Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Promo: Road Trip to Happiness by Maggie Mundy

Title: Road Trip to Happiness
Author: Maggie Mundy
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 17, 2019 Cover Design: Book Cover by Design

Sunny Cairns in North Queensland was supposed to be the best place for a honeymoon. Not so for Scarlet. Her husband left her on their wedding night. Fifteen years ago, her first husband did the same. She is starting to wonder if she is jinxed.
She will not let this beat her. After all, she can cope with anything. Then her Nan dies, and the grief seems too much. She went under once before in her life and does not want to go there again.
Nan requests in her will that Scarlet travel across Australia on a trip she did herself as a young woman.
Scarlet meets people who make her face the past so that she can find the future. One, in particular, Nate makes her believe she can love again.
Maybe your husband leaving you on your wedding night can be a good thing, after all. 

‘Dear Scarlet.’ “I’m sorry.” The first one said. I’m going to be sick. Scarlet could feel the bile in her throat. “I can’t do this.” The second one stated. The room started to spin as Scarlet’s chest tightened. “We both know this isn’t going to work. I should have called the wedding off.” “No, No, No,” Scarlet yelled loud enough to wake up the entire hotel. It took every ounce of her energy, but she pulled herself up and drew the curtains. The sun made her squint and her head thump. She opened the large sliding door and stepped onto the deck. She would go to reception and check things like a normal human being would. The cool morning wind from the ocean hit her skin. Damn, she was still naked. So much for being normal.
I live in Adelaide, Australia with my husband, and two dogs. I have a motorbike that I would like to ride more than I do and I love walking at the beach and listening to the waves. I've always loved reading all forms of fiction from high fantasy and paranormal to contemporary and decided the stories in my head needed to be written down. It was either that or start on medication. Unlike many, I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until a few years back. I started off doing a Degree in Drama but soon realized my love was in writing, though there is a play lurking somewhere on my computer. My day job is as a nurse in the operating room. I believe romance can be fun to read and write, but it’s exciting to spice it up with the uncertainty that comes with a bit of suspense where the rules can be broken. 


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Promo: How to Write a Romance from the AVON Editing Team

ROMANCE REVIEWS TODAY Q&A with the Editors of Avon
How to Write a Romance

1.  What prompted the AVON editors to write HOW TO WRITE A ROMANCE?

Elle Keck (EK): Our brilliant colleague Emma Brodie, who runs the Morrow Gift imprint, thought of the idea! In the office, we’re always saying how we wish authors did such and such or knew this, that, and the other. With this journal, we tried to create prompts that address the issues we see most in the submissions we get.

Nicole Fischer (NF): The idea came from our colleague, Emma Brodie, who works on gift-y journals and things like that. She asked us to help her come up with the material and we went from there.

Tessa Woodward (TW): It’s the brainchild of the fabulous Emma Brodie. She has such an eye for gift books, journals, and other non-fiction and she thought this would be a great addition to our list.

2.  How did you become an editor?

EK: I have always loved romance novels and in college, when I thought about what kind of career I wanted, my mind kept going to publishing. Three internships and a graduation later, I was thrilled to be offered a job at Avon Books!

NF: I started as an intern at a literary agency and then got a job as an editorial assistant at Avon. Began editing my own authors in the first year and worked my way up from there!

(TW): I was always a reader and I ended up getting a publishing internship in college. After that, I knew this is what I wanted to do.

3.  What sort of stories/genres catch your eye both as a reader and as an editor?

EK: I’m definitely drawn to fun, light, witty stories. When I pick up a romance, I want to be transported into another world and leave some of my worries and cares behind. If I read a submission where I forget that I’m sitting at my desk and I can’t hear the noises from the open office, I get really excited.

NF: I read most subgenres: historical, suspense, fantasy, paranormal, contemporary, etc. So the thing I look for is a story with sass and humor, and I love characters with sarcasm and dry wit. I gravitate towards humor and wit in an author’s voice when acquiring projects and when picking books to read for pleasure.

(TW): As an editor and as a reader, I always want a satisfying love story, even if what I’m reading/editing is not a romance novel. I’m a sucker for a good historical romance – especially if there’s a governess involved!

4.  Are there any plots, tropes, characters, etc. that you find aren’t currently working in the romance market?

EK: Paranormal romance is still a bit of a sticky wicket. I’ve been burnt out on small town romances for a while and I think a lot of readers feel the same. I also feel a lot us are tired of “the evil ex” or “the mean mistress”.

NF: I think alphaholes and characters that seem controlling or have toxically masculine traits are not as popular as they might have been in previous years.

(TW): I hate to say that something isn’t currently working because every single time I do, they start working again! (Rom Coms, anyone?) Though I believe that billionaires might be on the wane…

5.  What is the most unexpected advice you might give to someone looking for a career as a romance writer?

EK: What I would say is to read a lot in the genre, to investigate why you want to write and what you think you’ll add to the genre, and to make sure you love writing or you won’t last.

NF: If you want to write romance... READ ROMANCE. If you aren’t aware of what’s currently happening in the genre or assume you can write a romance without having read any romance, buyers will notice. And they won't be happy about it.

TW: You don’t have to have been a lifelong romance reader (I wasn’t one) but you do have to have a respect and love for the genre now.

6.  What is the best way, in your opinion, to get a manuscript in front of an editor?

EK: Get an agent. Agents are your biggest advocate and they are incredibly important to the growth of your career. I know many authors who don’t have them and have successful careers, but for a new writer starting out, it’s a great lifeline.

NF: Honestly, a really good way that doesn’t require much effort is to follow us on twitter and if we tweet about things we are looking for, reply and tell us about your book!

TW: Strictly follow the directions online! Things that don’t work: trying to pitch your book to me on LinkedIn or Facebook, sending a print copy of the full manuscript to my office, trying to bribe me with gifts (sadly!), getting your husband/mother/cat to pretend to be your agent. 

7.  What is your editing process like?

EK: It honestly varies book to book and author to author. Typically, I will do 1-2 rounds of edits on each book. I do line edit but I do it at the same time as the content edits so everything is sent to the author in one big scary word doc.

NF: I read the manuscript and make line edits (comments and insertions/deletions) in the file, and write big picture thoughts about the plot, romance, character arcs, conflict, etc on my phone. Then I write an edit letter expanding on everything—occasionally with suggestions on how to fix certain things—and send both the file with track changes and the edit letter to the author. Depending on how they work, sometimes we have call to talk about the edits and brainstorm ideas, other times they go forth and revise with everything I’ve said in mind. When I get the revisions back I cold read it (don’t look at the comments or track changes) and see what jumps out at me. Sometimes everything is good to go after that one round, but usually we do another round or two of notes and tweaks in track changes.

TW: It really depends on the book and author. But I like to ask a lot of questions as I’m reading – what’s the motivation here? How does this tie back in with the heroine’s past?

8.  Do you have any funny stories or anecdotes to share from your time as an editor that might surprise people?

EK: A fond memory I have from last year’s RWA is when I had the chance to have dinner with Meg Cabot, a huge idol of mine. I kept having to pinch myself that Meg Cabot was laughing at something I said! I called my sister afterward and we had a good squee about it.

NF: One time I printed out some pages from a manuscript and then completely forgot about it, so it sat in the printer most of the day. When I finally remembered and went to go get it, someone had left it on top of the printer where everyone could see it... and the chapter was a graphic sex scene. The page was covered in “cock” etc etc. Whoever went into the supply room that day got an eyeful!

TW: One time, I was editing a book for a colleague who was out on maternity leave. It was a paranormal romance and at the end a dog (a paranormal, ghost dog!) dies and I let the author keep it in. Afterwards, I found out that she knew that her regular editor wouldn’t let her keep it in but since she knew I was relatively new, she thought I’d let it stay. I didn’t know there was an unspoken rule not to kill dogs in books!

9. Are there plans to continue writing guide books or expanding HOW TO WRITE A ROMANCE?

EK: There isn’t at the moment but if people really enjoy the journal, maybe that will change!

NF: Not at the moment! If it seems helpful and people buy it... maybe? We had fun coming up with the prompts and advice, but I think we may run out of advice!

TW: We’ll see! What other genres would you readers like to see included?


Morrow Gift
ISBN: 978-0-06-289927-9
July 2019
Reference/Writing Skills

HOW TO WRITE A ROMANCE is a new tool from the editing team at AVON Books, a longtime fixture in the publishing world. This is set up in workbook format, with plenty of exercises for writers at all stages of their writing career. It is promoted as being for beginning romance writers, but I can see it being used if an experienced writer is wanting to freshen up their writing skills with the included scenarios. Plus, there are quotes from several established authors to act as an inspiration.

Set up:

You will find pages that are like “worksheets,” where you fill in information about your characters, traits, black moments, etc.

Included are what I call “writing prompts.” These are scene setups that describe a scenario and you are supposed to write a scene or dialogue around it.

Interspersed every few pages are the writing inspirational quotes from authors, such as Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lisa Kleypas, Ilona Andrews, Beverly Jenkins, and others.

There is plenty of space to write in your HOW TO WRITE A ROMANCE workbook if you want to, or grab a notebook and write your responses down. Or even better, get on your computer to record your responses in your writing software program, because you’ll want to use this workbook over and over.

HOW TO WRITE A ROMANCE is a fun and educational book for any writer to have in your writing library, whether you’re a newbie writer or if you’ve written several romances.

Patti Fischer

You can purchase a copy at Amazon LINK

Monday, July 15, 2019

Promo: The Kissing Contract by Amy Andrews

Meet the Author:

Amy is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling Aussie author who has written seventy contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets. Her books bring all the feels from sass and quirk and laughter to emotional grit to panty-melting heat. She loves frequent travel, good books and great booze although she'll take mediocre booze if there's nothing else. For many, many years she was a registered nurse. Which means she knows things. Anatomical things. And she’s not afraid to use them! She's just moved back to her central Queensland roots taking a sea change in the pretty little coastal town of Yeppoon where she gets to stare at the ocean all day.
Connect: Site | Facebook | TwitterGoodreads

About the Book:

Marshall Dyson wants one thing and one thing only: to raze his grandfather’s island to the ground. Everything is ready to go––except for the freakin’ bunnies! Hundreds of the furry critters hopping about and multiplying before his eyes. And then there’s the American Bunny League, along with one distractingly beautiful veterinarian, taking him to court to save them...
Dr. Augusta “Gus” North can’t believe the grumpy–and annoyingly hot–builder she’s facing in court cares more about demo-ing some cabin than the lives of 200 bunnies. But when the judge orders Marshall to stay on the island and help her rehome the rabbits – the entire month – she knows they’re going to need to lay some ground rules.
Like, for example, absolutely no kissing. Might as well go ahead and get that in writing. Sure it’s on a napkin, but that still counts.
How hard could it be to keep their hands off each other amidst all the fighting? Surprisingly, harder than wrangling 200 bunnies...

Add to Goodreads


He could operate a fucking crane. There was no sensitive in the seat of a thirty ton crane.

“What are you even doing there?”

Now that was a good question. If Marshall was honest, he didn’t really know. But he sure as shit wasn’t going to admit that to his brother.

“I was supposed to be here this week anyway. We were supposed to break ground on the project, remember?”

“Yeah. But that got delayed. Remember?”

If anyone, other than another lawyer, had ever had any success in arguing with a lawyer, Marshall hadn’t met them. “Thought I’d be here for when the ABL people arrived on Monday.”

“To throw a welcome party?”

“To...keep an eye on things.”

“They’re rescuing rabbits, Marshall. What in hell do you think they’re going to get up to?”

“I want to make sure they’re being efficient.”

That sounded better. Marshall wanted this done. Over. He wanted his grandfather expunged from this island. He couldn’t expunge him from all existence but he could remove every last trace of his presence here.

And he wanted it done yesterday.

“So, what? You’re going to oversee the project or something, now?”

“No.” He didn’t have time for that. But...Maybe he did have time given that he’d cleared his schedule for starting work on this job quite some time ago?


“I just want to get a feel for them.”


  • Print copy of Nothing But Trouble
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Review and Book Giveaway: Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber

A Forge Book
ISBN-13:  978-1-250-19859-4
July 2019
Women’s Fiction
Wicklow, Alabama – Present day
Wicklow, Alabama is famous for the Blackbird Café and its mysterious properties and its famous blackbird pie (made from blackberries).  At midnight every night twenty- four female blackbirds congregate on its red mulberry trees and sing.  And if anyone has a slice of the Blackbird Café’s famous blackbird pie, they will have a visit from a loved one that night while they sleep.  Years ago a family of Guardians were drawn to this small city and the branches of the two trees make a tunnel to connect this world to the heavenly one.
Anna Kate Callow just drove to Alabama after the death of her grandma Zoe.  After the funeral, Anna Kate found out she must run the café for two months in Wicklow before she is allowed to sell it.  The café’s two employees, Bow and Jena, have given her a rush tutorial about running the café and now it’s up to Anna Kate.  Coincidentally, a bunch of bird watchers have invaded the area after hearing about the blackbirds that appear in an area where blackbirds are never seen.  Anna Kate’s mother Eden ran away from Wicklow when she found out she was pregnant and was accused of killing her baby’s father in a traffic accident.  Eden never showed her face back in town again, and didn’t want Anna Kate to have anything to do with Wicklow or the Blackbird Café.  Anna Kate has the gift of healing and is determined to sell the cafe and go to medical school---she promised her mother and won’t go back on her promise.
Natalie Linden and her one-year-old daughter are back in Wicklow after the death of her husband, and staying with her parents.  Her mother, Seelie and Natalie have never had a great relationship, especially after the death of her older brother, Andrew James Linden, when he was eighteen years old.  When Natalie goes to the café for a piece of the famed pie, everyone is acting weird, even her mother.  Natalie learns her perfect brother Andrew was Anna Kate’s father, but Seelie still blames the whole family for his death.
Told from Anna Kate and Natalie’s points of view, both women are trying to come to terms with the magic of Wicklow and their strange relationship.  Of course this is a small town and everyone but Natalie and Anna Kate knows about Anna Kate and Natalie’s connection, but nobody knows what could happen.  And when the famed pie doesn’t seem to be living up to its dream properties, Anna Kate must try to figure out what is missing in the recipe from her grandma.  Add in a cat that not everyone can see, and a blackbird that has eyes suspiciously like Anna Kate’s mothers, and you have an intriguing story.
Secondary characters are Bow and Jena, Natalie’s parents, Faylene,  the local gossip, and Otis Lazenby, distraught when the pie isn’t doing its job and he can’t communicate with his beloved late wife.  And eighteen-year-old Summer Pavegeau is a friend of Anna Kate’s who provides the missing ingredient for the pie.
MIDNIGHT AT THE  BLACKBIRD CAFÉ was a hoot to read and very fascinating and captivating while waiting to see if Wicklow will prevent Anna Kate from leaving, and if she and Natalie and Natalie’s parents can obtain any kind of relationship.  Anna Kate’s mother, Eden, never returned to Wicklow, and could never find peace in her life after losing Anna Kate’s father and the subsequent belief that her driving caused the accident that led to disaster.  Grab up MIDNIGHT AT THE BLACKBIRD CAFÉ for a charming read this month.
Carolyn Crisher

If you're interested in winning a print copy of this book, please post a comment. One winner and it has to be sent to a USA mailing address.

Book Winners Plus One

Okay, there were three entrants into the contest to win a copy of Jackson by Emily March.

I used random number generator to pick the two winners (since there are two books):

Cheryl C

They win a copy of the book.

Since that left one without a win...If Penney emails me, I can offer her a book I have on hand from another author.

Please email me at

Friday, July 12, 2019

Promo: Change of Scenery by Tarrah Anders

Title: Change of Scenery
Author: Tarrah Anders
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 11, 2019

Tuesday Bailey thought her relationship was fine, until her boyfriend of three years tells her that he signed them up for a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the promise of happily ever after at the end of it all. All they have to do is spend a few months on a beautiful, tropical island... full of temptations.
When a sneak peek at how her significant other is managing his time throughout the experience shows her the truth, Tuesday realizes that she has a decision to make about her own version of happily ever after.

What happens when your boyfriend brings you to an island full of temptation with the goal to see if you really belong together?

Tuesday Bailey is about to find out.

"A unique and very enjoyable read." - J. Reynolds

"I really enjoyed Change of Scenery by Tarrah Anders. This was one of my first reads by this author, and it won't be my last. It's a great beach read. Fast paced and fun!" - G. Smith
"This was a very refreshing book. The characters were down to earth, normal people. The temptation is real and I think Tuesday got the best deal in the end." - K. Barone

Meet Tarrah. She’s a contemporary erotic romancer who is all about the feels, with the twists of sexy mixed in between. She’s been writing since before she can remember. Writing has always been a passion, that was kept it under wraps, stayed on the backburner and never vocalized or followed through with my desire to be a writer, until she read a horrible book and thought: ‘I could do better than that!’ She kept her writing romance from her husband for nearly two years, but finally told him because… royalties and taxes. Now, he lovingly helps with ‘research’ and uses him for his amazing Photoshop skills for her covers. 
She is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, but living in beautiful San Diego with her little family while working during the day as a social worker working with the homeless. She is a hardcore San Francisco Giants fan and anything dealing with cupcakes and zombies.
Her writing style is that she tries to keep on earth. She tries her best to not be too unrealistic with her characters, what they do and how they live. She wants her books to be relatable and not to create too many eye rolls. 
She has written and self-published 10 books so far in her writing career. They’re all dual point of view aside from one story. She is currently working on several pieces but focusing on two mainly. Thematically, the novels are friends to lovers, random hook-ups and office romances mixed with a whole lot of fun in the middle.