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    Congratulations to the authors nominated for the RT Reviewers Choice Best Book Award for Blaze:

    HOT AND BOTHERED Serena Bell

    LET THEM TALK Susanna Carr

    INSATIABLE Leslie Kelly

I absolutely love summer. I lerve it. I luff it. I loave it. For those of us who endure more months of boots than bare feet the hot weather months are something to take advantage of. And that includes taking time to relax and just enjoy. I know that if you’re reading this you love nothing better than curling up with a great story. So get out by the pool, or relax on the couch after an afternoon of gardening, with one of our June Blazes! This month features four incredible stories, and it’s my pleasure to tell you about them.

june 2016 vickiFirst up, the incomparable Vicki Lewis Thompson! Vicki continues her Thunder Mountain Brotherhood series with a new trilogy of foster brother heroes, starting with COWBOY ALL NIGHT. Brant Ellison’s easygoing nature makes him one of the most sought-after horse trainers in Wyoming. People admire him for his powerful muscles, too! Nothing makes Brant happier than training a new colt, other than meeting the colt’s sexy owner, Aria Danes. These two have nothing in common, but their cravings for each other are insatiable. If you’ve ever dreamt of having a hot cowboy pursue you, you will love this story! Vicki’s trilogy continues in July and August—something to look forward to.

june 2016 TawnyAnd, oooh, how about those sexy military men? Tawny Weber writes sizzling SEAL stories like no one else—they are always super-hot! A SEAL’S DESIRE is no exception, and it’s part of our Uniformly Hot! miniseries. Navy SEAL Christian Laramie is an explosives expert—which means he knows how to avoid getting blown up. He sure isn’t prepared for Sammi Jo Wilson, a red-headed bombshell who needs his help finding her kidnapped fiancé. Engaged women are definitely off Christian’s list…and yet the searing heat between them is impossible to ignore. This story has great twists and turns, and incredible passion! Tawny is always a must-read.

June 2016 TanyaTanya Michaels is back with her brand of sweet and sexy romance. TURNING UP THE HEAT is part of our new Friends with Benefits miniseries, and it is a fantastic story. You’ll love Phoebe Mars, a successful chef who is very unsuccessful in love—until her friend Heath Jensen, a notorious player, offers to help her get her ex back by teaching her to be sexy. Of course it takes very little time until Heath realizes there’s no way he wants to see Phoebe with any other man! They tear up the sheets in the bedroom—but does this mean they are together…or are they still “just friends”? Tanya writes incredible emotional, fun and funny stories. Not to mention irresistible heroes!

June 2016 MargotDrumroll please…welcome, debut author J. Margot Critch! What a treat it was for us to find this fantastic new author—and she’s a Canadian! Critch has a fun and flirty style, and she knows how to bring the sexy. Maya Connor kisses a stranger on a dare, not knowing the gorgeous man was Jamie Sellers, hotel magnate and reputed playboy. Maya also doesn’t know that she’ll soon be working for Jamie, which means they have to keep their relationship professional. So, no sex. Well, that doesn’t work out! Maya is ambitious and doesn’t want to mess up her career but Jamie makes all of her wickedest fantasies come to life. Can she stay away? Read IN THE BOSS’S BED to find out! (Title points to the answer. )

This month’s lineup has three New York Times bestselling authors and a debut author. How great is that? I hope you enjoy all four of these incredible stories. As ever, please tell me what cover you like best (telling me why is great, too) and I’ll enter you in the draw to win a set of all four books from this month. Have a very sexy month!

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I wanted to give a shout out to all the readers who hung out with us at the Blaze Babe’s event at RT in Vegas. We had SO MUCH FUN with you guys! I wanted to share some of the pics from our very wild morning. It might have been early, but one of our readers gave up her bra to win! Did I mention it was wild? Here are some photos to show you the fun. 🙂 IMG_1188IMG_1182

Our fearless leader Kathleen with Tawny before the craziness began.

Our fearless leader Kathleen with Tawny before the craziness began.

IMG_1177

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Welcome to May! If you like puns, Star Wars day is coming up (May the fourth be with you) and if not, you’ve got Victoria Day or Memorial Day—the perfect time to sit back, relax and catch up on this month’s sexy lineup. Let’s take a look at our May titles!May 2016 Anne

 

New York Times bestselling author Anne Marsh brings us a brand-new book in the Uniformly Hot! miniseries, DARING HER SEAL. Levi Brandon is a SEAL on a mission: tell DEA agent Ashley Dixon that their faux wedding (don’t ask—they were on assignment) was actually real. All Levi’s gotta do is get things sorted out and stay away from the bedroom. That’s easier said than done when Ashley dares Levi to play a dangerous game of lust and restraint.

COME CLOSER, COWBOY by Debbi Rawlins is the latest book in the Made in May 2016 DebbiMontana miniseries. Mallory Brandt has a big problem: she’s falling for her best friend, Gunner. One night, after her bar is closed, she and Gunner have a few drinks and a whole lot of sex. And then Gunner leaves for a four-week job in Argentina. How did Mallory manage to screw up her relationship with the only person she really cares about? New plan! Mallory stops taking Gunner’s calls and moves to Montana, where a friend, Ben, lives now. Too bad Ben is Gunner’s new business partner…

 

May 2016 DaireNew York Times bestselling author Daire St. Denis is back with BIG SKY SEDUCTION. Readers met Gloria and Dillon back in March 2016 with Sweet Seduction. In this book, Gloria ends up sleeping with a guy who’s totally wrong for her. After that sexy, fun, bad-for-her mistake, Gloria tries to pretend it never happened. (Good luck with that!) But Dillon, a pro bull rider from Wyoming, won’t just disappear. He can’t get enough of Gloria’s feisty attitude and unpredictability. So why not mix business with pleasure and hire Gloria to help sell the ranch he’s just inherited? Gloria thinks she can get in, get the job done and go home, but she didn’t count on the gorgeous Big Sky country…or the stoic, sexy Dillon, changing all her priorities.

 

May 2016 KimberlyWe’ve got one more man in uniform this month with THE FLYBOY’S TEMPTATION by Kimberly Van Meter. Well, he used to be a man in uniform. Former Air Force pilot J. T. Carmichael runs a charter flight business now, but his company is nearly bankrupt. Which is why J.T. can’t say no when Hope Larsen offers him a bundle to fly her to South America. Then the bullets start flying, and their plane goes down somewhere in the Mexican jungle. Don’t worry—they’ll keep themselves occupied somehow.

 

I hope you enjoy our amazing May lineup. As ever, I’d love to hear which cover you like best (telling me why is great, too) and I’ll enter you in the draw to win a set of all four books from this month. Have a very sexy month!

 

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I just landed in Vegas for the Romantic Times convention. I’m so excited about our Blaze event Friday (10 am, be there!) I love hanging out with readers. And we have some crazy fun things planned. But it’s also a chance to for me to meet my fellow Blaze Babes, and to hang with our fearless leader Kathleen.

I like these conventions focused on readers because they’re my favorite people. Yes, I’m an author, but I’m also a book lover. I like talking about books. I love discovering new authors. And I love this environment where people are so passionate about reading. I spend a lot of times in meetings and doing panels and events. But my favorite times are just those fun moments hanging out with friends. We talk about books, life, well, everything.

As writers, we spend a lot of time alone, so it’s nice to bond with other writers. It’s a crazy business, so it’s fun to be with people like you.

I hope to have some fun photos for you next month that shows our week. But I think I’ll sign off and maybe plan a little spa time before the craziness begins. 🙂

I’d love for you to share some of your favorite books you’ve read recently. Have you discovered new/new to you authors? Tell me about them.

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happy st. patrick's dayAs non-Irish luck would have it, I’m a day shy of St. Patrick’s Day, the day of the year when everyone can claim to be a wee bit Irish! And what a wonderful gift it is to come from a country so steeped in history and rich in mythology. It’s a land I’m strongly drawn to. Having been over once, I’d go back and stay for good if I could find a way to make it work. (And don’t think I’m not plotting and scheming! LOL)

St. Patrick’s Day is the day on which the Irish pay tribute to their Patron Saint, Patrick, the missionary who brought Christianity to Ireland. And like any good celebration, there are traditional meals that have come to hold their place at the dinner table. In America, we tend to lean toward corned beef and cabbage. In Ireland, a good (wholly Irish) friend has advised a traditional Irish stew would claim center stage. In the interest of authenticity, I’ve tested a couple of true, traditional Irish stews recipes and found this one to be spot on!

Irish Stew

1 T sunflower oil
1/2 lb smoked bacon cut into pieces (if you can get the big piece of bacon, use that)
2 lbs lamb (cut into 1″ cubes)
3 small/medium onions (cut into slices)
7-8 large carrots (peeled and cubes)
3 bay leaves
Small bunch of thyme
4 oz pearl barley
3 1/2–4 cups vegetable stock
6 potatoes (cubed)
4 T butter
3 green onions (sliced thin)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a pan on the stove, heat the oil and add the bacon, cooking until it begins to crisp. Add the lamb and cook until brown. Remove the meats with a slotted spoon. Add the onions, carrots and herbs to the pan, then cook for about 5 mins until softened. Return the meat to the pan and stir in the pearl barley. Add the vegetable stock and then bring to a simmer.

Transfer to a  large casserole dish. Place the potatoes on top of the stew, cover (lid or foil) and cook, undisturbed, for about 1½ hrs until the potatoes are soft and the meat is fork-tender.

Remove from the oven, dot the potatoes with butter, scatter with the green onions and serve.

A good Irish soda bread is a wonderful accompaniment.

No matter what you do for St. Patrick’s Day, may the luck–and joy–of the Irish shine down on you!

~Kelli Ireland

Comments Comments Off on A Traditional Recipe for a Happy (Almost) St. Patrick’s Day!

I want to tell you to buy my new Blaze. So buy my new Blaze. Okay, that’s done. Moving on. I have crazy hours and I’m betting some of you do, as well. So I thought maybe we could help each other out. I’m going to post some of my easiest recipes below and I hope that you will share. I’m trying to keep things simple with just a few ingredients. And if you post a recipe in the comments I’ll put you in a drawing for a free copy of that book I was talking about. 🙂

Easy Stew: In a crockpot dump in: 2 lbs stew meat, package of baby carrots, 3 potatoes, 2 onions, 2 cartons beef broth, 1 tsp pepper, cumin, salt (you may need more taste when it’s done), and tbsp of minced garlic. Cook for about 4 hours on high or 6-8 on low and it’s good stuff.

Vodka Chicken: In a crockpot dump in: Four to six boneless chicken breasts, pour a jar or two of vodka sauce (a pinkish marinara, very tasty). That second jar depends on how much extra sauce you want. Cook for six hours on low. (Remember crockpot temps can vary, just make sure the chicken is cooked through). Toss it over the pasta of your choice (you might need to cook the pasta first, or it will be very crunchy).

Banana Pancakes: Okay, technically, my son’s girlfriend makes me these. I can’t eat bread, so it’s awesome to have pancakes I can eat. In a blender or mixing bowl mix 1 large banana, 2 eggs and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon (you can also add a 1/4 tsp of vanilla) mix it up and then cook it in a frying pan or on a griddle like regular pancakes.

So share some of your easy recipes and have a wonderful month!

@candacehavens

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In case you don’t know, paniolo is cowboy. And put Hawaii with cowboy and you get Hawaiian Paniolo! Which, Dallas, the hero in my next Blaze is. Jimi, his lady love, is not ranching material…or is she? A fashionista thrown onto the wilds of  a Hawaiian ranch…well, let just say what goes so horribly wrong in the beginning ends up being so terribly right in the end.

Now, these two cowboys in the pic below aren’t paniolo’s, but they are true cowboys from the Vee Bar Guest Ranch in Wyoming. I went on a writing retreat three years ago and it was F A B U L O U S.  I do love a man on a horse.

Cowboys Tucker & Brent

What better than a cowboy on a ranch in Hawaii? The best of all the worlds I’d say. Sultry Hawaii, horses, tropical flowers, sun and sand and surf…with drop dead sexy cowboys. Surfer cowboys! Ha 🙂

palm trees

Right up my alley.

Later this year Her Hawaiian Cowboy will be released with Blaze. Once I have the dates, I’ll be sure to let you know.

In the meantime, you can travel to Hawaii in A Taste of Paradise, the duo Blaze I was in with Leslie Kelly last December. My novella, More Than a Fling is set in Hawaii. Plus, the hero and heroine make a cameo appearance in Her Hawaiian Cowboy! Perfect crossover.

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Welcome, spring! Ok, not quite spring yet. As matter of fact, Toronto got its first serious dump of snow all winter on March 1st. Oh, well, can’t complain. Being snowed in is a great excuse for staying in and reading. And now that I’ve discovered coconut milk lattes, all I want to do is curl up with my new favorite drink and a red hot Blaze. Want to see what’s coming up this month? Read on!

March CandaceMarch starts with Candace Havens’s HER SEXY MARINE VALENTINE, part of our Uniformly Hot! miniseries, and the first of a trilogy from Candy I hope you’re going to love. This relationship of convenience story has First Lieutenant Brody Williams needing a girlfriend to ward off the unwanted advances of his CO’s daughter, and to secure a promotion. Mari McGuire is devastated to learn her ex of two months is engaged—to a model, ugh. When she runs into him at the grocery store, Brody is there to save her from awkwardness. After all, if you want to show up your ex, show off your gorgeous, ripped Marine boyfriend! Brody and Mari keep up the charade of being in a relationship…but it stops being a charade after they fall into bed!

March Kate Kate Hoffmann is back with a special book from our The Wrong Bed miniseries, and Kate is taking that bed thing very literally! Amelia Sheffield, head of acquisitions for a Boston museum, arrives in Millhaven, New York, to collect a bed once slept in by George Washington. But innkeeper Sam Blackstone believes the bed belongs to his family. Thus begins the battle of the bed! Both Amelia and Sam refuse to back down, which means  both of them refuse to leave the bed until it belongs to them. What results is a lot of playing dirty until they both get what they want! I hope you enjoy COMPROMISING POSITIONS. Kate will be back with more The Mighty Quinns stories soon.

March DaireNew Author Alert! Welcome to Daire St. Denis, New York Times bestselling author of SWEET SEDUCTION, a story I think you’ll find more spicy than sweet. As the owner of the best damn bakery in Chicago, Daisy Sinclair knows how to make a guy moan with pleasure. Trouble is, she’s about to lose the bakery in her divorce settlement, unless she can raise enough money to buy out her ex. A good review from a famous food critic would boost business—except the man who shows up from the paper is no food critic. Jamie Forsythe is a lawyer who is representing her ex, but she only finds that out after they have the hottest sex ever! Jamie is a wonderfully complex character and Daisy is someone you can really root for. The story is fun, emotional and super sizzling! Watch for Daire’s next book, coming this May.

March KelliKelli Ireland is back with the third book in her Wild Western Heat trilogy, COWBOY STRONG. If you love sexy cowboys, you’ve come to the right place! Ty Covington is a rodeo rider who cares about ranching—and winning in the rodeo ring. A serious injury takes him off the circuit, and into serious debt, if it wasn’t for Kenzie Malone stepping in to pay all of his medical bills. She feels responsible for the accident, but Ty absolutely hates the idea of owing anything to this rich girl, who he both despises and deeply desires. They may not like each other, but they cannot resist each other! And a cowboy always pays his debts… Watch for more stories coming in 2017 from Kelli!

I hope you enjoy our March lineup. Read them and dream of spring! As ever, I’d love to hear which cover you like best from this month. Let me know in the comments and I’ll enter you in a draw to win all four March books!

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I feel like my brain is in the middle of Facial Hair : Civil War and it’s time to pick a side.

civilwar

To shave or not to shave? That is the question.

Thanks to current fashion trends, strategic shaving is all the rage. As a result, the men of 2016 are sporting all manner of facial hair configurations, and with a few exceptions, I’m in favour of the trend.

octobeard

The exception that proves the rule, but you gotta give props for execution.

I mean, sometimes live in the real world (in between long, blissful bouts of reading and writing) and I have to say, there are a lot of dudes rocking beards, mustaches, goatees, even soul patches (which, thanks to the 90s, I never thought I would say).

facialhair

And despite all of this, I must confess, when I pick up a book and begin to read about mustachioed and bearded men, it’s really hard for me to NOT envision them in top hats and monocles or as lumberjacks. For some reason after reading “mustache” or “beard,” my brain automatically pictures this:

oldtimey

Or this:

dd

I’m not sure what it is about the words themselves that always bring up old-timey or worst-case connotations in my mind. I mean, I’ve seen the abs on the cover. It’s very clear when I crack the spine on my latest read (that was a lie, I never crack the spine of my books), I’m about to read about a super hot hero who I am destined to fall in love with…or lust with…or if I’m really lucky, both at the same time, and yet as soon as the guy has a beard, I get jerked out of the story for a moment, imagining this:

cartoon

And this is coming from a woman who is in full support of stubble! In fact, to put things in perspective, check out the covers of both of my Blaze titles. Stubble abounds!

fhbooks

But don’t worry! This mental block can’t last. I’m beginning a campaign of desensitization to treat my knee-jerk reaction to facial-hair words so I can finally bask in the glory of facial-hair reality.

A little of this:

na

A dash of this:

db

Add a soupcon of this:

dw

And a double shot of this:

hb

And I should be cured in no time…

After all, it took a very long time before reading about a hero with long hair didn’t automatically make me think of this:

fabio

 

But I overcame it.

So? How about you guys? Do you share my aversion to seeing the word “mustache” in print? Or is there some other imagined flaw that can pull you out of a story through no fault of the author’s? Share your peccadilloes in the comments below!

Taryn Leigh Taylor

 

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I’m gearing up to do my first big author/reader event, the awesome Barbara Vey  Reader Appreciation Weekend in Minneapolis April 29-May 1, 2016. I’ve heard so much great stuff about this amazing event, and this is the first year Barbara’s expanded it from a one-day luncheon to a full weekend, with a pizza party Friday night and a breakfast Sunday morning. (The luncheon is sold out, but there’s still tickets for the pizza party and breakfast at http://barbaravey.com/barbaraveyreaders/).barbara vey

I’m not nervous about meeting folks, as I’m pretty much the most extroverted person on the planet and I love making new friends. But I am a little nervous about one thing . . . my table decorations.

You see, one of the requirements for authors attending to luncheon is to decorate their tables and provide special little (or not so little) goody bags for their table mates, the readers who’ve chosen to sit with them. I’ve heard tales of some pretty elaborate table themes and some fantastic offerings. (Legend has it Cherry Adair had a palm tree with monkeys hanging off it as her centerpiece and gave all her lunch companions Coach purses.)

I’m not quite in the Coach purse category in terms of author earnings yet, but I really do want to have something special for the folks who were unlucky enough to get stuck at my table LOL. Thanks to a generous donation from the folks at Harlequin, wine and books will be involved. And what goes better with books and wine than chocolate, right? Thank goodness I’ve got a caterer friend who makes awesome truffles. But I still felt my gift bags needed a little something more . . .

So I decided to get crafty.

I’m definitely NOT the artistic one in this family. That’s more my husband and daughter’s area. But this was something I wanted to do on my own, to really put a little of myself in it. And I wanted whatever I did to fit in with the rest of the goodies.

After a little brainstorming, I decided to etch wine glasses (my husband swears it’s easy) and make wine glass charms. I started with the charms, figuring they’d be easier. What do you think? How’d I do?

wine charm bagwine charm

 

 

Now I need to come up with a centerpiece. I’m thinking about going with sort of a red carpet/Hollywood glam theme, in keeping with the theme of the Art of Seduction series. Got any ideas? Let me have ’em! I’ll pick one commenter to win a signed print copy of the second book in the series, Triple Time. Extra points for pictures!

 

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Cover Art Copyright @by Harlequin Enterprises Limited. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. BLAZE, HARLEQUIN and the JOEY design are trademarks of Harlequin Enterprises Limited, used with permission.
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