<i>Infamous</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Infamous: Exclusive Excerpt Jenny Holiday "Hunter is all Jesse can think about..." <i>Courtly Pleasures</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Courtly Pleasures: Exclusive Excerpt Erin Kane Spock "Can they create a second chance at love before it’s too late?" <i>Roomies</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Roomies: Exclusive Excerpt Christina Lauren "Will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?" <i>A Duke in Shining Armor</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Duke in Shining Armor: Exclusive Excerpt Loretta Chase "So why does Olympia have to make it so deliciously difficult for him...?"
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Showing posts by: Marisa O'Neill click to see Marisa O'Neill's profile
Aug 29 2011 4:30pm

Fresh Meat: Maya Banks’s In Bed With A Highlander (August 30, 2011)

In Bed with a Highlander by Maya BanksIn Bed with a Highlander
Maya Banks
Random House, August 30, 2011, $7.99

Bestselling author Maya Banks’s beguiling new trilogy features three unforgettable brothers risking everything to save their clan and their legacy—and to surrender their hearts to love.

Ewan McCabe, the eldest, is a warrior determined to vanquish his enemy. Now, with the time ripe for battle, his men are ready and Ewan is poised to take back what is his—until a blue-eyed, raven-haired temptress is thrust upon him. Mairin may be the salvation of Ewan’s clan, but for a man who dreams only of revenge, matters of the heart are strange territory to conquer.

The illegitimate daughter of the king, Mairin possesses prized property that has made her a pawn—and wary of love. Her worst fears are realized when she is rescued from peril only to be forced into marriage by her charismatic and commanding savior, Ewan McCabe. But her attraction to her ruggedly powerful new husband makes her crave his surprisingly tender touch; her body comes alive under his sensual mastery. And as war draws near, Mairin’s strength, spirit, and passion challenge Ewan to conquer his demons—and embrace a love that means more than revenge and land.

[Love > revenge. Always....]

Aug 2 2011 4:30pm

Louisa Edwards’s Recipe for Love

Chocolate, cinnamon sticks, etc. courtesy of jlastras via FlickrThe Louisa Edwards Recipe:

Take 4 Heroes whose passion defines them
Combine with 4 uniquely intelligent heroines who have a keen sense of self
Add approximately 20 interesting secondary characters
A dash of M/M romance
Add 1 exciting city
Continually blend heaping cupfuls of humor and wit
Add about a 1 cup of emotional angst
Evenly pour 3 cups of competitive edge
Whisk in 10 tablespoons of creative energy
Frequently add 10 cups of exceptional dialogue
Evenly sprinkle 3 cups of relevant pop culture references
Gently fold in 8 cups of wickedly fun romance

Arrange your reading chair so you have enough light and are in a comfortable position. You will need several hours of uninterrupted time. Open the book, commence reading, and in about five minutes you’ll be transported and immersed in romance, food, laughter and fun.

[Sounds delicious!...]

Jul 28 2011 9:30am

Fresh Meat: Louisa Edwards’s Too Hot to Touch (August 2, 2011)

Too Hot to Touch by Louisa EdwardsLouisa Edwards
Too Hot to Touch
St. Martin’s, August 2, 2011, $7.99

He’s Got The Sizzle

She’s Got the Fire

When it comes to competitive cooking, Max Lunden is no stranger to winning…though he’s never been great at working with a team. A master chef—and major hunk—he’s traveled the world, picking up new cooking techniques as well as beautiful women. But when the prodigal chef returns home to his family’s Greenwich Village restaurant, he discovers one too many cooks in the kitchen—and she’s every bit as passionate as he is…

Juliet Cavanaugh used to have a crush on Max when she was just a teenager, hanging out at Lunden & Sons Tavern, hoping to catch a glimpse of the owner’s oldest, and hottest, son. Now a chef herself—competing in the biggest culinary contest in the country—Juliet will be cooking side by side with the one man she’s always admired…and desired. But despite their simmering attraction, Juliet is determined to keep her cool—no matter how hot it gets…

[Hot, spicy, cool, sizzling, tasty—how long can we keep up the kitchen euphemisms?]

Jul 18 2011 4:12pm

Nora Roberts Recalls the Sale of Her First Book


Videos produced by Maria Lokken and Marisa O’Neill, who blog for both Heroes and Heartbreakers and Heart to Heart.

Jun 29 2011 9:30am

She Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Hero, She’s a Heroine of Summer TV

The CloserThey don’t drink blood, shapeshift, or command the powers of the wind.

Instead, they use a well-placed sneer, a polite thank you, an upraised eyebrow, and sometimes a big gun to save the world. It’s their charm, cynicism and tempers that make them unique and heroic.

Usually when I’m looking for a kick-ass heroine I turn to the pages of my urban fantasy/paranormal novels. But they’re not the only ones taking names, kicking butts, and saving the day. If you’re looking for a more “contemporary” heroine, one who is a bit more like you and me, one who is more like Eve Dallas (from Nora Roberts’s In Death series) and less like Merit (from Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires), then I suggest you find your remote and tune into this summer’s vast array of impressively commanding heroines.

These heroines don’t necessarily need a hero to help them save the day. It’s a take it or leave it proposition when they’re on the job, because they’re perfectly able to do it on their own.

[The ladies of summer...]

Jun 28 2011 3:00pm

“A” is for “Alpha”: Would You Date One of Lora Leigh’s Heroes?

Black Jack by Lora LeighThe other day I got to wondering, would I date one of Lora Leigh’s heroes?

(Before you answer that, be sure you have all the facts: Read about Lora Leigh’s newest hero, Abram el Hamid Mustafa, in an excerpt of Dangerous Pleasure.)

What I mean is, we are all modern-day independent women, juggling jobs, homes, and families (Helen Reddy would be proud). So I have to ask, what is it about a Lora Leigh hero that makes us put our feminist side in the closet and drool over a sometimes chauvinistic, often over-bearing male who proclaims loudly and often that he is the MAN and in charge?

The kind of heroes, in the alphabet soup of men, who clearly fall under “A” for Alpha.

[No betas in this bunch!...]

Jun 18 2011 2:00pm

Help Wanted: Now Accepting Applications for New Ward, Brockmann, and Singh Heroes

Does This Guy Make the Cut?It’s not easy being a hero. You’ve got to want it bad. At first glance, it may seem like a glamorous undertaking, but upon closer inspection, the job requirements are not for the faint of heart.

The good news is that when a hero does land the job he can expect high pay in the form of accolades from the legions of fans who will be reading his story. And if he’s really good he can expect to have job security. The bad news is that authors have a tough time filling these jobs.

Let’s face it, a good hero is a rare commodity; they not only have to excel at their job, but they have to make the reader want to come back for more, which is why a good hero is worth his weight in gold.

So you can imagine what the job listing would be for the heroes of authors such as J.R. Ward, Suzanne Brockmann, and Nalini Singh.

[Now accepting applications for the following vacancies...]

Jun 10 2011 9:45am

The End of the World…Was It Good for You?

Tahmoh Penikett and Eliza Dushku in DollhouseIn fiction, the end of the world can be an exciting place. Not exciting like, Oh wow, a new pony!, but exciting in that terrifying, on the edge of your seat, what’s going to happen next kind of way.

I have to admit that if the Apocalypse really does come, I want to be smack dab in the epicenter of the destruction. I don’t want to survive. I, for one, cannot imagine living in a world where my iPhone is a dim distant memory, my laptop becomes a serving dish, tampons are worth their weight in gold, and where I might have to actually kill someone for the last scrap of food on the table. Or, even worse, have to kill the food. If the end of the world as we know it were to become a reality, it would not be a pretty place.

Given my luck, my fellow survivors would not be movie star Brad Pitt (sans Angelina), or the smartest man in America, Christopher Langan, or even TV Survivalist Bear Grylls. They, at least, would be a help in traversing a post apocalyptic world.

I think the end of the world would be less frightening if I had someone special to share the burden with, someone to lean on and who would want to lean on me, someone to love, helping make the unbearable destruction around me slightly more tolerable. And that is where fiction makes the post apocalyptic world a world that still contains a little bit of hope.

[Here’s hoping you click this link...]

Mar 14 2011 12:00pm

Can Great Characters Save a Bad Plot?

LighthouseCan great characters save a bad or flawed plot? A flawed or bad plot is like fleeing a blind date and then getting a flat tire on the way home on the side of a deserted road. But when you finally see the red lights on top of the tow truck, like a beacon in the night, you feel the stirrings of hope. That’s how I feel when I’m in the middle of a book with a plot that seems all kinds of wrong. I begin hanging my hopes on the characters, hoping I will like them enough to keep reading. So—can they? And which ones do it best?

Of course, there are those beloved characters I can’t get enough of. So whether the plot is great, lukewarm, or exceedingly bad, I’ll continue reading the book.  For these special characters the author could pretty much do anything. They could have the character drive to NY and tap-dance naked in the middle of Times Square during a snowstorm at the height of rush hour after being told they need to get a dozen eggs at the corner store, and I’d forgive the non sequitur in the plot. That is, if I love the character(s) enough.

[Must be some characters . . .]