Happy Valentines Day!
Welcome to my place where today I’m honored to have 5 of my fellow Rebels help me celebrate a holiday perfect for Romance Writers.
First up is Joanne Berroa: Valentine’s Day is a sweet holiday.
It’s for sweethearts and sweet-tooth’s. Or is it sweet teeth? When I was single way back in the Dark Ages, my boyfriends used to bring me the usual fare: chocolates, flowers, and stuffed animals. The chocolates were yummy, and I always liked those funny looking cupids with hearts that passed for plush toys. The roses smelled nice, but they never lasted all that long. When I got married, however, Valentine’s Day lost something. I guess hubs didn’t feel he needed to buy those “sweet things” anymore. He must have thought I was already sweet enough. So I got a mushy card instead. Eventually, the cards stopped, too. Valentine’s Day became a day for other sweethearts, but I never complained to hubs. When my oldest son began dating girls at age 13, I helped him pick out a cute bear with a huge red heart for his girlfriend saying “I Love You.” Well, he didn’t exactly love her, but it was a cute animal anyway, and she seemed to like it. Now my son is grown and he gets his girlfriend all kinds of nice things for Valentine’s Day, like those Alex and Ani bracelets, fancy floral arrangements, etc. I raised him right. And she seems to like it. But where does that leave me? I guess when I look at advertisements depicting huge heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, red roses, and cute stuffed animals, I look back and think of all the stomach aches, extra pounds, and house clutter from stuffed animal overload I had back in the early days and be glad I have a hubby who still remembers to tell me every day of the year he loves me. And I like it!
Rapture on the High Seas, a modern day pirate romance novella
BLURB: Laurel Vanderman Delacroix is the daughter of billionaire Victor Vanderman, owner and CEO of multi-national World One Bank. Although Laurel has a high level job within the family business, her life is unfulfilled, and she takes an extended African vacation with friends aboard her multi-million dollar yacht. She never expects to be hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, some three hundred miles out in International waters off the coast of Tanzania. She has no way of knowing that this is no random act of piracy. Someone who wants to bankrupt her father set the hijacking in motion, and the perpetrator doesn’t care what happens to Laurel and her friends in the process. The Somali pirate leader who captures Laurel and her friends aboard Bubbles is extremely competent and dangerous, which makes him a force to be reckoned with. He’s also an astute businessman with millions in his Swiss bank account. Will this Somali pirate carry out his mission and put Laurel’s and her friends’ lives on the line, or does he subscribe to another agenda? Will he capture Laurel’s heart along with his ransom demands, or completely destroy it?
Rapture on the High Seas is a contemporary story of intrigue and betrayal. Above all else, it’s a sensual tale of love that’ll leave you feeling warm all over and believing that nothing is ever as it seems.
Next up is Jennifer Wilck: Valentine’s Day is dedicated to love and romance, and who better to celebrate that than a romance writer! Hearts, flowers and chocolates, oh my!
When I write my heroes and heroines, I’m constantly thinking of romantic gestures they can make to each other to express their love or attraction. It’s part of the “show, don’t tell” rule. So my hero might rent out a restaurant for the heroine, or my heroine might buy the hero a meaningful present. Sometimes, it’s having one of them show up somewhere to lend support. Other times it’s a conversation where they declare their love. Regardless of what I make them do, by the end of that scene, the reader is confident about the meaning.
In real life, those gestures are often more difficult to do. Balancing work, family life and every day stupid stuff doesn’t always leave much room for hearts and flowers and chocolate (well, at least the hearts and flowers—there’s always room for chocolate!). So showing my husband I love him is something I consciously think about. Now, before you say, “Whoa, that’s not a good thing!” I’m going to say, “Yes, it’s a very good thing.” Because it’s easy to forget; it’s harder to remember. Making a conscious effort to say, “I love you,” or picking out a treat that I know he’ll like, or taking a break in my day to send a cute text or make a quick phone call takes effort. And if I’m making the effort, it says, even better than those words or presents, that I love him. Should I do it every day? Of course I should! Do I always do it? Unfortunately not. That’s why Valentine’s Day is a nice holiday. Because it makes a big deal out of the little stuff. It reminds me to take time and show my husband how much I love him. And remembering to show your love is always a good thing!
EXCERPT: Josh sat in the cab and looked out the window. Lights and people and cars and buildings rushed by in a blur. His eyes glazed over and in their place Miriam appeared. Miriam touching his arm and reassuring him, Miriam smiling, Miriam’s hair shining, Miriam looking at him as he bent to kiss her. Whatever made him do it? When they’d stood outside her apartment in the cold night air, her cheeks had turned pink from the cold. He smiled. She controlled so many of her outward reactions to things, but she couldn’t control that one. From his height and angle, he’d watched the light from the street lamps shine on her hair, making it appear to glow. Their breath, a white fog, had intermingled as they stood facing each other. Her lips were soft and plump. He’d spent the evening watching them mold words, stretch into a smile, surround her food as she chewed. He couldn’t help himself; he’d wanted to kiss her. It was the briefest wish. He’d made the slightest move toward her. But in the one too-brief second, he’d glimpsed much more. Her pupils had dilated, she’d raised her face to his and she’d parted her lips. He’d discovered Miriam’s desire. And now he knew she wanted him, it would take all of his control not to give in to his own need.
Here’s BethAnn Buehler: Valentines Day is a tough holiday at my house because my birthday and our anniversary fall in the same week meaning the three occasions take place within five days.
With President’s day falling nearby (which means a long weekend for us), needless to say it’s a jam-packed few days. Before our son was born, we made it a point to travel to Napa Valley every year and spent many a fabulous long weekend between San Francisco and the Napa and Sonoma valleys as a result. Even now just thinking about those years makes me sigh and chant those were the days. And they were, in there own way. Now my son is in his second year of middle school and while I’ve never said this about a given year before, I can’t wait for this Valentines day to be over. My son’s world has changed dramatically in the past few months as girls we’ve known since preschool have started texting and his first real girlfriend has come and gone, leaving his heart in pieces when she left. At times over the last few days, the uncertainty in his world has felt overwhelming to everyone in our house. I don’t remember the first time I got my heart broken but I know enough to remember it wasn’t fun. As a mom I think I’ve turned from thoughts of my own experience on the happiest of hearts day to that of my son. I find myself wondering what I can do for him on February 14th to help cover that new hole in his heart. In years past we’ve celebrated as a family with cupcakes, candy and cards but this Year I want to up the anti just a bit. My son’s ex bought him Polo Black cologne for Christmas and I’ve noticed since they parted ways, he hasn’t worn it much. That being said, in the wee hours before Valentines day dawns, I plan to use my mom superpowers to make said cologne disappear, leaving in its place on the shelf in his medicine cabinet a fresh, new bottle of Polo Red, complete with a note from me for his eyes only. And while we’ll still have cupcakes and candy and share a card or two as a family, it’s that note, that little bit of encouragement shared from my heart to the heart of the child I adore, the one God has entrusted me to raise, that just might make this Valentines day the one I consider my favorite years from now.
Faith 15 Blurb: Cooper Hensen is back in the Midwest, a place that holds haunting memories for him. Worse, he’s been labeled the newcomer, the guy now responsible for replacing a pro bowl, quarterback superstar destined for the hall of fame. And while the other guy’s name graces everything around the city from a children’s hospital to a golf course and philanthropic foundation, people keep misspelling Cooper’s, driving him crazy. Twice in as many weeks he’s heard his neighbor, a die-hard other guy fan, refer to him as Copper. Seriously? Cali Carter is a hard charging, no non-sense district attorney determined to clean up the city of Indianapolis. But lately things have shifted and she’s felt torn between her work and the position she fought so hard to achieve, and helping her sister, who’s struggling to manage her own young family and run the small café where she’s invested all of her heart, not to mention her life savings. When a bossy, quick thinker who likes to fix things meets a man with incredible potential clouded by a haunted past, can two household names find a balance of power within their relationship and share the spotlight?
Excerpt: Cooper felt his heart twist in his chest and it was all he could do not to pull himself from the sofa and fall at her feet. She knew. Someone knew what was happening inside his fractured mind. Yet just because she knew didn’t mean she fully understood. If he pulled off his shirt now, while Cali was three feet away with her hands on her hips daring him to step up to the plate, he was pretty certain a few marks scattered across his flesh would be the least of their worries.
He stood and slowly pulled the hem of his oxford from his jeans in an attempt to do the only thing he could think of to appease Cali and potentially pull her mind from its current train of thought. As the shirt came free, Cooper started on the lowest button and had to stop himself from laughing. She wasn’t going to find any marks on his back. He showered with a team of men everyday. Anything wrong with an ounce of his flesh that anyone could see wasn’t job related would land him in the coach’s office quicker than he could say his own name. Showing her his back was harmless, albeit it a little bit raunchy. But still, if Cali wanted a strip tease, who was he to say no?
Meet Nora Snowdon: Valentine’s Day and a tale of True Love!
Although I’m a romance writer, I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. It’s too much pressure and expense foisted on one day for no particular reason. And when you’re single, all the romance marketing is downright depressing. That said, I love the après Valentine’s Day Boxing Week Sale when suddenly all lust-laden chocolates are at fire sale prices. Now that’s a holiday I can get into. One year while bargain stalking the drug store below my office, I met Greg. Over a discussion of chocolate tactics—50% was still too expensive, but if you waited for it to hit 90% you’d be stuck with the waxy crap—we struck up a sticky friendship that lasted for years. Don’t get me wrong, our relationship was far deeper than just a shared addiction to heart shaped confectionary. Oh no. We also conferred on the exact date and time the Easter eggs took their price dive, not to mention all the Christmas, Mother’s Day and Halloween bargoons. (Despite our best efforts, the drug store was never convinced to stock up on Guy Fawkes commemorative S’mores. Go figure.) And even though I’ve since moved many miles to the west, I still get e-mails from my friend on the varying chocolate prices in our old store. And I know we’ll always share the memory of that day (Feb 18, 1998) when we shared the Godiva chocolate gift basket at 90% off! Now that was true love…
Blurb: When Rosie meets Lucas in a crowded nightclub, it is love at first sniff. But after a fabulous night together she overhears that his ex-girlfriend is pregnant with his child and he is being pushed into a shotgun wedding. Rosie figures why not just give up and buy that trailer in hurricane country? She obviously already has the lifestyle down pat.
Lucas has finally met the woman of his dreams, sexy, funny, bright. The only trouble is- she’s human. His werewolf clan won’t allow him to marry her. Meanwhile they’re trying to push him to marry a suitable mate within the pack. The fact that his only brother was neutered by the SPCA a few years ago only increases the pressure for him to produce offspring. If he can just downplay the negative aspects of being a werewolf – fleas, the desire to chase motorcycles, and Uncle Harold – maybe he can convince Rosie that it’s not such a bad lifestyle choice.
A sexy comedy you can sink your teeth into…
Excerpt: After limping three blocks in her heels, Rosie gave up and took them off. The sidewalk was disgusting, but at least she wouldn’t be wounded for the next few days, unless she stepped on glass. God, what a fool! First, he stalked her. Then he ran out on her right after sex. That should’ve set her libido on caution. Then they run into the other woman – or was she the other woman – and she still didn’t get a clue. Probably if he’d walked into the club that first night with a big red stamp on his forehead saying player she still would’ve fallen for him. Obviously she was a sucker for whatever that stupid cologne was. And she didn’t even check out his medicine cabinet to find out the name of her Kryptonite. Maybe she should wear nose plugs in public for her own protection. Rosie tried walking on the grass for a bit, but the wet leaves felt slimy, like walking on slugs. Yuck! What next? Was she going to get set upon by a wild pack of dingoes? Not that she knew what they were, but it seemed whatever came next would be equally bizarre and annoying. What a stupid day. From just being dumped she’d quickly progressed to a woman about to be dumped because her one night stand had gotten his previous girlfriend pregnant and was about to be forced into a shotgun wedding. Wow. At least she wasn’t crying. She was still too damn mad at herself. And maybe in shock. Listening to Lucas and the other guy arguing had ripped right through her. But then as they continued, she found her brain latching on to the absurdity of it all. There she was being so virtuous while Eva slept her way through the phone book – including the yellow pages – then in one fell swoop she manages to eclipse her friend in sleaziness. Well go big, or go home. Rosie limped up the steps to her apartment and amended the statement. Go big, then go home.
And Last But Not Least: Donna Steele: Valentine’s Day is here!
The most romantic day of the year, and since I write romance, a great day for me. We don’t normally do a lot of celebrating on this day as a couple. The last thing I need is a box of chocolates sitting around calling to me. I’m pretty sure having them in the house causes me to gain a couple of pounds without even being opened. I’ll admit this year our couple-hood has taken a backseat completely on the celebrating front because – Whoo hoo! We became grandparents for the first time on February 2! Maybe not romantic in the traditional sense, but think about it. We’ve been married, and in love, long enough to have a whole new generation to love. That pretty much makes this the best Valentine’s Day ever. Hubby said the most romantic thing to me a short while ago. We’d done a lot of traveling over the holidays, seeing the kids (who were too pregnant to travel). We were home again and in our regular places – me in my chair and him on the couch and he turned to me and said, “I love traveling with you. You soothe me.” Maybe that doesn’t sound romantic at first blush, but we’ve been married for thirty-six years, raised two kids, worked full time, and he still likes to be with me. Hearing that felt better than any box of chocolates ever could. I think I’ll keep him.
Meet Donna Steele: http://www.amazon.com/Donna-Steele/e/B007G8V5C6/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Blurb: It began in the north, in the ancient cold before the birth of man. Whether from the actions of man or the cycles of the planet, the primordial ice is melting and bringing back to the atmosphere a virus. One with no known cure for modern day humans. Rachel Gerhart has been a survivor her whole life, now she’s been changed by the virus that destroyed civilization. She trying to keep her differences under wraps, but Sid Saylor knows her secret. He’s been changed as well. Can their new abilities help with the rebuilding of a human civilization?
Lori J Gordon
Excerpt From Office Hours: Saturday Night, Ryan showed up in a black Tux, with a single yellow rose. Emily opened the door in jeans and a t-shirt. “One of us is definitely not dressed for the occasion.” Emily couldn’t help gawking. He looked so sexy her mouth watered. Holding out the rose, he asked. “Can I come in and wait while you change?”
“Why do I have to change? It was my choice and I chose McDonalds. I’ll wait here while you go home and change.”
He shrugged. “I decided I didn’t want to go to McDonalds. It’s bad for my cholesterol.”
The way he said it so seriously Emily couldn’t help laughing. “I’m afraid I don’t have anything classy enough to fit your outfit.” And I definitely don’t want to go anywhere fancy enough to require a Tux.
“Fair enough. Actually, I just came from a friend’s wedding. I have a change of clothes in the truck. But we’re still not going to McDonalds. And you’re not paying”
“We had a deal, Ryan.”
“Not anymore. The deals off, sweetheart.”
Now that you have met a few of my fellow Rebels I invite you to visit our wonderful Publisher to see many more talented writers. http://www.rebelinkpress.com/
Our kind Editor has donated a prize to our party and will give one lucky participant an ARC of their choice!
Simply leave a comment (include contact info) and a winner will be drawn on Monday morning, Feb 16th.
One lucky reader will receive the ARC from Rebel Ink Press, an e-book of your choice from Joanne Berroa’s titles. A $10.00 gift card and some author swag from Jennifer Wilck. A copy of Donna Steele’s e-book The Melting, Book 1, The Infection, and your choice of one of my e-books! http://www.amazon.com/Lori-J.-Gordon/e/B00BGS0SR0/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
*Please Join Jennifer Wilck and Lori J Gordon
Finally, I’d like to leave you with two of my favorite Valentines!