Saturday, November 30, 2013

'Twas the Night Before Christmas




Thanksgiving is over. Mr. T. Thomas Turkey can come on out of hiding. He's safe for another year around our part of the world because we don't do the big Christmas dinner at our house. We do have a couple of traditions on Thanksgiving. We like for Husband/Mr. B/Daddy/Poppa to get out the guitar and everyone who wants to, whether they can carry a tune or not, sings. The rest of us two step up and down the hallway.

And then all of the titles above reads us his special Christmas poem, Jake's Night Before Christmas. To formally kick off the Christmas season I thought I'd share it with you this weekend. He wrote it years ago for our kids when they were small but no matter the age, the whole family loves it. So without further ado here is the Brown Christmas poem.
 
JAKE'S NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
by Charles Brown

“Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring
“Cept a flea and a louse!
The family were all sleeping
In rooms overhead
While Father snored loud ‘nough
To wake up the dead,
And Mother lay sleeping,
A smile on her face,
In sweet dreams of diamonds
And satin and lace.
The children were all stacked
In their beds like sardines—
‘Cause this wasn’t exactly
A “family of means,”
And three double beds were
All they could afford
To accommodate company
And their own mongrel horde—
There was Sandy and Sally
And Rhonda and Sue,
There was Betty and Billy
And Otis and Blue,
(Now you may think that Blue’s
A strange name for a kid,
But it fit that line better
Than Bosephus did!)
And four or five others
Whose names I’ve forgot,
(And so have their parents
As likely as not!
But they had heard somewhere
Kids came cheaper in dozens),
And there were also and uncle,
An aunt and a handful of cousins.
An old hound was sleeping
Downstairs by the fire
With his old tail just inches
From a bare Christmas tree wire.
That old mutt would snore
And then he’d roll over
(Now I’d use his name here
If his name had been Rover,
But not all dogs are named that!
For great pity’s sake!
As a matter of fact,
This dog’s name was Jake!)
Now Jake, as I said
Just before I digressed,
Was in front of the fire
And was taking his rest,

And the flea on the dog
And the louse on the chair
Were both watching that tail
And that wire that was bare.
Now the flea and the dog
Had been friends a long time
(To have a flea for a friend
Is really no crime),

But the louse was a stranger,
I must here confess,
Brought home on the head
Of a kid, I should guess.
Well, old Jake would snarl
And his old legs would quiver
As in dreams he ran rabbits
Through fields by the river.
Then he’d pick up his tail
And he’d wave it around—
Like a frayed flag of victory—

Then drop it back down,
And the flea and the louse, well,
They wouldn’t breath, no sir!
‘Cause each time that tail
Got a little bit closer!
“Guess I’d better get down,”
Said the flea with a lisp,
“Or I might just by chance
Get myself burned to a crisp.
I suppose I could wake him
With a good solid bite?”
“Let him be,” said the louse,
“Its been a dull night.”
And the two, being vermin,
And “birds of a feather,”
Sat down to await
What would happen together.
And for most of the night
Old Jake got along fine.
Though he moved his tail often
He missed that wire every time.
He would wave it around
And then bring it to rest
And miss that there bare wire
A half inch at the best!
Now the flea really thought
He should help his old friend
 And was just about ready
To suggest it again
When the louse said, “You know,
Flea, I’m really quite bored.”
And old Jack laid his tail
Right smack down on that cord!
And yet “right smack down” is not
What I really should say
‘Cause he had his tail humped
In an odd sort of way
That left some tail on one side
And some on the other,
And those bugs held their breath
‘Til they thought they would smother!
“I thought he had done it,”
Said the louse with a pant.
“If he gets out of this one,
I’ll swear I’m and ant.”
Then Jake made a noise
Like a wheeze and a snore
And dropped his tail down
On that wire on the floor.
Then lights started flashin’
And sparks started flyin’,
And Jake didn’t know
If he was livin’ or dyin’!
He jerked is old head
Right straight up off the floor
With a look on his face
That hadn’t been there before,
And his ears stood straight up
And then started to wilt,
And his eyes spun around
And began to flash, “TILT”!
“Golly gee!” said the flea,
“Do you think he’s all right?
That look on his face
Is a horrible sight!”
And then with a noise
Like a growl and a roar,
Jake shot like a cannonball
‘Cross the living room floor.
He slid ‘round a corner
And shot down the hall
Rollin’ a throw rug
Up into a ball,
Went into the kitchen
In a long sidelin’ slide
That he just couldn’t stop
No matter how hard he tried;
Banged into a chair leg,
A whinin’ and scratchin’,
Diggin’ plumb through the floor tile
Before he got traction;
Then shot through the archway
And back down the hall,
‘Crossed the living room floor
And SMACK into the wall.

Now needless to say
That arrested his motion,
And some time elapsed
Ere he had even a notion
Of just where he was
And where he had been…
And what he should do next…
And where to begin.
He’d been asleep by the fire
The last he could remember,
Basking himself  in
The warmth of its ember,
And from the pain in his tail
He guessed some varmint had bit it!
It would be just TOO bad
When he caught whoever did it!
But a search of the room
Turned up no one at all!
So he crept through the kitchen,
And he slunk down the hall.
 He peeked under the table
And looked up the stair
And behind the sofa—
But there weren’t no one THERE!
Then Jakes anger faded
And he got kinda confused,
And licked his poor tail
And felt gen’rally abused.
“Well, Flea, the show’s over,”
Said the louse with a sneer.
“There’s never excitement
For long around here.”
But the flea was so glad
His friend had not come to grief
That he gave a wee small
Flea-sigh of relief.
The way old Jake’s head hung
 Made him want to WEEP,
And Jake sadly decided
He’d best go back to sleep
But just as he got back
To the place where he’d been,
His left hind-foot stepped
On that there bare wire AGIN!
Well…what happened next
Really beggars description,
And I don’t really feel I could
Give you an acc’rate depiction.
To list all the details
Would take too much time.
(And to tell you the truth
I’m might near out of rhyme).
Suffice it to say that Jake
Caused such a clatter
The folks came down the stairs
To see what was the matter,
And bless’em but they were
Astonished to find
That their faithful old hound
Had just clean lost his mind—
A snappin’ and snarlin’
And growlin’ pure hate,
His eyes flashin’ sparks
Like the logs in the grate!
He had torn up the pillows
That Grandma had made,
And scattered the toys
Where the children had played;
And wreaked great destruction
Throughout the whole house
(Just barely missed killin’
His friend Flea and the louse!)
But before he could tear up
Another thing more,
A quick-minded youngster
Threw open the door,
And Jake roared right past him
Out into the snow,
And the child stood there gapin’
And watched that dog go.
When asked what had happened,
Jake didn’t reply;
He just kept a yowlin’
And shot right on by.
‘Cause he hadn’t the time
To make leavin’ polite
Or to say “Merry Christmas!”
Or even “Good Night!”










From the Brown household, we wish all of you a very
Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season. I won't be posting in December so Santa is making an early visit to TWO folks who leave a comment on this site by next Monday evening. Instead of the red boot, I'm going to ask Santa Claus draw two names from his big bag...and I'll give a signed copy of The Cowboy's Christmas Baby to each person. All you have to do is comment to get your name in the boot! Tell me what's your favorite Christmas book or your favorite Christmas story or tell me if you felt just a little bit sorry for poor old Jake. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Two Announcements For Readers to Win Big!

First, I'd like to announce the Author Chat on Facebook! It's going to be lots of fun, and lots of prizes will be given away. Just click on the Chat Now app on the Sourcebooks Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/sourcebooks
Here's the lovely banner for the event...feel free to share!
Besides lots of free books and prizes provided by the authors, I will be giving away Gareth's sword (or at least a copy of what it would've looked like) decorated with a moonstone, the relic in my upcoming fantasy romance, Everlasting Enchantment.
And now for another chance to win even more jewelry! I have recently launched a new contest on my website for the upcoming release of Everlasting Enchantment. Here's the scoop:

CONTEST
 For EVERLASTING ENCHANTMENT

The brand-new fourth book in the Relics of Merlin series is coming to
bookstores in December, and I'm having several contests until then to
celebrate! The relic in Everlasting Enchantment is a moonstone, and I found
some lovely pieces shipped directly from exotic locations, the jewelry
constructed by local artisans through a program run by National Geographic.
For this contest, we have a glowing moonstone
hand-crafted necklace! 


This contest is all about spreading the word of the brand-new book in the
series. Just post the
BLURB (or photo of cover) shown below, on any and
all of your social websites. Facebook, Twitter (Yes, you may tweet about it
more than once to enter several times), Myspace, Your own blog, etc. Then
just send an email with EE CONTEST in the subject line, along with the link
to your post in the body of your email to: Kathryne@KathryneKennedy.com
(you can also use the link button below).
For those who don't have social
media, just mention the book to a friend, and send me an email about it!


BLURB:EVERLASTING ENCHANTMENT
in bookstores December 2013!
http://www.KathryneKennedy.com


 
  













Are you one of my newsletter subscribers? Please check your in-box for
November's newsletter for details on my private contest for subscribers,
where you can win one of six autographed ARC's of Everlasting
Enchantment!


A winner will be randomly chosen using RANDOM.ORG. Your information will be kept
confidential. Contest ends
January 31, 2013. Winner will be notified via email provided. If
winner does not respond within seven business days, a new winner will be chosen. We are
not responsible for any misdirection of email. Rules are subject to change for any reason
without prior notification. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years or older to
enter.  No prize substitution permitted. Odds of winning are determined by number of
entrants. This contest is subject to all country, federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
You accept all terms and conditions by entering into the contest.


Good luck everyone, and I'll see you at the chat on December 2nd!
My Magical Best,
Kathryne 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What Do Readers Get Out of a Romance? (Prizes are included!) by Deb Werksman



At a meeting last week of the entire Sourcebooks Romance team, including editorial, sales, marketing, PR, we got into a discussion of what readers get out of romance fiction. We discovered (no surprise) how much we LOVE romance fiction!

Here’s what we came up with—how about  you? What do YOU get out of reading romance?

Post your answers here on the blog—one lucky post-er will get a package of Sourcebooks romances hand-picked by me!
  • ·         Delight
  • ·         Joy
  • ·         Entertainment
  • ·         Escape, sometimes just from daily life, sometimes from really tough circumstances
  • ·         Community—it’s so much fun to share books with friends, sisters, colleagues, etc.
  • ·         Validation of female desire
  • ·         Empowerment—we see ourselves taking charge of our lives
  • ·         Dreams come true
  • ·         Hope that love really does conquer all
  • ·         Reaffirms our love for love
  • ·         Reminds us of the good parts of our relationships
  • ·         Allows us to dream of the ideal relationship
  • ·         Shows that the path to true love doesn’t run smooth, but there’s a happy ending just around the bend
  • ·         Affirms people’s ability to change and to step up to difficult situations
  • ·         Creativity—so much imagination goes into romance stories

At this holiday season, we at Sourcebooks are so thankful for our authors, and their wonderful, enlightening, empowering, re-affirming and fantastically fun romances!

Blessings to everyone for a great Thanksgiving! Shouts out to Mary Altman, our new editor in the New York office, and to our editor Cat Clyne, who’s been working with romance and kids’ books and is now fully focused on romance!

Remember to pitch us your stories!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What's on your Thanksgiving menu?

By Cheryl Brooks

Not long ago I self-published a book in which the heroine's favorite day of the year was Thanksgiving. Why? Because she loved to cook.


So do I. I love the excuse to get out my grandmother's china and her silver turkey platter. I like being able to pull out all the stops and use a tablecloth and matching napkins. Granted, my feasts are small ones, with only my husband and two sons to cook for, but I make enough food to feed at least eight. Considering the fact that I've inherited enough plates to feed a football team--second stringers and all--on china, I could probably handle more than that.

Gram's silverware was an old set, and she used it every day. I use it once a year, but knowing it's up there on top of the cabinets waiting to be dusted off and used is comforting somehow.

My Thanksgiving menu doesn't vary much from year to year. We all like turkey. Sam always asks for crescent rolls--like we couldn't have those more often! Mike wants cranberry sauce. Bud asked for a pecan pie, which is one of those things I've never been any good at making. They always end up hard as a rock or soupy. If anyone knows the secret, please let me know! Pumpkin pie, however, I'm pretty consistent with. I never carve my Halloween pumpkin, but leave it whole, sitting out on the deck where I can see it through the kitchen window. Last week, I baked it, pureed it, and put it in the freezer. Now I'll thaw out some of it and use it to make pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and the pumpkin casserole I recently invented. If you're curious about the pumpkin casserole recipe, here's the link! http://cherylbrooksauthor.blogspot.com/


My other standby is potato casserole, the recipe for which I also I inherited from my grandmother. It works best if you use the hash brown patties and mush them up after they've thawed. The shredded kind in the bag just aren't the same. However, I'm faced with having to use them this year. My trusty grocery store failed me this time.

That being said, here's the recipe. It's easy to make and just plain good!

POTATO CASSEROLE
1 pkg Ore-Ida hash brown patties (27 oz) thawed and crumbled up
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ cup chopped onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

Mix all together and spread in greased 9 X 13 pan
Mix one stick melted butter with 1 ½ cups of crushed cornflakes and spread over the top.
Bake @ 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

That's what we're having. What's on your Thanksgiving menu?

Monday, November 25, 2013

It’s Movie Time by Shana Galen

The holidays are the part of the year I get to spend with family. They are also the part of the year where I have free babysitting (read: family) and can go see a movie not rated G. Last year I saw Les Miserables. Only one movie, but it was a good one and really the length of two movies. This year I hope to add a few more to my holiday schedule.



I don’t need a babysitter to see the new Disney film Frozen. I already know the story thanks to Disney’s way early marketing campaign. My daughter has had the audio picture book for about two months. The good news is that the story sounds really good, so I’m excited to see it.



The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opened Friday. I loved the first one, and I really want to see the second. I have it on my must-see list. The previews look great. Anyone seen it yet?

Another sure blockbuster is The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I have to confess something: I haven’t seen the first movies in the series, and I haven’t read the books. I’m sure once Comicpalooza gets wind of this, they won’t invite me back, but there it is. I have until December 13 to catch up to the rest of you.



Two other movies I’ll see if I have time, and rent if I don’t, ate Saving Mr. Banks about how the Disney movie Mary Poppins made it to the screen and The Secret Life of Walter Middy. Both open in late December. I always loved Thurber’s short story about Walter Mitty. I’d love to see it on screen.

Are there any films you’re looking forward to? I haven’t even mentioned Walking with Dinosaurs or Anchorman 2 (that omission was not by accident).

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thank you to books

As a kid, I wasn't a big reader. I lived in a time when we could play outside and ride our bikes all over town. There were lots of kids in the neighborhood and sometimes we'd play games all day long. In the summer, we'd be out until dark. Even board games were played on the front lawn.

I feel badly for kids who can't be outside without adult supervision for a few minutes or hours, just to play. A kid's play is their way of learning to work. Cooperative skills are needed to decide what to play, and rules are needed to play fair.

I hear about folks who grew up reading voraciously, under the covers with a flashlight. I think that's cool. I was too tuckered out to stay awake after my head hit the pillow. But eventually kids grow up and don't play together on the lawn anymore. I discovered the beauty of the written word in my teens.

My first memory of sitting down with a novel for my own entertainment (not for school) was the summer when I was 17 and the boy I had been dating broke up with me. Oh, no. My life was over! I didn't want to see my other friends. I just wanted to curl up into a ball. But I needed something to do. One can only contemplate one's navel for so long. So, I grabbed the thickest book I could find in the house. Guess what I read? The Godfather. Yup. The Corleone family transported me outside my little suburban bubble, and I was completely sucked in for the whole ride. I lived on pretzels, ice tea, and a dramatic trilogy for the rest of that summer.

It was Michael Crichton who said people will always need entertainment. I needed it desperately at that moment. Reading has helped me in other desperate times too. I liked philosophical novels like Siddhartha and short poetry like Leaves of Grass among the many self-help books when going through my divorce.

The Outlander series by Diana Gabeldon was my first modern day romance novel. I had read one in the seventies that was a wallbanger, and I pronounced the whole genre trash. I'm very glad I got over that. Claire and Jaime Fraiser got me through my parents having terminal illnesses at the same time.
Are you noticing a pattern? My reading tastes changed with the milestones I was facing. 

The Godfather was perfect for someone feeling used and abused. Take that, Steve Touchette! Ha!
Reading philosophy and psychology were ideal ways to process a relationship that was damaged to the point of divorce. And romance...what a way to honor the lives of two people who had navigated all the storms of life and time, and still loved each other to the end.

My reason for reading now is pretty much purely for entertainment (and to keep an eye on my talented competition!) And why romance? Because through all the reading I've done, I've found I need a satisfying ending. Happy ever after is best, but I'll even take happy for now. I don't know why romance gets such a bad rap. I think it has to do with our living in a Patriarchal society, but I don't want to begin ranting about what I learned during my feminist reading period. The point is, it makes me happy. Whatever you watch, read, or listen to can affect your mood. (Did I say 'can?' I meant DOES!)

I like to feel good. Hopeful. Happy. That's where I'm at in my life and romance takes me there. Thank you, Diana Gabeldon. I haven't read every book you've ever written, but I sure found my favorite shelves thanks to you.

Friday, November 22, 2013

BIG Cats and a Hot SEAL Wolf for Christmas!

 
 
Notice the lion and his pride? The females are up on the rocks, wary, watchful. The male???? 

What a life, eh? One male for three females. Yep. He's one happy lion. But this would not constitute a happily ever after. Not for the females. Really, ladies, you have to share???

And then there were the fighting leopards. Doesn’t that sound like a sports team?
leopards fighting (800x535)
It started out with the black leopard walking in front of the golden leopard.


Then the next thing I knew, the black leopard got into the golden leopard’s space and you can see her/him growling at the other, mouth wide before he/she took a bite.
leopards fighting3 (800x564)

And then there was all kinds of tousling, growling, angry noises….and the golden leopard was definitely the victorious one, the other the beta in the relationship.

leopards fighting 2 (800x548)

Here you can see the black cat’s back feet are pressed against the golden leopard’s chest, keeping that one off, while the golden cat’s mouth is wide open, teeth on full display. :)

leopards fighting 5 (800x552)

So what do you think? Fighting? Or just playing? Or courtship rituals in a leopard’s way?

Even though these are not jaguars, I can still "visualize" the jaguars' behavior from these big cats' actions. In fact, I watched a video of a jaguar doing something similar with another. It was a courtship ritual, but one of the big roaring cats had a headache, so it was a no go.

Here, the clouded leopard had a pumpkin. Ready for Thanksgiving.

 clouded leopard watching (800x608)

My daughter and I had a lot of fun visiting the Houston Zoo when I went to see her and her husband in Houston. Her coworkers asked why she would go to the zoo--no kids, was there a special exhibit for Halloween?

My daughter explained, "My mother is a romance writer." She always starts it out that way. LOL Lengthy pause. Everyone smiles, waiting for the punch line.

"She writes about wolf and jaguar shifters, so she does research."

LOL Love it.
 Image
To Purchase Jaguar Fever:

Soooo, do you like zoos?

I'm still looking for the jaguar or wolf who is really a shifter so I can rescue him. Yum. Oh, and then he will love me forevermore. :) THE END


The wolves are all thrilled… until the she-wolves find that hunky Bjornolf has Anna on his team. She’s hard-charging and take-no-prisoner kind of she-wolf, so, ladies, be forewarned. Look and drool, but don’t touch. :)

Wolves howl in Moscow zoo at winter

I have to mention here that a woman was talking about ancient seals and I was like huh??? She wasn’t talking about Navy SEALs of course, or old, old seals with flippers, but the kind that would seal an envelope. Anyway, I think we all prefer the SEAL wolves, don’t we?? Hoooah! :)
ENJOY!!!!

Can an Alpha Wolf Who’s Met His Match…
Navy SEAL Bjornolf Jorgenson has had tough missions before, but going undercover with feisty gray wolf Anna Johnson could top the list. She drives him crazy—in more ways than one. Now he has to investigate a murder, supervise a wild teenage wolf—and handle Christmas with Anna.

Survive the Holidays with Her?
For Anna, the only thing worse than staging the perfect family Christmas is having to do it with Bjornolf posing as her husband. Anna is a serious undercover operative who isn’t afraid of a fight, even with a hunky SEAL shifter. With a killer on the loose, Anna just wants to focus on their mission, but the one thing she can’t fight is her sizzling chemistry with Bjornolf.

Buy links:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Indie Bound
Powell’s Books
Books-A-Million 

Are YOU ready for Christmas? Don’t let anything get in your way! :) 
And isn't David just yummy? Had to show him off too!



Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Working on Christmas???

Terry
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy IS reality.”
www.terryspear.com


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Honey, They’re Playing Our Song!

Do you remember in high school when you and your boyfriend had your song?  Maybe you danced to it under the mirrored ball at the prom or during the couples’ skate (okay, I’m dating myself) or played it on the car stereo, booming on the woofers with the windows rolled down as you cruised the drag. That song was sacred. None of your friends and their boyfriends could have the same song as you and your guy.

Don’t remember? Well, I’ve embedded cheesy 80s music videos that my awesome Facebook friends and I compiled to help you get in that nostalgic (or revolted) mood.



Why do I bring this up? Because almost all my characters have songs or bands that typify their personalities.  In my ebook Rakes and Radishes, the heroine listened to the Cranberries, and the hero, Radiohead. Together their love song was “Love’s Divine” by Seal. In other works, characters have liked country songs, Thomas Newman soundtracks, or crooning Frank Sinatra pieces.




So I always thought it odd that none of the characters in Wicked Little Secrets had their own songs, much less a love song. They seemed unmoved by music.


This greatly disturbed my inner 15-year-old. 


Then in the final edits of Wicked Little Secrets, I had to rewrite a character named Gertrude Bertis, an upright, sexually repressed, Methodist widow. For weeks I struggled and struggled, trying to find my way into the character. I panicked as the deadline approached and nothing was coming. I went through playlist after playlist, lit candles, and said prayers to try to invoke any muse who would listen.


 


A few days before the deadline, I was about to throw up my hands, ready to admit defeat, when I was driving the kids to school and AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” came on the radio. It was like Heaven’s (or Hell’s) flood gates opened and inspiration spewed forth. At last, someone in my book had a song! Granted, she was a Bible thumping, reverent, church-goer getting into a heavy metal classic containing the lyrics “Hells bells, satan’ coming to you. Hells bells, he’s ringing them now.” But with a deadline “coming on like a hurricane” and inspiration finally “flashing across the sky”, I wasn’t going to argue.   And maybe ole Gertrude wasn’t as good and moral as she let on.  

Okay, your turn. What are the cheesy love song favorites of your youth? Or, if you’re writer, do any of your characters possess a horrible taste in music?




Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Something To Be Thankful For: Hot Men in Regency Clothes

I have to say that I am grateful for many things in my life, and this time of year always makes me think of those things. My family, my friends, my work, the beautiful NC mountains where I now make my home... the list is truly endless.

I am grateful to be writing in the Regency period, for the privilege to indulge myself and my readers in lush fantasies about beautiful men and women falling in love, all the while wearing silks gowns and tight breeches.



And speaking of tight breeches, I'm grateful to the BBC for keeping Regency gentlemen's fashion always available. Whenever I need a little inspiration, Mr. Darcy is there. 

And then, there are hot men.



I am very thankful for them. Whether on the page, on the silver screen, or in real life, I am grateful for all l the hot men in the world. So here's to Jack/James, the fine leading man in MUCH ADO ABOUT JACK coming out in February 2014. And to all the fine men everywhere, fictional and otherwise.

Ladies, of all the fine men in your life, do you have a favorite?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

RT Reviewers Choice

from Mia Marlowe...

This week the romance world has been abuzz about the announcement of the nominations for RTBOOKReviews Reviewers' Choice award. It's sort of the Emmy's for Romance, with nominations in different categories. I'm thrilled to report that Sourcebooks authors are very well represented on this list. Here they all are:

RT Book of the Year: CJ Lyons, Broken

Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, Scarlet has come to terms with the fact that she’s going to die. Literally of a broken heart. It could be tomorrow, or it could be next year. But the clock is ticking…

All Scarlet asks is for a chance to attend high school—even if just for a week-a chance to be just like everyone else. But Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with each slammed locker and vicious taunt. Is this normal? Really? Yet there’s more going on than she knows. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does…

Read more...

First Historical Romance: Susanna Ives, Wicked Little Secrets



Vivienne Taylor has finally won her family's approval by getting engaged to the wealthy John Vandergrift. She is determined to uphold her fiance's rigid Victorian ideal of womanhood. 

But when her beloved aunt gets enmeshed in a vicious blackmail scheme, she can only turn to her childhood hero, the notorious rake and adventurer Viscount Dashiell. Soon the two become pawns in a wicked game of art theft and revenge, forcing them to acknowledge their most secret and precious dream—a life together.



Innovative Historical Romance: Tracey Devlyn, A Lady's Secret Weapon


Seduction is His Duty to King and Country



Ethan deBeau has charmed his way into the beds of countless women, enticing them to whisper their husbands’ and lovers’ state secrets in his ear. But his latest assignment is completely different: find a missing young boy. It’s practically child’s play for a master spy such as Ethan. Until Miss Sydney Hunt threatens to unravel all his carefully laid plans. Who is the world is this woman?



But Tempting Her is All for Pleasure



Sydney has worked hard to maintain a facade of respectability—all while keeping a network of contacts among London’s underground world. When she hears of strange activities at a local home for orphans, she’s determined to find out what’s really going on. Until she runs headlong into a notorious rake eager to expose every inch of her…



Historical Fantasy/Paranormal: 

Tammy Falkner, The Magic of "I Do"


With the temporary prohibition on magic on the land of the Fae, Claire Thorne might as well go back to the Regency world. The haut ton has just as many annoying rules as her world, but at least they have parties and dances. Plus, the roguish Lord Phineas "Finn" Trimble is there...
When the feisty faerie tumbles into his room through a magical portal, Finn can't believe how completely unpredictable she is. Even before the two stumble into a dangerous intrigue that threatens both their worlds, Finn discovers that his hitherto carefree life is about to go up in smoke...

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Isabel Cooper, Legend of the Highland Dragon

In Victorian England, gossip is often as precious as gold. But the Highlanders are a more mysterious bunch. And if anyone found out that Stephen MacAlasdair really was, he’d be hunted down, murdered, his clan wiped out. As he’s called to London on business, he’ll have to be extra vigilant — especially between sunset and the appearance of the first evening star.

Mina just wanted to find out more about the arrogant man who showed up in her employer’s office. Some might say it was part of her job. She never thought the stranger would turn into a dragon right in front of her. Or that he’d then offer her an outrageous sum of money to serve as his personal secretary. Working together night and day to track a dangerous enemy, Mina comes to see a man in love is more powerful and determined than any dragon.


Best Medieval Romance: Victoria Roberts, X Marks the Scot

He was a Highland rogue—wicked with a bow and just as wicked with the ladies.

Declan MacGregor hadn’t a care in the world beyond finding a soft bed and willing woman…until he had to escort Lady Liadain Campbell to the English court. The woman needles him at every turn, but he can’t just abandon her to that vipers’ nest without protection.

She never asked for a bodyguard…

Liadain wasn’t thrilled to be left in the care of her clan’s archrival. It was as if the man never had a lady tell him no before! And yet as whispers of treason swirl through the court and the threat of danger grows ever sharper, her bitter enemy soon becomes the only one she can trust…



Best Regency Romance: Jade Lee, What the Bride Wore 

Jade Lee’s hot Bridal Favors series is set in a daring, high-energy Regency world where deep longings, secret scandals, and the competition for social stature are all set against the glittering weddings of the season.

Grant Benton, Earl of Crowle finally has the funds he always pretended to have and what he wants now is a woman. That woman is Lady Irene Knopp, who spends her days helping debutantes plan their weddings. A recent widow, Irene longs for love again, but she’s afraid to risk her heart, especially to the notorious Grant Benton.



Best Scottish Romance: 

Grace Burrowes, Once Upon a Tartan

Hester MacDaniel is recovering from an engagement gone awry by summering at her brother’s holding in the Highlands, and looking after her brother’s young step-daughter, Fiona. Tiberius Flynn, heir to the English Marquis of Quinworth, appears on Hester’s doorstep claiming he’s Fee’s paternal uncle, and he’s been sent by her English relations to make the girl’s acquaintance. Tye believes his brother’s dying wishes compel him to take Fee south with him, but he doesn’t plan on Hester capturing his heart, even as she fights him tooth and nail for custody of Fiona.


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Mia Marlowe, Plaid Tidings (Yep, that's me! )

Christmas in the Highlands...

Not any dashing English lord’s idea of a good time. But now that Lord Alexander Mallory has won a Scottish estate in a hand of cards, he is the unlikely laird of the wild, snowy Bonniebroch. Worse yet, the ancient pile of stones comes with a betrothal. To a fiery red-headed virgin. And a curse.

Alex will have his hands full honoring the first, seducing the second and breaking the third … all by Twelfth Night.

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Historical Romantic Adventure: Shana Galen, If You Give a Rake a Ruby


Her Mysterious Past is the Best Revenge . . .

Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, is a celebrated courtesan with her finger on the pulse of high society. She's adored by men, hated by their wives. No one knows anything about her past, and she plans to keep it that way.

Only He Can Offer Her a Dazzling Future . . .


Warrick Fitzhugh will do anything to protect his compatriots in the Foreign Office, including seduce Fallon, who he thinks can lead him to the deadliest crime lord in London. He knows he's putting his life on the line . To Warrick's shock, Fallon is not who he thinks she is, and the secrets she's keeping are exactly what make her his heart's desire . . .

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Historical Fiction: Susanna Kearsley, The Firebird

Nicola Marter was born with a gift. When she touches an object, she sometimes sees images; glimpses of those who have owned it before. It’s never been a gift she wants, and she keeps it a secret from most people, including her practical boss Sebastian, one of London’s premier dealers in Russian art.

But when a woman offers Sebastian a small wooden carving for sale, claiming it belonged to Russia’s Empress Catherine, it’s a problem. There’s no proof. Sebastian believes that the plain carving—known as “The Firebird”—is worthless. But Nicola’s held it, and she knows the woman is telling the truth, and is in desperate need of the money the sale of the heirloom could bring.


Steampunk: Bec McMaster, Heart of Iron

Lena Todd is the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a rebel against London’s vicious elite—not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can’t twist around her little finger.

Will Carver, is more than man, he’s a verwolfen and he wants nothing to do with the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds Lena in possession of a coded letter, he realizes she’s in a world of trouble. To protect her, he’ll have to seduce the truth from her before it’s too late.

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Vampire Romance: Tess Hilaire, Prince of Shadows

It's Forbidden for a Warrior of the Light to Love a Creature of the Dark...

Valin has never quite fit in with the rest of the Paladin warriors. His power to manipulate shadow has always put him at odds with their purpose of using heavenly Light to eradicate evil. His warrior brothers have no idea how close he is to being lost to his dark nature.

But Maybe He Was Never All That Light to Begin With...

When Valin meets the vampire Gabriella, she awakens within him something he thought long buried. But as he watched Gabriella's need for vengeance to drag her down into the same dark hell that he's living, he knows his only chance at redemption is bringing her out of the dark...
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Congrats to all my Sourcebooks sisters on your nomination. As you can see, there's something for everyone on this list. Hope you enjoy visiting the websites and checking out your favorites. 

FREE BOOK ALERT! 
Plaid to the Bone, the prequel for Plaid Tidings, is available FREE for a limited time!  Find it for: Nook | iBooks | Sony
If you don't have one of those ereaders, did you know you can download the Nook software to your phone, tablet or PC? Here's the link: FREE Nook Apps
Plaid to the Bone and the Spirit of the Highlands series by Mia Marlowe is the perfect read-a little humor, a little romance, a little sex and a little mystery all rolled into a tale of the Scottish Highlands.” ~ The Reading Cafe
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Romance is such a wonderfully big tent. What's YOUR favorite subgenre?