I’m sitting here staring at the blank screen. As my blog day approaches I’m at a complete loss of what to talk about. Which is odd for me. Not having anything to say
Unfortunately it appears to be spilling over into my writing as well. And that’s not good. What could it be that’s keeping me speechless? I’m going to blame it on the season, the longer and darker nights, the impending doom of winter. As I grow older I like winter less and less. If I could pack up and move south for the dismal season, I would. Sling a hammock between a couple of palm trees and I’d be golden.
But no such luck of that happening anytime soon. Two years ago at Christmas we had a huge ice storm. It completely changed the landscape. I took this pic in a little town around here and while it’s so cold looking, I think it’s beautiful. But I don’t want any ice storm this year!
So, I think I shall set up those UV lights in the house, around my work space and put up happy pictures of warmer climates.
Perhaps that’s why I like writing about the tropics or other wonderful locations so much. I love to travel and experience new things. More Than A Fling is set in Hawaii and it’s release date is under two months away. I’m sitting on eggshells waiting to hear from Dana (my editor) to see if she likes the three book proposal I sent to her a month ago. It’s also set in Hawaii and has a unique combination for setting and scene that I won’t give away here. But, do you see a theme here? I do and I believe a research trip to Hawaii is in order. So hurry up and decide Dana! LOL
What setting in books do you like best? Small town, vacation, mountains, big city?
I’m building my newsletter list and hope you pop by my website and sign up. Lot’s of great things will be happening! A direct link to my website and contact pages is here
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Who doesn’t love autumn? Crisp air, vibrant colors (for those of us who live in the Northeast, this is a wonderful time of year!) and getting back into a regular routine. Which of course means more reading, possibly under a blanket on the couch with a glass of red wine. Mmm, sounds good to me! Enjoy the cooler days…but remember you can always keep warm at night by reading our monthly selection of books from Harlequin Blaze! Here’s this month’s incredible lineup.
New York Times bestselling author Anne Marsh begins a new miniseries set on fictional Fantasy Island, and I have to say these stories are fun, fast-paced and incredibly erotic. The books are under our Uniformly Hot! miniseries as they feature our favorite military hero, a sexy SEAL! In TEASING HER SEAL, Laney Parker finds herself in a depressing spot…on her honeymoon with no groom. Yeah, she ditched the cheating bastard at the last moment, but why cancel a perfectly good vacation? That vacation heats up when she meets Gray Jackson, who is NOT the masseur he is pretending to be, but an undercover SEAL on a mission. Gray can fulfill Laney’s every erotic wish…just so long as he stays undercover! You’re going to love these three books, with the next ones coming out in January and May next year.
I absolutely loved IF SHE DARES by New York Times bestselling author Tanya Michaels. Riley Kendrick has gone through a traumatic experience—a robbery at her last apartment has also robbed her of her spontaneity and fun. But new neighbor Jack Reed is exactly the type of guy who can help her get in touch with her once-incredibly naughty self! What starts in an elevator escalates into a series of sexy challenges, each more exciting that the last. (Fans of Titanic, the movie, will enjoy a sizzling scene in this book. Wait for it.) But every game has its limits…read this one to find out how far Riley and Jack will go!
We know readers love our The Wrong Bed stories, and this next one is really special. Hayden Taylor wakes up to silken sheets and the warmth of a hot, sexy guy…but she has no idea where she is. And, no, she wasn’t drunk last night. Tony Garcia doesn’t remember last night either…but they both have a feeling it was really scorching! Evidence includes burned clothing, a pile of cash, and a car painted like a giant ladybug. The two of them have to piece together a mystery of what happened to them, all the while trying to ignore their smoldering chemistry. Read NAKED THRILL by Jill Monroe for a scorching romance that will keep you guessing.
Debut Author Alert! We are so happy to welcome Taryn Leigh Taylor as our newest Blaze Babe! Her first book is KISS AND MAKEUP—and yes, there is a reason for that title. Chloe Masterson is a makeup artist and You Tube star who meets a gorgeous hottie on the plane on the way to her sister’s wedding. Turns out Ben has the same last name as Chloe, and when the plane is delayed they are given hotel rooms. Of course, the airline assumed they were married…so why not act married for at least one sizzling night! Taryn’s book is so funny and so much fun to read. This story is about coming out of your shell—and looking fabulous the whole time! More from Taryn, coming soon!
I’m very excited about this month, and I hope you are, too. As ever, I’m interested to know which cover is your favorite. Reply to this blog with your choice and I’ll enter you in a draw to win a set of this month’s books. Have a great October!
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Fall (or autumn as we like to call it in Australia) has always been my favorite time of year. There’s respite from the heat and it’s cool enough to wear all the clothing I like—think cozy scarves, knits, and boots.
But the seasons are not as celebrated back home as they are here in Canada. People don’t tend to change their décor, there isn’t a plethora of ‘fall scented or flavored’ things to buy and Starbucks is almost non-existent in Australia, so PSLs are not the done thing.
Our 2014 Thanksgiving feast
I think part of the reason is that the first month of autumn back home is still hot enough for most countries to consider it summer and we have so many wonderful native evergreen trees that the changing colour isn’t anywhere near as dramatic.
However, my first fall in Autumn last year was eye-opening. I’d never seen such blazing reds and oranges, and I can now truly call myself fall-obsessed. So while many people mourn the loss of another summer, I am eagerly reaching for my blanket.
Here are some of my favourite things about fall:
- Travel – It’s so much more pleasant to walk around when it’s not swelteringly hot outside. Last year we travelled to Montreal in October and it was one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been! This year we’re heading to Boston.
- Candles – I always have a scent of some kind burning
The view from Mont Royal, Montreal
in the house and I do enjoy switching them up for the season. At the moment I’m craving warm scents like vanilla bean, caramel and spicy things.
- Roasts – the idea of a Sunday roast isn’t something I grew up with since my mum always worked on the weekend. Roasts were saved for special occasions like Christmas. Last year we did a Thanksgiving roast Turkey (it was my first time cooking one!) and it was pretty darn delicious. Also, Candied Yams?? Who decided to put marshmallow on a sweet potato? It was tastier than I thought it would be.
- Clothing – sweaters (or jumpers, as we call them), scarves, boots, layers and more!
- Reading with a blanket – I’m not sure what it is but I enjoy a book so much more when it’s chilly outside and I have a blanket over me. Add a pair of Uggs to the mix and a cup of hot chocolate and we have a perfect afternoon.
- New Releases – I couldn’t help but mention this! My first book with Harlequin Blaze comes out at the start of November and I’m pretty darn excited about it. You can get a look at the first chapter here.
Are you a fall fan? What’s your favorite thing about fall?
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I have a confession. I’m a TV-aholic.
All summer I’ve been Jonesing for my favorite shows to come back. Now, don’t get me wrong. The summers have a few good shows to offer. I had my Major Crimes fix, and there’s SYTYCD, although I HATED this season (but that’s a rant for another day) And with Netflix, I usually choose some series that I missed the first time around that I can start from the beginning and binge watch. Lately that’s been Longmire (OMG so good!)
I was bummed about the cancelation of Battle Creek (Josh Duhamel!) and saying goodbye to Jon Stewart was worth 3 days of tears for me.
But on the whole, the summer can’t compare to the regular season of television.
I mean, come on, Big Bang? Gotham, Castle, Modern Family? They’re fantastic. And I can’t wait for the season premiers of Madame Secretary, Person of Interest, and Elementary. Not to mention Jane the Virgin and Finding Carter.
And I’m looking forward to a few new shows like Quantico, Wicked City and Code Black.
And the best thing is it’s all great fodder for my Blazes. I’m in the developing stages right now for my next series of Blazes and I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll just say that my heroine is inspired by the TV show LIE TO ME
So, here’s to a great new season on TV that inspires some amazing writing.
How about you? What are your favorite TV shows this season? Or of all time?
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Not much exciting going on at Casa Kyle this month. Okay, there’s lots of college visits, swearing at the Common App, rehearsal for Midsummer Night’s Dream (the Drama Queen’s first foray into Shakespeare), boring legal stuff for the dreaded day job, and of course tons and tons of writing as I cram to finish the last book in the Art of Seduction series for you lovelies, but nothing that would make good fodder for a blog post. So I thought I’d have a little fun and share a few of my favorite (random) things:
1. My New Cover
I swear, my covers get better and better with each one. Cade and Ivy look uncannily like the actors I based them on (Jessie Pavelka and Christina Hendricks), and I love that they put Cade in his turnouts. This is my first crack at a firefighter hero, and the story’s a little lighter in tone than my previous books. I hope y’all like it when it hits the shelves in November!
2. Where I Live
I’m lucky enough to live right on Long Island Sound. Our boating season may be short, but it’s sure sweet. We have a small powerboat, a sailboat and a couple of kayaks. Sometimes I even take my Asus transformer tablet out on the powerboat and write. I get a lot done since there’s no internet to distract me. Not brave enough to try that on the sailboat, though.
3. Audio Books
Hi, my name is Regina and I’m addicted to audio books. Like seriously addicted. I have a 45-minute commute each way to work, an in-dash 6-CD changer, and a hook up for my iPod. I get books out of my local library either on CD or through Overdrive for my iPod. Naturally, I listen to lots of romance, but also a lot of mystery and women’s fiction, too.
4. Plot boards, Sharpies, and Stickies (oh my!)
Maybe it’s because I’m going on a plotting excursion with the MTBs (my plotting group – don’t ask what it stands for, you don’t want to know) next weekend, but I’ve got tri-fold boards, fine point Sharpies and multi-colored (and shaped) stickies on the brain. I make a plot board for each book I write. This one was for Triple Time, and as you can see (if you read closely enough) things change as I write. Here, you can tell that I originally planned for Gabe and Devin to have sex at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but it just didn’t feel right for his stuffed-shirt character.
5. My Cats
We have two kitties at Casa Kyle. The top pic is our old guy, Scooter (with the other old guy, the Professor). He’s 19 years old (Scooter, not the Professor). The bottom pic is our little girl, Oreo, a/k/a Smut Writer Kitty, because she loves to sit with me (read: sit on me and make my life difficult) when I’m writing. She’s ten and has always been a tiny cat, and she has the softest fur of any cat we’ve ever owned.
So, now you know a few of my favorite things. What are some of yours? Tell me, and I’ll give one commenter a copy of Triple Time (signed print or e-book, your choice).
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First, I’d like to remind everyone that I’ve got a book out this month! ONE BREATHLESS KISS is everywhere quality books are sold.:) If you like a hunky storm chaser and a nothing-to-lose teacher caught in a smart apartment in the middle of a blizzard, pick up a copy! It’s the firs book in the Three Wicked Nights series.
My thoughts have turned to the first really-truly-no-work vacation I’ve had in a very, very long time. I’m going to New York in October! I’m so excited I can’t even sleep for the excitement.
It’s for my niece’s wedding, and I couldn’t be more pleased for her. We’re close, except for the fact that we’re almost half the country apart, but I’m lucky to keep up with her and the rest of my family on F*cebook. It’s amazing to watch my niece’s and nephews as they blossom into their adult lives. With no kids of my own, it gives me great pleasure to root for them at every new challenge, and be a shoulder should they ever need one.
But, before I go to the wedding, I’m going to be in Manhattan for a few days! Oh, joy. I love the city. And my newest Blaze contract is for books set in New York – Little Italy, to be precise. Well, a gently-re-imagined Little Italy. More like the one before the marketplace went through the roof and sent all the old-timers out to the suburbs. Even so, I’ll be able to walk the streets, go to the shops and restaurants, feel the vibe. I love the fall in New York. It’s always been good to me, and I have no reason to think it would be otherwise. I’m going to see Hamilton at the Richard Rogers theater, which is also thrilling, and of course going to Katz’s Deli, Vaselka for pirogies and Jing Fong and of course, grabbing a slice in Brooklyn.
I’m having a half-hour session at Sephora to get eyebrow tips and match my skin tone for foundation (so fancy!) and picking up books at The Strand. Maybe I’ll throw in a little sleep now and again.
Any NY places I shouldn’t miss? Any places to avoid? I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts of the Big Apple.
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Whoohooo and thank you!!! You all ROCKED the Scavenger Hunt!!!
First off, a huge thank you from the participating Blaze Authors. We appreciate you visiting our sites and playing along.
Now :::drumroll::: the winner of the year’s subscription to Blaze is Lisa B! Congratulations, Lisa. You’re in for 12 months of hot reads.
A few authors offered extra prizes on their site, and here are their winner:
Jodi Ciorciari-Marinich – wins ebook Passion Cowboy Style and signed copy of BLAZE A Taste of Paradise upon release.from Shana Gray!
The winner of Tawny Weber’s Sexy SEAL Tote bag with 4 backlist autographed print books and a Sexy SEAL Swag Bag is Melinda Fraser.
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A year ago when the New Zealand RWA asked me to be their keynote speaker, I actually said, “Are you sure you have the right person?” Turns out they did. After spending the last two weeks there, I want to go back. Today. The people there are amazing. The food is amazing. And they really, really love books. But the best part of NZ is that it’s a picture postcard pretty much everywhere you look. So I thought rather than telling you about it, I’d show you. And if you ever have a chance to go to the most beautiful place on earth, GO. Really. It’s worth that 14-hour plane ride. I promise. (And I hate flying.)
NZ’s Oldest living tree.
LOTR and Hobbit Shire
Black Sand Beaches, actually every kind of sand you can imagine. :)
Driving around the North Island it’s a post card everywhere you look.
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I have my cover! Yes and I love it. As I mentioned before I’m in the book with Leslie Kelly (swoon) and thrilled by everything that is happening. So with no further ado here she is!!
When your sexy vacation hookup becomes too hot to handle…
ADDICTED TO YOU by Leslie Kelly
Ten months ago, Heather Hughes had an unbelievable few days with hot quarterback Nate Watson. It ended in scandal and heartbreak. Now her mother is getting remarried in the Caribbean—to Nate’s father. The chemistry between her and Nate is still hotter than the tropical sun…but Heather’s already been burned once. Can she risk it again?
MORE THAN A FLING by Shana Gray
Lana Hunter has a few precious days in Hawaii before a big business meeting—time to relax and indulge herself. But indulgence takes on a whole new meaning when she meets dishy South African Grant Rankin. It’s the perfect fling—brief and wicked. After days exploring volcanoes and nights exploring each other, how will Lana ever return to real life?
You know, I still have a really hard time believing this is actually real. It was a long road. I’ve just submitted a cowboy story so keep your fingers crossed with me that Dana and Kathleen love it and want it (I’m trying not to be nervous as I wait for the news). So in the meantime, I was at Saratoga Race track with Meat Man the last few days and have some wonderful photo’s to share and a video if it will upload.
At Saratoga the atmosphere is so great. The horses are so close. And the crowd is amazing. This is the oldest racecourse in North America and it has a charm unlike any of the others. The meet is only 6 weeks each summer. All the big name trainers, owners and horses are there. We saw Wicked Strong and Rachel Valentina.
Rachel Valentina, she won – her mother is Rachel Alexander.
Jockey coming toward me in the Paddock. He was also the winning jockey.
From the paddock (walking ring) through the grounds to the track for the race
The 200 year old house we stayed in
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How many Harlequin authors can you fit in a selfie? (photo by Shana Grey)
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN WRITE has become a Harlequin staple that’s launched the careers of contest winners Kat Kantrell, Jennifer Haywood, Tanya Wright. And in a week’s time, SYTYCW14 winner Amanda Cinelli’s debut with Harlequin Presents will drop and she’ll join the prestigious list.
And it’s about to kick into high gear, so here’s a list of reasons that I think you, you little aspiring author, you, should enter:
REASON #1 – So you think you can write, but are you SURE you want to be an author?
My book made the RWA handout!
Like, really really sure? Because it’s not all crafting washboard abs and attending fancy parties. It’s mostly work. Hard work. On deadline. Even when the show you’re dying to binge watch shows up on Netflix, or your characters are being petulant toddlers who refuse to do what you say, you still need to put your butt in the chair and write through it. Still yes? Then congratulations! You have the soul of a writer. And you should enter. Contests, this one in particular, are a great way to get a taste of the pressure of deadlines and the scariness of putting your words out to the world. It’s a sneak peek at what a career in writing will entail, and it will help you hone your style and thicken your skin. (Trust me, these are important things.)
REASON #2 – Other People are Crazy Too!
Writing is a weird, fringe of society kind of activity that can get very solitary. I know what you’re thinking. “Oh please, Taryn. I’m a full-fledged introvert and I have incredible, supportive friends who would do anything for me. I’ve even got family who loves me, who are proud of me and who cheer me on in all I do.” And that’s cool. I’m happy for you. You are very very lucky to have all that. But are they writers? Because if not, you don’t know what you’re missing. The community of aspiring writers and published authors that I met during my SYTYCW experience have helped me immeasurably. They are incredibly kind, they are willing to share their experiences and their expertise, and I’m proud to count so many of them as my good friends now. And the best part? They just GET it.
Dream come true, right here.
REASON #3 – Cure what ails you and finish the damn book!
Prior to this contest, there was always something that kept me from finishing a book. Maybe you’re the same. From procrastination to perfectionism, from fear of rejection to fear of feedback, whatever it is that keeps you from writing, know this: ACTION is the key. You can sit around thinking about forever, but you’ll end up nowhere. Only by moving forward–putting words on the page, putting your work in other’s hands, putting your heart and soul into a book and then putting your heart and soul into ANOTHER book–will you ever reach your goals. So take a chance on yourself, release your story on the world. Find out where you shine and what you need more practice on. Because that’s not just what being a writer is about, that’s what being a human being is about.
Convinced? That’s great! Go here for all the contest details and take the plunge: www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com
Still on the fence? Need to do some more research? Then I’ve got one more reason that I hope will change your mind.
What I love most about about SYTYCW is that it works! You don’t even have to win the contest. (Not that there’s anything wrong with winning, should the option present itself!) Want proof?
My debut novel, KISS AND MAKEUP will be available starting September 15 in paperback, and October 1 in digital form, and it’s all thanks to a deep breath, a nudge from a friend, and the fact that I entered So You Think You Can Write last year. If you’ve dreamed about writing for Harlequin, this just might be the opportunity that makes that dream a reality.
So there you have it. All the reasons that I think you should enter SYTYCW15. And before I go, here’s one more thing that might help you along your path:
Still have questions about the contest? Want to chat with people who’ve been in the trenches of the publishing world? Just want to win some free books? Then join me, along with SYTYCW14 WINNER, Amanda Cinelli, and SYTYCW14 Top Ten finalist, Katie Meyer, as we celebrate our release date SYTYCW style! (And if you like it steamy, Blaze authors Stefanie London and Regina Kyle will be stopping by to enjoy the fun!) It’s the perfect place to interact with SYTYCW alumni and Harlequin authors and get the answers you’re looking for.
I’d love it if you’d come join us.
Until next time, keep on dreaming out loud!
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