Archive for July, 2010

THE FIRE LORD’S LOVER: Dominic & Cassandra’s Love Story

July 30, 2010 By: Guestauthor Category: Contests, Guest Blogger, Latest News 24 Comments →

Hello Romance Junkies! It’s such a pleasure to be back here again, and I look forward to speaking with all the wonderful readers that I met the last time I blogged here. And don’t forget to leave a comment, as my publisher will be giving away a free copy of my book to one lucky commenter!

During my month-long tour for my upcoming release, THE FIRE LORD’S LOVER, I have been blogging about the eighteenth century historical element of the novel and how I developed the fantasy world of THE ELVEN LORDS for my alternate England, and today I’m just as pleased to talk about Dominic and Cassandra’s love story.

It’s not often that a song inspires one of my books, much less a character, but in this case I did get a great deal of inspiration from the song MAGIC MAN from the group HEART. I kept picturing my hero using his magic like an instrument to seduce my heroine, and in the case of THE FIRE LORD’S LOVER, Dominic uses his yellow fire magic, which is warm and gentle, to do just that.

If you’ve never heard it before, here’s a video I found on YouTube so you can take a listen to this amazing song:

YouTube Preview Image

Dominic Raikes is the tortured hero…literally. He has inherited the magical gift of fire from his elven lord father, Mor’ded, and has endured trials by fire since he was a lad because his father is afraid of his developing powers. The elven lords are careful not to let anyone threaten their rule. Before Dominic learned better, his father used anyone he became fond of to test him as well, and so Dominic has forced himself to care for no one, so they cannot be used against him.Lady Cassandra Bridges is the ultimate innocent; raised in a convent to keep her pure for her arranged marriage to Dominic, having little contact with the outside world. What makes her complex is that she has also been trained by the Rebellion–who fight against the oppression of the elven lords–to assassinate Mor’ded. She considers herself a martyr, destined to die young and resigned to a loveless life in the meantime.

But these two are kindred spirits, and despite the overwhelming obstacles against them they cannot fight the strong physical attraction between them, much less the melting of their hearts for one another.

Lady Cassandra is not without her own magic. She inherited the gift of the magical dance and was taught several by the Rebellion, including the dances of death…and desire. In a world of beautiful people created by the addition of the elven blood into the gene pool, Lady Cassandra lacks the physical allure of the average aristocrat, and her gift is one of the ways that she captures her husband’s heart, and as the story progressed I realized that Dominic’s gift could be just as seductive. And so I would like to leave you with a partial excerpt of the scene that HEART’S MAGIC MAN inspired:

Dominic stroked the hair away from her cheek, his fingertips lingering on the softness of her skin. He could feel the muscles in her jaw as she gritted her teeth. He slid his hand beneath the covers, along the smooth curve of her waist, over the sweet mound of her bottom. She pulled away from him. How could he comfort her if she would not let him touch her?  

“So,” he growled. “You do blame me after all.”  

Her voice sounded as if it came from a great distance. “No… I… I just wish the elven had never come to our world. With their games and their dragons and their damned magic.” 

Dominic sat up, spreading his fingers, calling forth the yellow flame from the magic that sang in his veins. The mellow fire played along his fingertips, lit their curtained cocoon with a soft golden glow. She did not blame him. Precious girl.  

He flicked his fingers, sending the small yellow flames upward to dance along the carved wooden ceiling of the box bed. He called forth the magic again and again, flicking it upward, watching it create a spatter of light that resembled the stars in the night sky Ador had just showed him.  

“Magic is not so bad,” he murmured. “It’s up to the user whether it brings pleasure or pain. Your elven love dance brought me great pleasure.”  

She made a dismissive sound deep in her throat.   He felt a smile curl his lips, looked down at her then, his ceiling of fire casting her in a golden glow, making her brown hair look like silken honey, her skin like shimmering silk. She still lay stiffly with her back to him, the covers snug about her waist, revealing only the smooth curve of her back and one bare arm.  

“Will you not look and see the ceiling of stars I’ve made for you?” he asked.  

She stubbornly shook her head.  

Dominic called down one yellow flame, his eagerness making it dance and swirl. It touched her shoulder, made a circling motion, and her arm twitched at the gentle tickling heat. He called down another, sweeping the flame against the curve of her back. The next one he brought to her neck, made it curve beneath the fall of her hair and weave its way through the satiny strands of golden brown.  

He envied his fire, for he wanted nothing more than to trace his own fingers across the paths on which he sent them. But he could touch her in a thousand places at once with the myriad flames, and it brought him pleasure to imagine her own. So he sent the tiny flickers to her more quickly. Some to warm her back. More to weave within her hair. Yellow flames wove between her fingers, lightly moving her hands as they spun within her palms.  

She pretended to ignore them.  

Dominic traced her cheek with flame, eased more across her lips, and imagined his own mouth upon them when she sighed. He made the flames catch the covers and lift them up, draw them down her body until he could see the curve of her hip, the long length of her legs, the small soles of her feet. A small shiver went through her from the chill air, and he quickly sent more whorls of yellow to caress her legs, play with her toes, flick over her hips.  

He narrowed his eyes in concentration as she continued to ignore his magic, ruthlessly skimming her bottom with tendrils of flame, finally sending some to tickle the crease between her buttocks.  

Cassandra let out a startled yelp and flipped onto her back.  

Dominic continued to play with his fire as if he stroked the keys of some erotic instrument, his entire being caught up in bringing pleasure to his wife.   He hadn’t realized what intense satisfaction it would bring him. 

What song might inspire the perfect hero (or heroine) for you? Or have you heard any songs that reminded you of books you have read? I’d love to hear your answers, and one lucky commenter will receive a free copy of THE FIRE LORD’S LOVER! Be sure to leave your contact information, and check the comments section tomorrow to see if you won.

All My Magical Best,



 Kathryne Kennedy’s historical fantasy romances have garnered awards and a growing readership. This exciting new series, set against the lavish backdrops of Georgian and Victorian England so beloved by romance readers, is deliciously dark and exciting. Fighting for control of a kingdom that is split into seven domains, Elven warlords use their human slaves to breed an endless supply of soldiers for their armies. Dominic Raikes, the half-blood son of the Elven Lord himself is one such warrior. Betrothed to Lady Cassandra, who has been raised in a convent to keep her pure, he little suspects that she’s been secretly trained as an assassin to murder his father. Dominic and Cassandra soon discover that each one is not what they seem, but the price of trust may be their very lives, and the destruction of the magical realm each is desperately trying to save… 


Kathryne Kennedy is a multipublished, award-winning author of magical romances. She’s lived in Guam, Okinawa, and several states in the U.S., and currently lives in Arizona with her wonderful family—which includes two very tiny Chihuahuas. She welcomes readers to visit her website where she has ongoing contests at:  


Barnes and Noble




Kathryne’s Bookseller Directory


A little change can be good

July 28, 2010 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 2 Comments →

I went out the other day to do some errands. The sun was bright, shining and it was hot. A few hours into my errands I was making good progress getting things done. As I walked along I noticed that the sky had become really overcast. Before I could wonder if I should think about heading home it started to pour. I mean pour like a waterfall. Although the weather man hadn’t said there was rain I always carry my umbrella with me. So I opened it but with the amount of rain I was still soaked by the time I found shelter. I wasn’t the only one caught unprepared and we were all dripping wet and wondering what had just happened. Lots of people around me were upset and cursing about this random weather change. I wasn’t upset I just got me a cup of tea and a seat near the window and watched the rain coming down. It was a beautiful sight. All that massive water, thunder and lightning.

My way of thinking of it is that things happen and plan changes. We don’t always have control so we need to just accept that it happened and move on. As I drank my tea and watched the rain my thoughts turned to how years ago I would have let things like the weather change upset me. Especially when I had plans to do something. With time I changed and realized that changes in plan or what happens around you can be a good thing. We might not always see it at the present time but eventually it will be revealed. Being upset or letting such things mess with you is not worth it. Now I do still get upset but I’ve learned not to sweat the small things. Like rain that I can’t control.

So as the rain continued to fall I sat, had a cup of tea and enjoyed my unexpected break in my busy day. It was fun to relax and watch people. Got my ideas flowing about what could happen during an unexpected rainstorm. Ah a kernel of a new idea. I wrote down some ideas as I watched the rain. When the rain stopped I went on my way and got what I needed to do done then headed home. With a new idea that happened due to something different than I had planned. A little change can be good.

McKenna Jeffries
…. sensual, edgy, unexpected

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Conquering Jazz – What’s a woman to do when she unwittingly makes a tantalizing proposition to her best friend?

Be brazen, bold and set some ground rules. Her offer. One night of carnal bliss. No emotion allowed.

His counter offer. A continued affair to fulfill all their sexual cravings.

His hidden agenda. Conquer to make sure their affair never ends.

Buy here at Liquid Silver Book.

Do You Believe in Love?

July 26, 2010 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 32 Comments →

By guest blogger Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

I’m excited to be a guest here on Romance Junkies and finishing up my blog tour for my newest release, The Wild Irish Sea. Even though my stories are categorized as romantic suspense, they are weighted far more heavily on the romance side than the suspense side. That’s because I happen to be an incurable romantic. That’s right, while you might not guess it just by looking at me, and those who don’t know me well (and a few who believe they do) will be surprised, I believe in love!

Go ahead and hum that old Huey Lewis song along with me, because that’s the kind of love I like to write about. The kind you hope for but can’t quite let yourself expect. Then it sneaks up on you and BOOM!

This is what happens to my hero and heroine in my latest release, The Wild Irish Sea, and I had a lot of fun watching them get unexpectedly broadsided by love and then earning their happily-ever-after.

My heroine, Amber O’Neill has only felt genuinely close to one person in her entire life, her twin brother, Parker. Mostly, that is due to their mental connection that they’ve shared since birth. Unfortunately, their unique ability also singled them out and led to adults trying to exploit them and treat them like lab animals. The twins quickly learned that they could trust no one except each other.

Trust issues led to Amber being very unlucky in love. At the beginning of The Wild Irish Sea, she’s recovering from a recent and painful divorce. Her brother and husband didn’t like each other, and so Amber never confided completely to her spouse about her mental connections with Parker. Consequently, the marriage crumbled. This issue never arises when she meets Kevin Hennessey, the hero of The Wild Irish Sea, because she quickly discovers she has a mental connection to him that she’s never had with anyone else. The connection she shares with Kevin is unique even from the one she has with her brother.

Kevin Hennessey is a man with a dark and tragic past. He once had everything – wife, child, and career – but lost it all in a disastrous series of events for which he blames himself. Fortunately, he continues to have that noble quality which prevents him from turning away a person in need.  Also, no matter how devastated and unworthy he feels, he still carries that tiny spark of hope and longing in his heart.

And it is up to Amber to fan the spark and convince him he is worthy. Throw in the mystery and suspense elements, and she certainly has her work cut out for her (as did I)! But I had lots of fun along the way writing about those first tingles of attraction, the anticipation of spending time with the person, or even just seeing them again, the tentative first conversations and the discoveries of learning about someone new. And of course, the good old Ka-POW as love strikes you when you least expect it.

Since this is a blog dedicated to romance books, I know you all believe in love (Hurray)! But please tell me some of the things you most like to read about a couple falling in love. Is it the first kiss? Their denial of the obvious when the other is near? Their cautious moves to see if their feelings are returned? All of the above or something completely different? And please, how do I get this Huey Lewis song out of my head?

I’m giving away a copy of The Wild Irish Sea to one commenter (chosen at random).

Call for Submissions

July 22, 2010 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News 7 Comments →

Dreamspinner Press Call for Submissions: Myths and Magic: Legends of Love


Dreamspinner Press Anthology ofM/M Fantasy Romance

Editor: Anne ReganLose yourself in tales of yore, in myths, fairy tales, and legends shrouded in the mists of time. These are stories of beasts and men from ancient tomes, of gods, sorcerers, and ancient heroes, of fairies and elves, centaurs and satyrs, dragons and unicorns, almost anything you might dream. Let your imagination take the reins and experience the power of the timeless past as men in many different forms undertake the highest of quests: the search for a love of the ages.

Length: 3,500 – 12,000 words (manuscripts shorter or longer will be considered but will have to be extraordinary)

Submission Deadline: August 6, 2010Follow the general submission guidelines for short stories (attached).

Please note MYTHS in the subject line of your e-mailed submission. Dreamspinner Press Call for Submissions: Myths and Magic: Legends of Love

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.comSUBMISSION GUIDELINES – submissions @ Press is seeking gay homoerotic stories in all genres. While works do not need to be graphic, they must contain homosexual romance of an erotic nature and focus on the interaction between characters. Stories may stand alone or be part of a well-developed series. We encourage tales that cross genres; for example, a science-fiction mystery or romantic fantasy:

* Romance – Modern or historical love stories with strong characters.

* Science fiction – Science fiction, paranormal, urban fantasy worlds, futuristic, time travel, and alternate reality stories.

* Fantasy – Dragons, elves, fairies, and knights in shining armor.

* Westerns – Cowboys and/or Native Americans.

* Military/Paramilitary/Mercenary – Political thrillers, espionage, and in the field stories.

* Mystery – Provincial country detectives, fast-paced thrillers, or hard-boiled PIs.

* Horror – Scare us with your vampires, zombies, and things that go bump in the night.

* Holidays – Valentine’s Day, Halloween, or Christmas. Dreamspinner Press Call for Submissions: Myths and Magic: Legends of Love

Dreamspinner publishes several categories of titles:* Novel – 60,000 words and up (Paperback and eBook)

* Long Novella – 30 to 59,999 words (eBook)

* Novella – 15 to 29,999 words (eBook)

* Short Fiction – Under 15,000 words (eBook)

Calls for SubmissionsDreamspinner Press accepts unsolicited manuscripts for review at any time. Specific calls for annual anthologies, the June Daily Dose, and the December Advent Calendar are posted at

To Submit

For consideration of your title, please send in the body of the e-mail:* Your legal name, pseudonym if applicable, and contact e-mail.

* Working Title (series name if applicable)

* Genre and manuscript length

* General story description in two paragraphs.

* Writing credentials, if applicable.

Attach to the e-mail the following:

* A short but complete story synopsis.

* A partial file which includes the first twenty-five percent of your manuscript to the nearest scene break. Editors may request more of the story during review, and a complete manuscript will be required before a contract is offered.

* If the story is less than 30,000 words in length, please include the entire story. Dreamspinner Press Call for Submissions: Myths and Magic: Legends of Love

FORMATTING GUIDELINESSubmissions will be accepted in .docx, .doc, .rtf, and .txt formats. Standard 12 pt. Times New Roman, 1 inch margins, .5 indent for the first line of each paragraph. 1.5 line spaces between lines. No tabs or spacing to indent please! Page numbers in the upper right corner, author name in the upper left corner with the title of the work following. Example: Stephen King / The ShiningSend your submission to:

submissions @ The word Submission must be in the subject line. All submissions must be spell-checked and edited for American English grammar and spelling. Regional words and slang are accepted when appropriate.WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM DREAMSPINNER

* Unsolicited manuscripts are accepted at any time.* We will acknowledge all submissions by e-mail in 5 to 7 days.

* Submissions will be read by an editor, and you will have a response in 6 to 8 weeks.

* All accepted works will need to be provided to us as an electronic file.

* Electronic contracts are exchanged via e-mail.

* For novel length work, we pay a negotiated advance (25% is paid when the contract is signed and 75% is paid upon approval of the final proof) and 25% of net royalties thereafter. Novella length stories earn 33% royalties and Short Stories earn 50% royalties. Short stories and novellas for anthologies are purchased for a flat amount based on the length of the work. Copyright remains with the author. Exceptions are made for an anthology of shorter fiction by a single author in which case the novel length guidelines apply.

*Dreamspinner requires three years print, digital, and audiobook rights.

Let’s talk about the love story in ‘To Conquer a Highlander’….

July 21, 2010 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 4 Comments →

Hey, it’s all about the love story….right?

Well, maybe there is more to my tales than that. People aren’t just waiting around to fall in love…they have lives and responsibilities. I think that’s what snares my attention so much to the historical period. These people lead such different lives, that finding any time for personal relationships was much more difficult. Travel was much slower, so you didn’t have the chance to meet new people very often either.

Torin and Shannon meet during a battle which isn’t too uncommon during this period.

Shannon is on her way to the wedding her father has arranged for her and Torin finds himself needing to interfere with that union. If he doesn’t, his own people will face being over run by the alliance

Shannon’s wedding will seal. The fact are really blunt but that didn’t keep these two from falling in love.

Torin and Shannon challenged me to over come their dedication to their own clans, which is no small task when you understand the history. It was a time when you needed to be part of a strong family. Getting yourself branded as a traitor was no light burden and if

Shannon turned her back on her clan, Torin’s clan might not want her being part of theirs.

But Torin managed to face down the power behind the throne and gain permission to wed


Highlanders are enthralling for me. The history and traditions of these people fascinate me, hey, they managed to resist being conquered by

Rome and the Vikings settled among them too. Their music is magical and their love of life inspiring. Many of my historicals are set in Scotland, either on the border such as ‘Bedding the Enemy’ or in the

Highlands like ‘To Conquer a Highlander’.

People often ask me what it is about the kilt wearing man that makes me want to write a love story. I’m not sure it’s exactly the kilt but more of a case of what that kilt means to me. Highlanders were people who survived where no one else wanted to even try. They did it with loyalty which really means through teamwork. The clan members all supported one another. That’s why it was so important for

Shannon to keep her fathers word on whom she would wed. She was supporting the clan, not being treated like chattel. It was the way these people made binding contracts during a time when might often made right. A clan might think twice about raiding another one if their laird had kin among the elders. Finding a way to have my two charters fall in love was hard but worth it.

So I hope you take a few hours to enjoy Torin and

Shannon’s story in ‘To Conquer a Highlander’ and look for ‘Bedding the Enemy’ next month too. Drop by website for excerpts.

Mary Wine…Romance that’s intoxicating!

Suspense and Sheiks? Oh my!

July 20, 2010 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 28 Comments →

I write for Silhouette Romantic Suspense.  Our line used to be called: Silhouette Intimate Moments, but some brilliant marketing guys decided a few years ago that the name of the line should be more self-explanatory.  Guess Romantic Suspense just about says it all, huh?

So now you know what kind of books I write:  short contemporary suspense with lots of romance.  But because our line is packed with emotion (remember, we used to be called Intimate Moments,)  sometimes we get carried away with the fantasy of love.  When I was young, I was absorbed with the stories that might have come straight out of the Arabian Nights.  I watched all the Sinbad and Ali Baba movies and loved the adventure stories where a warrior hero rode in on a white horse to rescue the independent heroine from an evil sultan.  But then, I also watched I Dream of Jennie on television and loved their blending of modern with the old fantasy.  Wasn’t that series fun?


This year I am beginning a new series called Desert Sons.  My latest release, HER SHEIK PROTECTOR (July 2010) is the first book in the series.  It’s a little unconventional as far as sheik stories go.  I think it’s more of an international romantic thriller.  The series revolves around a modern family of Bedouins who find themselves embroiled in a bitter war of revenge with an ancient enemy.  With an old-timey Hollywood noir feeling, HER SHEIK PROTECTOR is the story of an independent woman who ends up in the middle of a dangerous feud and forced to depend upon a dark stranger she isn’t sure she can trust.

Maybe it would be easier to explain if you read a little bit of an excerpt:


Rylie stared at the back of the closed door, still waiting for Darin’s return and to hear him say he needed her help.  Ten seconds.  Forty.  One minute.  Two.           

Okay, she got that he was worried about her.  Really she did.  But she’d also hoped he was coming to know the person she was inside.  The person who could never in a million years wait around in safety, sitting on her hands while someone she cared about worked to save her life.           

Two hours later Rylie’s ears were popping again as she crept through the quiet corridors, looking for any sign of Darin or the Taj Zabbar kidnapper.  The train must be heading lower, going in the direction of the lake below the mountains.  Rylie could almost feel gravity pulling her downward.           

The train rounded a steep u-curve right then, and Rylie got a good view through the windows into another corridor as the snaking cars doubled back on themselves.  There, maybe only two or three train-car lengths ahead, she saw two men locked in mortal combat in the well-lit corridor of a sleeping car.                       

She pushed through pressurized door locks and tramped across the little bridges called vestibules that connected two cars.  Through one car.  Then into the next.            Then she heard a noise coming from the end of the car.  It sounded as though someone had momentarily gone through the pressurized door onto the next vestibule.  Shoving hard to open the door, she blinked at sudden air movement and turned her head in that direction.           

To her amazement, she saw shoes…well, feet with shoes on them…as they disappeared up a ladder that she’d never noticed before.  A ladder to the roof of the train?  Why?           

After she heard a distant shout, sounding for all the world like Darin’s voice, the why didn’t seem too important.  If he could chase someone to the roof of a train, she could follow. 


Her Sheik Protector by Linda Conrad 

See what I mean about a modern fantasy?    So, I loved to read about sheiks, what kind of books did you enjoy reading as a child?  Can you remember the first book you ever read all by yourself?  I think mine was Winnie the Poo.  What was yours?  Or if you can’t remember, what is the best fantasy book you ever read? Leave a comment and win a copy of HER SHEIK PROTECTOR.   And don’t forget to drop by Linda’s newly designed website, to find out more Behind the Book about the Desert Sons and to sign up for Linda’s newsletter!   

Money, Honey Winners!

July 19, 2010 By: Guestauthor Category: And Winner Is.... 5 Comments →

Thanks so much for coming out to play the other day, ladies!  All your comments were so good I formally abdicated responsibility for choosing one.  Thanks to, the five proud new owners of their very own copy of Money, Honey are:

Comment #3, Lindy

Comment #2, Scorpio M

Comment #17, Barbara Elness

Comment #28, Valerie

Comment #39, Pauline Baird Jones

Please send your real name (rather than your screen name), and your snail mail address to me at and the book fairy will wing you a copy of Money, Honey ASAP!

Thanks again, ladies!


A Reason for Everything

July 13, 2010 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 3 Comments →

My mom used to always tell me there is “a reason for everything”. As a kid I used to not believe much. As a teen I started to believe and wondered how my mom was so wise. As an adult and getting older I realize that not only was my mom right she gave me a life lesson that has shaped the way I think about things.

The other day on my way to my day job I missed the train I usually take. I happened to be walking upstairs with another person and he mentioned he wasn’t going to run. And there was probably a reason he missed the train. I glanced at him startled because it was the same thing I was thinking. When I mentioned I had the same thought it led to an interesting discussion on “a reason for everything”. We compared incidences of things that happened and the outcome from such things as missed trains, not going such and such place, or not getting something we thought we needed/wanted. It was a lively conversation and very enlightening. Someone has the same thoughts I do. We talked until we parted ways at our various train stops.

As I continued through my day I thought of the “a reason for everything” in relation to my writing. I’ve been thinking a lot of the choices I’ve made so far in my writing career. I do have some choices I regret while others I don’t. I made each choice with a clear mind and the facts I had at the time.

Next my thoughts turned to the future and so many things I plan to do. With the many things that have happened in my personal life I’ve gained a lot of clarity of what I want. How best to go after it and work toward my goals. I’ve been reading some of my series that I already have books out for, read some already completed books that are unpublished and some ideas I have been working on. I’ve worked out a plan to do them and get them done. I know how I want to spend my time and best ways to get things done.

No matter what does or does not happen. Or what trains maybe missed. (grin) It won’t stop me. I’ll just take another one and keep on moving. There is always many opportunities out there. You just have to see them and get on. Past, present or future there is “a reason for everything”.

Taige Crenshaw
…increasing the sizzle factor

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Wilde Seduction – What happens when a woman who doesn’t know how to relax meets a man whose lust for life will change her and make all her deepest desires come to life?

Buy here at Total-E-Bound.

It’s All About The Money, Honey

July 12, 2010 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 41 Comments →

Welcome to the Money, Honey Blog tour, in which author Susan Sey celebrates the July 6 release of her debut novel by counting down the Top Ten Most Common Reactions an ill-groomed stay at home mom receives when confessing her secret career as a romance novelist.


Hello, Romance Junkies!  Thanks so much for having me today.  I’m so happy to be here because I’m dying to discuss Response #7 on my list:  “Oh, romance.  When are you going to write a REAL book?”

(If you’re all a-flutter to know what the other nine responses are, feel free to visit for the details.)

Now then.  Regarding romance novels as less than real books.  I’ll admit, most people don’t say this one to my face.  Not on purpose, anyway.  It would be terribly rude.  But the truth comes out eventually.  Or at least accidentally.   Here’s my favorite example:

I went to Williamsburg a few years ago with my mom.  (Have you been there?  Oh my gosh, if you haven’t been, GO.  You’ll be ready to join the Revolutionary Army by day two, guaranteed.)

Anyway,  we were traipsing down the green toward the Governor’s Mansion, me in my new colonial straw hat with the saucy pink bow, Mom with an eagle eye out for the historical re-enactor playing Patrick Henry.  (We had sort of a crush.  Don’t tell my dad.)  I remarked to my mother as we walked how being in a place like Williamsburg made me want to write a historical.  She literally stopped in her tracks, clasped her hands together and beamed at me.  I stopped, too, startled.  I backtracked over the recent conversation but couldn’t find anything that might produce a response of this magnitude.

“Oh, honey,” she said.  “I knew you couldn’t write romance forever.  A historical!”

We gazed at one another for a moment, her thrilled, me baffled.

“Mom,” I said finally.  “I meant a historical romance.  Not historical fiction.”

“Oh.”  Mortified, she went back to scanning the horizon for Patrick Henry.  “Set here in Williamsburg?  How wonderful!”

Now let’s be clear on this.  My mom is endlessly proud of me.  She tells everybody she meets about my novel & has all her friends lined up to buy a copy the instant it hits the shelves.  Nobody is prouder of me or more supportive.  But here, in an accidentally candid moment, she let it slip:  she doesn’t think romance is worthy of me.  She thinks I can—or should—do better.

The implication, of course, is that other  genres—mysteries, thrillers, even sci fi, darling!– are somehow more worthy or important than romance.  Now I’ll grant you, solving murders or saving the world from nuclear holocaust or spinning a tale of intrigue in the court of King Henry VIII requires a larger stage than a simple love story.  But as we romance readers know, size isn’t everything.

Yeah, okay.  Falling in love isn’t always flashy.  The fate of nations don’t rest on it, it probably won’t solve a murder or stave off nuclear war.  But love—the real deal—takes immense courage.  It requires utter vulnerability & brutal honesty.  And love, if you do it right, creates families out of strangers.  It transforms sex from an energetic workout into something transcendent.  It connects you to another human being and makes you bigger, better than you are.  To me, that’s magic, pure and simple.  What could be more important?


Now Money, Honey’s Liz and Patrick both come from families broken beyond recognition.  The best they can say about their childhoods is that they survived, & neither has much use for love or the vulnerability it requires.  But when the universe presents you with the person you were made for, who was made for you?  Yeah, it’s tough to argue your way out of it. Not that they don’t try.   Check out the excerpt below to see them giving it their best shot.


“Listen, I get it, all right?” She eased off the edge of the conference table where she’d almost let him do any number of ill-advised things to her person and crossed her limp arms to keep them from flailing around like beached fish. “I know you’re pissed about this. About cooperating with an FBI investigation, especially now that you’re no longer obligated to even be civil to us, let alone work for us. And then I was a colossal bitch to you in front of God and everybody. I’m sorry about those things, Patrick. I really am.”


“I know you want to punish me, to keep me off balance, but purposely injecting a”—she groped for a word; it was hard with her hands tucked safely into her elbows—“a sexual note into our relationship is not only stupid, it’s bad business. No matter what you think of me personally, we’re colleagues of a sort, okay? We can work this out like grown-ups, so knock it off, will you?”

He took a step toward her, and she took a hasty step back only to meet up with the edge of the table again. He reached for her, and everything in her entire being went hot and liquid with delicious anticipation. Good Lord, was he going to kiss her? She closed her eyes briefly, whether for strength or just to enjoy it, she wasn’t sure. But he only smoothed her lapels, laid his hands on her shoulders and was looking right into her eyes when she opened them.

“I’m not doing anything, Liz,” he said. She snorted and tried to shove past him, but he held her with an easy strength that had her eyes widening and her knees weakening again. He put his mouth very near her ear and she tried hard not to breathe because she didn’t want the smell of him hanging around her brain doing stupid things. “I’ve always been attracted to you,” he said. “A feeling you’ve returned, whether you knew it or not. I just clued you in, that’s all.”

He stepped back while she gaped at him, then smiled at her as if he hadn’t just kicked the shit out of her reality. He flicked her hair back over her shoulder and said, “Don’t look so surprised, darling. Everything evolves. You’ll learn. Just keep that badge nice and close.”

“I don’t believe you,” she said, but Patrick only gazed at her with fond amusement. She shrugged, as if he hadn’t just tapped into her most private fear and weakness. “But whatever. If this is what it takes to make you feel better, fine. I’ll . . . deal with it.”

His mouth curved slightly at that. “You have your agenda, I have mine.”


Writing these two prickly, wounded, deserving characters into a happy ending was one of the more rewarding challenges I’ve ever faced.  I hope you enjoy their journey as much as I did.

So how about you?  What’s your favorite pro-romance argument?  What do you say to the people who disparage your favorite genre?  We’ll pick five commenters to receive free copies of Money, Honey so get your witty repartee ready!

Can’t wait for luck to deliver your copy?  You can find Money, Honey at fine bookstores everywhere:


Barnes & Noble


Impromptu Contest –3 copies of Black Hills by Nora Roberts

July 07, 2010 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News 32 Comments →

We are giving away 3 copies of Black Hills by Nora Roberts

#1 New York Times-bestselling author Nora Roberts takes us deep into the rugged Black Hills of South Dakota, where the shadows keep secrets, hunters stalk the land, and a childhood friendship matures into an adult passion.
Asummer at his grandparents’ South Dakota ranch is not eleven-year-old Cooper Sullivan’s idea of a good time. But things are a bit more bearable now that he’s discovered the neighbor girl, Lil Chance, and her homemade batting cage. Even horseback riding isn’t as awful as Coop thought it would be. Each year, with Coop’s annual summer visit, their friendship deepens from innocent games to stolen kisses, but there is one shared experience that will forever haunt them: the terrifying discovery of a hiker’s body.

As the seasons change and the years roll, Lil stays steadfast to her dreams of becoming a wildlife biologist and protecting her family land, while Coop struggles with his father’s demand that he attend law school and join the family firm. Twelve years after they last walked together hand in hand, fate has brought them back to the Black Hills when the people and things they hold most dear need them most.

An investigator in New York, Coop recently left his fastpaced life to care for his aging grandparents and the ranch he has come to call home. Though the memory of his touch still haunts her, Lil has let nothing stop her dream of opening the Chance Wildlife Refuge, but something . . . or someone . . . has been keeping a close watch. When small pranks and acts of destruction escalate into the heartless killing of Lil’s beloved cougar, recollections of an unsolved murder in these very hills have Coop springing to action to keep Lil safe.

Lil and Coop both know the natural dangers that lurk in the wild landscape of the Black Hills. But now they must work together to unearth a killer of twisted and unnatural instincts who has singled them out as prey.
Buy the Book


How do you enter to win?

Go to the Jove/Berkley Authors website

and in the comments area tell me something you found of interest there.

The contest is open to everyone but if an overseas winner is picked RJ will get them a replacement prize from the RJ book vault. This is a contest given by the publishers and they specify US/Canada winners only. But you know us, we like to keep contests open for everyone. 😉

This is a short contest I will be picking winners on Friday 9th of July.

So hurry up and enter for a chance to win!

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