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Entries in romance novels (26)

Monday
Aug112014

The Journey to Debut Authorhood by Jamie Wesley (plus WIN a Kindle!)

I have a very special guest for y'all today. When I decided to start writing again for real back in 2008-2009, one of my big get-over-my-shyness-and-take-this-seriously steps was to go to a local RWA (Romance Writers of America) meeting for the first time. I remember I was so nervous because I'd never really said out loud to anyone besides my immediate family that I wanted to be a writer.

But when I walked in, I took a spot next to someone who seemed to be on her own and not in one of the already established groups of women. Somehow (despite us both being quiet people) we struck up a conversation and I found out it was her very first meeting as well. Sometimes, you just click with people and that's how it was with Jamie.

Since that first meeting, Jamie and I have been friends, each other's writing cheerleaders, and roommates at every national RWA conference. She's cheered me on as I went from unpublished newbie to agented to multi-published. And I've shaken my pom-poms for her as she went from unpublished newbie to Golden Heart nominee to now *drumroll*...debut author!!! She has worked so damn hard to get to this point in her career, and I'm almost as excited for her debut as I was for my own, lol. So without further ado, I'll turn it over to Jamie.

Read it. Enter her contest. And buy her book. (It's only 99 cents for debut week!) You won't be disappointed.

 

 

GUEST AUTHOR: Jamie Wesley

A few years ago, Roni asked if I’d be interested in writing a guest post for her blog while she was on vacation. Before finally agreeing to do it, I hemmed and hawed (and got on her nerves, I’m sure) because I was unpublished and I knew she had all these blog followers. What could I, in my unpubbed glory, offer them?

Fast forward to today. I’m still not sure I have anything of substance to offer, but, as of today, I’m no longer unpublished. The dream I’ve been pursuing for the past five years has come true. After many close calls and frustrating setbacks, I am finally a published author with TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD. And I couldn’t be happier. Or more nervous.

To be perfectly honest, it’s all a bit surreal. To dream and work hard while never quite knowing when you’ll achieve your goal is the name of the publishing game. You work and work for it and then it happens and it’s like “Crap. What have I gotten myself into?”

I write stories that I want to read. I’ve always assumed that if I’m interested in the storyline, then surely someone else will be, too. So I wrote. And now I have to put that theory to the test. It’s scary, but I wouldn’t change anything about the experience. Because this is what I’ve always wanted. I’m living my dream and I’m so grateful. I firmly believe that life is about pursuing your dreams and not having (many) regrets. In 2006, I decided I wanted to work in sports, so I quit my job, moved to a new city, and went to grad school to get a degree in sport management. Now, I work in the sport/entertainment industry.

Following your dreams is a lesson my characters, Noelle and Tate, take to heart. For Noelle, helping people as a psychologist is her dream come true. For Tate, things aren’t so clear, but things don’t stay that way for long. J  

Am I done dreaming? Heck no. I have to visit Spain, a dream I’ve had for twenty years ever since I visited Europe after my eighth grade and we went everywhere but Spain. I was so upset I couldn’t use my two years of Spanish. Just a few days ago, I decided that Spain will happen in 2015. I also want to attend Wimbledon. And the Olympics.  

And yes, I want to publish more books. I can’t wait to get started in making these dreams and more come true. :)

To celebrate the release of TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD, I’m giving away a Kindle. To enter, please answer the following question and fill out the Rafflecopter:

What’s your dream? What did you do or plan on doing to make it happen?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD, the first chapter is posted on my website. 

Book Blurb:

Two radio show hosts. One show. Who will come out on top?

In a moment of restlessness, Tate Grayson sold his multimillion-dollar company and spun his love of sports into a radio talk show. Life, and love, is too short to take seriously—a fact he enjoys rubbing in uptight radio host Noelle Butler’s face.

After the death of her parents, a tragedy she blamed on herself, Noelle vowed to live a controlled, focused life. Now a psychologist, she channels her need for connection into her radio show. But when the arrogant sportscaster next door tells listeners men shouldn’t get married, she’s all too happy to yank the silver spoon out of his overprivileged mouth.

Their heated on-air arguments are a hit, but when the station director forces them to do a joint show for two weeks, Tate and Noelle object. They can’t stand each other, despite the attraction sizzling beneath every interaction. But if they can’t pull the struggling radio station back from the brink, they’ll lose their jobs. Or worse, their hearts.

 Find the book: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Goodreads   

Jamie Wesley has been reading romance novels since she was about 12 when her mother left a romance novel, which a friend had given her, on the nightstand. Jamie read it instead, and the rest is history.

She started her first manuscript, a contemporary romance, after she graduated from Northwestern University in 2002 and couldn't find a job. Life got in the way as it often does, i.e. she found a job, and she didn't finish the story. However, she never forgot about it and finally got serious about completing it in 2009. She’s been writing ever since.

Jamie holds a master’s degree in sport management (yes, that's a real thing :-) ) from the University of Texas at Austin, so it probably comes as no surprise that she loves sports and spends an inordinate amount of time rooting for her hometown Dallas’s pro sports teams and her alma maters.

She also adores Walt Disney World, shopping, and pop culture. Want to know if your favorite TV show is going to be canceled or what the newest Disney attraction is? Ask Jamie. She'll probably know the answer.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter

 

Tuesday
Sep102013

Fill Your Shelves for Fall Book Giveaway (Day 2) - 10 Paranormal Romances!

If you missed it yesterday, I'm doing a huge giveaway of over FIFTY romances this week. Each day I'm featuring a different subgenre. Yesterday was contemporary romance, and there's still time to enter that one as well. But today is the day for Paranormal Romance.

Today's prize pack includes TEN Paranormal Romances plus a signed copy of my book, Caught Up In You (erotic romance).

Paranormal Prize Pack: 

 

* Heart of Evil by Heather Graham is not pictures but is included. It was a late addition. :)

AND

 

To Enter: You MUST fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Simply leaving a comment will not enter you for the contest. Contest ends Friday Sept. 20. Winner will be chosen and notified the following week.

Note: Contest for U.S. and Canada Only. Some books in the prizes packs are used. Signed books (besides Caught Up In You) are signed To Roni since these are books from my personal library and were not donated by the author. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


 

*You can enter as many of this week's contests as you would like. You're not limited to only entering one. So be sure to stop by throughout the week. :)

THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK:

  • Monday: Contemporary Romance
  • Tuesday: Paranormal Romance
  • Wednesday: Erotic Romance
  • Thurday: Young Adult
  • Friday: Historical Romance and A Mixed Genre Grab Bag

 

Thursday
Feb142013

Reading Sexy Books For or With Your Partner & A Message to the Dudes

Photo by M31 (flickr cc)Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! 

Today, I ran across a post by Maisey Yates over at the Peanut Butter on the Keyboard blog on why it's important to keep the sizzle in your marriage. And I ended up having a sideline conversation with her about it where the topic of romance novels came up. Obviously, we both write romance, so we're a bit biased, but both of us see them as relationship enhancers rather than detractors. Life can be crazy and busy and exhausting. And sometimes when we finally roll into bed at night, the last thing on our minds is sexy times. We can forget how nice it can be to lose ourselves in the touch of the person we love most.

And sometimes all we need is a little nudge or reminder. Taking a few minutes in the evening to decompress and read a book that focuses on the greatness of romance can be just the thing that puts us back in the right frame of mind. It reminds us how transcendent kissing and touching (and kinky things, if you're reading one of my books) can be with someone you love. It provides space in our minds again for romance and sex, shoving out all those other things--the dishes, the kids' homework, the pound we gained this week, the project at work-- at least for a little while. It can remind a woman what a sacred space we can create when it's just you and the person you love with nothing else between you.

So when I hear some guys deride romance novels or worse, get jealous of them, I kind of want to smack them on the back of the head. The logic goes something like this: "I should be enough. I don't want her lusting over some fictional dude to get turned on for me." Come on, guys. It's not about wishing you were some other dude. Women need to be in the right state of mind for sex and often it's harder for us to block out the other stuff and focus--reading a book and getting swept away in some sexy story can help refocus us. It makes us fall for you all over again and reminds us--hey, we have this guy we love sitting over there and all this sexy stuff that is going on in this book--well, we can have that too. Right. Now. Hello, there.

It also can make us more adventurous and open to new things in bed. I'm sure there are many men out there right now (especially after the surge of BDSM romance out there now) who are smart enough to not make fun of the thing that made their women say--so, hey, honey, maybe you could tie me up tonight and tell me exactly how to please you. Lol. 

I've had a number of my readers tell me that they even pick out their favorite scenes from my books and read them aloud with their partners. How fun is that? It's a sexy activity and it provides a more comfortable way to convey--hey, maybe we could try something like this. AND, it conveys to the woman that her guy is totally secure in himself and their relationship and is willing to hear her fantasies without all that judgey-ness.

And nothing is sexier than a guy who is confident and secure enough to know that there's no way a fictional hero could compete with him in his woman's eyes. Promise. That. Is. Hot.

So go forth and have a fantastic Valentine's Day!

Blatant self-promotion alert: And if you're looking for a sexy, short read for you and your partner to try out, STILL INTO YOU, my novella, is about a married couple re-kindling the flame by getting a little sexually adventurous and is only 2.99.

Anyone read steamy books with their honey? How does your partner feel about your reading habits?

Monday
Jan142013

Must-Read Monday: Give Me Your Old School Romance Picks

I have a confession to make. Despite my love for the romance genre now, I didn't grow up reading classic romance. My mom wasn't a romance reader. So for the longest time, I didn't even realize that the genre existed. But anything I read--suspense, YA, horror--it was the relationship parts that always drew me the most. So when I finally discovered romance, I was hooked.

But what this means is that I missed out on a lot of those "classic" romance authors from the 80s and 90s. And I still haven't read a Nora Roberts. So when my romance friends are discussing their all-time favorite old school romances, I have no frame of reference. Therefore, I am fixing this. : )

This past week I read Whitney, My Love  by Judith McNaught (published in 1985). I had originally picked this one up because it is always referred to as one of the notorious "bodice rippers" that let a hero get away with a rape. And yes, that happened. It was not "forced seduction" that is sometimes used in historicals. It was rape. Period. The hero even calls it such. And even when I knew it was going to happen, I still found myself hoping the hero would stop at the last minute. I will note that the author has since released a revised version that changes that scene and a few others (including a riding crop/punishment scene that I actually thought was hot and would be sad to see go--but I write BDSM so take that for what it's worth, lol.)

This is the current/revised version.


This is the original 1985 version I read.

But despite that scene, the story itself had me freaking captivated. I couldn't stop reading. It was intense and spanned so much time that the whole thing felt epic. So I "got" it. I got why this book was so popular. And it made me go buy a few more McNaught's (based on recs from friends on their favorites, which I have been assured are not "rape-y".) So even with the things that wouldn't be kosher in books today (head-hopping, "big misunderstanding" conflicts, and a hero committing an irredeemable act), I still loved the book. 

And it got me in the mood for more old school romances. So I went to the used bookstore this weekend to scan the shelves. I was overwhelmed, though, because I don't know which is good and which isn't, etc. I ended up leaving with nothing. But when I walked out, I saw that outside they were selling romance flats for 15 dollars. (42 romance novels for 15 dollars!!!) Because my TBR pile is out of control, I forced myself not to buy them. It was painful to walk away, but I was trying to be a good girl. : )

Later, I tweeted about the books and how much I really wanted them. My dear hubs (@TheMrLoren) saw my tweet. He was downstairs, and I was upstairs with kidlet at the time. Well, he snuck out of the house, drove back to the bookstore, and bought me both flats to surprise me. When I came back downstairs, he was walking in with two giant boxes of old school (and some new) romances. In my world, this is more romantic than getting a diamond ring or something, lol. Best. Hubs. Ever. 

Aren't they pretty?

(click here if you want to see bigger pic to read titles)

So now I have a treasure or 84 romances by mostly NYT bestsellers and have no idea where to start. Authors included are Nora Roberts, Jude Deveraux, Catherine Coulter, Julia Quinn, Susan Wiggs, Mary Balogh, Fern Michaels, Johanna Lindsey, Amanda Quick...

The mind boggles.

This is where YOU come in. Old school romance readers, I want to know your favorites, not just from this list.

  • What are your favorites of all time, those books you still remember from years or decades ago?
  • What should be on my syllabus for catching up on the great romances of the last few decades?

 

Wednesday
Jan092013

Should You Write That Potentially Controversial Scene?

Photo by CarbonNYC (Flickr cc)Writing any story is a risk. You're putting your heart there on the page, and people may hate it. And, of course, we want everyone to love our stories, right? But here's the thing: it's an impossible task. There is no book that is going to resonate with everyone. Even the greatest works of fiction have their critics.

So when you sit down and are writing your story and you hit that scene where you think--should I go there? Will this offend/freak out/piss off this A/B/C group of people?--do not cower. If it's right for the story and those characters, then write it. 

Inevitably, in each of my books there is THAT scene--one scene that divides my readers between two camps. Some of my more traditional readers think the scene went a little too far, and then my more seasoned romance and erotic readers declare the scene their favorite. It never fails. What one side hates, the other adores. Though, I do get a lot of converts over from the traditional side with each book, lol. *evil grin* But regardless, there's always that scene. In STILL INTO YOU, it's the scene with my married couple and Ian. In MELT INTO YOU, it's the scene between Andre and Jace. And now with FALL INTO YOU, it's a scene involving a "make me" role play between the hero and heroine.

Do I know these scenes may push some buttons when I'm writing them? Yes. Do I still put them in? Yes. Because that's part of what makes the story interesting. It's not controversy for the sake of controversy, but it's those scenes that make the reader wonder in your next book and keeps them guessing. If I always wrote the safe way, then you'd know exactly what to expect in each book. Who wants that? That's why I love Tiffany Reisz's books so much because I know she's willing to go wherever the hell she wants, lol. So as a reader, it keeps me on my toes. And recently, I read Reflected In You by Sylvia Day. I'm not going to give away the ending, but what she did there at the end made me go all 0.0  I was like--oh, she WENT there. And I loved that. It made the book so much better because she didn't shy away from a truly risky move.

So when you come across that controversial scene in your own book, don't worry about what will so and so think. Put on your big girl (or boy) underoos and write what fits the characters and the story. That's your job. 

Have you ever worried about a scene being too controversial in any of your stories? How do you feel when you run across those scenes in the books of others and it pushes you out of your comfort zone?