Guest Authors Blogging on Manic Readers!


Interested in guest blogging on Manic Readers? Please contact Ivy.
ivydtruitt at gmail (dot) com.

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An Interview with Declan McDougal, hero of Her Highland Master & Giveaway

 

  1. What is your name? Do you have a nickname?

My name is Declan McDougal. The only nickname I have is not uttered in polite society, but I am sometimes referred to as Master D within the confines of the Dungeon Fantasy Club.

  1. Where were you born? Where have you lived since then? Where do you call home?

I was born in Scotland. I have homes in four countries and on three continents. The longest period I was away from my homeland was while I was in school in London. Of the places I have lived, my ancestral home, Mullardoch Manor, near Glen Affric in Scotland is my home.

  1. If you have a family, how do you get along with them? If you don’t, are there people in your life that you consider family? How do you get along with them?

I don’t have any immediate family. I have a few cousins still left on my mum’s side. Some of the other Doms in the Dungeon Fantasy Club, I consider my brothers.

  1. What’s the one thing you’re afraid of losing? Why?

I wouldn’t say I’m afraid of losing anything. If I have any fear at all, it’s being liked for my wealth and what I can do for a person, not for who I am.

  1. You’re doing intense spring cleaning. What is easy for you to throw out? What is difficult to part with, and why?

There are very few mementoes that I have held onto throughout the years. The only thing I would hate to part with are Mullardoch Manor and my mother’s favorite necklace, it was an heirloom piece from her grandmother and always meant the world to her. I have maids to take care of the spring cleaning for me.

  1. Do you have a secret? If so, who do you need to keep the secret from and why?

I keep my BDSM lifestyle away from the boardroom and the society papers. There’s a lot of stigma associated with the lifestyle and in my position, I have to keep them separate.

  1. It’s Sunday morning. What are you doing? Give details.

Hopefully, a beautiful little sub and a true gentleman never tells.

  1. Has anyone broke your heart? Who was s/he?

My ex-fiancée cheated on me and ran off with another Dom. She was only after my numerous bank accounts.

  1. What’s the one thing you want out of life that you don’t think you can have? Why can’t you have it?

I’m really a simple man for all my wealth and privilege. I’d love a wife and family. In my position, it’s hard to allow just any woman in. With my experience, they never want me, only what my money can do for them. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway of 5 ebook copies of HER HIGHLAND MASTER

 
 Zoey Mills’s life is in shambles. She’s been accused of leaking her upper crust Hollywood clients’ data to an online magazine for a large payday. After a wine and chocolate-filled evening of drowning her sorrows, she determines that her best course of action is to leave her home in sunny Los Angeles for a week-long vacation in the Scottish Highlands. It’s the only way she can escape from the fact that her image is being splashed across the nightly news – and it might actually give her a chance to consider what her next move should be, now that her Great Master Life Plan has disintegrated into dust.

Unfortunately, she’s only just landed and is navigating the tiny roads in her rental car when a freak early autumn snow storm hits. Zoey finds herself stranded and winds up on the doorstep of Mullardoch Manor; home of the sexy Scotsman, Declan McDougal, who is her every dark fantasy brought to life.

Declan is one of the founding members of The Dungeon Fantasy Club. As a billionaire businessman and a Dom, he prefers to keep his sexual preferences and tastes away from the boardroom. He’s also become bored, not just with the club, but also with his life. None of the subs he meets can hold his interest for more than a night and it’s been that way for a long time. He just never wants more than a brief encounter. At least, not since his ex-fiancée cheated on him with another Dom and ran away. However, that all changes when Zoey barrels into his home uninvited and upends his luxurious but stale existence.

When Zoey finds herself without a place to stay, Declan makes her a tantalizing but scandalous offer: Stay in his home for the week, free of charge, and spend each night warming his bed. Or any other time of the day, for that matter. Deciding she doesn’t have much to lose and possibly everything to gain, Zoey accepts.

With Zoey’s every sweet subsequent cry of ecstasy, Declan uncovers a sub who warms not only his bed, but slowly thaws his frozen, scarred heart. And as Zoey explores her deepest fantasies, even as he spanks her bare bottom for disobeying his rules, she finds herself wanting more than just a week of unmitigated pleasure with the Dom.

Things seem to be progressing perfectly, both in bed and out, when Zoey’s past catches up with her. When he feels betrayed once more, and fears the woman he has grown to care for is not who she says she is, will Declan still be willing to risk his heart to become Her Highland Master?

Available at: http://www.blushingbooks.com/

 

Anya Summers

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with a M.A. in History.

Anya is a Bestselling and Award-Winning Author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance under the name, Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the midwest with her two furry felines.

Visit her website

Visit her on social media here:   FB     Twitter: @AnyaBSummers

 

Don’t miss these exciting titles by Anya Summers and Blushing Books!

 

Dungeon Fantasy Club Series

Her Highland Master, Book 1, April 15, 2016

To Master & Defend, Book 2, May 15, 2016

Two Doms for Kara, Book 3, June 12, 2016

His Driven Domme, Book 4, July 2016

Her Country Master, Book 5, August 2016

Love Me, Master Me, Book 6, September 2016

Submit To Me, Book 7, October 2016

Her Wired Dom, Book 8, November 2016

First Kiss by Mackenzie Crowne with Giveaway

One of my favorite movie lines is “There’s nothing like a first kiss” from 50 First Dates. Due to a brain injury, the heroine suffers short term memory loss, starting each day as a clean slate. The hero must reintroduce himself daily and make her fall in love with him again. Sometimes he succeeds, and sometimes his efforts end in an epic fail, but on those good days, their kiss is brand new…

While I would hate the rest of what goes with her injury, experiencing that first kiss is…magical. As a romance writer, the first kiss is one of my favorite scenes to write. With Jessi and Max from my new release, TO WIN HER HEART, their first kiss has been a long time coming, and for Jessi, there is definitely nothing like a first kiss…

“I’m about to tell my family a gargantuan lie.” With a groan, she dropped her head back. It bumped his shoulder. She straightened immediately and scrunched her eyes closed. “Oh, Lord, why the hell didn’t that inconvenient truth dawn on me before now?”

He didn’t give her a chance to answer her own question. Covering her hand with his, he twisted the knob. The door opened with a quiet snick. Her eyes popped open and she bit her lip against a guilty whimper. At the far end of the open floor plan, the kitchen teemed with familiar faces, several of whom looked their way. Tuck’s dirty blond brows arched to his hairline as his gaze zeroed in on her and Max.

“Too late now. It’s show time.” Max’s deep whisper tickled her ear. Before she could respond, he used the hand on her lower back to turn her.

As he lowered his head toward hers, she slapped a hand to his chest. “What are you doing?” The shocked demand came out in a quiet squeak. Her stiffened arm did her little good. He drew her closer.

“Making sure your plan works.”

Her world tumbled as he covered her mouth with his. Stunned pleasure liquefied her limbs. With her fingers clenched in the soft material of his sweater, she held on for dear life. The animal heat of his body swirled around her and seeped into her tingling skin as his mouth introduced her to his taste and scent. Spicy man and power. An intoxicating combination.

No simple peck on the lips, this. His tongue swept the seam of her mouth. Helpless to resist, she complied. Opening her lips to welcome him inside, she savored the rich combination of heat and silk as his tongue tangled with hers in a sensual dance. A willing moan gurgled in her throat as he pulled her tight against the muscular frame that had starred in countless of her fantasies over the years.

If his plan was to put on a show for the family, he did one hell of a bang up-job. Talk about an Oscar worthy performance. She willingly stepped into the role of supporting actress.

 

 

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In order to protect her, they’ll both have to let their guards down…

Country music’s It Girl Jessi Tucker is fed up with her family’s stifling security measures. The threat of a dangerous stalker has gotten the men in her life—including her football star cousin, Tuck Tucker—monitoring her every move. To get the freedom she yearns for, Jessi hatches a plan to recruit Max Grayson, Tuck’s sexy brawler best friend, to play the role of her new boyfriend. But if her scheme works, will she be forced to hide her true romantic feelings for the sake of her independence? Or will she finally steal the heart of her dream man?

Max has been pining for Jessi for years and would do anything to protect her, but a professional cage fighter with too many skeletons in his closet has no business being with one of America’s sweethearts. Yet while Max does his best to keep Jessi at arm’s length, the Tucker family persuades him to accept her offer.
Max believes he can keep Jessi safe from danger, but can he shelter her from his own dark secrets, the media’s unforgiving spotlight—and a mutual desire that’s harder to resist each day?

 

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Wife, mother and really young grandmother, Mackenzie lives with her high school sweet heart husband, a neurotic Pomeranian, and a blind cat. She calls Phoenix home because the southwest feeds her soul. Though her friends claim she’s a princess, she disagrees. After all, one can’t raise two rambunctious boys to wonderful men without getting a little dirt under their nails. A lover of the romance genre, her resolve to share her stories with others was sharpened by a bout with breast cancer. Today she is an award-winning author and eight year survivor, living the dream. Her friends call her Mac. She hopes you will, too. Connect with her at http://mackenziecrowne.com, FB, and Twitter.

COOKING UP TROUBLE & Giveaway with Judi Lynn

I wrote urban fantasies before I tried my hand at romance. I liked them because the female protagonist is always kickass. She fights her own battles. When she meets the male protagonist, the love interest, he has to be her equal, or she doesn’t respect him. She doesn’t even need him. But she’s always his equal, too. He doesn’t surpass her. They might have different strengths and skills, but they balance each other out.

Therefore, when I started writing COOKING UP TROUBLE, I thought it would be fun to write about a female protagonist who repeatedly rescues the man who’s moved in next door. Not that Ian’s weak. He has mad skills, but not many of them relate to country living. He worked in finances in New York before he bought the property next to Tessa’s to make into a resort. He knows business. He doesn’t know how to change a tire. And even though Tessa rushes to his aid over and over again, while she’s helping him, he’s helping her.

He recognizes her fears. He understands that she’s guarding her heart so that it doesn’t get broken again. She teaches him practical skills. He teaches her how to mend. Equals who complement each other.

 

 

Tessa Lawrence swore off men when she found her fiancée in the arms of another woman. These days, she concentrates on caring for her small farm and running a bakery and farm stand out of its barn. Ian McGregor moves to Mill Pond to build a resort on the property next to Tessa’s. Tessa’s fine with that. Mill Pond’s trying to attract more tourists. The problem is, Ian understands business, but he’s never changed a tire or pounded a nail. She finds herself helping him more than she expected, and spending time around Ian is a dangerous proposition. The man’s far too good-looking and fun to be around.

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Kensington Books

 

 

 

 

Judi Lynn Bio: When some people think of Indiana, they think of corn—which we have a lot of. But to me, Indiana is green—lush, beautiful, vibrant greens—so I use fictional towns and plunk them in an Indiana setting for a lot of my stories. I love cooking and gardening, and those sneak into my novels, too. I’ve collected more strays than I deserve. I’m a fan of Agatha Christie and urban fantasy, and I believe in happy ever after.

Website    Blog     My twitter handle: @judypost     FB Author page

TEN DAYS IN AUGUST & Giveaway with Kate McMurray

Ten Days in August features a character named Nicky—short for Nicholas—who is a female impersonator. We think of drag queens as being a fairly modern invention, but performers subverting gender have been around for generations. And it wasn’t just men dressing as women in early productions of Shakespeare plays. Nicky is loosely based on a few men I read about in a history of New York City in the nineteenth century, performers who risked a lot for their art, including getting arrested or violence.

If you’ve ever walked along the Bowery in New York City, even in these modern times after it’s largely been cleaned up, it’s not hard to imagine its seedier past. Ten Days is set in 1896, when the Bowery was populated by less reputable clubs and dance halls and brothels. A few notorious clubs catered to a clientele of men who sought the company of other men. Although Nicky dances at a fictional club, there were many just like it. A lot of these places were right near where CBGB’s used to be.

It is also true that the businesses in this neighborhood peddled in exactly the sort of vice Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt wanted to clean up. Part of how it came to thrive was police corruption—business owners paid officers to look the other way. Roosevelt wanted to crack down on crime by cracking down on corruption, and he started weeding corrupt officers out of his police department. Corruption could mean anything from accepting bribes to committing adultery. It is in this environment that Inspector Hank Brandt investigates a murder at Nicky’s club. When Hank starts falling for Nicky, his whole career is at stake.

I found it really fascinating to research and write about these parts of New York history that we don’t talk about much anymore. Most people know about Ellis Island—opened just a few years before the novel takes place—and Central Park and the Empire State Building, but fewer know about this era in history. Hopefully readers find it as interesting as I do.

From the Lower East Side to uptown Manhattan, a curious detective searches for clues on the sidewalks of New York—and finds a secret world of forbidden love that’s too hot to handle…

New York City, 1896. As the temperatures rise, so does the crime rate. At the peak of this sizzling heat wave, police inspector Hank Brandt is called to investigate the scandalous murder of a male prostitute. His colleagues think he should drop the case, but Hank’s interest is piqued, especially when he meets the intriguing key witness: a beautiful female impersonator named Nicholas Sharp.

As a nightclub performer living on the fringes of society, Nicky is reluctant to place his trust in a cop—even one as handsome as Hank. With Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt cracking down on vice in the city, Nicky’s afraid that getting involved could end his career. But when he realizes his life is in danger—and Hank is his strongest ally—the two men hit the streets together to solve the crime. From the tawdry tenements of the Lower East Side to the moneyed mansions of Fifth Avenue, Nicky and Hank are determined to uncover the truth. But when things start heating up between them, it’s not just their lives on the line. It’s their love…

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Kate McMurray is an award-winning author romance author and an unabashed romance fan. When she’s not writing, she works as a nonfiction editor, dabbles in various crafts, and is maybe a tiny bit obsessed with base­ball. She is currently president of the New York City chapter of Romance Writers of America. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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Kathryn Jordan’s FLICKERS with giveaway

Nowadays, acting in the movies or on TV is a glamor job, the one most of us daydreamed about when we were teenagers.  Money, fame, beautiful clothes and mansions – wouldn’t it be lovely?  Our parents would be proud of us for doing so well.  Our friends would envy us.

            Not so in the early 1900s, when silent film was a brand-new industry, an offshoot in America of the all-important live theater. Even though most American enjoyed going to the theater, the people who made the plays possible were looked down upon.  It wasn’t an honest job, acting, pretending to be someone else up on stage.  And the morals those people had! Everyone knew that the women in particular were “loose”, prone to drinking, illicit love affairs, and heaven knows what else! As for the movies, as the people who put together silent films were known, they were probably worse, up at all hours of the night, travelling around on trains unlike respectable people!

            In 1916, one of my characters, Tip Rediston, is making something of a name for himself as a leading man in the flickers.  When he’s offered a regular contract, his mother in particular is furious.  She does her best to talk him out of it and when she fails, tries to drag his older brother into the argument.

“Tip had the gall to tell me that you approve of his acting,” Sylvie said.  “You can’t be serious, Maury.”

“As a matter of fact, I am.  I’ll explain.”

“Explain indeed! Tip says it’s the money.”

“Yes, it is. I’ve been considering, and—“

“Maury, how can you?” Sylvie broke in. “I can’t stand it, and neither should you, having your own brother being very much like a prostitute.”

“Mother!”

“I told you, Maury, I went to see that wretched film. There was my son, kissing that girl, and the camera was so close that their faces filled the whole screen, and the kiss was the only point the whole wretched scene had. And then all those common little shop-girls were standing around in the lobby afterwards, talking about him, saying things out loud that no decent girl would ever think!  And now you tell me that the money makes it acceptable to you. Just what is that but prostitution?”

“Now, Mother.”  Maury tried to make his voice soothing. “It’s just entertaining, that’s all.”

“Horsefeathers!”  Sylvie turned and walked over to the window. “Tip was such a beautiful child, and I was so proud of him.”  She stared out of the window. “But now I see why your poor father was so worried.”

“Father would have jumped at the chance to have Tip make two hundred dollars a week.”

“Your mind’s made up, isn’t it?”   Sylvie turned from the window. “I’m wasting my time. You’re just like your father sometimes, just like him. Damn you, Maury!”

Maury stared, speechless. Never had he heard his mother use such language.

 

Set in the dynamic years leading up to the Roaring Twenties, Flickers turns its lens on California’s glamorous silent film era, as Victorian civilities are swept away by a bold new century . . .
Violet Winters is the daughter of one of California’s wealthy robber barons.  Jack Sutter is the gardener’s son.  In their youth, the two were inseparable. But in 1913 everything is changing, and despite their feelings for each other, adulthood has come between them. Their vastly different social positions leads Violet to marry the aloof but socially perfect Maury Rediston. Jack vows to win Violet back while carving out a new life for himself in the burgeoning motion picture industry.  Tip Rediston, Violet’s brother-in-law, also gets drawn into the bohemian world of the flickers. As handsome as he is troubled, Tip starts his climb to stardom despite his family’s disapproval.  But as social changes, political upheaval, and war change the world around them, Violet, Jack, and Tip learn that things are never as easy as they seem on the silver screen. . .

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Kathryn Jordan lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two cats, and a vagrant skunk.  Although she spent her childhood in a Great Lakes industrial city, she became a confirmed Californian at age nine, when her family relocated to Santa Barbara, the “Santa Luisa” of the novel.  All it took was one winter without five feet of snow turning into black urban slush to convince her that the move had been worthwhile.  FLICKERS, her first historical novel, is a new departure for her career. Under the name of Katharine Kerr, she’s also the author of the Nola O’Grady series of light-hearted urban fantasy novels.

Website    Twitter: @kit_kerr     FB

Jane Goodger's HOW TO PLEASE A LADY with giveaway

In many historical romances, the plot involves the hero or heroine being “forced” to marry someone against their will. Though it is difficult to believe, this is not a made up story line, but one that actually occurred—especially among the upper classes—more times than we would probably believe.

Consuela Vanderbilt was forced by her social-climbing mother to marry the Duke of Marlborough. Poor Consuela was in love with another man and her mother locked her in her room in their Newport mansion and threatened to have the man killed. You may know that Consuelo did marry the duke, was completely miserable, and shocked the world in a few years’ time when she got a divorce.

How to Please a Lady is inspired by a story I read in an old 1880s Boston newspaper that I read years ago while doing research. Apparently a German princess was being forced to marry a man she loathed and she escaped Germany with a servant and came to America. Unfortunately, things didn’t go well for our princess, for when they arrived, the servant stole all her money and jewels and abandoned her in New York City in the middle of a blizzard. That story stuck with me and I’ve thought about it over the years, always trying to figure out a happy ending for my heroine. And that’s how my book, How to Please a Lady got its start.

Having a wonderful mother, it is difficult for me to understand how a woman could force her daughter to marry someone she clearly didn’t love, or as is the case with Lady Rose, who she feared. I had her gather up her courage in this pivotal scene and confront her mother:

I can’t marry the duke.” This she announced to her mother five minutes before they were scheduled to go down to dine. She might have said “the sky is blue” for the reaction her mother gave her. “Did you hear me, Mother?”

I’m glad you stopped in before luncheon, dear. I wanted to talk to you about Mr. Avery.”

Charlie?”

Her mother gave her a tight smile. “That’s what I want to talk to you about. He is a servant, not a friend. You are to call him either Mr. Avery or groom, certainly not by his given name. His Grace mentioned that he thought you were a bit too familiar with Mr. Avery and I can now understand his concern.”

His concern?” Rose looked at her mother in utter confusion.

He felt Mr. Avery was entirely too impertinent today and suggested I dismiss him immediately. Of course, I will not. That being said, however, I would have given it consideration if Mr. Avery wasn’t already leaving.”

Mother, I’ve known Ch—Mr. Avery—since we were both children. I’ve always called him Charlie.”

No longer.”

I call my maid by her given name.”

That is entirely different. Certainly I don’t have to give you a lesson in how to treat servants. You are being purposely obtuse, Rose, and I don’t like it.”

Rose dipped her head slightly. “I apologize.”

As for that ridiculous statement you greeted me with earlier, it doesn’t warrant discussion. Shall we go down to luncheon?”

Yes, Mother.”

Rose is not a weak woman, but she is young, only eighteen and took the commandment of honor thy mother and father quite seriously. In our modern society, it’s difficult to fathom how a girl could be forced into marriage, until we realize this practice (and worse) are happening even today in other cultures. The modern woman in me rebels, but the reality is, many young women of the day simply had no choice. Choice is a modern invention—and one that hasn’t even reached every country even in the 21st century.

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How To Please A Lady

Run though they might, love will find them…

Lady Rose Dunford is shocked–and titillated–by the number of female visitors coming and going from her mysterious new neighbor’s Manhattan brownstone. Recently widowed by the death of her very sweet, but not very exciting husband, Rose finds it difficult to imagine just what the attraction could be. 

And then she meets the bachelor in question. Not only is Charlie Avery dashing and outrageously good looking–she knows him! He is none other than the man who once helped her escape the dreary matchmaking plans of her father, the man she once dreamed she could love. Can Charlie’s presence next door be an accident? Or has he come to show her everything he has learned about…

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Jane Goodger lives in Rhode Island with her husband, three children, Chihuahua, one-eyed cat, and a ferret. She works full-time, and operates an editing service in between writing Victorian-set historical romances. In her free time (hahahaha), Jane watches HGTV and dreams of fixing up her 1940s colonial. A former journalist, Jane has lived in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Pozzuoli, Italy.

Visit Jane     FB       @janegoodger

 

Ella Quinn’s THREE WEEKS TO WED & giveaway

 

Thank you so much for having me back on your blog! I have a new release! Three Weeks to Wed is the first book in The Worthingtons. If you’ve read my books, you know I write Regencies. I can’t tell you how many authors I’ve met who love Regencies, but are actually afraid of the research. Fortunately, I love research. It doesn’t matter if it’s the type of building materials used in a certain area, to food, clothing, manners, customs, titles and anything else you can think of.

For this book I had to delve into the family law of the day and discovered that a married woman could not have custody of children. Bad for the heroine, but excellent for the plot. I also wanted big dogs. I had Great Danes for over thirty years, so I was pleased to find that the breed existed during the Regency.

Danes are fun dogs. They are hard to handle for the first three years, then it’s like a switch flipped and they do what you want them to. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has been suckered into chasing one. It’s a game I dubbed ‘chase me, chase me, you fool, you fool.’

They also have a wide variety of facial expressions from drawing their brows together to acting completely innocent when they’ve just done something they weren’t supposed to do. I once had a Dane who could not resist licking a baby. She would patiently wait until no one was looking, like the child, then glance away as if nothing had happened.

Tell me, do you like dogs in books? What is your favorite, large or small?

 

Blurb Three Weeks To Wed

In the first book of her dazzling new series, bestselling author Ella Quinn introduces the soon-to-be Earl and Countess of Worthington—lovers who have more in common than they yet know. The future promises to be far from boring…

Lady Grace Carpenter is ready to seize the day—or rather, the night—with the most compelling man she’s ever known. Marriage would mean losing guardianship of her beloved siblings, and surely no sane gentleman will take on seven children not his own. But if she can have one anonymous tryst with Mattheus, Earl of Worthington, Grace will be content to live out the rest of her life as a spinster.

Matt had almost given up hope of finding a wife who could engage his mind as well as his body. And now this sensual, intelligent woman is offering herself to him. What could be more perfect? Except that after one wanton night, the mysterious Grace refuses to have anything to do with him. Amid the distractions of the Season he must convince her, one delicious encounter at a time, that no obstacle—or family—is too much for a man who’s discovered his heart’s desire…

“Oh, the tangled webs we weave…especially when our hearts are involved. Three Weeks to Wed is a delightfully heartwarming escape into the sparkling world of the Regency.  Ella Quinn weaves magic.” —Cathy Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author

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Author Bio

Bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them. She has just finished her first series, The Marriage Game, and her new series will start in April 2016.

She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and granddaughter, one cat and a dog. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat cruising the Caribbean and North America.

She loves having readers connect with her.

Website:      Facebook      Twitter      Blog 

Introducing Joe Cosentino and his PORCELAIN DOLL ~ Jana Lane mystery series

 

Is art imitating life in 1982? Jana Lane, ex-child star, is doing a comeback film about murder. When a crew member is killed on the set, it looks like Jana could be next. Thickening the plot is Jana’s breathtakingly handsome and muscular leading man, Jason Apollo, whose boyish, southern charms have aroused Jana’s interest on screen and off. Will Jana and Jason stop the murderer before the final reel, or end up on the cutting room floor in this fast-paced whodunit with a shocking ending?

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As Jana sat waiting for Jack to call for action, she looked up at Jason’s encouraging face. She again was taken aback by his incredible beauty.

Reverend Charlton and Gloria reentered the study.

Jack called for quiet and action. Jana and Jason played the scene, where the detective notifies her of her husband’s death. Jason delivered his lines with warmth, vulnerability, and obvious affection for Jana. In turn, Jana listened then reacted with deep emotions, conveying shock, loss, fear, and hysteria while being comforted by the man she trusted. Jana clutched onto Jason with such force, her fingernail accidently tore a hole in his jacket.

“Cut!” Jack hollered.

While the wardrobe woman repaired Jason’s jacket, Jana noticed Reverend Charlton step out of the study again, this time with Ryan O’Halloran.

After the two men returned, and the jacket was mended, Jack called for slate and action for take two. Jana and Jason did the scene two more times. Each take was more realistic and heart-wrenching than the next, and each appeared as if it were the first time Jana was given the sad news.

After the third take, Jack shouted, “Cut! It’s a wrap. Ryan, let’s move on to the next location.”

Jana wiped the tears from her cheeks.

Jason placed his hand on the side of her face. “You’re amazing.”

“You’re not so bad yourself, partner.”

“You make me better,” he said with adoration in his true-blue eyes.

They shared a smile as again people hurried around the room like ants after a picnic.

Suddenly, Jana heard a loud crash followed by a scream. Leaping from her chair, she followed the horrified gazes of the others in the room to Ryan O’Halloran lying motionless on the floor with a Fresnel tungsten shuttered light next to his head, and blood dripping from his scalp onto the hardwood floor.

PORCELAIN DOLL is the second in your Jana Lane mystery series. Can you give us some background on Jana and the events leading to PORCELAIN DOLL?

I created a heroine who was the biggest child star ever and is making a comeback as an adult—personally and professionally. The Jana Lane mysteries are separate novels that can be read in any order. Paper Doll gives us the backstory as to why Jana Lane, America’s most famous child star, left the business at eighteen after being attached on the studio lot. It is 1980 and Jana, a thirty-eight-year-old beauty and mother of two living in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York, suffers flashbacks from 1960 which turn into murder attempts in her present. She visits the California movie studio she once called home and with the help of the handsome son of her old producer uncovers a web of secrets about everyone she loves, including the person who destroyed her past and threatens to snuff out her future. The reviews were amazing. Here are two examples:

Paper Doll is a superbly crafted mystery with an eclectic cast of characters that will engage you and elicit some very emotional responses as you are completely caught up in the events that unfold in these pages. Everyone has secrets and the people in Paper Doll have them in spades!” Fresh Fiction

“Mr. Cosentino has produced a masterpiece of mystery” “The story gripped me from the start and there were enough twists and turns, with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure, to keep hold of me until the end of the book.” Readers’ Favorite

When readers asked for more, I continued writing and was thrilled when The Wild Rose Press contracted the next three Jana Lane mysteries. In PORCELAIN DOLL, it is 1982 and Jana is thirty-nine years old. She makes a comeback film and uncovers who is being murdered on the set and why. Her heart is set aflutter by her incredibly gorgeous co-star, America’s heartthrob Jason Apollo. The other suspects include Jana’s James Dean type young co-star, her older John Wayne type co-star, her children’s Eve Harrington type nanny, the film’s gossipy makeup and hair artist, a local reverend trying to stop the film’s production, and Jason’s agent. The reviews were just as terrific. For example:

Porcelain Doll is Joe Cosentino at his finest. We are drawn back to the fashions and attitudes of the 1980’s in a character-driven story full of intrigue and passion.” Kirsty Vizard, Divine Magazine

“Beautifully written and intensely detailed, Porcelain Doll is one not to be missed. Flirtatiously decadent with a strong moral undertone, set in a decade of extraordinary social change this is a story of its period that is as poignant today as it was then. Joe Cosentino controlled the emotions that the book encouraged with a deft but delicate touch. Suspenseful and mysterious, Porcelain Doll is a masterful creation, one that was impossible not to be affected by.” Carol Fenton, BooksLaidBare Reviews

You’ve done some acting yourself. Any amusing stories you can share with readers?

As a kid I played make believe constantly. “Let’s put on a show!” was my motto with full scale musicals in the garage starring my sister and me. Thankfully my parents and teachers indulged me (rather than committed me-hah). After majoring in theatre in college, I became an actor in film, television, and theatre, working opposite stars like Bruce Willis (A Midsummer Night’s Dream onstage), Nathan Lane (Roar of the Greasepaint on stage), Rosie O’Donnell (AT&T Industrials), Holland Taylor (My Mother Was Never a Kid ABC-TV movie), Charles Keating (NBC-TV’s Another World), and Jason Robards. (Commercial Credit Computer TV commercial). One interesting story is that Rosie O’Donnell and I were on tour doing an AT&T Industrial in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was playing her henpecked husband. I had a terrible pain in my leg, and she insisted upon taking me to the local hospital’s emergency room. When we got there, she bossed around the nurses in her character from our skits. I found it really funny and my leg stopped hurting. I never did find out why it hurt. Later in New Jersey, Rosie mentioned she received an offer to appear on TV’s Star Search. She didn’t want to do it since she was already a professional stand-up comic. I recommended that she do it, thinking if America could see how good she was, Rosie would become a star. I was right. I have lots more stories, perhaps for future interviews.

Of film, television, and theatre acting, do you have a preference?

I love them all. It’s an amazing high to feel a live audience’s energy, hear their laughter or gasps of surprise, and take in their applause onstage. Film affords the opportunity for multiple takes to get everything just right and work with famous people. TV makes you think on your feet and create very quickly. Acting is great fun. That’s why kids play make believe. As Jana Lane says about her film career in Paper Doll, “I enjoyed the make-believe…playing so many characters in so many different locations.” “I felt like…God’s special child.” My love for film, television, and theatre is evident in the series. Jana stars in the films His Obsession in PORCELAIN DOLL and Madam Senator in Satin Doll. She does a Broadway play, China Doll, in China Doll. In Ragdoll, Jana stars in a television murder mystery series, The Detective’s Wife.

I want to come full circle and play Jana’s comical, old world agent, Simon, in The Jane Lane Mysteries on TV. Hear that TV producers!

Is Jana a product of your acting or does she stem from a love of old Hollywood & movies?

Both! As one reviewer of Paper Doll wrote, I used my knowledge of show business to devilish ends. I used my background in each of the Jana Lane novels, since I know the ins and outs on a movie set, television set, and onstage. Thankfully nobody was ever murdered on my sets. As a kid I loved child stars like Shirley Temple, Hayley Mills, and Patty Duke, seeing their movies over and over. It occurred to me that acting is storytelling in the same way that writing is storytelling, so I decided to give writing a try. After writing some plays, I knew my novels would include show business in some way, since show business has always been such a huge part of my life. As an avid mystery reader, it was clear to me that my novels would also be page-turning mysteries with clever plot twists, engaging characters, romance, and lots of clues leading to a surprising conclusion. Since coming from a funny Italian-American family, I also knew humor would play a role in my novels.

Satin Doll and China Doll, books three and four respectively, are also being released this year. How many books do you have planned for Jana?

In Satin Doll, Jana and family head to Washington, DC, where Jana plays a US senator in a new film, and becomes embroiled in a murder and corruption at the senate chamber. She also embarks on a romance with Chris Bruno, the ex-professional football player detective. In China Doll, Jana heads to New York City to star in a Broadway play, enchanted by her gorgeous co-star Peter Stevens, and faced with murder on stage and off. Ragdoll comes next, where Jana stars in a TV murder mystery series, and once again life imitates art. Through the course of the books, Jana not only solves the mysteries, but also reclaims the courage and fortitude she had as a child. This is an important message for all of us. As one reviewer wrote, she starts out as a wounded bird, and ends as tiger. After that, who knows? If readers keep begging for more, I’ll keep writing.

I also have my Nicky and Noah comedy mysteries published by Lethe Press. Since I am a college theatre professor/department head, and theatre departments are havens of mystery, secrets, romance, and high humor; the series takes place at an Edwardian style New England college. In Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2015 winner for Best Mystery, Best Humor, Best Crime, Best Contemporary) theatre college professors are dropping like stage curtains. With the inept local detectives, it is up to Directing professor, Nicky Abbondanza to use his theatre skills (including playing other people) to solve the murders, while he directs a murder mystery onstage. Complicating matters is Nicky’s intense crush on Assistant Professor of Acting, handsome Noah Oliver, the prime suspect in the murder. In Drama Muscle Nicky and Noah have to use their theatre skills to find out why bodybuilders are dropping like weights in the Physical Education department while Nicky directs the Student Bodybuilding Competition. In Drama Cruise, Nicky and Noah go on a cruise to Alaska, and discover why college theatre professors are going overboard like lifeboats while Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show onboard ship.

What is your favorite aspect of writing? 

Readers contacting me via my web site or posting reader reviews on Amazon and Goodreads telling how much they loved the books. There is no greater high than knowing my many hours of hard worked paid off! Like a reader, I also enjoy being swept away by the stories and becoming part of the novels, relishing in the lush locations and captivating characters, gasping at the plot twists and turns, and being shocked by the ending. I also love my main characters, who are so real to me. Each book is like visiting with old friends. Finally, I adore the decadence of the 1980’s! I had great fun writing about Jana’s mansion, wardrobe, makeup, and hairstyles. I also enjoyed incorporating into the novels some of the music, films, television shows, Broadway shows, and political and social events of the era.

Your least favorite? 

On the negative side, in writing a series for continuity I need to keep a notebook full of information on each character and the various repeat locations—i.e. every room in Jana’s Hyde Park mansion. Also, since I am a college professor/department head by day, I have to write at night.  My mother asked me, “Don’t you have anything better to do than write at night?” I wonder if Shakespeare’s mother asked him that? Hah.

Thank you for taking the time to visit with Manic Readers, Joe.

It has been my pleasure. I hope everyone reads Porcelain Doll from The Wild Rose Press, and let me know what you think! http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com

 

Cheryl Holt's latest ~ HEART'S DEBT & signed print copy giveaway!

My new novel, HEART’S DEBT, will be released on March 15th.  If you haven’t read one of my novels before (or if you have!), I’m renowned for creating some of the most macho heroes in women’s fiction.  Damian Drummond, the hero in HEART’S DEBT, is probably the most virile, macho character I’ve created so far.

He was betrayed as a boy and wrenched from the safe, stable life he’d always known.  He ended up being transported to the penal colonies in Australia where he survived in the most trying, desperate conditions.  In HEART’S DEBT, he’s an adult who’s returned to England and is bent on revenge against those who wronged him.

Of all the heroes I’ve created over the years, I think Damian Drummond is probably the most cynical and damaged, which makes him a hero any woman would want to save.  My heroine, Georgina Fogarty is the perfect person to teach him how to love and care.

Have you had a chance yet to read my ‘Lost Lords of Radcliffe’ trilogy?  The three novels came out over the past summer, and the titles are HEART’S DELIGHT, HEART’S DESIRE, and HEART’S DEMAND.  The third book, HEART’S DEMAND, is very special to me because it’s my 40th novel, so I’ve been celebrating all year.

HEART’S DEBT is a spinoff novel from the trilogy.  It’s a stand-alone novel though, so you don’t have to have read the first three to enjoy it, but it definitely makes the experience a whole lot more fun.  Damian Drummond appears as a secondary character at the end of HEART’S DEMAND, and he was such a mysterious, enigmatic fellow that I was deluged with letters from readers who wanted to know more about him.  I’ve finally had the chance to tell his story, and I hope all of you will help me celebrate his arrival!

Georgina Fogarty and Damian Drummond–coming in HEART’S DEBT on March 15!

Amazon    Apple    Kobo

HEART’S DEBT

Three little lost lords, cast to the winds of fate… 
CHERYL HOLT tantalized readers around the globe with her Lost Lords of Radcliffe trilogy. She continues to dazzle with yet another story from the trilogy. In the three novels, no character was more fascinating or intriguing than the mysterious Mr. Drummond…

DAMIAN DRUMMOND had his life ruined when he was wrongly convicted of a crime and sent to the penal colonies in Australia. He survived the ordeal by dreaming of the vengeance he would one day extract from those who’d wronged him. With his sentence complete, he’s grown incredibly wealthy through criminal enterprise, and he’s returned to England, intent on revenge. He begins by buying the bankrupt Kirkwood estate from the wastrel and gambler who betrayed him…

GEORGINA FOGARTY has never been anything but a poor relative. She grew up at Kirkwood with her rich, spoiled cousins. Though she’s worked hard to earn their favor and show her gratitude, she’s never felt welcome or appreciated. When Damian arrives and announces he owns Kirkwood, that her cousin has gambled it away, Georgina is willing to make any sacrifice to save her family’s home. But when she begs Damian for mercy, she has no idea of the high price he will insist she pay…

Cheryl is giving away ten (10) signed print copies. You heard right, signed print copies!  Enter via the rafflecopter below & good luck!

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CHERYL HOLT is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon “Top 100″ bestselling author who has published over forty novels.

She’s also a lawyer and mom, and at age forty, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer. She’d hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn’t sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance where she was stunned to discover that she has a knack for writing some of the world’s greatest love stories.

Her books have been released to wide acclaim, and she has won or been nominated for many national awards. She is considered to be one of the masters of the romance genre. For many years, she was hailed as “The Queen of Erotic Romance”, and she’s also revered as “The International Queen of Villains.” She is particularly proud to have been named “Best Storyteller of the Year” by the trade magazine Romantic Times BOOK Reviews.

She lives and writes in Hollywood, California, and she loves to hear from fans. Visit her website at www.cherylholt.com.

Reading Process by Janice Maynard with giveaway

I never met a book I didn’t like. Well, that’s not entirely true. Have you ever read The Vicar of Wakefield? Take my word for it. Don’t. It was not a page turner.  J

For years I gobbled up several books a week. Now that I am writing fulltime, I find myself with less time to read. NOT a good thing! What that means is I have fewer moments to try new authors. I tend to stick to my favorites in contemporary and historical romance. I like a little bit of almost everything, but when my reading opportunities are limited, I often go with the tried and true.

My husband tackles three or four books at once. He’ll spend an hour at bedtime reading one chapter of each. My process is different. I’ll pick one, and as long as it’s good, I’ll read and read and read until it’s done.

E-books have really helped me try new writers and genres. I’ll take a chance on something I see in an ad and download an unknown author to see if I like him or her. The only trouble is… I don’t know if I’ll ever get caught up!! One TBR stack by the bed and another on the iPad. But it’s a good problem to have, right?

I’ve been a reader my whole life, or at least as far back as I can remember. I do, however, know more than a few adults who discovered the joy of reading later in life. How about you? I’d love to hear your favorite genres of romance and also when and how you fell in love with the written word.

If you have any room left in your life for one more story, I’d be honored if you would take a chance on HOT FOR THE SCOT. It’s a lighthearted, sexy tale about three friends who travel to Scotland in search of adventure and, of course, romance.

Thanks for having me today. Happy Spring and Happy Reading!

Janice Maynard

In Janice Maynard’s sweet and sexy new series, three childhood friends with a shared passion for the Outlander novels and TV show decide to travel to Scotland looking for adventure—and their very own Highland heroes…  

It’s a dream come true for schoolteacher Hayley Smith. No homework to grade, no students to corral, no social media, Internet or cell phone…just a month amid the heather and rolling hills around Inverness. A brawny alpha male in a kilt is probably too much to ask for. But Hayley is in heaven ambling around Loch Ness, gazing and then…falling into the icy water, before being rescued by a strong, chivalrous local hero…

Retired soccer star Angus Munro, aka Angus the Angler, is a little insulted and a whole lot intrigued when Hayley doesn’t recognize him. How long has it been since anyone saw beyond his wealth and fame? And how long before the macho athlete and his modern-day American damsel in distress act on an attraction that could make even the misty Scottish moors sizzle with heat? Long enough, maybe, for both to figure out if this is an affair to remember…or the start of something everlasting…

AMAZON    B&N    KOBO     GOOGLEPLAY     KENSINGTON BOOKS 

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USA Today bestselling author Janice Maynard knew she loved books and writing by the time she was eight years old. But it took multiple rejections and many years of trying before she sold her first three novels. After teaching kindergarten and second grade for a number of years, Janice took a leap of faith and quit her day job. Since then she has written and sold over thirty-five books and novellas.

During a recent trip to Scotland, Janice enjoyed getting to know the “motherland”. Her grandfather’s parents emigrated from the home of bagpipes, heather, and kilts. Janice lives in east Tennessee with her husband, Charles. They love hiking, traveling, and spending time with family.

Hearing from readers is one of the best perks of the job!

http://www.janicemaynard.com