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Have You Met: Avon Addict Kim in Baltimore

Meet Kim, who runs the blog, SOS ALOHA Book Blog. I’ve known Kim for years–when she was actually fortunate enough to live in Hawaii. Kim describes herself as a “romance reader and a community volunteer.” Make that a one woman steamroller when it comes to getting things done, whether it is gathering books for military wives or other military causes or just seeing a need and rolling up her sleeves. Here is Kim:

1. Where is the most beautiful/romantic place you’ve ever been?tintagel Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, England, rumored to be King Arthur’s birthplace.

2. Favorite place to read? On the beach. When I lived on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, I’d drive to the North Shore for the beautiful seclusion of Turtle Bay.

3. What is the very first romance novel that you read? Cathy Maxwell’s The Marriage Contract. I found it on a shelf in the American Thrift Shop in the Netherlands.  It called to me with its blue cover and tartan sash.   At the time, I lived across from a castle and I enjoyed afternoon tea with the British Delegation.  It was the perfect setting for me to fall in love with Regency romance.

4. What are your top three favorite movies? Surprisingly, all three star Drew Barrymore – Ever After, Never Been Kissed, and The Wedding Singer.

5. What is the most embarrassing app or song on your phone? I would rather change this a bit and talk about the most embarrassing movie I love: Battleship. It sunk in the theaters but I love it! It was filmed in Hawaii and pays tribute to military, past and present. In fact, the cast includes a wounded warrior and old salts (retired sailors). The story is a coming of age for a slacker – an alien invasion gives him the opportunity to make a difference. I believe the film is named for the Battleship USS Missouri – a floating museum in Pearl Harbor. But the producer includes a scene that recognizes the Hasbro game, Battleship.

This is what I adore about Kim: she’ll start off in ancient Cornwall and end the conversation with an epic battle against aliens. Yeah, she’s that kind of gal. LOL.

Go find Kim on her blogs:
SOS ALOHA Book Blog
ALOHA ON MY MIND Travel Blog

And on

Twitter and Facebook

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TBT: One Night of Passion

This week I decided to look at what is usually counted as the first book in the Danver’s series. It is actually the second book I wrote, but chronologically it is the first in the timeline. But to understand the inspiration for One Night of Passion, you have to go back to that original Danvers series story, Once Tempted.

When I started writing Once Tempted, I hadn’t given much thought to Robert Danvers’s brothers, that is until I was writing the scene in Chapter Nine where Olivia asks Robert’s older brother, Colin, how he met his wife. It goes something like this:

“Tell me about your wife, Captain Danvers. I always wondered how it was that men of the sea found time to court a lady. How did you meet her?”
Apparently the subject was something of a family scandal, for both Colin and Robert sputtered over their soup.
“At a ball,” he finally managed to mutter.
“Oh, how romantic,” she said.
“Yes, it was very romantic from what I’ve heard,” Robert said, his tone teasing. “Do tell Miss Sutton all about it.”
“It was just a regular sort of ball,” Colin said abruptly, turning his full attention back to his soup.
Olivia wasn’t really listening, she was watching Robert. And right now his eyes sparkled with a mischievous gleam.
“It wasn’t a regular sort of ball, Da,” Gavin said. The impetuous boy turned to Olivia. “They met at the Cyprian’s Ball.”

The moment I wrote that line, “They met at the Cyprian’s Ball,” I got chills. I knew I had stumbled upon a story within my story.

In that single sentence, One Night of Passion was born.

The hardest part about it was that I had to wait until I was done with Once Tempted before I could start really exploring the idea of how the very proper Colin Danvers met his wife in such an unlikely place. I’d never thought of doing a prequel before, but that line wouldn’t stop rattling around inside my imagination, demanding to be told.

It got worse when I sent the book into my editor. She called me up almost immediately. She had only one thing to say: “I want Colin’s story.”

It seems, she too was hooked by the idea of this scandalous ball and what kind of lady would be there. And so were readers. Within a week of Once Tempted’s publication, the letters and emails started arriving, pleading their case for Colin’s story. I was happy to tell them it was already being written.

Sometimes that chill is all you need to know you are on to something.

Haven’t read Once Night of Passion? Try the excerpt or if you are feeling adventurous, order your copy today.

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Five Things & A Giveaway with Elizabeth Hoyt

I’ve known for Elizabeth Hoyt for some time–occasionally we get seated beside each other at signings. (When they do the authors by first names not last names). She is smart, funny and good company. And best of all, her books are to die for good. Am I right? Of course I am.

When I asked her to drop by, she insisted on doing a giveaway, so make sure to answer the question below to be entered.Hoyt_DarlingBeast_MM And you want to make sure you are entered because Elizabeth is kindly giving away a copy of her newly released book, DARLING BEAST, the latest installment in her wonderful Maiden Lane series and a copy of HOT, her latest contemporary by her contemporary alter ego, Julia Harper.

But first, let’s find out 5 Things about Elizabeth Hoyt.

1. Did you have a nickname growing up? Horribly, yes. Pookie. This lasted until I made myself very clear at the age of five that I wanted to be called ELIZABETH.

2. If you could be a superhero, power would you choose and why? Flying. Because it would be fun to buzz other people

3. What are your top three favorite movies?

4. If you were going to an island for a long time, name 5 things you would bring.

  • The complete works of Shakespeare
  • A year’s supply of coffee
  • Lip balm
  • At least one dog
  • Shoes to walk in.hot-by-julia-harper-aka-elizabeth-hoyt1

5. Print or ebook? My eyes aren’t so good so ebook.

GIVEAWAY: Comment with an answer to the following question to be entered: What are you reading right now?

Entries will be open until Friday, October 17th. One randomly selected winner will receive a copy of DARLING BEAST and HOT.

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Have You Met: Avon Addict Heather Cover?

You all are going to know immediately why I want you to meet Heather, from Fun-Size Reads. She’s a “librarian, a blogger, a knitter, a total geek and an unabashed romance reader.” Her words. But each one of them near and dear to my heart. We are probably sisters separated at birth.

After 18+ years of talking about books for work (the absolute best part of her job, she says,) she created Fun-Size Reads, a book review blog so she could share her passion for books with all of us. She also reviews for the School Library Journal. She says she will read just about anything, but her favorites (besides romance) are paranormal/fantasy stories, mysteries, and teen lit. When she’s not reading, you’ll find her curled up with an episode of Doctor Who, her latest knitting project, and a glass of scotch.

1) Do you immediately start another book once you finished one? I usually have at least two going at once, but yes, I totally start a new book as soon as I finish one. My to-read pile (physical and on Goodreads) is so long that if I don’t keep reading I’ll never catch up!

2) What is the very first romance novel that you read? I can’t remember titles, but my first introduction to romantic fiction was a box of Harlequin’s my friend’s mother was selling at their yard sale. There were probably 40 or 50 titles, all the slender, tame titles from the 1980’s. Since I was only in 6th grade or so, my friend’s mom called my mother to make sure it was okay for me to read them, then she just gave them to me. I devoured those books in about two weeks, and have been reading romance ever since.

3) If you could time travel, what time period tardiswould you most like to visit? I would love to hear the arguments and negotiations of the meetings with the signers of the Declaration of Independence. It had to be interesting, and much more colorful than the dry history I’ve read. (I would, of course, be doing this time travel with the Doctor.)

4) What is the most embarrassing song/app on your ipod. I am not embarrassed about any of my crazy musical choices! I have everything from classic Sesame Street and Disney songs to today’s pop hits to the country songs I loved as a teen. I get some odd looks when I hit shuffle, though.

5) Name three books on your keeper shelf and why.

  • Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown were my first taste of fantasy, and every time I read them I can’t put them down.
  • I’ve fallen hard for the bad boys of Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series, and I’m keeping these to reread every time she publishes a new installment.
  • Finally, Carla Swafford‘s Circle of Deception novels, because the characters, even the secondary and minor characters, are incredibly interesting…and sexy. I realize this is a lot more than three books, but it is only three authors…

You can find Heather around the web:
On her blog: Fun-Size Reads
Find what else is on her TBR at: Goodreads

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TBT: It Takes a Hero

Continuing my look back at my earlier books, this week I pulled from the shelf, It Takes a Hero, the 4th book in the Danvers series, which featured Raphael Danvers, the half English, half Spanish, prickly and temperamental twin of Orlando Danvers. Rafe had neither a title or wealth, but came with a quick mind and daring heart with which to make his way in the world.

I always had a bit of crush on that dark-haired devil. Okay, still do.

Writing Raphael Danvers’ story was inevitable. Apart from Jemmy Finch and Orlando Danvers, Rafe was the number one subject of fan mail for several years. And most everyone thought he should be with Georgie’s little sister, Kit (see One Night of Passion). But I never thought the two of them would work, besides the fact that Kit would be long since married and settled by the time the likes of Raphael Danvers decided to return to England.

So there it was-who could I match with Rafe?

The story idea came to me while having lunch with another editor at Avon. We were talking about my husband’s upcoming trip to Ireland and how I thought he should take his sister to Lisdoonvarna (the matchmaking village). We laughed about the idea, but it stuck in my head, the notion of a matchmaking village. As I began to plot and devise Rafe’s story, I decided to send him to Bramley Hollow and make the little town England’s version of that infamous Irish village.

What better to do to a man determined not to marry than to send him to a town known for making matches?

It Takes A Hero also saw the return of several of my favorite characters from the Danvers series, including Lady Finch, Jemmy Finch and Theonius T. Billingsworth. The best part of writing a series is to be able to revisit those favorite characters, (and Lady Finch qualifies as a character) again and again.

While Lady Finch appeared in some form or another in every single Danvers book, I had left poor Jemmy, wounded and lost in Spain for far too long. After reintroducing him, I knew the next thing to do would be to find him his heart’s desire and his story became the novella “The Matchmaker’s Bargain” in the anthology Hero, Come Back (which includes fabulous stories by Christina Dodd and Stephanie Laurens).

As for Mr. Billingsworth, while he’d only ever been mentioned and never stepped on stage, he finally made an appearance in It Takes a Hero.

As happens with books, It Takes A Hero was not the original title for this story. My working title was Tempting Miss Tate. The reason for the switch? The powers that be thought my title sounded “too traditional.” I don’t know if I agree, but both titles work for the book so I didn’t mind the change. I have only had my original titles changed a handful of times.

And for everyone who still wants me to write Orlando Danvers’s story, might I remind you all he died. Of a gunshot wound. To the chest. Had I known that he was going to be the most requested character in my entire writing history, that bullet would have entered a little more the left. Would have saved me a lot of ‘splaining!

Who is your favorite Danvers character?

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