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#8 in Cate Beaumann's Body Guards of L.A. County ~REAGAN'S REDEMPTION w/ giveaway!

Cate Beauman is back with the eight installment in her bestselling romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Reagan’s Redemption is on sale now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and more!

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03 Reagan's Redemption - 3DDoctor Reagan Rosner loves her fast-paced life of practicing medicine in New York City’s busiest trauma center. Kind and confident, she’s taking her profession by storm—until a young girl’s accidental death leaves her shaken to her core. With her life a mess and her future uncertain, Reagan accepts a position as Head Physician for The Appalachia Project, an outreach program working with some of America’s poorest citizens.

Shane Harper, Ethan Cooke Security’s newest team member, has been assigned a three-month stint deep in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, and he’s not too happy about it. Guarding a pill safe in the middle of nowhere is boring as hell, but when he gets a look at his new roommate, the gorgeous Doctor Rosner, things start looking up.

Shane and Reagan encounter more than a few mishaps as they struggle to gain the trust of a reluctant community. They’re just starting to make headway when a man’s routine checkup exposes troubling secrets the town will do anything to keep hidden—even if that means murder.

Read an excerpt from Reagan’s Redemption:

The front door opened and closed. “Shane?”

“Down here.”

Reagan hurried in, her eyes full of excitement. “How are things going?”

“Good. Faith is clean, eating, and will hopefully be sleeping in the next couple of minutes.”

“I can take a turn. I know I’ve been gone for awhile.”

He shook his head. “We’re fine. Looks like you’ve had a run today.”

She smiled. “Two patients—one ear infection and a strep throat.”

“Good stuff.”

She nodded, sitting on the edge of the mattress. “That’s not the best part. I was talking with Jodi, Josiah’s mother, about her gardens—trying to break the ice a little. She was telling me how she grows some of the best corn around but constantly has trouble with her beans. Apparently, Sue Anne’s family seems to have the opposite issue.” She swiped her hair behind her ear. “Anyway, while Jodi was talking, I got this idea. I was thinking we could organize an evening where families can get together here at the clinic and swap fruits and vegetables for a bigger variety of healthful foods—kind of like a farmer’s market. We can offer some simple snacks and drinks, and I’m hoping I might be able to throw in a few nutrition facts while we’re at it. There are so many kiddos with bad teeth. They’re drinking too much soda.”

“Sounds like you’ve got a plan. Go get ‘em, tiger.” He liked seeing her like this—her eyes bright, her hands punctuating certain words as they spilled from her mouth, caught up in her own enthusiasm.

“I will.” Her smile dimmed as she touched Faith’s toes peeking out from the blanket. “But I don’t know how many people will come.”

“So you won’t have standing-room only on your first try.”

She licked her lips. “They’re afraid.”

He frowned. “Who?”

“The people here. They’re frightened by either me or the clinic.”

“Why do you say that?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. That was the sense I got when I spoke with Jenny’s mother and then again with Jodi.”

He remembered Mrs. Hendley’s weird spewings about heeding warnings and staying away, but she also seemed like a bit of a whack job. “I don’t know, Doc. When I look at you ‘intimidating’ isn’t exactly the first word that comes to mind.”

“Maybe not to you, but they were certainly uneasy. Maybe I’m trying to make sense of an unusual situation, but I don’t think so. Both women kept looking toward the trees, like they were being watched or something.” She shuddered. “It gave me the willies.”

“We’ll keep an eye on the situation, but things have been pretty low key so far.”

She nodded. “I just really want this to work. I can help this town if they’ll let me.”

Did you enjoy the excerpt? You can read the first chapter on my website,

www.catebeauman.com, or you can finish the whole book here!

The Inspiration Behind Reagan’s Redemption:

I’ve wanted to tell Reagan and Shane’s story for quite a while now, but I kept putting it off, knowing where the weeks of research would take me. Reagan Rosner is a doctor, which is great for her but not so much for me as the writer. Unfortunately, I’m a bit of a hypochondriac who is afflicted with White Coat Syndrome. Typically, I stay as far away from anything “medical” as possible, but for Reagan’s Redemption I had to dig deep and conquer a personal demon or two. There were many days where I cringed, watching how-to videos on IV insertions and blood draws and hyperventilated my way through more than one resuscitation tutorial, but I did it, making Reagan’s character all the more stronger for it.

After the days of dreadful research, I really knuckled down and got to work. I had so much fun with this story. Reagan is kind and dedicated and Shane extremely funny. This couple complements each other well, which is perfect because they’ll face more than their fair share of trouble in Black Bear Gap, Kentucky.

I hope you enjoy Reagan and Shane as much as I enjoyed writing them!

~ Cate

About the author:

04 Cate profile pic copy 2Cate currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, their two boys, and St. Bernard’s, Bear and Jack. She is the author of the best-selling romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Before her career as an author, Cate worked in special education for 12 years.

I’m a pretty lucky girl; one day I woke up and my entire life changed. I saw the light, so to speak, and decided I was going to be a writer. Now, five years later, I’m working on my ninth novel, Answers For Julie, which I plan to release during the summer of 2015. I’m remain so very grateful for the support and success that I have had. Thank you!” – Cate

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Contact Cate

Amazon Author Page

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Marketing My Children’s Picture Books with Paper Craft and Book Making Classes

For me, the hardest part about being a children’s picture book author is the marketing. One of my most successful, marketing techniques is to teach paper craft and book making to young children. My classes and /or demonstrations are held at schools, book stores, toy stores, museums, galleries, at book fairs and even on the street. I find this is an excellent way to interact with young readers, their parents and grandparents. These classes and demonstrations provide an opportunity to advertise future events, publicize my books and keep my name in the local media. In addition, the places where I teach the classes often allow me to sell my books, or they will sell them for me. These events allow me to develop an email list which I use to send out a newsletter and publicize additional events, any new books and my web and blog sites.

I now have a variety of book forms, from simple accordion books to more complicated forms, to be used in a variety of class situations and even street-side locations. Much depends on the age of the children. I like to limit formal classes to children over the age of seven, because the younger ones do not have the cutting and other skills needed to do the projects. However, if there is an adult present ready to help or the class isn’t too full, younger kids do attend. And with this adult help, they do quite well. Even two-year-olds like to have a piece of paper or book for drawing.

The young authors and artists are free to decide how to decorate their book, what to write and what color pages and covers to use. It is amazing how creative these children are and how they dive right in and start writing and drawing. I provide a variety of colorful paper choices and pens as well as other supplies to ignite their imagination. Sometimes I charge a small materials fee and sometimes not, depending on the location.

I have a pile of my children’s stories available for the kids and parents to examine and read. When the class is over, I hand out brochures detailing my stories and listing the places where they can be purchased, either online or at local stores. Naturally, it’s nice when my books are bought on the spot as happened this past week at a class.

Recently, I have developed book making projects that directly relate to my published children’s picture books. For example, “Hopping to the Moon” is a story about a frog that dreams he has hopped to the Moon and what he finds there. It’s designed to teach children about the Moon and space travel. The accompanying art projects I call a Moon Book, a circular form with a picture of the Moon on the cover. After reading the story, we talk about the Moon and space travel. They cut out the front and back cover out of card stock and make colorful circular pages that they string together at the top to form a book. Depending on their age, the kids are encouraged to write a story about life on the Moon, or draw pictures of the Moon surface and decorate their book with the pens, punches and other supplies I provide. Their final art book is designed to be hung in their room.

bgfront cover f 2x2 92cd ft cover f 4x4 180I also have a couple of butterfly book forms that corresponds to my stories, Butterfly Girls and When Caterpillars Dream. Here again, after I read these stories, the children make a book that looks like a suspended butterfly that can be used for story writing or pictures or merely a sculpture that again can be hung in their room. Of particular interest to children along the Central California Coast is the Monarch butterfly because of it’s long, winter migration to the Pismo Beach area.

 

I’m continuing to develop other book forms that correspond to my other children’s stories. Even if I don’t sell any books, these classes and demonstrations are fun. I love to interact with the kids and their parents and to see what wonderful creations the youngsters make.

For me, the hardest part about being a children’s picture book author is the marketing. One of my most successful, marketing techniques is to teach paper craft and book making to young children. My classes and /or demonstrations are held at schools, book stores, toy stores, museums, galleries, at book fairs and even on the street. I find this is an excellent way to interact with young readers, their parents and grandparents. These classes and demonstrations provide an opportunity to advertise future events, publicize my books and keep my name in the local media. In addition, the places where I teach the classes often allow me to sell my books, or they will sell them for me. These events allow me to develop an email list which I use to send out a newsletter and publicize additional events, any new books and my web and blog sites.

 
clap your hands book 4x3Clap Your Hands book

I now have a variety of book forms, from simple accordion books to more complicated forms, to be used in a variety of class situations and even street-side locations. Much depends on the age of the children. I like to limit formal classes to children over the age of seven, because the younger ones do not have the cutting and other skills needed to do the projects. However, if there is an adult present ready to help or the class isn’t too full, younger kids do attend. And with this adult help, they do quite well. Even two-year-olds like to have a piece of paper or book for drawing.

The young authors and artists are free to decide how to decorate their book, what to write and what color pages and covers to use. It is amazing how creative these children are and how they dive right in and start writing and drawing. I provide a variety of colorful paper choices and pens as well as other supplies to ignite their imagination. Sometimes I charge a small materials fee and sometimes not, depending on the location.

I have a pile of my children’s stories available for the kids and parents to examine and read. When the class is over, I hand out brochures detailing my stories and listing the places where they can be purchased, either online or at local stores. Naturally, it’s nice when my books are bought on the spot as happened this past week at a class.

Hopping ft cover 4x4 92

 

Recently, I have developed book making projects that directly relate to my published children’s picture books. For example, “Hopping to the Moon” is a story about a frog that dreams he has hopped to the Moon and what he finds there. It’s designed to teach children about the Moon and space travel. The accompanying art projects I call a Moon Book, a circular form with a picture of the Moon on the cover. After reading the story, we talk about the Moon and space travel. They cut out the front and back cover out of card stock and make colorful circular pages that they string together at the top to form a book. Depending on their age, the kids are encouraged to write a story about life on the Moon, or draw pictures of the Moon surface and decorate their book with the pens, punches and other supplies I provide. Their final art book is designed to be hung in their room.

 

 

Butterfly Books made by my students

I’m continuing to develop other book forms that correspond to my other children’s stories. Even if I don’t sell any books, these classes and demonstrations are fun. I love to interact with the kids and their parents and to see what wonderful creations the youngsters make.

IMG_1726

 

IMG_8846_pp1crop to faceBeryl Reichenberg has been an artist for many years, and in the past eight years, she turned to writing and illustrating children’s picture books. Remembering when she was young and her grandfather told her stories in an old, rocking chair by the fireplace, she started writing stories for my own grandchildren.

Beryl now has produced over 35 titles, illustrated with her drawings and photographs. Oak Tree Press has published six of her children’s picture books. Other books have been published by Blurb.com and Createspace.com.

She holds a Master’s Degree from UCLA and taught school in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. She is a member of a local writing group, SLO NightWriters, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the National Storytelling Network

Visit her website at www.berylreichenberg.com or her blog at http://berylreichenberg.wordpress.com for more information. She is also on Facebook, Google plus, Amazon Author’s Central, ManicReaders and Linkedin.

Marianna Gabrielle's ROYAL REGARD & giveaway

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When Isabella, the Countess of Huntleigh, returns to England after fifteen years roaming the globe with her husband, an elderly diplomat, she finds herself in a locale more perilous than any in her travels—the Court of King George IV. As the newly elevated Earl and Countess settle into an unfamiliar life in London, this shy, not-so-young lady faces wicked agendas, society’s censure, and the realities of a woman soon to be alone in England.

Unaccustomed to the ways of the beau monde, she is disarmed and deceived by a dissolute duke and a noble French émigré with a silver tongue. Hindered by the meddling of her dying husband, not to mention the King himself, Bella must decide whether to choose one of her fascinating new suitors or the quiet country life she has searched the world to find. 

 

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Nick didn’t take up with a man’s wife every Season. On occasion, he engaged a paid companion or keep a mistress in the demi-monde, but he seduced men’s spouses often enough to be known for it. With no inclination toward marriage, logic dictated he choose women who would never ask it of him. His lovers were always worldly, with plenty to lose and no intention of losing it. He would rather remove his own feet with a penknife than dance with anyone in the marriage mart.

The coterie of women circling his sister was becoming unruly. Girls laughed aloud against their mother’s whispered admonishments; dowagers made half-accurate pronouncements about Nick’s lifetime of debauchery; the female yammering became so noisy Nick could almost hear the married women and widows discussing the cut of his breeches. He was surprised none of the hostesses had made her displeasure known, though Lady Sefton was eying him with an unquestionable glower and the orchestra had increased in volume.

Mari is giving away an ecopy of ROYAL REGARD, Kindle or Nook to one (1) lucky commenter.

 

 

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Mariana Gabrielle is a pseudonym for Mari Christie, a mainstream historical and Regency romance writer. She is also a professional writer, editor, and graphic designer with twenty years’ experience and a Bachelor’s in Writing from the University of Colorado Denver, summa cum laude. She lives in Denver, Colorado with two kittens who have no respect at all for writing time.

Maria Elana Alonso-Sierra's THE BOOK OF HOURS & giveaway

Gabriela’s body stilled at the soft sound of her name. For a moment, she stood listening, then shook her head like a wet dog shaking off water. You are such a fool, her mind supplied. Disgusted, she stabbed at the cerulean blue on her palette. Her mind had deceived her yet again. She slobbered the paint on the canvas, realized what she had done, and hissed. Since agreeing with Jean-Louis to call Maurice later that evening, she’d been a nervous wreck. Throughout the noon hour, her brain had staged all sorts of encounters with one infuriating, unforgettable man. Like a dutiful stage manager, her mind had supervised every possible scene, every possible emotion under its tutelage. She’d jumped from rage, to indifference, to haughtiness, but longing had finally won, hands down. No matter how hard she tried to avoid it, she could never escape the terrible need she felt for him, a need that went deeper than the instinct to breathe.

The lyrics from the song she’d impulsively put on swirled around her, teased her. The singer, in his soulful tenor voice, sang about the moment of encounter with his beloved, anticipation heating his blood, nerves tingling in expectation of the seduction. His words mimicked her own guilty longings, her desires. Oh, God. How would she ever get through this day? How would she find the courage to do what must be done?

“Gabriela.”

This time the voice penetrated, took form. It called out to her, familiar and unmistakably real, a living entity that caressed her skin and raised goose bumps on her warm flesh. This was no figment of her imagination, no mistake. She felt him, her nerve endings suddenly electrified, awareness shaking her. Panic sent her heart scurrying. Hope and love made her turn around slowly, ever so slowly.

She blinked, thinking her eyes were deceiving her, but Richard’s tall frame stood static before her, his chestnut hair combed by the soft breeze, his eyes intense, pinning her and caressing her all at once. The embers of irrational hope fanned to life like a conflagration. For an unguarded moment, her eyes reflected her hope, her joy, but especially her hopeless love for him.

Richard watched those powerful emotions play across her face and relief slammed him. Gotcha. She’d always had such an expressive, beautiful face. Now, no matter what she did, but especially said, he would know the truth. The love was there, and it flared like a beacon.

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For artist Gabriela Martinez, psychopaths do strike twice. In The Coin, two star-crossed lovers were cruelly used by fate—and now, in The Book of Hours, destiny isn’t done.

Back then, Gabriela almost lost her life to a psychopath hoping to claim her artwork, her career, her body, and her love. If not for Richard, the operative sent to protect her, she would have fallen victim to his twisted vision.  The dramatic showdown pushed Gabriela and Richard together, even in the face of countless obstacles.

With someone new threatening Gabriela’s life, Richard will risk everything to protect the woman he loves.  But with a new villain on the horizon, bent on possessing Gabriela’s latest work no matter what it takes, she is forced to fall back on old friends, including the man who changed her life not so many years ago.

With an even more dramatic threat looming, and far more to lose, if they don’t stay one step ahead of the danger, their lives, their love, and their future may very well go up in flames.
Maria is giving away an epub or mobi copy of THE COIN and THE BOOK OF HOURS. Two (2) books to one (1) winner!  How do you like your suspense/thrillers?  The tenser the better or easy does it?

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMaria Elena Alonso-Sierra is a full-time novelist based in North Carolina. With Cuban roots, she has lived in many countries, including France, the setting for her first novel, The Coin. She speaks English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German, and reads Latin, Middle English, and old French. She holds a Masters in English literature, specializing in medieval romances, and is currently an active member of the Carolina Romance Writers. She loves to hear from her readers, and always hopes to open a dialogue with her fans.

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Heather Boyd's Top 5 Romance Books vs RL & CAPTIVATED BY HIS KISS BOX SET w/ 2 Giveaways!!

 

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Thank you so much for having me on the Manic Readers blog today. I’m Heather Boyd, Regency Romance author of over twenty books and contributor to the Captivated by his Kiss Boxed Set (January 12th release).

Why do we read romance? Why don’t we? Romance novels are fantasy and nothing like the challenges of finding someone to love. Our real life knights in shining armor just can’t compete and frankly shouldn’t have to. I write romance proudly. I love the thrill of attraction, of seeing two characters find common ground. Perhaps to rewrite a piece of my own history that in hindsight didn’t turn out so well.

Top 5 Romanticized thing in a romance book vs. real life

First Kiss – In a romance, that first tender kiss is always in a romantic setting and leaves you (the heroine of this piece) with an unquenchable longing for more and more. In real life that first kiss can go horribly wrong: smashed lips, the odd tooth nipping the wrong spot, and a tongue that ultimately is supposed to stay inside your mouth and not end up down the throat of that person you’ve just met at that drunken end of year work party. Can anyone say awkward?

First time sex – Finding your sole mate, he’s handsome and attractive, you’re (as heroine) are beautiful and busty. Your lips meet and graze softly, clothes “mysteriously” disappear. You gather in the middle of a lovely comfortable bedroom with a fire roaring and after the deed is done you’re left with a perfect memory. We all wish that might happen but getting those buttons undone and a stubborn bra strap unclipped without bashing each other in the nose can end a romantic lust filled night before it happens.

Meeting the Family – A romance novelist can make the family anyway we need them to be. Difficult or supportive. Kind or cruel. While we love our own families –sometimes a little, sometimes a lot—and they might want only the best for us and to be there whenever we need them to be, it’s truly fun to mess with the dynamic and wreak havoc on the romantic couple. In real life, that just isn’t done and recovered from so easily.

The Influence of Friends – For the formative years of our real life friends often have the most influence over us. When we introduce our ONE to them we think ‘I love him so I know my friends will accept them too.’ That doesn’t always work out so well and one day you might have to choose between the new love and the old friendships. In a romance novel, the influence of friends are not as important as achieving the happy ever after.

For Richer or Poorer – In romance novels you can’t pick up a dozen tomes in the genre without finding a few handsome billionaires just waiting for the love of their life to complete them. In real life, eh, not so common at all. Well, not in my part of the world anyway. LOL

My story in the Captivated by his Kiss boxed set involves and awkward first kiss, nosey friends and an unequal style of living due to a lack of funds. Here’s a bit about Miss Watson’s First Scandal which is part of the boxed set:

Overworked London banker David Hawke had two goals for his week in the seaside town of Brighton: one, recover a debt from a friend and two, relax for his remaining holiday. Marriage wasn’t part of the plan…until the girl next door barges in and turns his life upside down.

#1—–Heather’s Giveaway!!

Heather is giving away a digital copy of Miss George’s Second Chance to one blog commenter. Do you agree with Heather’s list? Anything you’d add or subtract?  Giveaway ends Jan. 27th with the winner announced shortly thereafter.

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About CAPTIVATED BY HIS KISS:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Cheryl Bolen and USA Today Bestselling Author Bronwen Evans are joined by Barbara Monajem, Collette Cameron, Wendy Vella, Heather Boyd, and Lauren Smith in this exciting collection of regency romances. Be CAPTIVATED BY HIS KISS in these seven emotional stories of second chances, scandalous wagers, and the quest for true love. Lose yourself again and again in beautifully written romance.

His Lordship’s Vow by Cheryl Bolen – The exceedingly plain spinster, Miss Jane Featherstone, helps the earl she loves woo an heiress in order to honor the deathbed vow Lord Slade to his father.

To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone by Bronwen Evans – Marcus Danvers, the Marquis of Wolverstone, is renowned for his cynical demeanor. It’s rumored that long ago, a beautiful woman broke his heart. Now he lives life for pleasure. That is, until the beautiful, as she is deceitful, Contessa Orsini re-enters his life with a wager he cannot resist.

The Christmas Knot by Barbara Monajem – Widowed and destitute, Edwina White takes a job as a governess in a haunted house, and if that’s not trouble enough, her new employer is the one man she’d hoped never to meet again.

Bride of Falcon by Collette Cameron – Faced with spinsterhood, Ivonne Wimpleton takes fate into her own hands, determined to win the heart of her wholly unacceptable childhood love . . . scandal be damned.

Christmas Wishes by Wendy Vella – Desperation makes strange bedfellows, and when the only person left to turn to is a dissolute Rake, Miss Hero Appleby realizes she is about to forsake more than her reputation.

Miss Watson’s First Scandal by Heather Boyd – Overworked London banker David Hawke had two goals for his week in the seaside town of Brighton: one, recover a debt from a friend and two, relax for his remaining holiday. Marriage wasn’t part of the plan…until the girl next door barges in and turns his life upside down.

The Duelist’s Seduction by Lauren Smith – Helen Banks, disguised as her twin brother, fights a duel against Gareth Fairfax but he has other ideas in mind of how to have Helen repay her debt starting with a sinful kiss and a wicked embrace…

Buy at  Amazon     B&N     iBooks    Kobo:

#2—-Author’s Group Giveaway!!!

The authors are giving aways a $100 gift card to one randomly chosen reader.

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About Heather:

Bestselling historical author Heather Boyd believes every character she creates deserves their own happily-ever-after, no matter how much trouble she puts them through. With that goal in mind, she writes sizzling regency romance stories that skirt the boundaries of propriety to keep readers enthralled until the wee hours of the morning. Heather has published over twenty novels and shorter works. Catch her latest news www.heather-boyd.com. She lives north of Sydney, Australia, and does her best to wrangle her testosterone-fueled family (including cat Morpheus) into submission.

Connect with Heather:

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Opposites Attract?

Is this still true? In the world of Match.com and Eharmony, where you answer questions and then are “matched” up with your one true love, is there a I-want-my-exact-opposite question? I don’t know. I’ve been married for sixteen years, so signing up for one of these sites is probably not a good idea. 

My current release His Small-Town Sweetheart has opposites. These two used to be the best of friends until they were fourteen and she had to leave. Now as adults, he’s non-talkative and she won’t shut up. I’m sure you know the types: Strong silent type. Talks to fill the silence. His life has been a little bumpy but it’s been heading in a positive direction, but all he sees is the negativity. Her life is in the crapper from career to relationship, but she’s still sunshine and daffodils. He wants to be alone. She doesn’t mind being alone as long as it’s with him. 😉

But do opposites work in the real world? Or is it just that the differences in the other person bring out the best in us? Say someone doesn’t talk a lot in general but when confronted with the talker finds the confidence to say a little bit more. Or think about that crazy friend of yours that whenever you go out, she’s the first one on the dance floor and keeps trying to get you to come out too. Of course after a few drinks for courage, you join her and have a blast.

Maybe we need opposites in our lives to get us out of our comfort zone and let us expand who we are. Like my dog Lucy and my cat Shade… hmmm… maybe that’s not a good example. They get along okay and even “play” together, but if Shade is getting petted, Lucy butts in. So maybe the opposites also help us develop tolerance and patience.
In books, I love when two people start off butting heads and eventually figure out that they are passionately in love with each other. Of course, mine isn’t enemy to lovers, but I can’t help reading books like that or watching shows or movies like that. Mine is friends to lovers which I find just as fascinating. Especially when that friendship was based on childhood likes and dislikes and now that they are all grown up, besides a shared childhood, what do they have together? Of course even without the dynamics of enemies, the fact that they are opposites should push them away, but then you have little miss sunshine and daffodils (I swear, she’s not that sickening sweet) pulling them back together.

What’s your favorite opposites attract book or movie?
His Small-town Sweetheart

Best Friends…Forever

Twenty years ago, Nicole Baxter left the only home she knew—and the boy who shared all her secrets. Now, with nowhere else to go, she’s back in Tawnee Valley to figure out her next move—and cry on her old friend Sam Ward’s shoulder. Except the gentle dreamer has become a brooding loner who’s gearing up to sell the place he loves most.
When Nikki moved away, Sam lost the best friend he ever had. The beautiful, elegant woman who comes home is a world away from the tomboy with pigtails and skinned knees. And he’s no longer the dreamy kid who believes in happy endings. Until Nikki starts to convince him they share the same dream: a future together right here in their own backyard…

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Between walking her Jack Russell-beagle mix, petting her two cats and driving her two kids all over creation, Amanda Berry writes contemporary romance novels (thanks to a supportive husband). A Midwest girl stuck in the wetlands of South Carolina, she finds inspiration in her small-town upbringing. A list of her current releases and backlist can be found at amanda-berry.com.

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Cate Masters asks....Is love a greater thrill than extreme sports?

I love to write spunky, fearless heroines. In Twice In A Blue Moon, my heroine Melanie Michaels can be too fearless. She named her extreme sports show No Boundaries for good reason—she will perform almost any stunt, and travels the globe to search for exciting places to perform them.

She’s not an adrenaline junkie. She’s just heartbroken after the loss of her fiancee. So she jumps out of airplanes, leaps off cliffs wearing a wingsuit, or dives into mysterious underwater caves.

Me, I’m too chicken to try any of that! But I loved researching the various extreme sports. The story doesn’t delve too deeply into them because once Melanie travels to Sweden, she’s having second thoughts about her life. Though she’s never admitted it to anyone, in that space and silence between worlds, sometimes her fiancee comes to her. Talks to her. She feels more alive in those few seconds than anywhere else.

Until she meets the hero, Joe “Buck” Wright. He seems to know her thoughts before she speaks, and understands her better than anyone after only a few days together. She must decide whether she’s ready to take the biggest leap of all—to love again.

Do you like stories with strong heroines?

TwiceInABlueMoon-MDCan true love strike twice?

After the death of her first love, Melanie Michaels buries her grief in the risky demands of a reality show, where her extreme stunts leave her teetering on the edge of danger. That’s exactly where she wants to be—until she arranges for her crew to traverse the Swedish Lapland in the dead of winter. It’s the one place she shouldn’t go, on the one day she should avoid—her would-be wedding anniversary.

Instead of romantic nights spent in the Ice Hotel or under the Northern Lights, Melanie is stuck with Joe “Buck” Wright, a snarky loner tour guide who loves his sled dogs and nothing and no one else. But Buck is also trying to numb a painful past. Can two people skilled at pushing others away find warmth at the edge of the Arctic? 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kensington

Cate Masters is a hopeless romantic who loves a bit of adventure in her stories, whether contemporary, historical or paranormal/fantasy. Connect with her online at her blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Advance praise for TWICE IN A BLUE MOON

“…a great read. It is fun, it is romantic, it is moving.” – Dan Curnett, 5 stars

“…a quick romance read that will undoubtedly leave them wanting more” – Maria, 4 stars

“… a satisfying and enjoyable read” – Jennifer Schultheis, 4 stars

“I really liked this book! It had a unique setting and a hero with a lot of baggage” – JoMarie DeGioia, 4 stars

Interview w/ William, Earl of Abingdon from Julie Tagan’s STAGES OF DESIRE

Manic Readers welcomes Julie Tagan, author of Kensington’s historical romance, STAGES OF DESIRE. Today readers are treated to an interview with Julie’s hero, William, Earl of Abingdon.

Stages of Desire cover medWilliam, Earl of Abingdon from Stages of Desire

My hero in Stages of Desire is an unwilling earl who took the title after his brother’s scandalous death. He studied to be a physician and is more interested in working in a laboratory than being a member of the peerage. However, duty calls, and part of that involves wooing the daughter of a duchess, although she’s more interested in silk gowns than science. But now the duchess has asked him to find her runaway ward and bring her back to London.

What do you do for fun?

I fiddle in my lab for hours at a time. My dear sister, Claire, suffers from malaria, and I’m determined to find a better cure than what we have now. I know I’d be further along in my research if I wasn’t managing our estates during the day and attend dreary balls and dinner parties in the evenings.

What do you dread most in life?

Truly, I hate the idea of my family’s name being dragged through the mud as it did when my older brother passed away under less than ideal circumstances. Now this ward, Harriet Farley, has run off to find her actor father, bringing shame upon my beloved’s family. Will there be no end to these attacks on reputation?

What’s been the most jarring experience so far?

Trying to convince Harriet to return to London with me. At first, she’d have none of it. However, I believe we’ve reached a reasonable agreement. In the company of a chaperone, we’ll head up to Birmingham and she can straighten out this nonsense with her father, while I’ll be able to meet with an associate who’s also been working on a cure. I can’t imagine anything will go wrong with my plan, can you?

Is there anyone who peeves you?

Definitely Harriet. I mean, Miss Farley. She’s headstrong and won’t listen to logic and her eyes are the same blue as an apothecary bottle. Sorry, I got distracted for a minute. It’s enough to drive any man up the wall. But I’ll straighten her out, I have no doubt of that.

Stages of Desire

To be or not to be — in love . . .

As a ward of the Duchess of Dorset, Harriet can hardly expect more from a match than the ringing endorsement of “from what I’ve heard, the man is financially secure and his teeth are quite regular.” After all, she’s only the lowly daughter of traveling actors, not the actual daughter of the duchess.

William Talbot, Earl of Abingdon is set to marry the duchess’s daughter. After his elder brother’s scandalous death, his family’s reputation is paramount, and he’ll allow nothing to damage it again. But when Harriet disappears to save her father from debtor’s prison, the scandal threatens William and his intended’s family.

The simple task of fetching the duchess’s runaway ward turns complicated when Harriet insists on traveling with her father’s acting company. William’s forced to tag along, and finds himself entranced. The stage transforms Harriet into a free-spirited, captivating beauty. But someone’s been sabotaging the theater company, and instead of facing scandal, William and Harriet discover a threat not only to their growing passion, but to their lives…

Kensington Books, Lyrical Press imprint

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Julia Tagan lives with her husband and goldendoodle in New York City. A journalist by training, she enjoys weaving actual events and notorious individuals into her historical romances. Her favorite activities include walking her dog in Central Park, scouring farmers’ markets for the perfect tomato, and traveling to foreign cities in search of inspiration.

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