is perfect—a great job, plenty of friends, a brother who loves her. The chaos that ruled her childhood is gone, and she couldn’t be happier. Unfortunately, her mischievous streak tends to get her in trouble, and when she walks into her favorite spa to find a sexy Australian rock star taking her place, she can’t resist a little fun.

Isaac Anschau has spent five years chasing his dream. His rock royalty status can’t be denied, but his demons are catching up with him—he’s burned out, his creativity decimated. Until a redheaded vixen decides she wants to play, and he discovers a way to leave his nightmares behind. There’s just one problem: Kennedy is dead-set against submitting, despite the way she melts when his Dom side comes out.

They’ve got nothing to lose by walking away, and everything to gain if they give in to the raging hunger between them. Baring their bodies would take only a moment. Baring their souls could take a lifetime.

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“I’m a rigger.”

“A what-er?”

“A rigger. A Dom who enjoys tying subs up.”

His eyes held hers captive as firmly as the cord held her arm, delving deep inside her, demanding something she wasn’t sure of—until it clicked. He thought her response to the rope was…

“Ah, Isaac, I’m not a sub.” No way, no how. A shiver rocked her spine.

One brow calmly rose. “How do you know?”

Isaac’s question got her redheaded temper going. “Because I have a Dom for a brother, and he’s not exactly quiet about it. I’d know if I was submissive.” She wasn’t.

Isaac shook his head as if he didn’t believe her. “Your brother isn’t in your bed, Ken.”

“Ew!”

He laughed at that, but continued. “My point is, he doesn’t know your needs. Only a lover can read you like that.”

I can read me like that, and I’m not submissive.” If she said it enough times, he’d finally get that she was telling the truth, right? So why did a flutter take up residence in her belly? There was no reason to panic, no—

“Can you now?”

“Yes!”

There. That was definitive. He’d understand now.

One long finger traced the web encompassing her hand. “Want to know what I see?”

“No.” Yes. But…no. And yet curiosity raised its ugly head. “Um…yes?”

The word was barely a whisper, but Isaac heard it. She knew because he nodded once even as he reached for her free hand. She knew she shouldn’t, knew she’d regret it, but she couldn’t resist giving it to him, watching, fascinated, as he used the free end of the cord to tie her wrists together with delicate knots, and then he was lifting her hands to hook them behind the headrest. When she tugged…

“Isaac?”

The sound of her breath was loud in the close confines of the SUV as he leaned over her, his big body taking up all the space, all the air. She pulled on her arms again. A thrill, part fear and part something she really didn’t want to acknowledge, shot through her.

“Shh…” Isaac laid a finger on her parted lips. He was so close she could see the green and yellow striations in his blue eyes. Fascinating. She strained toward him but, with her hands above her, got nowhere—and the thrill came again, this time settling in her nipples and between her legs.

Isaac’s gaze softened even as his own breath quickened. “Feel that, Kennedy?”

She shook her head.

“No? Then let me help.”

His parted lips settled on hers, warm and firm and so, so good. He laved her with his tongue, dipped in to mate with hers, taking her breath and making her take his. There was nothing she could do to escape his kiss, nothing she could do to protest. She could only accept what he gave her—his mouth, the hard press of his chest against her aching breasts, the hungry groan that escaped him when she sucked on his tongue. And it was all mixed with the lightning bolts of pleasure that sparked every time she tried to move and couldn’t. He had all the control, she had none, and she…

No, she didn’t like it. She didn’t.

When he paused to take a breath, she turned her head toward the window, needing to breathe, to escape—except she was tied and couldn’t, damn it.

For someone so famous, Isaac didn’t have a fragile ego. Rather than be offended, he gently lowered her hands and began to undo the knots. Faint impressions from the cord were left behind, a reminder she needed desperately to ignore as he settled back into his seat. “See? Interesting.”

“No, no it’s not,” she told him, her voice cracking on the last word. “Not interesting at all.”

Start the If Only series today!

Only for the Weekend, Book 1

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Writing has been my passion since childhood, but like many writers, life got in the way. After earning a BA in

English Literature, I married and started a family. But the worlds and characters that swirled through my mind just

wouldn’t go away, and at a particularly difficult time in my life, I picked up pen and paper (or laptop) and tried to

release some of that difficulty onto the page. I’ve been writing ever since. Now I’m a member of Romance Writers

of America, run an accountability blog to help writers reach their goals, and am pursuing publication with the same

passion I feel for writing.

Nothing pleases me more than sharing the stories of my heart with you, the reader, and I hope, in some small way,

these stories will touch your heart too.

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Author Interview Marina Adair

As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive.  Her St Helena Vineyard series was the inspiration behind the Hallmark Original movie, Autumn in the Vineyard. (I totally snagged that from her website BTW)

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I like to set a scene for my interviews, gives us a chance to be somewhere, and not just words on a webpage. Are we in a tasting room in wine country? Or on an open patio by the beach somewhere?

We are sitting on a front porch, sipping a glass of Pino Gris and watching the clouds float over Mt Hood in Portland.

You have several small town series, in vastly different areas across the US, did you travel extensively to research the regions?

I love creating new towns for my characters. So even if a series is based on an actual town, I fictionalize it. That said, every series I have written has been based on a place I have lived or visited prior to starting the series. For example, The Eastons series follows five alpha brother is Portland, Oregon who inherit their dad’s brew house. I flew to Portland and explored the city for several days with a friend and fellow author before I started the series.

What drew you to creating these communities of characters and places?

I spent most of my childhood in my head, creating amazing places and stories. It is still something I do to this day. The fact that my job now is to create places I’d wasn’t to live or visit makes it the best job on earth.

Please tell us about the Eastons and your newest release.

The Eastons series follows five brothers who must overcome the loss of their father in order to open themselves up for true love. They don’t mind breaking the rules or testing the limits, but when it comes to matters of the heart … they play for keeps.

My upcoming release in the series, DRIVE ME MAD, which comes out this summer, follows the Assistant District Attorney, Josh Easton, as he finds himself in the run for DA, and going head to head with a sexy, ball-buster of a woman, who teaches him that all is fair in love and war. It is an enemies to lover story, where my hero and heroine can’t stand what the other represents, but can’t seem to keep their hands off each other.

What was your reaction when you found out the Hallmark Channel wanted to make Autumn in the Vineyard story into a movie?

I have an MFA in screenwriting, which was my first love. So when I switched to novels, I thought I had to give up the dream of seeing my work on the screen. So when Hallmark optioned the entire St Helena Series, I was able to fulfill that dream. And it was amazing!

Did you get to visit the set?

I did get to go to the set! It was filming in Canadian Wine Country, so Big Sexy and I took a trip up north. Rachael Leigh Cook was as sweet as she is talented, and the producer heading up the project was an amazing man to meet. The highlight though was Larry the Llama, who was so talented he played Mittens the Alpaca. (edit: don’t you just love how she calls her husband Big Sexy!)

As part of (the now defunct Kindle Worlds) what was it like from your side of the table, having all these authors continue to populate your world, and have new characters, and familiar characters take on new adventures?

I have been so blessed in my career being surrounded by successful and talented authors who helped me get to where I am today. Kindle Worlds was an amazing opportunity for me to help other new authors grow their reader base and write in my world. My readers were able to spend more time with characters they love, and explore new characters as well. It was a win-win for all involved.

ChiChi Ryo is quite the character from the St. Helena Vineyards books. I can almost imagine that this fierce nona came to you and began telling you all about her handsome grandsons, and beautiful granddaughter. I am fascinated with how different authors discover their characters. So, who came first? The DeLuca hotties or ChiChi?

The DeLucas are based on a real-life family from my childhood. My babysitter was the only sister among five older, Italian brothers, who made her dating life hell growing up. But ChiChi is lightly based on my own grandmother and her friends. So, I guess ChiChi would have come first.

If you could rewrite a piece of classic literature (I’ll let you decide what that definition means) which story would you take on? What big changes would you make?

I’m not sure I would re-write, but I would definitely love to play in Jane Austin’s world. In grad school I read, Wide Sargasso Sea, which is a parallel novel of Jane Eyre, and tells the story of Bertha. That book blew my mind and inspired me to read other parallel novels, such as Huck and The Hours. If the opportunity presented itself to write a parallel novel, I’d probably write a book from Mr. Darcy’s or Jane Bennett’s perspective.

Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?

Um YES!

Coke or Pepsi?

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What’s the one question you always like when people ask authors?

“Where can I get your next book?” Lol.

Every Little Kiss comes out July 18, 2018

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Follow Marina, and find out where you can get her next book!

http://www.marinaadair.com/

www.facebook.com/marinaadairaauthor

www.twitter.com/MarinaEAdair

www.instagram.com/marinaadairauthor/

Complete: WIP-IT Wednesday

A pre-edited sneak peak at the 5th Legatum book.

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“Homework?” He asked, resting on the opposite bench for a moment.

“Yep, grading. I was hoping a change of scenery and some food would make this easier.” She rubbed the back of her neck.

“That sounds like it’s not working.”

“It’s not. I don’t know.” She rested her cheek in her palm, elbow resting on the table. She stared at the papers. “The students need an algebra brick upside their heads and I need a bubble bath.”

“The thing that always helped me with math, was context.” Bobby leaned back looking at the other customers, seeing if he was needed. He was. “I’ll be back.” He stood and left.

Ramona was still staring at the papers, she hadn’t moved when he returned with her french fries.

She popped a hot fry in her mouth, and chewed.

“As I was saying, context. I could care less about watermelons, but when Brad helped me he always put it into terms of the shop. How many cars how many parts, how to know what to order next. Have you tried that yet?”

“I need to. They were talking about that at my last school. How to prepare for the zombie apocalypse, food storage and stuff. How many cans of peaches to survive the first winter. How fast your gun shoots, how many bullets you need. That’s not a bad idea actually. I’m going to have to go over all of this again, why not. Thanks Bobby.” She popped another fry into her mouth, and smiled. “I’m going to need a burger for while I grade the rest of this.”

“BLT burger or you looking to branch out?”

“I’m going to live dangerously, can you add cheese to that?”

Bobby chuckled, “You are living dangerously.”

Ramona picked up the next paper in front of her. Teaching math with zombies, might actually work. She just hoped it wouldn’t get her into trouble with Principal Grover. He seemed to like to keep a tight reign on standards and how lessons were presented. The homework assignments seemed to get worse and worse as she continued grading.

Bobby arrived with her hamburger. “You’re still looking stressed.” He put the sandwich down in front of her, then reached behind her and began kneading her shoulders. Ramona felt like melting. Bobby’s hands were large and warm. His strong fingers dug into the tense muscles supporting her neck. “Your neck is like a rock.”

Ramona suppressed a groan, the massage felt so good. She felt like all of her muscles turned to jello. Bobby did know how to touch, okay this wasn’t the touch her friends seemed to seek out, but she would take it. “You need to go home and soak in a hot tub, that will help.” His thumbs continued to press circles next to her spine. Ramona could barely think.

“Ahh, I don’t have a tub, just a walk in shower. It sucks.”

Bobby continued working his hands over her shoulders.

“I think you missed your calling. You would make a killing as a masseuse.” Ramona almost purred.

His hands stopped, he patted Ramona on the shoulder. “I have a tub you can borrow.”

“What? Really? I don’t want to impose, but oh my God really?”

“Yeah, be right back.”

Ramona sat stunned. Bobby had a tub, and he was going to let her use it. Oh no, he’s hitting on me, wait Bobby never does that, he doesn’t need to. Her thoughts raced from the joy of a tub, to being worried if it was a come-on, and if she really wanted to be another notch on his belt or not. He was good looking, and nice, and that massage had felt so good. She wouldn’t mind a full body rub down. All the tension he had managed to work out of her neck returned. She shook her head, stop over thinking girl. She focused on eating her hamburger.

“Okay,” he was back. “I have an outdoor tub.”

“A hot tub?” Oh, that would be perfect she thought.

“No, just a tub. A really big tub. It has its own hot water heater, so it could be a hot tub, but no bubbles. I’m here all night, so if you wanted you could go over an use it.”

“Are you serious?” Ramona’s eyes were large saucers as she eagerly looked at Bobby. A tub! A bath!

“Yeah,” he chuckled. “Look my dogs will be out, but they won’t bother you. Just tell them to shut up, use their names so they think they know you.” He picked up the pencil she had been marking papers with, tore off a sheet from his order book, and scribbled down his address.

“I’m out on east 2280, dented white mailbox just past a red cattle gate. Una is the big brown hound, Deuce looks like a white pit, Tre is the gray mutt. They are all bark. Like I said, use their names tell them to shut up, and they will calm down. Tre might jump a bit, but they’re harmless.”

Ramona took the scribbled address. “Your dogs are named one-two-three?”

“And the cat is Cat.”

Interview with Reina Torres

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I like to set a scene for where the interview is taking place. I’ve never been to Hawaii so where should we go if we want to sit and chat and take in the scenery?

My favorite place to sit and watch the world go by is the overlook by the Makapu’u lighthouse… but the wind up there is wicked and doesn’t allow for much conversation if you don’t want to shout –

But if it’s quiet and scenery you’re looking for… Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden. So many different types of plants and I love to sit on the benches and enjoy the view and the fresh air.

You write a variety of romance from Shifter to Western to Contemporary. Do you have a favorite?

My gateway drug into Romance as a reader was Julie Garwood’s historicals – from there I was hooked 😀 but I like to read all kinds of romance… I chase the rush of a Happy Ever After

Your Westerns are labeled as “sweet,” how hot do your other styles run?

When people ask about the Westerns I tell them the only head in those stories would be the pot-bellied stove in the Mercantile. My other stories though… I leave the door wide open on the more personal scenes. I don’t think I shy away from the more heated moments and I hope the readers won’t either.

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You have a new release, please tell us about it, and how it fits in with your previous stories.

The Fighter is my newest release – it’s the Third in my Sylvan City Alphas Series – and there’s at least one more coming up. Maybe two. I was thrilled to write Cage’s book. He appeared in the first two books and a number of readers were asking about him… I knew I had to give him a woman who was strong but soft in all that ways that a hard man like him needed… it was so satisfying to see him a happy man with his family.

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Do you listen to music when you write? What do you like to listen to?

Mostly soundtracks from films in that genre… unless it’s a sex/love scene. I have a specific song playlist for that. Two actually. One for the softer scenes and one for… the other *wink*

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What next do you have in store for your readers?

Always, Ellis” the fifth book in the Three Rivers Express Series, I’m writing the odd numbers. And right after that? “Stealing the Vixen’s Heart.” Which is a book about a female fox shifter – I’m using some of the legends about the Kitsune – Japanese Fox Spirits/shifters.

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What is your writing process? Are you a pantser, or a planner?

Ever developing. I ping pong all over the spectrum… I usually start as a pantser writing a few scenes to get a ‘feel’ for the story. Then I’ll sit down and plot out a few chapters… It starts as an outline and then it devolves or evolves, as the case may be, into more scenes. So I’m not strictly one or the other.

What currently compels you to write?

The voices – I write to quiet down the noise in my head. (This answer got me in trouble with a counselor once. I think she was determined to make a name off of the ‘crazy woman’) Sometimes I hear a snippet of conversation in my head… or a piece of music and that brings up an idea for a scene. I’ve been writing like this for more than twenty years… just getting the stories out of my head and onto paper… now a computer file.

Character development is a fascination of mine, where do your characters come from?

EVERYWHERE – sometimes it starts with a name. sometimes by the situation… Maybe I have the hero already in my head… I try to find the right woman to match him… it can be a bit of a weird science situation.

What is your secret party trick?

My fellow Glee Clubbers called me the Human Jukebox. There’s a song for every situation… Every situation has a sunny side (from 42nd street) see?
That and not so much of a party thing… I distract myself during blood tests or IV insertions by reciting the 50 states in alphabetical order (and yes, I learned it from a song)

You seem to be addicted to Chicago Fire, are there other favorite shows that you binge watch?

Hulu cued up Fire mid-season and the first episode I saw had me hooked 😀
What I watch over and over? Hmmm When I’m editing… I listen to old episodes of Hell’s Kitchen. Something about Gordon Ramsey screaming makes it easier to look at things with a less emotional eye, I guess.
When I’m writing. I usually pick a show that I’ve seen numerous times and let it play like white noise in the background. Xfiles, Roswell, CSI: Miami (I love hearing Calleigh’s voice), West Wing, Project Runway, Top Chef, The British Bake-off… and the Catherine Cookson Mini-Series from BBC and Austen series. My watching habits are just as across the board as my reading…

Whats the one question you always like when people ask authors?

I guess… what their favorite books are… I especially love hearing about childhood books. My favorite, the one that really got me reading and the first one up all night, under the cover, flashlight on, was Little Women.

What’s in your Wallet?

Beyond the couple of $ I keep in there… My tickets from visiting the Winchester House last year, a  Fortune Card from my trip to Sacramento when Marina and I consulted Zoltar and a good luck fortune from New Years. I’m sentimental – or just mental, you can decide

 

YOU CAN FIND REINA ONLINE HERE:

Reina Torres Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/ReinaTorresRomance/

Reina Torres Blog https://www.reinatorres.com

Twitter https://www.twitter.com/rtorresauthor

Amazon Page http://www.amazon.com/author/reinatorresromance

Join my all genre newsletter – http://eepurl.com/bZ87Uv

Or if you’re a Sweet Romance only reader… email me and I’ll add you to the specific list reinatorresauthor@gmail.com

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15294691.Reina_Torres

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/reinatorresromance/

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/reinatorresauth/

Happy Release Day!

SweetSatisfaction

Now Available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited!

Sexy hot dessert chef Les Hernandez knows how to make a cheesecake.

Les Hernandez is hot. He is sexy as hell, he has that whole bad boy chef vibe, rocks a kilt, and makes the most orgasmic cheesecake Tori has ever tasted. No wonder it was crush at first sight. Tori even changes her work schedule so she can see him more, all under the pretense of excellent customer service. But she knows it’s hopeless, that he only sees her as that funny pudgy girl that’s good to hang out with because she doesn’t threaten away other women. 

Tori begins to question her life choices: moving to a small town in the middle of wine country no longer seems like the best idea. Her best friend no longer returns text messages, her boss has changed the nature of her job, and she really needs to get over her crush on Les.

Les can’t figure sassy Tori out. Her job as Social Marketing and Special Projects Manager for one of their suppliers has her in his kitchen doing everything from delivering vegetables to taking selfies. She also has this way of eating his desserts that leaves him needing a moment or three in the walk-in freezer to cool off. But he doesn’t think of her that way. Or does he?

Wine Country Tour with Kate Kisset

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Hey everyone! Thanks for having me Lulu!

I’m Kate Kisset waving to you from my car. Get ready, we’re going on a road trip today to celebrate the release of my third book AND I LOVE YOU. I’m about an hour’s drive north of San Francisco in California wine country, the setting of my series.

While Lulu’s running back into the house to grab her stuff, allow me to introduce myself.

Readers say my stories aresexy, and refreshing, with complex characters and plots that serve up humor without holding back on heart.”

I took the phrase “write what you know,” to a whole new level :). My books take place right outside my front door. I use “real” wine country locations, actual events and pour genuine wine whenever possible.

Kate Kisset, Love in the Vineyards, And I Love You

 

Here’s the scoop on my series:

Love in the Vineyards is a small-town romance series centering around six very hot Italian brothers from a Napa Valley wine dynasty and three strong, passionate women who are roommates at nearby villa in Sonoma Valley. The Santino brothers are swoon-worthy, protective, loyal men who’ll do anything for the women they adore…

(FYI: You don’t have to know anything about wine. My characters just drink it.)

I have three books out so far: Love at Last, Love’s Home Run and my latest, And I Love You. All the novels are standalone romances and readers are loving them. Check out the hundreds of five-star reviews on Amazon to see what I mean.

Lulu’s getting in the car now, so buckle up. I’m going to take you to some of the scenes in my books and show you around California wine country…

*All the photos are my own, taken with my phone camera.

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Let’s park at the villa. In Love in the Vineyards, the heroines of Love at Last, Love’s Home Run and And I love You live in this historic villa.

Lulu Castelli the landlady of what I call “Bella Villa” is more like family to my characters, Sarah, Danica, and Juliet.

In my story, Lulu is the great-granddaughter of a famous winemaker very similar to Agoston Haraszthy.  Mr. Haraszthy, the self-proclaimed “Count of Buena Vista,” created California’s first premium winery in Sonoma Valley in 1857.

The actual building is an exact replica of the family home the “Count” built in the 1800s. The property is now Bartholomew Winery property in Sonoma Valley.

Moving along, we’re approaching the Sonoma Plaza in the center of town.   

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The series begins with Love at Last when Sarah Dupont moves to Sonoma after her fiancé cheated on her with a co-worker at their San Francisco bakery.

Sarah opens her own café on the Sonoma Plaza and gets tricked into giving notorious panty-dropper-actor Jamie Santino baking lessons for his upcoming movie role. (*Inside scoop: The “real” Basque Boulangerie Café just a few doors down from theatre was the inspiration behind Sarah’s Vine Café in the story.)

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Their love affair ends up throwing Sarah for a loop. Her heart’s already been broken once. How can she believe Jamie isn’t acting when everything he says sounds too good to be true?

Let’s pull over for a second. A lot of people think Sonoma looks a lot like Stars Hollow from the Gilmore Girls. Do you notice a similarity?

(*Inside scoop: Jamie Santino shows up at a screening at the “real” Sebastiani theater at the end of Love at Last.)

Did I mention that every woman at Bella Villa and all the Santino brothers are getting happily-ever-afters in this series? Let’s head over to the ballpark, it’s just off the plaza.

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Book two, Love’s Home Run centers around Jamie Santino’s baseball star brother, Luca. Luca and Danica Vargas (Sarah’s roommate) were childhood sweethearts. When Luca ends up back in wine country, Danica doesn’t recognize him.

She didn’t think he’d ever come home or she wouldn’t have “accidentally” kissed his older brother Michael.

(Inside Scoop: The Napa Crushers, Luca’s team in the book was inspired by Sonoma’s “real” indie team, the Sonoma Stompers.)

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I’m going to head back to the put the car in park now. In book three, my latest release And I Love You, the scenes move back and forth from Sonoma to San Francisco.

Disc jockey Juliet St. John, (the third Bella Villa roommate), has been patiently waiting for her happily-ever-after and she finds one with single dad, Gabe Durand.

Here’s the short blurb:

She’s the overnight DJ desperate for a caffeine infusion.
He’s the late-night bartender who has just what she needs.
If they play their cards right they might both get the refill of a lifetime.

(Inside scoop: I used to be a San Francisco disc jockey and just like Juliet, I was demoted to the graveyard shift! I used to run from my car to the station every night praying I wouldn’t get mugged.)

Kate Kisset, And I Love You, Love in the Vineyards

 

I think this is a good time to wrap up our drive today. Thank you so much for having me Lulu! I hope you and your readers enjoyed the mini-tour of wine country and got to know me a little better.

I’m working on book #4 of the series, Michael Santino’s story now. This one’s a doozy. I’m sticking with the plan to “write what you know” and setting this story in the middle of the wildfires that hit northern California wine county last fall. It’ll be “hot” to say the least!

I’d love it if you followed me and we stayed in touch.

Here’s where you can find me:

Kate Kisset AMAZON PAGE (All Books)

http://www.katekisset.com/

Kate Kisset NEWSLETTER

Kate Kisset FACEBOOK

Kate Kisset PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP

Kate Kisset INSTAGRAM

Kate Kisset TWITTER

Kate Kisset BOOKBUB

Dangerous is now Available!

teamdante

Family goof-off and all-around playboy Dante has been tasked with finding the missing branches of the family tree. It’s a big tree, but luckily he’s a trained investigator. What he finds instead is Geena. Only she doesn’t understand how important she is to him and she’s slipped through his fingers. Now he wants to drop all his responsibilities and track her down.

Geena’s traveling companions are the trifecta of feminine beauty. They are thin, rich, and stylish, so she’s shocked when the hot guy starts hitting on her. What she doesn’t know yet is that Dante isn’t just a guy. And to him, she’s not just another in a long string of women in his loose past. Dante has seen the mate glow and he knows what it means.

Dangerous book birthday

AMAZON – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079HHK6RW
KOBO – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dangerous-64
NOOK – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1127911659
IBOOKS – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dangerous/id1342768021…
GOOGLE – https://play.google.com/…/books/d…/Lulu_M_Sylvian_Dangerous…

Play Ball! Interview with author Jen Doyle

A big believer in happily ever afters, Jen Doyle decided it was high time she started creating some. CALLING IT, the first book in her baseball/contemporary romance/romantic comedy series of the same name, has been winning awards since its inception, the most recent being the 2017 Best Banter Contest. (And it’s on sale through 4/5/18 for 99 cents!) She also writes the acclaimed HANSONS OF ST. HELENA series of novellas in the St. Helena Vineyard Kindle World.

Today is the beginning of baseball for the year and the first day of Jen’s 99 cent sale! The runs until April 5th.
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I love to set a scene for our interview. It helps to give the readers a little more insight into you as a person. I’m not sure if we should be at a ballpark with hotdogs and drinks, or chatting quietly in the big comfy chairs at a library?

LOL! How about sitting on the beautiful porch of a library that’s situated in an old Victorian home and overlooks a baseball field? (I used the house in the picture at https://www.pinterest.com/pin/385620786821588739/ as my inspiration for, well, the Inspiration (IA) Public Library. So that’s the porch I’m thinking of. Which, come to think of it, kind of looks like the porch on the house in Field Of Dreams, which in turn looks over a baseball field. [See how I did that? ]) Oh, and don’t forget the Cracker Jacks!

Your first series centers around baseball and a small town in Iowa. So let’s start with baseball, I take it you are a fan? Who is your favorite team? Did you grow up playing as a kid?

I am! I actually just recorded a podcast with my sister where we talk about that. For me, baseball brings about memories of sitting in the living room and doing homework while my dad watched the game on the TV. He was a huge Yankees fan, so those games were a big part of my growing up. When I met the man who was to become my husband (we met in college), the fact that he was a Red Sox fan was a bit of a concern in my family…with good reason. We moved to Boston in 1996 and living in such a big baseball town it was hard not to begin to side with the hometown team. I officially converted in 2003 and am now raising three fairly rabid Red Sox fans, to (some of) my family’s dismay.

And now for small towns, you also write for St. Helena Vineyards Kindle Worlds, that also takes place in and around a small town. What drew you to these two small-town locations for your writing?

It’s weird, because I’m actually a city girl at heart, but when it comes to my fiction, I love reading and writing about small towns. I think it’s about these communities of people who know everything about each other and are in each other’s business all the time. Sometimes that’s a good thing, with communities coming together in times of hardship, and sometimes, of course, it’s not quite as idyllic, with small-town politics, etc. But being able to explore those themes—and play up those characters—is definitely one of my favorite things to do.

And to add on to that, what I love about writing in the St. Helena Vineyard KW universe, is the ability to play off the amazing characters that Marina Adair created in her original series and then either expand upon or bring brand new characters into the world. Plus, to be part of this community of writers…it’s like all the amazing parts of a small town rolled up into one.

Tell us a little about the Calling It! series. Is there a next book in the works, and what is that one about?

The Calling It series starts off with, unsurprisingly, LOL, Calling It in which a superstar major league baseball player Nate Hawkins returns to his small hometown of Inspiration, IA, in order to escape a scandal that he’s part of through no part of his own. He hasn’t told anyone he’s coming home, so when he arrives in town just before midnight, he decides to crash at his baby sister’s apartment, not knowing that she’s sublet it. When he’s confronted by a woman in her bathrobe—who is very much not his sister—he finds himself being more intrigued than he should be, especially considering she’s clearly ready to clobber him with a baseball bat. The woman, of course, is the local librarian, Dorie Donelli. Things proceed from there.

There are two more books in the series—Called Up, which centers around Nate’s baby sister (Fitz) and one of his best friends from high school (Deke), and Called Out, which centers around Nate’s former teammate and Deke’s sister Lola. All are standalone books, but definitely more enjoyable if read in order because of the way different characters are revisited. There’s also a shorter length book, Holiday House Call, that takes place in the same small town. It, too, is a standalone and more loosely related than the other books, however, it does bring back some of the same characters from the earlier books.

I’m actually working on a proposal for a new series right now, but my next project is to write the first book in a spin-off series that will revolve around Dorie’s brothers back in Boston. And then—I hope!—back to Inspiration again as there are still some characters whose stories I’d like to tell.  

You also have a paranormal romance serial out on Radish. Educate us a bit on what Radish is, and how readers access your work there. 

Radish is an app that you would download—just like any other app—and then begin to explore the different genres. For those not familiar, serial fiction is made up of stories that are told over a period of time. With Radish, each story is broken up into difference ‘episodes’ which are posted throughout the week. So, for example, Butterfly Ops, my story in Radish, is posted three times each week. It’s part of the ‘freemium’ model, which means that the initial few chapters are free, and then readers can either choose to pay coins for succeeding chapters or wait until they become free over time.

You used to be a big mystery fan, do you blend your two favorite genres? Romance with serious who-done-its?

You know, I don’t! That’s so funny. I never thought about that. Butterfly Ops, although primarily a romance, does have an overarching mystery to it, and that was a lot of fun to write. But my contemporary romances don’t have any whodunit elements whatsoever. Hmmmm… I’ll need to think about that.

Do you listen to music when you write? What is the soundtrack to your latest book if you do?

I don’t really listen to music while I’m writing because there are already too many voices in my head, LOL. But I will say that I find music very inspirational and that it helps stir the creative juices when I’m more in the ruminating stage of a book. Or, for that matter, when I’m really stuck. I will say that I had a very difficult time writing Holiday House Call due to some things that were going on in my life, and although I had a contract deadline to meet, I was getting to the point where I was afraid I actually wasn’t going to be able to do it and that bothered me immensely. And then I stumbled upon Walker Hayes (specifically the video to You Broke Up With Me) and that finally got me going again. It wasn’t the song so much as the musician. He had all the characteristics I was looking for in Tuck, my hero for the book—not just the looks, although the whole chiseled jaw, ridiculously gorgeous arms thing didn’t hurt, but he brought to life a character that I was having a hard time visualizing and it made a huge difference. (Incidentally, Walker Hayes is an incredible songwriter and storyteller. I highly recommend boom., the CD he just recently put out.)

Who are your writing heroes, and how did they inspire you to become a writer?

You know how people say they knew from almost as soon as they could talk that they’d be a writer? Yeah. I’m not one of those. I actually didn’t even think of myself as a writer until about five years ago. Up until then, I considered it a hobby as the first thing I put to paper (well, virtually, of course) was a fanfic in the Buffy universe. One of my favorite characters left the show under circumstances that I wasn’t at all happy with, so I decided to write an explanation that I could live with. My writing career kind of spiraled from there.

As part of that experience, however, I ‘met’ someone named Diana, who responded to one of the first stories I ever wrote. (Incidentally, dear reader, she hated it.) But that turned into a ten-year relationship where she helped me make the journey from hobbyist to actual novelist. She’s the person who eventually told me that I had it in me to write a book—that, in fact, given what I’d done in the fan fiction world, I already had nine times over—and that I should think about it seriously. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to be able to dedicate Calling It, my first published novel, to her.

The question I ask everyone is about their characters. How do your characters come to you? Do they show up and say “hi write me” or do they develop as you construct your story?

I’d say it’s a combination of both. Although I have a general sense of where my story is going to go, I find that the characters truly take me there. I’m definitely one of those writers who basically has scenes unfold in my head as I’m writing them (thus the ‘voices in my head’ I referred to earlier), and, as a result, characters basically telling me where they want to go. There are also some characters which take some time to develop—like Tuck, from Holiday House Call, who I didn’t even know was going to have a book of his own until, well, he did—and then some characters who are so vivid and strong that I’ve known from the second they appear in my head exactly how their story is going to play out. For example, Jack, the hero from Called Out (#3), is one of the first characters I ever conceived of even though he didn’t show up in person until the very end of book one. And although some of the background details may have changed a bit, he ended up exactly as I saw him in those very early days.

Which comes first the character or the story?

I guess I’d say the characters, but only by a little bit. I tend to see particular scenes in my head, and those scenes have characters in them—sometimes the romantic leads, sometimes a group of friends—but I have no idea what bigger story the scene is part of. Which, unfortunately, is a huge problem for me, LOL. (I HATE first drafts.)

Which do you prefer rom-coms or action adventure movies? Or are you an Oscars kind of flick person (of course this year a monster movie won, so that’s a bit of a change up, isn’t it?)

I like my movies the way I like my books—with happy endings. So, unfortunately, those big “important” films that tend to win the big awards don’t usually appeal to me no matter how amazing they might be. And although I do enjoy a good action adventure movie for, say, date night with my husband, or a family outing with the kids (have you seen the new Jumanji? It was AWESOME), I will always choose the rom-com if it’s just me. But it definitely has to have a happy ending. None of that Nicholas Sparks stuff for me!

Coke or Pepsi?

Coke. No question. (To the point where I went out to lunch last weekend and ordered a Diet Coke, and when the waitress asked if Diet Pepsi was okay, I had to give the big n-o and switch to Iced Tea.)

What’s on your pizza?

Well, I should probably say things like a lot of vegetables and easy on the cheese. But that would be a total lie. Pepperoni and extra cheese, please.

I really want to ask that credit card commercial question: What’s in your wallet?

Ha! My wallet is pretty boring. Credit cards, my driver’s license, and a bunch of old receipts that I stuffed into the inner pocket. My purse on the other hand…I’ve got toy cars (even though my kids stopped playing with them some time ago), cough drops, tissues, a book, my planner, pens, more cough drops… Oh, I could go on.

And with that, it looks like I’ve reached the end! Thank you sooooo much for having me! I’ve enjoyed sitting here on the porch and watching the game with you. Let’s do this again sometime!

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Baseball player Nathan Hawkins needs to get away from Chicago. After a near career-ending car accident and with paparazzi surrounding his penthouse, Nate can only think of one place to go: home. But when he finds his old apartment occupied by a half-naked woman wielding a baseball bat, he’s not sure what to think…except that maybe his luck has finally changed for the better.

Librarian Dorie Donelli never thought she’d get to meet her fantasy man in person—much less in her bathrobe. To her surprise, her nearly naked run-in with Nate leads to more unclothed encounters. But Dorie is sure their fling is only temporary. As long as she remembers he’ll be gone once his life gets back on track, she won’t get hurt. In the meantime, she throws herself into enjoying their three weeks together before he has to report for spring training and go back to his old life.

For Nate, being with Dorie is the only time in months that he finds himself smiling. Laughing. And he has no intention of letting that go. He might even be falling in love…if only Dorie will let him say the words. What they have isn’t just a dream, but the start of a dream come true.

 

Wip-It Wednesday: Longing

Longing- Legatum book 4- is in the works for an early fall/ later summer release.

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Lucy hung up the phone. A smile crossed her lips. The kids were off with Geoff’s sister Michelle, and now a dinner date, alone, just the two of them. It had been entirely too long since they had some time to themselves. Last night had been the kick off to what was turning into a fabulous weekend.

She stood in front of her open closet. She wanted to wear something that made her feel beautiful, something that would remind Geoff of last night. Something that would remind them both that over forty wasn’t old.

Lucy sensed that Geoff had been hit hard by the big four-oh. Middle-aged. Even though it really wasn’t. His family had longevity in their genes, and modern medical science added in the extra boost. Besides Geoff was fit and healthy. His doctor declared it about his insides, as well as the obvious physical appearance. Lucy felt that forty was just the beginning. Then again she also felt that her kids kept her young. Tonight she was going to remind Geoff they were nowhere near being old.

Red would set off her pale skin and black hair. Turquoise would light up her eyes to a neon blue. And then there was always basic black. Her closet was full of basic black. Her closet wasn’t the gloriously large walk-in type she used to have, it was slightly deeper than two hanger’s widths and as wide as half the bedroom. She knew in the depths there had to be a sexy red dress. Lucy dug into the corner, cursing how she wished she had a flashlight. Clothes pressed against her back and felt uncharacteristically heavy. She cursed again as she discovered just how many of her clothes had slipped from their hangers and were piled up in the back.

I need to clean this thing out. I bet I can give half of these to Stacey. Her daughter was about the same size now, and had a flair for style that Lucy no longer embraced. She unearthed a lone shoe, tossing it to the other side of the closet.

Lucy came up for air, sitting on her haunches just outside of the open closet. She pulled a heap of random clothes with her. Everything was black, or beige. Not beige, taupe. She had gone through a phase where she only wore black white or taupe. She had been very stylish, but also fairly conservative for her own tastes. A glint of red caught her eye as she shifted the pile.

A dress. A spaghetti-strapped velvet sheath dress. Perfect.