<i>Ultimate Sins</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Ultimate Sins: Exclusive Excerpt Lora Leigh "Crowe was in love with Amelia, whether he realized it or not..." Valerie Bowman Presents a Prequel Scene to <i>The Unlikely Lady</i> Valerie Bowman Presents a Prequel Scene to The Unlikely Lady Valerie Bowman Read an original Quickie scene from Valerie Bowman! <i>Magic Breaks</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Magic Breaks: Exclusive Excerpt Ilona Andrews "The feel of his mouth on mine was like coming home..." <i>My Beautiful Enemy</i>: Exclusive Excerpt My Beautiful Enemy: Exclusive Excerpt Sherry Thomas A beautiful and cunning woman meets her match...
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Showing posts by: Liz Maverick click to see Liz Maverick's profile
Thu
Nov 15 2012 3:00pm

Merry Reading!: A Christmas Reading Roundup

It...came...upon a midnight clear!Holiday theme reading is sort of like baking traditional Christmas cookies. You eat cookies all year 'round, but during the holidays you want something that really makes you feel part of the celebration. Christmas romance novels are sort of like that; maybe it's the same sugar cookie base you always use, but for a couple of months you really want the ones that have red and green icing.

In days of yore, you could count on there always being a Regency Christmas anthology on the market, and a Harlequin mini-series, too, but there wasn't necessarily more than that. With the advent (like how I did that?) of e-publishing and the rise in popularity of shorter works, it seems like there are more Christmas reads this year than ever.

After reading a selection of books that are part of the 12 Days of Christmas blog tour, I've curated a short list of holiday reads that might make the decision-making process of matching your tastes to what's available a little easier.

[Great way to make your Christmas merry and bright!...]

Mon
Oct 15 2012 1:00am

Top Romance Blogs Team Up: 4 Ways to Win + Spotlight on Donna Grant

Romance Round Robin - Four Ways to Win!

The top romance blogs team up to give away free books and celebrate the genre ... it's the monthly Romance Round Robin!  Stop by all four blogs and leave a comment for a chance to win awesome prizes on each site.

Heroes and Heartbreakers: Read an excerpt of New York Times bestseller Donna Grant’s upcoming release, Midnight’s Seduction, and enter to win one of four prize packs containing the first two books in her Dark Warriors series.  Sweepstakes ends 10/26, so comment now!*

Romance at Random: Stop by for a chance to win two prize packs including Jessica Scott's Until There Was You PLUS Iced, the new release on sale 10/30, by Karen Marie Moning!!

USA Today Happy Ever After: Find out how romance authors answer the question, “What books made it to your ‘keeper shelf’?” and enter to win a box (a BOX!) of newer releases. 

Discover a New Love: Find out about USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear's new series featuring shape-shifting jaguars and enter for a chance to win one of five prize packs, including the entire nine-book set of Terry's werewolf series.

The sweepstakes end October 26th. Be sure to stop by each site and increase your chances to win.

Warriors, dragons, and seers, oh, my! Step right up for a preview of chapters 1-3 of the sexy new bad-ass paranormal from New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant. Be sure to leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win one of four prize packs containing the first two books in this Dark Warriors series (I know how much you hate to start in the middle!). *

Midnight’s Seduction by Donna GrantCaptivating and enticing, Saffron Fletcher is a rarity in the Druid world—a Seer. She is the ultimate prize in an epic battle. After suffering horrendously at the hands of evil, her thirst for justice is all that keeps her going. Can she put her trust in the sinfully gorgeous, wonderfully dangerous Warrior who haunts her dreams and promises retribution for their common enemy?    

Camdyn MacKenna is hungry for revenge…until he falls prey to Saffron’s seductive magic. She enchants him like no other. But if Camdyn yields to her allure, will he be strong enough to defeat their sworn enemy—and resist the rising forces of evil that could destroy their love forever?

Chapter 1
MacLeod Castle January 2012

Saffron sucked in a harsh breath as she came instantly awake. But she kept her eyes closed tight, afraid to open them and see nothing but darkness. Again.

She heard the crackle of the fire in the hearth, and the wind as it rattled against the window from the fierce winter storm that had raged for days.

Three years of being blind, of fighting the darkness she had been confined to, and she was too frightened to open her eyes and see if the spell had truly been broken.

[Continue on to read the full excerpt of Midnight's Seduction and enter for a chance to win...]

Mon
Sep 17 2012 10:00am

Top Romance Blogs Team Up: Sweepstakes + Spotlight on Valerie Bowman

Romance Round RobinThe top romance blogs team up to give away free books and celebrate the genre ... it's the monthly Romance Round Robin!  Stop by all four blogs and leave a comment for a chance to win awesome prizes on each site.

Heroes and Heartbreakers: Read an excerpt of Valerie Bowman’s Secrets of a Wedding Night and enter to win one of four prize packs including this book. Sweepstakes ends 9/23, so comment now!

Romance at Random: Discover Samantha Kane’s sensual tale of wicked passion, The Devil’s Thief, and enter to win one of five prize packs, including a limited edition advance print copy of this hot historical.

USA Today Happy Ever After: Find out how romance authors answer the question, “What has the devil made you do?” and enter to win a box of newer releases. 

Discover a New Love: Get the scoop on Samantha Grace’s Miss Lavigne’s Little White Lie and enter to win one of four fabulous tea, book, and tote prizes from Sourcebooks and the Republic of Tea. 

The sweepstakes end September 23rd. Be sure to stop by each site and increase your chances to win!

A penniless widow. A scandalous pamphlet. And a scoundrel who never forgot his true love. Get a sneak peek of Chapters 1-3 from Valerie Bowman’s Secrets of a Wedding Night (available September 25), the first book in her new Secrets Trilogy.

Be sure to leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win one of four prize packs including Valerie Bowman’s Secrets of a Wedding Night and a limited edition print advanced reading copy of Samantha Kane's The Devil's Thief.*

Secrets of a Wedding Night by Valerie BowmanHOW TO STOP A WEDDING

Young, widowed, and penniless, Lily Andrews, the Countess of Merrill,has strong opinions on marriage. When she spots a certain engagement announcement in The Times, she decides to take action. She will not allow another hapless girlto fall prey to a man—particularly the scoundrel who broke her heart five years ago. Anonymously she writes and distributes a pamphlet entitled “Secrets of a Wedding Night,” knowing it will find its way into his intended’s innocent hands…

HOW TO SEDUCE A WIDOW

Devon Morgan, the Marquis of Colton, desires a good wife and mother to his son—someone completely unlike Lily Andrews, the heartless beauty who led him on a merry chase five years ago only to reject him. When Devon’s new fiancée cries off after reading a certain scandalous pamphlet, he vows to track down the author and make her pay. But when he learns it’s his former fiancée Lily, he issues a challenge: write a retractionor prepare to be seduced—to find out how wonderful a wedding night can be…

Chapter 1
London, April 1816

Boom. Boom. Boom.

The blows on the door echoed through the foyer. Lily heard them all the way in the study where she was poring over the dismal house hold accounts for the hundredth time.

“I demand to see the countess,” a deep male voice thun­dered.

[Continue on to read the full excerpt of Secrets of a Wedding Night and enter for a chance to win...]

Fri
Aug 10 2012 1:00am

Three Top Romance Blogs Take On Hot Historical Romance: Sweepstakes + Spotlight on Suzanne Enoch

Heroes and Heartbreakers, Happy Ever After, and Romance at Random logosThree top romance blogs team up to give away free books and celebrate sizzling historical romance…it’s the monthly Round Robin with HeroesandHeartbreakers.com, USA Today’s Happy Ever After, and RomanceatRandom.com!

Stop by all three blogs and leave a comment to increase your chances to win awesome prizes on each site:

·      Enter to win print copies of Suzanne Enoch’s A Beginner’s Guide to Rakes and Taming an Impossible Rogue (Scandalous Brides #1 and #2) at Heroes and Heartbreakers*

·     Enter to win one of 5 prize pack mixes of print & digital books including: When You Wish Upon a Duke (Wylder Sisters #1); Isabella Bradford’s When the Duchess Said Yes (Wylder Sisters #2); PLUS for contemporary readers Elizabeth Barrett’s Blaze of Winter (Grayson Brothers Star Harbor #2) at Romance at Random.

·      Enter to win a grab bag containing several delicious new romance releases at USA Today Happy Ever After.

Giveaways end August 30th. Be sure to stop by each site and increase your chances to win!

Learn more about Suzanne Enoch’s Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke (Scandalous Brides #3, available September 25), as well as about her memorable damaged heroes. And be sure to leave a comment to enter for a chance to win a copy of book 1 and book 2 in the Scandalous Brides series!* Rules below.

Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke by Suzanne EnochSuzanne Enoch’s upcoming release, Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke, features an especially imperfect heroine—an illegitimate daughter of a nobleman who works at “a discreet club for gentlemen,” and the duke, her hero, is a very proper, controlled sort of man who nonetheless finds the heroine’s imperfections irresistible.

Damaged or imperfect characters—especially heroes—are nothing new in romance; if the men in romance novels were perfect, with nothing hidden in their pasts or their personae, there’d be nothing for the heroine to discover as she comes to love him. Perfection is boring.

[Who wants perfect anyway?...]

Fri
Jul 13 2012 1:01am
Excerpt

Win Hot Summer Reads from the Top Romance Blogs

All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess by Alexandra Hawkins

Three top romance blogs, one big idea! Heroes and Heartbreakers, Romance@Random, and USAToday’s Happy Ever After join together to offer exclusive content and sweepstakes.

July’s Round Robin Theme: Summer Reading Gets Hot! Hot! Hot!

Head over to Romanceatrandom.com, which celebrates author Karen Leabo’s classic Loveswept re-release Callie’s Cowboy, on sale 8/13/12 - stop by R@R for a chance to win one of five prize packs including a Net Galley preview copy of Callie’s Cowboy plus a Net Galley preview copy of Deep Autumn Heat by debut author, Elisabeth Barrett!

Then grab your sunscreen and head over to USA Today’s Happy Ever After to find out what your favorite romance authors love to read at the beach. If you leave a comment sharing your favorite beach reads, you could win a prize pack of recent releases and a copy of Blush by Opal Carew plus Net Galley preview copies of Elisabeth Barrett’s Deep Autumn Heat and Karen Leabo’s Callie’s Cowboy!  

Make your final stop at HeroesandHeartbreakers.com, for an excerpt plus a look at the tantalizing new cover for Opal Carew’s scorching erotic romance (hello, ménage!), Blush and enter for a chance to win one of five prize packs including Blush by Opal Carew and a special limited time Net Galley preview copy download of Karen Leabo’s Callie’s Cowboy!

Giveaways end July 22, 2012. Be sure to stop by each site for the best chance at winning free books.

Sneak a peek at Opal Carew’s Blush with an excerpt of Chapters 1-3. And be sure to leave a comment to enter for a chance to win a copy of the book!* Rules below.

Chapter 1

Blush by Opal Carew

“I want an orgasm.” Hanna Lane’s hands clenched in her lap as she stared at her sister across the table.

Grace cleared her throat.

“I think the drink is called a Screaming Orgasm,” Grace said, loud enough for the people around them to hear.

They both knew that wasn’t what Hanna had meant. Hanna glanced around the restaurant and noticed people staring at them, and her cheeks flushed hotly. She lowered her voice. “I’m sorry, I’m just a tad frustrated.”

“I’ll bet. Have you tried one of those vibrators with the thing—”

[Read the full excerpt of Blush...]

Thu
Jun 7 2012 2:00pm

Three Romance Blogs Get Busy…Morning, Noon, and Night!

All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess by Alexandra Hawkins Three top romance blogs, one big idea! Heroes and Heartbreakers, Romance@Random, and USAToday’s Happy Ever After join together to offer exclusive content and giveaways. Watch for our logo to signal the latest round robin—you’ll want to visit us all to read and win. Hugs from R@R, HEA, and H&H!

June’s Round Robin Theme: We’re Getting Busy, Morning, Noon and Night!

Kick start your day with a little gossip about “the morning after” at USA Today’s Happy Ever After which asks romance authors about their favorite morning-after/one-night-stand movies and books.
Fatal Attraction, anyone? While you’re there, be sure to enter for a chance to win a prize pack including a copy of the first book in Alexandra Hawkins’s Lords of Vice series, All Night with a Rogue, plus a free Net Galley preview of Ruthie Knox’s new contemporary romance novel, About Last Night.

Sneak away at noon and visit HeroesandHeartbreakers.com, which features an exclusive free excerpt of Alexandra Hawkins’s latest oh-so-delicious (wicked rake alert!) Lords of Vice historical romance novel,
All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess! (On sale July 31st) Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win one of five prize packs including a copy of the second book in the Alexandra Hawkins’s Lords of Vice series, Till Dawn with the Devil, plus a copy of Molly O’Keefe’s debut, Can’t Buy Me Love.

Make your night one to remember at Romanceatrandom.com, which celebrates author Ruthie Knox as she releases her second romance story,
About Last Night, on sale 6/11/2012 – sexy, steamy with emotion that will bring you back for more – stop by R@R for a chance to win one of five prize packs including a copy of the third book in Alexandra Hawkins’s Lords of Vice series, After Dark with a Scoundrel, plus a FREE excerpt + 5 book Net Galley preview!!
 
Giveaways ends June 16th, 2012. Be sure to stop by each site for the best
chance at winning free books.

Sneak a peek at Alexandra Hawkins’s All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess (available July 31, 2012) with an excerpt of Chapter 2. And be sure to leave a comment to enter for a chance to win two great books!* Rules below.

Chapter 2
June 22, 1817, London

“This is a brothel?” said Christopher Courtland, Earl of Vanewright, awed by the opulent interior of the Golden Pearl.

“Well, it isn’t the theater. You, Frost, and Dare saw to it that we are not welcome until the damages have been settled,” Simon Wyndham Jefferes, Mar­quess of Sainthill—known as Saint—replied drily. In truth, he was silently impressed with the brothel as well. One did not readily apply the words taste­ful and resplendent to a nanny-house.

[Read the full excerpt of All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess...]

Tue
Mar 6 2012 8:38am

Sherrilyn Kenyon Inspires at The Most Awesome School Visit Ever

Sherrilyn Kenyon InspiresSherrilyn Kenyon’s recent school visit to inspire creativity in kids at one Mt. Pleasant High School seems like The Most Awesome School Visit Ever. I don’t remember having an author ever come to my school to give a talk. And I’m pretty sure if one did, she (or he) wasn’t a romance novelist.

In fact, I’m pretty sure I was convinced after one particularly lackluster Career Day that it would be a good idea to be an accountant on the grounds that even if the economy is tanking, the world always needs accountants. I wish I had known as early as these kids now know that creativity matters just as much. Reading matters. Books matter. Of course, in all fairness, if I had known that, I wouldn’t be able to do my own taxes. But, I digress. 

Do you remember an author ever coming to your school for a talk?  Did it inspire you to read more or change what you were reading?  Did it inspire you to write? 

Photo by Christine Seiber

Wed
Feb 1 2012 5:30pm
Excerpt

Arcania - Trial by Fire: New Excerpt

Arcania: Trial by Fire by Liz Maverick

 Arcania: Trial By Fire is an “Active Fiction” title, a new type of e-book from Coliloquy. In this Active Fiction series, your input influences future books from this author. 

Born without arcania in her blood, Adia has lived in the shadow of her magical twin, until the day she inherits her sister’s spellcasting talents. As she leaves for the training academy, there are plenty of people to show her the ropes: Grey, the darkly passionate top shield, Seger, a swashbuckling rogue with a talent for daggers, and Finola, a clever and empathic healer. With a battle heating up, Adia must learn to master her magic and earn a spot on a fighting team before the ancient war between the forces of magic destroys her loved ones on Earth. 

(Full disclosure: Liz Maverick is Liz Edelstein, the senior manager and editor of HeroesandHeartbreakers.com)

Get a sneak peek of Arcania: Trial by Fire by Liz Maverick  (available now) with an excerpt of Chapter 1.

Chapter 1

I shifted my weight from one foot to the other. The guidance counselor’s mouth continued to move, blasting me with an endless wave of peppermint yuck. She wanted to help me, you see. Didn’t she always? The D grade in Algebra was my latest transgression.

It was kind of a screw up, I admit. I’d meant to keep my average average by getting another C. Nothing more, nothing less. Just fly under the radar. That was the goal.

[Sign in or register to read Arcania: Trial by Fire...]

Fri
Aug 19 2011 3:17pm

Weekly Roundup: Book Cover Madness, Erotic Writing Tips, Plagiarism and More!

Enjoy these highlights from the blogosphere published over the past week.  We’ve got links to articles by some of the fantastic bloggers on H&H who also write for their own sites, plus the odd link from the outside world that catches our fancy. 


Chelsea Mueller’s got a terrific discussion about loving/hating anthologies over at Vampire Book Club.  Is short really sweet?  Or do anthols filled with shorts...well, fall short for you?

You think it’s easy?  Or maybe you’ve realized it’s, er, harder than you thought. For writers who’d like to put a little more kapow in your sex scenes, check out Victoria Janssen’s 5 Tips for Writing Erotica.

LimeCello is wrapping up her Social Media for Social Good campaign.  You’ve got three minutes to save the world!  (Okay, you’ve got until Sunday, but you might as well start the weekend off already feeling like a saint.)

I never get tired of book cover mockery.  Over at The Spinecracker I saw a few examples of book cover madness I’ve never seen before.  Including the one featuring a rooster on a leash.

Barbara Vey’s Beyond the Book blog features a pretty intense interview with author Cynthia Eden who has been dealing with the plagiarism of her entire book by a fan fiction writer.  

Laurie Gold tips us off to a piece run by HuffPost about spoilers.  Have trouble choosing between the fun of obsessing in advance with fellow fans versus enjoying a totally fresh reading or watching experience?  Well, the article claims spoilers don’t spoil(!).  Do you agree?

Mon
Aug 1 2011 4:37pm

Weekly Roundup: Downton Abbey, Remembering Harry Potter, Borders Fail, and Janet Mullany!

Here are a few highlights from the blogosphere published over the past week.  We’ve got links to articles by some of the fantastic bloggers on H&H who also write for their own sites, plus the odd link from the outside world that catches our fancy. 


Natasha Carty’s got a fantastic run-down of August’s paranormal romance/urban fantasy releases.  Just press Print and you have a convenient shopping list of the month’s bad-ass bounty.

Geek Speak’s latest issue is chock full o’ all kinds of yum, but I particularly liked the Harry Potter piece, which features the magazine’s staff writers weighing in on a host of feelings about the series coming to an end.

Wendy the Super Librarian almost made me cry with her blog about the irreplaceable Browsing Experience and picking the bones off the Borders carcass during its going-out-of-business sale.  

On the flip side, Victoria Janssen’s blog made me laugh with a guestie from Janet Mullany on the differences between writing her usual historical piece and going out on a limb for contemporary.

And for those of you chomping at the bit for Season 2 of Downton Abbey (I’m raising my hand), Evangeline Holland’s got a one-pager covering all the fuss to date.  

Mon
Jul 25 2011 5:00pm

Weekly Highlights

Here are a few highlights from the blogosphere published over the past week.  We’ve got links to articles by some of the fantastic bloggers on H&H who also write for their own sites, plus the odd link from the outside world that catches our fancy. 


Once again, LimeCello is raising money for a good cause with her Social Media for Social Good campaign.  If you even just comment on her blog post describing the event, you are helping.  So head over and help her save the world! (Seriously.) 

Megan Mulry administers The Literary Blind Taste Test with a mash-up of lines plucked from the works of more than eighty different authors.  Not sure what’s more entertaining, the actual lines or the juxtaposition of the different genres. 

Jackie Collins wants to name one of her characters after you.  Well, if you win her sweepstakes, that is.  Maybe if you’re really “Lucky,” she’ll write you into a hot sex scene.  (That’s not mentioned in the fine print one way or the other.)  

You’re probably already familiar with the posts from B&N.com’s Heart to Heart bloggers Maria and Marisa, but they’re even better in person.  We love the video on the front of www.romancenovel.tv of the twins talking about “comfort reads” in which they question whether rereading a book is as bad as regifting one.

Prologues are a hot button amongst readers on the issue of whether they add or detract from the overall reading experience. Donna Cumming’s got a nice article on her site about intro passages done well. 

Fri
Apr 29 2011 6:57am

Princess Catherine’s Wedding Dress: Discuss!

The run-up to the royal wedding is over. Let the fashion and beauty talk reign supreme! She could have chosen any designer, any dress in the world, and Kate Middleton chose to become Princess Catherine in this one by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen.  What do you think?

Princess Catherine’s wedding dress

Princess Catherine’s wedding dress with train

 


By the way, isn't it reminiscent of Grace Kelly's dress with the long-sleeved lace over the strapless bustier? (More on royal wedding fashion here!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(William & Kate thumbnail image by Matt Dunham, AP. For more, visit AOL's Royal Wedding page.)

Fri
Feb 25 2011 8:30am

For the Love of . . . Hot Bodyguards?

Someone in the office started a rumor that The Bodyguard was going to be remade with Beyoncé and Ryan Reynolds.  

Then someone said that Hugh Jackman  and Miley Cyrus were going to play the classic roles.

Needless to say, the place went ballistic.  

Part of the team felt Reynolds simply couldn't fill Kevin Costner's shoes (“Beyoncé needs a MAN!”) and part of the team became outraged on the basis that you can't remake the unremakable. (“It's like . . . it's like remaking Footloose!”)

No one was willing to discuss Cyrus in the same breath as our beloved Wolverine and our copy editor attempted to delete this sentence several times to make the idea go away.

After a giant sing-along of “I Will Always Love You,” we were still unable to identify two current movie stars who could make the idea of a Bodyguard remake palatable. 

Really, is there any duo in the world that can bring back the magic of 1992?

Sun
Feb 20 2011 4:32pm

More Anna and Bates for Downton Abbey Fans

Downton Abbey fans have something to look forward to, according to the UK's Daily Mirror:

Downton Abbey

The new series of Downton Abbey will see John Bates’s romance with head housemaid Anna Smith dashed when his wife turns up.
The period drama’s 11 million fans were captivated by the slow-burn love affair between kind Anna (Joanne Froggatt) and lame valet Bates (Brendan Coyle).
Producers said the next series, which starts filming at the end of the month, will star The Commitments actress Maria Doyle Kennedy as Bates’s errant wife Vera.
A show insider said: “Vera is back to claim her husband and that means trouble.”

The bottom of the article also has a bit more casting news, including the fact that an actor from Spooks (MI-5 here in the States) will be joining the second season.

Something tells me I'm really going to loathe Vera.   Anna & Bates, all the way!

Thu
Feb 17 2011 9:50am

For the Love of . . . Canadians?

I love how the headline screams out that Wills and Kate are—wait for it—COMING TO NORTH AMERICA!

By which they mean Canada. As clearly stated in the first line of the article.

Can you imagine this brainstorming session, Mad Men-style?

***

“This Wills and Kate travel piece. It doesn't work.” Don Draper throws down his pen and goes to make a drink. “We can't say Canada.”

Peggy and The Copy Guy Whose Name Nobody Remembers exchange glances. Peggy gets that look like she's about to say something genius in a really soft, girly voice.  

She does: “What if we said North America?”

Silence. Then Don leans forward. Now he gets a look in his eyes. The one he gets when he's about to take Peggy's genius and make it sound geniusier without actually improving upon it.  In a booming voice he says, “We will say North America because Americans only want to read articles about themselves.”

Don downs his drink in one gulp.  Everybody smiles.

***

Meanwhile, back at H&H Headquarters, the team decides that the site needs to start a new collection for the Features section just to gab about the royal wedding. We'll need a good title for it. Now, where's Peggy?

Wed
Feb 16 2011 10:08am

For the Love of . . . Shoes?

The new Victoria's Secret catalog has gone out.  

Nothing says, “I'm hot,” like a pair of shoes designed to make your legs look like they are engulfed in a giant fungus.