From the Author

TV and comfort food with Jo Davis...

Jaci Burton reveals her childhood crush...

Cowboys and cats with Harper Sloan...

Molly McAdams chats accents and authors...

Guilty pleasures with Jen McLaughlin...

Jessica Clare talks bad boys and pizza parties!

Catch up with J. B. Salsbury...

Catch up with J. B. Salsbury...

Meet Shana Gray...

November Author of the Month

Q&A with Rebecca Zanetti...

Q&A with Rebecca Zanetti

Tara Sue Me lets us in...

Tara Sue Me lets us in...

Meet Lisa Renee Jones...

Meet Lisa Renee Jones...

Catch up with Lauren Layne...

Catch up with bestselling author Lauren Layne...

Kate Baxter chats about her Last True Vampire series...

Catch up with author of the sexy Last True Vampire series, Kate Baxter...

Meet Marie Force...

Catch up with bestselling author Marie Force...

Spend some time with Jane Feather

Catch up with bestselling author, Jane Feather...

Catch up with J. Kenner...

Catch up with bestselling author J. Kenner...

Get in the ring with Jennifer Fusco...

Catch up with the Ringside series author, Jennifer Fusco!

Meet Rebecca Zanetti . . .

Catch up with Rebecca Zanetti chatting about her new thrilling series, The Scorpius Syndrome . . .

Catch up with Monica Murphy...

Catch up with Monica Murphy...

Kate Baxter on her supernatural world...

Find out about the second stunning novel in Kate Baxter's Last True Vampire series...

Catch up with Jeanette Grey...

Catch up with Jeanette Grey and find out all about the romance you don't want to miss...

Yasmine Galenorn on Whisper Hollow...

Catch up with Yasmine Galenorn talking about her spectacular parnaormal romance series, Whisper Hollow...

Catch up with Beth Kery...

Catch up with bestseller Beth Kery...

Meredith Duran chats about her deliciously dark heroes...

Meredith Duran chats about her third and fourth novels in the glittering Rules for the Reckless series . . .

Sabrina Jeffries on her Sinful Suitors...

Sabrina Jeffries introduces her sensationally sexy Sinful Suitors...

Catch up with Katie Ashley...

Katie Ashley discusses what's next for the Hells Raiders...

Chanel Cleeton discusses the sizzling Flirting With Scandal

The fabulous Chanel Cleeton chats about the first in the Capital Confessions series, the sexy and deliciously scandalous FLIRTING WITH SCANDAL…

Jude Deveraux talks romance and guilty pleasures...

The bestselling Jude Deveraux discusses romance, guilty pleasures and the new Nantucket Brides novel, EVER AFTER ...

Pamela Clare discusses the I-Team...

Pamela Clare discusses her sizzling new I-Team series, and guilty pleasures...

Catch up with Karina Halle

Karina Halle discusses her latest series, Dirty Angels, and turning the ultimate bad boy Javier Bernal into a hero...

Have a chat with Sierra Kincade

Sierra Kincade discusses the inspiration behind THE MASSEUSE, the first novel in her Body Works series, out in paperback on 15th January!

Chatting to Joanna Bourne

To celebrate the publication of the first two novels in the Spymaster series, THE FORBIDDEN ROSE and THE SPYMASTER'S LADY, we chat to author Joanna Bourne.

Catch up with Maya Banks

Beth Kery chats about The Affair

To celebrate the publication of the sizzling digital series THE AFFAIR over the past month, we catch up with bestselling author Beth Kery.

Catch up with J Kenner

To celebrate publication of the sizzling IGNITED this month, Book Three in the Most Wanted trilogy, we catch up with superstar J. Kenner.

Chatting with Katie Reus

Can you tell us a little of what we have to look forward to with BOUND TO DANGER? Hopefully a fast-paced, exciting, romantic read! In the second book in my Deadly Ops series, Maria Cervantes overhears a deadly terrorist plot that will rock Miami to its core. Before she can alert authorities she’s almost killed in a massive explosion that robs her of her recent memories. As the sole survivor of the attack, she’s now a person of interest to the NSA – and especially to Agent Cade O’Reilly. Because Maria is the one woman Cade has never been able to forget. Now he’s sticking by her, whether she likes it or not. Because the memories locked inside her mind could hold vital clues to the next attack. Because terrorists want her dead – and because he never wants to let her go again. Which of your books did you find the most challenging to write? And the most satisfying? It’s actually not out yet or even through the first round of edits, but I've found the third book in my Deadly Ops series to be the most challenging. It’s Levi’s story and it was incredibly emotional. MATING INSTINCT was definitely the most satisfying. I love writing and when I’m working on a new project I always look forward to writing new words every day, but it was different with MATING INSTINCT. That story took on a life of its own and I just adore the main couple. You’re a very prolific writer publishing across different romance genres. How do you manage your busy writing schedule? Thank you! The short answer to that is that I have a dedicated ‘team’ of people who help me out, starting with an understanding husband. I’m a goal oriented person and obsessed with ‘to do’ lists and when I’m working on a project I have a word-count goal every day. That’s at the top of my list and no matter what, I try to get that word count in ahead of everything else. With a three year old and a busy schedule, 3K a day is what I usually aim for, making it manageable to finish a novel in a reasonable amount of time and to keep a steady release schedule. Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you love most about your job? No, I had no idea until after college, though I’m surprised now I didn’t figure it out sooner considering how much I love reading. I changed majors a bunch of times in college and simply couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do so I finally settled on a degree. Then I ended up with a string of jobs that made me miserable. Luckily I figured things out. I love creating stories! That’s probably the biggest thing I love about my job, creating new worlds and having an outlet for all the characters in my head. Do you have the most fun creating your heroes or your heroines? Ha, I can’t pick one over the other. The H/h dynamic works for whatever characters I’m developing at the time because of the way they interact with each other and their chemistry. I have so much fun creating a strong, solid couple who overcome adversity to get their HEA. Do you have a favourite hero or heroine from your books or by any other author? I have SO many favorite heroes, including my own. From my own, I really love Jayce from the Moon Shifter novels and Levi from the Deadly Ops books. Levi’s story isn’t out yet but it’s coming (Book 3 in the Deadly Ops series). They’re both rough around the edges and unapologetic of who they are, and Levi is really more of a tortured anti-hero. From other authors, I’m completely in love with Zsadist from J.R. Ward’s BDB series. Absolutely love him. He’s the ultimate tortured hero! Who are the authors you read for pleasure? Cynthia Eden, Linda Howard, Kaylea Cross, J.R. Ward, J.D. Robb, Lisa Marie Rice, Molly Harper… and I could probably name another twenty. Thanks to my Kindle I’ve discovered so many new authors in the past couple years. But those are the first names that come to mind. If you could take only three essentials with you to a desert island what would they be? Is this like a dream desert island that has cabanas, a full bar and air conditioning? I’m going to pretend it is and say I’d bring my Kindle, sunscreen and my bathing suit! What are your guilty pleasures? Pedicures and Starbucks chai tea lattes … though I don’t feel too guilty about them ;) There’s so much interest and excitement around romance fiction right now. What do you think that romance readers are looking for in the romances they read today? Smart, strong women they can relate to and if not necessarily relate to, at least root for. I feel like romance has changed so much in the past twenty years and that the expectations women have for themselves and others have also changed. In addition to reading about strong female leads, with romance, the reader knows they’re getting a happy ending. The world is tough enough and it’s nice to have a happy ending in fiction. Thanks so much for interviewing me! It’s wonderful to be a Headline Eternal author.

Kate Noble discusses her latest series

Kate Noble talks about her new series Winner Takes All and more.

Visiting the romantic Green Mountains of Vermont with Marie Force

Visiting the romantic Green Mountains of Vermont with Marie Force

Have a chat with Emily March

Have a chat with Emily March about Eternity Springs and more...
It's a love story

Nyrae Dawn on writing a m/m romance

'It was never about not loving one another...'

Macy Beckett introduces us to Cedar Bayou: ‘the hottest little town in Louisiana’

Macy Beckett answers some questions about writing and the Dumont Bachelors...

Jessica Clare introduces her sexy Billionaire Boys Club...

What inspired you to create your sexy Billionaire Boys Club series? I felt like there was a lot of Billionaire/rich-alpha-hero romances out there, but at the same time, I felt like all the stories focused on a darker aspect and with BDSM nuances. I wanted the Cinderella story, but maybe not the whips and handcuffs? So I wanted to write billionaire romances that were a little lighter in theme but just as sexy, because that was the kind of story I wanted to read! Have any of the romances between your heroes and heroines in the series surprised you, or have you always known who’s meant to be together? Gretchen and Hunter were always meant for each other (how could they not be?) but Audrey was originally supposed to end up with Cade. The problem was, when I tried to put them together, they were BORING. So boring. I have to admit, I freaked out a little when I tried writing their book and it was a snooze-fest. So I panicked and started thinking of who would be the absolute WORST hero for Audrey (who I kind of loved) and immediately I thought of Reese. Which meant, of course, that they were destined to be together. :) Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you love most about your job? I think so! When I went to college, I was totally undecided because I wanted to major in English, but knew it wouldn’t get me a job in Texas. So I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself. I’m glad I fell into writing through the back end of things. What I love most about my job is the ability to live all those extra hours in the story. Didn’t want that movie to end? ME EITHER. I’ll sit back and imagine all the different scenarios and ways it could have continued, and maybe (*cough*) write a new ending. I love playing with my imagination best, I suppose. Do you have the most fun creating your heroes or your heroines? I really love the heroines the most. It’s not that I want to ‘be’ the heroine, but I love creating a strong woman I can really relate to and making her go through her paces in the story. I’ve often joked with a friend that my stories are the heroine’s journey more than the hero’s. But of course, it wouldn’t be the same without the hero! Do you have a favourite hero or heroine from your books or by any other author? Oh wow. I don’t know if I could pick just one! I truly love Meljean Brook’s heroes, especially Jake from DEMON BOUND. He’s so puppyish and boyishly enthusiastic that you think there’s no way he’d be a sexy hero…but she pulls it off. As for heroines - any Julie Garwood heroine! There’s something so Disney Princess (but fun) about all of them. Who are the authors you read for pleasure? All of them! Heh. If I have to write a coherent list, let’s go with Kresley Cole, Meljean Brook, Ilona Andrews, Anne McCaffrey, Piers Anthony, Kristan Higgins, Julie Garwood, Tanya Huff, Judith McNaught…basically anything that has a feel-good vibe to it and an incredible romance. If you could take only three essentials with you to a desert island what would they be? A fully loaded Kindle, my writing laptop, and a satellite phone so I could call someone to come get me once both of those ran out of batteries. Who would be on your dream dinner party guest list, dead or alive? I’d love to find out ‘what really happened’ in a lot of instances. So I guess I’d pick someone from the lost colony of Roanoke, the two princes in the Tower of London and someone from other - equally tragic - historical events that no one knows what happened. I’d get answers! If nothing else, to soothe my own mind. What are your guilty pleasures? Coffee, candy canes, and really, really terrible reality TV like MY CAT FROM HELL or EXTREME CHEAPSKATES. My husband despairs of my television choices. We’re excited that there are more Billionaire Boys Club novels to come! What can your fans expect from your next releases? Yes! Book four is ONCE UPON A BILLIONAIRE in April, and it features Maylee (the country girl secretary from book two) and Griffin Verdi, the European aristocrat. They are definitely an ‘opposites attract’ scenario. After that, ROMANCING THE BILLIONAIRE comes out in November, and adventurous Jonathan Lyons reunites with his old flame Violet DeWitt, and the last thing she wants is adventure...or Jonathan! And Cade’s book will be coming in early 2015. I've had a lot of people asking who his heroine will be, but I'm just going to smile and be mysterious and say it's not who you think it is! There’s so much interest and excitement around romantic fiction right now. What do you think that romance readers are looking for in the romances they read today? I think romance readers want familiar stories, but told in a new and exciting way. I think that's why we're seeing such different spins on classic tropes. It's like a blend of old, new, and HOLY COW. I personally love picking up a book and wondering how things are going to fall out, so I’m all for it!
Headline Eternal authors discuss their favourite heroes

What Makes A Hero?

Last week in celebration of Valentine's Day we asked our authors to share a little bit about their favourite heroes. If you missed their answers, here is what they said:
Author of the humorous, heart-warming and sexy Animal Magnetism series

Jill Shalvis on her inspiration

Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you love most about your job? Always, and my favourite part of the job is being able to write in my pj's and bunny slippers. :) Your Animal Magnetism series features sexy heroes, spellbinding romance and very cute animals - a completely irresistible mixture! What inspired you to create this series? I was grocery shopping and trying to figure out what I wanted to write next when I ran into a guy in Army gear in the cookie aisle. Be still my heart. He had dark sunglasses on, absolutely no smile, and testosterone was pouring off him. He ultimately chose two packages of granola bars instead of cookies, which nearly killed the fantasy but I recovered. By the time I’d gotten to my car, I’d concocted a whole back story for him. And just like that, Animal Magnetism was born. Brady Miller doesn’t smile much because he hasn’t had anything to smile about in a very long time. He’s an ex-Army ranger, now a pilot for hire for organizations like Doctors Without Borders, back in the states at the request of his foster brothers. They run a large animal centre in the middle of Nowhere, Idaho, and need his help. He agrees to stick around for unusually complicated reasons, even though he's lived his life as purposely uncomplicated as possible. Fact is, he’s not much of a family guy. He’s always been a wanderer, no roots, no home base. Maybe even a guy who can't be saved. It takes a village to show him the truth, including one silly little puppy and one sharp-tongued, sharp-witted heroine willing to knock him flat on his ass to make sure he gets it - that he was never lost at all, and as the saying goes, home is where the heart is… If you could take only three essentials with you to a desert island what would they be? I need only one - my Kindle.
Author of the sexy Play-by-Play series and the new, heartwarming Hope series

Jaci Burton on heroes, heroines and romance

Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you love most about your job? I can't say as I always wanted to be a writer, but writing is in my blood. I dabbled in it as early as a my pre-teen years, then picked it up again as an adult, but didn't settle fully into it until about twelve years ago. Now it is my full-time career and I couldn't dream of doing anything else. The thing I love most about it is breathing life into these characters that I've developed, and creating their story. When you wrote your first Play-By-Play book, THE PERFECT PLAY, could you imagine that it would become such a successful and popular series? And did you envisage it would run for so many books? I had no idea. I thought it was a fun concept, and I had some ideas for a few books, but no thought that I would eventually end up contracted for twelve books. What a thrill it's been. Do you have the most fun creating your heroes or your heroines? I'd say it's a mix of both. The heroes are typically larger than life, and they're always hot and sexy, so it’s always fun to create them, then figure out who they are. It's not just about looks for a hero. There also has to be some dynamic other than looks that makes them attractive to the heroine, so developing characteristics beyond physical appearance is the fun part of the job. What makes him strong? What makes him vulnerable? How does he react when he's with the heroine as opposed to with anyone else? With the heroine, I like them to be complex. Again, it has to go beyond the looks. What is her career? What are her vulnerabilities and her strengths? And then how do these two characters mesh together? It's a fun dynamic to put the hero and heroine together and see what happens. Do you have a favourite hero or heroine from your books or by any other author? My favourite heroine from my books is Elizabeth Darnell from my Play-By-Play books. She has no doubt been the most fun heroine I've ever written. Strong, smart, sassy, can't help but meddle in other people's lives, and very much secretly in love with Gavin Riley, the hero in CHANGING THE GAME, which made her vulnerable. I absolutely love her madly. I think Mick Riley from my Play-By-Play books has been my favourite hero to write. Mick was a very complex hero. Hot and sexy, yes, but also sweet, considerate, honourable, and went after his heroine, Tara, because he knew what he wanted. He was a great character to write. Are you a fan of sports? What inspired you to write a sports-themed romance series? Have you had any fun research experiences to help create your Play-By-Play heroes? I was actually looking for an idea for a new series to write, and my amazing friend, author Maya Banks, suggested I write a sports series, so I have her to thank for the idea. I love sports of all kinds, so it was a perfect concept for me. Oh, the research has been fantastic. While I'm a big fan of so many sports, there are nuances to each sport that required some research. I’ve done quite a bit of research, not only on on-the field plays, but also the mentality of professional sports players. And besides my heroes, many of my heroines have very interesting careers – an event planner, a sports agent, a physical therapist, a bar owner, and so on, so delving into their careers as well was so much fun for me. In fact, I had a shoulder injury that required about a year of serious physical therapy, so I had the opportunity to do what you could say was some hands-on research for Alicia Riley's profession from THROWN BY A CURVE. It was quite enlightening, and I learned a lot about sports medicine from the physical therapists I worked with during my shoulder rehab. They gave me quite a few tips on how one would rehabilitate an injured pitcher. It was so helpful in creating the rehab program for Garrett Scott, THROWN BY A CURVE’s hero. You've just started an exciting brand-new contemporary romance series with HOPE FLAMES. What can your fans expect from the Hope series? I'm so excited about the Hope series. It's night and day different from the Play-By-Play series, in that it takes place entirely in the small town of Hope, Oklahoma. The series is very town-centric rather than focusing on particular family members. This gives me the opportunity to expand the series in multiple directions. However, the first three books will focus on Luke and Logan McCormack, and on Emma and Molly Burnett, and the people who move in and out of their lives. You’ll also meet many of the people who interact with them. I have so many stories to tell about the people of Hope, and I sincerely hope everyone falls in love with the town and the people who inhabit it. Who are the authors you read for pleasure? Oh, I love so many authors. Jill Shalvis, Maya Banks, Julie James, Nora Roberts, Shannon Stacey, Sylvia Day, Lauren Dane, Vivian Arend are just a few. There's so much interest and excitement around romantic fiction right now. What do you think romance readers are looking for in the romances they read today? I think the wonderful thing about romance is there's something for every reader. It's not a one size fits all type of genre. There are so many genres, whether it’s contemporary, paranormal, historical, erotic, new adult, or whatever subgenre a reader might be fascinated by, they can find it on the bookshelves. We don’t all have the same reading tastes, and to be able to browse and find something exciting and new – or comforting and familiar – is what we all look for in our romance. In my opinion, I think readers want to know they're going to receive a read filled with emotion, with characters that'll take them away to a fantasy world of high stakes emotion, epic romance or day to day struggles. They want to be swept back in time to historical points in the past or live in places we could only dream existed. And in the end, there’ll be a happily ever after that’ll leave them sighing with contentment. It's up to the reader to choose their adventure book by book. And isn’t it awesome to know we have those choices in our romance?
Author of Eversea and Forever, Jack

Chatting with Natasha Boyd

Who inspired your love for writing? Every author I've ever read! Words can transport one's mind completely to another place. I, personally, am completely unreachable when I am reading. Someone can be screaming in my face to get me to notice. The sheer fact this is solely accomplished by words on a page never ceases to light the spark inside me. Words have so much power. Why not use words to take someone to a happy place where they can love, laugh and dream? What does your writing day look like? I get up pretty early, as I have two boys who need breakfast, school lunches and drop offs and pick ups. I write between 10 and 2pm. Most of the time when I am really in the zone, I completely forget to eat. It’s not healthy and makes me grumpy! However, the truth is, I’ve written in bed, on the floor, at a table, outside, and in the car; in the passenger seat and also voice over memo while I’m driving. I always have a play list, and major plot points emerge when I am really in the heads and emotions of my characters when I get the play list right. Have you always wanted to be a writer? And what do you love most about your job? I have always, always, always, always wanted to be a writer. I also enjoyed having it as my dream in my back pocket. When I decided to take the plunge, I had no choice but to succeed at it. The fact this is now officially my profession, and it brings me so much joy, means I did, in fact, succeed! If you could only take three essentials with you to a deserted island what would they be? Impossible choice. I’m assuming that it is a deserted island rather than a desert island, otherwise the answers all have to be taken up with water or mobile desalinization units. Total borefest. Let’s just say there would be access to water and coconuts—so probably BB cream, my good bra and a black permanent marker for Wilson. Do you have a favourite hero or heroine from your books? Yes! My favorite character of all time is Jazz (Jessica Fraser) my heroine’s best friend (Keri Ann’s best friend in Eversea and Forever, Jack). I love her personality, her wit and her turns of phrase. I plan to have her be the heroine in an upcoming book and I seriously can’t wait to really explore her motivations. She arrived on my page fully formed, and I am desperate to get to the bottom of why she is the way she is. Was the Eversea series based on real people? As a writer, I am inspired all the time by events that happen around me, and I always fill in the details in my mind. I’d like to think that people who love like Jack and Keri Ann exist . . . they must exist in some dimension to be able to talk to me the way they do! But no, the characters were never based on real people. I may have used certain plot points from real life events, both my own life (in a British boarding school), as well as things I knew happened to others. Most of the time truth really is stranger than fiction! How difficult was it to write the sequel to Eversea? Extremely. I knew what the story was I needed to tell, but every reader who had their own idea of how it should go made me wonder. Every time I tried to write something different or take it in a different direction, I would hit a wall. In retrospect, it was pretty amazing to realize that the story controlled me rather than the other way around. As soon as I accepted that, it was much easier!
Tara Sue Me on why she needed to write THE DOMINANT

The Other Side

I'd always heard every romance had two sides: his and hers. A good friend recently told me there were actually three sides: his, hers, and what really happened. The truth is, anything we experience is filtered through our internal lens. Ten people can see the same thing happen and all ten will tell it differently. Such is the case with THE DOMINANT. I wrote THE SUBMISSIVE as a writing exercise, to see if I could write something spicy. There was never any intention on my part to write anything further with the characters. But as I wrote, something interesting started to happen, I started hearing Nathaniel’s voice and to grasp his thoughts and motives. The problem was THE SUBMISSIVE is written in first person from Abby’s point of view. Since she couldn’t hear Nathaniel’s thoughts and motives, neither could the reader. And I hated that because Nathaniel’s side was fascinating to me. I thought about writing their story with alternating points of view. Unfortunately, Nathaniel has a secret revealed at the end of THE SUBMISSIVE and if I alternated points of view, we’d learn that secret much, much earlier. The solution was Nathaniel got his own book to tell the story the way he saw it happen. In THE SUBMISSIVE, Nathaniel is often seen as cold and distant, but that’s only because that’s the way Abby first sees him. It’s also the only side he allows her to see. In the first chapter of THE SUBMISSIVE, we see Nathaniel ignoring Abby while typing on his computer. Abby and the reader immediately form an opinion of him based on that very fact. What no one knows (other than Nathaniel himself) is exactly what he’s typing on the computer. I’ll give you a hint: it wasn’t business related. The chapter that made me decide to write THE DOMINANT, however, was Chapter Ten. It was the most difficult chapter to write in THE SUBMISSIVE, but there was a lot going on in Nathaniel’s head that one, made the chapter such a necessary part of the book and two, perfectly illustrated the inner turmoil he was going through. I won’t lie and say I knew everything that would happen in THE DOMINANT before I started writing it, I didn’t. As I wrote there were plenty of surprises in store for me. I actually remember arguing with Nathaniel about some of them. For example, he started referring to her as “Abby” instead of “Abigail” in his head a lot sooner than I thought he should. But as typically happens when I argue with my characters, I eventually came to the understanding that they know the story better than I do. The best part for me, however, was that in writing Nathaniel’s side of the story, I got to know him better and came to understand his motives. He became more real, more vulnerable, and more approachable. By the end of THE DOMINANT, he’d secured an even stronger hold on my heart.
Jo Davis on her hot new series, TORN BETWEEN TWO LOVERS

Raw or Risky? Which Will You Choose?

When my editor suggested the idea of writing a novella trilogy about a woman who was torn between the two loves of her life, I was intrigued. Then came the idea that the series should be contemporary romance, not erotica, and I grew excited. A woman, conflicted over the love of two very different men, and they never entertain a menage? A challenge for me as an author, to be sure! And then we came up with the final twist — the readers would get to vote before the third book and decide which hero she will choose. That sealed the deal for me, for three reasons. One, involving the readers and letting them have the final say is just great fun. Two, I couldn't resist the challenge as an author to create an ending they wanted. And finally, this idea is extremely current with the reality-based form of entertainment we enjoy on television with shows such as "The Bachelorette," in which the heroine must choose her one true love and viewers engage across social media to comment and discuss on the choices that are made. Even prime-time dramas such as "Hawaii Five-0" have jumped on board, last season allowing viewers to vote on one of several endings before the conclusion of an episode - an idea that was met with great success. Viewers - and readers - love when they have a say in the story. I was pumped about this novella series, and TORN BETWEEN TWO LOVERS was born. Join the fun and help Anna Claire decide which man she should choose - sexy FBI Agent Grayson Sloane, or dangerous billionaire bad boy Joaquin Delacruz. Are you #teamGrayson or #teamJoaquin? I look forward to seeing your vote! - National Bestselling Author, Jo Davis
Q&A with Beth Ciotta, author of the month and creator of the Cupcake Lovers series

Getting to the Heart of a Cupcake Lover

Your Cupcake Lovers series is the most irresistible combination of gorgeous romance and delicious cake! What inspired you to create this series? Thank you for your kind words! I have to say this series is a delight to write. As to how it all began . . . My American editor had approached me with the possibility of writing a small town series revolving around a ‘cupcake club’. My baking skills are limited, but I love eating cupcakes and I adored the idea of writing an on-going small town series featuring recurring characters and a running story arc — although each book highlights the romance of a new hero and heroine. As soon as I created the history and mission of this cupcake club — known as The Cupcake Lovers — everything fell into place for me. Sugar Creek, Vermont, and all of the characters that populate that fictional town, are as real to me as my friends and family. Researching cupcakes is a yummy bonus! Was it always your ambition to be a writer? What do you love most about your job? I’ve always been a creative soul. Although I dabbled with writing when I was quite young, my driving force early on was music. I started singing professionally at age fourteen and maintained a career as a performer (singing, dancing, acting) for more than twenty-five years. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I was seriously bitten by the writing bug. At that point my passion turned to storytelling, and that passion burns stronger by the day. As to what I love most about this job, that’s easy — making a positive difference in a reader’s life even if only for a few hours. Do you have favourites out of the characters you’ve created? What type of hero makes you melt? To date I have more than twenty books in print and more in the immediate pipeline, so that’s a lot of characters! I must admit, it’s quite difficult to choose favourites. I love all of my characters for different reasons. Focusing on The Cupcake Lovers series, as far as the ladies go, I have a real soft spot for Rocky and Rachel/Rae. Very different heroines, but equally compelling. I also adore Daisy Monroe, the eccentric matriarch of the Monroe family. She’s a hoot! As for the men . . . Jayce and Sam ring my bell big time. Jayce has a massive protective streak. Sam’s the strong, silent type—a widower raising two small children. Both men are deep and complicated and extremely alpha. Intimidating, yet sexy. I’m also head over heels for Luke. I adore his kind nature, his joy for life, and love of family. He’s a good man with a minor learning issue. More on the beta side, but just as sexy. Down-to-earth and charmingly irresistible. Who are the authors you read for pleasure? Too many to fully list, but here are a few. Nora Roberts, Julie Garwood, Heather Graham, Zoë Archer, F.Paul Wilson, Karen Marie Moning, Elle J Rossi, Stephanie Bond . . . Happily, the list goes on and on. If you could take only three essentials with you to a desert island what would they be? A riveting book to read over and over. A journal and pen to chronicle my adventure (or to make something up for escapism). Lipstick—preferably red. What are your guilty pleasures? Coffee—black and strong and lots of it. Chinese food. My dogs and cat. Movies. Reading. Who would be on your dream dinner party guest list? Daniel Craig, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Gerard Butler. (Is that wrong?) Your cupcake recipes are always mouth-watering! Have you tried them all? Which would you recommend we try to bake?! Hmm. Well, they’re not my recipes. My recipes need work. (Not that you heard that from me.) The recipes included in the back of the books were submitted by readers who are avid bakers! I haven’t tried them all, but I have tasted most and they are all equally yummy! I adore the fact that readers — Honorary Cupcake Lovers — are willing to share their recipes and I invite anyone to email me with a submission should they be inspired! We’re so excited to read ANYTHING BUT LOVE! Can you tell us a little of what readers can expect from book three in the series? ANYTHING BUT LOVE is quite close to my heart as it features two of the most gentle-hearted characters I have ever written. Luke and Rae possess hearts as big as the planet however they come from opposite sides of the tracks in more ways than one. This particular story focuses heavily on making the most of a life you didn’t plan. It also delves deeply into family members at odds and how those relationships evolve. Readers will be treated to an emotional tale sprinkled with the sexy set-up for book four — IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE. And of course, in addition to the romance and family drama, ANYTHING BUT LOVE features the on-going antics and adventure of the Cupcake Lovers!
Author of the amazing One Week Girlfriend series

Behind the scenes with Monica Murphy

We love Drew and Fable's story and the evolution of their romance in One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend. When did their story begin to take shape for you? Thank you! I love Drew + Fable too. The story began to actually take shape back in 2009 - well, Fable took shape. I tried my hand at a YA idea with the main character named Fable Maguire. It didn’t pan out (quite frankly, it was terrible). But Fable stuck with me. Fast forward to late 2012 and (sort of a spoiler alert!) I saw a story on my local news about a young, pretty female teacher who was arrested for having sex with her 17-year-old male student. It got me thinking. When females are victims of this sort of thing, everyone’s appalled. When it happens to a male, a lot of the time he’s made out as a guy who just scored with an older woman. So I wanted to write a male victim and a strong female who comes along and saves him. You’ve written numerous romance books both as Monica Murphy and Karen Erickson ― did you find you approached writing a new adult romance differently? Yes! First of all, I’d never written in first-person point of view (POV) before so that was a challenge, but one I enjoyed immensely. I prefer writing in first-person POV now! Also, with a new adult title, all emotions are heightened. It’s a very dramatic time of our lives and everything has a newness, a freshness to it. First time away from home, first real job, first real love, and first chance to make major mistakes and have to fix them on your own. I wanted to capture that — as a writer, there’s a lot to play with during this time period. And with a new adult, it’s not just about the romantic relationship either. There’s so much more going on. Yes, the romance takes priority (and with Drew + Fable, how could it not, considering the situation they’ve thrown themselves into!) but there are other things happening. Family responsibilities, school, family trouble (ooh lots of trouble), jobs — it’s all an important part of their lives. We never imagined that the word ‘marshmallow’ could be so romantic! You made it so special for Drew and Fable ― what inspired you to pick this? It’s so random it’s almost embarrassing. I wrote OWG during the holiday season. I got to the part where Fable suggested they needed a “rescue” word to send or say to each other, and I paused. Glanced around my desk. Saw the box of caramel covered marshmallows (that I kept to myself for fear my children would eat them all) sitting there and thought...marshmallow. I never meant for it to become this THING. It’s so awesome. When Drew + Fable get married, they need a marshmallow wedding cake, right? *winks* Drew and Fable’s romance is powerfully moving ― were there particular parts of their story you found emotional to write? Yes, definitely. As I wrote OWG and got closer to the end, I kept thinking, should I go there? Should I take it there? I hesitated for a bit and then thought, I’m going for it. I’m so glad I did. I think it made the story that much more emotional. What Drew has to deal with is pretty difficult. My biggest fear was that he’d look like a wimp. So glad readers didn’t think he was one. And when I wrote the end of Second Chance Boyfriend, I burst into tears. Those two are buried so deep in my brain it’s sort of scary. It was hard to let them go. I still haven’t. They make plenty of appearances in both Three Broken Promises and Four Years Later, especially Fable. Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you love most about your job? I’ve always been a reader and when I was in high school, I took journalism classes and was on the school newspaper. I became an intern at my local newspaper in college. So yes, I always wanted to be a writer. I discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught books during my teen years and I remember thinking, ooh I could do that. But then life got in the way for many years. Back in 2005, I was at home with my two youngest and I decided to try my hand at writing again. I was first published as Karen Erickson in 2006. I’ve been working hard ever since. I have the best job in the world. Where else can you work at home, be there for your kids when they need you and fall in love with a different guy multiple times a year, yet you’re not cheating on your husband (LOL)? Oh, and search the web for pictures of hot men and call it “research”? You can’t beat that! Do you have the most fun creating your heroes or your heroines? Do you have a favourite hero or heroine? It really depends on each book I write. Sometimes the hero speaks more to me and sometimes it’s the heroine. Lame answer, I’m sorry… My favourite hero and heroine? Why, Drew + Fable of course. Those two changed my entire career. I adore them. Who are the authors you read for pleasure? There are a ton of authors I read for pleasure. It would take me a month to list them all. But the one I read without fail? The one who I make sure and preorder so when I get the notice the book is on my Kindle, I drop everything to read her latest? Jill Shalvis. Ack, I love her books so much! What are your guilty pleasures? Chocolate, pedicures and purses. We are so excited to read Three Broken Promises and Four Years Later! Can you give us any hints of what you have planned for Jen and Colin and Owen and Chelsea? I’m excited for everyone to read TBP and FYL too! Okay, hints… Jen and Colin’s book is by far the sexiest of the series. I think it’s because they’re an older couple and Colin is rather demanding (heh heh). Owen and Chelsea’s book is the longest book of them all. Chelsea is the complete opposite of Fable and Jen. And Owen…Owen was a joy to write. I just turned the book in and I’m a little in love with him. Okay, I’m a lot in love with him. And we have to ask – will we get to see some more of Drew and Fable in books three and four?! As I mentioned, YES. Yes, Drew + Fable are all over books three and four. Especially Fable — she’s in the opening scene of TBP. She plays a huge part in Owen’s book because, well, she’s his sister. I hope readers will love those glimpses of D+F.
Author of The Games Trilogy

From the Keyboard of Nyrae Dawn

Did you always want to be a writer? What do you enjoy most about your job? I have. I've always loved to write. I won my first writing contest in second or third grade and I remember how amazing it felt to be told I was good at something I loved. My favorite thing would probably be giving my characters their happily ever after and also hearing from a reader that something I wrote touched their life in one way or another. It's an incredible feeling. Do you have the most fun creating your heroes or your heroines? Do you have a favourite hero or heroine? For me it's usually the heroes. I don't know why I not only have more fun with them but writing their point of view is often easier for me. I had mostly guy friends in school and I use them as inspiration a lot! Colt from Charade, is one of my favorites, as is Adrian from Facade, book two in The Games series. What or who is your greatest influence? Writing influence? I am inspired by beautiful language. Authors like Sarah Ockler, Gayle Foreman and Jenny Han excel at beautiful language. In my personal life, who influences me to strive to work harder and never give up, I would go with my husband. Which authors do you enjoy reading for pleasure? I read all across genres. I love the authors I mentioned in the previous question. I also love JR Ward, Diana Gabaladon, and CK Kelly Martin. Do you have a favourite reader review? I have a few I like. Here is a quote from one of my favorites: "Charade is a book about loss, love, true happiness and finding strength in those that you love. It is powerful. It is beautiful. It is a book that will stay with me for a long time to come." You can find the full review on Goodreads at the following link. http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/452472671
Get inside her head

J. Kenner visits Tote Bags 'n' Blogs

J. Kenner gives her thoughts on fabulous men, strong women and really hot sex.
Author of True Love, the first in the Nantucket Brides Trilogy

A Conversation with Jude Deveraux

The wonderful descriptions of Nantucket in True Love certainly make us want to go and live there! Why did you decide to set your story there? I recently purchased a summer house on Nantucket so when I moved publishers in the US to Random House, it seemed natural to set my books there. I created a street, made a map, added a family to my Montgomerys and Taggerts, and told about the island which I came to love. I wanted to show a different side of the island than just what the tourists see. Nantucket is a wonderful place to live, not just to go to the beach and party. You’ve written so many wonderful romance novels, including A Knight In Shining Armor, which is one of our absolute favourites! Is there a novel of yours that is closest to your heart? Yes, A Knight In Shining Armor is my favourite. That was a gift from God. Everything fell into place when I was writing it. I loved the characters, the time period, all of it. Did you always want to be a writer? What do you enjoy most about your job? I never thought about being a writer. I just had stories running around in my mind and one day decided to write one of them down so it would go away. I love everything about my job except copyeditors. I especially love creating the characters, planning the plot, then writing the book to see what happens. Do you have the most fun creating your heroes or heroines? That’s a hard question to answer. I think it depends on the book. Sometimes she takes over, sometimes he does. I once had a heroine who was so strong I had to create another man to go with her. I had another heroine who was so unpleasant I threw her out and started over. I’ve had a couple of men who I didn’t like and I changed them. It’s the most fun when the hero and heroine are attracted to each other but there’s some obstacle in their way. I love the fireworks between them! Which authors do you enjoy reading for pleasure? I mostly read non-fiction. I’m working on a cookbook now so my office floor is littered with many cookbooks, a lot of them I bought on my last trip to England. London bookstores are divine! What’s your biggest indulgence? TV show and movies. I watch them while I type my day’s work, while I cook, while I do most anything. Someone once said to me, ‘If they wear old costumes and speak with an English accent, Jude’s seen it.’ I have a Region 2 player and order obscure shows and movies from Amazon.co.uk. I was the envy of everyone when I had Downton Abbey months before it played in the US. Another indulgence I have is tea. Proper tea made with hot water and so dark you can’t see the bottom of the cup. It’s not possible to find in the US, so I visit the UK and indulge myself lavishly. Who would be on your dream dinner party guest list? I’d like Oscar Wilde and the whole Marlborough Set. Or the Algonquin group. I like people who make me laugh and can think fast. Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton can sit at my table any time he wants. What’s your most prized possession? I’m not much into possessions. I move around a lot, sell things, and start over. My ability to create is what I value most. And since I write by hand I’m a fanatic about taking care of them. Do you have a motto for life? I’m more into surviving than living by a motto. We’re already looking forward to Prince Charming! Can you tell us a little about what’s coming next for your Nantucket Brides? Prince Charming is about the son of the people in The Princess. My hero, Graydon Montgomery, is the crown prince of Lanconia and he’s supposed to marry an appropriately aristocratic young woman but falls for a commoner. The next one will be called, I think, Ever After. It’s about a young woman who inherits a house on Nantucket, and some tenants come with it. One is a gorgeous young man and the other three haven’t been alive for a few hundred years.
Nyrae Dawn on

Embracing New Adult

New Adult star author talks about the emerging genre.